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John accuses govt. of helping a fugitive leave the country

Nov 12 (Island) Acting Opposition Leader John Amaratunga yesterday accused the govt of facilitating a person involved in killing Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra to leave the country without even giving a statement to the police. MP Amaratunga said despite media hype of govt dismantling criminal gangs most of the notorious underworld members had the protection of some ministers and powerful persons of the government. more..

TNA defends talks with US

Nov 12 (DM) The TNA yesterday strongly defended its decision to hold political discussions with US State Department officials in Washington and said the TNA delegation had not discussed anything that had not already been stated by the party publicly in Sri Lanka. TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said, “We have not gone there and said anything that we haven’t already said in Sri Lanka. So I have no idea why it may be even thought of as being disloyal. more..

Sri Lanka will take action if the LLRC finds human right violations: President

Nov 12 (NDTV) President Mahinda Rajapakse told NDTV that if the reconciliation commission report endorses any human rights violation in the war against the Tamil Tigers, the govt will take action without shielding anyone. He also says the Lankan navy has been stopped from taking Indian fishermen into custody anymore. Excerpts from his interview. MR: I explained to your PM about the fishermen issue. more..

Editorial: A good foundation a must in Cricket

Nov 12 (DM) An important lesson that Sri Lanka Cricket had learnt since the departure of their two champion bowlers Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas was that one cannot win test matches only with their batting strength. The two champions served the country for almost two decades and patrolled the two ends of the wickets with their combination of spin and pace to keep the rival teams in check. It was up to Vaas to dismantle the top order and he regularly did it more..

Sri Lanka could cooperate more with South Asia on tax: experts

Nov 12 (LBO) Sri Lankan tax authorities should cooperate more with South Asian counterparts to be more vigilant of tax evasion by cross-border enterprises, international experts said in Colombo. "African national tax administrators have been cooperating on technical professional issues over quite a few years," Allen Kagina, commissioner general of the Uganda Revenue Authority said. "And it has proved extremely valuable in increasing compliance by more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lanka relegated to number three after heavy defeat

Nov 12 (Island) As if Sri Lanka’s heavy defeat Friday night at the hands of Pakistan by eight wickets and more than 28 overs to spare was not bad enough, they were relegated to number three of the official ICC ODI Rankings below India following the defeat. Sri Lanka were placed second in the official rankings prior to the series and had to win the series 4-1 to hold onto that position, but the poor performance at the Dubai Sports City on Friday night cost them the rank more..

Call of death for infant in three-wheeler

Nov 12 (DM) The death of the two-yearold girl who fell off a threewheeler in Haliela was caused by the negligence of the driver who was answering a call on his mobile phone while driving, the child’s mother alleged yesterday. “1 was traveling in a three-wheeler with my schoolgoing daughter and my child of two years who was seated on my lap. I requested the driver to stop the vehicle near my daughter’s school to enable us to get off the vehicle. more..

'Ascertaining truth essential for reconciliation'

Nov 12 (DM) TNA MP well-known lawyer M.A. Sumanthiran, in an interview, discusses the TNA’S recent visit to Washington, the govt-TNA talks, the land issues in the North and East, the reconciliation process and allegations of war crimes. Q: How do you justify your recent visit to Washington for political discussions with US State Department Officials, as this is being viewed in some quarters as “treacherous”? more..

Sri Lanka hails Australia over 2018 hosting

Nov 12 (AFP) President congratulated Australia Saturday for being chosen as the home of the 2018 Commonwealth Games and said his nation would aim to do well at the games despite a failed bid to host them. "I congratulate Australia and at the same time I want to thank the private sector of Sri Lanka which contributed to our very credible and impressive bid," President Mahinda Rajapakse told AFP as he returned from the Maldives. Gold Cost beat Sri Lanka's Hambantota in a vote at more..

'Malinga should be playing Test cricket for Lanka rather than chasing riches'

Nov 12 (ANI) England coach Andy Flower has slammed Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga's decision to retire from Test cricket to prolong his career in ODI and Twenty20 cricket. Flower also said that that there is a great danger of other cricketers following suit. "The rewards out there for playing less cricket are obvious. It's a great sadness to world cricket that we're losing players like him from Test cricket - that guy should be playing Test cricket for Sri Lanka," more..

WikiLeaks: US thinks Daily News has become like Pravda

Nov 12 (CT) “The govt’s Daily News has become at this point little more a Rajapaksa daily campaign brochure. We believe that it is now fulfilling the same function as the old Soviet Pravda: aimed not so much at persuading a general audience, the paper primarily serves as a guide to the latest official campaign position for party and state functionaries.” the US Embassy in Colombo wrote to Washington. more..

Public money wasted for propaganda to get Commonwealth Games to Hambantota

Nov 12 (LT) Gold Coast has won the rights to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games - and the $1.1bn debt that comes with it - with a victory over Hambantota. The decision was made at a meeting of the Commonwealth Games Federation on the Caribbean island of St Kitts. Gold Coast, in south east Queensland, won by 43 votes to 27. SGovt spent Rs.400 million for one advertising firm to launch a propaganda project to get the Games to Hambantota and a group of 250, more..

White van abduction: Search on for book shop owner

Nov 12 (ST) The Mirihana police had deployed a team of detectives to track down a book shop owner who was abducted in the Nugegoda area shortly after dusk on Friday and driven away in a white van. A spokesperson with the Mirihana police said they were notified on the abduction by the man’s wife shortly after the incident had taken place at Jubilee Post Junction. The man was walking to his vehicle after closing his shop for the day when the abductors had grabbed him, more..

Another witness of Baharatha killing silenced?

Nov 12 (LT) ‘Thathparakatta’ alias Attanayake, who is an accused in the killing of four persons including Presidential advisor on trade union affairs Bharatha lakshman Premachandra at Mulleriyawa, has been made to disappear say reports. ‘Thathparakatta’ is a deserter of the Sri Lanka Army Commandos. Preliminary inquiries have revealed that ‘Thathparakatta’ had been present when Baharatha and others were killed. He was arrested by the CID and released. more..

'Breach of Trust necessitated the Bill'

Nov 12 (GDI) Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said the objective of taking over loss- making institutions to the Govt is to provide relief to the public. He made this comment while participating in a ceremony to inaugurate a project to carpet the road that runs to Dewala junction across Wilpotha. The Ministry of Economic Development will be spending one hundred and forty seven million rupees on the project. Deputy Minister said that the properties to be more..

FTZ workers demand 40% pay hike

Nov 12 (DM) Free Trade Zone (FTZ) workers yesterday demanded a 40 percent salary increase to compensate for the rising cost of living. The Inter-company Employees Union (ICEU) said workers in Katunayake, Biyagama, Koggala and Seethawaka receive a minimum salary of Rs.8000 which inadequate to meet their daily expenses like boarding fees, travel expenses and other essential needs. The recent fuel hike has also affected them ICEU President Wasantha Samarasinghe said. more..

LLRC witness rattled by CID summon

Nov 12 (BBC) A widow who gave evidence to the LLRC is now rattled by the summon given by the CID. CID has asked Ratnam Poongothai, a forty five year old widow of four children from Kalmunai to give detailed explanation on what she said to the govt appointed war panel, LLRC. Initially Poongothai was asked to attend the Fourth Floor of the CID head quarters but later rearranged the interview to take place in Kalmunei police station. more..

The Islamic Republic of Sri Lanka

Nov 13 (GV) Last weekend I received a call from a friend who was understandably outraged. On the way to her estate to join her husband who had been working there for some days, she was instructed by him to stop and buy a bottle of old arrack en route. She went to the Chilaw Food City only to be told that she cannot buy alcohol as she is female. She tried to argue the point as she had never heard of the law that was being put forward by the manager but he merely pointed to more..

There is no such thing called a Just War: Letters for humanity – I

Nov 13 (TC) Friends, There are agreements, common social threads and consensual ideals in our society; such as democracy, respect, peace, equality, freedom, justice and compassion. We have agreed to safeguard these ideals so that we can all live and work together. Without these common ideals our society and civilization will slowly but inevitably fall apart. We will descend into what we know as the ‘law of the jungle’ where every man or woman shall have to fend for themselves. more..

First sports meet for war heroes' children inaugurated

Nov 13 (MoD) Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, Commander of the Army, the absolute epitome of concern and care for the sons and daughters of War Hero families attended one more firsts in the Army on Thursday (10), attaching a phenomenal importance to the sports talents of children of War Heroes. The venue was at Diyagama Mahinda Rajapaksa stadium where some 993 children of War Heroes, either fallen or turned disable or still serving, more..

Editorial: LLRC report will consolidate national reconciliation

Nov 13 (SO) When the LLRC releases its report within the next couple of weeks, all allegations against Sri Lanka and concocted stories on alleged human rights violations will be laid to rest. LTTE sympathisers and those who made wild predictions prior to the release of the LLRC report will have to eat humble pie when the report is out. It was, indeed, a crying shame that some countries and a few international organisations jumped to their own conclusions even before more..

Editorial: Expropriation and the right to regulate

Nov 13 (SL) The Supreme Court ruled that the recent Expropriation Bill was constitutional. You, dear reader, may lack the legal training of the Court, but you are also free of some of the bias. Here is the relevant section, Article 157: “157. Where Parliament by resolution passed by not less than two-thirds of the whole number of MPs (including those not present) voting in its favour, approves as being essential for the development of the national economy, more..

'Loss making industries will be taken over'

Nov 13 (SO) Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene said the Revival of the Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilised Assets Act will not have an adverse effect on industries run by private investors and entrepreneurs which are performing well. The Deputy Minister said the Opposition however attempted to give a wrong interpretation about this Act by describing it as an attempt made by the Govt to take over the private sector industries. more..

Editorial: When a nation looks for solace...

Nov 13 (NS) Sri Lanka’s bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games ended in the early hours of Saturday. The good fight was fought and lost, 43 votes to 27. No shame there. Much has been written about the effort as well as the possible spin offs had the decision come Sri Lanka’s way. Some have painted sunshine scenarios and others have predicted bleak fallouts. No great defeat, but still a good enough reason to ask ‘what now?’ The answer lies, perhaps, in President’s SAARC address. more..

Editorial: That was a blessing

Nov 13 (LB) Though we would not be able to say this for some very big men in high places, Sri Lankans in the main, would be happy that the Commonwealth Games 2018 were not awarded to this country, with its at least dollar 10 billion price-tag. Visit some of the comment spaces today in the web editions of some Sri Lankan dailies, to get a reasonable gauge of public opinion on the matter. The overwhelming majority of those who have put down views on the rejection of the bid, more..

UPFA now stands for Unbridled Powers of a Family Alliance

Nov 13 (TC) The might of numbers in Parliament steamrolled the plight of the private sector albeit the nation this week. Notwithstanding widespread protests, the government has placed in the statute books the draconian Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilized Act. That 37 business enterprises, including profit making ventures which gave employment and revived rural economies are now Government property is a fait accompli. more..

The Norwegian Peace Fiasco

Nov 13 (Island) With just days to go to the release of the report of the LLRC, The Island obtained a copy of the report of the evaluation team appointed by the Norwegian govt to assess Norway’s role in the Sri Lankan Peace Process between the years 1997 and 2009. The report with the rather self-deprecatory title ‘Pawns of Peace’ was finalized in Sept 2011 but not made public. This was the first time that Norway attempted to do an assessment of the role of peace busybody that more..

A flawed constitution and the resultant chaos caused by a presidency

Nov 13 (SL) When the British left our shores Ceylon was poised to embark on a liberal -democratic form of governance mainly due to the systems adopted by Colonial masters. Though some sections of the Donoughmore Commission and the Soulbury Commission were to safeguard the British rule, others were designed in the main in an enlightened tradition in practice in Britain, and therefore to foster a liberal- democratic rule in the future. The initial constitution in 1948 worked more..

A hasty and nasty act - JHU

Nov 13 (LB) Propaganda Secretary of JHU Nishantha Sri Warnasingha told LAKBIMAnEWS that if it is a country where justice is meted out to everybody -- then it is duty of the govt of the day to listen to the views of parties before taking a decision as to who is right or not. Q: The JHU opposed the bill presented to parliament to acquire underperforming private enterprises. What was the reason behind this decision? A: First thing, we acknowledge the right the govt has to more..

History set to repeat?

Nov 13 (NS) The govt on Wednesday rushed through Parliament legislation known as the Revival of Underperforming and Underutilised Assets Bill - also referred to as the ‘Business Takeover Bill - amidst some protests but sans any great drama. The Bill was passed by a majority of 76 votes but the opposition was understandably furious alleging that the new laws were aimed at victimising political opponents and rendering the business community compliant with the ruling party’s more..

Govt. juggernaut carries Bill through Parliament

Nov 13 (NS) The controversial `Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilized Assets Bill’ which was taken up as an urgent Bill was passed in Parliament by a majority of 76 votes on Wednesday. The UNP, TNA and the DNA led by the JVP voted against the Bill. Earlier the Supreme Court had informed the Speaker of its ruling that the Bill is not inconsistent with the Constitution and that it be passed as an ordinary Bill. However, the Bill was passed by a two thirds majority more..

‘Not a millionaire overnight, but whoever buys Sevenagala will be...’

Nov 13 (LB) UNP MP and businessman Daya Gamage said allegations levelled against him are totally false in relation to the production of alcohol by the Sevanagala Sugar factory. He said that in the year 2002, when the factory was managed by the govt they produced 2.25 mn litres of alcohol and the last ‘production was 2.53 mn litres.’ “So you can compare and find that there is no significant increase of spirit production,” he said. more..

Editorial: Misgivings remain uncleared

Nov 13 (Island) The controversial new law titled Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilized Assets Act passed in Parliament last week is now a fait accompli. The Supreme Court had ruled that there was no violation of provisions of the Constitution and the Bill could be passed by the legislature with a simple majority. Even if the determination required a two thirds majority, the govt has it although the people did not invest it with that authority, more..

Editorial: A bull in the business shop

Nov 13 (ST) The Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilized Assets law or the virtual nationalization bill hatched in secrecy and then sprung on an unsuspecting business community is now in the statute book. Nothing can the opponents of this Act, especially the civic-conscious people of this country, do to undo it unless the govt itself realizes the anti-democratic features latent in it and take corrective measures. The fundamental flaw in the new law is that it is 'arbitrary'. more..

USD 7-8 million invested in lost CW Games bid

Nov 13 (Island) Sri Lanka yesterday lost its bid to host 2018 Commonwealth Games to Australia’s Gold Coast by 43 votes to 27 although Queensland’s Prime Minister Ann Bligh admitted that it was a "very very close vote." Governor Ajit Nivard Cabraal who led Sri Lanka’s bid to host the games at Hambantota explained from St. Kitts in the Caribbean that the difference was actually eight votes. He explained that had eight delegates voted otherwise more..

Banned Websites: They asked for it, but.....

Nov 13 (LB) Sri Lanka is now building its own great firewall, taking a leaf from China. The TRC is working on modalities of imposing controls on the Google search engine in relations to content the govt deems as undesirable, according to a well placed industry source. “These controls will enable filtering of information accessed by local internet users. The authorities could block websites or remove the content in specific pages,” he said, under the condition of anonymity. more..

‘Just-once’ Bill can be repeated too

Nov 13 (LB) Simply put, basically the entire joint opposition of the country including TNA and JVP along with some nodding support from some of the govt’s coalition partners such as NFF and JHU, have come to the conclusion that the authoritarian streak of the govt is complete with the so-called expropriation of Underutilized Assets Bill passed in parliament this week. The level of opposition was almost unprecedented, and the govt was at pains to explain that this is a one-off exercise, more..

Hi-tech credit card racket busted

Nov 13 (ST) An organized ring that copied credit card data from swiping machines at supermarkets, for the first time using a mobile phone sized recorder, for cloning and fraudulent use has been busted by the police. Their modus operandi was to link a swiping machine by a cable to a data recorder surreptitiously. Police say this is the first time such a piece of equipment has been found in Sri Lanka. Thereafter, the data had been retrieved and forged-credit cards manufactured and used more..

PC worth over Rs.1 million will be on display at Infotel 2011

Nov 13 (Island) Sri Lanka’s premier computer retailer Tech Zone has joined hands with the flagship ICT Expo as a sponsor of Infotel 2011. Tech Zone CEO, Mohamed Naushad handed over sponsorship cheque at a ceremony held recently. Infotel 2011 will be held from Dec. 2-5 at the BMICH. This event is organized by the Federation of Information Technology Industry of Sri Lanka (FITIS) in partnership with Ministry of Telecommunication and IT and ICTA. more..