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Dead heat after hard-fought day

Nov 18 (CI) The Galle Test is shaping up to be a game of small margins. The seesaw battle on the second day reinforced as much, and ensured the series lead would be decided by what is effectively a one-innings shootout. During the first hour, New Zealand made inroads so deep into Sri Lanka's line-up that they were well placed to press for a sizeable first-innings advantage. Over the next three, though, Sri Lanka's captain and his more..

UN failed in Sri Lanka, yes it did!

Nov 18 (EAR) The mechanism that UN has put in place to “leak” information that is intended to be leaked is admirable. The second report that it leaked about Sri Lanka few days ago has served its purpose like the first one. Since the report has been officially released, it is appropriate for us- ordinary Sri Lankans to express our views on the UN’s “Failure” and its “Leaking” strategy regarding Sri Lanka. Ever since this “Leak”, the Western media has been firing volleys of news alerts, more..

Off The Record

Nov 18 (CT) It is no longer a headline that Dr. Jayalath Jayawardane, has set a Guinness Record by hosting the world’s longest health programme on television, suffered another heart attack. The unfortunate incident took place on the same day President Mahinda Rajapaksa came to Parliament to present Budget 2013. Well the story is not so much about JJ’s heart attack as it is about the mission he was on, when the attack occurred. We hear JJ was apparently on his way to accomplish a more..

Diabetic drug withdrawn

Nov 18 (NS) Drug distributors on Friday said they were yet to receive official notice from Cosmetics Drugs and Devices Authority (CDDA) to withdraw stocks of diabetic drug Metmorpheme despite CDDA’s claim that a notification had already been sent. The drug was ordered to be withdrawn immediately as it had failed the quality test by the National Quality Assurance Lab (NQAL). Arjuna Padmaperuma from the CDDA said that a more..

US stands by its actions on Sri Lanka

Nov 18 (SL) The United States is pleased and proud of its accomplishments during its first term in the UNHRC which includes the way it dealt with Sri Lanka. A statement by the US State Department said that on Sri Lanka the United States led the Council in adopting a resolution, which sent a strong signal that Sri Lanka still needs to address outstanding issues of reconciliation and accountability. The State Department said that since joining the Council in 2009, the United States more..

World will not end next month -Scientist

Nov 18 (SL) The world will not end next month as claimed by some in widely circulated emails, a renowned scientist of the Arthur C. Clarke Center said. Professor Chandana Jayaratne said that emails being circulated saying that the earth will face total darkness from December 21st to 23rd are also false. He says such an event may take place in 4500 years but not now and yet there is no way to accurately predict such an event. There have been reports of some people in Sri Lanka selling more..

Rift among private bus operators

Nov 18 (SL) Private bus operators are at loggerheads over moves to amalgamate private and state bus operations, following a proposal made by the Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA). LPBOA President Gemunu Wijeratne had last week said private bus owners are against the 13th and 18th Amendments as, under the those constitutional Amendments, the passenger bus operations will be under the control of the more..

Underworld kingpin, Sujeewa, nabbed

Nov 18 (LB) An underworld kingpin who had fled initially to India and from there to Singapore to escape white van abductions, and had continued to direct contract killings in Sri Lanka was recently nabbed by the Terrorist Investigations Division (TID) of the Police Department. The underworld kingpin Sujeewa de Zoysa (28), a resident of Kosgoda, had built his underworld kingdom in Amba- langoda, Hikkaduwa and Kosgoda, it is alleged. It has been also alleged that he had carried out more..

Recent rainfall can’t meet farmers’ need

Nov 18 (NS) Heavy rains experienced in the country do not seem to end the drought which caused farmers problems. There haven’t been enough rain to fill the reservoirs to capacity to start issuing water for farming. “Rainfall definitely helps, where it falls also matter,” Agriculture Ministry Media spokesman, Robin Sanka Amarasena said. “Rainfall is inadequate to fill the reservoirs. The water we’ve collected is still not enough to distribute to farmers,” he added. He also mentioned it was more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Nov 18 (ST) Last Wednesday’s weekly Cabinet meeting saw some humorous moments after ministers discussed illegal sand mining. Most of them spoke in Sinhala and referred to sand as weli. They were complaining about the environmental damage that was being caused. That prompted President Mahinda Rajapaksa to remark in Sinhala “why don’t we send Weliamuna to sort matters out.” J.C. Weliamuna is a human more..

Sri Lanka will lose Rs.1600 million importing 10 racing cars - Ranil

Nov 18 (AD) The country will lose around Rs. 1,600 million in revenue if 10 racing cars are imported next year as claimed by Minister Basil Rajapaksa, UNP Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe said. That money can be allocated for education if there is no money to improve the country’s education sector, he said. Wickramasinghe charged that funds allocated for education is continuously being curtailed by the govt while tax concessions have been afforded to bring down racing cars. more..

We are committed to destroy these attacks on the Judiciary – Sajith

Nov 18 (NF) The Deputy Leader of the UNP, Sajith Premadasa says that some are attempting to restrict the freedom of speech by bringing in various 'rules and regulations and circulars' and creating problems. "Some are attempting to restrict the freedom of speech by bringing in various ' rules and regulations and circulars, and creating problems. Some are trying to restrict the freedom of speech that is against the unnecessary influences on the Judiciary." more..

Tamil Females Joined the Army

Nov 18 (MoD) Sri Lanka Army today (17) enlisted 109 female Tamil soldiers into the 6th Women's Corps ceremonially from Kilinochchi and Mullaithivu districts with the participation of their beloved family members. The ceremony was held at Army training school Barathipuram Kilinochchi. The occasion was graced by the Security Forces Commander Mullaithivu Major General Udaya Perera as the chief guest and the parents more..

Murdered man found inside vehicle

Nov 18 (AD) A body was discovered inside a parked car on Marine Drive in Bambalapitiya today, police said adding that the man was found with his throat slashed. Bambalapitiya police stated that a team of officers was dispatched to the scene to conduct investigations. Meanwhile a body of an elderly person, who had died under mysterious circumstances, has been found in the ground floor of a building in Gangodawila, Mirihana. The deceased has been identified as an 80-year-old more..

Woman arrested for killing baby soon after giving birth

Nov 18 (AD) A woman who murdered her own baby, born as a result of an extramarital affair while her husband was abroad, has been arrested by police. The childbirth had taken place at a house in the Kudapokuna area in Welikanda, while the woman had killed the infant immediately after giving birth and buried the body, police said. It has been revealed that the 24-year-old woman had conceived during an extramarital affair while her husband was overseas and she had reportedly more..

Green Paradise - Sri Lanka

For Kandy boxing, It’s ‘Fistmas’ in December

Nov 19 (SL) The ABA’s decision to take the 83rd National Boxing Championship to Kandy is a bold one. It’s the first time ever the sport’s most prestigious event is to move away from the capital, a reason itself to question the abandoning of a long tradition. There’s no apparent reason for the transfer. It is not as if Kandy boxingthis year celebrates its, say, fiftieth birthday or whatever crossing of a historic milestone. Or, that ason of Kandy had become an Olympian more..

Govt criticised over prison unrest

Nov 19 (SL) Sri Lanka’s deadliest prison riot happened just over a week ago, and the govt has been facing heavy criticisms from human rights groups, international community and local political parties over the violent ending, which saw the deaths of 27 inmates. What started as a routine check for contraband, ended in a night of gun-fire. The two protests by prisoners earlier in the year are separate incidents. This we are concerned and are awaiting the commission’s report to take more..

'TNA’s survival depends on NE problem'

Nov 19 (SO) Douglas Devananda, a one time Tamil militant entered into democratic politics as a result of the Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Agreement in 1987, and later continued his career as a politician representing the Tamil community. He reached his highest achievement in politics after becoming a Minister in the UPFA Govt and holding Ministerial portfolios under different govts, since 1994. As a person who always canvassed for the more..

China moves perceptibly to the Right

Nov 19 (CT) The 18-th Chinese Communist Party Conference which opened in Beijingon 8 November had none of the stardust and electricity that Obama’s Chicago campaign head quarters had flashed across global TV screens only a few hours earlier. Hu Jintao’s address was as staid and sombre as Obama’s victory speech was pure flight of rhetoric. Still, of the two mandates ratified that day, the former is probably of greater significance for the world at large. The dull Chinaman more..

Swing it like Southee

Nov 19 (CI) So many details must align for a fast bowler to deliver a swinging delivery that at times it is a wonder when it is produced over and again, and sustained over a spell. Bowlers talk of rhythm in their approach to the crease; each footstep is as a drum sounding steadily louder, and if the beat is just not right, the crescendo is poorer for it. The front leg bracing on the popping crease just so - an inch of additional slide could throw the action out of kilter. The pivot in the hips that more..

'We won’t discuss patchwork amendments'

Nov 19 (SL) UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella says the UNP is satisfied with the 13th Amendment to the constitution and is still supportive of its full implementation. However, in the light of a recent discussion between the UNP leadership and Minister Wimal Weerawansa on abolishing the 13th Amendment, Kiriella observed that there’s a need for an entire new constitution. “We are not for discussing patchwork amendments. more..

Natural justice by the wayside in public-interest litigation?

Nov 19 (CT) To respond to a question in your publication about whether people had spoken out against Sarath Silva‘s behavior while CJ, I looked for old pieces. I found a piece I had written for Montage and another published in the Mirror. Sadly, no longer available on the web. A former President was found to have abused her powers and fined. A powerful govt official was drummed out of all his positions. A conglomerate was compelled to reverse a lucrative privatization transaction. more..

The Brotherhood of Power vs. the Sisterhood of Justice

Nov 19 (DBS) The impending impeachment of the country’s first female Chief Justice must not be treated as a purely constitutional issue. It is fraudulent to say that impeachment is right because it is constitutional. On the contrary, it must be said that it is wrong even if it is legal. In fact, what is not right must not be legal because a constitutional provision meant for extremely exceptional situations should not be turned into an excuse for misguided prosecutorial misconduct, and in a forum that more..

Made in Sri Lanka expensive for international retailers

Nov 19 (ST) International buyers Marks and Spencer, NEXT and Tesco are on the lookout for cheaper markets as the Sri Lankan apparel companies feel the impact the loss of GSP plus concessions this year with falling exports. MAS Holdings Director Ajay Amalean said, in the wake of the European economic crisis, that European buyers are becoming price conscious and the fact that ‘we have lost’ GSP plus more..

Fiscal targets commendable, achievement difficult

Nov 19 (ST) The Budget Speech reiterated that this year’s fiscal deficit target of 6.2 per cent of GDP would be achieved and that the government expects to reduce it to 5.8 per cent of GDP in 2013 and bring it down further by 2015. If these targets are achieved, they would bring about economic stability and foster long term growth. They are, however, difficult to achieve. These fiscal targets are an acknowledgment of the importance of containing the fiscal deficit. more..

Aftermath of Welikada shoot-out

Nov 19 (SO) The CID has taken over the inquiry into the violent incident at the Welikada Prison last Saturday when 27 inmates were shot dead by security forces when they were confronted by armed prisoners in the prison. Sleuths have begun recording statements of several STF officers and prison officials who witnessed the bloody incident that afternoon. CID sleuths recorded around 15 statements of prison officials and STF officers who were involved in the incident. more..

Kahawatta’s notoriety

Nov 19 (CT) Kotakethana in Kahawatta, notorious for the violent murders, is now earning another kind of notoriety as a town for suicides, with a number of suspects arrested in connection with the murders ending or trying to end their lives. A survey conducted by the Public Relations Unit of the Kahawatta and Ratnapura Police, over a period of several months has revealed this disturbing trend, highlighting the need to not only properly more..

Six and out for McCullum, again

Nov 19 (CI) Slip catches rarely come easier than Suraj Randiv's edge to Brendon McCullum in the seventh over of Sri Lanka's innings, but although the chance seemed to fall right into McCullum's lap, he grassed the catch after having got both hands to it. He was not left ruing his mistake for long though, as Southee bowled an almost identical delivery to draw an identical stroke from Randiv, only the batsman did better this time and the edge flew square of McCullum to Guptill, who completed more..

Seamers caught us by surprise - Ford

Nov 19 (CI) Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford has said the swing New Zealand's seam bowlers generated caught Sri Lanka by surprise on the second morning in Galle. Tim Southee reaped three wickets for 18 from his first spell of seven overs, while Trent Boult took the wicket of Kumar Sangakkara at the other end. Both bowlers moved the ball considerably, with Southee, in particular, finding vicious swing in the air in addition to deviation off the seam. Sri Lanka resumed on 9 for 1, after debutant more..

WB happy with Lanka’s progress; urges sustainability

Nov 19 (FT) World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati on Saturday said the multilateral donor was happy with Sri Lanka’s recent progress, but emphasised several challenges remained to ensure sustainability of growth via reforms and greater private sector role. Describing her first visit to Sri Lanka as “productive,” Indrawati’s assessment was following a series of meetings with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Ministers, more..

Postal HQ relocation from Fort to give space for tourist hotel?

Nov 19 (FT) Authorities are now looking at moving the Postal Department from its current location at D.R. Wijewardena Mawatha in Colombo 10. Chief Government Whip and Minister of Water Supply and Drainage Dinesh Gunawardena recently told Parliament that such a move would enable the Postal Department to have more space for its operations and would result in an increase in productivity. “Already two lands have been identified. One is a land of 1.193ha in Narahenpita and more..

People are the Jury, Media is the Court House

Nov 19 (DBS) The contents in the charge sheet are indeed damning and affect the office of the Chief Justice. Charges are such that it is strategically required to respond rapidly with a defense, before faulty perceptions gets ingrained in the mind of the public. Ordinarily, defendants do not flash around their defenses by revealing their stance to the media before the trial, as it discloses their position to the prosecution. Lawyers for the Chief Justice took an unusual unorthodox route by directly more..

VP of Democratic party censures SF over recent comments?

Nov 19 (CT) Dr. Mahesh Atapattu, founder Vice President of the Democratic Party in a harshly worded letter to Party Leader, Sarath Fonseka, has censured the latter for his lack of knowledge, poor understanding of gratitude and condemned the statement made to the media regarding MPs Arjuna Ranatunga and Tiran Alles, who resigned from the Party. Dr. Atapattu has pointed out that Fonseka had displayed more..

Cadet platoon in every school

Nov 19 (DN) The National Cadet Corps (NCC) has taken measures to establish a cadet platoon in every school under the Mahinda Chinthana future vision. The NCC is granting cadet training to over 50,000 school students throughout the year, NCC Director Major General Gamini Jayasundara said. The Cadet Advanced Course for Cadet Sergeants selected for leadership next year was held at the Rantambe Cadet Training Centre for nine days. Over 16,00 Cadets participated. more..

Shot in the arm for NCD patients

Nov 19 (DN) The Health Ministry has taken measures to make available an uninterrupted supply of 16 varieties of medicines and drugs essential for patients with Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs). Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena informed ministry officials to provide the medicine to Healthy Lifestyle Clinic Centres islandwide under the purview of Primary Health Centres. NCDs have become the number one killer in Sri Lanka. The Health Ministry has taken measures to establish more..

'I am the sole authority in Kelaniya'

Nov 19 (DM) Minister Mervyn Silva today said he would be the only SLFP organizer for Kelaniya and it would be his nominees who would contest elections under the new electoral system introduced to local governments. “No one can stop the awakening of Kelaniya. The only organizer for Kelaniya is Mervyn Silva and there are no two words about it. I have the blessing of the President and Minister Basil Rajapaksa- therefore only the more..

Constitution and separation of power

Nov 19 (AHRC) The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Gabriela Knaul in a statement issued yesterday (14), stated that, "......the procedure for the removal of judges of the Supreme Court set out in article 107 of the Constitution of Sri Lanka allows the Parliament to exercise considerable control over the judiciary and is therefore incompatible with both the principle of separation of power and article 14 of the International Covenant more..

Demo in Jaffna against India’s nuke plant

Nov 19 (ST) A demonstration against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project in South India was held in Jaffna town yesterday. The New Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party organised the demonstration which was the first protest in Sri Lanka against the nuclear plant. The demonstrators gathered in front of the Jaffna Bus stand and chanted slogans and held placards against the Kudankulam project. NDMLP leader S.K. Senthilvel asked why the Sri Lankan Govt was not more..

Kiwis credit Vaas for impressive show

Nov 19 (Island) New Zealand’s bowlers were on top on the morning of the second day of the first Test against Sri Lanka here in Galle, as impressive spells with the new ball by Tim Southee and Trent Boult saw them reducing the hosts to 50 for five. Sri Lanka fought back with a record sixth wicket stand between Mahela Jayawardene and Angelo Mathews, but the Test was in the balance after the Kiwis restricted Sri Lanka to 247, more..