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Ada Derana launches Sri Lanka’s first 24x7 News Channel

July 20 (AD) Ada Derana launches Sri Lanka’s first ever 24-hour television news channel ‘ADA DERANA 24x7’ at 8am today. Tune in to channel 13 on your Dialog TV as Sri Lanka enters the realm of global news reporting. Redefining the annals of news reporting in Sri Lanka, Ada Derana is proud to introduce to you ADA DERANA 24x7, the latest innovation by the Nation’s most renowned News brand, fiercely proud of its independence, speed, style and accessibility via many touch points. more..

A quintessential Sri Lanka collapse

July 20 (CI) There was a buzz about Galle Stadium on Sunday morning. Kumar Sangakkara was in. Mahela Jayawardene was to come. Sri Lanka's solidity on Saturday evening was cause for their coach believing victory was within their sight. Everyone knew 260 was a gargantuan target, but Lord's and Headingley has instilled a little belief in the Sri Lanka fans, just as those matches boosted confidence in the team. more..

Mannar fishermen take TNA MP to task

July 20 (SO) Fishermen's organisations in Mannar are up in arms against TNA MP Selvam Adaikalanathan for making representations that were detrimental to the interests of the fishing communities. Leaders of fishermen's organisations said that as a MP representing the district it is Selvam's bounden duty to take up the poaching issue and the fishermen's livelihood problem with the Sri Lankan and Indian authorities. But, instead, he had made representations to the Fisheries more..

Prosecute Gnanasara Thera, BASL tells Attorney General

July 20 (Island) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has called on the Attorney General Palitha Fernando to prosecute BBS Galabodaaththe Gnanasara Thera, for leading violent attacks on the Muslims of Authgama last month resulting in the loss of life and property. "The speech that Gnanasara Thera made in Authgama on June 15 contains offensive material inciting racial hatred against the Muslims. Sufficient prima facie evidence exists to prosecute the thera under PTA, ICCPR Act more..

UN team on Sri Lanka to have sittings at 3 places overseas

July 20 (ENS) The UN team, which has been put together to investigate allegations of human rights violations and war crimes against the Sri Lankan govt and the LTTE, will be holding hearings in New York, Geneva and Bangkok, UN sources said. The team constituted by the OHCHR, would of course seek permission to hold sittings in Sri Lanka. But it is unlikely to get it as the Lankan govt has rejected any international probe. more..

Task Force abolished: New bureau for reconciliation

July 20 (ST) A new Bureau of Reconciliation is to be set up to handle matters earlier entrusted to the Presidential Task Force on Northern Development. A circular has been sent to ministries, govt departments and state corporations among others that the Task Force is no longer operational. Resettlement Ministry Secretary Janaka Sugathadasa said they had been informed by Task Force Secretary D. Divaratne that the Task Force had been appointed for a specific purpose more..

Unidentified motorcyclists follow BASL President again!

July 20 (AM) Lodging another complaint with Thalangama police BASL president Upul Jayasuriya alleged that two unidentified motorcyclists had also hovered around his house located at Thalangama. According to his complaint, the suspicious behaviour of two motorcyclists had been spotted by his neighbors on July 15 and 17. The complaint in this regard had been registered on July 18 with Thalangama police. A few days ago, Jayasuriya lodged a complain at cinnamon garden police more..

Harin to resign from Parliament on August 5

July 20 (AM) Harin Fernando will resign from Parliament on August 5 to contest the Uva PC election as the Chief Ministerial candidate of the UNP. His main opponent will be Shasheendra Rajapaksa, son of Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa and the present Chief Minister of the Uva province. Fernando has received permission from the UNP Leadership Council as well as from Working Committee of the party to be CM Candidate more..

I owe it to Donald - Steyn

July 20 (CI) For inspiration for his paintings, Salvador Dali relied on his wife Gala. For motivation to write the upbeat tune Here Comes the Sun, The Beatles' George Harrison drew on the year he had quit the band temporarily and been arrested. For a reason to bowl faster and fiercer, Dale Steyn looks at the boundary rope because that's where Allan Donald is usually stationed. South Africa's bowling coach is not an unusual choice for a hero. Everyone from children playing street cricket more..

SA's rare SL win, Sangakkara's elite club

July 20 (CI) This was South Africa's third win in 11 Tests in Sri Lanka and their first win in three visits to the island. Their last win came in the 2000 tour in Kandy when they beat the hosts by a margin of seven runs. Barring Australia, Sri Lanka is the only away/neutral country were South Africa have lost more Tests than they have won since their readmission to international cricket. This was South Africa's 14th Test win in the subcontinent since their readmission. more..

Govt cautions Sobitha thero

July 20 (CG) The Govt today cautioned the venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha thero saying he may end up like Sarath Fonseka following the 2010 Presidential elections. Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said that Fonseka was roped in by others to contest the 2010 polls but failed to beat incumbent President Rajapaksa. “Now he (Fonseka) is like a disposed lottery ticket,” the Minister said at a function today. more..

Results of medical tests can be accessed via website

July 20 (Island) Lanka Hospitals, launched a new revolutionary Medical Reference Laboratory in Colombo last week. This facility a ‘first’ in the country, offers a multitude of blood tests (300 new tests in Sri Lanka encompassing a total of 1,000). The medical complex comprises nine departments -- Haemotology, Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Flow Cytometry, Citogenetics, Histopathology, Immunology, Liquid based Cytology and Bio Chemistry. more..

SLFP to set in motion vibrant Presidential polls campaign

July 20 (Island) Amidst squabbling amongst opposition political parties on a common presidential candidate, the SLFP, main constituent of the UPFA govt, has unveiled plans for one of the strongest presidential propaganda campaigns, political sources said. SLFP has already set in motion an initiative to convene meetings at electoral level across the country, except the North and the East. Though the UPFA govt is of the view that the pulse of the people should be tested by more..

MR says committed to reconciliation

July 20 (CG) President Rajapaksa says the Govt is committed to the reconciliation process but added that It will take time to heal the wounds of the war. President said this during talks with the visiting Portugal PM Pedro Passos Coelho at Temple Trees today. During the discussion, PM Coelho said Portugal was interested in further improving relations with Sri Lanka, stating that it wanted 'deeper relations' not only in more..

Kadawatha accident: Death toll rises to three

July 20 (ST) A six-year-old boy died while being treated at the Colombo National Hospital after he was seriously injured in an accident aton Mankada road in Kadawatha, a Coroner’s Court inquiry was told yesterday. The boy, Nimesha Thathsara, a Grade 1 student of Kadawatha Mahabodhi School, was travelling in a three-wheeler with his family and a teacher when it collided with a lorry heading towards Colombo on Thursday. He was initially taken to the Ragama Hospital and more..

Blaze causes extensive damage to Negombo building

July 20 (Island) The fire brigade was summoned to fight a blaze which erupted in an upper floor of St. Jude’s building in the heart of Negombo on Friday night, police said. It was around 1 am on Saturday when fire fighters brought the situation under control after a four-hour battle. Police said the building housed a computer instruction class on three floors, while the ground level had some shops. The damage was extensive though no estimate was immediately available. more..

Sri Lanka Cricket had asked for tampering footage to be aired

July 20 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket was able to ensure that the television footage of Vernon Philander's ball-tampering was aired 48 hours after the incident took place. In the interim period, it has been established that the Ten Sports producers were under pressure by the South African team not to have the footage shown in their broadcast. CSA have declined to comment on the incident. In the TV footage that finally appeared during the more..

Declining decorum and dignity of politicians

July 21 (NS) The public spat between UNP MP Harin Fernando and ex-UNPer and now Chief Minister of the North Western Province Dayasiri Jayasekera during a television talk show last week highlights the changing trends in the local political landscape. Such incidents are not entirely new. There is the anecdote of how M.S. Themis, returned to Parliament after the 1956 ‘revolution’ that swept S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike into power, greeted former Premier Sir John with ‘Hello, John’ more..

Rape In Peace (Immunity)

July 21 (CT) Qadri Ismail, in his ‘Responding to Aluthgama‘ (Groundviews, 10 July 2014) is not writing about Tamils but about the vicious (state-countenanced, if not instigated) attack on Muslims by fanatical Buddhists. Yet passing comments can be revelatory and significant. I quote: “…during and after the war, the Sri Lankan military has systematically raped Tamil women – and, yes, even men – mostly in the north. Not occasionally or in a sudden fit of insanity. Systematically.” more..

Developing prime lands in Colombo: Under-served communities to benefit

July 21 (SO) Colombo is on an expeditious track to become a hub for economic development. It has already become a safe city, free from fear, a spacious place to breath in fresh air and decorated with green and shade – with a view easy on the eye. Colombo which has a high potential for investment, needs more land for business purposes. According to calculations Colombo can free up to 400 acres of commercially viable land. more..

Thus spake Gurulugomi about the circles of power

July 21 (CT) Gurulugomi, the renowned prophet of the island of Bakamoona, lies in the home of his adopted land, Australia, having returned from a visit to his island of birth and upbringing. He had visited Bakamoona after twenty two years of voluntary exile in Melbourne. He had left the island because he had earned the wrath of its then rulers for his candid opinions, which he had the habit of expressing regardless. Fellow countrymen who met in the Community Centre at Glen Waverley more..

EZY Motor Racing to expand operations in five more countries

July 21 (ST) Sri Lanka’s professional motor racing company, EZY Motor Racing Corporation is to expand its overseas operations in five more countries, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam, after its recent entry into Pakistan’s motor sport arena, company officials said. EZY Racing and Pakistan’s IT and telecommunications firm, Interactive Group based in Dubai, have joined hands in a journey covering seven countries where the Sri Lankan motor racing company will more..

Tracing the roots of Baila while cruising on the Beira

July 21 (ST) In the backdrop of Baila music, “8°on the Lake”, a floating restaurant on a two-storey catamaran-based boat, glided smoothly on Tuesday evening along the Beira lake on a ‘Voyage of discovery on the Baila’ carrying a group of corporate heads, businessmen, advertising personalities, professionals and private sector executives. The unusual event “Evening of Baila: Knowledge, Music & Dance” organized by more..

View from Ritigala - by mahasona

July 21 (NS) It is reported that over 250 teachers in the Eastern Province are suffering from mental disorders and that the authorities don’t know what to do with them. The authorities can be forgiven. After all they are not physicians and treating illnesses is not their job. On the other hand what are the authorities doing about the thousands of teachers in and out of the Eastern Province who are suffering from ‘teaching disorders’, i.e. who don’t do a stroke of work in class and/or are more..

One verdict as against a culture of savagery

July 21 (ST) The Govt’s boast this week that the Colombo High Court’s conviction of a local authority chairman and three of his henchmen for the 2012 Christmas Eve murder of a British tourist and the brutal rape of his girlfriend ‘proves’ the independence of Sri Lanka’s judiciary is grossly inappropriate in the context of the case. The murder of Khuram Shaikh and the rape of Victoria Alexandrovna occurred directly as a result of the licence given by this Govt to more..

'I have no issues with the NPC'

July 21 (CT) Q: You are the first Governor of the Northern Province. What have you to say on your reappointment to that position? A: I am very happy to say that I have got the opportunity to continue with my service to the people in the North. When I was first appointed as the Governor Northern Province in July 2009, I was tasked with not only rebuilding the war-torn Province, but also creating a conducive atmosphere to stabilize more..

What, after Mahela?

July 21 (SL) AT 37, and after eighteen years of international cricket, Mahela Jayawardene’s retirement was imminent. Evidence of his intention to wholly disengage from the game any time soon was provided last April when he terminated his involvement in international Twenty -20, cricket’s briefest form. Last week he announced his retirement from the game’s longest form, and although the news evokes sadness – as goodbyes do – his retreat, however, ought to have been more..

Up with the vertis! Down with the trousers!

July 21 (SL) Cheers to the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association club for banning the entry of a Madras High Court judge wearing a dhoti and entering their club, pukka sahib Mike Gun called out at the bar of the Water Hole on Wednesday. Mike Gun (Registered name Mahipala Gunawansa) continued: ‘Bloody good. I mean– a rule’s a rule. A code’s a code. If it’s there, it has to be observed but it does not happen in this part of the world. That’s why we are in this state. more..

First Lady of Sri Lanka visits China

July 21 (AT) First Lady Madam Shiranthi Rajapaksa, visited China from 6 to 10 July at the invitation of the All China Women’s Federation. In Beijing, the First Lady met with Madam Peng Liyuan, spouse of President Xi Jinping of China at the Great Hall of the People. During the warm and friendly discussion, the two First Ladies spoke highly of the excellent bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and China and exchanged views on more..

Editorial: Avoidable disasters

July 21 (Island) The world is divided along the pre-Cold War lines over the downing of a Malaysian jetliner with 298 people belonging to 11 nations including many children aboard on Thursday. The blame game continues with the US and its allies holding Russia and the pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine responsible for the disaster while Moscow has blamed the western-backed Ukrainian fighters for the missile attack. Only a thorough probe will help find out what really happened. more..

South Africa pacers deliver when it counts

July 21 (CI) Jacaranda Trees are not supposed to grow in South Africa. Even though they line many avenues of most cities - particularly in the capital Pretoria - and provide an annual picture of prettiness when they burst into a lilac song each August, they are considered an alien species, dangerous to the many indigenous plants that have to survive in the same soil and thieves of their resources. Similarly, South African seamers are not supposed to have success on Sri Lankan surfaces. more..

'Only ourselves to blame for defeat'

July 21 (CI) Among the gleanings from Galle is evidence that Angelo Mathews is an evolving captain. This may be as true on the field, as it is off it. On the recent tour of England, Mathews had stirred up a minor controversy when he suggested to a Sinhala media outlet that the official suspicion over Sachithra Sennayake's action had something to do with his potency against England. But in Galle, when the opponents were found to be scuffing up more..

Ranil’s adios to demos, aloe to revolt

July 21 (ST) Have twenty nine election defeats in a row with another possible disaster in the offing made UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe go off his rocker? Have the long traumatic years trapped in the tunnel of debacles with the promised light at the end never shining, made him give up the ghost? Turned this apostle of democracy to an apostate of the faith? Serious questions as to his sanity will be raised this morning when a troubled nation ponders over the out-of-character statement more..

World-famous Kaspersky co-founder Natalya to visit Sri Lanka

July 21 (FT) World-famous antivirus software brand Kaspersky’s co-founder Natalya Kasperskaya will be in Sri Lanka early next month to add greater value to the Daily FT co-initiated push to boost cyber security awareness and preparedness in both public and private sectors. Natalya will be a key highlight at a CEOs’ Breakfast Forum and the full-day Cyber Security Summit on 5 August at the Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo. The events are co-organised by the Daily FT and CICRA Consultancies Ltd. more..

Lanka’s tough stance on permitting mineral mining for foreign companies

July 21 (ST) Sri Lanka will take a tough stance on granting permission for foreign companies to carry out mineral mining in the island with no new licences to be issued, Minister Susil Premajayantha said. The necessary regulatory framework will be devised for this by amending the Mines and Minerals Act, he said adding that several licences were issued sometime back and that too will be evaluated on case by case basis. more..

Interviews for admissions to Grade One next month

July 21 (GDI) Ministry of Education informed that first round of work is being carried out at present for the admission of students to Grade I in 2015. The acceptance of applications was closed on the 4th of this month. Interviews will be held next month. The interview panel for admission will consist the Principal of the relevant school, representatives of the School Development Society and the Old Boys Association, Deputy Principal and the Teacher in charge of the Primary Section. more..

Bellanwila Esala Perahera commences on August 11

July 21 (GDI) The Bellanwila Esala Perahera will commence this year on August 11, on a grand scale, as one of the most important religious and cultural pageants in the country. The Perahera will be held up to August 28 and beginning from the premises of the Bellanwila Raja Maha Vihara, it will parade the streets in and around the vicinity of the Bellanwila temple. The Kap Planting ceremony will take place on Aug 20. The series of religious programs will commence on Aug 14. more..

Ranatunga, Lokuge lock horns over school admissions in WP

July 21 (Island) Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga has turned down Labour Minister Gamini Lokuge’s call for increasing the number of children accommodated in a classroom to 45 contrary to the Education Ministry directive. Ranatunga and Lokuge had a heated argument over the latter’s proposal at a meeting held at the District Secretariat last Friday. The meeting was held under the joint more..

Concerns over new road across forest reserve

July 21 (SL) The construction of a road across the Viharakanda forest reserve by the Nivithigala Pradeshiya Sabha has come under severe criticism, with the Kahawatta Divisional Secretariat (KDS) claiming that both the forest and its animals are in jeopardy and charging the construction is illegal. Sources from the KDS on the basis of anonymity said that in spite of several requests made, the Pradeshiya Sabha had commenced constructing the road last week. more..

Sri Lanka A beat Durham

July 21 (CI) Lahiru Gamage took a hat-trick as part of career-best figures of 5 for 33 as Sri Lanka A cruised to an eight-wicket victory against Durham. Danushka Gunathilaka, the opening batsman, struck his second fifty of the tour as the visitors cantered home with more than eight overs to spare. The match threatened to be over much early when Durham slipped to 46 for 5 in the 11th over after being put into bat with Gamage claiming his three-in-three. His victims were Michael Richardson, more..