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'All institutions under political influence and threat'

Aug 7 (CT) Hulftsdorp is buzzing with activity following the summoning of controversially impeached Chief Justice, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, to Court after the Bribery Commission began investigating her alleged failure to declare assets as statutorily required. The impeachment of Dr. Bandaranayake, which was in defiance of a Supreme Court order, sparked widespread condemnation from the unofficial bar and more..

What Paranavitana said to McGilvray: - ‘Do your homework son’

Aug 7 (NS) “There are Brahmi inscriptions at Jailani dating to the second century BC, but they appear to assert territorial claims by local political chieftains. According to Aboosally (2002: 62-3) there is no evidence that the site was ever dedicated to the Buddhist Sangha.”- Dennis McGilvray, ‘Jailani: A Sufi Shrine in Sri Lanka’ In Sri Lanka, inscriptions written in the Brahmi script are found in an unbroken continuity from the last quarter of the third century B.C. to the end of the seventh century A.D.” more..

CKDu in the Dry Zone

Aug 7 (Island) My interest in the above subject stems from association with the dry zone and dry zone farmers for more than 30 years – as a farmer myself personally operating a small farm in the Mahiyangana area for ten years (1969-78), and subsequently, as a researcher in the Dept. of Agriculture, and NGO activist spotlighting problems of dry zone farmers. I have read with considerable interest many articles pertaining to CKDu appearing in the local press as well as those more..

Cabraal contradicted

Aug 7 (Island) Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said the country would be insulated by US Fed policy because it was cautious in attracting foreign investment and that trade unions were no longer asking for higher wages because of low inflation. "We have been prudent in building up our reserves. When the US Fed was easing its monetary policy we only took what we needed and this prevented hot money from more..

Three Sinha opens Concept Centre

Aug 7 (FT) Three Sinha Industries, a trailblazer in Sri Lanka’s construction industry recently announced the opening of their new Head Office and Concept Centre located at No. 448, Nawala Road, Koswatta, Nawala. This state-of-the-art Concept Centre grants customers easier access and greater convenience to choose from a variety of products and services offered by the Three Sinha Group. Established in 1968, Three Sinha Industries specialises in a range of construction more..

SLT pre-tax profit rings 37%

Aug 7 (FT) Sri Lanka Telecom Group during the first half of 2013 has recorded a Net Profit Before Tax (NPBT) of Rs. 3.25 b, with 37% growth compared to the same period of the previous year and Rs. 2.33 b Net Profit After Tax (NPAT) with 79%. In respect of last year a Rs. 1.91 b exchange loss was observed and reduction of this has led to the significant growth of the period under consideration. The remarkable performance of mobile, data, enterprise and wholesales sectors have contributed to more..

Govt. slaps special levy on essentials to curb imports, protect farmers

Aug 7 (FT) A special commodity levy on over 30 essential food items was passed yesterday at Parliament, focused on the protection of local farmers and producers amidst stringent objections by the Opposition. According to the newly imposed special commodity levy the price of potatoes will increase by Rs. 25 per kg and will remain for a period of four months starting with immediate effect. Among the most common food items on more..

Let them die to maintain the hegemony of western science

Aug 7 (Island) The opinion expressed by Prof. R.O. Thattil on "Heavy metals, gods, CKDu and govt. policy" in "The Island" of 2nd August is a clear example of what could be called the hegemony of western science. In essence what he says is that the cause or causes of what is known as the Chronic Kidney Disease (unidentified etiology) – CKDu- is not known and as there are only half baked results the government should not make any changes of policy until the western scientists more..

Kataragama festival begins today

Aug 7 (Island) The annual festivities of the Ruhunu-Kataragama Maha Devalaya are scheduled to commence tonight following the hoisting of the flag at the Kataragama Mosque at 5 p.m. Although a record number of Hindu devotees were expected to trek by ‘Padha Yathra’ this year, following the liberation of the country in 2009, there has been a steep drop with only about 1,400 pilgrims having crossed the Kumbukkan Oya from north and east to enter the Yala jungles to reach Kataragama more..

100 vehicles used in illegal campaigning

Aug 7 (CT) CaFFE claimed more than 100 vehicles with fake and garage number plates are involved in ongoing elections campaigning in the Central and North-Western Provinces. The Department of Elections has received 51 complaints of election law violations, mostly from the Matale District. Most of the complaints received up to last Sunday, are about ruling party members using State vehicles for campaigning and distributing more..

TNA in a tizzy over parachutists

Aug 7 (DN) The TNA decision to parachute candidates from other areas for the NPC election over the heads of local politicians who have been with the people for years, has irked many TNA local politicians, SLFP Jaffna district organiser Angajan Ramanathan said. SLFP Killinochchi and Jaffna district organisers also said TNA leaders at grass roots level are disappointed over the selection of candidates for the upcoming Provincial Council election and are leaving the party in droves. more..

Wailing wake up for Weliweriya

Aug 7 (FT) A sea of white flags continue to flutter throughout Weliweriya today as the small town in the Gampaha District prepares to bury the second victim of deadly clashes with the military during a public demonstration for clean water last Thursday. 18-year-old Chamli Ravishan Perera, an A/L student at St. Peters’ College, Udagampola, who was shot in the head and succumbed to his injuries at the Colombo National Hospital last Saturday, will be laid to rest at the Weliweriya General Cemetery more..

‘Do we matter to India?’ ask Indian-origin Tamils in Sri Lanka

Aug 7 (Hindu) Before I could begin talking to him, Perumal Chandrasekaran had a question for me: “Do you know that we exist?” he asked matter-of-factly. A 38-year-old Tamil of Indian origin, Mr. Chandrasekaran was waiting at a lawyer’s chamber near the Magistrate Court complex in Kandy for consultations on a land issue facing plantation Tamils. “We are among the most neglected sections here [in Sri Lanka]. more..

Maithripala orders halt to sleeping tablets' tender

Aug 7 (DN) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena ordered health authorities to cancel a tender immediately after learning that the tender was granted to obtain sleeping tablets at a cost of Rs. 9.5 million while the same tablets could be obtained from the State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) spending less than Rs. one million. The SPC offered one Diazepam sleeping tablet for only 17 cents in May last year while health officials had bought it from a British company for 72 cents each. more..

Audio: Mervyn blasts those who kept mum on Weliweriya

Aug 7 (DM) Minister Mervyn Silva said he knew those who kept silent over the Weliweriya crisis and vowed to reveal their names if the need arose. “No one came forward and spoke against this factory. They are afraid of wealthy people. It was me and Gampaha deputy mayor who took a stand against this factory and closed down it for two days after discussions with police and security forces. I know who kept silent over this issue and I will reveal their names if needed,” he said. more..

People have to starve to settle government’s wasteful expenses – JVP

Aug 7 (LT) While cutting down their expenses masses have to pay for the wasteful spending of the govt for its pageants says JVP MP Sunil Handunneththi. He said, “Recently, the govt increased prices of certain essential commodities. The prices of food stuffs and spare parts for vehicles are being raised from time to time. We should explain the stand of the JVP in relation to the economic crisis that has cropped up more..

Man sentenced for extorting French woman

Aug 7 (DM) A Sri Lankan man was yesterday sentenced to six-months imprisonment suspended for five years by a Colombo Court, after pleading guilty to extorting Rs.3000 from a French woman who arrived on a tourist visa. While ordering the accused to be paid a fine of Rs.1500 in addition to the suspended imprisonment, the Colombo Fort Magistrate observed that such persons create a bad image of Sri Lanka. The accused Tuwan Saleem of Kollupitiya was arrested by more..

School levies Rs 1,000 for report card

Aug 7 (CT) Contrary to circulars issued by the Education Ministry instructing schools to refrain from charging money from students, St. Anthony's Balika Maha Vidyalaya, Colpetty, has refused to hand out the school reports to students who have not paid for it, teachers' unions alleged. A fee of Rs 1,000 is being charged for each report card, and several students who had been unable to pay were not given their reports which state their overall performance after the end of term exams, more..

Ranil takes on Govt. on Weliweriya

Aug 7 (FT) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe demanded that the Govt reveals why the military was deployed to quell a public demonstration instead of police riot teams, and blamed the incumbent regime for grossly mismanaging the issue and allowing it to spiral into a full-fledged war. He charged that the routine protocols that should be adopted in controlling crowds of demonstrators had been more..

Kandalama traders vow fast-unto-death

Aug 7 (CT) A group of traders staged a protest at the Kandalama junction, Dambulla, recently, demanding that steps be taken to pay them a reasonable compensation following their eviction from their places of business, acquired under the Dambulla Sacred land Development Project. The protesters claimed though promises were made that compensation will be paid, and their ancestral lands, properties and business premises had been acquired, they have to date not received any more..

Rejection of NPC polls nominations: Disabled war victims appeal to Court

Aug 7 (Island) Three disabled war victims and four others, who have had their nominations to contest the Northern Provincial Councils rejected, had complained to the Court of Appeal that the aforesaid rejection by the Returning Officer for Kilinochchi was mala fide and arbitrary. Altogether the nominations of seven candidates of the Independent group, was not accepted, on the allegation that the document bearing the seventh schedule of the Constitution was not clearly signed by one candidate who more..

Weliweriya victims’ families to be compensated

Aug 7 (Island) Security forces personnel had to open fire on mobs of protesters at Weliweriya in self defence, to protect public lives and properties and to bring the situation under control, the govt told Parliament yesterday. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, responding to a series of questions raised by UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe on the Weliweriya incident, said that the govt had taken every possible action to sort out the problem more..

'Dire need for Senaka Bibile Drug Policy'

Aug 7 (CT) Senior Minister Prof. Tissa Vitharana, said importers of agrochemicals and drugs, who make thumping profits, don't allow the implementation of Dr. Senaka Bibile's Drug Policy and claimed that although the Minister of Health, Maithripala Sirisena, is trying to execute this his efforts to date have been in vain. He was addressing a ceremony in Homagama, organized to launch an exhibition centre to introduce traditional, indigenous varieties of paddy and rice by the more..

Bank of Ceylon gets Asian brand award

Aug 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka' state-run Bank of Ceylon said it had been recognized as one of 35 best brands in Asia by Mumbai-based Chief Marketing Officer Council (CMO Council). Other winners included Malaysia Airlines, Samsung Electronics, Linkedin, Fuji Xerox, Globe Telecom, Master Card, Qatar Airways, Telecom Malaysia, Walmart Asia and The Jetstar Group, the Bank of Ceylon said. The CMO Asia is represented in 35 countries across Asia, the Middle East and Australia. more..

Fonterra to face multiple inquiries

Aug 7 (Stuff) Prices at Fonterra's international dairy auction fell overnight - the first to be held since the dairy giant's milk formula contamination scare became public - but economists say there is no cause for alarm. "It's a very small movement, a really mild fall," ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley said of the 2.4% drop in GlobalDairyTrade (GDT) Price Index. The online auction is considered a barometer of more..

Solomons to learn from Sri Lanka

Aug 7 (ST) Solomon Islands Permanent Representative to the United Nations Collin Beck says the country has a lot to learn from the experience of Sri Lanka as the two countries formally established diplomatic relations last month. Ambassador Beck and his Sri Lankan counterpart, Dr Palitha Kohona has signed a Joint Communiqué on behalf the two countries in New York. During the signing ceremony, Ambassador Beck expressed Solomon Islands’ interest in learning more more..

UK urges protection of peaceful protest in Sri Lanka

Aug 7 (PH) Alistair Burt seriously concerned at reports of violent disruption of peaceful protests by security forces in Sri Lanka. Speaking today, he said: “I note with serious concern emerging reports of the violent disruption of peaceful protests by the Sri Lankan security forces in Weliweriya on 1 August, in which at least 3 people died. "My thoughts are with the families of those who were killed or injured. “I urge the authorities to ensure the right to peaceful protest is protected and more..

Docs win; govt. ready to ban contaminated milk powder

Aug 7 (Island) Minister Maithripala Sirisena, who held a meeting with the GMOA, Food and Drug Authority and the Food Advisory Committee yesterday agreed to accept the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) investigation report on DCD (Dicyandiamide) in milk food. He also agreed to remove all batches of milk products which tested positive for DCD from the market as soon as possible. All tests on food items would be more..

Editorial: We eat and drink poison daily

Aug 7 (DM) The current crisis over the import of allegedly contaminated powdered milk and other dairy products especially from New Zealand is only a small but an important part like a seed of a massive food issue, involving the import of processed rubbish and items where even traces of embalming preservatives are used. As we have said often before, more people in Sri Lanka – from babies to elderly people in their eighties - are falling sick more often despite all the advances in modern more..

It's now or never

Aug 7 (DM) National Security Advisor of the Indian Govt, Mr. Shivashankar Menon returned to India with disappointment. After holding talks with the Rajapaksa trio in Sri Lanka, he reported to his government that he failed to convince Sri Lanka not to repeal any power in the 13th Amendment to the Constitution (13A). Whatever told by Sri Lankan leaders to Menon, Sri Lanka however decided to postpone the Constitutional amendment after his visit. This decision was clearly reflected at more..

How many Udaras are left orphans after the December 2004 tsunami?

Aug 7 (ST) Has the State failed in its duty towards the children left without parents after the tsunami, discarding them to a personal whirlpool of misery and fraud by their foster parents? This is the issue which comes to the fore in the case of Udara Chinthaka de Silva of Seenigama, Galle, who was 12 plus when the tsunami of December 26, 2004 left him an orphan. Is he the exception to the rule or has a similar plight befallen all such more..

Ceylinco: The Kotelawala asset list

Aug 7 (SL) The Sunday Leader Investigations Desk has unearthed startling information which suggests that a Director of the Ceylinco Group, Padmini Karunanayake, transferred valuable assets on the very date that the Golden Key Credit Card Company collapsed. This week we also reveal the list of assets declared by the so-called ‘mentor’ Chairman of the Ceylinco Group of Companies, Lalith Kotelawala. more..

Work on E 01 extension affects many

Aug 7 (CT) Residents of Kabaragala, Danduwane and Vilewatta in the Imaduwa Divisional Secretariat (DS) Division are plagued by the adverse effects of construction work taking place on the Southern Expressway, which they say the concerned authorities have conveniently overlooked. H.R. Siritunga (43) of Kabaragala, said he has to face many difficulties in terms of transport on rainy days. "Roads become quagmires. more..

Madhu feast begin

Aug 7 (Island) Thousands of pilgrims are expected to participate in the annual feast of our Lady of Madhu, which commenced yesterday and it will conclude on Thursday the 15th August. The feast commenced with the hoisting of the flag Staff by a Redemptist priest from India Father Suresh Pushparaj at 6:00 pm yesterday evening. This was followed by the procession and the celebration of Holy mass more..

Torrington Square illuminates

Aug 7 (MoD) Enhancing the water feature of the Torrington Square water garden, colourful lighting unites have been fitted under the Colombo development and beautification project carried out by the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development. The lighting beautifies and enhances the water garden adding different colours for evening entertaining enticing citizens. Under the Torrington Square development programme more..

'It's not a transfer, it's the injustice'

Aug 7 (CT) Sinhala Language Grade10 teacher, Kalyani Dissanayake, who had served Royal College, Colombo for eight years, got on to the roof of the college last week to protest against her 'unjust' transfer to another school in Colombo. She requested the Education Ministry officials to withdraw the transfer order as it was not in keeping with the provisions of the National Transfer Policy. Here she talks about her transfer and her more..

Incident at Weliweriya was nothing short of murder - Kiriella

Aug 7 (AD) The incident at Weliweriya is nothing less than murder as it was the killing of unarmed people, UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella stated. Speaking at a press conference held today in Colombo, MP Kiriella demanded that an independent judicial investigation take place on the incident. He pointed out that the government has already charged that the people had been involved in shooting at the army. more..

GMOA challenges Health Ministry to show overseas lab reports

Aug 7 (Island) The GMOA challenged the Health Ministry to release the laboratory reports from Thailand and Singapore, on samples of milk food sold in Sri Lanka. GMOA president Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya, responding to a query by The Island yesterday said that the ministry should also reveal its position with regard to findings made by the Industrial Technology Institute of Sri Lanka regarding Dicyandiamide (DCD) in milk food. more..

Audio: Milk powder ads suspended

Aug 7 (CG) The Ministry of Health has decided to request the media to suspend publishing or broadcasting advertisements of milk powder. Health Ministry Secretary Dr. Palitha Mahipala said the reason was in order to ensure the wrong message does not reach the consumer following recent developments over some imported milk powder brands. He said that accordingly all media heads, both print and electronic, more..

Ravindu Gunawardena arrested

Aug 7 (AD) Former DIG Vaas Gunawardena’s son Ravindu Gunwardena has been arrested by the CID in connection with the murder of a businessman. The Colombo Magistrate’s Court earlier ordered the Immigration Controller to prevent Ravindu Gunawardene from leaving the country. The order was issued by Colombo Additional Magistrate M.A. Sahabdeen after considering a request made by CID. more..