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Today is Esala poya day

July 22 (ST) It’s Esala Full Moon Poya day. Exactly 2603 years ago, at the sacred site of Migadaya – the Deer Park at Isipatanaramaya in Benares, the rays of the setting sun are falling on one side. On the other, the Esala full moon is gradually appearing. The Buddha is quietly approaching the sacred site having walked for one whole week from Buddhagaya where he had attained Enlightenment. more..

Fracas after booze leads to death

July 22 (SO) Malani was a comely damsel. Her beauty was enhanced because of the natural food she consumed. The Welimada climate also had an effect on her skin and her cheeks were a rosy pink. The skin on her hands had a special kind of sheen. Malani was not fat, but cut a beautiful figure as most upcountry women are won't to have. Malani maintained her comely looks. She would take a regular bath and apply coconut oil on her hair and comb it and tie it up in a knot. more..

External finances and fiscal consolidation: What’s the real position?

July 22 (ST) The divergent assessments of the current economic situation are confusing. The Central Bank’s assessment of the current state of the economy, especially two key economic indicators, the level of foreign reserves and fiscal consolidation, contrasts with that of Moody’s. Are the external finances in a strong position as the Central Bank claims? Have we made adequate progress towards fiscal consolidation? The Central Bank’s view is that the economy is in a strong more..

The other hand in the hour clock at Mount Lavinia Hotel

July 22 (NS) Dr. T Publis Silva loves promoting Sri Lankan cuisine and spreading the word about healthy eating. The journey that the renowned chef commenced in 1957 as a kitchen helper has been long and illustrious. At present he holds the post of Director at Mount Lavinia Hotel, an institute which helped him cut his teeth in the hotel trade and now looks to him as ‘the other hand in the hour clock’. Publis spoke to The Nation about more..

LAUGFS mulling to go into healthcare

July 22 (ST) LAUGFS Holdings is considering getting into the healthcare business with international collaboration. “We want to diversity into the healthcare sector with an international partner,” W.H.K. Wegapitiya, Chairman LAUGFS Holdings said. He said this process is still at the initial stages. “We are looking at all aspects of healthcare including a hospital, pharmaceutical manufacturing, equipment manufacturing, etc.,” he said. Now less than 10% of the total requirement is more..

SLASSCOM appoints new Board of Directors

July 22 (Island) SLASSCOM, the IT and Knowledge industry body which plays a catalyst role with aggressive plans to capitalize the opportunities for Sri Lanka in 2013/2014, has elected its fifth Board and General Council consisting of key industry leaders and decision makers to drive this year’s vision. New additions to the Board includes an eclectic mix of youth and experience with the industry veteran and CEO of 99x Technologies Mano Sekaram coming in as Director and more..

Colombo: Cricket, culture and tuk-tuks

July 22 (IOL) Everywhere you turn in Sri Lanka there is a cricket “match” on the go. They have an insatiable appetite for the game and the locals couldn’t wait for Saturday’s opening ODI against South Africa. In hindsight, I should have known better than to think that the sledging that the likes of Kumar Sangakarra and Co occasionally engage in is confined to the middle. Yours truly briefly joined an impromptu street game this week, and more..

Fines on Galle’s rouge pharmacists

July 22 (DN) Galle Additional Magistrate Gunendra Kumara Munasinghe imposed a total fine of Rs. 75,000 on five unauthorised pharmacists when they were found guilty of issuing drugs to patients without valid permits. Food and drug inspectors of the Galle Regional Health Services Office arrested the illegal pharmacists while engaged in selling medicine to patients at their mobile pharmacies stationed near consultation homes and dispensaries where doctors participate in private practice from more..

Large cache of cartridges found in Jaffna

July 22 (CT) A large haul of cartridges for rifles were found near the premises of the Jaffna University in Thirunelveli, Jaffna, on Friday. The cartridges were found in two medium sized plastic barrels, buried around four feet below the ground. Police personnel from the Kopay Police station and army personnel with a help of the sniffer dogs from the Jaffna Police, recovered the cartridges that had been buried. The cartridges were found when work to construct a culvert was being carried out in Thirunelveli more..

'We let the heat get to us' - de Villiers

July 22 (CI) AB de Villiers said that the inability of South Africa's bowlers to deal with Colombo's sapping heat played a major role in the 180-run loss on Saturday, after the attack conceded 320 for 5. South Africa prevented Sri Lanka from achieving a quick start after electing to field first, but were woeful at the death, conceding 137 in the last 12 overs. Sri Lanka's total was propelled by a 134-ball 169 from Kumar Sangakkara, more..

SL Tamil refugees or economic migrants

July 22 (ER) Here’s the simply logic. Anyone fleeing a country using internationally accepted key words to justify their right to be termed a “refugee” must surely run to the closest country for that safety. What is that country – it is India. Why is India not only the closest and why should it be the most appropriate – Tamil Nadu in particular its politicians both government and opposition spend a large amount of time profaning concern for Sri Lanka’s Tamils. So instead of going to India where more..

Sleeping pills mixed with toddy

July 22 (Island) The Cosmetics Devices and Drug Regulatory Authority (CDDRA), which conducted a series of raids on taverns in Gampaha, has found that some of them have been mixing diazepam (sleeping tablets) with toddy. In a raid on taverns patronised by a large number of toddy drinkers in Dompe, the CDDRA officials found that about 1,000 diazepam tablets had been mixed with 2,500 litres of toddy. The police said they would arrest a person in Colombo for giving a suspect at more..

'UPFA will not name CM candidates'

July 22 (CT) The ruling UPFA will not name its chief ministerial candidates for the Central, North Western and Northern Provincial Councils, until the polls, scheduled to be held in September, are over. "We will not be naming the chief ministerial candidates until the polls are over and it is only after the results are declared that they will be named. The appointees will be at the sole discretion of President Rajapaksa," Minister Johnston Fernando, more..

Chennai beefs up security

July 22 (CG) With memories still vivid of the July 24, 2001, Bandaranaike airport blast in Sri Lanka where 26 aircraft were either damaged or destroyed in an LTTE attack, the month of July has always been hectic for security agencies in India. This year, July 21 and July 25 have been identified as days of potential threat. In Chennai, too, security has been beefed up. “There is no specific threat to Chennai airport. It is only a generic alert. Airports are always vulnerable places and since sensitive more..

Seven dialysis machines idling for six months

July 22 (Island) Former JVP MP Wasantha Samarasinghe alleged seven haemodialysis machines donated by a Japanese NGO to the Padaviya District hospital had been idling for the last six months much to the disappointment of the NGO activists who visited the hospital recently. The officials of the NGO had refused to provide anymore assistance to Sri Lanka, Samarasinghe said. It was the sole responsibility of the health authorities, especially the North – Central Province more..

UK MP to confront President over death of British tourist Khuram Shaikh

July 22 (Telegraph) Khuram Shaikh, a 32-year-old Red Cross aid worker from Rochdale, had been in Sri Lanka to rest after an assignment in Gaza, when he and his Russian girlfriend were attacked by eight men in a hotel bar in Tangalle, on the south coast. One of the men accused of the attack is a prominent figure in Mr Rajapaksa's SLFP. Mr Shaikh was stabbed in the throat and shot dead after he complained about the men more..

14 Fijians in Sri Lanka's Carlton 7s tourney

July 22 (FT) 14 Fijians will feature in the Carlton Super Sevens next weekend. The annual event will also feature six Kenyans, 17 New Zealanders, two British, three Tongans, six Samoans, three Americans and one from Spain. Carlton Sevens brings together youths from all parts of Sri Lanka under 10 teams representing the nine provinces in the country. Each team will comprise three international players, three 'A' grade Sri Lankan Club players and an under 21 school player. more..

Bandula’s perahera bid under fire

July 22 (CT) Thousands of students, teachers, principals and parents have to face many hardships due to an Esala perahera function, dubbed the longest perahera in the country, organized by the Ministry of Education, teachers' unions alleged. The ministry has informed the principals of all national schools to attend the perahera with a dance troupe of 100 students. The perahera is scheduled to commence from Mahanama College, Colombo, at 2.00 p.m. today. General Secretary of the more..

Luxury car market grows with young, wealthy buyers

July 22 (ST) The super luxury vehicle market in Sri Lanka is growing with the emergence of a new class of high spending wealthy buyers despite a drastic drop in vehicle imports during the last two years. Most of the super luxury vehicles imported are Montero Sport, KIA/Hyundai SUV, BMW X 1, X 3, 520D and Audi A 4 and A6, Porsches, Turbo, Jaguars and Mercedes. Two Lamborghinis were also among them, more..

Conductor ordered to beg pardon from passenger

July 22 (CT) Western Provincial Council Passenger Transport Authority issued a directive to an errant conductor of a private bus bearing registration number, GY 8635, to beg for pardon from an aggrieved female commuter for forcibly evicting her from the bus after she had demanded a ticket from him for the fare paid. The conductor of the bus on Route No. 176, which plies from Karagampitiya to Hettiyawatte, was charged with evicting the passenger after she had asked for a ticket more..

Health union blames NCPC for unutilised funds

July 22 (Island) The Treasury has asked the North-Central Provincial Council to return Rs. 200 million in unutilised funds out of Rs. 7.6 billion that was granted in the 2013 budget. All Ceylon Health Services Union (ACHSU) General Secretary Gamini Kumarasinghe alleged that the Rs. 200 million had been granted to the NCP for dengue preventions and the purchase of drugs for kidney patients and heamodylasis machines. Kumarasinghe said there was much to be desired as regards more..

Pair found guilty of murdering Sri Lankan farm worker in NZ

July 22 (NZH) Two men have been found guilty of the murder of Oxford dairy worker Sameera Chandrasena. A jury in the High Court at Christchurch returned the guilty verdicts for co-accused Thuvan Prawesh Sawal, 24, and Viraj Alahakoon, 35, this afternoon. Sawal and Alahakoon had been on trial for the past three weeks charged with the murder of dairy worker Sameera Chandrasena. more..

CEB’s outstanding payments remain

July 22 (CT) The CEB said the recent tariff increase for electricity has enabled the board to pay its debts in instalments and to buy fuel on a day-to-day basis for its operation. Reportedly, the CEB, consequent to an ultimatum given by the CPC, stating ‘no fuel without cash’ is paying up its fuel bills on a daily basis beginning last month. Additional General Manager, CEB, Bandula Thilakasena, said, the CEB is buying furnace oil for its operations on a day-to-day basis. more..

Sajith, Karu continue to be sidelined

July 22 (CT) A news report stating that former UNP deputy leaders, Sajith Premadasa and Karu Jayasuriya, have been involved in the process to shortlist candidates for the forthcoming Provincial Council elections, has proved to be false and misleading, with the two deputies themselves dismissing the report as untrue. Both Karu Jayasuriya and Sajith Premadasa, when questioned by our sister paper Mawbima, categorically denied the claims made in the report and said more..

CID ignores Court order

July 22 (CT) The CID, has for over six weeks, ignored an order issued by the Matale Magistrate's Court to conduct radio carbon testing on the skeletal remains discovered in the backyard of the Matale Hospital. The Magistrate ordered the skeletal remains be sent overseas for radio carbon testing in order to identify the nameless victims. Former Matale Magistrate, Chaturika de Silva, during her last sitting on the case, had ordered the CID more..

Dayasiri says he won’t defect

July 22 (Island) UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera, who has fallen out with the party leadership yesterday said he would never leave the UNP to join the govt. Contrary to media report that he would make a special statement tomorrow, MP Jayasekera said he did not intend to any such thing. He said, "There’s absolutely no need for me to make any statement." Scotching rumours that he would defect to contest North Western Provincial Council elections as Chief ministerial candidate on the UPFA ticket, more..

UNP wants Range and Asoka back

July 22 (DM) Whilst UNP MPs Palitha Range Bandara and Asoka Abeysinghe are planning to file separate lists for the North Western Provincial Council, attempts are being made to woo them back into the party fold. Daily Mirror learns that the UNP has invited Range Bandara and Abeysinghe for a discussion with Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe this week. It is believed that the pair will meet Mr. Wickremesinghe on Tuesday. This development comes despite plans by Mr. Bandara, more..

Sri Lanka to curb supermarket expansion

July 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka is to curb the expansion of self-service supermarkets, a media report said shortly after new taxes were imposed on privately owned chains. Hiru quoting President Mahinda Rajapaksa as saying that small traders and individual sellers were being displaced by supermarkets. "The vegetable lady (elawalu amma) that the persons who sells greens have no chance," he was quoted as saying more..

TNA’s choices: Justice Wigneswaran for NPC; No, thanks, to PSC

July 22 (CT) The TNA’s choice of retired Supreme Court Judge C.V. Wigneswaran as candidate for Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council is a good political example of that trite management phrase: ‘thinking outside the box’. If all goes according to plan, Justice Wigneswaran will be literally landing from outside the box into Lanka’s political fray. The choice and its anticipated outcome throws open a wide range of possibilities. I think this is the first time a retired SC Judge more..

The Army venturing into civilian domain

July 22 (CT) The retiring Army Commander, General Jagath Jayasuriya, is reported to have told a section of the media that the Army is planning to enter profit-making ventures and that Cabinet approval is being awaited to start these activities. The General is reported to have specifically mentioned construction works as an area that the Army could handle profitably. He had cited countries such as Russia and China where the State gets involved in such activities by using the armed forces. more..

Unpaid bill prevents mother from breastfeeding newborn baby – health union

July 22 (Island) A mother who delivered a baby in Ward No: 9 at the Sri Jayewardenepura hospital was not allowed to breast feed her baby who was transferred to the neo-natal intensive care unit for congenital heart defects as she had not settled the hospital bill, All Ceylon Health Services Union (ACHSU) General Secretary alleged. Gamini Kumarasinghe said that a 25-year-old mother from Thalawatugoda had been admitted to more..

Voters must remove niqab to rule out foul play

July 22 (SL) This week, a defensive Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya stood by his statement of asking those wearing niqab and the burqa to remove their face coverings before they are allowed to vote. Deshapriya said the comment was taken out of context, and was not meant with any anti-religious sentiment. In fact, an official later said, it was to rule out foul play in the casting of votes. more..

'Country’s culture should be protected'

July 22 (CT) Minister of the Western Province, Udaya Gammanpila, said the country should brace itself and not allow anyone to destroy its culture, in the name of dollars and pounds that would accrue through the business of running casinos. These remarks by the JHU politician came in the wake of the govt granting a 10-year tax relief to Australian casino magnate, James Packer. "Why shouldn't we turn towards Anuradhapura more..

SL hooked on substandard Indian drugs

July 22 (ST) Some of the Pharmaceuticals imported into the country, mostly from India, are repeatedly failing to comply with quality standards, and authorities are facing difficulties in withdrawing them from the outlets after the quality tests are done. According to the Cosmetics, Devices and Drugs Regulatory Authority (CDDRA) of 2012, over 110 drugs have failed to comply with the quality standards specified, more..

Sri Lanka credit profile stabilized, but burdens rising: Moody's

July 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka's credit profile has stabilized but external debt and debt servicing costs are rising, Moody's Investors Services, which has rated the country 'B1' said in a credit update. Earlier in July, the agency cut the outlook to stable saying the country has stabilized following balance of payments trouble but there was not enough progress for an upgrade and debt consolidation has paused. more..

Fishermen boycotts fishing protesting SL minister's remarks

July 22 (PTI) Local fishermen today boycotted fishing to protest the reported remarks by Sri Lankan minister Douglas Devananda that stern action would be taken against Indian fishermen if they indulged in fishing in the island nation's waters. Douglas had reportedly said at Neduntheevu in Sri Lanka yesterday that stern action would be taken against Indian fishermen, if they are found poaching in Sri Lankan Waters. more..

Chandimal focuses on adaptability

July 22 (CI) Dinesh Chandimal's year could hardly have begun much better. Having sat the last half of 2012 on the sidelines, he was added to the New Year Test side after Kumar Sangakkara fractured a finger, and impressed with both bat and the gloves, hitting 62 not out alongside the tail in the second innings. Two months later, he made his maiden Test century on a batting paradise in Galle, but followed that with a more..

UN probes disappearances

July 22 (CG) A panel of independent United Nations experts have begun investigating new or existing cases of disappearances in Sri Lanka and several other countries. The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances met in New York to review under their urgent action procedure, 17 reported cases of enforced disappearances that have occurred in the last six months, as well as more than 400 newly reported or more..

Video: No 'business' for the Army: UNP

July 22 (DM) The UNP today warned the govt against moves to make the Army take on ‘profitable ventures,’ stating it sets a dangerous precedent and could result in a situation similar to that of Egypt. The UNP said it was against the Army taking on ‘business’ ventures because it would most certainly be a dangerous threat to a democratic country and its democratic governance. MP Ajith P. Perera said a recent cabinet paper was submitted more..

Keheliya says 13A will change

July 22 (CG) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella says the govt will go ahead with making changes to the 13th Amendment to the constitution as planned. He said that the 13th Amendment is something forced on Sri Lanka by India through the Indo-Lanka accord. He said that while the 13th Amendment cannot be completely abolished as the provincial councils system, which is part of that amendment, more..