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No to Indian intervention- JVP

July 29 (BBC) JVP says it will not allow the government to use the SAARC summit to sign any unfavourable deals to Sri Lanka. Propaganda secretary Vijitha Herath said, " India is trying to dominate its economic power over Sri Lanka's natural resources and electricity supply ". Sri Lanka is hosting the fifteenth SAARC summit from 27th July to 3rd August and the heads of the member states will meet on 2nd and 3rd August in Colombo. more..

'India didn’t look fit to play Tests'

July 29 (PTI) Ripping apart already bruised and battered Indian team for their below-par show in the first Test, Sri Lankan media said the visitors did not look a side fit to play Test cricket. “They did not look a side fit to play at this level of the game. The Indian batsmen looked feetless wonders as they stayed manacled to the crease and refused to attack the spin. Had the Indian top order done that, such a disgraceful defeat would not have been slapped on them,” more..

Treasury Secretary tenders resignation

July 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundera has submitted his resignation to President Mahinda Rajapakse following a court order that faulted him over a privatization deal and a tax holiday, an official said. The President, who is also the finance minister, will make his decision known tomorrow, a presidential secretariat official said. more..

In Sri Lanka, a holistic approach to recovery

July 29 (FMT) It was morning when the water unexpectedly rose and rushed ashore, destroying nearly everything in its path. The human toll was inexplicable and fears of a mass mental health crisis were profound. Those are just some of the many similarities between the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. While the number of victims was much larger in Asia - more than 250,000 people were killed in the tsunami - the aftermath presented comparable challenges. more..

Securities watchdog mulls IPO underwriting fund

July 29 (LBO) Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is discussing with potential funding sources the raising of billions of rupees over the next few years to part-underwrite initial public offers of shares, a top official said. SEC wants to encourage more companies to go public by agreeing to take up part of the IPO should it not be fully subscribed. "If we can say we will take five percent or 10 percent of the IPO, that’s some kind of an assurance," more..

Retail chains to charge customers for plastic bags

July 29 (LBO) A group of Sri Lankan retail chains will start charging customers for shopping bags from August 01, as part of a campaign with the island's environment protection office to cut plastic waste, a top retail chain said. "One of the objectives of the National Policy on Solid Waste Management in Sri Lanka is to ensure the environmental accountability and social responsibility of all waste generators, waste managers and service providers," more..

Memories of a Black Moon - the 1983 riots in Sri Lanka

July 29 (GV) More than two and a half decades later, one of my friends has asked to interview me about the ‘83 riots. I was ten years old. My family was from the Sinhala majority, with relatives who were strong figures in politics and the military. How could I reply? My mind goes back to how thrilled we were when our teachers suddenly told us that school was going to be closed immediately. more..

Some Reflections arising from Ethnic Riots

July 29 (GV) Off and on, I write short stories, never anecdotes. But now I have to oblige Sanjana. He wants stories about our ethnic riots, the one that raged before he was born and the other when he was at school. Therapists say that anecdotes have a healing effect on ethnic wounds. My experience about the 1983 riot was brief. Then I was the Chairman of the Ceylon Steel Corporation at Athurugiriya. more..

Power at concession rates for places of religious worship

July 29 (GDI) Minister of Power and Energy W.J.Seneviratne is to introduce e new concessionary electricity tariff scheme to religious places and charitable institutions according to ministry sources. The amendments would be of benefit to the aforesaid institutions as those places that consume more than 180 units would be charged Rs 12.50 per unit as against Rs 14 and over under the prevailing system. more..

President felicitates Sri Lanka team for Olympics

July 29 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday (28) extended his best wishes to the Sri Lanka team about to leave for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in China. President Ranapaksa at a special meeting at Temple Trees with the sportsmen and sportswomen of the Sri Lanka team for the Olympics last morning said that the Beijing Olympic scheduled to kick off in another 10 days will be an important opportunity for the Sri Lankan team to exhibit the Sri Lankan spirit to more..

SAARC foreign secretaries meet to prepare for Summit

July 29 (GDI) The Standing Committee of the 15th SAARC summit constituting the Foreign Secretaries of the eight member states of SAARC will commence deliberations today on the key issues to be taken up at the main Summit to be held from August 2 to 3. This is the 35th session of the SAARC Foreign Secretaries. The present chair of the Foreign Secretaries of SAARC nations, Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon wills formally more..

European Parliamentarian refutes Robert Evans' contentions regarding Trinco visit

July 29 (GDI) Member of the European Parliament and Vice Chairman, European Parliament Committee for Relations with South Asia, Niranjan de Silva Deva-Aditya, said that Sri Lanka is an older and mature democracy than 21 of the 27 current Member Stated in the European Union (EU) and that the EU needs to learn from and not lecutre to Sri Lanka. Mr. Deva-Aditya was speaking at a special media conference at the Nippon Hotel this morning (July 29) to more..

Karuna welcomes India to East

July 29 (LNP) TMVP leader Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman said yesterday he welcomed Indian investments to develop infrastructure projects in the Eastern Province. In the backdrop of sharp attacks by the JVP, JNP and other parties on India s alleged plans to get a foothold in the Eastern Province, Karuna told Daily Mirror investments whether from India or elsewhere should be directed through the central government. more..

Auditor General reveals BOI failure to recover monies given out

July 29 (LNP) The Board of Investment had failed to recover Rs.118,729,170 from 9 defaulters and more than 800 million rupees given as incentives to non-starter projects, the Auditor General s review of the BOI annual report for 2006 presented to Parliament recently revealed. The misuse of incentives to start BOI approved ventures in a considerable number of cases or of cancelled projects showed that they had used the duty waivers to import vehicles or machinery but did not start the project. more..

Buddhists in politics and snow in hell

July 29 (LNP) Election times are always interesting. It is then that politicians disport themselves in slanging matches much to the amusement of the public. United they feather their nests at the expense of the public purse and divided they contest elections. They leave no stone unturned in a bid to destroy one another politically in the run up to an election. They dig into one another`s past and retrieve obnoxious stuff which makes one`s gorge rise. Accusations they trade are many and varied. more..

Formal pact on SDF

July 29 (SAMN) The agreement for setting up a SAARC Development Fund (SDF) to provide financial assistance for the economic, social and infrastructure development of the SAARC Member Countries will be signed during the SAARC Heads of State Summit to be held from August 2 to 3 in Colombo. The agreement, which is one of the four principal accords to be entered into during the Summit, will reconstitute the existing South Asian Development Fund (SADF) to more..

Israel cancels military exports to SL?

July 29 (SAMN) The United States, Israel and India are seriously concerned on the recent proximity between the Iranian and Sri Lanka regimes, Cursor agency reported, adding that due to fears arising from the close relationship the Israeli Military Industrial Complex (MIC) had cancelled exports of military technology and armaments to Sri Lanka. Recently, Iran becam a main donor for Sri Lanka, investing considerable capital in economy and defence. more..

Entire Mannar population evacuated

July 29 (SAMN) In the wake of the intensified military onslaught and government forces taking control of virtually the entire Mannar district, over a hundred thousand people haveevacuated their homes and moved to the heartland of LTTE-controlled Kilinochchi district as displaced refugees, Tamil media and education ministry sources, adding that about 55 schools in the Wanni region have been closed to accommodate the families. more..

No faith in LTTE ceasefire: Minister

July 29 (SAMN) Social Services and Social Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda told the visiting European Union Parliamentary delegation that he had no faith in the unilateral ceasefire declared by the Tigers as they would conveniently use such a period to strengthen themselves militarily as they had done on previous occasions. “Everyone is well aware of their tactics”, he said. more..

Poll violence on the rise

July 29 (LD) Serious violations of election laws have been reported in the run up to the polls for the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils. By yesterday (July 28th), the Police Elections Secretariat reported receiving 60 complaints, most of them being lodged by the JVP against the UPFA. From Sabaragamuwa, 26 incidents have been reported, as 15 in Kegalle and 11 in Ratnapura. more..

FMM on arrest & detention of ITN producer

July 29 (LD) The Free Media Movement (FMM) expresses its serious disquiet on the arrest and temporary detention of Nagalingam Kennyoodsan, Tamil Programme Producer of the Independent Television Network (ITN) by the Dehiwala Police. He was taken from his boarding room at Malwatte Road, Dehiwala, on 26th July 2008, on mere suspicion. He has worked at the state-controlled ITN for more than ten years. more..

Sumith Abeysinghe to replace PB?

July 29 (LD) Dr. P.B. Jayasundara has requested the president to temporarily relieve him from the position of Secretary of the Treasury, said a senior official of the Presidential Secretariat. Dr. Jayasundar has also asked that his deputy Sumith Abeysinghe be appointed on an acting capacity, the official told 'Lanka Dissent.' We reported yesterday that the president was yet to accept the resignation of the Treasury Secretary, who has been found guilty of wrongdoing by more..

Govt. won’t fall for ceasefire trick - PM

July 29 (LD) Unlike past governments that were tricked by ceasefires declared by the terrorists who had fallen on hard times, the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime will not fall for any ploy of the sort, said Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickremanayake. Speaking at the passing out ceremony of 55 cadet officers of the Diyathalawa military academy, the PM said many questions were being asked about the government’s stance on the recent unilateral ceasefire declared by the LTTE. more..

Fake pharmacies swallow bitter pill

July 29 (DN) Two hundred private pharmacies selling expired and banned drugs were nabbed by the special unit of the National Drug Control Authority during a single day countrywide raid. These pharmacies had sold drugs without prescriptions and they did not have qualified and trained pharmacists, Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry sources said. The sources said that cases were filed against 54 private pharmacies and 24 were found guilty. more..

100 post-intern medical officers for N/E

July 29 (DN) The Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry will send 100 post-intern medical officers to the State hospitals located in the North and East in order to release 100 doctors who have been serving in those two provinces for over one year, Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said. Minister De Silva was addressing the gathering after handing over appointment letters to 200 post-intern doctors during a ceremony held at the National Blood Centre, Colombo yesterday. more..

Govt. educating people on devolution

July 29 (Island) Minister of Construction and Engineering Services Rajitha Senaratne told The Island yesterday that the government had already commenced an island-wide programme to educate the general public on the devolution of power under the 13th Amendment. The international community was watching the Sabaragamuwa and North-Central Provincial Council elections on August 23. more..

Farmers complain of poor quality seeds

July 29 (Island) Most of the paddy and vegetable cultivators in the rural areas of the Kurunegala district complained they found it difficult to get quality seeds for their crops. Private companies that sell seeds do not provide good quality seeds although they assure farmers of the seed quality and charge high prices. Seeds that are available in the market were not of good quality, more..

SC gets tough on usage of loudspeakers

July 29 (DM) The Supreme Court yesterday directed the police to remove loudspeakers put up outside premises including places of religious worship during the day. The Bench comprising Chief Justice Sarath N.Silva, Justices Ms Shiranee Tilakawardane and K.Sripavan stressed the importance of incorporating the provisions of the Police Ordinance (on loudspeakers etc), on noise regulations which are currently being drafted when more..

Wijeyadasa resigns from COPE

July 29 (DM) SLFP MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe who defected from the government and sat in the opposition has resigned from his membership in the parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE). MP Rajapakshe who was the COPE Chairman earlier, had been nominated as a member to it by the UNP this time. He told he had no moral right to be in the Committee because he was not appointed by the party which he belonged to. more..

India’s Sri Lanka defeat adds spin to their batting

July 29 (Reuters) Have Indian batsmen lost their skill to tackle quality spin bowling? That is the big question that has followed their crushing defeat in the first test in Colombo last week. Their innings and 239-run defeat on a good Singhalese Sports Club ground pitch saw a line-up boasting Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly and VVS Laxman bundled out twice around four sessions of play. more..

Tamils mark 'Black July'

July 29 (TG) Tamils in Montreal will mark the 25th anniversary of ethnic pogroms in Sri Lanka with a vigil in Place d'Armes tonight at 7. An estimated 1,000 Tamil civilians were killed in widespread rioting during the last week of July 1983, according to the United Nations, a period often referred to as Black July. "Some were beat up with hatchets, some were stabbed with knives and some were burned alive," wrote Arumaithurai Iyadurai, who was 23 when the violence started. more..

Treasury Secretary asked not to resign

July 29 (LBO) Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundera, who submitted his resignation to President Mahinda Rajapaksa after a court order faulted him over a privatization deal, has been asked to continue in his position. Jayasundera had been prevailed upon by senior government figures not to resign. Jayasundera's resignation could affect the implementation of the government's development programmes. more..

Indian interference in Sri Lanka worse than ever before: JVP

July 29 (IANS) Sri Lanka's radical Marxist party, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), has alleged that India had "intensified its interference" in Sri Lanka's politics and economy. Renewing its prolonged anti-India campaign, the JVP also blamed the Rajapaksa government Monday of being unable to counter such inroads and termed "the situation much worse than what it was during the 1987 J.R. Jayewardene administration". more..

People express mixed feelings over SAARC Summit

July 29 (Xinhua) People in Sri Lankan capital Colombo Tuesday expressed mixed feelings over the forthcoming 15th SAARC Summit. The 15th SAARC Summit, which will be attended by heads of state or government of eight member countries in South Asia and delegations from seven countries and regions, will be held here on Aug. 2-3 amid tight security. "I have heard about the SAARC Summit because signs with photos of leaders from SAARC countries are displayed nearly everywhere in Colombo," more..

The East being secured shut

July 30 (LG) Special security measures have been taken to protect the Eastern Province after sources indicated the region's vulnerability to small-group attacks as the Army advances northwards. Around two weeks ago, a small group of Tigers crossed the Thambalagamuwa junction. With that a total of around 150 Tigers maybe in hiding from Kokilai to Kataragama. Two Special Task Force camps vacated from the Maha Oya- Ampara road will be relocated to their original locations. more..

Machination of the South exposed in the eyes of the world!

July 30 (LG) The European Union delegation, that issued a report at the conclusion of the visit and held a press briefing, made startling revelations. Most importantly, they raised a question of the propriety of the APRC without TNA being included. The EU delegation has expressed dissatisfaction over the government's manner of handling the issue of human rights violations in the country. more..

SAARC Summit's victory depends on peace in the region!

July 30 (LG) 15th SARRC Summit has commenced. The development, economic development, poverty eradication and business relations of the South Asian Countries were discussed in the SARRC summit. It is said many agreements are going to be signed at this summit. It is expected that the Summit will address issues relating to the eradication of terrorism, maintaining cultural values, co-ordination of commercial and economic development and poverty eradication. more..

Eggs, omelets, GSP plus and EU

July 30 (LG) A visiting EU Parliamentary delegation has criticized Sri Lanka on human rights abuses. The head of the so called delegation, Mr Robert Evans has threatened that Sri Lanka that is not going to get GS plus trade concessions from the EU. Perhaps Mr Evans is not aware of the fact that Sri Lanka is fighting a bitter battle with the worlds most ruthless terrorists, the LTTE. Probably he thinks that making omelets is possible without breaking the eggs, I am not sure. more..

Release order for Tamils detained without charges

July 30 (LD) The Supreme Court today (July 29th) ordered the release of Tamil detainees held in remand without charges, on a fundamental rights petition filed by the Ceylon Workers’ Congress. The FR petition was filed by the CWC in order to seek redress to Tamil nationals who were being rounded up and remanded presumably on suspicion of terrorist connections, but without charges being filed. more..

Only JVP has plan for provinces - Anura Kumara

July 30 (LD) Only the JVP has a development plan sans corruption for the Provincial Councils, says, the party's Parliamentary Group leader, Anura Kumara Dissanayake. Speaking at a media briefing in Colombo today (July 29th), he said that not a single political party elected to the PCs in the past 20 years has catered to the needs of the public. He assured that the JVP’s plan would be successful. more..

Suspended sentence for Thonda, 2 others

July 30 (LD) Three leaders of the Ceylon Workers Congress, including Arumugam Thondaman, have been found guilty of contempt of court and handed down suspended prison sentences. They had been accused of disregarding a previous order by the court against entering the office of Lanka Labour United Front leader S. Sathasivam. Nuwara Eliya Magistrate Amali Ranaweera today (July 29th) imposed a six-month imprisonment suspended for three years and

More security ordered for Janaka Perera

July 30 (LD) The Supreme Court today (July 29th) ordered that UNP chief ministerial candidate, retired Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera, be given additional security. Taking up a fundamental rights petition filed by him, a three-member SC panel headed by Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva instructed the IGP to double the number of his bodyguards to eight. more..

Notice possible even on president - CJ

July 30 (LD) There is no one above the law, Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva has stressed, saying that notice could be served even on the Executive President. He was taking up today (July 29th) a fundamental rights petition that challenges the non-establishment of the Constitutional Council as per the 17th Amendment to the Constitution. The CJ granted leave to proceed with the petition, filed by attorney Ravi Jayawardena and university lecturer Sumanasiri Liyanage. more..

Sri Lanka seeks to improve public transport to cut fuel costs, pollution

July 30 (LBO) An efficient public transport system will help Sri Lanka reduce its fuel bill and curb environmental pollution, a top official from the National Transport Commission (NTC) said. Nearly 70 percent of the total fuel consumption per year is by private passenger vehicles which carry less than 30 percent of the passengers in Sri Lanka, Amal Kumarage, chairman NTC, says. "We have been singularly guided by the hope the private car will be the answer to our transport problems." more..

Vocational training for school leavers with priority for north and east youth

July 30 (GDI) The Government is committed to restoring and uplifting the livelihood of the people of North and East, after bringing the benefits of democracy to those whose lives were defined by conflict, weapons and destruction over two decades, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. In this respect, the Minister of Vocational and Technical Training has initiated a development programme to provide vocational training to the youth in the East and North of Sri Lanka. more..

Fighting continues in Sri Lanka despite Tamil Tiger cease-fire

July 30 (VOA) Sri Lanka's government says it has no faith in a unilateral cease-fire declared by rebel Tamil Tigers for the duration of a South Asian leader's summit. Fighting is continuing in the north while a security blanket is being thrown over the capital to ensure nothing goes amiss while visiting dignitaries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation are present. VOA's Steve Herman reports from Colombo. more..

Renegotiate Katchathivu agreement with Lanka: CPI to Govt

July 30 (ZN) Expressing concern over the "killing" of a large number of Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy around the Palk Straits, the CPI on Tuesday asked the government to renegotiate the agreement under which India had ceded Katchathivu to the island nation. "The UPA government should reopen and renegotiate the Katchathivu agreement to ensure the rights of the Indian fishermen. The matter should be taken up on the sidelines of the upcoming SAARC Summit in Colombo," more..

Ajantha Mendis tipped to better Shane Warne's record

July 30 (CM) SRI Lankan coach Trevor Bayliss has put cricket's top batsmen on high alert that self-taught mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis can step into Shane Warne's shoes and become the world's top spinner. Bayliss has been gobsmacked by Sri Lanka's new spin freak, who has taken an astonishing 20 wickets at an average of 10 in his first eight one-day internationals - including rocking India with an amazing 6-13 in the final of an Asian one-day tournament. more..

Foreign Ministry's dinner Rs.10,000 per head

July 30 (LeN) Mind-boggling huge amounts of the tax-payers' money are being spent lavishly on entertaining and throwing parties to SAARC summit VIPs, the 'Lanka-e-News' learns. The government got a supplementary estimates bill for Rs. 2880 million passed for expenditure on the summit but it is learnt that certain ministers and government top bureaucrats are trying to grab a lion’s share for throwing dinner parties and other extravaganza paying exorbitant rates. more..

Opposing sectarian violence and allegations

July 30 (PISL) The Peace Secretariat regrets a recent article by Christian Post Reporter Ethan Cole which gave a distorted account of an attack on a church in Talahena Sri Lanka. In particular it was a pity that he did not note that the police acted promptly, arrested three persons on the day of the attack, and sought seven more who surrendered to Court. These were produced at the hearing of Court on July 22nd, while the police had identified more..