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Australia wrest mental high ground from Sri Lanka

Jan 5 (CI) In the approach to 2005 Ashes series, Ricky Ponting was pressed on that most Australian of cricketing concepts. "Mental disintegration?" Ponting said. "That's what it's all about really, trying to keep England under pressure from ball one of the series until the series ends. That's what our whole cricket theme, if you like, is based on." It is not an outlook that is as closely associated with Michael Clarke's captaincy. His voice is a bit high, perhaps, and his hair too fashionably shorn for him more..

Sri Lanka expects US$ 7 billion from migrant workers

Jan 5 (DM) Sri Lanka expects U$D 7 billion in foreign remittances from overseas employment for the year 2013, according to Foreign Employment Ministry Secretary Nissanka N. Wijeratne. Our target for the past year was U$D 6 billion and we were able to achieve this,” he said. He made this statement at the launch of the “Operational Manual for Labour Sections of Sri Lankan Diplomatic Missions in Labour more..

Editorial: International ties grow stronger

Jan 6 (SO) Year 2013 will be significant in the annals of Sri Lanka's history as it hosts the Commonwealth Heads of Govt Meeting (CHOGM). As the Head of State of the host nation, President Mahinda Rajapaksa will take over the chairmanship of the Commonwealth Movement from Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who took the chair at the last CHOGM in Perth last year. The 2013 CHOGM will enable leaders in the Commonwealth to gain first-hand experience on Sri Lanka's progress more..

Editorial: Justice at crossroads

Jan 6 (SL) The Supreme Court decision that the PSC appointed in terms of Standing Order 78A has no legal power or authority to make a finding adversely affecting the legal rights of a judge without a definite finding that the allegations have been proved and that no address of parliament could be made for the removal of a judge, does not appear to be acceptable to parliament. The Appeal Court announced the decision of the Supreme Court Divisional Bench. This ruling goes against more..

'Impeachment motion: Parliament will decide'

Jan 6 (SO) Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody said according to the provisions of the Constitution, the task assigned to the PSC was not to decide whether Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake was guilty or not of the charges against her in the impeachment motion. The PSC was to investigate the charges in the impeachment motion and submit a report to Parliament. He said that in a later debate more..

Editorial: That ‘Halal Controversy’

Jan 6 (NS) Certain sections of the Sinhala Buddhist population are up in arms against what they call ‘Islaamikaranaya’ (Islamization) or ‘Halalkaranaya’ (Halal-ism). The more virulent elements of this group have indulged in the most distasteful of anti-Islam hatemongering especially in social media sites such as Facebook. The initial objection has been to non-Muslims being forced to play participant to a Muslim religious dictate pertaining to meat, i.e. the slaughtering of more..

Editorial: On the verge of a constitutional crisis

Jan 6 (CT) The post-Independent history of Sri Lanka records many catastrophic antecedents. We evolved through internal insurgencies, a civil war, both State and non-State terrorism, attempted coups and many political chaos of shame. The latest, we are progressively slipping towards a constitutional crisis. The constitutional territorial dispute that seemed to engulf the three arms of the govt has now slipped out of constitutionality and turned into a sheer game of mud-slinging and muscle more..

'Govt. has destroyed parliament’s supremacy'

Jan 6 (SL) JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva says the party believes in the supremacy of the people and their democratic rights and the decision to accept the Court of Appeal notice was made based on this fact. “We decided that the effort to undermine the people’s supremacy and the judiciary should be opposed,” he said. Refuting claims by the govt that parliament is supreme; Silva noted that the govt has more..

Editorial: Still not too late to take a step back

Jan 6 (Island) A contributor to our columns today has harked back to the period when the much derided 1978 Constitution was being drafted by the J.R. Jayewardene govt which in 1977 scored the biggest ever landslide in the country’s electoral history. Prime Minister Jayewardene, as the chairman of the PSC on that constitution, had remarked at one of its hearings that "We are practically a dictatorship today. There is nothing that we cannot do in this House with a more..

Rot everywhere in Sri Lanka Cricket

Jan 6 (NS) Thirty years after joining the elite club of test playing nations, Sri Lanka suffered its third heaviest defeat last week, being beaten by Australia in the Boxing Day test in two and a half days in a game that was supposed to last five. This raises the question, are only the cricketers at fault? For long years now, perhaps ever since Sri Lanka won the World Cup in 1996, achievements by Sri Lanka’s cricketers have been, despite Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), not because of it. more..

'No issue once people understand charges against CJ'

Jan 6 (SL) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, who was also a member of the PSC that probed the impeachment charges against the Chief Justice says that it is the people who are supreme. “The people’s law will be implemented through courts by parliament. Every act is by parliament. Even the Constitution is by parliament. Anybody can understand which is supreme,” he said. Dr. Senaratne added that no Court of more..

Existing standing order prevents CJ’s detractors from celebrating

Jan 6 (NS) The year 2013 began, as expected, with the impeachment of the Chief Justice (CJ) and relevant objections taking center stage. Notices had been issued by the Court of Appeal (CA) on the PSC, which looked into allegations against the Chief Justice Dr Shirani Bandaranayaka, to appear before court on January 3. PSC members who represented the ruling UPFA and the UNP had decided not to respond to the CA’s call while the other two members (JVP and TNA) decided to appear more..

Editorial: It is the people who are supreme; none others

Jan 6 (ST) The Supreme Court’s communication to the Court of Appeal this week saying that the PSC has no legal authority to investigate the head of the Judiciary has thrown a spanner in the Govt’s works. To use some of the Parliamentary language similar to that which was used at the PSC ‘inquiry’ into the Chief Justice, one might refer to the current situation as a right royal ‘huta patey’ (complicated mess). To use more refined language though, it is a constitutional imbroglio, the likes of more..

Internal, external conflicts drag Rajapaksa govt. towards destruction

Jan 6 (SL) Marred with internal conflicts the Mahinda Rajapaksa govt is now heading towards a path of destruction. The internal dissentions within the governing UPFA are now gradually coming out in the open. Senior members of the govt have commenced making comments critical of govt policy and actions. Recent political moves initiated by the Rajapaksa govt have continuously boomeranged in a big way. more..

Legal action on unregistered private medical institutions

Jan 6 (SL) Legal action will be taken against private medical institutions which fail to register with the Ministry of Health, the Private Health Services Regulatory Council of the Ministry of Health said. The council said that it is mandatory under existing regulation for private medical institutions in Sri Lanka to register with the Health Ministry. As a result it was decided at Private Health Services Regulatory Council meeting last month to take legal action against all unregistered private medical more..

Dambulla mayor thwarts Gam Udawa land grab

Jan 6 (SL) An attempt to grab land from a Gam Udawa housing project in Dambulla has been thwarted with the intervention of the Mayor of the Dambulla Municipal Council, Jaliya Opatha. According to the residents, it is a bid by the National Housing Development Authority to sell off Gam Udawa land. The mayor had to intervene when residents got involved in heated arguments with a group that arrived to clear the land providing housing to 48 families under the Gam Udawa more..

Minister to fire cricket selectors

Jan 6 (ST) An angry Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage lashed out at the declining cricket standards in the country, saying that the team has now become the monopoly of a few players who think that they are indispensable. “It is high time that things were put into their perspective,” the Minister said. He said he had a serious dialogue with the Lankan cricket authorities about the current status of the game and they more..

Playing a perfect double game

Jan 6 (ST) My Dear Mahela, I thought of writing to you after watching the Boxing Day test match where you lost the five day game with Australia inside two and a half days. Since you have some more games to play in Australia, I think I may have a few tips and tricks that may be of help. I know that you don’t have total control over all matters relating to cricket in this country and I am also aware that you have decided to hand over the captaincy to someone else at the end of this tour, but still I thought I must more..

MR’s Jeffersonian/Nehruvian Moment

Jan 6 (Island) The determination made by a three member bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Justices Gamini Amaratunga, K.Sripavan and Priyasath Dep, to a query regarding the interpretation of Article 107(3) of the constitution addressed to them by the Court of Appeal was described by UNP Provincial Councillor Srinath Perera as a historic decision. Indeed it is, but things can be ‘historic’ for all the wrong reasons too. The question that had been addressed to the more..

Organ removal scare haunts Sri Lankans

Jan 6 (NS) The complaints of relatives whose female members are employed in Middle East about sexual harassment and imprisonment and even removal of organs from dead housemaids is a matter for great concern, stated an official from SLBFE. “Such reported cases that housemaids face in the Middle East has prompted us to try and reduce the current influx of job seekers in Middle East,” the official said. more..

Committee raises alarm over diesel emissions

Jan 6 (SL) A cabinet sub-committee appointed to look into the quality of the fuel imported to the country has found that the emissions from the diesel currently in use are extremely harmful to the public. Dr. Ruwan Wijeymuni, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health and a member of the cabinet sub-committee said that the diesel imported to Sri Lanka is just above the quality of diesel being used in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is using Euro 1 diesel while Sri Lanka is using Euro 2 diesel. more..

Pro-LTTE lobby push ahead with ‘Boycott CHOGM’ campaign

Jan 6 (Island) The ‘Boycott CHOGM’ campaign is in full swing in London with the pro-LTTE groups lobbying British MPs in their respective constituencies to lend active support, reports said. Some British MPs are openly involved with this campaign against Sri Lanka. British MP for Mitcham and Morden, Siobhain McDonagh has already secured an adjournment debate on ‘Sri Lanka and the United Nations’ Responsibility to Protect’. It will focus on the findings and implications more..

Crisis can lead to lawlessness – DEW

Jan 6 (CT) The split between the Legislature and the Judiciary could lead to lawlessness in the country, Minister DEW Gunasekera warned. Pointing out the tug-of-war between the two arms of the govt has created an unhealthy situation in the country, he said, “There has never been a situation like this in this country before. Being a democratic country, a problem of this nature should be brought to an end soon.” more..

Sri Lanka gearing up to tap Indian market

Jan 6 (Hindu) Close on the heels of Sri Lanka expanding the Colombo port in a big way, primarily to cater to the Indian market, the country is also setting up an MRO facility at an up-coming airport, again, targeting the Indian market. The Colombo port expansion project, named South Harbour, is west of the existing port of Colombo, and sprawls over 600 hectares. The plan is for having three terminals each having 1,200m length and facilities to accommodate the berths alongside. more..

Troops not teaching in uniform: Army

Jan 6 (SL) The army says there have been false reports circulating in the media to the effect that military officers in Killinochchi have started teaching Sinhala in schools, in military uniform. Army spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya says Zonal Education Officials had recently informed the Security Forces Commander in Killinochchi that students in the Zone are suffering due to a shortage of teachers for Maths, Science and Sinhala. He said that the Security Forces Commander more..

Lasantha’s killers roam free

Jan 6 (SL) Four years after the brutal assassination of the Founding Editor-in-Chief of The Sunday Leader newspaper Lasantha Wickrematunge, the police are yet to make a breakthrough and the murderers are roaming free. Two suspects were arrested following Wickrematunge’s murder – Kandegedara Piyawansha and Pichchai Jesudasan. Piyawansha, a former military intelligence officer, was released on bail in more..

Controversy over delayed media center construction

Jan 6 (NS) Controversy surrounds the delayed construction of the Govt Information Department’s new media center. The contractor of the centre in question had dishonoured the deadline and attempted to reclaim Rs.20 million deducted as ‘delayed charges’, authoritative sources from the Ministry of Mass Media and Information disclosed. Incumbent Secretary to the Ministry Charitha Herath, who took office after the completion of the project, said he had heard of allegations and more..

SriLankan Airlines among state enterprises to be revived

Jan 6 (ST) The govt plans to revive and redevelop state enterprises including national carrier Sri Lankan Airlines, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, Ceylon Electricity Board with foreign participation as the concept of state monopoly has become obsolete in the world today, according to Deputy Minister Sarath Amunugama. He noted that discussions are now underway to transform Sri Lankan Airlines and the CPC to profit-making ventures than be a burden to the country. A full-scale analysis is being more..

CJ out later this week?

Jan 6 (Island) The drama over the ongoing attempt to impeach Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake is expected to end later this week with Parliament debating and voting on the report of the PSC which found her guilty of three of the five charges examined. "It will be all over by Jan. 11," a well informed source said. "The writing is on the wall. Once Parliament votes on the resolution and an address is made to the President, she more..

Impeachment debate on January 10?

Jan 6 (LB) A meeting between leaders of political parties represented in Parliament is to be held on January 7, to take a final decision on when the report submitted by the PSC on the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake will be debated. Leaders of political parties are also to determine how many days should be set apart for the said debate. Parliamentary sources said that the debate on the PSC report on the impeachment motion would probably take more..

'Govt. will not succumb to wishes of INGOs'

Jan 6 (CT) The govt will not give into the whims and fancies of the International NGOs that once supported the LTTE, and are now trying to do their utmost to damage the country by fanning the issue of the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice, Minister Susil Premajayantha, said. He said the govt encountered tougher challenges when fighting the most brutal terrorist organization, the LTTE, bringing an end to the three-decade-long internal strife. He alleged those functioned more..

Left parties wavering on impeachment vote

Jan 6 (ST) Two left parties in Parliament, the LSSP and the CP, are undecided on how they would vote or whether they would be present in the House when the motion against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake is taken up on Friday. But one left party, the DLF headed by Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara, will vote in support of the motion. CP leader and Senior Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera said his party, which has been more..

Tissa demands death penalty

Jan 6 (SL) Child Development and Women’s Affairs Minister Tissa Karaliyadda has demanded the death penalty for those found guilty of rape. He said that he was having discussions with the Attorney General’s Department to introduce stiff laws to deal with rape convicts. He said that at present a case involving rape drags for between 6 to7 years and as a result a child who is a victim of rape is much older and at times does not want to face court by the time a judgment is about to be given. more..

Lanka agent held for cheating Saudi

Jan 6 (AN) A Sri Lankan job agent was remanded in police custody in Colombo on Friday for cheating a Saudi of $ 33,000, promising him 11 housemaids to work in the Kingdom. Sources in the Sri Lankan Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), which coordinates the activities of recruiting agents, confirmed the arrest of one of the registered job agents yesterday. However, they said that this was a private deal and that the organization cannot interfere in the case. The SLBFE will more..

Motorcycle gunmen kill Kelaniya PS member

Jan 6 (ST) Gunmen who came on a motorcycle shot dead a Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha UPFA member just outside his house at Waragoda in Kelaniya last evening, heightening the tension in the area that has seen a hostile political battle between two ruling party factions. The victim, Hasitha Madawala, was a close associate of PS Chairman Prassana Ranaweera and stood by him during the ongoing tussle between the PS more..

'No nuclear power generation in a decade'

Jan 6 (SO) Sri Lanka will not step into nuclear power generation within the next 10 years, said Minister Champika Ranawaka on being asked about the visit of a team of Russian nuclear scientists to Sri Lanka this month. “According to our long-term generation plan, there is no proposal to set up a nuclear plant in the country within the next decade.” He said that the country must first study this relatively new technology in the backdrop of the devastating accidents that have occurred in history and more..

TNA against military substituting teacher shortage

Jan 6 (NS) While the TNA demands that military school teachers should not be allowed to teach in schools in the Tamil dominated area, the Army has trained around 100 teachers who are ready to take up position at the request of the education authorities in the North. Education authorities in Kilinochchi said there was a shortage of teachers for several subjects including Sinhala, Maths and Science. The military said this was a voluntary move by them to address the teacher shortage more..

Constitutional cliff: Govt. set to go ahead with impeachment process

Jan 6 (ST) The cheers from the dawn of 2013 turned to fears just three days later as the nation’s judiciary and legislature edged closer to an open, no-holds-barred confrontation. The bad news for the Govt came after the Supreme Court ruled that the PSC that probed the impeachment motion against CJ Shirani Bandaranayake had “no legal power or authority”. Thus, at least as determined by the apex legal body, more..

Malay touch to Jaffna food

Jan 6 (NST) Sri Lanka has the longest documented history in the world. The food in Jaffna, which is in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka, is surprisingly more Malay than Indian. Any misconception I had about Sri Lankan food is immediately abandoned as soon as I step into Aliyaa Island Restaurant and Bar in Medan Setia 2, Plaza Damansara, Kuala Lumpur. Operation manager S. Sangeeth, who is from Jaffna, explains about the food. “Many Malaysians think Sri Lankan food is similar to only Indian food. more..

Two ‘suspended’ over potatoes, dry fish

Jan 6 (SL) Two six-month suspended sentences were imposed on two Pettah businessmen on Wednesday for attempting to sell potatoes and dry fish unfit for human consumption. The two businessmen were produced before the Maligakanda Magistrates Court Wednesday. In addition, a fine of Rs. 100,000 was imposed on the potato seller while the dry fish dealer was fined Rs.10,000. The contaminated consignments were discovered on Tuesday during a raid carried more..