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Bathiudeen’s brother telephoned the Judge – CID

Aug 16 (CT) The CID on Monday (13) told the Mannar Magistrate Court, one of Minister Rishad Bathiudeen’s brothers had admitted to telephoning Magistrate Anthonypillai Judeson. The CID was unable to come forth with a suspect when the case was taken up before the Mannar Magistrate, Ranga Dasanayake, who was appointed by the Judicial Service Commission following the recent Mannar incident where Judge Judeson was allegedly threatened by the minister. more..

Dayasiri says ready to face inquiry

Aug 16 (Island) UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera says he recognises his party’s right to conduct an inquiry into some statements he is alleged to have made. Jayasekera, who is identified as one of the UNP reformists, said that those clamouring for an inquiry should also obtain a report on his many statements made against the govt as well without jumping to conclusions. He said that he had spoken only about democracy in the UNP and govt and asked the question: "If there is no democracy in the party, how could they more..

CEB extends duration of power cuts, strike continues

Aug 16 (Island) The CEB yesterday extended the duration of power cuts from the original two hours fifteen minutes to three hours 20 minutes until August 27, when the Norochcholai coal-fired power plant is expected to be restored. "We are confident that the repair of the thermal power plant will be over by August 27 and we hope to save around 10% of the daily consumption of 32 million units (KWh) by the extended power cuts more..

Retired soldier offers to hang criminals free of charge

Aug 16 (Island) A retired soldier says he is ready to hang criminals including his 26-year-old daughter, Nishadi Buddhika’s killer. S.K.D. Somaweera, formerly of the Gemunu Watch, wounded in action during his deployment in operational areas during the war, said that he was volunteering to be the hangman and expected absolutely nothing in return for his services which he said he offered free of charge to make Sri Lanka a safe place more..

Sajith defends Dayasiri

Aug 16 (Island) UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa says that UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera has in no way criticised him or hurt his feelings through his utterances in the recent past. Premadasa said that action was also being contemplated against UNP Parliamentarians Chandrani Bandara and G. Harrison, who invited Jayasekera to address political rallies in Anuradhapura. Such action was counterproductive in view of the upcoming PC polls, more..

‘Legs broken, face mangled, torture marks in the body’

Aug 16 (LB) The remote village of Tahaypoor in Jaffna is fuming with anger and a cloak of hopelessness has enveloped the village. The corpse of Mariadas Navis Dilrukshan, the second Tamil inmate to succumb to injuries after the Vavuniya prison riots, was taken to his residence in Tahaypoor on Thursday. Villagers feel helpless, they speak in whispers and prefer to shun outsiders. The military has stepped up their presence in the more..

'Kidney diseases might wipe out NCP population'

Aug 16 (Island) Researchers investigating the Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) warn that there will be no people left in the North-Central Province if the Health Ministry fails to take urgent steps to implement the findings of the WHO Mission report on the killer disease. Addressing the media, Lecturer at the Rajarata University Dr. Channa Jayasumana accused the health authorities of suppressing facts about CKD and failing more..

Minister hits out at fuel supplier

Aug 16 (DM) The Petroleum Industries Ministry rejected claims made by the controversial fuel supplier Vitol Ltd of Singapore and threatened legal action if the company failed to issue a corrected version. Minister Premajayantha said he had never contacted Vitol Ltd or any of its representatives or approved the re-listing of the company last year after it supplied a stock of furnace oil in an emergency situation. “The former CPC chairman had obtained board approval to more..

Drought calamity, economic growth rate drops

Aug 16 (ST) Sri Lanka’s economic growth is reeling under the impact of a severe drought which has hit agricultural output and so far destroyed some 50,000 acres of paddy cultivation. Finance Ministry officials said earlier estimates of 7 per cent economic growth for this year may fall to 6.7 per cent due to the drought. “The overall balance of payments deficit will also shoot up. The figures for this month will be worse,” a senior ministry more..

UK notes upsurge in nationalism after war

Aug 16 (CG) The British Foreign office notes in its travel advice for Sri Lanka that the end of the military conflict in May 2009 has seen an upsurge of nationalism in Sri Lanka. As a result, anti-Western (particularly anti-British) rhetoric has increased, the travel advice which was last updated on August 14, has said. “This has led to violent protests against the British High Commission and other diplomatic premises. Although no protests have so far been directed at the British more..

ICC to inquire if Indian model kept contact with SL players

Aug 16 (DM) “The International Cricket Council (ICC) will investigate the purpose of Indian model Leena Kapoor’s alleged visit to Sri Lanka, it is learnt here. According to the sources, the ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit will be liasioning with the Mumbai police and try to find out whether she has been keeping contacts with any Sri Lankan players” It said. Asad Rauf, the ICC’s Elite Panel Pakistani umpire, is willing to give DNA tests. more..

'TNA-UNP coalition will win Chief Minister post'

Aug 16 (CT) The TNA is tipped to clinch thirteen seats whilst the UNP is likely to win six or seven seats in the forthcoming Eastern Provincial Council elections. As such, the TNA partnering with the UNP will set up an opposition led administration in the Eastern Province and the chief minister’s post would be given to the TNA party leader, R. Sampanthan said. He made this remark at a meeting of the representatives of the Tamil more..

Raw deal from successive Govts. - July ’80 strikers

Aug 16 (DM) The 1980 July Strikers’ Association yesterday launched a massive protest opposite the Fort Railway Station saying that even after a lapse of 33 years the authorities had failed to resolve their problems. The protest by the July ’80 strikers who lost their jobs compelled the police to close the road opposite the railway station causing heavy traffic jams for more than three hours. The protesters who engaged in a Sathyagraha more..

Sri Lanka expands diplomatic ties in Latin America

Aug 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka will start diplomatic relations with 13 Latin American countries. Diplomatic relations will be established with Guatemala, Belize, Nicaragua, Barbados, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Honduras, Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Haiti and St Lucia, minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. Out of the 33 countries in the Latin American block that are members of the UN, Sri Lanka has diplomatic relations with 20 of them. more..

Sri Lanka won’t accept South African offer

Aug 16 (Island) The govt will not accept any third party mediation to bring the TNA back to the negotiating table. There is no need for an external role in essentially a domestic political process, External Affairs Ministry sources said, responding to a recent offer made by South Africa to assist Sri Lanka in the post-war reconciliation process. A senior foreign ministry official said that assistance had been offered by a South African govt delegation which met External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris in Colombo last Friday. more..

Editorial: Let’s get back to local fresh milk

Aug 16 (DM) With the unprecedented drought and the sharp decline in the value of the rupee sending the cost of living soaring to levels beyond the reach of millions, the Govt needs to take effective measures to bring down the cost of living by encouraging local production. The first important step is the formulation of a national policy on food and nutritional supplements. To start at the beginning is a good place to start, and this is the vital area of fresh local milk for more..

'Sri Lanka's IT sector needs eco systems, country branding for growth'

Aug 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Information and Communication technology industry needs a strong eco system and branding strategy to support the development of the sector and to expand businesses globally, an Internet pioneer said. "Sri Lanka is really in a good position of growth now with the post conflict; with the several years of peace the country has been able to build a lot of infrastructure without distraction from the war," more..

Sunburn festival heads to Sri Lanka

Aug 16 (IANS) Known as India's largest youth event, Sunburn in Sri Lanka will also feature other national and international artists from all genres of music. It will be held at the CH&FC Grounds in Colombo. Organised by Percept, an entertainment, media and communications company, the festival has been held every year in Goa since 2007, and was held in Mumbai earlier this year. The company has joined hands with Sri Lanka-based leisure company Citrus Group more..

'Sabotage in the power sector is suspected'

Aug 16 (GDI) The Norochcholai Coal Power Plant which is experiencing some problems is still under the trial period and as such the govt is not losing financially by the disruption that has occurred in the plant as such aspects are covered by the performance bond. However, there are some suspicions whether these disruptions are occurring due to sabotage activities. This was stated by the Minister of Mass Media and Information at the Cabinet Decision announcement media conference held at the Ministry of Mass Media and more..

Top US defence official for South Asia meets SL Ambassador

Aug 16 (GDI) Vikram Singh, the new U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia paid a courtesy call on Jaliya Wickramasuriya, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States on Monday. They had an earnest discussion at the Embassy reflecting on the longstanding defense ties the two countries had for the last six decades. Ambassador Wickramasuriya and Deputy Assistant Secretary Singh concurred that relations between two countries have more..

'Lack of HC judges delays cases against LTTE'

Aug 16 (DM) The move to establish special courts to accelerate the hearing of cases against LTTE suspects has hit a snag due to the insufficient number of high court judges, it is learnt. As a result, the Justice Ministry is now planning to amend the Judicature Act to enable the cadre of high court judges to be increased to 95 from the present 75. Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem said the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) which more..

Sri Lanka stocks slip on Keells; rupee weaker

Aug 16 (Reuters) Sri Lankan stocks fell in thin volume on Thursday led by market heavyweight John Keells Holdings and over the pending resignation of the head of Sri Lanka's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The Colombo Stock Exchange's main index fell 0.63 percent, or 30.94 points, to end at 4,908.72. Foreign buying in John Keells in the past two session had boosted the market, but the shares fell 2.01 percent to 195 rupees a share on Thursday. more..

Rs. 4.3 bn German financing for Maternity Hospital at Mahomadara

Aug 16 (NS) Maternal and Child Health has been a long standing priority in National Health Policy. Therefore, the govt gives high priority to modernize the hospital network countrywide in order to provide specialized care to strengthen maternal and newborn health care. Although, Sri Lanka has reduced maternal and child mortality ratios up to 31.1 per 100,000 live births and 10.9 per 1,000 live births respectively, the government considers to further reduce more..

India expedites activities for establishing the Pharma Hub in Sri Lanka

Aug 16 (GDI) India is to establish a pharmaceutical manufacturing hub in Sri Lanka. In this connection, an Indian Pharma delegation headed by representatives from Pharmexcil, India’s powerful promoter of $10 billion pharmaceutical exports arrived in Colombo on Wednesday. The Pharmexcil team, the largest of its kind to arrive in Sri Lanka in the country’s trade history, arrived as a result of the directive of more..

Chennai: 8 Lankans begin indefinite fast at Poonamallee camp

Aug 16 (ENS) Eight Lankan refugees joined the indefinite hunger stir launched by Senthuran, an inmate of Poonamallee Special Refugees Camp, here on Wednesday. Senthuran was shifted to the Poonamallee Special Camp from the Chengalpattu Camp on August 4 as he submitted a petition to the Camp Officials that he would like to go on a hunger stir seeking the closure of the special camps. Subsequently, Senthuran was suspected as the force behind the stirs organised by more..

Outdated fuel testing equipment

Aug 16 (CT) Sri Lanka is the only country in the world that does not update the instruments used for testing fuel standards, Ananda Palitha, Secretary of the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS) branch of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) alleged. Palitha told Ceylon Today, as a result, lot of problems have emerged vis-a-vis the purchase of substandard oil by the CPC recently. According to the report released by the three-man committee that was appointed to probe the purchase of substandard fuel, the problems arose when the fuel more..

President criticises Left party leader for attending DMK meet

Aug 16 (NDTV) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Wednesday cautioned that separatist elements in the country have not given up yet, in a veiled reference to the Tamil Eelam supporters' conference held in Chennai recently. "Though we have ended terrorism, there is lot more remaining to be done. Forty years ago they passed a resolution seeking separation of the country. The conference held recently also boosts Eelam demand," more..

Senior minister’s office sealed

Aug 16 (DM) An office located within the Kegalle divisional secretariat premises belonging to senior minister Atauda Seneviratne was sealed by the divisional secretary of Kegalle and the police, for the alleged use of the premises for political activities. The assistant election commissioner of Kegalle, Namal Thalangama said that campaign posters belonging to the senior minister’s son, Parakrama Atauda contesting the Sabaragamu Pradeshiya Sabha and another more..

Chinese provinces may invest in Sri Lanka

Aug 16 (PTI) Chinese provincial governments may invest in Sri Lanka's post conflict development, the Chinese Ambassador Wu Jianghao today said. The Ambassador said that with the end of the internal conflict in Sri Lanka, the country is going through obvious development and that the Chinese local governments are also interested in visiting Sri Lanka in order to look for business opportunities. "We will actively encourage Chinese enterprises to visit Sri Lanka and invest more..

CEB strike ends, Minister meets Chinese envoy

Aug 16 (CG) The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) trade unions have decided to call off their strike following a meeting with the management this evening. The management of the CEB has discussions with the trade unions in an attempt to diffuse the crisis resulting from a strike over salary anomalies. CEB Chairman Professor Wimaladharma Abeywickreme told the Colombo Gazette that they also had talks with the labor department. more..

Foundation stone laid for SL's first Space Academy

Aug 16 (GDI) The foundation stone for the proposed Space Academy was laid at Kandy BOI zone yesterday by visiting China's Vice Minister of Industries and Information Technology Chen Qiufa. The project is a joint venture between SupremeSAT in partnership with China Greatwall Industry Corporation and Sino Satellite Communications Company Ltd. The total investment would be around US $ 60 million. This is also the first Chinese investment for the Kandy District. more..

ICC extends T20 squad deadline

Aug 16 (CI) The ICC has extended the deadline for naming the World Twenty20 squads, although the chances of Kevin Pietersen being included for England remain very slim. The original deadline was Saturday but boards have now been given until August 24 to submit their 15-man lists for the tournament which begins on September 18, after the ICC received requests "from several of its members". It is understood that the ECB was one of the boards who asked about the possibility of an extension with the ICC but that was to avoid more..

Asanga, Nalaka being considered for SEC chief post

Aug 16 (ST) Powerful businessman Asanga Seneviratne and Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Nalaka Godahewa are the names mentioned as those strongly tipped to be appointed as the next chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). While Mr Seneviratne’s likely appointment is being actively discussed in stock market circles in a speculative context, TimesOnline reliably understands more..

Railway employees threaten strike

Aug 16 (DM) Railway employees said they would boycott work if the Transport Ministry did not resolve their grievances soon. The All Ceylon Railway Employees General Union said a letter was sent to Transport Minister Kumara Welgama recently highlighting the problems and failures in the Railway Department and requested the minister to resolve them. The union’s General Secretary Sumathipala Manawadu said the Railways Department had 17,000 employees who were unhappy over more..

Doctors to strike over grenade fury

Aug 16 (ST) Doctors attached to state hospitals throughout the country are to launch a token strike tomorrow to protest at Wednesday’s grenade attack on the residence of a General Practitioner (GP). The attack was carried out on the home of Dr. Anil Jayasinghe who resides in Dehiwala. Dr. Jayasinghe is an active member of the General Medical Officers Association (GMOA) and is attached to the National Hospital in Colombo. Doctors at the NH went on strike from more..

on the track - sri lanka 2012

Rights group to present President with agenda on women affected by conflict

Aug 16 (ST) The Association of War Affected Women (AWAW), will present an Agenda concerning the problems faced by women affected by the conflict to president Mahinda Rajapaksa tomorrow. The Agenda will be presented, in the presence of Nobel Prize Laureate, Leyman Gbowee and producer of the documentary, ‘Pray the Devil Back to Hell’, Abigail Disney. The Agenda was composed after a survey that was carried island wide to determine the problems faced by more..

Indians arrested in Lanka for illegal stay

Aug 16 (PTI) About 53 Indian nationals have been arrested in northern Sri Lanka city of Jaffna for illegally staying in the country, senior immigration officials said today. They were involved in textile trade business while some of them were just staying in hotels and lodges. Four of the arrested were soothsayers. They will be taken to an immigration detention centre near Colombo before being sent back, officials said.

'Disciplinary action against UNP MPs not sensible'

Aug 16 (DM) UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premasasa today said any moves to initiate disciplinary action against MP Dayasiri Jayasekera or anyone else would adversely affect the party as it might lose popular figures through such action. Mr. Premadasa in statement referred to reports that disciplinary inquires were to be initiated against Mr. Jayasekera and Anurdhapura District UNP MPs P. Harrision and Chandrani Bandara. more..

The LTTE’s lingering lies live on

Aug 17 (NS) There are three kinds of liars, the common liar, the damned liar, and the expert liar. In the sphere of our nearly three decade conflict, the Tamil Tiger terrorists have been taking the medium of expert lying to a fine art form. To say that Colombo’s efforts at counter propaganda have been rather tame would be putting it relatively mildly, because in truth it has been pathetic, to say the least. Ask any of our successive Secretaries of Defence including the present more..