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Hathurusingha helping Aussie spinners

July 8 (NS) Former Sri Lanka shadow coach Chandika Hathurusingha discarded by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is currently in Sri Lanka helping top Australian state New South Wales groom spinners for the future.Hathurusingha, assistant coach to Trevor Bayliss of the New South Wales Blues Sheffield Shield team arrived in Sri Lanka about ten days ago along with Australian left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe (who has played in 7 T20 Internationals) and three promising more..

Mathai’s mantra for Wonder of Asia goal

July 8 (FT) Sri Lanka’s growth at 6.5% maybe a big slow-down from the 8% maintained earlier, but the rate is not bad, said the IMF, albeit the economy could have done much better. The management of the economy in late 2011 when a difference in the exchange rate and a sharp drop of reserves in the Central Bank took place, followed by very sharp policy changes in early 2012, hit the economy quite hard; even though the more..

'Development possible only under this govt'

July 8 (DN) The masses must support the govt at the forthcoming Provincial Council elections if they want the people in the Palaly High Security Zone to be resettled, convert the Palaly Airport to an international airport and to develop the entire Northern Province like Japan or Singapore, Minister Douglas Devananda said. He was addressing meetings at Vathiri Village Leather Products Manufacturing Factory and Ellar Village Coir Products Manufacturing Factory. more..

Ministry to recruit over 6,000 nurses

July 8 (DN) Minister Maithripala Sirisena instructed health officials to recruit 6,025 nurses, the largest batch of nurses in Sri Lankan history, a ministry spokesman said. The spokesman said the Health Ministry called for applications to recruit 6,025 nurses and received 9,000 applications. "Applicants who had passed the A/L examination in the science stream will be recruited. The nurses are to be recruited in two batches and 3,000 nurses will be included in each batch," he said. more..

'Kama' night club bouncers allegedly assault youth

July 8 (DM) In a continuing spree of violence unleashed by bouncers at reputed nightclubs in Colombo, a 21-year-old youth who was severely assaulted early on Saturday by the bouncers of Kama Colombo - Galle Face, Colombo 2, is currently receiving treatment at the National Hospital. Police said a businessman and a bouncer identified by the victim and eye witnesses, had fled their residences and were still at large. more..

SL v WI: Persistent rain pushes match to reserve day

July 8 (CI) Persistent rain in Port-of-Spain meant play was called off for the day after only 19 overs were bowled during Sri Lanka's innings. The match will continue from the current state on Monday. West Indies, motivated by the appearance of the pitch, chose to field second time in a row, but unlike the previous match where they failed to make an early strike, this time, the bowlers found the right length on the pitch to topple Sri Lanka's top order while keeping their run-scoring in a leash. more..

Authorities heedless of climate change in coastal planning: report

July 8 (ST) Sri Lanka will be hit hard by climate change and is not giving this enough thought when executing development projects, a new report warns. The report, “Turn Down The Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts, and the Case for Resilience” builds on a World Bank report released late last year, which concluded the world would warm by 4C above pre-industrial levels by the end of this century if countries did not take concerted action now. The paper looks at the likely impacts of more..

China pushing for operational control of Norochcholai

July 8 (SL) There seems to be a sinister plan in motion to hand over the entire operations of the Norochcholai coal power plant to a Chinese company, claiming that the local engineers are incapable of handling the operations efficiently, charge certain local officers at the facility. According to one of the officers at Norochcholai, the current situation within the Norochcholai coal power plant is that the Deputy General Manager more..

New Vehicles to CMC

July 8 (GDI) A Crane Truck, 5 Gully Emptier vehicles, 3 Water Bowsers and 6 Crew Cabs worth of 275 million were handed over to the Colombo Municipal Council by the Secretary, Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa participating as the Chief Guest at function held at CMC premises on Friday. Colombo is one of the key cities in the Asian region which is rapidly booming in the world current context under the 'Mahinda Chinthana' manifesto. more..

Over 2,000 observers to be deployed

July 8 (NS) Over 2,000 observers are to be deployed by election monitors at the NPC polls in September. Monitoring bodies - PAFFREL and CaFFE are to deploy around 1,000 observers each at the polls. PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiararchi said a team of international observers will also be part of its team. The team comprising 10 members of the Thailand-based Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) is expected to arrive in the country two weeks before the polls. more..

LPBOA to boycott meeting with President

July 8 (CT) Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) had decided to boycott a special discussion with President Rajapaksa, scheduled for today, regarding the annual revision of bus fares. LPBOA President, Gemunu Wijeratne, said it was futile to engage in further discussions on the matter and threatened a countrywide bus strike if bus fares are not increased this week. He said although the annual more..

Rs 42.6 M due to Rupavahini

July 8 (CT) The Auditor General (AG) had reported to Parliament that Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC), had not taken any measures to recover a sum of Rs 42,649,586 due from various political parties that used its services for their propaganda activities during elections. The report filed by the AG to the COPE, had highlighted the failure on the part of SLRC in this regard. The report also notes the non-recovery of payment due from political parties that had bought air time from the corporation more..

ITC begins mixed development project near Galle Face Green

July 8 (ST) India-based public conglomerate, ITC Ltd will soon begin construction work of a multi-faceted mixed use development project in a prime land in Colombo, a top official said. Welcome Hotels Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, a newly incorporated ITC unit in Sri Lanka, has paid US$ 73.5 million, an upfront payment for a 99 lease of a 5 acre block state land near Colombo’s main Galle Face beachfront, Secretary to the Ministry of Investment Promotion M.M.C. Ferdinando said. more..

Demand to release fishermen apprehended in Sri Lanka

July 8 (Hindu) As the second batch of 25 fishermen released by a Lankan court arrived here on Saturday, the immediate detention of another 21 fishermen with their five trawlers by the Sri Lankan Navy has shocked the fishing community here. Indian Coast Guard and Fisheries Department said the fishermen were fishing off Katchatheevu when they were arrested by the Lankan Navy from Thalaimannar on Saturday evening. more..

'Do not alienate hostile countries'

July 8 (DM) Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter, the Most Venerable Udugma Shri Buddharakkitha Thera said Sri Lanka should not alienate countries that are against it, but engage with them and continue with dialogue instead, to provide them with the ‘true picture of the country’. The Ven. Thera made these remarks during a meeting held with Minister G.L. Peiris and former Central Province Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake recently. “We can’t alienate ourselves from countries that more..

Sri Lanka clinch men’s relay bronze

July 8 (CT) Sri Lanka’s 4x400m men’s relay team brought some impact to Sri Lanka’s athletics when they won a bronze medal at the 20th Asian Athletic Championship that concluded at the Sri Chatrapathy Stadium, Pune yesterday. Sri Lanka’s achievement was made possible by Priyashantha, Aloka, Seneviratne and Gunaratne who tried to catch up into the second place but found the Japanese speeding to the tape. Sri Lanka finished in a time of 3:04.92 seconds. more..

Writing on the blackboard for ‘military principals’

July 8 (ST) W.A.S. Wickremasinghe, Principal of Pragnananda National School in Raddolugama, had apparently decided to participate in the leadership programme offered by the Cadet Corps, with the hope that obtaining the military rank of ‘captain’ and a uniform would bring more recognition to the school. But today, his vacant office still bears the name board ‘Mr. W.A.S. Wickremasinghe, Principal’– as he never returned to more..

Lankans asked to delay visit to Bodh Gaya after terror strike

July 8 (PTI) Sri Lankan govt today asked its citizens to delay their departures to Bodh Gaya in Bihar by a week after a terror attack hit one of the holiest Buddhists places in which two monks were injured. "In view of the situation the pilgrims are warned to delay their departures by one week," the Sri Lankan govt said here in a statement. The Govt Information Department stressed that the target of the bombings in the Mahabodhi Temple was neither Buddhists nor Sri Lankan pilgrims, but advised the more..

TNA nominations postponed

July 8 (CT) The TNA has postponed nominating its chief ministerial and other candidates for the forthcoming Northern Provincial Council (NPC) elections, until 11 July. Former TNA MP, M.K. Sivajilingam, told Ceylon Today, "At the first round of talks held in this regard among the five political parties that form the TNA on 6 July, it was decided to postpone the selection of candidates until 11 July. Others who wish to contest under the TNA ticket will also be selected on that day." more..

13th Amendment Amend or Repeal?

July 8 (NS) Confusion continues to reign regarding the ‘official stance’ of the Sri Lankan Govt regarding devolving land and police powers to the provinces as stipulated under the 13th Amendment, with some of its own coalition partners categorically stating that the position of the SLFP could not be taken as being the official position of the Govt. On Thursday, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the Govt had conducted more..

Election season

July 8 (Island) Friday’s presidential proclamation of the Northern Provincial Council election and the premature dissolution of the Central and North Western Provincial Councils, though front-paged yesterday was certainly not breaking news in the sense that the country already knew that these elections were onna menna, if we may borrow the pithy Sinhala idiom. Despite the demands of an influential section of the ruling UPFA coalition, President Rajapaksa who had gone public more..

India’s uninformed stand and Sri Lanka’s secret weapon

July 8 (Island) Last Friday, Minister Basil Rajapaksa was in India in a situation no less crucial than the one in which he left for India in October 2008 when the war was reaching its peak. This time, however, his visit does not seem to have been as successful as the October 2008 visit. If his task was to convince India that the 13th Amendment to the constitution needs to be amended, he does not seem to have succeeded. The Indian External Affairs Minister had been emphasizing that the 13th more..

'I was on the LTTE hit list'

July 8 (Island) In a wide ranging interview with the Daily Mirror, The TNA leader, one of the few remaining Tamil nationalist politicians of an era bygone, R Sampanthan told why he believed that Tamils were being considered as second class citizens, the importance for the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and also responded to allegations against him and his party to the effect that more..

No code of ethics for Rambukwella

July 8 (SL) Another ministerial offspring is in the limelight again and this time bringing disgrace to the country in the eyes of the world because he was unable to distinguish between a cabin door and a toilet door due to being under the influence of liquor. Ramith Rambukwella, son of Minister Keheliya Rambukwella has not only brought humiliation to the country but also to the gentleman’s game with his unruly behaviour on board more..

Elections chief to announce nominations date for PC poll on Friday

July 8 (Island) With Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya expected to announce the date for nominations to the polls to the Northern, North-Western and Central provinces on Friday, the mainstream political parties – SLFP, UNP, TNA, SLMC and JVP had indicated that they are in no hurry to appoint nomination boards to select candidates, political sources said. The UPFA govt will use the PC polls in the Northern more..

Polonnaruwa wide open to thieving treasure-hunters

July 8 (ST) Despite a spate of raids by treasure-hunters, the authorities lack co-ordination to protect monuments and prevent the desecration of Polonnauruwa, the country’s medieval capital and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Gal Viharaya Chief Incumbent Ven. Wedaruwe Sri Upali Thera emphasised that all relevant authorities – the police, Archaeological Department, Central Cultural Fund (CCF), the Wildlife and Forest more..

Banning anti-diabetes drug Pioglitazone: Top medical experts to decide this week

July 8 (Island) A panel of top medical experts is expected to determine this week whether the widely used anti-diabetes drug Pioglitazone should be banned in Sri Lanka following fears that the use of this fast-moving, relatively low cost Indian product could cause urinary bladder cancer, senior health officials said. Pioglitazone is extensively prescribed and used by diabetic patients as the price of the drug ranges from Rs. 2/50 to Rs. 15/- more..

'My son is being unfairly targeted by the media'

July 8 (DN) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella yesterday said that the incident involving his son on board a flight has been blown out of proportion by the media with an ulterior motive of damaging the career of a budding cricketer. He said Ramith Rambukwella, a promising cricketer was subject to unjust criticism by some sections of the media over an incident while on board a British Airways flight. "Ramith Rambukwella is being more..

Cairn seeks early production as decision makers of top oil companies come to SL

July 8 (Island) Some of the world’s top oil executives representing international oil giants will rub shoulders with Sri Lankan business leaders and policy makers at a unique conference to be held at the Mount Lavinia hotel this week as the govt extends a September 29 deadline to November 30, 2013 for submitting bids for oil exploration blocks, with the intention of allowing oil companies to factor in new airborne gravity/magnetic and more..

GL briefs Prelates on immense benefits that would accrue from CHOGM

July 8 (Island) The Commonwealth leaders summit to be held in November, where East and West would meet in Colombo, will bring enormous benefits to Sri Lanka, Minister G. L. Peiris told the Maha Nayake Theras of Malwatte and Asgiriya on Saturday. He called on the two prelates to brief them on the Commonwealth leaders conference in November and to seek their blessings for the Central Provincial Council Election more..

Top Indian official arrives in Sri Lanka for talks on security and power devolution

July 8 (Xinhua) Indian National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon arrived in Sri Lanka on Monday for crucial talks with top officials including the Sri Lankan president that are expected to focus on power devolution to the former war-torn north. Menon's visit comes after Sri Lankan Minister Basil Rajapaksa who is also President Mahinda Rajapaksa' s brother last week flew to New Delhi to meet with top officials including more..

SF hints at political alliance with CBK, while retaining DP identity

July 8 (Island) Democratic Party (DP) leader General Sarath Fonseka has hinted of his eagerness to form an alliance with former President Chandrika Kumaratunga ahead of the forthcoming provincial council elections. Responding to a query by Jaffna based Dan TV, the former Army Commander said that he wouldn’t hesitate to reach an understanding with the former President, as their political thinking was alike now. more..

Kukuleganga Hydro Power Plant Restored

July 8 (GDI) Out of the two turbines in the Kukuleganga Hydro Power Plant, which were out of order due to a technical fault, one turbine has now been restored. Toshiba Company of Japan, which is the parent company of these turbines, has repaired the turbine and it has been activated since Friday. The Kukuleganga Hydropower Plant through the two turbines adds 75 Megawatts daily to the National Grid and with the restoration of this turbine, it will again add 37.5 Megawatts to the Grid. more..

India’s invasion by invitation – 1987

July 8 (CT) JR invited, Rajiv Gandhi invaded and Tamils paid the price. The cost of political unrealism at over 1,500 dead on either side was exacting. The invasion had a twin motive. To make the North safe for the TULF – read moderates friendly to India – and the South safe for the UNP – read a regime amenable to India. JR heaped victory on his country. The invitee was treated to ignominy by Tamil militants. It rankled in India’s mind from 1987 and most particularly since 1991 and more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Parents launch fast near school demanding justice

July 8 (Island) These two parents began a fast near the gate of the Bandarawela Madhya Maha Vidyalaya on Friday demanding the admission of their two children, who they claimed were left out by the authorities after an assurance that they would be admitted to Grade 2 this year. "We live adjacent to the school and in 2012 our two children were denied admission to Grade 1, but we were given a categorical assurance that they would be admitted this year, which didn’t materialize", more..

Making Sri Lanka a worthwhile tourist destination

July 8 (CT) The news that 12 Special Task Force (STF) personnel had been remanded by the Trincomalee Magistrate last Friday over their alleged involvement in the murder of five students in the port city in 2006, came as welcome news to the public-spirited citizens of this country as well as the international community, who have been appalled at the cavalier manner in which the case had been handled. Despite the outcry of human rights groups about the impunity with which more..

Sajith urges leadership to mend its ways or face consequences

July 8 (Island) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa has warned the party’s top leadership to settle internal squabbles or face the consequences at the forthcoming provincial council elections. Addressing a public gathering at Sri Nagapushparama temple, Kannegoda, Premadasa said that the UNP’s success at the North Central and North Western provincial council elections would entirely depend on its ability to more..

Sri Lanka stocks down 0.8%

July 8 (LBO) Stocks closed 0.68% lower Monday, amid losses in diversified companies and banking stocks, down 8% from a May 23 peak so far, brokers said. All Share Index closed at 5995.64, down 52.54 points lower and the and the S&P SL 20 Index closed 31.9 points lower at 3,351.4 down 0.94%. The market has so far dropped eight percent since its peak on 23rd May at 6,488.00 points, ending a rally that was driven by foreign purchases and strong interest in John Keells more..

Dog population at 2.5M

July 8 (CT) Sri Lanka's dog population has risen markedly with a corresponding increase in dog bites, Dr. Kumara de Silva said. The country's dog population stands at 2.5 million. Though various steps had been taken to keep the increase of the dog population at bay, through neutering and spaying, the canine population keeps growing. He emphasized that even though the number of rabies deaths had reduced significantly, the incidents of dog bites had increased. more..