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Air quality monitoring units due soon

July 30 (Island) The Department of Motor Traffic (DMT) will soon obtain the much-needed permanent Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Units which they plan to set up in Colombo and Kandy to monitor poisonous gases like Sulphur dioxide, Nitrogen oxide, Carbon monoxide, Ozone, Hydro carbon and other particulate matter in the air. Both units would cost more than Rs. 60 million. Though they had been due earlier, financial constraints had delayed shipping. However, the department was more..

Tsunami rehearsal in 14 coastal districts

July 30 (AD) A tsunami rehearsal will be held in 14 selected coastal districts of Sri Lanka at 3.00pm today, the Disaster Management Center (DMC) said. The DMC said the national level evacuation drill will cover 14 tsunami vulnerable districts namely; Gampaha, Colombo, Kalutara, Galle, Matara, Hambantota, Ampara, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Killinochchi, Jaffna, Mannar, Puttalam and Mullaitivu. Objectives of the exercise are to ascertain the preparedness levels, test the speed and more..

Mossies make Col. Uni.Registrar, Railway foreman pay the price

July 30 (Island) The Maligakanda Magistrate imposed a fine of Rs. 5,000 on the Senior Assistant Registrar of the Colombo University Management Faculty, for allowing mosquitoes to breed in the Faculty premises. The Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council (PHD CMC) said that in the cases taken up yesterday at the Maligakanda Court the Railway Yard Forman too had been fined Rs. 5,000. more..

President and First Lady congratulate Royal Family on birth of the Prince of Cambridge

July 30 (GDI) President Rajapaksa and First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa have congratulated the Royal Family on the birth of the Prince of Cambridge, the third heir to the throne. Writing to the Queen of England Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, President Rajapaksa extended the greetings on behalf of the Sri Lankan people on the birth of her great grandson Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge. “The birth of the Prince of Cambridge is undoubtedly significant for the Royal Family and more..

Video: Hakeem has made a deal to betray Muslims again - UNP

July 30 (AD) UNP WPC member Mujibur Rahman says Sri Lanka is slowly becoming a country in which no one has protection and that the police show no interest towards complaints from the public. We suspect whether the government is attempting to recreate clashes between racial groups and push the country in that direction, he told reporters in Colombo today. He said that in the past Muslim people had suffered the worst during the reign of the Portuguese, who had continuously more..

Ministers, secretaries should realize responsibilities -DEW

July 30 (Island) Most ministers and ministry secretaries do not take their responsibilities seriously until the COPE questions them on issues and accountability, a veteran politician said. COPE Chairman D.E.W. Gunasekera said that ministers and secretaries should realize that the entire burden of responsibility lies on them. He was addressing the inauguration of the International Conference on more..

'Built on the bedrock of honesty'

July 31 (NS) An interview with Senior Director Abans (PVT) Limited Pesi Pestonjee. Forty-five years ago, a husband and wife started a joint venture in Bambalapitiya to restore old electrical appliances to usable form. The company was named Abans and it grew into a household name over the years, thanks to the dedication shown by the duo Pesi and Aban Pestonjee. The Nation had the good fortune of interviewing Pesi (the husband) at the Abans (Pvt) Limited office at Kollupitiya, more..

COPE seeks muscle to cope with big cleanup

July 31 (NS) The report released this week by parliamentary watchdog, the COPE, is supposed to have rocked the Legislature to its very foundations. Indeed, its latest bombshell sent vibrations across the nation as it revealed the staggering extent of the losses as a result of the mismanagement, plunder and waste in many of these public entities. Parliament may have been rocked by the revelation, but experience seems to suggest that the ministers and their cohorts responsible for more..

A proud moment in Lanka-Russia ties

July 31 (SO) When Saman Weerasinghe first stepped on the soil of the then USSR, as a medical student, on a cold winter day nearly two decades ago, he never anticipated that, someday in future, he would be the proud recipient of the highest medal conferred on a foreigner by the Russian government for his role in fostering relations between his motherland and Russia. Now, almost 20-years since his first visit to Russia, more..

When the rod is spared

July 31 (Island) There is an apocryphal story that once upon a time a prisoner bit off his mother’s nose, when she visited him in jail, telling her that if she had brought him up properly, he would not have been condemned to the gallows. The moral of the story is that parents ruin their children’s lives by pandering to their whims and fancies. This doesn’t mean homes should be turned into prisons of sorts for children so as to prevent them from being sent to the state pens later in life. more..

What is India up to? - II

July 31 (Island) In a recent interview with a newspaper, Wignesvaran the Chief Ministerial candidate of the TNA, at the NPC elections has said, "If not for the support of the international community, particularly India, Sri Lanka could not have got rid of the LTTE so swiftly. So India, on its part although it was not done in the 80s, it was done in 2009 and therefore, I don’t believe it is a ground to set aside 13A, which takes root from the international agreement between India and Sri Lanka. more..

Pada Yatra: Love, devotion and humility

July 31 (ST) It is an hour before dawn and I find myself passing through paddy fields of eastern Sri Lanka as if on a boat drifting through the night. Shouts of ‘Haro Hara’ (‘Hallelujah‘) from onlookers wafting through the darkness are reminiscent of olden days when bystanders and loved ones alike wished the traveller bon voyage. Our ‘boat’ is not made of iron or timber although it is both sturdy and strong. more..

A time for moderation: Extremist Fonseka now seems the preserve of Gota

July 31 (DBS) The last couple of weeks have seen momentous changes. Basil Rajapaksa has been to Delhi and Shivshankar Menon to Colombo, reminding one of the very successful manner in which relations between the two countries were conducted during the conflict. Even before the visits, the President announced the long delayed elections to the Northern Provincial Council, a move that Basil Rajapaksa is reported to have described as ‘a big victory in democratization’. more..

Ettappans and Don Quixotes in Sri Lankan Tamil politics

July 31 (CT) One must despair about the destiny of the Tamils of Sri Lanka when one reads the words of a Ranawake, Wimalawansa or a Mahindapala or a Seneviratne, or a Peiris and Amerasekere and Gunasekere,or one or other of various Silvas and even Ratnajeevan Hoole—not to speak of the internet commentators of doubtful wisdom or insight. One must however feel a sense of despair too when one reads the outpourings of certain members of the overseas Tamil community with grandiose more..

'No regrets for attack on Rajiv'

July 31 (ENS) Vijitha Rohana Wijemuni, the Sri Lankan naval rating who tried to kill then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi here on July 30, 1987, a day after the India-Sri Lanka Accord was signed, is still unrepentant. “I am glad I did it. Because that was the only way I could make some protest against India for pushing us to sign the accord. I had to suffer a lot for it. But there is no regret over what I did,” Wijemuni (48) told more..

Sharia Law: Myths and Reality

July 31 (CT) The concept of ‘sharia law’ or ‘Islamic law’ is a widely discussed subject for centuries. Today this concept is being largely pre-conceived by academics as well as general public around the world. Hence the sharia law become defensive, passive, outdated and isolated (Ramadan, 2009). Misconception regarding sharia law illustrious among western nation, Muslim majority countries as well as locally in Sri Lanka, also it is not limited to non-Muslims but also for Muslim more..

'Young Sri Lankan Batsmen need to be persevered with'

July 31 (PP) A medium pacer and hard-hitting lower order batsman, the 28 year-old has taken over 150 wickets and made over 1,500 runs in international cricket. Originally selected for the senior team after impressing as captain of the Sri Lanka Under-19s, he was until 2012 a regular member of the Sri Lanka 50-over squad. Maharoof has represented Sri Lanka in most of the major international one-day tournaments they have been involved in from his initial selection in 2004. more..

Sri Lanka woos global firms for oil, gas exploration

July 31 (E&P) After the discovery of hydrocarbons in two offshore wells, Sri Lanka is wooing global companies to tap potential oil and gas resources in the island's west and north coast waters. “We are expecting good response from the global oil and gas companies for the second round bidding following the two discoveries in Mannar basin by Cairn,” said Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat (PRDS) director more..

Daya Master feels he's been 'back stabbed'

July 31 (CT) The names of several former bigwigs of the LTTE from the North, including its former head of the media unit, Daya Master, had come up as potential candidates of the UPFA for the NPC, following the govt's announcement to hold Provincial Council polls in September. Other names to surface as potential candidates were Subramaniam Sivagami alias Thamilini, the former political wing leader of the LTTE's women wing who was recently deemed 'rehabilitated' and 'integrated into more..

Chance for youngsters to shine

July 31 (CI) Wednesday's encounter could shape to be another meaningless dead rubber in a series already short on context, but Sri Lanka's selectors have stepped in to ratchet up interest, if only among the host nation's fans. Sri Lanka have named two uncapped players and a young opener to the 15-man squad and chosen to rest three top players. The match will now serve as a trial for the generation coming through, while the youngsters already embedded in the side now more..

Once banned for doping, athlete Eshan may return to sport as anti doping ambassador!

July 31 (Island) Kalutara Vidyalaya sprinter Himasha Eshan can return to competitive athletics next month after the authorities have slashed three months off his one year ban for doping, owing to his good conduct, and the athlete has pledged he would support the anti doping drive of the UNESCO after his return. The 18-year-old who is considered a future prospect has given his consent in writing to support the Institute of more..

Sri Lanka to gain from rising costs at Dubai, Singapore port cities, says expert

July 31 (Island) The Ministry of Finance and Planning has declared the ports at Colombo and Hambantota as Free Ports and the export processing zones at Katunayake, Koggala, and Mattala Rajapaksa International Air Port as bonded areas in a bid to attract more foreign direct investment. Rohan Masakorala, CEO Shippers’ Academy Colombo, said the decision to make Colombo and Hambantota Free Ports was a ‘very good move’. more..

Five TN fishermen injured in attack

July 31 (PTI) Five fishermen from this district were injured in a mid-sea attack allegedly by their counterparts in Sri Lanka off Kodiakarai coast today. Eight fishermen of Perumalpettai in the district ventured into the sea yesterday in two boats from Vedaranyam. When they were fishing a few knots off-Kodiakarai coast today morning, the Lankan fishermen arrived there in several boats and attacked them with sickles and stones. Five Indian fishermen received severe injuries more..

Opposition failing in its duty - Siripala

July 31 (Island) The UPFA govt was now burdened with the task of criticizing itself as the UNP and JVP had become weak and failed to carry out the duties expected of the Opposition, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said recently. He said that intra-party conflicts abounded within the UNP and the JVP. Therefore, the UPFA had to shoulder the burden of acting as the Opposition, while being the governing party. more..

Sri Lanka indicts eight suspects following release of ‘Brothers Shaikh’ film

July 31 (MB) On Monday we brought you the news that Stateless Media, a new film company based in Washington, had created a film about a man murdered in a Sri Lankan coastal town in 2011. Amid the crime, the man’s girlfriend was raped. At the time, the government imprisoned eight suspects, including a Sri Lankan politician, for 11 months and then released them. For a year and a half, the story stilled. The murdered man, Khuram Shaikh, was from Manchester, England. more..

Sleeping tablets scandal: CDDEA claims to have cancelled licence of pharmacy

July 31 (Island) The Cosmetic Devices and Drug Regulatory Authority (CDDEA) claimed that it had cancelled the license of a drug wholesaler, involved in the sleeping tablet scandal, Kosala Hewavitha, who owned a pharmacy in Pitakotte. The Investigating team of the Health Ministry had also found that nearly 160,000 diazepam tablets had been mixed with toddy. A toddy manufacturer in Madampe had mixed about 160,000 diazepam tablets with his ‘Golden Eagle’ toddy more..

JVP fields educated teams: Nominations to be handed over today and tomorrow

July 31 (Island) The JVP will hand over its nomination papers, to contest the forthcoming Provincial Council polls, today. In the Northern Province they have opted to delay the handing over of nominations in respect of the Mannar District by one more day. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said that they would hand over the nominations for the Mannar District on Aug 1. "The candidates selected to contest on the JVP ticket, under the Bell more..

Ravindu Gunawardena prevented from leaving the country

July 31 (FT) The Colombo Additional Magistrate yesterday issued an order on the Controller of the Immigration and Emigration preventing former DIG Vaas Gunawardena’s son Ravindu Gunawardena from leaving the country. Filing a motion before Colombo Additional Magistrate, the CID moved Court that an order be issued on the Controller of Immigration and Emigration to prevent Ravindu Gunawardena, a suspect wanted for the killing of businessman Shyam, more..

Zoo running out of space for new anacondas

July 31 (Island) The National Zoological Gardens, in Dehiwela, is unable to exhibit all 30 newly born Green anacondas due to lack of space in the exhibit enclosures and also due to ongoing repair work. Twenty of the 31 newly born anacondas would be transferred to exhibit cages from August, while the remaining 10 would be kept inside due to space constraints. This time only one reptile died at birth. Unlike on the previous three occasions they were confident that all remaining 30 would survive. more..

Sajith, Karu in special election committee

July 31 (DM) Although Sajith Premadasa and Karu Jayasuriya were omitted from the nomination board, the UNP had appointed them to a special committee set up to handle the party’s campaign for the PC elections. The committee members as announced by UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake comprise Ranil Wickremesinghe, Joseph Michael Perera, Gamini Jayawickrama Perera, Daya Gamage, John Amaratunga, more..

Inscription referring to Guru Nanak's visit to Sri Lanka in 1511 found

July 31 (TOI) Ashok Kainth, a Punjabi historian working in Sri Lanka, claimed that he, along with other researchers, had recovered a 16th century inscription having reference to Guru Nanak's visit to Sri Lanka in 1511. Kainth said 28 pieces of inscription excavated near Batticolla district of Sri Lanka, mentioned about talks between Guru Nanak and the then king of Lanka, Bikram Bahu VI. "The inscription is in Sanskrit, Tamil and Gurmukhi script, which was a mixture of Sharda and Takri more..

Ambassador Jayasinghe awarded the Oorder of the Star of Jerusalam

July 31 (AT) At a meeting held at the Presidential Palace in Ramallah in the State of Palestine on 25th July 2013 Dr. T. Jayasinghe, Ambassador for Sri Lanka in the State of Palestine was decorated by President Mahmoud Abbas with the "Order of the Star of Jerusalem". Order of the Star of Jerusalem is one of the highest levels of honors awarded to distinguish persons in recognition of the exemplary performance of functions while serving in Palestine or abroad. more..

Police investigating assault on Malaka

July 31 (DM) Police Headquarters noted that there is an ongoing investigation on the assault on Malaka Silva- son of Minister Mervyn Silva by twelve men even there is no complaint lodged by their party. The Colombo Crime Division (CCD) and the Cinnamon Garden police are investigating into the attack on Malaka. “When we receive ‘first hand information’ we go to the scene soon as possible and start our investigations,” more..

Vaas in vast conspiracy

July 31 (DN) Former DIG Vaas Gunawardena is reportedly attempting to obtain affidavits from several suspects in the Mohammed Siyam murder case while in prison, to the effect that the CID secured their confessions by misleading them. It is reported that Gunawardena is trying to collect affidavits from these suspects stating that the CID recorded statements from them under Section 127 of the Penal Code after an assurance from ASP Shani Abeysekera that they would be more..

Victor wins International Music award

July 31 (DN) Veteran Musician and Singer Victor Ratnayake has been honoured with the 8th ‘Citycell Channel I Music Award’ at the Citycell Channel I Awards Ceremony held in Chittagong, Bangladesh. This international music award is given to one selected music artiste from one country only once in a life time. The award was presented to him yesterday by Culture and the Arts Minister T B Ekanayake at a ceremony held at the Ministry auditorium. more..

Colombo, Hambantota declared 'free ports'

July 31 (CT) The govt yesterday declared the sea ports of Colombo and Hambantota as free ports, in a bid to woo mega investments while bolstering regional and international trade. "The declaration of the Ports of Colombo and Hambantota were in line with the Finance Act No. 12 of 2012, which specifies these as free port bonded areas. The Minister of Finance has issued regulations, effective 11 July 2013 under Gazette No. more..

Maverick Mervyn shuts down Hayleys Group export factory with 600 workers

July 31 (FT) Minister Mervyn Silva yesterday allegedly took when he walked into Hayleys Group’s Venigros Ltd in the Gampaha District and ordered its closure endangering 600 jobs and key supplies for exports, to the cheer of residents accusing the factory of a major pollution scandal. The factory which is part of Dipped Products Plc of Hayleys Group, was implicated in the alleged contamination of groundwater prompting the Chief Monk in Weliweriya to start a fast onto death more..

Female teacher who climbed Royal College roof to face music

July 31 (Island) Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena said disciplinary action would be taken against the female teacher who climbed onto the roof of the Royal College to protest against her transfer. He said that such teachers were not suitable for the state service. "That teacher has violated the norms of the public service and she must be punished for that," he said. The teacher had been transferred to a school less than one kilometer from the Royal College due to more..

Baird denies sending Sri Lanka Commonwealth summit RSVP

July 31 (CBC) Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird denied reports Tuesday that he has confirmed plans to attend the Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka. Two newspapers in Sri Lanka reported that Baird had sent his RSVP to be part of the Canadian delegation to this November's summit. "About 85% of the participants from 54 Commonwealth countries including Canadian FM John Baird have confirmed their attendance more..

Krrish deals: No formal complaint yet, anyone can submit – President

July 31 (FT) President Rajapaksa said that to date, there were no formal complaints regarding alleged deals within deals over the $ 450 million mixed development project Krrish. “Krrish hasn’t made any complaints nor have we got any from others. Those in the know can lodge a complaint or publicly name those involved,” President told a meeting with editors prior to breakfast in response to queries. He also said that Krrish has also issued a statement clarifying matters. more..