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India renews call for 13th Amendment plus

Nov 4 (ST) India used Thursday’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) here to remind Sri Lanka of its “commitment” to implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and “go beyond” to address Tamil grievances. The call came in a report when the UNHRC reviewed Sri Lanka’s human rights record during a three and half hour session. A total of 99 speakers were given a minute and 20 seconds to make their presentations. more..

UNP to form committee to look at motion on CJ

Nov 4 (SL) The UNP has decided to form a committee to look into the impeachment motion brought by the govt against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga said that the committee will study the motion before deciding on the next course of action. The motion, which has already been handed over to Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, will be presented to Parliament on Tuesday. Amaratunga said that the UNP will also call for a select committee more..

TNA MP’s brother-in-law’s murder suspect arrested

Nov 4 (NS) Police in a major breakthrough yesterday arrested the suspect wanted in connection with the abduction and murder of TNA MP Selvan Adikkalainathan’s brother-in-law, Sinnathurai Indreshwar (59) at Wellampitiya. He was reportedly abducted in Colombo on Oct 30 and his body was found yesterday in Nanu-Oya. Investigators said the suspect was a close associate of the deceased and had reportedly confessed killing Indreshwar to rob Rs. 3.3 million in his possession. more..

Impeachment: Bar Association and Opposition seek meetings with Speaker

Nov 4 (Island) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) yesterday sought an urgent meeting with Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa to discuss the SLFP-led UPFA’s decision to impeach Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake over alleged misconduct and malpractices. Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe also said that they too would seek a meeting with the speaker to discuss the various issues ahead of the matter being taken up more..

GL discusses proposed apparel export quota for Sri Lanka

Nov 4 (Island) During his visit to India for the 12th Council of Ministers Meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC), Minister of External Affairs, G. L. Peiris, met with the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles of India, Anand Sharma last week. Peiris expressed appreciation for Minister Sharma’s recent productive visit to Sri Lanka during which several new measures of economic cooperation between India and Sri Lanka were announced, more..

Fraud bureau intelligence unit shut

Nov 4 (SL) The intelligence unit of the Colombo Fraud Bureau has been shut and the remaining officers transferred after a Sub Inspector (SI) was arrested over a bribery incident. Sources at the Bureau said that the decision to close the intelligence unit was taken by the police headquarters last week. The Bureau had six officers attached to the intelligence unit and three had earlier been arrested over the case involving the Sub Inspector. Sub Inspector was arrested in more..

Lankans uneasy over Mahinda-CJ clash

Nov 4 (ST) An overwhelmingly majority of Sri Lankans in a Business Times (BT) poll this week have expressed concern over the clashes between the judiciary and the President, which has resulted in an impeachment motion being filed by govt MPs against the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. The hurried email poll, in which people were given 24 hours to respond, drew more than 600 responses from a cross-section of more..

No objections by FUTA to leadership training

Nov 4 (SL) The FUTA has not raised objections to the leadership training programme of the Ministry of Higher Education for the next batch of students being enrolled into govt universities. FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri said that the organization will carry out a systematic observation of the new leadership training programme before making any comments. Higher Education, Secretary, Sunil Navaratne said that FUTA had not objected to the implementation of the leadership training more..

A lesson in autonomy

Nov 4 (CT) The Chinese Govt has extended an invitation to the TNA to tour its Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, to study autonomy there and to take part in discussions with regard to political and economy-related matters in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province and in the Chinese capital Beijing. A three-member TNA delegation will be led by the Alliance’s media coordinator, N. Vithyatharan, who was taken into custody by the military in February and released after two months in 2009. more..

No major pay hikes, tough times ahead

Nov 4 (ST) Minister Basil Rajapaksa warned the state sector not to expect a major pay rise but declared that the govt would continue with the fertiliser subsidy, Samurdhi benefits as well as allocations for the health sector in next year’s Budget. “When preparing the Budget, the Govt faced several challenges such as the sanctions on oil imports from Iran and the drought,” the Minister said in what seems a forecast of difficult times ahead. more..

Bribery Commission to investigate CJ

Nov 4 (LB) The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption is proceeding on a complaint they have received against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake on various allegations. A senior official of the Commission confirmed that a petition was received against the chief justice last week. The petition states that the chief justice’s sister has purchased a house in a luxury housing complex and on the same day the sister had given power of attorney on more..

Speaker to meet party leaders to finalize Select Committee

Nov 4 (Island) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa will meet leaders of all political parties represented in parliament today to finalize the appointment of a Special Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to examine allegations made against Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake. SLFP heavyweight minister Dallas Alahapperuma said that the speaker was expected to invite the opposition to name its representatives to the PSC. Minister Alahapperuma speculated about more..

Rajapaksa govt.’s arrogance likely to boomerang

Nov 4 (SL) The arrogance exhibited by the Mahinda Rajapaksa govt in presenting an impeachment motion against Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake on the day Sri Lanka was being reviewed at the UNHRC Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on human rights is likely to have adverse repercussions in months to follow. The impeachment motion came last week after statements were made by members of the govt on abolishing the more..

Acid attack leaves 7 injured

Nov 4 (SL) An acid attack in a bus in Udugama on Friday evening left seven people injured, the police media unit said yesterday. The police said that attack took place as a result of a feud between a couple and the girl was the main target of the attack. The police said that the 26 year old girl was travelling in the bus from Udugama to Galle when a youth had thrown acid at her inside the bus. She was admitted to the Karapitiya hospital and then transferred to the Colombo General hospital, more..

'Migrant workers play key role in economy'

Nov 4 (NS) Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) Chairman, Amal Senadilankara said Sri Lankan overseas employees were now contributing significantly to the country’s development. “Every one must join hands with the development process. Contribution of foreign employees to the process is huge that must not be forgotten,” he asserted. He further said Sri Lankan migrant workers now remitted an annual income of more than Rs. 5 billion to Sri Lanka. more..

Unscathed troopship sails into the sunset

Nov 4 (ST) The Jetliner vessel operated by the Navy since 2006 will make its final voyage out of the country early today after more than six years of active service both during and after the Eelam war. The vessel was leased from an Indonesian company during the height of fighting between the security forces and the Tamil Tigers and was used affectively to transport troops to and from the operational areas in the North along with essential supplies, more..

Indian Army chief to visit Sri Lanka next month

Nov 4 (PTI) Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh will travel to Sri Lanka next month to discuss ways to further strengthen military ties between the two countries at a time when political parties in Tamil Nadu are up in arms against any kind of defence cooperation with Colombo. Gen Bikram Singh is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka in the third week of December and dates are being finalised by the officials of the two sides, Army sources said more..

'Supporting or opposing a Resolution does not arise'

Nov 4 (Island) The Standing Orders provide for the automatic appointment of Select Committee upon the presentation of such a petition to the Speaker. The Speaker who entertains such a resolution places it on the Order Paper of Parliament to investigate and report. Therefore, the question of supporting or opposing such a Resolution does not arise, UNP General Secretary, Tissa Attanayake said in a statement. more..

Kudankulam: Lanka still silent, huge protests in Tamil Nadu

Nov 4 (ST) The Sri Lanka Government is remaining silent over the controversial nuclear plant at Kudankulam in South India — even as hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in that country to denounce the atomic complex. “We have initiated diplomatic efforts on this issue and are satisfied at the outcome and therefore there is no need to take the matter to the streets,” External Affairs Ministry (EAM) official more..

'Sri Lanka govt will not interfere with the independence of Judiciary'

Nov 4 (GDI) Sri Lankan President said that his govt has no intention to interfere with judiciary or its independence. He further said that the govt has ensured all professions be it judiciary or journalism to act without any let or hindrance. President Mahinda Rajapaksa made this observation when he addressed the senior journalists, artistes and the writers at his office on Saturday after officiating the distribution of more..

Night races extended; problems for top hotels

Nov 4 (ST) Colombo’s night motor races this year will see local and foreign riders racing through extended routes but the event is also driving away guests from five-star hotels. That includes those who have planned weddings, home comings and other events, some of which have had to be cancelled. The reason for this, according to Anura Lokuhetti, past president of the Hoteliers Association, is the “absence of an events more..

Four bodies found in southern Sri Lanka

Nov 4 (xinhua) Sri Lankan police discovered bodies of four men on Sunday with gun-shot wounds near a canal in the south of the country. Police spokesman Priyashantha Jayakody said that the four men found dead in Galle had their hands tied and faces covered. Based on initial investigation, the police said that they believed the murder was due to a private dispute. A dispute between two gangs had resulted in the murder two weeks ago and the discovery of the more..

Hedging : Govt. seeks compromise with SCB

Nov 4 (ST) Hit by a British court ruling to pay US$ 180 million (Rs. 23 billion) to the Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) over oil hedging deals by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), the Govt now wants to negotiate a settlement to pay a lesser amount. Attorney General Palitha Fernando said that talks were going on between the CPC and the SCB to reduce the payments to US$ 60 million (Rs.7.8 billion). The payment owed to the SCB is US$ 160 million plus US$ 20 million interest. more..

Mohan Peiris to be sued

Nov 4 (SL) Well known public interest litigator Nihal Sri Amarasekera is to sue former Attorney General and Presidential Adviser Mohan Peiris for Rs. 500 million in connection with the loss incurred by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) in defending the failed arbitration process incurred by the govt relating to the hedging transactions entered into by the CPC with various banks. Amarasekera has decided to petition the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka after a Washington-based more..

A pledge to fight corruption

Nov 4 (Island) Trade unions, civil society organizations, academics, media personnel, artists and the general public came together on October 31 to pledge their commitment to the fight against corruption and launch the first ever Coalition against Corruption at the New Town Hall, Colombo. Activists who participated at the formal launch of the Coalition against Corruption held at the New Town Hall took an Oath of Allegiance firmly assuring not to be a party to any form of bribery or corruption, more..

Spike in paracetamol poisoning cases cause concern

Nov 4 (Island) Confronted with a spike in paracetamol poisoning cases, medical practitioners are grappling with the growing threat as the antidote commonly recommended still remains unregistered in Sri Lanka. "It has to be procured from "outside" because this vital drug, though not given the green light by the Cosmetics, Devices and Drugs Authority (CDDA), is freely available in the market", medical officials said last week. more..

30 boats damaged by Sri Lankan naval personnel

Nov 4 (PTI) Sri Lankan naval personnel allegedly damaged 30 boats of Indian fishers who were near the International Maritime Boundary Line on Sunday, officials said. No fisher was injured in the incident, they said. The naval personnel allegedly surrounded the boats, pelted stones, threw bottles and iron pieces and damaged about 20 fishing nets, they said. The fishers were also warned not to venture near Katchathivu, an islet ceded to Sri Lanka by India in 1974, they added. more..

Shortcomings at Trinco hospital

Nov 4 (SL) The new building complex of the Trincomalee General Hospital which opened recently is unable to function properly owing to a severe shortage of staff and lack of funds. The Rs. 500 million state of the art complex built from tsunami funds received from AmeriCares and the Asian Development Bank is not being used to its full potential because of a lack of doctors, nurses, technical officers and minor staff, says the Trincomalee General Hospital, Medical Superintendent, more..

Sunday Leader censored Tisaranee Gunasekara’s column

Nov 4 (CT) The Sunday Leader has edited Tisaranee Gunasekara‘s weekly column without discussing with her. Her column has been altered beyond recognition and all reference to the Rajapaksas have been axed. She sent the following email to the Editor Sakuntala Perera and the Chairman Lal Wickrematunge; Dear Shakunthala/Lal, I usually do not read my own articles in print. But since the ownership of more..

'Govt abusing flaws in constitution'

Nov 4 (AD) The UNP accused the govt of attempting to fulfill its own private agendas due to the shortcomings of the constitution. The Impeachment Motion against the Chief Justice, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, is the best example for this, UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella said. He stated that it is evident by the fact that the same MPs who brought forth the motion will participate in the Parliamentary Select Committee which will probe the matter, that there is a fault in the interpretation of the more..

Hangmen to be ready by next month

Nov 4 (SL) The Prisons Department has sent five applicants for the hangman’s post to the Angoda hospital to check their mental health condition. Prisons Commissioner P.W. Kodippili said that the applicants were sent after they were shortlisted for the hangman’s post. He said that once their mental condition is checked they will be interviewed once again and two will be selected for the post. The Prisons Department interviewed 178 applicants for the post of hangman and that number was more..

NTUC to decide on strike after budget

Nov 4 (SL) The National Trade Union Centre (NTUC) will decide on staging a strike over a salary hike for public servants, after the budget is presented to Parliament this week. NTUC President K.D. Lalkantha said that they hope the govt will include the salary increment for public servants in the budget. He said that in the event the salary increment is not included in the 2013 budget then the next course of action will be decided more..

Cabinet paper on private bus drivers rejected

Nov 4 (SL) A cabinet paper submitted by Private Transport Minister C. B. Ratnayake on private bus drivers, has been rejected by the Cabinet, the Minister said. He said that the cabinet paper was submitted last week during the weekly cabinet meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The cabinet paper had called for stricter laws to deal with private bus operators and private bus drivers. Ratnayake had suggested that private bus drivers who drive without a valid license more..

Set a Former Chief Justice to catch a Chief Justice?

Nov 4 (CT) From friends to enemies, and now friends again! President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a jocular mood along with former chief justice Sarath N. Silva when they met at the funeral of former Supreme Court Judge Raja Wanasundara, Lakbima News reports. On Nov 2, Colombo Telegraph reported; President Mahinda Rajapaksa told former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva yesterday that he was keen to resolve the problems with the judiciary in an amicable way. Asked why he was moving to more..

Whatever the Chief Justice may say, Govt. will have its way

Nov 4 (ST) Govt MPs began a campaign to impeach Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, at the auspicious time of 10.12 a.m. on Thursday. It seemed ironic if not hilarious that the day coincided with the United Nations in Geneva taking up Sri Lanka’s human rights record under the UPR. The five Govt Group members, Pavithra Wanniaratchchi, Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Sudarshani Fernandopulle, more..

'Doctors transfer scheme a mess'

Nov 4 (NS) The Govt Medical Officers Association (GMOA) has charged that the Health Ministry has only implemented 20% of its annual transfers of doctors, adding that transfers of thousands of medical personnel are still pending. “Because of this, more than 5,000 doctors have been forced to stay in the same stations three to four years longer than they should. This has caused many problems for them and affected their work adversely,” Dr Nalin Ariyaratne, Assistant Secretary, GMOA said. more..

AEA readies for radiation threat

Nov 4 (NS) Early Warning Systems (EWS) to measure radioactive fallouts are now being installed by the Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) at all naval bases in Sri Lanka. The AEA is also readying for action should these systems indicate excessive radioactivity levels in any part of the island. 'So far we have installed five Early Warning Systems at the naval bases in Kalpitiya, Mannar, Delft and Kankesanturai. The most recent one was at Colombo. The rest will be installed at more..

CPSTL affirms no huge loss from oil leak

Nov 4 (NS) Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Limited (CPSTL) denied the allegations that there was a huge loss from the oil leakage occurred last Wednesday following a burst of old pipelines from the Harbor to the Kolonnawa Installation at two places near the Mahawatte and Orugodawatte areas. “Loss of the oil spill is insignificant. Allegations about a huge loss were completely false. I say this with full confidence more..

Champika concerned over Northern polls

Nov 4 (SL) Leader of the JHU and Minister Champika Ranawaka has raised concerns over holding Provincial Council elections in the North. He said that before holding elections in the North the Sinhalese and Muslims evicted by the LTTE during the war should be resettled in those areas. He said that his party will strongly object to holding elections for the Northern Provincial Council before the Sinhalese war displaced are allowed to resettle on their original property in the north. more..

Canoe down the canal

Nov 4 (ST) Using canoes as public transport is a well known practice in the rural and the backwater areas of the country. But closer to the metropolis it is a rare find, which is why downtown Wattala is so unique. For at least three decades a canoe ferry has been operating on the Dutch built Hamilton Canal, carrying out a yeoman service to thousands of residents living in the area that includes Elakanda, Lansiyawatte, Palliyawatte, Preethipura and beyond. The passengers that begin to trek in more..