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Navy denies Indian media reports

Jan 22 (ST) The Navy spokeperson, Comm. Kosala Warnakulasuriya, denied allegations that Sri Lanka navy attacked Indian fishermen in Iranatheevu, off Mannar. Indian media reported today, that 12 fishermen were injured yesterday, when they were allegedly attacked by Sri Lankan naval personnel for fishing in Sri Lankan territorial waters. “Of the 664 boats, 600 had mistakenly ventured into several points within Lankan territorial waters, including Iranatheevu-an old camp of the LTTE, more..

'Govt blasting US while accepting their aid'

Jan 22 (AD) The UNP today charged that the impeachment of the former Chief Justice has led to Sri Lanka being disgraced, through the allegations made by the US, Canada, UK as well as various international organizations including the Commonwealth and the UN. UNP MP Tissa Attanayake stated that Sri Lanka is at the verge of losing its chance of hosting the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) as a result of the impeachment. more..

Outgoing captain Mahela confident of series win

Jan 22 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene has lauded the efforts of his seam bowlers in the ongoing ODI series, and is confident Sri Lanka can achieve a successive bilateral series win in Australia, having also won there in 2010. Sri Lanka have earned an unassailable position in the series, leading 2-1, with the final match to be played in Hobart on Wednesday. The visitors looked likely to wrap up the series in game four in Sydney, more..

'Objections against the new detention law are baseless'

Jan 22 (AD) The objections brought forward by the Opposition on the Code of Criminal Procedure (Special Provision) Bill are baseless, Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa stated in parliament today. He said that the Opposition was acting unfairly by bringing forward such accusations when a genuine attempt is being made to curb crime and corruption in the current environment. He made these statements in parliament while proposing the second reading of the Code of Criminal Procedure more..

SLC committee recommends 5-man selection panel

Jan 22 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket's executive committee has recommended that the national selection panel be increased to five selectors, including two full-time selectors, when the sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage names a new panel at the end of the month. Sri Lanka's present panel consists of three part-time selectors, with at least one usually accompanying the team for each series. "We thought [we should] create a greater diversity of opinion, it would be better to increase the more..

India, Sri Lanka to double bilateral trade to USD 10 billion by 2016

Jan 22 (ANI) Recognising the need to build a special economic partnership framework to achieve the shared goals of poverty alleviation, job creation and economic development for the people of the two countries, India and Sri Lanka on Tuesday agreed to encourage closer economic and trade linkages between all stakeholders with a view to doubling bilateral trade to USD 10 billion in the next three years. more..

Who cannot do the duty by the people should leave-Sajith

Jan 22 (DM) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa who ceased to be a Deputy Leader of the party, today said that if there are people who hold positions and they cannot or are not willing to fulfill the tasks that are expected from them by the people, they should leave such positions. “The people elect us as their representatives not to indulge in a comfortable lifestyle with positions and privileges after forgetting about the people who elect us. Not just to cling on to an upper-class and satisfy a handful of the more..

President donates Rs.1 million to Rizana’s family

Jan 22 (AD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa today donated one million rupees to the family of executed Sri Lankan maid Rizana Nafeek at Temple Trees, President’s Media Unit said. A cheque of Rs. 1 million from the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) was presented to Nafeek’s family by the President. Minister Dilan Perera, Chief Minister of the Eastern Province M. N. Abdul Majeed, MPs M.S. Thaufeek and A.H.M. Azwer were also present, the media unit said. more..

US Embassy disturbed over threats

Jan 22 (CG) The United States Embassy in Sri Lanka says it is disturbed by the series of threats and attacks against legal defenders, civil society organizations and activists who have spoken out on recent events. The Embassy says the right to express opinions freely is universal and one that is protected under Sri Lankan law. “We urge the Govt of Sri Lanka protect this fundamental right and ensure that all citizens are able to express more..

Bus fare hike likely in February

Jan 22 (DM) Lanka Private Bus Owners Association chairman Gemunu Wijeratna said there would be an increase of 6% -8% in bus fares in February. Mr. Wijeratne said bus fares were revised annually. The latest revision was effected in February last year by 20% due to the increase in the diesel price, so the next revision had to be made this February. However, if paying a diesel concession was considered by the government the need for the fare increase would not have arisen, more..

Sri Lanka extends police detentions to 2 days

Jan 22 (CG) The Code of Criminal Procedure (Special Provision) bill which allows the detention of a suspect without a warrant from 24 hours to 48 hours has been passed in parliament. The bill was passed by a majority of 77 votes in parliament today with 110 votes for and 33 against it. Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem had presented the Bill to parliament last year. The govt sought the extension of the detention period on the basis that it would help the investigations process. more..

Two Jaffna uni students freed

Jan 22 (CG) Two students of the Jaffna university who were arrested together with four others last November by the Terrorist Investigations Division (TID), were freed today. Both students had been sent for rehabilitation to the Welikada rehabilitation center following their arrest. The TID had arrested four students after a tense situation arose at the university last November. The four students were arrested under the anti- more..

Installed as fourth Archdeacon, Galle

Jan 23 (NS) Rev Dr Rienzie Eldred Christopher Perera was installed as the fourth Archdeacon of Galle at a Service of Induction and Installation at the Cathedral of Christ the Living Savior, Colombo, on January 4, 2013, by the Right Reverend Dhiloraj Canagasabey, Bishop of Colombo. Rev. Rienzie Perera commenced his full-time ministry as a Deacon in 1974. He was ordained as a priest of the Anglican Church in 1975. He holds the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Philosophy, more..

Hawkers hog Kandy’s pavements

Jan 23 (NS) Walking on Kandy’s busy city streets has never been an easy task. Not only because of people congestion, but also those that come behind selling ‘stuff ’. These pedestrian hawkers not only engage in their business, but force upon people whatever they have in hand, ignoring whether it is solicited or not. Some are compelled to buy these items by those who are standing on the sidewalks. They normally don’t have much to sell, only a few packets of safety pins, some fancy necklaces more..

Passion fruits take Northern farmers by storm

Jan 23 (NS) The revival of agriculture has provided a stable income and better lifestyle to farmers in the North who were once battered by terrorism. An assured market and a good price for the produce have boosted the confidence of farmers who are being exploited by the middlemen who offer a pittance for the yield. Introducing new crops and expanding cultivation have got off the ground in the Jaffna and Kilinochchi districts. more..

Vasu, A man of your caliber needs not fear the thunder

Jan 23 (CT) Minister and leader of the DLF, Vasudeva Nanayakkara who is an Attorney at Law himself who had dedicated his life since 1970 to active left wing revolutionary politics delivered a speech at the debate on the 11th January 2013 which gave the impression that he is suffering from fatty degeneration of conscience. I am sorry that I have to say this, I just cannot imagine that you of all at this stage of one’s life taking into consideration the long years you had dedicated to more..

Dear Economists please help me with the issue below!

Jan 23 (CT) My Dear Professional Economists? Is this story noted below appearing in the Front Page of the Sunday Observer today, meant to fool us and all along with all the the citizens of Sri Lanka and make us Venerate with “Sadu Sadhu” and hands above our heads, the Development Strategy that unfolds in the horizon or is it only a Personal Strategy for Brownie Points in the face of the impending Cabinet Reshuffle and needs to be ignored? What ever your answer to above be, more..

Environmentalists see no ‘birdie’ in golf project

Jan 23 (NS) The Haldumulla Pradeshiya Sabha chairman is highly perturbed by a recent news story which is denouncing a road development project undertaken to facilitate the villagers of Illukpelassa which lies isolated, bordered by Balangoda, Medabedda and Kalthota. Environmentalist Raveendra Kariyawasam of the Centre for Environment and Nature Studies (CENS) alerted the media last week regarding a more..

Abandon hope all ye who enter here!

Jan 23 (SL) Despite my family tradition as free thinkers making it difficult for me to quote from the scriptures or formal religious references, I really couldn’t find a more apt title for this column, given the current status of the UNP. Beginning with a piece I wrote a while ago for the now-defunct Montage magazine, I have consistently sought to avoid the proclivity of those observers of the Sri Lankan political scene whose pet pastime appears to be Ranil Wickremesinghe-bashing. more..

Defending the constitution

Jan 23 (Island) I had the opportunity of watching the entire second inauguration of Barack Obama on Sunday and Monday on television. On Sunday it was a private ceremony and on Monday which happened to be the Martin Luther King Day it was a public ceremony with all pomp and pageant attended by nearly a million of people. On Sunday, Obama placed his hand on a Bible used for years by Michelle Obama’s family. On Monday, he took the oath using two Bibles, one owned by Martin more..

Changes are welcome, but, how earnest are we?

Jan 23 (ST) It is heartening to note that the alarm bells have begun to toll in the cricketing world and the beleaguered hierarchy is at least making an honest effort to effect changes and get the batters keep playing the game that they are used to. We are aware that this politically riddled atmosphere keeps breeding square pegs and round holes and not flat bats and round balls. The hierarchy wants to change the cricket constitution to suit today’s needs more..

Father Tissa Balsuriya’s struggle for social justice will continue in Sri Lanka

Jan 23 (GV) We heard the sad news that the internationally acclaimed Sri Lankan catholic priest and theologian Father Tissa Balasuriya (Fr Tissa) has passed away. His exertions on the Catholic Church about the nature of Jesus Christ and his teachings, and how to adjust to the realities of life in the developing world are not well known. Nevertheless, he became famous internationally when he was ex-communicated from the Roman Catholic Church in 1997 for the book he more..

Magic bullet for ethnic problem: A spent force?

Jan 23 (SL) Is a Parliamentary Select Committee, the magic bullet that was hailed as the weapon that would destroy the 55-year-old monstrous communal problem, a spent force now? This magic bullet, it was claimed by Rajapaksa loyalists, would fell the monstrous communal problem that had beset the nation and repel the pressures brought on to provide a solution for a way out. The allegations of the Tamil Diaspora had gained ground among Western govts, and the Rajapaksa govt had more..

SL v AUS 5th ODI: Australia aim to salvage drawn series

Jan 23 (CI) Sri Lanka might have been upset at the way the fourth ODI in Sydney was called off as a result of light rain, but the decision has had one benefit for the visitors: Australia can no longer win the series. Otherwise, little has changed as the teams prepare for the final match in Hobart. Australia's batsmen are still under pressure to perform, although David Warner at least showed some positive signs during his innings of 60 more..

Editorial : When the dead tell tales

Jan 23 (Island) The Matale mass grave which a gang of construction workers chanced upon a few weeks ago continues to puzzle investigators though a senior analyst believes, as we reported yesterday, that it dates back to the 1987-89 era, when a JVP-instigated uprising and an equally ruthless counter terror campaign plunged the country into a protracted bloodbath. Other experts involved with the probe have said it is too early to draw any conclusion as tests are still being more..

Mirissa baby turtles released to sea

Jan 23 (DN) The first set of green baby turtles, specially cared for at the turtle conservation site of the Sri Lanka Coast Guard Regional Headquarters, Mirissa for three months, were released to the sea on Saturday. The baby turtles needed special treatment and care since they were exposed to harsh conditions when leaving their nesting place. It was an exciting experience for tourists who witnessed the release. The Coast Guard Turtle Conservation Project (CGTCP) was launched more..

සංවිධිත | Coexistence - ජනවාරි මස 22

Will the 48 hour detention law improve investigations or increase torture?

Jan 23 (DBS) On Tuesday, 22nd January 2013, Parliament will take up for debate the ‘Code of Criminal Procedure (Special Provisions)’ Bill. This legislation which will, among other things, enable the police to detain a person who has been arrested without a warrant for 48 hours before producing her/him before a magistrate has resulted in serious widespread concern amongst political groups, human rights group and the legal community. If enacted, this legislation will amend the law more..

Nabbed without a stitch on

Jan 23 (Island) A 26-year-old married man’s clandestine affair with a 19-year-old woman came to light when the man’s hand phone unexpectedly rang while he and his lover were together in the latter’s bedroom. The man, who had a habit of visiting his paramour, at a home in Siyapathgama, at night while the other occupants were asleep, received the unexpected call on his phone while in a compromising position and hastily switched it off. But, the woman’s brother had heard the more..

Opposition support for ‘inevitable’ energy, transport price increases mixed

Jan 23 (Island) Opposition lawmakers are divided as the country approaches its greatest economic challenge with certain sections of the current administration sensing it is time to wake up and face reality, or sink deeper into trouble, held down by mounting debts. Long-called for by independent economists and think tanks, opposition lawmakers say energy and transport price increases are inevitable and a more..

Warrant out for Sarana

Jan 23 (Island) Attanagalle Magistrate B.D.R. Sisira Kumara issued a warrant against Deputy Minister Sarana Gunawardena for failing to appear in Court in a case where he is charged, along with some others, with entering a property belonging to a construction firm and causing damage to it. The suspects in this case are Deputy Minister Gunawardena, Chairman of the Attanagalle Pradeshiya Sabha Upul Rajapaksa and 18 govt and opposition members of the same PS. more..

Customs save billions for state coffers

Jan 23 (DN) The Sri Lanka Customs prevented excise evasion to around Rs 2.3 billion by seizing more than 78 million smuggled cigarettes during the past three years. Senior Minister Sarath Amunugama who inspected the seized cigarettes at the Customs warehouse in Orugodawatta yesterday said tax avoidance and evasions undermine the effectiveness of tax policies and results in less revenue for the govt. “This in turn will deprive earnings to fund vital public services,” more..

ICT start-ups to compete for a million rupees each

Jan 23 (Island) With the ICT industry identified as a thrust sector for the country’s economic growth the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce together with Venture Engine that funded ten companies with Rs. 100 million last year, have launched a special project to strengthen ICT entrepreneurship. The Chamber’s ‘Spark IT’ project which was launched this year and expected to be an annual event would provide a platform to more..

Rs 245 M allocated to pay increased salaries of SLTB

Jan 23 (CT) Minister of Transport, Kumara Welgama said Rs 245 million has been allocated to pay the increased salaries of Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) employees. "According to the 2013 Budget proposals, the salaries of SLTB employees' need to be increased by Rs 750 from January 2013. The necessary funds were allocated by the Ministry of Finance for SLTB to pay the increased salaries," he said, adding the Ministry of Finance has only allocated Rs 10,850 per month for more..

Probe launched into cop attack on disabled soldiers

Jan 23 (Island) A high level investigation has been launched into an incident where two disabled soldiers were allegedly assaulted by an Inspector of Police, attached to the Maharagama police station, at Maharagama town on Monday afternoon. The two disabled soldiers, attached to the Mihindu Sethmadura at Attidiya and another soldier, who was detailed to carry them to their destinations, as they were unable to get about on their own, were travelling in a specially turned out trishaw. more..

'Ranil needs more time to appoint Deputy Leader'

Jan 23 (FT) Fears of fresh internal battles within the main Opposition emerged after the Working Committee deferred the reappointment of Sajith Premadasa as the party’s Deputy Leader on Monday, but UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake underplayed the issue saying the hold-up was because the leadership wanted more time to discuss and mull over the reappointment. Attanayake said that UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had more..

India routes fuel SriLankan’s growth

Jan 23 (Hindu) Surprising withdrawals by a few popular airlines operating to Sri Lanka, and the beginning of services by a few others are sending a mixed message on the potential of the traffic in the sector. AirAsia announced a withdrawal on one sector, and the Gulf Air said it was terminating services. On the other hand, British Airways, Turkish Airlines, and Korean Air are planning to begin services soon. Malaysian has announced plans to augment capacity in the Colombo-Kaula more..

Police, military differ over camp shooting

Jan 23 (Island) A female soldier, attached to the Achchuweli 511 Brigade Headquarters in the Jaffna Peninsula, was arrested for shooting a female colleague on Monday. The suspect had shot the victim for advising her not to carry on an illicit affair with a married soldier, who was also serving in the camp. The Achchuweli police, conducting investigations into the incident, arrested the suspect. The injured colleague is receining treatment at the Jaffna hospital. Both are 29-years old. more..

Quacks killing patients - GMOA

Jan 23 (Island) GMOA media spokesman Dr. Navin de Soysa claimed that quacks, pretending to be qualified medical officers and practicing medicine, were prescribing wrong medications and as a result many patients had lost their lives. Around 40,000 quacks scattered around the country had done more harm than good. Health tourism from which Sri Lanka could earn substantial foreign exchange was in jeopardy, he told the media more..

Sri Lanka Ports Authority website hacked

Jan 23 (CT) A hacker using the online moniker Davy Jones has breached the official website of Sri Lanka’s Ports Authority ( – the multi-port operator of all maritime services. The hacker hasn’t defaced the site’s main page. Instead, according to EHN, he added a webpage to the “admin” folder. However, at the time of writing, the admin appeared to have removed the webpage published by the hacker. Over the past weekend, the same hacker targeted other important Sri Lanka websites, more..