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Implications of the Geneva vote

The recent vote at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva was upsetting, and it would make sense for Sri Lanka to assess what happened and work towards ensuring that such a situation does not occur again. However there seems little chance of that, since the same was obvious a year ago, but nevertheless nothing was done, except to sit back and hope disaster would not strike twice.

The only efforts at analysis we saw from the Ministry of External Affairs were leaks to the effect that the vote engineered by the United States had put Sri Lanka back on track to working with what were described as its traditional allies.


Army did not kill Prabhakaran’s son, claims Mahinda

NEW DELHI, March 2:

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has claimed that the island’s army did not kill LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s 12-year-old son Balachandran at the end of the socalled Eelam IV War. His reason for thinking so: if the army did it, he would have known. Since he does not know, it could not have happened!

In an interview to The Hindu’s Colombo Correspondent RK Radhakrishnan published in the newspaper today, Rajapaksa proclaimed: "Had it happened, I would have known (it). It is obvious that if somebody (from the armed forces) had done that, I must take responsibility. We completely deny it. It can’t be."


Govt. ignores warnings, goes ahead with Sampur

Despite claims, by energy sector experts, that Sri Lanka would lose between Rs. 10 billion and Rs. 14 billion annually, the government will go ahead with the controversial Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) of the 500 MW Coal Power Station in Sampur, Trincomalee.

Senior Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) engineers told The Island yesterday that a unit of electricity produced at Sampur would cost Rs. 18.00 as against Rs. 13.00 from the first coal powered plant at Norochcholai.

"Even Rs. 13.00 at Lak Wijeya in Norochcholai is high but if we could stick to that amount it would be better for the country in rupee terms," a senior official said.

He said that the country did not need to rush for a plant of this nature because already plans were underway to set up the second and third plants at Norochcholai. In other words, within the course of next year, the country would have an additional 600 MW.


Lanka marks 65th Independence Day today

Sri Lanka’s 65th Independence Day celebrations will be held on a grand scale at Fort Frederick in Trincomalee today. The celebrations will be held under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The theme of this year’s celebration is ‘A Glorious Motherland - A Flourishing Tomorrow’ (Asirimath Mawubimak - Isurumath Heta Dinak).

Over 2,500 invitees including members of the diplomatic corps and foreign embassies will attend the event. Mass Media and Information Ministry sources said over 3,000 personnel representing the three Armed Forces, Police, Civil Security Department, National Cadet Corps and National Youth Corps will take part in the National Day parade followed by a cultural pageant comprising 860 artistes belonging to 16 cultural groups.

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