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Blue print to usher in a new establishment on the table Taking back sovereignty lost

June 15 (DM) Sri Lanka´s first constitution, introduced in 1947 when the country was called Ceylon, came in two parts; the Ceylon Independence Act of 1947 and the Orders in Council of 1946 and 1947 - known collectively as the Ceylon (Constitution and Independence) Orders in Council of 1947. All, read together, became known as the Soulbury Constitution, under which Ceylon, (now known as Sri Lanka) gained more..

Video: Dullas questions police on love

June 15 (CG) Minister Dullas Alahapperuma says there is nothing wrong in falling in love and the police have no right to arrest young couples who just hold hands or sit together under an umbrella. Speaking at an event in Matara today, the Minister said that he had once received a complaint that 80 young couples had been arrested by the Matara police. “What did they do wrong? They were arrested for going to the beach together, more..

LSSP: 13A ‘very weak’ as it is, so why panic?

June 15 (Island) The LSSP said that there was an undue haste to dilute the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, but it was ‘very weak’ as it was, since none of the powers that mattered such as land and police had been granted. LSSP leader, Technology and Research Minister, Tissa Vitharana told The Island that a lot of hot air had been expended over nothing, since the President had the final say in all matters including policy issues. more..

Sri Lankan Tamil party heads to India for urgent talks

June 15 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan minority opposition Tamil political party is heading to India for talks with the Indian government on the latest political developments in the island, the political party said on Saturday. The Tamil National Alliance said a delegation which will include its leader Rajavarothiam Sampanthan, is expected to meet Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, among others, during the visit next week. more..

Gotabaya worried over Jayalalithaa’s stand

June 15 (ENS) Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s firm stand on Sri Lanka has upset the island nation’s govt with Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa saying her point of view poses a threat to his country’s security and sovereignty. Speaking at the KDU here, Gotabaya said: “India, in particular, is very sensitive to what is going on in Sri Lanka because of the large Tamil population in its influential southern State of Tamil Nadu. more..

In a hurry to leave Sri Lanka!

June 15 (CT) A news report said a boat carrying some 68 Sri Lankans illegally heading for Australia had gone missing. This is just one of many recent attempts by the Sri Lankans to flee their land of birth for a better life in the greener pastures in the Down Under and Canada. Though the majority of those would be asylum seekers would cite gory tales of torture and murder at the hands of the State military apparatus, in order to appeal to their western audience, the majority of them are, more..

ICT and the Economy: Prospects for SL

June 15 (CT) When the growth of the global economy and of individual state economies over the last 110 years is examined, it is clear that the sectoral composition has changed drastically. Agriculture which was the dominant sector for centuries has ceased to be the principal component of GDP as of now. It employs a lesser workforce compared to Services. Yet it assures the world of sustained food availability. The same holds for Industry, which though increasing in more..

How can secretary be an “economic hit man” without minister’s blessings?

June 15 (AD) The UNP today charged that financial authority over the country’s affairs which should rest completely with the parliament has been bestowed upon Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundra. That is the reason why Minister Wimal Weerawansa is claiming that an “economic hit man” is destroying the country’s economy, UNP MP Wijedasa Rajapaksa said. He, however, stated that a ministry secretary can never be an more..

Relevance of H G Wells to the National Question in Sri Lanka

June 15 (CT) The title of this article may be misleading if one takes it to mean that H G Wells (1866-1946), the renowned British political writer and Fabian socialist, directly commented on the ethnic or the racial question in Sri Lanka or for that matter, former Ceylon. What is intended instead is to draw upon his thinking on the subject, in his discourse on “A Modern Utopia” (1905) to elucidate some of the predicaments that Sri Lanka is facing today. Wells did comment on Ceylon in more..

The problems of a large Cabinet

June 15 (CT) One aspect of politics that draws criticism but little analysis is the phenomenon of large cabinets, with MPs imagining it their right to be appointed to Executive Office on the grounds of seniority alone. This is nothing new, though the opposition affects to forget the massive numbers to whom President Jayewardene gave executive positions, which is when the trend really began. Not all his appointments were to the Cabinet or to Deputy positions, since he also had 25 more..

Expanded Iranamadu airstrip opens

June 15 (CG) The expanded airstrip at Iranamadu, once used by the LTTE for its air operations, was declared open by President Rajapaksa today. The runway can handle aircraft such as the Hercules C-130 and Antonov AN-32. The President was flown to Iranamadu in a MA-60 aircraft of the Air Force Helitours. With the opening of the expanded runway Iranamadu becomes Sri Lanka’s 16th domestic airport. more..

Special ID for blood donors to ensure special treatment

June 15 (Island) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that the govt had decided to issue special identity cards to all blood donors. In recognition of the valuable service they were rendering, the donors who needed to get anything done at any govt organisation would be given priority. He said the World Blood Donors’ Day had been commemorated in France yesterday. The WHO International Assembly had decided to hold the World Blood Donors Day in Sri Lanka in 2014. more..

Colonel and Corporal die in accident in Tabbowa

June 15 (AD) A Colonel and a Corporal of the Sri Lankan army were killed while a Major was injured in a road accident in Tabbowa on the Anuradhapura-Puttalam road early today, police said. Police spokesman SP Buddhika Siriwadena stated that the accident occurred in the early hours of today, when the Land Rover Defender the army officers were traveling in veered off the road and crashed into a power pole. They were reportedly traveling from Kilinochchi to Ganemulla at the time of the crash.

Teacher luring schoolgirls into prostitution: NCPA, police conduct probes

June 15 (Island) An investigation has been launched into allegations that a teacher at a girls’ school, in the Matale town lured several students into prostitution. The investigation was launched by the Child Development and Women’s Welfare Ministry along with National Child Protection Authority (NCPA), following the revelation by a Pradeshiya Sabha member that a girl had become pregnant after taking to prostitution. more..

President’s promise to CEB broken: Power Secy responds

June 15 (Island) Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy, M. M. C. Ferdinanado, referring to our news report headlined ‘President’s promise to CEB broken’ states: As per my letter dated 08 May 2013 addressed to the Chairman, Dr. Jayatissa de Costa, Chairman of Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), Rs. 7 billion has been projected as the revenue shortfall for 2013 that would be provided by the Treasury due to the announcement of the concession by H. E. the President more..

138 dengue cases, five deaths in one week

June 15 (CT) Following last week’s heavy showers, 138 dengue patients and five deaths have been reported from Colombo, Chief Medical Officer of the CMC, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam, said. The CMC is continuing with its inspection and clean-up campaigns around the Colombo city and has so far issued a number of warning notices in six days, to residences and buildings that need cleaning up. “By yesterday, the number of notices issued was 880 and today it may even go up to 1,000,” more..

'Karunanidhi soft on UPA due to Kanimozhi'

June 15 (IANS) DMK president Karunanidhi does not oppose the training of the Sri Lanka military in India because he wants Congress support to get his daughter Kanimozhi re-elected to the Rajya Sabha, TN Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said. "Despite the DMK exiting the central govt, Karunanidhi is not opposing the centre because he needs the support of five Congress legislators for his daughter Kanimozhi's reelection," more..

National Geographic Traveller lists Vil Uyana amongst World’s Best Ecolodges

June 15 (Island) The National Geographic Traveller, has featured Vil Uyana Sigiriya in their recent issue of The World’s Best Ecolodges. The Vil Uyana is the only Sri Lankan resort to be listed. Launched in 2006, Jetwing Vil Uyana has been a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World for since its inception. With 25 dwellings situated over four distinct habitats: water, forest, paddy and marsh originally, recently five garden dwellings were added to cater to increasing demand. more..

Provincial Councilor remanded after ‘punishing’ teacher

June 15 (AD) North Western Provincial Council member Ananda Sarath Kumara who was arrested for allegedly punishing a school teacher has been remanded till June 18 by Puttalam Magistrate’s Court. The Provincial Councilor was arrested by police in the Adigama area in Anamaduwa today while traveling towards Chilaw in a vehicle. He was taken to the Anamaduwa Police Station to record a statement and then produced before the Puttalam Acting Magistrate Mohamed Iqbal. more..

A DIG’s undoing

June 15 (CT) The CID, while conducting investigations into the abduction and murder of businessman, Mohamed Shiyam, has found two pieces of synthetic coir rope, two pieces of hair and a piece of cotton cloth in the pick-up truck belonging to the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD), which have been used for the abduction and killing. When the officials attached to the Fingerprint Bureau were dusting the vehicle, they had also found more..

A tale of selflessness and courage

June 15 (CT) Amid the despair and devastation, following Saturday's weather onslaught is a story of sheer selflessness and bravery of a 24-year-old youth. Thilina Madushanka of Samapura, Hettimulla in Beruwela, who had been at sea at the time the gale force winds lashed the Southern Coastal belt, had given his life jacket to a friend who was struggling to save himself from drowning and thereafter swam for 15 hours in the rough seas without anything to protect him, to safely more..

Ranil says 17A must before polls

June 15 (CG) While the debate continues on the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the 17th Amendment to the Constitution must be implemented before having elections for the Northern Province. He said that the UNP position has been clearly articulated to the government and President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He said that through the full implementation of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution the UNP wants to see more..

'Communal politics dangerous'

June 15 (CG) President Rajapaksa, who was in Kilinochchi today, said that communal politics is very dangerous and that the country doesn’t need narrow political ideals. He also said elections to the Northern Provincial Council will take place as planned, and that the public will have the opportunity and the independence to select the representatives who will bring further development to the region. “We are in the process of more..

Sri Lanka to impose rules to improve the quality of cinnamon exports

June 15 (N360) Sri Lanka has decided to make it mandatory for local Cinnamon exporters to adhere to specified quality standards when exporting cinnamon. This move, the govt says is aimed at preventing the export of low quality cinnamon and enhancing the commodity’s production in the country. Govt believes this will also help sustain the livelihood of more than 350,000 families engaged in this industry. Cabinet of Ministers has given its approval to this proposal brought forward by more..

Gem merchant cleaned up by gang posing as police

June 15 (Island) An armed gang that had gained entry into the residence of a wealthy gem businessman at Laggala, Matale on Thursday night, by claiming to be from the police, escaped with about Rs. 20 million in gems, jewellery and cash after handcuffing the inmates. The gang forced themselves into the residence of the gem businessman, popularly known as ‘Mutu Mudalali’ at Moratenne, Laggala around 9.00 pm claiming that they were from the Walana-based Police more..

England deny Willis ball-tampering claims

June 15 (AFP) England coach Ashley Giles has denied his players tamper with the ball following controversial allegations by former captain Bob Willis. Willis said that Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar and New Zealand's Billy Bowden had ordered the ball to be changed while Sri Lanka were batting during their seven-wicket Champions Trophy win over England at The Oval on Thursday because it had been tampered with. more..

Woman goes for abortion, gets raped

June 15 (E24|7) A Sri Lankan court ordered a man to be kept in custody for nine months and 22 days till March 3, on two counts. He not only raped a married woman who was pregnant and had come to him for an abortion, but also carried out an illegal abortion. The person was running a medical center at Bandaranaike Mawatha in Ratnapura. Besides this case, the suspect had been bailed out for an earlier offence, which was pending in the High Courts, Ratnapura, for murdering a woman more..

Docs watch cricket on TV while patients suffer

June 15 (E24|7) The house officers of Sri Lanka's Karapitiya Teaching Hospital had been watching a ‘live’ cricket match on TV on June 9, without attending to patients, Southern Provincial Councillor, Wijayapala Hettiarchchi, alleged. Addressing a meeting of the Southern Provincial Council at which the Chiarman, Somawansa Kodagoda presided, he said, a seriously ailing, elderly woman, who is the mother of a journalist, had been admitted to the hospital on Sunday night, but more..

Video: NPC: Polls Chief to get down foreign monitors

June 15 (DM) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya today assured he would strive hard to obtain the services of foreign monitors for the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) Elections. He gave this assurance to representatives of several opposition political parties when they met him at the Elections Secretariat. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said the opposition parties were keen to obtain the services of more..

13th Amendment, the talk of the town

June 16 (SO) It is common knowledge that over 20 million Sri Lankans had been subjected to untold misery due to LTTE terrorism for nearly three decades. The LTTE, which spread its separatist ideology among Tamils, unleashed deadly terror during the Tigers' military struggle for Velupillai Prabhakaran's dream state. Previous Heads of State did their utmost to deal with LTTE terror since former President J.R. Jayewardene began his first round of peace talks with the LTTE in Thimpu in 1985. more..

13th Amendment may not weather the storm

June 16 (NS) The Cabinet of Ministers of the UPFA govt on Thursday approved the revisions to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and asked the Parliament Speaker to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to study the issues regarding the legislation. The Cabinet has already approved the deletion of the provision in the 13th Amendment that gives power to the President to merge two provinces as it was done in July 1987 with the Northern and Eastern provinces more..

'UNP has distanced itself from people'

June 16 (SO) Simple and accessible, Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena is a proponent of various micro level development programs that enabled the people to improve their quality of life. He had his maiden entry into politics in 1973. As the Investment Promotion Minister he has an important role to play in the context of economic prosperity of the country. He said the UNP has not introduced the new draft Constitution in good more..

A hit team for hire?

June 16 (NS) The public perception of the Police Department is not of a kind that would inspire pride. In contrast the Army (as well as the other forces) has been viewed positively. Discipline and courtesy are not associated with the Police; the personnel of that department are treated with suspicion and even derision. They are seen as uncouth, bribe-taking, arrogant persons out to make things difficult for the general public. The Army, for sure, has had its share of bad eggs, bribe-takers, commission-hawks more..

Crying over spilt milk

June 16 (Island) Although only a few days have passed since gale force winds lashed the western coast, taking the lives of at least 50 fishermen out at sea, the tragedy is already receding in the public mind. We Lankans, as we are often told, have notoriously short memories. Although our hearts melt at news of tragedy, we are quick to forget travails of other people as the business of daily living and priorities in our own lives take precedence. This is very much a part of human nature more..

'Media ethics code to hide govt’s crises'

June 16 (SL) JVP parliamentary group leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake says the govt’s attempt to introduce a Code of Media Ethics is aimed at suppressing the media from reporting on the crises faced by the state and the growing dissention among people. He notes that the necessity for a Code of Media Ethics by the govt is determined by the level of people’s dissention against the govt and the path to build a dictatorship in the country. more..

Some interesting political maneuvering ahead

June 16 (NS) After much publicized agonizing, the government has at last announced its stand on the 13th Amendment to the Constitution: it wants to further dilute powers that have been devolved to the provinces before contemplating elections to the Northern Provincial Council (NPC). The move may come as a shock to assorted advocates of devolution who saw in the 13th Amendment, a panacea for all ills of ethnic origin. It will also annoy if not anger neighboring India. more..

Wanted: Codes of conduct for journalists and politicians

June 16 (SL) Ethics, the Oxford English Dictionary says is about morals. Now we Sri Lankan journalists have been informed that a Code of Ethics is being formulated for us by a group of gentlemen (may be a lady or two as well) under the direction of the Department of Information/Media Ministry for the guidance of journalists in the practice of our profession. Being a long time in the profession we are naturally curious to know who is going to show us the way in kindly light through a new moral more..

'Media freedom has been suppressed'

June 16 (SL) The Sunday Leader spoke to former President of the Bar Association and UNP MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe about the recently released draft Code of Ethics for Media, and what implications such a Code would have from a legal perspective. Following are excerpts: Q: What are your thoughts on the govt’s proposed Code of Ethics for Media? Do you believe that the media is in need of such a Code at this juncture? more..

Match 10: India beat Pakistan

June 16 (CI) Just like most of the cricket played in this hyped rivalry, the cricket at Edgbaston - this time because of the weather - was dreary and uncertain, but India eventually registered their first win over Pakistan in Champions Trophy. However, it was a dead rubber as India were already guaranteed the top slot in the group, and Pakistan the bottom. It was England overhead all right with all the rain, but underfoot the Edgbaston pitch suited the bowlers from Asia, where a big portion more..

Governing party allies start to sway against Rajapaksa tide

June 16 (SL) The Mahinda Rajapaksa govt had to, last week, take a step back in its attempt to dilute the 13th Amendment to the Constitution due to stiff resistance within the Cabinet of Ministers against the proposed amendments. President Rajapaksa who gave one week for the governing party allies to formulate their responses to the two amendments proposed to the 13th Amendment last week faced opposition from several allies – the SLMC, CP, LSSP, and the DLF. more..