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Investigating cause of tremor

Aug 30 (DN) The Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) will conduct studies to find out whether there was any geological reason for the earth tremor which occurred at the Maduru Oya National Park on Tuesday afternoon. GSMB Chief, Professor N.P. Wijeyananda said nobody could predict earth tremors, scotching rumours of the Bureau saying small scale earth tremors could be experienced in various parts of the country in the coming months. more..

‘UNP, JVP fear Divi Neguma Dept. will make govt more popular’

Aug 30 (DN) Some parties fear that the govt will become more popular by converting the Samurdhi Authority into a Divi Neguma Department. Due to this reason, the UNP and JVP are protesting against the Bill to establish the Divi Neguma Department, All Island Samurdhi Development and Agricultural Research Production Assistants Officers’ Society Chief Sthe post of SEC Chairman if it was more..

Fonseka meets the Mahanayake of the Malwathu Chapter

Aug 30 (NF) Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka accompanied by a delegation called on the Mahanayake of the Malwathu Chapter, the Most Venerable Thibbotuwawe Sri Sumangala thera Tuesday evening. Venerable Giranande Ananda thera who was also present, informed the Mahanayake that there was no one to speak to, with regard to issues in the country. The thera told the Mahanayake that a programme will be conducted in various parts of the country to raise more..

UNP inquiry against Dayasiri postponed

Aug 30 (Island) A party disciplinary inquiry against UNP Kurunegala District Parliamentarian Dayasiri Jayasekera has been postponed for October 2. Southern Provincial Councillor Maithri Gunaratne, Western Provincial Councillor Shiral Lakthilake and two other attorneys-at-law, who appeared on behalf of Jayasekera, at yesterday’s disciplinary inquiry raised objections. They argued that the charge sheet was defective as there was no document or witnesses named; the inquiry more..

Chinese defence minister calls on President

Aug 30 (FT) National Defence Minister of China General Liang Guanglie who arrived in Sri Lanka on a five day official visit yesterday called on the President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees. The Chinese Defence Minister who arrived in the country with a 25-member high powered delegation was warmly welcomed by the Minister G.L Peiris on his arrival and following military traditions the Sri Lanka Army’s more..

ACHU opposes animal sacrifice

Aug 30 (Island) The All Ceylon Hindu Congress has strongly opposed the planned animal sacrifice at Muneswaran scheduled for Sept 1. The ACHC statement was made in the wake of growing protests against the ritual, while the Court banned protests in the area until the conclusion of the event. The following is the statement issued by ACHC: We have made, from time to time, our repeated requests not to have sacrifices of animals in Hindu Kovils, which, we have pointed out, more..

Relics arrival not linked to any political agenda - Thera

Aug 30 (DN) There is no political agenda behind the Kapilawasthu Sacred Relics Exposition since it is inconceivable that people will cast their vote based on a religious event, Ven Welimitiyawe Kusaladhamma Thera said. “We have to concede this is a great occasion for Sri Lanka. Thousands worshipped the Sacred Relics with great fervour and devotion,” the Thera said. “It would also be a good if the Sacred Relics could be kept at sites more..

The Consequence: NARA to probe leak, but divers reluctant to dive

Aug 30 (CT) Environmental Agencies have raised concerns over dead fish being washed ashore on the beaches of Wellawatte which is suspected to be the cause of the Greek vessel MV Thermopylae Sierra sinking off the coast of Panadura last week which has led to oil leaking from the sunken vessel. NARA is currently planning on sending a team of divers to probe into the oil leak which is suspected to be more..

Marked improvement in post-conflict Sri Lanka - Kantha

Aug 30 (DN) A visible and marked improvement can be seen in Sri Lanka in the few years since the end of the armed conflict, said Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Ashok K Kantha. Participating in the 28th Diploma Awards Ceremony of the National Institute of Business Management at the BMICH, he said Sri Lanka is taking advantage of the peace dividend following the armed conflict. "As President Mahinda Rajapaksa pointed out in his Mahinda Chinthanaya Policy, more..

Riot police descend on undergrads

Aug 30 (Island) The police anti-riot squad yesterday fired tear gas and used water cannon to disperse a protest march by undergraduates. Five police personnel were injured when some of the protesters pelted stones. Thousands of undergraduates gathered opposite the Fort Railway Station and commenced their protest march demanding that all universities be re-opened, problems faced by the university teachers and non-academic staff be solved, education privatization plans and more..

Vitol warns its suspension will cost CPC dear

Aug 30 (Island) Vitol Group of Companies yesterday warned that CPC’s decision to prevent it from taking part in the tender process, on the basis of an unsubstantiated allegation that it supplied a consignment o low quality diesel late last month, could cause heavy losses to the CPC. Since the suspension of Vitol’s participation in the tender process, about a month ago, the CPC hadn’t considered three bids made by the company, more..

Norochcholai repair deadline extended to Sept. 2

Aug 30 (Island) The CEB says repairs to the transformer of the 300 MW Norochcholai coal-fired power plant would be completed by Sept. 2. "We were confident that the repairs to the damaged auxiliary equipment would be over by August 28 but it is a fault in the transformer that caused the deadline for repairs to be extended," CEB Vice Chairman Anura Wijepala said yesterday. He said that a special team of Engineers China Mechanical Engineering Corporation had arrived more..

BA re-entry catalyst for other airlines to enter Sri Lanka

Aug 30 (Island) The Civil Aviation Authority said that it saw British Airways recommencing flights to Sri Lanka as a plus point as many of its competitors that pulled out during the war would also reconsider including Sri Lanka as a tourist destination once more. Director General Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), H.M.C. Nimalsiri said yesterday that all reputed careers which competed with BA would think of Sri Lanka again once the BA commenced its operations next year. more..

'Minister’s sinister move aims at destroying unique reservation'

Aug 30 (LB) The Negombo Divisional Secretary’s office has already targeted a land, eight acres in extent comes under the Negombo Lagoon Mangrove Forest with the sinister aim of carrying out the construction of a housing scheme and further development activities there. This particular project is alleged to have been given the given light by deputy minister Sarath Kumara Guneratne and the total extent of land that more..

FUTA will courageously defend the rights of the people

Aug 30 (SL) The members of the FUTA appeal to the people to express solidarity with their national level trade union struggle demanding for 6% of the GDP on education since we need to protect state education and also collectively provide vital checks and balances to the process of governance in Sri Lanka. Academics need to ensure that public policy formulation in all sectors, not just education, will be influenced by more..

'States should not be deprived of weapons'

Aug 30 (Island) Ambassador Major General Shavendra Silva, Charge d’Affaires of the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, emphasized that action taken by the UN and its member states to curb proliferation of small arms and light weapons shouldn’t affect right of governments to acquire weapons. Ambassador Silva was addressing the 2nd UN Conference to Review Progress made In the Implementation of more..

Sub-standard drugs in state-run hospitals

Aug 30 (Island) About 65 types of essential drugs and surgical items found to be sub-standard were still being distributed by the Medical Supplies Division (MSD) used in State-run hospitals countrywide, the Prof. Senaka Bibile Memorial Foundation (PSBMF) said yesterday. PSBMF Convener Dr. Jayantha Bandara said drugs given to patients with heart ailments, diabetes, hypertension and respiratory tract more..

JVP office destroyed, 5 SLMC offices attacked

Aug 30 (Island) A JVP propaganda office was destroyed while five SLMC offices had come under attack on Tuesday, a polls monitor said. The JVP office was situated at Niyadurupola on the Warakapola-Karawanella Road in the Dedigama electorate. The five SLMC offices in the Ampara District. Dr. Uditha Gunasekera of the Network for Election Monitoring and Intellectuals for Human Rights (NEMIHR) said that more..

Govt welcomes refugee repatriation from India

Aug 30 (IRIN) The Sri Lankan govt is to step up efforts to repatriate more Sri Lankan refugees from India next year. “In 2013, we will address the repatriation of Sri Lankan refugees living in southern India,” Minister of Resettlement Gunaratne Weerakoon said. According to Indian govt figures, there are more than 100,000 Sri Lankans in Tamil Nadu, including 68,000 in 112 govt-run camps and 32,000 outside the camps. more..

Sri Lanka war zones to get US$15mnn housing loans from DFCC, ADB

Aug 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka's former war zones in the north and the east and areas in the South hit by a tsunami in 2004 will get housing loans from DFCC Vardhana Bank financed by a 15 million US dollar credit from Asian Development Bank. ADB said it the loan from its private sector arm, demand for housing in the north and the east has increased after the end of a 30-year conflict in 2009, which has improved consumer sentiment, increased more..

Sangakkara, Amla, Philander, Clarke in running for top ICC honour

Aug 30 (CI) South Africa's Hashim Amla and Vernon Philander, Australia's Michael Clarke and Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara are in the running for the ICC Cricket of the Year award for 2011-12. The ICC announced the shortlists for the annual awards on Thursday, and the winners will be announced at a function ahead of the World Twenty20, on Sept 15, in Colombo. The four cricketers have also been nominated for more..

Animal sacrifice put off on President’s request

Aug 30 (DM) Munneswaram Sri Maha Badrakali Amman Devasthanam Administrator K. Sundaram said today that the animal sacrifice which was to be held tomorrow had been stopped on a request made by President Rajapaksa. The President had made this request because the ritual coincided with the exposition of the Kapilawasttu Buddha relics. However Mr. Sundaram said it would take place after more..

University teachers crisis will end-Govt

Aug 30 (DM) The university teachers’ strike will most probably end with the Cabinet of Ministers approving the govt’s policy stand to address the grievances of the academics and to develop the higher education sector, officials said. The Economic Development Ministry and the Higher Education Ministry presented this policy document for approval by Cabinet yesterday. According to the paper, the govt has agreed in principle to place the uni academic staff in a special category more..

Editorial: Nimble hand of justice

Aug 30 (DM) Well maintenance of law and order in a country the poper depends on the speed at which justice is meted out to the public. Be they the citizenry of the South who passed a period of terror due to the three-decade war, or their counterparts in the North who were daily witness to it, the course of justice should be evenhanded and prompt. This was a fact vehemently re-emphasized by the Mahanayake of the Malwatte Chapter most venerable Thibbotuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera on Monday when Minister G.L. Peiris more..

Is empowerment a quick fix or a magic bullet?

Aug 30 (DM) The frequent questions that many people in the development arena have not adequately addressed, confronted or even evaded when approaching women’s rights and justice issues were, - Empowerment for who? What kind of empowerment? Who takes decisions and actions for whom? When can women reclaim empowerment in their own right? Empowerment is a catchphrase that has dominated the lexicon of development circles for many years. It has its genesis in the more..

WikiLeaks: Mahinda said there was ‘no’ shelling in the safe zone, but Basil said ‘yes’

Aug 30 (CT) “Rajapaksa is the first Sri Lankan official who has been forthcoming when discussing Sri Lankan Army shelling of the safe zone. However, we were disappointed to hear him claim that medical supplies were reaching the wounded in the safe zone when it is clear from Embassy Colombo reporting that there have not been shipments since Feb 20. His comments on visas for ICRC staff were unhelpful, but more..

State-wide alert on human trafficking

Aug 30 (Hindu) The State Police along with Coast Guard and the Marine Enforcement wing of the Dept of Fisheries set out a search for a boat, after getting a tip-off that Sri Lankan refugees being spotted on board. The information was received by the Kollam Special Branch and it was passed on to Kochi Police as the boat was then reported to be off the Kochi coast. “Even though a search was set out immediately, we could spot only a fishing boat in the coordinates given in the information. more..

Denounce the police attack on students' agitation – JVP

Aug 30 (LT) The Political Bureau of the JVP has issued a press release condemning the attack carried out on the peaceful demonstration of university students by Rajapaksa govet deploying its police force. The press release states, “The police using tear gas and water cannon has repressed the peaceful agitation organized by the IUSF yesterday to demand the govt to solve the issues of university academic staffs and non-academic staffs and reopen the universities immediately. more..

A special presidential committee to improve the educational sector

Aug 30 (GDI) The govt is to appoint a special committee consisting of representatives from the Ministry of Higher Education, the UGC, University Academia and other relevant parties to make recommendations for improving the higher education sector of the country. This has been stated in the govt’s policy stance on Education and Higher Education, a joint cabinet memorandum submitted by the Ministers of Higher Education more..

Samudra Hikkaduwa gives statement to police

Aug 30 (DM) Former Miss Sri Lanka contest runner up Samudra Hikkaduwa who was accused of running a brothel in Moratuwa, has given a statement to the Walana Central Anti-Vice Squad today, police sources said. The Panadura- Walana Central Anti-Vice Squad raided a hotel said to be owned by the film and tele drama actress in Moratuwa on August 23. Two alleged sex workers and the manager of the hotel, a retired police sergeant, were arrested. more..

Police to identify protesting students

Aug 30 (CT) An investigation is underway to identify the undergraduates who joined in the protest opposite the Fort Railway Station on Wednesday, where over six police officers, including the OIC of the Maradana Police sustained injuries. SSP Ajith Rohana said several police personnel attached to the Fort and the Maradana Police Stations were injured after the protesters stated pelting stones as the police attempted to prevent the students from marching towards Temple Trees. The injured officers have been admitted to the more..

Debrief 30 08 2012

Two Sri Lankans held for pledging fake gold

Aug 30 (IBN) Two Sri Lankan Tamils were arrested for attempting to pledge fake gold jewellery at a private finance company on Wednesday. So far, the duo have conned 12 gold loan firms in the city. Police said that Vijaya Srikanth alias Kandabala and Padmanabhan, who hail from Jaffna and Colombo respectively, and now reside in Palavakkam, tried to pledge five bangles at a gold loan firm at Gandhi Road, Sriperumbudur. Sensing that the gold appraiser had realised all more..

Jayantha Kalubowila stripped of title

Aug 30 (CT) The Ministry of Justice has cancelled the title Justice of Peace of Chairman of the Human Rights Organization of the Justice of Peace, Jayantha Kalubowila. It was alleged that Kalubowila has been swindling money from other Justices of Peace and the public, using the name of the organization. A statement issued by the Ministry of Justice said Kalubowila has been expelled from the post of Justice of Peace of Nayinamada. It also said the ministry has been receiving many complaints to the effect that Kalubowila has cheated more..

'China not targeting any third party'

Aug 30 (DM) Visiting Chinese Defence Minister General Liang Guanglie today said the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is conducting friendly exchanges and cooperation with its counterparts in the South Asian nations intended at maintaining regional security and stability and not targeting any third party. Claiming that among China's fourteen land neighbours five are in South Asia he said that the Indian Ocean was an important energy and material transportation more..

An innocent 19-year-old was illegally arrested, tortured

Aug 30 (AHRC) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that Mahesh Palamakumbura, a 19-year-old machine operator was illegally arrested, severely tortured and forced to sign fraudulent documents by police officers who wanted to use him as a witness against two others. After severely beating Mahesh they threatened to cut off his legs and hands with an electric power tool. This case is yet another illustration of the exceptional collapse of more..

Malaria nearly eliminated in Sri Lanka despite decades of conflict

Aug 30 (UCSF) Despite nearly three decades of conflict, Sri Lanka has succeeded in reducing malaria cases by 99.9 percent since 1999 and is on track to eliminate the disease entirely by 2014. According to a paper published Thursday in the online, open-access journal PLOS ONE, researchers from Sri Lanka’s Anti-Malaria Campaign and the UCSF Global Health Group examined national malaria data and interviewed staff of the country’s malaria program to determine the more..

Consumer prices rise 9.5% in August

Aug 30 (LBO) Consumer prices in Colombo rose 9.5 percent in August 2012, easing slightly from 9.8 percent in July, with the index falling in absolute terms in the month. The Colombo Consumer Price Index fell 0.6 percent during the month with the food and non-alcoholic beverages components in the index falling 1.1 percent. Sri Lanka's inflation accelerated from low single digits after the island's soft-pegged Central Bank, more..

JHU wants the animal sacrifice telecast

Aug 30 (DM) The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) yesterday challenged the priests of the Munneswaram Kali Kovil in Chilaw to telecast the animal sacrifice live if it were such a holy ceremony as the Kovil priests’ claimed. Issuing a statement, JHU Leader Omalpe Sobitha Thera said, “This act will not bring peace or harmony to any religion. But at the same time it is sad that security has been provided for the killing of these animals. The All Ceylon Hindu Congress has more..

Secretary Defence visits Higher Military Academy of Sudan

Aug 30 (MoD) During his official visit to Sudan, the Secretary, Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa visited a number of important institutions and military installations. The secretary visited the prestigious Higher Military Academy of Sudan on 28th. He was accorded a warm welcome and was shown around the academy. The Secretary met with many senior military officials. Mementoes were also exchanged to mark the occasion. more..