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'We are ready to deal with the consequences'

June 15 (SL) The Govt last week informed the UNHRC it will not cooperate with the OHCHR with the investigation on the war in Sri Lanka. The main point the Govt raised was that it had already rejected the resolution at the UNHRC under which the investigation was approved. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the govt is ready to face the repercussions, if any, which may result from the Govt refusing to accept an investigation more..

The encirclement of Sri Lanka

June 15 (Island) With the appointment of the 12-member team by the OHCHR, the encirclement of Sri Lanka is just about complete. The Western steam roller has been set in motion and Narendra Modi is in power in India with a plainly-to-be-seen desire not to alienate Jayayalitha Jeyaram even though he does not need her support to keep the govt going. Never before in Sri Lanka’s post-Independence history have we been encircled like this – not even in 1987. more..

Clearing path to take up motion for debate

June 15 (NS) A special meeting of party leaders was held at the Parliamentary complex on Friday. Summoned at short notice it was so special because the intention of the meeting was to change a previously agreed plan regarding the next sitting week. Going by the previous schedule there were plans to take up for discussion a motion submitted by nine UPFA members, which showed disapproval against a UNHRC investigation to be held against Sri Lanka. more..

For Traitors or Patriots!

June 15 (SL) The talk about passing the Witness and Victim Protection Bill which was first presented to the Parliament in 2008 has been silent for sometimes now. Despite the promise made by Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem late last year to pass the Bill by 2014, many are of the view that there is no mechanism established to date to protect witnesses and victims by law in Sri Lanka. When inquired, some politicians and civil society more..

There’s more grey to chucking than we might think

June 15 (Island) A decade ago cricket’s ancient and embedded hyper-morality crashed into the modern world’s burgeoning thirst for reality television. The focus for this communion was Muralitharan, and more specifically his action. Two TV networks, ESPN (India) and Channel 4 (UK), broadcast what were paraded at the time as definitive acquittals of Muralitharan’s action, which had till then been called periodically, sanctioned occasionally, and the subject of hysterical debate permanently. more..

Automation at Pannala factory enables downsizing

June 15 (Island) An exceptional expense of Rs.139 million incurred by Keells Food Products (KFP)on a voluntary retirement scheme had driven the company’s bottom line into the red in the year ended March 31, 2014 but the directors have approved a payment of first and final dividend of Rs.2 per share to shareholders involving a pay out of Rs. 51 million. A total of 129 employees of KFP’s Ja-Ela manufacturing facility took voluntary retirement following the installation of an automated more..

Sangakkara savours emotional landmark

June 15 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara's day three hundred at Lord's was the result of technical adjustment and unwavering focus, according to Sangakkara and the man who celebrated with him on the pitch, when he moved to triple figures. Mahela is on the Lord's honours board twice, and he was thrilled when Sangakkara added that accolade to an already outstanding Test career. "It's something I've always wanted to do," more..

Sangakkara breaks jinx, and Lord's run-fests

June 15 (CI) In six Test innings at Lord's before this game, Kumar Sangakkara had managed an aggregate of 140 runs, with a highest of 65. Given that this would almost certainly be his last Test here, he was on course to join a heady list of top-notch overseas batsmen who couldn't solve the Lord's puzzle: among them were Ricky Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Jacques Kallis, VVS Laxman, Aravinda de Silva, Sunil Gavaskar, Javed Miandad, Zaheer Abbas, and several others. more..

Distilleries vying for stockbroking licence

June 15 (ST) Contrary to popular belief that stockbroking firms are in the doldrums, many Sri Lankan companies with deep pockets are eyeing broking licences. One such entity is the Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka (DCSL) who is said to be in negotiations with a high networth individual (HNWI) owning a stockbroking firm, sources close to DCSL said. “This HNWI is in talks with other conglomerates and entities as well, but DCSL is the frontrunner in the bid,” a source said. more..

Day 3: Sangakkara milestone leads SL reply

June 15 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara had never made a Test century at Lord's; he has now and judging by his reaction he will cherish it forever. Whether it has saved the game, though, remains to be seen. Sri Lanka bowled along for much of the day but, still 160 runs behind with only three wickets remaining, their work is far from done. A docile Lord's surface was an opportunity almost too good to be true. more..

‘These are mandarins paid with public funds’

June 15 (Island) A Buddhist religious dignitary, who contested the last presidential election as the leader of Janasetha Peramuna, last week complained that he was cold shouldered when he visited the Sri Lankan High Commission in Singapore to discuss a forthcoming event of religious significance. The prelate, Ven. Battaramulle Seelaratana thera, had arrived in Singapore after attending a religious ceremony at the invitation of the chief incumbent of a Buddhist temple in China. more..

Lanka Tiles to open outlet in Maldives

June 15 (NS) Lanka Tiles, which is now the under the control of Lanka Walltiles owned by Dhammika Perera has plans to open a new showroom in Maldives in July 2014, a top official of the firm has said. Managing Director, J A P Mahendra Jayasekera has announced that the new showroom to be open will be operated by the company’s distributors in Maldives. “The LANKATILES showroom in Bangalore, India being operated with our distributor was opened in July 2013. more..

Treasury cautious on growing debt

June 15 (CT) Echoing concerns raised by economists over the last few years, Treasury said low revenue generation and growing debt would create a vicious cycle of deficit, debt and interest payments. "The continuation of a deficit in the revenue account of the govt budget, as the revenue is not sufficient to meet recurrent expenditure, has been a key issue in the country's fiscal system. Hence, public investment is entirely financed more..

CSE silent on Touchwood winding up

June 15 (ST) Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) is yet to be officially informed either from Touchwood Investments or the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of a court directive, a week ago, to liquidate the forestry management company. Commercial High Court order was made on June 5 but there has been no stock exchange filing – as required – regarding the case concerning a publicly listed company whose share trading was earlier suspended. SEC officials were not available more..

ICT literacy 50% now, thanks to Mahinda Chithanaya and ICTA contribution

June 15 (Island) The ICT literacy, which was 4% in 2005, has now zoomed to 50%, says Minister, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya. He was speaking at the inauguration of 11 Nenasalas (Wisdom Outlets) yesterday. He said that out of the 4% persons ICT literate in 2005, 3% were from Colombo and only 1% was from rural areas. The contribution of the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) towards implementing the Mahinda Chinthana Policy statement of the govt was remarkable. more..

Forged number plate belonged to trade ministry: Hemal passes buck to Johnston

June 15 (NS) Deputy Minister Hemal Gunasekera has accused his ministry of providing him with a vehicle that had a forged garage number plate. Vehicle used by the Deputy Minister came under scrutiny when the Police began inquiries into the incident where a police constable was assaulted after giving a speeding ticket to the Deputy Minister. Investigation took an unexpected turn when the Police found out that more..

Elizabeth Moir receives MBE from the Queen

June 15 (SL) Well-known educator Elizabeth Moir Tenduf-La has been awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in her Birthday Honours List 2014, for her services to British education and the teaching of English in Sri Lanka. Elizabeth Moir graduated in mathematics from Oxford University, where she stayed on to complete the Diploma in Education. Soon after leaving Oxford, Ms Moir joined the Diocesan Girls’ School in more..

Muslims concerned over Aluthgama incident

June 15 (SL) Muslim leaders are concerned that there is a growing trend of individual disputes being taken into public spheres to aggravate religious tension. With reference to the incident which took place in Aluthgama recently, President of the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka N.M. Ameen added that if there is a dispute between two parties, the issue has to be sorted out at individual level and if someone is being assaulted they should take legal measures regardless of their ethnicity. more..

Wind power projects in Mannar run into storm

June 15 (ST) A proposal to distribute lucrative wind power contracts to local investors without calling for open tenders has run into a storm with energy experts strongly criticising the move. They fear the contracts will be dished out to political henchmen — a growing practice — and that, under existing terms and conditions, the CEB will have to buy wind energy from the plants at inflated costs. These prices will eventually be passed on to more..

Ban ads on ‘miracle dengue cures’ – Health Ministry

June 15 (SO) The Health Ministry has called for a total ban on misleading advertisements promising miracle cures for dengue, especially Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF), now rising to epidemic levels. “These commercial advertisements are usually published in the media by native physicians without qualifications. They are dangerous as people are duped and end up with serious health complications”, Consultant Physician Dengue Control Unit, Dr Neetha Pannila Hetti said. more..

Video: Kithulwala tense as protesters block road over youth’s death

June 15 (AD) A group of residents of Kithulwala are currently engaged in a protest blocking the Meerigam-Divulapitiya road, over the recent death of a youth who was shot by police officers while riding a motorcycle. On June 11, police officers opened fire at Subash Indika Jayasinghe (23) in Pasyala because he allegedly did not heed orders to stop. The police spokesman claimed that the motorcyclist has tried to run the policemen over when he was ordered to stop by traffic police. more..

UN War Crimes Probe : President should stop making a mockery of Parliament

June 15 (Island) UNP called on President Rajapaksa to stop making a mockery of Parliament after having publicly rejected a UNHRC mandated war crimes probe against his govt and the LTTE which was scheduled to get underway in Geneva next month. "If the President really cared for the views of the Opposition, he would have called an All Party Conference prior to March this year to work out a strategy to deal with the impending more..

SLMC to discuss probe

June 15 (SL) SLMC is to take a stand tomorrow on the motion submitted to Parliament against the proposed investigation led by the OHCHR. The motion that was submitted to Parliament recently will be taken up for debate this week but the SLMC said it will decide its position tomorrow. “The SLMC will meet tomorrow to discuss several matters including the motion against the OHCHR investigation in Sri Lanka. At the meeting tomorrow, we will decide whether to support the motion or not,” more..

UK hopes Sri Lanka signs declaration

June 15 (SL) While Britain hosted a summit to end sexual violence in conflict, the British Govt said it hopes Sri Lanka will sign the Declaration to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. “The Declaration has now been endorsed by over three quarters of the world’s countries. We would welcome it if Sri Lanka was to join them,” a British High Commission spokesperson said. Meanwhile speaking at an event at the British High Commission in Colombo to mark the summit against sexual violence in conflict, more..

President halts changes to pension gratuity system

June 15 (ST) President Rajapaksa, now on a visit to Bolivia, last night instructed Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera not to change the existing system of pension gratuity payments to retiring public sector employees. He gave the instruction via a telephone call. Under existing system, retiring public employees are paid 24 months of their gross salary as a lump sum through the ministry, department or the institution they had served in. more..

Special screening of Bombay Velvet for the President of Sri Lanka

June 15 (TOI) Anurag Kashyap and the lead actors of 'Bombay Velvet', which is shot in Sri Lanka, will host a special screening for the country's leader and his family. Mumbai of the 1950s and 60s was painstakingly recreated in Sri Lanka for the shoot of Anurag Kashyap's next, Bombay Velvet. The film, which is based on author Gyan Prakash's book, Mumbai Fables, chronicles the story of how the city became a metropolis. The film-maker took everyone by surprise when he announced more..

BASL concerned over BBS

June 15 (SL) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has noted with grave concern, certain recent acts alleged to have been committed by an organization known as the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS). The BASL has said that it is essential that a full and unbiased investigation is carried out into the incidents expeditiously. The incidents include the forcible disruption of a press conference that was to be held by Ven. Watareka Vijitha Thera at Nippon Hotel. According to media reports, more..

Govt. turns war crimes probe into polls issue

June 15 (ST) Though not publicly known, a subject of importance Indian PM Narendra Modi raised with President Rajapaksa, just hours after being sworn-in, was the issue of Pakistani militant groups gathering in Sri Lanka to plan terrorist acts against India. That was during talks at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi on May 27. It came barely a day after Rajapaksa took part in Modi’s swearing-in ceremony at the forecourt of more..

Pasyala shooting: Police record more statements

June 15 (NS) Police have recorded further statements from witnesses on the shooting incident by a traffic constable in Pasyala on June 11 which claimed the life of a motorist. SSP Ajith Rohana stated that the investigations team headed by an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) had recorded statements from witnesses within the vicinity of the incident. Statements have also been recorded from the traffic constables who were on duty, and the pillion rider, Chathuranga. more..

Strengthen coastal security, says Actg STF Commandant

June 15 (SO) The coastal security is not strong enough to prevent dangerous narcotics entering the country via sea routes, Police STF Acting Commandant SSP Ranjith Perera said. The senior officer whose Intelligence Wing on Wednesday busted the second largest heroin haul, said coastal security has to be developed to counter illicit drugs being smuggled into the country by sea. During his 30-year-long career, Perera had observed that many attempts had been made by more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

June 15 (ST) Canine species are often referred to by politicians of all hues to drive a point home. Years ago, the late retired Major General Sarath Munasinghe joined the PA Govt. Then President Chandrika Kumaratunga made him Deputy Speaker of Parliament. Months later, rumours floated that he was to cross over to the UNP. Munasinghe, in a bid to scotch them, declared “even if my dog crosses over, I will not.” more..

Cleaner diesel for vehicles from next month

June 15 (CT) Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa says that high quality Diesel on par with 'Euro Standard 5' will be available in Sri Lanka at current market prices, with effect from next month. He said that the objective was to import fuel with the least environmental impact. The diesel would be introduced to the market as 'Super Diesel 4 Star'. The products would be purchased from the same sources. more..

Thousands affected in hill country floods, landslides

June 15 (ST) Several areas in the upcountry have been hit by floods, a rare occurrence according to the Meteorological Department. More than 2,000 people have been affected, DMC officials said. In total 382 people were relocated in Nuwara Eliya and Kandy districts. Persons in Nuwara Eliya were temporary relocated at Tonbil Tamil Vidyalaya and Christmas Farmwatta while those in Kandy were gived shelter at the Nawalapitiya more..

CMC to charge Rs 1,000 for anti-dengue spray

June 15 (CT) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) will be charging Rs 1,000 for the application of a dengue preventing residual spray. The CMC has identified a World Health Organization (WHO) certified product to run a dengue prevention project in Colombo. The product would be sprayed on the walls of the house concerned. Areas such as Kirula Road, Kirulapone, Modera, Mattakkuliya, Mahawatte, more..

Price increase in milk powder hits working women most

June 15 (ST) Last Monday, Chamila Thushari, a Free Trade Zone (FTZ) women’s issues worker with the local NGO Da Bidu Collective, received a panic-stricken phone call from a blue-collar working woman at the FTZ. The woman, a mother of two, informed Chamila that she can no longer afford even the milk powder for her children’s daily glass of milk, and then, in a tone of utmost despair, said she was going to take poison. more..

Pakistan Army Chief to attend Sri Lanka Army's passing out parade

June 15 (Nation) The Chief of Staff of Pakistan army, General Raheel Sharif, will reach Sri Lanka on Thursday on a four-day official visit. General Sharif is scheduled to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the afternoon on the day of his arrival. The visiting top military officer will attend the Passing out Parade of the country's premier Army training center for Officer Cadets, Sri Lanka Military Academy, at Diyatalawa. more..

Govt. stops military takeover of lands in north

June 15 (ST) The Govt has suspended plans by the military to acquire 25 different plots of land in the Northern Province. The Land Commissioner General’s Department has issued a directive to the Northern Provincial Land Commissioner not to go ahead with the proposed acquisition of lands in the Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mullativu districts. The request to acquire the lands for the Army was made by Defence Ministry. more..

End Sexual Violence Summit: Sri Lanka’s absence drawing international flak

June 15 (NS) Representatives from Sri Lanka are notably absent at the ‘End Sexual Violence Summit’ which ongoing in the London drawing flack from the International community with UK describing the decision as “disappointing”. British Foreign Office Minister of State, Hugo Swire called on the Sri Lankan govt to explain their absence citing they would have liked to see GOSL being proactive by taking part. more..

MR seeks support over interference

June 15 (CG) President Rajapaksa has sought support against what he says are attempts by “external forces” to interfere in other countries. “We must work together to overcome obstacles including unjustified external forces,” President said. “The situations of the countries which were subjected to foreign interference are worse today than before. Those countries are more chaotic, and it is the only thing that had happened.” more..

President attends opening session of G77

June 15 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday evening attended the opening ceremony of the Golden Jubilee of the Summit of Heads of State and Govt of the Group of 77 and China (G77+China), held at the Expo Cruz Center in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The Summit was organized under the theme "For a New World Order for Living Well.” The plenary session of the Summit will commence Sunday morning. more..