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PHIs destroy 3,000 kilos of rotten spuds

Dec 22 (Island) Over 3,000 kilos of potatoes found unfit for human consumption were destroyed by the Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council yesterday. Food Inspector Lal Kumara said that Food Inspectors and PHIs carried out inspections in Fourth and Fifth Cross Streets and New and Old Moor Streets in the Pettah area during the last few weeks. Kumara said that inspections were being carried out following complaints made to the PHD that rotten dried fish, more..

Sri Lanka must face international probe: Amnesty

Dec 22 (IANS) Sri Lanka needs to face an "independent international" investigation into the killings towards the end of the war against the Tamil Tigers, the Amnesty International chief says. "We need a full and independent international inquiry to bring (guilty) people into account," Amnesty Secretary General Salil Shetty said. He said investigations ordered by the Sri Lankan govt into the killings of 2008-09 were not adequate. more..

Govt Creating Constitutional Crisis by Violating Supreme Court Determination

Dec 22 (DBS) Annually the govt presents to Parliament its income and expenditure statement, and how it intends to finance the deficit between income and expenditure. With the exception of a couple of years since independence in 1948, the govt Budget has been in deficit. The Budget process begins when the govt presents an Appropriation Bill in Parliament, followed a month or so later by a speech in Parliament known as the Budget Speech made by the Finance Minister. more..

BOC boost for small scale rubber estate owners

Dec 22 (Island) State banking giant the Bank of Ceylon has introduced a special loan scheme for rubber small holders. "Rubber is one of the three main export crops in our country. At present, Sri Lanka produces 150,000 metric tons of rubber per month. The income received from export of rubber in 2010 was Rs.83,224 Millions (USD 736 Millions). Observations since 2004 have revealed that the income we get from producing rubber has continuously been increasing. more..

Agents to hire more Sri Lankan maids next year

Dec 22 (CNA) Maid agents in Singapore are looking to hire more foreign domestic helpers from Sri Lanka. From next year, the Association of Employment Agencies plans to bring in between 500 and 1,000 Sri Lankan maids a month, up from the current 100 to 200 a month. Based on records from the Sri Lankan High Commission in Singapore, there are about 4,500 Sri Lankan maids here. more..

Tea factories to be modernised

Dec 22 (DN) The State Engineering Corporation (SEC) will modernise tea factories in the country and equip them with the latest technology. Under the guidance of Minister Wimal Weerawansa, the SEC has commenced this programme, a ministry official said. "The tea industry has become a high income generating industry in the export market. The minister realized the necessity of applying modern technology to the tea industry especially for tea factories to compete with more..

26 Australia bound Persons arrested

Dec 22 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy arrested 26 persons illegally bound for Australia in a multi-day trawler on 21st December 2012. The trawler named “Sindathri” with 22 Tamils and 4 Sinhalese on board was intercepted by a Fast Naval Patrol Craft attached to the Western Naval Command off Chilaw seas. Among the arrested persons are 15 men, 05 women and 6 children. They are residents of Jaffna, Vavuniya, Chilaw, Marawila and Negambo. All were brought to Mutwal Fishery Harbour to more..

Iran keen to boost judicial cooperation with Sri Lanka

Dec 22 (FNA) Iranian Justice Minister Seyed Morteza Bakhtiari said Iran is ready to take effective steps to further expand mutual cooperation with Sri Lanka in judicial fields. "Given the existence of grounds for the promotion of interactions between the two countries of Iran and Sri Lanka, we can have effective interactions with each other not only in the extradition of criminals but also in other judicial and civil issues," Bakhtiari said more..

Sri Lanka should boost relations with all major powers: economist

Dec 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka should be friendly all major powers and ensure that relations are strengthened with nations that matter to the core economic interests of the country, a top international economist said. "It strikes me that Sri Lankan foreign policy, which of course includes foreign economic policy - is completely lopsided," Razeen Sally, a former London School of Economics professor who is now with Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy said. more..

Sri Lankan danger man aims to have bats in a spin

Dec 22 (Age) The most successful bowler in the world this year, Rangana Herath, will aim to exploit the Australian top-order's perceived weakness against high-class spin during the Boxing Day Test. Herath is the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket in 2012 with 60 victims in nine matches but he is too modest to regard himself as the world's best spinner, nominating England off-spinner Graeme Swann, who has 59 wickets after outbowling India's spinners in their own conditions. more..

'The worst judge is one who succumbs to pressure'

Dec 22 (AD) An independent judiciary is an essential feature for a functional democracy, where the courts are regarded as “temples of justice,” said Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake. She stated that for the existence of an independent judiciary, it is not only necessary but essential to ensure that the basic principles of rule of law is observed at every level at every level to all citizens on an equal basis. more..

‘We are confident, Chief Justice would not enter active politics’

Dec 22 (CT) Responding to state media attacks on the Chief Justice and the Judiciary, Lawyers Collective urges the Govt to refrain from unfair, malicious and false propaganda. “It is because the accusations brought against the Chief Justice in a politically motivated impeachment have been rightly rejected by the public, that the Govt is resorting to numerous unfair strategies to tarnish the image of the Chief Justice and the Judiciary, in general.” says the Lawyers Collective. more..

Five dead and one missing after boat capsizes

Dec 22 (CT) Five people died and one went missing after a boat capsized in the Thissa reservoir in Kataragama this afternoon. It was reported about 18 passengers were on board when the boat capsized, whereas the boat could only accommodate the maximum number of ten passengers. In a joint operation, the police and the Navy personnel have recovered the bodies in the reservoir. The victims were pilgrims who were returning from Kataragama and on their return they went on a more..

Women-headed families: no husband, no home and no future for their children

Dec 22 (AN) The Women's Desk of the National Fisheries Solidarity Organisation (NAFSO) has released a report on women-headed households. Titled 'Empower women-headed families, ensure right to life', the report found that in some eastern villages, some families are without shelter. Among those who are housed, their homes lack doors and windows against the cold. In many cases, sanitary facilities are a luxury only a more..

First domestic air taxi to take flight early next year

Dec 22 (GDI) Cinnamon Air, Sri Lanka's first and only domestic air taxi service will take flight from March 2013. Cinnamon Air using a combination of two Cessna 208 Amphibian and Cessna 208B Grand Caravan aircraft will operate out of the Bandaranaike International Airport, Colombo to several key coastal and inland destinations throughout the island. The airline will serve the tourists, with multiple daily scheduled departures from the International Airport to key holiday more..

Ministry fighting shy of releasing report

Dec 22 (CT) The Ministry of Education is yet to release the report on the alleged leak of the GCE O/L science paper, even after a week since the complaints were initially made, Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) charged. The Union alleged the Department of Examinations was once again attempting to cover up the bungles in the education sector, by ignoring serious issues. General Secretary of the CTU, Joseph Stalin, said the union met with Examinations Department more..

Police question Wijedasa’s actions

Dec 22 (CG) The police have raised questions over the failure by the President of the BAR Association, Wijedasa Rajapakse, to report the shooting incident outside his house to the police officer providing him security or to the 119 emergency hotline soon after he realized an incident had occurred. The police said that according to a statement provided by the parliamentarian, he had said that on Thursday more..

Tuition teacher remanded for leaking O/L science paper

Dec 22 (AD) A tuition teacher and his assistant who are suspected of leaking the G.C.E. O/L science question paper have been arrested by police. The tuition teacher and his assistant were produced before the Kaduwela Magistrate’s Court today and remanded until December 29, police said. The CID had launched investigations after receiving a complaint last Saturday (15) several questions included in the O/L science paper were contained in a model paper provided at a tuition class. more..

Afghan students offered placements in SL

Dec 22 (GDI) At the invitation of minister G.L. Peiris, Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan paid an official visit to Sri Lanka from 18th -21st Dece, marking the first ever bilateral visit undertaken by an Afghan Foreign Minister to Sri Lanka. He was accompanied by Mr. Shaida M. Abdali, Non-Resident Ambassador of Afghanistan to Sri Lanka, Mr. Azizudin Ahmadzada, Director General, First Political Division and Mr. Saed Abdul Bashir Sadaat, Deputy Spokesman, more..

Mahela, Charith breach contract-SLC

Dec 22 (DM) Captain Mahela Jayawardene and Manager Charith Senanayake have breached the terms of contract with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) by releasing their views directly to Daily Mirror and the SLC Executive Committee will take up the matter at their next meeting, SLC stated today. In an e-mailed letter to Daily Mirror on Thursday, Jayawardene said that he has lost confidence in Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) after more..

Editorial: A meaningful Christmas

Dec 23 (SO) Come midnight tomorrow, millions of Christians the world over celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ who was born in a stable in Bethlehem over 2012 years ago. St. Luke's biography records that the Virgin Mary and her husband Joseph left their home in Nazareth to travel to Joseph's ancestral home town in Bethlehem, to enrol in the census ordered by the then Roman Emperor, Augustus. Finding no room to rest their weary heads in inns in the town, they set up primitive more..

Editorial: Avoid doing irreparable damage to the country

Dec 23 (SL) Chief Justice Dr Shirani Bandaranayake last week filed a writ application before the Court of Appeal challenging a Parliamentary Select Committee’s (PSC) findings against her and sought an order to stop taking any action on it. The PSC had found her guilty of three charges made against her and recommended that her services as Chief Justice should be terminated. It is very unlikely that Parliament would comply with orders made by Superior Courts because more..

'Uphold Constitution, come what may'

Dec 23 (SO) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the impeachment motion against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake is being viewed from different perspectives. He said when one looks at the behaviour of certain people right from the beginning of the impeachment motion, it is evident that such behaviour has never been seen before. The Minister said the present Chief Justice willingly or unwillingly manifests the characteristics of a serious politician more..

Editorial: Nowadays justice is a luxury!

Dec 23 (LB) Last week, the residence of Wijedasa Rajapakshe, the president of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka and a vocal opponent of the impeachment of the CJ Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake was allegedly shot at by unidentifiedgunmen who then fled the scene in a racing car. During the same week, Gunaratna Wanninayake, a lawyer and a campaigner against the impeachment was threatened by armed men. Earlier, ManjulaTillakaratne, the secretary of the Judiciary Service Commission was assaulted. more..

Editorial: The meaning of this Christmas

Dec 23 (NS) It is Christmas time; the time for good cheer, merriment and fun. That’s what the signs say. Christmas is ‘Christian’, officially. In reality though, it can be argued that it belongs to business. This says something about its appropriation by profit-seekers. In another reality, Christmas, in Sri Lanka, belongs to all Sri Lankans, regardless of faith. Children of all faiths eagerly await the arrival of Santa Claus. This says a lot about the meaning of Christmas. more..

'BASL and the judiciary are clearly divided'

Dec 23 (SL) Vice President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) Anoma Goonetilleke says she tendered her resignation from the Association due to the arbitrary manner in which the Association President had conducted the special general meeting. “The meeting was scheduled only to discuss the resolution. The resolution, which was tabled, did not have provision to discuss measures to be taken to safeguard judicial independence,” she said. more..

Editorial: Impeachment pot– lower the heat

Dec 23 (Island) The impeachment pot remains on the boil and nobody is lowering the flames. Three judges of the Court of Appeal on Friday issued notice on the Speaker, the members of the Parliamentary Select Committee and the Secretary General of Parliament. The public, generally, do not distinguish between the issuing of notice and the issuing of summons. Notice involves informing a concerned party about the adjudication of a matter in which that party has an interest; summons are more..

Editorial: Some of the people, some of the time

Dec 23 (CT) As the impeachment saga continues and a head-on collision between the Legislature and the Judiciary appears increasingly inevitable, one of the crutches of the govt, the Communist Party of Sri Lanka (CPSL), it appears has come to its senses and decided to disassociate itself from the impeachment circus. According to reports, the CPSL had arrived at the decision to officially divorce itself from the impeachment of the Chief Justice, when more..

'BASL must take robust and resilient steps'

Dec 23 (SL) Former Secretary Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) (1989-1991) and Attorney at Law Upul Jayasuriya says that international bodies are urging justice and basic rights for the Tamils and that there were doubts over providing justice to the ethnic groups when there is no justice for the Chief Justice. “The judiciary shall remain so long as there is an Independent and a Strong Bar,” he observed. more..

Court of Appeal and Latimer House Principles

Dec 23 (Island) As the week came to a close, a fresh controversy was generated with the Court of Appeal issuing summons on the Speaker of Parliament and the PSC appointed to inquire into the impeachment motion against the chief justice. The Court of Appeal was relying on an interpretation of Article 138(1) of the constitution which gives it the power to "correct all errors in fact or law which may be committed by any court of first instance, tribunal or any other institution". more..

Judiciary carry on fight against suppression and attacks

Dec 23 (NS) It was a week of violence and tension, death and destruction, displacement and grief, in magnitudes that some might say justify predictions of the world ending. The 21st came and went. There was a lot of precipitation and resultant floods, but the world as we’ve known it, remained the same; a lot to complain about and certain things to be grateful for. Doomsday has been shifted to December 23rd by some, but science and scientists are not buying it. more..

'MCG Test big moment in my career'

Dec 23 (Island) Sri Lanka’s preparations for the Boxing Day Test Match here in Melbourne have been intense with every practice session exceeding the scheduled three hours. When it comes to training, the man obsessed by it and leaves nothing for chance is Kumar Sangakkara. It will be a special moment for Sri Lanka as this will be only their second appearance in Australia’s sporting capital for a Boxing Day Test Match. The first was 17 years ago in 1995. more..

More on Ravi Ratnayeke

Dec 23 (Island) The warm and comprehensive report on Ravi Ratnayeke in ‘The Island’ of 21st December opened a flood of memories which I'd like to share with you readers. When Ravi forsook cricket at the age of 29 years, the country lost a gifted all-rounder. He was the vice-captain at the time, opening batsman and opening bowler but pomp and glory sat light on the credo that Ravi had developed as the eldest child of Yasa and Lakshmi and who was nurtured like Kumar Sangakkara after him in a school more..

Eelam lobbyists in Australia can tarnish Sri Lanka’s image before CHOGM

Dec 23 (NS) The average Sri Lankan, if questioned about Sri Lanka-Australia ties last week would have alluded to the on-going, closely fought Test cricket series between the two countries. Most of them would have heard of Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke, but not of Bob Carr. Carr, the Australian Foreign Minister visited Colombo last week but he hardly captured the imagination of the media engrossed in the drama surrounding the impeachment of CJ Shirani Bandaranayake. more..

Rajapaksa govt. heading for yet another clash with the judiciary

Dec 23 (SL) The words that resonated in the minds of many like-minded people last week is that, “Now they have come for the judiciary,” given that the Rajapaksa govt is once again heading for a clash with the judiciary. The clash has culminated once again following last Friday’s directive by the Court of Appeal for the Speaker of Parliament and members of the PSC that probed the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice to more..

IRCs and pickpockets nabbed in shopping malls

Dec 23 (SO) Several plainclothes police women along with their male counterparts have been detailed in shopping areas such as Pettah, Kollupitiya, Bambalapitiya and Wellawate to keep an eye on pickpockets where large numbers of shoppers congregate. “From the day the operation commenced we have arrested around 20-30 persons against whom warrants have been issued by various courts. These persons have been absconding the police. Others include several Re-convicted Criminals (IRC’s) more..

G.L. writes to Saudi FM over Rizana

Dec 23 (SL) Minister G.L Peiris has written to his Saudi Arabian counterpart urging the Saudi authorities not to execute young Rizana Nafeek on sympathy grounds, Secretary to the External Affairs Ministry Karunatilaka Amunugama said. Amunugama said that every attempt was being made to stop the execution even though the case has come to its final stages. He pointed out that the President had already made an appeal to the King of Saudi Arabia, but he was unable to grant a pardon. more..

The Disaster of the Minister of Disaster Management

Dec 23 (Island) Minister of Disaster Management, Mahinda Amaraweera, was seen driving on the wrong side of the road, up Bauddhaloka Mawatha, damaging another vehicle and subsequently threatening a female passenger for taking pictures of the accident scene. December 20th, (approximately 2 pm) a white Toyota Landcruiser WP-KQ 4566 driven by Amaraweera was seen trying to enter more..

Editorial: Two sides of the same coin

Dec 23 (ST) Two contrasting stories appearing in the dailies this week might have caught the attention of the reading public. They may not have necessarily come as a shock, as very little shocks us in this country, but they were nevertheless a vignette of the state of play in the country’s socio-political-economic life. One story was a question raised in Parliament by an Opposition MP whether the Govt lost Rs. 200 million in revenue by allowing racing cars to be imported for more..

Kilinochchi gets tallest Christmas tree

Dec 23 (CT) At 82 feet tall and 40 feet wide, the tallest Christmas tree in Sri Lanka was set up in Kilinochchi at a Christmas festival organized by the Kilinochchi Defence Headquarters on Wednesday. The proposal to install the tree had come from Major General Udaya Perera. Some 185 scholarships were presented to school children at the event. “These are ongoing programmes and scholarship funds will be given to these children continuously,” Army Spokesman Brigadier Ruwan more..