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'Overall Constitutional amendments, the need of the hour'

Oct 19 (SO) Minister Wimal Weerawansa said airing views regarding the abolition of the Executive Presidency was only a political gimmick. He said if the powers of the Executive Presidency were changed, subsequently the electoral system and the 13th Amendment should also be changed. It is not appropriate to curtail or abolish the powers vested in the Executive Presidency without clipping the provisions of the 13th Amendment which is more..

TNA can't sway masses any more

Oct 19 (SO) The Opposition which had been shouting from the rooftops demanding the abolition of the Executive Presidency had to eat humble pie after President Rajapaksa declared that he is ready to abolish the Executive Presidency if the TNA and the Tamil Diaspora abandon working for separatism and give up their dreams of establishing the so-called separate state of Eelam. The President told a ceremony to present 20,000 land deeds and restore the ownership of gold jewellery to its owners more..

Setting the Tiger free

Oct 19 (SL) The judgment of the of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) striking down the regulations the EU imposed on the LTTE when it banned the Sri Lankan terrorist organisation in 2006 needs very careful study for the reason that it concerns an organisation that waged war against the Sri Lankan state for long years and even though vanquished in the battlefield five years ago, its European rump still continues to plague this country. We are making these comments on news reports more..

Authorities blind to needs of disabled

Oct 18 (ST) For Suraj Priyadarshana the daily journey from Ratmalana to Colombo University is like embarking on an obstacle race. When he gets off the bus at the halt near College House at the University of Colombo he calls a friend to say he has arrived. Attempting to cross the road alone could prove to be dangerous, so he patiently waits until one of his batch mates comes to help him across to the other side of campus. more..

President to launch Divi Neguma Phase 6

Oct 18 (DN) President Rajapaksa will preside over the commencement of the Divi Neguma National Program Phase Six on Oct 20 at the auspicious time of 10.07 a.m. A program to plant vegetable seeds, fruit, coconut, herbal and other plants in 14,022 Grama Seva Divisions will be held parallel to this event. First Phase of the Divi Neguma program, the theme of which is a prosperous motherland, was launched in March 2011 with the objective of reviving and strengthening more..

What’s in a name? Big bucks if you say ‘Rajapaksa’

Oct 18 (ST) Whether it’s President Rajapaksa, First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa or MP Namal Rajapaksa, the Rajapaksa name is a goldmine for inventive rogues who scam the public by pretending to be anything from the President’s elephant supplier to the First Lady’s chauffeur. A staggering 143 arrests have been made by a Police Special Investigations Unit (SIU), set up to investigate complaints of cheats posing as close associates of the President, his family and close relatives and more..

Rice price: Bangladesh awaits SL confirmation

Oct 18 (DM) Bangladesh, which has agreed to export 50,000 tons of coarse boiled rice to Sri Lanka, is awaiting Sri Lanka's confirmation over price of the already agreed-upon govt-to-govt (G2G) rice export deal. While Bangladesh offered to sell rice to Sri Lanka at about $493 per ton (on CIF basis), Sri Lanka requested for a reduction in the price to about $450 per ton (CIF). Bangladesh Foreign Ministry sent a letter to Sri Lanka more..

President opens Sirisanda Sevana new housing scheme

Oct 18 (GDI) The Colombo Bloemendhal “Sirisanda Sevana” New Housing Scheme was declared open by President Rajapaksa on Friday evening making a reality of the programme of moulding a country devoid of slums. A significant programme is in place to build a Sri Lanka sans slum dwellings within the nexvt two years through the Mahinda Chinthana Vision for the Future. The country has entered a prosperous era effecting a development revolution under the leadership of the President and more..

'South Korea will always support Sri Lanka at international fora'

Oct 18 (DN) The govt of Korea will extend its unconditional support to Sri Lanka against any attempts to divide the country, South Korean Ambassador to Sri Lanka Chang Won-sam said yesterday. He said South Korea will support Sri Lanka in the international fora against any attempts to divide Sri Lanka. The South Korean diplomat said so at a meeting with Construction Engineering and Common Amenities Minister Wimal Weerawansa, at the ministry at Sethsiripaya, Battaramulla. more..

Ocean Lady migrants from Sri Lanka still struggling 5 years later

Oct 18 (CBC) Journalist Maran Nagarasa still recalls vividly the sense of elation aboard the Ocean Lady five years ago this week when he saw a plane flying overhead with a Canadian flag. “I was sure God had arrived to save us,” he said. But that feeling soon turned to fear as he and the 75 other SL Tamils on board faced armed border guards and RCMP officers. On Oct. 17, 2009, they were arrested, jailed & interrogated. more..

Fame and fortune unlocked for daring Lankan in wartime Iraq

Oct 18 (ST) Locksmith Mohamed Zarook, 38, never dreamed that his work overseas would lead to a wild adventure opening treasure-filled safes belonging to a fallen dictator, earning high praise from the US army. Mr. Zarook, who comes from a family of locksmiths, sought overseas employment in 2003 as a mechanic. He has now returned home and finds his extraordinary achievements have taken him up the ladder of success, including being employed as consultant on locks to a car company. more..

National Safety Day 2014 to be commemorated in Hambantota

Oct 18 (GDI) Ministry of Disaster Management has made arrangements to commemorate the National Safety Day 2014, the year marking 10 years from the occurrence of the Tsunami disaster focusing the District of Hambantota. Accordingly, Ministry has made arrangements to perform this great endeavor of commemorating the National Safety Day 2014 with a focus on Hambantota District under the main theme "Safer Sri Lanka" and the sub theme "Let us unite to eradicate disasters". more..

Kumar Sangakkara guestions Sri Lanka's decision to schedule India tour

Oct 18 (PTI) After West Indies' dramatic pullout from the India tour due to pay dispute with WICB, Sri Lanka Cricket's decision to fill in with a five-match ODI series has come in for sharp criticism from Kumar Sangakkara. "Our 6 weeks of pure fitness work ends abruptly. Have a week to do a months requirement of skills work before India. Planning ahead anyone", Kumar Sangakkara asked in a tweet. more..

Harin - Imthiaz to get new positions: No post for Ranjan

Oct 18 (AM) Opposition leader of Uva PC election Harin Fernando is to be appointed as the Deputy National Organizer of the UNP. Although he was previously offered the position of the head of the UNP Youth Front, Fernando declined the offer stating he wanted Ruwan Wijeyawardena to remain in the position as the latter had already done “great service” to the party. It was Wijeyawardena who offered to resign from his position to make way for Fernando to become the leader of more..

Treasury under fire for ‘victimising’ additional Govt Printer

Oct 18 (Island) A Deputy Secretary to the Treasury has arbitrarily transferred Additional Govt Printer (Finance) Vajira Bethmage due to a threat of an acid attack on her by a section of its unruly employees and political pressure, the Sri Lanka Accountants’ Services Association (SLASA) said. "Treasury officials unfairly transferred officers in the Govt Printer’s Department due to threats by some of its employees. Employees of Govt Printers Department came under attack by more..

Archaeology Dept. to survey all rocks and mountains

Oct 18 (Island) Department of Archaeology would commence a project to survey all the rocks and mountains in the country to separate archaeologically important sites from those that could be exploited for development work, Director General of Archaeology Dr. Senarath Dissanayake said. He that Secretary to the Ministry of Finance and Planning Dr. P.B. Jayasundara had instructed the Department of Archaeology to inspect all more..

Issuing licences to baby elephant owners DWLC blames lacunas in laws

Oct 18 (CT) Lacunas in the law and insufficient evidence that the elephants in captivity were obtained illegally, were the reasons given by Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWLC) Director General, H.D. Ratnayake, for issuing licences to elephant owners, in reply to an audit query by the Auditor General's Department. This came to light at a press conference organized by Species Conservation Centre (SCC) Chairman Pubudu Weeraratne on Thursday. more..

EU action strengthen LTTE: Sajin

Oct 18 (DM) External Affairs Ministry Monitoring MP Sajin Vaas Gunawardane said the EU decision to lift the ban on the LTTE was a shot in the arm for the LTTE and the diaspora. He said that with this decision all EU members would regard the LTTE as a legitimate organization. Mr. Gunawardane remained mum when journalists asked him about his alleged assault on former Sri Lankan High Commissioner Chris Nonis and on reports that he was not allowed to the Vatican during more..

'Asia, Europe should join hands to end scourge of human smuggling'

Oct 18 (Island) Asia, as the generator of trafficked human beings, and Europe, as the receiver of those unfortunates, should give engaged attention to eliminate the scourge, Minister and Colombo Process Chair-in-Office Dilan Perera said at the ‘Third Asia-EU Dialogue on Labour Migration’ held on Wednesday in Colombo. The Third Asia-EU Dialogue brought together the 11 member countries of the Colombo Process more..

25 schools facing landslide threat

Oct 18 (CT) National Building Research Organization (NBRO) has identified buildings in 25 schools in seven districts that are in danger of being destroyed by landslides. Acting Director of the Landslide Unit of the NBRO, Dr. Gamini Jayatissa, said these schools are located in Matale, Nuwara Eliya, Ratnapura, Kegalle, Badulla, Hambantota and Matara Districts. However, they have taken steps to remedy the threat and have commenced such activities in 18 schools in the Kandy District, more..

British national runs for Sri Lankan children

Oct 18 (Island) A UK citizen ran the 42 km Colombo Marathon recently in a heartrending bid to raise funds to create better opportunities for underprivileged children in Sri Lanka. Having raised USD 6,000 (782,000 LKR) by the end of the marathon mostly through donations from friends and family, Mark Kirby (40) ran with around 5,000 other enthusiastic runners with a cause at heart. "My charity drive for ChildFund Sri Lanka is doing well and I am almost reaching over USD 6,000, more..

Crackdown on illegal immigrants

Oct 18 (CT) Secretary Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, has directed Immigration and Emigration and security authorities to round up illegal immigrants who are engaged in employment after entering the country on tourist visas. However, this rule will not apply to foreign employees working on BOI projects with valid visas and necessary approvals. Rajapaksa said that the relevant authorities should obtain the assistance of more..

Nirmal condemns hypocrisy of NGO tribe

Oct 18 (CT) Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri, Head, Department of History, University of Colombo who is also the former president of the FUTA has strongly objected to the way Colombo Telegraph has been condemned by certain persons on its revelations of dubious financial transactions of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA). Asked to offer his comment on the behavior of regular anti-govt as well as pro-govt commentators with regard to the CPA/NGO saga of fraud and deceit, more..

Teachers from Delft school forced to pay for Rajapaksa welcome event

Oct 18 (CT) Colombo Telegraph learns the common man and woman is now being forced to pay for the festivities that were thrown for the President Rajapaksa’s visit to the North over the weekend. Teachers attached to the Neduntheevu (Delft) Maha Vidyalaya have been ordered to pay Rs. 7000 each by the school administration as the festivities thrown to welcome the President who visited the school on October 14 had cost more than the originally estimated amount. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

India, SL & the legacy of British empire

Oct 18 (DBS) In our long discussions about Sri Lanka’s post-independence political history, India’s large shadow falls inevitably upon us, bringing with it a curious and mixed effect; it is both alarming and inspiring at times, but also quite disheartening and dispiriting on other occasions. We were both part of the British Empire, both Mother Lanka and Mother India, but an analysis of our respective post-colonial histories shows the contrast; and as a consequence, there is, somewhere in the air, more..

The Chaos

Oct 18 (CT) The executive presidency hangs over like the sword of Democles and President Rajapaksa is seeking loopholes to elect himself for a third term running. Two schools of thought by former Attorney General Sarath N.Silva and constitutional expert and lawyer K.N. Choksy place the President in a conundrum. While the former states he could not seek a third term the latter contends he is eligible under constitutional law. EAM G.L. Peiris too is of the view the President can seek more..

Sarath N. Silva is sorry for 2005 ruling

Oct 18 (CG) Former CJ Sarath N Silva has apologised for the ruling he gave in support of then PM Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2005 the ‘Helping Hambantota’ case. Silva has told BBC that he had given the ruling in the case based on the evidence before him and felt he had ensured justice. Court order ensured Rajapaksa could contest the 2005 Presidential elections which he eventually won and was appointed President, more..

Harsha comments on remaining silent

Oct 18 (CG) UNP MP Dr Harsha de Silva has raised the question if he needs a title to take on the Govt, after he was asked by the media to comment on the reasons he has not been included in a list of UNP members who will prepare the party for the Presidential election. The UNP MP refused to comment and kept silent when he was asked, at a press conference this week, if he had been sidelined by not being included in the committee. more..

MR gives green light to Weerawansa's proposals ahead of crucial election

Oct 18 (AM) President Rajapaksa has promised to implement 12 proposals presented by NFF. NFF earlier claimed that its support to the govt would depend on the govt's response to the 12 proposals endorsed by the national convention which was held by the Freedom Front. The 12 proposals were presented to the President a few months ago and the govt appointed committee to look into Weerawansa's proposals. more..

JVP, ex-CJ reiterate MR cannot seek a 3rd term

Oct 18 (Island) JVP Anura Kumara Dissanayake MP claimed in Kandy recently that President Mahinda Rajapaksa could not seek a third term, according to the Constitution. Dissanayake said so at a meeting at the Kandy Post office auditorium on Wednesday. The JVP leader said that there was no need for President Mahinda Rajapaksa to go for a snap election as he had two more years till 2016 to complete his term. more..

Backlog due to lack of Courts

Oct 18 (CT) A major scarcity of courthouses in the country has curtailed the speedy hearing of court proceedings, according to Attorney General Palitha Fernando, who retired from office this week after a two-year spell. The retired AG said that there is a dearth of courthouses in the country and recalled that the Matara Court, which sometime back, heard not more than five cases per day is 'compelled' to hear about 25 cases per day. more..

Lightning transfer for rail boss

Oct 18 (Island) General Manager Sri Lanka Railways B.A.P. Ariyaratne, who was alleged to have had some involvement in the recent rail strike from Oct 9 midnight, had been transferred out as Additional Secretary Technical Services of the Transport Ministry. Incumbent Additional Secretary Technical Services Vijaya Amaratunge was yesterday appointed GMR. Many complaints had been made to President Rajapaksa more..

The law in their dangerous hands

Oct 18 (SL) There had been a spate of incidents where suspects had been shot dead or killed accidentally, while fleeing from police custody or during a confrontation with the police. Recently, the suspect wanted in connection with the Kolonnawa- Sinhapura murders was shot dead while trying to escape police custody. Another suspect who was arrested in connection with the killing of an 8-year-old girl in Akmeemana had drowned more..

Leading US role in EU ban on Tigers recalled

Oct 18 (Island) The EU wouldn’t have listed the LTTE, if not for the US throwing its weight behind a high profile Sri Lankan campaign to have the group proscribed in Europe, those involved in the diplomatic initiative said. The EU announced the ban on May 30, 2006. A former diplomat said the assassination of Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar on the night of August 8 2005 and the US backing had influenced the EU decision, more..

Sound of Mu-sick

Oct 18 (ST) Three-wheelers with blaring horns or music recordings selling bread and short-eats in Colombo and the suburbs in the early hours have become a common occurrence. But, more than the service provided the inconvenience caused to the public is on the rise prompting people to complain about the noise pollution and irritation caused. A resident of Daham Mawatha Nugegoda, Nimmi Jayawickrema, more..