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Investment Specialist writes “Beyond the Battlefront”

July 30 (N360) An investment specialist attached to the Board of Investment recently launched a book under the title of “Beyond the Battlefront”, a collection of untold stories and poems of the North and East conflict. The Book which discusses the hardships, the people of all communities had to undergo during the conflict has been written by Mrs. Romayne De Alwis who works as an Investment Director at the country’s main investment portal, the BOI. more..

'Five-in-one vaccine led to child deaths in Sri Lanka'

July 30 (LNP) The pentavalent or the five-in-one vaccine that has been recommended in India by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization actually killed children in Sri Lanka and Bhutan, warns an article in the latest issue of the British Medical Journal (BMJ). The report by a group, including paediatricians, professors, health activists and a former Indian health secretary, cautions against the introduction of the five-in-one vaccine that more..

Govt all out to control Dengue

July 30 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said the Government is ready to make any commitment for the eradication of dengue menace from the country. The President stressed that the Government is ready to bear any cost in importing drugs and medicine which would help control the deadly dengue menace and save lives of people who were diagnosed with the dengue virus. more..

Eastern coast to get hit first, says NARA

July 30 (DM) The east coast of Sri Lanka would witness a rise in the water level of sea by 1. 2 millimeters a year and the western coast, a marginal increase, due to the melting glaciers in the Himalayas, the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) said in a research. The increased river discharge in to the Bay of Bengal by Ganges and Bramaputra due to the melting of Himalaya’s glaciers were the main causes for the rising sea level. more..

Lanka tops world in breast feeding

July 30 (DN) Around 98 percent of child births take place in hospitals in Sri Lanka and 79 percent of the infants receive breast milk within the first hour of birth. Around 75 percent of infants receive only breast milk during their first six months, Dr. Deepika Attygalle said. She was addressing a media seminar on National Breastfeeding Week. Dr. Attygalle said that Sri Lanka is well ahead of other countries when it comes to breast feeding and health indicators. more..

More power in November

July 30 (DN) The national power grid would be enriched by a further 300 MW (over 12 percent of the existing capacity) in November, courtesy the Norochcholai Coal Power plant, according to Minister Keheliya Rambukwella. The first phase of the Norochcholai Power Plant is to be completed in the first week of November with the coal firing being scheduled to begin in the last week of the same month. more..

'Unity vital to win back what was lost'

July 30 (DN) Everything that was lost due to the 30 year war could be won back only by maintaining unity, Mass Media and Information Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said addressing a group of journalists from the North and East. The program was organized by the Sri Lanka Jatika Saama Mandalaya to enhance friendship and unity among journalists of South and North. The meeting was held at the Mass Media and Information Ministry yesterday. more..

Editorial: No confidence motion

July 30 (DM) For many reasons the Rhodes Scholar and Oxford alumni turned politician G.L. Peiris appears to be a misfit in the UPFA Cabinet. And it is this discrepancy that made him a better contender for the job he is handling now as the Minister of External Affairs. However the very reasons that earned him the job appear to be making the life miserable for the professor. He was getting on the job fairly well — cultivating nations in his own way and more..

Ampara student wins the all island TV quiz

July 30 (Island) Ganga Thilakarathna Kumari from the D S Sennayake National School, Ampara won the all island TV Quiz Programme conducted by the Financial Services Academy of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka which was held at the ITN yesterday. She also won the Provincial contest and was selected for the finals representing the Eastern Province. Kasun Lahiru Karunanayake from Ananda College, Colombo and more..

Cabinet to meet once a fortnight?

July 30 (LP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa began yesterday’s Cabinet meeting by making a suggestion about the Cabinet itself. His suggestion was that the Cabinet should meet twice a fortnight. President Rajapaksa asked Secretary of theTreasury Sumith Abeysinghe to give his views about the idea. “Yes sir, now we get quite a lot of Cabinet leaflets, about 80 per week. The Treasury simply doesn’t have time to look into every single one of them. So it would be quite convenient for the Cabinet to meet once every two weeks” more..

A studded gold casket to Somawathiya after a dozen centauries

July 30 (LP) A gold casket carrying relics of Buddha was offered by Dr. Samadhi Rajapakse, of the Cancer Institute, Maharagama to Ven. Pahamune Sri Sumangala Maha Nahimi, the Viharadipathi of Somawathi Rajamaha Viharaya at a ceremony organized recently in the temple premises, in Somawathiya. This was a historical event as this casket was the one offered to this temple nearly 1200 years ago by ancient kings for the purpose of taking it in procession. more..

Indian ocean Tuna commission meeting to be held in Sri Lanka

July 30 (NF) The upcoming Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) meeting will be held in Sri Lanka, says Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. The minister made this statement at a media briefing held at the Government Information Department yesterday. “Sri Lanka has not submitted any report to the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission about Tuna resources in Sri Lanka after 2007. Therefore they are unaware of our situation. more..

Heads controversy over A/L Chemistry paper

July 30 (LP) A visible controversy has risen over the setting of the Advanced Level (A/L) Chemistry question paper some educationist demanded the setting of the paper has been entrusted to a University Don who conducts private tuition and seminars on the subject hence they demand that the 2010 Chemistry A/L paper should be annulled. The Secretary General of Professionals Wasantha Dharmasiri further add that it is unethical for such a person to be involved in setting a question paper. more..

Editorial: FUTA battle: The way out

July 30 (Island) Universities are on the boil again. While some JVP-led students are carrying a cadaver, as it were, around the country causing mayhem, academics have taken on the government––for a different reason. They are demanding that they be granted forthwith the pay hike President Mahinda Rajapaksa promised them in the run-up to the last presidential election. Promises are like babies, we keep saying in these columns; they are easy to make but hard to deliver. more..

White flag case: Trial at Bar on a day-to-day basis

July 30 (DM) he Colombo High Court yesterday fixed the trial-at-bar against retired General Sarath Fonseka in connection with the ‘White Flag” case to be heard on a day-to-day basis. Accordingly, the trial-at-bar comprising three judges presided by Ms. Deepali Wijesundera and H.N.P.B. Warawewa and Zurfick Razeen will start from September 27 on a day-to-day basis. When the trial-at-bar inquiry into the alleged statement made by General Fonseka to more..

Sri Lanka inflation slows to 4.3-pct in July

July 30 (LBO) Consumer prices in Colombo rose 4.3 percent in July 2010 from a year earlier, down from 4.8 percent in June, the fifth straight monthly fall. But the 12-month moving average, which is a lagging indicator spread over two years and has been on the rise since March, rose to 4.2 percent in July 2010 from 3.9 percent in June 2010. In the month of July the Colombo consumer price index remained almost stagnant in absolute terms at 217.6 down from 217.7 in June 2010. more..

Minister pledges facilities for rural youth to maximise their sporting skills

July 30 (Island) "Our country’s top professional sportsmen and sportswomen of the calibre of Sanath Jayasuriya, Susanthika Jayasinghe and Damayanthi Dharsha, had not come from cities, but from the villages. They had won international fame. There were a number of such talented youth in rural areas. In keeping with the Mahinda Chinthanaya concept, such youth should be identified and provided with facilities to reach their maximum potential", more..

Siyatha media office comes under attack (Photos)

July 30 (SL) The media office of the Voice of Asia Network that operates Siyatha TV, Siyatha FM, Real Radio, Vettri FM and Siyatha, came under arson attack at around 1.30 this morning, reports say. Residents of the area around the office – located on Hunupitiya Lake Road in Colombo 2 – said that they had first heard the loud noise of glass breaking, followed by dense smoke that enveloped the area. They said that the police had arrived promptly on the scene, more..

Sri Lanka to lean on banks to lend, cut taxes: official

July 30 (LBO) The Sri Lankan government intends to reduce taxes further and put pressure on commercial banks to lend more to the private sector, Sarath Amunugama, Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning, said. With the island's agriculture and services sectors expanding very fast, there is a need to pay much more attention to the export manufacturing sector which has suffered from global recession. "In the forthcoming years we will be spending more time and giving more concessions to the manufacturing sector," more..

The criminal exchange

July 30 (MN) Few years ago there were two well known Tamil gangs operating in Toronto. One was identified as ‘VVT’ (Velvetithurai- a Village name in Northern Sri Lanka) and the other was ‘AK Kannan’. They were having a territorial drug war between each other for few years. Several shoot outs and few deaths later, both gang leaders and their supporters were arrested in a massive police raid code named ‘Project 1050’. Recently a new page in these gangster stories has started to dominate the Canadian media. more..

Japan prepared to consider special trade agreement with Sri Lanka

July 30 (LP) In keeping with the policy of Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s administration, the Government of Japan will be prepared to engage in the necessary consultations with regard to a Free Trade Agreement between Sri Lanka and Japan, Mr. Masayuki Naoshima, Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry said in Tokyo. He was responding to a request by visiting Ministers Professor G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, and Mr. Basil Rajapaksa, more..

'Law provides for KP to turn State witness'

July 30 (Island) The government said yesterday that the law provided for even a criminal to turn State witness and that applied to the LTTE’s former arms procurer Kumaran Pathmanathan as well. While dodging a question whether Shanmugam Kumaran Tharmalingam alias Selvarasa Kumaran Pathmanathan would be pardoned in spite of his involvement in criminal offences against the Sri Lankan State, Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told more..

'I have nothing to lose and am even ready to sacrifice my life for the people'

July 30 (LeN) My dear Sri Lankans living here and overseas, members of the armed forces, police and home guards, families of the war heroes, friends and relatives. I write this as a political prisoner who has been confined to a prison cell for more than five months, deprived of many liberties that one would take for granted in a democratic society. A number of spurious charges have been framed against me by the vengeful Rajapaksa regime for more..

Rs. 32 billion loss a year due to traffic Jams

July 30 (DM) A recent report by the Department of Transport and Logistics Management of the University of Moratuwa stated that Greater Colombo areas contributed to a loss of at least 32 billion rupees a year due to traffic congestion. University of Moratuwa civil engineering Professor Amal Kumarage told the Daily Mirror the congestion was mainly due to no proper system to control vehicular traffic in the Greater Colombo areas. more..

UK says Lanka now safe

July 30 (DM) The United Kingdom has updated its travel advisory on Sri Lanka by removing the advise against travel to the four northern provinces of Mullaitivu, Killinochchi, Mannar and Vavuniya. The British High Commission in a statement said that the advice follows a security assessment carried out by a High Commission delegation, led by Deputy High Commissioner Mark Gooding, which visited the Northern provinces in June. more..

Japan urges Sri Lanka to allay human rights concerns

July 30 (PTI) Japanese Cabinet ministers on Thursday urged visiting Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris to allay international concerns over alleged war crimes committed last year by Sri Lankan forces in the country, Japanese officials said. Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada and Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Tetsuro Fukuyama separately told the Sri Lankan minister that Colombo should be accountable about the human rights issue, more..

Teams play out high-scoring draw

July 30 (CI) The second Test laboured to its predictable end but not without some encouraging signs for India on the final day. The tenth-wicket pair of Ishant Sharma and Pragyan Ojha, who had offered resistance in Galle, repeated the feat with more ease and kept the Sri Lankan bowlers at bay for 27 overs before the Indian bowlers, who have been dominated in this series, took three wickets, auguring well for the final Test more..

Trial against CPC in UK court

July 30 (DM) The Standard Chartered Bank has initiated litigation in the Commercial Court in the UK against the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) on the hedging deal, and the trial has now been fixed for March 28, next year, authoritative sources said yesterday. The Bank has sued the CPC on the charge of breach of commercial activities with regard to the hedging deal. The other banks have also gone for arbitration. more..

'Foreign mediated efforts won’t bring reconciliation'

July 30 (Island) The late LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s successor, T. S. Pathmanathan aka KP says Sri Lanka should strive to deal with domestic issues on its own without involving external elements. Former head of LTTE procurement section, the soft-spoken, KP points out that all previous attempts by foreign governments to address Sri Lanka’s problems failed. In an exclusive with The Island, in Colombo on Wednesday, more..

Gang torches Sri Lanka broadcaster's office

July 30 (Reuters) An unidentified gang set fire to a Sri Lankan broadcaster owned by a businessman who had backed the opposition in a presidential election, destroying its main control room, police said on Friday. The arson attack on the Siyatha media group forced broadcasting to stop and hurt at least one person, police and a witness said. Siyatha has a TV channel and three radio stations. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 30. 07. 2010

Sri Lanka, India slam 'unsporting' pitch after draw

July 31 (AFP) Rivals India and Sri Lanka blasted the featherbed wicket that proved a bowlers' graveyard after the second Test ended in a high-scoring draw on Friday. "This one was very unsporting, there was nothing in it for the bowlers," said Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, whose team posted 707 in reply to Sri Lanka's first innings score of 642-4. India's score was just 19 runs short of their Test record of 726-9 declared more..

First Sri Lankan elephant walkway opens at Twycross Zoo

July 31 (BBC) Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire opens the first in the world themed Sri Lankan elephant walkway and habitat - named 'Uda Walawe'. The brand new £1 million home, for five Asian elephants, was officially opened by Sri Lanka's High Commissioner in July 2010. His Excellency Justice Nihal Jayasinghe unveiled a commemorative plaque, lit a ceremonial oil lamp and cut a ribbon. A troupe of Kandyan dancers performed the island nation's ancient dances to the beating of Kandyan drums. more..

Oil drilling to begin in 2011

July 31 (DM) Cairn Sri Lanka (Pvt) Ltd a subsidiary of Cairn India (Pvt. Ltd) will begin drilling the first three oil wells in the Mannar Basin in January, Petroleum Ministry said today. Petroleum Resources Minister Susil Premajayantha said Cairn Sri Lanka was calling for bidders globally to undertake sub contracts for the eight-year three-stage oil exploration project, which is estimated to cost of US$172 million or Rs.18 billion. more..

UNP suspends from the working committee

July 31 (DM) The UNP has decided to suspend its Kandy District MP A. R. M. Abdul Cader from the working committee for voting with the government in parliament. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake in a letter addressed to Cader has informed him that a decision has been taken to suspend the latter from the working committee for voting with the government. Attanayake has informed Cader that he will have to go before a disciplinary committee as well in the near future. more..

Murali, Kumble plan spin-bowling academy

July 31 (CI) Anil Kumble and Muttiah Muralitharan could be soon working together in training young spinners. There are plans in place to set up a spin-bowling academy, possibly in Bangalore, and the two bowlers, who share 1419 Test wickets between them, have set their minds on the project. "It is in the pipeline, but it is Anil's call as he is arranging things for setting up the academy in Bangalore," Muralitharan, who retired after finishing with 800 wickets in Galle, more..

USA fears loss of Sri Lanka

July 31 (Pravda) “Sri Lanka has been a friend and democratic partner of the United States since gaining independence in 1948 and has supported U.S. military operations overseas such as during the first Gulf War. Commercial contacts go back to 1787, when New England sailors first anchored in Sri Lanka’s harbors to engage in trade. Sri Lanka is strategically located at the nexus of maritime trading routes connecting Europe and more..

World Cup venue to be named after Muralitharan

July 31 (AFP) A new cricket stadium being built for next year's World Cup will be named after the world's most successful bowler Muttiah Muralitharan, a report said on Friday. The 22,000-capacity stadium, being constructed in Pallekele in Muralitharan's home district of Kandy, is due to host three matches of the World Cup in South Asia in February-March. The Central Provincial Council in Kandy decided to name the venue as the Muttiah Muralitharan International Cricket Stadium more..

2-0 series win not enough for SL to become No. 1

July 31 (CI) Sri Lanka won't be able to displace India from the No. 1 position in the Test rankings in this series. It was earlier believed that a 2-0 series win would be enough to take Sri Lanka to the top spot. However, the system had been misunderstood. From August 1, 2010, the rankings will cease to consider all Tests played between August 2006 and July 2007. During that period, Sri Lanka won five Tests and lost just one. more..

What is happening to the Ex-LTTE cadre surrendees?

July 31 (DBS) The Conclusion of the long drawn out war against the LTTE organization has been welcomed by all sections of Sri Lankan society in particular and the international community in general. Even as war ravaged Sri Lankans breathe a collective sigh of relief and attempt to get on with their lives in a post-war scenario ,it is important to note that the armed conflict’s end does not necessarily mean that more..

The fate of the Purple Fury Doctrine after Nick Clegg’s confessions

July 31 (DM) A few days after the 9/11 attacks, Time magazine put out a special issue, dedicated to the tragedy. It contained a collection of photographs that captured much of the wide spectrum of dramatic elements associated with the attack and its aftermath, along with a few poignant and well-written though pieces. Among these was sobering article by Lance Morrow titled ‘The case for rage and retribution’. more..

Why national reconciliation is not possible in Sri Lanka

July 31 (LG) There is much talk of “National Reconciliation” in Sri Lanka – essentially between the Sinhalese-dominated Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and the Tamil people. As a Sinhalese who has supported the struggle of the Tamil people to live with equality, dignity and without discrimination, and now, to live at all, in the country of their birth, I simply do not think that ‘national reconciliation’ is possible. more..

High court judge slams police officers for Lahore attack

July 31 (CI) A judge of the Lahore High Court has heavily criticised senior Pakistan police officers for not performing their duties properly on the morning of March 3, 2009, when the visiting Sri Lankan team was exposed to a terrorist attack in Lahore. Shabbar Raza Rizvi identified more than a dozen policemen guilty of incompetence in his report on the incident, which is due to be submitted to the ICC, more..

Irish couple fined for stealing indegenous plants

July 31 (NF) The Nuwara Eliya Magistrate's Court today sentenced an Irish couple who pleaded guilty to the charges of stealing genes from plants indigenous to Sri Lanka. The sentence was issued after the Irish couple and another individual was produced before the Nuwara Eliya Magistrate's Court today. The Irish couple was ordered to pay a fine of Rs 85,000 while the other individual was ordered to pay a fine of Rs 68,000. more..

Sri Lanka celco floor pricing can be removed in two years: official

July 31 (LB0) Recently imposed floor prices on mobile users by the regulator can be removed within two years, while celco operators have themselves to blame for pushing the sector deep into the red, a senior executive said. "None of us are saying that having an anti-market instrument like floor prices is a good thing on the long run, but it’s the plugging instrument to stop a dip in an industry," Hans Wijayasuriya, chief executive at Dialog Axiata said. more..

'A lot of funds freed to service private sector'

July 31 (NF) The government is looking for a stable exchange rate. We are trying to divert as much as possible credit to the private sector through the banks. If you look at the credit ratios moving through the banks now, its unprecedented. But apparently the banks are not moving fast enough. We must put some pressure on the banks to use that liquidity to help the business community, more..

Kings for bureaucracy

July 31 (SL) Looking at Sri Lankan politics and searching for a method to the madness let alone a science is no easy feat, and certainly it is beyond me; a mere armchair based channel flipper loath to immerse myself in everything but the juiciest of political gossip. But as a representative then, of the vast majority of Sri Lankans I reserve the right to pass comment on our political sphere by virtue of my ignorance of it. more..

The protest movement

July 31 (SL) In the past month Colombo has seen protests by students, teachers, nurses, midwives, trade unionists, political parties, investors, ministers and more. Almost every day I go out I see someone protesting something and, if not that, taking their Gods for a walk through the town. One day I drove past Vihara Maha Devi Park and saw some people protesting against an investment company. The next day I saw protestors again and stopped for some literature. more..

Sri Lanka - Processing the wrapper leave

Dismantling ‘us and them’ divide

July 31 (LG) This poem is part of a larger one that a young Sinhala poet Upali Ubayasekera wrote in 2008 and is quoted in an essay that Liyanage Amarakeerthi wrote earlier this year. Amarakeerthi, a University Don from Peradeniya’s Sinhala Department, was writing about the current state of Sinhala writing and urging greater cosmopolitanism and less nationalism in Sinhala writing. In that essay, he stated that there were however emerging young writers more..