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CJ lawyers go public with defence

Jan 9 (DM) Lawyers of CJ Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, Attorney-at-Law Saliya Peiris and Sugath Caldera, went public with a detailed defense to the allegations made against her stating that every “dollar and cent” earned by the Chief Justice had been accounted for, as required by the law. Saliya Peiris and Sugath Caldera in a detailed explanation to the public for the first time since the charges were brought against more..

'Special allowances for Sports stars'

Jan 9 (DM) Minister of Sport Mahindananda Aluthgamage, has decided to pay special allowances to highly talented sportsmen and women who are currently selected to the national pool. At present there are 22 national squads under training focusing the forthcoming South Asian Games. The top athletes who are already in the national pool are paying them an allowance. In addition to these allowances, the Ministry of Sports has also made arrangements to support them with and more..

Top chamber urges Rajapakse to intervene in judiciary-legislature dispute

Jan 9 (ST) The Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Industries of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) on Wednesday urged President Mahinda Rajapaksa to intervene in the dispute between the legislature and the judiciary over the impeachment of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. “We are a country that went through the darkest ever period for the last three decades and presently settling down to enjoy the peace dividends. It is extremely important to understand the gravity of the crisis more..

Kilinochchi Tamil woman soldiers enjoys Southern visit

Jan 9 (MoD) Recently joined 103 Army Tamil woman soldiers of Kilinochchi visited the President of Seva Vanitha Army Branch yesterday during a familiarization tour to the South, at Manning Town 'Viru Kekulu' pre-school auditorium. As many of them have not been visited the South previously, the Security Forces Headquarters Kilinochchi made all the arrangements for the excursion. On arrival they were more..

Railway employees call off strike

Jan 9 (CT) The employees of the Department of Railways called off their 48-hour token strike, scheduled to begin yesterday, following the assurance given to them by Secretary to the President, Lalith Weeratunga that a top level discussion will be arranged this week to look into their salary anomalies. However, Convener of the Joint Trade Union Alliance (JTUA) of Railway Employees, Janaka Fernando, said although Weeratunga and several other officials were more..

Sri Lanka team apologizes to Daily Mirror

Jan 9 (DM) Sri Lanka team manager, Charith Senanayake sent an apology to Daily Mirror over the remarks made by Dimuth Karunaratne at the conclusion of Sydney Test. "On behalf of Dimuth, I wish to apologize for the mistake and regret very much if any inconvenience caused to Daily Mirror or any other party" was stated in his statement sent to Daily Mirror, through the media manager of Sri Lanka Cricket. "In respect of Dimuth's comment at the interview, I wish to clarify what more..

Ranjan and AHRC blame govt for Rizana execution

Jan 9 (ST) UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake who was among those campaigning for the release of Rizana Nafeek blamed the govt for failing to prevent the exeuction. He said that if it acted seven years ago and proved that the mistake was on the hands of the people who sent this underage girl she would still be alive. "Rizana has paid for this ordeal with her life which the real culprits who sent her (the fake agency) more..

Govt did everything to save Rizana, Minister Yapa

Jan 9 (ST) A govt minister today expressed sadness at the execution of Sri Lankan housemaid Rizana Nafeek in Saudi Arabia. Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told Parliament that the government had made very attempt to get clemency for the girl but according to the law of Saudi Arabia, she could only be pardoned with the approval of the parents of the infant who dided while Rizana was attending to her. He expressed the government's condolences to the girl’s family. more..

Funeral of PS member under heavy security

Jan 9 (ST) The funeral of slain local council member Hasitha Madawela took place in Kelaniya today with a heavy Special Task Force (STF) guards and amidst chanting of slogans against Minister Mervyn Silva. The nearby kelaniya Police station too was placed under a heavy STF and Police guards in fear that mourners would attack the station, a senior police officer said. The body was initially placed at the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabhawa of which Mr Madawela is a member and more..

'Earth hour 2013' to protect further damadge

Jan 9 (DM) World climate is fast changing, creating a major negative impact on the livelihood of the global community. Though belated, desperate measures are being taken to save the earth from further devastation. If the ‘Earth Hour’ continued for a year uninterrupted the CEB could save Rs. 8 billion, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. The ‘Earth Hour 2013’ was scheduled to take place between 8.30 p.m. and more..

Police, lawyers back scratching gangsters

Jan 10 (NS) While unprecedented gangster crimes in the Southern Province were escalating, President’s coordinating secretary, Kithsiri Ganganath Dissanayaka drew attention of the IGP, N.K. Illangskoon to the lawlessness in the province. Subsequently, newly appointed head of Intelligence Division, STF also briefed Illangakoon about the increasing crimes. IGP office constantly received information about several corrupt Police officers responsible for inactivity against the more..

‘Shaping up’ things for ‘our people’

Jan 10 (DBS) A newspaper quoted the President, speaking at a function of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka, as follows: “I want to say something about today’s situation as well since it was mentioned earlier. People may misunderstand, the Chairman of the National Savings Bank (Pradeep Kariyawasam, husband of the CJ) was appointed by us. We appointed the Chief Justice. There were allegations against the Chairman (NSB) that they bought shares at a higher value. more..

Lanka among world’s best biodiversity hot spots

Jan 10 (SO) Sri Lanka is among the best biodiversity hot spots in the world – one among just 25 spots that still exist on the globe. With this blessing there comes a threat as well. This is a threat that is generated by the unending desires of humans. The desire for the most exotic and rarest is a significant factor for the endangerment of the species. Many people desire to own wild animals as pets and in most cases more..

Kilinochchi’s cottage industry in desperate search for takers

Jan 10 (NS) Kilinochchi’s economic opportunities have been very limited, be it resources or marketing. The war played a major part in shoving people in the backseat in all aspects of development. Even though three years have passed since the last bullet was fired in the history of the conflict, Kilinochchi’s cottage industry continues to lack the necessary platform to market its products both locally and internationally. Kilinochchi’s economy is mostly based on traditional sectors such as more..

Impeachment misadventure and the advent of the spring in Sri Lanka

Jan 10 (GV) The iniquitous ex parte guilty verdict of Sri Lanka’s first female chief justice—which according to the MP Vijitha Herath is an order from above—is not primarily about her alleged misconduct. Rather, it is about the Sri Lankan justice system’s struggle to maintain its ability to deliver natural justice independently and against the constraints of country’s Constitution, which has been evolving since British Colonial period, and also against the legislature which uses more..

Lasantha: Remembering Lassieboy on the fourth anniversary of his death

Jan 10 (DBS) It was on January 8th 2009 that Lasantha Wickrematunga the Editor of “The Sunday Leader” in Colombo was killed by “unknown” assassins. He was my colleague, editor, friend and above all a kindred soul. How I miss him! There is big vacuum in the media scene after his departure. Four years have passed but there has been no progress whatsoever in the investigations into the brutal murder. This was to be expected as more..

Sri Lanka’s LLRC Timeline: Update 1

Jan 10 (GV) In August 2012, Groundviews published a sui generis visual timeline tracing key events and developments around the LLRC, from its inception to the implementation of its action plan, over the next three years. Since its first release around four months ago, we have continued to curate the timeline with relevant information. Just a cursory glance at the LLRC timeline suggests that the Govt is falling very short on actually implementing and delivering the recommendations of more..

Editorial: Watch disaster happen

Jan 10 (Island) In what could be described as a political muscle-flexing, the government in the run-up to the impeachment of Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake passed its Divineguma Bill with a two-thirds majority in Parliament on Tuesday. Others who opposed the bill tooth and nail could muster only 53 votes as opposed to the government’s 160 in a 225-member House. In Parliament or at any other forum, it is numbers that matter where the passage of resolutions is concerned. more..

Will the constitutional logjam be shattered with a political cudgel?

Jan 10 (CT) Hasitha Madawala was shot dead on the night of January 5th, outside his house. His murderers rode a motorcycle, wore hoods, and got away. Mr. Madawala was not a member of the opposition or a Rajapaksa-opponent. Like Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra he was a loyal SLFPer; and a UPFA member of the Kelaniya Pradesheeya Sabha. His grisly fate is a reminder that under Rajapaksa rule, life can be short more..

Has the deputy speaker let the cat out of the bag?

Jan 10 (CT) In a comprehensive interview after the Supreme Court determination that the PSC (that found the CJ guilty) was unconstitutional, the Deputy Speaker who is an Attorney-at-Law asserted on 4th January 2013 that “the government does not wish to see the country descend to anarchy”. He defended the PSC process by stating that “the PSC was only mandated to investigate and report” and “it was not mandated to make a “finding of guilt”. This is tantamount to an assertion that the purported more..

What’s wrong here in this land of Gauthama Buddha ?

Jan 10 (CT) Count seven days more and the more than two months old diatribe on the independence of the judiciary should come to a close with the exit of Shirani Bandaranayake as CJ, not because she is proved wrong or proved at fault, but, because the Rajapaksa regime decides she has to go. Who the next public “servant” to sit on that chair would definitely be as fancied by the Rajapaksas and not on merit. Beneath all that evolving chaos about an independent judiciary, there was this more..

Rupee soars to 9-month high; Treasury Bills yields’ dip persists

Jan 10 (FT) The rupee yesterday rose 0.8% to a nine-month closing high whilst yields on Treasury Bill continued their downward trend, two developments which have reinforced signs of improving macroeconomic fundamentals. The rupee’s rise to 126.20/30 to the US Dollar from Tuesday’s close of 127.20/30 according to Reuters was boosted by inflows into Govt securities and dollar sales by exporters and banks more..

Sri Lanka will be different proposition in ODIs, says Jeewan

Jan 10 (Island) Sri Lanka all-rounder Jeewan Mendis warned Australia that his team will be a completely different proposition when it comes to the shorter formats of the game although they were thrashed 3-0 in the three-match Test series between the countries. Sri Lanka lost all three Tests in Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney with the second Test at MCG ending inside three days, a massive innings and 201-run defeat. The first of five ODIs starts at MCG on Friday. Sri Lanka have an more..

A Selection Blunder cripples Sri Lanka’s Best Opportunity

Jan 10 (Island) When Lanka set out on their three match Test tour of Australia this summer I anticipated losses at Hobart and Melbourne; but had great hopes for the Test match at the SCG because the surface could be conducive to spin. With this end in view and in order to strengthen the batting line-up I would have preferred to see Jeewan Mendis in the original squad instead of one of the medium-pacers. There was, of course, reason behind this decision on the part of the Selection Committee more..

'If SC verdict on Divineguma acceptable, why not on CJ Impeachment'

Jan 10 (Island) If the govt could have accepted the Supreme Court ruling on the Divineguma Bill, it should have no difficulty in conforming to the Court verdict that a proper Parliamentary forum be established by law, before allegations against a judge were inquired into, UNP MP Lakshman Kiriellla said. He said that the UNP had only asked that the legislature’s inquiry procedures be strengthened in keeping with the SC more..

Dayasiri protests fourfold hike in parliament guest meal price

Jan 10 (Island) UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera yesterday said in Parliament that the price of a lunch provided to a single guest of an MP had been increased from Rs 150 to Rs 600. He said the sudden increase in the price was unreasonable and the fourfold hike was impossible to meet. He said that at the time he came to Parliament the price was Rs 10 and it had been gradually increased up to Rs 150. Under the new price, if an MP hosted two guests at the Members’ guest dining more..

Children’s home sex abuse case

Jan 10 (Island) A man who was in-charge of a children’s home close to the Mawathagama town had sexually abused a 13-year-old boy over a period of three months. He was arrested by the police. He was produced before the Magistrate and remanded till yesterday. The suspect was Christopher Fernando (55) of Kuliyapitiya. The child’s mother had told the police that her family faced severe economic hardships and had handed the boy over to the children’s home through a nun. more..

Boston Lanka News: January 10, 2013

Harassed domestics workers return to Lanka

Jan 10 (CT) Nearly fourteen Sri Lankan women who were subjected to numerous harassment while being employed as domestic workers in Saudi Arabia returned to Sri Lanka,Tuesday. They arrived Sri Lanka at about 11.55pm boarding UL 270 flight from Riyadh. The housemaids from Ampara, Kurunegala and Jaffna had been employed for a period of three years in Saudi Arabia where they had to face various physical and mental abuses from their employers. Deputy General Manager more..

Decision on PSC not conveyed to Speaker

Jan 10 (CT) The Court of Appeal decision quashing the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) represented by seven Members of Parliament of the ruling party is yet to be conveyed to the Speaker or the Secretary General of Parliament, Minister of Sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage claimed. Addressing the media at the Mahaweli Centre in Colombo yesterday, he said the certain forces are using the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice to destabilize the govt. more..

Parliament should reject motion to impeach Chief Justice

Jan 10 (ICJ) Members of Parliament should reject the impeachment motion to remove CJ Shirani Bandaranayake, that will be put before Parliament on 10-11 Jan 2013, the ICJ said today. The ICJ call comes after a three-member panel of the Supreme Court, in a decision issued on 1 Jan 2013, ruled that the impeachment procedure in Parliament was not constitutionally valid, finding that such procedures more..

Polls Chief gives parties more time to declare assets

Jan 10 (Island) Commissioner of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya has extended the deadline, for political parties to submit their assets declarations, to January 31 and warned that parties failing to submit the necessary documents would be omitted from the list of recognized political parties for 2013, the Elections Secretariat said. The two main parties that have ruled the country since independence, the UNP and the SLFP, had also failed to submit assets declarations of two party officials, more..

Janaka quits as EDB Chairman

Jan 10 (FT) Janaka Ratnayake has resigned as the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Export Development Board (EDB). His final day was on Tuesday and had told the staff he was resigning on his own accord due to personal reasons. Ratnayake functioned in the post for nearly three years. Ratnayake, as Chairman of Ceylinco Trillium Residencies, was among witnesses summoned by the PSC appointed to probe the charges in connection with the motion to impeach the CJ more..

No response for visit from Navi

Jan 10 (DM) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navaneethan Pillay has yet to respond to the invitation by the Sri Lankan govt to visit Sri Lanka and asses the post-conflict situation, despite the two conditions she set out as a preamble for her visit have already been fulfilled. “When we extended an invitation to her 11 months before the resolution against Sri Lanka, taken up last March, she communicated to us that her visit more..

'New set of media ethics being formulated'

Jan 10 (DN) A new set of media ethics is being formulated and now in the final stage, Mass Media and Information Ministry Secretary Dr Charitha Herath said. He said these ethics which cover all relevant fields are now being edited with the contribution of all stakeholders. He was addressing one day workshop on teledramas and Policy Formation' yesterday. Commenting on teledramas, he observed teledramas contributes to shape the base of thinking in the country, more..

Mervyn stumps his minions

Jan 10 (CT) Minister Mervyn Silva, yesterday revoked all identity cards issued to officials appointed by him to various posts. He has declared that with effect from 9 January 2013, he has revoked all identity cards issued under his orders to coordinating secretaries, advisers, coordinators and political supporters, in the Gampaha District. Accordingly, the minister has requested all who have received such identity cards to return them to his ministry as soon as possible. more..

SLFP paints those opposing impeachment as Tiger supporters

Jan 10 (Island) The SLFP yesterday alleged that those who campaign to protect Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake against being impeached were direct and indirect LTTE supporters. Addressing a special media briefing, Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage alleged that Dr. Bandaranayake’s law firm, Neelakandan and Neelakandan appeared for LTTE suspects when they were produced in Court. more..

Seized African tusks to be released to temples

Jan 10 (DM) The 359 African tusks seized by Customs Central Intelligence Unit on May 22 last year will be released to Buddhist temples on a written request by the presidential secretariat, the Customs said. The valuable tusks will be handed over to Buddhist temples including the Sri Dalada Maligawa. The tusks worth about Rs.400 million were packed into two containers being shipped to Dubai from Kenyan port of Mumbasa. Trade of ivory, tusks and several other animal parts more..

'Govt will not protect wrong doers and impede administration of justice'

Jan 10 (DN) The international community is being made aware about the events that led to the impeachment of CJ Dr Shirani Bandaranayaka, even as the impeachment debate takes place in Parliament today, sources at External Affairs Ministry said. External Affairs Ministry Secretary Karunathilaka Amunugama said, the govt has made its position clear to diplomatic corps in Colombo that it will not protect wrong doers and impede the administration of justice. more..

CJ game for independent, impartial probe

Jan 10 (FT) CJ Shirani Bandaranayake has reiterated that she remains willing to face any independent inquiry constituted according to the law that would investigate the 14 charges of impeachment filed against her, even as Parliament prepares to debate on the motion today. Lawyers for Bandaranayake emphasised that the CJ did not walk out of the PSC proceedings against her because she could not face the inquiry. “This is very clear. She walked out because more..