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President Rajapaksa graces the National Aboriginal (Adhivaasi) Day

Aug 10 (IL) President Rajapaksa graces the National Aboriginal Day commemoration ceremony-2013 in Henanigala in Dehiattakandiya this morning (9). In early July Uruwarige Wannila Aththo the Chief of Aborigines (Adhivaasi) visited the Temple Trees and extended the traditional invitation to the country's head, President Rajapaksa to participate in the Commemoration Ceremony of the World Aboriginal Day. more..

UPFA politico, goons grab 100 acres from estate

Aug 10 (Island) A UPFA Pradeshiya Sabha member and his cronies have grabbed around 100 acres by force from an estate belonging to Elpitiya Plantations at Habarakada, Thawalama. The PS member and his supporters having encroached the land during the last couple of days were now occupying it, according to a complaint lodged with the Hiniduma police by the firm. The PS member is a former Deputy Chairman of the Thawalama Pradeshiya Sabha. The land first belonged to the more..

Basil seeks pardon from public

Aug 10 (CT) Minister Basil Rajapaksa, called for forgiveness from the public over the attack on the people’s protest in Weliweriya demanding clean drinking water. He expressed his whole-hearted regret of the loss of life and property in this incident. He reiterated it is unfortunate several media personnel had to face such grave inconveniences, while engaged in their legitimate functions. He remarked the people do not condone such actions of the Security Forces and emphasized that more..

20% of NCP secondary students illiterate

Aug 10 (Island) Around 20% of children from Grade six to 11 in the North Central Province could neither read nor write their mother language properly, Provincial Education Minister Peshala Jayaratne said. He said that a survey conducted using school teachers during the first six months of this year had revealed the shocking truth. There were 786 schools, including 10 schools under the purview of the central govt in the more..

A human face for the export of humans

Aug 10 (DM) The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) and the Association of Licensed Foreign Employment Agencies (ALFEA) are embroiled in a battle of words over the safety and security of more than one million Sri Lankan workers, mainly housemaids, who go to the Middle East and other countries to work as domestic aides or do other jobs. Both sides are trading what they see as valid arguments, but we believe that ultimately the welfare and wellbeing of the more..

The importance of a balanced and principled foreign policy

Aug 10 (DM) The unflattering publicity Sri Lanka has received internationally in the lead up to and after the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva in March 2013, and the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) meeting in London in April, is indicative of a significant failure of the Sri Lanka Govt to exploit the opportunities of peace and reconciliation opened up by the end of the conflict. This failure is exacerbated by the deficiencies of its current foreign policy. more..

Now warfare among cardiac surgeons threatens to derail heart surgery

Aug 10 (Island) The National Hospital yesterday accused the GMOA of sanctioning trade union action against its own members by preventing a smooth flow of transfers between three major cardiology Units in Colombo. An informed NHSL spokesman explaining the situation said that one of the three cardiac surgeons attached to the NHSL was unable to take up his appointment at Sri Jayewardenepura Teaching Hospital as more..

Friends, relatives, henchmen gear for Sept. 21 PC polls

Aug 10 (ST) Campaigning for September 21 elections to three Provincial Councils in the North, Central and the North Western provinces will get under way in earnest this week with nominations closing last Thursday. A total of 3,785 candidates will vie for 142 seats in the three PCs — 56 in the Central PC, 50 in the NWPC and 36 in the NPC. The stakes are highest in the Northern province where provincial elections more..

No increase in milk powder prices: CAA

Aug 10 (DM) The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) today dismissed claims that milk powder prices would be increased in the wake of growing concerns over the alleged contamination of imported milk powder. CAA Chairman Rumy Marzook said milk powder prices would not be increased though local and imported milk powder companies had requested for an increase in the price of milk powder. more..

A fight for equal access

Aug 10 (SL) It was a fight for equal rights, a fight which ended in victory last week. Dr Ajith C. S. Perera, a former umpire and now fervent advocate promoting accessibility said months of campaigning finally saw the Supreme Court issuing an order last week to ensure that those with restricted ability is given every opportunity to integrate freely with the community. On the eve of umpiring his first cricket test match in Colombo in 1992, more..

Some 1,080 on death row adding to prison overcrowding

Aug 10 (Island) The number of death row convicts had risen to 1,080 with 75 more persons sentenced to gallows during the last six months, prison sources said. Among those sentenced to death are those who committed murder over adultery, theft, robbery, land disputes etc. Those inmates were housed at the Welikada and Bogambara prisons and their presence, too. contributed to the overcrowding of prisons, more..

'Industry personnel shortage should be addressed'

Aug 10 (DN) The construction industry is one of the fastest growing industries in post - war Sri Lanka with a growth rate of 21.6% at present. However, the number of small and medium scale builders and technicians should increase, if we are to sustain the continuous growth experienced in the construction sector, said Minister Wimal Weerawansa. He made this observation as Chief Guest at the inauguration of the Construct more..

'Won't consider Surrey option until January'

Aug 10 (CI) Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford has said he will not consider a coaching position with Surrey until his contract with Sri Lanka expires in January next year. Ford had been linked with the Surrey role, which has been vacant since June, but says the suggestion that he is a favourite to take over at the county is speculation. "During the Champions Trophy I was informally asked by the Surrey CEO if I would consider their more..

Investigate ‘clean water’ protest deaths

Aug 10 (HRW) The Sri Lankan govt should stop issuing misleading information and promptly create an independent and transparent inquiry into the deaths of protesters at Weliweriya on August 1, 2013, Human Rights Watch said today. At least three people were killed and several injured after security forces fired live ammunition at protesters who were demanding access to clean drinking water. more..

Over 50 super luxury vehicles registered in Sri Lanka monthly

Aug 10 (LB) The Department of Motor Traffic statistics show on average over 50 super luxury vehicles are registered monthly in the country, earning well over Rs. 10 million in registration fees. These luxury vehicles frequently registered mostly include BMWs, Jaguars and Land Cruisers. In 2012, the tax income from the super luxury vehicles exceeded Rs. 1.25 billion, while in the first six months of this year the tax more..

Elections Sri Lankan Style: 17 close relatives of ministers at provincial elections

Aug 10 (DM) With 17 close relatives of central govt politicians contesting the elections to the three provincial councils, election monitors have alerted the Elections Department on the possible abuse of state resources belonging to various line ministries. Govt politicians including Cabinet Ministers have fielded their close relatives including sons and brothers for this election. PAFFREL had alerted Elections Commissioner about the more..

Come out, frogs-in-the-well

Aug 10 (CT) Any foreign visitor entering this country and taking a newspaper for reading may on second thoughts want to take the next flight back. For it won’t take him long to figure out that Sri Lankans practice two cultures, one indoors and the other, outdoors. But lo and behold, the foreign visitor may not be the frog-in-the-well as some of us Sri Lankans, especially those who call the shots, are. Our outdoor culture is for the whole world to see, but what we don’t realize is that the outside world more..

Failed State Index fails Sri Lanka

Aug 10 (CT) Sri Lanka has slipped down to the 28th position in the 9th Failed States Index (FSI), published annually by Washington DC based The Fund for Peace and Foreign Policy Magazine. Sri Lanka had the 29th position in the 2012 Index. This year’s drop owes to Sri Lanka’s poor performance in seven of the categories: Group Grievance, rise of Poverty and Economic Decline, Delegitimization of the state, Human Rights and Rule of Law, Fractionalized Elite and External Intervention. more..

Ranjan Ramanayake in Parliament

'Wonder of Asia' offers hospitality and spirituality

Aug 10 (VS) With a gentle smile and a warm "may all be happy and healthy," our guide Asanka welcomed my husband and me to Sri Lanka for an eight-day journey in late February 2013. Ceylon until 1972, this unspoiled island nation in the Indian Ocean belies its melancholy past and modern-day challenges. Travelling from the west through central Sri Lanka to the east and back along the south coast we were captivated by Singhalese hospitality and spiritualism. more..

Laboratory that revealed acidity in Rathupaswala water closed

Aug 10 (LT) The laboratory of the Divisional Service Center of the National Water and Drainage Board at No. 438/4A at Kadawatha that revealed to the country that the water at six villages including that of Rathuapswala and Weliweriya had a low PH value and was not suitable for consumption has stopped testing water bringing in by the public and it has been closed down says its Asst. Gen. Manager Ms. M.K. Bandara. A large number of people from Gampaha District had turned up at more..

Anti-Muslim sentiment in Sri Lanka must be addressed by Sri Lankans

Aug 10 (National) When the bloody 26-year war against the Tamil Tigers ended four years ago, most Sri Lankans breathed a sigh of relief and looked forward to a new era of peace and prosperity. Little did they know that "peace" would usher in another conflict potentially far more damaging to the economic and social fabric. There have been Muslims in this multi-cultural Buddhist island state off the southern tip of India since Arab traders more..

Black July: The question of numbers

Aug 10 (CT) Before we leave this chapter, we look at the question how many Tamils were killed during the July 1983 violence? Almost every figure aroused controversy. Sarath Muttetuwegama pointed out that according to the censor 36 persons had been killed in Colombo on the 25th – the first day of violence – including 35 prisoners at Welikade! T.D.S.A. Dissanayaka gives a total of 471 Tamils killed including 227 in the Colombo District. Dr. M.S.L. Salgado, JMO Colombo, more..

When will they break their silence again?

Aug 10 (CT) Often, the question is raised internationally about Sri Lanka giving the foremost place for Buddhism and making it the state’s duty to protect and foster Buddhah Sasann (Sri Lanka’s constitution – Chapter 2 – article 9). Buddhist diplomats reply that Articles 10 and 14 (1) (e) of the same constitution allow others the freedom to have or adopt a religion or belief of their choice and permit them to worship in public or private. But is the freedom and inclusiveness conveyed in more..

Abercrombie and Kent to begin operations in Sri Lanka

Aug 10 (MED) Abercrombie and Kent, one of the worlds’ leading high end travel firms will start operating to the Sri Lankan market effective from September, 2013. This was revealed by the firm’s CEO Ian Coghlan, when he met Minister Basil Rajapaksa. Coghlan said that Abercrombie and Kent will focus on sending high end tourists to Sri Lanka from various destinations in the world. Firm’s local partner is United Holidays more..

Govt. paramedics oppose move to ‘sell diplomas’

Aug 10 (Island) The Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM) yesterday warned they would go to any extent to thwart an alleged attempt by the Health Ministry to open the PSM diploma courses to private candidates at a fee of Rs. 50,000 per year. PSM General Secretary, Saman Jayasekara warned they would not only prevent the private candidates from following the training courses but also prevent PSM trainees from doing clinical practice in govt hospitals. more..

Minister wants Thriposha ration doubled

Aug 10 (Island) Minister Maithripala Sirisena says he has instructed the Thriposha Company to formulate a plan to increase its production to cater to the needs of an increasing population for the next five years. The Thriposha Company which is under the purview of the Health Ministry has increased its production capacity up to 60%. But as the demand is high, the production capacity needs to be expanded to cater to 1.3 million recipients. Thriposha was distributed to people free of charge, more..

Let the healing begin

Aug 10 (Hindu) The A9 highway, connecting Jaffna with the rest of Sri Lanka, runs parallel to the new railway track. The shrub jungles on either side are dotted with the strong presence of the Sri Lankan army. A man without legs crawls down the street. A blind woman with a paralysed child in her arms asks for help from anyone who looks like a tourist. New blocks of houses are coming up quickly like mushrooms after a shower. more..

Johan's stickers in SLTB buses

Aug 10 (SM) It is reported that a "Rajapaksa" has advised the SLTB North West depot authorities to paste election campaign stickers of Johan Fernando, son of minister Johnston Fernando, in all SLTB buses in the North Western province. Already many buses have been subjected to this violation of law. And this has made many North Western UPFA candidates unhappy as they accuse that it is unfair to give special treatment to one particular candidate. It is unlawful according to electoral law, more..

Drunkan woman driver remanded

Aug 10 (Island) A drunken woman driver and semi-drunk three other women, who travelled in a car, were taken into custody on Thursday night at Thalawatugoda for not heeding, Mirihana traffic police request to stop offences being drunk driving and for not having identity cards. The road was congested at the time due to a fire that broke out at a hardware store at Thalawatugoda. Of the four women in the car, two had been remanded yesterday till August 23 by the more..

Fishermen stage black flag protest in sea against Lanka

Aug 10 (PTI) An estimated 20,000 fishermen today staged a black flag demonstration in the sea onboard their boats protesting the recent arrests of 65 of their colleagues by the Sri Lankan Navy and demanding their immediate release. The demonstrations were held in the sea off Pazhayar, Poompuhar, Tarangambadi, Karaikal, Nagore, Nagapattinam, Vedaranyam and Kodiakarai in the district and Karaikal, more..

Sirisena wonders where probe reports have gone

Aug 10 (Island) Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) General Secretary and Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday asked where most of the reports by Commissions and Committees appointed by the President had gone. He asked this question in reply to a query raised by The Island, during the media briefing at the SLFP Head Office in Colombo yesterday. He said that the govt should find out the reason for the delay in submitting reports by those inquiring bodies. more..

48 Australia bound Tamil refugees, Chennai agent held in Nagai

Aug 10 (ENS) An attempt by the Sri Lankan Tamil refugees to undertake an illegal voyage to Australia was foiled by the Q-Branch police personnel of the district on Friday. A total of the 49 persons, including 48 refugees and an Indian national, were arrested. The SL refugees were nabbed from the pilgrim centre of Velankanni, while they were seeking accommodation at the lodges in the holy town. This is the third incident this year where a batch of refugees had attempted the illegal voyage more..

New Zealand dairy giant faces new milk scare in Sri Lanka

Aug 10 (AFP) New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra, already under pressure over a global botulism scare, is facing fresh trouble over milk powder in Sri Lanka allegedly mixed with a farm chemical. The company said on Saturday it had completed a recall of two batches of milk powder under Sri Lankan government orders because of allegations it contained traces of chemical DCD. Dicyandiamide, or DCD, is added to more..

Sangakkara powers Kandurata to win

Aug 10 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara's ravishing international form continued into the second match of the Super Fours provincial Twenty20 tournament, as the Kandurata Maroons overcame the Ruhuna Reds by 13 runs. Sangakkara's 49 from 35 drove Kandurata's innings during the middle overs, before cameos from captain Lahiru Thirimanne and Nuwan Kulasekara lifted the total to 159 for 8. In reply, Yashodha Lanka and Angelo Perera embarked on innings that attempted to set their side more..

Gunaratne, Lakmal star in Basnahira win

Aug 10 (CI) Janaka Gunaratne's confident 40 from 31 powered Basnahira Greens to a challenging 139 for 6 on a slow Premadasa surface, before their bowlers ensured a 14-run win over Uthura Yellows in the Super4s T20 tournament in Colombo. Gunaratne arrived with his side struggling at 43 for 3 in the ninth over, after being put in to bat by Uthura. However, he quickly set about accumulating runs along with Dimuth Karunaratne, who took a cautious approach as wickets fell around him. more..

Under attack, Indian fishermen move to other states for livelihood

Aug 10 (PTI) As many as 3,000 fishermen, who gave up their work fearing attack by Sri Lankan Navy here, have moved to Kerala and Karnataka to earn their livelihood. Rameswaram coast had the maximum number of fishing boats in Tamil Nadu and the fisher-folk faced multifarious problems even while fishing in the traditional areas due to attack by Sri Lankan Navy, the association president Emerit told PTI. more..

Police investigate stone throwing at Indian musical show

Aug 10 (PTI) Sri Lankan police are investigating a stone throwing incident at a musical show here, to mark the 100 years of Indian cinema. The police said several thousands were attending the event when a stone was thrown at an Indian woman dancer on stage. The police said that the investigation was underway on an alleged stone throwing at the event last night at the beach front at Hambantota, the country's southern port town. Indian Consul General R Raghunathan more..

CPL should aim for window - Muralitharan

Aug 10 (CI) Muttiah Muralitharan believes the debuting Caribbean Premier League (CPL) has a promising future but should aim for a window in international cricket to be able to attract the best talent from across the world. "The organizers should get a window on the international cricket calendar to add better players on contract," said Muralitharan, who is playing for Jamaica Tallawahs in the ongoing CPL. "Also, seek assistance and funding for pitches. Hopefully, it will get better." more..

Audio: UNP says focus not on 13A

Aug 10 (CG) The UNP says the govt had attempted to mislead the public by discussing the 13th Amendment issue and redirecting the attention away from more important issues. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said that the govt is now very silent on the 13th Amendment to the constitution after initially making a lot of noise over the issue. He says by making the 13th Amendment the talking point the govt was more..