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Yunnan Province boosts reciprocal tourist traffic with Sri Lanka

Sep 4 (Island) The Peoples Government of the Yunnan Province of China, with Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau expect increased interaction to boost tourist traffic between both countries. China, given its size in land mass and population, account for about 54 million tourists who travel the world seeking leisure said Sri Lanka Ambassador to China Amunugama Karunatilleka, addressing the press and participants this week at a press brief more..

Sri Lanka Police celebrates 144 years

Sep 4 (LP) The Police Department of Sri Lanka celebrates its 144 th Anniversary today (03). In 1796 after the British captured the coastal areas of Sri Lanka, the police service was introduced to the country and enforced gradually and systematically. It is recorded history that the commencement of the Sri Lanka Police was on September 3, 1866. The Police Department, the Regular Police, Special Task Force, Civil Security Force and more..

'Signature Tour' of Sri Lanka with U.S delegates a success

Sep 4 (MoD) Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya concluded a highly successful 2010 inaugural Ambassadors' Signature Tour of Sri Lanka with 25 American professionals and business people recently. The tour finished with high tea and a press conference at the renowned Galle Face Hotel in Colombo, capping a 10-day adventure that included beach-side resorts, wild animal parks, a ramble through the lush, more..

8 UNP MPs likely to support proposed 18th amendment

Sep 4 (Island) Informed sources told The Island last night that among those who had committed themselves to supporting President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s proposed constitutional amendments, which inter alia would give a sitting President the opportunity to contest any number of times, were UNP MPs Lakshman Seneviratne, Earl Gunasekera, Abdul Cader and Manusha Nanayakkara. more..

'UNP not doing enough to defeat proposed Constitutional reforms'

Sep 4 (Island) The JVP yesterday challenged the main opposition UNP to, if possible, get all its members elected to Parliament under the elephant symbol to vote against the Constitutional reforms. They promised to do the rest to defeat it. The JVP found fault with the UNP, which it said was not doing enough to defeat the proposed constitutional reforms. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva condemned the UNP for not doing anything sensible for that purpose. more..

UNP rebels out

Sep 4 (DM) The UNP is taking steps to remove four senior members who have decided to vote with the government for the constitutional reforms next week in Parliament, UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayaka said. Attanayaka added that the decision to remove any UNP members who voted with the government was arrived at the recent UNP Working Committee meeting. As a result, four of the UNP’s senior members Abdul Cader, Lakshman Seneviratne, Earl Gunasekara and more..

Why the Muslim Congress will vote with the government

Sep 4 (DBS) The SLMC is once again in the eye of a minor political storm after the decision reached by its Apex body to vote with the Government headed by President Mahinda Rajapakse in supporting the forthcoming 18th Amendment to the Constitution while remaining with the opposition led by Ranil Wickremasinghe. On Friday the “Athi Uyar Peedam” or High Command of the SLMC met at the party headquarters “Darussalam” in Colombo. more..

Range says will decide on Wed.

Sep 4 (DM) UNP Puttalam District MP Palitha Range Bandara yesterday said he would vote according to his conscience when the vote on the proposed 18th Amendment to the Constitution is taken up in Parliament on September 8. Mr. Range Bandara said he would vote according to his conscience whatever stand the party would take in this regard. He said he would only consider the future of the country when using his vote on September 8. more..

'We will cooperate with all stakeholders in finding a solution'

Sep 4 (Hindu) The United National Party will cooperate with all stakeholders in the efforts to find a political solution to the Tamils issue, the Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Friday. “We are for a solution… We will cooperate with the TNA, the [Sri Lankan] government and the Indian government,” he said, in an interaction with journalists at The Hindu. more..

Bookie claims India-Sri Lanka Rajkot ODI was fixed

Sep 4 (TOI) Here's a lead for the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit to probe into. A top bookmaker in India, who strictly maintains that he is not involved in the player-bookie nexus, says the December 15, 2009 India- Sri Lanka One-day match at Rajkot was suspicious. "Saaf nahi tha (it wasn't clean)," he told TOI on Friday. Sri Lanka won the toss, elected to field and India ran amok scoring 414 runs on a placid track. more..

Civil disobedience, general strike on Wednesday

Sep 4 (DM) Several political parties, including some UNP members, calling themselves the Movement against the 18th Amendment to the Constitution yesterday claimed that some ministers had expressed their desire to join the campaign against the reforms, which they described as a draconian piece of legislation. The Movement will launch a civil disobedience campaign on Wednesday the day on which the constitutional reforms will be debated in parliament. more..

Sri Lankan refugee arrested for attempted human trafficking

Sep 5 (PTI) A Chennai-based Sri Lankan Tamil refugee has been arrested on charges of planning trafficking of more than 50 Sri Lankan Tamils, some of them from refugee camps in the state, to Australia, the police said today. Chandrakanthan, 38, was arrested yesterday by the 'Q' branch police for bringing them to Courttalam near Tirunelveli from various parts of the state to send them illegally to Australia for employment. more..

Sri Lanka constitution changes

Sep 5 (BBC) Sri Lanka’s parliament is next week (Wed 8th Sept) likely to pass into law a set of major constitutional changes which would significantly increase the powers of the president. This will allow President Mahinda Rajapaksa to stand again for office as many times as he wishes. Currently one person is limited to two terms as president. The changes are being proposed as an emergency measure and the Supreme Court is currently deciding whether more..

No Doosra Please!

Sep 5 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa played few cricket strokes to inaugurate the newly built Indoor Cricket Stadium in Badulla by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) this morning on 4th September. He thoroughly enjoyed playing cricket without opposition players while opening the venue for public in a grand style. It is not clear who was the bowler while this left hand batsman played few cricket strokes to declare open the Badulla Sports Complex. more..

Police arrest two JVP members in Jaffna for pasting posters

Sep 5 (SL) The Jaffna police have today (4) arrested two JVP members while trying to paste posters in the Jaffna town area. The two JVPers who included a defeated JVP candidate at the last general election had been arrested when they had tried to paste posters opposing the constitutional amendments that are to be taken up in parliament next week. The posters had called on the people to join forces to defeat the dictatorial constitutional amendments.

Main suspect of Sapugaskanda abduction case gunned down

Sep 5 (CT) The suspect of the case pertaining to abducting a child from Sapugaskanda and hurling him to the Victoria Tank has been gunned down by police this morning (Sep. 04). The suspect, identified as Suresh Kumar, has attempted to attack the police using a bomb while he was being accompanied to retrieve arms hidden in the Kadawatha area. The suspect was killed after police fired in self defence, more..

Proposed 18th amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution (Full Text)

Sep 5 (SL) Attached is a PDF copy of the proposed 18th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution. These changes broadly include repealing Presidential term limits, repealing the Constitutional Council, and giving the President more power over commissions, including the National Police Commission. You can view the Proposed 18th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution as Google Document here. more..

'Passage of the constitutional amendments will mark the beginning of the end of Rajapakse Govt.'

Sep 5 (LeN) UNP MP and media chief Mangala Samaraweera addressing a media briefing at the UNP media unit on the 3rd, said, the moment the 18th constitutional amendment is passed in Parliament with a 2/3rd majority by the Govt. by employing all the deceitful, backstreet and backdoor policies, that moment will also mark the beginning of the end of the Rajapakse Govt. That is the moment the roller coaster of the Rajapakses will also go off the rails. more..

Inadvisable to race through with one sided constitutional changes

Sep 5 (TC) The government has decided to amend the constitution in a manner that concentrates more power in the already over-powerful institution of the Executive Presidency and to obtain parliamentary ratification by September 8, 2010. The constitutional amendments seek to remove the two term limitation on the Presidency and to replace the 17th Amendment to the constitution with an alternative that vests more power in the President. more..

Leftists on horns of a dilemma over amendments

Sep 5 (AD) The Leftist parties’ opposition to the proposed Constitutional Amendments are the same as to their opposition to the 1978 Constitution, DLF General Secretary and UPFA MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara said. Three Leftist parties within the government held discussions on their stance in Parliament on Wednesday when the amendments bill is to be presented. All three parties are of the same opinion, Mr. Nanayakkara said. more..

If the President’s term limit is removed, the President’s immunity must go too

Sep 5 (LG) A President’s immunity is not for life. It is only for the period that he or she is President. Once a President steps down from office he or she may be sued like any other citizen for any wrongful act committed while in office. A powerful deterrent on a President committing an offence while in power is the knowledge that, once his or her terms ends, which end will be at a time in the foreseeable future, liability under the normal law of the land will resume. more..

The 18th amendment is undemocratic: The myth of centralization of power economic development

Sep 5 (TC) President Jayawardene introduced the 2nd Republican Constitution in 1978, and one of its underlying beliefs was that power centralized in the office of the President will lead to rapid economic development. With increasing frequency we hear voices extolling the virtues of Lee Kuan Yew, Mahathir Mohamed and Fidel Castro in support of a more authoritarian government as a prerequisite to economic development in a post military conflict phase of our history. more..


Sampoor, Supremacist Ideology and abuse of International Law

Sep 5 (TC) With the LTTE gone, our common objective should be creatively to use the potential the people of this country have to live and prosper together. We see instead fears of an LTTE resurgence being drummed up artificially to justify policies that foster division and discord. The strength of a nation depends on its ability to speak the truth about its actions and be transparent and respectful of the law in its dealings. more..

18th Amendment stable door: Parliamentary arithmetic horse has bolted

Sep 5 (TC) Sri Lanka’s experience with Constitutions is not a happy tale. The first and best, or at least the one that was preceded by the most extensive consultations, the Soulbury Constitution, proved ineffective in the face of Sinhala Only. The second, the Sirimavo Bandaranaike (or Colvin R de Silva) Constitution, which rightly instituted a republic, was otherwise so unenlightened as to spawn a separatist movement which, in its violent form, more..

A plea to withdraw the Eighteenth Amendment

Sep 5 (TC) Many sections of the population are deeply alarmed at the possible repercussions the proposed 18th Amendment to the Constitution will have on our system of democratic governance. If passed by Parliament, the constitutional changes will remove the restriction on the two terms a person can serve as President, which all democratic countries with an Executive Presidency subscribe to. more..

Power greed and dictatorial ambitions of President Mahinda Rajapaksa exposed

Sep 5 (TC) So the Emperor is finally divested of his dazzling patriotic mantle, his vulturous greed for power and grandiose dynastic ambitions bared. The proposed 18th Amendment to the Constitution is quintessentially Rajapaksian: anti-democratic and deceptive, megalomanic and supercilious, rapacious and unctuous. The confluence of its two main components – presidential term-limit removal and negation of the 17th Amendment — would produce a supra-presidency more..

Federalist Fantasy of TNA

Sep 5 (TC) If the Southern Opposition is dwindling or dying, the Northern Opposition is deluded and in deep denial. These wings or streams of the opposition seem to be marginalising themselves to the point of irrelevance. In a new interview, lawyer and civil society activist Sumanthiran, billed as the TNA’s Colombo Tamil civil society whizz-kid, has dug his heels in on federalism and a re-merged North and East, rejected the 13th Amendment, and is derisive about unity with more..

'18th amendment will lead to a dictatorship'

Sep 5 (TC) The eighteenth amendment to the constitution would pave the way for a dictatorship in this country and enable some to ‘secure full power for generations’, UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya said. ‘We can’t see any logic in the President seeking a mandate for a third term when the first term itself is not over. The second term has not officially begun and no oath has been taken and more..

'Api Wenuwen Api' Second Phase to hand over another 27 houses to war heroes

Sep 5 (MoD) Another 27 houses constructed at Thorayaya in Kurunegala under the Second Phase of Api Wenuwen Api programme by the Ministry of Defence has completed and to be handed over to war heroes on 5th September. These houses will be handed over to war heroes who were rendered disable and to widows and children of the fallen war heroes, said the Director General of Media Centre for National Security, Mr. Lakshman Hulugalle speaking at a press conference. more..

Fake doctor nabbed performing abortions on 2 sisters

Sep 5 (NF) An individual who had allegedly been carrying out abortions with house visits in the guise of a doctor in the Waralegama Badalkumbura area in Monaragala, has been arrested. According to police the individual had been apprehended while performing illegal abortions on two 'patients'. The two women, sisters, aged 18 and 21, also been taken into custody, have been admitted to the Badalkumbura hospital. more..

Chandrika Kumaratunga condemns the 18th amendment

Sep 5 (TC) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga condemned the 18th Amendment proposed by the government saying it is a “horrendous move” and that she could not agree with it in any way. She said that being “a total democrat,” she believes that rulers must not grab power, but on the contrary make it even more democratic. Kumaratunga said she had been firmly committed to abolishing the Executive Presidency and more..

Rehabilitated LTTE suspects released

Sep 5 (BBC) Over five hundred suspected members of the LTTE released on Saturday have been reunited with their parents. A total of five hundred and eight LTTE suspects, selected from various detention centres, were released after rehabilitation in various detention camps, reports Correspondent Dinasena Rathuamage from Vavuniya. The parents and released detainees met at the Pompamadu Camp, Vavuniya where, Minister of Rehabilitation and Prisons, Vijithamuni de Zoysa officiated. more..

Editorial: The death of a nation

Sep 5 (SL) If you want to see the shape of the new constitution, look at the last two elections. To quote George Orwell’s 1984, “if you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.” In the last General Election the government requested a two thirds majority in parliament. They got it. Or more precisely, Ranil gave it. Ranil has emerged as good as a fourth brother to Mahinda, holding the opposition down while Mahinda stomped the life out of it. more..

IDPs still in danger of losing voting rights

Sep 5 (SL) IDPs in the North remain unregistered to vote, despite it being over three months since voter registration began, claims Director of CaFFE, Keerthi Tennakoon. These IDPs may still reside in camps, but “it is their basic right” to be registered as voters, he says. The IDPs have not received voter registration forms, he says, due to a serious lack of facilities and manpower in the Grama Niladari divisions in the North. more..

Male nurse in boys’ school gets ‘treatment’ for child abuse

Sep 5 (SL) A sixty two year old male nurse who had been working in the sick room of S. Thomas’ College, Gurutalawa for six months has been taken into custody by the Welimada police following a complaint of child abuse made by the school authorities. The suspect is alleged to have committed sexual abuse on 14 students of this boys’ school, in the secluded sickroom. S. Thomas’s College is situated in approximately 50 acres of land in the remote village of Gurutalawa and more..

CPC in Dubai deal

Sep 5 (SL) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has received cabinet approval to sign a deal with a Dubai based company to import 720,000 tonnes of diesel for a period of one year, the CPC Marketing Division told The Sunday Leader. The letter of award is expected to be issued to the Dubai based Al-Ain International Petroleum Derivation Trader L.L.C within two weeks once their performance guarantee from Dubai is received, Marketing Division sources at the CPC who requested anonymity said. more..

Canada accepts the most Sri Lankan refugees

Sep 5 (TS) Most of the 492 of the passengers and crew aboard the MV Sun Sea have a good shot at being granted refugee status in Canada, according to a review of Canadian acceptance rates for refugee applicants from Sri Lanka and other countries. Canada is more likely than any other country to grant refugee status to Sri Lankan nationals, and it accepts more refugees from Sri Lanka than from anywhere else. more..

The state of the nation

Sep 5 (SL) Never before has the moment been more opportune than now to reflect on the choices before us and the future of this country and its people. It is a done deal. The third term of the Rajapaksa regime is now inevitable. The plan was not only simple but do-able. A presidential election as soon as the four years were over followed immediately by general elections. A nincompoop in the form of Ranil Wickremesinghe, not only contributed to ensuring a dynastical but more..

Editorial: More bahubootha

Sep 5 (Island) The question President Mahinda Rajapaksa, now busy wrapping-up the more-than-enough numbers to pave the way for making a pitch for a third term for himself, will find most difficult to answer is this: At the last general election he asked the country for a two thirds majority to enable amendment of the existing constitution. He did not get it. He has thereafter engineered the numbers and is now sitting pretty; and will later this month clear the way to continue more..

'People’s verdict will reign supreme'

Sep 5 (SO) But it is entirely up to the people to decide whether they re-elect the incumbent President or not,” Chief Government Whip Minister Dinesh Gunawardena told the Sunday Observer. The Government is well poised to secure the two-third majority needed to pass the 18th Amendment in the House, with more UNP MPs expressing their support, in addition to the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) which earlier pledged support. more..

Archbishop stresses priority of Eucharist

Sep 5 (UCAN) Launching a Year of the Eucharist for his archdiocese, Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo has called on Catholics to give priority to the Eucharist. He was addressing a crowd of tens of thousands gathered for the inauguration ceremony and blessing of the sick at the National Basilica Church, Tewatta, on the outskirts of Colombo, on Aug. 29. The theme for the Eucharistic year is Let the Eucharist transform you to be a blessing. more..

‘ICC needs to get to the root of the problem'

Sep 5 (Hindu) Celebrated former Sri Lanka cricket team captain Arjuna Ranatunga recently shared his views with The Hindu on corruption in cricket. Here are excerpts from the conversation: Q: Your thoughts on the scandal rocking Pakistan cricket? A: The circumstantial evidence appears to be against the players. The ICC has suspended the three cricketers in question. My personal opinion is you need to wait until they are proven guilty. more..

Arjuna advocates use of sports to ‘do a lot of things in the North'

Sep 5 (Hindu) At a time the Sri Lankan government is involved in the resettlement and rehabilitation of Tamils affected by the decades-old but now concluded civil war, Arjuna Ranatunga, former captain of the Sri Lankan cricket team and Member of Parliament, advocated the idea of using sports to “remove the barriers” and “allay the fear in the minds of Tamil youth living with wrong ideas and concerns.” more..

Editorial: Selective justice in our country

Sep 5 (NS) While the country comprehensively debates the proposed reforms to the Constitution that would remove the two-term limit on an individual holding the office of Executive President, and also effect changes to the 17th Amendment, another incident has gone barely noticed: The exoneration of Mervyn Silva, of charges related to tying a Samurdhi officer to a tree, because the latter did not obey his orders. more..

Political manoeuvring emerging triumphant

Sep 5 (NS) The UNP has once again learnt a bitter lesson by accommodating smaller parties in their fold and thereby conceding many seats to a peripheral party such as the SLMC. This is not the first time and certainly not the last time as far as the SLMC is concerned, that they would contradict their own position within a space of few weeks. It was at a workshop organised by the Bakeer Markar Foundation that SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem launched a scathing attack on the government criticising more..

Pakistan betting scandal: Sri Lanka player under ICC spotlight

Sep 5 (Guardian) The International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit has been monitoring the activities of a leading Sri Lanka player since the World Twenty20 in England last year after team-mates became increasingly unsettled by his late-night fraternising with a man they believed to be an illegal bookmaker. They passed on their concerns to the captain, Kumar Sangakkara, who followed ICC protocol by contacting the anti-corruption unit. more..

Sri Lanka lake front to be park, entertainment complex: report

Sep 5 (LBO) Land around a lake in Colombo has been earmarked for hotels, a park, a shopping and an entertainment area and will be offered to private investors by the island's city development authority. The Sunday Island newspaper quoted Renuka Wickremasinghe, who manages the project at the UDA as saying that 18 hectares of land along one side of Colombo's Beira Lake will be offered for development first. more..

Poll Commission’s powers stripped

Sep 5 (NS) The proposed 18th Amendment to the Constitution will strip the election commission of the power to appoint a Competent Authority during an election, legal experts points out. “The powers of the election commission will be drastically reduced and the regulations in place to safeguard the free and fair nature of elections will be removed. For example, the guidelines in place to ensure balanced reporting, especially the appointment of a Competent Authority, during more..

'17th Amendment caused a variety of problems'

Sep 5 (NS) With threats of showdowns both in and outside parliament over the proposed controversial constitutional changes to be introduced in parliament next week, we posed some crucial questions to both main parties, the UNP and the SLFP. UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya, who has come forward as the chief critic of the government on this issue, and External Affairs Minister Prof. G L Peiris, who in addition to being a government minister, more..