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Sri Lankan move to fire top judge stirs fears

Nov 9 (AP) When Shirani Bandaranayake was appointed Sri Lanka's chief justice, rights campaigners assailed her as a puppet of a govt that was steamrolling opponents and consolidating power. A year later, she is on the verge of becoming its latest victim. In the wake of court challenges to govt authority, the ruling party submitted an impeachment complaint in Parliament accusing her of unexplained wealth and more..

Norochcholai second phase ready in 2014

Nov 9 (Island) The second stage of Norochcholai Lak Vijaya coal power plant would be commissioned by 2014 and it would solve the country’s energy related problems for another 10 years, Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka said. He said that it was on top of the target to save 20 percent of the country’s electricity use through energy conservation programmes and meeting the energy demand of 20 percent from non-conventional renewable energy sources by 2020. more..

Kapugedera replaces Dilshan in SL squad

Nov 9 (Hindu) Middle-order batsman Chamara Kapugedera has replaced injured opener Tillakaratne Dilshan for the next two One-Day Internationals against New Zealand including tomorrow’s match. Sri Lanka manager Charith Senanayake said that Dilshan has suffered a lower back injury. The fourth ODI is slated for tomorrow while the fifth and final ODI will be played on Monday at Hambantota. It was Dilshan’s century which enabled Sri Lanka to win the 3rd ODI more..

Violent clashes at Welikada prison

Nov 9 (BBC) Violent clashes have erupted between inmates and prison guards at the Welikada prison in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, reports say. Several people are said to have been wounded when police commandos came under attack while conducting a search operation in the jail. One report says inmates were seen waving rifles from the roof of a prison building. Gunfire has also been heard. The army has been called in and roads more..

83 Australia bound persons intercepted

Nov 9 (SLN) Navy arrested 83 persons illegally bound for Australia in a multi-day trawler in the early hours of 9th Nov. The trawler named “kangaroo” was intercepted by a Fast Naval Patrol Craft attached to the Southern Naval Command 15 nautical miles off Mirissa seas. Among the arrested persons are 48 Tamils, 32 Sinhalese and 3 Muslims that included 78 men and 5 women. They are residents of Vavuniya, Killinochchi, Chilaw, Batticaloa, Nuwara Eliya, Wattala, more..

BASL has failed to act positively

Nov 9 (CT) The series of events which are naked attacks on the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary in the recent past are well recorded. These events culminated in the unprecedented action of the JSC chaired by the Chief Justice and constituted of two other Supreme Court Judges releasing a statement to the public through the Secretary to the commission. In whatever way one looks at the statement, it is the expression of the displeasure of the JSC on the more..

War's end threatens water supply in northern Sri Lanka

Nov 9 (IPS) War is seldom good for anything, especially protracted conflicts like the one in Sri Lanka, which dragged on for over three decades and claimed between 80,000 to 100,000 lives. But in a strange twist, this island nation's civil war seems to have been a blessing in disguise for the precarious water resources in the northern Jaffna Peninsula, the region that bore the brunt of the fighting. The political and cultural nerve more..

Kotte mayor charged with selling a children's park

Nov 9 (SM) A case against the Mayor of Kotte, Mr. Janaka Ranawana, regarding an incident selling of a children’s park in Nawala Koswatte, owned by the Kotte Municipal Council, was called today before the Fort Addl. Magistrate, Mr Sandun Vitarna. It is said that Mr. Ranawaka sold this land for 4 million rupees to Mr. G. A. Joachim. UPFA Kotte Council member, Mr. Prasanna Ravindalal, has filed the case. During the period 01.10.2011 to 30.09.2012, the children’s park comprising 38.5 perches and 6 million more..

Multiple birth quandrary

Nov 9 (CT) For many Sri Lankans, marriage connotes children and the lack of thereof, is often viewed with suspicion. Family, close friends, mere acquaintances, total strangers – all think nothing of inquiring after a couple’s plans for children; sometimes barely before the newlyweds have settled into their new lives. The fertility rate; total (births per woman) in Sri Lanka was last reported at 2.31, according to a World Bank report published in 2012. Compared with other South Asian countries, more..

Sri Lanka package holidays 'unethical', claims campaign group

Nov 9 (Telegraph) The Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice claims certain hotels, airlines and attractions around the country - including a number of wildlife sanctuaries - have political or financial links to the alleged perpetrators of human rights abuses. It has launched a campaign called “Think Again” which warns tourists of a “culture of impunity” in Sri Lanka, a country in which "continued abuses thrive”. The non-profit more..

Traffic travails

Nov 10 (NS) There are times when cars are at a complete standstill, causing great difficulty to those on the road, trying to reach their places of work or dropping their children to school. A little delay on the road leads to many issues. Students’ complain of being punished for late attendance and office workers have to face the embarrassment of the ‘Red Line’. The issue of traffic congestion is not a new issue especially within the city limits of Kandy. At times vehicles don’t even move an inch, more..

‘DEW’ drop memories of Kueneman…

Nov 10 (NS) Facing the historic Elphinstone Theatre at the Maradana Junction stands a staunch communist legend, larger than life, singing the ‘Communist Chorus’ deep in his voice to eternity. This comrade, the chubby cheeked Pieter Gerald Bartholomeuzs Kueneman was a man well versed with the clio-metrics of communism and the depth of human mind. This statue of Comrade Kueneman, a brilliant product of Royal College, Colombo, is best looked after by his party unlike the monument more..


Nov 10 (CT) Resettlement in many areas of the North and East has been completed. However, there are still areas that have to be cleared of mines to make it totally safe for the civilians living in those areas. In Mullaitivu alone, there still remains around 19,255,419 square metres left to be demined, while 161,838,676 square metres have already been cleared of mines for the resettlement of civilians. A total of 37,717 families in the more..

‘Formula Pol’- the race in our times

Nov 10 (Island) These are days of racing thoughts. Obama won the race for another term as US President. It was more a defeat for the pundits who were determined to tell the world it was a tight race in the Electoral College, when the final tally showed that Romney was not in that race at all. It reminded me of the efforts being made over here three years ago, to show us that former General Sarath Fonseka was always catching up in the race with Mahinda Rajapaksa, when the results showed that more..

Impeachment of the Chief Justice: The charges

Nov 10 (CT) Some MPs of the UPFA have submitted an Impeachment Motion against the Chief Justice (CJ) to the Speaker of Parliament and the Speaker has decided to appoint a Select Committee to inquire into and report to Parliament on the charges contained in the Impeachment Motion. By evaluating the list of charges contained in the Impeachment Motion, the second and third charges are criminal offences triable by a competent, independent and impartial court, as provided more..

Trawler owners, skippers and crew take to human smuggling like fish taking to water

Nov 10 (ST) Many owners of multi-day fishing boats are reluctant to send their vessels out to deep sea, with hired hands, for fear of hijacking, following the recent boat-grab on Oct 14, off the Matara coast in Kudawella, the industry said. Ever since the ‘Thejan Putha’ was hijacked by armed men operating with the connivance of a section of the boat’s hired crew, there are jitters among many in the local fishing industry, more..

Challenges for a sustainable economic development in Sri Lanka

Nov 10 (DBS) Thisal Dewundara, participated at the French-Sri Lankan Diaspora Youth Workshop “Post-War Reconciliation Dialogue for a Sustainable Peace”, which took place in Paris, on Oc 27th, 2012. He participated as a panelist on the theme “Towards an effective and sustainable economic development”. The event was organized by What’s Next!, an independent forum comprising of post-graduates and young professionals of Sri Lankan origin residing in France. What’s Next! more..

Sinhabahu the paradigmatic myth of the Sri Lankan Oedipus

Nov 10 (CT) The mythological Story of Sinhabahu describes the origin of Sinhala nation. According to the mythology, the Princess Suppadevi of Vanga Kingdom was kidnapped by a ferocious lion and took her to the wilderness. While living with the lion she became pregnant and had twins. The newly born son was named Sinhabahu and daughter was named Sinha Seevali. The lion kept them in a cave and used to cover the entrance with a mighty rock. When Sinhabahu was sixteen years of age, more..

Are schools, clubs and SLC playing pandu?

Nov 10 (ST) When the wind of change blows some build walls, others build windmills. This is an old Chinese proverb that fits into the scenario that local cricket is engulfed in. There are persons who have built windmills profiteering in all cricketing ills, while some others are striving to build walls or put some order into the prevailing madness. I am sorry if I have turned the proverb inside out, with the Chinese wisdom it still makes great more..

Editorial: Lamborghini Vs Badagini

Nov 10 (Island) Another budget has come and gone. It is already as good as passed because the govt commands a two-thirds majority in Parliament. The debate that has commenced is of little use; nothing much will be discussed. Described as growth-oriented, Budget 2013 has elicited a positive response from a section of the business community while others have expressed displeasure. It has left the people trying to figure out what they have got and what they haven't. What is given with one more..

Budget 2013: A step in the right direction, says think tank

Nov 10 (Island) "It is commendable that this budget has not succumbed to the temptation of providing large-scale hand-outs that are unaffordable," the Pathfinder Foundation said in a statement. "The govt has sought to stick to its medium-term fiscal consolidation program that reduces the budget deficit to expectable level of GDP this year and has projected to continue the trend next year. An unsustainable fiscal deficit has been the main source of instability in the system more..

'New wave of growth, reforms via Budget 2013'

Nov 10 (FT) Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera yesterday emphasised that the 2013 Budget was developed to unleash a new wave of growth and reforms to make Sri Lanka a poverty-free country by 2016. Addressing an audience exceeding 1,200 persons at the first-ever post-Budget seminar, Jayasundera assured that the Govt would maintain continuity, consistency and clarity in implementing the budget decisions more..

Impeaching Chief Justice

Nov 10 (Island) There are laws delays and justice is denied. Justice is expensive. Pickpockets or coconut thieves have nothing to complain about. At least, the pickpocket or the coconut thief knows the police officer who arrests him. The police officers, who conduct the inquiry and charge him, do not sit on the bench to try his case. It is done by someone else. Strange are the ways of these people. And even if the pickpocket or the coconut thief is convicted, after a long drawn out trial, he has the right to more..

Vehicle importers disappointed

Nov 10 (Island) President Vehicle Importers’ Association of Lanka (VIAL) Indika Sampath Merenchige said the budget had not provided any relief to vehicle importers after sales plummeted by nearly 80% on high taxes and a weaker currency as the government tackles pressures on the balance of payments. Speaking to journalists yesterday the VIAL President said the association had met with Treasury Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundera seeking relief in the 2013 Budget. more..

TISL stresses on need for a flawless mechanism in handling impeachment issue

Nov 10 (FT) In a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Speaker and party leaders, Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) states that it is the duty and national responsibility of all concerned to evolve a flawless mechanism with which justice is meted out in investigating into the current impeachment motion against the Chief Justice. Stating that in this case we could learn from other countries which follow more acceptable more..

Muslim Council to take up issue of Northern IDPs at confab

Nov 10 (FT) The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka has actively taken up the issue of evicted Northern Muslims, which now stands unresolved in its 22nd year. In October 1990, more than 60,000 Muslim people were evicted by the LTTE from the Northern Province. Following this eviction, they were mainly accommodated in Puttalam District and other districts in the southern part of Sri Lanka. They were continuously languishing in welfare centers until the end of the civil war, except for a more..

New system to track mobile phone theft, illegal phones

Nov 10 (ST) Sri Lanka TRC is to establish an Equipment Identity Register (EIR) to control access to mobile networks, deter mobile phone theft and fraud as well as sale of illegal handsets, a top official of the TRC said. Anusha Palpita, Director General of the said that the new system enables the regulatory authority to have advanced administrative and customer management capabilities allowing mobile service providers to use the EIR to perform checks and block any blacklisted more..

India-mediated 13th Amendment on its way out?

Nov 10 (Hindu) In the strongest indication yet that Sri Lanka is having a serious rethink on the India-mediated concept of autonomy for provinces in the country, President Rajapaksa, announced in parliament on Thursday that “a change in the prevailing Provincial Council system is necessary to make devolution more meaningful” to people. His announcement comes a few weeks after two coalition partners of the UPFA, more..

Sovereignty Vs Accountability: The UPR

Nov 10 (SL) On Thursday (Nov 1) Special Envoy of the President on Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe made a statement at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on Sri Lanka’s progress in terms of human rights issues. He said that steps were being taken to implement the National Human Rights Action Plan, from training IDPs on the dangers of mines and unexploded ordnances to the ‘significant reduction’ in military presence in the North. Following the speech, 99 countries more..

Did HQI commit suicide due to PSTD?

Nov 10 (Island) HQI of the Elpitiya police, Chief Inspector B.D.L.L. Budagoda, committed suicide on Thursday night by shooting himself inside his official residence. The reason for him to commit suicide was still a mystery as the officer had not shown any signs of being troubled by problems, personal or official, police said. SSP Prishantha Jayakody said that the incident occurred around 9.35 p.m. in the presence of his wife and three daughters aged 12, 10, 08 in the living room. more..

Kotte Mayor alleged to have sold off Municipal property

Nov 10 (FT) A UPFA member of the Kotte Municipal Council filed a complaint before the Colombo Chief Magistrate Court against the Mayor of Kotte Municipal Council, alleging that he had transferred a property belonging to the Kotte Municipality in the name of the Mayor. The petitioner, Prasanna Ravindra Lal, a sitting UPFA member of the Kotte Municipal Council accused the Mayor of Kotte, Janaka Ranawaka and more..

Draining the marshes while 'disappearing' democracy

Nov 10 (SL) The title of this column might seem like a strange juxtaposition of terminology but I hope the rationale for it will become apparent as the reader goes through the body of this short submission. I have recently been assailed by some, on whose intelligence (and motivation) I do not seek to cast aspersions, about my alleged lack of fairness and objectivity in not recognizing the good work being done by certain prominent members of our govt who are, at the same time more..

School uniform material to be provided twice a year - Minister

Nov 10 (DN) For the first time in the country’s history, school uniform material will be provided twice a year from 2013 in line with the 2013 budget proposals, Minister Bandula Gunawardena said. An additional set of uniform material will be issued to students in rural areas on the advice of President Mahinda Rajapksa and parallel to the 2013 budget proposals. This set of uniform material will be issued in addition to the formal set of uniform material, Minister Gunawardena said. more..

LTTE chief Matheenthiran alias Parithy shot dead: Victim of Tiger vs Tiger power struggle

Nov 10 (DBS) Nadarajah Matheenthiran, chief of the LTTE head in France was shot dead in Paris on Nov 8th night by “unkown” assassins on motor cycles. 49 year old Matheenthiran known as “Parithy” was in charge of the LTTE front organization, Tamil Coordinating committee (TCC). Matheenthiran known by the nom de guerre“Regan” when functioning as a tiger cadre in Sri Lanka was killed around 9.20 pm opposite the TCC more..

GNOA to launch islandwide token strike

Nov 10 (CT) Govt Nurses Officer’s Association (GNOA) is to launch an islandwide token strike on Nov 15 as their demands have not been addressed. In a communiqué, GNOA emphasized that they decided to go on strike as the Health Ministry did not cancel the Gazette issued for giving powers to Provincial Councils to recruit nurses, non-implementation of the five day work week, not taking measures to increase overtime and other allowances, not providing grade promotions more..

Malaysian support for IDPs

Nov 10 (CT) A Malaysian parliamentary alliance, comprising members from various regions in the country, has been formed to assist the IDPs in the war-ravaged areas in the North and East of Sri Lanka. The alliance, which consists seven MPs of different races from various regions in the country, will be headed by Dato Joshair Abdul. Another MP, Manoharan Marimuttu, has been named as the Secretary of the alliance. The alliance members commenting on their task said more..

'Honour pledges or face consequences'

Nov 10 (Island) The FUTA yesterday urged the govt to honour the agreements reached consequent to negotiations between FUTA and the govt or face the consequences. FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri, in a letter to Minister Basil Rajapaksa, dated Nov. 7, accused the govt of failing to honour the agreements, though FUTA had suspended trade union action on Oct. 12. The FUTA chief sought a clarification from more..

Kandy Bar expresses solidarity with CJ

Nov 10 (Island) The Kandy Bar Association, at a special meeting, adopted a resolution unanimously expressing dismay at the attempt to impeach Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake. The resolution stated that the Bar Association of Sri Lanka should meet the CJ and express to her the support and solidarity of the membership. The resolution was proposed by Attorney-at-Law Harindra Dunuwila and seconded by Wijaya Wickremaratne PC. Text of the resolution: The Kandy Bar Association more..

Over Rs. 239m to reconstruct Hindu sacred places

Nov 10 (DN) The govt will repair and restore all places of religious worship, including Hindu sacred places of worship destroyed by LTTE terrorist activities, Buddhasasana and Religious Affairs Deputy Minister M K A D S Gunawardene told Parliament. He said this in response to a question raised by UNP MP Sajith Premadasa. He said 3,600 Hindu temples have already been registered at Hindu Religious and Cultural Affairs Department. We have already spent nearly Rs. 239 million to more..

Billing system at govt hospitals from next year

Nov 10 (DN) All measures have been made to initiate a billing system at govt hospitals from next year to show patients the cost incurred by the govt, when providing free health care facilities for the public, Minister Maitripala Sirisena said. According to the minister this billing system will initially commence at Lady Ridgeway Children's Hospital, Maharagama Cancer Hospital, and the kidney hospitals in Kandy and Anuradhapura. more..