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Nilvala Wijesinghe released on Rs 1,500 bail after surrendering to court

July 22 (AD) UPFA MP Nimal ‘Nilvala’ Wijesinghe, accused of assaulting a Grama Niladhari, has been released on Rs 1,500 cash bail and Rs 100,000 surety bond after he surrendered to the Kurunegala Magistrate’s Court today. The UPFA MP, who is popularly known as Nilvala Wijesinghe, had assaulted a Grama Niladhari looking into the illegal felling of a Jack Tree, says National Organiser of Grama Niladari more..

Ratnapura Expressway: Ministry to acquire lands in six months

July 22 (AD) Ministry of Ports and Highways says that arrangements will be made to acquire lands for the construction work of the Ratnapura Expressway from Kahatuduwa to Pelmadulla within six months. In the meantime, measures will also be taken to pay compensation to the owners of the properties that will be acquire for the proposed construction. Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne told Ada Derana that the proposed extension to the Southern Expressway will commence in December. more..

Sri Lanka Navy arrests 38 Indian fishermen for poaching

July 22 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy arrested 38 Indian fishermen along with 09 Indian fishing trawlers poaching well within Sri Lankan waters on 21st July. 18 Indian fishermen along with 05 Indian fishing trawlers engaged in poaching in the seas North of Delft were arrested by naval craft attached to the Northern Naval Command on routine patrol. Another 20 Indian fishermen and 04 Indian fishing trawlers engaged in poaching in the seas off Thalai-mannar were arrested by naval craft more..

Sri Lanka president skips Commonwealth Games amid protest threats

July 22 (AFP) President Rajapakse will skip the Commonwealth Games starting this week in Glasgow despite being chair of the bloc, his office said Tuesday, after activists threatened to protest at his attendance. Rajapakse's spokeswoman denied he had decided to stay away because of the threat of demonstrations over Colombo's alleged human rights abuses. "No such visit was scheduled," more..

'Sri Lanka, Vietnam need to fight crimes together'

July 22 (VP) Deputy PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked Sri Lanka to work closely with Vietnam to fight crimes, especially those involving e-commerce and credit, in accordance with their signed agreements. Receiving Secretary to the Sri Lankan Ministry of Law and Order Nanda Mallawaarachchi in Hanoi on July 21, Phuc asked for closer bilateral collaboration to ensure security and safety for high-ranking delegations, as well as for trade, investment, studies and tourism activities in each country. more..

Complaint against Prasanna Ranatunge

July 22 (DM) A complaint has been lodged against Chief Minister of the Western Province Prasanna Ranatunge over an alleged assault on a resident in Rajagiriya, the Police said. W.G. Piyasena in his compliant said that he was assaulted by the Chief Minister with a cricket bat. The victim is undergoing treatment at the National Hospital, Colombo. Meanwhile, MP Ruwan Ranathunga has lodged a complaint at the Welikada Police that his neighbour Piyasena had climbing on more..

No foreign funds without approval: Ministry

July 22 (DM) The Finance and Planning Ministry has informed all NGOs that they should receive prior approval from the Ministry prior to obtaining foreign funds. Notice comes hot on the heels of the Govt strongly criticising the foreign aid programme carried out by USAID. It had planned to provide US$ 190 million for a programme titled, Election Support Through Voter Education (ESVE)' but later withdrew it following protests. more..

Govts, NGOs and Agendas

July 23 (NS) The struggle between Sri Lankan govts and NGOs is by no means a novel development; and their relationship, especially during the past decade, has been extremely tensed. The immediate aftermath of the tsunami disaster in December 2004 brought these tensions to the surface, with the JVP, for example, waging war against the NGOs largely due to its anti-imperialist ideology (as D. Sivaram pointed out in 2005). This worsened during war-time, between 2006 and 2009, when more..

Social Media and its number games

July 23 (NS) In 2011, just after Kumar Sangakkara stepped down from the captaincy of the Sri Lanka cricket team, a protest was organized through facebook to demand him back as captain. This was organized in the backdrop of the dramatic fall of Ben Ali in Tunisia and Mubarak in Egypt. Thousands said online that they will join the gathering at Independent Square. Not even 20 came. Speaking at “Forum with Eran” moderated by UNP MP Eran Wickremaratne, Groundviews Editor Sanjana Hattotuwa more..

'Livelihood and housing will facilitate refugee return'

July 23 (SO) It is ridiculous if not offensive to say Lankan refugees in India are fleeing persecution. But, nonetheless, they have started to show up at Australia's doorstep, as unwelcome illegal immigrants arriving in boats. As unfortunate as it seems what drives them off on a perilous journey in a rickety boat, is not the fear of abduction, systematic rape, torture or arrest without trial. It's nothing as gruesome as what they say to more..

Public Health Dept. fortifies battle against deadly dengue

July 23 (FT) The Colombo Municipal Council had launched a dengue eradication campaign earlier this year, as they predicted a large outbreak of dengue in the month of May and the months following, given the intermittent showers being experienced at the time. Judging from the dengue cases in April they had found that there were more patients during that month than in March and an upward trend was thereby noted. Calling for immediate action in response to the warning signs more..

Looking beyond reversals after the Ramaphosa visit

July 23 (SL) Little is known of the discussions that South Africa’s special envoy to Sri Lanka, Cyril Ramaphosa, had with govt leaders. But there are indications that more things are happening than meets the eye. While in Washington in the US, govt troubleshooter, Sajin de Vass Gunawardena said “A common myth that exists is that we haven’t addressed accountability,” adding that Sri Lanka is studying South Africa’s reconciliation effort. “We have gone on a process that is good for more..

Anatomy of an Anti-Tamil Pogrom: 31st Anniversary of Black July 1983

July 23 (DBS) The tragic history of post – independence Sri Lanka records that the Tamils of Sri Lanka have been subjected to mass –scale mob violence in the years 1956, 1958, 1977, 1981 and 1983. The anti-Tamil violence of July 1983 was the most terrible and horrible of them all. It remains etched in memory even after 30 years. Thirty years ago on the night of 23rd of July, members of the LTTE ambushed an army patrol at the more..

Protect Sinhala Buddhism from the educated

July 23 (Island) Most of the cultures in the world at present are associated with religions though it is not necessary that a culture should be associated with a religion. Of course, it depends on the definition of religion and one could define religion as a system that includes rituals, and could say that cultures have been associated with religion for a very long time. All knowledge is grouped into conventions, and conventions like anything else are not absolute but relative. more..

Up with the Vertis! Down with the Trousers!

July 23 (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..

The University of Peradeniya

Understanding the rise and irrationality of fundamentalism

July 23 (Island) There is a variety of fundamentalisms. The home grown fundamentalism of Sri Lanka is a reaction to the fundamentalism of colonialists. It is like tit for tat, doing for them what they did to us. It has nothing to do with civilization or religion or culture. Fundamentalism becomes a religious fundamentalism when it wears a religious mask with a religious garb; it becomes a national and political fundamentalism when it wears a national garb with a patriotic mask more..

Pharma importers cry foul over new regulation

July 23 (DM) Private sector pharmaceutical importers are crying foul over the Custom’s directive issued in consultation with Cosmetics, Devices & Drugs Regulatory Authority (CDDRA), that makes compulsory to import pharmaceutical items in refrigerated containers, to maintain the required temperature. The outgoing Chairman of the import section of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Kevin Edwards charged that private sector importers were singled out by the authorities whereas more..

Lakmal targets gradual improvement for pace attack

July 23 (CI) Shane Bond dreamed of knocking batsmen out, so they would fall on their stumps. Dale Steyn loves nothing more than to "pitch leg, hit off". Bouncers. Banana swing. Batsmen backing away in fear. Stumps cartwheeling. If a sport played in whites over five days could have adrenaline junkies, fast bowlers would come closest. But not everyone has the means to become merchants of chaos. Steyn and Mitchell Johnson can more..

Can Tahir change his spots?

July 23 (CI) What is it they say about leopards? They cannot change their spots, right? Wrong. Four years ago, it was discovered, Rudyard Kipling was onto something when he wrote his tale of how the leopard got its spots. It was described as a gift from an Ethiopian, who said, "Now you can lie out on a leafy branch and look like sunshine sifting through the leaves; and you can lie right across the centre of a path and look like nothing in particular." The leopard was being prepped for camouflage, more..

Sri Lanka 2.0 and Beyond: Part II

July 23 (FT) Aiming to shed light as to how Sri Lanka can achieve rapid development to make up for the time it lost in the 30-year war, the Institute of Certified Management Accountants (CMA) recently held its 14th National Management Accounting Conference under the theme ‘Sri Lanka 2.0 and Beyond: Fast Tracking Economic Development’. 3-day conference that was held in Colombo had eight sessions on diverse topics and was addressed comprehensively by over 35 speakers. more..

NISD offers diploma courses in Elders' Care, Gerontology

July 23 (CT) With the country's elderly population expected to double by 2030, the Ministry of Social Services, along with the National Institute of Social Development (NISD) has now come up with a novel course to award a diploma on elderly care. "With the elderly population of the country expected to rise from 16% to 30% in 2030, caring for the elderly people will become a priority soon, as it is unavoidable that children more..

Fuel imports decline in May due to refinery maintenance issues, CB says

July 23 (ST) Expenditure on fuel imports declined by 35.4 per cent in May 2014, mainly due to the delay in unloading crude oil imports during the month due to maintenance activities in oil pipelines, the Central Bank said in its latest (monthly) report on the economy. It said the trade deficit continued to improve in May, strengthening the performance in the external sector. Earnings from exports increased, while expenditure on imports reduced driven mainly by the reduction in fuel imports. more..

Editorial: Needed: An all-out war on drugs

July 23 (Island) Time was when Sri Lanka was known as the Granary of the East. But, today, it is fast becoming the narco hub of the region. Drug smugglers are employing every conceivable method to carry out their sordid operations. The Customs have detected, at a container terminal in Colombo, a massive stock of heroin weighing as much as 93 kilos with a street value of Rs. 700 million, secreted in three moulding machines imported from Pakistan. Let the officers responsible for more..

Minister must resign for failure to reduce incidence of rape – JVP

July 23 (Island) The JVP affiliated, Women for Rights Movement (WRM) urged the Child Development and Women Affairs Minister Tissa Karaliyadda to resign from his cabinet portfolio for failing to reduce the incidence of rape in the country. WRM President Samanmalee Gunasinghe said that Minister Karaliyadda was doing nothing to help the country’s women and children though the govt had allocated huge sum of money to the Ministry more..

The Tuticorin-Sri Lanka link

July 23 (Hindu) Tracing the history of maritime trade with Sri Lanka through traditional mode of shipment by vessels from Tuticorin, S. Lasington Fernando, secretary, Coastal Mechanised Sail Vessel Owners Association, said maritime relations between people of these countries were still evolving. It was through the dry fish trade in Sri Lanka by merchants of coastal hamlets in Tuticorin, relations were established between the people of both sides centuries ago. more..

Monetary Board gets new Secretary

July 23 (FT) The Central Bank announced it has appointed Assistant Governor C.J.P. Siriwardana as the Secretary to the Monetary Board with effect from 14 July. Siriwardana joined the Central Bank as a Staff Officer in 1986 after graduating from the University of Ruhuna with a B.Sc. Degree (Hons) in Agriculture. In 1994, he received his Master’s Degree in Quantitative Development Economics from the University of Warwick, UK. At present, being the Assistant Governor in charge of more..

Want long life? Head to Monaragala or Hambantota!

July 23 (FT) It is a well-known fact that Sri Lanka’s population is ageing rapidly. In fact, Sri Lankans over 60 years of age comprise 9% of the population, but in 30 years from now the number is estimated to reach 25%. An interesting point to explore is, where in Sri Lanka do people live the longest? Does the location have a correlation to longevity? Apparently it does – or so it seems. The best places to live if you want to live to a more..

Tanzanian Foreign Minister meets Minister Basil Rajapaksa

July 23 (GDI) Tanzanian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade C-operation, Bernard K Membe, presently in Sri Lanka on a tree day visit, met with the Minister Basil Rajapaksa on Monday and had discussions on strengthening bilateral economic relations. At the discussion held at the Ministry of Economic Development, Tanzanian Minister expressed his pleasure over the rapid development achieved by Sri Lanka within a short period after cessation of a terrorist war. more..

Oral cancer patients account for significant portion

July 23 (Island) Govt yesterday revealed that over 13% of cancer patients in the country were those who suffered from oral cancers. Explaining the situation, for every 100,000 persons 19 men and four women were added annually to the list of oral cancer patients. Three persons died daily of oral cancer. The Cancer Research Institute, the Peradeniya University Dental Health Institute and the Sri Lanka Cancer Control Programme in collaboration with the Health Ministry had more..

Rs. 55 million to develop Udawalawa tourist zone

July 23 (DN) The tourist zone including the Udawalawa national park will be further developed to attract tourists under the Pura Neguma program of the Mahinda Chintana. Rs. 55 million will be spent for the construction work which is already inaugurated. Under this development program, the Udawalawa weekly pola will also be given a facelift. In addition, a new library and information centre for tourists will be set up. more..

Robbery or election vandalism?

July 23 (Island) First violent incident related to the forthcoming Uva PC election 2014 was reported from the Moneragala District yesterday, according to the local election monitoring organisation CaFFE. CaFFE Chief Keerthi Tennakoon said that UNP Moneragala District Organiser and former Provincial Council member Janaka Tissakuttiarachchi’s election office at Handapanagala in the Wellawaya Divisional Secretary area was attacked in the early hours of Monday. more..

Salad named after Jacqueline Fernandes

July 23 (DNA) That Kick starlet Jacqueline Fernandes has a restaurant in Sri Lanka is known, but did you know there's a salad named after her in Mumbai? How cool is that! In fact, this particular healthy treat is also her favourite and has found a place in the menu of a Bandra café after she gave the owner her recipe. She confesses, "It's a beetroot feta salad I made it for Mishali, the owner of the café) when she came over. She was like, 'Oh my God, what is this?' She further adds, more..

India accepts Australia's request to probe 157 boat refugees

July 23 (TOI) India gave Australia a bit of a breather by agreeing to investigate whether some of the 157 boat refugees confined to their boat on Christmas Island are Sri Lankan Tamil refugees from a camp in Puducherry. Australia has asked the Indian govt to provide consular services to the refugees to see if India can take them back. The refugees are held as prisoners in a boat and only let out during meal time. Scott Morrison, more..

GNOA wants DCD ice cream allegation probed

July 23 (CT) The Government Nursing Officers' Association (GNOA) yesterday urged the Ministry of Health to probe whether milk powder containing Dicyandiamide(DCD) was used to manufacture ice cream. This comes in the light of a statement made by Minister of Technology and Research Patali Champika Ranawaka, that stocks of milk containing DCD, seized from the market, had been used to make ice cream, which was served as alms in dansalas during the Poson season. more..

SLID seminar recommendations for capital market development

July 23 (FT) A Sri Lankan economy worth $ 100 billion has been hailed by some and decried by others as an ambitious target. Despite the debate, the crux of this aspiration is that it will force the country to stretch its capabilities in achieving it. The impact on the economy of developing capital markets has long been established with studies underscoring their role in long-term economic growth, so what part do they have to play in reaching Sri Lanka’s goal? more..

How President spends our hard-earned money

July 23 (Island) Minister Dinesh Gunawardena told Parliament that President Rajapaksa had 23 coordinating secretaries. Each of the coordinating secretaries was paid Rs. 30,000 as monthly salary, 170 litres of petrol, a transport allowance of Rs. 30,000 and a telephone allowance of Rs. 5,000 monthly, the minister said. He responding to a question raised by JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that more..

Dinamina City FM news broadcasting service launch today

July 23 (DN) The Dinamina City FM news broadcasting service, a joint venture by Lake House and the SLBC will go on air from today. The new service will broadcast the latest breaking news on an hourly basis using the frequencies of 89.6 - 89.8, from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm through the popular SLBC news channel “City FM”. The ceremonial launch of this new service will be held under the patronage of Lake House Chairman Bandula Padmakumara and SLBC Chairman Hudson Samarasinghe. more..

Dilan takes Social Security Board head to task

July 23 (Island) Minister Dilan Perera yesterday in Parliament found fault with Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Social Security Board, Sumana Ariyadasa for making irresponsible statements to media and causing unnecessary problems. The minister said that the chairperson of the SLSSB had said they were planning to introduce a contributory pension scheme for Sri Lankans working in Korea. "This was an irresponsible statement which created unnecessary problems," the minister said more..

Chinese aircraft maintenance centre in Trinco

July 23 (CT) Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament sought clarification over the report that the China National Aero Technology Import-Export Corporation (CATIC) had been granted permission to build an Aircraft Maintenance Centre in Trincomalee. The Aircraft Maintenance Centre would service, maintain and repair all Chinese aircraft in the SL Air force. Project is to be built with a loan of Rs 5 billion. more..