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Welgama takes depot managers to task

Nov 12 (DN) Minister Kumara Welgama said he would not hesitate to dismiss Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLCTB) depot managers who fail to pay employees’ salaries on time. He said the minister, chairman and officers attached to the SLCTB headquarters draw their salaries on time. “Workers at bus depots who toil do not get their salaries on time. This should not happen. Due to the weakness on the part of depot managers, workers ‘ salaries are not be paid on time. I will not hesitate to more..

‘Opposition fear establishment of Divi Neguma Department’

Nov 12 (DN) The Opposition is in fear of the establishment of the Divi Neguma Dept as it will strengthen the govt, All Island Samurdhi Development and Agricultural Research Production Assistants Officers Society Secretary Jagath Kumara said. He said groups of Samurdhi officers and beneficiaries are a powerful factor in the govt’s success. “As the living standards of both Samurdhi officers and beneficiaries will be improved with the establishment of the Divi Neguma Dept, more..

250,000 unborn children killed in Sri Lanka every year

Nov 12 (ST) Today has been declared as the day of the Unborn Child and all religions will come together in a joint campaign to prevent any attempt to legalize abortion in Sri Lanka. According to investigations, at least 700 illegal abortions take place every day, meaning more than 20,000 a month and a horrifying 250,000 every year, making it a massacre of the innocents and a crime against humanity. At the Naga Vihare in Kotte, more..

Contractor draws Rs 16 M on false claim

Nov 12 (CT) The Internal Audit and Investigations Department of the North Central Province is conducting investigations on a case of a contractor falsely claiming to have repaired the Medawachchiya- Etambagaskada road having received Rs 16 million from the province’s Road Development Authority (RDA). The road had actually been repaired by a private company. The company had apparently repaired the road because it was ridden with holes, making it a hindrance to more..

Sri Lanka: Ethical Tourism Campaign

Nov 12 (HP) This week, the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice (of which I am a co-director) launches a campaign aimed at promoting ethical tourism in Sri Lanka. The lobby group has recently uncovered evidence that a range of British tour operators are offering holiday packages that commercially benefit alleged perpetrators of human rights abuses. The campaign is timely. Wednesday was Responsible Tourism Day at the London World Travel Market 2012 and, astonishingly, more..

JVP, FSP to commemorate same ‘heroes’ separately

Nov 12 (Island) This year, too, the JVP and its breakaway group, the FSP, have decided to hold separate rallies, on Nov. 13, commemorating their members who died during the 1987-89 period. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said that his party would be conducting the Il Maha Viru Samaruwa for the 23rd consecutive year. He said that the JVP was the only party that organised the Il Maha Viru Samaruwa annually. "This time, too, our commemoration more..

90th National Athletics Championship: Stars absent, Eranga, Dilrukshi dispel gloom

Nov 12 (Island) Impressive feats of triple jumper Eranga Dinesh and middle distance runner Champika Dilrukshi helped dispel the gloom cast over by the absence and the pullout (at the half way) of top notch athletes at the 90th National Athletics Championship which ended at the Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday. There were good numbers for some events (100m, 400m and even 10,000m) resulting in note worthy performances but absence of some top notch athletes resulted in more..

Shangri-La sends youth for overseas training

Nov 12 (Island) A simple ceremony was held at Carlton Pre-School, Tangalle, to mark the commencement of the overseas segment of the training programme for 66 youth, the first batch of recruits, looking forward to a career in tourism with Shangri-La Hotels. The construction of a hotel in Hambantota by Shangri-La Ltd. has opened up lucrative career prospects for a large number of youth, who have already completed the local part of their training. During this period they more..

China, Sri Lanka to boost defence relations

Nov 12 (IE) China and Sri Lanka today firmed up their defence relations during a meeting of their top officials who pledged to make efforts to boost relations between the two countries and their militaries. Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie met a Sri Lankan delegation headed by Secretary of Defence and Urban Development Ministry Gotabaya Rajapaksa. During the meeting in Beijing, they pledged to make efforts to more..

Back us on Lanka, DMK tells Centre

Nov 12 (DH) The DMK on Sunday openly wanted the Centre to back its demand for a UN intervention to hold a referendum in Sri Lanka and find a permanent political solution to the ethnic crisis that has devastated the island Tamils for over 50 years now. In a strong message to the UPA ten days before Parliament’s winter session, DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi declared: “Unless India exerted enough pressure on the UN to take this step for a referendum in Sri Lanka in line with the more..

Riot in rupees

Nov 12 (CT) Friday's prison mutiny that saw rioting inmates lay siege to the Welikada Prison for over eight hours, apart from reaping a heavy human toll, also caused extensive damages to the prison buildings. Commissioner General of Prisons, P.W. Kodippili, said the damages to the various buildings had been estimated to be over Rs 10 million. He said the kitchens and the lobby area have been completely destroyed. Friday's violence is being reported as the worst prison riot in Sri Lanka more..

‘Uma Oya’ halted, hundreds of Sri Lankan workers laid off

Nov 12 (Island) The Iranian-funded Uma Oya multipurpose reservoir hydro power project has been suspended due to a number of reasons including a dispute between two Iranian companies involved in the project, overdue payments and issues arising from Sri Lanka’s decision to purchase crude oil from countries other than Iran. The agreement on Uma Oya project was finalised in late April 2008 when Iranian more..

Vasu says no relief in budget 2013 for private, plantation sector workers

Nov 12 (Island) Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara said that the government had failed to provide a salary increase for employees of the private and plantation sectors. The minister said that no other relief had been provided to them. "A decision on the lowest salary level in the private sector is essential at this point of time and further, a food ration scheme to provide essential food to plantation sector employees seem to be an urgent necessity," the minister said. more..

Editorial: Bring these prisoners back

Nov 12 (Hindu) On the face it, last week’s riots at a prison in the Sri Lankan capital should not be of any concern to India. But they are, in fact, a reminder of the Indian prisoners who languish there despite an agreement between the two countries for their repatriation. The deadly fighting that erupted in Welikade on November 9 between prisoners and personnel of the Special Task Force left 27 prisoners dead. The security forces personnel had gone into the jail to more..

Kadirgamar statue finally gets justice

Nov 12 (Island) President had instructed Minister Prof. G.L. Pieris to make arrangements to erect the Lakshman Kadirgamar statue at the Kardirgamar Institute in Colombo. Previous Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama was widely blamed for failing to erect the statue, but even after his departure it was not erected. Mrs. Kadirgamar wanted the statue installed at the entrance to the Institute and another group wanted it installed more..

DIG Ranawana on road to recovery

Nov 12 (Island) Head of Special Task Force (STF) DIG Chandrasiri Ranawana was on the road to full recovery, following a two-hour surgery, Colombo National Hospital Director Dr. Anil Jaysinghe said. Senior Consultant surgeon Dr Amila Jayasekera, of the Accident Service operated on the DIG, who had been struck by a bullet below the right elbow causing a fracture. The bullet had then entered his stomach and lacerated his liver before coming to a stop. Dr. Jasinghe said that more..

Four cops suspended over clash

Nov 12 (Island) Four policemen, attached to the Moragahahena police station in Horana, have been suspended following a clash with residents of the area. A senior police officer said a sergeant, two constables and a driver had been suspended as they had allegedly been involved in a clash with residents of the area when they went to arrest a suspect wanted in connection with child abuse at Yahalakalewatte yesterday morning. The police officer said that when the suspect more..

Another attempted double murder in Kahawatte

Nov 12 (Island) An assailant who slipped into a house adjoining the Opatha estate, at Kahawatte attacked the young couple living there with a sword on Saturday night, but the husband an ex-army man resisted despite his injuries, forcing the intruder to flee. G.D. Amarasiri (28) and his wife K.L. Dilhani, who received serious cut injuries in the attack, was rushed by neighbours to the Kahawatte hospital and from there she more..

JVP decision on impeachment motion in two days

Nov 12 (Island) The JVP has yet to decide whether to join the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) established to investigate 14 charges of misconduct levelled by 117 govt MPs against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake in her official and personal capacity. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said that their MPs had been invited to join the PSC, the party had not yet taken a decision on it as it had been appointed because of a personal dispute the govt had with the Chief Justice. more..

SL v NZ 5th OID: New Zealand's chance to start afresh before Tests

Nov 12 (CI) Amid monsoon torrents, relocated matches and stomach bugs, New Zealand have so far only sunk further into their rut in Sri Lanka. The second ODI was stopped by rain just as it was building to a climax, but in the following matches, the visitors have been thoroughly outclassed. They have not been helped by the toss, which has fallen against them in two of the three matches, forcing them to contend with a wet ball after the evening rains arrived. But given their poor more..

Prisons chief wants Defence Ministry to take over jails

Nov 12 (Island) Due to the continuing failure of prisons authorities to keep banned items out of the country’s penitentiaries and high level corruption among jail guards, Commissioner General of Prisons P.W. Kodippily urged the Defence Ministry to take over the prisons. He said he strongly believed that rioting prisoners had been able to break into one of the prison armouries because of the help extended to them by more..

Editorial: Prison-break

Nov 12 (DM) The video footage of the armed prisoners waving their weapons from rooftops and military tanks thronging Baseline Road gave the impression that the riots were as frightening as the two midnight air raids by the LTTE a few years ago. It was a wartime north coming to Colombo. Until then overnight shootouts were strictly battlefield scenes. After the T20 World Cup Final, Colombo stayed up till late; its citizens with their hearts in their mouths. The shootout started shortly after more..

How about a third Republican constitution?

Nov 12 (CT) I read with interest Laksiri Fernando’s avuncular response (‘Devolution Talk’) to a comment on the 13th Amendment I had written a few weeks ago. He’s asked me to ponder the 17th and 18th ‘syndrome’ of the Rajapaksa administration. So, first things first, I will respond to this suggestion. I have written dozens of articles on the 17th Amendment, from the time it was passed in 2001, pointing out its errors and lacunae and suggesting corrective measures. As for the 18th, my objections more..

Shirani, Mahinda, and the future of the Sri Lankan state

Nov 12 (LB) The impeachment of the Chief Justice, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake is the hottest political topic in Sri Lanka at present. As usual, many observers and critics have already taken sides based on their preconceived political views. Many critics of the Govt are quick to castigate the Rajapaksa regime for its apparently gross interference to the judicial independence of Sri Lanka. For them, the Chief Justice has more..

Exposed: NSB chief adjusted draft board minute

Nov 12 (SL) Pradeep Kariyawasam the beleaguered former National Savings Bank chief (NSB) acted totally in breach of commercial ethics and resorted to blatant fraud to adjust the draft Minutes of Meeting of the Board of Directors at the National Savings Bank – in connection with the NSB’s attempt to take a ‘strategic’ stake in The Finance Company. Sensationally it can be revealed that Kariyawasam was told by his fellow more..

IGP’s help desk gets up to 100 calls every Friday

Nov 12 (ST) The recently set up Inspector General’s Help Desk receives an average 100 phone calls from the public every Friday, says SP Gaston Stanislaus, duty officer in charge. The IG’s Help Desk was set up to receive information and act on complaints with regard to Police Department services. Complaints against the Police range from bribe-taking and harassment to failing to act speedily or appropriately. “When someone from more..

Sri Lanka create state posts tens of thousands unemployable graduates

Nov 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka has created 21,463 new posts in ministries up to August 2013 out of which 18,128 were for unemployable graduates educated at tax payer expense. In 2009 44,532 new posts were created including 40,095 in departments, 1,769 in ministries, 1,641in provincial councils and 1,027 in statutory boards. In 2010, 5,302 new posts were created in 2011 3,950 new posts were created. more..

Sirisena admits Health Ministry full of sex maniacs

Nov 12 (Island) Acknowledging that even the executive staff of the health Ministry were not safe from sex maniacs, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said among ministries the Health Ministry and its affiliated organisations were the most notorious places for sexual offences and harassment. He said the majority of victims were minor female staff. The Ministry had formulated a plan to open Mituru Piyasa Units in each more..

'Post-war development of Coast Guard a priority'

Nov 12 (Island) Rear Admiral Ruwan Dias said that building up a strong coast guard should be a national priority in the post-war era. "We are in the process of acquiring patrol boats and other assets and also gradually increasing strength," the Director General of the Sri Lanka Coast Guard (SLCG) said on Saturday. The official was addressing the media at ‘Rohana’ SLCG facility at Mirissa, on the southern coast. more..

Sri Lanka toddy tappers face extinction

Nov 12 (AFP) Clambering between high trees carrying a knife in the search for sap to brew alcoholic drinks is a young man's game -- and Sri Lanka's ageing toddy tappers say the craft is dying. In a typical day, a skilled tapper collects the milky white sap from 75 to 100 palms that are linked by a network of ropes that he walks along, just one slip away from falling onto the hard ground far below. The job requires toughness and more..

Prison roits: Phone calls under scruntiny

Nov 12 (DM) An inquiry is looking into the mobile communications of Special Task Force (STF) and Prison Department officers to asses the elements which instigated the prison riot minutes after the STF concluded a massive search operation in the Chapel Ward and the L-Hall inside the Welikada Prison Complex on Friday. An inquiry is also conducted how a trishaw and a van came across the inmates in which they attempted more..

Australia pledges to return hundreds of Sri Lankan illegal migrants

Nov 12 (Xinhua) Australia took a tough stance on illegal Sri Lankan migrants here on Monday, insisting that such people would be returned immediately with no hope of funds and should not risk their lives on the high seas. Australia's immigration regional director for South Asia Jose Alvarez said that the govt is dedicated to sending back as many illegal migrants as possible and since Aug. 13 has already returned 255 people. more..

Sri Lanka listed among top five emerging destinations

Nov 12 (Xinhua) Post-war Sri Lanka has been listed among the five new emerging travel powerhouses by the World Travel Market's industry report, a statement from the country's Tourism Development Authority said here on Monday. The other counties listed are Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia and Argentina, according to the report. The Tourism Development Authority said the three key factors highlighted for Sri Lanka were more..

Sri Lanka issues silver coin to mark relations with Japan

Nov 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka will issue a silver commemorative coin with a face value of 1,000 rupees to mark 60 years of diplomatic relations with Japan, the Central Bank said. Minted at the Japan Mint, it has a diameter of 35 millimetres and weighs 20 grams. The obverse of the coin has a coloured picture of Sri Lanka's Upper Kotmale Hydro Power project, which was funded by Japan. Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal will present a coin to President Mahinda Rajapaksa later today. more..

Sri Lanka's Killing Fields: Eyes On The Ground

Nov 12 (C4) A film by an Italian documentary maker based on Channel 4's award-winning Sri Lanka's Killing Fields has been made public. ITN Productions, which made the original Sri Lanka's Killing Fields, asked graduate film students to make a short film based on the original Channel 4 documentaries. The one which the production team felt showed an original and innovative response was by Cristina Picchi, 30, a filmmaker and writer based in London. Cristina said: more..

CJ withdraws from Golden Key case hearing

Nov 12 (LT) She will no longer hear cases related to Golden Key and Sri Ram companies announced Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bahandaranayake in open court today. The CJ said depositors had sent letters asking the case to be concluded soon and appoint a bench of five judges to hear the case. Despite the end of the hearing of the case is near, she had decided, under the circumstances, not to preside over the case anymore and a more..

LTTE in Europe a threat to Sri Lanka

Nov 12 (CG) LTTE and pro LTTE elements in Europe are a potential threat to Sri Lanka and other countries, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement today. In the statement on the death of LTTE activist Nadarajah Mathithiran alias Parithi alias Reegan in Paris last week, the Ministry of Defence said that a rift between Parathi and other LTTE supporters led to his murder. “Reports indicate that the main reason was the dispute over the Hero’s day celebrations in Paris where both more..

A Russian Film being produced in Sri Lanka

Nov 12 (GDI) Russia has found Sri Lanka as an ideal location for shooting of one of its films. This is the first time a Russian film shooting will be carried out in Sri Lanka. The Unique Film Company of Moscow has decided to make this film in Sri Lanka considering the peaceful environment and cinematic locations existing in the country. The Unique Film Company will invest around one million us dollars for the film “Veronica” to be directed by the well known Russian Film Director Andre Selevhov. more..

SF says ready for new political journey

Nov 12 (Island) Leader of the DNA, former Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka announced in Kandy that he was committed to leading the country on a new political journey. Fonseka said that Sri Lanka required a new political culture as the existing system of politics had failed to take it forward. Addressing a meeting he had convened to form the Kandy District committee of his new party, Gen. Fonseka said that he would embark on more..

Against abortion, Sri Lankan bishops set day for unborn children

Nov 12 (AN) The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Sri Lanka (CSCSL) is dedicating next Sunday, 11 Nov, to unborn children to protest a govt's plan to legalise abortion. As part of their action, the bishops will urge the faithful in each diocese, especially teenagers, young people, families and doctors, to pray and organise meetings to raise awareness about the issue. The CBCSL has also decided to raise funds in each parish to devolve to single mothers and to mothers who more..