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Editorial: Of that ‘rope trick’

Aug 13 (Island) The govt has taken the masses for asses, as we often argue. During the past few weeks it has been entertaining applications for the post of hangman and testing the gallows with sand bags. Previously, it claimed that a special rope had been imported to make the much dreaded hangman’s noose. Now, we are told that the govt has indicated its willingness to resume judicial hangings! With this kind of ‘rope trick’, it is obviously trying to distract the attention of more..

Now, more CEPA-bashers want to boost ties with India

Aug 13 (Island) Two of the most outspoken critics of broadening economic ties with India via a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA), who have lent their voices to bashing Sri Lankan economists and public officials responsible for finalising the agreement, citing India’s trade policies have now had a change of heart. According to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, M.P. Wickremasinghe, Chairman, Ceylon Biscuits Ltd of Munchee fame, and more..

Sumit Ganguly

Fernando, Tharanga star in clinical win for Uva

Aug 13 (CI) A measured 65 not out from Upul Tharanga and a five-wicket haul by Dilhara Fernando took Uva Next to an eight-wicket win over Basnahira Cricket Dundee at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Uva chased down Basnahira's 136 for 9 in 18.2 overs, with Shoaib Malik at the crease alongside Tharanga, as the pair put on 79 to close out the match. Tharanga was characteristically strong through the off side throughout more..

Anurdha Indrajith Cooray 55 out of 105

Aug 13 (Island) UK based Sri Lankan Anurdha Indrajith Cooray returned a time of 2 hours, 20 minutes and 41 seconds to be ranked 55th among 105 competitors at the 2012 Olympic Marathon, which was won by Uganda’s Stephan Kiprotich, who turned tables on the favourites to finish under a blazing sun here, in London, on Sunday. Kiprotich beat thhr favourite Kenyan runners to claim his country’s first gold medal in 40 years. He came waving a Uganda flag, with the Victoria more..

CEPA not discussed?

Aug 13 (NS) The controversial Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was not taken up for detailed discussions either at the CEO forum or at the meeting the Indian delegation had with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce last week, informed sources said. This is despite India’s The Hindu newspaper reporting that discussion on CEPA will be in the agenda during the recent visit of the Indian delegation led by Anand Sharma, India’s Minister in charge of more..

SEC split?

Aug 13 (FT) The proposal by SEC Chairman Tilak Karunaratne at last week’s Commissioners meeting to make Acting Director General Prof. Hareendra Dissabandara permanent had faced a roadblock. The Daily FT learns that several Commissioners have objected to the Chairman’s proposal, saying Dissabandara isn’t fully competent to function in a permanent role. If he was to be made permanent prior approval from Ministry of Finance must be obtained, some of the dissenting Commissioners had emphasised. more..

Immediate drought relief programme

Aug 13 (DN) Minister SM Chandrasena revealed that President instructed the Finance Ministry jointly with the Agrarian Services authorities to launch a fool-proof integrated drought relief programme in the Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Kurunegala and Puttalam districts immediately. “Accordingly apart from advertising the prescribed form to be filled by the victimized farmers for them to be granted drought relief I have made arrangements to have the said document distributed more..

CEB to stop private power purchases in 2013-2014

Aug 13 (ST) The Govt confidently said this week it planned to discontinue buying private sector-generated power in the next two years, with power generation from new state plants sufficient to meet the country’s entire needs. The assurance came amidst frequent breakdowns in coal and thermal power plants resulting in countrywide power cuts. Minister Champika Ranawaka said that the CEB is to halt the practice of more..

‘Ornamental fish industry showing progress’

Aug 13 (DN) The ornamental fish industry in Sri Lanka has shown a progress of 25 percent during the last year with the assistance of National Aquaculture Development Authority (NAQDA), Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. Minister Senaratne was addressing the prize giving ceremony of the “ Min Visituru 2012” held at the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre (SLECC), recently. Sri Lanka’s ornamental fish industry has a long history. more..

Kapilavastu Relics exposition from Aug 19

Aug 13 (DN) A photographic exhibition titled 'India Through Sri Lankan Eyes- Buddhist Circuit', organised by the Indian High Commission in partnership with the Photographic Society of Sri Lanka (PSSL) was inaugurated by Scientific Affairs Senior Minister Prof Tissa Vitarana in the presence of Indian High Commissioner Ashok K Kantha at the J D A Perera Gallery on Friday. This is as a prelude to the exposition of Sacred Kapilavastu Relics in Sri Lanka from August 19 to September 4. more..

President asks people to be corruption sleuths

Aug 13 (Island) Corruption and malpractices in State funded development project could be eliminated only if the public in the respective project areas were alert like the People’s committees (Janatha Committees) some years ago, President Mahinda Rajapaksa told a meeting of the Kandy based media personnel on Saturday afternoon. The meeting was held at the Kandy Janadhipathi Mandiraya and coordinated by more..

Wreath with death threat for CEB strike leader

Aug 13 (Island) A wreath carrying a letter, containing a death threat, had been placed in front of Ceylon Electricity Board Joint Trade Union Alliance convener Ranjan Jayalal’s residence. Jayalal had complained about it to the Aturugiriya police. In his complaint, he has stated that he suspected that it had been done by a group with the intention of scaring him and sabotaging the ongoing trade union action of the CEB unions. The letter attached to the wreath said more..

Govt. ready for talks with TNA through PSC -GL

Aug 13 (Island) Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday said that the Govt was ready to commence negotiations with the TNA, even tomorrow, by appointing a Parliamentary Select Committee. He said that TNA leader R. Sambandan was actively engaged in spreading false propaganda against Sri Lanka abroad. Prof. Peiris said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa was successful in obtaining the support of many countries, including Muslim countries and some African countries to more..

Air time given to Prez should be treated as coverage given to UPFA –Polls

Aug 13 (Island) In the wake of Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya calling for equal coverage in print and electronic media for all political parties contesting the forthcoming elections to the Eastern, Sabaragamuwa and North-Central Provincial Councils, Rupavahini has invited Opposition political parties for a live political debate on political issues with the focus on the Sept. 8 polls. After a long absence, the UNP will be more..

TESO conference: Govt concern expressed through HC

Aug 13 (DN) The Sri Lankan government has voiced its concern through the Sri Lankan High Commission in India about the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organization (TESO) conference, Minister Prof G L Peiris said. He said the Sri Lankan govt has by no means been silent, but has raised its concerns using the most appropriate diplomatic means. He noted the stance of the government is that no foreign force must be allowed to act in a more..

Nationalist organisations protest India’s Eelam conference

Aug 13 (FT) Collective of Nationalist Organisations staged a demonstration march in the capital Colombo yesterday to protest the Tamil Eelam Solidarity Organisation (TESO) Conference that was scheduled to be held in Chennai today by the leader of the Tamil Nadu political party DMK. The Chairman of Sri Lanka’s Sinhala nationalist Patriotic National Movement Gunadasa Amarasekera called the TESO Conference an attempt by India’s Tamil Nadu politicians to divide the country and more..

'Polls win will boost govt’s development march'

Aug 13 (DN) The govt’s effort to unite all Sri Lankans under one flag in its development march which commenced in 2005 and became successful with the defeat of terrorism will be strengthened and continued with the massive victory at the upcoming provincial elections, Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. The minister was addressing the large crowd at Pulathisi Buddhi Mandira, Polonnaruwa at the launch of more..

Ex-boyfriend of air hostess grilled

Aug 13 (Island) Police sleuths have begun to grill the ex-boyfriend of the air hostess who was recently arrested by the Wellawatte police with what was believed to be 27 packets of heroin. She had identified him as the person who introduced her to drugs. The ex-boyfriend is a purser on the national carrier. According to investigators, the ex-boyfriend had not been arrested, but was only being questioned to find out the depth of the drug using ring in the airline. He has so far totally denied taking drugs or introducing the hostess to drugs. more..

Fruit juice outlets under the microscope

Aug 13 (DN) The Health Ministry said it will step up inspections of outlets and kiosks selling fresh fruit juices and salads to ensure they conform to established food safety practices. The move comes in the wake of a directive by Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena to the Occupational and Environmental Health Unit of his ministry to step up inspection of such outlets. Officials were concerned about the quality and safety of juices and salads sold at wayside food outlets. more..

'Eelam dream not too far'

Aug 13 (DC) DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Sunday said he would seek to achieve his dream of Tamil Eelam with the help of like-minded parties in the future and his immediate ‘priority was to provide first aid to the bleeding Tamils’. “I am being asked why we are not demanding Tamil Eelam. I want to tell them that the objective of the conference is to provide first aid to the wound of the bleeding Tamils. Later with your support I more..

Ranil wrecking UNP chances – Reformist

Aug 13 (Island) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed eight of his henchmen to accompany him and address the party’s propaganda rallies for the forthcoming North-Central, Eastern and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council elections, sidelining several top speakers who could win votes for the UNP, alleged Lal Perera, the spokesman for the Movement to Protect the UNP and its Trade Unions. Whilc championing the reformists’ cause yesterday, Perera said that Wickremesinghe had more..

CEB strikers threaten severe action from today

Aug 13 (Island) The continuous strike launched by the non-executive staff, belonging to the JVP-led CEB Trade Union Alliance, on Friday would turn severe from today, its Convenor Ranjan Jayalal said. "The truth in the boast of the govt and engineers’ unions, that they would maintain uninterrupted power supply, could be seen from today onwards," he said. The CEB TUA members launched a strike on Friday after the administration failed to deliver on its promise to them that more..

ICC investigates alleged corruption in Sri Lanka

Aug 13 (CI) The ICC is investigating alleged corruption in Sri Lanka, which centres around a taped conversation, a Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) press release has said. A recording of the conversation had been given to a Sri Lankan media organisation, and SLC on Thursday, August 9. SLC then passed the tape on to the ICC's Anti Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU), currently in the country for the SLPL. No local media outlets have as yet reported more..

Engineers promise to deliver power despite strike

Aug 13 (Island) Although the non-executive staff belonging to the Ceylon Electricity Board Joint Trade Union Alliance have been on strike since 12 noon on Friday, the CEB engineers, with the help of some other grades, could provide undisturbed supply of power, media spokesman of the CEB Engineers’ Union Ajith Vithanage said. The engineers and their supportive services were on round the clock duty to maintain an uninterrupted power supply considering its importance to more..

FUTA wants to continue discussions with Basil

Aug 13 (Island) The Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) yesterday said that they would like to continue discussions with Minister Basil Rajapaksa, as talks with him last week were fruitful. FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri said that Minister Rajapaksa emphasized some valuable points on their demands."Minister Rajapaksa gave us a positive response, at the second round of discussion with him," he said adding they would continue more..

Sri Lanka recalls its envoy to Malaysia

Aug 13 (NST) SRI Lankan High Commissioner to Malaysia K. Godage has been recalled to Colombo after falling afoul of his External Affairs Ministry over a seemingly sympathetic ear to pro-Tamil Sri Lankan groups here. The 76-year-old veteran diplomat is expected to leave for home at the end of the month, just eight months after being called out of a 15-year retirement to be posted here. He has sent a strongly-worded letter of appeal to External Affairs Minister more..

New variety of seed potato for farmers

Aug 13 (Island) The Ministry of Agriculture is planning to distribute an improved version of Potato seed among farmers. It will enable them to produce sixteen times more seed than what they usually produce. The new seed had been developed at the SeetaEliya Agricultural Research Institute. According to sources nearly one million potato seeds could be produced in one go. Currently, the ministry had assigned agricultural authorities to train potato growers countrywide. more..

Cigarette smuggler nabbed

Aug 13 (Island) Customs officers at the Bandaranaike International Airport, early yesterday morning, thwarted an attempt, by a 34-year-old man, to smuggle in 277 cartons of cigarettes. The cigarettes, valued at Rs. 544,000, were concealed in one of his travelling bags. The man, had attempted to dodge the customs by going through the Green Channel, but an officer apprehended him on suspicion and when his bags were checked the contraband was discovered, more..

Uni. Dons, Govt. talks: Futile, or last chance?

Aug 13 (LB) Striking academics emerged from a late-night meeting with Minister Basil Rajapaksa saying some progress was made - but not enough to call off their five-weeks - long trade union action. The govt had agreed on principle to several of the demands raised by the Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA). This includes the formation of a Sri Lanka University Academic Service and the need to raise expenditure on education. more..

Fire engulfs 750 acres in Ohiya-Pattipola reserve

Aug 13 (SL) Over 750 acres of forest was destroyed by a fire that engulfed the reserve at Ohia-Pattipola-Idalgashinna on August 2. It took over 500 Army personnel, three choppers from the Air Force, the Govt Agent Nuwara Eliya, Forest Department officials from Badulla and Nuwara Eliya, Disaster Management Officials from these two areas, the Staion Master and staff of Ohiya, Police and over 600 people of the area three days more..

Drought in NCP continues, relief yet to come

Aug 13 (ST) While the drought in the North Central Province continues, the promised programme to compensate affected farmers is not fully in effect yet, Agrarian Services and Wildlife Minister S. M. Chandrasena admitted to the Sunday Times. Crop damage due to the prevailing drought is worse than before, Agrarian Development Commissioner General Sunil Weerasinghe told the Sunday Times. more..

Veddha clans suspend errant leader

Aug 13 (Island) The clan council (Variga Sabha) of Veddhas has suspended the leader of Rathugala Adivasi for one year for his wrong doings and conduct unbecoming of a leader. The ‘Variga Sabha’ of Veddhas met on Thursday and their incumbent leader Uruvarigaye Vannilaeththo presiding took up the case against the Rathugala Adivasi leader, Suda Vannilaeththo. The meeting attended by over 600 members of more..

Sri Lanka police link up with Interpol data base

Aug 13 (Island) Sri Lanka last week became the first Asian nation to link up with the Interpol Net, Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said yesterday. With the access to databases of that network, Sri Lankan authorities would have access to information about criminals of 190 countries around the world, he said. The access provides the data pertaining to lost and stolen passports and all details of internationally wanted criminals. more..

Leading Carnatic musicians to perform at Jaffna music festival

Aug 13 (Hindu) When he steps out of an aircraft in Palaly on August 16, Carnatic vocalist T.M. Krishna will belong to a rare tribe of people who kept their word to the people of Jaffna. When he came on an exploratory visit to Jaffna last October, Mr. Krishna, the first musician of note from India to tour Jaffna in nearly three decades, told students at the Ramanathan Academy that he would develop on a music festival concept and more..

Sri Lanka banks washed dirty money to re-start services in war-zones

Aug 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka's efforts to establish banking services in the former war-torn areas included 'laundering' soiled money held by displaced persons, Central Bank governor Ajith Nivard Cabral told an international Defence conference in Colombo. "Banks at that time were set up in containers which were at various locations so that people could bring their money and open accounts," Cabraal said. "IDPs had come from various more..

UN agencies hit by lack of funds

Aug 13 (DM) UN agencies in Sri Lanka remain hard pressed to continue with humanitarian assistance to war affected people in the North due to lack of fundings. The UN office in Colombo, in its Joint Plan for Assistance to the Northern Province, appealed for US $ 147 million to carry out humanitarian assistance in terms of food supply and livelihood support. However, only 18.4% of this appeal had been funded by Aug 10, 2012. Besides, 2 mil US dollars had been pledged. more..

Sri Lanka Cricket Board hands over corruption tape to ICC

Aug 13 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan Cricket Board said on Monday that it has handed over a taped conversation to the ICC which surrounds allegations of an alleged corruption attempt. Sri Lanka Cricket Board Media Manager Rajith Fernando said in an emailed statement that the tape was initially given to a local newspaper and a copy of it has now been made available to officials of the Anti Corruption Unit (ACU) of the ICC who are currently in Sri Lanka. more..

Tilak to quit SEC?

Aug 13 (DM) In spite of the commendation the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chief Tilak Karunaratne received from the Committee of Public Enterprises (COPE) last week for ‘excellent performance’, the regulator is believed to be under extreme pressure, which may eventually lead to his stepping down, Mirror Business reliably learns. According to sources close to SEC, the pressure is mounting on Karunaratne, who has taken a tough regulatory stance against market misconduct and revived investigations more..

Editorial: SL should live up to India’s gratitude

Aug 13 (DM) India’s Janatha Party Leader Dr. Subramanian Swamy said that the people of India recognise defeating the LTTE as a contribution to their national security. He also said the war victory of the Lankan armed forces should be commended with the highest national award. Awards are for happy times. Post-war Sri Lanka has a lengthy list of things that need to be put right before it calls itself an absolutely free nation. more..