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Extended time in Police custody: Is it necessary or permissible?

June 15 (SL) The decision of the Justice Ministry to amend the law relating to the period of detention of people arrested and to extend it to forty eight hours instead of the existing twenty four is alarming and unjustified to say the least. The statement of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka issued through its President is more alarming and also saddening because it points to the fact that more..

US banana cultivation continues in National park

June 15 (Island) Despite the US-based DOLE Company pulling out of the controversial banana cultivation project in the Somawathi National Park, the local company, Let’s Grow Pvt. Ltd., is carrying out its activities with the backing of the Army, alleges an organisation known as Environment Conservation Trust (ECT). Central Environment Authority Chairman Charitha Herath said that the project had been stopped but more..

HRCSL acts to separate young offenders from adult prisoners

June 15 (ST) The intervention by the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) led close to 100 juvenile offenders who were being detained in “wholly unacceptable appalling conditions” without “basic hygienic facilities” in a Govt detention centre in Pallansena being transformed to a more child friendly care in Ambepussa, it was revealed in the annual report of the Commission submitted to Parliament more..

Non-academics blame UGC for continuation of their strike

June 15 (Island) The on-going strike by the university non-academic staff, which entered its ninth consecutive day yesterday, would be called off tomorrow if their salary anomalies were rectified immediately, Co-President of the University Trade Union Joint Committee (UTUJC) R. M. Chandrapala said yesterday. He said that even President Mahinda Rajapaksa was aware of the matter and had allocated sufficient funds through the 2012 budget. more..

How much can Sri Lanka help itself?

June 15 (Guardian) The role of charity and philanthropy in development is a subject of growing interest within the global aid community. As a result of slowing support from traditional funding sources, the activities of private foundations and voluntary initiatives now account for increasingly larger amounts of development assistance. Meanwhile, mounting calls for a more "moral capitalism" following the banking crisis have led to greater pressure on companies to develop inclusive business practices. more..

Sri Lankan state-run university part-funds its own capex

June 15 (LBO) State-run University of Colombo is part-financing a 395 million rupee building with cash generated by lecturers who offer post graduate programs and bank financing. Sri Lanka's cabinet of ministers had approved a plan construct a six storied building partly with the university's own funds and the rest with a bank loan in two stages. The Colombo University is funding the first stage of the construction at a cost of more..

Sri Lanka to go ahead with SLPL with or without Indian players

June 15 (PTI) The Sri Lanka Premier League would go ahead as planned even without non participation of Indian players, Sri Lankan Cricket secretary said on Friday. "We will go ahead with the tournament with or without Indian players," SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said On friday. Ranatunga, however, said that SLC had not been officially told that Indian players would not take part in SLPL. more..

Sri Lanka to ink MOU with Oman on labor and training

June 15 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is to sign a MOU with Oman in the field of labor, training and to guarantee the rights of migrant workers, a spokesman said on Friday. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the MOU would immensely benefit about 25000 Sri Lankans working in the oil rich Arab country. Out of total Sri Lankan employees in Oman, 55 percent are female housemaids. "The proposed MOU will be of immense benefit to Sri Lanka to protect the rights more..

Many MPs in talks with me: SF

June 15 (DM) Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka yesterday said MPs representing several political parties had already held discussions with him to work together and that anyone was free to join him. Therefore, he ruled out the possibility of joining the government at any point. “I will never join this corrupt regime, I will always stand by my principles and fight for the people and save this country” he said. He said that there was no obstacle for him to engage in active politics, and assured that he would strive towards bringing more..

Editorial: Dengue - Precious lives can be saved

June 15 (DM) The Health Ministry said on Wednesday that the endemic dengue had reached killer proportions especially in the Western Province with 65 deaths so far this year and thousands of victims. For the past few years international homoeopathic consultant Joe de Livera has been trying to open the eyes of the Health Ministry and the medical fraternity to the homeopathic remedy that is being used extensively in India to cure dengue. more..

Ninety-nine migrant workers return

June 15 (CT) Ninety-nine Sri Lankan migrant workers who were at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Saudi Arabia returned to the country today, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), Amal Senadhilankara said. He also said most of those house maids who return claim that they have not been paid proper wages and some say that they have broken employment contracts as they are being harassed at their work places. “This is what they tell, but that is a one-sided story. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 15.06.2012

MDP holds 'pro-democracy' protest in Sri Lanka

June 15 (Haveeru) Opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) protestors gathered outside the Maldivian High Commission in Sri Lankan capital Colombo this afternoon calling for early elections and the resignation of President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik. A few dozen MDP supporters carrying placards with anti-government slogans and party flags called for the resignation of the "coup" regime and "to restore democracy" in the Maldives. Former president Mohamed more..

Sri Lankan awarded American Montessori Society Living Legacy 2012

June 15 (GDI) Montessori teachers are probably the “best exports” from Sri Lanka to the United States said Ms.Fernando during a dinner reception hosted by Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya, Sri Lanka Envoy to USA and Mexico to felicitate her achievement. She further stated that Sri Lankan teachers were among the pioneers in American Montessori education who had held the torch until the US teachers were trained for this task. more..

'My legs move on pitch, not dance floor'

June 15 (IANS) His leg work has been perfect on the cricket pitch but how will he fare on the dance floor, wonders former Sri Lankan skipper Sanath Jayasuriya who is appearing as a contestant on the dance reality show "Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa". "I have never been on a dance field. This is the first time I am doing something like this. But it's a good experience for me," Jayasuriya told IANS in an interview here. more..

Won’t remove wasp nests from Sigiriya – Wildlife Minister

June 15 (AD) The wasp nests located at the Sigiriya Rock will not be removed, despite visitors continuously being attacked injured by wasps, Agrarian Services and Wildlife Minister S. M. Chandrasena said today. Local and foreign visitors to the ancient rock fortress have come under attack by the wasps on several occasions recently while residents in the area have also called for the removal of the nests. However the Minister, during an inspection tour of wasp nests more..

OPNA ordered to pay Rs. 50M compensation to Diyawadana Nilame

June 15 (AD) The Colombo District Court today ordered 3 persons of the Organization for Protection of National Assets to pay compensation of Rs. 50 million to the Diyawadana Nilame of Sri Dalada Maligawa, Pradeep Nilanga Dela Bandara, over a defamation lawsuit. The case had been filed by Nilanga Dela Bandara, citing statement made by the Organization for Protection of National Assets claiming that 23 gold plated Lord Buddha statues in the new shrine room of the more..

Sri Lanka calls tenders to sell premier league franchises

June 15 (Reuters) The Sri Lanka Cricket Board invited bids to sponsor the seven teams in their IPL-style Twenty20 premier league, amid continued refusal by their Indian counterparts to send their players which forced the postponement of the event last year. The cash-strapped Sri Lanka Cricket Board are offering private individuals or corporate bodies the opportunity to be a part of the "world's newest and more..

Rio +20, Sri Lanka focuses on work, youth and environmental protection

June 15 (AN) Creating new job opportunities for young people, respecting the environment and enhancing women's role, to emerge from the global crisis while respecting the human being: these are the qualities that civil society and NGOs in Sri Lanka will bring to the Conference of Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro (Rio +20, 20-22 June). Gathered under the name Civil Society Concerns, civil society organizations and 33 NGOs have more..

Sri Lanka economy to slow to 6.75-pct, inflation to rise: IMF

June 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka's economic growth may slow to 6.75 percent in 2012 and inflation may rise to 9.5 percent by year end, requiring monetary policy to be kept tight, for the time being the International Monetary Fund official said. John Nelmes, head of a mission to Sri Lanka said the government had taken bold measures to fix balance of payments pressure but policy has to be kept tight until firm evidence of inflationary pressures easing is seen. more..

Sri Lanka seeking fresh bailout, says IMF

June 15 (AFP) Sri Lanka is seeking fresh help from the IMF after drawing down a previous $2.6-billion bailout, a top IMF official said Friday. John Nelmes, head of an IMF mission to the Indian Ocean country, said Colombo wanted more assistance as it emerges from a decades-long civil war, but declined to say how much was being sought. "We have initiated a discussion of a program to help Sri Lanka get deeper into a middle-income level country," Nelmes told reporters after more..

UK respects right to protest

June 15 (DM) Responding to the allegations of the Sri Lankan government who charged that the law enforcement authority in the UK had failed in its duty, spokesman for the British High Commission Sarah Mann said that Britain respects the legitimate right of its citizens to protest. “ We respect the legitimate right of UK citizens to protest, but this has to be balanced with the right to free speech” she said. Speaking on the cancellation of the proposed speech by President Rajapaksha at more..

Sri Lanka gem show draws strong Chinese interest

June 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka's annual gem and jewellery show, FACETS to be held in September has already signed up more than 300 foreign buyers with the largest group of 50 dealers coming from China, the exhibition's organizers said. "China has been a loyal visitor to the exhibition, since we signed a Memorandum of Understanding five years ago with the China Gem traders Association," said Juzar Adamaly, chairman of FACETS 2012 said more..

Children in former Sri Lankan war zones still traumatised by military

June 15 (ABC) Children's advocates in Sri Lanka say the heavy military presence in the island's former conflict zones, especially in the north, continue to traumatise children who experienced the civil war. Menaca Calyaneratne, director of advocacy for Save The Children in Sri Lanka told Asia Pacific's Sen Lam that the continued presence of the military in the region prevents children from getting over their trauma. more..

‘Lankadeepa’ journalist complains about threats to his life

June 15 (SM) A journalist attached to ‘Lankadeepa’ newspaper has written to the police chief alleging death threats to him. Sujith Mangala de Silva went to the police headquarters in Colombo this morning and handed over the letter, through his lawyer Lilan Amarakoon. His letter claims that two unidentified men in two motorcycles had visited his Katubedda home around 1.00 pm on June 12 when he was away, threatened his mother and made inquiries about him. more..

Sri Lanka's natural riches explored in Horton Plains book

June 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Horton Plains, a small 30 square kilometer national park with beautiful scenery is a rich reserve of hundreds of endemic plants, animals and birds, that are not always visible to the untrained eye. A new book 'Horton Plains' edited by Rohan Pethiyagoda, a Sri Lankan scientist currently in Australia, aims to bring out the rich biological heritage uncovered in the area by researchers over the years. Horton Plains is part of a UN declared Central Highland World Heritage site and more..

Lanka’s labour rights significantly improve, says US official

June 15 (Island) Michael Delaney, Assistant United States Trade Representative for South and Central Areas Affairs, told journalists in Colombo that significant progress has been made to improve labour rights in the country. Labour unions here and in the US have petitioned the govt to withdraw GSP concessions to Sri Lanka based on rampant violations to labour rights. "My visit to Colombo was an opportunity more..

Resigned journalists accuse Ceylon Today

June 15 (SM) The four journalists, who have resigned from ‘Ceylon Today’ in protest against the sacking of their editor Lalith Alahakoon, say in their resignation letter that they believe, “wholeheartedly and disapprovingly, that the persecution and harassment that he (the editor) had to face was a result of not catering to a partisan agenda that was, at some stages, expected of him by the management.” Colombo Telegraph has published the joint more..

'No need to panic over tremors felt near Colombo Port'

June 15 (AD) The Geological Survey and Mines Bureau today advised the public not to be alarmed by slight tremors being experienced in and around the Colombo Port area, as they are caused by underwater demolitions currently being conducted to increase the depth of the port, The blasting of a rock at the bottom of the Colombo Port is being carried out using explosives for the past couple of days while slight tremors have been reported in more..

Shooting at JVP meeting; two killed

June 15 (CT) A woman and a boy were killed and 25 others were critically injured when an unidentified group shot indiscriminately at a JVP political meeting held in Katuwana, in the Beliaththa area in Hambantota, this evening. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said that thugs had come on motorbikes and started firing at those who were present at an awareness campaign being held by the JVP as part of a series of agitations under the theme more..

NfR expresses shock and dismay over editor sacking

June 15 (SM) Networking for Rights Sri Lanka, a network of Sri Lankan journalists and human rights defenders, expresses its shock and dismay on the sacking of Ceylon Today editor Mr. Lalith Alahakoon. Mr. Alahakoon is a senior journalist who has edited number of English dailies in Sri Lanka. He was sacked form the Ceylon Today newspaper on 14 June 2012. 'Ceylon Today’, published by Ceylon Newspapers owned by opposition MP and business tycoon Tiran Alles. more..

Katuwana shooting: JVP internal dispute - MCNS

June 15 (AD) The shooting incident that killed two persons at JVP rally in Katuwana earlier today is suspected to be an internal dispute among two JVP groups, says the Media Center for National Security. Police and military operations are being carried out in order to apprehend the suspect responcible for the shooting, Director General of MCNS Laxman Hulugalla stated. Two persons including a female were killed when a group of individuals on motorbikes had opened more..

WikiLeaks: Opposition leader Rajapakse was extremely upset over CBK’s actions

June 15 (CT) “There are continuing indications that President Kumaratunga and her party are trying to induce members of the UNP governing coalition to cross over to her PA party. If roughly 15-20 or so MPs do so, the PA would likely attain a majority in Parliament without the President having to call elections, as some observers believe she may be inclined to do if all else fails. Supporting the theory that the President is trying to more..

On national consciousness (Jathika Chinthanaya) and democracy

June 16 (CT) Former US President Ronald Reagan liked to call United States“A City on a Hill”, a righteous force, “the last best hope of man on earth” battling the “Evil Empire” of Soviet Union. In those days of apple pie patriotism many Americans, and not all of them conservatives, believed this caricature, probably not knowing enough about or just myopic about US support for right wing death squads in El Salvador, illegal bombings and arming drug dealing Contras in more..

Dangerous pronouncements of Mohan Pieris on ‘reconciliation’

June 16 (CT) When the Asian Tribune, probably the Editor KT Rajasingham himself, raised the important issue of ‘confidence’ as a possible barrier for the TNA and the UNP to so far nominate their representatives to the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC), Mohan Pieris, in an interview on 12 June 2012, characterized it as “being selfish,” and lambasted saying “What is confidence? They are enjoying all the perks of their offices they hold. They enjoy all the material benefits more..

Lasith Malinga’s civil disobedience: Role model to hold a regime accountable

June 16 (CT) The talented and colourful cricketer, Lasith Malinga, has refused to play for Sri Lanka because of low wages. The patriotic are up in arms; Malinga has betrayed the nation – just as Sangakkara did in his Lord’s speech which spilt the beans on the cricket business?! I reckon it was the RIGHT thing to do. Sports after all is big business today, and in Lanka it is a corrupt-to-the-hilt business owned and operated by more..

Lending a human hand a going concern

June 16 (DM) Making a difference in the lives of the underserved, excluded and persecuted is equated with missions of many faiths as was Mother Theresa’s. Where the going concern thrives in great countries, those engaged in humanitarian enterprises could be products of great schools. A batch of Thomians turning 50 last year looked back and forwards and found interesting answers. Successful products today were deemed ordinary then. A boy had failed his O/L’s 4 times commencing in 63’, had brought a snake into more..

Jaffna Challenge(r)s

June 16 (DM) Two contrasting insights into reconciliation were on display in the past few weeks– one in the field of sports and the other in the field of politics. The former relates to the Carlton Super Seven Rugby Tournament and the latter to the ITAK or Federal Party convention in Batticaloa. The significance of the latter is of course beyond dispute given that it was the party convention of the major party in the TNA and the speech made by its leader R.Sampanthan has been the subject of columns, editorials and dire conclusions on more..

Centenarian Pasqual reveals secret of longevity

June 16 (SO) Former MP for Matugama, one of the most senior members of the SLFP, Daya T Pasqual celebrated his 100th birthday yesterday in Matugama in a simple manner with those who are dear and near to him. Living up to 100 years is a minor miracle considering the increasing number of deaths taking place in modern times. People are afflicted with various kinds of illnesses at many stages of life but a few people have the fortune to more..

Clownishness directed at the world at large

June 16 (ST) representatives at the world at large. This week, two statements made by senior high level officials range from the peculiar to the plainly bizarre and expose this intent in no uncertain terms. The first such statement was made by former Attorney General Mohan Peiris, when summoned this week by the Homagama Magistrate's Court to give evidence in regard to a claim that he made last year before the United Nations Committee against Torture (CAT Committee). more..