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Dos and don'ts for Poson pilgrims to A'pura

June 22 (DN) North Central Province Health Minister H.B. Somasinghe yesterday urged devotees visiting Anuradhapura for Poson to avoid eating food distributed by strangers. He said food will be available at danselas in Anuradhapura town while various organisations will also distribute food. "The public should eat food only from danselas approved by the Provincial Health Ministry," he said. Sources said during the past festive seasons, a large number of people fell sick after eating food more..

AG sues 18 ex-MPs for not settling bills

June 22 (DM) The Nugegoda District Judge issued summons on 18 former MPs who had not paid rent and settled electricity and water bills at the MPs’ quarters in Madiwela. Following action filed by the AG, District Judge Namal Bandara Balalle issued summons on the former MPs who had not settled their dues from Dec 2001 to Feb 2004. The AG had sued the MPs individually and sought orders from court to recover the dues. more..

Film on Tamils’ challenges makes debut

June 22 (YR) From the streets of Markham to the big screen, cast and crew of A Gun and a Ring are walking the red carpet during the 16 annual Shanghai International Film Festival, which continues to tomorrow. Their first full-length feature film, produced by Markham’s Eyecatch Multimedia, brings to light the harsh realities experienced by different generations of Sri Lankan residents in Toronto. The film, partially filmed in Markham, also explores the emotion turmoil of Tamil more..

Mervin vows to keep a hold on his tongue

June 22 (DM) Minister Mervin Silva said today that in future he would not accuse anyone of anything without knowing the proper facts. Speaking during the condolence vote on Dr. Jayalath Jayawardene, the minister said the late MP was accused of taking money from various people and he was called many names. However he said his family was finding it difficult to pay the hospital bills in Singapore and the undertaker’s bill. “We accuse people of things without knowing the facts but it is too late more..

Shilpa National Crafts Festival to boost local craft industry

June 22 (FT) Sri Lanka’s local crafts industry, which benefits close to 25,000 persons directly and 100,000 indirectly, is a sector that needs immediate attention for improvement. Primarily based in the outskirts of urban Colombo, the crafts practiced by the artisans are those that have been passed on from one generation to another – from fathers to sons and mothers to daughters. With the extensive development and urbanisation of more..

Govt. and Opposition to share same ICT platform at FutureGov SAARC Summit

June 22 (FT) The keenly-awaited two-day FutureGov SAARC Summit 2013 will be officially inaugurated by Minister Naveen Dissanayake at the Cinnamon Grand Colombo on Tuesday. An important highlight in the morning of day two of the summit will be a VIP discussion between ruling party MP Thilanga Sumathipala and UNP MP Eran Wickramaratne. “This is a very rare opportunity to witness the views of the two key political philosophies in Sri Lanka on ICT,” said more..

State banks to provide Rs. 4,250 m for Janasevana programme

June 22 (DN) State banks have agreed to provide Rs. 4,250 million to the Janasevana Housing Programme for the next six moths. State banks heads and representatives made this observation at a meeting with Minister Wimal Weerawansa at his office. He said under the guidance of President Rajapaksa, the Janasevana programme is being carried out successfully and the contribution towards the programme by state banks is admirable. "A large number of homeless families have built their more..

Attack on Sri Lankan fans at Cardiff: British intelligence lapses exposed

June 22 (Island) Lapses in British intelligence and the security services were severely exposed after six supporters of the LTTE invaded the pitch during the Sri Lanka–India clash at the ICC Champions Trophy tournament. During the second semi-final of the tournament on Thursday, two LTTE supporters invaded the pitch, carrying the LTTE flag in the penultimate over of the Sri Lankan innings. Proving that there were serious more..

Croc attack at Nilwala river

June 22 (CG) A 43 year old woman was killed today following a crocadile attack along the Nilwala river, Kumburupitiya police said. The woman had gone to have a bath in the river when she was attacked by the crocadile. In September last year a 12 year old child went missing after being dragged away by a crocodile while he was bathing in the Nilwala river. In April last year a young school girl was killed after being attacked by a crocodile in the Nilwala river when she had gone to wash her face. more..

Jaffna gets Poshana Mandiraya

June 22 (DN) An Ayurveda Nutrition Centre (Poshana Mandiraya) constructed by the Sri Lanka Navy and funded by the Indigenous Medicine Ministry was ceremonially opened by Indigenous Medicine Minister Salinda Dissanayake in Nagadeepa, Jaffna recently. The opening of an Ayurveda Centre in Nagadeepa fulfills a long-felt need of the public. The centre will benefit people living in neighbouring islets and Jaffna as well, sources said. Nagadeepa Viharaya more..

Insurance scheme helping Sri Lanka workers

June 22 (SG) Sri Lanka Consul General Dr. Adambawa Uthumalebbe clarified to Saudi Gazette on Friday that the consulate has helped many legal workers in distress from the insurance scheme, which was implemented by the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) in partnership with the International Social Security Program (ISSP). Dr. Adambawa was responding to complaints by a few Sri Lankan workers more..

It’s not the Tamils stalling settlement in SL

June 22 (Hindu) Is Sri Lanka’s moderate Tamil leadership to blame for the absence of a political settlement to the island’s festering ethnic conflict? There is definitely enough blame to go around in Sri Lanka, but Dayan Jayatilleka takes the case too far in his article in The Hindu, “From devolution to the deep blue sea” (Op-Ed, June 18). He argues that the TNA has overplayed its hand, fails to understand the weakness of its position and asks for deals that are no longer on the table. more..

Fulfil commitment to Sri Lankan Tamils, CPI(M) urges PM

June 22 (Hindu) The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has urged India to play a proactive diplomatic role in discharging its commitment for a future for the Sri Lankan Tamil community marked by equality, justice and self-respect as committed in the 13th Amendment. In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Leader of the CPI(M) in the Rajya Sabha Sitaram Yechury said the 13th Amendment was the consequence of the historic Rajiv-Jayawardene Accord and India was more..

President Rajapaksa requests media to deny publicity to anti-Muslim activities

June 22 (DBS) President Rajapaksa has asked the Sri Lankan media to refrain from giving publicity to the anti-Muslim activities of Extremist Sinhala Buddhist organizations. The President made this request when he met the editors of newspapers and heads of TV and Radio stations for breakfast at “Temple Trees” on Friday. His request was made when he was mingling with media heads and editors in an informal manner after the formal more..

Over 20 journalists in exile

June 22 (FT) Over 20 Sri Lankan journalists have gone into exile between June 2008 to May 2013 and 3 of them have returned to the country, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in a new report. According to CPJ, 26 journalists fled Sri Lanka during that period including three between June last year and May this year. CPJ says journalism work-related murders have declined since 2009 in Sri Lanka, but the slayings of nine journalists have gone unsolved over the last decade, more..

Britain asked to safeguard SL cricketers

June 22 (DM) The Sri Lankan Embassy in London has been directed to request the British Government to provide security to the Sri Lankan Cricketers and Sri Lankans in Britain in the wake of reports of coordinated attacks on them, the Ministry of External Affairs said today. Ministry Secretary Karunaratne Amunugama said the ministry had instructed the embassy to take necessary measures on a diplomatic level to ensure the safety of Sri Lankans residing in Britain. more..

We choked again – Mathews

June 22 (Island) The Sri Lankan cricket team has been the most consistent team in ICC events during the last six years. Since 2007, there have been eight ICC events and Sri Lanka has reached the finals in four of them, while there have been two semi-final appearances. The only instances when they did not reach the last four was at the 2007 World T-20 in South Africa and the 2009 Champions Trophy, also in South Africa. more..

SL use GPS technology for the first time

June 22 (GDI) Sri Lanka has for the first time in the history of the judiciary used the Global Positioning System (GPS) Technology to consolidate evidence. The recording of this evidence on GPS Technology took place in the presence of Colombo High Court Judge P. Surasena. The Sri Lanka Navy recently apprehended five Indian nationals in the Northern sea with narcotics. The Lawyers appearing on behalf of the defendants said that since these suspects had been arrested within Indian territorial waters, more..

CPC not incurring losses: Minister

June 22 (DM) The Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS) said that the CPC was incurring more heavy losses in billions of rupees after reopening the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery. Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery had been shut down for almost two weeks until the reopening on May 28. The JSS President Ananda Palitha said the output of the refinery had also reduced by 50% from the output obtained before the shutting down of the refinery. Rejecting the allegation minister Anura Priyadarshana more..

'Casino king won’t get new licence'

June 22 (Island) President Rajapaksa yesterday faulted a section of the media for misinterpreting various post-war development initiatives and publishing speculative reports on Australian National James Packer’s investment in a casino complex here. He was addressing media heads at Temple Trees. Asked whether the govt would issue a new licence to Australian casino king Packer, more..

Like a beauty Queen dying of cancer

June 22 (DM) Like a Miss World dying of cancer or the proverbial emperor without clothes, Sri Lanka is projecting a beautiful image mainly to promote its pet project of tourism. But behind this bright and beautiful image, most people are falling sick more often and getting sick and tired of the deceptive if not decadent politics of a largely dictatorial regime. The life-or death health service is facing its gravest crisis with millions of people being forced to breathe polluted air and eat polluted or poisoned food more..

Thanthirimale: The journey then and now

June 22 (DM) It was the year 2004 and January, the month of Duruthu Poya. Seven staff members of the Wijeya Newspapers under instructions from the top management undertook a tedious journey to get to Thanthirimale. The vehicle also carried enough of Thambili and fresh water. We were on an uncharted territory and the Elam war was threatening the border villages. Via Kurunegala we reached Anuradhapura for lunch and having booked a place to put up for the night, we started our journey more..

Angulana culprits pardoned by parish priest

June 22 (SL) It is a hot, sleepy morning in Angulana. Fringing the rail track, the pale orange facade of the St. Francis Xavier’s Church juts out into the sky – but the gates are closed, and a thin rope winds around them, ensuring there are no intruders. The Church has been closed since June 5, when it was the site of a sudden attack. The area is quietly bustling; the shops are open and mothers are leading their young children home from more..

Uni association slams SB

June 22 (CG) The Open University Teachers’ Association has vehemently condemned a statement made by the Minister S. B Dissanayake on the attack on the Head of the Department of Legal Studies at the Open University. The Minister has stated in parliament when questioned about the attack on Ms Yashodara Kadiragamathambi, that there are no opportunities for students and academics to interact at the more..

Meeting of casino owners called

June 22 (DN) No new licences will be given for casinos, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa speaking to media heads at Temple Trees last morning. He said that be it Mr. Packer or anybody else, no licences will be granted. Anybody contravening licencing regulations and establishing casinos will be dealt with, and their casinos closed down, he said. The President also said that the move to have casinos in one particular more..

JHU Bill will not get two-thirds majority

June 22 (CT) Q: The forthcoming Northern Provincial Council polls have sparked a political debate on the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. What is your take on it? A: The 13th Amendment to the Constitution, through which the PCs were formed, was forcibly introduced to Sri Lanka by India, under the conditions of the Indo-Lanka Accord. Before introducing the system, the public was not given an opportunity to study more..

Bishop condemns Keheliya’s comments

June 22 (CT) Mannar Bishop, Rt. Rev. Rayappu Joseph, condemning the comments made against him by Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, at the weekly press briefing on Thursday said the minister, who deals with the media should be extremely cautious when commenting on a person of his standing. Rt. Rev. Joseph, responding to the comments made by Minister Rambukwella about him said, the minister has made more..

Domestic gold prices edge up after tax

June 22 (LBO) Gold prices in Sri Lanka's domestic market have started to rise after the state slapped a 10 percent on imports, industry players said. On Friday a gold sovereign the most popular benchmark price was quoted around 47,500 rupees for 22 carats up about a 1,000 rupees from a day earlier. In March gold sovereigns were around 54,000 rupees when international gold prices started to slide in the wake of a strengthening dollar. more..

Code of ethics: President wants media to examine govt. proposals

June 22 (Island) President Rajapaksa urged media representatives to discuss the proposed code of ethics among themselves, taking into consideration the recommendations made by the Media Ministry. He asserted that a fresh look at the existing code of ethics, formulated by the media industry, was a necessity. Commenting on a recent television programme, which had been critical of more..

Environmentalists irked by ministry plan to fell trees

June 22 (Island) Environmental experts yesterday lashed out at the State Resources and Enterprise Development Ministry for trying to deplete environmental resources to maintain chronic loss making companies and to pay for their sins. The State Resources and Enterprise Development Ministry has announced its decision to fell over half a million eucalyptus, Mahogany, Albeesia, Sabukku, Sapu and Midella to make overdue EPF, ETF more..

How can govt give authority it doesn’t have?

June 22 (AD) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe today stated that controlling media is not the govt’s duty and that the Executive has no say over it. “As far as I know controlling the media is not the duty of the govt. The executive does not have authority,” he told reporters outside the Kollupitiya Walukarama Buddhist Temple. Wickaramasinghe today handed over the constitution proposal drafted by the UNP to more..

No need for PSC to scrap 13-A - JVP

June 22 (Island) The JVP yesterday claimed that the proposed Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to change the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was not necessary and therefore it would therefore boycott it. JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that they would however be ready to discuss it openly if the govt announces its stance on the 13th Amendment. Amending or scrapping the 13th amendment to the more..

Discipline in the dustbin

June 22 (CT) Where in the world, other than in Sri Lanka, does anyone come across a pupil taking the upper hand over his or her teacher, or a school teacher being assaulted for enforcing discipline? If the recent episode of a Provincial Councillor roughing up and ordering a teacher to kneel before him, for merely doing her duty of taking action over a disciplinary matter, does not reflect the breakdown of values in Sri Lankan society, we wonder what will. In fact, this can be considered as more..

Aha! An election is near!

June 22 (CT) Rathnayaka (husband)- “Soma said that she saw some road-construction machinery have been parked at Mawathagama” Bandaramenike (wife) “No doubt an election may be near” People sighted heavy machinery, mostly stationary, under the shades of trees, in February this year, along the Nikaweratiya- Ambanpola road. They concluded that it was a sure sign of an election approaching. They weren’t wrong; the Govt has announced that it would hold North more..

MR for stronger ties with Iran

June 22 (CG) President Rajapaksa says he looks forward to working with the President-elect of Iran Hassan Rohani to further strengthen relations between the two countries. The President’s media unit said that President Rajapaksa had sent a congratulatory message to Rohani, who had won the recent Presidential elections. “I am certain that your vast experience in the realm of politics and the affairs of the state along with your more..

Suba Anagathayak

June 22 (CT) Almost 60 fishermen died at sea, because the authorities failed to warn about an impending storm. No one accepted responsibility, no one apologised and no one resigned. A Deputy Inspector General of Police was arrested for abducting and murdering a businessman. Subsequently the police announced that DIG Vaas Gunawardene has been heading a murder-cum-extortion racket for years. No one accepted responsibility, no one apologised and more..

Two contrasting petitions, and an attempt to stimulate consensus

June 22 (CT) I have received recently two very different petitions, one from a body that calls itself the World Alliance for Peace in Sri Lanka, the other from a body that calls itself the Friday Forum. They present two very different points of view, the one asking that the 13th Amendment be abolished, the other that no changes be made to it. I think we need to understand the fears of both sides, and in both cases reasons have been given for the positions presented. My own view is that more..

Jaffna Commander interviewed and selected candidates for SLFP

June 22 (CT) Jaffna Security Forces Commander Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe and Northern Province Major General G.A. Chandrasiri have jointly interviewed and selected about 20 candidates for the Northern Provincial Council Election and the Army is in the process of transporting them to Colombo today. Colombo Telegraph learns that the SLFP is conducting the interviews to select their candidates for the more..

A Kneeling Nation

June 22 (CT) To a thinking Sri Lankan these are universally distressing times. We can accept economic denials and hardships as part and parcel of life in a poor third world country. Given the tone of the general interaction between man and man in this land, Political corruption as a social phenomenon seems an inevitability. The expectation that the wielders of power will abuse it and the ruled will make an appropriate accommodation with that reality is as old as the days of the kings, more..

'Beef eaters themselves attacked beef stalls'

June 22 (Island) Beef eaters themselves had led the attacks on beef stalls, UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament. Participating in the condolence vote, on UNP MP, Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena, Wickremesinghe said that actions must be taken against those supporting ethnic disharmony. "There is a new trend of attacking beef stalls. Some religions advocate that its followers not eat beef. But in some other religions, there is no problem with eating beef. more..