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UAE, Sri Lanka hold talks

Jan 19 (DN) The Foreign Ministers of Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates agreed at their bilateral discussions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abu Dhabi on Thursday that the achievement of peace and stability in Sri Lanka, consequent on the eradication of terrorism, made enhanced co-operation, especially in the economic sphere, timely and appropriate. They discussed a series of practical measures to bring about a swift expansion of Sri Lanka –U.A.E. relations, in light of more..

'Senior SLFPers want Chamal to succeed PM DM'

Jan 19 (Island) Minister Kumara Welgama yesterday disclosed that when the present prime minister goes into retirement, senior SLFPer and the current Speaker of Parliament Chamal Rajapaksa would be the next prime minister. The SLFP’s senior members had no objection to this appointment whatsoever, he said. Minister Welgama, speaking on the ‘Divineguma’ programme, said that the present PM was a more..

Dilshan's neighbour complaints of CCTV camera

Jan 19 (CT) The minor offences investigation division at the Mirihana Police has started investigations into a complaint made by the owner of a neighbouring house to cricketer T.M. Dilshan's house at Rajamaha Vihara Road, Pitakotte, claiming the CCTV cameras fixed in Dilshan's property have been directly aimed at the complainant's swimming pool. A woman named Renuka, in her complaint, stated the privacy of her and her school-going daughter has been badly compromised. more..

Peliyagoda to become focal highways entry, exist point

Jan 19 (DN) Peliyagoda will be made the focal entry and exist point for all highways with a railway flyway this year, said Minister Wimal Weerawansa. He was addressing building material traders, professionals and others in the construction industry in connection to inviting prospective buyers to the newest landmark in the emerging commercial capital - Peliyagda, the 'C - City' where all building material and accessories are to be made available. The complex is being constructed and is more..

'Foreign influences on SL driven by misinformation'

Jan 19 (DN) Inimical foreign influences are inevitable for any country with a leadership that loves the country and thinks locally, Defence and Urban Development Ministry Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said. Speaking at the Entrepreneurship Management Certificate Course certificate awarding ceremony in Colombo organized by the National Chamber of Commerce (NCC) and Colombo University Human more..

Body of infant recovered from dog

Jan 19 (Island) A day-old infant’s body was found near a children’s park, in Hatton on Thursday, when it was being dragged away by a dog. SSP Prishantha Jayakody said that the infant’s body was recovered around 2.00 p.m. after the police was informed by a concerned person. He said that the post mortem conducted by the JMO of the Nawalapitiya hospital had not been able to ascertain how the baby girl died. But the police believe that the infant had been abandoned just after more..

KMC members visit Rizana’s family

Jan 19 (Island) Rizana Nafeek’s grieving mother has rejected financial assistance offered by Saudi Arabia and even those in Sri Lanka who were responsible for her daughter’s death. However, a group of Kandy Municipal Council members visited the family and offered to build a house to replace their cadjan-shed shelter in the village of Saji Nagar, a few miles off Muthur. The team of Council members bearing a message from Mayor Mahindra Ratwatte to the family, comprised Deputy Mayor more..

Govt. in fresh bid to introduce code of ethics for media

Jan 19 (Island) Media Secretary Charitha Herath said that the govt was in the process of introducing a comprehensive code of ethics, for both print and electronic media, in accordance with its overall aim to streamline the industry. Herath displayed a draft titled ‘media ethics’, which he said would be made available to the industry soon to pave the way for discussion. Assuring that all concerned parties would be consulted, more..

Ban silent on impeachment, Pillay tells ICP visit still her plan

Jan 19 (ICT) The UN system's strange and some say shameful relation with Sri Lanka has been on display this week. When Inner City Press asked the UN for Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's view or comment on the impeachment of the Chief Justice and of Saudi Arabia's execution of Sri Lankan migrant maid Rizana Nafeek, Ban did not have a comment on either. Then on January 11 immediately after UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay condemned the beheading, more..

EU criticizes impeachment of Sri Lankan chief

Jan 19 (KUNA) The European Union has followed with considerable concern the recent impeachment process against CJ Shirani Bandaranayake of Sri Lanka, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton said in a statement. "The separation of powers is inherent in any democracy which respects the rule of law. It follows that the independence of the judicial branch cannot be made subject to actions by any other branch of govt," commented Ashton. She called on Sri Lanka to ensure that its more..

President Rajapaksa declares open South Asia's largest fisheries harbor in Dikkowita

Jan 19 (IL) President Rajapaksa declared open the Dikkowita Fisheries Harbour constructed at a cost of 850 million rupees this morning (18). It is reportedly the largest fisheries harbour in South Asia situated about 10 kilo metres north of Colombo. The Dikkowita Fisheries Harbour construction project was commenced in 2008 by BAM International. It has been funded by a soft loan of Euro 43 million from Netherlands and more..

Bakthi in politics leads to dictatorship

Jan 19 (DM) With orders of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal being blatantly if not crudely violated during the impeachment of CJ Shirani Bandaranayake, right thinking people who uphold the rule of law are asking whether Sri Lanka has been turned into a lawless country. Opposition leaders are claiming that ‘Aluth Kade’ may be turning into ‘anduwe kade’ and whether the Rajapaksa regime, which virtually controls the Rajapaksa legislature, is now trying to more..

Entertainment of a Motion a Speaker’s Duty

Jan 19 (DM) An extremely important and relevant question arose which matter is of the utmost importance to those who are concerned about and with the impeachment proceedings. Impeachment proceedings commence with the Speaker of Parliament entertaining a motion signed by a majority of the total number of MPs (including those not present) presenting a motion to that effect. The said standing order reads: 78A. [(1) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Standing more..

56-hour railway strike from midnight Monday

Jan 19 (CT) The Railway employees of the Professional Trade Union Alliance (PTUA) yesterday confirmed that they will commence a 56-hour token strike from midnight Monday, 21 January to 6 a.m. on 24 January, as their salary issues have not yet been resolved. Convener of the PTUA, Janaka Fernando, said they have not been given an opportunity to discuss the matter with President’s Secretary, Lalith Weeratunga, or any other more..

LC Principal rescinds re-correction

Jan 19 (ST) The Law College (LC) Principal has withdrawn his request for re-correction of the controversial 2012 LC entrance exam papers, until the Council of Legal Education gives its approval, Examinations Commissioner W.M.N. Pushpakumara said. The controversy surrounding the LC entrance exam deepens with the Exams Dept and the LC still undecided on future action. On Wednesday (9), Bodu Bala Sena more..

Secretary Defence graces Ranaviru Real Star

Jan 19 (MoD) Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa participated yesterday's evening (17) session of "Ranaviru Real Star III" reality programme held at Sri Lanka Air Force Base in Rathmalana. "Ranaviru Real Star", the world's premier military reality programme which introduced as a platform of showcasing the vocal talents of the military personnel, has seen its highest popularity more..

Kelaniya Becomes Mervyn’s Waterloo

Jan 19 (SL) Battle lines have been drawn in the Kelaniya electorate between members of the ruling SLFP after first blood was drawn last week of a Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha member by Minister Mervyn Silva. The dissention that was simmering against the former SLFP Kelaniya organizer, Minister Mervyn Silva intensified with the murder of Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha member Hasitha Madawela on the 5th. more..

Veggies beyond reach of ordinary people

Jan 19 (Island) The prices of several varieties of vegetables have sky-rocketed in the past few days and consumers complain that as a result most were beyond their reach. The sudden high prices have been attributed to the heavy rains and floods experienced in the recent past, particularly in agricultural areas. Secretary of the Manning Market Traders Association Gamini Handunge told The Island yesterday (18) that more..

Minor raped by dad, brother

Jan 19 (e24|7) The Rajanganaya Police took into custody a 40-year-old Navy deserter along with his 14-year-old son, for sexually molesting his 10-year-old younger daughter. The father had sexually molested the victim on numerous occasions since 2009, and had allowed his 14-year-old son to molest his sister. The two arrested suspects were produced before the Thambuththegama Magistrate, Chandrasiri Rajapaksa, on Saturday more..

SLN’s low cost Thalassemia infusion pumps brought to world attention

Jan 19 (Island) The Thalassemia Council had, at a special meeting recently, brought to the notice of two visiting International Thalassemia Centre (ITC) professors the Sri Lanka Navy’s ability to produce cost effective thalassemia infusion pumps, to treat patients with the blood related disease. An infusion pump cost over Rs. 15,000 and the families of a majority of patients could not afford it. However, the Navy had been able to more..

'Increased loans for agriculture leave banks vulnerable'

Jan 19 (DM) Amidst govt efforts to boost the agriculture sector through various incentives, the Central Bank has made it mandatory on banks to allocate percent of the loan book to finance the agriculture sector, a top banker noted. “We are talking about doubling the existing loans and advances worth of Rs.3 trillion by 2016. If you really look at the math, 10% of Rs.6 trillion is Rs.600 million just to sustain the agricultural sector more..

Sri Lanka rejects concerns over its democracy

Jan 19 (Xinhua) The govt on Saturday rejected concerns raised about its state of democracy following the appointment of a new CJ. Deputy Foreign Minister Neomal Perera said most concerns were baseless and stem from lack of knowledge of local laws and the constitution. Over the past week several countries and organizations have raised concerns over the impeachment and subsequent removal of former CJ Shirani Bandaranayake more..

Joint Commission meeting: Talks to focus on trade disparity

Jan 19 (DM) The reduction of heavy trade imbalance with India will be among the major focusses at the Joint Commission meeting to be held in New Delhi on January 21 and 22, Minister G.L. Peiris said. The two sides will meet to review the entire gamut of economic relations between the two countries. The Sri Lankan delegation will leave for India on Sunday to participate in the meeting. The delegation will comprise officials from the more..

Editorial: Heed the warnings

Jan 19 (CT) The US neither wasted time nor minced its words in relaying its response to the appointment of the new CJ. In what was both an echo of the sentiment of the international community and a dire warning, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland, while expressing deep concern over the impeachment of Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, said the impeachment raises serious questions about the separation of powers in Sri Lanka, which is a fundamental tenet of a healthy democracy. more..

Many sides of partiality of Mohan Pieris

Jan 19 (CT) Apart from being an illegal appointment to the post of CJ, Mohan Pieris undoubtedly is a controversial character in many respects. His business connections and govt appointments are well known and contrary to the independence and integrity expected by that highest position in the judiciary. He was the Chief Legal Advisor to the Cabinet. He himself is personification of ‘conflict of interest’ par excellence. The following is an article I wrote about his views on more..

WikiLeaks: Private security firm case links grenade attacks to Weliamuna

Jan 19 (CT) “On Saturday September 27, 2008 at approximately 11:30 p.m., two grenades were thrown at the residence of Mr. J.C. Weliamuna in Kohuwela, a Colombo suburb. Weliamuna is a well-known human rights lawyer and also Director of Transparency International (Sri Lanka). One of the two grenades detonated, causing damage to the residence. The other failed to explode and was recovered by police.” more..

Sunderland’s karate cop heads back to Sri Lanka

Jan 19 (SE) KARATE cop Eddie Gillespie is jetting to the other side of the globe to help instil some high-kicking confidence. The 42-year-old Sunderland police officer is heading to Sri Lanka in March to lead karate workshops. It will be a return visit for the experienced karate instructor who first visited the country after the Asian tsunami of 2004. When Eddie, who has a string of martial arts qualifications under his black belt, first visited the village of Seenigama he taught many children who more..

Supremacy of the law

Jan 19 (FT) Natural law is a system of law which is determined by nature and thus universal. Natural law refers to the use of reason to analyse human nature and deduce binding rules of moral behaviour. Natural law holds that morality is a function of human nature and reasoning and those valid moral principles of conduct can be discerned by studying the nature of humanity in society. Basic and fundamental rights and values are considered to be inherent in or universally more..

Govt. strengthens reach at grassroots level

Jan 19 (DM) The govt will spread its reach at the grassroots level by establishing a network of community based organizations under the Divineguma Act passed in Parliament last week, Minister Basil Rajapaksa said yesterday. According to the new Act these organisations will be established at Grama Niladiri division level and would consist of Divineguma beneficiaries. “Small groups will be set up at village level based more..

'A new issue has emerged'

Jan 19 (LT) The JVP has apprised the media regarding the new situation that comes up in the country after removing the Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake and appointing Mr. Mohan Peiris as the new chief justice. The General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva said, “Many think that the issue has been completed after the impeachment motion has been passed. However, we do not see this as the end of the issue. It is the beginning of a new issue. International forces that were waiting to more..

CMC Standing Committees appointed

Jan 19 (Island) Members to the 16 Standing Committees of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) were elected without any problem at the Council’s first meeting of the year held on Thursday at Town Hall. Standing Committee on Finance : A. J. M. Musammil, U. L. Titus Perera, M. H. S. Mohamed Ramzi, P. M. B. Roy Nishantha, A. Sunil Withanage, Mrs. P. V. Perera. Standing Committee on Establishment and Resource Development : M.H. Manzil, M.P.M. Riza, Mahendra Dharsana more..

'Is having standpoint against government a terrorist act?'

Jan 19 (LT) The govt acts regarding having anti-govt views as a terrorist act states ‘People’s Wall of Comradeship’. JVP MP Sunil Handunneththi has said the democratic environment in the North and the East is breaking down despite it is necessary to build national unity among all communities specially after a 30 year war. People are denied their civil rights, the civil administration is breaking down and the people are confronted more..

‘Small family concept’ not relevant today -Mahipala

Jan 19 (DM) Amidst concern over the slow growth rate of the Sinhala population, Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council Chief Minister Mahipala Herath said that the ‘small family concept’ was no longer valid in Sri Lanka today. The Chief Minister was apparently referring to the heavily campaigned ‘Punchi Pawula Raththaran’ concept in the 1980s. He said it was an irrelevant concept today because the country needed more and more pious and wise children for its forward march. more..

Beware! After impeachment he may look towards an 'Election-less miracle' !!

Jan 19 (CT) Anyway, the BIG FIGHT over the Impeachment is now over and so is the “call” from the legal fraternity, not to accept a new CJ. The BASL backed out on that call and so did President of the BASL. The new CJ is selected, appointed, sworn in and has assumed office. All Courts are now functioning, as they did for many many years. Hulftsdorp is as normal as it was, before JSC Secretary Thilakaratne was attacked by goons on 07 October last year. How does the political map more..

Power piracy down as raids continue countrywide

Jan 19 (Island) The Ministry of Power and Energy said that the CEB had taken legal action against over 3,000 persons for pirating electricity last year. The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) of the CEB had detected 3,5ut awakening, unlike the original Van Winkle who slept for 20 years, too would still have found Sri Lanka quite a curious place when he got up. The first woman Chief Justice of the country has been sacked, ‘illegally,’ she says and while headlines scream: more..

'Impeachment process in keeping with constitution'

Jun 20 (SO) Minister S.B. Dissanayake said when one looks into the procedure adopted in the impeachment process against former CJ Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, it is evident that the Govt had not made even a trivial mistake. It was done in accordance with the Constitution and the Standing Orders of Parliament introduced by the then UNP Govt. The Minister said those who formulated the Constitution and the Standing more..

Editorial: Are we witness to a new and ugly chapter?

Jan 20 (CT) The final chapter of the opening act of the impeachment motion saga was written, signed and acted out last week. And it seems work on a new and uglier act has already begun. The final chapter saw the govt juggernaut bulldozing its way to the pre-ordained conclusion. That the actions contravened the rulings and opinions of both the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal were of little consequence, as Parliament voted as was to be expected, and the President more..

Guy’s no nonsense approach will be remembered

Jan 20 (Island) Last year, at a restaurant in Bambalapitiya, someone involved in cricket was hosting his birthday party. Present among the invitees were former wicketkeeper batsman Guy de Alwis, who passed away last week. Guy was an absolute character. The person who was celebrating the birthday was a very close friend of Guy and he had to deliver a speech that day. Guy went up to the podium and behind the podium was a television in the bar showing the live telecast of a cricket more..

'Confrontation between arms of govt. harmful to country’s governance'

Jan 20 (SL) LSSP and Senior Minister Prof. Tissa Vitharana says that his voice is not adequately heard in the govt and the system of communication and expressions of opinions that was in place during the PA govt needed to be in-place. Justifying the decision to abstain from voting for the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice, the Minister said that his party was unhappy with the way in which the process was carried out. more..

Editorial : Damage control rates top priority

Jan 20 (Island) Ever since the smelly stuff hit the fan after the govt decided to press on with the impeachment of CJ Shirani Bandaranayake, now completed with a successor enthroned, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has not tired of stressing that those who must be punished for various acts of commission and omission will be dealt with regardless of the positions they hold. That goes for everybody, superior court and lower court judges included, he said on Friday at the opening more..