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Moves afoot to include foreigners in national team

Jan 7 (SL) Since the IRB, some three decades ago, legitimized the inclusion of foreign players in national teams –providing, of course,laid-down residential qualification rules are adhered to – the question whether Sri Lanka should take advantage of the concession has been intermittently debated upon. The case for insertion of foreign muscle is not without merit – nor without the potential to disturb a hornets’ nest, especially among nationalists. So, though past SLRFU administrations might’ve more..

An early warning: The beginning of Sri Lanka’s year zero

Jan 7 (CT) On the 8th of Jan, the President will address a proposal to parliament to remove the incumbent Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, based on a report by a PSC. The entire PSC process has been declared unconstitutional and null and void by the Supreme Court of the country. For two days, the illegal proposal will be debated in the parliament and on the 11th it will be put to a vote. The govt has the required majority to get it through the parliament. Immediately after passing more..

Truth behind the rising fuel prices

Jan 7 (SL) The losses incurred by the CPC have been attributed to the rampant corruption and wastage at the Corporation, CPC trade unions said. Secretary JSS, Ananda Palitha said that Minister Susil Premajayantha’s explanation that the fuel subsidy given to the CEB is the main cause for its losses cannot be accepted. “Neither the Minister nor the CPC Director Board can take any decisions to give subsidy to any institutions. more..

Editorial: A head-on collision inevitable

Jan 7 (Island) The govt decision to ignore the recent Appeal Court ruling based on the Supreme Court interpretation of Article 107 (3) of the Constitution and go ahead with the impeachment process to remove Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake has come as no surprise. It was clear from the beginning that the PSC was in a mighty hurry to wind up proceedings and put out its report so as to preempt a move by the Chief Justice and her lawyers to move the judiciary against it. more..

Do we need Sampur ?

Jan 7 (Island) Do we need Sampur? Dr Thilak Siyambalapitiya warns of dire consequences of power shortages if there is a delay in its implementation. Dr Janaka Ratnasiri advocates Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) instead. Both assume that electricity demand will out strip the national generation capacity. However, there is another aspect to this assessment. A most important aspect of the demand for electricity is the skewed nature of the daily demand curve. The demand during more..

'54% of govt. debt to mature after 15 years'

Jan 7 (Island) More than 54% of outstanding govt debt is payable after 15 years, Deputy Finance Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama says, adding that the Debt to GDP ratio could be reduced by inducing higher growth and gradual reduction of the deficit. "Our Debt to GDP ratio has fallen to about 80 percent of GDP. Our intention is to bring this below 70% of GDP. This can be done only by maintaining a higher economic growth of well above 6%, more..

SLFP’s Central Committee and electoral organisers to meet

Jan 7 (FT) The SLFP, the main constituent party of ruling alliance, has scheduled to hold a meeting of the party’s Central Committee on 10 January. The party has called on all the electoral organisers to come to Colombo on the same day for a special meeting. SLFP General Secretary Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that the restructuring program of the party would be taken up at these meetings. The meetings of the SLFP will be held under the patronage of Party Leader more..

Colonials buy Ceylinco car firm through SC for Rs. 142 million

Jan 7 (Island) Colonial Motors PLC has through its wholly owned subsidiary, Colonial Motors (Ceylon) Limited, has invested Rs.142 million purchasing Ceylinco Hire Drive through the Supreme Court and the parent company is investing a sum of Rs.135 million against this purchase in the form of equity. This information has been communicated to shareholders of listed Colonial Motors PLC, now engaged in a zero cost capital raising exercise through a rights issue. more..

Hope in defeat, but Sri Lanka must act

Jan 7 (CI) When Bob Dylan penned the lyrics of Blowin' in the Wind, the west was approaching a season of social change. The "wind", it has been said since, represents that which is both ubiquitous and intangible, granting those qualities to the "answer" it carries. The solutions to social ills seemed plain, yet they appeared unattainable. There may not be so much riding on Sri Lanka's cricket, though the game has long united the more..

Intervene now: ALRC appeals to Navi Pillay

Jan 7 (FT) Hong Kong based regional rights group, the Asian Legal Resource Centre yesterday urged UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navinetham Pillay to intervene to prevent the impeachment of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake in Sri Lanka in order to prevent the country from losing its rule of law and democratic traditions. Calling the impeachment of Bandaranayake by the Sri Lankan Govt in the coming week an ‘impending catastrophe,” more..

Police bust multi-million cyberfraud

Jan 7 (SO) The police have busted one of the biggest international computer frauds allegedly perpetrated by 74 Chinese nationals and 26 Chinese and Taiwanese women. In the Chinese Yuan racket they have siphoned off millions from wealthy Chinese businessmen's bank accounts in mainland China. The fraud was exposed when a top team of Chinese police officers arrived in the country last month to investigate the million Yuan fraud perpetrated by Chinese nationals. more..

Labour manual to guide overseas missions

Jan 7 (DN) The Operational Manual for Labour Sections of Sri Lankan Diplomatic Missions in Labour Receiving Countries which is a guideline to improve the current system of migrant worker grievance handling, was launched on Friday at the Lakshman Kadiragamar Centre. This operational manual was developed by the Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Ministry together with the External Affairs Ministry more..

Swarnamalie Balika wins home garden competition

Jan 7 (Island) Swarnamalie Balika Vidyala, Kandy was awarded the prestigious Governor’s Cup for being adjudged the champion in the 2012 competition Nagarayata Uyanwathu (Home Gardens of the City), on Saturday 05. The awards ceremony was held at the Plant Genetic Research Centre (PGRC), Gannoruwa. The award was received by the Principal of Swarnamalie Balika Maha Vidyalaya Ms. Anula Kumarihamy from Central Province Governor Tikiri Kobbekaduwa. more..

2013 Sri Lanka’s first priority: Education, Education, Education

Jan 7 (EAR) The war is over. Sri Lanka’s next battle is to arm Sri Lanka’s greatest asset – its People with Education. The ground realities are not so simple. Resurrecting a nation that suffered 30 years of more than just terrorism is a daunting task especially when forces continuously attempt to keep Sri Lanka pinned down. More than any period of Sri Lanka’s history the country is in need of “educated” people- not necessarily those that hold paper qualifications. However, those that don’t possess even that more..

'Dwindling tax revenue, export earnings key challenges for economy'

Jan 7 (Island) Minister DEW Gunasakara says dwindling exports and govt revenue continue to be the biggest challenges facing the economy today. "I believe these two areas have not received enough attention," the senior minister, also Chairman of the COPE, told The Island yesterday. Tax revenue is failing to keep up with the growth of the economy. "Since 1977, all govts have failed to arrest the decline in tax revenue. more..

400 houses damaged in two districts by gale force winds

Jan 7 (Island) Around 400 houses in the Badulla and Nuwara Eliya were damaged by gale force winds that swept across the two district on Saturday. Roofs of most of the houses had been blown away by the strong winds, Assistant Director of the DMC Lal Kumara said yesterday. Heavy winds were experienced for hours at Ramboda, Thavalanthenna, Karagasthalawa, Katu Kithula, Malgewa, Kotmale New Town, Katarandana, Maldeniya, Haputale and Haldummulla. more..

Grandma hands over four children abandoned by parents to police

Jan 7 (Island) Four children between the ages of 11 and two who were deserted by their parents were handed over to the Peredeniya police by their grandparents. According to the police they were the children of Mahindapala Mendis and M. N. D. Kumarihamy of Flower Terrace, Pallealudeniya, Gelioya. Their grandmother told the police that the children had been sent to them in a three wheeler by their parents and she was not in a position to look after them. Investigations have revealed that more..

Cannot comment anything about student release - VC

Jan 7 (OU) “I cannot say now, about the commencement of Jaffna university education activities. I had to once again discuss with Deans, Lecturers and students and only could notify”. This was stated by Jaffna University Vice Chancellor Vasanthi Arasaratnam. She said I will not give any statement regarding the release of detained students. Jaffna university students union leader P.Bawananthan, student union Secretary more..

The Comments of Sarath N. Silva

Jan 7 (AHRC) Sarath N. Silva is heavily quoted in SLBC trying to criticize the SC judgment relating to the question on the interpretation of law referred to it by Court of Appeal. He says that the SC has not properly interpreted the words “or standing orders” as found in Article 107(3) of the constitution. As usual, the great trickster, who misinterpreted law to shroud the govt he supported, is trying once again to come to the rescue of this govt, which he was not long ago condemning vehemently. more..

M.D. Gunasena MD, wife stabbed

Jan 7 (Island) Managing Director of the M.D. Gunasena and Company, Ananda Gunasena and his wife were stabbed by a masked intruder at their home in Kandewatte, Nugegoda yesterday morning. The victims were admitted to a private hospital in a serious condition. According to the Mirihana police, they were attacked on the fourth floor of their residence. Their lives might have been saved by the screams of their maid, the police said. Mrs. Gunasena who sustained serious injuries more..

Ten amendments to Divineguma bill tomorrow

Jan 7 (Island) Minister Basil Rajapaksa announced that since the Supreme Court had given directions that the Divi Neguma Bill could become law without going for a referendum if passed with amendments by a special majority in Parliament, the government would bring ten amendments to the legislation during its third reading debate tomorrow. He said: "The radical changes envisaged by the provisions of this bill are needed for the more..

Computer network to interconnect prisons and detention centres

Jan 7 (DM) The Prison Reforms and Rehabilitation Ministry is to undertake a project to interconnect all prisons and detention centres in Sri Lanka, to improve efficiency and share vital information. The goal is to have instant access to information at one domain in the case of any incident anywhere in the country, such as the Welikada prison riots that took place in November last year. They also plan to store such data of the inmates as blood groups, fingerprints and facial marks in the system. more..

'Competitive exam to recruit Management Assistants'

Jan 7 (DN) All arrangements have been made to hold a competitive examination to recruit new Public Management Assistants to the govt service, Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne said recently. The exam will be held on January 26. The Competitive Examinations for recruiting new Grama Seva Niladhari Officers will also be held at the end of next month, he added. He said the candidates who had applied for these competitive examinations last year will have the opportunity to sit for these exams. more..

Kelaniya PS chairman complains of death threats

Jan 7 (DM) Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Prasanna Ranaweera said today that there had been repeated death threats made to him and 12 other members of his council for more than a year, at the instigation of a local politician. The Chairman said that after Pradeshiya Sabha member Hasitha Madawala was killed, he had even complained to the Inspector General of Police and all other persons concerned. more..

'Sri Lanka wants more export growth before steep currency appreciation'

Jan 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka would like to see stronger exports, and less imports before an "un-necessarily" appreciation of the exchange rate, Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundera said. "If you all don't talk about the exchange ate, the rate will appreciate even more," he said. "But we don't want the exchange rate to appreciate un-necessarily until we promote exports and moderate imports." Sri Lanka's rupee fell from around 110 to the US dollar to 134 in 2012 after it was floated in February 2012. more..

CID takes over Kelaniya PS member killing probe

Jan 7 (Island) Investigations into the killing of a Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha UPFA member on Saturday night had been handed over to the CID yesterday. No one had been arrested in connection with the incident so far. A masked motorcyclist shot dead Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha ruling party member Hasitha Madawala near his house at Waragoda. He was a close associate of Kelaniya PS Chairman Prasanna Ranaweera, who is at loggerheads with SLFP Kelaniya organiser more..

‘Summon judges in contempt of house'

Jan 7 (DN) All judges who violated Parliamentary privilege by issuing orders to Parliament should be summoned before the PSC, Minister Wimal Weerawansa said. He referred to former Speaker Anura Bandaranaike’s ruling that the Judiciary cannot issue orders to Parliament. “Is it correct for the CJ to selectively cite the Constitution to her advantage?” he asked. “Issuing orders against Parliament is an act unbecoming of more..

Sri Lankan asylum seeker commits suicide

Jan 7 (WA) A Sri Lankan asylum seeker committed suicide at the weekend while living in the community in Perth, the Immigration Department has confirmed. The WA Coroner will examine the death of the Tamil man, who is believed to have a wife and possibly a child in Sri Lanka. The department declined to say whether the man had been told his asylum application had been rejected and he was to be deported. News of the death comes as another 76 boat people are on their way to Darwin for more..

'No deal with UNP'

Jan 7 (CT) The TNA categorically denied entering into an agreement with the UNP, to not appear before the Court of Appeal, on 3 January. Responding to media reports where UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was quoted as saying that TNA Leader R. Sampanthan agreed not to go before courts, party strongman, Suresh Premachandran, said as far as the party is concerned, they are unaware of such an agreement. Wickremesinghe has reportedly told the UNP Lawyers’ Union more..

Violation of oath may unseat MPs: UNP

Jan 7 (DM) MPs are liable to be unseated from Parliament if they pursued the impeachment motion against CJ Shirani Bandaranayake disregarding the Supreme Court ruling, the UNP said yesterday. The Party’s Vice President MP Lakshman Kiriella said that MPs took oaths in Parliament to act according to the Constitution and safeguard it. “The Supreme Court last week gave a ruling that the impeachment process against more..

Editorial: Finishing schools for politicians

Jan 7 (DM) When the line between the genuine leaders and imposters becomes blurred; the absence of the former urges the emergence of the latter. One look at the current system of governance one would realize the country’s predicament at the hands of the dearth of statesmen; a breed that has extinct from the House long before Parliamentary traditions and democratic fundamentals started chipping from its walls. The topic of leadership training for university undergraduates more..

PSC and Judicial scrutiny

Jan 7 (DM) In 1997, a Committee for the Centre of the Independence of Judges and Lawyers chaired by Lord Goodhart of UK, Bhagwati, former Chief Justice of India and Attorney Phineas Mojapelo of South Africa, observed with regard to Standing Order 78A, “We think it is very unsatisfactory for the inquiry into the alleged misconduct or incapacity of a senior judge to be carried out by a PSC acting under Parliamentary Standing Orders. Such an inquiry is plainly a judicial process. more..

Lasantha, his memory lingers on …

Jan 7 (SL) Lasantha lives. He does, in the hearts and minds of all those who respected the fourth state. That, he created a new style of bringing forth news and views through his weekly political column under the pseudonym ‘Suranimala,’ is never disputed. Four years have lapsed and the killers of Lasantha walk free. They did not know him. It was a time when armed men carried out orders to kill. They did not more..

CCTV cameras in private buses

Jan 7 (CT) Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras will be set inside all private buses in the country before 31 March 2013, National Transport Commission (NTC) said. Chairman of NTC, Roshan Gunawardane, said Minister of Private Transport Services, C.B. Ratnayake, instructed them to set cameras inside the buses, in order to reduce the inconveniences experienced by the commuters. “We have received report of many more..

Sri Lanka’s war likened to wiping out British PM Cameron’s constituency

Jan 7 (Island) British Labour Party member, Siobhain McDonagh has compared the last phase of the Lankan military offensive (Jan-May 2009) against the LTTE to the massacre of an entire population of Witney, Carterton and Chipping Norton after being herded into an area smaller than Prime Minister, David Cameron’s constituency. MP McDonagh has alleged that thousands of her constituents had been more..

Kidney ailment could decimate Rajarata population

Jan 7 (Island) Dr Channa Jayasumana, Media Officer and Head of the Research team on kidney ailments of the Kelaniya University said that so far 20,000 persons have died of kidney ailments and another 15.5% have been identified as having kidney related diseases. "Other than politicians and big wigs of the government all the down trodden people in the North Central Province are suffering from kidney ailments though it had gone more..

Explain or withdraw order to ‘corrupted’ antibiotic supplier

Jan 7 (ST) The Health Ministry has decided to remove the entire consignment of ‘cloxacillin’ antibiotic, if the Indian pharmaceutical firm fails to give a credible explanation on the glass particle found inside an antibiotic vaccination vial at the Colombo South Teaching Hospital (Kalubowila), last week. Cosmetic Devices and Drug Regulatory Authority (CDDA) head Dr. Hemantha Beneragama said this was a more..

JVP rebels claim leadership training going sour

Jan 7 (Island) The govt claims the first stage of second leadership training programme for university freshers was being conducted successfully at the countrywide military establishments, but some undergraduates alleged yesterday that most of students had to face several difficulties while undergoing the training, but they were asked to keep mum by the authorities. Convener of the JVP rebels controlled IUSF Sanjeewa Bandara said that more..

'Expose military transform climax to the international sector'

Jan 7 (OU) Military getting introduced to the schools located in Kilinochchi and Mullaitheevu districts and attempting to teach second language is the climax of military rule transform. This action is totally violating the recommendation made in the Sri Lanka govt's Reconciliation Commission's report which quote decreasing the military occupation was said by DPF Leader Mano Ganeshan. This should be immediately more..

UNP calls for changing law on judges’ impeachment

Jan 7 (Island) The UNP says the law with regard to the impeachment of judges in Commonwealth countries has changed after the decision taken at the 2003 meeting of the Heads of Govt of the Commonwealth in Abuja, where the Latimer House principles were adopted. A media statement issued by the UNP yesterday said: "Sri Lanka as a member of the Commonwealth is under obligation to implement this Resolution. more..