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SF’s party reapplies for registration

July 24 (Island) General Sarath Fonseka’s Democratic Party has once again applied to the Elections Commissioner, Mahinda Deshapriya, for registration as a recognised political party to contest future elections. DNA MP Tiran Alles, who is also the Secretary of the Democratic Party, told The Island that they had earlier applied for registration but their application had been turned down. He said that the DP had functioned for well over one year. General Fonseka said that he had no confidence in the UNP and more..

What a shame !

July 24 (Island) I was heading towards a well established caterer located at Maitland Place with a legacy dating back 110 years. My thoughts were on the fish bun I was about to munch and the cool lime juice that was in line to quench my thirst. Alas, I nearly turned into SLC headquarters that has a similar resemblance to the famous P&S front entrance corporate identity. Despite the financial crunch the sports body is undergoing, they have not left any stones unturned in giving more..

Stigma prevents treatment of dementia in Sri Lanka

July 24 (GPI) Vasanthi Weerasinghe is a single mother of three children. They live in a small, part-brick, part-plank house in Uswetakeiyawa, a suburb of Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. Weerasinghe earns a meager income from doing domestic work in three houses nearby. In addition to supporting her children, she also cares for her mother, Mary Margaret Perera, who lives with the family. “I can hardly feed myself and my children,” Weerasinghe says, with tears in her eyes. more..

Sent home to 'arrest, torture'

July 24 (SMH) Sri Lankan asylum seekers rejected by Australia and sent home say they have been arrested, imprisoned without trial and tortured. With about 150 Tamils in the Australian immigration detention system currently facing involuntary return to Sri Lanka, an investigation has uncovered alleged instances of people being sent back to systematic, state-sanctioned abuse. Sinhalese brothers Sumith and Indika Balapuwaduge, who were sent back from Australia in 2009 after their asylum claims were rejected, both say they have more..

BASL to file charges against Bathiudeen

July 24 (CT) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) is in the process of finalising charges to be filed against Minister Rishad Bathiudeen’s alleged actions against the Magistrate of Mannar. BASL Secretary, Sanjay Gamage said that the case was to be filed yesterday however, since it was only the decision of the Executive Committee, they decided to seek the approval of the Bar Council on Friday and proceed with the case on Saturday at the Court of Appeals. more..

SC gives UCG chief time to show cause

July 24 (Island) The Supreme Court yesterday gave the Chairman of the UGC time till Sept 9, to submit in an affidavit the cause he had to show as to why he should not be dealt with for contempt of the Supreme Court, for a delay on his part to comply with a Supreme Court judgment dated June 25, 2012. On that date the Court directed the UGC to comply, without delay with its order to recalculate and the re-issue the Z-score for the GCE (A/L) exam held in August 2011, treating the new and old syllabi as different populations. more..

‘No rapes committed by Security Forces in North and East’

July 24 (DN) The members of the security forces have not been involved in the any sexual assault, in North and East, Defence and Urban Development Ministry Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said. He said according to the statistics and revelations of a study conducted at hospital level no evidence was found that the personnel attached to the security forces were involved in sexual assaults in North and East provinces. The Defence Secretary said that he initiated a study after more..

'Combating crime: Media jolted police into action'

July 24 (Island) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday acknowledged that print and electronic media coverage of a particular crime could galvanise those in authority to take prompt action. The Defence Secretary said that a ‘media blitz’ could attract the attention of the govt and security authorities thereby making a positive contribution to the on-going efforts aimed to curb crime. He was addressing a gathering at the more..

Welgama challenges unions to prove accusations

July 24 (Island) Transport Minister Kumara Welgama has challenged all trade unions of the Sri Lankan Railways to substantiate allegations of corruption, fraud, malpractices, irregularities and large-scale theft in the department. Any trade union had the right to complain of corruption and other malpractices, the Minister said. The trade unions had also the right to criticize the activities of any department whether they were on the right track or not, he said at more..

Anandasangaree appeals on behalf of resettled in Vanni

July 24 (Island) Leader of the TULF V. Anandasangaree yesterday pleaded on behalf of resettled internally displaced people, when he said were starving as they had been provided with dry rations enough only for six months. Anandasangaree in a statement titled ‘Open appeal to leaders of all political parties, important personalities and religious dignitaries in India,’ says: "With limited scope for employment, there is hunger and farmine prevailing, in the Vanni District." more..

'We’re going solo to show our capability'

July 24 (LB) After the SLMC announced that it would go it alone in the forthcoming provincial council elections, the president’s spokesman Bandula Jayasekara told the media that the SLMC had not obtained ‘presidential blessing’ to go solo in the provincial polls. Now, the SLMC national organizer Shafeek Rajabdeen says that the SLMC, though a constituent party of the UPFA govt does not have an electoral agreement with the UPFA to run under its banner. more..

‘Development’ ousts Tamil families from Sampoor

July 24 (SL) Land owners in Sampoor in Trincomalee have petitioned the Supreme Court challenging the acquisition of land for what is said to be a multi-billion-dollar investment project to establish a special zone for heavy industries. They allege that the govt has illegally acquired their land for the project. The land acquired by Gazette Notification dated May 17, 2012, is to be developed as a Special Zone for more..

Flowers to Mukherjee from SL President

July 24 (GDI) Following the announcement of Pranab Mukherjee’s resounding victory at the Indian Presidential election, President Mahinda Rajapaksa sent flowers to the residence of the President-elect, in manifestation of his long standing friendship with Pranab Mukherjee and in appreciation of Mukherjee’s contribution to promote Indo-Sri Lanka relations. The President conveyed his heartfelt congratulations to Mukherjee. A formal message of congratulations is more..

Pakistan's help to Sri Lanka for Nuclear plant alarms India

July 24 (IT) Pakistan is all set to begin consultations with Sri Lanka to help set up a nuclear power plant in Trincomallee's Sampur, it is believed. The development is being viewed with concern in New Delhi since the Indian embassy in Colombo reported the development to South Block. The strategy is part of Pakistan's grand design of increasing influence in the island nation by Pakistan, actively backed by China. more..

Sri Lanka-Maldives launches war against cyber-crime

July 24 (Haveeru) The Sri Lankan Police Department is making arrangements to cooperate with the Maldivian authorities to crackdown on the escalating rate of cyber-crimes that is currently taking place in the South Asian region. This move comes in the backdrop of recent investigations revealing that several Maldivian nationals have been involved in an organized cyber-crime network. A senior Sri Lankan police officer more..

Sri Lanka rupee 'overvaluation' call difficult: IMF rep

July 24 (LBO) It is difficult to say whether Sri Lanka's rupee is 'overvalued' and any specific level no longer matters because the exchange rate is now flexible, an IMF's official said. "There are models economists run to measure overvaluation of a currency," IMF's resident representative Koshy Mathai said. "Those models are sometimes a bit difficult to interpret because they do not account for capital flows." more..

VCs ask for letters from striking dons if they need July salary

July 24 (Island) University teachers who have been on an all out strike since July 04 have been told by the vice chancellors of their respective universities, that if they want their July salaries, they have to submit letter stating that they have not been on strike. President of the FUTA Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri said that the striking dons would not submit such letters. He said that they would continue with the strike demanding the allocation of 6% of the GDP for the education sector, more..

Sri Lanka to complete awarding of more oil blocks by June 2013

July 24 (N360) Sri Lanka says, it is planning to complete the awarding of more oil blocks to potential explorers by June 2013, while the licensing round towards this is expected to start in November or December this year. “We want to close the bids by end Q1 and award the blocks by June 2013” Director General of Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat Saliya Wickramasuriya said. The plan is to offer between 8 to 10 offshore oil blocks for potential investors. more..

Duminda cannot recall shooting incident: CID

July 24 (DM) CID informed Colombo magistrate Court that MP Duminda Silva told from Singapore that he cannot remember the Kolonnawa shooting incident where presidential Advisor Baratha Lakshman Premachandran was killed. A statement made by Duminda Silva, who is being treated in the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore, was presented by the CID in courts today. The statement reads that Mr. Silva only remembered speaking to an election more..

More confusion with new Z-scores

July 24 (DM) The Z-score crisis took another twist yesterday when several students found that their Z-scores had changed after they were calculated afresh based on a Supreme Court ruling. After the new Z-scores were released, the district and island rankings of students who sat the 2011 GCE A/L Exam under the old syllabus had dropped drastically whereas the rankings of those who had followed the new syllabus had improved with better prospects for university admission. more..

Editorial: Save children: save our pride

July 24 (DM) There is inescapable public outcry against violence against women and children that demands an immediate discontinuation of the disturbing trend. There are women’s rights activists demanding justice for the helpless victims while the religious institutions are banding together to fight child abuse. The reports that flood the newsrooms and go on air, hint of a national disaster, which, if not curbed in time, might turn out be more atrocious than the quarter-century war, more..

Stock stocks fall 0.1-pct, rupee steady

July 24 (LBO) Stocks fell 0.1 percent Tuesday with index heavy stocks losing ground but the rupee was steady in foreign exchange brokers and dealers said. The Colombo All Share Price Index closed at 4,874.36, -7.41pts and the S&P20 Index of large cap stocks fell 0.98 percent to close at 2,769 points. Turnover was 518 million rupees. John Keells Holdings closed at 178.40 down 70 cents, Chevron Lubricants closed at 172, down 1.30 rupees, Ceylon Tobacco closed at 670 down 50 cents, more..

No decision to cross over yet – Dayasiri

July 24 (DM) Responding to rumours that UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara is set to cross over to the govt, Mr. Jayasekara said he has not taken any decision in this regard. “There is no such decision, the rumour that I have met the president is false, I haven’t met him for years” he said. Mr. Jayasekara however pointed out that he was vehemently opposed to the current amendment brought by the UNP leadership to hold elections for the leader every 6 years. more..

'Sri Lanka hopes to fix coal plant in three days'

July 24 (LBO) State-run Ceylon Electricity Board is expecting to repair a coal power plant in three days which can spell an end to electricity rationing which started Tuesday, the power ministry said. Engineers had discovered a rupture in a steam tube heat at a exchanging device in the coal plant's boiler, the power ministry said in a statement. The 300 MegaWatt coal plant generates about 20 percent of the daily demand of energy of about 30 GigaWatt hours. more..

Remanded for obstructing first lady

July 24 (DM) A youth who is alleged to have obstructed the path of First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa during her morning constitutional at Galle Face Green on Sunday was ordered to be remanded till August 3 by a Colombo Court yesterday. The suspect Kasun Udara Sampath was arrested by the Fort police. They said the suspect, who had no documents to prove his identity was acting suspiciously and appeared to have been present at the spot with the intention of committing an offence. more..

Over 270 jaywalkers taken to court

July 24 (CG) The police filed cases against 274 jaywalkers who had violated pedestrian crossing laws in Colombo this morning. According to the police laws pertaining to pedestrian crossing was strictly implemented today and court cases filed against those violating the laws. The police said that some road accidents in Colombo and other main towns have been attributed to people crossing at every nook and corner instead of using pedestrian crossings. more..

Over 100 companies in top trade delegation to visit Sri Lanka

July 24 (Xinhua) Over a hundred Indian companies are expected in Sri Lanka next week for what has been billed as the largest trade fair ever between the two countries, the Industry and Commerce Ministry said here in a statement on Tuesday. Wipro, India's third largest IT firm is the latest to join the high level Indian trade and the business delegation arriving in Colombo next week on the sidelines of the trade fair that has been titled "India Show", the ministry said. more..

Students boost their school’s mission to Sri Lanka

July 24 (DT) Pupils have been working to design an activity room and create appropriate resources to enable Sri Lankan schoolchidren to improve their English. Tibshelf Community School joined forces with pupils at Heath Primary School on the project, which was supported by donations of play tables, building blocks, alphabet games, exercise books, pens and pencils from Findel Educational Resources. The designs and resources are to be taken to Ilhalgoda Primary School near Galle more..

'Change of Govts / portfolios should not affect development activities'

July 24 (GDI) “The development activities already on track will never be stopped or cancelled with the change of ministers, President Rajapaksa said. “Even with the change of portfolios or a changing of government, the planned development activities should continue as scheduled and those development activities should not be affected, “the President said. He stressed that the role of a politician should be exemplary to society. more..

Over 750 Lankan refugees returned to the Island this year

July 24 (PTI) Over 750 Sri Lankan nationals living in India as refugees have returned to their country through the monetary support from the UNHCR this year. "Upto this year, over 750 persons have returned to their native Sri Lanka through UNHCR. And there are over 100 applications which are being processed for August," a UNHCR official told PTI. Over 1,670 refugees who were living in special camps across Tamil Nadu returned to Lanka last year, while more..

Police get Rs.5 million to remove election posters

July 24 (AD) The Elections Secretariat has provided the Police Department with Rs. 5 million for illegal election poster removal activities in the North Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern Provinces. The money will be used to pay wages of workers, who will be used remove the illegal posters in the said provinces. Meanwhile police called on the public to submit complaints regarding any individuals displaying posters and cutouts in a manner which violates election laws. more..

Minister Bathiudeen denies allegations

July 24 (GDI) Minister Rishad Bathiudeen has reiterated that he never made any threat to the Mannar Magistrate and District Judge, and had not seen the Judge or contacted him over any matter. He said that as a responsible Minister, he knows the gravity of the crime and the consequence of threatening a member of the Judiciary or interfering in the judicial process. He expressed hope that the ongoing investigation would bring out the truth regarding the allegations. more..

Son in hospital after allegedly killing parents

July 24 (DM) A man who is alleged to have killed both his parents last morning had admitted himself to the Embilipitiya Base Hospital with serious self-inflicted injuries, the Katuwana Police said. They said the victims identified as 52-year-old A. Somawathie and 60year-old K.K. Jinadasa were residents of Uda Gomadiya at Katuwana in the Hambantota district. The mother’s body was found at Uda Gomadiya School Grounds while the father’s body was found hanging from an more..

Rs 5 b fund to promote Lankan tea worldwide

July 24 (DN) The Plantation Industries Ministry is in the process of setting up a Rs 5 billion fund to promote Sri Lankan tea worldwide. Plantation Industries Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said the programme aiming to popularise the Ceylon tea brand globally, will promote awareness among the consumers on Sri Lankan tea. It will also include many other promotional activities. Rs 2.5 billion has already been collected with the help of tea exporters, the minister said. more..

Sri Lanka Debrief News-24.07.2012

Cavotec wins major cable reel order for Colombo container terminal

July 24 (PT) Cavotec has secured a major order for power and spreader cable reels for ship-to shore (STS) container cranes from the world’s largest port equipment manufacturer ZPMC. The project will see Cavotec electrical power and spreader cable reels fitted to 12 STS cranes for the China Merchant container terminal in the Port of Colombo, Sri Lanka. The programme is the largest foreign direct investment project in Sri Lanka to date, according more..

Rameswaram fishermen withdraw strike

July 24 (NDTV) Fishermen in Rameswaram have withdrawn the indefinite strike they had announced on Sunday following the arrest of 23 Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu. The President of the Fishermen's Association said that this decision was taken in a meeting convened by the Tahsildar following the steps taken by the centre for the early release of the arrested fishermen. The Lankan Navy had also confiscated five boats. The fishermen have been remanded till the 6th of August on charges of trespassing into Lankan waters. more..

2nd ODI: Perera, Mathews humble India

July 24 (CI) For the first three overs on a blustery afternoon in Hambantota, Sri Lanka looked thrown. Running in through strong winds, their opening bowlers found rhythm elusive and lines hard to control. Lasith Malinga got no movement; the debutant Isuru Udana's first over comprised 11 balls and contained 16 runs; there were careless overthrows and misfields; and India scored 31 for 0 with barely a risk. And then Thisara Perera, in the midst of his best home summer, more..

More power sets in operation

July 24 (DN) ‘Fifteen of the 20 power sets ordered from India have already arrived and the rest will arrive in the country within the next three months,” an SLR spokesman said. “Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) has ordered 20 power sets from India under the US $ 67.4 million credit line agreement. The SLR has already imported fifteen power sets and fourteen are already in operation,” he said. “We have replaced two new power sets for the Ruhunu Kumari while two new power sets more..

Request to President from MP Namal Rajapaka

July 24 (SM) Consequent to the plight of the disappointed and restless students following the release of the Z scores of the GCE A/L exam, a group of young MP’s have requested the govt. and President to provide a reasonable solution to this problem, said MP Namal Rajapaka. He was speaking at a special media briefing yesterday evening. “With the release of these scores many differences of opinion have arisen in the more..