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"Galle-like" wicket leaves Test rivals guessing

July 11 (AFP) A seaming wicket and steaming hot conditions have forced Pakistan and Sri Lanka to delay naming their teams for the crucial second Test starting on Sunday. The hard, even-paced track at the P. Sara Oval, livened up by the ongoing monsoon rains, was described by curator Aniruddha Polonowita as similar to the one at Galle where the first Test ended inside four days. "Its a Galle-like wicket that will help the seamers at the start and then settle down in favour of the batsmen," more..

Grade 1 interviews within next two weeks

July 11 (GDI) The Ministry of Education has taken steps to conduct interviews for next year's Grade One admissions and the Interviews will be called within the next two weeks, the Ministry said. At present, the Department of Education is appointing the relevant heads for interview panels. The process is expected to be completed next week. These individuals will then discuss with relevant school principals on fixing dates for the interviews and more..

'Trade union action on 17th will go ahead'

July 11 (LT) The decision by all employees of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to apply sick leave on the 17th of this month and participate in a protest campaign in Colombo would definitely take place as the attempt to solve the issue without going for a trade union action failed says Ceylon Electricity Employees Union. A press release issued by CEEU states the trade union action scheduled to be taken on the 17th would definitely take place. more..

'Treat' injured IDP child

July 11 (BBC) The Supreme Court on Friday ordered the Attorney General to take measures to provide medical treatment to a child from one of the camps in the island's north. The Court ordered the Attorney General to allow a 13-year old girl with shell attack injuries to see the specialist doctor in Anuradhapura hospital. The order was made after considering a petition by four members of an IDP family seeking their release from more..

Tamil cinema: Pirates Of The Arabian

July 11 (TC) A defining moment in modern Tamil cinema is a scene in Mani Ratnam's Agni Nakshatram (1988). A young woman takes a passing fancy to the hero, smoking by the wayside, and cheekily mouths "I love you" as she stops her car by a traffic signal. The hero falls to his feet at this brazen call for love and blubbers incoherently. He did have something to cry about. In Tamil cinema, it's usually not women but the larger-than-life heroes who set the tone for romance. more..

1 doctor, 7 officers, cost Rs.600 million!

July 11 (LT) Ayurveda doctors ask whether Rs.600 million allocated for the services rendered by Department of Ayurveda for ‘Uthure Vassanthaya’ (Northern Spring) is spent only for tours, allowances and subsistence of higher officials. The funds that should be allocated for the health services of displaced persons in the North is being spent for tours by senior officials that are being carried out without any proper plan or management. more..

Economic crisis is wriggling into state sector

July 11 (LT) Despite the government claiming that the economy in Sri Lanka has overtaken its targets and shows a healthy growth, it has been revealed that People’s Bank and Sri Lanka Telecom are confronted with severe financial crises. According to internal sources of Telecom it has incurred a loss of about Rs.100 million during the past two months. Meanwhile, People’s Bank, which received the highest profits in 2008, unable to fulfill its annual budget estimates more..

Weerawansa’s wife creates a commotion in girl’s school

July 11 (LNW) NFF Leader and MP Wimal Weerawansa’s wife had reportedly entered the Ratnavali Girls School in Gampaha and created a stir there on Wednesday. According to reports, Weerawansa’s wife had visited the school with NFF parliamentarian Piyasiri Wijenayake’s wife and met with the principal. Weerawansa’s wife had then created a commotion claiming an A/Level student in the school was sending short messages (sms) to her husband’s mobile phone and more..

Dinesh requests not to hold parliamentary sessions on the 22nd due to bad planetary movement

July 11 (LNW) Chief Government Whip, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena has made a proposal at the party leaders meeting held at the parliamentary complex not to hold parliamentary sessions on July 22, as there was going to be an astrologically dangerous planetary movement that day. Gunawardena had made the proposal on behalf of the government at the party leaders meeting presided by Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara. more..

Minister of Fisheries in fishy deal

July 11 (LT) Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Felix Perera involved in a racket to sell fish to state defense sections has obtained on credit stocks of fish worth Rs.4.4 million from the Sri Lanka Fishing Corporation. Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources has got the contract to supply fish to defense sections. The Minister obtains fish from the corporation in M.S. Perera’s name. more..

Ravi K indicted

July 11 (DN) United National Party (UNP) Parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake was served indictment before the Colombo High Court yesterday for violating provisions of the Exchange Control Act. Colombo High Court Judge Deepali Wijesundara ordered to impound the passports of Ravi Karunanayake and of two other accused. The Court also granted them Rs. 100,000 each in cash bail and two sureties each of Rs. 1 million. more..

President Rajapaksa's move commended

July 11 (LNP) Sports-loving President Mahinda Rajapaksa came in for high praise from the sports-loving public for requesting the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation to relay ball by ball commentaries on the on- going Test and one-day series between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. In the past live commentaries were relayed only in English, with Sinhala and Tamil commentators giving a short resume during breaks or at the close of play. more..

There should be no letting up by the Lankans

July 11 (LNP) There should be no letting up when the Sri Lankans take the field against Pakistan in the Second of Three Tests beginning at the picturesque P. Sara Stadium tomorrow. Now that the Lankans have their noses in front after their unbelievable victory in the First Test in Galle, they must remain that way and chalk up another victory and pocket the series. Winning is what sport is all about. more..

Journalism Awards 2009 on july 14th

July 11 (LeN) This year’s annual Journalism Awards for Excellence programme jointly organised by The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka with the Sri Lanka Press Institute will be held next Tuesday (July 14) at the Grand Ballroom of the Mount Lavinia Hotel. The 10th consecutive annual event aimed at recongising professionalism in journalism and rewarding excellence during a particular year culminates with an Awards Night. more..

Battling underworld: Ad hoc forays won`t do

July 11 (LNP) The underworld is rattled. Its leaders are going into hiding. Yesterday, we carried a picture of Anamalu Imtiaz killed and dumped in Colombo following his abduction last week. He was no ordinary criminal. Over one hundred trigger happy killers served under him with sophisticated firearms at their disposal. A few days before his abduction, Imtiaz and fifteen of his confederates armed with T-56 assault rifles, had stormed a mosque at Maligawatta and more..

UNP queries fate of Tissa Vitarana APC

July 11 (CT) The UNP has urged the government to declare whether it has taken a decision to disband the All Party Conference, headed by Prof. Tissa Vitarana and tasked with finding a political solution to problems of Sri Lankan Tamils. UNP general secretary Tissa Attanayake, speaking to the media in Colombo yesterday, referred to a statement by government affiliate NFF’s leader Wimal Weerawansa. more..

Api Wawamu Rata Nagamu averted food crisis - President

July 11 (DN) The Api Wawamu – Rata Nagamu program launched by the Government three years before, helped cushion the impact of the global food crisis in Sri Lanka, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. The President was speaking at the annual national convention of the Sri Lanka Agriculture Research and Production Assistants’ Association. These officers were appointed to the Agrarian Services Centres islandwide to increase domestic food crop production in the country. more..

Scenes witnessed by Xinhua reporters

July 11 (DN) People began to gather in the Urumqi People's Square at 6:20 p.m. Sunday, and some started smashing and looting at about 8 p.m. Xinhua reporters saw at about 10 p.m. at the crossing of Xinhua South Road and Tianchi Road that a police station was damaged. A group of young men, appearing to be from ethnic minorities, were chanting slogans and wielding wooden clubs, while several others were distributing hoes. more..

Ratnapura general hospital facing closure

July 11 (CT) The general hospital in Ratnapura is facing closure due to an acute shortage of water following a disruption to the pipe-borne supply. Three days into the situation yesterday (July 10), authorities had failed to come up with any solution, ‘Divaina’ reports in the main headline news. Surgeries have been restricted and some patients needing urgent surgery have been transferred to Colombo, it said. more..

Lanka crowned most popular country representation

July 11 (DN) Sri Lanka was named the most popular country representation from a total of 593 exhibitors from 82 countries and regions at the recently held Beijing International Tourism Expo (BITE) 2009. The exhibition attracted over 40,000 professional and 80,000 public customers. Performers from Channa-Upuli Arts Foundation brought a completely novel image of Sri Lanka to the Chinese customer by portraying the traditional wedding ceremony and dance forms of Sri Lanka. more..

Janaka Perera killing mastermind in CID custody

July 11 (CT) The CID has arrested the man who had planned the killing of north central province opposition leader Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera. The CID made the arrest public while making submissions to the Anuradhapura Magistrate’s Court today. It said the suspect was taken a few days ago from Omanthai. Chief Magistrate Ruchira Weliwatte considered an appeal by six suspects already under custody and instructed prison authorities to detain them in a more..

Five Lankan Tamil youth jailed fcor murder in Norway

July 11 (Island) Five Sri Lankan Tamils were jailed for between 11 and 14 years by an Oslo Court which found them guilty of the August 2007 killings, attempted murder and terrorizing the Tamil community in Kalbakken, Oslo. The Norway News said the Five political motivated youth were involved in a terrifying Gunfire and Samurai sword attack on 20-year-old Ramanan Vivekananthan in Kalbakken in August 2007. more..

'Tamil minister’s thugs terrorizing Jaffna'

July 11 (DM) TULF leader and Jaffna mayoral aspirant V. Anandasangaree yesterday alleged that a Tamil Minister with the backing of the government was terrorizing the residents of Jaffna in the run-up to the Municipal Council elections. “Not only the TULF, even other political parties are helpless as thugs unleashed by this particular minister are roaming around Jaffna with none able to challenge or subdue them. more..

Only a few bid farewell to Anamalu

July 11 (Island) Only a handful of people attended the funeral of Anamalu Imtiaz, the notorious underworld character, whose body was recovered at Old Moor Street early Thursday morning. His body was identified by his mother at the Mortuary on Thursday. He was buried at the Maligawatte cemetery on the same day. Only a few close relatives attended the funeral of the criminal who was responsible for 39 murders and a series of robberies and extortion. more..

A/L students put into mess as results differ

July 11 (Island) JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake yesterday accused the Examinations Department of causing confusion to thousands of students who sat for the GCE Advanced Level last year by releasing two sets of results which differed from each other. He told the House that mismanagement and confusion in the Department had put the students into a mess. He said that results of the exam had been released twice and some students who obtained pass marks in the initial release had failed when more..

Sea water for drinking soon

July 11 (Island) Sri Lankans will soon be drinking sea water. For the first time in the history of the country, arrangements have been made in Negombo and the necessary machinery already installed in Kamathchoda to purify sea water for drinking purposes. It will initially be distributed to about 30,000 families. Under this scheme, 50,000 units of 1,000 litre each would be distributed per day through pipe lines. The process is scheduled to begin next month, more..

Dengue: No purchasing order for Cuban BTI

July 11 (DM) The arrival of the Bacillus Thurengenesis Israelenesis (BTI) bacteria from Cuba to fight the dengue mosquito has been further delayed as the Health Ministry is yet to place a purchase order for the bacteria. A Cuban Embassy source said yesterday the Cuban Ambassador had not given an undertaking to the Sri Lanka government to provide the BTI bacteria free of charge. more..

Versatile Dilshan up for any challenge

July 11 (CI) Tillakaratne Dilshan is a man in a hurry. It's the case for every late bloomer. Not long ago, he was just another waste of abundant natural talent. Then he found himself a permanent place at the top of the order, and he changed as a batsman. Now he is no mood to let go of any opportunity that comes his way, not even wicketkeeping. Just before the start of this series, Sri Lanka were in trouble because of injuries to two key players, more..

I am not happy about some ministry officials: Dinesh

July 11 (DM) Chief Government Whip Dinesh Gunawardane told Parliament yesterday that he was not happy about some Ministry officials failing to provide answers in time for the questions raised by the Opposition in Parliament. He was responding to the JVP which criticized the Civil Aviation Ministry asking for one-month time to answer a question on ‘Mihin Lanka’. The question was posed by JVP MP Premasiri Manage. more..

No civilian traffic on A9 till de- mining is complete

July 11 (DM) The government said yesterday no date had been fixed for the re-opening of the Kandy to Jaffna stretch of the A-9 Road for civilian traffic as de-mining was continuing. ‘The A-9 Road will be opened to the public soon but it will only be done once de-mining is complete and special security measures are in place,” Media Centre for National Security Director General Laxman Hulugalle said more..

Sri Lanka search for historic series win

July 11 (CI) Two hours of poor batting undid three days of excellent work for Pakistan in the first Test in Galle, and they now have the onerous task of needing to win two back-to-back Tests to take the series, or win one and draw the other to ensure their record of not losing a series in Sri Lanka remains intact. For Sri Lanka, on the other hand, it was a fantastic result, considering the match situation going into the fourth day and the absence of Muttiah Muralitharan. more..

Delhi gets firsthand account of the situation in IDP camps

July 11 (AT) Amidst alarming reports on the situation in the IDP camps of Sri Lanka and demands for a visit to the camps by the Foreign Minister, Indian High Commissioner in Colombo has visited some of these camps. ‘He (the HC) has given his impressions of what he saw’, the Minister for External Affairs S M Krishna told Parliament. Based on the report, Krishna said, the Government of India will be guided in its further deliberations with Sri Lanka. more..

School dropouts doing great service to nation: minister

July 11 (LBO) Dropouts from Sri Lanka's education system are doing a greater service to the nation than those who have had a free education from the state education system, a senior minister said. Deputy finance minister Sarath Amunugama said more than a million Sri Lankans were working abroad sending nearly three billion dollars in remittances a year. Some of those were dropouts from the education system. more..

Britain says ICRC presence in Sri Lanka must continue

July 11 (CT) Britain’s foreign office minister Lord Malloch-Brown has stressed the necessity of a continued presence of the ICRC in Sri Lanka. He was responding to a request by Sri Lankan government to the charity to scale down their operations. Consequently, the ICRC is now in the process of reviewing its operations in the island. Lord Malloch-Brown urged the Sri Lankan government to continue its dialogue with the ICRC on issues of humanitarian concern, more..

President orders stern action against Child pornography

July 11 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed the Inspector General of Police to take tangible and tough measures to curb child pornography in Sri Lanka, including capture and posting on the internet photographs and video clips of unsuspecting persons, especially minors and women. The President issued this directive after it was brought to his notice that there were many websites containing such material, more..

Tamil identity politics did not die on the banks of Nandhikadal lagoon

July 12 (TC) There have been three civil wars fought against the Sri Lankan state: 1971, 1986-89, 1979-2009. The Sri Lankan state prevailed in all three. These three wars settled three basic questions. The first uprising was about the character of the State, society and the economy and it was settled in favor of the market economy and multiparty democracy. The second civil war brought up the same questions but more..

An open letter to Minister Douglas Devananda

July 12 (LG) Having received expressions of anger and disappointment from some of my fellow Tamils, I write this open letter. I have been outspoken in the past on several issues relating to your conduct and purpose of this letter is to highlight the dire circumstances facing Tamil people who are experiencing the wrath of your party activists to achieve a favoured election results in the forthcoming municipal election to be held in Jaffna on the 8 August 2009. more..

Canada offers to partner Sri Lanka in Post Conflict Development?

July 12 (LG) During the final stages of the bloody military conflict between the LTTE cadres and the brave soldiers of the Sri Lankan army in the jungles of the Wanni, specially on May 16 blighted all hopes of any International intervention to rescue the LTTE hierarchy out of their hideout in the sliver strip of land between the sea and the Nanthi Kadal, a marshy lagoon area in the North. more..

Rajitha and devolution

July 12 (LG) In an interview given to C. A. Premachandra of The Island of 17th June, this is what Minister Rajitha Senaratne had to say on the question of devolution of police powers: “Minor crimes will be dealt with by provincial police and major crimes and security will be dealt with by the national police. So this is a very practical solution”. This is all that it means to him! And, solution to what? more..

Fuel and fire: A Tamil homeland backed by 13-A

July 12 (LG) "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" In the case of Sri Lanka, we can ask, "Which came first, Tamil separatism or the Sinhala Official Language Act?" This is a timeless question. The followers of "one language two countries, two languages one country" (the author of this statement later abandoned it) kind of philosophy, then or now, did not bother to ask such non-dialectical questions more..

Rs.24 million spent on printing of school text books for 2010

July 12 (GDI) The Government has taken steps to distribute of school text books for students from December 7. Already 20.9 million text books have been printed for distribution this time to students countrywide. The total cost of printing is Rs.24.8 million rupees , the Ministry of Education revealed. According to Ministry sources plans are designed to distribute school text books for next year early for the convenience of schools and students. more..

Labour Ministry to survey unemployed by world recession

July 12 (GDI) The Labour Ministry plans to provide relief to those who reportedly lost employment in certain industries due to adverse effects caused by the global economic recession, Labour Ministry sources disclosed today. An Unemployment Benefits Insurance Scheme(UBIS) will be established for this purpose,they further added. The UBIS scheme will be headed by Labour Ministry Secretary, Mahinda Madihewa with representatives from the Finance and Industries ministries. more..

Threat of Dengue looms large

July 12 (GDI) The prolonged agony of the dengue virus seems to continue with the threat looming large, medical experts disclosed. They said a concerted effort was absolutely essential to combat the menace and all local bodies, the public should cooperate with the health sector to eliminate the deadly menace. The current weather conditions with ad hoc rainfalls scattered in areas was also identified as a risk factor for easy breeding of the dengue mosquito, more..

“No escape for underworld criminals”- President

July 12 (GDI) The Government will not hesitate to take necessary steps to eliminate the ‘underworld culture’ before it becomes a menace destroying the cultural and spiritual values of our nation, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa today (11). President Rajapaksa made this pledge at a meeting following the ceremony to release the first waters of the Veheragala reservoir. The reservoir constructed with the technological know-how of local expertise and more..

US Philanthropist John Wood to help North East students

July 12 (GDI) The founder of "Room to Read" international organization to promote education in developing and under developed countries, United States national, John Wood will arrive in Sri Lanka this month on an education promotional tour. He is expected to meet Education Minister, Susil Premjayanth to discuss the possibility of assisting students in the North and East facing difficulties after a prolonged three decade terrorist war. more..

Mervin the menace unchecked…

July 12 (LT) The Chairman of Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha Prasanna Ranaweera has been attacked by thugs today early morning. A gang of thugs had carried out an attack on Mr. Prasanna Ranaweera’s residence at Hunupitiya. The residence has been heavily damaged and the Chairman’s wife has been admitted to hospital with shock. Mr. Prasanna Ranaweera says the attack had been carried out by more..

LIOC rejects price increase claim

July 12 (GDI) The Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC) today dismissed a report in a Sunday weekly that it had requested a price increase in fuel products, and added that it made no such proposal to form a committee to work out a pricing formula linked to market trends. Managing Director of LIOC, K.R.Suresh Kumar who spoke to this morning vehemently denied having told that weekly newspaper that he sought a price revision. more..

Sri Lankans fast aging group in South Asia

July 12 (GDI) The government has expressed concern about the welfare of the aging Sri Lankans and the Ministry of Social welfare has been requested to conduct a survey on this growing human issue, official sources disclosed today. This follows a report on a survey conducted in South Asia which highlighted that the aging population in the island nation was fast aging group in this region. The survey was done by the World Population Organization more..

Corporation vehicle used for UPFA campaign at Uva in mishap

July 12 (LT) A jeep belonging to State Engineering Corporation has met with an accident while being used for Uva PC election campaign of the UPFA. The jeep bearing Reg. No. 32-5576 has been taken for the campaign by the General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Trade Union Nimal Mendis, who is a staunch supporter of the SLFP. The gate pass to take the jeep out had been obtained stating it was taken for more..

'Estate workers have no problems, they need not be given salary increments'

July 12 (LT) The employees in the estate sector don’t have any issues and they need not be given any higher salaries says Minister of Labour Dr. Mervin Silva. He said this speaking at the debate held in Parliament regarding estate sector workers. JVP Parliamentarians Samanthe Vidyaratne and Ramalingam Chandrasekar speaking at the debate said estate sector employees are confronted with various issues. more..