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COPE wants AG’s salary raised to suit his status

July 25 (Island) The COPE has, in its latest report, while stating that the salary drawn by the Auditor General is not in keeping with the status of the post, recommended that it be increased substantially. The COPE on Tuesday brought to the notice of the President and Speaker of Parliament that there was a ‘grave anomaly’ with regard to the salary drawn by the Auditor General. Chairman of the Committee, Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera said that the Auditor General drew a low salary and more..

Nominations handed over

July 25 (CG) Political parties and independent groups today began handing over their nominations for the provincial council elections in September. The Sri Lanka Working Party handed over nominations in Jaffna for the northern elections. The Sri Lanka Working Party was the first party to hand over nominations to contest the elections in the north. The Sri Lanka Working Party is to field 19 candidates at the Northern Provincial Council elections. Nominations were also handed more..

'We win games when squeezed'

July 25 (CI) Last year in Sri Lanka, AB de Villiers became the first South Africa captain to own up to choking in high pressure limited-overs games. He used the C word liberally both before and after the tournament as though he'd been instructed to publicly embrace the tag as a means of overcoming the team's mental woes in major tournaments. Ten months later, de Villiers is asserting the opposite about his side's more..

Ettappan: Wigneswaran and War Crimes

July 26 (CT) Betrayal manifests itself in many forms among which are that of an urbane, pious, and on the face of it, a pacifist. These are the sentiments expressed about Wigneswaran by a lot of those who toiled expending blood and treasure to mobilize the political establishments in Tamil Nadu and the West in the fight for the right of Tamils to forge their own destiny. Educated at Royal College, Wigneswaran’s peers included cricket captain Wile, ruggerite ‘Roti’ Sivaratnam, and Dharmachandran. more..

Flip side of the Wigneswaran Coin

July 26 (NS) Following the TNA’s decision to field C.V. Wigneswaran as the Chief Minister Candidate for the forthcoming Northern Provincial Council election, ‘Thinakkural’, a Tamil daily, carried a front page cartoon depicting the “unanimity” with which Wigneshwaran was selected. In the cartoon, Mavai Senathirajah, who was the other contender for the CM candidacy, was seen ushering Wigneshwaran to the center stage, holding his hand, while other TNA MPs were singing, dancing and playing more..

4 Sri Lankan merchant sailors still missing

July 26 (SO) Priyani Udugamasuriya of Yakkala said that her 59- year- old husband, Chandrasena Perera who is a seasoned seafarer with 30 years experience. He was the third engineer on the ill- fated MV Albedo. The Malaysian flagged ship, seized by Somali pirates on November 26, 2010 with 23 crew including six Sri Lankans, sank off the Somali coast two weeks ago. Had it not been for the inconsistent attitude of the more..

The absolute silence at home: July, 1983

July 26 (GV) The most vivid memory of violent conflict for me has been from July 23, 1983. I was 7 years old then, the same age as my twins today. Each time a word, something I read or hear takes me back to that day, the first image I see in my mind’s eye are white-streams from broken milk bottles on the black tarred roads, as my uncle drove us home from school. It was the longest journey back home and at that age there was no fear, only bewilderment. Once I got home everything more..

The lucky ones

July 26 (GV) These memories still haunt me—even 30 years later. Pain clutches me, along with fear and trepidation. Now I look back and remember with tears of profound sadness at so many things that happened as a result of this fateful day 30 years ago. Things that tore a nation apart, threw my family to the wolves, forced us to leave….and yet we were the lucky ones. We made it out. My family was just getting to a point where many young families feel comfortable. My father had a good job at more..

The story of the papadum makers

July 26 (CT) Walking through the labyrinth of narrow streets and stifling houses in Sekkuwatta, one cannot help but wonder at the litter-strewn alleyways that connect the homes of the many papadum makers it is home to. Sekkuwatta also known at ‘Papadum Watta’ is home to six large families proficient in the making of papadum. The house of Buhari Ahmed (53) or ‘Buhari Aiya’ is not hard to find. more..

Human Trafficking through a Sri Lankan perspective

July 26 (NS) Human trafficking is the trade in humans, most commonly for the purpose of sexual slavery, forced labor or for the extraction of organs or tissues, including surrogacy and ova removal. There are major conceptual differences between human trafficking and people smuggling. In the former, trafficker forces, deceives or coerces the trafficked to engage in exploitative employment, sex work or organ removal. In smuggling of people, people voluntarily use a people smuggler more..

Friends, Sinhalese, Countrymen, lend me your ears

July 26 (CT) With due respects to William Shakespeare, and to be read in conjunction with: Friends, Sinhalese, countrymen, lend me you ears; I come to bury the Nation of the Tamils and the People of the Vanni, not to praise them. The evil that men do lives after them, The good is oft interred with their bones; So let it be with the Nation of the Tamils and the People of the Vanni. The noble Sri Lankan government and the noble Sri Lankan military. Hath told you the Nation of the Tamils more..

The Dayasiri Detonation

July 26 (GV) While I wish that Dayasiri Jayasekara had broken away from the UNP to form a new party rather than join the govt, he has, I must admit, made a smart move, as has his new leader Mahinda Rajapaksa. The smart move was not to cross the floor and accept a cabinet portfolio but to move out to the provincial level. If Dayasiri is half the success that Gamini Jayawickrema Perera was as Chief Minister more..

The resurgent spirit of Black July

July 26 (DBS) The politico-economic and socio-psychological premises which enabled the shameful carnage of Black July did not emerge from a vacuum, instantly. The actual killing and the pillaging may have been the work of a criminally-inclined minority; but these miscreants could not have indulged in their fanatical desires with such brutal and deadly abandon, without the consent of state-entities and the approbation of a societal-majority. Had the state made a serious attempt to more..

Sri Lankan constitutional changes raise tensions with India

July 26 (WSWS) In the face of opposition from India, President Mahinda Rajapakse has shelved, at least for now, proposed changes to the 13th amendment to the constitution aimed at reducing the powers of the country’s provincial councils. The amendment was introduced in November 1987 under the Indo-Lanka Accord signed between the two govts, as a means of disarming the separatist LTTE. The devolution of limited powers at the provincial level was to establish a power-sharing more..

'Cancellation of Test series disappoints players'

July 26 (Island) Under-fire Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) will come under more criticism after national captain Angelo Mathews expressed his disappointment at the cancellation of the Test series against South Africa. SLC cancelled the Test series against world’s number one ranked team that was to follow the current ODI series to play the meaningless Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) tournament and last week’s announcement more..

South Africa hope for respite in Pallekele

July 26 (CI) Pallekele International Cricket Stadium was modeled on Supersport Park in Pretoria. The grass banks and open spaces are similar, the stands bear the same minimalistic, angular roof and even the floodlight towers seem like carbon copies. Unlike Supersport Park, the Pallekele ground is nestled in the hills and closeted by heavy vegetation, but having struggled with adapting to Sri Lankan conditions, the South Africa team will hope it is more like home than the Premadasa Stadium. more..

Editorial : Dayasiri’s long jump

July 26 (Island) The UNP has suffered another huge blow with only a few weeks to go for elections to three provincial councils. Dayasiri Jayasekera’s defection to the govt after his resignation from his parliamentary seat on Wednesday could not have come at a worse time for the faction-ridden main Opposition party. Dayasiri cut his political teeth as an SLFP local govt member in Kurunegala and defected to the UNP in 2001. His return to the SLFP’s fold, after twelve years, more..

Minister plays down exam errors

July 26 (CT) "Don't newspapers have printing mistakes? Likewise, term test papers too can have printing mistakes," was Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena's response to the question why numerous errors have been spotted in the mid-term test papers. He said yesterday, the test papers are prepared by the respective subject-teachers, and as humans, they also can err. Minister termed the numerous errors spotted in the more..

The jumbo drive of an autocrat

July 26 (CT) There was not an iota of doubt that popular UNP MP, Dayasiri Jayasekera, would get tired of an ongoing political duel with his Party Leader and eventually call it a day. Yesterday, he made public, his decision to move on and to move into the ruling coalition, offering charismatic leadership to the UPFA's electoral campaign in the North-Western Province. Few would doubt his capacity as a crowd puller, his ability to lead or to win. But the decision to part did not come more..

JB Securities, Dialog win first-ever CFA Sri Lanka Awards

July 26 (FT) JB Securities and Dialog Axiata on Wednesday night clinched the first-ever CFA Sri Lanka Awards dedicated to professional excellence in capital markets. JB Securities took home the award for the best equity research on its analysis on Colombo Dockyard whilst Dialog Axiata won the award for best investor relations. The first runner-up in the best equity research category was won by IIFL Ceylon Ltd. for its report on Distilleries Company and Capital Alliance bagged the third place more..

Banks’ US$ 1.5bn int’l bond issues could add to already high public debt burden: Moody’s

July 26 (Island) NSB, DFCC and NDB, with varied degrees of state control, are expected to raise US$ 1.5 billion from international capital markets this year and although categorised as external commercial debt, they could still lead to higher govt debt depending on how the funds are used, sovereign ratings agency Moody’s said. "After issuing five sovereign bonds over the last six years, we understand that the govt has more..

Wildlife research takes a leap

July 26 (CT) The National Zoological Gardens (NZG) received 100 microchips and a scanner from Canada a few months ago. The microchips and scanner donated following a request by the Deputy Director of the NZG, Renuka Bandaranayake, were handed over to NZG Director Anura de Silva by Thisuri Eagalle, a student of Wildlife Biology and Conservation at the University of Guelph. "I'm working as a volunteer at the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage and the NZG in Sri Lanka for more..

Banking sector rupee liquidity in the red

July 26 (Island) US dollar sales by the Central Bank drove rupee liquidity in the banking system into the red for the first time in four weeks, dealers said. The rupee gained some ground in the spot market closing at Rs. 131.50/60 against the US dollar from an opening position of Rs. 131.55/65, although no active trades took place and in the spot-next market, the rupee opened at Rs. 131.60/65 and closed down at Rs. 131.70/72 against the US dollar, on importer demand. Dealers said dollar sales by the more..

Robust foreign buying into listed Lankan stocks to continue

July 26 (FT) The robust buying into listed Sri Lankan equities, now at over Rs. 16 billion a year to date, will continue tips broking firm DNH Financial Ltd. It said, refuting the general opinion that foreign investors tend to exit the Bourse during a decline, that net foreign buying has accelerated on an YTD basis with foreign investors buying on weakness (see chart) when net foreign buying with the ASPI’s performance is juxtaposed. more..

CEA partners with IWMI to turn organic waste into high-quality fertilizer

July 26 (Island) International Water Management Institute (IWMI) signed an agreement to collaborate towards Resource Recovery and Reuse in Sri Lanka. IWMI and CEA join hands in targeting two main challenges that Sri Lanka is currently facing: Urban waste management; and the need to increase farmers’ access to organic fertilizers. Wimalasena Rubasinghe, Chairman, CEA, and Jeremy Bird, Director General, IWMI, were the signatories to the agreement on July 19, 2013. more..

Dengue strikes another undergrad

July 26 (CT) Another undergraduate of the University of Colombo has been admitted to a private hospital afflicted with the dengue fever. It is learnt that Divuranga Premaratne (21), a male student from the Faculty of Arts, was admitted to Asiri Hospital last week, due to dengue fever. This comes hot on the heels of a female Law Faculty student, who died of dengue last month. Following her death at the Colombo National Hospital on 5 June 2013, the university suspended all more..

Harsha exposes another cloaked land deal

July 26 (FT) The Govt’s dubious land deals became a hot topic in Parliament again yesterday when the UNP sought to expose another lease rental and tax holiday to a little known private developer. UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva exposed a ruling party decision to exclusively lease a highly valuable 29 acre property in Maradana to Chelina NEB Lanka, a company with only three share holders and a share capital of Rs 30. more..

Big draw for three-day agri business exhibition in Kilinochchi

July 26 (FT) Space at the Ag-Biz North exhibition to be held in Kilinochchi is all sold out with just a week to go before it kicks off. The first-ever exhibition to be hosted in the Northern Province, the Ag-Biz North will be held at the Central College Grounds Kilinochchi from 26 to 28 July under the theme ‘Connecting North’. Scheduled to take place in parallel to the Kilinochchi International Trade Fair 2013, this exhibition which is jointly organised by the National Agri Business Council (NABC) more..

Discovery of World’s Mysteries: Documentary on Sri Lanka

July 26 (GDI) “Sekai Fushigi Hakken” a Japanese documentary titled “Discovery of the World’s Mysteries” on Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) Channel 6 telecast a special coverage on Sri Lanka at 21:00 hrs. on Saturday (13). The said programme was telecast on Prime Time, thus enabling a large viewership to watch the programme. The TBS is among the three of the most watched and viewed TV channels in Japan having a nationwide coverage. The 75-minute programme more..

EXIM Bank of India visits Northern railway projects

July 26 (FT) A team from the EXIM Bank of India visited the project sites of the 252 kilometre long Northern railway line, currently being executed by Ircon International, a subsidiary of Indian Railways. The Export-Import Bank of India is the premier export finance institution of India, set up in 1982 under the Export-Import Bank of India Act 1981. Since its incorporation, the EXIM Bank has been a catalyst and a key player in the more..

Heavy penalty for overstaying Lankan workers in Saudi

July 26 (CT) Sri Lankan migrant workers living in Saudi Arabia without work permits could face jail terms up to two years and a Rs 3 million penalty in the event they do not leave before the extended deadline issued by the Saudi Government expires. It is learnt that around 9,000 Sri Lankan workers, who do not have legal documents enabling them to live and work in Saudi Arabia, will have to leave the country before 3 November 2013. Deputy General Manager of SLBFE, Mangala Randeniya, more..

Nalin refutes Dayasiri’s claim, says will not join Govt.

July 26 (Island) The UNP’s new Kurunegala District MP Nalin Bandara rejected claims, by Dayasiri Jayasekera, that he too would be joining the govt. He said that Dayasiri had committed political suicide by jumping onto a sinking ship and he would not follow suit. "Dayasiri told me repeatedly that he had no intention of joining the govt. I do not know why he had to make such a statement, when the UPFA had assured him of a place on their list of candidates at the upcoming NWPC Election," more..

'Human-friendly' mosquito species discovered

July 26 (Island) A species of mosquito, new to Sri Lanka, has been identified by a team of Assistant Entomologists at the Medical Research Institute (MRI). Spokesman for the Health Ministry, Dharma Wanninayake, said that the new mosquito species, which largely resembled the Topomiya species, was known to breed with the dengue mosquito. He said that the larvae of the recently found species fed on those of dengue mosquitoes. more..

Appeal Court issues notice on UNP, Ranil et al

July 26 (Island) The Court of Appeal yesterday issued notice on the UNP, its leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, several members of the Executive Committee and members of the party’s Board of Inquiry. The notice, returnable on September 16, pertains to the petition filed by Attorneys-at-law and UNP Provincial Councilors Maithree Gunaratne and Shiral Lakthilake. They have complained that they were suspended from the UNP, consequent more..

Dayasiri’s exit time for introspection for UNP says Karu

July 26 (FT) Expressing deep regret about the fact that the UNP had lost one of its young politicians with a promising future, senior Opposition legislator and former deputy leader of the party Karu Jayasuriya called for a moment of introspection and self-evaluation yesterday. “He had the best possible future with the UNP,” Jayasuriya said referring to the defection of Kurunegala District MP Dayasiri Jayasekera to the Govt last afternoon. “There is no family bandyism in the UNP,” more..

I will lead Kurunegala UPFA list: Former CM

July 26 (DM) Former North-Western Province Chief Minister Atula Wijesinghe said on Thursday the UPFA had not proposed the name of the Chief Ministerial candidate for the upcoming provincial council elections and that he would be leading the team of Kurunegala district UPFA candidates. He said the provincial council election was not one held to elect a chief minister. He had convened the media conference to more..

BBS reassures Muslims

July 26 (Island) The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) has assured the Muslim that it was not formed to wage war against them. This assurance was given to the president’s advisor on religious affairs Abdul Moulana when he met BBS General Secretary Ven. Galabodawatte Gnanasara at the BBS headquarters yesterday. The BBS told Moulana that it was not responsible for anti-Muslim activities taking place in the country and some groups with vested interests were trying to tarnish its image. more..

No nominations from major parties on first day

July 26 (Island) The Elections Department yesterday began accepting nominations for the forthcoming elections to Northern, North-Western and Central Provincial Councils. Nomination papers will be accepted until 12 noon on August 01. However, the closing date for deposits of independent groups to contest the polls will end at 12 noon on July 31. Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya asked political parties to exercise caution to avoid mistakes in the nomination papers. more..

CoPA opens Pandora’s box on public accounts

July 26 (FT) Two days after COPE tabled an explosive report pointing to the precarious financial positions of some State owned enterprises, another Parliamentary oversight committee yesterday presented its very first report in three years, saying public accounts were not being audited in a timely or effective way. Presenting the Comm-ittee on Public Accounts (CoPA) report to the House, Deputy Finance Minister and more..

Find the cause, then the cure

July 26 (DM) The claim Dayasiri Jayasekara committed political hara-kiri by joining the govt appears to stem from most of the UNP members out of bitterness rather than expressing their honest worries about Dayasiri’s political future. However, as it appears to us, the real issue they should be concerned about is not Dayasiri’s political future but the political fate of the UNP. Dayasiri is the 65th UNP MP, under the leadership of Ranil Wickremesinghe, to join the govt. more..