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Interview III - Ravi Karunanayake

On Sarath N Silva's penchant for 'non sequituring'

Mar 29 (DN) About a year ago the then Chief Justice Sarath N Silva was taking judicial activism to extents that so compromised the separation of powers as embedded in the Constitution that he almost brought the entire country to the brink of Constitutional anarchy. Many people objected to this. Some because the then CJ was making things uncomfortable for them (I am thinking about politicians). more..

University for entrepreneurs JICA to offer financial assistance

Mar 29 (LP) The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will offer financial assistance and expertise to form a university body for the country's entrepreneurs. The Enterprise Development Authority has initiated a round of talks with JICA concerning the project, at the awards presentation ceremony to felicitate the best entrepreneur in the Anuradhapura district. more..

Recovered bicycles, motorcycles to be distributed among public

Mar 29 (MoD) Over 1,000 bicycles and 200 motorcycles recovered by Security Forces in Puthumathalan were dispatched to Kilinochchi last week for repairs and distribution among the public. Northern Province Governor G.A. Chandrasiri said a nine acre area has been cleared in Kilinochchi to stock the bicycles and motorcycles transfered from Puthumathalan. more..

“Me Avurudu Kale" in Kandy today

Mar 29 (LP) A Sinhala New Year folk songs and traditions “Me Avurudu Kale" will be staged at the Dharmaraja College Auditorium in Kandy. The show “Me Avurudu Kale" is by Sahan Ranwala and is organized by the Old Rajans Scout Association of Dharmaraja College in aid of the Lake View Park International Scout Centre. The Sinhala traditions and folksongs show "Me Avurudu Kale" specially is a novel approach by Sahan Ranwala aiming the Sinhala New Year traditions. more..

Lanka acquires more sea area in future

Mar 29 (LP) Sri Lanka in the future will acquire 23 times more sea area than its physical land according to a research by the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry in collaboration with the Fisheries and aquatic resources and Foreign Ministries. According to Natural Resources and Environment Ministry Sri Lanka is not a small country in the context of ocean resources and terrorial waters that belongs. more..

Waters of Parakrama Samudhra released to the sea not to farmers

Mar 29 (LT) The waters of Parakrama Samudra in Pollonnaruwa have been released to the sea through Mahaweli River by opening the spillway gates without issuing it to farmers to harvest their paddy fields during the ‘Yala’ season. The farmers want to know whether it is the new agriculture policy of the government. At a ‘harvesting committee’ held on 25th March it had been decided to issue water to paddy fields for ‘Yala’ more..

Basil has not included foreign assets in his asset declaration

Mar 29 (LNW) The declaration of assets and liabilities handed over by UPFA Gampaha District Leader Basil Rajapaksa to the Elections Commissioner does not include any of his foreign assets, it is learnt. Although Basil is required to declare his overseas assets, as he holds a dual citizenship in Sri Lanka and the US, it is learnt that he has not even included a number of his foreign bank accounts. more..

Director of Colombo Crimes Division noticed for presenting false evidence

Mar 29 (LT) Chief Magistrate of Colombo Champa Janaki Rajaratna has ordered the Director of Colombo Crimes Division to appear before Court on 5th April for the confusion created the police by filing various reports regarding the incident in which the agitation campaign held near Courts Complex at Hultsdorf in Colombo against the illegal arrest and arbitrary detention of Gen. Sarath Fonseka was attacked. more..

Police department actively supporting culprits

Mar 29 (CaFFE) The build-up towards the upcoming general election has so far had more than its fair share of illegal campaigning and propaganda and its seems that close to no attempt has so far been made by any of the relevant authorities to curb these flagrant violations of the country’s basic election laws. “Absolutely nothing is being done about this. The police are not doing their job, more..

Mother robs gold necklace to buy packet of milk powder to child

Mar 29 (LT) A mother who is said to have robbed another woman’s gold necklace to buy food for her child who had been starving has been arrested by Deniyaya Police. When questioned it has been revealed that she had walked throughout Deniyaya town to find some food for her 1 ½ year old child the whole day and since her attempt failed she had been tempted to rob the gold necklace of a woman who was walking along the road. more..

Minister Gajadeera’s goons kill UPFA supporter over clash on preferential votes

Mar 29 (LT) One supporter of the UPFA was killed and two more were injured and admitted to hospital when a clash on preferential votes occurred at a UPFA election rally held at Kotawila area at Weligama in Matara yesterday night. The meeting was organized by Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera and was also attended by ministers and candidates of the UPFA for Matara District Mahinda Yapa and Lakshman Yapa and their supporters. more..

The 20th anniversary of the Jathika Namal Uyana

Mar 29 (NS) Marking the 20th anniversary of the Jathika Namal Uyana, the largest ironwood forest in Sri Lanka which falls on March 25 is significant. Particularly to the Rev. W. Rahula Thero who discovered the over 500 million year old largest pink quartz mountain range in Asia on that day in 1991. Today, it is a world famous environment site. more..

Party members oppose President’s move to sideline Fowzie and get Sally closer

Mar 29 (LNW) Massive opposition have been raised against the President within the SLFP for extending his full support to individuals who have joined the party for various perks and privileges after sidelining longstanding party seniors, Lanka News Web reliably learns. One of the reasons behind the protest is the President’s decision to sideline and politically destroy SLFP senior, Minister A.H.M. Fowzie and to get UNP defector Azath Sally closer to him. more..

That Jumbo pledge

Mar 29 (LNP) If any voter thinks that of over seven thousand odd candidates in the parliamentary fray, there is at least a single person who seeks political office, driven by altruism and love for the masses, he or she should make a beeline for the psychiatrist s couch before exercising his or her franchise. All those ambitious men and women are engaged in a frantic scramble for power, throwing as they do a great deal of money around, because politics is the best business which more..

Saying ‘aye’ with a 2/3 majority

Mar 29 (ST) A popular misconception about Parliament is that it is the Parliament, elected by the people that governs the country. In Sri Lanka the elected Executive President is the head of the Government and though the Prime Minister and the rest of the Cabinet are selected from among the majority party in Parliament it is not Parliament itself that governs. more..

Accidents swallow Rs 15 billion

Mar 29 (DN) Transport Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said road accidents cause an estimated loss of Rs 15 billion annually to the country’s economy. It is reported that around 35 percent drivers have obtained driving licences by producing bogus medical certificates and are responsible for the rise in the number of fatal accidents. The Minister made this disclosure at a ceremony to launch several services to provide a quality and efficient service to more..

Young man beaten to death in Vavuniyaa

Mar 29 (TN) Persons connected to EPDP assaulted Thangarasa Krishnagoapal Saturday night at a liquor bar in Vavuniyaa who died of excessive bleeding Sunday due to injuries in Vavuniyaa government hospital where he was admitted by persons who were at the liquor shop at the time of the incident, sources in Vavuniyaa said. The victim was attacked by EPDP member Jeyaraj and EPDP student organization members, more..

'We united a divided nation'

Mar 29 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that the positive and courageous outlook of the present regime had made a fragmented country into a united one and had turned a downward economy into one which was on the threshold of prosperity. The President reminded the large gathering that he was given a mandate in 2005 to unite the divided nation. “When we took over the country it was severely fragmented with more..

'Constitutional Amendments not on foreign influence'

Mar 29 (DN) Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka yesterday said the Government was not going for a Constitutional Amendment based on foreign influences. He told the UPFA press conference that the Government would not make any unfavourable amendments to the Constitution. Hitting out at those who question the nature of the amendment to the Constitution, more..

Speaker rejects Wijedasa’s move, won’t accept Bill on retired armed forces men

Mar 29 (Island) Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara has rejected UPFA National List MP Wijedasa Rajapakshe’s move to submit a Bill in Parliament on April 6 aimed at protecting the rights of retired security forces personnel. Acting Secretary General of Parliament, Dhammika Dassanayake has informed Rajapakshe that there was no provision for the handing over of the proposed Bill due to the dissolution of Parliament on February 9. more..

A 903 km ‘feet only drive’ from PPD to Tissamaharama

Mar 29 (Island) Artiste Buddika Rambukwella said that he recently drove a car from Point Pedro to Tissamaharama via Dondra point, using his feet after the President’s eldest son, Namal’s intervention prevented the police from blocking his effort. He said that his unprecedented journey covered 903 km in three days, though he could have achieved the target within two days. more..

'Sure to get GSP + if elected to power'

Mar 29 (Island) "I am confident that the UNF Government formed after the April 8 parliamentary elections will win back the GSP Plus facility, suspended by the EU due to the human rights record of the UPFA government. The exporters of garments and other goods from Sri Lanka will be able to export their products sans taxes to Europe, Wickremesinghe said more..

Kissing doctor in trouble

Mar 29 (DM) A male doctor who had allegedly engaged in forcibly kissing and harassing female doctors at the Dambulla Base Hospital had been reported to the Police and Hospital Authorities. However, Director of the Hospital Iresha Fernando said she could not comment on the matter as an inquiry was pending. It is alleged that the said doctor had in the habit, forcibly kissing female doctors who come to the wards from quarters to attend to emergency cases in the night. more..

Wijedasa slams Rajapaksa govt over waste, corruption

Mar 29 (Island) Former MP Wijedasa Rajapakshe PC, the UNP organiser for the Maharagama electorate, said future generations would have to repay loans obtained by this UPFA Government in the guise of development to maintain the world’s biggest cabinet that has accommodated corrupt politicians who have even crossed over to government ranks. more..

EC orders Directress of CAA to be reinstated immediately

Mar 29 (LT) Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayaka has written to the Chairman of the Consumer Affairs Authority Rumy Marzook ordering Mrs. Jayasuriya, Directpr General of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) be immediately reinstated to her post as her removal violates election laws. He has made the order considering a complaint to the Elections Commission that Consumer Affairs Minister Bandula Gunawardena had removed her from her post more..

SC grants journalist leave to proceed

Mar 29 (DM) The Supreme Court last Friday granted leave to proceed with the rights violation petition filed by free lance journalist Ruwan Weerakoon (44) challenging his arrest and detention purportedly on the allegation of facilitating conversations between Gen. (Rtd) Sarath Fonseka and former UNPers Johnston Fernando as well as Lakshman Seneviratne. The Bench granted leave for the alleged infringement of his fundamental rights to equality and more..

'Dividends of peace won’t trickle down without alleviating poverty'

Mar 29 (Island) NNF leader Wimal Weerawansa yesterday said that before moving in for mega development projects and infrastructure development, the government that would be elected to power at the forthcoming general election has a big responsibility in alleviating poverty in the country. Although we have militarily defeated terrorism, to derive the real benefits of our sacrifices, more..

MPs curious to know their fate post April 8

Mar 29 (DM) With the President deciding to limit the number of ministers in the next cabinet to 40 there has been much interest and anxiety created among the present lot of ministers on who is going to stay and who is going to get the cut. Many ministers and party leaders supporting the UPFA government are said to be calling the Presidential Secretariat round the clock to know their fate, a senior Presidential source said yesterday. more..

EPDP wants the release of LTTE suspects

Mar 29 (DM) Releasing of all LTTE suspects irrespective of whether they had been arrested or surrendered was among the demands the EPDP had placed before the Government in view of the General Election, a regional newspaper said quoting EPDP leader Douglas Devananda. “Responding to a request made by the sister of Puthuvai Ratnathurai to get her brother released, Minister Devananda has said that the LTTE spokesman Daya Masater’s sister too had made a similar demand, more..

Sri Lanka: Tamils on probation

Tamil Nadu Govt. rejects Nalini’s request for release

Mar 29 (Hindu) The Tamil Nadu government on Monday rejected the request for premature release filed by Nalini, a life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. In his submission to the Division Bench of the Madras High Court comprising Elipe Dharma Rao and K. K. Sasidharan, Advocate-General P.S. Raman said the Prison Advisory Board (PAB) had submitted its report rejecting the appeal on eight grounds. more..

'Govt. has changed the song, tune & the singer'

Mar 29 (LT) The 2/3rd majority for a constitutional change which was the main slogan of the government has been withdrawn by the government says General Secretary of eh JVP Tilvin Silva. Speaking at après conference held at the head office of the JVP today Mr. Silva said the government has changed not only the song about the 2/3rd majority but the singer as well. more..

Sri Lanka, US joint exercise: Special Forces, Commandos left out

Mar 29 (Island) Sri Lanka recently turned down a US call to deploy Air Mobile troops instead of Special Forces or Commandos alongside US personnel for a joint training exercise in the East. The Sri Lanka Army has asserted that there was no point in involving Air Mobile troops in an exercise designed for elite forces. The US has called for Air Mobile troops, consequent to a decision not to more..

People power for rig-proof elections

Mar 29 (LB) The two main opposition parties the United National Front (UNF) and the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) have worked out a strategy to counter election malpractices by deploying 100,000 persons to protect polling stations and counting centres. “We will mobilize more than 100 000 party supporters on April 8th to prevent election malpractices at the polling and counting centres. more..

'UNP thugs set fire to Jaffna library'

Mar 29 (DN) Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka yesterday demanded the UNP not to put the blame of the LTTE crimes and the UNP's wrong political decisions on the innocent Sinhala and Tamil People. Referring to a statement made by the opposition that the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities were responsible for Jaffna Library arson, Black July incidents and other crimes etc. more..

'New Constitution not a priority'

Mar 29 (DM) The ruling UPFA yesterday said a set of Constitutional amendments would be introduced on priority basis soon after the new UPFA govt was formed after the April 8 General election, that will abolish executive presidency, strengthen parliamentary powers and make 17th amendment more effective, among other Constitutional measures instead of a new Constitution. more..

Piano diplomat not present for inquiry

Mar 30 (ST) The Sri Lankan diplomat who is alleged to have returned home with antique items from his landlord’s residence in Japan did not appear for the inquiry at the Foreign Ministry last Monday. The ex-diplomat Tilak Attanayake who was a political appointee holding the post of Minister Consular in the Sri Lankan Embassy in Japan from mid-2007 till September 2009, was asked to come last Monday for an inquiry over more..

Police are seeking candidates' help to arrest 185 individuals for violating election laws

Mar 30 (DM) The police are seeking help of each candidate in order to arrest 185 individuals who are wanted by the police for violating the Election Laws, head of the Police Elections Desk DIG Gamini Navaratne said. The Police Elections Desk has received 201 complaints related to election violence and in regard 128 suspects have been arrested for violating the elections law, more..

End of war brings new hope for Sri Lanka’s Muslim IDP’s

Mar 30 (AV) Sri Lankan activist Jansila Majeed, a Muslim woman displaced by the war for nearly 20 years, recently received the U.S. State Department's International Women of Courage Award for her work in women’s rights and reconciliation among Sri Lanka’s internally displaced populations. She was one of 10 women to be selected for the honor and the only woman from South Asia. more..

Jaffna readers interested in local issues

Mar 30 (BBC) A group of Sinhala and Tamil journalists in Sri Lanka have stressed the importance of reporting local issues facing both communities in rural areas. Editor of Valampuri regional Tamil newspaper in Jaffna, N Vijesundaran, told a visiting group of journalists from the south that in addition to life in Jaffna being not properly portrayed in the national media it is also distorted. more..

Upcoming parliamentary elections and the future of Sri Lanka

Mar 30 (IPCS) Mahinda Rajapaksa, soon after his re-election as the Executive President of Sri Lanka, dissolved the existing parliament and announced the date for elections as 8 April 2010. When nominations closed on 27 February, 7696 candidates from 24 political parties and hundreds of independent groups were in the fray. Interestingly, the number of independent groups far exceeds the registered political parties. more..

All candidates allowed in for counting

Mar 30 (BBC) Election authorities in Sri Lanka say that all aspiring legislators will be allowed into counting centres when preferential votes are counted. Ratnapura Senior Election Commissioner MAPC Perera told the journalists that the unprecedented measure is taken to prevent allegations over discrepancies in the selection of winners. more..

Teacher torture and court delays

Mar 30 (LG) A father came from Nivitigala to Ratnapura to give us an update on the progress of his son’s case. On 19 October 2005 his son, Ranjit, who at the time was a 12 year old pupil in grade 5 - was assaulted by one of the principal teachers in his school. The teacher hit him across his face breaking his nose in 3 places.Despite the fact his son was very seriously injured no teacher took him to hospital – more..

World cup Cricket Tamil protest at Kensington Oval, 7th June 1975

Mar 30 (TC) On 7 June 1975 as the Sri Lankan cricketers, minnows in the universe of cricket, took on the mighty Australians under Ian Chappel at the Kensington Oval in London in the early rounds of the first-ever World Cup in limited-overs competition, a small band of young Sri Lankan Tamil men invaded the centre-field and displayed placards as they lay down in protest. Sporting encounters that attract large crowds have occasionally been more..

These buses have no fuel crisis

Mar 30 (LT) We reported that buses at Ratmalana and Moratuwa depots had been incapacitated due to shortage of fuel. However, the problem of shortage of fuel has not affected several double decker buses belonging to the two depots say reports reaching us. These buses are not for commuters. According to our reporters instead of commuters these double decker buses carry large photographs of Rajapakses. more..

Retreats, pilgrimages and collections to prepare for Easter

Mar 30 (AN) The Catholic communities of Sri Lanka are preparing for the celebrations of Holy Week, with an intensive program of prayers, retreats and pilgrimages. AsiaNews reports on the initiatives of individual parishes and communities. The Vicar General Father Victor Soosai tells AsiaNews that on the evening of Friday, March 26 over 4 thousand faithful made a pilgrimage to the shrine of Parappukadantan, parish of Alkaddiveli, about 21 km east of Mannar. more..

Foundation stone laid for star tourist hotel in Jaffna

Mar 30 (TN) The Governor of Central Bank, Ajith Cabrala, participating as the chief guest in the ceremony, laid the foundation stone Monday in Nalloor Muththiraichanththai area in Jaffna for a star tourist hotel which he said will soon be completed construction at the event. Gnanam and Subas hotels in Jaffna had been occupied for the last fourteen years by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) more..

Beauty and Bollywood

Mar 30 (Hindu) Although her maiden acting venture “Aladdin” didn't fare well at the box office last year, former Miss Sri Lanka, Jacqueline Fernandez, definitely grabbed enough eyeballs. Her second film is all set for release next week. Jacqueline tells us about her upcoming film, what the industry has felt like thus far and she even cares to put to rest the rumours of the linkup between her and a certain co-star. more..

SL Tamil woman in Tamil Nadu refugee camp commits suicide due to sexual abuse by 3 policemen

Mar 30 (TN) A Tamil woman from Sri Lanka held in the Refugee camp for Sri Lankans in Karoor district in Tamil Nadu died Sunday night in Karoor government hospital where she had been admitted two weeks ago when she had set herself ablaze unable to bear being sexually molested by three Tamil Nadu policemen. Ms. Kumar Pathmathevi, 28, had said in her statement to a feminist human rights activist that more..