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A journey into Tiger territory

Aug 6 (IT) As far as guidedt ours go, it was a fairly odd sight. There we were, sipping a cup of tea with a Sri Lankan Army officer next to a cheerful badminton court, while just around the corner, a shooting range featured a cutout target of a man in the same uniform. But then, this was no ordinary military base - it was the Mullaitivu hideout that once belonged to LTTE chief V Prabhakaran. The site has been preserved by the more..

CEB choking consumers

Aug 6 (SL) Already bearing a heavy burden due to a steep hike in electricity tariff, power consumers were further strangulated with the slapping of the Fuel Surcharge Adjustment in February this year. It was promised that this fuel surcharge would be removed within a short period, and that it was imposed due to the heavy dependency on fuel for power generation during the dry season. more..

Video: No one can stop me from becoming Chief Minister - Dayasiri

Aug 6 (AD) Former MP Dayasiri Jayasekara says he tried his utmost to topple the govt while he was in the UNP and that he had even joined forces with former Army Chief Sarath Fonseka for this purpose. However in the end I was unable to do so, he said. Jayasekara stated that he cannot fight a lone battle to topple the govt while within the opposition and that everyone needed to unit for it. He alleged that reforms would never more..

'Devolution a farce, Country run by President, Defence Secretary'

Aug 6 (Island) The UNP said yesterday that the Weliweriya water crisis had once again proved that the country was being run by the President and Defence Secretary, while the govt paid lip service to devolution. When the residents of Rathupaswala in Weliweriya, demonstrated last week against contamination of ground water leading to skin diseases, the army was unleashed with brutal force, which resulted in three young more..

Bus union rift deepens

Aug 6 (CG) A rift between private bus trade unions has deepened further with one union blaming the other over the delay to have bus fares increased. All Island Private Bus Company Federation (AIPBCF) General Secretary Anjana Priyanjith said that one private bus union has gone to court over the failure by the govt to increase bus fares. He said that the move to go to court will see the issue drag further and they don’t expect more..

Iran, Lanka to prioritise ties

Aug 6 (CG) Iran and Sri Lanka have discussed priorities for future bilateral relations in the overall context of the trajectory of Iranian policy enunciated in the inauguration address by the new President of Iran Hassan Rouhani. Minister G.L. Peiris, representing President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the inauguration of President Rouhani as the eleventh President of Iran, conveyed to the new President the warm felicitations more..

'Attacks, abductions of fishermen acts of unfriendly nation'

Aug 6 (PTI) Describing the recurring incidents of attacks and “abductions” of Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy as acts of “an unfriendly nation,” Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Tuesday urged the Centre to adopt a “coercive diplomacy” against Colombo to end their harassment. Referring to the August 3 arrest of 20 Indian fishermen from the state by the Lankan Navy, the chief minister said she had told PM more..

GMOA tells Sirisena to act against ‘corrupt’ official

Aug 6 (Island) The GMOA has written to Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena urging him to suspend imports of dicyandiamide (DCD) contaminated milk food forthwith. GMOA president Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya yesterday confirmed that he had written to Minister Sirisena. He pointed out that the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI), which was under the purview of the Science and Technology Ministry, had scientifically proved more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.1%

Aug 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks closed up 0.12% Tuesday with gains seen in the large cap stocks, brokers said. The Colombo All Share Index closed 0.12 points higher at 6,121.45 and the S&P SL 20 Index closed 05.57 points higher at 3,477.04 up 0.16%. Turnover was 531 million rupees up from 288 million rupees Monday. Foreigners brought 363 million rupees worth shares while selling 213 million rupees of shares, in a day that 67 stocks advanced and 105 stocks declined. more..

Intentional violation of the constitution?

Aug 6 (CT) On 30th July 2013, President Rjapakshe, at a breakfast meeting with the editors is reported to have categorically declared that he will not devolve land and police powers to the provinces. It was further reported that he stated that the delegation of these powers has not been implemented since the introduction of the Provincial Council system and it is not necessary to give it any consideration now. When the President refers to land and police powers, what is he referring to? more..

Basil hosts annual Iftar Dinner at the Gampaha office

Aug 6 (MED) Sunday night Minister Basil Rajapakse hosted his annual Iftar dinner in the Gampaha Oruthota office. The Iftar is the meal that breaks the day of fasting during Ramadan, when Muslim families and communities eat together after sunset. Ramadan is one of the holy months in the Islamic calendar where pious Muslims all over the world fast from early morning to dusk. It is one of the five obligations of Islam. more..

A telling indictment on holders of public office

Aug 6 (CT) Last week, during an interaction with the Chairmen and Mayors of the UPFA controlled local government bodies, President Mahinda Rajapaksa made a damning revelation; he revealed that 238 local government members of the ruling Party have been charged with bribery and corruption. That was surely not something the Head of State can crow about. It was indeed a damning indictment of the deterioration on the integrity of the holders of public office. more..

Sajith questions his sudden eligibility

Aug 6 (CT) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa has questioned how he has suddenly become eligible to serve in the Elections Operation Committee of the Party after he was kept away from the Nomination Board by leadership. He said while preaching unity, politicians are dragging the Party towards its destruction. "The Udagam concept, which provided houses to millions was instituted by President Premadasa starting from the Kurunegala District. It was he who infused new life to Chilaw. more..

Central bank urges investment in Sri Lanka

Aug 6 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's post-war attractiveness for foreign investors is not being highlighted by international rating agencies, said the Central Bank governor defending billions of dollars' worth of debt and warning multinationals on losing out. Since the end of a three decade war in 2009, Sri Lanka's govt has embarked on an impressive infrastructure development program, predominantly financed with loans from China. more..

Stormy weather leaves one dead, four injured

Aug 6 (Island) Stormy weather that raged across the country had killed one person and left four injured, Disaster Management Centre officials said. Assistant Director, Pradeep Kodippili, told The Island that over 3,000 persons of 326 families countrywide had been affected by heavy rains and stormy winds which had caused earth bunds to collapse. Around 90 houses were damaged and 15 others destroyed by the gale force winds that swept across the Batticaloa District yesterday. more..

Sri Lankan delegation visiting AquaNor 2013

Aug 6 (FS) The Sri Lanka-Norway Industrial Cooperation Program funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), also known as the Business Match-Making Program (BMMP) has been active for almost 20 years. It is regarded as one of the most successful business related programmes that NORAD has introduced to the private sector. The overall objectives of the BMMP, is to contribute to increased business activity and sustainable growth and employment more..

Sri Lanka wants to expedite work on Northern expressway

Aug 6 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka has urged a Chinese company to expedite work on an expressway between the south and the war-affected north of the country, a statement said. President Rajapaksa told a delegation of China Merchants Group (CMG) headed by the company president Li Jianhong that the highway is important for the people of the north. He requested the Chinese delegation to expedite the work on the northern expressway which, more..

Caught brewing illicit hooch from pirated power

Aug 6 (Island) Excise Department sleuths nabbed an ‘innovative’ hooch distiller who used electricity to brew moonshine at Marandagahamula in Gampaha yesterday. The suspect had made use of immersion rod heaters to heat the half-fermented brew (goda). It was the first detection of using domestic electrical appliance in the manufacturing process of illicit hooch in the country. The suspect had cut a barrel in half and rigged to its bottom three electric heaters to heat the goda mixture. more..

Wife seeks posthumous promotion for IP abducted and killed by Tigers

Aug 6 (Island) Sarala Jayaratnam, wife of slain Police Inspector T. Jayaratnam, yesterday said that she had appealed to the police top brass to consider giving her husband a posthumous promotion and a pension according to his new rank which the police had so far failed to do. The police officer was abducted by the LTTE on April 20, 2005, taken to the North through Mannar and killed while he was attached to the intelligence unit of the Dehiwela police. The police hailed him as a brave, more..

Lankan opposition demands foreign probe into protest deaths

Aug 6 (PTI) The UNP called for an international probe into last week's military crackdown on a protest against poor water quality which killed three and injured nearly 50. "We call for an international investigation, we can't trust a probe headed by a govt henchman," said UNP general secretary Tissa Attanayake. The call for probe came as the Amnesty International said that the SL govt should not be allowed to conduct its own more..

Sri Lanka debt sales to expand 3-fold in five years

Aug 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka domestic and foreign currency issues will expand three fold over the next five years, Fitch Ratings said in Colombo. "The excitement in the bond market is a step in the right direction for Sri Lanka to become a financial hub for South Asia," Maninda Wickramasinghe, chief executive of Fitch Ratings in Colombo said. "We see more financial institutions getting geared to finance their growth, corporates expanding their capital base and activities, as well as more..

School demands payment to provide desk and chair

Aug 6 (CT) The parents of students of a government school in Nuwara Eliya are demanding an inquiry into the collection of Rs 2,500 from each child, admitted to the GCE A/L classes this year. The purported justification for the collection of money had been to provide a desk and a chair to the newly admitted students of the A/L classes. While over one thousand students had paid the money to the school authorities, they had been, in return, provided with an old desk and chair that more..

Video: 'Who am I to give orders to the army?'

Aug 6 (AD) The General Secretary of Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), Galaboda Aththe Gnanasara Thero refuted reports alleging that it was under his guidance that the Defence Ministry had deployed military troops to Weliweriya, during a protest by villagers demanding drinking water last Thursday. A local English daily had quoted the Thero as saying that it was him who sent troops to Weliweriya after observing the situation in the area. more..

Bleak outlook for financial sector in 2013

Aug 6 (DM) Sri Lanka’s banking, finance, insurance and real estate sector (financial sector) will have a bleak outlook for 2013 on the back of low credit growth and deteriorating asset quality, an equities research report by a leading securities trading firm said. JB Securities said in its report, the poor performance of the financial sector would be further aggravated by the falling net interest margins (NIMs) due to timing mismatches in reprising assets and liabilities and the absence of one off more..

Nimal says protestor fired shots

Aug 6 (CG) The government says investigations into the Weliweriya incident are also looking into reports that someone among the protestors had fired shots towards the security forces. Govt Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva told parliament today that the protesters had also set fire to a three-wheeler and damaged public property. He however assured that an independent investigation will be carried out into the clashes and the perpetrators will be brought to book. Minister denied reports that soldiers more..

India meeting Lanka’s needs

Aug 6 (CG) The phased approach of India’s assistance to Sri Lanka is in line with the needs and requirements of the people of Sri Lanka at any given time, as articulated through the Govt of Sri Lanka, the Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Y.K. Sinha said. Sinha said that India’s assistance has been able to make a difference in the lives of the people in the conflict-affected areas. He recalled the dispatch of emergency relief more..

Cancellation of seminar on 13-A: FUTA blames Colombo Uni admin

Aug 6 (Island) FUTA blamed the Colombo University administration for the delay in approving a seminar scheduled for last Friday. FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri told The Island that the History Department of the Colombo University’s Arts Faculty planned to hold a discussion and seminar on the 13th Amendment to the Constitution last week. They planned to hold the seminar with the participation of Minister Champika Ranawaka, JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake and undergraduates more..

India colts record 1st win in Sri Lanka, beat hosts by 22 runs

Aug 6 (PTI) Indian colts recorded their first victory in the tour of Sri Lanka as they pipped the hosts by 22 runs in the second 'Youth ODI', here today. The two Youth Tests were drawn and the first Youth ODI did not yield any result after being abandoned due to rain. In today's match, the India Under-19 team, after deciding to bat, put on board a fighting 240 before being bowled out in 48.4 overs. Skipper Vijay Zol top scored for the side with a 65-run knock which came off 75 balls with the help of seven more..

Bishop hits out at attackers

Aug 6 (CG) The Catholic Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith today condemned the attack carried out by some elements of the forces on people who had sought refuge at St. Anthony’s Church in Weliweriya during the clashes between the army and public in the area last week. He said that it was sacrilege for anyone to enter such sacred precincts with arms in their hands and to behave in a violent manner there. more..

Over 200 prison officers on the mat

Aug 6 (CT) Over 200 prison officers, who had aided and abetted prisoners to escape, as well as conniving with the inmates to engage in other illegal activities have been interdicted, police sources said. High ranking official of the Prisons Department said a disciplinary inquiry is underway to ascertain whether around 300 more prison officers have been involved in compromising their position, by encouraging inmates to carry on with illegal activities within the confines of the prisons. more..

Education trade unions complain to HRC

Aug 6 (CT) The Ceylon Teachers' Union (CTU) and the Independent Educational Employees Union (IEEU) yesterday lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) against the killing of two school children by the Army at Weliweriya last week. CTU General Secretary Joseph Stalin said that both unions had written and handed in their letters to the HRCSL yesterday, condemning the deaths and injuries of school children in the attack by the security forces. more..

Dilshan powers SL to consolation win

Aug 6 (CI) Sri Lanka's batsmen found fluency for the first time in the Twenty20 series, as the hosts rode a furious start and a fast finish to a conciliatory six-wicket win in Hambantota. Tillakaratne Dilshan's unbeaten 51-ball 74 was both their anchor and primary propeller, with Mahela Jayawardene and Thisara Perera contributing with cameos to help haul in a stiff target of 164, with 11 balls to spare. more..

Time to act on the ‘disappeared’

Aug 7 (NS) Thirty years ago, if a Grade 10 child in Sri Lanka wrote ‘He was disappeared’, he or she would have been ‘corrected’ by the English teacher. ‘Disappeared’ back then was the past tense of the verb disappear. ‘Disappeared’ was not something that was done to someone, it was something that one did out of choice, like making oneself scarce after perpetrating some minor offence. ‘Disappeared’ is what was DONE to people in the late 80s. Disappearing, however, was not the preserve more..

Docs’ shock therapy proves efficacious

Aug 7 (Island) After weeks of dilly-dallying the Health Ministry has finally decided to accept the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) report which confirmed that imported milk contained dicyandiamide (DCD), and agreed to ban the batches of products which tested positive for DCD, according to our main news item today. Hereafter, imported milk will be held by the Customs and samples thereof sent to the ITI for testing before being allowed into the country, more..

Over Rs. 10 million spent to renovate Thellippalai Base Hospital

Aug 7 (SO) The Govt has undertaken large scale livelihood, infrastructure, education and health sector projects in the North under the Uthuru Wasanthaya Northern development drive. The Govt has allocated Rs. 7,076 million on these projects. The Northern peninsula is regaining its glory. Once the ongoing projects are completed, the Jaffna district will turn into a State-of-the-art district, GA of Jaffna District Arumainayagam said. more..

Signs of anarchy with megalomaniacs running wild

Aug 7 (SL) The much publicised event of the lady teacher of Royal College who sat on the ledge of the three-storied Royal College complex from morning till evening on Tuesday protesting her sudden transfer from the school to another school should not be treated as a matter for amusement due to the unusual nature of the protest in this staid establishment but should be considered as a dangerous symptom of the onset of anarchy in Sri Lanka. Women teachers are usually more..

Is this the beginning of the end?

Aug 7 (CT) The ancient Chinese, most notably Confucius, used to call it The Mandate of Heaven. Rulers may rule successfully only so long as they respect and enjoy the Mandate of Heaven. The last war started when the terrorist Tigers deprived Sinhala farmers of water by shutting off the supply at Maavilaru. The war came home to the South when the same Army that was deployed to liberate Maavilaru, was brutally and stupidly deployed against unarmed Sinhala protestors more..

My first nine months in Puyallup

Aug 7 (CT) It took me nearly two months to get my tongue around pronouncing the name Puyallup. I challenge any Sri Lankan to pronounce this name correctly. The fact is, I have had many Americans ask ME how to pronounce it. So here goes: – It is pronounced pew- our- lupand means Generous People. Our arrival in Puyallup – a fast growing city to the south of Seattle – was accidental. Having left Sri Lanka in a hurry more..

Bribery and considerations: From individuals to govts

Aug 7 (CT) Usually the term bribery is used for an official accepting some gratuity or other consideration for deviating from what he or she would normally do as a matter of duty. At a simple level it would mean a policeman accepting a gift for not issuing, say, a speeding ticket. Some justify this saying there is no individual victim; the victim, however, is usually society – because laws are not enforced and society breaks down. As pointed out in this column, the Commonwealth’s more..

Critical questions arising from the incidents at Weliweriya

Aug 7 (CT) The news from Weliweriya is really distressing. The whole country is in a state shock hearing the impact of Army-Police assault on the civilians. The exact number of deaths is not known. First it was said that few were injured at the scene. Later it was reported that 4 or 6 are dead. The people of this country have a right to know the exact number of the dead and the injured. In such situation of atrocity, a concerned citizen of this country, has a right to ask whether such killings more..