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Nuwara Eliya docs threaten strike

June 16 (CT) All doctors attached to hospitals in the Nuwara Eliya District are to engage in a token strike on 18 June, demanding an apology from the Minister Arumugam Thondaman, for insulting the Medical Officer of Health (MOH), Kotagala. GMOA central committee member, Dr. Nalinda Herath, said the minister had verbally insulted the Kotagala MOH, Dr. Jagath Abeygunaratne, when he took the Lindula clinic, which was under the supervision of an Estate Medical Assistance (EMA), more..

LSSP's firm 'No' on probe

June 16 (DN) LSSP leader, former APRC Chairman and Minister Prof. Tissa Vitharana said the LSSP is totally against UNHRC’s action to appoint a Committee of Inquiry to probe into allegations of war crimes in Sri Lanka. The LSSP has appealed to the the govt not to cooperate with the Committee of Inquiry appointed by UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navaneetham Pillay as it is designed to sling mud at the govt, more..

Gain sharing with tea pluckers

June 16 (CT) At last week's Colombo tea auction Bogawantalawa tea estate has recorded, for the second consecutive week, the highest price for its BOP grade realizing Rs 430 amongst "Western high grown" teas. It is situated some 25 kilometres from Hatton, one of the busiest towns in the hill country. Bogawantalawa teas are now sought after by some of the most discerning customers worldwide. Some of them include, Liptons, Van Rees UK, Orimi Russia, UWT, and Mitsui. more..

Disabled boys abandoned

June 16 (DM) Two mentally-retarded children who had been abandoned had been recovered in the centre of Dambulla today, the Dambulla Police said. The two male children, both about 16 years old, can’t talk, the Police said. According to the instructions of Dambulla HQ Police Inspector Saranath Samarakoon, the Police Officers had had taken care of the children. Police sources said that the boys were in a very dirty condition and had to be washed and cleaned. more..

Video: SL shaken by religious violence

June 16 (AJ) Police have fired tear gas and enforced a curfew in two coastal towns popular with tourists in an attempt to end clashes between Muslims and Buddhists that threatens to spark wider religious violence. Police said on Sunday they were widening a curfew in Alutgama, to the neighbouring town Beruwala, a predominantly Muslim area, after violence threatened to take hold in the region. Two groups attacked each other with stones more..

Local manufacturers flooded out by imports

June 16 (CT) Local tyre manufacturing company, CEAT-Kelani holdings urge that the govt should fashion a level playing field through the Customs Department and regulate imports, in order to uplift the local industries, a senior official said. "One of the major drawbacks local manufactures face today is that imports are flooding the country. This dampens and effect the local industries in a major way," CEAT-Kelani Holdings, Vice President – Sales and Marketing / Exports, Ravi Dadlani said. more..

Floating market, latest attraction in Colombo

June 16 (DN) The construction of the floating market at Bastian Mawatha, which is part of the Colombo City Development Project, implemented by the UDA is complete. Thousands of people including foreigners visiting Colombo can buy products at this market where 92 stalls have been set up to sell local products. This floating market also targets foreign tourists interested in purchasing local products. Vendors who operate in the area adjacent to the market without any facilities will more..

Sri Lanka to replace ageing jet squadrons

June 16 (Island) Sri Lanka is seeking a new fighter aircraft to replace the Israeli Kfirs (No 10 squadron) as well as Russian MiG 27s (No 12 Squadron). The SLAF has received the govt nod to go ahead with a comprehensive evaluation of suitable aircraft. Defence official said that SLAF had received two offers from govts, which had provided a range of armaments to Sri Lanka during the war. "We are in the process of evaluating them," more..

45 JD(S) members leave for Sri Lanka

June 16 (Hindu) 45 members of the Janata Dal (Secular), led by senior party members, left for Colombo, on Sunday. They include party leader H.D. Kumaraswamy, and Zameer Ahmed and Cheluvaraya Swamy, MLAs. The members would formulate a strategy for the future that could help steer the party, which faced a drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections. Eight members have opted not to go to Colombo as the elections to the Legislative Council from teachers and graduates more..

Karuna says won’t tolerate officials

June 16 (CT) "Some govt officials in the Batticaloa District have been discharging their official duties according to their whims and fancies, thus causing problems for several poor families who depend on paddy cultivation for their livelihood. I will not allow such unwarranted actions of such government officials anymore," declared Deputy Minister of Resettlement Vinayagamoorthy Muralidharan, aka Karuna Amman, while addressing a meeting at Kalladiveddai in Kiran DS division. more..

Experts provide verification on integrity of probe – OHCHR

June 16 (CT) The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has set in motion the launch of the investigation on the war in Sri Lanka despite the govt raising strong objections. The investigations will be conducted for a period of 10 months, mostly from outside Sri Lanka. OHCHR spokesman Rupert Colville says once the investigations are over the UNHRC will decide on the next step based on the findings. more..

Odel Art Festival dedicated to pristine beaches

June 16 (Island) The spectre of coastal pollution caused by unchecked littering was colourfully and poignantly brought alive as 100 little artists joined Odel's campaign to save Sri Lanka's beaches through an inspired Eco Art festival to mark World Environment Day 2014. Equipped with crayons, watercolours, pencils, paper and other media, they sketched and painted under the watchful eyes a panel of judges, producing a kaleidoscope of visual interpretations of Odel's theme of more..

Pradeshiya Sabha VC on the run after assault

June 16 (Island) Vice Chairman of the Homagama Pradeshiya Sabha wanted for assaulting a man with the butt of a gun has fled the area, according to the police. Thirty eight-year-old Lalith Kumar of Dedigamuwa, Welipillewa, who is receiving treatment at the Homagama Base Hospital has complained to Aturugiriya police that Homagama PS Vice Chairman Indika Koralage assaulted him with a T-56 assault rifle on day after Poson near a dansela at Lenagalawatte. more..

Trade unions threaten all-out general strike

June 16 (Island) Public sector trade unions issued an ultimatum for the govt to issue a new circular cancelling the one that replaced state employees’s retirement gratuity with a bank loan scheme or face an all-out strike. President of the GNOA Saman Rathnapriya said that though the President Rajapaksa had ordered that the old system be retained the circular cancelling it was still in place, the trade unionist alleged. more..

ACJU requests all Muslims to remain calm

June 16 (AM) All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) issuing a special statementhas requested Muslims across the country to remain calm. ACJU requested the Police to prevent the protest organized by the BBS as it could lead to violent incidents. Despite such requests, the Police allowed the BBS to stage a protest in the Aluthgama town this afternoon. It also requests all parties, including media, to act in a responsible manner to avoid further deterioration of the incident. more..

20-member Chinese business team arrives

June 16 (LBT) A 20-member high powered business delegation from China will arrive in Sri Lanka on June 19, to explore trade opportunities in the country. The delegation is organized by the Beijing Lansing Century Exhibition Company Limited in Association with the Promotion of International Trade Hangzhou Sub-Council, Shenyang Municipal Bureau of Foreign Trade & Economic Cooperation, Liaoning Provincial Bureau of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation and the China Council more..

Modi Hard Talk with Rajapaksa on Pakistan Terror

June 16 (NIE) With national security at the top of his agenda, PM Narendra Modi, in his May 27 meeting with President Rajapaksa, raised the issue of Pakistan using the island nation as a base to infiltrate into Tamil Nadu to carry out terror strikes, official sources confirming a report in Sunday Times. “All issues related to security were taken up. Issue of Pakistan using Lanka as a staging post for terrorist strikes also figured. more..

Access completes First Phase of Polduwa Bridge

June 16 (LBT) Access Engineering has completed the First Phase of the Polduwa Bridge. In recognition of roads, bridges and flyover’s clearly supplementing the national productivity and efficiency, the RDA recognized the requirement to replace the existing 36m Bridge at Polduwa Junction as a top priority. Access Engineering with a track record of completing numerous successful engineering projects collaborated with Mabey Bridge; a leading specialist supplier of steel bridges from UK. more..

Minister briefly trapped by ethnic clashes

June 16 (Reuters) A govt minister had to be rescued by police on Sunday after being trapped by ethnic violence between Buddhists and Muslims. At least 40 people were injured and mosques and shops were damaged in clashes that started at a protest march led by hardline Buddhist group BBS, or the "Buddhist power force". Junior Minister Faiser Mustapha, a Muslim, was trapped when he visited a college in Beruwela, where hundreds of Muslims had taken refuge from the violence. more..

Alas Aluthgama!

June 16 (FT) Police curfews were declared in two Kalutara District towns last night, after communal tensions flared in the restive area following a rally held by a hardline Buddhist group in Aluthgama town. An indefinite police curfew was in place from 6:45 p.m. after a BBS rally in the tense town of Aluthgama went predictably south, with clashes erupting when parts of a mob in procession attempted to stone a mosque in Dhargatown more..

Restore Police honour

June 16 (DM) It is indeed depressing to continually bring out the appalling actions by Sri Lanka Police. The most recent incident is the gunning down of a 24-year-old youth for no apparent reason. According to Police the reason for shooting was that the motorcycle was driven extremely fast and the cyclist did not stop when the Police signalled them to do so. However, the 18-year-old pillion-rider, who sustained injuries and survived, describes the incident entirely differently. more..

Playing with the lives of young people

June 16 (DM) Unrest among youth leading to political violence has been a major feature of the political landscape in the country over the last several decades. A National Youth Commission comprising several distinguished persons was appointed in 1991, in the aftermath of the second JVP-led youth rebellion. The mandate of the commission was to investigate the background and the causes of unrest in the late 1980’s and make recommendations as to what State policies more..

'We are under threat and pressure'

June 16 (DM) Rumy Marzook, Chairman of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) said that he was under pressure and threats of many companies in performing his duties. Also he said that he wished to see a change in his occupation and wished to work in a sector where the subject matter was familiar to him. Marzook said that amendments to the Consumer Protection Act (2003) would be brought widening the scopes which were not more..

Carlo too comes out to expose proposed bill

June 16 (Island) Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) President, Prof. Carlo Fonseka ycame out in support of the People’s Movement for the Rights of Patients (PMRP) and other health action groups who want to expose the proposed Act for the setting up of the Medicinal Drugs and Cosmetics Devices Regulatory Authority as a distortion of Prof. Senaka Bibile’s drug policy. Prof. Fonseka, contacted for comment, said that according to more..

Politicos, big and small, believe they are above the law in Lanka

June 16 (ST) Karuwalagaswewa Pradeshiya Sabha Deputy Chairman Chaminda Ruwansiri Perera last week made an attempt to prevent the arrest of some of his supporters who were illegally transporting sand. When he failed to prevent the police action, as a mark of protest, he got on to the back of the Landmaster tractor illegally loaded with sand. He got down from the vehicle only after kicking and slapping one of the constables more..

Weerawansa accuses Northern CM of adding to people’s woes

June 16 (Island) Minister Wimal Weerawansa found fault with Chief Minister of Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran for not attending a ceremony at Gurunagar, Jaffna to declare open a condominium project yesterday. After declaring open the housing scheme renovated at a cost of Rs 110 million, Weerwansa said, Wigneswaran had been formally invited to attend the opening ceremony. His name, too, has been included in the plaque of more..

Annual Heroin smuggling to SL, 3.5 tons

June 16 (SL) Following the seizure of the largest ever haul of heroin in the country at Kelaniya last week, reliable sources from the Airport and Aviation Katunayake reveal that approximately 30 kg of the drug Ecstasy is smuggled to the country every month through the VVIP channel at the airport. “We know when this is brought to the country; we could see plain clothed security personnel in proximity to the VVIP lounge. more..

Journalist held hostage and released

June 16 (CG) A journalist attached to The Sunday Leader newspaper was taken hostage by a mob in Aluthgama this afternoon after the driver of the vehicle was assaulted. The journalist and two female journalists had gone to Aluthgama this afternoon to report on the situation in the area. However at Mathugama they were surrounded by a violent mob with poles in their hands. Mob assaulted the driver of the more..

Hakeem who is considering 'Retirement' is now in Dharga Town

June 16 (AM) Leader of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem has visited Dharga town in Aluthgama, a short while ago. Hakeem is accompanied by several senior officials of the Sri Lanka Mulim Congress. Although the situation is now tranquil in Beruwala and Aluthgama, uncertainly still looms large over the area with Police confirming two deaths due to last night's clashes. more..

No Buddhist monk has been killed in Aluthgama: IGP confirms

June 16 (AM) IGP N.K. Illangakoon, issuing a special media statement, has stated that no Buddhist monk has been killed in the Aluthgama clash last night. He urged the public not to be misguided by rumours and unsubstantiated stories. IGP also seeks the assistance of the public to ensure law and order in the area. However, no explanation has been given so far by Police as to why it allowed the Bodu Bala sena to stage more..

'Govt won't allow anyone to take law into their hands'

June 16 (MoD) President Rajapaksa, issuing a special statement on the tense situation in Aluthgama last night stated the Govt will not allow anyone to take law into their hands. "I urge parties concerned to act in restraint. An investigation will be held for the law to take its course of action to bring to book those responsible for incidents in Aluthgama," President said. Police curfews were declared in the area last night, more..

3 killed, 75 injured, houses set ablaze in Sri Lanka ethnic clashes

June 16 (Reuters) At least three Muslims were killed and 75 people seriously injured in violence between Buddhists and Muslims in southern Sri Lankan coastal towns best known as tourist draws, with Muslim homes set ablaze, officials and residents said on Monday. There has been increasing violence against Muslims in Sri Lanka since 2012, mirroring events in Myanmar, which has seen a surge of attacks by members of the more..

Implement the National Workers’ Charter

June 16 (CT) That Sri Lanka a socialist democracy does not have a National Workers' Charter is a serious indictment on the country as well as its rulers. And that the Workers' Charter proudly introduced by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in 1995, when he was Labour Minister in the SLFP Govt led by President Kumaratunga, remains unimplemented for almost 20 years, is a worse indictment on the govt. A Workers' Charter protects the rights of workers against forced labour, more..

Horror in Aluthgama: Their crime; our shame

June 16 (CT) It is a chilling sight. On stage, Galagoda-Atte Gnanasara Thera is raining words of poison and fire. Below, a large crowd, made up of monks and ordinary people, are listening intently. They do not look violent or angry. There is hardly a sign that an hour or so later they will turn into a baying murderous mob. Many of the lay-listeners have their hands together, in the traditional gesture of worship. That and the focused looks on their faces indicate that as far as they are more..

Bodu Bala Sena Meeting - Aluthgama

Sri Lanka rupee hits near 1-yr high on inward remittances

June 16 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee edged up on Monday to its highest level in nearly one year on strong inward remittances while a state bank lowered its dollar buying rate. The rupee was at 130.23/25 per dollar at 0830 GMT, its highest since June 28, 2013, and firmer than Friday's close of 130.25/28. "There were heavy inflows from remittances," a currency dealer said on condition of anonymity. One of the two state banks, through which the central bank directs the market, more..

Sajith predicts sanctions against Lanka

June 16 (Island) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa, warns that the proposed UN probe could lead to the US and the European Union resorting to punitive economic sanctions against Sri Lanka in the near future. He asserted that the economy would suffer a debilitating setback in case the western powers closed their market to Sri Lankan exports. MP was addressing a meeting. MP Premadasa alleged that the country was facing a catastrophe due to pathetic failure in UPFA’s foreign policy. more..

Audio: Hakeem ‘utterly ashamed’; to decide on future with govt

June 16 (AD) Leader of the SLMC, Rauf Hakeem stated that he is “utterly ashamed” for not being able to even provide the minimum security for the Muslim people as the country’s Justice Minister. He stated that he has visited Darga Town in Aluthgama and Chaina Fort in Beruwala, where clashes between religious groups broke out yesterday. “Despite the previous existence of a risk for such a situation and despite more..

Pickpockets including three women arrested

June 16 (Island) Dehiwala and Angulana police have nabbed six pickpockets including three females operating in crowded buses and trains. They were also specialised in relieving commuters of their cell phones, the police said. Anugalana Police nabbed three males who had stolen mobiles phones in office trains between Kalutara and Fort and recovered 43 mobile phones worth nearly one million rupees. The three suspects were drug addicts, police said. Some of the stolen phones had been sold more..

Sri Lanka shares close up 0.1%

june 16 (LBO) Shares closed 0.11% higher on Monday starting the week on a positive territory. All Share Price Index closed 6.88 points higher at 6,344.10 up 0.11%. S&P SL20 closed 15.64 points higher at 3,520.67, up 0.45%. Turnover was 957.31 million rupees, up from 809.41 million rupees last Friday with 105 stocks closed positive against 79 negative. Softlogic closed 50 cents higher at 13.70 rupees with two off-market transactions of 148.73 million rupees changing hands more..