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Golden butterfly of our nation

Aug 2 (CT) This 31st July marks the 24th death anniversary of one of the greatest songwriters in Sri Lankan history. He mesmerized the entire nation through his lyrics – and his songs touched people’s minds and hearts. Premakeerthi de Alwis could connect to us through words and bring out deep meaning in simple lyrics. I am writing this article because it saddened me there was nothing written about him for his birth anniversary last month. He was brutally assassinated in 1989, on more..

Lessons from Black July for law and order and tolerance

Aug 2 (Island) This week we remember with deep regret, shame and sadness, the Black July of 1983, now chosen to be forgotten in history. Many factors paved the way for the incidents that took place during the 1983 Black July. We remember the intensifying hate campaigns, the terrorism and the ever increasing tensions between the ethnic groups that preceded black July and the thirty year war this led to. During this long period of hate and war citizens of this country were more..

Govt responding to people’s issues with batons and bullets - JVP

Aug 2 (AD) Condemning yesterday’s attack on protestors at Weliweriya, the JVP today accused the govt of responding to people’s calls for clean drinking water with “batons” and using the army to attack media personnel to prevent them from reporting such incidents. The residents of Rathupaswala fought and protested for several days requesting clean water to drink, however the govt responded by using the army to open fire, more..

Sri Lankan govt continues evictions of Colombo’s poor

Aug 2 (WSWS) The Sri Lankan govt, which plans to convert Colombo City into a “South Asian commercial hub,” is expediting its evictions of residents. In order to attract investors and tourists, it has also started developing several other cities and coastal areas. The UDA forcibly demolished 15 houses last month near the Slave Island railway station in central Colombo, with the help of the security forces. It is estimated that 119 more families and three businesses have been more..

Sri Lanka stocks close flat

Aug 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks closed flat Friday with losses in the large cap stocks and banking stocks, brokers said. The benchmark Colombo All Share Index closed 0.78 points lower at 6,155.82 and the S&P SL 20 Index closed 13.00 points higher at 3,490.57 up 0.37%. Turnover was 399 million rupees. Foreigners brought 118 million rupees worth shares while selling 622 million rupees of shares, in a day that 80 stocks advanced and 96 stocks declined. more..

Karu calls for unity in UNP

Aug 2 (CG) UNP member Karu Jayasuriya says the UNP must unite as a party before it looks to unite as an opposition. In a message to UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, Jayasuriya said that the party has fought enough among its members and now it is time to establish a democratic country and rule for the people of this country. He also said that he had not been included in the party selection process of the candidates for the PC more..

Machine to detect dengue in advance

Aug 2 (Island) The Health Ministry has set up a molecular technology unit at the Medical Research Institute (MRI) to diagnose dengue virus in four stages. The European Union has granted Rs. 30 million for the project. A Health Ministry spokesman said that the molecular technology machine was capable of doing nearly 3,000 blood tests annually. The machine capable of detecting any type of dengue virus in advance so that treatment process could be started early. more..

Army frees more land

Aug 2 (CG) The army today released more land in Jaffna and returned them to the original owners. Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that over 77 houses and approximately 25 acres of land were released in Jaffna today. This was done after relocating the Military camps formerly located in those premises to the Palaly Cantonment. The camps were located in Achelu, Uralu, Achchuveli, Colombuthurai, and Ariyalai areas of the Walikamam sector in the Jaffna peninsula. more..

Pakistan assures Sri Lanka of full cooperation in defence production sector

Aug 2 (MoD) The Pakistan government has assured Sri Lanka full cooperation in the defence Production sector. Pakistan's Federal Minister for Defence Production, Rana Tanveer Hussain has assured Sri Lanka's High Commissioner in Islamabad, Air Chief Marshal (Retd) Jayalath Weerakkody that all bilaterally important matters will be looked after with keen interest to improve and further strengthen more..

Sri Lanka-born top international designer Balmond in JKH resort

Aug 2 (LBO) Balmond Studio, a UK-based firm founded by Sri Lanka-born Cecil Balmond has designed John Keells Holding's 820 million dollar casino resort development, the company said. Balmond currently holds the Paul Philippe chair at Penn Design as Professor of Architecture at University of Pennyslvania, USA and is deputy chairman of Arup UK, a top engineering consulting firm, JKH told shareholders in a circular. Under his direction Arup had designed China's CCTV more..

Sri Lanka to use Trenchless Technology

Aug 2 (GDI) Funds have been allocated for the construction of water supply and sewage systems in Colombo, Kalutara, Jaffna and Kandy. Minister Dinesh Gunawardana said that the introduction of the trenchless technology would assist in conducting these projects in a proper manner. The Minister made these comments addressing the No-Dig Colombo Summit held in Colombo. He said Kandy City is one of the best tourist attractions in the country and therefore the trenchless system more..

General Jayasuriya assumes office as CDS

Aug 2 (MoD) The newly appointed Chief of Defence Staff General Jagath Jayasuriya assumed duties at a function held at the Office of the Chief of Defence Staff this morning. General Jayasuriya relinquished duties as the 19th Commander of the Army before taking up post as the CDS. After completing his education at Royal College, Colombo he joined the Sri Lanka Army as a cadet officer in 1978. more..

Yatiyantota PS chairman released on bail

Aug 2 (AD) The Chairman of the Yatitantota Pradeshiya Sabha, U.D. Wasantha Kumara who was arrested and remanded on bribery charges has been released on bail by the Colombo Magistrate’s Court. The PS chairman was released on a cash bail of Rs 15,000 and two certified bails of Rs 500,000 each as ordered by Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya. The suspect was also ordered to refrain from intimidating any of the witnesses in the case and also to refrain from leaving the country. more..

Army probes Weliweriya incident

Aug 2 (CG) The army has launched an investigation into the clashes at Weliweriya amidst allegations soldiers mishandled the situation. Army Commander Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake appointed a special board of inquiry headed by Major General Jagath Dias to investigate the army role in the clashes. Meanwhile army spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya said that most soldiers placed at Weliweriya have been withdrawn and only a few still remain there. more..

Video: Ranil in Weliweriya

Aug 2 (DM) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe visited Weliweriya and the surrounding areas where the army is alleged to have assaulted unarmed villagers while they were demonstrating against the contamination of ground water. UNP politicians including MPs John Amaratunga and Ruwan Wijewardena visited the area and spoke to some of the villagers who were alleged to have been assaulted by the army. more..

Even diplomats talk about Mali

Aug 2 (Inquier) The Sri Lankan foreign minister who is currently in town for a four-day visit has been given an update on the condition of Mali, the elephant that came from Sri Lanka as a gift to the Philippines in the 1970s, which animal welfare activists want released from Manila Zoo. External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris “expressed satisfaction” with Mali’s condition, according to a statement from the Department of Foreign Affairs on Friday. Peiris and Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario more..

Expert tells parents: Don’t give mobile phones to your children

Aug 2 (ST) A fervent request for parents to refuse to give mobile phones to their children was made on Thursday by a senior official of the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs. “One of the main reasons for children to be led astray is the electronic device, the mobile which parents give them with good intentions,” said Dr. Neela Gunasekara, Chairperson of National Committee on Women, Ministry of Child Development and Women Affairs. She was speaking as the chief guest more..

Lakbima reveals how Weliweriya became Puthumathalan

Aug 2 (SM) Two people have died from the brutal attack made by the security forces to the people who were protesting in Waliweriya demanding solutions for the drinking water problem. Nearly 30 people are receiving treatments at Gampaha and Wathupitiwala hospitals. Army states another body of an unidentified person is lying on a place near Waliweriya town. UNP leader Ranil Wickramasinghe and Western Province more..

Boss stole my secrets, alleges Deputy Mayor

Aug 2 (ST) The feud between Kotte’s Mayor and Deputy Mayor continues red-hot with the deputy complaining that police are ignoring his request to find out whether his boss allegedly stole secrets from his computer. Deputy Mayor Madura Vithana hit the headlines when a doctored video of him with a nude female was publicly distributed. The Colombo District Court last year issued an interim injunction against Mayor Janaka Ranawaka, restraining him from defaming his deputy. more..

Passengers heading to Sri Lanka stopped

Aug 2 (CG) Fifty passengers were yesterday stopped at Chennai from boarding a Jet Airways flight to Colombo after customs officials found them carrying commercial goods, but travelling on a tourist visa. This is the first instance in recent times that the customs department has stopped passengers from travelling abroad en masse. The plane, carrying 114 passengers, left for Colombo leaving behind the 50 traders. The passengers, mostly traders from Burma Bazaar, more..

Jayalalithaa urges PM to summon Sri Lanka envoy

Aug 2 (PTI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa on Friday urged PM Manmohan Singh to summon the Sri Lankan High Commissioner and convey India’s strong protest on the arrest of Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy. In a letter to Mr. Singh, she said five fishermen from Nagapattinam were attacked by the Sri Lankan Navy on July 30 on the high seas with pipes and sickles. more..

'Lankan provinces would be stripped of police, land powers'

Aug 2 (PTI) Sri Lanka's nine provincial councils would definitely be stripped of land and police powers, Prime Minister DM Jayaratne said today. Speaking after the closure of nominations for the provincial councils, Jayaratne said "Provincial Councils would definitely be stripped of land and police powers". The govt in May contemplated a move to dilute the 13th amendment to the Constitution aimed at stripping the councils with powers to control land and police matters. more..

US urges Govt to respect the right to protest

Aug 2 (AD) Expressing concern over the violence which broke out during a protest in Weliweriya, the US today urged the Sri Lankan Government to respect the rights of people to protest peacefully. “The U.S. Embassy is concerned about the violence in yesterday’s protest in Weliweriya, and urges the Govt of Sri Lanka to respect the rights of people to protest peacefully, and urges restraint from all sides,” the embassy in Colombo said in a release. One person died and over 20 others were more..

1st T20: South Africa beat Sri Lanka

Aug 2 (CI) Replay the manner in which South Africa were defeated four times on their tour of Sri Lanka so far and you would have expected them to lose this match as well. The top order failed, the middle order was exposed but only just hung together and the bowlers had too little to work with. But this time, they pulled off a heist despite all their deficiencies. JP Duminy followed up his half-century with a match-winning bowling performance more..

Indo-Lanka Accord a nullity

Aug 3 (NS) The Vaddamarachi operation launched by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces was to protect Sri Lanka’s territorial and the political independence of Sri Lanka from Indian armed and trained terrorist groups. India unlawfully interfered in that operation with the use of force by violating Sri Lanka’s Air Space with a so called ‘Parripu drop’ forcing Sri Lanka to sign the Indo-Lanka Accord under duress.According to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT) [Article 52] more..

A glimpse of ancient workmanship

Aug 3 (NS) Traditionally when one talks of a temple he would imagine it to have the typical stand out icons of a Sri Lankan temple such as the Dagoba, Bodhiya and Vihara Geya or image house. On a by road off Kandy-Kundasle main road is an extraordinary building that depicts the exact opposite of a typically found temple. Appropriately named ‘Galmaduwa’, it is a testament to the technologies and workmanship used at that time to build such monuments in Sri Lanka. more..

The resilient glory that is Jaffna

Aug 3 (NS) ‘Where are you from?’ is a common question that follows greeting when stranger encounters stranger. Place is important because place marks person. At least, that has been the case for centuries and still provides one of several clues or insights into an individual. It is valid for inquirer because it is valid for respondent. Even today, where the distinctions between urban and rural, city and village, are blurred or at least more..

The APRC: A forgotten resolution

Aug 3 (GV) Four years after the end of the Sri Lankan civil war, Hindu temples are being destroyed in the North, Muslim retail stores are being attacked in the South and Sinhala Buddhist extremism has become organized into its own brand. In other words, ethnic-religious tension within the nation is still very much alive. The Round Table conference convened in 1984 by J. R. Jayewardene, the All Party Conference convened by President Premadasa in August 1989 and the draft more..

Chandraguptha Thenuwara’s ‘Beautification’

Aug 3 (GV) Leading Sri Lankan artist Chandraguptha Thenuwara’s most recent exhibition entitled Beautification makes parody of contemporary Sri Lanka by suggesting that peace is but a façade and that the conflict is in fact on-going. Beautification serves as a reflection of life during and post-war. My conversation with Thenuwara led me to believe that his strong opinions, coupled with the fact that he had witnessed and experienced the war first hand, were vital ingredients in more..

Colombo, the best 'livable city' in 2016

Aug 3 (SO) The City of Colombo, which was established as Sri Lanka's (then Ceylon) capital by the British colonial rulers, expanded later with growth in the overall economy, although the expansion was curtailed to some extent due to the three-decade terrorism. Hence, the city lacked the infrastructure while also not being properly urbanised in addition to lagging behind many of its regional peers, thus leaving ample space for more..

Weliweriya, Gampaha: Black Thursday 2013

Aug 3 (DBS) Who deployed troops, clad in flak jackets (body armour) and armed with T-56 assault rifles to confront and disperse a crowd of protestors blocking a highway? Who was the ultimate decision-maker? The protestors were not armed, certainly not with lethal weapons. Therefore, no real harm could have come to soldiers in body armour. A ‘clash’ between lethally armed soldiers and protestors with stones and slippers is not a clash that warrants in any way, the use of lethal force. more..

Editorial : Bleeding for water

Aug 3 (Island) Thursday’s brutal crackdown on a group of protesters in Weliweriya has left us in a state of shock and dismay. Armed to the teeth, the police and the army acted as if they were fighting a war of sorts. They first targeted the media personnel on the scene, betraying their true intention in the process; they were not there to prevent violence but to perpetrate it. One protester was killed 30 others were injured. People who asked for clean water were left bleeding. more..

Dr. Carl Wright

Black July: The testimony of Lionel Bopage, Then General Secretary of the JVP

Aug 3 (CT) In the morning of 25th July he was near Angoda at their press, proof reading their journal. A crowd coming from Colombo advised people to close up and go home. Bopage drove home to Kelaniya, passing through Colombo. In Kelaniya cars were being stopped on the road opposite the Tyre Corporation and vehicles carrying Tamils were being burnt with their occupants. (Sources from Kelaniya University told us that one Omar, a well-known thug of Cyril Mathew’s, more..

Defence Secretary attends Iftar

Aug 3 (FT) Secretary Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa participated at a traditional Iftar ceremony at the Ramada in Colombo on Thursday. The Iftar was hosted by the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development. Iftar is the breaking of fast of Muslims during the month of Ramadan. Ramadan is one of the holy months in the Islamic calendar where pious Muslims all over the world fast from early morning to dusk. It is one of the five obligations of Islam. more..

Weliweriya Military-Civilian Clash

Aug 3 (DBS) Brutal military force was unleashed in the Weliweriya area of Gampaha on people engaged in a protest demonstration against pollution of water by acidic contamination caused by a glove manufacturing plant. One person was killed and at least 46 people injured due to firing by the military. Two journalists were also injured. Eight Police and four military personnel also sustained injuries. more..

The July 1983 Prison Massacre

Aug 3 (Island) Communal harmony prevailed in prisons till 1983. All prisoners of varied races lived together without any racial prejudices. Their main problem was the effects of incarceration, whether convicted or unconvicted. Prisoners helped one another to solve their problems and never discriminated against each other. There have been communal disturbances in the country since 1958. But these communal problems did not have any repercussions in prisons. more..

Du Plessis' latest spin tangle

Aug 3 (CI) Faf du Plessis has perhaps been the worst of South Africa's batsmen this tour, and his latest dismissal served to illustrate how clueless he has been against spin in Sri Lanka. As Sachithra Senanayake arrived at his delivery stride, du Plessis began to shuffle to the off side, seemingly intent to hit the ball to leg. Just as Senanayake bowled, though, he had a change of heart. Quickly he attempted to reassume his normal stance and stepped back, prodding at the ball, more..

Ranaviru Real Star winner receives her new house

Aug 3 (MoD) The Chairperson of the MoD Seva Vanitha Unit, Mrs. Ioma Rajapaksa officially handed over the first prize, a house worth Rupees 20 Million to the winner of 'Ranaviru Real Star -Mission 3', Thushani Perera of the Sri Lanka Air Force at a function held at Battaramulla today (2). Mrs. Ioma Rajapaksa was warmly welcomed by Thushani Perera and her family and was accompanied to the new house in a colorful procession. more..

On converting Sri Lankan NICs to biometric smart cards

Aug 3 (CT) India has launched an identity management scheme called Aadhaar, to issue biometric identity cards to all 1.2 billion citizens. This was announced in January 2009. In June 2009, Nandan Nilekani, a businessman and entrepreneur, co-founder of the famed, computer services and software giant, Infosys, was given Cabinet status and appointed to run the scheme. Nilekani, a thoughtful man and author of the bestselling book ‘Imagining India,’ in which he makes out a more..