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19th July 1998

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50th anniversary of Faculty of Law

The 50th anniversary of the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo will be celebrated next week with a conference on the theme " Transition, the Post Independence Changes and the Future: Critical Issues of Law and Justice in South Asia" The conference will be inaugurated on Thursday, 23 July at the Galle Face Hotel, and the sessions held from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th July at the TransAsia Hotel.

A number of legal accademics, judges, lawyers and activists from the Asia Pacific region and South Africa will attend. Justice C.G. Weeramantry will deliver the key note address at the inaguration where the Chief Guests will be two former Deans of the Law Faculty, Professor T. Nadarajah and Professor G.L.Peiris. Justice Albie Sachs of the South African Constitutional Court will deliver the main presentation at the session on Public Law and Human Rights.

Body in bath tub murder

A 70 year old woman was found killed at her Colombo 7 Ward Place residence by her daughter and son who had returned from abroad on Thursday.

According to police Mrs. Nancy Fernando's body was found in the bath tub. The motive for the killing was robbery, police said. The alleged killer had removed the television, video deck and the gas cooker.

Her car had been found by police abandoned in Ratnapura. Ms. Fernando had been living alone. She had a domestic who had left her sometime back.

Boom, boom for whom?

By Shane Seneviratne

A series of mysterious explosions believed to be caused by experimenting bombs in Galagedara is being probed by police.

Inspector W.M.S. Wanninayake said a joint investigation was being made with the CID after complaints were received from several residents.

He said some residents suspected the JVP, others the LTTE or some other groups trying to disrupt the upcoming provincial polls.

Gramasevaka M. Rashid said the latest explosion was heard last Monday near his house.

Graduates go to job market

The Career Guidance Unit of the University of Colombo has taken a major step to bring the private sector within the reach of the graduates of tomorrow. It is also spreading the message among students that employment is not one of their rights won upon entering university but that graduates like any other job seekers must learn to market themselves.

The Colombo University Job Fair on July 13 and 14 drew hundreds of graduates from all universities. Some 800 graduates were seen vying to use the facilities which were only sufficient for about 350.

Organisers said the Job Fair was a massive success with the participation of more than 25 private sector companies.

The objective was to create a meeting ground for top companies to come face to face with the graduates coming into the job market in the near future. Job Fairs of this nature also provide an opportunity for the high ranking companies to compete for the best talent even before it comes into the market, they said.

"The Job Fair is a step in the right direction as unemployment is the biggest problem facing young graduates today. The frustration of graduating and entering a seemingly hostile job market is one that the majority of university students cannot escape,'' one official said.

Similar Career Guidance Units have already been set up in Sri Jayewardenepura, Kelaniya, Peradeniya and Jaffna Universities.

Market bomb hits Negombo's fish business

By Chris Kamalendran

Negombo's famous fish industry has been plunged into fear and uncertainty in the wake of last Thursday's bomb explosion at a popular sea-side sales centre.

Five people, including two women, were injured in the blast which went off as hundreds of people gathered at the seaside to buy fish.

Businessman J. M. Siddique, an eye witness, said he was walking around the stalls to buy fish when he heard an explosion just in front. "I saw people falling. Others were running," he said.

Police said early investigations indicated the explosives were planted in a PVC pipe and buried at a crowded place. Detectives said they had seldom seen such explosive devices and any possible LTTE link was being probed.

Hotel manager, T. Alahakoon, who was injured in the incident said he was on his way to buy fish when he was hit by the explosion.

Fish vendors said they feared the explosions could seriously affect the fish business in town as people would now be afraid to come there for purchases.

Tribute to Andrew Cooray

Judges and lawyers of the Kalutara Court gathered for a special session recently to pay tribute to Andrew P.Cooray - patriarch of that legal fraternity and a colossus of Kalutara - who passed away at the age of 97.

Mr. Cooray was a Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Kalutara Urban Council. The keynote address at the ceremonial session was made by M.A.M.Hanaffi, President of the Kalutara Bar Association. (See also page 20)

Weevil-infested pulses unloaded in port

Twelve thousand tonnes of weevil-infested pulses, have been unloaded at a Colombo Port warehouse from the vessel MV City Wave, which was in anchorage for seven months.

The cargo was shipped from Indonesia to a port in India. Harbour Master S. Chinniah said the pulses were fumigated and prepared for re-export. He said this is the practice for any food infested with weevil.

The vessel was arrested seven months ago, on instructions from its Austrian insurance agents to their lawyers here, as its owners had not paid the mortgage due to the Austrian Bank. But Captain Chinniah said it was arrested only two months ago.

He said the vessel had also been taken over by the ship's crew as they had not been paid their salaries, it is alleged. However, The Sunday Times' learns that the Court has ordered that the ship be auctioned on July 29.

Meanwhile, MV City Breeze, carrying the same amount of pulses, which is also in anchorage, is likely to berth at Colombo after City Wave is auctioned. Shipping circles are perturbed at the decision to unload the pulses as it could contaminate the other foodstuffs at the port.

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