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Sami's welcome, Kulasekara's gifts

June 2 (CI) In a 11-year career, Mohammad Sami has been nothing short of an enigma for Pakistan, often going off the radar after spurts of brilliance with the ball. He is no stranger to comebacks, and today marked yet another. Returning after a two-year gap, Sami was given the ball in the fourth over. His first delivery was easily steered down to third man. No damage done. The second was short and wide, which was slashed over point by Kumar Sangakkara for four. more..

'Inaction simply deepens impunity'

June 2 (CI) Yolanda Foster, Amnesty International (AI)’s Sri Lanka Expert, explains why the international human rights movement continues to call for an international inquiry into war crimes allegations in Sri Lanka. According to Foster, Sri Lanka does not seem to have recovered from a “deliberate amnesia” about human rights violations and this is fuelling ongoing violations. She argues that the lack of respect for procedures in the criminal more..

Tiger Airways launches direct flights between Colombo and Singapore

June 2 (FT) Tiger Airways, Singapore’s leading low-cost carrier, yesterday launched the inaugural direct service between Colombo and Singapore. TR2572 arrived in Colombo at 2205hrs to mark the first regional low-cost flight between Colombo and Singapore. With Tiger Airways’ Singapore strong track record – with a near 100% flight completion in 2011, punctuality rate of over 85%, a young fleet of under three years of age, and more..

Sri Lanka's search for a consistent start

June 2 (CI) When Sri Lanka begin their Test series against Pakistan on June 22, one of the aspects that they'll want to set right is their opening combination. During the days of Sanath Jayasuriya and Marvan Atapattu, there wasn't much to worry about - especially in home Tests - but since their departure things have changed, as Sri Lanka have tried several options without finding a stable replacement. Their star-studded middle order of Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela more..

Professor Carlo Fonseka awarded the prestigious World no-Tobacco day award

June 2 (AT) Professor Carlo Fonseka, the Chairman of the National Authority on Tobacco & Alcohol (NATA) has been awarded with the prestigious World No-Tobacco Day Award 2012 by the World Health Organization in recognition of his significant contribution towards tobacco control in Sri Lanka. This is the first occasion that an individual in Sri Lanka received this prestigious award. more..

Facebook affair gone awry

June 2 (FT) A criminal case filed by Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) against a Facebook user alleging that a lady teacher had been blackmailed into sex by him after befriending her on Facebook and thereafter threatening to post her nude photos on it, was yesterday fixed for trail by a Colombo Court. When the case came up before Colombo Fort Magistrate, the suspect S. Weeraratne said he was not pleading guilty to the charges. Accordingly, Magistrate Kanishka Wijeratne more..

Intel to support ‘1,000 Schools Project’

June 2 (Island) Intel Sri Lanka signed a MoU with the Ministry of Education earlier this week in support of the Government’s 1000 Schools Project. Under this MoU, Intel Teach, a professional development program that enables educators to effectively integrate Information and Communication Technology (ICT) into their lessons to promote problem solving, critical thinking and collaboration skills among their students will be introduced to enhance the teaching the teaching experience across these schools. more..

Sri Lanka's hidden scourge of religious child abuse

June 2 (BBC) Pahalagama Somaratana Thera is one of the few Sri Lankan Buddhist monks to have been found guilty of child abuse inside or outside the country. But if Children's Affairs Minister Tissa Karaliyadda is to be believed, child abuse in religious establishments by both Buddhist and Christian clergy in Sri Lanka is rampant. Yet according to figures from Sri Lanka's National Child Protection Authority (NCPA), only three Buddhist monks more..

Hotels Return to Sri Lanka

June 2 (WSJ) Back on the radar as a tourist destination, Sri Lanka is on the verge of a hotel building boom with both international hospitality groups and local players launching major projects. Here’s a quick look at what is underway: Shangri-La Colombo: The Hong Kong-based company recently broke ground for a 661-room tower near the storied seafront Galle Face Green in the capital. Expected to open 2015. Sheraton Colombo: Starwood Hotels will make its debut with this 306-room hotel more..

Sri Lanka not holding out for another war hero

June 2 (NST) Across Sri Lanka, ecstatic crowds have welcomed the release of former army commander Sarath Fonseka from jail, and it is intriguing to see whether his presence will help the fragmented opposition shift President Mahinda Rajapakse's firm hold on power in the country, or will indeed perpetuate his rule. In a surprise move President Rajapakse used his extraordinary executive powers to pardon and release Fonseka last month. Fonseka, who led the more..

A heads-up for Sri Lanka press freedom watchers

June 2 (CPJ) Former Attorney General Mohan Peiris has been ordered to testify about a statement he made at the U.N. Committee Against Torture in Geneva on Nov 9, 2011, in which he said that Prageeth Eknelygoda was alive and living outside the country. Peiris will have to appear at the Homogama Magistrate's Court on June 5, which has been hearing the case brought by Eknelygoda's wife, Sandhya, to learn more about his disappearance on January 24, 2010. more..

Valachchenai Paper Factory to make country self-sufficient in paper

June 2 (DN) The Valachchenai Paper Factory has commenced operations and has produced over 130 metric tonnes of paper during the last month, State Resources and Enterprise Development Minister Dayasritha Tissera said. In the year 2009, this factory had produced only 30 metric tonnes of paper per month. At present, it has increased by three to four times. Presently the salaries of its employees and electricity bills are being paid from its own income. more..

'New courses needed for creative job opportunities'

June 2 (DN) All measures should be taken to create new university courses connecting archeology and history with the tourism industry. It will Open University students to creative job opportunities, Higher Education Minister S B Dissanayake said. The minister was addressing the opening ceremony of the Tourism Educational Exhibition and Trade Fair of the Uva Wellassa University on May 25. It was held for three days. “The Higher Education Ministry has already started to create such courses and they will be introduced to more..

Speaker urged to table Govt’s Action Plan on LLRC proposals to US

June 2 (Island) The govt’s Action Plan, on the LLRC recommendations, which was submitted in secrecy to the US recently, should be tabled in parliament, the UNP has told the Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa. Lakshman Kiriella MP, in a written communication to the Speaker yesterday, said that a delegation headed by External Affairs Minister, Prof G. L. Peiris had met the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington on or around May 18, 2012 more..

Sri Lanka's WA visit proves tall order

June 2 (Yahoo) The world's tallest netballer will call Perth home for two months thanks to the State Government and community generosity. At 2.06m (6ft 9in), Sri Lankan Tharjini Sivalingam towers 10cm over Australia's tallest player, West Coast Fever's Susan Fuhrmann. But in terms of experience, Sivalingam is still relatively raw after leaving her home in the northern Jaffna region to move south to the capital, Colombo. She captains the national team, which is determined to gain more..

Court of Appeal acquits 6 murder convicts

June 2 (CT) Six persons found guilty of murder and sentenced to death by the Anuradhapura High Court were acquitted by the Court of Appeal yesterday. Kirage Somaratne, Tennekoon Samantha, Karunaratna Jayasundara, Nalaka Sujith, Upali Tennekoon and Upul Tennekoon were accused of murdering Bandiyage Alensuwa on 24 September 1995, at Suiryawewa, Millawa in Anuradhapura. According to the prosecution all of them had assaulted the victim over a land dispute and murdered him. more..

‘Over Rs one m spent on each Northern family’

June 2 (DN) The govt has spent over Rs one million per family in the Northern Province during the past two and a half years under the Uthuru Wasanthaya programme on infrastructure development to revive the devastation caused by terrorism, Northern Governor Major General G A Chandrasiri said. He said the Northern Province has approximately a one and half million population and the govt’s allocations to uplift the living standards of those people were more..

‘Good response for Anoma Fonseka Foundation’

June 2 (DM) Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka’s wife Anoma said yesterday that a large number of people had shown interest in joining the Anoma Fonseka Foundation soon after her husband’s release over a week ago. The Anoma Fonseka Foundation chaired by Mrs. Fonseka began on February 2, 2011. Since then the foundation’s membership had risen and is expected to increase further, Mrs. Fonseka said.“I have received several calls from people saying that they want to join the organisation. more..

We can’t let perpetrators escape with no punishment – Harsha

June 2 (DM) UNP National List MP Harsha De Silva said the struggle to bring perpetrators of the NSB-TFC fiasco would go on undeterred. “Being in the opposition, we have been able to look after the interest of the public. We can’t let perpetrators escape with no punishment. If there is any wrong doing they have to be dealt with seriously.” “The deal is just the tip of the iceberg of a plethora of illegal activities taking place within the market through EPF funds and more..

Govt accuses few opposition MPs of being economic hit men

June 2 (Island) The Govt yesterday accused few MPs of the opposition of systematically trying to destabilize the country’s financial system. It said in a statement: "There has been a recent systematic effort to destabilize the country’s financial system by a few MPs of the UNP and JVP. Towards this end they have been consistently attacking the Central Bank, the EPF and the NSB. They have also attempted to destabilize the stock market more..

Farmers protest without knowing magnitude of the drought

June 2 (Island) With a drought gripping the region there was no point in thousands of farmers in the Southern and the Uva provinces protesting against the govt’s decision to call on them to reduce the acreage under cultivation, said Manager of the Walawe river project engineer Asanka Gunatilleke. The authorities have asked them to leave 20 percent of their lands fallow cultivate 50% with paddy and the balance 30 percent with other crops for more..

Milco denies non-payment allegations

June 2 (Island) Milco (Pvt) Limited had last paid Rs. 152 million to farmers for purchases of milk. This was the last payment made on May 15 and it does not owe any money to any dairy farmer to date, Milco Chairman Sunil Wickramasinghe said while categorically denying allegations made by certain individuals that Milco owed millions of rupees to dairy farmers for the purchase of milk. He told ‘The Island’ that payments were made on the dot fortnightly but the last more..

Stopping The Rot

June 2 (CT) Members of the Citizens Movement for Good Governance and friends, This is an honour indeed. And yet, I am more than a little daunted at having to speak before an audience whose experience and memories stretch so back into the past. When Dr. Visvalingam invited me to address you, I was delighted. But as the days flew by, I became more and more uncertain of what I could say to people who already knew so much more than I do. more..

U.S. embassy partnership supports dairy farmers in the East

June 2 (USE) At the height of the conflict in 2007, Padmarahini Naharajan was displaced from her home and left as the sole provider for two children. She toiled in the fields and sold small quantities of milk to middlemen at low prices to make ends meet. Life was difficult until she heard about the Dairy Enhancement in Eastern Province (DEEP) project, a public-private partnership of USAID, the development arm of the U.S. Embassy. DEEP, a three-year USD10 million project, more..

Police suspect foul play

June 2 (CT) Police are yet to determine if the mysterious fire that killed two women in Warapitiya, Kahawatta late on Wednesday night was an accidental fire or an intentional one. No arrests have been made as no one is suspected of setting the house on fire up to date, Kahawatta police sources said. However, the police suspect foul play as their investigations revealed that someone had attempted to remove one of the metal grilles that barred the window of the house. more..

Impressive rapid development taking place in SL, says S’pore FM

June 2 (CNA) Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam was in Sri Lanka for a four-day official visit. During his trip, he visited Trincomalee and Jaffna. Mr Shanmugam met the Governor of the Eastern Province Mohan Wijewickrama and Governor of the Northern Province G A Chandrasiri and other local leaders in both cities. The Foreign Affairs Ministry said they briefed him on their respective more..

Ellawala Thera, Wijeyadasa clash

June 2 (SM) Former JHU leader Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thera and MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe have clashed over the latter’s proposal to move a bill to constitutionally deny political parties an opportunity to field priests of any religion at parliamentary polls. Speaking to BBC Sandeshaya, the monk has described the proposal as one that had been made by political henchmen of the west. President’s counsel Rajapakshe, who is also president of the Sri Lanka Bar Association, has said that more..

Azath Salley finds a divided CMC not doing any work

June 2 (Island) All 53 Councillors of the Colombo Municipal Council should put aside petty differences and political affiliations and join hands to further develop the city of Colombo, UPFA Councillor Azath Salley said at the May Monthly meeting of the CMC o at the Town Hall. He said that all Councillors should act with responsibility and deliver the goods as eight months had elapsed since their election. It was an utter waste of time to harp on something alleged to have happened at more..

Landmark meeting to safeguard region’s bio resources

June 2 (Island) The inauguration of the first Regional Meeting of South Asian Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN) tomorrow’ in Negombo’ would be an important landmark in safeguarding bio resources in the region, Environment Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said. The first SAWEN meeting will be held with the participation of regional experts. Yapa said that he appreciated the timely move as it was extremely necessary more..

Rs. 300m to develop inland fisheries and aquaculture

June 2 (SO) The Fisheries Ministry has allocated Rs. 300 million to develop inland fish and aquaculture industry in the Northern and Eastern province, the Ministry sources said. The fisheries industry recorded the biggest income of Rs. 83,928 million last year, as a result of rapid development programs implemented in the fisheries sector including the North and East after the elimination of LTTE, the Ministry said. more..

Athletics fiasco is a wakeup call

June 2 (LB) It was not sure if the country would get the chance to host next month’s Asian Junior Athletics Championship. The Asian Athletics Association (AAA) first announced that it had cancelled the meet. The reason given was the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) or the world governing body of athletics had received a letter alleging that the recent Athletics Association election was not democratically conducted. more..

The Forgotten Lankans

June 2 (SL) Walking aimlessly along the streets, stopping at each car with an outstretched hand and a look of utter despair; the streets of Colombo are home to hundreds of beggars. Every day there is a new one on the street, in a new shape or size, with a new disability but all with nowhere to go. Where did they come from and how do they drag themselves through the unrelenting world? Each beggar of Colombo has a story to tell, a story of how they have come to living on the street more..

New running sheds for train maintenance

June 2 (DN) The Sri Lanka Railways has taken measures to set up three running sheds in Galle, Aluthgama and Dematagoda in order to minimize the delays in train maintenance following breakdowns. Transport Minister Kumara Welgama said that train operations on the coastal railway line are expected to be enhanced with the uninterrupted maintenance service provided by these new running sheds. more..

CGR short of 400 train drivers

June 2 (Island) The Railway Department is faced with a severe shortage of engine drivers. Transport Minister Kumara Welgama said that though the Department needed 800 engine drivers to operate all trains, there were only 400 drivers at the moment. The persistent railway delays were not due to workers’ faults but due to technical shortcomings, the Minister said. The delays could be attributed to technical shortcomings such as improper railway tracks, points, more..

'System that depends on profit should be changed'

June 2 (LT) The govt that pretends an anti-imperialist stance takes loans from imperialist countries and act according to agendas of imperialists says JVP Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe. He said, Rajapaksa govt has taken a loan of Rs.2910000 million but there is an acute shortage of foreign exchange. Speaking at a meeting held at Akmeemana electorate on the 31st under the programme ‘A voice for the village more..

Missing National Drug Policy draft Bill resurfaces after one year

June 2 (Island) The National Drug Policy Draft Bill, which had gone missing for nearly one year, has finally resurfaced. It has now arrived at the Health Ministry. Dr. Palith Abeykoon, a member of the Ministry appointed Draft Bill Preparation Committee, told The Island that he had received the file with the Draft Bill from the former Chief Legal Draftsman at long last. He said that the Draft Bill was now with Health Minister more..

46 acres of prime land for sale after prisons move out

June 2 (DM) Thirty eight acres of highly valuable prime land in Colombo and eight acres in Kandy town with a minimum value of Rs.25 billion will be up for grabs when the Prison Reforms Ministry completes relocation of the Bogambara and Welikada Prisons complexes. Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera said Sri Lanka’s prison system will undergo several changes including the re-location of almost all the major prisons more..

Police to get 48 hours

June 2 (DM) The Ministry of Justice is to present a bill amending the Criminal Procedure court shortly to allow the Police to detain a suspect for 48 hours instead of the 24 specified by the Criminal Procedure Code prior to producing suspects before a magistrate. Amendment also has specified a list of crimes for which it will operate including, murder robbery and rape. The main intention of the introduction of the amendment is the need to immediately arrest more..

A ‘dooshra’ from Foreign Employment Bureau!

June 2 (LT) Illegal recruitments are being carried out for women’s cricket team of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment say reports. According to internal sources in the Bureau selections for the team to be established should be from the employees of the Bureau. However, individuals not employed in the Bureau have been selected for the team on the requirement of higher officials of the Bureau and the coach to be. Despite there are cricket players among more..

Hot water springs after earth tremors

June 2 (CT) The earth tremors felt in some parts of the hill country and in Matara on 26 May have apparently shown a phenomenal change in the geographic pattern with fresh hot wells springing from different parts. Residents in Kudumbuwa in Walallavita Divisional Secretary’s Division have said hot water is gushing from a well in the area. They said immediately following the tremor on 26 May they were able to view fumes rising from the well. Aruna Prasangika, a resident in more..