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'Allegations made by Lankan Prez against Indian fishermen unconfirmed'

June 23 (ANI) Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office V. Narayanasamy on Saturday said that the accusations made by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa against the fishermen from Tamil Nadu were unsubstantiated. Narayanasamy on the contrary said that the Indian fishermen were being harassed, and added that they face a lot of problems. "As far as the point that has been raised by the President of Sri Lanka that their fishermen are being attacked, but more..

9 VCK activists held for bid to burn effigy of Champika Ranawaka

June 23 (PTI) Nine Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) activists were arrested here today when they attempted to burn an effigy of Sri Lankan Minister Champika Ranawaka protesting his reported warning of a backlash against Tamils in the island. The activists raised slogans against the Minister and also the Sri Lankan Govt for continuing "attacks" on Tamil Nadu fishermen, police said. Police took them into custody and foiled the attempt to burn the effigy.

'There must be some other reason for his resignation'

June 23 (DM) Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana denied charges made against the govt's agricultural policy by former Presidential advisor on Agricultural Affairs Hemakumara Nanayakkara, and said that “there must be some other reason for his resignation”. Speaking to the Daily Mirror regarding key issues raised by Nanayakkara, who resigned his post, the Minister said that the govt has more..

Pakistan's fielding gets a thumbs-up

June 23 (CI) Pakistan's abysmal fielding in the one-dayers caused them a great deal of embarrassment. The Tests were a chance to rectify those errors. With the field spread out, Samgakkara decided to farm the strike as he approached a possible double-century. After punching Mohammad Hafeez wide of long-on, he rushed his partner Rangana Herath for the second. Umar Gul's throw was sharp and quick and Herath failed to make his ground in time. It was a sound fielding effort all-round and more..

Sri Lanka warns life ban on doping sportsmen

June 23 (IANS) Sri Lankan Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage has warned sportsmen with strict punishment, including life ban on those found guilty of doping. Aluthgamage said Friday coaches and medical officers who prescribe banned drugs to sportsmen will also face severe punishments. The minister made this announcement after obtaining legal advice from the country's Attorney General to stop sportsmen from using banned substances, Xinhua reported. more..

Long-awaited flight to Lanka may commence in September

June 23 (Hindu) The long wait of southern residents and trade bodies in the region for international connectivity to Madurai Airport, which boasts of a new Rs.130-crore integrated terminal, is about to end soon as the Sri Lankan national carrier Mihin Lanka is likely to commence operations from Colombo to Madurai in September. Sri Lankan Civil Aviation Minister Piyankara Jayaratne assured a delegation from the Travel Club that more..

JVP says there is an absence of a proper political movement

June 23 (NF) The JVP states that the govt is preventing the establishment of a strong political movement in order to ensure its survival. This view was expressed by JVP Politburo member K.D. Lal Kantha during an interactive meeting in Anuradhapura yesterday. "The govt is on the decline. No one is happy today. the farmer is not happy. The entrepreneur is not happy. Interest rates have been raised. No one wants to speak on behalf of the govt. more..

Czech couple arrested for smuggling insects

June 23 (SM) Police yesterday arrested a Czechoslovakian couple for possessing insects including eight indigenous species of ants. The couple was travelling in the Southern expressway when they were arrested near the Kurundugahahathapma entry point. Subsequently, they were produced before the Elpitiya Magistrate. The Magistrate ordered to seize the foreigners’ passports and ordered the police to probe into further details of this smuggling. The Magistrate further more..

Missing 200 'part of game', says Kumar

June 23 (AFP) Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara left the ground fuming after being stranded on an unbeaten 199 during the first Test against Pakistan in Galle on Saturday. The left-hander missed out on his ninth double-century in Test cricket partly due to an error in the scoreboard on the ground which showed him on 194 when his score was actually on 193.With last man Nuwan Pradeep at the other end, Sangakkara smashed Ajmal for a six and more..

Suspected serial paedophile monk remanded

June 23 (CT) The Nagoda Police have begun investigations into a suspected serial paedophile Buddhist monk from Yatalamaththa, Nagoda, who is believed to have molested several novice monks in a temple in the area. The investigations into the monk’s previous victims were launched in the backdrop of the Police arresting him for molesting a ten –year- old novice monk. The 68 –year- old monk who is attached to the Suramanyarama Buddhist Temple in Yatalamaththa was arrested on more..

Sri Lanka citizens group concerned over weakening rule of law, religious freedom

June 23 (LBO) Friday Forum, a Sri Lankan citizens group has expressed concern over further deterioration of rule of law and religious freedom three years after a 30-year civil war ended. "Three years after the end of the war, we are deeply concerned about the continuing violent political culture, the deterioration of our national institutions and the undermining of our religious, cultural and social values," citizens group said in a statement. more..

'Govt. planning to use former LTTE top brass for political advantage'

June 23 (AD) Claiming that former female political wing leader of LTTE, Subramaniam Shivathai, was now in the ‘consideration list’ of the govt, the Civil Monitoring Commission claimed the govt has a secret plan to use former LTTE seniors to its political advantage. Convener of the Civil Monitoring Commission, DPF leader Mano Ganesan issuing a statement on behalf of the voluntary organization today welcomed more..

Three injured demining in Jaffna

June 23 (CT) Last morning three people involved in demining activities were injured when a grenade exploded at a mine field in Muhamallai, Jaffna. The injured, two men and a woman who were involved in demining in the north for Halo Trust were immediately rushed to the Jaffna Hospital. The blast victims were identified as Geoffrey Jude, Kulasingham and Bahmini. Jaffna Police had launched an investigation in the backdrop of the blast. Sources from Jaffna confirmed the Police have obtained statements from those more..

191 refugees, asylum seekers to be deported

June 23 (DM) The Immigration and Emigration Department yesterday confirmed that 191 refugees and asylum seekers in the country were given letters of deportation based on intelligence reports that they were involved in illegal” activities. The UNHCR said this matter would be taken up at the bi-weekly news briefing at the UN in Geneva. The Immigration and Emigration Department said the UNHRC had not sent the necessary details about the refugees and that many of them had more..

Sri Lanka

Editorial: Crime blown out of proportion

June 24 (SO) Unlike in the past, today we often read about serious crimes such as murder, rape and child abuse in the country. Incidents of this nature could lead one to infer that crime is on the increase. Hence, it behoves us to take a closer look at these incidents to see whether the police or the Govt is reprehensible as all sorts of allegations are being levelled by the Opposition. There is a large number of radio and television channels, newspapers and websites at present which blow up stories out of proportion for reasons best known to them. more..

Editorial: Political patronage for armed goon squads?

June 24 (SL) Hambantota is claimed to be an ‘emerging hub’ of various sorts – shipping, aviation, tourism, industrialisation, cultural and international sports of various kinds. An unfortunate feature appears to be that in recent years it is emerging to be an epicentre of domestic political crime. A harbinger to this regrettable development was on the eve of the presidential election in 2010 which Mahinda Rajapaksa won where a bus carrying UNP supporters was shot at and more..

'Accountability and transparency: Vital in political process'

June 24 (SO) Minister Navin Dissanayake said in a situation where the UNP’s party machinery is in total disarray, it would be very difficult for them to pose a challenge to a strong and stable govt like the UPFA. He said the UNP will not be able to meet this challenge without an effective organization at grass roots level. Instead of the present UNP leadership, all the time, UNP had a very good machinery under all its more..

Editorial: Thuggery - Silence amounts to consent

June 24 (NS) Julampitiye Amare is not an anomaly. And that is the definitive statement of the culture of immunity that describes thugs and thuggery, assassins and assassination in Sri Lanka over the past several decades. The court observed that the man had not been arrested despite dozens of warrants being issued. That’s not news. What’s news is that the Police had the gumption to say ‘Only five warrants were issued’, as though the smaller number somehow explain more..

Editorial: Katuwana doesn't rhyme with corruption, but…

June 24 (LB) Julampitiye Amare? Of course it is somebody’s name but the tragicomedy with regard to the Julampitiye/Katuwana affair starts with the sound of the alias itself, which reads as if it is straight from the pages of the Deeman Ananda pulp factory. The people would probably make their own deductions about what really happened in Katuwana, now that a notorious bad egg has surrendered himself, reportedly for a crime that was committed in the year 2002. more..

'Water Management program on stream'

June 24 (SO) A special water management program to overcome the present water crisis in the Mahaweli and other drought affected areas will be implemented during the Yala season, said Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva. He said water should be used with great care until rains. A task force representing officials of Irrigation Department, Sri Lanka Mahaweli Authority, and the Irrigation Ministry will be set up under the new program to look into the problems more..

Editorial: Missile from Standard and Poor’s

June 24 (Island) The Central Bank’s response to Standard and Poor’s downgrading Sri Lanka’s banking sector was well reasoned and logically presented. While the rebuttal was certainly a cause for comfort, we cannot escape the reality that when we seek ratings from international agencies, whether S & P, Fitch or Moody, we have to necessarily take the rough with the smooth. Such ratings are sought in the interest of national creditworthiness. The best thing we have on that score is more..

Editorial: Dangerous signals from the south

June 24 (ST) One factor that backfired in the shooting at a legitimate political meeting in a remote village in the deep south last week was that the resonance was heard in Colombo. The culprits could not have anticipated the fallout. They would have believed it would be just another statistic of unsolved crimes in police records, and a message delivered to the JVP that it has got enemies, and very hostile ones at that.That it happened to the JVP is indeed ironic; more..

'Fonseka should be given full freedom'

June 24 (NS) Sajith Premadasa, the current deputy Leader of the UNP represents Hambantota District in the parliament. Sajith first entered politics in 2000, when he was elected to parliament from Hambantota with 83 percent of the UNP preferential votes. He won 82 percent of the preferential votes in the 2001 election and 84 percent in the 2004 election and 89 percent in 2010. He also won the highest percentage of more..

Entrenching of gun culture

June 24 (NS) The killing of two persons at a meeting of the JVP in Katuwana last week has cast a shadow over the political landscape, raising questions not only about security concerns but also relating to the integrity of the ruling UPFA. There have been claims and counter claims as to who was responsible for the shooting. The JVP however has gone on record accusing the government of either orchestrating the incident or at least protecting those responsible for it. more..

President meets Castro, addresses Rio Summit

June 24 (NS) President Mahinda Rajapaksa who was in Havana last week on the first leg of an official tour abroad held bilateral talks with Cuban President Raul Castro. During the talks, President Rajapaksa expressed his deep gratitude to Cuba for demonstrating her solidarity with the Sri Lankan govt by voting against the US-sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka adopted at the 19th sessions of the UNHRC in Geneva last March. more..

Bribery Comm stumps SLC

June 24 (NS) Top level authorities have urged the CID and the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption to pursue allegations leveled against the past interim administrations of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), authoritative sources disclosed. The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) has uncovered a series of irregularities, malpractices and financial corruption committed by the previous interim administrations of SLC. more..

The banking industry ratings fiasco

June 24 (Island) Last week, on June 19, Standard and Poor’s, one of the world’s two premier ratings agencies, declared the Sri Lankan banking industry’s rating to be 8 on a scale of 1 to 10, indicating a ‘very high risk’. This raised a hornet’s nest in Sri Lanka and opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe made a special statement in parliament on Thursday on two interlinked issues raised by S&P’s – investment by the Employee’s Provident Fund in banking sector shares and more..

Govt. trying to mend relations with India

June 24 (SL) Sri Lanka’s relations with India have always been complex for centuries. Yet, Indo-Sri Lankan relations have never been in turmoil like now. Relations between the two countries have strained due to the constant bald-faced lies uttered by the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration to the Indian government. The meeting between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Indian Premier Manmohan Singh in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on the sidelines of the Rio+20 Summit and more..

Mihin is a deadweight admits SriLankan boss

June 24 (Island) Nishantha Wickremasinghe, Chairman SriLankan Talks to Maheen Senanayake during a candid interview on how he hopes to bring his brand of expertise to the national carrier. I met him outside his office on the 22nd Floor on the East Tower at the World Trade Centre. From his handshake to his gait, here was a man who was very much a people’s person. Sans pretense, Nishantha Wickremasinghe generated warmth and made you feel at home. more..

Gangland mayhem affects the Govt.

June 24 (LB) The Katuwana double murders of two JVP party operatives are covered elsewhere extensively in this issue of the newspaper. The murders drew immediate calls for “pulling the nation back from anarchy," with opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe spearheading the cry outside parliament, while in the House, Anura Kumara Dissanayake of the JVP provided the ballast for what turned out to be an impromptu debate in parliament on the murders. The opposition makes no bones about the allegation that more..

Breaking the limp arm of the law

June 24 (ST) My Dear IGP, I thought I must write to you because you and your department seem to be in the news these days, what with innocent people being killed for the crime of attending political meetings and wanted criminals surrendering quite voluntarily! IGP, I know you are only doing your job-and it is a difficult job to do because you have to keep everyone happy-but I feel something is wrong in our country if armed men can storm a political meeting, shoot two people dead then disappear without a trace. more..

Sanath no-balls his letter

June 24 (ST) Matara District MP Sanath Jayasuriya who wrote to President Mahinda Rajapaksa asking for a deputy ministerial post has withdrawn his letter and apologised for the request. Mr. Jayasuirya, who along with three other MPs wrote to the President in April this year had sent a letter saying he now understood it was the prerogative of the President to make such appointments. The former cricket captain in its letter said:“I appreciate and do understand that more..

Govt. appointed LLRC still at square one

June 24 (LB) Though the govt is keen to implement the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) proposals, informed govt sources told LAKBIMAnEWS that no steps have been taken so far by the relevant committees appointed to implement such proposals. A govt minister said that there are allegations that though a committee has been formed under president’s secretary Lalith Weeratunga so far the said committee has not taken any concrete steps to act on the recommendations. more..

Cancer Hospital receives much needed drug after ‘Sunday Leader’ exposé

June 24 (SL) The recent shortage of Neupogen, a vital drug for cancer patients, has now been resolved. Director, Medical Services Division (MSD) of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Kamal Jayasinghe says stocks of Neupogen were delivered to the National Cancer Institute, Maharagama, on Thursday. The stocks are expected to be sufficient for about a month. The Neupogen shortage at the country’s only specialised cancer hospital was a major concern as the drug was essential to boost a more..

India gets tough; Menon here for crucial talks

June 24 (ST) India is sending a top-level emissary to Sri Lanka to convey in “the strongest terms” New Delhi’s concerns over a string of important issues. Shiv Shankar Menon, National Security Advisor to the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, will have one-on-one meetings both with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The one-time envoy to Sri Lanka arrives in more..

Health Services DG sticks to the chair?

June 24 (NS) A fourth extension of service to the incumbent Director General of Health has caused heartburn among trade unions, as the latter allege that the incumbent is surrounded by massive corrupt scandals that include a Rs.18.2 million deal. It is also alleged that he had deceived the health ministry secretary into passing funds for the equipment when they were already available with the ministry’s Medical Supplies Department. In addition, he has also been accused of more..

Supreme Court sends Chathuri to Visakha

June 24 (ST) The Supreme Court has directed State Counsel to inform the relevant authorities that a girl without school be admitted to Visakha Vidyalaya within one week. The ruling came in a fundamental rights petition filed by the parents of Chathuri Rashmika Gunasekera, who was denied admission to Visakha Vidyalaya. Petitioners Neel Pradeep Gunasekera and H.K. Dhanushka Nirosshani Kumari cited Visakha Vidyalaya Principal S.S.K. Avripola, the school’s primary section chief more..

Switzerland to deport 2,000 Lankans

June 24 (CT) Switzerland has decided to deport 2,000 Sri Lankan Tamils after their claim for refugee status has been rejected, according to Swiss Immigration and Emigration office. Switzerland accommodated a number of the Lankan Tamils during the unrest in the Island. However, the Swiss Government has decided to deport several foreigners, including 2,000 Lankans, who have claimed refugee status in the country. more..

Land issues obstacle to investment - UNDP

June 24 (CT) UNDP Country Director Douglas Keh stated that the issue of ownership and registration of land is an obstacle for successful investment and growth in the North and East. Keh made these comments on the recent allegations against the government grabbing land in the North during an interview with Ceylon Today. “The whole issue about land ownership and registration is very much a key obstacle for successful investment and growth in the conflict affected areas. more..