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Pakistan reaches out to Eastern Province with clean drinking water supply projects

Aug 8 (Island) The High Commissioner of Pakistan Seema Ilahi Baloch and Governor Eastern Province, Mohan Wijewickrama, visited the Morawava District for the inauguration of three Clean Drinking Water Projects for the needy Muslim, Sinhalese and Tamil communities of the Eastern Province, according to a statement issued by the HC of Pakistan. Pakistan HC statement: "These projects are fully funded and gifted more..

UPFA MP claims privilege violation by Mannar judge

Aug 8 (Island) A privilege issue raised in Parliament by UPFA MP Uvais Farooq, regarding the conduct of the Manner Magistrate, led to a heated exchange of words between Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and several government legislators. Farooq said that when he had appeared for some clients, who were accused in the Mannar Court incident case, the Magistrate had summoned him to the Chamber and reprimanded him more..

Sri Lanka facing an economic war

Aug 8 (CG) Sri Lanka is facing an economic war launched by some groups three years after the war with the LTTE came to an end, External Affairs Minister G.L Peiris said today. Speaking at a Defence seminar in Colombo the Minister said that these groups are trying to persuade tourists to boycott Sri Lanka and in the end strike at the root of Sri Lanka’s economy. He also expressed regret at attempts to internationalize the situation in more..

'Govt. has a mania for helicopters'

Aug 8 (DM) UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya said the govt had developed a helicopter mania and were blatantly abusing state resources for their election campaign as never before. “They are using helicopters unnecessarily even to travel a short distance, such as attending a school sports meet,” he said. He revealed that the govt was going to buy another 14 helicopters on a foreign loan. "This exercise was a waste of public resources more..

Susil admits fuel testing standards outdated

Aug 8 (Island) Minister Susil Premajayantha yesterday admitted in Parliament that the current standards and specifications employed to test the quality of imported fuel were not up to date. He emphasized the need to revamp and revise them. Responding to questions raised by JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who made a special statement on the issue of importing substandard fuel to the country, the Minister said that the issue had pointed out the more..

'No SL Air Force personnel undergoing training in TN'

Aug 8 (PTI) Indian govt had allowed Sri Lankan Air Force personnel to undergo training in Tamil Nadu, but at present none of them are being trained in the state, govt told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. In a written reply to a question, Defence Minister A K Antony said, "At present no personnel of the Sri Lankan Air Force is undergoing training in Tamil Nadu." The Minister replied in the affirmative on whether govt had allowed more..

Defence Seminar 2012: Towards Lasting Peace and Stability begins

Aug 8 (MoD) 'Defence Seminar - 2012', organized by the Sri Lanka Army began today at the Galadari Hotel, Colombo. The annual international gathering brings together senior military personnel, administrators, bureaucrats and intellectuals to share experiences and discuss matters on a range of issues related to Sri Lanka's post-conflict achievements and development. Secretary Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa delivering the more..

AG finds evidence to file action against minister

Aug 8 (DM) The Attorney General’s Dept has found sufficient evidence in the police report to file charges against Minister Rishard Bathiudeen over allegations that he had threatened the Mannar Magistrate on July 18, the Daily Mirror learns. An AG’s Dept source said yesterday a preliminary study of the the CID report had indicated there was a prima-facie case against Minister Bathiudeen over his alleged involvement in organising the Mannar protests and threatening Mannar Magistrate more..

Editorial: Experience of the mysterious

Aug 8 (DM) Albert Einstein said, “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He,to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.” Such are people who become leaders and create an impact in the progress of civilisation and edification of humanity. Today we see crises in the educational sector. Shattered dreams over the Z-score to graduates being churned out in their thousands, standing more..

Five cops suspended

Aug 8 (CG) Five policemen attached to the Mihintale police station have been suspended after two policemen were found to be under the influence of liquor while on duty. The police media unit said that on Monday night four policemen were on duty in a police mobile unit in the Mihintale area. Information had then been received by the Anuradhapura police that the policemen on duty on the mobile patrol in Mihintale were drunk. An investigating officer was then sent to the area and the four policemen were taken to the Mihintale police station. more..

The lie of UPFA 'punishing' its corrupt members

Aug 8 (LT) The President and senior leaders of the UPFA including Maithripala Sirisena, Susil Premajayanthe, Dulles Alahapperuma and Anura Yapa had told the media that chairmen and councilors of provincial councils, pradeshiya sabhas and local govt councils elected from the UPFA and its organizers who have been charged of fraud and corruption would be punished and they would be removed from the party and the posts more..

Sri Lanka releases 37 Chinese fishermen, all in good condition

Aug 8 (Xinhua) The Chinese embassy in Sri Lanka has confirmed that 37 Chinese fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan navy have been released and all are in good condition. On Sunday evening, 37 Chinese fishermen were reportedly fishing aboard two boats when they were spotted by the navy off the eastern coast of Sri Lanka. The navy claims the fishermen were illegally fishing in Sri Lankan waters, but it later turned out the detention was a misunderstanding. more..

Over 51,000 foreigners visit former war zone in Sri Lanka

Aug 8 (Xinhua) Over 51,000 tourists from over 100 countries have visited the former war zone in the northern part of Sri Lanka since a three decade war ended in 2009, a top official said here on Wednesday. According to govt data, about 51,400 foreigners visited the northern province of the country in the last three years, said Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Addressing an international conference on defense matters titled "Towards Lasting Peace and more..

SL sends human rights report to UNHRC

Aug 8 (DM) The govt will today send to the UNHRC a document outlining its performance in areas of international concern to be taken up at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) next month in Geneva, it is learnt. The UPR is a process of evaluating the human rights records of member countries once in four years. It provides an opportunity for all countries to report on the action taken by them to improve human rights and overcome challenges to the more..

'Inconsistency cost Sri Lanka series against India'

Aug 8 (PTI) Having lost both the five-match ODI series 4-1 and one-off Twenty20 International, Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said inconsistency was the main reason behind his team's dismal performance against India. Following a dominating 4-1 triumph in the One-dayers, India to beat Sri Lanka by 39 runs last night in the one-off T20 International also at Pallekele. "We lost our grip in the game just when it seemed we were under control," Jayawardene told more..

'TESO meet aimed at betterment of Lankan Tamils'

Aug 8 (PTI) Accusing the Sri Lankan govt of unleashing a "wrong campaign" against pro-Eelam TESO meet, DMK chief M Karunanidhi today said the conference, which will be held here on August 12, is only aimed at bettering the livelihood of Tamils in the neighbouring nation. He said "reports have been received" about Sri Lankan government saying the conference of revived Tamil Eelam Supporters' Organisations (TESO) was against the island Republic and that it condemned it. more..

Vehicle ownership slowdown continues, trishaws rebound

Aug 8 (LBO) A slowdown in Sri Lanka's vehicle ownership continued with registrations for July 2012 dropping 55 percent to 26,799 from 41,481 a year earlier, JB Securities said. In the first seven months of 2012 registration of brand new and reconditioned cars slipped to 18,376 units from 31,462 compared to the same period last year. Earlier in the year Sri Lanka slapped new taxes of as much as 100 percent of import value on more..

LTTE suspect at Vavuniya prison dies following assault

Aug 8 (AP) Rights activists say an imprisoned Tamil Tiger rebel suspect has died from injuries sustained when he was beaten by guards following a revolt in the prison. Activists for Human Rights spokesman Udul Premaratne says 34-year-old Mariadas Dilrukshan died at a govt hospital early Wednesday after being injured in a prison revolt in June in the northern town of Vavuniya. Last month, Ganesh Nimalaruban, another rebel suspect died from injuries in the same incident. more..

Include policies not promises in the campaign: PAFFREL

Aug 8 (DM) Election monitors yesterday said provincial council election candidates had failed to present their policies to the people in their election campaigns and said presenting policies should be stipulated in the Code of Ethics issued by the Elections Department. The Elections Department announced recently that a Code of Ethics would be provided to candidates to ensure election laws were adhered to. “Candidates often talk about promises and not their policies. more..

Police HQ to take action against non compliant cops

Aug 8 (DM) Police Headquarters said yesterday that it would take disciplinary action against policemen who failed to implement orders given to them by the Police Department and also from the Elections Department to remove election propaganda material for the upcoming local govt elections in Sabaragamuwa, Eastern and North Central provinces. Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said the failure by a police team led by more..

Sri Lanka stocks fall in thin trade

Aug 8 (ST) Sri Lanka stocks fell Wednesday in thin trade with retailer interest diminishing, analysts said. The prevailing inactive movements at Colombo bourse continued, and all indices retained in the negative region for the 3rd consecutive day of the week. Retailer interest has diminished amidst the bearish market, which has resulted in the decline in investor activity, a stock broker said. The All Share Price Index lost 8.35 points to close at 4,889.87 down 0.17%. The Milanka Index of more liquid stocks slipped 11.00 points or 0.25% more..

TN fishermen on five-day fast, demands release of arrested fishermen by SL Navy

Aug 8 (JP) A large number of fishermen on Wednesday began a five-day fast demanding immediate steps by Central and Tamil Nadu governments for the release of five fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan Navy in November last year on charges of smuggling drugs. The fishermen belonging to various associations would abstain from fishing for three days as part of the protest, U Arulanandam, president of Alliance for Release of Innocent Fishermen said. more..

Lakvijaya power plant temporarily down

Aug 8 (LBO) Power generation in Sri Lanka's newly build Lakvijaya coal power plant in north-western Puttalam district has been temporarily suspended due to a problem in a transmission line, the ministry of power and energy releasing a statement said. The ministry said a sudden breakdown in the transmission line which takes power from the generator to the grid prompted engineers to temporarily suspend power generation as a safety measure. more..

Mahindra to sponsor SLPL

Aug 8 (IANS) Utility vehicle major Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) Wednesday announced its partnership with the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) cricket tournament as their title sponsors. SLPL kicks off Aug 11 and will be played over three weeks at two venues - Colombo and Kandy. The inaugural edition will feature seven provincial teams in a round-robin league format, with the winners having the distinction of playing in the Champions League Twenty20 as one of the qualifying teams. more..

JHU criticizes Hakeem's statement on 'yellow robe terrorism'

Aug 8 (DM) The JHU yesterday criticized a statement made by the SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem that President Rajapksa should defeat "yellow robe terrorism". JHU MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera said that Rauff Hakkem is a Minister who does not even practice his own religion properly. It was reported in the Tamil Mirror online that the SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem made this statement during an election rally held last Sunday at Sainthamaruthu (Kalmunai) to introduce SLMC candidates more..

Sri Lanka Debrief News- 31.07.2012

Enjoining order on UNP

Aug 8 (DM) The Mount Lavinia District Court today issued an enjoining order restraining the UNP from acting on the constitutional amendment, which states that elections for the party leadership should be held every six years, UNP Provincial Councillor Maithree Gunaratne said. District Court Judge Priyantha Fenrando issued noticed on all working committee members to be presentin courts on August 22 and show cause why this amendment to the UNP constitution was introduced. more..

'Troops will remain at strategic locations'

Aug 8 (DM) Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said though the military presence in the north had been drastically reduced, troops would continue to remain at strategic locations for security reasons but their presence will be non-intrusive. “The number of troops deployed and the number of camps remaining in the North and East has also been reduced to a bare minimum. 28 battalions have been relocated in the South and East. The overall number of troops in more..

Gayle ruled out of SLPL

Aug 8 (CI) Chris Gayle has been ruled out of the inaugural season of the Sri Lanka Premier League due to a serious groin strain. Gayle, the icon player and captain for the Uva Next franchise, was among the marquee players for the tournament. Gayle had injured his groin while playing in the Bangladesh Premier League in February, but the injury was aggravated during West Indies' second Test against New Zealand in Jamaica. The same injury had also prevented Gayle from playing more..

Better weather warnings needed

Aug 8 (IRIN) Before he leaves to meet with farmers, R M P Karunarathne, the irrigation engineer in Sri Lanka’s north central Pollonarauwa District, calls the national Meteorological Department in Colombo, to get the weather forecast. He told IRIN the information he gets from these informal calls based on personal relations has become ever more vital in the absence of an official forecasting system as weather patterns are changing. “The details we get from official channels are a bare minimum - there is nothing much more..

Lanka’s Cooray gets ready for the 26 mile run

Aug 8 (DM) The only other Lankan to qualify for the 30th Olympic Games at London, Marathon runner Anuradha Indrajith Cooray is waiting to prove that his comeback into the arena is not in vain. Cooray takes part in Marathon which is the customary last event of the games on Sunday. Athletics and Rifle Shooting Manager, Real Admiral Shemal Fernando is hoping that the Lankan distance runner will make his mark at the games this time around. Fernando said “I was there when Cooray took part in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney Australia" more..

Sports minister slams OC for not sending players' coaches

Aug 8 (BBC) The sports minister has accused the national Olympic Committee of failing to abide by his advice to send personal coaches together with the country's Olympic athletes. Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage also dismisses the accusation by the team captain Niluka Karunaratne that the authorities did not allow his coach to come to London despite requesting to do so as "a total lie." more..

Past and present: FUTA trade union action

Aug 9 (Island) I have to postpone the discussion on "the existence of objects" in order to write on FUTA trade union action that has been going on for some time. FUTA stands for the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations and it was established in the eighties by some of us who were in the universities at that time. There had been a university teachers’ associations federation prior to that but it had not been functioning due to some reason or other. I was one of the persons associated with more..

CPC's off-Specification Syndrome

Aug 9 (Island) It appears that Ceylon Petroleum Corporation is now afflicted with the chronic disease of Off-specification Fiascos. During the short period of the last three years four major "off-specifications fiascos" had occurred at the CPC. They are – a) First "Fiasco" - the distribution by CPC of alleged contaminated High Sulphur Fuel Oil 1500 Secs., ex MT "Elibank Germany, to Independent Power Producers in 2009, b) Second "Fiasco" - the infamous willful importation of more..

Free spirits: Sri Lanka & the Maldives

Aug 9 (NGT) Everything’s a little surreal. I’ve just met an elderly astrologer and received a monk’s blessing. Gingerly chanting a mantra, he wraps a white thread around my wrist and secures it tightly, leaving me to wander back to my jungle retreat. I’m sleeping in a traditional wattle-and-daub thatched house, part of eco-retreat The Mudhouse, in north-west Sri Lanka. With no electricity, kerosene lamps and candles provide lighting; my ‘jungle’ shower is more..

The domestic violence act: Seven years on

Aug 9 (GV) On 9th August in 2005, the Sri Lankan parliament unanimously passed the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (PDVA). The Act does not create a new offence of ‘domestic violence’ but instead defines domestic violence, firstly, as acts of physical violence, which constitute only those offences already recognized under Chapter XVI of the Penal Code. Secondly it recognizes emotional abuse - defined as a pattern of cruel, inhuman, degrading or humiliating conduct of a serious nature directed towards an aggrieved person. more..

Who will suffer if FUTA loses?

Aug 9 (CT) There is trouble in the universities and trouble in the schools. While frustrated students and academics have taken to the streets, there has been much posturing among those responsible for the state of education and higher education in this country. This article attempts to counter prevalent misconceptions about the nature, motivation and demands of the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) and the academics they represent. more..

The politics of the Frontline Socialist Party

Aug 9 (CT) Premakumar Gunaratnam, an ethnic Tamil from Sri Lanka, who now has Australian citizenship, returned to his home country in September 2011 to help organise the launch of a new left party, the Frontline Socialist Party (FLSP), a major breakaway from the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP). He had been a JVP activist for three decades and a member of its underground political bureau since 1994. more..

How Adrian Anthony Gill critiqued Channel 4 documentary on Sri Lanka

Aug 9 (DBS) I was informed by an agent, allegedly working for ‘Digos’, the Secret Police of Italy, that certain video clips were being prepared by the LTTE to bolster its claim that the Sri Lankan soldiers committed war crimes. This was to be used internationally by the LTTE as proof of atrocities committed by the govt of Sri Lanka. According to the informant, Prabahkaran was certain that the LTTE would be able to push back the Sri Lankan army to its pre-war position. more..

Responsibilities vested with armed services may go beyond what is customary

Aug 9 (DBS) (Text of speech delivered by Secretary of Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa who was the Chief Guest at the Passing out Parade of a batch Officers and Airmen of the Sri Lanka Air Force on 3rd August at the SLAF Academy in China Bay). It gives me great pride to review the passing out parade of the 53rd Intake of the Sri Lanka Air Force. I congratulate all of you for an excellent parade, and for having completed your training at this prestigious Academy. more..