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‘I too feel sleepy on the Bench’: Justice Salam

Dec 24 (ST) “What do you do if you feel sleepy on the Bench?” Appeals Court Judge Justice A.W.A Salam quizzed members of the Judicial Service Association. Justice Salam spoke on the independence of the judiciary at the Annual Judges Conference in Colombo. The audience chuckled as Justice Salam said, a litigant who sees a judge asleep on the Bench may regret having wasted his money on a lawyer, “since nothing was going more..

Cover-up fears haunt Khuram Shaikh's family as they campaign for justice

Dec 24 (Guardian) Mohammad Shaikh has observed the same ritual almost every day for the past 11 months. After a short drive to a Rochdale cemetery, he prays and then checks the flowers on his youngest son's grave. He always brings a fresh bunch. Since he buried Khuram, a 32-year-old Red Cross worker, on 6 January this year, Mohammad has interrupted his routine only for the three weeks it took more..

Bumper bus fare revision next February?

Dec 24 (Island) Private bus owners would have to pay increased charges to obtain route permits, log sheets and for bus transfer fees. This could put an additional burden on the commuters, when the bus fares are revised in February next year. Western Province Transport Minister Upali Kodikara yesterday said that with effect from next January the charge for a log-sheet had been increased from Rs. 600 to Rs. 750, more..

Northern Expressway to Jaffna commence soon

Dec 24 (CT) The preparation work for the first phase of the proposed Northern Expressway from Colombo to Jaffna will begin soon, the Government announced last week. The Cabinet has granted approval for the Government to obtain consultancy services to carry out the feasibility studies, environmental impact assessment and preparation of documents for the first phase of the proposed expressway. more..

Impeachment process could have been ‘improved’ – Vasu

Dec 24 (Island) ‘The process of impeaching the Chief Justice should have been improved by getting three ex-judges of the Supreme Court to look at the charges and the evidence relating to the charges, prior to the Parliamentary Select Committee arriving at its findings. That would have been a better course to take in the impeachment process, Minister and leader of the DLF Vasudeva Nanayakkara said. more..

Mathews strives for bigger contributions with the bat

Dec 24 (CI) As Angelo Mathews departed in the second innings in Hobart, he was visibly frustrated by his own indiscipline. Having defied Australia for 60 deliveries, during which he wore a Mitchell Starc bouncer painfully on his elbow, Mathews wafted at a Peter Siddle delivery that was never threatening the stumps, and provided Matthew Wade with a simple nick. He had done the hard work to get himself in on a difficult pitch, but more..

'Let’s not allow any room for racial or religious conflicts'

Dec 24 (LT) “As a Nation that had confronted a tragedy of a 30 year old separatist war and had experienced its disastrous nature it is the responsibility of all of us not to pave room for another such conflict. Emergence of a communalist or religious conflict before the bitter memories of a separatist war that was created due to sowing of communalism in the country which have been blotted out would bring in very disastrous more..

Every Lankan shoulders Rs.300, 000 debt: CBSL data

Dec 24 (DM) The average national debt shouldered by each Sri Lankan has risen by 25% to reach Rs. 308,171 (US $ 2,371), from end of last year’s Rs.245, 980 (US $ 1,892), the monthly economic statistics released by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) showed. Referred to as ‘Debt Per Capita’, in economic terms is calculated as total outstanding government debt divided by the mid-year population of an economy. more..

Stocks edge up; turnover at 6-mo low on holiday

Dec 24 (Reuters) Stock market inched higher on Monday but turnover slumped to a near six-month low ahead of holidays this week, while the rupee fell from an eight-month high due to importers buying dollars. Colombo Stock Exchange's main index edged up 0.15% or 8.40 points to close at 5,524.89. Turnover fell to 101.3 million rupees ($797,600), compared to this year's daily average of 888.6 million rupees. Stockbrokers said most investors were already on holiday, more..

How Rajapakse beat the laws of physics: Time-travel in Sri Lanka

Dec 24 (CT) Reading Shakespeare, I am certain he was familiar with Hegel and Marx; what dialectical perfection. This suggestion was first made by Terry Eagleton in 1986, but not being a scientist he could not provide a rational explanation for this weird happening. As a died-in-the-wool scientist, I have solved the problem. Time travel! If only you could move at a speed greater than the universal constant, the speed of light (c), you can travel backwards in time. more..

Melbourne's Sri Lankan connection

Dec 24 (CI) Boxing Day. The biggest event on the Australian cricket calendar. Two years ago 84,384 spectators packed the MCG to watch the first day of a critical Ashes battle. Last summer 70,068 turned up to watch the opening day of Australia's series with India. This year, for the first time since 1995, it is Sri Lanka's turn to share the stage with the Australians. There won't be a record crowd, but Melbourne's enormous Sri Lankan community should help more..

Editorial: Corruption in high places

Dec 24 (CT) Minister for Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Chandrasiri Gajadeera, speaking at the 95th meeting of the Prisoners' Welfare Society has said those at high places take bribes although some sections of the public sector, particularly the prison employees, are branded as the worst culprits. He has emphasized that corruption is rampant at the higher levels of govt though some conveniently point their finger at prison employees. This statement emanating from a member of a constituent more..

Words not enough to describe Sachin's greatness: Jayasuriya

Dec 24 (PTI) They have been fierce on-field competitors but like a true champion, former Sri Lankan captain Sanath Jayasuriya acknowledged that Sachin Tendulkar was a "true champion on and off the field." "I don't have words to express Sachin's greatness. I have had good experience while playing against him for Sri Lanka and with him for Mumbai Indians (in IPL). Both have been wonderful experiences," the prolific opener told news agency from Sri Lanka. more..

'All students to get marks for leaked O/L questions'

Dec 24 (AD) The CID inquiry has confirmed that questions in the science paper of the 2012 G.C.E. O/L exam has been leaked before the exam was held, Minister Bandula Gunawadena said. The investigation has revealed that the tuition teacher in question had obtained the 19 questions through the Examinations Department, he said. He further stated that students who sat for the O/L Science multiple choice question paper will more..

Police to monitor Melbourne cricket protest

Dec 24 (AAP) Police will closely monitor a planned Boxing Day protest outside the Melbourne Cricket Ground, but are not anticipating any major disruptions. The Tamil Refugee Council is organising a 9am (AEDT) demonstration outside the MCG on the first day of the Boxing Day Test between Australia and Sri Lanka. The group wants to boycott the Sri Lankan cricket team and raise awareness of human rights violations. Victoria Police Superintendent Rod Wilson says more..

Navy rescues Stranded Jumbo

Dec 24 (SLN) Naval personnel attached to the Naval Dockyard in Trincomalee rescued a stranded elephant which had lost its way in the Naval premises. It had accidentally intruded into the base on 13th December and found itself unable to trace back to the jungles where it had been roaming with its colleagues. The timely action taken by the Naval personnel and the Wild Life Department officials helped the elephant to be reunited with his kith and kin in the wild on 19th December. more..

Nishantha leaked Mahela’s message to media

Dec 24 (SM) It is Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Nishantha Ranatunga who has leaked to the media the email message sent by Mahela Jayawardena asking that part of the guarantee fee for the World T-20 be distributed among support and ground staffs. Ranatunga had done that intentionally in order to get Mahela into inconvenience. Mahela, in a response to the leaking of his message said through team manager Charith Senanayake more..

Navy apprehends 27 Indian Fishermen poaching in Northern Seas

Dec 24 (SLN) Naval craft attached to the Eastern Naval Command apprehended 27 Indian fishermen and 04 Indian fishing trawlers poaching in the Sri Lankan waters East of Mullaithivu on 23rd December 2012. They were brought to Trincomalee Harbour and handed over to the Police for legal action. SLN vessels and craft are in deployment for interception of unlawful intrusions into SL waters. The Navy assists the fishing industry and apprehends the poachers more..

3100 teachers need transfers

Dec 24 (DM) As many as 3100 teachers had worked at their respective national schools for more than 20 years, in violation of the national transfer policy that stipulates a teacher to be at the same place of work only for eight years, Education Minister Bandula Gunawardane said . The Minister said that he sought the Cabinet approval to implement the teacher transfer policy even at 342 national schools coming directly under the purview of the line ministry. Addressing the media last Friday, more..

I have neared retirement – Maithripala

Dec 24 (AD) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena says his political career has neared its end and that the time has come for him to retire from active politics. The General Secretary of the SLFP further said that he has prepared a 2nd and 3rd group for the future. The govt always accomplishes its duty for the future generation, the Minister said at an event to distribute school equipment in Polonnaruwa. more..

Was Jupiter the Star of Wonder that Guided the Three Wise Men to Bethlehem?

Dec 25 (DBS) The reasons being its reference to a star, thus suggesting some relationship to astrology. But now that I know the facts related to the star, it is a great encouragement to my faith as it confirms what the Bible says is true. Whatever the reason, the Magi (as defined in the New International version of the Bible) travelled a long distance, most probably over 3000km to see a baby, 2000 years ago. This itself is amazing. Therefore it is worth more..

The almost forgotten LLRC report and the Sri Lankan psyche

Dec 25 (GV) Some years ago while on a visit from abroad, my niece was entertained and perhaps a little shocked when she overheard comments broadcast over the loudspeaker from a nearby school. It was the day of their annual sports meet and a teacher, obviously short – tempered, screamed into the microphone at some hapless students, “Magay yakaawe aussande epaa”. When translated into English, “Don’t rouse the devil in me” it loses colour and pith but in its original more..

First ever Christmas pandal spreads the news of joy

Dec 25 (ST) How do you get the message of Christmas across to people who may not be quite familiar with the story of Jesus Christ’s birth and life? This Christmas, Back to the Bible, a Christian inter-denominational movement, has done something novel yet familiar by creating the country’s very first Christmas pandal. Inspired by Vesak pandols, Back to the Bible chose this medium to communicate to all the true meaning of Christmas. more..

Giving reconciliation in Sri Lanka a better chance

Dec 25 (GV) The LLRC Final Report contains many positive recommendations which merit immediate attention. Unfortunately, the present administration has given virtually no indication that it has any intention of seriously engaging with these recommendations. With the impeachment of the Chief Justice, the unwarranted arrest of University of Jaffna students and the recent murder of dozens of Welikada inmates, it’s obvious that human rights trends in Sri Lanka are more..

It’s not the end of the world

Dec 25 (SL) Jolly Singhe my old school friend, was not feeling so jolly when I bumped into him at the Waterhole. We sat down to recall old times and Jolly in a rather sombre mood called out: Kollo, Kollo: Full bottle with the usual ‘anang manang’. The predicted Mayan Doomsday appeared to be playing on his mind. But to first things first. So, so, how-how, what’s happening? We posed. What’s happening? The fellow worked the blind side. We, like all others, were on the streets dashing more..

Govt. focuses on regional development

Dec 25 (SO) The Govt is committed to develop the country after the elimination of terrorism. The country has achieved a major development within a short period. The Govt makes use of the Deyata Kirula exhibition to expedite regional development. The Pallekele, Buttala, Oyamaduwa Deyata Kirula exhibitions have proved it. The Deyata Kirula national development exhibition 2013 is to be held in the Hardy Technical Institute premises in Ampara covering more..

Producing Chemistry graduates at much lower cost

Dec 25 (CT) Recent events and happenings in Sri Lanka’s tertiary education sector have caused much alarm and consternation. These include the decreasing contribution to Education from the Government Budget, the inability of the Govt to enhance the emoluments of University academic staff, and the inordinate delay in students being admitted to and passing out from Sri Lankan Universities. The latter cause has got aggravated this year due to strikes and more..

Burden of proof, court of appeal and latimer house principles

Dec 25 (CT) 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..

How the PSC hearings were rushed through

Dec 25 (DBS) The 1575 page report of the Parliamentary Select Committee that probed Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranaike following a resolution signed by 117 MPs to impeach her has now been officially released. The lengthy report contains proceedings, minutes and volumes of documents which were made available by different state agencies or individuals. They were related to the 14 charges preferred against her. more..

Editorial: Waiting for miracles

Dec 25 (Island) The left allies of the UPFA coalition have requested that Parliament be prorogued to ease the current standoff between the legislature and the judiciary over the on-going impeachment row. When the UNP-led UNF govt tried to impeach the then Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva in 2003, President Chandrika Kumaratunga promptly prorogued Parliament and then sacked the UNF govt thus scuttling the UNF's impeachment move. She had good reason to do so; she was at loggerheads with more..

‘Peace on Earth’ was not the Christmas Message

Dec 25 (Island) Every Christmas we see and hear the message Peace on earth and goodwill among men" in Christmas cards, newspapers, magazines, display material on radio and T.V. Even wars are halted by mutual consent of the parties concerned. Such temporary ceasefires are considered to represent the ‘Peace on Earth’ significance of Christmas. First, let us see what man considers ‘Peace’ to mean. Primarily, peace is considered a state in which people co-exist without more..

Pope’s Christmas message expresses hope for peace in the Holy Land

Dec 25 (Island) Pope Benedict XVI’s Christmas message called on believers to "turn to the child of Bethlehem, the son of the Virgin Mary," to ask for peace in "the land where he chose to come into the world." In his address delivered from the loggia of St. Peter’s Square, the Pope stressed the need for peace in the Middle East and other conflict areas including North Africa and Southeast Asia. Below, the full text of Pope Benedict’s more..

'Lord Jesus, continue to be my Friend!'

Dec 25 (Island) An elderly man who had never gone to school decided to learn to read. His greatest desire was to read the Bible so that God could speak to him through His word. But learning to read was not easy. Just becoming familiar with the alphabet was hard work. For several years this dedicated man kept at it. Finally, he was able to read, a little at first and eventually the entire New Testament more..

Public service expansion: Pay without work or productive employment for Youth

Dec 25 (Island) Public sector employment in Sri Lanka has been increasing since the 1960’s, despite a decline in the size of government. Total public expenditure as a percentage of GDP has declined substantially from 1976 to 2011. There has seen a decline in the services provided by the government e.g. the removal of the food subsidy. Over the years, a few attempts have been made to arrest the growth of the public sector, including reductions in new recruitment and more..

Christmas Messages

Dec 25 (DN) Christians in Sri Lanka will today join fellow believers the world over in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. They will share in the loving and giving that marks the spirit of Christmas, when families and communities come together to share in this great festival of the Nativity of Jesus Christ, who brought to the world the message of love to all that is the essence of the teaching of Christianity, President Mahinda more..

Health Ministry claims all precautions taken

Dec 25 (Island) Secretary to the Health Ministry Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka said yesterday that action had been taken to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in the flood-hit areas of all districts. The people, including the children, faced the threat of various kinds of diseases such as dysentery, water-born infections and bowel complications due to the consumption of polluted water. Dr. Jayathilaka said that the water sources in the affected areas were more..

‘Officials and people must work hand in hand’

Dec 25 (DN) “Govt officials and people should work hand in hand to achieve the development goals in that area. That would be the most practical way to do away with waste and gain maximum productivity” said Anuradhapura District MP Sehan Semasinghe at a media conference conveyed by him and the North Central Provincial Health Minister H.B. Semasinghe recently. He said further that the Nachchaduwa Divisional Secretary J.W.S. Kithsiri has been working hard and endeavouring more..

Harsha nails Lakshman Yapa over his assurance in Parliament on Krrish payment

Dec 25 (FT) UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva said that Krrish was bound to pay the full lease amount by 15 December as per the assurances given by Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena in Parliament recently. Dr. De Silva was responding to news reports that Krrish paid Rs. 1.4 billing last week bringing the total advance to Rs. 2 billion (40%) out of Rs. 5 billion due. “Deputy Minister told Parliament that Krrish will pay more..

TNA to highlight plight of Tamils at UNHRC sessions

Dec 25 (DM) The TNA said today it would use all the means and resources available to them in order to make submissions at the Geneva UNHRC sessions to be held in March next year. Mr. Premachandran said the TNA’s submissions would be based on the non-implementation of the LLRC recommendations and the current predicament faced by residents of the Northern province. “Political parties are not allowed to make submissions at the sessions therefore, more..

Ministry of Education to implement national teacher transfer policy

Dec 25 (FT) Minister of Education Bandula Gunawardena said that his Ministry will implement the National Teacher Transfer Policy from the beginning of next year. The policy aims at establishing a balance in teacher distribution for national and provincial schools in the country. Accordingly, 3,100 teachers who have served in the same national school for over 20 years and 9,300 teachers who have served in a national school for over 10 years will be transferred to other schools from more..