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Defence Secretary pays homage to 'Jade Buddha'

Aug 14 (GDI) Secretary Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa paid homage to the Jade Buddha at the BMICH, on Monday. He also attended a special 'Wishwa Shanthi Pooja' held to usher in world peace. The Jade Buddha was created by two sculptors in Australia and Thailand and was exhibited around the world before being brought to the Island. The Buddha statue made of the Jade gemstone is being exhibited at the BMICH from August 10th to 19th. more..

'Allegations do not affect SLPL integrity'

Aug 14 (CI) The alleged incident of corruption in Sri Lanka, revolving around a taped conversation, occurred before the SLPL started and will not affect its integrity, the league's organisers said on Tuesday. The comments came on a day when a Sri Lankan paper said it had received the tape but chose not to publish its contents following doubts over its authenticity. Sandiip Bhammer, CEO of Somerset Entertainment Ventures, the league's promoters, said the corruption allegations had not cast aspersions on the tournament's integrity. more..

'Sri Lanka should withdraw bank note with malfunctioning Chinese coal plant'

Aug 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka should withdraw a currency note bearing the picture of a Chinese built coal plant that was contracted out without open tendering and is now continually breaking down, a legislator has said. Central bank placed the picture of a coal power plant built by China Machinery and Engineering Corporation (CMEC) in 455 million US dollar deal that was not openly tendered in a 100 rupee note issued in 2011. more..

Police to introduce SMS hotline

Aug 14 (CG) The police will introduce an SMS hotline from next month for the public to lodge urgent complaints, the police media unit said today. The police media unit said that the 119 emergency hotline which is used for such complaints is often congested or unreachable. As a result IGP N.K Illangakoon has decided to introduce the SMS service from next month so that the public have better access to the police in the event of an emergency. When an SMS is sent to the hotline number more..

Sri Lanka doubles wind power capacity with three new farms

Aug 14 (BN) Sri Lanka has doubled its wind power generation capacity with the addition of three new parks. Three farms of 10 megawatts each were connected to the grid last week, ministry spokesman Dhanushka Ramanayaka said. Sri Lanka’s total power generation capacity is 3,120 megawatts. The plants, located in Puttalam district in northwestern Kaplitiya, were built at a cost of 7.2 billion rupees and will sell their power to the state-run CEB. Sri Lanka has set a target of getting 20% more..

50% employees report to work, acts of sabotage reported - CEB

Aug 14 (AD) Over 50 per cent of field and office employees of the Ceylon Electrify Board (CEB) had reported to work at main offices and other regional offices this morning, despite strike the action launched by trade unions, the CEB General Manager says. This is a good attendance compared to yesterday, he said. A statement issued by the Ministry of Power and Energy stated that certain employees had reported to work despite more..

July tourist arrivals edge up 7.8 pct y/y

Aug 14 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals in July rose 7.8% from a year earlier, govt data showed. The number of visitors has risen year-on-year in the past 39 months since a 25-year civil war ended in May 2009. The tourism board expects over one million tourists in 2012, yielding revenue of more than $1 billion, up from last year's record $830.3 million. Revenue from tourism rose 24.3% to $459.9 million in the first half of of 2012 from the same period last year. more..

Sri Lanka deploys army to provide security for electricity staff

Aug 14 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan authorities on Tuesday deployed the military to provide security for electricity staff who had reported to work while others were on strike. The Power and Energy Ministry said that over 50 percent of the employees of the state owned Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) had reported for work. A spokesperson said that some of the staff who returned to work had faced threats by those on strike and as a result it was decided to provide more..

Sri Lanka Debrief News - 14.08.2012

Chinese delegation pays courtesy call to Secretary Defence

Aug 14 (MoD) A twenty member Chinese delegation headed by Mr. Chen Qiufa paid a courtesy call to Secretary Defence and Urban Development today (13 August) at the Ministry premises. Mr. Chen Qiufa is the Director of the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (Vice Ministerial level). During the meeting, a cordial discussion was held between Secretary Defence and the visiting delegation on matters of bilateral interest. more..

I have something to tell the Govt-Mervyn

Aug 14 (DM) Minister Mervyn Silva today said it was the duty of the government to resolve the university academics’ issues considering them as a special category. Speaking at a function in Biyagama, the minister said, “I have something to tell the govt….the professors and lecturers are an asset to the country. This asset can not be imported even through containers. This is the asset of Sri Lankans. This asset is greater than the four great rivers. So it is the duty of the govt to resolve their issues through discussions by considering them as more..

Swaziland applauds SL's efforts in uniting nation through reconciliation

Aug 14 (PRIU) Swaziland applauds the efforts to unite the Sri Lankan nation towards the sustainable development through the reconciliation programme, King Mswati III of Swaziland said. "Sri Lanka has demonstrated high resilience to economic shocks which paralyzed many economies of the world during the recent fiscal crisis", the King said during a bilateral meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 1.27 pct

Aug 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks ended a seven day losing streak and closed up 1.27 percent Tuesday with large cap stocks trading on higher prices, brokers said. The All Share Price Index gained 61.74 points to close at 4,908.19 up 1.27 percent while the Milanka Index of more liquid stocks gained 141.41 points to close at 4514.03 and the S&P index of large cap stocks rose 39.57 points (1.45 percent) to close at 2768.84. The turnover for the day was 535 million rupees. more..

UN agency to help prevent child abuse in Sri Lanka

Aug 14 (Xinhua) A UN agency has come forward to help Sri Lanka prevent child abuse after the authorities reported an increase in the number of child abuse related incidents. The UN Children's Education Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday that it has launched a campaign with the Sri Lankan Ministry of Child Development and Women's Affairs titled a "Violence Free Society for Children" which seeks to break the culture of silence and prevent child abuse. more..

Hakeem complains

Aug 14 (CT) Minister Athaulla and the SSP of Ampara, Premalal Ranagala was behind the clash that took place between SLMC supporters and those supporting the Muslim National Congress (MNC) in Addalaichchena, Minister Rauff Hakeem said. He said “The clash took place between my supporters and Athaullah’s supporters. This happened when I was going for an Ifthar where I was prevented from entering the town by MNC supporters and was forced to turn back. more..

Medical outreach in Batticaloa on fast track

Aug 15 (NS) The health sector in Batticaloa has taken quite a few strides post war. The health facilities that were limited to the main town and surrounding areas are on its way towards interior villages that were neglected for almost 30 years. The govet had allocated a sum of Rs.1,181 million for the health sector for the period between 2005 to 2012. The past three years proved to be beneficial for the sector, owing to the cessation of hostilities. The govt has allocated another more..

Living amongst Child Rippers

Aug 15 (NS) Do you have a daughter/sister or a grandchild who is a kid? If so, it is a cause for grave concern if you are not presently disturbed for this is a land of child Rippers. Don’t wait idling till it happens to your loved one. You can prevent it now if you act without idling like a lotus-eater. You can do it instantly. Demand for it individually by addressing the President with a postcard. It costs only a rupee. As the mailbag is bulging, definitely the President will act. more..

Z-score and academic agitation

Aug 15 (NS) There is a valid question that any A/L student or a parent of an A/L student can ask: Will the same ‘Z-score fiasco’ also occur at this year A/Level exam? It is valid because students would also be sitting for this year exam under the old and new syllabuses. Everyone seems to have an opinion on the issue. Ranil Wickremesinghe wants to completely do away with the Z-score method and assess A/Level results the old way, but this is a step backwards. more..

Reconciliation Model of, for and by the People

Aug 14 (DBS) The residue of the three decade conflict is manifest in the fractured communities where suspicion, distrust, fear and accusation are rife. Following the conclusion of the war, the need has arisen for regaining trust and confidence whilst renegotiating values of coexistence between and within communities. It is in this context that the People’s Council in Wattegedara was established, in a bid to rebuild non – violent societies empowered with self – reliance. more..

Peace process after the polls?

Aug 14 (DBS) With the polity busy with alliance-formation, candidate selection and campaigning for the three Provincial Council polls, no one is talking about the post-war peace talks aimed at a political solution to the vexatious ethnic issue. Neither is the Government talking about the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC), nor is the TNA reminding it of the aborted talks that stalled mid-way without making any progress whatsoever. The Govt had promised that the PSC process would be concluded in six months flat. more..

Essentials of post-conflict resolution & India’s concerns

Aug 14 (DM) Today, Tamil families no more fear the so-called Tigers’ forced recruitment of their children, disruption of their education, and various forms of brutalization and abuses. The extortion of funds from civilians to finance the terrorist operations of the LTTE has also ended. Normalcy in daily life has returned after three decades. The credit for this victory over terrorism naturally must belong to the political more..

The trouble is the people stupid!, Adjusting to democracy’s deficits

Aug 14 (CT) That quip attributed to Churchill about democracy being the worst system except for all the others is usually greeted as humorous witticism; but we live in times when there is more at stake than the muddle and mess the old rascal had in mind. The economic success of the Chinese one-party model is gaining currency in the developing world while ‘democratic’ majoritarian racism is driving societies to rebellion, mayhem and civil war The challenge to democracy more..

Emasculating dissent in 21st century Sri Lanka

Aug 14 (CT) As someone once said “It’s hard not to be paranoid when the b….s keep harassing you!” Messages to “cease and desist” from criticizing our non pareil government which epitomizes peace and goodwill to all mankind (and some on the distaff side, too) have come and continue to do so from every direction, most, but not all , relatively innocuous, well-meaning and non –threatening. However, recently, on the night before I was due to make a pilgrimage to more..

Sea migrants: Ball now in Aussie court

Aug 14 (SO) Prof. Rohan Gunaratna, a counter terrorism expert based in Singapore, who continues to assist foreign Governments in cracking terror financing, arms and human smuggling operations, mainly by the LTTE overseas, reviewed why it seems impossible to discourage the endless flow of sea migrants to Australia from Sri Lanka. Q: You were the first to raise alarm bells of a secret ship loaded with hundreds of Lankan illegal immigrants heading to more..

SLRFU wants Kandy and Navy to settle unfinished business

Aug 14 (DBS) After the disgusting events that occurred after the final whistle of the Kandy SC versus Navy SC’s pivotal second round encounter of the Inter-Club Division A league rugby match at Nittawela on Sunday, Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) is seeking a way to resolve the issue within their board room. Both parties have accused each other of malpractices since the finish and SLRFU secretary Rizly Illyas said both have complained to the union about more..

Not welcome, any more!

Aug 14 (Island) After the Navy SC vs Kandy SC rugby match on August 12th, there is one unmistakable message that must be passed on to all those who turn sport into hooliganism……you are not welcome on our playing fields any more! If you are unable to handle defeat stick to fighting wars and don’t bring that attitude into the sports field. Sure you HAVE to win a war but this is simply a game! It was a great game of rugby fought out brilliantly between an ageing champion side and a set of totally committed contenders more..

Island of tears and fears

Aug 14 (TA) Like thousands of his countrymen, Palitha plunged deep into debt for a gruelling passage to a first-world job and the chance to buy land and a home for his family. A decade ago, a relatively paltry $2500 bought him a fake passport and a terrible 52-day boat journey from Sri Lanka's west coast -- not to Australia, but to Italy. "I went because of the economy. Everyone went to Italy then, but now Italy is closed so people go to Australia," the 50-year-old Colombo-based more..

Editorial: The public paying for others' sins

Aug 15 (Island) On seeing what is going on in the run-up to next month's PC polls, one may wonder whether election laws serve any purpose in this country. They, in our view, are like the piecrust––made to be broken. No one gives a tinker's damn about them because the end justifies the means and lawbreakers go places. So, it is no surprise that elections have, over the years, come to be characterised by violence, malpractices of all sorts and environmental more..

Ruhuna open account with big win

Aug 15 (CI) For the third consecutive night in the SLPL, a brutal opening stand was the bedrock of a comfortable win as fifties to Aaron Finch and Gihan Rupasinghe helped Ruhuna Royals crush Uthura Rudras by 35 runs in a rain-curtailed 16-overs-a-side encounter. Finch made 65 and Rupasinghe 50 as the pair struck 11 fours and four sixes between them. Lasith Malinga's 4 for 21 then ensured Uthura never looked like chasing down the revised target of 154 at any stage. more..

Will this President fetter the SEC?

Aug 15 (Island) Public interest activist Nihal Sri Ameresekere has written to the Secretary of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Lalith Weeratunga, joining in the chorus in defence of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) and its officials who have come under severe pressure for trying to stamp out illegal market practices in the Colombo Stock Exchange, with the govt yet to make public its stance regarding the issue as market manipulators gleefully more..

Aiyoo SLPL!

Aug 15 (Island) When Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) initiated the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) tournament last year, the arrogance of cricket officials running the show then could be clearly seen. SLC was under the misconception that their tournament will be an overwhelming success and threatened the local journalists, who were busy covering an important Test series at that time, that unless they apply on time, they will be put in the overflow area. None of us bothered. The tournament was a flop and a non-starter. more..

Seven sportsmen qualify for Paralympics

Aug 15 (Island) Seven Sri Lankans have qualified to participate at this year’s London Paralympics Games, to be held from August 29 to September 9, Sri Lanka Paralympics Committee said. Accordingly, Pradeep Sanjaya, who is rated at the ninth place at the world ranking will represent men’s 200m and 400m (T46) while Lal Pattiwila, fourth placed at the world rankings will represent High Jump (F44). Dumeera Maduranga will compete in the men’s 200 meters race and long jump while more..

Vickramabahu Karunaratne prevented from continuing speech at TESO

Aug 15 (CT) The NSSP Leader Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne was literally told to shut up by the TESO on Sunday, when he was prevented from continuing with his speech at the inaugural session of the contentious conference. The embarrassing incident happened when he accused India of being partly responsible for the grievances of the Lankan Tamils. Along with more..

Sufi master Sheikh Adnan here

Aug 15 (DN) Sheikh Seyidina Mohammed Adan Kabbani arrived on August 5 and will be here until August 18. He stays at the Naqshbandi Maqaam at No. 24, 28th Lane off Flower Road, Colombo 7. He conducts daily Tahajjud, Fajr, Luhar, Asar and Isha - Taraweeh prayer including giving daily takes. Shiekh Seyidina Mohammed Adnan Kabbani, a Sufi Master from Lebanon has been visiting Sri Lanka regularly for the past eight years in the month of Ramazan to offer spiritual guidance more..

Govt spends much for Bhikkhu education says SB

Aug 15 (DN) The expenditure borne by the Higher Education Ministry on a Bhikkhu student entering the Buddhashrawaka University and the Buddhist and Pali University is almost treble that of the expenditure borne on a Bhikkhu student entering traditional universities such as Colombo and Kelaniya Universities, said Minister S B Dissanayake. He disclosed this addressing the inaugural ceremony of a Bhikkhu more..

Why so few vegetables in Sri Lanka?

Aug 15 (IRIN) While the govt focuses on boosting rice production in Sri Lanka, the fresh produce industry, with its contribution of essential nutrients and potential for providing livelihoods, needs more support, say farmers. "Take what we are faced with now - the [impact of] lack of water on paddy is being highlighted, [but] there is no such attention on vegetable cultivators because there is very limited focus from the govt,” said more..

Govt. renovates long neglected Colombo Flats

Aug 15 (GDI) The Govt has taken action to renovate all flats in Colombo by spending Rs.1, 000 million. Accordingly, the Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities Ministry has renovated the Maligawatte flats after 39 years and it was handed over to the public on August 5 under the patronage of Minister Wimal Weerawansa. He said that the Maligawatte housing complex was established in 1973 under the guidance of more..

Unions question why no action against DGHS

Aug 15 (Island) A grouping of trade unions against corruption in the Health Service yesterday urged the President and the Cabinet to take disciplinary action against Director General Health Services (DGHS) Dr. Ajith Mendis who was re-appointed on contract basis for one month. Convener for the Anti-Corruption Trade Unions (ACTU), Saman Ratnapriya said that disciplinary action should be taken during the one month in which Dr. Mendis would be in service. He said that the more..

Country heading for Arab Spring style revolt, warns UNP

Aug 15 (Island) Minister Dilan Perera on Monday recalled how the UNP had thrown its weight behind an attempt to help former army chief Gen. Sarath Fonseka win the last presidential election in Jan 2010. A smiling Perera said that the UNP had conveniently forgotten that it had joined hands with the JVP and the TNA in a project to defeat incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the expense of democracy. more..

Navin Dissanayake lashes out at Ranil

Aug 15 (CT) UNP leader Ranil Wickremsinghe is reaping what he has sown, says son of the slain Presidential candidate Gamini Dissanayake. Addressing a political rally yesterday in Polonnaruwa, Minister Navin Dissanayake said Wickremesinghe is now facing the whip-lash of the actions he undertook to defeat his father in the 1994 presidential elections. He added: "According to the teachings of Buddhism, you have to pay for the sins you have committed either in this life or more..