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13A and the Basil gambit

July 7 (CT) It is indeed interesting that President Rajapaksa should dispatch his brother and Minister, Basil Rajapaksa, to New Delhi, to brief the Indian authorities on the stand officially taken by Sri Lanka on the 13th Amendment, literally on the eve of Shivshankar Menon’s visit to Sri Lanka. The unquestionable signal the President is sending through the very selection of his emissary to carry the message to the Indian Govt, is that he can trust no other minister in his Cabinet more..

Lankan mission acts too late

July 7 (CT) The Sri Lankan mission in Malaysia intervened to stop the screening of Callum Macrae’s documentary, No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka, after it has already been screened at the Malaysian Parliament on 4 July. Malaysian MPs have expressed concern over the content of the film, soon after they viewed it, sources said. The Sri Lankan mission in Malaysia had lodged the complaint over the screening of the film, after it was already screened in Parliament, more..

Sri Lanka President saddened by Bodh Gaya explosions: official

July 7 (PTI) President Rajapaksa was on Sunday shocked and dismayed by the news of serial explosions in internationally renowned Mahabodhi temple in India, a place of religious significance for the Buddhists. “President Rajapaksa was shocked and dismayed by the news,” Presidential Media Coordinator Wijayananda Herath said. The official said the President had spoken to the chief incumbent more..

Video: Vipkashaye Virodaya blames govt for terror attack on Bodh Gaya

July 7 (AD) Vipkashaye Virodaya, the UNP-led joint opposition group, says that the Sri Lankan Govt should take responsibility for today’s bomb attack on the Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya. UNP MP Joseph Michael Perera satetd that when govt politicians criticize other nations and launch scathing attacks at agreements reached with other states, the response comes with the world’s response to the country’s Buddhists. Expressing anguish over the terror attack, the PM stated that more..

Can the TNA’s decision to boycott the PSC be justified?

July 7 (CT) We all are witnessing in Sri Lanka another proof of the Hegelian axiom that history repeats itself. Anticipating Jacques Derrida’s introduction of the notion of iteration in to the philosophy of language, Marx added history proceeds first time as a tragedy and second as a farce. If the repletion goes on farce would become more and more hilarious. In the past, there had been many Parliamentary Select Committees (PSCs), All Party Representative Committees (APRCs) more..

Sri Lanka won't relent on 13A amendment, Rajapaksa hints

July 7 (PTI) Overruling India's concerns, Sri Lanka may go ahead with its proposed plans to amend the 13th amendment ahead of the provincial polls in Tamil-dominated northern areas in September, a top minister has hinted. Minister Basil Rajapaksa, who returned here from New Delhi after talks with Indian leaders, was non-committal about any conditions that New Delhi might have pushed for. "When we bring in a Bill more..

21 Indian fishermen arrested

July 7 (CG) The Navy arrested 21 Indian fishermen off the seas of Thailaimannar, Navy spokesman Kosala Warnakulasuriya said. He said that five boats in which the Indians entered Sri Lankan waters were also seized. The Navy arrested the Indians last evening and brought them ashore this morning and handed them over to the police. The latest arrest came just as the Sri Lankan authorities had freed over 40 Indian fishermen who had been arrested for poaching in Sri Lankan waters. more..

No Sri Lankans injured in Indian bomb blasts

July 7 (Xinhua) No Sri Lankan citizens were injured in a series of bomb blasts that ripped through the Mahabodhi temple in India on Sunday morning, an official said. An External Affairs official said that there have been no reports that the five people injured in the blasts were Sri Lankan. "The Sri Lankan High Commission in India is monitoring the situation and keeping us updated," he added. The Govt Information Department in a short statement noted that initial reports more..

India to sign trilateral maritime deal with Sri Lanka

July 7 (DH) India will sign a trilateral maritime cooperation agreement with Sri Lanka and the Maldives next week, in a move to counter China’s bid to spread its strategic footprint in the Indian Ocean region. National Security Advisor (NSA) Shiv Shankar Menon will visit Colombo next week to hold talks with his Sri Lankan and Maldivian counterparts for finalising a framework agreement for maritime cooperation among the three nations. more..

Saudi to crackdown on Lankans after amnesty's end

July 7 (NS) The Saudi Govt is to launch a special program to nab Sri Lankans staying in the country without permits, Ministry of Foreign Employment and Promotion Welfare officials said. The Saudi Govt had extended the amnesty period for illegal migrants till November 4. The amnesty was earlier scheduled to expire on July 3. An official from the Ministry told The Nation that the Saudi Govt would launch the program to apprehend illegal Sri Lankan migrants once the amnesty period expires. more..

Commissioner yet to finalize poll date

July 7 (NS) The Department of Elections has confirmed that the Northern, North Western and Central Provincial Council elections will be held on Sept 21 or Sept 28. Department of Elections Deputy Commissioner (Admin) M. M. Mohamed said that the Department of Elections will publish a gazette notification within seven days of the dissolution of a Provincial Council, calling for the nominations. The nominations period will be 14 to 21 days after the gazette notification. more..

COPE says CEB must pay

July 7 (SL) Minister Susil Premajayantha and member of the COPE said the CEB has not paid for the supplies obtained from the CPC, in spite of being sold furnace oil and diesel at a subsidized price. The CEB currently stands to clear a debt of around Rs 74 billion. “The Petroleum Corporation gives at least 3000 metric tonnes of furnace oil and sometimes diesel (naphtha) to the power sector, or the CEB per day. The cost of production of more..

PS chairman allegedly solicited bribe from another PS chairman

July 7 (ST) The Walallawita Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Udeni Nanayakkara was yesterday remanded till Tuesday by Mathugama’s Acting Magistrate for allegedly soliciting a bribe. Police told Acting Magistrate R.A.M. Rajapakshe that the suspect had solicited Rs. 1.5 million as bribe from the Benthota Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman to give him a permit to transport sand and he was arrested while receiving the money. The arrest was made by detectives of the Commission to Investigate more..

NPC polls: Only 7,000 displaced voters register

July 7 (ST) The number of supplementary or displaced voters for the upcoming Northern Provincial Council (NPC) elections has fallen short of govt expectations. Only some 7,000 have applied to become voters in the North while govt had expected about 18,000. A senior Elections Department official said that by Friday they had received some 7,000 applications. “Soon after the deadline for the registration ends on Tuesday, the Commissioner of Elections will announce more..

SLPL second season draft on July 14

July 7 (CI) The player draft of the second Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) season is scheduled for July 14 in Colombo and is expected to contain several international players, including a strong South African contingent, league's CEO, Ajith Jayasekara said. The league is scheduled between Aug 10 and Sept 7. "We have the entire South African squad with the exception of Dale Steyn and Jacques Kallis lined up to take part," more..

Wife delivers baby two months after wedding

July 7 (CT) A man was shocked when the woman he married two months ago delivered a baby girl. The wedding of the woman from Jaffna and the man from Vavuniya took place in the month of May. After the wedding, the woman had told her husband that she has to undergo surgery to remove a cyst in her abdomen, to which he agreed. But he was shocked when his wife delivered the baby in his house in Vavuniya. He rushed her and the new born baby to his mother-in-law’s house in Jaffna, more..

Fears for missing Vavuniya child

July 7 (CG) A leading human rights group has issued an appeal on behalf of the family of a child feared abducted in Vavuniya last month. The London based Amnesty International said that Sivasooriyakumar Sanaraj, 15 years old, has been missing since 13 June, after he failed to arrive at school in Vavuniya. His family fears that he has been abducted, and he may be at risk of torture or extrajudicial execution. Amnesty International says that despite complaints lodged with more..

Another Walking Path vested on public

July 7 (MoD) A Walking Path constructed at Kimbula Ela in Battaramulla was vested on the public at a function held on 5th July. The 3.9 Km long walking path was ceremonially declared open by Secretary Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The Commemorative Plaque was unveiled by the Mayor of Kotte Ms. Kanthi Kodikara at the invitation of the Secretary. Minister Salinda Dissanayake and the Kotte Mayor joined more..

Woman fraudster’s luck runs out at last

July 7 (ST) A woman fraudster, who was on the run after allegedly cheating her unsuspecting victims of millions of rupees, was nabbed by an off-duty policeman in the vicinity of the Gangodawila Court complex earlier this week. The woman known only as Sujeewa had given the slip to the police on six different occasions but her luck ran out this week when she had to attend the Gangodawila Courts in a case and was spotted by the off-duty policeman who with the assistance of another more..

Poson desecrated

July 7 (ST) The month of Poson celebrates the advent of Buddhism to the country. The essence of Buddhism, the religion which shaped the socio-cultural legacy of the country, is non-violence. Deer, the animal symbolic of innocence, is closely connected with the ideals of non-violence and Buddhism. Sadly in the country’s medieval capital -Polonnaruwa- the month of Poson was desecrated by the brutal killing of the largest deer living in the vicinity of the quadrangle of the ancient more..

Video: PSC only a ‘subcommittee’ of Govt Parliamentary Group - TNA

July 7 (AD) TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran today stated that the committee appointed to look into changes to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution is not a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) at all, and that actually it’s a “President’s Select Committee.” He stated that the idea for a PSC to find a solution to the national issue was formulated in Sept 2011 during bilateral discussion held between the TNA and the govt, more..

5 mobile start-ups from joint Moratuwa Uni MIT project in 2013

July 7 (ST) A two-month University of Moratuwa mobile software start-up incubator programme, aided by world-renown Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Global Startup Labs, will be unveiling five projects which were initiated by its most recent class of 22 students, according to the programme’s Entrepreneurial Lead Akanksha Midha. She revealed that these projects will encompass areas such as “creating a renting market, helping track lost or misplaced phones, job and internship more..

Several trains cancelled due to railway strike

July 7 (AD) Several night mail trains have been cancelled due to a 48 hour railway strike from midnight today by railway trade union. Railways Professional Trade Union Alliance decided to launch a 48 hour strike from midnight today, based on several demands including a wage hike. A total of 11 trade unions attached to the Trade Union Alliance are expected to take part in the strike action. Discussion held with relevant authorities for over 3 hours on July 5 were futile as more..

New Packer deal: Asia casino

July 7 (WAT) James Packer has been handed a sweetheart deal to build a casino in Colombo, with the govt offering hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks despite fierce political and religious opposition to the project. This year the Sri Lankan govt rushed through parliament legal amendments to give Mr Packer's project a decades-long tax holiday, exempting it from at least 10 taxes and levies. more..

What after the Tharanga-Mahela magic?

July 8 (SL) It is difficult to remember a past instance in which the services of Kumar Sangakkara had been rendered superfluous to the team. But, Tuesday night in Jamaica against old nemesis India, there was the once-ranked world no.1 batsman seated, bat in hand, helmeted and padded, waiting for his turn, which alas, never turned up. Long a main pillar of our batting, this day, he was lessened to an ornamental statue throughout his team’s innings. The new selectors, vowing more..

Lankan leaders as philosopher kings

July 8 (SL) With so many constitutions – past, future, local and foreign being tossed about with much vengeance and fury to replace the Amendment 13 of wily JRJ’s Constitution, it set us pondering about what our proposals should be about this all important issue. We have no original thoughts on constitutions unlike some of those constitutional pundits firing constitutional proposals in our newspapers with the rapidity of a T-56. Our thoughts retreated to Greek philosopher Plato’s more..

'UNP makes steady progress'

July 8 (SO) Most Asian countries which were governed under the British Empire for over a century regained Independence from their colonial masters in the mid 20th century. All these countries, after regaining Independence adopted democracy with the political party system to govern their countries, influenced by their former masters. The UNP was formed by its founder Leader D.S. Senanayake in 1946 and formulated a more..

The leaders we deserve

July 8 (DBS) ‘The Conference of Birds’ is a peerless jewel in the crown of Islamic literature. Written in the 12th Century by the Persian poet Farid ud-Din Attar, this epic poem tells of an avian Odyssey in search of a king. The birds want the Simorgh to be their king; but when they reach the distant home of that legendary bird, after an epic-journey, all they find is a lake in which they see their own reflections. The king the birds seek is a spiritual and not an earthly one; ‘The Conference of Birds’ is generally more..

Why the TNA will not participate in the PSC

July 8 (DBS) Press Release Issued by TNA: The TNA took a decision on the 29th of June, not to participate in the proposed PSC. At that time we said we would issue a full statement explaining this decision: When the Govt originally announced that it wanted to set up a PSC, it was engaged in bilateral negotiations with the TNA. It was at a time when the Govt had defaulted in its commitment to respond to the comprehensive proposals put forward by the TNA. Even so the TNA fully cooperated in more..

Northern Province regains its pristine glory

July 8 (SO) The Northern Province that had borne the brunt of terrorism for thirty long years under the clutches of the LTTE is fast returning to its former glory as an economic nerve centre of the country, since the implementation of the 'Vadakkin Vasantham' recovery program implemented by the Presidential Task Force which was appointed by President on May 7, 2009, immediately after the military defeat of the terrorist outfit. more..

Eelamism, As Livelihood

July 8 (CT) Almost 14 months after the JVP insurrection in 1971, Eelamist Tamil Student League Leader Sathyaseelan attempted to murder A. Tiyagarajah, a Tamil Congress MP who dissented from the party, joined the ruling coalition and extended his support to the constitution of 1972. That was one of the earliest landmarks as far as the Eelamist struggle in Sri Lanka is concerned. The first Police force member to be killed by the Eelamist militants was A. Karunanithy, more..

Prospects of higher economic growth in 2013

July 8 (ST) The economic performance in the first quarter of the year has not been as fruitful as expected. The poor export performance, the slow growth of the global economy, increasing burdens placed on the economy by the poor performance of the public sector and inadequate investments are among the constraints to growth. It is unlikely that these unfavourable features would change during the rest of the year to produce an economic growth of much above 6%. more..

Kunda Dixit

Defence Secretary defends majority domination, denies devolution

July 8 (CT) The interview given to the Daily Mirror by the Secretary of Defence, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, may be candid as the reporter has prefaced, but not helpful to resolve the post-conflict issues or reconciliation in Sri Lanka. Moreover they raise questions about his political/military ambitions which should be concerns for the democracy in the country. He was fairly a good Defence Secretary during the war but not after. Instead of defending the country or the people as a total more..

What Maha Bodhi blasts augur for Sri Lanka and India

July 8 (CT) If leaked intelligence warnings that were cited by India’s political opposition in the aftermath of the bombing inside the Mahabodhi Temple in Bihar are anything to go by, they remove the pro-Tiger lobby in Tamil Nadu from the equation. It appears the pro-Tiger rump, chaotic and impudent as it may be, is not among the likely culprits. The likely catalyst for the attack, according to intelligence warnings, is the anti-Muslim violence in Burma, where at least 200 people were killed and more..

Meanwhile in a parallel universe called Humility…

July 8 (NS) Ramith says: At this point I remember how as a schoolboy I was caught doing the naughty-naughty during a period when I was representing the country. I remember that I was not admonished. I remember that I was not caned or put on detention. I was not suspended or sacked. I believe now that the leniency shown to me emboldened me to disregard discipline and responsibility. On that occasion my father’s more..

Sri Lanka plans to boost stock ownership, awareness

July 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka is planning to boost stock ownership and awareness and regulators should also take steps to protect less savvy investors, officials said at an 'investor day' to boost awareness. Sri Lanka's Securities and Exchange Commission is holding the fair in Colombo with stock brokers, the Colombo Stock Exchange, fund managers and other market intermediaries having stalls. SEC chairman Nalaka Godahewa said the market has gained about 30 percent in the past few months. more..

Sampur flagged off as inefficient but CEB denies claims

July 8 (FT) An official of the CEB denied that the Sampur power plant has 6% less efficiency than the Norochcholai power plant and insisted that the details still need to be finalised. CEB Corporate Strategy Division Additional General Manager Bandula Thilakasena answering to questions posed by the Daily FT during the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) organised seminar, dismissed reports that the Sampur Power Plant would be less efficient that its Chinese-built counterpart. more..

Rs.11 b more needed to finance power subsidies

July 8 (FT) A top energy expert on Friday noted that despite the Govt’s recent electricity price adjustments a further estimated Rs. 11 billion in revenue was needed to finance the announced subsidies. Resource Management Associates Managing Director Dr. Tilak Siyambalapitiya told a seminar on energy conservation that the surcharges announced by the Govt when offset by the subsidies, still left a gap of Rs. 11.2 billion. more..

Fruit trees for wild animals, park for crocodiles

July 8 (CT) In a bid to stop wild animals from rummaging the countryside for food and fruits, the Ministry of Wildlife Resources Conservation has decided to grow fruit-bearing trees in their habitats. Minister Wijith Wijayamuni Soyza said he intended to implement the project soon. Soyza said he knew from personal experience how various animals visit farmyards and agricultural plots looking for food and fruits and how they destroy the crops. Minister added that he loses nearly 100,000 mangoes more..