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Tourists, serendipity return to Sri Lanka

Jan 21 (AAP) "Move one small step to your left," suggests a senior hotel executive. "Now you're standing exactly where it happened." The bloodstains disappeared many years ago but I'm assured I'm where the victim knelt when he was executed. The scene of this murder most foul is now one of Colombo's classiest boutique hotels - in a country where historic lodgings are thick on the ground. Ten-room Tintagel and others of its ilk are affordable - despite their opulence - because more..

Iranian cargo vessel: Ministry to pursue further action

Jan 21 (DM) The Director General of Merchant Shipping said that they had requested the Ministry of External Affairs and the Navy to pursue further action against the Iranian cargo vessel, AV Amina which fled the country’s waters on Jan 17 despite a Sri Lankan court order. “I have made the relevant requests to the ministry of External Affairs and to the Navy informing them about the current status. They will take more..

Lanka customs smoke out massive cigarette smuggling from Gulf

Jan 21 (E24|7) The Customs Special Vigilant Task in Sri Lanka has foiled a major attempt to smuggle cigarettes from the Middle East valued at millions of dirhams. Uncleared passenger baggage raised suspicion of the customs officers on duty at the Rank Container Terminal in Orugodawatte, Colombo, after it was found to be addressed to over 10 persons. The baggage contained cigarettes, besides shoes, cardamom, cheese, cloves, refrigerators and vehicle spare parts. more..

Cops to get tough on bicycles

Jan 21 (CG) The police have decided to take action on people who ride bicycles at night without a tail light. A statement by the police said that several accidents have been reported in parts of the country in the recent past involving bicycles. The police said that most accidents have occurred as the bicycles did not have tail lights and so could not be spotted at night by vehicles coming from behind. The police said that under the law all bicycles must have the red tail light when out at night. more..

Kelaniya is my life, laments Mervyn

Jan 21 (OU) Continuous protests are held urging to evacuate Minister Mervyn from the Kelaniya area but “I will not at all leave Kelaniya and even my ashes will be dissolved in the Kelaniya River was explicitly said by Minster Mervyn yesterday. Not only in the Kelaniya political arena, but in the central political domain, due to severe crisis Minister Mervyn, recently resigned from Kelaniya electorate organizer's position. more..

Female lawyer supporting ex-CJ strangled

Jan 21 (SM) A female lawyer who has supported the impeached chief justice Shirani Bandaranayake has been strangled by a stranger on the road, Lawyers Collective member Sunil Watagala said. She had gone to Kirulapone police station to lodge a complaint regarding an assault of a person and his mobile phone being dashed to the ground, at court premises. On her way back, a motorcyclist had stopped her vehicle and told her to down the shutters and strangled her. more..

Neo-Nazis attack Sri Lankan in Bernese town

Jan 21 (TL) Three drunken neo-Nazis were arrested after storming a Sri Lankan restaurant and injuring the owner in a rural town in the canton of Bern over the weekend. The incident occurred on Saturday night in Hutwil, a town of 4,700 people in the lower Emmental region, according to a report issued by the cantonal police. The young men, with shaved heads and dressed in military gear, were heard shouting “sieg Heil, sieg Heil” and making Nazi salutes as they marched around more..

Food producers misleading consumers to be dealt with

Jan 21 (Island) The Health Ministry has decided to take severe action against those involved in misleading the consumer through misleading information and advertisements on food products. Director General of Health Services Dr. Palitha Maheepala said that a majority of food producers provide misleading information, on the packs, on the nutritional contents of the food, while advertising agencies, too, disseminated propaganda, more..

Sri Lanka stocks slips from 3 month high on correction, foreign selling

Jan 21 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's stock market ended marginally weaker on Monday, slipping off a three-month high, with top fixed-line phone operator Sri Lanka Telecom pulling down the index amid foreign selling. The main share index closed 0.23%, or 13.75 points weaker, at 5,862.02, from its highest close since Oct. 3. The market has been overbought since early this year with its 14-day relative index at 80.448 on Monday, well above the upper neutral range of 70, Reuters data showed. more..

'Govt on conspiracy to disturb university students education'

Jan 21 (OU) Mahinda govt has still not forsaken the activities of torturing the university students by describing them as terrorists, by branding tigers. Govt sector is still using words that the Jaffna university students are “continuously serving detention”. President Mahinda, Defense Secretary Gottabaya, Jaffna Commanding Chief Hathurusinghe and Higher Education Minister S.P are in the initiatives of transforming military method to the university education activities in the more..

Sri Lanka debrief news 20 01 2013

Problems for Australia, promise for Sri Lanka

Jan 21 (CI) Mickey Arthur, the Australia coach, had wanted to "find out about a few players" during this series. A trio of pitches offering something to the seam bowlers in Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney have given him more information than he may have wanted. The travails of the batsmen against the diligent but hardly intimidating swing and seam of Nuwan Kulasekara have made for dire viewing with this year's tour of England in mind, demonstrating both a lack of technical tightness to more..

Sri Lanka printer gets top green rating

Jan 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Aitken Spence Printing said its new printing facility had received a 'Gold' rating from in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) from US-based Green Building Council. The company's new 77,000 square feet facility near Colombo, was given LEED-NC (New Construction): GOLD Certification, the firm said. The new facility had achieved 70 savings on water, 22% savings on energy use of daylight for 100 percent regularly occupied space, more..

Pillay’s statement full of innuendos-SL

Jan 21 (DM) The govt today expressed its ‘regret and concern’ over a statement made by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navinethem Pillay regarding the impeachment of former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake and the subsequent appointment of Mohan Peiris to the post. In a strongly worded letter addressed to Ms. Pillay, External Affairs Ministry’s Acting Secretary Kshenuka Senewiratne said that the more..

Sri Lanka’s Muslim IDPs 25 years on

Jan 21 (IRIN) Almost three years after the Sri Lankan govt looked into resettling up to 100,000 Muslims displaced from the country’s north during the 1983-2009 civil war, thousands of Muslim families still find themselves in limbo, without the means to return to their former homes. Despite a time lapse of almost 25 years, Abdul Malik still remembers the announcement LTTE made on 29 October 1990: All Muslims in Jaffna Peninsula, which included the capital of the war-hit more..

'Tamils struggle getting multiplied'

Jan 21 (OU) Tamils struggle for rights has not got subsided. Without shedding blood, by avoiding the violence path is advancing towards another strategy. To say it clearly, our struggles compared to past, has now got expanded, was mentioned by TNA Leader R.Sambanthan. The centenary celebration of Tamil Arasu party’s former leader and MP C.M.Rasamanickam was held yesterday at Batticaloa Kaluwanchikudy and Sambanthan while addressing at the ceremony made these more..

UNP Deputy Leader appointment postponed

Jan 21 (CT) UNP has postponed the appointment of Deputy Leader of the party at the party’s working committee meeting held at the party’s Head office Sirikotha this evening. According to well informed sources the appointment of the Deputy leader was postponed as the party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has told the working committee that he needed more time to decide on the reappointing the present Deputy leader again more..

Where were we? are we? will we be?

Jan 22 (NS) “28% of the LLRC recommendations are omitted by the National Plan for Action to Implement the Recommendations of the LLRC,” says Sri Lanka: LLRC Implementation Monitor, a recently published statistical and analytical review by Verit¬é Research. The LLRC Implementation Monitor, a study with three objectives focuses on publicizing a list of the actual number of distinct recommendations in the LLRC which are identified and categorised according to the constructive more..

The disappearance of a system of law

Jan 22 (CT) With the dust uneasily settling over a legal community thuggishly coerced into fuming silence, an unjustly ousted CJ Shirani Bandaranayake may yet be proud. Despite overwhelming odds, she succeeded in uniting a deeply divided Bar, rallying judges to her side, provoking strongly worded editorials and unexpected protests from the normally quiescent business, investment and employment sectors, quite apart from religious leaders and concerned more..

Imported cows will boost self-sufficiency

Jan 22 (SO) With the addition of the 2000 hybrid cows imported from Australia the NLDB now has 12,000 cows in its 32 cattle farms in the country and the imported cows have considerably contributed to the govt’s target of achieving self-sufficiency in milk and milk products by the year 2016, NLDB Chairman Ranjith Ellegala said. The imported cows are in the Bopatalawa, Diyagama and Menikpalama farms. Prior to the import more..

Saudi Arabia’s tribal regime

Jan 22 (DBS) Ever since the senseless beheading of Rizana Nafeek without a proper trial, questions are being asked about Saudi Arabia’s tribal rulers, who, for far too long, have exploited Islam to entrench their autocratic regime, which many people regard as un Islamic and the most oppressive in the planet. A tribal system of government, a repressive royal family given special treatment, looting of the nation’s wealth and wasting them in vulgar opulence while the bulk of the people live below the more..

The judicial interpretation of Article 107 (3)

Jan 22 (Island) The recently concluded impeachment process has generated considerable debate on the separation of powers between the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary in the exercise of the sovereign powers of the People, and how each branch of govt is expected to interact with the rest. This interaction became confrontational in the case of the impeachment of former CJ with the Legislature (Parliament) and the Judiciary attempting to assert jurisdiction over each more..

'Regrettable, not surprising'

Jan 22 (CT) The appointment of Mohan Peiris as Chief Justice is regrettable, though not surprising, in the backdrop of growing authoritarianism and undermining of the county’s Constitution, says Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Executive Director, Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) in an interview. Excerpts: Q: CPA has been critical of the move to impeach Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake and the impeachment process itself. more..

Caught with their hand in Samurdhi jaggery jar

Jan 22 (NS) The parliamentary watchdog, the Committee On Public Enterprises (COPE), in its latest report has revealed that fraud, malpractices, irregularities and corruption are rampant at Sri Lanka Samurdhi Authority established for poverty alleviation and the economic empowerment of rural folk. In one such instance, a manager of Samurdhi Bank has allegedly obtained a loan of Rs.1,025,000 under the name of a beneficiary. The CID is now investigating the matter. more..

The man who really ended ‘wreak vengeance’ era was Ranil

Jan 22 (CT) 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, the price of vegetables more..

'I am bigger now!'

Jan 22 (NS) Lakshman Hulugalle has led the Media Center for National Security (MCNS) since its inception. The center was tasked with disseminating news to the media during the war. Over three years after the war, he still functions as the Director General of the MCNS. In addition, he now serves as the Director General of the NGO Secretariat and Deputy Chairman of the NDLB. A new book on his life titled ‘Lakshman’ is more..

Editorial : Of those Cylinder Snakes

Jan 22 (Island) Much concern has been expressed by our readers from time to time over media reports that sparrows are fast disappearing from the Colombo city and other urban areas. This has been blamed on environmental pollution among other things though the veracity of this claim has been challenged by some ornithologists. Environmentalists have also attributed the spread of dengue to some factors such as problems caused by the haphazard use of hazardous more..

Weep my beloved country weep; Vile thugs are supreme

Jan 22 (DBS) We were invited to lunch at a friend’s home in Battaramulla on Black Friday as January 13th is named for it was the day that Parliament accepted the decision of the Select Committee that Her Ladyship the Chief Justice was found guilty and impeached in indecent haste. (I don’t know on what grounds, what her ‘crimes’ were and the choice of committee members on the government side left us gasping – you can name the reason for the shock: approval or disgust). more..

Cairn Lanka advances drilling date by a quarter

Jan 22 (FT) Cairn India is to start drilling of the fourth exploration well in the Mannar basin next month, the Company disclosed yesterday. The landmark development comes ahead of the previously scheduled time. Cairn said post acquisition and interpretation of 600 sq km 3D seismic data during phase 2 exploration period in Block SL 2007-01-001, exploration drilling was planned by mid 2013. “However, due to more..

Namaste: Top Indian trade delegation arrives in town; India-Lanka JTF gathers speed

Jan 22 (Island) An Indian trade delegation has arrived to kick-start the India-Sri Lanka Joint Task Force. "As trade 2012 numbers started to show trade favouring Sri Lanka, in another latest signs of India-Sri Lanka trade acceleration, both countries are re-joining to move the Joint Task Force forward, with greater speed. And private sectors at both ends are being positioned to take the lead," the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said in a statement. "2012 was a milestone year in more..

Air Asia suspends Kuala Lumpur – Colombo route for lucrative China

Jan 22 (Island) Budget airline AirAsia (Kuala Lumpur) said it would suspend daily flights from Kuala Lumpur to Colombo, effective 26 February 2013 due to commercial reasons. The airline, which commenced operations in Colombo in 2009, did not elaborate on the ‘commercial’ reasons but an airline source said the pullout was affected to make room for its aircraft to be deployed to more lucrative Chinese destinations. "Guests that are affected by the withdrawal of this route will be offered more..

Ultra-nationalism threatens economy

Jan 22 (Island) Muslim businessmen and corporate leaders expressed concern and disappointment over being targeted by the radical group ‘Bodu Bala Sena’, warning that it would have an adverse impact on the economy as the country struggles to mobilise both domestic and foreign investment while business chambers decried growing ultra-nationalistic sentiments in the country, putting the very foundations of the economy at risk. more..

Sri Lanka: Troubled Normalcy

Jan 22 (EAR) On January 13, 2013, Minister of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms, Chandrasiri Gajadeera, disclosed that, of 11,500 LTTE cadres who were arrested or surrendered at the end of the war in 2009, and who were sent to rehabilitation camps thereafter, a total of 11,375 cadres had been ‘reintegrated’ into society. This left just 125 ‘un-integrated; LTTE cadres in the camps or under detention. Earlier, on September 25, 2012, the Menik Farm camp in Vavuniya District, more..

Lankan embassy celebrates Thai Pongal in US

Jan 22 (DN) The Sri Lanka embassy in Washington DC began its calendar of events for the year, with a colourful celebration of the Hindu harvest festival, Thai Pongal on January 15 amidst a large gathering of Hindu devotees of the Sri Lankan American community, representatives Sri Lanka associations and US officials. Swami Sivanatha Kurukkal recited prayers and conducted religious activities according to Hindu traditions. The evening's proceeding commenced with the lighting of more..

UNP, JVP to vote against Criminal Procedure Bill

Jan 22 (CT) The UNP and the JVP said they would be voting against the Code of Criminal Procedure (Special Provisions) Bill which is being presented in Parliament today. Both parties charged that the Bill violates human rights and allows the police to ill-treat suspects taken into custody. UNP MP John Amaratunge, said his party is against the Bill as it gives more powers to the police who are influenced by politicians. more..

Chief justice vs parliament

Jan 22 (IE) Sri Lanka’s parliament impeached its CJ, Shirani Bandaranayake, bringing into focus the precarious balance of power between courts and legislatures, a factor that defines the institutional politics of all constitutional democracies. President Rajapaksa’s govt, which had previously jailed the country’s army chief, accused Bandaranayake of corruption, based on unproven allegations of disproportionate wealth. The parliament voted, 155 against 49, for the impeachment more..

'Vertigo sufferers on the rise'

Jan 22 (DN) Over 5% of Sri Lankans suffer from long term vertigo. Inadequate attention has led vertigo patients to suffer through their entire lives, consultant ENT surgeon Chandra Jayasooriya said. She was speaking at a special workshop on vertigo. It was organised by ENT Consultant Doctors’ Association and Neurosurgeons’ Association. “Vertigo has become common in Sri Lanka. The number of vertigo patients that visit hospitals for treatment has increased tremendously,” more..

Matale mass grave traced to 1987-89

Jan 22 (Island) Human skeletal remains excavated from a mass grave near the Matale Hospital have been preliminary dated to 1987-89 period, when over 60,000 insurgents perished in extra judicial killings by the then govt sponsored death squads during the second JVP uprising. The preliminary date has been given on the basis of bone colouration and typological analysis on the personal items, including some rings found more..

Govt goes for Rs.29bn T-bill, bond auctions

Jan 22 (DM) To make the most when interest rates are down, the government is to issue Treasury bills worth Rs.20 billion and Treasury bonds worth of Rs.9 billion through the auction that will take place today and tomorrow, the Public Debt Department of the Central Bank said. Accordingly the debt office will offer Rs.1 billion worth of 3-month bills, Rs.1 billion worth of 6-month bills and Rs.18 billion worth of 12-month bills in an auction that will take place tomorrow. more..

COYLE hosts annual ‘Diplomats Evening’ for networking

Jan 22 (FT) The Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE) held its second annual Diplomats Evening conference on 15 January at the Hilton to facilitate the networking and fellowship for expanding and consolidating international trade, both locally and internationally. The Chamber’s new profile and website was also launched at the event amidst many distinguished foreign diplomats, ministerial elite and COYLE members. The event was an ideal forum for fellowship amongst more..