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EC tells IGP how to defuse tension in East

Aug 19 (Island) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya has advised IGP N. K. Illangakoon on strategic measures that should be adopted in the face of rivalry amongst supporters of two Cabinet Ministers, SLMC Leader and Minister Rauff Hakeem and National Congress Leader and Local Govt Minister A.L.M. Athaullah in the Ampara district. Elections to the Sabaragamuwa, North Central and Eastern Provincial councils are more..

Fathima (6) beaten to death with a mattock

Aug 19 (LB) Ramadhan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar when Muslims worldwide observe a month of fasting. When Ramadhan was in its final stages, Fathima Afra, 6 years, was killed by a man for no rhyme or reason. On August 14, Fathima and her younger sister were playing in their uncle’s compound. It was around 3.30 pm, and their parents were out. A youth around 25 years had called out to Fathima and had offered her a flower as he had known that she liked flowers. more..

‘Pillayan’s days as CM, numbered’

Aug 19 (LB) Political rivalry between Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan and Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan alias Karuna has heightened in the East as Karuna is campaigning for his sister to be the next chief minister. “The present chief minister (CM) of the Eastern Province Sivenesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan’s days are numbered and the next CM would be Rudhramala Ganabhaskaran if she bags the highest number of votes at the upcoming provincial elections,” more..

UVA Next yet to pay its foreign recruits

Aug 19 (PTI) Most of the overseas players participating in the inaugural Sri Lankan Premier League (SLPL) cricket tournament have received 25% of their fees from the respective franchises although one of them, Uva Next, is yet to fulfill its contractual obligations. Most of the 56 foreign players taking part in the league have been paid 25% of their total fees at the start of the tournament and are expected to get another 25% next week. more..

Door open for commercial cargo via BIA after removal of Customs Task Force

Aug 19 (ST) The suspension of the Customs Revenue Task Force (RTF) from operations at the Bandaranaike International Airport this week has led to an upsurge of commercial cargo from India, Customs officials said. Following a protest from traders regularly importing items from India the unit comprising nearly 50 officials were directed to refrain from carrying out checks on passengers arriving and instead have been detailed on other routine work. more..

Minister claims office sealing caused by internal feud

Aug 19 (SL) Senior Minister, Athauda Seneviratne, expressed his anger over the sealing of his district office in Kegalle, saying the anonymous complaint had been made against him by individuals who harboured personal grudges. He said that he has been using the office for ten years, and it was now being used by his son who is contesting the upcoming Sabaragamuwa PC election. Seneviratne further added that the complaint had been made by a member of his own party, more..

One power crisis after another

Aug 19 (ST) The 300-megawatt (MW) Norochcholai Power Station in Puttalam broke down last week for technical reasons, making this the sixth time the power plant has stalled since the coal power plant started operating last year. This time the problem was saline deposits on the Norochcholai-Veyangoda transmission line, according to the Ministry of Power and Energy. The breakdown forced the CEB to enforce power cuts of three-and-a-quarter hours per day. more..

Police turn blind eye to assault on pastor

Aug 19 (SL) Police have failed to properly respond to the alleged assault of Reverend Lasantha Jayalath, Regional Presbyter of Deniyaya, and his wife by a mob led by members of the Buddhist clergy, according to the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL). On August 9 Reverend Jayalath and his wife were returning home after visiting a member of their congregation when they were stopped by a mob of 40 people who were allegedly led by several Buddhist monks. more..

'Newtonian physics in stock Market antics'

Aug 19 (NS) One of the reasons for the current downturn in the stock market could be aligned to English physicist Sir Isaac Newton’s third law of motion where certain stocks were artificially pumped up at the height of the stock market bubble, charged the outgoing Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC), Tilak Karunaratne. Karunaratne, who himself is a Chartered Chemist by profession said that Newton’s theory which states that more..

Careful when washing cars, or taking your dog for a walk

Aug 19 (ST) A statute approved by the Western Provincial Council recently on preventing public health nuisances makes it illegal to wash vehicles on any road in such a manner that it makes the area unclean or becomes a nuisance to the public. The statute also makes it a punishable offence to allow any animal to pass faeces or urinate on any road or in a public place. more..

Meet demands by Nov. 20: CEB unions

Aug 19 (SL) The 16 trade unions affiliated to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) vows to stage another continuous trade union action in the event their five demands are not met by November 20, Co-Secretary, Joint Technical Front, S.A. Ananda said. According to Ananda, the four-member committee headed by the Commissioner General of Labour, Pearl Weerasinghe has assured them that the committee would look into their five demands and added that the trade unions had faith on the committee Chairman. more..

Colombo skyline to be cleared of ugly communication towers by the end of 2014

Aug 19 (SL) About 150 radio, television and telephone communication towers in the Colombo District are to be dismantled by end of 2013, according to Anusha Pelpita, Director General of the TRC. Accordingly, 43 radio, 23 television and 50 telecommunication towers have been earmarked to be removed by early 2014. At present, there are over 5,000 such towers in Colombo and suburbs. Because of this certain radio transmissions are getting disrupted. more..

SEC chairman ousted as probes on 17 ‘players’ near completion

Aug 19 (ST) The IMF yesterday expressed concern over the resignation of SEC Chairman Tilak Karunaratne, as investigations on irregularities and unlawful activities by 17 alleged market manipulators were nearing completion. Dr. Karunaratne, who resigned on Friday, after a losing battle to strengthen the regulatory process, said that the claim that the market was over-regulated was ‘laughable’ and came from more..

'Implementation of LLRC recommendations: Funding to come in the Budget'

Aug 19 (SL) The govt is to allocate monies required for the implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC in the 2013 Budget. Treasury Secretary Dr P. B. Jayasundera said that allocations for the implementation of the LLRC recommendations would be made from next year onwards. He however did not elaborate on the quantity of the allocations that would be made to the ministries for the purpose. He said the govt is currently working on preparing the 2013 budget. more..

Over 4,100 corruption probe reports handed over to President

Aug 19 (SL) Investigation reports totalling 4,014 on financial fraud and corruption committed by high ranking state officials, have been handed over to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, an officer of the Special Presidential Investigation Unit (PIU) said. The reports, compiled by the Unit on complaints from the public during the last two and half years, have been handed over to the President through Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga. According to the officer of the PIU, more..

Sri Lanka walking tightrope between India and China

Aug 19 (ST) Ebullient and charming Ashok Kantha, India’s High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, the accomplished diplomat that he is, found it difficult to hide his feelings. That he chose to say it at a formal official ceremony that marked the 65th anniversary of India’s independence was all the more important. The Indian community – diplomats and their families, Indian security forces personnel assigned to their diplomatic mission, more..

Shaw Wallace wrapping-up 99-year lease of UDA Kollupitiya land

Aug 19 (Island) Shaw Wallace and Hedges PLC has disclosed plans to secure a 99-year lease on 52.92 perches of Galle Road frontage land from the UDA in front of its Kollupitiya property that would enable it "to amalgamate both lands and go for a meaningful development on the Galle Road side." This disclosure has been made in a circular to shareholders summoning an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on Sept 3 to obtain more..

ACCCMT/Railway Dept. in successful venture

Aug 19 (LB) A team of engineers from the Arthur C. Clark Centre for Modern Technology (ACCCMT), Katubedda, Moratuwa has been successful in helping the Railway Department to put back the broken ALSTOM railway engines imported from France by the previous regime. ALSTOM power engines are heavy engines that were brought here to meet the demand for our locomotives. One engine cost Rs40 million during the time of importation under the Chandrika Kumaratunge regime. more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Aug 19 (ST) Skype, the internet communication service, is no longer a secure mechanism. The system operator will now record data up to a month and hand them over if requests are made by law enforcement agencies of any country. The move has come as a threat to investigative journalists. The Wire, a publication devoted to the media, has offered some advice. This is what it says: “Investigative journalists face yet another obstacle after a policy change by Skype, more..

Parched land: The cracks widen

Aug 19 (ST) The rice bowl of the country is starving. The Polonnaruwa district, which produces one tenth of the country’s rice production, has been hit by a devastating drought. Cattle graze on the few remaining green plants in the fields abandoned by farmers. In some paddy fields farmers are busy trying to salvage part of the crop by irrigating the fields with water pumps. In Elahera, in the Polonnaruwa district the farmers who had fore-warning did not cultivate for fear of an more..

GPS to map kidney failure in NCP

Aug 19 (CT) A Global Positioning System (GPS) will be introduced to map all Chronic Kidney Disease of uncertain aetiology (CKDu) in Anuradhapura and Pollonnaruwa beginning next month. Director of Provincial Renal Disease Prevention Unit, Dr. Asanga Ranasinghe said the mapping system will help them to easily identify and reach those suffering from kidney disease in each Grama Niladhari Division. more..

Kapilavastu Relics exposition begins today

Aug 19 (SO) The Sacred Corporeal Relics of Gautama Buddha that were handed over to the Sakyas of Kapilavastu, according to what is recorded in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta, will be brought to Sri Lanka today for the second time since its discovery in 1898. The first exposition of the Sacred Relics of Kapilavastu outside India was in Sri Lanka in 1978. The Sacred Kapilavastu Relics will be brought to Sri Lanka in a more..

Sinking Greek ship poses a threat to Colombo coastline

Aug 19 (SL) The coastal area between Colombo and Kalutara faces an imminent danger to its environs with the possibility of an arrested Greek vessel sinking with over 1,000 litres of chemicals and 275 tons of fuel on board. The ship is expected to sink by Monday and the chemicals and fuel in the ship could not only pollute the sea but also affect the entire coastline,” said S.A.L. Munasinghe, an engineer who had been more..

Lankan navy seize catch netted by Tamil Nadu fishermen

Aug 19 (PTI) Sri Lankan navy today allegedly forcibly took away the catch netted by fishermen who put to sea from here, while they were fishing near Katchatheevu in the Palk Straits, Fisheries Department officials said. Lankan naval personnel allegedly surrounded ten boats and at gunpoint seized the catch early this morning, officials said. Officials claimed the Lankan Navy was now strictly enforcing the ban on more..

Sweeping tax concessions for new hotel company

Aug 19 (ST) The Government has announced several tax concessions for the company that will construct and operate the 475-room Hyatt Group city hotel. The venture in Kollupitiya has been identified as a Strategic Development Project with a total investment of US$ 158 million and as a project of “national interest that is likely to bring economic and social benefit and also to change the landscape of the country.” The project company, Sinolanka Hotels and Spa more..

'Sirisena aspiring to be next PM at the expense of Ranil'

Aug 19 (Island) The UNP yesterday challenged the SLFP to name names of party seniors who had genuinely backed the then Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s campaign at the Nov 2005 presidential election. UNP’s Deputy Secretary General Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena said that PM Rajapaksa had experienced serious difficulties in the run-up to the Nov 17 presidential election due to an influential section of the SLFP refusing to support his candidature. more..

CPC report leaves more questions than answers

Aug 19 (SL) The interim report produced by a three-member panel to investigate allegations that diesel supplied by the Vitol Group was contaminated has proven inconclusive, according to minister Susil Premajayantha, The final report on these allegations was to be handed over last week to the Ministry. However, insufficient evidence has only led to the submission of an interim report which called for further investigation. more..

No risk too high for Sri Lankans wanting to migrate

Aug 19 (AFP) Two Sri Lankan brothers who joined a wave of asylum seekers heading for Australia were arrested at sea, thrown in jail and face an ongoing court case -- but they say they will soon try to reach the country again. Ramalingam Kandamoorthy, 35, and sibling Mahadevan, 31, from the remote hamlet of Udappuwa, had spent two days aboard a trawler in the Indian Ocean with 50 others when they were stopped by more..

Watchdogs cite rampant election malpractice

Aug 19 (LB) Nearly 168 election related incidents of violence, most of them committed by the ruling UPFA have been reported from the three provinces in which elections will be held on September 8, Network for Election Monitoring of the Intellectuals of Human Rights (NEM IHR) sources said. The three provinces; Sabaragamuwa, North-Central and Eastern Provincial Councils are already beset with many malpractices, they stated. NEM IHR stated that 11 election violence cases, more..

Salaries drying up for ‘cement’ staff

Aug 19 (SL) Rupees 10 million has been paid as salaries and allowances by the Ceylon Cement Corporation and the Ceylon Cement Company despite the two entities not earning a single cent as revenue during the last two months. Rs. 6 million has been paid to 65 employees of the Cement Corporation and Rs. 4 million to the Cement Company’s 22 staff although not a single bag of cement has arrived in their stores for distribution, said a senior official. more..

Olympics: Whose baby is it anyway?

Aug 19 (LB) History repeats itself, goes the saying. This is very true when it comes to Sri Lanka’s representation at the Olympics. Seven Sri Lankan athletes, four men and three women, took part in the recently concluded Olympics in London, and except for Niluka Karunaratne, who reached the second round in the men’s badminton singles, no one could make any impression. However, as in the past, more..

Major who ruled against SF dies

Aug 19 (CG) Major General D.R.A.B Jayatilake, one of the members of the military court martial which ruled against former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka, has died. Major General Jayatilake held the post of Commandant of the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force (SLAVF), Colonel of the Regiment, Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment (SLSR) and President of the Army Buddhist Association at the time of his untimely death yesterday. The first court martial which found Fonseka guilty of the charges more..

18th amendment to constitution and rise of ‘posterior liqueurs’

Aug 19 (DBS) The dictionary definition of a ‘pun’: ‘the clever or humorous use of a word that has more than one meaning, or words that have different meanings but sound the same’. The second word of the headline of today’s column is not exactly a pun, but somewhat akin to one, as it is a play of a similar sounding activity which can be done with the human or animal tongue, spelt differently. The dictionary meaning of ‘liqueur’ is ‘a strong sweet alcoholic drink, sometimes flavoured with fruit’. more..

'Intimated MDP's decision over CNI report to India, SL govts'

Aug 19 (Haveeru) Former President Mohamed Nasheed has said that the decisions by Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) subsequent to the report of the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) have been intimated to the prominent officials of the respective govts of Sri Lanka and India. Speaking to opposition Raajje TV reporters upon his return to Male after the conclusion of his private visit to India and Sri Lanka, more..

TMVP denies assault

Aug 19 (SL) The TMVP has denied allegations that its members assaulted TNA provincial council candidate Krishnapillai Seyon. TMVP spokesman, Azad Maulana, said that it was a story being spread by the TNA to discredit them. “The TNA knows that they are going to lose the upcoming election. They are now spreading stories so that after the election they will have ready-made excuses for their supporters”, he said. Maulana denied that members of his party were hostile towards more..

Witness shot dead

Aug 19 (DM) A woman was shot dead this morning at a hardware shop located in Wadduwa – Morontuduwa road. Two men riding on motorcycle had entered the hardware shop where the woman was working and shot her point blank. The woman who was rushed to Panadura hospital succumbed to her injuries a little while later. Police said her husband had been shot dead a few years ago and she was one of the witnesses in the case. However, the reason for the shooting has not yet more..

Sri Lanka to challenge British travel advisory

Aug 19 (ST) Sri Lanka will challenge a British Govt travel advisory warning Britons over an upsurge of nationalism, sexual offences and anti-western rhetoric, a senior official said. External Affairs Ministry Secretary Karunatillake Amunugama said they were treating the matter with utmost seriousness owing to the tone and timing of the advisory. “We are studying the statement put out by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that more..

TESO Conference: Wedding without the bride

Aug 19 (NS) The Tamil National Alliance was unanimous in its decision not to attend the controversial Tamil Eelam Supporters Organization Conference called by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Muthuvel Karunanidhi and held in Chennai last Sunday.”It was like a wedding without the bride” some Tamil Nadu dailies poked fun and pointed out that the main party for whose sake it was held was a notable absentee. It left Karunanidhi with egg on the face, some dailies said. more..

60 students hospitalized for food poisoning

Aug 19 (DM) About 60 students who had participated in a night class for the Year 5 scholarship examination at the Wilgamuwa Handungamuwa Vidyalaya have fallen ill due to alleged food poisoning. The students had been admitted to Handungamuwa hospital and hospital sources claimed they were suffering from diarrhea. The students’ parents claim that they had been provided with a dinner packet and a glass of milk by the Zonal Education Office last night. more..

President of Seychelles Republic to visit Sri Lanka on Monday

Aug 19 (GDI) James Alix Michel, the President of the Republic of Seychelles will visit Sri Lanka from 20th to 23rd August. Seychelles, is an island country spanning an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, some 1,500 kilometres east of mainland Africa, northeast of the island of Madagascar received independence from the United Kingdom in 1976. Seychelles a 451 square km land area has the population of 84,000 with more..