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Sri Lanka must restore rule of law, says human rights body

Dec 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka needs to restore the rule of law and change its constitution that concentres too much power in the executive president who wields too much control over its citizens, the Asian Human Rights Commission said. "All Sri Lankans will wish that the coming year will not be like the last one and, in fact, that it be different from previous years also, years in which deep insecurity has been prevailing due to the failure of the political system, more..

CEYPETCO finds unauthorized oil during raid on filing station

Dec 30 (DM) The CEYPETCO marketing division had initiated an inquiry to find out how a filling station at Kottawa had managed to obtain a stock of 9,000 litres of petrol from an unauthorized source. The illegal stock of petrol has been detected during a raid conducted by CEYPETCO. They said that a preliminary investigation had revealed that the illegal stock of petrol had not been imported by either CEYPETCO or IOC but from another foreign supplier. more..

Power management package to save electricity wastage

Dec 30 (DM) The Power and Energy Ministry is in the process of introducing the international power management package SLS ISO 50001 to big time power users from 2012 to minimize the estimated annual power wastage amounting to Rs. 9 billion. Minister Patali Ranawaka has instructed Ministry officials, and the Sustainable Energy Authority (SEA) to ensure SLS ISO 50001 is in place by January 1 at more..

Sri Lanka December inflation rises to 4.9-pct

Dec 30 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's annual inflation edged up to 4.9 percent in December from a year earlier, slightly above expectations, from 4.7 percent in November on a new consumer price index. Annual average inflation as measured by a 12-month moving average slowed to 6. 7 percent this month, from November's 6.9 percent. A Reuters poll by 10 analysts had expected annual inflation to edged up to 4.8 percent and annual average inflation to slow to 6.7 percent. more..

LTTE leader’s PA indicted

Dec 30 (CT) A person, claiming to be LLTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s chief security officer was indicted yesterday at the Colombo High Court under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Thanabalasingam Lingadasan, who has claimed he has served as the chief security officer of Prabhakaran was produced before the Court by the Attorney General Shanthi Eva Wanasundara. The Terrorist Investigation Department (TID) had revealed he was given a special commando training and more..

South Africa's Sun City to invest $800 mln in Sri Lanka tourism

Dec 30 (Reuters) South Africa's Sun City resort will invest $800 million in a tourism project in Sri Lanka. Sun City resort is run by South African gaming and hotels group Sun International Ltd. It will be the largest ever investment in the country's leisure sector, which is booming since the end of a 25-year war in May 2009. "Sun City of South Africa is now going to make an $800 million investment in a 200-acre private property," more..

Sri Lankan team thanks Kepler Wessels

Dec 30 (Island) Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan paid a mock tribute to former South African captain Kepler Wessels yesterday thanking him for the team’s first ever win on South African soil. The Sri Lankans stunned their hosts yesterday in Durban when they won the second Test by 208 runs inside four days to square the three-match series 1-1. Wessels had told Cape Times, a South African newspaper, that the country’s ‘A’ team would beat the Sri Lankans who were not a strong team and more..

Step father arrested over the death of 5 year old

Dec 30 (DM) A step father was arrested by the police for brutally assaulting and burning three step children in Haputhale leaving a five year old boy dead. The incident had happened in the new housing scheme in the Thangamalai area in Haputhale between December 12 and December 19. “The suspect had assaulted the three children and poured hot water on them,” he said. One child identified as Zaheer Sanheer Puhaneshwaran (05) succumbed to his injuries on Thursday while more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 30.12.2011

Sri Lanka kick about after first win

Dec 30 (CI) Tillakaratne Dilshan had a glint of mischief in his eye when he told the media what his team was going to do after they left Kingsmead on Thursday night. “We’re going to celebrate!” he said. And why not? After eight attempts at winning a Test match in South Africa, they had finally done it in smashing style. After being left battered and bruised in Centurion, they came out with more fight than anyone thought they possessed and meted out a right-royal thrashing of the hosts. more..

Thilanga warns of 'illegal candidates'

Dec 30 (BBC) Some candidates contesting for the forthcoming elections for Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) are not qualified to hold the posts according to country’s sports law, warns a former president of the SLC. Thilanga Sumathipala, who was elected few times as the head of the SLC, told BBC that it is imperative for those contesting for the posts of president, secretary and treasurer to have at least two years experience in the SLC executive committee within the last five years. more..

Sri Lanka holidaymakers tell of horror slaying of Red Cross hero from Rochdale

Dec 30 (RO) Tourists have described the terrifying moments before a Red Cross worker was killed at a paradise resort. Prosthetic expert Khuram Shaikh, from Milnrow, Rochdale, gave hope to men, women and children who lost their limbs in the world’s deadliest countries. But he was killed on a Sri Lankan beach resort after taking a break from his duties in the conflict-hit Middle East. Eyewitnesses have told us how the 32-year-old aid worker was randomly more..

Sri Lanka's best Test wins

Dec 30 (CI) England, The Oval, 1998: The one-off Test was almost a sideshow for England, who were fresh from beating South Africa and looking ahead to the Ashes in the winter. Sri Lanka were world champions at the one-day game, but still weren't seen as serious contenders in the Test format. England seemed in charge as centuries from Graeme Hick and John Crawley pushed them to a strong 445 despite Muttiah Muralitharan's seven wickets. The stars of Sri Lanka's World Cup victory then more..

'We choked them really nicely' - Jayasuriya

Dec 30 (CI) Sanath Jayasuriya believes Sri Lanka's historic win over South Africa in Durban could rival their triumph over England at the Oval 13 years ago as the country's most significant victory outside the subcontinent. The former Sri Lanka captain scored a sensational double hundred while Muttiah Muralitharan took 15 wickets in that match, which was achieved under the captaincy of Arjuna Ranatunga. The Kingsmead win was Sri Lanka's first since Muralitharan retired 16 months ago more..

Sri Lanka 'wheelchair tax' condemned by UK charity

Dec 30 (BBC) The head of a UK charity that sent a consignment of wheelchairs to Sri Lanka has condemned the decision to impose customs duties of over $8,000 (£5,180). Peter Thompson, of the Yorkshire-based PhysioNet charity, said the shipment for Tamil war victims also took more than three months to clear customs. The Sri Lankan authorities said the delay was because paperwork for the shipment was not properly completed. more..

Commercial bank gets new chairman

Dec 30 (LBO) Dinesh Weerakkody, has been appointed chairman of Commercial Bank after Mahendra Amarasuriya its highly respected long time chairman stepped down due to a now controversial central bank rule. Former Central Bank deputy governor Dharma Dheerasinghe was appointed deputy chairman, an official said. Amarasuriya stepped down despite a court order that temporarily stayed a central bank regulation that required anyone over 70 years to step down from boards of banks. more..

Take action against those responsible for the A/L issue: JHU

Dec 30 (DM) The JHU urged the minister to take action against those who are responsible for the A/L results issue. The Deputy General Secretary of the JHU Udaya Gammanpila stated that the lack of early preparation on the part of the authorities resulted in the ensuing confusion. “The new syllabus was introduced two years ago and the authorities had ample time to formulate a comprehensive Z-score formula that was agreeable, the relevant authorities were aware of more..

Karu criticises disciplinary inquiry against Dayasiri

Dec 30 (SM) UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya has criticized a party decision to hold a disciplinary inquiry against colleague Dayasiri Jayasekara. Setting aside all criticism of the manner in which the party’s election was held, the UNP as the main opposition party is not presently fulfilling its responsibility of rallying the people against the anti-democratic journey of the govt, he says in a statement. Instead, moves are afoot to imprison party more..

Principals, teachers want A/L results revised

Dec 30 (DM) Ten education sector trade unions including principals and teachers charged that the formula used to calculate the GCE A/L Z-score was flawed and therefore urged the govt to revise the results and issue it afresh. Association of Educational Professionals General Secretary Wasantha Darmasiri told a news conference that there were several errors in the way the Z-score was calculated. “There has been no explanation as to how the old and new syllabuses were more..

New playground brings health and happiness to disabled children

Dec 30 (AN) When six-year-old Anudha plays with his buddies on the new playground at Lady Ridgeway Hospital in Sri Lanka, he gets to experience the joy and liberation of walking unassisted. Before the therapeutic playground was built, Anudha, who has cerebral palsy, and many other children like him, could not walk or play on their own. The playground, supported by AmeriCares, is located next to the hospital's physiotherapy department and equipped with more..

'Injunction sought by those who clamoured for convention was defeated'

Dec 30 (LT) Coming year could be a year of struggle to consolidate democratic rights of the masses and win justice and equity. To make the party ready for such a task the obstacles from opportunists would be removed and the party would be led on a correct path said the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. He said, “The JVP convened this press conference to apprise the masses in this country on two facts. It is to clarify regarding the more..

LLRC: Another nail in the coffin of justice, democracy and freedom

Dec 31 (CT) The entire value of the LLRC report rests upon two conditions: First, whether it addresses the core issues raised by allegations of violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, including war crimes and crimes against nature and humanity. The core issues include targeting civilians, shelling of No-Fire Zones and hospitals, atrocities such as rape, torture, mutilation and killing of prisoners of war, withholding more..

It’s not a war crime debate, they’re still debating the war

Dec 31 (CT) The Daily Mirror wrote a misleading headline saying “Tamils to blame for Lanka solution delay: Rajapaksa“. What the President seems to have said is that he blames the TNA, saying “There is no point blaming me, it’s the Tamil parties that are delaying the solution.” In the Colombo Telegraph, also, Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka has pointed to the intransigence of the TNA. Are Tamils To Blame? No. Tamils are people with diverse opinions and more..

Tamils, Indians, the LLRC report and Rajapaksa politics

Dec 31 (SL) The LLRC Report presented in parliament on Dec 16, after it was handed over to President Rajapaksa on Dec 20, has left a divided international community and a divided local political response, which is nothing unusual, but the larger part is formed by the silent lot, that was expected to take a stand on the “report”. This included the UNP, the “Left” and the major civil society actors here plus the TN lobby and the Delhi administration. more..

LLRC: A process of reconciliation or perpetuation of a dynastic military junta?

Dec 31 (CT) The LLRC Report has served to polarize an already, irrevocably, polarized society, placed barriers in bringing about reconciliation and opened the country to even more foreign intervention. Here was a golden opportunity for the State and the Regime to come clean, on which basis the bridges of reconciliation could have been built and all foreign powers that intend to pursue their geo-political agendas by exploiting the situation would have been silenced. more..

Tempest in a veggie crate!

Dec 31 (SL) The recent turmoil, country wide, associated with the attempt to impose a new mode of transportation on perishable fruits and vegetables caught many self-appointed political observers and pundits flat-footed. Here they were - just having proclaimed the Rajapaksa Hegemony for, at least, their lifetime – faced with riots on the roads of rural Sri Lanka which they had been proclaiming – not the Formula I racing car-bearing streets of urban Colombo – as the unassailable more..

CEA urges public to discard E-waste responsibly

Dec 31 (ST) This is the festive season when ‘stock clearance’ and ‘seasonal sales’ entice us to buy new electrical and electronic items, to replace the old or outmoded ones. But how should we dump the old items? As usage of electronic items grows, disposal of these also become a growing problem worldwide, and neither can Sri Lanka, escape from this new form of garbage known as Electronic Waste (E-waste), as stressed at the National Forum on more..

LLRC Report gives badly needed breathing space for Rajapaksa govt

Dec 31 (TC) The Rajapaksa govt should be happy with the report of the Commission of Inquiry on LLRC presented to the parliament on December 16 as it has not pinpointed responsibility on anyone (other than political and systemic weaknesses and the LTTE) for the mess Sri Lanka finds itself after the Eelam War. The report provides badly needed breathing space for the govt, as the Commission has has done a fairly good job if one goes by the President’s mandate given to it. more..

Sri Lanka, future hub of the Indian ocean rim?

Dec 31 (TC) Two years after the end of a three decades conflict, the lifting of the emergency rule in late August 2011 confirmed the beginning of a new era for Sri Lanka. With the recent discovery of gas fields off its coast, its future looks bright. Dr Dayan Jayatilleka, the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to France, tells us about the opportunities of this renewal for the country’s development and the assets of its strategic positioning at the heart of the Indian Ocean rim. more..

Avatar of ‘Guerillee’ Shenuka: From SOLT activist to LTTE trainee

Dec 31 (DBS) 1987 was an eventful year in the modern history of Sri Lanka.It was the year of the Indo-Lanka accord signed by Indian Prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sri Lankan President Junius Richard Jayewardena on July 29th. It was in the aftermath of the accord that war erupted on October 10th between the IPKF and the LTTE. The year began with a significant development occurring within LTTE ranks. more..

The LLRC Report : Meaningful Implementation is the key to reconciliation

Dec 31 (Island) The Govt has laid to rest doubts some had that the final report of the LLRC would not be released to the public, or only selected parts, if at all. President Rajapaksa did the right thing in releasing it in full. But public scepticism about the political will to implement the recommendations of the LLRC still remains. The LLRC made interim recommendations over fifteen months ago. A committee under the chairpersonship of Mohan Peiris, then Attorney General, was more..

The Humbug Test for public office

Dec 31 (Island) As the blast of firecrackers pushes back the old and greets the New Year with explosive expectation, this is the time for new resolutions. If the resolve for peace saw the defeat of terror, I think we should have a new resolve for sanity in governance. With the minds of thousands of youth and their parents in a state of worry and utter confusion over the Z-Score issue in the latest GCE AL results, I think a good national resolution would be to examine the examiners. more..

Colombo stock market: Down to 10 from 1

Dec 31 (FT) The Colombo stock market yesterday ended 2011 sans Asia’s best performer tag, which it enjoyed for two successive years. Whilst the best performer tag was long lost – at least by mid-year – most analysts expected the market to at least close the last day of 2011 on a positive note. However, disappointing almost all stakeholders, the market failed on that score too as the ASI ended yesterday down by 0.2% and the MPI by 0.6%. more..

Editorial: Never the twain shall meet

Dec 31 (Island) The govt-TNA talks on devolution have been dragging on for months. Whether anything will ever come of them is anybody's guess. Even the shadow of a doomed marriage is crooked as a local saying goes. Why they have failed to agree on devolution as a solution is not difficult to understand. The TNA is no longer under the gun but it has placed itself at the beck and call of the revengeful LTTE rump which is trying to win diplomatically and politically more..

Will Ranil at least now rise to the challenge?

Dec 31 (SL) Ranil Wickremasinghe as expected retained his leadership title of the UNP at an election prompted by a challenge through the Sajith Premadasa faction who thrust Karu Jayasuriya as the alternative. The working committee, according to the UNP Constitution is tasked with the nomination of key office bearers who in turn would be confirmed at a convention which follows soon after. The working committee is heavily laden with nominees of the party leader and more..

Govt. laughs off JJ’s 13-A challenge

Dec 31 (Island) The govt yesterday dismissed as a big joke UNP Deputy Secretary General Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena’s call for either devolving land and police powers to the Provincial Councils or abolishing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that he was not surprised in the least that Jayawardena had made such a laughable comment. He described the latter as an ardent advocate of the UNF govt’s more..

A Sports Archives for Sri Lanka

Dec 31 (Island) I write this as an opening gambit for establishing a Sports Archives in Sri Lanka. The idea to make this suggestion came to me on reading the 2009-2 issue of COMMA, the official publication of the International Council on Archives (ICA), published in 2011. That number is devoted to the subject of Sports Archives. It is stated there that the idea of Sports Archives is quite new, and sports records too have still not received much importance from academic historians. more..

Governor builds expensive bungalow, diverts aid to Sinhala colonists

Dec 31 (TN) The estimated cost of the modern bungalow now under construction in the Old Park for the use of Major General (retired) G.A.Chandrasiri in Jaffna has exceeded 190 million rupees, informed sources in Jaffna told TamilNet. For comparison, the annual expenditure for the education of the Northern Province stands at 250 million rupees. Questioning the need for such an expensive bungalow for the SL military governor in Jaffna, civil officials in Jaffna blamed more..

Botanical gardens generate Rs. 311.4 m up to 30 November

Dec 31 (FT) Botanical gardens generated revenue of Rs. 229.5 million from foreign visitors, Rs. 67.7 million from local visitors and Rs. 14.2 million in other revenue up to end November 2011. Average income per month amounted to Rs. 28 m, while the set target is Rs. 30 m per month – an achievement of 93% of the target. “This is an 88.5% increase of revenue compared to the previous year for the similar period,” said Department of Botanical Gardens more..

Laksala records over Rs. 170m income

Dec 31 (DN) The Sri Lanka Handicraft Board better known as Laksala which is a non-profita venture is progressing as a profit making institution. It had earned over Rs.170 million during the past 11 months, said Minister Dayashritha Tissera. All measures are in place to develop institutions which belong to the State Resources and Enterprises Development Ministry as profitable institutions including Laksala. All these institutions will become profitable ventures in the near future, more..