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The impeachment of the Chief Justice is a prelude to greater militarisation

Nov 2 (AHRC) After a series of attacks on the judiciary the Mahinda Rajapaksa govt is now reported to be engaged in preparing papers for the impeachment of the Chief Justice (CJ). While the accusation against the CJ is not known the determination of the govt to impeach her has been highly publicised. The state media have been mobilised to make a concerted attack on the judiciary. Meanwhile there is also a bill being discussed which attempts to introduce more..

Impeachment of CJ: An effort to preserve arbitrary rule

Nov 2 (CT) It may appear that the Rajapaksa regime is so powerful that even for the initial impeachment motion against the Chief Justice, Dr Shirani Bandaranayake, it has gathered 117 signatures of parliamentarians. What it actually required was 75 or one third of the 225 member Parliament. But what appears on the surface is not actually the case. It is so powerful; but it is so weak. It is powerful in numbers within and outside Parliament, at present, but weak in moral legitimacy and justice more..

Jaffna: Development without trust

Nov 2 (CT) A crowd lingers in darkness on the veranda of an old house at Temple Road, Jaffna. The fluorescent bulbs come on, throwing light on their anxious faces: Men and women of all ages, waiting to meet one of the president’s point men in the peninsula. They are here most days, often till nightfall, with their worn files, crumpled polythene bags and brown paper envelopes. The house—a typical Jaffna abode with a garden more..

Navy fills vacant CoS post after two years

Nov 2 (DM) The post of Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Navy was filled yesterday after being vacant for 21 months, with the appointment of Rear Admiral Damayantha Dharamasiriwardane, informed sources said. Navy Commander Jayanath Colambage had made the appointment of Rear Admiral Dharmasiriwardane who was previously the Director General (Services) of the Sri Lanka Navy. The post of Chief of Staff of the navy fell vacant after the appointment of retired Admiral more..

Sri Lanka rains seen hurting tea crop

Nov 2 (LBO) Heavy rains in Sri Lanka's tea growing areas are not likely to lead to a sharp recovery in crops that have been reduced by drought, a tea broker said. "It has been an extremely cold and wet week on the plantations," John Keells brokers said in a weekly market report. "Light rain that fell at the start of the week, was quickly followed by a deluge over the week-end. "If the dry weather that we have experienced in 2012 is partly to be blamed for the crop shortfall, the heavy rainfall that more..

My mother will not back down says CJ’s son

Nov 2 (DM) Shaveen Bandaranayake the son of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, who is facing an imminent impeachment motion in parliament in a note posted on Facebook, said his mother would not back down from anything and called on the citizens of the country to stand by her. “An individual can live his or her life seeing the injustice around them, turn a blind eye and die a forgotten person. Or, he or she can take a stand against tyranny. more..

Sri Lankan boat seized with 43 asylum seekers onboard

Nov 2 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan navy and coast guard seized a boat heading to Australia with 43 illegal asylum seekers onboard, the police said. The boat experienced engine trouble and drifted near a fishing harbor in the southern town of Beruwala. He said that the boat had left for Australia on Oct. 22 from Puttalam in the northwestern part of the country, but subsequently encountered engine fault. After drifting at sea for several days the boat was beached at the Beruwala harbor overnight more..

Raining all over but not enough for Mahaweli reservoirs

Nov 2 (Island) Rains continue to wreak havoc countrywide but the major Mahaweli reservoirs had not got sufficient rain so far, the Irrigation and Water Resources Management Ministry said. Ministry spokesman Viraj Abeysinghe said that only three Mahaweli reservoirs, Kotmale, Castlereigh, and Maussakele had risen by more than 50 per cent. "Currently, the water capacity of the Kotmale, Castlereigh and Maussakele reservoirs are 80.2%, 65.4% and 72.5% respectively," he said. more..

Sri Lanka completes rehabilitation of displaced Tamils

Nov 2 (IANS) Sri Lanka Friday told India it has completed the process of rehabilitating 296,000 Tamils displaced by the civil war and said it was fast-tracking political reconciliation in the island nation. Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris also told his Indian counterpart Salman Khurshid that de-mining process had been largely completed in the north, the former war theatre. The foreign ministers held wide-ranging talks on the sidelines of the more..

Mobile call of nature

Nov 2 (DM) A remand prisoner who had concealed two mobile phones in his rectum had to undergo a surgical operation at the Anuradhapura teaching hospital to have them retrieved from their hiding places. The man who was remanded at the Anuradhapura Prisons had been taken to the Vavuniya Court to answer charges against him. He had been further remanded and was taken back to Prison on the Black Maria. According to reports, just before boarding the bus, an accomplice had more..

Police grill 30 over latest Kahawatte killing

Nov 2 (Island) Police have questioned 30 persons over Wednesday’s killing of a 66-year-old woman at Kotakethana in Kahawatte. Wednesday’s killing brought the number of women killed in the area over the past four years to 16. The latest victim has been identified as B. D. Chandrawathie (66) of Warapitiya Temple Road, in Kotakethana. Kahawatte police said that she had cut injuries on her hands and head and was alone at home at the time of the incident. The police believe that Chandrawathie had more..

Court prevents Kotte Mayor from defaming Deputy Mayor

Nov 2 (AD) The Colombo District Court today issued an interim injunction against Kotte Mayor Janaka Ranawaka restraining him from defaming Deputy Mayor Madura Vithanage. The UPFA-run Kotte Municipal Council was in the midst of a scandal in March this year when Deputy Mayor Madura Vithanage filed action against Mayor Janaka Ranawaka seeking Rs. 20 million in damages over a “doctored” video clip allegedly showing the more..

Suriyawewa IPZ development at a cost of Rs.280 M

Nov 2 (GDI) As per a proposal made by minister Basil Rajapaksa, the Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to expand and develop the Hambantota Industrial Promotion Zone under a Master Plan in an area of 850 hectares. The Master Plan for the development of the Suriyawewa area as an Investment Promotion Zone (IPZ) will cover 230 hectares already allocated and it will consist of a Multi Sports Complex, Cycling Stadium, Hockey Stadium, an International Aquatic Centre, more..

Lankan office boy accused of stealing jewellery in Dubai

Nov 2 (E24|7) Two Asians allegedly broke into villas and stole jewellery worth Dh600,000 from one of the villas and Dh3,500 from another, the Dubai Criminal Court heard. MHM, 35, Pakistani driver, and MFN, 26, Sri Lankan office boy, are also accused of stealing a laptop computer besides the jewellery. Second Lieutenant Mohammed Darwish testified that MFN confessed to him that he broke into villas with MHM and that they were dividing the more..

TESO hands over resolution on Sri Lanka

Nov 2 (CT) Son of DMK leader M.Karunanithi and the party’s treasurer M. K. Stalin has handed over a copy of the resolution adopted on Sri Lanka at the Tamil Eelam Support Organization (TESO) conference in Tamil Nadu to the United nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson on Thursday. M. K. Stalin who also functioned as Acting Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu met the Deputy UN Secretary General along with DMK’s Minister in the central govt T.R. Balu and handed over the more..

CPC loses $60 mln hedging case

Nov 2 (Reuters) State-run oil company has lost a $60 million hedging case against Deutsche Bank after a U.S.-based arbitrator ruled in favour of the bank. A source familiar with the ruling said CPC would have to pay Deutsche $60.3 million plus interest for non-payment of dues. "It's against us," Attorney General Palitha Fernando told Reuters. "Now we are considering what actions to be taken to annul this." more..

Sri Lanka stocks close 0.69 pct higher

Nov 2 (LBO) Stocks closed up 0.69% Friday with several blue chips and banks gaining ground. Colombo All Share Index closed at 5,532.32 up 37.78 points and the S&P SL 20 Index closed 23.8 points higher at 2997.95 up 0.80%. Turnover was a relative high at 1,305,245 million rupees. Leading contributors to turnover were JKH with 578 million rupees, Environment Resources Holdings with 349 million rupees. Aitken Spence PLC gained 0.20 cents to close at 127 rupees up 0.16%. more..

'Working masses should struggle for Socialism'

Nov 2 (LT) The working masses should fight for Socialism, the capitalist system is outdated, not even Obama can defend capitalism and working masses have to struggle for their rights says the President of National trade Union Center (NTUC) and Member of the Political Bureau of the JVP K.D. Lal Kanthe. Speaking at a seminar held in Kurunegala to demand the govt to increase the salaries of state employees by Rs.13,342.50 more..

New bench to hear SF’s writ petition on Dec.3

Nov 2 (DM) The Court of Appeal yesterday appointed the new Divisional Bench of three judges to hear and conclude the Writ petition filed by former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka seeking to sit and vote in Parliament. When the matter came up, the President of the Court of Appeal S. Sriskandarajah nominated a Bench of three judges with Justices Sisira de Abrew, A.W.A. Salam and Upali Abeyratne. The matter was more..

Russian Naval Delegation calls on Commander of the Navy

Nov 2 (SLN) A Russian naval delegation accompanied by Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Sri Lanka, Mr. Alexander Karchava, called on the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage at the Naval Headquarters today. The delegation was headed by Deputy Head, Main Staff of the Russian Navy, Rear Admiral Alexander G. Shtukaturov. Head of the law of the Sea Division, Main Staff, Russian Navy, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Zigarev more..

Part of expressway shut down due to earthslip

Nov 2 (ITN) One lane of the Southern Highway has been temporarily closed down due to an earth slip between Dodangoda and Welipanna. The RDA has taken measures to allow the other lane for traffic on both directions. The police spokesman SSP Prishanthe Jayakody said Vehicles travelling from Kottawa to Galle could exit at Dodangoda and enter at Welipanna and continue their journey on the Highway. In the meantime, a massive stone has rolled on to the Beragala-Wellawaya highway more..

Circulars not withdrawn - FUTA

Nov 2 (CT) The Higher Education Ministry has not taken action to withdraw any of the circulars that violates the Universities Act, university academics charges yesterday. Though nearly three weeks have lapsed since the university academics called off their aggressive trade union action, the government has failed to implement any of the assurances given to the academics when the strike was called off on 12 October. more..

Despair rises for Nauru strikers

Nov 2 (WAT) Despair on Nauru is escalating, with asylum seekers claiming 276 men are now taking part in a mass hunger strike, up from 170 on Thursday. The Department of Immigration said a group of asylum seekers was continuing its peaceful protest, but it was impossible to confirm how many were involved because the number of people involved kept fluctuating. Reports from Nauru said an Iranian man has been on a hunger strike for 22 days, while an Afghan man was hospitalised more..

Former IDPs want more than leaking shacks

Nov 2 (IRIN) Standing outside her battle-scarred home in northern Sri Lanka, Thangeswary Karuppaiyah dreams of one day rebuilding it. “I hope it’s soon. That’s what we are waiting for,” said the 55-year-old grandmother. She has been living in a “transitional shelter” a few metres from her old home for the past three years. Made of tin sheeting, coconut leaves and tarpaulins, it was put up by her family (thanks to govt and international aid) following her return in 2009, and was designed to more..

India takes up fishermen issue with Sri Lanka

Nov 2 (OI) Strongly taking up the issue of fishermen with Sri Lanka, India today pressed that country to "expeditiously" address the issue of five Indian fishermen in Lankan custody lest it becomes an "irritant" in bilateral ties. This was conveyed by External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to his Sri Lankan counterpart G.L. Peiris during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the ministerial meeting of Indian Ocean Rim- more..

Decisive leaders a credit to Ananda

Nov 3 (NS) When we look back on the recent history of our motherland we can see how Anandians had made a great contribution in shaping the direction of our Nation towards peace, freedom and prosperity. When Buddhist enthusiasts headed by Colonel Henry Steel Olcott founded Ananda on November 1, 1886 to establish and promote the Buddhist education in our country, they may have not had any idea of the magnitude and the dimension of how Anandians will contribute to the peace, more..

Self-sufficiency in milk production

Nov 3 (NS) The county is highly dependent on imported milk. The domestic production of milk has been around 25 to 30 percent of requirements. The attainment of a higher degree of self-sufficiency in milk is a desirable objective. However, the govt’s target of being self-sufficient in milk around 2015 is quite unrealistic, as at present domestic milk production meets only about 30 percent of requirements. While per capita milk consumption will continue to increase, more..

Disappearance an act of terrorism

Nov 3 (NS) A plane that has just been depressurized disappearing from the radar screens mysteriously sounds like a scene off an action thriller; but the ‘Lionair incident’ that terrified the nation 14 years ago is no fabricated story. On the September 20 1998, Lionair 602 had departed the Jaffna airport at 1.40pm carrying a total of 55 people - 48 passengers and 7 crew members. After 10 minutes into take-off, the captain of the craft more..

Why religious intolerance makes me mad

Nov 3 (GV) My name is Anisha, I am a liberal Muslim woman and more than anything a proud Sri Lankan. I support the Sri Lankan cricket team…always have and always will. I like Pakistan, I have an amazing friend that lives there although I have never been BUT I was born here, lived here my whole life and that makes me Sri Lankan to the core. So the idea that someone assumes that because of my religion I will support a country other than my own is laughable. I studied under the more..

Restrictions and intimidation on journalists covering resettlement process in the Vanni

Nov 3 (GV) After more than 11 months of the LLRC report being handed over to the President, the above recommendation remains far from reality, despite the National Action Plan to Implement Recommendations of the LLRC reaffirming it by committing to identify and remove impediments to free movement of media personnel in the North and East. A few days ago, I accompanied a crew from a local TV station to the Mullativu district to do a story on the life of the last batches of more..

Department of Motor Traffic to be computerised

Nov 3 (SO) Has the number of vehicles in Sri Lanka exceeded the capacity that roads could hold is a question pondered on by many. The Govt took measures to increase vehicle import taxes a few months ago to achieve many objectives including the control of the number of vehicles entering the road network. The Commissioner General of Motor Traffic S.H. Harishchandra says that though there was an temporary drop in more..

States of a State: Nanny, Night-Watchman and Servant

Nov 3 (DBS) What is the role of the state in the economy and society? The debate in this context revolves around what can be described as the ‘Night-Watchman State,’ which is understood to be entrusted with the bminimal enforcement of law and order, so that the citizens could lead their lives in peace and harmony, the interventionist ‘Nanny State,’ which tries to regulate and provide incentives to improve the allocation of resources and influence social behaviour, and the new concept of a more..

Opposition motto: Divided we stand, united we fall

Nov 3 (SL) Aesop, a slave in Grecian times, is attributed to be the originator of many of the fables, which we still hear of and read, and more importantly, the sayings that have come down the ages. ‘United we stand; divided we fall’, is said to be the inspired utterance of Aesop who probably would have been exhorting his fellow slaves on how to rid themselves of the yoke of slavery of their imperious masters. This wisdom has trickled down the ages to the present day where more..

'It makes me sad that I can't play Tests anymore'

Nov 3 (CI) Lasith Malinga talks about why he wants to do the best he can for Sri Lanka, and whether he has become predictable as a bowler. Q: Did you ever feel you had something special back when you were playing tennis-ball cricket on the beach? A: I knew that I could bowl well with the tennis ball, but at that time I hadn't even touched a leather ball. I had no idea that I had the ability to be good enough to play for Sri Lanka. more..

Freedom of expression: My submission with ARTICLE19 to UPR of Sri Lanka

Nov 3 (CT) This is the shadow report I submitted with ARTICLE 19 in April 2012 to the United Nations Office for the High Commissioner of Human Rights for the Universal Periodic Review at the Human Rights Council. The shadow report made specific and detailed recommendations to the Sri Lankan govt to be echoed by UN member states, and we are waiting to hear from the government whether they intend to accept or reject the recommendations. I below reproduce our report to UN, more..

Lasantha’s daughter on the death of a newspaper

Nov 3 (CT) The recent media and public scrutiny in regards to the controversy surrounding my uncle Lal Wickrematunge and the sale of The Sunday Leader has prompted me to share my thoughts on this subject. While my uncle’s motives maybe questionable to the public, there is no doubt that he loved my father and mourns his loss with the rest of us today. There is so much going on behind closed doors that people are not aware of. Those who say he should have shut down the Leader more..

22nd anniversary of Northern Muslim expulsion by LTTE

Nov 3 (DM) The past week recorded the 22nd anniversary of a cruel, inhuman episode in the history of Tamil –Muslim relations in Sri Lanka. In October 1990, the LTTE organisation forcibly expelled the Tamil speaking Muslim people from the Northern Province in an atrocious act amounting to ethnic cleansing. Within a few days the Muslims were chased out of their homeland where they had lived for many centuries. more..

Editorial: Geneva - U-turns and hypocrisy

Nov 3 (Island) In March this year, the govt fought quite a battle in Geneva against tremendous odds to defeat a US-led UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka, but in vain. Eight months on, Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe has revealed in his address to the on-going 14th Session of Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva that the Sri Lankan Army is probing some of the allegations of atrocities levelled against it. A five-member Court of Inquiry headed by a Major General has been more..

Victory at all costs

Nov 3 (FT) As Sri Lanka’s increasingly desperate rebel army retreated northwards, one family caught up in the latter stages of the island’s 26-year civil war mounted its own struggle for survival. High quality global journalism requires investment. Fearful that their 17-year-old daughter would be taken as a child soldier, the parents hid her in an oil drum buried in their garden, with instructions to emerge only at night. Yet, unable to bear the heat, she emerged once during the day and was more..

Divi Neguma Bill: Govt. ready even for referendum

Nov 3 (DM) Minister Basil Rajapaksa yesterday vowed to enact the Divi Neguma Bill even by placing it before the people at a referendum in case the Supreme Court had given such a determination. The Bill was challenged in the Supreme Court by the TNA and the JVP. The Court initially ruled that the Bill should be referred to the provincial councils for approval. Eight provincial councils approved the Bill. With regard to more..