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Provincial Elections: Criticisms and perspectives

July 7 (CT) The provincial elections–the ones scheduled to be held as well as the one that isn’t—are the subject of political comment. Three are to be held ahead of schedule, resulting in a dual criticism. One is that they are untimely and the other that they serve solely the interests of the ruling bloc. Critique is to be encouraged but it must be well-placed and these aren’t. Indeed they miss the point, and the duty of political analysis is precisely to draw more..

Multiple crisis on the cards as drought intensifies

July 7 (SL) The govt after suspending rice exports to ensure food security due to the drought conditions experienced in most parts of the country is also looking at power shedding as a measure to address a possible power crisis. The delay in rains has affected 13 districts in the country and the Meteorology Department says it is unlikely that the country would experience significant rains in the next few weeks. more..

Remembering Ajith Samaranayake who wrote from the heart

July 7 (DBS) Captain Rohan Moonemalle of Etihad Airways a college mate of mine at Trinity College Kandy wrote to me: “Bandula can you let me know who the publishers of the collection of articles by Ajith Samaranayake are? I would like to buy a few copies. I knew Ajith from the time I was a junior at Trinity. And I used to think he was nuts because he used to sit in his living room everyday and read the newspaper editorial as loud as he could. As an 8 year old this was quite a spectacle because more..

Editorial: Cleaning our Augean stables

July 7 (Island) Time was when Sri Lanka's every ill––political, social, economic or otherwise––was blamed on war. It was thought that if the war could be finished, hey presto, everything would fall into place. The conflagration ended three years ago, but still there are no signs of any such recovery. The national economy is sluggish though there is said to be no threat of a downturn; the crime rate has gone through the roof; the rule of law is teetering on the verge of collapse; corruption remains rampant, political dissent is suppressed and more..

Lankan envoy upbeat on doubling US arrivals here

July 7 (Island) The Sri Lankan embassy in Washington is aggressively promoting the island nation as a tourist destination and Ambassador Jaliya Wickremasuriya is upbeat on doubling arrivals to 45,000 in the next three years and to 100,000 by 2017. "We are actively promoting Sri Lanka as a destination for tourism and investment. Statistics for 2011 revealed a total arrival of 24300 US tourists to Sri Lanka. This is compared to 19,000 more..

A rational devolution is the key to reconciliation

July 7 (Island) We are at a decisive moment in our country’s history with either to move forward with a new resolve and vision for peace and prosperity or go back to that dark chapter in our recent history. The concerned citizenry of the country are looking up to the govt to lead a political process, with due urgency, pursued with genuine commitment and good faith that will lead to sustainable peace and security for all in the post conflict more..

Innocence raped

July 7 (Island) A slime covered stone cold body of a little girl was pulled out of the filthy waters of a canal a few days ago sending yet another spate of shock waves across the island. She is just another number of the many lives that are snuffed out by horrendous sex maniacs who live around us. I am just an insignificant voice crying out in the wilderness that the molestation, rape, abuse, and murder of children must stop NOW !! Every child is OUR child and each life has a right to live. more..

Stifling the Media to sweep corruption under the carpet?

July 7 (Island) "We must look the world in the face with calm and clear eyes even though the eyes of the world are blood shot today." Gandhi spoke these words when the Indian national leaders were imprisoned in 1942 by the then colonial rulers during the time when the British Govt and many countries of the world were at war. The Indian leaders were being continuously imprisoned during the more..

Burial at a place of choice by family members

July 7 (AHRC) A prisoner, Ganeshan Nimalarubin, died in prison custody. Allegedly he was a former LTTEr who had been prison custody for a long time undergoing rehabilitation. His death in the prison has given rise to an important controversy. The BBC Sinhala Service reported yesterday (5) that the prisoner's parents who are old and quite destitute were informed of their son's death and they were asked to go to Colombo to sign for and take the body before the burial was conducted there. more..

Cinnamon Lakeside bags Best Luxury Hotel award

July 7 (Island) Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo announced its latest accomplishment as recipient of the ‘Best Luxury Hotel, Sri Lanka’ award at the Business Destinations 2012 Travel Awards. Currently recognized as the ‘Best Five Star City Hotel’ by Sri Lanka Tourism, the award brings international recognition to the already locally awarded hotel. The Hotel has also been recognized at internal forums, with triumphs at the John Keells Leisure Awards under the pledges more..

'Prosecute or grant amnesty to Tamil detainees'

July 7 (CT) The TNA yesterday urged the govt to grant an amnesty to Tamil detainees kept in prisons without being prosecuted. TNA Leader, R. Sampanthan said, despite govt’s assurance in May, to expedite judicial process with regard to these detainees, prosecutions have not stated so far. “If the legal proceedings could not be initiated against those who are kept in detention, why not release them under an amnesty? more..

Ambassador of France visits Trincomalee District

July 7 (FT) The scientific French Navy warship Dupuy De Lome is in a port visit in Trincomalee harbour until 6 July, the visit being the first of this kind in Trincomalee, since before the beginning of the war. Ambassador of France Christine Robichon visited Trincomalee District, accompanying Commanding Officer Commander Grégoire Germain to a courtesy call on the Commander Eastern Naval Area Rear Admiral Jayanath Colombage. In Trincomalee she was received by more..

Mangala apologizes to Sajith

July 7 (CT) MP Managala Samaraweera has apologized to UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa for slandering him and his family members with false information through his official website called Sri Lanka X News. On Thursday Mangala Samaraweera met up with Sajith Premadasa at a UNP Working Committee meeting held at Sirikotha where he extended his apology regarding the content that had been carried by the website. “This programme had lasted for about a month and a half in the website and more..

'No 45% salary hike for CEB workers'

July 7 (CT) Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka told Parliament that the employees of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) receive a higher salary when compared to that received by the employees of other institutions and that therefore their salaries would not be increased by 45 per cent as demanded. The salaries of CEB workers are increased every three years and accordingly this year too, their salaries had been increased by 25 percent, more..

Keheliya to reach settlement with hotel down under

July 7 (Island) Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella is expected to come to an amicable settlement with an Australian hotel, which he sued after falling off its balcony in February this year. Rambukwella told The Island yesterday that his Melbourne based lawyers were discussing the terms of settlement and he hoped to settle the matter shortly. "I fell off the balcony and landed on a flower bed eight meters below; it is a miracle that I am still alive," he said, more..

Allegation that trees growing on newly carpeted road

July 7 (Island) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa yesterday directed the Ministry of Local Govt and Provincial Councils to investigate an allegation by the Opposition that a palmyrah palm had grown on a newly carpeted road constructed at a cost more than Rs. 70 million in the Puttalam District. The Speaker gave the directive when UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara asked Deputy Minister Indika Bandaranayake whether any action would be taken against the contractor who had more..

Ruwan Ferdinandez not wanted by CID

July 7 (FT) Sri Lanka X-news Website Editor Ruwan Ferdinandez who surrendered before the Colombo Chief Magistrate court yesterday was not wanted by the CID, CID IP Anura Silva told the Colombo Additional Magistrate. Ferdinandez was produced before the Magistrate by his Counsel Saliya Pieris and said that the CID had already arrested eight workers of the website and are looking forward to arrest Ferdinendez allegedly for programming an anti-Govt more..

Draw-fests at the SSC

July 7 (CI) In September last year, Sri Lanka Cricket were slapped with an official warning after the Galle pitch which was served up for the Test against Australia was termed 'poor' by Chris Broad, the match referee, for excessively assisting spinners. The decision was a controversial one. The Australian batsmen seemed to agree with the ICC's move; Ricky Ponting equated it to Mumbai's dustbowl of 2004, while Michael Clarke thought it unfortunate that the toss had determined more..

Strike cancelled due to injunction

July 7 (CT) The planned token strike tomorrow (6) by 350 doctors in the Jaffna Teaching Hospital was cancelled due to an injunction issued by the Jaffna Courts, Member of the Govt Medical Officers Association (GMOA) in Jaffna, Dr. Sai Niranjan said. The injunction was issued by the Courts after the police had made a request to cancel the token strike scheduled to be held today (6) from 8.00a.m., to 8.00p.m. The GMOA has also appealed to the Courts to remove the issued injunction. more..

Z Score: Delay in implementing SC directive queried

July 7 (Island) The UNP queried in Parliament yesterday as to why the govt authorities concerned were delaying the implementation of the Court ruling delivered on the 25th of last month with regard to the ‘Z-score’ crisis. UNP MP D. M. Swaminathan, participating in an adjournment debate, said that it had resulted in a serious crisis. "The scheme of allocating ‘Z-score’ has loomed into a colossal national problem today. more..

Malaysia keen on investing here

July 7 (DN) A high level business delegation led by Malaysian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Syed Ali Alattas met Minister Basil Rajapaksa on Thursday. The delegation is in Sri Lanka to explore the possibilities of trade and investment opportunities. The National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia is the umbrella platform comprising five principle Malaysian private sector organisations concerned with commerce and industry. They are the Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia, the Associated Chinese more..

'Home dust Mite' found in another eight handphones

July 7 (DN) A micro organism called 'Home dust Mite' or Dermatophagoides Pteroyssimus was found in another eight handphones during last week. Doctors of the MRI in Borella who conducted tests on some unnatural dust particles found in the ear of a patient stated in their report that it was a colony of home dust mite which had invaded the patient's ear. "The Health Ministry said these type of micro organism had been detected in a human organ in Sri Lanka for the first time. more..

'Ending child abuse: Parents’ role vital'

July 7 (DN) The Police Department yesterday said the media can play a pivotal role in educating the parents and guardians to keep a close tab on the behaviour and movements of their children as the Police cannot eradicate the incidence of child abuse and sexual abuse single-handedly without the active support from parents. According to a statement issued by the Police Department, this trend of incidents cannot be eradicated through Police investigations and legal action more..

President calls for setting up new Police stations in response to rising crime

July 7 (FT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as the Minister of Finance and Planning, Defence, Ports and Aviation, and Highway participated in the Parliamentary consultative meetings of the respective ministries at the Parliament yesterday. During the discussions on defence matters the President, in response to demands of the public, has focused his attention on the increasing crime in the country and called for establishing new Police stations and more..

Central Bank loses over Rs. 1.5 b by investing in junk Greek bonds!

July 7 (FT) The Central Bank has admitted that the country had lost over Rs. 1.5 billion by investing in Greek bonds. This revelation was made to Committee of Public Enterprises (COPE) during a hearing yesterday in Parliament. Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal who attended the meeting had admitted that the loss was following the monetary authority in 2011 investing in Bonds of Greece, the financially bankrupt Euopean nation which had to be bailed out recently. more..

Govt. still hopes TNA will take part in PSC

July 7 (Island) The govt is confident that the TNA, in spite of its claim last week in a statement to India that it did not see any point in getting involved in ‘what looks like an infructuous negotiating process’, will eventually participate in the Parliamentary Select Committee on the National Question (PSCNQ). Asked to comment on frequent visits by Indian dignitaries to Colombo and the status of the proposed PSCNQ, Minister Keheliya more..

Hariharan’s singing tour to Sri Lanka off

July 7 (TOI) Veteran playback singer and fusion music exponent Hariharan has called off his concert tour to Colombo, which was to kick off on Saturday, in deference to Tamil sentiments. "My music has spread peace, happiness and love throughout the world for at least three decades. If one concert could create so much of hurt and anguish among my fans, the concert loses its purpose," Hariharan told TOI explaining why he had called it off. Tamil outfits in Tamil Nadu had raised the red flag to more..

Tamil parties meet western envoys over death of detainee

July 7 (Island) MPs of the TNA, including its leader R. Sampanthan and Suresh Premachandran, DPF leader Mano Ganeshan and its Secretary-General Dr. Kumar Guruparan on Thursday met the diplomatic community, from certain Western countries, to discuss the death of a Tamil detainee Ganeshan Nimalaruban, who succumbed to injuries sustained in an assault by prison authorities at the Vavuniya Prison last week. He died on Wednesday at the Mahara Prison Hospital. more..

Disconnect over Sri Lankan airmen being sent back

July 7 (IANS) In a clear instance of disconnect, the Press Information Bureau's Chennai wing said Friday that all the Sri Lankan airmen being trained near the Tamil Nadu capital were being sent back. The external affairs and defence ministries in New Delhi denied any such action - but not officially. "All Sri Lankan trainees are being sent off today (Friday) from this (Tambaram air force) station as per instruction of Ministry of Defence," more..

Pay up or close down, CMC tells businesses

July 7 (Island) Commercial establishments which owe millions of rupees in rates to the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) are likely to be asked to put up shutters unless the outstanding dues are paid immediately, The Island learns. Deputy Mayor of Colombo Titus Perera told The Island yesterday (6) that the CMC had also sent out notices to householders who owed the CMC more than Rs. 200,000 in rates to pay their outstanding dues or face prosecution. more..

Japan increases assistance

July 7 (Island) Japan has reiterated its commitment to Sri Lanka’s post-war recovery process with a substantial increase in the Overseas Development Assistance (ODA), a senior External Affairs Ministry official said yesterday. Although Japan reviewed its ODA assistance project in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster caused by last year’s earthquake, Sri Lanka would receive $ 525 mn, whereas the previous grant amounted to $ 375 mn, the official said. more..

'Sri Lanka losses on Greece bonds offset by other gains'

July 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka has lost money by buying Greece government bonds for its foreign reserve portfolio but returns on other assets have offset the losses, the Central Bank said. "The investments in Greece Bonds were a small fraction of the Central Bank total Europe portfolio and the loss of the Greek bonds was comfortably offset by higher returns from other investments," the Central Bank said in a statement. more..

NOTW editor 'spiked paedophilia scoop on Arthur C Clarke for fear of Murdoch'

July 7 (Independent) The News of the World spiked an exclusive story exposing the science fiction writer Arthur C Clarke as a paedophile, according to a new book about life inside the newspaper whose closure was announced a year ago today. In Hack, an account of his nerve-shredding days as a reporter on the News of the World and then the Sunday Mirror, Graham Johnson claims that although the NOTW more..

Sri Lanka moves up in logistics index

July 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka has moved up 56 places to 81 in a World Bank logistics performance index for 2012, as a result of improvements in infrastructure and quality of logistics services, a business chamber has said. To compile the index, nearly a thousand international freight forwarders have been surveyed on areas such as infrastructure, quality and competence of operators, customs and clearance processes. Yardsticks of the index included speed and efficiency of more..

Water tariff hike in the offing

July 7 (Island) The government was expected to bring in the necessary legislation for the Public Utilities Commission to revise water tariffs soon, informed sources said yesterday. The Chairman Pubic Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka Dr. Jayatissa De Costa said that although the Commission had a right to regulate tariff on water, there was not a single Act or regulation for it to exercise its powers. In the schedule of the Public Utilities Commission Act No 35 of 2002, more..

Sri Lanka keen to maintain good neighborly relations

July 7 (Xinhua) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday told his country's ambassadors and high commissioners posted overseas to maintain good relations with the island's neighbors. Addressing the opening of a two day workshop for the envoys just outside the capital, Rajapaksa noted that the world was now focused on Asia as the region was rising above the rest. Rajapaksa's office quoted him as saying that the world has more..

SL, Indian navies hold maritime boundary talks

July 7 (PTI) India and Sri Lanka discussed Maritime matters, including the issue of fishermen straying in each other's territorial waters, as they held a crucial annual meeting aimed at strengthening Naval relationship. The 21st International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) meeting between Sri Lanka and India was held onboard the Sri Lanka Naval Ship Sagara at the Indo-Sri Lanka Maritime Boundary Line off more..

'Training in any part of India unacceptable'

July 7 (DM) Taking exception to the transportation of the nine Lankan Air Force personnel from Tambaram air-base to Bangalore for continuing their training there, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Friday urged the Centre to deport these personnel back to Sri Lanka. “The people of Tamil Nadu would not accept providing training to the Lankan Air Force personnel at Bangalore instead of Tambaram. I reiterate my demand for deporting the Sri Lankan personnel to their country immediately and more..

President Rajapaksa graces the Ranaviru Real Star-Mission 2 grand finale

July 7 (IL) Ayomi Perera of the Sri Lanka Army won the Grand Finale of the 'Ranaviru Real Star' -Mission 2, which was held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium in Colombo, a short while ago. The winner Ayomi Perera became the proud owner of a brand new two story house worth 17 million Rupees, while the runner up Gayan Arunapriya of the Sri Lanka Navy received a car worth 2 million Rupees. more..

FUTA to continue strike until demands are met

July 7 (Island) The Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) President Dr Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri yesterday said that his association’s talks with President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga had not reached fruition. However, he said, Weeratunga had given the FUTA representatives a patient hearing unlike Minister S. B. Dissanayake, whom he accused of having a confrontational approach. more..