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Jaffna University students' federation Secretary arrested at midnight

Dec 2 (OU) Jaffna university students' union Secretary P.Tharshananth aged 24 years was arrested by Kopay police from his residence was the statement made by his mother to "Udayan" newspaper. She further said, “at about 1.00 a.m during midnight hours, four persons attired in civil clothes knocked their home door. After examining the identity card of Tharshananth, they informed that they need to take him to the Kopay police more..

Lankan skies are safe and secure

Dec 2 (SL) The Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka says official results released recently by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) after carrying out a comprehensive system audit on the State capabilities for the conduct of Aviation Security Oversight, shows that the degree of compliance of Sri Lanka with International Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) relating to aviation security projects well over the global average. The ICAO is an organization of more..

Main data server destroyed

Dec 2 (CT) The fire that destroyed the entire second floor of the Colombo Divisional Secretariat office last week has inconvenienced a number of Divisional Secretariats around the country, as they encountered difficulty in obtaining public documents. According to informed sources, the main data server, where all information concerning births, deaths and marriages were stored, had been destroyed in Monday’s (26) fire. Colombo District Secretary, H.T. Kamal Padmasiri, more..

Christmas bonanza for MPs

Dec 2 (ST) The Treasury has granted approval for MPs to sell their duty free vehicle permits in the open market. The move will mean that MPs who are entitled to import a vehicle worth up to US$ 50,000 or around Rs 6.5 million will now be able earn Rs. 20 million rupees by simply selling their permits. “We had several requests, both from govt and opposition MPs to extend this concession to them. Hence we submitted the proposal to more..

Army denies role in Uthayan editor attack

Dec 2 (Island) Jaffna Security Forces Commander, Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe, rejected allegations that military personnel had been responsible for brutally attacking Mr. T. Thevananth, Editor of Uthayan newspaper, within the premises of the Jaffna University last Tuesday. "It is wrong to allege that military personnel entered the Jaffna Campus on this day," Hathurusinghe said. "I believe that it was the police who were deployed for security in the university." more..

Little concern for sea erosion in Kandakuliya

Dec 2 (ST) The beaches around Kandakuliya in Kalpitiya, are being eroded by the sea. The 200-sq metre area, home to over 500 fisher families is now in danger of being swamped by the sea. The families are in a quandary as to what will become of them with the sea threatening to swallow their homes and disrupt their economy. Plans to develop tourism in the area too have been put on hold. What is surprising however is the apathy of state officials who show no interest in tackling more..

Racket-busting Customs chief transferred

Dec 2 (ST) Customs Director General Neville Gunawardena has been removed from his post and transferred back to the Treasury with immediate effect amidst a CID probe on who leaked to the Sunday Times news regarding the Treasury chief’s interference in investigations into huge rackets. He will be replaced from tomorrow by Jagath Wijeweera, Commissioner General for Registration of Persons. The move comes more..

TGTE in a fix as Brent Town Hall cancels Tamil Eelam Confab

Dec 2 (Island) The Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) suffered a big blow after the Brent Town Hall in Wembley in London withdrew permission to hold the controversial outfit’s fourth ‘parliamentary sitting’ scheduled for Nov 29. The Hall was booked for four days from Nov 29 to Dec 2. After Channa Lokuliyana, a Sri Lankan employee of the Brent Council, found out about the scheduled TGTE meeting, the Brent Council was bombarded with protest emails and phone calls from more..

Judiciary can’t issue writs against Parliament - Ex CJ

Dec 2 (SO) The Judiciary cannot issue writs or notices against Parliament, said former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva. According to Section 3 of the Constitution, the sovereignty lies in the people and Parliament is answerable to them. The judicial power of the people is exercised by Parliament through Courts, he said. Parliament is the highest body in the land which legislates for the country. Today there is a conflict between the legislature and the judiciary. more..

Ranil home and dry, UNP leader for six years

Dec 2 (Island) A triumphant UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe having secured a new six year term at yesterday’s 54th annual convention, held at Sirikotha called for a halt to the infighting and unity among the membership to oust what he termed the corrupt and dictatorial Rajapaksa regime. A vote taken among the membership to amend the Constitution, enabling the Leader to serve a six year term instead of more..

Labour Ministry to check manpower agencies

Dec 2 (NS) Manpower agencies have exploited over two million employees paying them minimal daily wage and Labour Ministry is to check them through its proposed new legislation soon. Accordingly, all manpower agencies have to register with the labor authorities to prevent them from paying employees a minimal daily wage while charging several folds more from the relevant employers. Sources said that a recent study revealed that manpower agencies have installed over two million workers as more..

Defence Ministry denies Army deserter’s claims

Dec 2 (NS) The Defence Ministry yesterday lashed out at claims made by an Army deserter to a Canadian media that he was instructed to plant explosives at the residence of a prominent Tamil politician. According to the Ministry, the officer identified as Captain Ravindra Bandanage, 38, had reportedly deserted after flying to Toronto in October 2009 to take part in a Wushu tournament. According to the Canada based National Post, he had told Canadian immigration officials that more..

Constitutional crisis deepens as Parliament, SC take strong stand

Dec 2 (ST) Doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland in the outskirts of Washington DC had given him an “all clear” after a medical check-up. His own personal physician Prof. S.D. Jayaratne was also on hand to hear the good news. If he was upbeat about that, President Rajapaksa was eager to keep close track of the latest developments relating to the impeachment of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. more..

Seylan to issue debentures

Dec 2 (DM) The board of directors of Seylan Bank informed the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) the decision to proceed with a public issue of ten million Unsecured Subordinated Redeemable Five year Debentures with a par value of Rs.100 each to raise Rs. 1 billion with an option to issue a further ten million of the said debentures in the event of an oversubscription. Whilst three interest options have been proposed consisting of fixed interest payable annually, monthly and floating interest more..

Sustainability initiatives boost Sri Lankan apparel export

Dec 2 (F2F) Efforts to manufacture sustainably have buoyed Sri Lanka's textile and apparel exports in recent months, according to a report in the latest issue of Global Apparel Markets which is published quarterly by the business information company Textiles Intelligence. Brandix Group -- Sri Lanka's largest apparel manufacturer -- has cut its carbon footprint by 30% since 2008 and plans to cut it by a further 20% between 2013 and 2020. At the same time, sales have increased markedly and more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Dec 2 (ST) It was touted as a protest by depositors who have lost their money in the financially crippled Ceylinco Group. A scribe who wanted to interview some of those at the protest in Hulftsdorp on Wednesday walked up to one and asked how much he had deposited with the company. “What deposits. I have made no deposits, but I was told to come for the protest,” was his response. The situation was similar when hundreds of more..

Aussie paedophile flees Sri Lanka

Dec 2 (ST) An Australian pedophile, Bernard Kevin McGrath, hiding in Sri Lanka, had fled the country undetected. Chulananda Perera, Controller General at the Department of Immigration and Emigration said that the Australian had left on board a Singapore Airlines flight. “He left on Wednesday. We got to know it the next day,” he said. The former Catholic brother, charged five months ago with hundreds of counts of more..

GK depositors allege conflict of interest

Dec 2 (Island) Golden Key (GK) depositors picketed outside the Supreme Court last week, demanding justice and fair play by expediting the case filed by them to recover their hard-earned savings. Carrying placards, they expressed fears that the case would be stalled as some of the lawyers for GK’s directors were appearing for Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake in the proceedings before the PSC. more..

Young voices raise heat over loss of cool shade

Dec 2 (ST) If you passed along Reid Avenue on Thursday you may have noticed a different kind of protest—a group of green-conscious youth holding placards against the felling of the majestic trees that have lined the road for so many years, giving much-wanted shade in addition to being so much a part of the familiar landscape of the city. “We wanted to show that as citizens we reserve the right to our public property and therefore more..

GTF moves to exploit UN recognition of Palestine

Dec 2 (Island) The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) pushing for an international war crimes inquiry targeting Sri Lanka over accountability issues during the conflict here yesterday said that the Palestinian authority could use the newly gained UN recognition to take up Israeli atrocities at the International Criminal Court (ICC). UK based GTF is widely believed to be the most influential Tamil Diaspora organization pushing western more..

SLMC opposes any move to scrap 13th Amendment

Dec 2 (Island) The SLMC, a coalition partner of the UPFA govt, has forwarded a letter to President Rajapaksa expressing its stand on the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in the backdrop of the controversy created by the Muslims on the Divineguma Bill and the impeachment issue. This was whilst the another coalition partner of the UPFA, the Leader of the NFF Wimal Weerawansa together with two other allies more..

A trial by media

Dec 19 (DBS) The recent impeachment process conducted by the relevant tribunal was overshadowed by a parallel process of impeachment conducted by a section of the media. That rump of the media attempted to play the role, of prosecutor, witness, judge, jury and hangman all in one role. The public were regaled by headline after headline, detailing the alleged misdeeds of the targeted individual, without any opportunity at all to make an objective assessment of the evidence, more..

Stop the frivolous carnival

Dec 19 (NS) No one can deny that the capital has taken on a spanking new look. Colombo has been given a facelift that has taken all the creases off her face. If the truth be told, the gnarled Grand Old Dame has been transformed into a beautiful maiden. No one in living memory, I believe, has seen the capital look so sparkling and squeaky clean as now. With urbanization growing apace and the noise and bustle of Colombo still rattling in your head, the suburbs are getting a more..

Let there be new twigs on the trees

Dec 19 (SO) People who celebrate Christmas will never forget to decorate their homes with Christmas trees during December. Children too love Christmas trees as they believe that the trees belong to Santa Claus. They think that Santa visits their homes on Christmas eve and hangs gifts on the branches of the tree for them to pick whatever they fancy. Christmas trees are made out of the branches of cypress trees and also more..

The President’s step backwards

Dec 19 (CT) The president’s announcement that he will be appointing an ‘independent panel’ to look into the merits of the impeachment motion after the parliamentary process is over and it has been referred to him, has drawn mixed reactions. Some opponents of the impeachment exult that their claim that parliament is not ‘supreme’ has been vindicated by the president’s declaration that he will be appointing an independent panel to scrutinise the parliamentary process. more..

Editorial: An island of leaks

Dec 19 (Island) Sri Lanka has, of late, earned notoriety for leaks. The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation’s leaky pipeline has apparently turned the area it runs through from the Colombo Port to its storage facilities into a veritable oilfield with slum and shanty dwellers tapping black gold from time to time. A gas leak killed two CPC workers carrying out repairs to the Sapugaskanda oil refinery last month. The National Water Supply and Drainage Board does not seem to care a damn about more..

Unwrapping a gift of many layers

Dec 19 (ST) It’s the end of a school year. Schools have closed and while thousands of students anxiously began their O/L exams last Tuesday, elsewhere, teachers, students and parents got into holiday mode. But the end of the school year can also be a stressful time for those parents who have had to dig deep into their pockets to buy a ‘gift’ for their children’s class teacher. From times of yore, teachers have been accorded great respect more..

'Chief Justice behaved more like a politician than a judge'

Dec 19 (DBS) The impeachment motion against the Chief Justice passed an important milestone last week. The PSC submitted its report to the Speaker after the completion of its inquiry. According to the Standing Orders of Parliament, the parliamentary debate on the report should commence only after the lapse of one month. Hence, all parties are expected to maintain silence on the issue for this month. Unfortunately, nobody wants to observe this rule. This columnist does not make an more..

Forget eviction, what of the ‘Selection Process’?

Dec 19 (NS) This is the cooling off period, according to the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) Chairman Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, though we see only ‘firing arguments and happenings’ all over the island. The report which was finalized in haste by the PSC is now in the Parliament and a debate will commence on January 09 which will run for 10 days before the Parliament’s determination is submitted to the President, who, in the event that the Parliament more..

Plight of the resettled IDPs striving to make ends meet

Dec 19 (SL) The TNA is once again raising the fact that eventhough three years and seven months has passed since the war was‘officially’ ended; still in the Northern Province alone, there arehundreds and thousands of people striving to live off the lands they once ownedand stand up from their misery. TNA MP, M.A. Sumanthiran said 84,000 people from the Jaffna Peninsula and 6,000 people from Sampur in Trincomalee are still more..

lamborghini-Badagini: The limits Of The Budget Debate

Dec 19 (CT) Parliament has become a place where its members go for a free lunch when they have no better offer. And it would seem that MPs receive plenty of attractive invitations, since most of them are rarely to be seen in the chamber, even for a nap on the comfy recliners the Sri Lankan people have so thoughtfully funded, assuming that their representatives would be spending long hours debating the future of the nation. The Speaker admitted as much last week. more..

Where is the national education policy every govt. since 1990 promised?

Dec 19 (Island) Every government that we have had since the Youth Commission of 1990 has acknowledged the need for us to have a National Education Policy which does not change with every change of government or administration. Despite setting up the machinery for the purpose under the National Education Commission Act of 1991, we were not able to prepare a comprehensive policy document that could form the basis for such a policy even until the end of 1996. more..

Mixed score card from Fitch on Lanka’s sovereign

Dec 19 (FT) Fitch Ratings has given a mixed view on Sri Lanka’s sovereign in its latest overview. The rating agency noted that whilst Sri Lanka’s external pressures are easing, the currency exposure was stalling fiscal improvements. However, acknowledging fiscal consolidation, strong growth, and lower inflation, Fitch has affirmed Sri Lanka’s Foreign Currency and Local Currency ratings at BB- with a stable outlook. more..

New ARs and FRs coming

Dec 19 (FT) The govt is to amend the Administrative Regulations (AR) and Financial Regulations (FR) in line with modern needs. The present public sector AR was introduced in 1968 and FR was introduced in 1962. They have been used in the public sector without any amendment for the past 50 years. The AR and FR systems were introduced before the introduction of the open economy and the officials say that the age-old regulations hinder tender procedures and other important processes more..

State emblem must on govt vehicles

Dec 19 (DN) Displaying the state emblem on all govt vehicles deployed in District Secretariat Offices and Divisional Secretariat Offices will be made compulsory, Minister W D J Seneviratne said. "We have received a number of complaints from several areas of the country that district and divisional level administrative officers are misusing official vehicles," the minister said. He said disciplinary action will be taken against administrative officers and drivers using govt vehicles for purposes other than more..

Snr. Minister tells the poor to pay up

Dec 19 (Island) The Senior Minister of Rural Affairs urged low income families who were provided with lands in Ethnawela, Warakapola to pay up the dues. Athauda Seneviratne said that there were 60 families who owed money on those lands and he appealed to them not to misuse the opportunity they had been given. He said that the money could be paid in three or four installments within a period of 6 months. more..

Hirunika and mother go to Attorney General

Dec 19 (FT) The CID told a Colombo Magistrate yesterday that Sumana and Hirunika Premachandra, wife and daughter of Former MP Bharatha Lakshman Pemachandra had made representations to the Attorney General’s Department. They had met Deputy Solicitor General Madhawa Tennakoon to make representations over the killing of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra. ASP Shani Abeysekera of the CID branch made this disclosure during the non summary inquiry before more..

Fowzie meets Saudi Crown Prince

Dec 19 (DN) Urban Affairs Senior Minister and minister coordinating Haj affairs A H M Fowzie met Saudi Arabia's Deputy Premier and Defence Minister Crown Prince Salman at the prize distribution ceremony of the Prince Naif International Prize for the Prophet's Sunnah and Contemporary Islamic Studies to winners in Riyadh recently. The winners were Abdul Rahman bin Mualla Alluwaihek, a Saudi, for his research on intellectual security in the light of Sunnah; Muwaffek Salim Al-Jawadi and more..

Shiranthi become one millionth eye donor

Dec 19 (Island) First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa yesterday became the one millionth Sri Lankan eye donor when she signed the consent form at the Eye Donation Day ceremony. The donation ceremony, organized by the Sri Lanka Eye Donation Society (SLEDS). The event was held to mark 100 years of blind education. The govt in 2009 named declared a ‘National Eye Donation Day’ in memory of Dr. Hudson Silva, more..

IFJ Launches Situation Report on Sri Lanka

Dec 19 (IFJ) The International Federation of Journalists, in collaboration with partners and affiliates released situation reports on journalists’ rights and the state of media freedom in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The information presented in the reports is the result of extensive consultations between the IFJ and its partners, field visits and interviews by IFJ personnel in the two countries. The reports highlight the current priority areas for campaign and more..