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SL to tap hydrogen fuel from October

July 28 (NS) Sri Lanka’s entry into the hydrogen fuel era is to be kicked-off in October. And adoption of PPP model is being mulled. “The forthcoming Hydrogen and Renewable Energy conference in Colombo to be held in October is also the first step in formulating Sri Lanka’s hydrogen road-map. Our second objective being the use of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model for wider hydrogen implementation in the country” announced more..

Waheed to meet Mahinda close on heels of defence MoU

July 28 (Island) Close on the heels of the Maldives signing an agreement with Sri Lanka for defence training, its President Mohammed Waheed was scheduled to pay an official visit to Sri Lanka. He would be meeting President Mahinda Rajapaksa prior to the end of the ongoing holy month of Ramazan, diplomatic sources said. Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim, who was in Colombo last week signed a MoU between more..

Another 47 asylum seekers arrested

July 28 (CG) The Sri Lanka Navy arrested another 47 would-be illegal asylum seekers as they were heading to Australia by boat late last night. According to a navy spokesman the 47 people were nabbed off the seas of Negombo and are now being brought ashore. Meanwhile the Australian media reported that Sri Lanka wants Australia to send back asylum seekers in large numbers, to deter people smugglers. Senior Sri Lankan naval officials more..

Army deserters to be delisted

July 28 (DN) The Sri Lanka Army has taken measures to delist and delete the names of Army deserters, Army Commander Lt Gen Jagath Jayasuriya said yesterday. The Army Commander was participating in the first anniversary of Abimansala, the wellness resort for Army disabled personnel at Anuradhapura. He said around 60,000 personnel have deserted the Army from the inception of the Army in 1948. more..

'Common enemy dictatorial MR regime not Karu or Dayasiri'

July 28 (Island) UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa, MP, recently said that the common enemy was the Rajapaksa regime, though some acted as if a threat had emanated from MPs Karu Jayasuriya and Dayasiri Jayasekera. He emphasized that the ground reality was that Jayasuriya and Jayasekera, too, should have an important role to play in the ongoing PC polls campaign in the North-Central, Sabaragamuwa and more..

20 Tigers to be sued for war crimes

July 28 (DM) Some 20 hardcore LTTE cadres who are alleged to have committed war crimes will be prosecuted within the next six months under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and Emergency Regulations, thus bringing to a closure the uncertainty over the fate of the detainees. He said the remaining group was believed to have participated in LTTE military activities because they had no other option but to carry out more..

BASL decision on action against Mannar incident expected today

July 28 (Island) An all important meeting of the Bar Council will take place at 10.00 a.m. today and the Bar Council will decide on the action to be taken as regards a recent incident where a govt minister alleged threatened a Magistrate and attempted to interfere with the latter’s judicial decision in Mannar. Sources said that the documents necessary for action against the offending minister were ready to be more..

'Hiring ban' on nine firms by SL embassy

July 28 (DM) Sri Lankan embassy in Muscat has blacklisted nine companies and suspended operations with 14 companies in Oman for allegedly "cheating-ť its country's workers. Currently, there are about 25,000 Sri Lankan nationals in Oman. The embassy has blacklisted seven garment manufacturers and exporters and two other companies while operations with three garment manufacturers and exporters, four recruitment firms, more..

Deported Tamil recants tales of torture

July 28 (TA) EXHAUSTED and showing the strain of a horror week of deportation and interrogation, Dayan Anthony presented just the sobering warning he was intended to be as he fronted a Sri Lankan govt media conference to warn of the repercussions of asylum-seeking. In sweat top and pants, his eyes red and hooded with fatigue after 16 hours of questioning, he told a sparse gathering of journalists: "Don't believe what agents say. You get tempted when more..

FUTA reject SB’s invitation

July 28 (AD) The FUTA today said it is not prepared to accept the invitation of Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake, to report to work from July 30. President of FUTA Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri said the strike action will not end until their demands are met. The Higher Education Minister in a special communique issued yesterday requested striking academics of universities to return to duties from July 30 considering the future of the students. more..

Rs.17.8 m fraud at Rotary Club

July 28 (DM) The CID is investigating an alleged fraud at Rotary Club of Rs.17.8 million received for Tsunami relief work, the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court was informed yesterday. The investigations had begun after the 3220 District Governor for 2011-2012 complained that a former Governor who held office during 2004-2005 had defrauded the club of a part of the funds donated by AES Kelanitissa (Pvt.) Limited. The complainant had told the CID that this company had donated more..

LLRC report to be released in Tamil next week

July 28 (PTI) The report of a Sri Lankan commission analysing the three-decade-long Tamil conflict and the lessons learnt from it will soon be released in Tamil and Sinhala languages. The report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) was made public in December 2011 but was only released in English. The govt this week made public its action plan which dealt with the anticipated time scales to implement all the recommendations. more..

'No plans to set up nuclear plant in Sampur'

July 28 (AD) Sri Lanka has no agreement with Pakistan or any country for a nuclear power station as claimed by various Indian media reports, Minister Champika Ranawaka said today. Certain Indian media and several local media had reported that concurrent to the Sampur power station being built with Indian aid, Sri Lanka is to build a nuclear power station with Pakistani assistance. “These reports are completely false,” the Power and Energy Minister said more..

Kalutara PS Chairman remanded

July 28 (CT) Lakshman Vidanapathirana, Chairman of the Kalutara Pradeshiya Sabha (PS), who was arrested while accepting a bribe of Rs 3 million, was remanded by the Colombo Magistrate, today. The suspect was ordered to be remanded till 10 August after the officers attached to the Commission to Investigate Allegation of Bribery or Corruption (CIABC) produced him before Colombo Chief Magistrate, Rashmi Singappuli. The CIABC apprehended the Chairman on Friday afternoon, more..

Sri Lankan Airlines partners EFLI

July 28 (IT) Sri Lankan Airlines has tied up with the Elite Football League of India (EFLI) as the airline partner of the professional American football league. As part of the deal, Sri Lankan Airlines will fly down the Indian and Pakistani teams and their American coaches and medical teams to ensure the success of the event. Sri Lankan Airlines chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe said, “With this partnership a new chapter unfolds in Sri Lanka’s field of sports with more..

Sri Lanka navy urges Australia to deport boatpeople

July 28 (AFP) Sri Lankan navy officials have urged Australia to deport the growing number of boatpeople arriving from their country, saying it was the "best way" to deter people smugglers, a report said Saturday. Sri Lanka's naval operations director Commodore N. Attygalle and its head of naval intelligence Nishantha Ulugetenne told The Weekend Australian newspaper, Canberra ought to turn Sri Lankan asylum-seekers straight back home. more..

Three deported from Switzerland

July 28 (CT) The Swiss Government has deported three Sri Lankan Tamils on Friday who were found not eligible to seek asylum in Switzerland. The three Lankan Tamils have been deported as part of the decision taken by the Swiss Government to deport bogus asylum seekers from Switzerland. Around 2,000 Sri Lankan Tamils who have overstayed in various parts of Switzerland have been found without any valid reason to seek asylum in Switzerland, reports said. more..

Sangakkara out for four-six weeks

July 28 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara has been ruled out of cricket for four to six weeks after a fracturing his finger during the third ODI against India in Colombo. The injury has put doubts on Sangakkara's participation in the inaugural season of the Sri Lanka Premier League that starts on August 11, apart from missing the remaining two ODIs against India. Sangakkara had scored 24 runs when he was hit by a quick Ashok Dinda bouncer in the fifteenth over of Sri Lanka's innings. more..

Gambhir scores gritty ton as Raina steers India to victory

July 28 (CI) A gritty hundred by Gautam Gambhir and a valiant fifty by Suresh Raina in the death overs helped India chase Sri Lanka’s 287 runs target by five wickets in the third One-Day International (ODI) at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Chasing a big total, India lost opener Virender Sehwag cheaply in the second over. The opener scored only three runs before falling to Thisara Perera, giving a simple catch to substitute fielder Senanayake. more..

Editorial: UPFA makes headway in the East

July 29 (SO) Sri Lanka's success story in combatting terrorism is worthy of emulation, especially by those countries which are hit by terrorism. Britain and the United States are taking no chances when it comes to security following the 9/11 attack by Al Qaeda. London is under a well-knit security blanket, fearing unexpected terror attacks during the 2012 Olympic Games now in progress. There was a time when Sri Lanka too could not host any international sports events due to LTTE terror. When Sri Lanka won the 1996 cricket World Cup, countries such as more..

Editorial: Use and abuse of religion and nationalism

July 29 (SL) Sri Lanka's success story in combatting terrorism is worthy of emulation, especially by those countries which are hit by terrorism. Britain and the United States are taking no chances when it comes to security following the 9/11 attack by Al Qaeda. London is under a well-knit security blanket, fearing unexpected terror attacks during the 2012 Olympic Games now in progress. There was a time when Sri Lanka too could not host any international sports events due to LTTE terror. more..

'Govt fulfilled its tasks through PCs'

July 29 (SO) Minister Susil Premajayantha said that the UPFA Govt dissolved the North Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern Provincial Councils (PCs) before the due dates and called for elections as it is confident of victory. He said that both, the Govt and the PCs have launched a number of development works in these three provinces during the past four-and-a half years. In a situation where the Govt has through the PCs fulfilled its tasks more..

Editorial: No cheers for Govt. or FUTA

July 29 (NS) The Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) is up in arms. University students point fingers at the govt for non-resolution of issues raised by their gurus. University aspirants, victims of the Z-score imbroglio, are waiting on politicians to sort out the blame-game. Add to this the fact that there is a huge mismatch between the education system and overall national skill requirement with a view to the future based on long term development policy with not even a whisper regarding the compilation of an more..

Editorial: Action, as planned

July 29 (LB) Was this the same document that was called a ‘good plan’ by Hillary Clinton? That’s not known, and may now be merely academic, but elsewhere in this newspaper we excerpt the National Acton Plan (NAP) on the LLRC recommendations, as it appears after the official release last week. Is that a good document then — the one that we finally see in print? The least that could be said is that there can be no instant answers to such a question. The document needs a further perusal, but then, it’s also not a lengthy one, and there are more..

'Police have a right to chase away young couples misbehaving in public'

July 29 (LB) UPFA Southern Provincial Councillor Anarkali Akarsha, asked what could be the reason for the increase in the recent spree of child rapes, said that most people are very career oriented and are trying to make good on their own. “I don’t think anyone can give an explanation why perpetrators commit such crimes against small children,” pointed out Akarsha. “Boys and girls become victims of these perpetrators who more..

Editorial: Always breakdown, tell us why

July 29 (Island) Last week’s power cuts as a result of yet another breakdown of the coal power plant at Norochcholai merits more explanation than has been offered up to now by the concerned authorities. The new facility, generally believed by the public to be state-of-the-art though a contrary view was expressed after the latest failure, is certainly new enough to run without the number of problems that have been encountered since its commissioning. There have been allegations made by more..

Editorial: Illegal migration - Two sides

July 29 (ST) People smuggling and asylum seekers have been competing for space in the media for some time now, and succeeding in grabbing the headlines. The focus at the moment is on the boatloads of Sri Lankans, as the headline in our report on the subject last week had it “risking blue waters in search of greener pastures”. Sri Lanka was once a nation that people in neighbouring countries wanted to covertly slip into. So much so, a tri-services unit called TAFII more..

'My people, my people, my people'

July 29 (LB) Minister Rishad Bathiudeen says he is not sleeping well after his supporters and he are being held responsible for the attack on the Mannar magistrate and additional district judge Anthonipillai Judeson on July 18. He contends that he cannot be held responsible for his supporters’ actions. Meanwhile the Court of Appeal has ordered him to be present on Sept 5 to show cause as to why he should not be punished more..

Choice between unity and leadership

July 29 (NS) The UNP is again in turmoil with news of more defections to the ruling UPFA, despite elections to three provincial councils being only weeks away. What triggered the upheaval was the party’s Working Committee last week endorsing a proposal to elect a leader every six years instead of annually-effectively ensuring that Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe will be at the helm at least until 2017. Initially the proposal sailed through the Working Committee and more..

Ranil and Sajith clash on election campaign trail

July 29 (NS) When the UNP Working Committee at its meeting held on July 19 unanimously adopted an amendment to the party Constitution providing for the extension of the tenure of the party leader for six years, it appeared that the beleaguered Ranil Wickremesinghe had consolidated his hold on the leadership. However, the subsequent developments show that this move has only exacerbated the crisis in the party. A resolution adopted by the UNP at its last national convention required that more..

Mystery surrounds UNDP allegations

July 29 (SL) The mystery surrounding claims made by Allan Poston, the technical advisor for the UNDP mine action, that unexploded cluster bombs had been discovered in the North, deepened with the UNDP head office in New York saying it has not received an official report on the claims. Sandra Macharia, communications specialist for the Asia and the Pacific region, said that the UNDP had seen the article reported in the Associated Press but they have not received more..

Leaving political stones unturned

July 29 (ST) My Dear Rishad, I never thought I would be writing to you, but I think I must do so now, especially as you are in the news for allegedly telephoning a judge and threatening him after which your supporters apparently threw stones at the courthouse. I must say, Rishad, that it was an excellent advertising campaign. A few weeks ago, if we asked anyone about you, they would have said, “Rishad who?” Now you are making headlines in all the newspapers and television channels and they are filing cases against you! more..

Sri Lanka cricketers launch seafood restaurant

July 29 (GN) Sportsmen have long been known for their entrepreneurship and business savvy, so it comes as no surprise to learn that Sri Lankan cricketers Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara have entered the sometimes-lucrative restaurant business. The multi-record setting pair, who are also best friends, have launched with much fanfare a seafood speciality restaurant called Ministry of Crab in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo. For their new venture, more..

'Child Abuse: Most are consensual girl-boy affairs'

July 29 (LB) At least 60 per cent of cases of reported child abuse are those where a boy and girl engage in consensual sex but where the parents of the girl lodge a police complaint once the affair is discovered, said attorney general Palitha Fernando. This observation comes amid a national furore regarding increased child abuse and a call in some quarters, including by some ministers, for more stringent legislation. more..

Mannar: The Inside Story

July 29 (Island) As we were saying last week, what makes for good press is the accusation that a government minister tried to bring pressure on a magistrate thereby compromising the independence of the judiciary. This was what the whole country was alerted to and what the entire judiciary from the Supreme Court downwards and the whole legal profession stopped work over. For the entire judiciary to not function is an unprecedented situation never seen before in this country. Usually when a politician tries to influence more..

Govt. pot boils while MR is away

July 29 (SL) Pressure on the Rajapaksa govt mounted last week due to several reasons. Key among them were: the clash between Muslims and Buddhists over a Muslim mosque in Dambulla, moves by French NGO Action Against Hunger (ACF) to file a report against the govt at the UNHRC in Geneva and the screening of Channel 4’s video, Killing Fields Part 2 in Ottawa, Canada. he government had to deal with these issues in the absence of President Mahinda Rajapaksa who left on the 23rd on an official visit to South Korea more..

SEC probes, margin calls put ‘mafia’ traders in a tizzy

July 29 (ST) Probes by the regulator and colossal debt accumulated through margin trading have ‘swallowed’ some high net-worth traders who are attempting to influence the removal of key officials at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The investigations against them are ‘rapidly’ unraveling manipulative patterns, while their margin calls by banks are getting closer, an official from a brokerage, planning to more..

Fonseka for ‘People Controlled’ media

July 29 (NS) Former Army Commander and leader of the DNA Sarath Fonseka advocates a media policy where the media would be under check and scrutiny by the public and not by the govt. Fonseka stressed that a government had no right to interfere or manipulate the media for its advantage. “The media is an entity that needs total independence”, Fonseka noted. Claiming that the present media structure is not independent in nature, but under pressure and threat, more..

Dog stops play, Mathews flourishes

July 29 (CI) It is common to have dogs running onto Sri Lanka's grounds, but play being stopped twice in an innings due to dog poop has to be rare even here. In the 20th over of the Sri Lanka innings, a dog scampered onto the field and answered nature's call around fine short third man. There was no activity for moments after that apart from some drinks being rushed on. Finally, someone ran in to clean up with a shovel in hand even as the crowd roared. The 48th over brought another canine invasion. more..

LIFT for fashion education, fashion retail & overseas education

July 29 (ST) Lanka Institute of Fashion Technology is a specialist institute formed in the year 2000 as the first and foremost Fashion education institute in Sri Lanka. LIFT provides a comprehensive education focusing on the relationship between the design product and the consumer. The institute strives to produce a new generation of designers, entrepreneurs and highly skilled professionals who are equipped by the well grounded education, more..