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UN judge rules in long-running investigator's case

May 30 (AP) After nine years of legal wrangling, former U.N. investigator Caroline Hunt-Matthes has won a judgment that she was unfairly punished for documenting a woman's rape case in Sri Lanka a decade ago. Hunt-Matthes said on Wednesday the long-running case is "a consummate story of abuse of power" by U.N.'s oversight unit. The twin rulings by U.N. Dispute Tribunal Judge Coral Shaw in Nairobi, more..

21st-Century Sri Lankan Chic

May 30 (WSJ) Dressy, brightly colored socks stand out in Sri Lanka’s balmy city of Colombo, but to the duo behind the local brand Friskybox, they’re reminiscent of their British boarding-school days. “They’re a very London thing,” said Rakhil Fernando, one of the two co-founders. “All the traders in the city wear them.” Seeking to bring that look to Asia, he and Ravi Nahappan started Friskybox in September. more..

LECO director in hot water

May 30 (Island) Many an eyebrow has been raised in the power sector over a paid assignment given to a Lanka Electricity Company Private Ltd., (LECO) director to probe a questionable financial allocation for which he is also responsible. The new LECO board has detailed him to find why Rs. 25 million was released for the economically unviable LECO Projects Ltd. The latest move follows our report that LECO funds were allocated to more..

Self-imposed ban bars fishermen from venturing into Sri Lanka

May 30 (Hindu) When the sturdy hulls of fishing boats re-enter the waters in the small hours of Thursday, after the 45-day long hiatus, the boats would have been launched into a sea of altered realities – the reality of the sanctity of maritime boundaries and the visibly depleting marine resources. As if to acknowledge this, the 63 fishing habitations of the two districts of Nagapattinam and Karaikal, in a recently-convened meeting, more..

Imported white sugar quality not monitored by SLSI

May 30 (ST) Imported white sugar is not among the numerous food items which undergo stringent inspection by the Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI), allowing a loophole for substandard products to be brought into the country. While imported brown sugar is among the 33 food items the SLSI is mandated to check under the Compulsory Import Inspection Scheme, the Agriculture Ministry recently charged that more..

Sri Lankan Tamil refugees 'should be given Indian citizenship'

May 30 (National) A politician in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu has requested the govt provide citizenship to the estimated 100,000 Tamil refugees who fled Sri Lanka's civil war. While some Tamil activist groups welcomed the call, the organisation in India that represents Tamil refugees said yesterday that it was "not in favour of such a move". The civil war began in 1983 and was fought between Sri Lanka's govt and the LTTE. more..

Sri Lanka to reduce investment threshold to attract more FDIs

May 30 (DM) The Economic Development Ministry is in discussion with the BoI to reduce the minimum initial investment threshold for BoI ventures expecting to set up operations in Sri Lanka, in a bid to attract small and medium scale foreign direct investments (FDIs) to the investment hungry nation. “There were calls from various countries to bring down this limit which currently stands at US$ 500,000. more..

Rajitha proposes Maithripala as next PM

May 30 (Island) Fisheries Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said that Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena was the most suitable person to be appointed the next Prime Minister of the country, if incumbent were to retire. He said that a mature politician like minister Sirisena could not be created overnight. "Anyone could become a minister or MP by distributing handouts but that does not make a mature politician," Dr. Senaratne said. more..

No plans to sell CPC refinery –Yapa

May 30 (Island) Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa yesterday vehemently denied the allegation by UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, MP that the government was trying to sell the country’s only oil refinery in Sapugaskanda to a foreign company called ‘Arabico’. Yapa said that the government had no intention of divesting state institutions, as mentioned in the Mahinda Chinthana. more..

God save the public service from Mervyn

May 30 (CT) It would certainly be a case of the henhouse being handed over to the fox, should the government give the green light to the proposal that seeks unrestricted powers to the Ministry of Public Relations and Public Affairs, to entertain and investigate complaints against public officials and recommend redress. For, apart from such a proposal being wrong on so many counts, the minister seeking the powers to do what he wills with govt officials happens to be Mervyn Silva, more..

Search for loved ones is not a conspiracy

May 30 (CT) In most of the country, there is still a considerable amount of freedom for political parties and civic organizations to work with the people, to create awareness amongst them and to mobilize them on issues as befits a functioning democracy. The govt’s recent decision to question the director of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation is a step beyond which may be intended to send a signal to other international organizations working in Sri Lanka that there are limits to their work in the area more..

Life under the Tamil Tigers

May 30 (Links) This book tells us about N. Malathy’s country -- the Tamil homeland in the north and east of Sri Lanka. It tells of a period when a substantial part of the Tamil homeland was governed by the LTTE. It tells us a lot about how they governed, and what sort of society existed under their rule. And it tells us how this society was destroyed as the Sri Lankan army invaded the LTTE-ruled area, culminating in the final more..

BIA Customs thwart smuggling bid

May 30 (Island) Three men nabbed by the BIA Customs yesterday while attempting to smuggle in 250 contraceptive pills and 120 satellite receivers, were let off after they paid the fines imposed on them. Customs Preventive Division Director and media spokesman Lesli Gamini said that the three men, all Sri Lankans, had ben nabbed when they arrived on a Jet Airways flight from Chennai, India around 2.35 a.m. Investigations have revealed that they are frequent travelers. more..

Sri Lanka stocks flat

May 30 (LBO) Stocks closed flat on Thursday with heavy trading in diversified companies and turnover boosted by J L Morrison Sons. All Share Index closed 0.69 points lower at 6,455.12 and the S&P SL 20 Index closed down 4.60 points at 3,640.04 up 0.13%. Turnover was 2.5 billion rupees up from 906 million day earlier, helped by a 1.7 billion rupee deal in J L Morrisons Sons and Johns which was taken over by Hemas Holdings. JL Morrison voting stock closed at 346.20, up 33.50 rupees more..

More Sri Lankans returned to Colombo

May 30 (GA) A further 28 Sri Lankan irregular maritime arrivals have been returned to Colombo after failing to meet Australia's international obligations, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Brendan O'Connor said today. The group departed Christmas Island yesterday and arrived in the Sri Lankan capital today. Their return takes the number of Sri Lankans sent home to 1206 – 994 of them involuntarily - since August last year. more..

Ekala Rs. 7 mn robbery gang identified

May 30 (Island) The police have identified the gang involved in Tuesday’s armed robbery at Ekala, Ja-ela, where four armed men held up a garment factory director and robbed him, at gun point, of Rs. 07 million. A senior police official told The Island that the gang had carried out several major robberies in the Ja-ela area, including the Rs 1.3 mn and Rs 700,000 robberies near two banks at Ja-ela. Tuesday’s robbery took place just in front of the main entrance to the director’s firm. more..

Judge remanded

May 30 (DM) Homagama District court judge Sunil Abeysinghe who is alleged to have solicited a bribe of Rs 300,000, was remanded till June 3rd by Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya this evening. The judge was arrested when he was about to accept the bribe from a businessman in order to induce him to deliver a judgment in his favour in a land dispute case. He was brought to the Cinnamon Gardens Police Station after his arrest on a complaint made by the businessman. more..

Motorists beware – you are on CCTV at key junctions in Colombo

May 30 (ST) Sri Lanka Telecom has successfully connected the country’s first and largest Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) surveillance system through its advanced Fibre optic based Metro Ethernet Network (MEN) infrastructure. This is to improve road safety and national security by providing facilities to authorities of the Police Department to carry out real-time video monitoring, control cameras remotely, record, store more..

‘State printing industry needs to cope with int’l standards’

May 30 (DN) Sri Lanka’s state printing industry should strive to keep abreast with the exponential growth of the sector internationally, by improving machinery, scope and technology, Minister Dr. Keheliya Rambukwella said yesterday. He said Sri Lanka still had to depend on foreign help to print money and mint coins which in many countries was a state driven process. He said that with recent strides, Sri Lanka too would be able to rise to expected international standards. more..

52 Australia bound Persons intercepted in Chilaw Seas

May 30 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy intercepted 52 persons illegally bound for Australia in a multi-day trawler in the early hours of 29th May 2013. The trawler named “Rosa Kusum” was intercepted by a Fast Naval Patrol Craft attached to the Western Naval Command 18 nautical miles west of Chilaw. Among the arrested persons are 45 Tamils and 07 Sinhalese that included 21 men, 11 women and 20 children. They are residents of Jaffna, Mullaithivu, Chilaw and Negombo. more..

Minister Douglas Devananda denies allegations leveled against him by the US

May 30 (DN) Minister Douglas Devananda in a letter to US Secretary of State John F. Kerry, said the allegations levelled at him and the EPDP in the 'Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012 - Sri Lanka, released by the US State Department in April, are unsubstantiated, baseless and false. The letter: "I, Douglas Devananda, MP and the Cabinet Minister in Sri Lanka wish to bring the following with more..

Thai PM to visit Sri Lanka, Maldives

May 30 (Xinhua) Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will pay official visits to Sri Lanka and Maldives from Friday to Sunday, the Foreign Ministry said. Prime Minister Yingluck is scheduled to have bilateral meetings with the presidents of both countries to discuss trade and investment cooperation, particularly in tourism, construction and agro-industry, as well as ways to enhance cultural and technical cooperation, connectivity and people-to-people contact. Prime Minister Yingluck more..

Demand for uniform allowance to North and East local council workers

May 30 (OU) According to the new circular published by Public Administration and Local Affairs Ministry, a request was made to pay the uniform allowance of Rs.4000 to the local council workers of north and eastern province. The All Ceylon State General Employees federation has insisted this demand, appealed that all the local councils should come forward to pay this allowance from the beginning of this year. The federation has forwarded an entreaty to north and east province more..

New law pushes for reduction of paint lead

Govt. Nurses irked by unprecedented failure rate

May 30 (Island) The Government Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA) yesterday urged the Health Minister to investigate and find out why 60 percent of nurses had failed the efficiency bar examination for Grade 3 nurses last June. President of the GNOA, Saman Ratnapriya said that what nurses were taught at their training schools was at variance with the syllabi recommended by the Nurses’ Service Minute. Ratnapriya said that the examination results had been released two weeks back. more..

Jettison 13th Amendement: Rajapaksa ally

May 30 (NIP) Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), a Sinhalese-Buddhist party, which is part of the Mahinda Rajapaksa government, on Wednesday submitted a bill to jettison the 13th Amendment of the Sri Lankan Constitution and nullify the devolution of power to the country’s provinces. Ven Athuraliye Rathana Thero, a Buddhist monk and a prominent JHU MP, handed over the draft bill, entitled ‘19th Constitutional Amendment Bill’, to the Secretary of Parliament. JHU’s legal advisor and more..

Court issues notice in land issue

May 30 (CG) The Appeal Court today issues notice on the respondents in the cases filed by 2176 Jaffna Tamils seeking relief against their land being taken over by the govt. The writ applications filed by 2176 Jaffna Tamils were taken up for support in the Appeal Court today, before Justice S. Sriskandaraja, President of the Court of Appeal. The Appeal Court issued notice on the respondents to show cause if any through more..

Sick child dies while doctor watches TV

May 30 (DM) A four-year-old child allegedly died due to medical negligence after admission to a hospital in the Rattota area of Matale District, sources said. The child is Pamudha Hirushan of Pallegama, Pitakanda in Rattota. The child had fallen sick on Vesak Poya Day after he returned home from a pilgrimage to the Aluvihare Temple in Matale. The child’s mother, Damayanthi Kumari said, “When we took the child to hospital, the doctor was watching TV. Had he been a little more attentive, more..

Govt tells UNHRC all IDPs resettled

May 30 (CG) The govt today told the UN Human Rights Council that all 295,873 IDPs resulting from the end of the conflict in 2009 have been resettled. Speaking during the interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings and the Special Rapporteur on internally displaced persons, the Sri Lankan delegation said that as of March 2013, of the full caseload of IDPs displaced during the conflict period spanning 30 years, the total number resettled in the former more..

NFF to launch campaign against police, land powers

May 30 (DM) The NFF said today it would launch a campaign on June 3 to collect signatures for a petition demanding that the govt removes police and land power from the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. Referring to the Northern Provincial Council elections, the NFF said the holding elections there would only lead to separatism in the country and this was why the NFF had decided to garner the people’s support more..

Chandimal used break to work on weaknesses

May 30 (CI) Sri Lanka vice-captain Dinesh Chandimal said an extended break from international cricket and the recent practice tournament in Pallekele had put him in good shape to succeed at the Champions Trophy in England and Wales. Chandimal led the Rest of Sri Lanka side to victory in the 10-day List A tri-series, which primarily sought to prepare the Sri Lanka side for the Champions Trophy. Only six members of the squad traveling to England took part in the more..

SL undergrads’ English proficiency woefully low, a study reveals

May 30 (Island) Sri Lankan undergraduates’ proficiency in English was rather unsatisfactory, a study carried out by the Ruhuna University, has revealed. According to excerpts of the research, findings in the Royal Asiatic Society’s 6th Research Conference publication, all undergraduates, save a few, especially in the Arts Faculties, lack knowledge of English. The research was carried out by Dr. Tilak Wijesundara, of the Department of Sociology, W.A.N.D. Wijesinghe of the Department more..

Indo-Sri Lankan under sea transmission project hits roadblocks

May 30 (PTI) State-run PowerGrid Corporation's much debated 285-kilometer (km) undersea power transmission line between India and Sri Lanka has hit technical and religious roadblocks. The project, which was proposed way back in 2007-08 during the chairmanship of RP Singh, was earlier planned to be complete in the current year. However, the technical problems relating to the length of the cable, high project cost and more..

The writing is on the wall!

May 31 (NS) Recently, it was leaked that the US had allegedly signed a “Status of Forces Agreement” with the Maldivian Govt, reported in The Nation of 12/5/2013. A build up towards a military base appears in the offing. This foray into the Maldives has to be placed in the context of governance in the Maldives. the Maldives was ruled by Muhammed Nasheed, the first democratically elected president in 2008. It seems that he was following a non-aligned path. Suddenly, in February 2012, more..

Politics of the lewd, rude and crude kind

May 31 (NS) A good many average people and even some eminent professionals and business bigwigs want to become politicians. That way they can lie, cheat, spout vulgarities, intimidate everyone and noone can do anything about it. Ask Parliamentary Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, who in similarity to his recent predecessors, is having a heck of time controlling the increasingly crude, juvenile, disrespectful and overly combative behaviour of many of the 225 members of the legislature. more..

Must be reinstated forthwith

May 31 (NS) The University of Sri J'pura has decided to terminate the services of Anuruddha Pradeep Karnasooriya, Lecturer (Probationary). This decision was taken, based on a stipulation that a probationary lecturer should obtain a Masters degree within 8 years after joining the particular university. The D-Day for Karnasooriya was March 9, 2013. A media release on the issue by the FUTA points out, ‘If the probationary more..

Editorial: A jumbo-sized promise

May 31 (Island) The UNP has unveiled its draft proposal for a new Constitution. Some of the main features thereof released to the media are salutary but, overall, it has chosen to leave much unsaid and, in the process, left room for ambivalence, ambiguity and polysemy. Having blown hot and cold on the question of presidential powers, it now says the executive presidency should be abolished, but adds in the same breath that the executive powers currently vested with that institution will be more..

'People free to follow any religion'

May 31 (DN) The Udayan newspaper once again tried to arouse communal tension by publishing a news report on May 28 saying that the TNA had written to President protesting against moves to erect a Budu Medura near the entrance to the Batticaloa Municipal Council premises. Eastern Province Security Forces Commander Maj Gen Lal Perera condemned this news report and said the people in this country had the freedom to profess and follow any religion wherever they lived. more..

'Corruption deep-rooted in Health Sector'

May 31 (CT) Q: Some time back you referred to a 'mafia of pharmaceutical companies' and other corrupt practices in the health sector. There is evidence that malpractices are rampant in the sector. It is also well-known that Prof. Senaka Bibile was against the 'drug mafia.' What is the position now? A: Dishonesty and corruption are deep-rooted in the health sector. Our objective is to purchase and supply high quality drugs at more..

Mismanaging Sri Lanka’s relations with India & America

May 31 (CT) In discussing, as suggested, recent American moves on Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan reaction, I am struck most of all by the failure of those in theory responsible for foreign policy to understand those moves. After the recent visit by Bob Blake, who had been ambassador here during the conflict period, and had a relatively positive if patronizing approach, I was assured by a senior External Affairs official that relations between Sri Lanka and America were excellent. more..