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Deportation only antidote to human smuggling – SLN Chief tells Aussie HC

GoSL-Australia on collision course over refugee boats

Sri Lanka and Australia are on a collision course over what the Australian High Commissioner in Colombo Ms Robyn Mudie asserts is the failure on the part of the Sri Lankan Navy (SLN) to put an end to human smuggling.

Australian HC Mudie urged Navy Commander Vice Admiral Somathilake Dissanayake to step up SLN action, at a hurriedly arranged meeting at SLN headquarters to discuss the issue last Wednesday (18).

Asked whether Australian action had been prompted by his failure to take tangible measures, Vice Admiral Dissanayake told The Island that trawlers carrying hundreds of men, women and children had been detained since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009. Those who found fault with the SLN for the crisis had conveniently forgotten that about 400 men, women and children had been taken into custody over the past two weeks alone.

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Huge registration fee slapped on news websites

The government yesterday announced the imposition of a registration fee of Rs.100,000 and Rs. 50,000 annual fee for news websites, which it said was the first step towards preventing filth being disseminated.

Media Minster Keheliya Rambukwella, addressing the weekly Cabinet press briefing in Colombo, said that the proposed amendment to the Sri Lanka Press Council Law No. 5 of 1973, would make provision for the levy of a Rs.100,000 registration fee and Rs. 50,000 annual fee.

The new regulation, he said, would also apply to news websites which have already been registered with the Media Ministry.

Asked what further action the government contemplated against web publications which it said were causing harm to defenceless individuals, the Minister said: "This is the first step in the process of regulating those who were engaged in publishing filth. The legal process takes time.

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The next earthquake - Are we prepared?

Introduction. The 11th of March 2012 is a red letter day in our Disaster Management calender. We experienced the tremors of an earthquake and were given a tsunami warning, which resulted in chaos in Colombo. Office staff vacated their seats and poured into the streets. Vehicles were at a standstill. The reason for this panic I believe is their recollection of the destruction caused by the 2004 disaster. It will be recollected that on the 26th. January 2004 we were hit by an earthquake and tsunami that caused havoc and the death of thousands. We were totally unprepared for such a disaster. This was mainly due to the fact that at that time we did not know what a tsunami was. In fact there were jokes to the effect that the Foreign Ministry on being notified that a tsunami was arriving, sent a delegation to the airport to welcome the Japanese guests!

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Mihin is a deadweight admits SriLankan boss

Nishantha Wickremasinghe, Chairman SriLankan Talks to Maheen Senanayake of the Sunday Island during a candid interview on how he hopes to bring his brand of expertise to the national carrier.

I met him outside his office on the 22nd Floor on the East Tower at the World Trade Centre. From his handshake to his gait, here was a man who was very much a people’s person. Sans pretense, Nishantha Wickremasinghe generated warmth and made you feel at home.

I was circumspect and did not want to be taken off guard. However, it took him under a few minutes to penetrate my journalistic shield - his unmistakable signature being his ability to stay within the realms of his own understanding, avoidance of speculation and an innate ability to avoid being dragged into speculative debate.

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