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Python found in Galle house with 32 eggs

July 12 (HT) Much to the horror of the residents of a house in Sri Lanka's south western Galle city, an over 11 feet long python was found camping in their garden along with 32 ready-to-hatch eggs. The 11.5 feet long creature was caught by Galle's wildlife conservation society, following an alarm raised by the people. The wildlife officials also discovered 32 eggs the mother python was protecting. While the python was taken away to a safe location subsequently, more..

Sri Lanka Navy rescues an injured Chinese crew member and 2 Somalis

July 12 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy rescued a seriously-injured crew member of a Chinese Merchant Ship in the Eastern deep seas in the early hours today (11th July 2010). The patient of Chinese nationality had been in need of immediate medical assistance due to the serious injuries sustained while on board MV “Full Comfort” which was sailing from India to Brazil on the international shipping lane close to Sri Lanka. more..

Why the Government wants Shell Gas

July 12 (N360) One of the primary reasons for the Government to bid for Shell Gas Lanka Limited is owing to “LPG” which is commonly known as “Domestic Gas” is becoming an “essential item” in Sri Lanka. An official involved in the buying process said, “gas has become a highly essential item” for the general public”. Even now, the existing 2 gas operators Shell and Laugfs Gas have to seek Government permission before increasing their retail prices. more..

Lady doctor becomes Sri Lanka's latest dengue victim

July 12 (Xinhua) A 31-year-old lady doctor has become the latest victim in the dengue fever epidemic, which has killed 113 people in the first six months in Sri Lanka. A.L.M. Nasheer, director of the hilly country's Badulla General Hospital said the lady doctor passed away on Sunday after having been admitted to the intensive care unit with dengue fever. The dengue epidemic has reached serious proportions despite various preventive programs launched by the health authorities. more..

‘All roads lead to Mahinda Rajapaksa’

July 12 (TN) The Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh advised the visiting TNA parliamentarians to work with Mahinda Rajapaksa to find political solution, according to media reports Friday. The TNA parliamentarian A. Vinayagamoorthy was cited saying: "Prime Minister Dr Singh advised us to take along with us the Muslims, the upcountry Tamils and others and work unitedly with President Rajapaksa to evolve a solution to the Tamil problem. We told him we will try to do so." more..

Protests against UN echo anti-justice campaign

July 12 (HRW) Demonstrations led by a Sri Lankan government minister to protest a United Nations expert panel show the government’s open hostility to investigations of alleged war crimes in the Tamil Tiger conflict that ended last year, Human Rights Watch said today. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s creation of and support for the three-person Panel of Experts on justice mechanisms – despite persistent Sri Lankan government opposition more..

Champoor uprooted Tamil villagers demand early resettlement

July 12 (TN) The Champoor Division Uprooted Tamil Villagers’ Association has decided to request relevant authorities to allow them to cultivate during the forthcoming Maha season about three thousand acres of paddy fields belonging to them located in the High Security Zone (HSZ). Sri Lanka Army (SLA) demarcated large areas as HSZ after the SLA captured Champoor and adjacent villages of Koonitheivu and Soodaikudha in the military operation in April 2006. more..

Sri Lankan fisherman deported

July 12 (Hindu) A 30-year-old Sri Lankan Tamil fisherman was deported by Immigration officials on Sunday morning after his name was appeared in the ‘Look Out Circular'. The officials said the fisherman, Zion, strayed into the Indian waters in 2007. He was arrested and lodged in a refugee camp in Chengalpattu. He was deported to Sri Lanka after sometime. Again, in 2008, he had come to Chennai and was sent to a refugee camp in Bhavani Sagar, Coimbatore. more..

Sri Lanka price floor for mobile calls

July 12 (LBO) It is not the responsibility of a regulatory agency to ensure the profitability of telecom operators. Yet, when every single operator in the country, including the incumbent who used to make profits even under inefficient government management, starts bleeding red ink, it is not possible for the government and the regulatory agency to sit on their hands. After years of bad policy decisions and regulatory inaction that led to a crisis in the industry, finally, more..

Actor Asin visits Tamils in Jaffna

July 12 (TOI) Asin on Sunday became the first film star from Kollywood in 30 years to set foot in Jaffna and Vavuniya, once dominated by the LTTE. At the Vavuniya general hospital, she interacted with a few patients and even watched a cataract surgery, performed by a surgeon flown in from India. "We were told that there is a waitlist of at least 4,000 Tamils for cataract surgery, and even if the number were higher, Salman Khan and I are keen on helping all," more..

Unfinished business despite the overkill

July 12 (CI) So India and Sri Lanka are playing again? Should the world care? Why, every other match of theirs is against each other. And they have played the other in at least five tournaments since saturation point was hit. Don't the players get bored? When Yuvraj Singh was picked for this Test series, about two weeks after he had been given a wake-up-call drop from the one-day side, more..

Try flipping direction, flipping road and memory

July 12 (DN) 'Have you walked the same road in the opposite direction? You will be surprised how different it feels and looks. I mean what is around and how we perceive it. It is a pity that in life, most of us do not get that opportunity.' Take 'road' as metaphor and it offers us all kinds of maps to pour over. Take it literally and it still makes for fascinating journeys. It made me think of a little trick we used to do now and then as children. more..

Fonseka's Request to phone call Rejected

July 12 (LT) The Colombo Fort Magistrate today rejected a request by General Sarath Fonseka to telephone his daughter who is in the United States. The Magistrate rejected the request saying it is not a facility provided to a suspect under remand. Fonseka made the request through his lawyer on humanitarian grounds. Meanwhile the General, who is in military custody, also requested that he be allowed to go outside his cell for walks owing to his health condition. more..

Civilians allowed entry to Palaly HSZ for annual pooja at Vasavilan kovil

July 12 (MoD) Gnanavairavar Hindu temple at Vasavilan south within the Palaly High Security Zone (HSZ) Jaffna held its annual Pooja on Sunday 4th of June after many years with participation of a large crowd of devotees residing in neighbouring areas. The kovil remained isolated in absence of civilians due to security restrictions however in response to a request made by Chief Kurukkal, Commander Security Forces-Jaffna Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe took steps to relax the restrictions for more..

Former LTTErs to get more jobs

July 12 (MoD) Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne yesterday said that the Government will provide more than 3,000 jobs to youth in the Killinochchi and Mullaitivu districts who have had direct contacts with the LTTE. He said that the defence authorities have identified more than 10,000 people who were closely associated with the LTTE and a special program would be implemented to solve their problems. The Prime Minister was addressing the Government officials in the Vavuniya district more..

More airlines looking at Sri Lanka

July 12 (N360) India’s budget airline “Spice Jet” is planning to start operations to Sri Lanka, says the Civil Aviation Authority. The Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority H.M.C. Nimalsiri said “they have indicated their willingness to us”, however he said no formal request has come forward in this regard from the airline. He also said, several other airlines also have shown interest, but none of them have made any formal request to facilitate such a move. more..

India releases 20 Lankan fishermen, 12 trawlers

July 12 (MoD) Indian authorities released 20 Sri Lankan fishermen and their 12 trawlers which were earlier seized on charges of breaching maritime boundaries. The Sri Lankan fishermen with their trawlers had been arrested on three separate occasions, twice in Vishakapatnam on December 8, 2009 (six trawlers) and March 9 (four trawlers) and once in Thuththukudi on June 15 (two trawlers). 40 fishermen who were on board these trawlers released earlier had been brought back to the country on more..

'Techno 2010' in October

July 12 (DN) The "Techno 2010", National Engineering and Technology Exhibition, organized by the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL) for the 25th consecutive year would be held at the BMICH on October 08, 09 and 10. The IESL organizing committee unveiling their plans before the media said that the Techno-silver jubilee would be held on a grand scale and would undoubtedly seek to show case multi-faceted disciplines, talents and skills in the spheres of engineering. more..

Reserve money target revised for stronger growth

July 12 (Island) The Central Bank adjusted the annual average reserve money (cash held with the public and demand deposits with banks) target to Rs. 334 billion, a 21.2 percent growth from the previous year. The original target was a growth rate of 14.5 percent at Rs. 315.5 billion. Earlier this year the Central Bank said it would target reserve money growth in 2010 at 14.5 percent in a bid to maintain inflation more..

Name ‘too long’ for air ticket - Lankan student rejected by a Holiday Company

July 12 (LT) A Sri Lankan student in UK says she is considering legal action against a holiday company after her reservation was cancelled saying her name was too long. Sri Lankan student Jennifer Abegoonewardene told BBC Sinhala service that she booked a holiday to Cyprus a few weeks ago – together with a friend – through But she received an email and a call from the company after few days saying there was an issue related to her booking. more..

His statement on ‘joint statement’ distorted – Vijithe Herath

July 12 (LT) The General Secretary of the DNA Vijithe Herath says certain media has distorted views he made at a press conference held yesterday. When ‘Lankatruth’ inquired from him regarding a news item appearing in today’s ‘The Island.’ ‘The Island’ has published its lead titled “DNA admits no mention about ‘advisory’ panel in declaration.’ Mr. Herath said during the press conference he had yesterday (11th) more..

Wimal’s mother passes away

July 12 (Island) Mother of NFF leader and Minister Wimal Weerawansa passed away at the Colombo National hospital late last night. The death occurred hours after Minister Weerawansa called off a fast unto death campaign that he had staged opposite the UN office in Colombo demanding the disbanding of a panel of advisors appointed by the UN Secretary General more..

Unrest after riders fall off bike

July 12 (NF) Dankotuwa police have commenced investigations into a situation of unrest which had arisen after two riders had falle off the motor bike they were riding, as they were being chased by the police for allegedly failing to heed orders to stop.Police noted that as they gave chase, a group that had trailed them on motorbikes, had assaulted a police officer. The injured police constable was admitted to the Negombo Hospital last night. more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

July 12 (ST) Playing cards at a funeral is a rural custom. The idea is to help visitors in a funeral house to keep awake through the night. At a funeral this week in Nugegoda, the card game turned to what was termed ‘booruwa’ or ‘asking-hitting.’ It was for money. The game was at its peak during the dead of night. Big money was changing hands. Suddenly a group of persons in civvies, posing as police officers, turned up at the funeral house, rounded up the gamblers and took all their money. more..

Divisions galore in Tamil politics

July 12 (LB) The good news is that Tamil politics is in the process of re-organisation. The bad news is that divisions are galore even as the process just kicked off. The legacy of the LTTE is a handicap. Annihilation of the LTTE, the monolithic force which crushed all form of dissent within the community has set loose an array of disparate forces, each one of whom wants to be heard louder. more..

Editorial: Grabbing hydra's tail

July 12 (LNP) It is a matter for happiness that saner counsel prevailed at last and Minister Wimal Weerawansa abandoned his death fast owing to President Mahinda Rajapaksa`s intervention on Saturday. Last Tuesday`s ruckus and Wimal`s subsequent fast were ill-conceived and rather na ve to say the least, as we have pointed out in these columns. While everybody`s right to stage peaceful demonstrations should be recognised there are aggressive protests near the venues of G-8 summits as well more..

Walk gives away the game: Smugglers nabbed with gold biscuits

July 12 (TOI) Two Sri Lankan nationals who attempted to smuggle in 1.5 kilograms of gold biscuits by concealing them in rectum were arrested by the airport customs officials on Saturday. According to sources, the two passengers from Colombo, Ahmed Ibrahim and Syed, arrived in Chennai on Saturday morning by a JetLite flight. The customs officials checked their baggage and found only clothes. Finding nothing suspicious, the officers allowed them to pass. more..

Students and authorities agree on Uni’ English education

July 12 (LB) The decision taken by the ministry of higher education to conduct courses in the university in English has been appreciated by both students and lecturers. Though the IUSF objected to it earlier, they were now in favour. According to the ministry of higher education, students who enter universities from this year would be given the opportunity to follow subjects in the English medium. more..

Illegal property grabs: Former STF commandant winning battle

July 12 (SL) The date was March 10, when Mawalage Nihal alias Ranjan and Anusha Goonetilleke allegedly forced open house number 37/1, Pedris Road, Colombo 3 – a valuable property situated in the heart of Colombo 3. The security guards of Masterguard Security, giving a description of the ordeal, said that they had been chased away while the ‘unknown group’ allegedly took possession of the sprawling residence. more..

Sri Lanka's Tourism sector invests $ 10 b

July 12 (LNP) Sri Lanka s tourism sector is gearing to face the increase of tourist arrivals by investing US$ 10 billion to enhance the room capacity and upgrade the hotels. It is necessary to carry out brand building and image enhancement activities. Brand development is needed to improve credibility, dependability, believability and acceptability in the minds of the tourists, Jetwing Hotels Ltd Chairman Hiran Cooray said. more..

'Comedy staged to conceal budget that let down people’s hopes'

July 12 (LT) Comedies should end in laughter but the comedies that are staged by the government and its lackeys would definitely end in disaster says General Secretary of the DNA Vijithe Herath. He said despite curtains had been brought down on a comedy staged by a minister of the government, the crises created by the denial of economic and political independence have not ended. more..

Sri Lanka`s Davis Cup hopes dashed

July 12 (LNP) Sri Lanka`s Davis Cup hopes were dashed as they won only one game in the final day`s play of the Davis Cup tie against Hong Kong at the SLTA Courts yesterday. Sri Lanka who were facing a must win situation yesterday ended up winning one single`s event and losing the other match. The Davis Cup tie ended 3-2 in favour of Hong Kong and Sri Lanka will be once again relegated to group 3 in the competition. more..

Customs bare Rs 5 b tax fraud

July 12 (DN) The Customs has bared a Rs. 5 billion plus tax fraud involving a leading vehicle importer in the country. Investigations into the scam has uncovered that the organization involved in vehicle imports has produced fraudulent documents to the Customs to evade tax. It is said that the importer has brought double cabs after filing requests to import single door cabs to evade the higher tax imposed on the former. more..

Cabinet Meets on the Verge of Iranamadu Bund on July 14

July 12 (GDI) Sri Lanka government for the first time in its history has decided to hold the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers at district level. The Cabinet of Ministers of the independent Sri Lanka usually meets in Colombo on Wednesdays. The first cabinet meeting at district level is scheduled to be held on July 14, in the Kilinochchi district that was a strong bastion of the LTTE leader V.Prabaharan. more..

Editorial: Save energy

July 12 (DN) There has been much talk about energy conservation and even specific Ministries formed to deal with the subject. But so far it appears little headway has been made. It is in this light that certain suggestions made by Public Utilities Commission Chairman Dr. Jayatissa de Costa on ways to save energy assumes significance. Addressing a media briefing, at the outset he singled out the public and private sector institutions as the chief culprits for the colossal energy waste. more..

Tsunami drill tomorrow

July 12 (LP) The Disaster Management Centre of Sri Lanka will conduct a mock Tsunami drill in 14 chosen villages in 14 districts tomorrow at 3 pm. This drill, which will take place in a national level, will consist of 4 stages and warnings will be given to the public via tsunami warning towers, telephone, internet, SMS and the mass media. The population that resides in the seaside will be taken to a safe location immediately following the warning, and more..

It is time to 'Impeach' Ban Ki Moon for destroying UN

July 12 (MN) United States and some countries of the European Union in collaboration with Secretary General's office are trying to find new ways to interfere the sovereignty of member nations. This time UNSG Ban Ki moon is directly acting as a puppet of some western Nations; further more he and his backers are demanding the Sri Lankan government to violate the freedom of expression of Sri Lankans by banning protests against Ban Ki Moon. more..

DNA admits no mention about ‘advisory’ panel in declaration

July 12 (Island) Contrary to claims by the UN and a section of the Sri Lankan Opposition that the recent appointment of a three-person advisory panel by UNSG Ban-ki Moon had been mentioned in a joint statement issued following the UNSG’s visit to Colombo in May last year, there was no mention of such an arrangement in the said communique. Moon arrived in Colombo a week after the Army finished off the LTTE fighting cadres on the banks of the Nanthikadal lagoon on May 19 morning. more..

Editorial: Who is the scapegoat, G.L. or Kohona?

July 12 (DM) Now that Wimal Weerawansa in his inimitable way has managed to get the President of Sri Lanka to kneel down before him and offer water as many predicted, one wonders as to who would end up being the scapegoat of the government failure to get a better statement from the UN on Friday night - Prof. G.L. Peiris or Palitha Kohona. A conciliatory statement from New York became very much part of Weerawansa’s exit strategy following the failure of his move to get Russia to make a commitment. more..

Water filling of Hambantota Harbour Basin next month

July 12 (GDI) Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority Dr.Priyath Bandu Wickrama said filling of water to the newly constructed Hambantota Harbour basin will commence in the second week of August. He said the Hambantota Port was built inland and the mouths of it are to be opened in August to fill it with water. The President Mahinda Rajapaksa is scheduled to attend to observe the process. more..

Treasury secretary says inflation will not exceed 8%

July 12 (Island) Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera says the annual average rate of inflation would not exceed 8 percent this year. "We have brought down inflation to low levels as the costly adjustments we made paid dividends and the annual rate of inflation would not go beyond seven to eight percent," he said. The annual rate of inflation peaked at 23.4 percent in October 2008 and declined gradually more..

National Schools will conduct revision classes

July 12 (DM) The National Schools would conduct Saturday classes for Advanced Level and Ordinary Level students from underprivileged schools from September onwards. The Minister Bandula Gunawardane said he had a meeting with the National School Principals on Saturday. He noted this would be done in collaboration with the Department of Examinations to increase the number of students passing the national exams. more..

Colombo worst hit by Dengue

July 12 (DM) Colombo District is reported to be the worst affected area from the rising dengue threat in the island with 2893 reported cases and 33 deaths, the Health Ministry said yesterday. Dengue was also spreading in 14 other districts in alarming proportions. Jaffna hit the second in the list with 2,373 reported cases and 16 deaths while 18 deaths are reported from Gampaha district. more..

'A figment of imagination of a paranoid woman'

July 12 (SL) Sri Lanka’s Mission to the United Nations in New York, which is now faced with the Herculean task of playing diplomacy with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his panel of experts, is otherwise occupied with staff members leveling various allegations and counter allegations among each other. Sri Lanka’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Bandula Jayasekera who has been recalled to Colombo by more..

Sri Lanka offers lessons to Philipines peace issues

July 12 (MT) If the Aquino administration is to deliver on its promise to crush the decades-long insurgencies in the Philippines by 2013, it might be worthwhile to study Sri Lanka’s success in defeating terrorism. On July 3, newly appointed military Chief of Staff Ricardo David Jr. said the Aquino government hopes to crush the communist New People’s Army and the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front by 2013. more..

Death fast or death farce: Parties comment

July 12 (DM) While opposition parties slammed Minister Wimal Weerawansa on the steps taken by him to go for a death fast calling for the disbanding of the Advisory Panel appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, some allies of the UPFA said it had managed to make some impact on the international community. Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) another partner of the UPFA refrained from commenting. more..

No GSP breakthrough

July 12 (DM) Fresh talks between the Sri Lankan government and a delegation of the European Union (EU) held last Friday has yet to yield a breakthrough on extending the GSP plus trade benefits for Sri Lanka which will expire in just over a month. The head of delegation for the European Union in Sri Lanka Ambassador Bernard Savage said there were no new developments since the latest talks held last week with External Affairs Minister G.L Peiris. more..

Buhne returns to New York

July 13 (DM) The country representative of the United Nations (UN) in Sri Lanka Neil Buhne left for New York yesterday after he was recalled for consultations by UN secretary General Ban k-moon over the situation in Sri Lanka. Buhne was recalled following the tense situation which developed outside the UN office in Colombo last week culminating with a three day fast unto death by NFF leader and government Minister Wimal Weerawansa. more..

Debrief News - 12.07.2010

Fonseka charged with recruiting deserters

July 13 (BBC) The police in Sri Lanka have filed another civil case against the former military commander, Gen Sarath Fonseka. In the latest case, Gen Fonseka is accused by the Colombo Crime Division (CCD) of recruiting army deserters, and paying them salaries, during the run up to the 26 January presidential election. His secretary during the presidential campaign, Senaka Silva, is the second accused. more..