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'Executive passing the buck to the judiciary'

Aug 9 (DM) Former chief justice Sarath N Silva spoke to the Daily Mirror on the people's confidence in the judiciary and the provincial council system. He also touches on the Mannar incident and the personal criticisms against him. Q: In light of the upcoming provincial council elections; what is your opinion on the provincial council system and the devolution of power, is it effective in a country as small as Sri Lanka? more..

Editorial: A load of baloney

Aug 9 (Island) What is unfolding on the political front, in the run-up to next month's PC polls, has all the trappings of a third rate ‘mega’ teledrama. Elections are usually the times when politicians are expected to address vital issues people are faced with and offer solutions to them, but, regrettably, the public are being treated to a load of baloney. A few days ago Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena made a calculated move to distract the UNP. He publicly claimed that way back in 1994, more..

Official song of ICC World T20 launched

Aug 9 (Island) The ICC, in collaboration with the host nation music stars, Bathiya and Santhush, launched the ICC World Twenty20 Sri Lanka 2012 official event song ‘Vissai Vissa’ (Twenty Twenty). The official event song of the ICC WT20 SL 2012 captures the spirit and energy of Sri Lanka and the Twenty20 format of the game. The song ‘Vissai Vissa’, in essence means ‘Twenty Times More’. Featuring a burst of Sri Lankan Sri Lankan percussions and the island’s unique celebratory ‘papare’ music style, more..

Mahela’s obsession with IPL

Aug 9 (Island) He has created a big enough scene for Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) delaying payments, but not a murmur has come out against the Indian Premier League’s failure to pay him his last year’s salary when he captained the Kochi franchise. But despite the ‘hardships’, Mahela Jayawardene remains a huge fan of the IPL, at times even crediting Sri Lankan cricket’s success for that tournament. Over the last two weeks, Sri Lanka and India played six games and more..

Laugfs off anti-India stance

Aug 9 (Island) A one time staunch supporter of the Maubima Lanka Foundation, a group of domestic manufacturers which opposed attempts made by the govt to deepen trade ties with India, has had a change of heart and is now exploring opportunities in the giant economy next door. After the recent visit of a high level business delegation from India led by the Indian Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles Anand Sharma, the Chairman of Laugfs Holdings Ltd said the company was looking forward to building linkages with India. more..

SLBFE to suspend dealings with errant job agents

Aug 9 (DN) The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) has taken steps to stop dealings with over 600 employment agents in several labour receiving countries accused of various malpractices during the last 16 months. The SLBFE has advised local foreign employment agents to refrain from engaging in any transactions with these agents. In 2011, the SLBFE suspended dealings with 445 job agents in labour receiving countries with the highest being from Saudi more..

සබැඳියාව | Connections – August 07, 2012

All set for Asian Netball Championship

Aug 9 (DM) All arrangements have been completed for the 8th Asian Netball Championship to be held in Sri Lanka from August 25 to 31 at the Sugathadasa Stadium. The opening ceremony is scheduled for 10.00 a.m. and from 11.30 the matches are to be conducted. Ten countries will battle in the championship with the teams playing in two groups ‘A’ and ‘B’. The countries in battle are India, Pakistan, Nepal, Brunei, Maldives, Malaysia, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and hosts Sri Lanka. The championship will come to an end on Aug 31 more..

Parkson announces mandatory offer to buy the rest of the ODEL shares

Aug 9 (N360) Parkson Retail of Singapore which acquired a stake of 42.19% of ODEL PLC has announced a mandatory offer to the holders of ordinary shares of the fashion retailer. It offers to acquire the rest of the shares at a price of Rs. 23.50 per share, which is the highest price at which Parkson Retail has paid to acquire the shares of Odel PLC. The ODEL PLC, which was founded by Otara Gunawardena saw, her and her two brothers selling a combined stake of 41.82%, more..

Family mourns Sri Lankan immigrants killed in Canada

Aug 9 (CN) A family is mourning a Sri Lankan immigrant and his daughter who were killed in a head-on crash on the QEW last weekend. Early Sunday morning, a teen was driving the wrong way on the ramp from the QEW to the northbound Highway 427 when his SUV collided head-on with the victims’ minivan. Jayantha Neil Wijeratne, 49, and his 16-year-old daughter Eleesha Nimani were killed on impact. more..

Fishing in neighbour's waters remains a knotty problem for India, Lanka

Aug 9 (TOI) On Wednesday, 11 Sri Lankan fishermen returned home after being detained for over three months in India. They had been picked up from near Andhra Pradesh by the Indian Coast Guard in May. Last week, Sri Lanka released 23 Indian fishermen after detaining them for fishing in Lankan waters. In both cases, passions run high, the two foreign ministries get involved and it's becoming a messy affair between the two neighbours. more..

'TESO meet not against Sri Lanka'

Aug 9 (Hindu) DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Wednesday asked Tamils across the world not to fall a prey to the campaign of the Sri Lankan govt that the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) conference was against that country and that the participation of the Sri Lankans in the conference would be monitored. Recalling Sri Lankan Minister Keheliya Rambukwella’s remarks that his govt would watch the Sri Lankans who were going to take part in the conference, Mr. Karunanidhi said more..

CB blocking remittances abroad: Resident NRFC accountholders express concerns

Aug 9 (FT) Several dual citizens as well as former expats who have settled home recently have expressed concern over the blocking of remittances abroad via Central Bank’s recent rules on NRFC accounts, a move they alleged suggests the country could be facing a forex crisis. In an announcement in mid July, the Central Bank said it would permit any outward remittance out of NRFC accounts irrespective of the more..

Bhikkus condemn Hakeem

Aug 9 (Island) The Bodubalasena Bhikkhu organisation yesterday condemned Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem for abusing Sinhala Buddhists as a means of securing votes from Muslims at the elections to the Eastern Provincial Council. Addressing a media conference at the Sambuddathva Jayanthi Mandiraya, Bodu Bala Sena Chief Ven. Kirama Vimalajothi thera said Minister Hakeem was playing the racial card and must be looked down upon by all civic minded persons. "Minister Hakim recently said that more..

'Stop using schools for political tamashas'

Aug 9 (CT) The UNP yesterday urged the Education Ministry to issue a circular preventing all schools from being used for political activities. UNP MP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, while noting that certain schools are being used to hold political rallies, insisted such activities should be stopped as it also results in damaging school properties. “For instance, a certain political party used Sanghamitta Girls’ School to provide accommodation for its supporters who came to attend May Day rally of that party. more..

'Parliamentary Standing Orders violated'

Aug 9 (CT) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told parliament that allowing UPFA MP to make a statement on the Mannar incident soon after the day’s businesses of the House, was in violation of the provisions of the Parliamentary Standing Orders. He said UPFA MP Hunais Farook was allowed to make a statement to the House on 18 July even after the reply speech made at an adjournment debate was more..

'Drug offences notable in some areas'

Aug 9 (DN) Gampaha, Anuradhapura and Kataragama are not far behind although Colombo ranks high in drug related offences, National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB) chairman Leisha de Silva said. “However, I must say that these incidents have received much publicity because law enforcement agencies have been active in arresting drug offenders,” she said. De Silva said while law enforcement agencies are clamping down hard on drug offenders, more..

CDF members ill-treated -JVP

Aug 9 (Island) The Civil Defence Force was a mere name-board organisation and its members had not been confirmed in service and were without pension rights, the JVP said in Parliament yesterday. JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, making a special statement, said that the CDF members deserved a better deal considering their yeoman service during the war years to protect the areas affected by terrorism. The MP said that the CDF personnel had been reduced to brick makers, more..

Teachers’ unions claim A/L Maths II, Bio papers contain serious errors

Aug 9 (Island) Teachers’ trade unions claimed there were errors in GCE A/L exam Combined Mathematics II and Biology question papers. General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers Service Union (CTSU) Mahinda Jayasinghe said that the question number 12 of the Combined Mathematics paper was wrong and the Exams Department had corrected it through a special letter dated 07. 08. 2012. He said that some more..

Embassy denies housemaid’s torture tale

Aug 9 (DN) Sri Lankan embassy in Kuwait denied the accusation made by a Sri Lankan housemaid that she was tortured by nails driven into her body by the job agent and a Sri Lankan woman attached to the embassy. Her story is fabricated and she had tried to get the sympathy of her employers and the embassy by uttering falsehoods and showing fake photographs. Sri Lankan Ambassador in Kuwait C.A.H.M. Wijerathna was responding to Foreign Employment Minister Dilan Perera who wanted him to inquire into the allegation that more..

President urged to declare electricity essential service

Aug 9 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been requested to issue a special gazette notification declaring the supply of electricity as an essential service. President of the National Movement of Electricity Consumers (NMEC) Sunil Wimalasuriya made the request yesterday claiming that such a declaration was urgently needed because around 14,500 CEB employees had planned to launch a countrywide strike in two days. Wimalasuriya pointed out that the scheduled more..

Power cuts again

Aug 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka will cut power for two hours and fifteen minutes during the daytime Thursday (9) owing to a breakdown in a Chinese build coal plant. Operations at newly build Lakvijaya coal power plant in Puttalam district was temporarily halted this morning due to a problem in a transmission line. The national grid has lost 300 megawatts of power since Wednesday morning due to the breakdown. Power cuts will be imposed in 58 key towns and villages island-wide more..

‘Niluka opted for sponsor instead of coach’

Aug 9 (DN) The Sports Ministry says that the badminton player to the London 2012 Olympic Games Niluka Karunaratne has ignored the advice of Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage to take with him a coach and instead preferred to take Rohan de Silva, of McLarens, who is Niluka’s sponsor. The ministry further explains in a release that after Niluka reached the Olympic qualifying level, on the advice of Sports Minister the Ministry had taken all necessary steps to help Niluka. more..

HSTUA accuses unions, drug companies of conspiracy against DGHS

Aug 9 (Island) The Health Services Trade Union Federation yesterday accused some trade unions and drug manufacturing and importing companies of carrying out a smear campaign against Director General of Health Services Dr. Ajith Mendis, in a bid to deprive him of an extension. HSTUF co-President Ravi Kumudesh said that some trade unions had been funded by drug companies to stage a protest in front of the Health Ministry yesterday more..

Ranil Stumped

Aug 9 (CT) Mount Lavinia District Judge Priyantha Fernando issued an enjoining order yesterday, preventing the UNP Working Committee (WC) from extending the term of the party leadership to six years. The judge also issued notice on UNP leader Ranil Wickremesighe and 85 members of the WC to appear in Court on 22 August and show cause why the amendment to the constitution was introduced. These orders were issued when a petition filed by UNP Southern Provincial Councillor more..

Aravinda hopes SLPL will not have payment issues

Aug 9 (HT) It seems the more Twenty20 professional leagues mushroom around the cricket world, the better it gets for the players who walk away with fat pay-cheques. The flip side is that not all commitments are honoured and there have been many cases of players being left in the lurch. The Bangladesh Premier League was in the news for the wrong reasons and there have been cases reported from the Indian Premier League too. As the Sri Lanka cricket board gets ready to launch more..

Sports Minister ordered to pay for water

Aug 9 (Island) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa yesterday ordered Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage to pay for the water supplied to the Sooriyawewa Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Ground from the Meegahajadura Tank. The Speaker gave the order when the Sports Minister revealed in Parliament that a profit of Rs 1,870 million had been earned by the Sri Lanka Cricket from the World Cup matches held between 19 February and 2 April 2011. The minister was responding to more..

GR tells IPKF general not be misled by LTTE

Aug 9 (Island) Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday defended the right and the responsibility of the govt of Sri Lanka to maintain a considerable military presence in the Northern and Eastern Provinces to thwart a possible re-emergence of terrorism. Addressing a gathering of Colombo-based diplomats and visiting foreign military representatives, at Hotel Galadari, the External Affairs Minister and more..

Polls violations, violence reduced

Aug 9 (Island) Election violence and violation of election laws, relating to the forthcoming Provincial Council elections, have decreased considerably, compared to the previous Provincial Council elections. Those areas the North-Central, Sabaragamuwa and the Eastern Provinces have had a peaceful environment up to now to hold the elections, Police media spokesman Ajith Rohana said. He said there were 13 incidents of election law violations and elections violence, more..

FM CC meeting not held for 15 months – UNP

Aug 9 (Island) The Consultative Committee of the Ministry of External Affairs has not met for more than 15months, charged the Opposition yesterday. UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake brought it to the notice of Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, in Parliament that the consultative committee had not met for more than 15 months according to the minutes obtained from the committee office. When Karunanayake made those observations, Deputy Minister of External Affairs Neomal Perera noted more..

Hedging: A hole in the bucket

Aug 9 (SL) The decision to appeal against the London court ruling to pay up US$ 162 million along with interest for the non payment of dues to the standard Chartered linked to the oil hedging deal is a huge mistake that will cost significant loss to the state say economists. Appealing against the ruling in a higher court will only make the amount bigger and bigger as the interest accrue. “It’s like kicking the can down the road” says Economist and MP Harsha de Silva. more..

Tank bunds devoured by Seaplanes

Aug 9 (LB) An overwhelming number, 30.5%, of Sri Lankans are still employed in the agricultural sector; they are based in several agricultural hubs that depend on irrigation systems based on tanks. Although a move towards the service sector has been promoted as the only path for development, the discounting of the importance of agriculture in a world increasingly plagued by food shortages, two billion people are facing food security issues according to the FAO, more..

'UNP will take to the streets'

Aug 9 (DM) UNP MP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said today the UNP was willing to take to the streets to compel the government to do justice to the students affected by the Z- score muddle. “Wehave tried to resolvethis matter diplomatically. We have taken this issue up in parliament which is the highest place in this country to raise an issue but the government has been avoiding it. We have continuously spoken to the media and through the media we let the people of this country know what the real issue is. more..

‘Proud fathers’ have come down to the level of breaking open children's tills to find money to gamble'

Aug 9 (LT) Leaders who stole votes of the people claiming they were proud fathers have come down to the level of breaking open the till of the child to gamble complains the JVP. The JVP warns that while the economy of the country is dwindling the govt is gambling with the funds of the EPF by investing it in the share market, wasting public money due to the ‘hedging agreement,’ bringing substandard fuel and more..

Opposition-Govt battle over economy

Aug 9 (FT) The Govt has been repeatedly mentioning that the economy is in sound condition and reserves are very securely and lucratively invested. However, UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake moving yesterday’s adjournment motion accused the Govt of robbery." “On examination of the state of the economy we find that the Govt, especially the supposedly independent non-political institution, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), more..

Musthapha accuses Hakeem of fomenting religious hatred

Aug 9 (DM) Deputy Minister Faiszer Musthapha, yesterday, charged that the SLMC was spreading ethno-religious hatred among the communities by making spiteful statements to gain cheap political mileage. He said that recent media reports of the SLMC speaking of ‘Saffron robe terrorism’ in the country were clear indication of its intention to foment racial hatred. “What they are trying to do is create racial hatred. more..

FUTA in new partnership with JVP to win demands

Aug 9 (Island) Having held discussions with the JVP yesterday, the Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) declared that it would expand the ongoing struggle for higher wages and enhanced state funding for the education sector. FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri said that the JVP and FUTA intended to transform the ongoing struggle into a people’s struggle. He said that they could work together as the JVP was keen on this particular issue. more..

Sri Lanka's north records highest provincial growth

Aug 9 (PTI) The northern province of Sri Lanka, a former battle zone, has recorded the highest growth among all nine of the island's provinces, the Central Bank said here today. "The northern province recorded the highest growth rate of 27.1 per cent in nominal terms in 2011," a statement said. The reason for high growth in the north was its agriculture. The paddy production in the north has increased by 90 per cent to 210 million kgs in 2011 over 2010. more..

Teacher unions say cannot evaluate A/L scripts without Uni. teachers

Aug 9 (Island) Teacher trade unionists yesterday said that they cannot perform the GCE (A/L) answer script evaluation without the supervision of university teachers. The university teachers have been on a continuous strike from July 04. General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union Mahinda Jayasinghe said that university teachers have refused to evaluate answer scripts if the govt fails to provide their demands before starting paper marking. more..

Sri Lanka unearths over 800,000 explosive devices

Aug 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka has unearthed over eight hundred thousand mines and improvised explosive devices from the island's former war zone since the thirty year conflict ended in 2009, a top govt official said. Secretary to the ministry of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that de-mining teams had extracted over 400,000 anti personnel mines, 1399 anti tank mines and 333,963 unexploded ordnance devices from the north and east of the island. more..