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UK MPs meet TNA in Jaffna

July 23 (CG) A visiting British parliamentary delegation has had talks with the TNA on the current developments in the North as well as the political situation in the country. The delegation, on a visit to Jaffna today, met a TNA delegation headed by TNA General Secretary Mavai Senathirajah. During their one week visit to Sri Lanka which began yesterday the delegation is also scheduled to have talks with govt more..

Somaratne indebted to royal consorts

July 23 (SM) The director of the box office movie ‘Siri Parakum‘ Somaratne Dissanayake has not so far made payments to the actresses who played the roles as royal consorts, reports say. Similarly, several main actors and actresses have also not been paid until this day. Somaratne Dissanayake screened 50 copies of ‘ Siri Parakum’ in island wide theaters regardless of the law of 35 copies. It has been reported that ‘ Siri Parakum’ gained permission to release 50 copies at once through a letter more..

Sri Lanka tea production down in June

July 23 (LBO) Tea production was down 4.29% to 24.69 million kilograms in June 2013 from a year earlier, Sri Lanka Tea Board data showed, amid warnings from tea companies that heavy rains were reducing output. The sharpest drop was seen in high grown elevations with production down 19% to 4.56 million kilos. Medium growns were slightly up to 4.0 million from 3.7 million a year earlier. Low growns were steady at 16.0 million kilos, only slightly down from 16.3 million kilos a year earlier. more..

Vasu to contest with UNF

July 23 (CG) A new political front was formed today, which includes some government members, with the intention of contesting the upcoming provincial council elections in parts of the central province. The Up Country National Front (UNF) includes Minister Vasudewa Nanayakkara (NLF), V. Radha Krishnan MP (President, Political Wing UPF), Praba Ganesan MP (President, Democratic People’s Congress), more..

Central Bank seen keeping rates steady

July 23 (Reuters) Central bank is expected to keep key monetary policy rates steady in July, a Reuters poll showed, after easing policy in recent weeks. The central bank reduced commercial banks statutory reserve ratio by two percentage points, with effect from July 1, and cuts its main policy interest rates by 50 basis points in May. The island-nation's central bank's policy stance has leaned towards easing since December, Following are the poll's forecasts for where more..

Death threat to teacher forced to kneel down

July 23 (LT) A complaint has been lodged at Nawagaththegama Police that former North Western Provincial Councilor Ananda Sarath Kumara had made statements in public threatening the life of Mrs. Priyani Susila Herath, the teacher whom he forced to kneel down as a punishment in front of her students and school staff. The husband of the lady teacher lodged the complaint stating Ananda Sarath Kumara made threatening remarks at public rallies held in the area. more..

Boat with 70 people missing

July 23 (CG) A boat with at least 70 people is reported to have gone missing after it left Mirissa and was heading to Australia last week. The boat with mostly Tamils had left on July 17th and is believed to have faced engine trouble halfway through the journey, our reporter in the area said. The navy is not aware of the incident but family members are worried about those who had attempted to make the illegal journey by more..

Sri Lanka's NSB rated 'B+' by S&P

July 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-run National Savings Bank has been rated 'B+', the same as the sovereign rating by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services with a 'stable' outlook. "We believe the Sri Lankan government is almost certain to provide extraordinary support to the bank, if needed," Standard & Poor's credit analyst Amit Pandey said in a statement. "Our view is based on our assessment of the critical importance of NSB's policy role and its integral link with the govt." more..

Splendor and grandeur of Esala Maha Sisu Perahera

July 23 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa viewed the Esala Maha Sisu Perahera, Monday from the front of Temple Trees as it paraded several streets in Colombo. The Perehera organised by the Education Ministry for the third year included many cultural disciplines with around 15,000 students belonging to all races and religions and representing schools island wide taking part. The Perahera which commenced from Mahanama College proceeded through Liberty Circle, Galle Road to more..

Video: UNP concerned over ‘militarization’ of sports, foreign service

July 23 (AD) The UNP today charged that the civil society is facing a grave danger due to the “militarization” of Sri Lanka’s sports and foreign service and warned of a possible diplomatic crisis. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake stated that a top sports coach in the country had recently given an interview to a newspaper, in which he had made a statement regarding the downfall and militarization of the country’s sports because a more..

'Every Drop Matters' Project revitalise Sri Lanka's interior villages

July 23 (GDI) Coca-Cola Sri Lanka in partnership with the UNDP dedicated to clean toilets and wells in Polonnaruwa and Trincomalee districts. Under the Every Drop Matters Project, the two partners constructed and renovated a total of 67 toilets and 46 wells in the two districts. The project, begun in August 2011 was undertaken to help revitalize communities in the interiors parts of Sri Lanka, that face severe hardships in accessing clean water and sanitation facilities, partnering with more..

Young Sri Lankan Buddhists too would like to have a WYD

July 23 (AN) "Catholics around the world are fortunate to attend an event like the World Youth Day. We are happy for them," young Sri Lankan Buddhists said as they offered their best wishes to young people currently gathered for World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). "At this international meeting," the young Buddhists explained, participants "can share their feelings, opinions and ideas, suggesting new paths to the world. We [Buddhists] do not have such occasions, more..

'British MP’s remarks totally inappropriate'

July 23 (DM) Responding to remarks made by House of Commons MP Simon Danczuk to the media on the ongoing investigations into the killing of British tourist Khuram Shaikh, the Ministry of External Affairs said the comments were totally inappropriate. The Ministry said the govt was committed to punish the perpetrators of the crime. The MP’s comments to the media about an unscheduled meeting with the President more..

Sri Lankan vessel sinks off UAE coast

July 23 (AD) A Sri Lankan-flagged ship sunk off the coast of Umm Al Quwain in the UAE after it had collided with another ship, however all thirty-one crew men from both vessels were rescued, foreign media reported. The police operations room was notified of the accident at around 3.30am on Friday and dispatched rescue teams to the area, about 9 nautical miles out. “One of the ships with a Sri Lankan flag was coming from Iran to Dubai with 9 Indian crew members, it was empty, while more..

TULF leader joins TNA as show of unity

July 23 (PTI) A strong critic of the LTTE and a member of the moderate TULF party in Sri Lanka today joined the main Tamil party TNA for the upcoming northern provincial elections to be held in September. Veerasingham Anandasangaree, also a critic of the TNA said he would contest the upcoming northern election under the TNA banner. "It is important to forget the differences and show unity," said Anandasangaree. The veteran Tamil politician had earlier opposed the selection of top judge more..

Sri Lanka 2-0 up after rainy day

July 23 (CI) A second, successive sub-standard performance with the bat saw South Africa undo their significantly improved showing with the ball to go 2-0 down in the series. On a slow surface, batting was laboured, and Sri Lanka's attack was able to defend with ease, the spinners getting the opposition batsmen into a tangle, again. South Africa's challenge was dealt a serious blow before it even began. more..

Being villagers in the larger village of humanity

July 24 (NS) Supreme Court Justice turned politician, C.V. Wigneswaran, in the course of delivering the Chelvanayagam Memorial Lecture, quoted from the Purananooru, a text said to be 2000 years old: ‘Yaathum oore: yaawarum kelir; theethum nandrum pirarthara vaara’ [all villages are ours; all of humanity our brethren; what happens to us is the consequence of our own actions]. If we were to put aside, as I believe we should, the deeply communalist politics of the man being more..

View from Ritigala

July 24 (NS) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, when questioned on the costs and benefits of CHOGM 2013, brushed it all off saying the ‘cost-focus is silly’. A lot of things are silly, it seems. Like the focus on his son Ramith’s antics, a profound act probably, which however cost the little boy his pocket money of Rs. 250,000. Maybe the boy is bankrupt now. But there’s more silliness. Like ‘focus’ on falling from buildings and breaking legs. Maybe. Wildlife officials have been alerted about a move by more..

Solid waste turns into an asset

July 24 (SO) Managing the daily collection of garbage, not only in urban areas but in semi urban areas too has become a critical issue at present. The changing consumer pattern of the present generation and the increased collection of waste would create an environmental hazard in today's context, if there is no proper mechanism to manage the daily collection of waste. Any urban citizen will be aware of the problems faced more..


July 24 (GV) I walk at Independence Square a couple of evenings a week. A friend who walks with me, asked why the Buddhist Flag was hoisted on the flag pole. To tell you the truth, I had not noticed the large rectangle of blue, yellow, red, white and orange fluttering in the wind. On my walks at the newly landscaped area, I admire the root balled trees, appreciate the lights that come on automatically at 6pm, and in the fading light, take care not to trip on the granite paving more..

School closed early today…

July 24 (GV) School closed early today. Amma was looking very jumpy when she came to pick me up, but she wouldn’t tell me why. When we went to get Loku and Chuti, Chuti was nowhere to be seen. We walked all over school looking for him and finally found him running around with a chair in his hand looking to ‘hit someone’. Amma gave him a good scolding. Serves him right. On the way home we saw a group of aiyas dancing around an uncle whose hands were tied to the lamp-post. more..

'Allow us to find solutions to our problems'

July 24 (CT) Chief ministerial nominee of the TNA, Justice C.V. Vigneswaran, for the forthcoming Northern Provincial elections, spoke to Padma Rao Sundarji, on why he entered the political arena, the issues facing the people of the North, and what the TNA sees as solutions to the plethora of problems in the region. Excerpts: Q: President Rajapaksa's decision to hold elections in Northern Province in September, for the first time more..

Recognizing and regretting the excesses of July 1983

July 24 (DBS) Perhaps the clearest test of a pluralistic outlook amongst Sri Lankans, to say nothing of basic decency too, is their response to the events of July 1983. Anyone fit to pass the test sees it as an aberration in Sri Lankan history, an outrage in which defenceless Tamils were systematically persecuted. Those who offer excuses or play down the event seem to me morally repugnant. That is why, despite his comparative efficiency and honesty, I think Ranil Wickremesinghe would more..

Vigneswaran to the North; Shirani to the South?

July 24 (CT) Editor of The Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickrematunga, who was brutally gunned down in 2009, spoke of C.V. Vigneswaran's decision to talk to the media with some surprise. It happened close on the heels of a Supreme Court order to imprison S.B. Dissanayake for contempt of Court. None had the nerve, nor dared, to challenge the then Chief Justice, Sarath N. Silva. It was at such a time that Vigneswaran came forward to talk about the breakdown in the system of justice in the more..

Anatomy of an anti-Tamil pogrom: 30th Anniversary of Black July 1983

July 24 (DBS) Shops, Banks, Offices and Restaurants in the Capital’s crowded City Centre and Main Streets being burnt while the Police look on. Thousands of houses ransacked and burnt, sometimes with women and children inside. Goon squads battering passengers to death in trains and on station platforms and, without hindrance, publicly burning men and women to death on the streets! Remand prisoners and political more..

Barack Obama talks about the 13th amendment

July 24 (CT) When Trayvon Martin (black) was shot dead by Mark Zimmerman (white) in February 2012, I said ‘If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon’. A few days ago, when Zimmerman was found innocent of any wrongdoing, I told the nation to engage in soul searching. I said that that the jury has spoken, meaning that we have to respect the decision. Then I said, ‘Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago’. I have searched my soul, especially about race relations. Here’s what I found. more..

Solar set to create history

July 24 (CT) A 73 fold global leap in 12 years is the performance of Solar in the present century. For the stellar story to continue what impels and what impedes? Principally, declining cost of Photo Voltaic (PV) fuels growth. Capacity Factor (CF) not rising in tandem has kept back spectacular expansion. Now both are receiving redoubled effort most conspicuously from scientists. The year 2013 may be the watershed year. The prospects are more than promising. The unit price of electricity to more..

The way forward

July 24 (Island) This is no doubt what parties like the JHU want, since there would be no point to their existence if Sri Lankans could get along. Udaya Gammanpila somehow managed to keep a straight face while announcing that the JHU is boycotting the NPC election, as if there were any practical difference between contesting and not contesting when nobody in the North is going to vote for them. more..

What is India up to?

July 24 (Island) It was not only Wimal Weerawansa who knew this story as some other politicians including cabinet ministers, were aware of what was happening behind the screen. I myself became aware of the story from another source but it was Weerawansa who went public with the information he had. It appears that there has been influence by other countries to nominate Vigneswaran as the Chief Ministerial candidate of the TNA at the northern provincial council elections if we more..

Universities as dengue zones

July 24 (Island) The Colombo Municipal Council Public Health Department (CMCPHD) has instituted legal action against the Senior Assistant Registrar of the Colombo University Management Faculty found to be full of puddles infested with mosquito larvae. The university panjandrums should hang their heads in shame. Several school principals in Colombo have been warned for not destroying mosquito breeding places at their institutions. Why can’t teachers, past pupils and students more..

'Are students trained to pass exams or be creative'

July 24 (ST) At the annual convocation of the University of Sri J'pura, the keynote speaker asked a pertinent question that has grappled educationists, parents and students over the past four decades: “Are students being taught or trained to pass tests or are they trained to be creative and have a thirst for knowledge.” These thoughts (meant to provoke policy makers) were raised by Prof. Uditha Liyanage, Director, Postgraduate more..

Series against India Under-19 crucial for Youth World Cup selections

July 24 (Island) The Sri Lanka Under-19 team commenced its two-week long series against their Indian counterparts at Dambulla, on Tuesday. This is likely to help the team management draft their plans for next year’s Youth World Cup. The series started began yesterday with a Youth ‘Test’ at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, with three players making their debut for the hosts. The team approved for the two Youth ‘Tests’ includes at least seven fresh faces who have not been more..

When Mahela and Sangakkara disagree

July 24 (CI) The reverse sweep now numbers among Mahela's favourite strokes, and he has become so confident at playing it, he occasionally ventures it against fast bowlers. He attempted the stroke one too many times against Robin Peterson though, and the bowler did to Mahela what Maradona regularly did to defenders in his heyday. As Mahela went down for the shot, knees asunder, Peterson darted the ball through his legs and hit the stumps behind him. more..

Coaches bargain on selection trial

July 24 (Island) The coaches of the Sri Lanka men’s 4x400 metres relay team have agreed to field their sprinters for this weekend’s trials for the IAAF World Championships, after being persuaded by the Sports Minister to do so in presence of the officials of the Athletics Association of Sri Lanka. But the coaches have demanded that only the best eight 400 metres athletes from the last selection trial be considered more..

Military gang that extorted money from drug dealers caught

July 24 (Island) Sapugaskanda police last Friday night nabbed five members of a gang including an army sergeant major and two corporals who were abducting large scale drug dealers and extorting money from them at Makola. They were engaged in this racket of extorting money from drug lords in Colombo and suburbs. The police recovered a hand grenade, a Chinese built 9 mm pistol, 12 cartridges, a magazine, hand cuffs and a barber’s razor knife and took into custody two vans more..

MillenniumIT recognised as 2013 Microsoft Country Partner of the Year for Sri Lanka

July 24 (Island) MillenniumIT, a leading technology solutions provider, today proudly announced it has won the 2013 Microsoft Country Partner of the Year Award for Sri Lanka. The company was honored among a global field of top Microsoft Corp. partners for demonstrating excellence in innovation and implementation of customer solutions based on Microsoft technology. Awards were presented in multiple categories, with winners chosen from more than 3,000 entrants from 106 countries more..

'Come out with facts and names'

July 24 (DN) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa challenged UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera to come out with facts including names to back up his allegations that certain people affiliated to the govt were swindling money on the pretext of developing the city. The Defence Secretary questioned why Samaraweera was reluctant to reveal such dealings or those behind them if he knew of such impropriety. more..

Israel trade mission in town tomorrow

July 24 (FT) A delegation from Israel will be in Colombo tomorrow for a trade mission and is set to meet with a number of Ministry officials during a seven day stay (25-31). Led by Sri Lankan Ambassador in Israel Sarath Wijesinghe, the delegation will represent key areas for development such as agriculture, dairy, high tech, water, tourism employment among others. The delegation is set to arrive in the country tomorrow and will attend the first business meeting and one-to-one more..

Big Reeno loves Sri Lanka

July 24 (CG) He has two words to describe the Sri Lankan people, happy and inspiring. Big Reeno, who was in Sri Lankan recently together with Sean Kingston and Taio Cruz to perform at the Carlton Supper 7s concert, said that he enjoyed his experience and hopes to be back in the country soon. Big Reeno is a young, emerging music sensation, whose unique brand of Hip Hop has earned him accolades and fans from across the US. In Sri Lanka, Reeno teamed up with Sean more..

Bank ATMs connected to domestic switch

July 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka's two largest state-run banks were connected to a domestic automated teller machine switch, which will make transactions cheaper, with more banks expected to join soon, officials said. Bank of Ceylon and People's Bank with about 900 ATMs between them were connected to the system allowing each other's customers to withdraw cash from teller machines owned by another. more..