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Watareka Thera’s Melodrama, Cousin spills the beans

July 1 (DM) Watareka Vijitha Thera recently hit the head lines of every paper and the electronic media over his abduction and the bodily harm he had encountered alleged to have been caused by his abductors. His subsequent declaration stating that the injuries were self inflicted created more sensation and anxious readers were awaiting more highlights on this melodrama. Cousin of Ven Watareka Thera, Chanaka more..

MLTs threaten strike against possible underhand transfers

July 1 (Island) The Sri Lanka Association of Govt Medical Laboratory Technologists (SLAGMLT) yesterday warned it would resort to trade union action if any irregular transfers were implemented. President of the SLAGMLT, Janaka Nishantha responding to an article published in The Island on Tuesday said that some people were trying to have their friends transferred to the National Hospital by creating an artificial shortage of more..

FUTA condemns student violence, calls for solutions to undergrads’ problems

July 1 (Island) The Rajarata University lecturers would refrain from academic and administrative duties due to threats until the next Senate meeting on July 10, FUTA said. Following a meeting of the FUTA Executive Committee, its President Chandraguptha Thenuwara said that two teachers of the Management Faculty of the Rajarata University had been attacked by undergraduates last Thursday when the Vice Chancellor and more..

Jayantha Perera assumes duties as new Navy Commander

July 1 (CG) Vice Admiral Jayantha Perera, assumed duties as the 19th Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy at a ceremonial function held at the Naval headquarters in Colombo today. President Rajapaksa appointed Rear Admiral Perera as the new Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy and promoted him to the 3-star rank of Vice Admiral with effect from today. Prior to being appointed as the Navy Commander, more..

Dale's picture postcard from Sri Lanka

July 1 (TL) Not long after the Proteas' squad touched down on the lush Asian island, Steyn published a photograph on Instagram yesterday of the view from his hotel room. Louche palm trees, warm terracotta roofs and candyfloss clouds in a satin sky framed a sighing stretch of limpid ocean. If this cricket gig doesn't work out for Steyn, a career in travel photography awaits him. Steyn captioned his picture: "Colombo! Good to be back!" more..

Coal shortage may cripple Norochcholai

July 1 (Island) The country’s first coal fired power plant complex at Norochcholai, which is now generating nearly 600MW of power and also ready to add another 300MW to the national grid after the completion of its third phase might be forced to shut down partially due to a shortage of coal, the CEB insiders said. The situation had been compounded by rough seas preventing fresh shipments of coal till more..

Pope to visit the North

July 1 (DM) Pope Francis will visit the North during his visit to Sri Lanka next year, a spokesman from the Bishop’s House in Mannar said. The delegation of the pope’s security personnel who are now in the island met the authorities of the Madhu shrine in Mannar yesterday. The official administrator of the Madhu church Fr. Emaliyanus Pillai had also participated in the meeting. The pope is expected to visit the Madhu church during more..

UN team to use sources in Sri Lanka

July 1 (CG) The investigations team on Sri Lanka appointed by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) says it will use sources on the ground in Si Lanka to obtain information related to the war if it is not allowed to visit the country. Asma Jahangir, one of three experts appointed to advice the investigations team, said that they will look to obtain information from civil society and the media in Sri Lanka. more..

Muslim hate campaign in Sri Lanka

July 1 (CT) The incendiary attack on ‘Nolimit’, a Muslim owned and the foremost textile retail business outlet at Panadura in the Western Province of Sri Lanka is yet the latest in a series of premeditated and meticulously planned anti-Muslim vicious campaign led by the most extremist Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) which, according to all available information and evidence, carries the unflinching support of some powerful members in the ruling Rajapakse regime. more..

Crisis proliferation, state of siege and the coming crack-up

July 1 (FT) The crisis is proliferating by the week. Which will come first, the crack-up or the state of siege? Which is the egg and which the chicken? There are two ways in which a country, a nation state, is destroyed. One is by supra-state/supra-national forces, i.e. external forces of hegemonic interventionism. The other is by sub-state/sub-national forces i.e. internal forces of fragmentation. Sri Lanka is being destroyed by both, and the two are feeding off each other. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lanka shares close lower

July 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka's shares closed 0.04% lower on Tuesday boosting turnover to an eight-week high amid strong foreign buying mainly into John Keells. All Share Price Index closed 2.61 points lower at 6,376.01, down 0.04%. The S&P SL20 closed 9.13 points higher at 3,543.56, up 0.26%. Turnover was 4.72 billion rupees, up from 1.45 billion rupees a day earlier with 85 stocks closed positive against 89 negative. John Keells Holdings closed 2.40 rupees higher at 222.30 rupees more..

Grandpass shooting: No breakthrough

July 1 (Island) Two gunmen who shot dead two youths in Grandpass and injured two others on Sunday night are still at large and the police have not yet identified them. Grandpass police said that the shooting victims except for one were suspected of drug trafficking and two of them had cases pending in the High Court. The assailants had arrived on a motorcycle wearing full-face helmets at Andrew’s Garden in Grandpass, shot the victims with a T-56 assault rifles and fled, police said. more..

I will change my old records: Malaka

July 1 (DM) Minister Mervyn Silva’s son Malaka Silva who is from Kelaniya had gone to Matara and organised a Dansala there. It aroused the curiosity of almost everybody. A journalist has asked him the reason for this sudden change Q: How are you, Malaka? Don’t you have an idea of joining politics? A: I have got such an idea. Q: From where would you contest for an election? A: If I get the blessings of President, it will be from Matara. more..

Muslims lament before the pyre of Thero

July 1 (LT) The cremation of Ven. Ambepussa Sumangala Thero, incumbent of Sri Swarnagiri Raja Maha Viharaya at Rambadagalla in Kurunegala took place at Rambadagalla MV on the 26th. When the pyre was set on fire his student Bhikkus, devotees, relatives and Muslims including Abdul Faiz were seen lamenting grieved by the loss of a great personality to the community. Their tears indicated that the relationship Ven. Sumangala Thero had with the masses was very close and sensitive. more..

Trail derailment prompts Northern Railway train services to be halted

July 1 (NF) A train plying from Pothuhera to Polgahawela derailed early Tuesday morning. The Railway Control Room said that a night-mail train arriving from Trincomalee had derailed at around 2.45 a.m. Tuesday. Two compartments of the Batticaloa – Trincomalee train had derailed in this manner. Railway Control Room noted that measures are underway to put the train back on its tracks. Due to this derailment, trains services on the Northern Railway line were temporarily halted. more..

Shocking back-door selection for Glasgow games

July 1 (DM) Sri Lankan sports circles were aghast yesterday over the blatantly open manner in which a badminton player had been parachuted down from nowhere by an invisible hand into the national team to represent the country at the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. The female player Nadeesha Gayanthi who had not been picked by the national selectors appointed by the Sports Minister and was not in the list of more..

Most Sri Lanka banks and finance firms submit merger plans: Central Bank

July 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank said 'almost all' banks and finance companies have submitted plans to merge or acquire others in a regulatory driven push to consolidate and reduce the number of financial institutions in the country. "These plans will now be reviewed by the Central Bank with a view to facilitating the respective companies to proceed further," the Central Banks said in a statement. "In addition, as requested by the Central Bank, the Panel of Audit Firms continued their more..

Court delays digging of suspected Muslim mass grave

July 1 (AD) The Kaluwanchikudy Magistrate’s Court today ordered the postponement of scheduled start of an operation to exhume a suspected mass war grave on the east coast after police said they needed more preparation time. Authorities had been due to begin excavating part of a beach in Kalavanchikudy district after a resident petitioned the local court, claiming the site contained the remains of around 100 Muslims who were killed 24 years ago at the height of the war. more..

CPC to reject stock of imported furnace oil

July 1 (NF) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has announced a decision to reject 20,000 metric tonnes of furnace oil that was imported to the country. The Chairman of CEYPETCO, S. Amarasekera said that the stock of oil was rejected as it did not meet required standards. The Sapugaskanda Oil refinery produces 75% of the furnace oil that is essential for industrial use, including in the electricity sector. more..

Maharoof, Prasanna launch Express into final

July 1 (CI) Farveez Maharoof and Seekkuge Prasanna plundered 56 off the last 4.4 overs to carry Southern Express into the final with a three-wicket win over Western Troopers in the eliminator in Colombo. The duo came together when Express were struggling at 102 for 7 after 15 overs in their chase of 154 following three wickets in three overs from Chaturanga de Silva. While Maharoof hit two fours and three sixes in his 42 off 27 deliveries, Prasanna struck four sixes in his 36 off 17. more..

JVP councilor gets Mayor’s motion withdrawn

July 1 (LT) When UNP governed Colombo Municipal Council met yesterday the Mayor AJM Muzammil presented a proposal to deploy members of Civil Defense Force for various activities of the CMC. It was also proposed to pay Rs.750 as daily wages for Members of Civil Defense Force (CDF) and higher amounts for those who participate in their administration. JVP Councilor Hemantha Weerakone opposing the move said his party was against deploying personnel of CDF more..

Sending asylum seekers to Sri Lanka 'risks flagrant violation of convention'

July 1 (Guardian) Australia would “flagrantly” violate the refugee convention if 153 Tamil asylum seekers on board a boat headed to Australia were sent to Sri Lanka without being allowed to lodge a claim for protection, Refugee Council of Australia has warned. The Christmas Island shire president, Gordon Thomson, said on Tuesday there were unconfirmed reports on the island that those on board the boat had more..

Pictorial health warnings will be enforced from July 11 - DSG

July 1 (Island) Deputy Solicitor General Sanjay Rajaratnam yesterday told the Supreme Court that the State would not enforce till July 11, the gazette regulations stipulating that cigarette packets contain pictorial warnings covering 60% of their display areas. Earlier, it was decreed that the new regulations take effect from July 1, 2014. Ceylon Tobacco Company has filed a fundamental rights violation application complaining that already there are 75 million cigarette sticks in the market more..

China calls for transparency in Pillay’s office fund use

July 1 (Island) China has urged the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to be more transparent with its internal management and fund use, while enhancing its effect. This call has come at a time the UNHRC is making arrangements for a war crimes probe against the Sri Lankan govt. A spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Colombo said that the recommendation was one of four made by a senior diplomat of the Permanent Mission China to the UN Office more..

MR tells foreign envoys to see reality

July 1 (CG) President Rajapaksa today told a group of new diplomats assigned to Sri Lanka to travel around the country and see the ground reality for themselves. During the discussion, President briefed the new diplomats on post-war progress, pointing out that after 30 years of suffering, there is now peace and stability. Two new high commissioners and three new ambassadors presented their credentials to President more..

Eleven midwives held hostage freed

July 1 (Island) Eleven midwives taken hostage by a group of nurses and kept locked up in a labour room of the Colombo North Teaching Hospital, Ragama were freed yesterday morning. "We have been deprived of food since last Friday," the victims said. One of them said that she had been released on the intervention of the police after her husband had complained to the Ragama police. Asked why the police could not rescue the others who were locked up, a senior police officer said more..

Outcome of UN probe a foregone conclusion: Champika

July 1 (DN) The outcome of the UN probe on Sri Lanka is very clear and it is a foregone conclusion, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. "They have already made up their minds. It will only be a supportive document to the Darusman Report. Whether we participate or not, they have an expanded charge sheet against Sri Lanka. They will do their utmost to tarnish Sri Lanka's image and the govt's moral legitimacy," he said. "Individual countries will take action against individuals more..

Video: Govt imposed ‘unofficial censorship’ to cover-up its sins – Ranil

July 1 (AD) UNP accused the govt of imposing “unofficial censorship” on media to espouse racism at it pleases and to recreate its image after pushing the country towards destruction. “Rajapaksa regime is looking to completely destroy media freedom today,” Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe said, speaking to reporters after meeting with representatives from several media rights groups in Colombo. more..

Jailers interdicted over drug dealer’s escape

July 1 (Island) Commissioner General of Prisons, C. Pallewela interdicted two jail guards of the Mahara Prison after a notorious drug peddler being treated at the Colombo North Teaching Hospital, Ragama, had escaped from their custody. Pallewela said that drug peddler, Thusitha Chamara alias Dilan (29) of No. 63/17, Magazine road, Borella had been arrested with one-and a-half kilos of heroin by the Police Narcotics Bureau. The drug peddler had escaped around 12.15 a.m. yesterday, more..

Protests continue over refugee’s death

July 1 (Hindu) Family and friends of G. Chandrasekaran, a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee who died at the Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences at Kalapet on Sunday, continued their protest on Monday, alleging medical negligence by the hospital. They were joined by local rights activists. Chandrasekaran was a resident of the Keezhputhupattu refugee camp in Villupuram. He died two hours after he was admitted in the casualty ward of the hospital on Sunday. more..

Sri Lanka set for asylum handover at sea

July 1 (TA) A boatload of Sri Lankan asylum-seekers found near Cocos Island at the weekend is being transported by Australian authorities to a treacherous mid-ocean transfer to a Sri Lankan naval vessel in the midst of the deadly south-west monsoon. A Sri Lankan naval vessel departed yesterday following several days of talks with Australian authorities about how to handle the impending asylum-seeker arrivals more..

Sri Lanka to launch observation satellite

July 1 (DM) Sri Lanka was in the process of designing, developing and launching of its own small earth observation satellite and the project would commence once the funds were allocated, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. He expressed these views while addressing a seminar for representatives of ‘Countries that Forecast and Study Drought through Space Technology’ today. “Space technology, indeed, is one of those strategic technologies. There are several important more..

Fort mosque receives threatening letter with raw pieces of pork

July 1 (AM) A mosque in Colombo Fort received a threatening letter on Saturday with raw pieces of pork ordering the Mosque authorities to halt the reconstruction of the mosque as its being done within a "high security area". A priest attached to the Mosque who was present at the time had opened the threatening letter. Eye witnesses said he was disturbed after seeing the letter and the raw pieces of pork which were sent to him by an unidentified person. more..

'No possibility of Sri Lanka-based terrorism against India'

July 1 (PTI) Sri Lanka ruled out any possibility that its soil could be used for terror attacks against India, after the recent discovery of an alleged terrorist plot to attack foreign missions in south India. "Indian intelligence agencies have told me that there is a possibility of Islamic terrorism being based in SL to act against India. However, we investigated these concerns and found that there is no merit in these concerns or claims," more..

Rajapaksa regime’s deceptions and Sri Lanka’s international obligations

July 2 (CT) The govt of Sri Lanka has again used Parliament to adopt a resolution rejecting the appointment by the OHCHR to probe the human rights violations including war crimes alleged to have been committed by the Armed forces of the GOSL during the last phase of the war with the LTTE in April-May 2009. The resolution states, ‘To demonstrate its commitment to protecting democracy and human rights and protect the people’s democratic rights and human rights, more..

Weak Mahinda Vs Kshama factor and the ‘Common Candidate’ debate

July 2 (CT) Challenging times pose challenging questions. For the left this is especially the case as we task ourselves to play a leading role in the fight for a better life for all. In Sri Lanka where the govt of Rajapaksa is crushing democratic rights and stands accused of genocidal slaughter this is especially so. Every twist and turn of strategy and tactics must involve a serious weighing up of ideas and historical lessons if it can play any useful role. The attack on Muslims in SL has provoked huge anger. more..

Jaywalking, a risk to life and limb

July 2 (SO) Motor accidents could occur due to many reasons-driver negligence, unfavourable road conditions, unroadworthy vehicles as well as insufficient display of road signs could be some of the main causes. Although most of these instances are credited to the account of motorists or motorcyclists, what cannot be ignored is the role played by pedestrians. It has been identified that irresponsible behaviour on the part of more..

Protect Sinhala Buddhism from the educated

July 2 (Island) It has to be emphasised that what is meant by Sinhala Buddhism is a culture and not an interpretation of Bududahama. Of course, Sinhala Buddhism is associated with interpretation(s) of Bududahama and one would even say that there is more than one Sinhala Buddhism at any point in history. This is not confined to Buddhist cultures and there is no homogeneous culture as such in any country. However, one could take the "highest common factor" of the variant cultures as more..

Slipping back to indiscipline

July 2 (CT) Despite significant improvements over the last two years, largely due to oversight from the International Monetary Fund during the US$ 2.6 billion Standby Facility Arrangement programme, the govt seems to be slipping back to its old ways. The govt has slowly slipped into fiscal indiscipline with revenues overestimated and current expenditure underestimated, resulting in a growing fiscal deficit and spending cuts on public investments, latest data shows. more..