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My son is not alcoholic: Keheliya

July 3 (DM) While claiming that his son is not alcoholic, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella had said that he had sought the British Airways report to get his son's name cleared regarding the incident on a British Airways flight. He said, "I have sought the report from the airlines. As far as I know, there is nothing abnormal in the airlines report. My son is not alcoholic. Only to sensationalize the issue, the media has more..

Sri Lanka releases 49 Indian fishermen

July 3 (IANS) 49 Indian fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan navy June 5 have been released and will return home in a couple of days, the Tamil Nadu govt said. Tamil Nadu officials took up their issue with the Indian high commission in Colombo on the orders of Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, an official statement said. Sri Lankan authorities Tuesday released 24 fishermen and the others Wednesday. The Sri Lankan navy routinely arrests Indian fishermen, dominantly from TN, more..

Audio: Tamils have no security concerns

July 3 (CG) JHU MP and Minister Champika Ranawaka says Tamils in Sri Lanka have no security concerns in order for police powers to be given to the provinces. He said that of the Sri Lankan Tamil population some 60% of them are staying in the south. “The Tamils living in Wellawatte or Colombo will not get security by giving police powers to the North. They are living among the Sinhalese. So the Tamils have themselves proven there is no security concern for them,” more..

Stock exchange CEO to step down by Oct

July 3 (Reuters) The CEO of Sri Lanka's stock exchange has resigned on personal grounds, three officials said on Wednesday. Surekha Sellahewa's resignation comes months after allegations of stock manipulation and insider trading hit the market. "She handed over the resignation letter on July 1 to the Colombo Stock Exchange chairman and she will leave on Oct. 31," a stock exchange official said. more..

Sri Lanka stocks down 0.4%

July 3 (LBO) Stocks closed down 0.37% on Wednesday following gains of three straight days with losses in the diversified and consumer companies and some banking stocks. All Share Index closed 22.82 points higher at 6,117.97 and the S&P SL 20 Index closed 29.51 points higher at 3,433.00 down 0.85%. Turnover was 883 million rupees up from 472 million from a day earlier. Foreigners brought 267 million rupees worth shares while selling 250 million rupees in a day more..

India given 'reality check' - Kohli

July 3 (CI) Sri Lanka inflicted a number of unsightly statistical wounds on India during their bonus-point victory at Sabina Park, a performance Virat Kohli called a "reality check" for a team that had suffered two defeats in the Caribbean after winning the Champions Trophy in England. India's chances of making the tri-series final are now diminished, because they need to win both remaining matches and hope West Indies beat Sri Lanka to avoid needing a bonus point. more..

Open warrant issued against LTTE ‘pitch invader’

July 3 (DM) Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya today issued an open warrant to arrest Logeshwaran Manimaran who invaded the pitch at Cardiff Grounds in the UK carrying a ‘Tiger’ flag during the semifinals match on June 20, played between Sri Lanka and India. The Magistrate issued an open warrant to arrest the suspect Logeswaran Manimaran alias Mohamed Raji, a British Citizen residing in the UK, for more..

CAA raids in Jaffna unearth date expired milk supplement

July 3 (Island) The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) revealed that its flying squad had, during a raid in Jaffna last week, discovered that an outdated milk supplement, for patients with diabetes, was being sold. The spokesman for the Ministry of Co-operative and Internal Trade said that raids were carried out on pharmacies in the Jaffna District by a CAA flying squad following public complaints. A milk supplement named ‘Pro Malt’ had been found on the shelves of pharmacies. more..

'Everyone has to leave the Army someday'

July 3 (DM) Army Commander Jagath Jayasuriya, who is to retire from the Army on July 30, said soldiers had to leave the Army after serving the required number of years with no extensions given. The Commander made these comments when addressing his troops at Wanni Security Force Headquarters in Vavuniya yesterday. Thanking all of them for the cooperation extended to him in the past four years, he appealed them to support his next successor too to make the Army a better one, more..

TNA says PSC not credible

July 3 (CG) The TNA says the Parliament Select Committee appointed by the Speaker to make proposals on constitutional reforms, will have no credibility whatsoever as there are no opposition members of Parliament in the committee. TNA leader R. Sampanthan, said that the TNA resisted pressure to join the PSC to bring about constitutional reforms until a clear agenda for the Committee was set. more..

Sri Lanka income taxes collections up following lower rates

July 3 (LBO) Sri Lanka's income tax collection have risen sharply in the first few months of the year, despite a slowing economy after rates were brought down as part of tax reforms in 2011. The finance ministry said it reflected "a favourable consolidation of the impact of 2011 tax reforms which aims at lower rates and a broad base". Income tax had risen 14.2% to 62.2 billion rupees in the first four months of the year, and tax revenues from wage income (pay-as-you-earn) had risen 43.5% after more..

Video: Island-wide bus strike if decision is not taken regarding bus fares

July 3 (AD) Private bus operators will stage an island-wide strike sometime next week if the govt does not take a firm decision on the bus fare revision, President of the Private Bus Owners Association Gemunu Wijeratne stated. He also charged that the National Transport Commission had not taken any action regarding the fare revision. The PBOA is also planning on suing the NTC and the Transport Authority of four Provinces for its failure to adhere to protocol on revising more..

'Indo - Lanka Accord remains invalid'

July 3 (DM) The Indo-Lanka accord and the 13th Amendment remain annulled as India did not keep its side of the bargain which included the disarmament of the LTTE, JHU General Secretary Champika Ranawaka said. He made these remarks at a rally organised in Maharagama yesterday by the National Collective (Jathika Ekamuthuwa) which was a joint venture of the Jathika Sanga Sammelanaya (JSS) and more..

'Yours are the standards we look to'

July 3 (PG) In a world in which journalists are killed every week for no other reason than that they sought to report the truth, it is easy to become numbed to the slaughter. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists 25 journalists have been killed in Sri Lanka since 1992 and it has confirmed that 19 of these were killed because of their work. One of those victims, Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunge, is a name which has become famous around the world, more..

HRW goes Sinhalese

July 3 (CG) A leading international human rights group, Human Rights Watch (HRW), has launched a Sinhalese language website with content targeting readers in Sri Lanka. HRW which is headquartered in the US and has often been criticized by the Sri Lankan government over its statements on Sri Lanka, said that it hopes the Sinhalese website will help strengthen the human rights dialogue in Sri Lanka. “We are very excited to be able to share our work with Sinhala speakers and hope more..

Ex cop to probe Rambukwella

July 3 (CG) Retired SSP Lakshman de Silva who is the Manager of the Anti Corruption and Security unit of the Sri Lanka Cricket Board, has been assigned to conduct an inquiry into the mid-air incident involving Sri Lanka ‘A’ Team player Ramith Rambukwella. Sri Lanka Cricket says de Silva has been asked to submit a report within 7 days to the CEO of the cricket board Ashley De Silva. Ashley De Silva will then forward the more..

‘I will make music affordable to the masses’

July 4 (NS) Thameera Manju is a person who loves music and wishes to give people the opportunity to enjoy the work of artistes. Manju, who works as Assistant Manager Sports at News First, plans to conduct a musical show titled Vasanthaya Evidin (summer has arrived) next month. As many as nine budding artistes are expected to be featured in the show which will be held at Namel Malini Punchi Theatre in Borella on June 13 starting 6pm and love is what all of them will be singing about. more..

Sri Lanka: Winning the war but not the peace

July 4 (CT) The 30-year-old ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, an essentially Sinhalese majoritarian preserve, and the uncompromising and relentlessly violent Tamil leadership claiming a separate state, Tamil Eelam, on behalf of the Tamil minority of north and east, culminated with a comprehensive military defeat of the Tamil Tigers at the hands of the Sri Lankan military and paramilitary forces. However, it also turned out to be a terrible example of collective punishment for the Tamil minority. more..

Best Actor Jagath Chamila teaches invaluable lesson

July 4 (NS) Jagath Chamila won an award. An international award. A prestigious award. Not a ‘certificate of merit’ or a ‘shortlisting’, but a top prize, ‘Best Actor’ at the New York City International Film Festival for his performance as ‘Sam’ in ‘Samge Kathawa’ (‘Sam’s Story’, based on the Gratiaen Award winning novel by Elmo Jayawardena of the same title). Not quite the film equivalent of an Olympic Gold, but more..

Al-Amra’s makes Negombo’s Kottu Corner sizzle

July 4 (NS) Even with no ‘stars’ to reflect eminence, night-hotels in Negombo including Al-Amra, attract a substantial number of customers every day. Located in Periyamulla, facing the Colombo-Chilaw main road, the family restaurant is undoubtedly one of the most sought after eateries in town that gives customers the option to either dine-in or takeaway food, prepared hygienically and priced at affordable rates. The manager at Al- Amra, M.S.M Rafeek, also known as Nassar, who has served more..

This is no game

July 4 (Island) Some months ago, my attention was drawn to a report on civilian deaths in the final phase of the war. The author – as yet unnamed – claimed to have something important to add to the debate that began in 2009 as the Army closed in on the LTTE in Mullaitivu. I must admit that I didn’t feel very inclined to read it. Of course it is disturbing that estimates of the number of people killed between January and May that year vary from almost zero to 147,000. But there are many things more..

TIME cover story: The face of Buddhist terror

July 4 (DBS) His face as still and serene as a statue’s, the Buddhist monk who has taken the title “the Burmese bin Laden” begins his sermon. Hundreds of worshippers sit before him, palms pressed together, sweat trickling down their sticky backs. On cue, the crowd chants with the man in burgundy robes, the mantras drifting through the sultry air of a temple in Mandalay, Burma’s second biggest city after Rangoon. more..

Transfer of military’s role in civil affairs to elected council can promote reconciliation

July 4 (CT) The govt is continuing to give indications of its reluctance to establish a provincial council in the Northern Province with the devolved powers as provided by the 13th Amendment. The main concern articulated by govt spokespersons has been the danger that a Tamil-led provincial council in the former war zone of the North might pose to national unity. This would account for the question being referred to the other 8 provincial councils by the govt, in which they are being asked to more..

Interpreting a Bill: Amendment or National Policy?

July 4 (Island) It is reported that the govt has plans to introduce two revisions to existing provisions of the Constitution. Both relate to the 13th Amendment. The first relates to the merger of "two or three adjoining Provinces to form one administrative unit" - as in Article 154A (3). The second relates to provisions of Article 154G (2) and (3) where a special Parliamentary majority of 2/3 is required if "one or more Councils do not agree" to a Bill. Both contemplated revisions are being considered more..

Sri Lankan farmers urged to tap ancient irrigation systems amid erratic rains

July 4 (TRF) This time last year, most of Sri Lanka was baking amid a drought that lasted 10 months. Reservoirs had run dry in the main food-growing regions in the north and east, where farmers had seen no rain since the end of 2011. This year could not be more different. The monsoon season has been in full force since the last week of May, after five months of intermittent but heavy rainfall. Sri Lanka’s main reservoirs - vital more..

Blocking inconvenient truths: Time magazine and Sri Lanka

July 4 (GV) Face of Buddhist Terror, cover story of the most recent issue of Time magazine, is banned in Burma. Even though the lead article is primarily on U Wirathu, the leader of the 969 Buddhist Nationalist movement and only has passing reference to Islamophobia in Sri Lanka championed by fascist Buddhist “monks”, the issue is currently held up by Customs in Sri Lanka and unlikely to reach subscribers or bookstores. Wirathu’s comments against Muslims are clearly more..

Editorial: Fathers, sons and closed doors

July 4 (Island) One of our young cricketers has become internationally known overnight—for the wrong reason though. He tried to open the door of a British airways plane in mid-air while looking for a toilet the other day. Sri Lanka Cricket, which usually has egg on its face by trying to sweep things under the carpet, promptly identified him as Ramith, son of Minister Keheliya Rambukwella. His father who, incidentally, considers it his bounden duty to lay down guidelines on ethical practices more..

'Sri Lanka in steady growth mode'

July 4 (FT) The Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) Global Research has described Sri Lanka is stable on the policy front and there was no pressing need to adjust the policy levers at present. However SCB in its latest Asia Focus research cautioned shortfall in tax revenue as a key risk to macro stability though the Bank expects a pickup in domestic activity to boost higher tax revenue. SCB also noted 2013 fiscal deficit more..

Fashion Bug celebrates 19 years

July 4 (FT) Fashion Bug, one of Sri Lanka’s leading retail clothing stores with over 17 outlets islandwide, celebrated 19 years in the fashion industry on 29th June. A gala celebration was held at Fashion Bug’s outlet on Duplication Road, Colpetty, while a 19% discount for all shoppers was also made available. MP Rosy Senanayake, along with filmstars Anarkali Akarsha and Sabeetha Perera were chief guests, while well known personalities in the beauty and fashion industry, Ramani Fernando, more..

Abu Dhabi companies to invest in Sri Lanka

July 4 (Island) Sri Lanka’s development has reached a high level with strong infrastructure facilities such as reliable water supply, highways and power required for investments, according to Rashid Mohd Mehren, Managing Director, of Abu Dhabi’s Ghantoot Group and head of the Abu Dhabi investment team visiting Sri Lanka. "Rashid Mehren said this when the delegation met Minister Basil Rajapaksa at the Ministry Office on Tuesday. They discussed major investments in the fields more..

Golden Key depositors cry foul over Central Bank’s action plan

July 4 (ST) The Central Bank (CB)’s plan of action for the collapsed Golden key Credit Card Company (GK) will not be able to save a large majority of disgruntled depositors from the misery they are encountering at present. It only provides benefits for a handful of elite depositors who have deposited massive amounts of money at high interest rates, GK depositors alleged. They noted that the repayment methodology devised by more..

'Country exploiting maritime space for economic gains'

July 4 (DN) After the liberation of the nation from the cruel grip of terrorism, the island is looking forward to exploiting the maritime space for economic gains, Navy Commander Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage said. He was addressing the regional seminar on Implementation of the Global Search and Rescue Plan organized by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on Tuesday at the Malima Club House in Uswetakeiyawa. He expressed his pleasure at being able to hold more..

President cancels NCPC members’ tour

July 4 (Island) President Rajapaksa has ordered the cancellation of a 10-day overseas tour by members of the UPFA-run North Central Provincial Council and some senior officials, at a cost of Rs 30 million. Sources said that President had directed Chief Minister S. M. Ranjith to call off the planned tour of South Korea and Thailand in the wake of media reports critical on wasting taxpayers’ money. JVP member of the council Wasantha Samarasinghe publicly opposed the tour.

Buddhadasa vows to go to SC against Wimal

July 4 (CT) Mayor of the Kaduwela Municipal Council, G.H. Buddhadasa, alleged yesterday Housing Minister, Wimal Weerawansa, has gifted travelling bags and mobile phones to officials of 57 Grama Niladhari Divisions, in an act tantamount to bribery and threatens their independence. The Mayor vowed to go before the Supreme Court, if no action was taken by the AG or the IGP against Weerawansa. more..

Sri Lanka's delightfully disorganized ancient capital

July 4 (HP) I was beyond exhausted when I arrived in the Sri Lankan city of Anuradhapura, so I'm not sure what possessed me to say "Yes" when my hotel's driver asked me if I wanted to tour the sacred portion of the city, a massive UNESCO world heritage site that occupies dozens of square kilometers, the same day. But say yes I did. Anuradhapura, as I suspected, is almost too much to take in during the single day the (expensive) admission ticket affords entry. more..

Modernized maternity and child health clinics in Gampaha

July 4 (MED) The Govt has decided to develop maternity and child care clinics throughout the country in keeping with the Mahinda Chinthana Vision of giving pride of place to the mother said Minister Basil Rajapaksa. Three modernized Maternity and Child Care clinics in Mabole, Heiyantuduwa, and Dompoe of the Gampaha district were formally declared opened recently by Minister Basil Rajapaksa. All the Maternal and Child Health Clinics in the Gampaha District are to be more..

Australian PM pledges to get tough on asylum seekers

July 4 (CT) Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has hosed down expectations that his trip to Indonesia will result in a solution to the number of asylum seeker boats that are travelling to Australia, telling Australians not to hold their breath for an immediate announcement. Mr Rudd travels to Jakarta on Thursday for two days of talks with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono - his first overseas trip since taking back the more..

Bora Bora gets additional license to mine high grade graphite in Sri Lanka

July 4 (PI) Bora Bora Resources has been granted exploration licences prospective for high grade graphite in Sri Lanka, with the country known to hosts some of the world’s highest grade graphite – averaging 90% total graphitic carbon (TGC). This compares to the global average grade of 15% TGC. The new licenses are over the Baduraliya, Neluwa and Paragoda project areas in central and southern Sri Lanka, and cover in total 156 square kilometres. Bora Bora has a plan to fly Airborne more..

Tharanga's best, India's worst, and a first in ODIs

July 4 (CI) Sri Lanka's innings was the first occasion in 3382 ODIs that a team finished its full quota of overs batting first for the loss of just one wicket or less. Upul Tharanga made his highest score in ODIs, beating his previous best of 133 against Zimbabwe in Pallekele during the 2011 World Cup. Tharanga's unbeaten 174 in this match is Sri Lanka's second highest individual score; four of Sri Lanka's top five individuals scores in ODIs have come against India. more..

Two new High Commissioners present credentials to President

July 4 (GDI) High Commissioner of India Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha and High Commissioner of Canada Ms. Shelley Whiting presented their credentials to President Rajapaksa at a ceremony held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday. High Commissioner Sinha is a seasoned diplomat and during his career of 32 years, has handled several important assignments at the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi and in Indian diplomatic more..