Sri Lanka Parliament
George Bush on UK
visit amid protests
Chretien to step down in December
Micheal Jackson’s house
Britons sentenced for breaking Rama
Sri Lanka Parliament reopens
Colombo, November 19
The suspension expired today and the Parliament immediately reconvened with Speaker Joseph Michael Perera saying President Kumaratunga had no authority to prorogue Parliament without the concurrence of the legislature, which is controlled by a party that is opposed to her.
"Preventing the functioning of Parliament can thus be construed as a breach of its collective rights and it is my hope that the prorogation does not set an unhealthy precedent for the future," the Speaker said.
He said if confronted with such "abuse of power" by the President, the majority of members should have the right to ask for Parliament to reconvene.
He also recommended the amending of standing orders of Parliament to carry out the function "beyond controversy".
Speaker Perera is from Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's United National Party, but his office is neutral in the Assembly and his rulings are binding on the legislature and cannot be challenged in court.
The Speaker, citing Parliamentary experience in Britain, Australia, India and New Zealand, said no Parliament in the world had been suspended by an executive without the concurrence of the Prime Minister.
He argued that the President as one branch of the state cannot be seen to suppress another branch that is exercising the sovereignty of the people.
"The President cannot prorogue Parliament without the approval of the majority of the House," he said amid protest by legislators of President Kumaratunga's party which is the main opposition in Parliament. —
George Bush on UK visit amid protests
London, November 19
President Bush, his wife Laura and a 700-strong entourage were greeted upon arrival at the Heathrow airport yesterday by Prince Charles, then whisked to the Buckingham Palace by US Military helicopter Marine One for the heavily guarded gardens of the palace.
In the palace, Queen Elizabeth II received them amidst royal pagentry complete with brass band and a 41-gun salute.
Shortly before Air Force One touched down at the airport, it was announced that a visit this afternoon to the memorial in Grosvenor Square Mayfair near U S Embassy to the victims of the September 11 had been called off.
The Foreign Office said the President’s schedule had always been fluid, but fears over his security are believed to have played a part in the decision that he should meet families of the British victims inside the embassy and not go outside to pay respects at the memorial as planned.
Chretien to step down in December Toronto, November 19 Chretien, who turns 70 in January, previously said he would retire as Prime Minister by February 2004 under pressure from Martin, his Liberal Party and opposition groups, he now will step aside after attending a Commonwealth summit in Nigeria in early December. Martin was chosen the new Liberal Party leader last week, and automatically become Prime Minister when Chretien leaves office. They met for 45 minutes yesterday to work out a transition schedule, then held a brief news conference where Chretien announced the December 12 departure date. Martin and opposition groups wanted Chretien to step down earlier than December to make way for the transition. —AP
Toronto, November 19
Chretien, who turns 70 in January, previously said he would retire as Prime Minister by February 2004 under pressure from Martin, his Liberal Party and opposition groups, he now will step aside after attending a Commonwealth summit in Nigeria in early December.
Martin was chosen the new Liberal Party leader last week, and automatically become Prime Minister when Chretien leaves office.
They met for 45 minutes yesterday to work out a transition schedule, then held a brief news conference where Chretien announced the December 12 departure date.
Martin and opposition groups wanted Chretien to step down earlier than December to make way for the transition. —AP
Micheal Jackson’s house raided
Los Angeles, November 19
At 8.30 am Santa Barbara sheriff’s department and district attorney’s office investigators executed a search warrant at the Neverland Ranch in connection with a criminal matter,” Commander Jeff Meyer said.
“As of now, there is no further information regarding the cause or the circumstances regarding the service of the search warrant, which was approved by a judge,” he said.
Jackson’s lawyers said they had no idea of the reason for the high-profile search of the “king of pop’s” palace, while his publicist said the superstar was out of town when the raid began. But the Court TV and several other US media outlets reported that the dramatic police swoop was in connection with an abuse charge from a 12-year-old boy.
The raid on the reclusive superstar’s country mansion comes nine months after prosecutors investigated his admission in an interview that he slept in the same bed as a 12-year-old boy before dismissing claims of wrongdoing.
But Court TV said the latest swoop was not connected to the earlier investigation.
Prosecutors in Santa Barbara, a town about 160 km north of Los Angeles near which the eternally-youthful Jackson (45) has lived for years, declined to comment on the raid.
Britons sentenced for breaking Rama idol
London, November 19
The Brent Magistrate Court on November 17 sentenced Toby Champney to two months imprisonment for “racially aggravated criminal damages”. His fellow Christian preacher, Benjamin Lloyd Jones was fined 400 pounds for racially aggravated threatening behaviour, and set free.
The lower court’s sentence has angered the Hindu community and many of them have raised the question of why a higher court had not heard the case.
“We do not know why a higher court did not hear the case. A Magistrate’s Court can only award a maximum sentence of six months for racially aggravated criminal damage, whereas a Crown Court has the discretion to award sentences as long as 14 years,” said Mr Venilal Vaghela, who chairs the Hindu Council of Brent.
“The fine is not deemed a sufficient deterrent for preventing such behaviour in the future. The maximum fines allowed for racially aggravated disorderly behaviour is 2,500 pounds,” he said.
Local MP Paul Boateng, under whose constituency the temple falls, did not comment on the sentence, but condemned the attack and said, “attacks on holy places are totally unacceptable. My profound condolences go to the community, for what was a deeply offensive incident.” —
UK AWARDS FOR INDIAN STUDENTS 4 DIE AS COPTER FALLS INTO SEA JAILED FOR CRYING RAPE AFTER AFFAIR WOMAN HELD FOR KILLING DAUGHTER
4 DIE AS COPTER FALLS INTO SEA
JAILED FOR CRYING RAPE AFTER AFFAIR
WOMAN HELD FOR KILLING DAUGHTER