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Sri Lanka, India fishing issue simmers as navy detains 53 Indian fishermen

June 20 (Xinhua) Seven Indian fishermen were arrested for poaching in Sri Lankan waters on Friday, SL Navy said. That brought the total number of fishermen arrested this week to 53, threatening to damage relations between the neighbors. Navy arrested 46 Indian fishermen on Wednesday along with 11 boats, as the issue of fishermen from both countries illegally crossing over into the other's territorial waters continues to simmer. more..

Soldier charged with molestation will be expelled if guilty - Army

June 20 (AD) Sri Lanka Corps of Military Police (SLCMP) at Army Headquarters have been directed to immediately commence investigations into the conduct of a soldier in Mangalaeliya area in Puttalum over his involvement in an alleged sexual misconduct with a girl in the area. A Sri Lanka Army soldier attached to the Engineering Corps was arrested by Mundalama Police this morning on charges of raping a more..

Jamiyyathul Ulama requests all Katheebs to base Friday prayers on peace and harmony

June 20 (AM) All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama has requested all Khatheebs to base Friday Jumma prayers on how to handle situation and protecting ethnic harmony and coexistence in the country. ACJU is the apex religious body of Islamic theologians that provides religious and community leadership to the Muslim community of Sri Lanka. Heavy police presence was in predominantly Muslim areas on Friday morning ahead of prayers more..

Foreign Buddhist Delegation praise unity among all communities @#$$^&&*??

June 20 (GDI) Sri Lanka which has a great civilization nurtured by Buddhism with people belonging to all communities are living in unity and amity, said President Rajapaksa. "The Govt since liberation of the country from 30 years of brutal terrorism has paved a conducive environment to enable all communities to practice their religions peacefully and to live in harmony said the President when a Buddhist delegation representing more..

Sri Lanka exports up 9.4% in April, trade gap down amid weak credit

June 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka's exports grew 9.4% to US$ 762.2 million, while imports fell 5.3% in April from a year earlier, amid weak domestic credit, allowing foreign reserves to grow. Apparel exports grew 22.5% in April to US$ 336.8 million from a year earlier with strong demand from the US and EU. Small markets like Russia and also seen a strong growth. Agricultural products grew 13.7% to US$ 199.7 million. Tea grew 9.8% to more..

Sri Lanka rejects Reuters news item on Iran crude imports

June 20 (AD) The Sri Lankan Govt today rejected a news report, quoting a minister, claiming that Sri Lanka imports Iran Crude via third parties to avoid US sanctions. “The attention of the Ministry of External Affairs has been drawn to a Reuters news item attributing to Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, a statement that Sri Lanka imports Iran Crude via third parties to avoid US sanctions.” Reuters reported on Thursday that Sri Lanka has been buying more..

Is Wimal for real?

June 20 (CT) Wimal Weerawansa has a knack for attracting attention to himself every now and then. He is putting this enviable talent to another test, but this time he may have gone a tad too far. By threatening to take action if the govt fails to respond positively to his party's famous 12-point proposal, the erstwhile minister, once deemed the 'panchayudha' of the regime, is now trying some ham fisted manoeuvres that reeks of exaction. President Rajapaksa is no novice and more..

Can we (not) design post war democracy?

June 20 (CT) Designing democratic developments in a post-conflict situation is ideologically, institutionally, and qualitatively, different from a post-colonial democratic construct. Reestablishing the vacuum of law and order and demilitarizing while the space for non –violent reasoning and debating towards a collective civic order will take priority. The genuine commitment of the political class to foster such environment, in which the new democratic possibilities can grow, is indispensable. more..

Video: 'BBS is beyond my control'

June 20 (CT) Founding leader of the BBS, Ven. Kirama Wimalajothi thera has publicly acknowledged the activities of the organization are ‘beyond his control’ while adding that it has influenced him to strongly consider his resignation from the group. Indicating signs of a major split within the BBS, Wimalajothi thera has criticized the conduct of the organisation’s General Secretary, Galagoda Atte Gnanasara. more..

Sri Lanka shares close down 0.2%

June 20 (LBO) Shares closed 0.17% lower for the third straight session amid strong foreign selling. All Share Price Index closed 10.75 points lower at 6,302.45, down 0.17%. The S&P SL20 closed 11.81 points lower at 3,478.86, down 0.34%. Turnover was 1.21 billion rupees, up from 683.59 million rupees a day earlier with 93 stocks closed positive against 87 negative. Amana Takaful closed flat at 1.80 rupees with two off-market transactions of 180.25 million rupees changing hands at 2 rupees per share more..

48-hour water cut in Colombo

June 20 (DM) A 48- hour water cut will be imposed in several areas in Colombo from Friday to Sunday, due to construction work being carried out at the Battaramulla-Polduwa Bridge. The water cut was to facilitate the connection of the new Ambatale- Dehiwela pipeline to the Battaramulla- Polduwa main line. The water supply will be suspended from 10 p.m. on Friday to 10 p.m. on Sunday in the areas of Dehiwala- Mount Lavinia Municipal area, Soysapura, Kotikawatta -Mulleriyawa, more..

GL briefs Chilean counterpart on SL's stand

June 20 (DN) Minister G.L. Peiris met his Chilean counterpart Minister Heraldo Muñoz on the sidelines of the 50th anniversary of the G77 Summit in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Minister Muñoz noted that G77 was very important to Chile. He spoke about the need for an egalitarian international order and the important role a grouping like G77 could play in issues of global importance such as climate change and poverty alleviation which affect more..

Nepal pitches BIMSTEC circuit of holy Buddhist sites

June 20 (KSA) Nepal, birthplace of the Buddha, is trying to persuade other southern Asian countries to join it in developing a circuit that would connect Buddhism's holiest sites and promote regional tourism. PM Sushil Koirala first pitched the idea at the third summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Co-operation (BIMSTEC), which took place in March in Nay Pyi Taw, Burma. "All BIMSTEC member states have a large number of Buddhist populations more..

Petitioner says school principal acted contrary to Provincial Secretary’s orders

June 20 (Island) Tishya Weragoda, Counsel appearing for the Western Provincial Council and Manohara de Silva PC appearing for the principal of Jandhipathi Balika Vidyalaya, Rajagiriya, respondents in a fundamental rights violation case indicated to the Supreme Court Wednesday their readiness to settle the issue by making suitable changes to school requirements shortly. The Petitioner Kairul Awoof, mother of two students studying in Janadhipathi Balika Vidyalaya, more..

Duminda's brother Rayynor Silva to enter politics

June 20 (AM) Managing Director of ABC Media Network and brother of MP Duminda Silva, Rayynor Silva would soon enter politics, UPFA sources said. A special discussion in this regard was held recently when President Rajapaksa visited Duminda Silva's house. It is reported that President Rajapaksa has given the green light to Rayynor Silva to enter 'active politics' from the ruling camp. A successful businessman, more..

Kids raise cash for their friends in Sri Lanka with tuk tuk event

June 20 (RFP) Valley children have been raising money for their counterparts in Sri Lanka during a range of activities this week. Children from Holy Trinity Primary School, in Stacksteads, have taken part in an event raising money for charity, Hope in Sri Lanka. In 2011, after the enormous success of the “Tuktukathon,” the school bought a Tuk Tuk rickshaw for the charity, which provides vital support for orphans in Sri Lanka providing transport to and from hospital, delivering food and clothing more..

TNA, US discuss north devolopments

June 20 (CG) The TNA has briefed the United States (US) on the latest political developments in the country. The briefing took place between visiting Deputy assistant secretary for South Asia Atul Kashyap and the TNA at the US Embassy in Colombo. At that meeting the TNA had expressed its concerns over the military presence in the north and the inability for the Tamils to work independently with its representatives. The TNA delegation led by R. Sampanthan had also told more..

UK tells Sri Lanka to implement report

June 20 (CG) Britain has called on the Sri Lankan Govt to cooperate with the international investigation mandated by the UNHRC in Geneva in March, and to fully implement the specific recommendations in the LLRC report, including on accountability and ensuring justice for victims of all sides during the conflict. British High Commissioner John Rankin said that as Commonwealth Members, Sri Lanka and UK more..

Communal violence: Tongue the most dangerous weapon, says Thera

June 20 (Island) Adikarana Sanghanayake of the North Western Province, Ven. Rekawa Sri Jinarathana Nayake Thera said that people should not be misled by rumours as that would jeopardise the hard won peace, reconciliation and harmony amongst various communities and religions. Thera made the appeal, while addressing a discussion held amongst various members of clergy representing the Buddhist, Catholic, Muslim and Hindu faiths convened by District Secretary more..

Thewarapperuma complains that police, STF watched as thugs attacked him

June 20 (Island) UNP MP Palitha Thevarapperuma told Parliament that he had been attacked by thugs when he attempted to help Muslims during the recent unrest at Alutgama and Beruwala. The MP, raising a privilege issue said, that he had received several phone calls from his Muslim voters that they were being attacked. "I went to Beruwala to help them. Around 15 including women and children got into my vehicle. I came under attack by thugs while I was transporting them. more..

U.S denies any agreement allowing Sri Lanka to import Iran crude via third parties

June 20 (Reuters) United States denied on Friday that it had any agreement with Sri Lanka to allow Colombo to import Iranian crude oil through third parties, avoiding Western sanctions aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear program. "We categorically deny there was any agreement," a spokesman at the U.S. Embassy in Colombo said. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told reporters on Thursday that island nation has been buying more..

Senior US State Dept. official meets Minister of Economic Development

June 20 (GDI) US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Atul Keshap, paid a courtesy call on Minister Basil Rajapaksa at Economic Development Ministry on Friday. Keshap, arrived in Sri Lanka for a two-day visit. During this visit, he is scheduled to meet with top Govt officials, political leaders, civil society representatives and members of the business community in Colombo. In his current role, Keshap works closely with Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal to more..

Buddhist Advisory Council established

June 20 (DN) A Buddhist Advisory Council was established at a ceremony held at Temple Trees with the participation of President Rajapaksa on June 18 to provide counsel and advice to the govt on measures to be taken in matters concerning Buddhism. It comprises delegates including Anunayake Theras nominated by the Mahanayake Theras. Govt took steps to set up the Advisory Council in response to various ideas and views expressed by Mahanayake Theras of all more..

Tell Hakeem to leave govt if ashamed - JHU

June 20 (AD) Accusing UNP leader Ranil Wickramasinghe of attempting to become President with the Muslim people’s vote, JHU declared that they would not allow that to happen at the next Presidential Election. If the Opposition Leader is attempting to go forward with the help of external forces, we will not allow it, JHU MP Champika Ranawaka said. He claimed that even UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella is of the same opinion. more..

Sri Lanka to Import 100,000 tons of rice to curb price hikes

June 20 (Oryza) Sri Lanka govt will import about 100,000 tons of rice to meet the requisite demand and curb price increases in the domestic market, according to a statement issued by Ministry of Co-operatives and Internal Trade said. This year's paddy production in Sri Lanka is likely to be affected by a significant decline in paddy planting area of the 2013-14 Maha crop (Sept - April), which contributes to over 60% of the country's annual paddy rice production, due to prolonged dry weather more..

Country peaceful after jumma prayers on friday

June 20 (AM) Thanks to the sensible behaviour of Muslim civil society organizations and religious bodies and the proactive approach of the law enforcement bodies of Sri Lanka, no violent incident was reported after the Jumma prayers on Friday. Thousands of Muslims who gathered in mosques for their Friday prayers went home peacefully without giving way to any sort of violence. Muslim civil society organizations and religious bodies strictly instructed the Muslims of Sri Lanka to act more..

Amaratunga explains why UNP abstained

June 20 (Island) Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga said his party had skipped the vote on the UPFA’s motion against UNHRC sponsored investigation into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka as the govt had refused to incorporate UNP’s amendments into the original motion. "We, out of party divisions, condemn international interventions or interferences. However, it is our strong belief that such threats can be prevented only by more..

Sri Lanka better prepared for future tsunamis

June 20 (PO) Vulnerable coastal communities in Sri Lanka now have more tools to help them survive tsunamis, cyclones, and other rapid-onset natural disasters. This increased preparedness flows from IDRC-supported research that evaluated the best means of alerting communities to approaching danger. The project was a response to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, blamed for 230,000 deaths, 40,000 in Sri Lanka alone. Following the devastation, many international agencies more..

TNA condemns Alutgama violence

June 20 (Island) TNA's leader, R. Sampanthan, made the following statement in Parliament concerning violence against Muslims in Alutgama, Beruwala and Dharga Town. "Mr. Deputy Chairman of Committees, before I conclude, you will permit me, Sir - that is also a matter concerning human rights - to refer to the incidents that occurred in Alutgama, Beruwala and Dharga Town recently. Something happened on Thursday. The persons concerned were arrested and they were more..

UNHCR notes progress in Sri Lanka

June 20 (CG) The UN says Sri Lanka has made progress in reintegrating returning Sri Lankan refugees and by being a host country to many of those that flee violence in the region. In a statement to mark world refugee day, the UNHCR said that since the conflict in Sri Lanka ended in May 2009, UNHCR has helped over 11,400 SL refugees who have returned voluntarily to restart their lives. Similarly, though numbers remain low more..

The hunters getting hounded

June 21 (NS) What happens when persons protesting against the ‘missing’ are confronted by persons protesting against those missing because of the ‘missing’? What happens when the persons protesting against the ‘missing’ number just 20 in addition to members of the ruling Northern Provincial political party led by Ananthi Sasitharan are confronted by 300 persons holding pictures of their missing children demanding what Ananthi’s ‘missing’ person did to their children? more..

Tragedy: Letter to a friend

June 21 (CT) Dr Coomaraswamy’s frank and perceptive article in ‘Groundviews’ of 14 May 2014, one in which you are deservedly mentioned, led me to think of tragedy. In what now seems a previous birth (it was so long ago. and Sri Lanka was beautiful Ceylon) you and I as undergraduates studied Greek and Roman literature under, if I am not mistaken, one Dr Amarasinghe. He knew and loved the Classics and, like all good pedagogues, imparted something of both to his students. more..

Floating market adds charm to the city

June 21 (SO) See how the city has changed over time. Areas that were once covered with dust and rubble are gleaming in green now. Algae infested lakes are now a soothing sight in the scorching heat of Colombo. Old, worn-down buildings with great architecture that were abandoned have become lively shopping malls. Following geo-political changes that took place in the country in May 2009, more attention was more..

Did the BBS attack Vijitha Thero again?

June 21 (GV) Venerable Watareka Vijitha Thero is a Buddhist Monk and the Chief Incumbent of the Rotalawela Mahaweli Maha Viharaya in Mahiyanganaya, in the Uva province. Vijitha Thero is also an elected member of the Mahiyangana Pradeshiya Sabha (a local got council in the Badulla district), representing the ruling UPFA. He has also been appointed as an all island Justice of the Peace. Amongst Buddhist Monks, Vijitha Thero has immerged as the most prominent and more..

Wake up and go to sleep: The tale of the two tweeterings

June 21 (GV) On the Sunday I am suddenly getting up early in the morning. I am getting the tweetering. I am big fan of the tweetering because it is always reminding me of the birds and I am also very much into the birds. But the Sunday morning tweetering is not coming from bird. It is coming straight from the most venerable and completely blameless Gnanasara. A holy tweet. ‘Ado!’ the tweetering is saying. ‘Wake up! Come to the Aluthgama side to be saving the nation!’ more..

'Undergrads being injured in police attacks not unusual'

June 21 (CT) Minister S.B. Dissanayake, says a Tamil woman had given a letter to the UGC and the Colombo Uni., asking them to take over the property after her nephew's demise. It was her last will. Nephew in question passed away in 2010. University however, has no valid document to claim the ownership and the matter was taken up by Court. Legal firm that wrote the woman's last will did not give it to the beneficiaries. more..

The tale of two extremisms

June 21 (CT) It is unthinkable that an earthly being would ever get the police approval to hold a rally of nearly twenty thousand angry Buddhist youth in Aluthgama, just three days after a communal scuffle between the local Muslims and Buddhists. Had the congregation been the university students or trade unions, the police would definitely have asked the Court for a restraining order. However, the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) held that rally that was followed by a bitter ethnic conflagration. more..

Sajith, the 'Mark Antony'

June 21 (CT) The trusted lieutenants of UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, who were appointed to the Leadership Council (LC) by him have sharpened their knives to backstab Wickremesinghe. The attack on Wickremesinghe is planned by two factions in the LC. LC Chairman Karu Jayasuriya has ganged up with certain sections in other political Parties, while Ravi Karunanayake leads the other group. Karunanayake backs Wickremesinghe as the UNP's next Presidential candidate, but more..

Boston Lanka: With Rajitha Senaratne

Appoint a PM able to take charge in President’s absence

June 21 (CT) The Liberal Party of Sri Lanka is deeply concerned at the recent breakdown in Law and Order and the exacerbation of communal violence that has taken place in the last couple of days. Whilst we still await further details of what actually happened, it is clear that the authorities have not acted with a sense of responsibility, in having permitted public demonstrations in an inflammable situation. It is also worrying that there is no clear reporting of what is going on, more..