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Time limit for lawyers

Jan 5 (DM) A new judicial post in the judicial system is to be established this year to prevent delays in the hearing of cases and to maintain time management in courts by allocating a specific timeframes for the disposal of cases, a senior Justice Ministry official said yesterday. A post of ‘ Master’ will be created to assist the court and litigants for the speedy disposal of cases by introducing amendments to the Civil Procedure Code as the delays in hearing of cases have affected more..

Nuwara Eliya experiences ground frost at dawn

Jan 5 (Island) Nuwara Eliya experienced a rare ground frost at dawn yesterday as temperatures plummeted to 6.5 Celsius causing acute cold. Tourists and locals in large numbers gathered at places like World’s End, Gregory Tank and the Golf Course yesterday morning to witness the rare occurrence. There were reports that yesterday’s ground frost caused damage to vegetable and tea cultivations in the district. more..

Editorial: External degrees need upgrading not elimination

Jan 5 (DM) Sri Lanka's education system seems to be rolling down a steep precipice. Not a week passes an issue which bears a connection to education crosses the newsrooms and become subject to editorials. While half of these problems have been progressively brewing into a boiling point, the others have been emerging as a result of shortsighted decisions taken by the responsible authorities who are appointed to assure the smooth run of the system. more..

Sri Lanka stock close 0.5-pct lower

Jan 5 (LBO) Stocks closed 0.5-pct lower Thursday in thin trade, with shares weakening for the third straight day, while bond rates held steady. The benchmark Colombo All Share Index fell 33 points to 5,939.75 points and the Milanka Index of liquid stocks fell 27.4 points to 5.093.46 points. In forex markets authorities continued to defend a dollar peg at 113.90 rupees. Bond yield which fell below 10 percent earlier in the week held with bond maturing more..

Politicians trying to interfere -AG

Jan 5 (CT) Attorney General, Eva Wanasundara complains that local politicians are frequently demanding meetings and attempting to interfere with her work. The Attorney General told Ceylon Today; “It is true - politician such as members of the Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha and other local parties are ignoring appropriate protocol and refusing to speak to my lawyer before meeting with me”. “It appears that these politicians, lacking in basic qualifications, more..

Sri Lanka village producers helped by Japanese volunteers

Jan 5 (LBO) A team of Japanese volunteers had helped village level producers to develop new products and upgrade designs to get higher prices, the Japan International Co-operation agency said. Three volunteers had worked with the island's Samurdhi Authority, a poverty alleviation agency, to help families in several areas. These volunteers had helped rural producers in several locations including Udunuwara, Yatinuwara, Pathadumbara, Pathahewaheta and Weligama. more..

Darusman Report: It is Govt.’s baby, says UNP

Jan 5 (DM) The UNP said it had decided to ignore the findings of the Darusman Report as the Govt too had decided to ignore them. This is seen as a change of stance as the party had earlier appointed a special committee under the chairmanship of former public servant Bradman Weerakoon to study the report and make recommendations to party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe on how to react to it. Mr. Attanayake said the UNP did not intend to play the Govt’s role with regard to the report. more..

WikiLeaks: Basil is corrupt, limited educated and expelled from school

Jan 5 (CT) “Embassy contacts say Basil has no close advisors and more enemies than friends in Sri Lanka because he makes a habit of trying to ‘buy people.’” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington. “Basil worked for the Ministry of Mahaweli Development, where he earned the nickname “Mr. Ten Percent” for demanding a ten percent commission on every project. Basil continues to be accused of significant corruption in his current position.” more..

‘New electoral system will better reflect the will of the people’: Dinesh

Jan 5 (DM) The govt expects the support of “an overwhelming majority of political parties in parliament” to pass the Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) Bill on January 17, Chief Government Whip and Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said today. The Bill will be the first concrete move by the ruling UPFA government to introduce a hybrid electoral system featuring elements of both the First-Past-the-Post system and Proportional Representation (PR). more..

World Vision, Christian Protestants attend the Buddhists of the north

Jan 5 (AN) After 15 years, the mission of the Christian Word Vision, among the Buddhist population of 44 villages in Galenbindunuwewa Division (North Central provinces) has ended. In addition to the great success of the project "Rebuild your life", the association is distinguished from other international Christian NGO in that it never received accusations of proselytism or forced conversions among practicing Buddhists. "By helping us find the strength and more..

Sri Lanka not playing as a team - SLC secretary

Jan 5 (CI) The main problem with Sri Lankan cricket at present is that the players are not playing as a unit, Nishantha Ranatunga, the newly elected secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), has said. Sri Lanka have struggled since reaching the 2011 World Cup final in April, losing Test and ODI series against Australia and Pakistan, and went nearly 18 months without winning a Test until their defeat of South Africa in Durban last month. more..

Centre for Policy Alternatives on LLRC

Jan 5 (CT) The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) welcomes the release of the LLRC Report, its analysis of the root cause of the conflict, the cataloguing of the atrocities of the LTTE, recommendations in respect of governance – especially the de-politicisation of existing institutions, the introduction of Right to Information legislation, militarization, attacks on the freedom of expression, language rights, reconciliation and the investigation of the allegations more..

Sangakkara prepares to join WCC

Jan 5 (Lords) Kumar Sangakkara will become the newest member of the MCC World Cricket committee following its upcoming meeting in Cape Town on 8 & 9 January. The two-day sitting will be the first with former England captain Mike Brearley as Chairman following the retirement of Tony Lewis in October 2010. The ongoing debate on tackling corruption in cricket, as well as the future of Test cricket, will be high on the WCC’s agenda in South Africa. more..

Religious leaders urge gov't to implement war report

Jan 5 (Xinhua) Leaders of all main religions in Sri Lanka on Thursday urged the government to immediately implement the recommendation made in the war report released last month. The Congress of Religions, comprising leaders of Buddhist, Christian, Muslim and Hindu, at a press conference said that implementing the outcome of the report is essential to bring about lasting peace to the country that was devastated with three decade civil war. more..

Sri Lanka cricket board holds puja to banish 'evil spirits'

Jan 5 (NDTV) The newly elected chief of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), Upali Dharmadasa, on Thursday declared that 'evil spirits', which had plagued the governing body have been driven out through a special 'puja'. Addressing the reporters here after assuming the office, Dharmadasa, who had obtained the services of a sorcerer to conduct the puja last night, said the demons and other evil spirits have been driven out. "I am a businessman and I know the effects of these evil spirits," he said. more..

The Kelaniya PS takes a stand against Mervyn

Jan 5 (AD) The Chairman of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha along with 12 other Pradeshiya Sabha members have decided to take a stand against Public Relations and Public Affairs Minister Mervyn Silva. PS Chairman Prasanna Ranaweera, Deputy Chairman Chaminda Duminda and PS members Lanka Vijitha Kumara, Hasitha Kelum Madawala and Milroy Perera challenged the Minister today at a press conference held at the Pradeshiya Sabha. The Chairman stated that he had credible documents that more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 05.01.2012

'Removal of Dayasiri clear act of victimisation'

Jan 5 (DM) UNP MP Sujeewa Sensinghe said today that the removal of Dayasiri Jayasekara as the Deputy National Organiser of the party was arbitrary and was an act of victimisation. “I don’t know who has taken this decision but it is clearly an act of victimisation against those who have spoken towards taking the party and the country forward,” he said. The outspoken MP went on to point out that Jayasekara was one of the most talented individuals in the party and more..

I wont sell my conscience for positions: Dayasiri

Jan 5 (DM) Dayasiri Jayasekara who was removed as the Deputy National Organiser of the UNP speaking to Daily Mirror online said that he doesn't understand where the party is headed with acts of revenge. "Those in power after the election have taken revenge and are continuing to do so, this is the result of me working for the benefit of the party and the people of this country and it's clear that this is an act of revenge due to my forthrightness," he said. more..

Dayasiri removed as Depy Chief Opposition Whip

Jan 5 (CT) Kurunegala District MP Dayasiri Jayasekera has been removed from his position as the Deputy Chief Opposition Whip yesterday by the Advisory Committee of the party. At the same time, Committee has removed UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa from the Deputy Opposition Leader position too. These decisions were made at the first UNP Advisory Committee meeting for the year 2012, held at Sirikotha today. more..

Lankan navy arrests four more TN fisherman

Jan 5 (PTI) Four more fishermen were on Thursday allegedly taken into custody by Sri Lankan Navy for fishing near Katchatheevu, the second such incident in as many days. The Fishermen from Thangachimadam had been taken to Mannar. Four other fishermen who were arrested yesterday had been produced before Mannar Court and remanded for a day, as per information received by Assistant Director of Fisheries A.Veeran. The four, reported missing since they put out to sea on Monday, more..

Sivaram murder case postponed

Jan 5 (BBC) The trial of the murder of journalist Dharmaratnam Sivaram (Taraki) scheduled to begin on Thursday, six years after the assassination has been postponed until April. Colombo High Court judge P. Surasena postponed the hearing as six witnesses including two policemen failed to present themselves at court. The judge also dissolved the Sinhala speaking jury called in for the hearing. State Counsel told court that proceedings could not continue as six important more..

SJP students heading to Temple Trees

Jan 5 (DM) Thousands of students of the IUSF staged a massive protest march today demanding the immediate removal of the Sri Jayawardenapura University Vice Chancellor. The demonstration caused hours-long traffic congestions along the High Level Road and Galle Road. The protest march started from the Sri Jayawardenapura University at 10.00 a.m. and preceded towards the Temple Trees to handover a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

A/L re-corrections: Postal Dept. earnings increase

Jan 5 (DM) The IUSF said today that the Anuradhapura Post Office had earned more than Rs.200,000 on Tuesday owing to the large number of youth who had applied for the A/L Exam re-corrections. IUSF Convener Sanjeewa Bandara said that 70% of the 300,000 students who had sat for the exam had applied for re-correction. “If so many students had applied for re-correction, it means that a majority of youth do not accept the results released by the Examinations Department,” more..

Sri Lankan government accused over bulldozed hotels

Jan 5 (Telegraph) Last month about 40 properties on the beachfront in Unawatuna, a mile from Galle, were left in disrepair after being earmarked for removal by the country’s Coast Conservation Department (CCD). According to the CCD, the buildings were illegally encroaching upon the beach, under a 1981 conservation law. The majority of the hotels were only partially destroyed, with a number of sea-facing restaurants razed, but the financial implications are expected to be considerable, more..

Relentless South Africa close in on series win

Jan 5 (CI) South Africa produced an exhibition of blistering seam and swing in the first innings, followed by nagging persistence in the second, to nip out 12 of the 18 wickets they needed for victory at the start of the third day. Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander delivered spells of unmitigated menace to demolish Sri Lanka's last eight first-innings wickets for 90 runs, allowing South Africa to enforce the follow-on around 30 minutes after lunch. more..

Good English skills over a University education?

Jan 6 (GV) It was not so long ago that the post-nominals B.A. (Calcutta) Failed was a sure route to employment in the administrative cadre of the Government of India, in addition to being a matter of distinction in their own right. Even a decade ago, the university degree was perceived to be the key to the almighty white-collar job, and the stability, prestige and standard of living that were associated with it. Today that is no longer the case; with more..

Social Science and Public Policy at Peradeniya

Jan 6 (NS) I wrote last week of the conference on the social sciences and humanities I attended at Peradeniya; my account was of one set of insights I gleaned there – that helped me understand my own world better. Often, we think of intellectual pursuits of having little relevance to practical things, and I would think understanding Facebook better, as I tried to in my previous column would be an antidote to that. This week, I want to offer a taste of even more practical, more..

Renewable energy - a wave of the future

Jan 6 (SO) The world runs on energy. We need energy to operate everything from our cars to light bulbs. We derive most of this energy from burning fossil fuels such as petrol, diesel and coal. But there is a catch: these fuels will run out - perhaps in the next 200 years. Thus we have some more time to come up with viable solutions for the expected energy crunch. Did you know that more than 1.4 billion people worldwide have no access to electricity more..

Short-term prospects and long-term perspectives

Jan 6 (ST) Global economic conditions will determine to a large extent Sri Lanka's economic performance in 2012. Although global economic developments are beyond the country's control, appropriate responses could mitigate their adverse impacts. However, more important than the country's short-term economic performance is the longer view of the country's development policies to ensure healthy economic development. A longer-term perspective rather than immediate concerns is vital. more..

Editorial: Z-score imbroglio

Jan 6 (Island) There seems to be no end in sight to the issue of GCE (A/L) results mess-up. While a presidential panel is trying to figure out what has really happened, various opinions are being expressed by experts and laymen alike. Even politicians who do not know statistics from basic arithmetic or Z from Y are throwing in their two cents worth. All they have succeeded in doing is to confuse the public and gain some political mileage. A university don is reported to have challenged more..

Using the LLRC report as a consensus mechanism

Jan 6 (ST) A careful and sober reading of the Report of Sri Lanka's LLRC reveals its many complexities when weighed against the current political ethos. Gradually, the responses to this Report are bound to be far more measured rather than starkly divided between those who unhesitatingly support its contents and those who, just as unequivocally, dismiss the same. For the moment, let us look at the perception on the part of some that the LLRC Report more..

'US-EU recession would hit Sri Lanka'

Jan 6 (SO) Dr. Sirimal Aberathne of the Department of Economics, University of Colombo said that the adverse impact of the EU recession on the Sri Lankan economy would be widespread and Sri Lanka will have to downgrade its anticipated growth targets. Growth forecasts for the Euro Zone have been revised downward in the backdrop of the worsening sovereign debt crisis in the region. Most countries in the Euro Zone began to violate their policy coordination through more..

Tea industry overview- 2011

Jan 6 (Island) The year 2011 commenced in the backdrop of many milestones that were achieved in 2010. If we are to analyze the events that unfolded during the 1st Qtr 2011, in retrospect and review the performance of the tea industry, it would give a great deal of relief and satisfaction. Colombo auction in January had volumes of 6 m/Kgs and above whilst maintaining healthy prices ie: marginally higher to the corresponding levels. By the end of January more..

An appeal to the Tamil Community and its civil and political representatives

Jan 6 (TC) Since the end of the war in May 2009, it has become important for all ethnic communities of Sri Lanka to re-examine and re-evaluate their past. It is through this process of self-reflection that some of the major issues that confront state and civil society today can be meaningfully reconceived and reconfigured for the future. While the war has drawn to a decisive close, the ethnic conflict is far from over and demands more..

Smith the mathematician calculates victory

Jan 6 (CI) Graeme Smith had his tongue firmly in his cheek when he described his decision to accept the captaincy at the age of 22 as "stupid". Then, he had played just six matches and 25 ODIs and may have been seen as a boy accepting a man's job. Now, 89 Tests and 150 ODIs later, it is obvious that he has grown into an adult who understands his role better than most. Although South Africa's bowlers did what Sri Lanka's couldn't at Newlands and ensured the series is more..

Philander expects victory to come soon

Jan 6 (CI) South Africa need just two more wickets to be assured of a series win against Sri Lanka, according to Vernon Philander. Philander, who missed the last Test with a knee injury and has taken four wickets in the deciding match so far, said once South Africa break into Sri Lanka's tail, they expect victory to come fairly easily. "Once we get past [Dinesh] Chandimal at No.7, we won't find much resistance from the lower order," Philander said. "If we can get No. 7 out, more..

Ghost of 2011 haunts trillion rupee EPF

Jan 6 (Island) Opposition law makers urged the govt to defer proposed amendments to the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) Act in order to allow broader stakeholder consultation warning that the controversial Private Sector Pensions scheme, although shelved, was still in the order book of the Parliament, and that the proposed amendments to the EPF Act could give life to this scheme. The EPF is valued at Rs. 1.01 trillion and recorded a 12.3 percent rate of return in 2011, more..

Printing delays could kill over 22,000 smokers annually

Jan 6 (SO) National Alcohol and Tobacco Authority (NATA) Chairman Prof. Carlo Fonseka focused attention on the long delay of printing cancer related pictorial health warnings on cigarette packets in Sri Lanka. He said the delay would help the local tobacco industry to kill over 22,000 Sri Lankans annually. He was addressing a seminar at the National Cancer Institute, Maharagama to highlight the importance of printing pictorial health warnings on cigarette packets. more..

Stop repeating mistakes

Jan 6 (FT) Good governance is a utopian ideal for most Sri Lankans, but when that extends to respected institutions such as the Central Bank and allows the possibility of misuse of the hard-earned money of millions of people in this country, it is time to do something about it. Under the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), the Central Bank has to release an annual report revealing all financial details regarding it, including transactions, returns, assets and liabilities. It is therefore more..