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'President has no option but to sack the top Judge'

Jan 12 (GDI) According to the Constitution of the country, Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa has only one option before him now to act on the resolution passed by the Parliament on Friday on the removal of the Chief Justice Dr Shirani Bandaranayake. Presidential International spokesman said that the President has no option but to act based on the resolution passed by Parliament Friday night. The parliament Friday night more..

Commonwealth tells Lanka to consider consequences

Jan 12 (CG) Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma has urged the Govt to pause for further careful consideration following the passage by the country’s Parliament of the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka. “The impeachment of a Chief Justice is a very serious matter. In this particular case, it has called into question aspects of the Constitution of Sri Lanka. more..

Editorial: Head-chopping and five-star protests

Jan 12 (CT) Some years back when the notorious Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, was executed on a Court order, three well-noted Sri Lankan politicians, Rajitha Senaratne, Wimal Weerawansa and Vasudeva Nanayakkara made a public protest at the ex-Iraqi Leader’s tragic end. A week later four Sri Lankan youth were beheaded in Saudi Arabia reportedly without a defence in court, and no one in this country raised a finger to protest. We can only draw one comparison that politicians are more..

Validity of parliament’s interpretation of the constitution – Re OPA response

Jan 12 (CT) On 26th September, 2012 at the request of the National Issues Committee of the OPA, I drafted a press statement which was issued by the then President on 27th September under his signature and was thereafter unanimously approved by the OPA Forum on 28th September 2012. Sad to say, the only apparent result of that statement was that external pressures brought to bear on that President who signed it, resulted in his giving notice of retirement (a constructive termination) more..

Second batch of leadership training starts on Jan. 16

Jan 12 (Island) The second batch of leadership training for the latest university entrants would start on January 16 at 22 centres countrywide, Additional Secretary to the Higher Education Ministry P. G. Jayasinghe said. He said that 7860 students would undergo the leadership training programme in the second batch. "We will commence the training of the third batch on February 12 after concluding the second more..

Take a stand for injustice: Mervyn’s goon’s march going on right now

Jan 12 (CT) In order to show our solidarity as right thinking citizens of Sri Lanka (not anti Rajapaksa but pro good governance citizens by the way) and to protect the tragic situation that the judiciary is in today, a friend and I took to the streets of Hultsdorpf around 10.40 am to join in with the lawyers at the People’s March, to take a stand for Justice. We were dressed in black and white to show our solidarity that this is indeed, a black and white issue. Of course as a result we were easily more..

Training for Child and social protection officers in N & E

Jan 12 (Island) The Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs (MCDWA) will initiate a training programme to strengthen Child and Social Protection Officers in the North and East. The Spokesman for the Ministry of MCDWA said yesterday that the project would commence in March. He said that the aim of the project was to enhance the capacity of skills capabilities of Child and Social Protection Officers to provide an environment of safety and security for the more..

Habitat destruction drives Cobras, Pythons to the cities

Jan 12 (ST) Ecosystems of national parks could be adversely affected by officials releasing surplus snakes at zoos, into the wild. Habitat destruction has driven cobras and pythons into the suburbs, with more and more incidents being reported of serpent sightings and snakebites inside homes, outside homes and even on buses. These snakes, most of them cobras, end up at the National Zoological Gardens, either rescued by zoo more..

Facing off govt goon squads

Jan 12 (CT) You hear about goon squads but nothing like facing them for yourself. It is a surreal feeling. This is your country. You pay your taxes and you try to do the right thing, and then some guys waving sticks at you ask where you are going, while the police are watching. You tell them it is none of their business, which is the case. That prompts them to threaten you and shout filth at you, in your city. This happened today on the way to Hultfsdorf. There was an open invitation to attend more..

1200 Lankan Tamil return home in 2012

Jan 12 (PTI) More than 1,200 Sri Lankan nationals living in India as refugees have returned to their country in 2012 with monetary support from the UNHCR. Between Jan and Dec last year, 1,260 Tamil refugees who were residing in special camps across Tamil Nadu returned to their home country with the UN agency’s assistance, UNHCR said. In 2011, more than 1,670 refugees returned to Sri Lanka as compared to 2,040 in the previous year in the aftermath of the end of the Eelam war more..

Sri Lanka draws flak over chief justice impeachment

Jan 12 (AFP) International criticism mounted Saturday over a move to impeach Sri Lanka’s chief justice, with Britain demanding protection for the incumbent and the beleaguered legal profession in the former colony. Britain added its voice to the United States in expressing deep concern over parliament’s overwhelming vote Friday night to sack Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake following a controversial trial by ruling party MPs. more..

Lets peep into Sri Lanka’s tomorrow after impeachment

Jan 12 (CT) There is little or no purpose now in discussing and arguing about the legality and constitutionality or otherwise of the impeachment motion. There is little purpose now in discussing and agitating, asking this govt to withdraw the impeachment motion and the Speaker to respect the Constitution. Everything has been already decided to show Chief Justice Bandaranayake the exit door. Today, Friday 11th January, 2013, while this is written, Ranil Wickramasinghe‘s more..

Judges are obliged to follow Supreme Court decisions

Jan 12 (CT) As Your Lordships and Ladyships are aware the Supreme Court has on the 1st of January 2013 exercised its Constitutional Jurisdiction and interpreted the Constitution holding that a Select Committee appointed under Standing Order 78A of the Parliament, does not have the power to arrive at a finding against a Judge of a Superior Court in terms of Article 107(3) of the Constitution. On the 3rd of January 2013 the Court of Appeal, exercising Writ jurisdiction under more..

‘Murderers confess getting Rs. 3.5 mil contract from Mervyn’

Jan 12 (AD) The murderers of Hasitha Madawala have confessed to accepting a Rs. 3.5 million contract from Minister Mervyn Silva to assassinate several PS members, claims the Chairman of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha Prasanna Ranaweera. He stated that today officials of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha are afraid to attend assembly or even a public meeting. However, we are all active members of the SLFP, more..

Lankan band to perform in Oman

Jan 12 (GN) The Sri Lankan community in Oman will host popular musicians from their country for a Valentine’s Day celebrations at the Hotel Muscat Holiday Inn in Al Khuwair suburb. Sri Lanka’s popular musical band Nalin & Marians with Corrine Almeida will entertain during the show that will be open to all nationalities in Oman. Nishantha Abeywardena, who is part of the Sri Lankan community’s committee, said that a similar one last year was a smashing hit. more..

Sri Lanka at the crossroads

Jan 12 (GN) When Sri Lanka overcame the rebellious movement of the Tamil Tigers back in 2009, there was hope that the island nation would finally emerge stronger and more united. The scars of the three-decade struggle by the Tamils had hurt the image of the country both politically and economically, as charges of unrestrained brutality and ethnic cleansing were levelled at the ruling party at the time. The Tamil movement had led more than 150,000 Tamil Lankans to flee their country more..

BASL seeks compromise with the President

Jan 12 (CG) The BASL, which convened today, has decided to seek a meeting with President Rajapaksa to discuss the situation following the impeachment of CJ Shirani Bandaranayake. Outgoing President of the BASL Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that they want to discuss the future of the judiciary with the President. He said that the President will need to decide if he is going to remove the incumbent Chief Justice or not more..

When democracy came to an end?

Jan 12 (CG) Many legal luminaries have expressed their views on the controversial decision of the Supreme Court of the Sri Lanka on the Parliament’s right over the impeachment of judges of the Superior Courts, the Supreme Courts and the Court of Appeal. On the basis of the Supreme Court decisions, the court of appeal has given an order to quash the Parliamentary Select Committee report that was given to the Speaker of the Parliament that has led to a constitutional deadlock. more..

Most conflicts are the results of adults contributing to certain misconceptions

Jan 12 (CT) I feel greatly honoured and privileged to be invited to make the keynote address at this seminar on Youth and Reconciliation. That I am being asked to speak at the beginning of a New Year also augurs well because, today all of us could resolve to make the ongoing reconciliation process meaningful. The LLRC recommendations are vigorously being pursued with His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa having allocated almost a Billion Rupees for 2013. more..

96 Champions beat SL Legends in charity game

Jan 12 (ST) Sri Lanka’s champion 1996 World Cup team led by Arjuna Ranatunga proved they are still formidable by thrashing Sidath Wettimuny’s Sri Lanka Legends by 7 wickets in a charity Twenty20 match played at the NCC ground today. The T20 match which was played as part of the Baby Cheramy Big Heart Project, to raise funds for needy children, drew a large crowd to the venue that came to witness the reunited 1996 more..

World’s leading EMS company Falck begins operations here

Jan 12 (DM) World’s largest Emergency Medical Services (EMS) company which operates in 35 countries officially launched its services in Colombo yesterday. Falck group from Denmark reached Sri Lankan shores making Sri Lanka one of the first Asian countries to have its services. “We have technology, we have the expertise but we needed people with passion and those who have a vision for providing EMS. That is why we decided to come to Sri Lanka,” said Falck CEO Allan more..

World’s leading EMS company Falck begins operations here

Jan 12 (DM) When I met Rizana Nafeek’s parents in June 2011, they had decided to leave the safe return of their daughter, in the hands of God. A few days later after my meeting with them, rumours of the possible execution of this young girl began circulating. However, they were vehemently rejected by the Sri Lankan authorities, who claimed that they were working hard together with the Saudi Arabian authorities to ensure her release. Similar rumours circulated from time to time and each time, more..

Explosives, porn in TNA office

Jan 12 (CG) The Terrorist Investigations Division (TID) and the army have recovered explosives and pornographic material from the office of TNA MP S. Sridharan in Killinochchi, Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said. He said that a three-wheel driver had been arrested in Gurunagar, Jaffna yesterday with low intensity explosives hidden in the vehicle. Following investigations launched by the TID, the more..

Sri Lanka to buy oil from PetroChina

Jan 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-run Ceylon Petroleum is to buy refined petroleum products from PetroChina International (Singapore) Pte Ltd, according to a deal that has received cabinet approval. The state information office said the term tender would be for combined cargo and would run for six months from Dec 2012 to May 31, 2013. Sri Lanka is expected to get 180 days credit from the company with 30 days grace for gas oil gasoline and aviation fuel. Sri Lanka has been importing more..

UNP to take action

Jan 12 (CG) The UNP says it will take disciplinary action against its members who supported the impeachment motion in parliament against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said that some UNP members had voted in favour of the impeachment motion when it was taken up for a vote yesterday. The UNP, as a party, had decided to vote against the impeachment motion. Attanayake however said some UNP members had gone against the more..

Hon. Jason Kenney

Editorial: Regulatory authority for taxis, a must

Jan 13 (SO) Three-wheeler taxis have become increasingly popular among people of all walks of life with the introduction of electronic fare meters. More people now opt to travel in these three-wheelers as they prefer the electronic fare meters. But, regrettably, most of these electronic metered three-wheelers exploit passengers. Three-wheeler taxis became extremely popular among those in urban and rural areas due to their relatively cheaper costs, since their entry to the local market more..

Editorial: Moving steadily towards a national calamity

Jan 13 (SL) The Rajapaksa juggernaut has driven over all barricades erected by the great majority of lawyers, opposition and a section of the concerned public over the impeachment of the Chief Justice. If the Chief Justice was impeached on solid evidence produced and a trial conducted in accordance with the accepted principles of justice there could have been no opposition. Even though the ruling party has made strenuous attempts to show that their action is completely justified more..

'National goals reign supreme'

Jan 13 (SO) Minister Navin Dissanayake said that Parliament will go ahead with the impeachment against Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake. The national goals and priorities of both the Executive and the Legislature have to be kept in mind. When there is an imbalance, it has to be corrected. This is not something new to Sri Lanka. It has happened in India, US and other democracies as well, minister said in an interview with more..

Editorial: Curtain about to fall

Jan 13 (Island) What CJ Shirani Bandaranayake and her supporters will now do, given Friday night’s parliamentary vote which virtually sealed her fate, is anybody’s guess. There had been no official announcement that the president has dismissed the CJ as this is being written but the inner councils of govt expected that the deed will be done very quickly. It is of course open to Ms. Bandaranayake to tender her resignation or retirement papers, as the case may be, before the axe falls. more..

Editorial: Indictment on the conscience of a nation

Jan 13 (CT) Friday 11 January, or Black Friday, as dubbed by the lawyers, truly ushered in a black and bleak period for Democracy in Sri Lanka, sounding the death knell for rule of law and the rights of the people. The greater tragedy is the death knell was sounded, not by a military junta or a foreign force, but the people’s representatives, who, when they first came to the House of Parliament, the Great Temple of Democracy, took the sacred oath to ‘uphold, preserve and defend the Constitution more..

'The govt. that violates the constitution should not be in office'

Jan 13 (SL) JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake says the governing party MPs and the President have violated the Constitution. “It is the govt that has violated the Constitution that is governing the country,” he said. He explained that there is no clash between the Executive and the Legislature or the Legislature and the Judiciary, but there is a clash between the arbitrary actions of the Executive and the fair actions of more..

Justice on the chopping block

Jan 13 (ST) My Dear Rizana, Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones as we come to terms with the news that you have been beheaded despite the numerous pleas made on your behalf by all those who were concerned about your welfare. Even though you are no more, Rizana, I thought I must still write to you because I want you to know that you are not alone. Just two days after you were beheaded, there was a similar execution of another lady, not in some barbaric desert more..

The Venom and Fury of the Impeachment

Jan 13 (Island) The parliamentary process with regard to the impeachment is now over, and at the time of writing, presidential spokesman Mohan Samaranayake has announced that the president has been advised that he has no option but to enforce the will of parliament on this matter, the impeachment drama is now at an end. Over the past many weeks, over 50,000 words have been written in this column on the impeachment issue alone. The present writer has sought to explain more..

'Those who created the constitutional crisis can resolve it'

Jan 13 (SL) UNP MP Eran Wickramaratne says that if the Chief Justice is removed unconstitutionally, the legality of the appointment of the successor will be placed in doubt and that judgments delivered by a bench with such a person as a member may be contested. “We spoke against the impeachment in Parliament, we voted against it, we will continue our struggle to maintain an independent judiciary,” more..

Editorial: Towards a country called Tomorrow

Jan 13 (NS) President Rajapaksa promised that the ruling party will show its strength when necessary. The ruling party did so on Friday, passing the impeachment motion against CJ Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake. The argument in favor of the motion referred heavily to the notion of parliamentary supremacy and the weight of Standing Orders (in particular 78A) vis-à-vis the word of the courts. The debate itself was held in spite of and in contradiction of the Court of Appeal (CA) more..

Editorial: The buck stops now with Mr. President

Jan 13 (ST) The incessant rains in many parts of the island and the resultant floods, deaths and destruction; the medieval execution of a young housemaid in Saudi Arabia; the assassination of a local level ruling party councillor and the suspicion revolving around a Govt Minister in that murder; sand in your sugar purchased from a Government wholesale establishment; and the surreptitious passage of the controversial Divineguma Bill into law have all been overshadowed by more..

MR splitting hairs to figure Bandarnayake’s replacement

Jan 13 (SL) After initiating an impeachment against CJ Dr Shirani Bandaranayake and proceeding with it ignoring court rulings, President is now faced with an unexpected crisis – finding a suitable replacement for Bandaranayake. The govt has decided that the next CJ should be appointed from among the current judges in the Supreme Court without bringing a person from the outside. more..

Gun culture, a malady of our politics

Jan 13 (NS) The killing of Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha member Hasitha Madawala by unidentified gunmen on Saturday is an alarming reminder of the nature of Sri Lankan politics today where a gun culture is as prevalent as it was during the fearful days of the Eelam war. Madawala’s killing cannot be considered an ‘isolated’ incident. That is because he engaged in politics in the volatile Kelaniya electorate where maverick minister Mervyn Silva is involved in a running battle with more..

Jaffna fishermen warn Indian fishermen

Jan 13 (SL) Fishermen in Jaffna have warned that they will launch a campaign to prevent Indian fishermen from poaching in Sri Lankan waters. The Jaffna fishermen’s association, at a convention held in Jaffna last week, have agreed to issue a deadline to the govt to resolve the issue before next Tuesday. According to the association, if the government fails to address the issue then the Jaffna fishermen will launch a campaign to prevent Indians from entering Sri Lankan waters. more..