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The art of mishandling policy

July 11 (CT) There is something strange in this govt. It is wallowing in negative publicity. The sequence of events during the last couple of weeks has given it a steady supply of negative publicity which would prop up its already grim reputation. First, it lets loose a motley group of Sinhala Buddhist ultra nationalist groups such as BBS, SR, RB and so on. Then, the marauding mobs and youth instigated by hate filled sermons, went on rampage in Aluthgama, triggering a sectarian confrontation more..

SL tipped as Asia’s new island of growth

July 11 (FT) A renowned investment banking and equity markets specialist has described Sri Lanka as the new island of growth for Asia and tips the post-war rebounding nation to be the next Singapore and even do better than the region’s city state. In an analytical article titled ‘Sell Singapore, Buy Sri Lanka’, specialist Fraser Dennis makes a compelling case for Sri Lanka and its future prospects. more..

The Ramaphosa visit and prospects of normalisation

July 11 (Island) Cyril Ramaphosa (b. 1952), vice president of South Africa, started his official visit to Sri Lanka on Monday, giving our leaders a valuable opportunity which should not be missed. It is an opportunity to deflect, as far as possible, the undue ‘international’ pressure that is being brought to bear on the country. The stature of the guest shows the importance that friendly South Africa attaches to this visit. Cyril Ramaphosa was among the delegates from all over South Africa that more..

IT, BPO industry sets sights on $ 5 b export revenue, 200K employee target

July 11 (FT) The country’s IT and BPO industry has set sights on a $ 5 billion export revenue and 200,000 employee base by 2022 reflecting a massive increase from the present levels. The optimistic yet challenging forecast was revealed by the industry via SL Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM) when it unveiled its first review report with Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera as the Chief Guest. “Export revenue grew from USD 213 million in 2007 more..

COPE urged to re-open probe into SLIC major frauds

July 11 (ST) Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) employees are urging the COPE to re-open the probe into corrupt practices and irregularities of the state-owned insurer during 2009-2010 as there was no conclusion still on these matters raised before the committee three years ago, President of the SLIC Employees Union R.S. Nandalal said. The union has made representations to COPE in 2011 on these malpractices, but more..

Army Chief hails Commandos’ unmatched sacrifices

July 11 (SLA) All ranks of the Commando Regiment (CR) of the Army on Thursday morning gathered together at their Ganemulla CR Regimental Headquarters to extend a warm welcome to the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake who was making his first visit to the headquarters after assumption of office as the Commander. Nearly a four-digit of Commandos who have earned a name for themselves as fierce Army fighters of the best quality, warmly greeted more..

Water crisis hits several districts across SL

July 11 (NF) Irrigation Department notes that many parts of the country are facing a water crisis due to the lack of rain in a number of districts. News 1st correspondents looked into the matter at district level and were able to uncover the stories of many communities who face difficulties due to the lack of water. According to the water management unit of the Irrigation Department, a number of districts including Ampara, Monaragala and Hambantota are facing the brunt of the dry weather conditions. more..

Sri Lanka to honor Vietnam Buddhist martyr

July 11 (AT) Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Vietnam Dr. Ivan Amarasinghe will be a special guest invited by the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha Council at the ceremony on Saturday July 12 – National Martyrs Day - to commemorate the sacrifice of the Buddhist monk, Venerable Thich Quang Duc 51 years ago in protest against the American-backed dictator Ngo Din Diem in what was then South Vietnam. Commemorative event is being more..

Japan-Sri Lanka Parliamentary League to visit Sri Lanka

July 11 (FT) Members of the Japan-Sri Lanka Parliamentary League are scheduled to visit Sri Lanka by the end of July. In this context, Ambassador Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda met with both the President and the Secretary-General of the Parliamentary League to discuss the program as well as other functionaries and meetings during their visit. During the three-day visit, the delegation would call on the President and Minister of External Affairs, and would be hosted by the Minister of more..

Fems, the only sanitary napkin in Sri Lanka to receive SLS Certification

July 11 (DM) The role of the progressive Sri Lankan woman of today, has significantly transformed, to become more demanding of an active, multi-tasking lifestyle. Understanding the diverse needs of these evolving Sri Lankan women, Fems is one of the leading brands of sanitary napkins, which provides a new range of sanitary napkins to cater to the needs of Sri Lankan women. Being a brand that is committed to adhering to the highest quality standards at all times, Fems was awarded more..

Rajarata Uni student's sathyagraha hut burnt for the third time

July 11 (HN) The temporary hut that sheltered Rajarata University student protesters was burnt for the third time early this morning (10). A group of men came in a van and hurled a bottle of petrel to blaze the hut. However, students staying inside the hut at the time of the incident have not been injured by the blaze. Student Sathyagraha which has demanded the university authorities to lift the class suspension on 28 students would complete more..

Final phase construction of Norochcholai plant to be completed by year end

July 11 (GDI) Power and Energy Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said in Parliament today that construction work of the final phase of Norochcholai coal power plant would be completed by the end of this year. Responding to a question raised by UNP MP Nalin Bandara Jayamaha, the minister said the construction of all the phases of the coal power plant were scheduled to be completed and the power generated from it would be added to the national grid by Dec 31, this year. more..

Abbott floats their boat

July 11 (TA) It is unfortunate that the Australian journalistic fraternity and the Australian opposition or at least sections of it have found what they think would be easy political pickings in the boat-people issue. It is however the good fortune of Australia that there is a prime minister in that country who is as resolute as he is pragmatic about the issue of the boatloads of folk, who are told by people smugglers that they can find heaven on earth in Australia. Today in this page we carry an opinion more..

260 new liquor licences since 2005

July 11 (DM) Despite the announcement of a state policy to end alcohol consumption, as many as 260 liquor licences had been issued from 2005 and 2012 Parliament was informed. However, it is a drop against the number issued during the previous years. Deputy Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama, who answered, said 132 licences were issued in 2005, 35 in 2006, 42 in 2007, 36 in 2008, 40 in 2009, 51 in 2010, more..

Anura Kumara comments on recent incidents and the rule of law

July 11 (NF) News1st provided footage of the incident in Divulapitiya to the Minuwangoda police upon a request made by the Police. The footage was provided to the Minuwangoda Police a few days after the incident took place on June 23, which resulted in the death of an individual in police fire. We provided the footage to a police officer identified as M.B.C. Sampath on June 27 at 5 p.m. News1st also provided evidence before court on the matter. Meanwhile, JVP Leader Anura Kumara more..

‘Players should focus on fitness to tackle tough Sri Lanka weather’

July 11 (Dawn) Former Test fast bowler Sarfraz Nawaz feels Pakistan cricketers should focus on their physical fitness for next month’s tour to Sri Lanka to cope with tough weather conditions in the island country. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday announced the Test and ODI squads for the Sri Lankan tour. Both the 15-member squads were picked by the selection committee headed by Moin Khan. Pakistan will play two Tests and three ODIs in Sri Lanka. more..

Advocates ‘coaching’ asylum-seekers to self-harm for political reasons

July 11 (TA) A former director of offshore processing in Australia’s immigration detention camps claims asylum-seekers are coached and encouraged to attempt self-harm by refugee advocates who then use the incidents as political capital. Greg Lake made his strident ­attack on “certain refugee advocates” whose behaviour “is at odds with their mandate as advocates” as the Refugee Action Coalition backed down from more..

Tsunami Warning System made fully functional in Indian Ocean

July 11 (GDI) The Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC) was established and made fully functional since 2007 and is now rendering operational services as a Regional Tsunami Watch Provider (RTWP) for whole of the Indian Ocean Region by the Earth System Science Organization – Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Sciences (ESSO-INCOIS) located in Hyderabad, New Delhi based Indian media reports said on Wednesday quoting a document tabled in more..

Police officer’s revolver misfires; suspect injured

July 11 (DM) A man arrested in connection with a road accident received gunshot injuries while at the Mirigama police station when a police officer’s revolver is alleged to have misfired. Gamini Rajapakse (49), an employee of the Mirigama post office, was arrested after a trishaw driven by him had allegedly knocked down a motorcyclist and the pillion rider on Wednesday night leaving the two riders injured. Police said the PC was examining the revolver when it misfired and more..

Historic Lanka-Belarus economic pact inked in Colombo

July 11 (FT) The historic Sri Lanka-Belarus Joint Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation successfully concluded yesterday in Colombo. Thanks to the meet, the first-ever Lanka-Belarus vehicle manufacturing venture is now a reality, with more Belarusian investments on the pipeline. “With the success of this event, without any doubts we are now at a new level of close cooperation with Sri Lanka. more..

Markham man wins RBC immigrant award

July 11 (YR) The RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards honoured a Markham resident this year for his entrepreneurship and enlivening and supporting the Tamil community in the area. Senthi Chelliah moved to Canada from Sri Lanka during that country’s civil war, and struggled without a cohesive Tamil community. “Everyone was not connected through social media as they are now, so I had to go myself to different places and meet people in person in order to market my events or services,” more..

Sail vessels find the going tough

July 11 (Hindu) Operators of sail vessels want the govt to give a fillip to transportation of cargo using their vessels between Tuticorin and Colombo so as to arrest the decline of this once prosperous mode of cargo shipment. Though these vessels have sails to harness the wind, they are powered by engines and equipped with modern navigation gadgets, according to S. Lasington Fernando, secretary, Coastal Mechanised Sail Vessel Owners’ Association, Tuticorin. more..

Treasure map, assassination plot and kidnapping among dark secrets of ...

July 11 (SMH) 12-metre fishing vessel called the Sithumina left Batticaloa on SL's east coast at 2.30am on June 12. 41 passengers on board had met the ship several hundred metres from the beach after being ferried there in two small boats powered by outboard motors.Most of the passengers were men who have since freely admitted that they were simply looking for new jobs and a better life in safe and far away NZ. more..

Sanchi kept out of grand Buddhist circuit in budget blueprint

July 11 (TOI) Finance minister Arun Jaitley delivered a huge shocker to Madhya Pradesh by eliminating world heritage site, Sanchi, from his grandiose blueprint of developing the Buddhist circuit of Sarnath-Gaya-Varanasi into a global tourism hub. Sanchi is a renowned Buddhist centre that attracts tourists from countries like Sri Lanka, Japan, Thailand, Korea and China among others. The outgoing UPA govt had allocated Rs 5 crore to Madhya Pradesh State Tourism more..

159 new Licences issued for betting and gaming centres

July 11 (CT) During the period 2011 to 2013, 158 new licenses were issued to set up betting and gaming centres, with 20 having live telecasts. This was revealed by Deputy Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama in response to questions posed by UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva, who also wanted to know the amount of taxable revenue these centers earned. Dr. de Silva also asked why govt had decided to reduce the tax levied on these centers by 50% in 2013, while their numbers increased. more..

Govt. answers JVP queries in Parliament on Ramaphosa’s visit

July 11 (FT) Govt yesterday confirmed to Parliament the plan to explore the South African model and to make use of “their Truth and Reconciliation Commission findings” to solve SL’s ethnic issue. In response to a statement made by Opposition Lawmaker Anura Kumara Dissanayake, Govt confirmed that recent visit of Deputy President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa was the initial step and that it would continue the process. more..

When brats brawl, let us all laugh

July 11 (DM) Harin Fernando made an impassioned speech in Parliament the day Dayasiri Jayasekera resigned, formally announcing his decision to re-join his deshapalana thimbirigeya (political place of birth), the SLFP, and contest the elections to the Wayamba Provincial Council. On that occasion, Fernando ridiculed Jayasekera’s chief ministerial ambition, claiming that Johnston Fernando would make sure that his son Johan would obtain the highest number of preferential votes. more..

Thewarapperuma, UNP maverick or activist

July 11 (DM) At a time when the UNP has been struggling to keep its head above political waters, it is rarely that a UNP MP dominates the headlines, but somehow MP Palitha Thewarapperuma has done just that. When communal violence erupted in Aluthgama last month, Thewarapperuma claimed that he attempted to intervene and protect his constituents. He alleged that he witnessed policemen looking the other way while drunken mobs engaged in looting and arson. more..

Canada host’s Sri Lanka’s most wanted terrorist

July 11 (SL) Sri Lanka’s Vavuniya High Court Judge sentenced Kanagarajah Ravishankar alias Sangilli, one of Sri Lanka’s most wanted terrorists, in absentia to 30 years imprisonment on June 24, 2014. The police are seeking international support to apprehend the convict. Together with Shanmugasundaram Kanthaskaran alias Karan alias Aruna of the LTTE Branch in London, Ravishankar of the LTTE Branch in more..

Ranil says ‘Black June’ set off deliberately

July 11 (Island) UNP and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament that ‘Black June’ attacks carried out by certain groups in Alutgama and Beruwala were against not only the Muslims but also the Sinhalese Buddhists. Making a special statement Wickremeisnghe said that "the houses and businesses of not only the Muslims, but also the Sinhalese were destroyed in the clash. more..

Spinner Lyon happy with Murali experience

July 11 (AAP) Australian spin bowler Nathan Lyon says working with Muttiah Muralitharan can only make him a better bowler. The Sri Lankan great has been appointed as a coaching consultant by Australia ahead of the Test and limited-over series against Pakistan in October. Muralitharan spent time with Lyon in Colombo working on a bowling variation that would turn in the opposite direction to his stock delivery. more..

Germany’s continuing commitment to SL

July 11 (DM) With more than 60 years of strong ties between the Govts of Sri Lanka and Germany, there is much to say about Germany’s long and successful commitment to the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector in Sri Lanka. One such commitment, and the most talked about, is the Sri Lankan German Training Institute (CGTTI) or ‘German Tech’ as it is more commonly known. more..

H’tota candidates have all the luck – JVP

July 11 (Island) The JVP led Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union (CTSU) moved the Human Rights Commission against the Education Ministry alleging district quota system in selecting students to Colleges of Education had been changed for political reasons. CTSU General Secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe said that this year selecting criteria and district quota were based on the projected vacancies in 2017 in govt schools more..

Govt to probe CHOGM bus imports

July 11 (DM) The govt yesterday agreed in Parliament to probe the allegation that there were financial misappropriation and irregularities in the import of luxury buses for the CHOGM held in Colombo last year. During the question time, UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake said these buses had been imported from a Chinese company which had overvalued them by 20%. He also charged that these buses were handed over to various more..

Violent selector blows his top again

July 11 (DM) The national selector who behaved like an animal in the President’s box, removing his shirt and going berserk during a famous big match just a few months ago, had been at it again. This time it was in Kandy during the recent match when he walked in and threatened an ex-co member in full view of all other ex-co members. The man who is well known for his appalling behaviour like a thug, lived up to his reputation and more..

Police on the firing line over free-for-all firearms

July 11 (ST) Colombo’s Grandpass area was a hive of activity as the statue of St Anthony’s was being taken in procession to mark the annual feast last Sunday. There were sporadic sounds of fire crackers going off as the statue was received at every junction. On one of the byroads, Andrewge Watta, four men had gathered and were watching the procession pass by as some of their relatives were participating in it. more..

Despite TNA's resistance Gen. Chandrasiri re-appointed as governor of North

July 11 (AM) Despite repeated requests made by the TNA to appoint a non-military person as the Governor of the North, President Rajapaksa has re-appointed retired General G.A. Chandrasiri for the same position. Chandrasiri has served as the Governor of the North since the end of war. It is widely known among political circles that the Governor of the Northern Province and Chief Minister of North more..

TNA, diaspora assure support, urge GoSL to reciprocate

July 11 (Island) Assuring support for South African reconciliation efforts in Sri Lanka, the TNA and the UK headquartered Global Tamil Forum (GTF) stressed that it would be the responsibility of the govt of Sri Lanka to ensure the required support for the process. TNA heavyweight M.A. Sumanthiran said now that a top level South African delegation led by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa had held discussions with govt more..

Construction of pylons in lagoon: CEB overcomes fishers’ resistance

July 11 (Island) Plans are underway to pump in additional millions of rupees to expedite the third phase of the country’s first coal fired power plant complex at Norochcholai in view of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s arrival. Power and Energy Ministry had managed to clear some longstanding issues with the fishing community opposed to the construction of high tension lines through the lagoon to Anuradhapura, stretching some 98 km. Only 18 km have so far been covered. more..

Enemy at the gates; Targeting freedom of expression

July 11 (CT) A notice has been issued by one D.M.S. Dissanayake as the director/registrar of the NGO Secretariat in a letterhead of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development warning the NOGs that they are acting beyond their mandates by conducting press conferences and workshops, training journalists and disseminating press releases. It can be inferred without any doubt that this warning has been issued at the instance of the Defence Secretary himself and being more..