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Can President Maithri actually implement capital punishment?

Jul 15 (CT) Prez Sirisena, last week, said that he would sign required orders to execute capital punishment for convicted drug traffickers who carry out large scale drug smuggling operations while in detention. President’s office quoted the Prez as saying that although there are certain opinions regarding capital punishment in a Buddhist society, if large number of criminal acts spread in such a society despite religious sermons, more..

Farewell to Hemantha Warnakulasuriya sentinel of the legal profession

Jul 15 (Island) Hemantha Warnakulasuriya, well known lawyer and newspaper columnist passed away last week at the age of 75 after a brief illness. He left a vacuum that will be difficult to fill. He was a lawyer, a President’s Counsel and had a lucrative practice but his social role went far beyond that of a legal practitioner. As a prominent member of the unofficial bar, he seemed to know everything that happened within the legal profession and the judiciary and was in that respect more..

Professionals flay SL-Singapore FTA and suicide mission trade policy

Jul 15 (Island) Last Thursday, Professionals’ National Front (PNF) which brings together professionals from the medical, engineering, banking, IT, architectural, and many other spheres held a seminar to a packed audience at the Sri Sambuddhathwa Jayanthi Mandiraya in Thunmulla on the SL-Singapore Free Trade Agreement ahead of the debate in parliament on the same matter scheduled for the afternoon of July 17. The PNF is a body that took shape through agitation more..


New broom at SEC

Jul 15 (ST) About four years ago, precisely on Nov 21, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), struggling to tackle a slew of allegations of pump-and-dump trades and insider dealing, published an interesting advertisement. It was preparing a consultation paper on Evaluating the possibility of establishing a minority investors’ association for investors of public listed companies. Public representation was called for. The SEC chairman at the time was Thilak Karunaratne, more..

Know when to walk away

Jul 15 (ST) My dear Austin, I suppose I should have written to you last week when your resignation as Maithri’s secretary was announced, but that went almost unnoticed, as did your parting words of wisdom because of all this fuss over Vijayakala. Still, I thought I must write to you now, because it is better late than never. Your resignation did take us by surprise, Austin, because Maithri has only one and a half years more of his first term of office left, but it seems as if you have abided by old adage of more..

Drugs and the death penalty: Applicable legal regime

Jul 15 (CT) The Govt on 10 July approved a proposal made by President Sirisena to enforce capital punishment or the death penalty in the form of death by hanging against large scale major drug dealers, smugglers and drug traffickers. Section 52 of the Penal Code provides for death as a punishment. The Constitution in Article 13(4) holds that only a competent Court in accordance with the procedure more..

Setting up of apex drug enforcement authority imperative

Jul 15 (ST) In the fitness of things, the Supreme Court this week granted leave to proceed in a Fundamental Rights case on behalf of a group of ladies claiming their rights as citizens have been violated by a Presidential decree preventing women from working in the alcohol business. This order coincided with another Presidential fiat calling for the death penalty to be implemented on drug traffickers. The President has put his finger on the bigger picture, at last, perhaps shocked by more..

All froth and no beer

Jul 15 (Island) Even those of us who do not tend to be cynical about political pronouncements, whatever they are, would very likely regard the current buzz about hanging persons convicted and jailed for drug offences and are continuing to run their businesses from jail would tend to regard the current ha ho on the subject, if we may use a Ceylonism, as something akin to all froth and no beer. Various actors on the political stage ranging from the outspoken Minister Mangala Samaraweera to more..

New twist in Kilinochchi leopard-killing saga

Jul 15 (SO) On June 21, in a brinjal field surrounded by houses, roughly five hundred metres from the local school, the villagers of Ambalakulam, off Kilinochchi, killed a leopard sparking a nation-wide outcry. Three weeks later, the gory saga has taken on a new dimension, after the post-mortem conducted on the animal has revealed that the leopard may have been raised in a cage. Veterinarians found a thick layer of fat more..

Listen to World Bank

Jul 15 (CT) All-island Association to Protect the Rights of Taxi Owners and Drivers (AIAPRTOD) has demanded the Govt to regulate taxi fares, taking into consideration fluctuating fuel prices. In public transport, only bus fares are currently regulated. Prior to the advent of three-wheeler taxis, this service was provided by the beetle model Volkswagens and the now defunct Morris Minors. The open economy of 1977 sounded the death knell to the traditional taxi industry. more..

Whither Ahimsa ?

Jul 15 (SO) The death penalty is defined as the deliberate, judicially sanctioned killing of a human for the violation of specific laws. Suddenly, there seems to be a move among some sections to revive the death penalty after decades of its suspension. We urge more reasoned consideration of this proposal in line with the level of civilised decency this country has achieved despite multiple insurgencies and social conflicts. This country, as with most other societies with long histories, more..

Finance minister in battle to de-politicize fuel pricing

Jul 14 (EN) Market-pricing fuel strengthens the economy, and the benefit of falling oil will also come without political interference unlike in the past when tariffs were kept high with no questions asked, Minister Mangala Samaraweera, who is waging a battle to de-politicize energy pricing said. "Price formula will strengthen the economy," he said. "The benefit of formula will be that prices will also fall when global prices fall." more..

Video: Navy is warned to be alert on possible submarine attacks threat: PM

Jul 14 (AD) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe states that the Navy has been informed to alert on a possible submarine attack threat. He stated this at an event held in Colombo. PM said: “Now we have a new concept, the ‘Indo-Pacific’, put forward by the USA. China views the Indo-Pacific as a mechanism for containing China in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and thereby increasing its strategic vulnerability. more..

Dilruwan, Herath rout South Africa in three days

Jul 14 (CI) SL's spinners shot South Africa out for 73, their lowest total since readmission and lowest in SL, just a day after their previous lowest in the country - 126 - to condemn them to one of their worst defeats in the subcontinent and leave them with no chance of a series win. Offspinner Dilruwan Perera finished with his best match figures of 10 for 78 after taking 6 for 32 in the second innings while Rangana Herath leapt to ninth more..

Lebanon deployment extended pending HRCSL vetting of fresh contingent

Jul 14 (Island) Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) and Sri Lanka Army (SLA) are in the process of working out modalities in respect of overseas deployments under UN command. A senior military officer told The Island that the SLA was confident that a consensus on Standard Operational Procedures (SOP) could be finalised soon. "We are working closely with the HRCSL," official said, asserting that more..

'Special Anti-Corruption Court to commence work next week'

Jul 14 (DN) The construction of the Special Anti Corruption Court No 01 will enable it to commence its operations next week, State Minister Ajith P. Perera said. He also said that the Court that has been constructed opposite the Sri Lanka Law College was handed over to the Justice Ministry by the SL Navy yesterday. State Minister Perera added that the govt had voiced its stance against corruption and had done a great deal to accomplish it. more..

Cash crop or villain? Palm oil expansion debate rages

Jul 14 (ST) “The establishment of new oil palm plantations, expansion and re-plantation should be discontinued in SL,” the Central Environment Authority (CEA) has recommended, asking for time to study claimed critical side-effects such as high water usage, soil erosion, high agro-chemical usage and potential destruction of biodiversity. Palm oil, locally known as katupol (katu meaning thorny and pol meaning palm nut), is in high demand more..

TNA seeks more Thai investments

Jul 14 (Island) TNA Chief and the Leader of the Opposition R Sampanthan urged the visiting Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-Cha to encourage more Thai private sector investments in the Northern and Eastern provinces. The call for further Thai investments was made after Sampanthan thanked the Thai leader for setting up a sugar factory in the North. Premier Prayut Chan-o-Cha met Sampanthan in Colombo yesterday. more..

CPC, a National asset in ruin

Jul 14 (DM) Shell, [British] Caltex and Esso [American] were the three powerful American oil giants which dominated the import, storage, transportation, marketing and distribution of Ceylon’s petroleum business up to 1964. In the good old days when a car enters a station for petrol, the workers who have plenty of leisure, [as a car drops in at an average 10 or 15 minute intervals], two or three workers flock around it, with one cleaning more..

Sri Lanka gears for huge wildlife powwow

Jul 14 (ST) No paper, no plastic and no polythene – this is why the biggest-ever int'l conference to be held in Sri Lanka next year will be doubly unusual and unique. The nearly two-week conference from May 23-June 3 which hopes to attract high-level delegations from 183 countries including Sri Lanka is CITES-CoP18. This Conference of Parties (CoP) on the Convention on Int'l Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna more..

Foreign cocaine peddlers sniff for tourists

Jul 14 (ST) Two Brazilian nationals arrested while trying to smuggle in cocaine to the country were planning to sell the drug to foreign tourists in SL, preliminary police investigations have revealed. The suspects, aged 30 and 24 years, were taken into custody by officers from Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) at the BIA. The arrest of one of the Brazilians last Saturday (June 31) led to the arrest of the other who came the next day. more..

A question never asked

Jul 14 (DM) For over a year now, the urban middle-class has been collecting many new words for daily use from Central Bank and Bond scam to Arjuna Mahendran, Arjun Aloysius, Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL), Mendis & Company, Hambantota Port, Port City, Chinese Loans, Rajapaksas, Hitler, LTTE and over a week ago even Vijayakala. They would be lost in their daily conversations without these words, for they seem to know little or nothing about other important issues to indulge in. more..

Shocking, shameful; about 1,000 abortions daily in Sri Lanka

Jul 14 (DM) Last Wednesday, was World Population Day and the UN’s Fund for Population Activities in a statement says, the international community should focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues. This year’s theme is Family Planning is a Human Right. According to the UNFPA, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1968 International Conference on Human Rights, where family planning was, for the first time, globally affirmed to be a human right. more..

Pro-death penalty stance: Rights groups slam Cardinal

Jul 14 (CT) Committee for Protecting the Rights of Prisoners, whilst condemning Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith’s approval of the Govt’s decision to enforce capital punishment on certain categories of drug-related convicts, called on the President to appoint two commissions to probe political involvement in the drug mafia and why the Dept of Prisons cannot enforce the law applicable to Prisons. more..

Some members of civil society heroin dealers: Finance Minister

Jul 14 (Island) Minister Mangala Samarawweera alleged the major heroin dealers were key members of the civil society. He claimed that the narcotics menace couldn’t be eradicated by executing those already behind bars after being found guilty by courts as major dealers were among civil society organisations. He identified members of three organisations including two int'l groups as heroin dealers. Samaraweera said that those drug kingpins held key positions in those organisations. more..

Four trade unions object to new Decent Work programme

Jul 14 (ST) Four major Sri Lankan unions have complained about the recent launch of the Decent Work Country Programme 2018-2022 (DWCP) by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) saying it was shrouded in secrecy. The complaint has been made in a letter to ILO Director General Guy Rider by the Ceylon Bank Employees Union, Ceylon Mercantile Industrial and General Workers Union, Ceylon Federation of Labour and the Estate Staffs Union, urging that the proposal be retracted more..

Mangala abides by Cabinet decision on Death penalty

Jul 14 (FT) Emphasising on the need to take action against corrupt jailors in the prison system, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said the best way to address the escalating drug menace in the country was to fully enforce the rule of law. Opposing the decision to re-enact death penalty to prisoners convicted of drug-related offenses, he highlighted that prison system needs to be cleaned up first. more..

68 JO MPs to hand over letters to Speaker

Jul 14 (CT) With the aim of increasing their demand for the post of Opposition Leader in Parliament, 68 JO MPs have decided to act as an independent group in the Opposition in Parliament, SLFP MP Ranjith Soyza said. These 68 JO MPs are currently functioning as Members of the UPFA, within the legislature. They have planned to hand over letters individually to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya requesting that they be recognized as independent MPs attached to JO when Parliament sessions more..

Police find 5 kg of cocaine on Sampur beach

Jul 14 (Island) Sampur police yesterday took into custody five kilos of heroin and cocaine with a street value of Rs. 70 million on the Illakkanda beach in Sampur. Police said they were trying to find out who had brought the 21 parcels containing drugs to the beach. The Police Narcotic Bureau (PNB) said of the total consignment seized so far, 105 kilos of the narcotic belonged to notorious drug dealer Wele Suda and Soosai serving prison terms. On June 14 this year PNB arrested two men working for more..

India wants SL to expedite joint projects

Jul 14 (Hindu) India has sought Sri Lanka’s cooperation in swift completion of joint ventures, amidst anxiety in South Block over apparent delays in taking India-assisted projects in the island forward. Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, here on a one-day visit, called on President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday, and conveyed PM Narendra Modi’s keen interest in seeing the projects expedited, sources said. more..

SL keen to boost trade with Pakistan: HC

Jul 14 (TN) High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Pakistan Maj-Gen (retd) Jayanth Lakuketagodage has said that Sri Lanka was keen to establish strong mutual trade ties with Pakistan. He stressed upon the need of making some effective practical measures to boost mutual trade ties between Sri Lanka and Pakistan, saying that the Sri Lanka was much keen to further strengthen mutual trade ties between the two countries. He was addressing an important meeting of the Sialkot exporters more..

SF opposes deploying troops to tackle drugs

Jul 14 (EN) Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka denounced Prez Sirisena's plan to deploy security forces to deal with drug-related crime and said it was a job for the police and not the military. Fonseka, the man who successfully prosecuted the war against Tamil Tigers, said the police should be dealing with the drug problem and not the tri-services. However, he also noted that there were corrupt officers in the police as well as in the Special Task Force who were responsible for excesses. more..

Mangala raps Mahinda

Jul 14 (FT) Minister Mangala Samaraweera levelled a scathing criticism against former Prez Rajapaksa for misleading the public on the new fuel price formula, claiming his conduct was unbecoming of a senior politician of the country. “The former Prez who was also Finance Minister is trying to influence the general public without fully acknowledging the facts. I would like to remind him that the fuel prices with the latest revision more..

LRT feasibility study gets Cabinet green-light

Jul 14 (FT) Cabinet has given the go ahead for a proposal to sign a loan agreement amounting to Japanese Yen 206,106 million with Japan to fund the Light Rail Projects (LRT) from Colombo Fort to Battaramulla and Malabe, while approving the two feasibility studies carried out. The loan will be granted following the Govt’s request for an Official Development Assistance Loan under the Special Term for Economic Partnership (STEM), the proposal submitted by the Megapolis and more..

Manusha to back President

Jul 14 (CT) Deputy Minister of Foreign Employment Manusha Nanayakkara stated that he will provide the necessary political backing to President Maithripala Sirisena, after the latter claimed earlier this week that he will sign the required orders to execute those convicted drug traffickers who carry out large-scale drug smuggling operations while in death row. He said that carrying out the death penalty was a need of the hour if the drug menace was to be totally eradicated. more..