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Police say car roof protestor’s ‘abduction’ complaint a sham

July 6 (NS) Police yesterday said it had no role to play in the matter involving a protest conducted by a man on the roof of a car in the middle of Kandy town, as the alleged ‘abduction’ of his daughter had never occurred. SSP Ajith Rohana said investigations had revealed that the individual’s 25-year-old daughter, who he claimed had been taken away by an official vehicle belonging to a prominent politician, had actually left willingly. “She is an adult and she has told the police she was being more..

Thilanga to ICC: UNHRC probe in SL will tear communities apart

July 6 (ST) UPFA MP Thilanga Sumathipala who recently made a presentation before International Criminal Court (ICC) President, Sang Hyun Song, in the Hague, had made a strong case against the UNHRC spearheaded investigation into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka, where he warned, such an investigation would only lead to more dissension within the country and tear communities apart once more. more..

Luxury vehicle racket: Companies must pay all dues

July 6 (ST) Five leading vehicle importers are under investigation for importing some 400 luxury vehicles and undervaluing them on arrival. The probe is being carried out jointly by the Customs Department and the Ministry of Finance. Last week Sunday Times reported that 400 luxury vehicles were detained by the Customs for undervaluation. The companies are being investigated for declaring the automobiles as used vehicles when each of them had run only about 100 kilometres. more..

Over 75% mosquito breeding sites in homes

July 6 (SO) With the dengue outbreak teetering at the edge of an epidemic in Sri Lanka, Health Ministry sources said that the main culprits are house owners who fail to clean up the interior and exterior of their homes. "In our program to eliminate mosquito breeding sites under the direction of the Presidential Task Force on Dengue, we found that more than 755 of householders in the Dehiwela - Mt Lavinia Municipal area were guilty of breeding mosquitoes in their backyards and some, more..

Enter Ramaphosa, exit NFF from Govt.

July 6 (CT) NFF Media Spokesman Mohammad Muzammil said the expected arrival of the South African Govt's Special Representative Cyril Ramaphosa tomorrow to resolve the national question may be a good enough reason for the NFF to exit from the govt. Muzammil said if the govt gives the green light for Ramaphosa's planned visit, NFF would view it as a serious matter of concern, which would compel them to take a decision as to more..

Cause of Nolimit: Police not on the scent yet

July 6 (NS) Police investigation into the fire which broke out at the Nolimit store in Panadura still remains inconclusive. According SSP Ajith Rohana the Police have not been able to ascertain the cause of fire yet through the investigations carried out by the Police. At the time there was much speculation as to the cause of the fire ranging from arson, an electrical fault, to a lit cigarette. However, the Police yesterday said they cannot yet confirm the cause of the fire. more..

Krrish group faces stay or depart directive

July 6 (ST) Krrish group faces a stay or depart directive issued by the govt that allows them time till September – a final deadline – to pay the Colombo Fort Transwork square balance land lease payment, Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena told journalists. The company had been given time till July 15, another of the many extensions it has received, to complete the land lease deal of around Rs. 5 billion of which a sum of Rs.4.4 billion has already been paid by them to the UDA. more..

Bedlam at Ragama Hospital

July 6 (ST) Last Wednesday the Ragama Teaching Hospital looked calm and peaceful with the usual hustle and bustle of patients being wheeled in and doctors rushing into surgery. Only two days before, on Monday, the hospital was almost brought to a standstill by violent clashes between nurses and midwives. On Wednesday maternity wards 17, 18 and 25, ground zero for the confrontation, were functioning as always more..

'We don't disappear asylum seekers'

July 6 (SMH) Employment Minister Eric Abetz has been forced to defend the Abbott govt against allegations it ‘disappears people’ during questioning over Australia’s forcible return of asylum seekers to Sri Lanka. In an interview with ABC's Insiders program, host Fran Kelly put to Senator Abetz that the transfer of 200 Tamil asylum seekers into the custody of the Sri Lankan Navy was a matter of public interest, and that the govt’s lack of transparency aroused concern. more..

How did drug baron escape? Prisons Chief asks Police Chief to conduct probe

July 6 (ST) A local drug baron’s escape, while being treated in hospital, has prompted prisons authorities to seek Police help, Prisons Superintendent J.N. Upuldeniya said. “We have doubts about claims made by the two prison guards who were on duty at the time the prisoner escaped from Ragama hospital,” he said. The prisons guards had claimed that the suspect, Thushitha Chamara, 37, made good his escape when he went to the toilet after his handcuffs were removed. more..

Diplomatic blunder after blunder, now crisis with Pakistan also

July 6 (ST) “I will win” at an impending presidential election, declared a defiant President Mahinda Rajapaksa to UPFA politicians at a southern resort but strongly castigated his likely main opponent, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe at Thursday’s ministerial meeting. “NGOs have agreed during a meeting at a temple in Nugegoda to provide him (Mr. Wickremesinghe) with any amount of money for his campaign. more..

Less kasippu?

July 6 (Island) There was good news for the country in the annual report of Lion Brewery (Ceylon) PLC, Sri Lanka’s beer manufacturer, when Mr. Suresh. K. Shah, the company’s Director/CEO revealed a ground perception that that the availability of and the demand for illicit liquor has "somewhat reduced." This is being said not by vested interests like the Excise Department or the Police that have abjectly failed over a very long period of time in curbing the kasippu menace. more..

Tragic, Turbulent and Trying Times

July 6 (Island) Much remained in the mind from articles in last Sunday’s Island. I was particularly interested in and agreed with Kumar David on his analysis of events that led up to and created the very unfortunate Aluthgama/Beruwela incident. It was ironic if not bitterly funny that the gutted houses and shops were repaired by army personnel when law enforcers did not prevent the incitement, burning, looting, injury and deaths in the two towns. The general opinion is that they could more..

US spying on Sri Lanka also

July 6 (ST) Sri Lanka is among many countries where the United States National Security Agency has been spying on. The map here and the following account appear in the US website “It’s not exactly a secret that the National Security Agency has wide authority for spying on foreign govts. But just how wide is driven home by a 2010 govt document, just published by the Washington Post, more..

Video: Association President challenges to disprove charges

July 6 (DM) Lanka Private Buss Owners Association (LPBOA) today said the Western Province Road Passenger Transport Authority (RPTA) had illegally given out 82 bus permits since February last year. LPBOA President Gamunu Wijeratna said that he would resign from his position if anyone could prove the charges of corruption at the Private Transport Ministry and the National Transport Commission (NTC) were false. more..

Union walk out achieved only a ‘news moment’ says Lokuge

July 6 (Island) Labour Minister Gamini Lokuge said the trade union walk out on Friday from a meeting of the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) chaired by him has achieved nothing except what he called a "news moment". "What good did the walk out achieve except a ‘news moment’ for the trade unions? The NLAC is a forum for the unions to take up grievances. But by walking out, they merely gave the newspapers a story. more..

Protection for witnesses Yes or No!

July 6 (SL) With the UN probe into alleged war crimes and human rights violations of Sri Lanka, many have been highlighting the need to provide some kind of assurance of protection to those who come forward to testify at the UN panel. Recently, the TNA showed their concern over the absence of witness protection laws in Sri Lanka at a discussion with UN Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs, Oscar Fernandez-Taranco. more..

UN tells Sri Lanka to engage

July 6 (SL) The UN has urged the Sri Lankan Govt to engage with the international community as pressure continues to mount over the investigation into the war launched by the OHCHR. Farhan Haq, the Associate Spokesperson for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that Sri Lanka needs to strengthen the existing domestic processes in a manner that is inclusive and respectful of human rights. more..

Britain hopes witnesses at UN probe on Sri Lanka would not be harassed

July 6 (Island) Britain said yesterday that it hoped Sri Lankan witnesses who would be testifying before the ongoing UNHRC war crimes probe against the Rajapaksa govt and the LTTE would not be harassed and threatened. The British High Commissioner in Colombo James Rankin said that it would be in Sri Lanka’s interest to participate in the investigation by the OHCHR on a mandate given by the UNHRC of which it was a member. more..

Rajarata University authorities say reopening date soon to be announced

July 6 (ST) A date to reopen the Rajarata University will be decided on after a report on the recent incidents that took place at the university is submitted on July 21, the University’s VC Prof. Ranjith Wijewardena said. He said a committee was appointed by the University Administration to look into the incidents and submit a detailed report. “Following the unrest in the university and the incidents that took place on more..

GMOA election annulled, ExCo stripped of powers

July 6 (Island) With the election to the GMOA annulled on a judicial directive, the newly elected members of the Executive Committee of Sri Lanka’s biggest trade union of medical practitioners, were served summons on Friday to appear before the Mt. Lavinia District Judge on July 9 to answer contempt of court charges. The action follows the GMOA going ahead with its election on June 28 despite an enjoining order preventing more..

Rs. 139 b in unpaid taxes: 4,000 companies, individuals warned to pay up or face action

July 6 (ST) More than 4,000 private companies and individuals who failed to pay their taxes to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) have been ordered to pay up or face legal action, a senior officer said. The findings about the outstanding tax payments were made during a two month long countrywide survey carried out by the department. The warning came after a special unit was set up to recover outstanding taxes including those more..

Families seek answers over missing

July 6 (CG) Families of people reported missing in Puthukkudieruppu (PTK) appeared yesterday and today before the Presidential Commission to record complaints regarding missing persons. Commission began recording statements in the Mullaitivu District yesterday by conducting hearings at the Puthukkudieruppu Divisional Secretariat and the sittings will later be shifted to the more..

Muddling up: Peace experts to the fore

July 6 (SL) One of the three ‘experts’ appointed by the UNHRC to investigate alleged violations committed by the Sri Lankan armed forces and the LTTE during the final stages of the conflict, Asma Jahangir is described as a reputed Pakistani human rights lawyer. When asked, during an interview with the BBC Tamil service, how investigators would record statements of witnesses when the investigators would not be permitted entry into Sri Lanka, she had said; more..

Victor Ivan’s explanation of Gota’s excesses: Not a Black but a Heavy Hand

July 6 (Island) In my piece last week (Black Hand or Manic Folly) I summarised a much canvassed view that a conspiracy was in progress to stir up trouble as an excuse to declare a state of emergency and set in motion a dastardly plot to impose dictatorship. I did not use names for obvious reasons but Victor Ivan in Ravaya of 22 June has taken the plunge and pointed the finger at Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse (GR); Victor accuses GR of being insensitive, heavy handed and brusque, more..

NDA to stick to UPA's stand in Rajiv killers' case, won't set them free

July 6 (TOI) Keeping aside political differences, the NDA govt has decided to maintain the UPA regime's stand in the Supreme Court and oppose on Tuesday Jayalalithaa govt's Feb 19 decision to release seven life imprisonment convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case by remitting their remaining jail term. Of the seven, three — Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan — were awarded death sentence in 2001. more..

Dubai Police reunite jailed Sri Lankan dad with daughter

July 6 (E24|7) Dubai’s police reversed their role of jailing criminals and acted this time to help a defendant regain his freedom so he will reunite with his four-year-old daughter, whose mother had left the country. The Women and Child Protection Division at Dubai’s police said it acted after receiving information from the Sri Lankan’s neighbour that he has just been imprisoned and his daughter was left with her after her mother’s departure from the UAE. Director of the Human Rights Department at more..

Acquisition of Millers Brewery will boost Lion volumes & profits

July 6 (Island) Lion Brewery (Ceylon) sees its intended purchase of Millers Brewery Limited including trademarks, accomplished, to offer consumers a wider choice of products with potential enhancements in volume and profitability, Mr. Cubby Wijetunge, Chairman of Lion Brewery has said in the company’s annual report. Lion recently announced that along with its wholly owned subsidiary, Pearl Springs, has entered a sale and purchase agreement with Cargills and its subsidiary, more..

Amla ton underpins large SA win

July 6 (CI) What a difference a year makes. Rewind to the July 2013 series between these two sides: South Africa could not manage a single total over 300 or one centurion in the five ODIs they played, and their lack of a wicket-taking spinner was exposed so dearly that they only managed to bowl the hosts out once. Fast-forward to the July 2014 rubber and South Africa ticked all those boxes in the first match. more..

Priyanjan's slog, Kallis' misery

July 6 (CI) Whether in the middle, or at press conferences, Hashim Amla can be shy about appreciations of his ability, choosing often to deflect praise and dwell on collective success. So it might have suited him when a milestone in his innings was overshadowed by a piece of poor cricket. Amla tried to launch Ashan Priyanjan into the sightscreen in the 23rd over, but managed only to loft it towards long on. Running in from the fence, Thisara Perera did well to get to the ball, more..

Muslim Council want India to explain

July 6 (CG) Muslim Council of Sri Lanka has written to the Indian High Commissioner in Colombo asking him to explain the position of the Indian Govt on reports of the existence of Muslim terror groups in Sri Lanka. In the latter which was released to the media, the President of the Muslim Council N.M. Ameen says Indian and local media reports indicating that India is concerned over the presence of such groups in Sri Lanka will contribute to the hate campaign against Muslims more..

Morrison urged to visit Tamil region

July 6 (AAP) Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has been challenged to ditch his Sri Lankan political minders and visit the country's war-torn north to hear first hand about ongoing human rights abuses. Mr Morrison's trip to Colombo this week coincides with ongoing federal govt silence over the fate of Tamil asylum seekers after they were reportedly intercepted trying to reach Australia by boat. Govt is refusing to confirm reports more..

Skeletal remains found in Muhamalai - Show evidence of LTTE cadres

July 6 (NS) Skeletal remains found on July 2 and 3 were inside the Muhamalai defense line that was operated by the LTTE during the war period. The remains are believed to be of LTTE cadres as LTTE uniforms and tags were also found at the site. Muhamalai is where the most number of battles took place in the Jaffna Peninsula and the skeletal remains were found by a UK based NGO called Halo Trust. A special police team has been appointed to carry out investigations. more..

Ramaphosa arrives tomorrow: Whither JHU & Wimal?

July 6 (LT) South Africa's Special Envoy to Sri Lanka and Deputy President of the African National Congress (ANC), Cyril Ramaphosa is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka on the 7th on an invitation by the govt and the TNA to find a solution for the national question. However, the JHU complain that the govt has invited him without the knowledge of other parties of the UPFA. JHU also states the President or the govt has had no discussions yet with any constituent parties of the UPFA. more..

Legal education in limbo Substandard institutions to face axe

July 6 (NS) Some private institutions in the country that train candidates for foreign law degrees do not meet the required standards, Principal of Sri Lanka Law College, Dr. Jayatissa de Costa said. In an interview with The Nation regarding several proposed changes to legal education that are currently being discussed, Dr. de Costa, who is also the Registrar of the Council of Legal Education by virtue of his position as more..

Admissions to A/L: Cabinet to decide next week

July 6 (ST) The Cabinet will next week decide whether a decision by the Education Ministry not to admit students from international schools to public schools should remain. Education Ministry Secretary Anura Dissanayake said the Cabinet would take up a report by the Education Minister on his decision not to admit international school students to follow GCE A/L classes in public schools. “Two weeks ago the Cabinet of Ministers expressed different opinions on this issue. more..

Heavy workload caused sergeant to shoot himself, says wife

July 6 (ST) The wife of the police sergeant who shot himself in the head inside the Kurunegala police station this week, said her husband regularly complained of being overworked. 50-year-old Priyantha Rohini told the Sunday Times her husband “did not have any family problems, but was exhausted due to his workload at the police station.” Sergeant Jayasundara 52, a father of three, shot himself after he was ordered to take over security duties in Kurunegala town. more..

Katchatheevu issue has to be revisited by Centre: BJP

July 6 (PTI) Virtually endorsing the ruling AIADMK’s demand for retrieval of Katchatheevu, BJP said the issue of Indian sovereignty over the islet, ceded to Sri Lanka by India in 1974, has to be revisited. “The issue of Indian sovereignty over Katchateevu has to be revisited,” BJP general secretary Muralidhar Rao, who is in-charge of party affairs in TN, said when asked about his party’s stance on the matter. more..

International Conference on TVET in July

July 6 (GDI) Third international conference on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) under the theme on enhancement of skills for social integration, inclusive growth and sustainable development will be held at the Galadari Hotel in Colombo on July 15 and 16. Organized by the Youth Affairs and Skills Development Ministry and Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ- German International Cooperation) GmbH, the event more..

Ranil calls for army style polls battle

July 6 (CG) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today called for an army style battle to win the Uva PC elections. UNP leader said that every family must have its own Lieutenant General, Sergeant and a Colonel to battle the elections. He said the UNP needs between 12,000 – 13,000 platoons in order to secure victory at the polls with the support of every household. “This is a house to house battle. No point in going to UNP houses and seeking support. If we do this now we have six months to battle. more..