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Sri Lanka slams foreign lawyers over impeachment probe

Feb 3 (AFP) Sri Lanka on Sunday accused a London-based group of lawyers of undermining Colombo's sovereignty and said a four-member team probing judicial independence was barred from entering the island. The external affairs ministry said it revoked visas issued to members of the International Bar Association (IBA) because they "misrepresented" the objective of their visit to Sri Lanka. The ministry in a statement said more..

'Southern fishermen entry is an attempt to instigate conflict'

Feb 3 (OU) Sri Lanka govt and the forces sector are engaged in the attempts of instigating ethnic riots once again in the midst of Tamil people. Due to this, the Southern fishermen are permitted to do fishing trade in Mullaitheevu. Fishermen movements which were engaged in fishing trade in Mathalan locality have made these allegations. Sinhala fishing families from the Morawela locality are permitted for inhabiting with military security in the Mathalan area, Mullaitheevu despite oppose from more..

Snake girl ordered to leave the house

Feb 3 (SL) Nirosha Wimalaratne, also known as the ‘snake girl’ or ‘cobra girl,’ has been ordered to leave the house she is living in with her boyfriend from Saudi Arabia. The owner of the house had given it out on rent to the Saudi Arabian national before Nirosha moved in, the house broker said. The broker, who also acted as the guarantor, said that the owner of the house is a Muslim. He had been unhappy with the media publicity given to the house following the recent attack on the girl. more..

Abans Launches GPS Navigation Systems

Feb 3 (Island) Finally, the burden of navigating Sri Lankan roads has been lightened thanks to Abans Ltd. Abans is pleased to announce the launch of the DPJH SatGuide Navigation System for Sri Lanka. This state of the art navigation system provides users with turn by turn navigation through the bustling streets of the island, and it is up to date with all the latest roadways and infrastructure developments. The SatGuide boasts an more..

Women's World Cup: Windies thrash Sri Lanka by 209 runs

Feb 3 (CI) A flamboyant knock of 171 from opener Stafanie Taylor helped West Indies Women crush Sri Lanka Women by 209 runs at the MIG Ground in Mumbai. Taylor's hundred and a powerful, 20-ball 50 from Deandra Dottin took West Indies to 368 for 8, their highest ODI score. In reply, Sri Lanka were dismissed for 159 runs with ten overs to spare, giving the West Indies their first win of the tournament. Taylor, who was named the ICC Women's ODI Cricketer of the Year more..

Duty free vehicle permits for top Buddhist priests among others

Feb 3 (ST) At least 20,000 duty free vehicle permits are to be issued this year following removal of 3-year restriction imposed on transferring duty-free vehicle permits, motor traders alleged. They said that some of these permits have already been issued to Chief Buddhist priests, Ayurvedic doctors, and army officers, apart from senior public servants. Normally only senior public servants (outside MPs) are eligible for these permits, and no one knows as to how the Buddhist priests and more..

'Having the right to appoint does not make appointments legal'

Feb 3 (CT) Former Chief Justice Sarath N Silva, in a candid interview with Ceylon Today says the impeachment process was initiated by the President while the 117 signatories were simply rubber stamping it. Silva questions both the removal of Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake from the position of CJ and challenges the appointment of Mohan Peiris in her place. He also warns of serious repercussions to the country at the more..

Sri Lanka state carrier launches holiday booking engine

Feb 3 (LBO) State-run SriLankan Airlines said it launched a booking engine to allow guests to book both hotel accommodation and holidays online through its website. "We place great emphasis on providing our customers with convenient, customised holiday packages," SriLankan Holidays manager, Gayan Peiris said in a statement. "The booking engine enables them to include elements of wild life or shopping or adventure sports, according to their specific needs." Ground transfers, more..

China gets Colombo 7 prime land free of tax

Feb 3 (SL) On an order by President Rajapaksa, the sale of 122 perches of prime land in Horton Place, Colombo 7 to the Chinese embassy has been exempted from taxes normally levied for the sale of property to foreigners. Under the provisions of the Finance Act, when there is a transfer of ownership of property within Sri Lanka, a tax equivalent to the value of the property is charged from the transferee if more than 25% of its ownership goes to a person who is not a citizen of Sri Lanka. more..

Even Senior Ministers are at a loss

Feb 3 (CT) Last week, at a meeting with the newspaper editors, President Rajapaksa said the govt was mooting amendments to the Constitution. He was echoing his elder brother, Chamal Rajapaksa, the Speaker of Parliament, who earlier said amendments were necessary to the Constitution in the aftermath of the face-off between the Judiciary and the Legislature. That was after the Speaker, in a controversial decision more..

HSBC and IUCN partner to restore Anuradhapura cascade tank system

Feb 3 (ST) Over 60,000 people will have access to safe water for everyday living and livelihood development with HSBC’s strategic partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), to invest in the restoration of a cascade tank system in the North Central Province. A M0U for this purpose was signed between the two parties recently. Nick Nicolaou, Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Sri Lanka and Maldives and Shamen Vidanage, Acting Country Representative, more..

Davis Cup: Godamanna’s effort went in vain as Pakistan beat Sri Lanka

Feb 3 (DM) Pakistan emerged victorious in the Davis Cup, Asia Oceania Group II tie as they beat Sri Lanka by 3-2 in the best of five matches, concluded at the SLTA courts on Sunday. Pakistan was leading the tie at the start of the day but Harshana Godamanna refreshed Sri Lanka hopes by beating his experienced Pakistani opponent Aqeel Khan 3-0 in the first reverse single played on Sunday morning. Godamanna, who had won the national tennis championship for five times, more..

'No reason to retire'

Feb 3 (CT) Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne in an interview says he will not retire from politics. Excerpts: Q: Mr. Prime Minister, don’t you have any intention of retiring now? A: I do not wish to retire at all. A human being is not in a position to retire. It is the duty of a human being to work till he dies. Q: I asked aboutthe Premiership? A: No, I have no idea of retiring from the Premiership. I had been a Village Council member, Council member and more..

Sending maids to Saudi suspended

Feb 3 (SL) The Sri Lankan government has suspended sending domestic maids to Saudi Arabia, the Association of Licensed Foreign Employment Agencies (ALFEA) said. Chairman of ALFEA W.M.P Aponso said that the government had decided to suspend sending domestic maids to Saudi Arabia until the maids are provided with an insurance cover by the Saudi authorities. He said that ALFEA will discuss the issue with Foreign Employment Minister Dilan Perera once he returns from overseas. more..

Nearly 400 roads in Colombo to be renamed

Feb 3 (SL) Over 300 roads in Colombo city limits are likely to be renamed, the Ministry of Culture and the Arts said. An official at the ministry said a proposal had been submitted to change the names of 384 roads. He said it was felt the names of the roads which were opened prior to Sri Lanka’s independence had to change to suite Sri Lanka. A list with the names of the roads proposed to be changed has been submitted to the minister. When The Sunday Leader contacted the Minister of more..

TNA calls for action against Sri Lanka

Feb 3 (DM) The TNA today called for further action by the UNHRC against the Sri Lanka govt. The party in a statement said that appropriate action at the UNHRC is absolutely necessary to persuade the Sri Lankan govt to comply with the said resolution and to discontinue with what it called ‘harmful agenda against the Tamil People of Sri Lanka. The statement said, “a delegation of the TNA is presently in South Africa. more..

Colombo gets A5N, Now go win it

Feb 4 (SL) Some rugby officials might want to hail the hosting of the next HSBC Asian Five Nations Division One Championship as a major achievement.To be sure, being able to stage the four-nation competition, in Colombo in April,is cause for celebration, but to give it a colouration of triumphalism is being a tad too self-congratulatory. The event of course wasn’t ours for the asking. Initially, Kazakhstan and Chinese-Taipei too had expressed interest in hosting more..

An Arab Spring or a Barack Obama?

Feb 4 (DBS) While I see the need for constitutional reform, I do not see a need for a replacement of the Constitution. My stance remains that which I took during the Liberal Party’s discussions contained in the volume of 1991, namely, that the Constitution of ’78 was an advance over the Constitution of ’72. The Constitution of ’72 was in some way in advance over the Soulbury Constitution in as much as we became a Republic, but in many other ways it was a retrogression, in terms of the divisive more..

'UPFA attracted highest foreign direct investment inflow'

Feb 4 (SO) Investment Promotion Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said irrespective of the challenges in the international arena, the UPFA govt under President Mahinda Rajapaksa has attracted the highest foreign investment inflow to the country. The Minister said the allegations against Sri Lanka in the international fora would not be a major issue or affect the country’s investments as the Govt could face such more..

Revolution or regime change by peaceful mean

Feb 4 (SL) One of the interesting things about contributing to the print media these days is the prospect of fielding responses to one’s contentions on web editions of the newspapers in which those contributions appear. And recently, having on more than one occasion tried to make out a case for dislodging the most violent and corrupt govt in the history of Sri Lanka by peaceful means, I have fielded a significant amount of flak for being totally unrealistic. Most of the responses in this vein more..

Towards a new Sri Lankan constitution for natural justice

Feb 4 (CT) We should cautiously welcome and proactively engage with the Sri Lankan Govt’s latest interest in creating a new Constitution to address the pressing needs of today’s society. Sri Lanka’s governments since 1972, have been infamous for enacting constitutional reforms, both during and immediately after economic and political crises, then conveniently forgetting about them once the crisis no longer appear to threaten the legitimacy of the state. The reforms that were implemented more..

Hospital authorities blame media for misreporting

Feb 4 (NS) The two highly publicized alleged medical misadventures this month have raised alarm and concerns among the public at large. Fuelled by speculation, half truths and accusations hurled at the doctors who have been charged with ‘medical negligence’, doctors maintain that the fault lies with the victims or their relatives who have brought them to hospital too late or that the victims themselves were to blame as they had more..

Where is the greatness of a Buddhist nation?

Feb 4 (CT) The 2600 Sambuddhathwa Jayanthi was a landmark for introspection for all who respect “humaneness”. Buddhism should signify the highest qualities of humaneness that accompany this most tolerant practicing philosophy. Buddhism and its great humanist elements are not comparable to any organized religion which denigrates actions of beings to the mundane controls and rituals of institutions. Within such a context, let us examine the greatness of a nation – Sri Lanka, more..

Burt’s harangue and GL’s response

Feb 4 (DBS) Alistair Burt, the UK Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs delivered a guest lecture on “Sri Lanka 2013 and Beyond” at the Lakshman Kadirgarmar Institute on Thursday. After praising what Sri Lanka has achieved in terms of economic growth and infrastructure development in the first part of his speech, Burt mounted the usual Western hobby horse and started making a very prescriptive speech about what SL should do. more..

Pictures: Who will get the Rolls Royce Ghost cars after the CHOGM ?

Feb 4 (CT) “Who will get the Rolls Royce Ghost cars after the Commonwealth Heads of State Meeting? Bet the Rajapaksa clan is at the head of the queue and the poor tax payer and money set aside for development of the land will be utilized to run these cars for the rest of their days” an anonymous, widely circulated email asks and predicts. Meanwhile, the UNP Friday urged the govt to investigate the import of a ‘Rolls Royce more..

Police torch ganja plantations, key suspects absconding

Feb 4 (SO) Although torrential rain in Udawalawe and Hambegamuwa during the past few months caused havoc and devastation to paddy crops incurring a colossal loss to farmers, the rain did not adversely affect the illicit ganja plantations in the forest reservations of Galamunna-Orukengala located six kilometres away from the electric fence in the Hambegamuwa area. An informant from Hambegamuwa who turned up at the police Anti-Vice Squad, at Walana, Panadura more..

Reflections on 65years of economic change and development

Feb 4 (ST) Tomorrow we celebrate 65 years of regaining independence from British rule. It is a brief period in Sri Lanka’s long history of more than 2500 years, yet these 65 years have witnessed profound and irreversible changes in the economy and society. There have been achievements we can be proud of, as well as inadequacies, concerns and discontents. It is a time to reflect on these and resolve to put the house in order so that the country achieves a much higher level of economic more..

Mehmet Rizal Derindag

Editorial : Whither self-rule?

Feb 4 (Island) Elaborate preparations have been made for today’s grand show in Trincomalee to mark 65th anniversary of Independence. But, the question is whether what we are celebrating on so grand a scale really exists. Time was when Sri Lanka was considered the white man’s burden, but today it has become a burden of men of other colours as well, if its dependence on some regional powers is anything to go by. The focus of today’s comment however is not on national independence or more..

Making them feel important

Feb 4 (CT) The number of ministers in Sri Lanka has risen to one of the highest in any democratic nation. The allegiance to the master/s was richly rewarded and innovative portfolio creation held sway last week. The so-called Cabinet reshuffle has further burdened the tax payers who continue to suffer in silence. Sri Lanka has to gallantly shouldered the maintenance of 97 ministers. Ironically enough, these ministers are left with very little money at the ministries – of course for purposes beyond more..

Four Sri Lankans snapped up for over $2 million at IPL-6

Feb 4 (Island) Four of the dozen Sri Lankan cricketers who were among the 108 players "sold" at the India Premier League (IPL) auction for its sixth edition on Sunday were acquired by franchises for over two million US dollars. Ajantha Mendis was snapped up for $725,000 by Pune Warriors, while Sunrise Hyderabad bought Thisara Perera for $675,000. Kolkata Knight Riders purchased Sachitra Senanayake for $625,000, more..

37,000 micro, small businesses get IFC boost

Feb 4 (Island) IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, said it would work with Sri Lanka’s Credit Information Bureau to make it easier for up to 37,000 micro and small businesses to access loans and other forms of financing using movable assets as collateral. "Sri Lanka’s small and medium enterprise sector constitutes between 80 to 90% of businesses and generates 75% of the employment. However, the World Bank’s 2011 Investment Climate Assessment estimates that only more..

UNP will launch freedom struggle again: Ranil

Feb 4 (FT) On the 65th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s independence, the UNP denounced the erosion of freedom under the current political leadership and said it was ready to fight another freedom struggle to ensure the people’s aspirations are met. As the party that won independence for Sri Lanka, the UNP will dedicate itself to winning back the people’s freedom and lift the country out of the dire situation in which it finds itself, UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe pledged in more..

Ranil challenges govt to hold a referendum on extending term of parliament

Feb 4 (CT) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe challenged the govt to go for a referendum to extend the term of Parliament. Participating in a programme to recruit new members to the party in Galle on Saturday, he revealed the govt is planning to hold a referendum to extend the term of the Parliament. “The Rajapaksa regime is now reaching the last half of its term and by 2014, the regime will totally lose power. They think that they can more..

A new dance move

Feb 4 (Hindu) Chandana Wickramasinghe feels a deep connect with India. As a young student of dance, he came to India from Sri Lanka to learn Kathakali. “It was considered the ultimate. Many of the acclaimed artists from Sri Lanka have come to India to learn the Indian traditional arts,” he says. When he came to the Kerala Kalamandalam, however, he fell ill and had to return to Colombo. “But that did not kill my desire to go back to India,” Chandana says. more..

Freedom for 1,000 prisoners

Feb 4 (FT) Prison Commissioner General of Sri Lanka P.W. Kodippili has said that 1,000 prisoners will be pardoned to mark this year’s 65th Independence Day. He has said the prisoners who were convicted of minor offences and jailed for not being able to pay fines would be released today. The Prison Commissioner has directed the heads of 33 prisons throughout the country including the two main prisons, Welikada and Bogambara, to submit lists of prisoners eligible for pardon. more..

Life in Ceylon two decades before Independence

Feb 4 (ST) In the eyes of the world the birth of a new nation is often preceded with a struggle for freedom. During the 20 years before we gained our independence we saw no such prolonged military struggle. On Independence Day (Feb 4, 1948), the representative of King George VI, the Duke of Gloucester read out a personal message from the King. He said: “I know that my people in Ceylon are ready to make a full more..

Police looking for more NDT students

Feb 4 (Island) The police are looking for 15 National Diploma in Technology (NDT) students of the Moratuwa University in connection with the assaulting of engineering undergraduates on the night of January 16 which led to the closure of the faculty and the Institute of Technology the following day to prevent further clashes. Police sources said that the President of the NDT Students’ Union was also among the suspects to be arrested. So far, four NDT students have been arrested by more..

More than 10,000 admitted annually with kidney complications

Feb 4 (Island) Around 10,000 people were admitted to the country’s hospitals per annum affected with kidney complications As a consequence of toxic insecticide, weedicide and other agro chemicals and the medical records had clearly indicated that about 2,000 people were dying of chronic renal failure annually. In a bid to minimize the alarming increase in the number of people affected by kidney failure and kidney-related diseases, a special gazette notification on the use and sale of insecticide, more..

President declares open Maritime Museum in Trincomalee

Feb 4 (SLN) President Mahinda Rajapaksha declared open the maritime museum at the Dutch Naval Commissioner's House in Trincomalee on 3rd February. Minister Jagath Balasooriya, Netherlands Ambassador to Sri Lanka, LWM Piet, Deputy Minister Susantha Punchinilame, Eastern Province Governor, Rear Admiral (Rtd) Mohan Wijewikrama, Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage and more..