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'I sent troops to Weliweriya'

Aug 5 (CT) General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera, said it was under his guidance that the Defence Ministry deployed military troops to Weliweriya last Thursday. “It was I who sent them there after observing the situation in the area. Though the demand by the villagers was extremely justifiable when observing the situation, I figured that things could turn bad as the villagers were politically more..

Footage shows Army was attacked

Aug 5 (DN) Video footage indicates clearly that the protests in Weliweriya on Thursday were anything but peaceful. The accompanying photographs reproduced here as screen shots from a video filmed by a private broadcast station indicate that persons dressed in civilian clothes carrying large poles beat up army personnel and provoked them. The first photograph shows a man (circled right) aiming a blunt weapon (pole) at a soldier from behind. The next photograph shows youth more..

'China will never interfere with other countries' affairs'

Aug 5 (DN) China, built on the concept of Mao Tse Tung, will never meddle in the internal affairs of other countries in the region, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. The minister said this when he met Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Wu Jianghao at the Chinese Embassy. "China is always prepared to help and develop other small countries in the region," he said. When Minister Senaratne took part in a conference held in Eastern China's Yunan Province at Kunming town, more..

US$500 million Chinese-built port for megaships opens in Sri Lanka

Aug 5 (AFP) A US$500 million Chinese-built port opens today in Sri Lanka, giving Beijing a vital foothold on the busiest international shipping lane as it seeks to secure maritime supply routes. The massive terminal in Colombo is located midway on the lucrative east-west sea route and has facilities on a par with Singapore and Dubai. The Colombo International Container Terminal, which is 85% owned by the state-run China Merchant more..

Rocking the cradle, milking the Third World dry

Aug 5 (DM) Unlike the well-loved proverb about and love and influence of a mother, this is a case of the hand that rocked the cradle, milking the Third World dry. For several months the media have spotlighted the danger of agro-chemical contamination in some brands of imported milk powder. But the Rajapaksa regime is as usual mixing up the milk and honey with one ministry blaming the other for the inaction if not something worse that could cause serious harm to Sri Lanka’s people, especially the children. more..

Loss of people’s sovereignty a threat to territorial integrity

Aug 5 (DM) Significantly, the Magna Carter signed in 1217 heralding the British people’s sovereignty overturned the ruthlessness of King John - this then is common knowledge. Yet, its overpowering need is felt even today in many countries where the people’s sovereignty is undermined while at the same time state sovereignty is insisted upon. German national, scholar and philosopher Emmanuel Kant said, "In all men there is a categorical imperative to know what is right and wrong. more..

Power, Lies Corruption

Aug 5 (DM) Under the new electricity tariff system, every light bulb is a burden to the public, especially to the common man. The attempts at halting the hike in the electricity tariff have been in vain. With an array of rationalisations, promise and reassurances by the govt new electricity tariff has now been in effect from a few months. However, even after the supposed relief to those who has the lowest electricity consumption, for most of more..

Deraniyagala: Where people only know the meaning of fear

Aug 5 (ST) The tension that has gripped the Basnagala village, 10 kilometres off Deraniyagala town for the past 15 years, is far from over, though 21 people have been taken into custody for the recent killing of the Manager of Noori estate Nihal Perera. On Thursday, the sister of the main suspect, Anil Champika alias ‘Atha Kota’, a former UPFA PS Chairman who unleashed terror in the area had returned to the Noori estate to more..

Army blamed for Weliweriya mayhem

Aug 5 (SL) Army has come under severe criticism for firing live bullets to disperse a crowd that was staging a protest demanding drinking water at Weliweriya. The army is further accused of not allowing the people to take the critically injured to the hospital after the shooting. The clash following the protest killed one person while injuring over 15 including media personnel. The Weliweriya incident reminded of the Katunayake FTZ shooting more..

'Sri Lanka's faster growth bucking trend'

Aug 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's economy is growing faster despite a slow global recovery, but the country needs more savings and foreign direct investments to reduce borrowings, senior rating analysts at Fitch said. Andrew Colquhoun, senior director and head of Asia Pacific sovereign ratings said a global recovery was still patchy, with the outlook for US stronger but, Europe and China slowing leading to a downward revision in overall global growth. more..

Basheer to resign his portfolio if forced to campaign against govt.

Aug 5 (Island) Minister of productivity promotion and the Chairman of SLMC Basheer Segu Dawood said he wouldn’t campaign for the SLMC in the forthcoming PC elections while being a Cabinet Minister in the govt. Dawood said: "I urged the SLMC to contest the forthcoming PC elections with the govt but the party decided to contest it alone. I respect the decision of the party and I’ll not revolt against it, but as a minister more..

The conomic problem of watching the watchmen

Aug 5 (Island) The perennial problem in both the private sector and govt is the problem of "watching the watchmen". In the language of economics, it is a principal-agent problem: how to hold top management (agents) accountable to shareholders (principal). This is captured in the famous Latin phrase: Quiscustodietipsoscustodies?; translated as: "who will watch the watchmen" or "who will monitor the monitors". more..

300 km long electric fence for Batti

Aug 5 (CT) An electric fence covering a distance of 300 km will be erected in the Batticaloa District, to prevent wild elephants from intruding into civilian habitats. “From 2010 up to July 2013, 14 persons had been killed by wild elephants in various parts of the Batticaloa District,” the Assistant District Secretary, S. Vamathevan, said, addressing a special conference held recently to explore ways and means of dealing with the menace of more..

Ceramics industry finds new clay deposits

Aug 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's ceramics industry has found new clay deposits but strict state regulations is making it difficult to source raw materials. "We focused a lot on finding suitable raw material deposits," Mahendra Jayasekera head of the Sri Lanka Ceramics Council, an industry body said. "We have found commercially viable deposits. These deposits if commercially viable would last at least for the next 30 - 40 years." more..

Climate change blamed for conflicts

Aug 5 (Island) A warmer world with more droughts and other climate-related disasters is likely to lead to a substantial increase in violent conflict between both individuals and entire societies, a major study has found. A review of 61 detailed accounts of violence has concluded that personal disputes and wider civil conflicts increase significantly with large changes to weather patterns, such as increases in temperature more..

Colombo South Harbour declared open

Aug 5 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka took one step closer to becoming a transshipment hub for South Asia on Monday when it opened a 500 million U.S. dollar harbor extension to the Colombo port. The Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) was opened by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and China Merchants Group CEO Li Jianhong amid much fanfare. The ceremony, which kicked off mid-morning, began with more..

When udders give shudders

Aug 5 (Island) The GMOA consisting of more than 17,000 doctors, in the state sector, has begun to live up to public expectations by playing the role of a knight-errant. It has crossed swords with some powerful multinationals and boldly called for a ban on imported milk powder tainted with dicyandiamide (DCD), which, according to good doctors, is injurious to human health. The GMOA has based its campaign on a report by the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) of Sri Lanka, more..

Sri Lanka stocks close down 0.7%

Aug 5 (LBO) Stocks closed down 0.68% Monday with losses in the large cap stocks and banking stocks. The benchmark Colombo All Share Index closed 0.68% lower at 6,114.18 and the S&P SL 20 Index closed 19.10 points lower at 3,471.47 down 0.55%. Turnover was 288 million rupees down from 399 million rupees Friday. Foreigners brought 114 million rupees worth shares while selling 622 million rupees of shares, in a day that 143 stocks advanced and 134 stocks declined. more..

In 2008, Rajapaksa introduced a new levy to counter damage caused to the environment

Aug 5 (CT) “The budget introduced a new ‘Environment Conservation Levy’ to counter damage caused to the environment through water and air pollution and soil erosion. The govt estimates the cost of these forms of environmental damage to be over 2% of GDP. The govt intends to devote more funds to environmental protection by taxing individuals, businesses, and items considered to be harmful to the environment. more..

'Bring your own catheter,' or obstetrical care in Sri Lanka

Aug 5 (CT) Not so long ago I wrote at some length about the fact that my neighbours and I are reduced to repairing the roads supposed to serve us so that even a bullock cart could traverse them. This continues to require volunteer labour by those who can least afford to forego a day’s wages in such a pursuit. Not for us roads carpeted for the use of Lambhorginis, BMWs and (after the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) Rolls Royces in which “the chosen” travel! more..

Spa Ceylon to venture into Singapore, Malaysia

Aug 5 (Bernama) Spa Ceylon, Sri Lanka's luxury lifestyle brand with a truly Ceylonese identity, is set venture into seven countries this year, including Malaysia and Singapore. Other countries it has planned to go to are Russia, Turkey, Dubai, India, South Africa, Japan and the Maldives in 2013. Operations in Singapore and Malaysia would commence in early 2014. The company has plans to launch over 20 outlets before the end of the year, operating single brand retail outlets more..

Court of Appeal issues notice to respondents of Kadirgamar land case

Aug 5 (AD) The Court of Appeal has issued notice on the respondents in the case filed by assassinated former Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar’s son, S.J.C. Kadirgamar against the acquisition of his father’s land in Jaffna by the govt. The petition states that the former Minister’s property now owned by his son was exclusively allotted to him by a Jaffna District Court decree in May 1968. His son is now seeking interim more..

'Journalists have a social responsibility'

Aug 5 (CT) Director General of the Department of Govt Information, Prof. Ariyaratna Athugala, elaborating on the role of a journalist, said a journalist is not someone who only presents news but has a social responsibility when discharging his/her duties. “Therefore journalists should evolve with the changes that are taking place in the world and focus on new areas when presenting or sharing news with the general public,” he said. He was speaking at a seminar for journalists, more..

GCE (A/L) begins today

Aug 5 (Island) The GCE (A/L) Exam commences today at 2,164 centres countrywide and ends on August 31. Commissioner General of Examinations W.M.N.J. Pushpakumara said 292,706 candidates were sitting the exam, 12,146 under the old syllabus. Last year 277,601 candidates sat the exam. The Examinations Chief said that there was also a special examination centre for prisoners at the Kalutara prison and two special centres for blind students at Tangalle and Ratmalana. more..

Korea-Sri Lanka ties further strengthened

Aug 5 (MED) The long-standing friendly relations between Korea and Sri Lanka have been a major asset to Sri Lanka’s development. Minister Basil Rajapaksa made this observation when he met a six-member delegation from the Korean National Assembly at the Ministry office recently as part of a friendship exchange between the Sri Lankan Parliament and Korea’s National Assembly. Korean delegation led by MP Shin Bum, more..

BBS denies hand in Weliweriya

Aug 5 (CG) Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) had no hand in the recent clashes in Weliweriya, a BBS statement made public on its website said today. The BBS says there is a conspiracy to tarnish the image of the Sri Lankan Govt, Ministry of Defence and the Security Forces. There were media reports today quoting Secretary General of Bodu Bala Sena, the venerable Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero as saying that he had sent troops to Weliweriya. “Bodu Bala Sena would like to highlight that this more..

Priest, nun were assaulted

Aug 5 (CG) A priest and a nun at a church were assaulted by troops during the violence in Weliweriya last week, lawyers said today quoting statements they had recorded. The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) said that a team of lawyers had visited Weliweriya yesterday and recorded statements from people in the area as well as doctors who had treated the injured. “The people still live in fear,” an executive member of the BASL told the Colombo Gazette. more..

'Top Health Ministry official has taken a bribe'

Aug 5 (Island) The GMOA wants the govt to order the health ministry officials to declare their assets forthwith. GMOA President and Consultant Paediatric Neurologist Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said that a top official in the Health Ministry had been trying to back a multinational milk food company, which had caused many health problems in Sri Lanka by supplying products containing dicyandiamide (DCD). more..

Exercise Pacific Angel begins today

Aug 5 (MoD) To enhance disaster response in Sri Lanka and allow U.S. assistance in a disaster to be more effective, the Sri Lanka Air Force in conjunction with the United States Pacific Air Force will co-host a Health Services Outreach (HSO) and Engineering Civil Programme (ENCAP) which is scheduled to be conducted in the Northern Peninsula code named as 'Exercise Pacific Angel' from 5th to 10th Aug. The exercise will comprise two components: The Medical Program and more..

Cyclone near Vietnam affecting weather here

Aug 5 (Island) The windy and rainy weather conditions in the country were due to the cyclone, ‘JEBI’, near Vietnam, the Meteorology Department said yesterday. Meteorologist–in–charge Jeevan Karunaratne told The Island that the stormy weather conditions would ease tomorrow as the cyclone was weakening. He said that showers would occur in the Western, Sabaragamuwa, Central and Southern provinces and may extend to the North-Western province too. more..

'Govt. and state media putting political spin on Weliweriya tragedy'

Aug 5 (AD) The govt and the state media have already taken steps to give a political interpretation for the unfortunate incident which occurred in Rathupaswela, UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya stated. He said that Minister Dullas Alahapperuma had claimed that the protest regarding water was taken over by a political group but Jayasuriya stated that he was talking for the people and not for any narrow political gains. more..

Chief prosecuting witness retracts his statement

Aug 5 (Island) One of the chief witnesses for the prosecution, who had identified Duminda Silva as the person who ordered the others to shoot at Premachandra, retracted the statement he had made to the CID, when the Baratha Lakshman Premachandra killing case was taken for inquiry before Colombo Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage on Friday. At the commencement of the inquiry, President’s Counsel Hemantha Warnakulasuriya, appearing for the 11th suspect, Duminda more..

Bollywood courts controversy with Sri Lanka war film

Aug 5 (AFP) Bollywood is foraying into controversial terrain with new spy thriller, "Madras Cafe", whose depiction of rebels in the Sri Lankan civil war has raised concerns among India's large Tamil population. The movie, which opens in India this month, features John Abraham as an Indian secret agent shortly after peace-keeping troops sent by New Delhi to Sri Lanka were forced to withdraw in 1990 following a three-year battle with separatist Tamil rebels. more..

Hundreds denounce army killing of Sri Lanka protesters

Aug 5 (AFP) Several hundred anti-government supporters staged a rare protest on Monday in Sri Lanka's capital to denounce a deadly army crackdown on villagers who were demonstrating against contaminated water supplies. Around 300 followers of the left-wing JVP, or People's Liberation Front, shouted slogans and carried placards outside the Colombo Fort railway station against the regime of President Mahinda Rajapakse. more..

Dilan stands firm

Aug 5 (DN) Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Minister Dilan Perera rejected demands by a group of private foreign employment agencies who called for the withdrawal of several recent decisions taken by the authorities. Perera said these decisions were taken to reduce the number of females migrating for work as housemaids and ensure their well-being. A group of foreign employment agents protested outside the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) head office at more..

Video: 'The brutality of the Govt. clear'

Aug 5 (AD) The insensitivity of the govt was clearly visible during the Weliweriya incident, the UNP alleged today. UNP MP Gayantha Karunathileke stated that during the clash the army did not care whether it was old people or pregnant mothers they were assaulting. He claimed that during the pension scheme issue the same insensitive govt killed Roshen Chanaka in Katunayaka and that the govt’s answer to peoples’ problems was in the form of bullets and water cannon attacks. more..

'SL next investment destination in Asia'

Aug 5 (MT) Sri Lanka, an island nation with 20 million people, is gunning to be Asia’s next investment destination. Minister of External Affairs G.L. Peiris said that with the historic end of the long-running civil war and terrorism, the country now has the opportunity to set ambitious goals for economic development. Peiris visited the country last week to woo Filipino investors to consider Sri Lanka for their business expansion. more..

Govt to set up gemology lab in Ratnapura

Aug 5 (LB) The Ministry of Environment and Renewable Energy has taken measures to establish a gemology laboratory in Ratnapura where the gem industry is established, sources said. The new laboratory is to issue quality certificates for the gems. So far, the gem traders of Sri Lanka obtained quality certificates for their gems from a laboratory in Thailand. Minister Susil PremaJayantha said the laboratory now under construction will have facilities for issuing a complete quality certification more..

Sri Lanka move up ODI rankings, Sangakkara achieves career-best rating

Aug 5 (IC) Sri Lanka have moved up one place to number four in the ICC ODI rankings after their 4-1 victory in the ODI series against the South Africa last month in the latest rankings released by the ICC on August 4. South Africa and Sri Lanka swapped places, which saw Angelo Mathews' men leap-frogging AB de Villiers' side after gaining three ratings points and the Proteas slipping to fifth place after conceding five ratings points. Meanwhile, Kumar Sangakkara has equalled his more..

'Rajapaksa didn't secretly finance Madras Cafe'

Aug 5 (IANS) Refuting rumours that president Rajapaksa secretly invested in upcoming political spy-thriller Madras Cafe, John Abraham said that this wasn't true. "It's not true that Rajapaksa secretly financed my film. Viacom 18 Motion Pictures is the producer of my film. They would feel bad about these rumours and therefore I'm clarifying again that it has not been secretly financed by anyone other than my producers," more..