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Scales not in favour of errant traders

July 28 (DN) The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) has netted a staggering Rs. 10 million as fines in the first six month of 2007 by raiding traders who violated Consumer Affairs Authority Act. A CAA spokesman told the Daily News that the CAA has collected the fines from errant traders who fleeced consumers during the first six months of the year. CAA officials have conducted 1,758 raids islandwide. more..

Fleeing Tigers damage crops

July 28 (DM) Several farmers are claiming compensation from the government for the extensive damage caused to several acres of paddy land by hundreds of fleeing LTTE cadres who withdrew from Thoppigala when government troops launched a massive attack to recapture the area. People from the area told the Daily Mirror yesterday that around 600 cadres crossed the Kadawath Maduwa village in the Welikanda Division on the Polonnaruwa - Batticaloa border damaging extensive paddy crops. more..

Produce 2 doctors and lawyer: Court tells NCPA

July 28 (DM) A Colombo Court yesterday ordered the chairman of the National Child Protection Authority to produce in court two medical practitioners and an attorney for allegedly preparing forged documents to smuggle out a two week old child by a Dutch couple. Colombo Chief Magistrate Sarojini Kusala Weerawardena made the order after the magisterial inquiry revealed that the behaviour of the Moragolla Tourist Police OIC Kumara Chandana Liyanaarachchi regarding the incident was questionable and more..

Lawlessness Grows in Strife-Torn Sri Lanka

July 28 (WP) The men who came to the shop April 7 identified themselves as police officers, from the Criminal Investigations Department. Come with us to the station, they told the proprietor, a member of Sri Lanka's Tamil minority. He got into their van, tricked into what turned out to be a kidnapping. A demand for $500,000 in ransom arrived a few days later, the man's daughter recounted. more..

Ramar Sethu not a man made structure, says EarthWeb

July 28 (PTI) EarthWeb, a division of NASA that hosts astronaut photography of the Earth, has said that the 'Ramar Sethu' or Adams Bridge was not a man made structure and that their occurrence was not evidence of any human activity. This was in reply to an e-mail sent by the Sethusamudram Corporation on July 26, 2007 to clarify whether it was a man made structure or not. "Our office supports only astronaut photography of the Earth. more..

Remembering Faces

July 28 (TW) This is somewhat a semi-autobiographical note on some of the personalities in Lanka with whom I had the pleasure of associating with. The purpose of this exercise is to let the younger readers and journalists know that the personalities concerned had been in the limelight as pace-setters. Let me take at random only three personages who now remain in the background. These notes are by no means profiles of them but only a record of a few traits of their personality that attracted me. more..

The historic accord that few remember today

July 28 (IANS) It was hailed as India's biggest diplomatic coup when it was signed amid violent street protests. Twenty years and thousands of deaths later, the India-Sri Lanka accord of 1987, which sought to restore peace to the island, has become history - almost. It was on July 29, 1987, that then Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi flew to Colombo to sign the agreement with president J.R. Jayewardene in a bid to end a raging Tamil separatist drive. more..

Sri Lanka bans import of live birds from India

July 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka on Saturday banned imports of live birds and chickens from India following an outbreak of bird flu in the neighbouring country, an official said. "Sri Lanka has banned imports with immediate effect, after we received reports of an outbreak of bird flu in Manipur, India," said D.D. Wanasinghe, president of the All Island Poultry Association. more..

Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam and the Tragedy of Tamils

July 29 (TC) Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam was assassinated by the LTTE on July 29th 1999. Though eight years have passed his memory remains evergreen among all those who loved and admired him. This article was first published in two parts in the “Sunday Times” of Sep 12th and 19th , 1999. It was written originally in a bid to combat the cowardly attacks vilifying Neelan after his death. It is reproduced again as tribute to Neelan’s memory. more..

The masses are disillusioned

July 29 (ISL) The legislature is the supreme institution of any country where discipline of a society is formulated by the enactment of laws. In a democratic system of government laws should be equally applicable to everyone irrespective of the status of the individual whether he be president of the country or a beggar on the street. But Sri Lanka’s legislature seems otherwise. more..

Devolve or disintegrate

July 29 (ISL) The Indo-Lanka Peace Accord between India and Sri Lanka was signed by President J.R. Jayewardene (JRJ) and Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, 20-years to this date, on July 29, 1987. In post independent Sri Lanka, it certainly was a red letter date in the country’s calendar, coming as it did 15-years after the country became a republic with its first autochthonous Constitution, which, ironically, took away from the previous Constitution, an entrenched clause that safeguarded minority rights. more..

Rizana's case draws worldwide concern

July 29 (ISL) Our feature “How could Rizana Naffeek be guilty?” by Victor Karunairajan hit the world press within hours of it being published on Friday. It was hailed by many as having summed up the case quite clearly and indicated that Rizana Naffeek is innocent of the charge made against her. The family of the dead child has already been sent this feature on the initiative of concerned people in Saudi Arabia and Doha and possibly by others too. more..

Anura again hits out

July 29 (LeN) "The government's responsibility is to remerge North and East and devolving power to maximum extent. Although some Ministers say they like to talks what can we talk. None accepts SLFP proposals. Since every party rejects the SLFP proposals, we have to amend it first." Minister of National Heritages Anura Bandaranaike makes the above review on the stagnating national question that is taking thousands of lives. more..

Leaving Karunarathna hands over the resignation papers as well

July 29 (LeN) Thilak Karunarathna, the treasurer of the UNP submitted the letter of resignation from the post to the leader of the party Ranil Wickramasinghe yesterday (27). The devaluating of the security forces and their victory over Thoppigala, branding the JHU monk MPs as irreverent, non-consultation of the party politburo prior to signing the MoU with the SLFP-People's Wing are the reasons mentioned in the letter of resignation. more..

Sri Lanka model wannabe's get leg up onto catwalk

July 29 (LBO) Popular actress Sangeetha Weeraratne and hairstylist and choreographer Lou Ching Wong are teaming up to give a leg up to wannabe's waiting to step onto the catwalk. Named 'The Model Shop' the school will be open in the last quarter of this year, for individuals who want to develop personality, gain self-confidence and build their image, the duo told reporters. more..

Sri Lanka raises fuel prices increasing petrol-diesel gap

July 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka has raised fuel prices from mid-night Saturday increasing the gap between petrol and diesel, a month after the last price increase in a bid to cut losses in petroleum utilities. Standard 90-Octane petrol went up by 6.00 rupees a litre to 117.00 while auto diesel went up by only 4.00 rupees to 75.00, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation Deputy General Manager S K Cyril told LBO. more..

Sri Lanka finance company asks for time to beef up capital

July 29 (LBO) Arpico Finance Company Limited has asked for more time to meet the new regulatory capital requirements of the Central Bank, the credit rating agency, Lanka Rating Agency (LRA) said. It said in a statement that it had reaffirmed Arpico Finance's long- and short-term ratings at BB2 (with a stable outlook) and NP, respectively. "The ratings reflect Arpico’s weak albeit improving asset quality and inadequate capitalisation." more..

Sri Lanka death row teen's court documents for appeal not yet released

July 29 (AFP) A Sri Lankan minister on Saturday wrapped up a mission to Saudi Arabia aimed at securing clemency for a teenage maid condemned to death, saying he was confident the visit would "bear fruit." Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein Bhaila arrived in Saudi Arabia on July 20 with the parents of 19-year-old Rizana Nafeek, who was convicted of strangling her employer's baby in 2005. more..

Ranil’s last gamble: jumping from the frying pan into the fire

July 29 (AT) At the end of the day, there is no way in which anyone take away from Ranil Wickremesinghe his three major attributes: 1) his insensitive capacity to sell the nation to its enemies in the name of peace which he can’t win with appeasement; 2) his proven ability to run down his party until only he is left holding the fort and 3) his knack of picking the wrong political partners and issues in the mistaken belief of saving himself, more..

Ranil heading for more trouble with his party

July 29 (AT) The head of the UNP, Ranil Wickremesinghe, is heading for stormy session with the Working Committee this week over the secret deal he signed with Mangala Samaraweera, SLFP (M) wing, the two man band who broke away from the Mahinda Rajapakse government. The senior UNP MPs were never consulted before it was signed. more..

Black July and the Rule of Unreason

July 29 (AT) For Sri Lanka, the cruellest month is not April but July. Reconciliation cannot come without truth. And the truth is that in July 1983 we, Sinhalese, disgraced ourselves beyond words, beyond comprehension, beyond belief. We shamed our history, our culture, our very humanity. And we endangered our future. more..

Gotabaya Rajapakse unveiled a monument – the symbol of courage and gallantry of Sri Lankan soldiers

July 29 (AT) A monument was erected as a tribute to the courage and gallantry of the heroic members of the Sri Lanka Security Forces who liberated the Eastern province. It was unveiled by the Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse. The monument that was unveiled by the Defence Secretary was erected at Iluppadichenai junction in Karadiyanaru to commemorate the fallen war heroes during Thoppigala operation. more..

Karuna Facing uphill task in the East

July 29 (AT) Karuna Tamileela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) – the political front of the breakaway group from the LTTE – has so far failed to get recognition from the Elections Commissioner. The TMVP has not even been recognized as a political party. The signs are that TMVP will not be given recognition by the time elections are held towards the end of the year. This will be a severe blow to his future political plans. more..

Hopes fade for teenage housemaid sentenced to be beheaded in Saudi

July 29 (AT) The fate of the teenage housemaid, Rizma Nafeek -- sentenced by a Saudi court to be beheaded on charges of killing a four-month-old baby who was in her care -- seems to be sealed after the failure of the mission led by Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein Bhaila to save her life. Media reports state Bhaila could not get an appointment with the key officials who could have given them some hope. more..

New power generation system for Jaffna

July 29 (GDI) A new electricity generation system will be installed by October this year to provide electricity in the Jaffna district. Under this project a 40 MW supply system will be introduced to the Jaffna area by the Ministry of Power and Energy. The Ministry is planning to further expand the system by setting up a 25 MW power plant in Jaffna apart from a 15 MW power plant in Chunnakam. more..

England officials happy with security arrangements

July 29 (CI) An ECB delegation comprising John Carr, the board's cricket director, and security manager Reg Dickson are presently in Sri Lanka making a security assessment ahead of England's tour of Sri Lanka, which starts in the final week of September. Sri Lanka Cricket tour organizing committee chairman Shibley Vilcassim said the delegation had expressed great satisfaction over the security arrangements made for the tour. more..

Penney has thoughts of coming back to Sri Lanka

July 29 (CI) Trevor Penney has left Sri Lanka for now but has plans to come back sometime in the future. Two months after Tom Moody quit as coach, Zimbabwean-born Penney, who was brought in by Moody as assistant coach in 2005, is following him to play a similar role as assistant with Australian state side Western Australia. "I am looking forward to going and getting another experience in Australia with different type of coaching and different players," Penney said. more..

Tamils missed golden opportunity because of LTTE - Devananda

July 29 (LNP) The EPDP leader and Minister of Social Services Douglas Devananda in a statement to mark the completion of twenty years of signing the Indo-Lanka accord said that the doors for peace talks were closed as the LTTE was coming out with meaningless conditions during the peace talks held so far. It was a golden opportunity missed by the Tamils in fulfilling their political aspirations due to the war waged by the LTTE against the Indians. more..

Rupee fifth worst performer among world`s 180 currencies

July 29 (LNP) The Sri Lankan rupee which has declined 4% against the dollar this year is the fifth worst performer among the world`s 180 currencies according to date compiled by the Bloomberg newswires. The financial news service last week quoted Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal saying that the economy, growing now at the slowest pace in two years as a result renewed civil war, will quicken in the second half as inflation slows. more..

Tiger sympathisers in Britain urged to support UNP to topple government

July 29 (LNP) In an exclusive report to ITN from London, Anura Medagedara said the LTTE is losing grounds in Britain daily. Mr. Sivajilingam is engaged in an untiring effort to inject life to the outfit and help the tigers to strengthen themselves. Mr. Sivajilingam and Councillor Ilaikadan, are daily speaking on the LTTE TV channel Tharisanam and appealing to the Tamils to support the Mangala-Ranil alliance to overthrow the Mahinda Rajapakse government before December. more..

North Tamil Literary Festival to be held in Mannaar

July 29 (TN) North Provincial Council (NPC) is to hold its first Tamil Literary Festival on October 3 and 4 in Mannaar town hall after being de-merged from the North East Provincial Council (NEPC). This decision was taken at an advisory meeting held in Mannaar district secretariat Saturday morning. Mr.A.Nicholaspillai, Mannaar Government Agent presided. more..

SLMM inspects A'lampil air attack site

July 29 (TN) A Sri Lanka Momitoring Mission (SLMM) official visited A'lampil in Mullaiththeevu Saturday noon and inspected the areas affected by Friday's aerial attack by Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) Kfir fighters. Steinar Holm, the representative of the SLMM observed the damages suffered by civilian settlements, the nearby Roman catholic school and church. more..

Police to probe foreign currency heist

July 29 (SAMN) DIG Colombo Rohan Abeywardena has directed SSP Sarath Lugoda, Director of the Colombo Crime Division (CCD) to investigate the biggest foreign currency robbery reported recently where robbers got away with Rs 25 million in foreign currency notes from a private Money Exchange Bureau at Wellawatte. According to OIC Crimes Wellawatte Police station, Chief Inspector Deepthi Wijewickrema the amount of stolen foreign currency notes is much more than what was reported earlier. more..

75,000 coconut saplings to be planted

July 29 (SAMN) Nearly 75,000 coconut saplings will be planted in the liberated areas in Jaffna this year. This decision was taken recently at the plantation progress meeting presided over by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Plantation Industries Minister D. M. Jayarathne said the decision was taken in a bid to increase the yield in coconut production in the country. They have found some nurseries which could be used for cultivation in Nuwara Eliya. more..

'Indo- Lanka economic ties improving'

July 29 (SAMN) Minister of Enterprises Development and Investment Promotion Dr. Sarath Amunugama has emphasized the need to further improve current, excellent Indo-Sri Lanka relations underpinned through close high-level political exchanges and strong economic cooperation in diverse areas. He noted that India’s contributions towards resurgence and revitalisation of Sri Lankan economy are noteworthy. more..

CMC to increase licence fees

July 29 (SAMN) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) is to increase licence fees for restaurants, hotels and lodging houses to 1% of the total income shortly. This is to be gazetted shortly as the covering approval had been given by the council. This was approved at the monthly sessions of the CMC. According to CMC sources only Rs 5 was charged per room earlier although the fee is 1% of the receipts according to section 247 of the Municipal Council Ordinance. more..

India will never support separatism - Prof. Parthasarathy tells TNA MPs

July 29 (MoD) Prof. G. Parthasarathy who was an aide of the late Indian Premier Rajiv Gandhi and currently attached to the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi reiterated to the Tamil National Alliance that India would not support the separatist war in Sri Lanka and remain committed to a political solution for the ethnic crisis based on greater devolution of power in Sri Lanka. more..

Indian cricket league storm set to hit Sri Lanka

July 29 (AFP) A multi-million-dollar rebel league in India seems set to take Sri Lankan cricket by storm with several top players approached to join the lucrative series, sources said on Sunday. The Indian Cricket League (ICL), promoted by the country's largest listed media group Zee Telefilms, features six teams playing Twenty20 matches across India. more..

No Clemency From Family in Rizana Case

July 29 (AN) A top level Sri Lankan delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein Bhaila leaves the Kingdom today after meeting with several Saudi officials to seek clemency for a young Sri Lankan woman who was found guilty of murdering an infant child, opening the way for her to be publicly beheaded. The woman, who was 17 at the time she came to the Kingdom to work in 2005 as a housemaid for a Saudi family near Riyadh, claims the four-month-old baby she was told to care for accidentally choked to death. more..

P.B. Jayasundera “misled Cabinet’’ “covered up fraud”

July 29 (LB) P.B. Jayasundera Secretary to the Ministry of Finance and Planning misled the Cabinet in advising that HDL (Hotel Developers Lanka Ltd.,), the owning company of Hilton Hotel building in Colombo, “be restructured instead of being liquidated”. He also “covered up the fraud perpetrated on HDL”, states Nihal Sri Amarasekere, HDL shareholder who had filed objections in the District Court of Colombo to more..

Celebration time at Temple Trees

July 29 (LB) Last Wednesday was a day of brides and grooms in Temple Trees when two recently wedded couples, S.B.Dissanayake’s son Narada and his bride, Lakshi Netthikumara and Mahinda Wijesekera’s daughter Chathurangi and her groom Harsha Peiris Thimbiripola called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa and First Lady Shiranthi at Temple Trees. more..

JVP, come out, or history will judge you -Mangala

July 29 (LB) Leader of the SLFP Mahajana Wing, Mangala Samaraweera explains his future plans after organising a grand protest rally last Wednesday against the Government. The breakaways hope to form an alliance strong enough not only to topple the present Government but also to make far reaching changes in the Constitution itself. Samaraweera elaborates on his plans in a recent interview with Sunethra Athugalpura. more..

TMVP ditches Tiger emblem

July 29 (LB) The political party, Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal(TMVP) set up by the breakaway Eastern Tiger commander Karuna is set to ditch the Tiger emblem. The TMVP is planning to adopt the symbol of a fish instead.. This decision comes in the wake of the party renouncing an armed struggle for a separate state. The TMVP’s adaptation of the symbol of a fish as the party emblem is influenced by the Batticaloa’s association with the mythical singing fish. more..

Karuna’s party debarred from contesting polls

July 29 (NS) In an obvious blow to LTTE renegade leader Karuna Amman’s much hyped political future, his political arm TMVP will not be allowed to contest the forthcoming Eastern Province election scheduled to be held before the end of this year, The Nation learns. The TMVP which has some 20 political offices in the Eastern Province and one in Polhengoda, Colombo has not been recognised or even been registered as a political party by the Commissioner of Elections Dayananda Dissanayake as of July 10, 2007. more..

CJ quips about BOI chief

July 29 (NS) Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva on Friday quipped that Board of Investment (BOI) Chief Dhammika Perera would not be able to protect other companies and attract investment into the country, when the company in which he is a partner, Royal Ceramics Lanka Ltd.itself has been threatened. The Chief Justice made this observation while granting leave to proceed in a Fundamental Rights application filed on behalf of the Royal Ceramics Lanka Ltd. by Nimal Perera. more..

Living on small mercies

July 29 (NS) For a nation with shackles unlimited, it was ironic, that Independence Square was the venue to mark Victory in Thoppigala, where only the denizens in the jungle are really free. The President made it abundantly clear that he would not mollycoddle the LTTE, come what may. If the Tigers wanted war, that is what they would get, the President seemed to suggest. From a Presidential viewpoint, there is little else to do too. more..

Govt. issues ultimatum to Japan over controversial power plant

July 29 (NS) Controversy surrounding the second power plant to be built in Kerawalapitiya appears to have reached new heights with the Sri Lankan Government issuing an ultimatum to Japan informing them that they will not permit the construction of the plant unless the Japanese agree to convert the plant from the proposed thermal based generation to Liquefied Natural Gas. more..

Raids on abortion centres

July 29 (SO) The Police Women's and Children's Bureau has commenced conducting raids on illegal abortion centres in Colombo. The first raid was carried out on Friday where a major medical centre, which runs the business under the guise of family planning centre, was raided in Kollupitiya with the assistance of retired government medical officers. The sudden raid carried out by deploying a decoy Women Police Constable found that 14 young women were being operated by elderly doctors. more..

Rupee depreciation in line with targets

July 29 (SO) The Sri Lankan rupee depreciation is in line with the targets and there is no unusual depreciation, Central Bank (CB) Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said. Cabraal was responding to opposition claims over a crisis in the Sri Lankan economy at a media briefing in Colombo last week, together with senior CB officials. CB officials said that the floating exchange rate regime has increased the Sri Lankan rupee's resilience to external shocks. more..

Govt., Opposition head for showdown

July 29 (ST) What stands between success and failure in Sri Lankan politics often is fear. Unlike votes that make a politician win and his rival lose, the fear factor can be quite different. Fear and the resultant anxiety can make all of them winners or losers. It is a phenomenon that does not afflict only one side. Last Thursday's Colombo rally, that saw the debut of the newly formed National Congress, tells the tale. more..