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Elephant Census: Ploy to capture young tuskers?

Aug 14 (NS) Historic reports claim that one Major Rogers hunted over 1,500 elephants back when elephant hunting was a sport during the British colonial period. This ardent hunter had hunted these regal creatures marking the death of almost one elephant per day. Ironically, Major Rogers was struck by lightening while he was in the Haputale rest house and it is said that his tombstone was also struck by lightening. Superstitious as it may sound, the death of Major Rogers more..

Editorial: Stabilizing the stock market

Aug 14 (Island) The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has rightly refused to be hassled or hustled into reacting quickly to pressure mounted recently by various interests to relax broker credit rules in the context of the recent downturn of the high-flying Colombo market. The commission, no doubt, will carefully consider the various pros and cons before making up its mind and this is exactly how it should be. Judging by recent developments, the loudly trumpeted successes of more..

Editorial: Sound the alarm on nuclear issue

Aug 14 (ST) The News Desk of the Sunday Times has a somewhat detailed report of impending moves by the Government to deal with nuclear waste, amid some confusion and contradictory reports on whether the Government has decided to go nuclear. Against the backdrop of increasing expenditure incurred on switching fuel turbines when water-levels in reservoirs drop, and the country's over-reliance on hydro-powered energy capacity from its many dams, Sri Lanka is looking for alternate methods to light up more..

Vehicle importers get shock treatment with new state plans

Aug 14 (ST) While the govt continues to discuss openly plans to divert all vehicle imports to the Hambantota port the motor vehicle industry that is in the dark, expressed concern over the possibility of costs to businesses running into several millions should this be implemented. Should the govt take this decision the industry will have to spend several millions in money to establish staff and machinery in this area with costs increasing further due to the need of more..

CB calls on public not to hoard coins

Aug 14 (SO) The Central Bank called upon the public and religious places countrywide to refrain from retaining low valued coins over a longer period to avoid the scarcity of coins needed for day-to-day transactions. According to a survey, millions of coins to the value of one, two and five rupees are retained by people, especially school children, to fill their tills and for religious purposes. The survey also indicates that a large number of such low valued coins are inserted into tills at more..

Vavuniya GA refutes Tamil media reports

Aug 14 (SO) Vavuniya GA P.S.M. Charles has strongly refuted reports in some sections of the Tamil media alleging that the health of a large number of families who have been resettled in the Wanni is in a precarious condition and are facing the threat of death, after the Govt’s relief assistance was discontinued. She said that this report is totally incorrect and misleading because no such situation was brought to her notice nor have any complaints been received either in her office or more..

Dearth of physicians, closure of clinics: Chest patients face crisis

Aug 14 (NS) Govt hospitals across the country, including teaching hospitals in Colombo and Anuradhapura, and hospitals in Polonnarauwa, Matara, Embilipitiya and Batticaloa, are facing a severe shortage of chest specialists. At least one hospital has closed down its chest clinic due to there being no chest physician. The chest clinic at the Anuradhapura Hospital, which is now a Teaching Hospital has been closed for the past six years due to the lack of a chest physician, more..

Hemas to add two more hospitals

Aug 14 (BL) Sri Lanka’s top diversified conglomerate, Hemas Holdings Plc last week said that its expansion plan to add two more hospitals to the chain is underway and that the group has been successful in securing a land at Battaramulla to construct its third hospital. The group presently has two hospitals, its first 100 bed facility in Wattala and another 50 bed hospital in Galle in Sri Lanka’s south. “An expansion plan to add two more hospitals to the chain is well underway and more..

Doubletalk in House over emergency laws

Aug 14 (ST) Prime Minister D.M.Jayaratna raised hopes in Parliament on Tuesday that the repressive emergency regulations would see an early exit. Ironically he used the monthly debate in Parliament to make the announcement to extend by another month the continuation of the regulations, which entered its sixth year last week, since their imposition on August 13, 2005, following the assassination of former FM Lakshman Kadirgamar. “We are consulting with the National Security Council to abolish more..

Construction workers lament over Rs.100mn income loss

Aug 14 (BL) The cement shortage that prevailed for two whole weeks had caused an estimated loss of income to construction workers amounting to over Rs.100 million, according to a top industry official. However, in the latest scenario, if the cement from Pakistan that was later released into the market is of substandard as alleged, consequences may be even drastic with losses to developers running into billions, industry officials warned. more..

Green days are coming home to roost!

Aug 14 (ST) In the Land of Never Return, the Old Greens had gathered to discuss what was happening to the Green Party… “Actually as a matter of fact,” DS said, “I can’t really understand what all this fuss is about…” “Why do you say that?” JR asked. “Why, even though I had to leave suddenly, I had given all the necessary instructions to Lord Soulbury to ensure that the leadership passed on to Dudley…” DS remembered. “That made me really angry,” John said, “and remember the problems it caused at that time?” more..

Mangled body of Ukranian youth found

Aug 14 (Island) The verdict on the death of an Ukranian youth on (12) whose badly mangled body was found on a rail track in Kollupitiya in the wee hours of Friday was put off for September 11 by City Coroner Edward Ahangama on Friday. The victim had been identified as Ibragimov Muhideen (20). He had returned late from a function held at the Galadari Hotel, testified Rukshan Perera a restaurant owner and the brother-in-law of the deceased, at the inquest. He said that Muhideen on his return to the house at about 2.30 am more..

Esala pageant ends today with the Day Perahera

Aug 14 (ST) During the past 10 days, thousands of devotees and foreign and local tourists viewed the Perahera. Today, after the water cutting ceremony at the Getambe ferry, the Day Perahera will commence from the Ganadevi Kovil, making its way to the Adahana Maluwa, where the Golden Casket had been placed overnight. After the Perahera had thrice circled the Maligawa square, the Diyawadana Nilame and the Basnayake Nilames are expected to report to the President more..

New Delhi remembers Romesh Jayesinghe

Aug 14 (Island) A large number of Indian friends of the late Romesh Jayesinghe attended a memorial service for him at the Cathedral Church of Redemption (Church of North India) here on Friday. Many foreign envoys based here and are concurrently accredited to Sri Lanka also attended the service. A book of condolence was kept at the Church for those who wished to convey their sympathies to Jayasinghe’s family. This was the church where the family had prayed regularly during its seven-year stay here. more..

Gange Wadiya facing eviction

Aug 14 (ST) Over 60 families living on an island known locally as “Gange Wadiya” live in fear of displacement after the Navy imposed new restrictions on them. Gange Wadiya situated in the Puttalam district has been the abode of these families for over five decades. They claim the new restrictions make it difficult for them to live on the islet. W. Emmanuel a resident said: “It is very clear that someone somewhere intends turning the island into a tourist resort and to implement this project more..

AG looks at seeking Sicille’s extradition

Aug 14 (Island) The Attorney General’s Department is contemplating moving for the extradition of Mrs. Sicille Kotelawala, — a key suspect in the 26 billion rupee Golden Key (GK) scam — who has now been traced by the INTERPOL in the United Kingdom. "With confirmation that she is living in the UK, what we need to do initially is to file an application with the British crown prosecution seeking her extradition", a high-ranking AG’s Department official said yesterday. more..

Sharjah to host third Sri Lanka-Pakistan Test in UAE

Aug 14 (E24/7) Sharjah will host a Test after nine years after Pakistan and Sri Lanka reached an agreement to play the third Test of their series at the venue. Sharjah last hosted a Test in October 2002 – between Pakistan and Australia – but has been overlooked from holding international matches since 2003 due to match-fixing allegations. However, with both countries agreeing on playing in Sharjah, the venue, once renowned for hosting epic Pakistan-India matches, more..

Ven Ratana expands on cyanide laced pesticides

Aug 14 (LB) When contacted about recent Malaysian lab tests he ordered that revealed that there was cyanide in pesticides, the JHU MP Athureliye Ratana said that he had not heard anywhere in the world where cyanide had been used as a pesticide additive, and added that according to his knowledge the chemical had been used to kill millions of Jews during the Holocaust by German dictator Adolph Hitler during the Second World War. more..

Sri Lanka v Australia, 2nd ODI: Preview

Aug 14 (CI) Turn, turn, turn. That was what the Australians had to worry about in the lead-up to the first ODI in Pallekele, after Ajantha Mendis bewildered them in the second Twenty20 with six wickets. But to everything, there is a season - even fast bowling in the spin-friendly Sri Lankan conditions, and Mitchell Johnson's own six-wicket collection showed that the attacks might be more evenly matched than it first appeared. He used his variations and bowled to his plans and more..

Censor slaps Pusswedilla

Aug 14 (SL) Local authorities have censored a popular stage character ‘Pusswedilla’ saying he should not make references to Sri Lankan and local politicians. The character of Chaminda Pusswedilla, who wears a white shirt and sarong like a politician, became hugely popular in Sri Lanka after he took pun shots at local politicians. However the new Censor Board decided to issue strict instructions to the directors of ‘Pusswedilla 3’ in order to approve its release. The third installment of ‘Pusswedilla’ more..

Semi-govt schools demand ‘Donations’

Aug 14 (SL) Over 20 semi-govt schools in the western province demand between Rs 100,000 and Rs 350,000 as ‘donations’ from students, The Sunday Leader has learnt. Some semi-govt schools even ask for money each term despite being partly funded by the govt and other institutions. The Education Ministry funds the schools uniforms for the students, school books and the salaries of the teachers. Semi-govt schools never give a report on the funds they receive from students. more..

Airspace fiasco: Govt. makes blunder and blames media

Aug 14 (ST) Reports that a squadron of carrier-based fighter jets from the United States Navy had intruded sovereign Sri Lankan territorial air space jolted the government last week. The fear that the world's only remaining super power was taking liberties with tiny Sri Lanka was the talking point after the front-page lead story in the Sunday Times last week. The purported detection had been made by the 3D radar atop the Pidurutalagala peak, the country's tallest mountain, more..

TNA team to New Delhi

Aug 14 (NS) A delegation of the TNA is to head to New Delhi later this month to take part at a conference organised by the Forum for Human Rights for Global Development. The conference is to be held on August 23 and 24 and it is expected that the TNA would hold discussions with the Indian MPs on the prevalent political situation and explain the state of the discussions with the govt. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said that the party was yet to finalise the members who would represent the party at the conference. more..

Attacks on Sri Lankan pilgrims: No impact on neighbourly ties

Aug 14 (SO) The recent attacks on Sri Lankan pilgrims in Chennai were perpetrated by certain pro-LTTE political hardliners to seek publicity and these incidents have had no impact whatsoever on the traditional neighbourly relations between the two countries, Deputy Minister Neomal Perera said. The Indian Central Government together with the Tamil Nadu State Government has provided maximum security to Sri Lankan pilgrims and all religious institutions including the Maha Bodhi Society, more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Aug 14 (ST) Hours before emplaning on his four-day official visit to China, President Mahinda Rajapaksa chaired a meeting of the Government Parliamentary group. With elections to 23 local councils round the corner, he raised the question of who would be the Mayoral candidate for Colombo. Some felt that incumbent Special Commissioner Omar Kamil was the front-runner, and there is speculation that former Justice Minister Milinda Moragoda is in the running. more..

Mathata Thitha falls by the wayside

Aug 14 (ST) Despite the Govt temperance programme “Mathata Thitha”, the production of hard and soft liquor has increased by 12 per cent and 30 per cent respectively during the first five months of this year compared to the same period in 2010. Due to this as well as the increase in excise duty on liquor, the revenue from liquor sales increased by 59 per cent to Rs.22,725 million between January and May, the Report said. In the same period in 2010, the revenue was Rs.14, 257 million. more..

Cops opens fire on unruly mob - Another death in East due to police shooting

Aug 14 (Island) The govt stepped-up security in the East as a confrontation between the police and unruly crowds yesterday morning claimed another life at Kattankudy, a predominately a Muslim village in the Batticaloa district. The victim died as a result of police opening fire to control an unruly mob. This follows Friday’s clashes at Pottuvil law enforcement personnel and a rampaging mob resulting in the death of another civilian. more..

'We have proof of foul play behind cement shortage'

Aug 14 (SL) Minister Johnston Fernando said his Ministry had uncovered proof that local cement manufacturers and traders were aiming to bring about an increase in prices of cement. He accused in particular local cement manufacturer, Tokyo Cement, of engaging in what he called ‘foul play.' He said that a raid had been conducted last week, which resulted in 600 bags of Tokyo cement being seized. more..

38 Lankan students stranded after Fullham and Chelsea College closes down

Aug 14 (Island) The sudden closure of Fullham & Chelsea College in London has left 38 Sri Lankan students stranded. They had come to the UK early 2011 to study in this private educational institute. One of the affected students, Bimsara Ranaweera has sought the assistance of the Sri Lankan High Commission in London after the closure of the college on July 29, 2011. Ranaweera has informed the High Commission that more..

Harry clarifies 'cooking goose' report

Aug 14 (Island) We have received letters from Mr. Harry Jayawardena, Chairman of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and the Hatton National Bank (HNB) regarding our lead story last Sunday headlined "Harry cooked his own goose?" Jayawardena has said that "the actual position is far from the truth" and are "fabricated or invented stories specially planted in your newspaper for the purpose of fulfilling someone’s contract." more..

Seat belt law from Oct 1

Aug 14 (ST) Seats belts will be mandatory for drivers and front seat passengers of motor vehicles from October 1. The regulations will also apply to lorries and coaches that are registered after October 1, according to the Motor Traffic (Seat Belts) regulations gazetted by Transport Minister Kumar Welgama. Once the regulations come into operation, no person will be allowed to sell or offer for sale or have in his/her possession for sale, more..

Lab tests show harmful chemical in dirty petrol

Aug 14 (ST) Investigations, based on scientific tests, have revealed that a chemical emulsifier had been mixed in the consignment of substandard petrol sold by a UAE supplier to the CPC and later sold to consumers-- resulting in more than 2,000 cars being affected. Moreover, fuel pumps at about 500 filling stations were also damaged, according to a probe by the 3-member committee headed by Power and Energy Ministry Secretary more..

After petrol, a big cement scandal

Aug 14 (ST) Hard on the heels of contaminated fuel that ruined over two thousand motor vehicles, a large quantity of cement imported from Pakistan by the Sri Lanka National Co-operatives Board has been surreptitiously released to the market without quality certification, the Customs revealed yesterday. The Customs said the stocks, the quantity of which is yet to be determined, had been cleared and bonded at the Building Materials Corporation (BMC) warehouse. more..

Slippery situ over grease yakas

Aug 14 (ST) Defence authorities have ordered a crackdown on vigilantes hunting down the so-called “grease yakas’ after five people were killed and several wounded in the ongoing drama which has reached such disturbing proportions that leave for policemen in the east has been cancelled with immediate effect. DIG Pujith Jayasundara said the situation had gone out of control and stern action would be taken against those found taking the law into their hands. more..

Pakistani community in Sri Lanka celebrates Independence Day

Aug 15 (APP) The High Commission of Pakistan and the Pakistani community in Sri Lanka celebrated the 65th Independence Day of Pakistan with traditional fervor and resolve to make Pakistan a strong, dynamic progressive tolerant and democratic Islamic welfare state. The High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka, Seema Ilahi Baloch hoisted the national flag of Pakistan in an auspicious ceremony held at Pakistan High Commission this morning to mark the occasion, more..

Hijacked ship to reach Colombo next week

Aug 15 (DC) Merchant vessel MV Sinin, captured by Somali pirates in February 2011, was released on Saturday after several months of negotiations. The vessel, which had 21 persons onboard, including nine Indians, is expected to reach Colombo, Sri Lanka in another week. “The Directorate-General of Shipping has been informed that MV Sinin, which was hijacked by Somali pirates on February 12 this year, has been released on August 13. Total crew of 21 persons, more..

Mano to run for Mayor?

Aug 15 (DM) DPF leader Mano Ganeshan said today that he is giving serious consideration to running as the Mayoral candidate for the Colombo Municipal Council at the forthcoming round of elections. Ganeshan stated that “we had a meeting of the members of the Politburo yesterday and there was an overwhelming request by members of the Politburo for me to run for the post of Mayor. There were decisions taken yesterday but the final decision will be more..

Fowzie says no truth to rumours

Aug 15 (DM) Minister A.H.M Fowzie speaking at the meeting held yesterday, with the residents of Pothtuvil had commented on the rumours surrounding the "Mystery man". Fowzie told residents "there are rumours being spread by people with vested interests that the mystery man is a making of the govt. I have also heard stories which have said that the president needs blood of females in order to reign forever. If that was so millions of people in the country would be willing to drop a shed of more..

Man, woman die hanging from single rope

Aug 15 (NS) Bodies of a middle-aged man and a young woman were discovered by Police hanging from a single rope tied to a bent palmyrah palm in Kopay West at Wellawaikal. According to the Police the 43 year old man was a father of four while the 24 year old woman was a mother of two children. Postmortem reports of the deceased conducted by the Jaffna Judicial Officer have revealed that the deceased have been assaulted to death elsewhere and the bodies brought to the scene and hanged. more..

Sri Lanka v Australia, 2nd ODI: Sri Lanka set Australia 209 for victory

Aug 15 (CI) Australia's bowlers have given their side a good chance of taking a 2-0 series lead after again dismissing Sri Lanka for a sub-par total. On Wednesday, it was Mitchell Johnson's six wickets that demolished the hosts, and this time it was Doug Bollinger who had the most success as Sri Lanka were bowled out in the 50th over for 208, with Kumar Sangakkara's half-century and a late flourish from Nuwan Kulasekara more..