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School van-bus collision injures 14 students

Aug 3 (Island) Fourteen school children studying at several schools in Colombo were injured when their school van collided with a private bus at Horagolla yesterday morning. The drivers of the van and bus, too, received injuries. Police spokesman SP Ajith Rohana said that the accident had taken place around 5.30 a.m. along the Colombo-Kandy road. The 23-year-old van driver had attempted to overtake another vehicle and crashed into a bus going in the opposite direction. Among the 14 injured children – nine boys and five girls more..

PBJ, market stakeholders try to keep media at bay

Aug 3 (DM) Although the meeting market stakeholders had with Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundara, reportedly bore no real result, it was decided to issue an official statement by the Finance Ministry about the outcomes of the meeting, to curb contradictory media reports. According to an informed source, a lot of emphasis during the meeting was given to keeping the media at bay regarding market developments, to maintain the ‘positive sentiment of the market’. more..

Vehicle emission tests go North

Aug 3 (Island) The Motor Traffic Department has commenced vehicle emission testing in the Northern Province. Mobile vehicle emission testing services have already begun in the Jaffna city and Vavuniya. Fixed centres would be established in the province at the end of this year, Motor Traffic Commissioner General S.H. Harischandra said yesterday. Earlier, emission testing was not conducted in those areas he said adding that the tests would initially be conducted in the Jaffna district and later in the Kilinochchi, Vavuniya, Mannar and more..

Reformists want RW questioned over Sirisena’s allegations

Aug 3 (Island) The Working Committee of the UNP should immediately summon party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and question him on serious allegations made against him by SLFP General-Secretary Maithripala Sirisena on Monday, at an UPFA propaganda rally, UNP reformists say. Sirisena aid that Wickremesinghe had undermined Gamini Dissanayake’s Presidential bid in 1994, spokesman for the Society to Protect the UNP and Trade Union Lal Perera said yesterday. more..

They won’t betray UNP

Aug 3 (Island) Three top UNP MPs scotched off rumours that they were planning to cross over to govt ranks very soon. Colombo District’s Wijedasa Rajapakshe, a vociferous critic of the UPFA govt, said that he would never act against his conscience. Badulla District’s Harin Fernando said that as the youngest MP, he had enough time and therefore would exercise patience. He said he had no need to defect to the government ranks. more..

India Show - Land of Limitless Opportunities at BMICH

Aug 3 (DN) Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles of India, Anand Sharma, along with Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, Industry and Commerce Minister. Rishad Bathiudeen, and International Monetary Cooperation Senior Minister Sarath Amunugama, will inaugurate a business exhibition "The India Show- Land of Limitless Opportunities" on August 3 at the BMICH at 10 am. "India Show - Land of Limitless Opportunities" is organized by the more..

Fire destroys 50 acres of forest in Somawathi Reserve

Aug 3 (Island) Around 50 acres of forest was destroyed by a fire which broke out yesterday morning in the Somawathi Forest Reserve, near the Somawathi Chaitya in Polonnaruwa, according to Deputy Director of the Disaster Management Centre Sarath Lal Kumara. He said yesterday evening that they sought the help of Higurakgoda Air Force base to douse the fire as it was spreading rapidly in the Pulasthipura police area. It was brought under control after the Air Force stepped in. more..

'Strict action against anyone found guilty'

Aug 3 (CT) Depending on the outcome of the three member committee to look into the substandard diesel which caused problems in most quarters of the transport sector, action will be taken, a ministry official said. Sources close to Minister Susil Premajayantha said the he will take strict action against anyone found guilty. The spokesman added, that during the previous occasion, when found guilty on an alleged fuel transaction, the former CPC Chairman was more..

'Politicians dodging responsibility to curb violence against women'

Aug 3 (Island) Violence against women, sexual harassment and suppression had reached unprecedented levels in Sri Lanka and the lives of women were at risk. The key to solving the issue was not just punishing those responsible, but also conducting awareness and educational programmes, said Dimuthu Attygalle, President of ‘Free Women’, an organisation espousing women’s rights. Attygalle, a Politbureau member of more..

MEPA improves ship waste disposal facilities

Aug 3 (Island) The Marine Environmental Protection Authority (MEPA) provided services to nearly 1,000 ships, in 2011, to reduce disposal of waste at sea, Minister of Environment Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. "MEPA has taken several measures to improve the service and ensure safe disposal of waste collected from ships in an environment friendly manner," Minister Yapa said at the 46th Annual General Meeting of the Ceylon Association of Ship Agents (CASA). more..

A ‘miracle’ oil to cure dengue patients

Aug 3 (SL) Despite claims by Ven. Amithirigala Palitha Damma Thero of Seth Vehera, Weerasuriyakanda, Pasyala that he has cured over 450 dengue patients at Ragama General Hospital and Wathupitiwala Base Hospital using a medicinal oil, Medical Supirintendent Wathupitiwala Dr. Sisira Wijesundara says that he cannot say whether this treatment cured the patients as the dengue death rate is very low at his hospital. “Since the death rate is very low in dengue cases in this hospital more..

Teacher-librarian project: Yet another mess up by the Education Ministry

Aug 3 (ST) Yet another blunder by the Ministry of Education (MoE) has caused thousands of teacher-librarians in Sri Lanka to abandon their specialisation. After more than a decade, the MoE has yet to recognise teacher-librarians’ qualifications – a specialised teaching field created in the early 2000s to achieve education goals, leaving many teacher-librarians unable to advance their careers and many school libraries more..

Indian Coast Guard releases fishermen and vessels

Aug 3 (DN) The Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry yesterday announced that 11 fishermen along with two fishing vessels which were in the custody of the Indian Coast Guard have been released. They will return to Sri Lanka on August 6. These fishermen and their vessels were taken into custody in the seas off Andra Pradesh when they strayed into the Indian Maritime Boundary Lines (IMBL). The two fishing vessels, Kaveesha Duwa 2, more..

New T20 league to give Sri Lanka global reach

Aug 3 (Reuters) The inaugural Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) represents a golden chance to showcase the island nation to the world, said one of the organisers of this month's inaugural Twenty20 tournament. Sandeep Bhammer, chief executive of the little-known Somerset Entertainment Ventures group that has been given the rights to run the event for 15 years, told Reuters the SLPL would be beamed around the globe. more..

HRW slams government on ACF probe

Aug 3 (CG) The Sri Lankan govt’s failure to hold accountable those responsible for the execution-style slaying of 17 aid workers six years ago is indicative of its deeper unwillingness to prosecute soldiers and police for atrocities, Human Rights Watch said today. HRW said that despite compelling evidence of participation by state security forces in the killings, govt inquiries have not progressed and no one has been charged with the crime. more..

Int'l body praises Sri Lanka's global branding efforts

Aug 3 (GDI) The global body in charge of patents, trademarks, copyright and GI protection, has praised Sri Lanka’s global branding efforts. And Sri Lanka appears to have two more potential global brands in addition to Tea and Cinnamon. “International branding is the way to go. Sri Lanka is taking the right approach and the importance given by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce has really put Sri Lanka on the more..

Jaffna Bar split over its head going against Magistrate

Aug 3 (Island) The Jaffna Bar Association has suffered a debilitating split over its President Ms Shantha Abimanasingham, PC, throwing her weight behind the Jaffna-based Uthayan newspaper subsequent to a dispute between the paper and Jaffna Magistrate M. Ganesharajah over a recent contempt of court case. A spokesperson for the rebel group, Rengan Devarajan, said that they would establish a separate association shortly. Asked whether they had made an attempt to patch up, more..

Some branches of Bodh Gaya Bo tree chopped off

Aug 3 (Island) Some branches of the ‘Bodhi Tree’, under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment, were chopped off on Wednesday after a branch fell on the Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya on July 29. Bodh Gaya is about 100 km or 62 miles from Patna, the capital of Bihar state. The chopping took place in the presence of local officials on the instructions of the Dehradun-based Forest Research Institute and Bodh Gaya Temple Management Committee. more..

Sri Lanka budget under pressure in May, but current gap narrows

Aug 3 (LBO) Sri Lanka's budget continued to be under pressure in May with the gap between total revenues at 119 billion rupees or 1.6% of GDP but the pace of spending increases has slowed from a month earlier. State finances performed much worse that last year, with revenues rising 9.1% to 386.7 billion rupees (at about half the projected growth rate of 18.3% for for the full year) while current spending rocketed 22.6% to 506.4 billion rupees. more..

Buddhists outraged at Buddha's images on shoes

Aug 3 (PTI) The Tibetan and the Buddhist community are outraged at a California-based company for promoting a range of shoes with the Lord Buddha's images. Tibetans and Bhutanese Buddhists have written to the company, Icon Shoes, to express their disgust. They have flooded the company's Facebook page with protest notes. There was no immediate reaction from Icon Shoes. "Unfortunately, it is a basic Buddhist tradition to treat images of Buddhist deities with reverence. more..

Editorial: Dalai Lama’s wisdom for our leaders

Aug 3 (DM) One of the most respected Buddhist leaders and philosophers the Dalai Lama has often spoken words of wisdom that stung people into the reality of realities and liberative spirituality. Unfortunately the Tibetan liberation leader has been unable to or apparently not allowed to come to Sri Lanka possibly because Sri Lanka fears the consequences from China on which it is heavily dependent economically and politically. more..

Bridge-building between communities in East

Aug 3 (DN) The newly opened Trincomalee-Batticaloa A15 road, which interconnects three districts of the Eastern Province - Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara- has greatly facilitated people mobility while rapidly improving basic social infrastructure, community and public services to a large number of people living in the province. Under the A15 road construction project, five bridges were built over five tributaries of the Mahaweli Ganga. These bridges were constructed at more..

When a measly Rs. 25,000 plunged Lanka into darkness

Aug 3 (Island) It has now been revealed that the rectification of breakdowns at the newly built Norochcholai coal-fired power plant, which prompted the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to impose staggered countrywide power cuts recently, cost as little as Rs. 25,000. The Kerawalapitiya and Norochcholai thermal power plants have been fully operational since yesterday following recent breakdowns, but the CEB fears that the latter is still prone to breakdowns. more..

Coal is expensive option for power generation

Aug 3 (Island) With the govt planning to produce more than 70 percent of the country’s rapidly increasing energy requirement from coal fired power plants by 2022, a ratings agency has warned that this was still an expensive option which could place the trade balance and dollar reserves at risk, with households likely to see increasing electricity tariffs in the short to medium term. "According to the CEB’s long-term generation plans, thermal power is expected to spearhead the country’s energy generation by 2022; more..

Sapugaskanda refinery to be upgraded

Aug 3 (DN) Petroleum Industries Ministry decided to upgrade the laboratories of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminal Ltd (CPSTL) with the support of an agency meeting with international standards. The decision was taken considering the fact that most of the new machines and equipment imported to Sri Lanka are made to suit European standards in the consumption of oil. A programme was initiated under the project to upgrade the Sapugaskanda oil refinery to produce fuel varieties to suit vehicles more..

Ad agencies battle for US$ 9mn Ceylon Tea contract today

Aug 3 (DM) Four advertising industry powerhouses will battle it out today with the aim of securing a US$ 9 million contract, which will provide the winner with the task of promoting the Ceylon Tea brand, an advertising industry official stated. Accordingly, Grants, Phoenix Ogilvy and M, Bates and Burson - Marsteller and Grey Worldwide are set to make their presentations to the Sri Lanka Tea Board. more..

Chasing away the blues in Sri Lanka

Aug 3 (CI) Something that had never happened before in an ODI in Sri Lanka happened more than once in the last week: the home team batted first in a day-night match, scored over 250, and lost. Twice in succession. On Saturday they scored 286, seemed set for victory, and then faltered as Suresh Raina and Irfan Pathan pulled off a tremendous sixth-wicket partnership; three days later, they scored 251, took early wickets, and were then thwarted by Virat Kohli and Raina. more..

Sri Lanka: Milking cattle's potential

Aug 3 (IRIN) Dairy farming could boost incomes and the nutritional status of tens of thousands of returnees in Sri Lanka’s former war zone in the north of the island, where wage-paying jobs are still scarce. “The livestock sector has vast potential for contributing towards economic development, poverty alleviation and nutritional deficiency, and creating opportunities for involving [more] women in the economic development process,” said Patrick Charignon, Head of more..

Blacklisted fuel company mystery behind the re-listing

Aug 3 (DM) A three-member committee has been appointed to ascertain how a blacklisted company connected to the latest contaminated-diesel controversy was re-listed by the former Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) Chairman disregarding a cabinet subcommittee direction that the registration should not be renewed. A Petroleum Industries Ministry source said yesterday the committee was appointed by the Ministry Secretary R.H.S. Samaratunga and mandated to more..

Fate of Lankans taken by Somali pirates unknown

Aug 3 (DM) The fate of the six Sri Lankans on board the MV Albedo which was hijacked by Somali pirates is unknown. The External Affairs Ministry said yesterday. The External Affairs Ministry and the Sri Lankan Consul General in Karachi have not been informed of the whereabouts of the Sri Lankan seamen. However, Pakistani officials announced yesterday that the seven Pakistanis who had been held hostage since November 2010 were to arrive in Karachi yesterday. more..

Students threaten fast unto death

Aug 3 (DM) A large number of students yesterday marched to the UGC from Campbell Park urging the authorities to resolve the Z-score fiasco. Students and parents from several districts who took part in the protest march blamed the UGC for the mess and muddle caused by the Z-scores. They also handed over a letter to the UGC demanding that the crisis be resolved once and for all. Several students vowed to carry out a fast onto death if the UGC did not resolve the crisis soon. “We have worked hard for several months preparing for the A/L exam and more..

India to set up dedicated economic zone in Trincomalee

Aug 3 (LBO) India has agreed to set-up a dedicated economic zone and to build a pharmaceutical hub in Sri Lanka as part of bilateral ties to strengthen economic trade between the South Asian neighbours, a minister said. The manufacturing investment zone, is due to come up in Sri Lanka’s eastern seaport district of in Trincomalee, visiting Indian Commerce, Industry and Textile minister Ananda Sharma said more..

Odel exploring joint expansion overseas

Aug 3 (LBO) Sri Lanka's fashion retailer Odel Plc is looking at joint expansion possibilities overseas with its new East Asian partner, Parksons Retail Asia, Otara Gunewardene, Odel's founder and chief executive said. Parkson Retail Asia, a department store with operations in Malaysia,Vietnam and Indonesia recently bought a 41.8 percent stake in Odel for 1.424 billion rupees. "We have been looking at different options for our next stage of growth," Gunewardene said. more..

Mathripala’s Prime Minister dream will soon fade - Tissa

Aug 3 (AD) Condemning Minister Maithripala Sirisena’s recent remarks that Ranil Wickramasinghe had provided information to former President Kumaratunga to ensure the defeat of Gamini Dissanayake in the 1994 election, the UNP challenged the Minister to prove his allegations. 18 years have passed since the Presidential Election in 1994 and Minister Sirisena has suddenly woken up from his slumber spouting nonsense for petty political goals, slammed UNP more..

Duminda is back - Hirunika

Aug 3 (DM) Hirunika Premachandra said today she was informed that MP Duminda Silva had returned to the country. "I’ve been informed that Mr. Silva has come back, I don’t know exactly when he arrived, some say last night and others say it must be two weeks ago. However, the Magistrate has ordered the Police to arrest him as soon as he arrives but they have not done so” she said. Hirunika said she had notified the IGP about the rumours. more..

'Dropped catches have hurt Sri Lanka'

Aug 3 (CI) Angelo Mathews has said dropped catches have cost Sri Lanka the ongoing ODI series against India. Suresh Raina, who was involved in match-winning partnerships during the third and the fourth ODI in Colombo, was put down at crucial stages in both games. Virender Sehwag was dropped on zero in the opening game in Hambantota before he made 96 as India posted a winning 314. "Against the Indian batting line up, you can't drop that many catches," Mathews said. more..

Post war Sri Lanka needs trust and confidence for peace and reconciliation

Aug 3 (SNW) As post war Sri Lanka experiences a high level of militarization, the northern provinces of the country continue to face serious humanitarian and human rights problems. Three years after the end of a protracted conflict and war that ravaged the country for quarter of a century, the people and communities are struggling to attain a sustained peace and reconciliation. This warrants intensified efforts in building peace and more..

FUTA Discussion next week

Aug 3 (CT) The Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) will have another round of discussions with Minister Basil Rajapaksa next week, FUTA said. FUTA spokesperson Dr. Devaka Weerakoon said that Minister Rajapaksa and the FUTA had had discussions last Wednesday, but were unable to reach a compromise. However, the discussion had been cordial, and the minister had promised to engage in further discussions next week, he said. more..

SLPL to be broadcast globally on Youtube

Aug 3 (CI) The Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) will be broadcast to a global audience via Youtube, SLC president Upali Dharmadasa confirmed on Thursday, with all 24 matches to be streamed on an official SLPL channel. The move to stream the tournament on Youtube had been initiated by Somerset Entertainment Ventures, who are handling the marketing and operations of the SLPL. "It was an idea that was brought to us, and we approved it because it gives the tournament more..

Shakib skips SLPL

Aug 3 (BDN) World's top all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has decided not to participate in the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) to ensure that he remains fit to play in next month's World Twenty20 competition. "Shakib suffered an injury in his left knee while playing against Netherlands in the European tour last month. We had the injury investigated and there is nothing to be worried. Yet, we don't want to take any risk ahead of the T20 World Cup," said Bangladesh national more..