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Rape and also be damned

July 10 (SL) Pavithra and I were at the Women and Children’s Bureau of the Tangalle Police, by 9am. The whole division was bustling with activity. We found out that four more suspects had been arrested in the morning, in connection with the rape of a school girl. The school girl had been waylaid and held for six days… and raped. The Officer in Charge of the Bureau, Sriyani and her team were diligently going about their investigation. more..

NPC polls must be perfect and transparent: Basil

July 10 (DM) The first-ever elections to the Northern Provincial Council must be “perfect and transparent”, and an environment conducive to the holding of free and fair elections could be created in the North by September 2013, the govt said yesterday. “The first Provincial Council election in the North has to be perfect and transparent. We don’t want to hold an election and then get blamed,” Minister Basil Rajapaksa told Daily Mirror. more..

Stepped-up ops against drug pushing

July 10 (DN) The government’s efforts to fight the illicit drug trade with the assistance of the law enforcement agencies has succeeded in bringing drug abuse under control, sources at the Police Narcotic Bureau and National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB) said yesterday. The intensified crackdown on the drug mafia on the directive of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has knocked out the drug network, the sources added. more..

UNP dares govt. to hold PC polls on same day

July 10 (Island) The opposition UNP yesterday dared the govt to hold the forthcoming polls to the three Provincial Councils – North Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern Provincial Councils on the same day, claiming that if it did, it would lose. The govt was scared of holding elections on the same day to all the Provincial Councils as it was now aware that it would be routed and that was why it was holding them on a staggered basis more..

Dust mites on more mobile phones

July 10 (DM) Following the detection of dust mites on an earlier occasion, the Medical Research Institute (MRI) said yesterday it had detected more dust mites in another eight mobile phones. The dust mites were detected when a person informed the MRI about seeing some kind of activity in the dust around a mobile phone after his wife who used the mobile phone complained of an earache. MRI Director Anil Samaranayake had the mobile phone examined with more..

Pillayan front runner says TMVP

July 10 (CG) The Thamil Makkal Viduthalai Pullikal (TMVP) says party leader Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan is the front runner for the government as the candidate for the post of Chief Minister at the Eastern Provincial council elections. TMVP spokesman Azad Maulana said that while the government has not yet officially named Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan as the Chief Minister candidate at the Eastern polls, so far there is no one else to challenge him. more..

Hydro power gets brief boost

July 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka's hydro storage rose 30.4 GigaWatt hours to 319.1 GWh after strong showers on July 09 brought inflows mostly into small ponds in the Kelani River complex. According CEB data total hyrdo storage slipped to 288.7 GWh on Sunday, after slipping below the 300GWh mark earlier in the week, amid an exceptional dry spell and failed monsoon. The CEB's website said on Monday 29.6GWh hours of energy was generated of which 25.6 percent of 7.6GWh were hydro. more..

PHIs on strike today over murder in Kantale

July 10 (AD) The Sri Lanka Public Health Inspectors Association decided to go on an island-wide strike today in protest of the murder of a PHI in the Thambalagamuwa area in Kantale. All PHIs around the country will not report to work today in protest of the incident. A Public Health Inspector (PHI) was killed yesterday following an assault by householders during a dengue inspection carried out in the Kantale area. more..

Sri Lankan stocks fall 0.39 percent

July 10 (LBO) Stock prices remained in the red, despite large deals in Confifi Hotel, Hatton National Bank and Aitken Spence that helped swell Tuesday’s turnover, brokers said. Colombo’s benchmark All Share Price Index dipped 0.39 percent or 19.46 points to 4,905.60. The main index is down nearly 19 percent since January. The Milanka Price Index slipped 0.51 percent to 4,338.35, while the liquid S&P Sri Lanka 20 indice dropped 0.10 percent to close at 2,793.56, more..

Editorial: Doing it like Federer

July 10 (DM) No way would I be a journalist. You guys have tried to kill Roger - often. But he’s always come back and proved you wrong – Rafael Nadal. Call it complacency or resignation. In life there are times when one feels that one has already given it the best shots that they cannot be repeated, leave alone bettering them. The thought comes and goes as age catches up. When Roger Federer entered Wimbledon finals on Sunday against a relatively youthful Scot Andy Murray more..

Sri Lanka insists no impunity for soldier

July 10 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan govt on Tuesday insisted that soldiers found guilty of committing crimes will not be able to get away with impunity. A govt statement quoted the island's powerful defense secretary as saying that there may have been a few individuals who were guilty of acting outside orders and committing crimes during the war. The Sri Lankan military defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels three years ago after 30 years of of bitter more..

'Convict may have returned to Sri Lanka'

July 10 (NS) British Police are hunting for a convicted Sri Lankan-born fraudster who has been on the run for nearly six years. British Police officers suspect he may have returned to Sri Lanka, and have appealed for any information to help find him. Sri Lankan-born Ponnutharai Suresh, who is also known as Suresh Ponnutharai, has been missing since September 2006 when he was recalled to prison. The 34-year-old, who has links to Ealing, Harrow, and Milton Keynes, more..

Sri Lanka targets a billion dollars in second investment round at Hambantota

July 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-run ports agency is targeting a billion US dollars of investment at the southern Hambantota Port in a request for proposals that is closing in August 2012, an official said. "Our intention from the second request for investment proposals is to attract one billion dollars," Sri Lanka Ports Authority chairman Priyath Bandu Wickrema told a ports conference in Colombo Tuesday. The forum on 'Sri Lanka Ports, Trade andis more..

Sri Lanka targets US$15bn into Colombo 'port city'

July 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka is expecting 15 billion US dollars of investments to pour into a 'port city' on reclaimed beachfront land bordering the island's main port in Colombo, during the next 10 years, an official said. Reclamation of the 243 acre site is set to begin in October and is expected to be completed in 39 months, Sri Lanka Ports Authority chairman Priyath Bandu Wickrema said. more..

Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu: Trampling each other's toes

July 10 (Rediff) Sri Lanka air force personnel who had completed part of their technical training at Air Force Station, Tambaram, Chennai, were taken off the course and sent to Bangalore after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa raised a hue and cry over their presence in Tamil Nadu. The irrepressible chief minister will no doubt count this as a small victory in her ongoing political confrontation with her bete noir M Karunanidhi of the DMK, more..

Sri Lanka hosts shipping conference

July 10 (LBO) A two day sea trade conference aimed at examining Sri Lankan's maritime infrastructure and positioning the island as a transshipment logistic hub will kicks off Tuesday in Colombo. The conference on 'Sri Lanka Ports, Trade and Logistics' is hosted by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and organized by Sea Trade, a global events company specializing in the maritime sector. Organizers say with new port expansion projects and supporting infrastructure development more..

'Army will not acquire civilians’ lands'

July 10 (GDI) Commander Security Forces - Jaffna (SF-J) Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe said, “Army has no plan to acquire civilians’ lands to establish camps in Jaffna. Instead, Army has been continuously handing back houses occupied by the Army since the end of war to their legitimate owners. But, as a matter of national security, SF-J Headquarters will acquire a limited area to expand the Palaly Airport and more..

Sri Lanka seen keeping rates steady

July 10 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's central bank is expected to keep key policy rates steady on Wednesday for a third straight month as it looks to support the cooling economy and ease pressure on the ailing rupee, which has helped push inflation to a 41-month high. Eleven out of 16 analysts polled by Reuters poll expected repurchase rates to be left unchanged at 7.75 percent, while 12 analysts expectws reverse repurchase rates to be held steady at 9.75 percent. more..

Post of Chief Sangha Nayaka suspended

July 10 (DM) The Asgiri Maha Vihara has suspended the post of Galle District Chief Sangha Nayaka after the former Chief Sangha Nayaka the Ven. Migettuwaththe Sumiththa Thera was arrested on charges of having assisted suspects to carry out several robberies. Asgiri Chapter Chief Registrar the Ven. Anamaduwe Dhammadassi Thera said yesterday the decision, which was taken on Monday would be effective till the court proceedings on the charges were completed. more..

Sri Lanka stops 82 people heading to Australia

July 10 (AFP) Sri Lanka's navy seized two fishing trawlers transporting at least 82 would-be asylum seekers heading to Australia on Tuesday, police and naval officials said. The navy detected the two vessels off the island's eastern coast and was escorting them to the port of Trincomalee, officials said. "Navy gunboats saw the fishing boats full of people," a navy official, who asked not be identified, told AFP. more..

‘Use Sri Lanka to penetrate South Asian market’

July 10 (Bernama) Malaysian investors must seize opportunities offered by the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Sri Lanka and India and also with Pakistan to invest in South Asia, says the Malaysian Chamber of Commerce. The National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Malaysia (NCCIM) Secretary General Datuk Syed Hussien Al-Habshee said by investing in Sri Lanka, Malaysian companies can also penetrate the market of 1.5 billion in India and Pakistan. “Sri Lanka through its more..

Shuttler Thilini Jayasinghe qualifies for Olympics

July 10 (AD) Sri Lanka Badminton player Thilini Jayasinghe has qualified for the 2012 London Olympics, President of the Sri Lanka Badminton Association Parakrama Basnayake said. Jayasinghe made history at the 2008 Beijing Olympics by becoming the first Sri Lankan women’s badminton player ever to represent Sri Lanka at the Olympics. She won her first title at the age of 13 in a Kandy under-13 tournament and soon became the national champion in the same age group. more..

Attacking Perera gives Sri Lanka control

July 10 (CI) Sri Lanka took a significant step in their attempt to thwart Pakistan from levelling this rain-affected series, through a combination of dogged batting on a testing pitch, a fair amount of luck, and aggression. Pakistan contributed much to that luck through sloppy fielding, when an urgent quest for wickets was the need of the hour after a rained-out second day. A century-stand between Tharanga Paranavitana and Thilan Samaraweera included more..

Pakistan fumbles, Thisara flourishes

July 10 (CI) Keeping wicket to the seamers was never going to be easy on a lively pitch, spiced up further by heavy rain. You have to spare a thought for Taufeeq Umar, standing in for the injured Adnan Akmal. Junaid Khan in particular was getting the ball to talk, testing the experienced Thilan Samaraweera. One such delivery from round the wicket swerved in sharply to the right-hander and a circumspect Samaraweera did the wise thing by not offering a shot. more..

Northern farmers get more facilities

July 10 (GDI) Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said that the government has implemented more development projects in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, compared to other districts. The Minister said that in the Jaffna peninsula 60 percent of the people are involved in agricultural activities, and hence the government is focusing more attention on the development of agriculture in the peninsula. He said that by improving agricultural activities in the peninsula, more..

Sri Lanka Debrief News-10.07.2012

Kerawalapitiya breakdown, a body blow to CEB

July 10 (Island) A sudden breakdown of the 300MW Kerawalapitiya Combined Cycle Thermal Power Plant, dealt a severe body blow to the Ceylon Electricity Board. CEB Vice Chairman Prof. Anura Wijepala said that there was a technical problem at the Combined Cycle Thermal Plant, leaving the national grid short of approximately 280MW. He said that they were hunting for a replacement valve without success. However, since they couldn’t match the requirement, plans were more..

Police empowered-Gota

July 10 (DM) Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said yesterday that all the necessary freedom and authority had been given to the IGP and the Police Department to enable them to control the crime that takes place in the country. “Today no one influences the police. The police do not take orders from ministers. Extensive freedom has been given to the IGP to enforce the law and arrest the culprits and do everything necessary to reduce crime in the country,” he said. He denied that there was a crime wave in the country. more..

Economic growth depicted by CB a ‘fairy tale’ - Tissa

July 10 (AD) The UNP today accused the Central Bank of investing the people’s money in countries with collapsing economies, while advising the public to avoid investing in unstable financial establishments. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake referred to a revelation made by the COPE report, that the country had lost Rs. 34,000 Lakhs, which had been invested in bonds in Greece by the Central Bank more..

JHU–Wijedasa debate tonight

July 10 (DM) The debate between JHU and UNP MP Wijedasa Rajapaksha, is to be aired tonight on a private Television Channel. The JHU addressing the media yesterday said Rajapaksha evaded the earlier opportunity to engage in a constructive debate about the private members’ Bill which is to be brought into Parliament to ban monks from engaging in politics. Meanwhile, he also alleged that the manner in which Rajapaksha sat for his Master’s degree is debatable and added that there is an ongoing inquiry by the CID about the issue. more..

Investments through EPF need more transparency - Think tank

July 10 (DM) Authorities must address criticisms over the adequacy of safeguards when investing in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) through the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) and make the entire process more transparent, according to a statement by a local think tank.“Considerable controversy has arisen regarding EPF investment in the CSE. There have even been calls to stop all such investments. There are positive arguments in favour of such investments. more..

'Tamil People want the share of their political power'

July 10 (AT) The Tamil people want to have the share of their political power. They want the political settlement. They want to look after themselves. This must be clearly understood by the leaders of the government. It is better to allow the people to decide for themselves - what to do and how to do. Let the people do their own development work. Why do you want to decide from Colombo? - Asked Suresh Premachandran. more..

Kandy’s public transport system creaks

July 11 (NS) Public transport, it can be said, is about heads turning and getting banged on the roof, shutters etc. For reasons unknown, many commuters pretend or actually sleep while those who are standing are crammed in ‘Salmon Packed’ private and Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) buses’. The picturesque city of Kandy is no exception; indeed it could be described as ‘worse’. Well, it is obvious that people fall asleep while they travel after a heavy day’s work. more..

Changing the script on child and sexual abuse

July 11 (NS) Lately there’s been a spate of child killings in the news - a seven-year-old raped and killed in Kirulapone, a dead nine year old retarded boy found in a dirt pit in Kadawatha. There’s also been a horrific case of a 13-year-old girl in Tangalle abducted and raped for days by local politicians and businessmen. What on earth is going on? These are persistent problems that the war obscured for years. A 2009 survey by the Ministry of Justice found that nearly 30% of pending more..

Sri Lanka should take stern action against crude Websites

July 11 (DM) Certain websites and people who develop and write for them are in the news once again following the arrest of the owners behind it and placing the computers in custody by the authorities. It was reported that the authorities decided to make the arrest after receiving several complaints by a number of people who had been harassed and insulted by the content. It was also reported that the kingpin of the websites is in hiding. more..

Handling disasters: The man-made disaster of July 1983 (Part 1)

July 11 (GV) Looking back at the July 1983 disaster, almost 30 years later, it would be natural to query how key policy issues now critical in the discourse on disaster management, like good governance and Human Rights, affected the decisions made by policy makers and implementers as they handled the evolving situation. A Presidential Commission some years ago, a late response to persistent public demands for ‘truth and reconciliation’ as to what happened, more..

A-Z of Sri Lankan English: T is for this thing

July 11 (GV) What do you call something whose name you don’t know or can’t remember, or which you prefer to avoid naming for whatever reason? A whatsit or a widget? a thingy or a thingummy? a thingamabob or a thingamajig? a gadget, a gubbins or a gizmo? a whatsitsname or a whatchamacallit? The proper term for all these words is a placeholder name. Wikisaurus lists dozens of them here. In Sri Lankan English that something is normally called a this thing, but this doesn’t more..

Wasgamuwa National Park: Nature’s magic in all its glory

July 11 (SO) Some excursions leave us with a handful of unforgettable memories and lingering nostalgia. Yet an excursion to the heart of nature not only leaves behind mementos, but continues to live right within our souls. Our safari in the Wasgamuwa National Park was one such, which made us discover the magic of nature in all its glory. On the morning of June 14, 2011, My former colleagues and I began our excursion from Kandy. more..

Blindfolded Liberals at the edge of the cliff

July 11 (CT) Reports say that the Defence Secretary telephoned Federation of University Teachers president Nirmal Devasiri and assured him that white vans and suspicious characters loitering around his home have nothing to do with the defence establishment. I am no private detective hence have no way of ascertaining the truth, but my response is unhesitating: “Don’t be a fool and take a chance; only suckers ignore open secrets about abductions and assassinations; more..

The ‘chilling’ of free expression in Sri Lanka

July 11 (CT) Is there any other country in the civilized world where the police act under a repealed section of the penal law when making arrests and that gigantic mistake is then sought to be justified by government ministers in the legislative assembly by resorting to the most annoying twaddle? This is a pertinent question in the wake of recent arrests by the police of opposition web journalists under Section 118 of Sri Lanka’s Penal Code. This Section was however more..