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Dy Minister lodges counter complaint

Aug 11 (Island) Deputy Minister Sarana Gunawardena, responding to a bribery complaint made against him by a businessman, yesterday said that he had lodged a counter complaint at Police Head Quarters. He denied the bribery allegation made to police by Duminda Lanka Liyanage, proprietor of Green Park Housing Complex in Attanagala. The businessman had claimed that he had given the deputy minister a sum of Rs. 5 million in instalments and undated cheques amounting to Rs. 20 million. more..

STF seize illicit cigarettes, liquor

Aug 11 (DN) The Special Task Force (STF) yesterday arrested a person with 95,400 cartons of illegally imported cigarettes worth over Rs 2 million at the Kollupitiya Public Market complex yesterday. The suspect from Dalugama, Kelaniya was handed over to Kollupitiya Police for further investigations. Meanwhile, two persons were arrested with 12 grammes of heroin in Dehiwala and Gampaha by the STF on the same day. The Special Weapons and Tactics Unit on the direction of SP G J Sylvester arrested more..

Amnesty wants U.N. probe into war crimes

Aug 11 (Hindu) An impartial investigation led by the UN is the only way to render justice to those affected by war crimes in Sri Lanka, Amnesty International Chief Executive in India G. Ananthapadmanabhan has said. The island nation will soon be in the international eye thanks to the impending Commonwealth Heads of Governments meeting and the U.N. Universal Periodical Review of Human Rights practices in countries, he pointed out. more..

Sri Lanka U19s wary of slow wickets

Aug 11 (IC) Q: How confident is the team going into the first game? A: The confidence level is good. As far as the team is concerned, we played two practice games and the team took it as part of their learning curve to get accustomed to the climate and conditions. I think the boys in the last couple of days, learnt a few things about the weather and how the wickets behave here. We will take it in a positive note and move forward. Q: Did you try out anything specific in the warm-up games in terms of batting? A: Yes. We were trying a few things with more..

Johnston denies opposition allegation

Aug 11 (Island) Minister Johnston Fernando claimed that the Govt had not reduced the prices of certain essential consumer items in view of the forthcoming Provincial Council elections, as alleged by the opposition, but would continue to reduce prices whenever possible. Minister said that the objective of the Govt was to make essential food items freely available to consumers without any shortage and at affordable prices. If traders attempted to create an artificial shortage of essential food items, he would intervene in the matter and more..

Karunanidhi's Eelam meet runs into rough weather

Aug 11 (TOI) Both the Centre and the state govt flexed their muscles on Friday to take the wind out of the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) conference organized by DMK chief M Karunanidhi. While the Centre told the Madras high court that it would not allow the organizers to use the word 'Eelam' in the title of the conference to be held in the city on Sunday, the state govt said it might deny permission more..

Lankans among 200 rescued from asylum boat

Aug 11 (AFP) Australia rescued more than 200 asylum-seekers from a boat off Indonesia, officials said Friday as they confirmed that some navy ships are literally cracking under the strain of their work. Authorities raced to help a vessel in Indonesian waters north of the remote Australian territory of Christmas Island late Wednesday, transferring the 211 people on board to naval ships. “This boat was rescued by the Australian navy,” more..

Bring extortion gang to book - NTC chairman

Aug 11 (DN) National Transport Commission (NTC) chairman Roshan Gunawardena requested the Chilaw Urban Council chairman and the Wayamba DIG to break up a mafia style extortion gang operating near the Chilaw bus' stand, harassing bus crews by fleeing money from them and bring the culprits to book. The NTC chairman said he received complaints about the gang when he visited Chilaw on August 7 to participate in the opening of the Inter-Provincial Bus Company office. more..

Susil pooh-poohs Harry’s demand

Aug 11 (Island) The Petroleum Ministry said that the Auditor General had audited CPC accounts for 2010/2011 and was in the process of auditing 2011/2012 transactions, therefore the former Chairman’s demand for a thorough inquiry was irrelevant. Ministry spokesman W.P.M.P. Roshan said that in the wake of the latest controversy involving the alleged distribution of a stock of substandard diesel, minister had more..

State agencies address Z-score fallout

Aug 11 (DN) The Higher Education Ministry yesterday said they will take action to address the social impact to students affected by the Z-score issue. Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission (SLHRC) is to summon officials of the Higher Education Ministry, University Grants Commission, Examination Department and Education Ministry at the SLHRC head office over the matter to discuss how they will go about addressing the social impact created by more..

'Grant Presidential Pardon for ex-LTTEers'

Aug 11 (CT) Maj. Gen. (Retired) Ashok Kumar Mehta, Division Commander in the IPKF recommended a Presidential pardon for ex-LTTE combatants with a view to reintegrating some of them into the military selectively as they are trained experts on many fields of unconventional war. Speaking to CT at the conclusion of the Defence Seminar 2012, he said, “It is my opinion that some of them should be reintegrated into the military selectively as that is true integration.” Mehta said when he came here last year; he honestly did not think the Sri Lankan Govt was serious about more..

'India needs to take relook at dealings with neighbours'

Aug 11 (TOI) In the strongest reaction yet to India's contentious support to a US sponsored resolution at the UNHRC against Sri Lanka earlier this year, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has broken his silence by calling upon the Indian govt to have a relook at its dealings with its neighbours. In a freewheeling interaction with TOI at his Temple Trees in Colombo, his first full-length interview since India's vote for the resolution in March, Rajapaksa suggested that more..

HSTUC wants new DGHS appointment to be above board

Aug 11 (Island) The Health Service Trade Union Confederation (HSTUC) yesterday appealed to the President and the Cabinet to ensure that the next Director General of Health Services was appointed in an appropriate manner. Co-President of HSTUC Ravi Kumudesh said that steps should be taken to appoint a correct person to the highest position in the government health service. Kumudesh said that the extension given by the Cabinet to the present Director General Health more..

Police arrest 11 persons for breaking election laws

Aug 11 (AD) Police have arrested 11 persons in connection with breaking election laws pertaining to the upcoming local government elections after receiving several complaints, DIG Elections, Gamini Nawaratna stated. He said that so far the police have received 14 complaints regarding election law violations while most of the complaints that are filed are related to threats and unlawful propaganda. Meanwhile, the Elections Chief met with the political parties and independent groups to more..

CMC short of medical personnel

Aug 11 (Island) The Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council said yesterday that its Health services were badly handicapped due to the dearth of staff to man its five maternity homes and 13 clinics. Chief of the Public Health Department, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said that 70 percent of the city’s pregnant mothers received health care facilities from the Public Health Department. more..

Sri Lanka set for its Twenty20 league

Aug 11 (CI) The inaugural Sri Lanka Premier League begins on Saturday afternoon at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, when the Nagenahira Nagas play the Ruhuna Royals. It's the most high-profile tournament of its kind in the country and, despite severe teething troubles - including an aborted start last year and the withdrawal of top players in the past few days - could be the facelift and morale-booster the beleaguered SLC needs. more..

SriLankan to test its employees for drug abuse

Aug 11 (Island) Following last weekend’s arrest and remanding of an airhostess, attached to SriLankan Airlines, for possessing 27 packets of heroin, the National carrier has decided to conduct regular blood tests on all its employees to check for substance abuse. A SriLankan official said that they would finalise a blood testing scheme for all employees in consultation with the relevant medical experts. more..

Subramanian Swamy asks Jayalalithaa to visit Sri Lanka

Aug 11 (PTI) Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy on Saturday asked Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa to visit Sri Lanka to ‘help foster Sinhala-Tamil’ reconciliation as he took jibes at DMK chief M. Karunanidhi for going ‘bankrupt’ on ideas on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue. "I urge Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa to visit Sri Lanka and help foster the Sinhala-Tamil reconciliation instead of engaging in competitive Tamil sectarian more..

Tamil parties boycott TESO

Aug 11 (CT) Major Tamil political parties, including the main constituent party of the TNA, the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK), have decided to stay away from the Tamil Eelam Support Organization (TESO) conference scheduled to be held in Chennai tomorrow. The decision to stay away comes in the wake of the Tamil Nadu State Govt refusing to grant permission to hold the conference in Chennai, yesterday. more..

Power crisis inevitable – Ranawaka

Aug 11 (CT) Admitting it is impossible to provide an uninterrupted power supply, Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka informed Parliament yesterday that an exacerbated power crisis is inevitable if the monsoon does not start by mid September. Making a special ministerial statement, Ranawaka said water levels of all main reservoirs have dropped drastically, hindering hydro power generation. more..

President's secretary sheds light on implementation of LLRC recommendations

Aug 11 (GDI) An important element in post-conflict nation building is to understand what happened in the past that aided in the conflict, acknowledge the sufferings of all those who were affected in some form or another, and to take precautions to ensure that there is no room for further conflicts in future, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga said. “The coming months and years are of crucial importance to Sri Lanka more..

Over 500 state vehicles being abused by UPFA candidates

Aug 11 (Island) Over 500 State vehicles were being used by UPFA candidates for the ongoing Eastern, North-Central and Sabragamuwa Provincial Council Election campaigns, the UNP charged. The abuse of State resources, including buildings and vehicles, was increasing by the day, but the Elections Department was helpless, because with the introduction of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, the Elections, Police and more..

Higher intake would pose complications: VC

Aug 11 (DM) Certain faculties including Engineering and Medicine would face a quandary, if a comparatively higher number of freshers entered university this year, Committee of Vice Chancellors and Directors (CVCD) President Professor Susirith Mendis said yesterday. “The situation in universities with concern to the 2012 students’ intake will depend on the pending Supreme Court decision. If the chosen formula involves the intake of a higher number more..

Police deny DMK permission to hold Eelam conference in Chennai

Aug 11 (TOI) After prolonged late night discussions, the Tamil Nadu police today denied permission to the DMK to organise a conference by the Tamil Eelam Supporters' Organisation, an outfit revived by DMK chief M Karunanidhi after nearly three decades. The denial of permission comes on the eve of the conference to be held in the city on Sunday. Police have cited various grounds for denying permission for more..

Editorial: Beware - Pride goes before a fall

Aug 11 (DM) Even elections now appear to be more an exercise in demagogy and deception than democracy. The National Bhikku Organisation, like so many other independent civic action movements, lamented recently the next month’s provincial elections, instead of being conducted in a free and fair manner by the Elections Commissioner assisted by the Police Department, were being manipulated by the ruling UPFA. The bhikku front lamented this was a dangerous trend in the overall more..

Sri Lanka: Why people don’t like their former Presidents

Aug 11 (CT) One of the interesting things about Sri Lankan politics since 1978 is that the people do not remember their former Presidents with any respect. Of course people do not remember even the heads of the States of earlier times with much affection, though they do remember them with some good humour. The former Prime Ministers like D. S. Senanayeke, his son Dudley, John Kotelawala and the two Bandaranaikes, maybe target of more..

Doctors battle dengue fever

Former MP Ananda Dassanayake has passed away

Aug 11 (GDI) Mr. Ananda Dassanayake, a former Trade Union Leader and a Senior Assistant Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party passed away at his Gampola Sinhapitiya residence in Sinhapitiya, Gampola on 9th. He was 93 years of age. Mr. Dassanayake has served the nation as a Senator, a Parliamentarian and a Governor of the Uva and Southern provinces. He was appointed to the senate in 1950 and later elected to Parliament in 1970 to represent the Kotmale electorate. more..

Reincarnation/Rebirth of the Indo-Lanka accord

Aug 11 (CT) Reading this headline, extreme Singhalese may say, ‘another……. paving the way for a separate state’, extreme Tamil nationalists may say, ‘another one going against the independent state’, but the wisest from both communities may say, ‘the right thinking at the right time’. 25 years ago on 29th July 1987, when the Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and the Sri Lanka President J.R. Jayawardene signed the Indo-Lanka accord, it was a day of of mourning more..

'The five R’s of peace and stability'

Aug 11 (GDI) Less than two weeks ago President Mahinda Rajapaksa told a group of rehabilitated ex-LTTE cadres, “We will not allow petty politics to harm the communal harmony reinstated after defeat of terrorism.” He was speaking to 1,250 former LTTE fighters who were being reintegrated into society and given livelihood loans to enable them to move into society. “You were forced to sacrifice your youth and happiness to cultivate hatred and division among people more..

U-19 CWC: Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka by 25 runs

Aug 11 (CI) Bangladesh's captain Anamul Haque led his side to victory over Sri Lanka with a century in their opening Under-19 World Cup match at Allan Border Field in Brisbane. Haque's 101 was augmented by 84 from Asif Ahmed as Bangladesh notched a tally of 249 for 7, and it would prove too steep a task for the Sri Lankans, who fell 25 runs short in the afternoon. Sri Lanka had sent Bangladesh in to exploit what early morning moisture could be found, and more..

Karunanidhi challenges Chennai Police’s decision

Aug 11 (TD) The DMK on Saturday challenged the Chennai Police who denied permission to hold a public gathering in the city on Sunday as part of its Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO), in which the Madras High Court is also likely to hear the party’s petition today. In a setback to the DMK chief, the Chennai police have quoted eleven reasons for denying permission to the TESO conference such as lack of adequate space at the venue, disturbance to the Royapettah Govt more..

Germany briefed on LLRC Action plan

Aug 11 (GDI) Mr.Sarrath Kongahage met with Dr. Harald Braun, State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany, at the Federal Foreign Office on 2nd August 2012. During the meeting, the Ambassador comprehensively briefed State Secretary Dr. Braun about the current developments in Sri Lanka regarding the reconciliation, reconstruction and rehabilitation process during the post-conflict period in the country. more..

‘Cong also wants Tamils to live safely in Lanka’

Aug 11 (PTI) The Centre and Congress wanted Tamils to live safely and lead a secure life with equal rights in Sri Lanka, Union Shipping Minister G K Vasan said on Saturday. Vasan evaded a direct reply when asked about the ban on the conference of Tamil Eelam Supporters Association, convened by the forum's founder leader and DMK chief M Karunanidhi tomorrow at Chennai, but said his party wanted all Tamils across the globe to be protected. Replying to a specific question on more..

Habitat for Humanity ends decade-long wait for homes for 24 families

Aug 11 (AN) Habitat for Humanity today ended its “Rebuild Sri Lanka” event with the completion of homes for 24 low-income families in Pathamyawatte village, Negombo. Over 150 international and Sri Lankan volunteers worked alongside Habitat home partner families to construct 23 houses during the build, which kicked off on 5 August. Another house was completed earlier as a model house in July with a team of volunteers from the United States. Volunteer teams from more..

Sri Lanka begins resettling in former LTTE nerve centre

Aug 11 (PTI) Over three years after the end of the civil war, Sri Lanka has launched the process of resettling people displaced in the conflict at a town in the northern province which was once the nerve centre of the LTTE. The resettlement ministry said that some 380 families or 1204 people are to be resettled at east Puthukudyiruppu (PTK), having moved them away from the Manik Farm welfare camp in Vavuniya in the north where more..

Sri Lanka archives international commitments

Aug 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka has begun archiving legal documents of its international commitments, the island's foreign office said. The ministry said originals of all bilateral and multilateral treaties and agreements signed prior to 1985 were handed over to the Department of National Archives. "In keeping with the National Archives Act, the Ministry of External Affairs today made arrangements to handover all Treaties and Agreements signed prior to 1985 to the Department of more..

Villagers surround Child brothel

Aug 11 (LT) A brothel maintained by a person called Lalith, a resident opposite Maliyadeva Arahanna Temple in Mal-asna area in Kurunegala and a leader of the ‘Blue Brigade’ has been surrounded by villagers say reports. The villagers say there are two underage girls that are between 13 and 17 years of age in the residence where the brothel is maintained. Today at about 10.00 a.m. parents of a girl had come to the house and inquired about their daughter stating she had left home yesterday saying she was coming to the house but she had more..

SLPL: Nagenahira take rain-hit opener

Aug 11 (CI) Nagenahira Nagas prevailed by five runs in a rain-curtailed SLPL curtain-raiser against Ruhuna Royals at the R Premadasa Stadium. Ruhuna stuttered to 134 all out from their 20 overs, as Shaminda Eranga and Ajantha Mendis claimed three wickets each. Nagenahira progressed steadily to 77 for 2 from 12 overs when the heavens opened up. No further play was possible and Nagenahira were declared the winners by the Duckworth/Lewis method. more..

Editorial: Lurking dangers of mobile phones

Aug 12 (SO) The mobile telephone has proved to be an effective tool for people of all ages the world over. After the first hand-held mobile phone was invented by Dr. Martin Cooper, an American, way back in 1973, it took another 10 years for a mobile phone to be available on a commercial scale in the open market. The mobile telephone enhanced efficiency and productivity and made an impact to improve time management among people. It is estimated that there are over six billion more..