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Sri Lanka tourist boom boosts beer sales

July 7 (LBO) Strong tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka have boosted beer sales, with demand brimming over during the high season in popular tourist spots, the island's top beer maker said. Sri Lanka has seen a strong increase in budget tourists who interact directly with the small businesses and enterprises. "Unlike in the past, tourists are not confining themselves to the formal hotel sector," Chief Executive of Lion Beer (Ceylon) Plc Suresh Shah told shareholders in the annual report. more..

UNP to take Polls Chief to Court

July 7 (CT) UNP said it was planning to file a fundamental rights petition, in the Supreme Court, against Commissioner of Elections over the alleged discrepancy in the allocation of seats for the Uva PC. Uva Province comprises the Badulla and Monaragala District and the UNP has alleged that three seats meant for Provincial Councillors from the Badulla District have been allocated to Monaragala District, thereby violating the fundamental rights of voters in Badulla District. more..

Ramaphosa in town today to revive reconciliation

July 7 (FT) Reviving hopes for a negotiated political settlement to Sri Lanka’s long-standing ethnic conflict, South Africa’s Special Envoy to Sri Lanka Cyril Ramaphosa will arrive in Colombo today for high level talks, but the Govt has remained tight-lipped about his schedule and the discussion agenda. South African President Jacob Zuma’s special appointee to attempt brokering peace and reconciliation in more..

First Elle tournament in Jaffna ends in impressive manner

July 7 (GDI) The first of its model, ‘Elle Carnival’ with 28 island-wide Elle teams of reputation, including woman teams after a mammoth showdown in their tournament at Jaffna Duraiappa Stadium, ended with an impressive note amidst a large gathering on Sunday. On the guidelines given by Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake for promotion of ‘Reconciliation through Sports’, the Security Forces Headquarters Jaffna (SFHQ-J), commanded by Major General Udaya Perera, more..

Palk bay conflict to be discussed in Sushma-Peiris meeting

July 7 (Hindu) As many as 20 Indian fishermen were arrested on Saturday night on charges of poaching north of Mannar, Sri Lankan Navy sources on Sunday said. Four trawlers in their possession were confiscated, according to Navy spokesperson Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya. With Saturday’s arrests, a total of 37 Indian fishermen are in Sri Lankan custody now, facing charges of engaging in illegal fishing activity. The ongoing Palk Bay conflict is likely to figure in more..

Australia says 41 asylum seekers handed back to Sri Lanka at sea

July 7 (SMH) Abbott govt has confirmed that 41 Sri Lankan asylum seekers who attempted to reach Australia by boat have been handed over to Sri Lankan authorities. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said that the asylum seekers, whose boat was intercepted in late June, were returned to Sri Lanka yesterday. 37 of the returned asylum seekers were from the Sinhalese majority and four were Tamil Sri Lankan nationals. more..

The truth is in the tours

July 7 (DM) A bouquet to those backbenchers. Finally, some intelligent Parliamentarians appeared to have realised their duties as representatives of the people. Instead of being the typical Magodis Thumas, a derogatory term coined by a famous Lankan cartoonist capturing the key qualities of Politicians, the backbenchers of the UNP have started conducting observation tours to places where public money is or has been spent. Their visits commenced with now infamous more..

Why a regime change would not help

July 7 (DM) In spite of the political rhetoric, most people in the country seem to be worried about their future prospects. This is largely due to the prevailing state of governance and the persisting ethno-religious tensions in the country. There are several dimensions to the present crisis. Firstly, even after five years since the end of the war, the political elite seems to be clueless as to how to establish permanent peace and national unity. Secondly, in spite of physical infrastructure development, more..

Wimal says Sison working with UNP

July 7 (CG) Minister Wimal Weerawansa has accused the US Ambassador Michele J. Sison of working together with the UNP to destabilize the country. He claimed that US Embassy in Colombo, through some UNP members, have recruited 5000 youth to carry out a social media campaign against the Govt. He said that the youth who have been recruited by the Embassy are being paid for the social media campaign. more..

Dubious deal in elephant exchange?

July 7 (SL) Attempts are being made by two Ministry Secretaries to send an elephant calf to a private zoo in New Zealand in contravention to an agreement the two ministries have reached in Supreme Court in 2007 which states that such transfer of elephants are illegal. Secretary Botanical Gardens and Public Recreation Dr Willie Gamage is accused of attempting to obtain an elephant calf from Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawa more..

'Malaka and I are poles apart'

July 7 (DM) Minister Mervyn Silva’s son Malaka Silva recently stated that he would start his political journey from Matara. The following is an interview with the SLFP Party Organiser of Matara and the deputy Minister of postal services and former Sri Lankan cricketer, Sanath Jayasuriya regarding this statement amongst other issues. Q: The England tour ended with victory in an entire tournament. What do you think of it? A: I am really happy. more..

More women take to drinking, smoking, drugs

July 7 (Island) Minister Maithripala Sirisena has revealed a dramatic increase in smoking among Sri Lankan women. Smoking kills around 21,000 people annually in Sri Lanka. A study carried out by the Health Ministry on smoking has revealed that more women, especially those in the estate sector, have taken to smoking. The study had also revealed that some women were addicted to narcotics, intoxicants such as babul and more..

Once bitten twice shy? Not in dengue-ridden Sri Lanka

July 7 (ST) Detachments of the armed forces backed by police and Public Health Inspectors moved from street to street and garden to garden in main towns in the Western Province this week. Their target: the destruction of mosquito breeding grounds. In a three-day campaign in the Colombo city they searched more than 38,000 houses and private lands, in some instance warning the public to clean up their gardens, gutters, drains etc. more..

Madumadawa Aravinda questioned by CID

July 7 (AM) Popular singer Madumadawa Aravinda is to be questioned by the CID for reciting poems at the controversial BBS rally which took place in Aluthgama on June 15. Police sources confirmed Asian Mirror that Madumadawa Aravinda was asked to visit CID headquarters this afternoon to give his statement. It was widely alleged that the BBS rally in Aluthgama led to violent clashes in Aluthgama which claimed at least six lives more..

Police record statements over grave

July 7 (CG) The police have begun recording statements over a mass grave in Kaluwanchikudy suspected to contain the remains of Muslims killed by the LTTE. SSP Ajith Rohana said that the statements of 27 family members of Muslims reported missing during the time the LTTE was very active, were recorded from the area yesterday. The statements will be used to identify their relatives when the grave is excavated next month more..

Gnanasara thera warned by Colombo Fort magistrate

July 7 (AM) Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera was warned by the Colombo Fort Magistrate today over the incident where he allegedly insulted Attorney Maithri Gunaratne who appeared in the case with regard to the controversy which took place at Hotel Nippon. After the last hearing of the case, Gnanasara Thera had allegedly called Gunaratne a "dog" on the grounds that he appeared on behalf of the other party. more..

'USAID issue did not figure in talks with Sison'

July 7 (Island) Minister Susil Premjayantha said that contrary to speculation a controversial USAID project meant to allegedly educate the electorate or any other contentious political issue hadn’t even been mentioned during his brief meeting with US Ambassador Michele J. Sison at the America Independence Day celebrations at the Hilton. Minister G.L. Peiris met Ambassador Sison at External Affairs Ministry more..

Calls for doubling of health allocation

July 7 (Island) Senior Minister Prof. Tissa Vitharana has, while praising the govt for continuing with the free health services, stressed the need for doubling the current allocation of funds for the health sector. He made this call, addressing the 60th anniversary meeting of the Sri Lanka Janaraja Saukya Seva Sangamaya in Kandy. "We must be grateful to the govt for continuing with the free health service to the people, more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.3%

July 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks closed 0.33% higher starting the week with a positive note despite net foreign selling, brokers said. All Share Price Index closed 21.49 points higher at 6,499.00, up 0.33%. The S&P SL20 closed 7.21 points higher at 3,617.89, up 0.2%. Turnover was 1.35 billion rupees, down from 1.38 billion rupees last Friday with 121 stocks closed positive against 80 negative. John Keells closed 2.10 rupees higher at 227.10 rupees with four off-market transactions more..

Exorcising police powers from the 13th Amendment

July 7 (CT) The Deputy President of South Africa (SA) and Pretoria's Special Envoy on the Sri Lankan peace process, Cyril Ramaphosa, will arrive in Colombo on 7 July. He will be accompanied by a four-member delegation to hold preliminary talks on initiating the talks, between the govt and the TNA, on reconciliation. Ramaphosa and his entourage will travel to Jaffna on 8 July to hold talks with Chief Minister of the North, C.V. Wigneswaran and to see the situation there. more..

Ceylon Today Cartoon

Central Bank does it again: Shoot the messenger while ignoring the message

July 7 (CT) The Central Bank has renewed the public debate on Sri Lanka’s external debt sustainability by issuing a fresh clarification on 4 July through its Public Debt Department or PDD. This is a salutary development since in democracies, the public has the right to express their views freely on action taken by authorities and the authorities have a responsibility to clarify their position on the issues raised. Those who serve in public authorities are not owners but trustees more..

Man sets fire to his house; child burned to death

July 7 (DM) A two-year-old girl child had been killed when a man torched his own house on fire over a personal dispute in Kiribangala, Kuruwita yesterday, the Police said. However, his wife and two others who survived with burn injuries were admitted to the Ratnapura hospital. The Police said the fire was started deliberately with the intention of killing his family members. Police said suspect had set fire to the house using petrol while daughter, his wife, her brother & a grand parent were in the house. more..

40% of Lankan students fail Grade 10 exam

July 7 (Island) The World Bank (WB) says that even in high performing Sri Lanka, approximately 40% of students fail Grade 10 exams. The finding is contained in the first comprehensive study by the WB to analyze the performance of South Asian educational systems in terms of student learning, which was released last week, during a video-conference media briefing by three of the report’s four authors, Halil Dundar, more..

10% of A'pura farmers hit by kidney disease

July 7 (DN) A recent survey revealed that 10% of farmers in the Anuradhapura district have fallen prey to kidney diseases. President Rajapaksa in view of this directed Agriculture Ministry officials to embark on a carbonic cultivation project covering the Anuradhapura district. Anuradhapura district carbonic cultivation scheme was inaugurated in Morawewa, Horowpathana recently. Simultaneously, similar programs were started in Abhayapura, Udangawa and Ethakada, Anuradhapura more..

Mother of two clubbed to death for refusing to have an illicit affair

July 7 (Island) A mother of two who refused to get involved in an illicit affair was clubbed to death by an ex-soldier at Mirissa, Weligama and soon afterwards the assailant, too, committed suicide by hanging himself inside his house. Police identified the victim as Rohini Wimalagunasekera (35) and the ex-soldier as Asanka Sanath (39). Yesterday morning she took her eldest child to the Dhamma School while carrying her two-and-a-half year old child when the assailant struck her with a pole. more..

TN fishermen protest arrests of their colleagues by Sri Lanka

July 7 (PTI) TN Coastal Area Fishermen's Association and the Fishermen's Association today decided to boycott fishing activities indefinitely from July 21 to protest against continuous arrest and attack on fishemen by the Sri lankan navalmen. A meeting of the Associations was held here after 20 fishermen were arrested along with their four boats and were taken to Sri Lanka yesterday. Fishermen also wanted the Centre more..

S.B. makes derogatory and sexist remark on Navi Pillay’s 'Back'

July 7 (AM) Minister S.B. Dissanayake has made a sexist and derogatory remark over UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay and her report to the UNHRC Session over Sri Lanka’s human rights track record. “Both China and Russia have taken a strong position on Sri Lanka’s matter. They will never allow international action against Sri Lanka. When China and Russia raise objection over the report at the UN Security Council, Navi Pillay will have to roll her report put it in her back,” more..

More than 2,000 railway workers to be confirmed in service

July 7 (Island) On the instruction of President Rajapaksa about 2,240 contract workers and 151 casual workers attached to the Sri Lankan Railways are to be confirmed in service. Transport Minister Kumara Welgama said that Ministry Secretary Dhammika Perera and he had requested President to confirm those workers in service as they had been working for a long time in the department. In response to the request, President in consultation with the Finance Ministry and more..

Rajiv Gandhi assassination: Nalini moves SC

July 7 (PTI) S Nalini, who has been undergoing life imprisonment in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, has approached the Supreme Court seeking to declare as "null and void" a provision in law mandating TN govt to consult the Centre before releasing seven life term convicts in the case. In her petition, Nalini challenged Section 435(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code which mandates the state govt to consult the Centre more..

Lankan prisoner dies after fit in UK prison

July 7 (DE) A Hampshire man died after suffering a fit in prison years after fleeing the country where he was tortured, an inquest heard. Kandiah Kugathas was found dead in his cell at HMP Winchester after his cell mate had noticed he had been ill for several days, Southampton Coroner's Court heard. Central Hampshire Coroner Grahame Short summarised a medical report detailing how he had spent many years battling alcoholism and epilepsy. The court also heard how the 56-year-old came to more..

TNA will be the first party to meet Ramaphosa

July 7 (AM) The TNA will be the first party to meet Cyril Ramaphosa, South African envoy to Sri Lanka who will be visiting Colombo tomorrow for discussions pertaining to the formation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. TNA spokesman Suresh Premachandran said they would be meeting Cyril Ramaphosa in Colombo soon after the latter's arrival. At the meeting, the two parties will discuss the post-war issues and the path to reconciliation process. "What we want to bring forth is that more..

Thewarapperuma to submit his resignation to opposition leader tomorrow

July 7 (SM) UNP MP Palitha Thewarapperuma will hand over his letter of resignation to opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe at 10 am tomorrow. Thewarapperuma says he will resign from parliament in protest of the Police Cheif's inaction on violent clashes erupted in Aluthgama, Beruwala and Dharga Town three weeks ago. Thewarapperuma announced his resignation last week while stating that IGP N K Illangakoon more..

First Northern entrepreneur awards in Sept

July 7 (MoD) In association with the National Enterprise Development Authority (NEDA), functioning under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Yarlpanam (CCIY) will host the Northern Entrepreneur Award Ceremony, 2014 in Jaffna on middle part of September, 2014 as the historical first awarding program for the entrepreneurs of Northern Province. These awards will provide the better recognition of their more..

Patience ends on Friday – FUTA

July 7 (LT) Stern trade union action would have to be taken from next Friday if the govt doesn’t pay necessary attention to their demands states the FUTA. The one month period given for the govt to fulfill 6 demands of the FUTA including removing all conditions for research allowances, increasing the basic salary on a par with the research allowance, appointing a special presidential commission to monitor amendments to higher education and establishing university independence more..

Video: UNP sees Indian rat behind Sapugaskanda closure

July 7 (DM) The UNP said the crisis facing the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) with the Refinery closure and the furnace oil shortage was a Govt conspiracy to handover the filling stations in the Northern and Eastern Provinces to the Lanka India Oil Company (LIOC) and to increase fuel prices. UNP Spokesman Gayantha Karunatilleke said that President Rajapaksa should intervene and resolve this crisis. more..

Tangalle PS Chairman says he is innocent and murder charges are baseless

July 7 (AM) Making a dock statement on the killing of British NGO worker Khuram Shaikh, former Tangalle PS chairman Sampath Vidanapatirana told Colombo High Court today that the mutder and raping charges levelled against him were baseless and the charges had been framed in order to tarnish his political image. He made this remark before Colombo High Court Judge. He said charges had been framed against him as a part of conspiracy to tarnish his political reputation. more..

New vehicles to NPC Chairman and Ministers

July 7 (GDI) An event to hand over vehicles for Ministers and the Chairman of the Northern PC was held on Saturday at Governor’s Secretariat in Jaffna. Governor of the Northern Province GA Chandrasiri handed over the keys of the vehicles to the responsible officers of each provincial ministry. Transport has been an important service in all sectors of administration and it is expected that these vehicles will help to run the provincial administration in a more effective manner. more..

Court stops deporting 153 Lankans

July 7 (AAP) The Abbott govt’s boat turn back policy has been dealt a blow as an interim High Court injunction prevents the return of 153 asylum seekers to Sri Lankan authorities over concerns about their safety. Amid reports that 41 Tamils from another boat of asylum seekers were facing criminal charges following their handover to Sri Lankan police, lawyer George Newhouse says the 153 asylum seekers are "entitled to have more..

Gayan Arosha crowned Sirasa Super Star

July 7 (NF) Sirasa Super Star, which has been wowing audiences for six seasons, gave birth to yet another super star on Friday. The coveted title and prize money of Rs. 10 million went to Gayan Arosha from Maharagama this year. The grand finale of Sirasa Super Star Season 6 was held at the Stein Studios in Ratmalana on Friday amidst much pomp and pageantry. A large number of people gathered at the Stein Studio complex eager to witness who will be crowned the Sirasa Super Star. more..