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Dons without pension need pay hike – FUTA

July 27 (Island) The Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) has requested that teachers be given a pay hike as they were not entitled to a pension. FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri said yesterday that even the Chairperson of the University Grants Commission (UGC) Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama had agreed that university teachers should be given a pay hike as they were not entitled to pensions. more..

PAFFREL calls for C’wealth observers

July 27 (Island) The PAFFREL has written to the Elections Commissioner, Mahinda Deshapriya, requesting him to invite Commonwealth Observers to monitor the upcoming PC Elections. PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchie said that the preference was to establish an Asian standard, but they were not averse to inviting Commonwealth monitors as well. "We are awaiting a response from the Elections Commissioner," more..

Sanga Court to be setup

July 27 (CG) Chief Justice Mohan Peiris says a special ‘Sanga Court’ is to be setup for Buddhist monks to appear over any case involving them. Speaking at an event in Kandy, the CJ said that there is a concentration of cases in Kandy, Anuradhapura and Galle involving monks. He says monks will be required to appear at a ‘Sanga Court’ where the proceedings will be completed within days and not postponed like other court proceedings. more..

Docs, nurses clash, crippling Kandy hospital

July 27 (Island) Doctors and nurses clashed over a room once again at the Kandy General Hospital (KGH) yesterday and the former struck work in protest. The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) warned doctors would resort to further trade union action after a special meeting to be held at 8.00 am today (27) unless the Health Ministry conducted an inquiry into what it called nurses’ high-handed acts. more..

Human Rights Commission receives 209 complaints of police harassment

July 27 (CT) The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has received 209 complaints of police harassment from the public. Commissioner, Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa, said more than 200 complaints have been lodged since 1 January. The Commissioner assured the complaints are being investigated, with the relevant parties being summoned to the HRCSL. The investigations are being conducted under the authority more..

New Australian migration policy to block Sri Lankan boat people

July 27 (Xinhua) Hundreds of Sri Lankan asylum seekers will be deeply affected by a new Australian migration policy, which bans settlement in that country and aims to smash local people smuggling cartels but has come under fire from the UN. Landmark changes in Australia's migration policy were inked in law by new Prime Minister Kevin Rudd ending hundreds of Sri Lankans hopes of settling there. more..

That Man Ranil

July 27 (CT) It is now the fashion and trend when one finishes cursing the Rajapaksas’ to turn on the leader of the opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe. He is useless they say, ineffectual, has overstayed his welcome, has doubtful sexual preferences, has no children, takes advice only from his friends, you name it Ranil is it. Has anyone stopped to think of the alternative? Let’s assume the mantle was given to Karu Jayasuriya. He has gone over to the opposition held office as a more..

People, not politicos, the real clowns

July 27 (CT) UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara's pole vaulting into the govt, surely, waned an already depleted Opposition. However, Jayasekara was only following the footsteps of dozens other UNP MPs, who much earlier, thought the grass is greener on the other side, cleared the fence and had their acts of perfidy rewarded by the govt with ministerial portfolios. Sri Lanka's political opposition is in shambles thanks to them. However, their actions are only symptomatic of a greater ill more..

Lakbima Cartoon

Sri Lanka’s Black July: What really happened at Kanatte?

July 27 (CT) As indicated above, there are different versions and impressions about what happened at Kanatte on the 24th evening. We give below crucial pieces of testimony, which help to fill some glaring gaps. The first is an eyewitness account by a responsible member of the Ceylon Mercantile Union and is extracted from a statement issued by the General Secretary, dated 23rd August 1983: “According to our member’s statement, he had first gone to the funeral parlour of A.F. Raymond more..

Gang aborts foetus of 6-month pregnant woman

July 27 (E24|7) A group of people allegedly forced a pregnant woman to go through an abortion after breaking into her house in Sri Lanka. Agalawatte police are investigating the case. The 30-year-old woman, residing in Haldopola area in Agalawatte, was six months pregnant. According to the complaint lodged at the Agalawatte police, a four-member gang, including a woman, forcefully entered her house and had commenced the abortion. Police said that the suspects left a note more..

'Govt buying out UNP MPs to uplift its waning popularity'

July 27 (AD) The govt has become bankrupt to such an extent that it has to spend millions of rupees to purchase MPs and carry out election campaigns, UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said today. If the govt can win by popularity, why is it poaching for UNP MPs for its election campaign, he inquired. “Does this not clearly show the bankruptcy of the govt?” He also charged that the govt is attempting to mentally hinder more..

Sanjaya wins Para World Athletics medal

July 27 (Island) Paralympic medalist Pradeep Sanjaya, who was denied the opportunity for his coach to accompany him for the World Championship, won the bronze medal in the men’s T46 400 metres at the Para World Athletics Championship in Lyon, France, yesterday. Sanjaya clocked 50.03 seconds, which was below his personal best, to be placed third behind Matzinger Gunther (gold) of Austria and Calderon Ettiam (silver) of Cuba. more..

Lankans escape detention

July 27 (CG) Three Sri Lankans have escaped from a detention center in Sukabumi, Indonesia. The three Sri Lankans and three Iranians were reported missing when a head count was done on the number of immigrants at the center. Berita Satu news reported that there were initially 66 illegal immigrants at the location at Selabintana Road, Falkirk village in Sukabumi District but now there are 60. Chief of Enforcement officer at the Sub Sukabumi Immigration Office, more..

Expedite supply of treated water renal disease areas - President

July 27 (GDI) Prompt action to speed up the ongoing purified water supply projects in areas where renal diseases are rampant is to be taken up by govt officials of the Ministry of Water Supply and Drainage. This follows instructions given by President Rajapaksa to the officials of the Ministry of Water Supply and Drainage. President gave these instructions when he participated in the progress review meeting of the Ministry yesterday. more..

President congratulates new President of Libya

July 27 (GDI) President Rajapaksa has extended his congratulatory wishes to the new President of Libya Nouri Ali Busahmin. Nouri Ali Busahmin was elected President of the Libyan General National Congress in a runoff election last month. "Your Excellency's election as the President of Libya bears testimony to the confidence that the members of the General National Congress have placed in you in guiding the tasks during the period of transition and bringing stability to Libya," President Rajapaksa wrote. more..

Farm an illicit slaughterhouse

July 27 (Island) The Colombo Crimes Division on Wednesday arrested three men for running an illicit slaughter house, at Orugodawatta, under the disguise of a farm. The police found 154 animals being readied for slaughter. The suspects had been running the illegal slaughterhouse with a license for rearing animals. They had also deceived many animal donors who wished to save the lives of animals by selling cattle and calves to them at exorbitant prices by claiming that more..

Fishermen reject Indian solution

July 27 (CG) Fishermen in Jaffna have rejected any solution formulated by India in order to resolve the issues faced between Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen as a result of Indian fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters. The National Fisheries Solidarity Movement said that only a solution formulated following talks between India and Sri Lanka can be accepted and not one drafted by India alone. more..

SB accuses GMOA of sinister motive

July 27 (Island) Minister SB Dissanayake told Parliament that the GMOA was opposed to allied health science degrees awarded by the Peradeniya University. The Minister was responding to a query raised by UNP MP Ajith P. Perera, who asked what action the govt, which had executive powers and a two thirds majority in Parliament, could do to prevent it. The Minister said: "We have tried several times. But none of those efforts worked. Finally, the issue went before the Supreme Court. more..

Letter to the Minister of Health

July 27 (CT) Dear Minister. As you know very well, Sri Lanka has been and still hailed as a middle income country with an impressive heath system which has produced remarkable achievements in our human development indicators. Nonetheless, I wish to bring to your notice my personal experience in two govt hospitals in Kurunegala to argue that our health system is now increasing failing and leaves much room for improvement. My father’s brother, now aged around 75, was admitted to more..

De Villiers lauds team's character under pressure

July 27 (CI) There were moments in the third ODI that bore the hallmarks of a classic South Africa meltdown, but after the match the captain AB de Villiers lauded his side's strength under pressure, as they withstood a Thisara Perera onslaught to defeat Sri Lanka by 56 runs. South Africa had almost sewn the match up after 32 overs, having reduced Sri Lanka to 94 for 7, with 130 more to get at 7.22 an over. more..

Lanka’s Access Engineering awarded contract in Papua New Guinea port project

July 27 (Island) Access Engineering PLC was successful in being awarded the contract for environmental monitoring and related work for the Port Lae Tidal Basin Phase I development project in Papua New Guinea. The main contractor for this ADB funded US$ 275 million project is M/s. China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd and construction work has already commenced in this respect. The Project includes the construction of a Tidal Basin (700 m long and 400 m wide) more..

Urban development: Where the World Bank leads, Sri Lanka follows

July 27 (CT) Contrary to the claims of the present regime, its urban development agenda is neither autonomous nor a product of indigenous thinking, rather it follows the well trodden though hazardous path carved out by powerful global financial interests and institutions. In this article, we look at two World Bank reports -Turning Sri Lanka’s Urban Vision into Policy and Action (2012) and Sri Lanka: Reshaping Economic Geography Connecting People to Prosperity (2010)-to underline how the more..

India accounts for 62% of Sri Lanka port's transshipment

July 27 (ENS) Cargo to and from India accounts for 62% of Colombo port’s transshipment business, according to Priyath Bandu Wickrama, chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA). At present, Colombo is handling 16% of India’s transshipment of 10 million TEU, but it hopes to increase it to 23%, given the port’s expansion plans, he told foreign correspondents stationed here. The new port coming up on the southern side more..

British MPs tour South

July 27 (Island) The British Parliamentary delegation, currently in Sri Lanka, toured the Southern Province on Thursday. The delegates visited a number of projects in Hambantota, Matara and Galle, it said. The following is the full statement: "Amongst the many positive developments that the delegation saw in the South were two UK funded projects. In Matara, they learnt about efforts to improve community policing, supported by the British High Commission. more..

Garbage posing a big challenge

July 27 (Island) Solving the garbage problem remained a big challenge and as far as the local government authorities were concerned, Local Government and Provincial Councils Ministry Secretary R. A. A. K. Ranawake said, noting a that lackadaisical attitude would only make the situation worse. "If the local communities do not find a solution for the country’s garbage issue, we will run out of land to dump the waste and will soon be walking on streets full of garbage." more..

Khuram Shaikh death: Sri Lanka ministers 'apologise'

July 27 (BBC) Senior members of the Sri Lankan govt have apologised for the death of a Rochdale man in the country in 2011, the town's MP has said. Khuram Shaikh, 32, from Milnrow was shot and stabbed on Christmas Day 2011. Eight people, including a Sri Lankan politician, were arrested and bailed in November. They all denied the charges. Simon Danczuk, who has been visiting the country said he had meetings with a "number of more..

Rochdale MP sparks off diplomatic dispute in Sri Lanka over murder probe remarks

July 27 (MEN) Rochdale's MP has found himself at the centre of an international diplomatic row with Sri Lanka's govt. Simon Danczuk, who is currently in the island nation on Parliamentary business, irked the country's leaders when he told a British newspaper that he planned to confront the president over the alleged cover-up of a murdered Milnrow aid worker. The country's Ministry of External Affairs issued a terse statement saying it was 'inappropriate' for for Mr Danczuk to reveal what issues he more..

SLMC President avoids Superiors’ Committee

July 27 (SM) Even though SLMC President MP Bashir Segu Dawood was summoned before Superiors’ Committee Gathering last night, in order to inquire regarding the statement made by him on totting up with the govt for Provincial Council elections, he has not attended the meeting. An inquiry was to be made regarding the statement made by MP Segu Dawood indicating that the SLMC can only win the Northern provincial council election if they ally with the govt, therefore more..

ICCWC deploys a Wildlife Incident Support Team (WIST) to Sri Lanka

July 27 (Cites) In response to the need to take new approaches to combat the illegal trade more effectively, the International Consortium on Combatting Wildlife Crime (ICCWC), at the request of Sri Lanka, deployed its first Wildlife Incident Support Teams (WIST). The WIST was aimed at collecting DNA samples from 359 elephant tusks that were seized by Sri Lanka Customs authorities in the port of Colombo and more..

UNP plunges into deeper crisis

July 28 (SO) The UNP suffered another crucial blow last week with the crossover of MP Dayasiri Jayasekera. Jayasekera resigned from the UNP on Wednesday and made a special statement in Parliament before joining the SLFP, the main constituent party of the ruling UPFA. He will contest the forthcoming North Western Provincial Council elections on the UPFA ticket. He said that he would do his utmost to ensure a resounding victory for the Govt in the North Western Province. more..

Whither Sri Lankan Democracy?

July 28 (SL) The excitement caused last week by the resignation of UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera was disproportionate to the political significance given to it by newspaper headlines. Jayasekera, barely 10 years in politics, had not demonstrated his political prowess as yet although some media persons have attributed a promising organisational ability. He had been a co-ordinating secretary to his former university law professor G.L. Peiris in 2001 when Peiris was a minister in Chandrika more..

'Cracks imminent in TNA after PC polls'

July 28 (SO) Sugar Industries Minister Lakshman Senewiratne, an eloquent Sinhala speaker could true to form fulminate his opponents in the political arena with a few sharp words. Similarly his mild words could thaw the bitter broadsides of his critics. The Minister in an interview said if the people in the North are fair they will vote for the Govt at the forthcoming Northern Provincial Council election. more..

Those other Black Julys

July 28 (NS) Last week The Nation commented on the events of July 1983, referring, inter alia, to the context and how it helped shape the larger tragedy that unfolded. July 1983, referred to as ‘Black July’ has been politicized to the point where the victims have receded into a statistical figure, a rhetorician’s convenience to be debated about, to be manipulated for political ends. Inevitable, one might say. It was black, that July. There were other Julys that followed, in many ways as more..

Rajapaksa govt trying to win battles while war looms

July 28 (SL) President Rajapaksa last week was back at his usual game in the local political arena – that is to create instability within the opposition ranks. These antics the Rajapaksa administration believes would help sustain its power in the long term. Soon after assuming office in November 2005, the Rajapaksa theory was to follow a divide and rule principle where measures were taken to strengthen the governing party by creating divisions within opposition political parties. more..

'UNP makes steady progress despite crossovers'

July 28 (SO) Political somersaults, crossovers and shifting allegiances had been recorded in all main political parties in the country. The first person to do so was none other than S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike in 1951. Since then and until July 24, 2013 with Dayasiri Jayasekera's crossing over there had been a surge of political somersaults for reasons best known only to the persons themselves. more..

The choice of leaders; not people

July 28 (ST) An Opposition MP defected to the Govt ranks on Wednesday in what was purportedly ‘news’ only because the widely expected ‘jump’ was strenuously denied all along by the young lawmaker. He said he was quitting his seat in Parliament to contest the forthcoming provincial elections on behalf of the ruling party, opting to be a small fish in a big pond rather than a big fish in a small pond. The move betrayed a sense of panic in the Govt camp if what the MP said is true; more..

Oh what a performance!

July 28 (ST) My Dear Dayasiri, I thought I must write to you after hearing that you have decided to leave the Greens and join Mahinda maama and his band of merry men to contest the next provincial council elections from the Wayamba region. I suppose this shouldn’t come as a great surprise because there had been speculation time and again that you would cross over in the last few years but when it did happen just before the provincial election, it came as somewhat of a shock. more..

'COPE happy with all-round improvements'

July 28 (SL) The Chairman of the COPE, Senior Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera in an interview spoke enthusiastically about the improvements by institutions with regard to the submission of annual reports, development of corporate plans and action plans. “In the first report there were issues with regard to the annual reports, where certain institutions were not sending us the annual reports for the past ten years. more..

UNP withers on the vine

July 28 (NS) The crossover of former UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara to the ruling UPFA to contest the upcoming provincial council elections made for interesting political drama this week.There had been much speculation about Jayasekara’s cross-over in recent weeks. However, the former Kurunegala District MP had assured his party colleagues even on the Tuesday that he will remain in the UNP. Thereafter, he announced his resignation and cross-over on Wednesday. more..