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SLBC gets modern archives library

July 30 (DN) The new state-of-the-art archives library of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) was declared open yesterday by Mass Media, Information and Enterprise Development Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa yesterday. The SLBC has increased its broadcasting capacity by installing six new transmitters in its Colombo premises. This heightens the listening quality of the national radio. more..

'Devolution necessary to uplift economy'

July 30 (DN) Devolution of power was necessary for the uplift of the economy among all groups of people and the government was totally committed to provide infrastructure and other facilities like education and health to the people of all provinces, said MP Basil Rajapaksa addressing the function to launch the first rail-bus service between Batticaloa and Trincomalee at Batticaloa yesterday. more..

China donates language unit to Lumbini Vidyalaya

July 30 (DN) China gifted a Chinese language unit to Lumbini Vidyalaya, Colombo marking another gesture of its close ties with Sri Lanka. 'Confucius classroom' was opened by Education Minister Susil Premajayanth and the Director of Sinhala Service of China Radio International Von Siaothung. The language centre is equipped with the latest state-of-the-art facilities in language teaching techniques. more..

'Fully implement the 13th amendment forthwith'

July 30 (AT) The Canadian Tamils for Peace and Democracy has insisted President Mahinda Rajapaksa to implement the 13th amendment in full and find an amicable solution to the minority issues within the framework of a united Sri Lanka. In a statement by the Toronto based Canadian Society for Peace and Democracy said, “Sri Lanka President has previously told on numerous occasions, that once the war on terrorism was over and the LTTE was defeated, a political solution would be announced soon.” more..

Nafeek trial takes a new turn

July 30 (PSM) The case of Rizana Nafeek, the Sri Lankan maid who was found guilty of the death of a Saudi infant in May 2005, has taken a new turn. The court in Dawadmi where Nafeek was initially tried has referred the case once again to the Supreme Judicial Council in Riyadh. The referral is accompanied by a new statement from the police who took Nafeek’s alleged confession, embassy officials said on Wednesday. No details about the new statement were available. more..

132 suspects in Beruwala clash further remanded

July 30 (PSM) A total of 132 suspects were further remanded by Kalutara Additional Magistrate Chandani Dias in connection with the Beruwala factional clash that took place last week. The suspects were produced by the Beruwela Police yesterday and they were remanded to fiscal custody till August 6. The parties were represented by the Police and their respetcive lawyers in Court. more..

Let the elephants suckle Diyawadane Nilame and Minister Gamini Lokuge

July 30 (TC) The Most Venerable Maha Nayake Theras of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters have sought to defend Diyawadana Nilame Pradeep Nilanga Dela over the cruel separation of two baby jumbos from their mothers at Pinnawala last Saturday. The animals are still grieving. The Ven. Theras in what they call a clarification issued to the press––The Island did not get a copy of it––have wholeheartedly endorsed the removal of the poor elephant sucklings on grounds that more..

Interview with Dr. Keethaponkalan

Govt. takes over 50 estate hospitals

July 30 (Island) Government has taken over 50 estate hospitals intended to serve nearly one million estate sector employees. They lacked proper management, and staff to render medical care and most had only name boards, Health Ministry sources said. The estate hospitals had been managed by plantation companies. Hereafter they will come under the Health Ministry. Graduate doctors will be posted to all 50 hospitals which will be modernised to more..

Road construction frauds spotlighted: UNP

July 30 (DM) The main Opposition UNP charged that Sri Lanka has become the nation where road construction costs are the highest in the whole of Asia. UNP Galle District MP Gayantha Karunatilleke told a news conference that the cost incurred in constructing one kilometre of a tarred road in Sri Lanka is equivalent to the cost of constructing four kilometres in most other countries in Asia. He said corruption has led to this situation. more..

Nearly 10% of population disabled

July 30 (Island) Nearly ten per cent of the country’s population consists of disabled persons. Minister of Labour Relations and Manpower Resources, Athauda Seneviratne revealed this at the opening of the Centre for the Disabled at Battaramulla. "It is a gigantic problem and calls for our intense attention. Superficially it would look that this ten per cent is of no use to the country but in most developed countries the contribution of the disabled to the development was much appreciated. more..

NBFwants DN Dela to make public apology

July 30 (Island) The National Bhikkhu Front yesterday demanded a public apology from the Diyawadana Nilame of the Sri Dalada Maligawa Nilanga Dela and others who had insulted Buddhism by abducting two baby elephants from the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage on Saturday. They had taken the baby tuskers to be offered to the Dalada Maligawa, but there is no tradition to steal something to be offered to the Buddha. more..

25% woman members: WPC proposes to govt.

July 30 (DM) The Western Provincial Council is to propose to the government to enact laws to ensure that candidate lists for the local government elections have 25 percent women candidates which is seen as the first step towards bringing an amendment to the Local Government Election Bill Act. A motion in this respect is to be moved by UPFA Member of the Western Provincial Council Asoka Lankatilleke at the next sitting of the Council on August 8 where the motion would be debated. more..

Granting bail to Directors of Ceylinco Shriram: Court reserves order

July 30 (DM) Colombo Fort Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya yesterday reserved his order on granting bail to four Directors of Ceylinco Shriram Company for August 10. The magistrate directed the CID to record the statement of Ceylinco Chairman Lalith Kotelawala at the Welikada Prisons and further ordered Ceylinco Shriram Limited to prepare an audit report from a reliable firm with the consent of the Attorney General and the depositors of the concerned company. more..

'Elections Comm. a must for free and fair polls'

July 30 (Island) UNP Deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya, addressing an election rally at the party office in Horowpathana Road in support of the party’s candidates contesting the Vavuniya Urban Council elections, said that it was imperative to establish the Elections Commission under the 17th Amendment if the country needs to conduct a free and fair election. more..

Defaulters owe Rs. 22 b., says Tax Chief

July 30 (DM) The Inland Revenue Department has filed 1,400 cases in the Tax Court to collect a colossal Rs. 22 billion from defaulters who have dodged paying taxes ranging from a minimum one million rupees to several hundred millions of rupees, Inland Revenue Commissioner General E.M.M.Medagoda said. “The Department does not want to collect tax through court actions. But we do it as the last resort after all avenues to collect the dues from citizens failed. more..

Tiger chief pins hopes on India

July 30 (DC) Five days after crowning himself the LTTE leader post-Prabhakaran, Selvarasa Pathmanathan alias KP expressed confidence that India would help Eelam Tamils achieve their aspirations for a separate homeland. In an interview to this newspaper from an undisclosed location in Europe, he also said MDMK general secretary Vaiko and Sri Lankan Tamil Protection Movement convenor P. Nedumaran were unwilling to accept the fact that Prabhakaran was dead. more..

Three valiant Brigadiers promoted in rank

July 30 (MoD) The Army announced yesterday (July 29) that Brigadier Prasanna De Silva, Brigadier Shavendra Silva and Brigadier Chargie Gallage, who played a key role in the recent battle against the LTTE have been promoted to the rank of Major General. A battle hardened Infantry Officer Major General Prasanna Silva initially commanded the troops in the Mavil Aru battle and to liberate Vakarai in the year 2006 and 2007. more..

Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 36 runs

July 30 (CI) Nuwan Kulasekara and Thilan Thushara scythed through Pakistan's top order after they set off in pursuit of 233 for victory, and by the halfway stage, the visitors' hopes were hanging by the most slender of threads. With Muttiah Muralitharan proving as miserly as ever on his return to the side, Pakistan faced an uphill struggle to reach the target. The real story of the innings though were the two spells from the pace bowlers. more..

Interview with Palitha Kohona

July 30 (Himal) Q: The resolution by the UNCHR generated a great deal of dissatisfaction. As regards the neighbourhood, you have received support from Pakistan, India and China. How do you view this Asian backing of Sri Lanka at the Council? A: It was not only support from Asia, which has only five votes in the Council. We got 29 votes, due to support from Latin America and other quarters. more..

'20,000 LTTE sympathisers could be in welfare camps'

July 30 (PTI) Sri Lankan security forces are zeroing in on some 20,000 LTTE sympathisers scattered in various government run-welfare camps in Wanni in the guise of displaced civilians after the defeat of the rebels in May. "It is possible that there are about 15,000-20,000 male and female activists who were directly or indirectly involved with the LTTE before its defeat," Maj Gen Jaya Ratnayake, who is overseeing the IDP facilities and more..

Seylan Bank says improved governance, loan recovery

July 31 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Seylan Bank said it had stepped up efforts to recover loans and improved credit evaluation and corporate governance under new management which was appointed by the banking regulator. It said in a statement the bank, which faced a run after the collapse of an unlisted subsidiary of its parent Ceylinco group, "now seems to be firmly on the road to recovery." more..

Sri Lanka mission chief interviewed by IMF publication

July 31 (LBO) An International Monetary Fund publication, the IMF Survey has published an interview with Brian Aitken, who led mission to Sri Lanka that resulted in a 2.6 billion US dollar loan to the island. The full interview is reproduced below: IMF Survey online: Why does Sri Lanka need an IMF-backed program? How did the country get into economic problems that required the IMF’s assistance? more..

Sri Lanka releases another IMF document

July 31 (LBO) Sri Lanka has released the technical memorandum of understanding signed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), days after the main economic policy agreement was released. A few decades ago many countries did not release IMF documents as governments were unwilling to defend policies in the documents. IMF programs are drawn up by technical people in government, who understood the problems facing a country. more..

Murali sets Test retirement date

July 31 (CI) Muttiah Muralitharan has said he will retire from Test cricket next year. Murali, who is the highest wicket-taker in Tests with 770 wickets in 127 Tests, announced that the two-Test home series against West Indies in November 2010 would be his last. The 37-year-old Murali said he would focus on playing one-day cricket until the 2011 World Cup, to be played in the subcontinent, and would thereafter stick to Twenty20 cricket. more..

A loan for Sri Lanka

July 31 (Economist) The IMF on July 24th approved a US$2.6bn loan to the Sri Lankan government. The 20-month standby facility is intended to bolster dwindling foreign-exchange reserves, and may indirectly relieve the country's burgeoning fiscal crisis. Despite intense speculation to the contrary, human-rights concerns have not prevented the loan from being made. In some respects the IMF has been remarkably lenient in the conditions it has attached to the loan. more..

Myanmar Foreign Minister to visit here

July 31 (LP) Myanmar’s Foreign Minister Nayan Win and a delegation are expected to visit Sri Lanka for the meeting of the Second Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation to be held on August 3 and 4th. According to Foreign Ministry sources, 20 prominent businessmen in Myanmar are expected to visit Sri Lanka to promote bi- lateral business affairs on the sideline to the Myanmar official visit. more..

Murali turned the game for Sri Lanka - Intikhab

July 31 (CI) Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam has said that Muttiah Muralitharan's cameo towards the end of the Sri Lankan innings turned the game in their favour. Coming in with Sri Lanka struggling at 173 for 7 in the 45th over, Muralitharan smashed 32 off 15 balls to lift them to 232. The score proved too big a challenge for Pakistan, as they lost the first ODI in Dambulla by 36 runs. more..

'US$2.6 billion is for capitulation by the govt'

July 31 (LT) The reason that IMF had decided to make available US$2.6 billion when only for US$1.9 billion was asked for was according to the momentousness of the conditions that the government had agreed says JVP MP Sunil Handunneththi. Mr. Handunneththi said stating that no conditions were put forward by the IMF to make available the loan is a blatant lie. “The government is bragging that they got the biggest loan in the history of the country. more..

Burn coils to cure dengue – Instructions from Kandy Hospital

July 31 (LT) A notice displayed at the outpatients section in Kandy Hospital states patients who are infected with dengue should use mosquito coils or vaporizers to prevent them from mosquito bites. Earlier the government had stated breeding of mosquitoes should be prevented to stop dengue fever from spreading. However, the notice displayed at Kandy Hospital states it could be done with mosquito coils. more..

India willing to give more money for resettling Sri Lankan Tamils

July 31 (IANS) Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is willing to give more funds, besides the Rs 500 crore which India has already pledged, for resettlement of around 3,00,000 civilians displaced by the conflict in Sri Lanka, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said on Thursday. When Manmohan Singh met Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the sidelines of the NAM Summit in Egypt earlier this month, more..

India should help Tamils in achieving Tamil Eelam: LTTE

July 31 (PTI) Having taken over as the chief of the LTTE Selvarasa Pathmanathan has appealed to India to "understand" and help the Sri Lankan Tamils in achieving their dream of Tamil Eelam. The new leader of the LTTE, which has been fighting for a separate Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka for the past three decades, also said some leaders in Tamil Nadu were "unwilling" to accept the truth that Prabakaran is no more. more..

Sri Lanka: Plight of the IDPs

July 31 (AT) Once again, the pundits of the world are lecturing Sri Lanka as to how the country should treat the IDPs, that they should be released forthwith and that the country is discriminating against the Tamils. These pulpit lecturers seem to be under the illusion that the Sri Lankan government wants to keep these unfortunate people in IDP camps and create all the bad publicity for itself in doing so. more..

Sri Lankan elected President of CNA

July 31 (AT) Sri Lankan Indra Perera has been elected President of CNA World, a conglomerate of the wider CNA ( Confedarazione Nazionale dell’ Artigianato e della Piccola e Media Impresa ), the Italian Confederation of Small & Medium and Handicraft Companies, with an overwhelming majority. For the first time ever, a Sri Lankan citizen is chosen to guide and represent an important Italian institutional organisation. more..

'Decision to give up armed struggle taken by Prabakaran'

July 31 (Hindu) In a new twist to LTTE politics in the post-Prabakaran era, new Tiger chief Selvarasa Pathmanathan known as “KP on Thursday claimed that the decision of the Tigers to give up armed struggle and take recourse to “political and diplomatic moves” was taken by Velupillai Prabakaran along with other commanders at Mullivaikkal in Mullathivu district days before his death in the Eelam War IV. more..

Police arrest two in Toronto's 30th murder

July 31 (CTV) Two men have been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the beating death of a young Sri Lankan man in Toronto's east-end last week. Annushath Indrakanthan, 19, was swarmed and attacked at a small plaza near Birchmount Road and Sheppard Avenue East on July 20. As many as five attackers clubbed him with weapons -- including a hammer and an edged tool. more..

Bahrain seeks to boost Sri Lanka trade links

July 31 (GDN) Bahrain and Sri Lanka are to seek out new means of co-operation to boost trade with a global picture in mind. That was the message from Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Hassan Fakhro, who was part of a delegation which accompanied Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa on his visit to Sri Lanka. "The global financial crisis is not having the level of impact on Bahrain that some other countries in the region and worldwide have been experiencing," he said. more..

Sri Lanka evaluates financial proposal for port terminal

July 31 (LBO) Sri Lankan authorities have begun evaluating the financial proposal of the sole bid by China Merchant Holdings and Aitken Spence for a new container terminal in Colombo port, officials involved with the project said. "We opened the financial bid yesterday and have started evaluating it," said an official, referring to the bid by the consortium consisting of China Merchant Holdings, a big Chinese port operator, and more..

'Sri Lanka no platform for anti-India activities'

July 31 (AT) Asserting his nationalist credentials Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa has told all countries ‘even if I call them friends’, that he is nobody’s stooge. ‘I will never be’, he declared in ringing tones ‘…all countries must realise that even if I call them friends, I am nobody’s stooge and never will be. I am a Sri Lankan nationalist’, the President said in an interview to an Indian journalist. more..

Sri Lanka opportunities scouted by Etisalat

July 31 (LBO) Emirates Telecommunications Corporation or Etisalat is scouting for investment opportunities in Sri Lanka's fast growing telecom sector after the end of its decades long ethnic war, a top official said. The senior official from the UAE-based operator is currently visiting the tropical island meeting stakeholders, including the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC). more..

Embassy of Sri Lanka hosts "Delightful evening of sri Lankan culture"

July 31 (IL) Members of the International Club of DC were hosted by Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya and Mrs. Wickramasuriya at their elegant Embassy Row Residence on Saturday, July 25. The well attended event was filled with enthusiasts from a range of countries, who were treated to sights, sounds and tastes of Sri Lanka. Guests were able to witness the beauty of Sri Lanka on a large projection screen while more..

Sri Lanka would have got money if IMF did not come through: Indian official

July 31 (LBO) Sri Lanka would have got bilateral help if the International Monetary Fund did not cough up the cash, but the island now had an opportunity to ride on the endorsement by keeping to its targets, a top Indian official has said. "If IMF had not given some other friends on a bilateral basis would have met this requirement," Adarsh Kishore, India's executive director to the International Monetary Fund told a forum in Colombo. more..

Country will know path of SLFP on Sept 01, says Mangala

July 31 (CT) The country will get to know on September 01 whether the SLFP will ‘talibanize’ Sri Lanka or else embrace the visions of its founder S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, said SLFP Mahajana Wing leader Mangala Samaraweera. Speaking to the media today (July 30) Mr. Samaraweera responded to a statement by SLFP general secretary Maithripala Sirisena that the party would announce its new policies in one month’s time. more..

Sinhalese physician with alleged LTTE links arrested

July 31 (CT) Intelligence officials arrested at Katunayake Bandaranaike International Airport yesterday (July 29) a Sinhalese physician who is said to have maintained links with the LTTE. The suspect, who is a top official in an INGO, has once served at a hospital in Gampaha and in the northeast. The arrest was made as he was attempting to take a flight through Dubai to Iraq. more..

Schoolgirl dies due to overdose of drugs

July 31 (CT) A 12-year-old schoolgirl in Galewela, upset by a quarrel between her parents, had died after consuming an overdose of drugs. The daughter of an Army Medical Corp officer, she had found the tablets from her father’s traveling bag, an inquest at Dambulla Hospital was told. The father of six had taken leave and come home as two of the children were sick. When he was preparing to leave for work again, the wife had asked him to stay, which had led to a big quarrel between them. more..

Mangrove Restoration in Sri Lanka

'Public role vital in combating dengue'

July 31 (GDI) Despite efforts to combat the spread of dengue fever, the virus looms large with the death toll standing at 225 and over 20,000 persons being inflicted and hospitalised. The Health Ministry has taken adequate steps to educate the public and bring down experts to adopt measures to combat the spread of the virus. However, they claim that the cooperation from local authorities were much below expectations as garbage continued to pile up in populated areas. more..

Stop to Porn: President praised from all corners of society

July 31 (GDI) The steps taken by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to direct the CID to commence investigations in to pornographic sites on the internet have been welcomed by all sections of the society countrywide. Following the President's directive, the CID commenced investigations and reported to court 12 such porn sites and the court issued a restraining order on those sites. more..

Now...deep sea fishing in the North

July 31 (GDI) Deep sea fishing in the northern seas banned in 2005 due to terrorism commenced once again this week with the lifting of restrictions on fishing in those areas. Fishermen ceremonially took off to deeper seas in the presence of Social Service Minister, Douglas Devananda. The government lifted the ban on fishing two months ago and urged the northern fishermen to continue their vocation without hindrance. more..

Presidential Commission on Taxation 2009

July 31 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed a ten member Commission on Taxation to study the country's tax system,assess why revenue on GDP has declined and make proposals to remedy the situation. The Commission will cover wide areas with regard to the taxation system in the country and adopt measures to halt frequent changes to taxation. The Commission comprise Prof. WD Lakshman, Dr.R.H.S.Samaratunga, Sarath Jayatilleke, Rajan Asiriwatham, more..