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Jermaine Jackson visits Sri Lanka

Aug 13 (CG) Jermaine Jackson, the brother of the late King of pop Michael Jackson, is in Sri Lanka on a short visit. CSN and RED FM reported his arrival saying he was here on business. In 1962, Jermaine, as a member of The Jackson Brothers, enjoyed his first studio recording titled “Big Boy.” This morphed into a local hit and set the stage for the 1969 partnership with Motown Records. Subsequently, the group, now the Jackson 5, more..

Postal Dept. mulls price revision

Aug 13 (DM) The Department of Post was considering a price revision on postal charges, the Media Secretary of the Postal Ministry Buddhika Iddamalgoda said today. He said the Department had submitted a report on the revision to the Ministry. “The postal price revision should be done three times a year but it has not been done last five years,” he said. “Considering the worldwide postal charges, Sri Lanka is the only country which provides postal services cheap. more..

EU concerned over Sri Lanka protestor killings, attacks on mosques, churches

Aug 13 (LBO) The European Union Delegation in Sri Lanka has expressed concern over the killing of unarmed protestors by the military and series of attacks on mosques and churches by religious nationalists. "The right to freedom of peaceful assembly and the right to freedom of worship are fundamental to democratic societies and should be protected by the state," the EU Delegation office said in a statement. "The European Union looks to the Sri Lankan authorities to ensure justice more..

Pro-JVP graduates’ union demands confirmation in service

Aug 13 (Island) The Pro–JVP Graduates’ Union demanded permanent positions, for the graduates who were over 35 years of age, in public sector institutions, according to previous regulations. General Secretary of the Graduate Employees’ Union said that more than 5,000 graduates, who were recruited to the public sector, an year ago, as trainees were waiting to be made permanent. more..

CPA goes to HRCSL on ITN

Aug 13 (CG) The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and its Executive Director filed a complaint before the Human Rights Commissions of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) this afternoon against the Independent Television Network of Sri Lanka (ITN) and its Chairmen. The complaint was on the basis that a news item appearing on the 7:00pm Sinhala language news broadcast of ITN on Sunday 14th July 2013 violates several fundamental rights of both CPA and its Executive Director more..

Namal's motorcade crashed

Aug 13 (SM) A security escort defender which had gone with MP Namal Rajapaksa's motorcade has met with at accident by skidding away from the road due to high speed. It is said 7 have injured from this accident, which had taken place day before yesterday (11). The accident has taken place after the MP was returning from a volleyball tournament held in Mulathivu, in which he had taken part in as the chief guest. The defender which crashed had been coming behind MP Namal's vehicle. more..

Election violations aplenty

Aug 13 (CT) CaFFE, has identified a large number of vehicles, especially buses that are meant to provide a service to the public, displaying stickers of Provincial Council candidates in Kurunegala, and thereby flouting election laws. "We have also found that some candidates force bus conductors and three-wheeler drivers to display such stickers on their vehicles," Executive Director CaFFE, Keerthi Tennakoon said. more..

Heart surgeons still on strike

Aug 13 (Island) Cardiac surgeons of the Kandy Hospital continued to strike despite Dr. Rajitha de Silva, the allegedly junior cardio thoracic surgeon, vacating his post at the NHSL Cardio Thoracic Unit as demanded by them and joining Sri J'pura Teaching Hospital (SJTH) over the weekend, informed medical sources said. Vice President of the GMOA Dr. Saman Karunatilake said that cardiac Surgeons of the Kandy Teaching Hospital, who were on strike for over a week, more..

Sate vehicle involved in accident while campaigning for for ruling party candidate

Aug 13 (AD) The CaFFE says it has been informed that a vehicle belonging to the state-owned Ceynor Foundation was involved in an accident in Matale while campaigning for UPFA candidate Ujith Anuradha. The election monitoring group said the vehicle was travelling without a number plate at the time of the incindet on Monday in Mahawela, Matale. The vehicle is currently at Mahawela police station. Two persons who had been travelling in the vehicle have been injured and had been admitted more..

Champika meets New Zealand high commissioner

Aug 13 (SM) A meeting was held between Minister Champika Ranawaka and New Zealand High Commissioner Ms. Jan Henderson recently regarding the prohibition of milk powder products imported from New Zealand by he health ministry and the consumer protection authority, due to the test reports which confirmed that the milk powder were contaminated with the poisonous chemical DCD. more..

ACTWU warns of demise of SLTB

Aug 13 (CT) All Ceylon Transport Workers Union (ACTWU), requested President Rajapaksa to take immediate steps to stop issuing new route permits for private buses. ACTWU General Secretary, Sepala Liyanage, in a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, points out that many illegal route permits had been issued to operate private buses in the recent past, and noted that issuing route permits for private buses would lead to the 'demise' of the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB). more..

Surveyors goes on sick leave

Aug 13 (SM) All the members of the Govt surveyors association have decided to go on sick leave again from today (13) until the 16th, in protest of the Govt for not providing satisfactory solutions for the problems faced by the surveyors. Expressing his views on the matter, the secretary of the association Mr. Dinusha Millawithanarachchi said that due to this protest, all the surveying of land in many development projects island wide will come to a halt. The surveyors association points out that more..

African nations back CHOGM 2013

Aug 13 (CG) Several new heads of missions, who presented credentials to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, pledged their country’s support for the CHOGM 2013, taking place in November, the President’s office said. “We currently look forward to the CHOGM meeting that is coming in November,” said the High Commissioner of Botswana Lesego Ethel Motsumi. “Definitely, Botswana will participate at this meeting as a support for Sri Lanka more..

Protected fauna seized

Aug 13 (CT) The Department of Wildlife Conservations' Special Investigation Unit in the Western Province, had seized 17 star tortoises, four demon geckos, eight turtle eggs and an incubator, from a house in the Nivasiepura Housing Scheme, Ja-Ela on Sunday. Acting on a tip-off, the wildlife officials together with two police officers from the Ja-Ela Police had raided the house. One of the suspects was apprehended while the main suspect, Hirantha Suren, is evading arrest. more..

Action against errant wholesale drug suppliers

Aug 13 (DN) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena ordered National Cosmetic Devices and Drugs Regulatory Authority (CDDRA) officials to take stern action against wholesale drug suppliers violating rules and regulations imposed by the authority. A spokesman said the licence of wholesale drug suppliers providing drugs to unregistered private pharmacies will be cancelled and legal action taken against them. CDDRA officials raided an illegal private pharmacy in Dehiwala and more..

Video: Govt closing stable door after the horse has bolted - UNP

Aug 13 (AD) The UNP today said that the govt is continuing to disregard the various problems and grievances of the masses and only taking actions after it is too late, terming it as similar to “closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. Hiding behind “commissions”, as per usual, the govt has escaped from the issue following the deaths of 3 persons including two students and injuring over 60 persons in Rathupaswala, Weliweriya, more..

Norochcholai plant to be shut down for maintenance

Aug 13 (LB) The Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant in Norochcholai is to be shut down for 40 days for the annual maintenance and other repair work. The power plant is to be shut down on August 21 and it is planned to be restarted on October 1. CEB says that this would be the first free annual maintenance carried out by the Chinese builder of the plant China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation. The plant has broken down more than 20 times, since commencing operations in 2011. more..

Rukantha pardons PSD officers convicted of harassment

Aug 13 (AD) Rukantha Gunathilake says he has decided to pardon the former PSD officers who were convicted and sentenced for breaking into his residence in Mattegoda and harassing his family. The persons responsible for ordering them to harass me and my family are currently living freely, the popular singer said, during a press conference today. Gunathilake said he is pardoning the individuals found guilty by court with a clear conscience and that people make mistakes. more..

Sri Lanka struggles to contain a growing epidemic of child abuse

Aug 13 (Time) War-scarred Sri Lanka is experiencing an alarming scourge of child abuse and the apparatus for dealing with the problem, UNICEF says, is “grossly inadequate.” Everyday, three to five children are raped. Statistics show the number of child rapes in 2011 as 1,463; the figure jumped to 1,759 cases in 2012. Records also give a total of just over 2,000 sexual offenses against children, besides rape, in 2011; more..

Navy brings 111 Australia-bound Persons ashore safely

Aug 13 (CG) A group of 111 illegal asylum seekers who were arrested at sea over the weekend and brought ashore last night, were handed over to the CID for further investigations. The Navy brought all the Australia-bound asylum seekers to Galle after they were arrested off the southern seas. The boat they were travelling in was intercepted by Sri Lanka Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessel, SLNS Samudura with the assistance of two fast naval patrol craft attached to the Southern Naval Command more..

Sri Lanka northern agri-show draw farmers

Aug 13 (LBO) Large number of farmers in Sri Lanka's former war zones in the north had visited an agri-business show where modern agricultural technologies were on display, its organizers said. The ‘Ag-Biz North’ exhibition held from 26th to 28th July in Kilonincchi had drawn 20,000 visitors including school children. Special bus services were operated for farmers to visit from various parts of the Northern Province. “National agri business council is willing to help and facilitate service to more..

Commander of the Navy visits Australia

Aug 13 (SLN) On an invitation extended by Commander of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Vice Admiral Ray Griggs Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage visited Australia from 6th to 10th August. He was accompanied by President of the Sri Lanka Navy Seva Vanitha Unit, Mrs. Srima Colombage on the five-day official visit. During his visit coordinated by the RAN Directorate of more..

Saddhamangala Karunaratne, an Epigraphist par excellence

Aug 14 (NS) Dr. Saddhamangala Karunaratne was a celebrated scholar Sri Lanka produced. An expert in inscriptions, he served the Archeological Department for more than three decades, including four years as its Commissioner. The scholarly inclination in Dr. Karunaratne must have been inherited by his parents and family. His father, Wijesinghe William Karunaratne, was a school inspector in the Southern Province. A follower of Anagarika Dharmapala, he once served as more..

Reflections of a Buddhist intellect: A light in dark times

Aug 14 (CT) A distinguished Sri Lankan, Dr Thakshan Fernando, died last Thursday in New Zealand at the age of 81. A Muslim place of worship was attacked on the day after Eid, in Grandpass, Colombo, on Saturday. What is the connection? The distinguished Sri Lankan in question, a former student of Ananda College and a Buddhist of Sinhalese ethnic origin, had an understanding of Buddhism and a commitment to interreligious coexistence and cultural fusion that was more..

Health Ministry says no more ads, calls upon public to drink liquid milk

Aug 14 (SO) Amidst conflicting views and public confusion over the safety of certain imported milk food products, the Health Ministry this week told the public to drink local liquid milk while it began tightening the lid on imported milk foods. On Wednesday instructions were sent to the Customs Food inspectors to withhold the release of any imported milk powders to the market, till they were proved untainted by the agro chemical DCD more..

Is a Black July being threatened through the State media?

Aug 14 (GV) A spectre is haunting Sri Lanka: the spectre of Cyril Mathew. Are the Tamils of the Western Province regarded as potential hostages in the event of a TNA victory in the Northern Provincial Council and a legitimate assertion of Constitutional rights by that Council? Is a veiled threat being issued through the state media that Tamils in the Western Province will be targeted if the TNA and the Northern Provincial Council do not behave with due obsequiousness? more..

60 years since the Great Hartal

Aug 14 (HM) This year, 12 August marks the 60th anniversary of the Great Hartal of 1953, the nationwide strike and mass public agitation that brought down independent Ceylon’s second prime minister, successfully reversed certain unpopular govt policies, and became a celebrated event for Lankan leftists. There are domestic political, economic and social aspects to the emergence of this historical moment, which shook state and society in postcolonial Ceylon. more..

I take responsibility for my actions - Malaka

Aug 14 (CT) The controversial Malaka Silva, son of equally controversial Minister Mervyn Silva, is in the spotlight once again. This time around, the tables appear to have turned with Silva Jnr., being allegedly assaulted by a group of unidentified assailants at the parking area of a leading departmental store in Colombo, and not the other way around. Last year, Silva was accused of allegedly assaulting an Army Major, and more..

A few things that require explanation

Aug 14 (NS) Pablo Neruda, writing about the tragedies of the Spanish Civil War, wrote of poets, especially his young friend Federico Garcia Lorca, whom he greatly admired. He asks, in verse -- And you’ll ask: why doesn’t his poetry; speak of dreams and leaves; and the great volcanoes of his native land? And responds, in verse -- Come and see the blood in the streets. Come and see; The blood in the streets. Come and see the blood; In the streets! Delivering a lecture on Lorca in Paris (1937), more..

Too many cooks, but no broth without chef

Aug 14 (Island) The late President Ranasinghe Premadasa drew heavy flak when he launched his presidential mobile service. His critics accused him of making inroads into the Provincial Councils and the local govt authorities and bypassing the state administrative setup to reach out to the ordinary people direct for expediency. He was also blamed for running a ‘One Man Show’. President Premadasa, no doubt, sought political mileage from that programme. more..

A politician called Roshan Randima

Aug 14 (Island) National basketball player Roshan Randima has taken exception to an article we published on Sunday. He has said that his controversial move to Carlton Basketball Club from Colombo Basketball Club, whom he represented for over a decade, wasn’t in search of financial gain. Firstly, we never said that he has shifted alliance in search of financial gains. Greener pastures, however, could come in in other forms. more..

India takes a cue from Sri Lanka?

Aug 14 (FT) What Sri Lanka did several months ago in managing its currency, balance of payments and fiscal situation, India seems to be following suit. In its bid to revive a continuously falling rupee, India this week took a host of measures. On Monday the Finance Minister proposed in Parliament to raise funds abroad, allowing public sector financial firms to sell debt to finance long-term infrastructure projects, raising money via deposits targeted at Indian citizens abroad, more..

Gordon Weiss and the dynamics of redemption

Aug 14 (CT) Not for personal gain is this exercise of mine but in pursuit of redemption. Redemption is a curious thing. To counter every wrong pattern that gets drawn on the canvas of existence, it draws some other pattern, next to which the wrong pattern looks so godawful and out of place that it soon gets erased by the collective forces of existence. Gordon Weiss too has sat in front of his computer and drawn the following pattern; “The hitherto relatively contiguous area that has formed the basis more..

BBS wants signboards saying 'Silence please: Mosque ahead' removed

Aug 14 (DBS) The latest targets in the Bodhu Bala Sena’s anti–Muslim hate campaign are innocuous signboards installed by the RDA along the Kandy-Kurunegala Road at Parakahadeniya! When BBS’s general secretary Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero publicly demanded in Kurunegala that the “offensive” signboards saying Silence Please: Mosque Ahead should be removed, the Police promptly obeyed him and attempted to more..

Public administration in Sri Lanka: A framework for research

Aug 14 (Island) Sri Lankan writings in Political Science and Public Administration, unfortunately, do not provide much evidence of detailed research on Public administrative institutions. There are State documents, reports and records which contain valuable data on the performance of administrative institutions but such sources are not readily available and more often they stand in isolation from one another. Public administration of a country is now expected to function in an more..

Troubled finance company says new investors backtrack from US$12mn promise

Aug 14 (Island) Troubled finance company Central Investments and Finance Ltd (CIFL) said the chances of getting a US$ 12 million capital infusion were ‘very’ remote after new investors backtracked from their commitment. Roscoe and Swarna Meloney had told the Central Bank that they would invest US$ 12 million in CIFL and were appointed to the CIFL board. They had also appointed one of their nominees, Dulan Hettiarachchi, as an independent non-executive director. more..

CTC dethrones JKH as the most valuable company in CSE

Aug 14 (FT) Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) yesterday dethroned John Keells Holdings (JKH) as Sri Lanka’s most valuable listed corporate, a development that added a bit of excitement in an otherwise depressed stock market. The multinational’s gain of 10 cents was good enough to win the crown of most valuable stock with a market capitalisation of Rs. 224.8 billion. JKH on the other hand saw its price dip by Rs. 2.30 more..

Colombo to host Insurance Congress of developing countries in Sept.

Aug 14 (FT) The Insurance Association of Sri Lanka (IASL) recently announced its hosting of the 17th AIRDC Insurance Congress of Developing Countries conference for the first time in Sri Lanka, which will see 400 delegates representing insurers and reinsurers from 18 countries present to deliberate on and share their individual industry experiences from their respective regions. The congress will be held in Colombo from 29 Sept to 2 Oct with a host of guest speakers lined up to discuss more..

Ceramics industry urges renewal of GSP+

Aug 14 (ST) Renewing the GSP+ for exports in the European Union will help Sri Lanka recover cross markets in ceramics, a top official said, adding “in the past few years we have lost many markets due to the loss of GSP+”. Sri Lanka Ceramics Council (SLCC) President Mahendra Jayasekara made these comments while speaking at this week’s 10th Annual General Meeting of the council held in Colombo. He said while Sri Lanka has lost many markets during the past few years, more..

New Presidential Salaries Commission

Aug 14 (ST) Sri Lanka will introduce a national policy on wages of employees for the first time in history to make salary revisions applicable to both the public and private sectors. A Presidential Salaries Commission is to be created by President Rajapaksa within two weeks to devise this national policy and settle salary anomalies of employees. The appointment of the commission, which is a 2013 budget proposal and should have happened more..