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New SLAS officers recruited to Northern and Eastern provinces

Aug 15 (IL) President Rajapaksa handed over appointment letters to 43 new administrative officers who completed one year training programme by passing the Sri Lanka Administrative Service (SLAS) Exam conducted in the Tamil medium. A special ceremony was held at the President Secretariat today (14) to hand over appointment letters to the recipients. The new appointees will serve in the N&E Provinces more..

Lessons to be learnt from G.P. on the Sri Lankan imbroglio

Aug 15 (Hindu) A panel discussion, ‘G.P. and the Sri Lankan imbroglio’, held recently in the Capital threw light on the role played by G. Parthasarathy (G.P.), who served as Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s special envoy to Sri Lanka in 1983, and the lessons that can be learnt by India for effectively negotiating with its neighbour. Referring to the proposals which emerged as a result of discussions led by G.P. between the Govt of India and the Govt of Sri Lanka during Aug-Nov 1983, which were presented more..

Sri Lanka opens its only listed fund in the CSE to non residents

Aug 15 (N360) Non residents can invest on the ‘Namal Acuity Value Fund’, which is Sri Lanka’s only listed fund on the Colombo Stock Exchange, says its managers. A stock market disclosure issued by the Namal Asset Management, the Managers of the Fund says there won’t be any restrictions of the percentage of units which the non residents will be permitted to hold. Accordingly, the non residents can trade in listed units of the ‘Namal Acuity Value Fund’ with effective from 15th August 2013. more..

Wimal warns of bid to cause religious tensions

Aug 15 (Island) NFF leader, Minister Wimal Weerasansa urges the public not to fall prey to the external and internal elements working overtime to undermine political and economic stability of the country. He alleges that the country is facing a grave threat due to machinations of those who couldn’t stomach defeat of LTTE terrorism in May 2009. Minister was addressing a propaganda meeting held in support of NFF candidate more..

Unnamed Sri Lanka spinner in a fix

Aug 15 (CT) The ICC said Tuesday seven people have been charged with match-fixing in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) in a scandal that has already ensnared national hero Mohammad Ashraful. It said another two people including, a Sri Lanka spinner who has previously represented the country, have been charged with failing to report corruption when they were approached to take part in fixing during the 2013 season of the BPL, a Twenty20 tournament. more..

Army can go with a Magistrate

Aug 15 (CG) The army can be deployed as a last resort during a protest but they should be accompanied by a Magistrate, Chief of Defence Staff General Jagath Jayasuriya said. He said that the police should handle all law and order situations and the military can be called in only as a last resort. Jayasuriya said that the Magistrate is there as a witness. Asked if a Magistrate was present at Weliweriya during the recent incident when army support was sought to control a protest, more..

SLMC sacks five top members

Aug 15 (CT) The SLMC sacked five of its High Command members, who have obtained nominations to contest the upcoming Provincial Council elections from the UPFA, defying the Party decision to contest the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) independent of the ruling coalition. "Our Leader, Minister Rauff Hakeem, arrived at this decision as the SLMC decided to contest the NPC Election alone," SLMC General Secretary, more..

PCB mulls day-night Tests against Sri Lanka

Aug 15 (CI) The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has offered Sri Lanka Cricket a chance to play a day-night Test on their tour to the United Arab Emirates in winter. Two of three Tests on the tour are scheduled in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and these could be potential venues to host the day-night Test. The ICC last year approved the idea of day-night Test matches but left it to member boards to decide on the hours of play and the colour of the ball to be used. No board so far has considered playing more..

Three more locomotives from IRCON arrive for Northern railway projects

Aug 15 (FT) Three more locomotives were handed over to augment the progress of the Northern railway projects. The locomotives, which arrived in Sri Lanka end-July, will be commissioned shortly and work is currently progressing at Sri Lanka Railways’ Ratmalana yard under the skilled supervision of a special technical team from Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW), Varanasi. The Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW) in Varanasi, India is the production unit owned by Indian Railways more..

Renegotiating power agreements: High-powered committee optimistic

Aug 15 (Island) A high powered five-member committee, headed by Central Bank Deputy Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe, is confident that ongoing negotiations on new terms and conditions for power purchases with Independent Power Producers (IPPs) will benefit the CEB. He said that their involvement in the committee was to get favourable power purchase agreements for the CEB unlike the previous ones. more..

Healthy move by ITI to save Sri Lanka

Aug 15 (DM) The safety and quality of what millions of Sri Lankan people eat and drink daily has seldom been properly and professionally tested. For instance we have about 200 varieties of bottled water in the market being sold at prices ranging from Rs 80 to Rs. 100 a litre with some of them carrying a tag saying “Approved by the Ministry of Health”. But the GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said on Wednesday the Health Ministry did not have state-of-the-art equipment and more..

The need for meaningful education reforms

Aug 15 (DM) The news-media recently carried reports that the education Ministry is planning to set in motion a process of education reforms. It will no doubt be most welcome since much is to be desired in the entirety of the education system as prevailing today. As usual new demands are constantly made emphasising the necessity to ensure that the education is kept relevant, result-oriented and above all consistent with the national development goals which are necessarily reflected in more..

Grandpass: The true Story

Aug 15 (DM) It was only in May this year massive anti-Muslim protests were held in central London sending jitters through the spine of David Cameron’s govt. In France and the rest of Europe the Muslim community has come under regular attacks while the Denmark based Stop Islamisation of Europe (SIOE) moved to join hands with similar anti-Muslim groups in France, Germany, Norway, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Russia, Finland, more..

Clean and Colombo, a combo

Aug 15 (Hindu) "How come?" I wondered, when I recently spotted a used, disposable plastic cup, of a famous yogurt brand, lying on the pavement in my Colombo neighbourhood. In the last four months that I have been here, I have seldom seen anything synthetic on the roads – no polythene bags being chauffeured around by the breeze, no food packets with rice spilling out, no disfigured mineral water bottles. more..

Reconsider role of the military outside of its traditional sphere

Aug 15 (SL) There is no more war in the North and East and Sri Lanka is preparing to welcome delegates from 54 countries to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to be held in November. The country is gearing up in style with those parts of the country to which the delegates will go being spruced up and many plans being made to show the peaceful and prosperous side of Sri Lanka’s post-war development. more..

DPL’s CSR dips as the gloves come off its operations

Aug 15 (ST) The agitation for clean water in Rathupaswala has ended with deaths, injuries and damage to property. A joint investigation is being conducted by related govt agencies to ascertain who is at fault for the water pollution. However, Sajeewa Chamikara of Environmental Conservation Trust points his finger directly at the factory, for the improper release of industrial waste, as a cause for this catastrophe. more..

'UPFA believes in free and fair polls'

Aug 15 (DN) The UPFA is engaged in a democratic, transparent and fair election campaign in all five districts of the Northern Province, Minister Susil Premajayantha said. He said the UPFA is dedicated to holding a free and fair poll in all three provinces. “Using vehicles or any other govt property for the election campaign is prohibited and the police will take legal action against those who violate election rules irrespective of party or personal more..

UPFA election office at Puttalam bus stand

Aug 15 (CT) The police post at the Puttalam main bus stand, which has been in operation for at least three years, was suddenly removed and a SLFP 'operational office' ceremoniously inaugurated yesterday. CaFFE, in a media release stated, the building housing the new 'office' at the bus stand is the property of the Puttalam Municipal Council. The 'office' that was ceremoniously opened for the SLFP, which more..

Missing elephant register re-surfaces

Aug 15 (CT) A registration book on all the tame elephants in the country, in the possession of the Wildlife Department, that had allegedly gone missing, has re-surfaced, sources said. The book, maintained by the Law Enforcement Division of the Department of Wildlife Conservation, and if misplaced, could encourage people to register their illegal elephants with the department. However, after the book went missing, more..

Rishad slams cops on Grandpass

Aug 15 (CG) Minister Rishad Baathiudeen, in a letter to IGP N.K. Illangakoon, criticised the police over the Grandpass incident saying they failed to take action when the mosque was attacked. The Minister attached a DVD with the letter to the IGP containing CCTV footage where he says police inaction is clearly evident during the Grandpass incident. “In addition to this there are several residents in the area who more..

'India will secure rights over Katchatheevu'

Aug 15 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Thursday hoped that India will soon regain its rights over the Katchatheevu island that was ceded to Sri Lanka in 1974. In her Independence Day speech here, Jayalalithaa also said that her government was taking steps to protect people from inflation due to the central government's wrong economic policies. "I have faith in re-establishing our rights in Katchatheevu," she said more..

Video: Gotabaya to meet Navi Pillay

Aug 15 (DM) Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa will meet the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navaneetham Pillai to brief her on the security situation in the country and on accountability when she arrives in the island, said Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Jagath Jayasuriya. “Her visit, the CHOGM, the elections in North and UN HR session will directly impact on national security. more..

Teachers fault govt. for changing Education Secretary too often

Aug 15 (Island) Teacher trade unions accused the govt of changing the Education Ministry secretary too often. General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Union Joseph Stalin said that Anura Dissanayake, who assumed duties as the Education Ministry Secretary on August 7 was the fourth secretary appointed to the ministry within two years. The new secretary, appointed to the ministry, on a temporary basis, was also an additional secretary at the presidential secretariat. more..

Welikade prison massacres: The first massacre: 25th July 1983

Aug 15 (CT) In what follows, the basic facts are culled from accounts of the inquest proceedings – the Magistrate’s reports themselves [Mag] and the reports in the Ceylon Daily News [CDN]. Where they differ, it will be indicated. The CDN reports are of value because the reporter has been good at recording the English nuances. Where other sources are used, they will be indicated. To begin with, a special acknowledgement must be made. It was the Civil Rights Movement of Sri Lanka more..

Explainer: Anti-Muslim violence in Sri Lanka

Aug 15 (WSJ) There was an uneasy standoff in Colombo this weekend after a group of Buddhists attacked a mosque and injured several Muslim worshippers. Analysts say an anti-Muslim campaign by Buddhist nationalist groups in Sri Lanka is being fueled by fears about the swelling Muslim population. Muslims account for only 9% of SL’s population of 20 million, 2011 census found. But the community is the fastest growing. more..

Battle over bus fares looming

Aug 15 (CT) Private bus operators, it appears, are heading for a showdown with the National Transport Commission (NTC), over the latest bus fare hike wrangle, and as is often the case, it is the hapless commuters who will be asked to pay the price no matter how things pan out. According to reports, the President of the Lanka Private Bus Owners' Association (LPBOA) has said he would go ahead with a 10% hike, effective 1 September. Interestingly, the AIPBOF, which had been at more..

HRC postpones media meet

Aug 15 (CG) The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has postponed a scheduled meeting with some media representatives today saying there were some “developments” in Weliweriya. The Free Media Movement (FMM) was among those called for the meeting with the HRCSL this morning. According to the FMM, the meeting had been postponed after they were told by the HRCSL that they had to seek an urgent meeting with the army. The FMM had been told by the more..

'Sri Lanka walk will be my most demanding'

Aug 15 (Reuters) The eight-day walk, arranged to raise funds for those affected by the 30-year war in Sri Lanka, begins at Killinochchi on Nov. 1 and is due to end at Seenigama. "It's going to be like nothing I have ever attempted before and it's going to be my most demanding," Botham said. "I have really strong connections with Sri Lanka and I know if I can raise a lot of money it is going to do so much good for young people here. more..

President to address 15 UPFA rallies

Aug 15 (Island) SLFP leader President Mahinda Rajapaksa will address the UPFA election rallies from September 2, party general secretary and Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. He said that the first rally, attended by President Rajapaksa, would be held in Kurunegala in connection with the SLFP’s 62nd anniversary celebrations. Sirisena said that the President will address 15 rallies, in the three provinces going to polls, from Sep. 02 to 18, covering a total of ten districts. more..

'They killed my son'

Aug 15 (AI) The last time I heard from my son, Ragihar, was a mobile phone text message. It just said: “DAD”. That was 2 January 2006. He had been on the beach with four of his friends in Trincomalee, near our home. That day, I heard a bomb blast near the beach. Two of my sons got back immediately. Ragihar did not. Within minutes of the explosion, I got a call from him. “Daddy,” he said, “the forces are around me.” He meant the security forces. That was all he said. After that, I got the text more..

India plans to double bilateral trade with Sri Lanka in 3 years

Aug 15 (PTI) India plans to double its bilateral trade with Sri Lanka to $10 billion in the next three years, Indian High Commissioner Y.K. Sinha has said. Speaking at the 67th Indian national day celebrations today, Sinha highlighted the growing economic and commercial partnership between India and Sri Lanka and noted that since the operationalisation of bilateral FTA in 2000, trade has multiplied by as much as eight times. more..

Natinal Handicraft Festival ‘Shilpa 2013’ kicks off today

Aug 15 (Island) The National Handicraft Festival ‘Shilpa 2013’ will be declared open by Minister Basil Rajapaksa today at 4.00 p.m. at the BHICH. It ends on August 18. The Media spokesman said that the festival would be parallel to the ‘Shilpa’ National Exhibition and Trade Fair and would be full of new features. New designs introduced by the National Design Center, Independent Designers’ Exhibition and an Art competition for school children would be other attractions. more..

Lankan detained in Cyprus

Aug 15 (CG) Migrant support group KISA called for the release of a Sri Lankan man who has lived, worked and raised his children in Cyprus with his wife for the past 20 years but who has been detained for living on the island illegally. According to KISA the man was arrested on July 20 and taken to the Menoyia detention centre to await deportation. KISA said the couple have been living and working legally in Cyprus continuously since 1993. The family has two children. more..

Sri Lanka considers legal action on Fonterra

Aug 15 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's Cabinet decided on Thursday to appoint a sub-committee to investigate dairy giant Fonterra's milk contamination allegations, which could result in legal action against the company, an official said here. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella noted that the Cabinet sub-committee including senior ministers has been appointed to evaluate the milk powder contamination issue and submit a report at the next Cabinet meeting. more..

Eight cops interdicted for stealing 40 kgs of ganja

Aug 15 (Island) Eight policemen attached to the Thanamalwila police station were interdicted for stealing 40 kilos of ‘ganja’ from a stock of 141 kilos recovered during a raid in the area. Police spokesman SP Buddhika Siriwardana said that the interdicted policemen included a sub inspector, a sergeant, five constables and a police assistant. According to initial investigations conducted by ASP Nimalsiri Perera, the suspended police officers had committed the offence. more..

Sri Lanka hands over Indian prisoners under exchange programme

Aug 15 (PTI) Sri Lanka has started the process of handing over some nine Indian prisoners, undergoing life imprisonment here, to India under a SAARC exchange agreement. G.B. Kulatunga, a local prisons official, said that four of the prisoners, including a woman, were handed back to Indian officials at the Bandaranaike International Airport on Tuesday. Five more were to be handed over today, he added. All of them had been serving life imprisonment over drug charges. more..

67th Independence Day of India celebrations in Sri Lanka

Aug 15 (HCI) The High Commission of India and the Indian expatriate community in Sri Lanka celebrated the 67th Independence Day of India today, at India House in Colombo. High Commissioner Y.K. Sinha unfurled the National Flag, which was followed by a rendering of the Indian National Anthem by ladies from the High Commission and the Indian community. The High Commissioner inspected the Guard of more..

CMC claims ITI demands payment to test milk food

Aug 15 (Island) The Colombo Municipal Council’s Public Health Department (CMC PHD) had been thrown into a quandary over the refusal, by the Industrial Technological Institute (ITI), to conduct tests on samples of milk food it had sent for testing. A spokesman for the CMC PHD said they had taken samples of certain batches of milk powder to test for the toxic agro chemical, dicyanamide. Amongst them were Anchor one Plus, Anchor Full Cream, Maliban Non Fat and Diamond Full Cream. more..

Luxury vehicle registration reaches peak in July

Aug 15 (DM) Registration of luxury vehicles have reached highest levels for 2013 with 729 registrations in July, an equity brokerage report showed. According to J.B. Securities analysis, total registrations of luxury cars peaked 135 units in July, the highest since January’s 134 registrations, amounting to a notable recovery in the segment compared with 47 units in July 2012. Additionally, a further 594 registrations of SUVs were recorded during the month, against a previous 409. more..

SLFP blames intra-party clashes on lack of challenge from opposition

Aug 15 (Island) The SLFP yesterday said that the reason for intra-party clashes was the competition for preferential votes as there was no challenge from the UNP or the JVP in the Northern, North–Western and Central Provincial Council election campaigns. Addressing the media, SLFP General Secretary, Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that the UPFA had already won as opposition supporters were joining them in droves. more..