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Mechanism to prevent further escalation of violence

June 16 (DM) In the aftermath of the flare up in Aluthgama and nearby areas, several Buddhist and Muslim religious leaders backed by politicians agreed to set up a mechanism to prevent further escalation of violence, officials said. PM D.M. Jayaratne, in his capacity as Minister of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs, chaired a meeting at the Kalutara District Secretariat today. Meeting was attended by Minister Basil Rajapaksa, more..

Mervyn to take over security in Beruwala Aluthgama & Dharga Town

June 16 (AM) Minister Mervyn Silva pledged to take over security of Beruwala, Aluthgama and Dharga town to ensure the safety of Muslims in the area. He said he was in Aluthgama since morning and there was not enough security for people in the area. He said he would stay in the mosque and provide security for the Muslims. "The situation has been brought under control to a great extent. This is like setting fire on a garbage pile. I can resolve this issue and it is my duty as a minister of the govt more..

TB infected elephants at Dehiwala zoo not isolated

June 16 (Island) The National Zoological Gardens in Dehiwela continues to house five elephants believed to be suffering from tuberculosis, despite opposition from various quarters, Zoo officials said that despite repeated warnings the management had not taken any action to quarantine the affected animals. However, the six elephants tested TB positive in the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage have been isolated. Workers said that the situation in the zoo could not be taken lightly as the elephants were more..

Mahinda S, Rajitha & Arjuna dodge crucial Kalutara meeting

June 16 (SM) Three prominent MPs representing Kalutara District, namely Ministers Mahinda Samarasinghe, Rajitha Senarathne and MP Arjuna Ranatunga, were not present at the crucial meeting which took place in Kalutara today to find a solution to the Sinhala-Muslim problem. Meeting was presided over by PM D.M. Jayarathne and was attended by Minister Basil Rajapaksa and many other MPs. Representatives of the BBS and more..

Meat of hoofed animals banned in Galle

june 16 (Island) Selling of meat of the hoofed animals has been banned in the Galle Municipal area with effect from yesterday, according to Galle Acting Mayor Kelum Seneviratne. He said the decision had been taken on the instructions of Chief Public Health Inspector of Galle Venura Singarachchi, who had warned of a possible outbreak of foot-and-mouth diseases among the hoofed animals in the areas. The disease could have been propelled by the recent floods, more..

Fearing clash, police turn away two teachers blamed for schoolgirl’s suicide

June 16 (Island) Two teachers blamed for the suicide of a student of St. Mary’s College, Kandana, Hapugoda were turned away from the Ragama police station yesterday morning when they came there to lodge a complaint that a section of the media was maligning them. An officer of the Ragama police station told The Island that the two teachers had been turned away as at that time the relatives of the victim Sewmini Apeksha were there at the police station. more..

SL economic growth at 7.6% in 1Q 2014

June 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka's economy grew 7.6% in the first quarter of 2014 from a year earlier despite the agriculture shrinking, estimates by the state statistics office showed. Agriculture, forestry shrank 1.2% but helped by a 13.3% from fishing the sector showed a 0.2% growth. Industry grew 12.6%, helped by a 16.5% growth in textile, wearing apparel and leather. Construction was estimated to have grown 22.5%. more..

Dehiwala Zoo animal deaths raise concern

June 16 (DM) Employees of the Dehiwala Zoo expressed concern over the death of the rare species of animals that had been going on unchecked in the Dehiwala zoo. They pointed out that the latest incident was the death of a Lion and a Hippopotamus on Thursday and the latter had been taken ill and died a few days later for want of treatment. The employees said the Dehiwala Zoo had run short of veterinary surgeons after the transfer of four of them at once to more..

UAE Exchange remittances to SL hit $290m

June 16 (TA) UAE Exchange, a leading remittance and foreign exchange brand, transferred $290 million, from across the globe, to Sri Lanka in 2013, contributing 5% of the total remittance inflows to the country. In a statement, the company said global remittances to Sri Lanka grew 15% in 2013 compared to the previous year. Global remittances to Sri Lanka in 2013, as estimated by the World Bank, stood at $5.7 billion. Promoth Manghat, vice president – Global Operations, more..

Video: JVP calls on people to remain calm

June 16 (DM) JVP which called the Aluthgama violence ‘totally unwarranted’ appealed to people from both the communities to exercise restraint and preserve law and order. Addressing a hurriedly summoned news conference, JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said people should act intelligently, without allowing their emotions to reign. He said the JVP was averse to racism and therefore it had been able to more..

U.S. Embassy Statement on Aluthgama & Beruwela Violence

June 16 (USE) The U.S. Embassy condemns the violence that has spread over the weekend in Aluthgama and Beruwela. We urge the government to ensure that order is preserved and the lives of all citizens, places of worship, and property are protected. We urge the authorities to investigate these attacks and bring those responsible to justice. We also urge all sides to refrain from violence, exercise restraint, and respect the rule of law.

Minister Rajitha Senarathna on a study visit to Harvard University

June 16 (GDI) Minister Rajitha Senarathna left for America on an invitation extended by the Harvard University to study on International politics and leadership. He will attend the one week study course at the Harvard University in America from June 16 – 22. The chance to participate in this course is an rare opportunity provided to world politicians and intellectuals. Minister Rajitha Senarathna at the Harvard University will get a chance of associating with intellectuals, politicians and more..

President in Bolivia explains Sri Lanka’s reality to world leaders

June 16 (GDI) President Rajapaksa currently visiting Santa Cruz in Bolivia to attend the Golden Jubilee of the G77 held bilateral discussions with several world leaders at the Expo Cruz Export Center on Sunday and explained Sri Lanka’s actual situation to them. PM of Gabon Mr. Daniel Ona Ondo, President of Uruguay Mr. José Mujica and President of Equatorial Guinea Mr. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo met President Rajapaksa more..

UNP accuses govt of not maintaining law and order in Beruwala & Aluthgama

June 16 (AM) The UNP accused the govt of not maintaining law and order in Beruwala and Aluthgama areas yesterday when clashes occurred between Sinhala and Muslim groups. Issuing a brief media statement on the matter this morning, the UNP also said that the government was trying to cover up its inability by cooking up various stories about 'conspiracies'. UNP LC Chairman Karu Jayasuriya and its General Secretary Tissa Attanayake are to visit Beruwala more..

Top monks urge tolerance and unity

June 16 (CG) Leading monks today joined civil society members to call for peace and unity among Sinhalese and Muslims in Sri Lanka, a day after clashes in Aluthgama and Beruwala resulted in three deaths and nearly 80 others suffering injuries. The venerable, professor Kamburugamuwa vajira thero, speaking at a media briefing organised by the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka, expressed regret over the loss of life and property suffered by Muslims as a result of the violence. more..

Pillay alarmed at communal violence

June 16 (CG) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay expressed her deep alarm at inter-communal violence taking place in south-western Sri Lanka in which two, or possibly three, people have reportedly been killed and scores injured. The violence erupted on Sunday in the town of Aluthgama following a large rally of the Buddhist group BBS to protest an alleged assault a few days earlier by a Muslim youth more..

Aluthgama riots: Meticulously planned and executed to military precision

June 17 (CT) The unwanted and unnecessary attack was mayhem of an unprecedented scale in and around Aluthgama which later spread to Dharga town and Beruwala following the highly inflammatory speech by Sinhala racist outfit Bodu Bala Sena’s General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero, the Buddhist Zionist who is hell bent on shedding Muslim blood. These unfortunate killings, injury, indiscriminate burning of residential and commercial properties, looting of more..

Barbarism of Sinhala Buddhist extremist forces against Muslims

June 17 (CT) The Eastern Muslim University Teachers’ Association condemns the outrageous barbarism unleashed against the Muslims of Sri Lanka by the Sinhala Buddhist extremist forces like BBS aimed at resurrecting another pogrom of 1915 or 1983. The recent trend of hatred and intolerance coupled with incidents associated with violence towards Muslims underlines the ethno-religious politics of the successive govt in the post-independence of Sri Lanka. more..

Nigeria's decision, eye-opener for the West

June 17 (SO) Nigeria's decision to seek Sri Lanka's expertise in counter terrorism is an eye-opener to all, especially to those Western countries who merely make a big noise on the need to crush terrorism without doing it practically. A high-level military delegation led by Chief of Defence Staff General Jagath Jayasuriya, has held discussions with Nigerian authorities on using Sri Lanka's first-hand experience, in combating more..

Motion on Pillay's probe backfires on govt

June 17 (CT) A few weeks ago, as the media broke the news that the govt was making preparations to go for a snap presidential poll, main stream political parties in the mainstream that had begun informal talks with one another, were making headway towards reaching consensus to field a common opposition candidate against President Rajapaksa, who is set to seek a third term in office. The opposition political parties were still holding behind the scene talks with a view to more..

The common presidential candidate

June 17 (CT) The presidential election is around the corner. The ruling UPFA has already announced its candidate, that is, President Rajapaksa. The Leader of the UNP, Ranil Wickremesinghe, has already faced two defeats at presidential elections. Moreover, the UNP has faced more than 29 defeats under his leadership. In this backdrop, nobody is confident about his victory, probably including himself. Hence, if he submits nominations for presidential candidacy, people will know more..

'Govt’s blind spot is microeconomics'

June 17 (Island) In 2005, Wimal Weerawansa’s platform oratory was one of the highlights of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s presidential election campaign. In 2007, even as a JVP MP, he played a pivotal role in foiling the attempt made by the UNP to defeat the UPFA at the vote on the budget. After joining the govt, Weerawansa was always one of the key defenders of govt policy. Lately however, his has become a discordant voice in the govt more..

View from Ritigala - by mahasona

June 17 (NS) Former Norwegian peace broker Eric Solheim has said he is willing to testify before any international war crimes inquiry panel on Sri Lanka.To the best of Mahasona’s knowledge, Solheim was nowhere near Sri Lanka when the final stage of war was battled and when the “alleged” war crimes happened!The million dollar question is - if Solheim was nowhere near the battle field how does he have first-hand information with regard to alleged war crimes in. more..

Geneva is a diplomatic minefield to navigate

June 17 (NS) The next battle of Sri Lanka’s war with the UNHRC began this week with the UN agency informing the Sri Lankan govt that an international panel has been appointed to inquire into alleged war crimes allegations in Sri Lanka. Colombo has been informed that Sylvia Cartwright, a former Governor General of New Zealand and Sandra Beidas, a senior official dealing with human rights in the UN have been appointed to the inquiry panel and that the latter will lead the inquiry. more..

DEW all for it

June 17 (CT) Leader of the Communist Party and Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera, believes differences between the political cultures of India and Sri Lanka are crucial when it comes to resolving the country's ethnic problem. He pointed out that the Indian political culture is symbolized by the act of new PM Narendra Modi visiting the former Premier Manmohan Singh with a bouquet of flowers, immediately after being sworn-in as the PM. more..

Editorial: Consulting Parliament the govt way

June 17 (Island) The govt wants Parliament to oppose a UNHRC war crimes probe against Sri Lanka. What it really seeks is parliamentary endorsement for a fait accompli in the form of a resolution, according to its critics. The UNP and the JVP are in a dilemma. They are wary of antagonising the countries bent on taming the Rajapaksa govt they themselves are striving to topple. At the same time, they know it is political hara-kiri to oppose the UPFA’s resolution more..

SLT says broadband connectivity boosted

June 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) says it is boosting the island's broadband connectivity with its high capacity fibre optic backbone and expanding international cable links. SLT has been licensed to build the national fibre optic network, where capacity will be made available to other operators. CEO Lalith de Silva says the firm had invested heavily in the backbone network. "We truly believe in sharing communication and ICT infrastructure towards achieving the development goals of more..

Pradeep was confident - Mathews

June 17 (CI) Nuwan Pradeep approached the last five balls of the match with confidence, as he walked out to deny Stuart Broad and England, his captain Angelo Mathews revealed after the match. Pradeep swayed away from a bouncer first ball - avoiding a reprise of his hit wicket from the first innings - then played and missed at a back-of-a-length delivery, and fended the third one away towards point. Next ball more..

Sri Lanka can learn from British govt in facing up to war crimes charges

June 17 (Island) The international human rights community's determination to pursue with its probe into alleged war crimes in the last phase of Sri Lanka's civil war is widely seen within Sri Lanka as evidence of prejudice against the country. However, what has happened to the Sri Lankan govt must not be seen in isolation from international developments. Some of Britain's most senior military and political figures now face a war crimes inquiry as the International Criminal Court (ICC) more..

Lankans loving Lord's and Thirimanne's bogeyman

June 17 (CI) The biggest total that Sri Lanka have successfully overhauled in the fourth innings of a Test is 352, which they did when they beat South Africa at Colombo in August 2006. The target of 390 that England had set them was always going to be an uphill task. Sri Lanka had once scored 391 in the fourth innings of a drawn game against Pakistan. Sri Lanka's only score of 400-plus in the fourth innings of a Test came against Australia, when they were bowled out for 410 in a chase of 507. more..

Sri Lanka encouraged by battling draw

June 17 (CI) Alastair Cook is a defensive captain. Angelo Mathews is a defensive captain. Put their teams together on a flat deck that saw three centuries and a double-hundred, and you have a draw. Right? For much of day four and some of day five, the Test was headed for that fate, but of course, the cricket gods - purveyors of surprise and perennial makers of mischief - connived to make it so much better than that. more..

Pradeep makes his stand

June 17 (CI) There are nine fielders out on the ground but they are casting 36 shadows. For a side trying to bat out 90 overs away from home, which they rarely do, the lights taking effect mean they are playing against past ghosts, current shadows and an England team that's making the ball swing. It seems like there isn't a single gap on the infield that doesn't have a fielder covering it. The leg side has more bodies than blades of grass. All hands on knees, waiting for a mistake. more..

Sangakkara a maestro in convoluted drama

June 17 (CI) Here are the facts. Five good days at Lord's finished in a stalemate. That is the nature of the Test match beast. There are more results these days than there ever used to be primarily because batsmen look to play more shots and therefore make more mistakes. Had England had the common sense to pick a specialist spinner, even one of county standard, the missing wicket would probably have been found. It is very difficult to play for five days without that variation. more..

Day 5: Sri Lanka cling on for dramatic draw

June 17 (CI) There have been few finishes to a Lord's Test, perhaps any Test, as dramatic as this, few climaxes that boiled up from such an unpromising position. After the penultimate ball of the match, and Stuart Broad in full flow, England's fielders converged in jubilation, convinced they had completed a footslogging victory with seconds to spare. But in their excitement they had overlooked one thing: SL's last man, Nuwan Pradeep, more..

Cook heard Pradeep inside edge

June 17 (CI) While his team launched into a celebratory huddle, Alastair Cook knew what he had heard. The edge from Nuwan Pradeep into his pad, which Paul Reiffel missed, was big enough for Cook to pick it from slip. A few moments later the DRS confirmed that what, for seconds, was a Test victory had been snatched away from them. Then, to add to the agony for the England captain, he watched the last ball of the Test fall agonisingly short of second slip. Stuart Broad fell to his knees and more..

Plenty of ticks for England selectors

June 17 (CI) There were six changes for the Lord's Test compared to the England side which took the field at the SCG in January. ESPNcricinfo assesses how each of them performed in the opening match of the series. Sam Robson: A tricky start for England's latest opener on his homeground. He edged to the keeper in the first innings, reaching for ball that travelled down the slope, and was then beaten by one holding its line in the second. Regardless of success at domestic level, more..

UNP delegation turned back by angry mobs

June 17 (AM) A group of representatives from the UNP, who visited Beruwala this evening (16), were sent back by angry mobs who didn't want them to proceed as there were 'Muslims' in the group. Group consisted MPs Karu Jayasuriya, Kabir Hashim, Tissa Attanayake, Ruwan Wijewardene, Eran Wickremeratne, Harin Fernando and Harsha de Silva with WPC members Ifthikar Jameel, Lakshman Wijemanna, Mujibur Rahman more..

Buddhist bigotry in Sri Lanka too

June 17 (SG) There is an increasingly alarming similarity between the crimes of bigoted Buddhists against Burma’s Muslim minority and a rising tide of violence against the Muslims of Sri Lanka. Govt sources in Colombo protest that there is no resemblance, arguing that the big difference is that no one has been killed in attacks on mosques and Muslim homes in Sri Lanka. Though unofficial reports have suggested that there has been at least one Muslim fatality, there can be no doubting more..

ICTA to offer grants for tech startup initiatives

June 17 (Island) The ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) has called for applications from eligible technology businesses for consideration of grants offered to ICT related innovative businesses under its 'Spiralation' programme. According to ICTA the aspiring applicants could download the application forms via the website The deadline for applications is 4th July 2014. "Spiralation", the tech startup support initiative of the ICTA was launched for 2014 on 5th of June. more..

Video: Don’t become stupid victims of extremists – JVP

June 17 (LT) The people are asked not to become stupid victims of extremists states the JVP. This was stated by General Secretary of JVP Tilvin Silva at a media conference to express the standpoint of the JVP. “The communal and religious clashes that have arisen have to be defeated. We first invite the people in this country to come forward to build national unity. What exists at present is a very serious and inflammable situation. more..