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Pakistani drowns at sea after falling off ship’s ladder

June 15 (ST) A Pakistani national died on Thursday following a fall from a ship anchored in Colombo, the coroner’s court was told. The deceased, Sakier Ahmad aged 52, from Karachi, was the Second Engineer of the ship. He had been trying to get into a ship with the help of a rope ladder but had slipped and fallen into the sea. Giving evidence, Master Divers employee, Jagath Kodikara, said that the engineer lost his balance while climbing up to the ship, and fell to his death. more..

What options if there is no Common Candidate

June 15 (Island) Recent reports leaking from more than one source indicate that Ranil is bent on contesting the Executive Presidency. That is to say, he will NOT present himself as a Single Issue (SI) candidate for the express purpose of abolishing the Executive Presidency (EP) through constitutional amendment, enacting a parliamentary alternative, stepping down (obviously since EP would have evaporated) and holding fresh parliamentary elections immediately afterwards. more..

Mahela still living by instinct

June 15 (CI) Early on in Mahela Jayawardene's innings at Lord's, England attacked with vigour outside the off stump. His last tour in 2011, had produced a blooper-reel of familiar dismissals: Mahela stepping forward to drive outside the line of the stumps - the ball seeking out the edge, then a pair of hands in the slip cordon. He tried to be more careful on Saturday. Tighter with his defence, and more inclined to leave. But soon enough, more..

The notion of a nation's sovereignty

June 15 (CT) The appointment of Sandra Beidas as Coordinator of a 12-member UN team to investigate alleged war crimes and human rights violations in Sri Lanka during and after the war, signals the beginning of the OHCHR driven investigation process, once again placing the UNHRC firmly on the Sri Lankan menu. Govt has made no bones about its view on the whole process, categorically refusing to cooperate with the UN investigation. But the question is, how much attention is being more..

Chickens coming home to roost

June 15 (Island) Those of us who grew up in other times need to be forgiven for falling back on aphorisms from those times! One of those sayings was that which is the title of this contribution and has its more modern version that goes, "What goes around, comes around" which, in turn, can be viewed in the same light as Newton’s Third Law which goes, "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." The incompetence that flows from the corruption in administration of more..

MR to meet Wimal soon after Bolivian tour

June 15 (AM) President Rajapaksa is to have crucial talks with Minister Wimal Weerawansa and senior members of his party soon after the President's return from Bolivia. During the discussion, the 12 proposals presented by the NFF will be discussed at length, aiming to iron out differences between the govt and its ally, NFF. This came in a context where NFF Leader had organized series of seminars in several parts of more..

Are we adherents of the Rule of Law?

June 15 (Island) The discourse on the lack of the rule of law in Sri Lanka is deafening. Yet, are we, Sri Lankan citizen, upholders of the rule of law? The concept of the rule of law is as old as democracy itself. Its centrality in democracy was seen in the history of ancient Athens and the concept was formulated not much later by Aristotle himself. It’s second coming, as it were, was in the Middle Ages in Europe. In the mid 1970’s the Marxist historian E.P. Thomson observed that more..

Rameswaram fishermen call off strike

June 15 (PTI) Local fishermen, who were on an indefinite strike since June 8 demanding release of five fishermen arrested by Lankan Navy two years ago, decided on Sunday to call it off following an assurance by Minister Pon. Radhakrishan, a representative of the fishermen’s association said. Fishermen association presidents of Rameswaram, Mandapam and Pampan had gone to Chennai recently and apprised Mr. Radhakrishnan of fishermen’s problems, T. Sasuraja, more..

Key meeting on future of religious police

June 15 (SL) Ravana Balaya is to meet the Secretary to the Ministry of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs, Secretary to the Ministry of Law and Order and the IGP tomorrow to discuss demands to remove the special Police unit setup at the Ministry of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs to resolve disputes related to religious issues. Convener of the Rawana Balaya, the Ven. Iththakande Saddha Tissa Thera said that more..

Sri Lankan expatriate gets relief

June 15 (Hindu) The Madras High Court Bench here has directed the State Govt to include the name of a Sri Lankan expatriate in the panel drawn in Sivaganga district for promotion to the post of an assistant in 1988 and grant him notional promotion and other monetary benefits due since that year. Allowing a writ petition filed by him, Justice R. Mahadevan quashed a Govt Order passed in 2008 rejecting the petitioner’s plea to include him in the 1988 panel. more..

Saliyawewa OIC transferred after PS vice chairman issue

June 15 (AD) The OIC of the Saliyawewa Police Station, who was charged with dereliction of duty after failing to produce a local politician before a court, has been transferred to the Nuwara Eliya Police Division with immediate effect. The Police OIC’s actions in the recent arrest of the Karuwalagaswewa PS vice chairman Chaminda Ruwansiri had come under criticism. Ruwansiri, was arrested on June 7 for allegedly assaulting a police officers and obstructing his duties more..

Video: Gratuity allocated for MPs but not for state employees

June 15 (AD) The National Trade Union Centre today charged that the govt has allocated funds to pay gratuity for MPs while completely disregarding public servants, who have dedicated decades of their lives to serve the country. According to govt estimates, the state had allocated Rs 18,450 million for the payment of pension gratuity in the year 2013 while Rs 15,000 million was allocated for this year, more..

Committee probes alleged RRI frauds

June 15 (ST) A three-member committee has been appointed to look into allegations of financial irregularities in the Rubber Research Institute (RRI). A senior official of the Institute said one of the allegations that is being looked into is the failure to deposit EPF contributions of the employees to the fund. The official said another allegation is that the money repaid by employees taken as loans has not been credited to the respective fund. “There have been several financial irregularities more..

India nabs gold brought from Sri Lanka

June 15 (CG) The Indian Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized 12 kg of gold biscuits allegedly smuggled from Sri Lanka through the sea and arrested two persons, who attempted to smuggle the contraband to Madurai. Acting on a tip-off, DRI officials seized 65 pieces of gold biscuits – 50 pieces with foreign markings and the rest foreign gold in odd sizes, totally weighing 12 kg and worth Rs.3.34 crore. The contraband was smuggled from Sri Lanka and received at Pasipattinam more..

Shivajilingam writes to Modi on 13A

June 15 (CG) TNA NPC member M.K. Shivajilingam says the Tamil people do not believe that the 13 Amendment to the constitution could lead to an equitable political solution that meets the aspirations of the Tamil people. In a letter to Indian PM Narendra Modi, Shivajilingam says India should push Sri Lanka to work towards a solution which can, at the minimum, offer a true federal autonomy to the Tamils in a single merged more..

NBRO to take measures for future safeguard

June 15 (CT) National Building Research Organization (NBRO) has recommended nearly 350 families to be evacuated from areas with potential landslide threats in Kaluthara district. Through investigations which have been concluded up to now NBRO has identified nearly 410 to 450 locations with potential landslide threats in Kaluthara district and the recommendations have been handed over to the Divisional Secretary for the removal of 300 to 350 families permanently from their residences. more..

Silumina bans Bertolt Brecht for damaging govt propaganda

June 15 (AM) State run newspaper, Silumina has withheld its supplement 'Shasthreeya Athirekeya' this week, over an article on strong political undercurrents of Bertolt Brecht's stage plays. Article, which was published as the cover story of the 'Shaasthriya Athirekaya', discusses as to how Bertolt Brecht's plays are of relevance to societies whose political bodies are characterized with hypocrisy, suppression and corruption. However, the article does not make any direct reference to govt more..

Fishing crisis: Sri Lanka names team for talks, India silent

June 15 (ST) Govt has named a three-member delegation for talks on fisheries issues with the Indian govt, but New Delhi has not yet responded to the invitation for talks, Fisheries Ministry Secretary D.M.R.B. Dissanayaka said. He said the ministry was awaiting a reply from India to finalise the dates for the talks. “After talks between the representatives of the two fishing communities ended in a deadlock early this year, we are more..

Sri Lanka embassy staffer killed in accident in Russia; body to be brought home

June 15 (ST) Body of the Sri Lankan national who died after being run over by a vehicle in the Rostov-on-Don region of Southern Russia on June 11, will be brought home this week. The deceased, Noel Ranaweera (37), was a longtime employee of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Russia, and a resident of Attanagalla. His death came about following an argument between employees of a transport company engaged in transporting the baggage of a Sri Lankan cultural troupe that was on a more..

Confidential report to Modi on presidential polls

June 15 (SM) The Indian high Commission here has sent a confidential report, to be handed over to PM Narendra Modi by Wednesday, regarding the next presidential election in Sri Lanka, ‘Deshaya’ says. Quoting highly placed sources in New Delhi, the newspaper says the report contains information with regard to the probable candidates and the person expected to be the common opposition candidate. It also evaluates the political strength of Sarath Fonseka, JVP, TNA and the candidates more..

Mini-battle in Aluthgama: Curfew declared

June 15 (AM) Police curfew has been imposed in Aluthgama following a clash that occurred between Sinhala-Buddhists and Muslims in the area. The clash occurred following a protest organized by the Bodu Bala Sena this evening where the BBS accused a Muslim group of assaulting a Buddhist monk. Addressing the gathering, BBS Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera strongly criticized the Muslims in the area more..

UNP keen to topple the Govt

June 15 (CG) Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe says UNP will launch its attempt to topple the Govt through Uva PC elections. Uva elections are expected to take place by November this year and Presidential elections are likely early next year. Speaking at an event in Bandarawala today Wickremesinghe said the country now has a good opportunity to topple the Rajapaksa Govt. He noted that the Govt had promised several concessions to the public but more..

Sapugaskanda oil refinery to be shut down

June 15 (CT) Sapugaskanda oil refinery is going to be shut down tomorrow (16th), the Oil Refiners Union says. According to the Refiners Union refinery will be shut down due to the shortage of crude oil. If the refinery shut down 1300 of workers would lose their jobs. The refinery is going to be closed only for few days due to certain repairs in two main units, the Managing Director of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation Susantha Silva said. Crude oil transportation had been delayed due to more..

UN-led probe on SL to begin this month

June 15 (Xinhua) A UN-led investigation into the war in Sri Lanka will begin this month, a UN official said on Sunday. Rupert Colville, the spokesman at the OHCHR, in an email to Xinhua said that the Investigation Team will be operational for a period of 10 months from mid-June 2014 to mid-April 2015 and the first meeting of the full team will be held in Geneva in July. "The High Commissioner for Human Rights will present more..

Scared Tears: by Roderic Grigson

June 16 (SL) I recently read the above fascinating, well informed and politically sensitive novel skillfully crafted by an expatriate Sri Lankan now living in Melbourne. As the title and the predominantly blood red cover with a tear drop from a woman suggest, the book is drenched in blood and tears. The script is based alternatively in a complex war in Lebanon and the civil war in the North of Sri Lanka. Having served as GA and District Secretary of Jaffna for three years during the war, more..

Will TNA do a JVP?

June 16 (SL) 25 long years after its bloody conclusion, JVP’s Anura Kumara Dissanayake has now reportedly apologised for the 1987-89 insurgency. Another senior party leader K.D. Lal Kantha has however ‘clarified’ that the ‘apology’ was not for the ‘armed struggle’ per se but only for the ‘innocents killed during that period’. There is a lesson in this for the TNA. The party and even the Northern Provincial Council (NPC), which is not tired of passing one resolution after another more..

'Postal Dept, a profit–making Venture soon'

June 16 (SO) Postal Department will develop the postal service into a profitable institution by 2020. Losses will be reduced by introducing new services and becoming more service-oriented. “ In the past six months the postal Department operated without taking a single cent from the Treasury. With the introduction of new services the institution is turning into a profit-making venture and losses are gradually decreasing”, more..

Mullaitivu the region of war and peace!

June 16 (CT) The Vattapalai Kannaki Amman Kovil is one of the ancient Hindu shrines situated in Mulliyavalai in the Mullaitivu District. From the time immemorial thousands of devotees gather at the Vattapalai Kannaki Amman Kovil annually where milk rice is cooked in thousands of pots and offered to the deity of the temple. The lighting of the lamp of the inner shrine of the temple with the water collected from Nandhi Kadal Sea is miraculous and with this unique ritual the temple festival more..

Namal's new task !

June 16 (CT) Namal Rajapaksa has set his hand to a new task. It is strengthening the SLFP youth federation. Namal devoted his entire time to that in recent times. Namal has now decided to hold the first assembly of the youth federation in Aranayaka on 2 July. He hopes to hold this on a massive scale summoning youth from all around Sri Lanka. With UPFA MP, Udith Lokubandara's revelation that UNP MP of the District Harin Fernando would contest the next election from the UPFA, more..

Sri Lanka's brothers in arms

June 16 (CI) A man turns to his mates, clenching his fists and showing his guns in the successful warrior pose. His mate runs up and jumps on him, half hugging, half choking as he climbs up his back. Then the successful warrior walks towards his group of friends to acknowledge their existence. His mate stands behind him behaving erratically and smiling uncontrollably. Kumar Sangakkara has made a Test century. more..

Editorial: Animal tipsters

June 16 (Island) Humans have, throughout history, treated animals in a peculiar manner. They have elevated some of the dumb creatures which they otherwise cherish as delicacies to oracles or even deities. Using animals as fortune tellers is usually thought to be confined to the not-so-enlightened developing world, but, in reality, that practice is popular the world over even in western countries which have taken vast strides in science and technology. more..

PPP Phobia

June 16 (CT) ‘PPP Phobia’ is the latest addition to medical jargon. It is ‘Provincial Police Power-sharing Phobia.’ It has affected many politicians and political analysts in Sri Lanka- these days. Media reported that the Govt of Sri Lanka (GOSL) has informed Indian PM that she will devolve to Provincial Councils (PCs) all powers except Police Powers (PPs). Does this mean the longstanding resistance to sharing land powers is no more? “Irida Divayina’ (1-6-2014) stated that more..

New project to conserve and manage Kelani river

June 16 (DN) Central Environmental Authority (CEA) officials will launch a new project for Kelani river conservation and management. Project is to be implemented as the pollution of the river basin has been aggravated due to man made and natural causes. A large number of small and medium scale industries have been set up near the river bank, and about 25% of the total population of Sri Lanka lives close to the Kelani river. more..

The UN investigation and the Rajapaksa right to impunity

June 16 (CT) It was a miracle – of the Rajapaksa variety. When the BBS thugs invaded the Industries and Commerce Ministry on April 23rd, the CCTV camera system in the Ministry malfunctioned. So the Fort magistrate was informed. No CCTV footage; no evidence. The BBS will get away with one more crime. In Sri Lanka impunity, is so normal it barely makes news. The Rajapaksas, their kith, kin and acolytes break the law publicly and blatantly, sans consequences. The rule of law is dead; more..

Politicized development expenditure not the answer

June 16 (Island) Economists have long been debating the topic of growth versus development. Development used to be identified with growth in per capita income. But the total GDP consists much more than the output of material goods and services which generally come into the markets. It includes a large amount of govt expenditure on anything and everything which do not directly or even indirectly lead to n increase in the supply of goods and services. Communists used to include more..

Devotion to the collective sees Mathews thrive

June 16 (CI) In 1950, 22-year-old Ernesto Guevara embarked on a motorcycle journey around Latin America. A medical student at the time, Guevara had had a relatively comfortable life, but in his travels, he was thrown into intimate contact with stark poverty and wanton injustice. The experience was cataclysmic. Guevara searched deep within himself, and was compelled to his core. Years later, 'Che' would go on to lead more..

Mihin Lanka goes long range

June 16 (Island) Mihin Lanka, Sri Lanka’s leading low-cost carrier has obtainedapproval from CAASL for120 minutes of Extended Twin Engine Operations (Extended Diversion Time Operations). Commenting on the importance of obtaining additional ETOPS flying time, Nishantha Ranatunga – Chairman, Mihin Lanka stated, "The additional flying time Mihin Lanka has received through ETOPS approval from CAASL reiterates the quality of the airline’s standards and procedures. more..

Ballance channels his Trott, then his KP

June 16 (CI) Kevin Pietersen was back at an English Test ground on Sunday. And he was very close to the ECB. Two hospitality boxes away to be precise. It was, therefore, unfortunate timing that England produced a floundering batting display, especially as Pietersen left the ground well before Gary Ballance completed the rescue mission by reaching a maiden Test hundred with a six. Pietersen began his day by tweeting his hopes for what lay ahead. "Going to Lord's today. more..

Day 4: Ballance ton shores up England

June 16 (CI) Such had been the mastery of bat against ball at Lord's that few would have quibbled at the notion that Gary Ballance might complete the fourth day with a maiden Test century to his name. This Test surface has not been short of largesse for any batsman worth his salt. What would have surprised them was that he would have achieved it from a position of adversity after SL briefly transformed the complacent mood more..

The best applause at Lord’s for a Sri Lankan

June 16 (Island) In all, there have been 11 centuries scored by Sri Lankans at Lord’s – seven in Tests and four in ODIs prior to the current game. Each knock has its place in the history. Sidath Wettimuny on Sri Lanka’s maiden Test tour to England earned the admiration of purists for sheer elegance and perfect technique. Duleep Mendis on the same tour murdered the English bowlers with swashbuckling knocks. Mahela saved Sri Lanka from an embarrassing defeat in 2006 and Dilshan more..