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Doctors in North call off strike, Directress transferred

July 29 (AD) The govt doctors of hospitals in the Northern Province have decided to call off their scheduled strike action tomorrow. A continues strike was to be held tomorrow over the failure of health authorities to conduct an ‘impartial inquiry’ against the Directress of the Jaffna Hospital. However, steps have now been taken to transfer the Directress from the Jaffna Gneral Hospital wffwctive immediately, said Dr. Navin De Soyza, central committee member of the GMOA. more..

'Sri Lanka has never failed to repay loans'

July 29 (NS) IMF Resident Representative for Sri Lanka Dr. Koshy Mathai said Sri Lanka had never defaulted on any of her international debt. “I am happy to say that unlike some of the other countries Sri Lanka has never failed to repay its international loans,” he said last week following the successful completion of the Stand By Arrangement (SBA). When asked whether the funding agency kept a monitoring system for huge loans granted to govts of this nature, more..

Pakistani prisoners sent back

July 29 (DM) The govt has decided to hand over 20 Pakistani prisoners including a woman to the Pakistani govt. The prisoners have been sentenced to life imprisonment or serving long jail terms for drug trafficking. Immigration and Emigration Controller General Chulananda Perera said most of them had been found guilty by court after being arrested by the police for smuggling in large stocks of illegal drugs including heroin. When the first two prisoners handed over to more..

Sri Lanka lurching from crisis to crisis -UNP

July 29 (AD) The upcoming Provincial Council election is the ideal opportunity for the public to express their resentment towards the ruling government, says UNP MP John Amaratunga. He claimed that the latest establishment to come under the government’s intimidation is the country’s most superior institution – the court. The Gampaha District MP stated that Sri Lanka is presently traveling from one crisis to another and that everything has become politicized. more..

'No military has done so much for the people'

July 29 (DM) Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that no military in the world would ever do so much for the people in the aftermath of long-drawn war. "When some 12,000 LTTE combatants surrendered, President Mahinda Rajapaksa personally instructed to take them directly to Rehabilitation Centres, having made them to languish in detention camps instead. No military in the world would ever dare to do so much for the people in the aftermath more..

UPFA candidate ‘forcefully occupying’ Post office building - CaFFE

July 29 (AD) Batticaloa UPFA candidate M.S. Zubair, who was the former Minister of Health in Eastern Province, is maintaining a campaign office in the first floor of the Eravur Post Office, which is located in a land owned by the Postal Department, says the CaFFE. This office had been given to the former Minister Amir Ali only for one year on January 17, 2006. Since that, the postal department has taken many attempts to regain the office premises, says the election monitoring group. more..

Roxon clears Tamil's extradition to US

July 29 (TA) Attorney-general Nicola Roxon has authorised the extradition of an ethnic Tamil, wanted by the US on offshore terrorism charges, despite his fears he will be deported to Sri Lanka and punished. Thulasitharan Santhirarajah, the former head of the Melbourne International College, has spent four years in custody, most of that time awaiting a decision by the federal govt on whether to support his US prosecution over alleged links to the Tamil Tigers. more..

Tamil activists would pay to ship refugees

July 29 (SMH) Community activists would pay for United Nations sanctioned refugees to be safely shipped to Australia and deprive people smugglers of customers under a radical pitch to the Gillard govt's expert panel on border protection. The plan, aimed at ethnic Tamils fleeing Sri Lanka, comes as a boat carrying 15 people slipped past navy patrols on the weekend and put out a distress call about 150 kilometres off more..

Teachers demand action on Z-Score issue

July 29 (SL) The Ceylon Teachers Unions last week called on the govt to take on the responsibility for the plight of all students who face injustice because of the confusion in delivering the z-scores. Justice has to be meted out to the thousands of students who have been affected by the delay in releasing the z-scores of the 2011 A/L exams, says the Ceylon Teacher Service Union (CTSU). “The govt has to mete out justice to these students by even increasing the number of intakes more..

Dispute over Jaffna census figure

July 29 (SL) The dispute over the latest population figure arrived at in the Jaffna region by the Census and Statistics Department in 2011 is a storm in a tea cup, claims an economist. “The figures cannot be fudged and without definite proof we cannot say that the figure is wrong” says the Principal Researcher at the Point Pedro Institute of Development Prof. Muthukrishna Sarvananthan. “Minor political parties are making it an issue because of their bargaining power being diminished,” says Sarvananthan. more..

Journey to the Sea

It’s a three-horse race as league hits final stretch

July 30 (SL) WITH just two more weekends remaining before the completion of the first round of the Dialog Inter-Club League, three of the four qualifiers for the Cup competition can be inked in: Kandy SC, the defending champions, Havelock SC and the Navy. As at last weekend, the identity of the fourth qualifier remains an intriguing mystery. Although it appears to be a three-cornered fight between the Army, debutantes Upcountry Lions, both on 18 points each, and more..

The deplorable political criminal intimidation

July 30 (SL) This column dedicated to the notion of fulfilling the aspirations of Sri Lankan society turns its spotlight on the recent deplorable political criminal intimidation of a Magistrate at Mannar by a Minister and the emergence of the diabolical specter of mob rule in Sri Lanka as Sri Lankan society would aspire to be rid of such political intimidation and interference with judicial independence in our land. The President has been reported in the media as saying that he too is a lawyer and would not permit anyone to mock the law more..

'Local food cultivation: Foreign exchange drain curbed'

July 30 (SO) Maize cultivation has been successful in the North Central Province (NCP). Over Rs. 7,000 million which was spent on maize imports could be saved. Plans are afoot to promote soya bean cultivation, former North Central Province Chief Minister and Chief Ministerial candidate, Berty Premalal Dissanayake said during an interview. Q: Can you explain your role to improve the agriculture sector in charge of in the province? more..

The myth of a independent public service

July 30 (DBS) I write this article, not as a scholar but as one who has spent his working life in government ‘service’ and hopes that his insights may be thought provoking. My firm conviction is that there never was, and never can there ever be, an independent public service in Sri Lanka. This panacea of ‘independence’ is often touted by well-meaning “liberals”, far removed from the sticky mud of our political scene, as the cure to all our country’s administrative ills. My contrary views are based on my over thirty odd years of govt service. more..

Kodeeswaran case, section 29 and abolition of privy council

July 30 (DBS) It is very strange how the masses use the ballot to curb the freedoms that they had been enjoying for years. It is only after a long lapse that they come to their senses and realise that they had been led like wild animals to their own doom. Democracy is a double edged sword which can cut the holder as much as it could cut the enemy. When politicians lead the people and rouse them into frenzy, the herd follows the master or leader and falls into an abyss from more..

Legendary Cricketer Abu Fuard whose life was woven around Cricket

July 30 (DBS) He was a man for all seasons. His life is woven around cricket. In early 1950s, he was one of the best schoolboy cricketers representing Wesley College, Colombo. Later, he joined the club circuit, played for Colts CC. In short, he is the best off-spinner Sri Lanka produced before she gained Test status. He was one time Asia’s Best off-spinner and one of the finest cricket administrators that Sri Lanka ever produced. more..

Remembering July1983: The holocaust started for me with the death of my father

July 30 (CT) A foreign friend asked me recently what my experiences had been during July 1983. I felt a momentary reluctance to tap into my memories of that horrendous time. Since then, I have lived a lifetime, faced further tragedy and loss of a personal nature and my coping mechanism has been, not to revisit the sites of pain. I understand now, in a way I did not earlier, the wisdom underlying the Biblical saying, “Sufficient unto the day is the evil more..

Ranil really is Mahinda’s best friend

July 30 (CT) Everybody knows about the crisis in the UNP. Of the many elections there have been in Sri Lanka in the last two decades, it has lost all but one. This includes four presidential elections and four out of five parliamentary elections. And it will have the opportunity to lose a few more in September, as the Eastern, North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provinces go to the polls. In the last general election, it could secure only 29% of the popular vote, worse than either of the two major more..

6% of GDP for education: Who is telling the truth?

July 30 (CT) FUTA is asking the govt to prioritise education and to invest in education. Towards this end FUTA has shown a concrete figure of measurement: the allocation on education as a percentage of GDP. This is a globally accepted measurement and the figure of 6% has been agreed to by the govt at many forums. FUTA has also shown that the govt is not anywhere close to meeting this standard. more..

Kotakethana killers torch two more women

July 30 (SO) One could not have imagined the number of murders that took place in Kahawatte-Kotakethana during the past few years where 14 women were butchered. Some bodies were even set ablaze to prevent identification and to eliminate evidence. What was shocking was that it happened at Kahawatte-Kotakethana area in the past two years. Working tirelessly the police were able to collect bits and pieces of evidence left by the perpetrators, that ultimately led to the arrest of the suspects. more..

Euphoria of borrowing insensitive to debt burden

July 30 (ST) For several decades since independence there was euphoria about the country receiving more and more foreign aid. The hankering for aid was perhaps an understandable post-colonial syndrome. It was an important means of bridging the savings-investment gap, improving infrastructure, institutional and capacity building and supporting economic and social development. Today foreign aid plays an insignificant role in the country’s economy. Now, 64 years since independence, more..

SLC custodians planning the inevitable

July 30 (Island) The pertinent question going around cricketing circles these days is, whether former South African first class cricketer cum CEO of the International Cricket Council Haroon Lorgat, to be contracted as a consultant by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), will be able to turn water into wine. The custodians of our beloved game are planning to bowl the wrong ‘un even more effectively than Shane Warne, in order to stump the poor stake holders. more..

Editorial: Let the law 'speak with one mouth'

July 30 (Island) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), having dragged its feet on the Mannar incident, at last resolved on Saturday to grasp the nettle. It decided to intervene in support of a contempt of court case against Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, who is alleged to have threatened the Mannar Magistrate and tried to interfere in the judicial process. Many thought the BASL would initiate action on its own against the minister straightaway. But, it, for some reason or another, chose to procrastinate. more..

More losses by gambling public money alleges Harsha

July 30 (FT) UNP MP Dr. Harsha De Silva yesterday warned that a clear trend of the fallout from the gambling of public money had emerged with the latest ruling from a London Court hot on the heels of losses suffered from equity market and European junk bond deals. “The London Court ruling is a further confirmation of how Sri Lanka is losing out from the gamble of public money from different markets. We have lost from the derivatives market via CPC, equities markets via more..

Sri Lanka stems outflow of sea migrants

Yala season paddy harvesting to commence on August 15

July 30 (DN) The Yala season harvest in the Rajarata area will commence on August 15 this year, said Mahinda Seneviratna, Government Agent of Anuradhapura District, addressing the monthly meeting of the District Agriculture Committee, which was held at the District Training Centre in Anuradhapura on the 24th of this month. Paddy farmers were requested at this meeting, to dry and clean their paddy crops and to ensure that they were moisture free. more..

Huge mass support for ‘Jana Pelagasma’

July 30 (LT) The ‘Jana Pelagasma,’ the procession of vehicles by the JVP to rally masses against the ‘regime that torments masses’ commenced from Dondara Point on the 27th morning, passed Matara, Galle and Hikkaduwa towns and reached Ambalangoda that evening. Its next phase commenced from Ambalangoda and when it reached Kalutara they carried out a ‘Sathyagraha’ at Kalutara town demanding the govet to immediately solve the ‘Z’ score issue that torments students who sat the A/L examination in 2011. more..

Harsha warns against falling exports, discrepancies in CB data

July 30 (Island) UNP MP Dr. Harsha De Silva lashing out at discrepancies in Central Bank data says unless the govt took steps to arrest the decline in exports, particularly in apparels, the economy would be significantly impacted by falling foreign currency earnings and jobs. "The Central Bank has just announced that apparel exports fell every month this year in spite of the depreciation of the currency in Feb. more..

Women killed and raped

July 30 (Island) The Puttalam police are investigating the brutal killing and rape of a 47-year-old woman, at the Thonigala New Village in Anamaduwa, in the early hours of Saturday (28). She had been stabbed in eleven places by the killer who had escaped leaving behind some of his personal effects, including a cap and a trouser. The victim, identified as D.M. Chandrakumari had lived with her son who away partying with his friends on the fateful day. The killer had entered the house of the victim and attempted to rape her. more..

Repatriation of Lankan displaced in TN to be expedited

July 30 (DN) External Affairs Ministry Secretary Karunathilaka Amunugama yesterday said the ministry has stepped up action to speed up the process of repatriation of Sri Lankan displaced in camps of Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka following the introduction of the National Action Plan to implement the LLRC. Amunugama said steps will be taken through Sri Lanka’s Hiigh Commissioner in Chennai to work out the repatriation of displacedonce they confirm their consent to return to the country. more..

Nervous Unamboowe edged out in heats, Thilini loses to Ratchanok

July 30 (Island) Swimmer Heshan Unamboowe was edged out in the heats after recording a time of 57.94 seconds in the men’s 100 metres backstroke event, while shuttler Thilini Jayasinghe lost in straight sets to world number nine, Intanon Ratchanok of Thailand, after doing relatively well in the first set in the women’s badminton singles, as Sri Lanka commenced her 2012 Olympic campaign to realise where they stand on the world stage, more..

Lankan ministering angel on flight SQ 222

July 30 (Island) It was a desperate announcement by the Singapore Airline Cabin crew that brought a handful of passengers from fore and aft of the aircraft to the main deck of the Singapore bound flight SQ222 from Sydney last Tuesday. A passenger had fallen ill and all efforts of the cabin crew in stabilising his condition were unsuccessful. It was their call for assistance from among the passengers which drew forth a few people with medical knowledge. All of them were willing to help but appeared hesitant. more..

Kamal dismisses baseless rumours

July 30 (DM) Award-winning actor and singer Kamal Addaraarachchi today said elements with low tastes and seeking popularity at his expense were spreading baseless rumours in gossip columns indicating his name. “The news item was about a police raid on a spa owned by a friend of mine. I was out on some work with my wife that day when my friend called me to inform that there was some issue at his business institution and asked if I could clarify details since he was out. I went with my wife to this place and walked into the establishment more..

‘TNA PSC boycott, major fetter in LLRC implementation’

July 30 (DN) The TNA’s non-participation in the proposed PSC remains a major fetter to implement LLRC recommendations even as the govt’s National Action Plan to implement LLRC recommendations within a specific time frame is made known internationally, said Minister Prof Tissa Vitarana. Prof Vitarana, who was also the former chairman of the All Party Representatives Committee yesterday said, the govt is more..

TNA and TN want to revive Eelam dream – Champika

July 30 (DM) TNA leader R.Sampanthan and Tamil Nadu leaders are gearing up to give life to the dead Eelam dream of the LTTE terrorists, said Minister Patali Ranawaka at a JHU convention in Maharagama today. Addressing the gathering, Ranawaka said, “TNA Leader R.Sambandan is trying to start a second Eelam war, while Tamil racists are trying to revive Eelam racism through countries and towns such as New York, London, Australia, France and India. more..

Hirunika to decide on politics after court verdict

July 30 (SL) Hirunika Premachandra, daughter of the late Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, says she will decide on her future political ambitions after the court rules on Duminda Silva and his alleged involvement in the murder of her father. Speaking to The Sunday Leader Hirunika said that she would meanwhile contest the next parliamentary election. She also said that she would decide whether to contest a future election with the government or the People’s Party (PP). more..

Budget deficit 4% of GDP in five months

July 30 (Island) The budget deficit for the first five months of this year grew 64.82 percent to reach 4.09 percent of GDP as expenditure growth continued to outpace revenue growth, although small signs of consolidation are emerging, latest shows. Total govt revenue grew 8.86 percent to Rs. 389.1 billion as at end May 2012, from Rs. 357.4 billion a year earlier. Total expenditure grew 28.03 percent to Rs. 696 billion from Rs. 543.6 billion a year ago. more..

IP’s gun goes off accidently killing SI

July 30 (Island) A Sub Inspector of the Neluwa police was killed when the pistol carried by an Inspector, of the same police station, went off accidentally during a raid on a kasippu distillery in the Ihala Lelwala area, in the early hours of yesterday. The deceased was identified as Sunil Wipulasiri Senaratne (51), a father of four daughters. He was among a four-member team that left the police station on Saturday night to raid illicit distilleries in the Ihala Lelwala area. Police took into custody six barrels containing rotgut more..

Ranil gets tough with green shirkers

July 30 (Island) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe yesterday instructed party General Secretary Tissa Attanayake to initiate disciplinary action against those who did not lend their support to the party and its candidates contesting the North-Central, Eastern and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council elections scheduled for Sept. 8. Wickremesinghe issued the order at the Ampara Daya Apparel Conference Room, where he addressed UNP candidates in the fray in the Ampara District. more..