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Furthering the cause of justice vital for growth: LAWASIA

Dec 16 (Island) Furthering the cause of justice, making better law reforms and raising awareness on regulatory frameworks etc. will help Sri Lanka to achieve its new economic ambitions in the most dynamic economic region of the world, Geoffrey Alagaratnam, president of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) said. He made this comment at the Cinnamon Grand Colombo when the official announcement was made that the LAWASIA Golden Jubilee Conference will be held in Sri Lanka more..

USD 1.6 bn worth FDI expected from 66 projects, 45 expansions: BOI

Dec 16 (LBO) Board of Investment says they are expecting US$ 1.6 billion worth foreign direct investments through 66 new projects and 45 expansions of existing projects. ďAs a result of the introduction of new procedures aimed at improving facilitation, BOI succeeded in attracting a number of important projects in key sectors of investment,Ē BOI said. Once these investments are realized a total of 66 new projects more..

Plan to lure MNCs to Colombo

Dec 16 (CT) The Western Region Megapolis Planning Project will have 10 industrial zones and will be unveiled by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on 8 January, coinciding with the first anniversary of the govt. This is a continuation of the strategic plan for the Western Province which was evinced by abridged Ranil Wickremesinghe Govt in 2001-2004 and when it is fully commissioned, will be completed in 2030, Western Region Megapolis Planning Project Chairman Ajitha de Costa said. more..

Sri Lanka awards to recognize top exporters

Dec 16 (EN) Sri Lanka is recognizing top exporters a President Export Awards today after a lapse of four years, which is aimed at helping a goal of reaching 50 billion US dollars, officials said. Indira Malwatte, Chairperson of EDB said awards would be given on 27 categories, including Sri Lanka Exporter of the Year, Highest Net Foreign Exchange Earner, Best Emerging Exporter and Most Market Diversified Exporter. There will also be awards in the services categories, including in construction and IT, more..

Thajudeen murder: Capt. Tissa under watch

Dec 16 (DN) CID is keeping a close track of an individual known as Captain Tissa in connection with the death of Wasim Thajudeen, Police said. Captain Tissa, a military officer, had functioned as a driver of former President Rajapaksa. They said several eye-witnesses, who gave evidence to the Police, had seen an individual similar to Captain Tissa at the scene of the alleged accident in which Thajudeen was killed. more..

Sisira gets lifetime ban

Dec 16 (CT) Sri Lanka Bodybuilding Federation (SLBBF) enforced a life ban on Sisira Kumara who had allegedly threatened the Head of the Sri Lanka Anti Doping Agency (SLADA), and attacked two Jury Members at the 2015 Mr Sri Lanka contest, which concluded at Ananda College recently. In fact the two competitors Sisira Kumara and Chaminda Peiris who refused to participate in anti doping tests and who had allegedly attacked two Jury Members were adjudged runner-up and winner respectively more..

M/S/Europa a 400 passenger vessel arrived Hambantota Port

Dec 16 (DN) M/S/Europa a 400 passenger capacity luxury passenger vessel called at the Hambantota Port yesterday and sailed to Ko Phi Phi Islands in Thailand. It was carrying 327 passengers on board and was on route on a Dubai to Hamburg and a 19 day Asia voyage. The vessel owned by German operator Hapag-Lloyd also called on Colombo harbour. Hapag-Lloyd Lanka is the local agent for Hapag-Lloyd, considered one of the largest container shipping lines in the world. more..

PM proposes select committee in lieu of Fin Min no-confidence motion

Dec 16 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe proposed to appoint a Parliament Select Committee to investigate the charges made by the Opposition against Minister Ravi Karunanayake instead of moving the no-confidence motion. Outlining the limitations in the Constitution to move a no-confidence motion against the Finance Minister after passing the Appropriation Bill, he said: ďBudget is sighted as a mode of placing trust in govt, more..

Colombo seeking to centralise powers: CM

Dec 16 (Hindu) Even as the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe govt at the Centre is about to launch the process of drafting a fresh Constitution with devolution of powers to Provincial Councils being one of the key issues, Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran, criticised it for seeking to centralize powers. Referring to a draft scheme, titled Grama Rajya and circulated by the Central govt, he said it had been proposed that district and village level committees, more..

NFF calls on people to oppose amendments

Dec 16 (DM) Code of Criminal Procedure and Penal Code amendments proposed by the govt to ban hate speeches would only intensify disharmony amongst different ethnic and religious groups, NFF MP Jayantha Samaraweera charged. Govt on Saturday proposed the amendment of section 291c of the Penal Code which aims to punish those who use words, signs or visible representation with the intention of causing, instigating or attempting to instigate acts of violence or more..

Govt, TUs agree on amendments to public sector pension scheme

Dec 16 (Island) The govt will shortly appoint a high powered committee to examine the possibility of amending the existing public sector pension scheme. The committee will comprise ministers, senior officials and trade union representatives. Trade unionist Saman Ratnapriya said that the issue had been taken up during recent discussions between the govt and trade union representatives leading to the cancellation of more..

Two petitions in SC against govt amendments to Penal Code on hate speech

Dec 16 (FT) Two petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the Govtís proposed amendments to the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code, criminalising hate speech on the grounds that the provisions are identical to sections of the Prevention of Terrorism Act that allowed state to arrest and detain critics, including Journalist J.S. Tissanayagam and Azath Salley. The petition has been filed by Editor of the Sudar Oli newspaper, Arun Arokianathan, more..

Former IGP questioned over Lasantha killing

Dec 16 (DN) Former IGP Jayantha Wickramaratne was questioned by the CID yesterday in connection with the murder of former Editor of The Sunday Leader newspaper, Lasantha Wickremetunga. Prassana Nananaykara who was a Senior DIG at the time of the murder and former Mount Lavinia police SSP Hemantha Adikari were also questioned. CID is also to obtain advice from AG to question Army intelligence officer Kandegedera Piyawansa, who was arrested for the murder. more..

DNA test identifies serial killer

Dec 16 (CT) DNA samples of the suspect arrested in connection with the 17th murder that was committed in Kotakethana-Kahawatte, have been positively identified with biological samples taken from the sites of crime and from the bodies of six other murder victims in the area. Presenting DNA comparison reports of the 35-year-old suspect, Neil Lakshman, at the Pelmadulla Magistrate's Court yesterday, more..

Beware: Chemical warfare by TNCs

Dec 16 (DM) The economics of politics and the politics of economics being connected nationally and internationally, what we see to a large extent in developing countries such as Sri Lanka today is a subtle form of economic neocolonialism with the air power being given by transnational corporations (TNCs). According to most international analysts, the three biggest profit-making TNCs are the sophisticated mafias involved in the multi-billion-dollar arms trade, the agrochemical business more..

'We have to be one step ahead of the criminals at all times'

Dec 16 (DM) Yali Mavena Aparadayak is a book authored by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) and Presidentís Counsel Sarath Jayamanne and is an attempt to fill a void of Sinhala literature on the subject of criminal law and centres around thinking differently in relation to the law. The Daily Mirror was in conversation with the ASG regarding the role of his book and the impact it will have on the criminal justice system of Sri Lanka. There is a thirst for learning. more..

'Future of politics in the country and the vision of the govt'

Dec 16 (DM) Q: What is happening today in the country? A: The country is heading in the correct direction. New govt completes its first year on January 8 next year. Rainbow revolution is not yet one year and only four months for the consensus govt. But within this short period we have completely derouted from dictatorship rule. The whole world now recognises Sri Lanka as a country rapidly changing to a democracy. more..

'Rs 500 mn spent on cricket board salaries'

Dec 16 (Island) Deputy Speaker and appointed MP Thilanga Sumathipala yesterday declared that his teamís triumph at the forthcoming Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Board elections was a forgone conclusion due to three of his team mates already having secured positions uncontested. Entrepreneur Sumathipala who had been previously involved in the SLC administration is in the fray for the post of President. more..

Farmers threaten to march to Colombo

Dec 16 (SL) Having gone through many hardships during the previous regime the farmers were hopeful of a better future when they supported President Maithripala Sirisena, whom they identified as a leader hailing from the farming community. However farmers today are disgruntled with the lack of commitment to their issues by the govt and charge that they have been let down by the govt. In protest of the step motherly treatment more..

'All nationalities can be resettled in NP'

Dec 16 (CT) Governor of the Northern Province H.M.G.S. Palihakkara said that the NPC has come to an agreement with the govt, opening the way for the settlement of families from all nationalities in the Northern Province. This includes Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims who had lived in the North prior to the commencement of the war. He said steps will be taken to restore several acres of land which the Army had been using in more..

'Hamilton pitch understandably doctored'

Dec 16 (CI) In Dunedin, Sri Lanka were exposed to howling winds cold enough to bring with them a hailstorm on the fourth evening. Players complained about the temperature all week, and as often happens with Sri Lanka, cold hands led to a lukewarm fielding performance - no fewer than four chances were missed in the second innings. They have arrived in the North Island's warmer climes, but oh dear, something even more more..

Consulate in Jaffna not able to receive funds for relief

Dec 16 (Hindu) Indiaís Consulate General in Jaffna is not in a position to receive financial assistance directly from the Northern Provincial Councilís Assembly Secretariat, which is mobilising funds for rain-battered Tamil Nadu. This is because the Indian govt has not made any appeal for foreign aid in connection with floods in Tamil Nadu, A.Natarajan, Consul General, says. On Monday, Kandiya Sivagnanam, Chairman of more..

Thajudeen family seeks security after fresh findings

Dec 16 (ST) The family of former rugby player Wasim Thajudeen has sought security after the Colombo Additional Magistrate this week held that the sportsmanís death had not resulted from a road accident. He made the ruling after considering the final report submitted by the JMO Dr. Ajith Tennakoon and the CID which indicated that the victim had suffered grievous injuries to the legs, chest, neck and head, then placed in more..

Former minister Douglas Devananda to stand trial in Chennai

Dec 16 (PTI) A sessions court has issued summons to 18 witnesses to appear before it on Jan 18, 2016 in a 28-year-old murder case in which former Sri Lankan Minister Douglas Devananda is an accused. Additional Sessions Judge M Shanthi, before whom a petition filed by Additional Public Prosecutor M Prabhavathi came up, seeking to split the case as some of the absconding accused had turned up, directed all 18 witnesses more..

Missing CEB EPF funds: Minister promises answer in one week

Dec 16 (Island) The outcome a probe into the misappropriation of Rs. 300 mn EPF funds belonging to CEB employees, invested in Treasury bonds in 2009, would be revealed within a week, Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said yesterday. He said that the CEB Chairman had already lodged a complaint with the CID and internal investigations were also ongoing parallel to the CID probe. The internal investigations had revealed that more..

Monitoring Unit for ministries and govt institutions to be set up: PM

Dec 16 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said a Monitoring Unit similar to that of that of the one in the Malaysian PMís office, will be established at his office to monitor the activities of each and every ministry and govt institutions. He added that this unit will keep close look on each and every ministry and the institutions that come under the purview of such ministries to ensure that they provide service to the expectation of people. more..

The JVPís jaundice: Inclination to reactionary politics

Dec 16 (CT) JVPís Nalinda Jayathissa MP has made a statement that makes one question the MPís (and given its reputation of strict discipline, verification and vetting processes, the JVPís) understanding of what progressive politics of the left really entails in the present-day world. When questioned on his perceptions on LGBTQI rights, the MP quips: ďI am totally against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual [sic] (LGBT) rights. This is not the need of the human being. more..

Civil society urges govt to withdraw bills criminalizing hate speech

Dec 16 (CT) 93 Civil Society activists and 10 organisations have today urged the govt to fulfil its obligations to its citizens and its international obligations by withdrawing the bills (amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure and amendment to the Penal Code) forthwith and commit anew to fostering a political culture conducive to the exercise of citizensí free speech rights. We publish below the statement in full; We the under signed organizations and individuals are deeply concerned about more..

Ajith C. Perera

Respect for women, children vital

Dec 16 (CT) Three years after the brutal gang rape of a 23-year- old physiotherapist student on a bus in Delhi, the youngest offender, a juvenile who was 17 years old at the time, is about to be released. The juvenile who is 20 now has served the maximum prison sentence of three years which can be given to a juvenile offender in India. This release has caused many demonstrations in India as many believe that though he is a juvenile, he too should be awarded the death sentence. more..

Sri Lankan shares edge up

Dec 16 (Reuters) Sri Lankan share index ended slightly firmer on Wednesday with trading dominated by Browns Investments, but the market activity was lacklustre ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision on interest rates due later in the day. The main stock index ended 0.19% firmer at 6,833.51, moving further away from Monday's more-than-eight-month closing low. Browns Investments, which jumped 7.14%, accounted for 61% of the day's turnover and 96% of traded share volume. more..

Video: Govt to destroy 5,000 of blood ivory

Dec 16 (DM) The Wildlife Ministry said today that 5,000 African tusks confiscated by the Customs in 2012 would be destroyed next month with maximum security. Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera said the tusks belonging to 2,500 African tuskers would be destroyed following a religious ceremony. ďReligious ceremony would be held in honour of the killed elephants. Stock will be destructed at Holcim Cement Plant in Jan 26 more..

AASL demands Rs. 2.8 bn from SriLankan

Dec 16 (Island) Airport and Aviation Services (SL) Limited has asked the SriLankan Airlines to pay immediately Rs. 2.8 billion for obtaining services from the AASL at BIA, Katunayake and MRIA, Hambantota. Total amount due from the SriLankan Airlines Ltd, to AASL had exceeded Rs. 2.8 billion as at Oct. 31, 2015. S.S. Ediriweera, Chairman of the AASL has, in a letter to Chairman SriLankan Airlines, stated that substantial dues have caused a heavy burden on AASLís cash flow and more..

CSE revamps S&P Sri Lanka 20 Index

Dec 16 (EN) Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) announced changes in its S&P Sri Lanka 20 index, which tracks the top 20 largest and most liquid stocks, in an annual review by S&P Dow Jones Indices. Bukit Darah, Carson Cumberbatch, Lion Brewery Ceylon, and Sri Lanka Telecom will be removed from the S&P Sri Lanka 20 index as they no longer qualify for index inclusion from Dec 21. Replacements will be Asiri Hospital Holdings, Ceylinco Insurance, Ceylon Cold Stores more..

Opposition questions US interest on SL

Dec 16 (CG) The opposition today questioned the keen interest the United States is having on Sri Lanka with several top US officials already having visited the country this year. Opposition MP Dullas Alahaperuma said that while the Govt says it is following a middle line in Sri Lankaís foreign policy, the reality does not seem to be the case. Alahaperuma said that over the past four months top US officials including Nisha Biswal, more..

Transport Minister blames previous regime for shortage of trained civil aviation staff

Dec 16 (Island) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva has blamed the previous regime for the shortage of trained officers in the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Speaking at a ceremony to mark the laying of the foundation of a new headquarters building for the CAA at Katunayake he said that lack of trained personnel had stood in the way of developing the aviation sector. "We will have to hire those who retired from the CAA as available trained officials were not enough to handle the workload," more..

Pillayan re-remanded in Pararajasingham murder case

Dec 16 (CG) Former Eastern Province Chief Minister S Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan was today re-remanded after being produced in Court in connection to the murder of former TNA MP Joseph Pararajasingham. Pararajasingham was shot dead in December 2005 at St. Maryís co-cathedral church in the Batticaloa town while attending Christmas prayers. MPís wife, Mrs. Sugunam Pararajasingham sustained serious injuries in the gunfire while several others were also injured. more..

Lankan woman in UK accused of blackmailing ex boss

Dec 16 (DM) A scorned secretary blackmailed her former boss after he broke off their affair by demanding £200,000 to drop a false rape claim she made against him. Married Dilrushi Mendis, 40, from north west London, sought revenge on wealthy businessman Nihal Seneviratne by accusing him of rape after he ended their affair and sacked her. Sri Lankan mother-of-one claimed she was raped by Seneviratne more..

Surgical mishap: Probe ordered into preliminary report

Dec 16 (Island) Director General Health Services (DGHS) Dr. Palitha Mahipala yesterday appointed a three-member team to look into the preliminary report on an alleged surgical mishap which occurred at the Kalutara Nagoda General Hospital (KNGH) early this month; a surgeon operated on the wrong breast of a woman. The Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medicine (MHIM) said that the investigative team comprised Deputy Director General (Medical Services- DDG(MS)), more..

'Ex-Ministers, MPs helped themselves lavishly with Cashew Corporation'

Dec 16 (DN) Certain members of the previous regime including ministers, MPs and high state officials caused an immense financial loss to the Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation by obtaining a large stock of cashew from the Corporation free, Chairman Damsiri Bandara Karunaratne said. The loss caused to this 'gratis' supplies of cashew ran into several million rupees, he said and added that State Enterprise Development Minister Kabir Hashim has been informed about this loss. more..