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Australia files defence in Lankan case

July 22 (CG) The Australian Federal Govt has filed its defence in the High Court case over 157 asylum seekers being held on an Australian Customs ship. ABC news reported. The papers were filed almost 19 hours after the court deadline. The High Court will hold another hearing today on the fate of the Sri Lankan Tamil men, women and children who have been detained at sea for more than a fortnight. A document lodged with the court by the asylum seekers’ lawyers last week says more..

MR’s intl. experts to study Darusman report

July 22 (FT) Three top international war crimes prosecutors tasked with advising a presidential commission investigating civilian deaths during the war will study the UN Panel of Experts Report and seek clarification from the Govt and the military about disputed matters. “We have been asked by the Govt of Sri Lanka to advise a local Commission investigating allegations of war crimes against all parties to the conflict,” Sir Geoffrey Nice, more..

JHU objects to president’s committee

July 22 (SM) The govt’s appointment of a committee as an alternative to Navi Pillai’s committee is an infringement by the govt of its own policy of opposing outside mediation, says the govt affiliate JHU said. Statement by its media spokesman Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe says his party has neither been informed nor consulted as a UPFA partner regarding the appointment of the committee. Warning the country about this committe, the JHU says it strongly objects to its appointment. more..

A good Sri Lanka or a bad England?

July 22 (Times) However, judging by their defeats by South Africa in the recent ODI series and now this first Test, their success had more to do with a poor England side than their own quality; I suspect they have some thinking to do before the next Test. They lacked good old-fashioned heart against South Africa's quick bowlers in conditions not exactly pace-friendly. This, and the fact that South Africa's batsmen were comfortable against their spinners, makes me wonder how they more..

BBS attacks in Aluthgama: AG assures prosecution of perpetrators

July 22 (Island) Attorney General Palitha Fernando has assured the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) that he will not hesitate to prosecute anyone against whom there was evidence in connection with the violent attacks that were perpetrated against the Alutgama and Beruwela Muslims last month, which led to loss of lives and massive destruction to mosques, houses and business premises of both committees. more..

Wimal Weerawansa’s spouse with the official SL delegation to Seychelles

July 22 (FT) JVP has raised questions about the number of individuals travelling on Presidential delegations overseas, highlighting the case of Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s spouse being a member of the official delegation to Seychelles recently. JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the Opposition had raised questions in Parliament recently about how many times the President had travelled overseas, the number of people travelling on presidential delegations more..

UNP office attacked in Monaragala

July 22 (FT) The first violence of the Uva Provincial Council poll was recorded in the Monaragala District, with the attack on a UNP Office in Wellawaya, polls monitors said yesterday. The office of UNP Monaragala District Organiser Tissa Kuttiararchchi in Handapanagala, Wellawaya was attacked at about 4:30 a.m. yesterday, the polls monitors Campaign for Free and Fair Elections observed. Propaganda material and furniture at the office have been destroyed, CaFFE said. more..

Another record drug bust

July 22 (Island) Customs High Risk Unit at Gray Line 1, cargo terminal at Orugodawatta yesterday detected three plastic moulding machines containing about 100 kilos of heroin with a street value of Rs. 700 million. Four suspects were arrested when they came to clear the consignment. "We opened the container carrying three machines in front of the four suspects, the importer, two wharf clerk and another involved in clearance," more..

The Child’s name is tomorrow

July 22 (DM) In this decadent self-centred world of crime and corruption, one of the vilest offences is the growing trend of child abuse. For instance, in Britain last week, special Police teams arrested more than 600 people, including medical doctors and teachers, on charges of child abuse. Media reports also said there were millions of child abuse pornography sites on the internet, and millions of people were watching them though they know that paedophiles deserve to more..

Confusion clouds another special envoy’s visit

July 22 (DM) First it was Gopalaswamy Parthasarathy who came to Sri Lanka some thirty years ago as India’s special envoy to “assist” in this country’s long quest for peace. And then Parthasarathy’s successor, Indian Foreign Secretary Romesh Bandari came for the same purpose. Some two decades later in 2000, a peace envoy was brought down not from any neighbouring country, but from the other side of the globe. He was Eric Solheim of Norway during whose peace more..

More than a peep into mysteries of the universe

July 22 (DM) Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe is a SL born veteran astronomer and astrobiologist. Well known and highly respected around the globe, he is currently the Director of the Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology at the University of Buckingham and a Professor at Cardiff University. He has championed Panspermia Theory which is the hypothesis that life exists throughout the Universe, more..

Drought in Hambantota is open season to kill animals

July 22 (ST) During the annual drought period in Hambantota, wild animals, such as deer, wild boar, monkeys, elephants and even some wandering cattle, gather around Meti Gaththa lake by the forests in Koholankala, near the Bundala National Park. In the severe heat the lake is reduced to clusters of little pools of water. Usually the animals satiate their thirst and go back into the protected forest. more..

Doctor says detainees get three hours sun

July 22 (SKY) More than 150 Sri Lankan asylum seekers detained on an Australian Customs vessel are being given only three hours of natural light a day to eat meals, the govt has told the High Court.It comes as the judge presiding in the case has called for an end to their detention at sea. Lawyers for Immigration Minister Scott Morrison tabled previously-secret defence documents on Tuesday. more..

UNP will today decide on the future of controversial fact finding programme

July 22 (AM) The Parliamentary Group of The UNP will today decide on the future of the ‘Gaveshana Charika’ programme under which parliamentarians of the party visit various state sector institutions to monitor their progress. UNP MP Ajith P Perera, who heads the ‘Gaveshana Charika’ programme said the parliamentary group of the party would decide today whether they should visit the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery again. more..

Jayalalithaa opposes installing buoys on IMBL with Sri Lanka

July 22 (PTI) TN Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today termed as "inappropriate" the Centre's proposal to conduct feasibility study on installing buoys on International Maritime Boundary Line as the state govt has not accepted IMBL with Sri Lanka as a settled issue. The proposal by Department of Boarder Management and Ministry of Home Affairs came up in the Inter-ministerial meeting on India-SL Fishermen's issues, more..

Scepticism over latest probe

July 22 (SL) The Govt announcement last week that the mandate of the Presidential Commission on missing persons had been expanded to investigate civilian deaths during the war and the appointment of three internationally acclaimed experts to advice the commission came as a surprise to many. Some fear if the advice of the three prominent experts are highly critical then they may just end up in the bin like the more..

Tanzanian FM calls on President Rajapaksa

July 22 (GDI) The Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Tanzania Bernard K. Membe called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees yesterday. At the outset, Membe congratulated Sri Lanka on the success of the CHOGM 2013 and told the President of the “fond memories” the Tanzanian delegation has from that visit to Sri Lanka. President Rajapaksa thanked Tanzania for its participation in CHOGM 2013 more..

UNP accuses Govt on probe

July 22 (CG) The UNP today accused the Govt of making a U-turn on investigations over the war by expanding the mandate of the missing persons commission and also appointing three foreign experts to oversee the investigation. The UNP noted that a proclamation issued by President Rajapaksa and Gazetted on July 15, among other matters, calls for an investigation into alleged war crimes. For this purpose, the terms of more..

Tamil girl accuses naval personnel of rape

July 22 (Reuters) An 11-year-old Tamil girl has accused Sri Lankan naval personnel of rape, police said on Monday. Spokesman Ajith Rohana said the girl told police she had been "molested by a person at the navy detachment" from Krai Nagar, the site of Sri Lanka's main naval base in the northern peninsula of Jaffna. Residents in the area said that the girl had repeatedly been taken into a building used by the navy and raped. more..

BBS rejects Dalai Lama as spiritual leader

July 22 (AFP) A firebrand Sri Lankan monk today criticised the Dalai Lama for urging the island’s Buddhists to halt violence against minority Muslims and rejected him as a global spiritual leader. Buddhist monk Galagodaatte Gnanasara said the Dalai Lama was ignorant of the “true situation in Sri Lanka” and accused the Nobel Peace Prize winner of being a victim of “Islamic extremist propoganda”. more..

The ripples of a re-appointment

July 22 (CT) Northern Province's newly re-appointed Governor, G. A. Chandrasiri, is quoted as saying the following in an extensive interview with this paper on Sunday: "Whenever I go for a walk in the morning I see the smiling faces. There is music everywhere. People are relaxed. Schools are functioning smoothly. Tamil expatriates who come from abroad have praised the present state of Jaffna. Therefore I will continue with my service wholeheartedly for the people in the North as more..

UNP legal challenge no bar to Uva poll preparations

July 22 (Island) UNP had filed a court case against the Election Department’s decision to redistribute the seats in the Uva provincial council, but preparations for the forthcoming polls could go on, Elections Chief Mahinda Deshapriya said. He said that his department had already started making preparations for the election as usual. Deshapriya said that their decision to reduce three seats from the Badulla District and add them to the Moneragala District had been taken according to more..

Ada Cartoon

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.6%

July 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks closed 0.59% higher with diversified stocks gaining amid net foreign buying. All Share Price Index closed 39.85 points higher at 6,796.37, up 0.59%. The S&P SL20 closed 21.00 points higher at 3,789.15, up 0.56%. Turnover was 1.42 billion rupees, up from 904.71 million rupees a day earlier with 136 stocks closed positive against 79 negative. John Keells Holdings closed 2.20 rupees lower at 244.50 rupees with an off-market transaction of 111.27 million more..

PM Modi’s Paisa

July 22 (CT) Regionally, India’s economy is so big, that what happens in India affects all of us in South Asia. On 10 July, Arun Jaitely, the Minister of Finance in PM Narendra Modi’s new Govt, presented a new Budget. Expectations were high. The Mumbai stock market on Dalal Street was up by a fifth. A hitherto shaky rupee had steadied and consumers, who had the money, seemed to be on a spending splurge. Jaitely in his pre-Budget comments insisted that fiscal prudence will more..

Sri Lanka to train Maldivian doctors, nurses

July 22 (Haveeru) Sri Lankan govt has pledged its assistance in training Maldivian doctors and medical officers in the neighbouring country, the health ministry announced on Tuesday. In a statement, the ministry said that Minister Mariyam Shakeela had met with her Sri Lankan counterpart Maithripala Sirisena during her visit to Sri Lanka early this week. Two ministers discussed on arranging training opportunities in Sri Lanka more..

Trade unions step up agitation for salary hike

July 22 (Island) Trade unions from the public, private and estate sectors yesterday launched a leaflet distribution campaign from the Fort Railway Station demanding a pay hike to cushion the working class from the adverse effects of the spiralling cost of living. Convener of the National Trade Union Centre (NTUC), the umbrella organisation of 366 trade unions, Samantha Koralearachchi said that according to the govt’s cost of living index, Rs. 50,792 was needed for a four member family more..

Sri Lanka rupee steady near 3-week low; seen facing downward pressure

July 22 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee traded steady near its three-week low on Tuesday in dull trade, but dealers said the currency could face some downward pressure during the week due to import bills. The rupee was at 130.29/32 per dollar at 0632 GMT, little changed from Monday's close of 130.30/32. Early last week, it hit a more than one-year closing high. "We do not see much pressure on the currency. But there are some heavy import bills expected, probably from oil imports," more..

Sri Lanka concerned over 7,000 migrant workers in Israel

July 22 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's govt is in touch with Israeli officials over the safety of some 7,000 migrant workers, an official said, after 14 Sri Lankan workers were flown back from conflict-torn Libya. Assurances were made by Minister Dilan Perera who insisted any workers would be immediately evacuated if there was any threat to their security. Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment is also monitoring the situation more..

CDF member assaulted, killed, burnt and robbed

July 22 (Island) An unidentified person assaulted a Civil Defence Force member to death, set his body on fire before fleeing with Rs. 200,000 the victim had been taking to pay the hire purchase installment on his tractor, at Gammiriswewa area in Anuradhapura recently. The assailant had even torched the victim’s motorcycle. The victim was Mohammed Ishaq (39) of the same area. Ishaq left home around 7.30 am with the money and he was on his way to a finance company in the Anuradhapura Town when more..

Principal, female teacher remanded for abetting molestation of student

July 22 (AD) The Principle and female teacher of Kadawala Tamil Maha Vidyalaya, in the Hatton Educational Zone, have been arrested and remanded for allegedly abetting the molesting of a 16-yer-old school girl. The suspects were remanded until August 05 by the Hatton Magistrate’s Court. The A/L student was molested by a teacher from the same school on November 12, 2007 and the suspect was arrested following a complaint filed by the girl with Ginigathhena Police. more..

Video: BBS claims Gnanasara Thera’s Australian Visa in jeopardy

July 22 (DM) Following the US’ cancellation of BBS Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera’s visa, BBS today said that there was a conspiracy by Muslim extremist organisations in Australia to follow suit. It said an Australian Muslim Organisation had sent a letter to the Australian Immigration Border Protection Minister Scott Morrison requesting him not to allow the BBS General Secretary to enter Australia. more..

He rides from A’pura to Kataragama, towing ailing mother’s wheelchair

July 22 (Island) This is the story of a courageous man who, in spite of his disability, took his old mother to Kataragama by riding his tricycle with his mother’s wheelchair attached thereto. He spent about one month to cover a distance of about 500 km one way to fulfil his mother’s wish to see the Esala perahera of the Kataragama Devalaya. His name is Sunil Jayawickrama, a resident of Giribewa, Anuradhapura. It was an arduous journey for Sunil since he had to get off his tricycle and more..

15,000 kg of contaminated chili powder seized

July 22 (DM) The officials of the CAA seized 15,000 kg of adulterated chillie powder from a grinding mill store at Sedawatte today. The raid was conducted when the stock of chillie powder was being prepared to be sold for about Rs.4.5 million targeting the upcoming festive season. The chillie powder was found to have been mixed with flour, powdered bread crumbs and coloured with fabric dye. About 2,000 kilogrammes of powdered bread crumbs and another 3,000 Kilogrammes of more..

Wimal declares war on international experts appointed by President

July 22 (AM) The NFF led by Minister Wimal Weerawansa has raised objection over the appointments of international experts as consultants to the Sri Lankan Commission inquiring into the cases of missing persons. Writing a letter to the President today, Minister Wimal Weerawansa has said international experts are “puppets” who are serving the international judicial system that is only serving the interests of western imperialists. more..

Allow us to live together!

July 22 (LT) Several ceremonies to mark the ‘Brotherhood Day’ organized by the Socialist Youth Union (SYU) under the theme “No to religious extremism & communalism! Allow us Sinhalese, Tamil & Muslims to live together!” are to be held throughout the island. As a first step of the ceremonies a banner will be signed and a campaign to distribute leaflets would be held opposite Fort Railway Station and principal towns tomorrow. The next step of the programme would be to more..

Sri Lanka lists companies in two days

July 22 (GDI) “We have now modernized the day to day activities of Department of the Registrar of Companies under my Ministry. For example, if a foreigner comes to Sri Lanka and wants to register their company, facilities have been provided to do this within two days by the adoption of computers” said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, recently. Sri Lanka now lists companies much faster -in two days, to be exact. Meanwhile, no less than 232 Chartered accounting firms are actively serving more..

Sri Lanka call up Niroshan Dickwella

July 22 (CI) In a left-field selection move, uncapped wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella has been flown in from England to join the Sri Lanka squad ahead of the second Test against South Africa, a selector has confirmed. Dickwella was on Sri Lanka A's ongoing tour of England, but he will now be available for the SSC Test, which begins on Thursday. He did not train with the team on Tuesday, having just arrived more..

UNP dodges Palestine solidarity meeting

July 22 (AM) None of the UNP representatives was present at the public meeting organized by the Palestine Solidarity Committee where all major political parties of Sri Lanka were invited. The meeting took place at the Public Library auditorium in Colombo 07 today with the participation of a large number of people who condemned Israeli attacks on Palestinians living in the Gaza strip. While Minister Vasudewa Nanayakkara took part in the meeting representing the govt more..

Uva Police Chief to be transferred months before the election

July 22 (AM) Just months before the Uva PC election, Police headquarters has taken measures to transfer the Police chief of the province. Lalith Jayasinghe, senior DIG of Uva and Sabaragamuwa provinces is to be transferred by the Police headquarters, nearly two weeks after the dissolution of the Provincial Council. Jayasinghe will be appointed as the DIG of the Northern Province replacing DIG Pujith Jayasundara who will be transferred to the Police headquarters. more..