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Man who set fire to himself before the UNP HQ dies

July 27 (LP) The person who set fire on himself before the Sirikotha UNP Headquarters has died. The Colombo General Hospital reported that he passed away yesterday. The 60-year-old Mr. Algama, who set fire on himself yesterday evening in front of the Sirikotha Mansion was rushed soon afterwards to the South Colombo Teaching Hospital and owing to the seriousness of his condition was transferred to the Colombo General Hospital last night. more..

Attempt to hide inquiries against Judge accused for sexual abuse

July 27 (LT) It is reported that a plan is underway to hide the inquiries against the Judge of Appeal Court who has been accused sexually abusing his house maid. The girl who was subjected to sexual abuse submitted the complaint as "Mr.Sarath has sexually abused her" under M.O.I.D 210/236 in Children and Women's Bureau on 28th of June 2010. However, the Bureau noted her complaint as a minor complaint in the section of minor complaints. more..

Editorial: Who will probe these war crimes?

July 27 (LNP) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is apparently having sleepless nights devising ways and means of launching a war crimes probe against Sri Lanka. His advisory panel has started work under rabidly anti-Sri Lankan UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, whose prejudices stink to high heavens. Those at the forefront of a war crimes campaign against this country such as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake, more..

'Sri Lanka private sector management mooted for loss-making state entities'

July 27 (LBO) Loss-making Sri Lankan state institutions could be turned around with private sector management if they cannot be privatised, the head of the Distilleries Company conglomerate has said. "In my view, the only way a decades-old mindset of mediocrity can be changed is by hiring professionals from the private sector to manage these public sector institutions," more..

Chandana Kathriarachchi case: Judge dissolves jury following threats

July 27 (DN) The jury in the case involving former Deputy Minister Chandana Kathriarachchi was dissolved yesterday by Colombo High Court Judge Kumudini Wickramasinghe after the jury claimed they were receiving death threats. The High Court Judge ordered Kathriarachchi to be remanded over his alleged involvement in the murder of C.D. Chandrarathne in 1996. Therefore, four accused including Kathriarachchi will be remanded until the case is over. more..

Special emphasis to improve English speaking among school children

July 27 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa Sunday said the Government has laid special emphasis on improving English speaking among school children, encouraging extra curricular activities and making them aware on future employment avenues and job oriented skills. President Rajapaksa addressing a gathering following the opening of a new auditorium for Middeniya Maha Vidyalaya in the Hambantota district, emphasized that children are the most prized asset of the nation. more..

Editorial: Revival of tradition

July 27 (DN) The end of the war has not only banished the fear psychosis among the people but has also caused a resurgence in many spheres of activity that remained dormant during the war years. Today, we see the free travel of people to and from the North, the flourishing trade and business across the divide and also a general awakening in many areas and fields that were shut down due to the hostilities. more..

Five senior journalists to be honoured

July 27 (DN) Five senior journalists will get Lifetime. Achievement Awards at the Journalism Excellence Awards ceremony to be held on Tuesday at the Mount Lavinia Hotel. The awards for 2009 are being given by the Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Press Institute. The five receiving Lifetime Achievement Awards are; Arthur U. Amarasena, M. Kaanamylnathan, Anandi Balasingham, Sirilal Kodikara, M.S.M. Munsoor. more..

Sri Lanka has not paid for some acquired land for 25-years: official

July 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka has not paid some owners of land acquired by the state for infrastructure for 25-years, and a total of 8.5 billion rupees remains unpaid for property taken to expand roads, an official said. "To my shock and amazement I found that some people have not been paid for years," Sri Lanka's road secretary Wasantha Karannagoda, a former Navy chief said. "About 42,000 families who have given up their land for the benefit of the country have not been paid. more..

State recognition for Veddah language

July 27 (DM) Talks are being held with a view to giving state recognition to the language of Sri Lanka’s native people who are known as Veddahs, the Ministry of National Heritage and Cultural Affairs said. This has happened after Veddah Chief Uruwarige Wanniyalaththo submitted a document containing 20 demands during a discussion held last Tuesday at the Ministry. "We are trying to see how we can give state recognition to the indigenous language of the Veddhas as requested by them," more..

Sri Lanka catching Dutch disease ?

July 27 (Island) Sri Lanka is catching the Dutch disease as the rupee appreciates on hot capital at the expense of the export sector and job creation. Dealers said the rupee was under severe pressure to appreciate with remittances and hot capital inflows into government securities and the stock exchange growing. With other currencies in the region undervalued against the dollar, the rupee’s gaining strength is threatening exporters and job creation. more..

Delayed action on anti-Lanka petition: JVP slams US over double standards

July 27 (Island) JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake accused US of double standards and working to an agenda targeting Sri Lanka in a post-LTTE era. He acknowledged that the US, which had ignored a petition targeting Sri Lanka in 2008 and 2009 recently declared its intention to act on it in line with its new strategy. ‘They are working to an agenda," he said, while blaming the Rajapaksa administration for paving the way for US interference in domestic issues. more..

No politics for KP: Karuna

July 27 (DM) Former LTTE chief arms procurer Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP) who is now under custody in Sri Lanka and is reportedly assisting the government will not enter politics, Government Minister and former rebel Karuna Amman said. Amman alias Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan, in an interview with Daily Mirror online says KP does not have any political knowledge as he was purely acquiring weapons for the LTTE before its military defeat last year. more..

Mervyn, Rosy step-in to settle dispute: Three MPs in Mega Star fray

July 27 (Island) In a rare case of teamwork between government and Opposition members, Deputy Minister Mervyn Silva and UNP MP Rosy Senanayake intervened on Sunday to settle a simmering dispute between Rajiv Sebastian and Ajith Weerasinghe, a contestant of Swarnavahini’s Star’ over a derogatory statement attributed to Sebastian during a previous programme. more..

APRC Report Unacknowledged

July 27 (SL) UNP MP R. Yogarajan and SLMC Deputy Secretary General Nizam Kariapper, recently compiled a report on proposals made by the APRC, in hope that the President would use it to form the basis of a new constitution. Kariapper said that he believes a similar report, compiled by the Chairman of the APRC, was handed over to President Rajapaksa last year, but is not aware of any acknowledgement of this report by the President. more..

TNA MP seeks release of 765 LTTE suspects

July 27 (EB) P Ariyanethiran, TNA MP for the Eastern Sri Lankan district of Batticaloa, has written to President Mahinda Rajapaksa asking him to release 765 Tamil young men and women who are kept in various prisons in the island for suspected links with the LTTE. The MP pleaded that since the war ended on May 19, 2009, and it was time the suspects (against whom there were no criminal cases) were released. more..

Eelam war IV: Tiger captives down to 7,900, rehab programme on track

July 27 (Island) Brigadier Sudantha Ranasinghe, Commissioner General of Rehabilitation says LTTE cadres are being gradually released from government centres following rehabilitation in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. Brig. Ranasinghe, who succeeded Major General Daya Ratnayake, says their work is on track thereby allowing small groups of LTTE cadres to rejoin their families every month. more..

Sri Lanka declare their first innings at 642-4

July 27 (CI) It was another day of toil for the Indian bowlers as Sri Lanka reached a seemingly invincible position in the second Test. Two players who form the backbone of their batting line-up, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, achieved individual landmarks on a placid track against a spineless attack which has left its batsmen with another Test to save. Sangakkara had maintained his aggressive approach in the morning session, more..

Dejected man attempts self immolation

July 27 (DM) Doctors were last night battling to save the life of a man described as a staunch UNP supporter who set himself ablaze opposite the UNP party headquarters ‘Sirikotha’ yesterday. The victim involved in the rare incident in Sri Lanka was identified as Rienzie Algama, a relative of the late Gen. Lucky Algama. The man who hails from Kelaniya had joined the UNP during the time of the late President J.R. Jayewardene in 1980s. more..

'Constitutional changes to reflect people’s wishes'

July 27 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa emphasized that changes to the Constitution would be drafted taking into consideration the wishes of the public of Sri Lanka and not individual interest. He said that top priority would be given to development and the country’s security in line with the people’s needs when enacting changes to the Constitution. He stressed that constitutional changes would not be done according to the whims and fancies of individuals or more..

Refugee ship could be boarded by U.S. or Canada

July 28 (TS) A cargo ship allegedly carrying more than 200 Tamil refugees is being monitored by U.S. and Canadian officials as it makes its way to the British Columbia coastline after being turned away by Thai and Australian authorities. An intelligence source have told the Toronto Star that there is a potential for Canadian or American coast guards to board the vessel before it reaches Canadian waters as a way of deterring the vessel from landing. more..

Lanka 'welcome' Indian envoy

July 28 (BBC) The Sri Lankan government says it welcomes the Indian prime minister's special envoy to discuss the "restoration of normal life" in Sri Lanka's north and east. Media minister Keheliya Rambukwella told journalists on Tuesday that that the government welcomes India's help in bringing normalcy to the ear ravaged region. In a letter to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, Dr. Manmohan Singh has said that he is sending a special envoy to discuss more..

Sri Lanka Debrief News - 27. 07. 2010

Villagers protest against 'land grab'

July 28 (BBC) A leading monk from eastern Sri Lanka has issued a three day ultimatum to police to vacate an occupied village in the Ampara district. Rev. Panama Chandarathana, the Chief Sanganayaka thero of Wellassa Digamadulla region along with villagers from Ragamwela agreed to call off a protest following a pledge by senior police officers. Hundreds of Ragamwela villagers demonstrated at the Panama junction calling the police whom they accuse of occupying their ancestral land to leave. more..

PCB seeks government approval to submit report on Sri Lankan team attack to ICC

July 28 (CP) The Pakistan Cricket Board has sought government approval to forward a high-level review to the International Cricket Council regarding last year's terror attack on the Sri Lankan team at Lahore. Board spokesman Nadeem Sarwar said Tuesday once the government gives the go ahead, the report will be sent to the ICC. Sarwar declined to give a timeline. A panel of Lahore High Court judges compiled the report after more..

Sri Lanka to oppose Ban

July 28 (DM) The Sri Lankan government is to oppose the re-election of Ban Ki Moon as the UN Secretary General and will also seek the support of several other countries for this move, a senior government minister told Daily Mirror online on the condition of anonymity. The cabinet minister said that Sri Lanka will seek the support of countries such as India, Russia, Brazil, China and other developing countries and more..

Sri Lanka appoints team to investigate sea border dispute with Maldives

July 28 (DM) The Sri Lankan government is investigating to see if the request put forward by the Maldives to the UN seeking an expansion of its continental shelf will overlap the sea area demarcated by Sri Lanka in a similar request to the world body. Officials from the Legal Division of the Foreign Ministry said that a technical team has been appointed by the Sri Lankan government to study the area to verify if both demarcated areas overlap each other and more..

Major protests at several universities

July 28 (DM) The Inter-University Students’ Federation (IUSF) yesterday held demonstrations outside a number of universities including those at Kelaniya, Performing Arts, Peradeniya, Rajarata, Sabaragamuwa, and Ruhuna to protest at the killing of Susantha Aruna Bandara and the arrest of some other students. IUSF spokesman Udul Premaratne said six students were arrested last morning after a number of protests held the night before. more..

GL and Basil visit Japan

July 28 (SL) The visit by External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris and Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa to Japan from July 26-30 is expected to help further enhance the strong and friendly relations between the two countries. Peiris and Rajapaksa have met with the Japanese Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Seiji Maehara and Former Prime Minister of Japan and more..

Sri Lanka north bound highway may get ADB funding

July 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka has asked for 500 million US dollars from the Asian Development Bank to build a new highway from the island's capital Colombo which will speed up traffic to the north, officials said. "We are having discussions with the government," ADB's country director Richard Vokes told LBO. "We have been told it will cost 500 million dollars. It is not in our country assistance strategy at the moment." more..

Red Cross in urgent need of funds to assist IDPs

July 28 (RC) With contributions received to date, the appeal is about 40 per cent covered. Funds are urgently needed to enable Sri Lanka Red Cross Society to provide much needed assistance to those displaced by years of conflict. An emergency appeal was launched in April seeking CHF 3,604,299 (USD 3.4 million or EUR 2.5 million) in cash, kind, or services to support the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) as it assists approximately 5,000 families (25,000 people) for 24 months; more..

3D - Ashoka Handagama

Jayawardene backs new-look attack

July 28 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene has said that Sri Lanka's bowlers will attack the Indian batsmen on the third day at the SSC. "We've got the runs on the board so we will attack," Jayawardene said. "We know that they have some quality batsmen who can bat for a long time. "Today being a short session, we bowled to an attacking field and Viru [Virender Sehwag] got out of it a bit. We'll try and frustrate as much as we can. We need to put a lot of effort. more..

Saudi Arabia to help the disabled in Sri Lanka

July 28 (AN) The Kingdom is to consider providing an endowment for a nongovernmental organization that looks after handicapped children in Sri Lanka. “The Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs has agreed to consider a proposal for an income-generating project in aid of the disabled children at our center,” said Jiffry Haniffa, who is heading a delegation from the Islamic Center for the Physically Handicapped (ICPH) in Sri Lanka. more..

Batsman Sangakkara remains a stylist

July 28 (CI) For the last year or so we have known the man who repeatedly questions cricket's lopsided scheduling. The man who has perhaps strived to make Australia out of Sri Lanka, and perhaps cutting down on some of the Sri Lankan flair. The man who complains about the inconsistent use of Umpire Decision Review System. The man who has had to make bold decisions regarding Sanath Jayasuriya and Chaminda Vaas. more..

Of phones, IT and family firms

July 28 (LG) A flurry of activity in some key sectors in Sri Lanka in recent weeks indicate that post-war growth in the economy is taking off. Of particular interest is the stockmarket where IT stocks have suddenly entered the picture and this week saw the launch of PC House’s public issue. There is another interesting development with mid-sized to small companies like PC House entering the market: The age in which family companies are coming out of the closet. more..

Deteriorating salaries of university academics

July 28 (LG) Human resources development is considered a crucial factor in promoting economic growth in recent times. Needless to say that education is instrumental in enhancing the quality of human resources in any economy. In contrast to the fast growing South East Asian nations, a major constraint to economic growth in many developing countries such as ours is the dearth of human resources that are more..

Militarisation of the Dengue mosquito?

July 28 (LG) Sri Lanka’s macho war heroes of the Special Task Force and some units of the army are to be deployed to fight the dengue mosquito, reports last week said. Their objective could be presumed to be ‘humanitarian’, as ‘humanitarian’ the military actions were during the ‘war’. Eradication of mosquitoes by prevention of their breeding and not by killing would perhaps be more..

UNP’s search for another JR to find a way out

July 28 (DM) UNP is poised to throw its leader away. The very essence of the all this party reform process is nothing other than replacing Ranil Wickremesinghe with someone else. Presently all party positions except for the party leader are elected by the party members at the annual conventions, if the UNP working Committee decides that all party positions will be elected by votes, it amounts to taking a simple decision to hold elections for the party leader post as well. more..

Who Wants Solutions Here?

July 28 (DM) Just one fortnight, or even less, and the Sri Lankan polity of all hues has already shown that they are interested only in going through the motions of a political solution to the ethnic issue, or even to the larger constitutional reforms relating to the Executive Presidency and the Seventeenth Amendment, among others. Starting with the Government, they all seem to be parts of the problems, and not the solutions that the Nation has been waiting for years and decades. more..

Loris: Lost and found

July 28 (ST) A bundle of limbs and fur with huge, soulful eyes disproportionate to its body, it is considered by some to be one of the ugliest creatures in the world. For zoologist Saman Gamage and his team, however, on that chilly morn on Conical Hill in Nuwara Eliya when it came into their “sights” it was “beautiful”. Just like a teddy bear, smiles Saman who has been on the trail of this elusive primate for many a long year. more..

Shadow play and Reality

July 28 (Island) I have no doubt that a good many Sri Lankans are more likely to be bemused rather than be bedazzled by the shadow theatre that is being enacted by the Governing party and the Opposition these days. Some of the political theatrics which have been taking place outside the pale of serious inter party dialogue, have been turned into virtual reality plays with heavy pantomimic overtones, performed publicly before wider audiences. more..

The ‘Big Lady in the Children’s Ward’

July 28 (NS) In 1950, a young, newly qualified doctor from the Colombo Medical College took up her first posting as Consultant Paediatrician at the Jaffna Hospital. It was a challenge she faced with determination to prove her mettle. A Sinhala doctor appointed to the Jaffna district, after S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike’s ‘Sinhala Only’ policy, the largely Tamil population in Jaffna were naturally hostile to the Sinhalese. more..

Katina Pooja: Invoking blessings beyond comparison

July 28 (NS) Esala Poya marks several momentous moments of Buddhist legacy, the roots of Vas season and Katina pooja dating back to it. Tradition of vas veseema or spending the rainy season in meditation and self enlightenment, took roots on local soil with the arrival of Mihindu Maha rahatan vahanse, who took refuge in the 68 rock caves of the Mihinthale compounds. more..

Preserve ethics, morality and professionalism of the legal profession in Sri Lanka

July 28 (DM) This article written in the background of several examples of concerns of citizens who feel let down by negligence or misconduct of professionals. A group which wields considerable influence on the lives of many including on their liberty and well being is the fraternity of lawyers. We have within the subcontinent enough inspirational examples to draw on, as well as instances of failure to maintain the trust reposed on this profession. more..

A balance of payments surplus despite huge merchandise trade deficit?

July 28 (ST) Despite the country heading for a massive trade deficit, the government’s own forecast is that the country would achieve a small surplus in the balance of payments. These projections are based on expectations that are probably somewhat optimistic. However despite the very large merchandise trade deficit, it is likely that the end result in the balance of payments would probably be a modest deficit. more..

'Darling of the grassroots'

July 28 (NS) Chief contender for the UNP leadership Sajith Premadasa, though, at times, seen as being outmanoeuvred by its leader Ranil Wickremesinghe at every turn, the rebellion against the leader is now firmly behind Sajith. In the past, when troubles were mounting, the leader would take off on long foreign sojourns, as of now, with visits to India and Europe, to contemplate and plan countermoves using proxies, but more..

Strange no to BTI and yes to STF

July 28 (LB) Finally the government was forced last week to bring in the Police, Army and Special Task Force officers to combat dengue in the country as its spread reached alarming proportions while the health authorities are still delaying the import of the BTI bacteria. According to statistics provided by health ministry officials the number of patients who have succumbed to dengue up to July 22 this year stands at 158. more..

Most parliamentarians prefer a new constitution

July 28 (SO) Trade unions, civil organisations and the public have again focused attention on a new constitution or amendments to the present constitution. The importance of a new constitution has also been highlighted by most parliamentarians, especially by Members of the Opposition. The Soulbury Constitution was introduced in 1947 by the British when the country was under British rule. 25 years after the Soulbury constitution, Sri Lanka introduced her second and third constitutions in 1972 and 1978. more..

The land of God Kataragama

July 28 (SO) An atmosphere of awe and respect hovers around Ruhunu Maha Kataragama Devale that has a long standing reputation as a place of worship. When one enters Devale his or her mind become calm. The sacred land of Kataragama situated close to the Southern coastal belt of the island, gets due recognition and attracts among people because of the 'Ruhunu Kataragama Mahasena Devale'. more..