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Gruelling schedule takes toll on Sri Lanka

July 30 (CI) The Indian Ocean at the famous Galle Face promenade in Colombo is relentless, as all oceans and seas are. Right across the road from the teams' hotel, wave after powerful wave keeps pounding the shore. You stand there, watching nature's routine with some awe, naively hoping for some break in the pounding. It is akin to a current international cricketer trying to fight the schedule. In one word - hopeless. Match after match keeps arriving, with no break in sight, with no regard for spent bodies and weary minds. more..

Olympiad waste

July 30 (CT) In addition to the seven representatives who were to take part in the Olympics, thirty more officials were sent by the govt, which is a colossal waste of money to the country, UNP MP Gayantha Karunathilake said today. “For the Olympics that started a day ago, there were only seven representatives from our country taking part, but thirty officials went with them. They say that if ministers can go on campaigns during election time, wasting millions of rupees then it is not wrong for us to go,” he said. more..

Tamil returned after Sri Lanka complaint

July 30 (TA) THE first Tamil man to be deported from Australia since the end of the Sri Lankan war was returned a week after Sri Lanka's navy chief complained to Australia's high commissioner of double standards in the treatment of Sinhalese and Tamil asylum-seekers. The Australian has learned that a reported clash between High Commissioner Robyn Mudie and Vice-Admiral Somathilake Dissanayake at a July 18 meeting in Colombo was sparked by more..

Fisheries industry in Batticaloa looking up

July 31 (NS) The eastern coastal belt of Sri Lanka has its own stories of manmade and natural disasters of the past. Batticaloa has some of the picturesque beaches and lagoons that have become hot tourist attractions after fighting ended almost four years ago. The coast is home for hundreds of fishermen and their families who have gone through immense troubles in the past. Fishing is one of the two main sources of income of people in Batticaloa, the other being agriculture. more..

Beauty is very subjective

July 31 (NS) Siyatha Lux Miss Universe Sri Lanka 2012 came to an end last week with Sabrina Herft winning the coveted title despite a campaign protesting her participation in the contest and allegations of favoritism. Several parties questioned the credibility of the pageant through anonymous email messages alleging that the organizers actress Sangeetha Weeraratne (associated with the ‘Siyatha’ Media Network) and Minister Jeewan Kumaratunge’s wife Sherin Kumaratunge more..

'Child abuse nothing new but there is an increase in reporting'

July 31 (LB) Sarath Palitha Fernando, the newly appointed attorney-general, said last week there is no political interference in the Attorney General’s Dept and that all officers were able to work according to their conscience. Q: What would you do differently at the AG’s Dept? A: I think there is nothing to do differently. What I will try to do is my very best during the tenure of my office just as I have done throughout my career. more..


July 31 (CT) Psychologist Albert Bandura once said “Our ability to selectively engage and disengage our moral standards…helps explain how people can be barbarically cruel in one moment and compassionate the next.”. Indeed man is capable of committing atrocities and derives satisfaction. Contrary to that man is capable of love and care. But our past experiences in Nanking, Guernica, Gulags, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Buchenwald, My Lai, Killing Fields in Cambodia, Rwanda, Abu Ghraib prison and Guantanamo Bay detention camp etc more..

Dictatorship thread: China and Russia, Assad and Rajapaksa

July 31 (CT) There has been news, mostly good but not yet conclusive, about two tottering dictatorships in the Middle East. First, Hillary Clinton threw America’s weight in support of democracy in Egypt and told the military to get back to the barracks. How sincere the Americans are depends on whether deeds follow declarations; so optimism should be tempered with caution. Since the Egyptian military leans on the US for hand-outs and because rapprochement between more..

Sri Lanka, through the Bathiudeen-Mirror

July 31 (SL) A magistrate is not a displaced Tamil, a Sinhala worker or a university student; a magistrate is not even a journalist or a Samurdhi official. A magistrate is a far more august personage; the representative of an institution which is an indispensable pillar of any functioning democracy. But neither magistrates nor the judiciary are safe in a country with a power-elite habituated into trampling underfoot anyone or anything standing in its marauding way. more..

Presidential regret is certainly not the core question

July 31 (DBS) Protesting Muslims who thronged Colombo’s streets demanding public attention in regard to the plight of their community in Mannar are as much a part of the democratic process as lawyers protesting against the attack on a court house in Mannar and the Judicial Service Association abstaining from sittings in protest against the attacks on the Mannar magistrate cum District Judge. There is little to be perturbed about in such protests. more..

Indian fishing is in troubled waters?

July 31 (DBS) The death of an Indian fisherman off the UAE coast in a firing incident involving the US naval vessel, ’USNS Raapahannock’, is only the most recent of such incidents. Earlier, the Italian tanker, ’Enrica Lexie’ with anti-piracy guards on board had fired at Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast, killing two. These are isolated incidents in their own way, yet overall there is an emerging pattern of nations feeling insecure even at the sight of innocent fishermen, more..

'Electricity Mafia works at large in power sector'

July 31 (NS) Power cuts were imposed in many parts of the island for several days in the past week due to the breakdown of the Kelawarapitiya and Lakvijaya power plants and 400MW were lost to the national grid. Though repairs were carried out and power cuts discontinued from Thursday (26) a new power crisis looms on the horizon. Minister Champika Ranawaka spoke to The Nation about the power cuts and other issues. more..

LLRC roadmap: An ‘action plan’ to suit the US, not us!

July 31 (GV) The govt announced it has drawn up a comprehensive “National Action Plan to Implement the Recommendations of the LLRC” and has released same to the public domain. This comes after the Geneva Resolution and the discussions the Rajapaksa govt had thereafter with the US administration. Immediately after the Geneva Resolution was adopted in March 2012, Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton extended an invitation to Minister Peiris, for a discussion more..

Jayasena and Rajakulendran: Heroes of a lesser god

July 31 (GV) Wars are terrible things. They kill people, destroy their property and livelihoods. They also destroy people’s souls. Horrendous atrocities are committed against the defenceless, often in the name of the highest ideals, and often by men – and nowadays also women – who have rarely shown deliberate cruelty towards their fellow human beings or even animals before they donned a uniform or took up a cause. War also turns the unarmed into passive monsters, regaling in more..

M. A. Sumanthiran

Editorial: When the Queen wowed the world

July 31 (Island) When Elizabeth Windsor took the world by storm way back 1952, she was only 25 years old. It is now fairly well known that in Kenya, where she was staying at the world- famous Treetops Hotel at that time, on her way to Australia in the company of Prince Philip, she climbed a tree one evening as a princess and descended the following morning as a queen! Her father, King George VI, had died while she was away. Sixty years on, she has wowed the world more..

Sri Lanka vow to fight despite tall order

July 31 (Island) Sri Lanka’s best batsman in 2012 has been Kumar Sangakkara while their second best bowler this year has been Nuwan Kulasekara. Trailing the current ODI series against India 1-2, the hosts will go into today’s fourth ODI at R. Premadasa Stadium without both those key men, who were injured during the series. While Kulasekara sustained a groin injury during the first ODI at Suriyawewa, Sangakkara fractured his little finger on the right hand on more..

Sri Lanka strive to keep series alive

July 31 (CI) India's win on Saturday has left Sri Lanka needing to win both remaining matches if they are to take the series. None of the players involved in the series had made their ODI debuts when India last lost a bilateral series in Sri Lanka - that was way back in 1997, when Sanath Jayasuriya and Aravinda de Silva were at the peak of their powers. India's successful chase of 287 was the sort of result which would have been extremely unlikely on the pre-World Cup Premadasa track more..

Importing fish for canning cheaper than bringing down canned fish

July 31 (Island) Newly established fish canning factories in Galle and Puttalam had to import fish from China as the local catch from Sri Lankan waters was not enough for the two factories’ requirement, Fisheries Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said yesterday. He said that the accusations levelled against a fish canning factory, that it was importing its entire fish requirement from China, were totally unjustified. It was impossible to procure the total requirement of more..

Brandix , HSBC reach out to parched villages

July 31 (Island) Top apparel exporter Brandix partnered with banking giant HSBC to assist more than 600 families facing severe hardship in Sri Lanka’s dry zone due to the prevailing drought. Working with local councils and officials of ‘Grama Niladhari’ Divisions, the two corporate entities have funded the transport of water to needy families in six villages in Vavuniya and four villages in the Anamaduwa area in a humanitarian project carried out over several days. more..

Niluka stuns world number 8, creates history

July 31 (Island) Underdog Niluka Karunaratne stunned world number eight in the biggest upset so far in the 2012 Olympics badminton competition as he beat Kenichi Tago of Japan in straight sets in the men’s singles first round match at Wembley Arena here in London yesterday. In what experts termed a battle between mental strengths, Niluka knocked out the champion Japanese from the first round. With a near more..

'Water management, environment interlinked'

July 31 (DN) A suitable water management plan has to be prepared considering the environmental condition in the country. When creating water reservoir settlements, habitation of animals must be considered. Reservoirs are not only for humans, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. He was addressing the area and divisional engineers' workshop at Sawsiripaya, Colombo. The minister said when constructing water reservoirs, planners should consider environmental more..

EPC dissolution: order reserved for August 8

July 31 (DN) A thee judge Bench of the Court of Appeal yesterday reserved the ruling on the dissolution Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) for August 8. The Bench constituted Justice Sisira Abrew, Justice A.W.A. Salam and Justice Anil Gunaratne. Attorney at Law M.A. Sumantiran supporting the petition submitted that three provincial councils had being subjected to a coordinated dissolution on the same day. EPC members had been sworn in on affidavits not more..

Regular elections epitomise a vibrant democracy: President

July 31 (FT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday described regular elections as being key to test the people’s opinion, adding that they epitomise a vibrant democracy. He made this observation in response to a question during the breakfast meeting with Editors on whether the three upcoming PC elections were unnecessary. “I am for elections because it gives an opportunity to know people’s wishes,” the President said. more..

‘Madam President’, Rajapaksa

July 31 (DM) Minister S.B. Dissanayake, who was present when the President met the Editors, made a faux pas when he addressed President Mahinda Rajapaksa ‘Janadhipathiniyani’ (Madam President) when explaining the status of the strikes by university staff. President Rajapaksa in a lighter vein bantered that the tenure of Madam President was long over and the Higher Education Minister turned crimson having figured the blunder. Speaking on the demands by the university lecturers, Minister Dissanayake said no country in the world more..

Sri Lankan MP meets DMK chief Karunanidhi

July 31 (TOI) Senior Sri Lankan MP Somasuntharam Senathiraja met DMK chief M Karunanidhi on Sunday for an hour and discussed the themes of the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organization (TESO) conference, which will be held in the city on August 12. The visit assumes significance as Karunanidhi's flip-flop on the agenda of TESO generated criticism among Tamil leaders. The Centre had advised Karunanidhi against passing a resolution in support of Tamil Eelam at the conclave. more..

War: Govt. didn’t go out of its way to do anything for me – SF

July 31 (Island) War winning general turned outspoken critic of the govt and Leader of the DNA Sarath Fonseka sat with us recently for a no-holds-barred interview. Although he, unlike some big talking politicians, did not rule out any queries, we could not pose a few more questions due to a time limit he laid down at the outset. Following are excerpts: Q: Are you satisfied with the security that is provided to you now? more..

Karunanidhi asks Centre to protect TN fishermen

July 31 (PTI) DMK chief M Karunanidhi today demanded that the Centre take steps to safeguard Tamil Nadu fishermen in the wake of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa reportedly hinting that those caught fishing in Katchatheevu could face up to 20 years in jail. Katchatheevu is an islet in the Palk Straits which was ceded to Sri Lanka by India under an agreement in 1974. Referring to the reported remarks made by the Lankan President, where he had not named any country but more..

Rail track to run from Nanu-Oya to Nuwara Eliya

July 31 (Island) Minister Kumara Welgama, on a directive of President Mahnida Rajapaksa, instructed the Sri Lankan Railways management and its engineers to construct a new rail track between Nanu-Oya and Nuwara-Eliya. The first train operation between Nanu-Oya and Nuwara-Eliya had begun in December 1903 and the track had been extended up to Ragala. However, the speed on that track was limited to 12 miles per hour. It was later closed due to maintenance difficulties. more..

Another Gandhi statue vandalised

July 31 (Hindu) A second statue of Mahatma Gandhi was vandalised in Sri Lanka, this time in the Army-controlled Northern Province headquarter town of Jaffna. The incident happened past midnight on Saturday, and two persons were taken into custody on suspicion a day later, officials said. The statue was unveiled by the Indian Consul General in Jaffna, V.Mahalingam on Martyrs Day in January, 2011. more..

UNP rules out any MP joining Govt.

July 31 (Island) The UNP yesterday ruled out the possibility of any of its members crossing over to the govt. UNP MP Gayantha Karunathillake when asked about reports that one of their MP’s had been seen at Temple Tress recently, prompting speculation of an imminent cross over to ruling party ranks, said he did not think such a thing would happen. "I do not think we have any more of the type of people who would desert the party for mere perks and privileges," he said. When reminded that more..

Sri Lankan students win at International Olympiad 2012

July 31 (DN) Sri Lankan students won Silver, Bronze and Merit Awards at the International Biology Olympiad 2012 concluded last week in Singapore. Pramith Ruwanpathirana of Royal College, Colombo won a Silver Medal, Prasan Thurul Warnakula of Joseph Vaz College, Wennappuwa won a Bronze Medal and Janidu Gunarathna of Royal College, Colombo and Madhushani Rodrigo of Vishaka Vidyalaya, Colombo won Merit awards. more..

EC wants armed groups disarmed

July 31 (DM) Amid allegations that armed groups are operating in the East, the Elections Department has written to Police Chief N.K. Ilangakoon directing him to have the weapons issued to some political parties or individuals returned to the police, officials said yesterday. The TNA has raised concerns that its candidates and supporters in the East were under threat from some groups which support the ruling UPFA. more..

Mannar Bishop deprived of meeting LTTE suspects

July 31 (Island) UNP MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena yesterday alleged that the dictatorial Rajapaksa regime was denying even the basic right of people to visit those held over terrorism charges. An irate UNPer said that Bishop of Mannar Rt. Rev Rayappu Joseph was refused permission last Friday to meet 17 LTTE suspects transferred from the Vavuniya prison to Mahara recently following the STF quelling a riot there. Asked whether he would take up more..

Over 20 development projects for Matara

July 31 (DN) The govt has extended top priority to develop Matara, Minister Dallas Alahapperuma said. He was addressing the Matara expeditious urban development meeting held at the Matara District Secretariat Auditorium. He said, “Over twenty projects will be implemented under the programme, comprising the construction of a conference hall for Matara, the Nilwala riverside park and an urban park, Uyanwatha esplanade development, the Nilwala riverside wall, youth park, more..

University crisis: President for win-win situation, SB unwilling to budge

July 31 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday told newspaper editors that what he envisaged as a solution to the on-going university strike was a win-win situation. He said the strikers had to appreciate the difficulties of the govt and be realistic. Insisting that the university teachers were better paid than even the judges of the apex court in the country, he said there was no way their demand for more and more pay hikes more..

SLAA officials not considered for London Games

July 31 (DM) The International Olympic Committee has delayed the approval of the newly elected officials of the Sri Lanka Athletic Association according to sources. With this situation the IOC has not allocated passes for the present officials to attend the opening ceremony of the London Olympics. Instead it had allocated it to the former officials. The invitations were received by the former President of SLAA Major General Palitha Fernando and former secretary G.L.S. Perera. more..

Dr. PB to meet stock brokers today

July 31 (FT) Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera will meet today the members of the Colombo Stock Brokers Association (CSBA) as a follow up to President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s original capital market stakeholder forum held a fortnight ago. The meeting between Dr. Jayasundera and CSBA also comes a few days after he held a separate follow up meeting with officials of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE). The members of the CSBA met last evening to more..

'Over 50% of LLRC recommendations implemented'

July 31 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that 50 per cent of the recommendations made by the LLRC had been implemented in line with the govt’s post-war national reconciliation policy. Commenting on the National Action Plan to implement LLRC recommendations as regards international humanitarian law issues, President emphasized that the implementation of LLRC recommendations had not been more..

CPA calls for stringent action against Mannar court attackers

July 31 (Island) Strongly condemning the recent incidents at the Mannar Courts, the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) has urged the government to punish those responsible, regardless of their affiliation to the ruling party. The following is the full text of the CPA statement: "The CPA views with serious concern and condemns in the strongest possible terms the recent incident in which the Mannar courts premises was attacked by more..