Daily Archives: May 24, 2007
Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels are claiming to have killed 35 military personnel during a raid on a navy base in the north of the country. LTTE Sea Tigers in 15 boats including 3 suicide boats tried to infiltrate Navy defenses in Delft islet around 1.30 a.m. today (24), Media Center for National Security says.
After a fierce gun battle which lasted until 07.00 a.m, a LTTE attack boat have been sunken and the rest of LTTE boats have withdrawn, Defense Ministry said, butdid not provided any details about casualties.
Mean while LTTE says Four rebels were killed in the operation,
“During a search operation, we found 35 bodies of Sri Lankan sailors and weapons,” Tiger spokesman Rasiah Ilanthiriyan told AFP by telephone.
Powered by Post2Blog Express
Bomb blast near the main entrance of Colombo harbor, today around 8.50 a.m.
A army vehicle was the target of bomb, military sources says.
Hospital sources said seven injured have been admitted to the Colombo national hospital by this moment, including four army personnel and three civilians Two injured are in critical condition.
Military sources said that was a suicide bomber earlier, but later Defence Ministry said it could be a claymore mine fixed in a parked mortar bike, detonated using a remote device. Defense Ministry blames LTTE, But no confirmation by LTTE yet.
Powered by Post2Blog Express
The British Tamil Forum (BTU) yesterday claimed that the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and one of the candidates for Deputy Prime Ministers Peter Hain, MP had stated that Sri Lankan Tamils should have the right to self-determination.
The BTU said in a media release: `At a meeting attended by the Prime Minister elect, various Cabinet Ministers and six Deputy Prime Minister candidates, at the House of Parliament on 21st May 2007, answering a question on how the British Political Establishment can assist in bringing a political solution to the Sri Lankan human crisis, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and one of the Deputy Prime Minister candidates Right Hon MP Peter Hain stated that the Sri Lankan Tamils should have the right for self determination.
As a panel, all six candidates agreed that the Sri Lankan conflict can not be resolved by military means and must be progressed through a peace process. Further, there was a general consensus that the Tamils sufferings and the human rights violations must stop immediately.
The Secretary of State for International Development Right Hon MP Hilary Benn stated that the temporary freezing of aid to Government of Sri Lanka was a decision he had personally made to express the displeasure of the British Government regarding serious human rights violations that are being inflicted at the civilian population. He further stated that the International Community must play a part in facilitating the peace process and that both conflicting parties, namely the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam must forget the grievances of the past and progress through a political solution.
Right Hon MP Hazel Blears, who is the current Chair of the Labour Party and a contender for the Deputy Prime Minister post, said that Britain can exert greater influence in the peace process by involving the wider International Community. She also acknowledged the fact that the British Tamils Forum who had a productive meeting in the recent past with the Home Secretary. It is generally assumed that the Chair of the Labour Party was referring to a meeting at which the current Home Secretary Right Hon MP (Dr) John Reed who agreed to review the proscription of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam as a terrorist organisation, if a formal appeal is lodged.
Right Hon MP Harriet Harman, Minister responsible for Criminal Justice stressed the importance of the Tamil Diaspora to be actively engaged with the Political Establ ishment and the Policy Makers of Her Majesty`s Government.` -Upali Newspapers
Powered by Post2Blog Express
Sri Lanka Cricket would do well to reward past servants of the game such as Gerry Waidyasekara, C.I Gunasekara and Bertie Wijesinghe rather than wasting money to send nonentities to watch World Cup, writes legendary Stanley Jayasinghe
To furtively bless and sponsor scores of nonentities to pursue cricket teams on tours abroad, at the expense of the public purse, amounts to embezzlement. It seriously undermines transparency and sound business management. Anyone of sane mind is entitled to question whether such rich rewards would be proffered from a properly administered corporate body.
Ironically the former Sports Minister, who dismissed the earlier democratically elected Cricket Board, alleging mismanagement of funds, is at the forefront of the current regime and allegedly guilty of similar transgressions! A clear case of the remedy being worse than the disease.
Regrettably distinguished personages, who have made indelible prints in Sri Lanka’s cricket history, remain unrecognized and uncoloured in the sunset of their lives.
Nonagenarian Gerry Waidyasekera and octogenarians C. Ivers Gunesekera and R. Bertie Wijesinghe were post World War II stalwarts in their respective fields.
Gerry Waidyasekera was an educationist, who single-handedly promoted the game in remote Potuhera, Polgahawela and Kurunegala areas whilst teaching in those schools during the fifties. Leather ball cricket being an unaffordable luxury the tennis ball held sway, with Sekera playing the role of Unofficial Honorary Coach to the underprivileged schoolboys. Many were the invitations extended to Cricket Board officials and national cricketers to visit and encourage the impoverished youngster and his efforts met with only limited success but he continued undaunted, while releasing his personal funds. His zealous coaching campaign continued until he reached the mid-eighties, and finally called it a day.
Waidyasekera was, in addition, the cricket correspondent of the world acclaimed Wisden Cricket Almanac for several decades. This writer was not averse to paying respects to the much revered schoolmaster who maintained old standards of discipline and punctuality.
Of similar veneration was Ivers Gunesekera who entered the local cricket scene in the late forties, after a long stint with the Ceylon Garrison Artillery, in World War II. A wiry six-footer, he started his cricket as a hard-hitting batsman and fast-bowler of the SSC team. He then went on to captain the Ceylon team. His brawny batting drew vast crowds as he plundered runs via boundaries and sixes. Windows of neighbouring houses and even the cars of spectators ran unusual risks, much like Sanath Jayasuriya and Shahid Afridi of modern times. He and Sathasivam were unquestionably the “darlings” of the local crowd, including this writer!
His weapon of destruction was a blackish-brown long handle Stuart Surridge bat where broad bindings gave it a forbidding look. To the best of this writers knowledge levers and his bat were inseparable companions. Many were the fielders and bowlers, both local and foreign, who carried bruised palms after Gunesekera’s onslaughts.
Midway through his cricket career he successfully experimented with leg-spin and was a tremendous success, collecting a bag-ful of wickets in local and international contests.
Another octogenarian, who served the country well, as player and coach, for over half-a- century was Bertie Wijesinghe. Wijesinghe was a utility all-rounder and brilliant fielder in the covers.
When Ramsay de S. Wettimuny, father of the brothers Sunil, Mithra and Sidath surveyed the field for a cricket coach it was Wijesinghe who filled the role. Having satisfied himself of Wijesinghe’s proficiency, Wettimuny constructed the indoor cricket school at Health Department ground. It was here that the Wettimuny brothers honed their skills under the watchful eyes of Wijesinghe.
Having undergone a two-year spell of coaching in Nottingham, England, Wijesinghe returned to Ceylon and involved himself with Trinity College, Kandy, and St. Thomas College, Mount Lavinia, before conducting weekend classes at the SSC ground, until recently. From the foregoing it is clear that the esteemed trio have served Sri Lanka with distinction and are deserving of our salutations.
Readers are reassured that the critical comments stated earlier were meant to prevent repeats of these questionable misdeeds. That the three veterans have been beneficiaries of the Interim Committee’s generosity is highly appreciated. This writer is also aware of the Interim Committee’s grants to several institutions in the remote regions of Sri Lanka. However, the general consensus is that by bestowing rewards arbitrarily, worthy cases as shown above, are disregarded. Such wasteful practices run contrary to accepted norms of corporate governance.
More than passing mention should be made of a few more personages who have given a ‘leg up’ to Sri Lanka’s graduation to ICC ranks. They have aged with good grace and remain unwearied, unwithered and in good cheer.
Tita Nathanielsz- King of sling
Long before “chuckers” and “slingers” hit world headlines, Ceylon paraded the “King of Slingers” — E.B. “Tita” Nathanielsz of Colts Cricket Club. A slim wiry six-footer with well-groomed jet-black hair Nathanielsz opened bowling for Ceylon off a five-foot run up. On the Colt’s CC matting wicket his “slingers” rose awkwardly onto the ribcage unsettling many a batsman.
On the green P. Saravanamuttu Oval, the Nathanielsz versus Sathasivam battle was eagerly looked forward to. If memory serves me right Sathasivam had the better of the exchanges over the years. The “King of Slingers”, however, remains deeply etched in this writers mind for a painful personal experience. Facing the “Slinger” for the first time in a Test Trial at the P. Saravanamuttu Oval, a toe-crushing first ball yorker crashed onto the right foot, drawing painful tears and displaying stars during the day. Survival was assured when a quick single enabled this writer to change ends. Nathanielsz’ s services were lost prematurely when in a motor accident his right palm was jarred.
another much revered celebrity who promoted the game amongst the less affluent society at grass root’s level, with his Sinhala discourses over the radio, was Premasara Epasinghe. It would not be incorrect to state that it was this scholarly commentator who fashioned into Sinhala the various cricketing idioms, tents, expressions to educate the masses in this foreign sport. Such eminent figures who have contributed to the furtherance of the game deserve recognition and rewards. Unfortunately such practices seldom prevail in our sunny isle.
Neil, Dr. HIK, Errol, Ratnapala
Four others who have served the cause of cricket are Neil Perera, Dr. H.I.K. Fernando, Errol Seneviratne and N.G.A Ratnapala of distant Tissamaharama. More of them when and if the Editor and space permit. -Wijeya Newspapers
Powered by Post2Blog Express