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The forgotten people of Puttalam

July 1 (SL) As the population of Muslim IDPs in Puttalam expands, the community is finding it harder to cope in increasingly afflictive surroundings. The question of resettlement remains pronounced as the burgeoning population of 250,000 – according to Colombo-based NGO Law and Society Trust – desperately scrape for resources. Over the last 25 years, the IDPs have made Puttalam their home despite the more..

Madras Hight Court upholds ban on LTTE

July 1 (PTI) The Madras High Court today upheld the ban imposed by the Centre on the LTTE in 2010. A Division Bench dismissed writ petitions filed by MDMK founder-leader Vaiko and the Prisoners’ Rights Forum, who challenged the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal’s order on November 12, 2010. The Tribunal had confirmed the notification issued by the Home Ministry banning the LTTE on May 14, 2010. more..

Central Investments and Finance under managing agent

July 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Central Bank said People's Leasing and Finance Plc, the island's largest non-bank lender has been appointed managing agent for Central Investments and Finance Plc, which had seen liquidity issues. "The Managing Agent will be expected to improve the financial status of CIFL within a reasonable period of time, and Central Bank will closely monitor the progress," the regulator said more..

Sri Lanka urban inflation index up 7.1% in June

July 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka's consumer prices rose 7.1% in the 12-month to June 2013 from a year earlier, slowing from 9.6% in May, an index compiled by a private research house showed. The CAL Urban Index, fell 1.3% absolutely during the month, CAL Research, a unit of Capital Alliance group said. Colombo Consumer Price Index showed that consumer prices rose 6.8% in June 2013 from a year earlier, slowing from 7.3% in May. more..

'1,000 houses ready for internally displaced persons in Lanka'

July 1 (ENS) The special secretary of Development Partnership Administration P S Raghavan has said that the pilot project for construction of 1,000 houses for internally displaced persons in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka is completed. Delivering a special address during the Madras Management Association (MMA) Awards function and 57th annual general meeting of MMA recently, Raghavan, who led a high-level more..

Second National Mosquito Eradication Week begins today

July 1 (DN) The second National Mosquito Eradication Week for 2013 will commence today. It will be held until July 7, a Health Ministry spokesman said. Senior officers attached to the Health Ministry, Defence and Urban Development Ministry, Environment Ministry, Local Govt Ministry and Education Ministry launched the Mosquito Eradication Week under the guidance of Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena. more..

It is time India corrects its Sri Lanka policy

July 1 (IANS) It is impossible to believe that the forced withdrawal of two Sri Lankan army officers from the Defence Service Staff College in Wellington in Tamil Nadu will not affect ties between New Delhi and Colombo. No self respecting nation likes it when its military officers sent for routine training are told to go home - due to the host country's domestic politics. Knowing the animosity in Tamil Nadu to the Sri Lankan military, more..

US envoy summoned

July 1 (CG) The US Ambassador to Sri Lanka has been summoned by the External Affairs Ministry to seek a clarification on a travel note issued by the US State Department to US citizens visiting Sri Lanka. Official said that Ambassador Michele J. Sison is to be asked why such a travel note had been issued. The US State Department had, in the travel note, cautioned it’s citizens when visiting Sri Lanka of crimes more..

Preserving dignity and honour

July 1 (CT) Though the drama surrounding the 13th Amendment to the Constitution has at least temporarily succeeded in relegating other worrying issues such as the electricity tariff increase and the high cost of living to the background, the government seems to be heading for a greater mess in trying to introduce the 19th Amendment, which is an attempt to trim the powers of the Provincial Councils, before the September deadline for the Northern Provincial Council polls. more..

A climate of fear verging on hysteria

July 1 (CT) A short while ago, I documented the attack launched by lorry-loads of goons accompanied by two members of the local police, on Vesak Day no less, on residents of my neighbourhood. The second chapter of that little saga was when six of those Tamils resident on the informal colony adjacent to the land on which I reside were sentenced to pay fines of, I understand, three thousand rupees each for being inebriated (in their own homes on land they have occupied more..

Foreign missions decide to forcefully engage to hold Rajapaksa to his promises on 13A

July 1 (CT) “After the parliamentary elections on April 8, we immediately and forcefully should re-engage to remind President Rajapaksa to his promises on reconciliation, the 13th Amendment, and re-development in the north and east. The president long has told us to wait until after elections then he would undertake these big projects. We must keep him to these promises.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington. more..

Subtlety and power succeed on sluggish pitch

July 1 (CI) How many Jamaican dollars make up a mighty US one? What is the exchange rate? Where could I get a SIM card? Those were the first questions in my head on landing in Kingston, like any other foreign destination. That Jamaica was seriously hit by inflation wasn't a difficult inference to make - it had led to layoffs and an increase in crime. We were advised not to venture out after dark, ironic for an island known for its culture of revelry and celebration. more..

More than 100,000 students deprived of higher education annually

July 1 (Island) Due to limited facilities in Sri Lankan state-run universities, annually more than 100,000 students were deprived an opportunity to have a higher education, Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayake said. The govt could accommodate only 25,000 students in the existing universities, but 140,000 students qualified for university entry every year, the Minister added. "As a responsible govt, we cannot ignore their plight," Dissanayake said, stressing that the higher education facilities more..

Sri Lanka gets 500 mln USD from ADB for development

July 1 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's reform and development initiative has got a major boost with the finalization of a combined 500 million U.S. dollars financial support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the organization said here on Monday. The ADB has agreed to extend 300 million U.S. dollars for a non- revenue water management program in central Colombo in addition to 200 million U.S. dollars for education sector development. more..

Hambantota hospital construction begins

July 1 (DN) The Health Ministry yesterday commenced the construction of the new govt hospital in Hambantota district under the patronage of Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa. The 650 bed hospital will be built at a cost of Rs. 7 billion with financial assistance from the Netherlands government. The new building will be a 10 storied building with a land area of 35,000 square feet. The hospital will be equipped with all modern facilities, a Health Ministry spokesman said. more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.2%

July 1 (LBO) Stocks closed up 0.19% on Monday continuing its upward trend with diversified and consumer companies showing gains, brokers said. All Share Index closed 11.74 points higher at 6,132.75 and the S&P SL 20 Index closed 16.00 points higher at 3,447.74 up 0.47%. Turnover was 562 million rupees up from 265 million on Friday. Foreigners brought 296 million rupees worth shares while selling 136 million rupees in a day that 70 stocks advanced and 106 stocks declined. more..

Lankan Prof. on Internet Hall of Fame

July 1 (ST) Professor Gihan Dias, a pioneer in the introduction of networking in Sri Lanka, has been selected for induction into the Internet Hall of Fame of the Internet Society, an independent international organisation for Internet information and thought leadership from around the world. Prof. Dias, who together with his wife, Prof. (Mrs.) Dileeka Dias, was instrumental in taking the Sunday Times, Sri Lanka’s largest more..

More time given for public to comment on draft

July 1 (Island) The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development has extended the deadline for the public to air their opinions on Sri Lanka’s first ever draft National Youth Policy. People could collect copies of the draft from the ministry at Narahenpita and submit their views before July 5. The policy drafted by a committee comprising experts on youth affairs, university academics, govt and non-governmental regional youth leaders etc, handed it over to the ministry recently. more..

Businesses looks for ways to cut power use

July 1 (LBO) Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) said it is holding an expert forum for businesses looking for ways to cut power use after a recent hike. "The recent escalation in electricity tariffs was estimated to increase the electricity bills of most industrial, hotel and commercial enterprises by about 20 – 30%," CCC said in a statement. "Tariff of general purposes, medium and large categories of customer could go up with levied tariffs under the time of day scheme where different tariffs more..

Govt. reconsiders GSP+

July 1 (DM) After the closure of a number of factories and the consequent loss of employment opportunities, the govt was now considering reapplying for the GSP+ facility, so that Sri Lanka's exporters could gain preferential access to the markets in the European Union (EU) again, the Daily Mirror learns. The GSP or General Scheme of Preferences is a facility offered by the European Union to developing countries to more..

Sri Lanka to count sloth bears

July 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka's wild life conservation authorities and a biodiversity organization, with funding from private business will count and estimate a sloth bear population in a national park in the North West of the island. Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said under its Sri Lanka Business and Biodiversity Platform, CIC Holdings a private firm will fund the research. It will be carried out by Department of Wildlife Conservation and Biodiversity Education and Research (BEAR), more..

Sri Lanka to farm Asian sea bass

July 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka has approved a 2.5 million US dollar project to farm Barramundi or Asian Sea Bass off the coast of Trincomalee. Oceanpick, a Sri Lankan firm will partner with a Scottish firm to farm the fish in cages, the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka said. Founder of Oceanpick, Irfan Thassim had signed an agreement with the BOI. The BOI gives tax breaks for companies. The BOI said though aquaculture has previously been on brackish water lagoons and fresh water bodies, more..

Doppler radar system’s prediction time questionable

July 1 (NS) Meteorology Department officials lament that even after the installation of the new Doppler radar system in August, the alerting a weather disaster could be done only just three hours in advance. The new Doppler radar system that is to be set up in Sri Lanka in August will have the capacity to provide warning only a couple of hours before an adverse weather condition, Meteorological Department officials said. more..

What fate awaits those who garlanded uncouth PS member? -UNP

July 1 (DM) The UNP today questioned whether the SLFP would take disciplinary action against its members who garlanded the former North Western Provincial Council UPFA Member who was charged with harassing a school teacher. It was reported recently that some members of the SLFP had garlanded this member of the Pradeshiya Sabha when he was coming out of the Puttalam Magistrate's court. UNP spokesman Gayantha Karunatilleke told that action should be more..

Colombo-Kandy Expressway construction to begin before year end

July 1 (GDI) The Ministry of Highways and Ports says that the construction of the Colombo-Kandy highway will commence before the end of this year. Accordingly the stretch between Kurunegala and Enderamulla will be constructed as the first phase of the project said the Deputy Minister Nirmala Kothalawala. He further said that the Colombo-Katunayake expressway will also be completed before the end of this year. One the Colombo-Katunayake expressway is completed more..

Sri Lanka leases out land for Packer-linked casino

July 1 (AFP) Sri Lanka has leased some prime real estate in the capital to a local casino operator who is expected to develop a $350 million entertainment complex with Australian gambling mogul James Packer, an official said Monday. The cabinet gave final approval last month to lease the lakefront land to a company set up by Sri Lanka's top casino operator, Rank Holdings, for 2.78 billion rupees ($22.28 million dollars), more..

'Public must protect the Army'

July 1 (CG) Commander of the Army General Jagath Jayasuriya says the public must protect the soldiers who made sacrifices for the nation. He made these comments while visiting soldiers at the Abhimansala resort in Anuradhapura today. General Jagath Jayasuriya during the interaction said that it is the responsibility of the public too to take care of the heroes who have sacrificed their legs and limbs on behalf of the nation. He shared a cup of tea with these inmates talking to them more..

'President advising media on what to publish'

July 1 (AD) Today the President is the one who advises media organizations on what to publish and what not to publish, UNP Western Provincial Councillor Mujibur Rahman stated. He stated that the President invites media heads and editors to Temple Trees each month and talks about the political environment of the country as well as giving advice to the organizations on which stories should be published and which should not. Through this practice, the Councillor said that more..

Male body found near school in Panadura

July 1 (DM) A body of a male was found in a car near a leading school in Panadura this morning, police said. The victim was identified as a 40-year-old resident in Nugegoda. The cause of death was determined as strangulation, following a Postmortem examination carried out by the District Court doctor in Panadura. Investigations revealed that Devanarayana had been employed abroad and had returned to the country recently and that more..

Video: Will leave govt. if 13A is abolished

July 1 (AD) I am completely against the abolition of the Provincial Council system, National Languages and Social Integration Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara said today. He added that he would no longer remain with the govt if the PC system is abolished. Addressing a press conference Nanayakkara said that he opposed imperialism. The power vested in Provincial councils will never exceed the Central Govt, whoever claims otherwise is ill informed of the subject, he added. more..

Health Ministry accuses Local Govt. Ministry of ignoring duty

July 1 (Island) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said that he would like to ask Minister of Local Government A. L. M. Athaulla whether he had done anything to eradicate the dengue epidemic in the country, even though everybody was pointing fingers at the Health Ministry for its inability to eradicate the deadly disease. He said the Local Govt Ministry was entirely responsible for the systematic garbage disposal and cleanliness of the environment. more..

President Rajapaksa address at Seychelles National Assembly

July 1 (GDI) President Rajapaksa who is on a two day State Visit to the Republic of Seychelles addressed the country's National Assembly on June 30th afternoon at an Extraordinary Sitting. Full text: The Honorable Members of the National Assembly, First of all, let me avail myself of this opportunity to express my deep appreciation for bestowing me with this rare honor of addressing this distinguished House of National Assembly of more..

View from Ritigala - by Mahasona

July 2 (NS) Mangala Samaraweera has claimed that Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Gotabhata Rajapaksa is ‘behind the project to abolish the 13th Amendment’. He further claims that the majority of SLFP MPs did not agree with the proposed amendments to the 13th Amendment. Mangala might not have heard that the entire SLFP parliamentary group endorsed the amendment just a couple of days ago. Maybe he doesn’t want to hear bad news. The more pertinent question is, more..

At the fall of an unseen light

July 2 (NS) The light of a lamp is said to lose none of its flair although many more lamps are lit with its flames. But there are great such lamp-like humans who haven’t even seen or known the light for real as they were making their way out of a womb and into this world. Professor D. P. M. Weerakkody who passed away from this world and into the heaven he believed in, along with the setting sun of Wednesday, June 26, is one such great individual who illuminated many lives with more..

Scheme to overcome post consumer plastic waste

July 2 (SO) Did you know that as Sri Lankans we contribute to collect 15 million lunch sheets on average per day. And we dump polythene bags that we carry stuff - carrier bags -, nearly 20 million of them each day. These statistics were revealed by a study done jointly by the University of Kelaniya and the Central Environment Authority nearly a year ago. Every time one Sri Lankan goes shopping, results in ending up with many polythene more..

SL and Burma: The conjunction of genocidal processes and imperialist adventures

July 2 (CT) Burma is often most renowned for its military Junta, repression of democratic rights and the imprisonment of Aung San Suu Kyi that spanned over two decades. Such it is when in line with Western countries interest and their explicitly displayed values. Unfortunately what is lesser known is the multiple national independence struggles fought by suppressed nations in Burma, and the state sponsored persecution and terrorism against minorities. more..

It has become a mad-hatter’s tea party: Fooling and fumbling with 13A

July 2 (CT) The LSSP-CP, Rajitha Senaratne, SLMC, Douglas, Thonda and many in the SLFP who don’t want to show their hand, quite rightly oppose watering down or repealing 13A. Though 13A has weaknesses, the motive of those who attack it at this particular point in time (JHU, Gota, Wimal, BSS) is to deny Tamils opportunities similar to what Sinhalese have enjoyed for 25 years. The issue is not 13A per se, but a chauvinist onslaught on devolution of some power to the Tamils. more..

'Strengthening student movement into a formidable force'

July 2 (NS) Frontline Socialist Party (FSP), the breakaway faction of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) admitted that differences of opinion had led to several members leaving the party. FSP Leader Senadheera Gunatilake, however, said the party was in touch with the dissidents in order to iron out differences. He also pointed out the need for its student movement to move further to have an impact on Sri Lankan politics. more..

PSC now a party affair

July 2 (CT) Last week, at the National Security Council meeting (NSC), IGP N.K. Illangakoon, delivered a presentation on the perils of delegating police powers to the Provincial Councils. Two guests were in the attendance, invited by President Rajapaksa; they were Vasudeva Nanayakkara and D.E.W. Gunasekara, two pro-devolution ministers who had been the most vocal among all the left party MPs in the govt, in their opposition to the proposed changes to the 13th Amendment. more..

Are we a failed State?

July 2 (CT) The 2013 Failed State Index (FSI) issued by the Fund for Peace organization has ranked Sri Lanka at the 28th place. Out of 178 countries ranked in the index, Sri Lanka finds its place among 'Alert' countries. This is a gloomy picture, just two steps down from the 'very high alert' and 'high alert' countries. In other words, being in 28th place, we are much closer to the number 1 failed state, Somalia, as opposed to the last slot in the ranking, 178, secured by Finland more..