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Govt. urged to ratify, implement ILO Convention

Dec 20 (Island) Central Provincial Council UNP member and the Deputy President of the Migrant Workers’ Front (MWF) Shanthini Kongahage urged the govt to ratify and implement ILO Convention 189 on domestic workers’ rights and protection in Sri Lanka. Addressing the media at the commemoration of the International Day of Migrant Worker at the J.R. Jayewardene Centre, Kongahage said that nearly three million Lankans were working in foreign countries and earning more than six billion more..

Govt. prevents UNDP funds for judges conference where CJ is Chief Guest

Dec 20 (DBS) Judicial Service Association (JSA), the association of the judges of the original court, had organised the Annual Judges Conference, sponsored by the UNDP – under the Equal Access to Justice Programme, which is scheduled for 21 and 22nd of Dec 2012. This programme comes under the Ministry of Languages and Social Integration (Hon. Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara). The Secretary to the Ministry (Ms. Malkanthi Wickramasinghe) had informed the JSA on more..

'I felt ashamed to be a member of Parliament'

Dec 20 (DM) Q: The UNP recently called on the DLF, CP and LSSP to join with the UNP, in order to resolve the issues with the judiciary. Have they responded to this request? A: We have still not had a response from them. These three parties from the old left had written to the govt stating that they do not agree with the procedure for the impeachment and that there should be a judicial component in the inquiry. The judicial more..

Colombo Night Race competitor released

Dec 20 (DM) A contestant of the Colombo Night Races who was in remand for causing injuries to workers of a road project while practicing for the races was released on bail by the Colombo Traffic Court Magistrate consequent to agreeing to compensate the victims according to the injuries sustained. President’s Counsel C. R. De Silva appearing for the driver of the vehicle bearing registration No 18-5424 submitted that the suspect Dandeniyage Kamal Mohan Perera of more..

Haturusinghe appointed NSW Head Coach

Dec 20 (Island) Former Test opener Chandika Haturusinghe has taken several massive strides in his coaching career and yesterday was appointed as coach of New South Wales (NSW). NSW is one of six states that take part in Australia’s first class cricket tournament, the Sheffield Shield. Several leading Australian cricketers, including Test captain Michael Clarke and vice-captain Shane Watson play for NSW. Haturusinghe was appointed in place of Anthony Stuart. more..

'CJ’s Writ application to discredit house'

Dec 20 (DN) Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake yesterday filed a writ application in the Court of Appeal asking court to issue a writ of certiorari to invalidate the three charges she (CJ) was found guilty of recently by the PSC. In addition the petition prays for an interim injunction preventing the respondents taking any future steps in this regard, until the final determination by the Court. The petition is to be considered by the Court more..

Editorial: Patriots and label-bearers

Dec 20 (DM) When Ven. S. Mahinda Thera in his patriotic poem ‘Jathika Thotilla’ (nation’s cradle) wrote, “My son, you grow up witnessing the cowardice of the people who grovel at the powerful but become stuffed heroes in front of the weak,” he would have never thought his successors would fit the description. World would have spun many a round after the words were written. Sri Lanka is no more a colony of any empire, but of itself. Though the Ven. Thera together with the other more..

The dual role of Rajapakshe

Dec 20 (DM) For the past few days, opposition MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe has been in a difficult position. Other than being a stalwart of the United National Party (UNP), he is also the president of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL). It was in the latter capacity that he was thrust into the limelight this week. Ever since the impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake began there was pressure on the BASL to take decisive and drastic action. more..

Stop this barbaric act!

Dec 20 (ST) Corporal punishment, a colonial form of instilling discipline in schools by inflicting pain on offenders albeit banned is still practised here even for minor offences, with reports of students being admitted to hospital after sustaining injury. With another school year just ending, the most recent incidents were reported during the last term where students were admitted to Marawila and Bandarawela hospitals. more..

Beggar with Rs 2 million bank balance

Dec 20 (E24|7) Beggars are an eye sore and menace in every society. In Sri Lanka, they are a common sight in in buses and trains when people embark on long distance journeys. Most sing for their supper entertaining commuters, then there are the disabled and destitute mothers pleading for help to feed their infants. However, people are wary of tricksters who have made begging a profession. During a crackdown by security officers more..

Brisbane doctor asks: 'Why was I deported?'

Dec 20 (BT) An 81-year-old Brisbane doctor, deported from Singapore last week, has questioned whether the Australian govt played a part in his forced removal from the nation. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade yesterday said it had no involvement in human rights activist Brian Senewiratne being deported on Dec 14. Dr Senewiratne was on the way to speak at two private functions in support of Sri Lankan refugees more..

Golden Key depositor climbs tree in protest

Dec 20 (AD) A man climbed a tree and engaged in a protest outside the Hulftsdorp Court Complex in Colombo against the Golden Key fraud which affected around 1200 depositors. Speaking to Ada Derana from atop the tree, K.R. Saman Shantha, a resident of the Rambukkana-Hiriwadunna area stated that his protest was in demand of justice for the depositors who had been cheated. more..

Independent Commission on Chief Justice will have work cut out

Dec 20 (SL) President Rajapaksa’s move to appoint an independent commission to look into the complaints against the Chief Justice has been greeted with a mixed review of opinions. Whether in fact this signals a volte face or not is a different matter – the committee it appears will have their work cut out. Documents that have been made available indicate that significant sums of monies have passed through an account in the more..

Sri Lanka kicks off feasibility of toll road to Kandy

Dec 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka has awarded a contract to SMEC International (Pvt) Ltd, an Australia based consultancy to study the feasibility and prepare bid documents for an expressway to central Sri Lanka, a minister said. "This is the first step to starting the Northern Expressway project," information minister Keheliya Rambukwelle told reporters. The firm will be paid 3.99 million Australian dollars and more..

Indian Army Chief here to further Indo-Sri Lankan defence ties

Dec 20 (Island) Indian Army Chief, General Bikram Singh is in Colombo to hear from his hosts about many unfulfilled aspects of Indo-Sri Lanka Defence Cooperation, the NDTV said. It said: "One of the unfinished agendas between India and Sri Lanka is a formal Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA), in discussion between the two countries since 2003. Top Defence sources in both the capitals say most aspects of a formal pact more..

Sri Lanka bowling coach sends SOS to Malinga

Dec 20 (E24|7) Sri Lanka's bowling coach Champaka Ramanayake is hopeful Lasith Malinga would make a return to Test cricket and beef up their attack which was described as the "worse ever" to come Down Under by former Australian pacer Rodney Hogg. "I would like to see him back," Ramanayake told reporters at the MCG on Thursday as Sri Lanka prepare for the Boxing Day Test. Malinga, 29, retired from Test cricket last more..

Sri Lanka to send another 200 for UN peace keeping ops

Dec 20 (CG) Sri Lanka is to deploy a 200 member contingent comprising of the army, navy and air force on a UN Peace Keeping Mission to Haiti. The contingent which is due to leave the island shortly had its passing out parade at the Sri Lanka Engineers Regimental Headquarters premises at the Panagoda Army Cantonment this week, the army media unit said. The contingent includes seven army officers and 112 other ranks, more..

Motor vehicle importers to meet authorities on higher import duties

Dec 20 (DM) The Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA) will be making representations to the Finance Ministry shortly, calling for a reduction on excise duty for commercial vehicles at a time when top officials believe the majority of vehicle sales are being fueled by duty - free permits. The Association is currently in the process of formulating proposals to the Ministry, under the portfolio of President Mahinda Rajapakse, to reduce more..

Editorial: Arrival of Gen. Bikram Singh

Dec 20 (CT) The Indian Army Chief, General Bikram Singh, is in the island on a three-day-visit, to strengthen defence relations between the two countries. It is noteworthy that the visit takes place nearly two months after another significant defence officer, the Chinese Defence Chief, arrived in the island for high level talks. It is no secret that the two regional superpowers have vested interest in Sri Lanka, having contributed significantly to defeating the LTTE and ending a more..

Indian Army Chief calls on Secretary Defence

Dec 20 (MoD) General Bikram Singh, Chief of the Indian Army Staff paid a courtesy call to Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa today. This his first official visit to the Island since assuming office as the Indian Army chief in June this year. General Bikram Singh, a product of Punjab Public School, Nabha was commissioned into the Sikh Light Infantry in March 1972. He has held various high profile Command and Staff appointments during more..

Midweek Politics: All frosts, no thaws in impeachment lmbroglio

Dec 20 (CT) Prior to the decline of the Roman Empire, the emperor and aristocrats regularly provided cheap food and entertainment to the people of Rome to keep them good humoured and approving of their leaders. The Gladiatorial games and circuses both inflamed and gratified the passions of the populace, making them less inclined to engage and interfere with politics and neglectful of civic duty. This appeasement of more..

The role of Miss Sri Lanka, Sabrina Herft and SB Dissanayake’s son

Dec 20 (CT) In the year 2009 alone, the Sri Lanka Police recorded 94,000 incidents of Domestic Violence. 35 NGOs too received 12,000 complaints. If half of these 12,000 overlapped with the 94,000 recorded by Police, this would amount to 100,000 cases. This is a very high number yet on the increase according to the Police. Sri Lanka is one of the countries with the highest incidents of Domestic Violence as Regional Records show. On 9th August in 2005, the parliament unanimously passed more..

Sri Lanka rupee strengthens, stocks close higher

Dec 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks closed 0.2% higher Thursday amid foreign investor interest and the rupee strengthened sharply against US dollar, brokers and dealers said. The benchmark Colombo All Share Index closed at 5,527.36 up 14.7 points and the S&P SL20 Index closed at 3,030.86, up 12.87 points or 0.43%. In forex market the rupee made gains against the US dollar rising as much 127.40/70 to the US dollar in the spot market after opening around 120.30/40 rupees. more..

Eranga capable of sharpening blunt SL attack

Dec 20 (CI) The loss in Hobart may not have greatly enhanced the reputation of Sri Lanka's Test pace attack, but there is a Sri Lankan fast bowler who has had a soaring start in Australia. Lasith Malinga possesses the fire to distress batsmen on any surface, and his exploits - eight wickets at 5.75 - have been in the wrong format, and for entirely the wrong team, when Sri Lanka aim to secure victory in a land that has yielded them only more..

Sri Lanka seeks expanded ties with Indian army

Dec 20 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka seeks to expand ties with the Indian army particularly in training, the army said on Thursday. Indian Army Commander General Bikram Singh, who is on a five- day visit to Sri Lanka, had discussions with his Sri Lankan counterpart Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya. The discussions centered largely on further expansion of the newly-established Diyatalawa Army Training Command more..

Death toll climbs to 25, nearly 20,000 displaced

Dec 20 (CG) The death toll from the extreme weather conditions experienced in most parts of the country over the past few days has risen to 25, the Disaster Management Center (DMC) said today. A spokesman said that 13 people are still missing, 36 people injured and 18845 people displaced by the floods and landslides. The DMC also said that 267525 people have been affected by the bad weather. 358 houses have been fully damaged and 1935 houses partially damaged. more..

Cracks appear in 200 houses in Matale

Dec 20 (CT) Cracks have appeared on the floors of nearly 200 houses along the Kandy-Anuradhapura (A9) Road and surrounding areas in Matale. According to the Matale District’s DMC, water has begun to seep through the cracks, particularly in the Madawela-Ulpotha area. Meanwhile, a crack on the road at Galewela, on the Matale-Palapathwela Road, near Palapathwela Maha Vidyalaya, has turned into a deep fissure sprouting water, affecting vehicular movement on the road. more..

Auradhapura tax officials enlarged on bail

Dec 20 (CT) Two Assessors and the Deputy Commissioner of the Anuradhapura Inland Revenue Department, who were in remand custody over bribery charges were released on heavy bail conditions by the Colombo Magistrate’s Court, yesterday. The suspects were released by Chief Magistrate, Rashmi Singappuli on two personal sureties of Rs 5 million and a cash bail of Rs 100, 000, each. According to the bail conditions, the Magistrate also ordered the suspects to more..

Five free things to do in Sri Lanka

Dec 20 (N24) When Lonely Planet announced its top 10 destinations for 2013 earlier this year, it was refreshing to find the little tear-drop shaped island of Sri-Lanka at the top of the list. Although the well-loved travel site dubbed it a cut-price paradise, a lot of budget travellers seem to disagree, citing exuberant prices to enter some of the country's most famous attractions. So, while we do suggest that you splash out on at least one or two extravagant spends (perhaps a visit to the Pinnawala more..

WFP eyes cash/voucher expansion

Dec 20 (IRIN) The World Food Programme (WFP) hopes to expand its ongoing cash/voucher (C/V) programme across northern Sri Lanka, allowing thousands of recent returnees to diversify their diets. “More than 15,000 men, women and children have so far benefited from the programme in Jaffna,” Mads Lofvall, WFP acting country representative, told IRIN. “With the expansion we hope to reach more than the more..

Sri Lanka wins four awards at Asia Pacific ICT Awards 2012

Dec 20 (CT) Creating another milestone in the Asia Pacific ICT Alliance Awards (APICTA), Sri Lanka won four awards after competing with 16 countries. The winners of the National Best Quality Software Awards (NBQSA) and secondary students from Young Computer Scientist (YCS) competition participated at APICTA from 2 to 6 December in Brunei Darussalam. A total of 153 winners from 11 member economies showcased the best of ICT applications from the public and private more..

USA wins Miss Universe, Lanka 4th for best national costume

Dec 20 (CG) Miss USA was crowned Miss Universe 2012 at the finals held at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas today. Meanwhile Sri Lanka has something to cheer about as Miss Sri Lanka Sabrina Herft was placed 4th for the best national costume. Miss China won the Best National Costume title. Olivia Culpo, Miss USA beat Miss Philippines who was placed second followed by Miss Venezuela, Miss Australia and Miss Brazil for the crown. The huge responsibility of giving the world its more..

Uva Next still owes SLC rs 65 Million

Dec 20 (DM) Owners of the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) franchise Uva Next still owe half a million US dollars (Rs. 65 million) to Sri Lanka Cricket for sending their team to the Champions League tournament in South Africa. Uva Next team led by Thilina Kandamby clinched the inaugural edition of the SLPL and qualified for the Champions League but SLC had to intervene and ensure the passage of the team for the tournament as the franchise more..

‘Fish rain’ solved

Dec 20 (CT) The ‘rain of fish’ witnessed in several areas of the country is due to natural weather conditions, Department of Meteorology said yesterday. According to Deputy Director of the Meteorological Department, D.J.A. Weerawardana, there has been no unusual phenomenon connected to the ‘rain of fish’ as suspected. “Sometimes, ‘funnel clouds’ can form near the surfaces of lakes or oceans. These have a lot of suction power, so fish and small marine organisms can be pulled more..

Murali puts a positive spin on return to MCG

Dec 20 (CT) MUTHIAH Muralidaran has tried to forget the indignity of being called for throwing on cricket's biggest stage, on its biggest day, and has urged his countrymen to cherish Sri Lanka's first Boxing Day Test since that infamous collision of cricket and politics. As Sri Lanka returns to the MCG for a Test for the first time since Muralidaran was no-balled by umpire Darrell Hair on Boxing Day, 1995, the world's most successful spin bowler is back in Melbourne to represent the Renegades more..

Thilan contemplating retirement

Dec 20 (DT) SRI Lankan cricket faces a mammoth rebuilding task with star batsman Thilan Samaraweera the latest veteran to reveal he is weighing up his future in the Test arena. Just a week after Mahela Jayawardene announced he would resign as captain after the Australian series, Samaraweera heads into the Boxing Day Test admitting he is contemplating retirement. A veteran of 79 Tests, Samaraweera has amassed more..

'Lasith Malinga is best Twenty20 bowlier in the world'

Dec 20 (News) Lasith Malinga is the best Twenty20 bowler in the world, according to Australian quick Pat Cummins. Malinga has started his Big Bash League campaign for the Melbourne Stars in brilliant fashion, collecting 6-7 against Perth last week, and hoping for another big haul against the Sydney Sixers tonight. Cummins, who would have gone head to head with Malinga in the Australia Day T20 international between Australia and Sri Lanka at ANZ Stadium had he not been injured, more..

Lawyers Collective condemns shooting at BASL president’s house

Dec 20 (CT) “Lawyers Collective is shocked to hear about the shooting incident last night (20th Dec 12.20am) at the residence of Wijedasa Rajapakse, President of BASL which has come under shooting. The BASL has passed a resolution recently at a General meeting of its Members calling upon the Government to withdraw the Impeachment against the Chief Justice. Thereafter, Mr. Wijedasa Rajapake has constantly come under media attack in state media.” says Lawyers Collective. more..

SF invites CJ to join politics

Dec 20 (DM) Former Army Commander and DNA Leader Sarath Fonseka today invited Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake to step into active politics stating that he was willing to support her in such an event. Fonskea told a news conference yesterday that he was ready to support Ms. Bandaranayake if she decided to step into politics. He said the Chief justice should do so as he too had no regrets in taking up politics. more..

Police protection for Justice Shiranee T

Dec 20 (CT) Supreme Court Justice Shiranee Tilakawardane entered Court 402 of the Supreme Court this morning with police protection. Justice Tilakawardane and the police officers providing her with security entered the Courtroom through the judges entrance. A daily newspaper this morning expressed its ‘regrets’ to Justice Tilakawardane following a clarification that the two judges absent in Court on Monday had provided notice of their absence earlier. The two absentee judges more..