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UNP, UPFA red allies agree on amending Constitution

July 16 (Island) CP General Secretary and Minister Dew Gunasekera said that the UNP, too, was willing to either do away with executive presidency or dilute presidential powers through a constitutional amendment, though it had earlier pledged to scrap the presidency in the event of winning the next presidential election. Asked whether the Socialist Alliance (SA) comprising the CP, LSSP and DLF represented in more..

Soar higher than kites for national unity

July 16 (DM) In this week for national unity in diversity and integration, we need to reflect upon and develop a vital factor Ė the inner healing of memories after three decades of war and about six decades of ethnic tension. Visiting Sri Lanka to conduct workshops on this was Michael Lapsley, Head of the Institute for the Healing of Memories (IHOM) based in South Africa, which many analysts see as a rainbow nation where there was a just and peaceful resolution of a decadesĖlong conflict more..

Why canít MPs be like Cricketers?

July 16 (DM) Responded with spunk to take both the limited over trophies in U.K. after being humiliatingly compared to a county side. Mind you, playing on their home grounds/in their weather conditions/before cheering home crowds. Reading the results makes you wonder whether Lankans were pitted against a minor county! Partisan British media (Slimy Army) was made to fold the red-crossed flag of St George, patron saint of England and slink away battering Captain Cooke. more..

'Yes we are doing politicsÖbut not party politics'

July 16 (DM) Q: Although the Aluthgama incident is now a thing of the past do you think the speech you made on June 15 in Aluthgama led to the violence which erupted afterwards? A: One of the most serious allegations they have levelled against us is that we instigated the people. I dismiss and reject the allegation. Language is a relative thing. We should not look at the language, we should look at the point we are trying to make more..

Mullaitivu on the road to recovery

July 16 (SL) The District of Mullaitivu has progressed greatly after having suffered much damage and loss of life and property during the war. Today, in spite of the trauma of the past Mullaitivu is on the road to development and reconstruction paving the way for lasting reconciliation. The Mullaitivu district consists of Oddusuddan, Maritimepattu, Puthukkudiyiruppu, Thunnukai, Manthai East and Welioya Ė more..

After the fury, only fear and tears left

July 16 (ST) Itís the time of the year when night turns into day for Muslims in this tiny village of Dharga Town, nestled on the banks of the Bentota River and surrounded by Sinhala villages. However, this time, it was not to be. During the holy month of Ramadan, after they break-fast at sunset, the town comes alive. Shops remain open till the wee hours of the morning. Carts and glass covered counters sell a variety of finger food and more..

Video: On Staten Island, a once-in-a-lifetime dance performance

July 16 (WSJ) When it was her turn to perform on a recent Sunday, Kasuni Navinna took center stage in the dance studio at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden in Staten Island. As nine other dancers sat serenely behind her, she swayed and whirled and stomped rhythmically, fine-tuning the intricate moves of a Kandyan dance, a traditional art form from Sri Lanka. They were movements Ms. Navinna, 23 years old, more..

'Australia may have breached key element of refugee convention'

July 16 (SMH) The UNHRC has expressed alarm that Australia may have breached a cornerstone of the refugee convention by returning a group of asylum seekers to Sri Lanka after intercepting their boat at sea. Volker Turk, Director of International Protection, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said there was a serious risk that the "enhanced screening" of claims at sea fell well short of requirements for the fair processing of more..

Wele Sudaís aides arrested; nine kilos of heroin found

July 16 (Island) Police Narcotic Bureau on Monday evening (14) arrested a close associate of Samantha Kumara alias Wele Suda with nine kilos of heroin with a street value of Rs. 63 mn at Madiwela. The heroin packed in nine parcels had been hidden in a van and the suspect was arrested on information elicited from four suspects arrested earlier in connection a massive heroin haul detected by the STF on June 12. more..

'USAID assistance exceeds US$ 2 billion'

July 16 (Island) The USAID had provided over US$ 2 billion in assistance to Sri Lanka since it had achieved independence, the US Ambassador, Michele J Sison said. The assistance which included financing livelihoods projects and partnerships with the private sector had helped create thousands of jobs, especially focused on vulnerable populations and in particular those households headed by women, more..

I admit: Vasudeva

July 16 (DM) I accept the mistakes made by the govt when it comes to National unity, National Languages and Social Integration Minister Vasudeva Nanyakara said while declaring open Ministryís Kilinochchi office. ďSocial integration should be undertaken between the Sinhala people and the Tamil people. For that, both sides should offer their cooperation. I admit the govt sometimes errs when it came to National integration,Ē more..

'People who misuse religion are savages'

July 16 (AM) Deputy Minister Faizer Mustapha stated that there are extremist forces within the country who are driving the country towards another civil war. 'Do not use your relegion and race to discreminate another, do not use relegion as a tool to create a platform for spreading extremism and racism to the community', he said. If a person uses his or her relegion in an offensive way they are no better than savages. more..

France says reconciliation important

July 16 (CG) French Govt says the most important issue for Sri Lanka is reconciliation between the countryís communities. Jean-Paul Monchau, the Ambassador of France to Sri Lanka, says France and the European Union are very attentive to this issue because as friends of the Sri Lankan people, both France and the EU really hope to see progress in this field to ensure that war will never take place again. more..

Viva Football!

July 16 (CT) Football fans across the world had to wait until the 113th minute of the final match on Sunday, Monday morning for us in Sri Lanka, to celebrate the crowing of the new champions, which brought to an end a grand carnival of the South American variety that had many glued to the small screens until the early hours of the morning for the past several weeks. No one could begrudge the crowing of the champions, for it was indeed the better team that won on a day when more..

Mahinda Rajapaksa to go 3D at upcoming presidential elections

July 16 (CT) Reports indicate the Rajapaksas are making preparations to pay through the nose to create a spectacle of the campaigning activities for the upcoming Presidential elections. Lankacnews has reported that Ď3D projectioní technology is being considered to be used for Mahinda Rajapaksaís upcoming Presidential election campaigning activities. The use of this cutting edge technology will enable him to address several rallies around the country, live and simultaneously, more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Statelessness in a ĎModern Eraí

July 16 (CT) We often hear of people from conflict and post-conflict settings enter into the borders of industrialized or Western countries as Ďillegal travellersí to seek asylum or refugee status. Travelling without legal permit from one state to another is not a new phenomenon, but it has increasingly become a legal and global issue following the stringent policing of the borders separating one state from another in the Ďmodern Eraí. The UNHCR adopted a convention in more..

Sri Lanka shares close up 0.2%

July 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka's shares closed 0.22% higher on Wednesday with continued foreign inflows extending gains further. All Share Price Index closed 14.77 points higher at 6,742.56, up 0.22%. The S&P SL20 closed 10.79 points higher at 3,761.05, up 0.29%. Turnover was 1.21 billion rupees, down from 2.19 billion rupees a day earlier with 105 stocks closed positive against 98 negative. Distilleries closed 1.20 rupees lower at 203.80 rupees with an off-market transaction of 81.60 million rupees more..

When it comes to persecution, we've given Sri Lanka plenty of help

July 16 (Guardian) The Sri Lankan Navy band was busy last week, learning the tune to Waltzing Matilda. They played it to welcome Scott Morrison, the Australian immigration minister, who was visiting to launch two patrol boats donated by the Australian govt. A photo of the moment, tweeted by a journalist, showed Morrison sitting alongside president Rajapaksa and his brother, defence minister Gotabaya Rajapaksa. more..

Amunugama predicts doubling of countryís per capita income by 2016

July 16 (Island) Considering Sri Lankaís consistent healthy 7-8% GDP growth rate, the country was poised to double the per capita income to USD 4,000 by 2016, Senior Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said yesterday. Addressing the International Conference on Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) at the Galadari Hotel in Colombo, He said that in achieving that goal Sri Lanka had embarked on various programmes to develop infrastructure, promote investments more..

Ukrainian couple sentenced to death

July 16 (CG) A Ukrainian couple were sentenced to death by the Colombo High Court today over a double murder committed in 2010. The Ukrainians were found guilty for murdering a 6 year old child and a woman who worked as a maid at the Rajagiriya house of the child. The mother of the child had also been injured in the attack in 2010. The Ukrainians were arrested following the murder. The Colombo High Court today found the two Ukrainians guilty and sentenced them to death. more..

Daughterís face burnt with heated spoon

July 16 (DM) A mother of five children was arrested by the Kuruwita Police yesterday for allegedly burning the face of her five-year- old daughter with a heated spoon used to make hoppers. On a tip-off received by the Child and Womenís Bureau, the suspect was taken into custody in Erathna, South Adavikanda. The incident had taken place last Esala Poya day when the suspect woman had heated the spoon used to make hoppers more..

Heroin haul: Suspects claim to be undergrads

July 16 (Island) Matara Division Crime Investigation Unit recently took into custody two suspects belonging to a drug syndicate. They had distributed heroin in different areas of the country after transporting the narcotic in private buses. They claimed to be undergraduates, according to police. Racket was busted after the police arrested a university student at the Midigama Junction in Weligama with heroin with a street value of Rs. 600,000 in his possession on July 1. more..

Condemn killings and ethnic cleansing by zionist regime in Israel – JVP

July 16 (LT) The Political Bureau of the JVP has issued a media release condemning the premeditated relentless campaign of air strikes by the zionist regime of Israel that has killed more than 100 Palestinian civilians and wounded hundreds of children, old people and women and destroyed civilian infraĀ]structure. The press release by the JVP states the states airstrikes launched by the Zionist criminals against civilian population are certainly violating Geneva Convention and more..

Day 1: Sri Lanka hit back after Elgar century

July 16 (CI) At 195 for 1, South Africa had made a near-perfect start to the Tests after the victorious ODI series, but Sri Lanka hit back with four wickets after tea to edge the day on a flat, dry pitch. Dean Elgar became the first South Africa opener to make a Test hundred in Sri Lanka but his dismissal in the final session kickstarted the hosts' fightback. It had been all South Africa till then. In his first Test as captain, Hashim Amla had more..

Faizer thinks media had a hand in BBSís rise

July 16 (Island) The media was partly responsible for the emergence of racist outfits in the country, Deputy Minister Faizer Mustapha said. He said that the civil society and media should be more active in condemning racism in the society. Minister Mustapha said, "Today media is a such a powerful tool, so giving racist elements exposure makes the situation worse." The Deputy Minister asked where all those people who were now making big noises today had been during the war. more..

Deputy Ministerís wife browbeats police to save racketeers

July 16 (LT) The wife of the Deputy Minister Sarath Chandrasiri Muthukumarana has threatened police officers who had been pursuing a gang of racketeers who had illegally felled teak trees and were transporting the logs in a tractor and had rescued them say reports. According to police sources at Eppawala the tractor with illegally cut logs of teak that was being pursued turned to the Deputy Ministerís land to escape the police raid. When the police surrounded the tractor more..

Sri Lanka gov't expresses support for proposed Gaza ceasefire

July 16 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's govt says it is " deeply concerned" by the ongoing violence in Gaza and has called for support of a ceasefire, External Affairs Ministry said while thousands of Maldivians joined a protest rally. The call comes as the armed wing of the Palestinian group Hamas has rejected an Egyptian-proposed ceasefire in the Gaza conflict. "Sri Lanka is deeply concerned at the recent escalating violence in Gaza, more..

Dubai dribblers to tour Sri Lanka

July 16 (GN) Dribblers Basketball Academy (DBA) will make its international debut when they embark on a tour of Sri Lanka later this month. The three-year old set-up comprising of three groups of 12 ó boys Under-12, girls Under-13 and boys Under-16 ó are scheduled to play three matches a day in Kandy from July 25-27 and Colombo from July 29-31. Opposition in Kandy will be Colombo International, Kingswood, Trinity, St Anthonyís Girls, Hillwood & St Anneís, Kurunegala. more..

Salaka owner released on bail

July 16 (DM) The owner of Salaka Gamini Neththikumara was yesterday ordered to be released on bail after appearing before the Colombo Fort Magistrate regarding a case which had been filed against him on the charge of having cheated a private security firm of Rs.326,987. A security manager attached to a private security company which had provided security service to the Salaka had complained to the Slave Island police that the respondent Salaka business had defaulted more..

COPE complains to CID

July 16 (DM) The COPE asked the CID to inquire into a mysterious and anonymous circular sent to heads of public institutions asking them to disregard the AGís opinions published in annual financial reports. ďThe objective of the secretive and misleading circular which has been made to appear as emanating from the AGís Department is an attempt to disrupt and undermine COPE inquires on 146 public enterprises and a challenge to more..

UNP says even Sinhalese feel unsafe

July 16 (CG) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe says the rights of even the majority Sinhalese community in Sri Lanka have been violated. Speaking to reporters at his office today Wickremesinghe said that the best example of the rights of Sinhalese being violated is the impeachment of former CJ Shirani Bandaranayake. Wickremesinghe says if the Sinhalese community feel their rights are being violated then it is not surprising that minority communities feel more..

Victims accuse IGP of standing idly through the Aluthgama violence

July 16 (AM) Reports coming in from the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka state that so far 85 complains have been lodged by the victims of Aluthgama violence and that they have named the IGP N.K. Illangakoon as a respondent to the event. The victims claims that the IGP did not take any measures to stop the BBS 'anti-muslim' rally, nor did he take any action to control the violence that erupted as a result of the rally. However, more than three weeks after anti-Muslim clashes in more..

Over 3,500 schools headed by political actors Ė JVP union

July 16 (Island) JVP-led Ceylon Teachers Service Union (CTSU) accused the Education Ministry of not filling principal vacancies in more than 3,500 government schools to help unqualified political henchmen function as acting principals. CTSU General Secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe told The Island that acting principals with political connections ruled the roost while more qualified teachers were forced to serve under them. more..

Boat Show 2014 to attract major buyers to Dickowita

July 16 (DN) South Asiaís premier boat show and fisheries exhibition, ĎBoat Show 2014í organized by Boat Building Technology Improvement Institute (BTI), Sri Lanka Export Development Board and Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services will take centre stage from October10 to12 at the Dickowita Fishery Harbour. The theme of the event is ĎPromotion of Leisure Boating in Sri Lankaí. The main objective of the event is to attract buyers from all corners of the globe, while more..

39 TN fishermen detained by Lankan Navy, 23 let off

July 16 (PTI) Thirtynine fishermen from Tamil Nadu in two batches were today detained by the Sri Lankan Navy for allegedly crossing into the island waters but 23 of them were let off later with a warning, fisheries department officials said. 23 fishermen, who put out to sea from Jagathapattinam in Pudukottai District in five mechanised boats, were detained while fishing near Neduntheevu and 16 others from here arrested near Katchatheevu this evening. more..

Elgar lauds Sri Lanka's quicks

July 16 (CI) Dean Elgar learnt quite a few things during his first Test innings in Galle - when the best time to score runs is, how to hang tough when they dry up, and the importance of a good partnership. After spending two-thirds of the day in the middle, Elgar was a first-hand observer to most of the day's bowling, and he has realised what the pacemen should do on what might otherwise be considered as a graveyard for their skills. more..

'Do not follow UPA line on Lankan issues'

July 16 (PTI) A delegation led by PMK MP Anbumani Ramadoss today met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and demanded that the NDA govt should not toe the line which was adopted by the previous UPA regime on issues concerning Sri Lanka. "NDA should change its policy towards Sri Lanka and should not follow the line of the previous UPA govt," Ramadoss said following the meeting with Swaraj. Stating that the reports on NDA's approach towards Sri Lankan affairs more..

Breathtaking photos of an old Sri Lankan martial art form

July 16 (HP) Angampora, an old martial art form created according to legends more than 30,000 years ago in Sri Lanka, combines the use of indigenous weapons, hand-to-hand combat and meditation. The practice nearly disappeared when Britain took over the country in 1815 and banned it. But a few families passed it down through generations and the practice survived until the country became independent more than 100 years later. The photo series below, more..

Video: 'Limitations needed to prevent conflicts': Keheliya

July 16 (DM) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella today said media control was sometimes needed during incidents like the one in Aluthgama to prevent possible escalation of violence. ďSometimes there are needs for media control on such incidents to prevent possible violent incidents in future. People should understand that itís not because of favouring one side. Even the President himself had put limitations to more..