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Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Jan 6 (ST) The protocol-conscious UN cocktail circuit has traditionally been exceptionally elitist. If you walk into a dinner or a reception hosted by a diplomatic mission in New York, the guests are mostly ambassadors, senior UN officials, New York celebrities and the ubiquitous media – and rarely the proletariat. But a dinner hosted last week at the newly-minted Sri Lanka diplomatic mission by Ambassador more..

'CPC Sapugaskanda refinery employees to be insured'

Jan 6 (Island) The govt has decided to insure all employees of the CPC’s Sapugaskanda Refinery, it was announced last week. This follows the recent death of where two employees who inhaled a toxic gas while repairing a pipeline carrying poisonous gas out of the refinery on November 17. "The govt has decided to provide an insurance cover to all refinery employees while also extending Rs. 10 million in gratuity and more..

Judiciary cannot be repository of authority for making determinations — GL

Jan 6 (Island) Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris observed that the question had been posed as to why the impeachment process was carried out by Parliament and not by judges, as judges are considered impartial, fair and can be looked up to for their wisdom. Within the structural framework of Sri Lanka’s Constitution, there are overriding objections of principle and policy against entrusting this function to the judiciary. more..

Check before you wear: It may be somebody else’s used clothes

Jan 6 (ST) Sri Lanka has become a dump yard for used clothes from Western countries, although the country is well known for its own garment export industry. The Sunday Times witnessed clothes varying from denims, t-shirts, frocks skirts and even under garments being sold at prices ranging from Rs. 25 to Rs. 300 in several shops in Colombo and provinces. One shop in Narahenpita states it sells branded and more..

Sri Lankan actress allegedly gang raped on New Year’s eve

Jan 6 (E24|7) A popular Sri Lankan stage actress has accused four men of raping her on New Year’s eve. The actress, who is a divorcee with a child, claims that while she was returning after watching a musical show in Kadirana area, Negombo, one of the suspects stopped her forcibly gagged her. He dragged her on to a secluded place by the roadside and allegedly raped her. Then she claims that he called the other three men more..

Finally, Major and Lankan girlfriend hope to wed next month

Jan 6 (IE) When Major Vikas Kumar, 34, from the Indian Army’s Corps of Signals, and Arnila Ranamale Gunaratne, 29, a Sri Lankan doctoral student, first met in an upmarket Bangalore shopping mall in March 2011, they never thought that his Army credentials and her foreign nationality would prove to be a such a big hurdle in their relationship. Since then, their wedding date has been postponed twice. First they were to get more..

Retiring Hussey steers Australia to victory

Jan 6 (CI) Michael Hussey is one of cricket's finest finishers, so it was only fitting that he ended his international career by steering Australia to victory and a series clean-sweep over Sri Lanka. Despite the best efforts of his partner Mitchell Johnson to dead-bat the ball with one run needed, Hussey was not able to hit the winning run, instead sprinting through for a single as the ball ran off Johnson's thick edge and away to point more..

JVP to stage mass protest

Jan 6 (SL) The JVP claims that people have the right and duty to stand against the Speaker of Parliament, the govt and even Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe for acting in violation of the Constitution. The party says it would take to the streets with the working masses, intellectuals, professionals and the people against the threat to judicial independence. JVP politburo member and NTUC Head, K.D. Lalkantha more..

Start lectures or face closure: SB tells Jaffna Uni.

Jan 6 (ST) Minister S.B. Dissanayake warned that the Jaffna University would be closed if academic activities did not recommence tomorrow. “I have told the university authorities that, willingly or unwillingly, we will have to close the university, even for one year, if campus activities are not normalised,” he said. The Minister on Thursday met the university’s Vice Chancellor (VC) Vasanthy Arasaratnam and Deans of the Faculties, and more..

Dual citizenship applicants to be interviewed by Gota

Jan 6 (ST) The Govt is set to resume the dual citizenship system this month, but applicants will face a tough screening procedure including a face-to-face interview with a panel headed by Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The other members in the panel will be Foreign Ministry Secretary Karunatillake Amunugama and Public Administration Secretary P.B. Abeykoon. “The panel will look into criteria such as the more..

UK maintains travel advice on Sri Lanka

Jan 6 (SL) The British Foreign Ministry has not removed the travel advice on Sri Lanka which states that the end of the military conflict in May 2009 has seen an upsurge of nationalism in Sri Lanka. Last year the External Affairs Ministry in Sri Lanka had raised objections to the advice and urged the British govt to amend the contents which speaks of an upsurge of nationalism in Sri Lanka following the war. Updated in November, the travel advice also notes that detentions do occur in Sri Lanka, more..

Accidents on highways continue unabated

Jan 6 (SO) Accidents on the highways continue unabated as motorists care less for other road users and don’t adhere to the Highway Code, by driving in a negligent manner under the influence of liquor. This had contributed to the death toll last year. 2,263 people had died as a result of fatal road accidents from Jan 1 to Dece 30, 2012. The total number of fatal accidents reported during this period was 2,160 compared to 2,471 in 2011. 749 pedestrians, 650 motorcyclists, 216 pillion riders, more..

No relief

Jan 6 (CT) Thousands of flood affected people in the North, North-Central, North-Western and the Eastern Provinces are yet to receive relief and monetary assistance promised to them by the govt, UNP MP, P. Harison, alleged. “Most of the affected people were sheltered in camps for the displaced as their houses were either partially or fully damaged. Thousands of acres of paddy lands were destroyed. The displaced people more..

Police ban rear glass stickers

Jan 6 (SL) The police have decided to ban stickers on the rear glass of passenger vehicles including buses, three-wheeler taxis and cabs. According to the traffic police, large stickers pasted on the front of such vehicles will also be prohibited from last week. The regulation has been introduced in order to reduce the number of road accidents. The police are of the view that a large number of road accidents occur when drivers are unable to see the rear of the vehicle or front clearly. more..

Sri Lanka not good at negotiating – Dayan

Jan 6 (SL) Sri Lanka’s Former Ambassador to France, Dayan Jayatillake says Sri Lanka has not always been very good at negotiating with the rest of the world. The Paris Embassy quoted Jayatillake as saying that Sri Lankans have been good at surviving but not so good at mediation. Jayatillake, whose term ended in France in December, was quoted in a statement by the Sri Lankan Embassy in France last week as saying the Diaspora Youth can help Sri Lanka negotiate its relationships within, and more..

Two Africans trap Sri Lankans with cash-doubling magic

Jan 6 (E24|7) Two Cameroonians have been caught in Sri Lanka for allegedly tricking people of their hard-earned cash. They promised victims that they could double their currency notes and replaced their rupee notes with that of fake dollars. Several newspapers published the story of how two Africans in Colombo duped Lankans by promising them ‘double the cash’. They modus operandi included establishing contacts with more..

Cheers for an Australian wicket

Jan 6 (CI) Australia had two run-outs in their first innings, and Sri Lanka would have matched them in their second, had Matthew Wade's underarm gone anywhere near its intended target. Rangana Herath had tucked Mitchell Johnson into the leg side, and was charging back for the second run, but despite having travelled more than two thirds of the pitch, was sent back by Dinesh Chandimal. The throw came into the keeper's end, before Herath had even begun his trek back, but Wade's underarm more..

Protect environment, Sri Pada pilgrims told

Jan 6 (SO) The Environment Ministry has called upon pilgrims who visit Sri Pada during the current season to refrain from dumping polythene, plastic cans and non-biodegradable items as it would damage the environment in the vicinity. Over 75,000 pilgrims belonging to all faiths visited Sri Pada from the commencement of the season on December 27. The season ends on Vesak Full Moon Poya Day. A spokesman also called upon environmentalists and officials of local bodies in the Sabaragamuwa more..

Rajitha denies charges of conflict vis-vis GK investment

Jan 6 (ST) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, a member of the SPC which probed the impeachment motion against CJ Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, has denied claims of a conflict of interest in relation to his dealings with the failed Golden Key (GK) Co. Some legal experts alleged a conflict of interest as the Minister was a depositor of GK, which was part of the failed Ceylinco Group that figured in the corruption allegations against the CJ. more..

SC interpretation inconclusive – Former CJ Sarath N. Silva

Jan 7 (SO) The Supreme Court when making its decision, had not taken any notice of “by Standing Orders” in Article 107-3 of the Constitution which reads, “Parliament shall by law or by Standing Orders provide for all matters relating to an impeachment”, said former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva. He alluded that in 1984 Parliament had decided to act according to Standing Orders and held that no Court could direct Parliament to make laws. According to the Constitution, more..

Committee to probe Lankan smuggling to US, NATO bases

Jan 7 (ST) Foreign employment authorities are to set up a committee at the very earliest, to probe a multi-million rupee racket involving the smuggling of Sri Lankan workers to US and NATO bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. SLFEB Chairman Amal Senadhilankara said that the committee, comprising of officials from the Bureau, Immigration, External Affairs and police will work towards stamping out the menace that has been in existence for a considerable period of time. more..

Why are UNP MPs silent over a new daylight robbery: Sale of duty free car permits?

Jan 6 (ST) It is appalling that MPs have been given the privilege to sell their duty free permits for Rs 20 million. The govt has also granted this concession to about 15,000 state sector officials. MPs were earlier prohibited from selling their duty free permit or the vehicle they had imported for five years even though it was an open secret that most of them did the dirty. Vehicle permits were given to them on the basis that more..

Ukrainian sold kidneys to Sri Lanka

Jan 6 (SL) A Ukrainian national has been charged with organizing the supply of human organs from donors to Sri Lanka, Ecuador and Costa Rica. Ukrainian media reports said that the suspect looks for healthy young Ukrainians who face serious financial problems, organized their travel abroad, provided passports and documents and passed them to his accomplices to carry out operations for the removal of a kidney The prosecutor’s office of Ternopil region in Ukraine filed criminal more..

No suitable promo partner for Ceylon Tea

Jan 6 (ST) Sri Lanka Tea Board authorities have not found a satisfactory presentation from the companies shortlisted for the 2-billion-rupee global tea campaign aimed at re-positioning Ceylon Tea, a key official said. Following the call for tenders four companies were shortlisted by the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) established to study the tenders. Out of about 10 parties that applied four were selected but noted “we are not satisfied with the presentations to the TEC.” more..

Flooded farms inundated with debt

Sri Lanka citizens group calls for changes to upcoming bill

Jan 7 (LBO) Friday Forum, a Sri Lankan citizens group has called for changes to an upcoming bill on a new agency called Divineguma Development Department and has called upon parliament not to impose it on the Northern Province with a two thirds majority. The full statement is reproduced below: The Divineguma Bill now before Parliament provides for the setting up of a new department called the Divineguma Development Department, the main object of which is the administration of more..

Govt targeting electricity tariff next - Tissa

Jan 7 (AD) Condemning the govt’s decision to increase price of gas, the UNP today charged that leaders claiming to be “patriots” are wasting tax money on Lamborghinis races while paying absolutely no attention to the hardships faced by the masses. The price of a 12.5 kg cylinder of domestic LP gas was increased by Rs. 150 with effect from today while the CAA sated that the hike was in accordance to the rise of gas prices in the global market last November. more..

Sri Lanka raises cooking gas prices

Jan 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka's consumer affairs office has raised the price of liquefied petroleum gas by 150 rupees per 13.5 kilogram cylinder to 2,396 rupees under a regulated pricing formula. Prices of both state-run Litro Gas and Laugfs will go up. Domestic LP Gas prices are regulated by the CAA with a provision for monthly adjustment. Due to quick pass-through LP Gas imports do not pressure Sri Lanka's exchange rate. more..

Aussie cows were insured

Jan 6 (SL) The NLDB says the Australian cows which died after being imported by the Livestock and Rural Community Development Ministry, were insured. As was reported last week, several Australian cows, imported to improve the local milk production and to breed cows with a higher heredity, had died. The NLDB says four cows and four heifers died due to Metritis, Lung abscess, Hip dislocation, Cardiac failure, Bloat, Reticulo-Peritonitis, Kidney failure and Spinal cord injury. more..

Aitken Spence drops deal with Six Senses

Jan 6 (LBO) Aitken Spence, said it had dropped plans to build a hotel with Six Senses, an international hotel chain and the Favourite group, a domestic firm. Aitken Spence said in 2010 that is was planning to build a 35 million US dollar resort and spa with beachfront villa on a 10.5 acre land in Ahungalle, where the group already has one hotel. The firm said in a stock exchange filing Friday that it had decided to terminate the agreement and the move will not have any impact on its results. more..

MR makes fresh appeal for Rizana

Jan 7 (CG) President Mahinda Rajpaksa has made a fresh appeal seeking the release of housemaid Rizana Nafeek who is on death row in Saudi Arabia. The President’s media spokesman Mohan Samaranayake said that the President had made the appeal today in a letter addressed to the Saudi King. Last week the Saudi Arabian Ambassador in Sri Lanka had said that Saudi Arabia is likely to free Nafeek. The Saudi more..

One trillion savings next big target for BOC

Jan 7 (NS) The Chairman of Bank of Ceylon, Dr. Gamini Wickramasinghe, who confirmed that he would resign from the top slot on Jan 8, said, that the state bank should now concentrate on achieving a savings target of Rupees One Trillion by end 2013. He said that during his nearly six year tenure as chairman, which commenced on May 23, 2007, the Bank had achieved its medium term targets by tripling its assets, loans, and shareholder’s equity and have seen its profits grow seven fold. more..

The last five days of Sri Lanka’s democracy

Jan 7 (AHRC) The Asian Human Rights Commission alerts all concerned persons in and outside of Sri Lanka to the possibility that a five days from now there may not be a judiciary that can exercise judicial power with independence in Sri Lanka. In all likelihood, the judiciary will be brought under the direct control of the Executive President, in the same way that other institutions in Sri Lanka, including the Attorney General’s Department, have been brought under the direct control of more..

PSC did not find CJ guilty: Deputy Speaker

Jan 7 (SO) Deputy speaker, Attorney- at- Law Chandima Weerakkody speaks to Daily Mirror after the determination of the Supreme Court to the effect that the PSC was unconstitutional. Weerakkody reiterates the govt’s commitment to an ‘independent and pure’ judiciary and states that the government does not wish to see the country descend to anarchy. In this wide ranging interview which can be viewed in full on more..

Fundamental rights and fundamental values

Jan 7 (CT) Those who were instrumental in drafting the Sri Lanka constitution currently in force were keen to limit parliament’s powers. Mr. J R Jayewardene, who as Prime Minister chaired the Parliamentary Select Committee on the draft 1978 constitution, remarked at one of its hearings: “We are practically a dictatorship today. There is nothing we cannot do in this House with a five-sixths majority. I am trying to avoid that”. This intention is made clear by not giving the parliament the more..

A matter of conscience

Jan 7 (SL) Something I’ve wrestled with since my return to Sri Lanka is the matter of whether one should, in any way, associate with those who have continuing and productive relationships with the most corrupt and repressive regime in the history of this country. When I came back in January of the year following the tsunami, I was taken down south by an old family friend who, I discovered, was a veritable confidant of President Chandrika Kumaratunga. We ended up in close physical more..

'Russian team explores nuclear applications: Lanka must be ready for any eventuality'

Jan 7 (SO) Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka speaking on CEB's projected goals for 2013 and the proposed visit of the team of Russian nuclear experts this month says nuclear power is not a priority goal in CEB's generation plan within the next decade. "The Russian team is not coming here to do a feasibility study of nuclear power generation or to set up a new nuclear plant. We are serious about nuclear energy but first the attention is more..

Mahinda regime in trying to impeach the Chief Justice has impeached itself

Jan 7 (DBS) Some people are angry that no real protest develops in the streets of Lanka. The incidents that have taken place thus far ought to have awakened the just wrath of the people, they say. Enough has taken place to rouse the masses to practical actions against tyranny. Some go to the edge of pessimism and say that Lankans have rulers of this nature at the helm, because they deserve them. Others, alienated from the suffering of the people, wait patiently, fiddling and more..

Hate campaign against Muslims sows seeds of radicalism

Jan 7 (DBS) This is sheer madness. This is how one could describe the potentially disastrous hate campaign unleashed against the island’s peaceful Muslim community by a handful of racist rabble-rousers who are law unto themselves. Recently two Muslim pavement hawkers were attacked by monks at Embilipitiya. The police first refused to accept the victims’ complaints and recorded them only after JVP intervention. Then there appeared provocative posters in Mahiyangana, showing a person more..

සංවර්ධන සටහන් - January 04, 2012