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Three dead, 18 injured as private bus skids off road

July 13 (DN) Three persons died and 18 were injured when a private bus skidded off the road at Kotaleeya area in Manampitiya yesterday, Police said. According to the Police, the accident occurred at 3.20 am yesterday in the Polonnaruwa Police Division, near the Kotaleeya Bridge in Manampitiya area, Batticaloa. A group of Samurdhi Development Officers who were returning after attending a meeting in Colombo died in the accident when their bus went out of control and skidded off more..

Buddhist pilgrims begin to trickle back to country

July 13 (TOI) Sri Lankan pilgrims have begun to trickle back to the Sri Lanka Mahabodhi Society on Kenneth Lane in the city. They had stopped coming to the country after the July 7 blasts at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya. Sri Lankan deputy high commissioner to India A Sabarullah Khan on Friday said his govt had issued a statement to pilgrims who wished to visit India, informing them that the shrine was open to the public. more..

Commonwealth to discuss concerns

July 13 (CG) The Commonwealth Secretariat in London says it is working with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2013 task force in Sri Lanka on concerns raised over media accreditation for the November summit. Official spokesperson and Director of Communications and Public Affairs at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Richard Uku said the Commonwealth Secretariat welcomes applications from all journalists seeking media accreditation to the summit more..

Lack of quorum limits sittings

July 13 (Island) Sittings of the House were limited to one and half hours yesterday as there was no quorum. House commenced sittings at 1.30 p.m. with Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody presiding. After the questions sessions, the House was adjourned and the debate, at the time of adjournment, was commenced by the Opposition around 2.20 p.m. The motion was moved by UNP MP Tissa Attanayake on the recent calamities owing to climate change and providing relief more..

PC Polls: deadline for postal vote applications extended

July 13 (GDI) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said that the last date for accepting applications for postal voting has been extended till Aug 2. Govt officers/ employees, principals, teachers, officers and employees of SLTB serving in the areas where the elections are to be held, Postal Department officers and employees, staff of the Railway Department who are essential to maintain railway services and members of Armed more..

Yatiyanthota PS Chairman arrested for bribery

July 13 (DM) The Yatiyanthota Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Wasantha Kumara had been taken into custody today for allegedly soliciting a bribe of Rs.15,000 from a person to obtain a license to start a poultry farm in the area. At a school event today he had reportedly made a speech stressing on the repercussion of taking bribes. It had happened a little while before he was arrested. Director Investigations of the Bribery Commission SP Somaweera Lokuge said that more..

SC throws out petition on 21 A

July 13 (DN) Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody announced in Parliament yesterday that the Supreme Court determined that the petition filed against the 21st Amendment to the Constitution is misconceived in law. The Deputy Speaker making the announcement stated that the Supreme Court has sent the determination to the Speaker of Parliament in respect of the Bill titled "21 Amendment to the Constitution" which had been challenged in the Supreme Court in terms of more..

Khuram’s girlfriend was indeed raped!

July 13 (CT) Member of British Parliament for Rochdale, Simon Danczuk said the girlfriend of Tangalle murder victim, Khuram Shaikh, Victoria Aleksandrovna Tkacheva, was indeed raped and harassed and that Minister Dinesh Gunawardena’s claim in Parliament on Thursday that she was not raped or subjected to harassment, is a total lie. “How can he lie? No, it’s not true at all. When I visited in March the head of more..

BOI company wins top award at world’s largest flower show

July 13 (GDI) Sri Lankan Company Borneo Exotics has been awarded a Gold Medal at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in the UK. This is the largest flower show in the world and widely regarded to be the world’s second most prestigious flower show, after London’s Chelsea Flower Show, at which Borneo Exotics has already won five Gold Medals and two special Annual Awards. The exhibit staged at this show was described by the judges as “stunning and spectacular” and featured a more..

Presenter forgets to announce winners' trophy

July 13 (PTI) Even as the Indian players basked in glory after adding yet another ODI title to their kitty, presenter and commentator Arun Lal forgot to invite the victorious captain to hold aloft the winners' trophy here. The former India cricketer was then reminded as Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli, who led the team in three matches in the regular captain's absence, collected the trophy. Dhoni once again lived upto the 'Captain Cool' tag as he held his nerve to almost singlehandedly guide India more..

Picking the best candidates Sri Lankan style

July 13 (CT) Former North-Western Provincial Councillor, Ananda Sarath Kumara, who forced a school teacher on her knees for disciplining his daughter, has been invited by the SLFP to attend an interview to decide on granting nominations for him to contest the upcoming elections. Sarath Kumara has been informed in writing to attend the interview conducted by the SLFP Nomination Committee. more..

Sri Lanka to promote trade in Africa

July 13 (AT) The visit of Sri Lankan Business delegation to South Africa is a joint initiative of the Sri Lanka High Commission in Pretoria and the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) and Tea Board of Sri Lanka for participation of Sri Lankan exporters at the SAITEX 2013 International Trade fair held in Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand from 30th June to 2nd July, 2013. Leading Sri Lankan companies namely DSI tyres, Kelani Cables, Rathna Cinnamon Producers and Exporters, more..

Kerala Institute of Local Administration to help Sri Lankan civic bodies

July 13 (TOI) The Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA) will lend a helping hand to strengthen the local bodies in war-torn Sri Lanka. The autonomous training, research and consultancy centre based at Mulankunnathukavu here will help the country in implementing the Kerala model of decentralization in local bodies, especially in the war-ravaged northern parts of the country. "We have provided a presentation on the Kerala model of decentralization before minister Basil more..

Rights of individual citizens should be protected – CaFFE

July 13 (CT) For a free and fair election to take place in the North, the rights of individual citizens should be protected said the Executive Director, Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE), Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon, at the opening of CaFFE's Jaffna District office on 11 July. He added that basic human rights are the basis of a free and fair election as the freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, right to engage in political activity more..

'Biomass energy should be tapped'

July 13 (Island) Sri Lanka should tap 1,000 MW from biomass to meet the country’s electricity demand and that will benefit the rural community to the tune of Rs. 25 billion, says a world renowned energy expert. Energy Forum Director Dr. Anil Cabraal, who has guided the World Bank on renewable energy and energy efficiency scale up strategy for more than 15 years, strongly believes that the Sustainable Energy Authority of Sri Lanka (SEASL) should work with all stakeholders to grow trees for more..

IUSF convener further remanded

July 13 (Island) The Convenor of the IUSF, affiliated to the JVP, Sanjeewa Bandara, arrested for organising a demonstration in violation of a police directive was further remanded until July 15 by the Gangodawila Magistrate’s Court. When the case was taken up yesterday, Mirihana Police informed Court that Sanjeewa Bandara was not a university student and that this had been confirmed by the Vice Chancellors of the Ruhunu and Sri Jayawardenapura universities. more..

Friedrich Ebert Stiftung closes SL office temporarily; expresses deep concern

July 13 (FT) Germany’s Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) said yesterday its Sri Lanka office has been temporarily closed given the severe and disturbing recent developments. FES is currently assessing the situation and analysing the implications for its work in Sri Lanka which has spanned for five decades. FES is a private, non-profit cultural institution committed to the ideals and values of social democracy. more..

CMC’s launches social media system next week

July 13 (Island) The Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council (PHD CMC) said that it would commence its social media system for dengue surveillance and communication in the city by next week. PHD CMC chief Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said that PHIs affiliated to city MOH offices were being trained for the project by the Colombo Uni. He said the time taken to fill forms and collect data would be reduced tremendously after the programme was implemented. more..

No campaigning during exam period

July 13 (CT) Political parties must refrain from engaging in any form of election campaigning during the period of the GCE Advanced Level and the Grade Five Scholarship examinations, scheduled to be held from 5 to 31 August, Commissioner of Elections, Mahinda Deshapriya, ordered yesterday. "If any political party decides to violate this rule, they will be subjected to a great deal of media publicity, which will expose their unlawful behaviour," the Commissioner warned. more..

Planter’s family alleges complicity of Police

July 13 (Island) Relatives of murdered planter Nallaperuma Arachchige Nihal Perera are calling for a high level investigation into the complicity of the Deraniyagala police in the killing. They say that those responsible for the killing had been operating with the knowledge of the local police. A spokesperson for the family told The Island that the Deraniyagala police made an abortive bid to have the post mortem at the Kegalle hospital. more..

Dragging criminals out of politics

July 13 (DM) We were both happy and sad to hear of Thursday’s landmark ruling by the Indian Supreme Court which independent democracy analysts see as a major step towards cleaning up Indian politics which is beset by corruption and crime. Happy, because the Supreme Court has helped India to take a giant leap towards a more vibrant democracy where a criminal cannot be a politician who does not serve but abuses his power and plunders the wealth of the country more..

Can national healthcare meet challenges of the future?

July 13 (DM) It is important to take note of these achievements as well as residual and new challenges. This is crucial because Sri Lanka is at a transition stage. Its demographic, epidemiological and public health demands are evolving. That aside, after 30 years of conflict, it is beginning to rebuild its economy and looking towards a sustained peace dividend. Inevitably, this will lead to changes that would have implications for its health sector as well. Sri Lanka is unusual among developing more..

Keeping the PSC on track

July 13 (SL) Whether or not the TNA joins the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on power-devolution, there is an absolute need to keep the discourse on track. The chances are that the proceedings could become a political slanging match of every conceivable and imaginative kind. PSC Chair and Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva would require every skill and firmness in the trade if the PSC has to more..

Local Maritime Training Institutes at sea over new intakes

July 13 (ST) Sri Lanka’s seafarer schools have stopped taking in new students for courses in safety and survival training until the Govt makes local regulations compliant with a crucial international convention. They are also prevented from starting any new courses in the area of safety and survival training. Sri Lanka is a signatory to the International Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Convention under more..

Sumanthiran blames govt., Mustapha defends it

July 13 (Island) While TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran claimed that the govt was behind the attacks on Muslims and the anti-Halaal campaigns and had done nothing to protect the Muslims, Deputy Minister Faiza Mustapha defended the govt and claimed that it was the ‘Bodu Bala Sena’ which was responsible for such actions. Addressing the 14th Economic Summit, both MPs debated the anti-Halaal issue and the violence against more..

Only 4,989 supplementary or displaced voters in North

July 13 (Island) The number of supplementary or displaced voters for the upcoming Northern Provincial Council elections was only 4,989, Election Commissioner said. He said that the elections department would conduct the Provincial Council polls under the 2012 electoral register and the supplementary registry to ensure that displaced voters would not be deprived of their franchise in the first ever PC elections after 1987. more..

UNP condemns abrupt ending of sittings

July 13 (Island) The UNP vehemently condemned the abrupt ending of Parliamentary sittings without allowing the debate on a motion moved at the time of adjournment to continue. Addressing a press conference, soon after the abrupt ending of the sittings in parliament, UNP MP John Amaratunga said that the govt had acted against Standing Orders and tradition of Parliament to raise a point of order on a quorum. more..

Govt. rules out foreign polls observers

July 13 (DM) The govt yesterday ruled out the need to bring in international polls observers in view of the forthcoming Provincial Council elections. Ruling UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha told journalists after a meeting with Elections Commissioner that political parties should have confidence in the local mechanisms in this case, instead of seeking international support for everything. more..

TNA wants reduction in troops ahead of northern Lanka polls

July 13 (PTI) The TNA called for scaling down of military presence in northern Sri Lanka, before the northern provincial council elections. TNA requested Chief Elections Commissioner to reduce the military presence in the North during a meeting attended by all the political parties to discuss polls arrangements. "The elections commissioner told us that our request to limit troops to barracks cannot be met. more..

Supreme Court orders UDA not to demolish houses

July 13 (CT) The Supreme Court yesterday ordered the UDA not to demolish the old houses in the Applewatta Housing Scheme in Maligawatte, until the re-location of the residents is finalized. The issue was brought before the Supreme Court with the Chief Justice Mohan Peries, and Justices Priyasath Dep and Rohini Marasinghe sitting on the bench. 25 residents of the houses situated in Maligawatta Pedesa, Applewatta, within more..

Sri Lanka committed to providing full media access for CHOGM 2013

July 13 (GDI) The following is a statement by the Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Media of the CHOGM 2013 Taskforce. Sri Lanka looks forward to receiving applications from local and international media professionals for accreditation to cover the CHOGM 2013 taking place in November. The online registration system is now available through the official CHOGM website at more..

Sri Lanka ready to deploy female soldiers in peacekeeping missions

July 13 (DM) Sri Lanka Army announced that a contingent of over 100 female soldiers are trained, ready and are awaiting an opportunity to be deployed in UN peacekeeping missions. The training of female soldiers for peacekeeping missions was initiated in 2010, as per a request of the UN for a contingent of female military personnel to be deployed in peacekeeping missions established particularly in the more..

Walking tall – on and off the field

July 13 (CT) Indian cricket captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, must easily be the bogey man for Sri Lanka. Most Sri Lankans by now, must be wishing that he stops all his frolics with the bat or brain, or at least, keep away from matches involving Sri Lanka, if that can be the only way he can be subdued. Dhoni is not only winning matches with his brain, as captain, but also with his bat, almost every time he plays against Sri Lanka. Very interestingly, he made his mark against the same opposition more..

The curse of intolerance

July 13 (CT) The attack on Buddha Gaya is an outrage. When the religious of the different religions refuse to coexist, when they accrue unto themselves the exclusive ownership of spiritual truths or geographic spaces, when rulers see in religions (and in the credulous religious) a means to temporal-power, societal-violence proliferates, wars ensue and tragedy strikes. Sinhala-Buddhist supremacists proclaim Sri Lanka to be a Sinhala-Buddhist land, because a majority of its people more..

Trinidad man sentenced for pelting Malinga

July 13 (TEN) A Curepe man was placed on $1,000 bond after he appeared in court charged with throwing missiles at Sri Lanka fast bowler Lasith Malinga on Thursday, during the final of the tri-nation series at the Queens Park Oval, Port of Spain. Vijay Outim, 40, of Watts Street, Curepe, appeared in the the Port of Spain Magistrates’ Court before Ma­gistrate Lisa Mohammed to answer to a charge of throwing missiles. more..

South Korea to Met. Department’s rescue

July 13 (Island) The Meteorological Department, under heavy fire over its recent failure to issue a timely weather warning, which led to the deaths of over 50 fishermen, will benefit from a South Korean project aimed at enhancing Sri Lanka’s capacity. South Korea and Sri Lanka signed an agreement in this regard on July 10 at the External Resources department of the Finance Ministry. A spokesperson for KOICA said that this would serve as a framework designed to build capacity of Sri Lankan more..

Tussle over Senathirajah or Wigneswaran is TNA’s Chief Minister candidate

July 13 (CT) A committee constituted of representatives from all 5 of the TNA’s constituent parties met today (July 11) in Colombo and broke up without agreement on who their Chief Minister candidate should be. They will meet again tomorrow, July 12, and take a decision. The representatives of five parties of the TNA alliance who met were R. Sambanthan, Mavai Senathirajah, M.A. Sumanthiran and Selvarajah of the Federal Party, Mr. Sangiah and Mr. Krishnapillai of the TULF, more..

Lankan navy, fishermen cut fishing nets of TN fishermen

July 13 (PTI) Some fishermen, who put to sea from here and Karaikal, were attacked allegedly by Sri Lankan naval men and Lankan fishermen and their fishing nets cut when they were 54 nautical miles from Thirupoondi here, officials said today. Assistant Director of Fisheries (Nagapattinam), Gunasekharan, said fishing nets of three boats, two from Nagapattinam and one from Karaikal, were cut at 2100 hrs yesterday. more..

Video: Dambulla MC member involved in fatal crash surrenders

July 13 (AD) UPFA Dambulla Municipal Council member, Dinesh Rajapaksa has surrendered to Matale Police after the vehicle driven by him was involved in an accident, which resulted in the death of a 22-year-old youth last night. The politician was traveling from Palapathwala to Matale when his SUV collided with a motorcycle at around 7.00pm yesterday killing the youth riding it instantly. The UPFA Municipal Councilor had surrendered to police immediately after the incident and more..

Open letter to His Eminence, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith

July 13 (NS) Your Eminence, I am writing in response to the Report of your recently held Bishops’ Conference as reported by the media. The Report appeals to His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapksa: * Not to repeal the 13th amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka * Not to dissolve the Provincial Council System whereby political power is devolved to the Provinces * Not to remove police and land power granted to the PCs by the Provincial Council Act. more..