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Daya Master seeks SLFP nomination for NPC polls

June 23 (ST) The LTTE’s one-time spokesman Velautham Dayanidhi alias Daya Master was among 53 applicants interviewed by the SLFP yesterday for nomination to contest the Northern Provincial Council election in September. Among others interviewed were TNA Jaffna Municipal Councillor Remedius Mudiappu, Chavakachcheri UNP PS member Kumar Sharvendran, top Jaffna businessman Sathasivam Ramanadhan and Jaffna Fisheries Society VP Ponnambalam. more..

Sinhala Ravaya denies setting fire to beef stall

June 23 (SL) Chairman of the Sinhala Ravaya Organisation Ven. Akmeemana Dayaratana Thero denied allegations that the group had set fire to a Muslim-owned beef stall in Tangalle. The Sinhala Ravaya last week staged a march from Kataragama to Colombo to demand the ban of cattle slaughter as well as calling a halt to religious conversions in Sri Lanka. Initial reports said that members of the Sinhala Ravaya had set the beef stall ablaze in view of the police. more..

Lanka, Canada in diplomatic dispute over ambassadors

June 23 (ST) Sri Lanka and Canada, which is calling upon member nations to boycott the Commonwealth summit in Colombo, are locked in a diplomatic wrangle over posting of envoys to their respective capitals. The Canadian External Affairs Ministry, diplomatic sources said yesterday, had placed on hold the agreemo to post Esala Weerakoon as Sri Lanka’s new High Commissioner in Canada. more..

Whitby man recalls violence in native Sri Lanka after Scarborough shooting

June 23 (Star) He came from Sri Lanka to escape the war, but found himself dealing with a victim of gunfire once again Saturday evening in Scarborough. Anand Anantharajah was visiting his mother at her apartment near Lawrence Ave. E. and Midland Ave. He parked in the lot of the plaza across the road around 6 p.m. and heard five loud bangs. “I thought it was just firecrackers and I thought, ‘This is not Canada Day,’” said Anantharajah. “I saw some guy screaming, more..

Sampur : Power Ministry Secretary denies former minister’s claims

June 23 (ST) A Ministry Secretary has chided his former minister for not raising issues over technical details relating to the Rs. 65 billion Sampur Coal fired power project. M.M.C. Ferdinando, Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy, has said the former Minister Champika Ranawaka “being an electrical engineer by profession” did not raise the issue of excessive heat rate or operation and maintenance of the power plant. Minister in a report on the joint Indo-Lanka Power Project, more..

TNA wants Military Governor replaced prior to Northern PC Election

June 23 (Island) The TNA yesterday called for the Northern Province Governor Major General (Rtd) G.A. Chandrasiri to be replaced with a civilian ahead of the Northern Provincial Council Election scheduled for September. A conducive climate for the conduct of a free and fair Poll was essential and the first step in that direction should be the appointment of a civilian as Governor of the North, TNA MP S Shritharan said. more..

SL denies subsidy to 'Bombay Velvet'?

June 23 (TOI) A recent addition to that list is Sri Lanka which won't offer subsidies to Ranbir Kapoor-Anushka Sharma starrer Bombay Velvet, directed by Anurag Kashyap, which begins shooting near Colombo next month. By most accounts, a bad experience with the makers of Salman Khan starrer Ready provoked the change in policy. As it turns out, a promise not kept, is to blame. Explains our source, "The film's makers committed to promote tourism in that country after release. more..

£3,000 bond for Lankans to enter Britain

June 23 (DM) Foreigners from “high risk” countries including Sri Lanka will have to pay a £3,000 cash bond to enter Britain under a tough new crackdown on immigration abuse. A pilot scheme to be rolled out by Home Secretary Theresa May in November will charge visitors from six African and Asian countries to come into the country. The Australian-style tactics mean foreigners would lose the £3,000 cash bond if they overstay their visas. The first scheme will cover India, Pakistan, more..

Germany protests arrest of its NGO chief

June 23 (ST) Germany has strongly protested over the arrest of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation’s Sri Lanka branch chief, Nora Langanbacher. The German-Govt-funded NGO has been functioning in Sri Lanka for more than 30 years. A statement of protest from the Foreign Office in Berlin follows a meeting between German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and Minister G.L. Peiris in Berlin on June 13 — the same day the more..

Suspect DIG’s son facing arrest

June 23 (ST) The son of remanded DIG Vaas Gunawardena is facing imminent arrest for his role in the abduction and murder of businessman Mohamed Shiyam. SSP Buddhika Siriwardena said that the DIG’s son’s name had transpired during the investigation and hence moves were afoot to arrest him. The CID had learnt from the other policemen arrested for complicity in the murder that they had picked up DIG Gunawardena’s son Ravindu and another PC armed with a T-56 weapon and more..

CHOGM 2013 website’s statistical discrepancy rectified

June 23 (ST) Officials have responded to a statistical discrepancy in Sri Lanka’s ethnic groups on the recently launched CHOGM 2013 website after it was pointed out by the ST. While the 2012 data from the Department of Census and Statistics show the population of Sri Lanka’s Tamils to be 11.2%, the CHOGM website’s Sri Lanka fact-sheet showed 3.9%. The change to the website’s fact-sheet was made on Friday morning, four days after the launch. Three days after its launch, more..

Indian pressure forces govt. to put off crucial amendments

June 23 (ST) “Are you moving the constitutional amendments next week,” asked R Sampanthan, the TNA leader, a week ago from Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, in the lobby of the Parliament complex. “Not immediately,” he replied. The answer meant a lot for the TNA whose MPs wanted to stay behind if indeed the proposed “Urgent Bill” was taken up this week. A Bill which, in the view of the Cabinet of Ministers, is urgent more..

What will India really do?

June 23 (CT) Aquestion that has been asked in various Quarters with regard to government moves to dilute the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, by abolishing a number of its very notable clauses is "What will India do?" The question is pertinent, for India stands miles ahead among those advocating not only the retention of the 13th Amendment with all clauses intact, but also its full implementation as a means to securing a political settlement to the vexing Tamil issue. more..

Buddhism bashing columnists

June 23 (CT) They say you cannot fool the people all of the time and the recent announcement by a Minister who thinks he is doing a favour to those he closely associates with is like a blessing in disguise for the real victims of hate speech and the likelihood that it is going to boomerang on the very authors of the proposed hate speech legislation is something they have not yet taken into consideration. Almost 50 years ago the Press Commission Report of 1964 revealed some startling truths on more..

Dengue: The battle within

June 23 (CT) Dengue fever is on the rise. The monsoon rains are compounding the situation and the Ministry of Health remains ostensibly helpless in containing the disease. The ministry is in a dilemma and its officials gather more often these days to discuss and determine their next course of action. The latest count published by the Ministry of Health says that 15,058 suspected cases of dengue have been reported for the first 5 months more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

June 23 (SL) Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, UPFA MP and Monitoring MP for the Ministry of External Affairs, has extended an unqualified apology to UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. This was for incidents connected with mobs preventing Mr. Wickremesinghe from attending funerals of fishermen in the Balapitiya area. UNP Leader escaped personal harm when a mob surrounded his official vehicle. more..

Worst of the monsoon season is over

June 23 (ST) The Department of Meteorology says the worst of the southwest monsoon is over but the season would continue until mid-September, bringing spells of rain which may strengthen from time to time. The southwest monsoons affect mainly the central, Sabaragamuwa and Western provinces, and the Galle and Matara districts. “At the beginning, usually during the first three weeks, bad weather more..

UNP gets tough with dissidents

June 23 (ST) The UNP will appoint fresh organisers to the posts left vacant by last week’s sacking of Provincial Councillors (PC) Maithree Gunaratne and Shiral Lakthilaka, said the Party’s Assistant Leader Joseph Michael Perera. But Mr. Gunaratne and Mr. Lakthilaka, along with eight other Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) members, will challenge their expulsions in court, in a bid to retain their membership and their elected positions in more..

Minister’s committee exonerates him

June 23 (SL) Minister of Disaster Management Mahinda Amaraweera says the committee appointed by him had concluded their investigations and found that neither the Department of Meteorology or the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) were responsible for the recent blunder in not issuing a bad weather warning and preventing the loss of life of over 55 fishermen. He said that in spite of allegations being levelled more..

Govt denies TNA allegation on housing issue

June 23 (NS) The Govt denied allegations by the TNA that houses meant for displaced people were given to non-residents. The TNA earlier said houses built through Indian assistance for the displaced people in the North and East were handed over to those who had never lived in the respective areas during the war. “There is no truth in such allegations. We have followed proper procedures in allocating the houses to the more..

Army to withdraw officers from TN

June 23 (SL) The Sri Lankan military has decided to withdraw the two officers sent to Tamil Nadu to follow the Defence Services Staff Course, due to opposition from the Tamil Nadu govt. Several other trainees were relocated to Bangalore some time ago, and according to military sources, it was possible as similar courses were available there. However there is no alternative course available for these two officers elsewhere in India more..

Plot thickens

June 23 (CT) The investigation into the murder of millionaire businessman, Mohammed Shyam, and the alleged involvement of one-time police star, DIG Vass Gunawardena in the killing, continues to cause controversy. Now the million dollar question is how on earth is the son of Vass Gunawardena, Ravindu, continuing to roam free even after the CID in an earlier report submitted to the Court stated Krishantha Korale alias more..

‘Everything possible was done to stop violent incidents’

June 23 (Island) Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in London, Dr. Chris Nonis assured that he had done all he could to stop any violent incidents during or after the cricket match played between Sri Lanka and India last Thursday at Sofia Gardens Grounds in Cardiff, Wales. Asked by The Sunday Island what action he had taken, the High commissioner said that before the Championship Trophy Cricket Tournament started in the UK, more..

Sri Lanka says the UK was warned of LTTE threats on the cricketers

June 23 (SL) The British govt and Scotland Yard had been alerted two days ahead of the Sri Lanka vs. India ICC Champions Trophy match held last Thursday in Cardiff, that there was a threat to the Sri Lankan cricket team from LTTE supporters in England. External Affairs Ministry Secretary Karunatilaka Amunugama said that a report has now been sought to check if there had been a security lapse on the part of Britain to prevent more..

Iran: An example too early for Sri Lanka?

June 23 (CT) If there is any example that Sri Lanka could emulate as a result of the Iranian presidential election held on 14 June, then that is to strengthen the prospects of moderate ‘cleric’ Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha winning the next presidential election against the Sri Lankan counterpart and friend of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President Rajapaksa. Only snag seems to be that the example is little too early for the SL voters to emulate even if our presidential election is held in 2014 or otherwise, more..

Imperative to ban hate speech

June 23 (CT) The govt is to introduce what Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, described as a ‘Code of Media Ethics’ to all print and electronic media. According to a govt-owned daily, a Draft Bill containing a Media Code of Ethics aimed at creating ‘a salutary media culture’ in the country will be tabled in Parliament for adoption in September. It must be noted the country already has a comprehensive code of ethics introduced in 2001 for the private media jointly by the Editors’ Guild more..

Teacher given lesson in the new 3 ‘R’s – Rage, Rudeness and Ruthlessness

June 23 (ST) A 27-year-old teacher taking a few moments’ rest in a classroom after a busy day at school was suddenly confronted by a woman – the wife of a member of the North Western Provincial Council – waving a child’s uniform at her. In a loud voice the intruder demanded, “Mokakda me karapu wade?”(What is this you have done?). The teacher, Priyani Herath, knew straight away what the problem was. more..

Mihin Lanka begins training for 3rd batch of Trainee First Officers (Cadets)

June 23 (Island) An innovative program has been put into place by Mihin Lanka to fill the berth of First Officers, with the third batch of these trainees starting their extensive course recently at the premises of Aspire. Initially, a batch of 57 applicants showed interest in the program out of which 43 were then short listed. 38 candidates faced a state-of-the-art ADAPT screening process out of which a final 11 were selected for due process. The selected applicants will now undergo an more..

Alleged BBS groups create unrest in Kalutara villages

June 23 (ST) A group claiming to be from the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) has sparked unrest within the villagers of Kalutara- Katukurunda area, when they attempted to remove a Sandakada Pahana (moonstone) from St Philip Neris church. The group had warned the church that the sandakada pahana doesn’t belong there and has to be removed on Friday (21). However, the action had sparked unrest among the villagers who gathered at the church premises on Friday evening to stand guard. more..

Sri Lanka shaves off Muslims, Tamils ahead of CHOGM

June 23 (Island) Sri Lanka wants to use the upcoming Commonwealth summit to showcase its economy and ethnic unity, but a govt website has re-engineered demographics by "killing" off a few million to make the island’s vitals even more attractive. The "Sri Lanka Fact Sheet" unveiled by the organisers of the CHOGM  later this year in Colombo may have crossed out  millions of Tamils and Muslims and reduced the life expectancy of all SL men more..

Crackdown on racing private bus drivers

June 23 (ST) In a bid to curb the growing number of road accidents, the police will check the experience of private bus drivers the validity of their driving licences, the condition of the vehicles and whether temporary drivers are being used. This comes on a directive issued to all police stations by Inspector General N. K. Illangakoon. The Police have also been instructed to keep a close watch on whether private buses violate when they compete with each other on the roads. more..

No place for the dead

June 23 (ST) Whilst the beautiful stretches of beach at Kalpitiya are being turned into tourist resorts, Senawadiya, a village on the coast is being turned into an attraction tourists would not want to see a cemetery. As a result of the Forest Conservation Department taking over a stretch of land that was used as a cemetery, bodies are now being buried on the beach. This bizarre activity continues as villagers have failed to persuade the authorities to grant them alternate land for a cemetery. more..

Lankan seamen left in the lurch in Panama Canal

June 23 (ST) A group of eight Sri Lankan seamen are stranded on a ship in the Panama Canal over the past 10 months after the owner opted to abandon the vessel citing losses, maritime officials said yesterday. The all Sri Lankan crew boarded the Nicaraguan-flagged Sonikalas through local recruiting agents and boarded the vessel from a port in Panama and have since been holed up inside the ship that is currently in anchorage more..

High price of furnace oil spiked electricity tariff

June 23 (CT) The sale of furnace oil by the CPC at prices 'well above the world market price' is responsible for the increased electricity bill of the present day, trade unionists alleged. General Secretary, Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS) CPC Branch, Ananda Palitha, alleged due to the massive irregularities at the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery, which now runs at an efficiency of 15%, some 60% of the crude oil is yielding furnace oil, which is being sold at Rs 95 per litre. more..

Muttuhettigama to write to the President

June 23 (SL) Galle District MP Nishantha Muttuhettigama says he hopes to write to President Rajapaksa and reiterate a request for a Ministerial post. Muttuhettigama said that he will sign a joint letter with some other govt MPs seeking a Ministerial post by next year. The PM says he would at least hope for a monitoring MP post if a Ministerial post cannot be allocated. Earlier five govt MPs had signed a letter seeking Ministerial posts but MP Sanath Jayasuriya had later withdrawn his more..

SL withdraws controversial press code

June 23 (AFP) Sri Lanka's president has scrapped a contentious code of conduct for journalists after editors and rights groups condemned it as a further blow to press freedom, govt sources said. President Rajapakse ordered his information ministry not to proceed with the proposed code of conduct bill, but instead leave it in the hands of senior editors to update their own code of ethics. "The govt will not go ahead with the code," more..

UNP slams Bandula’s proposal

June 23 (SL) The UNP has accused the govt of further ruining the education system of Sri Lanka by proposing legislation to regulate the curricula of Private and International schools. The proposals were made by Minister Bandula Gunawardena and approved by the Cabinet last week. UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake said that the motive for this was unclear, although given how curriculums are currently tampered with, it no doubt reflects an intrusion into the freedom of education more..

Kosgoda Nadun to be extradited

June 23 (CG) The Sri Lankan govt is to to seek the extradition of Pradeep Deva Nadun Dharmawickrama aka Kosgoda Nadun, who was arrested in Italy last week. A spokesman at the External Affairs Ministry said that the Italian authorities will be approached to have the suspect sent to Sri Lanka. Kosgoda Nadun is wanted in Sri Lanka and has an INTERPOL arrest warrant issued against him. He is wanted in Sri Lanka for murder and the illegal possession of a hand grenade. more..

'Pro LTTE diaspora block reconciliation'

June 23 (IL) Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha has said politically mobilized pro-LTTE diaspora sustain hatred and prevent reconciliation in Sri Lanka and that with groups having such a pre-disposition meaningful engagement was not possible. Noting that the transnational political opportunity structures prevalent in host states help shape and sustain such diaspora activism, he observed that countries more..

Use the ‘come and see’ policy- Navy Chief

June 23 (DM) Navy Commander Jayanath Colombage requested not to judge Sri Lanka’s commitment and decision to end violence through the Humanitarian Operation from thousands of miles away but use the ‘come and see’ policy to know what had really happened. He made this comment addressing the participants of the Multinational Force Standing Operating Procedures (MNF SOP) Workshop 17 at the Galadari Hotel, Colombo on 21st June 2013. more..