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Judge: 90% of suspects go free

Aug 2 (DM) Ninety percent of suspects involved in crimes get acquitted while only ten percent are convicted in our country, Nuwara Eliya Magistrate and District Judge Saman. P. Kariyawasam said. He said that such a high percentage of acquittals were due to the fact that the police who file action and lead evidence in Magistrates’ Courts did not have sufficient knowledge of law. more..

Editorial: Dons and their grievances

Aug 2 (DN) University unrest it seems has spread to the academic staff. The Federation of the University Teachers Association has given an ultimatum to the Government to rectify their salary anomalies before August 16. If not, they are to go on strike. They are demanding that the Government pay them a 25 percent interim allowance until the promised salary increase is implemented in the 2011 budget. more..

Protest against destruction at Arugam Bay temple

Aug 2 (CT) Buddhist monks and people of the area staged a protest today against the recent destruction of several buildings of Samabodhi Vihara in Arugam Bay. A certain group, aided by Pottuvil Police, had reportedly used bulldozers and razed the buildings 10 days ago, alleges chief incumbent Ven. Sivurumulle Dhammasiri Thera. Meeting the protestors this morning, DIG R.M. Weerasuriya promised to apprehend the culprits within three days and to renovate the destroyed buildings. more..

Sri Lanka to become leading eye donor in Asia

Aug 2 (DN) Sri Lanka will become the leading eye donor in Asia soon with the establishment of the Eye Bank at the Colombo National Eye Hospital (CNEH) in collaboration with the Singapore Eye Bank (SEB), Colombo National Eye Hospital and the Health Ministry. A Memorandum of Understanding will be signed between the Health Ministry and the SEB today in connection with establishing the Eye Bank. more..

Did Colombo underworld leave assault rifle on Badowita canal bank?

Aug 2 (Island) A T6-assault rifle believed to have been used by the Colombo underworld has been found on the banks of the canal at Badowita, Mt. Lavinia by the Navy engaged in clearing the canal for the expansion of its boat services. The recovery was made on July 30. Navy spokesman Captain Athula Senaratne said that the weapon was made of six different parts taken from T-56 weapons and in top condition. more..

Rich in interest rate heaven

Aug 2 (Island) The Average Weighted Prime Lending Rate (AWPR) of commercial banks reached 9.99 percent last week from 14.41 percent a year ago, which was 18.99 percent in 2008 and 16.89 in 2007. "The prime lending rate applies to high net worth individuals and companies. Ordinary people are still slapped higher rates. If the prime lending rate is 9.99 percent you could easily expect normal lending rates to be much higher," more..

'EU never felt war against LTTE a criminal act'

Aug 2 (GDI) Guy Platton, Charge d’affaires of the Delegation of the European Union says the EU never felt that it was a criminal act on the part of the Sri Lankan government to wage war on the LTTE, though the EU always wanted to end the fighting to pave the way for a negotiated settlement to avoid massive loss of life in contravention of the Geneva Conventions. more..

I am no Chandiya, says Mervyn

Aug 2 (DM) Q: There have been a lot of concerns raised by the public on the state of Sri Lanka’s main roads. What are you as the Deputy Minister of Highways doing to address these concerns? A: Since history, a majority of our people have always blamed others. We have rarely come across honest, hardworking people. When the war started, some people mocked, ‘How is Mahinda Rajapakse going to end the war?’ more..

Lankans in seized ship: Insurance firm to pay $20m ransom

Aug 2 (ST) The owner of Al Nisr Al Saudi ship, which has been hijacked by Somali pirates, said the insurance company had agreed to pay a ransom of $20 million to win the release of the ship and its 14-member crew — 13 Sri Lankans and a Greek. Kamal Arri, manager of International Bunkering Company, said his company had received a preliminary approval from Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) to pay the ransom. more..

Reconsider Kandy traffic plan, says President

Aug 2 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa instructed authorities to reconsider the new traffic plan introduced in Kandy recently and make alterations to rectify short comings. President Rajapaksa expressed these views at the progress review meeting of the Central Province held at President’s House, Kandy. The President instructed authorities to provide parking space for Kandy City traders’ vehicles at the four storeyed car park in more..

'Is compassion shown for KP for ships and funds he possess'

Aug 2 (LT) A suspicion has surfaced whether the failure of the government to take any legal action against Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP, the leader of the international network of the LTTE who has been accused of a large number of serious crimes, is due to sharing the assets that the LTTE had plundered from the people and are under KP by the stalwarts of the Rajapakse family says General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. more..

Sri Lanka gets US help for business in former war zone

Aug 2 (LBO) The United States aid agency has tied up with Sri Lankan businesses to set up clothing, construction and computing ventures that will create employment in the island's north, a statement said. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) said US government support is expected to create 10,000 full-time jobs in northern Sri Lanka, which was battered by the ethnic war. more..

Mangala’s party to join UNP

Aug 2 (DM) SLFP (M) Leader MP Mangala Samaraweera will obtain the UNP membership on August 6 along with his supporters, political sources said yesterday. Mr. Samaraweera defected from the UPFA in 2007 and joined the opposition in parliament. After that he did politics with the UNP. He also contested the April 8 Parliamentary election on the UNP ticket and got elected. The UNP leadership also requested Mr. Samaraweera to become a member of the UNP. more..

Sri Lanka evicts some war refugees from villages

Aug 2 (AP) Sri Lanka has barred some 3,000 villagers who fled the bloody final months of the country's civil war from returning to their homes in the north, possibly so the military can set up camps in the area, ethnic Tamil lawmakers charged Monday. The villagers were among 300,000 civilians detained in camps for months following the government's defeat of Tamil Tigers rebels in mid 2009, ending 25 years of civil war and more..

Survey says 65,000 homeless in Colombo

Aug 3 (CT) The number of the homeless in Colombo district stands at 65,000, a recent survey has found out. This was disclosed by chairman of the National Housing Development Authority Jayantha Samaraweera at a media briefing. By the year 2012, as many as 1.2 million people will be without homes in Colombo, he said. In view of this situation, a housing loan granted by the NHDA has been doubled to Rs. 200,000 to encourage the construction of more houses, more..

TNA expels member

Aug 3 (DM) The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has written to Trincomalee Urban Council Chairman and TNA member Shanmugaraja Gowri Muhunthan saying that he has been removed from the party. Muhunthan confirmed to Daily Mirror online that he received the letter and added that he has filed legal action against the move. The letter was sent to the Trincomalee Urban Council Chairman by TNA General Secretary Mavai Senathirajah. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 02. 08. 2010

Uni officials threaten to resign

Aug 3 (DM) Senior university officials, vice chancellors and department heads have threatened to resign from their positions on August 16 if the demands of the university teachers’ are left unanswered. Federation of University Teachers Association (FTUA) President Professor Sampath Amaratunga speaking to Daily Mirror today, stated that the majority of department heads and chancellors in all the universities are employed under a voluntary basis. more..

Sangakkara backs returning Malinga to deliver

Aug 3 (CI) Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara was pleased with the return of his strike bowler Lasith Malinga who will be central to his plans of ending the Test series against India on a winning note. Sri Lanka go into the match with a 1-0 lead, knowing a win here would not propel them to the top of the rankings. The maximum they can achieve is No. 2 behind India following the ICC's annual update. Sangakkara called on the ICC to put into place a more..

Cricket World Cup’s mascot Stumpy unveiled

Aug 3 (IANS) With 200 days to go for the 2011 cricket World Cup, the event’s mascot ‘Stumpy’ was unveiled at a simple but impressive ceremony at the P. Saravanamuttu Stadium here Monday on the eve of the third Test between Sri Lanka and India. The mascot, an elephant, was named ‘Stumpy’ after an online selection process that drew proposals from thousands of cricket fans around the world. more..

Landmines explode in 3 Vanni school surroundings

Aug 3 (TN) Three landmines went off Sunday morning in the surroundings of schools in three separate schools in Ki’linochchi district in Vanni where uprooted families were resettled in Vanni on Sri Lanka Army (SLA) assurance that the areas had been completely de-mined. The landmines exploded when students set fire to waste heaped after cleaning the surrounding area of their schools, sources in Ki’linochchi said. more..

Valikaamam uprooted families abandon protest demonstration due to death threats

Aug 3 (TN) Welfare organizations of Valikaamam North residents expelled by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) from their properties twenty years ago cancelled a human chain protest demanding resettlement in their places due to death threats to the key persons of the organizations, sources in Jaffna said. The persons threatened wish anonymity as they fear for their lives. Meanwhile, conflicts between the SLA Jaffna Commander, Major Gen. Mahinda Kathurusinghe and more..

Dengue prevention campaign in Slave Island

Aug 3 (MoD) Dengue prevention campaign in Slave Island Sri Lanka Air Force station Colombo in collaboration with the Army, Police and the Colombo Municipal Council launched a dengue prevention campaign in SIave Island area on the morning of 31st July 2010. The main focus area was Withana Mawatha, Wekanda consisting of 1200 houses and a population of 37000. Four people in this area had fallen prey to dengue in the recent past. more..

Commander of the Navy visits Naval Deployments in the South Eastern coast

Aug 3 (MoD) Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe visited the Naval Deployments at Yala and Arugambay on 30th July 2010.Commander Southern Naval Area Commodore PADR Perera, Senior officers from Naval Headquarters and Southern Naval Command too participated in the visit. During the visit, the Commander of the Navy inspected the administrative and operational readiness of the Naval establishments. more..

All set for A/L examinations

Aug 3 (MoD) G.C.E. A/L Admission cards along with the time tables have been sent by post to all applicants said the Commissioner General of Examination, Anura Edirisinghe. General Certificate of Education Advanced Level examination is scheduled to be held from August 09 till 03 September in 1940 examination centres throughout the country. If any candidate has not received his or her admission or more..

Legal action against UNP Working Committee

Aug 3 (LP) Legal action will be taken against the Working Committee of the United National Party (UNP), for canceling the committee membership of Abdul Cadar. Speaking to Lankapuvath, the MP Cader said that he received the letter regarding the cancellation of his committee membership this afternoon (02) while he would take necessary legal action. However he did not disclose his actions. more..

Udaya Devi eyes more passengers

Aug 3 (LP) The normal routine of the Udayadevi Intercity Train from Colombo to Batticaloa is to be rescheduled. Necessary direction in this regard was given to Railways Officials by the Minister of Transport Kumara Welgama. Minister of Transport said that the Transport Ministry spends Rs 2, 80,000 per day on the Udayadevi train and at the end of the day the income made by the Department is Rs 64,320, the monthly income stands as 19, 29, 600 and the expenditure is Rs 84, 00, 000. more..

Bogus Drugs

Aug 3 (NS) Unauthorised drugs or drugs which do not meet standards or those which do not adhere to a standard allopathic medical formulary are found in abundance in the local market. Most often, devoid of a generic identity, these so called drugs are invading the market with massive advertising campaigns, luring the consumer who will be at the receiving end, ignorant of the fact that the high cost of a drug or more..

Oman Air backs Sri Lanka Golf

Aug 3 (N360) Oman Air recently came forward to back Sri Lanka’s efforts to convert the country as a golfing holiday destination. Accordingly the airline will sponsor the upcoming golf open 2010 competition organised by the Victoria Golf and Country Resort of Colombo. The competition which will be worked off on the 11th and 12th of this month at the Victoria Golf course will see nearly 20 overseas golfers taking part along with a large number of local golfers. more..

Lankans among 23 crew of ship hijacked by pirates

Aug 3 (N360) Another ship with several Sri Lankan crew members has been hijacked by Somali pirates. According to the European Union Naval Force, the Panama flagged merchant vessel was hijacked yesterday. The 'MV Suez', sailing along the internationally recommended transit corridor with a deadweight of 17,300 tons carrying a cargo of cement bags, was thus hijacked. The vessel carried a crew of 23 with seamen from Egypt, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India. more..

'Those who claim inheritance to UNP are the curse to the party'

Aug 3 (NF) Those who are of the view that they have some sort of inheritance to the United National Party are the biggest curse to the UNP, says parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake. Attending a meeting in the Kotte area, Ravi K. said that the unity that should be established in the party had to be genuine and not simply superficial. “There's no point in having superficial unity. more..

'Backbone of the party is not the working committee, but grass root level members'

Aug 3 (NF) The UNP can come to power only if it feels the aspirations of the people and it should be realised that the backbone of the party is not the working committee, but those at the grass root level such as the pradeshiya sabha, urban council and provincial council members, said UNP parliamentarian Sajith Premadasa yesterday. Sajith was expressing these views attending a public meeting in more..

Buying stocks using Govt funds should be done on Fundamentals

Aug 3 (N360) General Manager of the SKM Lanka Holdings Stock Brokers, R.M.B. Senanayake says sooner or later the Colombo Stock market should correct itself. He says such correction has not taken place because of the excessive liquidity that flows to the market. Senanayake made these comments by posting a response to an article we published yesterday under the title of “CSE on a bubble, will fallout badly when the bubble burst, says top analyst”. more..

Editorial: Boru show and mayhem

Aug 3 (Island) Is the war really over? This is the question many people ask themselves on seeing how some politicians and other so-called VIPs move about on public roads. When it comes to elections, the government says there is no room for terrorism to raise its ugly head again. But, the presence of massive security convoys on roads belies this claim. The Sunday Island on August 01, carried a frontpage picture of a VIP security vehicle overtaking a long line of more..

BTI farce continues while Dengue kills by the day

Aug 3 (NS) The Cubans first brought it when the Anti Malaria Campaign was waging war against Malaria. That was when this country was enjoying a temporary respite from the war in the North owing to the on going Peace talks. When the Peace Talks broke down and the conflict resumed, the spraying of BTI also ceased. But one man did not give up trying to import this herbal eco friendly tool to fight malaria. more..

Police deployed in Matara town to hunt for students

Aug 3 (LT) After the protest campaign held with the participation of thousands of students of University of Ruhuna opposite the Police station at Matara had been peacefully concluded, the police have arrested several students who had been in Matara town says our reporter from Matara. According to him even at the moment this news item is keyed officers from police riot squad are deployed in the town, more..

Commuters to benefit with another 500 buses

Aug 3 (LP) Over 500 new buses are to be added to the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) service for the benefit of the commuters. The decision was taken during a meeting held between President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Transport Minister Kumar Welgama and Ministry officials. Under the first phase of the project 100 buses will be deployed said Transport Minister Welgama. President Rajapaksa also said that the SLTB needs to be more public friendly and more..

Rosy up in arms over proposals being ignored by UNP

Aug 3 (LB) Colombo district UNP MP Rosy Senanayake in two separate hard-hitting letters addressed to party leader Ranil Wickremasinghe and UNP Gampaha district MP and the Chairman of the UNP Party Reform Committee Joseph Michael Perera respectively, has voiced her vehement protest on the lukewarm response received to proposals forwarded by her to the party working committee. more..

Some SLTPB officials resign

Aug 3 (LB) In a knee jerk reaction to audit queries, certain officials of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) have begun to tender their resignations. When the audit team started probing financial irregularities that have taken place in the SLTPB due to various promotional projects such as iifa (International Indian Film Awards) and others, senior officials have started tendering their resignations. Last week the Managing Director of SLTPB Dileep Mudadeniya tendered his resignation more..

JMO refuses to give report over ‘missing organs’: Hospital workers remanded

Aug 3 (ST) Two hospital attendants who embalmed and later buried the internal organs of a young midwife, who was found dead at the Velanai Hospital recently, appeared before the Kayts Magistrate on Friday to give their statements. Emmanuel Arul and Anthony Angelo are currently in remand for being under the influence of liquor, bad conduct, withholding information from the court, and failure to appear before the magistrate when the body of Tharshika Saravanan’s body was being exhumed more..

Govt. 'trying to change' demography

Aug 3 (BBC) The major Tamil political party in Sri Lanka has accused the government of trying to change the demography in the north taken over by the military following the defeat of Tamil Tiger rebels over a year ago. "Displaced people are not allowed to resettle in their ancestral lands,' says the TNA. The TNA also accused the government of breaching pledges made to India and the international community over resettling IDP. more..

Editorial: Sense of justice versus national interests

Aug 3 (DM) The JVP is livid over the fact that ex-key arms procurer of the LTTE and suspect in Rajiv Gandhi assassination Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP) is being treated as a guest of the government while General Sarath Fonseka languishes in military custody. It certainly is a bizarre turn of events and one may say none would find a more apt example for the maxim ‘there are no permanent friends or foes in politics, only permanent interests’. more..

Bigger loans to cater to housing needs

Aug 3 (DN) The National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) is planning to increase housing loans to low income families. “We give housing loans to low income families who are below the Rs 25,000 income level. Considering the fluctuations of income, the hike in the prices of construction material and public requests who anticipate to obtain housing loans, we have decided to increase the housing loan to Rs 200,000 which was Rs. 100,000 earlier. more..

Don’t act foolishly, Magistrate tells undergrads

Aug 3 (DN) Kandy Chief Magistrate Lalith Ekanayake yesterday rejecting an anticipatory bail application filed by four Peradeniya University students who allegedly behaved in an aggressive manner obstructing Higher Education Minister S B Dissanayake said university students should never act like the proverbial bull in the China shop. The Chief Magistrate said students who enter universities for higher education should act in a more..

Protest against SB at Peradeniya

Aug 3 (Island) Kandy Chief Magistrate Lalith Ekanayaka rejected an anticipatory bail application filed by four undergraduates of the University of Peradeniya yesterday (02) on the basis that the application did not conform to the legal requirements. The bail application had been filed through Attorney-at-law Saman Thanthrige by four undergradutes allegedly involved in a protest by a group of students on July 12 when Higher Eduction Minister S. B. Dissanayake was present at the university to more..

Sub Committees for Music, Drama, Dancing appointed

Aug 3 (DN) National Heritage and Cultural Affairs Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi has appointed members for the Sub Committees of Music, Dancing and Drama at a meeting held at the auditorium of the Ministry recently. The purpose of these Committees is to bring the standard of music, dancing and drama up to international levels. The Ministry has proposed to set up a systematic mechanism in order to achieve this. more..

'Nearly 80 percent beggars in sound health'

Aug 3 (DN) A social survey conducted by a research group of the Colombo University revealed that 79 percent beggars in Sri Lanka are physically sound and most of them are free of chronic diseases. There are only 21 percent disabled beggars though, a majority of them pretend to be disabled. Over 90 percent are not necessarily expecting any benefit from the Government or any other organization to help them get rid of their profession. more..

Only part of illegally imported 4,200 tonnes of chicken destroyed?

Aug 3 (Island) Over 4,200 metric tons of illegally imported chicken, transhipped from Singapore by a company in Kolonnawa, was destroyed at Kalagedihena in an operation that took over six hours. The quantity was burnt under the supervision of officials of the Sri Lanka Customs, Department of Animal Husbandry and the Health Department. The Island learns that the shipments originated from Brazil and New Zealand. more..

MP Thevarapperuma protests against his arrest

Aug 3 (SL) UNP Kalutara District MP Palitha Thevarapperuma who is in remand custody has staged a protest with his family outside parliament today (3). Thevarapperuma and his family protested against the alleged ill treatment of the parliamentarian in custody. He also charged that he was detained due to political reasons. Thevarapperuma and his family commenced a protest outside parliament just before parliamentary sessions commenced at 1.30 p.m. more..

U.S. honors Rezani Aziz of Sri Lanka as state alumni member of the month

Aug 3 (USDS) The U.S. Department of State has named Rezani Aziz, a Sri Lankan alumna of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), as State Alumni Member of the Month. Throughout August, her leadership and achievements will be recognized on the State Alumni website, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ official website for the more than one million alumni who have participated in a Department-sponsored exchange program. more..