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Two killed; one assaulted in Modera

July 12 (DM) A 43-year-old man was hacked to death using a sword in Modara, Rawathawatte area last night, police said. They said the victim was pronounced dead on admission to the Colombo National Hospital while his son who was assaulted in the incident was also admitted to the National Hospital. Police said the suspects in connection with the incident had been identified and investigations were underway to arrest them. Meanwhile, a 48-year-old woman was shot dead in more..

De Kock, De Villiers fashion historic win

July 12 (CI) Grinding hundreds like Hashim Amla's in the first ODI and glorious ones like AB de Villiers' in Hambantota. Quickfire starts like Dilshan's fifty off 40 balls in Pallekele and SL's 99 off the first ten overs in the finale. Dramatic collapses, Sri Lanka recorded 5 for 13 in Colombo and 5 for 11 in the second ODI, South Africa contributed 5 for 26 in the same game, this series seemed to have it all. Except a run-out. more..

We’re breeding mosquitoes

July 12 (ST) Early this week, with garbage bags in hand, teams of army personnel and health officials scoured rail tracks collecting and destroying discarded tins and containers which acted as breeding grounds for dengue mosquitoes. Breeding grounds for mosquitoes included abandoned pillar boxes of the Sri Lanka Post where hordes of mosquito larvae were discovered. The team of officials also found that the construction site of the Krrish Square where rainwater puddles had more..

Kegalle acid attack: Suspects still at large

July 12 (Island) Mawanella police have so far failed to arrest the suspects responsible for an acid attack on a poice officer and a security assistant on duty in the early hours of June 19 at the Mawanella Courts Complex, where the Magistrate’s official bungalow is located. SSP Ajith Rohana said that a special police team had been deployed to arrest the suspects. The victims are a police officer and a security assistant attached to the Mawanella police station. Earlier, police said that they were studying footage more..

Beaming in from space on ‘silent killer’ drought

July 12 (ST) Sri Lanka has been selected as the first regional country along with Cambodia to benefit from space technology in early predictions of drought – and political rivals India and China are co-operating with the UN to develop the mechanism. News of the initiative came from a two-day forum on Space Technology Applications for Drought Monitoring and Early Warning this week with the participation of local and international more..

Lalith Dissanayake's Fun-Formula for economic progress

July 12 (AM) Deputy Health Minister Lalith Dissanayake has said that the number of votes he obtained at the last General Election is an indication of the economic progress achieved by the people of Kegalle District. "When I lost the election I got only 8000 votes. And The UNP candidate obtained 16000 votes. Today I have obtained 18000 votes. What does that mean? It means things are going well in Kegalle," the Deputy Minister said during a political talk show two days ago. more..

Test vaccine for dengue seen as promising

July 12 (AFP) A prototype vaccine for dengue that two years ago yielded lukewarm results has proved more effective after wider trials and is a potential arm against the disease, researchers said Friday. Devised by the French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur, the so-called CYD-TDV vaccine provided only 30% protection against the dangerous fever when first tested among children in Thailand. Widened to trials in four other Asian countries, where disease conditions vary greatly, more..

Lawyers slam MOD circular to NGOs

July 12 (CG) Sri Lanka’s leading lawyers collective has slammed the circular issued to NGOs by the National Secretariat for NGOs, under the Ministry of Defense and Urban Development. Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) says the said circular violates fundamental principles that govern Sri Lanka’s free and democratic society, which is guaranteed by the constitution. BASL says the contents as well as the implications of more..

'Strong winds within next 24 hours'

July 12 (DM) Meteorology Department said strong winds (South-west monsoonal winds) were expected over the country especially along the western slopes of the Central hills at times. Issuing a severe weather advisory it said showers or thundershowers were expected at times in the Sabaragamuwa and Central provinces and several spells of showers could also be expected in the Western province and in the Galle and Matara districts while showers may spread to North-Western province more..

Dutch Vice-Minister on high level visit

July 12 (CG) Simon Smits, the Vice-Minister for Foreign Trade of the Kingdom of the Netherlands will be in Sri Lanka next week in what will be the first high level visit to Sri Lanka by a Dutch minister in recent times, Netherlands Embassy said. Smits will visit Sri Lanka from 14th July – 17th July and will be accompanied by a business delegation which consists of some leading Dutch companies such as Boskalis, Vitens Evides, Enraf Nonius, van der Knaap, Eijkelkamp, and Rabobank. more..

Heart Association wants dedicated cardiac care to stem 25,000 deaths annually

July 12 (FT) With around 25,000 deaths due to heart attacks annually, the Sri Lanka Heart Association (SLHA) is advocating the need for easily available dedicated cardiac care countrywide. Noting that optimising programs for ST Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI), commonly known as a heart attack, are essential, SLHA President Dr. Gotabhaya Ranasinghe said: “We currently do have STEMI programs but more..

Sri Lanka introduces new World Bank system to curb disaster finances

July 12 (ANI) Sri Lanka has started a groundbreaking way of World Bank financing, whereby natural disasters would be immediately funded. World Bank has agreed to provide US$ 102 million to the SL Govt. Sri Lanka, in the past two decades, has faced many natural disasters. These include landslides, floods, high winds, cyclones, tsunami etc. Sri Lankan govt is taking significant steps in escalating the public mechanism to ensure disaster management is done efficiently. more..

SL govt releases 37 Indian fishermen

July 12 (AM) Court has ordered the release of 37 Indian fishermen who were caught poaching in Sri Lankan waters, belonging to Mandapam and Rameswaram. The released fishermen were expected to reach Rameswaram on Saturday. A fishermen association leader, said that the Lankan Navy detained 17 fishermen of Rameswaram in mid sea on June 29 on the charge of trespassing the IMBL. The Indian fishermen were lodged in Anuradhapura prison after being produced more..

Sri Lanka keen on home grown solution

July 12 (CG) Govt is keen on a home grown solution to the National issue and would like to see the participation of all political parties in the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) to achieve that goal, Minister GL Peiris said. He said that SL’s position on the National issue was communicated to India during his visit to the country this week. “We sought India’s assistance to have all political parties participate in the PSC,” GL Peiris said. more..

A wild-goose chase

July 12 (LT) President is getting ready to solve the internal conflicts in the govt that are getting escalated reports a newspaper. Clash between Ministers Janaka Bandara Tennekone and Laxman Wasantha Perera representing Matale District is a major one among the conflicts that exist within the govt. Minister Janaka Bandara Tennekone is a senior member of the SLFP while Deputy Minister Wasantha Laxman Perera joined govt by becoming a millionaire through notorious businesses. more..

‘Wait, our B2B list coming!’ -Belarus

July 12 (GDI) For the first time, no less than a stream of state owned businesses of a foreign economy is eyeing direct B2B with Lankan private sector. “Most of our business enterprises are state owned and still keen on exploring business opportunities here. We will definitely be happy to see more Lankan companies as our partners. We will send you our list of first B2B delegation soon!” said an upbeat Valentin B. Rybakov (Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus) more..

Sachithra Senanayake banned from bowling

July 12 (CI) Offspinner Sachithra Senanayake has been banned from bowling in international cricket, after his action was found to be illegal following bio-mechanical assessment in Cardiff. Senanayake was reported for a suspect action during SL's 4th ODI against England on May 31, and testing at the end of June found he exceeded the allowed 15-degree flex limit in all four types of his deliveries which were assessed. more..

Strong winds damage several homes

July 12 (CG) Strong winds damaged over 100 houses, particularly in the central hills this evening, the Disaster Management Center said adding that Nuwara Eliya was among the worst affected areas. This afternoon the Department of Meteorology had said that there was a possibility the South-west monsoonal wind speeds increasing over the country and adjacent sea areas. It also said that showers or thundershowers will occur at times in the Sabaragamuwa and Central provinces and more..

India’s position on UN team for Sri Lanka clear: MEA

July 12 (Hindu) On his third visit to India this year and his first under the Narendra Modi govt, Sri Lankan foreign minister G.L. Peiris, discussed with External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, the measures Sri Lanka was taking about accountability and reconciliation on the island. “There was a fairly detailed presentation by Prof. Peiris about the initiatives they are taking for reconciliation and accountability,” said ministry of external affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin. more..

CBK to re-enter politics with a Ten-point policy framework

July 12 (AM) Deshaya newspaper, reported that former President Chandrika Kumaratunga is to re-enter active politics with a policy framework that includes ten main points. The former President, will announce her decision in the near future. It is still not clear whether she wants to become a candidate at the next Presidential election. It was in the grapevine that Kumaratunga had discussed the matter with several key politicians more..

Writing on the wall for errant INGOs, NGOs

July 13 (SO) Some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and their funding agents in International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) have acted in the most unbecoming manner in Sri Lanka. They even played a sinister role during Sri Lanka's relentless battle against terrorism from 2006 till mid-2009. Certain countries which project themselves as the godfathers of democracy do not permit the NGOs or INGOs to do as they please in their countries. more..

The many labours of Cyril Ramaphosa

July 13 (SL) South Africa’s Deputy President and Special Envoy to Sri Lanka, Cyril Ramaphosa in his brief visit here last week met govt leaders including President Rajapaksa, TNA leaders and the Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe in an attempt to help resolve Sri Lanka’s ethnic problem. The details of his discussions with Sri Lankan leaders are not known but it is presumed that the talks were aimed at bridging the differences that exist between Sinhalese and Tamil leaders more..

Exploring TRC mechanism

July 13 (SO) South African delegation led by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was in Sri Lanka on a two-day work visit. He toured the country last Monday and Tuesday on the invitation of President Rajapaksa. During his stay which was received with mixed reactions, Ramaphosa held talks with the President and members of the opposition including TNA leader, R. Sampanthan and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe. more..

GO-NGO pots and kettles

July 13 (NS) The Govt has taken some tentative steps to keep NGOs in check. Although the big-names in the NGO fraternity have howled in protest, a careful reading of the directive issued by the NGO Secretariat clearly indicates that there’s been little more than reiteration of existing caveats pertaining to NGO activity. Moreover, those with the shrillest objections do not even belong to NGOs that currently come under the purview of the Secretariat. Only some 1400 NGOs are registered with more..

Who needs delinquents and braggarts?

July 13 (CT) Perhaps, Wednesday's 'Waada Pitiya' television programme will go down in history as a pretty tame facade for some bone crunching fist of fury stuff that transpired behind the scenes, when one time friends and fellow party members went at each other with no holds or punches barred. That two elected members not unknown for their prowess of reasoning, Dayasiri Jayasekara, Chief Minister of the Wayamba Provincial Council and Harin Fernando, UNP MP for the Badulla District, more..

'We are only sharing SA’s experiences'

July 13 (SL) Certain groups within the govt including the NFF are strongly opposing South African mediation in Sri Lanka. However, the govt carried out a closed door meeting with the South African Special Envoy Cyril Ramaphosa during his recent visit to Sri Lanka and the content of the discussions was not revealed to the public. Nevertheless, the govt assures that the intention of the meeting was only to strengthen the more..

Ramaphosa visit: What’s really happening?

July 13 (ST) The visit of the Acting President of South African is shrouded in mystery; and the more the Govt tries to explain the visit, the more curious it gets. They say that foreign experts usually rush in to find out and then leave just as quickly before they are found out. Foreign correspondents who come to the ‘Third World’ with pre-conceived notions are nick-named ‘Running Johns’ — or ‘Running Janes’ as the case may be. What can one say then about the visiting South African Acting President more..

Cyril’s fillip to peace tourism

July 13 (ST) My Dear Cyril Ramaphosa, I thought I must write to you even though you would have visited our country and left our shores by now because your visit here seems to have generated a lot of controversy, reminding me of an old, political slogan which was very successful twenty five years ago: ‘May kawda? Mokada karanne?’ Of course, we know who you are, at least officially. We know that you are the Deputy President of South Africa and also the Deputy President of the ANC more..

'TNA willing to cooperate with South Africa'

July 13 (SL) TNA claimed that foreign delegates including the South African special envoy Cyril Ramaphosa who visited Sri Lanka recently have met the TNA to discuss the Tamil national issue which shows that internationally the TNA is recognised as the representative of the Tamil people in SL. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said that as the elected representatives of the Tamil people, they are willing to cooperate with more..

A South African model?

July 13 (SL) At this point, truth and reconciliation seems to be the main trump card of the govt before the next session of the UNHRC session where Sri Lanka’s human rights track-record and its steps in the direction of reconciliation will come under serious scrutiny by the international community. Therefore, South African special envoy to Sri Lanka, Cyril Ramaphosa’s visit was of great importance to the UPFA govt. Especially in the recent past, the Sri Lankan govt has been on a new mission to more..

Welgama takes the House on a bus ride

July 13 (ST) The appalling state of the country’s public transport sector is not a subject that is sufficiently discussed in Parliament, but this week, when Minister Kumar Welgama introduced regulations to the House aimed at improving road safety, some of the difficulties faced by bus and train commuters were highlighted. Minister admitted that road accidents were on the increase with more than 2,300 killed in 2013, and nearly 7,000 suffering from serious accident related causes. more..

Voter education or interference?

July 13 (SL) USAID cancelled funding for a voter education programme after the Sri Lankan govt protested recently by calling the US Ambassador to SL Michele J. Sison to question her over the programme. The programme that was targeted in supporting elections through voter education was seen by the govt as an attempt to undermine the Sri Lankan govt. UNP MP Dr Harsha de Silva: It shows how ill advised our foreign more..

South Africa beat the Sri Lankan bogey

July 13 (CI) South Africa's last visit to Sri Lanka presented them as a disjointed unit, lacking in key players, and clear game plans. Russell Domingo's coaching tenure began with a 1-4 drubbing and the side deserved every bit of flak it attracted. But over the last week, South Africa have buried those memories with two clinical and energetic team performances to earn a first-ever ODI series win in Sri Lanka. They are due some generous praise and it was good to see the captain, more..

A series win set up by the batsmen

July 13 (CI) Before the ODI series began, South Africa had played 13 ODIs against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka since 2000, and had won exactly one; their 1-12 win-loss record was as bad as Bangladesh's in Sri Lanka. With this 2-1 series win, they have improved that record considerably, and also won their first ODI series against Sri Lanka in that country. They had drawn their first series 1-1, in 1993, and then lost the others quite handily. The big difference for South Africa this time more..

Mathews bemoans 'awful cricket'

July 13 (CI) Angelo Mathews is not used to his team losing a series. Not this year at least. So when Sri Lanka lost their first trophy of 2014 in their first home assignment, Mathews did not hold back on the criticism of his own side. Sri Lanka played "awful cricket" on Saturday, he said, when they allowed South Africa to wallop 339 for 5, then fell 82 runs short of that score. There was no talk of "taking the positives" or dwelling on more..

Nalanda win high scoring thriller in Canada

July 13 (LR) The annual big match between Ananda & Nalanda was held at Ajax Cricket Club, on 5th July under beautiful sunny skies. Winning the toss Ananda elected to bat first. On a fast outfield and wicket they scored a mammoth total of 244 for 5 in their allotted 40 overs. Tiran Yahathugoda scored 104 not out for Ananda with Thivanka supporting with 45, Mahinda 19 & Roshan 16 not out. Chasing the massive target Nalanda lost their star batsman Sudarsha Perera early for 10 runs. more..

Urgent discussions over UAE contract issue

July 13 (ST) Sri Lankan authorities are planning urgent consultations in Dubai with the UAE Minister of Labour to discuss the recent, controversial unified contract for domestic workers, officials said. “The Ministry (Foreign Employment, Promotion and Welfare) has asked our ambassador in the UAE to seek a meeting with Minister Dilan Perera and a delegation to discuss this issue (there),” said Mangala Randeniya, media spokesperson at the SL Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE). more..

Tharanga recalled for South Africa Tests

July 13 (CI) Opening batsman Upul Tharanga is set to play his first Test in over six years, after being named in Sri Lanka's 15-man squad for the two-Test series against South Africa. Middle-order batsman Kithuruwan Vithanage also found a place in the squad, as did spinner Ajantha Mendis. Fast bowler Dhammika Prasad, who was instrumental in Sri Lanka's win at Headingley, has also been retained, while Suranga Lakmal more..

Monitoring progress through consultative committees

July 13 (NS) Last week of sittings of Parliament could be termed historic. For the first time in the history of the Sri Lankan parliamentary a report of Consultative Committees was tabled on Wednesday. The report elaborates the progress of all Consultative Committees and is to be made available for the members on a monthly basis. The reports are expected to highlight the progress of each consultative committee appointed by the Speaker. more..

Jaffna Vembadi Girls' High School receive a Mahindodaya Technical Faculty

July 13 (GDI) Jaffna Vembadi Girls' High School recently became one of the earliest schools to receive a Mahindodaya Technical Faculty, part of an island-wide programme that was ceremonially inaugurated by President Rajapaksa earlier this year to establish 250 total faculties around the country. Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council C.V. Wigneswaran laid the foundation stone for the Mahindodaya Technical Faculty of the Jaffna Vembadi Girls' High School last week. more..