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Zoo employee claims he got two-million-rupee offer for albino cobra

July 17 (Island) The disappearance of an albino cobra last Saturday from the Dehiwala Zoo has caused the officials there to suspect that ten such snakes might have been stolen and sold to buyers in the recent past, though it was claimed that the reptiles had died. The zoo’s veterinary surgeons were not shown the dead animals, according to sources. Meanwhile, an employee of Dehiwala Zoological Gardens more..

'No intention of getting into politics'

July 17 (DM) Muttiah Muralidaran is arguably the greatest off-spinner of all times and his record of 800 Test wickets, the highest by a bowler will remain unbroken for centuries. Since his international retirement, Muralidaran has been involved in humanitarian work through the Foundation of Goodness, an NGO. He also stood firm in the face of International conspiracies against the country. more..

Washed up

July 17 (ST) Two Sri Lankan families from the south planned a voyage for 41 asylum-seekers and a pet stray dog for what they thought was a new and prosperous life in New Zealand. Instead, they sailed right into the hands of Australian troops engaged in “Operation Sovereign Borders”. They complained of being ill-treated with food past its shelf life. The dog, however, was given a shampoo bath, fed milk and choice bacon. more..

UNP MPs prevented from entering Sapugaskanda refinery!

July 17 (AM) A tense situation occurred in front of the Sapugaskanda oil refinery today when the UNP MPs who visited the refinery were hindered by a group of CPC employees. CPC employees, who belong to a trade union, were protesting against the fact finding mission by the group of UNP MPs. UNP MP Harsha de Silva tweeted, "MPs are turning back as we are unable to enter the CPC refinery. more..

Ministers stifle pruning of personal staff perks

July 17 (DM) A Cabinet Paper seeking to withdraw the vehicle facilities provided to ministerial and deputy ministerial staff has been withdrawn on the vehement protest by ministers. A circular issued by Public Administration and Home Affairs Secretary on June 14 to ministry secretaries, provincial secretaries and heads of departments has pointed out that only the private secretary of a minister is entitled to a govt vehicle. more..

Sapugaskanda refinery reopens

July 17 (Island) Following the replacement of the damaged crude oil unloading hose at the Colombo Port with an old one on Monday, the Sapugaskanda oil refinery which remained closed down for over a month had resumed operations yesterday after taking delivery of crude, Petroleum Industries Minister said. He said: "We have replaced the broken tube line with an old one, which had been abandoned for about 12 years. more..

FR petitions filed on Aluthgama riots

July 17 (DM) Several people affected by the recent riots in Aluthgama and Beruwala have filed fundamental rights petitions alleging that the police had failed to carry out their duties to prevent the riots from taking place. They are seeking the Supreme Court to direct the Police Chief to formulate instructions and guidelines to prevent people from spewing out hate speech and prevent ethnic unrest. more..

MR names foreign experts for probe

July 17 (CG) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has expanded the mandate of the Presidential Commission on mission persons and appointed three international experts to advice the commission. In a Gazette notification, President’s Secretary Lalith Weerathunga said that the President is of the opinion that the Commission of Inquiry should have the benefit of the advice of distinguished international experts, whose more..

BBS fishing in Hindu-Tamil waters

July 17 (CT) Putting all four major Lankan religions at loggerheads with each other seems to be the set purpose of the BBS. The BBS-brief seems to go way beyond igniting conflicts between Buddhists and Muslims and/or Buddhists and Christians. Creating conditions for violent disharmony between Hindus and Muslims and/or Hindus and Christians also seems to fall within the BBS-purview. The BBS is not just telling Sinhala-Buddhists that they face an existential threat from Islam and Christianity. more..

Ministry officials drag their feet on Presidential Export Awards

July 17 (Island) Having called for applications for presidential exports awards for 2010, 2011 and 2012, the Export Development Board (EDB) which comes under the purview of the Industry and Commerce Ministry is mulling over the cancellation of the award presentations for 2010 and 2011, according to informed sources. Due to failure on the part of the organisers of the mega event, applications for 2010, 2011 and 2012 performance were called only this year. more..

Shame on the govt for letting this person dictate events in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka shares close down 0.3%

July 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka's shares closed 0.31% lower on Thursday despite net foreign buying. All Share Price Index closed 20.69 points lower at 6,721.87, down 0.31 percent. The S&P SL20 closed 13.58 points lower at 3,747.47, down 0.36 percent. Turnover was 926.45 million rupees, down from 1.21 billion rupees a day earlier with 75 stocks closed positive against 124 negative. John Keells closed 10 cents higher at 245.00 rupees with market transactions of 279.10 million rupees more..

Days of the noose may be numbered, but...

July 17 (CT) In the ultimate wisdom of liberal thought, the UNHRC last month adopted a strong resolution on the death penalty, deploring the rights violation such a punishment entails. This was a first for the UN mechanism and ensures the inclusion of the topic in future UNHRC agendas, with the ultimate goal being the outlawing of an inhuman form of punishment. The resolution comfortably segues into the Sri Lanka situation, where the death penalty has once again become more..

Sri Lanka police seize 133 kg of heroin in 2014 as fight against drugs intensifies

July 17 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's police have seized 133 kilograms of drugs and arrested 12 people suspected to have linked to the international drug trade so far this year as the country battles drug smuggling, an official said on Wednesday Police took into custody nine kilograms of heroin in the town of Nedimala, on the outskirts of Colombo when a suspect was transporting the stash, SSP Ajith Rohana told reporters. more..

Aussie mining company finds high grade graphite in Lanka

July 17 (GDI) MRL Corporation, an Australian mining company exploring graphite in Sri Lanka, has announced that they have found graphite from mines in Sri Lanka are of high-grade with upto 97.8% TGC (Total Graphitic Carbon), a news report published by Australia’s mutli-media news organization and investor portal ‘proactive investors Australia’ said. Investor portal predicted that with the latest announcement the shares of the MRL Corporation were expected to go up. more..

Private coach operators boycott Kandy-Kurunegala route

July 17 (Island) Private bus operators on Kandy-Kurunegala route suspended services on Tuesday protest against the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) operating luxury buses on that route. Private coach operators complain that commuters prefer to travel by the SLTB luxury coaches and as a result they suffer loss. The SLTB has commenced express passenger transport service using a number of luxury coaches imported for the Commonwealth heads of Govt Meeting (CHOGM). more..

'Election mechanism manipulated to help govt'

July 17 (DM) DP leader Sarath Fonseka said that the Elections Commissioner was changing the election mechanism in a tactful manner to suit the needs of the govt and was making various statements with regard to elections to the Uva PC. “The Elections Commissioner is making various statements about the Uva PC election. He is trying to change the election mechanism to cater to the needs of the govt. more..

Benefits to Sri Lanka banks from pawning guarantee temporary: S&P

July 17 (LBO) Benefits from a state guarantee for gold-backed loans (pawning) will be temporary, a report by Standard & Poor's, a rating agency said. "The credit guarantee for pawning loans will provide only brief respite to Sri Lanka's banking industry, which is still struggling to overcome the effects of declining gold prices," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Deepali Seth-Chhabria. "The banking industry will remain vulnerable to the volatility in gold prices, given that pawning loans form more..

Minister promises to build ultramodern Cardiac Care Unit at National Hospital

July 17 (Island) Health Minister has pledged to construct a state-of-the-art Cardiac Care Centre in the Colombo National Hospital Complex. Minister Maithripala Sirisena, who was the chief guest at the 14 Annual Sessions of the Sri Lanka Heart Association last Friday, said that he had held a meeting with all cardiac specialists in all govt hospitals to find out the shortcomings in govt hospitals. "I got a clear picture of the existing system and its present situation. more..

Day 2: Duminy century leads SA to 455

July 17 (CI) JP Duminy swept and reverse-swept South Africa to their second-highest total in Sri Lanka as the hosts toiled for little reward on a largely docile pitch. Coming in at No. 8, Duminy made his fourth Test hundred and his first in Asia. He added 75 for the eighth wicket with Vernon Philander and 66 for the ninth with Morne Morkel after Quinton de Kock's maiden Test fifty had taken the visitors past 300 in the morning. more..

Missing albino cobra found inside zoo

July 17 (AD) An albino cobra which was reported missing from the National Zoological Gardens in Dehiwala has been found inside a cloth bag within the zoo premises today, police said. The rare snake had disappeared from the zoo last Monday, however it was found inside a bag thrown into the zoo. The discovery was made by a zoo official. SSP Ajith Rohana said that veterinarians have confirmed it is the same snake that went missing and that it is in good health. more..

Video: A torture chamber in Chilaw Police

July 17 (LT) Sanjeewa Edirisinghe, a 28 year old father of one child residing at Panirendawa – Heenara area at Madampe, says he has been disabled due to torture carried out by officers of Unsolved Crime Investigation Unit of the Chilaw Police in a torture chamber inside the police. Sanjeewa Edirisinghe, who made a living for his family of three maintaining a small bicycle repair shop, is unable to feed his family today. Police officers have arrested Sanjeewaw and more..

Kollupitiya massage parlour cleared by court

July 17 (DM) The blind owner and eight other female employees of a physiotherapy massage centre in Kollupitiya which engages in the practice of physiotherapy since 1958 were yesterday acquitted and released by a Colombo Court from the allegations that they managed a brothel under the guise of a massage parlour in 2011. While ordering to acquit and release all the accused from the case, Colombo Fort Magistrate observed that more..

Seminar on Waste water Management Strategies for Sri Lanka

July 17 (GDI) Sustainable water management and sanitation is a precondition for a country’s development as it has a major impact on the living environment, economy, health, and social life. To address those major impacts The Central Environmental Authority, Coordinating Secretariat for Science Technology & Innovation, Nanyang Environmental & Water Research Institute Singapore, Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, National Water Supply & Drainage Board and more..

President's wanna-be relative swindles Russian businessman

July 17 (AM) The Colombo Fort Magistrate today ordered the CID to conduct an investigation against a Sri Lankan who had allegedly swindled a Russian investor of US$ 690,000 while impersonating as a relative of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The Russian investor Alexander Nikolove had lodged a complaint in this regard at CID urging a necessary legal action be taken against the rackerteer who identified himself as a "son-in-law" of Sri Lankan President. more..

What ails Rangana Herath?

July 17 (CI) Umbrellas occupy a special place in Sri Lankan culture. They are protection against torrential downpours that bear down like artillery shells, and are just as useful in the sun, which shines with homicidal intensity. But by far the mightiest force of nature the island's umbrellas repel is the wrath of Sri Lankan parents. On Colombo's Galle Face green, in Galle's Fort, in any pretty, public place all over the nation, more..

Putting NGOs on a leash undemocratic

July 17 (CT) Govt has decided to enact a law on NGOs that will compel them to register with the National Secretariat. The NGOs in this country, as it is, come under the Voluntary Social Service Organizations (Registration and Supervision) Act Number 31 of 1980 and Voluntary Social Service Organizations (Registration and Supervision) (Amendment) Act Number 8 of 1998. The secretariat, under the Ministry of Defence, has 1,421 NGOs registered under it. more..

Sri Lanka broadcast to air KOICA aid work

July 17 (KT) Korea's official development assistance (ODA) activities are scheduled to be introduced through national television in Sri Lanka. The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), a government aid organization, revealed Thursday that Sri Lanka's Rupavahini TV has sent reporters to Korea to cover Korea's economic and industrial development as well as KOICA's aid projects in Sri Lanka. The reporters are to stay from July 14 to 19. From July 14 to 15, the reporters more..

Keheliya plays down appointments

July 17 (CG) Govt has played down the appointment of three experts to advice the Presidential Commission on missing persons, with Minister Keheliya Rambukwella saying it will be upto the Govt to decide if to accept or reject any advice. President Rajapaksa has expanded the mandate of the Presidential Commission on mission persons and appointed three international experts to advice the commission. more..

Disciplinary inquiry against DIG Indran scrapped

July 17 (SM) It has been compelled to scrap the disciplinary inquiry held against Kalutara District DIG V. Indran under the charges of neglecting duties, sources from the police headquarters say. UNP Mangala Samaraweera revealed that DIG Indran has refused to release 13 suspects of the Aluthgama incident, despite Defence Ministry orders calling for their release. In addition, DIG Indran has also refused to comply when Senior DIG of Police Gamini Navaratne ordered him to more..

JHU lashes out at Hakeem's 'slanderous' statement on Buddhist monks

July 17 (AM) JHU issued a statement expressing their displeasure over the speech made by SLMC Leader Minister Rauff Hakeem to international media, saying that the govt would not be able to prevent an ethnic uprising if they cannot control the hardcore Sinhala-Buddhist organizations' extremist plights. Minister Rauff Hakeem said that the govt should have a firm grip on Buddhist monks who are spreading extremism and Anti-Muslim ideology among the public or else there would be more..

Those who fail O/L Maths can now sit for A/L

July 17 (AM) Govt has made a decision to allow the students who fail Math in their O/L exam to proceed with A/L classes on the grounds that they pass O/L Math within two years. A proposal in this regard has been approved by the Cabinet of Ministers today. The proposal was presented to the Cabinet by Minister Bandula Gunawardena. Under the present system, students who fail Mathematics in O/L do not get more..

Sachithra pressured during test- Piyal

July 17 (SM) A report on the testing procedure from spin bowling coach Piyal Wijetunge, who had accompanied Sri Lankan spinner Sachithra Senanayake to the test, said Senanayake had been put under immense pressure from the co-ordinators of the biomechanical assessment. His report claims that during the test the co-ordinators put Senanayake under immense pressure repeatedly stating that his bowling action is different from the match. more..

Minister Basil attends Sri Lanka Shines in Shanghai promotional event

July 17 (GDI) As a part of his official tour of China, the Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa, visited Shanghai as Special Envoy of President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Trade and Commerce from 3rd to 6th July 2014. This visit also coincided with the “Sri Lanka Shines in Shanghai” promotional event, co-ordinated by Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau of the Ministry of Economic Development. During the visit, Minister Basil Rajapaksa met the Mayor of Shanghai, Yang Xiong on 4th July. more..

UNP fact finding mission blocked

All reference to Gota in my column have been axed

July 18 (CT) Dear Colombo Telegraph Editor, I write to a few Tamil and English publications in Lanka, one of whom imposes self-censorship whenever reference is made to the Defence Secretary. I think CT readers should be made aware that self-censorship is practised even by the English so-called national press. Here is the most recent example; the under-mentioned passages were completely deleted by the paper. This why an opening like CT is so needed even if one more..

Our President is intimidated; BASL needs an independent investigation

July 18 (CT) On the 15th of July, afternoon, Mr. Upul Jayasuriya, the president of the BASL left the court premises at Hulftsdorp and headed towards Fort. Having parked his vehicle at the car park of Cafe 64 at Hotel Galadari, he noticed that he had been followed by a motorcycle bearing registration No. WP UB 4072 with a pillion rider, since he commenced his journey from Hulftsdorp. Thereafter, Mr. Jayasuriya proceeded to an office at Flower Road and the suspicious more..

'Buddhist monks must be balanced and moderate'

July 18 (Island) The Ven. Baddegama Samitha was the first Buddhist monk in this country to hold elected public office. While it was not unusual for Bhikkus to engage in politics as supporters of one political party or another, it was certainly unusual for a Bhikku to stand for elected office. After the Ven. Samitha opened the floodgates, many monks have been elected to various tiers of the govt in subsequent years. more..

Constitutional reform in Sri Lanka: Issues and prospects

July 18 (DBS) Let me begin by thanking the UK branch of the TULF for inviting me to deliver the Amirthalingam Memorial Oration on the occasion of the 25th death anniversary of Appapillai Amirthalingam, lawyer, MP, Leader of the Opposition from 1977 to 1983 and leader of the TULF. Unlike earlier leaders of the Tamil parties, Amirthalingam came from a middle-class background and also dabbled in Left politics. I remember him saying at the funeral of more..

TV brawl: Dayasiri’s below the belt blow

July 18 (ST) Once Dayasiri Jayasekera, the Elder and Harin Fernando, the Younger, were the best of buddies, soul mates who often met to sing and dance and browse their grouses in the familiar tavern of life found on the same side of the run down street. There, seated on worn out wooden benches, they would tattle and ride their hobby horses, shed tears on their own wretched states and cast furtive, envious glances at the swinging doors of the high society saloon across the road, more..