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Thonda intervenes with plantation companies to give relief to workers

Aug 1 (Island) General Secretary of the CWC and Deputy Minister Mutthu Sivalingam said that their leader had intervened with the private plantation companies to pay an advance commencing from this month to 270,000 or more plantation workers who had been affected as a result of no work. He said Minister Arumugam Thondaman was a far sighted leader and as soon as he heard that there was unrest among more..

Bail refused for former Deyata Kirula CEO in Rs. 39 m fraud case

Aug 1 (FT) The Colombo Fort Magistrate yesterday turned down a bail application filed on behalf of the former CEO of Deyata Kirula National Exhibition 2013, on the basis that the defence failed to establish exceptional circumstances. Accordingly, two suspects Kanthi Gunawardana, the former CEO of Deyata Kirula Exhibition 2013, and Sarath Chandra Ekanayake, an owner of a construction company, more..

CCC to discuss Sri Lanka’s eligibility for Norway’s GSP+

Aug 1 (SM) Since January 1st this year Sri Lanka has become eligible to the new Generalized System of Preference plus (GSP+) facility introduced by Norway and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) has invited members to learn more about the facility. The CCC will hold a seminar on expanding Sri Lanka’s exports under the Norway GSP+ on August 8 from 2.30 pm to 5.00 pm at the Chamber’s auditorium at Navam Mawatha more..

Could Sri Lanka get irrigation boost from ancient reservoirs?

Aug 1 (IRIN) One way Sri Lanka can better manage its water resources in the face of changing monsoon patterns is through centuries-old water reservoirs, experts say. Experts at the Colombo-based IWMI say one way to ease fluctuating rice harvests (due to increasingly erratic monsoon seasons) is to use thousands of ancient small irrigation reservoirs spread out in the Northern, North Central, Eastern, North Western and more..

Yala closed for one month from Sept. 01

Aug 1 (Island) Sri Lanka’s largest national park, Yala will be closed to the public between Sept. 1 and 30. Annual closure was taking place this year after a lapse of two years, Wildlife officials said. "This time we had to take the decision to close the Park due to impending drought and the need to attend to renovation and reconstruction work of tanks inside, above all, we have to think about the welfare of the animals," more..

APRC final report yet to see the light of day

Aug 1 (ST) Packed neatly into three cardboard boxes in UNP MP Ramiah Yogarajan’s office are 4,000 pages of printed booklets, meticulously compiled by Hansard reporters. They are records of the Govt’s most comprehensive attempt at producing a “home-grown” political solution to years of ethnic strife: the All Party Representatives Conference (APRC). Mr. Yogarajan, who was a member of the APRC, more..

New Army Commander assumes duties

Aug 1 (MoD) The newly appointed Commander of the Army Lieutenant General R.M.D Ratnayake assumed duties today at a function held at the Army Headquarters. Lt Gen. Ratnayake is the 20th Commander of the Army. He was the Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army since 2010 until he took office as 20th Commander of the Army. He was enlisted to the Regular Force of the Sri Lanka Army on 6 Feb 1980 as an Officer Cadet and more..

Sri Lanka announces date for key polls

Aug 1 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan elections department on Thursday announced the date for key provincial council elections, which are to be held next month. Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said that elections for three provinces, including the once rebel dominated northern parts of the country, will be held on September 21. He made the announcement after handing over of nominations and accepting deposits from more..

This is what's called retribution

Aug 1 (CT) For a change, Malaka Silva, the son of Public Relations Minister, Mervyn Silva, was at the receiving end. And he is secreted away in a private hospital, after being at the butt end of a physical assault, the kind that Malaka himself used to mete out to his adversaries. One should not celebrate an attack of this kind even on one's sworn enemy. But the facts are as cruel as the lifestyles of these 'brats' who have been enjoying the limelight due firstly to an accident of birth – being an offspring of a more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 2%

Aug 1 (LBO) Stocks closed up 1.98% Thursday following a week of losses with heavy activity in a plantation stock, some gains in the large cap stocks and banking stocks. All Share Index closed 119.38 points higher at 6,156.50 and the S&P SL 20 Index closed 48.61 points higher at 3,477.57 up 1.42%. Turnover was 1.5 billion rupees. Foreigners brought 118 million rupees worth shares while selling 622 million rupees of shares, in a day that 141 stocks advanced and 53 stocks declined. more..

'Experienced top management needed to revive SriLankan'

Aug 1 (Island) One of the first steps towards creating a profitable SriLankan Airlines, was to have a Chairman and CEO with the necessary international experience in the aviation field, the UNP said. Eran Wickremeratne MP and financial analyst, said that SriLankan airlines was competing globally and it was imperative that people with the required qualifications or experience were placed at the helm. more..

Education may deliver garbage but remove garbage elsewhere too

Aug 1 (CT) At the recently-concluded Economic Summit 2013, organised by Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, three divergent views had been expressed on the present state of Sri Lanka’s education and how its potential should be harnessed for the country’s future prosperity. Anoop Singh, Director of IMF’s Asia-Pacific Department, in delivering the keynote address, had identified three contributors that will enable Sri Lanka to increase its per capita income, measured in 2005 more..

Health Minister warns centres that issue bogus medical certificates

Aug 1 (Island) Minister Maithripala Sirisena warned unscrupulous medical centres not to issue false medical certificates to would be Sri Lankan migrant workers any longer. Stern action against such centres would be taken and if found guilty of flouting the law. The licenses of such centres would be cancelled and the owners would be prosecuted. He said that many Sri Lankans, especially housemaids, technicians, carpenters and unskilled workers were leaving the country to West Asian countries more..

Sri Lanka stages international gem and jewellery show

Aug 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka's international gem and jewellery trade show 'FACETS Sri Lanka', to be held in late August to boost trade with foreign exhibitors also taking part, organizers said. Buyer delegations from USA, China, Russia and India are expected while stall holders from Singapore, Dubai, Myanmar and India will be participating at the event. "Through opening our market strengths to the international more..

74 TN fishermen arrested by Lankan Navy

Aug 1 (PTI) Seventy-four Tamil Nadu fishermen were arrested tonight by the Sri Lankan Navy when they were fishing off Kodaikarai coast. They have been taken to Kankesanthaurai by the Lankan Navy personnel, Assistant Director (Fisheries) Uma said. With this, a total of 139 fishermen have been arrested by the Lankan navy over the past two days. Yesterday, 65 fishermen who set out in nine boats from Nagapattinam were arrested by the Lankan Navy for allegedly violating the IMBL. more..

Navy denies arresting more

Aug 1 (CG) The navy denied reports that more Indian fishermen had been arrested last night after 65 were arrested the previous night. Navy spokesman Kosala Warnakulasuriya said that another 74 Indian fishermen had not been arrested as claimed in the Indian media today. The Press Trust of India reported that 74 Tamil Nadu fishermen were arrested last night by the Sri Lankan Navy when they were fishing off Kodaikarai coast. Assistant Director (Fisheries) Uma was more..

Inordinate delay in calling Fire Brigade puzzles investigators

Aug 1 (Island) Firemen fought hard to douse a mystery fire in the Ministry of Food And Cooperatives building at Vauxhall Street in Slave Island at dawn yesterday but could not save the CWE Chairman’s office and media unit located on the 7th Floor. Investigators trying to ascertain the cause of fire are puzzled by the inordinate delay on the part of the CWE authorities to call the Fire Brigade. more..

Chikey teacher!

Aug 1 (CT) A sports teacher at a school in Thambuttegama was taken into custody for allegedly taking nude photos of two female students of the same school. He is alleged to have taken the girls to a hotel in the area on 31 July, where he was arrested by the Biyagama Police. The two female students, both 16 years old, are expected to sit the GCE O/L exam this year. A senior officer attached to Biyagama Police said, the two girls had been brought to Colombo by the sports teacher more..

Recent violence makes Lanka Muslims insecure

Aug 1 (AN) Organized attacks on Muslims in Sri Lanka, which began almost two years ago, continue unabated while the govt remains indifferent. In the absence of any official attempts to put an end to these assaults, worried Muslims are thinking of taking to streets to highlight their grievances. Muslims all over the world are closely monitoring developments in the island state fearing it could become another Myanmar. There is growing feeling within the Muslim community in Sri Lanka is more..

Rukantha-Chandralekha case:Ten ex PSD officers jailed

Aug 1 (CG) The Panadura High Court today sentenced to jail 10 former Presidential Security Division (PSD) officers over their involvement in the harassment of popular singers Rukantha Gunatillaka and Chandralekha Perera several years ago. The 10 former PSD officers were given 4 1/2 year jail terms and were also ordered to pay compensation to the victims. Another former PSD officer was freed from the case by the more..

Factory fumes endanger students' health

Aug 1 (CT) Poisonous fumes emitted by a factory in the vicinity of Dorape Vidyalaya, Galle is a source of great inconvenience to the students and teachers of the school. A.G.D. Piyasiri, a UPFA member of the Southern Provincial Council (SPC), addressing the monthly meeting of the Council held recently said teachers had made a complaint to the principal in this regard. The meeting held at the SPC auditorium in Kalegana, Galle was presided over by the Chairman, K. P. Somawansa. more..

Cabinet Decisions: August 1, 2013

Aug 1 (GDI) Policy and Regulatory Framework for Next Generation Networks in Sri Lanka - Next Generation Networks (NONs) carry all types of services, including voice, video and e-mail, on a common platform. This 'network convergence' allows operators to save money by having to maintain only one network platform and to provide new services that combine different types of data. NGNs are more versatile than traditional networks because they do not have to be physically more..

Basil launches Kandy bridge building programme

Aug 1 (MED) Addressing three meetings held on 30 July, to mark the commencement of the construction of Kandy district new bridges to link villages with towns, Minister Basil Rajapaksa, said these bridges would strengthen the plantation and agro-economies and give greater impetus to the Maga Neguma to Gama Neguma programme, which has already raised the productivity level and quality of life of villagers more..

Absence of equity in taxation, cause of revenue shortfall - Harsha

Aug 1 (Island) The absence of equity in taxation had resulted in the common man being hit from all sides, UNP MP and Economist Harsha de Silva said. He, observed that there was a short fall in the budgeted tax revenue due to the lop sided policies adopted, which included investors in the Casino business being given ten-year tax holidays. Responding to the Finance Ministry’s claim that yesterday’s revision of import duty on various products was to help local industries, the MP queried as to what had more..

UPFA municipal councilor assaults Jailer inside police station

Aug 1 (Island) A Negombo prison jailer identified as Samantha Dissanayake has been admitted to hospital after he was allegedly assaulted by a municipal member inside the Seeduwa police station. The victim has suffered injury to one of his ears, according to hospital sources. He had had visited the police station on Tuesday night over a luxury vehicle belonging to one of his relatives taken into custody on a complaint lodged by UPFA municipal member Daya Thilanga. more..

Video: UNPers joined govt to fulfill personal goals, not serve public

Aug 1 (AD) UNP Western Provincial Councilor Srinath Perera says that every UNP politician who crossed over to the govt did so with the sole intention of fulfilling their personal objectives and not to do justice to the masses or strengthening the country’s administration. He claimed that some UNP members left the party because they had “internal revenue issues” while others were indebted large sums of money more..

SC order reinstatement of Visakha Primary head subject to inquiry

Aug 1 (Island) The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Secretary to the Ministry of Education and the other connected respondents to re-instate, subject to disciplinary inquiry already commenced, the Section Head of the Primary School of Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo, Muditha Madanayake of De Fonseka Road, Colombo. The petitioner had complained that, on or about, July 12, 2013, she had received a letter signed by the Secretary Education, through the Principal of Visakha Vidyalaya, more..

Assault case against Provincial Minister withdrawn

Aug 1 (AD) The bus driver who was allegedly assaulted by the Fisheries Minister of the Southern Provincial Council D.V. Upul withdrew his case against the Provincial Minister. The dispute was resolved after the two parties were brought together and discussions were held. Upul was released following the discussion after he had been arrested in Tangalle earlier today. Minister was charged with assaulting a bus driver of the Tangalle depot, police spokesman Buddhika Siriwardena said. more..

Gampaha gloves factory closed temporarily

Aug 1 (CG) The govt has decided to temporarily close a gloves factory in the Gampaha area following violent protests over allegations chemical waste from the premises is contaminating water in the area. According to the police, the decision to temporarily close the factory was taken at a meeting held between officials and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa today. Several people were injured when a protest more..

Water protest turns violent

Aug 1 (CG) A protest over contaminated water in Gampaha turned violent this evening when the army was deployed to disperse the crowd blocking the Colombo – Kandy main road. The protesters objected to the army presence and even attacked some journalists who were covering the incident. Earlier the porters blocked the Colombo – Kandy road at the Belummahara junction preventing the vehicles from going by. As the protest continued and traffic was affected the army was deployed to more..

CCC lauds govt’s ‘free ports’ initiative

Aug 1 (DM) Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) has welcomed the initiative by the govt to declare Sri Lanka’s four main ports, Colombo, Hambantota, Trincomalee and Galle as ‘free ports’. “The Chamber welcomes this initiative to declare Colombo and Hambantota as free ports and Katunayake, Koggala and Mirijjawila Export Processing Zones and Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport as bonded warehouses with significant tax concessions being offered for stipulated investments, subject to more..

Daya warns of new threats

Aug 1 (CG) Newly appointed Army Commander Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake has warned that as as the country heads towards political reconciliation, new forms of threats may emerge against national security. Threats emanating from overseas separatist extremists are leading, the army media unit quoted him as saying after assuming duties today. He said that in order to overcome these challenges, he believes the more..

July 1983: Legacy of Prabhakaran and India

Aug 2 (NS) Tuesday July 23 marked the 30th anniversary of the disaster that became a turning point in the history of post-independence Sri Lanka. It brought shame on people who had nothing to do with the mob violence. They, especially Sinhala Buddhists as a whole, were made to look racists of the worst kind. Attempts were also made to misinterpret the violence as a Buddhist-Hindu conflict. Some called Sinhalese cannibals. The country was vilified in the global media. more..

The Jekylls and Hydes of religions

Aug 2 (DBS) The discovery of the Higgs boson was a watershed event in the journey of science . In the pantheon of scientists who paved the way for that momentous moment Abdus Salam occupies a pre-eminent position. Prof. Salam was Pakistan’s only Nobel Laureate. India rejoiced in his towering achievements (he was born in pre-Partition Punjab) but Pakistan did not. The local police inspector was the highest state official present at his funeral. Prof. Salam was an Ahmadi-Muslim. more..

Has cancer detection become big business for private hospitals?

Aug 2 (SO) Next to breast cancer, cervical cancer is the 2nd commonest cause for cancer related deaths among Sri Lankan females. As morbidity and mortality rates continue to soar, the Health Ministry and a few non state agencies such as the Sri Lanka Family Planning Association (SLFPA) have pooled their resources to fight this deadly non communicable disease, using the well tried and tested pap smear test, more..

Meanwhile in a parallel universe called Humility….

Aug 2 (NS) I came to Parliament because some 130,000 voters, who voted for the Elephant, marked an ‘X’ before my name. They wanted me to represent them, and represent the UNP as well; they didn’t vote for me to cross party lines or represent another party. But this is not why I resigned my Parliamentary seat. See, I know that of all the UNPers who crossed, very few got anything worth bragging about. Maybe if I crossed over with Keheliya and Mahinda Samarasinghe, more..

Sajith speaks out... is it too little, too late now?

Aug 2 (CT) In the immediate aftermath of the defection of the Kurunegala District MP, Dayasiri Jayasekara, from the ranks of the UNP, the chaos that ensued caused many heartburns and uncertainties among the lamenting diehard UNP supporters. Those whose loyalties were unshakeable have been shaken; some might have felt thoroughly let down or betrayed and some may have decided to bid goodbye to political activism altogether, especially those who claim birth more..

Thirimanne's calm approach bodes well for Sri Lanka

Aug 2 (CI) As Lahiru Thirimanne ambled to 17 from 33 balls in the first ODI of the series, his idol bestrode the other crease. Thirimanne had watched Kumar Sangakkara so closely in his teenage years, there is little to pick between the pair's cover drives, save for the disdainful air Sangakkara has acquired over a decade of mastery. Not even as ardent a disciple as Thirimanne, though, might have guessed at more..

30th July 1983: The second naxalite plot

Aug 2 (CT) Addressing the nation over radio on the 29th, Prime Minister Premadasa attributed the violence to wild rumours. On the 30th Minister of State de Alwis blamed the violence on three Left oriented parties, the JVP, the Communist Party and the Trotskyite NSSP. He announced a three-phase conspiracy by these groups. Its first phase was to induce violence between Sinhalese and Tamils, second between Sinhalese and Muslims, and third between Buddhists and Christians more..

One step to the North and two to the South

Aug 2 (CT) For a single move with purity of motive, reciprocity from Tamils can take multiple wholesome ways. If the country’s regeneration is valued by the polity, then the concerned parties intent upon a dialogue have to move close to one another. Who is in the driver’s seat with the hand on the wheel? It is the major community, vested with the full panoply of state power, freed from any incubus that restrained it till four years back. Now it is at a vantage position to steer in the desired direction. more..