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Navanetham Pillay: Standing Justice on its Head

Aug 18 (Island) The UN Human Rights Commissioner Navanetham Pillay is due to arrive in Sri Lanka this week at the invitation of the Sri Lankan govt. Many people in Sri Lanka do not know much about Pillay except that she as the UN Human Rights Commissioner has been at the forefront of the campaign to initiate an international war crimes inquiry against Sri Lanka. It just so happened that when Sri Lanka crushed Tamil terrorism, Commissioner herself happened to be a more..

'Third parties created fear psychosis on Weliweriya'

Aug 18 (SL) On August 1, a tense situation led to deaths in Weliweriya as people protested that their water supply was contaminated and acidic. Many of the residents pointed the finger squarely at a factory in the area as the culprit (it has been closed, pending investigation). Tests carried out near the factory also showed that the soil was indeed contaminated. Deputy Minister Faiszer Mustapha spoke to The Sunday Leader on more..

Standing orders in parliament

Aug 18 (NS) The latest Addendum to the Order Book of Parliament sent by parliament secretary general’s office was delivered by Postal Services last week. The addendum has introduced a no date motion by single Liberal Party in Parliament, MP Prof Rajiva Wijesinha seeking the amendment of Standing Orders of Parliament. The business of Parliament is conducted as per the provisions in the Standing Orders, conventions, traditions and precedence. Sri Lanka follows traditions more..

Coup against Mr. Clean

Aug 18 (Island) A coup is developing in cricket circles to ouster K. Mathivanan from cricket administration. Mathivanan was a popular choice for the post of Vice-President in this year’s Sri Lanka Cricket elections where he received the most number of votes. However, he has been completely sidelined by a fellow official well known for his crooked deals. Mathivanan is extremely popular among the employees at the cricket board and those who are involved with the administration of more..

July Customs revenue signals good performance in second half

Aug 18 (Island) Customs revenue this year had increased steadily despite global economic conditions. Up to July 31, 2013 in the fiscal year 2013/14 revenue of Rs.251.4 billion had been collected with July revenue alone recording Rs.43.3 billion – Rs.8.8 billion over the revised estimated tax revenue target of Rs.36.5 billion. "Customs revenue in July was Rs.12.8 billion higher than collections the previous July, a growth of 39%," more..

Rajapaksa govt concerned over growing public dissent

Aug 18 (SL) The Rajapaksa govt is yet to recover from the double whammy faced recently with the growing public outrage against the bloody mayhem in Weliweriya followed by an attack on a mosque in Grandpass by a mob led by Sinhalese Buddhists. The mosque attack in Grandpass was a little too much for the people given that it occurred just 10 days after the Army’s riotous act in Weliweriya. Even the moderate Sinhala Buddhists condemned the attack on the mosque that took place just more..

Nadeeka on show today

Aug 18 (ST) Sri Lanka women’s javelin throw champion, Nadeeka Lakmali will be in action today in the final round of the women’s javelin throw event at the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championship at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Lakmali, the second Lankan athlete to reach a final besides Olympic silver medalist Susanthika Jayasinghe, will be the ninth competitor among 12 finalists in action. In the qualifying round Lakmali covered a distance of 60.39metres to reach the finals more..

Margarine joins the Club

Aug 18 (NS) In the wake of the growing concerns about milk powder products being hazardous to health, doctors now caution the public claiming that consumption of Margarine too, pose a serious health threat. Speaking to The Nation, Dr. Sudath Damsinghe of Sri Jayawardenapura Hospital said it is advisable for consumers to avoid using Margarine as it would result in multiple health issues in the short run as well as in the long run. more..

TNA supporters attacked in Delfts

Aug 18 (CT) Three TNA supporters came under attack in Delft on Thursday night allegedly by a group attached to the EPDP. TNA MP and Spokesperson, Suresh Premachandran, told Ceylon Today a TNA candidate for the upcoming Northern Provincial Council elections, Vindan Kanagaratnam, and his supporters were in Delft to make a door-to-door campaign. “The TNA supporters were attacked while they were staying at a house of another TNA supporter in Delft on Thursday night. more..

No major election violations from North

Aug 18 (NS) Deputy Elections Commissioner M.M. Mohammed said no major incidents of election law violations have been reported from the North. When compared to Central and North Western provinces where election campaigning is in progress, the number of reported cases of election violations in the North was extremely low, he added. The election campaign for the Central and North Western PC elections have been marred by reports of serious incidents of election violations and violent more..

Athakota’s partners in crime still sitting pretty

Aug 18 (NS) In a surprising turn of events, no action has been taken so far against top Police officials and prominent politicians, who provided cover and protection to Anil Champika alias Athakota, former Deraniyagala PS Chairman who is charged for perpetrating mass scale crimes in the area abusing his political power. Champika, currently in custody over the brutal murder of the estate Superintendent Nihal more..

SLC awaiting ICC response to Lokuarachchi accusation

Aug 18 (ST) Sri Lanka Cricket is awaiting the results of the ICC probe into the actions of Kaushal Lokuarachchi during the Bangladesh Premier League tournament. A top official of SLC said, “The ICC has given him fourteen days to respond to their charge.” Lokuarachchi has been charged by the ICC for failing to report an incident where he was approached by certain individuals on match fixing. Lokuarachchi had declined the offer, but had not reported the incident to the authorities. more..

Heavy vehicle ends up on rail track

Aug 18 (Island) A heavy vehicle transporting a 6o-foot stone crusher ended up on the rail track at Kolatenna on the Haputale-Bandarawela Road around 6.45 am on Friday due to what police officials attributed to a "fault in the vacuum brakes system". Residents breathed a sigh of relief as a major calamity was averted due to the presence of mind of the driver who had swerved the vehicle towards the rail track avoiding the many houses in the vicinity. "It was a close shave both ways more..

Chinese investor fishes in troubled waters

Aug 18 (ST) Making use of top level political connections in Sri Lanka, a top Chinese investor linked to a casino group in Las Vegas is lobbying to secure the Transworks house property in Fort and a D.R. Wijewardena Mawatha land to build a mega high rise luxury hotel and apartment complexes with casinos, informed sources said. This follows the Delhi-based Krrish Group project at Transwork House coming to a standstill. more..

President to attend business forum in Belarus

Aug 18 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will lead a business delegation to Belarus later this month to participate in the Belarus-Sri Lanka business forum organized by the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Belarus-Sri Lanka business forum and a Business to Business (B2B) meeting with Sri Lankan businessmen, accompanying the President during his visit to Belarus will be held in at the National library of Belarus in Minsk on the 26th of August, 2013. more..

Army Major arrested with 15 kilos of cannabis

Aug 18 (Island) A Major in the Army and his assistant were arrested by the Anuradhapura police with 15 kilos of cannabis (ganja) last week. Police believe the two suspects were the brains behind a massive cannabis distribution operation in the area. "Preliminary investigations reveal that these drugs were being supplied to ‘contacts’ over the years", a police official said. The arrest of the army officer was a sequel to a tip off received by DIG (North Central) Ranjith Pathmasiri. more..

President Rajapaksa participates in the Annual Kataragama Festival

Aug 18 (IL) President Rajapaksa visited the Kataragama sacred area last night and participated in many special religious observances and annual Kataragama perahara festival. He participated in religious observances at the Katharagama Kiri Vehera Rajamaha Viharaya and called on the Chief Incumbent Ven. Dr. Aluthweva Soratha Thera. A pirith chanting ceremony also took place to invoke blessings on the President. more..

State banks’ billions for Wimal’s million houses

Aug 18 (ST) Minister Wimal Weerawansa has got the country’s five state-owned banks to cough up more than Rs. 4.2 billion for the Govt’s programme to build one million houses. The banks are People’s Bank (Rs. 1,200 million), Bank of Ceylon (Rs. 1,200 million), National Savings Bank (Rs. 1,200 million), Housing Development Finance Corporation (Rs. 500 million) and State Mortgage and Investment Bank (Rs. 150 million). The total works out to Rs. 4,250 million. more..

SLMC not happy

Aug 18 (SL) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) says it has been forced to take a decision about its future with the government as a result of some of the incidents which had taken place recently. SLMC General Secretary Hassan Ali said the government had not directly intervened on some issues involving Muslims and as a result the party is under pressure from the Muslim community. “Muslims are still being treated as a minority and their issues are being ignored,” he said. more..

New tourist city to rise from Mt. Lavinia sea

Aug 18 (ST) A multi-billion rupee project to reclaim part of the sea off the Mount Lavinia area for mixed development projects including tourist-related facilities is to be awarded to a company from the Netherlands. Dr. Anil Premaratne, Director General of Coast Conservation Department, which comes under the purview of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, said that 642 acres would be reclaimed by more..

Indians propose open seas

Aug 18 (SL) Indian fishermen have now proposed ‘open seas’ as a solution to the conflict between Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen. N. J. Bose, president of the Rameswaram Mechanised Boat Fishermen Association says an open seas solution would mean an area being earmarked where Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen can catch fish under a time table. “The final solution should be acceptable to both sides. An open seas solution is one option where the Sri Lankan fishermen can come to more..

Richlife Dairies uplift local milk industry

Aug 18 (LBT) Richlife Dairies Ltd, Sri Lanka’s pioneering manufacturer of liquid fresh milk in Tetra packs, recently increased its milk collection network to over 5,000 farmer families across the country. A member of Renuka Shaw Wallace PLC, the company’s primary focus is to extend the local milk farmer network throughout the country. With seven milk collection and chilling centres located across Galaha, Kirindiwela, Dambulla, Nikaweratiya, Horana, Bandargama and Wadduwa, more..

Milk in a pickle

Aug 18 (ST) Three weeks after the milk crisis broke out in Sri Lanka, the confusion continued, further bemusing the people when some “experts” discussed issues totally unrelated to contamination and the Govt maintained a sphinx-like silence. Thunder and fury exuded by the experts effectively curdled the milk fiasco, without casting much light on crucial issues. This was as humble mothers (who had been compelled to go more..

Milk crisis: Ministerial com. meets tomorrow

Aug 18 (ST) A seven-member ministerial committee appointed to probe the milk contamination issue on a Cabinet directive meets tomorrow just as confusion prevails in the market over the sale of milk products. The committee headed by Minister Maithripala Sirisena is expected to submit a report within a week over tests carried out by the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) which found traces of DCD in batches of milk sold by NZ-based Fonterra and Australian-sourced Maliban milk. more..

CHOGM runaround at Crescat

Aug 18 (Island) Many business owners and their employees at the Crescat Boulevard were sent helter-skelter during the last few days with the defense ministry giving only a couple of days to provide the relevant documents for security clearance passes to enable business owners and their employees to enter the high security area of Kollupitiya and Crescat Boulevard during the CHOGM conference due to be held in three months. The businesses had to provide photos of more..

As Pillay comes, Govt. faces more HR issues

Aug 18 (ST) A comfortable two thirds majority in Parliament, a modernised armed forces and a heavily politicised Police Department at its beck and call notwithstanding, the UPFA Govt went into panic mode this week. At least two main events, among others, foretold the story of its knee jerk reactions. One was Wednesday’s protest headed by the country’s largest opposition group, the UNP. Hours ahead of the event six more..

Ministry to come down hard on errant teachers

Aug 18 (SO) Higher Education Ministry Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha Nawaratne said if the 11 university lecturers had obtained leave to participate in any unofficial meeting in London to promote separatism in Sri Lanka, stern legal and disciplinary action will be taken against them. External Affairs, Defence and Higher Education Ministries are now conducting investigations to ascertain whether these university lecturers had participated in any illegal or anti-state conference organised by more..

Sri Lanka’s Orel inks deal with India’s Spice

Aug 18 (NS) Orel Corporation, Sri Lanka’s largest player in the electrical manufacturing sector, has embarked on a groundbreaking business venture with a futuristic view to integrate two totally different industries – electrical manufacturing and mobile phone industry – into one common platform in the near future. Taking its first step in this direction, Orel Corporation has signed an agreement with India’s Spice Mobile, a BK Modi Group venture, who has a strong presence in the sub-continent. more..

Police alert Defence Ministry over Chinese, Taiwanese criminals

Aug 18 (ST) Police have alerted the Defence Ministry over an alarming increase in financial crimes involving foreigners, especially by those from China and Taiwan. Authoritative sources said that CID statistics indicated that 136 foreigners were arrested between January 1, 2010, and July 5, 2013, for their alleged involvement in financial or credit card fraud. Of these suspects, 105 were from China and Taipei, 7 from India, 5 from Russia, more..

Talk at the cafe spectator

Aug 18 (ST) Despite high tidal waves washing the shores where the restaurant stood, a resort in the south did good business that Sunday. The loud bursts of tippers unloading boulders on the shore or dust from repairs in the building did not deter diners. They have filled the open hall for the sumptuous buffet lunch amidst caressing winds. The distraction came only when a southern politico, with a tummy which local cartoonists are more..

Kidney disease spreads; Govt. to ban ads on agro-chemicals

Aug 18 (ST) Fresh on the heels of the continuing milk food crisis and questions over the advertising of milk products, the Govt wants to impose a ban on advertising pesticides and agro chemicals causing the mounting Chronic Kidney Disease in Sri Lanka and establish a statutory Technological Council to promote environmentally friendly agriculture. These are highlights of recommendations made by a panel of more..

Karu, Sajith likely to be given positions after PC Polls

Aug 18 (Island) With most former UNP dissidents re-entering the party fold, Messrs. Karu Jayasuriya and Sajith Premadasa are likely to be given positions after the conclusion of the upcoming Provincial Council Elections, senior UNP sources indicated. Senior UNP MP John Amaratunga, when asked if there was move to reunite the party after dissident MP’s Range Bandara and Ashoka Abeysinghe patched up their differences with more..

Sri Lankan boat found near Nagai coast

Aug 18 (ENS) A 17-foot long fibre boat equipped with kerosene powered outboard engine was found abandoned and drifting near the coastal waters off the shore of Point Calimere wildlife sanctuary at the Vedaranyam block of the district on Saturday morning. Preliminary investigation suggests that the boat was from Sri Lanka but there was no trace of any fishing gear on board. On Saturday morning police more..

UNESCO warns Galle Fort

Aug 18 (CG) UNESCO has warned that the Galle Fort may lose its world heritage status owing to illegal constructions within the Fort. The National Heritage Ministry has received a letter in this regard, Minister Dr Jagath Balasuriya said. The Galle Fort was recognized as a cultural heritage site for its unique exposition of an urban ensemble which illustrates the interaction of European architecture and South Asian traditions from the 16th to more..

Environmentalists to create awareness about factories polluting environment

Aug 18 (SL) Several environmental groups and activists, have come together to create awareness about factories across the island that are causing pollution. The initiative was established following the tragedy that befell the residents of Weliweriya, when their campaign for clean drinking water ended in bloodshed. One of the factories highlighted, at a press conference held earlier this week, was DSI. more..

'Conference on Tamilology nothing to do with politics'

Aug 18 (CT) Emeritus Professor of Tamil Language and Linguistics, Prof A. Shanmugadas, has pointed out the World Conference on Tamilology, currently being held in London, is a non-political event and none of the 124 research papers presented at the Conference are politically oriented. Responding to the allegations with regard to the London Tamilology Conference by UGC, saying the Conference is promoting anti-govt more..

40,000 killed in last phase of war? Gota challenges UN to produce evidence

Aug 18 (Island) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa challenged the UN to furnish evidence relating to the main war crimes allegation that 40,000 persons allegedly disappeared during the final phase of the war in early 2009. He emphasized that none of those propagating war crimes allegations, including the UN, had so far revealed the basis of their accusations. Rajapaksa said the govt intended to take up the issue more..

Sri Lanka army intimidates media over shooting, says rights group

Aug 18 (AFP) A Sri Lankan media rights group on Sunday accused the military of intimidating journalists who reported a deadly army crackdown on villagers protesting at contaminated water supplies. The army has been come under pressure after soldiers fired on unarmed locals on August 1 in a village outside Colombo, killing three, as they protested against a factory which they say polluted their ground water. more..

Voting for the right candidate

Aug 18 (CT) With elections for the three provinces literally around the corner, the headline story in Saturday’s issue of this newspaper certainly raises some critical questions, not simply about the quality and character of our elected representatives, but also our responsibility as voters. “The Mayor and the Deputy Mayor of the Nuwara Eliya Municipal Council are in hot water, the former for accepting bribes, while the latter is accused of abusing five underage children,” read the report, more..

When the people and leadership ‘Are friends’

Aug 18 (CT) Those who operate in the cesspits of the journalistic world, maintaining websites that are for the most part repositories of what in Sri Lanka we refer to as ‘raw filth’, have tried to tell us what we can or should do as commentators, opinion-makers and media practitioners. As they say, that will be the day when the law can be laid down to us by ex-ambassadors hurting at their most recent job loss, and their hurrah boy squads in the morally depraved terrorist Tamil Tiger rump. more..