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CCD nabs two for extorting money

June 13 (DM) Two men were arrested by the Colombo Crime Division (CCD) for attempting to extort 25,000 pounds from two women living in the Bambalapitiya flats. Police said the two men had entered the house during the weekend claiming that they were from the CID. Suspects had threatened the women that they would be arrested and remanded with their daughters if they failed to handover the cash. The victims had informed the CCD over the incident and the suspects more..

England's T20 'old fashioned' says Murali

June 13 (CI) Muttiah Muralitharan, Sri Lanka's record-breaking spin bowler, has dismissed England's Twenty20 format as "old fashioned" and called for it to adopt the franchise format favoured by the IPL. Muralitharan is about to begin his second season with Gloucestershire in Friends Life t20 and as the competition begins he has risked a storm by suggesting that they should merge with their fiercest rivals Somerset. "That would be good as they are close counties more..

Parents of war victims need answers

June 13 (CG) While welcoming the reference to Sri Lanka in the annual report by UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon on children in armed conflict, Germany says parents of children who either died or are “missing” due to the conflict need to be given answers as to what happened to their children. The German Ambassador in Sri Lanka Jens Plötner congratulated Sri Lanka after the UN report said that Sri Lanka had successfully completed the UN more..

Combank named ‘Best Sri Lankan Trade Bank’

June 13 (DM) The Commercial Bank’s status as a leading service provider to the business community has been reiterated by the United Kingdom’s authoritative ‘Trade Finance’ magazine, which has adjudged the Bank the ‘Best Sri Lankan Trade Bank’ for 2012. The prestigious award, the second major accolade received by the Commercial Bank in the past two months, is to be presented at the magazine’s 2012 Awards for Excellence gala in Hong Kong on July 5. more..

Lankans among five held with forged passports

June 13 (TOI) During surprise checks at lodges in Valasaravakkam, police on Tuesday caught three Sri Lankan Tamils with fake passports. They revealed during interrogation that they were about to fly to France with the help of two agents who also helped them get the fake passports, police officers said. Police arrested the trio and nabbed the agents, Srinivasalu of Andhra Pradesh and Prabhakar of Trichy. During a check at a lodge on Arcot Road, police found that Sri Lankan Tamils, more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 13.06.2012

Match abandoned after heavy showers

June 13 (CI) The south-west monsoon allowed only 6.2 overs of play in the third ODI between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at the R Premadasa Stadium, leaving the series level at 1-1. There were early warning signs that the match could be a stop-start affair as a brief shower forced the groundstaff to bring on the covers soon after the toss. The rain relented and the match began on time, but only one ball was bowled after which the showers returned to hold up play for 75 minutes. more..

China's top legislator vows further ties with Sri Lankan parliament

June 13 (Xinhua) China's top legislator Wu Bangguo on Wednesday pledged to boost exchanges and cooperation with the Parliament of Sri Lanka. Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), made the pledge during a meeting with Chamal Rajapaksa, speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka. Wu hailed the traditional friendship between China and the South Asian state, saying bilateral ties are experiencing a prime period marked by more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

How the British robbed our royal treasure

June 14 (NS) The theft of artifacts from the National Museum Colombo and treasure hunters on the prowl causing irreparable damage to archaeological sites in the country have been very much in the news during the past several months. The press also reported moves were afoot to get back artifacts which the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British had taken to Europe during the colonial era. In fact, it was the British who took the lead in this daylight robbery five years afte rthe fall of the Kandyan Kingdom. more..

UTHR (J) forges ahead without narrow ethnic agendas!

June 14 (NS) This is a horror story. It follows a classic plotline of the genre; the gradual emergence of the hidden revenant from under the guise of apparent goodness. At night, during a thunder storm, the hero would be necking in the car with his beautiful girlfriend (who is really the female revenant, a malignant supernatural force in human guise). Suddenly, in a flash of lighting, for a fraction of a second, he would see the beloved face as the face of a rotting corpse. more..

Striping nature for man’s gain

June 14 (NS) The recent decision by the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) to make lenient the laws governing sand transportation licenses with the blessings of the govt, allowing vehicles to transport river sand without permits round the clock, has resulted in a proliferation of illegal sand mining activities and drawn cries of protests from environmentalists, who charge that the latest move is another instance of the flagrant assaults on more..

Gota’s war and the quest for peace

June 14 (CT) C A Chandraprema’s book on the war against the LTTE is an immensely interesting read. I had wondered how effective he would be as a writer of a sustained narrative, for his columns, though informative, can sometimes be turgid and repetitive. But his book combines a racy narrative with convincing detail, and I think makes clear the immense achievement of the govt in dealing with the LTTE. He also makes clear the reason for his title, and the importance of Gota, as he calls him, being in the right place at the right time. more..

The Role of international law in contemporary diplomacy

June 14 (DBS) (Text of the Romesh Jayasinghe -Memorial Oration delivered by Dr Amrith Rohan Perera PC at Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Colombo on May 30, 2012). I first heard of Romesh Jayasinghe from his father, the late W T Jayasinghe, the Secretary of the Ministry of Defence and Foreign Affairs, as it then existed, under whom I had the privilege of first serving in that establishment. This may have been the late 1970s. Romesh was on the threshold of more..

'My sole ambition was to serve my country and people'

June 14 (CT) Tamara Kunanayakam, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, has accused Navanethem Pillay, the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, of playing the political agenda of the US and Western powers. In an e-mail interview, Ambassador Kunanayakam elaborates on the accusations contained in her letter to the UN human rights chief, and reflects on her tenure as more..

The Forgotten People

June 14 (Island) Sri Lankan refugees have been making the news again in recent days. A group of 40 whose claims of persecution have been rejected by the UK was sent back to Colombo at the beginning of the month. Only hours earlier, more than 100 others had been arrested before they could even leave the island – the boat that was supposed to carry them to Australia was spotted by the Police. Some people are clearly desperate to get away. A few months ago, the BBC reported the story of 200 Sri Lankan refugees stranded in Togo. more..

New chapter in Tamil struggle for political rights : A response – II

June 14 (Island) As we said last week Sampanthan is talking of a chapter IV in Tamil politics. It is a new chapter both literary and literally and the leader of the ITAK wants to establish an Eelam with the help of the western countries and India with support from the Tamils dispersed in the west. However, ITAK proxy of the LTTE thinks ashamedly as the successors to the LTTE as the party that represents the Tamils and is suspicious of the other Tamil parties as well as more..

Seashell processing underway in Kinniya

June 14 (SO) The Kinniya Divisional Secretariat Division, in the Trincomalee district is known for its identical resources such as fish and seashells. A large number of people are engaged in the fisheries and seashell processing industry. The low income people in this area collect seashells earn their daily living. The people who are engaged in this industry earn sufficient income. A 50-pack of seashells is Rs. 100. more..

Not just the planets, but a practical crisis

June 14 (DM) My dear Mahinda Aiya, Ayubowan, vannakam, assalamu allaikum and best wishes as you face some sort of battle with the planets with astrologers giving different guidelines which ended up in a horror-scope in London. According to reports, the London fiasco which you found yourself in was a result of failure on the part of intelligence and diplomatic services to warn you of the big protest planned by the Tamil Diaspora in Britain. If they had done their job more..

ITAK and TNA leaders exploit the people while living in comfort

June 14 (DBS) Here are some idealistic suggestions for better harmonious living in this blessed country: 1. Discourage the activities of those ruthless people masquerading as genuine Sinhala Buddhist clergymen involving themselves in political, anti-social activities. This applies to all priests and ‘kurukkal’ and ‘mowlavis’ in every denomination. Some of these politicized monks garbed in so-called sacred robes behave in a shameful manner, both in parliament and outside. more..

Govt. ‘allowed’ BOP crisis to emerge

June 14 (Island) The credibility of those who run the country’s economy took another hit yesterday. In a carefully worded statement the country’s oldest business chamber, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, has blamed the govt for allowing the balance of payments crisis to emerge last year, saying that misaligned macroeconomic policy was the main cause of the problem and that the govt should learn from last year’s mistakes. more..

CB says policy changes working

June 14 (FT) The Central Bank has decided to keep its rates unchanged due to policy changes taken earlier in the year bearing results, it said in its Monetary Policy Review, adding that rupee depreciation would reduce impact from the drop in exports. The decision results in the repurchase rate and the reverse repurchase rate remaining unchanged at 7.75 per cent and 9.75 per cent respectively, it said. The Central Bank noted that policy changes earlier in the year had resulted in more..

Many thought govt.’s economic goals hilarious – Cabraal

June 14 (Island) Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said that critics thought the govt’s economic ambition announced in 2005 was hilarious, and questioned the path it was taking to achieve economic development. "However, today, the ones who questioned the govt had nothing to say as the development was in front of their very eyes," he said. He said when the govt predicted achieving a per capita income of US$ 4,000, people laughed. Today the country had reached more..

Cricket Chief exposes Nishantha Ranatunga

June 14 (Island) The reputation of controversial Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga took another severe beating after SLC Chairman Upali Dharmadasa admitted that Carlton Sports Network (CSN) was indeed owned by the sons of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Dharmadasa, making a statement to the BBC Sinhala Service, had said that there was no political pressure, however, to award the Sri Lanka team’s television rights to CSN. more..

Editorial: Deliverance from shame

June 14 (Island) The UN has, at long last, removed Sri Lanka from its List of Shame because child soldiers in the clutches of the LTTE and its off-shoot, TMVP, have all been liberated. Children were the worst affected in the protracted conflict in this country because of the LTTE's dependence on child conscription following its graduation from a ragtag army to a conventional fighting force. Prabhakaran at the beginning of his armed struggle had a hard time screening and hand-picking recruits from hundreds, if not thousands, more..

Upali Dharmadasa replies…

June 14 (Island) This refers to your news item appearing in today’s ‘Island’ i.e. Wednesday the 13th of June 2012 in your Sports Section under the legend "Cricket Chief exposes Nishantha Ranatunga" and I give below my response to same to be published in ‘The Island’ newspaper as "MY RIGHT TO REPLY" for the said article published in your paper today (13). I am greatly perturbed by the said news item as it is grossly inaccurate and has attributed statements to me which were not made by me. more..

W.J.M Lokubandara to gives suggestions to parliamentary disciplinary committee

June 14 (CT) Former speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara has been summoned by the Parliamentary Select Committee to discipline parliamentarians for his suggestions to the committee on 21 June. The Parliamentary Select Committee on Discipline Propriety Traditions and Security relating to Members of Parliament headed by minister DEW Gunesekara met ex-speakers and the former secretary general last week for their comments more..

Media men contributed to dawn of peace - Chief Minister

June 14 (DN) Dignified and committed contribution of the media men was advantageous in defeating 30 year terrorism and restoring peace and harmony in the country, said Southern Province Chief Minister Shan Wijayalal de Silva. The chief Minister was addressing a seminar for journalists to educate them on the Dhakshina Suwa Udana (Southern Health Revival) launched by the southern Provincial Council and sponsored by the Union Assurance Finance Company in Galle on Monday. more..

Ensure rights of Northerners by holding elections - DPF

June 14 (Island) The UPFA govt must ensure that they will not deprive the Northern Province voters of their rights by conducting elections to the Provincial Council. Secretary General of the Democratic Peoples Front (DPF) Dr. Kumar Guruparan said that it seems the USA and its Ambassador designate to Sri Lanka, have put pressure on the govt, to hold elections to the Northern Provincial Council. He said that India was also pressuring the govt to hold elections, but the govt more..

'Govt. to eliminate all public menaces'

June 14 (DN) The public plays a major role in eliminating the drug menace, underworld, dengue and other nature related issues in Colombo and its support is essential as the govt is taking every probable measure to achieve that end, said the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday. He said that there was no point in living in Colombo even though the govt develops it if menaces pester the people. more..

The rape of the legal process

June 14 (AHRC) As the criticism both from within the country as well as internationally mounts against what is happening in the name of law and order in Sri Lanka, new types of distortions and aberrations are taking place in the country's courts. There has been quite a lot of criticism about the delays of adjudication in courts and in recent times this has been highlighted regarding cases of rape. Just last week one report stated that a rape takes place in Sri Lanka every ninety minutes. more..

Dialog starts mobile payment service

June 14 (LBO) Dialog Axiata had launched a mobile payment service through which its 7.5 million customers can send and receive money through a 'virtual wallet'. "Mobile Money technology will transform the way we transact cash and will enable electronic money interchange and electronic payments to be brought within the reach of every Sri Lankan citizen," Hans Wijayasuriya, head of Dialog Axiata said. Dialog is the first operator to be licensed by central bank to make mobile payments. more..

British PM expresses regret over protests

June 14 (CT) British PM David Cameron expressed regret over the protests in London which led to the Cancellation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s speech at the Commonwealth Economic Forum, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga said. He said this, addressing the breakfast meeting with newspaper editors and media heads, yesterday. He said Cameron met President Rajapaksa on the sidelines of Queen Elizabeth’s diamond jubilee celebrations. more..

'Govt. glad development projects could resume'

June 14 (DM) While welcoming the United States decision to waive restrictions on Sri Lanka, the Govt said today it would hold talks with the Iranian govt to resume development programmes to be launched with Iranian aid. “The Government welcomes the recent statement by US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton that Sri Lanka has been exempted from banking sanctions that affect oil imports from Iran,” Senior Minister Sarath Amunugama said. more..

Birth and death registrar nabbed

June 14 (CT) The Birth and death registrar of Embilipitiya Base Hospital was remanded by the Colombo Magistrate’s Court yesterday for taking bribe to issue a birth certificate to a sailor’s child. Chief Magistrate Rashmi Singappuli, remanded the suspect till 20 June after officers attached to the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption (CIABC), produced her in the Court. The CIABC arrested the suspected Madushani Lakmini on Sunday (10) at her more..

Sri Lanka Premier League adopts franchise model

June 14 (CI) The Sri Lanka Premier League has undergone a significant structural change, adopting a franchise system, with teams coming under private ownership instead of the SLC's control, and a draft system for those franchises to pick their players. The changes were announced by Sri Lanka Cricket, which also started the tender process for the franchise system. The SLC would have owned all seven teams had the tournament gone more..

Kerala pineapple farmers look to Sri Lanka

June 14 (Hindu) Farmers behind India's best known brand of pineapple in Kerala are looking to Sri Lanka for a new future, battered as they are by an unprecedented rise in labour and input costs. While shortage of quality suckers threatens to bring down acreage under cultivation by 25 to 30 per cent in the new planting season, the price of grade A raw pineapple touched a record Rs.30 a kg on Tuesday at Vazhakkulam, the town near Kochi by whose name pineapple from Kerala is known across India. more..

U.S. embassy teaches rural students English

June 14 (USE) On June 9, U.S. Ambassador Patricia A. Butenis congratulated students at the closing ceremony of the English language Access program at the John De Silva Theater in Colombo. Access is a two year micro-scholarship program sponsored by the U.S. Embassy that teaches English to rural 14-18 year old students through after-school and weekend classes at centers located across Sri Lanka. At the certificate awarding ceremony for 147 students and 6 teachers, Ambassador Butenis thanked the more..

Developments encouraging for US GSP review

June 14 (FT) Sri Lanka looks set to emerge on a winning note in the crucial US GSP hearings that will conclude this month, the Industry and Commerce Ministry said. “I am pleased to announce that Sri Lanka’s case appears to be progressing well at the crucial US GSP review hearings. I am encouraged by the outcome of today’s meeting with the top US Trade official Michael J. Delaney whose concern for more..

SF claims a number of UNP MPs with him

June 14 (Island) General Sarath Fonseka yesterday said that several UNP parliamentarians had expressed their readiness to join him to save the country from the oppressive Rajapaksa regime. He said that nothing could be as important as a strong Opposition alliance to take on the govt. Commenting on the recent dispute between UNP MP Palitha Range Bandara and UNP National Organiser Daya Gamage over the Puttalam District MP having a dialogue with him, General Fonseka said that more..