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Wildlife officer surrenders, remanded over shooting

July 29 (Island) Acting Magistrate for Anuradhapura Buwaneka Rajakaruna on Saturday remanded till July 31 a Field Assistant Officer, of the Wildlife Department, who surrendered to the Mahavilachchiya police after shooting a person at Elayapaththuwa in Anuradhapura. The suspect is Deepthi Kumara (37), a father of two, attached to the Wildlife Beat Office at Elayapaththuwa. The deceased has been identified as Ranjith Kumara (34) of Elayapaththuwa, Ihala Puliyankulama. more..

Sri Lanka credit to state contracts in May, private borrowing up

July 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka's loans to private business picked up in May as credit to both state enterprises and the central govt from bank dropped in May, official data showed. Credit to the central govt dropped to 845.7 billion rupees in May from 851.2 billion rupees a month earlier from rupee banking units of banks. Forex borrowings, which are also affected by valuation changes dropped to the equivalent of 138.1 billion rupees from 141.6 billion rupees. In the first four months of the year more..

Masked men launch hurtful Pork Attack on mosque in Mahiyangana

July 29 (SL) As crimes continue with impunity, attacks against mosques around the country have become more obscene and portentously fatal. The latest attack occurred in Mahiyangana on 18 July, when a mob of masked individuals attacked the Mahiyangana Masjidul Araba mosque while a group of Muslims prayed in the house of worship. The incident took place at 11.30 p.m. as the Muslims of Mahiyangana offered Ramadan prayers. more..

John, Vasu oppose STF targeting gem miners

July 29 (Island) Minister John Seneviratne yesterday said that the elite Special Task Force (STF) shouldn’t be deployed in the Ratnapura District to combat illegal gem mining operations. Ratnapura District MP Seneviratne was responding to a query on the ongoing protests against the deployment of the STF in the wake of death of an illegal miner during a recent raid led by police commandos. The minister said that the man drowned while trying to flee the area. more..

CEA gets air quality monitoring unit

July 29 (DN) The Motor Traffic Department granted a Mobile Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Unit to the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) last Thursday to keep a tab on atmospheric pollution. The financial provisions for the mobile unit was provided under the Vehicular Emission Test Trust Fund, and it was received by CEA Chairman Wimal Rubasinghe from Motor Traffic Commissioner General S. H. Harishchandra at a ceremony held with the patronage of Minister Susil more..

Fishermen want govt to provide life jackets

July 29 (SL) Fishermen want the govt to provide life jackets after the govt had announced that wearing life jackets will be made mandatory from next year. Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne announced that wearing life jackets and obtaining insurance cover has been made mandatory for all fishermen from January 1 next year. He said the decision was taken in order to ensure the safety and security of fisher folk and their families. more..

UNP deadlocked on CP selection

July 29 (DN) Strong opposition has emerged from among the Muslim community in the Central Province and the aspiring candidates from the UNP for the upcoming Central Provincial Council election over the decision of the UNP leadership to include Asad Sally in the UNP nominations list, reports from Kandy state. In the face of mounting opposition from the UNP's Muslim supporters to the inclusion of Asad Sally, it has become extremely difficult to finalise the UNP nomination list for polls more..

Police arrest eight women in gambling den

July 29 (Island) Ambalangoda police on Friday raided a gambling den in Seenigoda and arrested eight women. Police said that when they entered the place the women had taken to their heels, but women constables gave chase and arrested them. The arrested women’s husbands had complained to the police that their wives were stealing money from their wallets for gambling. "They have even neglected their children since they are addicted to gambling," police said. more..

Dream over for boat people back in Sri Lanka

July 29 (BBC) On a beach in the midday breeze fishermen stitch their nets and smoke, waiting for the wind and weather to turn favourable. But by night such beaches have witnessed something different: the departure of boats crammed with people seeking new lives in Australia. Since the civil war ended in 2009, thousands of Sri Lankans, especially Tamils, have fled the country from points around the coast. more..

Indian fishermen may visit Sri Lanka for talks

July 29 (Hindu) In an attempt to find a solution to the issue of Indian fishermen allegedly engaging in illegal fishing activity in Sri Lankan waters, a group of Indian fishermen may come to Sri Lanka later this week to hold talks with their counterparts. The fishermen, who are reportedly awaiting the Tamil Nadu govt’s clearance for the visit, are likely to travel to the north to meet fishermen in Jaffna, sources in the Sri Lankan govt said. They will also meet fishermen in the south, it is learnt. more..

New stamps on National Parks

July 29 (GDI) The Wildlife Conservation Department (WCD) in coordination with the Philatelic Bureau yesterday issued a new stamp series on national parks of Sri Lanka to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the declaration of protected areas. The series is made up of six stamps to the value of Rs 5, 15, 25, 30, 40 and 50 and three colourful souvenir sheets. The protected areas of the country was first declared in 1938. There are various types of National Protected Areas in the country more..

Govt clears Pillay’s air travel snag

July 29 (Island) The Sri Lankan govt has assured Abraham Mathai, Chief Security Advisor to UN High Commissioner Navi Pillay, that she could fly safely to any part of the country in fixed wing SLAF aircraft or in helicopters operated by Heli Tours an enterprise managed by the SLAF. The assurance had been given late last week in the wake of Mathai asserting that Pillai preferred to fly in privately managed local fixed wing aircraft. more..

Centre spares no steps to protect Lankan Tamils: Narayanasamy

July 29 (PTI) PM Manmohan Singh had assured Tamil Nadu govt that there was no change in the stand of the Centre on reconciliation and devolution of political powers to ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka, Union Minister PMO V Narayanasamy said today. He said the UPA govt was firm that there should be no dilution of the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution. 13th Amendment is part of the Indo-Lanka accord of 1987 which seeks to give more powers to the provinces. more..

Sri Lanka starts body to approve credit agencies

July 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka's industry and commerce ministry said it had appointed a four person body to approve credit agencies under powers of Sri Lanka's mortgage and trust receipt laws. Commercial minister Rishad Bathiudeen had appointed, Sujeewa Rajapaksa (President of ICASL), Anura Meddagoda (Attorney at Law) and VM Weerasinghe (Chief Accountant, Ministry of Industry & Commerce) as members of the ‘Board for the Approval of Credit Agencies’ (BACA) of Sri Lanka. more..

'I have no regrets'

July 29 (CT) Former UNP MP, Dayasiri Jayasekara, who quit Parliament and the UNP to contest the forthcoming NWPC election under the ruling coalition’s banner said, he had no regrets about leaving a political party that had no future. He said it was a misconception to believe only the Centre was capable of delivering and expressed a strong desire to work at the provincial level and did not rule out the possibility of more..

Three more UNP MPs to cross the divide

July 29 (CT) Political circles were agog with the news of three more UNP MPs being tipped to crossover to the govt, following the defection of former MP Dayasiri Jayasekera. Among three names being bandied about are, Puttalam District MP Palitha Range Bandara and Kurunegala District MP Asoka Abeysinghe. The latter is believed to be on the warpath with the UNP leadership over the appointment of Akila Viraj Kariyawasam as the UNP Kurunegala District Leader. more..

Sri Lanka Tourism downgrades 2013 arrivals forecast

July 29 (FT) The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority downgraded the forecasted arrivals for 2013, changing the original estimated figure of 1.25 million to 1.1 million. Speaking at the inauguration of the Hotel Show 2013, SLTDA Director General Dr. D.S. Jayaweera noted that given the arrivals during the first six months of the year (512,281 tourists), the country is likely to attract 1.1 million by end-December. “Tourist arrivals have increased drastically over the past four years,” more..

Tangalle PS Chairman, seven others to be indicted in HC

July 29 (Island) Tangalle PS Chairman Sampath Vidanapathirana and seven of his associates will be shortly indicted, in the High Court of Colombo, for the 2011 Christmas Eve killing of British national Khuram Shaikh (32) and rape of his partner, Victoria Aleksandrovna Tkacheva (23). Authoritative sources said that the suspects would be charged on ten counts including murder, attempted murder and unlawful assemble. more..

Days of the demons in Deraniyagala

July 29 (DM) The consequences of seriously damaging if not destroying the independence of judicial service and the breakdown of the rule of law are now seen in various parts of the country. The anarchy is likely to worsen when a furious campaign gets into full gear for provincial council elections. The lawlessness or the reign of terror by political thugs and goons has reached the proportions of a horror story for the people in the infamous Noori, a 1000 acre tea estate some 15 km from more..

Restoration of civic morals and professional ethics a critical need

July 29 (DM) What we witness today in this country is a steady erosion of the moral fabric of society. The pursuit of wealth, power and personal influence at any cost by self – seeking individuals has undermined the normative order; traditions, conventions, rule of law, moral values and ethical principles. It is not the first time that such moral crises emerged in human society as a result of rapid and profound social change. In fact, the famous French sociologist, Emile Durkheim had more..

Building national unity á la JVP

July 29 (SL) The continuous debate on the national question and attempts to find solutions to the issue throughout the past three decades has failed to build national unity in the country. The JVP that has refrained from participating in various attempts by successive govts to find “solutions”, last week released a set of proposals that the party states would address the national question in an effective manner. more..

Agro-chemicals : The silent killer in Sri Lanka

July 29 (DM) “Headlines in the NEW YORK TIMES in July 1962 captured the national sentiments…. silent spring is now noisy summer… In the few months between the New Yorkers serialization of “silent spring” in June and its publication in book form that September Rachel Carson’s alarm touched off a national debate on the use of chemical pesticides, the responsibility of science and limits of technological progress…” more..

Jaffna Challengers win first leg of Carlton Super Sevens

July 29 (UR7) Jaffna Challengers, led by Sajith Saranga and coached by Kenya supremo Mike Friday emerged champions of Carlton Super Sevens 2013 international rugby tournament first leg, beating North Western Blacks by 22 points (one goal and three tries) to 17 points (one goal and two tries) in the final worked off at the spectacular Galle International Cricket Stadium yesterday. Jaffna Challengers had 24 total points while more..

Matale mass grave Commission of Inquiry shifts from BMICH to JRJ Centre

July 29 (ST) The venue for the sittings of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry appointed to probe the Matale mass graves will no longer be the BMICH, but is to be shifted to the J.R. Jayawardene Centre in Colombo. Attempts to secure a room at the BMICH were thwarted after it was brought to the attention of the Commissioners that the venue is being prepared for November’s CHGOM in Colombo, Sunday times learns. more..

Seeking asylum, finding tragedy: How one mother lost her son chasing a better life

July 29 (HS) She was sold a cruel lie by the people smugglers. She would be travelling on a luxury ocean liner from Indonesia to Australia. They showed her photos of the ship that would transport her, her beautiful son and her brother to their new life in Australia. It was a superb vessel, with three storeys of cabins. "I believed them," she says. She had dreamed of nothing else but being with her husband, who had escaped to more..

Surgeons stop operations at SJ hospital

July 29 (Island) A row between nurses and surgeons at the Sri Jayawardenapura hospital has resulted in the suspension of all surgical operations. A consultant heart surgeon said that heart surgeries had been stopped due to a serious lapse on the part of the hospital adminstration. A nurse in the surgical ward had given wrong information to many patients that doctors were prescribing unnecessary medications and tests. more..

SEC, CSE in Rs. 40 m joint marketing move to woo more local investors

July 29 (FT) The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) are to roll out a joint marketing initiative worth Rs. 40 million to woo more local investors to capital market. Initial details of the joint effort were disclosed by SEC Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa last week during a meeting with brokers and unit trusts as part of his regular consultation with industry stakeholders. more..

Sajith claims he suffered much more than Dayasiri, but won’t quit

July 29 (Island) Close on the heels of UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera’s cross over to the SLFP, UNP MP Sajith Premadasa has launched a scathing attack on the party’s leadership. He alleged that the party leadership had unfairly treated him on many occasions. Stressing that he did not approve of Jayasekera’s move, the MP said that all his efforts to remedy the situation had been in vain. more..

More funds for Mattala

July 29 (CT) Minister Priyankara Jayaratne, is seeking Cabinet approval to obtain an additional loan from EXIM Bank, China, consequent to which a contract to extend the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA), would be signed. He has forwarded the memorandum to Cabinet, as some areas need to be extended at the MRIA, taking into consideration the increase in the price of building and other material. more..

Notice issued to Shirani Bandaranayake

July 29 (CT) The Colombo Magistrate Court today issued notice to former Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake to appear in Court on 16 September, in regard to a case filed by the Bribery Commission regarding her assets. The former Chief Justice, who was removed from her post after a widely condemned impeachment process, is facing charges of non declaration of assets in her annual declaration. more..

North-South and South-South politics

July 29 (Island) Sri Lanka’s post-war transition has resumed. That transition which was blocked by the neoconservative ‘national security’ fundamentalism has unfrozen with the imminent holding of the Northern Provincial Council election under the 13th amendment as it stands. If I may immediately qualify that statement, Sri Lanka is undergoing at least two transitions or a transition with two opposite tendencies, which are in a race with each other. One is that towards normalcy and more..

Role of Muslims in nurturing national unity

July 29 (CT) An important part of the Medina society were recognized as a distinct, autonomous Respected religious leaders, distinguished guests and everyone present for this National Conference today, first let me greet you all by saying Assalamu Alaikum, Ayubowan, Wannakam and Good Evening. It is indeed my pleasure to be at this august assembly and share some thoughts with you on the role of Religion in reconciliation from a Muslim perspective. Distinguished Guests, I think we more..

Ranaviru Real Star - III concludes

July 29 (MoD) grand finale of the world's only reality TV show of Armed Forces, "Ranaviru Real Star - III" was staged at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium on 27th July evening. President Mahinda Rajapaksa accompanied by the First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa, graced the event as the Chief Guest. The widely popular "Ranaviru Real Star" is a brain child of the Secretary, Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa more..

Sri Lanka stocks close flat

July 29 (LBO) Stocks closed flat Monday with activity seen in the large cap stocks and some banking stocks. The benchmark Colombo All Share Index closed 05.15 points higher at 6,056.92 and the S&P SL 20 Index closed 02.10 points lower at 3,425.77 up 0.06%. Turnover was 451 million rupees up from 403 million Friday. Foreigners brought 264 million rupees worth shares while selling 210 million rupees of shares, in a day that 57 stocks advanced and 118 stocks declined. more..

Elilan’s wife confirmed for polls

July 29 (CG) The wife of former LTTE Trincomalee District political head Elilan, has been included in the list of candidates by the TNA for the NPC elections. The TNA confirmed its list for the Jaffna District in the Northern elections and Mrs Elilan, real name Ananthi Sasitharan, has been included in the list. The TNA Jaffna candidates for the elections signed their nomination papers today. The TNA is expected to hand in its nomination papers for the Northern polls tomorrow. more..

Japan to boost Lankan ties

July 29 (CG) Japan and Sri Lanka today discussed developing new ways of further strengthening economic ties between both countries, the President’s office said. Japan’s Minister of Internal Affairs and Communication Yoshitaka Shindo called on President Rajapaksa at the President’s House this morning. The discussion focused on existing collaborations between the two countries while also developing more..

Minister’s son accuses PS head of ramming his vehicle

July 29 (Island) Even before the handing over of UPFA nominations, intra-party conflicts in the govt camp have begun to flare up. Yesterday, former Central Provincial Council member, from the Matale, Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon, son of Minister Janaka Bandara, complained to the Naula police that Laggala PS Chairman Tilak Bandara’s vehicle had rammed his. Bandara has also sought nominations to contest PC polls. The police took the PS Chairman’s driver to hospital as more..

Now, 160,000 sleeping tablets allegedly mixed with toddy ian Madampe

July 29 (Island) Acting on information elicited from a man from Kosgama arrested with 200,000 diazepam (sleeping) tablets in his possession, a Health Ministry team, led Senior Food and Drug Control Inspector Amith Perera, visited Madampe raided a today producing facility where 160,000 diazepam tablets are believed to have been mixed with the brew. The team had obtained samples of toddy to be tested by the National Drug Quality Assurance and the Govt Analyst. more..

Basil awards pension rights to Co-op employees

July 29 (MED) Organised groups sabotaged moves to introduce to the private sector and self-employed persons pension schemes similar to those which benefit employees of govt departments and some banks, according to Minister Basil Rajapaksa. As result private sector employees today get no old-age benefit except what they get from the Employees Provident Fund which was introduced when S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike more..

Sri Lankan gets 10-year jail term in heroin case

July 29 (TOI) A Sri Lankan national, arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) sleuths in 2006 after he was found in possession of 2.7kg heroin, has been found guilty and sentenced to 10-year jail term. V Ramamoorthy, III additional special judge for NDPS cases here, imposed the jail term besides a fine of Rs 1 lakh saying the NCB had proved the case beyond all reasonable doubt. N Sivananthan of Sri Lanka was intercepted when he was about to board a flight to Colombo more..