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Over 15,000 still reported missing

July 8 (CG) Over 15,000 are still reported missing in the ethnic conflict, according to statistics by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in its annual report for 2011 which was released last week. The report said that as of December 31 last year the ICRC is still handling the cases of 15,780 people reported missing. Of this figure there are 1495 minors and 751 women, the ICRC report said. Thousands of people had lost touch with relatives during the former conflict and in its immediate aftermath, more..

Court of Appeal to hear EPC case amidst nomination for Provincial Council polls

July 8 (ST) The Court of Appeal hearing on the petition against the premature dissolution of the Eastern Province will begin on July 20, a day after nominations begin for three provincial council polls. This week the Court of Appeal decided that the case be heard before a Bench comprising Justices Sisira De Abrew, A.W.A. Salam and Anil Goonaratne. The Eastern Provincial Council and the North Central and Sabaragamuwa more..

Fonseka’s moment has passed say Academics

July 8 (NS) Academics allege that Sarath Fonseka will not have a political future as he does not have a vision to address the burning issues of the country. Foneska during his first press briefing after his release held last month spelt out his policies in brief. The academics however said that his policies and vision were not clear enough to address the issues faced by the country. Senior Lecturer in Political Science at the Sri Jayawardenapura University Anuruddha Pradeep said more..

Prepared recharge card soon for bus passengers

July 8 (NS) Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) plans to go for a new milestone with a prepaid recharge card for its commuters. LPBOA president Gamunu Wijeratne told the Nation that they were to introduce a prepaid recharge card system together with a state bank for bus passengers. According to LPBOA president, frequent bus passengers would be asked to get a recharge card from the selected bank. They have to use it for their day to day journeys. more..

Govt has blocked 9 websites on Media Ministry request

July 8 (SL) The govt since last year has blocked nine websites on recommendations made by the Media Ministry. The TRC has temporarily blocked these websites carrying Sri Lankan news on the basis that these websites had published articles defamatory of various individuals. The TRC says the Commission has no plans on blocking any more websites and that it has not received any recent requests from more..

Eight youth nabbed for money laundering

July 8 (DM) Eight young Chennai-bound Indians who tried to smuggle out foreign currency worth of Rs. 4,841,672 were arrested by the Customs at BIA last morning. Among them the currencies were 1,32,500 Saudi Riyals and 412 US Dollars, the Customs said. They said the other youth were checked after the currencies were found in the possession one of the group members. The eight youth had possessed an equal amount of money. Following investigations, they had said that a more..

Fernando and Sami, the Comeback kings

July 8 (CI) … goes to the enigmatic Dilhara Fernando. Since his Test debut in 2000, the on and off Sri Lanka fast bowler was making his 17th comeback, outnumbering his counterpart Mohammad Sami (14). When Sami was recalled at the start of the tour, he began inauspiciously, conceding 14 off his first over in the first T20 in Hambantota. Not that Fernando had much to brag about today. He was not given the new ball and curiously, was brought into the attack after the other fast bowlers more..

'The lowest to the top leadership in the government are criminals'

July 8 (LT) Politicians and supporters of the government from the lowest to the top leadership are criminals says the JVP MP Anura Dissanayake. He said, “The actions of govt politicians and supporters have adversely affected the breakdown of law and order in the country. The leadership of the govt from top to bottom has been engaged in an agenda to protect criminals and prevent functioning of the law. There is much evidence to prove this. more..

W’Chair tennis’s ride to glory – cap in hand

July 9 (SL) IT’S a catalogue of achievements that could send other sports green with envy: three consecutive Olympic appearances; bronze medal at two World Team Championships and, whose players’ frequently overcome opponents occupying higher echelons in the world rankings. With such impressive credentials, you’d imagine a scrum of sponsors wrestling each other to be a part of the sport, and thus a lack of finances won’t be one of its worries – a sport living on enrichments earned by its wonderful achievements. more..

Environmental protection and sustainable development in Sri Lanka

July 9 (SL) This column dedicated to the notion of fulfilling the aspirations of Sri Lankan society turns its spotlight on the protection of the environment in Sri Lanka while engaging in sustainable development that will fulfill the aspirations of all Sri Lankans thereby ensuring preservation of the environment in our land. Environmental concerns in Sri Lanka include deforestation; soil erosion; wildlife populations threatened by poaching and urbanization; more..

Eastern Province success story, the hallmark of development

July 9 (SO) The Western Province has been contributing 50 p.c. to the total National economy till recently. But at present it has come down to 45 p.c. Has the Western Province failed? Well, not exactly, according to the Economic Development Ministry. “This doesn’t mean the Western Province has failed but it shows that the other regions have started to contribute more and increase their share in the national economy,” more..

Sri Lanka: Becoming a nation of perverts, paedophiles and rapists

July 9 (CT) All through the years (Ceylon) Sri Lanka was thought of as a country that has high standards of decency, civilized and well disciplined, but since 1977 disorder, violence, corruption, injustice of power and tyranny of wealth is so widespread that in the near future it will paralyze the life in this country. No democracy can survive with out law and order. The moral standards of our politicians, police force, army, criminals, and legal system are living examples. more..

Can university teachers bend the Sri Lankan state?

July 9 (CT) The major strike launched by university teachers in Sri Lanka on July 4th is gaining momentum. Their struggles are proving to be the single most sustained and nationally organised movement in Sri Lanka’s post-war years. This strike follows previous trade union action taken last year where the Heads of Departments of state universities resigned from their positions for several months. With the Govt unheeding of their demands, the FUTA more..

Dismay as children scream of being abused!

July 9 (NS) When Cyril, a bright 10-year-old student, suddenly refused to study and his grades began to plunge, his concerned teacher called him aside after school and asked him if he had a problem. “He confessed that he was unable to concentrate on his studies as his father had begun abusing him sexually. “What shocked me was that his mother to whom he had turned for help, told him he had to tolerate the abuse as she would be assaulted if she confronted him more..

Globalization and national question in Sri Lanka

July 9 (DBS) Despite what the conditions and dynamics in the future politics of the Island of Sri Lanka may be, even if divided into two countries, our children as Sinhalese and Tamil speaking people have to co-exist as neighbours. To contribute to this, regardless of the fact whether we work for separation or a federal union, we have to create and leave a cultural and political climate for peaceful co-existence for our children as friendly neighbours in our island. more..

Sri Lanka must vigorously promote coir and coir based products globally

July 9 (DBS) It is heartening to note that the Coconut Development Ministry and the Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) have signed an MOU very recently, on measures to be taken to issue Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) or Standard Certifications for coconut- related products. The global trade volume for coir fibre, value-added products is now valued at about $140 million annually, with India’s share at about $ 70 million and Sri Lanka’s in the region of $ 60 million. more..

From Welikada to Vavuniya: Tale of Thamilini’s Transfer-2

July 9 (DBS) Monday July 2nd 2012 was a red letter day in the life of Subramaniam Sivakamy alias Thamilini. The 40 year old former women’s division political chief of the LTTE formally began her period of rehabilitation on that day at the PARC in Poonthottam, Vavuniya. Rehabilitation is a prerequisite to her ultimate release. The rehabilitation period will be for one year during which time Sivakamy will undergo training in more..

Religious Consciousness Unlimited

July 9 (NS) Pradeep Jeganathan wrote a thoughtful article on the history and meaning associated with incidents in Wanduramba and Dambulla, both involving bikkhus. Pradeep brings in and locates historically things such as doctrinal disputes and contrasts these with the umbrage-ridden objections evident in Dambulla and Wanduramba. More importantly, Pradeep argues that the notion of ‘sacred Buddhist space’, privileged and which found political expression in Dambulla is not ‘ancient’. Moreover, in the case of Wanduramba, more..

Democracy with equality not secessionism

July 9 (NS) Dr Vikramabahu Karunaratne gets more things wrong than right, and he does exaggerate, but he hardly ever lies wittingly. Therefore I have no reason to disbelieve the following extract from his column in the Sunday Lakbima of July 1, reporting a meeting in Matara. “MP Sumanthiran was the special speaker at this meeting...Sumanthiran explained in very simple way and in an attractive style the meaning of ‘the right of self-determination’. “The Sinhalese are a great people and we respect them” he said more..

The STF operation that thwarted Vavuniya prison coup

July 9 (NS) Last week, the international Tamil Eelam movement attempted to raise their heads at the Vavuniya prison, where a number of LTTE terrorist suspects are being held. The operation was to hold some prison officers hostage and take full control of the prison. The prison premises located on a 40-perch land was taken under the control of the LTTE suspects, who were being given instructions over digital phones more..

Declining economic growth, rising Inflation and widening trade and fiscal deficits

July 9 (ST) The Global downturn and drought have been underlying reasons for the deteriorating economic conditions that have arrested this year’s growth and generated a higher inflation rate. It is now more certain that the economic growth rate of 6 per cent that we predicted in this column of June 14th is likely owing to the adverse global market conditions for both agricultural and industrial exports and the impact of the drought on agricultural production and hydro electricity generation. more..

Police brace themselves against treasure hunters

July 9 (SO) An avalanche of treasure hunting cases have been reported from different parts of the country during the past few months. The surge in treasure hunting in recent times is attributed to several reasons. People have been made to believe that priceless treasures that have been buried by their ancestors for posterity could make them wealthy when unearthed, the police said. Treasure hunters also believe that these treasures have been buried at archaeological sites and more..

Hirunika: did she ‘sell-out’ on the statue? Hirunika Premachandra tells all

July 9 (DBS) Hirunika Premachandra is unhappy that her mother recently accepted a coordinating secretary position from President Mahinda Rajapaksa but said she understands her reasons for it. The young law student and aspiring politician also said she would not join the government and has not accepted any money from the SLFP for the erection of her late father’s statue. more..

Editorial: Paradise lost

July 9 (Island) Time was when Sri Lanka was known the world over for its tea, rubber and coconut. Sadly, today, it is in the news internationally because of sex crimes, human rights violations and corruption. The UN has recently removed this country from its List of Shame because all child combatants have been liberated from the clutches of the LTTE and its offshoot, TMVP, and reunited with their families. But, the country is still far from safe for children if the alarmingly high incidence of child abuse is anything to go by. more..

Perera gives Pakistan a headache again

July 9 (CI) Pakistan must have seen enough of Thisara Perera already. It all began in Hambantota where his lower-order cameo shored up Sri Lanka's batting on a slow pitch. In Pallekele, he took six wickets in the second ODI to turn the game Sri Lanka's way. If that wasn't enough, he had a hat-trick in store two games later in Colombo to trigger off a monumental collapse to match the unpredictable Pakistan of the old. He was back at Pallekele for his first Test of the series and more..

'Loss on Greek bonds unknown to CB'

July 9 (Island) The Central Bank did not clarify in a statement released over the weekend reports that it had lost Rs. 2.2 billion by investing the country’s reserves in Euro bonds, including Greek bonds, but the bank’s Governor said the bank does not know what the actual loss was because it does NOT ‘analyse individual investments’, but only focuses on the total portfolio. Releasing a statement the Central Bank showed that it had more..

US-Brit investors willing to pump US$ 90mn plus for Gaffoor bldg hotel project, but…

July 9 (Island) A consortium of American and British investors are willing to inject a total sum of in excess of US$ 90 million for a 300 room plus seven star hotel project in the now virtually- collapsing Gaffoor building in Fort, but what is preventing the project from proceeding is the snags related to the ownership of the building. "There are investors who are more than keen to invest over US$ 90 million for the project which is inclusive of an more..

Ranil brush up!

July 9 (FT) Last week in Parliament, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe singled out Daily FT in his usual criticism on newspapers. Among various allegations made by Wickremesinghe was that the FT is one of the papers which is in the pay of the so-called “stock market mafia” and the Central Bank. Wickremesinghe also alleged that FT was one of the papers which was rigging the market! Daily FT views these as serious allegations especially since they were made in Parliament. more..

PCC meeting on Finance: Exchange rates, EPF / ETF come under fire

July 9 (Island) The Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Finance, which met last Friday, with President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the chair as Finance Minister, had a series of serious questions, posed by the Opposition UNP, which revolved round the exchange rate, investments of the EPF and ETF in the Colombo Stock Market and the ever rising Cost of Living, drawing heavy fire. The meeting commenced with UNP MPs Dr Harsha de Silva and Ravi Karunanayake asking more..

Renovation of six tanks in Mahaweli G Zone begins

July 9 (DN) "If small scale reservoirs had been renovated , the country would have been able to face any drought situation. The renovation programme of small scale water reservoirs was delayed for a long time owing to various reasons. It caused a delay in the renovation of small tanks," Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said. He was addressing a meeting at the Mahaweli Auditorium in Bakamoona recently. This meeting was held after the commencing of renovation work on six tanks in the Mahaweli "G" Zone. more..

20% increase in complaints by bus commuters

July 9 (CT) The National Transport Commission (NTC) said there is 20% increase in complaints by commuters against private buses this year when compared to last year. During the last six months the National Transport Commission has received 3,104 complaints from passengers about private buses and when compared to last year it has increased by 20%, NTC Chairman Roshan Gunawardene said. Accordingly 2,586 complaints have been received in the first six months of 2011. more..

Internet blackout warning

July 9 (DN) The Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team (SLCERT) warned Internet users in Sri Lanka about a total Internet blackout. According to SLCERT, thousands of Sri Lankan Internet users will be among millions worldwide who will face a total Internet blackout from today, due to a malicious piece of software that may infect their computers without their knowledge. That is the warning from the Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team more..

Stock market full of crooks? What do SEC and CSE statistics show?

July 9 (FT) Contrary to popular perceptions that the Colombo stock market is infested with insider dealing, manipulation and other malpractices, statistics from the very regulator convey a different picture altogether. Statistics show that though overall investigations and suspected cases of market/price manipulations have doubled in number, if one compares this with the total number of trades that the CSE does for a year, the incidents as a ratio are negligible. more..

Waste to be diverted to the sea

July 9 (CT) In an exercise meant to defuse the controversy over the disposal of radioactive waste at the Maharagama Cancer Hospital, the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) has decided to divert the waste to the sea through pipes. Its assistant general manager, Jayantha Pathirana told Ceylon Today the NWSDB has planned to erect a special water disposal system at Maharagama with a view to diverting the waste to Ratmalana, where they will be refined, before being discharged to the sea. more..

Former army chief Sarath Fonseka calls for Arab Spring-style uprising

July 9 (Telegraph) Outlining his return to active politics after he was released from jail in May following pressure from the US, Gen Fonseka sought to scotch speculation he had struck a deal with the govt to keep a low political profile. Instead he launched a bitter attack on President Rajapaksa, whom he accused of persecuting his family and terrorising opponents, and pledged a new campaign to topple his govt. more..

Knuckles: 150 acres of Patana land gutted

July 9 (Island) Five major forest fires have been reported countrywide during the last 24 hours. The most serious one broke out in the Knuckles Mountain range, where 150 acres of valuable Patna land were destroyed. The fire on the Riverstone Estate in Matale bordering the Knuckles range, in an area called Patiala Pathana, which broke out at around 7.15 pm on Friday night, had been doused with the help of the Air Force around 4.30 pm yesterday, Deputy Director of the DMC Lal Sarath Kumara told The Island more..

Sri Lankan zest in Penang fest

July 9 (TS) Pedestrians stopped dead in their tracks when they saw four women dancing to the beat of rhythmic drums in Armenian Street here. They became even more “spellbound” when the main dancer started whirling without stopping for a few minutes. This was not the dance of a cult but a traditional Sri Lankan dance presented by the Tilak Fernando Dance Troupe which was making their inaugural appearance at the George Town Heritage Festival (GTF) on Saturday. According to the troupe’s director more..

Teachers oppose attempt to ‘militarise’ schools

July 9 (Island) The Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union has called upon the general public to join it in urging the govt to defeat a move to offer the rank of colonel to school principals. In a media release’ signed by General Secretary of the CTSU Mahinda Jayasinghe, the union says that the govt is preparing the ground to militarise the local school system by converting school principals into Colonels of the National Cadet Corps, coming under more..

Sri Lanka A Vs South Africa A: Karunaratne on brink of century

July 9 (SS) Dimuth Karunaratne will have to wait until Monday’s final day of the second four-day ‘Test’ between Sri Lanka A and South Africa A to complete his eighth first-class century. At stumps on the third day the Sri Lankan captain was unbeaten on 99 (192 balls, 9 fours and a six) following his innings of 83 on the first day. Sri Lanka closed on 217/3 for an overall lead of 263 and Karunaratne’s toughest decision will now be to time his declaration correctly. more..

‘Sri Lanka food exports surge by 41% to $ 95 m’

July 9 (DN) Sri Lanka’s processed food exports rose by 41% topping $ 95 million in 2011. Both food and packaging sectors in Sri Lanka have seen rapid modernization and expansion in recent times. As a result of many concessions that have been offered by the government to these sectors exports from the Processed Food industry last year stood at 94.84 million US dollars which was a considerable increase of 41 percent in 2011 compared to 2010,” said Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of more..