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Lawyers fight impeachment of chief justice

Jan 14 (AFP) Sri Lanka’s lawyers on Monday announced a legal challenge to the impeachment of the chief justice and vowed to keep up a battle for judicial independence. The Lawyers’ Collective, which includes most of Sri Lanka’s 11,000 attorneys, said they would also contest through the courts any appointment to replace Shirani Bandaranayake after her sacking on Sunday by President Mahinda Rajapakse. more..

Sri Lanka imports fish from China for canning, more factories ahead

Jan 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka is to set up another plant to can fish while existing tax protected factories are importing raw fish from China to prevent extinction of some species. A new factory was planned with possible Chinese investment in Galle in addition to existing ones in Galle itself, Peliyagoda, and Mundala in Puttalam. Minister Rajitha Senarathne has said newly established canneries in Galle and Puttalam were importing fish from China as the local catch was not sufficient. more..

Impeachment of Lankan Chief Justice invites global criticism

Jan 14 (OW) The impeachment of Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, the first woman CJ in Sri Lanka's history, has seen a strong reaction from nations across the globe censuring it. Govts and civil society leaders from across the world have reacted with outrage as Sri Lankan lawmakers yesterday voted to impeach the first woman Chief Justice in the history of Sri Lanka, Dr Shirani Bandaranayake. The process of impeachment was all along criticised by the international community and more..

Army opens two holiday resorts in North

Jan 14 (SLA) Giving a new lease of life as well as proving once again the Army’s unmatched prowess of turning anything to good use, the Army troops serving the Jaffna peninsula put up two new holiday resorts, using abandoned barren state land plots, given to the Army. The two new Army holiday resorts in Mailady, Kankasanthurai, opened ceremonially by the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya on Sunday give added weight to the more..

Trip planner: How to plan a trip to Sri Lanka

Jan 14 (ET) The Festival of the August Moon or the Kandy Perahera, a 10-night spectacular medieval costume pageant, begins on a full-moon day. It has been celebrated since 300 AD, and modern-day visitors can see extravagantly decorated elephant processions, fire jugglers, traditional dancers and musicians, and acrobats hitting the streets. The peak season is from December to March, but if you go in July-August, you get to see the country in a festive frenzy. Sri Lanka has something for everyone, more..

Our constitution may not be perfect – MR

Jan 14 (CG) President Mahinda Rajapaksa says Sri Lanka’s constitution may not be perfect but it still needs to be followed. He said this at a special meeting with members of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) at Temple Trees today, the President’s office said. The President’s office said that BASL President Wijeyadasa Rajapaksa and officials representing 14 other judicial zones participated at the meeting. The meeting was to discuss the removal of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake more..

Commonwealth Chief disappointed

Jan 14 (DM) While expressing extreme disappointment over the dismissal of the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma on Sunday said he would also consider further Commonwealth initiatives and responses as are envisaged in situations that could be perceived to constitute violations of core Commonwealth values and principles. Issuing a statement, the Secretary-General recalled his earlier statements about this matter, more..

Civilian joins armed forces to set the stage

Jan 15 (NS) Coup d’état is a sudden, forcible and illegal overthrow of a govt, often by a group of military men by violent means. Not essentially for setting up some form of unconstitutional administration. In the current serial we discussed in detail the prevailing socio-political environment of the time and the circumstances that led, the group of army, navy and police senior and middle level officers, to make an attempt to safeguard their eroding status. The loss of power and more..

Parliament is not a law free zone

Jan 15 (DBS) It is provided in Art 74 (1) of the Constitution that parliament may by resolution or standing order provide for “the regulation of its business, the preservation of order at its sittings and any other matter for which provision is required or authorized to be so made by the Constitution.” Parliament is permitted a degree of self regulation regarding the conduct of its business. Parliament has got its remit for self regulation from the constitution and not because it is more..

Foreign powers behind destabilisation attempts

Jan 15 (SO) What does the independence of the Judiciary mean? Does it mean that judges are super humans and could get away with anything they wish? Do they have immunity over the law of the land and go scot-free even if they conduct themselves in a manner that is unbecoming for those highly respected positions? It won’t be a surprise if somebody gets such an impression, going by the way a few individuals in the Judiciary more..

Can Parliament pick and choose which Supreme Court decisions it will accept?

Jan 15 (NS) Parliament vote to impeach the Chief Justice has been in total disregard of the judicial decision by the country’s two highest courts- the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal that the findings of the Parliamentary Select Committee have no basis in law and are invalid. Now this extra-legal process of impeachment awaits the President’s final decision. However, the power of interpretation of the Constitution lies solely with the Supreme Court. The decision of the Supreme Court means that more..

Stop Harassing Bishop Rayappu Joseph

Jan 15 (CT) We, Christians and concerned people, are disturbed by past and continuing actions by the Sri Lankan govt against the Catholic Bishop of Mannar, Most Rev Dr Rayappu Joseph. Bishop Joseph has consistently expressed concern at the plight of the all people of the North and East of Sri Lanka. His concerns have been taken President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s LLRC, the UN Human Rights Council (by Skype, because travel was too dangerous), to visiting US Ambassadors who more..

'Govt. has made might, right'

Jan 15 (NS) Former MP and Senior Attorney-at-Law, S.L. Gunasekara claimed that while no outside body had authority to instruct the Legislature on the modus operandi of passing laws and their description, the Court of Appeal had jurisdiction to issue directives if and when the Legislature embarked on a course of action outside the procedure without satisfying certain preconditions. He pointed out that technically more..

Editorial: Vicious dogs of Kelaniya

Jan 15 (Island) The govt tells us ad nauseam that it rid the country of Tiger terrorism. Yes, it did and many thanks! But, there is one pocket of terror left. It is Kelaniya, where the writ of the state does not seem to run. It is a territory ruled by a self-appointed viceroy. Mervyn Silva is his name. Of late, the govt has been saying various things to make ordinary people feel important; one is that they are sovereign. But, its ministerial potentates appear to be ‘more sovereign’ than more..

Is Ranil Mahinda’s agent in the opposition?

Jan 15 (CT) From early September last year, I have been saying that the Rajapakse regime entered a period of acute decline and qualitatively sharper crisis, starting final quarter-2012. Events have borne this out more vividly than anticipated, and the slide appears more precipitate than expected due to a confluence of accidental occurrences. But I repeat, ‘appears’; this is not accidental; it is in the nature of things. When foundations rot, at a certain point collapse sets in; then a system that would more..

'CJ impeachment constitutionally done'

Jan 15 (NS) Former Minister of Constitutional Affairs and President’s Counsel K. N. Choksy said that Article 107 of the Constitution duly empowered Parliament to impeach a judge of the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal and claimed that the Judiciary had no role to play in that regard. Elaborating further Choksy was of the view that the Legislature had the right to ignore judicial interpretations under separation of more..

Underworld kingpin nabbed by STF

Jan 15 (Island) The police Special Task Force on Sunday nabbed a notorious underworld character, suspected to be involved in many crimes, with plenty of incriminating evidence in the Embilipitiya area. He was arrested around noon along with a T-56 assault rifle, two magazines, a forged identity card, a police log book, a forged identity card of military intelligence, 17 SIM cards, several cell phones, imitation gold jewellery, and more than Rs. 90,000 in notes. more..

Bad weather spell eases

Jan 15 (DN) The bad weather spell in Galle, Kurunegala, Vavuniya, Mullaithivu and Puttlam has eased. 503,347 persons from 137,004 families were affected by floods which claimed 47 lives with eight missing and 16 injured. Around 4042 houses were fully damaged and 31,741 houses partially damaged by strong winds and earthslips. A total of 5,595 persons from 1,591 families have been evacuated to 66 evacuation centres. The worst affected was Batticaloa district. more..

New bank loans to private sector Rs. 336.3bn

Jan 15 (Island) Govt borrowings from the Central Bank picked up in November 2012 and borrowings from the domestic banking sector grew marginally while private sector borrowings from the banking sector picking up as well, data released by the Central Bank on Friday showed. Credit to the govt from the Monetary Authority amounted to Rs. 10 billion in November 2012, as against a Rs. 12 billion settlement the previous month. more..

Environmental tourism to boost tourist industry

Jan 15 (DN) The Wildlife Department has planned to embark on an environmental tourism promotion scheme to boost the country's tourist industry on par with the Mahinda Chintana – future vision. Wildlife Conservation and Agrarian Services Deputy Minister S. M. Chandrasena told the Daily News that under this programme infrastructure facilities at National Parks such as Wilpattu, Yala, Kumana, Galoya, Lahugala and Maduruoya will be upgraded to achieve the objectives. more..

Police in quandary over impeached CJ’s security detail

Jan 15 (Island) The police are said to be in a quandary over impeached Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake refusing to budge from her post and reportedly demanding heightened security from the Inspector General of Police. The Island reliably learns that senior police officers were already discussing ways of discreetly tackling the issue. Her security detail numbering some 15 police personnel was operating out of the BMICH-based superior court judges’ security division, but more..

GSMB to launch airborne magnetic and radio metric survey

Jan 15 (DN) A country wide airborne magnetic and radio metric survey, which has been a long felt need in the country will be launched shortly. The proposed survey is organized and sponsored by the Geological Surveys and Mines Bureau. Geologists attached to the Bureau expect to detect and discover the various mineral deposits valued at several billions of rupees hidden deep in the earth, by the launching of the air borne magnetic more..

Nivard’s son declines Hayleys MGT Board appointment

Jan 15 (FT) Chathura V. Cabraal, the professional son of Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal, has turned down his appointment to the Board of Directors of Hayleys MGT Knitting Mills Plc. His appointment to the Board was first announced on 3 December and was exclusively reported in the Daily FT the next day. In a fresh filing to the CSE on Friday, Hayleys MGT said Chathura has conveyed his regrets that he is not in a position to take up the appointment as a Director of the company. more..

Teachers threaten legal action over unfair transfers

Jan 15 (Island) Teachers are threatening to go to Court challenging the transfers recently made by the ministry. They allege that it was in violation of the Teachers’ Transfer Policy. General Secretary of the JVP-led Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union (CTSU) Mahinda Jayasinghe said that although the education ministry announced that they transferred teachers, who worked over 20 years in one school, some teachers who had worked only for 2 – 3 years in one school had also been transferred. more..

Lankans popping pain killer pills in record number

Jan 15 (Island) In 2012 around 860 million paracetamol tablets had been issued to patients by the State-run hospitals, Minister Maithripala Sirisena revealed. He added that in general, about 560 to 570 million such tablets were issued per year, but the sudden rise in the use of the drug last year was a matter of great concern. Minister Sirisena had instructed Medical Supplies Division Director Dr. Kamal Jayasinghe to appoint a Committee more..

Ratnapura Mayor, vendors trade charges over storage space

Jan 15 (CT) Three vendors who trade at the weekly fair in Ratnapura have lodged a complaint with the Ratnapura Police against Kapila Abeyratne, the Ratnapura Mayor, who they said had threatened them. However, Abeyratne, while refuting the allegations said three people who were under the influence of alcohol had behaved in an unbecoming manner when he was having discussions with some vendors. According to the vendors who had lodged the complaint, they were berated and more..

Remanded for dumping body of her 3-day-old baby

Jan 15 (Island) A 38-year-old mother who allegedly dumped the remains of her three-day-old baby daughter near a canal, at Kottagoda, was remanded till January 22 by the Welimada Acting Magistrate. The woman, who has a 12-year-old son, was arrested by the Uva Paranagama police yesterday. She confessed that she had had a clandestine affair with a married man, who came to work near her house and the child was his. The woman’s husband had abandoned her. Investigations into the more..

Students puzzled over leadership training call

Jan 15 (Island) Students who sat the GCE (A/L) exam 2012 for the second or third time and received letters asking them to participate in the leadership training programme according to the 2011 exam results, fear that they would have to register with a university if they participate in the programme. If they register with a university according to the 2011 results, they will not be able to reverse the course, even if they get better more..

Lightning transfers for a third of Kahawatta police

Jan 15 (Island) A third of the Kahawatte police had been transferred out to other stations within the Ratnapura Police Division with effect from yesterday, SSP Prishantha Jayakody said. The transfers had been carried out on a directive from the Senior DIG for the Ratnapura Division, he said. Asked how many officers had been transferred from the over 100 personnel serving in the station, he said 31 had already been transferred to other stations within the range. more..

Protest today demanding re-scrutiny of law entrance exam answer scripts

Jan 15 (Island) The Law Entrance Students Union (LESU) together with the Bodu Bala Sena Organisation will stage a protest, opposite the Law College in Hulftsdorp today, demanding re-scrutiny of the entrance examination 2012 answer scripts. Organising Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena, Vitharandeniye Nanda thera said that earlier, Law College Principal Dr. W.D. Rodrigo had sent a letter to the Examinations Commissioner General W.M.N.J. Pushpakumara asking him to more..

Don't denigrate judiciary, President tells BASL

Jan 15 (DN) President Rajapaksa has requested lawyers not to engage in activity within the courts precincts that would disparage the dignity of the legal profession and the Judiciary. Presidential spokesman Mohan Samaranayake said the President made this request when representatives of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka met him at Temple Trees yesterday. He said that the President has stressed the importance more..

Italians to invest in tourism in Sri Lanka

Jan 15 (CT) Dr. Luis Durnwalder, President of Bolzano, South Tyrol, Italy, has expressed his intention to invest six million dollars to establish a Tourism Centre in Sri Lanka to promote tourism in the island. He said this when an Italian delegation met Minister Basil Rajapaksa at his ministry office. The Italians will explore the facilities available here for investments in this area. Dr. Durnwalder welcomed the steps, Sri Lanka had taken to develop tourism and said that the country had all more..

Ministry quashes rice shortage fears

Jan 15 (Island) The Ministry of Co-operatives and Internal Trade yesterday reassured the public that there was no reason to panic over rumours of a shortage of rice, as the harvesting would begin by the end of this month. A spokesman for the Ministry said yesterday that a rice shortage had been predicted on previous occasions as well, especially during last year’s drought, which affected the ‘Maha’ harvest (October–January). The rains experienced at the end of last year and more..

BASL denies claims by President’s Media

Jan 15 (DM) The President’s Media Division yesterday said the Bar Association and its President had reiterated that many organizations had acted for political mileage under the pretext of the BASL during the past few weeks. However, BASL President Wijeydasa Rajapakshe denied such claims. The release was issued after a meeting held between the BASL and the President yesterday. The release said more..

German nurse starts an Orphanage

Jan 15 (HP) Angelika gaily stepped out to meet me at the entrance to her orphanage, lithesome in a simple white shirt and blue skirt, her long blonde hair bobbing behind her. "Welcome!" she said, with a light laugh, as she led me into the hall where a few of the boys studied their schoolbooks. The first impression of this "Children's Home," situated on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, near the town of Tangalle, is cheerfulness and light. Each of the 16 boys who live in this center shares an airy more..

Meteoroids a result of lightning – MRI

Jan 15 (CT) Investigations conducted by the Medical Research Institute (MRI) have revealed the red rain experienced in most parts of the country, to be part of the algae found in meteors. The MRI also has sufficient evidence to prove that there are many other organisms in outer space. Prof. Rohana Chandrajith of the Department of Geology confirmed to Ceylon Today that meteoroids that fall on earth are not alien objects but objects that have been created due to lightning. more..

Canada tells Sri Lanka to reinstate CJ

Jan 15 (G&M) Canada appeared to be one step closer to boycotting this year’s Commonwealth leaders’ summit Monday as Prime Minister Stephen Harper bluntly called on the Sri Lankan govt to reinstate the country’s fired chief justice. Mr. Harper has threatened to ignore the 54-country summit that Sri Lanka hosts later this year because he has serious concerns about Colombo’s commitment to human rights and democracy more..

Lawyers vow to challenge appointment of new CJ

Jan 15 (Island) The Lawyers Collective has decided to challenge the appointment of the new Chief Justice before the Supreme Court by filing a fundamental rights violation case. They would seek a Quo warranto (by what warrant/authority) writ against the new appointment and that such appointment be declared illegal, President’s Counsel Dr. Jayampathi Wickremaratne and J. C. Weliamuna of the Lawyers’ Collective said. Addressing a media conference in Colombo yesterday, more..

Appointment of new CJ by President cannot be challenged

Jan 15 (Island) Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerkkody said that the appointment of a new CJ would be done by the President and that appointment could not be challenged before a court of law. He said that when the then President Kumaratunga appointed Shirani Bandaranayke, a Supreme Court judge in 1996, some parties had challenged the appointment in the SC which had given a determination that the Presidential appointments could not be challenged. more..

BASL willing to work with new Chief Justice

Jan 15 (Island) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) would work with the new Chief Justice to be appointed shortly but boycott the ceremonial induction and welcome address of Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake’s successor. Former Attorney General Mohan Peiris is tipped to succeed the impeached Dr. Bandaranayake. "The BASL will have to cooperate with the new Chief Justice as official work of the Judiciary will have to more..