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Negombo schools bag athletic titles

Aug 9 (Island) Ave Maria Convent, Negombo won the championship title in the girls’ category with comprehensive ease, while Maris Stella College edged out Lyceum International School, Wattala by three points to win the boys’ overall title at the 44th Sir John Tarbet Junior Athletics Championship ended at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium at Diyagama yesterday. Ave Maria Convent collected as many as 98 points to win the championship with a massive 57 points lead more..

UNP raises doubts about Govt. Press

Aug 9 (Island) UNP MP Gamini Jayawickrema Perera told Parliament yesterday that the Government Press was printing ballot papers for the North-Western, Central and Northern Provincial Council elections without following the stipulated regulations and procedures. The usual procedure had been overlooked, the MP complained to the Chair. Police had to visit the press three days prior to printing commenced and had to inspect it and give the necessary instructions, he said. more..

Trade union seeks Rs.5,000 wage rise from 2014 budget

Aug 9 (Island) Trade unions are asking the govt to propose a Rs.5,000 allowance for all private sector workers in the 2014 budget. The Secretary of the Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees Union (FTZ & GSEU) Anton Marcus has written to President Rajapaksa that the Special President Commission to decided on national policy for private and public sector wages which was first proposed in the 2013 Budget speech made in more..

President Rajapaksa hosts Iftar dinner for diplomats of Islamic countries

Aug 9 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa hosted Iftar for diplomats of Islamic countries Wednesday (7) evening at the President’s House. The guests included Ambassadors and High commissioners of Islamic countries along with their family members. The President joined the families for Iftar, the breaking of fast during Ramadan. Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris, Deputy Minister of External Affairs Neomal Perera and Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs. more..

Despite official repression, Sri Lanka media report attack

Aug 9 (CPJ) Details are emerging of Sri Lanka's effort to control media coverage of an ugly attack on demonstrators by security forces last week. In Rathupaswala village in the town of Weliweriya, outside Colombo, on August 1, soldiers beat and fired on people protesting what they feared was contamination of their drinking water by a nearby factory. Most media accounts say three people died and 50 were wounded. Journalists, reports say, were singled out. more..

CA bars Fonterra from advertising products 100% perfect

Aug 9 (CT) The Court of Appeal yesterday issued an Interim Order preventing Fonterra Brands Lanka, from publishing advertisements, which are designed and intended to inform the consumers that milk powder imported and distributed by them is 100% safe, in a manner that would mislead the milk powder consuming public. The Bench comprising President of Court of Appeal, Justice S. Sriskandaraja, and more..

Court grants CID permission to question Ravindu

Aug 9 (CT) Colombo Additional Magistrate, A.M. Shahabdeen, yesterday granted permission to the CID, to keep Ravindu Gunawardena in custody for 24 hours, on a request by ASP Shani Abeysekara of the CID. Ravindu, son of interdicted DIG, Vass Gunawardena, is one of the main suspects in the assassination of millionaire businessman, Mohamed Shyam. ASP Abeysekara produced Ravindu, along with Dimuthu Hettiarachchi, before the Magistrate and named him as a suspect in the case. more..

President Rajapaksa wishes all followers of Islam a happy Eid al-Fitr

Aug 9 (GDI) Muslims in Sri Lanka celebrate Eid al-Fitr (Ramazan) today. At the end of Ramadan, Muslims throughout the world observe a joyous three-day celebration called Eid al-Fitr (the Festival of Fast-Breaking). Eid al-Fitr, which is on the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal, marks the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan. President Mahinda Rajapaksa wished all followers of Islam in the the country a "happy Eid al-Fitr." In a message to all Muslims in the country. more..

ACJU decides Ramazan today

Aug 9 (DN) Muslims across Sri Lanka celebrate Eid Ul-Fitr festival (Ramazan), which marks the end of the holy month of Ramazan today. All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) convening at the Grand Mosque decided to mark the Festival of Fast-breaking today since the new crescent moon (hilal) could not be sighted in South Asia. Muslims throughout the country, therefore, celebrate the feast which is one of the most significant events more..

'Sri Lanka is a hell of a tough place to tour'

Aug 9 (CI) Like Russell Domingo, Gary Kirsten lost his first ODI series in charge of South Africa. It was not as dramatic a defeat: 2-1 to Australia at home with AB de Villiers out injured in his first series as captain and Hashim Amla reluctantly leading in his place compared to a 4-1 drubbing courtesy of Sri Lanka away with de Villiers looking as though he cannot handle being captain anymore and senior players such as Graeme Smith and Dale Steyn recovering from niggles. more..

Sittings suspended over a point of order

Aug 9 (Island) Sittings of Parliament were suspended for half an hour yesterday over a point of order, raised by UNP MP A. H.M. Azwer with regard to a motion brought in by the TNA on the on-going alleged land grab issues in the North and East. Azwer said the motion could not be debated in the House as the matter was sub judice. When TNA Group Leader R. Sampanthan rose and tried to move the motion, Azwer said that there were seven cases (Nos 177/2013, 178/2013, 179/2013, more..

TNA demands probe into land grabs in North

Aug 9 (Island) The TNA yesterday demanded that govt immediately investigate what it called land grabs by the security force members in the North and East and to redress the grievances of Tamil people. Moving a motion for the debate at the time of adjournment, TNA leader R. Sampanthan, MP, said that the govt, through the armed forces, continued to hold substantial extents of land owned and or possessed by Tamil civilians. more..

SriLankan: National interest, pride and ground realities

Aug 9 (DM) According to SriLankan Airlines CEO, Kapila Chandrasena, one of the key issues impeding the airline coming out of the red and making a profit is the national interest. He said that as the national carrier, their decisions are not purely commercial. However, he also said making SriLankan a profitable venture was not that difficult. As he pointed out if the airline could discontinue the loss making destinations—mainly to Europe—SriLankan can be viable as a business venture. more..

Kidney disease spreads affecting both genders all ages

Aug 9 (DM) The chronic kidney disease which initially emerged in Anuradhapura district in the North Central province about ten years back, is now surfacing in other parts of the country as well, affecting people of all ages irrespective of gender. According to World Health Organization (WHO) assisted research findings, there were some 400,000 kidney patients in the North Central and Uva Provinces about a couple of years back. Recently, it was revealed by the Ministry of more..

JVP accuses govt. of placing debt burden on ordinary masses

Aug 9 (Island) JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti told Parliament on Wednesday that the government derived its income from three main sources, fines, taxes and loans. Participating in the debate on the Resolution under the Customs Ordinance, relating to import duties, the MP said that people, instead of earning for themselves, had been made to work to earn for the govt. Whatever the people earned was taken back by the govt in the form of taxes. more..

Crossovers are legal but not necessarily ethical

Aug 9 (SL) As the law stands today, there is no legal impediment to members of one party crossing over to a different political party or platform, irrespective of whether such crossovers are morally permissible. However there are some who may argue that political crossovers are morally incorrect as politicians are those elected by the people, and it is therefore a violation of their trust. Since a parliamentarian is elected, by a more..

Commonwealth Business Forum launched in London ahead of CHOGM in Colombo

Aug 9 (FT) High Commissioner to the UK Dr. Chris Nonis held a launch event at the Sri Lanka High Commission in London to promote the Commonwealth Business Forum to be held in Colombo from 12-14 Nov 2013, leading up to the CHOGM 2013. He said that Sri Lanka is a microcosm of the Contemporary Commonwealth and was one of the eight founder member Nations of the modern Commonwealth. more..

Finance Ministry kick-starts 2014 budget preparation

Aug 9 (ST) The Finance Ministry has kick-started the 2014 budget preparation process inviting the public to make their proposals and suggestions on further consolidation of development work, improve public service and create a poverty-free Sri Lanka, while strictly adhering to cut down on unnecessary expenditure in state institutions, officials said. Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundara has issued a circular to heads more..

Sri Lanka has a betting govt. and gambling economy – UNP

Aug 9 (Island) UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva told Parliament that Sri Lanka had a betting govt and a gambling economy. Dr. De Silva, participating in the debate on the Resolution under the Customs Ordinance, relating to import duties, said that the director of the world’s leading casino industry had come to Sri Lanka and met state officials. "Two of James Packer’s company officials were in Colombo last week. more..

Land Ministry vehicle used in election campaigns: CaFFE

Aug 9 (DM) The Ministry of Lands admitted that the vehicle (KR 0262) which was confiscated by the Naula police during a clash between the supporters of Provincial Council (PC) candidates Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon and Thilak Bandara at Naula on July 28 belongs to the Ministry of Lands, the CaFFE said. The secretary to the Ministry of Lands Mr. Peiris writing to the Executive Director of CaFFE Keerthi Tennakoon more..

Is it milk of human unkindness?

Aug 9 (DM) The 16-billion-dollar dairy giant Fonterra is under the global spotlight following the alleged contamination of its milk powder products with Dicyandiamide (DCD), and also the Botulinum toxin which causes Botulism, a disease which is fatal or causes paralysis and is produced by the Clostridium Bacterium. Seeing as such health concerns are raised as a result of this alleged contamination, it comes as no surprise that more..

Army crackdown: GR responds to allegations

Aug 9 (Island) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday alleged that in the wake of the recent army crackdown on Weliweriya protesters, on the night of August 6, an attempt was being made to strengthen the call for an international war crimes investigation against the Sri Lanka Army. Defence Secretary Rajapaksa lashed out at the UNP for calling for an international investigation into incidents involving more..

US expresses concern over violence in Sri Lanka

Aug 9 (PTI) The United States has expressed its concern over the shooting incident in Sri Lanka that resulted in the death of three people, and communicated its concerns to the Rajapaksa Govt. “We are concerned by recent violent incidents, including shootings in Weliweriya, Sri Lanka. “We are particularly concerned by reports that people seeking refuge in a Catholic church were attacked there, there is never any excuse for violence more..

Entire Ex-Co of BASL to appear on behalf of CJ 43

Aug 9 (DM) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) at a special meeting today decided that the entire Executive Committee would appear before the Colombo Magistrate’s Court to defend Chief Justice 43, Shirani Bandaranayake who is accused of non- declaration of assets. At a special Executive Committee meeting yesterday (which had been summoned to discuss the incidents that occurred in Weliweriya on August 4), more..

'And then they came for me…' was not meant for Sri Lankans

Aug 9 (CT) Who killed three young men in Weliweriya? The silence, from those who have plenty to say when a perceived achievement could be made use of for political capital, is deafening. The Army will conduct an internal inquiry and this process naturally would go beyond September 2013, for obvious reasons. One could surmise that the inquiry would take longer than it took to impeach a Chief Justice. “The Inspector General had requested the Army to support the Police on the ground more..

MPCS Chairman, Manager arrested and granted bail

Aug 9 (Island) Kuliyapitiya police recently took into custody the Chairman of the Kuliyapitiya Multi-Purpose Co-Operative Society Sujeeva Patrick and its manager Ruchira Dhammika for brutally assaulting an employee of the filling station it operates over a money transaction and forcing him to sign a deed transferring the ownership of a land which had been given to him by his mother. In the complaint lodge d by the victim’s mother Doratiyagedera R.M.D. Janet Muriel (60), more..

Basil opens A2S technology center

Aug 9 (MED) On Wednesday, Minister Basil Rajapaksa formally opened the A2S Technology Center, a cutting edge research, development and production facility operated by intimates and swimwear manufacturer Sintesi. The launch of the operation, according to Sintesi Managing Director Antonio De Micco – with perhaps only a touch of hyperbole – represents a “second industrial revolution” in garment making. more..

Affirmative Action

Aug 9 (CT) Another chapter was added to the controversy and the confusion over the quality of milk food imported into the country with yesterday's announcement by the Ministry of Health that it had directed milk food companies to immediately remove from circulation all brands of milk powder found by the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) of Sri Lanka to contain the chemical compound Dicyandiamide, popularly known as DCD. This follows an earlier circular issued by the Director General of more..

Untold truth about Dhammika's killer factory

Aug 9 (SM) Due to the harmful procedures of the "Vinigross" factory, which belongs to the Hayleys group under the Vice Presidency of famous casino businessman and Secretary of the Ministry Of Transport Dhammika Perera, has put the lives of the people in Rathupaswala, Weliweriya and their agricultural lands on the line of danger. Although those who were shot were buried, the danger of thousands those who are dying slowly due to the poisonous water remain the same. more..

Million-dollar lights upgrade for Dambulla

Aug 9 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is in a race against time to do a million-dollar upgrade of the lighting system at the Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket stadium, in order to host matches at the venue during New Zealand’s scheduled visit to the country in November. “We cannot be certain if we could get the lighting system in place before the New Zealand tour, but we are trying our best. more..

Weliweriya crackdown: BASL demands action against killers

Aug 9 (Island) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) yesterday urged the govt to take immediate action against those responsible for the deaths of civilians at Weliweriya during last week’s protests. BASL President Upul Jayasuriya last night told The Island that the government had deployed the army to suppress people demanding clean water. Jayasuriya insisted that those who ordered the army to open fire should be punished. The BASL issued the following statement yesterday: more..

Video: Govt selling land and sea to foreigners

Aug 9 (DM) UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake charged today that the govt was selling every inch of land to foreigners according to its whims and fancies and said even the sea was being sold to China. “The govt is going to sell a 568-acre sea area to China through the ports authority. It is expected to spend 182 billion to fill the sea bed to develop a city when there is enough land in Colombo. Who is doing this for what reason when the people in Weliweriya are fighting for drinking water? more..

'Sri Lanka has mamma bear forex reserves'

Aug 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka probably has 'mamma' bear forex reserves an IMF official said responding to the official position that the country had 'goldilocks' reserves that were just right. "Reserves have certainly built up certainly relative to 2009 when they at a low level," IMF resident representative Koshy Mathai said at a forum organized by Fitch, a rating agency. "But maybe we are at a mama bear or papa bear (level). more..

Ravindu to be with Vaas

Aug 9 (CG) Ravindu Gunawardena, the son of former DIG Vass Gunawardena, will be in the same cell as his father owing to security concerns. Colombo Additional Magistrate approved the request after Ravindu’s lawyers made the appeal saying his life was under threat. Ravindu Gunawardena was further remanded till August 14 by the Colombo Additional Magistrate. He was arrested over the case involving the murder of a Muslim businessman in which his father is also a suspect. more..

WP teachers to come under scrutiny

Aug 9 (CT) The teachers serving in schools in the Western Province, whose students failed to secure favourable results in the Year 5 scholarship exam and the GCE O/L exam, will come under scrutiny by the Provincial Education Authorities, the Chief Minister of the Western Province, Prasanna Ranatunga, said. Ranatunga, while inaugurating the new Primary Teacher Training scheme for untrained teachers at the Hewavitharana College, Rajagiriya, on 6 August, said the teachers who more..

UNP raises doubts about Govt. Press

Aug 9 (Island) UNP MP Gamini Jayawickrema Perera told Parliament that the Govt Press was printing ballot papers for the North-Western, Central and Northern Provincial Council elections without following the stipulated regulations and procedures. The usual procedure had been overlooked, the MP complained to the Chair. Police had to visit the press three days prior to printing commenced and had to inspect it more..

49 Lankan refugees arrested for making bid to Australia

Aug 9 (PTI) As many as 49 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees were today arrested in the district for planning to set out on an illegal voyage to Australia. The refugees, residing in different camps in the state, were arrested at Vailankanni near here based on information from locals about their suspicious movements. The refugees, including 15 women and five children, had reportedly paid amounts ranging from Rs 50,000 to one lakh to an agent who had promised to arrange the travel. more..

Alleged move to open nursing diploma to private sector opposed

Aug 9 (Island) The GNOA yesterday staged a lunch time picket at fifteen govt hospitals, demanding that the authorities withdraw plans to open the nursing diploma to the private sector nurses for a fee. GNOA President, Saman Ratnapriya alleged that the govt had planned to provide the three-year nursing diploma course to private sector nurses for a fee of Rs. 150,000. Ratnapriya said that those eligible to train under the proposed dispensation would be those who could afford it, more..

'Coach Ford hasn't asked to end contract'

Aug 9 (CI) Sri Lanka head coach Graham Ford has not requested an early termination of his contract to pursue a job with Surrey. Ford has been linked with the vacant position at Surrey, but is contracted to Sri Lanka until the end of January next year. "We have not had any indication of that sort so far," SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said, with SLC president Jayantha Dharmadasa adding that the board was not more..

Two Lamborghinis in Lanka

Aug 9 (CG) The govt says there are only two Lamborghini cars in Sri Lanka and not many as claimed by the opposition. Minister Kumara Welgama said that the opposition keeps accusing the govt of importing Lamborghini cars to the country when there are only two in Sri Lanka. When asked who brought down the two cars the Minister said he did not know as his subject covers only public transport. He was responding to a question posed by UNP MP Sajith Premadasa in Parliament more..