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Sanga launches SLPL in MCC Spirit

July 16 (Lords) Sangakkara, who is the Icon player for the Kandurata, one of seven provincial teams in the competition, spoke on behalf of MCC at the launch event on Monday 16 July. The inaugural SLPL T20 gets underway on August 10 with the final taking place on August 31. The partnership with MCC will see the players, who include the likes of international stars Chris Gayle and Shahid Afridi, as well as the cream of domestic Sri Lankan talent, encouraged to 'Play Hard, Play Fair.' more..

Tamil Eelam issue: Cong reminds DMK of 'national interest'

July 16 (PTI) Amid reports that the Centre was not happy over a move to pass a resolution favouring a separate Tamil nation at a meet of the revived Tamil Eelam Supporters' Organisation, Congress today reminded its key ally DMK to keep the larger national interest in mind. "The DMK is a responsible political party and we do belive and we do expect that whatever they do and whatever they have been doing in the past, they would definitely keep more..

Sri Lanka stops more asylum seekers

July 16 (AFP) Sri Lanka's navy has arrested 61 would-be asylum seekers heading to Australia and seized their fishing trawler, in the third incident of its kind in just two days. The navy intercepted the latest vessel carrying illegal immigrants off the island's eastern coast on Monday and were escorting the boat to the naval port of Trincomalee, 260 kilometres northeast of the capital Colombo. "This boat had 61 men heading more..

Car falls into Mahaweli

July 16 (DM) A car travelling along the Mawilmada Road plunged into the Mahaweli River killing the driver at a spot near the sea plane landing site adjoining the Polgolla reservoir this morning, the Katugastota police said. They said the victim was identified as 36-year-old Duminda Wijekoon who was a resident of Jambugahapitiya. The police said there was no reason for this motor car travel on this road on that particular day. Katugastota police personnel had pulled out the car and more..

Sri Lankan boys detained on Christmas Island detail dangerous voyage

July 16 (DT) THEY were sent by their families on a terrifying 20-day sea journey which left them so seasick they vomited blood and with no food or water for the last week. Two Sri Lankan boys in detention on Christmas Island today told The Daily Telegraph how they feared the police or the Sri Lankan Navy would stop them. Three asylum boats carrying more than 120 Sri Lankans arrived in Australian waters in fewer than 24 hours from 3pm Sunday afternoon. more..

Sri Lanka Olympic captaincy row

July 16 (BBC) As the sports fans in the world are counting the days for the opening ceremony of London 2012, a row has erupted in Sri Lanka over who should carry the national flag in the event. Sri Lanka Olympic authorities on Thursday named national badminton champion Niluka Karunarathne as the captain of the seven-member team. But Anuradha Indrajith Cooray, who qualified for the Olympics in the London Marathon claims he is the most suitable to have the honour of more..

Weniwelgeta / Maramanjal: Can dwindling resources cope with increasing demand?

July 17 (DBS) A newspaper report titled ”Caught transporting weniwelgeta” appeared a few months ago and several related incidents that I came to know recently prompted me to spotlight on this disconcerting issue. Unsustainable harvesting or in general terms ‘plundering’ of dwindling natural resources for short-term commercial gain by a few, at the expense of a more eco-friendly and community oriented management regimen, is a serious impediment to more..

Sri Lanka the loser by delaying CEPA agreement with India says Indian Envoy

July 17 (DBS) Time was not in Sri Lanka’s favour as it stands to lose major opportunities with India seeking to finalise comprehensive economic partnership agreements (CEPA) with other nations, the Indian High Commissioner in Colombo Ashok K. Kantha said. “The govts of both countries have not had enough dialog to rectify and finalise the agreement. “Despite several issues and internal turbulence, India was looking at strengthening the economic partnership with Sri Lanka, more..

Setting up a commission cannot resolve specific issues raised by FUTA

July 17 (DBS) The govt having taken one whole week to ‘study’ the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations’ (FUTA) proposals for education reforms has come up with one general proposal of setting up a presidential commission to investigate ‘complex issues’ in the higher education sector. While no one would deny the value of an independent presidential commission to examine the ills higher education is afflicted with to more..

Impossible fairy tales about the Police

July 17 (CT) It is quite inane for government officials to say that no politician influences the police. Even in this land of impossible fairy tales, with proposed airports, cricket stadiums and expressways jostling each other in flagrant mockery of commonsense while basic governance flounders from the management of the economy, the pitiable state of education and the rampant rapes of children, such claims can only evoke considerable hilarity. The most recent such assertion is made by Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Gotabhaya more..

A note on a comedy of rants

July 17 (CT) When a journalist calls someone to obtain opinion about a non-issue, i.e. something that did not happen but is said to have been about to happen, it is not illegitimate, except of course that one would think that there are happened-things that ought to be focused on. When it is done (and this is pretty clear in the case at hand, i.e. regarding a conversation with the Defence Secretary) with a view to provoke and the non-issue is dropped while the outcome of provocation is highlighted, it is still legitimate. It is also pathetic. more..

Understanding Sri Lankan version of elections: A new dimension

July 17 (GV) Another round of elections has been fixed and the country is turned into election mode. Elections are said to be a benchmark of democracy, and then why are we bothered when more and more elections are held? More and more elections, have we correspondingly increased democracy in Sri Lanka? What does an election mean and how does it help a democratic framework in a country? Is there anything new in more..

Terror, Terrorists and Terrorizing are still here

July 17 (LB) All democratic organizations vehemently condemned the unlawful killing of political prisoner Nimalaruban, without any trial, at the Vauniya prison. Everybody in the north as well as in the south understands that he and other prisoners were severely assaulted and beaten with iron rods by the police and others, while they were under the supervision of defence secretary. Post-mortem has become a mockery with the “Communist” Minister of Prisons jumping more..

Perish, pro-Prabhakaran Tamil nationalism...

July 17 (LB) The present constitution must be repealed and replaced by a new instrument founded on democratic principles; the state must be transformed, secularism enshrined and minority rights guaranteed. Nothing less can be the left’s foundational position, notwithstanding tactical compromises that may need to be made along the way for temporary alliances. The goal of the democratic revolution is bourgeois democracy and a unified nation state: that is, guaranteeing democratic revolution is bourgeois democracy and more..

Facing an Indian Doosra

July 17 (DM) India is a friend of Sri Lanka? Often said but listened in disbelief. If it is in India’s interest, the answer is, yes. Who stays mum to help a friend in distress and seek multiple benefits in return? India opts to cheer at the mayhem of another and enjoys watching the discomfort. Worse, never to mind its affairs, prefers to covertly interfere. Pakistan has been a friend in the midst of all its troubles. China from a distance impacts more..

Editorial: Khaki brigade in overdrive

July 17 (Island) The police have long been thought to be afflicted with beriberi, which causes severe lethargy and fatigue. But, they have of late shown some signs of recovery. Has IGP N. K. Illangakoon secured the secret formula of strength-enhancing magic potion which Getafix, the druid in Asterix comics, distributes among fellow villagers with a generous hand to prepare them for perilous tasks? It looks as if the police were striving to set a Guinness world record. more..

Transnational govt of Tamil Eelam: Reawakening of terrorism in Sri Lanka?

July 17 (EAR) The third anniversary of the military defeat of the formidable LTTE was on 18th May 2012. After three decades of a protracted armed conflict and its invariable legacy of polarized mindsets in the parties involved, Sri Lanka now finds herself arguably in a more difficult position than in times of war, with the abundant opinions and interpretations of her various ethnic entities disturbing that precarious balance of affairs unique to a post-war context. more..

'Provincial Council system could be used effectively'

July 17 (SO) JHU Legal Advisor and Minister of the WPC Udaya Gammanpila, in an interview, touched upon many important issues, including the RIO + 20 Summit, which he attended, the Private Member Bill of UNP MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe seeking to prevent Bhikkhus from engaging in electoral politics and the TNA’s refusal to attend the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) for dialogue. more..

Consecutive ducks earns Kapugedara a national call

July 17 (Island) For the three wise men - Ashantha de Mel, Don Anurasiri and Hemantha Wickramarathne - all what a player needs to do to be recalled to the national cricket team is to score consecutive ducks. It may sound funny, but that exactly is what happened in the case of Chamara Kapugedara. The 25-year-old cricketer currently in Harare, Zimbabwe representing Sri Lanka ‘A’ in a tri-nation tournament in his last two games had managed ducks, but the selection panel more..

Arjuna surprised Sri Lanka 'didn't try' at pallekele

July 17 (Island) Former Test captain Arjuna Ranatunga says that he was surprised by the national cricket team’s tactics to abandon the run chase during the third Test against Pakistan at Pallekele International Stadium, which ended in a draw last week. With a 1-0 lead in the three match series, Sri Lanka opted to play it safe in the final Test to secure their first series win in three years. "I thought there was no planning. I am surprised that they didn’t go for a win," more..

HSBC to downsize staff in Sri Lanka

July 17 (Island) The Sri Lankan unit of global banking giant HSBC is planning to downsize its senior staff cadre in a move which will see the bank devote itself to servicing the upper-end of the retail and corporate sector, maximising returns and hopefully, pump in much needed funds to infrastructure projects in the country. Once styled, ‘The World’s Local Bank’, HSBC has been trying to cash in on the 80-20 rule which states 80 percent of the world’s, more..

NTB invests in schools

July 17 (Island) Nations Trust Bank (NTB) has invested in several rural schools in the country in the course of the past three years, the most recent investments being in three schools namely, Seewali Kanishta Vidyalaya, Kandy, Amunutenna Kanishta Vidyalaya – Ratnapura and Manampita Ratnasara Vidyalaya - Mattaka, Galle. "These particular schools cater to low income families and struggle to provide basic facilities for the students. Sanitary, healthcare, nutrition and educational facilities are severely limited and more..

Former EPC Minister violates polls law

July 17 (Island) The CAFFE has urged the Trincomalee District Secretary to utilise his powers to acquire the official residence given to a former Minister of the Eastern Provincial Council. In a letter to District Secretary Maj. Gen. (retd.) T.T.R. de Silva, the CAFFE said it would help ensure free and fair elections in the Eastern Province. CAFEE said yesterday that the former Minister, Priyantha Pathirana, had failed to handover the official residence he was occupying at No. 3 Margosa Terrace, Fort Frederick. more..

‘President will help plantation community’

July 17 (DN) “Plantation workers were behind other parties but they had not received any benefits whatever. But today President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa are determined to help and assist the plantation community. “They have commenced many development projects on estates. That is why Minister Basil Rajapaksa has allocated 100 million rupees for development of plantation areas,” said Muthu Sivalingam, more..

Teachers accuse former CM of holding illegal meetings

July 17 (Island) The Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union (CTSU) yesterday accused former Sabaragamuwa Chief Minister Maheepala Herath of gross violation of election laws and regulations issued by the Elections Commissioner. The CTSU had urged the Election Commissioner to immediately put a stop to the former Chief Minister holding meetings after the dissolution of the Provincial Council. CTSU General Secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe said that the CTSU had vehemently denounced the more..

SLA appropriates more lands for militarisation of Jaffna city

July 17 (TN) While the Sri Lanka Army in the city of Jaffna claims on one hand that it is shifting the military base of 512 Division to Koappaay, more lands are being appropriated for military use in the city. The governor in Jaffna, Maj Gen (retd) GA Chandrasiri has instructed the Secretary of Education of Jaffna Province, S. Sathiyaseelan to hand over the lands belonging to Sinhala MV, situated in the environs of St. Mary's School, Our Lady of Refuge (OLR) and more..

Outgoing US envoy Butenis calls on Basil, commends resettlement of IDPs

July 17 (FT) US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Patricia A. Butenis paid a courtesy call on Minister Basil Rajapaksa to bid farewell at the end of her tenure. According to a statement issued, Butenis had said she came to Sri Lanka when the internal conflict was prevailing and working in Sri Lanka was an exciting job at that time. Sri Lanka has achieved many things after the end of conflict and now economy is progressing well. more..

'Australia can turn back boats'

July 17 (AAP) Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison says if Sri Lanka and the United States can intercept boats carrying asylum seekers then so can Australia. "Sri Lanka is stopping boats leaving their shores, the United States coast guard is stopping boats coming to their shores," he said. "The United States coast guard so far this year has turned back 2431 people on boats. "This policy can be done and the suggestion by the govt that it can't is more a comment on their lack of resolve." more..

Teachers used for election campaigning charges CTU

July 17 (CT) The Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) yesterday alleged that teachers are being used for political purposes during the Provincial Council election campaigns. CTU general secretary Joseph Stalin said that teachers of the Sri Lanka Education Administrative Service (SLEAS) have no political rights, and are not supposed to take part in political activities. “Teachers can, of course, cast votes and elect whom they want. But they cannot take part in any of the election campaigns. more..

Bollywood calling another Miss Sri Lanka

July 17 (MD) It looks like stepping off the ramp and straight into Bollywood sets has become an unspoken norm for most models — both Indian and international. Seems like after Jacqueline Fernandez, Gamya Vijayadasa will be the second Sri Lankan beauty queen to give Bollywood a shot. The model-turned-actress is all set to work in director Luv Ranjan’s next. The director’s last film was Pyaar Ka Punchnama. Gamya however refuses to divulge details about her upcoming project. more..

Atul plans CKD unit in Sri Lanka

July 17 (ET) At a time when overall three-wheeler exports from the country is down by 40 per cent during the first quarter of the fiscal 2012-13 with major players like Bajaj Auto reporting a dip in exports, Rajkot based Atul Auto has drawn up plans to set up a small assembly plant in Sri Lanka to negate the impact of a recent import duty hike in the country. Atul Auto posted a 50 per cent growth in exports during the first quarter to 114 units on the back of a low base in more..

Gambhir predicts tough Lanka tour

July 17 (IANS) Gautam Gambhir predicted a tough one-day series in Sri Lanka while stressing on the need to adopt a more professional approach. Speaking on the first day of the two-day camp on Monday for the Lanka-bound Indian cricketers, Gambhir said the tour was critical as it would help the team to prepare for two tough home series against New Zealand and England. “It is a new series of a fresh season and it is important that we be totally professional in our approach to more..

'Ensure justice for Tamils in Sri Lanka'

July 17 (Hindu) The Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO), a forum started by DMK leader M. Karunanidhi, on Monday urged the Indian govt to join hands with like-minded nations to bring political and economic pressure directly and indirectly on the Sri Lankan govt to ensure justice and rehabilitation of Tamils in the country. The theme-paper for the TESO conference to be held on Aug 12 also wanted India to take the lead in creating a “group of nations” to empower more..

Sleep over it

July 17 (TT) The Tamil Eelam remains a theme for a dream. Even before M. Karunanidhi, the DMK leader, stated this as the reason behind his recent attempt to reconvene the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organization after three decades, Sri Lanka had been aware of such a possibility. The Tamil diaspora has used its collective might to push the Mahinda Rajapaksa govt against the wall, within international fora and outside, and Sri Lanka believes that the undying obsession with the Eelam is the reason behind it all. more..

DOT charitable foundation raises $4000 for Sri Lankan hospital

July 17 (RHT) Locally-based DOT Charitable Foundation raised $4000 from a recent lunch fundraiser. The event had aimed to raise money for the purchase of more equipment for a needy Sri Lankan hospital. Foundation spokesman Roger Perera thanked the Hills community for its generosity during the June campaign, which involved the sale of lunch packets. He said the foundation would use the money it raised to buy a patient transport bed, transport monitor more..

Parades banned on final day of nominations

July 17 (Island) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya yesterday directed IGP N.K. Illangakoon to ensure that no parades would be allowed on July 19, when major parties are scheduled to hand over their list of candidates for the Eastern, North-Central and Sabaragamuwa provincial council polls. The directive had been given during a meeting with political party representatives, polls monitors and the police, at the Election Secretariat in Colombo. more..

All IDPs to be resettled by end August

July 17 (Island) Resettling of all IDPs would be completed by the end of August as the govt expects to complete the de-mining operations in the North by then, the Resettlement Ministry said yesterday. The govt has so far resettled 73,277 displaced families (268,893 individuals) in their original places of residence. However, there still remain 5,417 IDPs at the Manik Farm. Ministry spokesperson I. D. Maithripala told The Island that the Ministry had resettled 163 families last week. more..

SLFP HQ to be shifted to Sri J'pura

July 17 (DN) “The SLFP head office is to be shifted to a new building constructed at Sri Jayewardenapura, “ said UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa at a press conference organized by the SLFP Young MPs Association. ‘The seven storeyed building will comprise a museum showcasing the SLFP’s history, a conference hall which can accommodate about 2,500 people, a Political Education Training Institute and other advanced facilities to suit international standards,” more..

Mahanayake tells Namal, country in bad shape

July 17 (Island) Most venerable Mahanayake of Malwatte Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera told the young MPs of the SLFP, led by Namal Rajapaksa that the situation in the country was not satisfactory. The prelate urged that punishment for crime and rape should be enhanced. Thera said that he had presented a number proposals to the President but he was still awaiting a response. more..

JVP predicts splits in UPFA

July 17 (Island) The JVP yesterday predicted that there would be an eruption in the UPFA in the aftermath of the handing over the nominations for the North-Central, Eastern and Sabaragamuwa provincial council elections due to internal splits. Addressing a press conference, JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said that ruling party ally JHU had decided to boycott the election while leftist allies had publicly announced their differences with alliance policies. Those signs indicated a huge internal rift in the ruling alliance, more..