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Helping Colombo hold back the next flood

July 5 (WB) Colombo has a water problem. The city faces increased risk of devastating floods and the World Bank is working with the govt to strengthen SL capital’s defenses, safeguarding the livelihoods of 2.5 million people and the economic health of the entire country. World Bank is lending $213 million through the Metro Colombo Urban Development Project after severe flooding in 2010 exposed the city’s vulnerability more..

Tribunal to end Killings at Police Stations

July 5 (AHRC) The Asian Human Right’s Commission sends its greetings to all those taking active part in making the ‘People’s Tribunal Against Killings at Police Stations’ a reality. When looking into recent killings at police stations in Sri Lanka, it is obvious that the decision to form a People’s Tribunal is an important one. It is a dire need of the times. It is heartening to note that one of the members of this Tribunal will be K.U. Mallika, the mother of Sandun Malinga, 17 year old boy who was killed at more..

‘Financial wrong-doers going scot-free, compliance systems ineffective’

July 5 (Island) ‘If a public lecture on ‘Compliance Obligations of the Financial Industry’ like this was held in London, not more than 10 people would have turned up, Professor Barry Rider, Professorial Fellow, Centre for Development Studies, University of Cambridge told a packed auditorium in Colombo. ‘How many financial wrong-doers have been successfully prosecuted in Sri Lanka or elsewhere for that matter, Rider asked the audience that replied in unison that the number was ‘zero’. more..

Sri Lanka placed among worst countries for visa free travel

July 5 (Island) Sri Lanka has been included in the worst 20 nations for visa free travel by the latest Henley and Partners Visa Restrictions Index. Sri Lanka has been placed at No 9 of 20 nations; namely Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Pakistan, Palestinian Territory, Eritrea, Nepal, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Kosovo, Syria, South Sudan, Libya, DR Congo, Myanmar, Iran, Djibouti, Angola and North Korea. more..

Death ride for man; woman in critical condition

July 5 (Island) A motorcyclist who allegedly failed to heed police orders to stop at the Peliyagoda entrance of the Katunayake expressway around Thursday midnight, was killed and its pillion rider sustained serious injuries, when he sped away and crashed into the rear of a Benz car going in the same direction. The injured woman is a in critical condition. Both of them were rushed to the Colombo National hospital, but the rider succumbed to his injuries. more..

Commercial Bank in World’s Top 1000 Banks for 4th successive year

July 5 (Island) The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has been ranked among the Top 1000 Banks of the World for a fourth successive year in 2014, becoming the only Sri Lankan bank to achieve this feat. This prestigious ranking published annually by ‘The Banker’ magazine of the UK, is an important endorsement of the consistent growth and key performance indicators achieved by Sri Lanka’s largest private bank. Top 1000 World Banks ranking is compiled from a database of over 5,000 more..

CPC faces double whammy; another pipe bursts

July 5 (CT) The unloading and storing of refined crude oil was halted yesterday due to a pipeline bursting off the buoy located in the sea off the coast of Uswetakeiyawa. According to the CPC, a team of divers had been deployed to contain the burst and assess damages. "Our team of divers has already identified the damage. They are working on finding a solution to the problem in order to carry out further repairs." more..

Club de Madrid calls on Lanka to formally condemn hate speech and religious violence

July 5 (FT) Govt of Sri Lanka must formally, unequivocally state its condemnation of those who use language that incites violence against people on account of their religion, the world’s largest forum of former Heads of State and Govt, Club de Madrid said this week. “We welcome the calls for restraint and regret that have been made by leaders from all communities but this is not sufficient at a time of heightened fear and tension,” the group said in a statement on its official website. more..

Gayathri Khemadasa composes Phoolan Devi opera

July 5 (LR) Gayathiri Kahemadasa, daughter of Sri Lanka’s iconic composer Premasiri Khemadasa will compose music for the “Untouchable Opera” based on the story Phoolan Devi, India’s Bandit Queen in a Toronto performance on Friday. Kahemadasa was the first woman to score music in a film in Sri Lanka and was trained as a pianist at the Prague Conservatory and in 2011 she was awarded a Fulbright Professional Scholarship to write the opera Phoolan Devi which was performed at more..

Indian govt mulling pact with Lanka to stop frequent arrests of Tamil fishermen

July 5 (TOI) To find a permanent solution to the repeated capture of TN fishermen in Sri Lankan waters, the govt is discussing various measures including reaching an agreement with Sri Lanka to allow Indian fishermen to operate around the Katchatheevu island for a payment. Another solution being discussed is to encourage and facilitate TN fishermen to engage in deep sea fishing in India's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) more..

India offers scholarships for children of Sri Lanka estate workers

July 5 (HCI) Applications are invited from the children of estate workers, who are resident on estates, for award of scholarships by the Ceylon Estate Workers’ Education Trust (CEWET). These scholarships are available for GCE A/L, Undergraduate courses and for students undergoing Vocational/ Technical education in any other Govt Technical Colleges. Students who have passed GCE O/L or A/L exam with either Mathematics or Arithmetic at the GCE O/L exam and more..

Australian Cricket team visits Jaffna after 42 years

July 5 (MoD) Jaffna Combined School Team (JCST), in a T 20 match played on Friday trounced the visiting Yarra Valley Cricket Association Team (YVCAT) of Australia. The friendly match organized by Security Force Jaffna in collaboration with Foundation of Goodness was played at Jaffna Central College ground with participation of Chief of Staff Sri Lanka Army Major General Prasad Samarasinghe as chief guest. Having won the toss, JCST captain Alan Raj decided to bat first more..

US axes Lankan voter education funding amid controversy

July 5 (FT) USAID has cancelled funding for a voter education program after the Sri Lankan Govt raised objections and the island’s top defence official vowed to investigate organizations receiving grants to implement the project. In an email to prospective applicants yesterday, the USAID said the federal grant opportunity had been “deleted”. “Sri Lanka USAID Colombo Office will no longer be accepting applications for this opportunity,” more..

Tamil woman raped by Sri Lankan soldiers to be deported from UK

July 5 (C4) Weeks after William Hague's summit on sexual violence in conflict, British govt is to deport a Tamil woman back to Sri Lanka, despite claims she was repeatedly raped by Sri Lankan soldiers. The Tamil woman came to the UK in 2010, soon after the end of the country's civil war, and says that she was repeatedly raped while held in detention by Sri Lankan soldiers before she left the country. Despite serious concerns that she is at risk of rape at the hands of authorities if she is forcibly returned more..

‘India’ board installed near IMBL in Palk Bay

July 5 (Hindu) District administration has installed ‘India’ board at the fifth islet in the south Palk Bay, as a sign of demarcation, to help Indian fishermen not to cross the IMBL. On a request from fishermen, Collector K. Nanthakumar sanctioned funds for installing the concrete slab board, measuring 3.9 metre by 2.5 metre. The name ‘India’ was written prominently in Tamil, Hindi and English, in red paint, so that fishermen could see from a long distance and avoid crossing the IMBL, more..

Chinese President set for historic SL visit

July 5 (Hindu) China’s President Xi Jinping will this year become the first Chinese head of state to visit Sri Lanka in three decades, underlining Beijing’s renewed push to deepen its strategic and economic presence in the neighbourhood and in the Indian Ocean. Mr. Xi’s visit was discussed in Beijing this week as Sri Lankan Minister Basil Rajapaksa, as the President’s Special Envoy, met with the Chinese leadership. more..

The river of no return

July 5 (DM) For thousands of years, Sri Lanka’s fresh water resources have been one of our greatest treasures. Unfortunately, this blessing and nature’s free gift to us is often taken for granted and in recent decades we have seen waste, mismanagement and even the pollution of ground water resources mainly in the rice bowl of the North Central Province, where thousands of farmer families are known to be suffering from a deadly kidney disease with some 20,000 deaths reported in recent years. more..

Ramaphosa’s visit & the South African TRC

July 5 (CT) Cyril Ramaphosa, the Vice President of South Africa and President Jacob Zuma's special envoy on Sri Lanka will be arriving in Sri Lanka on Monday on an official visit, which the minister Keheliya Rambukwella, has described as having no specific 'agenda.' When Rambukwella made those remarks at the weekly Cabinet news briefing, one cynic, among the scribes gathered there asked, tongue-in-cheek, whether Ramaphosa and his four-member team are coming as tourists. more..

Noontide Toll, by Romesh Gunesekera

July 5 (FT) “They say this island of ours is the crossroads of the world,” observes Vasantha, the hired driver and narrator of the interlinked stories in Romesh Gunesekera’s new book, Noontide Toll. “But the more I see of it,” he counters, “and the more people I meet, the more I understand the real truth of the matter. We live at one of those crazy junctions where everyone gets stranded not knowing which way to look, never mind go.” more..

Chaos and confusion over night races in Kandy

July 5 (ST) The move to hold night races in the historic city of Kandy for the second year in a row has drawn the ire of opposition members of the Kandy Municipal Council (KMC). Mayor Mahindra Ratwatte informed the Council that Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage had written to him on behalf of Carlton Sports Club seeking the Council‘s approval for holding the races. UNP members of the KMC and the SLMC opposed more..

Evolution and growth of the nexus between the LTTE and TNA

July 5 (DBS) The suggestion made in this column last week that the TNA should promote truth, accountability and reconciliation by taking the lead in presenting evidence before the investigation to be conducted by the UN Human Rights Commissioner’s office has evoked much controversy. Overseas activists of the LTTE together with their supporters and fellow travelers are furious at the suggestion as anticipated. more..

Over 4,200 Sri Lankans on Malaysia list

July 5 (TS) There are 4,280 Sri Lankan refugees and asylum-seekers registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Malaysia. They comprise about 3% of the 145,025 foreigners who have UNHCR cards as of May. Most UNHCR cardholders in Malaysia are from Myanmar (134,430) while the rest are from Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries. About 70% are men and 30% women. more..

More Tamil youths to join Army

July 5 (Island) Initial interviews to recruit more Killinochchi youth to the Army as vocational tradesmen commenced in the past week at the Harmony Centre, Killinochchi. Under this Phase 2, the Army expects to recruit as many as 500 young tradesmen, vocationally skilled in driving, clerical work, bakery, store-keeping, cookery, welding, agriculture, carpentry, masonry, fire extinguishing, cultural performances, electric work, more..

Champika joins anti-PB campaign

July 5 (AM) Minister of Technology and Research and JHU stalwart Champika Ranawaka has also joined the 'campaign' against Dr. P.B. Jayasundara by launching an alternate plan for the country's economic development. Ranawaka's economic plan will be officially launched in Colombo on July 07. In his plan, the Minister would emphasize the need of driving Sri Lanka away from an entertainment-based economic policy. more..

Govt to maintain database on unruly drivers

July 5 (DM) The government is to compile a computer database of unruly drivers and suspend their licences if they accumulate too many negative marks, Transport Minister Kumara Welgama said. The database would be maintained by the courts, the Motor Traffic Department (MTD) and the Traffic Police, he said. Mr. Welgama said the MTD was one of the most corrupt state institutions, and a programme was underway more..

Sri Lanka accused of turning blind eye to violence

July 5 (AP) The attackers stormed in close to midnight, tearing through town with gasoline bombs and clubs before carting away piles of cash and jewelry they stole from Muslim families in this tiny corner of Sri Lanka. The onslaught incited by the BBS, a hard-line group that has gained thousands of followers in recent years, killed at least two Muslims and injured dozens more last month in the worst religious violence SL has seen in decades. more..

Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2014 to focus on economy in 2020

July 5 (GDI) Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2014, an annual event organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce will be held on the 5th and 6th August, 2014 at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Colombo, under the title of "Sri Lanka 2020: Towards Surpassing $7000 Per Capita". Upcoming Summit, which is conducted for the 14th consecutive year since its inauguration in the year 2000, will hold six important sessions, more..

US tells Sri Lanka to address concerns

July 5 (CG) The US has called on the Govt take meaningful, concrete steps to address outstanding concerns related to democratic governance, reconciliation, justice, and accountability. The US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Michele J. Sison, speaking at the Independence Day Reception, said that the US shares a positive vision for a unified, prosperous Sri Lanka. She noted that US engagement with Sri Lanka, more..

What next? Postscript to anti-Muslim riots

July 5 (CT) The Govt of Sri Lanka (GoSL) has realized some damage control operations are needed to repair its tarred image as a result of the recent anti-Muslim riots in the island. Minister Senarathna gave an open apology to Muslims in his electorate, Beruwala, where ugly riots took place. GoSL promised it would rebuild houses and properties destroyed by the mob. Rev Kirama Wimalajothi resigned from the leadership of Bodu Bala Sena (Army of Buddhist Power). more..

Single issue or single purpose with many issues?

July 5 (CT) In respect of the impending presidential election, the purpose of the opposition should be to defeat the incumbent President, in case that he contests which is almost sure given the present political dynamics. He should be defeated not merely as Mahinda Rajapaksa but as the presidential candidate of the UPFA, who is primarily responsible for the mess and mismanagement since 2010. This is undoubtedly not an easy task particularly given the disunity and more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Who’d challenge this military involvement?

July 5 (CT) A politically very savvy colleague said, “This is a helluva thing-no. Their saffron thugs go and damage and devastate whole villages. And we have to pay the cost of reconstruction.” He was referring to the 200 million rupees the President had approved for the military driven reconstructions in Aluthgama-Beruwala-Dharga Town areas. That money is obviously tax payers money and it is public funds. Contemplating on that very apt statement, I thought the best would have been to more..

Buffalo democracy

July 5 (CT) The father of Singapore discovered it, lesser minions like JR Jayewardena corrupted it and it looks like Mahinda Rajapaksa will write the book on it. Along the way the Ghaddafi’s, Mubaraks, Saddam Hussains of this word also produced their own brand of it. What it basically is, is how to lead a bunch of people who think they are educated, are too lazy to work on a honest living and constantly look for free handouts and shortcuts to the top, to those peoples version of utopia. more..

Highway robbery with no shortage of gullible victims

July 5 (ST) A businessman in Kandana reading the newspapers in April this year noticed an advertisement calling for the supply of vehicles for a company. Thinking of making a good profit he decided to respond to the notice. He found that the advertisement had been placed by a person from Kottawa operating a rent-a-car service. The businessman handed over five vehicles – three cars and two double cab pick ups– expecting more..

Court of Appeal gives direction to GNOA on its petition

July 5 (Island) Court of Appeal yesterday directed the Govt Nursing Officers Association (GNOA) to issue notice of their problem to the Attorney General and then issue notice for support on the respondents on July 15, 2014. The petitioner GNOA had requested the Court of Appeal to issue a mandatory order on the Director of the Ragama Hospital, Peradeniya Teaching Hospital and the Ratnapura Hospital to refrain from permitting midwives to enter maternity wards and labour rooms, more..

Law College exams: President intervenes to solve crisis

July 5 (NS) President Rajapaksa is expected to meet with Chief Justice Mohan Peiris and several key ministers of the Govt to discuss on concerns that have been raised on moves to conduct this year’s Law College exams in English medium. Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara alleged that the CJ had imposed the rule through the Council of Legal Education to conduct examinations in English. “This has not been the practice. Students studying in their respective languages were allowed to sit for more..

DIG Anura Senanayake gets third service extension

July 5 (AM) Police chief of the Western Province Senior DIG Anura Senanayake has received his third service extension two days ago. Cabinet had approved his service extension at the last Cabinet meeting which was held at Temple Trees and sent their decision to the Public Services Commission headed by former Supreme Court Judge Satya Hettige. Senior DIG is now 62 years old and his third service extension more..

Jailbirds’ short-lived freedom

July 5 (Island) Two inmates who fled from the Galle Remand Prison were nabbed within half an hour of their escape by prison officials yesterday. They had been taken out of their cells to clean the prison premises yesterday. While taking the garbage bags out of the prison walls to put them in a dump located outside they ran away. One of the inmates ran towards the Galle Railway Station, while the other bolted in the opposite direction. The jailers who chased behind them managed to capture more..

SA wait on Kallis fitness

July 5 (CI) Jacques Kallis will be under the close watch of South Africa's medical team to determine whether he requires further treatment for back stiffness ahead of the ODI series against Sri Lanka. Kallis was withdrawn from the practice match as a precaution after he felt discomfort during the warm-ups but South Africa's management team are hopeful he will be available for the first match on Sunday. "The physio worked on him today, we are going to monitor him overnight more..

SL ready for more verbal bouts if needled

July 5 (CI) Among the lasting memories of the dramatic final day at Headingley was Sri Lanka's systematic verbal attack on Joe Root. For nearly half an hour the team fired barbs and bouncers at the batsman. Almost every player had a turn, like it was a team-building exercise at a shooting range. The celebrations at Root's wicket were as aggressive as the attitude that had preceded it. It was a rare verbal onslaught from a side more..