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All suspended undergraduates of Sri J'pura University pardoned

July 6 (DM) The suspension and studentship cancellations imposed upon more than 200 undergraduates of the Sri J'pura University have been unconditionally revoked by the Vice Chancellor of the University today. Class prohibitions imposed upon 189 undergraduates, studentship cancellations of 40 students and the lifetime cancellation of studentship declared upon five students had been revoked unconditionally in a letter issued to more..

Kandy shop owner says threatened by security firm bodyguards

July 6 (ST) AA group claiming to be associated with a well known politically-linked family in Kandy has allegedly threatened the owner of a clothing store in Kandy and demanded that they immediately vacate the shop. The group of four had entered the shop and threatened the owners with death if the building on the Kandy-Peradeniya road was not returned to its landlord. The owner of the outlet C. Karunaratne lodged a complaint at the Kandy Police that his wife was threatened by the group who more..

US plays down govt concerns

July 6 (SL) The United States played down concerns raised by the Government with regards to a newspaper advertisement published by the US Embassy in Colombo regarding providing funds to NGOs to educate Sri Lankan citizens on elections and voter rights. When contacted, a spokesperson at the US Embassy in Colombo said that the United States govt, through the USAID and other programs, has long partnered with civil society in Sri Lanka and many other parts of the world. more..

Strategic Development Project for Kandy

July 6 (GDI) Initial constructions of the Strategic Development project centering the Kandy city would commence by the end of August this year, Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Janaka Kurukulasuriya said. Strategic Development Plan together with a Transport Improvement Plan to overcome traffic issues in Kandy city were identified as priority needs under this project. more..

Rajarata student unions active despite ban

July 6 (NS) Student unions of the Rajarata University continue to be active despite the imposed temporary ban on the Students’ Council and all other unions of faculties by the Senate of the Rajarata University. According to Secretary of the Students’ Council Amila Perera, the students continue to remain with the affiliated unions and are active despite its dissolution order. Perera said that the Senate has not informed the Unions of its dissolution in writing and has only displayed a notice on more..

HRCSL to inspect Aluthgama, Beruwala

July 6 (SL) A team from the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) is to visit Aluthgama and Beruwala and obtain information related to the violence in the area. HRCSL Commissioner Dr Prathiba Mahanamahewa said that a team of commissioners will be visiting Beruwala and Aluthgama on Tuesday and submit a report on the incident. “A team of five including one chairman of the HRCSL will be visiting Aluthgama to observe matters related to the incident and more..

President approves expressway for Ratnapura

July 6 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has given approval to commence construction of a 71 km long expressway from Kahatuduwa entrance to the Southern Expressway up to Pelmadulla via Ratnapura, according to Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne. The minister said so at the Ratnapura District Development Meeting held at the Sapthapadi Hall summoned by Ratnapura District Secretary Sunil Kannangara. more..

Api Wenuwen Api goes to A’pura district with 104 new houses for war heroes

July 6 (GDI) One more phase of the ‘Api Wenuwen Api’ Ranaviru Housing Scheme that saw its birth as a conceptual notion of the President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary Defence and Urban Development, in another landmark project, vested 104 more new houses in War Heroes, resident in the North Central Province on today (5) during a mammoth ceremony, headed by President Rajapaksa as the Chief Guest. Anuradhapura district-based 68 Army more..

Sri Lankan Navy arrests 20 TN fishermen

July 6 (PTI) Sri Lankan Navy today arrested 20 fishermen from here on charges of crossing IMBL when they were fishing near Katchatheevu, a senior Fisheries Department official said. All the arrested were taken to Talaimannar along with their four boats. The navalmen who came in five patrol boats also snapped the fishing nets. The Navy had on June 29 arrested 17 fishermen along with their three boats when they were fishing near Katchatheevu, police had said. more..

Dalai Lama urges end to anti-Muslim violence

July 6 (AJ) Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, has reiterated his plea to Buddhists in Myanmar and Sri Lanka to halt violence against Muslims, in a speech to tens of thousands of devotees to mark his 79th birthday. In front of the massive crowd in Leh, India-administered Kashmir, Dalai Lama said the violence in both Buddhist-majority countries targeting religious minority Muslims was unacceptable. more..

Sri Lankan author honoured

July 7 (SL) Dr. Rohana Ulluwishewa, former Associate Professor of Geography at the Sri Jayewardenepura University has been honoured as a ‘Finalist’ of the International Book Award 2014, American Book Fest announced last week in Los Angeles. This award has been granted to him for the high standard of his book ‘Spirituality and Sustainable Development’ published by Palgrave Macmillan, London. In his revolutionary book, Dr. Ulluwishewa shows that the root-cause of the more..

Don’t make it harder for Marvan

July 7 (SL) Marvan Atapattu has been head coach of Sri Lanka cricket for barely three short months and, if news reports last week mean anything, then, apparently, a hunt for a successor is already on. Three overseas candidates, in fact, have been named in these reports: Mark Nicholas, ex-English cricketer now television commentator, Tim Nielsen, Head Coach of Australia 2007-09 and Chris Adams, advisor to the Sri Lanka team during its recent epochal tour of England. more..

'We are confident of winning Uva'

July 7 (SO) Provincial Council system was introduced under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in 1987 during the former president J.R. Jayawardene's egime with the signing of the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord as a solution to the long drawn problem of the Northern and Eastern people. However the desired results were not achieved by the first North. East PC which had only a short life span and functioned under the leadership more..

The law is not at fault but the politicians

July 7 (ST) In the wake of last month’s communal violence in Sri Lanka’s South-West, the Rajapaksa’s govt’s threadbare defence is that existing laws are insufficient to take action against the BBS masquerading as protectors of Buddhism. We see this articulated with increasing if not highly unconvincing force by the Secretary Defence who is President Rajapaksa’s brother and others. Granted, it is futile to engage this govt with a critique on the law or the absence thereof. more..

Wimbledon brouhaha

July 7 (Island) Indians are faced with two serious problems these days. No, they are not China and Pakistan. They are troubled by an attempt to liken a cricketer to a god at home and, paradoxical as it may sound, at the same time, they are resentful that another great Indian cricketer has not been treated like a god in a faraway land! Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has incurred the wrath of the public by posing as a god—or at least allowing his picture to be superimposed on more..

‘What evidence?!’

July 7 (SL) Monitoring MP for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sajin de Vass Gunawardena reiterates that the govt will ‘not permit countries with vested interest’ to pursue their agenda’s in Sri Lanka, maintaining that the UN Probe was a ‘totally arbitrary process designed and implemented for the benefit of the LTTE and its sympathizers.’ ‘Any process that takes place must look at the entire period of the war and should take into more..

Rajapaksas’ Tiger

July 7 (CT) In Erwin Schrödinger’s famous thought-experiment, a cat was kept in a box for one hour, together with a poison vial, a Geiger Counter and a radioactive atom – all hypothetical. If the atom decays, the Geiger Counter will detect radiation, the vial will break and the cat will die. If the atom does not decay, the cat will be fine. So for that one hour, the hypothetical cat is both dead and alive. In Sri Lanka, the Tiger is both alive and dead, so long as the Rajapaksas rule. more..

Hate speech: Sowing the dragon’s teeth

July 7 (CT) In early May when students led by the IUSF launched a demonstration in Colombo on the Allied Health Sciences issue, the police with lightning speed obtained an order from the Colombo Chief Magistrate restricting the demonstration on the basis that it would cause public disorder and tarnish the image of the nation. The police claimed that the demonstration was being held at the same time as the World Youth Conference, and that they had information that another group more..

Terrorists and criminals exploit UN refugee system

July 7 (NS) Prof Rohan Gunaratna says recent arrests in Malaysia where seven out of 14 LTTE suspects arrested were holding the UNHCR cards indicated that the majority who applied for refugee status were not genuine. “The UN should review existing criteria and build a robust system. Both terrorists and criminals violate the existing UN system originally designed for genuine asylum seekers,” he told The Nation. more..

‘War Probe’ Asma gives Lanka a wheeze; The Boru Bala farce

July 7 (ST) Out of the three imposing personages appointed to the UN sanctioned war crimes inquiry against the Lankan Govt, Pakistan lawyer Asma Jahangir is the one the Foreign Office should keep a close watch on. Like the most formidable and forward bird in a nest is the first fledgling to flap its wings and fly out to brave the open air, Ms. Jahangir has sprung from the war tribunal to the fore with all cannons ablaze and firing and laid to rest any hopes Lanka may have held that more..

Banking and financial institutions place high level credibility on CRIB’s performance

July 7 (Island) Banking and non-banking institutions subject to opportune circumstances are catalyst organizations that form membership and equity holders in the Credit Information Bureau of Sri Lanka. (CRIB). The CRIB’s annual report projects an image of contributory economic standing that transacts growth and progress beneficial to a wide cross section of interest groups within financial limitations of each such group. Banking and non-banking institutions equated by more..

'COPE’s recommendations must be taken seriously'

July 7 (Island) Eran Wickramaratne is an accessible individual. However, Kirulapone Avenue was not. On the day I met him, I had to walk up to his office from the High Level Road because of preparations for a ‘Mihindu Perahera’, a procession planned by a temple there. Pretty powerful temple, I felt, as there were cranes and at least two massive tipper trucks and a host of municipal workers cleaning & chopping down more..

South Africa's spin challenge

July 7 (CI) South Africa's first experience of Sri Lankan cricket was the rebel Arosa Sri Lanka team that arrived in South Africa in 1982. Very little was known about the team but the likes of Tony Opatha, Flavian Aponso and Ajit de Silva became household names. For me, a young cricketer growing up in a country with virtually no media coverage of international cricket and no likelihood of ever being part of it, it was a cricketing godsend. Although competitive at times, they never proved more..

Power sharing and its challenges

July 7 (Island) Prof. Donald Horowitz in an article to the Journal of Democracy (April 2014, Vol 25, No 2) titled ETHNIC POWER SHARING: THREE BIG PROBLEMS" states: "In societies severely divided by ethnicity, race, religion, language, or any other form of ascriptive affiliation, ethnic divisions make democracy difficult, because they tend to produce ethnic parties and ethnic voting". According to him in regions such as Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, former Soviet Union more..

Is Sri Lanka’s logistics hub steaming ahead?

July 7 (DM) Sri Lanka has the potential to become a South Asian logistics hub. In fact, it’s an opportunity that is hers to lose. She commands a strategic location adjacent to one of the world‘s busiest shipping-lanes (which by some estimates accounts for over half of global container traffic) and at the mouth of the vast Indian market. Already many of the ships sailing between East and West offload their Indian cargo in Colombo, more..

Sri Lanka fares well at Fairtrade awards

July 7 (ST) Sri Lankan individuals and companies swept the board at the first-ever Fairtrade awards organised by Fairtrade International held last month. Pioneer Sri Lankan fair-trade entrepreneur Sarath Ranaweera was conferred the title of “Fairest Fairtrader” while the Marginalised Organic Producers Association (MOPA) in Sri Lanka won in the category “Small Producer Organization – Asia” and the Stassen Bio Tea Project secured an award for “Workers’ Premium Committee Asia”. more..

University education: the continuing crisis

July 7 (Island) What ails our universities? Why are students protesting? The latest unrest is in the Rajarata University where the students have taken lecturers hostage. It is easy to condemn the students. But there must be something radically wrong in the management for students to resort to such desperate measures. Let’s take a look at China which has an independent enrolment system like in the western countries. Each university decides on the students to be enrolled. more..

Beedi biz booming

July 7 (FT) Whilst the anti-tobacco lobby is largely preoccupied with the sole multinational-linked producer, the beedi business is booming sans any serious regulation and taxation. Data suggests that the beedi industry has made a comeback and is puffing its way to faster growth, a phenomenon which industry analysts link to it being a cheaper option thanks to minimal taxation and regulation. The boom in the beedi industry appears to be more..

People gather to support doc threatened by PS member

July 7 (Island) Former Chairman and incumbent member of Laggala Pradeshiya Sabha A.P. Kumarasinghe charged with threatening the wife of a doctor attached to Hattotaamuna rural Regional Hospital was enlarged on cash bail of Rs. 5,000 and personal bail amounting to Rs. 200,000 yesterday by Naaula Acting Magistrate. The Magistrate also ordered the suspect not to influence witnesses and to be present before court again on July 18. He has been charged with threatening more..

Ceylinco Shriram settles 60% of the outstanding in cash to 88% of the depositors

July 7 (Island) Setting a precedence and an example in the Sri Lankan financial sector, Ceylinco Shriram successfully managed to make payments in cash to 5,084 of its investors, representing 87.7% of the total 5,796, amounting to over 60% of their deposits, as at April 2014. This was achieved with the seventh tranche of the repayment process, which was completed in April 2014. The seven repayments totalled a mammoth Rs.2.8 billion, all of which was settled in cash. more..

Shipping industry protests over increased port levy

July 7 (ST) Sri Lanka’s shipping industry is up in arms against recent developments over the upper limit issued for delivery charges at the port of Rs. 6,000, protests against which have fallen so far on deaf ears of the Director General of Merchant Shipping (DGMS). The industry says this unfair upper limit imposed on the shipping companies and freight forwarders has caused issues within the sector regarding the obtaining of more..

Friday forum takes up 'Profiting from the defenceless' ?

July 7 (CT) There have been several news reports recently about a surge of instances of baby elephants taken illegally from the wild and held in captivity by private individuals. Environmentalists and members of the public have expressed their concern. The Friday Forum joins these citizens in calling for a full investigation into the allegations, and if found correct, for necessary action to bring those responsible to book. The Friday Forum also notes that in the last few years there have been more..

Hybrid Homes to launch 'house boat'

July 7 (Island) Amidst shifting global economic growth and landscape time to time whilst cost of living is rising the Mantra for the 21st century is to do more with less, and many building pioneers are exploring how to re-purpose material to construct homes for the upcoming future generations. Very soon a new example can be seen at Sri Lanka's Bolgoda Lake - a home to many luxury holiday homes and sites owned by the richest and emerging middle class in island nation. more..

Floodlights restriction hurts SL's chase

July 7 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket's attempts to cut operational costs has affected the cricket in the first ODI, as Sri Lanka lost wickets chasing a Duckworth-Lewis equation, when light faded quickly in the late afternoon. Angelo Mathews said the deteriorating light at the Premadasa Stadium had spurred a change in his team's approach, as they pursued 305. However, he had not been consulted before SLC and Cricket South Africa signed more..

IntelloCut winner of Venture Engine 2014

July 7 (FT) IntelloCut, an enterprise material management system won the first prize at Venture Engine and is set to raise its next round of investment. ‘IntelloCut’ the flagship product developed by Threadsol Softwares Ltd., has won the Venture Engine Competition in Sri Lanka. IntelloCut emerged as the winner over multiple rounds of evaluation among over 100 entries from Sri Lanka and all over the world. IntelloCut is an Enterprise Material Management System which saves more..

Off-budget spending balloons

July 7 (CT) Outstanding govt guarantees to support loss making State-owned enterprises are on the rise, data released by the Treasury shows. Guarantees amounted to Rs 492 billion as at 31 May 2014, up sharply from Rs 302.7 billion a year ago and Rs 266 billion as at end December 2012. Issuing such off-budget guarantees helps the govt spend without troubling the budget deficit or debt to GDP ratios. The IMF has already cautioned the govt on overly relying on such as guarantees as more..

Engineers: Sampur project a sell-out

July 7 (Island) Plans are now underway to have Indian equipment at the country’s proposed second coal-fired power plant complex in Sampur, Trincomalee in contravention of earlier terms and conditions which stipulated international open bidding, according to a senior official. He said the Indian company would not be able to have its way if the engineers stood firm. Pointing out that India already had 250MW plants, more..

Dr. Padeniya gets threatening calls

July 7 (Island) Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya, former President of the GMOA whose reelection has been annulled by the Mt. Lavinia District Judge yesterday said that he had been receiving threatening calls. He said he had not made a complaint to the police as it was a cumbersome process. "Some people have offered me cash to leave the country. Threats are natural because I am working for the people." Dr. Padeniya was reluctant to reveal further information due to the injunction imposed on him. more..

New hostels for universities

July 7 (Island) More than 24,000 undergraduates would benefit from 60 new hostels to be completed by September 2015. The construction of about 30 hostels was nearing completion under the first phase of the project and the first hostel was scheduled to be opened by President Rajapaksa at the South Eastern University by the end of this month. The govt had to pay Rs. 1,200 million annually for rented accommodation for undergrads at present, but it was difficult to find suitable places in the more..

Complain to IGP with evidence - NSC

July 7 (CT) The National Shoora Council (NSC) urged all those making allegations about the existence of Al-Qaeda, Lashker-e Taiba (LeT), Indian Mujahideen (IM) and other terror groups in Sri Lanka, to complain to the IGP with supporting evidence without demonizing the Muslims. NSC, an alliance of national level Muslim organizations in Sri Lanka, in a statement signed by its President, Tariq Mahmud, also urged IGP more..