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Arjuna promises ‘cricket culture’ in Canada

July 7 (LR) Former world cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga promised to create a cricketing culture for expatriates living in Canada by launching his own cricket academy in Toronto recently through the assistance of Anil and Sharmini Perera. The Arjuna Ranatunga Cricket Academy, at Sorkkam Indoor facilities will officially open in September, former captain said in Toronto. Ranatunga said he would treat the children who train at the academy “as his own”. He hoped to welcome up to 200 more..

Sri Lanka to charge asylum seekers

July 7 (AFP) Sri Lankan authorities plan to charge a group of mostly women asylum-seekers with attempting to leave the country illegally after they were returned by Australia following a controversial mid-sea transfer. The 41-strong group, including 24 women and nine children, were brought ashore at the southern port of Galle, and taken to the notorious high-security Boossa prison on Monday. more..

'Prison officials Force-feeding Chenthuran'

July 7 (ENS) R Chenthuran, the Sri Lankan Tamil refugee, who has been on a fast-unto-death in Puzhal prison in Chennai to press for his demands, is being force-fed by authorities. The 32-year-old Lankan Tamil, incarcerated in the special camp Cheyyar and moved to Puzhal Central Prison in Chennai, was apprehensive of being deported to Sri Lanka and launched his protest fast. “The prison officials have been force-feeding my husband for the last nine days. more..

Dasa Mudalali no more

July 7 (AM) Famous businessman and entrepreneur S.D Gunadasa, who is widely known as 'Dasa Mudalali', has passed away yesterday. 'Dasa Mudalali' was the inventor of Super Market concept in Sri Lanka and was a staunch supporter of former prime minister the late Sirimavo Bandaranaike. After prominent Super Market chains gained ground in the Sri Lankan market after the open economic policy introduced by J R Jayawardena in 1977,'Dasa Mudalali' lost control over the Super Market more..

Video: Wimal wags his finger again

July 7 (DM) The visit of South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was only an official visit and not an ‘interference,’ leader of the NFF Wimal Weerawansa said. “Visit of Mr. Ramaphosa was not ‘interference by external forces’ and the govt had assured me,” he said. He said that President Rajapaksa had also affirmed that it was only a visit. He said that therefore he did not believe the visit to be detrimental to the country more..

Protecting Buddhism from extremist monks

July 8 (CT) There is widespread concern about the betrayal of Buddhism by extremist monks. These concerns have been reflected in the media. Sunday Times Editorials of May 11th and June 22nd were entirely devoted to this serious concern. I, though a Christian, have the highest respect and regard for Buddhism as it is the religion of over 75% of the people of this country. Buddhism is a cultural heritage of our country that has to be protected and preserved in the manner laid down by more..

Sri Lanka; Playground for anti Muslim forces

July 8 (CT) Around four years ago, today’s hate campaign pitting the majority Sinhalese community against the island’s minority Muslims, was unheard of. However, today Sinhalese minds were poisoned against Muslims to such an extent that racist such as Jathika Hela Urumya, JHU, are even justifying attacks and killing of Muslims and the burning and the destruction of their residential and commercial property causing billions of rupees of loss for no valid reason. more..

Urban planning sets the stage for a modern Colombo

July 8 (SO) About 60% of the population would be living in urban areas by 2020, according to the latest statistics of the UDA. The estimated average rate of urbanisation in the country from 2010 to 2020 would be in the range of 3% to 4% per annum, while the country's annual population growth rate would be less than 1.2%. With the end to civil unrest Sri Lanka is expeditiously heading towards urbanisation. more..

LAHES launches ‘Leadership Development’ programme for plantation sector

July 8 (ST) LAHES, the corporate campus and education arm of diversified business conglomerate LAUGFS Holdings, is to launch, what it calls ‘a unique programme addressing the development needs in the plantation sector’. This programme is titled ‘LAHES Executive Diploma for Leadership in Agri Business’, according to a company media release. It said the plantation sector, the highest foreign exchange earner and the main employment generator of the country until mid-80s, more..

Ethno-religious violence: Recovering from setbacks to FDI and tourism

July 8 (ST) Peaceful conditions and law and order are indisputable preconditions for sustained economic development. International experience and our own economic history demonstrate this. A recurring theme of this column has been the importance of peace, law and order and social harmony for economic growth and development. The recent insecurity in the country has already eroded these very prerequisites for growth. The single most serious constraint to higher more..

Authorities to crack down on all dodgy ‘law schools’

July 8 (NS) The future of legal education in the country is set to undergo some significant changes in the coming weeks due to several proposals that are currently being discussed at the highest level. The Council of Legal Education, headed by the Chief Justice, is set to finalize some of the proposals soon. Council of Legal Education governs policy decisions regarding legal education. Constitution of the Council consists of CJ more..

View from Ritigala - by mahasona

July 8 (NS) No, it’s not Tissa Attanayake we are talking about. It’s Tissa Vitharana. Professor. The good professor wants prelates to act against unruly mobs. Absolutely. There is a thing called vinaya in the Sasana after all. But wait, there’s a vinaya in politics too. Paksha Vinaya (Party Discipline) or Sanvidaana Vinaya (Organizational Discipline). How about coming out with a statement like this now Tissa: ‘The UPFA leadership must act against unruly UPFA members, ministers, MPs, more..

When the enemy is within

July 8 (NS) Our Members of Parliament enjoy lots of privileges – some of those privileges are guaranteed to them by the country’s law. The Parliament (Powers and Privileges) Act has enabled them to utter anything in the House and get away from being prosecuted. This provision, abused by MPs for their political gain, has however been included in the Act with the intention of guaranteeing them the freedom of speech. Section No 3 of the Act states “There shall be freedom of speech, more..

Paradise for paedophiles

July 8 (CT) One wonders, is it a child's fault that a grown up is attracted to them sexually, or is it the caregiver's fault that they are blinded by the money that they receive from those who fancy their children? Our island has its own share of horrifying cases of paedophilia and child abuse. Each year, the figures rise drastically and authorities are still addressing the problem, conducting awareness programmes; nothing seems to more..

Dharga Town: A post-mortem

July 8 (CT) I warned in this column dated 20 Jan 2013 that we were heading towards Sinhala-Muslim riots similar to that of 1915. In response, Muslim leaders sarcastically told me to inform police instead of inviting them for a dialogue. I pointed out in this column of 10 Feb 2013 that the new rigid halal policy of the Muslim community would destroy our intercommunity food exchange culture causing an irreparable damage to national unity. Muslim leaders rudely responded to me stating more..

Denying responsibility for Alutgama violence will not suffice

July 8 (Island) Addressing members of the national advisory committee to the Ministry of National Languages and Social Integration, Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara gave substance to the conviction of those who believe in the prospects for peaceful coexistence and harmony within Sri Lanka's multi ethnic and multi religious society. He said that a majority of MPs of the govt were opposed of the actions of the extremist groups that had engaged in anti-Muslim activities. more..

‘Carlyle Group shying away from direct investments in Sri Lanka’

July 8 (Island) Carlyle Group, Washington-based global asset management firm worth US$ 200 billion which has directly invested US$ 20 billion in the Asia Pacific, opts to invest in Sri Lanka only through indirect channels, and shies away from making direct investments, Harshana Suriyapperuma, Director Corporate Affairs, SEC said at a panel discussion where a great deal of attention was drawn to the credibility and more..

Teen pleads guilty to murdering Sri Lankan pizza delivery driver in UK

July 8 (YP) A Teenager has admitted to murdering a Sri Lankan pizza delivery driver attacked and killed in Sheffield on his last shift. Kasim Ahmed, 18, from the Darnall area of the city pleaded guilty to the murder Thavisha Lakindu Peiris, a Sheffield Hallam IT graduate who had moved to the UK from his homeland in search of ‘a better life’ at Sheffield crown Court yesterday. He had originally been due to stand trial at Sheffield Crown Court but entered a guilty plea. more..

Maithripala says criticism of National Drug Policy is politically motivated

July 8 (AM) Speaking at the Annual general Meeting of the Sri Lanka Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI) recently held at Hotel Taj Samudra, Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that 99% of the Pharmaceutical Companies are ethical in their business practices. He further said that in line with the Govt’s policy to sustain an open market economy, they had every intention of creating an environment, which provided healthy competition for private sector to operate within. more..

USAID funds to boost exports

July 8 (CT) Just days after the USAID withdrew funding for elections awareness programme in Sri Lanka under controversial circumstances, the country's Export Development Board (EDB) said the donor agency of the US Govt was funding a programme to develop a strategic plan to boost export earnings, which have been falling as a percentage of GDP for over a decade. Economic Association of Sri Lanka, think tanks more..

The act of covering up

July 8 (Hindu) I was in Sri Lanka on a holiday and a museum in Galle had an interesting account about Sri Lankan costumes. Ancient records (including Sigiriya frescos) show that women on the island did not originally cover their breasts. They wore a piece of cloth that covered their limbs below the navel, very similar to how women in Kerala dressed some centuries ago, as possibly did women in most tropical lands. Given the hot and humid climate, this attire makes complete sense. more..

Dayasiri meets Ceylon Chamber, calls for investments in Wayamba

July 8 (FT) Chief Minister of the North Western Provincial Council Dayasiri Jayasekera has invited the dairy, pharmaceutical and tourism sectors players operating in the country to take advantage of the vast amount of investment opportunities offered in Wayamba. Jayasekera made this invitation when he met a group of local businessmen recently at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC). During the meeting, which was organised by the Ceylon Chamber, Jayasekera said more..

Former Sinhala soldier who collaborated with LTTE arrested in Malaysia

July 8 (DBS) Malaysian Police in a sweeping counter terrorist operation launched simultaneously on Thursday arrested four persons of Sri Lankan origin suspected of terrorist activity with alleged links to the LTTE and an Islamic extremist group. It is learnt reliably that one of those arrested is a Sinhalese and another a Sri Lankan Muslim while the other two arrested are SL Tamils. Four arrested are aged 32,37,42 and 45. more..

CB clarifies media reports on external debt

July 8 (Island) A few commentaries that have appeared in recent press articles & reports seem to have attempted to compare Public Debt Department (PDD) press release highlighting the improvements in government’s external debt position against the outstanding external debt position of the country as presented in the Annual Report 2013. It has been no secret that PDD manages the govt’s external debt and reports its developments regularly to general public. more..

CJ wants Golden Key issue resolved

July 8 (Island) It was much better to lead a very simple life than to live in luxury by taking away money from poor people, observed Chief Justice Mohan Pieris P.C., while hearing the fundamental rights violation application filed by the aggrieved depositors of Golden Key Credit Card Company. "Some have committed suicide without money even to buy medicine. We just cannot go on with lengthy legal argument, the counsel should get their clients who are directors to cooperate. more..

In search of the lost antiquities

July 8 (Dawn) Latest Sri Lankan maritime exploration and an ongoing search for rare sculptures collected by Sir Alexander Cunningham that got lost in a shipwreck in 1885 have revived the hopes about recovery of some of the antiquities from Jamal Garhi, an archaeological site of Gandhara. However, it is unfortunate that unlike Sri Lanka and India, Pakistan has not shown any interest in taking part in this search for lost archaeological more..

SLFP-NFF talks on action plan

July 8 (Island) Another round of talks between the SLFP the main constituent party in the UPFA and its partner, NFF to prepare an action plan on proposals submitted by the latter, had concluded on a positive note on Sunday night, General Secretary of the NFF Priyanjith Vitharna said. The Sunday’s talks had been the second round between the SLFP and the NFF following the conclusion of the meeting between the high level delegations led by President Rajapaksa and the Leader of the NFF more..

President opens 'Sangawasa' in Ratmalana

July 8 (MoD) President Rajapksa declared open the newly constructed two storied 'Sangawasa' (Residence of Bhikkhus) at Kothalawalapura Samadhi Buddhist Centre in Ratmalana today morning. Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa on whose initiative and supervision the new modern accommodation facility was constructed was also present at the occasion. Venerable Dr. Itthapane Dhammalankara Nayaka Thero presided over more..

Jayalalithaa seeks quick steps by PM

July 8 (Hindu) TN Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has asked the Centre to initiate immediate steps to find a permanent and pragmatic solution to the fishermen issue in Palk Bay. In a letter to PM Narendra Modi on Sunday, Ms. Jayalalithaa said she was confidently looking forward to early and decisive action by the Centre under his leadership to resolve this long-standing issue. The right of livelihood of TN more..

SL will reject any probe report - Maithripala

July 8 (DN) Sri Lanka will not accept any report submitted by the UN team probing the last days of the humanitarian operation, Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. “Their objective is very clear. They have a totally different agenda. Their real but hidden agenda is changing the democratically elected govt and the leadership of SL,” he said. According to minister, this is because the shadow that stand behind this probe is the same LTTE terror outfit which waged war for over 30 years. more..

Police looking for Dehiowita PS Chairman

July 8 (Island) Avissawella Police are looking for Dehiowita PS Chairman (UPFA) Amila Ruwan Kandearachchi for having forcibly taken away a bus seized by a finace leasing company in the Dehiowita town for nonpayment of its dues. The incident occurred on Friday but the police have so far failed to trace the suspect chairman. Two policemen providing security to the chairman were arrested on Sunday becuase they had been present when the suspect wrested control of the bus.

President grants over 2,800 teaching appointments

July 8 (DN) Awarding of teaching appointments to over 2,800 diploma holders of the National College of Education was held under the patronage of President Rajapaksa at the Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday. These appointees will make their contributions towards the development of the country's education sector. President presented the appointments to a selected group of diploma holders symbolically more..

Govt initiates livelihood assistance to war widows in Sri Lanka

July 8 (AT) The Ministry of Child Development and Women's Affairs, together with the Divi Neguma Department of the Ministry of Economic Development, is implementing a programme to provide livelihood assistance to women who have been widowed due to the armed conflict. The first phase of the programme is currently being implemented in the Northern Province. The provision of facilities is already in progress in 31 Grama Niladhari Divisions in the Northern Province. more..

Lankan ambassador bids farewell to Saudi

July 8 (AN) Outgoing Sri Lankan ambassador says he developed good relations with Saudi officials during his stay in the Kingdom particularly closer trade and tourism ties. Vadivel Krishnamoorthy will be leaving for Nairobi on Tuesday to take up his appointment as his country’s ambassador in Kenya. Hussein Mohamed, the former mayor of Colombo, is the new ambassador to the Kingdom. “It has been a matter of great satisfaction that I was able to maintain good relations with officials more..

‘I didn’t seek UK visa’

July 8 (Island) Ven Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thero said that as he hadn’t applied for a British visa recently, therefore the UK govt needing to consider his visa application didn’t arise. Asked whether he had sought to visit the UK ever, Ven. Gnanasara said that some time ago an application made by him to the British was rejected due to some shortcoming on his part. That was before the BBS was wrongly accused of more..

UN is to study MOD warning to NGOs

July 8 (CG) UN says it will study a warning issued by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to NGOs not to go beyond their mandate. Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon, said that the UN will need to evaluate the warning and then make a statement. An MOD letter sent to NGOs notes that some of them conduct press conferences, workshops, training for journalists, and dissemination of press releases which is beyond their mandate. more..

Vijitha Thero released on bail

July 8 (FT) UPFA PS Member and moderate monk Watarekke Vijitha Thero who was arrested by the Police on charges of lodging a false complaint about a ‘self-inflicted’ assault, was released on bail by the Panadura Magistrate yesterday. Buddhist priest was given stern warnings by Panadura Magistrate Ruchira Weliwatte to refrain from intimidating witnesses listed by the Colombo Crimes Division in their filed yesterday, Counsel for Vijitha Thero, Attorney-at-Law Lakshan Dias said. more..

Legal cloud on asylum transfer

July 8 (SMH) High Court has issued an interim injunction preventing the transfer to Sri Lanka of 153 asylum seekers who are missing on a boat bound for Australia. The injunction, granted late on Monday in Sydney, applies at least until a hearing resumes on Tuesday afternoon at 2.15pm. The asylum seekers are represented by Ron Merkel, who argued to Justice Susan Crennan that the transfer was illegal because more..

Dy. Minister Gunasekera to be charged today

July 8 (Island) The Police will file a plaint today against Deputy Minister Hemal Gunasekera for using a vehicle with a false number plate. He was stopped by the police on the Southern Highway on May 20 while travelling in that vehicle. Police constable Suminda Saman, who stopped the deputy minister’s vehicle has complained to the police that he was attacked and his car burnt by a gang a few days later. PC Suminda has recently tendered his resignation to the Police Department, more..

Mahinda and Ramaphosa hold talks

July 8 (CG) South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and President Rajapaksa had talks and dinner at Temple Trees last night. A spokesperson at the President’s office said the talks were fruitful but refused to divulge further details on the basis that it was a closed door meeting. Earlier in the evening Ramaphosa, who was in Sri Lanka as a special envoy of South African President Jacob Zuma, had discussions with a Govt delegation led by Minister G.L. Peiris. more..