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Video: Sri Lanka a happy hunting ground for the newly rich – Kunanayakam

July 30 (LT) “I’m here as I’m a Sri Lankan and I’m proud to be a Sri Lankan. I do not believe that separatism or partition is the answer for problems of the society. I’m convinced that the unity of all Sri Lankan people can free the country and the people from exploitation and preserve our sovereignty and independence. People joined together will be able to combat all exploitation,” said Ms Tamara Kunanayakam, former more..

Sri Lanka: Time to take spice route

July 30 (FPJ) Last week, I visited the beautiful home of local businessman Thirukumar Nadesan in a part of Colombo-7 that is so reminiscent of Kolkata’s Alipore of yore. There are three facets of Nadesan that strike me as significant. First, he is a Jaffna Tamil now living in Colombo; second, he is an extremely devout Hindu, with a fully functioning puja room and even a goshala in his back garden; and finally, his wife Nirupama, a MP for the ruling SLFP, is a niece of President Rajapaksa. more..

Kallis retires from international cricket

July 30 (CI) Jacques Kallis has announced his retirement from international cricket, across all three formats. The South Africa batsman had quit Tests late last year and decided to call time on his limited-overs career after the recent poor one-day tour of Sri Lanka. Kallis will, however, continue to play T20 franchise cricket for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL and for Sydney Thunder in the BBL. He ends his ODI career with 11579 runs in 328 matches with 17 centuries & 86 fifties at an average of 44.36. more..

IMF Executive Director calls on President

July 30 (GDI) The Executive Director at the IMF in Washington, D.C., United States, representing Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh and Bhutan, Dr. Rakesh Mohan called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa this evening at Temple Trees. Commenting on the Govt's initiatives toward rapid infrastructure development, Dr. Mohan said that it was a very wise decision to put in place development plans that focus on the medium more..

Hudson skins the radio

July 30 (LT) SLBC has decided to sell a 71 acre land belonging to it on a proposal by its Chairman Hudson Samarasinghe as a solution for the financial crisis it is confronted with say reports. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella has already forwarded a proposal regarding this to the cabinet. The money that would be available after selling the land would be used to modernize the Corporation, implement a voluntary compensation scheme for redundant employees and bring up the standard of more..

Navy to be placed on alert for Indians

July 30 (CG) The navy will be placed on alert to arrest Indian fishermen if they attempt to force their way into Sri Lankan waters, the military said today. Indian fishermen have threatened to cross into Sri Lankan waters on August 2 in protest over the navy arresting Indian fishermen. Militarily spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that Indian fishermen had made similar threats even on earlier occasions but never went ahead with it. However he said even if the Indians go ahead with more..

Aluthgama suspects released 'legally'

July 30 (SM) Police say that a police OIC is empowered to release the 13 suspects of the Aluthgama incident, on police bail. Speaking to BBC, SSP Ajith Rohana has said thus, while responding to queries over the release of the 13 suspects. Though journalist J.S. Tissanayagam was arrested on the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) on charges of abetting terrorism, the Aluthgama incident did not come under the PTA, he has added. more..

Walking Path: A play without words

July 31 (GV) A play without words is a risky proposition. Why would a theatrical production abandon one of the most powerful tools at its disposal? In a performative audio-visual medium like theatre words can and do carry much weight. Much of theatre is carried by words – sometimes at the expense of the theatrical. The no-words choice in “Walking Path” appears to relate to the play’s thematic concerns at a number of levels. At one level it seems to be about silence: more..

Secret behind Mahinda not visiting Glasgow

July 31 (CT) The letter sent by the Minister. G.L. Peiris, citing the reasons for President Rajapaksa, the Chairman of Commonwealth, not attending the Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow, Scotland, exposed a hitherto unknown fact. The reason has been cited as the failure on the part of the British Govt in suppressing the agitations by Tamil Diaspora against the Sri Lankan President. Prof. G.L. Peiris has mentioned in his letter that the agitators pelted empty bottles and cans at more..

Drowning: Lifeguards play pivotal role

July 31 (SO) Surging waters are the draw of all young people . They just leap into the gushing waters throwing caution to the winds. It has been observed that this is a growing trend among young people. About a year ago two male youth who went to bathe in the Wattala sea and were rescued by lifeguards, when they spotted them in difficulty. Two of them who were in a semi conscious state were given immediate treatment and first aid more..

A Common Strategy

July 31 (CT) Momentum is gathering. At the mention of an unlikely common candidate, in the form of Wigneswaran (Kusal Perera’s contribution), mainstream English editorials were quick to respond with what can only be called reactive political propaganda. One editorial was called, ‘President Rajapaksa, the undisputed choice’, another editorial was called ‘Masses hail President Mahinda Rajapaksa’, a opinion was called ‘President’s political acumen incomparable’, more..

There are holes in your 'buckets' dear Ranil, dear Karu

July 31 (CT) When leaders of opposition political parties gathered in Colombo exactly a week ago, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe chose the extreme right seat to occupy next to former President Chandrika Kumaratunga who had the TNA leader, R. Sampanthan on her right. UNP LC Chairman, Karu Jayasuriya sat on the left extreme between JVP's Sunil Handunnetti and JHU's Udaya Gammanpila. In the past both Wickremesinghe and Jayasuriya occupied adjoining seats at more..

'The Sinhala-Buddhist voter is not communal minded'

July 31 (Island) As the Chairman of the UNP, Kegalle district MP Kabir Hashim occupies a position held previously by Muslim heavyweights like Dr M.C.M. Kaleel and A.C.S. Hameed. In this interview, he speaks about the rise of communal political parties representing Muslims, the more recent phenomenon of anti-Muslim Buddhist organisations and the future of the Muslim community in this country. more..

EPRLF and the secular national front

July 31 (NS) A fact, largely unappreciated in Sri Lanka’s post-war political discourse, is the attempt made by the Tamil polity to reach out to the Sinhalese. It could be because the latter expect the Tamils to reach out, as the defeated reach out to the victorious; or, because believing in the prominent place that should be afforded to their language and religion, the former expects the latter to reach out, as an ever grateful child reaches out to a benevolent father. more..

Tobacco tax in the clutches of bureaucracy

July 31 (NS) The research titled ‘Parliament should have a formula for regulating cigarettes’ conducted by Verité Research is a comprehensive academic analysis of the tobacco tax system in Sri Lanka and the consequent losses of revenue for the govt. On a more cynical note it seems that Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) runs on a govt subsidy. For example, from each one rupee rise in price for Gold Leaf, the govt gets 60 cents and CTC 40. Profits of Ceylon Tobacco Company, more..

The Controversy surrounding Law College

July 31 (CT) Concerns surrounding Sri Lanka Law College have escalated further since those aspiring to enrol in it began complaining of discrepancies surrounding the Law Entrance Exam, while senior members of the legal fraternity took it a step further by meeting President Rajapaksa last week. A number of controversies plagued the Sri Lanka Law College following a spate of rule changes that were imposed upon more..

Editorial: Stone-throwing children

July 31 (Island) Some people in this country have the bad habit of throwing various objects out of moving vehicles or hurling stones at passing trains. It was only recently that a schoolgirl suffered head injury when a drunk threw a bottle from a fast moving a private coach in Akuressa. Shortly after the opening of the Southern Expressway some vehicles came under stone attacks at night. Time was when stones were frequently thrown at night trains on the coastal line. more..

Seven reasons why the single-issue common candidate project will not work

July 31 (CT) Sri Lanka’s political evolution has clearly arrived at a crisis stage that demands just one great imperative action by the people, namely the abolition of the institution of Executive President. The current incumbent in office, Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR), has done one salutary service and that is to demonstrate the serious fault lines in the system by reducing it to the absurd drama that the JR Jayewardene-led United National Party government script can turn into. more..

Civil society: The greatest bugbear, the greatest hope?

July 31 (FT) The young MP from Hambantota was trying to board a plane bound for Geneva on 11 Sept 1990, when he was intercepted by an ASP by the name of Kudahetti. The senior Policeman wanted to search the MP’s baggage for fabricated documents likely to be “prejudicial to the interests of national security or promote feelings of hatred or contempt” towards the ruling Govt of the day. The MP refused to submit to the search more..

Sanga story: SLC Clarifies

July 31 (Island) In response to our article "Sanga cries foul" that appeared in The Island, Sri Lanka Cricket CEO Ashley de Silva has sent us the following clarification. ‘All decisions taken by SLC with regard to the player who represent the CLT20 tournament or any other decision are taken by the entire ExCo and not by any individual of the ExCo. Even last year when Mr. Kumar Sangakkara requested to represent his IPL Team, the Exco whilst expressing Sri Lanka Cricket’s more..

BOC marks 75 years of ‘service to the nation’

July 31 (Island) ‘Wait and see the changes that are going to take place in the Bank of Ceylon (BOC) in the near future, which will elevate the Bank’s status to the level of leading international banks operating in the country, BOC Chairman, Air Chief Marshal Harsha Abeywickema said, following the BOC media conference to announce its 75th anniversary celebration plans. On Aug 1, Bank of Ceylon celebrates 75 years of service in shaping the financial and banking landscape of Sri Lanka, more..

Whom did Chandimal fail: Himself, the country or the puppeteer?

July 31 (ST) I would not be flummoxed or flabbergasted when I tune on my television or walk into one of the Test venues shortly, to see Rangana Herath batting with one of the top order guys, but, with only a few Lankan wickets fallen. The reason, little old roly-poly guy has been forced to come up in the order as the Lankans have run out of choices in the middle-order. Problem is the SL cricket hierarchy seems to have more..

Rs. 1900 mn spent on giving relief to drought affected

July 31 (Island) Disaster Management Ministry said that it had allocated Rs. 1900 million to assist drought victims. Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that Rs. 1300 million had already been released to compensate drought victims in the Northern, Eastern, and North Central Provinces and Hambantota, Moneragala, Puttalam and Badulla Districts. He said that the compensation would be given to all drought victims after evaluating the damage. more..

Three killed on the spot in head-on collision

July 31 (Island) Three persons were killed on the spot and one was injured when the trishaw they were travelling in collided head-on with a private bus at Meepitiya on the Colombo-Kandy main road yesterday. The fatal accident had occurred around 4.50 p.m. and the injured man had been rushed to the Kegalle hospital. The private bus had been plying from Colombo to Kandy at the time, they said. Police said that the injured person (31) was also in a critical condition. more..

Video: Pillay stands by her report on SL

July 31 (CG) The outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says she stands by her report on Sri Lanka submitted to the UN Human Rights Council last year and rejected the notion that it was “propaganda”. In an interview with Al-Jazeera television this week, Pillay said that some of the information mentioned in her report and the UN Experts Panel report was similar to what was reported by the LLRC. more..

Govts fund NGO gravy train

July 31 (DN) Donors gave Rs. 618.33 million to three NGOs - Centre for Policy Alternatives received Rs. 277 million, National Peace Council received Rs.171 million while Transparency International received Rs.174 million. Observers say these are Western Governmental Organisations and not NGOs, with funding by foreign govt or foreign govt maintained agencies such as the European Union, Helvetas Sri Lanka, Germany, Canadian International Development Agency, more..

‘United we win, divided we fall’

July 31 (Island) Text of speech delivered by Chairman, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Suresh Shah, at the 175th anniversary celebrations of the Chamber at the Cinnamon Grand on Tuesday. I am privileged to welcome all of you this evening as the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce celebrates its 175th anniversary. This is a landmark occasion for the Chamber & we deeply appreciate your presence here this evening. Today we recall the illustrious journey of an institution – the first of its kind more..

CDF to help hospitals

July 31 (CT) The Ministry of Defence yesterday deployed 341 officers of the Civil Defence Force (CDF) to hospitals around the country. The CDF men were meant to fill in the void of 45,000 minor health staff who launched a token strike beginning at 6 a.m. yesterday. Consequently, most of the health services were crippled, it is learned. The move was a joint directive of the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Health. more..

Lawyers Collective: Save Palestine

July 31 (Island) Senior lawyer Lal Wijenayake issuing a statement on behalf of the Lawyers’ Collective yesterday condemned the UN and the international community for failing to halt the massacre of defenseless civilians in Palestine in the guise of neutralizing armed Hamas. The statement said: Lawyers’ Collective’ condemns the attack by Israel on unarmed civilians in Gaza and other parts of Palestine in the guise of neutralizing armed Hamas militants. more..

Ranaviru apparels silently strengthens national economy

July 31 (GDI) Sri Lanka Army’s Ranaviru Apparel industries at Yakkala and Alawwa, run purely by disable Army personnel. These factories produce high quality uniforms for the army that are of international standards. The Yakkala factory has a workforce numbering over 849 with 269 machines and 17 Army officers and produced an average of 1090 uniform sets per day. In the Alawwa factory there is a workforce of 745 soldiers with 230 machines and 10 Army Officers. more..

No truth in Pulipaarvai being screened to Rajapakse

July 31 (TOI) Pravin Gandhi, the director of Pulipaarvai, a Tamil film on 12-year-old son of LTTE leader Prabhakaran who was found shot dead after being captured by Lankan troops, has strongly dismissed reports that suggested that his film was privately screened to President Rajapakse to seek his approval. "There is absolutely no truth to such rumours. How is it even possible? I'm an Indian who has made a film for Indians. more..

BJP crusader for Lankan Tamils dead

July 31 (TOI) Senior BJP ideologue M V M Alagappan, who championed the cause of the Sri Lankan Tamils and spoke at various forums demanding protection of Indian fishermen from the Sri Lankan navy attacks, died in Chennai early on Wednesday. He penned Tamil booklets on the state of human rights in Sri Lanka and why Narendra Modi should be chosen Prime Minister. Alagappan, 81, had been ailing for some time and was admitted to Vijaya Hospital in Vadapalani. more..

Stolen St. Sebastian’s bone relic found

July 31 (Island) Kandana police have taken into custody a suspect over the theft of the bone relic of St. Sebastian which had been brought from Italy and placed on the altar of St. Sebastian’s Church, Kandana. The relic was recovered yesterday. Under interrogation the suspect has told the police that he had two houses, one at Ja-Ela and the other at Batagama. The one at Batagama had been converted into a church and he wanted to bring the statue at St Sebastian’s church and place it more..

Amending Executive Powers: Former CJ takes reins

July 31 (CT) A Committee headed by former Chief Justice, Sarath Nanda Silva has been appointed to draft an amendment to the Constitution in the form of limiting the powers of the Executive Presidency, implementing the 17th Amendment with further amendments, and to completely do away with the preferential vote system. The new draft will strengthen the positions of the Prime Minister, ministers and powers more..

MRL Corporation assays show 99.2% Total Carbon, Sri Lanka

July 31 (PI) Sri Lankan graphite-company MRL Corporation has delivered more analytical assay results from diamond hole DHE228-01, which recently intersected high grade graphite in SL. Adding to the potential of the area, mineralisation continues in DHE228-04 towards the second shaft. Today's highlight from the contact chill zone of DHE228-01 included 99.2% Total Carbon. Company said that the result was unexpected as normally contact graphite averages around 85% more..

Rajarata University reopens on Aug 4

July 31 (AM) Academic activities at the Rajarata University will recommence on Aug 4, according to the university administration. The decision to reopen the university was taken after students apologized for holding the university's VC and several other staff members hostage earlier this month. All students who were facing disciplinary action have also been pardoned following the apology by students. Meanwhile, the bans on students' unions within the university have also been lifted. more..

Video: Buddha Sasana under threat: Ranil

July 31 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe proposed the setting up of a parliamentary monitoring committee to look into the threats faced by the Buddha Sasana. “We have already suggested the setting up of a parliamentary committee to monitor the development of various important sectors and it would be possible to set up such a monitoring system to look into the threats faced by the Buddha Sasana,” more..

Kin seek release of fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan navy

July 31 (Hindu) Eleven of the 50 fishermen arrested from Nagapattinam by the Sri Lankan Navy two days ago belonged to Ramanathapuram district. The issue came to light on Wednesday when the family members of 11 fishermen submitted a petition to the District Collector in Ramanathapuram seeking his help to get them released from the Sri Lankan jail. Tamil Nadu Fishermen Association (CITU) district secretary M. Karunamoorthi said the fishermen — K. Ramesh, S. Panchanathan and nine others more..

Korea donates 12 new school buildings to Kilinochchi

July 31 (Island) The hand-over ceremony of twelve new school buildings and three teachers’ quarters donated by KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency) on behalf of the Govt of Korea in collaboration with UNOPS (United Nations Office for Project Services) for twelve schools in Kilinochchi district was held in three beneficiary schools, KN/ Konavil GTMS, KN/ Tharmapuram Maha Vidyalayam and KN/ Piramanthanaru Maha Vidyalayam on Monday (28). more..

Uva PC polls: JHU won’t contest on UPFA ticket

July 31 (Island) JHU yesterday said that it wouldn’t contest the forthcoming Uva PC polls on the UPFA ticket. The JHU is the second UPFA constituent to decide against contesting the Uva PC polls. NFF leader, Wimal Weerawansa on Tuesday announced that his party wouldn’t field candidates on the UPFA ticket over a simmering dispute over policy matters, including handling of accountability issues/war crimes. more..