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'Kelaniya killing could be personal dispute'

Jan 10 (DM) Police said that a personal dispute between Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha member Hasitha Madawala and the five suspects led to his killing as they found out that the suspects are close relatives of a woman who lodged a police complaint few months ago against the Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman and Madawala. The Parliamentary Secretary of Minister Mervyn Silva identified as Sunil is the brother of the woman and the organizer called Rangana is her son. Police also stated that more..

Sri Lanka’s ambassador to Saudi recalled

Jan 10 (CG) The govt has decided to recall the Sri Lankan Ambassador to Saudi Arabia with immediate effect in a mark of protest over the beheading of maid Rizana Nafeek. Nafeek was executed by the Saudi authorities yesterday over allegations she killed a baby in her care. Meanwhile the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka expressed shock and dismay at the failure on the part of the infant’s parents to take responsibility for their action and pardon more..

Dual Citizenship: Denying some the right

Jan 11 (NS) It was a pleasant experience to return to Toronto during Christmas. Some 300,000 Tamils from Sri Lanka, mainly refugees, are contributing to the Canadian economy rather than to Sri Lanka’s. The recent Sri Lankan announcement suggestive of ineligibility for dual citizenship of those who have sought refuge outside, betrays a total failure of our govt, like in all things, to understand the Tamil experience. I grew up in very happy times in Jaffna which ceased with the early 1970s. more..

‘Stick No Bills’ ignored in Kandy

Jan 11 (NS) This week’s article highlights the use of public and private property as billboards and as a medium for expressions of anger frustration and sometimes humor. Walls are built for safety and most often surrounding buildings, for various safety reasons and to prevent trespass. Public buildings are often surrounded by a wall, as are most residences. These days, we very rarely see a house without a parapet wall, or a fence. Some are fairly tall; especially those around schools, more..

Yoghurt, a thriving industry

Jan 11 (SO) Have you heard the story of a young man aged 27, a Diploma holder in Agriculture from the Gannoruwa Agriculture Training Institute, Peradeniya who had given up an executive post in a milk food manufacturing company to become a yoghurt manufacturer? A resident of Kalutara, Simon Subasinghe said he was employed in a milk food manufacturing company for over 5 years as factory manager. more..

A requiem for the rule of law

Jan 11 (DBS) The Court of Appeal, following the interpretation of the Constitution given by the Supreme Court has quashed by way of Certiorari the findings of the PSC. Many are the statements made by members of the Govt as well as by the leader of the purported Opposition, Ranil Wickremesinghe who are possessed of over-inflated egos instead of intelligence, to the effect that Parliament being supreme, no finding or verdict of a Court would apply to it. I have little doubt that more..

Shirani, Dayan and the national reconciliation

Jan 11 (DBS) Earlier this week the Rajapaksa Administration added yet another dubious distinction to its governance records by breaking decades of parliamentary tradition and forcing on the order paper of Parliament the debate and vote on the impeachment motion against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. Traditionally and historically the agenda of parliament, is agreed upon by consensus at the Party leaders meetings. However, on this historic first occasion all the Opposition party more..

A wish for the New Year

Jan 11 (Island) Rajiva Wijesinha has been attracting attention in recent weeks due to his unfortunately rather lonely stand from within government ranks against the impeachment of the Chief Justice. It would have been easy to keep quiet, so he deserves a round of applause. But it is the effort that he has been making to engage with people in the North and East to find out what they need or want to rebuild their lives that is even more important. more..

Sri Lanka look dangerous going into ODIs

Jan 11 (Island) During the Test series, Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford had been regretting the lack of fire power in his fast bowling unit, which wasn’t good enough to challenge Australia, but there will be no such sentiments this time around as fast bowler Lasith Malinga returns to the side after several weeks of Big Bash League (BBL) to spearhead Sri Lanka’s bowing unit in today’s first ODI between the countries here at the MCG. How Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) allowed Malinga to play in a domestic more..

The politics of the decision to kill Lasantha

Jan 11 (CT) Lasantha Wickrematunge, friend and fellow-journalist, was assassinated 4 years ago. To date, his murderers remain unknown. Investigations have been inconclusive. When the former Army Chief, General Sarath Fonseka broke away from the regime, the govt publicly accused him of the Lasantha killing. For instance, the Govt MP Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha* told BBC that the Defence Attaché of the British High Commission in Colombo “gave a note” that accused then Gen Fonseka of more..

Sri Lanka business chambers warn against CJ impeachment

Jan 11 (Island) Leading business chambers in the country have expressed concern over the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice, being debated in Parliament, saying it may lead to constitutional crisis which would not be in the best interest of the economy and business environment. The process to impeach CJ Shirani Bandaranayake was deemed unlawful by the country’s courts. "The Joint Business more..

Mahela salutes Sri Lanka’s adorable fans in Melbourne

Jan 11 (Island) Last year during the World T-20, West Indies captain Darren Sammy compared Sri Lanka’s adoring fans in Kandy to the team’s 12th man. The crowd was behind the team firmly as Sri Lanka marched to the finals in style where they were beaten by West Indies at R. Premadasa Stadium. Outside the country, Melbourne’s huge Sri Lankan population gets behind the team and the Sri Lankan team gets more support here in Melbourne than the Australians themselves. more..

The gathering storm of Sinhalese – Muslim strife

Jan 11 (CT) The Sinhalese-Muslim race riots of 1915 were sparked off by a minor incident but would later snowball in to widespread altercations similarly, what we are seeing now, culmination of what was simmering beneath surface for the last twenty years ,might very well set the stage for yet another bout of racially motivated violence, implications of which would be far worse than what we had gone through for the last 30 years. After the Independence the relations between Muslims more..

SL admits serious medium term BoP issues due to structural reforms

Jan 11 (FT) The Govt has accepted that the country is facing some serious medium term balance of payment issues due to structural weaknesses and is therefore opting for an Extended Fund Facility (EFF) of US$ 1 billion from the IMF. UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva yesterday alleged that the Govt had finally accepted that the country was going through this crisis by going for an EFF from among the various other facilities more..

Overwhelmed: Govt. takes Rs. 43.2bn

Jan 11 (Island) The Rs. 40 billion Treasury bond issue yesterday was upsized with the Public Debt Department of the Central Bank accepting bids amounting to Rs. 43.2 billion on overwhelming demand from foreign investors. "The issue was upsized because we saw huge demand from foreign investors. This is a good start to the year and it shows that foreign investors are interested in Sri Lanka. We saw the numbers coming in the dealing room and the Central Bank was overwhelmed more..

Jaffna International Trade Fair next week

Jan 11 (Island) The Northern most tip of the country, its capital will be set alight for the fourth consecutive year at the end of the Harvest Festival – Thai Pongal – with the commencement of the Jaffna International Trade Fair (JIFT) 2013 on the 18th of January. The exhibition which has risen to a ‘must attend to’ event by the citizens, businessman, traders and entrepreneurs of the North will be held at the iconic Durayappah stadium at the heart of the peninsula. The trade fair which comprises more..

Australia coming to CHOGM, but Canada not

Jan 11 (DM) Despite the Canadian Govt having decided earlier this week to boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Govt Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in Sri Lanka later this year, Australia had reiterated its stance that it would attend. The Australian High Commission in Colombo said that the commitment made by Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Bob Carr, during his recent visit to Sri Lanka confirming Australia’s more..

Over 49,600 vacancies in 55 ministries - WDJ

Jan 11 (DN) Around 49,664 vacancies exist in 55 ministries. The most number of vacancies, 16,896, is at the Economic Development Ministry while there are 10,490 vacancies in the Local Govt Ministry and 2,754 vacancies at the Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry, Minister W D J Seneviratne said. He said arrangements are in place to deploy 2,546 graduates in to the Agrarian Services and Wildlife Ministry, 1,519 to the Agriculture Ministry and 1,247 to the Child Development and more..

Sri Lanka employers group calls for sovereignty of people to be protected

Jan 11 (LBO) The Employers' Federation of Ceylon a grouping of large firms has called for rule of law to be respected ahead of an expected impeachment of the chief justice by parliament which has been declared illegal and unconstitutional by courts. The EFC, an 83 year old body said the sovereignty of the people must be respected. The EFC said the executive, the legislature and judiciary must respect each other in the exercise of its functions. "One attempting to usurp the power of the other more..

Two foreign powers behind destabilization campaign

Jan 11 (DN) The current wave of destabilization of the Courts system and the move to create a rift between the judiciary and the legislature, is being engineered by two foreign powers using their missions in Colombo, the Daily News reliably learns. The two foreign powers have been in direct liaison with Sri Lankan NGO operatives and so-called civil society activists, funding and otherwise assisting their more..

IGP agrees to hunt down quack docs

Jan 11 (Island) IGP N. K. Illangakoon, who held a meeting with the Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) yesterday, has promised that he would launch a country-wide search for more than 40,000 quack doctors. GMOA Media spokesman Dr. Navin de Soysa said that the GMOA Executive Committee met the IGP and requested him to take action to arrest and prosecute medical quacks scattered around the country. He pointed out that the health of the people was at risk as most of the more..

Ten prisoners escape from Court cell

Jan 11 (Island) Ten remand prisoners, who were in a cell at the Avissawella Courts, escaped from custody yesterday morning after assaulting and tying up three prison guards. "The prisoners were able to make good their escape due to the negligence of the prison officials." Minister Chandrasiri Gajaweera said. Prison sources said that there were 13 prisoners, at that time, in the Court premises. The suspects used a metal device and a wooden club to break the padlocks on their cell. more..

Traffic mayhem as two opposing demos clash

Jan 11 (Island) Supporters and opponents of the impeachment against CJ Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake clashed near the Supreme Court Complex in Hulftsdorp yesterday as two protest marches ran into each other. The protest march against the impeachment led by Opposition politicians, including Gen. Sarath Fonseka, ran into the pro–impeachment march at the Mihindu Mawatha roundabout near the Premadasa more..

Britain's Anger As Saudi Arabia Beheads Maid

Jan 11 (Eagle) Britain has condemned Saudi Arabia's beheading of a young Sri Lankan maid as "cruel and inhuman". The Foreign Office minister for the Middle East, Alistair Burt, spoke out as shock and outrage over the execution escalated, with Sri Lanka withdrawing its envoy from the Gulf State. The Saudi government announced on Wednesday that it had carried out the beheading of Rizana Nafeek after finding her guilty of the murder of a baby in her care. She had been accused of more..

Heart surgeries at Karapitiya stop

Jan 11 (CT) The heart surgeries performed at the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital have come to a standstill as a result of shortages in the surgical chemicals and instruments, according to Director of the hospital, Dr. Shelton Perera. Detailing on the shortages, he pointed out that the much-needed surgical chemicals and the instruments are supplied to the hospital by a private supplier and, as a result of delays in settling the payments, a lesser quantity of surgical chemicals than what is normally more..

CJ Impeachment: Govt. willing to discuss SC

Jan 11 (Island) The govt said yesterday that it was willing to discuss last week’s Supreme Court ruling that a Parliamentary Forum be established by law to investigate allegations against Judges, but it would not introduce retrospective legislation. Asked by The Island, if the govt was not willing to implement the SC determination at least in the future, since it was meant to ensure justice and fair play, Minister Rambukwella replied, more..

Another batch of rehabilitated ex-LTTE cadres to be released

Jan 11 (MoD) The Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms has made arrangement to release another batch of former combatants of LTTE to the society. The former cadres have completed the rehabilitation program at the Maradamadu and Poonthottam rehabilitation centers in Vavuniya. The Ministry will release another 313 rehabilitated cadres in Vavuniya on January 13 to coincide with the upcoming Hindu harvest festival of Thai Pongal. The govt has introduced a scheme through more..

Cosmetics and nutra industry seeks extension in new labelling rule

Jan 11 (ST) Sri Lanka’s cosmetics and nutraceuticals industry is appealing to the Govt to extend a new labelling requirement. Nutraceutical, made up of the words ‘nutrition’ and ‘pharmaceutical’, is generally a food supplement that is said to provide health and medical benefits. The extension request was made by the President of the Sri Lanka Cosmetics and Nutraceuticals Traders Association, Ahamed Rheyas. In a letter he has asked the Health Minister for an extension of more..

Millions of rupees go down the drain at Embilipitiya mill

Jan 11 (ST) An Australian-based firm entrusted with reviving a defunct state paper mill at Embilipitiya has abandoned the business without repaying a bank loan facility of over Rs.400 million, officials said. Auslanka Paper Company was the local entity incorporated with Perth Engineering and Maintenance, an Australia based firm, to revive the paper mill at Embilipitiya. Seylan Bank, is now attempting to recover more..

Hakeem expresses remorse over Rizana’s execution

Jan 11 (CT) The Minister of Justice and Leader of SLMC, Rauff Hakeem in a statement today expressed his deep shock and remorse over the news of Rizana Nafeek’s execution in Saudi Arabia. The statement says that President Rajapaksa kept hoping till the 11th hour that there were chances of her being released that were unfortunately shattered. The statement further said he was in touch with Rizana’s parents from Mutur for a long period of time over this issue. more..

No time limit for President to act on PSC findings against CJ - Keheliya

Jan 11 (Island) There was no time limit for President Rajapaksa to act on the PSC report, which found the CJ Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake guilty of misconduct in her official and personal conduct, the govt said yesterday. Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the President, as the appointing authority, had decided to refer the Impeachment Motion against the CJ, which was signed by 117 UPFA MPs, to a PSC inquiry followed by a debate on its findings by the legislature. more..

MFSAC up in arms against privatization of education

Jan 11 (CT) The Medical Faculty Students’ Action Committee (MFSAC) is up in arms against the govt’s plans to continue with the privatization of the education sector without paying due attention to the much-needed welfare measures of students attached to various State universities. The MFSAC has protested against the presence of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) threatens to continue more..

Protect rare fish species

Jan 11 (CT) Environmentalists have urged the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWLC) to take speedy measures to protect the remaining rare species of fish in the country, as the breeding takes place only in few places unlike before. It is learnt that under an alleged plan initiated by the National Aquaculture Development Authority (NAQDA), eight species of rare fish and 13 species of rare water plants are to be propagated and exported. The DWLC is now planning on issuing special more..

Govt is poised to kick out the chief justice

Jan 11 (Economist) Losing the favour of the ruling Rajapaksa family is a cardinal error in Sri Lankan public life. Few in the press, especially not the mealy-mouthed state-run outlets, risk any criticism of the president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, or his powerful brothers. Parliamentary opposition, weak in numbers and leadership, rarely murmurs objections to those in office. Street protests by trade unions, students, religious leaders and Tamil activists are infrequent and usually brief. So it is remarkable to see more..

GL accuses SC of encroaching on powers of Legislature

Jan 11 (Island) External Affairs Minister and professor of law G.L. Peiris in Parliament yesterday strongly criticized the Supreme Court and accused it of encroaching on the powers of Parliament. "The Supreme Court judgment is not worth the paper it is written on," he said in reference to the apex court’s interpretation of the constitutional provisions in respect of the impeachment of CJ Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake. more..

Sri Lanka tension rises over Shirani Bandaranayake impeachment

Jan 11 (BBC) Thousands of Sri Lankan lawyers and opposition supporters have clashed with govt supporters over moves by parliament to dismiss CJ Shirani Bandaranayake. Govt supporters armed with clubs tried to attack the protesters but were stopped by police. The govt accuses the judge of corruption - which she denies. It is expected to win Friday's impeachment vote despite two court rulings that the process is illegal. Ms Bandaranayake's supporters accuse the govt of pursuing an more..

'Chief justice impeachment, lawlessnesss will hurt investment'

Jan 11 (LBO) An illegal impeachment of Chief Justice and the disregard for law by the ruling coalition will discourage investment, an opposition legislator has warned. "Without law how can investors come?" legislator Harsha de Silva from the main opposition UNP, who is also an economist told reporters ahead of an impeachment of Sri Lanka's chief justice. Sri Lanka's parliament in which the ruling coalition has a majority is expected to impeach CJ, Shirani Bandaranayake more..

Impeachment of CJ: Govt. confident of 2/3 majority

Jan 11 (Island) The vote on the impeachment motion against CJ Shirani Bandaranayake is scheduled to be taken today at 6.30 p.m. in Parliament. Sources close to President Rajapaksa said that the govt was confident that the impeachment motion would be passed with a 2/3 majority in spite of dissenting views expressed by some UPFA MPs. The Opposition yesterday decried the impeachment process claiming that more..

Editorial: Clemency denied

Jan 11 (DM) For Sri Lankans, Rizana was more than a mere blurry black and white picture of a girl in a hijab. Having been forced to spend eight years behind bars in an unknown land, for a crime which could when taken out of context of the Saudi Law, be called an accident, she symbolised abject poverty, tragedy and despair. Sri Lanka was under no illusion that rigid Saudi Laws could bend. There were continual assurances given by the diplomatic sources and the state institutions that kept more..

Shut up and put up!

Jan 11 (DM) The impeachment, which will see the replacement of CJ Shirani Bandaranayake by someone more amenable to the state’s interests, has been described as the final nail in the coffin of democracy. So many nails have been hammered into the coffin lid over the years that you wonder if there’s room left for another nail. But the most interesting thing about the whole affair is that the coffin is borne to the graveyard by the people themselves, and they aren’t even in more..