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Pension details via SMS

July 13 (ST) Newly retired public servants will be able obtain details of their pensions via SMS text messages. The pension number, the cheque number and related details would be sent to the new retirees via sms and for this purpose retiring public servants would be required to give their mobile phone numbers in their application forms. “The department is receiving too many inquiries over the phone. This system will reduce the time taken to respond the calls,” more..

No ICC events in Sri Lanka for next 8 years

July 13 (AM) Sri Lanka, a full member of the ICC, has not been selected to host any of the ICC events for the next eights years. In addition to Sri Lanka, Pakistan has also been cold-shouldered in naming host countries for ICC events. However, there were concerns over security in Pakistan after the Sri Lankan cricket team came under attack in Lahore in 2009. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, does not have security issues and it hosted four major ICC events after the end of war. more..

Peradeniya University mulls opening medical school in Maldives

July 13 (Haveeru) Officials from a Sri Lankan university is currently in the Maldives to conduct a feasibility study for the establishment of a medical school in the Maldives. Vice President Mohamed Jameel Ahmed met with the visiting officials from the University of Peradeniya – Dean at the Faculty of Medicine M.D. Lamawansa and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Forensic Medicine Dr Dinesh Fernando. more..

Sri Lanka Night shines in Shanghai

July 13 (GDI) 'Sri Lanka Shines' in Shanghai three day mega promotional campaign in China reached its climax with a glamorous ‘Sri Lankan Night’ which was held in the evening of 4th July 2014 at Pudong Shangri La Hotel in Shanghai. The event was graced by the distinguished presence of Minister Basil Rajapaksa, as the chief guest of this glamorous evening. The other VIP guests who were present at the event included Chief Minister of Southern Provincial Council, Shan Wijayalal, more..

India-Sri Lanka bonhomie is back!

July 13 (Island) The bonhomie that has existed between India and Sri Lanka for over 2,500 years appears to have staged a quiet comeback, if the mood here is any indication in the aftermath of Prof GL Peiris’s visit New Delhi and Hyderabad last week. To begin with, the stage appears to have been set in Geneva in March this year, when India voted against the UNHRC Resolution on Sri Lanka. Dr Manmohan Singh of the Congress Party-led UPA was in power here at that time. more..

G.L says don’t internationalise clash!

July 13 (CG) Govt has urged the Muslim community in Sri Lanka not to internationalise the Aluthgama incident. Minister G.L Peiris, had made this request on behalf of the Govt at a meeting with the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCSL). He said that the Aluthgama incident was unfortunate and insisted that vested interests are trying to blow it out of proportion. “He stressed the need to work together as Sri Lankans while explaining the more..

Victims of construction flaws

July 13 (ST) A large number of farmer families in Deegithawa, Wariyapola are facing destitution as a result of a lack of water in their reservoir. The treasurer of the Deegithawa Mahawewa Farmers Association Vajira Kumari claimed that though the reservoir was renovated under the Deyata Kirula programme it was of no use. “This time, tank water to paddy fields was provided for only three hours a day as the Mahawewa was only half full. “This was not the case earlier,” she said, more..

Chamithri Rambukwella elected vice-chair of UN budget committee

July 13 (ST) UN General Assembly has elected Chamithri Rambukwella, Second Secretary of the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN in New York, as Vice-Chair of the 5th Committee. She was unanimously endorsed by the Asia-Pacific Group to represent them at the Bureau of the 5th Committee for the 69th Session (Sept 2014 – Aug 2015) of the General Assembly. 5th Committee advices the General Assembly in matters pertaining to UN budget & administrative issues. more..

Unions in arms over teacher ordered to deliver meek apology to mayor

July 13 (ST) A deputy principal of a leading school in Kurunegala who was directed by her principal to make a personal apology to the Mayor for disciplining his son this week said it was her worst experience in 27 years of service. Ramya Ratnayake, currently serving as a deputy principal of Maliyadeva College said she had disciplined the Mayor’s son along with few others who were talking during the assembly. “Though I tried to resist, more..

Radiation found in Japanese import

July 13 (CG) Customs Department had detected radiation emanating from motor spare parts imported from Japan and the consignment was sent back to Japan. Customs Media Spokesperson Leslie Gamini said that the radioactive chemical Caesium 137 was detected in the consignment at the Colombo port. He said that equipment installed at the port to detect radiation materiel had detected the chemical emanating from the consignment. Residue of the chemical had been found from spare parts more..

A Fruit Promotional Week from July 14 - 21

July 13 (GDI) The fruit festival will be held at the Fruit Crop Research and Development Centre premises in Kananwila Horana under the patronage of President Rajapaksa on Monday. Agriculture Ministry with the aim of bringing awareness among people of the importance of consuming fruits has organized this fruit promotional week from July 14 to 21. High quality fruit plants, planting materials, fertilizer, agro-chemicals and technical guidance will be available for sale at the stalls. more..

China to get more Sri Lanka lands

July 13 (SM) A plan is underway to transfer the ownership of a 198-acre land in Gampaha district to a private Chinese firm as charges for building and handing over of the new Colombo-Kandy expressway, the 'Ravaya' reports. SL govt and a private Chinese firm are engaged in talks on this regard, it adds. Noting that building of the expressway under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme is not profitable, Chinese firm has more..

Claim of 200 anti-govt. websites

July 13 (SM) More than 200 websites are working under a UNP campaign to spread falsehoods against the govt targeting future elections, disaster management minister Mahinda Amaraweera says. He was speaking at a function in Yatinuwara. The minister said Ranil Wickremesinghe does not have a following, and what he does now is slinging mud through more than 200 websites. The UNP is also preparing, with JVP support, to send its representatives to public places. more..

A van falls into a 150 feet precipice in Rawana-alla; 13 hospitalised

July 13 (HN) 13 individuals were admitted to the hospital this afternoon after a van fell into a 150 feet precipice in the Ella- Wellawaya main road in Bandarawela. The injured were admitted to the Wellawaya hospital and four of them were transferred to the Badulla hospital for further treatment. A spokesperson said that two children were among the injured. 13 individuals were in the van which was traveling from Kataragama to Bandarawela at the time of the accident. more..

Lankan expats in Lebanon seek private legal representation

July 13 (Island) Sri Lankan expatriates in Lebanon, battered by the hard-hitting, abrupt move by the Beirut govt to deny the renewal of visas to their families have sought private legal counsel at substantial cost in a last-ditch battle to seek concessions to remain in the country. "They feel badly let down as the Sri Lankan mission had failed to pursue the matter at govt level in Beirut on their behalf", sources knowledgeable with more..

Common Candidates and Common Banalities

July 14 (SL) I together with many newspaper readers of Sri Lanka have still not stopped laughing after reading the SERENDIPITY article. Truly what Strategist Sun Tzu said holds true even to this age and day as we note that Ranil Wickremasinghe’s (RW) failure upon failure for the last 20 years. He has stated, tongue-in-cheek with great insouciance, a banality, in his own inimitable style that he is ready for battle at the Hastings if the party nominates him! As Sun Tzu stated: more..


July 14 (SL) BOOKS on Sri Lankan sport personalties are rare, and that’s not surprising: after all, celebrities of the kind worthy of writing books on are scarce as hen’s teeth. As far as one remembers there was none until Sri Lanka’s cricketers went out and stunned the world by taking the World Cup in 1996. That glorious triumph elevated some members of the ’96 team to the rarefied world of icons –and so, finally, we had found celebrities of our own to write books on. more..

'UNP will retrieve its pristine glory'

July 14 (SO) Speculation is rife that there would be a National election by the end of next year, and hence the political fabric of the country has suddenly risen from its slumber and main political parties make vivid statements with regard to their future political activities. The UNP which had remained in the opposition for many years, and suffered a number of defeats, has got a new lease of life with the formation of its leadership council more..

A mix of comic theatre and deadly intent

July 14 (ST) It is a baffling question. Is the blundering of this government in almost every aspect of its domestic and foreign policy, deliberate or sweetly unintentional? Is this part of the unholy chaos that we see with ministers speaking on every topic under the sun resulting in statements being issued by some and immediately refuted by others? And what about press statements that contradict each other with the English versions containing inaccurate translations of original Sinhala more..

Drought affects food security; but how big is its impact on economy?

July 14 (ST) With the onset of the monsoon it is easy to forget the economic and social impact of the drought in the first half of the year. The severe drought that began in the latter months of last year and continued into the first five months of this year affected agricultural output significantly and reduced hydroelectricity generation drastically. Consequently, there have been increased imports of oil and large imports of rice. These are likely to increase import expenditure and strain balance of payments. more..

Wigneswaran on his meeting with Ramaphosa

July 14 (CT) Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran, who recently met and was impressed by the quiet diplomatic approach of Deputy President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, said "There can be no reconciliation without acknowledgement of truth; there can be no reconciliation that is foisted by the force of military might and that is not reconciliation but bondage." more..

Rumours of the next pogrom?

July 14 (CT) Minister Rauff Hakeem has warned of the existence of a ‘big project’ aimed at putting Lankan Muslims ‘in their place’ by crippling them economically. The belief that minorities are eternal aliens who must be made to accept their unequal status is an article of faith with racial/religious supremacists. The desire to keep the religious/racial ‘Other’ down is common to all retrogressives, from White Supremacists and Hindu fanatics to Muslim fundamentalists, Zionists and Buddhist more..

“Enough, Already…”

July 14 (CT) While the title of this column might seem strange for one with pretensions of representing opinions from rural Sri Lanka, I couldn’t think of a title more apt than the one I am using for the simple reason that the tired old North American expression speaks more than eloquently to our being sick and tired of the murder and mayhem that is being visited upon all in this country, save a ruling elite and their hangers-on, some with continuing pretensions to represent “civil society.” more..

Sierra Cables twisted with Rs. 491 m improprieties

July 14 (FT) Sierra Cables on Friday revealed far-reaching lapses in book keeping, best practices in accounting and auditing as well as good governance, leading to improprieties worth Rs. 491 million. The disclosure is following the receipt of final report from its auditors on the difference in the work in progress balance and certain unrecorded transactions. In a filing to the CSE, Sierra Cables (SIRA) said that no additional findings more..

War is over, but not Sri Lanka’s climate of violence and threats

July 14 (TC) The Australian government has become the great defender of Sri Lanka’s post-war human rights credentials, it seems. But Sri Lanka’s (and Australia’s) insistence that the end of the civil war means an end to persecution ignores considerable anecdotal evidence of continued ethnic intimidation and a rise in Buddhist-nationalist violence. And perhaps more significantly, it disregards an ingrained culture of violence as part of Sri Lanka’s political landscape. more..

Who is a Buddhist monk?

July 14 (Island) A Buddhist monk in brief, is the noble being who, after the passing away of the Buddha over twenty six centuries ago, now leads the worldling towards the path that terminates the scourge of birth, decay, disease and death for good. A few gleanings from the Buddha’s word and extracts from the scriptures form the basis of this short essay. Primarily, a bhikkhu is bound by a set of vinaya rules numbering two hundred and twenty seven, the violation of some of which is more..

On a holy trail

July 14 (NS) The city of Kataragama resembles an island, recovering from a war, of a different kind of peace which can be experienced by surrendering oneself to God. The majority Sinhalese from Western, Central and Southern Provinces and the minority Tamils from the North and East follow an inner instinct to travel long distances to reach Kataragama during this time of the year. Every year, in June-July, this sacred city attracts more..

Ven Sobitha Thera expresses remorse

July 14 (NS) Wimal Weerawansa, ardent defender of the regime, staunch nationalist, anti-imperialist and in fact the jaathiye panchaayudaya (self-proclaimed) had come. He had seen, he had chit-chatted, he had posed for photographs and he had left. Ven Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera blessed them all with the customary ‘suwapath wethva’ and went into his bedroom. It had been an animated conversation. They had talked of the Executive Presidency and other constitutional matters. more..

View from Ritigala - by mahasona

July 14 (NS) The decision to make NGOs stick to their mandate has provoked a howl of protests from the would-be ‘victims’. What this means is that a) NGOs have exceeded their mandates and b) want this state of affairs to continue. In short they wish to remain unregulated. A law unto themselves. Strange, since these are the same people who beat their chests and claim that politicians take the law into their hands. On the other hand, how can a govt that doesn’t give a hoot about more..

Fitness to the fore: Fact or fiction?

July 14 (ST) Sri Lankan cricket hierarchies in recent times have developed this canny ability of pulling out tantrums with their own players. Latest being the piece of paper circulated by the SLC Coaching and Cricket Committee’s much respected chief Ranjit Fernando who has sent SOS signals through the Lankan cricket kingdom, claiming that its race horses are partially lame, and over that, they have an attitude. more..

Editorial: Troubled by friends

July 14 (Island) German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who grew up, hating the Stasi, the East German secret police, may have thought her problems were over once and for all after the demolition of the Berlin Wall, but she is still troubled by spies. She is furious that her telephones have been tapped. She may not have seen red if the spies concerned had been from a country like North Korea. Ironically, those who have been snooping on Chancellor Merkel and other prominent Germans more..

Expensive modern office space a challenge for BPO-KPO hub goal

July 14 (FT) The lack of affordable modern office space is being cited as a key bottleneck for Sri Lanka’s aspirations to become a hub for Business Process and Knowledge Process Outsourcing (BPO-KPOs), industry experts have warned. They said that in India’s Silicon Valley, Bangalore, the price of an air-conditioned square foot of office space is around INRs. 40 (or SLRs. 80), whereas in Sri Lanka it is estimated at between Rs. 200 and Rs. 250 per square foot. more..

Apparel industry ‘future’ leaders in futuristic plans

July 14 (ST) ‘Future’ leaders of Sri Lanka’s apparel industry are to draft plans on working towards new goals and new targets for 2020 as part of a committee established to take the industry forward. The apparel industry in Sri Lanka grew over a period of time since its inception post-1977 and now the industry has taken the task of handing over the baton to its future leaders to draft their future course with a new strategic plan. more..

Calamander Group expands in Sri Lanka

July 14 (CT) Singapore based Calamander Group Incorporated (CGI) is buoyant to explore the healthcare and education sectors as their next phase of business expansions in Colombo, a senior official said. Calamander Group Incorporated Founder and Chairman, Roman Scott, speaking to Ceylon FT said, with Sri Lanka emerging as a hotspot for investments in this part of the world, the firm was looking forward to explore a few other sectors like healthcare and education. more..

Financing of businesses in 5 hubs strategy

July 14 (CT) DFCC Bank Director/CEO Arjun Fernando said that one of the core areas of the bank's focus would be, capitalizing on financing the direct and indirect business opportunities that will be created by the govt's 5+1 hub strategy and that the bank would use the expertise it has amassed in areas such as tourism and renewable energy to strengthen its capabilities, adding that the importance of SMEs in the bank's portfolio would remain a priority as well and more..

President declares open renovated Independence Square shopping precinct

July 14 (MoD) The renovated old Auditor General's office complex, completed as part of the Independence Square Development programme was declared open by President Rajapaksa today evening (13). President Rajapaksa unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion amidst the distinguished invitees at the opening. Secretary Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the driving force behind Colombo Development Programme more..

Rs. 6,000,000 worth of iron, mesh removed from expressway recovered

July 14 (Island) The Athurugiriya police has recovered around 100 pieces of galvanised iron pipes and wire mesh removed from the railings of Colombo Outer Circular expressway by some unidentified thieves. It had been estimated that the stock was worth around six million rupees, police said. Aturugiriya police on a tip-off had recovered the pile of galvanised pipes from a location at Thunandahena, Pore in Aturugriya. Police said that they believed the suspects had escaped, more..

Centenary celebrations of the Assemblies of God in Sri Lanka

July 14 (DN) The devotees belonging to the Assemblies of God of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) will celebrate the century of blessing, the 100th anniversary of her presence in the country with praise and thanksgiving at the Havelock Sports Club Grounds on July 5 at 4pm as the focal event of a series of celebratory events executed in this regard. AG Ceylon has organized a series of events to mark the historic event in the regions where the church had initially marked her presence more..

Gale force winds wreak havoc in Uva, Sabaragamuwa

July 14 (Island) Sabaragamuwa University has been shut down since yesterday until July 20 owing to heavy winds sweeping across the area. The roof of a female undergraduates’ hostel had been damaged on Saturday and the students had been removed to safety before they were informed of the decision to close down the university. Over 70 houses in Bulunwela, Halpe-Nettigama and Thumbatenna villages in more..

China enters mineral sand mining sector

July 14 (ST) A Chinese company is making a foray into the mineral sand mining field in Sri Lanka with the backing of a local company highly connected to an influential govt politician. Demi Shenzen Co. recently submitted a proposal for mineral sand mining in a 500-acre land around Pulmoddai in the East coast, official sources revealed, adding that it would be approved. The company plans to manufacture Nano Titanium Dioxide from mineral sands in a US$75 million mining project. more..