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Systemic, not regime change

July 26 (CT) As so many times before, Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s most recent verbal assault is relegated to the memory of a few. He continues to hold high and influential public office. The regime dealt with the fallout as it always does – masterfully manipulating a fractured, fearful media community by inviting them over to Temples Trees for a spot of dinner and running a hilariously pathetic interview in a newspaper to give Gotabaya’s ‘side’ of the verbal assault. more..

Human rights protection: The forgotten half of the story

July 26 (DM) 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 more..

Abuse of the Act to Prevent Domestic Violence

July 26 (DM) The Act to Prevent Domestic Violence (PVDA) covering physical and psychological abuse was legislated in 2005 and is seen as helpful tool to protect abused women, men and children. Children who suffer enormously due to domestic violence in the hands of overbearing or violent parents and men who often face abusive women at home have in large measure not benefited yet from the PVDA. 38 and 55 cases have been reported in 2010 and 2011 respectively of violence on Women. more..

Editorial: Beware of mad politicos

July 26 (Island) Stooges are there in their numbers in every profession. They are the ones who usually go places or, in other words, attain career advancement. The police have their share of such lackeys who have got licking political boots down to a fine art. They also have upright officers and men in their ranks but unfortunately they have come to be known by the khaki-clad invertebrates given to falling at the feet of political dregs in supplication. It is those lackeys who have, more..

සබැඳියාව | Connections – July 24, 2012

Power Cuts again: Planners’ worry now is about 2016

July 26 (Island) Sri Lanka was boasting that the last power cuts had ended ten years back on May 15th, 2002 and that we were the only country in South Asia to provide a 24-hour power supply to customers. Energy Ministry hierarchy even credited the excessive rain over 2010-2011 to the CEB’s account and claimed that after reporting losses for ten years at a stretch, the CEB had been turned-around in 2010 owing to the efficiency of the new management! Alas, the euphoria was more..

Rare Opportunity for US - born SL hurdler

July 26 (Island) There was something unusual in the women‘s 400 metres hurdles at the National Athletics Championship in 2010. The generally slow women’s 400 metres hurdles was progressing at a relatively rapid pace. An athlete who had not been seen before in the local circuit was leading at a rapid pace and by the time she reached the final straight, she was well ahead of the others and finished in a time of one minute and 00.72 seconds, an impressive performance by Sri Lankan standards. more..

Reserves dip, foreign investments in govt. debt surge

July 26 (Island) Gross official reserves dipped to US$ 5,815 million as at end May from US$ 5,835 million the previous month, Central Bank data showed, while foreign inflows into govt debt instruments surge 83.2 percent on higher domestic interest rates. Official reserves stood at US$ 5,730 million as at end March 2012. Official reserves which stood at US$ 5,806 million as at end January 2012, dipped to US$ 5,522 million by more..

Unions demand action against DGHS

July 26 (Island) The Health Services Trade Union Alliance (HSTUA) has urged the Cabinet and the Health Ministry to implement the recommendations of the Presidential Investigation Unit (PIU), which probed the Director General of Health Services (DGHS). HSTUA President Saman Ratnapriya said on Wednesday that the PIU had found Dr. Ajith Mendis, the present DGHS, guilty. He alleged that the PIU had found the DG guilty of fraud. It had strongly recommended that the Health Minister take necessary action against the official. more..

'Civilian bravery awards without sufficient funds'

July 26 (Island) President of the Foundation for Civilian Bravery Kasun Chandraratne yesterday, announcing the date for the National Civilian Bravery Awards 2012, regretted that neither the state sector nor the private sector had come forward to assist the organisation. He said, "Our requests have fallen on deaf ears and we even have written to President Mahinda Rajapaksa seeking his help, but to no avail. It was a deplorable state of affairs", he added. more..

Sri Lankan envoy moots joint patrolling to prevent intrusion by fishermen

July 26 (IT) As diplomatic parleys continued to seek the release of the 23 Indian fishermen detained by Sri Lankan navy earlier this week, the high commissioner of Sri Lanka to Delhi, Prasad Kariyawasam, on Wednesday said that the joint patrolling by Indian Coast Guard and the Sri Lankan Navy could be the answer to settle the problem of fishermen. The fishermen's issue has become a nagging problem for more..

Trying to create an illiterate society

July 26 (CT) The Jaffna University Academics (JUA) in a statement criticized the government that it was doing everything to create an illiterate society in the country by meddling with the university academics and students. The Statement said the government is doing everything to destroy the free educational system in the country by allowing the private universities to be established in the country, the government is trying to come out of the debt crisis it faces. more..

Salmonella in meat served at wedding

July 26 (ST) Jayarani K, one of the victims of a severe food poisoning incident in Vavunativu, Batticaloa regrets attending the wedding reception that made her whole family sick after consuming the meat served at the joyous gathering. Over 400 guests who attended the wedding lunch on Sunday July 15, were rushed to the Vavunativu Hospital. Some of the severe cases were later transferred to Batticaloa Hospital. Dr. L.M. Navarathnarajah said all have been discharged now. more..

'Power cuts: Govt. giving false excuses'

July 26 (Island) The UNP yesterday said that the govt’s excuse for the power cuts was laughable. Although it claimed that the power cuts were due to breakdowns at the Kerawalapitiya and Norochcholai power plants, the real reasons was lack of vision and mismanagement, UNP MP Harin Fernando said. He said the Kerawalapitiya power plant was run on a substance known as low sulfur oil which cost only 85 rupees per litre. A ship carrying a cargo of low-sulfur-oil more..

Elaborate arrangements for Vidulka 2012

July 26 (DN) The Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority (SEA), under the patronage of the Power and Energy Ministry will stage the premier national sustainable energy event of Sri Lanka, Vidulka 2012 for the third consecutive year. This event is scheduled to be held from August 17 to 19 at the BMICH. Significance and timeliness of Vidulka has been heightened by the fact that the year 2012 being declared as the 'Year for Sustainable Energy for All' by the United Nations and thereby making it a landmark year in the global more..

Boon to Batticaloa fishermen: Rs.430m fisheries harbour opened

July 26 (DN) A new fisheries harbour cum fish market together with a fishing service centre complex has been opened at Batticaloa under the govt's fishing sector development initiatives. The govt invested Rs 430 million for this project with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank. The fisheries harbour provides fishermen and fish traders with various services, including, boat berthing facilities, provide information, supply fuel and water for fishing boats, more..

People’s Committees to assist Police

July 26 (DN) Measures are being taken to set up Special Advisory Committees at police divisional level with limited authority to enable the Police and the public to interact in a friendly atmosphere and wherein the Police will be furnished with information on criminals, with the larger objective of combating crime. Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa instructed the IGP to form Special Advisory Committees at police divisional level comprising members of civil society in more..

Murder at Gampaha hospital

July 26 (Island) A 51-year-old man had been stabbed to death by a minor staffer at the Gampaha Hospital in the wee hours of yesterday, the police said. Police spokesman SP Ajith Rohana said that the victim, Lansapperuma Arachchilage Nandasena, a resident of Pahalagama, Dunumala, had been employed in the hospital canteen. He had received stab injuries on the left side of his chest following a dispute with a minor employee of the hospital. The incident had taken place at around 12.30 am. more..

Plainfield Habitat helps build homes in Sri Lanka

July 26 (NJ) As Team USA competes in London for the 2012 Olympic Games this August, another team will be representing the USA for another cause. Three locals from the Greater Plainfield Habitat for Humanity will travel to Sri Lanka to build 24 homes with 300 other international volunteers during the week of Aug. 6-11. Executive Director of Plainfield Habitat, Rev. Jeremy Montgomery, will be joined on this trip by Westfield school teacher, more..

Brandix crowned Asia’s ‘Best Brand’ for second year

July 26 (DM) Sri Lanka’s top apparel exporter Brandix has been adjudged Asia’s ‘Best Brand’ for the second consecutive year by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and won three more awards at the 2012 CMO Asia Awards for Excellence in Branding and Marketing held at Park Royal, Singapore. The Best Brand award is based on an independent evaluation by the CMO Council, which considers ‘Mind Share,’ more..

Beautician commits suicide in Vavuniya

July 26 (Island) A 31-year-old beautician, Kedaralingam Vishakini, aka Vani, committed suicide yesterday morning while her partner was sleeping in a hotel at Vavuniya. Superintendent Ajith Rohana said that the couple had been living together for a quite some time before and on that fateful day they had been lodging in the Thai Hotel at Kovil Pudakulum. He said that there too they had been staying for a few days. The postmortem revealed that it was suicide and the divorcee had hanged herself by more..

Oil palm cultivation to be stepped up

July 26 (Island) The Land Reform Commission is planning to commence oil palm cultivation as a joint venture with Malaysia, since it has proved to be a lucrative industry. "Initially, the commission is planning to begin cultivation on a 1,000-acre block of land in the Kegalle district with the newly developed Malaysian oil palm seeds, which enables harvesting within two years of cultivation," LRC Executive Director Hariguptha Rohanadeera told The Island. Profit from one acre per month has been estimated as Rs. 50,000. more..

Post-war probe on LTTE activity:Top Swiss team due in Colombo soon

July 26 (Island) The Swiss authorities are flying in legal officers of the Federal State Prosecutor’s office, the Swiss Federal criminal police, translators and defense counsels into Sri Lanka to investigate LTTE activities. They will question 26 witnesses. Following is the translation of an article published in Neue Zurcher Zeitung, a Swiss newspaper, captioned ‘Expedition Colombo of the Federal Prosecutors’. more..

Ambassador to Turkey says GL did not interrupt her

July 26 (ST) Bharathi Wijeratne, Sri Lanka’s newly appointed ambassador to Turkey, has responded to references made to her in last week’s political commentary in the Sunday Times. She writes: “This is with reference to the article reported by your political editor in the opinion column, with regard to the ‘Sri Lankan Ambassadors study tour’ which refers to me in the Sunday Times. “Sir, I would like to categorically state that minister G.L. Peiris more..

Olympic team not tested for doping

July 26 (DM) The Director-General of the Sports Medicine Unit Prof Arjun de Silva stated that doping tests were not conducted on the Sri Lankan contingent for the London Olympics. This was disclosed to the media at a briefing held in Colombo recently. He further added that this situation arose as most of the team members were out of the island on training missions. “Though it was necessary to do this test we failed to do it due to the above reason,” said Prof de Silva. more..

Beruwela children’s home under sex abuse probe – HR Chief

July 26 (Island) Justice Secretary Mrs. Kamalini de Silva and Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka Chief Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa said there was an urgent need to monitor children’s homes properly. Constant monitoring would be required to prevent children from being sexually abused by their guardians, they said. The Justice Secretary and Human Rights Commissioner were responding to our news item on Wednesday more..

Dr. PB tells SEC, CSE to revive stock market with innovative ideas

July 26 (FT) Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera yesterday urged both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) to come up with innovative new ideas to revive the stock market. This was the key message during the near two-hour joint meeting between Dr. Jayasundera, the Commissioners of the SEC and Board members of the CSE. Sources said the meeting, a direct follow up to President’s forum with capital market more..

Higher education breaks new ground with NSBM

July 26 (DN) Minister Dullas Alahapperuma and Minister Bandula Gunawardena laid the foundation stone to construct a State-of-the-Art education complex, the National School of Business Management (NSBM), the degree awarding institution of NIBM, at Pitipana Homagama yesterday. This will be constructed at a cost of Rs. six billion as a modern university structure, in 26 acres of land and will start operations in 2014. The NSBM will deliver a quality more..

WC ruling shocks UNPers

July 26 (Island) UNP MP Buddika Pathirana said had had been shocked by last week’s Working Committee decision which barred party members from participating in the activities of other political parties without prior approval from the UNP General Secretary. He said that the decision was aimed at preventing UNPers from attending events organised by General Sarath Fonseka, Leader of the Democratic Party (DP) and National Democratic Front (NDF). more..

Sri Lanka's anti-filaria programme, a huge success

July 26 (DN) Sri Lanka achieved the WHO certified elimination level (less than one percent of micro filarial rate) for filaria. The current micro filarial rate in Sri Lanka is 0.3 percent. Two American professors are in Sri Lanka to conduct the final examination on the situation of the disease before issuing the WHO certificate, a Health Ministry spokesman said. According to the spokesman, the two American professors, Prof Garry Gail and Prof Ramakrishna Rao from the Washington more..

Fisherwomen get equipment to produce quality dry fish

July 26 (Island) The Regional Fisheries Livelihood Programme (RFLP) has donated equipment to selected fisherwomen of Negombo to help produce quality and value added dry fish, to boost their current income. This Spanish funded project is coordinated by the Food and Agriculture Organization and implemented by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development. Beneficiaries include 40 fisherwomen from the Negombo region and RFLP has already more..

Defense tools for Sri Lanka's online onslaught

July 26 (CPJ) Sanjana Hattotuwa, the founder of the citizen journalism website Groundviews, sent us the links to a new series of posters and videos focused on digital communications security. The material, which is aimed at a Sri Lankan audience, is available in English, Sinhala, and Tamil, but is relevant to anyone who uses the Internet or a mobile phone. Hattotuwa asked that the links be shared as widely as possible. more..

A Fishy Affair In Kokkadicholai

July 28 (SL) A petition has been filed before the Colombo High Court against Deputy Resettlement Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman for allegedly taking over a prawn farm by force; set up by a company, Pearl Farms (Pvt) Ltd. Muralitharan is also a director of the company with a one third share and according to his partners wielded much power due to his position in the govt. Muralitharan, the former eastern military commander of the LTTE, more..

Polls Chief sends top team to probe presence of armed gangs in East

July 26 (ST) Senior Elections Department officials are to be dispatched to the Eastern Province to probe allegations about the operation of armed groups and cases of intimidation to candidates ahead of the provincial elections on September 8. Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said three deputy commissioners and several assistant commissioners would be sent from Colombo tomorrow on a 10-day visit to more..

Cabinet approves action plan to implement LLRC recommendations

July 26 (AD) The Cabinet has approved a move to execute a National Action Plan in order to implement the recommendations of the LLRC with indicators and a time frame. The action plan will be implemented in accordance with four requirments, namely recommendations pertaining to the National policy, the final stages of the war, human rights and national security as well as resettlement and development. more..

Rishad ordered to appear in court

July 26 (CG) Minister Rishad Bathiudeen was ordered by the court of appeal today to be present in court on September 5 and show cause as to why he should not be punished over the threats on the Mannar Magistrate. A petition was filed in court against the minister alleging that he had threatened and intimidated the judge last week. The incident had reportedly taken place when a group of Muslim fishermen were protesting more..

BoC funds rural athletics for Rs. 11.5m

July 26 (DM) The Bank of Ceylon has come forward to serve the rural athletes in a big way. It has signed a sponsorship package worth Rs. 11.5 million for a period of five years. This will be handed over to the Sri Lanka Athletic Association in five installments of Rs. 2.3 million per year. The sponsorship documents were signed recently by President of Sri Lanka Athletic Association Major General Daya Ratnayake and Chief more..

Criminals among the disappeared

July 26 (CG) The Ministry of Defence has insisted that figures of people reported missing since last October have been exaggerated and of the actual figure most have a criminal background. According to the Ministry of Defence only 18 people were reported to the police as missing between October last year and March this year and not 56 as claimed by some and of the 18 missing 15 were wanted over various crimes. “Law enforcement authorities have carried out extensive more..

'18th amendment has led to more corruption'

July 26 (DM) UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya said the 18th Amendment had led to rampant corruption among govt politicians and this had resulted in an increasing number of crimes in the country. He said it was essential to set up the independent commissions as required by the 17th Amendment. Mr. Jayasuriya who was a former UNP deputy leader said that appointments and promotions given to govt sycophants had led to the present mess and muddle. more..

New stamps to mark Nallur festival

July 28 (DN) New stamps were issued to mark the renowned Nallur Kanthaswamy Kovil Annual Festival 2012 on July 24 at the kovil premises. Under the guidance of Northern Province Governor G A Chandrasiri, the Postal Department issued the stamps. Nallur has an old and rich history. It is considered as a social, religious and cultural place in Jaffna. Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil or Nallur Murugan Kovil is one of the most significant Hindu temples in more..