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Monaragala gets Rs. 1723m for development

July 19 (Island) The Economic Development Ministry has allocated Rs.1,723 million for developing the Monaragala District in the Uva Province under the House-to-House, Village-to-Village National Economic Development Plan. Monaragala District programme will cover 319 Grama Seva Divisions in 11 Dvisional Secretariat areas of Monaragala, Wellawaya and Bibile Electorates of the district.  The beneficiaries will be 448,142 persons of 132,370 families of Monaragala District. more..

Rotary to pursue a Public-Private Partnership working agenda in Sri Lanka

July 19 (FT) The values of Rotary were introduced to Gowri Rajan at an early age by her father T.R.R. Rajan, who was the 51st President of the Rotary Club of Kandy. In 1997 she joined the Rotaract Club of Kandy (the youth arm of Rotary) and subsequently formed the Rotaract Club of Katugastota in 1998 and became its Charter President. At the installation ceremony of her uncle D.G.E. Suri Rajan in 2002, Gowri joined more..

The English Hub novel concept in learning English

July 19 (FT) “The English Hub”, launched in 2013, is a novel concept in learning the English language in Sri Lanka. Founded by the Chairman and Managing Director Mohamed Hilmy Hassan and the CEO, Zara Zain, the venture not only focuses on teaching the language but also allowing students to think, speak and experience English. “The English Hub” caters to a wide variety of audiences ranging from the corporate sector and govt officers to adult learners and students, according to a statement more..

This divided Island; Stories from the Sri Lankan War

July 19 (HT) Q: What was the impetus to write this book? In part, it was a sort of proximity I felt to the war. A: I am not from Sri Lanka, but I grew up in Madras and am Tamil, and so the war always felt very near, like a permanent presence in that state’s political atmosphere. So we in Tamil Nadu perhaps followed it more closely than most. In part, though, it was also simple journalistic curiosity, a quest for stories. Here’s this war, stretching over three decades, of which we know little, more..

Chandimal, Thirimanne continue to test patience

July 19 (CI) When Sri Lanka chose to heavily invest in youth in 2013, they might not have expected for it to become an exercise in parenting. But 18 months down that road, seniors in the team, coaches and selectors, may still be giving lectures, having heart-to-heart talks, and setting down firm boundaries. When it comes to Chandimal and Thirimanne, they must be close to collectively banging their heads against a brick wall, more..

Is pink burka a lesser symbol of fundamentalism?

July 19 (CT) Would a colourful burka be a lesser symbol of fundamentalist Islam and subjugation of women than its black counterpart? Some members of the Muslim Council of SL tend to think so. They have launched a campaign to distribute burka in 'simple pleasing colours' among local Muslims. They assure that the initiative is not aimed at non- burka clad women, and that only the women who are already wearing this all encompassing Muslim garment would be given free light coloured more..

'Legal action can be taken if banks do not reduce interest rates'

July 19 (GDI) Central Bank of Sri Lanka has the authority to resort to legal action if commercial banks do not further reduce their interest rates in line with the stipulated rates, said the Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal. A recent survey conducted by the Central Bank has revealed that commercial banks could further reduce their interest rates. Under this circumstance, the Central Bank had twice requested the commercial banks to reduce their interest rates and several banks had already more..

Philander fined for ball-tampering

July 19 (CI) Vernon Philander has become the second South African in the last nine months to be charged and fined for ball-tampering after an incident during the ongoing Galle Test. Philander was fined 75% of his match fee for breaching clause 42.1 of the ICC's match playing conditions as footage viewed by the umpires after the close of play showed him "scratching the ball with his fingers and thumb". Philander did not contest the charge more..

Sri Lanka sad over Malaysian flight crash

July 19 (CG) The Sri Lankan Govt today expressed profound shock and deep sadness that Sri Lanka received the news of the crash of the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH 17 in Eastern Ukraine, which resulted in the tragic loss of many innocent lives, including those of infants. The Govt together with the people of Sri Lanka convey heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to the families of the passengers and the crew who were on board the flight, and express solidarity with more..

Packaging industry should be made priority exports support sector: Rishad

July 19 (DM) In 2013, most recipient countries of FDI in South Asia experienced a significant decline in green field projects except for Sri Lanka. In that, the total announced green-field investments in South Asia, declined by a strong 38% -except for Sri Lanka where the investments remained at a high level of $1.3 billion, according to UNCTAD. “I believe we should also encourage international FDI investments to the packaging sector so that its development, is made faster. more..

Tests to inaugurate N'cholai third power plant

July 19 (DN) With the final construction phase of the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant Project being completed, engineers of the power plant are conducting early generation tests to inaugurate the facility's third power plant, which will add 300 Megawatts to the National Grid besides the generation of 600 Megawatts from its existing phase one and phase two power plants, said Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi. more..

‘Sri Lanka could rise in UN Ease of Doing Business rankings’

July 19 (Island) ‘Sri Lanka’s Ease of Doing Business Rank could be further upgraded as the United Nations have notably elevated the country’s e-Govt Development Index Rank, Reshan Devapura, CEO, Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) of Sri Lanka told the media at the Arcade, Colombo, on Thursday. "The United nations e-Govt Development Index (UN eGDI) has advanced Sri Lanka to 74th rank among 193 countries, from its previous 115th rank, within just two years. more..

Hambantota port earns Rs. 750m from bunkering since opening last month

July 19 (DN) Ruhunu Magampura Port in Hambantota has earned Rs. 750 million since it started its fuel bunkering operations on June 22 for ships at the new fuel bunkering terminal. The terminal, which was constructed at a cost of US $95 million under the Magampura Port development project provides fuel for ships. Seven ships have obtained 5,500 metric tons of fuel as of yesterday at the Magampura Port. The port handles imports and re-export of vehicles as well. more..

CAA raids 1,020 school canteens: Royal, Thurstan tuck shop managers fined

July 19 (Island) CAA has raided 1,020 school canteens countrywide so far this week and 84 canteen operators have been fined by courts for selling unhygienic food. Spokesman Nipun Ekanayake said that 167 canteen owners had been ordered to maintain hygienic standards if they were to avoid prosecution. "Under the directions of Minister Johnston Fernando, we have commenced raids on school canteens since July 15," more..

Rs. 130 m Giriulla-Diyagampala new bridge opened

July 19 (DN) The new Giriulla - Diyagampala bridge constructed at a cost of Rs.130 million was declared open by Minister Basil Rajapaksa on Thursday. This bridge was constructed in place of old bridge No. 32/2 on Negombo - Giriulla Road with financial aid from the French government. construction was carried out under the guidance of officials of the Ministry of Highways, Ports and Shipping and Road Development Authority. The new bridge is 70 feet in length and 30 feet in width. more..

Bonjour Sri Lanka!

July 19 (CT) French envoy to Colombo expressing his amazement at the economic progress made by the country, said he would encourage French businesses to invest in Sri Lanka and called on Sri Lankans to invest in France as well. Ambassador of France to SL Jean Paul Monchau told a business forum in Colombo that he was 'amazed and surprised' at the economic progress taking place in post-conflict Sri Lanka. "The country has changed drastically in the recent past. more..

Biggest packaging exhibition opens

July 19 (FT) ‘Lankapack 2014,’ the biggest packaging exhibition of its kind being held for the 17th consecutive year, kicked off yesterday in Colombo. The exhibition is a focused business-to business meeting place, which brings the entire local packaging fraternity and buyers from across the country and potential regional markets under one roof. The three-day exhibition at the BMICH is organised by more..

Priest freed from Katchatheevu case

July 19 (Hindu) The Madras High Court Bench here has quashed a case registered by the ‘Q’ Branch police against a Christian priest for having escorted a Sri Lankan woman pilgrim and her child to the Indian shores since they reportedly missed the last boat to their country after attending the annual St. Antony’s church festival at Katchatheevu in 2012. Allowing a petition filed by priest Rev. Michael Raj, Justice G.M. Akbar Ali held that it was a fit case to be quashed since police had not disputed more..

Pensioners’ gratuity not paid – unions

July 19 (Island) All relevant circulars were in place for the Pensions Department to pay gratuity to more than 18,000 retired public servants but payments had not been made, Public, Semi Govt and Private Sector Trade Union Alliance claimed. Convener of the Alliance, Saman Ratnapriya said that the Treasury had introduced a controversial bank loan scheme from the current year, replacing the previous system of gratuity payment to public servants through the Pensions Department more..

North and East get Sinhala language training

July 19 (DN) The National Language Training Centre has provided the knowledge of Sinhala writing and reading skills for Tamil civil servants and rehabilitated members of the LTTE in Northern and Eastern Provinces. This Sinhala language training program is being conducted by the Rehabilitation Commissioner General's Office and National Language Training Centre. In addition to the camps in Vavunia and Punthottam, more..

Moves to preserve Negombo lagoon

July 19 (DN) Arrangements are in place to set up a lagoon management plan to preserve the Negombo lagoon, Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne said. He was addressing a discussion at Eththukala in Negombo on the implementation of the Negombo lagoon management plan. The lagoon has been in the news recently as land filling, garbage dumping and cutting mangroves and other ecological damages were reported. Special arrangements have become a timely need to preserve the Negombo lagoon, more..

Caught with Rs. 2.65 million worth of gold, but released with a fine of Rs.25,000

July 19 (Island) Customs at BIA on Thursday thwarted an attempt by a Sri Lankan to smuggle out two gold slabs worth Rs. 2.65 million to India. Customs spokesman Leslie Gamini said that the smuggler (24) from Jaffna had been waiting in the departure lounge to board UL 172 flight scheduled to take off to Bangalore. Customs officers grew suspicious as the passenger was writhing in pain. Contraband was forfeited and the smuggler released after being fine Rs. 25,000. more..

'Refusal to name war crimes probe team highlights UN hypocrisy'

July 19 (Island) External Affairs Miniter, G.L. Peiris yesterday said that the govt of Sri Lanka couldn’t accept a secret investigation team tasked with inquiring into alleged atrocities committed during the eelam war IV. Prof. Peiris was responding to yesterday’s The Island exclusive headlined ‘UN sidesteps critical issues, refuses to name investigation team’ with strapline ‘OHCHR’s and Pillay’s positions contradictory.’ more..

Mass murder in the sky: Stop this madness

July 19 (DM) If proof was required that the world has plunged into an era where judgment has fled to brutish beasts and world leaders have lost their senses, the two latest catastrophes provide the proof. One was the mass murder in the sky of 298 passengers and crew of a commercial airliner flying over war-torn Ukraine. Other was a shocking UN’s report that up to 60,000 children have been killed, injured or displaced during the ongoing and the last two Israeli offensives in Gaza Strip. more..

Ramaphosa’s role remains unclear

July 19 (DM) One man who generated ample controversy, headlines and commentary last week was Cyril Ramaphosa, the Deputy President of South Africa and the Deputy President of its ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) who visited Sri Lanka at the invitation of the govt. The purpose of Ramaphosa’s visit itself was the subject of much discussion. The govt remained tight-lipped about the nature and scope of the visit but Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, well known for more..

Secretary Defence declares opens Pilgrims Rest at Girihandu Seya

July 19 (MoD) Secretary Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared open the newly constructed pilgrims Rest (Vishrama Shala) at the Girihandu Seya Temple premises in Thiriyaya at the invitation of the Senior Presidential Advisor, Milinda Moragoda yesterday. Mr. Rajapaksa unveiled a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion amidst the blessings of the Maha Sanga. Chief incumbent most venerable Kotagda Dhammawasa more..

Jobs for 10,000 skilled fishermen in S.Korea

July 19 (Island) Over 10,000 Sri Lankans would be employed in the South Korean fisheries sector following discussions between the Sri Lanka National fishermen Federation and the Korean National Fisheries Federation in 2012, according to Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne. South Korean govt had offered jobs for skilled Sri Lankan fishermen therefore the Fisheries Ministry would take steps to send those with experience. more..

The LTTE revives its US network

July 19 (SL) The LTTE’s US network crippled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2006 is being reorganized by both remnant and emerging leaders. The most prominent among them is V. Rudrakumaran, the son of a former Mayor of Jaffna. Today, Rudrakumaran runs the Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam (TGTE), one of the four factions of the LTTE. Until recently the TGTE had limited success in the US but more..

'UNP finding excuses for forthcoming defeat'

July 19 (Island) The UNP was trying to blame its impending defeat at the upcoming Uva PC election by claiming that the govt was planning to change the composition of the UPC to win easily, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. He noted that the UNP had failed to win a single election since 2004 and therefore since the outcome of the forthcoming polls would be no different it was already finding excuses for more..

We will even forcibly enter refinery: UNP

July 19 (DM) The UNP MPs who were barred from entering the Sapugaskanda refinery on Thursday vowed to force themselves inside the refinery in the next few days and complete their disrupted fact-finding mission. UNP MP Ruwan Wijewardene told a media briefing that no one would be able to stop them from going to the refinery during the next few days. “We will carry out our fact finding mission somehow or other,” he said and more..

Assassination of Tamil Leader Amirthalingam by the LTTE 25 years ago

July 19 (DBS) July 13th 1989 was the date on which the well-known Sri Lankan Tamil leader Appapillai Amirthalingam was assassinated by the LTTE. The former leader of the Opposition was a national list MP of the TULF at the time he was gunned down in Colombo. Amirthalingam was killed along with former TULF Jaffna MP Vettivelu Yogeswaran 25 years ago. The tiger killers shot dead Amirthalingam and Yogeswaran more..

Over Rs. 4,500m allocated for Colombo District development

July 19 (DN) Economic Development Ministry has provisioned a development fund of over Rs. 4,500 million to carry out development projects in the Colombo District, Colombo District Secretary Kamal Pathmasiri said. He was addressing the Colombo District Coordination Committee Meeting. Each Divisional Secretariat division of the Colombo district has been allocated Rs. 300-400 million for development more..

TNA has no faith on Mahinda’s probe

July 19 (CG) The TNA says it has no faith in the Presidential Commission on missing persons even after the govt broadened its mandate to investigate civilian deaths during the war. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran noted that the mandate of Presidential Commission had been expanded only after the UN Human Rights office launched an investigation on the war. Premachandran also recalled that the govt more..

Sadistic principal summoned by HRC

July 19 (CG) The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has summoned the principal of Bakamuna Diyabeduma Vidyalaya Pollonnaruwa after she was accused of instructing students to administer knocks on the head of a 10 year old student in the school. According to the HRCSL, based on a complaint lodged by the victim, wide publicity was given to the incident by the print and electronic media. more..

Netherlands says visit by Vice Minister successful

July 19 (CG) Simon Smits, the Vice Minister for Foreign Trade from the Kingdom of the Netherlands and a Dutch trade delegation of 5 high level business representatives concluded a successful Sri Lanka visit. Right from the outset of the trade mission, the Vice-Minister emphasized that – after a 40 year focus on development cooperation – this mission is the start in a long term heightened trade relationship between the two countries, more..

Female doctor arrested over accident

July 19 (DM) A female doctor attached to the Wathupitiwala Hospital was arrested for an accident which occurred at Kongasdeniya Junction on the Colombo-Kandy Road, police said. They said the car driven by the doctor had collided with a motorcycle which was travelling towards Kandy from Colombo. The motorcyclist and the pillion rider were admitted to the Wathupitiwala Hospital with critical injuries, police said. The suspect was produced in the Aththanagalla Magistrate more..

Crime and Punishment!

July 19 (CT) Former Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Sampath Chandrapushpa Vidanapathirana and three others were sentenced to twenty years of rigorous imprisonment, yesterday, for the murder of British tourist Khuram Shaikh and raping of his Russian girlfriend Victoria Alexandrovna in 2012. The accused were sentenced to twenty years of imprisonment on two counts of murder and rape and the judge ruled that the jail terms run concurrently. more..

In Limbo

July 19 (CT) The fate of the 153 Sri Lankan asylum seekers, who allegedly left the shores of Pondicherry, India to Australia, is in limbo. Australia, determined to claim that 'no boats arrived' in its shores intercepted the boat carrying the asylum seekers, at mid sea. It is learnt that the asylum seekers' claims for refugees status is being assessed off the Australian waters. Reportedly the boat carrying the refugees had got into more..

Needed a national ideology to replace Sinhala Buddhist hegemony

July 19 (CT) Yesterday H.E Chandrika Bandaranaike spoke at a meeting of the Wives of War Victims about the present plight of our country. She said while the UN and Developed countries are talking about building an inclusive society we are seeking to build an exclusive society only for the majority. We have sought to, exclude the minorities- first the Tamils now the Muslims and eventually the Christians. Economists talk of inclusive growth so that the benefits of more..

Black July after 31 Years; The Sinhalese and Thamils remain deeply polarized

July 19 (CT) Thirty one (31) years ago on July 24, 1983 Sinhalese mobs executed an orgy of violence that surpassed all other previous pogroms executed in 1956, 1958, 1977, 1979 and 1981. The events of July 1983 are poignant for the entire Thamil population around the world. Between July 24 and 29, Thamils were systematically targeted with violence in Colombo and many other parts of Sri Lanka. The pogrom was a backlash by Sinhalese extremists following the mass funeral of more..