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SF demands Rs. 500 million from his ex-media secretary for defamation

July 2 (AM) Leader of the DP Sarath Fonseka has filed a lawsuit against his former Media Secretary Sanjeewa Samarasinghe over defamation. He has demanded Rs. 500 million from his former Media Secretary as compensation for alleged defamation. Addressing a media conference just before the Western and Southern PC elections, Sanjeewa Samarasinghe said former Army Commander was a “tyrant”. more..

Blame game over Pakistan asylum seekers

July 2 (ST) Uncertainty looms over the fate of the Pakistani asylum seekers who were arrested and are being detained at the Boossa Terrorist Investigation Department detention facility, amidst a blame game between the Govt and the UNHCR. Pointing out that any move by the Govt to deport them would be “problematic”, the Office of the UNHCR said this week that it was not aware of the charges against these asylum seekers. more..

UK calls for end to impunity in Sri Lanka

July 2 (CG) Britain says in Sri Lanka, as elsewhere, there is a need to ensure that there is no impunity for acts of sexual violence in conflict and there is a need to provide support and protection to survivors of sexual violence, including children as well as women and men. British High Commissioner John Rankin said Britain continues to encourage and call on SL to endorse the Declaration to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. more..

UNP's skewed priorities

July 2 (CT) Aluthgama was in flames. Dharga Town was terrorized. The govt and the arm of the law were impassive and the main the opposition party was found among its kind, at the Dehiwala Zoo, on a fact-finding mission! Messed-up priorities have become an integral part of the UNP in the last 20 years, ever since the physical demise of their real leaders of the people. However, kudos to Kalutara District UNP MP, Palitha Thewarapperuma, who at the peril of his own safety came forward to more..

The Aluthgama atrocities; Lessons for religion-engagement or estrangement

July 2 (CT) The recent spate of senseless attacks on the Muslim community was brought about by the convergence of a chronic breakdown of law and order, manipulative politics and the sinister provocation of religious intolerance. It is to our collective shame that these trends were allowed to fester into violence and death in a land of religions. Since religion is sadly an intrinsic part of this crisis, this reflection highlights seven realities within which our religions are to rediscover their role for more..

Japan leads loan commitments to Sri Lanka up to April 2014

July 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka has signed up 678.2 million US dollars in foreign loans in the first four months of 2014 and Japan led the tables giving 342.8 million US dollars for a new bridge to the capital, official data showed. A mid-year fiscal report showed that China Development Bank committed 300 million US dollars for a road building and the Kuwait Fund for Economic Development has loaned another 10 million US dollars. more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.9%

July 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka's shares closed 0.89% higher on Wednesday amid strong foreign buying into Hemas Holdings. All Share Price Index closed 56.51 points higher at 6,432.52, up 0.89%. The S&P SL20 closed 34.38 points higher at 3,577.94, up 0.97%. Turnover was 2.43 billion rupees, down from 4.72 billion rupees a day earlier with 155 stocks closed positive against 47 negative. Hemas Holdings closed 1.40 rupees higher at 45.50 rupees with nine off-market transactions of 1.51 billion rupees more..

'Public perception of govt. inaction fair'

July 2 (Island) DLF Leader and Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara said that the public perception that the govt had failed to take appropriate action against those responsible for recent communal riots in the country was fair. He said that though the people believed that the government had kept silent on the matter, it was unfair if the UNP used it as an election slogan. "I don’t say the govt doesn’t take any action against communal riots but there were some lapses that made the public believe so," more..

New Navy Chief stresses need to sustain capabilities

July 2 (Island) Having succeeded Admiral Colombage as the 19th Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral (VA) Jayantha Perera, reiterated the need to further strengthen the fleet to meet post-war security needs. VA Perera said that the need to sustain capabilities remained high though Sri Lanka wasn’t seeking to wage war. Perera is the fourth to command the navy since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009. more..

Sri Lanka rupee steady on state banks’ dollar buying; stocks at over 1-year high

July 2 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee traded steady on Wednesday as exporter dollar sales offset importer dollar demand amid greenback purchases by state banks. Dealers said an increase in net open positions (NOP) by the central bank has helped to curb volatility. The rupee was traded at 130.28/33 per dollar at 0720 GMT, little changed from Tuesday's close of 130.27/33. "State banks are buying dollars with bids at 130.28 rupees. There was no (downward) pressure on more..

GNOA goes to Court of Appeal to assert its authority over midwives

July 2 (Island) Govt Nursing Officers Association (GNOA) has requested the Court of Appeal to grant it interim relief by restraining, the Director of Teaching Hospital, Peradeniya, Director Ratnapura Base Hospital and Director Ragama Hospital from allowing the Midwives to enter the Labour Rooms of Maternity Wards to perform their duties without signing the register maintained by Special Grade Nurses at respective hospitals. The petitioner has also requested the Court of Appeal to more..

Fathima Thahir, family owned provision store in Battaramulla and a rock flung in the dark

July 2 (DBS) Fathima Thahir is a Muslim woman in her forties who manages a small provision store owned by her family in Battaramulla. The store Fathima Stores was named after her by her father who founded it in 1949 long before Battaramulla experienced the current scale of urban development. Fathima Stores on 192 Main Street is the only Muslim owned shop in the vicinity and is well-known for selling bulath/vettrilai/betel. more..

Pizza Hut Sri Lanka fails to disclose 'actions' on derogatory bill

July 2 (AM) Pizza Hut Sri Lanka, the company which found itself in hot waters after issuing a derogatory bill to a customer, has failed to disclose the "actions" that have been taken against those who are responsible for the issuance of the bill. Pizza Hut Sri Lanka earlier said that they have carried out an investigation and taken the necessary action to the incident where the Pizza Hut Maharagama outlet has issued a derogatory bill to a customer. When asked about the progress of the investigation more..

CA acquits and discharges monk convicted of rape of minor

July 2 (Island) The Court of Appeal on June 19, 2014 acquitted and discharged a Buddhist monk convicted by the Badulla High Court for rape and sentenced to ten years rigorous imprisonment. The Court of Appeal has given as reasons for the acquittal the inordinate delay by the Badulla High Court to pronounce the judgment, subsequent to the conclusion of the trial and further the failure of the prosecution to establish the charge of rape. The accused appellant monk, more..

China says India benefits from Sri Lanka

July 2 (CG) Chinese Govt says a stable and peaceful Sri Lanka is good for India and that the South Asian giant has a lot to gain from the island nation. Ren Faqiang, the political counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Colombo, speaking at the dialogue between Xinhua News Agency and Sri Lankan Media at Kadirgamar Institute today, said that India was one of the first countries to make use of Chinese funded Hambantota port. more..

Vijitha thera remanded till July 7

July 2 (AM) Watareka Vijitha Thera, who was arrested by Police last week for lodging a false complaint with the Police,was presented before the Panadura Magistrate this morning. The Magistrate ordered to remand the Buddhist monk till July 07. Vijitha thera was taken into police custody on June 25 after he claimed that he was abducted and tortured by an unknown group of assailants. However, medical examinations later proved that the wounds were self inflicted. more..

Basil Meets Chinese Vice Premier

July 2 (AM) Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang today met with Sri Lankan Minister Basil Rajapaksa and former Speaker of the National Assembly of France Bernard Accoyer. In his meeting with Rajapaksa, who came here as the SL president's special envoy, Wang said the Chinese govt is willing to work with the Sri Lankan side to implement the consensus reached by the two presidents and deepen bilateral economic and trade cooperation. Wang called on both sides to begin negotiation on more..

Video: Real culprit is not the BBS: JVP

July 2 (DM) JVP alleged that the real culprit behind the rising extremism in the country is the govt and not the BBS. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said that the govt which backed extremist groups such as the BBS should be blamed for the extremism and the recent clashes in Aluthgama. He charged that the govt uses these organisations to gain political mileage. “Govt makes the BBS to be silent at times and makes them engage in more..

Sri Lanka Shines in Shanghai to attract Chinese Visitors to Sri Lanka

July 2 (GDI) Sri Lanka Tourism launched the second Joint Mega Promotion campaign in China called “Sri Lanka Shines in Shanghai ”, in the at Pudong Shangri La Hotel in Shanghai with a Press Conference on 1st July with the participation of over 120 leading Chinese electronic and print Media representatives. This Joint Mega Promotion campaign which will be held from 1st to 6th July a joint efforts from Public and Private sectors has been initiated under the advice of more..

'Don’t make struggles a pickle by bringing in UPFA & UNP politics'

July 2 (LT) Disorganized struggles always get defeated says the Member of the Political Bureau of the JVP K.D. Lal Kantha and added that bringing in people of all political parties would make them a pickle. Speaking at a meeting held in Thunnana area at Hanwella the JVP trade union head said, “The struggle villagers launched against the rubber factory at Thunnana at Hanwella did not end in victory to villagers. We knew the struggle would end without a victory. more..

Four questions, then back to Sri Lanka

July 2 (Age) Australian officials are secretly screening out asylum seekers who are still at sea via long distance teleconference, processing two boatloads of would-be refugees for handover to the Sri Lankan Navy. Senior SL naval bureaucrat confirmed that asylum seekers would be transferred to their navy. "This is what we understand," she said. However the official said "there is no official word the transfer is happening". more..

List of govt institutions indebted to banks

July 2 (AD) It has been revealed that the CPC is the govt institution that owes the highest amount to banks and that it has reached the Rs. 389 billion mark by April 2014. By end last year the CPC owed the banks Rs. 419 billion, indicate the Mid-Year Fiscal Position Report 2014. The next in line that owes the banks is the CEB. CEB owes Rs. 44.3 billion to banks by April 2014. SriLankan Airlines owed banks Rs. 30.1 billion, Ports Authority Rs. 5.8 billion and SPC owed Rs. 4 billion. more..

Boozing in public not an offence: Magistrate

July 2 (DM) Pugoda Magistrate Ms. Indika Kalingawansa told courts today that people had the freedom to consume liquor in public. She said they could not be arrested when they go about after having drinks, but could be arrested only if they misbehaved and caused a nuisance to the public. In such instances the police have the right to apprehend them, she said. These views were expressed by the magistrate while acquitting three suspects who were produced in courts more..

'Centre's stand on Katchatheevu shocking'

July 2 (IANS) TN Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Wednesday said she was appalled at the Centre's stand that Indian fishermen had no traditional fishing rights around Katchatheevu island. In a letter to PM Narendra Modi, which was released to the media here, she urged him to review the matter. She said a counter-affidavit filed on behalf of the external affairs ministry before the Madras High Court "comes as a rude shock". more..

Chinese tourists to Sri Lanka jump 137.2% in first half of 2014

July 2 (Xinhua) Chinese tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka in the first six months of 2014 jumped a significant 137.2% to 52,230 compared to 22,023 in the same period last year. China remained the third largest market for tourists to Sri Lanka behind India and Britain, and also the fastest growing market. Since the end of a three decade war in 2009, Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals have boomed, reaching over 1.2 million last year and attracting earnings of 1.7 billion U.S. dollars, according to the Central Bank. more..

Vaiko urges Centre for retrieval of Katchatheevu

July 2 (PTI) BJP ally MDMK today pressed that India should retrieve Katchatheevu, an islet ceded to Sri Lanka by way of two agreements in 1974 and 1976, saying the move will guarantee livelihood of Indian fishermen. MDMK chief Vaiko's comments came a day after Centre submitted in th 1976, saying the move will guarantee livelihood of Indian fishermen. MDMK chief Vaiko's comments came a day after Centre submitted in the Madras High Court that the islet in Palk Strait was a sovereign property of Sri Lanka and the 1974 and 1976 agreements between India and Sri Lanka do not confer any fishing rights on fishermen from India. more..

UN tells Sri Lanka stop faith-based hate

July 2 (CG) Three UN experts on freedom of religion, minority issues, and summary executions called on Sri Lanka to adopt urgent measures to stop the promotion of racial and faith-based hatred, and violence against Muslim and Christian communities by Buddhist groups with extremist views, and bring perpetrators of this violence to justice. More than 350 attacks against Muslims & over 150 attacks against Christians more..

Presidential Commission to visit Mullaitivu

July 2 (GDI) Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons will conduct its fifth round of Public Sittings in Mullaitivu District from July 5 – 8. Sittings will be held at the Puthukkudiyiruppu Divisional Secretariat on July 5th and 6th, and at Maritimepattu Divisional Secretariat on July 7th and 8th. The Commission has held its previous public sittings in Northern and Eastern provinces covering Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Batticaloa Districts. more..

Prisoners to be photographed

July 2 (DM) The Prison Commissioner Chandraratne Pallegama said today that steps were being made to attach a photograph of the prisoners to their personal file as stipulated by the Prisons Act. Mr. Pallegama said according to the Prisons Act – Clause 156, it was necessary to do so but it had not been put into practice up to date. “We have decided to attach a photograph of the prisoners to their personal file because it will help us arrest the prison escapees easily. more..

CID grills BBS monk over Aluthgama

July 2 (CG) CID questioned the General Secretary of BBS Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero today, on the recent violence in Aluthgama. Gnanasara Thero was questioned over the statements he made at a rally in Aluthgama prior to the violence which erupted between Muslims and Sinhalese in the area. Gnanasara Thero said that the CID had questioned him at the CID office in Fort for several hours over the violence. more..

In the guise of religion

July 3 (CT) The governance of this country is long associated with Buddhism despite the evolution of secularism as a key component of modern day democracy. Sri Lankan Constitution itself places Buddhism at the foremost place. Traditionally, religion was used to define the cornerstones of governance in varying degrees. Heeding the advice of the majority religion is a way of legitimizing the existence of the rulers. It appeals to the shallow religious sentiments of the majority. more..

Favoritism is a sickening and ugly plague

July 3 (NS) Favoritism is preferential treatment, undue preference, and unfairness and is associated with partiality, bias, discrimination, unreasonable fancy, bigotry, prejudice, narrow-mindedness, lack of objectivity and chauvinism and nepotism. Favoritism centers on the personal choice of a particular individual and ignores the true and objective worth and merit of other individual persons, their qualifications, effectiveness, efficiency, capability, capacity and productivity. more..

A country is beautiful when there are different religions and cultures

July 3 (SO) Loving your community and religion and being patriotic is not about hating others'. Besides among all religions Buddhism is supreme in its preaching of non-violence but the Beruwala and Aluthgama incidents painted a distorted picture. It is time to rein in hate speech and rumour mongering. India with many legislatures to monitor hate speech, is still struggling to fight this ghost. The last Indian parliamentary election where speakers more..

Nagas come and pitch their tents In Naga-Dipa of Lanka

July 3 (NS) What if a part of Sri Lanka in the centuries before Christ had been named after a personage, a creature or a deity from the Celtic myth pool? We’d know that a people who were immersed in the Celtic myth pool were responsible for the naming. At the very least, we’d deduce heavy, long-term and thorough going involvement of Celts in Sri Lanka. That was an analogy. Here is the reality: In the last centuries before Christ, the part of Sri Lanka known today as the Jaffna peninsula more..

‘The AG failed to take action against the BBS’

July 2 (SL) President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) Upul Jayasuriya said that although the BASL on two occasions requested the AG to instruct the police to take action against BBS Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero, the AG did not act swiftly on the requests. Jayasuriya accused the Attorney General of not taking any action against the Thero for his violent behaviour. “Had the AG acted swiftly on our requests, we wouldn’t have witnessed a bloodbath in Aluthgama,” more..

An Aussie tells: Why I gave up Australia

July 3 (News) When Australian Louise Searle made an impromptu trip to Sri Lanka, she never imagined how it would change her life forever. After only two days in the country and an incredible twist of events she bought a slice of Sri Lankan property, sealing her fate for this magical land. Born in Adelaide and growing up in Sydney, Louise now owns a Sri Lankan holiday retreat, Mandalay Lake Villas, and is building a second home for more..

Putting ‘em in their place

July 3 (SL) Even as the Aluthgama episode has hurt the sensibilities of almost every Sri Lankan as it did in the long run-up to the anti-Tamil ‘Pogrom-‘83’, the conspiracy of political silence has hurt the average citizenry even more. They understand it’s all about vote-bank politics, but do not comprehend how it works. The politicians, in turn, particularly of the majority Sinhala-Buddhist community, too assume that there is only a one-way ticket on that front – win or lose you do, but you cannot do both and more..

A new world… old battles

July 2 (FT) Once I read a story about a butcher in England, who in order to hurt his only rival in the same town began to convert the town folk to vegetarianism! I was reminded of this story when reading about the closure of Muslim-owned businesses last week as a mark of protest. No trader will like to close his business, especially when there are other competitors on the field. Such things happen only when irrationality takes over. As history has repeatedly shown us, sectarian conflicts, more..

අලුත්ගම ගැටුම තවත් මානයකින්

Will America conduct extraordinary rendition operation in Sri Lanka?

July 3 (CT) Minister Champika Ranawaka brought a very serious allegation recently. He pointed out that Sri Lanka had become a safe haven for the Islamic terrorists. Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary, Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera, also raised this charge repeatedly. Forget Gnanasara Thera, the silence of the govt on the allegation of a govt minister is curious. The Indian defence establishment first exposed the existence of the Muslim extremists in Sri Lanka. more..