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A full frontal military assault on Mangala

July 2 (GV) Late last week we witnessed the scenario where the Army spokesman, a brigadier in rank, made the unusual claim that current UNP spokesman and former Rajapakse Administration Foreign Minister, MP Mangala Samaraweera had compromised national security by alleging at a press conference, that state intelligence agencies or at least some intelligence chiefs, were supporting the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and more..

Beware Lanka’s Ides of June fallout

July 2 (ST) If it is not hard enough for Lanka to have to explain away to the international community the pressing circumstances that necessitated certain actions to be taken to end a brutal 30-year-old ethnic war, she will have a tougher time in having to explain the events that were allowed to lead to the outburst of religious violence on the streets of Aluthgama on June 15 and harder still to justify why no action has yet been taken to arraign the bigoted perpetrators before the courts of law. more..

Awake Sri Lankan Journalists!

July 2 (SL) The brutal jail sentences imposed on three Al Jazeera journalists by a Cairo court last week that brought about global condemnation in severe terms apparently has not had much of an impact on Sri Lankan journalists, if we are to go by our media reactions. Apart from a few brief news items on the sentencing by court we have not noticed any media reaction to this dastardly treatment of journalists for no crime committed but simply carrying out their duties. more..

More hidden gems from Jaffna

July 2 (CT) Jaffna Museum managed by the Archeological Department is located in Nallur along a crowded street. Here, on a rear portion of a land almost hidden from the road and surrounded by large shade trees, is this unpretentious building with a tiled roof, comprising about four to five halls and a central courtyard. Front portion of the land is occupied by the Navalar Cultural Hall. On either side of the entrance doorway are the remains of more..

Editorial: A Caliph from hell

July 2 (Island) The US-led forces which invaded Iraq, debilitated its military, ousted Saddam Hussein, had him hanged and installed a puppet regime may not have foreseen the situation they are faced with in that country today. Their invasion turned out to be a cakewalk in spite of fierce resistance Hussein offered initially. When they began advancing, Hussein’s men showed them a clean pair of heels each. The Iraqi soldiers did likewise when the ISIS rebels moved in! more..

What has happened to Tissa Attanayake's Raja Yogaya to be a political king?

July 2 (CT) More than a year ago, a well known astrologer (name withheld for obvious reasons) who read UNP General Secretary, Tissa Attanayake's horoscope claimed Attanayake had a Raja Yogaya and would climb the top to be a 'political king'. Following this reading, a jubilant Attanayake ran to more astrologers and they all predicted the same. The over enthusiastic Attanayake got in touch with certain media, where he had friends and got wide publicity for this prediction. more..

June mayhem: A reminder that nation-building is yet to begin

July 2 (Island) Leave alone a Mahatma Gandhi or a Jawaharlal Nehru, could Sri Lanka even produce an Anna Hazarre or an Arvind Kejriwal? Sensible sections in this country could not be faulted for raising this question. Backdrop to such probing is the mid-June rioting in Aluthgama and Beruwala which took on a markedly ethnic complexion. We were left to wonder whether Sri Lanka was on the brink of another Black July. more..

SLC introduces two-day format for Under-17

July 2 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket coaching department will conduct an Under-17 Inter Provincial Tournament in the two-day format starting today. Five Provincial teams will compete in two-day matches and it is the first time that the SLC coaching department has introduced a two-day format to the Under-17 age category. They have also restructured the Provincial set up by forming five teams deviating from the previous ten-province structure. "Idea of two-day format for the Under-17 category more..

The aftermath: Aluthgama two weeks on

July 2 (GV) Two weeks have passed since violence broke out in Aluthgama and Beruwala on the 15th June- a day that will go down in the history books of Sri Lanka as nothing short of a dark, dark day. These are a few photos I managed to take while carefully stepping through the rubble of the affected houses, and a personal account of conversations with affected residents and families of those who lost their lives. The general sentiments were in absolute spite of Bodu Bala Sena (BBS). more..

Work-world skills lacking in Lankan primary and secondary education: WB

July 2 (Island) Students’ learning results at both public and private schools in Sri Lanka have been lacking with so many skills important in the work-world missing from what is taught in schools, Halil Dundar, Lead Education Specialist, World Bank said. "Much of what South Asian students are taught is ‘procedural’ or rote based. Students are poorly prepared in practical competencies, such as, measurement, more..

Dassanayake’s contract as head coach ends; Paras says he won't play until the renewal

July 2 (NN) Pubudu Dassanayake’s official contract as head coach of Nepali National Cricket Team ended on Monday. However, Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) is still uncertain about the contract's renewal. CAN says it is not in a position to pay the coach due to financial crisis. CAN said it has not yet received budget from Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and International Cricket Council (ICC) and that it is not in a position to hold the financial burden of the coach. If the Association gets the budget more..

Harcourts mulls legal action

July 2 (CT) Consumer Affairs Authority, which has allegedly not taken action against the pharmaceutical company, Harcourts, was awaiting summons from Court, following a challenge by the company. A CAA official said that the Authority was challenged by the company which claimed to be compliant with the requirements of the Cosmetics and Drugs Authority of the Health Ministry. The Authority was waiting for the company to file action to justify the actions taken against Harcourts. more..

EU calls for LLRC full implementation

July 2 (CG) The European Union (EU) called for the full implementation of the LLRC and advancing a sustainable political solution saying they are essential for peaceful growth and stability in Sri Lanka. “We welcome the appointment by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, of three renowned experts, Martti Ahtisaari, Silvia Cartwright and Asma Jahangir, to assist investigation team more..

Investrust Money Fund opens tomorrow

July 2 (FT) Investrust Wealth Management, a member of Investrust Holdings, announced that its ‘Investrust Money’ open-ended money market fund licensed by Securities Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) will be available to the public from tomorrow. Investrust Wealth Management (formerly known as Orient Wealth) is a SEC-regulated unit trust management company, which currently manages Orient Gilt Edged Fund, Orient Corporate Debt Fund and Orient Equity Fund, more..

Hotel owner remanded for swindling Britisher

July 2 (DM) A Hikkaduwa hotel owner who was arrested on charges of having swindling a Britisher of Rs.48 million after promising to get him several plots of land for cultivation was today ordered to be further remanded till July 15 by the Galle Additional Magistrate. In his complaint to the CID, British national Richard Karshal a civil engineer by profession had told that he got to know the suspect when he was staying at the suspect’s tourist hotel in Hikkaduwa in 2004. more..

Govt. ‘blatantly misinformed’ UNHRC about Aluthgama clashes: Muslim Council

July 2 (FT) A prominent Muslim civil society group has taken issue with official Govt statements to the UNHRC about the communal violence in Aluthgama, charging that the version of the clashes relayed to the international rights body mirrors the ‘anti-Muslim propaganda’ by vested interests in Sri Lanka. In a letter addressed to Minister G.L. Peiris, Muslim Council of Sri Lanka said “blatant misinformation” had been disseminated more..

Beddagana Sanjeewa’s junior arrested with three others

July 2 (Island) Acting on a tip-off, the Division Crimes Detection Bureau (DCDB), Nugegoda, on Monday afternoon arrested a member of the gang once led by slain notorious underworld kingpin, Beddagana Sanjeewa. Three other underworld figures were also taken into custody while they were peddling heroin in the Nugegoda town in a trishaw. Others arrested were his paramour and two of his underlings. They were arrested with seven grammes and 200 mg of heroin in their possession and more..

Health and education impinged on by SOE losses

July 2 (CT) Luke-warm strategies and ad hoc policy measures adopted pertaining to State owned enterprises, (SOE) have resulted in negative connotations to the health and education sectors of the country, economists revealed last week at a seminar organized by the Pathfinder Foundation. "Luke warm strategies in place for the last 35 years, since 1977 and short lived policy measures pertaining to privatization of SOEs have continued to be ineffective with adverse effects, more..

Fresh trouble at Ruhuna Uni after attack on student union office bearers

July 2 (Island) Undergraduates of the Ruhuna University’s main complex at Wellamadama, Matara boycotted lectures yesterday against an attack on ten students by a gang on Monday evening. Black flags were also hoisted at the university, while students staged a demonstration opposite the main gate at 12 noon against the incident. Secretary of the Students Council Ashan Wijayalath said that the attack had taken place at Janaraja Junction more..

Clashes between Muslim groups in Kalmunai

July 2 (CG) The police are investigating a clash which occurred between two groups in Kalmunai last night over a land dispute. Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said that the clash had occurred between two Muslim groups including members of the Sri Lanka Thawheed Jama’ath. The clash had occurred when members of the Sri Lanka Thawheed Jama’ath had attempted to construct a building on the disputed land. Another Muslim group had opposed the construction of the building more..

Hashemite Kingdom renews trade

July 2 (GDI) The Hashemite Kingdom wants to renew its trade with Sri Lanka-with no less than a Joint Commission meet at its end. “Let us now get really practical. It is time to activate 2007 Agreement and start vigorous bilateral trade. We are open to all suggestions from Sri Lanka” said a keen Hassan Al Jawarneh (Delhi based Ambassador of Hashemite) on Tuesday in Colombo. Jawarneh was addressing Minister Rishad Bathiudeen during his courtesy call on Minister at EDB. more..

Possibility of sanctions surface: Govt. Parliamentary Group pow wow

July 2 (CT) The possibility of sanctions being imposed on Sri Lanka in the wake of the ongoing probes by the UNHRC for alleged human rights abuses and war crimes in Sri Lanka had surfaced during the Govt Parliamentary Group meeting chaired by President Rajapaksa on Monday. This was one of the key points which were raised by a group of SLFP members, senior political sources told Ceylon Today. more..

Don’t consider IMBL with Sri Lanka as settled: Jayalalithaa

July 2 (ENS) Bringing to the notice of PM Narendra Modi yet another incident of arrest of 17 Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy on June 29, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Monday reiterated her view that the Centre should not treat the issue of the IMBL with Sri Lanka as settled, as the very ownership of Katchatheevu islet and the unconstitutionality the 1974 and 1976 agreements, by which the islet was ceded to SL, were the subject matter of litigation in Supreme Court of India. more..

TN Fishermen have no fishing rights in Katchatheevu: Centre

July 2 (PTI) Islet of Katchatheevu is a sovereign property of Sri Lanka and the 1974 and 1976 agreements between India and SL do not confer any fishing rights on fishermen from India, Centre has told Madras High Court. In a reply affidavit filed before the court, the Centre said "Under the agreements of 1974 and 1976, Indian fishermen and pilgrims will enjoy access to Katchatheevu and will not be required by Sri Lanka to obtain travel documents or visas for these purposes. more..

'Buddha Sasana Ministry turns Buddhist monks into political stooges' - RW

July 2 (SM) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has accused the govt of politicizing the Ministry of Buddha Sasana while creating divisions among the Sangha community of Sri Lanka. He said the present govt has turned the Ministry of Buddha Sasana into a political institution. He also alleged that the Ministry of Buddha Sasana only allocates funds for monks whose political allegiance lies with the govt. more..

Docs responsible – GMOA

July 2 (Island) The GMOA said that the Attorney-General had informed them that in case of medical negligence in a maternal case it was the doctor who was answerable. GMOA General Committee member Dr. Navin de Soysa said the Medical Ordinance provisions specifically mentioned that the midwife was responsible for childbirth and if there was any medical negligence in a maternity case it was the respective doctor who would be called by the court. more..

President names new PSC members

July 2 (CG) President Rajapaksa appointed a nine member Public Service Commission (PSC) to function for a three year period and it will be chaired by retired Supreme Court Judge Sathya Hettige. The other members of the PSC are S.C. Mannapperuma, Ananda Seneviratne, N.H. Pathirana, S. Thillanadarajah, Mohamed Nahiya, Kanthi Wijetunga, Sunil Sirisena and I.N. Soysa. The term of the previous commission ended last year. In 2010, matters relating to the establishment more..

Do not touch us: BBS

July 2 (CT) The BBS yesterday admonished the govt, the Opposition and the police, to not touch them, as it would be a move tantamount to digging their own grave. The UNP, certain powerful foreign diplomatic missions and Muslim extremist organizations were behind the clear international conspiracy that orchestrated the recent communal clashes and religious riots in Aluthgama and Beruwala, the BBS intoned. more..

President should invite TNA - Vasu

July 2 (CT) Senior Minister Vasudewa Nanayakkara, stressed that the President needs to invite the TNA to join the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC), appointed to find solutions to the ethnic problem. He said the President needs to have cordial discussions and should imply to the TNA that the govt has a genuine intention to solve the ethnic problem. He said, however, there are certain factions in the TNA who do not want to come for the discussions with the govt. more..

Tamil asylum seekers handed over to Sri Lankan navy, according to reports

July 2 (SMH) The Australian govt is refusing to comment on reports circulating on Christmas Island that 153 Tamil asylum seekers have been handed over to the Sri Lankan navy. The asylum seekers, who have not communicated with civilians since Saturday morning, were on a boat allegedly intercepted by the Australian navy near Christmas Island, president of the Shire of Christmas Island Gordon Thomson said. They were then handed over to Sri Lanka’s military. more..

Sri Lankan military denies plans to pick up asylum seekers

July 2 (ABC) The Sri Lankan military says it has not intercepted a boatload of Tamil asylum seekers bound for Australia and it has no plans to do so. The boat, believed to be carrying 150 asylum seekers including 37 children, has not been contactable since the weekend, indicating it may have been intercepted by the Australian Navy or Customs. Those on board claim they are Sri Lankan, but began their voyage in India more..

The new weapons of mass deception

July 2 (DM) Politicians are often heard making lofty proclamations about the need to protect Mother Lanka. The foundation of Mother Lanka, as of any country, is Mother Earth. Tragically we have been allowing trans-national companies to gradually kill Mother Earth mainly by the excessive use of toxic agro-chemicals and now by the growing use of hybrid or genetically-engineered seeds. One of India’s 21st century prophets, Dr. Vandana Shiva, - a crusader for organic or carbonic agriculture, more..

BBS is only the symptom

July 2 (DM) Ven.Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera, who is alleged to have been indicted in the past on four cases of DUI (Driving Under the Influence/Drunk driving), whose regular vocabulary is sometimes more disgusting than that of an uneducated petty thug in a street corner and whose fiery speeches have engulfed a naïve and susceptible ethnic group into violent, virulent and vituperative politicking has single-handedly managed to inflame hatred, jealousy more..

Politics moving down the generations

July 2 (DM) There is a new trend in the field of politics where the sons of the politician fathers are given opportunities to enter politics. By proving this trend, Tharu Dissanayake, the son of Minister S.B. Dissanayake is getting ready to enter politics in the near future. This is a discussion that a journalist had with him. Q: What is the electorate you are going to contest from? A: Hanguranketha. Q: Father’s electorate? more..

Another mass grave another investigation

July 2 (SL) With investigations still continuing into the Matale and Mannar mass graves, focus has now shifted to yet another grave which the Police claim, based on information they have received, contains the bodies of over 100 Muslims killed by the LTTE. In an effort to support disclosure regarding missing persons in Sri Lanka during the three-decade long war, the authorities are now in the process of excavating the grave. more..

Nurses contemplate drastic action

July 2 (Island) Public Service United Nurses Union Central Committee would decide within the next week whether to refrain from assisting doctors and stopping ward management duties, night rounds and documenting admissions unless the nurses were given their due place in the health sector, PSUNU Vice President D. Boralessa said. Boralassa warned that the PSUNU Central Committee might even consider withdrawing more..

Cop assaulted by thugs resigns in a huff

July 2 (Island) SSP Ajith Rohana said that police headquarters hadn’t received a resignation letter from Constable Suminda Saman assaulted by a gang allegedly at the behest of Deputy Minister Hemal Gunasekera on May 31. He said that Saman would have to return uniforms as well as other items belonging to the police department before his resignation could be accepted. The SSP was responding to a statement by more..

Number of persons electrocuted comes down, claims PUCSL

July 2 (Island) The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) on a campaign to bring down the number of persons electrocuted and other power related accidents, says its efforts have yielded desired results. The number of deaths had come down drastically compared to the corresponding period last year when 76 deaths were reported. Only 16 deaths due to electricity related accidents had been reported so far, more..

Banks band together to defend against threats to IT security

July 2 (FT) After an apparent six-year wait, the financial services industry has finally joined forces to defend itself collectively against threats to IT security. The initiative saw the launch of ‘Bank CSIRT’ (Computer Security Incident Response Team), which aims at safeguarding banks and financial institutions from cyber attacks and online financial frauds. Hosted by LankaClear, SL’s national payment infrastructure provider, more..

Sri Lanka tax revenue down, but budget deficit goal seen achievable

July 2 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's tax revenue has fallen more than 15% from its target in the first four months of the year but it can still achieve its 2014 budget deficit target of 5.2% of GDP, the finance ministry said on Wednesday. The govt had estimated a tax revenue of 368 billion rupees at the end of April, but the collection is down 15.6% to 310.6 billion rupees. IMF said last month that "low tax revenue mobilisation remains a concern" amid more..