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Boston Lanka with Lankika Perera

Douglas Devananda fails to move Michigan State University against Professor Hoole

June 21 (SL) I fled Sri Lanka first under LTTE death threats in March 2006 and a second time in August 2011 after detailing election malpractices in Pitfalls in the President’s Alliance with the EPDP – A Visit to Kayts on Elections Day (The Sunday Leader 24.07.2011). If I had been untruthful, the EPDP’s Minister Devananda had recourse to defamation charges; instead he abused his powers and got the police to collude on trumping up criminal charges. This is not uncommon in a country where more..

We don’t see any trace of media freedom in the state media

June 21 (CT) The Code of Media ethics prepared by the Ministry of Mass Media and information when viewed in the context of the situation which prevails where we do not see any trace of media freedom in the state media, where the media institutions and media personals are being subject to serious threats by abductions, disappearances and attacks on media institutions and media personals, where the Rule of Law and the independence of the judiciary is at stake militarization of civil society more..

Travel agents furious over IATA move; warns it endangers Lankan economy

June 21 (FT) Until 2005, travel agents in Sri Lanka were trading with the airlines directly by providing individual bank guarantees and were trading with credit periods exceeding 14 days. In 2006, IATA-BSP interposed between the airlines and travel agents and made travel agents provide a common bank guarantee, which facilitated the flow of funds between travel agencies and airlines. IATA-BSP also managed to convince the airlines more..

Dhoni fancies a bowl

June 21 (CI) Tillakaratne Dilshan was the first, and heaviest, casualty of a plague of leg injuries that hit the first hour of play. He sustained his injury in the fourth over and left the field in the fifth. Umesh Yadav had Lahiru Thirimanne hobbling after hitting him just above the knee before Suresh Raina conspired to put players' legs in more danger. First his throw from second slip hit Yadav in the back of the knee leaving the bowler with a limp for the rest of the over and then from cover, more..

Fair result for a middling ODI team

June 21 (CI) Sri Lanka have made for pretty bridesmaids in recent years. They have known, in past campaigns, how to make the most of their assets - the big players have fired and the team has played a very watchable brand of cricket. This time, they encountered the team of the competition in the semi-finals, which has not always been the case in the past, and were thus relegated one step further in the tournament hierarchy. In the UK, Sri Lanka will be the friends watching jealously more..

SEC investigations dragging on

June 21 (Island) Investigations by the capital market watchdog is dragging on after its former chief Tilak Karunaratne alleged that attempts were made to stall investigations into rampant market offences which prompted him to resign with disgust. His predecessor Ms. Indrani Sugathadasa resigned for the same reason citing her principles. When Karunaratne resigned in August last year, he had told COPE that more..

Bogala Graphite chases new deposits

June 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Bogala Graphite Plc, a unit of Germany's AMG Mining AG said it had gained rights to explore graphite deposits in new locations totaling 89 square kilometres. Mineral Chase The firms said Geological Survey and Mines Bureau, the regulatory agency had licensed it to search for graphite in Kohombagahawatte, Rangala and Galigamuwa covering 33 square kilometres in the Kegalle district. In Matugama it was licensed to explore graphite in a 56 kilometre area, more..

On Weerawansa’s collecting signatures: It is certainly the age of the demagogue

June 21 (CT) Our politicians and civil society groups talk about popular sovereignty or the sovereignty of the people as a sacrosanct principle justifying any action of the government if it has the consent of the people through a referendum. In practice it would of course mean the decision of the majority of the people. President J.R Jayewardene extended the life of Parliament through a Referendum. President M.R frequently refers to the will of the people to justify his actions. more..

Packer’s $ 350 m project gets 50-year land lease for Rs. 2.8 b

June 21 (FT) As the war of words heated up between the Govt and the main Opposition over the controversial James Packer project, Cabinet on Wednesday approved a 50-year lease on the land earmarked for it at a cost of Rs. 2.78 billion. Rank Holdings, the local partners of the US$ 350 million James Packer venture, has obtained a land under a new company titled Lake Leisure Holdings. According to documents obtained more..

FTZ union adopts three resolutions

June 21 (Island) Three resolutions were adopted at the delegates’ conference of the Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees Union (FTZGSEU) on June 16. They were for a social movement led by the trade unions, a free media and a free and fair election to the Northern Provincial Council. The Secretary of the FTZGSEU Anton Marcus said that the govt had plunged the country into a serious economic crisis through corrupt and inefficient economic and financial planning and more..

ADB pledges further assistance to Sri Lanka

June 21 (FT) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has recognised Sri Lanka’s high economic performance and therefore continued ADB assistance to the country is assured, according to ADB Executive Director Yeo Kwon Yoon. The ADB ED said this when he met Minister Basil Rajapaksa at the Ministry office to discuss ADB-funded development projects in Sri Lanka. The Minister noted that the level ADB assistance to the country had risen and further funding is expected. more..

We have no confidence in SEC, disappointed in CB, says Harsha

June 21 (Island) UNP MP Dr. Harsha De Silva MP said the UNP had no confidence in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to conclude investigations into market malpractices that would result in litigations against offenders. This comes close on the heels of recent revelations that Sri Lankan companies and individuals were operating offshore accounts in tax havens around the world, among them are investors in the more..

Dishonesty the accepted norm in the tea trade

June 21 (Island) Colombo Tea Traders’ Association (CTTA) Chairman Jayantha Keragala lamented that integrity and trust, once the hall mark of the Tea Trade, had drastically eroded leading to self-interest . "Erosion of the element f reliability was a further malaise which placed the tea trade in serious violation of convention. Adherence to established tradition and norms in trade circles was a recurring transgression of accepted standards," he said speaking at the association’s 119th AGM more..

Campaign to defeat Ranil at PC polls ?

June 21 (CT) Organizer of the United Bhikkhu Front (UBF), Ven. Ulapane Sumangala Thera, said Party members of the UNP are of the view that the UNP can win at future elections without Ranil Wickremesinghe, as there is a campaign underway to vote against him at the upcoming elections in some of the provinces. “The objective underscoring the campaign is to defeat Ranil Wickremesinghe and oust him from his post at the Provincial Council elections, because as long as Ranil more..

India rout Sri Lanka, enter final

June 21 (CI) The only glitches in India's march into the final were two sets of pitch invaders running on to the field on two separate occasions. On a Cardiff surface with a lot of moisture, the ball seamed, bounced steeply and turned appreciably, and the Indian bowlers were all over Sri Lanka after winning the toss. In the afternoon, the Indian openers continued their run of impressive stands, adding 77 through some luck and more..

Weight loss scientific programme at MRI

June 21 (DN) The Medical Research Institute (MRI) commenced a special scientific programme on weight loss. Persons who are overweight, are easily subjected to Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs). Annually 7,300 Sri Lankans die of heart attacks and 219,000 hospitalised for treatment after heart attacks. Annually, another 14,000 Sri Lankans die due to strokes. About 600 overweight persons voluntarily joined the scientific research programme started by the MRI to find out a successful more..

Opposition questions credibility of probe

June 21 (CT) The Opposition, while expressing doubts about ongoing investigations into the murder charges against Senior DIG Vass Gunawardena, who was arrested for the murder of a businessman, questioned as to why the rest of the suspects have not been taken into custody. Chief Opposition Whip, John Amaratunga, speaking during the Second Reading debate of the Defence Services Command and Staff College (Amendment) Bill, said though it was mentioned the son of the Senior DIG, more..

Govt’s aim is to create value based future generation: President

June 21 (DN) The govt’s main aim is to create a value based future generation, which can drive the country forward to achieve future goals, President Rajapaksa said. “Children are children and therefore there can be no categorisation of children. The govt stands for the betterment of all children,” the President added. He was addressing an event organised to mark the official launch of the new A/L stream to the more..

Unregistered private pharmacies: Authority denies TU statement

June 21 (DN) The Cosmetic Devices and Drugs Authority (CDDA) denied a recent statement to the media by a trade union that there are 2,000 unregistered private pharmacies in the country. The Trade Union stated that there are 4,000 private pharmacies in the country. However, there are only 2,766 private pharmacies in the country, a Health Ministry spokesman said. 2,503 have already been registered and another 263 will be registered in due course as their registration is valid for more..

Fire at Mihintale Forest Reserve

June 21 (CT) A major fire that broke out at the Mihintale Forest Reserve was brought under control by the officers of the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWLC), Air Force and Security Forces personnel. The fire, in the proximity of the Mihintale Raja Maha Viharaya, is believed to have been caused by a lit cigarette butt. Unconfirmed reports said about 10 acres of the forest reserve were destroyed in the fire. Chief Incumbent of the Mihintale Rajamaha Viharaya, more..

Law student doc remanded over stabbing

June 21 (Island) The law student doctor who stabbed the head of the Legal Studies Department of the Open University on Wednesday was remanded till July 2 by the Gangodawila Magistrate. SP Buddhika Siriwardana however said that the suspect, Shivagnanasundaram Surendrajith, was still under treatment at the ICU of the Kalubowila Teaching Hospital, as he had consumed some tablets after the incident. more..

All missing journalists are alive -Arundika

June 21 (DM) All journalists, including Sandaruwan Senadheera of Lanka E news, who are said to have disappeared, are living abroad, government MP Arundika Fernando told Parliament today. He said Mr. Senadeera was running the Lankaenews website from London. Mr. Fernando said it was questionable how these journalists obtained political asylum overseas. Citing an example, he said journalist Sunanda Deshapriya had no reason to flee the country. He said Mr. Deshapriya’s brother more..

Govt. requests Rs 368 million

June 21 (CT) The government yesterday submitted for Parliament’s approval, a supplementary allocation of Rs 368 million (Rs 368,910,000) to purchase new vehicles for 18 ministries and departments. The request was submitted to the House by Chief Government Whip, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena. The highest amount, Rs 199,200,000, is sought by the Ministry of Justice, to purchase 23 vehicles for the judges of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. more..

'Govt. in talks with India'

June 21 (CT) The govt has already begun diplomatic negotiations with India on the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, said yesterday. The apparent lack of ‘govt level’ interaction between Sri Lanka and India regarding the 13th Amendment does not mean the required diplomatic attention is not being given to the matter, he added. He commented on the growing Indian concerns over what it more..

Eran asks who owns the 10%

June 21 (FT) UNP MP Eran Wickremaratne who also participated in yesterday’s media briefing called on the Govt to reveal who owned the 10% stake in Packer’s casino project that his local partners have refused to divulge. Wickremaratne said Packer’s Crown Casinos owned 45% of the shares while Rank Holdings in Sri Lanka also owned 45%. “Who owns the remaining 10%? When a journalist queried Rank Holdings Chairman Ravi Wijeratne about this remaining stake recently, he said it more..

JHU outlines reasons to veto amalgamation of provinces

June 21 (CT) The clause allowing the amalgamation of Provincial Councils in the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, if not removed, would lead to the formation of a separate nation in the North, which would lay claim to one-third of the internal land mass, and two-thirds of the coastline of the country, General Secretary of the JHU, Minister Champika Ranawaka, said. He said, "In 1949, Tamil separatists declared that the North and East of the country were the historical homelands of more..

Half a million trees to be felled to settle defaulted EPF, ETF and gratuity payments

June 21 (Island) The State Resources and Enterprise Development Ministry will fell over half a million commercially valuable trees, on State-owned estates in the hill country, to raise three billion rupees for the settlement of the EPF and ETF contributions and gratuity payments of its employees. They were also planning to cut down 67,137 trees planted for commercial needs. The 3,000 employees who have to be paid more..

Making sure Pandora’s Box is tightly shut

June 21 (DM) The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has come up with an invaluable database of offshore account holders worldwide in 10 tax havens based on leaked information. About 30 odd names of individuals and companies linked to Sri Lanka were also included in this database. The matter was raised in Parliament by UNP MP Dr. Harsha De Silva and requested the Speaker to appoint a Select Committee to carry out a preliminary investigation. more..

Ven. Madihe Pannaseeha Thera: An ambassador of unity

June 21 (DM) Valiant soldiers united the territory of Sri Lanka in May 2009. Now Sri Lanka is at a crossroads, trying to find a way to permanent peace. The civil society has failed to consolidate a united country. The debate revolving around the 13th Amendment indicates that we are sitting on a volcano which may erupt anytime, yet we are complacent and divided. A statement of the Most Venerable Madihe Pannaseeha Thera leads us to a strategy to overcome the predicament we are more..

5.5 billion rupee customs fraud by vehicle importer

June 21 (SL) Credible evidence has now emerged to reveal that Chairman of Vehicles Lanka (Pvt) Ltd Harsha de Silva has misrepresented facts of a Supreme Court ruling to the Controller Imports and Exports to obtain an import license. In a letter dated October 10, 2012 to the Controller of Imports and Exports, De Silva has stated that he had got a Supreme Court ruling on Sept 13, 2012 to register 2,250 vehicles more..

Motor Traffic Department operates a 'whole-of –govt' service counter

June 21 (ST) The Department of Motor Traffic (DMT) now operates what is called a “whole-of–Govt” service counter to make it easy for vehicle owners to register their vehicles, obtain revenue licences, buy insurance cover and carry out vehicle emission tests, Commissioner General of Motor Traffic S.H. Harischandra said. The aim is to implement a one-stop shop concept for the convenient of vehicle owners through a more..

Sri Lanka imposes 10% tax on gold imports

June 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka slapped a 10% tax on gold, deputy Treasury Secretary S R Attygalle said, as world gold prices fell to levels seen in 2010. India had imposed an 8% tax earlier. Sri Lanka's gold import surged to 100 million US dollars in the first four months of the year from about 150 million for the full year 2012 Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said last week. Attygalle said the tax was expected to be temporary. more..

Security breaches disrupt semi-final

June 21 (CI) The second semi-final in Cardiff was played out among security concerns after pitch invasions and fracas outside the ground. Protesters invaded the pitch during both innings of India's eight-wicket victory over Sri Lanka. The first saw two men attempt to get onto the field; one was stopped by the security cordon but the other broke free and ran to the middle brandishing a placard. In the second innings, six more more..

Sri Lanka’s public officials a ‘silent’ lot

June 21 (Island) Sri Lanka’s public sector officials are very disinclined to engage in ‘vigorous public debate’ at fora of importance and this could get in the way of this country improving its development prospects, Resident Representative of the IMF, Dr. Koshy Mathai said. Addressing the golden jubilee celebrations of the Sri Lanka Chamber of Small and Medium Industries, which occasion also marked the conferring of the SLCSMI’s more..

EU support to build 25,000 houses in N&E

June 21 (DN) Head of Delegation of the European Union in Sri Lanka Bernard Savage said 25,000 houses will be constructed in the North and East next year with European Union support. The EU Head of Delegation who called on Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne on Wednesday said a feasibility study is being carried out for this project. He said that many foreigners love Sri Lanka on account of its serenity and hospitality of its people. more..

JVP revives protests against electricity tariff hike

June 21 (Island) The JVP said that they would go ahead with protests against the power tariff revision though the other Opposition parties had forgotten the immense burden placed on the people as a result. JVP Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath said that they would launch protests in every district from today. He said that the govt had gone ahead with its decision to increase the electricity tariff heedless of the public woes. more..

Sri Lanka gets ten investment proposals from China

June 21 (Xinhua) Ten proposals from Chinese companies have been handed over to Sri Lanka's Investment Promotion Ministry, an official said here on Friday. Responding to questions at a media gathering, Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana noted that the proposals were to set up factories in areas such as the central and eastern parts of the country. The proposals include a steel factory, IT Park and assembling more..

Presidential Commission on Matale grave

June 21 (CG) President Rajapaksa today announced the appointment of a special commission to investigate the Matale mass grave. President’s secretary Lalith Weeratunga said that the commission will be led by former Justice S.I. Imam, Retired High Court Judge Bandula Atapattu and former Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Kitulgoda. The commission has been asked to investigate all angles into the mass grave. more..

'No violation of 1987 Indo-Lanka Accord'

June 21 (PTI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa today dismissed reports that his govt had flouted agreements reached in the 1987 Indo-Lanka Accord which created devolved administrative units, saying there had been no violation. "We have not violated anything on the Indo-Lanka accord", Rajapaksa said, while responding to questions during a media interaction. He added that New Delhi had not raised any concerns with more..