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Eknaligoda’s wife trying to gain political mileage - Arundika

June 11 (AD) UPFA MP Arundika Fernando stated today that Prageeth Eknaligoda’s wife was trying to gain political mileage through her husband’s disappearance. UPFA MP Arundika Fernando stated in parliament on June 5 that missing journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda was currently living in France. Responding to the opposition MPs who questioned the govt regarding the media and Eknaligoda the UPFA MP stated that the Lankans in France were also aware that Eknaligoda was living there. more..

FR case against DIG Vass today

June 11 (DM) While the CID has started questioning DIG Vass Gunawardena on an alleged murder of a businessman last month, an application has been filed before the Appeal Court seeking a justification from the former Attorney General as to why he failed to indict the DIG for allegedly abducting Malabe IT university student Nipuna Ramanayake and assaulting him. The petition had been filed by the family members of the student in the Appeal Court seeking a writ order on the Attorney General more..

UNP-JHU to discuss draft constitution

June 11 (DM) The UNP said today that it would start discussions with the JHU tomorrow regarding the UNP’s proposed draft constitution. “The JHU had requested a discussion with us regarding the draft constitution. We will also talk to other political parties.This will be the beginning,” UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said. He said the UNP had held discussions with various civil society organisations and had obtained their views more..

Ranil’s convoy attacked in Balapitiya

June 11 (ST) Pro-govt supporters today pelted stones at the convoy of Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe who was visiting families in Balapitiya affected by the Saturday's s storm as the death toll exceeded 50. Govt supporters prevented Mr. Wickrmesinghe from reaching one of the homes as local politicians organised the protest against the opposition leader. However, a section of the villagers had earlier expressed their concerns about the govt's failure to alert the fishermen more..

Grenade attack on Kalmunai MC’s residence

June 11 (Island) A grenade was thrown at the residence of Kalmunai SLMC Municipal Councilor A. M. Barakath around 1.00 a.m. yesterday. A rift has been brewing within the SLMC controlled Kalmunai Municipal Council following the suspension of its 108 casual labourers. Those labourers were suspended as they did not meet the Council’s new basic requirement of six GCE (O/L) passes, including two credits. The Mayor Siraj Meerasahib last week summoned a special emergency meeting of more..

'Sri Lankans not at risk'

June 11 (AAP) Sri Lanka's high commissioner to Australia has rejected claims that asylum seekers sent back to his country face possible danger. Sri Lankans sent home after having their claims for asylum rejected are not at any risk of persecution, he said. Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe has vowed to investigate any allegations of mistreatment himself, but says so far such claims have proven "false and baseless". more..

Dambulla to return as international venue

June 11 (CI) International men's cricket will return to Dambulla International Stadium in November after a three-year hiatus, Sri Lanka Cricket has said. The stadium is built on lands owned by the nearby Buddhist temple and the hiatus partly resulted from a disagreement between SLC and the clergy, who believed the sale of alcohol and tobacco at the venue was a breach of the lease agreement. The board had had discussions with senior Buddhist clergy and come to an understanding more..

French envoy briefed on land issue

June 11 (CG) Christine Robichon, the Ambassador of France to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, has been briefed on land issues in the Eastern Province. The Embassy said that during a visit to the Eastern Province, the Ambassador paid particular attention to the relations between ethnic and religious communities and to land related issues. “She was briefed on several cases of land disputes and she witnessed the despair of some of the inhabitants of Ashraf Nagar village, whose lands have more..

Peiris briefs Slovenia on LLRC plan

June 11 (CG) Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G.L. Peiris, who is currently on an official visit to Slovania, briefed the govt on the implementation of the proposals contained in the Report of the LLRC, and explained the basis of Sri Lanka’s reservations with regard to recent initiatives concerning the country in the Human Rights Council. Peiris met with several Slovenian dignitaries, including his counterpart Karl Erjavec. more..

Sydney Thunder have eyes on high profile Sri Lankan stars for Big Bash

June 11 (DT) Chandika Hathurusinghe plans to take advantage of his Sri Lankan connections by luring some of that country's top players to the Sydney Thunder in a bid to turn things around at the western Sydney club. The newly appointed coach of the Thunder has his eye on Mahela Jayawadene, Kumar Sangakarra and Muttiah Muralitharan and will spend the next few weeks chasing after their signatures. Neither Jayawardene nor Sangakkara have played in the Big Bash League, more..

Tight safety rules for Lankan fishermen after scores perished

June 11 (PTI) After some 54 people, a good majority of them fishermen, had died due to stormy weather since last weekend in Sri Lanka, authorities said fishermen would be subject to tighter safety measures in future. "I am proposing laws to make it mandatory for boats to be equipped with life jackets and other safety features. "If they had these basics, we could have reduced this loss of life," Minister of Disaster Management Mahinda Amaraweera said. He said a total of 54 people had died more..

'SL on track to change its education system'

June 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state education system is in the process of changing its structure from an exam centric one to a more interactive learning system, the education minister said. "There should be a structural change in the education system to help with the employment requirements of the country," minister Bandula Gunawardena said. "There should have about 25% of students qualifying from the arts stream, more..

'No plans to begin casinos in the country'

June 11 (SLBC) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena says that there no plans to begin casinos in the country. He points out that certain groups of opposition are leveling false allegations against the govt regarding the matter. The JVP had put up posters saying that the govt is getting ready to begin casinos in the country. While strongly rejecting the allegation, the minister said he hopes to meet the chief prelate of the Asgiri chapter to inform the truth regarding the matter. more..

Now Vijayakant joins demand for Katchtheevu review

June 11 (IANS) DMDK founder and Leader of Opposition in the Tamil Nadu assembly A. Vijayakant has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to reopen and review the 1974 agreement with which India transferred Katchatheevu island to Sri Lanka. "As circumstances change and unforeseen hardship is caused, it is quite natural for any treaty to be reviewed and altered if necessary," Vijayakant said in a letter to the prime minister, a copy of which was released to the media more..

Sri Lanka state workers take home 56% of tax revenues in 2012

June 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state workers and pensioners have taken 56 cents out of every tax rupee collected from the people in 2012, not counting tax slashed car permits. An analysis shows that in 1.79 public sector workers took home 348 billion rupees in salaries and wages in 2012. Other benefits including fuel, property loan interest and provident and medical insurance costs took the total up to 415 billion rupees. more..

All eyes on Northern PC elections

June 12 (NS) The govt recently announced that elections for the NPC would be held in September. Northern Province has been away from the so-called democratic process for decades and therefore, the simple act of mentioning ‘Elections’ and ‘North’ in the same sentence evokes so much curiosity locally and internationally. Minister Wimal Weerawansa during a recent event had reportedly said the elections would be held, not for the people, but to appease the international community. more..

NPC election: A prediction

June 12 (NS) Judging by media disclosures the main focus of attention today, locally as well as internationally is on the NPC elections scheduled for September. It is clear that strong opposition is building up. Groups outside the govt as well as within have openly begun to express concern particularly in view of the land and police powers enshrined in the 13th Amendment. The govt is also conscious of the dangers. It is confronted with virtually an insurmountable practical dilemma. more..

'India shouldn’t meddle with our politics'

June 12 (NS) Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Organizer for Batticaloa District and Presidential Advisor Arun Tambimuttu said Sri Lanka should do away with Provincial Council systems and look towards establishing a better structure in local government administration. In an interview with The Nation, Tambimuttu also said that no country had the right to dictate terms on Constitutional issues of Sri Lanka. Following are excerpts more..

Amendment of the 13th amendment

June 12 (CT) It would appear that the Government is going ahead on amending the 13th Amendment. The Thirteenth Amendment is an agreement between the Sinhalese and Tamil political parties backed by India. The Indian Government pressurized the LTTE to accept it although they did not do so in good faith. Article 154(G)(3) is a safeguard built into the provisions of the Constitution to safeguard and preserve the devolution of power to the Provincial Councils. more..

Why the BBS Buddhists are protesting Halal

June 12 (CT) A Buddhist monk named Bowatte Indraratana died at Colombo National Hospital over the weekend after setting himself on fire Friday near the famed Temple of Buddha’s Tooth Relic in the central town of Kandy. The 30-year-old was the first monk to self-immolate in Sri Lanka. It is a bad issue for all Sri Lankans. Even somebody says his action is good, but in commonly suicide is very harmful for human nature. We all have born to live not for die. It was with much confusion that I followed more..

Colourful Holi festival celebrated in Sri Lanka

June 12 (DBS) Holi, the Festival of Colours, is one of the major festivals in India. It signifies the end of winter and welcomes the spring. People smear each other with coloured powder and splash water. The colours are traditionally made of Neem, Kumkum, Haldi and Bilva, and various other medicinal herbs. It is believed that, smearing with coloured powder has medicinal significance. People also believe that the bright colours represent more..

Proposed code of ethics: Govt’s ‘newspeak’

June 12 (CT) The Media Ministry's proposed Code of Ethics is the Rajapaksa administration's equivalent to 'newspeak.' In the first place, a 'code of ethics' drafted unilaterally, and even clandestinely, by the spin doctors of the govt, is not worth its salt. That is not how democracies work. Perhaps the best equivalent to this so-called Code of Ethics would be the fictitious, totalitarian language of George Orwell's dystopian novel, '1984.' Their real world equivalents were much scarier. more..

Code of ethics? Govt media needs it first

June 12 (Island) The judiciary and the media are two very important institutions which help us to protect our freedoms. Unfortunately, when we think about the judiciary today and its subjugation to the Executive, the more recent history of the irregular and unethical removal of the CJ and also the appointment of members of the executive to the judiciary are all a part of our unfortunate history. However, media, though somewhat frightened and weakened, is still the fourth estate of this more..

Are we prepared to face natural disasters?

June 12 (SO) Managing natural disasters has become a crucial factor for countries almost in any region today. Preparing and gearing up for earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones and tornadoes is practised frequently not only to minimise the casualties but also looking at the high rate of such disasters being reported in the recent past. Apart from the number of casualties reported in these incidents the amount of damage done more..

Editorial: Guarding the guards

June 11 (Island) Roman poet of the Satires fame, Juvenal, asked circa 2nd Century AD: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who will guard the guards?) This is the question most Sri Lankans ask themselves on seeing how the ‘guards’ conduct themselves. DIG Vass Gunawardena has been arrested over the killing of a businessman from Colombo. Some of the crime busters under him allegedly offered their services as hired guns to a person who wanted the victim eliminated. Charges against the police more..

Sri Lanka’s one-man cheer squad leaves for Champions Trophy

June 12 (PO) Sri Lankan team, which lost its first game against New Zealand in Champions Trophy on Monday, will find sudden morale support on Thursday when they play against England at the Oval in London. Percy Abeysekera, Sri lankan’s one-man cheer squad will be at the ground to boost the morale of his team. “I am on my way to London”, he said. “I could not remain present during match against New Zealand but now I will be able to cheer for my team in all matches”, he added. more..

Boston Lanka: June 12, 2013

Rupee falls sharply to near six month low

June 12 (Island) The Sri Lankan rupee fell sharply against the US dollar on Tuesday to a near six month low on import demand, bond portfolio exits and the strengthening of the greenback against many Asian currencies, dealers said. Unlike in the past, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka did not intervene in the foreign exchange market, they said. The rupee closed at Rs. 127.65/70 against the US dollar from an opening position of Rs. 126.79/90. "The US dollar has been strengthening against more..

Amending the 13th amendment

June 11 (Island) Although I intended to write on "identifying the Tamil problem" this week I have to postpone it to a later date in order to discuss a very current topic that in any event is associated with the Tamil problem. The govt intends to amend two provisions of the 13th amendment including the article on amending the provisions of the 13th amendment or the ninth schedule. It is clear that the 13th amendment or the ninth schedule that specifies the subjects allocated to the PCs more..

Buttler ready for unorthodox duel with Malinga

June 12 (CI) Jos Buttler's whirlwind 47 from 16 balls against New Zealand last week was one of the most brilliantly unconventional innings ever played by an England batsman. In its dexterity, strength and quick-wittedness, it had reminders of racquet sports and baseball with a spot of cricket thrown in. If Lasith Malinga is reverse swinging the ball at the end of England's innings at The Oval on Thursday and Buttler is on strike, more..

Lion Brewery, Central Finance debt issues oversubscribed, raise Rs. 5bn

June 12 (Island) The debenture issues of Lion Brewery (Ceylon) PLC and Central Finance Company PLC, both managed by NDB Investment Bank (NDBIB), were oversubscribed hours from opening yesterday raising Rs. 5 billion. Lion Brewery offered debentures worth Rs. 3 billion if an initial offer for debentures worth Rs. 2.5 billion was oversubscribed and Central Finance offered debentures worth Rs. 2 billion if an offer of Rs. 1 billion was oversubscribed. more..

Sri Lanka expects to increase high tech value added exports from 1.5 % to 10% by 2016

June 12 (Island) Senior Minister for Scientific Affairs, Prof Tissa Vitarana told the 16th Session of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) held in Geneva last week, that Sri Lanka which is now a middle income country expects to increase the contribution of high tech value added exports to the national economy from the present 1.5% to 10% by 2016 through the implementation of the National strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation. more..

Faizer, Thambimuttu make case for dilution of 13A

June 12 (FT) SLFP strongmen yesterday lent their voices to growing calls from far right factions of the ruling UPFA coalition for alterations to the 13th Amendment, including the removal of land and police powers granted to the provincial councils ahead of the NPC polls, saying they threaten the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. Deputy Minister Faizer Mustapha and SLFP Batticaloa District Organiser Arun more..

Sri Lanka canned fish factory explored by Thai firm

June 12 (LBO) Thai Union Manufacturing Company is planning a fish canning factory in Sri Lanka and a team is expected to arrive later this month to conduct a feasibility study an official said. "Sri Lanka is importing large amount of canned fish right now," NARA chairman S G Samarasundara said. "So it is profitable for them to produce it locally." Thai Union Manufacturing Company is said to process about 400 metric tons of tuna daily and exports them to countries such as US, Japan, Canada, more..

Public complaints against state officials almost doubled - WDJ

June 12 (DN) The number of complaints received by the Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry Investigations and Operations Unit against state sector officials increased by 90 percent compared to last year, Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister W D J Seneviratne said. He said the Investigations and Operations Unit received 205 complaints during the first quarter of this year. "It received only 118 complaints during the same period of last year," the minister said. more..

US wants accountability in Lanka

June 12 (CG) The United Sates says it is looking for Sri Lanka to proceed with accountability and genuine reconciliation and will be watching “very carefully” to decide what steps may be necessary to be taken again at the UNHRC. US Ambassador at Large on War Crimes Issues, Stephen J. Rapp said that the US was pleased to note that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay will be visiting Sri Lanka more..

Development at peak, says Dullas

June 12 (DN) An unprecedented socio-economic development drive is taking place in the country under the Mahinda Chinthana future vision, Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said. He was addressing a public meeting held to inaugurate the Southern Expressway Matara access road project from Nupe Junction to Godagama at Rahula Junction in Matara. The Opposition is making futile attempts to seize reins of the administration making baseless allegations against the government. more..

Match 6: India beat West Indies

June 12 (CI) Four years ago, almost to the day, in the same city of London, Ravindra Jadeja was a hare caught in the headlights. He could neither get out nor hit out, and his 25 off 35 in that Twenty20 match against England - India were knocked out of that World T20 - earned him what seemed like a lifetime of ridicule. He wasn't supposed to succeed at international cricket. He did. He wasn't supposed to succeed outside Asia at least. He has, for now. When Jadeja was introduced in this more..

'DIG Gunawardena dogged by evil eye'

June 12 (Island) Shyamalie Perera, wife of Western Province North DIG Vass Gunawardena, being grilled in detention by the CID, for allegedly aiding and abetting in the abduction and killing of a businessman, said that the truth would prevail and justice meted out. She said, "My husband is going through a malefic period and it is not unusual to face various problems when one is a hard-working senior police officer." more..

BlackBerry to invest more in Sri Lanka

June 12 (DN) Sri Lanka’s mobile subscriber base has grown by a healthy 550% since 2005, said Director Commercial Business for India, Hitesh Shah. He said in addition Sri Lanka enjoys a very high per capita income and so many other key economic fundamentals are very positive. “These make Sri Lanka a very ‘happening market’ and motivates us to invest more aggressively in Sri Lanka,” he said. Speaking at the launch of BlackBerry Z10 yesterday, he said that more..