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Customs Chief gripes about bad press

July 4 (Island) Director General of Sri Lanka Customs Jagath Wijeweera said that media should write in a more objective manner when they reported on the Customs and the correct information should be disseminated to the readers. Addressing a news conference in connection with the ceremonial opening of the newly constructed Customs headquarters scheduled for July 14 and the awareness week from the 7-12 of this month, Wijeweera said that media had always more..

Australian Immigration Minister to visit SL

July 4 (CG) Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison is scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka next week amidst a growing controversy over an asylum vessel with over 150 Sri Lankans, the whereabouts of which is still not known. Morrison is expected to arrive on Wednesday and will hold talks with the Govt and Defence officials. Morrison and the Australian Govt have been silent on Australian media reports that a vessel with Sri Lankans more..

Rajitha assures relief to fishermen once two mother ships arrive

July 4 (Island) Govt would bring some relief to fishermen by reining in fuel costs, once the two Chinese made mother-ships were received by the country, according to Minister Rajitha Senaratne. Laying the foundation stone for the anchoring point in Kaikawala recently, he said fishermen would be able to engage in their fishing activities in the deep sea continuously using the two ships as they did not have to burn fuel to bring their catch to shore every time the hull was full. more..

Govt. requests doctors, nurses to place patients before self

July 4 (Island) The govt yesterday appealed to doctors and nurses to resolve their differences in the interest of the general public, without placing self before service. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that educated people and especially those in a profession where an oath had been taken to place humanitarian service over monetary considerations, should not be squabbling over "little, little things". At the rate medical trade unions were launching strikes, no Health Minister would be able to resolve more..

Lankans caught over ATM scam in Indonesia

July 4 (JP) Three suspected members of an international crime syndicate have been arrested in Greater Jakarta over a series of ATM-card skimming attacks in the country totaling US$ 32,6551. A police investigation found that two Sri Lankan natives, identified as Vinoth and Siva, and Siva’s Indonesian wife, Riska Deliawati, had installed hidden cameras and skimmers — electronic devices that read data from more..

Health Ministry conducts 600 exams annually

July 4 (Island) Govt was in great difficulty because of a bureaucrat who prepared the 2006/No 6 Circular making it mandatory for the Health Ministry to conduct 600 examinations per annum, lamented Minister Maithripala Sirisena. He said the Health Ministry had to conduct at least two exams each day including Saturdays and Sundays. He was speaking at an opening of a ward complex, OPD, neo-natal care unit, pharmacy and ENT unit at the Nuwara-Eliya General Hospital recently more..

Anti-Muslim violence: Not even the most basic investigations launched

July 4 (CT) It has been revealed that not even the most basic investigations have been launched to determine the cause of the fires that resulted in extensive property damages in Southern Sri Lanka following the anti-Muslim violence that erupted in several coastal towns, further proving the Rajapaksa regime’s apathy towards delivering justice to victimized families of the brutality. Reports have surfaced and they have been further concreted by a statement made by the Bar Association of SL more..

Sri Lanka’s rehabilitated ex-combatants struggle to adjust

July 4(IRIN) Five years after the end of a 26-year civil war, most former combatants from the LTTE in northern Sri Lanka have been rehabilitated and re-entered civilian life, but whether war-disabled or not, many are finding genuine integration difficult, according to rehabilitees, govt officials and humanitarian workers. After the war ended in 2009, former fighters were required to complete a roughly 2-year rehabilitation more..

Tamils fear fate of asylum seekers in SL

July 4 (SMH) The Tamil community is concerned the two boatloads of asylum seekers intercepted at sea could face torture if they are sent back to Sri Lanka. A man who has identified himself as a relative of some on board the boat carrying 153 asylum seekers told an interpreter at least 11 had been previously jailed and tortured in Sri Lanka. He described gruesome details of torture he had personally endured under the Sri Lankan regime including being bashed with a plastic pipe more..

Elections Chief says ‘No,’ but ‘Yes’

July 4 (NS) Commissioner of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya announces that no official announcement has been released over the change of number of members which have been allocated for administrative districts in the Uva province. Uva province consists of two districts Badulla and Monaragala and Badulla has a population of 609,066 and Monaragla 330,000. The UNP charged that that there is a plan to reduce two seats (members) from the Badulla administrative more..

Video: UNP happy over Gnanasara Thera’s visa cancellation

July 4 (DM) UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera said Sri Lankans should be thankful to the United States for cancelling the visa of BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera and banning him from entering the US. Mr. Samaraweera said the recording of a statement by Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera was a drama being enacted by the Govt because of the pressure applied by Middle Eastern countries. more..

Regional mobile services to procure public legal documents

July 4 (GDI) Ministry of National Languages ​​and Social Integration Korale Pattu North, Vakare jointly conducted a regional mobile services to procure public legal documents. This public service was held yesterday at Roman Catholic school in Mankeni. Event was led by Divisional Secretary Ms. S.R. Ragulanayaki. Further, School's Principal K. Navaradnam, Ministry of National Languages ​​and Social Integration, Secretariat of the District Development Officer of National Integration more..

Daughter abducted: Father says police doing nothing

July 4(DM) A Kadugannawa resident stood on the roof of his car outside the People’s Bank building at Daladaweediya in Kandy in protest over the police having failed to conduct a formal inquiry into the alleged abduction of his 25-year-old daughter. The protestor who identified himself as Wilbert Dayananda of Kadugannawa alleged that some men travelling in a VIP vehicle abducted his daughter but the police were doing little or nothing to trace her daughter. more..

Video: Australian PM can witness peacefulness if he visits Darga Town - Salley

July 4 (AD) Leader of National Unity Front, Azath Salley today claimed that the govt is afraid it will lose its voter base if the Pope visits the war-affected Northern Province, during his scheduled visit to Sri Lanka. Central Provincial Council member made these comments during a press conference today, which was also attended by UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera and former Minister Hemakumara Nanayakkara. more..

Damaged pipeline: CPC passes losses on to consumers, says UNP TU

July 4 (Island) The UNP trade union arm, Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS), alleged that the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation’s (CPC) management had misled the Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa by giving him falsified reports. JSS Petroleum Corporation branch General Secretary Ananda Palitha stressed that there was a fuel shortage in the country due to the damaged pipeline connecting the Sapugaskanda refinery to the offshore anchorage buoy in Colombo port. more..

Visa for Gnanasara Thera considered in accordance with rules :UK

July 4(DM) Britain said that any visa application from Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera of BBS would be considered in accordance with the Immigration Rules. In response to a question whether they (UK govt) have any plans to ban Ven. Gnanasara Thera, from entering the United Kingdom, Minister of State for Crime Prevention and Antisocial Behaviour Reduction Lord Taylor of Holbeach said the Home Office does not routinely comment on individual cases, because more..

Four top LTTE members arrested in Malaysia

July 4 (PTI) Four suspected Tamil Tigers, including a man allegedly involved in the 1999 assassination attempt on the then President Chandrika Kumaratunga, have been arrested here for trying to revive the LTTE and making Malaysia a base for its operations. The four suspected members of the LTTE were arrested in a series of anti-terrorism operations in Klang Valley on Thursday. The men, believed to be senior more..

Plot misfires, Suminda safe for now!

July 4 (LT) Police Constable Suminda Saman, who handed a spot fine to Deputy Minister Hemal Gunasekera for speeding on the Southern Highway, was assaulted by a gang allegedly at the behest of the Deputy Minister, had his vehicle torched by the same gang and later resigned from the Department of Police was visited by Dodamgoda OIC with two others and had asked him to go with them to the place where he was assaulted. Only Dodangoda OIC Lasantha Buddhika had been in uniform more..

Govt. rejects UN war crimes probe via Skype

July 4 (Island) Govt, while rejecting moves by the ongoing UNHRC War Crimes Probe against it and the LTTE, to use Skype as a means of leading evidence, said it hoped such a situation would not arise. Asked about the UNHRC Investigating Panel’s statement that it would lead the evidence of Sri Lankan witnesses scattered in various parts of the world, via Skype, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said: "We hope it does not get to that. The use of such methods would have to discussed and more..

Govt to summon US envoy

July 4 (DM) Cabinet has instructed the External Affairs Ministry to summon the US Envoy in Colombo Michele Sison and register the govt’s formal protest over a newspaper advertisement put in by the US Embassy in Colombo calling for applications from NGOs for what it called a citizenship program, Daily Mirror learns. Sources said that Cabinet of Ministers discussed this matter at their meeting yesterday. more..

Populism without planning

July 5 (CT) Amongst the many complaints against govt made by its own Ministers and MPs who attended the Consultative Committee on Resettlement was one relating to something that has been a constant theme of the opposition. This is that the armed forces are engaging in business at the expense of civilians. The specific case cited related to entry into joint partnership with a foreign national for the generation of bio-fuels. This seems to me in itself a good idea, and I can understand why more..

Sri Lanka's triumph of attitude

July 5 (CI) What a battle. What an epic struggle. This was bare-knuckle stuff. For ten days and 30 sessions, two teams hammered at each other. The triumph, in the last few minutes of a three-week contest, demonstrated once again that nothing has the capacity to deliver drama and tension like the slow burn of Test cricket. This historic Test series victory may in the long run be of more significance to Sri Lanka than the World T20 victory in Bangladesh. Win proved they can succeed outside Asia more..

Revival of education in Mullaitivu: Students show tremendous success in academics

July 5 (SO) Sri Lanka has maintained a higher level of literacy among developing countries – the highest in the South Asian region and one of the highest in Asia over a significant period. The reason behind this is the free education system. The free education system has elevated the living standards of the people and paved the way for success for many citizens, Undoubtedly education is an indispensable part of life. more..

Comparison of the Mahindian and post- Mahindian eras of Sri Lankan Buddhism

July 5 (Island) Year 2014 brings the Sri Lankans to the 14th year of the 24th century from the introduction of Buddhism into this Island, almost immediately after the conclusion of the Third Buddhist Council held under the patronage of Emperor Asoka of India. The Mahindian mission brought with them the Pali canonical texts of the Theravada tradition, as approved by the third Buddhist Council and these became the consultative texts or source books of tradition thereafter. more..

Riots of June 2014 & Pogrom of July 1983

July 5 (GV) It is unlikely that there is anyone living who remembers the anti-Muslim riots of 1915. In any case, apart from the fact that most of the victims were Muslims and most of the perpetrators were Sinhalese, there are few similarities between the riots of 1915 and 2014. In1915 the British administration, in sharp contrast to our own today crushed the violence firmly and quickly. In fact the punishments they meted out were both needlessly cruel and indiscriminate. more..

BBS: Proud Inheritors or Petty Contractors?

July 5 (GV) Speech delivered by Ven. Galaboda-atté Gnanasara at a public meeting in the Aluthgama on 14 is broadly considered as the primary cause that triggered the subsequent rampage and violence in that area. BBS, organisation of which Ven. Gnanasara is the Secretary General, is squarely accused of encouraging, instigating and perpetrating a bout of Sinhala-Muslim rioting that killed 9 people, more..

breadfruit tapped as solution to food security danger

July 5 (SNA) They say if that you eat breadfruit in the Seychelles at least once, then you are sure to come to the paradise isles again. Breadfruit is so well-loved in the Indian Ocean islands of Seychelles that when the fruit is harvested – often at great risk to the pickers who venture up the extremely tall breadfruit trees – they are eagerly shared and can help feed an entire neighbourhood. This is why scientists researching ways to provide countries threatened by climate change more..

My stand on Mahinda, the Rajapaksas, Ranil & the UNP

July 5 (CT) Though I refuse to be simplistic, my stance on President Rajapaksa and the Rajapaksa regime is absolutely clear, as it is about the UNP, the Tamil question, Sri Lanka’s foreign policy, and most issues of politics, national and international. 1. I defend President Rajapaksa from criticism that comes from the Right, while I do not do so in relation to criticism that comes from the anti-imperialist patriotic Left, and in fact endorse the latter. Thus I defend Mahinda Rajapaksa from the criticism more..

Home advantage beckons confident SL

July 5 (CI) The first half of Sri Lanka's 2014 deserves some reliving. It began with a gritty two-day rearguard against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi, held firm by a resilient Angelo Mathews playing the innings that would launch his batting to a new realm. Soon after, the team's rookie seamers engineered victory in Dubai, hinting at their potential. A negative Sri Lanka squandered their series gains in Sharjah, but the forces that came together more..

Editorial: Probe this claim

July 5 (Island) Security is reported to have been tightened in some places along India’s southern littoral in view of intelligence warnings that foreign terrorists might operate through Sri Lanka to mount attacks on that country. Time was when terrorists used India’s soil to mount attacks here. Towards the latter stages of the Vanni war, arms and ammunition for the LTTE came through Tamil Nadu. It is a supreme irony that today India is worrying about its terrorists using Sri Lanka as a transit point. more..

Sri Lankan Muslims at the cross roads

July 5 (Island) There has been much thinking, writing, and discussion on the Aluthgama/Beruwela outrages, so that we can now try to draw conclusions with some measure of confidence about what those outrages really signify. There seems to be a fairly widespread notion that July ’83 and June ’14 constitute two great divides in Sinhalese/minority relations, with the difference that that in 1983 the outrages were of course much worse. Both divides had behind them two common factors: more..

Pakistan asylum-seekers in Sri Lanka

July 5 (Economist) Dozens of Pakistani asylum-seekers have been locked up in a detention camp in southern Sri Lanka following mass arrests that the UNHCR, says it never saw coming. The sweep started on June 9th in Negombo, a breezy seaside resort famous for its churches and beaches, on Sri Lanka’s west coast. Police went door-to-door with immigration officials and rounded up 142 men in seven days. more..

The Pangs of New Labour

July 5 (Island) It was her first confinement since marriage about two years ago. There was much excitement in the family since she was told by the doctor about having twins. After considerable debate the couple decided against a pre-natal scan to know the sex of the expected twins. They preferred to await the thrill of surprise at birth. It was a normal pregnancy with no problems for the would-be mother. She was quite healthy, went for regular walks, and kept her shape too, until more..

Detention of Wijeweera at Magazine Prison

July 5 (Island) A couple of months prior to the JVP insurrection in April 1971, Rohana Wijeweera, was arrested by the police in the jungles of Ampara while he was having a meeting with some other JVP leaders. He was brought to the Batticaloa Prison and thereafter transferred to Jaffna Prison. JVP had planned to rescue Rohana from the Jaffna Prison during the insurrection. This onerous task was entrusted to some of the supporters who were students of the Moratuwa University. more..

Midnight consumer gazette to burden poorest, claims Harsha

July 5 (FT) Opposition MP and UNP Economic Affairs Spokesman Dr. Harsha De Silva has accused the Govt of bringing another ‘midnight gazette’ to burden Sri Lanka’s poorest and help a specially selected few to rake in profits. He said that effective 1 August, the Consumer Affairs Authority was insisting that a range of items including shampoo, soap and toothpaste be branded with a special security stamp, driving up costs. more..

New Shippers’ Council Chief all praise for President and Treasury Secy.

July 5 (FT) Following is the address by Incoming Chairman Sean Van Dort at the 44th Annual General Meeting & Post Business Session of the Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council, held on 27 June at the Cinnamon Lakeside, Colombo. Our Chief Guest Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, Secretary to the Treasury, Ministry of Finance and Planning, Ashroff Omar, the Chief Executive Officer of Brandix Lanka, our Guest of Honour, Past Presidents of the Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council, heads of Govt agencies, more..

Sri Lankans look to continue purple patch

July 5 (Island) This year the Sri Lankans haven’t lost a series. In fact they have won all but one. Whether it is T-20s, ODIs or Tests, the Sri Lankans have come on top in all forms. Since drawing a three match Test series against Pakistan in January, the Sri Lankans have won Test, ODI and T-20 series against England and Bangladesh apart from winning the Asia Cup and World T-20. That’s quite an impressive record. That record will be put to the test by the South Africans, more..

Refugee arrested as Tiger bomber

July 5 (TA) A Tamil Sri Lankan man granted asylum in Australia more than three years ago has been arrested in Malaysia along with three others on suspicion of trying to revive the rebel Tamil Tiger movement and is expected to be deported to Sri Lanka. Sornalingam Puvaneswaran, also known as Eesan, fled Sri Lanka in early 2009 during the last bloody months of the civil war and was granted permanent residency after more..

Skilled worker exodus seen as stalling industrial progress

July 5 (Island) Hotel room inventories end 2015 would increase to a figure in excess of 8000. Additionally, some 228 hectares identified for 1023 industrial projects, particularly South of the island, and a number of Northern development projects are part of the cornerstone of current development, according to the authorities. Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena this week at a press conference convened to give information on the govt’s development plans said new industries more..

Crafts Alive fashion initiative with Colombo Fashion Week

July 5 (FT) Home to a rich heritage of traditional arts and crafts, Sri Lanka has always given pride of place to the artisans and craftspeople of its heartland. Sri Lankan arts and crafts have been admired over the years internationally. The Crafts Council of Sri Lanka, headed by Chairman Buddhi Keerthisena, under the aegis of the Ministry of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development, has consistently been committed to the upliftment and sustenance of craftspeople. more..