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Was Wellampitiya OIC framed?

Jan 12 (CT) Police headquarters sources say that the arrest of Wellampitiya OIC, Bandara Munasinghe, for drug dealing, is considered by many police officers as a political contract handled by a Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) who is expecting a service extension. We publish here what senior police officers discuss at the Police Headquarters and the truth will finally be determined by a Court of Law. more..

One was quite enough — sub-cyclone storm lashes north

Jan 12 (ST) Tropical cyclone/storm “One”, forecast to hit the country with punishing force last week, made its landfall more leniently although bringing strong winds and heavy showers to the north. Given the recent cyclone and deep depression conditions in the southwest Bay of Bengal, meteorological and disaster management authorities are making detailed preparations for disaster prevention this year while advising more..

War crime tweet: Govt. won’t summon US envoy

Jan 12 (ST) Govt has backed down from a move to summon US Ambassador Michele Sisson to the External Affairs Ministry to protest over a US embassy tweet which read that “Army shelling killed hundreds of families”. External Affairs ministry Secretary Karunathilleke Amunugama said there was no move to summon Ambassador Sisson but the Govt had sought clarification on the issue. Earlier, govt sources said, Minister G.L. Peiris more..

Minister babbles on while students get drenched

Jan 12 (CT) With the beginning of the new school term last Monday (6), the Education Ministry launched its ‘new’ health programme by reintroducing an exercise programme for school children. The programme was launched with pomp and pageant by Minister Bandula Gunawardena, at the expense of leaving students standing out in the rain during the ceremonious event to inaugurate it. National Physical Wellness Programme more..

Sri Lanka authorities in talks over Paypal freedoms

Jan 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka's monetary and information technology authorities are in discussions over freeing Paypal inward payments for citizens in the country, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. Central Bank Governor Cabraal said his officials were now in talks with Sri Lanka's ICT Agency, another state body, over freeing outward payments through Paypal. Governor Cabraal last year told LBO that freeing inward more..

Powdered milk food crisis continues: CAA to mull price revision this week

Jan 12 (Island) With five powdered milk food importers seeking an immediate price revision, the Price Committee of the Consumers Affairs Authority (CAA) is expected to meet this week amidst the growing crisis, which continues to starve the marketplace of imported products. "We are now working out the price calculations", says J.M.A. Douglas, CAA’s Director-General. The importers have asked for a Rs. 250/- increase more..

Rapp "pompous,’’ US messaging methods "grotesque’’

Jan 12 (Island) Friday’s meeting between Minister G.L. Peiris and Ambassador Stephen J. Rapp, US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice, had seen both sides take up adversarial positions which diplomats believed would seriously damage future avenues of cooperation and engagement. Colombo had indicated that Rapp appeared to have pre-judged the issues and had a closed mind on the matters under discussion more..

Hirunika appointed SLFP Organizer; to contest PC polls

Jan 12 (AD) Hirunika Premachandra has been appointed as the SLFP Organizer for Colombo Central by President Rajapaksa today. Sources also say that Hirunika, the daughter of slain Presidential Advisor Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, is to contest the upcoming Provincial Council election. She reportedly met with President Rajapaksa this morning and is expected to officially accept the letter of appointment on Monday. more..

U.S. urges Sri Lanka to probe war crimes, 'seek truth'

Jan 12 (AFP) The United States called Sunday for Sri Lanka to investigate rights abuses by security forces after a top envoy completed a fact-finding mission to the island, the U.S. embassy in Colombo said. U.S. State Department war crimes investigator Stephen Rapp "listened to eyewitness accounts about serious human rights abuses" during his five-day mission to the island that ended on Saturday, the embassy said. more..

The Geoffrey Dobbs Affair

Jan 12 (Island) I read with interest Maheen Senanayake’s article in the Sunday Island of January 5 in which he includes questions and answers from an interview he had with Geoffrey Dobbs. I had been startled by the earlier report in the newspapers of Dobbs being refused entry to the Island and then being grudgingly, we suppose, given a month to settle his matters here. My first reaction on reading about this was wry amusement mixed with consternation. more..

Proposed new Seed Act is seriously flawed

Jan 12 (Island) If you have been in the habit of exchanging a few vegetable seeds, seedlings, banana suckers or any other planting material with your neighbors, forget it. The proposed new Seed Act prohibits such sharing/exchange of planting material unless you are registered with the ‘Seed Certification Service’. If you ignore this ruling, you will be liable to prosecution leading to a fine or imprisonment. This is one of the most draconian pieces of legislation ever contemplated. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Night clubs not registered

Jan 12 (SL) Night clubs and casinos in Colombo are not registered and do not possess a valid licence, K.D. Chithrapala, Treasurer of the Colombo Municipal Council told said. He added that according to the 1975 Night Club Ordinance there is a loophole in the law which allows night clubs and casinos in the country to not be registered and therefore the night clubs in Colombo do not operate legitimately. Accordingly 20 night clubs in Colombo function illegally and the police have more..

NPC member makes fervent plea

Jan 12 (SL) UPFA NPC member Ramanathan Angajan has called on the council to offer employment to former LTTE cadres who have been released back into society after being rehabilitated. Angajan says the former rebels have begun to lead a peaceful life with their families but only a few of them have found employment. “It is necessary to note that a considerable section of them are disabled. It is the bounden duty of the NPC to find them employment opportunities. more..

A costly breakdown

Jan 12 (SL) Lakwijaya Coal Power plant in Norochcholai has been shut down for six days so far this year, costing the CEB a colossal Rs 432 million to purchase power from thermal sources in order to bridge the shortfall due to the closure. For every day that the coal power plant is shut down, the CEB has to spend Rs 72 million to purchase power from thermal power plants. Furthermore each start up alone costs Rs 26 million further more..

Monks lead protest on churches

Jan 12 (CG) A protest was staged in Hikkaduwa by monks and area residents today against Christian churches operating in the area. The protesters blocked a section of the Galle – Colombo road during the protest and our reporter in the area said that some property was also damaged. The monks who led the protest said that two Christian worship centers were operating without authorization and demanded that they be shut down. Assembly of God (AOG) Hikkaduwa, (Baddegama Road) more..

'Mannar Mass Grave: No remains of children'

Jan 12 (NS) No skeletal remains of children have been unearthed so far from the mass grave that was discovered near the Thiruketheeswaram Hindu temple, in Mannar, SSP Ajith Rohana confirmed. He was responding to certain media reports alleging that the skeletal remains of at least one child had been recovered from among the dozens of others found buried at the mass grave. These excavated remains are being subject to several tests in order to determine the ages of the respective more..

Hulugalle down, but not out

Jan 12 (CT) Those who have had to deal with the man, who was at the helm of affairs at the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS), may well recall him for the bag of arrogance he was, offering snappy retorts and generally rushing in where angels fear to tread. For a man who never wore a uniform, and in Sri Lanka (there is a post-war new petite bourgeoise, consisting exclusively of uniformed personnel with an extensive level more..

Pettah comes alive with court room scenes

Jan 12 (ST) The Pettah was abuzz yesterday when acclaimed film-maker Chandran Rutnam began shooting the ‘court scene’ in ‘According to Mathew’ based on the notorious Vicarage double murders which rocked Sri Lanka in the 1980s. The filming resumed last week, after a six-month break. Authentically recreating the ‘courts’ in the old Town Hall building off Main Street, the ‘takes’ shot yesterday included Bollywood star Jacqueline Fernandez in the role of Daphne more..

Have we lost the fibre in our apparel industry?

Jan 12 (Island) Most recently Carol Duncumb spent a few weeks in Sri Lanka recuperating from 2013. She first traveled to Sri Lanka in 1994 and has been here many times since sometimes making more than two or three trips during a single year. But her first visit was an absolutely memorable one. Q: Do you remember why you came to Sri Lanka for the first time? A: Yes, I remember exactly why I came. I was sourcing textiles/finished garments for a company I was working for. more..

'Probe all incidents of ethanol and drug smuggling'

Jan 12 (ST) Opposition and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe called for investigation of all incidents of smuggling of ethanol and drugs into the country, and not probe only the narcotics case connected with PM D.M. Jayaratne’s office. He also urged the Govt to implement the provisions of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution as a means of reducing such corruption and malpractices. more..

C.V. to work with P.B.

Jan 12 (CG) Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran is to work with the Secretary to the Treasury P.B.Jayasundera to obtain to funds from the Tamil Diaspora for the North. Wigneswaran says President Mahinda Rajapaksa had recently told him to contact Jayasundera and work out a plan to obtain such funding. “I must say the President recently was very accommodative saying if we contact Mr. P.B.Jayasundera in time we could work out such help without problems. more..

A week of killer road accidents

Jan 12 (ST) Several road accidents that claimed lives were reported from around the country last week. A cyclist, who sustained injuries on Wednesday, when his bicycle collided with a cab at James Peiris Mawatha, Colombo 2, later died at the Colombo National Hospital. The victim, Mohammad Zavahir (20), a resident of Watupitiya Akurana, worked as a restaurant assistant in Kollupitiya. Colombo City Coroner said the death was due to excessive bleeding from head injuries. more..

Clinical Sri Lanka take 1-0 lead

Jan 12 (CI) It had rained for most of the night in Dubai and the floodlights were switched on to brighten a gloomy morning, but there were no alarms for Sri Lanka once play began on time on the fifth day. They won this Test of attrition by bowling clinically to polish off the Pakistan tail, and then their openers guarded against any slip-ups in a chase of 137 by playing watchfully and taking liberties only after more..

Teachers lodge complaint with HRC

Jan 12 (SL) The Ceylon Teachers’ Union has lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission (HRC) about the discriminations done by the Education Ministry to the students who passed the scholarship examination in 2013 when the ministry providing schools for the students. In the complaint, the union has held the Secretary of the Education Ministry and all the principals of the popular schools responsible for the discriminations. Commissioner at the Human Rights Commission more..

BASL President Upul Jayasuriya re-elected uncontested for another term

Jan 12 (ST) President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) Upul Jayasuriya was re-elected to the post for 2014/2015. Mr. Jayasuriya was re-elected uncontested to the post as the nomination of Mr R.R. Thangarajah was rejected. The BASL had amended the Constitution to disqualify any candidate who fails to obtain more than 10% of the vote, from contesting. Mr. Upul Jayasuriya’s name was proposed by Presidents Counsels Romesh de Silva, Upali Gunaratna and more..

Video: Peacock sacrificed its life to send people a message - UNP

Jan 12 (AD) A peacock had to sacrifice its life in order to send a message to the people regarding the govt’s “foolish” investment policies, UNP MP Ajith P. Perera said today. We in the opposition have continuously spoken about the govt’s lack of vision regarding the development strategy of the country, he said. When the Hambantota Harbour was built at a large cost we warned that it will be unsuccessful due to more..

Opening highs for Sri Lanka

Jan 12 (CI) The ten-wicket win is Sri Lanka's first in an away or neutral venue Test against Pakistan since 2004, when they won by 201 runs in Faisalabad. Since then, they'd lost twice and drawn five Tests in away or neutral venues against Pakistan. Since February 2009, this is only Sri Lanka's second Test win in 19 away Tests - they've lost nine and drawn eight during this period. Their only other victory was a superb one by 208 runs against South Africa in Durban. more..

Sri Lanka puts conditions to free Indians

Jan 12 (CG) The Sri Lankan Govt says it will free over 200 Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody only after Tamil Nadu releases Sri Lankan fishermen held in Tamil Nadu. Fisheries minister Rajitha Senaratne, said the Indians will not be freed until the Sri Lankans are also set free. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had yesterday ordered the release of 179 Sri Lankan fishermen lodged in Tamil Nadu jails, mostly arrested for trespassing into Indian waters. more..

Tender standoff due to political influence derails train canteens

Jan 12 (ST) Hundreds of thousands of train commuters are being deprived of an essential service- the railway canteens and related outlets, for the past eight months, following a tender standoff caused by political interference, while the Dept loses millions of rupees in vital revenue, it was revealed this week. A single individual with known political contacts and with the backing of certain errant railway officials, is blocking more..

President urged to take clear stand on future of Grade 5 Scholarship Exam

Jan 12 (Island) With President Rajapaksa having told the recent SLFP Central Committee meeting that the Grade Five scholarship Exam would not be abolished "for the moment", the Opposition called for a clear statement from the Head of State and Govt on the future of children’s education. UNP WPC member Niroshan Padduke said that contradictory statements had been made by Rajapaksa, Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena and Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella more..

Indians arrested in Sri Lanka for hiding Rs. 16 lakh worth cigarettes

Jan 12 (PTI) Three Indians were today arrested in Sri Lanka for allegedly concealing cigarettes worth 1.6 million Sri Lankan rupees in their baggage. Sri Lanka Customs arrested the trio - aged 26, 27 and 28 - at the Colombo international airport in the morning as they were going through the green channel. "It was found that 400 cartons of cigarettes were concealed in their baggages, valued at Rs. 1,600,000. They arrived from Malaysia by MH 179 flight at 12 midnight," more..

Maid for sale

Can past glories of Tea industry be recreated?

Jan 13 (SL) With the dawned of the New Year, it’s good to take stock of how the tea industry has fared. We have a golden opportunity to take stock of our achievements and failures during the year and get ready to face the challenges of the year 2014. A few decades ago, tea enjoyed the premier position of earning the most foreign exchange for the country. However garments and remittances from expatriate workers have now taken pride of place. Tea is finally breaking out of previous bad record and more..

Dalai Lama, Pope Francis, and Maduluwawe Sobitha

Jan 13 (CT) This article has two sections; the first part is related to my previous articles. The second part is about Dalai Lama, Pope Francis, and Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera. The recent articles written by Shyamon Jayasinghe, Mahendra De Silva, and Kapila Abhayawansa demonstrate the snowball effect of the conversation that I started on Buddhism. The Buddhist in me constantly struggle not to undress people in public with my words, but if you are trying to tell me that you do not more..

'Deyata Kirula 2014 structures are permanent'

Jan 13 (SO) Kuliyapitiya city is dressed up to hold the eighth Deyata Kirula development exhibition under the theme "Asirimath Samayen Isurumath Deshayak". Major construction works are underway in the Wayamba University for the exhibition, which includes the construction of an auditorium, indoor stadium, a Nano-Tech Laboratory and a student centre. Few more permanent buildings are being constructed in the more..

Let not referees spoil 2nd-round sizzler

Jan 13 (SL) Few will argue against the claim that the fare served up in the ongoing league season has been exceptional, far and away more riveting than those seen in more than a decade. The end of the first round is just a fortnight away and, unlike in many seasons before, fascinatingly, no clear winner has emerged yet. As at close of the seventh week of the14-week competition, only two teams, remain undefeated: leaders Navy and defending champions Havelock SC. more..

Political power is not for you but for us...

Jan 13 (CT) It's high time the people asserted themselves and said to all politicians, that the power that they, the people, invest in politicians is not for the use and abuse by the politicians but exclusively for the people. When and only when the people make it their business to assert that fundamental privilege, would change things for the better; only then would the politicians who promise all undeliverable guarantees and undertakings, take the people seriously. more..

The germination of a vision

Jan 13 (CT) The need to preserve our national heritage has never before been more emphatic than now. Against the backdrop of booming tourist arrivals, our traditional art forms are all being exhibited in full pomp. Tourists are increasingly becoming tired of the superficial aspects of our country – the yellowed sands, the green beaches, and the shade of thatched roofs. What redeems our beauty and identity is more..

Sri Lanka to launch a diplomatic offensive against proposed resolution

Jan 13 (CT) Certain events that had been playing out in the international arena for the last few months pointed to the possibility of a third US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka being moved at the upcoming UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions in Geneva. This disconcerting possibility crystallized into a disturbing certainty when the govt received an official note from the US State Department a few weeks ago through the US Embassy in Colombo. more..