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'Premakeerthi's murderer on President's lap'

Aug 1 (LT) It was on a day like yesterday that distinctive artist Premakeerthi de Alwis was murdered 25 years ago. A commemoration ceremony was organized at SLBC complex. A large number of artistes including Victor Ratnayaka participated. The President was the special invitee. Premakeerthi’s widow Ms. Nirmala Alwis had told the President, “Mr. President, the murderer is on your lap.” more..

Ebola virus not a threat to Sri Lanka

Aug 1 (DM) While maintaining that the possibility of a tourist carrying the deadly Ebola Virus entering Sri Lanka was slim, Govt Epidemiology Unit (GEU) Director Dr. Prabha Palihawadana said Sri Lanka was capable of tackling such an emergency. “The Ebola Virus was first detected in Congo in 1976 and the extremely fatal virus has now spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau and some other parts of the world. more..

UNP demands immediate action on kidnapping of 4 year old child

Aug 1 (AM) The UNP has demanded the govt to take immediate action on the kidnapping ofa four-year old boy from Hunupolagama, Meegallewa. The UNP Claims that this incident is a “clear reflection of the times and status of a country caught up in a vicious cycle of corruption and violence.” They further stated that the President and the President alone must take full responsibility for the breakdown of law and order and more..

Hakeem pledges to remain in UPFA despite issues faced by Muslims

Aug 1 (AM) Leader of SLMC and Minister Rauff Hakeem has said that he would never leave the govt, although they have issues that need to be addressed immediately. The SLMC leader has said that if he leaves the govt he would end up being another Azath Salley who has lost his clout in national politics. Hakeem has expressed confidence that the SLMC will be able to remain in the govt and act as an internal pressure group. more..

Madras HC backs India’s ties with Lanka

Aug 1 (Hindu) Madras High Court dismissed at the admission stage a petition seeking a direction to the Centre to recall the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India to the UN in Geneva. The petitioner, K. Balu, an advocate, said the UNHRC session was held in March. A draft resolution was introduced by 42 countries, for promoting reconciliation accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka. more..

'Only few aylum boats from Sri Lanka'

Aug 1 (CG) The Australian Govt says only a few boats reach from Sri Lanka attempt to reach Australia and so South India should not be an alternative for people smuggling. Reiterating that Australia was firm on not allowing illegal immigration, Australian High Commissioner to India Patrick Suckling said that in the last six months, not one boat has come from Indonesia and only a tiny amount has come from Sri Lanka. more..

President Meets with Officials to Discuss ICAPP Arrangements

Aug 1 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, this evening at Temple Trees, met with officials to discuss arrangements for the next meeting of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP). ICAPP will take place in Colombo Sept. 18-21, 2014, under the theme "Building an Asian Community.” The eighth General Assembly of ICAPP will be co-hosted by the SLFP and the UNP. Minister Maithreepala Sirisena, more..

Govt. hikes dons’ pay by 20%, refuses to add research grant to salary

Aug 1 (Island) Research allowance for university teachers would not be added to the basic salary as the allowance had been introduced to encourage university dons to engage in research, Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayake said. Addressing a media conference at the UGC auditorium, minister said that few university lecturers wanted the 35% research grant added to the salary without doing any research. more..

LTTE reaches out to Scottish separatists

Aug 1 (SL) The LTTE network outside London was the strongest in Leicester and Milton Keynes but even their participation was limited. Thanam was disappointed because he had operated from Milton Keynes, yet even those willing contributors and volunteers evaded him. Eventually, the LTTE UK was able only to organise five buses and they were operated carrying LTTE flags, banners and placards. more..

Despair reigns in drought-stricken areas

Aug 1 (ST) Schoolchildren walking in the scorching sun, men and women carrying cans and pots trudging long distances searching for drinking water, farmers crying over lost crop, scrawny cattle desperately looking for green patches—these are common sights in the drought-stricken remote villages in the districts of Hambantota, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Moneragala, Puttalam, Trincomalee, Kurunegala and Matale. more..

Turning doctors into common thugs

Aug 1 (CT) Yesterday, this newspaper reported of fisticuffs breaking out among two factions of the all powerful GMOA at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka. This probably may be the first time in the history of the GMOA that infighting among the members of this powerful trade union (TU) had exploded into fisticuffs in public. Previously, it was cases of members of the general public assaulting doctors belonging to the GMOA for various reasons like delayed treatment, more..

Criminal waste of Sri Lanka’s fresh water

Aug 1 (DM) Water is the liquid gold of the 21st Century. Independent world affairs analysts say that big powers like the United States went to war in Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries with the hidden agenda of taking control of the oil and natural gas resources in those countries. The analysts fear the rich countries in the coming decades may go to war to take control of fast-declining fresh water resources in third world countries including Sri Lanka. Though SL has been blessed with more..

'Not in favour of total abolition of Executive Presidency'

Aug 1 (CT) The govt indicated that it was not for the abolition of the Executive Presidency in totality, but what it was looking at was constitutional amendments reducing its powers. President Rajapaksa and the SLFP top brass were now studying the possibilities of constitutional amendments regarding the Executive Presidency as there has been lots of debate on this subject over the last 30 years, more..

Govt.confident of NFF, JHU support at national elections

Aug 1 (Island) With UPFA constituents NFF and the JHU deciding to contest the forthcoming Uva PC Election on their own, the govt said that it was confident of securing the support both parties at national polls. "There is no problem with the NFF and the JHU going it alone at local and provincial level and it has happened earlier. We are confident that when it comes to national issues both the NFF and JHU would back the UPFA", Minister Keheliya Rambukwalle said. more..

Haul of rotten potatoes, onions seized from wholesalers in Pettah

Aug 1 (Island) A massive stock of rotten potatoes and onions was detected in Pettah during a raid carried out by the Public Health Department of the Colombo MC. Acting Food Inspector of the PHD, Lal Kumara said that the raid had been carried out on a tip-off received by his outfit under the instructions of the Chief MOH, Dr. Ruwan Wijayamuny. PHD had detected 5,000 kilos of potatoes and 6,000 kilos of onions unfit for human consumption at Fourth Cross and Maliban Streets, he said. more..

GMOA Rift Widens: NHSL docs set to establish branch union

Aug 1 (Island) Director of National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) Dr. Anil Jasinghe said that a group of over 30 consultants had met at the auditorium of the Neuro-Trauma Unit consequent to the disruption of their meeting at the canteen of the doctors’ quarters earlier in the day. He said that he had allowed the consultants to use the NTU auditorium after having consulted Director General of Health Services Dr. Palitha Maheepala. more..

Train collision averted

Aug 1 (DM) A fatal head-on collision between two passenger trains was averted yesterday afternoon after railway authorities realized the danger in the nick of time and took measures to stop the two trains. The two trains had been travelling on the same track due to a miscommunication at the railway control room, the railway authorities said. The railway control room said that a train plying from Colombo to Trincomalee and another train travelling from Trincomalee to Colombo have more..

Kandy all set for Esala Perahera

Aug 1 (GDI) The relevant authorities have made all arrangements to provide necessary facilities to those who arrive in Kandy to witness the historic Esala Perahera from August 1 to 11. There will be drinking water and sanitary facilities for the public within easy reach. All restaurants and other places providing food and drinks will be checked from time to time by the Public Health Inspectors and Consumer Protection Authority officials to guarantee that they are hygienic and prices are reasonable. more..

Khuram murder convict appeals

Aug 1 (DM) The first convict Lahiru Kelum in the Tangalle Resort British tourist murder case yesterday petitioned to the Court of Appeal against the Colombo High Court Judge’s verdict of sentencing him to twenty years rigorous imprisonment. Four convicts including former Tangalle PS Chairman Sampath Chandrapushpa Vidanapathirana who were found guilty of killing British tourist Khuram Shaikh in Dec 2011 more..

The postal charge increase postponed

Aug 1 (NF) The Department of Post says that a 100% increase in charges which was due to come into effect on Aug 1, has been postponed by a week. Post Master General, Rohana Abeyratne said that the revised prices will come into effect from August 7. According to the new revision, the minimum postal rate has been increased from Rs.5 to Rs.10. The fee of Rs.4 that was in effect for postcards will be increased to Rs.8. However, registered post charges of Rs.25 remains unchanged more..

JKH to sell Union Assurance General biz control to Canada’s Fairfax Asia

Aug 1 (FT) John Keells Holdings (JKH) has struck a deal to divest a 78% stake in Union Assurance Plc’s General business to Fairfax Asia Ltd. The deal will be done following the completion of the segregation of the UAL’s General and Life insurance business under a scheme of arrangement. The announcement saw UAL’s share price rise by Rs. 15 to close at Rs. 145 after it hit an intra-day high of Rs. 148. Based on the projected financial statements of UAL as at 31 December 2014, more..

Students complain it is unbearable for many in rural areas

Aug 1 (Island) Students of the Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL) are protesting against increasing of fees by 40% and banning student unions by the university administration. Co-convener of the OUSL Students Collective Amila Sandaruwan said that normally the charges were increased by 10% but from this year it had been increased by as much as 40%. "Most of the OUSL students are from rural areas or registered more..

Architects gear for mega expo in 2015

Aug 1 (DN) Architect 2015, one of Sri Lanka's most sought after event was ceremonially launched in Colombo on Wednesday with the simultaneous felicitation of stall holders and sponsors of Architect 2014 in gala reception hosted by the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects(SLIA). Archt Prof Chitra Wedikkara, President of SLIA addressing the event said Architect 2015 would bring a number of new opportunities to everyone. She said, " the event has achieved progress in all facets. more..

Kunming ’14 rakes in $4.6M for Lankan biz

Aug 1 (GDI) “I am pleased of the performance of the delegation of 119 companies and businesses that I led to Kunming. I commend EDB for this successful facilitation effort” said Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka on Thursday in Colombo. Sri Lanka has garnered more than $4.6 Mn orders at the recently concluded Kunming Int’l Fair in China-and this too is only from the initial overview of Kunming outcomes rather than any in-depth totals. more..

Asylum seekers showing signs of trauma, torture, says senator

Aug 1 (SMH) About four out of five of the 157 asylum seekers being held at a remote detention centre in Western Australia after being detained in windowless rooms on the high seas for almost a month are showing signs of trauma and torture, Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has claimed. She said the claim was based on information from a 'very reliable' source and was the key motivation for her bid to visit the centre more..

Switzerland extends continuous support to Sri Lanka

Aug 1 (OW) Switzerland Ambassador in Sri Lanka Thomas Litscher said that Switzerland is willing to continuously extend its utmost support to Sri Lanka. He made these remarks when he met PM D.M Jayarathna yesterday prior to his departure after completing his tenure in Sri Lanka. He also pointed out the need to strengthen trade ties between the two countries. He further said that Sri Lanka’s investment-friendly policies have made it possible to manufacture and export high quality more..

Two new, innovative initiatives by SLIM for ‘People’s Awards’ 2015

Aug 1 (ST) The Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) and its 2015 Project Committee is gearing for the hallmark award show – ‘SLIM-Nielsen Peoples Awards’, which recognises brands and personalities that SLIM says “have made a profound impression in the minds of the people of Sri Lanka”. For the 9th year, the SLIM-Nielsen Peoples Awards will be held in March 2015, the organisers said this week. “This is one of the most awaited marketing events in the corporate calendar more..

Swiss man swims to Matara beach after yacht crashes

Aug 1 (DM) A Swiss national sailing around the world alone in a yacht had a narrow escape when the yacht collapsed after hitting a rock close to the Kamburugamuwa beach in Matara. The 43 year old Swiss national named Bourenon had swum with his life jacket on to the Matara beach and escaped when the yacht had broken into pieces. He had begun his voyage in October. Swiss national explaining his predicament said he sailed more..

New tour explores Sri Lanka’s wildlife

Aug 1 (GL) India travel specialist Cox & Kings has launched an escorted tour to Sri Lanka featuring an introduction into the diversity of the country’s wildlife. This is the company’s second escorted tour to the country, which focusses on the abundance of birdlife, flora, fauna and marine life. Starting from the Sinharaja biosphere, the ‘Wonders of the Wild’ tour visits the Uda Walawe and Yala National Parks in search of wild elephants and leopards. It continues to the west of the island to look for more..

Why the Drought?

Aug 1 (Island) In Sri Lanka, rain is the primary source of water. The annual rainfall is around 1,800 mm with areas such as Hambanthota and Mannar receiving only about 900 mm and some areas in the hill country receiving about 5,000 mm. The total amount of water received in the form of rain is around 100 billion cubic meters per year. In spite of the country receiving so much rain, water reservoirs, wells and other water sources etc in many districts of the country, mainly in the dry zone, are more..

Seychelles and SL capital cities twinned

Aug 1 (SNA) The bustling capital city of Colombo in Sri Lanka, with its metropolitan population of 4.5 million inhabitants is a far cry from the commercial centre of the Seychelles, which contains only a handful of streets and even fewer newly-installed traffic lights. However, the two cities, as different as they may seem, may have a lot to offer each other in terms of tourism, fisheries and commerce. This is the hope of the mayors of more..

No show in Court by Touchwood CEO

Aug 1 (FT) The case for the winding-up of Touchwood Investments was called in the Commercial High Court yesterday, on an application made by the Liquidator to summon CEO Lanka Wijendra Kiwlegedara to Court. Such notice had to be served on the present CEO, as the company and its officers had not fulfilled their obligations under the Companies Act to handover the assets, properties, documents, etc. that belong to the company to the Liquidator appointed by Court. more..

SriLankan Airlines Chairman to head APOT. Asia

Aug 1 (FT) SriLankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe has been appointed the Chairman of APOT. Asia (Asia Pacific On-board Travel) from August this year. He will be taking over from Heather Cho, Senior Vice President of Korean Air Lines. Aimed at collectively inventing and improving new strategies to attract more tourists to the region, APOT. Asia is a global body with a member-base ranging from airline in-flight products and service suppliers, airline caterers, more..

Airport and Aviation Chief dismisses BIA’s low productivity report

Aug 1 (FT) Airport and Aviation Services (AASL) yesterday clarified the ratings of the BIA, in the wake of media reports claiming that Sri Lanka’s primary international airport performed poorly amidst other Asian airports according to an international survey. The Airport Transport Research Society (ATRS), which annually conducts research on airports as part of its ‘Global Airport Performance Benchmark Project,’ more..

Editorial: Remembering Premakeerthi

Aug 1 (Island) Twenty five years have elapsed since the assassination of Premakeerthi de Alwis. A veteran media personality, poet, lyricist and, above all, a wonderful human being, who harboured no ill-will towards anyone, he was felled by a JVP sparrow unit because he did not give in to southern terrorism. His death anniversary every July brings back sad memories of a dark era when the country was plunged into a bloodbath and democracy sustained paralysing blows. more..

Lakmali placed sixth

Aug 1 (Island) Javelin thrower Nadeka Lakmali finished sixth in the women’s javelin at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on Wednesday as she cleared a seasonal best distance of 59.04 metres in the final. Lakmali, who became only the second Sri Lankan behind Susanthika Jayasinghe to feature in a final of a global athletics competition when she cleared 58.16 metres at the IAAF World Championship, 2013 was one of the few medal hopefuls for Sri Lanka. more..

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