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'Draft Constitution, a homegrown document'

June 2 (Island) The UNP said that it had decided to put forward a home grown framework for the enactment of a new Constitution, due to the unprecedented abuses and total disregard for the rule of law during the last eight years. Senior UNP’er John Ameratunga MP, said that their draft constitution which was unveiled last week, was a comprehensive document covering all areas of governance and aimed at re-establishing the more..

TNA opposed to UNP’s proposal on power sharing under unitary state

June 2 (Island) ITAK General Secretary and TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah told the media on the eve of its crucial Central Committee (CC) meeting in Kilinochchi that the party is not in favor of power sharing under a unitary state to solve the national question, as proposed by the UNP in its draft manifesto. ITAK and TNA leader, R. Sambandan presided at the CC sessions, where many current political issues and developments in the country were taken up during the deliberations, more..

Heavy rains ‘bless’ Thai PM’s visit

June 2 (ST) The heavy downpour that accompanied the arrival of Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to Sri Lanka did not dampen the enthusiasm with which she was greeted when she arrived to address Parliament on Friday afternoon. Premier Shinawatra was met on arrival at Parliament by Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa and Parliamentary officials and escorted into the Chamber where she was greeted by the MPs. Three television sets had been installed in different sections of the more..

'Govt. buys Iranian oil illegally from vessels passing Colombo'

June 2 (CT) In what could be an allegation, which could have international repercussions, the UNP charged the govt was surreptitiously purchasing Iranian crude oil from vessels passing Colombo in spot purchases. “This is a very serious offence where the govt is doing spot purchases from vessels passing Colombo and avoiding opening Letters of Credit, which is very illegal and we have all the satellite images to prove this,” more..

'Prison guards corrupt'

June 2 (SL) Minister of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Chandrasiri Gajadeera has accused prison guards of being corrupt and assisting inmates to smuggle banned items into prison. The Minister said that even female prison guards are involved in smuggling drugs, mobile phones and other banned items into prison cells. He said that investigations have been launched into the activities of some prison guards and legal action will be taken against those found guilty. more..

Monsoon comes with south-west of country at risk of floods, landslides

June 2 (ST) The Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern and Central Provinces are at risk of flooding and landslides, if heavy showers continue as a result of the activation of the South-West Monsoon, the Met Department warned yesterday. Duty meteorologist, Channa Rodrigo said that during the activation period, usually lasting three days, there will be fairly heavy showers measuring between 80 mm. and 100 mm. accompanied by strong winds and occasional thunder. more..

'BCCI arm-twisted Sri Lanka to withdraw corruption report in 2010'

June 2 (PTI) Even as the spot-fixing scandal rages on, Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) president IS Bindra has created a fresh controversy by claiming that a BCCI official had arm-twisted the Sri Lankan board to withdraw a report which violated the anti corruption regulations during India's tour of SL in 2010. Bindra made three points in the wake of the spot-fixing scandal and recounted an incident involving corruption during more..

James Bond-like character held in Sri Lanka

June 2 (E24|7) Police in Sri Lanka have nabbed a suspected criminal who was outfitted like the legendary spy James Bond – complete with a foreign-made MM-type pistol with 28 bullets, four mobile phones, eight SIM cards, a Rambo knife, a motorcycle with fake papers, a forged national identity card and a counterfeit driving licence. The arrested man, who is alleged to have used a fake name, is suspected of involvement in two murders and several cases of extortion. more..

Eversendai plans maiden Sri Lanka foray

June 2 (BT) Eversendai, set up more than 30 years ago, has made Malaysia proud by playing a role in the construction of some of the world’s largest iconic buildings. Among its notable undertakings are the Petronas Twin Towers, Burj Khalifa, Emirates Tower, Burj Al Arab Hotel, Rose Tower, Ski Dome, Dubai Festival City, Khalifa Olympic Stadium and Kingdom Trade Centre. Eversendai executive chairman and group managing director, Tan Sri A.K. Nathan, said Sri Lanka offers solid opportunities in the development of iconic buildings. more..

No outsiders onboard SLN vessels-Navy

June 2 (DM) The Sri Lanka Navy denied reports that Chinese navy personnel had been spotted in Sri Lankan navy vessels near the Katchatheevu Island in the northern sea of Sri Lanka. “There is no such thing. We are not carrying any outsiders except our sailors and officers on board Navy Vessels,” Navy Spokesman Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya said. He also denied reports that it has deployed more than half a dozen naval vessels near Katchatheevu islet. more..

Junior Tennis’ velvet revolution

June 3 (SL) Any poll undertaken to determine which sports enjoy nationwide participation won’t show tennis anywhere near the top of the pecking order. Reasons are many why tennis will lag; not least the absence of public courts, the sport’s expensiveness and its exclusion from the extracurricular activities of all but a handful of schools. Those reasons apart, tennis, two years shy of its centenary, was itself long content on living in the small, exclusive world it was born into, influenced, perhaps,by more..

An unpleasant experience at the Eye Hospital

June 3 (SL) This occurred on May 6th this year I had a Cataract problem on my left eye, so I consulted a doctor at the Asiri Surgical Hospital, Colombo 05. I worked as a staff nurse with this Doctor and she examined me and very kindly told that she would perform the surgery at the Eye Hospital, maybe for old time’s sake. A test was done at Vision Care. I was requested to come to the Eye Hospital on April 8th. I went there and met the Doctor. I was informed that I have to buy a lens plus several other more..

The true story of two former LTTE militants: From sheer hatred to stark reality

June 3 (SL) Many young Tamil girls and boys, having grown up with the terrorism that plagued the country for over three decades, have been idolising the terrorist outfit - the LTTE. Young Jayawardhani was no different, and her mind was poisoned with hatred propagated by the terrorists, since it was so easy for the LTTE because she was an orphan at the Sencholai home for orphans. Jayawardhani never felt the warmth of a more..

Violence not conforming to Buddhist tradition

June 3 (NS) Last week’s Vesak commemoration ended on a tragic note when a Buddhist monk, Bowatte Indrarathana Thera committed suicide by setting himself on fire near the Dalada Maligawa in Kandy in an incident that sent shock waves throughout the country. The monk claimed he was protesting against the slaughter of cattle and said so just before he set himself alight, but there was no evidence that he was an avid campaigner on this issue prior to this incident. more..

View from Ritigala

June 3 (NS) Sampanthan now says that he has nothing to discuss with Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as the latter is a govt official. He has made these remarks in the wake of the statement made by the Defence Sec saying the govt is not ready to implement solutions to please India. Sampanthan, as we all know, is a man of high dignity and integrity. He is not someone who is willing to compromise his dignity as a politician by having chit-chats with small-time govt more..

Publis dishes out a recipe of health

June 3 (ST) He was the guest and she was the chef. She walked in with a plate covered with “something” for cooking and when he asked what it was, she threw down the food gauntlet. She dared him to guess what he was eating once the “something” was cooked. He ate it, but to his chagrin could not identify the dish. Sri Lanka’s food great, Publis de Silva, did not know what he was eating! A housewife living at the foothills of the more..

Craze for jewellery ends in death

June 3 (SO) It was the love of jewellery that propelled Siriwadeni to continue living. She saved every penny to buy jewellery. Siriwadeni always wore the jewellery she had collected. She was always well-dressed and to add glamour she matched her clothes with matching jewellery. She felt awkward if she did not wear jewellery. She would never leave the house without wearing any of it. She had bangles, chains, rings and bracelets of different shapes and sizes all made out of 22 carat more..

Sumanthiran’s Choice

June 3 (CT) I have two Tamil friends. Their names are SriLankan Tamil and Tamil Sri Lankan. “Aren’t they the same?” you ask. No, the order in which the identifiers appear is significant. Tamils often use their dads’ name followed by a given name. My friend Thevaram, son of Sivapuranam, writes his name as Sivapuranam Thevaram. Formally, he is known as Mr Thevaram, yet informally he is addressed as “Hey Thevaram.” He is found under T in the phone book. more..

Meddling with 13A to cause ethnic crisis to fester forever

June 3 (CT) Leader of the TULF, V. Anandasangaree, said meddling with the 13th Amendment to the Constitution would make the ethnic crisis fester forever. Commenting on the call by several constituent parties of the ruling UPFA, to abolish the 13th Amendment, the TULF Leader said, the abolition call is not going to help settling the issue politically. "The 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which was brought with more..

Why limited Police functions should be devolved

June 3 (CT) The devolution of police functions to the Provincial Council is highly controversial. The Govt apparently wants to repeal this provision in the 13th Amendment. But the power over the police function given to the Provincial Council is very limited. The Central Government will continue to exercise substantial control over the police function exercised in the provinces. The Provincial Police will be under the authority of a DIG. The 13th Amendment provides that whilst the DIG himself ‘shall be more..

The Importance of accurate economic statistics

June 3 (ST) There has been much scepticism about the reliability of economic statistics. This is particularly so with respect to estimates of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) that measures price increases. Both these are calculated by the Department of Census and Statistics and used for assessments of economic growth and inflation. There is a common view that GDP estimates are overestimated while consumer price more..

Devaluation bloats foreign debt by Rs. 127 b in 2012

June 3 (FT) Sri Lanka’s outstanding public debt stock crossed the Rs. 6 trillion mark last year with foreign borrowings rising by Rs. 438 billion, of which however 30% had been due to the impact of the devaluation of the currency. Performance in 2012 and Strategies for 2013 and beyond’, the CB said that the total debt stock of the Govt increased by Rs. 866.7 billion in 2012 and stood at Rs. 6 trillion at the year end, consisting of domestic debt more..

Ranasinghe Premadasa: The man who disciplined Sri Lanka’s Customs

June 3 (ST) Ranasinghe Premadasa was elected President in 1988 at a time when the country was in flames by the bloody revolt by the LTTE in north and east and the JVP in other areas of the country. While all these civil wars were continuing he had a vision to increase the govt tax revenue to meet the expenditure on war and other welfare and economic activities. He was very well aware that the correct tax revenue was not being collected by the main tax departments due to various corruptions more..

Softlogic tops Rs. 25 b revenue mark, profits down in FY13

June 3 (FT) Softlogic Holdings which saw bottom line dip despite healthy growth in revenue in FY13, is maintaining that the future outlook was positive on the back of changing macro dynamics. SHL said it reached one of its most historic business milestones with revenue crossing the Rs. 25 billion mark, up by 15.6% year-on-year for FY13, despite the quarter recording a marginal growth of 4.6% year-on-year to Rs. 6.1 billion. Group net profit slowed down to Rs. 878.7 million for FY13 more..

Achala yet to receive electronic arm

June 3 (CT) The govt has failed to honour its promise to provide an electronic arm to law student, Achala Priyadarshani, who lost her arm due to medical negligence. Achala said although a number of promises were made when she was receiving treatment at the hospital, none of those promises bore fruit. “I am studying for my final year exam. I have realized that most of the pledges were given only to more..

Editorial : What a world!

June 3 (Island) Mumbai has, in what may be described as a fit of morality, banned mannequins clad in lingerie to ‘save Indian males from impure thoughts’ as an antidote to rape, as we reported the other day in the World View section. The local councillors who made that unprecedented decision are doing everything in their power to tackle the alarmingly high incidence of rape in that city and their concerns need to be appreciated. But, the question is whether such measures which more..

Sri Lankan media is polarized, politicized and lacks professionalism: Furkhan

June 3 (Island) We have interviewed highly achieved individuals as well as highly influential people through The Catalyst column. Today, after awhile, I have another interview. My guest today is both highly achieved and highly influential. He is none other than Imran Furkhan. Imran is the Executive Director at the Sri Lanka Association of Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM). He is also an Independent Non-Executive Director of Trade Finance and Investments PLC (TFIL) and more..

Cricket: Fixing scandal casts cloud over Champions Trophy

June 3 (AFP) The world's leading cricketers gather for the Champions Trophy in the UK that starts this week against the backdrop of a growing fixing scandal emerging from the Indian Premier League, which has already claimed several high-profile casualties. Such is the extent of the crisis, Narayanswamy Srinivasan, the seemingly all-powerful president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) temporarily stood down from more..

Sarasavi publishers ordered to pay Rs 837,500 in intellectual property case

June 3 (DN) Colombo Commercial High Court Judge on May 17 awarded Rs. 837,500 as compensation to Dharma S. Samaranayake, plaintiff in an intellectual property case against Sarasavi Publishers the publishers of well-known Chef Publis Silva's book titled 'Hela Ratavata Evum Phihum', a book about local culinary recipes. Senior Attorney at Law Harischandra Wijetunge was summoned as a witness for the plaint. Two witness for respondent were summoned. more..

UNP’s draft constitution to cover bribery in the private sector as well

June 3 (SL) The UNP last week publicized its Draft Constitution that would be implemented under a future UNP govt. The party has laid emphasis on building the people’s sovereignty claiming that a proper governance structure would in turn result in economic prosperity. UNP MP and Chairman of the Party’s Research and Policy Unit, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said the establishment of good governance policies in the country would eventually result in economic prosperity. more..

Police hunt for another suspect over blocking of highway for six hours

June 3 (Island) Police are looking for another suspect who had been involved in the protest, by Sabaragamuwa University undergraduates, which blocked the Badulla – Colombo road for six hours at Pambahinna Junction in Belihul Oya on Saturday. Police anti-riot squad used tear gas to finally re-open the road, resulting in injuries to 24 students and 12 policemen. All were discharged after receiving treatment at more..

Global Tamil Forum says death of Dr. JJ a great loss

June 3 (Island) The UK based Global Tamil Forum (GTF) has said that sudden passing away of UNP MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardana is a great loss to Tamil speaking people, whose plight received the attention of the Gampaha District politician. The GTF said that Jayawardana was a genuine Christian politician who served people of all faith unreservedly. The following is the full text of a statement issued by Rev. Father S. J. Emmanuel, GTF leader based in Germany: more..

Janarala newspaper under threat

June 3 (FT) The editor of the Janarala newspaper said yesterday that the Janarala newspaper and its journalists are under threat over the articles published in it. Addressing a media conference convened to inform journalists of an attempt made to kidnap its news editor near Seeduwa recently, Chandana Sirimalwatta, the editor of the newspaper, revealed that security personnel might have involved in the incident. Expressing his views regarding the incident, Janarala news editor Priyasantha more..

West Nile Virus making people ill here

June 3 (ST) A virus causing brain fever, a culprit in epidemics in some countries across the globe, has been identified for the first time in Sri Lanka as causing human disease here, by an important Colombo-Sri J'pura University joint study. The West Nile Virus (WNV) was identified as the cause of brain fever (meningoencephalitis) in two people admitted to the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) in November last year, the joint more..

Only 53 to fill 1,000 English language teacher vacancies

June 3 (Island) Only 53 qualified persons have applied for teachng English though the Education Ministry has advertised 1,000 vacancies. Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena said that it was a very pathetic situation that his ministry could not find 1,000 qualified graduates, to recruit as teachers of English, from unemployed degree holders in the country. "We decided to recruit 1,000 graduates as teachers of English to work in government schools especially in rural areas," he said. more..

Hot air over Chairman of crisis-hit SJH buying car for Rs. 7.7 mn

June 3 (Island) Hot air was being let out over the purchase of a car worth Rs. 7.7 million, by the chairman of the Sri J'pura Hospital. All Ceylon Health Services Union (ACHSU), General Secretary Gamini Kumarasinghe yesterday alleged that Sri J'pura Hospital’s Chairman Nimal Bandara had purchased a brand new Toyota Hybrid car at a cost of Rs. 7.7 million for his personal use, despite the fact that he had made a statement that the hospital was experiencing a severe financial crisis. more..

Mass animal sacrifice in KKS

June 3 (CT) A mass sacrifice of nearly 750 goats and 300 fowls had taken place at a temple at Kavunawatta, a hamlet in Kankesanthurai on Saturday. Fully-grown goats were brought to the Narasimha Vairavar Temple in Kavunawatta in the wee hours in procession for the mass sacrifice for the performance of a traditional ritual that has been taking place for a long period of time at the temple. According to the people, more..

Elephant lives up to his Rambo name

June 3 (eTN) I first set eyes on Rambo in the early 1990s when I started visiting the Uda Walawe National Park. He was a young male elephant at that time, with a very calm demeanor. He had a very unique identifiable feature, where his right ear was torn in several places towards the edge. He must have been around 20-25 years at that time and was just beginning to show the characteristic pigmentation of mature elephants along the front of his trunk and ears. more..

Police prevent attempted murder

June 3 (CT) A person, who had attempted to murder a woman with a sharp object inside a house in Hennakgala, Minuwangoda, died after police shot him at the scene of crime, in order to rescue the woman. Police said the suspect had forcibly entered the house wielding a sharp object and dragged the 73-year-old woman into a room, and attempted to hack her. The daughter of the victim, who had noticed the suspect entering the premises jumping over a closed gate, had rushed to more..

'Education handed over to an executioner'

June 3 (LT) Education in the country has been handed over to an individual whose main interest is privatization says the Member of the Central Committee of the JVP Bimal Rathnayake and condemned the attack on the just struggle of the students of Rajarata University by the political police of the Rajapaksa regime. He said, “An unprecedented destruction of education in the country has taken place during the past thirty more..