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The real Hulftsdorf coup which heralds the jungle

Jan 12 (CT) The real ‘Hulftsdorf Coup’, plotted and unleashed by the Rajapaksa Brothers, is nearing its appointed end. The parliament will ‘debate’ the PSC Report on the 10th and the 11th (once again Ranil Wickremesinghe provided the Rajapaksas with a desperately needed fig-leaf by opting to participate in this charade). The UPFA majority will vote to impeach the Chief Justice on 11th evening. The President will ‘sack’ the CJ and appoint a ‘new CJ’ (or an ‘Acting CJ’) over the weekend. more..

A legal primer: The impeachment of the Chief Justice

Jan 12 (GV) Groundviews interviewed Luwie Ganeshathasan, a Researcher in the Legal and Constitutional Unit of the CPA, on several key issues arising from the impeachment proceedings against the current Chief Justice, Shirani Bandaranayake. Q: Is there provision in the constitution to impeach the CJ? A: Yes. The Constitution in Article 107 provides for the impeachment of not only the Chief Justice, but any judge of the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal. Q: Has it happened in the past, more..

Rizana Nafeek: Sorrowful story of the maid from Moothoor

Jan 12 (DBS) When news of the loss of a loved one is heard ,it is the practice of many Muslims to console each other by repeating part of a verse from the Holy Quran “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un” meaning “Surely we belong to God and to Him shall we return”. The phrase is commonly translated as “Verily we belong to God, and to God we return.” Abu Musa Abd –Allah ibn Qays al-Ashari better known as Abu Musa al-Ashari, more..

Nerve to make Kelaniya the Crime Capital of Sri Lanka

Jan 12 (Island) "Upan da sita karapu pavu netha, Varak vandoth Kelaniyey" (All one’s sins from birth will be no more, if once one worships at Kelaniya). This Sinhala adage among Buddhists is an indication of the sanctity of Kelaniya, where tradition holds was blessed by a visit of the Buddha. It is the hope of all Buddhists in this country to come in pilgrimage to the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara at least once in a lifetime. The presence of the Raja Maha Vihara gives Kelaniya a very special place more..

Editorial: Battle ends; trouble begins

Jan 12 (Island) Parliament yesterday passed the impeachment motion against Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake with a two-thirds majority and her fate now rests in the hands of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He has the discretion to decide what to do or what not to do next. The Communist Party of Sri Lanka, one of the UPFA constituents and MP Rajiva Wijesinha struck a discordant note; they abstained from voting. It is being argued in some quarters that though the impeachment more..

Save our Nation!

Jan 12 (Island) Sri Lanka faces a period of unprecedented crisis, if the President does not act wisely over the attempted impeachment of the Chief Justice. It will be a crisis that we have brought upon ourselves quite unnecessarily. An attempt to impeach and remove the Chief Justice is a very serious step that should not be undertaken without careful thought. The fourteen purported ‘charges’ against the Chief Justice did not more..

Dominik Utzinger to coach Sri Lanka Davis Cup team

Jan 12 (Island) Former ATP and Davis Cup player for Switzerland, Dominik Utzinger, 49, will visit Sri Lanka next week to train this year’s Sri Lanka Davis Cup team for the February 1-3 Asia-Oceania Zone Group-II Round 1 tie against fancied Pakistan, to be staged in Colombo, the Sri Lanka Tennis Association source revealed. Utzinger, one time 280th ranked in the world, has coached the Sri Lanka team for the Davis Cup at least on two occasions earlier between 2006-10. more..

Sinhala language economic news website launched

Jan 12 (Island), a Sinhala language website providing the highest quality information on local and international markets, finance, economics and business news is ready to cover a much needed gap in information dissemination to the Sinhala speaking Sri Lankan citizenry under the banner "Economic wisdom for Life". Its primary goal is to ensure that Sinhala speaking intelligential, students, businesspeople, entrepreneurs and the general public is provided with much needed more..

Many corporates believe Lankan economy would stabilise: MTI survey

Jan 12 (ST) Some 52% of the respondents of an MTI Consulting survey of top CEOs believe the Sri Lankan economy would stabilise. However a significant 25% expect the economy to decline (given all the different global and challenges that they have indicated throughout the study), according MTI second consecutive CEO Business Outlook Survey. The 2013 survey covered 150 CEOs, up from 100 that was covered in more..

SLBFE chief promises to look into welfare of Rizana's family

Jan 12 (DN) Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) chairman Amal Senalankadikara who visited the home of Rizana Nafeek in Muttur yesterday, promised to look into the welfare of her family, the SLBFE said. Senalankadikara yesterday while offering condolences of his department and that of Minister Dilan Perera to Nafeek's family members, also explained efforts undertaken for her release at the highest level of the govt and that of more..

'Sri Lanka has topped many polls as the place to go in 2013'

Jan 12 (FT) An article by Lonely Planet’s Tom Hall in the UK Observer on Sunday has identified Sri Lanka as having topped many polls as the place to go in 2013 for tourists. In view of this, Hall has listed Sri Lanka as number in his top 10 recommendations. “Sri Lanka has topped many polls as the place to go in 2013 – it offers beaches, wildlife, scenery, food and culture. It’s great for community-based tourism, homestays and spending money with local businesses,” said the article more..

Sri Lanka ports awaits call after disappointing year

Jan 12 (ST) Teeing off has become the name of the game for bagging deals and getting appointments with the management of international shipping lines for Sri Lanka’s Ports Authority (SLPA) Chairman Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama. A cricketer, he took to golf in 2009 as part of a practical requirement to ensure there is an increased chance of engaging with key officials as he eyes port development in Sri Lanka. more..

Mangala calls Lanka an official dictatorship after impeachment vote

Jan 12 (FT) On the night of 11 January 2013, Sri Lanka officially becomes a dictatorship, UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera charged yesterday. “Up to yesterday at least we kept up appearances of being at least a nominal democracy. But as of Friday night, the Rajapaksa Government sheds the façade and the country becomes a pariah of the international community,” the Opposition Lawmaker said. Samaraweera called what lawyers have dubbed Black Friday – as Govt members in more..

Knowledge, key to mitigating child abuse - Minister

Jan 12 (DN) Child abuse can be mitigated and lessened by strengthening and enhancing the existing knowledge, skills and capacity of child protection and social protection actors, Minister Tissa Karaliyadda said. The Minister was addressing a capacity building training project for the child and social protection actors in the North and East in the government sector. This curriculum, skills and capacity development project will be carried out by the Sri Lanka Foundation and more..

Indian drug supplier blacklisted

Jan 12 (Island) The purchase of drugs and vaccinations imported by an Indian drug company, which supplied a phial of antibiotic containing glass particles have been suspended until further notice. This decision was taken at a special meeting held on Wednesday, with the participation of Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena, Health Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka, Medical Supplies Division Director Dr. Kamal Jayasinghe and Cosmetics Drugs, more..

CEB and CPC lost billions last year

Jan 12 (CT) The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) had incurred a loss of Rs 160 billion up to December 31, 2012, a senior official of the Treasury said. CPC’s total losses amount to Rs 95 billion while CEB’s is Rs 65 billion. CEB’s projected losses for this year is a staggering Rs 90 billion. Ceylon Today reliably learns the massive losses were due to CPC’s decision to raise the price of Furnace Oil supplied for thermal generation. more..

CMC collects Rs 3 bn in property tax

Jan 12 (Island) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) has been successful in collecting a sum of Rs. 3,080 million or 79.2% of the total Property Tax in 2012. Aanother Rs. 640 million was outstanding. Municipal Treasurer K. D. Chitrapala said that Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil and Municipal Commissioner Mrs. Bhadrani Jayawardena have decided to keep open the counters at Town Hall on Saturday’s and Sunday’s from 9 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. to accept Property Tax. This starts today. more..

India offers over 180 higher Edu. schols

Jan 12 (Island) The Indian govt has offered over 180 higher education scholarships to Sri Lanka. The Indian High Commission announced that the Govt of India would select meritorious Lankan nationals for the award of the scholarships. The selection of would be done in consultation with Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Higher Education. The scholarships are for those who wish to pursue undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD more..

For Saudi Arabia's foreign domestic workers, employers' word is virtually law

Jan 12 (CSM) Saudi Arabia’s execution Wednesday of a Sri Lankan maid, charged at age 17 with killing a baby left in her care, highlights the often abysmal conditions faced by hundreds of thousands of foreigners who come to the kingdom to serve as drivers, maids, and gardeners. With as many as 1.5 million foreigners employed as domestic workers, Saudi Arabia represents one of the world's largest markets for such help. But it is by no means the most hospitable. more..

Execution of Sri Lankan maid draws global attention

Jan 12 (OW) In another controversial action, Saudi Arabia executed Rizana Nafeek, a Sri Lankan maid. The case has many human rights groups and countries protesting about the country’s archaic laws and violation of international human rights standards. Saudi Arabia stirred up a storm, by beheading the Sri Lankan maid accused of killing an infant in 2005. The execution, which took place on the 9th of January has invited ire from countries and human rights groups all across the globe. more..

ICJ condemns impeachment of Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice

Jan 12 (ICJ) The ICJ condemned the decision of Sri Lanka’s parliament today to impeach the country’s CJ, Shirani Bandaranayake. “Parliament’s impeachment motion has defied the rulings of the country’s Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, and thus thrown into chaos the entire system of checks and balances in the country,” said Sam Zarifi, ICJ’s Asia-Pacific director. “Sri Lanka’s parliament and executive have more..

PSUNU to other unions: Don’t hold patients to ransom

Jan 12 (Island) Some trade unions were holding patients to ransom to win their demands but their efforts would be in vain, Public Service United Nurses Union(PSUNU), President Ven. Murutettuwe Ananda thera warned yesterday. The launching of strikes should be the last resort to win the demands of trade unions. The present govt was ready to listen to the trade unions. Likewise the Minister and the Director of Health Services were willing to discuss job-related problems of the unions, he said. more..

US deeply concerned

Jan 12 (DM) The US embassy in a statement said it remains deeply concerned by the Impeachment Proceedings against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. The full statement is as follows: “The United States Embassy remains deeply concerned by the impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, which were conducted in defiance of a Supreme Court order. This impeachment calls into question issues about the separation of powers in Sri Lanka and more..

UN chief dismayed by Saudi beheading

Jan 12 (Reuters) U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed dismay on Friday at the execution of a Sri Lankan housemaid in Saudi Arabia over the death of an infant in her care. Rizana Nafeek was beheaded in the town of Dawadmy, on Wednesday morning after being sentenced to death in 2007. She was accused by her Saudi employer of killing his infant daughter while she was bottle-feeding in 2005. more..

Three to contest for the post of President of BASL

Jan 12 (CT) Lawyer Upul Jayasuriya, R.R.S. Thangaraja and Tirantha Walaliyadda will contest for the post of President of Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) on 20 February. The three lawyers handed in their nominations to the BASL Head Office in Hulftsdorp, on 10 January. Romesh de Silva PC, Ikram Mohamed and Ananda Wijesekara, proposed the name of Upul Jayasuriya, who was a former President of BASL and it was seconded by S. Parathalingam, Upali Gunaratne and more..

More bad weather: Raging waters drag away two more persons

Jan 12 (Island) Strong winds and heavy rains lashed many parts, of the country once again, causing further suffering to the people, in the Northern, Eastern and Central Provinces and the Hambantota District. The death toll due to adverse weather had increased to 48 since last month and more than 385,631 people, in the Matale, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura, Batticaloa, Ampara, Vavuniya, Badulla, Mannar, Jaffna and Kilinochchi districts have been affected. Eight people more..

CP told DEW to abstain

Jan 12 (Island) Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera told Parliament that he had been instructed by his Party, the CP, to refrain from voting on the impeachment motion against CJ Dr. Shrani Bandaranayake. "My party has instructed me to refrain from voting on this Motion, in keeping with the political position taken by my predecessor Sarath Muttettuwegama, on a similar impeachment in 1984," Minister Gunasekera said. more..

Tribunal upholds ban on LTTE

Jan 12 (DH) The Justice V K Jain-headed Unlawful Activities Prevention Tribunal constituted by the Centre has confirmed the LTTE “unlawful association” under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. “There is enough, cogent and relevant material before the Central govt giving rise to sufficient cause for declaring the LTTE to be an ‘unlawful association’ within the meaning of Section 2(p) of the (above) Act,” Justice Jain said in his recent order, upholding the Centre’s May more..

Anarchy leading to social tragedy in Sri Lanka: Karu

Jan 12 (FT) UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya yesterday warned that anarchy is leading to social tragedy in Sri Lanka. Here is the full statement issued by Jayasuriya: The country is heading towards anarchy. Again, we are compelled to talk about the goons with political blessings because we are fast becoming a failed state and the rule of law in our motherland is crumbling down. Law of the jungle reigns supreme in the place of law, power of the goons in place of discipline, injustice more..

Govt. secures 2/3 majority: Three ministers, National List MP skip vote

Jan 12 (Island) The impeachment motion against CJ Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake was passed with a two-thirds majority in Parliament yesterday–155 for and 49 against. Speaker informed President Rajapaksa of the ratification of the motion last night itself. LSSP member Y.G. Padmasiri voted with the govt though left party stalwarts D.E.W. Gunasekera and Tissa Vitharana and Chandrasiri Gajadeera abstained. more..

Editorial: Good Friday for the Chief Justice

Jan 12 (DM) Lawyers declared yesterday as a Black Friday but it was more like a Good Friday for Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. We know what followed after Good Friday and those who still cherish democracy, freedom, good governance and social justice hope the calamity of today’s steamroller vote will be turned into a blessing. Most rulers operate with worldly wisdom which is essentially self-centred and therefore fundamentally flawed if not self-destructive. more..

Conflict 'unaccountable & unnecessary'

Jan 12 (DM) The Friday Forum has previously drawn to your attention our concern that, from the inception, the impeachment proceedings against the Chief Justice did not conform to recognized norms of natural justice and due process. Dissatisfaction with these proceedings contributed to public protests and litigation in the courts. The Supreme Court has now held that the PSC procedure under Standing Order 78A is bad in law, and does not conform to Article 107(3) of the Constitution. more..

Rape gallops on unchecked

Jan 12 (ST) Four-year-old girl raped and strangled in Mandaitivu………just one more of the five rape cases, the police say, which are reported in Sri Lanka every day. As the country steps into the brand new year of 2013, the legacy of violence against women and children is not only grim but also shocking. In the light of the massive protests in India after the brutal rape and killing of a 23-year-old on a bus in New Delhi, many more..

Ford expects better in Adelaide

Jan 12 (CI) Sri Lanka's coach Graham Ford has criticised his team for sloppiness in the field and between the wickets during their opening ODI loss to Australia, stressing that both departments must improve if the visitors are to achieve parity in the series with a victory in Adelaide on Sunday. Facing an Australian side lacking numerous luminaries, including the captain Michael Clarke and the opening batsman David Warner, more..

Concerns over cable cars to Adam’s Peak

Jan 12 (SL) Environmentalists, civil societies and Buddhist clergy have expressed concerns over the proposed plan to introduce cable cars to Adam’s Peak (Sri Pada). Sri Pada the fourth highest mountain in the country is also of religious importance to Buddhists. According to environmentalists and civil society organizations, the proposed plan would not only bring adverse impact to the surrounding environment which is with more..

Law entrance students complain to HRC

Jan 12 (DM) Law entrance students said yesterday they had filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission and would take legal action against the Examinations Department’s failure to investigate the alleged leak of the 2013 law entrance test paper. The Law Entrance Students Union said it had not received an adequate response when the union inquired from the Examinations Department whether it was more..

Stir plan forces SL academicians out of Kovai

Jan 12 (NIP) Two Sri Lankans, including a university Vice-Chancellor, who were in the city to attend an international conference, hurriedly left the premises on Friday after Tamil groups opposed their participation. Ranjith Premalal De Sliva, Vice-Chancellor of Uva Wellassa University, one of Sri Lanka’s national universities, and Chandanie Edussuriya of Central Environmental Authority, a statutory body in Sri Lanka, more..

'Govt. has no option, but to act swiftly and decisively'

Jan 12 (Island) Commenting on recent statements attributed to senior UN and EU officials, SLFP heavyweight Dullas Alahapperuma, MP, yesterday said that a section of the international community was playing politics with a purely domestic issue. He said that the government had no option but to proceed with the impeachment to prevent an unprecedented crisis. The failure on the part of the govt to act swiftly and decisively more..

Judges urged to boycott new CJ

Jan 12 (Island) A group of lawyers going under the banner ‘Lawyers Collective’ yesterday urged Judges of the Supreme Court to resist the govt’s move to remove Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake from office. The following is the full text of the letter sent to all judges of the Supreme Court, which was released by the Office of TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran yesterday: As Your Lordships and Ladyships are aware, the Supreme Court has more..

Mervyn resigns, MR accepts

Jan 12 (CG) Minister Mervyn Silva has tendered his resignation from the Kelaniya SLFP electoral organizers post, the Presidential media unit said this evening. The Presidential media unit said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had also accepted the resignation letter from the Minister. Silva’s resignation comes following the assassination of Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha member Hasitha Madawala. more..