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Sri Lankan Couple, child die in road accident in Saudi after driver falls asleep

Aug 15 (AN) A Sri Lankan couple and their 8-year-old son died in a car accident following Friday prayers on the Madinah-Riyadh highway. Thambi Lebbe Mohammed Masood, 44, his wife Saleema Rehmet, 42, and their son Mohammed Nasser died on the spot when their car turned over and hit a trailer at Anaqiyah, some 185 kilometers from Madinah. The car was driven by Mohammed Razick, who works at a hotel in Al-Khobar. His wife Fathima Hafsa was also in the front seat of the car more..

Remove puppet vice-chancellor – J-pura students agitate

Aug 15 (LT) A petition organized by the Students Council of the Sri Jayawardenepura University was signed on the 12th demanding the removal of the vice-chancellor who carries out an arbitrary administration in the university. The Students’ Council of the University states a large number of issues have come up in the university due to the action of the vice-chancellor. The Students’ Council points out that the vice-chancellor, who acts to destroy free education at the instigation of the govt, more..

Sri Lanka says to block attempt by Indian groups to visit disputed island

Aug 15 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan navy says it will block any attempt by Indian demonstrators to reach a disputed island by boat and plant the Indian national flag. Local media reports said Sunday that the Indian opposition and supporters of some Indian groups are planning to reach the Kachchativu island and demand that it be handed over to India. The Kachchativu island is situated off northern Sri Lanka and is under Sri Lankan control. more..

Former MP remanded for removing Rukmani Devi statue

Aug 15 (NS) Negombo Police arrested a former MP and MMC Ananda Munasinghe and six others over an incident involving the removal of a memorial statue of the famous songstress and actress Rukmani Devi erected at the Negombo cemetery over 24 years ago. Rukmani Devi died in 1977 in a car crash at Ja-Ela and her fans, fellow musicians and film veterans erected a statue in the Negombo public cemetery in memory of her and each year the death was commemorated. On Thursday Police received information that more..

Three school going couples arrested from abandoned houses

Aug 15 (LP) In a major crackdown on the school couple sex network, Police arrested three couples from abandon houses in Maharagama and Piliyandala, investigators said. All three couples have jumped tuition classes and found their way to the isolated locations with the help of an organized middle aged gang supplying such houses on hourly payment with alcohol. Among those couples were; an international school girl (17) and a male student (18) from a leading Colombo school. more..

Vaiko appeals to Jaya over Rajiv’s killers

Aug 15 (PTI) MDMK leader Vaiko today requested Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to take efforts for cancelling the death sentence awarded to three convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assasination case. President Prathibha Patil had rejected the clemency petitions of Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan, recently. They were three of the four persons awarded death penalty with the sentence of another convict Nalini, being commuted to life. more..

Under 'Brave Heart' project Army Seva Vanitha staged 'Tharu Dilena Reyak'

Aug 15 (GDI) "Tharu Dilena Reyak" the gala charity musical extravaganza organized under the 'Brave Heart' project of the Seva Vanitha Army Branch (SVAB),was staged at Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium yesterday (12 August 2011). Indian Pop icon, Asha Bhosle and the Sri Lankan duo, Bhathiya and Santhush, accompanied by a galaxy of singing and dancing stars thrilled the audience during their scintillating performances, choreographed by veteran, Channa Wijewardana and the troupe. more..

'Govt. releasing substandard cement'

Aug 15 (AD) The govt has imported cement from a company just one week after it suspended the same company from supplying cement, due to issue regarding the standard of the cement, JVP MP Vijitha Herath claims. He accused the govt of distributing the consignment of “inferior” cement without even waiting for the tests by the Sri Lanka Standards Institution to be completed. He stated that a govt gazette had listed cement as an essential item and therefore the cement which are sold within more..

Dalada Perehara ends successfully; Diyawadane Nilame Informs the President

Aug 15 (HN) Large crowds streamed into Kandy to witness the final Randoli perahera of the Sri Dalada Maligawa which paraded the streets of Kandy last night. The most colourful cultural and religious pageant in Asia concluded with the Day Perahera this afternoon. Over 300 thousand people and around 40 elephants participated in the fourth Randoli perahera. The final Randoli perahera is the grandest of all peraheras. From early dawn on Friday, crowds flocked to Kandy more..

Prasanna takes six to down England Lions

Aug 15 (ES) A lethal bowling display by leg spinner Seekkuge Prasanna helped propel Sri Lanka A to a crushing 10-wicket one-day victory over England Lions at Worcester. The 27-year-old took six for 23 to help dismiss the Lions for a mere 108 in 35.2 overs. The tourists then knocked off the necessary runs in 17.2 overs to leave the three-match series all square ahead of Tuesday's decider at Northampton. Malinda Warnapura led the way with 61 not out containing one six and 11 fours. more..

Lanakn woman sentenced to death in UAE gets pardon

Aug 15 (ST) A Sri Lankan woman accused of murdering death to a sponsor’s wife by repeatedly hitting her head and face with an ornamental pot has been pardoned five years after the a Sharia Court issued Capital punishment on her. The Sri Lankan Embassy of UAE said Mrs. Abdul Careem Kanzul Maharifa who was given Capital punishment had been released following appeals made on behalf of her. “The Embassy and the External Affairs Ministry in Sri Lanka have been continuously working on more..

SL call for foreign athletics coaches

Aug 15 (BBC) Following several star sportsmen been banned for abuse of drugs Sri Lanka has called for foreign coaches to prepare athletes and other sports personal for international events as such as Olympics. National Olympic Committee (NOC) head Hemasiri Fernando's call comes as it emerges that not a single athlete is so far qualified for London 2012 Olympics that begins in July, next year. The sports ministry, meanwhile, has appointed a team of athletics coaches under more..

Madu pilgrims inconvenienced by Police action

Aug 15 (ST) Thousands of Catholic pilgrims heading for the Madu feast from the South were inconvenienced today when the Police in Mannar ordered that no private buses will be able to travel to the area and passengers could travel only by state run buses. The move prompted a strike by the Private Bus Owners Association in Mannar until the issue was resolved. President of the Association Gemunu Wijeratne said that the Police action on the instructions of Minister Rishard Bathiurdeen had more..

MayfairCity project still uncertain

Aug 15 (BL) The Chairman of investment holding company Shaw Wallace & Hedges Plc, S.R. Vamadevan says since the investment required for the MayfairCity Stage 1 is substantially high, active development in respect of the MayfairCity Stage 1 construction work, which was interrupted with effect from October 20, 2007, still remains the same. According to the firm’s Annual Report 2010, Vamadevan says although negotiations took place with several interested parties throughout the year, more..

Sri Lanka v Australia, 2nd ODI: Ponting hands Australia easy win

Aug 15 (CI) Perhaps Tillakaratne Dilshan should send Australia in next time. He needs to do something to shake his team out of their slumber after another professional performance from Australia, this time led by Doug Bollinger with the ball and Ricky Ponting with the bat, set up a comfortable eight-wicket win in Hambantota. The Australians lead the series 2-0; by Tuesday, it could be 3-0, and all over bar the dead rubbers. more..

Property Rights and Voting Rights

Aug 15 (LG) I write in response to the article ‘Lawlessness threatens property rights’ by the Asian Human Rights Commission– published in Sri Lanka Guardian. I am going through legal battles myself in relation to a Colombo Land and hence I read with stronger focus than I otherwise would have. When something ‘happens’ and we did not directly ‘cause’ it to happen but feel it has happened to us – we tend to picture it in the form that we invested in. Hence the same action would be seen as racism by more..

Gothabhaya shines on world stage

Aug 15 (LG) The UNSG commissioned Darusman report, Channel 4 videos and more recently India’s Hard Lines Today report on the war that annihilated a good proportion of Tamils on the pretext of wiping out the LTTE have ample evidence to indict the Sri Lankan govt for committing war crimes. US State Secretary Hilary Clinton’s visit to India did touch on the subject of war crimes and it is no co-incidence that Hard Lines Today chose this opportune time to release fresh evidence through more..

Elephantine issue: Tamed elephants dwindling

Aug 15 (SO) Sri Lanka still boasts about its majestic tusker who enthralled audiences in any event that it took part in and was considered. Asia's number one pachyderm is no more. Before him, his colleague with similar features, also bid adieu. The country lost the two magnificent tuskers - Millangoda Raja, Asia's longest tusker and Nawam Raja, a few weeks ago. "It is a beginning of a sad saga where the country is loosing its tame elephant population, which is aging, more..

SL verses the Rest, the bout drags on

Aug 15 (LB) The United States has formally informed the Government of Sri Lanka that it wishes to have the LLRC report tabled at the UN Human Rights Council meeting in March 2012. It has not made a suggestion or a request but used the stiffer mechanism of delivering a demarche which is an official line of action carrying formal implication of, as yet unspecified, but possible follow up action in the event the demarche is ignored. It is less than an ultimatum but more than an indication of protest. more..

On Sara Nics’ simplistic delve into South Asia ‘complexities’

Aug 15 (LB) Sara Nics is a new member of the South Asia Wired team. That’s how Radio Netherlands Worldwide profiles her. The nutshell-version adds that, ‘as a multi-media journalist, Sara has reported from the frosty forests of the Great North Woods, the hallowed halls of Oxford, the sewage strewn footpaths of Kenya’s Kibera, the cold waters of the Gulf of Maine, and the green hills of Uganda.’ Sara is supposed to be ‘happy to explore the complexities of South Asia!’ more..

Lanka's first solar power plant commissioned

Aug 15 (SO) People will never forget the era when power cuts were imposed by the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) due to the sharp drop in electricity generated in the country. This situation adversely affected the country's development activities and the livelihood of people. Although large scale industrialists used generators, small and medium scale industrialists had to either closedown their workplaces temporarily or allow employees to work on a shift basis. more..

Developing the north and east: Challenges and opportunities

Aug 15 (ST) The Sri Lankan economy has functioned with only part of its potential capacity for the good part of its last three decades. Although some economic activities prevailed despite the war, most of the region was a battle zone rather than a thriving economy. This applied to all three sectors of the northern and eastern economy: agriculture, industry and services. Although agriculture survived, it was perhaps the worst affected. Paddy and food crops could not be grown in many areas owing to more..

Attaining self-sufficiency in rice: The problem of marketing

Aug 15 (NS) The country has achieved self-sufficiency in rice. This has been one of the significant post independent achievements of the Sri Lankan economy: As much an economic goal as a political ambition. It took the country nearly six decades after achieving independence to attain self-sufficiency in her staple food. The country had more or less achieved self-sufficiency several years ago. Between 2005 and 2010 in every year except one (2007) has been years of self sufficiency, more..

Lakshman Kadirgamar was frequently misunderstood by both his Sinhala admirers and Tamil detractors

Aug 15 (TC) Given the shrillness of the nature of public debate in recent times, especially postwar, most Sri Lankans I know have avoided getting involved in them. The latter have resorted to ‘quiet discussion’ with fellow citizens who are not uncomfortable with points of view that are not in harmony with their own and who indeed are looking for such carefully articulated alternatives. The late Lakshman Kadirgamar was one such Sri Lankan with whom I could trade more..

Lies agreed upon is a documentary the LTTE would have been proud of

Aug 15 (TC) Sri Lanka Counters Channel 4’ is a faithful reflection of the strengths and weaknesses of its maker – the Rajapaksa administration. The documentary is at its strongest and most compelling when it deals with the manifold atrocities of the LTTE. The Tiger-crimes need no embellishment; just the bare facts suffice. By sticking to the proven facts and by presenting these with surgical precision, the documentary manages to make a cogent and convincing case against the Tiger. more..

Devolution talks with TNA deception of Mahinda exposed by Gotabhaya

Aug 15 (TC) Watching or reading an interview with Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is a rewarding experience. The Defence Secretary often says outright, usually in very blunt language, what his brothers try to conceal. While Mahinda and Basil Rajapaksa may prevaricate, wrapping unpalatable truths in misleadingly attractive linen, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa puts things as they are. His prepared speeches can be as banal as those of his brothers, but his impromptu interviews are always revealing, and often explosive. more..

'We are not the sole representatives of the Tamil people: PSC not ruled out'

Aug 15 (SO) TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran in an interview, refuted claims that they were setting the ground to sabotage the on-going talks with the Govt to reach a consensus on a devolution framework. He said their decision to set conditions and deadlines to proceed with ‘negotiations’ did not ensue the Suo Moto statement issued by Indian External affairs Minister in Lok Sabha lauding the Sri Lankan State for initiating a dialogue for a political settlement, more..

Editorial: Nip it in the bud!

Aug 15 (Island) Tension prevails in some parts of the Eastern Province following violent clashes between angry mobs and the police, who shot a protester dead the other day in a desperate bid to bring the situation under control. The govt has flown in a group of Muslim ministers to the flashpoint to defuse tension. People would not have risen in protest and dared take on the police, unprovoked. There is reason to believe that it was a strong sense of injustice that jolted them into such aggressive action. more..

Editorial: Devolution within the democratic sovereignty of the nation

Aug 15 (DM) Consultation and consensus were supposed to be the method to be used by politicians to sort out political differences, but it appears that the much talked of and often maligned but never really rejected constitution of the late President JR Jayewardene especially concerning the extent of devolution of the 13th Amendment leaves more room for contentious and acrimonious debate than any other issue. We hear TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran desolately complaining that the powers that be of the UPFA govt are more..

Cancer Hospital clinical waste unattended

Aug 15 (ST) Godigamuwa is a village in Maharagama, close to the National Cancer Institute, and the first thing a visitor notices is a strong chemical odour in the air. A waterway that flows past the houses of Godigamuwa carries waste water and chemical effluents discharged by the cancer hospital. Most of the houses in this highly populated part of Maharagama are permeated by the chemical odour. Residents say the colour of the waste water changes from red to blue to black, more..

'James Peiris Mawatha will be transformed into a promenade free of traffic'

Aug 15 (Island) The garden city projections for Colombo is a progressive evolution of classy development, simultaneously ensuring the slum dwellers in the metropolis would not be ignored, says Janaka Kurukulasuriya, Chairman, UDA. He said the aesthetic environment in and the surrounds of Colombo are now being systematically rejuvenated to titivate the city that would eventually redefine its standing with the best in the region. The product mix would include diametric improvement to more..

Central Bank on Red Alert

Aug 15 (LB) Due to rising inflation in the world and in order to 'preserve financial viability due to the Bank’s instabilty,' the International Bank of Settlement (IBS), affiliated to the United Nations, has reportedly issued an advisory statement to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, a senior official of the CB said. The IBS has issued similar notices to several other banks that are considered to be financially unstable. He said that as there was a strong possibility of setbacks and challenges more..

Malwatte prelate expresses displeasure

Aug 15 (DM) Malwatte Chapter Mahanayake Most Ven. Thibbotuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera said he was not pleased with some of the actions of the govt. During a meeting with Minister G.L.Peiris, the Mahanayake Thera however stopped short of going into detail. The Thera also stressed the need to solve the burning problems of the country including issues affecting the people in the North insisting that a permanent solution to the North- East problem should be more..

'Act against health sector administrators who hinder national reconciliation process'

Aug 15 (Island) The GMOA has appealed to President Mahinda Rajapaksa to take action against health sector administrators who hinder the process of national reconciliation. In a letter to the President, Dr. Chandrika Epitakaduwa, Secretary of the GMOA said that certain health sector administrators failed to meet the needs of the time. "When the President of the country himself has taken steps to learn the language of our Tamil brothers and sisters and more..

Tamara Kunanayakam Takes over as Envoy to Geneva UN

Aug 15 (TC) Ms. Tamara Kunanayakam presented her credentials to Mr. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Director-General of the United Nations Office in Geneva on the 9th of August, accrediting her as Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office at Geneva and other International Organizations in Switzerland. Welcoming the new Ambassador to the credential ceremony, the Director General commended the role played by Sri Lanka in the United Nations System, including the more..

'Don’t take the law into your hands'

Aug 15 (DN) The Police requested the public not to take the law into their own hands but let the law enforcement personnel handle incidents of criminality. Police Spokesman SP Prishantha Jayakody said several incidents of residents attacking individuals arriving in their villages for sight-seeing and other purposes have been reported from several areas. These attacks are being carried out by the villagers under the false notion of a Grease Yaka which is a myth and a more..

Attack on Lankan pilgrims in Chennai: 'It was a terrifying night we will never forget'

Aug 15 (Island) Sunil G. Kukulegama, a well-known Sinhala poet was amongst the group of Sri Lankan Buddhist pilgrims who came under attack in Chennai. He joined a group from his hometown which left for Dhambadiva on pilgrimage from Elpitiya. Recalling the terrifying incident, he said that the mob first attacked three members of the group and the T-shirts with Sinhala words worn by the some of the pilgrims were forcibly removed and burnt. He said even the manager of more..

Sending underage girls abroad: Another rogue agent arrested

Aug 15 (DN) A racket involving sending underage girls for foreign employment by forging their passports and travel documents was busted by Police with the arrest of a rogue foreign employment agent in Maradana. The Police have taken into custody six girls in the age group of 16 to 17 from a lodge in Maradana who were to be sent abroad shortly by submitting forged documents. They had also arrested an elderly woman assigned by the agent to look after the girls. The agent had taken steps to more..

Get rid of parasites before cricket’s big poll

Aug 15 (ST) It was only last week we paid a glowing tribute to the new cricket management for a job that was being well executed. We always believe that when the top is strong it is not difficult for the message to cascade or even a slithering slimy stone to convert itself into a solid hard rock that could withstand pressure knowing that if the job is well done it will be mirrored all over. You just do not have to keep opening cupboards to look for good results – more..

Sri Lanka sells 400mn dollars in July to keep peg

Aug 15 (LBO) Central bank has sold 416.9 million US dollars in July to maintain a peg with the US dollar amid high credit growth that is drawing down excess rupee reserves in banks, official data showed. High credit growth in the banking system is has rapidly exhausted excess rupee reserves in the banking system, taking their accompanying dollar reserves out of the country as the credit created fresh import demand. Other than in March and June 2011, which are test dates in an IMF program, more..