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0.8% of GDP to develop the temple of justice

Oct 19 (CT) 'Justice delayed, is justice denied,' is an oft repeated adage. Recently retired Attorney General (AG), Palitha Fernando, imputed just that, in an interview. He raised two, no three issues in that interview, which are the causes of 'justice delayed.' Those were the lack of Court Houses to clear the backlog of cases, lack of space in the AG's Department and this lack, ipso facto, preventing the expansion of the AG Department's cadre strength to tackle the burning issue of 'laws delays.' more..

The UN Security Souncil and Sri Lanka

Oct 19 (Island) UN Security Council (UNSC) is perhaps the most powerful of the six principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions, and the authorization of military action through Security Council resolutions; it is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states. more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Oct 19 (ST) External Affairs Ministry (EAM) evidently needs a crash course in the European justice system. A media statement issued on Thursday said Govt of Sri Lanka had “noted with concern the decision of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on Oct 16, to annul the EU regulations proscribing the LTTE”. “Concern” is certainly a valid sentiment to express — except that it was not the European Court of Justice that had reversed more..

Auditor General smells rat

Oct 19 (NS) The Auditor General’s Department has conducted an audit query into the issuing of 10 more licenses by the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) to so-called ‘tamed elephants’ and will finalize it by this week, Auditor General H.A.S. Samaraweera said. Samaraweera further said his department was not prepared to accept the response submitted by the DWC to an earlier audit query compiled on more..

Room for further cuts in domestic petroleum prices

Oct 19 (Island) International oil prices have been falling through the year despite various attempts by the OPEC to drive prices up, industry statistics reveal, with prices of Brent crude oil down to 83.56 USD/BBL in October from 94.72 in Sept 2014. Brent crude averaged 41.63 from 1982 until 2014, reaching an all time high of 145.61 in July of 2008 and a record low of 8.75 in July of 1986. "The Govt may not hesitate to pass the benefits of more..

Colombage or Justice Tilakawardane tipped as SL’s new HC in London?

Oct 19 (Island) Speculation is rife that former Navy Commander, Admiral (Retd) Jayanath Colombage is tipped to be appointed Sri Lanka’s new High Commissioner to London. The govt has opted to nominate a senior naval officer to counter LTTE propaganda in the UK, which is expected to heighten, particularly after an EU court lifted sanctions against the LTTE, knowledgeable sources indicated. more..

'18th Amendment could not have been enacted without a referendum'

Oct 19 (Island) Law Professor Suri Ratnapala says that the 18th  Amendment to the Constitution  could not have been enacted without the approval of the people at a referendum, if it had the effect of retrospectively extinguishing a condition on which the 2010 Presidential Election was held. Ratnapala is a Professor of Law at the University of Queensland, Australia, Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, & Attorney at more..

Over 400 trade unions to storm Colombo tomorrow

Oct 19 (CT) Over 400 public sector, private sector and estate sector trade unions have threatened to storm the city of Colombo tomorrow and the day after, to protest against the present administration and to demand a pay hike. National Trade Union Centre (NTUC), comprising over 350 public, private and state sector trade unions, will engage in a three-hour protest, demanding a Rs 10,000 pay hike in Budget 2015. more..

EU eye on Sri Lanka

Oct 19 (CT) The European Union (EU) is closely monitoring the recent developments in Sri Lanka, including the domestic reconciliation process. EU Ambassador to Sri Lanka, David Daly said that the Presidential Commission appointed to probe the missing persons is a recent development and the EU has always encouraged Sri Lanka to have its own strong independent credible domestic process, which is a part of more..

MR sets condition to abolish executive

Oct 19 (CG) President Rajapaksa has reiterated a condition in order to abolish the Executive Presidency and he says if that condition is met then he will act within 24 hours. The main demand set by President Rajapaksa is for the pro-LTTE diaspora and the TNA to give up separatism. Rajapaksa noted that the main demand of the diaspora and the TNA these days is for the Executive Presidency to be abolished. more..

Customs holding on to 359 tusks: Attempts to distribute the contraband to temples

Oct 19 (CT) Sri Lanka Customs is yet to take a decision regarding the large illegal consignment of elephant tusks confiscated by them on 22 May 2012. Valued at Rs 4.2 billion, the 359 elephant tusks make up the largest haul of illegally obtained tusks detected by the SLC in the South Asian region so far. Even though these tusks were confiscated they have not been disposed of by the SLC yet and that there is a strong possibility more..

China gets controlling stake at Hambantota port

Oct 19 (ST) News that Sri Lanka had granted Chinese state-owned companies operating rights to four berths at the Hambantota Port once they are completed next year has caught the shipping industry unawares. There had been no tenders or prior announcements. But SLPA Chairman Priyath Wickrama says govt had agreed to such an arrangement with the Hambantota Port’s Chinese lenders as far back as 2010. more..

‘Saddened by Lankan under-appreciation of Indian aid’

Oct 19 (Island) High Commissioner Sinha in his speech during the symposium to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Anagarika Dharmapala which he attended as Chief Guest had stated his country was "saddened by the under-appreciation of Indian aid" by Sri Lanka. He had further spoken of the failure to mention or acknowledge India’s assistance in the Northern Line railway project which enabled the recent start of the Yal Devi train connecting North to the rest of the country more..

Defence Ministry seeks details of your lost property in north

Oct 19 (ST) The Ministry of Defence and Urban Development is inviting complaints from people who have lost their property or land in the Northern Province due to terrorism after 1980. The ministry said those who had lost property or land should send in details about themselves and their property to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, 15/5, Baladaksha Mawatha, Colombo 03. Complainants should give their names, address, telephone numbers, email address and other more..

Monitoring of Foundations coming

Oct 19 (ST) Foundations: Everybody seems to want one and the most popular way of setting it up is through Parliament, by way of a Private Member’s Bill. The procedure is so simple that there has been a steady growth in the number of proposals submitted for approval. Last month alone, five incorporation Bills were gazetted for consideration by the House. There are more to come. Not all Bills relate to foundations, more..

Six vehicle racketeers arrested

Oct 19 (NS) Six suspects, including two women have been arrested by the CID after authorities uncovered a sophisticated vehicle theft racket. The Police said the suspects would check major newspapers for advertisements regarding vehicles available for rent and then rent the said vehicles for one month’s period after making a payment. They would then use forged documents to mortgage those vehicles to other parties. The CID investigation had uncovered that the racketeers used females more..

Lessons from the Left

Oct 19 (Island) A felicitation event for senior activist Santasilan Kadirgamar, held a couple months back at the Ecumenical Institute for Study and Dialogue on August 9, coincided with the launch of an important collection, Pathways of the Left in Sri Lanka, edited by Marshall Fernando and B. Skanthakumar. In the spirit of the above epigraph, the volume provides valuable recognition of the impact the Left has had on Sri Lanka. In terms of the contributions, the essays manage to cover more..

TNA to take blockade to court

Oct 19 (SL) TNA is to go to the Supreme Court to lift the restrictions on foreigners travelling to the Tamil-majority Northern Province. Mavai Senathirajah, president of the ITAK, the main constituent of the TNA which rules the Northern Province, said that his party is consulting legal experts on taking the matter to the Supreme Court. “It is a violation of a Fundamental Right, because thousands of Lankan Tamils living abroad as citizens more..

Sri Lanka a ‘star performer’ in SAARC

Oct 19 (BDN) Bangladesh has progressed much going by different social and health indicators among the SAARC member states, but Sri Lanka despite its long civil strife remains the star performer in more ways than one. This has been revealed at the SAARC Development Goals (SDGs) progress report. Bangladesh launched it on Sunday, ahead of the next months’ SAARC summit in Kathmandu. Presenting the report, Prof Shamsul Alam, a member of the Planning Commission’s more..

SLMC to discuss Presidential Polls

Oct 19 (SL) The High Command of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) is to discuss the stand it is to take on the Presidential Elections, when it meets at the end of this month. General Secretary of the SLMC, Hasan Ali said that the SLMC had so far not discussed anything related to the Presidential Election. “The High Command of the SLMC is due to meet on the 30th of this month, and we expect to bring up matters related to the Presidential Election at that meeting,” he said. more..

'India series a chance for fringe players'

Oct 19 (CI) Sri Lanka's chairman of selectors Sanath Jayasuriya has said the five-match ODI series in India would help Sri Lanka to try out their fringe players before the World Cup. The series was confirmed by the BCCI and SLC the day West Indies players decided to pull out of their tour to India. "This is an ideal opportunity for some of the bowlers who have been around to grab their chance by performing against a top team like India," more..

SL to host next Test series against India

Oct 19 (CI) Sri Lanka, who were supposed to tour India for three Tests in August 2015, will now host the series, according to SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga. The decision has come in the wake of Sri Lanka agreeing to plug the gap in India's home calendar after West Indies' pullout. "As we are obliging India with a five-match ODI series there next month, India are obliged to return the tour next year and we have switched the Test series," Ranatunga said. more..

Health ministry rejects Ebola claims

Oct 19 (SL) The Health Ministry denied charges by the All Ceylon Nurses’ Union that a patient showing symptoms of the Ebola virus was detected in Sri Lanka. Speaking to The Sunday Leader, Health Ministry spokesman W.A. D. Wanninayake said that such a case had so far not been reported to the Health Ministry. “Earlier there was a hype that a woman who died in the Hanguranketha area had succumbed to Ebola, but we later found that she was not suffering from Ebola.” more..

Look at the holes not stars says JHU

Oct 19 (CG) The JHU today told the Govt and President Mahinda Rajapaksa to look at the holes on the ground before looking at the stars in the sky. JHU MP, the venerable Athureliya Rathana, speaking at the National Annual General Meeting of the JHU today, said that the Government must bring constitutional changes, including those proposed by the JHU, before holding a Presidential election next year. more..

TRC to build US$ 50 M leisure park

Oct 19 (CT) Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) will inject over US$ 50 million for the construction of a multi-storey cark park and a 'leisure world,' adjacent to its Lotus Road Tower at D.R. Wijewardene Mawatha. The project, aimed at bolstering tourism, has also been approved by the Cabinet at its meeting on 10 October 2014, following a Cabinet Memorandum presented by President Rajapaksa. "We need this kind of space for the car park which will house 1,500-2,000 cars more..

Indian boats will not be returned

Oct 19 (SL) The Ministry of Aquatic Resources and Fisheries will not consider returning the boats of the Indian fisherman that were taken in to custody by the Sri Lankan navy while poaching in Sri Lankan seas. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that these boats were taken into the custody while they were engaged in fishing illegally in the Sri Lankan seas using illegal methods of fishing. “The Indian govt has not made a request for the release of the boats, they only approached us to ensure more..

Hydro levels improve, more rains expected

Oct 19 (Island) CEB said that hydro levels had increased and the situation is expected to further improve with more rains predicted in the catchment areas. By yesterday noon, Peak Power Demand  stood at 1762.5MW while Total Energy stood at 30.802 GWh, Thermal 18.485 GWh 60.01%, Hydro 12.257 GWh, 39.79%, Wind 0.06 GWh, 0.19% and hydro reservoir capacity at 786.9Gwh (62.5%). more..

2014 voter list expedited for early poll

Oct 19 (ST) The 2014 electoral register is being prepared earlier than scheduled, Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said amid report that an early presidential election is likely to be held in January next year. He said the objective was to provide an opportunity for first timers in the 18-19 age group to vote in an early election. “In the last 2010 Presidential and Parliamentary elections, we used the 2008 register. At that time 2009 register was being prepared. more..

Rains affect 500 families

Oct 19 (CT) The Department of Meteorology yesterday confirmed, that showers will continue in several parts of the country today. Meanwhile, 157.6 millimetres of rain, on an average, has been recorded from Friday up to 6.00 p.m. yesterday. Disaster Management Centre (DMC) Deputy Director Media Lal Sarath Kumara said 500 families and more than 1,500 individuals were affected due to the rains. The most affected districts were Matara, Galle, Kurunegala and Kalutara. more..

BJP in a tight spot over fishermen issue

Oct 19 (PTI) As TN fishermen continue to be arrested and their boats seized by Sri Lanka, BJP is being accused by them of reneging on its promise to protect their interests after assuming power at the Centre. Tamil Nadu BJP had promised a separate ministry for the welfare of fishermen at the Centre during the run up to the Lok Sabha elections. The party had also promised an end to alleged harassment of fishermen more..

Atapattu fifty sets up Sri Lanka win

Oct 19 (CI) Captain Chamari Atapattu's 63 steered Sri Lanka Women to a four-wicket win against South Africa Women to equalise the series 1-1 in Colombo, after the match was reduced to 27 overs a side. Chasing 140, Sri Lanka almost wasted the platform set up by Atapattu, falling to 128 for 6, but still got home with an over to spare. Asked to bat, South Africa got a stable start with an opening stand of 42 in nine overs but Inoka Ranaweera's quick wickets soon reduced them to 56 for 3. more..

SL A v WI A: Rain limits play to 34 overs

Oct 19 (CI) Rain held sway for a second day in a row as Sri Lanka's A's innings - the only one of the match so far - was limited to 34 overs in the day. The first day was lost without a ball bowled, but on the second, West Indies A were able to reinforce their decision to bowl with regular wickets. Miguel Cummins broke the opening stand at 37 and fellow seamer Shannon Gabriel struck in successive overs to have the Sri Lanka A at 53 for 3. Ashan Priyanjan led a brief counterattack with more..

Sri Lanka to contest EU's delisting of LTTE

Oct 19 (PTI) Sri Lanka's EU Ambassador Rodney Perera is to travel to Strasbourg on Monday to attend the EU parliament's plenary session and to mobilise two key committees, foreign affairs and security and defence. Sri Lanka will contest the decision by a European Union Court to delist the LTTE as a terrorist organisation and will send an envoy to Strasbourg to lobby the EU against the order. more..

Indian court backs Sri Lankan refugee

Oct 19 (CG) The Madras High Court Bench has imposed a cost of Indian Rs 10,000 on the Director of Social Welfare for not disbursing the emoluments due to a Sri Lankan refugee who retired last year after 32 years of govt service. Allowing a writ petition filed by the refugee, Justice T. Raja ordered that the Director should pay the cost, from his personal funds and not from that of the govt, to the petitioner within six weeks besides disbursing the emoluments with 12% interest. more..

Govt renovates 13 schools in Kilinochchi

Oct 19 (GDI) The Ministry of Education, with assistance from the Republic of Korea, recently renovated 13 schools in the Kilinochchi District. Situated in a district that was once home to the headquarters of the LTTE, these schools had been in a dilapidated condition due to the near-30-year conflict. The following schools had benefitted: St. Theresa's Girls' College Kilinochchi, Sivanagar Government Tamil Mixed School, Bharathy Vidyalaya Kilinochchi, Ramanathapuram more..

UNP rubbishes allegations over Ranil

Oct 19 (CG) UNP today rubbished claims that party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had met the pro-LTTE diaspora in London and discussed moves against the country. UNP MP Kabir Hashim said that UNP leader had gone to London recently for work and meetings related to the party and nothing else. He said that the Govt is making comments on the recent EU court judgement on the LTTE without understanding case properly. more..

Founder of the all Ceylon YMMA conference

Oct 20 (SL) The All Ceylon Young Men’s Muslim Association Conference is primarily a Youth and Youth serving Community based organisation founded on the 30th April 1950, which has rendered yeoman service to the community over the last 64 years. The Founder was Dr. A.M.A. Azeez, eminent educationist, efficient administrator, erudite scholar, visionary and community worker. Aboobucker Mohamed Abdul Azeez was born in Vannarponnai, Jaffna on 4th Oct, 1911. more..

With a national pool, why trials for boxing?

Oct 20 (SL) THERE wasn’t much hope that one of Sri Lanka’s two men’s boxers might bring home an Asian Games medal from Incheon; so the duo’s failure was no cause for disappointment – more so as other athletes in the country’s 80-strong contingent hadn’t fared any better, except of course, the cricketers who won gold. Only some two months before, in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, four boxers in a team of seven were eliminated in their respective first fights; more..

EU retraction of listing: if uncontested, may give LTTE a free hand

Oct 20 (SO) “A freeze on LTTE assets will hurt its ability to milk funds from Tamil expatriates,” said observers following the decision by the European Union to list the LTTE as a banned terrorist organisation within the territory of 25 countries in 2006. The ban which came about as a culmination of a decade old campaign by the Sri Lankan State and the European Commission's own research, froze the assets of the group, more..

Abolition of Executive Presidency takes center stage

Oct 20 (NS) The telltale signs are there: President Rajapaksa’s visit to the North, a reduction in electricity tariffs, UNP announcing a ‘Group of 20’ to run election campaigns and JHU proposing constitutional amendments. These events only point towards one outcome and that is the announcement of a presidential election, expected on Nov 20, after President Rajapaksa completes 4 years in office. That date is less than five weeks away but the contours of the contest already taking shape. more..