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Editors’ Guild demands action against Uthayan editor’s attackers

Dec 1 (Island) The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka yesterday demanded action against those responsible for a recent attack on the Chief Editor of Uthayan, M. A. Kaanamylnaathan, a member of the guild. The following is a statement issued by the association: The Chief Editor of the Uthayan, Mr. M. A. Kaanamylnaathan, a member of The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka, has brought to our attention an incident where the Editor of the newspaper, more..

President opens Sri Lanka's 38th National Sports Festival

Dec 1 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday ceremonially inaugurated the 38th National Sports Festival at the Sugathadasa Stadium complex. The President said that he was extending his greetings to all athletes who are participating in the Sports Festival representing all the provinces in the country and called on them to promote brotherhood. Eastern Province's A A Karunawansa set a new in the women's pole vault more..

Sri Lankans deaf to asylum warnings

Dec 1 (CT) "If you get to Australia, you can get visa, and you can get work. Straight away." The pitch is simple, and it's unchanged by the policy whims of a govt on the other side of the Indian Ocean. From a prison yard on Sri Lanka's west coast an unrepentant Savi* delivers the spiel he gave for months – clearly convincingly – to dozens of Sri Lankans until the plan he was selling unravelled on him. Those who believed him, more..

'Attacked students have reported to the CMC'

Dec 1 (AD) Mano Ganesan, leader of the Democratic People’s Front and convener of the Civil Monitoring Commision (CMC), stated that students of the Jaffna University, who were arrested in Jaffna, have reported to the CMC. According to a press release, two students, Paramalingam Dharshananth and Ganeshalingam Sutharshan from the Art and Medical faculty respectively, were arrested as early as 1.30 am today. more..

Crime wave causes concern

Dec 1 (SL) Last Sunday, the body of a man was found on Marine Drive, his throat slashed. On the same day, an 80 year old was found in Mirihana, dead due to ‘mysterious circumstances.’ The very next day, a twenty two year old was killed in Boralesgamuwa- a case of mistaken identity. These are just a few of the tragic tales we read – tales of violence, which seem to be occurring with increased frequency. A crime wave is more..

Questionable tender suspended

Dec 1 (Island) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena suspended a controversial tender to purchase 100 fogging machines used for mosquito eradication. He has warned the officials concerned that he had come to know, from a reliable source, that they were trying to manipulate the tender process for their own benefit by approving a tender submitted by the highest bid for Rs. 148,000 per machine, whereas a similar machine could more..

Series of tremors in Ampara

Dec 1 (DM) The Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) said a new Seismic Monitoring Network will be established in the Ampara district by the following week in order to closely study the series of tremors that occurred in the area. GSMB Chairman Dr. N.P. Wijayananada said, the portable seismic monitoring network will assist the bureau teams to obtain accurate data. “The signals we receive on the tremors reported from Ampara more..

Kachcheri fire still a mystery

Dec 1 (Island) Mystery still surrounds the blaze that broke out at the Colombo Kachcheri as investigators have come up against a blank wall. Duplicates of birth, marriage and death certificates stored in the Colombo District Secretary’s office destroyed by the fire on Nov. 26 are available at district offices. The server at the Ministry of Public Administration had been out of order due to the fire but it would be restored soon, more..

BASL Ex-Co petition before SC on Dec. 3

Dec 1 (Island) The petition filed by the Executive Committee of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka against the attempt to impeach Chief Justice, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, will be called before the Supreme Court on Dec 3, 2012. The petition has said that the move to impeach the Chief Justice amounted to interference with the independence of the judiciary, enshrined in Article 4(1) of the Constitution of Sri Lanka, and hence is unconstitutional. The attempt is arbitrary and more..

Dengue kills 200, afflicts 40,000 this year

Dec 1 (Island) Over 40,000 cases of dengue have been reported so far this year according to the Health Ministry sources. So far 200 people had died of the disease this year, they said. The incidence of dengue in some of the districts is as follows: Colombo (8,532), Gampaha (7,193), Kurunegala (2,757) Kalutara (2,602), Ratnapura (3,717) Kegalle (2,498) and Kandy (2,291). Meanwhile, Secretary of the Public Health Inspectors’ Union of Sri Lanka A. M. Senarath Bandara said that more..

Lawmakers’ epicurean taste

Dec 1 (Island) Parliamentary privileges, including facilities accorded to them at the canteen, are being exploited by certain MPs at a tremendous cost to the tax payer, The Island learns. At a House Committee meeting, one Opposition MP, wanted beef and pork to be included once again in the menu, which was earlier suspended by a former Speaker on religious grounds. A female Opposition member asked for Kellogs corn flakes, more..

MR sends condolences to Indian PM

Dec 1 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a letter yesterday, expressed his condolence to Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, on the death of former Indian Prime Minister Shri I. K. Gujral. The full letter is as follows: “On hearing the demise of former Prime Minister of India, Shri I. K. Gujral, I, on behalf of the government and the people of Sri Lanka, convey our deepest sympathies to the government and people of India and family and friends of this distinguished son of India. more..

Water tanks donated to battle killer kidney disease

Dec 1 (Island) Former Additional General Manager of the Water Resources Board Shantha Fernando and a group of members from the Moratuwa University Engineering Faculty have launched a project to donate water tanks to the needy people in Anuradhapura to help solve their drinking water problem. in view of the prevailing killer kidney disease in the North Central Province. Twenty water tanks with a capacity of 1,000 litres each costing one million rupees were donated to more..

Sajith ready to contest for Presidency

Dec 1 (CG) UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa said that he was ready to contest for the post of President at the next Presidential elections. Speaking at the UNP convention today Premadasa said that he had opposed the amendments to the party constitution in the best interest of the party. He said that he will support the current UNP leader for the post of President at the next election if he comes forward to contest. However he said if the current leader more..

'Indian, Sri Lankan Universities should share resources & knowledge'

Dec 1 (AIR) Indian and Sri Lankan Universities should come together to share resources and knowledge for mutual benefit. This was stated by the Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Ashok Kantha in his keynote address at Excellence Awards function of Committee of Vice Chancellors in Colombo. Kantha said, besides Vice Chancellors and faculty members of major Universities of Sri Lanka, he had had also invited the Sri Lankan Education Minister Mr S B Dissanayake to more..

'Lax security in a criminal’s paradise'

Dec 1 (Island) Colombo District Secretary Kamal Padmasiri yesterday conceded that security was lax in the Dam Street, Colombo 12, area in which the Colombo Kachcheri, which was gutted by fire on the night of October 26, was situated. This is an area which is a paradise for racketeers and criminals, he told a news conference, chaired by Public Administration Minister John Seneviratne, at the SLIDA auditorium, Longden Place. Deputy Minister Vijaya Dahanayake, Ministry Secretary more..

'A UNP regime will be formed in 2014'

Dec 1 (SM) A journey will begin today towards the forming of a UNP regime in 2014, said leader of the party Ranil Wickremesinghe today at its 54th general convention at Sirikotha. He said everyone could become partners in that journey, adding that the UNP represents 99% of the suffering masses of the country. Noting that mere talk cannot topple the present regime, Mr. Wickremesinghe said party branches, youth and Lak Vanitha more..

Editorial: CJ should face stark reality

Dec 2 (SO) Divergent views have been expressed over the recent impeachment motion against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. What is important is whether the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice is legal, constitutional and whether the correct procedure has been adopted. The charges levelled against the Chief Justice are of a serious nature. Hence, the 117 Parliamentarians who are signatories to the impeachment motion against CJ Bandaranayake have exercised their more..

Editorial: Aney Haamuduruwane!

Dec 2 (NS) There is a school of opinion which holds that the clergy should not be involved in politics. In fact UNP MP Wijedasa Rajapaksha has called for constitutional measures prohibiting clergy from entering Parliament, which would of course see his party man Eran Wickramaratne being barred as well, a fact which neither individual has dared comment upon. The merits and demerits of such a move notwithstanding there is no escaping the fact that every single citizen has a right to opinion and more..

'Legislature and judiciary should work hand in hand'

Dec 2 (SO) Minister Lakshman Senewiratne said the present stand off between the judiciary and the legislature is unfortunate. The Judiciary and the legislature should work hand in hand. He said that if there is a stand off between the judiciary and the legislature, development will come to a standstill. Some elements which tried to destabilise this country over the past 30 years tried every possible strategy to realise its goal. more..

Editorial: Lanka’s future - Beg and print currency or produce and avoid perishing?

Dec 2 (SL) The Deputy Minster Sarath Amunugama, speaking in Kandy at the Peoples’ Bank Services Centre stripped down the Sri Lankan economy to the barest of essentials and pointed out that while the country needed Rs 1,700 billion as overall annual expenditure, its annual income was only Rs1,200 billion leaving a deficit of Rs 500 million. According to a report of his speech in the press, there was no option for the govt other than to borrow from foreign countries or to print money. more..

Editorial: Eating, drinking and drawing (a little) blood

Dec 2 (Island) A report in yesterday’s The Island, relating to food demands of MPs who are well looked after by the taxpayer when they breakfast, lunch and sometimes dine at the Parliament restaurant would have, we believe, tickled the taste buds of readers if it did not send up their temperatures. The news story headline "Lawmakers’ epicurean taste" had it that one opposition MP wanted beef and pork reintroduced to the menu following their banishment by a former more..

'The govt. is taxing the poor beyond acceptable limits'

Dec 2 (SL) UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake says the govt should get its economic policies and fiscal management into place. “When there are limited resources and unlimited wants you cannot have every want to be catered to,” he said. He pointed out that the mismanagement of the country’s economy could be seen by the fact that the Finance Ministry has been unable to pay the salaries of its staff. According to Karunanayake, the govt more..

Editorial: Democracy, according to Ranil

Dec 2 (CT) And so Ranil Wickremesinghe got his wish. In a Convention that looked more like a high security State event at Sirikotha yesterday, the proposal to extend the tenure of the UNP leadership to six years was approved in a confusing, sit down, stand up, ‘Aye’ and ‘Nay’ agreement that nobody really counted. Among those saying ‘nay’ were Sajith Premadasa, Dayasiri Jayasekara, Rosy Senanayake and Buddika Pathirana.But their stance proved to be pathetically ineffective. more..

Editorial: Satellites and astronomical deals

Dec 2 (ST) Not surprisingly, what ought to have been an hour of great achievement and joy has been shrouded and clouded in mystery. The launch of the country’s first satellite into space on Tuesday is enveloped in controversy. The news of the launch of a satellite with the Sri Lankan national flag on it burst into the public domain rather dramatically. It seemed a well-kept secret. Only a select few were in the know. There was nary a word to the public of what should have been a momentous more..

'Amunugama confirmed what we’ve been saying'

Dec 2 (SL) JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake says that the recent statement by Deputy Minister Sarath Amunugama that the govt has no option but to borrow or print money, has confirmed the failures of the current economic polices continuously highlighted by the JVP. He said the govt should give priority to promote production. “If the govt is speaking of economic development, the people of the country have more..

Impeachment Overkill

Dec 2 (Island) After the Chief Justice filed her response to the charges on the impeachment motion against her, a document purporting to be the CJ’s submissions to the Parliamentary Select Committee was published in full on various websites. We are barred from commenting on the proceedings of the PSC. However, there is no bar on commenting on what appeared on a website operated from overseas. If what was published on the Colombo Telegraph website and others as well, is the more..

Leadership tussle spells disaster for UNP

Dec 2 (NS) The UNP held its annual convention yesterday but the issues that gave rise to controversy in the lead up to the event and the party’s weak performance at recent provincial council elections raise inevitable questions as to its future as an alternative govt. The core issue gnawing at its popularity is its leadership. Party and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, with a loyal Working Committee at his disposal, has circumvented umpteen attempts to oust him. more..

Huge changes at Sri Lanka Cricket

Dec 2 (ST) Come January Sri Lanka Cricket will have a new CEO who will be responsible for all matters pertaining to cricket. It is learned that the position will be advertised next week. A senior member of the SLC executive committee said that the present acting CEO Ajith Jayasekera has been moved to handle matters regarding the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL), but he will handle administration till the vacancy is filled by more..

Speaker vs CJ

Dec 2 (NS) The tussle for interpretive and investigative primacy between Parliament and the Supreme Court took center stage as expected following a request made by the latter to postpone sittings of the Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to investigate charges against the Chief Justice (CJ) submitted to the Speaker by 117 MPs. The request was made following a query to the Appeals Court regarding the constitutionality of the process, which was referred subsequently more..

Casting stones from a cloud of sin

Dec 2 (ST) My Dear Athauda, I thought I must write to you after hearing that you had said in Parliament that the Chief Justice should resign. I know a lot of people who want to get rid of the Chief Justice these days but you seem to be the first to say so openly! At first, Athauda, I thought I shouldn’t take much notice of what you said. After all, no one really takes Senior Ministers seriously. Then I realised that I cannot dismiss what you said so lightly because you were in fact a former Minister of Justice more..

Mahela to decide captaincy and future after Aussies tour

Dec 2 (NS) Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene will seriously look at the captaincy and his future as an international cricketer at the end of the tour of Australia. Sri Lanka is due to leave for Australia today on a 55-day tour which includes a series of three Tests, five one-day internationals and twoTwenty20 internationals. “I am going to take it one series at a time especially after the Australian tour I will have time to think. more..

SL attracts over 300 overseas students this year

Dec 2 (NS) Sri Lanka is becoming a much sought-after study destination for overseas students who prefer the subcontinent nation due to its high literacy rate, cheaper cost of living index and climate. Already there are over 300 overseas students mainly from the Maldives and Pakistan. This amount is expected to expand in the next two years by approximately 150 more students in courses ranging from business, management and engineering. According to the Chief Global Officer of the more..

Sign language translators to help public and private sectors

Dec 2 (SO) The Public Administration Ministry will deploy sign language translators in all public sector institutions from next year to assist over 100,000 hearing impaired citizens, who call at the Ministry, Department and Local Govt offices for official purposes. A survey revealed that several hearing impaired citizens call at public institutions daily for various official purposes and the officials of these institutions face problems due to the lack of sign language translators. more..

Rajapaksa govt. continues on collision course with judiciary

Dec 2 (SL) Amidst criticism and concern expressed by members of both the legislature and judiciary, the Rajapaksa govt is continuing on its collision course with the judiciary. Last week’s statement by Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa on Supreme Court directives has now widened the gap between the legislature and judiciary. Rajapaksa has last Thursday nullified notices issued by the Supreme Court to him and to the members of more..

Foreign inflows into CSE at all-time high

Dec 2 (Island) Net foreign inflows to the Colombo bourse has hit an all-time high of Rs.34.55 billion amidst solid buying interest in blue chip counters, Acuity Stockbrokers said in a market report yesterday. This was the highest inflow posted since January 1992. However, the share market continued its downward momentum as November inflation rose to 9.5% year-on-year against 8.9% y-o-y in October and 9.1% y-o-y in September making three consecutive months of decline. more..

BOI is investor responsive, one-stop centre

Dec 2 (ST) The BOI now operates as an investor responsive, one-stop centre following the recent reorientation programme aimed at streamlining official functions, pruning overheads and excess staff. M.M.S. Ferdinando, acting Chairman and Director General (DG) BOI said that the voluntary retirement scheme has been concluded and due promotions were given to the staff improving their productivity to achieve US$ 1.5 billion foreign investment target this year. more..

Canada renews CHOGM threat

Dec 2 (SL) In a renewed threat, Canada says Prime Minister Stephen Harper will not attend the Commonwealth Heads of Govt Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka next year unless there is an improvement in the human rights situation in Sri Lanka. Canadian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Chrystiane Roy said that the Canadian govt feels the Sri Lankan govt continues to fail victims and survivors of the war. The spokesperson also said that more..

TNA to protest in Jaffna

Dec 2 (SL) The TNA is to stage a massive demonstration in Jaffna tomorrow against the alleged assault on Jaffna university students and TNA MP E. Saravanabawan last week. The assault had taken place when the students were commemorating the LTTE ‘heroes’ day’ anniversary in the Jaffna university. Saravanabawan said he had gone to the university after the students had contacted him to say that they were being assaulted by the army and police. more..

Business jealousy drives car dealer to cybercrime: CID

Dec 2 (ST) A local car dealer who allegedly hacked into an online auction site and made bogus orders that led to the blacklisting of a Japanese car exporter was arrested by the CID. The suspect from Katugastota, Kandy was arrested after the Japanese exporter made a complaint to the police. According to a CID official, the suspect wanted to damage the business relationship between the Japanese national and his five Sri Lankan importers, who were the suspect’s business rivals. more..