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'JR destroyed independency of the judiciary'

Mar 12 (LT) The state of destroying the independency of the judiciary began with the J.R. Jayawardene’s administration states former High Court Judge W.T.M.P.B. Warawewa adding that certain judges are not aware of the dignity of their profession. He said this speaking at a ceremony organized by Association of Young Lawyers. An award appreciating the services of Mr. Warawewa was presented to him. He further said, “The judges today do not have self confidence. more..

No Mention of Tamils' Plight in Prez Speech Upsets DMK

Mar 12 (PTI) The absence of any mention of plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka in the President's address today caused some discontent in UPA ally DMK which said India should support a US-sponsored resolution against the island nation. "There was no mention of the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka. There was no mention of the ongoing discussions on the human rights violations in Sri Lanka," DMK leader T R Baalu told reporters after the President's address. more..

WikiLeaks: Gota has been punishing Army for rape and murder

Mar 12 (CT) “In an October 6 meeting with Ambassador, Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said the president “could” appoint a new commission to look at complaints or use some existing mechanism, such as an ombudsman. He also noted that, contrary to widely held impressions, the army had investigated and prosecuted individual soldiers for individual crimes committed during the war, and more..

Agro Exhibition and Trade Fair 2012

Mar 12 (GDI) The three day Agro Exhibition and Trade Fair 2012 scheduled to be held in Ampara is expected to benefit over 23,000 farming communities in the districts of Ampara, Batticaloa and Monaragala. The 3 day annual exhibition will be held from April, 5, 2012 at Ampara Urban Council Grounds. The exhibition will help the farming communities in the aforementioned 3 districts to establish links with govt sector institutions, financial sector institutions and more..

SriLankan Airlines on the 'Silk Route'

Mar 12 (GDI) Business class passengers, departing Bandaranaike International Airport on SriLankan Airlines, to any of its 34 online destinations, could avail of a unique 'Silk Route' offer which streamlines check-in, customs, immigration & security formalities. The 'Silk Route' experience, is the latest addition to SriLankan's premium Business class product, commencing 15th March, 2012. There will be no more queues, as passengers will be met on arrival at the 'Silk Route' more..

Sri Lanka main airport moves 6.34mn pax in 2011: official

Mar 12 (LBO) Passenger movements through Sri Lanka's main international airport rose to 6.4 million above its design capacity of 6 million passengers, and the state-run agency was scrambling to add capacity. Last year, according to the agency's annual report, the international airport at Katunayake handled 5.259 million passengers indicating an increase of 21 percent. Chairman of Sri Lanka Airport and Aviation Services Ltd, more..

Rupavahini trapped in 'Credit' episode

Mar 12 (DM) Several organizations including state institutions who had advertised on Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) have defaulted a sum of Rs 596.8 million, according to Auditor General’s report for 2010. According to the report state institutions owed Rs 14.07 million to the Corporation. This situation has arisen despite SLRC’S credit policy limiting the credit period to one month. The SLRC had also signed seven advertising agreements amounting to Rs 22.1 million more..

She-camel dies due to wrong diagnosis

Mar 12 (DM) A she-camel of the Dehiwala Zoological Gardens died on Saturday while being treated on the advice of the veterinary surgeon assuming that she had been pregnant. However, according to Zoo Director Prabhaswara Senanka Gunarathne the female camel named Rosy was later found not pregnant at the time of the incident and a full probe is expected on the circumstances that led to the death. It has cost the Zoo Rs. 60,000 in terms of expenses involved in the more..

Suspected infection causes baby care unit to close down

Mar 12 (CT) The functions in the neonatal care units of the Colombo South Teaching Hospital (Kalubowila) and Castle Street Hospital for Women have been suspended as the result of an outbreak of infections. Commenting on the aforesaid incident, Kalubowila Hospital Director Dr. Anil Jasinghe said that the hospital’s neonatal baby care unit was completely closed on 9 March as the spread of infection intestified. more..

Girly no more

Mar 12 (DM) Popular yesteryear actress Girly Gunawardane (77) passed away yesterday and the funeral will be held at the Borella General Cemetery today (12) at 5.30 pm. She is the mother of popular film star Sabeetha Perera and husband of the late actor/ director Stanley Perera. Girly who was 77 at the time of her death, started acting in school plays at Girls High School, Mount Lavinia. Her first public performance came in the stage play ‘Dompe Aya’ after which she took part in more..

Action against multiple registrations

Mar 12 (CT) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said that legal action will be taken against registrants who hold multiple registrations with the Elections Department. Commissioner made this remark at a meeting held at the Elections Department. The representatives of election monitoring organizations took part in the meeting. According to the Elections Department, 172,979 registrants are registered in two places, 1532 registrants in three places and 13 registrants in four places. more..

Sri Lanka navy expresses concerns over Indian allegations

Mar 12 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan navy on Monday expressed deep concerns over allegations that it has harassed Indian fishermen. "The Sri Lankan navy expresses deep concerns over the malicious allegations raised time to time accusing it of harassing Indian fishermen. None of these has, however, been able to provide credible proof regarding Sri Lankan navy's involvement. Most have been found to be mere hearsay and accusations based on ill intentions more..

Sri Lanka stocks close 0.6-pct lower

Mar 12 (LBO) Stocks closed 0.58 percent lower Monday with illiquid stocks falling in thin trade, though foreign investors were net buyers and some large caps stocks gained, dealers said. The benchmark Colombo All Share Index closed down 31.8 points at 5,424.4 points and the Milanka Index of liquid stocks fell 0.25 percent to close at 4,809.45 points. Turnover was 378 million rupees. Foreign investors bought 139 million rupees of stocks and sold 17.3 million rupees worth. more..

Coupons provided but not fuel subsidy - UNP

Mar 12 (AD) The govt has taken no steps to compensate the family of the fisherman killed and the families of those injured during the protest in Chilaw against the recent fuel price hike, says the UNP. Criticizing the manner in which the fishermen’s protest was handled, UNP MP Palitha Range Bandara accused the govt of having absolutely no knowledge of crowd control laws. The Puttalam District MP claimed that even thought the govt has provided fishermen with fuel subsidy coupons, more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 12.03.2012

Sri Lankan High Commissioner on Channel 4 documentary

Mar 12 (NDTV) A new documentary to air on Channel 4 this week has created an international human rights controversy - the film purportedly shows the 12-year-old son of LTTE leader Prabhkaran lying dead with five bullets in his chest. Sri Lanka has said the allegations in the film about war crime are malicious. The High Commissioner, Prasad Kariyawasam, talked to NDTV's Nitin Gokhale. Nitin Gokhale: Nearly three years after the Sri Lankan forces more..

Film on Prabha's death; Army

Mar 12 (DM) Army Commander Jagath Jayasuriya addressing troops in Mullaitivu today stated that the Army would be producing a documentary containing eye witness evidence of the final battle that took place in the Nanthikadal lagoon. “There are reports that UK based Channel-4 TV channel have compiled and are going to release another documentary allegedly detailing the death of the LTTE leader. The Army in response to this wants to show the world the real picture and more..

Sri Lanka to censor news alerts about military, police

Mar 12 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Defense Ministry on Monday ordered news outlets to get prior approval before sending mobile phone alerts about the military or police, a move press freedom groups decried as another step towards greater censorship. In a letter hand-delivered to news outlets including Reuters, Media Center for National Security (MCNS) Director-General Lakshman Hulugalle said the new order was effective immediately. more..

Asia Cup: Bruised India eye redemption

Mar 12 (ESPN) Title holders India would be hoping for a positive start to their campaign in the Asia Cup when they take on Sri Lanka in Mirpur on Tuesday. The Asia Cup will provide India a chance to make amends for their dismal performance in the triangular series in Australia where they won just three out of eight matches. After having flopped in two consecutive overseas tours in England and then Australia, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni knows the importance of more..

Tamils divided over UN resolution

Mar 12 (BBC) The main Tamil political party in Sri Lanka says it supports the US-backed resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, but other Tamil parties have expressed serious dissatisfaction over “watered down” resolution. The TNA said it supports the US-led resolution whilst the TNPF said it is disappointed about the watered down text. "Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva presenting the LLRC report to the parliament pledged that the govt will implement it," TNA parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran told more..

Sri Lanka's potential oil reserves spark global interest

Mar 12 (BBC) As hopes grow in Sri Lanka that viable reserves of oil are about to be discovered in its seawaters, commentators are speculating about the intentions of India, China and Russia in prospecting for it. Recent Indian media reports suggested that India does not want countries other than itself and Sri Lanka to get involved in oil exploration in the Palk Strait between the two countries. But these have not been confirmed. more..

DMK wants India to vote against Sri Lanka for alleged war crimes

Mar 12 (NDTV) The DMK, a senior partner in the UPA, has said that India must vote against Sri Lanka next week in Geneva at a session of the UNHRC. The resolution has been moved by the US and India had hinted that it would support its neighbour. The DMK wants both Houses of Parliament to discuss this tomorrow and commit to a vote against Sri Lanka. That's largely due to excerpts from a documentary shot in Sri Lanka that will be aired on Channel 4 this week in the UK. more..

Sri Lanka threatens to join anti-America allies

Mar 12 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka threatens to join international allies against the United States if it tries to force the country to extremes, a minister said on Monday. Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said Sri Lanka would have to join the enemies of the United States if it continues to pressurize the country. "There are friends as well as enemies of the United States. We are ready to join the anti-U.S. allies if it is for forcing us to extremes," Ranawaka said. more..

White van abduction foiled

Mar 12 (CT) Kolonnawa Urban Council Chairman, Ravindra Udayashantha, who survived an alleged white van abduction Saturday evening, held the Sri Lanka army responsible for the act. The abduction was foiled by supporters of the UC Chairman, who after a scuffle apprehended the driver of the white van and four others. This is the first time a white van abduction has been foiled in the recent past. While reports indicated some soldiers were behind the more..

Kahawatte murders: Tip of narcotic iceberg

Mar 13 (NS) When the main suspect of the gruesome Kahawatte double murder of a mother and her young daughter made a statement to the police, a local politician, the brother of the main suspect, had threatened the officer in charge saying he had no business to question his brother. The politician had threatened to remove the officer adding that he remained in that position because of his (the politician) wish. However the tragic double murder suspects including more..

Preventing politicians from going to Hell

Mar 12 (NS) Unbearable costly institutions: The Constitution has created certain institutions that are maintained at unbearable costs that a country like Sri Lanka, where the poor struggle to make both ends meet, can ill-afford. The trustees of these institutions have no sense of economy or thrift. They are real burden to the national treasury. (i) Office of the Executive President: No country in the world, where a democratic form of government exists, has an Executive Presidency more..

'Witness protection system vital for people'

Mar 12 (SO) A recent research done in Sri Lanka has found out that our Prisons are holding three times of their carrying capacity. It showed that Sri Lanka’s prisons are highly congested and over crowded. “This is the same prison that existed since 50–60 years ago. The crime rate has gone up and the population has increased too but the prisons have not grown up to that level that should be,” said Retired Judge of the Supreme Court Justice Nissanka Udalagama. more..

All march to the same beat, one sings his own song

Mar 12 (LB) The opposition protest at Panadura was a success. It was the second Vipaksaye Virodhaya - protest of the opposition, to take place. First happened on the 17 of February, opposite the Fort railway station and it became an eye opener to the government as well to the pundits of the opposition. Particularly those who complained, that Ranil with his programme, which included devolution and rational socioeconomic criticism, as a non starter had to join the VV, more..

Land powers have already been devolved

Mar 12 (LB) Who said there is a dispute about devolving land powers to the provincial councils (PC)? Mahinda Ralapanawe, a senior Attorney-at-Law and a former public servant with substantial experience in land related departments, says: “Rubbish, land powers have been fully devolved as in the 13th Amendment and are exercised without hindrance by eight of Sri Lanka’s provincial councils.” Speaking at a seminar on February 23 organized by the Socialist Study Circle at more..

Colombo 11: Once the most fashionable residential suburb

Mar 12 (CT) Pettah today is world famous for its maze of streets and alleys spilling over with merchandise of every description. It is noisy and hot, busy and over-crowded. However history documents, that once it was a regularly planned prime residential area and a fashionable neighborhood. For the purpose of postal services, Pettah has been assigned as Colombo 11 and is surrounded by some of the busiest suburbs of more..

Economy: V-Shaped recovery from a BOP crisis or a sudden stop

Mar 12 (CT) The consensus view is that Sri Lanka is in the midst of a Balance of Payment (BOP) crisis. It usually follows a period of large capital inflows and rapid economic growth. However, due to conflicting policy responses or policy slippage including irresponsible credit creation, an economy finds itself in a position where it struggles to pay for imports and service its foreign currency liabilities. Sri Lanka is fast approaching this point and more..

Resolving the balance of payments crisis

Mar 12 (ST) Will the corrective measures taken by the govt resolve the balance of payments difficulties? This is the vital question in the minds of all concerned with the economy. The Central Bank has always been optimistic and, in fact, was to begin with of the view that there was no real problem. Whether it actually thought so or not will be unknown to us. What we do know is that it was this perspective that delayed remedial measures. As a result, the country lost more..

Biopiracy: Depriving indigenous rights

Mar 12 (NS) The issue of biopiracy, commercially exploiting naturally occurring biochemical or genetic material, has once again become a talking point following the recent arrest of a group of foreign ‘bio pirates’ in Kalpitiya. The group of six foreigners from Australia, Belgium, Germany, and Venezuela, were taken into custody by officials from the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) on February 25. Vials containing DNA material and specimens of more..

Economy: Of that novel point system for drivers

Mar 13 (Island) Hardly a day passes without a fatal road accident being reported. It looks as if both motorists and pedestrians in this country had a death wish. After all, Sri Lankans are known for their tedium vitae or suicidal tendency. Vehicles on our roads are veritable mobile shrines with religious images dangling from vanity mirrors, swinging and somersaulting like acrobats. (What a sight!) But, sadly, Sri Lankans' religiosity or excessive/affected piety is more..

Economists and economy

Mar 13 (Island) The fact that the economy of Sri Lanka is in a crisis is evident if one examines the critical data for the last six years, indicated in the table indicated below. As indicated in the table total debts and the trade deficits have continued to increase during the last few years. GDP according to Central Bank has been fluctuating around 6.0 during the last six years. However due to a number of reasons, a high GDP does not necessarily indicate an increase in the productivity of a country and vice versa, more..

US backed Resolution does not urge Sri Lanka to implement Darusman Report

Mar 13 (TC) The Rajapaksas are the prime architects of Sri Lanka’s Geneva malaise. The US-backed Resolution on Sri Lanka does not urge Colombo to implement the Darusman Report (or recommendations by some international human rights group). The Resolution merely urges the Rajapaksa administration to make a time-bound commitment to implement the recommendations of its own LLRC. So why the hysterical fear, more..

Poetic Truth: US minorities challenge the US in Geneva

Mar 13 (LB) The US National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, an organization with an historic record of agitation on behalf of the minority African-Americans in the United States is now challenging certain US states for encroaching on minority rights. Significantly, the challenge is being mounted at the UNHRC, the exact global forum where the United States govt has the temerity to seek a resolution against Sri Lanka on the basis of ‘lack of accountability’ and more..

Rights, return & resettlement: A Critique of the TNA report on resettlement

Mar 13 (GV) The ‘Resettlement Report October- December 2011’, available on the TNA temporary website, DBS Jeyraj’s blog and, is the second report of the TNA Research Series, and claims to provide an ‘overview of the return or resettlement of IDPs who were displaced during the final stages of the war in Sri Lanka’. The report states that its intention is to ‘examine the status of selected groups of resettled or returned persons in the Vanni region’, more..

ICTA Chairman appointed as Chancellor of Peradeniya University

Mar 13 (FT) Senior Presidential Advisor and ICT Agency (ICTA) Chairman Professor P.W. Epasinghe will assume duties as Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya this week. “It’s a great honour for the higher education system in the country,” said academics and education policymakers. President made this appointment recently. Professor Epasinghe has a proven and illustrious track record in every field he served to develop the country, more..

Progressive increase in health sector budget

Mar 13 (DN) The govt will allocate Rs. 103 billion for the health sector development. From 2009 to 2012, the govt has increased the funds allocated for the health sector development by Rs. 31 billion. Every year the funds allocated for the development of the health sector had been increased by Rs. 10 billion, Health Ministry Media Coordinator W.M.D. Wanninayake said. The statistics were released to media by Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivad Cabraal during an awareness raising seminar held for media coordinators of Cabinet Ministers. more..