ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 52
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Wijeya Pariganaka

Political Column
  Rajapaksa Govt. on razor's edge
  By Our Political Editor
Trouble shooting seems never to end for President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is dogged by a plethora of issues after just 18 months in office. The Government's moves to acquire MiG-29 multi-role combat aircraft from Russia at a substantial cost (to be paid later) and the controversy over the proposed sale of Sri Lanka Telecom shares held by Japan's NTT to a Malaysian company - both exclusive disclosures by The Sunday Times were clearly uppermost.
5th Column
  Ah, the price you have to pay to stay where you are!
  By Rypvanwinkle

My Dear Mahinda Maama,

I thought I must write to you, even if you seem to be giving the Green Man a close fight for the title of being the most travelled tourist in the country. Hopefully, you will be back in this little country of ours to read this, having returned from your most recent journeys in Jordan and Kuwait...
Situation Report
  Tale of two wars: Ground battle and media battle
  By Iqbal Athas
  The island of Delft (Nedun Theevu or Long Island), off the northern Jaffna peninsula, was known centuries ago under Portuguese rule as Cow Island. There were plenty of cattle there. Yet the mortality rate was high because they sometimes fed on the venomous herbs that grew wild.
The Economic Analysis
  Can current economic indicators be sustained?
  By the Economist
  With the nose dive in the Colombo Stock Exchange last week, suspension of aid by Britain and the United States and the continuous rise in prices, there was a general view that the economy was in a dire predicament. Fortunately, the share price indices recovered and then fluctuated this week. According to the Central Bank, inflation too is showing signs of deceleration. However, price increases this month may reverse that expectation.
Thoughts from London
  Where ignorance and indifference are more than bliss
  By Neville de Silva
  When concerns were raised in our parliament over the recent House of Commons debate at which the Sri Lanka government ran into a barrage of flak, Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama reportedly treated the matter rather lightly. He seemed to think that the castigation of the government and the call for the British government to lift the ban on the LTTE were the personal opinions of some government and Liberal Democrat MPs and not the view of the British government.
Issue of the week
  Not published with this week issue.
  By Ameen Izzadeen
Focus on Rights
  Displacing 'safe assumptions' about the society that we live in
  By Kishali Pinto Jayawardena

The 'safe' assumption harboured by most Sri Lankans that the practice of torture remains confined to a particular segment of the societal undesirables; terrorists or hard core criminals as the case may be is now comprehensively debunked to all intents and purposes. Instead, torture is most evidenced against the poor and the marginalized; often the most gruesome torture is practiced against a teenager accused of stealing a bunch of bananas or some such petty theft.

  MPs in hunt for 10 m. dollar man
  By Chandani Kirinde, Our Lobby Correspondent
  The Government’s attempt to purchase five MiG -29 aircraft for the Air Force and an alleged move to sell off the shares of Sri Lanka Telecom were two issues raised by the Opposition when Parliament met last week. These issues dominated the sessions during an otherwise dull week, with the House devoting time to speak on the condolence votes on two former MPs.
Inside the glass house
  Defining a new-type of refugee
  By Thalif Deen at the united nations
  Perhaps one of the clear-cut routes to West-bound migration — as some Sri Lankan expatriates have discovered — is to seek "political asylum". But still no one in his right mind has sought "mental asylum" — although the concept may be tempting to those in sheer desperation to set foot on Canadian, European or American soil.
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