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Govt. MPs condemn Mangala's call to boycott CHOGM

July 18 (GDI) Members of the Maha Sangha, Ministers, MPs, patriotic academia and several patriotic organizations have vehemently condemned the treacherous activities being carried out by the UNP MP Mangala Samarweera against Sri Lanka. Samaraweera addressing a media conference on Monday has threatened that if the govt does not take action to establish independent commissions more..

Cattle in national parks: Minister has no solution

July 18 (Island) The govt was not in a position to make a decision on cattle grazing in national parks until the Forest Department provided alternative lands; otherwise those animals would end up in beef stalls, Minister Wijithamuni de Zoysa said. He said that he did not want to be termed a sinner by taking such a decision. However, he said through provincial councils they had instructed cattle owners to identify alternative lands countrywide and get the nod of the Forest Department. more..

Appeal by UNP MPs rejected

July 18 (CG) An appeal lodged by UNP MPs Palitha Range Bandara and Ashoka Abeysinghe against disciplinary action being taken against them by the UNP leadership, was rejected by the Civil Appeals Court in Mount Lavinia today. The UNP had earlier decided to initiate disciplinary action against both parliamentarians who attended a rally organized by former army commander Sarath Fonseka, despite the UNP formally informing its party members to stay away from the rally. more..

Govt. curtailing freedom of expression: UNP

July 18 (DM) The UNP said today that the govt was curtailing freedom of expression and creativity of artistes by targeting their artistic creations and branding them as treacherous. UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera questioned the rationale behind the furor created by the movie Flying Fish and asked how it could be termed as treacherous and stated that it couldn’t be an affront to the army. He refuted the allegation that more..

Intl. confab on ‘Driving Research Towards Economy’

July 18 (Island) An International Conference on ‘Driving Research Towards Economy: Opportunities and Challenges’ was held on July 05, 2013 at the National Science Foundation. The event was organized by the Sri Lankan Academy of Young Scientist ( with the aim of bringing together various authorities concerning research, such as NSF, NRC, Universities, Industries, SLINTEC, Research Institutes; ITI, IFS, Centres of International Research excellence, as ICCBS and more..

National development thwarted by failure to enforce accessibility

July 18 (Island) The failure to establish, even after seven years, an overall mechanism for the effective enforcement and implementation of the accessibility regulations - even in respect of on-going large scale renovations at hotels and hospitals - is evident, thwarting national development. This was a fact revealed recently in the Supreme Court when hearing the public interest fundamental rights petition SCFR 221/2009. Although this imperative need had been often highlighted more..

India is Sri Lanka's biggest tourist market

July 18 (IANS) India continued its reign as Sri Lanka's biggest tourist market with 83,981 tourists visiting the island till June. According to the Tourism Development Authority, India was followed by Britain and Germany with 55,286 and 36,700 visitors, respectively. The largest arrivals from a single country during a month also came from India, which recorded an arrival base of 13,856 in June, a 0.7% increase from a year earlier. more..

Trinco suspects re-remanded

July 18 (CG) The Trincomalee Magistrate today ordered 12 police Special Task Force (STF) to be re-remanded till August 5th over their alleged involvement in the murder of five students in Trincomalee in 2006. The Magistrate re-remanded them when they were produced in court today by the CID. The incident referred to as the Trincomalee massacre, occurred when the five Tamil high school students playing by the beach were briefly detained and then shot dead. more..

'A fourth of UNP MPs poised to jump'

July 18 (DN) At the conclusion of the forthcoming Provincial Council elections, one fourth of the UNP MPs will cross over to the govt, said Deputy Minister S.M. Chandrasena. He said holding elections in the Northern Province is a great victory for the govt. People in the North will decide the winning party. The govt has already completed several development projects in the Northern Province including infrastructure development, resettlement of displaced families, economic development more..

President assures North Clergy

July 18 (CG) A group of priests from the Diocese of Mannar, along with several local politicians from the region, met President Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat this morning. The President said that the govt is committed to continue developing the northern regions because every Sri Lankan deserves the same facilities regardless of their religion, ethnicity or geographical location. While thanking the President for all the more..

Man caught with Rs22.8m inside body

July 18 (E24|7) An attempt by a 53-year-old Singapore-bound Sri Lankan to smuggle foreign currencies to the tune of Rs. 22.8 million was foiled by customs officials at the BIA on Monday night. Spokesman and Director of the Customs Preventive Division, Leslie Gamini said the smuggler had hidden the money into condoms and inside the private parts of his body. Assistant Customs Superintendent Duminda Sirisena, had been suspicious about the suspect’s ‘movements’ more..

Govt to build 60 hostels for undergrads

July 18 (AD) The proposal to construct 60 hostels for university students in the country has been approved by the Cabinet and is expected to be completed within the next 2 years. There are 17 Universities, including 2 Buddhist Universities, currently functioning in the country with a student population of around 92,000. The decision was taken at the Cabinet meeting today, considering the need to provide hostel facilities to a large number of students of these Universities, more..

ENOC says its cargo to Sri Lanka met all specifications

July 18 (GN) Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc) said it has investigated how a diesel cargo to Sri Lanka that was alleged to be not as per contractual specifications and came to the conclusion that the cargo met all specifications. “Further to the concerns raised on the gasoil cargo for CPC, Enoc would like to reiterate that independent sample testing undertaken has conclusively proved that Enoc’s cargo had more..

I am no Indian choice to be north CM, says C V Wigneswaran

July 18 (PTI) Sri Lanka's retired Supreme Court judge C V Wigneswaran, named the TNA's choice for chief minister of the northern province, has dismissed reports that he won the position because of backing by India. "I have seen press stories. There is no truth in them. No one from India has spoken to me or I have spoken with anyone (from) India," he said. The media reports here had claimed that Wigneswaran, a political fresher, had won the nod over the political veteran Mavai more..

Krrish denies Sri Lanka allegations, says investor confidence shaken

July 18 (LBO) India's Krrish group which is involved a property project in Sri Lanka has denied wrongdoing and said recent media reports had shaken the confidence of investors it was in talks with. Krrish made news when it requested extensions to pay for state land given to it by the UDA, while allegations of pay-offs have surfaced recently involving a key official and powerful figures. Krrish said it had so far paid 4,250 million rupees which is 85% of the agreed amount. more..

Malwatte and Asgiri Mahanayakes want PCs abolished

July 18 (DM) The Mahanayakes of Malwatte and Asgiri Chapters yesterday stressed the need to abolish the provincial council system in the country. Addressing a group of representatives from All Ceylon Buddhist Congress (ACBC), the Asgiri Mahanayake, the Most. Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkita Thera said one should not be afraid of India or any other country when taking a decision to abolish this system. more..

Fish without fins and a culture of terrorism

July 19 (CT) When the guns fell silent in May 2009, the people of Sri Lanka collectively breathed a sigh of relief. It didn't matter whether they were from the North or the South, because the end of the war offered a new lease of life, the strategies and the style of battle execution notwithstanding. To the ordinary people of Sri Lanka, it signified an end to the ritual of violence, though they are still waiting for that eagerly-awaited new lease in life. The flames of violent conflict have been fanned and more..

What if 13A is changed after NPC polls?

July 19 (CT) "If Northern elections are held without removing police and land powers from the 13th Amendment, I will resign from my ministerial portfolio." – Wimal Weerawansa. As is evident now, Mahinda Rajapaksa, is planning to go ahead with the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) elections, with police and land powers intact. Yet, there is no indication of Wimal Weerawansa resigning from the Cabinet, as proclaimed by him in the above quotation. more..

A DIG as contract killer?

July 19 (NS) This is about the arrest of DIG Vass Gunawardena, accused of being a contract killer. The accusation shakes the foundations of decency and shatters faith in the entire law and order apparatus, and for this reason deserves serious examination. Let us first deal with the positive side. ‘“Positive” did you say? You must be out of your mind Mr. Ex. Snr. DIG! Is senile decay setting in, on you?’ you might ask. more..

The idea of South Asia

July 19 (CT) I want to set out four ideas in ascending importance, rather like Matryoshka dolls. But before I do so, I would like to make some observations about two or three points that were made in the discussion so far which are symptomatic of the range of problems that we face. Professor Akmal Hussain spoke of the need and the possibility of a common policy towards non state terrorist movements. Siddarth Vardharajan raised the issue yesterday of China’s trade in the region, more..

SL exiles and emigrants: Some thoughts

July 19 (GV) By way of a preface, I mention the perception in some religions that we all are exiles, sojourning through a foreign land, amidst a people more or less alien to us. I recall taking my mother to the British High Commission in Lusaka (she had come to us consequent of the savage anti-Tamil pogrom of July 1983) in order to get her a visa to visit my sister in London. The official at the Commission studied her application and said, “I fear once you are in London, you will apply for more..

On the road less travelled

July 19 (ST) About six km away from Pooneryn, Ruvan Ranatunga could almost taste the salt on his tongue as a warm wind swept the scent of dried villus toward him. Ahead lay the Indian Ocean and the end of his long journey. By his side, on this final stretch, were family and friends, among them Indunil de Silva who had been his constant companion. So far, Ruvan and Indunil had covered over 750 km and spent 39 days out on the more..

Gaslighting A Nation

July 19 (CT) The practice has been around for millennia, but the term was born in 1944, out of a movie. In ‘Gaslight’[i], a man uses a series of manipulative tricks to drive his wife insane. These include surreptitiously increasing and decreasing the gaslights in the house while pretending that the lighting has remained constant. As his wife moves from doubt and perplexity to terror, he cuts her off from friends/allies, so that her dependence on him becomes complete. more..

Editorial: Political crab walks

July 19 (Island) Minister Maithripala Sirisena often laments that some local govt politicians involved in criminal activity have brought the govt into disrepute. He said he had no answers to questions that hectoring journalists asked him about errant Pradeshiya Sabha members and chairmen accused of various crimes. Minister should be commended for addressing the issue of ruling party local govt politicians’ involvement in anti-social activities, without trying to defend the indefensible. more..

Filmmaker Callum Macrae on Sri Lanka documentary ‘No Fire Zone’

July 19 (GN) Callum Macrae’s documentary “No Fire Zone” is not a story, rather several stories strung together, of people like you and me, of families and children like yours and mine, who were rendered homeless during a 26-year-long civilian war. And what you see on screen are real, gory, bloody scenes. Macrae’s earlier film, “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields”, broadcast in June 2011 by the UK’s Channel 4, opened with the more..

Jaffna’s upcoming elections: Caste ramifications

July 19 (SL) Caste is a fact of life in Sri Lanka and its elections. No one talks about it. Some religions sanction it, defining dharma as caste duty. Others are ideologically opposed to it but compromised. For, going against the system has consequences as in marriage. The America Ceylon Mission in Jaffna undermined caste much, but in 1826, because Church expansion required respectable converts, it targeted agriculturists, saying “Vellalas are emphatically our people.” more..

A critique of the Rajapaksa development model

July 19 (Island) This book has been written in Sinhala obviously with a student readership in view. As such, much of the content would interest students of Business Management and Economics and related fields. But what would interest a political readership would be the critique contained in it of the Rajapaksa development model. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the economic reforms introduced by the J.R.Jayewardene govt was subject to a great deal of intellectual debate. more..

Cabinet nod for three mega projects worth over Rs.36 b

July 19 (FT) Cabinet yesterday approved three large-scale infrastructure projects worth over Rs. 36 billion, with the largest chunk being given to a Chinese company to construct the Trincomalee Outer Circular Road. The Cabinet paper, which was presented by President Rajapaksa, appointed Hunan Road and Bridge Construction Group Corporation of the Chinese Govt to the project. more..

Janarala Editor refuses to appear before CID for grilling

July 19 (LB) The Chief Editor of Janarala newspaper refused to give a statement to the CID over a news report published in the newspaper. Janarala Chief Editor Chandana Sirimalwatta said in a letter addressed to the OIC of the Intelligence Section of the CID, that he didn't see any legality in questioning the reporters of the newspaper over the sources of the news. The CID questioning was in regard of a report published in the newspaper about alleged suicides of 13 farmers. more..

Total trade between Sri Lanka and Malaysia to reach US$ 1bn

July 19 (Island) The 19th Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka – Malaysia Business Council was held on the 4th July at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. The Council, which focuses on the objectives of ‘promoting investment, trade and joint venture between Sri Lanka and Malaysia’, is one of the most dynamic bilateral business councils that function under the aegis of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. In his speech the Chief Guest Azmi Zainuddin, High Commissioner for Malaysia more..

Top economists say govt. too defensive & businesses silently cutting their own deals

July 19 (Island) Two of the country’s top economists decried the lack of policy dialog and debate in the country with an overly defensive govt and ‘very silent’ business community. Former Central Bank Assistant Governor Dr. Anila Bandaranayake said Sri Lanka is yet to get its act together with regards to achieving sustainable economic growth and one of the biggest problems was the lack of space for constructive policy more..

South Africa sweat on Morkel, Tsotsobe injuries

July 19 (CI) Russell Domingo's first assignment as South Africa's head coach has just become tougher. Already without pace spearhead Dale Steyn, Domingo could find also himself minus both Morne Morkel and Lonwabo Tsotsobe, who picked up injuries in Sri Lanka. Morkel bowled only three overs in the warm-up match against the Sri Lankan Board President's XI on Wednesday before leaving the field with a quad niggle. He was assessed today and was still experiencing tightness. more..

Kerala model a big inspiration for Sri Lanka

July 19 (ENS) While the ‘Kerala model’ in the health sector is fast turning a myth, here is a new one that has caught the world’s attention and is being replicated in many countries, including our neighbour Sri Lanka - the Kerala Model of Palliative Care. "Kerala taught us a lot about home-based and community-based care-giving that has attained the proportions of a movement, especially in North Kerala. The home-based palliative care is ideal for a country like ours, where we spend less more..

'No member country is boycotting CHOGM'

July 19 (DN) Minister G.L. Peris said that no member in the Commonwealth family is boycotting the CHOGM scheduled to be held in Colombo in November. He was speaking at the Meet the Minister session organized by the Organization of Professional Associations (OPA) on Tuesday. "This is a major achievement on the part of the govt," he said. He said there was heavy opposition against Sri Lanka hosting the CHOGM due to more..

Seeman wants ban on film ‘showing LTTE cadres as terrorists’

July 19 (IANS) "Naam Thamizhar" (We Tamils), a Tamil activist party, has sought a ban on John Abraham-starrer "Madras Cafe" for showing the members of the LTTE as terrorists in the recently released trailer of the movie. "We have requested the govt of Tamil Nadu to intervene and stop the film from releasing. We would like to see the film before its release as it is learnt from the trailer that LTTE cadres were shown as terrorists," Tamil filmmaker Seeman, who heads the party, more..

Pessimism all over again in Perceived Economic Opportunity Index

July 19 (FT) After a slight increase in optimism in May the Perceived Economic Opportunity Index (PEOI) moved significantly south ending up among the worst ever performances since the index was developed 23 months ago, its compiler the Foundation for Economic Freedom in Sri Lanka (FEFSL) said. “In fact, we commented that the improvement last month was ‘surprising’ given the electricity tariff increase and perhaps the ‘may day’ reduction would have helped the positivism. more..

CHOGM cost focus is silly: Keheliya

July 19 (FT) Taking guard on costs for the CHOGM, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella went on the defensive when questioned over Govt plans and insisted that it was “silly”. Rambukwella, initially responded that the cost would be as high as “Rs. 50 – Rs. 60 billion,” but when cross-questioned downgraded the budget to Rs. 1.94 billion. However, he admitted that the second estimate was without vehicle costs, which are being dealt with more..

Puducherry govt. order angers fishermen

July 19 (Hindu) The Puducherry govt has passed an order stating that any fisherman found crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line with Sri Lanka will be fined up to Rs. 10,000 and forfeit the licence and registration of his vessel. The National Fishworker’s Forum, however, has condemned the notification saying that the govt does not have the right to issue such an order. According to the notification, first-time offenders would be fined Rs. 5,000 and all their govt-issued benefits more..

John Keells Holding project gaming tax policy set out

July 19 (LBO) Profits from gaming at a large resort to be built by John Keells Holdings in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo will be charged corporate taxed at "applicable rates", but rents would be exempt, a government notice said. John Keells Holdings is to build a 650 million US dollar resort with a "luxury hotel, convention centre, entertainment and gaming facilities, international standards shopping mall, luxury condominiums, serviced apartments and office space." more..

'Fully equipped camps for each Army battalion'

July 19 (DM) Outgoing Army Commander Jagath Jayasuriya said a process was underway to provide each battalion of the Army with a fully equipped camp with modern facilities. “Those camps are being built and they will come on an annual basis, not in one go and this is the third year we are continuing with the project with budgetary allocations,” he said. The Defence Secretary has approved the project and that land selected more..