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Clostridium Botulinum not detected in over 400 Whey samples - MRI

Aug 22 (AD) Clostridium Botulinum has not been detected yet in over 400 Whey protein samples tested at the Medical Research Institute, the MRI said. Earlier this month, the Director General of Health Services told producers and distributors to remove all milk products and nutritional supplements containing whey protein until further notice. The Health Services Director General temporarily halted the release of all imported dairy products more..

Govt. candidates abusing state resources -TISL

Aug 22 (Island) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) said that the kith and kin of the ruling party politicians were the main culprits where the abuse of State resources for elections campaigning was concerned. TISL Executive Director S. Ranugge said the family members and relatives of the UPFA politicians were making full use of public funds, state vehicles and resources for their propaganda campaigns. more..

Sri Lanka seeks joint action to fight human smuggling

Aug 22 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan govt on Thursday sought joint international action to combat human smuggling. Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem said no amount of action taken locally will bring about a lasting solution to the people smuggling issue, unless the international community comes together to implement sustained and effective measures to prevent such activities. He said that sustained international cooperation more..

Sri Lanka's civil society to meet UN human rights high commissioner

Aug 22 (CT) Members of civil society who will be meeting UN Human Rights Commissioner, Navi Pillay, during her visit in Sri Lanka next week, are expected to highlight some of the issues they perceive have not received due consideration from the Sri Lankan Govt. A civil society organization, Platform for Freedom, told Ceylon Today, they have already submitted 20 proposals to Pillay that the govt has failed to implement. more..

'PSC is nothing but a talking shop'

Aug 22 (CT) The opposition yesterday demanded the government to explain the meaning of participating in the Parliament Select Committee (PSC), appointed to recommend and report on political and constitutional measures to empower the people of Sri Lanka to live as one nation. JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, explaining reasons as to why they decided not to participate in the PSC said the govt has not yet made public more..

99% candidates fail to declare assets

Aug 22 (CT) Legal action will be taken against the Provincial Council (PC) election candidates who have not declared their assets and liabilities by 30 August, Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL), warned yesterday. Senior Manager, TISL, Shan Wijethunge said so far only a miniscule 1% of the total 3,785 candidates – who are contesting the September PC elections have declared their assets and liabilities. more..

'Para Dhemalâ'

Aug 22 (CT) I don’t remember hearing Sinhala spoken in the Jaffna of my childhood, but I’m over 75 and no longer trust my memory: perhaps, Sinhala was spoken here and there. Be that as it may, it’s not relevant to what follows. We shifted to Colombo when I was 14, and I was almost immediately sent to St Thomas’, Gurutalawa (see “Recollections of Gurutalawa,” Sunday Island, 5 July 2009). The context in which the word para was used, both at boarding-school, in Colombo and elsewhere; more..

Making the country safe for children

Aug 22 (CT) To say that Sri Lanka is experiencing an alarming escalation in rape, child abuse and wanton infidelities is a gross understatement. Statistics is our witness. And police records indicate there has been a progressive upswing in all forms of child abuse in 2012, with 1,085 cases of child rape and 1,503 cases of child molestations. According to statistics, 1,503 children have been sexually molested and physically abused last year, with family members standing accused of more..

Sri Lanka gov't keen to attract foreign deep sea fishing companies

Aug 22 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's cash strapped govt is turning to Chinese and Japanese companies to boost its fishing industry by engaging in deep sea fishing and exporting the catch via the island, an official said here on Thursday. Currently Sri Lanka earns around 250 million U.S. dollars annually from fish exports, out of which 48 percent are earnings from tuna. Last year Sri Lanka captured 486,000 metric tons of fish, more..

Attitude change towards child abuse needed

Aug 22 (Island) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) yesterday called for an attitude change in the public and parents towards child abuse. Addressing the media on ‘Realising the Rights of the Child - A Collaborative Approach Discussion Forum’ member of the Director Board of the NCPA and Specialist Judicial Medical Officer, Dr. P. B. Dassanayake said that the media had a responsibility to change the attitude of parents and elders to prevent the abuse of children. more..

CID puts the blame on AG

Aug 22 (CT) The CID on Monday said the Attorney General (AG) has directed them to stall publishing advertisements in the media calling for the people of the Matale District to come forward and claim the remains of their family members from among the several skeletons found in a mass grave, last November. The CID said this in defence for not publishing any advertisements despite orders from former Matale Magistrate, Chaturika de Silva, to publish advertisements in the media. more..

Sri Lanka external trade expands in June

Aug 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka's exports rose 6.8% to 807.4 million US dollars in June 2013 from a year earlier with apparel exports up 14.9% to 356.8 million US dollars, data showed. Apparel exports to the US rose 24.8% while exports to the EU rose 6.7% in June, the Central Bank said. Exports of machinery and mechanical items had risen 25.5% and rubber products had risen 7.7% to 69 million US dollars. Agricultural exports were up 8.1% more..

PSC not the need of the hour – Opposition

Aug 22 (Island) The Opposition yesterday demanded that the govt explain why it thought the Opposition political parties should participate in the Parliament Select Committee to Recommend and Report on Political and Constitutional Measures to Empower the People of Sri Lanka to Live as One Nation. Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga and JVP Parliamentary Group Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, making two separate special statements, pointed out that the need of more..

Armed robbers caught on CCTV

Aug 22 (CG) A group of armed robbers who forced employees of a financial institution in Gampaha into a room and stole jewellery and cash have been caught on CCTV cameras installed in the institution. The police media unit released the CCTV images of the robber and sought public assistance which could lead to their arrest. According to the police, the men had got away with jewellery worth over Rs. 168, 80, 600.00 and Rs. 1,179,800.00 in cash. The police said that so far the robbers seen on CCTV more..

Fishermen issue: 'India engaged with Lanka'

Aug 22 (ANI) Minister Salman Khurshid said New Delhi remains engaged with Colombo to ensure that fishermen on both sides can continue to pursue their livelihood in a safe, secure and sustainable manner. Khurshid, who made a statement in the Rajya Sabha regarding 'Repeated Attacks on Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy', said that the govt attaches the highest importance to the safety, security and welfare of more..

Lankan Tamil held for bid to rape 5 year old

Aug 22 (ENS) A Sri Lankan Tamil refugee was arrested here on charge of attempting to rape a five-year-old girl staying at a refugee camp in Paramathi in the district. Police said that N Raja (30), an inmate of the camp, took the girl to an isolated place on Tuesday night and tried to sexually assault the girl after stripping her dress. The girl’s grandmother, who had gone out, came back and found her daughter missing from the house. Meanwhile, she heard the girl screaming for help. more..

Now, an English medium Pirivena

Aug 22 (Island) The Education Ministry will open an English medium Pirivena to enhance the education of Sri Lankan and foreign Buddhist monks. Minister Bandula Gunawardena said that it was part of the govt’s initiative to develop pirivena education. "We have recently recruited 175 new teachers including Buddhist monks for the pirivenas countrywide" he said. Gunawardena said Information Technology, English and other foreign languages would be taught at pirivenas in addition to more..

No decision on level of India's participation in CHOGM: India

Aug 22 (PTI) Amid opposition by Tamil parties to Prime Minister's participation in CHOGM in Sri Lanka, Govt today said no decision has yet been taken on level of India's participation in the summit scheduled in November. "In March, the Govt received a letter each from the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and the Chief Minister of Puducherry, urging the Prime Minister not to attend the CHOGM in Colombo. "The Govt has not yet taken a more..

Security stepped up in Rameswaram over terror threat

Aug 22 (PTI) Security has been stepped up in this island following an alert from the Intelligence Bureau that terrorists plan to sneak in through the Palk Strait from Jaffna in Sri Lanka and attack Madurai and Mayiladuthurai in the State, police said. Superintendent of Police Mayilvahanan said there was information that eight terrorists plan to infiltrate by sea and coastal people have been advised to inform police in case they saw any strangers. Patrolling of coastal areas has intensified more..

U’grads accuse admin. of suppression to make way for SB’s plans

Aug 22 (Island) The pro–JVP Socialist Students’ Union (SSU) claimed that Sabaragamuwa University administration was suppressing students to make way for Minister S. B. Dissanayake’s ‘sinister’ plans. SSU Convener Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa said that so far, from 2011, 70 undergraduates had been suspended without proper reasons being given. He said that all suspended students had been unable to sit their exams and one of them, the former President of the Agriculture Faculty more..

Sri Lanka to test all milk powder for chemical in Fonterra scare

Aug 22 (Reuters) A Sri Lanka state institute said it would test all milk powder in the market after finding a toxic chemical in products sold by New Zealand's Fonterra, while a nationalist party called for the closure of Fonterra's local subsidiary. The Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) found the agricultural chemical dicyandiamide (DCD) in two batches of milk powder it tested - one of Anchor full-cream and another of the Anchor more..

'Line Room Era of Estates will be ended'

Aug 22 (GDI) Time has come for ushering in a new era in the life standards of the people of the Estates. All facilities being accorded to the people in the villages will be accorded to the people in the Estates as well. This was emphasized by President Rajapaksa addressing the representatives of the Independent Estate Workers' Union of the Kandy District at the President's house in Kandy. President said that there should not be any difference between the villages and the Estates more..

Relatives in politics nothing new – Susil

Aug 22 (Island) Minister Susil Premajayantha, on behalf of the govt, told Parliament yesterday that action would be taken to ensure that the forthcoming provincial council elections were free and fair. The Minister was responding to queries raised by Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga, who made a special statement on election violence and expressed fears that the elections would not be free and fair, as most of the candidates were relatives of powerful ministers. more..

'No more DCD contaminated products in SL'

Aug 22 (DM) No milk powder containing DCD had been shipped to Sri Lanka from 1 June, the representatives of the diplomatic corps of New Zealand had assured the Sri Lankan govt. During a high level discussion between the govt and the representatives of the diplomatic corps of New Zealand, it was assured that no milk powder containing DCD would be shipped to Sri Lanka from 1 June. Minister Champika Ranawaka more..

American charged with Lankan wife’s murder

Aug 22 (AN) The General Court in Riyadh is looking into the murder of a Sri Lankan national residing in Riyadh after a representative from the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution charged her husband, a US national, with her murder. The accused, a Christian who converted to Islam while he was in detention, disposed of the body by stuffing it into a pipeline used for gas and petroleum exploration. The General Court in Riyadh began its procedures after taking statements from witnesses who more..

Milco claims multi-nationals planning to discredit it

Aug 22 (Island) Following the recent revelation that certain imported milk foods contained substances harmful to human health, multi national diary companies are planning to discredit it MILCO, by using influence at all levels, warns its Deputy Chairman, Sanjay Leelaratne. He said that imported milk found unsafe should be removed from the shelves till thorough investigations were conducted. He expressed concern that some stocks of milk powder were being given more..

Sri-Lankan Northern Province: 'The army is there to assist, not to oppress'

Aug 22 (VoR) In an exclusive interview with the Voice of Russia, Minister G.L. Peiris talks about the elections in the North Province of the country which are being held after almost 25 years, on the use of Army for Policing and civil duties, and the action against Indian fishermen. Q: You are entering a very important phase as a foreign minister of the country and a senior minister of the govt. You are going to have elections in the North more..

Health Ministry loses Rs. 800 in questionable deal, claims union

Aug 22 (Island) The Health Ministry has been accused of incurring a heavy loss of Rs. 800 million through the purchase of blood culture phials from a favoured supplier when the same product was available at a much cheaper rate. All Ceylon Health Services Union (ACHSU) General Secretary Gamini Kumarasinghe yesterday accused the ministry of purchasing blood culture phials from a multinational company at Rs. 914 each, while the same could have been obtained from another supplier more..

Sri Lanka Army's third annual defence seminar begins on Sept 3

Aug 22 (SLA) The countdown to the year’s Army organized mammoth Defence Seminar - 2013 themed on “Post-Conflict Sri Lanka: Challenges and Regional Stability” (Sept 3-5), slated to open, share and discuss a wide range of issues in the context of both regional and global scenario, has begun. By Wednesday, more than 22 foreign delegates have confirmed their participation in the sessions, in addition to the participation of India-based Defence Attachés, Sri Lanka-based diplomats more..

Sri Lankans protest New Zealand dairy giant

Aug 22 (AP) A Sri govt-allied group has protested opposite the local office of New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra, demanding it respect a court order and withdraw its purportedly contaminated milk products from the market. Thursday's protest by about 200 people from the Lakmawa Diyaniyo (Daughters of Lanka) came a day after a court issued a summons to Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka and four of its top officials more..

GMOA calls off token strike in Polonnaruwa

Aug 22 (AD) The Govt Medical Officers Association (GMOA) has temporarily halted the token strike which in the Polonnaruwa District scheduled for today. The GMOA decided to call a 24-hour token strike at all provincial council hospitals belonging to the Polonnaruwa District which was to begin at 8am today. The strike action was to be called in demand for action to be taken against the misconduct of an Administrative PHI belonging to the Higurakgoda Health Inspector region. more..

We need a society that respects Maha Sangha and the Clergy - President

Aug 22 (GDI) President Rajapaksa said that there is no bar on freedom of expression in the country and it is surprising to find and difficult to understand why some elements are leveling allegations against him saying that he is an undemocratic leader. He said that the bankrupt politicians on the behest of certain NGOs which fund them profusely are working overtime to achieve their petty and narrow objectives by betraying the country. The President said that these treacherous more..

Sri Lanka's post-war tourism earnings top 500 mln USD in H1

Aug 22 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's post-war tourism growth continues to boom with earnings for the first half of 2013 surpassing 500 million U.S. dollars despite growth numbers slowing down slightly, data showed. Earnings from tourism continue to record sound growth observed the island's Central Bank releasing latest data on revenue. Earnings from tourism grew by 29%, year-on-year, in June 2013 to 81 million dollars, more..

The illegal boat ride to Australia

Aug 23 (DBS) Although the war ended in May 2009, the illegal journeys to Australia, either to seek refugee status or enter Australian soil through other false declarations, have not come to an end. In fact, according to the authorities, it is an ongoing crisis. Local people confirm that large groups of persons who initially worked for the TNA during the PC elections in the Eastern Province, have decided to undertake risky boat journeys to Australia, not knowing the weather conditions, more..

The J.P. Duminy Principle of Engagement

Aug 23 (NS) It was, relatively speaking, an easy target. A total of 115 in a T-20 international on a wicket that contained no monsters for batsmen was expected to be easy-peasy for Sri Lanka, given a strong and long batting line-up that included the likes of Dilshan, Sangakkara, Angelo Matthews and Tissara Perera. The target could have been easier if J.P. Duminy had not struck a patient 51 off 52 balls showing circumspection necessitated by the early fall of 3 wickets. more..

Revert to liquid milk - GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya

Aug 23 (NS) The GMOA has been highly vocal in recent weeks regarding the Dicyandiamide (DCD) and Whey Protein contamination of imported milk powder products in Sri Lanka. However, the GMOA has also drawn attention to several other issues it claims need to be addressed urgently to ensure food safety and wellbeing of the SL population. Accordingly, the association is set to present 10 proposals to President soon. more..

Karate guru Anton Charles says Mastery of art is tested in society

Aug 23 (NS) Anton Charles is a martial artiste, a karate guru and above all a very sensitive person. His senses are sharp and his eyes don’t blink twice when he intends to observe someone whose actions cross the boundaries of indiscipline, even if that person has nothing to do with his class. Charles never throws his weight in society and doesn’t wish to see anyone in his class play the role of villain in society. Charles says he keeps an eye on his students when they are on the road. more..

Are Rajapaksas planning to ignite intra-religious conflicts

Aug 23 (DBS) When Martin Wickremesinghe’s Bhavatharanaya was first published, some Sinhala-Buddhists (lay and ordained) wanted it banned for ‘insulting’ the Buddha. There are American Evangelicals who think that Harry Potter books should be prohibited for promoting anti-Christian values. The BJP student union thrashed the Head of the History Department at Delhi University for including a critical essay on Ramayana by AK Ramanujan in the BA (Hons) curriculum; more..

More land under the plough for Maha and Yala season

Aug 23 (SO) The Rambakenoya reservoir will be a boon and will improve the economy and livelihood in the region. Over 4,000 acres of cultivable land will come under the plough in the Maha and Yala Seasons. Rambakenoya is one of the main irrigation projects after the Galoya project in the Digamadulla district. Sri Lanka's irrigation system has a long history which began since the era of local kings who ruled the country. more..

Vidushanka, Dilhani bag bronze medals to increase Sri Lanka’s tally

Aug 23 (Island) Sri Lanka’s young athletes completed the track and field championship with four medals to help the country increase their medal tally to five medals as Kuliyapitiya Central athlete Dilhani Fernando and St. Mary’s College, Kegalle athlete Anuradha Vidushanka bagged bronze medals in their respective events at the Asian Youth Games in Nanjing China. After missing out on a possible medal in the girls 1,500 metres, Fernando won her bronze in the girls 800 metres. more..