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The Northern Economy: The untold story

July 24 (SL) The contribution of the North to the national GDP has been the lowest for a very long time due to the war. It was around 2.5% in 1999 which went only up to 2.9% in 2004. While the contribution of the East has been double of the North, yet it was around 5% in 1999 which went up to 5.4% in 2004. One reason attributed to the low contribution was the informal or the LTTE war economy which has completely ended with more..

Audio: Gnanasara Thero speaks his concerns on the removal of thier FB pages

July 24 (AD) General Secretary of the BBS Ven. Galaboda Aththe Gnanasara Thero said that not only their fan pages on facebook, but some other pages handled by individuals who raised their voice against racism and social injustice too have been removed from the facebook. The Thero pointed out that fan pages including his personal account named ‘G Gnanasara Thero’ were removed as a result of continues cyber attack by more..

Sri Lanka to conduct a Census on Mental Patients

July 24 (GDI) The Ministry of Health has taken steps to conduct a census on mental patients in Sri Lanka. Objective of the census is to recognize the different degrees of mental disorders prevalent in the country. It has been decided to conduct a survey, as currently only the details of the patients who visit hospitals are available. Ministry of Health estimates the number of the patients with mental disorders to be approximately 2.3 million. more..

Sexual predators run riot in schools

July 24 (ST) Last week, a Kegalle district primary school principal was arrested for sexually abusing eight schoolgirls. The father to two children, 52-year-old Swamivelu Sukumar is accused of showing pornography and then on several occasions sexually abusing the victims aged between 11 to 13 years. The principal was apprehended after a child who had dropped out of school confided to officials that the reason more..

Bevy of Chinese beauties to arrive in SL

July 24 (AD) Preparations have been made to bring 23 contestants who have qualified for the final round of the Chinese Universal Beauty Queen Contest to Sri Lanka as a strategy to attract more Chinese tourists to the island. It was revealed during a media conference in Colombo that these 23 Chinese Beauty Queens would tour Sri Lanka from 25 Aug to 1 Sept. This tour is an official part of this contest and following the regional selections more..

Jayasuriya gives new twist to 'Thisara Perera controversy'

July 24 (AM) Chief selector of the Sri Lankan cricket team Sanath Jayasuriya has denied claims that all rounder Thisara Perera is contemplating retirement. It was in the grapevine that Perera was planning to retire from international cricket and migrate to New Zealand. Sources of the Sri Lanka Cricket stated that Perera was dissatisfied with the manner in which the cricket administrators treated him in the recent past. more..

Anura bashes India: 'North and East have been swallowed by Indian govt'

July 24 (AM) Leader of JVP Anura Kumara Dissanayake has told that India has invaded the North-East regions of the country and “swallowed” a substantial quantity of the Sri Lanka’s economy. He said that India has penetrated into almost all the large scale projects going on in Sri Lanka. He also added that the pharmaceutical market, automobile sector and a large portion of the North-East have been swallowed by India. more..

'Sanga and I try to compete with each other'

July 24 (DM) A century at his home ground could well sum-up an excellent career for Mahela Jayawardane who will make his last appearance at Sinhalese Sports Club against South Africa. Since making his Test debut against India in 1997, Jayawardane, 37, has reached many milestones, in his 18-year-long international career and Jayawardane discuss his career, the reasons behind the retirement, his rivalry with Sanga more..

16-year tax break for Tata Housing

July 24 (CT) India's Tata Housing's US$ 430 million project, of which only US$ 130 million would come in the form of foreign direct investment, has been identified as a Strategic Development Project and the country's investment promotion agency has decided to grant a 16 year tax break as a good-will gesture. The Ministry of Defence and Urban Development gave five acres to Tata Housing free of charge as the company promised to develop more..

'Exec. Presidency cause of all evil'

July 24 (CT) Venerable Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera says the President is ruling the country in an arbitrary manner using his executive powers and not taking into account the Judiciary and the Constitution, which is the holy law of a country. Sobhitha Thera said the Commissioner of Elections is only a figurehead, with no powers under an Executive President, and due to this the public has lost confidence in the elections process. more..

Weerawansa's twisted wisdom

July 24 (CT) Wimal Weerawansa does not seem to run out of ideas that generally border and even cross over to the twilight zone. Entrenched in a maddeningly convoluted system of thinking, this opportunistic politician earlier came out with his own version of a solution to the latest political impasse the country has reached. Now ta-da, he has come up with the perfect solution to rising religious and communal tensions. He proposes banning all religious sects that have taken root after more..

CAA seizes huge stock of contaminated food items

July 24 (Island) Acting on a tip-off, the CAA yesterday seized, at a mill in Sedawatte, 15,000 kilos of contaminated chili powder and 3,000 kilos of low quality pepper ready to be sold for Rs. 4.5 million. In another raid in North Batagama, Kandana on the same day, the CAA took into custody 32,000 tins of canned fish and a stock of curry soya ready to be sold for Rs. 6.4 million. They had been discarded by a warehouse at Peliayagoda because they were past the shelf life. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lanka shares close lower

July 24 (LBO) Shares closed 0.04% lower on Thursday with index heavy stocks losing ground. All Share Price Index closed 2.58 points lower at 6,781.40, down 0.04%. The S&P SL20 closed 7.94 points lower at 3,767.20, down 0.21%. Turnover was 950.21 million rupees, down from 1.03 billion rupees a day earlier with 106 stocks closed positive against 96 negative. Commercial Bank closed 40 cents higher at 144.90 rupees with an off-market transaction of 43.50 million rupees more..

Black July and Birth-Crime

July 24 (CT) 31 years ago, Sinhala mobs attacked all Tamils everywhere in SL because some Tamil militants killed 13 Sinhala soldiers in Jaffna. One month ago Sinhala-Buddhist mobs targeted all Muslims in Aluthgama, Beruwala and surrounding areas because three Muslim youths reportedly assaulted a Buddhist monk and his driver. The ‘Four Four Bravo Operation’ which killed 13 Sinhala soldiers actually happened. There are conflicting reports about alleged assault on the monk. more..

Day 1: Yet another SSC hundred for Mahela

July 24 (CI) The last time Mahela Jayawardene batted against South Africa in a Test at the SSC, he made 374, the highest score ever made by a right-handed batsman in Test cricket. Today he walked off to applause for an unbeaten 140 as his 34th Test century held together Sri Lanka's innings after Angelo Mathews won the toss on what looks another SSC batting beauty. It was his 11th Test hundred at his home venue - more..

Sri Lankan rupee steady at 1-week high

July 24 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee traded flat on Thursday as exporter dollar sales offset importer demand, a day after the treasury secretary said the rupee was maintained steady while the country builds up its foreign exchange reserves. The rupee was traded at 130.24/26 per dollar at 0723 GMT, the same as its previous close, which was also the highest close since July 18. "There was not much of pressure on either side," said a currency dealer. Finance Secretary P.B. Jayasundera said more..

Yala National Park closed till sept 30

July 24 (GDI) Yala National Park will be closed for the visitors during the month of September due to renovations to visitors' bungalows. The park is normally closed for tourists during the dry season, from September 1 to October 15. There are 62 sanctuaries, 22 wild life parks, three high conservation parks, and five natural conservation parks in the island and visitors' bungalows in all other parks have now been renovated to provide additional facilities to the visitors. more..

Khuram’s bro against death penalty

July 24 (Island) The brother of murdered British tourist Khuram Sheik said that he did not think the death penalty should be implemented. Asked, if he thought that those convicted of killing his bother and raping his girl friend Victoria at a Tangalle resort in December 2011, should be administered the death penalty, which Sri Lanka no longer implemented, Nasir Sheik replied "No, I don’t think so. There is now a general opinion that more..

Vehicle fraud of leading automobile businessman ends in court

July 24 (AM) The owner of the Southland Auto Trading Center a leading auto mobile business in Sri Lanka was yesterday released on bail after being appeared before court for allegedly cheating businessman Surendra Wasantha Perera alias Karaoke Wasantha of a Range Rover jeep valued at Rs.17.5 million. The owner of the auto mobile business J.M. Premaratne was ordered to be released on two sureties of one million rupees by Colombo Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage more..

NSC calls for impartial inquiry into alleged assault on monk at Alutgama

July 24 (Island) The National Shoora Council (NSC), has urged the authorities to conduct an impartial and transparent investigation into the complaint made to the Inspector General of Police by the Muslim theologian, Moulavi Mohamed Ameen Mohamed Ashkar Ali that he and two of his brothers were falsely implicated and remanded from June 12, 2014 on the allegation that they had assaulted a Buddhist monk, close to the Pathirajagoda temple in Alutgama. more..

Sri Lanka ranked 73 at HDI

July 24 (DM) Sri Lanka has ranked 73rd position of the UN Human Development Index (HDI) for 2014 under high development category, leaving all the South Asian countries behind. India is ranked at 135, among the medium development countries like Egypt, South Africa, Mongolia, Philippines and Indonesia. Pakistan ranked 146 and Nepal 145, in the low development category. Bhutan, Maldives, Afghanistan and more..

Measures to control pesticides

July 24 (GDI) The Agricultural Ministry has taken measures to control pesticides with a view to safeguard public health and the environment as the Ministry found that it is compulsory to change the act on pesticides to meet the modern day requirements. Organic fertilizer is suitable for the country's agriculture as Sri Lanka still practices traditional methods. Over the past three decades, Parliament of Sri Lanka approved and passed several Acts and Orders to control the use of pesticides. more..

Residential training programme on leadership qualities on sept 7

July 24 (GDI) 'The 4th stage of the training programme on development of Leadership Qualities and Positive Thinking will commence on 7th of Sept Minister S.B. Dissanayake announced. Programme consist three stages which are going to commence consecutively from Sept 7 to Sep. 27, Oct. 4th to Oct 24th, Oct. 30th to Nov. 21. 23500 students will be accommodated for the entire programme comprising 7500 for the 1st stage, 8000 for the 2nd and 8000 students for the 3rd stage. more..

Weerawansa's party threatens to ditch UPFA at Uva election

July 24 (AM) The NFF today said it would not contest with the UPFA for the Uva PC election if the ruling party gave nomination to the former NFF Provincial Councilor who obtained SLFP membership. Pathma Gunasekera, NFF Moneragala District leader said he would not contest under the UPFA ticket if the ruling party granted nomination to the member who crossed over. Gunasekera added that the SLFP had violated the agreement more..

Moneragala District desperate for emergency drought assistance

July 24 (Island) An urgent request has been made to the Ministry of Finance to provide Rs. 100 million to mitigate the ill-effects of the prolonged drought in the Moneragala District which has caused severe shortage of drinking water. Moneragala District Secretary S. Pathmanathan said that he expected funds from the Treasury on a priority basis, given the bad situation in the district. "We have planned to desilt 330 of the 390 minor tanks, dig 15 tube wells, dig agro and other wells deeper and more..

Restriction of admission to popular schools via G-5 scholarship exam a violation of rights

July 24 (Island) Ceylon Teachers’ Union and 13 parents of successful candidates at the Grade Five Scholarship Exam in 2013 have complained to the Supreme Court that the educational authorities have unreasonably reduced, with effect from last year, the number of slots allocated by popular schools for students who pass the Grade Five scholarship Exam. They have argued that educational prospects and legitimate expectations of those students have been adversely affected as a result. more..

Supreme Court directs all public institutions to allow traditional Muslim dress

July 24 (AM) The Supreme Court today ordered the Attorney General to issue directives to all public institutions to permit to wear the traditional Muslim cultural attire when entering public places. When the case was taken up for hearing before the CJ Mohan Pieris, he said that the traditional Muslim attire is well within the identity of the SL culture and that Muslim women have a right to wear such attire a it causes harm to none. more..

Hostile reception greets TNA Provincial Councillor at Mullaithivu Courts

July 24 (DN) TNA Northern Provincial Councillor Ananthi Sasitharan was in for a rude shock when she arrived at the Mullaithivu Magistrate’s Court on Monday. She was confronted by a group of some 350 Tamil families demanding to know what she and her ‘missing’ husband LTTE’s Ellilan had done to their children. “Where are our children?”, they screamed at the same Ananthi Sasitharan who used the time slots of NGO representatives of other nations to appear before the UNHRC and more..

TN fishermen launch indefinite strike demanding release of boats from Sri Lanka

July 24 (TOI) Fishermen in Rameswaram and Pudukottai launched an indefinite strike on Thursday demanding the release of Indian fishermen and their boats under the custody of Sri Lankan authorities. The fishermen leaders had earlier announced that they would go on an indefinite strike if the govt failed to ensure release of fishermen and their boats by Wednesday. More than 700 boats operating from Rameswaram and 600 others operating from Jagathapattinam and Kottaipattinam more..

Sri Lanka, India in mutual forex reserve investment pact

July 24 (LBO) Central Bank of Sri Lanka and the Reserve Bank of India has inked a deal to buy up to 500 million dollars worth of securities in each other's govts, in a bid to diversify reserve assets. "As a result, the CBSL could now access one of the growing securities markets in the world, realising a considerably higher return for the funds invested," Sri Lanka's monetary authority said in a statement. more..

Chinese tourist drowns in Sri Lanka

July 24 (Xinhua) A Chinese tourist drowned while swimming off the southern coast of Sri Lanka, while another woman was saved but is in critical condition, local media reported on Thursday. The deceased, a 54 year old man and the woman were part of a group of 16 tourists, who were sea bathing along the scenic Dikwella coastline in Sri Lanka. The woman who was rescued was taken to the Matara Hospital where she is reported to be in critical condition. Dikwella police are conducting investigations, more..

Indian fishermen set to invade Sri Lanka

July 24 (CG) Fed up with frequent arrests and ‘harassment’ by Sri Lankan naval personnel, fishermen from Rameswaram in TN today said they would proceed to the island nation with their families on Aug 2 and surrender to officials there “to at least survive and earn their livelihood peacefully.” S Emerit and T Sesuraja, leaders of Fishermen’s Association, said the fishermen planned to meet the District Collector on July 28 and hand over the licenses and documents of the boats, more..

Protest on Sri Lanka cleared by Glasgow

July 24 (CG) Organisers of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow today admitted they had decided to allow a Tamil group to protest outside the venue against Sri Lanka. Glasgow 2014 chief executive David Grevemberg said that there was a Tamil protest outside Celtic Park ahead of the opening ceremony against the inclusion of Sri Lanka in the event. “We’ve made a very strong commitment to allow peaceful protests. more..

Sri Lanka reiterates concerns over Gaza

July 24 (CG) Sri Lankan Govt says it welcomed the convening of a special session of the Human Rights Council held yesterday to address the current human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and refer the Council to the Statement made by Iran on behalf of the Non Aligned Movement. A statement by the External Affairs Ministry said the Govt of Sri Lanka is deeply concerned at the recent escalation of violence in Gaza, resulting in more..

President sends wishes to Sri Lankan Team for the 20th Commonwealth Games

July 24 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has sent a message to the athletes representing Sri Lanka at the 20th Commonwealth Games taking place in Glasgow, Scotland. “All of you were selected through rigorous competition and hard-work to be included in the national team,” President Rajapaksa said. “You should be proud of this achievement, and consider it a distinct privilege and honour to represent your country at such a widely celebrated event.” more..

Call to abolish Executive Presidency

In the face of settler state of Israel’s never ending barbarity

July 25 (CT) On Monday 7 July 2014 Israel, the racist entity planted by European colonial powers ld by Britain in the robbed Palestinian land by means of violence, lawlessness, deceit and destruction, unleashed its latest relentless aerial, land and sea attacks on Gaza indiscriminately killing men, women, children and the aged. Who are these Palestinians in Gaza-one of the most densely populated areas in this planet? They are the people who were driven out from their homes and more..

Pricking the conscience on reminiscences of ‘Black July’

July 25 (CT) Six years back I wrote the article below. The polarization I mentioned then remains more the same between Tamils and Sinhalese, though a little reconciled, even after eliminating the worst adversary- the Tigers. Instead of the Tamils, Muslims are at the receiving end now, in a miniature size. The complaint by some is that Muslims fault by creating problems. Muslims complain of Sinhala extremist provocations. The venom against Tamils then has been diverted towards Muslims. more..

The Gracious Lady creates history

July 25 (FT) 54 years ago, on 21 July 1960, Sri Lanka made history. The world’s first woman prime minister was sworn in on this day. At the second general election within five months held on 20 July (the first was on 19 March), the SLFP being the party with the largest number of seats (75) in the 151-member Parliament, its leader, Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike was invited to form the govt after PM Dudley Senanayake tendered more..