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Construction industry unhappy with budget

Nov 10 (Island) Leading architect Surath Wickramasinghe yesterday expressed the displeasure of the country’s construction industry over the failure of the budget to give any benefits to them. Wickramasinghe, in a statement, said: I believe the major concession the Construction Industry achieved in the Budget, was on Foreign Funded ‘agreements to include the participation of Local Consultants and Contractors’. Besides this, the rest of the Construction related more..

More accounts, in face of denials by CJ

Nov 10 (DN) In the face of denials by Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, with regard to allegations of financial impropriety in the impeachment motion now before the legislature, confidential sources say there are more accounts than the 19 undeclared financial accounts referred to in the impeachment motion. Though it is now too late to include the details of these additional accounts in the motion before Parliament, the fresh revelations would be pertinent in any impeachment hearings more..

Opposition protests against composition of PSC on CJ’s Impeachment

Nov 10 (Island) Opposition political parties protested to Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa about what they called unfair govt representation in the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) appointed to inquire into the Impeachment Motion against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. The UNP, TNA and JVP group leaders at a meeting with the Speaker in his Chamber requested him to increase the allocation of 4 seats for the Opposition more..

SL v NZ 4th OID: New Zealand need bowlers to step up

Nov 10 (CI) Rain may have defined the cricket so far, yet, with two games to go, the series is placed as expected. New Zealand's batsmen have battled to good scores in both competed matches, but the visitors find themselves on the brink of a series defeat once more. That they have fielded second twice - once by their own election - has hampered their bowlers, who have had to contend with a wet ball. New Zealand have also spoken of a "top heavy" Sri Lanka batting order, but more..

Court re-issues notice on BASL

Nov 10 (Island) The District Court of Colombo yesterday re-issued notice on the President of the Sri Lanka Bar Association, Wijedasa Rajapakshe PC, and the other executive member of the association, returnable on Nov. 23, 2012. The notice was in respect of the application for interim injunction, filed by a group of lawyers, requesting the Court to suspend the holding of ‘Neethiranga’ 2012, until the application against the conduct of the organisers was finally determined. more..

Prisoners take over Welikada, 11 killed

Nov 10 (Island) Eleven inmates of the Welikada prison were killed and at least nine elite police commandos, including Special Task Force (STF) Commandant R.W.M.C. Ranawana wounded, during a riot which broke out while police were carrying out a search operation. The prisoners threw missiles and fired automatic weapons, which they had seized from the prison’s two armouries. Bodies of nine inmates were more..

How listed companies would be affected by the budget

Nov 10 (Island) Budget 2013 is a capital market friendly budget making policy reforms clearer and simpler, Bartleert Religare Securities said in a report outlining how individual listed companies would be affected by the budget proposals. "The budget proposals for 2013 continued to be welfare-oriented and forecasted an ambitious 5.8% deficit (down from a forecasted 6.2% in 2012). The total proposed revenue for the year 2013 amounts to LKR 1,278bn while expenditure amounts to LKR 1,785bn, more..

Editorial: Obama victory changes face of America

Nov 10 (DM) The re-election of Barack Obama as the President of the United States has changed the face of the world’s leading superpower and has some important lessons for Sri Lanka in issues relating to ethnic harmony, unity in diversity and social justice. Though most opinion polls had predicted the battle for the White House was too close to call, President Obama eventually won with a popular vote of more than 59 million and at least 303 of the 538 Electoral College votes. more..

Four foreign envoys present credentials

Nov 10 (IL) Four foreign envoys including three new Ambassadors and a High Commissioner handed over their credentials to President Mahinda Rajapaksa on yesterday. The ceremony for the handing over of credentials by the new diplomats was held at the President’s Office, Presidential Secretariat in Colombo under the patronage of President Rajapaksa. The new envoys who presented their letters of credence were more..

Health sector unions say they are cheated

Nov 10 (Island) The Health Service Trade Union Confederation (HSTUC) yesterday expressed its dissatisfaction with the 2013 budgetary proposals stating that its public sector employees had been cheated once again as they had not been given a salary increment since the 2006 budget. Co-President of the HSTUC, Ravi Kumudesh said that instead, the government had given the public services a pittance of an more..

'CJ can continue to hear cases'

Nov 10 (DM) On behalf of group of concerned attorneys, a senior counsel yesterday informed the Supreme Court that there is no legal or moral barrier for Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake to continue to hear cases while a motion for impeachment is pending in Parliament. Writing to the Registrar of the Supreme Court, President’s Counsel K. Kanag-Isvaran stated there was no impediment of hindrance or moral issue for more..

'Indian Prisoners in Welikada safe'

Nov 10 (Hindu) The 33 Indian convicts and the five remand prisoners in Welikada prison were safe, the Indian High Commission said on Saturday morning. Clashes between security personnel and prisoners inside claimed over 15 lives since last evening. “The High Commission has been constantly monitoring the situation since the time the clashes broke out. The Sri Lankan authorities have told us that the Indian prisoners are safe,” more..

Illegal flour price hikes take bread out of mouths

Nov 10 (ST) “The local bakery industry is, ultimately, going to collapse,” a disgruntled bakery owner in Maradana observed at the new increased prices for wheat flour that led to a price hike in bread. Prima Group, the largest flour distributor in the country, increased wheat flour prices by Rs. 6 and Serendib Flour Mills, increased its price by Rs. 4 last month. Consequently, the All Ceylon Bakery Owners’ Association announced an increase more..

Mining license issued without valid permission

Nov 10 (SL) Secretary Agrarian Services and Wildlife Ministry Udeni Wickremasinghe has come under severe criticism for granting permission to a private party to remove sand and sediments in the Amban Ganga without valid permission. Wickremasinghe who is also the Acting Director General, Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) in a letter dated Sept 10, 2012 to the Divisional Secretary Elahera more..

Minister explains Transworks property transfer to Krrish Group

Nov 10 (Island) The Transworks House Property, in Colombo Fort, was given to the KRRISH Group of India since it was an investor, that could develop the property, with prior experience attached to it, minister Nimal Siripala de Silva told Parliament. Responding to a question raised by UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, on a previous day, he said: "The Transworks House Property at Colombo Fort remained undeveloped for more..

Speaker makes computer literacy mandatory for MPs

Nov 10 (Island) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa yesterday made it mandatory for all parliamentarians to be fluent and proficient in information communication technology and computer literacy. Making an announcement, the Speaker said that all facilities had now been installed in the Parliament complex for the purpose and requested the MPs to make use of them so that the parliamentary affairs could be brought up to a higher level. more..

Prison riot: death toll rises to 27

Nov 10 (AP) A shootout between rioting prisoners and security forces at a prison in Colombo killed at least 27 inmates, while police said Saturday that they arrested five prisoners who had managed to escape and were searching for others. Another 42 people were wounded in the shootout Friday between inmates and army and police commandos that broke out after the rioting prisoners briefly took control of at least part of the more..

War in Prison

Nov 10 (DM) Thirteen persons were confirmed dead and 40 others, including the commandant of the STF DIG C. Ranawana and ten other STF personnel were injured during a major shootout outside the Welikada remand prison yesterday. However, it is believed that there could be an increase in the number killed during the shootout as a number of bodies were seen lying in the environs of the prison complex. The shootout started more..

The judiciary should take politics seriously

Nov 10 (CT) The clash between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, popularly (and wrongly) perceived as a battle between the executive/legislature and the judiciary, does not provide much hope for the latter. Both parties are presently engaged in a drive to convince the people of their narrative, their case. President Rajapaksa’s publicity campaign, as well as the manner in which some of the charges against CJ Bandaranayake have been framed (with more..

An open letter to the Left parties and the SLMC: Don’t vote for the Divineguma bill

Nov 10 (CT) It is quite unfortunate that the Govt is determined to impose the Divineguma legislation through a two third majority on the people of the North without consulting them at all through an elected Provincial Council. There is a major difference between the use of a two third majority to pass such legislation with consultation of the people and without consultation. Under the system of devolution, it is like ‘taxes without representation.’ This is particularly so when considering more..

'The Only SC justice who dares challenge Sarath Silva is Shirani Bandaranayake'

Nov 10 (CT) “Aziz told us that never in the judiciary’s history has there been a chief justice with such absolute control over the rest of the country’s judges. Aziz and Pieris said De Silva is charismatic, cunning, and vindictive, as well as one of the great legal minds of Sri Lanka, making him the last person anybody wants to challenge. From the Supreme Court down to the Magistrate Courts, De Silva dominates. more..

SB’s brother attempts to kill himself

Nov 10 (LT) The President of Central Provincial Council Saliya Bandara Dissanayake, the younger brother of the Minister of Higher Education S.B. Dissanayake has been admitted to Kandy Hospital in a critical stage after an unsuccessful attempt to commit suicide. He has been admitted to hospital today at 11.45 a.m. and is being treated in the Intensive Care Unit. He is addicted to liquor and drugs and consuming an overdose of a special drug he is addicted to has created the mental more..

JVP criticizes govt’s military mentality

Nov 10 (AD) The JVP today charged that government officials have a mentality of using the services of army soldiers and Special Task Force (STF) personnel for each and every duty in the country. The Marxist party claimed that the unfortunate incident which occurred at the Welikada Prison on Friday was a result of this and that the harmful consequences of using security personnel for internal prison affairs has been proved once again. In a statement issued today more..

Ranil and Wimal discuss 13 A

Nov 10 (CG) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and NFF leader and Minister Wimal Weerawanse have had talks on the 13th Amendment to the constitution. The discussion had taken place in parliament today on the sidelines of the budget debate, sources said. At the meeting Weerawanse had said that the 13th Amendment must be abolished and that his party will work towards that goal. more..

Speaker on leadership training programme

Nov 10 (Island) Had the leadership programme of the National Institute of Education for schoolchildren continued, there would have been no need for the Higher Education Ministry to conduct such programmes for university entrants, the Speaker told Parliament. Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa pointed out that if the govt had continued the NIE programme, then the controversy of giving military training to children would not have come up. He made the comments after MP Anura Kumara more..

AHRC flays Govt. on Welikada riot

Nov 10 (ST) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) condemned the shooting at the Welikada Jail on Friday where some 27 prisoners were gunned down by personnel from the STF and called upon the Govt to hold a full and thorough judicial inquiry into the incident. The AHRC said in a statement: The use of paramilitary forces in policing work is being witnessed quite often in recent times. The STF started as a paramilitary force during the conflict with the govt and the LTTE, more..

Commuters taken for a ride by the metre

Nov 10 (ST) Metered three-wheelers are freely exploiting customers in innovative ways, in the absence of regulations to control them. Fixing meters on three-wheelers hasn’t prevented drivers from cheating customers in new found ways, from taking longer routes in truly parangiya-kotte-giya fashion, to outright tampering with the meters. Many customer complaints include accusations of meter fixing to charge higher amounts. more..

I saw PLOTE leader Uma Maheswaran in my room: Zaki

Nov 10 (Haveeru) The then Senior Under-Secretary of the Foreign Ministry Ibrahim Hussain Zaki on Thursday has said that he had seen the PLOTE leader Uma Maheswaran three months before the November 3, 1988 insurgent attack on the Maldives by the group. At a press conference organized by him at the Male City Hall to reveal his “final say” over the attack, he said that he saw Uma Maheswaran inside a room he stayed in Sri Lanka. “But at the time I didn’t know who he was. more..

Trainee graduates pressurized to join ruling party union

Nov 10 (LT) Trainee graduates have been pressurized and threatened to join the SLFP graduates trade union through secretaries of govt ministers and MPs say reports. They have been informed that they should directly engage in politics of the ruling party as their appointments would be given by the govt and their participation in politics would be considered when giving appointments. Trainee graduates in Kurunegala District have been informed that their participation more..

China Sri Lanka's top lender, India gives most grants to Aug

Nov 10 (LBO) China was Sri Lanka's top lender up to August 2012 disbursing 443.6 million US dollars in loans and export credits and India has give the most amount of grants followed the United States and Japan. The finance ministry's fiscal management report shows that China has also committed a further 1,055 million US dollars and 0.16 million US dollars of grants up to August. India has committed 257.28 million US dollars more..

GOSL committed to fiscal consolidation despite economic showdown – ADB

Nov 10 (Island) The Asian Development Bank said that it was pleased to see the Govt was committed to fiscal consolidation despite difficulties from the economic slowdown. ADB Country Director in Sri Lanka Rita O’ Sullivan said that the budget targets were within the Medium Term Fiscal Framework, with the deficit estimated to fall to 5.7% in 2013 from an estimated 6.2% in 2012. "It is also noteworthy that within the context of the current global conditions, more..

War veteran George Davies to make final Sri Lanka journey

Nov 10 (BBC) An 87-year-old World War II veteran is to make a final trip to Sri Lanka to recall his wartime role there. George Davies, from Monmouth, will make the poignant trip in January with the help of the Big Lottery Fund's Heroes Return 2 programme. He is one of several Welsh veterans who have returned to places they served during the war. More than 830 veterans, widows, and spouses in Wales have so far been awarded over £1m to make similar trips. The former bank worker in more..

BASL resolution wants impeachment reconsidered

Nov 10 (CG) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) today adopted an eight point resolution which included a call to the govt to reconsider the impeachment motion on Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. Following a heated exchange of views among the BASL members during a special meeting, the eight point resolution was adopted. BASL President Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that the BASL had more..

Editorial: No one is above the law

Nov 11 (SO) Certain Opposition politicians and some local and foreign NGOs are making a subtle attempt to paint a different picture on the impeachment motion signed by 117 Parliamentarians to remove Chief Justice, Dr. (Mrs.) Shirani Bandaranayake from office. The impeachment motion, the fourth in Sri Lanka’s history, was included in the Order Paper of Parliament on Wednesday. Although certain politicians in the UNP are trying insidiously to more..

Editorial: A new constitution to guide SL?

Nov 11 (SL) Is the sunny island of Sri Lanka at the dawn of a glorious golden age to become the ‘Miracle of Asia’ as the rulers of the country have confidently predicted or are we at the twilight of a dark age where the hell fires are raging? Or will this country chug along at bullock cart speed merrily as we have done for most of our post Independence years? Some political pundits predict that we are heading towards a Stone Age with a barbaric civilization. The Democratic Socialist more..

'UPFA , a broad coalition'

Nov 11 (SO) The humble politician who has his roots in Katugampala, Kurunegala, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa is a clean and upright politician, who does not change sides, but always thinks of public welfare. He has not dirtied his hands with mud or blood. A dignified politician who is committed to safeguard democracy, he pursues his political career under the motto, “Don’t hurt the feelings of the more..

Editorial: Becoming a ‘country that was’

Nov 11 (NS) There was a country’ is Chinua Achabe’s personal history of Biafra. It is a personal story of a collective history, of a violent past that rolled into a political present. It is a memoir. Historical account. Literature. It is not an uncommon story. The world is full of violence. There’s war. There is insurrection. And the ‘collateral’. That’s how it is and how it has been for centuries upon centuries, which of course is no reason not to recoil in horror, not to object and not to seek ways more..

Editorial: Integrity of prison system in tatters

Nov 11 (LB) For all the wrong reasons, our prison system is emulating those of Latin American countries, where the crumbling prisons are teeming with inmates, and the law of the jungle has become the law inside prisons. The integrity of jailers in our penitentiaries is in tatters and a nexus between the underworld and a fraternity of unscrupulous prison guards is suspected. That is exactly why the Prisons Department decided to deploy the Police Special Task Force to carry out sudden raids in more..

'We will not tolerate any impunity'

Nov 11 (LB) Sri Lanka rejected some of the recommendations by the Human Rights Council because most of them have already been implemented,” said Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe who led Sri Lanka’s delegation to Geneva. He made this statement at the session where he gave the explanatory note as to why Sri Lanka had rejected certain recommendations at the Universal Periodical Review (UPR) held in Geneva on more..

Editorial: Budget rocks no boats

Nov 11 (Island) Time was when people frantically shopped for hard-to-get electrical appliances and other goods as the budget approached on rumours that duties would be raised. It was standard practice for traders to hoard cigarettes in anticipation of a price hike and Dr. N.M. Perera, as finance minister in Mrs. Bandaranaike’s United Front govt, memorably reduced tax on cigarettes to teach them a lesson. It was Dr. Perera who initiated the practice of effecting unpopular price increases more..