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At least four suicides in one month

July 28 (SL) It was reported in the north that at least four suicides had been committed by hanging over the past one month. The latest was that of a young university student who had committed suicide after leaving a message on his Facebook page. The body of Nakarasa Suthakaran was found hanging at his house in Nelliady, Jaffna last week. A first year student of the Jaffna University, Suthakaran had posted a message on Facebook indicating he was troubled over a personal issue. more..

TNA will consider if invited

July 28 (SL) The TNA says it will consider meeting with the three international experts appointed to the Presidential Commission on Missing Persons during their expected visit to Sri Lanka, if the Govt makes arrangements for such a meeting. General Secretary, TNA, Mavai Senathirajah said that the TNA has doubts about the whole procedure of the Missing Persons Commission but would yet consider meeting the international experts if an invitation is put forward to the TNA. more..

Snail mail to be doubly expensive from August

July 28 (Island) Postal Department has decided to increase postal charges with effect from August 1. It raised, on its own, more than Rs. 2 billion of its expenditure last year. However, Philatelic Bureau Advisory Board Member Anura Samaraweera said that the Department had been compelled to double the minimum charge of 5 rupees to 10 rupees. Department had to make sure that letters were delivered within a single day more..

Fears of El Nino hitting agriculture, Sri Lankan communities this year

July 28 (ST) An ongoing drought in several dry zone districts in Sri Lanka and predictions of an El Nino year paint a grim scenario for an island that has had continuous issues of flooding, drought and landslides in the past five years, a UN official said. Razina Bilgrami, Resident Representative, UNDP Colombo, speaking at the launch in Colombo of a project titled “Strengthening the resilience of post conflict recovery and development to climate change risks in Sri Lanka”, more..

Fitch Ratings on nine Sri Lanka banks affirm Stable Outlook

July 28 (Island) Fitch Ratings has affirmed the ratings on nine of Sri Lanka's banks, all with Stable Outlooks. The Long-Term Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) on National Savings Bank and Bank of Ceylon (BOC) have been affirmed at 'BB-' and their National Long-Term Ratings have been affirmed at 'AAA(lka)' and 'AA+(lka)', respectively. Fitch has also affirmed the National Long-Term Rating of People's Bank at 'AA+(lka)'. At the same time, Fitch has affirmed the more..

'Only fresh meeting between TN-SL fishermen will solve problems'

July 28 (PTI) Only a fresh meeting between fishermen of TN and Sri Lanka will solve the problems of the fishing community of the state, TNCC president B S Gnanadesikan said. He suggested that TN govt arrange for talks between fishermen of both nations with the help of the Centre. Centre should also pressurise the island nation to ensure that attacks did not recur Officials of the state should also ensure that fishermen do not use high power engines more..

Hambantota in the grip of severe drought

July 28 (DN) The Hambantota district is in the grip of severe drought. The water level of Muruthawela reservoir has dropped to a minimum. The source of water for residents of Walasmulla and Weeraketiya DS areas is the Muruthawela reservoir as such the water supply to residents have been restricted to 10 hours a day. The water level of Muruthawela reservoir has dropped to 2,000 acre feet, Regional Engineer Tangalle National Water Supply and Drainage Board J. C. Jayasuriya more..

Asia’s full veto

July 28 (DN) The confidence placed in the Sri Lankan govt by the entire Asian region today is such that no Asian country is likely to permit members of the panel going through the motions of an investigation against Sri Lanka to enter their territory for this purpose, Minister G.L. Peiris said. “Does anyone believe that this is a result arrived at by chance or accident,” he asked during a meting in the Kurunegale district over the week-end. “On the contrary, this is directly due to govt’s success more..

Minister Champika Ranawaka blasts Sri Lanka’s Lamborghini economy

July 28 (ST) Sri Lanka currently implements an economic system showing Lamborghinis to people surrounded by poverty, said the Minister Champika Ranawaka at the Sri Lanka Science Foundation in Colombo this week. The country cannot escape from the middle income status trap by promoting the service economy based on entertainment, he told a gathering of scholars, scientists and business leaders. more..

Noritake opens new flagship store in Colombo

July 28 (LBT) The first ever of its kind, Noritake’s state-of -the -art mega flagship store, was opened recently in one of Colombo's most exclusive shopping precincts at Dharmapala Mawatha. Systematically brought together to create the ultimate expression of Noritake, the flagship store presents the brand's entire product range on three stories of this iconic structure. All Noritake products here have one thing in common: they all reflect the company's philosophy more..

Lankan refugee trafficking exposes chinks in security

July 28 (TOI) The recent arrest of two boat owners from Puducherry for trafficking Sri Lankan refugees to Australia through the sea route has exposed big gaps in coastal security, according to intelligence agencies. The Puducherry police arrested the two men based on a tip-off by the Australian govt after interviewing the refugees. That none of the intelligence and law enforcement agencies had specific information on the boat owners and the journey has left intelligence officials worried, more..

'Opposition unable to defeat MR calling for abolition of Presidency'

July 28 (Island) Minister Susil Premjayantha, said that a project undertaken by Opposition political parties and other groups to pressure President Rajapaksa to do away with the executive presidency was a sure sign of their fear of facing the incumbent president at the next presidential election. He said that the abolition of the executive presidency wouldn’t have been an issue if the UNP believed it had the slightest chance more..

Most hospitals in SP experiencing shortage of staff – DGHS

July 28 (Island) Director General Health Services Dr. Palitha Maheepala said that he would take immediate action to fill vacancies in the govt hospitals in the Southern Province where a chronic shortage of doctors, nurses and medical personnel prevailed. There was a shortage of medical lab technologists radiographers, doctors and nurses at most of the hospitals in the Southern province. The directors of such hospitals had been instructed to submit reports on staff requirements more..

GMOA majority wants the heads of rebels for stepping out of line

July 28 (Island) The Provincial Co-ordinators, Conveners and Media Sub-Committee members of the GMOA demanded that seven suspended GMOA members to be expelled before they cause further damage to the union. Around 18,000 medical officers attached to the GMOA Branch unions in all the provinces such as North Central, Uva, Sabaragamuwa, Eastern, Northern, Western, Southern and Northwestern provinces had decided to launch agitation campaigns against more..

Ridiculous, says Bar

July 28 (DM) The IGP has sought the approval of Secretary to the Ministry of Law and Order regarding a request made by president of Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) Upul Jayasuriya urging the IGP to ensure his personal security by providing personnel security travelling with him following the incident where Mr. Jayasuriya had been followed by two unidentified motorcyclists on July 15. more..

Female gambling den busted: 5 arrested

July 28 (Island) The Western Province anti-crime division busted a gambling den near a public well at the T20 watte in Borella and nabbed five women engaged in throwing the dice for money on Saturday (26). A large number of women were gambling when the policemen raided the spot, but most of them managed to escape, while the policemen who chased after them could capture only five of them, police said. The police took into custody Rs 1,700 from the scene. more..

Journalists covering case thrown out of Court

July 28 (CT) Journalists covering the rape case, of two pre-teenage school girls, allegedly by Navy personnel, were thrown out of the Jaffna Courthouse by a group of persons in civilian clothing. The journalists' cameras and mobile phones were seized and all media persons were warned not to publish any news on the ongoing proceedings. The two schoolgirl victims aged 11 and nine are from Karainagar, Jaffna. Meanwhile, large-scale demonstrations, prevailed, more..

India to name ISI mole in Pakistani mission in Colombo

July 28 (Island) India will soon inform Sri Lanka about an official working in the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo, who was playing a key role in planning terror strikes on the US consulate in Chennai and the Israeli consulates Bangalore at the behest of the Inter Services Intelligence, Pakistan’s external spying outfit. The information will be shared with SL authorities by India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) more..

TNCs not rocking but robbing the cradles

July 28 (DM) The media have regularly spotlighted the grave and dangerously growing channals through which wealthy western countries are continuing to plunder the resources of Third World countries like Sri Lanka in what is seen as modern or high-tech economic neocolonialism. In earlier eras the West did this through its military might but now it is being done in a more subtle and sophisticated way through huge transnational corporations (TNCs). more..

Beyond Neo-liberalism Towards a sustainable and contented global order

July 28 (DM) Most countries around the world by now have gone through a process of economic and social transformation, to a greater or lesser extent, thanks to neo-liberal reforms that have pervaded the global landscape over the last several decades. These reforms that have been variously described as economic liberalisation, structural adjustment, free market reforms, etc. facilitated the process of globalisation of economic, social and cultural relations. more..

Sri Lanka’s jumbo problem

July 28 (DPA) An elephant shackled with heavy iron chains on its rear legs shuffles forwards, a foreign couple riding on its back. The mahout prods the elephant with a stick to keep the animal moving at one of central Sri Lanka’s top tourist attractions. The couple visiting Pinnawala, enjoys the unusual bumpy ride, unable from their high vantage point to see the raw chain abrasions on the animal’s lower legs. more..

'Undergrads who neglect academic activities are donkeys, cows and politicos'

July 28 (DM) Minister S. B. Dissanayake in an interview with last week spoke candidly on the issues raised by undergraduates and academics concerning the higher education sector and justified the positions he has taken in decisions pertaining to his Ministry and issues in the country. Q: Why are no steps being taken to address student grievances that have led to unrests in almost all the universities? Allegations are leveled at more..

Handing over of nominations: No processions, rallies

July 28 (DN) Candidates of political parties and individual groups are not allowed to organise processions or rallies when they are handing over nominations, Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said. He issued this instruction at a meeting with senior officials and returning officers at the Election Secretariat on Saturday in preparation of the upcoming Uva PC Election. This decision was taken as the students who are sitting for more..

GMOA in a tug of war slinging mud at each other

July 28 (SL) Following the revelation of GMOA malpractices in The Sunday Leader last week under the caption ‘Tussle for Power Inside GMOA,’ Dr Chandana Dharmaratne clarified the GMOA stance and added that the proscribed members have not misappropriated its membership subscription but accused the alternate group of slinging mud at their former administration. Dr Dharmaratne said that the allegation levelled against its former more..

Conflicting statements on A/L admission for intl. school students in state-run schools

July 28 (ST) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the Education Ministry would consider applications from international school students to follow GCE A/L classes in state schools pending the outcome of a proposed cabinet committee to look into it. He said that the earlier cabinet proposal had been put on hold and students of international schools could gain admission to state schools if there were vacancies. more..

Rajarata undergrads defiant despite Presidential pardon

July 28 (Island) The Rajarata University undergraduates yesterday insisted that they would not apologise to the university administration though they were ready to accept a pardon ordered by President Rajapaksa. Former President of the Rajarata Students Council Dinesha Kumara said that the university administration had not responded until undergraduates performed a 230-day sathyagraha against the suspension more..

CEB settles debts amounting to Rs 60 bn

July 28 (Island) The CEB said that with the expected monsoon it would be in a position to erase the operational losses and settle bank loans running to more than Rs. 62 billion. CEB Chairman, W.B. Ganegala said that last year the CEB had spent more than Rs. 60 billion to settle the outstanding debts. CEB had settled arrears to the tune of Rs. 23 billion to CPC, Rs. 25 billion to Peoples’ Bank, Rs. 12 billion to Independent Power Producers more..

'May all women reborn as men'

July 28 (DM) “May all women reborn as men in their next incarnation,” said Minister Maithripala Sirisena when he addressed the Polonnaruwa SLFP Women’s Federation meeting in Manampitiya. “Today women’s dominance is visible everywhere, women constitute 53% of the country’s population and 80% of govt servants. The village society and the whole country depends on a mother’s strength, and her strength is more..

UNP back on common candidate track

July 28 (AM) In the wake of the public meeting against Executive Presidency which was attended by representatives of all major political parties, the UNP has now deviated from its previous stance on fielding a common opposition candidate at the next Presidential election. Media reports earlier stated that the UNP had decided to field its National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as its Presidential Candidate at forthcoming election without supporting more..

India to de-linked Sethu project: BJP

July 28 (DM) In what appeared to be a sigh of relief for Sri Lanka, the Barathiya Janatha Party (BJP) govt of India is likely to drop the controversial Sethusamunduram Project in part due to religious sensitivities involved in terms of the Hindu Mythology, the Daily Mirror learns. Sri Lanka raised objections to this project launched by the previous Congress Govt of India in 2004, citing environmental and religious reasons. more..

The Upul Jayasuriya saga

July 28 (CT) News reports that unidentified persons on a motor cycle had followed the car in which the President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), Upul Jayasuriya, was travelling while returning from Courts evoked keen interest among Sri Lankans of all strata of society, reviving memories of how The Sunday Leader Editor, Lasantha Wickrematunge, was trailed by unknown killers on the day he was murdered on 8 January 2009. In fact, it gave a chilling reminder of more..

Manifesto for a 'People’s peaceful planet 2025'

July 28 (CT) With the end of the Second World War, strengthening and uniting the larger world as the 'United Nations' despite a slow growing cold war between two super powers, the USA and the USSR, the decade of 50 began with some sense of relief. The world psyche in general was that there will not be a “Third World War”, on this planet earth. There nevertheless were serious localised armed conflicts even in the decade of 50. They were cocooned in smaller geographical areas like Korea, more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lanka shares close higher

July 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka's shares closed higher on Monday with oil palm firms gaining amid weak foreign buying. All Share Price Index closed 0.63 points higher at 6,784.27, up 0.01%. The S&P SL20 closed 3.47 points lower at 3,761.43, down 0.09%. Turnover was 493.10 million rupees, down from 1.23 billion rupees last Friday with 101 stocks closed positive against 88 negative. F L C Holdings closed 10 cents higher at 2.20 rupees, attracting most number of trades during the day. more..

Police raid one massage parlour out of many

July 28 (Island) Sleuths of the Organised Crime and anti Fraud Unit of the Police Headquarters raided an alleged brothel at Sri Saranankara Road, in Kalubowila on Saturday and nabbed three female suspects and their manager. Alleged brothel had been operated in the guise of an ayurvedic massage centre. The police had obtained a search warrant from Nugegoda Magistrate to raid the place. The women nabbed were aged 20, 22 and 30. They are residents of Weeraketiya and Ampara areas. more..

Trace Expert City gets CodeGen as first tenant

July 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka's 'Trace Expert City', an information technology park in the capital Colombo, kicked off with the first tenant software firm beginning operations. Codegen, a travel solutions firm with offices in the UK and Sri Lanka which had taken up 5 bays in the first phase of the project with 13 bays spread over 85,000 square feet. CodeGen CEO Harsha Subasinghe said the knowledge park will help take more..

Canteen operators tell CAA to put its own house in order

July 28 (Island) The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) raided school canteens countrywide, but the conditions at its own canteen were appalling, the All Island Canteen Owners Association charged yesterday. President of the Association Asela Sampath said that they were not against raiding unhygienic food establishments, but the CAA should put its own house in order before raiding other canteens. The CAA had launched a programme to raid school canteens and several canteen more..

Ranil visits tuition class

July 28 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe this evening urged the GCE A/L students together with their tuition masters to join in efforts to change Sri Lankan society. He expressed these views when he visited the tuition class being operated by popular tutor Upul Santha Sannasgala at Nuegoda. “Let all of you together with Upul Sir, change society and secure a bright future for yourselves,” he said. Mr. Wickremesinghe recalled that he had invited Mr. Sannasgala to take up politics more..

Video: CJ steps down from Golden Key case

July 28 (DM) Chief Justice Mohan Peiris today stepped down from the Bench inquiring into the Golden Key Credit Card Company case stating there was a scurrilous letter being circulated against him and as such he should not hear the case in the greater interest of the judiciary. At a special hearing held today CJ Mohan Peiris said: “I am doing this in the greater interest of this court, to protect its dignity. This court has been more..

'Go for Asian expertise, instead of West and Europe'

July 28 (Island) Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management Nimal Siripala de Silva urges Sri Lankan professionals to turn to Asian countries to obtain expertise in science and technology instead of the European countries. The Minister said Sri Lankans had been looking to the west for so many decades, "because we were under the British colonial rule and always we thought of going to Britain for studies to get their experience and the European experience." more..