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It’s no-go for NGOs!

July 8 (FT) Defence Ministry has sought to outlaw press conferences and media statements by NGOs operating in the country, sparking a civil society outcry about an attempt to impinge upon freedoms of speech and assembly. A circular issued by the National Secretariat for NGOs, which operates under the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development said certain NGOs were “acting beyond their mandate” by more..

The task before Ramaphosa

July 8 (DM) South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has arrived in Sri Lanka to assist the country to find a solution to the conflict which led to a bloody thirty-year-long war which ended in 2009. He is not visiting the country on his own or in other words he is not going to impose any solution on Sri Lanka because it was the Sri Lankan President, who sought South Africa’s assistance when he met South African President Jacob Zuma on the sidelines of the CHOGM held in Colombo more..

Casinos: Development or social upheval

July 8 (DM) Foreign Direct Investments in Sri Lanka are governed by Board of Investment Law No. 04 of 1978 and Strategic Development Project Act No. 14 of 2008 and subsequent amendments made thereto. The definition of Strategic Development Projects as set out in SDPA No. 14 of 2008 are as follows :- i. Project which is in the national interest; ii. Which is likely to bring economic and social benefits to the country; iii. Which is also likely to change the land scale of the country through the more..

Bar Association to meet AG

July 8 (SL) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) is to meet the Attorney General next week to urge him to direct the law enforcement authorities to prosecute the criminal elements under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). President BASL Upul Jayasuriya added that a motion will be filed in the Kalutara Magistrate’s Court next week seeking an order to exhume the dead. “The lawyers appearing for the aggrieved parties requested more..

Dengue spreads; nurses warn of platelets shortage

July 8 (Island) The Govt Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA) warned that there would be a shortage of ‘triple packs,’ used to collect blood from donors in a majority of blood banks in government hospitals from late June. President of the GNOA, Saman Ratnapriya, said that the blood was collected in the packs to be separated into platelets. He said that the platelets were used to treat patients with dengue. more..

Authorities’ promises stink as much as garbage mountain

July 8 (ST) As garbage piles from hillocks to mountain levels, residents in Meethotumulla, Kolonnawa blame authorities for not keeping any of a string of promises to prevent disturbing health hazards. They condemn govt plans to keep Kolonnawa as a collection depot from which refuse would be transported to Puttalam for disposal. Meanwhile Kolonnawa UC Chairman Udayashantha, who this week faced a petition more..

'I left service due to threat on my life'

July 8 (DM) Police Constable Suminda Saman, who was subjected to humiliation and bodily harm allegedly by Deputy Minister Hemal Gunasekara on the Southern expressway, had no other alternative than to leave the police force. He had by this time sent in his resignation letter to the IGP by Registered Post as revealed a few days ago. When the media made inquiries as to what made him take the decision to leave his job, more..

'Indo - Lanka common issues to be taken up'

July 8 (DN) A meeting is being arranged by the Ministries of External Affairs of Sri Lankan and Indian govts to discuss key issues such as the problems centered on management of fisheries, fishermen, poaching and the welfare of the Tamil public and the national reconciliation process in Sri Lanka. External Affairs Deputy Minister Neomal Perera said the meeting is being arranged between External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris and more..

Ranil endorses PB’s ‘Butler’ statement

July 8 (AM) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has endorsed Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundara’s statement in Beruwala and said the latter’s job role is no different from that of a “Butler”. “The present govt has turned the Treasury Secretary and the Finance Ministry into a Butler. But the kitchen belongs to the IMF. The IMF makes various dishes for the regime and the President,” addressing a public meeting. more..

Sobitha, Wimal discuss governance

July 8 (CG) Minister and NFF leader Wimal Weerawanse and the leader of the People’s Movement for a Just Society the Venerable Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera today discussed issues related to good governance, including abolishing the Executive Presidency. Weerawanse told reporters after the meeting that he met the outspoken monk on an invitation extended by the monk. He said the monk had emphasized on three points, more..

CPC pipe burst: Foreign help sought

July 8 (Island) CPC has decided to seek foreign assistance to repair its damaged pipeline off Uswetakeyawa. CPC Managing Director, Susantha de Silva said they had approached technical expertise from Germany, UK, Japan and Singapore. Few experts were expected to arrive in Colombo today. Nearly sixty local divers besides ten from the Navy have been engaged to repair the damaged pipeline. more..

Can Ramaphosa help heal Sri Lanka?

July 8 (IOL) Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa arrived in Sri Lanka on Monday to share South Africa’s experiences in reconciliation and nation-building with rival Sri Lankan groups. President Jacob Zuma appointed Ramaphosa as special envoy to Sri Lanka – as well as to South Sudan – in February. This was his first visit to Sri Lanka since being appointed special envoy, the government said. more..

BBS want Pope Francis to apologize

July 8 (AP) A Buddhist group accused of instigating recent attacks on Muslims in Sri Lanka says Pope Francis must apologize to Buddhists for atrocities allegedly committed by Christian colonial rulers of the South Asian island nation when he visits next year. "We are waiting till the Pope comes to see what he is going to say about the crimes here," Rev. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara, leader of the Bodu Bala Sena, said. more..

Risk of refoulement

July 8 (CT) Sri Lankan Navy yesterday received 41 failed asylum seekers from Australian authorities as the human rights groups raised concerns that the return of the asylum seekers by Australia would be violating the principle of non-refoulement. The principle of non-refoulement, which is the corner stone of the asylum and refugee law, dictates that that an asylum seeker should not involuntarily be returned to his land of origin if there is likelihood that he or she may be subjected to more..

July: Indelibly implanted in the history and memory of Eelam Tamils

July 8 (CT) July 1983 witnessed one of the worst ethnic cleansing programme methodically planned and meticulously executed by the then JR government and its hoodlums ably assisted by the security forces and some ministers. The whole country was immersed with flames of fire and hatred towards the helpless and hapless innocent Tamils. The killing of thirteen soldiers on 23rd July 1983 by the LTTE in Jaffna provided the govt with an excuse to embark on a killing and looting spree after more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lanka stocks close up 1%

July 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks closed up 1.03% pushing the index to a four-month high with the favorable economic outlook boosting foreign investor sentiment, brokers said. The Colombo benchmark All Share Price Index closed 66.81 points higher at 6,565.81, up 1.03 percent. The S&P SL20 closed 58.22 points higher at 3,676.11, up 1.61 percent. Turnover was 1.74 billion rupees, up from 1.35 billion rupees a day earlier with 96 stocks closed positive against 80 negative. more..

Hakeem tells House shots were fired

July 8 (CG) Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem informed Parliament today that police investigations had found gun-shots were indeed fired during the Aluthgama violence which led to two deaths and 7 injuries. Hakeem says he had discussions with the Colombo Crimes Division and scene of the crime police officers over some of the incidents at Dharga town. The Minister said that the police had found spent bullets from the area and had concluded that shooting did take place at the location. more..

Google adds Sinhalese spoken in Sri Lanka to Gmail

July 8 (LBO) Google has added Sinhalese, spoken by a majority of residents in Sri Lanka to its Gmail webmail service along with 13 other languages. Gmail is already available in 58 languages, and today we’re bringing that total to 71—covering 94% of the world’s Internet population and bringing us closer to our goal of making sure that, no matter what language you write in, you can use it in Gmail. "No matter where you are, you can reach more..

Sri Lanka rupee steady, state banks curb volatility; stocks up

July 8 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee was steady on Tuesday as inflows from remittances and exporter dollar sales offset demand for the US currency from importers despite state banks lowering their dollar buying rate by a cent. Rupee was traded at 130.26/28 per dollar at 0526 GMT unchanged from Monday's close. Dealer said state banks lowered the dollar buying rate by one cent from the previous session to 130.25 per dollar. Purchases of dollars from two state banks helped curb volatility more..

Kahawatte double murder case to be heard before Colombo HC

July 8 (Island) Colombo High Court Judge yesterday fixed the dates for hearing of the Kahawatte Kotakethana double murder of Nayana Nilmini and her daughter Kavindya Chathurangani for October 27, 2014. Prisons officials produced in court the accused husband and wife, Lokugamhewage Dharshana alias Raju and Rasika Chandani alias Batti from remand custody. When the case was taken up all 57 witnesses named by the prosecution, too, were present in court. more..

South African delegation visits former Sri Lanka war zone for reconciliation talks

July 8 (Xinhua) South Africa's Special Envoy to Sri Lanka Cyril Ramaphosa toured the north on Tuesday and held discussions with key Tamil political figures on the island's reconciliation process, President's Office said. Ramaphosa, appointed by South African President Jacob Zuma as his special envoy to help consolidate peace in SL, was on a mission to forge a lasting solution to island's simmering ethnic issue. more..

Senior Editor Dilrukshi quits Ceylon Today, complains of editorial censorship

July 8 (CT) Senior journalist Dilrukshi Handunetti who until recently served as senior assistant editor of Tiran Alles’ Ceylon Today newspaper has resigned in protest of the company’s editorial policies and censorship. Ms Handunetti who was overlooked recently by the management for the editorship of the newspaper has complained that censorship had become severe at the Ceylon Today in recent times. During her absence from the country, Handunetti’s junior Jayantha more..

Sri Lanka demand for water pipes, electrical switches seen recovering

July 8 (LBO) Demand for water pipes and electrical switches have weakened during the past year, but appear to have bottomed out, Central Industries, a maker of plastic-based water supply and electrical products has said. "The PVC industry is currently plagued with overcapacity as anticipated growth in demand in the post conflict era has not materialized as expected," chairman Central Industries chairman G S N Peiris said. "We believe that many industries, including us, invested in enhanced more..

36 asylum seekers released by Sri Lankan court ahead of Aussie minister visit

July 8 (Xinhua) 36 people, including children of 41 Sri Lankan asylum seekers returned by Australia were released by a local court on Tuesday ahead of a visit by Australian Immigration Minister. Magistrate's Court in Galle released 27 adults on bail but issued no charges for the 9 children, while 5 others remained jailed for alleged human smuggling. The release comes a day ahead of Australia's Immigration Minister arriving in Sri Lanka more..

Official bungling leaves NHSL ‘spiritless’ for week

July 8 (Island) Patients admitted to surgical wards, medical wards and scheduled for operations are in danger at the National Hospital, Colombo due to a shortage of surgical spirit. Infections were likely to spread causing many health problems, due to the shortage of surgical spirit used to kill germs. All Ceylon Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) General Secretary Dr. Jayantha Bandara said the shortage had lasted for about seven days. He said that the country’s premier hospital more..

All at sea: Is Australia's fast-tracked asylum screening policy fair?

July 8 (Reuters) At the heart of an unprecedented legal challenge to the return by Australia of asylum seekers to Sri Lanka is Australia's controversial testing of their claims in a brief interview on the high seas. Lawyers said the so-called "enhanced screening" process involves asylum seekers being asked just four or five questions via Skype or teleconference on a boat with no access to independent legal representation. If the detainee does not raise a red flag by saying they more..

Opposition leader turns down Thewarapperuma's resignation

July 8 (AM) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has refused to accept the letter of resignation given by UNP MP Palitha Thewarapperuma. He tendered his letter of resignation to the party leader in protest of the inaction on the part of the Police over the Aluthgama incident. He called for immediate resignation of Police Chief N.K. Illangakoon over violent clashes that took place in Aluthgama, Beruwala and Dharga Town more..

MOD says no warning only reminder

July 8 (CG) Ministry of Defence (MOD) today played down the instructions issued to NGOs on the need to stick to their mandate. Defence Ministry spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that the instructions were issued as a mere reminder and it was nothing new. “This is not a strengthening of regulations,” he added. He said that there are 1416 NGOs registered in Sri Lanka and all of them follow a set of regulations which have been in place for several years. more..

'Gnanasara thera insulted Quran'

July 8 (AM) Submitting an observation report to the Colombo Fort Magistrate, the Director General of Muslim Religious Affairs affirmed that the statement made by BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera to the media recently contains derogatory remarks on Quran. The Director General of Muslim Religious Affairs had submitted this report on an order issued by Colombo Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage to prepare independent and rational report into the content of the concerned video more..

Video: Development either a lie or benefitting a single family – UNP

July 8 (AD) The UNP today questioned why the per capita income and development, constantly being boasted by the govt, is not reaching the homes of public sector and private sector employees. Either the per capita income and development as claimed by the govt is a lie or else the benefits of this development are being distributed among one family, UNP MP Joseph Michael Perera told reporters. more..

'Down with those who cannot eradicate dengue epidemic'

July 8 (LT) “Rulers should get down from their ‘royal’ thrones and work for the country. They do everything targeting power. They do not strive to find solutions for the genuine issues of the people – the issues of the farmers, fishermen, students, govt employees, businessmen or employees in other sectors. The biggest animal in the country is the elephant. The rulers have no solution for people being killed by elephants or the people dying due to dengue caused by the small mosquito,” more..

High Court intervention on 'dangerous' Sri Lanka asylum boat handovers

July 8 (AI) Amnesty International today expressed relief that Australian High Court deliberations have put the transfer of asylum seekers to Sri Lanka's Navy in doubt. One boat full of Sri Lankan asylum seekers was returned to the Sri Lankan authorities earlier this week, plans to hand over asylum seekers from a second boat have been stalled by this intervention. Yesterday, in an unprecedented move, the Australian Govt confirmed it had subjected 41 Sri Lankan asylum seekers to what it calls more..

Elite officer suspected of key role in smuggling bid

July 8 (SMH) In a major embarrassment for Sri Lankan authorities, a police commando member of the elite STF unit assigned to stop people smugglers has been identified as one of the ringleaders of a boat carrying 41 refugees that was recently intercepted by the Australian navy. “He is the second suspect, not the main organiser ” said Epa Aruna Shantha, a lawyer representing one of the other ringleaders. more..

'Firm disciplinary action awaits policemen if found guilty'

July 8 (DN) SSP Ajith Rohana assured firm disciplinary action against police officers of Matara, Weligama Police for negligence of duty if found guilty to an alleged accusation of not initiating prompt investigations into a complaint made by a person with regard to death threats to his wife a week before her killing. The person whose wife was killed by a person for declining an impolite approach towards her had complained against Weligama Police for allegedly ignoring a complaint more..

Aluthgama reconstruction in progress; Temporary army camp setup

July 8 (MoD) Sri Lanka Air Force has undertaken the reconstruction of the entrusted region of the Aluthgama which had been harshly damaged during the recent unrest, said Wing Commander Gihan Senaviratne while speaking at the media briefing today. In the meantime, Sri Lanka Army and Navy are also engaged in reconstructing work accordingly. 12 commercial shops in Aluthgama, 15 shops in Bentara and 6 shops situated in Station Road will be reconstructed by the Air Force. more..

Sri Lanka 'B+' rating confirmed on lower inflation, better SOE balances: S&P

July 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka's 'B+' rating was confirmed with a 'stable' outlook on lower inflation and better state enterprise performance despite weak institutions and high debt service, Standard and Poor's, a rating agency said. S & P said there was a marked improvement in state-run CEB and CPC and the central govt budget gap was also expected to improve. But with interest taking up about a third of govt revenues over the next three years, more..

Video: Dr. Harsha De Silva reveals what’s in store for consumers?

July 8 (NF) Are the authorities preparing to introduce a safety sticker for selected goods in the market-place? New1st met MP Dr. Harsha de Silva, to discuss this issue. Q: MP, the govt is going to provide safety stickers for selected goods. They say it is for the safety of the consumer. What is this programme, in truth? A: In short, it is a programme to hit the pockets of millions of consumers and turn two or three selected individuals into millionaires. This is what CAA is attempting to introduce more..

Gota has insulted constitution - FMM

July 8 (SM) Free Media Movement says the circular issued by the defence and urban development ministry, of which Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is the secretary, has deliberately insulted the country’s constitution by removing a basic right of civil society organizations and NGOs in Sri Lanka. In a statement by its convener Sunil Jayasekara and secretary Sampath Samarakoon, FMM says time has come for all organizations and citizens valuing democracy and freedom to rally against more..

New schedule relief for Sri Lanka

July 8 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket's strained finances are headed for significant relief, thanks to the stream of incoming tours from cricket's Big Three prescribed by the latest draft of the FTP. The schedule has set down two full tours apiece from India, Australia and South Africa between 2016 and 2022, all of which include three Tests and at least three ODIs. If adhered to, this schedule is a meaningful victory for SLC, more..