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Why Mohan should do a Ranil

Jan 20 (Island) Even as we write this, the impeachment drama that gripped the country over the past few months has receded from the public consciousness. Shirani Bandaranayake is already only a distant memory. Last Thursday, as we walked out of the Rupavahini Corporation studio after a late night talk show on the aftermath of the impeachment, the main topic of conversation was the price of vegetables these days due to adverse weather conditions. And indeed the next day, more..

'Imperialists and dictatorial family rule must be defeated'

Jun 20 (SL) JVP politburo member and Co-convener of the Anti Imperialist Movement, K.D. Lalkantha says the govt’s actions like the violation of human rights, suppression of fundamental rights and many other issues are being used by imperialists to interfere in the country to suit their agendas. He warned that like in Libya and Syria, the gov’s actions would compel Sri Lankans to support imperialist actions against more..

Judicial crisis defused as ex-CJ puts up shutters for second time

Jun 20 (NS) After much hue and cry and quite in contrast to wanton violence ridden anarchy predicted by some the ‘crisis’ related to impeachment proceedings against the now ex-Chief Justice Dr Shirani Bandaranayake was ‘resolved’ in comparative sobriety last week. After Parliament voted, as expected, overwhelmingly in favor of the impeachment motion and the Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa informed the President of the fact, the latter took steps to remove her and appoint more..

Can the people continue to be grateful?

Jan 20 (SL) The question that should be pursued would be ‘can the people expect to be grateful’ three years after the war on terror was eradicated. Why you may wonder should there be a time limit – after all it was a remarkable combination of events, stratagems, the global outlook on terror per se and some good, old fashioned luck too, that won the war on terror and ordinarily that sort of thing goes on forever and a day. The gratitude factor. But cast your minds back to when more..

No way out for MR’s govt.

Jan 20 (SL) The statements issued following the Chief Justice’s impeachment last week have indicated to the Mahinda Rajapaksa govt that regardless of its actions in Sri Lanka, it would be held answerable to the international community. The actions of the Rajapaksa govt last week have left little hope for the smooth functioning of a democracy. The forthcoming UNHRC sessions in Geneva this March will be tough for more..

Editorial: In praise of Sumanthiran

Jan 20 (NS) It is natural for members of the Parliamentary Opposition to oppose whatever the ruling party proposes. Voting in Parliament is therefore predictable, whether it is for an Act of Parliament, Annual Budget or anything else. There was a time of dissenting voices voting against party position, but that was effectively quashed by a Supreme Court determination regarding the fate of Members who considered crossing over. What we have got used to seeing is all more..

She fought while others fled

Jan 20 (ST) My Dear Madam, I thought I must write to you after the events of this week, when you had to leave your job under difficult and questionable circumstances-and someone else was appointed to take your place even though everyone knew that what was happening was not right. Madam, we do not know whether you are responsible for what you have been accused of. Honestly, I don’t think it was a good idea for your husband to accept positions in govt institutions because it then seems more..

GL on UK, US, Canadian Statements

Jan 20 (Island) Minister G.L. Peiris made the following statement exclusively to the Sunday Island regarding the statements made by several foreign govts about the impeachment of the former CJ Shirani Bandaranayake. He stressed that the tenure of the previous chief justice has been brought to a closure following proceedings in accordance with the constitution and standing order 78A, a new CJ has taken office in an appointment made more..

St. John’s turns into a gold center

Jan 20 (LB) The area in Colombo Fort which was legendary for the maintenance of the St. John’s fish market for over a century is set to be turned into a ‘gold center’ where a large jewelry center will be maintained in the foreseeable future, sources from the UDA said. These sources revealed that they have already taken measures to develop the concerned area in keeping with a country like UAE and Dubai in particular, where such places have made way for large jewelry stores more..

Disgruntled Ranil to cease dealings with TNA

Jan 20 (LB) Informed UNP sources said that Ranil Wickremesinghe is angry over the TNA’s defiance of his directives to refrain from appearing before the Court of Appeal on the case filed by CJ Shirani Bandaranayake against the findings of the PSC, and is planning to cease political dealings with the party. UNP seniors have pointed out that when the UNP had taken a decision not to appear before the Court of Appeal alongside the govt delegation, the TNA too ought to have followed suit instead of more..

Sri Lanka seek another series win

Jan 20 (CI) Just as the Test series between these two teams was decided with one match still to play, the one-day battle could be done and dusted before the teams fly to Hobart for the fifth and final game. Through outstanding swing bowling over the past two matches in Adelaide and Brisbane, Sri Lanka have positioned themselves so that in Sydney on Sunday they can become the first team ever to secure two bilateral one-day more..

Sri Lanka: farewell to the rule of law?

Jan 20 (Ekklesia) In Sri Lanka, govt ministers set out to centralise power in their own hands. When supreme court judges ruled against a police officer for illegal arrest, thugs were sent in buses to surround their homes and shout abuse and threats. The year was 1983. Recently Sri Lankan ministers have been even more blatant in attacking the independence of the judiciary. Power has increasingly been concentrated in the hands of President Mahinda Rajapakse and his more..

Rizana issue forces migrant policy rethink

Jan 20 (NS) The govt was to revise its policies with regard to sending housemaids to the Middle East, officials said. Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) officials said it would ban housemaids from being sent to take care of children less than two years of age. The move comes after the recent execution of Lankan housemaid Rizana Nafeek in Saudi Arabia. “This will be included in the housemaid agreement which has to be signed by the agent, employer and the employee more..

Jaffna Library Burning: Gamini Dissanayake exonerated

Jan 20 (NS) A crime committed in 1981 during the Jaffna District Development Council Elections attributed perniciously to the late UNP Presidential Candidate Gamini Dissanayake was in fact perpetrated by the LTTE, according a former DIG Edward Gunawardena. This has been revealed in his’s memoirs, ‘Memorial tidbits including the Jaffna Library Fire’, launched yesterday. A major portion of the book is devoted to the Jaffna more..

Kingsbury owners crossing threshold on borrowings

Jan 20 (Island) Hotel Services (Ceylon) PLC, the owning company, has summoned an extraordinary general meeting to seek shareholder approval for further borrowing to fund the renovation of the extensively refurbished ‘The Kingsbury’ hotel in Colombo which is now partly operational with two restaurants and the bar open and 52 guest rooms completed. Shareholders have been told that the renovation costs have escalated with the company having part-funded the Rs.2.4 billion tab more..

Editorial : Regime change at Hulftsdorp

Jan 20 (ST) The stalemate or confusion continues at Hulftsdorp, the citadel of the Courts of Justice of Sri Lanka. Journalists are wondering how to describe Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, who says she remains the legally appointed Chief Justice and Mohan Peiris, who has also been appointed by the President. Despite the veneer of normalcy in the country’s Supreme Court, an uneasy undercurrent prevails. The Govt used all its horses and all its men to get the newly appointed His Lordship more..

Blacklisted Iranian company’s vessel in mysterious escape

Jan 20 (ST) A vessel that slipped out of Sri Lankan custody last week belonged to an Iranian shipping company blacklisted by the United States for its role in supporting Iran’s ballistic missiles programme, the Sunday Times has found. The company is also blacklisted by the European Union — Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1245/2011 —as an entity involved in “nuclear or ballistic missiles activities”. more..

Loss of GSP plus takes its toll

Jan 20 (SL) The loss of the GSP Plus facility that was granted by the EU to Sri Lanka is continuing to result in the closure of factories in the country resulting in thousands of employees jobless. It is learnt that two such factories had closed down on January 2nd since they are shifting their businesses to Bangladesh, which is a reception of the GSP Plus facility. President of the Inter Company Employees Union (ICEU), Wasantha Samarasinghe said that contrary to claims made by the govt, more..

Fonseka in Mahawansa

Jan 20 (SL) Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka has been included in the sixth edition of the Mahawansa despite earlier moves not to include him. The sixth edition of the Mahawansa includes historical events which occurred in Sri Lanka between 1978 to 2010. Coordinator of the Mahawansa board, the Venerable Sobitha thero said that the new edition has already been written. The Venerable thero said that the Mahawansa will cover the incidents which took place in Sri Lanka more..

TNA to tour South Africa

Jan 20 (CT) The TNA will kick start its political process for the year with a tour to South Africa, to share the country’s experience in handling the ethnic issue. TNA Jaffna District MP, Mavai Senadhiraja, said the delegation led by Party Leader R. Sampanthan, will travel to South Africa on 25 January and will meet the political dignitaries there, who had contributed towards handling the ethnic and the apartheid issues. more..

SLCERT warns of online Pyramid schemes

Jan 20 (SL) The Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Response Team (SLCERT) has warned the public to be cautious of falling prey to pyramid schemes using the internet. SLCERT Security Engineer, Roshan Chandragupta, said several complaints have been received by people who have made payments to such schemes not knowing of the consequences. He said that in Sri Lanka, the Central Bank has banned pyramid schemes, but some groups have turned to the internet to carry out similar schemes. more..

Existing laws outdated, says Mohan Peiris

Jan 20 (SL) Chief Justice Mohan Peiris has called for the amendment of local laws saying the existing laws are outdated. The newly appointed CJ said he would have discussions with the govt and judiciary to come up with proposals to amend the law. He noted that amending the laws will also help expedite several cases which have been dragging for years. “I am not new in dealing with the law. I have been in this field for several years. So I will have discussions with members of the judiciary and more..

New Constitution on the cards?

Jan 20 (NS) The recent Constitutional crisis between the Executive, Legislature, and the Judiciary has renewed calls for the adoption of a new Constitution from various sections of the political spectrum. Politicians from the govt and the opposition said that the present Constitution contained several flaws that affected democracy and rule of law. Minister Vasudewa Nanayakkara, said the present Constitution resulted in the more..

UNP: No change in top posts

Jan 20 (SL) The UNP has decided not to change some of the top positions in the party when the Working Committee meets tomorrow. Well informed UNP sources said that the posts of Deputy Leader, Assistant Leader and National Organiser are among the posts which will remain unchanged. Accordingly UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa, Assistant Leader Joseph Micheal Perera and National organizer Daya Gamage will retain the posts. The posts remained vacant following more..

US Embassy confirms high-profile visit

Jan 20 (CT) The United States Embassy in Colombo officially confirmed the arrival of three Deputy Assistant Secretaries to Sri Lanka, as disclosed by Ceylon Today yesterday. Issuing a statement, the Embassy said, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, James Moore, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence, Vikram Singh, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Jane Zimmerman will visit Sri Lanka and the Maldives from 26 January to 1 February 2013. The statement added, more..

Colombo hosting CHOGM hangs in the balance?

Jan 20 (Island) With Canada planning to report Sri Lanka to the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) following the impeachment of CJ Shirani Bandaranayake, the chances of Colombo hosting the Commonwealth Heads Of Govt Meeting (CHOGM) this year appears to hang in the balance, observers here warned last week. Canada initially accused for its human rights record and threatened to boycott the more..

MCNS mum on website hacking

Jan 20 (NS) The Media Center for National Security (MCNS) remained tightlipped yesterday on the alleged hacking and defacement of its official website. The alleged cyber-attack occurred on Wednesday (16), but the site, remained offline at the time this edition went to press on Saturday (19). Visitors to the site are greeted with the message “We are currently performing site maintenance. We’ll (sic) be back 100% in a bit”. According to Hack Read, more..

CHOGM in Sri Lanka as scheduled

Jan 20 (SL) The Commonwealth Heads of Govt Meetings (CHOGM) will go ahead as scheduled in Sri Lanka, despite threats raised by Canada, the External Affairs Ministry said. Ministry Secretary, Karunathilake Amunugama, said so far only Canada had raised concerns over CHOGM being held in Sri Lanka. He said that other countries have not objected to the summit being held in Sri Lanka and so the summit will go ahead as scheduled. Amunugama also said there is no threat to more..

Judiciary silenced; a dark chapter in Sri Lanka’s history

Jan 20 (ST) Clad in a purple blouse and black pants, Shirani Bandaranayake, who maintains she is still CJ, was at the Arpico supermarket in Hyde Park last Sunday afternoon. Together with her husband Pradeepa and son Shaveen, Ms. Bandaranayake was engaged in shopping of a different kind – buying up plastic crates and collecting large corrugated carton boxes. There was no security detail to protect her. more..

Govt targets $10,000 per capita income in 10 years

Jan 20 (SO) Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake said if President Mahinda Rajapaksa governs Sri Lanka for another 10 years, it would reach the standard of a developed country exceeding the per capita income of US$ 10,000. “We should do our best to take the country forward by strengthening peace, democracy and co-existence among the communities,” he told the Sunday Observer yesterday. The country has made great strides under the Mahinda Chinthana more..

No adjustment on MRP tags - CAA

Jan 20 (NS) Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) last week reiterated that no changes or adjustments could be made to the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) tags on items sold in supermarkets, but added the tax additions could be made through alternate methods. The 2013 Budget proposals indicated a 12% Value Added Tax (VAT) addition on certain items effective from this month. However, concerns were raised with regard to alleged changes on MRP tags on the said items. An official attached to more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Jan 20 (ST) Double talk or double speak in diplomatic circles is nothing new. There are occasions when diplomats do that. They say to lie for their country is part of their job. However, when the numero uno does it, it raises eyebrows. Here is an example. External Affairs Ministry Secretary, Karunatilleke Amunugama said last week that the recall of Ahmed Jawad, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, was “aimed at the Saudi more..

Growing protest over re-demarcation in East

Jan 20 (ST) The Public Administration Ministry has called for an urgent meeting with MPs from the Eastern Province to resolve a fresh crisis over govt plans to re-demarcate boundaries of Divisional Secretaries. Minister John Seneviratne said that, following complaints from political parties in the East, he had called for a meeting on Thursday to look into their grievances. On Friday, former Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan’s more..

MR intervenes to help expedite Golden Key refunds

Jan 20 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa last week directed the Attorney General’s Department to forward a report to him on the legal option of the Monetary Board of the Central Bank acquiring the assets and properties of Golden Key (GK) to grant expeditious relief to struggling depositors. With the ouster of Chief Justice Shiranee Bandaranayake, the President personally intervened to offer redress to thousands of investors of more..

Sri Lanka – UAE economic relations poised for significant growth

Jan 20 (Island) 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 last week 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 more..

Alleged over-payment of millions to top health official raise eye brows

Jan 20 (Island) Red-faced health officials were last week pondering how a senior medical administrator heading a key, high-profile state-sector institution, had drawn millions of rupees in excess of his salary and allowances undetected for the past 16 years. The alleged over-payment came to light when the medical man’s file was forwarded for annual increments. An alert Deputy Director-General of Health spotted the grave more..

BASL standing by decision not to welcome new CJ

Jan 20 (ST) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) will stand by its decision not to welcome the new Chief Justice, its President Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said yesterday. “There is no variation in the Bar Association (BASL) resolution not to welcome government appointed new Chief Justice Mohan Peiris,” he said. His remarks came as preparations were underway to have a ceremonial sitting to welcome Mr. Peiris. more..

FSP behind attacks on undergrads – SB

Jan 20 (CT) Minister S.B. Dissanayake, yesterday claimed the Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) members are prime suspects in the recent attacks against university undergraduates. He claimed the JVP breakaways are skilled in creating violence among undergraduates, as could be seen in the university insurgencies, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of university students in the 1970s. more..

The food that we eat!

Jan 20 (ST) Raw meat and cooked foods stored together in the same freezer shelf, curries that had been cooked sometime back being stored for reuse and large utensils containing exposed food, placed on the floor. These were some of the unhygienic scenes that greeted Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) who carried out raids on some food outlets in Pettah and Fort on Thursday. A team from the Sunday Times also accompanied more..

No Tigers, but road terrorists

Jan 20 (ST) No longer is terrorism a threat. Today’s travel advisories on Sri Lanka warn of crazed bus drivers and stray cattle than of bomb attacks. With the end of the war in 2009, Sri Lankan road habits have overtaken terrorism as a danger to tourist safety, travel advisories issued by developed countries show. Among their other top concerns are credit card fraud, possible political violence and, to a lesser degree, acts of violent crime against more..