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13A: Under the gavel again!

June 6 (FT) After the sound and fury that was the impeachment of Sri Lanka’s first female Chief Justice in January this year, a quiet revolution has been underway in the country’s judicial system. The impeachment saga involving the country’s top Judge brought Hulftsdorp and its inner workings briefly into the limelight. But in the aftermath of the appointment of Shirani Bandaranayake’s successor, the complex more..

Sri Lankans return to scenes of 2011 horror

June 6 (Island) The national cricket team arrived in Cardiff yesterday to begin their campaign in the ICC Champions Trophy. There was no training scheduled for the Sri Lankans yesterday, but during the four-hour bus drive, the squad members would have had plenty of time to reflect on their disastrous performance in the first Test against England two years ago in Cardiff. Their first game of the Champions Trophy will be played at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on Sunday. more..

'There was campaign to tarnish my image'

June 6 (Island) Former Sri Lanka football chief and head of GOAL development project, Manilal Fernando, alleged that there was a campaign to tarnish his image in his run up to football world body FIFA’s ethics committee hearing, following which he was slapped an eight-year ban. Fernando asserted that the allegations of financial misappropriations, levelled against the GOAL office by the current administration of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka, were baseless. more..

Karu, Eran hit out at Govt’s media policy

June 6 (FT) Opposition lawmakers fired salvos at the Govt’s media policy during a heated debate on the amendments to the Press Council Act tabled in Parliament, saying the revival of the draconian legislation had to be viewed with the utmost suspicion given the issues faced by Sri Lanka’s media today. UNP MP Eran Wickremaratne told the house during the debate that a bitter struggle for the freedom of expression and more..

Lankan firm offers tables, chairs and a US$ 40mn luxury hotel to India

June 6 (Island) Sri Lankan furniture manufacturer and distributer Damro, which operates 55 showrooms in India with plans to go up to 100 by 2016, is developing a 12 storey 270 room luxury hotel and department store in Colombo. Damro plans to invest US$ 40 million in the BOI approved project. Named Marino Sands, the hotel will be located in Colpetty extending from Galle road to Marine Drive on a land extent of one-and-a-half acres. The 12 storey building will be more..

CB accepts Rs. 24.6bn from Rs. 13bn T-bill auction

June 6 (Island) Benchmark Treasury bill yields eased at yesterday’s (05) primary market auction of maturing bills amounting to Rs. 13 billion with the Public Debt Department of the Central Bank accepting Rs. 24.6 billion. Total bids amounted to Rs. 52.6 billion. "The government needs cash and the Central Bank seems to want to sell down its Treasury bill holdings, this may be why an additional 11 billion rupees was absorbed from the system," one treasury dealer said. more..

President lauds ambassador’s example

June 6 (Island) President Rajapaksa appreciated the recent example set by an ambassador, who came forward to help clean the garbage on the beaches of the Colombo city, on the World Earth Day. He did not name the foreign envoy concerned but presumably his reference was to US Ambassador ….. who took part in a beach cleaning campaign near the Galle Face Green a few weeks ago. A smiling President Rajapaksa, more..

Over Rs. 115 mn in fags seized

June 6 (Island) Cigarettes to the value of over Rs. 115 million, which had been seized last month by the Sri Lanka Customs Revenue Task Force (SLRTF), were inspected by Director of Customs Mali Piyasena and officials. Customs sources said that cigarette racket was being carried out by businessmen, who were using private warehouses used to store unaccompanied goods, being shipped by Sri Lankan foreign employees working in Dubai. 4.6 million cigarettes had been seized. more..

Parents & teachers agitate against slashing of students’ rights

June 6 (LT) Parents and teachers held an agitation opposite the Ministry of Education yesterday (5th) demanding eh ministry to withdraw the circular issued preventing students who hope to study in A/L classes from studying in schools they prefer. The circular 20012/14 has deprives the opportunity for A/L students to study in schools of their choice. As a result even students who have obtained nine ‘A’s lose the opportunity of selecting the school they like. General Secretary of Lanka Teacher more..

Govt. tackles student issues in highhanded manner – FUTA

June 6 (Island) The govt’s crushing of Sabaragamuwa University undergraduates’ protest last Saturday proved its overall plan to manipulate and control universities according to its whims and fancies and to gradually destroy the state education system, FUTA claimed yesterday. FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri said that it was extremely important to engage constructively and critically with more..

Dilapidated Railway Station needs urgent attention

June 6 (CT) The Kadigamuwa Railway Station is in need of urgent attention as the buildings, platform, access road and public utilities are in need of extensive repairs. The roof of the building has no gutters or pipes to facilitate the flow of rainwater, thereby creating pools of water on the platform during rainy days. The access road to the station from Kadigamuwa Town is in a dilapidated condition, throughout the entire length of the road. Sources said the road is not lit at more..

Dubai souvenir firm increases direct sourcing from Sri Lanka

June 6 (DN) The Dubai based souvenirs and handicraft multinational Fakih Collection- a leading global souvenir firm-is increasing its direct sourcing from Sri Lanka. “Made in Sri Lanka handicrafts are beginning to make an impression among our buyers in Dubai’s Jumeira Shopping mall and Karama Market, and also in several Qatari, Bahrain and Abudhabi malls. We have already expanded our Sri Lankan craft-making supply chain to 2000 households” said N.P Fakih, the MD of more..

Sajin wants Criminal Defamation Law revived

June 6 (CT) Govt MPs yesterday highlighted the need for the reintroduction of the draconian Criminal Defamation Law, which was repealed by the UNP Govt in June 2002. Monitoring MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, argued in Parliament the government should reintroduce the law to prevent heads of media organizations from acting like 'underworld thugs.' Speaking during the debate on regulations introduced under the more..

Sri Lanka Christians facing more persecution

June 6 (BP) Christians in Sri Lanka, off the southern coast of India, are facing an increase in persecution at the hands of Buddhist fundamentalists who believe the country is a historic Buddhist land that should not be shared with anyone else, a watch group reported. Christianity is viewed in Sri Lanka as a product of Western colonialism that threatens Buddhists' identity, the Washington-based International Christian Concern said, adding that the practice of Christian evangelism more..

'It was a historic token strike'

June 6 (CT) The outcome of the one-day token strike organized by the Coordinating Committee of the Trade Union Alliance (CCTUA) on 21 May, against the unprecedented electricity tariff hike, was far from a raging success. Despite weeks of campaigning, the organizers were not able to compel the expected thousands to stay away from work or from using public transport. However, Wasantha Samarasinghe, President of the Inter Company Employees' Union (ICEU), more..

Kiwis support CHOGM in Lanka

June 6 (CG) New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully called on President Rajapaksa this evening at Temple Trees. During the discussion, McCully reaffirmed his country’s support for the CHOGM that will take place in Sri Lanka in November. Minister McCully wished Sri Lanka well in preparing for CHOGM and said the entire Commonwealth needs to see the progress in the country, pointing out that success in trade more..

Police to crack down on mossie breeders from Saturday

June 6 (Island) In the wake of dengue claiming the life of a Colombo Law Faculty student, Senior DIG Anura Senanayake said that a special operation would be launched on Saturday to arrest those who failed to keep their premises clean. The Senior DIG, Western Province, said that irrespective of their status, those who had mosquito breeding places within their premises would be taken into custody and prosecuted. "It will be launched in Colombo and suburbs on June 8 and more..

Post-mortem awaited to determine cause of law student's death

June 6 (DN) The real cause for the death of a law student at the Colombo University Law Faculty can be ascertained only after the post-mortem since she was treated for internal bleeding in her brain. The student was admitted to the Colombo National Hospital for treatment for internal bleeding in her brain caused due to an accident. She had been suffering from fever at the time of admission and later the medical tests revealed that she also suffered from Dengue. more..

Govt.’s proposed Code of Media Ethics

June 6 (DM) The govt is in the process of introducing a Code of Media Ethics to all Print and Electronic media with a series of guidelines that includes sections that could lead to broad interpretation such as “no publication should be done which contains criticism affecting foreign relations.” A draft of the proposed Code of Media Ethics prepared by the Media and Information Ministry obtained by the Daily Mirror states more..

Mawanella PS Chairman sentenced to death

June 6 (DN) Mawanella Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman K.G. Piyatissa found guilty of the murder of a person by shooting at Belimulla 10 years ago, was sentenced to death by Kegalle High Court Judge yesterday. Piyatissa was indicted with having committed the murder of Kapila Padmakumara, 32, on Feb 12, 2003 by shooting him opposite his home at Belimulla, Mawanella. The Attorney General indicted him before the Kegalle High Court following the non-summary inquiry held at the more..

Economic Summit to assess export potential

June 6 (FT) The 14th annual Sri Lanka Economic Summit which is scheduled to be held from the 9 – 11 July 2013 in Colombo will have one of its sessions discussing Sri Lanka’s Export Strategy. The Govt policy framework has targeted to raise the rate of growth in exports to double that of GDP growth, but exports as a percentage of GDP have halved from year 2000 to 2012. The share of exports of Sri Lanka as a percentage of world exports has also declined over the years to reach more..

TNA: Tamils don’t want a return to violence

June 6 (Island) Amidst moves to amend the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, the TNA said that neither it nor the Tamil people wanted a return to violence, but if the Rajapaksa govt was not wise enough to resolve the ethnic issue through peaceful means, it could not predict what would happen in the future. TNA Leader R. Sampanthan, MP, addressing the Foreign Correspondents’ Association in Colombo, on Tuesday more..

Editorial: New light in new draft constitution

June 6 (DM) The history of Sri Lanka since independence in 1948 has a multitude of missed opportunities, some of which had drastic consequences. One of them was the 2000 draft constitution presented in Parliament by the then President Chandrika Kumaratunga. It was drafted mainly by the then widely-respected Constitutional Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris and the Tamil intellectual Neelan Tiruchelvam who started the International Centre for Ethnic Studies. more..

‘Despite different claims May 21 strike proves successful’

June 6 (DM) Still, there is a debate as to the success of the token strike initiated by the pro JVP trade union centre, on May 21. It started with the different claims within the trade union sector. The Co-ordinating Committee to unite trade unions which initiated countrywide, multi-sector strike action against the electricity tariff hike said the strike was a success. K.D. Lal Kantha accused the government of creating fear among public servants to make them report to work despite the strike call. more..

We are ready to discuss better devolution with the govt'

June 6 (DM) Jaffna district TNA MP Suresh Premachandran stressed the need for extensive devolution of power to the provincial councils. In addition to land and police powers, he asked for financial powers to raise foreign loans and grants for developmental needs. Also renewed is the call for the re-merger of the north and the east. MP Premachandran is also the leader of EPRLF, a former Tamil militant group that joined more..

Environmental Hypocrisy

June 6 (SL) The public are aghast at the vast sum of public funds amounting to Rs 21 million which is being squandered on a function scheduled to be held at Temple Trees to mark the World Environment Day. This is happening while the same authorities are allowing their cohorts including ministers to destroy the very same environment in the form of vandalizing tens of thousands of acres of virgin forests in the country. more..

'Sri Lanka still wary of possible LTTE revival'

June 6 (PTI) Sri Lanka is still wary of the LTTE's international network and has voiced concern about the possible re-emergence of pro-LTTE sympathisers despite the military defeat of the Tamil rebels, US report has said. According to the US State Department's 2012 counter terrorism country report, "The SL govt claimed that it continued to uncover abandoned weapons and explosives in areas of the country formerly controlled by more..

Sri Lankan Navy arrests 49 Indian fishermen

June 6 (PTI) A fisherman from here drowned after he fell into the sea when Sri Lankan Naval personnel allegedly chased a group of fishermen near Katchatheevu, officials said today. The fishermen were fishing near Katchatheevu, an islet ceded to Sri Lanka, when the Lankan Navy personnel chased them and allegedly threatened to kill them at gun point around midnight yesterday, fisheries officials said. more..

Madhu-Talaimannar railway line 80% complete

June 6 (DN) Eighty percent of the construction work of the railway line from Madhu to Talaimannar has been completed. This is the last segment of the Medawachchiya-Talaimannar railway line and it covers 63 kilometres. The reconstruction work of the Medawachchiya-Talaimannar was carried out in two phases. In the first phase, the 43 kilometer track from Medawachchiya to Madhu was reconstructed at a cost of US $ 81.3 million more..

Japan grants Rs.245 million to Sri Lanka for human resources development

June 6 (DN) The Government of Japan, initiated the Human Resource Development Scholarship in 2010 with the objective of training Sri Lankan officials with high potential to effectively contribute to the development efforts of Sri Lanka. The scholarship provides opportunities for young public sector officials, to pursue a two-year Masters Degree in Japan in the fields of Public Policy and Public Finance, Public Administration, more..

'CID must question Arundika on Eknaligoda'

June 6 (AD) The UNP today called for the questioning of UPFA MP Arundika Fernando, regarding his statement on the whereabouts of missing journalist Pagaeeth Eknaligoda, and requested the govet to carry out its duty by obtaining information of the matter. Making a revelation in Parliament yesterday, the Puttalam District MP had declared that Eknaligoda is currently living in France. This same MP had stated, more..

'Preferential vote bane of SL politics'

June 6 (Island) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said that a future govt, formed by it, would change the Preferential Voting (PV) system in a manner which empowered the voter. He noted that the PV system, which had become the bane of Sri Lankan politics, had to be revamped. The voter would be given the opportunity to decide who the organizer of their electorate would be the UNP leader observed. more..

'Media at the mercy of those controlling them'

June 6 (Island) The media did not have the courage to run the news about milk powder imported from New Zealand being poisonous, UNP MP Wijedasa Rajapakshe told Parliament. Participating in the debate, on regulations under the Sri Lanka Press Council Law, the MP said that the Agriculture Minister had recently said in Parliament that milk powder imported from New Zealand was not suitable for human consumption. more..

Delimitation report put off by six months further delaying LG elections

June 6 (Island) The holding of much delayed local elections, to the Pudukudirrupu and Maritime Pattu Pradeshiya Sabhas, in the Mullaithivu District of the Northern Province and nine local bodies including the Batticaloa Municipal Council, in the Eastern Province, had been further delayed after the National Delimitation Commission (NDC) postponed its recommendations by another six months, Elections Department sources more..

Editorial : Uva Wellassa – new battleground for undergrads!

June 6 (CT) In a development that had a tinge of history, undergraduates of the Sabaragamuwa University launched a two-pronged protest demanding the withdrawal of the eight-month suspension imposed on eight fellow undergrads by the University Administration. While one faction staged a hunger strike last Thursday, another faction staged a protest, blocking the Badulla–Colombo road on Saturday. Needless to say, it was the latter that drew the attention of many, more..

The other dark side of the Shirani impeachment saga

June 6 (CT) It comes as no revelation to anyone who has been following the Impeachment saga, the profundity of impact it has had on all the citizens of Sri Lanka, be it their unsatiated hunger for justice for the former CJ Shirani Bandaranayake or their bereaved hopes in the present Govt. To proclaim that it has rocked and vitiated the very foundations of the country, wouldn’t have been better proven as the penultimate truth, than at an event ‘Law talk’, organized by the Law Students Association more..

U.S. govt support for forensics laboratory

June 6 (USE) U.S. Ambassador Michele J. Sison visited the new laboratory complex of the Ministry of Justice Govt Analyst's Department (GAD) in Battaramulla on June 6. The U.S. Govt through the USAID and the U.S. Department of Justice, entered into a $2.1 million U.S. Govt-funded Forensic Assistance Program agreement with GAD in 2011 to establish a state-of-the-art DNA crime laboratory. more..

Sri Lanka stocks close down 0.8%

June 6 (LBO) Stocks closed down 0.79% with the for a fourth consecutive day due to profit taking by investors and losses in heavy index companies. The All Share Index closed 50.46 points lower at 6,372.38 and the S&P SL 20 Index closed 53.49 points lower at 3,581.56 down 1.47%. Turnover was 1.3 billion rupees up from 818 million day earlier. Foreigners brought 744 million rupees worth shares while selling 191 million rupees of shares, in a day that 59 stocks advanced and 137 declined. more..

Kelaniya don’s petition dismissed

June 6 (Island) The Court of Appeal recently dismissed the Writ Application, filed by Prof. M.D. Amerasinghe, Head of the Department of Botany of the Faculty of Science at the University of Kelaniya against the appointment of Prof. D.D.S. Kulatunga as the Dean of the Faculty of Science of the same University by the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Sarath Amunugama, in January 2012. In his judgment President of the Court of Appeal, Justice S. Sriskandarajah, explained that, more..

Sri Lanka mulls strict anti-fixing law

June 6 (PTI) The Sri Lankan govt is mulling to bring a tough anti-corruption law against unfair practices in sports in the wake of spot-fixing scandals in the IPL and Bangladesh Premier League. “We are bringing a law against fixing and are working on its draft. It will have strict provisions like life ban if anyone found guilty of fixing. I will send the draft to the cabinet and after its approval, it will be passed by the Parliament. more..