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BASL to decide on course of action

July 4 (CT) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), said it will arrive at a decision, vis-ŕ-vis the course of action to be taken on the sudden transfer of Matale Magistrate, Chathurika de Silva, soon. A Spokesperson for the BASL said, Silva's transfer comes hot on the heels of the BASL's decision to engage in the case pertaining to the skeletal remains found in the backyard of the Matale Hospital last November. "It does not seem to be a routine transfer as all routine transfers had been more..

Paying wards at all state hospitals

July 4 (Island) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that at least one well-equipped paying ward for each of the State-run hospitals, in all districts, would be established from 2014. Many patients who had been seeking medical treatment at private hospitals had asked him to open at least one paying ward each at main govt hospitals. People wanted him to intervene to prevent them being exploited by the private sector, the Minister said. Patients were asked to have various tests done more..

Panadura killing: Victim’s mistress confesses to murder

July 4 (Island) A 39-year-old woman, from Boralesgamuwa, surrendered to the Panadura Magistrate’s Court through a lawyer yesterday for killing her 40-year-old paramour, Indrajith Narayana, of Gangodawila, in his car at Panadura. The Panadura South Police found Indrajith’s body slumped on the driver’s seat of his car parked near the Salgado Bakery. the post mortem revealed that he had been strangled to death with a strap like device. more..

Gnanodaya building of archaeology value in danger

July 4 (Island) A building of archaeological importance at Gnanodaya Maha Vidyalaya, Kalutara, which was to be conserved on a presidential order is facing a fresh threat of demolition complain students, parents and past pupils of the school. The decision to demolish the mansion at the 115-year-old school was revealed on Monday, July 1, at the Kalutara District Development Committee meeting chaired by Minister Kumara Welgama. One of the oldest buildings more..

No petrol, diesel from Sapugaskanda again

July 4 (CT) The Sapugaskanda Refinery had for over a week, stopped the production of diesel and petrol.Sources said the authorities had cited maintenance being carried out at the refinery as the reason that fuel production had been temporarily stalled. Presently, only kerosene oil, aviation fuel and furnace oil are produced at the refinery. Anticipating a scarcity of petrol and diesel in the foreseeable future, trade unions said the Ministry of Petroleum, the management of the CPC more..

7,000 undergrads march to Colombo

July 4 (CT) Over 7,000 undergraduates marched yesterday, protesting against the privatization of the higher education sector, causing a severe traffic jam on the High Level Road, from Nugegoda to Colombo. Students from State universities, including Colombo, Sri J'pura, Ruhuna, Sabaragamuwa and Peradeniya convened at the J'pura University amidst heavy police presence and marched to Colombo, to vent their anger more..

Sri Lanka expected to keep low allocation for defense procurement next five years

July 4 (RN) With a defense budget of US$1.7 billion and less than 5% marked for capital expenditure, Sri Lanka presents few opportunities for foreign defense companies. Rebuilding northern parts of the country, which were destroyed during the war and repayment of loans taken during the war, are expected to drive the country’s military expenditure, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.12% over the forecast period. The country is expected to maintain a low allocation for defense procurement more..

South Korean assistance to upgrade Sri Jayawardanapura NTS

July 4 (DN) Inje University of South Korea has offered assistance to upgrade the training at the Sri Jayawardanapura Nurses Training School (NTS). The MoU in this regard was signed recently by Health Ministry Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayatilleke and Inje University Chairman Dr. Won Ro Lee, a Health Ministry spokesman said. The MoU was signed in the presence of Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena, South Korean Ambassador Jong moon Choi, and a delegation from Inje University, South Korea. more..

Organisers detained for screening No Fire Zone in Malaysia

July 4 (TS) Three organisers of a controversial documentary film screening at the KL/Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall were detained by Home Ministry, Immigration and police officials here Wednesday. The screening of the movie, No Fire Zone, which explores the oppression of Tamils in Sri Lanka, was organised by human rights group Pusat Komas. Programme coordinator Lena Hendry said the officers entered the hall more..

Govt has guaranteed economic security of foreign investors - PM

July 4 (DN) Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne said that the govt had developed infrastructure facilities so that the economic security of investors will be safeguarded to expand the country’s investment opportunities. Sri Lanka is an economic hub in the Asian region and it is the thread that links continents such as, South America, Africa and Australia together. He expressed these views when he met a group of Chinese and Malaysian businessmen in the Prime Minister’s Office recently. more..

'Sub-standard jet fuel not for use on aircraft'

July 4 (DM) Refuting claims to the effect that the substandard jet fuel that was imported was to be used on aircraft, Chairman of the Ports Authority Dr. Priyath Banduwickrema said that the fuel that was rejected was imported in order to test the tanks that were constructed at the Hambantota Port and was not for aviation purposes. “A Chinese contractor who was designated contractually to look into the tanks and its maintenance brought down two thousand liters of jet fuel. more..

Ramith says he was sleep-walking

July 4 (Island) Sri Lanka ‘A’ team cricketer Ramith Rambukwella, the son of Minister Keheliya Ramukwella, said that he had been sleep-walking when he tried to open the cabin door of a British Airways flight at a height of 35,000 feet. He said he had not been drunk. Rambuwella junior said that he had been somnambulist since his childhood and had not been aware of what he was doing when he tried to force open the exit door of the more..

Economic neo-colonialism and imported junk

July 4 (DM) More and more Sri Lankans today tend to fall sick than ever before, and hospitals are overcrowded like marketplaces, turning the private health sector into a big business. Many people fall sick not only because they take substandard drugs, but more so because they consume foods and beverages unfit for human consumption. Recently, the media spotlighted one such case where the people were being duped or misled about a so-called high protein nutritional food more..

'13th Amendment Provincial Po­lice overrides the powers of National Police'

July 4 (DM) Representatives of the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress, President’s Counsel Manohara R. De Silva and Prasanna De Alwis highlight the harmful consequences of the 13th Amendment to the nation. The lawyers who gave an insight into the 13th Amendment from a legal perspective maintained that the biggest issue in the 13th Amendment was with the Police Rights. De Silva explained that while Provincial Councils did not have their own police forces currently, more..

Yan Oya: Another waste of public funds

July 4 (SL) An attempt is being made to swindle billions of rupees of public money in the guise of an agricultural project in the Eastern Province. The proposed Yan Oya diversion project to construct a 169 million cubic meter (mcm) capacity reservoir to irrigate 650 hectares of paddy land in the Eastern Province has now come under severe criticism although the project contract had been signed with China CAMC Engineering Corporation in more..

‘Free our husbands’

July 4 (ST) A group of women met at a location in Colombo this week to exchange views and seek support from one another as their husbands remained hostages of Somali pirates. The place was the trade union office of the National Union of Seafarers Sri Lanka (NUSS) on Lauries Road in Bambalapitiya and on hand to meet the women were counsellors and others involved in the shipping industry. After some refreshments more..

'President’s African visit reaps a harvest of benefits to Sri Lanka'

July 4 (DN) Bilateral talks with the President of Tanzania Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete focused very much on trade and economic issues and the entire visit indicates the magnitude of the benefits for Sri Lanka from focusing on relations with African countries, External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L.Peiris said. “A grouping of East African countries Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, Rwanda is in a regional union for economic enhancement,” more..

Video: Govt. is breaking its promise to the int. community – Ranil

July 4 (DM) The UNP leader Ranil Wickremsinghe said that if the govt was not going to keep the promise it made to the international community in 2009 in Geneva that it would implement the 13 Amendment, it should present a resolution in Geneva as it was going to break its promise. He said it was the govt which had assured the international community, including the UNHRC that it will come up with a political solution more..

Govt. wastes money on white elephants, ignoring unprotected crossings - JVP

July 4 (Island) JVP-led railway employees union accused the govt of failing to find a solution to unprotected railway level crossings while wasting billions of rupees on unnecessary projects. General Secretary of the All Ceylon Railway Employees’ Union Sumathipala Manawadu said that action had to be taken urgently to save people’s lives. "Only Rs. 4.5 million is needed to set up an alarm system at a level crossing," more..

Former forest conservator decries mass felling of trees

July 4 (Island) Disputing a claim by the State Resources and Enterprise Development Minister that the trees on state-owned estates in the hill country were planted only for commercial value and could be felled to settle government debts, former Forest Conservator and Ex-Chairman of the State Timber Cooperation, W.R.H. Perera said that the trees had been planted not only for commercial purposes but also for the protection more..

1,000 prisoners from Welikada to be shifted to other prisons

July 4 (CT) In a bid to ease the congestion in the Welikada Prison, the Prisons Department is moving out its remand prisoners to prisons around the island. Deputy Prisons Commissioner (Operations), G.B. Kulatunge, told Ceylon Today, over 1,000 prisoners are being moved from the Welikada Prison to other prisons. He said the transfers are based on the area where the respective prisoners' cases will be taken up. more..

State enterprises’ outstanding debt expands to Rs.333bn

July 4 (DM) The total outstanding debt of t he country’s non-financial state-owned business enterprises (SOBEs) has swollen by as much as Rs.12 billion during the first five months to Rs.333.3 billion by the end of May 2013. The corresponding figure by the end of 2012 was Rs.321.5 billion by 26 SOBEs. CPC, the CEB and SriLankan Airlines topped the list. The former two institutions increased their outstanding debts during the first five more..

Sri Lanka to seek clarification from UK

July 4 (CG) The External Affairs Ministry (EAM) is to seek a clarification from the British High Commission in Colombo regarding a travel advice it had issued in May on Sri Lanka. An External Affairs Ministry official said that it is aware of the travel advice and will be seeking information from the British High Commission on the reasons behind issuing such a strong notice to British citizens visiting Sri Lanka. more..

'I deplore any form of extremism'

July 4 (DM) The country’s powerful Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa spoke to the Daily Mirror in one of his most wide ranging interviews in recent times, on a gamut of issues. Rajapaksa explained why he believes that devolution of power is not the solution to the national question. He also expressed his candid views about his percieved relationship with hard-line Sinhala groups, the issues surrounding the arrest of more..

Can we believe Vasu?

July 4 (CT) Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara has said he could not be part of a government that would prune powers of Provincial Councils and would be compelled to leave such a govt if any changes are to be made to the 13th Amendment that helped devolve those powers to the Provincial Councils. Once upon a time, we would have accepted those words at face value and proclaimed 'Bravo.' But sadly, the first thing we do today is question whether his words are empty rhetoric, reflecting more..

A pause in the rush to destroy devolution

July 4 (CT) That the Rajapakse regime is in a mighty hurry to dismember and roll back the clock on the limited devolution of power accorded in Sri Lanka under the 13th amendment is borne out by the fact that the Cabinet of Ministers two weeks ago approved as an urgent bill, a constitutional amendment which would eliminate the ability of two or more provinces to amalgamate (merge to use the popular terminology) and work together for the public good. However, within a week more..

Geo-political reality bites

July 4 (FT) Late last week, increasingly influential hardline groups in the country rallied against the internationally-acclaimed TIME Magazine for its cover story featuring controversial Burmese monk Wirathu, whose 969 movement has been accused of provoking major anti-Muslim sentiment in Myanmar that has been rocked by riots and the deliberate targeting of Muslim communities in the predominantly Buddhist nation. more..

Sri Lanka stocks down 0.7%

July 4 (LBO) Stocks closed down 0.73% on Thursday with losses in diversified companies and banking stocks, brokers said. The benchmark Colombo All Share Index closed 44.80 points lower at 6,073.17 and the S&P SL 20 Index closed 33.54 points lower at 3,399.46 down 0.98%. Turnover was 738 million rupees down from 883 million from a day earlier. Foreigners brought 269 million rupees worth shares while selling 227 million rupees in a day that 49 stocks advanced and 123 stocks declined. more..

Alarming increase in endangered species

July 4 (Island) The latest update of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species is alarming with nearly 20,934 species facing extinction, however, no species from Sri Lanka had been added to the category in the latest report which was launched in Gland, Switzerland. The latest report shows 4,807 species have been added to The IUCN Red List bringing the total of assessed species to 70,294, of which 20,934 are threatened with extinction. more..

Video: All governmental brats do such things

July 4 (DM) One couldn’t blame Minister Keheliya Rambukwella’s son alone for misbehavior in a situation where children of other ministers were also up to various mischief, UNP charged today. “Sons of other prominent members of the govt are even going to the extent of assaulting people,” UNP MP Harin Fernando said. He claimed that foreign passengers who were on the aircraft on which Minister Rambukwella’s son was flying more..

Ferry operators default payment to Walallawita PS

July 4 (CT) Two ferry operators hired by the Walallawita Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) are alleged to have defrauded a large sum of money by violating the terms of the tender agreement. According to the terms of the tender, a ferry operator has to make an initial deposit of Rs 108,000 and then a daily payment of Rs 7,785 to the PS. The first ferry operator had made the initial payment, but had neglected to make the daily payment. By the time his service was terminated, more..

India fined for slow over-rate against Sri Lanka

July 4 (PTI) India's in their Tri-nation ODI series match against Sri Lanka. India were handed an embarrassing 161-run defeat by the Sri Lankans in the match that took place at the Sabina Park on Tuesday. "In accordance with the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, and in particular the regulations contained therein governing minor over-rate offences, players are fined 10% of their match fees for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time, more..

Low off-peak demand forces CEB to shut down hydro power turbines

July 4 (Island) Low demand during peak hours has forced the CEB to shut down some of its hydro power turbines, CEB union officials said. CEBEU officials said that the demand for electricity varied over a 24-hour period and apart from hydro power, coal and wind power had be used due to technical reasons. Union Media Spokesman, Ajith Withanage said that despite some reservoirs overflowing, some intake of hydro power had more..

Sri Lanka's boom time condos fail building rules

July 4 (LBO) Over 71 condominiums, especially some built during a boom that ended in 2009 have failed to conform to building regulations, leaving those who bought them without deeds of transfer, an official said. Though several large mixed development projects are now being proposed, especially with foreign investor involvement, the number of projects so has not returned to the level of the boom year. Condominium Management Authority had approved 12 apartment more..

Karapitiya ICU shut down for want of trained personnel

July 4 (Island) Lives of many patients needing special care are in danger as the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital ICU has been temporarily closed for want of trained medical officers and anesthetists. The GMOA alleged that the hospital authorities, as an alternative, had taken action to transfer the patients elsewhere. GMOA Treasurer Dr. Nath Wijesuriya, attached to the Karapitiya hospital, said that though there were about 17 ICU beds available at the hospital, only a limited number of more..

Sri Lanka plays down interaction with India over minority power devolution

July 4 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka on Thursday played down intensified diplomatic engagement with India over power devolution to its Tamil minority and insisted that it was merely to keep the regional super power "informed." Minister Basil Rajapaksa flew to New Delhi to meet with top officials including Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to explain the govt's plans on power devolution to the Tamil minority, more..

Deputy Commonwealth chief here

July 4 (CG) Commonwealth Deputy Secretary General Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba is in Sri Lanka to review arrangements for the next CHOGM, taking place this November, the Commonwealth Secretariat said. Masire-Mwamba will meet with Minister G L Peiris, and members of the CHOGM 2013 Task Force in Colombo. Taking place in parallel with the Deputy Secretary-General’s visit is a Commonwealth Secretariat-organised capacity development workshop for the HRC more..

Underworld dealer ‘Mamazmi’ shot dead

July 4 (DM) A prominent underworld drug-leader Mohammed Azmir alias 'Mamazmi', was shot dead last night at Borella, police said. Initial report revealed that the suspect was arrested by the Special Task Force personnel with a weapon and some grenades in his possession during a raid in Maligawatta last night. While the suspect was taking in a jeep, he had tried to attack an STF officer in the jeep forcing the STF personnel to fire in defence, a senior police official said. more..

Video: Govt spending public funds like it’s family inheritance - Karu

July 4 (AD) While one section of society is under immense pressure another section is leading an extremely luxurious life, by robbing public funds, stealing national treasures and violating all existing laws in the country, says UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya. He stated that those individuals are living in a different world and are drunk on state power. He stated that public funds are being wasted without any cause or inquiry and that more..

Video: Asian political parties to meet in Colombo

July 4 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa accepted an invitation from the Secretary-General of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) to host the high-level meeting in Sri Lanka in 2014. This decision was made when Secretary-General Mr. Chung Eui-yong met President Rajapaksa this morning at Temple Trees. Mr. Eui-yong said other ICAPP members were “very enthusiastic” about the possibility of Sri Lanka hosting the next conference, which is more..