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Bubbling with life

July 18 (ST) Lellopitiya, Ratnapura – He is home from nursery. Sprawled on the rough cement floor with his book and pencil, he is not interested in writing the letter B. Lips pursed in concentration, pencil gripped tightly in his left hand, he is more interested in drawing butterflies. Admiring his work, he adds the finishing touches, the long, curvy antennae of the butterflies. To my “silly” question of why he does not colour the butterflies more..

Improved Duminy dispels his spin demons

July 18 (CI) Nagpur 2010. Harbhajan Singh to JP Duminy. Swept. Missed. Rapped on the pads. Wicket. Galle 2014. Dilruwan Perera to JP Duminy. Swept. Again. Hundred. If those two shots were the only record of JP Duminy's Test career, they would tell enough of its story to be satisfactory. They do not tell of his achievements in Australasia, which include a century in his second Test to take South Africa to historic series win and a hundred on his comeback in New Zealand, but more..

Sailing South and meeting the North

July 18 (NS) Gautama Buddha, the pride of the Sakyas, c. 460-380 BC according to the latest consensus, was no empiricist. He lived in a wondrous world populated by myriad fantastic beings of the Indo-Aryan myth pool. A passage in the Chullavagga, an early text in the Pali Cannon gives us the Buddha’s eye view of the deep sea. According to Him, the great ocean, awe inspiring, astonishing and curious is “the dwelling place of mighty beings, among which are the Timi, more..

Five years of vanquished journalism

July 18 (GV) For nearly three decades, it remained Sri Lanka’s biggest story. Over the years, the resplendent island became known, not for its human development indicators or as a vibrant democracy, but as the birth place of the deadly LTTE – and what fuelled its birth, growth and its destructive impact on the island. When I walked into a newsroom two decades ago, the war was the biggest story and it stayed that way. more..

Editorial: It’s not cricket!

July 18 (Island) An enraged TN Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has torn into the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) club for denying entry to a dhoti-clad High Court judge and several senior lawyers who went there to attend a book launch recently. Taking up the cudgels for the judge’s right to wear the traditional Tamil dress, she has even threatened to bring in new laws to end such discrimination. More strength to her elbow! The TNCA club has drawn heavy flak from opinion leaders more..

The BBS and a catalyst for a Buddhist Muslim conflict

July 18 (GV) The BBS, Sri Lanka’s catalyst for opening up a new Buddhist verses Muslim conflict, perhaps due to boredom now that a thirty year civil war has ended, follows more by design than accident a classic military strategy of an escalation or advancement and then a tactical retreat due to over reach. Immediately after the previous attacks as well, whether in Dambula or Nugegoda, there was silence for awhile and similarly after the anti Muslim events of “Dark June 2014”, more..

'Measurement of inflation is done in a professional and scientific manner'

July 18 (FT) Central Bank of Sri Lanka Governor Nivard Cabraal says that in 2002 and 2003, Sri Lankan Govt recorded its highest debt to GDP levels, where that ratio was over 104%. Even at the end of 2005, when this Govt took office, the debt to GDP level was nearly 92%, he said, adding that through prudent debt management and the careful management of the economy, “we have now been able to bring down the debt GDP more..

CMEC holds art competition

July 18 (Island) Recognizing the powerful impact the medium of art has on influencing the society, CMEC (China Machinery Engineering Corporation) the construction company of the Lakvijaya coal fired power plant in Norochcholoai organized an art competition under the title "Better Tomorrow" to create awareness on environmental protection. The first round of the competition was held last Wednesday, with the participation of over 200 students representing several more..

Thurstan College student bitten by monkey

July 18 (DM) A Thurstan College student who was badly bitten in the leg by a monkey was admitted to the Lady Ridgeway Hospital. A doctor said the wounds required stitching. He said the monkey jumped had over the garden wall and sprang on him when walking towards the class room. The child’s father is reported to have made a complaint to the police. Teachers said two other students, one from Royal College and the other from Thurston College had also been bitten by monkeys recently. more..

Cigarette taxes should be rescued from bureaucratic discretion

July 18 (DM) The focus of the WHO is on raising taxes on tobacco, in order to raise prices and reduce consumption. This insight explains the serious consistency issues in Sri Lanka on setting taxes and prices on cigarettes. There are other forms of tobacco consumption in Sri Lanka, such as beedis and betal chewing. There is, as of yet, too little reliable information on the consumption of beedi—studies commissioned by Ceylon Tobacco Company more..

Internal problems always have a better local solution

July 18 (NS) Problems are there to be solved. Many solutions are available for any type of problem. You will not see any country in this world sans problems. Even the most peaceful countries do have problems. Data shown below will justify my argument. In Civility Report 2014, the first six peaceful countries are listed below. Although Costa Rica is regarded as the most peaceful country, it faces major corruption and poverty issues.So peace will not guarantee prosperity & economic growth. more..

Pharmacies bleeding; Harcourts asks CAA to grant higher retailer margin

July 18 (FT) As many pharmacies are in difficulty due to high cost overruns, the CAA has been urged to grant a higher retailer margin. “The retailer margin offered to the pharmacy retailers in Sri Lanka is the lowest in the world,” a leading pharmacy chain Harcourts has written to the CAA. The average margin given in Sri Lanka ranges from 10 to 12% for high-tech products and 15% for generic and branded products. Harcourts has recommended a minimum margin of 25% for the retail trade. more..

Canada working with Sri Lanka on immigration files

July 18 (LR) Canadian govt defended sharing information with foreign countries including Sri Lanka saying the move was necessary to prevent “cheapening of Canadian citizenship.” Earlier this week, Canada’s national newspaper, Ottawa was sharing information with Sri Lankan counter terrorism officials. Some privacy advocates have warned against sharing information with foreign govts. Yet, the govt said the new law more..

Lesson for parents from CJ

July 18 (Island) The Chief Justice recently urged parents to lead exemplary lives, while encouraging children to study. CJ Mohan Peiris P.C. addressing the 50th Annual General Meeting of the Susitha Wadana Samithiya of Hendala said that parents by setting an example would greatly benefit their children. "Most parents today force children to go for tuition classes, but they themselves do not lead exemplary lives", he observed. The Chief Justice said that the Susitha Wadana Samithiya more..

Harin no challenge to me - Shashendra

July 18 (DN) Former Uva Province Chief Minister Shashendra Rajapaksa said that UNP MP Harin Fernando who is tipped to be the UNP's CM candidate for the Uva Province was no challenge to him and there was no point in betting whose defeat was certain at the election. Rajapaksa challenged Fernando to come up with a better program than his for the uplift of the people in the Uva Province. He said that the most senior UNPers have lost confidence and started leaving the party. more..

No money laundering via Seychelles: Govt

July 18 (CT) The govt yesterday said there was no official complaint regarding money laundering via Seychelles and the decision to open a Bank of Ceylon branch there was made after the Seychelles Govt made a request to do so. UNP MP Dr. Harsha De Silva, a trained economist charged that the govt and Central Bank were silent over allegations that influential Sri Lankans could be using Seychelles as a transit point to launder more..

Principal's sadistic order

July 18 (CT) A 10-year schoolgirl of Bakamuna Diyabeduma Vidyalaya was admitted to hospital with the complaint of vomiting after having been hit on the head by her classmates on the orders of a sadistic school principal. The girl was admitted to Diyabeduma hospital, and transferred to the Polonnaruwa hospital. The victim was supposed to clean her class room on that day, but had arrived late to school. This seems to have irked the Principal, who had then ordered the other more..

Father, daughter killed in head-on collision; four others injured

July 18 (Island) A 36-year-old father and his seven-year-old-daughter were killed and four others injured yesterday morning, when the trishaw they were travelling in collided head-on with an on-coming lorry at Kadawatha. The injured victims include a six-year-old boy, whose father and sister died in the tragic accident, a teacher, another child and the driver. They were rushed to the Colombo North Teaching hospital, Ragama. There had been six persons in the trishaw, more..

'Fascists' in saffron robes? The rise of Sri Lanka's Buddhist ultra-nationalists

July 18 (CNN) Shortly before Buddhist mobs made a deadly rampage through Muslim neighborhoods in Aluthgama, Sri Lanka last month, a man with cropped hair and glasses stood before expectant crowds to deliver an explosive speech. Video footage of the rally, called following a traffic altercation between Muslim youths and a Buddhist monk in the coastal town, captures the speaker in full flight. more..

Stolen albino cobra left near zoo gate

July 18 (Island) The missing albino cobra from the Dehiwala Zoological Gardens was found in a pillow case near the zoo gate yesterday. The snake went missing last Saturday and a complaint was lodged on Monday with the Dehiwala Police. Zoo officials said that snake was in good health, and it was clear that the reptile had been handled by an experienced person. According to officials, the albino snake would be produced by the police before the Mt. Lavinia Magistrate. more..

Batsman's fault if mankaded - MCC

July 18 (CI) Stay in the crease, the MCC has once again reiterated to the batsmen, and avoid being mankaded. That missive was sent by the MCC's World Cricket Committee at the conclusion of its two-day meeting at Lord's when the panel said that it was "unequivocal in its belief" that the existing Law did not need any changes. Mankading has long been a controversial topic and caused a lengthy debate in May when Sri Lanka's offspinner Sachithra Senanayake ran out Jos Buttler at Edgbaston more..

Govts agree to stem cancer-causing arsenic in rice, says UN

July 18 (AFP) Governments have agreed the first international standards limiting cancer-causing arsenic pollution in rice, a key move to protect consumers of what is a staple food for billions, the UN said Thursday. The Codex Alimentarius Commission, the top global decision-making body for food standards, issued the decision at its ongoing annual meeting in Geneva. "Arsenic is an environmental contaminant. more..

Malaysian airliner downed in Ukraine war zone, 298 dead

July 18 (Reuters) The United States believes a surface-to-air missile brought down a Malaysian airliner that crashed in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing all 298 people on board, an incident that sharply raises the stakes in a conflict between Kiev and pro-Moscow rebels. One U.S. official said Washington strongly suspected the missile that downed the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 on a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was fired by Ukrainian separatists backed by Moscow. more..

PSM strike cripples hospitals

July 18 (Island) Patients seeking treatment at hospitals are faced with difficulties as tests and drug dispensing have come to a standstill due a strike by the Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM). The 48-hour strike which commenced on Wednesday has affected the functions of 112 hospitals in the Western, Southern and Central Provinces. The affected hospitals include the National Hospital, Ragama, Kalubowila Teaching Hospital, Karapitiya, Peradeniya Teaching more..

'No plans to return SL asylum seekers'

July 18 (ABC) A High Court judge has given govt lawyers until Monday to file their defence in the case involving 153 Sri Lankan asylum seekers being held by on board an Australian customs ship. The group set sail from Pondicherry, India, last month and were intercepted when their boat came within 175 nautical miles of Christmas Island. Their lawyers want the court to order the Govt not to return them to Sri Lanka, more..

CaFFe writes to Uva governor regarding election policy violation

July 18 (AM) Campaign for Free and fair Elections (CaFFE) has written to the Governor of the Uva province, Nanda Mathew, asking him to take immediate action to reclaim the vehicles of former councilors and ministers, some of which are being used for electioneering. After the dissolution of the council the members are to hand over the resources given to them during their tenure. Former Chief Minister Saseendra Rajapaksa has already handed over the resources given to him. more..

Footwear sector prepares a strategic plan on Treasury directive

July 18 (ST) Sri Lanka’s footwear and leather products industry has prepared a strategic plan to achieve the US$1 billion revenue target by 2020 based on a directive by the Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera. At a recent meeting attended by representatives of the Sri Lanka Footwear & Leather Products Manufacturers Association and senior officials of the Finance Ministry, Dr. Jayasundera had asked the association to prepare the plan, official sources said. more..

UN sidesteps critical issues, refuses to name investigation team

July 18 (Island) Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Wednesday said that it wouldn’t release the names of the investigation team tasked with probing the war crimes allegations against the govt of Sri Lanka as well as the LTTE, though Ms Sandra Beidas was named its coordinator. OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville was answering a question on the ongoing investigation, more..

New political party to shelter Common Candidate

July 18 (AM) A new political party has been formed in Sri Lanka under the name 'United Lanka Freedom Party' targeting forthcoming national level elections. It is reported that several senior members of the SLFP who are disappointed with the present state of affairs in the country are behind the formation of the new political party. It is in the grapevine that the party has been formed as an alternative option for the "common candidate". If the UNP fields its own candidate at the next Presidential Election, more..

Canada tells Sri Lanka to respect NGOs

July 18 (CG) Canada urged the Sri Lankan authorities to respect the right to freedoms of expression, assembly and association, and the right to take part in public affairs. Canadian Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and for International Human Rights Deepak Obhrai said Canada is deeply concerned by reports of efforts to restrict legitimate activities of civil society and NGOs in Sri Lanka. “Instructing civil society organizations to cease media engagement and activities, more..

Govt gets going on domestic inquiry

July 18 (FT) Govt set the stage for a domestic inquiry into alleged civilian deaths and violations of humanitarian law during the final stages of the war, appointing three international war crimes prosecutors to advise the Presidential Commission tasked with the probe. Presidential directive launching the inquiry comes just weeks after a UN investigation into rights abuses during the SL war got off the ground in Geneva. more..

Inflaming the fuel crisis

July 18 (DM) Pandemic corruption, both financial and moral, caused or compounded by the breakdown of the rule of law and democracy, transparency and accountability, appears to be causing a cancer in most sectors of society including vital areas such as the purchase and supply of fuel. Adding fire to the fuel crisis, was yesterday’s incident where some UNP MPs on their fifth fact-finding mission were blocked by political goons while the police as usual just watched, according to more..

When disability is an ability

July 18 (DM) Great maestros who marked a revolution in the thinking patterns of people were not only great but were extraordinary. Beethoven mesmerised massive audiences with his evergreen pieces of piano sonata such as Appassionata and Waldstein. Next, the Einstein’s Era diverted the people’s attention to physics and his Theory of Relativity. This was followed by the quadruple reign of Roosevelt and his mission in politics. However, in the 21st century, Tom Cruise and his MI more..

Novel strategies to address fisheries issue

July 18 (DM) The arrest of Indian fishermen, found poaching in Sri Lankan waters, and their subsequent release while retaining their vessels to be confiscated has become a common practice despite bilateral initiatives at every level concerned to address the fisheries issue once and for all. Discussions have taken place at every level, and even a Joint Working Group (JWG) has been appointed to look into the fisheries issue. more..

Plight of HIV positive children

July 18 (SL) Nearly 75 children are afflicted with the HIV virus at the first quarter of 2014, mainly due to mother to child transmission, while there are many cases that are unreported according to the Aids Foundation of Lanka (AFL). Mallika, (the mother of an HIV infected girl of nine years), said she had left for Dubai in 1998, leaving her husband and two children (son and daughter), at the age of 23, to work as a housemaid as more..

Skype complaining system receives 224 complaints

July 18 (DN) The Skype complaining system and the hotline introduced by the Private Transport Services Ministry has so far received 224 complaints from passengers against private buses since its inception on January 1. Minister C. B. Ratnayake said out of the total number of complaints, 84 have been received against inter-provincial long distance private bus services and the other 139 complaints against provincial level private bus services. more..

Wildlife activists petition CA over two elephants

July 18 (Island) The International Animal Welfare Trust, Animal Rights activist Mrs. Irangani de Silva and two other petitioners have complained to the Court of Appeal that two elephants, a male named ‘Waasala’ and a calf still unnamed, have not been licensed after the year 2012 by the Wildlife Authorities and they have been discovered without a registered lawful owner at the estate of Kandalama Walauwe, Mirigama more..

Battle of the sting goes to Colombo 7

July 18 (ST) The campaign to eradicate dengue continued in the Western Province, with health officials backed by security personnel moving into Colombo 7 this week to check on mosquito breeding grounds. We accompanied one of the teams involved in the campaign and we observed that the officials were quick to identify possible breeding grounds. Pointing at a pond where a lone catfish lay, Dimutha Thushara a Warrant Officer of more..

UK welcomes verdict on Khuram case

July 18 (DM) Britain today welcomed the verdicts and sentences handed down today to those responsible for the murder of British aid worker Khuram Shaikh. “We hope that this will bring some closure for his family and friends who have faced a long and difficult fight for justice,” British High Commission in Colombo said in a statement. “The officials of the Attorney General’s office have shown great professionalism and integrity and more..

No pressure in Uva seat allocations –EC

July 18 (CT) The number of seats allocated to Moneragala and Badulla for the Uva Provincial Council (PC) were based on population numbers and the land extent, not due to any political pressure, said Elections Commissioner (EC), Mahinda Deshapriya told a news conference yesterday. The Elections Chief said that the Department was simply abiding by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, Act No 42 of more..