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CB further loosens up exchange controls

Jan 7 (DM) Extending the measures to liberalize the foreign exchange market in Sri Lanka, the Net Open Position (NOP) limit, which is the open dollar position of licensed commercial banks (LCBs), was increased as a whole (banking industry) by as much as 85% to reach 120% by the Central Bank, with effect from last Wednesday. This is amongst a number of exchange relaxation measures listed in the Road Map 2013. more..

'Intenational community can't criticise us'

Jan 7 (DM) Amid concerns about possible international repercussions of the impeachment motion, President Rajapaksa told inter-religious leaders yesterday that the international community had no basis to criticise constitutional procedures adopted in this exercise. The President said the procedure laid down in the Constitution had been followed in conducting inquiries into charges against the Chief Justice, and therefore more..

Editorial: Let us not be unduly disturbed: Let us move on

Jan 7 (CT) The Supreme Court on Thursday delivered its determination that the PSC which probed the charges in the impeachment motion against Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake was unconstitutional. The decision coming from the highest Court in the land settles once and for all, the drama that has been going on for the last few months; and everyone in the country is bound to abide by its decision just like all other decisions made by that august body before. more..

SC interpretation, parliament and Wickramasinghe’s ‘arrogant’ supremacy

Jan 7 (CT) Secretary General of the UNP Mr. Tissa Attanayake was quoted in media on a statement made by him this Saturday to the effect, the UNP members who represented the select committee refrained from appearing in the Appeal Court as the impeachment motion was a matter that had to be dealt with in Parliament. He had then said, they urge the govt to introduce laws in line with the Commonwealth ‘Latimer House Principles’ on the removal of judges before more..

'Impeachment, a perfect blunder – 2'

Jan 7 (SM) Special interview for with Dayan Jayatilleka, one of Sri Lanka’s leading intellectuals, ex-diplomat, Political scientist, university don and raconteur. His first interview, given to Harasha Gunewardene, since completing his assignment as Ambassador to France. Q: Your thoughts on the Impeachment crisis? A: Having spoken in support of President Rajapaksa in his re-election campaign in Dec 2009, which I more..

Several Kandy schools in danger

Jan 7 (Island) Several school building in the Poojapitiya Divisional Secretariat area are subject to damage due to prevailing inclement weather, the Kandy district National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) state. A research study conducted by Geologist Dinesh Hemachandra on the directions of the Kandy district chief of the organisation M.I.D.H. Wijewickrema has disclosed that the buildings of Molagoda Sri Piyadassi Maha Vidyalaya, Galkanda Junior School, more..

Japan Maritime self defence force ships arrives

Jan 7 (MoD) Two Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) ships, "Suzunami" and "Kirisame" arrived at the Port of Colombo on 05th January 2013 on a goodwill and supply visit. The ships were ceremonially welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy on their arrival. Commander 03rd Escort Division, Captain Junichi Shimo and ships' Commanding Officers, Commander Toshikuni Miyata and Commander Takayuki Kaseda paid a courtesy call on Commander Western Naval Area, more..

Internal conflict in govt. exposed via Madawala

Jan 7 (LT) It is stated that the shooting aimed at Hasitha Madawala carried out on the 5th by an unknown gunman is a developing phase of a serious internal crisis within the SLFP and this would definitely intensify. He was a Pradeshiya Sabha Member involved in a conflict with seniors of the SLFP during the past year and acted as a very close associate of Minister Mervin Silva, a thug minister very close to Rajapaksa family. more..

No foreign trips for govt. MPs in view of Divi Neguma bill vote

Jan 7 (OU) Divi Neguma (Rise of life) act will be taken for debate in parliament tomorrow and govt is drastically taking measures to implement it. In this situation, ruling sector ministers and MPs are refrained from foreign trips during this week is according to govt sector circles. President Rajapakse has given a directive to Minister Dinesh Gunawardena to instruct the ministers and MPs to abstain from leaving the country on foreign trips during this week. more..

Sri Lanka foreign holder ceiling on gilts to stay: CB Governor

Jan 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka is keeping a ceiling on foreign holdings of Treasuries at 12.5% of outstanding for 2013, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. But foreign investors will be able to buy new bonds up to 12.5% of the increased total issue of Treasury bill and bonds during the year, he said. In 2012 the Central Bank has said that 843 million US dollars flowed in to the country from the sale of gilts to foreign investors. In a budget for 2013, the finance ministry has estimated 62 billion rupees from more..

Canada warns Lanka on human rights issue

Jan 7 (CG) The Canadian govt today urged Sri Lanka to address human rights concerns, until which Prime Minister Stephen Harper will not reconsider his decision to boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Govt Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in Colombo this year. Canadian Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, speaking to reporters, Monday, at the end of a short visit to Sri Lanka said he raised the issue with the govt more..

Naughy Daddy claims two kids

Jan 7 (DM) A man has claimed the paternity of two babies born on the same day, to a mother and daughter aged 20 years apart, living in the same house in Yatinuwara. The youthful-looking older woman, whose husband had allegedly left her for another a year ago, was staying with her daughter since the wayward ‘husband’ lived far away. Both women recently gave birth on the same day, to the amazement of the area residents. Undaunted by the rumours that surrounded the bizarre event more..

Media must apologise to UNP: Ranil

Jan 7 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the media who wrote against him during the past week must apologise to the UNP. “They wrote false stories against us for the fact UNP members did not participate at the court hearing. But at the end the Supreme Court itself determined that the UNP stance was right all along,” he said. The UNP leader made these remarks at its party head quarters Sirikotha inaugurating the parties’ membership drive. “The govt has messed more..

'Sri Lanka undone by inconsistency'

Jan 7 (CI) Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford said his side had positives to take from a 3-0 drubbing in Australia, but had ultimately been undone by inconsistency, after Australia completed the whitewash with a five-wicket win in Sydney. Previously in the series, Sri Lanka had been close to achieving a draw in Hobart, where they were bowled out with only 10.4 overs remaining until stumps on day five, but had also sunk to their third more..

I’m like a football now - Ranil

Jan 7 (AD) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe today accused the govt of bringing in Russian prostitutes to country from one side and attempting to sack the Chief Justice from the other side. Speaking during the UNP Membership Conferment Ceremony at ‘Sirikotha’, he stated that the Chief Justice can go to courts as that is her right. However, Wickaramasinghe declared that the Rajapakse regime cannot be defeated by going to court, and that it can only be done by taking more..

UN drastically reduces missions in Jaffna

Jan 7 (OU) According to reliable sources the UN agent organizations operating in the Jaffna district has decided to reduce their assignments from the beginning of this year, and at the end of this year, the regional offices would be closed down. UN agent organization’s requirements have got lessened in the Jaffna district hence the above offices are getting closed down is according to information. However, due to non-available of funds to the UN agent organization is the main reason for more..

Rajapaksa appoints panel to review CJ’s impeachment

Jan 7 (Hindu) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed a four-member independent panel to review a parliamentary committee’s impeachment of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, apparently in the wake of widespread criticism. The panel would start work today to review the report of the PSC, but did not name the members. The PSC had found 54-year-old Bandaranayake guilty on four counts more..

Australian naval ship Anzac arrives at the Port of Colombo

Jan 7 (SLN) Australian Naval ship, HMAS Anzac arrived at the Port of Colombo on a goodwill visit today. She was welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions on arrival. Ship's Commanding Officer, Commander John Stavridis called on Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Rohan Amarasinghe at the Western Naval Command Headquarters in Colombo. They held cordial discussions and exchange mementos as a gesture of goodwill. more..

38,000 students abandon school in midway in year 2011 in Northern Province

Jan 7 (OU) Shocking information reveals, more quantity of students leaving schools in the midway, after war came to an end is the northern province. Evaluations show, only in year 2011, one lack and 26,000 students islandwide have left school in the midway. Out of the total figures, more are from the Northern Province. Year 2011 statistics reveal 38,321 students have left schools located in the Northern Province. Eastern province comes in the second place students leaving in the midway. more..

Protests erupt in Sri Lanka over impeachment of Chief Justice

Jan 7 (Xinhua) Thousands of Sri Lankans marched against a govt move to impeach the Chief Justice here on Monday demanding that the process be withdrawn. The People's Movement for Democracy, an organization backed by the opposition that includes the UNP and JVP, launched the protests resulting in massive traffic snarls and road closures during rush hour traffic. Earlier in the day the opposition walked out of a crucial more..

Flop show by Sri Lanka's batsmen and seamers

Jan 7 (CI) For the third time in six three-Test series between these two teams, Australia blanked Sri Lanka 3-0 - the two earlier instances were in Australia in 1995-96, and in Sri Lanka in 2003-04. Leaving aside matches involving Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, no rivalry in Test cricket has been as lopsided as this one, in terms of results: Australia have won 17, Sri Lanka 1. The next-best win-loss ratio is England's 5.62 against New Zealand. This time Australia were coming off a more..

Opposition walks out of party leaders’ meeting

Jan 7 (LT) The political parties that represent the opposition withdrew from the special meeting of party leaders representing parliament held today morning. The meeting was convened by the Speaker to take a final decision regarding the Parliamentary debate on the impeachment motion against CJ Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake. At the commencement of the meeting JVP MP Anura Dissanayake had opposed debating the report of the PSC saying it was from an illegal committee. more..

Verdict against Chief Justice quashed

Jan 7 (CT) In the application filed by the CJ, the Court of Appeal has issued a Writ of Certiorari quashing the proceedings of the Parliamentary Select Committee on the impeachment. Accordingly, there is no valid, actable finding under the law as pronounced by the Appeal Court on the basis of which a vote can be carried in the legislature to remove the CJ from office. The position endorsed by the Court is effectively that steps need to be taken to more..

Bahrain briefs Sri Lanka on reforms

Jan 7 (CG) The Bahrain has briefed Sri Lanka on the reforms achieved by King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa in the political, economic, social, and legislative areas in that country. Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Abdullah Abdullatif Abdullah who met with a diplomatic delegation from Sri Lanka headed by Ambassador CAHM Wijeratne, said that the Kingdom is keen to ensure the freedom of foreign workers. Ambassador Abdullah also welcomed the decision by more..

TNA to vote against Divi Neguma Bill

Jan 7 (CT) The TNA has decided to vote against the Divi Neguma Bill when it will be taken up for debate in Parliament tomorrow. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said the party will oppose the Bill, as it will curtail the powers given to the Provincial Councils. He also said the party will reconsider its decision, only if the Bill incorporates the amendments suggested by the party. Premachandran also said when the Bill was first tabled, they opposed and sought legal more..

'Canadian minister biased and ill informed'

Jan 7 (DM) Minister G.L Peries said the statements made by the visiting Canadian Minister Jason Kenney were “biased and unbalanced”. “Sri Lankan govt will not conduct its affairs in a way that suits the domestic politics of another country. The govt will act in the best interest of our people,” he said. Minister Kenney, who met Minister Peries on Sunday, said the domestic issues in Sri Lanka were causing an influx of asylum seekers to more..

A man called Wimal

Jan 8 (NS) The Department of Census and Statistics of Sri Lanka officially presented its Census of Population and Housing in June, 2012 to the President. It was reported that the Department has conducted the census to record vital statistics in Sri Lanka after three decades from the last official whole island census. One of the major objectives of the last 2012 island-wide census was to provide necessary statistics for the govt to accelerate its development projects based on actual more..

Luck or destiny Mrs Bandaranaike escapes

Jan 8 (NS) Coup d’état, is a sudden, forcible and illegal overthrow of a government, often by a group of military men, by violent means, but not essentially; for setting up some form of unconstitutional administration. In 1962, a group of military and police officers in Ceylon attempted to overthrow the democratically elected govt in a coup conspiracy and set up a military ‘Junta’. It was thwarted a couple of hours before the scheduled take over. In the first five weeks we more..

The untold story behind CEB’s loss making

Jan 8 (NS) Based on the instructions given by the Ministry of Finance, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has increased the prices of petrol and heavy fuel, whilst surprisingly keeping the prices of diesel and jet oil unchanged. There are three types of heavy fuel - high sulphur oils (1500-3500) which are byproducts of our refinery and its low sulphur oil is exclusively used in Yugadhanavi power plant in Kerawalapitiya, more..

Upcountry Tamils, the ‘Vanishing People’?

Jan 8 (DBS) Lies, damn lies and statistics – so goes the adage. The Census staff in Sri Lanka has to be congratulated for making the decennial national head-count a serious job, particularly post-war, yes. But the figures that they have thrown up in the process have raised more questions than answers. Or, so it would seem. Census 2011 was noted for more reasons than one. It was for the first time since 1981 that the headcount was a nationwide affair, after the intervening years of war, more..

A mini Indian spring lights up

Jan 8 (CT) Rape and gang rape are topics about which I know little, thankfully, not having met victims at first or second hand, and not had close encounters, or heard intimate details. I would not have ventured on this piece, despite the political fallout of recent events in India, had I not been assisted of a lady, call her Priya, who works with a knowledgeable organisation. I am grateful for her help in dealing with a topic that I am way too stupid to handle alone. more..

'Tough laws to protect fish hygiene'

Jan 8 (SO) Destroying an organisation's image is easy but to build recognition and a good name for the industry requires hard work and dedication. With NARA's qualified and devoted staff I am sure 2013 would be an incentive to give more valuable services to the nation and continue the path to progress, National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) Chairman Dr. S.G. Samarasundera said in an interview more..

Ranil in Venice playing duplicitous role in impeachment of Chief Justice saga?

Jan 8 (DBS) While the entire country was watching all agog the impeachment saga, in which the government and the Chief Justice were the main actors, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was playing a duplicitous role behind the scenes, which was known only to a few people. There had been a secret understanding between the govt and Wickremesinghe over the impeachment from its very inception. His visit to Venice for a vacation was a result of that understanding. more..

Should Commonwealth heads come to Sri Lanka?

Jan 8 (CT) Should the people of Sri Lanka call upon the Commonwealth Heads of State and Govt (CwH) to boycott the gathering scheduled for latter this year, or to move the meeting to another country if feasible? I intend to keep an open mind for a few more weeks till it is clear how this state sponsored constitutional chaos is resolved, and till I see if the regime is determined to ram through the subjugation of the judiciary, come what may. The regime’s authoritarianism and autocratic intentions more..

'Police are harassing me'

Jan 8 (CT) A young exotic dancer grabbed the attention of the entire country a few months ago, for her unusual choice of a companion. Many would recoil from the idea of keeping a cobra in their possession, mostly due to the fact that the slithering creatures are highly venomous. But, for the 21-year-old dancer, the cobra was more than a mere pet. She claimed that she loved the snake so much that she cannot live without it. more..

Editorial: Vicious dogs must be tied short

Jan 8 (Island) Saturday’s Wild West style killing at Kelaniya has sent a chill down many a spine. A lone gunman who came riding a motorcycle shot Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) member Hasitha Madawala and fired several rounds into the air before riding away. It was like a scene from a Hollywood blockbuster movie, according to eyewitnesses. The incident came as no surprise. The victim, an outspoken critic of some ruling party bigwigs in the area, belonged to the rebel faction of more..

Canada offers 18,700 dollars as flood relief

Jan 8 (DN) The Canadian govt will provide $ 18, 700 in disaster relief for families affected by floods in two districts in the country. “The Canadian govt is pleased to be able to support Sri Lanka’s disaster relief efforts. These relief items will help families as they try to rebuild their families, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney said. He said these funds will be provided to Caritas Sri Lanka - Social and Economic Development Center. more..

India buoys SL's post-war fishing industry

Jan 8 (KSA) Mohamed Rahim was among thousands of fishermen affected by wartime restrictions on their industry in the waters off Sri Lanka's northern and eastern coastlines. After the Sri Lankan Army finally defeated the LTTE in May 2009, the govt eased constraints on their industry, an important means of livelihood for much of the population living in the country's former war zones. Yet fishermen like Rahim have continued more..

Danger behind the bipartisan agreement on Parliament’s supremacy

Jan 8 (Island) The Rule of Law means that everyone in a society is compelled to abide by the prevailing laws. These laws are interpreted by the courts of law in the light of the supreme law as stated in the Constitution. If anyone refuses to accept the decision of the judiciary, they are punished. If the govt refuses to abide by the decisions of the judiciary the Rule of Law will break down. This is the uncertainty that Sri Lanka faces, now that the highest court of all, more..

Death of former Deputy Minister P R Ratnayaka

Jan 8 (DN) A former MP and a Deputy Minister of the SLFP govt of Sirimavo Bandaranaike during the period between 1970 to 1977, P R Ratnayaka passed away on January 5 at his ancestral home in Kumbalgama, Mawanella after a brief illness. He was 87. P R Ratnayaka came into politics contesting the Mawanella Seat at the 1960 Parliamentary General elections through the SLFP. During his tenure of public service he functioned as chairman of the Aranayaka Village Council in 1951 more..