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Clear message on 13th Amendment conveyed to Sri Lanka: Menon

July 10 (Hindu) National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon — who met top Sri Lanka leaders here in the last two days — emphasised the need for Colombo to fulfil its commitment to India and the international community regarding a political settlement that would go beyond the 13th Amendment of the country’s Constitution. The amendment introduced provincial councils with specified powers based on the provisions of more..

Foreign office rejects Lanka’s TNA spin on Khurshid-Basil meet

July 10 (ENS) India and Sri Lanka do not seem to be on the same page with both sides giving conflicting views on what transpired when visiting Lankan Minister for Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa met with External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid last week. While Colombo claims that Khurshid asked all parties to join the newly-set-up Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Constitutional reforms, India strongly denied that the minister gave any such indication. more..

UNP boycotts PSC on Ethnic Issue

July 10 (Island) The UNP yesterday decided against joining the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Ethnic Issue since the govt had not clearly set out its stand on the future of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. Assistant Leader of the UNP, Joseph Michael Perera said that the decision to boycott the PSC had been taken after the parliamentary group, which met with party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in the Chair, discussed the ruling UPFA’s proposed amendments to the 13th Amendment, more..

Palk Strait widens after 13A pow-wow!

July 10 (FT) Fresh moves by New Delhi this week to prevent Colombo from tinkering with the 13th Amendment appear to have further entrenched the two States into conflicting positions, with the Govt insisting certain provisions must go while India was emphatic Sri Lanka cannot tamper unilaterally with the Indo-Lanka Accord. President Rajapaksa yesterday told a visiting senior Indian official that the PSC was the best possible more..

Food and drugs: The people are sick of promises

July 10 (DM) Just as the excessive use of imported agro-chemicals is believed to have polluted ground water and caused an epidemic of kidney failure mainly among thousands of farmers in the North Central Province, people-friendly nutritionists say an excess of calcium in milk may cause kidney failure in infants. It will be a disaster if the infant has to undergo dialysis, and the child is not likely to live long. Even if the child survives, he or she is likely to be sickly, affecting the child’s education. more..

Who or what could be blamed for the President's attitude?

July 10 (DM) Finally the President agreed to have provincial council elections, without any changes to the constitution. However, it is clear to everybody including Indian rulers that Mahinda did not try to honour his promises to India. He showed, at least to those who are serious that he is not prepared to solve the national problem in the country. He wanted to avoid giving effect to 13A. Blame for this attitude cannot be imputed to the JHU and NFF. Some people believe what changed Mahinda after more..

Bribery and corruption rampant in governing bodies

July 10 (SL) When bribery among the higher echelons of governing bodies is reported, the sum exchanged is most often in millions. Further down the pecking order, the rampancy of such iniquitous activity remains high, but the sum of rupees slipped under hand can be anything between a few million to a few thousands. Frequently reported and highly evident, Pradeshiya Sabhas are entities in which bribery and corruption is more..

Our queens through the ages get a place of their own

July 10 (ST) The Queen’s Chamber or the Meda Wasala located behind the Dalada Maligawa in Kandy will soon be transformed into the country’s first museum dedicated especially to the queens of Sri Lanka and women in general. Initial work on the project, undertaken by the Central Cultural Fund (CCF) is expected to be completed by December this year, officials said. “This is a new concept for Sri Lanka. more..

'13th Amendment a grave Blunder'

July 10 (DM) Q: 26 years after the signing of the Indo-Lanka Accord now once again there is controversy over the 13th Amendment, the Provincial Council system and arguments for and against their continuation. What is your position today on this? A: President J.R. Jayewardene signed this agreement against his conscience. He had no option but to sign it. Obviously to win voted in TN, Gandhi on the request of former CM more..

JICA volunteers to serve North for first time

July 10 (DN) Out of the 12 JICA volunteers who arrived in the island on July, three volunteers will serve in the Northern Province. Two of the three volunteers dispatched to the North will work with fishing communities that have received support under a JICA funded seafood processing project. The two volunteers will work in the fields of food processing and sewing, while the third volunteer will work for the Vocational Training Center in more..

JVP condemns govt. move to export paddy

July 10 (Island) The JVP accused the govt of planning to mill and export its excess stocks of paddy to free its warehouses for the next season’s harvest. Former JVP MP and president of the All Ceylon Peasant Association Namal Karunaratne said that the govt was without a strategy to purchase paddy. "It is a shame to export rice while it is being imported in to the country," he said, adding that a system was needed to more..

Kama- Colombo assault: Bail refused

July 10 (DM) The Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court refused bail to the first suspect in the assault of a 21-year-old youth at the Kama- Colombo nightclub, after a motion was filed by the suspect’s lawyers seeking bail a shortwhile ago. C.R De Silva and Shanaka Wanasinghe appearing for the suspect submitted that their client be given bail because the offence was a bail-able offence and that the suspect poses no threat to more..

Interpol begins checking tusks' origin

July 10 (CT) A team of Interpol officers are in the process of extracting samples from a consignment of illegal elephant tusks seized by the Customs, as part of an international effort to verify their origins. The process of taking samples from all 359 elephant tusks, valued at Rs 4.2 billion, commenced under the supervision of the officials at the Departments of Customs and Wildlife Conservation more..

CBK won’t engage in politics but…

July 10 (Island) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s Office emphasized that she had no desire or vested interests to engage in active politics in the future. If she ever changed her mind, whatever political action she may engage in would be as a loyal member of the SLFP, the Office said in a statement. The full text of the statement: "We have noted various news items that have appeared in diverse media, more..

Sri Lankan housemaids get more perks with a dignified job title

July 10 (Island) Despite calls by various pressure groups to stop sending Sri Lankan women to West Asian countries, a total of 58,299 women had gone to Saudi Arabia alone as housemaids in 2012. The number of departures for foreign employment rose by 6.3% year-on-year to 279,482 in 2012. Apart from the housemaid category, increases were also seen in clerical and related fields, middle level and professional more..

Video: Opposition concerned if elections will reflect public opinion

July 10 (AD) We are concerned about how fair the elections in the North will be and if it will reflect public opinion, UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya stated. He said that these questions arose in the wake of recommendations by the President to dissolve the North Western and Central Provincial Council and to hold elections in the North. He stated that the govt was ignoring recommendations by the Elections Commissioner and using state more..

Stocks up 0.6%, Rupee steady

July 10 (LBO) Stocks closed up 0.6% Wednesday ending a five day losing streak with large cap stocks making gains, and the rupee slipped marginally lower in the forward market. The All Share Index closed 35.89 points higher at 6,016.05 up 0.6% and the S&P SL 20 Index closed 17.1 points higher at 3,365.08 up 0.51%. Turnover was 228.1 million rupees down from 254.3 million from a day earlier. In forex markets there were no two way quotes in the spot market for the US dollar for the third day more..

Dayasiri opting to punt

July 10 (CT) It is interesting how rumours and speculations of 'crossovers' come to dominate the political scenario whenever an election is nearing. The President's announcement last week, confirming that elections would be held for the Wayamba, Central and Northern Provincial Councils set the rumour mill grinding overtime, with one name dominating the topic, that of Dayasiri Jayasekara, and the likelihood of him joining govt ranks. That he is one of the most popular MPs in the UNP, more..

Sri Lankan Buddhists to carry out the law

Sri Lanka has no choice but to get on bandwagon of miracles

July 10 (CT) Oxford University’s former free thinking evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins has concluded his latest bestseller ‘The Magic of Reality’ with a quotation from the world renowned futurist and science fiction writer Sir Arthur C. Clarke. Clarke has said that technology tomorrow when viewed from today’s perspectives is really a “miracle”. Miracles are not unknown to mankind since from time immemorial people have taken relish in them when they were reduced to utter more..

'UPFA responsibility to honour country’s sovereignty'

July 10 (Island) As a govt the UPFA had a big responsibility and that was to honour the sovereignty of the country, which was entrusted to it by the people, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. He pointed out that the people were suspicious of the politicians, but all politicians should not be tarred with the same brush because there were exceptions. Some politicians were dabbling in politics with their relatives. That was why many people detested them. He would urge politicians not to tread that more..

IMF calls for more efficient tax system in Sri Lanka to boost gov't revenue

July 10 (Xinhua) The IMF has called on the Sri Lankan govt to increase the effectiveness of its tax system to increase public revenue. IMF Resident Representative Dr. Koshy Mathai speaking at an annual conference on the Sri Lankan economy called on the govt to increase the number of people who pay taxes. "We are not principally talking about raising tax rates. We are talking about broadening the base, more..

Antique smuggler arrested at Colombo port

July 10 (Island) The Customs Bio-Diversity and National Heritage division, at the Port of Colombo, yesterday took into custody a resident of Colombo, who tried to smuggle out to Malaysia a container load of antiques. Customs Preventive division Director Leslie Gamani said that the suspect was being questioned by the officers of the Archeology and Forest Department officials as among the items he had tried to take out of the country were ancient coins and furniture made out of ebony more..

Mobile brothel busted at Mount

July 10 (CG) The police have busted a mobile brothel operating in the Mount Lavinia area, the police said today. The police said that eight people were arrested when the operation was busted last night. According to the police, a special police unit had made the arrests at Saram Road in Mount Lavinia after receiving information about the brothel. The police arrested four women used for prostitution and four others who were involved in the business. The women are aged between 23 and 30 more..

Hundreds of Sri Lankan monks protest bomb attack in India

July 10 (Xinhua) Hundreds of Buddhist monks protested before the Indian High Commission here on Wednesday after officials refused to accept a petition that they were attempting to hand over regarding the bomb blasts in India. About 600 members of the controversial extremist Buddhist organizations Ravana Balaya and Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) marched to the High Commission but were told that no official would come to accept more..

Sirisena cautions against examination mania in ministry

July 10 (Island) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena instructed the Ministry officials not to make the Ministry a year round examination centre for promotions. More than 600 exams pertaining to the promotions of officials, doctors, nurses, clerks and administrators takes place annually in the Ministry. Even the Department of Examinations was holding only around 300 exams per annum, he said. He said that holding of various types of examinations to select eligible personnel for various positions more..

375 undergrads evicted from South-Eastern University

July 10 (CT) The South-Eastern University in Oluvil has evicted 375 second-year students from the university premises indefinitely, for agitating for hostel facilities within the university premises. The second-year students have been agitating and demanding for better hostel facilities within the university premises from the university management. As hostel facilities are generally not provided for second-year students, according to the regulations of the university, more..

Unions, Health Ministry trade charges over BTI, dengue

July 10 (Island) The Health Services Trade Union Alliance (HSTUA) accused the Health Ministry of attempting to get commissions by importing the BTI from Cuba. HSTUA President Saman Ratnapriya alleged that importing the bacteria would pave the way for corruption. He alleged that the absence of a programme to control dengue had led to a situation where all officials were finding excuses to cover up their failure. more..

82-year-old files FR Petition against CEB

July 10 (CT) An 82-two-year old Engineer, with considerable experience in thermal generation, coal power and hydro electricity, Marcus Vincent Romanis, filed a Fundamental Rights Petition against the increase in electricity tariffs imposed by the CEB, in the Supreme Court, yesterday. In his Petition, Romanis states the Fundamental Rights of the people have been violated by increasing the tariff, and in his view, the price of electricity in Sri Lanka is one of the highest in the world, more..

Weather Alert: Keep out of sea for 36 hours

July 10 (DM) The fishing and Naval communities had been warned not to venture out in the sea for the next 36 hours. The Met. Department said that the deep and shallow sea areas off the coast extending from Puttalam to Potuvil via Hambantota would be rough and wind speeds might increase to 70 kmph at times. Showers are also expected in the Central, Sabaragamuwa, Western and Southern Provinces due to the possibility of increasing of prevailing southwest monsoonal winds more..

Ranil says 17A more important

July 10 (CG) The UNP today accused the govt of neglecting core issues faced by the public and instead putting more focus on the 13th Amendment to the constitution. UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said that before looking at the 13th Amendment, the govt should have looked at implementing the 17th Amendment to the constitution. “Under the 17th Amendment an independent police can be created, more..

Danuna’s grandmother asks to be released

July 10 (DM) Dhanuna Tillekeratne's 82-year-old grand-mother today asked Court to release her from the case in which she had been charged with harbouring an offender by providing accommodation to her grandson Dhanuna, who is former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka’s son-in-law. President’s Counsel Ananda Wijesekara, Counsel Ranil Samarasinghe and MP Dayasiri Jayasekara appearing for Ellen Wimala Tillekeratne maintained that charges against their client cannot more..

Sri Lanka expects to keep 5.8% deficit target in 2013: Treasury Sec

July 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka is expecting to maintain a 5.8% budget deficit target with better tax revenues on the second half of 2013 and continued moderation of current expenses, Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundera said. Sri Lanka's revenues have been hurt by slowing imports, particularly motor vehicles, but other taxes including value added tax are starting to improve, he told an economic policy forum. Jayasundera said the expansion of VAT to retail was expected to boost revenues. more..

'Notion that provincial council system should be abolished was nurtured by the JVP'

July 10 (LT) The mental attitude of the majority of Sri Lankans has been fashioned to accommodate the notion that provincial councils should be abolished not due to the blabbering of stooping ministers of Rajapaksa regime that have ganged themselves to destroy the country but by the intense struggle the JVP carried out against the 13th amendment since 1987 says JVP Member Bimal Rathanayaka. more..

Hatton- Nanu-Oya road blocked due to landslide

July 10 (CT) The Hatton- Nanu-Oya road has been blocked due to a landslide, Nuwara Eliya District Secretary D.P.G.Kumarasiri said. A land slide warning has been issued to the 42nd Mile Post area along the Gampola- Nuwara EDliya main road. 25 families in the Wattawala area have been evacuated due to the rising water levels in the area as a result of the rains currently experienced. The sluice gates of the Lakshapana, Canyon, Upper Kotamale and Moussakale reservoirs have been opened. more..

Fishermen seek date with Chief Secretary to discuss Sri Lanka visit plan

July 10 (Hindu) A fishermen delegation has requested the Collector to get them an appointment with the Chief Secretary to discuss a visit to Sri Lanka in the first week of August. The delegation plans to hold talks with Sri Lankan fishermen to find a solution to the fishing problem in the Palk Bay. Leaders of the five-member delegation which met Sri Lankan Minister Basil Rajapaksa in Delhi on June 5, met Collector K. Nanthakumar here at the Collectorate and briefed him more..

Locked away without hope

July 10 (BT) He has been in flight or in detention for almost seven years. His wife and the two children he has not seen since they were infants have turned their back on him and he has no family or friends here. He is receiving treatment as a victim of torture and trauma and weeps uncontrollably in sessions with psychologists. They warn he's a suicide risk. He once grew rice and herded cattle in the no man's land between the SL army more..

To GSP or not to GSP, that is the question

July 10 (DM) The European Union’s (EU) Generalised System of Tariff Preferences (GSP) is a scheme where the EU grants developing countries such as Sri Lanka duty free or preferential duty access to the EU market for a selected number of products. The EU has three types of concessions granted under the GSP scheme: (1) Standard GSP scheme, (2) Special Arrangement for the Least Developed Countries and (3) Special Incentive Arrangement for Sustainable Development more..

Post-war land grabs in Sri Lanka

July 10 (CRF) Weak and ineffective property rights pose many problems in post-conflict situations. Secure property rights are needed to revitalize an economy after a volatile period. For many workers, especially farmers and fishermen, their very livelihoods are dependent on secure rights and access to land. In addition, reliable property rights encourage investors to take more financial risks and invest in a post-conflict country. Unfortunately, the impacts of a conflict—including displacement more..

Champika R on Sampur project

July 10 (Island) Apropos our front-page news item headlined Ranawaka picks holes in Sampur agreement, Daya Perera, private secretary to the minister of technology and research has sent us the following statement: The writer, Ifham Nizam, has referred to a confidential cabinet paper written by the former Minister of Power and Energy, Champika Ranawaka. Unfortunately, the official who has leaked this confidential more..