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Sirisena prohibits taking cattle out of Polonnaruwa

July 3 (Island) Minister Maithripala Sirisena has prohibited the transport of cattle from the Polonnaruwa administrative district with immediate effect. A health ministry statement quoted Minister, who is also the General Secretary of the SLFP, as having said that Polonnaruwa Divisional Secretary Nimal Abeysiri and Senior DIG North Central Province, Ravi Wijegunawardena were told to take tangible measures in this regard, at the district development meeting held on Monday. more..

Fiscal deficit up 20% as revenue falls, expenditure rises

July 3 (FT) The report card of the Govt’s fiscal management so far appears to be under the weather with revenue and expenditure goals going off-track but the Treasury has expressed confidence in finishing the year with the originally announced Budget deficit of 5.8%. “Overall revenue performance continued to remain mixed,” the Finance Ministry said in the statutory Mid Year Fiscal Position Report released yesterday. more..

'North, East civil administration improving'

July 3 (DN) The standard of the civil administration service in the Northern and Eastern Provinces is improving, Minister W D J Seneviratne said. It was non-existent during the past three decades due to terrorism. The Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry provided a vital service to normalize the administration of these provinces during the past four years and today, that attempt has become a success with the dedication of the entire staff of the ministry and and those working in the more..

Beyond Sri Lanka’s Big Brother syndrome

July 3 (Hindu) Amidst the entire range of complexities that mark the situation in Sri Lanka one fact remains incontestable: President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his three brothers — Defence Secretary Gotabhaya, Basil, who controls politics and economic policies, and the soft-spoken Speaker of the Parliament, Chamal — are the arbiters of their country’s destiny. The institutions of democracy as provided for within Sri Lanka’s democratic constitution operate but neither the more..

Tharanga, Jayawardene cane India

July 3 (CI) "Can't seem to win a toss," Angelo Mathews said suggesting he can't catch a break nowadays when Sri Lanka were inserted on a track that has responded to West Indies quicks better than best of butlers. Four hours later, we had the first instance of an innings in a 50-over international ending with just one wicket down. Upul Tharanga and Mahela Jayawardene made a mockery of the teams' suspicion of the damp more..

Compensation for dead fishermen’s families

July 3 (DN) The families of fishermen who died in the recent storm will receive relief within the next two weeks, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. Arrangements are in place to pay Rs. 100,000 to the nearest relative of each dead or missing fishermen. The Fisheries Ministry allocated funds to pay the compensation with Cabinet approval. The govt allocated around Rs. 75 million to grant compensation and provide fishing trawlers and equipment in lieu of those fully damaged more..

Prof. arrested for sex abuse, blackmail

July 3 (Island) The CID has arrested a Sri Lankan Professor, attached to a University in Sweden, over alleged sexual abuse of young Lankan women and blackmail. The professor, who is currently on holiday in Sri Lanka, was arrested following a complaint made by one of his victims. He is alleged to have befriended young women via Skype and taken them to hotels, where he sexually abused them. The CID sleuths said that the professor, who had lived in Sweden, had been engaged in such crimes more..

'Smoke and mirror tricks will not succeed'

July 3 (FT) The UNP issued the following statement on the Moody’s rating downgrade and the outcome of the 2013 Mid-Year Fiscal Position Report. It comes as no surprise that the international investor community is losing confidence in Sri Lanka. To cut the outlook from ‘positive’ to ‘stable’ is a huge indictment on the govt’s current economic management and the validity of the purported development story in the coming years. more..

President returns from visits to Tanzania, Seychelles

July 3 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa returned to the island yesterday concluding a five day successful state visit to Tanzania and Seychelles. The twin state visits by President Rajapaksa is not only his first to Tanzania and Seychelles, but also the first by any Sri Lankan president. The visit was part of President Rajapaksa’s vision of further strengthening south-south cooperation. President Rajapaksa during his three day state visit to Tanzania held bilateral discussion with more..

TNA yet to decide on contesting, CM candidate

July 3 (CT) Leader of the TNA and the ITAK, R. Sampanthan, said though the ITAK's Jaffna Branch had made an announcement that they had chosen Jaffna District TNA MP, Mavai Senathiraja, as their Chief Ministerial candidate at the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) polls, the TNA is yet to decide on contesting the said polls or selecting the Chief Ministerial candidate. Citing issues vis-ŕ-vis the 13th Amendment, the TNA Chief said the Alliance had not taken a decision to contest the NPC polls, more..

'We should not listen to India on 13 A'

July 3 (DM) Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that Sri Lanka should not listen to India with regard to the implementation of the 13th Amendment as the national problem was inherently one that should be solved by Sri Lankans. “We should not listen to India on this; this doesn’t meant that we lose the relationship we have with India. But if there is a problem it should only be solved by Sri Lankans and not India,” he said. more..

CMC spends Rs 4.2 M on three-day seminar

July 3 (CT) The majority of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) members had decided to keep away from a seminar on Local Governance held for Councillors and officers of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), said to cost the local body a whooping Rs 4.2 million. Drivers, security guards and minor staff members were among those who had attended the seminar, and had wined and dined in the process, at public expense, the venue being a five star hotel in Bentota, CMC sources said. more..

With Indian assistance, Sri Lanka resettles war displaced

July 3 (KSA) The deadly conflict between Sri Lankan govt forces and the LTTE displaced Dushiyanthan Yalani and her immediate family. Yalani, her husband and their four-month-old returned to her hometown of Navaladi, Jaffna, in January 2011, after living in shelters and with relatives. Unable to afford a permanent house, they made do with a thatched-roof mud hut. But in July 2012, they became a beneficiary of the Indian govt's housing scheme. "We received a house," Yalani told more..

'Duminda shot himself, after shooting Bharatha'

July 3 (CT) In what appears to be a major twist in the trial on the killing of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and four others in Mulleriyawa, a Police Constable yesterday told the Colombo Magistrate's Court he heard some people saying they saw MP Duminda Silva shoot himself, after shooting Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra. Constable Damith Suranga read out from a statement he gave to the police during the more..

King Abdullah’s noble gesture greeted with delight, jubilation

July 3 (AN) Diplomatic mission officials here from Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Philippines responded to the extension of the grace period with delight and gratitude yesterday. There was widespread praise for Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for issuing the royal decree that will extend the amnesty to Nov. 3, 2013 — an effective four-month extension. Applauding the decision, Muhammad Naeem Khan, ambassador of Pakistan, said: “I would like to thank more..

'Substandard cooking gas released to market'

July 3 (Island) The UNP warned LP gas consumers in the country of the risk they would face due to the govt importing a substandard consignment of 1,116 MT of gas for distribution through Litro Gas Company. The rest of the LP gas consignment, amounting to 2,800 MT, that arrived in the country recently had been bought by the private company, Laugfs. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake claimed that the govt’s secret hand in the oil and gas Mafia had been exposed and asked more..

Canadian facing U.S. terrorism charges pleads guilty to aiding Tamil Tigers

July 3 (NP) A Canadian engineering graduate from Waterloo, Ont., pleaded guilty in New York Tuesday to being part of a terrorist procurement cell securing sophisticated military technology for the Tamil Tigers, including submarine and warship design software, and laundering money. Suresh Sriskandarajah, 32, known by the nickname Waterloo Suresh, used students as couriers to smuggle prohibited items into more..

Country should not go for devolution at this stage - SB

July 3 (DN) Minister S.B. Dissanayake while stressing that police and land powers should not be delegated to the Provincial Councils, yesterday stressed that time is not appropriate to go for a devolution of power at this stage. Speaking at a press conference, Dissanayake said though he was an ardent supporter of the devolution of power, it was not appropriate for such a move right now. The minister said the LTTE sowed the genesis of separatism among the Northern youths. more..

President orders measures to safeguard public from unprotected rail crossings

July 3 (FT) President Rajapaksa, who just returned to the country Tuesday morning after a five-day visit to Tanzania and Seychelles, convened a meeting at Temple Trees to discuss the public safety at unprotected rail crossings in the country. President instructed relevant officials to formulate a security system to set up gates at all unprotected railway crossings to prevent accidents. The President’s hurried meeting comes in the wake of eight deaths resulting from two separate collisions more..

KP, Thamilini, Daya Master apply for UPFA nominations

July 3 (DM) Former LTTE international fund raiser and weapons procurer Selvarasa Pathmanathan alias KP, former LTTE women’s wing leader Subramaniam Sivakamy alias Thamilini and former LTTE spokesman and propaganda wing leader Velayutham Dayanthi alias Daya Master have applied for UPFA nominations for the upcoming Northern Provincial Council elections to be held in September, Daily Mirror learns. more..

Editorial: Make a difference, make history

July 3 (DM) If real progress is to be achieved and sustained in any country, the govt in office must sincerely serve the people instead of the other way around. If the rulers with their cronies and stooges are enriching themselves with impunity by plundering the wealth and resources of the people, then what we see is the abuse of power by a tyrannical cult instead of a vibrant democracy where the rule of law prevails with good governance, accountability, transparency, more..

So- called economic growth and malnourished people

July 3 (DM) There was a time in the past when everybody had agreed on the concept of socialism. Even the JR regime which introduced the Open Market Economy to the country claimed to be committed to democratic socialism. The ethical sense that obviously prevailed in the past was a semblance of social equality. Even in the Open Market Economy the social welfare structure was essential. That was the logic in calling the society as democratic and socialist. more..

Authority Misused For Personal Gain

July 3 (SL) Upali Liyanage, Chairman Ceylon Fishery Harbours Corporation has come under severe criticism for recruiting his supporters to the Ceylon Fishery Harbours Corporation (CFHC) permanent carder and granting them promotions, salary increments and other allowances bypassing govt regulations since his appointment in January 2012. In addition to the recruitments, he is also accused of misusing corporation property more..

NSAIDs deadly for dengue-hit children

July 3 (ST) Common pain-relieving medications prescribed for children with fever are not only worsening the complications of Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF) but also resulting in death, warned a top dengue expert. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, mefenamic acid and diclofenac sodium can cause death in dengue patients, cautioned Consultant Paediatrician Dr. Lakkumar more..

‘13th Amendment is illegal’: We should neither please nor annoy India

July 3 (DM) While a hotly argued debate is taking place on the 13th Amendment, the Daily Mirror spoke to President’s Counsel and Constitutional lawyer, Manohara R. de Silva, who was also a member of the Expert Panel of the APRC and released a ‘minority report’ against the report produced by Tissa Vitharana Committee. Mr. de Silva, who is also a member of the Law Commission and Counsel of Legal Education argued that more..

'Govt. only provides tax relief for 1% of the population'

July 3 (AD) The govt provides tax relief for 1% of the population but the rest of the 99% only get over taxed, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe stated. He said that govt’s only answer to the rising costs for the working class was to increase electricity tariffs for users of above 60 units while he questioned as to who uses less that 60 units a month on electricity. Wickremasinghe stated that the Rajapaksha regime had more..

Need for better storm warnings in Sri Lanka

July 3 (IRIN) It has been nearly a month since Afthas Niflal almost lost his life at sea. The 22-year-old fisherman from the southern Sri Lankan town of Beruwala found himself caught up in 70km winds in the early morning of 8 June and was left clinging to his overturned boat before being rescued. 54 people, mostly fishermen, died in the storm and 6 were reported missing, according to the govt’s Disaster Management Centre (DMC). more..

Expelled German NGO in talks with TNA, TNPF, GTF

July 3 (Island) A German NGO expelled from Sri Lanka, at the height of the Vanni offensive, is pushing the TNA and the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) as well as the most influential Diaspora grouping, the UK based Global Tamil Forum (GTF) to adopt a common strategy on the national issue. TNPF headed by former MP Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam is a breakaway faction of the TNA. more..

China top Sri Lanka top lender up to April 2013, Japan follows

July 3 (LBO) China has given 165.28 million US dollars for projects financed in Sri Lanka in the first four month of 2013, though Japan has committed more new funding in the period, official data show. The World Bank has disbursed 95.7 million US dollars (0.84 million in grants) in the period, coming behind China, out of a total of 580.7 million US dollars, a fiscal report showed. Japan had disbursed 89.43 million US dollars more..

Sri Lanka tests bunker tank farm in Hambantota

July 3 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-run ports agency said it had begun testing a bunkering tank farm in at its newly built Hambantota port with a cargo of marine gas oil being unloaded. The tank farm has 08 tanks for marine fuel ranging from 3,000 cubic metres (two), 5,000 cubic metres (three) and 10,000 cubic metres (three). It also has one 3,000 cubic metre tank and two 10,000 cubic metre tanks to store aviation fuel. more..

'No to amending 13A at this juncture'

July 3 (Island) Democratic Party Leader General Sarath Fonseka yesterday urged the govt to hold the Northern Provincial Council election the way it had done in other provinces according to the present Constitution, instead of creating a race issue between the Tamils and Sinhalese by taking away certain powers from the PCs in the run-up to the NPC polls. He stressed that amending the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was more..

'Bring LTTE arms procurer KP to India'

July 3 (TOI) A former police officer, who was part of the special investigation team that probed the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, has moved the Madras high court for a direction to the Centre and the CBI to consider his representation seeking the extradition and interrogation of ex-LTTE leader Kumaran Padmanabhan alias KP. The PIL, filed by J Mohanraj said KP was close to LTTE leaders more..

On the periphery of a Failed State

July 3 (CT) Sri Lanka's decline seen through the lens of international standards seems obvious and inevitable. The economic optics reflects the 'real' situation as opposed to those that are vigorously and spuriously marketed by the Central Bank and its 'pundits.' Over the last few years, the Central Bank has been floating statistics for public consumption, which though implausibly sanguine on paper, have been a tough sell for the average man on the street, for whom reality is the skyrocketing COL more..

Rewriting our own notion of peace

July 3 (CT) Dear Friends, Thank you for giving me this opportunity to address tonight’s gathering. I cannot highlight enough the importance of this initiative which gives a platform to Sri Lankan youth from all around the country and mostly from all communities to express themselves and share their views on a much needed topic which is peace. Before I start, I shall introduce myself briefly to you so that you understand what might have or might not have influenced and shaped the more..

VIDEO: Children of those in power have no values or ethics - Sajith

July 3 (AD) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa stated that he will closely follow the action taken by Sri Lanka Cricket and the Ministry of Sports over the conduct of an A team cricketer who attempted to open the cabin door of a plane at 35,000ft. The cricketer was revealed to be Ramith Rambukwella, son of Minister Keheliya Rambukwella by the SLC which also stated that it will conduct an inquiry into the incident. MP stated that the whole country more..

Hotel Asia Exhibition opens today: Strong Lankan presence vies for lion’s share

July 3 (Island) The Hotel Asia Exhibition gets underway today in Male with a strong Sri Lankan presence that would be vying for a greater share of supplies to the Maldivian hotel industry, which was recovering from an economic downturn. The Economic Development Minister of the Maldives, Ahmed Mohammed, is scheduled to declare open the three-day event which would be held at the Dharubaarugge Exhibition Hall. The Culinary Challenge, which has been made a four-day more..

Service enhancement training for local healthcare professionals

July 3 (Island) The Singapore Temasek Foundation yesterday signed a MoU with the Sri Lankan govt to introduce a three-year training programme in collaboration with Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Health and the University of Colombo. The principal aim of the project was to enhance the quality of Healthcare Education at a national level through the training of local healthcare professionals, Governor of the Singapore International Foundation K. Kesavapany said, at the event held at more..

GTF non-committal on possible South African mediation role

July 3 (Island) The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) yesterday said that there was no point in talking about post-war foreign facilitation to resolve the national problem, as the Sri Lankan govt hadn’t done anything to promote national reconciliation. GTF spokesperson Suren Surendiran was responding to The Island query whether the GTF would welcome the South Africa mediating between the govt and the TNA/GTF more..

Rally for unity in Matara

July 3 (CG) Following the successful rally held at Greenpath in Colombo in April the “Rally for Unity” announced that it’s second rally will take place in Matara on Sunday. “Rally for Unity” is a movement formed to show that moderates are strong and united against hate and are committed to promote understanding about the strengths of diversity and unity. Given the recent spate of hate speech and the marginalization of minority communities in general, the voluntary movement of more..

JVP cannot decide on PSC participation – SF

July 3 (Island) The JVP could not decide whether or not to participate in the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to discuss constitutional amendments, without the consent of DNA as its MPs had been elected in 2010 under the trophy symbol of the DNA, Democratic Party Leader, General Sarath Fonseka said. However JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said recently that the JVP had decided not to participate in the PSC and would not name representatives from the party. more..