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Cabinet Decisions: 2012-01-05

Jan 6 (GDI) The Govt has observed the economic difficulties that are being faced by the people due to law's delays and pending legal cases. With the view to overcome this situation, a system of judicial mediation is to be introduced as a first step in Court proceedings and pre-trial procedures are to be adopted thereafter. Judicial mediation through creation of a post of Master in the courts will endeavor to bring about an amicable settlement on the issues concerned more..

LLRC somewhat endorses the UN report - Kiriella

Jan 6 (AD) The LLRC report has somewhat endorsed the Report on Sri Lanka compiled by the Expert Panel appointed by the UN chief Ban ki Moon, UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella said today. He added that contrary to the govt's claim of 'zero civilian casualty' at the end of the war, the LLRC has attested to the fact that there were major Human Rights violations. The Govt appointed LLLRC itself in its report states that the Sri Lanka Police cannot be trusted, Kiriella claimed. more..

Sri Lanka to introduce British akin judicial mediation to mitigate laws delays

Jan 6 (GDI) Sri Lankan Judiciary is to be reformed in line with the British system to avoid difficulties faced by litigants due to laws delays and pending legal cases. Sri Lankan Cabinet of Ministers gave its green light on Thursday to a proposal made by Rauff Hakeem, Minister of Justice, to bring amendments to Civil Procedure Code to introduce Judicial Mediation and Pre-Trial Procedure within the courts of first instance. more..

Children aged four and six tortured by aunt

Jan 6 (DM) Two sisters aged four and six who have been subject to torture were found by the Galagedara police on January 4. The mother of the children is employed abroad and the father is deceased. The mother of the two children had handed over the custody of the children to her sister-in-law under whose care the children were tortured.The two children have been admitted to the Kandy General Hospital. The Medical report states that the two suffer from more..

Police questioning continues on J’pura monument blasting

Jan 6 (NF) A notable number of persons have been questioned in connection with the blasting of the monument that was erected in remembrance of the student heroes in the Sri Jawardenapura University premises, according to the Police. Police Media Spokesperson SP Ajith Rohana noted that statements were recorded from those who were questioned. However, the Spokesperson added that no one has been arrested in connection with the incident. The monument was blasted by an more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 06.01.2012

No charges for refugees

Jan 6 (DM) The cabinet has decided not to levy any charges from Sri Lankan refugees returning from Tamil Nadu when they are issued with the necessary travel documents. It is believed that around 90,000 Sri Lankans are still living in refugee camps in Tamil Nadu. The travel documents for Sri Lankan refugees to return home are issued by the Deputy Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Chennai. If this facility was not extended to these refugees they would have had to pay Rs.4,400 for their more..

Court 'cannot decide' on rehabilitation

Jan 6 (BBC) Courts in Sri Lanka do not have legal authority to decide the time limit for rehabilitation of Tamil Tiger suspects, a court in Colombo observed. The Colombo additional magistrate made the statement in response to a question raised by a Tamil Tiger suspect. Producing a LTTE suspect, who has surrendered to the security forces at the end of fighting in Vanni, police Terrorism Prevention Division (TID) requested the court to send him for rehabilitation. more..

South Africa win first home series since 2008

Jan 6 (CI) South Africa won their first home series since 2008, a period in which they had been denied on five occasions, prevailing over Sri Lanka by 10 wickets to take the rubber 2-1. An innings defeat seemed the most likely result at the start of the day, but a wicketless pre-lunch session and another century from the resurgent Thilan Samaraweera helped Sri Lanka barely avoid that ignominy. Needing two runs to win in the fourth innings, more..

Sri Lanka gets more apparel plants

Jan 6 (LBO) Apparel exporters Timex and Fergasam Group will build two factories at a cost of five million US dollars in Sri Lanka's north-western Mannar, part of the former war zone, the ministry of industry and commerce said. The first Mannar factory is to start production by mid-October 2012, its statement quoted officials of Timex and Fergasam as saying. The project will be in two phases with the first factory giving employment for 1,200 people and the second for 800. more..

Rs.3500 million for Presidential election 'dansala'!

Jan 6 (LT) It is presumed that at least Rs.3500 million had been spent for the illegal 'dansala' maintained by Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees during the presidential election. This is revealed when allocations for President under the special expenditure account for years 2010 and 2011 in the budget for 2012 is compared. In 2009 Rs.7869 million had been allocated for the President but it has come down to Rs.4336 million in 2011. When compared with the cost in 2010 more..

Gang jailed for life for 'mindless murder' of shopkeeper

Jan 6 (DM) A gang of hooded robbers have been jailed for life after stabbing a shopkeeper to death as his two children watched on CCTV. Suppiah Tharmaseelan bled to death after he was attacked by four men who broke into the convenience store he owned with his family last November. The father-of-four, who also lived above the shop with his wife and children, 'did not stand a chance' as he was stabbed trying to fend off more..

Another fire at Norochcholai

Jan 6 (SL) Another fire broke out at the Norochcholai coal power plant last night, officials and the fire brigade said. The fire broke out at a boiler room and a stock of coal had also caught fire. The fire was subsequently brought under control. However there was no major damage from the blaze. Power generation from the coal power plant was temporarily suspended as a result of the fire. Several minor fires had erupted at the coal power plant since it was commissioned last year. more..

Suspects held over Briton's death in Sri Lanka

Jan 6 (BBC) Five men suspected of murdering a British tourist in Sri Lanka early on Christmas Day have been remanded in custody until 20 January. The men are suspects in the death of Khuram Shaikh, 32, and the serious assault of his girlfriend in Tangalle. Mr Shaikh, from Greater Manchester, was attacked by a sharp weapon and shot, police have said. The physiotherapist's body was repatriated to the UK two days ago. He was on holiday at a resort in Sri Lanka from his job with more..

Designer of z-score finds fault with 2011 calculation mechanism

Jan 6 (SM) Prof. Raphel O. Thattil, who is the designer of the z-score formula for Sri Lanka, says there are shortcomings in the mechanism, introduced by a panel of experts, for university admission under old and new syllabuses last year. Therefore, the z-scores could be incorrect, the professor of geometry at the University of Peradeniya has told 'Ravaya'. Prof. Thattil is not a member of the committee inquiring into more..

12 women caught in house of ill repute set free

Jan 6 (DM) The twelve women, who were arrested nearly six years ago, on February 28, 2006, on charges of having helped operate a brothel run under the guise of it being a rest house at Deanstone Place in Kollupitiya, were released today upon the instructions of the Attorney General by a Colombo Court. When the case was taken up for hearing, Colombo Fort Magistrate Kanishka Wijeratne observed that twelve accused, who had been charged under section 2(a) of the more..

'Beat me till I fall if these accusations are proven'

Jan 6 (AD) If the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha members prove any of the accusations of corruption and extortion hurled against me then you can beat me until I fall but if they are proven wrong then do the same to them, Minister Mervyn Silva stated. He said this yesterday in response to a host of accusations hurled against him by the Pradeshiya Sabha members of Kelaniya who told media that the Minister was involved in extortion, corruption and financial mismanagement in more..

11 different LTTE stamps issued in France

Jan 6 (SM) The French postal service La Poste has issued 11 different stamps with pictures of the slain LTTE leader, the Eelam map and the insignia etc., reports Rohan Rambukwella from France. La Poste has issued 360 and 3,000 stamps respectively in the first and second prints of these stamps. Each valued at 60 cents, these stamps are validated for posting mail weighing 20 g. These stamps have been produced by a La Poste service in which subscribers more..

Ministry to grant registration to 41 websites

Jan 6 (SM) The media ministry will grant registration next week to 41 websites that were selected under a selection process, said its secretary W.B. Ganegala. A three member committee, including an additional secretary of the ministry and a representative of ICTA, has approved registration for these websites, he said. Details of these websites, including their owners and journalists in service, will be published in the media. The media ministry secretary went onto say more..

Rizana's fate depends on action taken against suspects

Jan 6 (DM) The Senior State Counsel told the Colombo High Court that Rizana Nafeek, who was sent to Saudi Arabia on forged documents by the suspects, was presently on death row and her fate exclusively depended on the action taken against the suspects by the Sri Lankan government. He said the international community was watching as to what action was being taken against them and urged that the trial be expedited. Considering submissions of State Counsel Deleepa Pieris, more..

Appeal to UN over missing Sri Lanka activists

Jan 6 (BBC) Campaigners in Sri Lanka have urged the United Nations to intervene in the case of two activists believed to have been abducted last month. Some accuse the security forces of abducting the men but police say they are doing their best to find them. Lalith Kumar Weeraraj and Kugan Muruganathan organised demonstrations by the families of missing people. They disappeared while organising one such rally in Jaffna, a city central to the civil war more..

University Crisis: The minister and the ragging

Jan 7 (CT) The Minister of Higher Education has taken on the student leadership. He has taken students to Courts, suspended student unions at Peradeniya, claimed that Lecturers are inciting students and that Police posts are needed in the Universities. An element of frustration has crept into his attempt to run the Universities as the pre-University military based training which was expected to reduce ragging has not had the desired outcome. The rag which is organized and more..

LSSP left tendency on LLRC

Jan 7 (CT) The much-awaited LLRC report is finally out. Anik Pituwa would have welcomed a more forthright report with less “wahen oro” (indirect) language, especially about the last stages of the war and allegations of human rights. The report appears to be a compromise- between those who understand the international and internal ramifications of the issues involved and those who do not or do not want to. One observer stated: “The way out the Commission has chosen is a clever one; more..

Army Colours Night - 2011 recognizes exceptional talents & awards laurels

Jan 7 (MoD) The most glittering and much-awaited award ceremony in the Army calendar, the 'Army Colours Night - 2011' with its theme 'Reconciliation Through Spotrs' presented colours and laurels to those who outshone in the field of Army sports on Thursday (5) evening at Sugathadasa Stadium to a packed audience of distinguished invitees, retired senior officers, Army officers, relatives of laureates, hundreds of sportsmen/women and other invitees. more..

How hard is it to admit fault, Ambassador Wickramasuriya?

Jan 7 (GV) Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the US, Jaliya Wickramasuriya, recently responded to the Crisis Group Report’s assertion that assault on women in Sri Lanka is on the rise. On the one hand, the Ambassador denies the very existence of rape or violence against women in Sri Lanka – “Rapes, this and that not taking any place in Sri Lanka”. On the other hand, he admits that is does exist, by saying that “Like any other country, we have, like couple of cases”. more..

Lack of Integrity in Politics and disintegration of good governance

Jan 7 (Island) "Do we tend to overlook serious defects of character and lack of probity in personal conduct in our estimation of greatness? Do we place little value on moral integrity while apparently admiring the possession of the baubles of power, prestige and authority? If that be so, it would be a sad commentary on our sense of values and sense of judgement." The above is from a lecture titled ‘Moral Integrity in Politics’ which the late Deshamanya H L de Silva more..

A canvas with a difference

Jan 7 (NS) ‘Prisoners are also human beings’ proclaims the placard at the entrance to Welikada Prison Headquarters. As a gesture of justifying the human capacity for aesthetics lying dormant, the authorities entrusted with prison welfare ignited a timely spark to regenerate it through a groundbreaking canvas of newyear greetings. Wishing the entire Sri Lankan nation and all human beings inhabiting the world, peace and prosperity, the canvas of art is more..

Editorial: The worm has turned

Jan 7 (Island) Finally, the inevitable has happened in Kelaniya. ‘King’ Mervyn Silva is faced with a revolt at his royal court! Some of his trusted lieutenants who used to grovel before him and sing hosannas not too long ago have turned against him. The UPFA members of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha have plucked up the courage to say enough is enough. They are demanding that Minister Silva be removed from the Kelaniya electorate. Bravo! We have been saying in these columns that more..

It is not just this regime but the opposition too in 2012 …

Jan 7 (SL) “Happy New Year” said everyone to everyone else, after the year had faded off with bursting fire crackers last night. If all wishes made in good faith for a better New Year in the past had made this country better each year, if all wishes in the past were not just ritual and courtesy, but wishes society could aspire for, this country would definitely not be what it is now. A few days before the end of the year, the media reported an abducted fish trader murdered, more..

'Peace we enjoy is a window of opportunity for all us to take this country forward'

Jan 7 (GDI) “I hope that all professionals will contribute to the national cause by putting aside whatever personal or political differences they may have and work together for the future. We must understand that the peace we enjoy is a window of opportunity for all us to take this country forward" said Secretary Defence. He expressed these views addressing a distinguished gathering as the Guest of Honor at the Organisation of Professional more..

National Theatre location and naming

Jan 7 (Island) On a highly sensitive subject, that concerns the attention of the vast majority of people, the new Cultural Centre was inaugurated and has since then prompted many enthusiastic persons to write to newspapers focusing public attention on the concept originator, initial action mover, selection of site, acquisition of property, obtaining of funds and the final construction. Many public officers who had the opportunity to participate in discussions from more..

A genius of art: Solias Mendis

Jan 7 (Island) There were four notable men, who in the last Century did much for Buddhist causes in Ceylon. They lived about the same time. Professor Gunapala Malalasekera, PhD. D. Lit, who hailed from Panadura, was a reputed Pali scholar, a brilliant orator, a linguist who knew his native Sinhala, Pali, Sanskrit, Latin, English, French and Russian languages. The auditoriums of several international prestigious Universities had heard him lecture on Buddhist Philosophy, more..

Guerilla poet stands guard as sentinel at Jaffna Fort

Jan 7 (DBS) After joining the LTTE formally the two friends Shenuka and Nirmala were lodged at the house of a widowed mother of three daughters by senior tiger leader Murali. This lady was an aunt of Bharathan Rajanayagam who was then in charge of the LTTE ‘s TV and photographic unit. Bharathan’s father Rajanayagam master was a respected progressive citizen of Jaffna. I have been to his house in Thirunelvely a few times in 1986 to visit HN Fernando more..

Systemic institutional failure

Jan 7 (FT) The media is still abuzz over the issue of the faulty A/L results, with reports filtering in of postal revenues doubling with most students applying for re-correction. One report told of how the Anuradhapura post office earned Rs. 200,000 in one day due to the rush. The extent of the alleged inaccuracies in A/L results, which is being supported by a multitude of reports despite Government denials, is unprecedented — but it is not the first fiasco regarding exams in the recent past. more..

Union Bank unveils new HQ

Jan 7 (Island) Union Bank unveiled its new state-of-the-art head office yesterday morning. "The new head office marks another momentous occasion for Union Bank, bringing together a combination of state of the art technology, competitive financial solutions and superior service delivery under one roof. As the preferred bank for the Small and Medium Enterprises, Union Bank continues to add value in strengthening the sector and the opening of the new head office further more..

Colombo Lotus Tower

Former DIGs pass away

Jan 7 (DN) Retired Deputy Inspector General of Police Daya Jayasundera passed away on January 03 and the funeral will be held at the General Cemetery Kanatte today. Born on January 28, 1944 to a family of four, Jayasundera excelled in academic studies and sports at his alma mater - Dharmaraja College, Kandy. He joined the Police Department on July 10, 1968 as a Sub Inspector. He was promoted to the rank of Inspector when he was serving in the State Intelligence Bureau in 1976. more..

President presides over Deyata Kirula review meeting

Jan 7 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa presided over a progress review meeting of construction work relating to the 2012 Deyata Kirula Development Exhibition at Temple Trees yesterday. At this meeting the members of the Deyata Kirula Organising Committee briefed the President about the progress of permanent building construction work at the exhibition grounds as well as the progress of other development work completed in the highways, more..

Sajith to quit Sirikotha office on Monday

Jan 7 (Island) Newly elected UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa will move out of his Sirikotha office on Monday and shift to a yet undisclosed new office within Colombo. "I will be moving out of my office at Sirikotha on Monday as it has remained closed from Dec 19, the day on which elections to the top posts in the Party were held," Premadasa said. They did not allow me to function in my Sirikotha office since the elections by keeping it locked. more..

Former WPC cheated youth

Jan 7 (DM) A former woman police constable attached to the Fort police station had allegedly defrauded several foreign job seekers and it was also reported the fraudulent transactions were alleged to have taken place at the police station. Giving evidence in connection with the incident, the witness Chanaka Chandana of Beruwala told the Colombo Fort Magistrate the suspect’s fraudulent transactions promising to provide a foreign job opportunity in Japan took place at the Fort police station. more..