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Over 2,700 mosquito larvae breeding sites detected

June 24 (DN) Inspection teams found over 2,700 dengue mosquito breeding sites (with larvae) during inspections of premises from Friday to Sunday, epidemiologists attached to the Health Ministry Epidemiology Unit said. Since dengue has already reached epidemic levels, the public should ensure that their premises are free of mosquito breeding spots. Around 800 inspection teams comprising members from the Armed Forces, health officers, etc were deployed in high risk areas more..

US dismayed by P’ment vote on non-cooperation with UN probe

June 24 (FT) US has expressed dismay at the vote in Sri Lankan Parliament urging the Govt not to extend cooperation to an UN investigation into alleged rights violations in the last seven years of the war. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Atul Keshap, who was in Colombo last week, said other countries that had categorically refused to cooperate with similar probes were North Korea, Iran and Syria. more..

Sri Lanka Muslims call off protest over deadly attacks

June 24 (AFP) Muslims called off a planned protest Monday to denounce a series of attacks by Buddhist extremists after police warned their action could further inflame religious tensions. Sri Lanka Thawheed Jamaath (SLTJ) said they were calling off their demonstration in the capital as well as a work stoppage after talks with a senior police officer in charge of security in the capital. "As to a request of Senior DIG Anura Senanayake the SLTJ postpones the protest," the group said on Twitter. more..

'IGP won’t heed UNP MP’s calls to resign'

June 24 (Island) IGP, N. K. Illangakoon would not resign, SSP Ajith Rohana said last night, when The Island contacted him to know the reaction of the IGP to UNP MP Palitha Thewarapperuma, who called upon the Thewarapperuma’s call for the police chief’s resignation for his failure to prevent the Aluthgama mayhem last week. SSP said IGPs did not resign every time an incident happened. If so in Pakistan IGPs should have resigned every day. "A dog may bark but caravan moves on," more..

'Police won’t prevent BBS event in Kandy'

June 24 (Island) Police would not prevent a BBS event scheduled to be held today at 3 p.m. opposite the Sri Dalada Maligawa as it was a religious event, SSP Ajith Rohana said. However, the SSP warned that action would be taken if the event was used to incite racism and create religious disharmony. It was unlikely that the BBS would be able to hold its ‘Adhistana Pooja’ as permission for event had not been granted more..

The shame of a senseless world

June 24 (DM) Last Friday was World Refugees’ Day and figures given by the UNHCR were a damning indictment and a disgrace to a world which boasts of the marvels of modern technology and science. The UNHCR reports said a staggering 51 million people were refugees – the highest since the second world war. The highest number of refugees was in Syria, where about 1.5 million people including more than half a million children have been displaced during the three-year multifaceted armed more..

Food and drink and early graves

June 24 (DM) People are at cross-roads wondering what to eat and what not to eat. And no wonder; although the choice is vast, eating and drinking these days has been recognised as a hazardous human need. Although somewhat late in the day, this situation spurred the media to launch a hefty rocket campaign at many types of vegetables grown in the country recently. Simultaneously, it targeted hoarders of onions, potatoes and dry fish among other consumer commodities, and questioned more..

The burning fires of Aluthgama

June 24 (SL) Last week the entire country was shaken following an outburst of riots, shootings, and long hours of police imposed curfews in the Kalutara district, and hartals across the island. Muslim shop owners in the East, Central and Western provinces closed their shops on Thursday as a show of passive protest against attacks on the Muslims in Dargha Town & Beruwela. Total number of victims is said to be close to 10,000 more..

Mathews unlocks another dimension

June 24 (CI) When Dhammika Prasad ramped his first ball into a diving third man's hands, Angelo Mathews hurled him a furious look. Head down, Prasad would not meet his captain's eyes, but Mathews was too disgusted to let it lie there. He crossed to the other end and threw his bat a metre, to the ground. Mathews was made captain partly for his stoicism; his calmness, and often courage, under fire. In 17 months at the helm, more..

TB infected jumbos in crowded surroundings disturb experts

June 24 (Island) An Expert committee appointed to look into the tuberculosis infected elephants are concerned about the confinement of the sick animals to the Dehiwala Zoo which attracts thousands of visitors and is located in a densely populated area. The expert committee includes Prof. Indira Silva, Professor of Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Science and Animal Science, University of Peradeniya, more..

'For certain countries any stick is good enough to hit Sri Lanka'

June 24 (DM) Minister G.L Peiris in an interview with the Dailymirror set out the govts’ stance with regard to the recent spate of violence that arose in the South Western region of the country. He further insisted that the government’s refusal to invite the panel constituted to inquire by the Human Rights Council, was a stance taken on the principle against intrusion into a sovereign state and not because the “govt had anything to hide”. more..

Govt. pensioners in quandary over retirement gratuity

June 24 (ST) Govt employees are left confused as the controversy surrounding the payment of gratuity continues despite President Rajapaksa’s directive to revert to the old system. Last week a circular was issued by Director General of Pensions abolishing the controversial circulars but there was also another letter sent by Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundara to secretaries and state banks endorsing controversial bank system. more..

Intelligentsia ask CM to ensure screening of Lankan movie

June 24 (TOI) A couple of days after theatres stopped screening Sri Lankan film 'With You, Without You' citing threats from some groups, co-producer of the movie and prominent documentary filmmaker Rahul Roy on Monday petitioned CM Jayalalithaa. Supporting Roy who has sought safe screening of the movie across the state, 101 people including filmmakers, writers, civil servants and activists have signed the petition. more..

Prof G.L. Peiris tells Ambassadors: Well funded subversion

June 24 (DN) Addressing a group of Colombo based Ambassadors on the recent disturbances, Minister G.L. Peiris said that the events in its internal dimension was a direct attempt to alienate the Muslim community from the government while the external expression of this campaign has as its objective the purpose of driving a wedge between Sri Lanka and Muslim countries, with a view to weakening Sri Lanka in international fora. more..

Military claims another attempt to betray intelligence units

June 24 (AD) SL’s Military today said that it has received information regarding attempts by certain political elements to destabilize the country’s intelligence unit by divulging information. It has been revealed by reliable sources that a certain group is preparing for a betrayal similar to the ‘Millennium City’ betrayal prior to the peace agreement, which resulted in the death of several intelligence unit officers by LTTE cadres, more..

EPF Act to be amended – UNP

June 24 (Island) Govt was planning to amend the EPF Act with a view to doing away with the provision for making lump sum payments to retiring employees, UNP charged. UNP MP Harsha de Silva said that the EPF with an asset base of Rs. 1,300 billion was badly mismanaged and losses were mounting. On the govt’s own admission returns on EPF investments had dropped from 12.5% in 2010 to 11% in 2013. more..

SL to dig up suspected Muslim mass grave

June 24 (AFP) Sri Lankan authorities are to dig up the site of a suspected mass grave next week after claims it contains the bodies of scores of Muslims killed by Tamil rebels 24 years ago, police said. The move comes amid criticism that Sri Lankan authorities have been turning a blind eye to recent attacks against Muslims carried out by Buddhist militants. At least four Muslims were killed and hundreds of homes destroyed in rioting more..

Buddhism under attack!

June 24 (CT) Article 9 of the Constitution of Sri Lanka states that 'the Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, while guaranteeing to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14 (1) (e).' Article 10 states that 'every person is entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion including the freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice,' more..

SL minorities face mounting terrorism

June 24 (CT) The region is deeply engrossed in events around Iraq and the implication of a wider scale sectarian conflict that may spill across several borders. Lost in the quagmire of such a troubling issue is the conflict against minorities, and particularly Muslim minorities, in several countries. The Organization of Islamic Conference- OIC – a body of 45 Muslim member countries was formed some 45 years ago to deal with such issues. Although its founding members agreed on more..

Miraculous escape from Somali pirates

June 24 (CT) Two Sri Lankan sailors who survived the wrath of Somali pirates escaped from captivity and now relate their harrowing story to the world. The two sailors who were on aboard the MV Albedo, belonging to a Malaysian company sailing under an Iranian flag, returned home last week, seemingly in good health and a certainly happy to be alive. Mohamed Bisthamy (61) from Kolonnawa and Niroshan Perera (40) more..

Sri Lanka shares close up 0.2%

June 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka's shares closed 0.18% higher with index heavy John Keells gaining amid strong foreign buying, brokers said. All Share Price Index closed 11.52 points higher at 6,310.87, up 0.18%. The S&P SL20 closed 21.19 points higher at 3,496.12, up 0.61%. Turnover was 874.88 million rupees, up from 867.34 million rupees a day earlier with 91 stocks closed positive against 75 negative. John Keells closed 1.80 rupees higher at 221.80 rupees with two off-market transactions more..

Postal Dept. in deep slumber

June 24 (Island) Thousands of letters and parcels are piling up in post offices as the Postal Department had failed to complete the revision of Post Office Guide for the past 22 years, unionists complain. General Secretary of the Ceylon Postal Services Union, Jayantha Wijesekera said that the Department had not revised the Post Office Guide since 1982. The guide needed to be updated enabling the postal workers to distribute letters, registered post items and parcels. more..

India, SL back Jaffna Cultural Center project

June 24 (AN) The agreement to appoint Madhura Premathilake as the consultant architect for construction of the Jaffna Cultural Center was signed recently in the presence of Y.K. Sinha, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka. The govt of India will build the Cultural Center at Jaffna at an estimated cost of Rs. 1.2 billion in the next 36 months on a plot of land adjacent to the Jaffna Public Library, made available by the more..

Ranil back on Sirasa!

June 24 (AM) After a hiatus of nearly five years, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has appeared on a TV show produced by Sirasa TV. Wickremesinghe came under severe criticism from Sirasa over the last five years over his conduct as the leader of the UNP. Sirasa backed UNP dissidents who were of the view that MP Sajith Premadasa should be appointed as the leader of the UNP, replacing Ranil Wickremesinghe who failed to secure any significant victory after the more..

21 locations in North declared as National Heritage Sites

June 24 (DN) The National Heritage Ministry declared 21 locations in Mannar, Mullaithivu, Vavuniya and Jaffna in Northern Province as National Heritage Sites. In Mannar district, the Madhu Sinna Pandivirichan, Iranai Illupamkulam, Munthan Piddy Ambalam, in Vidathaltheevu the Pillaiyar Kovil, Lotus Inn in Manthai east, the ancient dagabas in Nagathampiran Kovil, the ruins at Palopanai Vannivilan Kulam and the Vinayagapuram stone pillars at Kumarapuram Murugan Kovil more..

Sri Lanka Navy arrests 11 Indian fishermen; Jayalalitha petitions PM

June 24 (PTI) As the arrest of Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy continued unabated with 11 more being detained in the latest midsea action, TN Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today again sought PM Narendra Modi's personal intervention in securing the release of all fishermen jailed in the island. "It is with a deep sense of anguish that I write to you again to report one more incident in which 11 fishermen from TN along more..

'Pursuing case of 64 fishermen arrested in Sri Lanka'

June 24 (PTI) India is pursuing the case of 64 Indian fishermen arrested by Lankan authorities through all possible diplomatic means, Ministry of External Affairs said today. There are 64 Indian fishermen in Lankan custody and India is pursuing with the govt there, Spokesperson in MEA told reporters. He was responding to a query on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his personal intervention in securing the release of all fishermen jailed in SL. more..

Private sector urges the govt to take action against hate-mongers

June 24 (AM) Sri Lanka's National Chamber Commerce and several other organizations representing the private sector of the country have issued a statement strongly condemning communal violence in Beruwala, Aluthgama, Dharga Town and several other areas. National Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FCCISL), Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE), International Chamber of Commerce (ICCSL), more..

Namal goes to Dharga Town: Gota meets muslim organizations

June 24 (AM) MP Namal Rajapaksa has visited Dharga Town and held discussions with Muslim representatives in the area. In the discussion, the Parliamentarian has assured the Muslim community that the government is focused on protecting the rights of ethnic and religious minorities in the country, including the Muslims. Meanwhile Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has also convened a discussion with several more..

South Korea to invest in Sri Lankan ICT Sector if invited

June 24 (Island) South Korea says it would consider investing in Sri Lanka’s Information Technology sector if invited. The country’s Vice Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning Yoon Jong-lok participating in a Special Session on "Creative Economy of the Republic of Korea" at the World Journalism Conference (WJC) 2014 in Seoul, last week said that South Korea needed a creative economy as seventy five percent of the country comprised mountains, resulting in more..

'UNP has no moral right to speak of workers'

June 24 (Island) Govt trade unions yesterday accused the UNP of attempting to promote their political agendas in the guise of protecting public servants. The UNP had no moral right to talk about pension and gratuity of govt workers, they said. Addressing the media, trade unions charged that the then UNP govt under the leadership of Ranil Wickremasinghe had abolished the pension and gratuity of public servants and removed 300,000 workers between 2001 and 2004. more..

Video: 'Bandara’s arrest part of witch hunt'

June 24 (DM) IUSF Convener Najith Indika said student leaders were subjected to a witch hunt by the Govt and this had led to the arbitrary arrest of former IUSF convener Sanjeewa Bandara. He was produced before the Kandy Magistrate and remanded till July 23 on charges of breaking bail conditions. “Three of our student leaders visited the Peradeniya Police Station because we asked to make a statement after more..

Meet Lanka President to sort fishermen issue: Swamy tells Jayalalithaa

June 24 (PTI) BJP leader Subramanian Swamy today urged Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa to meet Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa in Colombo to work out a compromise to resolve the recurring issue of the arrest of Indian fishermen by the island nations's navy. Swamy also called upon Jayalalithaa to visit Jaffna in Sri Lanka, saying that the Tamil residents there were objecting to what they claimed was poaching by Indian fishermen in areas near Jaffna Peninsula. more..

Suspended undergrads seek CA order to quash university decision

June 24 (Island) Court of Appeal issued notice on the Vice Chancellor of the Sabaragamuwa University, Professor Mahinda Rupasinghe and 48 other connected respondents, returnable on June 26, 2014. These respondents have been directed to be present in court or to be represented by counsel. The Vice Chancellor and University authorities, have been made respondents in a writ application filed by eight undergraduates, whose studentship was suspended on November 26, 2013 for more..

Video: Jeewa Harana instead of Wadhakaya

June 24 (DM) Prisons Department said it had changed the name of the prison hangman from that of ‘Wadhakaya’ to ‘Jeewa Harana’. Commissioner General of Prisons Chandraratna Pallegama said the said the previous Director General had requested the people to send a suitable name or names for that of ‘Wadhakaya’ after those who were selected for the post of hangmen had left the service with little or no notice. more..

Modi’s Sweet and Spicy Sri Lanka Strategy

June 24 (TD) Post-independence India’s foreign policy has been defined more by continuity than by change. India’s new PM, Narendra Modi, is unlikely to break from this tradition. He respects the bureaucracy and his foreign policy experience is minimal. But every govt has its own flavor, and subtle changes in policy emphasis are inevitable. In the case of its relations with Sri Lanka, India’s engagement under Modi is set to become both sweeter and spicier. more..

SL, China promote trade at Kunming Fair

June 24 (Xinhua) Trade between Sri Lanka and China took center-stage at the China-South Asia Expo in Kunming with the pending Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries also being a talking point, the External Affairs Ministry said. Sri Lanka Export Development Board (SLEDB) in collaboration with the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Beijing organized the Sri Lanka Pavilion at the 2nd China - South Asia Expo in Kunming. A total of 135 Sri Lankan companies took part more..

Turkey condemns attacks against Muslims

June 24 (AA) Turkey has condemned recent attacks against Sri Lanka's Muslim minority, which have led to concerns among minority communities about spreading communal violence. "We believe that necessary measures will be taken to make the people in Sri Lanka live in peace again after 2009, when the government successfully ended terrorist activities," said a statement issued by the foreign ministry on Tuesday. more..

Seed act will not be implemented without agreement; Agri Minister assures

June 24 (HN) Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana says the protest march and demonstration held in front of his ministry today was to please a few companies. The National Movement to protect seed ownership marched from Battaramulla junction to Agriculture Ministry and held a protest demanding the annulment of the proposed Seed Act. A tense situation erupted between protesters and police as protesters attempted to hand over a petition to the minister. more..

All pregnant women to be tested for HIV by 2015

June 24 (CT) As part of a programme to prevent and eliminate mother to child transmission of the HIV, National STD/AIDS Control Programme said that by the end of 2015 all pregnant women will be tested for HIV. The main purpose of the programme is to eliminate children being born infected with HIV, Consultant Venereologist, Dr. Lilani Rajapaksa said. In developed countries, the risk of mother to child transmission of HIV is 25%, while in developing countries the figures stand at 40% to 50%. more..