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‘A smear campaign against me’ says Tamara, CT stands by the story

July 28 (CT) “The simultaneity of such defamatory articles published against me in different newspapers demonstrates the deliberate character of this smear campaign. I would, therefore, ask you correct this defamatory falsehoods that are aimed at undermining my honesty and integrity, publish this right of reply and apologise.” says the Sri Lankan ambassador to Cuba,Tamara Kunanayakam. Requesting a right of reply and a voluntary apology Tamara says the story carried on more..

'Can never take India lightly'

July 28 (NDTV) For the better part of last year and the first few months of this year, Angelo Mathews couldn't bowl because he was carrying a calf injury. Consequently, the balance of Sri Lanka's side was hugely hit. Mathews is now back to full fitness, pulling his weight with bat and ball, and the effect is there for all to see. With Mathews and Thisara Perera fulfilling the role of allrounders beautifully, Sri Lanka have depth in both batting and bowling, more..

Rapists deserve capital punishment

July 28 (NS) The recent weeks have seen a litany of horror unfold itself in the unending spate of cases of child abuse and rape from all parts of the country. As a parent and a citizen of Sri Lanka, I have both helplessly and in frustration followed the media coverage in this regard. I place on record my grateful thanks to every media organization in this country for having brought this issue out in to the open. Yes, it is their civic duty to do so. And if they had not done so and will not continue to do so, we the public will never know. more..

Protectors turning perpetrators: Miracle of Asia

July 28 (CT) The country is in a depressing state with a sad façade of brittle beauty with no meaning. Beautification of cities, building roads, culverts and bridges have hidden the fact that Sri Lankan women and children particularly girls who are vulnerable are treated abominably by its rulers and fellow citizens. Escalating rape of women and girl children by powerful people is a rising phenomenon in Sri Lanka. Rape is an act of violence and domination, anger and misuse of power. more..

‘We need to move forward with a unifying ideology’

July 28 (DBS) The UPFA has done a lot for the people during the last eight years. There are landmarks such as ending the war. The people will take into account the macro picture in forming their opinions. I expect the people to vote for the UPFA in large numbers, said Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara during an interview. Excerpts of the interview: Q: How sure are you of the UPFA winning the upcoming PC elections? more..

Basic argument for the elimination of Police torture

July 28 (CT) What does police torture mean? If we were to ask this question, and then proceed to answer it, someone may ask in turn, “Wait, how do you know?” It would take us into realms of epistemology: “how do we know anything?” Such a question been asked through the ages. And, one answer that has emerged in the last few centuries is that one knows by the collection and observation of data. Our age is symbolized by the images of the telescope and the microscope. more..

On the 23rd of Black July, one man destroyed his nation

July 28 (CT) Many things are said about Black July, 1983. That there were many culprits who caused the havoc that virtually destroyed the image of Sri Lanka and which gave justification for a prolonged period of violence. However, there was one man who was the creator of this havoc. It was then-President of the country, Junius Richard Jayawardene. His work of destroying the fabric of Sri Lankan democracy started from the very first day after he won the election as more..

25th anniversary of the Indo-Lanka accord

July 28 (DM) Twenty –five years have passed since the signing of the Indo – Lanka accord by former Indian Prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and ex –Sri Lankan president J.R. Jayewardene on July 29th 1987. It was hailed as a great breakthrough when it was signed. Much was expected of it then. Today it remains “valid” only on paper and seems destined for the dustbin of history unless New Delhi makes a determined effort to re-activate and enforce it vigorously. more..

Mano Ganesan talks about destruction of Tamil Film Industry in Sri Lanka

July 28 (DBS) The late Yasapalitha Nanayakkara was a trendsetter in the Sinhala cinema with his penchant for commercially successful film-making. Often he cast the late Vijaya Kumaratunga as his chosen hero. In the late sixties, it was becoming trendy to produce Tamil twins to the Sinhala movies. Often, the Tamil hero was Vaithilingam Palanisamy Ganesan, also known as Sri Lanka’s M.G.R. A commercially successful film producer and Tamil film idol, V. P. Ganesan dreamt big and was more..

Reliving horrors of Welikada Massacres – A former inmate

July 28 (DBS) Two days after Sri Lankan Tamils suffered a brutal massacre, sounds of pandemonium were still heard outside the impenetrable walls of the Welikada Prison, while the stench of burnt rubber mixed with the odour of blood and corpses filled the air. Several Tamil inmates, who had been imprisoned within the confines of the Welikada Prison, considered themselves fortunate as they believed they were safer inside than being Tamils living outside. They feared if more..

A more dynamic liquor policy, an urgent need

July 28 (SO) Delivering a lecture on ‘Alcohol Consumption and Consequences in Sri Lanka’ a few months ago, Consultant Physician, Sri Jayawardanapura General Hospital, Dr. Anula Wijesundere touched on the history of alcohol consumption in Sri Lanka. She said: “Historic and cultural evidence indicates that Sri Lankans did not consume alcohol significantly for several centuries and lived by Buddhist principles, observing the five precepts. more..

Wonder of Asia spotlight oil exploration

July 28 (SL) This column dedicated to the notion of making Sri Lanka the Wonder of Asia turns its spotlight on oil exploration in Sri Lanka as Sri Lankan society would aspire for such exploration to succeed as it would bring prosperity to our land although it may also spell danger due to the greed of Western powers yearning for oil supplies. Recently Reuters: reported that Sri Lanka plans to auction new oil exploration blocks in the western Mannar basin and the northern Cauvery basin after finishing talks with India ’s state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) on exploration rights. more..

The mad men of Dambulla

July 28 (SL) That the ancient-city of Dambulla is not sundered by religious violence is thanks to the sense and sensibility of its ordinary inhabitants (of all faiths) and the security personnel on duty. Had the people of Dambulla been as virulent as the anti-Mosque/anti-Kovil demonstrators, had the STF and police personnel been as supine as the government, a religious conflagration would have engulfed the area and beyond. Mobs have no sense; religious-frenzy is unconcerned about consequences. more..

රත් වු මන්නාරම ගැන අමාත්žය රිෂාඩ් කතා කරයි....

Editorial: The taming of a rowdy

July 28 (Island) On Thursday, we commented on an incident where a pompous ruling party politico pounced on a police officer who made the mistake of paying him a courtesy visit, demanding to know how officers-in-charge of police stations in the Kurunegala District could be appointed without his consent. Our effort has yielded the intended results, we reckon. Zorro has been reduced to zero overnight! He is said to have solicited the help of a prominent Buddhist monk in the area to settle the dispute amicably. more..

Breakdown in the rule of law, mob rule and anarchy

July 28 (Island) This week we kept the twenty-ninth anniversary of what has come to be known as Black July. The anniversary, whether by design we do not know, went almost unnoticed by the establishment and the mainstream media. Those who do not have a short memory will remember that it was a week when the there was a breakdown in the rule of law in the country, when mob rule prevailed and the country descended into near anarchy. Each year, we have been celebrating, with more..

London opens with pageant for next generation

July 28 (Reuters) Britain's Queen Elizabeth declared the London Olympics open after playing a cameo role in a dizzying ceremony designed to highlight the grandeur and eccentricities of the nation that invented modern sport. Children's voices intertwining from the four corners of her United Kingdom ushered in an exuberant historical pageant of meadows, smokestacks and digital wizardry before an audience of 60,000 in the more..

Sampath Bank supports Olympian Thilini Jayasinghe

July 28 (Island) Sampath Bank, in keeping with their well known policy of national outlook, ‘Individual in Focus’, is supporting, Sri Lanka’s badminton champion Tilini Jayasinghe at the London Olympics. Thilini, who hails from Kandy, came to the limelight after emerging victorious at the National Badminton Championship in 2004, where she beat seven times winner, Chandrika De Silva. Thilini not only conquered the badminton crown, but she also won the heart of Sampath Bank, more..

EFC returns to Vavuniya to train more visually impaired

July 28 (Island) Continuing its commitment to improve the prospects of People with Disabilities, the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon embarks on the second phase of IT training for the visually impaired in Vavuniya. On the 2nd August the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) returns to Vavuniya to commence another 6 month IT training program for 8 visually impaired persons. The course which is funded by the ILO-LEED program, will be conducted at the recently refurbished more..

Teams seek fresh start in Colombo

July 28 (CI) After two contrasting matches in Hambantota, the teams gear up for another double-header at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, with the series neatly tied up at 1-1. Sri Lanka will be the more confident of the two sides after the nine-wicket hiding they dished out to India in the previous outing, but India have a superior record at the Premadasa, where the heat and humidity and shorter boundaries will feel more comfortable after blustery Hambantota. more..

Munnesweram, a hive of activity this August

July 28 (DN) Shri Munnesweram temple situated two miles off Chilaw will be a hive of activity with the month-long Hindu festival, commencing with the flag-hoisting ceremony on Aug 4. The festival interspersed with religious ceremonies, processions and Kavadi dancing marking the Hindu ceremonies at Shri Munnesweram Ishwara Maha Devale, Chilaw, will draw to a close with the Great Chariot carrying the sacred deities on Aug 30, followed by the water-cutting ceremony at Deduru Oya more..

'Child-friendly primary schools countrywide'

July 28 (DN) Five thousand primary schools countrywide will be developed as child friendly schools concurrent to the 1,000 secondary schools programme. In the first stage of the project 1,783 primary schools will be developed under a programme launched next month, said Minister Basil Rajapaksa addressing the GA's conference on July 26. Minister Rajapaksa said: "The 1,000 secondary schools are re-established and 5,000 primary schools developed to realize knowledge more..

Secretary Clinton appoints Professor Mendis to US National Commission for UNESCO

July 28 (FT) United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has appointed Professor Patrick Mendis as a commissioner to the US National Commission for UNESCO. The Commission is a federal advisory committee at the Department of State that provides advice regarding the US govt’s activities as a member of the UNESCO. Former Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle wrote to more..

Milinda holds interfaith dialogue with religious leaders

July 28 (FT) Senior Advisor to the President Milinda Moragoda recently held an interfaith dialogue with religious leaders and laypersons from different faiths to discuss ways to foster understanding among the different communities in Sri Lanka. The meeting took place at his office at the Sambuddathwa Jayanthi Mandiraya. Participants included: Ven. Iththapane Dhammalankara Anunayake Thero, Ven. Madulawe Sobitha Thero, Ven. Brahmanawatte Seewali Thero, Ven. Nagoda Amarawansa, more..

Navy arrests six people smuggling illegal substances

July 28 (SLN) Naval troops attached to the North-western Naval Command arrested 06 persons involved in smuggling of cannabis and flavoured chewing tobacco in Mannar on 26th July. Among the arrested are 02 Indians and 04 Sri Lankan accomplices. They had 29.675 kilograms of cannabis (Kerala Ganja) and 399.160 kilograms of flavoured chewing tobacco in their possession. The items were being smuggled in an Indian fishing vessel (Dhow) from Rameshwaram by the more..

Ranil - Sajith lock horns

July 28 (CT) A commotion was created when UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa entered the premises where UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was addressing an election meeting at Galigamuwa on Thursday in support of UNP activists. The supporters, who had gathered at the meeting, started greeting Premadasa despite Wickremesinghe addressing the audience, which had allegedly irked the latter. Provoked, Wickremesinghe has gestured at more..

CTU threatens legal action

July 28 (CT) The Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) alleged the acting Directors of Education are to be made permanent on political criteria in certain areas where the Provincial Council elections are scheduled to be held. CTU general secretary Joseph Stalin said that permanent posts are to be given to acting Directors of Education in the Sabaragamuwa, North-Central and Eastern Provinces because of the upcoming elections. “Promising permanent employment during this period is a more..

Salley’s security withdrawn

July 28 (Island) The Govt had removed the two MSD security personnel, who were guarding SLMC candidate Azad Salley. Salley said the govt would have to take the blame if anything harmful happened to him. He also revealed that he was given eight security personnel and a back-up vehicle when he campaigned for President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the last Presidential Election in the Eastern Province. He said that even that was later reduced to four and then two. more..

President directs to evacuate encroachers

July 28 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa instructed the authorities to take measures to evacuate unauthorised settlers in forest reserves, dried up areas of tanks and catchment areas irrespective of their positions. He made this observation at the special Kurunegala District Development Committee meeting in Kurunegala yesterday. President Rajapaksa told officials to evacuate settlers in the Elephant Corridor more..

Deduru Oya project, boon to NWP farmers

July 28 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited the construction site of the Deduru Oya Reservoir Project yesterday. The proposed project will redress long term grievances of the people of the area. It will serve the lands in the Dry and Intermediate Zones of Kurunegala and Puttalam districts, where people suffer from water scarcity. Benefits from the project will uplift the living conditions of the residents. The reservoir will hold 75 million cubic metres of water after completion more..

Fifth highest oral cancer rate in SL

July 28 (DN) Two deaths occur daily due to oral cancer while between 1,500 and 2,000 new oral cancer patients are diagnosed in Sri Lanka annually, doctors said yesterday. "Sri Lanka has the world's fifth highest oral cancer rate. Oral cancer is the most common cancer among Sri Lankan males," they said. Addressing a special seminar on oral cancer, the specialist doctors said leading risk factors for oral cancer are chewing betel, smoking and alcohol and poor oral hygiene. more..

Hedging deal: CPC loses appeal

July 28 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's state-run oil company lost an appeal against a London court ruling which ordered it to pay nearly $162 million plus interest for non-payment of dues to Standard Chartered Bank linked to hedging deals. Last year, Ceylon Petroleum Corp (Ceypetco) appealed against the ruling in favour of Standard Chartered, which went to court after the oil firm refused to make hedging payments to the bank. more..

A tale of two interventions

July 28 (Hindu) The India-Sri Lanka Agreement 1987, also known as the Rajiv-Jayawardene Accord, completes 25 years on July 29. As a soldier who actively participated in India’s military intervention in both Sri Lanka (1987-90) and East Pakistan in 1971 (that created Bangladesh), I cannot help comparing the two exercises in the assertion of India’s power. The two theatres, and the environment in India at the time of the two operations, were totally different. In Bangladesh, it was more..

PWN+ wins Red Ribbon Award for innovative response to HIV/AIDS

July 28 (Island) Sri Lanka’s Positive Women’s Network (PWN+), spearheaded by Ms. Princy Mangalika, was awarded the coveted Red Ribbon Award for excellence in the field of HIV/AIDS at the 2012 International AIDS Conference in the USA. Ten organizations, which have shown exceptional and inspiring action on HIV/AIDS were honoured with this prestigious 2012 Red Ribbon Award in a special session of the XIX International more..

Striking Dons asked to resume duties on July 30

July 28 (DN) Minister S B Dissanayake in a special communique requested striking academics of universities to return to their duties from July 30 for the sake of students and their future. Minister Dissanayake in the communique said: “The strike carried out by the academics of the FUTA has adversely affected students’ education in universities and it could delay the process of university enrollment of new students. more..

Opposition cries foul over betel leaf stamp

July 28 (Island) Opposition MPs yesterday alleged that the issuance of a five-rupee stamp by the Postal Department depicting a betel leaf amounted to a violation of election laws. UNP MP John Amaratunge said that the new stamp was against the election laws, while JVP MP Vijitha Herath said that during the last Presidential election a stamp depicting the portrait of President Mahinda Rajapaksa had been issued. Postal Minister Jeevan Kumaratunga said that the stamp was not issued expressly for the purpose of elections and more..

Protests for Muslim IDP justice

July 28 (FT) Protests were held in many parts of the country yesterday by the Muslim community requesting justice and solutions for their displaced members (IDPs), a considerable number of the IDPs being in the Northern Province. The Colombo demonstrators thereafter proceeded to hand over a special petition to this end to President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The petition was received by the officials at the President’s office from M Junaid, President, Islamic Theologians Council of Mannar. The Petition states: “As your Excellency is aware more..

Eastern PC polls: Govt under fire from left allies

July 28 (Island) The Socialist Alliance (SA) yesterday alleged that the forthcoming election to the Eastern Provincial Council could jeopardize the post-war national reconciliation process. The govt couldn’t be unaware of the ground reality, Minister Dew Gunasekera, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Sri Lanka (CPSL) said yesterday. The SA comprises UPFA constituents, CPSL, LSSP and the DLF. more..

Exeter Uni team win global business challenge in Sri Lanka

July 28 (TWC) THE Indivisibles from Exeter University have been crowned global champions at the prestigious 2012 CIMA Global Business Challenge (GBC). The team triumphed over stiff competition from 21 other talented regions at the event hosted in Sri Lanka. The Indivisibles comprised of Kate Beattie, Adam Broadbent, Ronald Liong and Ben White. The group flew to Sri Lanka after winning the UK GBC regional final to represent the UK. At the global final they more..

Food poisoning: 34 teachers, students hospitalised

July 28 (Island) A group of 34 teachers and students of Ranamure Vidyalaya at Pallegama in Matale were admitted to the Gampola Teaching Hospital with food poisoning yesterday. The group was on an educational excursion to Haggala Botanical Gardens in Nuwara Eliya. Among the patients admitted were 24 girls, seven boys and three teachers, according to hospital sources. The teachers and students had consumed their dinner after visiting the botanical gardens and more..