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Sajith’s re-appointment as Dy. leader deferred, disciplinary reasons cited

Jan 22 (Island) The UNP Working Committee yesterday deferred the re-appointment of Sajith Premadasa as Deputy Leader, citing disciplinary reasons. UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, addressing the first Working Committee meeting for this year, at ‘Srikotha’, had said that there were disciplinary issues he had to discuss with Premadasa including his repeated refusal to toe the party line. more..

Int'l Tea Producers' Forum established

Jan 22 (DN) An International Tea Producers' Forum was formed yesterday in Colombo in collaboration with major tea producing countries, to promote sustainability of the tea industry on an international footing. The countries, India, China, Kenya, Rwanda, Indonesia, Malawi and Iran participated in the forum's first meeting in Colombo. The meeting was presided over by Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe. The meeting was reportedly organized in Sri Lanka as a result of poor more..

Appointed Legal Draftsman

Jan 22 (Island) Attorney-at-Law Sri Lanka and Solicitor England and Wales Aruna Shantha de Silva has been appointed Legal Draftsman of the Govt of Sri Lanka. He holds postgraduate qualifications in International legislative drafting from University of West Indies Barbados. He further disciplined himself in international legislative drafting at the Royal Institute of Public Administration -United Kingdom, Ministry of Justice - Singapore, Attorney General’s Department-Canberra, more..

Amunugama says down with state monopolies!

Jan 22 (DN) The world is facing an economic crisis. Countries deemed economic giants have also become victims of this crisis including India and China, Deputy Minister Dr Sarath Amunugama said. “The power and energy sectors can decide the fate of a country’s economy. The CEB, CPC and the Water Board are considered as the base of the country’s economy,” he said. Regulatory bodies such as the Public Utilities more..

Police recover ammunition haul from Mahakandarawa Tank

Jan 22 (Island) The Mihintale police yesterday recovered more than a thousand rounds of Multi-purpose Machine Gun and T-56 ammunition from near the small bridge at the Mahakandarawa tank. A schoolchild, living at Sippikulama, Siyambalagaswewa, had given information about the haul of ammunition to the Mihintale police. The find comprised six webs of 150 bullets each of MPMG ammunition and more than 100 T-56 assault rifle bullets. The schoolboy, who had gone to more..

On Sri Lanka, Keating staffs 'Post internal review panel on UN (In) action'

Jan 22 (ICP) The UN's review of its action and inaction while 40,000 people were killed in Sri Lanka in 2009 is slow and low key, to say the least. After the delayed release of the so-called Petrie Report, of which Inner City Press first published the unredacted version including the executive summary, on December 5 the UN said that Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson to head up another review panel. Now 45 days later, Eliasson's schedule includes a meeting with more..

Gotabhaya faults US over unfair treatment of Maj. Gen.

Jan 22 (Island) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday alleged that the US government was persecuting Sri Lanka on the basis of false information and wrong assumptions. A case in point was their recent decision to deprive Maj. Gen. Sudantha Ranasinghe of a US military programme on the basis of his being the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 53 Division during eelam war IV, an irate Rajapaksa said. more..

Lanka exports to Brazil grow by 37%

Jan 22 (DN) Having increased its exports in 2012, Sri Lanka is keen to expand its current trade with the world’s seventh largest economy, Brazil even further. “Our total bilateral trade of $ 79 million in 2011 shows that there is strong unrealised growth potential for our trade with Brazil. Also there is a trade growth in 2012’s first half,” said minister Rishad Bathiudeen. He said this during his meeting with Marcelo L da S. Vasconcelos, Brazil’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives. more..

JVP warns of further international fallout

Jan 22 (Island) The JVP yesterday warned that the government was inviting further international pressure and fall out by attempting to extend the period of detention, of persons who had been arrested without a warrant, from 24 hours to 48 hours. JVP Propaganda Secretary MP Vijitha Herath said that the govt should have relaxed the laws related to the detention of persons, following the end of the conflict in 2009, but instead it was making them more severe. more..

'Sri Lanka needs price formula for petroleum, electricity'

Jan 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka needs a cost based price formula for electricity and petroleum, minister champika Ranawaka has said. Sri Lanka already had price formulae for bus transport and cooking gas which were accepted by all concerned, minister was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the ministry. If the country is to progress, a formula that is accepted by all concerned is needed for petroleum and electricity. more..

Most non-Buddhists use Buddhist temple land-MR

Jan 22 (DM) President Rajapaksa said that most non-Buddhists were conducting their religious activities in places, which belonged to Buddhist temples or sacred lands. “The Venerable Buddhist priests have given these lands to non-Buddhists because Buddhism teaches us to give donations. We are ready to donate at any time as Buddhists. The Maha Sanga and all Buddhists are free of no racialism and regionalism,” the president said, addressing an event at the Balapokuna more..

SLFP CC meets today to decide on premier, cabinet reshuffle

Jan 22 (Island) The SLFP Central Committee, headed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, is scheduled to meet this evening to discuss a number of crucial issues, including the appointment of the next Prime Minister and a Cabinet reshuffle. The Committee would discuss Transport Minister Kumar Welgama’s proposal that Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa be appointed the Prime Minister when the incumbent, D.M. Jayaratne, went into retirement, as all senior SLFPers had no objections. more..

Govt. moves to reverse SC ruling on Standing Orders

Jan 22 (FT) As international condemnation mounts against the impeachment of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, the Govt yesterday moved to attempt the overturning of a Supreme Court determination in which the Court ruled that Standing Orders were not law according to the Constitution, thereby rendering the impeachment proceedings against her null and void, with the Attorney General’s Department yesterday more..

Editorial: Shadows over democracy

Jan 22 (DM) The change of heads at Hulftsdorp last week has virtually silenced the Judiciary and shaken one of the bastions of democracy. CJ Shirani Bandaranayake was virtually forced to leave this highest judicial office while armed men turned the superior courts complex into a fortress, apparently to prevent the CJ from even entering her supreme court chambers. Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake says she is legally still the CJ, according to the clear-cut rulings of the Supreme Court and the more..

The otherside of the impleachment drama

Jan 22 (DM) The impeachment of a judge of a superior court is indisputably a tragic event to be dealt with due solemnity and wholly divorced from all considerations of extraneous matters such as party affiliations and `loyalties’; prospects of rewards; political gain etc. It is a solemn occasion where MPs are required and indeed bound to discard and ignore completely their party affiliations, the decisions of their respective parties on such matter as well as the instructions of their party whips and more..

After impeachment, Govt. going after auditors: Karu J

Jan 22 (FT) Following its assault on the Judiciary, the Govt is now gearing up to attack and destroy the Auditor Generals’ Department, UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya charged. He said that media reports about officers from the AG’s Department assembling near Parliament to demand that the Govt stops interfering with their duties was a sign of a dangerous and emerging trend. The officials of the AG’s Department were asking the Govt to more..

Chief Justice impeached, long live Chief Justice!

Jan 22 (SL) Protests by the Bar, posturing by political parties, condemnation by the civil society and constitutional possibilities notwithstanding, the judicial transition at the top, following the fast-tracked impeachment of the incumbent, has gone off incident-free thus far, reflecting the inherent resilience of the Sri Lankan nation and its people. Conversely, it could also be a reflection on perceptions of continued more..

Chinese, US firms vie for oil pipeline project

Jan 22 (ST) Chinese and US companies are bidding for a multi-billion rupee fuel pipeline project which is to begin next month and completed within five months. The Petroleum Ministry has called for bids for the installation of two pipelines connecting the Colombo Port and the Sapugaskanda Refinery. Minister Susil Premajayantha said five international firms — three from China and two from the United States more..

‘2013, year of excellent public service’

Jan 22 (FT) Kicking off a project that can make State land management unimaginably easy, Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga showed the way to make 2013 the year for excellent public service. The State Land Information Management System (e-SLIMS), launched last Friday, is a project initiated by the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA). With this launch, e-SLIMS is immediately implemented in 10 more..

'Exempt Veddah people from marriage tax'

Jan 22 (DM) Veddah Chief Uruwarige Wanniyale Aththo expressed his dissatisfaction over the imposition of the new marriage registration tax of Rs. 5,000 on Veddahs. He said that when the country was under British rule, the govt had levied many taxes but that the Veddahs had been exempted from all taxes. He requested that the govt exempt Veddahs from the marriage tax or at least reduce it for Veddahs. more..

Forgiven or forgotten?

Jan 22 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials have been made to eat their words and bow down to the superiority of Sri Lanka team captain Mahela Jayawardene, as SLC’s much-publicized threat to discuss Jayawardene’s purported breach of SLC contract by communicating directly with Daily Mirror has proved to be an empty whimper and a farce. In a media release that received huge attention around the world, more..

Reservoirs full, but fuel surcharge stays

Jan 22 (Island) Hydropower generation is at its maximum following the recent heavy rains experienced in the catchments, the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) yesterday said, claiming that thermal power generation could not be reduced and therefore, the fuel surcharge could not be waived. CEB Chairman Anura Wijepala said that the Board was unable to meet present electricity requirements with hydro power alone. more..

MV Sun Sea passenger loses refugee status

Jan 22 (NP) The Federal Court of Canada has overturned the refugee status granted a passenger aboard a smuggling ship linked to Tamil rebels, just as the refugee board extended protection on the same grounds to a Tamil passenger of a second smuggling ship, highlighting the difficulty in handling the two highly publicized mass arrivals. The overturned decision involves one of 492 Sri Lankan Tamil migrants who arrived aboard the more..

Doctor running rehab centre caught selling drugs to kids

Jan 22 (E24|7) A doctor who was allegedly selling large quantities of a tablet named ‘Sudol’ was nabbed by Anti-Corruption Unit. He has been operating from Akkara Panaha in Kimbulapitiya where he was running a fake medical centre under the ploy of rehabilitating drug addicts. The police found a large quantity of various brands of drugs including tablets used for abortions which cannot be sold without a prescription. more..

Govt. spends Rs. 109 million on Kilinochchi projects

Jan 22 (GDI) Minister Basil Rajapaksa inaugurated on Saturday several new projects completed at a cost of 109 million in the Kilinochchi District. The minister Rajapaksa also bought the first stamp issued to mark the events. The projects comprise the Kilinochchi main post office, Dryarukulam tank and bridge and the Kanagambiyayikulam tank all of which are part of the Economic Development Ministry’s more..

Sri Lanka added to TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice 2013 rankings

Jan 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka has been added to a list of 14 countries popular hotels are ranked annually by, a travel review site, though no hotel made it in to the world's best 25 hotels. Maldives had three hotels in the top 25, Baros Maldives, North Male Atoll, Veligandu Island Resort, North Ari Atoll, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa, North Male Atoll. Turkey and Mauritius had two entries in the top 25. The Four Seasons chain had five hotels, more..

‘Hats off’ to the ‘De jure Chief Justice’

Jan 22 (CT) Any individual willing and able to discern the rationale of what is taking place in Sri Lanka can have no doubt that the 43rd Chief Justice of Sri Lanka has been unjustly vilified, persecuted, condemned and crucified. A once respected academic prostituted any little reputation he had left, by stating that “the Supreme Court decision was not worth the paper it was written on” and justifying the unlawful process as being “in accordance with local procedures”. Non-Sri Lankans who dare to more..

No ban on woman going abroad as maids

Jan 22 (Island) Despite pressure from the country’s Women’s rights groups, the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) said it would not suspend the recruitment of Lankan women to work in Saudi Arabia as housemaids. Women’s Rights Groups recently staged a number of agitation campaigns demanding the suspension of Lankan women going abroad as housemaids, especially following the beheading of Rizana more..

Editorial : Life is indeed priceless

Jan 22 (CT) Rizana Nafeek's sad saga of life began in 2005. In order to augment the income of an already impoverished family of five, she sought greener pastures. The surreptitious manner in which her age and other birth details in the travel documents were altered, is now history, as is her life. A voyage undertaken with a world of hopes, aspirations and expectations came to an agonizing end at the end of an executioner's weapon on 9 January 2013. The so-called Saudi 'justice' more..

Two more NDT students arrested

Jan 22 (Island) The Moratuwa Police yesterday arrested two more NDT students, of the Moratuwa University, in connection with last Wednesday’s attack on the Engineering Faculty Hostel. Inspector Chammika Sampath said that the students arrested were remanded till today. He said that the police were on the lookout for more students on the basis of evidence recorded from various parties. The Engineering Faculty and the Institute of Technology, of the Moratuwa University, were more..

Kiriella urges UNPers not to waste time criticizing party

Jan 22 (Island) "This is not the moment to waste time criticizing the party. This is the time to unite and strengthen the UNP to achieve its ambition," said UNP senior vice-resident Lakshman Kiriella. He was addressing a membership drive meeting of the Kandy District. Kiriella said that some party members went round the country criticizing the party but they were not capable of successfully completing any task entrusted to them. more..

Stocks edge up on low rates; Foreign outflow continues

Jan 22 (Reuters) Stock market edged up marginally on Tuesday, led by telecom shares on declining yields in govt securities, but foreign outflows continued for a third day running as offshore investors sold banks. The main share index closed 0.15%, or 8.91 points firmer, at 5,870.93 as yields in govt securities fell on Tuesday at a weekly auction for a seventh straight week, with the 91-day t-bill yield falling to an 11-month low. Foreign investors sold a net 225.1 million rupees more..

'Pseudo patriotic chicken in govt cannot break steel shell of imperialism'

Jan 22 (LT) The present govt is a puppet regime dancing according to the whims and fancies of imperialism and those in it are stooges who act pseudo patriotism says the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. He said the idiotic moves carried out by the govt pave the way for imperialist intervention in the country and pointed out that it was easy for imperialists to break into countries ruled by dictators. He made these observations at a seminar held under the theme more..

12 Indian fishermen Injured in Lankan Navy Attack

Jan 22 (PTI) 12 fishermen were today injured when they were attacked allegedly by Sri Lankan naval personnel for fishing in Lankan territorial waters, officials said. It was a mistake by the fishermen who had gone as far as Iranatheevu, once a camp of the LTTE, to net fish there. Of the 664 boats, 600 had ventured into several points within Lankan territorial waters, including Iranatheevu, Kundu and more..

Village Councils to be revived soon

Jan 22 (Island) The Village Council system, which was scrapped some years ago, would soon be revived to enable even a poor individual to become a member of the local govt system, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. Members of the earlier village council were persons who could identify the needs of the people. They were fully aware of the resources needed and worked with dedication. They were well-respected. The late S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike was once the chairman of the more..

Army 'Colours Night' 2012 staged

Jan 22 (MoD) Sri Lanka Army held its 'Colours Night - 2012' to recognize the exceptional sporting talents of its personnel at national and international levels last evening at the Musaeus College auditorium. The colourful ceremony replete with cultural performances was inaugurated by Mr Lalith Weerathunga, Presidential Secretary who graced the event as the Chief Guest. The evening's proceedings began with the observing of one-minute silence to commemorate the fallen War more..

Sri Lanka's 2012, December tourist arrivals hit record high

Jan 22 (Xinhua) Chinese tourists to sun dappled Sri Lanka has increased by 58% in 2012, official data released here showed, sparking fresh promotions aimed at increasing arrivals from the world's fastest growing economy. Chinese arrivals ended the year up by 58.1% at 25,781 with December alone seeing 3,605 arrivals, which is an impressive 213.8% rise from December 2011. The data was released by the more..

Sri Lanka's new Chief Justice to begin work amid lawyer boycott

Jan 22 (Xinhua) New Chief Justice is preparing to officially assume duties despite lawyers insisting that they would boycott the event, an official said. Newly appointed Chief Justice Mohan Peiris is to attend a ceremonial event on Wednesday where the legal fraternity usually accept him as the highest authority in their field. However, his appointment remains mired in controversy with international condemnation flowing in over the removal of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayke. more..

Chinese restaurant raided, turtles saved from pot

Jan 22 (Island) A Chinese national, running a restaurant in Narehenpita, was arrested by the police on Saturday, for possessing 14 turtles. Narahenpita police, acting on a tip off, raided the restaurant and found the turtles in the kitchen, being readied for the pot. They arrested the owner, a 40-year-old Chinese, who had obtained Sri Lankan citizenship and produced him before the Maligakanda Magistrate, who ordered his release on bail in Rs. 25,000 cash. more..

Debrief News 22 01 2013