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'Deyata Kirula a catalyst in development drive'

Jan 9 (DN) Deyata Kirula national development drive will create a strong platform for overall development of the country through an attitudinal change, Minister and Deyata Kirula exhibition committee chairman Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said. The minister was addressing a media conference yesterday. He said the Deyata Kirula exhibition is a gateway for rapid development since the major focus is on the overall development of the district, which have been selected for the exhibition. more..

Heavy rains, gale force winds continue to cause misery

Jan 9 (Island) The death toll, due to the heavy rains and gale force winds that affected several districts, had risen to 45 by yesterday afternoon, while eight were reported missing. Two deaths, due to drowning, were reported from Pundaluoya and Haliela yesterday. Meanwhile, the Meteorology Department warned that the showers would occur at times in the Northerm, Eastern, North-Central, North-Western and Central provinces today and more..

Editorial: In Sri Lanka, an unsolved murder

Jan 9 (Hindu) It was exactly four years ago that Lasantha Wickrematunge was murdered. The editor of The Sunday Leader, a Sri Lankan weekly that was fiercely critical of the Rajapaksa regime, was driving to work through the suburbs of Colombo when he was shot dead by an unidentified gunman. Four years down the line, no one has been convicted for Lasantha’s murder. All the suspects have been set free. (Seventeen soldiers, including seven attached to an army intelligence unit, more..

Halt execution of Sri Lankan migrant worker

Jan 9 (HRW) Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah and the interior ministry should halt the execution of Rizana Nafeek, a Sri Lankan domestic worker convicted of killing a baby in her care in 2005 when she was 17. According to Sri Lankan govt sources, Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry under Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdul Aziz has issued instructions for Nafeek’s execution. Under the system of qisas (retaliation) that governs murder cases in Saudi Arabia, the baby’s parents may more..

Kelaniya killing: Mervyn’s secy, two aides among five arrested

Jan 9 (Island) The CID, probing killing of Kelaniya PS member Hasitha Madawela, arrested five suspects, including the alleged assassin, yesterday. The police identified the gunman as an aide to Minister Mervyn Silva. Among the suspects arrested were Minister Silva’s parliamentary affairs secretary and a coordinating officer. The alleged assassin and the parliamentary affairs secretary were close relatives. more..

Special programme to computerize patient data launched

Jan 9 (DN) The Health Ministry has commenced a special programme to computerize data of patients who seek treatment at state hospitals. The main objective of this programme is providing a better and accurate health care system for the public, a Health Ministry spokesman said. The National Programme of Computerizing Citizen Health Reports costing Rs 10 million was launched as a pilot project at the Avissawella Base Hospital recently. "This new system will provide information to more..

Ranil raises privilege issue in Parliament against Daily FT

Jan 9 (FT) Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe raised a privilege issue against the Daily FT and The Hindu yesterday in Parliament. According to Wickremasinghe, the first article appeared in The Hindu on 2 Jan, ‘UNP to boycott court hearing on Sri Lankan’s CJ’s impeachment’. The second article was carried by the Daily FT on 3 Jan, ‘Ranil bans UNP committee members from appearing in courts,’ which he claims “untrue and is in relation of the powers of Parliament”. more..

Divi Neguma Bill dives through Diyawanna Oya!

Jan 9 (FT) The controversial Divi Neguma Bill, which was debated in Parliament previously and contested in the Supreme Court, was passed by the House following amendments. The Bill following its second reading won 117 majority votes, with 159 votes in support with the SLMC also siding with the Govt and 42 against with the UNP, TNA, and DNA MPs opposing during the poll held after the Adjournment Debate. Moving yesterday’s more..

Standing Orders are also law - Yapa

Jan 9 (DN) Maintaining peace and stability in the country should be the main concern of all, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. He said the country’s future generation would suffer in the absence of peace and stability. “Sri Lanka is a democratic country. Anybody can attain power by facing elections. For those who attempt to grab power through other means, I would like to tell them not to daydream. That won’t happen,” he said. Yapa said the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary more..

Turkish Airlines to fly to Sri Lanka from Feb 1

Jan 9 (RO) Turkish Airlines plans to extend existing 5 weekly Istanbul – Male service to Colombo starting Feb 1, 2013. Reservation for Istanbul departure opened at 0745GMT, Colombo departure opened 15 minutes later. From March 31, 2013, operation will be reduced to 4 weekly, however it’ll be operated by A340-300 instead of A330-200. As a result of the service extension, operational schedule on Istanbul – Male is being revised, and TK has local traffic rights on Male – Colombo sector.

CJ issue: Opp.demands urgent party leaders’ meeting

Jan 9 (Island) The joint opposition yesterday called for an urgent meeting of party leaders to discuss the crisis that has arisen as a result of the govt announcing that it will go ahead with the parliamentary debate on the impeachment resolution against CJ Dr. Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, despite last week’s Supreme Court ruling on the interpretation of Article 107(3) of the Constitution. Parliament is scheduled to debate the more..

United Bhikku Front distances itself from Ex-CJ Sarath Silva

Jan 9 (Island) United Bhikku Front (UBF) National Organizer Ven. Ulapane Sumangala thero yesterday said that they would not have anything to do with former Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva in the future. He said that in the wake of Silva throwing his weight behind ongoing efforts to impeach Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, the UBF decided to distance itself from any political movement involving Silva. The thero alleged that Silva had switched allegiance to the govt more..

Treasury makes Rs 332 mn supplementary allocation to President

Jan 9 (Island) The Treasury had allocated Rs. 332 million to the office of the President last September, as a supplementary allocation to "coordinate the programmes to maintain the international image of Sri Lanka," according to documents submitted to Parliament yesterday. The money is part of the supplementary allocations made from the Budgetary Support Services and Contingency Liabilities Project of the Department of National Budget for September and October, 2012. more..

'No force can deprive people of their sovereign rights'

Jan 9 (DN) The people are committed to protect Govt representatives when they discharge their duties and responsibilities by the people properly, said President Rajapaksa yesterday. He added that no force can deprive the people of their sovriegn rights nor can it be taken from them. The President added that various insidious forces are busy planning to overthrow the UPFA govt which always gives prominence to more..

Editorial: Sri Lanka faces its moment of truth

Jan 9 (DM) This week will probably be a week of destiny for Sri Lanka when we face the moment of truth and what our leaders and we do or do not do could reshape Sri Lanka’s history. Our country – devastated by a thirty-year war, two insurrections and racial riots – is facing its gravest constitutional, legal and political crisis with democracy itself at stake. It is no longer a case of personalities, personal conflicts or power struggles, but a tsunami that is threatening the foundations of more..

Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam: A fighter in the forefront

Jan 9 (DM) Arunachalam was the youngest son of the three sons of Gate Mudaliyar, A. Ponnambalam. He was born in Colombo on 14th September 1853 and departed this life on 9th January 1924. The grateful people of Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) remembered him well by erecting his Statue in the grounds of old Parliament premises. It is inscribed therein “Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam Scholar, Statesman, Administrator, Patriot, erected by a Grateful People in testimony of a life nobly more..

In search of justice: The story of the people of Kepapilavu

Jan 9 (ST) The life and times of the people of Kepapilavu should make for a study in endless suffering. After witnessing the war at its cruellest, experiencing multiple displacements and spending the longest interval of time confined in Menik Farm, one would expect that life can hardly get any worse. Yet, their present situation is darker than their past, and the future is a landscape of uncertainty. The story of the people of Kepapilavu reminds more..

CEB fails to stop payment of Rs. 793 million to controversial coal supplier

Jan 9 (SL) The controversial supply of 85,000 MT of Indonesian steam coal for the Norochcholai Power plant has taken a dramatic new twist – keeping those in the industry highly amused at the latest antics but nevertheless shocked at the audacity of the attempt to hoodwink those concerned. We can exclusively reveal that the People’s Bank has steadfastly refused to withhold payment of Rs. 793 million from the supplier more..

Sri Lanka Australia hospitality school starts

Jan 9 (LBO) A Sri Lanka-Australia joint venture hospitality sector training school ready to begin teaching its first intake of students at a 320 million rupee purpose built facility, officials said. The Colombo Academy of Hospitality Management (CAHM) was set up by the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) and Australia's William Angliss Institute, a specialist hospitality sector training school. The school located in more..

More Australian cows arrive despite deaths

Jan 9 (Island) Despite a number of cows and their calves, in the first batch of 500 imported from Australia, dying, a second batch of 1,500 Australian milking heifers will reach Sri Lanka today to increase the milk production in the country. The project was launched under the patronage of Minister Arumugan Thondaman in order to overcome the shortage of quality breeding cattle and to produce more milk to achieve self reliance more..

Law College registrations put off by one week

Jan 9 (Island) The Law College yesterday postponed registration of the new batch of entrants by a week, acceding to a request by the Bodu Bala Sena organization. Hundreds of Buddhist monks gathered opposite the Law College and forced its principal to postpone the registration. Dr. W. D. Rodrigo, Principal of the College, said that Buddhist monks of the Bodu Bala Sena organization protested opposite the college last more..

High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam visits the state of Chhattisgarh

Jan 9 (AT) During an official visit to the state of Chhattisgarh, High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam called on the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Dr Raman Singh, at Mahanandi Bhawan, the new Secretariat building of the new capital, Naya Raipur, on 4th January 2013. The High Commissioner met the Minister of Tourism & Culture Brij Mohan Agrawal and other senior officials as well. High Commissioner more..

'Sri Lanka has made more gains post-conflict than Northern Ireland'

Jan 9 (IL) Northern Ireland MP for North Antrim from Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Ian Paisley Jr said that Sri Lanka has made more measurable gains post-conflict than Northern Ireland. That is what he has seen on the ground, and British politicians should recognise it and stop the suffocation of a country by its past and help Sri Lanka to move forward to a better future. He made these strong comments with passion at more..

Divi Neguma concentrating enormous power in one person worries Sajith

Jan 9 (Island) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa told Parliament that the Divi Neguma Bill, if enacted, would concentrate enormous powers around a single minister, which would violate the democratic rights of people. Participating in the Divi Neguma Bill second reading stage debate, the MP said that he was happy that Samurdhi animators would get permanent positions under the provisions of the Bill being debated. more..

One-day specialists boost Sri Lanka

Jan 9 (CI) One of Sri Lanka's biggest frustrations during the Test series was their inability to call up Lasith Malinga to spearhead the attack, despite him already being in Australia, and in wicket-taking form. The possibility of a Malinga Test comeback was floated repeatedly, but team management maintained he was not fit enough for five-day cricket, though at times, they were hopeful he might eventually return in whites. more..

Sri Lanka to offer dual citizenship this year

Jan 9 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is to offer dual citizenship for Sri Lankan expatriates from this year, a statement by the PMU said. It said that the Immigration and Emigration Department will now restart processing dual citizenship applications from expatriate Sri Lankans under new regulations. Sri Lanka last year suspended processing dual citizenship applications in order to outline the new conditions. more..

Editorial: A January that demands justice for messengers

Jan 9 (CT) It has been said, that a great writer is similar to a second govt in his country, and for that reason, no regime has ever loved great writers– only minor ones. Four years ago, on 8 January, the radical editor of The Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickrematunga was murdered in broad daylight, just a few hundred metres away from his newspaper office situated in a high security zone, in close proximity to the Ratmalana airbase. Yesterday marked his fourth death anniversary. more..

Un-truths and distortions about the impeachment process

Jan 9 (CT) The campaign justifying the impeachment of the CJ is forging ahead regardless with enhanced vigour even after Supreme Court has pronounced through the Court of Appeal that “it is mandatory under article 107(3) of the Constitution for the Parliament provide by law the matters relating to the forum before which the allegations are to be proved, the mode of proof, burden of proof and the standard of proof of any alleged misbehaviour or incapacity and the judge’s right to appear more..

Maid Rizana Nafeek executed in Saudi Arabia

Jan 9 (E24|7) Rizana Nafeek, a Sri Lankan domestic worker convicted of killing a baby in her care in 2005 when she was 17, has been executed, according to the External Affairs Ministry in Colombo. It was earlier reported that the Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry under Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdul Aziz has issued instructions for Nafeek’s execution. The Saudi Arabian govt has gone ahead with her more..

Did Jaffna university academy activities turned to normal?

Jan 9 (OU) Even though Jaffna university academic activities have commenced from yesterday, the university was isolated because students did not turn up. It was notified that the Jaffna university academic sessions after 40 days will commence from today Tuesday. However this decision was taken on Monday, hence students from outside districts due to inadequate time period, failed to report to university, hence the students turn up was less was stated by university information. more..

Kerala police detains 51 Sri Lankan refugees bound for Australia

Jan 9 (PTI) Kerala police have arrested 51 Sri Lankan refugees belonging to different refugee camps in Tamil Nadu, when they allegedly tried to escape to Australia through illegal ferry. All the arrested refugees were handed over to the ‘Q’ Branch police at Theni district on Tuesday. Following a tip-off that a group of over 50 Sri Lankan refugees were staying at a lodge in Thekkady Kerala police rushed to the spot. During enquiries the refugees had told cops that they had come to more..

Lawyers to strike as impeachment debate begins in parliament

Jan 9 (Xinhua) Lawyers in Sri Lanka will strike for two days as a protest against the govt's motion to impeach the chief justice, the umbrella organization said in a statement. The strike will take place on Thursday and Friday, which are the two days when parliament will debate the impeachment motion, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) said. "BASL strongly, unequivocally and with no reservations whatsoever condemns more..

Malinga 'in the form of his life' - Hussey

Jan 9 (CI) David Hussey has described his Melbourne Stars team-mate and soon-to-be ODI opponent Lasith Malinga as "in the form of his life" and believes the ability of Australia's batsmen to handle Malinga's three variations will be critical when the one-day series begins on Friday. Malinga is the equal leading wicket taker in the Big Bash League this summer and his presence in Sri Lanka's team makes them a much more daunting outfit than they were during the Tests. more..

FUTA backs CJ

Jan 9 (CT) The Federation of University Teachers' Associations (FUTA), while challenging the impeachment motion against Chief Justice, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, pledged to fight for the independence of the Judiciary. FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri said the Judiciary is facing a crisis situation. He said the Bench and the Bar failed to safeguard constitutional principles in the recent past. "This is not a question about Parliament being supreme, or the Judiciary being supreme. more..

Govt condemns, Parliament mourns Rizana’s death

Jan 9 (CG) Parliament today mourned and the govt, including President Mahinda Rajapaksa deplored the execution of Sri Lankan housemaid Rizana Nafeek in Saudi Arabia. A statement by the External Affairs Ministry said that President Rajapaksa and the Govt of Sri Lanka deplore the execution of Rizana Nafeek despite all efforts at the highest level of the govt and the outcry of the people locally and internationally over more..

'Hardy' to be upgraded to an Engineering University

Jan 9 (CT) Hardy Advanced Technological Institute in the Ampara District would be upgraded to an Engineering University following this year's Deyata Kirula Exhibition in the district according to Secretary of Telecommunications and Information, H.M.Gunasekara. Elaborating on the forthcoming Deyata Kirula exhibition, he said that though earth tremors were experienced recently in the Ampara district in recent days, adequate safety measures will be in place to ensure the success more..

Pepper racket busted in Pettah

Jan 9 (Island) Over five hundred kilos of pepper were seized, by Food and Public Health Inspectors of the Colombo Central MOH office, from wholesale traders at Dam Street in the Pettah. Food Inspector Lal Kumara said yesterday that the pepper had been drained of its oil and only the refuse was being sold at wholesale shops to mill owners and retail shops which pound and mix it with better quality pepper powder. Kumara said that it had been revealed that the oil was drained out by a company in more..

Foreign chefs strike gold in remote pubs

Jan 9 (TA) FOR Sri Lankan chef Don Prasanga, the most difficult part of the move from a seven-star resort restaurant in the Middle East to a north Queensland pub kitchen has been mastering rissoles and onion gravy. Now that he's perfected the dish, Prasanga's take on the traditional counter meal has become the talk of Charters Towers, the historic goldmining town 135km west of Townsville. The 40-year-old is one of three Sri Lankan more..

Sri Lankans slow to respond to UAE amnesty offer, officials say

Jan 9 (TN) About 500 emergency certificates have been issued by the Sri Lankan consulate in Dubai, mostly for women working illegally as domestic help or cleaners in the country. Officials at the mission said they have been issuing about 30 certificates a day since the amnesty for illegal workers was declared. They expect this number to double before the amnesty deadline in 27 days. "We expected more people to come," said Abdul Raheem, Sri Lankan consul general yesterday. more..

Certificates for students participanting in Independence Day celebrations

Jan 9 (Island) School Children participating in the Independence Day celebrations, organized by the Kandy District Secretariat and other State organizations, would receive certificates of participation. This recognition would attract school children to attend Independence Day activities, said Kandy District Secretary (GA) H. M. Gamini Seneviratne on Monday. He said schools play an important role in the annual National Independence Day celebrations at district level, more..