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Crab-like Mervin says Harin and Dayasiri act like animals

July 15 (AM) Commenting on the incident the minister had said the politicians who bit and scratched each other must have been animals in their previous births. 'Such behaviors cannot be expected from humans. But fights of that nature are common among animals. Therefore we have to arrive at the conclusion that those politicians do not belong to the mankind,' Minister Silva said. 'According to Buddhism it requires a lot of hard work to be born as humans. more..

'Allegations that Seychelles has helped SL to transfer funds to Swiss banks are false'

July 15 (SNY) The Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs Jean Adam has categorized as “false”, allegations that Seychelles has helped Sri Lanka to transfer funds to Swiss banks. Adam was answering a question from the Leader of the Opposition David Pierre who wanted clarifications on the issue of money which according to allegations Seychelles has helped Sri Lanka to place in Swiss banks. more..

Japan - Sri Lanka Parliamentary League to visit Sri Lanka

July 15 (MoD) The members of Japan-Sri Lanka Parliamentary League are scheduled to visit Sri Lanka by the end of July, 2014. In this context, Ambassador Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, met with both the President and the Secretary-General of the Parliamentary League to discuss the programme as well as other functionaries and meetings during their visit. During the three-day visit, the delegation would call on President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris and more..

Anura's extension inconveniences 3 DIGs

July 15 (SM) Three DIGs are compelled to retire without promotions after it has been decided to grant senior DIG Anura Senanayake a service extension for the third time. The decision which violates traditions of the police department and the state services commission, comes despite the Supreme Court ordering to stop granting service extensions to govt servants over 60 years of age. Though over 11 months have elapsed since DIG S.U.K. Fernando was to be promoted to the rank of senior DIG, more..

Video: Attempt on my life: Upul

July 15 (DM) An attempt had allegedly been made on the life of Sri Lanka Bar Association (BASL) President Upul Jayasuriya by two men who followed him on a motorcycle today. Mr. Jayasuriya told journalists that the two men had doggedly followed him when he was returning from courts this afternoon at around 4 p.m. Mr. Jayasuriya said that he saw a connection between a statement issued by the BASL condemning the banning of NGOs more..

Sunset for State enterprises

July 16 (CT) It is a sad phenomenon of our times that enterprises fuelled by taxpayers’ money have a tendency to act contrary to nature and go on forever and ever. It is the nature of all things in this world that change is the only constant. Nothing, no entity whatever, can survive, if it cannot adapt to the changing environment in which it operates. The dinosaur is the prime example. We in Asia know well what happens to political and regal dynasties which set themselves up for eternal rule. more..

American contribution to the current crisis

July 16 (CT) The request to write an article on US Policy towards Sri Lanka in 2008/2009 came at a timely moment, for I had been reflecting in some anguish on the crisis that the Sri Lankan govt is now facing. I believe that this crisis is of the govt’s own creation, but at the same time I believe that its root causes lie in US policy towards us during the period noted. Nishan de Mel of Verite Research, one of the organizations now favoured by the Americans to promote change, accused me recently of more..

Tea industry regains pride of place

July 16 (SO) After the elimination of terrorism the tourism industry has also started to blossom and the arrival of foreign tourists have increased by several folds. Identified tourism attractions are being developed by the Govt. The industrial sector is also being developed, said Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena. Sri Lanka is also turning into a major tourism hub in the region. Sri Lanka as a tourism destination takes more..

Mixed responses to Ramaphosa’s visit

July 16 (NS) South African Vice-President Cyril Ramaphosa this week joined a long list of special envoys tasked with bringing about lasting peace in Sri Lanka through ethnic reconciliation and arrived in the country on Monday, generating a domestic political controversy in the process. Peace envoys for Sri Lanka have been many and have come from different continents. They range from Romesh Bandhari (India), Eric Solheim (Norway) and Yasushi Akashi (Japan). more..

Tea with Cyril Ramaphosa

July 16 (NS) Some wondered whether the recent visit of Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s Deputy President, amounted to unwarranted intervention. Some thought he was a mediator. For some others, he was just a tourist. Minister Wimal Weerawansa informed the Lankadeepa newspaper that there was no problem in Ramaphosa having a cup of tea or watching a cricket match. Finally the govt, through the Deputy Minister for External Affairs, sought to assure the Opposition and the people that more..

Mathews' journey of self-discovery

July 16 (CI) Sri Lanka's reputation had sunk so low before Tests in South Africa in 2011/12, Kepler Wessels urged South Africa to experiment during their visit. "Have you seen Sri Lanka play recently?" he asked in a South African newspaper. "We could beat them with our SA 'A' side." When Rangana Herath had whirled his team to victory in Durban, then-captain Dilshan strode to post-match press conference more..

South African peace initiative on the rocks

July 16 (CT) Two sensational events captured the attention of the people the world over on Tuesday night and the following morning- the first event was the ODI between Sri Lanka and South Africa at Pallakele in Sri Lanka and the other was the FIFA semi-final between Argentina and the Netherlands in Brazil. Sri Lanka beat South Africa to square the series, while Argentina beat the Netherlands in a penalty shoot out to reach the Finals of the World Cup. more..

Fielding worries for Sri Lanka

July 16 (CT) It's one all and one to go. That's the state of play when the third and final ODI game took shape at Hambantota. The Sri Lankans should be naturally kicking themselves as they approach this game as in reality they did have a superb chance to have wrapped up the series by now. One of the main reasons for that has to be poor catching and also possibly the over bowling of the part time spinners at the death in the first game. True the pitch was slow and taking turn, but more..

Lack of trust slows Sri Lanka reconciliation

De Kock inclusion could change batting dynamics

July 16 (CI) First there was the change of captain which automatically brought about a change in the opening batsman but now South Africa are faced with a third major difference to the team of old as their new Test era begins. AB de Villiers is unlikely to keep wicket in Galle after hurting his hamstring while batting on Saturday. Quinton de Kock will take his place behind the stumps and although the move may only be temporary, it is a sign of where the team's future is headed. more..

How many civilians really perished on the Vanni front?

July 16 (Island) The media recently received a missive from Brigadier K.J. Jayaweera, Director, Media at Army Headquarters announcing the dates for a Defence Seminar 2014 titled Sri Lanka: Challenges faced by a rising nation. According to Brigadier Jayaweera, the three-day seminar (August 18-20) will discuss matters of national, regional and international security et al. Can there be a bigger challenge than the ongoing war crimes investigation undertaken by the Office of the UN Human more..

Successful Business Forum from Sri Lanka to Israel with 40 Business Leaders

July 16 (IL) A successful Business Forum from Sri Lanka consisting of 40 business leaders led by Deputy Minister Neomal Perera, who himself is a business leader completed a successful forum interacting with business leaders, L.R. Group, Sri Lanka-Asia Chamber of Commerce and the community on various aspects including tourism, hi-tech, water, energy, medical, apparel, employment, agriculture, greenhouse cultivation, dairy, more..

Safety sticker for bottled water duplicates Sri Lanka standardisation process

July 16 (ST) A Govt move to order a compulsory safety sticker on bottled water has raised issues of duplication in certifying the quality of bottled water. Even though Minister Johnston Fernando decided on Wednesday to confine the safety sticker measure only for water issued by the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA), compared to seven other items earlier, the ‘water’ sticker triggered the issue of duplication. At present, a compulsory water quality certification is required from more..

Uva Village to Village, House to House program delivers benefits

July 16 (DN) Minister Rajapaksa said this is an instance where the state administration has visited the public at their doorstep to identify and address their problems. Economic Development Ministry has solved the problems of nearly 50,000 people in the Badulla and Monaragala districts at the end of its 337 mobile service programs in the province launched by the ministry under the Village-to-Village and House-to-House National Program, Minister Basil Rajapaksa said. more..

Customs allege Finance Ministry pressure to release detained luxury vehicles

July 16 (ST) Even before the Customs conclude their investigations, pressure from the Finance Ministry has compelled them to release some of the 400 luxury vehicles seized for undervaluation. A number of vehicles have been cleared by importers, though a five-member committee comprising Customs and Finance Ministry officials appointed two weeks back, was yet to complete their probe. more..

Lawyers Collective condemns sinister move to intimidate the President of the BASL

July 16 (AHRC) Mr. Upul Jayasuriya, the President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka has been followed by an unidentified group (a motor bicycle and a three wheeler) today (15) for hours. Mr Jayasuriya has been a strong leader of the Bar who has spoken strongly and fearlessly against the breach of Rule of Law, abuse of constitutional norms and erosion of democracy in Sri Lanka. Mr. Jayasuriya has made a formal complaint at the Kurunduwatta Police station more..

Jegan Durairatnam takes the helm from Ravi Dias at Commercial Bank

July 16 (FT) Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC has announced the appointment of career banker Jegan Durairatnam as the bank’s Managing Director and CEO effective 17 July, upon the retirement of the incumbent Ravi Dias. Durairatnam is currently Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the bank. A senior member of Commercial Bank’s corporate management team for the past nine years, Jegan Durairatnam joined the bank in 1982. His banking experience covers all aspects of more..

British High Commissioner calls for one stop shop for investors

July 16 (FT) British High Commissioner in Sri Lanka John Rankin said that the trade and investment relationship between Sri Lanka and his country will continue, but urged the Lankan authorities to establish a ‘one stop shop’ for investors together with increased transparency, more open tendering, a reduction in red tape, and respect for the rule of law. Rankin made these observations, when he spoke at the AGM of The Council for Business more..

Some plantations unable to pay EPF dues and gratuity payments of planters

July 16 (ST) Sri Lanka’s plantation sector was once the main revenue earner before foreign employment opened out and garment sector exports grew. Yet, tea is a frontline industry and ranked the third largest income source of income for country. However, at present, the situation in the plantations is at a crisis point as some estates are unable to pay the statutory dues such as Employee’s Provident Fund (EPF), Employees Trust Fund (ETF) and gratuity payments to the employees. more..

Rs 4M jackpot won by tuk-tuk driver Ticket purchased from differently-abled youth

July 16 (CT) Having entered the market in its current form in April this year, Mahapola Lotto reached a key milestone of having its first jackpot winner within a brief span of 3 months, managers of the lotto Oceanic Games said in a statement. A resident of Rajagirya who works at the Kotte Municipal Council and also drives a three wheeler to supplement his income, bagged the first jackpot of Rs 4 million on Mahapola Lotto's MLotto lottery. He had purchased the winning ticket from more..

SL home might v SA away prowess

July 16 (CI) South Africa are stepping into unfamiliar territory in this series. Not only are they beginning life under a new Test captain - for the first time in more than a decade - they are also playing a Test in Sri Lanka after eight years. Their previous visit was well before their famous double-double of beating England and Australia away, and well before their current captain, Hashim Amla, the man he beat to more..

Editorial: Mahela’s new role

July 16 (Island) Present-day fathers share the burden of looking after their children unlike their grandpas who washed their hands of parental responsibilities except bringing home the bacon and using the rod liberally to ensure their progeny would not be spoilt. Star cricketer Mahela Jayawardene is practising a different ball game these days. He is learning parenting so much so that he has decided to retire from Test cricket, we are told. But, we have had cricketers who juggled both more..

WGOs should have no political rights

July 16 (Island) The so-called third world, which itself is a concept coined by western intellectuals, is being oppressed and exploited using western knowledge. It is unfortunate that the "professionals", administrators and others who take decisions connected with the lives of the people in these countries posses some western education and as far as these countries are concerned very often the effect of their actions are worse than that of the politicians. The populist politicians, more..

Modi's Lanka policy leaves allies sore

July 16 (TOI) The handling of the Sri Lankan Tamil issue by the NDA govt is proving to be an embarrassment for its partners in Tamil Nadu. PMK and MDMK, which had strongly criticised the previous UPA govt for its "soft approach" towards SL President, are now disappointed at the NDA govt's Lanka diplomacy and its overtures to the island nation. Invitation extended to Rajapaksa for Modi's swearing-in was seen as the first 'betrayal'. more..

Longest ship berths at Magampura Harbour for refuelling

July 16 (DN) The ship Eurydice D which called at the Hambantota Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa International Port for bunkering facilities yesterday was refueled with 1,400 mt of IF 380 fuel. This was the biggest ship to call over at the Magampura Port for bunkering so far, Sri Lanka Port Authority sources said yesterday. It’s hull is 300 metres long and the draught 19 metres. SLPA sources said seven ships have so far obtained bunkering facilities at the Magampura Port. more..

SriLankan joins oneworld carriers at Terminal-3, London Heathrow Airport

July 16 (FT) SriLankan Airlines, in view of providing convenient and hassle-free travel to passengers across the alliance will be operating from London Heathrow Airport’s Terminal-3, which is to become home to many oneworld carriers by 2016. On 16 July, the national carrier will join the oneworld members, American Airlines, US Airways, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Quantas and Royal Jordanian that are currently operating from the Terminal. more..

Video: 'We would have to pay demurrages'

July 16 (DM) Petroleum Industries Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said even though the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) would have to pay demurrages for the ships anchored due to the breakdown of the buoy carrying crude oil to the Sapugaskanda oil refinery, the Ministry would not burden the people by increasing fuel prices due to this. “We will have to incur a loss because of the breakdown of the buoy. more..

Around 300,000 epileptics in the country

July 16 (Island) Consultant Neurologist Prof. Mrs. Ranjanee Gamage revealed that there were 300,000 epilepsy patients ––nine per every 1000 persons––in Sri Lanka. According to medical research, epilepsy was not an obstacle achieving success in life, she said at a media conference held at Health Education Bureau on July 15. Consultant Pediatric Neurologist Dr. Mrs. Pyara Ratnayake said that epilepsy commonly manifested itself during school days and adolescence. more..

Uva voters: ‘Ensure you are registered’

July 16 (Island) Voters of the Uva Province were urged by the UNP to make sure that their names were included in the electoral register for the forthcoming PC election. There could be a situation where the Body Count List had not been delivered to homes or it could be that completed forms had not been collected by the Grama Sevakas on time, UNP MP Eran Wickremeratne said. He said that to avoid any uncertainty it was in the best interest of the voters if they made the necessary inquiries more..

Obama, Kariyawasam discuss Lanka

July 16 (CG) President of the United States of America Barack Obama and the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the US Prasad Kariyawasam expressed views on Sri Lanka, during a brief meeting between the two at the White House. Kariyawasam presented his credentials to Obama at the Oval Office of the White House last afternoon, the White House said. Signing the White House Guest Book before the commencement of more..

Sri Lanka must lift NGO restrictions

July 16 (VoA) United States is concerned by reports that the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defense has ordered registered NGOs, and civil society groups to cease their media engagements and activities. The United States is concerned by reports that the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defense has ordered registered NGOs, and civil society groups to cease their media engagements and activities. This includes press conferences, workshops, training for journalists, and dissemination of press releases. more..

Centre trying to help Sri Lanka keep islet

July 16 (Hindu) A fishermen’s organisation on Tuesday alleged that to get around an amendment to the Constitution to cede Katchateevu to Sri Lanka, the Centre decided to determine the maritime boundary in the Palk Strait in a such a way that the islet fell on the Sri Lankan side. Fisherman Care of Old Pallavaram said this in a reply to a rejoinder filed by the Centre a fortnight ago. Originally, the organisation had sought a directive to the Centre to clarify the External Affairs Minister’s more..

TNA rejects separatism To file affidavit accepting Sri Lanka a unitary State

July 16 (CT) Lawyers appearing for Mavai Senathirajah, Secretary of ITAK and TNA, and President of TNA, R. Sampanthan, yesterday agreed to submit an affidavit, to the Supreme Court, stating that Sri Lanka is a unitary State. This was sequel to six cases filed in Supreme Court alleging that the political object of the TNA is to form a separate govt in Sri Lanka. Galage Don Punyawardana, Gunadasa Amarasekera, more..

Mahinda invites chief ministers to Cabinet; Wigneswaran sends regrets

July 16 (FT) President Rajapaksa has invited all provincial chief ministers to attend this week’s Cabinet briefing, but Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran says he has already sent his regrets. All chief ministers were invited to the cabinet meeting on Thursday, Presidential Spokesman Mohan Samaranayake said. Chief Minister Wigneswaran, who recently accused the President of having broken another promise to the NPC by reappointing ex-Military Governor more..

Katchatheevu’s sovereignty has never been with Sri Lanka: Karunanidhi

July 16 (Hindu) DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Tuesday opposed in the Supreme Court the Centre’s stand that Katchatheevu belonged to Sri Lanka in light of the 1974 agreement and said the sovereignty over the islet “was never with Ceylon but with India.” On Monday, the court granted Mr. Karunanidhi four weeks to file his rejoinder; but he filed his reply within a day of the hearing. He prayed that the islet be retrieved and the agreement declared null and void. more..