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Clear view of oncoming trains

July 29 (CT) All unauthorized structures and houses that prevent a clear view of a train approaching at unmanned railway crossings around the island, are to be removed, in a bid to reduce the number of deaths occurring at railway crossings. The Ministry of Transport has submitted a proposal to remove all buildings and structures that mar the view of approaching trains, immediately. The decision comes in the wake of a directive made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, to draw up a plan to more..

Noori villagers unravel 'Reign of Terror'

July 29 (DM) The villagers of Noori, Deraniyagala, showing strong protest against the incumbent Chief Minister of the Sabaragamuwa Province and senior Police top brass, alleged that Maheepala Herath together with the Police had continuously provided political patronage to the atrocities allegedly committed by former Deraniyagala PS Chairman Anil Champika Wijesinghe alias Atha Kota. more..

Pitch played on our minds - de Villiers

July 29 (CI) Hashim Amla's return to the batting order initially appeared to be the tonic South Africa required to build their first imposing total in the series, but after his departure in the 23rd over, the visitors embarked on a collapse both Amla and AB de Villiers marked as the defining period of the fourth ODI. Amla's 71-ball 77 had driven a brisk second-wicket stand that had taken South Africa to 110 for 1 after 20 overs, but South Africa succumbed to Sri Lanka's spinners, more..

UPFA confident of Dayasiri

July 29 (CG) The ruling UPFA is confident former UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera will add strength to the PC election campaign of the govt. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that Jayasekera had the support of the public in his electorate and that was shown when he garnered the most number of votes at the last General Elections from the Kurunegala District. “Dayasiri stepped down from parliament and is contesting for the provincial council after accepting the Mahinda Chinthanaya. more..

Sri Lanka hopes to move to budget deficit of 4% of GDP

July 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka is hoping to cut the budget deficit to 4% of gross domestic product and generate a 2% revenue surplus, Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundera said. Sri Lanka ran a 6.4% of gross domestic product overall deficit in the budget in 2012 and a 1.4% revenue deficit before capital spending. In 2013 the overall budget deficit is planned to be 5.8% of gross domestic product with 0.1% marginal revenue deficit. more..

Sri Lanka investments by Malaysia's Axiata top US$1.5bn

July 29 (LBO) Investments in Sri Lanka's by Dialog Axiata group, a unit of Malaysia's Axiata is reaching 1.5 billion US dollars with a 150 million US dollar network and fibre optic capacity. Dialog operates Sri Lanka's largest mobile network and also has fixed access and pay TV services. Dialog Axiata will invest 100 million and Dialog Broadband its fixed access unit will invest 50 million US dollars. Dialog Axiata is the largest foreign direct investor in Sri Lanka, minister Lakshman Yapa said. more..

Goonetileke bids farewell

July 29 (CG) Outgoing Chief of Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal WDRMJ Goonetileke paid a farewell call on Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa this afternoon. Air Chief Marshal Goonetileke was appointed the Chief of Defence Staff on 28th February 2011 on relinquishing Command of the Sri Lanka Air Force. He was the 12th Commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) and is the eldest son of the 5th Commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force, late Air Chief Marshal Harry Goonetileke. more..

Malaka hospitalized after clash

July 29 (DM) Son of Minister Mervin Silva, Malaka Silva has been admitted to the Nawaloka Hospital, after he was reportedly stabbed after a clash in the car park of Odel, a leading shopping mall in Colombo 7 Silva had received several blows to his head. He is currently being treated at the Intensive Care Unit of the Nawaloka Hospital. There is heavy police presence around the Odel car park with senior Police officials restricting more..

TNA hands over nominations

July 29 (CG) The TNA handed over its nomination papers for the Northern Provincial Council elections today. TNA Chief Ministerial candidate C.V. Wigneswaran and a TNA delegation handed over the nomination papers for the Jaffna district at the Jaffna District Secretariat. TNA General Secretary Mavai Senathirajah, TNA MP Suresh Premachandran and TNA MP M.A Sumanthiran were among those who accompanied Wigneswaran to hand over the nomination papers. more..

Malaka not serious says Mervyn

July 29 (CG) Minister Mervyn Silva says his son Malaka Silva is not serious following the attack at the Odel clothes store car park today. He said that a group of men had approached Malaka and asked him if he was Malaka Silva. When he said yes then the men had attempted to drag him towards a black Montero jeep. Malaka had resisted and he was assaulted by the gang after which he drove away from the scene. Minister Silva said that Malaka had contacted him following the incident and more..

TNA rejects Presidential Commission to probe war disappearances

July 29 (SL) The TNA has declined to accept the proposed Presidential Commission to investigate into the disappearances that took place in the war torn areas during the conflict period. Last Thursday President Rajapaksa has given instructions to Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunge to appoint a Presidential Commission to investigate into the disappearances in the north and the east during the conflict period. more..

Pepper turns bearish on Lankan offers

July 29 (Hindu) Pepper ruled nearly steady on Monday on selling pressure. Consequently, two of the active contracts ended marginally down, while the third contract moved up. Reports of Sri Lankan offers at competitive rates coupled with rumours of release of some part of the pepper locked up in the warehouses resulted in creating some bearish sentiments in the market. Added to this, is the sun shine today which the trade believe might help increase the arrivals pushing the prices more..

13A wasn't entirely India construct, Lanka played huge role in shaping it

July 29 (ENS) The India-Sri Lanka Accord, which was signed with high hopes on July 29, 1987, is now under threat. Its main feature, a system of devolution of power to the provinces currently enshrined in the 13th Amendment (13A) of the Lankan constitution, is on the chopping block. A govt-backed Sinhalese movement is seeking the abolition or the drastic pruning of 13A, thus threatening to nullify the Accord itself. The movement against 13A and the Accord is based on the belief that they were an Indian more..

Lankans protest against India's role in implementing 13A

July 29 (PTI) Sri Lankans today held protests against India's role in promoting power devolution for ethnic minority Tamils in provincial councils on the 26th anniversary of a crucial Indo-Lanka Accord. The Collective of National Organisations, made up of nationalistic groups, staged a sit-in for about 45 minutes in front of the Indian High Commission premises and urged India not to interfere in Lanka's internal affairs. more..

View from Ritigala - by Mahasona

July 30 (NS) Apparently it is not about color (green or blue), not about party (UNP or UPFA) and not even about leaders (Ranil or Mahinda); Dayasiri’s cross-over is about picking the more benign of dictators. One has a smile, the other can’t spell ‘smile’ and that, ladies and gentlemen, is what made the difference! According to Tissa Attanayake, there are several ministers who are planning to join the UNP. Theoretically possible. In fact, theoretically, the entire cabinet can cross over. more..

Fast in these fast times

July 30 (NS) We live in troubled times. We live in times where text is interpreted or rather misinterpreted to feed our prejudices. In this exercise not only is preferred text quoted out of context and selectively, but those texts belonging to other faiths are also picked for purposes of convenience, again out of context and selectively. For reasons defensible and not there is a tendency to focus on difference and claim not just uniqueness but superiority, moral or otherwise. more..

'Number of Army personnel reduced'

July 30 (SO) In November 2009, around 26,400 army personnel manned the entire Jaffna peninsula. Today the strength is reduced to 13,200 personnel. They are largely confane (HSZ) and even the HSZ has shrunk in size. It was earlier around13,680 acres in extent and by end November 2009 it reduced to around 6183 acres – almost to half. “In the past three and a half years, the number of army personnel deployed in the Jaffna more..

The perpetual conflict: Part 1

July 30 (GV) When I look back, I do not see the black smoke rising, or the cries of hapless countrymen, women and innocent children – victims turning into victimisers, turning into victims – caught in a cycle of violence that has persisted beyond living memory. Whatever I have seen of that time and moment of our flawed history; I have seen through the eyes of others. The picture has at times blurred with their tears and at times its intensity has been sharpened by the raw emotions that more..

Merry fiddling while the country burns

July 30 (ST) This week’s dire warning by the COPE that Sri Lanka’s public and state banking sector would collapse if loss-making public bodies are not made duly accountable deserves immediate and imperative public attention. COPE has called for the re-capitalization of the country’s national carrier as well as the gloriously unnecessary Mihin Lanka, (the sole purpose of which was to satisfy the egoistical whims of this administration), both of which have incurred gargantuan losses. more..

Expectations and disappointments

July 30 (CT) A six-member Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) delegation representing the UK Parliament visited Sri Lanka last week, on the invitation of the Sri Lankan Govt. However, they were disappointed that neither President nor Defence Secretary, could meet them. According the British High Commission, a meeting with the Defence Secretary was scheduled, but due to a ‘busy diary,’ more..

Understanding the Sinhala Buddhist doctrine of ‘Holding On’

July 30 (GV) Since the Buddha taught a doctrine of non-self it would not be too difficult to reject the rigid Sinhala Buddhist viewpoint of race and religion as self as a perversion of the true dharma. However setting up such a clash between the ideal and actual does not help; something the western oriented proponents of human rights have yet to learn. To say ‘I am right and you are wrong’ is not effective communication. There is NO ideal in this world where we are all fallible human beings. more..

Religion for Peace: A perspective from Hinduism

July 30 (CT) There are many reasons as to why people are drawn to a religious or spiritual way of life. Having faith in something bigger than us, can encourage strength in times of trial. Religion can provide us with a system for living. Religiousness makes every person to feel that we are together. In our heart we find godly peace and we might bring that peace to the world. As Dalai Lama said, “This is my simple religion, there is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophy, more..

Mathew and me !

July 30 (ST) Acclaimed film-maker Chandran Rutnam speaks to Kumudini Hettiarachchi on why he chose the controversial Vicarage double murder as his latest film. It was a scandal that rocked posh Cinnamon Gardens and shook the very foundations of the staid Anglican Church in Colombo. Behind the serene façade of St. Paul’s Church on busy Kynsey Road, murder most foul had been committed, making the agonized cry more..

By George, We too have Georges!

July 30 (SL) Despite our stout resistance to British occupation with the Kandyan Rebellion led by Keppetipola and other revolts by Puran Appu and all that, including recent outbursts against those British MPs making sly allegations against Sri Lanka (pressurised, influenced or even bribed) by the ‘Tamil Diaspora’ in London, there is yet a lingering interest in British royalty. Whilst trying to watch the rain affected Sri Lanka – South African ODI on cable TV, we were disturbed on more..

Black July: Api Suddha Kara – JR’s failure to declare curfew

July 30 (CT) Jayewardene’s failure to declare curfew thus appears in an appropriate setting. About 1.30 A.M. this same witness from the Left party saw the walls of TULF president M. Sivasithamparam’s house, which was on fire, collapsing to the ground. A little over a week later, this witness was placed under arrest along with other members of Left parties accused by the Govt of being responsible for the violence. From Jayewardene’s house fires could be seen in an arc stretching from more..

Boston Lanka: July 30, 2013

A political misère game?

July 30 (Island) The biggest mistake UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and his former deputy, Sajith Premadasa, have made is to underestimate each other. Time was when the UNP’s ginger group which threw in its lot with Sajith, thought ousting Ranil would be duck soup, so to speak. All their efforts to defeat him at party elections came a cropper and their ill-conceived siege of Sirikotha boomeranged on them in 2011. Ranil has stayed put, none the worse for wear. more..

Softlogic Rs. 500mn debt issue rated A-

July 30 (Island) Fitch Ratings Lanka has assigned Softlogic Holdings’s (SHL, A-(lka)/Stable) unsecured redeemable debentures a final National Long-Term rating of ‘A-(lka)’. SHL expects to list the debentures on the Colombo Stock Exchange, subject to regulatory approval. The assignment of the final rating follows the receipt of final documents conforming to information previously received. The final rating is at the same level as the expected rating assigned on 25 March 2013. more..

Sri Lanka’s newest beauty: E03-the Katunayake expressway

July 30 (ST) Entering Colombo after just landing at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) is set to get you in about 20 minutes to the city on the new expressway E03 scheduled for opening in September this year on a ride totaling 25.6km. The expressway is composed of 100 box culverts and about 40 bridges along with four inter changers at New Kelani Bridge, Peliyagoda, Ja-Ela and Katunayaka, Colombo more..

Dilshan disappointed at missing out Caribbean trip

July 31 (Island) The year 2013 has been the year of breakthrough for Tillekeratne Dilshan. The former captain will turn 37 this October, an age after which a long lean spell is not tolerated. A determined Dilshan has been in fact at his best this year with both bat and ball. In 16 ODIs this year, Dilshan has already scored three centuries and averages an impressive 62.72 and into the bargain has picked up eight wickets averaging 26.62, which is as good as the average of Lasith Malinga (25.09) more..

Mangala has tarnished Ranil's image – Harin

July 31 (CT) UNP MP Harin Fernando, cautioned Mangala Samaraweera, against completely 'tarnishing the image' of Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, and said it is difficult to 'market' the leader once again. He further said, "Since Mangala ruined it for Ranil, it is he who should rectify the damage." Sources said that on several occasions, Harin Fernando has had arguments with Mangala Samaraweera over the 'image tarnishing remarks' he had cast on Wickremesinghe. more..

Journalism Awards for Excellence today

July 31 (NS) The 14th edition of the Journalism Awards for Excellence program will culminate with the annual ‘Awards Night’ today, at the Mount Lavinia Hotel. A record number of 310 entries were received for the 2012 Awards. The event which was launched in 1999 by The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka and is now organized by The Guild in partnership with the Sri Lanka Press Institute is the biggest media awards program more..

'Recreating Lankan Civil war was a challenge'

July 31 (TOI) Incidentally, the idea of the film, starring John Abraham and Nargis Fakhri, struck Sircar even before he made Vicky Donor. "But the script required a certain maturity. Research was very essential, because we couldn't go wrong about the key aspects. That and scripting took two-three years," says he, about his 'thrilling, entertaining political thriller'. Fortunately for him, ample material was available on the internet, in books and media reports. more..

Angelo not keen on experiments?

July 31 (Island) Captain Angelo Mathews’ post-match media conference after Sri Lanka won the fourth ODI on Sunday to take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five match series suggested that he wasn’t too keen to experiment in the dead rubber in Colombo on Wednesday and instead wanted a 4-1 happy ending. "We haven’t taken a call on that as yet, but our main target is to win the next game and make it 4-1. We might do one or two changes, but we haven’t made a call on anything. more..

Video: '12 men attempted to abduct my son'

July 31 (DM) Minister Minister Mervyn Silva said 12 men had attempted to abduct his son Malaka this evening and that he was injured during the fracas at the ODEL car park in Town Hall. When asked by journalists about the injuries suffered by his son, he responded by saying, ‘Why? Are you a doctor?’ “I was at home when my son called me and said 12 unidentified men had assaulted him and that he had fought back. more..

The JMO report on Buddhini

July 31 (FT) The Judicial Medical Officer’s report regarding the questionable death of a five-year-old girl at a private hospital in Colombo had said a cardiac pathological reason for the cardiac arrest was not detected at the autopsy. The JMO report issued by Dr. D.M.N. Ruhul Haq further said that the reason for cardiac arrest has to be investigated medically and technically. However, a paediatrician at the hospital testifying at the inquest into the death of the five-year-old girl, Buddhini Ratnayake more..

SL delegation prepares for World Economic Forum 2013

July 31 (Island) The World Economic Forum which attracts the best talent in the contemporary world called the ‘new Champions’ to discuss the global issues, risks and strategies required by policy makers and business enterprise is to be staged from 11-13th Sept 2013 in Dalian, China. The inaugural meeting of the Sri Lankan delegation was chaired by the Deputy Minister Faizer Mustapha at the BOI auditorium. The 2013 theme at the WEF theme is "Meeting the Innovative Imperative" more..

JVP blasts Govt. over nomination for disgraced NWPC member’s nephew

July 31 (Island) The JVP flays the govt for giving nominations to disgraced ex-NWP councilor Ananda Sarath Kumara’s nephew to contest the North–Western Provincial Council elections. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said Ananda Sarath Kumara had resigned from the NWPC after being accused of having forced a lady teacher, at the Nawagaththegama Novodya School, to kneel down before him. Sarath Kumara’s nephew, more..

ITN journo forced out of hospital?

July 31 (CT) Journalist Rasika Dharshana Wijethilake from the Independent Television Network (ITN,) who was undergoing treatment at the Matale Hospital due to injuries sustained during a clash between the supporters of Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon and Thilak Bandara in Naula on 28 Sunday, had left the hospital in the face of political intimidation. CaFFE, in a statement said: It has been reported that both parties were travelling in vehicles with garage numbers. more..

Lanka leads in minimizing waste – Pavithra

July 31 (CT) Among the developing countries, Sri Lanka holds the leading position when it comes to minimizing the wastage that occurs during power transmission and distribution, the Minister of Power and Energy, Pavithradevi Wanniarachchi, claimed. She pointed out that in keeping with the Mahinda Chinthanaya Vision, it has been possible to maintain power and energy principles in a systematic and efficient manner. This, she said, is a significant achievement for the country. more..