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Death penalty for UPFA ex-municipal councilor and three others

June 10 (Island) A UPFA former Negombo municipal council member and three other accused were yesterday sentenced to death by High Court Judge M.M.A. Ghaffour, after a lengthy trial, for murdering a businessman by shooting him in the head. The murder convicts are former municipal councilor Husniras Hussein, his youngest brother Shiyamras Hussein and their two friends Mohamed Subahir and Mohammed Hareez. They were indicted before the Negombo High Court with being more..

Two women attacked with knife for sin of one woman’s son

June 10 (Island) A 55-year-old woman was killed and another suffered serious injuries when a man attacked them with a knife over a family dispute at Mavittara area in Piliyandala on Sunday. The deceased woman has been identified as Rincy Perera. The injured, a 30-year-old woman, known as Priyangika Navodya, has been admitted to the South Colombo Hospital for treatment. Her condition was serious, hospital sources said. Rincy’s son married to a dumb woman is working abroad. more..

Video: All Party Showdown

June 10 (DM) UNP is to join several other opposition political parties, trade unions and leftist parties of both sides for a grand showdown against the proposed new procedures with regard to pension gratuity scheme in Colombo on June 24. UNP National Leader and Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe today assured some trade union members who were organising the protest that his party would participate in it on June 24. more..

Many stricken with Multiple Sclerosis

June 10 (Island) Many Lankans have recently developed Multiple Sclerosis and the govt has established Multiple Sclerosis Association to treat the affected patients, according to Minister Maithripala Sirisena. Everything that could be done for the Multiple Sclerosis patients was being done, the minister said. The association should bring to his notice what needed to be done to bring them relief, the Minister said at a function at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute. more..

Duminda Dissanayake Axed!

June 10 (AM) Minister Duminda Dissanayake, who was at loggerheads with top rung leaders of the government after the demise of his father Berty Premalal Dissanayake, has been stripped of some of his responsibilities. As a result, The Education Services Ministry is no longer handling responsibilities pertaining to distribution of school uniforms. Distribution of school uniform is now being handled by the Education Ministry, under the watch of Minister Bandula Gunawardena. more..

NDCDA a sham say State Pharmacists

June 10 (DM) State sector pharmacists registered their strong protest over the proposed National Drugs and Cosmetics Devices Authority Act (NDCDA), which they described as a distortion of Prof. Senaka Bibile’s Essential Medicines Concept. They claimed that the Bill had been drafted to serve the interests of a certain high-ranking official. “If the proposed draft Bill was passed in Parliament and implemented in its present more..

Bowling looks a worry for SL ahead of Test

June 10 (DM) Sri Lankans could not make the best of the only chance they had before for the crucial first Test against England at Lord’s, when the four-day tour match against Northamptonshire ended in a draw at Northampton. The third day’s play was called off even before lunch due to a morning shower, and Sri Lanka could not have any action despite bright sunshine in the evening. Then yesterday, Sri Lankan bowlers struggled to bowl out the home side despite Northamptonshire more..

Ravi K ranked most active MP in 2013

June 10 (AM) UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake has been ranked as the most active MP during 2012-2013 period. The ranking has been done by which monitors performance of politicians in SL. JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake has been ranked as the second most active member according to the same ranking. Chief Govt Whip Dinesh Gunawardena, Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga, UNP MPs Sajith Premadasa, Buddhika Pathirana, Ajith P. Perera, more..

Video: BBS challenges BASL to debate on letter sent to AG

June 10 (DM) BBS organisation today condemned the issuance of a letter by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) to the Attorney General alleging that the BBS had brought Buddhism into grave disrepute, and challenged the BASL for a debate to discuss the accuracy of contents of the letter. BASL had in a letter urged AG Palitha Fernando to take steps regarding the damage which had allegedly been done by more..

State intelligence service behind Watareka Vijitha Thera!

June 10 (AM) Two officers of the State Intelligence Service (SIS) had followed Jathika Bala Sena (JBS) convener Watareka Vijitha Thera, after the court proceedings yesterday. The court case was on the controversy involving the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and the JBS, which took place during a press conference held at Nippon Hotel, Colombo. After proceedings, Vijitha Thera had traveled from Slave Island to Fort, and two people, who came in a motorbike, had followed the vehicle. more..

Rs 1.2m fraud at Department of Pensions, couple arrested

June 10 (AD) CID has launched an investigation into a financial fraud of over Rs 1.2 million in the Department of Pensions allegedly by its Chief Internal Audit Officers. Investigations have been launched by the CID following a complaint lodged by two pensioners, stating that the pension officer at the Warakapola Divisional Secretariat had prepared arrears while according to the audit only the monthly pension has been credited to the pensioners’ accounts and not the arrears. more..

Video: 'Govt must respond to CB’s ex-Deputy Governor'

June 10 (DM) UNP MP Dr. Harsha De Silva said today the govt should answer the allegations made by the Central Bank’s former Deputy Governor W.A. Wijewardene that the computation of external public debt was below international standards. He said that Mr. Wijewardene was indeed right because the indicators on public debut recorded in the Central Bank’s press release did not give the real picture on public debt because more..

Evidence can be given in secret

June 10 (CT) If any complainant or witness is reluctant or scared to submit their evidence in the open during public sittings, necessary arrangements can be made for them to give secret oral submissions, Secretary to the Presidential Commission to probe Disappearances, H.W. Gunadasa, said. "The Commission has ensured the security of the witnesses giving evidence," he said. Gunadasa said so far no one had complained to the Commission if receiving threats. more..

Gang hurls bombs on Lankan refugee camp

June 10 (TOI) At least 35 houses in Thiruvarangulam near Mettupatti in the district were gutted in a fire after some miscreants allegedly hurled petrol bombs on Sunday night. However, no one was injured in the incident. The thatched houses in the village were occupied by Sri Lankan refugees. The land for the refugees, which was allotted during late PM Indira Gandhi's period, has been mired in controversy after a certain section of villagers started claiming it. more..

US, UK urge Sri Lanka to support probe

June 10 (CG) Unites States and Britain today urged the Sri Lankan Govt to support the investigation into the war in Sri Lanka. Envoys of the US and UK, speaking at the 26th session of the UNHRC, said SL Govt must ensure access to those involved in the investigation. US Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Keith Harper thanked UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay for organising the investigation on Sri Lanka more..

Sexual exploitation: Matter referred to AG

June 10 (DM) The Police Special Investigative Unit which conducted investigations into a complaint by a 22-year-old girl that she had been sexually exploited by a wealthy businessman since she was 12 was referred to the Attorney General for his advice. When the case was taken up for hearing by Colombo Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage, the police told Court they had referred the matter to the AG’s to clarify whether there was sufficient evidence to take action against the suspect. more..

MRL Corporation poised for key graphite drilling in Sri Lanka

June 10 (PI) MRL Corporation expects to start first drilling a highly anticipated program at its Pandeniya graphite project in Sri Sri Lanka on and around 11 June 2014. MRL holds 6,300 hectares of Exploration Licenses that could potentially produce 5,000tpa of vein graphite and has applied for further exploration areas surrounding its granted licenses. This follows the arrival of the drill rig from the Geological Survey and Mining Bureau on site at the Pandeniya location. The first hole, DH-1, is expected to more..

Sri Lanka says will not cooperate with the OHCHR-driven 'comprehensive investigation'

June 10 (IL) Sri Lanka has reiterated its categorical rejection of the Human Right Council Resolution 25/1, and said it will not cooperate with the OHCHR-driven so called “comprehensive investigation” emanating from it. Sri Lanka has observed that the Govt is firmly committed to continuing its ongoing processes of reconciliation, nation building and accountability, and towards this end, will continue to work with countries and more..

Is there a Tamil in the room?

June 11 (NS) It appears that the emergence of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister of India has renewed the debate on what needs to be done about the Tamil question. As the title of the column penned last week by the editor of this paper read, a question that seems to be asked these days is: ‘What do we do with the Tamil in the room?’ That column – the title of which, to be sure, is derived from another article by a different author – raised many issues. But given space constraints, more..

Making of Samahan

June 11 (NS) As I entered the Link Natural production facility, I was struck by its cleanliness. No wonder, as I discovered later, that it is ISO 9001: 2008, ISO14001: 2004 and GMP certified. All production processes are HACCP certified, and zero waste is maintained by a modern waste water treatment plant and by energy regeneration from solid waste. What I really wanted to see was the Link Samahan production process. Chamari Wickramathilake, a Senior Manager of more..

Nandikadal lagoon will glitter in colour

June 11 (SO) Now is the time of the year when the shores of the Nandikadal lagoon gleams with vibrant colours and devotion with hundreds of thousands of devotees visiting the areas from faraway places. People did come closer to the shores of the lagoon a few years ago with hearts filled with fear and uncertainty. Yet tomorrow, people will gather with hearts filled with devotion and faith for a courageous woman who was more..

Quality bowling but batting need fine tuning

June 11 (CT) Whilst many Sri Lankans will be raving about the victory over England in the ODI series I hope I won't be a spoil sport and say I am disappointed! Now disappointed is not for any other reason but simply because the margin of victory which is three games to two doesn't reflect the true nature in the difference between the two teams. The issue here is more than the three games won, the two games which were lost and were lost so badly and that dented the pride of the Lankans. more..

Sri Lanka’s foreign policy and India

June 11 (FT) New Indian PM Narendra Modi representing the Bharath captured more than 50% of the seats in Lok Sabha. After decades India is having a strong govt in the centre. It was mentioned that a strong India is good for Sri Lanka. In absolute terms it cannot be and it solely depends on Sri Lanka’s foreign policy. During the time of President Jayewardene, the Sri Lankan Govt adopted a pro-Western foreign policy when Economically India was following a closed economy where more..

From darkness to light

June 11 (CT) The disease burden arising out of psychological stress and mental illness in Sri Lanka has increased says the National Council for Mental Health (NCMH), a body incorporated by an Act of Parliament in 1986. Reiterating the need for community mental health service providers such as Sahanaya, Consultant Psychiatrist Dr. Nirosha Mendis remarked: "We know that one in four Sri Lankans will require psychiatric treatment at more..

Editorial: Happiness through gun barrel

June 11 (Island) Democratic governance in some countries is only a brief interval between two military takeovers. Thailand is one of them. Military interventions purportedly to bring order out of chaos are as frequent as the occurrence of a common cold there. It was only recently that the Thai army seized power once again from a democratically elected govt which had got mired in an unholy mess of its own making. This time around there has been a difference. more..

Protect Sinhala Buddhism from the educated

June 11 (Island) N A de S Amaratunga, who is engaged in a so-called dialogue with me in Vidusara writes to that paper as Prof. Ashoka Amaratunga D. Sc., and cannot be different from the latter in his loose thinking. I had written only three articles on "Protect Sinhala Buddhism from the educated" when he published his response to my series of articles, but he had claimed I had written four articles, probably counting some other article I had written as one of the series. more..

Hathurusinghe vows turnaround in Bangladesh woes

June 11 (AFP) New Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusinghe said Tuesday he wanted to turn international cricket's whipping boys into match-winners at home and abroad as he took up one of the toughest jobs in the game. The Sri Lankan, who previously coached the Sydney Thunder Twenty20 team, has taken over from Australian Shane Jurgensen and his first assignment is this Sunday with the start of a three-match more..

A Papal prayer for Middle East peace and a visit to Sri Lanka

June 11 (GV) Catholic Church has announced that His Holiness Pope Francis would be visiting Sri Lanka from Jan 13th to 15th, next year. Preceding the announcement, were visits to the Vatican by both the Sri Lankan Catholic hierarchy as well as senior govt figures, both of whom extended the invitation for the Pope’s visit. The incentive for the Sri Lankan Govt to have a high level visitor is rather obvious, somewhat besieged as it is with a UNHRC probe on its human rights track record. more..

Middle East investors see Sri Lanka as "fertile" for entry - MTI

June 11 (Island) According to MTI’s ‘Market Pulse’, Middle East investors (particularly in the 6 Gulf States) are increasingly positive about entering and investing in Sri Lanka. MTI’s ‘Market Pulse’ is a qualitative research initiative that ‘senses’ corporate, HNI and investor perceptions about investing in emerging markets, a press release said. "The last 2 years has seen increasing leisure travel into Sri Lanka by Arab and Expat Corporate Executives which has triggered interest in more..

Sri Lanka’s footwear manufacturers urge authorities to crackdown on illegal imports

June 11 (ST) Sri Lanka footwear and leather products manufacturers are urging the authorities to crack down on illegal imports of footwear and unassembled parts of shoes for assembly in Sri Lanka without much value addition and avoidance of CESS. In a letter sent to President Rakapaksa recently, SL Footwear & Leather Products Manufacturers Association has proposed to conduct raids on counterfeit footwear to more..

The Rule of Law

June 11 (FT) Aristotle said more than 2,000 years ago, “The rule of law is better than that of any individual.” The Organization of Professional Associations is discussing the principle of the Rule of Law and bemoaning the loss of the principle in our system of govt today. But when some say that law and order has eroded, others say no and point out to the ending of the war and remind us that the situation was worse during the period of the war. But this is to confuse principle of the Rule of law more..

Virtusa bags Gold at National Green Awards

June 11 (Island) Virtusa Corporation (NASDAQ GS: VRTU), a global business consulting and IT outsourcing company that combines innovation, technology leadership and industry solutions to transform the customer experience, was awarded the Gold Trophy of Commendation in the ‘Private Enterprises’ category by Presiden Rajapaksa at the National Green Awards 2013/2014 held in Colombo recently. Virtusa received the award for its Code Green initiative, one of the fundamental more..

CEAT Kelani rolls out Rs. 2.5 b upgrade, modern radial plant

June 11 (FT) A milestone was achieved yesterday in the manufacture of tyres in Sri Lanka with the official inauguration of a new high-tech production facility for radial tyres for passenger cars and Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) at CEAT Kelani Holdings, the country’s leading tyre maker. Minister Basil Rajapaksa led a team of Govt ministers to this milestone event. Since 2009, the CEAT Kelani joint venture has invested more..

Importance of greater transparency in public sector

June 11 (Island) The greater role the accountancy profession can play across the Asian region to improve the quality of financial reporting, and foster transparency specially among the public sector was highlighted at the recently concluded Financial Reporting for Economic Development Conference hosted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka). While acknowledging the important role that the accountancy profession already plays in the region in more..

Vehicle imports plunge

June 11 (CT) The heavy import duty and reduced depreciation values set by the govt has dampened the vehicle import sector according to a senior trader, who said that the number of units imported per month had reduced to 2,000 from 3,000 a year earlier. Vehicle registrations fell sharply in the month of April this year compared to the previous year. Vehicle imports to the country decreased due to the heavy duty and reduced depreciation values imposed by the govt. more..

Asgiriya Chapter hails Pope's visit

June 11 (CT) The Asgiriya Chapter said that Pope Francis's scheduled visit to Sri Lanka in January 2015 would be a boon to the process of religious reconciliation. Committee Member of the Asgiriya Chapter, Ven. Dr. Medagama Dhammananda Thera, said, "Buddhists must take this opportunity to prove wrong the reports stating that there is no religious reconciliation in the country. It is the Buddhist policy to cohabit with more..

ExcelSoft and University of Western Sydney power next generation enterprise research

June 11 (CG) Sri Lankan software firm, ExcelSoft, announced its partnership and research collaboration with the University of Western Sydney (UWS) to research and develop powerful, flexible and comprehensive toolsets for commercial enterprise level applications. Working closely with Professor Athula Ginige, Deans Unit School of Computing, Engineering & Math, UWS and his research assistants, ExcelSoft’s experienced Research and Development department more..

Celebrating 21 years of saving lives of Poson pilgrims

June 11 (FT) Over a million pilgrims visit Anuradhapura to commemorate the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka on Poson fullmoon day. Once again, AIA Insurance will be conducting the company’s hallmark Corporate Responsibility initiative of safeguarding pilgrims that has continued for 21 consecutive years in keeping with the insurer’s primary objective of protecting the lives of people. Last year lifesavers saved seven lives from drowning and over the past two decades more..

One Sri Lankan Tamil's testimony: beaten, branded, suffocated and raped

June 11 (Guardian) Siva, a Tamil from Sri Lanka, is facing deportation from the UK for the second time in two years. The last time he fought the journey every inch of the way. "They loaded me on the plane first, right at the back, because I was making a lot of noise, screaming. I was very scared and begged them not to send me back but they said if I didn't go quietly, they would handcuff me and force me to go," he told the Guardian. more..

‘CSE betters 2013 figures in first five months of 2014’

June 11 (Island) In the first five months of 2014 the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) has outperformed its major indicators from 2013, with the All Share Price Index (ASPI) closing at 6,263.46 on the 30th of May, presenting a 5.9% increase and the S&P SL 20 closing at 3,454.61 on the same day, with a 5.8% increase, a CSE press release said. It adds: ‘The bourse has also proved to be an attractive avenue of investment, considering the prevailing Fixed Deposit interest rates of 5 to 6%. more..