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UPFA vows to restore Jaffna’s glory

July 21 (ST) First off the mark to launch its campaign for the long-awaited Northern Provincial Council elections, the ruling UPFA vowed to “take Jaffna back to its glory days”. A spokesman for the alliance said the UPFA would not be stampeded into nominating a chief minister from its list of candidates despite the TNA’s surprise decision on Monday to nominate former Supreme Court judge C.V. Wigneswaran as its candidate for the more..

Welikada Prison report in cold storage

July 21 (NS) The Govt has failed to follow up on the report on investigations on the Welikada prison riots that killed 27 inmates on November 9 last year.A three-member committee was appointed the following day to investigate into the incident and the report was scheduled to be handed over to President Mahinda Rajapaksa within a period of three weeks. However, the deadline was constantly extended citing practical issues. more..

Rambakan Oya irrigation project commissioned

July 21 (SO) No room will be left to destruct the peace which was earned sacrificing a large number of lives, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. President Rajapaksa was addressing the public after commissioning the Rambakan Oya reservoir project. He said the Mahinda Chintanaya national development concept was formulated to identify the problems in the rural area and to address them immediately. The Rambakan Oya reservoir more..

Krrish Deal: Probe continues amidst claim that official is under threat

July 21 (ST) The probe into allegations of a pay-off in the mega Krrish mixed development deal in Colombo Fort widened this week after the UNP alleged that a key official involved was under threat. The govt however challenged the UNP to name the official. The UNP at a media briefing on Wednesday said the official, whose name was not mentioned, had allegedly collected the money for two others and was now under threat. more..

NFAI to restore Lankan film 'Nidhanya' with help of WCF

July 21 (PTI) The National Film Archive of India (NFAI) and New York-based World Cinema Foundation (WCF) have decided to restore film 'Nidhanya', a Sri Lankan masterpiece. 'Nidhanaya' is a 1972 Sinhalese language film directed by Lester James Peries, starring Gamini Fonseka and Malini Fonseka. The movie is based on a story written by G B Senanayake in one of his short story collection known as 'Revenge'. more..

GK depositors to receive another Rs. 100,000 each

July 21 (Island) After the lapse of almost 3 years, Golden Key depositors with holdings amounting to a net value of below one million rupees will receive another Rs. 100,000 each repayment in a fresh process expected to begin in three weeks time. Proposed resettlement will eliminate 743 depositors from the list of 1,205 investors with deposits below the specified cut off point as, with the Rs 200,000 repayment earlier, more..

'Neither North nor East would have PC’s if LTTE was present'

July 21 (Island) A senior govt spokesman said that as usual the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) had conveniently forgotten the circumstances under which President Mahinda Rajapaksa called for the first NPC election. The official pointed out that GTF spokesperson Suren Surendiran had credited those countries, including India which voted against Sri Lanka for compelling Sri Lanka to call for Northern PC polls. more..

Nominal fine imposed by Cardiff court on pro-LTTE ‘pitch invader’

July 21 (Island) The pro-LTTE activist, who invaded the pitch during Sri Lanka-India encounter at the ICC Champions trophy semifinals on June 20, was fined by a court in Cardiff last week. The Judge fined Manimaran Sadasaramorrthy alias Logeshwaran Manimaran a nominal 250 Great Britain Pounds (GBP) and an additional 85 GBP as court costs and 25 GBP as victim surcharge. more..

July 83 remembered, lessons ignored

July 21 (CT) The more things change, the more they remain the same. One is reminded of the old French proverb as another 23 July rolls by, marking the 30th anniversary of what could be the darkest chapter of Sri Lanka’s post-colonial history. Interestingly, the violence is referred to as a ‘pogrom against the community’ by the Tamils and as an ‘ethnic riot’ by the Sinhalese. The semantics are as significant as the outbreak of violence that changed the course of the country’s history. more..

‘Flying Fish’ and the constriction of the arts

July 21 (CT) I met Sanjeewa Pushpakumara last year in a little art cinema off the Champs Elysees at the showing of Asoka Handagama’s Ini Avan. It seemed he knew me from his days as a student or a journalist. A pleasant, articulate yet understated young man, of less taciturn intensity than Handagama, he debated Ini Avan with me. He introduced me to his Professor who was a member of the Jury at Cannes. Sanjeewa also turned up at a reception we hosted at the Embassy. more..

Over 85,000 in North without IDs

July 21 (SL) A Mobile Clinic was jointly organized by the CaFFE, Department for Registration of Persons and the Centre for Human Rights and Research (CHR) at the Varani Maha Vidyalayam, the Ganapathypillay Vidyalayam and at the Jaffna District Secretariat office last week to assist those without ID’s and other certified documents in the Jaffna district to obtain them. According to CaFFE, there were large crowds more..

Diaspora accepts Wigneswaran

July 21 (SL) The Tamil Diaspora has accepted the appointment of former Supreme Court Judge C. V. Wigneswaran as the Chief Ministerial candidate of the TNA. Earlier there was a rift in the TNA over the appointment with several TNA members, especially those in Jaffna backing TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah. The Global Tamil Forum (GTF), a powerful Tamil lobby group in Britain, said that Wigneswaran’s appointment satisfies the needs of the day of the all important job. more..

Garbage bins soon to separate solid waste

July 21 (SO) The Ministry of Local Govt and Provincial Councils will create a new culture in solid waste management by distributing garbage bins to households through the local govt authorities to encourage people to separate garbage at their residences. Provincial Councils and Local Govt Ministry Secretary R.A.A.K. Ranawake said that the Ministry hopes to implement this project from next month with a Rs. 25 million allocation from the Ministry to launch the program with more..

National Bus Fare Policy to be reviewed

July 21 (CT) The Ministry of Private Transport Service has agreed to review the National Bus Fare Policy, following discussions held with the bus owners associations and commuters. Discussions were held at the ministry yesterday, in order to resolve the issues regarding the annual bus fare revision. During the discussion, General Secretary of the All Island Private Bus Owners’ Federation (AIPBOF), Anjana Priyanjith, more..

SC puts off FR case against CJ 44 till July 25

July 21 (ST) The five judge-special Bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday put off for July 25, support for the fundamental rights violations petition filed against the appointment of Mohan Pieris as Chief Justice 44. Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran appearing for the Centre for Policy Alternatives and its Executive Director Dr. Paikiyasothy Saravanamuttu declined to support the case before a Bench appointed by the sixth respondent CJ Mohan Pieris, who has appointed the Bench. more..

Jealous undergrad missing after botched knifing incident

July 21 (ST) The Peradeniya University undergraduate who allegedly attacked a fellow undergraduate with a sharp instrument has been identified, police said. The victim who was hospitalised was identified as one Kulatunga from Wattala while the suspect is said to be from Hatton. In this case, the assailant undergraduate, is alleged to have had a love affair for around ten years with a girl who is now an undergraduate at the Peradeniya University. more..

'De-politicize humanitarian aid'

July 21 (IL) Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha has said the approaches used in post-tsunami and post-conflict Sri Lanka, with suitable adaptation, could be deployed in managing humanitarian situations in other countries as well, and that the Govt of Sri Lanka continues to stand ready to share its experience as best practices on humanitarian effectiveness, with other countries that are similarly placed, more..

COPE report to House on Tuesday

July 21 (ST) Recommendations to strengthen the powers of the Auditor General (AG) will be included in the report of the Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprise (COPE) which will be presented to Parliament on Tuesday, its Chairman Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera said. The Report will also recommend that the salary of Rs. 48, 940 paid at present to the AG be substantially increased in keeping with the vital role played by the AG in ensuring accountability in the State sector. more..

Woman’s hair cut for having extramarital affair

July 21 (E24|7) A Sri Lankan woman’s hair was cut by people living near Al Azna Jumma Mosque in Galgamuwa area in Sabaragamuwa Province, for having an extramarital affair, sources told ‘Lanka Sri News’. Family members of the victim, who had strongly opposed the affair with a Tamil youth in the same area, later cut the woman’s hair. Six women who were arrested in this connection and produced before the Galgamuwa Magistrate Jayathilaka, were released on bail with a stern warning. more..

Authorities throw the book at each other for term-test mess

July 21 (ST) Serious blunders in term test question papers in several provinces are causing major problems for students and parents – while authorities are blaming each other for the mess. North Central Province’s Education Minister Peshala Jayaratne said the shortage of permanent administration officers and in-service advisors was the reason that affected the grade six Sinhala examination paper. more..

TNA denies claims of rift

July 21 (SL) The TNA insists, in spite of reports, that there is no rift in the party over the selection of the remaining candidates for the Northern Provincial Council elections. Responding to queries made regarding the disputes within the party, TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said there was no such dispute. “There is no problem about the selection of the candidates. There is absolutely no problem there and in another two to three days we will complete the selection process and by this week more..

UPFA allocates 10 Jaffna seats to EPDP

July 21 (CT) The ruling UPFA has decided to allocate 10 seats, out of the 19 in the Jaffna District, to the EPDP led by Minister Douglas Devananda, at the upcoming Northern Provincial Council elections. The main coalition partner, the SLFP is allocated seven seats, with the LSSP and the ACMC of Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen, given one seat each. The allocation of seats was finalized at a special meeting held at the SLFP office in Jaffna on Friday. more..

UK issues ultimatum

July 21 (CG) Britain has issued a virtual ultimatum to the govt saying if there is insufficient progress on Sri Lanka’s own commitments, or deterioration in the human rights situation, Britain will look for a strong and unified response at the UNHRC in Geneva. British Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Alistair Burt had informed the British House of Commons last week that more..

UNP wants postal laws changed

July 21 (DM) The UNP today called for laws pertaining to postal votes suggesting that all public servants be allowed to cast their postal votes at the district secretariat office. UNP MP John Amaratunga told journalists today that he intended to meet elections commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya to make a formal request on changing electoral laws with regard to postal voting. Mr. Amaratunga said this was essential to ensure the secrecy of the postal votes cast by public sector workers. more..

SLFP decision no bar for Devananda and Dayasiri to contest CM slots

July 21 (Island) The decision of the SLFP to bar Members of Parliament from resigning their seats to contest the Provincial Council polls would not be considered an obstacle to EPDP leader, Minister Douglas Devananda or UNP MP, Dayasiri Jayasekera from contesting the forthcoming elections under the UPFA banner and Betel symbol. There are strong indications that Jayasekera could vie for the chief ministerial stakes of the North-Western province under the SLFP banner, more..

Video: UNP wants Rs.15,000 minimum pay hike for public

July 21 (AD) The UNP today called on the govt to provide the masses with a salary hike of at least Rs 15,000 in the upcoming budget and warned of an uprising similar to that which recently took place in several Middle Eastern nations if it failed to do so. UNP MP John Amaratunga stated that there is an issue pertaining to the none payment of salaries to employees of the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) and that strikes are held more..

Ranil calls for massive demo

July 21 (CG) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has called for massive demonstrations to be held against the govt and push for early elections. He accused the govt of acting like LTTE leader V Prabakaran. He said there was a need for the people to rise up against the govt. The UNP leader also said that the UNP will prepare for an election at grass root level and an announcement in this regard will be made in August. He also expressed confidence of winning the polls in Kandy during PC elections more..

Rajapaksa's healing hand to India

July 21 (ENS) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa wants to heal his country’s strained ties with India. And to the rescue is none other than his 41-year-old “find” Eliyantha Lindsay White, whose “spiritual medicine” is quite the rage among many Indian celebrities. From corporate honchos to Bollywood stars to leading men of the Indian cricket team, all have been queued up some time or other to be cured by White. Now, the road to White is through Rajapaksa. more..

Jaffna militarised says JVP

July 21 (CG) The JVP says Jaffna has been fully militarized after the war with the army engaged in civil administration. JVP Member and National Organizer of the Socialist Youth Union (SYU) former MP Bimal Rathnayake noted that even the governor of the north is also a former army officer. “In most events in the north, be it even to hold an event in a school, permission must be obtained from the nearest army camp. more..

Nurses Unions Split

July 21 (SL) The All Ceylon Nursing Union (ACNU) condemning the Government Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA) strike last week said that GNOA should be held responsible for getting the nurses to strike for the benefit of the hospital administrators. Speaking to The Sunday Leader President of ACNU S.B. Madiwatta said that they had called on all the unions to join together and hold a collective strike in order to highlight the grievances facing the nursing community. more..

Drug racket in Negombo is by politician supported by police say residents

July 21 (LT) Information regarding a large scale drug racket being carried out in Negombo is being revealed. The residents say the racket is being carried out by a govt politician with the help of the police. A resident speaking regarding the racket to the media said a politician who was a Municipal councilor and has been appointed a powerful minister of the Western Provincial Council is the kingpin of the drug racket. How could this person who went to the Municipal Council more..

20 Minutes au Sri Lanka

Why the middle order muddle, Mr Batting Coach

July 22 (SL) The past month has been a satisfying one for Sri Lanka cricket: semi-finalist in the ICC Champions Trophy and then finalist in an intensely contested tri-nation series in the Caribbean. Mathews’ men might not have been sprayed with champagne on the winner’s rostrum at either competition, but given the many critical situations they encountered, the combativeness and strength of character shown to stay in the competition for as long as they did was admirable. more..

Rajapaksas are incensed and worried about the TNA’s Chief Ministerial choice

July 22 (DBS) Vellupillai Pirapaharan could have been the saviour of his people. He could have won for the Tamils a federal solution, perhaps even a con-federacy. He could have, but didn’t, because that was not his goal. His goal was His own state; the Eelam he worked towards was not Tamil-speaking Eelam, Tamil Eelam or even Tiger Eelam; his goal was a Pirapaharan Eelam, a country where he was the state, the law and the religion. That megalomanic quest ended in an apocalyptic more..

Jaffna ready to embrace a fruitful future

July 22 (SO) It was a busy, sunny morning. Flocks of schoolchildren, clad in bright white uniforms, hastily heading to their schools, shop vendors busy arranging their goods for the day which was starting, roads packed with buses carrying people to their offices and hundreds of bicycles ridden by men and women rushing for their routine work – these are the sights which would greet a visitor in this once strife-torn more..

Code of Ethics for politicians

July 22 (SL) The Minister of Investment Promotion, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena advocated recently the need for a code of ethics for politicians. How many of his senior colleagues share his sentiment we do not know. All we know that the current regime is keen to have a code of ethics for journalists. At the Temple Trees meeting with the heads of media institutions, the President indicated that the journalists themselves could formulate a code for their profession. more..

On being “targeted”

July 22 (CT) I make no apologies for the fact that this piece is less concerned about “rural perspectives” than it is about being on someone’s “hit list!” It is now a considerable time since I was first accosted on the streets of Kandy and threatened for “writing against the President.” While it was not the first occasion that a shot was “fired across my bows,” it was the first overt threat. Prior to that incident, I had had frantic messages from Colombo friends “close to the seats of power” more..

'I am no conspirator'

July 22 (CT) A defiant and determined Sanjeewa Pushpakumara, the director of the Sinhala-Tamil anthological film Igillena Maluwo (Flying Fish) finds the current controversy surrounding his anthological film, ‘truly interesting.’ Denying allegations of being a conspirator to being funded by the Tamil Diaspora to create films detrimental to national interest, Seoul-based Pushpakumara in a telephone interview with Ceylon Today said, more..

Is there a Real split between brothers Mahinda and Gotabhaya?

July 22 (DBS) Everybody has an opinion about which way the ship is listing, and I have mine, but the answer to the question in my caption is important; it will set the national course for the coming months. Let me add that I take no side in this purported sibling row as I am implacably opposed to both. Rather, my effort is to read the signs, summarise arguments of pundits and punters, and to think through what either the great deception, or a parting of ways will mean in more..

The pluses and minuses of the 13th amendment

July 22 (CT) Thirteen. Thirteen Plus. Thirteen Minus. That’s the talk in the politico-ideological streets. It is almost like a rudimentary arithmetic problem. In July 1987 Sri Lanka may have been plus or minus or average compared to other members in the community of nations. Wherever the country may have stood, it was dragged in the negative direction by the Indo-Lanka Accord. Did the Indo-Lanka Accord deliver on ‘peace’? No. Did India, as it pledged, subdue all military groups more..