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'Discipline decides existence of nation'

July 17 (LP) Discipline is the most important factor in the existence of any institute or political party noted President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Quoting Lord Buddha “Vinayo Naama Saasanassa Ayu”, President once again emphasized the importance of discipline for the coexistence of the nation and society. He said this addressing the “67th Upasampada festival” of the Ramagngna Nikaya”in Anuradhapura last evening. more..

Flood warning: Water levels of Kalu ganga could rise

July 17 (NF) A flood warning has been issued to those residing on the banks of Kalu Ganga. The Department of Irrigation has warned that residents should be vigilant due to the prevailing heavy rains. A notice issued by the department says that owing to the prevailing weather conditions, a threat of floods could arise in areas by the Kalu Ganga. On Friday afternoon, the water meter in Ratnapura showed the level of Kalu Ganga coming up to 3.85 metres and more..

Regional Industry Services Centre for Northern Province

July 17 (GDI) Regional Industry Services Centre was established in Northern Province in order to coordinate the process of industrial development in the region. The centre is located in Vavuniya and was opened by Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne. The centre will assist the small and medium scale entrepreneurs in Northern Province by studying their issues closely and providing them with solutions. more..

Where Malinga was made

July 17 (CI) Rathgama. One of the most violent villages in Sri Lanka, announces Saman, the auto-rickshaw driver. "But they seem nice people." "Yes," says Saman, "They are nice when you are smiling at them. Actually, they are very nice people, but that's only when they are nice. When they get bad, they get really bad." Saman uses his thumb to make a throat-slitting motion, pauses, and then says, "Like Lasith himself. more..

Editorial: Protective gear against dengue

July 17 (DM) While the debate over the effectiveness of the BTI is still raging a move by Viharamahadevi Girls’ School in Badulla to get students to wear protective gear - slacks and jerseys - to school has made headlines. And it also went on to remind those who want to sweep the issue of dengue under the carpet the gravity of the situation. For some reason the media has displayed a reluctance to portray the true picture of the epidemic situation in the country more..

Johny's involvement in LTTE affairs questioned

July 17 (LT) The court Martial against Gen.Fonseka held yesterday was intended to cross examine Minister Jonston Fenando. Gen. Fonseka's lowyers posed questions regarding the case against Minister Johnston Fernando at Colombo Magistrates Courts for allege support of the Minister for the attempted assassination of President Mahinda Rajapaksha by the LTTE. Lawyers explained that it was so serious to be a treacherous accusation and more..

'Discussions between the government and the UNP are a good sign'

July 17 (LNW) SLFP (M) Wing Leader Mangala Samaraweera said that if the government was holding discussions with the UNP with a genuine intention of amending the constitution to strengthen parliament and to give powers to the people, he also support the endeavor. Samaraweera also said that the 17th amendment should be further strengthened through the constitutional amendments. more..

Editorial: Mosquitoes and scapegoats

July 17 (LNP) So, the blame game over dengue continues in typical Sri Lankan style. No one is willing to take the responsibility for the high incidence of the disease stemming from the ubiquitous presence of mosquito breeding grounds. We have nine ministers of health eight for the provinces and one for the whole country. There is an army of PHIs and MOHs scattered throughout the country. The President has also appointed a task force to eradicate dengue. more..

Editorial: Deplorable apathy

July 17 (DN) The Dengue epidemic is spreading unabated. It is on way to become the most dreadful killer, if not prevented in time. The statistics are alarming. In 2008, there were only 6,500 cases of dengue and 88 deaths reported to health authorities. That was considered an epidemic level then. In 2009 the number of cases rose to 33,081, a five-fold or 500 percent increase. The number of deaths jumped to 334, a 12 times rise. more..

'Students should protect, promote Sri Lankan identity'

July 17 (DN) Sri Lankans have gained enormous experience, talents and fortitude which no other country has even thought of in the course of eliminating a terrorist outfit in the country and time has arrived to make use of them to win the world, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The President was of the view that the student population should be encouraged to protect and more..

English as a life skill: Phase Two begins Monday

July 17 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa Monday will launch the second phase of the Presidential initiative on ‘English as a Life Skill’, the National Road Map to take spoken / communicative English skills across the country, following the successful conclusion of the program’s first phase. During the commencement of the expanded Phase 2 at Temple Trees Monday, officials are set to unveil a 100 hour curriculum with teaching aids for a Certificate Course in Basic English for more..

BTI bacteria to fight dengue in Kandy, Gampola, Akurana first

July 17 (DN) The Health Ministry will buy 10,000 litres of Bacillus Thuringiensis (BTI) bacteria from Cuba by August. Around 4,000 litres of BTI bacteria will be used for the pilot project to be implemented in the Akurana, Kandy and Gampola areas, a Health Ministry spokesman said. According to the spokesman, the rest of the bacteria (6,000 litres) will be used for dengue control in other parts of the country. more..

Do not delay, says SLFP

July 17 (DN) The replacement of the Executive Presidency with the Executive Premiership will be made soon without wasting any time, SLFP Senior Vice President and Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. The Executive Premier should be present in Parliament and answerable to questions of public representatives, he added. The Minister was speaking at a media conference organized by the SLFP at its headquarters yesterday. more..

'Health Ministry yet to send 2010 progress report to Parliament'

July 17 (Island) UNP MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardene says Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena has failed to make available a Sinhala copy of the Health Ministry progress report for 2010 though he promised to so in Parliament. Jayawardene said that the minister had given that assurance to Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa during the budget debate when he (Dr JJ) pointed out the failure on the part of the Health Secretary to provide the reports in all three languages. more..

Compensated owners retake their land

July 17 (Island) Re-occupation of the blocks of lands for which the owners obtained compensation under the road expansion projects has posed a problem to the Road Development Authority (RDA) to provide adequate lanes for pedestrians on Kandy-Kurunegala highway from Katugastota. This was disclosed by the Central Province Commissioner of Lands Ms. Anoma S. Polwatta, at a meeting chaired by Central Province Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayaka. more..

Health unions warn of strike

July 17 (Island) The Health Services Trade Union Alliance has warned that health staff from over one hundred hospitals would resort to a strike if the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council did not withdraw the circular curtailing their number of extra duty hours to twenty. HSTUA President, Saman Ratnapriya said yesterday the health staff hospitals in Balangoda, Embilipitiya, Kahawatta and more..

The Hotel Show 2010 kicks off

July 17 (Island) Tourism has been identified as a leading player for achieving economic prosperity and Sri Lanka promotes tourism while strengthening the hospitality industry to cater to the raising demand, said Basil Rajapakse, at the inaugural ceremony of ‘The Hotel Show 2010’. The industry was badly impacted due to the past conflict but managed to survive contributing a substantial amount to the economy. more..

Preview: Sri Lanka v India, 1st Test, Galle

July 17 (CI) For one last time in Test cricket, that most controversial bowling arm of our times will release the ball. For one last time, many of us will enjoy the experience of watching the greatest offspinner the world has seen. For one last time, some of us will call him a chucker. For one last time, every one of us will laugh as we see him slog joyously to the on side. For one last time, the slow motion replays will linger on his conspiratorial smile, more..

Court Martial postponed

July 17 (DM) The General Court Martial against former Army Commander Gen. (retired) Sarath Fonseka was postponed following a lengthy argument on the credibility of evidence given by Consumer Affairs Minister Johnston Fernando.The defence counsel appearing for Gen. Fonseka argued the court martial could not be relied on the evidence of Johnston Fernando as he had a motive to implicate Gen. Fonseka. more..

Sri Lanka, India strive to solve issues of cross-border fishing

July 17 (Xinhua) With the media report of Sri Lankan Navy attacking South Indian fishermen recently, the two governments are making efforts to defuse the tension. According to media reports from the southern India state of Tamil Nadu, eight Indian fishermen were attacked by the Sri Lankan Navy crew on July 7 and one 55-year-old fishermen died and seven others were injured due to the assault. more..

Constitutional reforms: TNA, JVP also to be invited for talks

July 17 (DM) The government said yesterday the TNA and the JVP would also be invited to take part in the ongoing talks on constitutional reforms. It said the government and the UNP had arrived at a consensus on several major issues. Senior Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said that electoral and constitutional reforms would be introduced soon and several committees representing the more..

Nallur festival on Aug 15

July 17 (DM) The annual Nallur Hindu Temple festival in Jaffna will take place on 15 August, organizers told Daily Mirror online. The historic festival draws devotees from around the island as well as overseas. Meanwhile the festival organizers added that strict dress code guidelines will be in place for devotees entering the temple during the festival. Men will not be permitted to wear jeans into the Temple while women must wear a toe length dress or saree. more..

'We oppose Govt's move to obstruct Gen. Fonseka from attending Parliament'

July 17 (LT) The government is attempting to weaken the opposition and is preparing on a journey of dictatorship states DNA. DNA MP Vijitha Herath has issued a press release regarding withdrawal of permission for Gen. Fonseka to attend the Advisory bodies of parliament. In his statement Mr. Herath states, "The government is violating Gen. Fonseka' right to participate in parliamentary activities ignoring even court decisions. more..

Reformists fear latest SLFP-UNP initiative may weaken bid to revamp party

July 17 (Island) Amidst a deepening rift between UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and MP Sajith Premadasa’s camp over the proposed party reforms, the decision making UNP Working Committee will meet on Monday (July 19) afternoon to discuss the issues, including the latest bid to reach a consensus with the SLFP regarding far reaching amendments to the Constitution. more..

CMC to be made a corporation

July 17 (DM) The government is slated to convert the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) into an authority or a corporation similar to the Madurai Corporation which manages the city of Madurai in India, sources said. They said the government is studying the structure of Madurai Corporation where the commissioner has all powers as the Chief executive of the Council which comprises the elected members is one department of the corporation controlled by the Commissioner. more..

CID grills 'Lanka' staff

July 18 (DM) Officers of the CID grilled staff attached to the ‘Lanka’ newspaper late last evening, the newspaper said. According to the newspaper CID officers arrived at the head office of 'Lanka Irida' Sunday newspaper last evening and obtained a statement regarding a news article published on the 'Lanka Irida' newspaper a few days ago. The CID officers also collected personal information of the employees working in the office, the newspaper added.

Karunanidhi wants assessment of Sri Lankan Tamils' rehabilitation

July 18 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi has suggested sending an Indian envoy to Sri Lanka to assess the progress on rehabilitation of Tamils living in refugee camps in the island nation. In his letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh dated July 17, Karunanidhi said: "I would like to suggest that Government of India, through diplomatic sources or by sending a special envoy, may assess the real situation in the affected areas and more..

Judge finds Seeman's speech inflammatory; bail plea dismissed

July 18 (Hindu) A bail petition by Seeman, film director and leader of the ‘Naam Thamizhar Iyakkam' was dismissed on Friday. The prosecution case is that Mr. Seeman, who conducted a protest meeting near the Chennai Collectorate on July 10, spoke in support of the LTTE and in a provocative manner to create disharmony among Sinhalese and Tamils. He was arrested and remanded to judicial custody on July 12. more..

Schoolboys lured by deadly drugs

july 18 (SL) Fifteen school children have been admitted to Ragama and Gampaha hospitals last week after taking a drug given to psychiatrist patients. Fifteen schoolboys from Galahitiyawa Central School, Ganemulla and Thakshila Maha Vidyalaya, Gampaha have fallen sick after consuming a tablet the children had been told was a ‘nilla soya pethi’ (a pleasure drug), according to the Ganemulla police. This pill, the police say, had been given to the schoolboys by a man in his early 20s more..

Why does Sri Lanka need Chinese convicts?

july 18 (SL) According to the latest report by the Policy Research Group, China is already creating its Africa Story in Sri Lanka. “China Harbour Engineering Company and Sino-Hydro Corporation are pumping life at a cost of $1 billion into the port at Hambantota, which Sri Lanka hopes will give a boost to its earnings from merchant navies passing through the Indian Ocean. For the Chinese navy, it will be useful as a refuelling and docking station,” the report says. more..

Why does Mahinda now need Ranil for constitutional making?

July 18 (SL) Ranil Wickremesinghe is a loyal old boy of Royal College who is seen regularly at the innumerable functions of his old school. Being loyal to one’s alma mater is indeed an admirable trait but Wickremesinghe does not seem to follow the vital advice of his old school emblazoned on his school flag: Disce Aut Discede — Learn or depart. On the contrary, he seems to be following the motto of his old school rival S. Thomas’ College: Esto Perpetua — Be thou forever. more..

Justice! — Finally

July 18 (SL) The hackneyed phrase is certainly clichéd but everybody as the saying goes has a day of reckoning. Some more so and more public than others. This was never more evident than on June 29, this year when Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s security chief was jailed for four years by the Kandy High Court. Deputy Inspector General Nihal Karunaratne was sentenced to four years imprisonment in connection with threatening a police officer and more..

Survival via the media

July 18 (SL) Sri Lanka is supposed to have a high literacy rate — in the 90s at the last count. Yet the so-called educated people keep getting suckered by politicians’ day in and day out and things don’t look like they are about to change any time soon. And the media has much to do with this. The Weerawansa circus ended just the way it was supposed to; with the hero getting up and walking away when on cue the President visited him, but not before taking the great majority in more..

Weerawansa’s comedy of errors fasting unto death while on saline

July 18 (SL) NFF Leader and Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s failed attempt to politically re-engineer his image as a firebrand politician through a fast unto death outside the UN Office in Colombo has had many adverse repercussions on the country as well as on domestic politics. The comedy of errors staged by Weerawansa, where for the first time, Sri Lankans were able to witness an individual on a fast unto death while being on a saline drip. more..

Editorial: Contours of policy - quasi-military state

July 18 (LB) What is it about the current administration that opts for more military installations, but reduces or marginally increases the budgets for health and education? It is true that those who won the war cannot be decommissioned and sent home. Therefore large military encampments are in evidence, in what used to be cashew plantations and other government facilities. The military role continues. more..

EU GSP+ withdrawal targets its 'victims'

July 18 (LB) The EU GSP+ withdrawal for Sri Lanka effective August, would most affect the people of the north and east of the island, who are traditionally dependent on fisheries. Sri Lanka’sS annual export of fisheries products to the EU exceeds $125m. The figure climbed progressively from $23m in 2004, when the European bloc granted Sri Lanka GSP+ status, following the tsunami devastation. To meet EU standard specifications, the government improved infrastructure of landing sites and the trade, more..

JVP knocks ‘Executive Premier’: A FARCE

July 18 (LB) The JVP is sceptical of future talks with the government on Constitutional reforms as they demand solid ‘draft constitutional amendments’ before beginning talks and say they will oppose any attempt to create an executive prime minister’s post. Meanwhile, the TNA is waiting for an official invitation for talks with the government on the same topic. “We need to see a draft of the constitutional amendments if we are to have talks with the government on proposed constitutional reforms,” more..

Police on the prowl, garbage throwers in the red

July 18 (LB) In a bid to curb environmental pollution and to prevent the spread of dengue, police have arrested nearly 1000 people from the city of Colombo for throwing garbage onto the roads. Among them were businessmen and provincial politicians. DIG Anura Senanayaka said that the offenders were fined and given jail terms. He also said that the Secretary of Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has advised the police to implement the law regardless of the status of offenders. more..

Wildlife Assn. vets threaten strike action

July 18 (LB) The Sri Lanka Wildlife Veterinary Doctors Association have issued an ultimatum to the Wildlife Conservation Department that if they did not receive a favourable response to their demands with regard to facilities and other issues within the next two weeks, they would resort to trade union action. Meanwhile, wildlife officials charge that due to the messy administrative procedure adapted by the Director General of the Wildlife Conservation Department, more..


July 18 (LB) “Only a few years ago the UN was a well respected organization in Sri Lanka and a lot of our citizens thought of it only as a benevolent entity, but things have changed. Because of some incidents which happened during the final phase of the war a lot of the common people look at the UN with suspicion,” a senior UN official serving in Colombo told us last week. more..

'We should not get carried away by Murali's farewell'

July 18 (CI) As Muttiah Muralitharan prepares for his farewell Test, Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara has cautioned his team not to get carried away by the occasion and instead concentrate on beating India in Galle. "As a team, the best we can do for Murali is to make sure we don't get too overwhelmed or carried away with what's happening but concentrate on really giving him a good farewell by playing a great match out there," Sangakkara told reporters on the eve of the first Test. more..

Weakened bowling threatens India's chances

July 18 (CI) Sometimes some places inspire people. On their last Test tour, when India came to Galle, Harbhajan Singh and Ishant Sharma were two such inspired men. The batting had been destroyed in Colombo and, apart from Virender Sehwag, it had failed again in Galle. Harbhajan then produced perhaps his bowling effort of recent times, and Ishant followed it up with a match-winning burst in the sapping heat on the final afternoon. more..

Muralitharan: the departure of a cheater or a champion?

July 18 (National) During an audience with Frank Tyson at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, the fascinating conversation shifted towards Bishen Singh Bedi’s description of the bowling action of Muttiah Muralitharan, the record wicket-taker. “If Murali doesn’t chuck, then show me how to bowl,” Bedi, the forthright former Indian slow left-armer, had said in an interview. “How can you call it bowling? He has no follow-through and he makes no use of his shoulders. more..

Families to be resettled suffer without assistance in Mannaar

July 18 (TN) Many of the uprooted families to be resettled in Periyapa’ndivirichchaan in Mannaar district brought and lodged in Periyapa’ndivirichchaan Mahaa Viththiyaalayam have not been supplied with any materials to clear their lands in which they are expected to resettle, sources in Mannaar said. Meanwhile, Periyapa’ndivirichchaan Mahaa Viththiyaalayam where the families are staying is to start functioning again Monday, the sources added. more..

Canada revokes Tamil group's charitable status

July 18 (MW) The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has revoked the charitable registration of Tamil (Sri Lanka) Refugee-Aid Society of Ottawa (the Society), an Ottawa-area charity effective July 17, 2010. On June 15, 2010, the CRA issued a notice of intention to revoke the charitable registration of Tamil (Sri Lanka) Refugee-Aid Society of Ottawa, in accordance with subsection 168(1) of the Income Tax Act (the Act). more..

Editorial: Need for compromise

July 18 (ST) There has been a sudden change of approach at the highest levels of Government to the issue of constitutional reforms, something that has been on the backburner for some time and not without its share of controversy. It is a welcome change. The proposed reforms, staggered as they were to be, were causing ripples within the coalition of ruling parties as well as the Opposition and discerning sections of the citizenry. more..

Mahinda Chinthanaya exposed

July 18 (LG) Mahinda’s intervention to stop the protest of Wimal exposed the real Mahinda Chinthanaya. Clearly, Mahinda knows that political tactics and gimmicks are of limited use in the present economic context. Still, the former is important to fool the masses and to stay in power. After becoming the president his political strategy was to get a popular base among the Sinhala villagers. For the sake of this political aim he was prepared to make more..

SL Navy Jetliner holds first wedding onboard

July 18 (LP) Sri Lanka Navy’s largest passenger craft “Jetliner” which served as the life line between the North and East during the Humanitarian Operations, is now on a new journey named “Jetliner Entertainment Cruise Venture”. Launched on the 22nd January 2010 under the theme of “Visit Sri Lanka 2011”, the nautical enterprise is a joint venture between the Sri Lanka Navy and the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority. more..

Mahinda and Ranil engage in engagement of convenience

July 18 (TC) Nothing pulls at the Sri Lankan heartstrings more than two political enemies briefly compartmentalising their mutual loathing to beam hypocritically at each other with the objective, however fleeting, of convincing a gullible public that, this is it: “We are chums now”. Ranil Wickremesinghe and Mahinda Rajapaksa are currently engaged in such an exercise. After it became obvious to the latter that his proposal to remove the term limit on the executive presidency was too risky to be tried, more..

Hundreds arrested for polluting Urban areas

July 18 (LP) Around 200 people were taken into custody for polluting the urban areas and for dumping litter/ garbage in highways unauthorizedly. The custodians were granted bail, and that necessary actions against them would be taken by the Courts. The Police Department has focused their attention on urban pollution which resulted in appointing 140 Environmental Police units to look into issues of environment. more..