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Editorial: Gunaratnam and the `clean hands’ doctrine

Apr 15 (Island) A cursory application of the `clean hands’ doctrine to the case of Premakumara Gunaratnam would suggest that the hands of this dual citizen of Sri Lanka and Australia were anything but clean. The government, through a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs over which Law Professor G.L. Pieris presides, has brought to the notice of the public that Gunaratnam had changed his name three times with the name Wanninayake Mudiyanselage Dakson appearing on his more..

Editorial: Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

Apr 15 (ST) The Central Bank -- known in banking circles as 'The Bankers’ Bank' or the 'Bank of Final Resort' -- issued its annual report for 2011 as required by the Monetary Law. The Governor was to exhort others, especially those in the private sector to follow the Bank's example by preparing and making public their annual reports so early. What he didn't say, or couldn't say, was what happened to the numerous annual reports and audit reports of the Govt's own Auditor General and more..

'My abductors have ties with security forces'

Apr 15 (SL) Dimuthu Attygala, a controversial character last week, found a few minutes to speak to The Nation just after her appearance at the party office in Kotte after missing 72 hours. Her party, Socialist Frontline Party, accused the govt on abduction of its stalwarts Premakumar Gunarathnam and Dimuthu Attygala. Dimuthu, the treasurer of the newly formed party and former In Charge of JVP’s international affairs, believes that more..

A lesson govt must heed!

Apr 15 (NS) The ‘abduction’ and subsequent ‘release’ of Kumar Gunaratnam alias Noel Mudalige of the Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) has sparked a raging controversy which brings into focus the challenges facing the Sri Lankan govt. The ‘abduction’ and subsequent ‘release’ of Kumar Gunaratnam alias Noel Mudalige of the Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) has sparked a raging controversy which brings into focus the challenges facing the Sri Lankan govt. more..

India has thrown a life line For Sri Lanka in Geneva that must be grasped

Apr 15 (DBS) Time has come for all Sri Lankan people to come together to defend the sovereignty and independence of their mother country. People of Sri Lanka have a historic role to play at this juncture. The need of the hour is to mobilise all democratic and anti-imperialist forces to compel the Sri Lankan Govt to start implementing their own home grown policies, LLRC recommendations and their election pledges with courage, conviction and with a sense of more..

HR activist not afraid to return home

Apr 15 (CT) Sri Lankan Human Rights activist Nimalka Fernando said she was not scared of returning to Colombo and will continue to work towards stabilizing the human rights situation in Sri Lanka. Fernando who is currently in Chennai in an interview with a popular Tamil magazine Junior Vikatan on Thursday expressed her views with regard to the aftermath of the UNHRC resolution in Geneva. Fernando elaborating on the warning issued to her by more..

Govt mismanaging the economy unlike Kandiah’s grocery store!

Apr 15 (Island) Last week’s Sunday Island carried an interesting quip in its political column, attributed to the UNP’s crisscrossing deputy leader, Karu Jayasuriya, while on his return journey from the govt to the UNP: ‘the Rajapaksa govt is being run like Kandiah’s grocery store’! The political columnist used the simile to describe the govt’s Geneva fiasco. The simile is equally or more appropriate to the management of the national economy. Looked at it another way, more..

Stephen Rapp’s dependence on Fonseka

Apr 15 (Island) There are many things in the latest US State Department’s Office of Global Criminal Justice report to Congress (Stephen Rapp report) which the Sri Lankan public should take note of. Foremost among them is their heavy dependence on jailed former army commander and presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka in building a case against Sri Lanka. Many Sri Lankan’s would have thought that the famous ‘white flag’ controversy had finally been laid to rest after more..

It is easier to abduct a person than to get your kids ready for School

Apr 15 (TC) State media reported last week that the government will upgrade security at the Colombo National Museum. One cannot argue with the merits of this move, however spectacularly overdue it might be. But one must object to the prostitution of the word “upgrade”. How the devil do you “upgrade” something that never existed in the first place? The Colombo National Museum was established in 1877. Judging by just how easy it had been for robbers to more..

Mystery shrouds Avurudu Kumaraya’s departure

Apr 15 (ST) "Thaaththa," Bindu Udagedera asked, "who is this Avurudu Kumaraya?" "Why do you suddenly want to know about the Avurudu Kumaraya?" Bindu's father Percy asked. "Why, thaaththa," Bindu said, "they said that the Avurudu Kumaraya visits during the Sinhala New Year…" "Yes, they say that," Percy said, "but I am not sure whether he will do that again this year…" "Why is that, thaaththa," Bindu asked, "is he not visiting Sri Lanka because of the Geneva resolution?" more..

Stockbroking overcrowded - mergers on the cards

Apr 15 (ST) With the current economic crisis hurting revenues, some stockbroking houses are considering consolidations and mergers of their operations, according to market stakeholders. "I believe the local stockbroking industry is over-crowded when considering the present stock market penetration in Sri Lanka. The number of active stock market investors in Sri Lanka has still not reached even a growth stage with the penetration still at a very nascent level," more..

CPC to be re-organized; CEO at the helm

Apr 15 (ST) Sri Lanka’s state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) is to be re-organized aimed at making it a more profit-making and vibrant venture eliminating irregularities, waste and massive financial losses, Minister of Petroleum Resources Susil Premjayantha said. He told the Business Times that the management of the CPC will be spearheaded by a full-time Chief Executive Officer under the proposed re-organizing structure. more..

Breathing space for asylum seekers

Apr 15 (CT) Switzerland and EU countries have suspended deporting Sri Lankans who seek asylum following the recent UNHRC resolution in Geneva, according to reports from Geneva. A large number of asylum seekers in Europe and UK were sent back to Sri Lanka soon after the war in the country ended. However, following the recent UNHRC sessions in Geneva, Switzerland and several European countries have decided to delay the process of deporting Lankan asylum seekers, more..

New Year accidents top 329; four dead

Apr 15 (LB) 329 people had been admitted to the Accident and Trauma Unit of the National Hospital at the time of going to press. This year’s accident figures during Avurudu festivities therefore are an increase of 22 per cent over those of 2011, as per hospital sources. The Sinhalese and Hindu New Year was celebrated in Sri Lanka on April 12 and 13. The number of incidents of accidents leading to trauma have increased in the main due to excessive alcohol consumption, more..

Earthquake, tsunami detection gadgets out

Apr 15 (LB) The four seismometers that can detect earthquakes inland or deep in Sri Lankan waters are out of order and have not been repaired due to the lack of funds. The University of Peradeniya’s seismometer and others located in Anuradhapura, Oluvil and Ruhuna are out of order for several years. Such vital equipment being out of commission can result in Sri Lanka facing serious issues regarding our disaster-warning mechanisms, says more..

SAARC Film Day Series 2012

Apr 15 (Island) The fourth of many films featuring movies from the SAARC Region, will be screened on April 25 at 6.30 pm at the National Film Corporation Cinema Hall. The film will be screened in close collaboration with Indian Cultural Centre. The film is directed by Nagesh Kukunoor, "Iqbal" – a film from India. The SAARC Cultural Centre will work in close collaboration with the Indian Cultural Centre in presenting this film. The Film is a story about determination, more..

CP Gov. berates organisers for poor show at Maha Pola

Apr 15 (ST) Central Province Governor Tikiri Kobbekaduwa, as the Chief Guest, berated officials and the Ministry who organized the 'Maha Pola' at St. Anthony's College, Katugastota, last week, when he spoke at its closing ceremony. Governor Kobbekaduwa had been invited by the Minister and the Secretary for this function at the last moment and had come in the hope that the Minister himself would be present, but it was not so. The Governor said the concept of the Maha Pola more..

'Many war missing could have obtained new identities'

Apr 15 (Island) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said that many of those listed missing during the war could have obtained new identities courtesy foreign govts. The recent Gunaratnam affair revealed how Australia had issued a passport (N 1016123) to the leader of the newly formed Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) under a different name in spite of knowing his real identity, the Defence Secretary said. more..

Health Ministry lapse cause nurses shortage

Apr 15 (Island) The Public Service United Nurses Union (PSUNU) warned of a severe shortage of nurses in the country till 2014 owing to the delay in intakes for training last year. Administration Secretary PSUNU, Hector Francis said yesterday that the dearth would occur as the Ministry had failed to recruit nursing trainees on time last year. Francis said that it had finally been due last December when over 2,000 nursing trainees were recruited. The 2008 nursing batch more..

Expats ring in Sri Lankan new year in Qatar

Apr 15 (TP) The Sri Lankan community here celebrated yesterday the dawn of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year dubbed “Bakmaha Ulela 2012” at the Al Sadd Sports Club. Children wearing traditional dresses from Sinhalese and Tamil communities greeted the chief guest, Sri Lankan Ambassador Jayantha Palipane, to mark the start of the event. Other VIPs who joined the celebration were R S Khan Azad, Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission, Lieutenant Colonel Ahmed Zayed Al Muhannadi, more..

Sushma-led MPs team arriving in Colombo tomorrow

Apr 15 (Hindu) The Indian delegation of Members of Parliament, which arrives here on April 16, will have an opportunity to speak to all groups of Tamils in Sri Lanka – those in the Northern Province, Eastern Province, in the hills, and in Colombo. Led by the Leader of Opposition in the Parliament, Sushma Swaraj, the delegation arrives here late on April 16, and has a packed programme schedule ahead of leaving on April 21. The next morning, more..

'Include Muslim MP in delegation to Sri Lanka'

Apr 15 (Hindu) State president of the Indian Union Muslim League K.M. Kader Mohideen has voiced concern over the exclusion of Muslim MP in the delegation to be led by Sushma Swaraj, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, to Sri Lanka. The MP team is expected to visit the areas where rehabilitation measures for the war displaced Sri Lankan Tamils are being implemented. Mr. Mohideen who was here to attend the State executive committee meeting of the party on Saturday, told more..

Sri Lankan loses memory after assault by Moroccan wife

Apr 15 (AN) A Sri Lankan expatriate has partially lost his memory after an alleged assault by his Moroccan wife in Riyadh, the Sri Lankan Embassy said yesterday. Piyal Ratnapala, 54, has been living with his 29-year-old Moroccan wife Shaim after they got married five years ago in Riyadh. According to the embassy, the woman stabbed Ratnapala several times with a kitchen knife as he was leaving their apartment. It is believed that a domestic dispute was the cause of more..

Sri Lanka's First Family celebrates Sinhala and Hindu New Year

Apr 15 (IL) When the entire country is gripped in a happy and festive mood after officially lifting tsunami danger, Sri Lankans celebrated the traditional Sinhala and Hindu New Year in usual grand style. According to the astrological charts, the most eagerly awaited National New Year dawned at 7.42 pm local time on 13 April. This is the third National New Year the whole country is celebrating in an environment of peace and tranquility since more..

Refined fuel from Vietnam, registered suppliers protest

Apr 15 (ST) Amidst protests from registered oil suppliers of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), Sri Lanka has finalized a deal to import refined petroleum products from Vietnam over the next six months under a govt-to-govt contract. Petroleum Industries Minister Susil Premajayantha said the state-run CPC would buy refined fuel from Viet Petrol Co. Ltd under an agreement signed between Vietnam and Sri Lanka during an official visit by Vietnam President more..

Dr Jayalath Jayawarden MP admitted to hospital in London

Apr 15 (IL) UNP MP Dr Jayalath Jayawardena has been admitted to East Surrey Hospital, the former minister was found unconscious at the Gatwick Air Port on 13 April. "He was admitted to the hospital and the doctors are still monitoring his condition, he seems to be stable for now with the medication the doctors are giving to him," Dinesh Kapukotuwa, the President of UNP-UK branch said. Dr Jayawardena left London for a tour in Europe and found collapsed at the Air Port, more..

Economists cast doubts over inflation figures in CB report

Apr 15 (ST) Economists have cast doubts on the manner in which Sri Lanka’s inflation index is calculated and on forecasts of foreign direct investments in the Central Bank’s annual report for 2011. The Department of Census and Statistics has revised both the CCPI and the Core Inflation Index, used mainly for policy purposes, the report, released on Monday said. “They are changing (the weightage). Year on year inflation rose to 8.4% in April and more..

Govt asked to clarify on murder investigations

Apr 15 (SL) The Sri Lankan govt was asked to clarify the situation with regard to the investigations on the murder of four MPs at the 126th Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) session in Kampala, Uganda. The sessions were held from March 31st till April 5th in Uganda. The Committee on Human Rights of Parliamentarians has taken up the murders of MPs Joseph Pararajasingham, Nataraja Raviraj, T. Maheswaran and Deputy Minister D.M. Dassanayake and the investigations being carried out into the incidents. more..

'No one should be allowed’ to take the law into their own hands'

Apr 15 (Island) The following is a Special Press Communiqué by His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith and Most Ven. Ittapane Dhammalankara Anunayake Thero: It is not a secret that since the 1970’s s Govts, political parties, terror groups that took to arms, etc., dealt with persons who were of a different thinking and view point by abducting and making them disappear. And at times, the dead bodies of such persons were openly exhibited in public places too. more..

The Kumara saga: Govt.'s credibility further eroded

Apr 15 (ST) Most Sri Lankans enjoying the Avurudu festivities may be unaware that the country's security establishment has been preoccupied for weeks now about the changing political firmament. The cause - as exclusively revealed in the Sunday Times of Sept 18 last year and for weeks thereafter - was the split in the JVP. Whilst the moderates led by Somawansa Amerasinghe were heading a formidable group, another breakaway faction, equally formidable, more..

Thunderbolt kills Kotte Vihara tusker

Apr 15 (SM) A thunderbolt has killed a tusker, belonging to Kotte Rajamaha Vihara, in Ingiriya. The jumbo, named ‘Lanka’, had been taken there to take part in a New Year festival. It had been left tethered to a tree and was found dead this morning (Apr. 14). The lightning also struck several houses nearby, damaging them, and leaving a woman injured. Police have instructed that a post-mortem examination be held into the jumbo’s death. more..

Jaffna residents harassed by EPDP

Apr 15 (SL) Residents in the islands of Jaffna said that candidates from the EPDP had threatened and harassed them. One of the recent suspects in a rape case was an EPDP candidate, they charged. ‘When an election comes up, the politicians make promises, but they give us nothing,’ one of the islanders said. Others said that an EPDP candidate had told residents in the Thellipelai area in Mallayam to vote for him, and they had promised to do so under duress. more..

Top paediatrician passes away

Apr 15 (ST) Dr. Stella de Silva, one of Sri Lanka’s best known paediatricians, passed away at her residence on Thursday (April 12). She was 93. Born in Balapitiya, she had her early education at Prajapathi Vidyalaya, Ambalangoda and Southlands College, Galle and then in an unusual arrangement between the Principal of Southlands and Richmond College, she was admitted to the exclusive boys school because Southlands did not have science facilities at the time. more..

Take us home for Avurudu: Cries from Angoda, Mulleriyawa

Apr 15 (ST) No New Year's Day to celebrate; no treacle covered kevums to give away; no auspicious times; no song to sing; in fact here's just another ordinary day. With apologies to Stevie Wonder, the famous song rings true not only for history’s most famous political prisoner, Nelson Mandela, but also to hundreds of well-cured patients at Sri Lanka’s premier hospitals for mentally ill people. e National New Year came and went, more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Apr 15 (ST) There was a dramatic scene that took place at the Dudley Senanayake commemoration ceremony which had been organized near the statue of the late Prime Minister at Borella on Friday. While the invitees waited for an apt time to garland the statue, a man dressed in bright green shirt rode up to the venue on a bicycle and first placed a bouquet of flowers at the foot of the statue. He then climbed the scaffolding and placed a garland more..

Party officers must submit asset declarations to Elections Dept.

Apr 15 (Island) Office bearers of political parties failing to furnish their financial status to the polls chief will risk being investigated by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, the Elections Commissioner said. Both politicians and officials holding key appointments are liable to be prosecuted unless they comply with a directive issued by the Election Secretariat, he said. more..

Eliyantha White praised in Parliament

Apr 15 (Island) It was not many moons ago that he was under rapid fire for the alternative system of medicine he practiced, even described as a "quack" at times by his detractors, but Dr. Eliyantha White, the personal physician of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, is now a jubilant man. With those difficult times when he was misunderstood and his actions misinterpreted behind him as a painful phase of his life, more..

Support for economy from foreign remittances wanes

Apr 15 (ST) The foreign remittance component in bridging the country’s growing trade deficit dropped from 83 percent in 2010 to 53 percent in 2011, due to the doubling of the trade deficit last year, statistics to be released tomorrow by the Central Bank reveal. The percentage drop of foreign remittances has affected the popular strategy used by the government to tackle the crisis. more..

Sri Lanka mail use drops

Apr 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka has seen a steep drop in the use mail in 2011, while telecom services continued to expand, increasing losses of a state-run postal service, official data showed. Central Bank data showed that letters per inhabitant dropped to 33.3 percent to 12 in 2011 from 18 a year earlier. Per capita letter use also dropped 10 percent in 2010 over 2009. It was not clear whether per capita mail included business mail carried by more..

DMK pulls out of MPs delegation to Sri Lanka

Apr 15 (PTI) DMK President M. Karunanidhi on Sunday ruled out his party’s presence in a Parliamentary delegation visiting Sri Lanka this week to assess the rehabilitation and political process, saying past experiences showed that there was no use of such visits. “DMK never planned (to be part of the delegation). There are past experiences to show that there is no use of such visits. Therefore, nobody from DMK is undertaking the visit,” more..