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Eppawala murder suspect produced before judicial medical officer

July 19 (NF) The suspect in the murder of four members of the same family at Sandarasgama in Eppawala was produced before the judicial medical officer today on an order by the Thambuttegama magistrate. The JMO said that he had examined the accused in the Eppawala murder case on the orders of the Thambuttegama magistrate in the morning. "I have been asked to examine the suspect and report to the court and more..

'Sri Lanka fallen below the rank of Zimbabwe'

July 19 (NF) Sujeewa Senasinghe, UNP parliamentarian says that today, Sri Lanka has fallen even below the rank of Zimbabwe. Senasinghe made these observations during an interactive session in Colombo today. Hambantota parliamentarian Sajith Premadasa was also present on the occasion. “Now there is a monarchy in the country. We played the wrong tune and the government took it seriously. They are attempting to play the role of the king for real. more..

'If Weerawansa lost 3 kilos, the public should be walking skeletons'

July 19 (NF) “It is claimed that Wimal Weerawansa has lost 3 kilos after his three-day hunger strike. If that is the case, going by the starvation people are experiencing today, we should see walking skeletons on the roads,” said Ravi Karunanayke today. He was speaking at yet another protest rally organised by the UNP in several parts of the country today, calling on the government to reduce the cost of living and adopt a people-friendly Constitution. more..

New traffic paln in effect from tomorrow

July 19 (NF) Beginning tomorrow from 6am, vehicles will not be allowed to come through Stafford Avenue at the Pamankada check point and enter High Level Road. All vehicles coming from the Kohuwala area could proceed through the old Havelock Road and enter the Havelock Road from the roundabout at Maya Avenue. Vehicles coming along the W. A. de Silva Mawatha and proceeding to Kohuwala will also not be allowed to cross the old Havelock Road to enter the Havelock Road. more..

Violating cosmetic devices and drugs act: 90 pharmacies in court

July 19 (NF) Court cases have been filed against more than 90 pharmacies after raids were carried out since the beginning of the year to nab those who violate the Cosmetic Devices and Drugs Act. Director of the National Drugs Authority (NDA), Dr. Hemantha Beneragama said that more than 120 pharmacies had been inspected during special raids conducted since the beginning of the year. more..

Conflict in Maldives settled - by Sri Lanka

July 19 (ANN) A political crisis in the Maldives that saw the entire Cabinet resigning has blown over - for now - with President Mohamed Nasheed reappointing the 13 ministers in the wake of mediation efforts orchestrated from Sri Lanka. At a meeting in the capital Male organised for the visiting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, opposition leaders last week pledged to cooperate with the government. more..

Mattakkuliya slum dwellers denounce police-military repression

July 19 (wsws) Sri Lankan police have announced plans to charge more than 200 local residents following the police-military roundup of thousands of slum dwellers in Mattakkuliya, a northern suburb of Colombo, on July 4. Those to be charged include 22 who were arrested and remain detained. According to defence lawyers, the charges will include the theft of three police revolvers, damaging state property and being part of an “unlawful assembly”. more..

Agri-Biz exhibition held in Eastern Province

July 19 (MoD) The Agri-Biz Exhibition organized by the National Agribusiness Council with the assistance of Eastern Province Agricultural ministry and USAID was declared open by Eastern Province Governor Rear Admiral Mohan Wijewickrama on 16th July. The exhibition was held at the Hindu Cultural Hall in Trincomalee. In the exhibition, which was held in the Eastern Province for first time, over 35 stalls forward latest agriculture equipment, more..

Jaffna SLTB Depot earns profits, sets an example

July 19 (MoD) Transport Minister Kumara Welgama told The Island that he had appointed 60 drivers and conductors to the Jaffna SLTB Depot to provide a better service. After an inspection tour last week, he said the Jaffna Depot had been able to function as the most profitable venture out of the 103 depots countrywide. It was an asset to the country because the management had operated buses efficiently on a daily basis, the Minister said. more..

Groundbreaking for new Buddhist temple in Canada

July 19 (LR) The groundbreaking ceremony for a new Buddhist temple drew hundreds of devotees to a site in Mississauga, Ontario. Students from the Sunday Dhamma school formed a guard of honour waving colourful Buddhist flags as a procession lead by monks and nuns and other dignitaries arrived at the site. The new temple will be home to the Halton Peel Buddhist Cultural Society, West-End Buddhist Cultural Centre. more..

MAS Holdings to open factory in Jaffna

July 19 (MoD) MAS Holdings, one of the leading apparel companies intends to open a garment factory in the Acthuveli industrial zone in Jaffna as a Board of Investment (BoI) approved venture. The chairman of the Industrial Development Board (IDB) Udayasri Kariyawasam said representatives from the private sector and the BoI would visit the Actchuveli industrial zone tomorrow for an inspection tour. more..

Editorial: English as a life skill

July 19 (DN) Today marks the successful completion of the first phase of the Presidential initiative - English as a Life Skill. President Mahinda Rajapaksa will launch its second phase this morning. The whole approach in this initiative was innovative. Having seen the failure of teaching English the British Way or trying to better the native English speakers in diction and composition the new initiative has given priority to Spoken English for communication over written English. more..

Malik flies in to broker talks between President and UNP

July 19 (SL) In a trailblazing move, the Cabinet of Ministers held its weekly pow-wow in the northern town of Killinochchi. The move was met with mixed reactions in Colombo but in the former LTTE stronghold of Killinochchi, the move was greeted with great enthusiasm. The town itself had taken on a carnival atmosphere, the streets were bedecked with Sri Lankan flags and the school children and government officials had more..

All measures taken for Kandy Esala Perehara

July 19 (LP) Island’s most sacred and colourful pageant the Esala Perehera will be held on a grand scale this year said Diyawadana Nilame Pradeep Nilanga Dela. He said that all measures are taken by the Sri Dalada Maligawa to hold the ceremony in August. Diyawadana Nilame also said that special care should be taken by commentators of the electronic media to use the correct terms describing the perahera. more..

Over one patient an hour diagnosed with Dengue

July 19 (LP) Chief Medical Officer of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said that close to 20 dengue patients are identified per day in the Colombo city, not taking in to account dengue patients who get private and ayuruweda treatment. He said that if the unaccounted victims are included, over one person per hour is diagnosed with dengue fever in the Colombo area. more..

Editorial: The Spoken English initiative

July 19 (LNP) There is near unanimity locally on the need for the widespread use of English in Sri Lanka, but what seems to be in dispute is what kind of English needs to be inculcated in particularly the young of the land. Is it Sri Lankan English or what some sections of our intelligentsia refer to as Standard English? As could be gauged by the current content of newspaper opinion columns, the question has generated a great deal of public interest and debate but more..

Highly potential Northern economy yet to get off the ground

July 19 (N360) The contribution to the Sri Lankan economy from the Nothern province will only be felt with a time lag, says the Central Bank. The bank says eventhough the war is over building investor confidence will take time. In 2009, the Northern province has only contributed 3.3% to the national GDP, slightly above the 2008 figure of 3.2% which is just a market value of Rs. 150 billion. Sri Lanka’s total GDP value as of end 2009 stood at Rs. 4825 billion. more..

1,2,3,4 - all of Fonseka’s cases

July 19 (LB) Gen Sarath Fonseka, the former Commander of Army and the Chief of Defence Staff of Sri Lankan armed forces, plunged into politics at lightning speed. Newspapers speculated his presidential candidacy even before the ink dried up in his retirement letter addressed to the president. He hung up his military uniform and announced his presidential candidature. more..

Editorial: Murali the bowler who unified the nation

July 19 (DM) There is no hatred between Australia and me because I don't believe in keeping hatred with people. People can do anything, you have to forget things and forgive people - Muralitharan. In the three decades of warfare which saw the tensions between the Sinhalese and the Tamils reaching dizzy heights Muttiah Muralitharan gave a reason for both communities to think otherwise. For 18 long years in the 27 year war Murali served as more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

July 19 (ST) UPFA leaders and their counterparts in the main Opposition UNP met last Monday for talks on constitutional reforms. When the meeting at Temple Trees ended, there was a photo opportunity for the official cameramen. It came just when UNP leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe asked External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris, "Why didn't you sit when I offered you the chair and speak to your former leader?" Those present broke out in laughter and that made the front page photo in most newspapers. more..

CID on repeat visits to newspaper office

July 19 (ST) Officers of the CID yesterday visited the “Lanka” newspaper office, at Delkanda, Nugegoda, for the second consecutive day, following a visit on Friday evening. A newspaper spokesperson said the police questioned the editor, Chandana Sirimalwatte, for nearly two hours before leaving at around 9.00 pm. The police asked to see the newspaper’s business registration and, among other things, demanded personal details of staff, more..

Jayasena Jayakody no more

July 19 (NS) Jayasena Jayakody, celebrated and award-winning author, died on Friday after a brief illness. Jayakody, whose novels explore various aspects of social, economic and political processes with fidelity to a sense of history and heritage, won three State Literary Awards in th Best Sinhala Novel category (‘Aswenna’ or ‘Harvest’ in 1971, ‘Parasathuro’ or ‘The Invaders’ in 1977 and ‘Raigam Puththu’ or ‘The Sons of Raigama’ in 1989). more..

Unsuspecting eastern girls in search of employment abused

July 19 (NS) Unsuspecting girls from the eastern province are brought to Colombo and the South by unscrupulous persons under the pretext of finding them employment in the garment sector and abused. These unscrupulous persons cast their nets mostly on girls from the middle and low middle class families who are unemployed in search of jobs. This group approaches the girls and their parents and make them believe there are jobs aplenty in the garment sector. more..

HeliTours re-launched

July 19 (DN) HELITOURS, the domestic air service of Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF), re-launched their services with state-of-the-art facilities and a brand new look. HELITOURS relocated to its new premises at No 395, Galle Road, Colombo-3 with attractive interiors and a customer friendly environment. The move is aimed at catering to the growing demand and the convenience of the clientele, . more..

Govt to set up a Media Development Authority

July 19 (GDI) Sri Lanka government will set up a Media Development Authority in order to help media to enhance its professionalism and efficiency further. Government Spokesman Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the authority proposed has no harsh regulatory mechanism but guidelines in accordance with media ethic to promote professionalism and skills of journalists in this part of the world. more..

Dengue: Hospitals run out of beds

July 19 (DM) As the number of Dengue patients swelled around the country several hospitals were reported to be over crowded with patients. Director of Kalubowila Hospital Dr. Anil Jasinghe said managing the problem was becoming difficult as the number of cases increases. He said that more than 80 cases have been admitted to the hospital daily during the past two weeks. “Naturally managing the hospital had become difficult with the limited facilities,” he said. more..

I’ll ensure democracy in universities, says SB

July 19 (SO) Higher Education Minister Sumanaweera Banda Dissanayake, who is now confronted with strong agitations from university students who accused the government of privatising the university system, says he would do his utmost to ensure democracy in universities and will introduce an Act to set up private international universities in the country. In an interview despite his busy schedule more..

Killing of monk: Coconut plucker suspected

July 19 (Island) Police recovered on Saturday the body of Ven. Handagama Wimalaratana thera (48), Chief Incumbent of the Sri Sunandaramaya in Madulla, Hettipola who had been brutally murdered inside his temple. The Police said that a youth who visited the temple on Saturday night had spotted the lifeless body of the monk in a pool of blood. "A resident of the area suspected of having committed the crime has already disappeared and his arrest is imminent," more..

JVP opposes Exe. Premiership

July 19 (DM) The JVP yesterday said it was not prepared to have discussions with the government on Constitutional reforms if the latter failed to come out with its proposals on such reform. A statement issued by the politbureau of the party said the government should come out with its proposal as discussions aimed at establishing an executive premiership who would have the same powers as the Executive Presidency would be useless, if it was the objective of the government. more..

Investigators perturbed over sudden halt into Ekneligoda disappearance

July 19 (LB) Investigations into missing journalist Pradeep Eknaligoda have come to a sudden halt and suspects detained for questioning have also been released. Police teams had been able to disclose many important details about Eknaligoda by checking phone lines of suspects who were detained and questioned. On this information, the police detained some suspects from Batticaloa and Polonnaruwa for questioning more..

STF called in to fight dengue

July 19 (DM) The Special Task Force (STF) began a special islandwide programme to combat dengue menace by taking steps to destroy and clean waterways and other breeding grounds. This step was taken following directions from STF Commandant DIG K.M.L Sarathchandra. The STF together with the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) held a programme to clean the premises surrounding the University of Colombo. more..

'President has failed to make final APRC report public'

July 19 (DM) The final report of the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) formed to formulate a solution to the ethnic issue is with President Mahinda Rajapaksa but is yet to be released to the public, the UNP and SLMC said today. Addressing a media briefing in Colombo a short while ago UNP member R. Yogarajan said that it has been more than 14 months since the final report was handed over to the President by APRC chairman Tissa Vitarana. more..

'Govt committed to accountability'

July 19 (SO) Media Minister and Cabinet Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella told the Sunday Observer that the cornerstone of the ongoing Government-Opposition talks on the proposed constitutional reforms is retaining the executive feature of the office of the head of state. He says the Kilinochchi Cabinet meeting had a greater symbolic value and carried a psychological message that the country was now truly united. more..

UNP crisis: Meeting at Karu’s residence gets cancelled

July 19 (Island) A meeting called by UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya at his Amarasekera Mawatha residence to explore the ways and means of resolving the ongoing internal crisis, yesterday evening did not take place following a dispute over the inclusion of some MPs widely believed to be supportive of UNP rebel MP Sajith Premadasa. Sources said that Premadsa had wanted to be accompanied by at least some of his team members to the meeting but more..

Appointments to boards: Ministers’ freedom curatialed

July 19 (Island) The Presidential Secretariat has advised secretaries to ministries to secure its approval before making appointments, thereby denying respective ministers freedom to constitute boards boards under their purview, sources said. The Presidential Secretariat moved in to streamline appointments they said. Sources said that regardless of the directive, many relatives, associates and friends had received plum political appointments at more..

Rain washes out second day

July 19 (CI) Sri Lanka's attempt to compile a massive first-innings score and pressurise India was put on hold as the entire second day in Galle was washed out due to intermittent showers. Overnight rain had ensured there was no play possible before lunch, and the conditions deteriorated further with bad light and sporadic downpours. There was a period when the covers came off after a dose of sunshine, but more..

NTUC campaigns for Rs. 8,000 salary hike

July 19 (SL) The JVP affiliated National Trade Union Center (NTUC) is to launch an awareness campaign on the need for a Rs. 8,000 salary increment in line with the rising cost of living (CoL), at work places in the Colombo District from today till the 30th of this month. A senior member of the NTUC said that the first in the series of discussions would be launched today from the Colombo National Hospital. more..

Sponsorship scheme for elders

July 19 (DN) The National Secretariat for Elders has started a sponsorship scheme - Vedihiti Awarana to make a monthly payment for the elderly people. Any organization or individual can contribute financially to this service, the National Secretariat for Elders, the Director J Krishnamoorthy said. ”Objectives of this program are varied. The first is to appreciate the psychological needs elderly people who need the help of others. more..

Eppawala murders: Killings due to family dispute

July 19 (DM) The 21-year-old suspect arrested in connection with the killing of a family in Eppawala had told police that he had committed the crime due to a family dispute. The Senior DIG-in-charge of North and North Western Range Jayantha Gamage said the Police Investigators have succeeded in extracting valuable information from the suspect Vithana Gamage Dinuna Lakmal regarding the killing. more..

DNA to hold protest rally on Wednesday

July 19 (SL) The DNA is to hold a massive protest rally on Wednesday (21) against the “dictatorial” government that has challenged the independence of the judiciary and to call for former Army Commander and DNA parliamentarian Retired General Sarath Fonskea’s release. The DNA rally is to be organized by its main coalition partner, the JVP. The rally is to be held at Campbell Park on the 21st at 3 p.m. more..

Power and Energy Minister’s proposal: No hike in power tariff

July 19 (DN) The Power and Energy Ministry will submit a proposal to the Public Utility Commission to look into possibilities of reducing electricity prices to benefit consumers as the Ministry will prevent electricity production costs from going up under its power sector reforms for the next five years. Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka yesterday said they will stabilize the unit cost of electricity production. more..

Hundreds of LTTE war widows seek government assistance

July 19 (Island) Rehabilitation and Prisons Reforms Minister Dew Gunasekera says an urgent programme is needed to provide relief to war widows, including wives of the LTTE cadres killed during the war. Speaking to The Island after meeting groups of war widows in Vavuniya, Jaffna and Kilinochchi over a week ago, Minister Gunasekera emphasized the importance of meaningful measures to alleviate their suffering. more..

LTTE suspect ordered to release

July 20 (BBC) The Supreme Court has ordered the authorities to release a disabled LTTE suspect who was arrested in a camp for the displaced and has been in detention for months. The court ordered the Attorney General (AG) to release Selvan Anton Jude, who is suffering from an eye disease, if there is no evidence to file charges against him. A three-member bench chaired by Chief Justice Asoka de Silva made the order after considering a fundamental rights petition by the disabled IDP. more..

Galle's spirited groundstaff

July 20 (CI) When yet another shower lashed the Galle International Stadium at 2.15pm, even though the Indian bowlers would have been relieved, it was a cruel heartbreak for the groundsmen who had worked hard to get the ground ready - despite heavy showers at consistent intervals - for a 2.30pm inspection and a possible 3pm start. If ever a ground was going to have any action after torrential rains, both overnight and during the day, it is Galle. more..

UNP WC accepts party reforms

July 20 (CP) The Working Committee of the UNP, at a meeting today (July 19), accepted party reforms recommended by seniors members, said UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. Among the key proposals put forward by the reforms committee headed by Joseph Michael Perera is appointing top party positions by consensus, failing which, a secret ballot will take place. Mr. Wickremesinghe said that Contrary to predictions by many, the five-hour-long discussion at more..

Sujeeva Senasinghe released on personal bail

July 20 (CT) UNP MP Sujeeva Senasingha, who was charged of abusing a Buddhist monk in the Supreme Court premises last December, was released today (July 19) on two personal bails of Rs. 50,000 each. The case was taken up by Colombo Chief Magistrate Rashmi Singappuli. The court had issued notice on the MP after Keselwatta Police had filed a case alleging that he had abused Ven. Omare Kassapa Thera near the escalator of the Supreme Court premises after more..

IUSF's Udul challenges SB over private universities issue

July 20 (CT) The Inter University Students Federation has challenged higher education minister S.B. Dissanayake for an open debate on the controversial issue of private universities. The challenge has come in a letter signed by IUSF convener Udul Premaratne and sent to the minister today (July 19). Minister Dissanayake has recently spoken in favour of establishing private universities in the country. more..

Debrief News - 19. 07. 2010

Why Murali chose to retire at Galle

July 20 (TOI) Jayananda Warnaweera has seen it all. He's played Test cricket from 1986 to 1994, admired the young potential in ex-teammate Muttiah Muralitharan, been at the receiving end of a young Sachin Tendulkar, raised the Galle stadium from scratch only to see it wrecked by the tsunami, then put it all back together again. The off-spinner turned curator, who has been associated with the Galle Cricket Club since 1978, more..

Sri Lankan war widows turn to painkillers

July 20 (UCAN) An increasing number of widows in northern Sri Lanka are dealing with the aftermath of the country’s civil war by taking painkillers, say priests. “They are buying the painkillers from local shops,” said Father E.S.C. Mariathas, “but what they need above all is treatment for the stress they feel, since the war turned their lives into misery, desperation and insecurity.” About 20 Catholic priests from Mannar and Jaffna dioceses have been assigned to more..