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'Shaping things up' – Sri Lanka Style

Jan 16 (SL) You see the trouble with us Sri Lankans is that we have an unhealthy disregard for the rule of law. No, stop! Don’t deny it you know what I am saying is absolutely true. Let us examine for a moment, a motorist stopped at the Colpetty junction, because he was using his mobile telephone – contrary to the rule of law in this regard. The motorist first tries it on: no, I was not using the phone I was checking the time. Why was it attached to your ear asks the disbelieving Policeman. more..

Godavaya shipwreck: A ‘Titanic’ type of unraveling

Jan 16 (NS) Shipwreck stories like the famous ‘Titanic’ accentuated by a moving love affair between a young man and woman are so pulse stirring that they have gone into film scripts and relived on the big screen. It is in this vein that we hear of the oldest shipwreck in the Indian Ocean discovered recently five miles from the ancient site of Godavaya at a depth of 30m; so much so is the interest the discovery has evoked that it has more..

Why I cannot vote for the impeachment of Chief Justice resolution

Jan 16 (DBS) (UPFA national list MP Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha abstained when Parliament took a vote on the Impeachment motion against the Chief Justice. Prof Wijesinha who could not speak during the two day debate has prepared a speech the text of which is posted here. Prof Wijesinha says “This was not delivered as there wouldn’t be time for me to speak, but this is what I would have said”). Both this resolution, Mr Speaker, and the manner in which it has been pursued, make very clear more..

Editorial: Sri Lanka’s guilt trip

Jan 16 (Island) Saudi Arabia has incurred much international opprobrium for the gruesome execution of Rizana. Sri Lankans’ resentment has spilled over on to the streets in the form of mass protests. However, the blame for Rizana’s agonising end after years of incarceration for the death of an infant in her care when she was just 17 years old can’t be pinned on Saudi Arabia alone. Sri Lanka won’t be able to absolve itself of the responsibility for her tragic fate. The time has come for more..

Demonizing Dharmasiri

Jan 16 (CT) Blind Tamil nationalism is preventing lovers of good theatre and cinema in Tamil Nadu from interacting with the liberal and iconic Sri Lankan theatre personality, Dharmasiri Bandaranayake, for the reason that he is a Sinhalese. Much admired all over the world for his plays exposing authoritarianism, militarism and the futility of war, Bandaranayake is to stage his play Dhawala Bheeshna (based on Satre's Men more..

Constitutional La-la Land: Only in Sri Lanka, nowhere else in the world!

Jan 16 (CT) In a famous exchange between GK Chesterton and Bernard Shaw, GK poked fun at Shaw that if visitors to Britain were to see Mr. Shaw they would think there was famine in Britain. “And when they see you”, Shaw shot back, “they will know why.” For young readers not familiar with the two English literary figures of the early-mid 20th century, GKC was very portly and Shaw was very skinny. So when the President of Sri Lanka says that “Extraordinary things are taking place more..

We don’t know in this drama who Judas is behind the Chief Justice

Jan 16 (CT) Mr. Speaker, This is for the first time in our parliamentary history, that we are debating an impeachment against a Judge of the superior court namely the Chief Justice of the Republic. Whether it will be left as a grey patch or as a purple patch in our parliamentary history, I leave it to the posterity to decide. Article 03 of our Constitution precisely and categorically states that in Sri Lanka sovereignty is in the people and is inalienable. Sovereignty includes powers of govt, fundamental rights more..

Tamil youth join Army in North and East reconciliation programs

Jan 16 (SO) Their happiness was a showcase of peace and harmony. Language was not a barrier to understand the excitement and thrill of joy they felt during the Colombo tour which was the first time to many of these young girls. The tour was for the Sri Lanka Army's newly recruited Tamil girls. Ninety seven girls out of the total 103 recruits joined the tour organised by the Sri Lanka Army for these girls. All are hoping to more..

Politico-backed gangsters challenged by one woman

Jan 16 (NS) The most unbending underworld gangsters of Hikkaduwa and Rathgama, backed to the hilt by a local politician, carried on their nefarious activities of extorting funds from businesspersons with impunity while police officers were bribed into looking the other side while lawless thugs went on rampage. Still none dared to oppose the gangsters until one women decided that enough was enough and the gangsters should be brought to book. She alone chose to go against the gangsters, more..

Clarke, Warner, Wade return, Henriques called up

Jan 16 (CI) Michael Clarke, David Warner and Matthew Wade, the three key players rested for the first two ODIs against Sri Lanka, will return for the next two games in Brisbane and Sydney. The allrounder Moises Henriques, who last played for Australia in India in 2009, has also been included, while the selectors dropped Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith, Ben Cutting and Kane Richardson. Brad Haddin, who picked up a hamstring injury during the second ODI, more..

Honesty and courage made Guy de Alwis unique

Jan 16 (Island) As if the passing away of Tony Greig and Christopher-Martin Jenkins weren’t bad enough for our beloved sport, due to that dreaded decease called cancer, then came the news that former Sri Lanka wicketkeeper/batsman Guy de Alwis too died of the same sickness last Sunday. The last time, I met him was at Bambalapitiya during a get-together in August. Guy always was neatly dressed more..

SB is no substitute for SF

Jan 16 (Island) The Hulftsdorp spring is about to end as this article is written but the Brahmin class is not going to learn a lesson. The Brahmins backed by foreign forces have attempted various springs since they tried to use Sarath Fonseka to oust Mahinda Rajapaksa at last Presidential elections. The Rajapaksa govt is in effect following the western economic, political and legal models but the west has an axe to grind as the Rajapaksa govt was able to defeat terrorism defying western and more..

Jayanth removed as CIFL CEO

Jan 16 (FT) Highly qualified and experienced Jayanth Wickremeratne has been removed as the CEO and Executive Director of Central Investments and Finance Ltd., controlled by ASPIC Group. In its filing to the CSE, the company didn’t give reasons for removal, but industry analysts alleged the move was with the approval of the Central Bank, which had stepped in to improve stability of the company. Wickremeratne joined CIFL in 2008 as Chief Operating Officer. He started his career at more..

A rendezvous for Sri Lankan Tamils

Jan 16 (Hindu) The Chennai Book Fair has become a meeting point for the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora yearning for a literary and cultural space not available in their homeland – native or adoptive. “It is not possible for me to publish my book on the French Revolution in Tamil in Sri Lanka in the present circumstances. So, I chose to print and publish the book in Chennai,” said K. Vasudevan, a translator working in Paris. more..

The EDEX Expo – its 10th Anniversary is on

Jan 16 (ST) The EDEX Expo celebrates 10 years of unprecedented and unrivalled service to youth in Sri Lanka not only in terms of offering choices, options and opportunities in education, but also as a catalyst in transforming lives to reach their goals and aspirations. Created on a platform of education and careers in 2004, the exhibition has grown in leaps and bounds to encompass multi-stakeholders both local and foreign who have combined their strategies and brands and created a synergy that is more..

Sri Lanka setting up life sciences park in latest industrial push

Jan 16 (Island) In the wake of Sri Lanka’s industry sector showing a strong 7.3% growth in Q3-2012, the country is mulling a dedicated park for life sciences development," the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said. "A dedicated zone for Life Sciences is being planned for the production of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment to reduce the loss of foreign exchange," revealed Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka on 15 January. more..

Moe than 33,000 dismissed from Army last year

Jan 16 (DM) Military said that 33,532 personnel were dismissed from the Sri Lanka Army last year as they have been absent without leave or have failed to report for duties. A total of 71,458 personnel had failed to report for duties under their respective classified categories. It further stated that the 33,532 personnel were de-listed and discharged from the SL Army in keeping with military procedures and provisions. Military noted that more..

The Kingsbury welcomes its first guest

Jan 16 (FT) The Kingsbury, the luxurious new five-star hotel, welcomed its first guest Jorhen Storm from Denmark yesterday with a colourful ceremony. He was accorded a traditional Sri Lankan welcome and was received by Hayleys Chairman Mohan Pandithage and The Kingsbury CEO Otto M. Stohl. “Very honoured to be the first guest,” a pleasantly surprised Storm wrote in The Kingsbury guest book yesterday. On a business trip, he is the Production Manager at Sakata Ornamentals Europe. more..

Free books, equipment for flood-hit children

Jan 16 (DN) North Central Province Chief Minister S M Ranjith Samarakoon promised to donate free school text books and educational equipment to students who lost their newly received books and equipment in the floods precipitated by the overflowing of the Malwathu Oya in Anuradhapura. The Chief Minister gave this assurance when he visited Sarananda Pirivena and Mahinda Vidyalaya relief camps housing nearly 1,200 displaced families on an inspection tour recently. more..

CJ impeachment: UPFA too seriously wounded, won’t survive: JVP

Jan 16 (Island) JVP heavyweight Lal Kantha asserted that President Rajapaksa’s govt had suffered serious injuries, though it emerged victorious in its battle against CJ, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake. Therefore, he, too, would not survive the crisis caused by the impeachment of Dr. Bandaranayake, he said. The JVP trade union leader was addressing a gathering of workers’ representatives at the New Town Hall more..

Editorial: A damaging impeachment

Jan 16 (Hindu) Sri Lanka’s democratic institutions are in ferment once again. The impeachment of CJ Shirani Bandaranayake and her quick replacement with former Attorney General Mohan Peiris come as an unsavoury climax to an unedifying standoff between the judiciary on the one hand and the legislature and executive on the other. The episode is one more instance of President Mahinda Rajapaksa placing his own and his regime’s interest over that of the country and its institutions. more..

Rural road network upgraded

Jan 16 (DN) The govt has allocated Rs 6,000 million to upgrade the rural road network across the country under the Gama Neguma project this year. Deputy Minister Nirmala Kothalawala said that all village roads will be relaid with concrete as pledged in the Mahinda Chintana, under Gama Neguma with the objective of developing every village with all facilities. A sum of over Rs.1,000 million has been allocated for rural road development this year, more than in the previous year, he said. more..

Economic growth to rise to 6.8%: WB

Jan 16 (Island) Sri Lanka’s growth is forecast to rise to 6.8% in 2013 as external demand continues to improve gradually and agricultural production growth returns to normal rates, the World Bank said as fiscal imbalances continue to challenge macroeconomic stability. "Growth is expected to increase further to 7.2% by 2015 (a weaker pace compared with the more than 8% growth in 2010 and 2011), as the earlier boom in more..

Will support any legal decision to safeguard judiciary’s independence -UNP

Jan 16 (Island) UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said UNP would fully support any legal decision, taken by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) and the Judges’ Association, to safeguard the independence of the judiciary. In a statement issued to the media, he said: The UNP would not participate in the Parliamentary Council (PC) meeting to nominate a new Chief Justice. Opposition parties, the TNA and the JVP, too, did not participate in the PC meeting. more..

Speaker can summon CPA head for contempt

Jan 16 (DN) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa can summon Center for Policy Alternatives (CPA) Executive Director Dr Pakiasothi Sarawanamuttu before the House for contempt of Parliament on account of his conduct challenging the Speaker over the impeached Chief Justice Dr Shirani Bandaranayaka, who was removed from that position through a Constitutional process, Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratna said. CPA Executive Director Sarawanamuttu yesterday filed a petition in more..

Law College imbroglio continues

Jan 16 (Island) Hundreds of Buddhist monks joined students who sat the law entrance examination 2012 in a protest outside the Law College, demanding justice be done regarding the alleged malpractices at the entrance exam. Students had staged a Sathyagraha opposite the College to pressure principal Dr. W. D. Rodrigo to postpone new registrations by another one week, Secretary of the Law Entrance Students Union more..

Chilly weather to continue

Jan 16 (Island) The Meteorological Department yesterday said that the chilly weather being experienced countrywide in the mornings and evenings was due to the cold, dry winds blowing from India. It said there would be no rain in the next few days. The chill factor was heightened as the thermal rays were radiating outwards by sun light as the sky over Sri Lanka was without clouds these days. The current cold climate prevailing in India had also become a reason for the situation, more..

Take India as an example says Maithripala

Jan 16 (DN) The Sri Lankan public should take the Indians as an example and raise their voice against violence against women, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. He said until this happens, it will not be possible to stop violence against women even if tough laws are introduced. Minister Sirisena said a number of Sri Lankan women undergo sexual harassment daily while traveling in public transport while a large number of rural women are harassed by their drunk husbands. more..

Move to control salt, sugar in fast food

Jan 16 (Island) In a bid to change the unhealthy food habits of the people especially children, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena will soon submit a Cabinet paper to control the salt and sugar levels in fast food. Once the Cabinet approval is obtained for the move, all the importers, distributors and sellers of such food items will be required to limit salt and sugar content in their products to recommended quantities. more..

Burnt oil attack on MER in Jaffna condemned

Jan 16 (Island) The Media Movement for Democracy (MMD) condemned the attack on members of the Movement for Equal Rights (MER), who were obtaining signatures on a banner from the public of Jaffna, in the town. They alleged that the attack was launched with the knowledge of the security forces and that the members of the MER, the media and the public were sprayed with burnt engine oil and the shutters of the vehicle, in which the MER members travelled to Jaffna, had been shattered. more..

Australian aid to benefit Sri Lankan students

Jan 16 (KSA) The prolonged civil war in this island nation has affected many institutions, including the education sector. But there is a ray of hope in Australia's recent pledge of help. The move reflects a desire to help educate the future workforce in Sri Lanka, boosting economic growth and in turn helping stem the flow of migrants seeking a better life elsewhere -- many via perilous and illegal boat journeys to Australia. On Dec 15th, 2012, during his visit to Sri Lanka, Australian Foreign Minister more..

Indian govt may review Lanka projects next week

Jan 16 (LM) India and Sri Lanka are expected to review the status of projects undertaken by the larger neighbour in the island nation when foreign minister G.L. Peiris visits next week, people familiar with the matter on both sides said. Peiris will be in New Delhi for the meeting of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission, an umbrella body that looks at various areas of bilateral cooperation from science and technology to agriculture. more..

Dhammika appointed Honorary Consul of Republic of Senegal

Jan 16 (FT) The President of Senegal Macky Sall has appointed Dhammika Perera as the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Senegal in Sri Lanka, recently. The appointment has been approved by President Rajapaksa. Renowned for his business acumen, Perera has commercial interests in a wide range of sectors including banking and financial services, power and energy, leisure, manufacturing and diversified holdings. Entities under his purview provide employment to approximately 50,000 more..

Appointment of new CJ illegal - UNP

Jan 16 (Island) The appointment of former Attorney-General Mohan Peiris as the new Chief Justice was ‘illegal’ for several reasons including the govts failure to present an Impeachment Resolution against CJ Shirani Bandaranayake, the UNP said yesterday. Assistant Leader of the UNP, Joseph Michael Perera MP, said that no resolution had been moved in the House to impeach Bandaranayake as the debate on Jan. 10 and 11 was on the PSC Report, which had found the CJ guilty of three of more..

Ex-CJ vows to be with the people

Jan 16 (Island) Impeached CJ Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, as she left her official residence yesterday, declared that she had sacrificed 32 years to safeguard people’s rights and would be with them in the future as well. While being driven out by her son, with her husband in the front passenger seat, to their private residence at Rajagiriya, Dr. Bandaranayake, who was seated in the back, said she considered the people’s lives and more..

New Constitutional Crisis with two CJs

Jan 16 (DM) In the aftermath of Sri Lanka’s gravest constitutional, legal and political crises since independence, right-thinking people and especially judges and lawyers were wondering whether Sri Lanka could recover from a virtual death blow to the independence and dignity of the Judiciary amid speculation of Sri Lanka being suspended from the Commonwealth and facing other national and international repercussions. Last Friday night the battle ended for the hired crowds, more..

Doom-ward bound

Jan 16 (DM) The Parliament ‘debated’ the PSC Report, an illegal document according to court decisions, on Jan 10 and 11. The MPs (with an artificial majority) of the govt voted by a 2/3 rd majority to impeach the CJ on the evening of Jan 11. Accordingly, the President was able to ‘sack’ the CJ and appoint a ‘new CJ’ or an ‘Acting CJ’. The whole thing amounts to a conspiracy to undermine the Constitution; provided one accepts the interpretations given by the Supreme Court. more..

Feeding wild elephants is high-risk entertainment

Jan 16 (ST) Yala’s iconic tusker Gemunu has developed bad habits after being encouraged by visitors who tempt the animal with food and other tidbits. Gemunu comes to the road, stops Safari Jeeps and dips his trunk into the vehicles jeep in search of snacks. Wildlife lover Riaz Cader had a closer encounter with Gemunu, when the tusker went from jeep to jeep, sticking his trunk into vehicles looking for food and biscuits. more..

Sri Lanka's first banking and finance university by 2014

Jan 16 (CT) In a bid to make Sri Lanka a full-fledged financial services hub, the country's national banking studies body — Institute of Bankers of Sri Lanka (IBSL) — is to set up Sri Lanka's first-ever banking and finance university. IBSL Director General, S.H.A.M. Abeyratne, said that the institute is hopeful of commencing the first degree course by 2014. "It is important to create qualified professional and academic staff in more..

Deyata Kirula Exhibition postponed

Jan 16 (CT) The Deyata Kirula National Exhibition which was scheduled to be held from the 4th to 10th of February in Ampara has been postponed. The Exhibition is now scheduled to be held from 23rd March to 29th March. Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya addressing a special media conference conveyed yesterday to announce the postponement of the Exhibition said that yet many areas of the Ampara District more..