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Business tycoon Harry Jayawardena and five other Directors of Melstacorp Limited were released on a personal bail of 2 million rupees each for violation of Section 51 (2) of the Securities and Exchange Commissions act
At a previous occasion, Magistrate Kanishka Wijeratne had directed the Court Registrar to issue summons on nine directors of Melstacorp Limited to appear in Court on charges of having violated Section 52 (1) (2) (3) of the SEC Act.
However, when the case came up before the Court yesterday, only six directors of Melstacorp Limited including Harry Jayawardena appeared in Court and they were ordered to be released on a personal bail of Rs.2 million, each.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had filed a case before the Colombo Fort Magistrate against ten defendants including Melstacorp Limited over non-compliance in connection with the transfer of shares in Lanka Milk Foods PLC (LMF) to Melstacorp.    
The SEC alleged the defendant company together with Milford Exports (Ceylon) Limited and Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka PLC failed to declare a mandatory offer after they had purchased 36.27 percent of voting rights of Lanka Milk Foods Company PLC (LMF) on or around September 13, 2011, violating the SEC Takeovers and Mergers Code.
The SEC further alleged that Melstacorp bought another parcel of voting shares of LMF, each share at Rs.99, without having made a mandatory offer at Rs.105 per share to the remaining shareholders of the LMF within 35 days of having triggered the Code in September, 2011.
Senior Counsel S.L. Gunasekara appearing on behalf of the defendants informed the Court that the defendant company would come for a settlement.
Meanwhile, Senior State Counsel Damith Thotawatta appearing for the SEC informed the Court that defendants had made an application for settlement to the SEC and the said matter was under consideration by the SEC. Having considered the submissions, the Magistrate fixed the case for inquiry or settlement on September 21.  
According to a public notice issued by the SEC yesterday evening, Melstacorp through a letter dated June 28, had made an application to the SEC seeking settlement agreeing to unconditionally follow the determinations of the SEC dated March 5, 2012 and to withdraw Writ application filed by them in the Court of Appeal against the SEC, if the SEC would consider withdrawing the action filed in the Magistrate Court against Melstacorp and its directors.
In its letter dated March 5, 2012, the SEC ordered Melstacorp and parties acting in concert to make a mandatory offer at Rs.105 per share and to pay the balance to any LMF shareholder who had disposed his/her shares during the period from September 13, 2011 to February 15, 2012, at prices below that of Rs.105.
However, in response, Melstacorp filed a Writ of Certiorari to quash the determination by the SEC before the Court of Appeal.
According to yesterday’s public notice by the SEC, the Commission Members of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) now have agreed to withdraw the case against business tycoon Harry Jayawardena, his company Melstacorp Limited and its directors for violating the SEC’s Mergers and Acquisitions Code subject to the unconditional withdrawal of the Writ application Melstacorp filed against the SEC at the Appeal Court and implementation of the determinations by the SEC, dated March 5, 2012.
In this case, Melstacorp Limited had been named as the first defendant. The other defendants were, Don Harold Stassen Jayawardena, Rajpal Kumar Obayasekara, Cedric R. Jansz, Krishantha Francis Fernando, Adriyan Naoyomal Balasuriya, Kolitha Jagath, Niranjan Silva, Wijeyanthimala Jayatilleke (alternative director), Lintotage Udaya Damien Fernando.
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Higher Education Minister SB Dissanayake said today that President Mahinda Rajapaksa would appoint a committee to supervise the UGC when it recalculates the Z score ratings as directed by the Supreme Court.
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UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya said the proposed elections to be held under the 18th amendment would be a farce.
 “An election which will be held under the 18th amendment will be a farce. All the powers related to the Police, Judiciary and the Commissioner of Elections have been vested under one individual, which is clearly undemocratic” he said.
  Jayasuriya urged the government to re-introduce the 17th amendment prior to holding elections. “The 17th amendment when introduced had the full support of the current President and the speaker in 2001. By introducing the 18th amendment the transparency and separation of powers that the 17th amendment sought to protect were demolished” he said.
 Jayasuriya went on to state that due to the 18th amendment which provided the President with wide-ranging powers would prevent a free and fair election. “There can't be a free and fair election under these powers and all efforts towards having one will be hampered” he said.
Jayasuriya said that despite there being honest and committed servicemen in the Police force, they cannot do their duty because of political interference. “Today Policemen are promoted on political affiliation and relationships with the ruling party politicians and not on commitment and integrity. Many Policemen have personally told me that if they take action against certain individuals they will have to pay a heavy price” he said 
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The government yesterday said there might be elements with vested interests trying to tarnish the image of Sri Lanka by falsely accusing the country of being a haven for human smuggling.
Government spokesman and Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said no Sri Lankans were found in the most recent cases of asylum seekers who were arrested or found in capsized boats.
“There was a lot of misleading information being disseminated recently implicating Sri Lanka as the originating point for asylum seekers. This is only hyped up information with no truth in it” he said
Mr. Rambukwella also said people with vested interests seemed to be planting the term ‘Sri Lanka’ into incidents of asylum seekers in order to further their agendas. “Obviously there is an element of doubt regarding these allegations, people with vested interest seem to have their own agendas of tarnishing the name of the country” he said.
Minister Rambukwella said this explained why the name of the country was always recorded as the port during initial reports, but later retracted. “There were no Lankans in the recent boat controversies, but the country’s name was planted in initially, to meet ulterior motives of some elements,” he said
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Out of 16,000 government doctors around 14,000 will be deprived of their monthly communication allowance of Rs. 6,000 from this month. Only 1,000 medical specialists, 1,000 Grade one doctors and 200 medical administrators will be eligible to the allowance in future.

Health Ministry sources said that even though the Finance and Planning Ministry Circular, dated on 15-11-2011, had instructed the Health Ministry to pay Rs. 6,000 to all public sector doctors, a new circular issued by the Treasury, early this month, had suspended the payment of allowance to 14,000 doctors.

Since last year, about 16,000 doctors had been receiving the allowance up to last month, they said.

The sources revealed that the Health Ministry had been instructed to stop payment of the allowance to Grade II and Grade III doctors (preliminary grade) with effect from this month. Finance Ministry has cited as the reason for suspending the payment of the allowance errors in the categorisation process of the doctors.
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The JVP yesterday called for the resignation of Ministers S. B. Dissanayake and Bandula Gunawardena from their portfolios of higher education and education respectively for their blunder of defending the 2011 GCE (A/L) Z-score.
JVP Parliamentary Group Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, addressing a press conference at the party head office, alleged that those two ministers had messed up the country’s education sector. Before they pushed it further into ruination they should be removed, he said.
The Supreme Court directive, on Monday, to the University Grants Commission (UGC) to annul Z-score calculation of the 2011 GCE (A/L) examination and to recalculate the score separately for the old and new syllabi, had protected the interests of student, MP Dissnayake said.
Although the intellectuals of the calibre of Prof. R. O. Thattil pointed out that the Z-score marks were erroneous, the two ministers had defended it berating the academics who were critical of them.
The JVP demanded that the government take action to enroll all the students who had passed the A/L examination according to the previously released results and to re-calculate the results of those who failed in accordance with the Supreme Court order.

"This Supreme Court order is not only a victory for the students but also for the entire nation," Dr Nalinda Jayatissa, National Organiser of the JVP affiliated Socialist Students’ Union said.
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Soon after the Supreme Court ordered the University Grants Commission (UGC) to annul the 2011 GCE (A/L) examination Z-score calculation and to recalculate the score separately for the old and new syllabi, education sector trade unionists, students and civil society organisations called for the immediate resignation of ministers S. B. Dissanayake and Bandula Gunawardena from their portfolios of higher education and education respectively.

"This Supreme Court order is a victory not only for the students but also for the entire nation," Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa, National Organiser of the JVP affiliated Socialist Students’ Union said. The order for the UGC to annul the ‘Z-score’ calculation 2011 and re-calculate Z-scores for both old and new syllabi separately and issue the results soon was most welcome at a time when ministers and some officials had done their utmost to destroy public trust in the country’s examination system, he said.

General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers Service Union Mahinda Jayasinghe said that since December 26, 2011, the day the results of the last GCE (A/L) examination were released, the progressive forces of the country had rejected the results as they were erroneous. "We within two days called for its cancellation and re-calculation of the marks obtained by candidates. Then, these two ministers and their officials made the greatest possible effort to defend those flawed results. They said that there had been slight aberration in district ranking system and that could be rectified. They went to the extent of criticising and blaming us for pointing out the mistakes."

National Organiser of the People’s Movement for the Protection of Schools Dhammika Alahapperuma called the Supreme Court order a historic victory for future generation of Sri Lanka. "We call upon Ministers Bandula Gunawardena and S. B. Dissanayake to resign and go home if they have even an iota of shame left in them."
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The JVP yesterday demanded to know why the police had not arrested a thug known as Julampitiye Amare though the victims of the Friday night attack identified the attackers as his henchmen.
JVP Parliamentary Group leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake addressing a press conference at the party head office at Pelawatte, Battaramulla alleged that the government had not permitted the arrest of Amare as it feared that he would spill the beans.
MP Dissanayake said Julampitiye Amare was known all over the Hambantota District as one of the close friends of top level politicians from the area.
The government was therefore trying to draw a red herring across his trail, theJVP alleged.
MP Dissanayake said: "The Media Centre for National Security issues false statements on the Katuwana killings. This amounts to protecting the killers."
The government should accept the responsibility for the killings, Dissanayake said.
Western Provincial Council member Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa, who was present at the time of the attack called upon the government to bring the killers to justice.
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The Colombo District Court today ordered an organization called the Organization for the Protection of National Wealth to pay Rs. 50 million to the Diyawadana Nilame of the Dalada Maligawa Nilanga Dela as damages for defamation.

Judge Dhammika Ganepola gave this order following a case filed by Diyawadana Nilame Nilanga Dela that his reputation has been damaged due to the allegation that some of the gold plated Buddha Statues had gone missing from the Dalada Maliwaga.
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Former Cricket Captain Sanath Jayasuriya said that there are no good dancers in the present Sri Lankan cricket team and that his contemporaries back home had a mixed reaction to his decision to participate in a reality dancing show in India.
In an interview with IANS Jayasuriya said "My contemporaries are surprised because I am a person of a different kind. And when I say yes to these things, they get little surprised. They have mixed feelings. So some comments were good, some weren't good, and so I was a bit worried too," he said, adding that he is undeterred by such reactions.
"I am not nervous. I am just not a good dancer, and so it will take a little time to get into my system. I feel I am stepping into something which is not in my comfort zone. But as a human being, one should try new things. As long as it is not affecting my future career, I am fine with new things," he added.
"First, I need to see what kind of dancing I will need to do because we have a culture, we have some kind of a system in our country. We are more conservative people," he said, adding that his people viewed him as a cricketer.
"Now when I am involved with these things (dancing), they are looking at me differently. So I need to be very careful."

Jayasuriya is appearing as a contestant on the dance reality show "Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa".
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