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Murali signs with Melbourne Renegades

July 12 (CI) The two most prolific wicket-takers in international cricket are expected to be part of a cross-town rivalry in Melbourne this season, after Muttiah Muralitharan confirmed he would play for the Renegades in the Big Bash League. Muralitharan, 40, will be based at Etihad Stadium in the Docklands and Shane Warne is likely to head back to the MCG to play for the Melbourne Stars again, although his return is yet to be confirmed. It will be Muralitharan's first taste of Australian domestic cricket more..

Sri Lanka fast food franchise sets eyes on the Maldives

July 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Perera & Sons, a 110 year old fast food chain has set sights on neighbouring Maldives for it maiden overseas foray, as it also scouts new locations to expand its footprint locally, a senior official said. The Indian archipelago of 1,192 islands, is home to tens of thousands of foreign workers and some330,000 Sunni Muslims. Perera & Sons, which also offers traditional Sri Lankan cuisines and upmarket patisseries more..

Sri Lanka, India expand double taxation regulations

July 12 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka and India have agreed to expand avoidance of double taxation regulations in an agreement that will likely boost the 5 billion U.S. dollar trade between the two countries, an official said. Cabinet approval was granted by the Sri Lankan govt to introduce amendments to the draft agreement for the avoidance of double taxation with India and prevention of fiscal evasion in respect of taxes on income, more..

Ramesh to review India-aided projects in Sri Lanka

July 12 (IANS) India's Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh will Thursday meet Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Colombo to review the progress of various developmental projects supported by India in the island nation. Ramesh will also meet Sri Lanka Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris and Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa, informed sources said. India plans to invest about $1 billion in various development projects in the island nation. more..

De Mel to lead Sri Lanka at Under-19 World Cup

July 12 (CI) Sanitha de Mel, the medium-pacer who captained Sri Lanka Under-19 at the Asia Cup, will lead the squad in the Under-19 World Cup in Australia in August. Angelo Jayasinghe, the right-hand batsman, will be his deputy. The selectors retained the 15-man squad that played the Asia Cup. Sri Lanka reached the semi-final of the tournament, which they lost to India. They are in Group D in the World Cup, along with South Africa, Bangladesh and Namibia and more..

Sri Lanka names team for London Olympics

July 12 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan National Olympic Committee on Thursday named the team to represent the country at the London Olympic Games. The team will be captained by badminton player Niluka Karunaratne who is ranked 47 in the world and is one of 38 international competitors for the singles event at the London games. The London Olympic Games will feature 26 different sports and Sri Lanka will take part in athletics, badminton, more..

35 vehicles not for Wimal’s personal use; Chairman

July 12 (DM) Chairman of the State Engineering Corporation Jagath Perera while refuting allegations made by Trade Unions against Minister Wimal Weerawansa, said that the allegations were completely false. “The statement made by the Chairman of the National Construction Trade Union Thushara Gunasekara to the effect that Minister Wimal Weerawansa has 35 vehicles for his personal use is false and has been made with complete malicious intent” he said. more..

Sri Lankan journalists protest media suppression

July 12 (AP) Sri Lankan journalists, activists and opposition lawmakers have staged a protest, accusing the govt of unleashing a new wave of media suppression and intimidation against dissenting journalists. Dozens of protesters gathered in Colombo, on Thursday. They denounced a recent police raid on websites critical of the govt, as well as the alleged attempted abduction of a journalist and secret police allegedly collecting journalists' personal information. more..

SLFP to suspend membership of politicians involved in crimes

July 12 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is also the leader of the SLFP has suggested to suspend the party membership of any public representative charged with crimes including rape, until conclusion of judicial procedures. Party sources said that concerned by the increasing number of ruling party politicians involved in crimes including rape of minors, the President presented a proposal to the Central Working Committee more..

‘Increase in crime’ is a media canard – Weerawansa

July 12 (LT) A viewpoint has been created in the society that crime has increased in the country and this is due to the unprecedented media attention to crime says Minister Wimal Weerawansa. He further says media attention to crime has been focused due to the no war situation in the country. Speaking further Minister Weerawansa says that media has been used to instill a view that raping of women and murder has escalated in the country day by day. The rate of crime in the country has not increased but more..

Saudi case: Wife and children stage protest

July 12 (DM) The wife of the Sri Lankan expatriate worker in Saudi Arabia took to the streets with her children yesterday calling for the release of her husband. Sanjani Samarakodi said her husband Premanath Tungasiri had been arrested in May for worshiping a Buddha Statue. “We heard about my husband’s arrest from a friend in Saudi Arabia”. She had urged President Mahinda Rajapaksa to intervene in the matter and get her husband released. The Sinhala Ravaya, more..

'Those who opposed me will not receive nomination papers'

July 12 (AD) The Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha members who opposed me will not receive their nomination papers, Minister Mervyn Silva stated as there is no existence for members who work against the UPFA Kelaniya organizer. He stated that the President’s philosophy is that any member of the Alliance that chooses to work against the party can leave and join another party while the door is always open for anyone who wants to more..

Wants to be rehabiliated

July 12 (DM) A LTTE suspect who was in remand custody in connection with the suicide bomb blast at the Fort Railway Station on January 3, 2008 yesterday made a request from Court that he be included in the rehabilitation programme that was being carried out by the government. When the magisterial inquiry into the Railway Station suicide bomb blast was taken up for hearing, counsel Mohideen Mohammed, who appeared on behalf of the suspect Kanagasabei Dewadasan more..

Police to beef up security in polling areas

July 12 (CT) In a move to curb election violence and violations of elections laws, the police have taken steps to beef up security in the three provinces in which elections are to be held in September. A senior officer attached to the Police Headquarters in Colombo said that currently a security assessment is being conducted in the North Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern Provinces. “Once the assessment is concluded we will be deploying additional police personnel to more..

LTTE tortured and killed while fighting Indians

July 12 (IANS) The LTTE tortured and killed alleged spies and “traitors” and also looted Tamil shops and homes while fighting the Indian peacekeepers in Sri Lanka, a book by a former woman fighter says. Niromi de Soyaza, who joined the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in early 1987 at age 17 and now lives in Australia, says she quit the group after realising that violence cannot lead to a Tamil Eelam state. more..

Adnan Akmal beats the pain

July 12 (CI) Adnan Akmal braved a fractured finger to come in at No.10 to support Asad Shafiq, as Pakistan looked to build their lead inch by inch. Shafiq did his best, at the start, to farm the strike to protect Akmal. Akmal played it safe, choosing to defend with soft hands or simply leave it to the keeper. Akmal had plodded along to 5 off 41 balls before he leaned forward to Nuwan Kulasekara and pierced the gap between the slips and gully to bring up his first boundary. more..

A rebel stronghold becomes an unlikely tourist trap

July 12 (Economist) IN A war-scarred pocket of jungle in north-eastern Sri Lanka are the remains of the last stronghold of the rebel group, the Tamil Tigers, before they were wiped out by the armed forces in 2009. It looks like a godforsaken place: just to get there busloads of people drive through a swelteringly hot landscape of bombed-out houses, emaciated cattle and mangled cars. But then, surreally, appears a swimming pool, 25 metres long and seven metres deep. more..

18 new Ministry Secretaries appointed

July 12 (AD) Charith Herath has been appointed as the Secretary to the Ministry of Mass Media and Information, the Government Information Department reported today. Mr. Herath was amongst 18 new Secretaries to Ministry presented appointment letters by President Mahinda Rajapksa at a ceremony held at Temple Trees today. Accordingly, Charitha Herath has been appointed to the Ministry of Mass Media and Information, more..

‘Political animalisation’ and facial transmutations

July 13 (NS) The latest work of fiction by veteran Sinhala writer Dr Gunadasa Amarasekara Roopantharanaya, hewath Somadevage sankranthiy; is an easy to read narrative running 104 pages, bringing out the socio political critique objective characteristic of the author. The novel can be seen in certain respects as a consequence of the country’s political landscape that unfolded over the past few decades to what has been realized today. From another more social conscious angle more..

What now after Rio+20?

July 13 (NS) The much anticipated global environment summit or the Rio+20 Conference is over. The outcome was discussed and reviewed during the past week. The key outcome of the declaration is a plan to prepare a set of goals, “Sustainable Development Goals”, which is to be implemented in future. There is no legally binding target or stern action aimed at conserving the environment and achieving sustainable development. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has said; “Rio+20 has given us a more..

The heroic tusker of Panamura

July 13 (SO) He was the celebrated leader elephant of Panamura. The leader elephant's stiff fighting back to rescue his group of elephants was of a heroic calibre that must rank with the most memorable in animal world and perhaps in human world. The elephant of Panamura met his doomsday at a brutal operation under Francis Molamure to capture wild elephants for his Kraal. The defiant elephant who had launched several decisive attacks on the Kraal was shot dead while more..

Sri Lankan Editor Needs Backup After Minister’s Tirade

July 13 (CT) As far as Frederica Jansz is concerned, “The Sri Lankan media have been completely cowed into submission by this regime with the exception of The Sunday Leader. It is Mahinda Rajapaksa’s biggest success story next to winning the war.” Jansz is the Leader‘s editor who, over the weekend, had the temerity to call up the president’s brother, Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and ask him “to clarify and find out if he was aware that the management at more..

FUTA strike and its detractors: A response

July 13 (CT) University lecturers of the entire state sector university system in Sri Lanka except the universities of Kelaniya and Uva Wellasa have been on a continuous strike since 4th July under the leadership of the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA). At Kelaniya while the overwhelming majority of the teachers’ union membership had been demanding to join the strike it is reported that some members of the union leadership had got themselves entangled in the elections to the post of Vice Chancellor and thereby more..

Gotabhaya Rajapaksha: Too drunk with power to exercise it?

July 13 (GV) The above excerpts need no elucidation. They are from two telephone conversations between the Defence Secretary Gotahbaya Rajapaksha and the Editor of the Sunday Leader Frederica Jansz as reported in the Sunday Leader of 08 July 2012. This columnist is mentioned in the second conversation. This is not however, the issue I want to highlight in this column. The issue I want to highlight is the behaviour of the Defence more..

Land and the national question in Sri Lanka

July 13 (GV) I am thankful to the Norwegian Tamil Study Forum for inviting me to address this Workshop and am looking forward to listening to the main speakers. In this brief intervention I wish to make some general comments and raise a few issues, which I believe are pertinent to the purpose of the workshop. I shall offer some background to the concept note before commenting on the current situation. I shall also put forward some ideas for discussion. more..

Who are the Vellahlas?

July 13 (LB) Jaffna has a unique history: from its womb came the first mass murderer (Sangkili) of Sri Lanka and also the last (Prabhakaran). Sangkili killed 600 Catholics. Prabhakaran repeated Sangkili’s example by killing 600 policemen who surrendered to the LTTE on the undertaking given by Anton Balasingham, the Chief Negotiator of LTTE, to the Foreign Minister, A.C.S. Hameed, that they will be protected. The massacre violated the Geneva Convention of protecting more..

Will the real socialists in Sri Lanka please step forward?

July 13 (DM) Once upon a time there was the CP, LSSP and other parties and they called themselves socialists. But, most of them like N.M. Perera, Colvin R. De Silva, Leslie Gunewardane, Peter Kenueman, Bernard Soyza belonged to a different class and their education was different. They never could be real socialists however much they tried to because in their hearts they knew where they belonged. We only saw them marching in more..

Stray politicians: A bigger worry, not so much stray dogs

July 13 (DM) Every time one of our ruling politicians opens his big mouth making sanctimonious utterances condemning unlawful acts by members of the UPFA and threatening to take action against them, we have an urge, to hurl something at him, hard. They take the public to be fools while all the time helping party or alliance members, supporters and underworld characters associated with criminal acts such as rape, robbery, assault, and murder to escape without necessary more..

SBMA accuses govt. of distorting Medical Ordinance

July 13 (Island) Professor Senaka Bibile Memorial Association’s (SBMA) Chief Organizer Dr. Jayantha Bandara yesterday accused the government of not consulting the professional bodies to amend the National Medical Ordinance. In the amended Ordinance, a series of important provisions had been deleted and more opportunities for the private sector medical institutes had been incorporated, he said. Dr. Bandara told The Island that the National Medical Ordinance had been held in more..

3D ත්˛රිමාණ - ජාතින් අතර මිත්˛රත්වය ගොඩනැගීම

Can politics lead to emancipation?

July 13 (DM) Controversy surrounding whether Buddhist Monks should enter politics is a hotly debated topic today. It is a sensitive matter, since majority of Sri Lankans are Sinhala Buddhists who hold the order of Buddhist monks in high esteem. Post independent politics of Sri Lanka has witnessed profound changes in outlook of the body politic, which was once represented by the intellectual elites of gentlemanly demeanour, who conducted themselves with great finesse and decorum. more..

Editorial: War on winged terror

July 13 (Island) Time was when the task of eliminating mosquito breeding places in a particular area required only a single public health worker in khaki shorts trudging with a spray tank on his back. He knew exactly where to look for mossies and larvae and gave them a chemical shower with a generous hand. He was a welcome visitor to every household. But, today, there have to be deployed for the same job a contingent of security forces personnel and armed policemen besides more..

Draw takes shine off Sri Lanka victory

July 13 (CI) When Kumar Sangakkara and Misbah-ul-Haq shook hands with just under an hour left on the fifth day in Pallekele, the disbelief was palpable. Sri Lanka were sitting safe on a 1-0 series lead and needed 76 off a minimum of nine overs to make a mockery of Misbah's declaration. It wasn't unattainable by any means. The hosts had six wickets in hand, with a well-set Sangakkara on 74, and were batting on a track that had flattened out considerably after the first day. more..

Editorial: Distant thunder

July 13 (Hindu) In remarks to this newspaper, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said the elections to the country’s Northern provincial council will be held only in September 2013 because the govt needs time to update 30-year-old electoral rolls. The explanation for the delay is intriguing. Three other elections have been held since the defeat of the LTTE in 2009 — presidential elections in January 2010; parliamentary elections in April 2010; and elections to local bodies in 2011. Northern province voters participated in all three. more..

Dr Mahipala is 'Man of the Year'

July 13 (DN) Health Ministry Additional Secretary Dr P G Mahipala won the 'Man of the Year 2012' award presented by the American Biographical Institute. He won this award for the distinctive accomplishments in the medical field beating professionals from 70 countries. According to the spokesman, Dr. Mahipala obtained his MBBS degree from the Peradeniya University in 1983 and Msc. (Community Medicine) from the Post Graduate Institute of Medicine, Colombo University in 1995. more..

IMF comforted but watchful

July 13 (Island) As the country’s fiscal policy comes under pressure this year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is drawing comfort from the government’s pledge to stay committed to the year-end budget deficit target. The govt has met the end-July target under the IMF programme for net domestic financing of the budget but pressures on fiscal performance are likely to remain, IMF Sri Lanka Resident Representative Dr. Koshy Mathai told The Island Financial Review. more..

MRI to be upgraded to Int'l Research Body on Dengue

July 13 (DN) The Health Ministry will upgrade the Medical Research Institute (MRI) of Sri Lanka to the status of an International Research Body on Dengue. The MRI will be the centre which produces BTI bacteria in Sri Lanka with the assistance of the Cuban govt, a Health Ministry spokesman said. "According to the spokesman, the MRI will be equipped with new technology and specialized human resources to carry out research activities, training and surveys. more..

Rambutan vendors’ clash injures four in Kandy

July 13 (Island) Four persons were admitted to Kandy hospital with cut injuries following a clash between two parties at the Kandy Central market yesterday morning. Police spokesman SP Ajith Rohana said that the clash had erupted between two parties around 6.30 a.m. consequent to a dispute over the sale of rambutan. The police identified the wounded as A. D. Ruwan (23), Bimal Ariyawansa (49), Sumith Ariyawansa (33) and Udith Indika (21) more..

Govt. steps in with Rs. 3.6 b drought package

July 13 (FT) In a desperate attempt to save its farming community, the govt has set up a drought assistance mechanism that is expected to reach over 53,000 families that are affected by severe water shortages in the north central part of the country, an official said yesterday. Under the direction of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Cabinet approval has been given to launch a massive effort costing over Rs. 3.6 billion in drought stricken districts to more..

Non- availability of small envelopes for drugs put patients lives at risk

July 13 (Island) The lives of clinic patients in many State-owned hospitals are at risk due to most hospital OPD dispensaries not having small envelopes to issue drugs to them. Except for the NHL, the OPDs in many general, main, base and district hospitals wrap the drugs in whatever paper material available. It was also found that in most paper-wrapped drugs, the dosages were written on the inside of the paper. When the wrapping accidently gets wet, a chemical change more..