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Hero and the wannabe hero

July 26 (SL) He came, he conquered and yes, he retired. Quite not in keeping with what is now the national tradition of hanging on when the going is good or by marketing past performance. For this reason in particular and his stupendous achievements in general Muttiah Muralitharan will be long remembered as the Sri Lankan who was ‘different.’ In a country where cricketers who become politicians play well into their 40s, in a country where presidents who promise to more..

Tourism in Sri Lanka receives a boost in Belgium

July 26 (IL) Jetair, one of the leading tour operators in Belgium, has introduced Sri Lanka as a new winter destination, and will operate weekly charter flights from Brussels to Colombo commencing October 2010. The formal announcement was made at this year's 'Jetair Fly summer road show 2010' held last week at the Event Lounge - Brussels attended by more than 600 travel agents. more..

PTF imposes restrictions on local NGOs in Jaffna

July 26 (TN) Sri Lanka government which allows only a few Non-government Organizations (NGO) to serve in Vanni, now imposes restrictions on NGOs serving in Jaffna too through its Presidential Task Force (PTF), headed by Basil Rajapaksa, Sri Lankan Minister and brother of SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa, NGO circles in Jaffna said. It is alleged that PTF favours the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in the allocation of housing constructions for more..

Sri Lanka tea region fuel wood shortfall 'acute', prices up: estate

July 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tea growing areas in the hill country is suffering from an 'acute' supply shortfall of fuel wood and prices are going up, a plantation company which is expanding its own timber cropping area has said. "With the acute shortage and rapidly increasing prices of fuel-wood in the hill country …the plantation sector is obligated to plant as much timber as possible for use as fuel-wood in the production process," more..

Sri Lanka begin life after Murali

July 26 (CI) The tributes are done with, the celebrations have concluded and the perfect farewell consigned to memory. Come Monday, Sri Lanka will begin a new phase in Test cricket without the player who decisively turned its fortune as a Test-playing nation. They are also without an injured Lasith Malinga, who, with Muttiah Muralitharan, shared 15 wickets in the ten-wicket victory in Galle; that 1-0 lead, more..

Missing Lankan sailor: Envoy in Israel calls for report

July 26 (NF) The Sri Lankan embassy in Israel has made a written request, seeking a detailed report on a Sri Lanka sailor who went missing while employed on a commercial vessel. The request has been made to the relevant shipping company to which the said commercial vessel belonged. Sri Lankan ambassador to Israel, Air Marshall Donald Perera said that even at present they had received a substantial amount of information with regard to the incident. more..

The Tiger Vanquished: LTTE's Story y M.R. Narayan Swamy

July 26 (TC) There are books that are a ‘must read‘, and others that are a ‘cracking good read’. MR Narayan Swamy’s latest book on Sri Lanka, The Tiger Vanquished: LTTE’s Story (Sage Publications, 2010), is both. It is an objective, balanced, reliable and fairly authoritative account of the last war, its prelude and its aftermath. It should be read across the spectrum, by Sri Lankans and non-Sri Lankans interested either in Sri Lanka or more..

Sangakkara reposes faith in depleted attack

July 26 (CI) Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara has reposed faith in his depleted bowling attack for the second Test. The hosts are without the two bowlers who won them the first Test in Galle by sharing 15 wickets: Muttiah Muralitharan has retired, while Lasith Malinga has been rested due to a stiff knee. Sri Lanka will bank on the services of Ajantha Mendis, who replaces Murali, and more..

The Black July and the Non-consensual Peace

July 26 (LG) The Final Report of the APRC has been consigned to oblivion by the President; China is helping to build permanent camps and permanent housing facilities for the Armed Forces in the North. Juxtaposed together, these twin developments indicate the direction in which post-war Sri Lanka is headed. A war, which was waged while denying the very existence of an ethnic problem, Tamil grievances or Tamil insecurities, and while insisting on the zero-casualty myth, more..

Seeing Beyond the Black Smoke of July 1983

July 26 (LG) It was the smell of burning tyres. Thick black smoke was rising far away from all directions. Men and women rushed to schools to pick up their children and then sped home, gathered whatever they could and rushed to safety. Riots spread like a tsunami engulfing the city. By the evening it was all over for many Tamil families in Colombo. Their life savings destroyed, some killed in the most horrific manner imaginable, displaced and facing an uncertain future. more..

Asin faces Lanka boycott heat

July 26 (TI) war might have ended a year ago but Sri Lanka is still a no-go zone for Tamil stars, Asin is finding out. A meeting of the South Indian Film Artistes’ Association today criticised the actress for shooting a film in the island nation, but deferred taking action against her. “Though our association had issued a diktat to its members not to visit Sri Lanka just before the IIFA awards function, Asin chose to go for a shooting schedule later. more..

Living in the 'shadow of the total lie'

July 26 (LG) When Otto Rene Castillo (1934-1967), the Guatemalan poet and revolutionary reflected on the ultimate interrogation of the apolitical intellectuals by the 'simplest of our people' as to what they did 'when the poor suffered, when tenderness and life burned out of them' he was stating a powerful truth relevant not only to his country and in that period but across space and across borders. Castillo's ruthless denunciation of those preoccupied with abstract intellectual theory but more..

Myth of Christian contribution to Tamil – 5

July 26 (LG) According to the website, “It was Father Xavier Stanislaus Thaninayagam who founded the International Association of Tamil Research and called the first International Conference of Tamil Studies in 1965. That event ultimately led to this year’s highly prestigious conference”. While one can agree that Father Thaninayagam founded the IATR, one can only say that the claim of his IATR leading to the just-concluded First World Classical Tamil Conference is dubious. more..

Sri-Lankan ship could reach B.C. coast by next week

July 26 (GR) A vessel believed to be heading to the B.C. coast with over 200 Sri Lankan migrants could arrive in Canada as early as next week. The MV Sun Sea, suspected of carrying 213 asylum seekers, is expected to reach Canada within the first week of August, said the Colombo-based Sunday Observer, citing defence sources. Sightings of the 59-metre Thai-registered cargo ship indicate a slow, more..

Tamils rally at Queen's Park

July 26 (TS) Hundreds of Tamil-Canadians gathered at Queen’s Park Sunday afternoon to remember countrymen who were killed 27 years ago during Black July — a time when a wave of violence swept through Sri Lanka. “During the riots that took place in July 1983, nearly 3,000 Tamils lost their lives, hundreds of thousands had to flee the country or became displaced, and millions of dollars worth of property was destroyed,” more..

Murali unifies political parties

July 26 (DH) Murali has been everywhere in Sri Lanka these last two weeks. From giant hoardings and cover stories, he has been the centre of attraction. The legendary off-spinner who retired after the first Test against India at Galle also united the opposition and ruling party. The parliament on Friday decided to pay a joint tribute to the world record holder who bid adieu to the longer version on Thursday. more..

'Students groomed to face challenges'

July 26 (SO) Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena, who ventured into politics as a popular tuition master in economics, has now become one to steer the education system in the country. He has been entrusted with the task of guiding the students to fall in line with the current world trends and accept challenges. He has been confronted with many problems in the education sector. more..

The CMC in slumber: Unauthorised structures and hoardings galore

July 26 (Island) Unauthorised constructions were demolished on a directive issued by Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa with hawkers being evicted and some found alternative places to ply their trade at. However, some of these unauthorised constructions remain untouched. The Island learns that those behind these activities, which include the hiring of hoardings without proper procedure, are mostly politicians, mainly former CMC members themselves. more..

300 arrested for dumping garbage on streets

July 26 (LP) The police has arrested close to 300 people who had dumped garbage on the sides of the road, Police Media Spokesman SP Prishantha Jayakody told the media. The arrested persons have been produced before the court and has been ordered to pay a fine. Also, about 80 complaints have been received by the Environmental Protection Units situated in every district, and they have started removing garbage from the sides of streets based on that information. more..

Geoffrey Bawa Trust Launches 2010-2011 Architecture Awards

July 26 (SLNN) Honoring a man many describe as Sri Lanka’s greatest architect, the Geoffrey Bawa Trust launched the 2010-2011 Geoffrey Bawa Award for Architecture on Friday at the late architect’s residence in Colombo. According to, the national award was set up to “recognize and reward significant examples of contemporary Sri Lankan architecture. more..

Singapore hands over S$3m educational college to Sri Lanka

July 26 (LP) The first Singaporean team to complete a reconstruction project in Sri Lanka after the 2004 Tsunami has wrapped the final project funded by Singapore's Tidal Waves Asia Fund. Chairman of the Singapore Red Cross, Tee Tua Ba handed over the S$3 million (LKR 245.5 million) Sri Lanka-Singapore Friendship College to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a special ceremony yesterday (25) in the presence of 500 guests. more..

New unit to solve public problems of Local Governments

July 26 (LP) A new telephone line to find solutions to problems prevailing in the Local Governments is now open. According to the Ministry of Local Government and Provincial Council public issues which were left unsolved by the local authorities will be looked upon while the new phone line will also provide relevant advice on dealing with the issues. The problems could be forwarded on phone number0112 – 328428 and 0112 – 328282. more..

Private company sells low quality seed

July 26 (LB) In another case of comic bungling, onion cultivators in the Dambulla district have been badly hit once again and are unable to reap a harvest due to callous officers of the department of agriculture authorising a private company to sell big onion seed to cultivators without checking on seed quality. This has resulted in crop failure in totality. more..

Editorial: Mrs B – A bigger star than the SLFP

July 26 (DM) Chandrika Kumaratunga has a knack for making off the cuff remarks. There had been quite a few reckless statements just like serious ones to the credit of Sri Lanka’s first woman president. However, when she says that the present regime is making a deliberate attempt to leave out the memory and political legacy of world’s first female head of State Sirimavo Bandaranaike, one finds it difficult to trace arguments against that. more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

July 26 (ST) Matthew Lee of the Inner City Press in the UN has been chasing aggressively various stories concerning Sri Lanka. Here is what transpired between him and Martin Nesirky at the UN noon briefing this week. Lee: On Sri Lanka, on this Panel of Experts. I saw them yesterday in the North Lawn Building. Does this mean that the four-month clock for them to produce the report has begun? Also I'm aware they met with Mr. [B. Lynn] Pascoe and Mr. [Nicholas Fink] Haysom. more..

'Govt. controlled by international rulers'

July 26 (NF) This government is controlled by companies, American, Indian, international and Israeli rulers, says Dr. Wickremabahu Karunaratne, party leader of the Left Front. He was addressing a media briefing convened by the Palestine - Sri Lanka Friendship Society in Colombo yesterday on a statement alleged to have been made by the Sri Lankan ambassador to Israel, Air Chief Marshall Donald Perera, more..

'Sri Lanka's inflation may slow in July on gas prices'

July 26 (BN) Sri Lanka’s inflation may slow in July for a fifth straight month as cheaper liquefied petroleum gas pushed utility costs lower, according to the chief of the prices division in the statistics department. “Point-to-point inflation could decline after gas prices came down,” D.C.A. Gunawardena, director at the Department of Census and Statistics, said by telephone from Colombo today. more..

Men with guns rape with state patronage

July 26 (LB) The present government is accused of many lapses including the lack of coordination between various branches of the government and implementing strategies at the ground level that stand in complete contrast to their professed policies. Take the example of the Knuckles Environmental Protection Area. Cabinet Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella announced last week that the Cabinet of Ministers has decided to nominate the Knuckles Range as natural heritage more..

Dengue the buzz word

July 26 (NS) The Health Ministry’s recent decision to wage a collective war on Dengue, brings home a grim reality: We are a nation under attack, and poised for a Dengue epidemic that will exceed all previous records of such epidemics. Dengue is now a national issue. While early intervention may help, judging from the numbers of deaths from Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF) and Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS), the chances of survival are slight. more..

Ceramic manufacturers lose stronghold on EU market

July 26 (NS) With the European Union announcing that Sri Lanka would not receive the benefit of the GSP plus effecting from August 15 Sri Lankan porcelain and tableware manufacturers are losing their stronghold on the European market, the strongest market for Sri Lankan porcelain and tableware products. Without the GSP plus which facilitated zero duty access to European markets an 8.4% tariff would be added to more..

Editorial: Monitoring the guardians

July 26 (DN) The decision by the National Child Protection Authority to keep a close check on all Children’s Homes in the country is indeed a welcome move. According to NCPA Chairperson Anoma Dissanayake it has been observed by her officials that several Children’s Homes are not functioning up to the required standards. She has also warned that Children’s Homes that don’t follow NCPA guidelines, regulations and standards would be closed down. more..

'Medical supplies imported in 2008 without tender procedures'

July 26 (LT) Minister of Health Maithripala Sirisena says the large number of medical supplies that had been purchased in 2008 had been carried out without proper tender procedures. He says these stocks of essential and non- essential medicines had been bought using emergency situation in the country. The minister finds fault with the former authorities for purchasing non-essential stocks of medicine using the emergency cover and without adhering to the tender process. more..

'Our target, a single digit inflation ratio'

July 26 (SO) Today, the consumer is compelled to dance to the tune of Opposition's selfish political views. They fabricate malicious comments on price hikes depriving the consumer of being aware of the ground realities, said Co-operatives and Internal Trade Deputy Minister Neomal Perera in an interview with the Sunday Observer. Q: Sri Lanka celebrated its first year anniversary of eradicating terrorism last month. more..

Boon to farmers in the Dry Zone: State land grants for Mahaweli families

July 26 (SO) Several families living in the Mahaweli zones will be granted State land deeds within the next few months so that they could claim ownership to land which they had been living since the inception of the accelerated Mahaweli project. The move has been delayed for years for some reason due to the cumbersome procedure of many departments involved in granting State land to settlers. more..

Is Dandeniya the highest paid Peon in world?

July 26 (Island) Suraj Dandeniya could be the highest paid Office Assistant (Peon) in the world; it has been now discussed in cricket circles. Dandeniya, the nephew of Chairman of the Cricket Interim Committee D.S. de Silva was parachuted for the highest paid job at Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) as the Tournament Director of the 2011 World Cup. Dandeniya draws a cool salary of US$ 5000 (Nearly 600,000 Rupees) and other numerous perks, but more..

Editorial: Leaders and legacies

July 26 (LNP) Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has lashed out at the Rajapaksa government again. She says it has forgotten the legacy of her late legendary mother and the world s first woman prime minister, Sirima Bandaranaike, the fiftieth anniversary of whose first election as PM fell the other day. Her ire may be understandable in that the SLFP-led government in power did not celebrate that event on a grand scale. more..

Peace and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka: Is there a way forward?

July 26 (GV) Good Afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen and dear friends; I want to start my talk by bringing to the fore the experiences of another, which was seen as an intractable conflict – the apartheid struggle in South Africa. In 1984, Mandela single handedly launched negotiations with the Afrikaner government. His reasons were simple and unambiguous. more..

Gold Reserves up

July 26 (DN) The Central Bank has been able to amass record gold reserves with the Central Bank taking steps within the past 10 months to purchase 21 metric tons of Gold - an increase from the paltry two to three tons of gold in its vaults not so long ago. This is an unprecedented feat and a great victory according to Senior Deputy Governor of the Central Bank Dharma Dheerasinghe. more..

MDA takes media to next generation

July 26 (DN) The proposed Media Development Authority (MDA) would take the initiative in taking Sri Lanka media, media personnel and creative industries to the next generation, said Government Information Director – General Prof. Ariyaratna Atugala in a press statement released yesterday. ”As we transit into an innovation-fuelled society, the driving force in the next phase of our development will be the imaginative and creative capacity of our people. more..

Loss making State ventures get better focus

July 26 (DN) The private sector investors are presented with an investment opportunity to revive loss making public enterprises working towards a public-private partnership with the setting up of the State Resource Management Corporation Limited. The planned State Resource Management Corporation will be a vibrant company with 100 percent state ownership to make maximum use of idle state resources. The company encourages the private sector to more..

Ruhunu undergrad’s death: Controversy over IGP’s new claim

July 26 (Island) The JVP yesterday accused IGP Dr. Mahinda Balasuriya of trying to cover up the killing of Ruhunu undergraduate Susantha Anura Bandara by blaming a rival student faction for the attack on the victim. National List MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that IGP Balasuriya had changed his position on the cause of Anura’s death within 48 hours due to political pressure. more..

Commerce department to begin CEPA talks with chambers

July 26 (Island) The Ministry of Industry and Commerce has instructed the Department of Commerce to hold discussions on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with India with all business chambers before the deal is finalised later this year. Industry and Commerce minister Rishad Bathiudeen has instructed the Director General of the Department of Commerce to begin discussions on the much-debated CEPA with India with more..

JRJ moves SC against IGP over contempt charge

July 26 (Island) The JVP says that a senior police officer has taken recourse to the law against IGP Dr. Mahinda Balasuriya. JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that had the UPFA implemented the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, the police would have been able to function without undue political interference. The Contempt of Court application filed by SSP J. R. Jayawardena against the IGP for non-compliance with court orders will be taken up more..

Priority to renovate Jaffna Fort

July 26 (MoD) The National Heritage and Cultural Affairs Ministry has launched a program to preserve the Sri Lankan heritage of Northern and Eastern Provinces. The Ministry has given priority to renovate the Jaffna Fort under this Program, National Heritage and Cultural Affairs Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said. The reconstruction of the Jaffna Fort will be launched with Rs 104.5 million granted by the Netherlands government. more..

Police arrest six Uni students while pasting posters

July 26 (DM) Six university students have been arrested by the police for putting up posters saying that police officials involved in the death of Ruhunu university student Susantha Aruna Bandara should be arrested. Speaking to Daily Mirror online the spokesperson for the Inter University Students Federation (IUSF), Udul Premaratne said these students were arrested last night in Nugegoda while they were putting up these posters. more..

War over, but Women wage battle for survival

July 26 (IPS) It was a typically hot, humid day in this eastern coastal village. The sun burned down from a cloudless sky, roasting the skin as an angry sea breeze swatted the faces of the few foolish enough to venture out onto the deserted main road that runs through town. But it was far from a typical day for some 100 people who sat, waiting patiently by the side of the road in front of the main government office here in Vaharai, more..

Lanka-India talks on vital issues

July 26 (ST) Sri Lanka and India will hold top-level consultations over a series of bilateral and international issues when a high-powered delegation visits New Delhi next month. The team headed by Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic Development cum Senior Presidential Advisor, will include Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga and Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. more..

Sri Lankan batsmen grind toothless India

July 26 (CI) The SSC has been a fortress of sorts for Sri Lanka in the recent past, and they set about continuing their dominant run at the venue with another imposing performance. As they looked good to pile on yet another massive first-innings total, the actors that put them in charge on the opening day this time were the same as in Galle. Kumar Sangakkara and Tharanga Paranavitana served the Indians a painful reminder of more..

Rectify anomaly in teacher deployment - President directs authorities

July 26 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa Sunday directed the educational authorities to rectify immediately the disparities in teacher deployment among the schools island wide. President said that when he visited the schools in the rural areas the students do not ask for buildings or other resources but for teachers. In the contrary the schools in the urban areas have excess of teachers. more..

Bus strike called off

July 26 (DM) The private bus strike which was scheduled to commence tomorrow has been called off following discussions with the Minister of Transport Kumara Welgama, Private Bus Owners Association (PBOA) President Gemunu Wijeratne told Daily Mirror online. He added that a price reduction was agreed upon at the meeting and accordingly a route permit would be Rs. 500 while other permits will also be reduced. more..