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British Airways to relaunch Sri Lanka flights

Aug 15 (ABTN) British Airways is to resume flights to Sri Lanka next year after a 15-year absence from the Indian Ocean island. BA will fly from Gatwick to the Sri Lankan capital Colombo, via Male in the Maldives, from March 31, 2013. The carrier had stopped flying to the island in 1998 due to the country’s long-running civil war which ended in 2009. The service will run three times per week using a three-cabin Boeing 777 including its more..

Thuggery reappears in eastern election

Aug 15 (CT) Unidentified members have been inducted by the UFPA, the alliance in Government to engineer the Eastern provincial council elections in their own fashion with the support TMVP members. The TNA candidate Krishnapillai Seyon and his supporters were canvassing for TNA in Karuvaakeni, Valaichenai when these men in two Motorbikes (EPVI-8746, NCHR-7414) appeared and started to abuse them in filth against the candidate, his supporters and TNA party and left the scene. more..

London: HSBC bank sorry for displaying Sri Lankan national flag

Aug 15 (CT) A bank has apologised after displaying a Sri Lankan flag that reminded a community of the horrors of their country’s civil war. HSBC in New Malden put up four flags during the Olympics to represent each nationality of staff members who work at the branch. But Tamils were enraged at the gesture, which they said brought back memories of torture, rape and massacre from the country many of them have fled and consider a genocidal more..

NLB to import 10,000 more cows this year

Aug 15 (DM) The National Livestock Development Board (NLDB) said today it had recently decided to increase the import of cows from 10,000 to 20,000 this year to promote the consumption of fresh milk instead of powdered milk. 500 cows had already been imported from Australia and another 1,500 would be imported in two months time. NLDB sources said Sri Lanka spent a staggering US$4,000 million on the import of milk powder annually and more..

Expedite LLRC implementation says India

Aug 15 (CG) India has called for the expeditious implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC. India’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Ashok K. Kantha said that the expeditious implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC will mark a major step forward in the process of national reconciliation. “India will continue to support moves towards an early political settlement of the ethnic issue and other initiatives to build a caring society which ensures a life of equality, justice, self respect and more..

Sexual abuse case: Teacher sentenced to 17 years’ RI

Aug 15 (DN) Panadura Provincial High Court Judge Malani Gunaratne sentenced a government school teacher cum sports instructor to 17 years' rigorous imprisonment and in addition to a fine of Rs 20,000. The accused was found guilty of abducting a 16-year-old female student of a school in Panadura, taking her to a rest room in Kataragama and sexually abusing her for two days in November 1998. The judge also ordered the accused to pay Rs 200,000 to the complainant girl more..

President awards Colours to Gemunu Watch

Aug 15 (MoD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa awarded the Presidential Colours to the Sri Lanka Army's Gemunu Watch today. Secretary to the President Mr. Lalith Weerathunga and Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa were also present at the occasion. resident awarded the Presidential and Regimental Colours to First, Second (Volunteer) and Third (Volunteer) Battalions of the Gemunu Watch at a ceremony held at the more..

Back to basics harnessing wind power

Aug 16 (DM) It is a universally acknowledged fact that in a country where the main source behind power and energy is water, droughts and lack of rain can create a huge crisis in the nation’s power and energy system which distributes electricity. Sri Lanka has been serving as a witness to this fact for a very long time now: the citizenry of this nation has been paying for this through power cuts regularly. Nevertheless, last week the Power and Energy Ministry of Sri Lanka more..

SL Consultant whose love for all things civil in aviation kept him away from politics

Aug 16 (DM) This is an interview with a Sri Lankan consultant who served this country first, then received international recognition in Singapore and the Middle East. Dayanthe is publicity shy, but I got him talking with just a simple question. Hardly anyone remembers all the technical first’s you introduced to the infrastructure of Sri Lanka’s aviation. Wouldn’t it have been better to have given up aviation and gone into politics after your more..

North records highest growth rate of 27.1%

Aug 16 (SO) One of the key elements that led to the youth insurrections in 1971 and 1988/89 and the birth of the LTTE was the minimum focus paid by authorities to development in the provinces. Thus, a common slogan used to woo youth to take up arms was Kolambata Kiri Apita Kekiri which meant that all resources were based around the Western Province. Central Bank data too supported this theory as the per capita more..

Justice and Truth

Aug 16 (GV) I am no writer, no Political Scientist, Economist, Historian or Human Rights Lawyer. I am a simple citizen who has lived most of my life in this country. Recently I was at a funeral of a relative in Matara. The father of my cousin’s husband passed away after living a full life and having seen his children and grand children. At this funeral I heard he had two younger brothers who went missing during their teenage years in the ‘71 insurgency. No one knew what happened to them, but more..

Heard of a Sinhala Buddhist ‘Khomeini’?

Aug 16 (GV) A few days ago, I received an invitation to be in the audience at the unveiling of a set of policies by the “National Movement for Social Justice” (NMSJ) on 15 August, at the Colombo Public Library, auditorium. The invitation letter began saying, the foremost responsibility today is to work towards social justice, law and order, in a dutiful country. None would disagree. All should agree. Even President Mahinda Rajapaksa says, his government is doing just that. Here is where the political confusion lies. more..

Is the board of directors of SriLankan Airlines as guilty as the chairman

Aug 16 (SL) It has been a few weeks now since we highlighted the blatant disregard and violation of procedures at Sri Lankan Airlines by the Chairman of Sri Lankan Airlines, Nishantha Wickremasinghe. He was responsible for awarding the contract for the supply of Wine and Champagnes which is valued at approximately US$ 750,000 annually and also gave away the entire supply and management of the Sri Lanka Airlines in-flight duty free more..

Lakshman Kadirgamar For Tomorrow

Aug 16 (CT) History is made by people and therefore it is a collective action. However, the spotlight is greater on the role of certain individuals who have excelled in their respective fields, thereby contributing to the development and shaping of the contours and the trajectories of human history. Mr. Lakshman Kadirgamar, the former Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, is one such individual whose presence lingers on, even after his demise. He presided as foreign minister in 1994 at a moment when Sri Lanka was severely challenged in the more..

Economic policy strategies that suit Sri Lanka

Aug 16 (CT) A book in Sinhala, Apata Gelepena Aarthika Kramaveda or Economic Policy Strategies that suit we Sri Lankans, by Rohan Samarajiva and C.J Amarathunga was released in Colombo last week. Why should one consider this book-launch an important event? That is because it has been written by a pragmatic economic policy thinker and a versatile Sinhala writer for the benefit of the laymen wishing to know of the ‘less-known other side of economic policy making’ in Sri Lanka. more..

'People’s belief in the opposition is doubtful'

Aug 16 (DM) UNP MP Harin Fernando spoke to the Daily Mirror on the upcoming provincial Council elections and the conflict within the UNP, as well as the various accusations being levelled against the leader of the UNP. Q: There have been a number of issues of indiscipline amongst the members of Parliament both young and old, in the recent months. How do you view this issue of indiscipline, being a young politician? more..

Ajit de Silva: Master of drift whose deliveries used to hiss in flight

Aug 16 (DBS) In little over a month, Sri Lanka will host the World Twenty20. It has been 30 years since the island’s inaugural Test. Neither Twenty20 cricket nor Sri Lanka as a host of a world event seemed in prospect in 1982. Most of the current players were not born then. They should heed the lessons of the tragic hero of that match – Ajit de Silva. Ajit de Silva was the finest left arm spinner that Sri Lanka has produced. He had nagging accuracy, biting more..

Prof.GL Peiris is Economic with truth about economic growth in the North

Aug 16 (DBS) Before the meeting with the Secretary of State Hilary Clinton on May 18, 2012, Foreign Minister G. L. Peiris made some remarks which included the following. “The most striking developments have really been in the northern province of Sri Lanka where the economy is growing by as much as 22 percent in comparison with the average for the rest of the island, which is about 8 percent. Now this is the result of an emphasis on the development of infrastructure to more..

Unbelievable govt, shady investors and crony brokers...

Aug 16 (Island) The govt, by its unbelievable behaviour falling pray to the whims and fancies of an influential few, a group of shady investors and their crony brokers have all been shamed by one of the biggest chambers in the country. "The President has been told that the country’s stock exchange had fallen to its recent lows because of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This was bad for the more..

Chamil, Roshita annex men and women’s carrom titles

Aug 16 (ST) Chamil Cooray and Joseph Roshita clinched the Men’s and Women’s singles titles respectively at the 13th President’s Cup Carrom Championship which concluded at the Carrom Federation of Sri Lanka headquarters in Maharagama yesterday. Cooray dislodged the supremacy of reigning national champion Nishantha Fernando by two straight sets in the final to annex the Men’s Singles title with ease. The first set in the final was settled in a high-scoring affair more..

Sri Lanka crash out early after embarrassing defeat

Aug 16 (Island) Sri Lanka had one of the worst ever campaigns in the ICC Under-19 World Cups when the national cricket team crashed out of the competition in the first round itself after a humiliating defeat against South Africa at Peter Burge Oval in Brisbane yesterday. It was a shocking display by the Sri Lankan batsmen as they were bowled out for 150 runs inside 38 overs and in reply the Proteas reached the target with more than 100 balls and four wickets remaining. more..

Govt. minister accused of unlawfully occupying Cinema

Aug 16 (SL) Minister Douglas Devananda has been accused of unlawful occupation at Sridhar Cinema at 45, Stanley Road, Jaffna since 1996 which belongs to R. Mahendraraviraj. Sridhar Cinema, which was one of the leading cinema halls in Jaffna had to shut down in 1991 during the height of the war and was later used by a private firm as its stores. “Once this private company vacated my building, I deployed a few more..

Editorial: Stop this game of chicken

Aug 16 (Island) Our education system is a shaky pyramid crumbling at both ends––the apex and the base. School education is in crisis. But for a plethora of private tuition classes propping it up it would have collapsed a long time ago. School admissions are an unholy mess. Some schools are being closed down for want of students while others have as many as 60 children crammed into a single classroom. The remedy for alarmingly high failure rates in subjects like mathematics and science at the GCE O/L exam has been to lower the bar! more..

Beware of conspiracies, warns Wimal

Aug 16 (DN) Though we have defeated terrorism, we must be aware of certain forces who are trying to resuscitate it. It is therefore the bounden duty of all Sri Lankans to be united to defeat conspiracies hatched by forces inimical to our Motherland and those with vested interests, said Minister Wimal Weerawansa. Participating at the Housing Loans awarding ceremony at Ratnapura on Tuesday, he said Karunanidhi is trying to destroy the lives of Tamil youth by putting guns into their hands. more..

Harsha declares SEC fiasco a Govt. failure

Aug 16 (FT) UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva declared that the fiasco at the capital markets regulator leading to the impending resignation of its Chief was a clear “failure of the Govt”. “In the next few days the Govt’s failure will be known,” he remarked, linking it to the pre-announced yet impending resignation of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Tilak Karunaratne. Citing a theory espoused by Noble Prize winner more..

STC chairman refutes media reports on Deduru Oya project

Aug 16 (DN) The State Timber Corporation (STC) has acted in a legal and transparent manner on the felling of timber on land which goes under water under the Deduru Oya Project, STC chairman S Amerasinghe said. He stressed that the work has been carried out with the direct intervention of the STC with no involvement of any private party. He made this statement refuting certain media reports over political influence and more..

Eighty percent of bus crews cancer-prone

Aug 16 (DN) A recent survey conducted by the National Cancer Control Programme in Sri Lanka has revealed that 80 percent of bus drivers and conductors are vulnerable to oral cancer. National Transport Commission (NTC) chairman Roshan Gunawardene told the Daily News that excessive chewing of betel and smoking cigarettes by drivers and conductors throughout the journey and while waiting for their next turn have been identified as main reasons for this vulnerability. more..

Straight talk leads to Godage's recall

Aug 16 (NST) Envoys are almost never sacked by home governments except in the event of a change of regime in the home country or if they are guilty of an exceptionally nasty faux pas in their host country. Both do not seem to apply to outgoing Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Malaysia Kalyananda Godage, who will make an ignominious exit in a fortnight after a mere eight months of trying to further the Sri Lankan cause here. more..

Rehabilitate Sri Lankan Tamils: Jayalalithaa

Aug 16 (DC) Chief minister and AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalithaa on Wednesday urged the Centre to pressurise Sri Lanka to ensure rehabilitation of internally displaced Tamils back in their original settlement ‘at least now’ and also devolve equal powers on par with the Sinhalese. Unfurling the national flag on the 66th Independence Day celebrations at the historic Fort St George on Wednesday, Ms Jayalalithaa said, “At a time when we are celebrating Independence Day, more..

Opposition should support Divi Neguma Dept Bill - TU leaders

Aug 16 (DN) The Opposition has a big responsibility to ensure that the Bill to convert the Samurdhi Authority into the Divi Neguma Department is passed, Trade Union Leaders under the Samurdhi project said. Sri Lanka Freedom Samurdhi Managers and Coordinating Officers' Association President Gamini Abewickrama said, around 25,000 Samurdhi workers will be attached to the state service once the Divi Neguma Department is established. more..

Sri Lanka 'must seek' UN help over deadly prison violence

Aug 16 (BBC) Human rights activists in Sri Lanka say the govt must seek UN help in investigating serious violence in jails which has resulted in the deaths of two Tamil prisoners. The second inmate died last week after more than a month in a coma. Activists blame the deaths on the govt. But officials deny responsibility. The violence in late June started when about 30 prisoners suspected of links with Tamil Tiger rebels took three more..

'Mahela wanted me for World T20'

Aug 16 (HT) The number 800 on the Sri Lanka Premier League jersey says it all. After all, only spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan can boast of being the highest wicket-taker in both Tests (800) and one-day Internationals (534). The Uthura Rudras' icon player in the ongoing SLPL, in a lazy Wednesday morning interview, has his say on the tournament, friends Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble, and life after 20 years of international cricket. Q: The SLPL has finally taken off. What is your take on more..

More than 100 pranksters arrested

Aug 16 (DM) More than 100 people have been arrested for giving prank calls and providing misinformation to the police emergency 119 service, police said. Police spokesman said 119 is for an emergency but most of the people called 119 for other purposes such as to resolve personal problems, inquire about fines imposed by the police, to report the loss of licences and identity cards. He said action had been taken against people giving such calls under sections 180 and 208 more..

Swazi king ends Sri Lanka Lanka visit on a precious note

Aug 16 (ToS) His Majesty the King concluded his three-day state visit to Sri Lanka yesterday with visits to a tractor manufacturing company and a precious stones exchange centre before a barefooted tour of the Gangaramaya Temple. He also had an opportunity to pass by the Independence Square as well as the Parliament of Sri Lanka. The previous evening, the king together with Inkhosikati La- Mahlangu and the more..

Seven UPFA rallies with President’s participation

Aug 16 (DN) The first main political rally of the UPFA will be held under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday in Anuradhapura. The second main rally will be in Ratnapura. There will be seven rallies with the participation of the President, UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha said. He said the UPFA will record a massive victory at the upcoming Provincial Council election. He said: "The UPFA will remain as one united govt although it has 19 political parties more..

Sri Lanka seeks to boost ties with Oman

Aug 16 (OO) With the country’s highly favourable socio-economic scenario and thriving trade and commerce vistas, Sri Lanka is all set to explore the possibilities of working very closely with the Sultanate of Oman in various terms. One of the first in the series of exploring opportunities will be the ‘Sri Lanka Trade Fair and Food Festival’ to be held in Muscat on October 9, 10 and 11 where a miniature face of the island country will be replicated. “This is the first of its kind in more..

Pictorial warnings for cigarette packs

Aug 16 (DM) Informed sources said the long overdue pictorial warnings for cigarette packs would be introduced this year despite pressure from the industry and other groups to prevent the policy from being implemented. The pictorial warnings were likely to be introduced on cigarette packs in September or October this year. Sri Lanka was one of the first countries to ratify the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention more..

Protest in Trinco against land grab attempts

Aug 16 (Island) Residents of the Anandankulam area, in Trincomalee, demonstrated at the Mihindupura Junction asking the govt to act against an organized group trying to grab their lands with the help of land deeds issued in the colonial days. Demonstrators, calling for President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s intervention to sort out the land issue, threatened to fight unto death to defeat what they called surreptitious attempts to grab their lands. The demonstrators, belonging to 154 families, more..

NWP nurses threaten to work in casual attire

Aug 16 (Island) Nurses in the North Western Province warn the provincial Council that they will report to work in civil attire unless their uniform allowance is paid. Govt Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA) Branch President, of the Kuliyapitiya Base Hospital, R.M. Ranathunga said that nurses’ uniform allowances had been increased by Rs. 4,000 in March but it had not been paid. He said they had earlier been paid a uniform allowance of Rs. 13,000 but the council had up to date delayed more..

Sacred Buddha Relics exposition from August 19

Aug 16 (DN) An exposition of Sacred Buddha Relics will be held in Sri Lanka from Aug 19 to Sept 4 to enable people to pay homage to the Sacred Relics, Secretary to the President (Religious Affairs) Ven Getamanne Gunanda Thera said. India agreed to make the Sacred Relics available for veneration by Sri Lankans in response to a request by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to provide more..