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A veritable mosquito breeding site

Aug 26 (CT) The three-foot depression on the ground underneath the Maligawatta Railway culvert between Maradana and Dematagoda has become a mosquito breeding site, besides imperilling the safety of the culvert, residents say. Senior residents told Ceylon Today, the depression was in existence even during the initial days of building the Railway Line by the British in the 1860s. But the depression has not attracted the attention of the engineering staff or elected representations more..

President Rajapaksa arrives in Belarus

Aug 26 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in Belarus this afternoon on August 25, on a three-day official visit to the East European nation. On his arrival the President was warmly received according to the Belarus traditions at the Minsk National Airport by the Belarus Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vladimir Makei. Sri Lankan Ambassador to the Russian Federation accredited to Belarus, Udayanga Weeratunga more..

Audio: JVP accuses UN of bias

Aug 26 (CG) The JVP accused the UN of being biased and working under an agenda influenced by the West. JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that the recent actions of the UN have shown that they work towards making the US and other Western nations happy. The JVP MP also said that the UN supports the military goals of some countries including the US. He said that under these circumstances no country can expect the UN to protect their sovereignty or stand for more..

All five intruders identified

Aug 26 (Island) The five intruders who threatened the Associate Editor of The Leader newspaper, Mandana Ismail Abeywickreme, with death and robbed her house in the early hours of Saturday, had all been identified, the police said. A sergeant in the police patrol which rushed to Abeywickrema’s residence on being alerted by the police emergency, fired at the five intruders who attacked the police with knives. One suspect was killed, while the other four were captured. more..

'Intruders said they were on a contract'

Aug 26 (Island) Mandana Ismail Abeywickrama, Associate Editor of The Sunday Leader and President of Sri Lanka Journalists’ Trade Union (SLJTU), yesterday said that one of the five-member gang that broke into her house, in the wee hours of Saturday, had told her that they had been given a contract by a person who had an axe to grind with her. She said that one of them had even slapped her several times, telling his more..

A Commission needed for Education Reforms

Aug 26 (DM) It appears that once again politicians and bureaucrats are attempting to interfere in educational planning and reforms. The recent directive by an educational Director stating that Grade 5 tuition classes should be stopped by 12 midnight on a certain day appears to be an arbitrary dictum issued by the official whose excuse appears to be fears that the examination papers would be leaked out. Surely one should question his right as to why a whole citizenry should abide more..

The plight of government pensioners

Aug 26 (CT) Not a day passes without letters appearing in the media about the plight of government pensioners highlighting the high cost of living, the unreasonably high cost of essential drugs, transport costs and so on, which make life difficult for them. To add to this, there is also the request from pensioners who retired before 2006 pleading for the increasing of their pensions in keeping with the pensions paid to those who retired after 2006. The Mahinda Chinthana documents more..

Iran grants USD 450 mn for Uma Oya project

Aug 26 (Island) Sri Lanka has obtained a state of the art tunnel boring machine for the construction of the Uma Oya project, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva says. He said machine would be used to bore a long tunnel to divert the Uma Oya water. The foreign and local engineers working in the project should be complimented because it was a massive project that would be a boon to many districts such as Badulla, Hambantota more..

Spotlight on HR

Aug 26 (SL) This week will be a crucial week for Sri Lanka, or more precisely for the Govt, as the woman seen as the “iron lady” dealing with human rights issues makes her visit to Sri Lanka to get a firsthand account of what happened during and after the war. During her weeklong stay in Sri Lanka, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay will not just visit the North and East, but will also have several meetings more..

Animals sacrificed in defiance of court order

Aug 26 (Island) Priests at the Kali Kovil on St. John’s Estate, Yatadolawatte, Matugama, yesterday carried out animal sacrifices in defiance of a court order. The order forbidding animal sacrifices had been issued by Matugama Magistrate Ms. Abeywickreme Weerasinghe. No sooner had the impending animal sacrifice become public monks in the area with a large number of people surrounded the place, protesting. more..

SLMC to report Muslim issues to Navi Pillay

Aug 26 (Island) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) yesterday said it apprise UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay of the problems faced by the country’s Muslims, during its meeting with her. SLMC Secretary General Hassan Ali, MP, said a delegation led by Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem was scheduled to meet Pillay during her week-long stay in the country and would use that opportunity to bring to more..

No clear answer from Govt. to murky milk issue

Aug 26 (ST) Is there DCD (dicyandiamide) in milk or isn’t there? This is the simple question that the people are still grappling with, as they were bombarded by scientific data and technical detail, with still no clear statement from the Govt. Even the seven-member Cabinet sub-committee, which Minister Keheliya Rambukwella promised would come up with a report this week does not seem to more..

Hambantota beckons investors for top forum on Saturday

Aug 26 (FT) In an attempt to lure more investors into Hambantota and explain new opportunities available there, a top forum will be held on 31 August. Organised by the Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce (HDCC), the special half-day investment forum will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Sooriyawewa. The forum will accommodate only 150 participants who more..

Change will enrich more than Fonterra

Aug 26 (NZH) After Fonterra's Sri Lankan stand-off at the weekend it is tempting to say the company is having a shocker of a year - DCD, botulism and now it finds itself in the thick of some overly enthusiastic nationalist posturing in one of its valuable emerging markets. Fonterra has $260 million worth of sales in in Sri Lanka so shutting shop is not to be done lightly. The trouble with saying that Fonterra is having a terrible year more..

Desperate claims, run of the mill robbery

Aug 26 (DN) Dismissing claims in various quarters that the gang of robbers had gone to the Bambalapitiya residence of Sunday Leader Associate Editor Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema to threaten her, the Police was categorical in stating “it was nothing but a case of burglary”. Meanwhile, Army spokesman Ruwan Wanigasooriya said: “It is deplorable that some parties and sections of web based media are trying to implicate the Army more..

Police identify all five members of armed gang in the journalist attck

Aug 26 (DBS) The home of a senior Journalist in Bambalapitiya was invaded at night by a gang of five armed men who attempted to abduct her after ransacking the house and robbing valuables. Prompt action by the Police resulted in one of the intruders being killed and two injured. Two other were arrested. Three Policemen also were injured in the nocturnal incident that has shocked the beleaguered Journalist fraternity more..

'Sri Lanka's aims high in becoming easier place for business'

Aug 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka aims to be among the 30 easiest places to do business in the world by 2016 and maintain stable economic conditions comparable to advanced nations, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. Sri Lanka which was at one time ranked around 100 in a ease of doing business indicator compiled by International Finance Corporation and World Bank has improved its place to 81. more..

If austerity is the answer, let it begin at the top

Aug 26 (DM) While govt leaders and so-called financial experts continue to boast about Sri Lanka’s high growth rate or per capita income and while multi-million rupee beautification projects are continuing, the Sunday Times yesterday revealed a shocking and dangerous truth about the economy. A top govt official who did not wish to be identified for obvious reasons said the deepening budget deficit crisis would leave the Rajapaksa regime with no option but to implement tough austerity more..

The strengths and weaknesses of a totally corrupt regime

Aug 26 (CT) Given Sri Lankans’ penchant for crystal-ball gazing and analysis of everything from the future of the world, through the alleged conduct of Sri Lanka’s version of Murder Incorporated by a Deputy Inspector of Police to the newest forced genuflection of a teacher or rape of a minor by a prominent politician, or reign of terror conducted by our Rana Viruwo, I have, for a time at least, felt sort of left out of the national penchant for endless prediction. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Nuwara-Eliya Deputy Mayor accused of child abuse surrenders

Aug 26 (AD) The Nuwara-Eliya Deputy mayor on whom an open warrant was issued for alleged child abuse surrendered to court and was subsequently remanded until Sept 9. The Nuwara Eliya Magistrate’s Court issued an order preventing the Deputy Mayor of Nuwara Eliya Tissa Seneviratne, from leaving the country on August 23. The order was issued by the Magistrate after considering a request made by the plaintiff when the case filed by the NCPA was taken up. more..

MR to head to Jaffna

Aug 26 (CG) President Rajapaksa is scheduled to address five political meetings in the north next month, UPFA Secretary Susil Premjayantha said. Accordingly meetings have been scheduled to be held in Vavuniya, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Mannar and Jaffna in support of the UPFA candidates contesting the forthcoming northern Provincial Council elections. Premjayantha who is gearing up the campaign for the UPFA in the Jaffna district addressing the media more..

Minister exposes Ranil’s short memory

Aug 26 (DN) The opposition leader who calls President Mahinda Rajapaksa a dictator must understand that the people of this country were not born yesterday although he has forgotten what all UNP regimes did to democracy in Sri Lanka, Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. He said soon after the UNP came to power in 1977 the opposition leader’s uncle gave the Police two weeks holiday to allow unrestrained attacks on political rivals. more..

Milk powder sans label ordered destroyed

Aug 26 (Island) Hatton Magistrate ordered the Public Health Inspectors to destroy nearly 100 kilos of milk powder which bore no trade name. Acting on a tip-off, the PHIs of the Bogawanthalawa and Honsie areas seized the stock for sale to labourers of Champion tea estate from a shop belonging to the plantation’s storekeeper. The judge also fined the storekeeper Rs. 7,500 for selling milk powder without a trade name as it contravened the regulations of the Food Act. more..

Drive in bill payment scheme

Aug 26 (ST) Dehiwela Subscribers of the CEB in the Dehiwela area have been offered a range of services including drive-in (while the subscriber is in his vehicle) electricity bill payments and getting new electricity connections at the doorstep of a subscriber on the same day of submitting the application. Such information to subscribers in this area has been released through leaflets by the office of the Deputy General Manager, Western Province (South I). more..

Evidence recorded from 72 witnesses- Army

Aug 26 (DM) The Army said today that the Court of Inquiry appointed by Army Commander Lt. General Daya Rathnayake into the recent Weliweriya shootings, recorded evidence from 72 witnesses which include 58 Army personnel ‘associated with the incident’. The Army further said the Court of Inquiry inquired into the “chain of incidents” that led to the “violence at Weliweriya during the period July 27-Aug 2, 2013. more..

Doc shoots sister-in-law

Aug 26 (Island) A woman who was shot by her doctor brother-in-law in Koswatte on Saturday night, was transferred to the National Hospital in a serious condition. According to Koswatte police, the suspect Dr. Sarath Weerasinghe had a quarrel with his wife and his sister-in-law and her husband living close by had rushed to settle the dispute. An argument ensued between the suspect and the victim and the former shot her in the forehead with his licensed shotgun. more..

High profile Israeli Business and Investment delegation in the country

Aug 26 (GDI) A 19 member business and investment delegation from Israel arrived in Sri Lanka accompanied by the Sri Lankan Ambassador in Israel Sarath Wijesinghe. They held a Business Forum with the participation of Sri Lankan businessmen at the Grand Oriental Hotel this morning. Opening the Forum the Ambassador Mr. Wijesinghe explained to the gathering about the business potentials available for Sri Lankans in Israel and the business and investment more..

Motor Traffic Department to crack down on motorists causing noise pollution

Aug 26 (ST) Wary of the ever-increasing traffic and the resulting noise pollution caused by tooting of horns, the Motor Traffic Department is to crack down on motorists tooting vehicle horns causing public nuisance. Accordingly, drivers cannot sound their horns, exceeding 105 decibels within a five-metre range, and it should not exceed 93 decibels within a 15-metre range. Police will take stern action against noise polluters more..

Media Workshop on the importance of protecting the ozone layer

Aug 26 (GDI) A workshop to inform journalists on the importance of protecting the ozone layer and other scientific facts was held on August 22 and 23 at the Kanneliya Forest Resort. It was organized by the National Ozone Unit of the Ministry of Environment and Renewable Energy. On its first day (22) the keynote address was made by the Director of the National Ozone Unit G.M.J.K. Gunawardena on protecting the ozone layer and relevant scientific information. more..

CHOGM will bring remarkable investment opportunities - Minister

Aug 26 (GDI) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said CHOGM is a forum for Sri Lanka to portray the true situation in the country and promote investment opportunities. Most of the host states of CHOGM had gained many economic benefits. Australia as the host state of CHOGM 2011 had attracted nearly US$ 10 billion in investments within four years, The Minister said. He pointed out that for Sri Lanka to continue the 8% economic growth, at least 35% GDP investments more..

Monks protest UN rights chief's visit

Aug 26 (AFP) Buddhist monks led protests in Colombo Monday against the UN's top rights official, who began a fact-finding mission to the country following concerns about war crimes. Dozens of monks and pro-govt activists staged the noisy demonstration outside UN offices, accusing the international community of drumming up false allegations of war crimes in 2009 during the final months of a separatist conflict. more..

35 TN fishermen arrested by Lankan Navy

Aug 26 (PTI) Thirty five Tamil Nadu fishermen were on Monday arrested and four boats seized by Sri Lankan Navy while they were fishing between Talaimannar and Dhanushkodi in the Palk Strait, official sources said. The Sri Lankan Navy arrested the fishermen for allegedly violating the International Maritime Boundary line, the sources said. The fishermen had been lodged in an army camp at Talaimannar in Sri Lanka, the sources said. As many as 106 fishermen from more..

Umpire Vidanagamage no more

Aug 26 (CI) Umpire Piyadasa Vidanagamage, who officiated in the country's maiden Test win, over India at the P Sara Oval in 1985, died in England at the age of 79 on Saturday. Vidanagamage's partner in that Test, Selliah Ponnadurai, had passed away on August 15. Vidanagamage was the first Sri Lankan umpire to officiate in a World Cup, when he stood in four games in the 1987 edition. Overall, Vidanagamage officiated in four Tests and 23 ODIs between 1982 and 1991 more..

Audio: Pillay told PTA will remain

Aug 26 (CG) The govt today informed visiting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay that the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) will remain for security reasons. Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem said that the govt policy was that there are still national security concerns so the PTA will be retained. Hakeem had told Pillay this when he met her at his Ministry this morning. The Minister said that among the more..

12 more samples of imported milk powder found to be DCD-free

Aug 26 (AD) The Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) and the Medical Research Institute (MRI) have found no traces of the chemical dicyandiamide (DCD) or Clostridium Botulinum in 12 samples of imported milk powder. The Health Service Director General had sent the samples to ITI and MRI for testing following the direction of the ministerial committee set up to look into the matter. Furthermore, 8 samples of infant milk powder containing whey protein were tested for more..

Video: UNP questions President’s visit to Belarus during Pillay’s arrival in SL

Aug 26 (AD) The UNP questioned as to why President Rajapaksa left for Belarus during the visit of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. UNP General Secretary, MP Tissa Attanayake questioned as to why the President would schedule a visit to a country which is known as the last dictatorial state of the European Union during the visit of the UN High Commissioner. He said that it was wrong that the President ran away from the country without facing Navi Pillay. more..

Sri Lanka's NSB to sell minimum of $500 mln 5-yr bond

Aug 26 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's state-run National Savings Bank (NSB) plans to raise a minimum $500 million through the sale of a likely five-year bond with a target yield around 7%, sources close to the deal told Reuters on Monday. The bond would offer investors a similar yield compared with the Bank of Ceylon bonds due 2018 with a mid-point yield of 7%, although analysts say the NSB paper should offer a higher yield. more..

Sanath leaves worldly needs and becomes a monk

Aug 26 (SM) Veteran actor Sanath Gunathilaka has obtained the yellow robe under the name of Hanguranketha Wimalarathana last Thursday at Benthara Sri Sapugoda Maha Vihara. Ven. Wimalarathana thero who entered the Buddha Sasana on the 22nd at the auspicious time of 7.22am, will be a novice monk under ven. Dr. Iththapane Dhammalankara thero. Wimalarathana thero who would be fulfilling all the tasks of a Buddhist monk for a week's time, will end more..

Ragged student's video on Facebook

Aug 26 (E24|7) A group of students brutally ragged a Grade 11 student at a private tuition class on Thursday, made a video of the ragging and uploaded it on Facebook. The incident happened in Polonnuruwa in the country’s North Central Province. The culprits were arrested by police and released on bail on Friday. The victim, a student of the Polonnaruwa Royal College, had been harassed by the same students several times earlier. He is now in the Polonnaruwa General Hospital. more..