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UNPers in Govt. duty bound to vote against resolution - Tissa

Jan 10 (Island) The TNA said yesterday that it would participate in today’s debate on the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake and vote against it. A TNA spokesperson said that the party, having discussed all matters pertaining to the impeachment process, had decided that it should take part in the two -day deliberation and express its views prior to opposing the findings of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC), which found the CJ guilty of more..

Speaker discloses crisis in school admissions

Jan 10 (Island) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa yesterday disclosed that there was a crisis in Grade One school admissions and instructed Education Deputy Minister Vijith Vijayamuni Zoysa to look into the problem. Speaker said that the problem was prevailing not only in Colombo schools but all over the country. He gave instructions to the Deputy Minister following a reply the latter made, in response to a supplementary question, raised by UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera. more..

Mervyn’s office raided, bombs, weapons found

Jan 10 (Island) A special police team, deployed by the Western Province (North) Crime Division, recovered two swords and a hand grenade from a house adjacent to the SLFP Kelaniya branch office. The Western Province Crimes Division, acting on a tip off, also arrested a woman who was living in the house. The house was located on the same land, where the SLFP Kelaniya office was situated and the area was called Nunnangoda. more..

Bottom falls off appeal court writ: Judges say it 'brought disrepute'

Jan 10 (DN) A majority of Appeal Court judges have written to the President of the Appeal Court Justice S. Sri Skandarajah squarely finding him to be at fault over the writ that was issued in quashing the PSC findings in application number 358/2012, made by the Chief Justice. These judges have stated explicitly in the letter among other things, that the Judiciary cannot issue a writ on Parliament or other committee of Parliament. After making a lengthy critique of the judgement, these judges more..

No change in govt. decision to impeach CJ

Jan 10 (Island) The government will go ahead with the two-day impeachment debate today (10) and tomorrow as planned, as the last attempt made by the Opposition parties to have it postponed failed yesterday. Accordingly, the vote on the impeachment motion will be taken at 6.30 p.m on Friday. Another meeting of party leaders was held yesterday, with Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa presiding, following a written request made by the UNP, DNA and TNA on the matter. more..

Fury in Sri Lanka over Rizana execution

Jan 10 (IBT) Human rights activists have condemned the Saudi Arabian govt for executing a young Sri Lankan housemaid who was convicted of murdering an infant in her care. Rizana Nafeek, a 24-year-old woman, was beheaded by a sword in public near Riyadh, the Saudi capital, on Wednesday, according to the Saudi Ministry of Interior. The murder of the baby occurred in 2005, when Rizana was only 17 years old. more..

Editorial: Paid advertisements and public demonstrations

Jan 10 (DM) The country’s sovereignty is not the personal property of anyone; nor does it solely belong to the government. The regime, though appointed by an overwhelming majority, is a mere guardian of the people’s power and certainly not the owner, the interpreter and the violator of it. When the controversial Divineguma Bill with amendments was passed in Parliament on Tuesday with a majority of 107 votes, people could see that the govt had been all of the above. more..

Mervyn’s merry go round machinations

Jan 10 (DM) In recent years, Mervyn Silva has been synonymous with controversy. There has hardly been a time when he was not making news. This week, he was the focus of attention again following the killing of Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha member Hasitha Madawala who was assassinated by unknown gunmen. Madawala, previously a Silva loyalist who once served as his coordinating secretary was killed when gunmen on a motorcycle sprayed him with bullets outside his home more..

The neo-vigilantes of Sri Lanka

Jan 10 (ST) This title refers to those 117 govt MP’s who submitted a petition to the Speaker demanding the impeachment of the Chief Justice. The word ‘valiant ‘is used deliberately; this is the first occasion when govt MP’s have dared move even an inch, leave aside take such a drastic step as they’ve done, without as much as a nod from the all-powerful Boss, leaving aside any encouragement or definite order from him to more..

Post-war bloom: Sri Lanka's back

Jan 10 (Stuff) A little more than three years ago, Sri Lanka was a basket case, and had been for more than a quarter of a century, as civil war ravaged the country. Sri Lankan-born novelist Michael Ondaatje, in his book Anil's Ghost, put it succinctly when he wrote: "There had been continual emergency from 1983 onwards, racial attacks and political killings. The terrorism of the separatist guerrilla groups, who were fighting for more..

Trinco killings: Calls for accountability seven years on

Jan 10 (SL) Exactly seven years ago as of last Wednesday, five young boys had gathered for a chat in Trincomalee close to the beach. A grenade was lobbed towards the area where the students were seated and the ensuing explosion injured several people. The five young boys, who were among those injured, were later found dead with gunshot wounds. The incident sent shockwaves not only in Trincomalee, but around the country. more..

President graces 'Ranaviru Abiman' ceremony

Jan 10 (MoD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa graced the 'Ranaviru Abiman' ceremony, the national conference of the Ranaviru Sansada officers as the chief guest at Temple Trees today(9). Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rayapaksa and chairperson of the MOD Seva Vanitha Unit Mrs. Ioma Rajapaksa were also present at the occasion. Commendable work done by the officials of the Ranaviru Sansada was more..

'SL sovereigns will underperform in 2013'

Jan 10 (DM) The emerging high-beta sovereigns of Sri Lanka are expected to underperform over the next 6-12 months, said a leading global banking group, while maintaining a ‘stable’ outlook on most Asian sovereigns, adding that ‘positive’ rating momentum however has largely subsided. “We maintain a cautious view on these sovereigns and recommend an ‘Underweight’ position in them, as we expect the more..

Sri Lanka deplores Saudi execution of maid

Jan 10 (ABC) Sri Lanka's parliament has held a minute's silence in honour of Rizana Nafeek a domestic worker who was executed in Saudi Arabia on charges of killing a baby in her care in 2005. Ms Nafeek, who was 17 years old at that time, had denied killing the child. Sri Lanka's envoy to Australia, Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, has told Radio Australia's Connect Asia program his govt deplores the Saudi decision to carry out more..

JVP to protest outside parliament during the debate

Jan 10 (Island) The JVP would not attend the parliamentary debate on the Impeachment resolution against Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake today and tomorrow, the party said. JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that they would lead a protest outside the parliament against the impeachment instead. "We did not accept the impeachment since the beginning and the courts also decided it was illegal," he said adding more..

Sri Lanka EDEX exhibition to showcase career paths

Jan 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka's EDEX 2013 exposition will showcase career and further education opportunities for school leavers with over 350 employers and educational institutes exhibiting, officials said. The exhibition will be held from18 to 20 January in Colombo 25 to 26 January in Kandy. The exhibition will have over 200 foreign universities from 21 countries participating either directly or through local representatives, more..

Coloured rains put SL on NASA radar screen

Jan 10 (Island) An Astrobiologist of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of America, Prof. Richard B. Hoover, has volunteered to conduct experiments regarding the coloured rains experienced in several parts of the country recently. MRI Director General Dr. Anil Samaranayaka said that Prof. Richard B. Hoover had informed Prof. Chandra Wickramasinghe in writing of his wiliness to more..

'Traitors opposed the Divi Neguma Bill'

Jan 10 (GDI) Minister Basil Rajapaksa described the passing of the Divi Neguma Bill by a majority of 117 votes in Parliament a great victory achieved in this decade by the progressive people of this country. He said that nation owes its gratitude to everyone who campaigned for this Bill since it aimed at making Sri Lanka a nation sans poverty. The Minister said this when nearly 3,000 Samurdhi Officers and employees accorded more..

Justice Minister backs intake of Muslim students

Jan 10 (FT) Eliminating doubts about the transparency of this year’s Sri Lanka Law College entrance exam and justifying the intake of 78 Muslim students who were “selected on merit basis,” Minister of Justice Rauf Hakeem delivered a ministerial statement yesterday in Parliament to defuse the tension building up between Council of Legal Education and “civil organisations, student movements, and a certain political party,” which he did not name. According to Minister Hakeem, more..

The idea of parliamentary supremacy is as much colonial as it is obsolete

Jan 10 (CT) The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) welcomes the judgment of the Court of Appeal quashing the decision of the majority of members of the Select Committee of Parliament delivered on 7th January 2011, and the determination of the Supreme Court issued last week in respect of the question of constitutional interpretation referred to it by the Court of Appeal. The determination of the Supreme Court held that the investigation and proof of charges more..

The darkest hour on Hulftsdorp Hill

Jan 10 (FT) The Lagoon’s Edge holiday bungalow has a unique selling point no other resort location in the island can match. Tourists can spend Rs. 15,000 to spend a luxurious night on the banks of the lagoon in which one of the world’s most ruthless terrorist leaders were killed by Sri Lankan armed forces. Nandikadal, a place that will forever be synonymous with the defeat of the LTTE after 30 years of civil war ravaged this more..

Editorial: Judiciary in quagmire

Jan 10 (CT) President of the Court of Appeal, Justice S. Sriskandarajah and another judge of the Court of Appeal, Justice Anil Gunasekera, have complained to the police, claiming that they have received threatening telephone calls, on the day prior to their judgment on the report of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) appointed to probe allegations against the Chief Justice. The judicial system in Sri Lanka is currently going through turbulent times. more..

SLT dialing for a ‘Sri Lankan’ CEO

Jan 10 (FT) Putting a stop to the routine of having a foreigner as the CEO at Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) since 1998, Govt is in search of a suitable local to hold this top position from February, Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya told Parliament. He said with the current CEO Greg Young, an Australian national who was employed since February 2009 for an annual emolument package exceeding US$400,000, in addition to the monthly allowance of US$4,000 ending his tenure in January 2013 more..

Will a crowd show up for weaker Australia?

Jan 10 (CI) Once upon a time, the one-day international tri-series was a highlight of Australia's cricket summer. You need only catch a World Series Classics replay on Fox Sports to be reminded that the stands were usually heaving with scantily-clad men and women, kids holding home-made banners, and if it's a match from the early 1980s, terry-towelling hats. Tony Greig and Bill Lawry would be calling the action with such fervour that more..

JVP asks for day-long debate on Hakeem’s statement

Jan 10 (Island) JVP MP Anura Dissanayaka yesterday requested Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa to allow a day-long debate, in Parliament, on the statement made by Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem with regards to the controversy that has arisen in connection with the entrance examination held to enroll students to the Law College. The JVP MP said that there was the danger of the issue escalating to a level that could cause ethnic and racial tensions among the various groups more..

President Rajapaksa meets delegation from the autonomous province of Bolzano

Jan 10 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa welcomed the President of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano Dr. Luis Durnwalder at Temple Trees Wednesday evening. President Durnwalder and a delegation from the Province were on a week-long visit to Sri Lanka on the invitation of Speaker of Parliament Chamal Rajapaksa. Bolzano currently funds two projects in Sri Lanka: A tsunami housing scheme in Panadura and a development project at Meegaswewa in Medirigiriya. more..

SL v AUS 1st ODI: Sri Lanka seek one-day redemption

Jan 10 (CI) The great mystery of Sri Lankan cricket is how they can be so disappointing in Tests and yet so impressive in the shorter formats. In part it comes down to personnel, for bowlers like Lasith Malinga and Ajantha Mendis are not in the Test setup but are consistently dangerous in limited-overs matches. Part of it must also be a down to attitude: at times during the Test series, the Sri Lankans clearly lacked the kind of patience more..

Australian experience invaluable for Sri Lanka's young

Jan 10 (CI) In choosing their squad for the start of this series, Australia's selectors made no attempt to hide the fact that they were starting to plan for the 2015 World Cup. Sri Lanka might not have trumpeted it, but they too are looking ahead to that tournament. They have been for some time. While they haven't rested veterans and other key players for this series - Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Rangana Herath are all in their mid-30s - they have ensured there is plenty of youth more..

Alagaratnam quits BASL presidency race

Jan 10 (Island) President’s Counsel Geoffrey Alagaratna, yesterday quit the forthcoming election for the Office Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) president. Alagaratnam said that he wouldn’t want to cause a split in the vote at the February 20, 2013 elections. Having consulted friends and associates, Alagaratnam recently declared his intention to contest the top post due to incumbent president Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, PC, deciding against serving a second year. more..

Uthayan newspapers burnt

Jan 10 (OU) Udayan newspaper delivery employee was attacked by unidentified persons today morning at 5.30 a.m at Maalu junction locality and his motorbike along with the newspapers was scorched. The incident occurred while he took the newspapers from the “Udayan” print media office today morning was assaulted at Maalu junction by four unidentified persons riding in two motorbikes. They had severely beaten him with poles. more..

French Ambassador visited Jaffna

Jan 10 (OU) Military is interfering in civil administration activities in the Jaffna peninsula. Similar to civil officials, military are engaged in collecting information, which I observed during my journey to Jaffna peninsula in the coastal line areas was said by French Ambassador Christine Robin. She queried from Jaffna Additional Govt Agent when she met her, why military is interfering in civil administration? French Ambassador visited Jaffna district yesterday, had discussions with more..

Lessons from failure to save Rizana Nafeek

Jan 10 (AHRC) From the day on which Rizana was arrested on a false charge of murder to the day of her execution, seven years elapsed. During this time, if proper diplomatic effort was made with the required seriousness, the life of this young girl could have been saved. The following are some of the reasons for the failure on the part of the Sri Lankan govt to get this girl released. Under the present Executive Presidential system, there is no effective chain of command has to take responsibility more..

Sri Lanka one of the biggest challenges faced by the UN

Jan 10 (CG) Sri Lanka has been one of the biggest challenges faced by the UN, Vijay Nambiar, the former Chef de Cabinet to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. Nambiar currently serves as Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Adviser on Myanmar, a role he has held since 2010. The veteran Indian diplomat served as Chef de Cabinet to the Secretary-General from 2007-2012. Nambiar says the way in which the UN has more..

Sri Lanka issues fresh ‘Landslide Warning’ for several districts

Jan 10 (N360) Sri Lanka’s National Building Research Organization says more landslides, rock falls, subsidence and cut slope failures could occur in the districts of Kandy, Nuwara-Eliya, Matale and Badulla, if the prevailing bad weather condition continues. The warning issued at 11.00 am today, will be applicable for the next 24 hours. NBRO says, in the Kandy district, areas such as Medadumbara, Patha Hewaheta and Gangawata korale isfacing the threat of landslides, while in the Badulla more..

Stir over Kamal Hassan, Prabakaran pic

Jan 10 (CG) A picture showing Indian Tamil actor Kamal Hassan shaking hands with slain LTTE leader V Prabakaran has created a stir in Tamil Nadu. The picture has been included in posters pasted in parts of Trichi on Kamal Hassan’s new movie Vishvaruban. The poster also calls the popular Indian actor a fighter in the arts world. Vishwaroopam is a Tamil-Hindi bilingual Indian spy thriller film written, directed and co-produced by Kamal Haasan that features himself in the more..

EU expresses shock over execution

Jan 10 (DM) The European Union expressed dismay that Saudi Arabia had beheaded a young Sri Lankan domestic helper convicted of murdering her employer's baby, despite repeated appeals for a stay of execution. She was a Muslim. “I am deeply dismayed by the information that Sri Lankan national Ms Rizana Nafeek was executed," EU foreign affairs head Catherine Ashton said in a statement. “On numerous occasions, the more..

'Saudi King was willing to pay blood money for Rizana'

Jan 10 (GDI) On the request of Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the King of Saudi Arabia made every effort to save the life of Riza Nafeek and the Saudi Arabian King was even prepared to pay 3 million Saudi Riyals as blood money to the parents of the dead child without causing any cost to Sri Lanka. However, the parents of the dead child were not willing to accept the blood money and as per the Shariah Laws that is the prevailing Laws in Saudi Arabia Rizana had been executed. more..

Sri Lankan gov't under fire for driving away foreign investment

Jan. 10 (Xinhua) The UNP on Thursday warned the govt that its impeachment of the chief justice would have deep economic repercussions in driving away investors, an official said. UNP MP Harsha de Silva told the media that no large-scale investor would show interest in the country which has no law and order. He warned this would result in selecting investors with no credibility coming through internal political contacts and acting against the best interests of the country. more..

Family seeks body of Sri Lanka maid beheaded in Saudi Arabia

Jan 10 (AFP) Distraught family members of a Sri Lankan maid beheaded in Saudi Arabia have asked for her remains to be flown home, a family friend said Thursday, amid growing anger at the execution. The family of Rizana Nafeek was in shock after hearing of Wednesday's beheading and was pleading with the authorities to bring back her body, said the friend, Abdul Jihad, in the eastern village of Muttur. "The family more..

Pro-govt mob attacks offices of Sri Lanka lawyers

Jan 10 (AP) A pro-govt mob armed with clubs attacked lawyers' offices and bystanders near Sri Lanka's main court complex on Thursday after being stopped by police from confronting protesters demanding the govt halt efforts to impeach the chief justice. Lawyers, opposition politicians and activists began the protest hours before Parliament was to debate a report that found Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake guilty of possession of unexplained wealth and misuse of power. more..