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New Court complex in Negombo

July 14 (GDI) President Rajapaksa opened a new court complex built at Rs. 900 millionon in Negombo on Friday bringing under one roof many courts spread out in different locations previously. The court complex built with modern facilities has two magistrate's courts, two district courts, two labour courts, one high court, a civil court of appeal and a juvenile court. This will meet the long standing needs of the lawyers and members of the judiciary as well as litigants and the public who need more..

A woman is raped every 90 minutes – WfR

July 14 (LT) A woman is raped every 90 minutes and politicians are behind all crimes states ‘Women for Rights’ organization. The Co-President of ‘Women for Rights’ Saroja Savithri Paulraj speaking at a media conference today said, “The crime wave, murders, frauds and corruption as well as crime against women are escalating in the country. Sex violence targeting women and children have increased in many folds. more..

FSP not to contest upcoming elections

July 14 (AD) The Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) has decided not contest the upcoming elections for Central, North Western and Northern Provincial Councils. Explaining the reason for the decision the propaganda secretary to FSP Pubudu Jagoda said, the party believes there are several more important matters than election activities that deserve priority. Elections are a ground always favorable to the country’s rulers as it is they who prepare the pitch, it is they who decide on the rules and more..

Security up at Lankan mission after threat

July 14 (TOI) Security has been tightened at the Sri Lankan deputy high commission in Nungambakkam after the officials there complained of receiving a threat letter. The officials submitted to police commissioner S George a post card containing a few lines warning that bombs would go off on the premises of the mission. The letter also condemned the activities of the Sri Lankan govt. Security at the mission was being looked after by a wing called Security Chennai Police. more..

Sir Ian Botham on Charity Walk in Sri Lanka

July 14 (RW) IODR, the Indian Ocean Disaster Relief charity founded and run by Grange Hotels, is proud to be partnering with the Laureus World Sports Academy and England Cricket legend Sir Ian Botham on his latest fundraising walk across Sri Lanka. The walk, which is expected to take eight days, will take Sir Ian from Mankalum in the north to Seenigama in the south to raise funds for Laureus projects across the more..

Gemunu to push for bus fare hike

July 14 (SL) Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) says it will push for a bus fare hike at the earliest after their strike action last week had to be called off due to threats received by its organizers. LPBOA President Gemunu Wijeratne said that the plan to abolish the bus fare policy by the Private Transport Services Minister is to bring about severe repercussions in future. “In the event the bus fare policy is abolished, commuters will have to pay fares decided by individual bus operators. more..

Six fishermen injured in attack by Lankan naval personnel

July 14 (PTI) Six fishermen were injured, two of them seriously, when they were attacked allegedly by Sri Lankan naval personnel near Katchathivu islet early this morning. Officials said Lankan naval personnel beat them with pipes, beer bottles and thick ropes and also cut the nets in several boats. The injured fishermen have been hospitalised. Union Minister for road transport and Highways Oscar Fernandes had stated at Vailankanni that he would take up with external affairs minister, more..

Fisheries Ministry, Dept. blamed for negligence

July 14 (NS) The Presidential Committee appointed to look into damages caused by inclement weather that affected the island on June 8 has heaped severe criticism on the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development and the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources for being negligent in their duties and failing to alert fishermen about the stormy sea conditions, The Nation learns. This is in sharp contrast to more..

Menon’s message on 13A begins taking effect

July 15 (CT) Many people the world over consider the number 13 to be unlucky. In fact, `unlucky 13’ has become a catch phrase in the English language. There were 13 persons at the table when Christ had his Last Supper. The stigma attached to the number 13 has gained wide acceptance in our country as well. The prejudice against the number has grown to such an extent that people hesitate to stay in a room or sit on a chair marked with the dreaded number. A section of politicians in our country of late more..

Demilitarisation: The pathway to an absolute post-conflict normalcy

July 15 (SL) The recent death of a school principal whilst receiving a training offered by the Cadet Corps to decorate him as a Brevet Captain has sparked off another round of discussion on demilitarising post-conflict Sri Lanka, because the civil war that lasted for more than three decades had militarised Sri Lankan society structurally as well as culturally, providing a quasi-legitimacy for further militarisation. As defined, militarisation creates an authoritarian environment of intolerance more..

'UNP confident of regaining power'

July 15 (SO) Democracy is considered to be the best form of governance in the world and most developed countries, developing countries and even under developed countries are governed based on democracy. One of the main features of democracy is the party system which Sri Lanka started practising from late 1930s. The LSSP was the first registered political party in the country while the UNP was formed in 1946 by more..

Mathews begins to take control

July 15 (SL) What ever the outcome of the tri-nation final might’ve been, the fact that Sri Lanka’s challenge in the tri-series endured till competition’s end is a satisfactory achievement. It would’ve been more fulfilling had we won both Indian encounters in the lead up to the final. But Messers Duckworth and Lewis at times can be harshly unreasonable–like when, Tuesday night, they asked Sri Lanka to score 179 in 26 overs to defeat India who had managed only 119/3 in 29 overs more..

The relative truth: Half drunk, half sober or sober as a politico?

July 15 (SL) My Kussi Amma watching a curry simmering on the fire was saying: Mey miniha Rupavahiniye kiyanne patta pal boru. (This man on TV is telling utter lies). How did she know he was lying? He lives in our (gam palata) village area and had promised over the years to do many things and done nothing. Now he is telling us how he will reform the nation. But you voted for him? That’s because I have always voted for our party, Mathini’s party (Sirima B’s Party). Not because of him. more..

Rajapaksa acolyte can commit the most horrific of crimes and get away with it

July 15 (DBS) “They started beating me. I fell to the ground….. They killed Khuram and sexually assaulted me…” That was Victoria Tkacheva, the 24 year old Russian tourist, who, with her companion Khuram Shaikh, came to Sri Lanka to enjoy a holiday in Paradise and found, instead, Hell. According to witnesses, Ms. Tkacheva was discovered in a room, naked and unconscious. The police subsequently confirmed that she was more..

Enter the Dragon: China bankrolls Sri Lanka’s post-war development

July 15 (CT) Hambantota, Sri Lanka – This small town with its narrow streets and slow pace of life on Sri Lanka’s southern coast has always belonged to the geography of off-beat trails. Visitors drawn to its solitary hotel are largely day-trippers stopping to take a quick look at Hambantota’s quaint, yet colourful fishing harbor and the vast stretches of the nearby salt pans. But when it did make the news, headlines about tragedy and death on a massive scale dominated. more..

Women – out of the frame: A visual treat in Colombo

July 15 (CT) When the call went out, over 500 photos were submitted from all parts of the island. Forty five photographers were chosen to exhibit at ‘Women – Out of the Frame’, a photographic exhibition supported by the Norwegian Embassy and the National Peace Council of Sri Lanka. Interestingly, though the theme was around women, there were an equal number of men and women photographers participating. The resulting show held from July 5 – 10 was a well curated, more..

Boston Lanka: July 15, 2013

Change economic policies drastically and urgently

July 15 (ST) The six and a half decades since independence have been characterised by economists as one of missed opportunities. The end of the war in 2009 was considered another opportunity for an economic resurgence. As in the past, the four years since the war ended has proved to be another missed opportunity: an initial expectation turning sour. Premachandra Athukorala, professor of economics at the Arndt-Corden Department of Economics, College of Asia more..

13 A: It’s all about politics

July 15 (CT) Pundits argue and debate. Constitutional lawyers ponder and deliberate. Newsmen report and sometimes distort beyond recognition; but the decision to implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in full, both in chapter and verse and in spirit, is not a legal or a constitutional one; nor is it an academic exercise; it is fundamentally a political decision, a decision bearing such a burdensome magnitude, it comes but rarely in history and falls only on rarer leaders more..

To GSP or not to GSP, that is the question

July 15 (Island) European Union’s Generalised System of Tariff Preferences (GSP) is a scheme where EU grants developing countries like Sri Lanka duty free or preferential duty access to the EU market for a selected number of products. EU has three types of concessions granted under the GSP scheme: (1) Standard GSP scheme, (2) Special Arrangement for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and (3) Special Incentive more..

Sadhu, Sadhu, Sadhu!

July 15 (Island) The blame for facilitating the entry of rapists, killers, cattle rustlers, drug dealers, fraudsters and robbers into politics should be apportioned to the SLFP and the UNP. Out of power, the UNP has behaved for quite some time, but the SLFP continues to nominate criminals of all sorts to contest elections. Nothing explains this situation better than the pithy local saying, bale thiyanakota mole ne; mole thiyanakota bale ne—’when one has power, one has no brains more..

E-waste: Committee to propose mechanism

July 15 (DN) Minister Susil Premajayantha has appointed a special committee to propose a suitable mechanism for e-waste management. He said the committee was asked to handover a report in this regard within two weeks. Premajayantha said open dumping of e-waste has posed a severe environmental and health hazard as those contain poisonous chemicals such as cadmium, mercury, bronze and silver. He said as the first step, it has been suggested to re-collect used more..

Brutally felled for taking stand against felling of trees

July 15 (ST) Nihal Perera, a veteran planter with 45 years of experience in the field, took up his posting as the manager of Noori Estate in Deraniyagala, late last year. However, he soon started facing resistance from a group backed by a local politician. The group was allegedly encroaching on estate land, felling trees and preventing other suppliers from selling goods to the estate. Three months into the job, Mr. Perera (69) was more..

Foreign inflows to SL govt. securities recover after US Fed chief clarification

July 15 (Island) Foreign nerves seem to have been calmed after the US Fed clarified its quantitative easing stance last Wednesday with net inflows into Sri Lanka govt securities amounting to Rs. 5.15 billion last week, against a net outflow of Rs. 105 million a week ago and a Rs. 4.06 billion outflow two weeks ago. However, the Central Bank has stopped publishing separate data for foreign holdings in govt bills and bonds. The US Fed chief Ben Bernanke last week said that more..

Health Secy. blamed for not releasing consultants’ transfer list

July 15 (Island) The Health Secretary was accused of failing to publish the annual consultants’ transfer list on time. Levelling the accusation against Health Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka, General Secretary of the GMOA Dr. Saman Abeyawardena said the consultants’ transfer list should have been published in December 2012 in order that transfers could be effected in January 2013. Dr. Abeywardena pointed claimed that the Health Ministry had instead published only the oncologists’ annual more..

Public outrage over ‘Flying Fish’ content leads to suspension of French Film

July 15 (DN) What appears to be an “Objectionable body of content” in the local Sinhala film, “Igilena Maaluwo” is now under investigation by local authorities and the CID. National Film Corporation Chairman Asoka Serasinghe said that the director and the owner of the movie, “Igilena Maaluwo” (“Flying Fish”), have been asked to stop the screening of the movie in all national and international festivals. more..

SLPL player draft postponed for July 20

July 15 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket has postponed the player draft of the second season of Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) by six days to July 20, the tournament's CEO Ajith Jayasekara has said. The player draft was scheduled for July 14 but Jayasekara said, "We have extended the time for all the franchises to pay up their fees to SLC and to Somerset Entertainment Ventures before the players' draft can be held." Somerset Entertainment is SLC's promotion partner for the league. more..

Nurses set to strike

July 15 (CT) Following the bus and railway strikes, the health service is set to face a crippling blow with nurses threatening a 24-hour countrywide token strike on 17 July, demanding their salary anomalies be settled and those due for promotions be given their new designations, Govt Nursing Officers Association (GNOA), said. GNOA President, Saman Ratnapriya, told Ceylon Today the govt had not taken necessary measures to address the issues faced by the nurses. more..

Outrage against mercenaries

July 15 (DN) The Maha Sanga and patriotic Lankans have expressed their strong opposition to the statements attributed to Channel 4 Director Callum Macrae and TNA MP S.Sridharan who had vowed to take President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa before a War Crimes Tribunal and to the conduct of MP Mangala Samaraweera, who writes letters to Commonwealth countries more..

No fare hike but subsidies for private buses

July 15 (Island) The govt has decided that in lieu of a bus fare revision the private bus operators will be given some subsidies. Minister C.B. Ratnayaka yesterday said that another bus fare revision would not be introduced by the govt but, on President Rajapaksa’s directive, he would take immediate steps to grant some subsidies to the private bus industry and at the same time he would introduce joint timetables for private buses to operate with those of the SLTB. more..

Amaraweera cleared of all charges

July 15 (CT) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, demanded that those who had pointed fingers at him, holding him responsible for the death of 53 fishermen when cyclonic gales lashed the coastal belts on 8 June, to resign from their respective posts, as he had been cleared of all charges in this regard. He pointed out the Presidential Committee that had been appointed to investigate as to who was responsible for the deaths of fishermen, had stated the Ministry of Disaster Management more..

'Lamborghini-badagini comes home to roost'

July 15 (FT) Citing the results of a key official survey, the UNP attempted to poke holes in the ruling party’s claims of burgeoning economic growth and heaped criticism on the Mahinda Chinthana economic policies, saying it was empowering only cronies while further impoverishing the average citizen. The Household Income and Expenditure Survey in its preliminary report for 2012-2013 has shown the average household’s more..

UNP crisis brewing

July 15 (CT) The UNP leadership is reportedly taking measures to promote its close confidante, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, by unjustly sidelining the extremely popular Dayasiri Jayasekara in the Kurunegala District. Party sources alleged the conspiracy to oust Jayasekara from the Party is being carried out with the full blessings and approval of Party Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe. A decisive meeting in this regard was held at the Opposition Leader's office at Jawatte Road recently, more..

Packer deal to cost Rs. 9 b in taxes: UNP

July 15 (FT) Loss of revenue from a controversial casino deal soon to be inked between Australian casino king James Packer and the Govt of Sri Lanka will result in a loss of revenue from taxes of at least Rs. 9 billion, UNP MP Harsha De Silva charged. “James Packer recently signed a casino deal in Sydney where he has agreed to pay 29% in taxes from revenue to the New South Wales Govt or a minimum of $ 1 billion. If he can agree to pay this, why can’t he pay taxes in Sri Lanka?” more..

SLFEB training programme for overseas domestic employment

July 15 (ST) The Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau (SLFEB) has commenced a training programme for Sri Lankan workers proceeding to West Asia for domestic employment. The programme is currently limited to workers going to Saudi Arabia. SLFEB, Deputy General Manager Mangala Randeniya said the programme will expand by 2014 to workers going to other West Asian countries. “It took us about five years to more..

Three more prominent opposition politicos to join govt. – SB

July 15 (Island) Three more prominent opposition politicians would soon join forces with the govt, Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayake said yesterday. Of the three planning to cross over to the govt ranks, two were from the North-Western Province, while the third was from the Central Province, he said. The Minister said that the three politicians had held several rounds of talks with the govt to finalise the matters related to the switching of their allegiance. more..

Krrish deadline is up, reminds Harsha

July 15 (FT) The deadline for property developer Krrish that proposes a mega three-tower construction in the heart of Colombo Fort to pay a remaining 15% of its lease rental to the Govt expires at 5 p.m. today, UNP MP Harsha De Silva warned. “Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardane has claimed Krrish would lose its duty concessions unless the payment is made by 15 July. This is after the developer missed three deadlines for the payment, in Dec 2012, March 2013 and May 2013,” more..

Sri Lanka-Russia sign nuclear pact

July 15 (CT) The Sri Lankan Govt is pursuing nuclear pacts with Russia and Pakistan, a highly placed govt source said yesterday, confirming that the pact with Russia has been already finalized. "We are treating our nuclear partners equally and are having discussions with about 10 countries on nuclear projects. Out of all the countries, Russia and Pakistan have shown greater interest, and as such, we are at the moment discussing more..

Bar Association to appear for land owners

July 15 (CG) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has decided to appear on behalf of land owners in the North who’s land the govt is about to acquire. More than 300 land owners had approached the BASL for help and the lawyers of the Association had responded positively. Hundreds of acres of land owned by Tamils in the North are to be acquired by the govt ahead of the Northern Provincial Council polls, BASL sources said. “We will be appearing for the aggrieved parties more..

President assures East PC

July 15 (CG) President Rajapaksa has given an assurance to govt coalition members in the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) that he will address their concerns regarding the Eastern Province Governor Rear Admiral Mohan Wijewickrama. Following this assurance the govt alliance members of the EPC have agreed to resume sittings at the council, well informed sources said. Govt coalition members of the EPC had been told to head to Kandy yesterday for a meeting with President Rajapaksa. more..