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Fears of Touchwood disposing foreign assets

July 13 (ST) Fresh concerns that assets of troubled Touchwood Investments PLC are being disposed came amidst fears that its former management may have flown to Thailand. This follows the company failing to submit the necessary documents relating to its assets. Company which was wound up on June 5 following a Commercial High Court order appointing a liquidator to take charge of the assets to more..

TNA’s indifference: Fishermen’s Associations presidents express dismay

July 13 (SO) Leaders of fishermen’s associations representing the fishing communities of the Northern province have expressed dismay over the TNA’s indifference to the unending poaching problem and the recent bizarre political developments that are detrimental to their interests. Presidents of the Federations of Fishermen’s Associations of Jaffna, Mannar, Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi said that it is a matter of grave concern that while Friday’s Pieris-Shushma Swaraj talks in New Delhi more..

Aussie court orders Sri Lankan lawyer to return visa fees

July 13 (ST) A Sri Lankan professional has secured a court order in Australia against a well-known Sri Lankan immigration lawyer for failing to properly file her skilled visa application. In the first instance, the Magistrate Court of Western Australia in November 2013 ordered the lawyer, who advertises his services heavily in Sri Lanka and has a large clientele, to settle the plaintiff within 30 days. The order reveals that both parties including the lawyer had consented to the order. more..

Karuna, Pilleyan and Douglas likely to be summoned

July 13 (CT) Former CM of Eastern Province, S Chandrakanthan, Ministers V Muralitharan (Karuna) and Douglas Devananda would be summoned for inquiry if there is concrete evidence against them, over missing persons in the North and East, as claimed by the complainants, the Presidential Commission on Disappearances said. This was in response to a query about Tamil media claiming there were complaints, made to more..

UN rapporteur seeks visit

July 13 (SL) The UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Christof Heyns has sought a visit to Sri Lanka. The Special Rapporteur had even last year sought a visit to Sri Lanka but to no avail. Heyns has said that he encourages the Govts of Sri Lanka and a few other countries to accept his pending request for a visit. The Special Rapporteur had recently called on the Sri Lankan authorities to take urgent and firm measures to bring the perpetrators of more..

Attempt to target us - TISL

July 13 (NS) “This is a clear attempt to target Transparency International (TISL), as we are the only NGO to provide training to journalists,” said Executive Director, TISL, S. Ranukge. “This circular has no legal basis and is impractical and irrational. Besides there are a number of other NGOs that are not registered under the NGO Secretariat, registered under Company’s Act, Society Act and other special Parliament acts, these are not bound to follow this circular,” pointed out Ranukge. more..

CPC losing millions

July 13 (SL) Failure to demand compensation from the Italian company that supplied the ‘undersea buoy hose’ which ruptured while crude oil was being transferred at the Colombo Port on May 23 is to cost the CPC dearly. Chairman of the Petroleum Common Workers Union Asoka Ranwala said that although there is a three year warranty for the hose it is questionable as to why the CPC management is silent more..

TNA to raise Valikamam land issue

July 13 (SL) TNA is to write to President Rajapaksa regarding the Valikamam North land issue. TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah told The Sunday Leader that an attempt was made by the military recently to grab the land released for resettlement in Valikamam North. He added that a protest was carried out by people of the area and some members of the TNA to stop the land survey which was a measure towards grabbing the land. “In 2003, we filed a fundamental rights case and in 2006, the Supreme Court more..

Uva polls by end of September amid charges

July 13 (ST) Elections to the Uva PC are likely to be held by the end of September following the dissolution of the council on Friday midnight, an elections official said. He said nominations would be called within a week’s time and thereafter the elections would be held on a Saturday between five to eight weeks after the closing date for nominations. If there were a large number of nominations, the Elections Deepartment would need the maximum period of eight weeks to conduct the polls. more..

Govt to amend ‘NGO Act’

July 13 (NS) Just four days after banning media interactions of NGOs, govt now says it will amend the Act governing NGOs to streamline the operations of NGOs registered in SL. Director National Secretariat for NGOs D.M.S. Dissanayake said, “In the future non-profit guarantee limited groups registered under Companies Act will have to register under NGO Secretariat.” A large number of NGOs are registered under Companies Act. more..

New laws to ensure safety of buildings

July 13 (ST) A Construction Development Authority will soon register all contractors and adopt a string of measures to regulate the fast growing building industry. This is one of the highlights of a new Construction Industry Development Bill the Govt will introduce in Parliament “to register, formalise and standardise” the construction industry. Among the objectives of the proposed Authority, according to the draft law prepared by the Ministry of Construction, Engineering Services, more..

No decision on death penalty

July 13 (SL) The Justice Ministry says no decision has been taken on converting the death penalty to life imprisonment. When contacted, Secretary to the Ministry of Justice Kamalini de Silva said the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) had submitted a set of recommendations calling for the conversion of the death penalty to life imprisonment. The HRCSL has identified the existence of the death penalty as a burning issue and has made recommendations for its abolition. more..

Mannar wind power park: Ministers to review proposal

July 13 (ST) A five member ministerial team has now been tasked to study the setting up of a wind power park in Mannar as a free trade zone, following a Sunday Times disclosure that a proposal that could have led to distributing lucrative contracts to political henchmen was afoot. The idea is for the BoI to grant “strategic enterprise” status to prospective investors in a bid to increase power supply to the national grid. more..

Bill Gates commends Ceylon Today and Mawbima

July 13 (CT) Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and the world's richest billionaire, commended Ceylon Today and Mawbima for the remarkably innovative world's first mosquito-repellent newspaper. A joint effort by Ceylon Newspaper (Pvt) Ltd and Leo Burnett Solutions, the mosquito-repellent newspaper was published on 7 April 2014 by Ceylon Today and Mawbima. The story has gone viral on the Internet, and hundreds of newspapers in dozens of countries have published articles about it. more..

Professional course to look after the aged

July 13 (SO) Ministry of Social Services has introduced a Diploma Course on looking after the aged for those who need to be professionally qualified in the field said Minister of Social Services Felix Perera. Accordingly, those who follow this Diploma Course would get job opportunities on looking after the aged, in state and private sectors. "Looking after the aged would be a national problem in the future. Therefore, steps were taken to train professionals on this particular subject. more..

UPFA loses friends and influences disasters

July 13 (ST) South Africa’s role in Sri Lanka’s peace and reconciliation process appears to have metamorphosed from playing honest broker to simply sharing its experience and offering help. Their latest posture emerged when the man who is next in line for that country’s presidency, much respected Cyril Ramaphosa arrived in Colombo last Monday heading a top level delegation. He is now acting President. more..

NSA detention of Lankans set aside

July 13 (ENS) Madras High Court has set aside the detention orders of the Coimbatore City Police Commissioner passed in October last year, detaining two Sri Lankan refugees under the National Security Act (NSA). By an order dated Oct 8, 2013, T Sathishkumar alias Mandapam Sathish was detained under the NSA. By another order dated October 3, B Sivashankar alias Shankar was detained under the same. The charge against them was that they collected huge sums on the more..

Northern fishers still in a quandary, no solution in sight

July 13 (SO) While the decades-long cross-border issue between Sri Lanka and India remains unresolved in spite of repeated govt and diplomatic level talks, the latest being Friday's New Delhi talks between Minister G.L. Peiris and his counterpart Sushma Swaraj, the Northern fishermen who continue to be deprived of their livelihood expressed their woes to the Sunday Observer. President of the Jaffna District Rural Fisheries Federation Nagathamby Ponnambalam said more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

July 13 (ST) At least a part of the outfit for all policemen in Sri Lanka would be Chinese made deck shoes. Ministry of Law and Order will buy 61,000 pairs from Xiamen Jade Stone Trading Company at a cost of Rs. 189,892,321. The cost includes agency commission for SL State Trading (General) Corporation. Chinese firm has been selected out of six bidders. The others, had products that were found to contain stitching hardness. more..

'A statement of what we can achieve'

July 13 (CI) Since the year 2000 and before this series, South Africa had won one ODI against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka and lost 12. This time around, though, they registered a maiden series victory in the country, and that, AB de Villiers said, has upped South Africa's belief in themselves. Centuries from de Villiers and Quinton de Kock were instrumental in setting up a massive total of 339 in the deciding ODI in Hambantota, more..

Personal dispute leads to murders

July 13 (NS) Police yesterday launched a manhunt to apprehend several suspects involved in two interconnected murders in the Mattakkuliya area. Around 3.45am yesterday, two unidentified individuals who arrived on a motorbike shot dead a 48-year-old woman inside her house in Samithpura, Mattakkuliya. Police said the men had knocked on the door of the house and shot the woman when she opened it. more..

Sex offender avoids deportation by claiming 'right to family'

July 13 (Telegraph) A foreign sex offender has been allowed to remain in Britain because of his “right to family life” with his two young children, even though they are about to be adopted. Judges ruled that Vincent Cyril, from SL, had proved a human rights case to avoid being deported – and that it was “entirely legitimate” for him to stay here even though the children will have no contact with him when they are placed with a new family. more..

'Australia broke ranks with 'world bullies' to assist Sri Lanka'

July 13 (SO) The Sri Lanka's high Commissioner in Australia Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe said Sri Lanka is unrelentingly attacked by so- called refugee advocates for the 4% of asylum seekers from Sri Lanka when there was 60-80% refugees arriving in Australia from elsewhere. "But no media, or refugee advocates criticise those countries like the way they attack Sri Lanka. You can see the disproportionate interest more..

Storm brews over Lankan tea export markets

July 13 (ST) A top tea sector official has warned the industry of an impending crisis looming over the Iranian, Iraqi and Russian markets resulting in a direct impact on exports to the tea drinking consumers in these countries that form a sizable portion of Sri Lanka’s tea exports. “I am worried about the future since problems in most parts of the world where we are exporting for an impact,” SL Tea Exporters Association more..

Sri Lankans warned of virus in Saudi

July 13 (CG) Sri Lankan pilgrims visiting Saudi Arabia have been warned of a virus fever spreading in the country and have been told to take precautions. Minister A.H.M Fowzie said that over 2200 SL Muslims are scheduled to visit Mecca for Hajj this year. Those attending Hajj from Sri Lanka have been told they will be given visas for the trip only if they obtain a special injection which protects them from the virus fever. more..

Sri Lanka to coach banned spinner Sachithra Senanayake

July 13 (AFP) Sri Lanka's cricket authorities decided Sunday to send off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake for intense coaching after the International Cricket Council (ICC) ruled his bowling action illegal and banned him from international matches. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said the coaching team was being asked to study reports from the ICC and take corrective action. more..

Traffic cop doubtful of fair inquiry into his complaint

July 13 (ST) A traffic policeman who was allegedly beaten by an unidentified gang and had his private car burnt after he had taken action against the driver of a deputy minister for speeding on the Southern Expressway, expressed doubts this week that there would be a fair inquiry into the complaint he lodged. Suminda Saman Gunasena who tendered his resignation as a policeman last month after 14 years in service said that some of more..

Fishing crisis: Lanka may resort to tit-for-tat

July 13 (ST) Sri Lanka’s Fisheries Ministry has proposed tit-for-tat measures against Indian fishermen arrested for poaching in Sri Lankan waters after Indian courts began fining Sri Lankan fishermen arrested by the Indian Coast Guard and produced them in courts by the local police. 33 Sri Lankan fishermen produced before the judicial magistrate at Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh were fined Indian Rs. 25,000 (SL Rs. 54,000) each more..

Report from Eran

July 13 (Island) It was widely reported in the press that President Rajapaksa, who last week attended Parliament, had requested UNP MP Eran Wickremaratne to send him a report about Ministry Secretaries sitting on the boards of private companies. We can’t believe that the president would be unaware of the fact that billionaire tycoon Dhammika Perera, who is Transport Secretary, sits on the boards of dozens of companies in which he has extensive financial interest. more..

UNP’s knotty bond with Exec. Presidency

July 13 (Island) A Single Issue (SI), Common Candidate (CC) strategy anchored on a Road Map (RM) is making progress but not without hassle that has to be sorted out step-by-step. We are not yet out of the woods nor is it assured that a SI-CC-RM challenge will materialise though trends are encouraging; I refer to the UNP-Sobitha parley where consensus was reached on many matters, the JVP’s promise to support a common candidate, General Fonseka’s consistency and more..

GMOA crisis: Doctors raise questions over alleged misappropriation of funds

July 13 (Island) A group of around 30 former Executive Committee members of the GMOA raised issue over what they claimed "misappropriation of GMOA funds" as the expenditure of the trade union has shot up to Rs. 29.9 million. Referring to Treasurer’s report adopted at GMOA AGM on June 28, they pointed out that revenue for the past year was Rs. 31.7 million, while expenditure stood at Rs. 29.9 million. more..

GL meets business leaders in AP

July 13 (Island) Minister G.L. Peiris, during his official visit to India, met with the leadership of the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Hyderabad. Shiv Kumar Rungta, President of the Federation, Anil Reddy Vennam, Senior Vice-President and R. Kulkarni, Head of the Membership Wing, called on the visiting Minister for an exchange of views. They informed Prof. Peiris that the Federation of Chambers consists of 150 district units spread over more..

Sri Lanka opens Consulate in Zurich

July 13 (Island) A Sri Lankan Consulate office in Zurich, Switzerland was opened by Deputy Minister of External Affairs, Neomal Perera recently. A longstanding resident of Switzerland, Vidarshana Munasinghe has been appointed Honorary Consul. The expatriate Sri Lankan community in Switzerland appreciated the Colombo’s decision to reopen the Consulate in Zurich, as it would help solve their day-to-day consular matters without visiting the Embassy in far-away Geneva. more..

Allow UN team to stay in Chennai to conduct probe into war crimes in Sri Lanka: PMK

July 13 (TOI) PMK chief S Ramadoss on Sunday said India's decision not to extend support to a UN probe into the alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka is shocking. The PMK is an ally of the ruling BJP. Ramadoss said India should allow the UNHRC team to stay in Chennai and conduct the inquiry in the wake of Sri Lankan parliament's recent resolution not to allow the probe team into the country. Ramadoss was reacting to more..

Social Integration Week from July 14 - 20

July 13 (DN) The annual Social Integration Week 2014 will be held from July 14 to 20 under the theme 'National unity' with a view to strengthen ethnic coexistence, National Languages and Social Integration Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara said. Social Integration Week was inaugurated by President Rajapaksa in 2012 with a theme that enveloped objectives such as access to education, economic activities, legal facilities, security and a safe environment for the society etc. more..

JVP to form alternative people’s front

July 13 (CG) JVP says it is in talks with members and supporters of the Govt and the opposition to form an alternative people’s front. JVP MP Vijitha Herath says the country needs an alternative force to counter the politics of the existing Govt and main opposition UNP. Herath says the Rajapaksa Govt and Ranil Wickremesinghe’s UNP represent a “stinking Presidential system” which cannot address the issues faced by the people. “There is a need for an alternative people’s front to address more..

Tourism boom proof of Sri Lanka’s emergence from decades of conflict

July 13 (National) On the seafront of Sri Lanka’s largest city, Colombo, tourists lounge on the terrace of a plush five-star hotel and sip their drinks against the backdrop of a mellow sunset. It is hard to tell on the surface that the country only in 2009 emerged from a civil war that lasted 26 years. Since the end of the conflict, tourism to the Indian Ocean island, which is rich in culture and nature and boasts idyllic beaches, has surged as more..

16 arrested in Katunayake brothel raid

July 13 (DM) 16 people including six women were arrested during a raid on a brothel in the Halgasthota area in Katunayake on Saturday. The raid was carried out by the Western Province Anti-Vice Squad following a search warrant issued by the Negombo Magistrate’s Court. Police said the brothel was carried out under the guise of a Karaoke centre. The suspects were handed over to the Katunayake Police for further investigations and they were later produced before the Negombo Magistrate. more..

Rajarata University to decide next step

July 13 (SL) The Administrative Committee of the University of Rajarata is to meet on July 21 to decide on the next step regarding the student issue. Vice Chancellor of the University of Rajarata Professor Ranjith Wijewardena told The Sunday Leader that they have not taken any decision on when to reopen the university or what steps will be taken regarding the student issue. He added that the University Administrative Committee will meet on July 21 to decide on the matter. more..

'Pakistan must learn from LTTE's defeat'

July 13 (IANS) Pakistan may not be able to replicate Sri Lanka's success vis-a-vis the LTTE but needs to learn from it to overcome Islamist militants, a Pakistani police officer has said. "The Sri Lankan strategy shows that with military might and popular support the state can defeat insurgents," Ali Babakhel said. "After the use of force, the actual challenge is the capacity of the civilian administration to retain peace more..