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STF shoots gangland godfather

July 5 (DN) Notorious underworld figure Mohammed Azmin alias ‘Mamazmi’ was shot dead by STF personnel early yesterday morning in Borella. Mamazmi was wanted in connection with a number of crimes, including murder, extortion, rape, drug dealing, and illegal weapons sales. The STF, Maligawatte Police and the Colombo Crimes Division of the Police launched a number of raids earlier to capture him. more..

BoI Chairman's salary now Rs 640,000

July 5 (CT) The monthly remuneration of the Chairman of the Board of Investment (BoI), had been increased, inclusive of all allowances, to Rs 640,000, according to a Board paper, which had been approved by the Board of Directors of the BoI. The salary hike would be effective January 2013, which means he will be entitled to a further Rs 2.94 million when the arrears are calculated and credited to his account. Based on the instructions of the President, the Minister Lakshman Yapa more..

Mihin Lanka gets Rs600mn in state guaranteed loans

July 5 (LBO) State-run Mihin Lanka, a loss-making budget carrier has been given 616 million rupees in Treasury guarantee to borrow from a state bank. In February Mihin Lanka had been given a guarantee for a 367 million rupees facility up to December 2016 from Bank of Ceylon. Another 128.82 million rupees and a 121 million rupees had been given by the Bank of Ceylon, which were guaranteed up to June 30, 2013, a fiscal report had shown. Mihin Lanka had been running large losses and more..

'Ramith had consulted doctors over somnambulism'

July 5 (DM) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that his son Ramith was a sleep walker and had even consulted doctors. He surmised that Ramith may have sleep walked during the-flight. He said that he was dismayed and disappointed by the virulent ‘media stir’ focusing on his son’s behaviour. “I am extremely sad that the local media gave such prominence to this incident based on the one and only statement more..

Politicians, turn from your selfish ways

July 5 (DM) Tens of thousands of people in the North Central Province are known to be suffering from a Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology (CKDU), with most medical specialists believing that polluted groundwater is one of the causes. Kidney patients in Padaviya face the agony of travelling up to 20 kms to reach the Anuradhapura hospital for dialysis and they have to do this once or twice a week because the Padaviya hospital does not have the equipment. more..

Will Vasu sell his soul or stand his ground

July 5 (DM) Veteran leftist Vasudeva Nanayakkara this week joined the chorus of ministers speaking out against the moves to curtail the powers of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, saying that he could not be part of a govt that would do so. The Minister of National Languages and Social Integration is the only senior leftist minister with a portfolio in the Cabinet while his colleagues, Tissa Vitarana and D.E.W. Gunasekera who share Nanayakkara’s views on the issue are more..

Nuclear energy viability and constraints

July 5 (DM) Once, the President of the US (1954) proudly declared that his country had found a way to end the global energy scarcity forever. The US nuclear developer Lewis Strauss commenting on the bold declaration made by their President said, as a result of the commercial availability of enormous and infinite energy sources in the decades to come, the market economy may be faced with problems related to energy more..

'One step forward, two steps back'

July 5 (CT) Constitutional changes have once again become a hot topic of discussion. The UPFA Govt is attempting to dilute the 13th Amendment. Some UPFA constituents are openly for its total abolition, and the general feeling is that they have the support of the UPFA leadership. The UPFA leaders appear happy to continue with the J.R. Jayewardene Constitution, which they swore to abolish and under which UPFA constituents more..

MILCO chairman slams critics

July 5 (Island) MILCO Chairman Sunil Wickramasinghe yesterday refuted allegations levelled against him, that he was going to obtain a Rs. 6,000 million loan from Denmark’s Nodia Bank through HSBC Bank, without the consent of the relevant stakeholders and board members. "We went for the loan with the blessings of the Ministry of Livestock and Rural Development, the govt and the Treasury with Cabinet approval. more..

State-run estates see the wood from the trees to settle dues

July 5 (ST) The State Resources and Enterprise Development Ministry decided to chop down and sell nearly 70,000 trees on Govt-owned plantations, after the Labour Dept said they would sue estate management companies for 16 years worth of unpaid worker dues. Meanwhile, experts conceded that it has been a longstanding practice to fell mature, cultivated trees in estates for economic purposes. However, they warned, it must be more..

Postpone NPC election demands JAPM

July 5 (CT) Joint Association of Patriotic Movements (JAPM), yesterday demanded that the govt postpones the Northern Provincial Council election until such time police and land powers are removed from Provincial Councils. JAPM member, Ven. Thrikunamale Ananda Thera, pointed out the main Party of the govt, the SLFP, is in agreement with regard to removing clauses in the 13th Amendment that are considered detrimental to more..

Australia returns more Lankans

July 5 (CG) A further 15 Sri Lankan irregular maritime arrivals have been returned to Colombo after failing to meet Australia’s international obligations, the Australian High Commission in Colombo said. The group departed Christmas Island yesterday. Their return takes the number of Sri Lankans sent home to 1285 – 1072 of them involuntarily since August last year. “Returning the group to SL sends a powerful message,” more..

Reveal KP’s antecedent, before his nomination on UPFA ticket – UNP

July 5 (Island) If the govt was intending to field Kumaran Pathmanathan, alias KP, on the UPFA ticket, at the forthcoming Northern Provincial Council Election, it should, first of all, reveal the former LTTE leader’s involvement in terrorism as well as all other information pertaining to the recovery of LTTE assets, the UNP said. UNP MP Harin Fernando the UPFA’s decision to field KP was something to be expected as it had already more..

S’pore Uni helps CMC wage hi-tech war on mossies

July 5 (Island) With the increasing number of dengue cases being reported in the city of Colombo, the Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council (PHD CMC) launched ‘Mo-Buzz’ the first social media system for dengue surveillance and communication in Sri Lanka. Chief of the Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam, addressing the gathering at the official launch more..

Basil briefs India

July 5 (CT) Minister, Basil Rajapaksa who is presently in New Delhi, is expected to brief Indian External Affairs Minister, Salman Kurshid, and Secretary, Ranjan Mathai, on the govt's stand on the 13th Amendment, and the need to make changes to suit the current situation in Sri Lanka. "The time has come when police and land powers stated in the 13th Amendment have to be seriously reviewed, and Minister Basil Rajapaksa will more..

Sri Lanka declares polls for three provinces

July 5 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka on Friday declared elections for three provinces including the war-affected Northern Province. President Mahinda Rajapaksa informed the Elections Commission to make arrangements to hold elections in the Northern Province. Meanwhile the Governors of the Central and North Western provinces said they have also been informed to dissolve their respective provinces for elections to be held. more..

Vying for the ignoble award?

July 5 (CT) Misconduct, misbehaviour, misdemeanour..... call it what you may, but questionable behaviour seems to be a genetic thing for ministerial families of this govt. The Silva family may yet take the ignoble award for this notoriety, but it seems there is heavy competition, if recent events are anything to go by. Not so long ago, there was a surfeit of reports about a ministerial father's intimate bonding with an Australian flower bed in the middle of the night, following an infamous fall from more..

Let military be alone; Resurrect education

July 5 (CT) W.A. Wickremesinghe, Principal of Pangnananda National School in Raddolugama died while undergoing the physical training designed for principals of national school. The 52 year old died of cardiac arrest after he was hospitalized by the officials of the Rantembe camp. This physical training is provided as part of the newly started programme to offer military ranks to principals. Although it was started with much media fanfare, the objectives of the programme are still obscure. more..

Why 13A should be re-examined

July 5 (CT) Since the inception, the 13th Amendment to the Constitution has been a bone of contention between the major ethnic communities of the country. The Sinhalese feared the amendment could become a launching pad for a separate State in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of the island, whereas the Tamils felt they were not given sufficient regional autonomy. The Muslim community was apprehensive that in the event of more..

Melsiripura between and betwixt

July 5 (CT) Melsiripura is the main sub town on the Kurunegala-Dambulla Road. However, the occupants of the town, as well as passersby have to suffer a number of shortcomings, which have also prevented the further development of the area. During rush hour traffic, the road becomes virtually impassable. The situation has become worse due to the stalls set up on the roadside, causing severe inconveniences to the people. Those who attend the weekly Sunday fair, more..

Sri Lanka stocks down 0.4%

July 5 ((LBO) Stocks closed down 0.41% on Friday with the market down for the third consecutive day amid losses in diversified companies and banking stocks. All Share Index closed 24.99 points lower at 6,048.18 and the S&P SL 20 Index closed 16.00 points lower at 3,383.46 down 0.47%. Turnover was 570 million rupees down from 738 million from a day earlier. Foreigners brought 340 million rupees worth shares while selling 61 million rupees in a day that 57 stocks advanced and 122 stocks declined. more..

An unqualified betrayal !

July 5 (CT) Q: What exactly happened the day before Vesak Poya Day? A: Shiyam left home around 4.00 a.m. as he usually does (every day) to go to the mosque, and returned only around nine in the night. He used to go to mosque twice a day for prayers. On that particular day too, he had gone to the factory after prayers in the evening. Q: Is it true that M. Fouzdeen, who is suspected of master-minding the murder, was with Shiyam more..

Colombo dengue figures grow

July 5 (Island) The Health Ministry said that number of dengue cases reported from the beginning of January till early this month was 16,315. The highest numbers had been reported within the same period from Colombo (4,308), Gampaha (1,822), Ratnapura (1,131) and Kurunegala (1,978). The EU revealed that the total number of dengue cases reported from the beginning of the last year till end of June had been over 20,000 with Colombo recording over 4,680. more..

Sri Lanka tea bag firm to expand in India

July 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Printcare Plc, a related company of the Dilmah tea group said it was building a second factory in India to make tea packaging material. "Our Indian operations are beginning to perform well, acquiring good market share last year, and significantly increasing its hold on the Indian market," Printcare chairman Merrill J Fernando told shareholders in the annual report. "We expanded capacity there by installing a new machine to cater to the anticipated growth more..

Gem and jewellery exports increase

July 5 (DN) Sri Lanka’s gem, diamond and jewellery export sector has recorded an overall growth of more than 50 percent as at end of 2012. Revenue has increased significantly in comparison to the corresponding year’s figure of Rs.24,459 million in 2011. Therefore, Sri Lanka could be promoted as a gem and jewellery hub in the region. The export of gemstones brought in revenue of Rs 1,635 million recording a 39% more..

Two new lionesses shy to face public

July 5 (Island) The public will have to wait for one month to see two beautiful and very healthy lionesses, which arrived at the National Zoological Gardens in Dehiwela on Wednesday. Zoo officials told The Island that the animals would be kept away from the public due to quarantine purposes. The lionesses came here from Frankfurt, Germany as a donation though the other basic costs have to be borne through the Zoo funds. It is learnt that the two females would be used for breeding more..

Estate Superintendent hacked to death in Deraniyagala

July 5 (AD) Nuriyawatta estate superintendent has been assaulted and hacked to death in Deraniyagala, police stated. The murder had taken place this morning at around 9.30am. The superintendent Nihal Perera was attacked by a group which arrived in an SUV while traveling on the road. He was rushed to the Deraniyagala hospital with serious injuries which he later succumbed to, hospital sources claimed. Two others who were injured in the incident were taken to the more..

Communist Party celebrates its 70th Anniversary with pride

July 5 (MED) Sri Lanka Communist Party has celebrated its 70th anniversary at Maharagama Youth Center last Wednesday. Speaking on the occasion Chairman of the Communist Party Raja Kollure said that the Communist Party has rendered a yeoman service for the future of the country. Minister Basil Rajapaksa, ministers Dinesh Gunawardana, Rajitha Senarathna, Susil Premajantha, AHM Fowzie, Athauda more..

Four arrested for abducting two youths

July 5 (CT) Four suspects, who had allegedly abducted two youths, who were later identified as connected to a fraud, were arrested at Pelawatte on Wednesday and were remanded by the Matugama Magistrate until 17 July, after being produced in the Court. The four suspects are residents of Kandy, Kiriwaththuduwa, Boralesgamuwa and Kahathuduwa. The two captives were also remanded by the Magistrate over their alleged involvement in a cash fraud where they more..

Protest over molestation of young monk

July 5 (CT) A group of Bhikkhus and laymen staged a protest in Balangoda town on 4 July morning, demanding that laws be strictly enforced over the incident in which a 15-year-old Samanera monk was molested. The protest was staged in the presence of over 200 police officers of the Anti-Riot Squad, who had been deployed to oversee security in the area. The representatives of Sinhala Ravaya and the Organization to Protect National Assets (OPNA), participated in the protest. more..

Sri Lankan refugee launches High Court challenge

July 5 (ABC) A High Court challenge has been launched against the indefinite detention of a Sri Lankan woman who received an adverse security assessment from ASIO. The woman, Ranjini, was pregnant and living in Melbourne when she was originally granted refugee status. But a subsequent adverse security assessment saw her flown to Sydney with her nine and seven-year-old sons and new born baby and detained at more..

Raising ugly head of racism: Will Sri Lanka become another Myanmar?

July 5 (CT) A few hundred Sinhala ethno religious rabble rousers who call themselves the guardians of Buddhism and Sinhalese though they do not represent the Sinhalese community, went on a protest march last week from Kataragama to Temple Trees to get the govt to ban cattle slaughter. This seems to be the second stage of their ongoing anti Muslim campaign following the so called Halal issue which though a non issue but made it one to serve their sinister political agendas. more..

Steyn rested for South Africa's one-day tour of Sri Lanka

July 5 (Reuters) South Africa have decided to rest fast-bowling spearhead Dale Steyn for this month's one-day tour of Sri Lanka. The paceman had injury problems in the recent Champions Trophy in England, forcing him to miss the semi-final defeat by the hosts, and that has weighed heavily on the minds of the selectors with test series coming up against Pakistan, India and Australia. "We are resting Dale Steyn as we have a very important and crowded test season ahead of us and more..

Khuram Shaikh murder: DNA evidence delays Sri Lanka trial

July 5 (BBC) Problems with DNA evidence have delayed the prosecution of suspects over the murder of a Red Cross worker in Sri Lanka in 2011, British officials said. Khuram Shaikh, 32, from Milnrow, Rochdale, Greater Manchester, was shot and stabbed on Christmas Day 2011. Eight people, including a Sri Lankan politician, were arrested and bailed in November. They all denied the charges. The British High Commission more..

Kapurala killing suspects remanded

July 5 (Island) Two suspects arrested in connection with the murder of the Kapurala of the Eeswara devalaya, Sellaakataragama, were produced before the Tissamaharama Magistrate Indika Ruwan de Silva and remanded till July 10. They were Sudath Udayakumara and Ratnayake Muthubanda of Bandarawela. The ‘Kapurala’, Rajapaksa Premadasa (70), was mysteriously murdered while engaged in work at the devalaya on June 03 and his body was hidden in a jungle patch behind more..

Global black tea output up 13%

July 5 (BL) The official tea production data for May has come out from major producing nations – India, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Malawi. The rising trend in crop in Kenya continued to help black tea production rise by 2.22 million kg (mkg) in May to 39.60 mkg. Sri Lanka gained marginally 0.90 mkg at 33.60 mkg while Malawi also gained 0.90 mkg at 4.70 mkg. Bangladesh lost 0.30 mkg to dip to 5.20 mkg. India lost 2.24 mkg at 101.18 mkg. “According to our compilation, more..

India asks Lanka to fully implement power devolution provision

July 5 (PTI) India today emphasised to Sri Lanka the need to fully implement the constitutional provision dealing with devolution of powers to provinces without dilution and to go beyond it to ensure meaningful development there, on a day the Lankan govt announced the much-awaited election in Tamil-dominated Northern province. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid conveyed India's views to visiting Lankan more..

Sampath Bank sets up National Engineering Heritage Gallery

July 5 (Island) Sampath Bank recently joined hands with the Institute of Engineers of Sri Lanka to establish the ‘National Engineering Heritage Gallery’ in the National Museum to display the engineering skills of the ancient Sinhalese. Sampath bank, as the pioneer bank in introducing many a technological innovation to the banking industry in Sri Lanka, constantly strives to upgrade its systems through the use of state of the art technology. The bank has incorporated its technical more..

Sri Lankan govt invites Tamil Nadu fishermen for talks

July 5 (PTI) The Sri Lankan govt on Friday reached out to fishermen community of Tamil Nadu as economic development minister Basil Rajapaksa met their delegation here with a promise of addressing their concerns. Basil invited the fishermen to Sri Lanka to meet President Rajapaksa, ministers and representatives of the navy and coast guard to discuss their problems which include killings, arrests and harassment of Indian fishermen in the Palk Strait by SL more..

TNA to examine if it should contest polls in northern Lanka

July 5 (PTI) TNA today appointed a committee to examine if it should contest the much-awaited northern provincial council election in September. TNA sources said a 15-member committee representing the five parties which form the TNA would examine the political situation with regard to the election in the north. President Rajapaksa today signed an official proclamation enabling the Elections Commissioner more..