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'New media culture will be established'

Aug 1 (SO) A Media Development Authority will be established to give incentives and facilities to improve the working conditions of the media personnel. This matter has already been discussed with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Minister of Mass Media and Information Dr. Keheliya Rambukwella said. He explained that this will not be a move to restrict the freedom of media personnel, or a regulatory mechanism but to improve their working conditions and provide them with more facilities. more..

Siyatha slams Police, Fire Brigade

Aug 1 (SL) The Police and the Fire Brigade did not respond on time when Siyatha TV was attacked, its owning company Voice of Asia Network Chairman Roshantha Kariyapperuma said yesterday. He told the Sunday Times he had lodged a strong protest with President Mahinda Rajapaksa about the delay. Mr. Kariyapperuma said the police and fire brigade arrived 35 minutes after they were informed about the attack on the Siyatha TV and radio station at Lake Road in Colombo 2. more..

Crackdown on illegal religious radio stations

Aug 1 (ST) The Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has begun a crackdown on a string of clandestine radio stations operated by an Islamic religious sect to propagate its message to its growing number of followers in Sri Lanka. The TRC and the Police raided an FM radio station in Beruwala a week ago and seized equipment which they said had been acquired illegally. more..

Two-day workshop for Govt. MPs in Bentota

Aug 1 (SL) A two-day workshop attended by President Mahinda Rajapaksa is to be held for governing party members of parliament next Saturday and Sunday in Bentota to discuss the government’s future plans. The Sunday Leader reliably learns that the workshop is to be held at the Riverina Hotel in Bentota, while the UPFA legislators are also to be lodged at Riverina and the adjoining hotels. more..

RR Samarakoon no more

Aug 2 (BBC) The veteran playwright, dramatist, novelist and translator, RR Samarakoon, has passed away after a brief illness. He was 71. The veteran playwright and dramatist's creative life expands over four decades. He became most popular after Kelani Palama which was first produced in 1978. His first production was Ledak Nethi Ledek in early 60s. His Ahasin Vetunu Minissu which was produced in 1971, received four awards at the state drama awards; more..

Sangakkara world's top batsman

Aug 2 (BBC) The captain of Sri Lanka’s national cricket team, Kumar Sangakkara, has reclaimed the top position in the world Test rankings replacing India’s Virender Sehwag. While Sehwag has been dropped to number two position, Sachin Tendulkar was promoted to fourth position from the sixth, after his double century in Colombo. Sangakkara’s new deputy, Mahela Jayawardene, is the third best ranked Test batsman, according to latest ICC Test rankings. more..

Chamal shines in politics

Aug 2 (SO) There are two categories of politicians. Those who become popular due to politics belong to the first category and the second are those who popularise politics for the welfare of the masses with the intention of helping them. They are rare and unique. This is particularly true of Chamal Rajapaksa. When he entered politics, the people of Giruwa and Magam Pattus of the Hambantota district, more..

Laws of man vs. laws of nature

Aug 2 (LG) During the second JVP insurrection, many youth were denied the dignity of burial. Many victims’ corpses suffered the indignity of being left to rot in the open, at the mercy of dogs and crows, says Priyankara the director of the play Antigone- Adawage dawasak. This comment took me to the days of 88/89 when the JVP led insurrection not only attacked the government power centres but also attacked and killed those who stood for the rights of minorities. more..

Rendering the law irrelevant in Sri Lanka?

Aug 2 (LG) To most ordinary people, the law is an abstract notion. Ask any hardworking citizen about judges and courts and he or she would most probably shudder. This reaction is not unjustifiable. The court is a forum to which any sane person not occupied with the law as a profession or as a necessary litigant would be dragged to, literally kicking and screaming. Though the idea of the law is to ensure justice and though reams of learned treatises and more..

‘Party back on right track’

Aug 2 (NS) Humble and ever gentlemanly UNP Deputy Leader Jayasuriya, although accused by some of his Ananda College contemporaries as a school bully, says he may have been up to his share of mischief in his youth, but the important thing is not to carry them into adulthood. He answers some blunt questions we placed before him regarding his party in equally forthright and hard hitting replies. more..

Curator defends SSC pitch for second Test

Aug 2 (CI) Anurudda Polonowita, Sri Lanka's national curator, has defended the pitch at the SSC, blaming the weak bowling line-ups for a dull draw. "I am quite happy [with the pitch]," Poloniwata said. "You take the Indian side. Six or seven world-class batsmen. Top level. Better than England or Australia. What is Sri Lankan batting? Same. All record holders. What is their bowling? We had Murali, we had [Chaminda] Vaas - 800 wickets, 400 wickets. more..

Bomb attack on UPFA provincial council member's house

Aug 2 (NF) A hand grenade has been lobbed at the residence of the UPFA North Central Provincial Council member Sarath Illangasingha this morning. According to the police media spokesperson SP Prishantha Jayakody, a vehicle, which had been parked near the house, had been damaged owning to the attack. He added that the relatives of the provincial council member had been at the residence at the time of the incident, but more..

First ships to call the new Hambantota mega port to be berthed in November

Aug 2 (NF) The First Phase of the Hambantota port will be inaugurated on August 15 with the filling of the water basin of the harbour and the first ships to call the new mega port in the south of the island will be berthed in mid November. The details of the mega project was announced to the media today at a briefing held at the new Hambantota port premises. more..

A Soldier says Tamils, Sinhalese and all others can live in concord; Part 1

Aug 2 (LG) In today’s 10 second sound bites discussions or depictions of decades of the issues created by imperial powers to divide and rule a nation appointing minority overseers with powers vested to supervise and control a majority community in order to keep them subjugated so that an imperial power can plunder a country of its resources the true story of Sinhalese and Tamils does not come to light or more..

World court on Kosovo: Lessons for Sri Lanka

Aug 2 (LG) Students residing and schooling in Colombo had the bar to university entrance set higher in the mid 1970s, what with district and media wise standardisation the order of the day. For Arts students the Mt Olympus was the Faculty of Law, and those few who had done well enough were informed that they had qualified /been selected for the Law Fac. Getting their kids in over the high bar of standardisation was a dream for parents in Colombo. more..

'Govt. will soon make KP a pariot, while General Fonseka is in jail'

Aug 2 (NF) The government is on a path that leads to anarchy, says Tilvin Silva, General Secretary of the JVP who adds that the LTTE leader KP is being given gradual promotions and in no time we would be hearing the government proclaiming him as be patriot. “This is a government that is making numerous attempts to brand General Sarath Fonseka as a traitor and cases are filed against him with the intention of more..

Displacing Northern Tamils to set up Sinhala military cantonments would increase resentment

Aug 2 (TC) Last week the villagers of Ragamwela in Ampara, engaged in a protest demonstration, accusing the police of occupying their lands. Ragamwela is strategically located close to several tourist hotspots; at midnight, July 17, an armed gang descended on the village, assaulting inhabitants and burning houses. The nearby STF post stayed away, saying that they have no authority to visit the area! more..

Dignity of the Sri Lankan Academia and the government undermined

Aug 2 (SL) At a time the national university academics have taken professional action to ensure that the government will take its own assurances seriously with regard to full revision of their salaries, it is best that our countrymen are kept well informed of our grievances. We as academics are not only concerned about ourselves but also about the entire citizenry. The need for a clear explanation on the current salary demands is warranted since more..

Malinga on track for third Test

Aug 2 (CI) Both sides look set to welcome back injured troops for the final Test of the series at the P Sara Oval on Tuesday. Gautam Gambhir and Lasith Malinga, if fit, should walk back into their respective sides, while Yuvraj Singh presents India with a conundrum. Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lankan captain, said Malinga - the biggest factor in the series so far - was on track to recover from more..

'India not as aggressive as a No.1 team should be'

Aug 2 (CI) The most talked-about factor of the second Test was the pitch. The last one-and-a-half days may have made for dull cricket, but it was probably a better pitch than the ones we have played the last two to three SSC Tests on. It had more bounce, and the previous pitches kept getting slower and slower, and by the fourth and fifth day, the ball wouldn't even get up to your knees. The spinner didn't have anything, more..

Partisan prejudices should be shunned to pursue urgent national objectives

Aug 2 (DM) As expected, the powwow between the ruling party and the main opposition party, the UNP has drawn a wide range of comments from various sections of people in the country. Those without deep-seated political prejudices and partisan attitudes, who desire to see an end to the present destructive party rivalry for the country to achieve its political and economic objectives, have hailed the present move. more..

UN's Lanka panel to meet this month

Aug 2 (HT) The three-member panel appointed by UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon to look into human rights accountability issues during the final stages of the civil war in Sri Lanka is likely meet this month, media reports said on Sunday. The panel has already attracted a lot of criticism from the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime. In July, raucous protests were organised outside the UN premises in Colombo, more..

Sivahamy’s Sorrow: Mission accomplished!

Aug 2 (GV) My name is Madduma Bandara — a brave young journalist working for Ceylon Daily Lies. I am going to tell you the story of a Sri Lankan Tamil woman by the name of Sivapuranam Sivahamy. What follows is consistent with the official policy of CDL, “we report, you decide.” Permit me to engage your imagination a bit. Sivahamy comes from a farming family in the north of Sri Lanka, a poor village about 15 miles from Jaffna town. more..

Ramayana trail worries Lankan historians

Aug 2 (TI) The promotion by Sri Lankan Tourism of a “Ramayana Trail” to attract Indian tourists has run into criticism from local historians and archaeologists who accuse the authorities of promoting a myth ignoring historical inaccuracies. The criticism comes in the wake of the recent commencement of a series of events for Ramayana enthusiasts by the Tourism Authority of Sri Lanka. Under the programme, which will continue till September, more..

44,000 Sri Lankans move to Qatar for jobs in a year

Aug 2 (GT) Qatar received more than 44,000 workers from Sri Lanka last year, according to a report posted in a Sri-Lanka-based website. The website, The Migrant News, quoting officials of Sri Lankan Bureau of Foreign Employment, reported that about 44,000 Sri Lankans reached Qatar for taking up employment in 2009. “This constituted about 18% of the total outflow of workers from Sri Lanka,” it said. more..

The UNP has changed from being a political party into a non governmental organization

Aug 2 (TC) A member of the UNP, Rienzie Algama, committed self-immolation last week as a mark of protest against the current crisis and the resultant disunity within the party. The UNP has decided to suspend its Kandy District MP A.R.M. Abdul Cader from the party Working Committee for voting with the government in parliament on several occasions. Since the last Parliamentary election, many leaders of the party have aired the views that more..

Sri Lankan domestic cricket receives financial boost

Aug 2 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket's domestic inter-provincial tournaments have received a big boost from a Singapore-based company, Somerset Entertainment Ventures Ltd, who have come forward to sponsor the three formats - the four-day league, limited-overs and Twenty20 for the next five years, beginning in 2011. The tournaments will come under one umbrella and have been re-branded the Sri Lanka Premier League. more..

Money, revival come slowly to Sri Lanka's old war zone

Aug 2 (Reuters) The war's over, but men with guns remain in Sri Lanka's former battle zone in the north, where recovery is wobbling along despite few basic services and too little lending. Small, green shoots of Sri Lanka's recovery from a 25-year war are beginning to show in the form of microfinance loans for people displaced by the climax of the battle between the government and the LTTE. more..

Red Cross houses for IDPs

Aug 2 (MoD) The Sri Lanka Red Cross has started its recovery assistance program to returnee IDPs. First instalments (Rs 50,000) of housing grant (Rs 325,000) were transferred to families in Vivegananthanagar, Ananthapuram and Kanesapuram in Kilinochchi District to rebuild their own homes. The Sri Lanka Red Cross with the support of German Red Cross is assisting 400 families to rebuild their homes. more..

Measures to minimize damage caused by lightning

Aug 2 (LP) Steps have been taken to minimize damage caused by lightning in the Ports and Aviation sector. Ports and Aviation Information and Research Centre have drawn to the awareness programme for heads of relevant institutions was held recently in this regard. During the programme issues related on how to prevent damage caused by lightning, fixing lightning-conductors etc were taken into consideration. more..

Information Centres at Archeological sites for the benefit of public

Aug 2 (LP) Site Museum and the Information centres are being constructed in selected Archeological sites in the Country said the Department of Archeology. Accordingly the centres are built in Welgama Archeological Site in Trincomalee, Yapahuwa, Rajanganaya, Dadigama and in Kotte. The museums are being built for the convenience of the public and other parties interested in Sri Lankan archeology visiting the area. more..

Diplomacy or Diplomercy? Diplomats or Diplomutts?

Aug 2 (TC) The UNP is to hand over a no-confidence motion this week against poor G.L. Peiris (who is now known in some circles as ‘Nanny Peiris’ for the mentoring role he has taken over a certain presidential progeny). The party thinks Prof Peiris should be skewered for failing to prevent the appointment of an expert panel by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to advise him on accountability issues related to the conduct of Sri Lanka’s war against the LTTE. more..

New proposals for Tourism Development in the East

Aug 2 (LP) With the dawn of peace in the Eastern Province Tourism is picking up in the region. The number of foreign and local visitors coming to Arugambay, Pasekudah and Nilaweli is increasing daily. Facilities available to the visitors need improvement. The new opportunities can also be utilized to the development of living standards of the people in the area. more..

Police sergent's body found at IDH

Aug 2 (NF) A police sergeant was found dead near a canal in the IDH area in Kolonnawa this morning. According to police media spokesman SP Prishantha Jayakody, the sergeant had been attached to the Pannala police. “The body was found on a tip off received by the Emergency Unit this morning,” said police, who added that, “cut wounds have been observed on the body .” A team had been sent to Kolonnawa to assist in the investigations more..

‘Room Service’ for House SG

Aug 2 (NS) Parliament Secretary General Dammika Kitulegoda has not reported to work for the last few days, and is said to be operating from home, following a tongue lashing he had received from two top government politicos for disciplining a Parliament employee, A Parliament source told The Nation that the clash between Kitulegoda and the politicos started when the former took action against an employee for being actively involved in the election campaign of more..

1000 secondary schools to be developed at a cost of Rs 60 billion

Aug 2 (GDI) Sri Lanka Ministry of Education said that a new programme costing Rs. 60 billion will be launched from next year to develop 1,000 secondary schools island wide. The programme aims to reduce the competition to enter urban and popular schools and give equal opportunity for all in education, overcoming the problems of nutrition and transport. more..

'Ranil should be made ‘Mahanayake’ and Sajith the Leader of the UNP'

Aug 2 (LT) Mr. Sajith Premadasa should be made the leader of the UNP and Ranil Wickremesinghe the senior leader to resolve the crisis that exists in the UNP says UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera. Speaking at a UNP ‘Bala Mandalaya’ meeting held in Mahara area Mr. Jayasekera said, “There are innocent people in rural areas who say they would be with the UNP even if Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse remains as President for 25 years. more..

Gen. Fonseka, Capt. Haripriya to appear in court again on Aug. 16

Aug 2 (NF) Parliamentarian General Sarath Fonseka and retired Captain Senaka Haripriya, said to have been the General's secretary during the presidential election, were produced before court today on the charge of conspiring to overthrow the government. Counsel appearing on behalf of retired Captain Senaka Haripriya, President's Counsel Thirantha Waraliyadda requested court for an opportunity to be granted to General Fonseka and more..

'Ranil must make room for Sajith as leader'

Aug 2 (Island) Senior UNP MP Lakshman Seneviratne said that Ranil Wickremesinghe should step down from the party’s leadership and Hambantota District MP Sajith Premadasa should fill the vacancy if the party was to come out of its present crisis. He said that Wickremesinghe should remain as the leader of the Opposition and senior leader of the party but he should relinquish his duties so that MP Premadasa could more..

Teacher assaults student for chewing gum

Aug 2 (NS) Police Women’s and Children’s Bureau, Galle is investigating acomplaint from the father of a Grade eight student studying at the Angulugaha Maha Vidyalaya, Habaraduwa that his son had been assaulted and intimidated by a schoolteacher. The father told an inquiry that on July 7, his son, 12- year-old K.G.Lakshan had been observed by the school’s Master in Charge of Discipline (MSD) practising a guitar during the interval while chewing gum. more..

Which is our real opposition?

Aug 2 (LB) The petrol bomb attack on the Siyatha television station on Friday was immediately seen as another message to the media. Siyatha belongs to Mr Roshantha Kariyapperuma, husband of popular actress Sangeetha Weeraratne. The said Mr. Kariyapperuma’s brother Priyantha was the former chairman of the Lotteries Board, who however supported Gen. Fonseka’s presidential bid in 2009. He fell out of favour with the Rajapaksa government as a result, and more..

Rienzie Algama sets himself on fire; Ranil spins yarn to his advantage

Aug 2 (LB) The UNP’s hierarchy was shocked beyond belief after UNP’s Southern Province Coordinating officer Rienzie Algama set fire to himself opposite Sirikotha. Meanwhile, Ranil Wickremesinghe’s group was trying to gain political mileage over the issue saying that Algama was against party reform and did not want party reforms to take place --and that he had written to Wickremesinghe detailing his opposition to reform. more..

Bonus withdrawal due to financial burden

Aug 2 (ST) The decision to stop the 20 percent bonus on interest paid to senior citizens who placed their savings in commercial banks was taken due to the financial burden it placed on the government, Cabinet spokesman and Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. However, he said the Treasury would be looking into the possibility of reactivating the special bonus scheme after several appeals were made to President Rajapaksa, but other sources said this was unlikely. more..

CDs take centre stage at Fonseka trial-at-bar

Aug 2 (ST) Three CDs are to be played in open court as part of evidence against former army chief Sarath Fonseka in the ‘white flag’ case, according to Deputy Solicitor General Wasantha Navaratna Bandara. He made this observation as he handed over the indictment sheet to the retired General. The trial-at-bar, starting on September 27, will be conducted on a daily basis. The bench comprises Deepali Wijesundara, H N P B Werawewa and Zurfick Razeen. more..

Scrapping of Rs. 253bn S’kanda refinery expansion likely

Aug 2 (BL) The Government is considering alternatives to Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery Expansion and Modernisation (SOREM) after a preliminary study revealed that costs of the project could exceed well over rupees half a trillion. “Although Iran agreed to fund 70% or nearly Rs. 137 billion of the total estimated project cost of Rs. 195.5 billion (US 1.7billion) more..

'Sri Lanka shows excellent progress'

Aug 2 (LNP) Sri Lanka has shown an excellent progress in the IT industry compared to the other countries in the world, Intel Corporation Vice President/World Ahead, John E. Davies said. IT industry is one of the most focused industries and the Sri Lanka Government has given its support to increase the IT literacy rate. The industry has been given high attention where the Government has set goals to achieve 60 percent of the population to be IT literate by 2012. more..

Editorial: Physicians refusing to heal themselves

Aug 2 (LNP) The earth shattering leak of classified American defence documents shedding light on war crimes in Afghanistan has had such a devastating impact on the US that Washington has been compelled to implore Wikileaks website responsible for the expose to desist from revealing anymore secret documents. US Defence Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Mike Mullen have called the leaks more..

Elephant attack deaths: Full compensation still to be paid

Aug 2 (DN) The Wildlife Conservation Department has not paid full compensation to families whose members have died from elephant attacks. In most cases, the department has paid the initial payment of Rs 15,000 of the compensation. The department has not paid Rs 85,000, which is the balance of the full elephant damage compensation, to be paid to each family with their primary income-winners killed by elephant attacks, more..

President leaves car at barrier, walks to Maligawa

Aug 2 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday (01) set an example for others by walking to the Sri Dalada Maligawa to pay homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic. The President left his vehicle at the barrier in front of Queen’s Hotel and walked to the Sri Dalada Maligawa around 6.00 am. He did so while some people are demanding the re-opening of the road near the Sri Dalada Maligawa that has been closed for vehicular traffic. more..

New borders in the East

Aug 2 (DM) A special meeting to diffuse the tension between Arayampathy Pradeshya Saba and the Kattankudy Urban Council was held under Eastern Provincial Council Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan in his Batticaloa office on Saturday evening. It was decided at the meeting to survey the land areas by the survey department and demarcate the boundaries of both these local councils, councilor M.L.A.M. Hizbullah said. more..