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Plans to amend legislation to protect heritage sites

Jan 30 (DN) The govt has decided to amend all legislation related to antiquities, treasures and archaeologically important sites to arrest the increasing trend of demolishing and destruction caused to heritage sites by treasure hunters, Minister Akila Wiraj Kariyawasam said. He said an increase in fines and prison sentences would be considered when the amendments are made. He made these observations in Parliament more..

PM explains delay in appointing new AG

Jan 30 (FT) Govt will hold discussions with the Bar Association of Sri Lanka before appointing a new Attorney General for the country, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Parliament. Responding to questions posed by UPFA MP Dinesh Gunewardane, about the delay in the appointment of a new AG, PM Wickremesinghe said the delays were due to his trip to Davos, Switzerland. “Nominations are now under discussion, they were delayed due to the visit to Switzerland,” more..

Ramayana legend comes alive in Sri Lanka

Jan 30 (ENS) My travel to Sri Lanka enabled me to explore a few religious sites and structures, the kind about which we would have heard from our grandmothers or read in the great Indian epic Ramayana. There are more than 50 Ramayana sites in this country spread over from the Central to Southern Provinces steeped with World Heritage sites. There are so many listed epic sites of the erstwhile Ravan’s Lankapura that one does not know whether to believe it or not. more..

Video: World record attempt drives man to hospital

Jan 30 (DM) 31-year old man attempting to set a world record by letting 10 vehicles to be driven on his body was hospitalized after the third vehicle suddenly stopped on his belly. Janaka Mudalinayake, a resident of Hanguranketha had been prepared for his world record at a ceremony held at Port Centre where Ministers Arjuna Ranatunga and Dayasiri Jayasekara attended. Driver of a double cab had mistakenly more..

Sathyakriya for protection of BBS Gen. Secy. to be held today

Jan 30 (DN) A Sathyakriya would be held by the Bodhu Bala Sena today at four o'clock in the evening in front of the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy, to ensure the protection of BBS General Secretary Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera and also the war heroes, said BBS Executive Committee member Dilanthe Withanage, said yesterday. Referring to the commotion that took place before the Homagama court, Withanage said it was not their intention to condemn the court. more..

Fishermen seek retrieval of 76 boats seized by Sri Lanka; hold protest

Jan 30 (ENS) High drama prevailed as hundreds of fishermen from the six coastal districts, on Friday, protested in an unprecedented manner and sought retrieval of 76 fishing boats seized by the Lankan govt in the past one year. They picketed the rail and the sea routes leading to the Karaikal Marg port besides also blocking roads for hours. About 250 fishermen blocked the Karaikal-bound Kamban Express at Nagore Pattinacherry village on Friday morning for more than two hours. more..

No allegations of war crimes: President

More hotel brands here

Jan 30 (CT) Thailand-based ONYX Hospitality Group is planning to open its third Sri Lankan venture Amari Galle by late 2016, the company local official said. Construction of the hotel is on track according to Bob Kundanmal, owner of Sino Lanka Hotels (PVT) LTD. His company also owns two other hotels that made earlier openings in the country – OZO Colombo and OZO Kandy."Amari brand by ONYX Hospitality Group will be introduced to Sri Lanka by late 2016, when Amari Galle SL more..

Vigilance prevents major train accident

Jan 30 (DN) A major accident was averted by engine drivers who acted swiftly and stopped the trains which were travelling on the same track and were heading for a collision near the Gintota railway station last morning, due to the presence of mind by the gate keeper. The express train leading to Matara from Kandy and the Rajarata Regina express train bound to Anuradhapura from Matara which were on the same track were halted with a gap of few feet at the Gintota railway station. more..

20 MPs to quit SLFP

Jan 30 (NS) Taking the centre stage of politics by storm, twenty SLFP MPs in the Joint Opposition on Friday night agreed to quit the party to join the new political party that would emerge shortly. The meeting was held at the residence of an SLFP strongman located in the near precincts of the Parliament in Sri J'pura, Kotte. The name of the new party which would carry the part-Sri Lanka in front is yet under discussion with more..

'No price increase of imported canned fish'

Jan 30 (DN) There is no price increase of imported canned fish as mentioned in some sections of the media. The price remains the same and will not be increased, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. He said Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne had never announced about an increase in the price of imported canned fish. During the press briefing, Minister Senaratne confirmed the fact over the telephone. "The media had misreported what had been announced," Minister said more..

Court calls for report on Shashi's handwriting

Jan 30 (DN) Colombo Additional Magistrate ordered CID that a handwriting sample of NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa's wife Shashi Weerawansa be forwarded to Govt Examiner of Questioned Documents for an analytical report. He made this order consequent to the magisterial inquiry over an incident where Mrs. Weerawansa had fraudulently obtained two passports including a diplomatic passport by submitting forged documents to the Department of Immigration & Emigration. more..

Former army chief to enter Parliament on UNP national list

Jan 30 (FT) Former Army Chief, Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka will be sworn in as a MP on 9 Feb, on the UNP list, Daily FT learns. Fonseka will take the UNP’s national list parliamentary seat made vacant by the sudden demise of Minister M.K.D.S. Gunewardane earlier this month. The 65-year old Fonseka contested the 2015 Parliamentary election in August last year under his Democratic Party, but more..

Law and Homagama incident

Jan 30 (DM) he actions of Ven. Galagodaththe Gnanasara Thera at the Homagama Courts were not approved by many and have drawn condemnation as no one is above the law. Also the Homagama incident and the prelate’s words and deeds could conjure a spectre of certain intolerance. However, it is easy to caricature and vilify. They are as easy as rhetoric of Ven. Gnanasara. There are also difficult questions which need to be answered and not shunned because of the difficulty. more..

Homagama Incident and the law being equal to all

Jan 30 (DM) On the 25th and 26th of January a group of monks came in to conflict with the law when Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero, General Secretary of the infamous BBS stormed into Court and disrupted proceedings by giving a speech which led to the Homagama Magistrate issuing an arrest warrant in his name on charges of contempt of Court. The following day a group of people, including some monks, created an uproar outside the Court upon his arrest by the Homagama Police. more..

Lankans still on the Lam

Jan 30 (SL) Red notices have been issued against 129 Sri Lankans by International Police (INTERPOL) for cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy, tampering with passports, criminal breach of trust, terrorism and drug dealing, INTERPOL websites states. Meanwhile, it is also revealed that SL Police are in search of 118 of them from INTERPOL. 118 persons are wanted by authorities for prosecution to serve sentences. more..

Govt presents Bill to regulate temples, devales, kovils

Jan 30 (Island) The govt yesterday presented a Bill in Parliament to introduce new laws and to amend laws pertaining to Buddhist temples, Devales, Kovils, their posts, bhikkhus and laymen. Bill titled Buddhist Temporalities (Amendment) Act presented by Minister Lakshman Kiriella has defined the term bhikkhu as "a venerable bhikkhu whether ordained Upasampada or Samanera in accordance with the accepted Theravadha traditions." more..

His mum tossed him the car keys … and death lay ahead

Jan 30 (ST) When the 15-year-old schoolboy was handed the car keys neither he nor his mother had an inkling of the consequences. Their trip was going to be to a short one to the nearby supermarket in Dematagoda, but it ended by snatching the lives of a 42-year-old woman and her 10-year-old daughter at a pedestrian crossing. Police investigations, detailed at a coronial inquiry last Sunday, revealed the schoolboy was more..

Power sharing quest of Sri Lankan Tamils after independence

Jan 30 (DBS) The premier political configuration representing the Tamils of Sri Lanka in the Northern and Eastern provinces is the TNA. According to newspaper reports the TNA seems to be disappointed over perceived delay in setting up an appropriate mechanism to draft a new Constitution for Sri Lanka. It is also worried about what it sees as a potential dilution of the Constitution making exercise. more..

Video: Indians left in lurch as SL bans foreigner kidney transplants

Jan 30 (DM) GMOA alleged the recent Indian media show on the kidney racket which allegedly involving some SL doctors was handled by an Indian anesthetist who had been sacked by a Colombo based private hospital. GMOA Secretary Nalinda Herath said according to sources, the particular Indian anesthetist was a close relative of a Superintendent of Indian Police who was handing investigations into the alleged kidney more..

Raviraj killing: Defence questions integrity of crown witness

Jan 30 (DM) While cross examining the crown witness in the non-summary inquiry into the killing of former TNA Jaffna District MP Nadaraja Raviraj, Defense Counsel who appeared for the second suspect, alleged that the crown witness, Sampath Prithiviraj, and his accomplices from Karuna’s party had been involved in the alleged killing and later appeared as a crown witness to protect himself from facing charges. more..

Maldives says enough proof against detained Sri Lanka sniper

Jan 30 (HO) Govt insisted Friday that there is enough evidence to hold a suspected sniper brought in from Sri Lanka for an assassination plot against the president. Three people were arrested last month over the plot to assassinate the president that involved a sniper brought into Maldives from Sri Lanka. Confirming the arrest of the Sri Lankan sniper for the first time, police said in a statement in November that more..

Ban wants international participation in judicial mechanism

Jan 30 (CG) UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon wants international participation in the judicial mechanism when investigating the war in Sri Lanka. Ban ki-moon’s spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said that Secretary‑General understands that the discussions in Sri Lanka on the transitional justice mechanism, including the judicial component, are ongoing. “Broad‑based national consultations are about to kick off, and they will help more..

Govt attempting to subvert procedure in appointing new AG - Jt. Opp

Jan 30 (Island) The govt was trying to bypass proper procedure in appointing an Attorney General; it was influencing the Constitutional Council, MEP and Joint Opposition Leader Dinesh Gunawardena said in Parliament. He said that Opposition had been informed by a credible source that the govt intended to appoint a new AG without following due process. "They are doing so by exerting unnecessary influence on the CC. more..

Media Brahamins have become outcasts: PM

Jan 30 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday told Parliament that there was a Brahmin class within the media and that class was becoming vasalas (outcasts). "The Brahmin class in the media was created by a Maha Brahma who is non-existant now. The so-called Brahmin class has become a vasala class. That Brahmin class used to dine and wine with the Maha Brahma. We have no use of that Brahmin class," the PM said, more..

The need for consensus on fundamentals

Jan 30 (Island) The reaction to the Government’s effort to address several controversial issues has not been encouraging. Of the issues, the most controversial are the Megapolis Project and the Constitution. With regard to the Mega City Project, the question posed by many is – what is the compulsion to transform the Western Province into a Megapolis on the lines of Singapore, Dubai or Mumbai? As for a New or Revised Constitution, while such compulsion is understandable, more..

Governance on the Advice of the Mahasangha: On President Sirisena’s pledge

Jan 30 (CT) We frequently hear politicians declaring that they will follow the steps of the ancient kings who always ruled according to the advice of the Mahasangha. This is a vague generalization that has no historical or scientific validity. When we look at our history we do not find a continuing centralized system either in the political domain or in the religious. In the political domain what we see is a constant power struggle, as seen in the frequency of violent succession, often by killing more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Girl raped and killed

Jan 30 (Island) A body of a 13-year-old girl wrapped in a bed sheet was found inside a house on Thursday at Thalgaspitiya in the Mawathagama police area. The man who had rented the house is alleged to have raped and killed the girl. The suspect was arrested by the police yesterday after recording about 15 statements from villagers. The postmortem was conducted yesterday evening at the Kurunegala hospital. Father of the victim, Kalimuttu Wijekumari of Morokwatta, more..

BASL expresses deep concerns

Jan 30 (CT) Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) condemned the unlawful behaviour and assembly of some Bhikkhus at the Homagama Magistrate's Court premises last Tuesday after Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera was ordered to be taken into custody by Homagama Magistrate. The BASL pointed out that it was the responsibility of both the IGP and Police Commission to arrest all the BBS affiliated Bhikkhus who were guilty of unlawful assembly and behaviour at the more..

Living on the Streets

Jan 30 (CT) Existence of street children is one of the most horrendous social problems prevalent in SL. Hundreds of street children can be seen in populous cities such as Colombo, Kandy and Kurunegala. Most of them are in the age group of 5-10 years and the number of street children is increasing by the day, according to the Department of Probation and Child Care. Why have they become street children? more..

Sri Lanka U-19s cruise on Asalanka's force

Jan 30 (CI) Afghanistan Under-19s chinaman bowler Zahir Khan had just taken two wickets in the 27th over to put Sri Lanka Under-19s on a precarious 96 for 5. Sri Lanka had lost five wickets for 48 runs and, with Afghanistan looking to run through the remaining wickets, Charith Asalanka took strike against legspinner Rashid Khan, the only player in the ongoing World Cup with international experience. Asalanka, SL captain, blocked the first ball of the over and then unleashed more..

Lankan Coast Guard learns to fight oil spills

Jan 30 (Island) Sri Lanka Coast Guard conducted a second oil spill management exercise under the supervision of Japanese Coast Guard (JCG) at Dikovita Fishery Harbour. Accidental oil spillage has become one of the biggest threats to marine ecosystem with the rapid development of the shipping industry and especially during transportation of petroleum. Recognising the importance of maritime cooperation, a joint statement was signed between the govt of more..

Video: Yoshitha Rajapaksa arrested by FCID

Jan 30 (AD) Former President Rajapaksa’s son, Lieutenant Yoshitha Rajapaksa, has been arrested by the FCID and is expected to be produced at the Kaduwela’s Magistrate’s Court. He was arrested following questioning carried out by the FCID earlier today at the SL Navy Headquarters in Colombo. Yoshitha Rajapaksa was summoned to give a statement regarding financial irregularities at CSN more..

Muthuhettigama tells MR not to divide SLFP

Jan 30 (CG) SLFP MP and Deputy Minister Nishantha Muthuhettigama today urged former President Rajapaksa not to divide the SLFP. He said that the SLFP is facing several challenges in the current political environment. Muthuhettigama said that Rajapaksa got a high number of votes in the Kurunegala district as a result of the backing he had in the SLFP. He said that Rajapaksa must now ensure the SLFP remains united and not split and only then can the SLFP win next LG election. more..

Water levels dropping in upcountry

Jan 30 (DM) The water levels in rivers, canals, tanks and reservoirs in the upcountry are fast declining because of the prevailing dry weather. The main waterfalls including St.Claires, Kadiyanlena, and Lovers Leap are also running dry. However, the environmentalists said haphazard deforestation, setting fire to forests and the unauthorised construction in catchment areas were also some of the reasons for the drop in water levels and water falls running dry. more..

Rohan Weliwita and Nishantha Ranatunga also arrested

Jan 30 (AD) Counsel J.C. Weliamuna yesterday told the Court of Appeal, that the Defence Secretary had agreed to pay salary arrears to 292 disabled and prematurely retired soldiers. Discussions on the issue had been recently concluded and the outcome would be submitted to the Attorney General to explore the possibility of paying arrears in instalments, the court was told. The payments in arrears would be made from more..

MR : Govt trying to solve India’s unemployment problem

Jan 30 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that the govt obviously wanted to help India tackle its growing unemployment problem. The former President made the observation responding to a media query on the proposed Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement with New Delhi. The media was awaiting his return from the Presidential Commission of Inquiry at BMICH. Ex-President was accompanied by former Minister G.L. Peiris. more..

Govt agrees in court to pay arrears to prematurely retired disabled soldiers

Jan 30 (Island) Counsel J.C. Weliamuna yesterday told the Court of Appeal, that the Defence Secretary had agreed to pay salary arrears to 292 disabled and prematurely retired soldiers. Discussions on the issue had been recently concluded and the outcome would be submitted to the Attorney General to explore the possibility of paying arrears in instalments, the court was told. The payments in arrears would be made from the date of retirement up to March 1, 2014. more..

Joint time table for state and private buses promised again

Jan 30 (Island) Transport Ministry announced that Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) and private buses would operate on a joint time table from March 1. This decision had been reached at a meeting attended by all stakeholders at SL Foundation Institute on Thursday, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. It was also decided not to issue new bus route permits in future. Minister said there had been several problems owing to more..