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UK deports 60 asylum seekers

Oct 21 (CT) Some 60 Lankan asylum seekers in UK will be deported on Tuesday 23 October, according to British Immigration officials. It has been found that the asylum seekers did not possess valid travel documents and had been staying in the UK for several years with various fake documents, such as student visas and job permits, immigration officials said. A special chartered plane has been arranged to transport the 60 Lankans with the escort of the British officials. more..

Ministry goes all out to beautify railway stations

Oct 21 (SO) The beautification of all 330 railway stations countrywide and bring it on par with the Govt’s City and Village Beautification Program will be expedited by the Transport Ministry on a directive by Transport Minister Kumara Welgama. A recent Railway Department survey has revealed that nearly 30 percent of the railway stations have already been given a facelift and that the remaining 70% railway stations are not properly maintained. more..

Pending cases of LTTE suspects expedited

Oct 21 (SL) The govt has begun expediting pending cases of LTTE suspects who had been in prison for several years without being charged. Secretary to the Ministry of Justice Kamalini de Silva said that two of the four new courts proposed to hear the cases had been established in Mannar and Vavuniya. She said that the remaining two courts would be established soon in Anuradhapura and Colombo. “Some cases have already been more..

Cabinet approves Occupational Health Safety Act

Oct 21 (NS) The Occupational Health Safety Act has finally been approved by Cabinet. It is now pending presentation to Parliament. The Act, although drafted in 2007, by the Labour Department in consultation with experts from a number of fields is yet to see the light of day”, Dr Mahendra Arnold, Community Physician, Sri Lanka Medical Association told The Nation expressing hope it would be implemented early. He charged that more..

Hybrid cows imported to increase milk production

Oct 21 (SO) The Ministry of Livestock and Rural Community Development has refuted reports in the media that the recent import of hybrid cows from Australia by the National Livestock Development Board was a plot to destabilise the dairy farming industry in Sri Lanka. The Ministry has denied the reports, attributed to certain organisations, that the animals had infectious diseases, which could pose a threat to local animals and had infectious more..

'Divi neguma bill shows govt insensitivity to power devolution'

Oct 21 (SL) TNA Leader R. Sampanthan says the proposed Divi Neguma Bill is a clear instance of the govt’s insensitivity to the concept of devolving power to the provinces and fully implementing the 13th Amendment and build upon it to bring a meaningful devolution. He said the TNA delegation that was recently in India had pointed out the Bill as an example to the govt’s failure to bring about more..

Aussie MP commends Sri Lanka Navy

Oct 21 (SO) Australian MP Don Randall has commended the role played by the Sri Lanka Navy to intercept boats carrying prospective illegal immigrants to Australia. Following a recent trip to Sri Lanka, he has written in his personal blog, “The Sri Lankan Navy is doing an outstanding job of returning these boats to where they depart from and we should expect similar assistance from Indonesia,” echoing what he said in a statement to Parliament. He has also written that he was astounded to more..

Pirate captain 'wants asylum'

Oct 21 (TA) THE captain of a boat hijacked by pirates off the cost of Sri Lanka wants to sail the boat to Australia, the Sri Lankan govt says. Sri Lanka's high commissioner to Australia, Thisara Samarasinghe, said crew members who jumped overboard during an alleged hijacking last week had been told by their attackers their intended destination was Australia. A group of about 10 apparent asylum-seekers, including at least one woman with a child, allegedly boarded, more..

Big money behind T-20 cheerleader fiasco

Oct 21 (ST) Here is why local girls who performed during the ICC T-20 championship in Sri Lanka were dubbed by several foreign media as eyesores — they were hired for a lesser fee though the sponsors had paid large amounts. The Sunday Times learns that Sudev Abeysekara, the man behind the exercise that won much bad publicity for Sri Lanka, was paid Rs. 3 million for promoting cheerleaders whose gaudy makeup won more..

At the door to Sevens heaven; World Cup presence is no dream

Oct 22 (SL) Whilst Sri Lanka’s Plate-winning performance at last weekend’s Mumbai Sevens, as wellas its brief participation in the prestigious Cup race alongside Asia’s big boys, has to go down as one of our betterachievements in international rugby, it also showed just how much has gone unachieved in the past few seasons due to indifferent planning and management. Two years ago in the same annual HSBC Asian Sevens series, and more..

The need for a bigger Cabinet of ministers

Oct 22 (SL) A senior member of the current govt, Nimal Siripala de Silva I believe, has recently and on more than one occasion stated without tongue in cheek, that, given the enormous work load of those serving in the largest Cabinet in the world it was an urgent necessity for that Cabinet to be expanded. Also, as a result of being significantly late in making out my Christmas wish list for many prominent people/politicians in this country last year, several of my friends berated me more..

'Tamils need democratic leaders'

Oct 22 (SO) The son of a revolutionary father dubbed as the “Father of Marxism in Sri Lanka” and the mother equally immersed in Marxist thoughts, Chief Govt Whip Dinesh Gunawardena had a distinguished scholastic career in Sri Lanka and abroad. No doubt, Marxism, proletariat, bourgeosie, Lenin and Trotsky would have been household words for the Gunawardena siblings. Following the family tradition, he plunged into politics at a comparatively young age and more..

Karalasingham envisaged a way out for the Tamil speaking people in 1963

Oct 22 (DBS) Approaching politics in the North, the first images to appear, habitually, are of those who claim to a patent right of representing the Tamil people. Rather belatedly does one realize that the Tamil community has gifted to Sri Lanka noble men of calibre whose widened horizons enabled them to view the issues of the Tamil people as integral to the broader national issues and the struggle of progressives for social justice. Of those sages V. Karalasingham, more..

Landmark Supreme Court judgment recognizes ‘Economic Rights’ of journalists

Oct 22 (DBS) In a ground breaking judgment – the first of its kind in Sri Lanka – which will especially interest proprietors and editors of newspapers, photographers and the media – a three judge bench of our Supreme Court recognized the “Economic Rights” of a newspaper journalist to nine exclusive photographs taken by him. Several years later these photographs had been published in a newspaper without his consent, without his knowledge and without any acknowledgment. more..

‘Govt. not keen on devolving power’

Oct 22 (LB) TNA stalwart Suresh Premachandran questions the rationale in joining the Parliament Select Committee (PSC), ‘when the president and his siblings are speaking out against power sharing.’ Premachandran, a member of the seven-member TNA delegation that visited India last week says that the TNA did not agree to attend the PSC appointed by the president to explore a political solution. He insisted that there should be an agreement between the more..

The Laws of Lawlessness

Oct 22 (LG) Making bad laws has become the hallmark of lawmaking in Sri Lanka for several decades now. The most recent example of the making of very bad laws is a bill which has recently been placed before parliament under the title Code of Criminal Procedure (Special Provision). The pursuit of injustice through legal enactment finds one more expression in this proposed bill. The task of law is to create the framework for justice. Legislators, in making laws, ought to be more..

Export Growth And Sustained Development

Oct 22 (CT) It has been the normal practice for the President of SLEA, to give an overview of the theme of the Sessions in his Presidential Address. I have no reason to deviate from it this year. This year’s theme is Export Growth for Sustained Development. Why this theme was selected will be made clear soon. Before that, let me briefly explain what and why is Sustained Development? Sustained development is continuous high economic growth, with inclusiveness, over a more..

'TNA does not represent the people of Sri Lanka'

Oct 22 (SL) Minister Basil Rajapaksa says that the proposed Divi Neguma Bill that has now run into much controversy, is aimed at uplifting the living standards of the low income earners that amount to around 1.5-1.8 million in the country while also providing benefits to the 27,000 Samurdhi employees. Responding to concerns raised over the concentration of power with the Economic Development Minister, he explained that the more..

Mother helps police arrest suspects

Oct 22 (SO) It was in the morning on October 9, when a girl staying at a boarding house at First Lane Tewatte, Ragama noticed a car pulling along side the road and someone alighting from it. She then noticed a man opening its dickey and dumping two white coloured sacks on the ground. Thereafter, he poured some liquid on them and set fire before driving away. The girl who became suspicious rang the Police Emergency number 119 which in turn informed the Ragama police station about the complaint. more..

Hard times and emerging challenges

Oct 22 (ST) This year has been one of the toughest for the economy. Global conditions have affected the economy at a time when nature has been unkind too. At such times of external and internal shocks the country has to either depend on using its reserves or get into foreign debt. Unfortunately the country has to face these shocks at a time when the country’s economy does not have the strength to face adversity. Consequently economic fundamentals are being weakened and the more..

Dirty Money

Oct 22 (CT) The murky world of money laundering is not just about large stashes of cash being illegally dispatched from one destination to another. There is a much more compelling story behind the tainted money making its way to Sri Lanka, which has left law enforcement agencies in the dark. Recent investigations conducted by several foreign and local financial investigators have indicated that Sri Lanka has become a more..

Editorial: Towards a ‘colony’ of political leeches

Oct 22 (Island) In 1948, we cherished the delusion that when we ceased to be a British colony all our problems would go away, only to be hugely disappointed a few years later. We danced in the streets again in 1972, when the so-called Republican Constitution was promulgated, thinking that we, the people of the sovereign State of Sri Lanka, would be able to control the destiny of our nation and everything would be hunky dory. more..

Pakistan XI sweep series

Oct 22 (CI) Even a stunning 16-ball 42 from last man Nantie Hayward wasn't enough to prevent International World XI from sliding to a six-wicket defeat against Pakistan All Star XI in the second Twenty20 match in Karachi. For the second day in a row, the International XI's batting failed to run up a substantial score. They had slid to an embarrassing 85 for 9 in the 16th over, and were only taken to the respectability of 142 due to Hayward swinging four sixes and three fours in the final stretch more..

Wimal calls for referendum to abolish 13-A

Oct 22 (Island) Close on the heels of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa reiterating his call for abolition of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, the NFF leader, Housing Minister Wimal Weerawansa, has urged President Mahinda Rajapaksa to hold a referendum to decide on the controversial amendment. MP Weerawansa has sought an urgent meeting with President Rajapaksa to make a detailed presentation to the president in the wake more..

Fresh talks on capital markets

Oct 22 (FT) Development of capital markets will come under a fresh round of discussion on Tuesday at a meeting to be chaired by Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera. The Daily FT learns that the latest discussion will be under the aegis of the National Council for Economic Development (NCED), which has several industry clusters. This is the first time capital markets will be discussed under the banner of NCED. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, the Commissioners and senior officials, more..

Niluka wins 11th successive title

Oct 22 (Island) Olympian Niluka Karunaratne came up with an impressive performance to win the National Badminton Championship for the 11 successive year beating his brother Dinuka two sets to nil in the 60th National Badminton Championship worked off at Royal Sports Complex in Reid Avenue. Niluka recorded a comfortable win over his brother. He won the first set 21 points to 15 and came from behind to win the second set 22-20. "A decade ago I won the 50th national championship more..

Dinesh opposes govt.'s well water tax

Oct 22 (Island) There appears to be deep divisions within the govt over its plan to tax even the poor who are dependent on well water for their daily use, with Chief Govt Whip and Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardena voicing his opposition to the proposal long pushed by multilateral international donors like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, but up to now resisted by all governments. more..

Landslide alert in several areas of Kandy District

Oct 22 (Island) The National Building Research Organization (NBRO) has issued a landslide alert in some areas of the Kandy District for next 24 hours as heavy rains were experienced in those areas for the last few days. Head of the Landslide Research Division of the NBRO R.M.S. Bandara said that the areas placed on alert were Gangawatakorale, Udunuwara, Yatinuwara, Harispattuwa and Akurana divisional secretariat areas. He said that the more..

Minister on fish coming ashore

Oct 22 (Island) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said that fish now come ashore as a result of increased fish population and the depleted oxygen in the marine environment owing to the influence of monsoon effect. He said that research conducted by National Aquatic Resources Authority of the increased numbers of fish coming ashore in coastal areas in Beruwala, Eastern province and several reservoirs had revealed that the oxygen percentage in water habitats had been depleted. more..

Lanka tells diaspora : ‘Come and witness our achievements’

Oct 22 (DN) Sri Lanka has invited foreign media and influential persons belonging to the Tamil diaspora to come and see what is happening in the country, in a move to deal with disinformation campaigns that have been launched against the country by some sections of the Tamil diaspora, said External Affairs Ministry Secretary Karunathilaka Amunugama. He said, fair-minded members of the diaspora are looking more..

Sri Lanka wins two prestigious awards at FutureGov Summit 2012

Oct 22 (FT) Sri Lanka won two prestigious awards at the FutureGov Summit 2012 awards ceremony held at the Shangri La hotel in Chiang Mai, Thailand, last week. The two awards bagged by Sri Lanka come respectively under the ‘eGovernment’ category and the ‘Public Sector Organisation of the Year’ category. The ‘eGovernment’ award was for the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA), or Visa Online of the Sri Lankan Department of Immigration and Emigration. The ICT Agency of Sri Lanka more..

Fishermen allege attack by Sri Lanka

Oct 22 (TOI) The fate of a boat and its four-member crew that did not return to shore as scheduled was a cause for concern among fishermen in Rameswaram on Sunday, as they alleged some boats came under attack from the Sri Lankan navy on Saturday night. Though 654 fishing tokens were issued for the day, nearly 500 boats ventured into sea on Saturday morning as the falling prawn prices had dampened the spirits of fishermen. Among the boats that ventured into sea, five were said to more..

NCPA alarmed at goings - on at some International Schools

Oct 22 (DN) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) called for the immediate intervention of the Education Ministry to improve the overall standards of some International Schools in the country. NCPA chairperson Anoma Dissanayake said her department received a large number of complaints related to incidents of child abuse and poor overall standards at some of these more..

Attack on doctor and his wife: GMOA issues boycott threat

Oct 22 (Island) The Colombo District GMOA Branch Union will not participate in the conferences, seminars and workshops organised by the Western Province Health Director Dr. Amal Harsha de Silva and the Regional Health Director Dr. A. Siriwardena, commencing today as the Director de Silva had not officially sent the interim inquiry report on the attack on the Lunawa District hospital DMO Dr. Nishantha Chandrapala by a nurse and her husband on more..

Hyde Park Rally: UNPrebels appeal for mercy

Oct 22 (Island) A group of UNP parliamentarians had decided to make an appeal to the party leadership on behalf of the three MPs, two provincial Council members and more than a dozen local govt members who attended the October 18 rally held at Hyde Park in defiance of the party order to boycott it, reformist group MP Dayasiri Jayasekera said yesterday. Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga also said that before the party took any disciplinary action against more..

Defence Secretary repeats call for abolition of 13-A

Oct 22 (Island) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday reiterated that post-war political strategy of TNA left him with no alternative but to strongly recommend the abolition of the 13th Amendment. He urged the government, the Opposition as well as the international community to examine the conduct of the one-time mouthpiece of the LTTE. It was up to Parliament to decide on the 13th Amendment, the Defence Secretary more..

Thai govt donations for renovation of Galle temples

Oct 22 (DN) Thai ambassador to Sri Lanka Poldej Worachat made two donations on behalf of the Thai Govt to the Sri Paramananda Raja Maha Vihara and Gangarama Purana Viharaya in Galle recently. The Thai ambassador donated Rs.1,000,000 to Sri Paramananda Raja Maha Vihara Chief Incumbent Ven. Somarathana Thera for the renovation of the temple’s Chulalongkorn Dharmasala. Sri Paramananda Raja Maha Vihara is important to Thai – Sri Lanka relations for King Chulalonkorn more..

Fishermen in a mess

Oct 22 (ST) The fishing season is on, but despite the delight at the size of their catch, fishermen are today lamenting their inability to sell the fish harvested. The Chilaw fish market is presently flooded with fresh fish and fishmongers desperately trying to sell their ware at rock bottom prices. A kilo of small fish like ribbon fish (salaya) is sold at Rs.60 – Rs. 100, while Indian mackerel(kumbalawa) and flying fish (piyamessa)are sold at Rs. 120 to Rs. 150 per kg. Tuna -skipjack (balaya) and more..

Running Dry

Oct 22 (CT) Trade unions attached to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation yesterday warned that operations at the Sapugaskanda oil refinery will soon come to a standstill due to the lack of crude oil supply. The Ceylon Petroleum Common Workers’ Union (CPCWU) alleged that the govt has brought about this disaster by coalescing with multinational oil companies. The Union’s President, Ashoka Ranchala, who is a technical officer at the more..

Basnahira overseas players to get their outstanding fees

Oct 22 (ST) Five overseas players who played for the Basnahira Cricket Dundee franchise in the Sri Lanka Premier League are likely to receive their due payments finally. Sri Lanka Cricket Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said, “We were not aware of this situation till the Federation of International Cricketers Association (FICA) brought it to our notice and once that was done we took the matter up with the relevant people.” more..