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SLFP politico blasts new OIC of Gokarella

July 25 (Island) A powerful SLFP politician representing the Kurunegala district had threatened the newly appointed OIC of the Gokarella police and had bluntly told him he was not required there when he paid a courtesy visit to the politician’s house last week, reliable police sources said. They said the arrogant politician had asked the police officer: "How did you come here (police station) without my consent?, when the IGP or the Defence Secretary acts in this manner to appoint more..

Lawyers fear move to hush up Mannar probe

July 25 (Island) The Colombo Magistrate’s Court Lawyers’ Association decided, at the meeting held after the incident in Mannar, not to appear in Court in protest against the stoning incident that took place in Mannar. At that meeting the majority of the members thoroughly condemned Minister Rishad Bathiudeen’s actions. They also expressed displeasure over a lawyer of their branch, Sumith Silva being assaulted in the course of performing his professional duty by some more..

Doctor shortage in medical field

July 25 (SL) While heart disease remains the number one cause of death in Sri Lanka, a decline in the number of cardiologists and negligence on the part of the Health Ministry has done little to alleviate the issue. Sri Lanka is facing a serve shortage of heart specialists in the govt sector, according to Director of Administration at the Ministry of Health, W.M.M. Jayasooriya. “Doctors who are trained in cardiology often choose to pursue a career in private practice as there is more more..

Job agent dupes youth in job scam making a display of govt. ministers!

July 25 (LB) The CID has begun an inquiry against a job agent in Maharagama for swindling Rs60 million from ‘74 youths by pretending to run a govt sponsored project that finds youths jobs in Canada. The agent is believed to have high political links and has already attempted to scuttle the investigation. The CID launched the investigation following complaints lodged by Channa Saman Kumara, Tharaka Kasun, Nandana and more..

CAFFE accuses police of inaction

July 25 (Island) The Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CAFFE) yesterday accused the Police of failing to take action against election law violators by both major parties in the North Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces despite several complaints lodged by them regarding violations. CAFFE Executive Director, R. Keerthi Tennakoon said that an increasing number of provincial council owned vehicles were being used in those two provinces, while more..

The writing on the campus wall

July 25 (Hindu) As with most other societies ravaged by civil war, Sri Lanka’s public institutions have all suffered. Beginning in the late colonial period and continuing into the post-colonial era, the state made critical economic and social investments, particularly in universal free education and health care as well as a strong public service. Indeed, it was these investments that held the country together during the decades of war. The end of the war provided an opportunity to rebuild more..

Sri Lanka exports fall 15-pct in May, imports shrink

July 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka external trade continued to contract in May with exports falling 15.1 percent to 710.1 million US dollars and imports easing 6.4 percent to 1,575 million dollars, official data showed. The Central Bank said industrial exports fell 16.2 percent to 636 million US dollars with apparel falling 13.5 percent to 278.2 million US dollars and rubber goods 17.9 percent to 64.1 million US dollars with price falls also seen in raw materials including cotton. more..

US$ 44 m financing to build 210 rural steel bridges

July 25 (FT) Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) has agreed to provide a credit facility of US$ 44.14 million to finance construction and rehabilitation of 210 rural bridges with lengths from six to 30 metres covering the entire country. The Credit Facility Agreement was signed between Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Planning on behalf of the Govt of Sri Lanka and British High Commissioner John Rankin, more..

Dayasiri won’t crossover: Karu

July 25 (DM) UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya said today he did not believe UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara will cross over to the Govt. He said rumours were being spread about Dayasiri crossing over but don’t believe in such wild rumours. “Don’t believe in them it’s not wise to do so. Dayasiri is one who loves the party and is very dedicated to it. I do not believe he will do such a thing at this time. There can be certain issues that may cause more..

'Strict action against candidates'

July 25 (CT) UPFA General Secretary, Susil Premjayantha vouched that his party would take strict action against candidates who don’t respect election laws and obey the Commissioner of Elections’ orders. “We had informed all candidates to return all properties, in keeping with the pledge, to give the fullest cooperation to the Commissioner of Elections. Anybody can make a complaint to us when our candidates go more..

'Namal shoud be Min. of Education'

July 25 (DM) Kurunegala district UNP MP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said today that UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa should be made Minister of Higher Education if he had given an assurance to do justice to all students who sat their 2011 A/L exam. Commenting on the statement by Mr. Rajapaksa about the new Z scores, he said, “Mr. Rajapaksa has assured he will do justice to all students. But this should be a comment made by the Higher Education Minister and not by an MP. more..

Sri Lanka arrests Tamil politician over human smuggling

July 25 (Xinhua) The police in Sri Lanka on Wednesday arrested a Tamil politician and another suspect over a human smuggling operation. Police media spokesman Ajith Rohana said the Tamil politician is a member of the TNA and is a candidate for the local council elections in the east scheduled for September. "Over the past few days there were reports of attempts by people to go overseas by boat illegally. more..

Editorial:The agony of Z- scores

July 25 (DM) By the looks of it, the initial blunder made by the Examinations Department officials has invited many more blunders in its lousy run to rectify the errors. The newly revised Z-scores show a drastic drop of district and island ranks of the students who sat the exam in 2011 under the old syllabus. The injustice, coming in the eleventh hour, is hard to gulp down. Taking lightly the expectations and inspirations of children and thereby thinking any patched-up business more..

UNP says lack of planning the cause

July 25 (Island) While the CEB yesterday imposed three-hour power cuts countrywide for a minimum of 28 days, the UNP accused the govt of lack of planning and vision. There had been frequent disruptions to electricity supply since Minister Champika Ranawaka had not done his homework, UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said. The Norochcholai power plant, he said, was lying idle while the Kotmale plant, which was inaugurated recently, had obviously not helped prevent more..

'CSN deal is completely transparent'

July 25 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Secretary and CEO of the Sports TV Channel Carlton Sports Network (CSN) Nishantha Ranatunga rejected media reports linking the President’s sons to the CSN ownership and claimed that he kept himself completely out of the process to pick SLC’s local TV rights partner to eliminate the possibility of any conflict of interest. Ranatunga felt the whole idea could have been created as President’s sons consented to provide more..

Sri Lanka gets US$437mn in FDI up to May

July 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka is estimated to have received about 437 million US dollars in foreign direct investments up to May 2012, while 187 million US dollars have flowed into stocks in the first half of the year. FDI is equity, loans from parents and re-investment by foreign owned companies. Sri Lanka's stocks have fallen during 2012 with interest rates rising. Foreign investors who sold out in 2011 during a credit driven bubble are now returning the market. more..

Motor Traffic chief cautions vehicle buyers

July 25 (Island) Commissioner General of Motor Traffic S.H. Harischandra yesterday cautioned those seeking to purchase motor vehicles to personally check the authenticity of the transfer papers, vehicle book, registration and other documents by calling over at the department, until the department went online to provide the history of all vehicles for a fee of Rs. 200. Harischandra said that as the Commissioner of Motor Traffic he had the moral obligation to warn those more..

Lanka tells UN to be more objective

July 25 (CG) Sri Lanka has urged the United Nations (UN) including the UNHRC to follow due process and be guided by objective criteria in assessing developments in the country. The External Affairs Ministry today quoted Sri Lanka’s new Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha as saying that the UN and member states must not allow rump elements of the LTTE based overseas, some Tamil diaspora groups and others with vested interests, more..

Ranaweera says S’gamuwa CM should be from Rathnapura

July 25 (DM) Former minister and UPFA candidate Jayathissa Ranaweera said the Sabaragamuwa PC Chief Minister must be someone from Ratnapura. “During the entire tenure of the UPFA the CM has almost always been from the Kegalle District, with the Ratnapura District being sidelined. Therefore it is of paramount importance that the next Chief Minister must be selected from Ratnapura,” he said. He said the party had clearly stated that seniority and more..

Sri Lanka's war torn image still hurting economic prospects: diplomat

July 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka needs to improve its image overseas and promote a stable macroeconomic environment to help build bilateral trade links and attract more foreign investors, a Dutch diplomat said. Bas Van Noordenne, Netherland's deputy head of mission in Sri Lanka told a business forum that people still associate Sri Lanka with the separatist Tamil Tigers even after three years of ending the island's bloody civil war. "Companies are still little bit hesitant to more..

'Is this the miracle of Asia?'

July 25 (LT) The judges, university lecturers and professors have been pushed towards a strike while students have been confronted with a result crisis said JVP MP Vijithe Herath. He asked the govt whether it was the miracle of Asia they were bragging about. He said, “People’s confidence in the law of the country has been completely destroyed by this govt. The person functioning as the executive has, at different times, arbitrarily pressurized more..

Opening of Mahindodaya Technological Laboratory

July 25 (Island) The government has launched a programme to provide thousand secondary schools with modern amenities. Under this programme one thousand ‘Mahindodaya Technological Laboratories’ will be established within the school system. The project is monitored by Mohan Lai Grero, Monitoring MP of the ministry of Education and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development. A technological laboratory built at the Ratmalana Kotalawalapura Vidyalaya, more..

Intimidation rampant in the East: JVP

July 25 (DM) The JVP charged today that threats and intimidation was rampant in the Eastern Province. JVP politburo member Sunil Handunetti said there were many instances where several JVP candidates had been questioned by unknown people. “Unknown people who claim to be members of the intelligence wing have on numerous occasions questioned several candidates on various aspects. When I was in Batticaloa last week they came and asked me what I’m doing here as well,” more..

Yugadanavi power station restored at 200MW

July 25 (AD) The Kerawalapitiya Yugadanavi power station has bee restored at 200MW capacity while the remaining 100MW will be added on July 30, the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) stated. The cause for the breakdown at the Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant in Norochcholai has been identified as a 5-inch tear in one of the thousands of tubes in the boiler economizer, the Ministry of Power and Energy said. Local teams are currently working to rectify the issue more..

Lankan marathon runner Cooray gunning for Olympic glory with diet of 'a pasty per day'

July 25(ANI) Sri Lankan marathon runner Anuradha Cooray is gunning for glory at the London Olympics, and revealed the secret to his training i.e. a daily pasty fix. Cooray, who is a full-time employee of Greggs The Bakers in Buckinghamshire, trains for his marathon dash by running 17 miles to and from his work every day, and eating a pasty when he gets there. As a marathon runner, Cooray must consume between 5,000 and 6,000 calories a day, and he chooses to do more..

Heroin ‘extracted’ from SL drug mules

July 25 (CT) A brief ‘vacation’ less than 12 hours long in India landed two Sri Lankan nationals in the customs’ net on Tuesday. The duo, who posed as tourists, later turned out to be drug mules, ferrying about 300 gms of first grade heroin stuffed up their rectums. They were caught when they checked in for their return flight to Colombo early on Tuesday. Bearing tourist visas, Mubeen Abdul Hameed (35) and Mohammed Thabseer Abul Hasan (32) from Kandy more..

Sri Lanka Debrief News 25 07 2012

Boyfriend who held girlfriend’s hand gets bail

July 25 (DM) A youth was arrested and produced before the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court after his girlfriend had complained to the police that her boyfriend had sexually harassed her by holding her by the hand and attempting to drag her out of a three-wheeler. Defence counsel Deemani Beddewela handing over a bundle of love letters and photographs to Court said her client had an affair with the 17-year-old girl for about four years. She said her client had only come to meet more..

'Tortured' Tamil put on a plane back to Sri Lanka

July 25 (TA) A TAMIL asylum-seeker accused of links with the vanquished Tamil Tigers has been deported, despite being the subject of an appeal to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and a pending High Court judgment that could have had an impact on his appeal rights. Dayan Anthony was taken from the Maribyrnong Detention Centre in Melbourne yesterday and put on a flight to Bangkok at 2.35pm, while refugee advocates scrambled unsuccessfully to get an urgent court hearing. more..

London 2012: UK Tamil community set for mass protests

July 25 (Independent) Sri Lanka’s controversial president will travel to London for the Olympic Games in what could spark mass protests from Britain’s Tamil community, The Independent has learned. Mahinda Rajapaksa’s spokesperson Bandula Jayasekara confirmed today that the 66-year-old president, whose govt has been accused of committing war crimes, is planning to come to Britain shortly and may even attend the Games’ opening ceremony on Friday evening. more..

Police investigating death threats against Wimal

July 25 (AD) The Cinnamon Gardens Police today said it has commenced investigations into alleged death threats against NFF leader and Minister Wimal Weerawansa. A complaint was filed by the head of the Weerawansa’s security detail, Susira Kumara with the Cinnamon Gardens Police, regarding several threatening telephone calls received by the Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities Minister. The Cinnamon Gardens Police informed the Colombo Magistrate’s more..

Human rights protection in Sri Lanka: The forgotten half of the story

July 25 (EAR) Much ink has been spilt over the years on the subject of human rights in Sri Lanka. The opinions, observations and indeed ultimatums have emanated from official, unofficial, international and domestic quarters. The issue of media freedom and related rights have come to the fore time and again. In recent weeks, fresh incidents related to the freedom of the press have sparked off renewed debate, condemnation and equally candid reaction. more..

Andrew de Silva wins Australia's Got Talent

July 25 (DM) Melbourne singer songwriter Andrew de Silva has overcome massive personal hurdles and stolen a second chance at stardom after taking out the Australia's Got Talent title. The former member of '90s boy band CDB said winning the contest was "a dream come true". An emotional de Silva said he would be happy to put singing at weddings behind him to focus on recording and touring. "It's all about the music and now I'm just going to more..

Sinhala Buddhist Consciousness

July 26 (NS) Is religious rivalry in Sri Lanka a modern thing begotten and sustained by another modern thing; the Sinhala Buddhist consciousness? Or is it an old thing which owes its genesis to something deeper and older? The latter of course. The former is a 1980s 90s delusion of a particular Ism; Post-orientalism. This school of thought, which traces the genesis of Sinhala Buddhist consciousness to the colonial encounter has been thoroughly licked. Usually in journalese, one can only say smugly ‘that theory is now more..

Batti declares war against its under-development

July 26 (NS) Agriculture is the source of livelihood of over 50% of households in the Batticaloa District. Balance depends on fishing. Paddy lands have increased after the war with more acres to be released for agricultural purposes. When the civil war with the LTTE terror outfit ended three years ago, Batticaloa was already enjoying the peace as the East was liberated two years before releasing the Wanni. However, the progress towards development has been made slow due to more..

‘Black July’ 1983: Remembering the Horrors of a Pogrom

July 26 (DBS) The tragic history of post – independence Sri Lanka records that the Tamils of Sri Lanka have been subjected to mass –scale mob violence in the years 1956, 1958, 1977, 1981 and 1983. The anti-Tamil violence of July 1983 was the most terrible and horrible of them all. Twenty – nine years ago on the night of 23rd of July, members of the LTTE ambushed an army patrol at the Post Box junction area in Thirunelvely in Jaffna and more..

Douglas Devananda recalls Welikada jail massacres of July 25th and 27th 1983

July 26 (DBS) Kathiravelu Nithyananda Devananda, was in the cell facing the gallows of Welikada Prison when he heard the commotion outside the prison walls on 25 July 1983, just two days after the infamous Black July began. “We did not know what was happening at the time, and I was watching the commotion taking place on the road outside the prison premises. That was before they actually came in. I do not want to go into the details of harassment unleashed on the Tamil prisoners by more..

The mood of the military over the Thirunelvely July 23rd 1983 ambush

July 26 (DBS) With a remarkable increase in subversive activities in the Northern Peninsula, commencing with the killing of the Mayor of Jaffna, Alfred Duraiappa on 14 May 1976, the then govt introduced the Prevention of Terrorism Act on 15 July 1979. With this, the President appointed Gen. T.I. Weeratunga, then Brigadier, as the Commander of the Security Forces deployed in the North. He was assigned to clear Jaffna of terrorism by 31 December 1979. His Operations HQ more..

'Expeditious disposal of cases – key to reducing crime'

July 26 (DM) Newly appointed Attorney-General (AG) Palitha Fernando, outlines his vision for the Department and opines that expeditious disposal of cases is the key to reducing the country’s crime rate. The AG points out that coordinated efforts are required to combat crime, and appeals to the general public to extend their fullest cooperation to the law enforcement officers so that perpetrators may be swiftly brought to book. more..

‘Maha Dena Muththa’ Thinking, Classified Betrayers and Traitors

July 26 (CT) Defence secretary said in an interview “No, in fact I clarified that in the conversation with her over the phone – the very same conversation. All I said was that people are so angry with persons like her who have worked against the war effort and the country, that if she attends a function, 90% of the people would be against her, and that I would be able to point this out to her at such a function. I said such people who are angry may want to more..