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Sri Lanka consults Foster to save Sachithra

July 18 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) committee has decided to consult Australian Human movement specialist Daryl Foster, possibly the foremost authority in the world in analysing suspect bowling actions, to obtain his support in clearing beleaguered star spinner Sachithra Senanayake. SLC had already contacted Foster during a special meeting that had been convened on July 14 when SLC’s Head of more..

Activists burn Sri Lankan warning notice to NGOs

July 18 (UCAN) Civil society groups and activists on Thursday burned copies of a notice issued by the Sri Lankan govt that warned nongovernmental organizations from engaging in activities the government deemed outside the groups' mandate. Protesters carried banners and chanted slogans against the government during the rally, which took place in front of the Fort Railway Station in the capital city Colombo. more..

Video: Khuram murder trial: PS chairman convicted

July 18 (DM) Former Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Sampath VidanaPathirana and three others found guilty of the murder of British tourist Khuram Sheik and of raping his Russian girlfriend Victoria Alexandrovna were sentenced to 20 years rigorous imprisonment on each of the two counts a short while ago. The tragedy had occurred at the Tangalle Resort on December 24, 2012. more..

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

July 18 (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 a topic of more..

Sri Lanka stocks close flat

July 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks closed with a lackluster note on Friday amid low foreign participation. All Share Price Index closed 0.33 points higher at 6,722.20. The S&P SL20 closed 8.49 points lower at 3,738.98, down 0.23%. Turnover was 1.30 billion rupees, up from 926.45 million rupees a day earlier with 108 stocks closed positive against 81 negative. Lanka Ashok Leyland closed 2.90 rupees higher at 1,742.90 rupees with an off-market transaction of 403.47 million more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Swords, scales and blindfolds: The law has let us down again

July 18 (CT) Justice stands boldly, armed with a sword and tempered with scales. Her blindfolds demonstrate her impartiality. She wields the Law and bends it to her will. Yet the Law is prone to misuse when stripped from its true mistress and usurped by tyrants. They use her sword to strike the innocent; manipulate her scales to subjugate citizens; and apply her blindfold to conceal atrocities. Law without Justice is perhaps worse than no law at all. Throughout history, unjust laws more..

President participates at Iftar celebrations

July 18 (GDI) President Rajapaksa participated in an Iftar ceremony at Temple Trees on Thursday. Islam religious leaders as well as Muslim devotees who were present at Temple Trees, praised action taken by President Rajapaksa to strengthen national reconciliation. Prayers were also offered invoking blessings for national reconciliation in the country. PM D.M. Jayaratne, ministers, deputy ministers, ambassadors and high commissioners and large number of Islam devotees more..

Steyn five-for gives SA control

July 18 (CI) Dale Steyn ripped through Sri Lanka with his 23rd five-wicket haul to give South Africa control of the Galle Test. Angelo Mathews fought with another rearguard effort after Headlingley last month, but Steyn had inflicted so much damage that South Africa still ended the day 172 runs in front. The Galle pitch was still largely quiet amid sporadic bouts of activity, but that did not deter Steyn, whose pace and venom more..

'No Lankan passport holders in the crashed Airliner'

July 18 (AM) Sri Lankan Ambassador in the Netherlands Buddhi Athauda says so far they have not found any Lankan passport holders in flight MH17 which crashed over Ukraine yesterday. However, at a news conference at Schiphol airport, Malaysia Airlines' European chief Huib Gorter said they were still trying to identify some of the passengers from flight MH17. Of the passengers that have been identified there were 154 Dutch nationals, 27 Australians, 23 Malaysians, more..

Call for extending Hajj quotas to non-Muslim travel agents

July 18 (Island) Islamic Religious Education Mission, in a letter sent to President Rajapaksa alleges that the allocation of Hajj quotas to the travel agents this year has been done in a fraudulent manner. It has suggested that the quotas should not be limited to Muslim travel agents and others must also be allowed to organise Hajj pilgrimages. The mission also alleges that Hajj committee has failed to be of any use to Hajj pilgrims; both Hajj Committee and the Department of Muslim Cultural Affairs more..

Govt says BBS not protected

July 18 (CG) The Govt says the BBS is not being protected or given special treatment by PresidentRajapaksa or Govt authorities. Mohan Samaranayake, spokesman for President Mahinda Rajapaksa, was quoted by CNN as saying there was “no protection or special treatment” for the BBS from the government, including Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Anyone who broke the law would face the consequences, he said. more..

JVP complains of delay in scholarship grants

July 18 (Island) The payment of Rs. 10,000 to the members of Education Employees Co-operative Thrift and Credit Society Limited (EDCS), under the university scholarship scheme, had been delayed for two years, Ceylon Teachers Service Union (CTSU) claimed. CTSU General Secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe said that all members of the EDCS were entitled to Rs. 10,000 each if their children entered a university. He said that present EDCS administration had failed to pay the payments for more..

Reconvicted drug smuggler made to pay with interest

July 18 (Island) Kalutara High Court Judge Padman Surasena recently fined a reconvicted drug smuggler Rs. 50,000 and sentenced him to two years rigorous imprisonment after he had pleaded guilty to having had eight kilos of ganja in his possession. The convict is Saman Kumara of Wellawaya. He was found guilty of transporting the consignment of ganja hidden in the undercarriage of a lorry close to its fuel tank on Feb 18, 2011. He had pleaded not guilty to the charge at the more..

We do not debate with swine smeared in faeces – SSU

July 18 (LT) They have no argument with swine smeared with faeces but their struggle is against the Rajapaksa regime, a massive struggle has to be launched against Rajapaksa regime to win students’ rights says the National Organizer of Socialist Students Union Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa. he said, “According to clause 14 of the Constitution of our country ‘every citizen in the country is entitled to the freedom of speech and expression more..

Distinguished BJP panel discussion at BMICH on ‘India under Modi’

July 18 (Island) Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies (BCIS) has invited five distinguished persons from the BJP, led by Dr. Subramanian Swamy to a panel discussion on "India under Modi: Relevance for the Region and the World" on Monday 21st July 2014 at Committee Room B of the BMICH from 05:00 p.m. - 07:30 p.m. This is in continuance of a high powered delegation that visited Sri Lanka in 2013 led by Ravi Shankar Prasad, who is now a Minister in Modi govt, more..

Steyn's Asia haul, and Mathews second to the Don

July 18 (CI) 5: Number of five-wicket hauls for Dale Steyn in Asia - he has two each in India and Sri Lanka, and one in Pakistan. His 5 for 50 is his best figures in Sri Lanka. 76: Number of wickets for Steyn in Asia, which is the second-highest for fast bowlers from outside the subcontinent. Only Courtney Walsh, with 77 wickets at 20.53, has more wickets. With a 25-wicket cut-off, Steyn's strike rate of 39.7 is the best among these bowlers. 79.61: Angelo Mathews' batting average in ten Tests more..

India and Lanka discuss defence ties

July 18 (CG) India’s Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, called on President Rajapaksa at Temple Trees today and discussed ties between both countries. During the discussion, Air Chief Marshal Raha told President Rajapaksa that he had very fruitful meetings with defence officials in Sri Lanka. Talks with the President this evening focused on a number of matters pertaining to defence cooperation, more..

Tanzanian Foreign Minister to arrive in SL

July 18 (GDI) Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation of Tanzania Bernard K. Membe will be on a bilateral visit to Sri Lanka from 20 to 22 July 2014. A bilateral meeting between Minister G.L. Peiris and Tanzanian Minister of Foreign Affairs will take place on 21st July at the External Affairs Ministry. Two agreements on the Establishment of a Joint Commission on Cooperation and on Bilateral Political Consultations will be signed by the two Ministers. more..

Updated knowledge a must in the media field: Keheliya

July 18 (DN) Mass Media and Information Ministry always assists media personnel to upgrade their knowledge since updated knowledge is a must to attain perfection in the field, minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. He was addressing the ceremonial awarding of scholarships to journalists under the Media Scholarship program at the Mass Media and Information Ministry Auditorium yesterday. The minister said that the Asi Disi media scholarship program is carried out annually more..

Video: UNP MPs don’t need permission from SLFP trade unionists - Harsha

July 18 (AD) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) is controlled by a group of drunken lowlifes of the SLFP-affiliated trade union, the UNP charged today. “We saw this in photos yesterday,” UNP MP Harsha de Silva told reporters in Colombo. He stated that certain trade union activists had taken off their shirts and were spouting filth while one of them almost fell from the balcony. A tense situation was reported near more..

MH17 hull war losses unlikely to exceed 2001 Tamil Tigers attack

July 18 (PO) The costs of hull war risks emanating from yesterday’s downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 are not expected to exceed the $380m (£222m) losses following the 2001 Tamil Tigers attack on Sri Lanka’s Bandaranaike Airport, according to loss adjusting sources. Post understands the hull losses alone from the Malaysia Airlines aircraft - which is believed to have been shot down over Eastern Ukraine with a surface to air missile - will total approximately $101m. more..

Work on first stage of University Hostel Project completed

July 18 (DN) Work on the first stage of the largest University Hostel Project in the country has been completed. Under the first stage, thirty hostels have been constructed in the Sabaragamuwa, Eastern, Southeast and Trincomalee Universities. The Ministry of Higher Education said that all arrangements have been finalized for its opening by the President. Under the second phase of the project, 60 hostels covering all Universities will be built. It is to be completed next year. more..

'I don't regret Test retirement'

July 18 (ES) Tillakaratne Dilshan missed out on Sri Lanka’s historic victory over England but has still had a notable summer with Surrey giving him his first taste of county cricket. Q: You have joined Surrey as their overseas player until the middle of next month. How are you finding county cricket? A: When the opportunity to play here came up, I grabbed it with both hands. Every cricketer wants to experience different countries and more..

Over 160 complaints against media

July 18 (CG) The Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka (PCCSL) received 163 complaints last year, the Chief Executive Officer of the PCCSL Sukumar Rockwood said in his annual report for 2013. Sukumar Rockwood further stated that the Sinhala press which comprises 39% of the country’s newspapers attracted the majority of the complaints in 2013. He said that the Commission received the fullest co-operation from editors to resolve these complaints amicably and swiftly. more..

CPC: Discarded hose better than new one

July 18 (Island) A discarded hose now being reused for crude oil unloading at the Colombo Port is of better quality than the hose that got damaged within few months of its installation. The old hose had literally become a workhorse manufactured by the Bridgestone Corporation, Japan and it had been purchased for five million rupees in 2000, a top Ceylon Petroleum Corporation official said. Fielding questions, CPC Operations Manager, Mechanical Engineer, Anuradha Ranasinghe said more..

Khuram’s brother, UK hail judgment

July 18 (CG) The British Govt and the brother of British tourist Khuram Shaikh, hailed the verdict by the Colombo High Court issued today on the trial over the murder of Khuram Shaikh and the rape of his Russian girlfriend in Tangalle in 2011. Khuram’s brother Nasser Shaikh said the country has done what many people hoped and prayed for while British High Commissioner John Rankin said Britain hopes that ruling will bring some more..

India, Pakistan and the BBS

July 19 (ST) Two important assertions made by Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa in an interview with the ‘Daily Mirror’ have probably come as a relief to many. One is his categorical statement that he has “nothing to do with the BBS” (Bodu Bala Sena). Any move to distance itself from this outfit can only be beneficial to the Government, given the BBS’s racist credentials (proclaimed by the organisation itself in its infamous speech in Aluthgama). more..

The example of Joko Widodo

July 19 (CT) The 3rd largest democracy in the world, Indonesia, of around 240 million population and 190 million registered voters, went to presidential elections on 9 June and the final results are expected on 22st or 23nd. Reliable sample counts of 80% show that Joko Widodo, 53, popularly known as Jokowi, and a ‘political newcomer,’ is heading the elections against the authoritarian former General and hardliner, Prabowo Subianto, 63, and let me add ‘a conservative and a traditionalist.’ more..

Adding value to handicrafts

July 19 (CT) Sri Lanka's handicrafts are going through a paradigm shift. Laksala, which is the State organization dealing with handicrafts is giving prominence to product development and value addition, with the State institution augmenting the outsourcing of manufacture of local handicrafts, as it gradually approaches its golden jubilee this year. There are a series of products which are virtually beyond the human imagination. more..

Understanding the Sinhala-Buddhist mindset

July 19 (SL) Coming as it did after the Aluthgama incident, BBS leader, Ven Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero’s call for Pope Francis to apologise to Sri Lanka’s Sinhala-Buddhists for alleged atrocities committed by Christian colonialists in the past centuries thankfully did not receive the kind of media attention that it might have got. Not to embarrass the Pope and themselves, too, when the Pope is set to visit the country in January 2015, all segments of the Sri Lankan society and more..

Sri Lanka’s 3G Jihadists: Pathfinders to another disaster

July 19 (CT) Although Jihadism refers, in the modern context, to the renewed focus on armed jihad in Islamic fundamentalism, in this article, I refer to the 3G Sinhala Buddhist Jihadists; Gnanasara- Gota- Gammampila Combine (‘Thun kattuwa’ in Sinhala or the three Sinhala Buddhist Musketeers) who have been leading the way to national disaster through a well-organized campaign to rekindle Sinhala Buddhist extremism. When the collective conscience of Sinhala Buddhists should more..

Lester James Peries and the making of his Path-breaking film Rekava

July 19 (DBS) ‘Rekava’ or the line of destiny was the path-breaking film by Lester James Peries which altered the destiny of Sinhala cinema. Rekava, the first feature film to be made by Lester, was released in Dec 1956. It was hailed as a turning point in the decade-long evolving history of Sinhala cinema. Prominent journalist Mervyn de Silva described Rekava as “the birth of Sinhala cinema” itself when writing about it. more..

Sri Lankan Muslims at the cross roads

July 19 (Island) The present article and my earlier ones of July 5 and 12 are meant to constitute a unity, focusing on the questions of what really the Aluthgama/Beruwela outrages signify, and what action can be taken by the Muslims to safeguard their lives and their legitimate interests. I concluded my last article by arguing that the Muslims should, in order to safeguard their legitimate interests, turn to the Govt, even though it is carrying out an anti-Muslim project, and more..

Editorial: Savages caged

July 19 (Island) The long-awaited verdict in the Tangalle murder case has been given. It is some consolation that Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Sampath Vidanapathirana and his fellow thugs responsible for killing British aid worker Khuram Sheikh and gang-raping his girlfriend have been sentenced to twenty years RI. They have also been ordered to pay compensation to the woman who suffered a fate worse than death. They deserve to be hanged in public. more..

සහෝදරත්වයේ දිනය 2014

Governing North Wigneswaran would have been an ideal Governor than a Chief Minister!

July 19 (CT) The Northern Province Governor, G.A. Chandrasiri, and Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran, were seen in public for the first time at a function at Vembadi Girls High School, Jaffna on Thursday since Chandrasiri was reappointed as Governor, Northern Province by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, last week. The two gentlemen with garlands around their necks walked happily talking to each other towards the school auditorium to the beat of the school band without showing more..

Pathirana stars in opening Sri Lanka A win

July 19 (CI) Sri Lanka A have opened their campaign in England with a five-wicket win over the Unicorns in a 50-over warm-up, as slow-bowling allrounder Sachith Pathirana made significant contributions in both disciplines. Unicorns batted first at Gosford but despite a steady opening stand of 61, were hamstrung by the breakthroughs Sri Lanka A's spinners regularly effected. Pathirana's left-arm spin and Ramith Rambukwella's offspin accounted for five scalps in total, including the top four, more..

Dasa: Last of the Mohicans

July 19 (ST) S.D. Gunadasa who died last week was a Sri Lankan entrepreneur who built a business during the ‘difficult’ times of Sirima Bandaranaike’s premiership in 1970-77, in a generation that while on one hand received political patronage, also inculcated values, discipline and principles in their business model. It was also an era where entrepreneurs were noted philanthropists (without seeking much public glory) unlike more..

Colombo only port in region for mega-ships

July 19 (CT) Officials said that Colombo was the only port in the South Asian region that had the capacity to handle ultra-large container vessels, but more needed to be done to attract more shipping. The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport organized a panel discussion recently in Colombo on, "the changing dynamics of logistics and transport with the advent of mega ships." During the panel discussion some of the areas that SL should focus on to attract ultra-large-container-carriers more..