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Did he attack himself?- Wimal

Oct 12 (DM) Minister Wimal Weerawansa said today the assault on JSC Secretary Manjula Tillekaratne was beset with several unanswered questions. “The facts surrounding the attack are rather suspicious. Why did the man who spoke of a threat to his life send the police officer assigned to protect him on leave? He then goes to the playgrounds and drops his daughter and wife and remains inside the car all alone,” he said. more..

Army shifting bases to state land

Oct 12 (Island) The Army will shift its 512 Brigade Headquarters to a State-owned block of land in the Jaffna town shortly. The headquarters is currently situated at Colambathurai in Jaffna. Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that the decision to shift the Brigade headquarters to a one-acre block of land owned by the government had been taken after considering the plight of Jaffna’s citizens. The Brigade headquarters, with 45 houses, is spread over five acres. more..

Battered JSC Secretary to face inquiry over media statement

Oct 12 (Island) In a new twist to last weeks goon attack on the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) Secretary Manjula Tillekeratne in Mount Lavinia, the govt said that he had no right to be issuing press statements. Media Minister, Keheliya Rambukwalle said that the conduct of the JSC Secretary subsequent to the physical attack on him which led to his hospitalization, would have to be inquired into. Manjula Tillekeratne by issuing statements of his own in an official capacity more..

'Serious foreign exchange management problem at Cental Bank last year'

Oct 12 (Island) Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera says steps taken to rectify "distortions in monetary policy and fiscal policy" were now bearing fruit after a serious foreign exchange management problem took the country to the brink of a balance of payments crisis last year. "There was a serious foreign exchange management problem. Reserves rapidly declined and the exchange rate stubbornly more..

Medical Lab technologists threaten strike

Oct 12 (Island) The Sri Lanka Association of Govt Medical Laboratory Technologists (SLAGMLT) warns of a strike unless the govt takes steps to nab bogus medical laboratory technicians President of the SLAGMLT, Janaka Nishantha said that there were approximately 800 Laboratories functioning under unqualified MLTs in rural areas. The number could even be more, he added. Govt MLTs had to follow a two-year diploma before their registration with the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) more..

Monk arrested for embezzling Rs 1.9 M

Oct 12 (CT) monk who was occupying the position of chairman of the Sanasa Samithi at Lelwala, Wanduramba, was arrested on charges of having embezzled Rs 1.9 million. The monk, who had apparently rented out a van belonging to Sanasa for Rs 1 million, while also embezzling deposited money of members amounting to 900,000, was arrested by the Corruption Investigation Unit of the Galle Police. The police was informed by the members who were not paid their money. The Corruption more..

NTPC’s Lanka project runs into political hurdle

Oct 12 (LM) State-run power utility NTPC Ltd’s plan to build a 500 megawatts plant in Sri Lanka appears to have been been indefinitely delayed, in part because of protests by Tamil Nadu against the Sri Lankan govt, according to two company executives. Another NTPC executive and the Sri Lankan embassy in India, however, blamed technical issues, without elaborating. The original plan was to start more..

Water levels still insufficient

Oct 12 (Island) Though the inter-monsoon conditions were establishing in the country, the water levels in the hydro power generating reservoirs were not sufficient, Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), Deputy Chairman, Anura Wijepala said yesterday. He said: "The rainfall in the hydro catchments has yet to come although rains are being experienced in some other parts of the country. As inter-monsoon conditions are establishing we expect enough rain." Wijepala said that the required rainfall was not received in the hydro catchments of more..

Driving license applications online

Oct 12 (Island) The country’s entire driving license service system will be brought under one network soon. Motor Traffic Department Commissioner General S.H. Harischandra said, that a new online system to apply for driving licenses would be introduced at districts level, in order to provide a more efficient, productive and people friendly service. He said, "the new method is currently being implemented in the Hambantota, Gampaha, Anuradhapura, Kurunegala and Werahera more..

GMOA planning TU action

Oct 12 (CT) The Govt Medical Officers Association (GMOA) said they are planning trade union action within the next two weeks, unless the govt takes their salary anomalies into consideration. The GMOA demanded the govt increase their salary ratio to 1:12 and to also increase their transport allowance with immediate effect. Additional Secretary of GMOA Dr. Nalin Ariyarathna, said a big problematic situation has arisen within more..

President will decide fate of death row prisoners - Hakim

Oct 12 (Island) Justice Minister Rauff Hakim yesterday told Parliament that the President would take a final decision on those who have been sentenced to the gallows, on the basis of a report submitted by his ministry. Responding to a query raised by UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera, the minister said that a report, compiled by the Ministry of Prisons, had been submitted to his ministry and the report was being studied at the moment. more..

Crude oil sufficient for only two days

Oct 12 (Island) Operations at the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation’s Sapugaskanda Refinery will come to a standstill very soon as the stocks of crude oil available there are sufficient for only another two days! Sources told The Island that the shortage was due to a delay in the arrival of parcels of crude in Colombo. They attributed the shortage to the import of Arabian crude in place of Iranian Light crude. The refinery would suffer huge losses when the crude stocks run out as it would have to be closed, more..

Bill to extend detention of suspects before parliament

Oct 12 (CT) Minister Rauff Hakeem presented to Parliament, the Code of Criminal Procedure (Special Provision) Bill in order to provide for the extension of the period of detention of persons arrested without a warrant in a bid to facilitate the process of investigations. Accordingly, when an arrest is made in relation to an offence specified in the Schedule to the Criminal Procedure Act of 1979, the period of detention in police custody more..

Krishna urges Lankan Tamil delegates to resume talks

Oct 12 (TOI) Foreign minister S M Krishna again called for early resumption of talks for political reconciliation in Sri Lanka in a meeting with a seven-member delegation of the TNA led by R Sampanthan. The TNA had pulled out of talks in January after the Lankan government came up with the proposal that further negotiations be carried out through a Parliament Select Committee (PSC). President Rajapaksa has himself declared that the talks - of which 18 rounds had taken place more..

'Solhrim took 30 years to understand Prabhakaran'

Oct 12 (GDI) It took almost 30 years for Eric Solheim to understand Prabhakaran whereas the people of Sri Lanka understood from the very beginning of the terrorist war and they had the capability of understanding all his moves. This was stated by the Minister Keheliya Rambukwella in response to a question raised by media personnel. In an interview to the BBC Eric Solheim has stated that the international community made arrangements to send a ship to the North and evacuate more..

FUTA suspends university strike

Oct 12 (Island) The FUTA said yesterday that its strike had been suspended. However, Minister Basil Rajapaksa told the media the FUTA had given them an assurance that their strike would be called off immediately in response to Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera’s letter. Minister Rajapaksa said, "Although FUTA members are not attending the joint media conference, they have informed us that their executive committee had decided to call off the strike." more..

Editorial: Stop this Attack on the Judiciary

Oct 12 (DM) The attack on the Judicial Services Commission Secretary Manjula Tillekeratne has triggered off one of the most explosive crises between the Govt and the judiciary. The UNP’s deputy leader Sajith Premadasa described it as one of the darkest days for the independent judiciary and democracy. On Monday the crisis worsened when judges and staff of the High Courts, District Courts and Magistrate’s Courts all over the country stayed away from work in an unprecedented more..

Introduce the bill of rights pledged in The Mahinda Chinthana

Oct 12 (CT) The Liberal Party is deeply concerned about the recent assault on Mr. Manjula Thilakarathna, Secretary of the Judicial Service Commission. While the background of the crude perpetrators of the incident at Mount Lavinia on Sunday 7th October 2012 is as yet unknown, the fact that it follows on what seems confrontation between the executive and the judiciary makes it even more imperative for govt to swiftly more..

EU-funded lead paint elimination project launched

Oct 12 (ST) The Sri Lanka part of the European Union (EU)-funded IPEN Asian Lead Paint Elimination Project was launched in Colombo on Tuesday. The project aims at eliminating lead in paint and raising widespread awareness among business entrepreneurs and consumers about the adverse human health impacts of lead-based decorative paints, particularly on the health of children under six years old. The project is more..

Sri Lanka forestry program expanded by Australia

Oct 12 (LBO) A community based program to increase forest cover in Sri Lanka's dry zone and support small farmers has been launched by Australia and the UNDP. "Forests are a critical environmental and economic resource for Sri Lanka," the Australian embassy in Colombo said. "During the past hundred years Sri Lanka has lost half of its forest cover. Deforestation and forest degradation is a source of poverty for more..

Sell house and sail away to better lives

Oct 12 (DT) Electricians, security guards, govt workers and businessmen were among a wave of middle-class asylum seekers caught leaving Sri Lanka by boat, the country's navy has revealed. In a briefing to a Liberal MP on a study tour, Sri Lanka's navy revealed that most of the 2279 people arrested leaving on 52 boats this year from 24 locations were "economic migrants" looking for a better life in Australia. more..

Double fencing Uda Walawe elephants!

Oct 12 (SL) A glimpse into an aspect of the Human Elephant Conflict and the double fencing being constructed to ensure that the pachyderms are kept at bay by discouraging passers-by from throwing food at the giants of the jungle. It is also claimed that the elephants converge at the fence not that they are actually in need of food, but for ‘dessert’, the juicy fruit or sugar cane that is thrown to them, which they cannot get inside the more..

Is Stock Market on the rise?

Oct 12 (LB) The stock market is once again on the rise, yet analysts remain unable to provide reasons for this outcome. However, some economists advise small investors to be vigilant when purchasing stocks so as to avoid being victims of manipulators. The stock market, though ideally needs be a level playing field, is hardly so. As economists point out, due to the inherent imbalance of information, stock markets are often more..

'Electoral reforms another SLFP ruse'

Oct 12 (Island) UNP MP Harin Fernando said that the Opposition shouldn’t endorse amendments to the existing parliamentary and presidential election laws unless President Mahinda Rajapaksa was ready to give up the executive presidency. The abolition of the executive presidency should be an integral part of the electoral reforms, the MP said, adding that the Opposition shouldn’t be deceived by SLFP Ministers’ sweet talk. more..

Tiger who shot down plane carrying 56 civilians leads SLN to wreckage

Oct 12 (Island) The SLN is exploring the possibility of salvaging a civilian aircraft, shot down by the LTTE on Sept 29, 1998 over Iranativu Island. It was the only civilian passenger aircraft brought down during the entire conflict. Acting on information provided by an LTTE cadre, an SLN diving team, on Oct. 2, located the wreckage on the sea bed off Iranativu Island. The SLN team located two aircraft wings, three tyres, air craft engine and more..

Mobile phones, internet blamed for increased child abuse, rape

Oct 12 (Island) Mobile phones and the internet are two of the main causes for the increase in child abuse, incest and rape of women and children. Chief of the Special Investigations Unit of the NCPA, B. Balachandra, said that the country had witnessed a tremendous increase in child abuse and rape within the last ten years owing to the unrestrained use of mobile phones by children youth and the elderly. more..

'Sri Lanka to discuss new program later'

Oct 12 (LBO) A separate mission would arrive in Sri Lanka to have discussion on an ongoing program with Sri Lanka with the end of a successful 2.5 billion US dollar standby arrangement, an IMF official said. IMF's resident representative Koshy Mathai said a mission that had just left the island was engaged in routine discussions. Sri Lanka is due to present a budget for 2013 in November. Mathai said that he expected the administration to continue on a path of more..

Our demands were not met- FUTA

Oct 12 (DM) Despite a decision to call off the countrywide university strike today, the FUTA said that a proposal put forward by the govt based on the unions’ demands was not sufficient and that FUTA would continue its struggle until the govt addressed its concerns. “This is not a permanent exit but a temporary suspension of a historic struggle. We will continue with greater determination and expect the govt to fulfill what they had agreed to. We will be watching closely,” more..

Sri Lanka stocks closed up 0.30 pct

Oct 12 (LBO) Stocks ended a streak of losses and closed up 0.30 percent Friday. The Colombo All Share Index closed at 5,738.24 up 17.38 points and the S & P SL 20 Index closed 5.62 points higher at 3,098.42 up 0.18%. Turnover was 475 million rupees. Top contributors to turnover were JKH with 100 million rupees, Distilleries with 47 million rupees and Commercial Bank (NV) with 44 million rupees. Aitken Spence PLC slipped 0.30 cents to close at 131.70 rupees down 0.23%. more..

Sri Lanka 'Uga Bay' hotel expects to open this month: official

Oct 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Uga Escapes leisure group will open a resort in the north eastern coast of Passikudah and the firm expects to sell a room at 250 to 300 US dollars a night, an official said. The 'Uga Bay' resort built at a cost of 850 million rupees has 48 cabins, managing director of the Uga Escapes group Priyanjith Weerasooriya said. In June the group has opened Uga Jungle Beach in Kuchchaveli also in the Eastern coast. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Amending bill to allow police to cook up accusations - FSP

Oct 12 (AD) The Frontline Socialists Party (FSP) today said it opposes the government’s attempt to revise the existing rule which requires police to produce a person arrested before a Magistrate within 24 hours. Justice Minister Hakeem on Thursday (11) had presented the Code of Criminal Procedure (Special Provision) Bill in order extend from 24 hours to 48 hours the period of detention of persons arrested without a warrant, before being produced before a Magistrate. more..

UNP rebels vow to attend rally organised by Sangha with SF

Oct 12 (Island) UNP rebel MPs vowed to attend the October 18 United Bhikkhu Front rally organised with the aim of forming an alliance headed by former Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka to abolish the executive presidency. UNP MP Palitha Range Bandara, addressing a press conference in Rajagiriya, said the abolition of executive presidency was one of the policy decisions taken by the UNP, therefore none could find fault with UNPers for attending that rally. more..

Retirement Age extended to 60 years

Oct 12 (GDI) The maximum age for the govt servants for retirement has been extended to 60 years from the current age limit of 57 years in response to many requests made to the govt by the public servants. Earlier the maximum age limit was 57 years and public servants who needed extensions had to get approval from the Heads of the Institutions to obtain extensions. The General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Independent Trade Union Federation more..

Sri Lanka: Rift between president and judiciary

Oct 12 (wsws) Lower court judges and lawyers in Sri Lanka boycotted judicial work on Monday and Tuesday, to protest an attack on Judicial Service Commission (JSC) secretary Manjula Tilakaratne by pistol-wielding thugs on Sunday. The JSC is a constitutionally independent body, headed by the chief justice and two Supreme Court judges, and responsible for the recruitment and transfers of lower court judges, and any disciplinary action against them. The assault on the senior more..

Commander of the Navy calls on IGP and meets Bangladesh DA & DGCDF

Oct 12 (SLN) Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage called on Inspector General of Police N.K. Illangakoon at the Police Headquarters on 12th October 2012. He was accorded a Guard of Honour and warmly received by the IGP on arrival. Meanwhile, Defence Adviser attached to the Bangladesh High Commission in Sri Lanka, Commodore M Nasir and Director General of Civil Defence Force, Rear Admiral (Rtd) BAJG Peiris, called on Commander of the Navy more..

'Govt. violating financial norms'

Oct 12 (DM) UNP parliamentarian and economist Harsha De Silva said Violating all financial regulations and laws of this country, the Government is spending public funds as if tit belongs to themt, addressing a press conference in Colombo today he said the Government invested about Rs.3.3 billion on Greek bonds even though it was aware that the Greek economy had broken down and this careless investment incurred a loss of about Rs.2.2 billion. more..

Govt. doesn't care for us now: Rathana Thera

Oct 12 (LT) The govt doesn't listen to the preaching by the JHU and its Bhikkus are being ignored says the President of JHU MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera. Speaking at an awareness workshop held regarding arsenic Ven. Rathana Thera said, “I too am a member of the govt. The govt is mum regarding this issue. We have to follow a special state policy to eradicate this obstacle. The govt policy should decide what cultivation should be carried out. For such policies to be adopted a genuine effort should be made more..

21 senior lawyers have been appointed President’s Counsel

Oct 12 (GDI) 21 senior lawyers received their appointments from President Mahinda Rajapaksa at President’s House yesterday morning. The new President’s Counsel are: M Sittampalam, Dulinda Weerasuriya, R. Lakshman Perera, Donald C Perera, Prashantha Lal de Alwis, K V Nihal Jayawardhana, Shamil J Perera, S M Kushan de Alwis, Kalinga N. Indatissa, R. Shanaka Ranasinghe, Harsha Amarasekera, Nalin Ladduwahetty, Maithri Wickramasinghe, more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 12.10.2012