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The long walk for water in Udappuwa

June 7 (SL) Over 25,000 residents of the village of Udappuwa which is located off the Chilaw – Puttalam Road still suffer from a scarcity of water and have no access to safe drinking water. Over the years, politicians have made plenty of promises to the villagers during elections, saying that they would take measures to address their issues but nobody seems to have paid proper attention to their problems. more..

Call to enforce school van laws after innocent’s death

June 7 (ST) Eight-year-old Tharindu Dilhara Jayakody was a cheerful kid. He was always eager to go to school and wave at his mother and the neighbours while running down the lane to the school van. They remembered him doing the same last Monday morning – but he never came back home. At 1.45 p.m. the students of De Mazenod College, Kandana, were racing for their school vans, excited to go home. more..

China’s maritime silk route, economic belt: The ‘exciting Lanka nexus’

June 7 (DN) The China South Asia Expo was launched at the Convention Centre in Kunming in Yunan, China yesterday. China will launch the new maritime silk route and Sri Lanka will be part of that economic belt, the Chinese Vice Prime Minister of the State Council Mr. Wang Yang said, speaking at the opening ceremony of the Expo. The silk route was the recurrent theme of the launching ceremony, and underscored the more..

NFF to take 12-point proposal to people

June 7 (CT) The National Freedom Front (NFF) said it would be launching a series of seminars around the country, to discuss with the public the Party's 12-point proposal released in May. The discussions are set to revolve around the theme 'What should happen next?' and would focus on informing the people where the Party stands on issues of national importance. Politburo of the Party hopes that through these discussions, more..

GTF challenges GoSL to face UN probe

June 7 (Island) The UK-based Global Tamil Forum (GTF) said that the proposed UN probe would give an opportunity to establish the circumstances under which the war was brought to an end on the Vanni east front five years ago. GTF spokesman Suren Surendiran said that the govt shouldn’t shun the investigation. Instead, the govt should participate and facilitate the process. He said that as President Rajapaksa always more..

17,000 Sri Lankan Tamil refugee children left in limbo

June 7 (Hindu) As many as 17,000 children born to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in TN remain virtually stateless owing to the delay in getting birth certificates and parallel registration with SL Deputy High Commission in Chennai for Sri Lankan citizenship, say sources involved in relief work among the refugees. Founder of the OfERR, S.C. Chandrahasan, said there was a huge backlog of applications after State govt suspended more..

Ranil queries demarcation of local govt. divisions

June 7 (Island) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament demanded to know whether a report containing the recommendations to demarcate the divisions of the Local Authorities had been submitted to the President. He said: "The term of office of the presently existing Local Authorities terminates by the first quarter of 2015. Accordingly, the next Local Authorities Election will be held under the Local Authorities more..

Missing persons: Several complainants blame LTTE

June 7 (DM) Most of the complaints made to the Presidential Commission Investigating into Complaints on missing persons in Batticaloa had held LTTE responsible for the disappearances, the Commission said. “Most of the complaints were against the LTTE. There weren’t any allegation against the security forces,” Chairman Maxwell Paranagama said. Commission received 58 complaints from Batticaloa more..

Prince Zeid al Hussein of Jordan tapped to be UN human rights chief

June 7 (AP) The U.N. secretary-general said Friday he will appoint Jordan's ambassador as the new high commissioner for human rights, bringing a voice from the Middle East to that post when such rights are under strain in several countries there. Ban Ki-moon's office announced that Prince Zeid al Hussein, a longtime diplomat and former U.N. peacekeeper, has been nominated to replace Navi Pillay. more..

Political murders, The commissions and the unfinished ask

June 7 (CT) We argued in the last chapter that irrespective of the conclusions they reached, the commissions of inquiry marshalled a great deal of evidence. For those who think the issues important, there are valuable leads to pursue their own inquiries. Even discovering that the commissioners reached wrong conclusions by following their arguments is valuable in itself. Getting at the truth in any murder is important. It is a strange pathology of Sri Lanka’s polity that more..

No new life with changing name & face of regime

June 7 (CT) The “Modi-fied Indian factor” has stirred Sri Lankan urban political minds, more after President Rajapaksa‘s return from Narendra Modi‘s swearing in ceremony as the new Indian PM, than after Indian Lok Sabha election results. President Rajapaksa’s 20 minute sit-in with PM Modi and Indian MEA officials, reportedly sent shock waves within the Rajapaksa regime. For Modi to have raised the issue of delayed reconciliation with insistence that 13 Amendment should be more..

Imbulgoda Veeraya with us no more

June 7 (DBS) SD Bandaranayake, one of Sri Lanka’s colourful Political personalities passed away on June 3rd 2014 at the ripe old age of 97. The funeral of the man who represented the Gampaha constituency for thirty years in Parliament will be conducted on Saturday June 7th at the Chandrajothi school grounds in Yakkala. The laird of “Madugas Walawwa” in Yakkala was a vibrant Politician who shot to fame in 1957 for stopping the JR more..

BASL condemns police brutality

June 7 (AHRC) The Standing Committee of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka on Rule of Law condemns the attitude adopted by the Police when students of the Ruhuna University were brutally assaulted by a mob led by a Deputy Minister and some members of the Provincial Council. This is another instant where the Police were mere spectators to the commission of crimes by politicians. It is a pathetic sight to watch such episodes over and over again. What these incidents show over and over again more..

President sends his wishes for El Salvador President

June 7 (NS) The Inauguration Ceremony of the newly elected President of El Salvador, Salvador Sanchez Ceren took place at the International Fair & Convention Centre in San Salvador on June 1, amid a large gathering of foreign dignitaries including Heads of State & Govt, Vice Presidents, Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers, Special Envoys and diplomats. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Cuba, Sarath Dissanayake who is concurrently accredited to El Salvador represented more..

High Court permits state to seize assets of VAT fraud convict

June 7 (Island) Colombo High Court Judge Ms. Kumudini Wickramasinghe granted permission to the state to confiscate the movable and immoveable property of the former Deputy Commissioner of Inland Revenue, Gnanasiri Jayatillake, found guilty of the fraudulent use of four billion rupees, in the VAT fraud case. High Court directed the AG to assess the value of these properties belonging to Jayatillake and more..

'Chocolates past shelf life were being repacked to be re-exported'

June 7 (Island) The CAA revealed that the importers of chocolates past shelf life seized recently had claimed they had used Sri Lanka as a transit point. The CAA said the Importer, Spring Play Trading Private Limited, coming under a leading group of companies had been questioned following the raid. The company has said the chocolate consignment was to be re-exported. Sources said however that the CAA was unable to take legal action because it was a bonded warehouse. more..

Dodangoda attack: Police to record fresh statement from the victim cop

June 7 (Island) On-going investigations into the attack on police constable Suminda Saman and the torching of his car allegedly at the behest of Deputy Minister Hemal Gunasekera have taken a different twist after the politician was questioned by the investigators handling the case at his office at Slave Island on Thursday. A team of policemen had already left for the constable’s home at Anuradhapura to bring him down to Colombo to record another statement from him. more..

In the public interest

June 7 (CT) According to the World Bank, the idea of public interest litigation (PIL) originated in the US before spreading to other parts of the world. Its roots may be traced to a situation or situations, where a particular community or communities felt that there had been injustice wrought on them and thus sought redressal. Consumer groups and environmental groups have taken up PIL as a means to correct perceived wrongs more..

Karuwalagaswewa PS vice chairman arrested

June 7 (DM) The Vice chairman of the Karuwalagaswewa Pradeshiya Sabha Chaminda Ruwansiri Perera was arrested last night for allegedly assaulting a Police officer at the 17th Mile Post in Pulliyankulama, the Police said. The officer, attached to the Saliyawewa police station, was assaulted by a group of 20 people led allegedly by the vice chairman after a tractor which was transporting sand illegally was taken into custody by the Police including the injured Constable. more..

Azath Salley charges Deputy Minister Neomal for dates theft

June 7 (NS) 200 metric tons of dates donated to Sri Lanka by Saudi Arabia have been distributed among the govt ministers, claimed by CPC Member Azath Zalley. Writing a letter to the Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Johnston Fernando, Councilor Salley pointed out that the stock of dates was meant for distribution among the needy Muslims during the Ramadan period. He further alleged that the ministers who received their portions are now trying to sell those dates at Pettah market. more..

Sajith to be named as UNP's Prime Ministerial candidate?

June 7 (AM) A group of UNP MPs have now embarked on a mission to name Sajith Premadasa as the UNP Prime Ministerial candidate at the next General Election. The UNP has already announced that its National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe would be the Presidential Candidate of the party. They are contemplating the move due to the fear that UNP Leadership Council Chairman Karu Jayasuriya's name would more..

Seven ODIs for Sri Lanka-England series

June 7 (CI) England will travel to Sri Lanka for a seven-match bilateral ODI series, in Nov and Dec. The matches will be played at the three main ODI venues in the country, in Pallekele, Hambantota and Colombo, with four of the games set to be day-nighters. The FTP had prescribed five ODIs and two T20s in the tour, but the T20s have been converted to ODIs due to the proximity of the World Cup. This tour is effectively the limited-overs leg of the Test series England played in Sri Lanka in 2012. more..

Sri Lanka's curse is rulers

June 7 (LT) There hasn't been any country in the world other than Sri Lanka that has belittled Visual & Performing Arts. A politician had asked what can a person do with Visual & Performing Arts and had said it cannot even be eaten. This is how they see it. Children do not have a world of their own. What exists for them is a world of robots and their lives are ruled by such robots. Bridges and Expressways could be constructed in this country but a man who can travel on them cannot be built. more..

Hemal says he can't assault anyone as he has undergone bypass surgery!

June 7 (AM) Deputy Minister Hemal Gunasekera, whose name was mentioned in connection with an assault on a Policeman, has said he has undergone a bypass surgery, therefore he cannot assault anyone. A few days ago, same Deputy Minister said his name should be left out of this whole matter because he had been a total vegetarian! This statement came under severe criticism from many as there is no connection more..

Mangala eagerly awaits Gota’s entry into Parliament

June 7 (Island) UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera said that the Opposition was eagerly awaiting the arrival of incumbent Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to Parliament as an MP as it had many questions to ask from him. MP Samaraweera seconding a motion taken at the time of adjournment of the House against blocking certain number of websites said: "We know who is behind the blocking of these websites. He has told the media that he would come to this House as an MP. more..

Peradeniya undergrads protest closure of Ruhuna University

June 7 (Island) The undergraduates of the University of Peradeniya staged a demonstration yesterday, at the Galaha Junction against the closing of the University of Ruhuna and a recent attack on the undergraduates of that university. President of the Students Council of the University Dimuthu Gunasekara said that those who carried out the attack included some elected members of the UPFA. He said that the Students Council vehemently condemned the attack. more..

Police Unit to stay; Ravana Balaya and Police refute media reports

June 7 (DN) Police today refuted media reports that the Police unit established to deal with complaints regarding religious issues will stay. A Sinhala daily had reported that moves were already underway to disband the unit and instead provide two hotline numbers based at the Police Head Quarters in order for the public to make complaints. SSP Ajith Rohana said the Police will not disband the special Police Unit currently functioning at more..

Iran, Sri Lanka vow to broaden ties

June 7 (CG) Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ali Jannati and SL Ambassador to Iran Mohammad Razin, in a meeting Tehran, pledged to do their best to prepare proper bedrocks for consolidating cultural cooperation. Iranian minister underlined that there are good grounds for expansion of cooperation between the two countries in all cultural fields including cinema and television productions as well as exchange of science and technology. He further praises freedom of more..

Rogue traders feel presidential whip

June 7 (DN) President Rajapaksa on Thursday directed officials to identify traders issuing substandard goods to the market and take stern legal action against them. He said officials of the Health Ministry and the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) should join hands to implement a systematic program in this regard and take measures to prevent such illegal business by black listing traders and manufacturers. The President issued this directive when CAA officials brought to him more..

England set to hurt Lankans over Mankad

June 7 (DM) World cricket may not have heard the last of the recent “Mankad” incident at Edgbaston which will reverberate over the next few years and could force Sri Lanka to eat further dust in the global game now dominated by the jungle law perpetrated by the Big Three under the guise of promoting cricket. Sources said that there is a strong likelihood of England sending a second string-squad sans their star players more..

HC allows CJ-43 to file objections

June 7 (DM) The Colombo High Court today allowed time till August 4 for former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake to file objections against the stay order restraining her lawyers and computer experts from acessing the computer logins and statement logins of her accounts at the NDB Bank. High Court Judge M.C.B.S. Morais allowed her the instructing lawyers Paul Ratnayake Associates to file objections against the stay order sequent to a request made by Counsel Nalin Ladduwahetty PC who more..

We will never support a UNP candidate: JVP

June 7 (LT) JVP would never support a UNP candidate at a future presidential election. UNP candidate can never be a common candidate. Shallow talks of a common candidate without a broad programme carried out by bankrupt political parties or various other groups merely to come to power do not have any validity in our society now. What is needed now is a broad programme that could defeat this govt as well as establish a govt that could find solutions for crises confronted by more..

Sri Lanka hopeful on Lakmal for Headingley

June 7 (CI) Sri Lanka remain hopeful that Suranga Lakmal will be fit for the second Test against England at Headingley, despite a hamstring injury keeping him out of the current squad. Lakmal suffered the problem during the one-off T20 at the start of the tour but his rehabilitation is understood to be going well back in Sri Lanka and he will undergo a fitness test while the first Test, at Lord's, is ongoing. He could then rejoin the squad for more..

Is cricket a gentleman's game any more?

June 8 (SO) Some Western countries invariably look upon smaller countries, especially those in Asia and Africa, from a different angle. Most of these countries which had been at the receiving end were colonies of the West whose leaders seem to be under a delusion that they still govern these smaller countries. Due to the Western agendas and presumptions, they undermine the milestone achievements of these so-called smaller countries and carp on various issues in these countries more..

Indo-Lanka relations in clear perspective

June 8 (SL) President Rajapaksa’s declaration to the new Indian PM Narendra Modi that Sri Lanka is not willing to devolve Police powers to the NPC clears the perspective of Indo-Lanka relations that have been murky for sometime. The impression that had been created was that Sri Lanka had communicated to the Indians that the govt was willing to proceed beyond the 13th Amendment – beyond granting police and land distribution powers – but that they had later back tracked and denied ever more..

'Modi's vibrant leadership will spur SAARC'

June 8 (SO) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said that Indian PM Modi would give vibrant leadership to SAARC and formulate policies and programs for SAARC to be a strong regional organisation in the area of economic development, trade, culture and man-to-man contact in the region. He said said that there will be a positive development of relations among SAARC countries. PM Modi is a veteran politician more..

Doing the ‘done thing’

June 8 (NS) Sachithra Senanayake was booed each time he came up to bowl, each time he touched the ball. This is after he ‘Mankaded’ Jos Buttler. A lot has been said and written about the incident. There has been self-righteous indignation, there’s been ‘titting-for-tatting’ arguments and there has been sober reference to ICC laws. Ravi Bopara said, ‘It is definitely not within the spirit of the game. I wouldn’t say Jos was stealing yards, he was just casually leaving the crease. more..

Investing public funds in the stock market

June 8 (Island) The EPF, the retirement fund of private sector employees to which their employers and they themselves make monthly contributions, today controls a massive Rs. 1,300 billion. It is certainly no Golden Key and however much some of its stock market investments may be kept in the public eye by opposition MP Harsha de Silva, once labeled the UNP’s 'economic hit man' by Governor Cabraal, nobody can credibly say that its 2.4 million members have fears of not getting more..

'We will win Uva if polls are fair'

June 8 (SL) With the upcoming Uva provincial elections, the UNP has commenced preparation work to face the election expected to be held this year. UNP Leadership Council had met in Moneragala and in Badulla to discuss the Uva elections. UNP MP John Amaratunga said that the LC will meet soon to name a nomination board to decide on the UNP candidates for Uva Province. He said that the UNP still insists on more..

Flood and blood as dengue rages

June 8 (ST) With the monsoons have come the deluge – and the dengue. Flooding has become a perennial problem; however much we say we have faced it before, we do not seem competent to meet the challenge. In just a week of the clouds opening up after a heat-wave in April and May, the casualty figures are alarming. This includes deaths and, as is often the case, the poorest of the poor are the worst affected. The statistics alone speak for the damage caused throughout the country, but more..