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Protest against jumbo attack closes down road to Sigiriya

July 14 (LT) Residents in Pidurangala area at Sigiriya have begun a protest campaign opposite the Range Forest Office at Sigiriya. The villagers are carrying out the protest campaign over an elephant attack that occurred last night (12th) which resulted in the death of one person and damage to at least 6 houses in the area. The villagers say elephants have been menacing the area for months but despite complaints to the Range Forest Office in the area nothing has been done by its officials. more..

Local workers in southern expressway on strike

July 14 (CT) A group of local workers deployed for construction work at the southern expressway stretch between Kottawa and Dodangoda launched a strike today (July 13), claiming that they are underpaid. The workers say that the Chinese contractors are paying them a daily wage of Rs. 350, whereas the payment for Chinese workers is Rs 2,500. Reports say that the strike has paralaysed work of that section of the expressway.

A batch of Sailors Pass out

July 14 (MoD) Two hundred and seventy eight (278) sailors belonging to the 172nd Regular Naval Intake and Eighty eight (88) sailors belonging to the 12/2008 Volunteer Naval Intake passed out on 11th July 2009 at a Passing out Parade held at the Parade Ground of SLNS Shiksha, Poonewa. The Commander of the North-central Naval Area Rear Admiral MTDJ Dharmasiriwardana graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. more..

Mervyn publicly admits to killing Lasantha

July 14 (LNW) “Lasantha from the Leader paper went overboard. I took care of him. Poddala agitated and his leg was broken. Now a fellow in my electorate is trying to stand against me. I now tell him in his own hometown, I will give him only seven more days. If he does not resign as chairman of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha, don’t blame me later on. You’ll don’t find fault with me. If this fellow goes against what I say, I will send him to the place where I sent Lasantha,” more..

LTTE leader 'flee Sri Lanka'

July 14 (BBC) The most senior Tamil Tiger leader to survive the military onslaught has left Sri Lanka, a Tamil minister said. Minister Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan, widely known as Col Karuna, told BBC Sandeshaya that Daya Mohan has "escaped to Malaysia". The minister had earlier said that members of the Tamil Tigers had been trying to surrender or flee following the defeat of the rebel group in May this year. more..

A tale of two prophecies

July 14 (CI) It was a day to forget the shuffle. It was a day to screw technique, which was perhaps over-rated. It was a day to forget that Fawad Alam had never opened in first-class cricket before this. It was a day to go back to 10.29am yesterday. With four Pakistan wickets down, a desperately hopeful Younis Khan scribbled on a tape-ball something to the effect of "Fawad Alam will get a hundred." (For now only this much of that inscription is necessary for this story). more..

Bayliss confident despite poor day

July 14 (CI) "We are back to square one." That was Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss' curt analysis of where the home side were after the second day's play at the P Sara. Having rolled Pakistan over for 90 and then closed day one on 163 for 3, Sri Lanka were dismissed for 240 - a lead of 150 - and then were put on the defensive by maiden centurion Fawad Alam. Spearheaded by a four-wicket haul by Umar Gul, Pakistan came back into the Test strongly and more..

President will not devolve power says Tissa Vitharana

July 14 (LNW) Minister Tissa Vitharana addressing the politburo of the LSSP has said the President had requested him to delay the proposals on devolving power to the north and east in line with the 13th amendment. Vitharana had made this revelation at a heated politburo meeting of the LSSP. Prof Jayamapathy Wickremaratne, who attended the meeting, had questioned Vitharana continuously on the delay in presenting the proposals of the APRC. more..

Attacks against Nimal Siripala De Silva intensifies

July 14 (LNW) Sources from Temple Trees say that the move to remove Prof. K.M.C. Kamalgoda as the chairman of the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation was yet another step in the attack carried out from within the government ranks against Health Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva. Prof. Kamalgoda, who has served in the position for a period of 10 years without any allegations leveled against him, had been removed without stating any proper reason. more..

Executive moving to have hold on judiciary by appointing SC judge’s husband to SLI

July 14 (LNW) A senior official at the Judicial Services Commission told Lanka News Web that the appointment of Supreme Court Judge Shiranee Bandaranayake’s husband, Pradeep Kariyawasam, as the chairman of Sri Lanka Insurance after the government re-acquired it may be a step taken by the President to have a hold on the highest court of law in the country. Following the Supreme Court decision to re-divest Sri Lanka Insurance with the government from the ownership of businessman Harry Jayawardena, more..

Sri Lanka turns to microfinance to rebuild war zone

July 14 (Reuters) Government on Monday launched a $26 million microfinance loan programme to spur local agriculture and business in the former northern war zone, part of the president's plan to resettle 300,000 displaced people. Dubbed the "Awakening North", the Central Bank said the 3 billion rupee ($26.12 million) loan plan will support "the resumption of economic activities in agriculture, livestock, fisheries, micro and small enterprises." more..

Sri Lanka woman boxer wins gold

July 14 (BBC) Sri Lanka's first female boxer to clinch a world title says she is delighted with the gold medal she won in Russia at the weekend. Nilmini Jayasinghe won in the under 51kg category at the world invitational women's boxing championship in St Petersburg on Saturday. Ms Jayasinghe was a garment worker who started practising at the gym of the factory she worked at. She told the BBC's Sinhala service that she could not believe her achievement. more..

'Terrorism has no place in the modern civilized world'

July 1 (AT) Terrorism has no place in the modern civilized world. Also there is absolutely no room for expression of dissent through terrorism. “As was witnessed in several regions recently, terrorism continues to remain a major threat to the security of our nations and peoples. It is important that we also demand of the international community to shed double standards in fighting terrorism. more..

Website blocking condemned

July 14 (BBC) International media watchdogs have condemned the blocking of another Sri Lankan news website by the authorities. Paris based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) says Sri Lanka authorities have blocked Lanka News Web after the website published a news item on President's eldest son, Namal Rajapaksa. The RSF has also condemned Namal Rajapakse's alleged seizure of news media videos following an assault by displaced people in Menik Farm camp. more..

‘United We Stand, Divided We Fall’

July 14 (LG) The Tamil Nationalist Alliance (TNA) needs to be congratulated and encouraged for taking a pragmatic view of the post-war situation. It may have taken some time for the TNA to readjust itself to the ground realities, yes, but the time taken for such realisation is short and relatively swift. TNA Parliament member N Sri Kantha’s declaration, “Untied we stand, divided we fall” is not only an acknowledgement of the ground realities as the Alliance sees it. more..

The road that gets the eternal blind eye

July 14 (LG) The centuries old ‘road of neglect’ lies in the North Western Province of Sri Lanka, connecting Ambanpola and Nikaweratiya towns via Danikithawa. I guess the distance between the two towns on this road may be 20 kilometres. About five of those 20 kilometres fall on the Maho- Nikaweratiya main road. Thus we are talking only about 15 kilometres. Thank heavens that 11 of those 15 kilometres have been tarred during the two centuries since the road was first constructed, and, more..

Towards a peaceful, equitable and sustainable Sri Lanka (Part One)

July 14 (LG) The achievement of the objective of a unitary polity encompassing the whole island of Sri Lanka has been the prime interest of various monarchs and rulers throughout history. This idea, in spite of its noble nature, has brought more misery and suffering to the people of the island than any actual benefit. The process of achieving a unitary state has always led to the alienation and suppression of section of people of the island, leading to perpetual war. more..

Fear of influence

July 14 (FT) Hambantota, in southern Sri Lanka, was a sleepy seaside village devastated by the 2004 tsunami. Famous for salt flats and a searing climate, it's most celebrated building was a British-built watchtower, now home to a fisheries museum. Gwadar, likewise, until seven years ago, was a fishing town in Baluchistan on Pakistan's south-western shoreline. An enclave on the Arabian Sea given to Islamabad by the Aga Khan, it was not much thought of as a key staging point between central Asia and the Gulf. more..

Facilities inadequate in Lanka camps: Doctors

July 14 (PTI) Doctors treating displaced Tamils in the government-run welfare camps in Sri Lanka’s north have written a letter to President Mahinda Rajapakse complaining about inadequate facilities and shortage of medical staff. "It is difficult to stay in these shelters. The doctors examine patients from 7 o’clock in the morning to 7 o’clock in the night (in the Menik camps in Vavuniya). They need a proper place to sleep. The doctors do night shift. more..

Kandy Esala Perahara

Legends of the fall

July 14 (CI) Something changes in the air when these two friendly teams come up against each other. Pakistan and Sri Lanka may not have a historical rivalry going, but for dramatic turns and collapses look no further. There have been three already in this series, Sri Lanka's losing seven wickets for 63 today being the latest, but those who follow these contests regularly will point to a long history of collapses, against the run of play - across formats. more..

Sri Lanka's foreign reserves up in May

July 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka's gross foreign reserves, without an advance to domestic banks, rose to 1,291 million US dollars in May 2009 from 1,131 million US dollars in April, the latest official data showed. With a 145 million US dollar deposit at a domestic bank, gross monetary and fiscal reserves went up to 1,436 million US dollars in May from 1,296 million US dollars. The advance to domestic commercial banks, first revealed two months ago, had fallen from 200 million in April. more..

Sri Lanka May 2009 clothing exports fall, tea shipments up

July 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka's May 2009 export earnings fell 27.8 percent to 538.5 million US dollars from year ago, mainly because of lower clothing exports, although tea exports went up, the Central Bank said. The trade deficit contracted for the fifth consecutive month in May, declining by 64.0 percent to 175 million US dollars, as imports fell 42.1 percent to 713.3 million dollars, it said in its monthly statement on export sector performance. more..

Join to make more meaningful the freedom gained – President

July 14 (GDI) President Rajapaksa invites the Uva population to join in making the freedom won amidst local and foreign pressure, more meaningful. “Powerful nations impressed upon the Government in the final phase. Politicos are aware of it. This freedom was achieved amidst these issues. The same sectors are awaiting the people’s response with regard to the liberation of the country. more..

IGP requests public to remain vigilant

July 14 (GDI) Certain groups and persons who support tiger terrorism can carry out destructive activities to disturb day to day life in the south.,he cautioned. Therefore, the IGP calls for maximum cooperation of the public for the security programme implemented by the police. He pointed out although there were various views among the public on road blocks and search operations, they are being carried out to further strengthen the security of them. more..

Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe honored as “Jagath Keerthi Sri Deshamanya”

July 14 (GDI) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe is honored for bringing fame to Sri Lanka defeating proposals against the country at the UN Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva. The Kalutara District Sasana Rakshaka Balamandalaya conferred the honorary title “Jagath Keerthi Sri Deshamanya” on the Minister at The felicitation ceremony at the Matugama Auditorium. It was presided by Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara. more..

Dengue deaths rise to 175

July 14 (GDI) The dengue mosquito seems to be more active than all other medicinal and other treatment to combat it. Now the deadly mosquito has claimed 175 lives to date, statistics indicated. The Health Ministry on its' part have gone beyond boundaries to combat the deadly menace and sought the cooperation of local bodies and the public to help combat the growing menace. 16,714 dengue patients have been reported from across the island to date. more..

SL adhered to norms and standards of ‘international armed conflicts’

July 14 (GDI) Deputy Solicitor General, Yasantha Kodagoda at the recently concluded, 11th Session of UN Human Rights Council noted that the entire humanitarian and military operation in Sri Lanka to eliminate LTTE terrorists was conducted in accordance with international norms and standards governing the conduct of internal armed conflicts. He highlighted that military operations that were undertaken and executed by the security forces of Sri Lanka were highly successful. more..

US aid for the displaced

July 14 (GDI) The United States Government will provide Rs. 200 million worth ambulances, medical equipment and other items to Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry under an agreement, a Ministry spokesman said. He said that Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry Acting Secretary, Dr. Nihal Jayatilleke and US Acting Ambassador, James R. Moore signed the agreement representing Sri Lanka and the US. more..

Commomorare student heros

President Rajapaksa leaves for NAM Summit in Egypt

July 14 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa left the island this morning (14) to attend the fifteenth Summit of Non Aligned Movement (NAM) scheduled in Sharm El Sheikh in the Arab Republic of Egypt,President’s media division announced. President Rajapaksa during the sidelines of the Summit will hold discussions with state heads of the NAM member countries pertaining to the issues with bilateral interests. more..

Sri Lankan export zone workers hit by job and pay cuts

July 14 (wsws) Under the impact of the global economic crisis, Sri Lankan workers are facing a wave of job losses, along with harsh cuts in pay and working hours. In the first quarter of this year, 192,000 were retrenched, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Among them were 96,000 industrial workers, 60,000 apparel workers and 36,000 construction workers, forcing many into lower-paid service industry jobs or back to their rural home areas. more..

Fonseka gets treatment similar to Champika from the Rajapakses

July 14 (LNW) A UNP parliamentarian told Lanka News Web that the government after unleashing an attack on the JHU, which built an ideology backing the war against the LTTE, was now treating Army Chief General Sarath Fonseka, who played a key role in the war, in a similar manner by removing him from the top post in the army. Fonseka after defeating the rebels at war had formulated several plans on national security for the future and more..

New Navy Commander closely related to the President

July 14 (LNW) Sources from Temple Trees say that newly appointed Navy Commander, Rear Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe is closely related to the President. Apart from the maternal relationship between the Samarasinghe and the Rajapakses, the two families also have a close friendship. It was Samarasinghe’s grandfather, Hemachandra Gunasekera, who had brought young Mahinda Rajapakse to Colombo and found him employment after school education. more..

More weapons uncovered from Mullaittivu

July 14 (LP) Troops of the 57 Division recovered 01kg of C4 explosives during a search operation conducted in Iranamadu area in Mullaittivu around 10.30am yesterday (13). According to the Media Centre for the National Security (MCNS) troops also recovered several T-56 weapon spares and 02 I-Com sets during another earch operation conducted in Murusamudai area on the same day. Troops of the Task Force III troops recovered 02 Hand Grenades more..

Governor's interferance is too much in the Eastern PC

July 14 (PSM) "Interference of Eastern Province Governor Rear Admiral Mohan Wijewickremain the affairs of the Eastern Provincial Council is too much and beyond his limit and comparatively more than the governors of the other provinces. The Board of Ministers and MPCs of the EPC have no power even to appoint a sanitary laborer to an office. We have complained this to the President and brought this to the notice of the President and others concerned and waiting for redress", more..

Major General Jagath Dias to undergo major leg surgery

July 14 (LP) Commander of the 57 Division Major General Jagath Dias was admitted to the Colombo National Hospital last night following injuries he received in a motor accident which occurred near the Police Park in Bambalapitiya said Military Spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara speaking to Lankapuvath. Although his condition is not serious, he is now being treated in the ICU and would be taken into surgery this morning more..

Lankanewsweb obstructed

July 14 (LT) ‘Lankanewsweb’ states it has been blocked by the government from midnight on the 11th. The web site had stated that publishing of a news item on an attack on President’s elder son Namal Rajapakse by people could be the immediate reason for the blocking of the web site. There had been pressure applied on the media and journalists throughout out the past and as a result certain web sites had to be completely abandoned. more..

10,000 expelled Muslims to vote in Jaffna MC

July 14 (PSM) Nearly 10,000 expelled Muslim voters from Jaffna Municipal area living in other districts, such as Puttalam, Anuradhapura and Kalutara are to cast their votes at the forthcoming Jaffna MC election on 8/8/9. Meanwhile, Additional Commissioner of Elections W.P. Sumanasiri disclosed that only 7,104 Muslim voters had applied to vote from these three districts in terms of the provisions of the Local Government Amendment No. 30 of 2009. more..

1.5% of population in jail – Commissioner General of Prisons

July 14 (LT) Commissioner General of Prisons Maj. Gen. V. R. De Silva says about 1.5% of the total population of the country servs jail terms for various offences. Speaking at a ceremony held on the occasion of new Justice and Law Reforms Minister Milinda Moragoda’s visit to the Welikada Prison he said there were 31,653 inmates in 25 prisons. Among them are 260 in death row, 541 had appealed against capital punishment and 184 were serving life imprisonment. more..

Mahindananda Aluthgamage’s thugs attack CEB employees

July 14 (LT) The employees of Ceylon Electricity Board decided to apply for sick leave on the 17th and join a protest campaign to be held opposite CEB head office. The unions had arranged to have a series of seminars throughout the island to inform the employees of the objectives of the protest campaign. When the seminar for employees of CEB branch at Nawalapitiya of this series of seminars was being held today 14th morning at the branch premises,. more..

PB’s motion to make a comeback today , another motion calling SC to reject it

July 14 (LT) The motion filed in Supreme Court by former secretary to the Treasury P.B. Jayasundara requesting the Supreme Court to annul the affidavit submitted by him earlier stating that he would not hold public office in future would be considered today. The bench will comprise of Chief Justice Ashoka de Silva and SC Judges Shirani Thilakawardene and S.I. Imam. more..

Palinda Nuwara cab caught elk hunting at Sinharaja

July 14 (LT) Kalawana Police has taken into custody a double cab belonging to Pradeshiya Sabha of Palinda Nuwara used for elk hunting in Sinharaja natural reserve. The double cab was apprehended while transporting an elk carcass killed at Sinharaja, which is declared a world heritage. Elk is an endangered species. At the time the double cab bearing Reg. No. WP/LE/7521 was apprehended three suspects with an unlicensed 12 bore gun too had been in the vehicle. more..

Bail for Lalith Kotalawala only when initial payments are made – AG

July 14 (LT) The Chairman and the Directors of Golden Key Credit Card Company Pvt. Ltd, should make a threshold payment of Rs.1 billion to the credit of the depositors within two weeks and after making the threshold payment they should make further payments to the Central Bank in favour of the depositors said the Attorney General, Mohan Peiris PC when the case against Golden Key was heard in Supreme Court yesterday. more..

General Fonseka bids farewell to take up CDS appointment

July 14 (MoD) Commander of the Army General Sarath Fonseka who added an indelible chapter to the military history in Sri Lanka after crushing LTTE terrorism handed over the office of the Commander to his successor, Major General Jagath Jayasuriya this morning (14) in accordance with military traditions. General Sarath Fonseka is to take reins as new Chief of Defence Staff tomorrow (15) at the Joint Operations Headquarters (JOH) after a formal military ceremony. more..

Arachchi`s dog and other hounds

July 14 (LNP) Some criminals have got killed during the past few days in what is believed to be a government crackdown on the nether world of crime. Many underworld figures are reportedly on the run for fear of life. The government has promised to clean up the country and the hapless people are deriving some perverse comfort from the current offensives against the underworld, though extra judicial killings are the least desirable way to deal with criminals. more..

Ananda College years

July 14 (DN) Derisively because it was somewhat an upstart in the elegant and anglicised school fraternity of big city Colombo, Ananda College was called the Mariakade Iskolaya. Geographically Ananda was right in the heart of notorious Mariakade, notorious then for crime, bootlegging and prostitution but the ungallant epithet was vulgarly out of place in scholastic terms. As far as I could remember Anandians were not overtly piqued by the derogatory reference and seemed to take it as a matter of course. more..

GDP to rise with Moneragala rice

July 14 (DN) Moneragala district being the second largest district with a strong agricultural base in the country will increase the contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Production from 1.3 percent to two percent with the completion of planned irrigation and development projects this year. Several major projects have been launched under the patronage of Nation Building Minister Jagath Pushpakumara to rehabilitate and reconstruct all small scale irrigation projects in the district, more..

Musaeus College Commemorates "Sudu Amma"

July 14 (Island) The legend of an extraordinary lady, of another race and from another country, who devoted her life in the cause of Sinhala Buddhist women, began in 1889. What Colonel Henry Steel Olcott was for the future generations of Sinhala Buddhist lads, Mrs. Marie Musaeus Higgins was to the young Buddhist women of Sri Lanka. Born in Newstead, Germany, the daughter of a Chief Justice more..

Presidential commission clears military from Muttur aid workers' killing

July 14 (CT) A presidential commission has cleared the Sri Lanka Army and the Navy from involvement in the killing of 17 aid workers of ACF at Mutur in 2006. The commission, headed by retired Supreme Court judge Nissanka Udalagama, handed over its report to president Mahinda Rajapaksa a few days ago. It notes that the LTTE was responsible for the killings, as the Mutur area was under its control at the time. more..