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Ministers not cooperating with dengue task force - Sirisena

Jan 26 (Island) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said that though the Presidential Dengue Eradication Task-Force was operational, some Ministers had not even attended the meetings convened by Presidential Secreatry Lalith Weeratunge. Minister Sirisena said that since Dengue Eradication Unit had been formed, the response from the Ministries had been negative. The govt had declared Dengue Erdaication Week commencing February 6 to 13. more..

'Cobra girl' wants govt. to have Sharia law on her Arab boyfriend

Jan 26 (CT) Nirosha Wimalaratne, better-known as the 'cobra girl' told Ceylon Today that she does not want to live any longer as all her dreams of a happy life have been ruined. "I want the govt to apply the Sharia law on my Arab boyfriend and punish him, the way they beheaded our sister Rizana Nafeek," she demanded. The story in vogue during the last few days was about the harrowing experience of the much more..

'Ceylon Tea remains World’s best'

Jan 26 (Island) British High Commissioner John Rankin declared that Ceylon Tea remained to this day the finest tea in the world, which he was pleased to enjoy every day. HC Rankin was speaking after unveiling the James Taylor monument at St. Clair’s tea estate, Talawakele on the invitation of Mlesna Tea Company. It was the highlight of his two-day visit to Nuwara Eliya this week. The 16-foot-tall monument was turned out by sculptor Dr. Sarath Chandrajeewa. Born in Scotland, more..

Please look after Sri Lanka

Jan 26 (CT) It is already passed a week after the removal of the Chief Justice Dr Shirani Bandaranayake who still alleges to be the legitimate CJ of Sri Lanka. But I wonder why other than a few websites and newspapers; we no longer can hear any news regarding that crucial issue Sri Lanka has gone through. It seems to me that this is like a ‘Stage Drama’ which at the end we all greet with applause and go home till a new drama comes to the stage. There are few after effects that we more..

T20: Mathews takes Sri Lanka 1-0 up

Jan 26 (CI) Sri Lanka's collective was enough to overcome an Australian team that left far too much up to David Warner on their national day, the visitors claiming a five-wicket victory on a pudding of a drop-in pitch at Sydney's Olympic Stadium. After their bowlers had restricted Australia to 3 for 137 - of which Warner made no fewer than 90 - The Sri Lankans made a raid start to the chase and then steadied against the more..

More Tamils to be recruited to Army

Jan 26 (DM) Army Commander Jagath Jayasuriya said that more Tamil nationals would be recruited to the Army based on their qualifications. He said that Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has told the Army to look for Tamil nationals from North and Eastern Provinces. “We have about two or three senior Brigadiers who are Tamils and currently serving in the Army, we do not have restrictions like that and we are in the process enrolling more of them in near future,” more..

Police act fast, rescue 24 from watery grave

Jan 26 (Island) Acting swiftly on a call to emergency unit 119, police on Thursday morning rescued 24 persons who were trapped in a van which had fallen into a river and was drifting near the Kalu Palama (Black Bridge) in the Wellawali area, Batticaloa. The occupants of the van were on their way to Anuradhapura from Central Camp in Ampara when the van went off the road and into the river. He said that police personnel from the station, situated about 4.5 kilometres away, rushed to the spot more..

Separatism is now at Diyawanna – JVP

Jan 26 (LT) The Political Bureau of the JVP met at its Pelawatta office on the 23rd. The attention of the bureau was drawn towards the constitutional amendment the govt intends presenting to Parliament, foreign interventions in the country and the separatist tendencies that are emerging again. The General Secretary Tilvin Silva first drew the attention of the Political Bureau to what Minister G.L. Peiris had told the Indian govt more..

Human smuggling charges dismissed against four men in B.C. courtroom

Jan 26 (VS) A B.C. judge dismissed human smuggling charges Friday against four men accused of bringing dozens of Tamil migrants into Canada illegally aboard the MV Ocean Lady. The decision comes two weeks after Justice Arne Silverman struck down a section of Canada's human smuggling law. Lawyers for the Crown and the defence agreed the B.C. Supreme Court judge should quash the charges after the earlier ruling that the law against human smuggling was unconstitutional. more..

Top US State Department deputies arrive

Jan 26 (CG) Deputy Assistant Secretary of State James Moore, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Vikram Singh and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Jane Zimmerman arrived in Sri Lanka this morning. During their stay they will meet with senior Sri Lankan officials, members of various political parties as well as civil society to discuss a wide range of issues, including progress in implementing the LLRC recommendations and National Action Plan. James R. Moore is a more..

'Obama administration is on conspiracy to topple Mahinda'

Jan 26 (OU) Human rights council session is held in the forthcoming March month in Geneva and by submitting proposal against Sri Lanka, and by obstructing President Rajapakse to contest in the 2015 Presidential election, the Obama's representatives are designing plans to eradicate this govt. Such statement was made by Minister Wimal Weerawansa. He addressed at the Mt.Lavania housing project inauguration more..

After our Sri Lanka trip, will my daughter still speak to me?

Jan 26 (Guardian) We mothers of grown-up daughters tend to view them with a mixture of love, exasperation, irritation and awe. Plus a fair degree of terror. I've always thought it a great loss to this country, for example, that Emma, my daughter, is not home secretary, head of Scotland Yard and the forensic expert on Silent Witness. In anyone's book we are not ideal travel companions. Let us count the ways: I like flying first class, preferably British Airways, which is not much different from more..

Tourism centre gets US$6 mln investment

Jan 26 (ST) A Sri Lanka tourism centre would be established with an investment of US$6 million for the promotion of tourism in the country, a release issued by the govt website stated. This was mooted by Dr. Luis Durnwalder President of Bolzano, South Tyrol, Italy during a meeting with an Italian delegation and Minister Basil Rajapaksa at the latter’s ministry office, the release said. The Italian investors intend to explore the facilities available and Dr. Durnwalder welcomed the steps more..

'Some don't like to see Lanka develop'

Jan 26 (CT) A small number of local people and a group of individuals outside the country do not like to see Sri Lanka develop and stand on its feet independently, Minister Basil Rajapaksa said. He was addressing a meeting of the Self-Employed Persons' Federation after distributing 250 trishaws among the people, at the Hyde Park, Colombo 2, on Monday. This is the third time trishaws were distributed among the more..

Cabinet reshuffle next week

Jan 26 (CG) There is strong speculation that a cabinet reshuffle will take place next week, government sources said. Several Ministries are expected to change hands during the reshuffle with some former Ministers also likely to be reappointed. Former Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama is among those tipped to make a comeback into the Cabinet. A new Prime Minister is also expected to be named as a result of the poor health of current Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne. more..

Indonesia transfers Sri Lankan migrants

Jan 26 (CG) A group of Sri Lankan illegal immigrants have been transferred from a detention center in Padang to Medan in North Sumatra, local media reports said. The Indonesian media said that the Padang Immigration Office sent 16 Sri Lankan illegal immigrants to Medan, the third group of illegal immigrants to be transferred this week. “They left after being boarded on a flight at the Minangkabau International Airport (BIM). In Medan the UNHCR will investigate whether more..

Seaplanes in Sri Lanka: up and away with a new air taxi service

Jan 26 (Guardian) It was at Koggala lake, near Galle, that I first saw the seaplane that was to whisk me up to Sri Lanka's lush and temperate tea country. There, bobbing up and down, lashed to a floating dock, was the white dual-engine DeHavilland Twin Otter, on its tail a phantasmagoric mural depicting the supposed sights of Sri Lanka: leopards, giant squid, elephants and whales. Seeing the plane floating on two giant pontoons, more..

No individual can cast aspersions on SL's constitution - Rajitha

Jan 26 (DN) Neither UNHRC High Commissioner Navaneetham Pillay nor any individual or country can cast aspersions against Sri Lanka's constitution or its provisions pertaining to the removal of Chief Justices or the action taken by its legislature to remove any Chief Justice under the provisions of the constitution, Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratna said. He said only the people of Sri Lanka can change the constitution. "The UNHRC has no right to interfere with such matters of a sovereign state," more..

Japan assures continued support to SL

Jan 26 (DN) Japan's Foreign Ministry's International Cooperation Bureau Country Assistant Planning Division Director Shuichi Tokuda assured continuous Japanese development aid to Sri Lanka. He gave this assurance to Minister Basil Rajapaksa when they met at the ministry office, Colombo to discuss proposed Japanese-funded projects to be launched in Sri Lanka. Minister Rajapaksa appreciated Japan's assistance to strengthen Sri Lanka's economy and meet development more..

MR to visit Bodhi Gaya

Jan 26 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa would visit Bodhi Gaya in India on February, Sri Lanka High Commissioner to India Prasad Kariyawasam, an Indian news agency PTI reported. Mr. Kariyawasam revealed this during a meeting with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. “President Rajapaksa would visit Bodh Gaya on February 8 and had expressed keenness to meet him, which the chief minister readily agreed to,” more..

Editorial : Carlo’s lesson

Jan 27 (NS) Human beings are frail. They err. Sometime the transgressions are deliberate. There are times also when poor judgment, lack of adequate information, deductive poverty, emotion and arrogance result in wrongdoing. There are no safeguards against the former. People who believe they can get away with murder will murder for the ‘getting-away’ is but after-thought of murder-decision. If found out and charged very few would acknowledge crime. Most would look for more..

Sri Lanka in dock of world opinion

Jan 27 (SL) The Rajapaksa govt has been outstanding in fighting terrorism at home but has fared disastrously in diplomacy. This is in marked contrast to the Chandrika Kumaratunge govt whose record in fighting terrorism at home was an absolute disaster but was outstanding in its efforts diplomatically getting the LTTE proscribed as a terrorist organisation by most of the important Western nations. The Rajapaksa govt will come under scrutiny next month at the 22nd more..

'Only hope for democracy is a regime change in the country'

Jan 27 (SL) Former Foreign Minister and UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera says the impeachment fiasco will give more credence to the war crimes allegations. “The way Police and the Army behaved giving cover and protection to the goon squads who went on the rampage was shocking,” he said, adding that the country would have to face far reaching implications following the impeachment on the CJ. According to Samaraweera, more..

Editorial : International community should understand Sri Lanka better

Jan 27 (SO) The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navineetham Pillay was fast asleep when Sri Lankan housemaid Rizana Nafeek was beheaded in Saudi Arabia after an unfair trial. But she issued a statement in next to no time on the impeachment of Dr. Mrs. Shirani Bandaranayake and the subsequent appointment of Mohan Peiris to the post of Chief Justice. Pillay, who was notorious for issuing partial statements in support of LTTE terrorists during Sri Lanka's relentless battle against terrorism, more..

Delivering false justice

Jan 27 (ST) My Dear Peera,I thought I must write to you when I heard that you had got a new job. In a day and age where it is difficult for even young people to find work, you have landed a top position-with a house and car to go with it-so you are a lucky, lucky man! They say that you were not the first choice for the post and that it was offered to several others who were even friends of the Boss but they refused because it was a job tainted with the disgraceful manner in which your more..

'Interference in internal matters unwarranted'

Jan 27 (SO) Minister Champika Ranawaka said that UN Commissioner for Human Rights Navineetham Pillay’s statement on Sri Lanka at the OHCHR press briefing amounts to overreaching her mandate. According to the UN Charter, each country is entitled to its sovereignty, legal system and Constitution. The Minister said the Govt initiated the impeachment process on former CJ Shirani Bandaranayake according to more..

Editorial : Pensions, perks and a self-serving Establishment

Jan 27 (Island) Two letters published in The Island last week drew attention to the plight of public service pensioners struggling unequally to make ends meet in the face of the ever-rocketing cost of living. Neither of the correspondents over-stated their personal predicaments as they well might have; but both had legitimate complaints that can be addressed by the cash-strapped govt whose members, both at the political and bureaucratic level serve themselves very well on the principle more..

Editorial : Tragi-comedy in court: Police Raj taking over?

Jan 27 (ST) It was quite a sorry spectacle at the Temple of Justice this week; not so much the ceremonial sitting of a CJ, but the presence of the Honourable Justices who had earlier collectively declared the man they had come to welcome, was, a pretender to the Throne, a usurper of that office. The fact that the Bar Association formally boycotted the function almost paled into insignificance when the highest court in the land had earlier referred an application by the Attorney General to more..

'Biased intl. community to use anything to tarnish Sri Lanka image'

Jan 27 (SL) Deputy Minister Neomal Perera says the country’s foreign policy now based on the economy and is currently focused forging strong economic relations with foreign countries. Referring to the impact the country has had to face following the controversial impeachment of CJ Dr Shirani Bandaranayake, he said that members of the international community who are biased would look at anything to tarnish the country’s image. more..

Recent political developments are disconcerting

Jan 27 (NS) The wheels of justice seem to be turning in mysterious ways in Sri Lanka as proceedings related to the impeachment of CJ Shirani Bandaranayake showed and events have become ‘curiouser and curiouser’ ever since then. The primary question about Chief Justice Bandaranayake’s impeachment was whether a proper process was adopted. This factor is easily forgotten by those with polarized views on the issue who either portray her as a villain or a victim. more..

Cruising SL govt faces US Storm over request for military training

Jan 27 (NS) The news over the past three months was dominated by the impeachment motion against former CJ, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake. ‘Impeachment’ and ‘PSC’ (Parliamentary Select Committee) made news headlines on a daily basis. It’s all done and dusted now. Perhaps prompted by the multiple interpretations of the constitution on content related to impeaching judges of the higher courts, Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa stated that the Constitution should be amended. more..

MR’s diplomatic headache increases with US officials’ visit

Jan 27 (SL) After getting his man appointed as the new CJ, President Rajapaksa would now have to engage in an all or nothing gamble to save face with the international community before the March sessions of the UNHRC in Geneva. Members of the international community that have been raising continuous concerns over the govt’s actions are now building the pressure to take the Rajapaksa govt to task before the UNHRC. more..

Editorial : Politicized police, two-headed cops

Jan 27 (CT) Former Sports Minister, C.B. Ratnayake, a couple of years ago referred to the Sri Lanka Police as the most corrupt department in the country and lost his job. For someone who has travelled outside Sri Lanka or lived overseas, for example the West or the developed East, Sri Lanka's Police must be one of the most questionable public services or law-enforcement authorities in the world. Only two factors can be attributed to the declining image of the Sri Lankan cop. more..

Constitutional Change and the Presidential System

Jan 27 (Island) Now that the CJ controversy has finally been laid to rest, the next issue before the govt is constitutional change. After the former CJ was removed, the sense of urgency for constitutional reform seems to have receded. But this is not a matter that the govt should place on the back burner. The parliament with a two thirds majority will last only another three years and comprehensive constitutional reform may take one year to eighteen months to bring about. more..

TNA MP’s Sec: I was forced to watch porn while being videoed

Jan 27 (ST) A TNA MP has called on the IGP to conduct an impartial probe on a raid carried out on his office in Kilinochchi by the TID, where they claim to have recovered explosives, pornographic CDs and condoms. Sivagnam Shritharan, dismissing the claims by the police, said he was calling for an impartial probe, as he believes that the motive for making false allegations was to get his office closed down. more..

Maldivian resorts help make good Keells Hotel’s SL losses

Jan 27 (Island) Keells Hotels PLC, the resort hotel owning company of the JKH group, has seen a sharp decline in profitability in the first nine months of the current financial year although results in the last quarter are expected to improve the picture for the whole year ended March 31, 2013. Very high finance costs are partly responsible for the depressed bottom line, analysts said. The company’s results for the December quarter released to the Colombo Stock Exchange more..

Dehiwela zoo sea lion 'Carl' dies

Jan 27 (LB) The sea lion known as 'Carl' which enamored hundreds and thousands of both local and foreign visitors to the Dehiwela Zoo for the past three years, is alleged to have died under mysterious circumstances on Friday evening, sources from the Dehiwela Zoo told LAKBIMANEWS online. This sea lion which was brought to the country back in 2009 through the German - Sri Lanka animal exchange programme from the Krefelied zoo in Germany was born on more..

TNA complains to US delegation

Jan 27 (CT) A high level US State Department delegation arrived in Colombo yesterday in the first high-profile US visit to Colombo since Barack Obama was sworn-in as the US President for a second term. The visit comes in the wake of concerns raised by the US Embassy in Colombo and by State Department Spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, about the impeachment of the Chief Justice, and its timing. The US State Department more..

Duty Attorneys at police stations

Jan 27 (SO) The Justice Ministry through the Legal Aid Commission is considering the feasibility of stationing Duty Attorneys in police stations to assist suspects detained for questioning. Justice Minister Rauff Hakeen in a statement to Parliament last week revealed the ongoing plans in this connection. He said, ‘We have already prepared the amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code and we can perhaps discuss it at the next Consultative Committee of the Ministry,’ wrapping up the debate on the more..

Probe on ballot papers

Jan 27 (SL) The Department of Elections is to conduct an investigation into the ballot papers from the 2010 Presidential Elections recovered in Nittambuwa last week. Additional Commissioner of Elections U. Amaradasa said that the Elections Department was informed about the ballot papers. The media unit of former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka said that the ballot papers were found near a school in Nittambuwa, Kalagedihena along the Colombo – Kandy road. more..