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AG warns of likely fuel crisis

June 24 (DM) Auditor General has warned of a possible fuel crisis in the country because of the dilapidated condition of the network of pipelines which are being used by the Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Ltd to carry refined petroleum products. COPE took up the AG’s report for discussion on the June 20. Refined petroleum products are currently stored in tanks installed at Kolonnawa & Muthurajawela terminals. more..

Rupee edges down on import demand

June 24 (Reuters) Rupee traded slightly weaker on Tuesday as importer dollar demand outpaced greenback sales by exporters, while dealers raised concerns about possible U.S. sanctions after the country imported Iran crude via third parties. Dealers said the rupee would be under pressure if the United States takes any action against Sri Lanka for importing Iranian crude via third parties. The rupee was at 130.28/32 per dollar at 0653 GMT weaker from Monday's close of 130.25/30. more..

Police bail for 23 of 62 anti-Muslim riots

June 24 (CT) Police have so far released a total of 23 suspects, who were arrested in connection with the Aluthgama and Beruwala riots, without producing them in Courts, SSP Ajith Rohana said. Police had arrested a total of 62 suspects in connection with the riots by yesterday. The police had produced 39 of the suspects before Court and detained them further, while 23 were released without having to endure the legal process. SSP Rohana justified release of suspects stating more..

Prelate allows night races for the last time

June 24 (DM) Asgiriya Chapter Mahanayake the Most Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thera said today he would allow the night races to be held in Kandy this weekend for the last time after considering a plea made by the organisers on the heavy costs of organizing such races. Ven. Buddharakkita Thera told the media after attending an almsgiving at the Kandy District Secretariat for 52 Buddhist monks that he had earlier protested more..

Independence of Police under 17A is possible under updated 13A

June 25 (CT) Neville Ladduwahetty is quite right in stating in his article published in the Island of 20th June 2014 that “recent incidents in Aluthgama and Beruwala have highlighted the crying need to address issues relating to Law and Order in Sri Lanka”. Perhaps the only way to improve the Law and Order situation is by restoring the provisions for a National Police Commission as set out in the 17th Amendment. For the Rule of Law to prevail it is imperative that the Police who more..

From Black July ’83 to Dark June ’14: A violent peace in Sri Lanka

June 25 (GV) Mobs on the streets, houses being burnt, people being attacked due to their race or religion, some being killed, the law enforcement and security services unable or unwilling to arrest the situation, that describes the streets of Colombo and the rest of the country in July 1983 and thirty years later, after a bloody civil conflict was brought to an end, we were at it again as a nation. Back then it was the Tamils, with a UNP President and administration, this time around it was more..

'UNHRC has hidden agenda targetting SL'

June 25 (SO) Minister Champika Ranawaka explains why his party was against granting visas to the UN Human Rights High commissioners' team who are mandated to investigate alleged human rights charges against the security forces. Q: There are two groups, with one saying Sri Lanka should allow the newly appointed UN Human Rights team to visit Sri Lanka to investigate the allegations of Human Rights violations related to the war more..

The POWs of the Eelam War

June 25 (CT) The Eelam War in Sri Lanka has caused numerous physical and mental health ailments among the survivors. The POWs suffered extreme conditions. During the armed conflict the LTTE captured a considerable number of servicemen from the Sri Lanka Army, Sri Lanka Navy and the Sri Lanka Police Service. Most of the captees were executed by the LTTE. Nonetheless a very small number of POWs managed to escape from captivity. Remaining prisoners of war more..

Sri Lanka's greatest Test victories

June 25 (CI) England, The Oval, 1998: The one-off Test was almost a sideshow for England, who were fresh from beating South Africa and looking ahead to the Ashes in the winter. Sri Lanka were world champions at the one-day game, but still weren't seen as serious contenders in the Test format. England seemed in charge as centuries from Graeme Hick and John Crawley pushed them to a strong 445 despite Muralitharan's seven wickets. The stars of Sri Lanka's World Cup victory more..

Govt rushes in where angels fear to tread

June 25 (FT) In July 1983, Tamils who were residing in predominantly-Sinhala areas were attacked systematically. Although it was not proved beyond any doubts, the attack was planned by the forces behind the govt. Attackers were not simply emotional. The attacks were spearheaded by a systematic and planned emotion, which was followed by mass-scale idiotic emotion. There was evidence that attackers were having lists of more..

Editorial: Crocs weeping buckets

June 25 (Island) Pro-govt trade unions have, true to form, taken a swipe at their counterparts in the rival camp as we reported yesterday. Praising the govt for having withdrawn a circular which replaced public servants’ gratuity scheme with bank loans, they have hauled the Opposition trade unionists over the coals for what they call making issues out of non-issues. What these govt lackeys need to be told is that their political masters did not abolish that harebrained scheme of their own volition; more..

Muslim and Buddhist Springs

June 25 (Island) A Muslim friend asked me what the BBS wants from the Muslims. He is a genuine Muslim whom I respect though I may not agree with him sometimes. Jehan Perera in his column on 24th June states "The govt appears to have woken up to the gravity of the problem posed by repeated attacks on the Muslim community". Perera unlike my friend is not a Muslim, as far as I know, but he is concerned with the ‘plight’ of the Muslims. He was concerned with the plight of the Tamils more..

Root provides Sri Lanka spark

June 25 (CI) It all began with Joe Root on the final day. He had been the overnight batsman. Moeen Ali was lacing silk with stone at the other end, and Root was blocking for his life. Sri Lanka's seamers began by bowling full. Rangana Herath went over the wicket, then around. Nothing worked. After a shower, and lunch, Sri Lanka asked to change a wet, misshapen ball. With all that was to follow on day five, Root may not even more..

'I never quit on anything' - Cook

June 25 (CI) Alastair Cook has insisted he has no intention of resigning the England captaincy despite his side slipping to the first home series defeat in their history against Sri Lanka. Under Cook's captaincy, England are now without a win in eight successive Tests - six of which they have lost - which is their worst run since 1996-97. They have also dropped two places to fifth in the Test rankings. Cook's own batting form is also causing concern. Since the start of the 2013 Ashes series, more..

The pearl and the bank clerk

June 25 (CI) Sri Lanka's GDP ranking in 2013 was 112, the UK were 21. They have a very small population compared to the other subcontinent cricket nations. Transparency International ranks them as the 91st least-corrupt nation on earth. They have only one really big modern city. Their cricket is mismanaged by selfish inept politicians. The team is signed off by the govt. They don't always pay their cricketers. But this year they have beaten the world. And now they've beaten England more..

IFC, NDB close largest loan syndication in SL

June 25 (FT) The International Finance Corporation (IFC) yesterday concluded its largest syndication of $ 200 million to National Development Bank (NDB) by including an addition of $ 75 million to the already-extended $ 125 million. Led by the IFC, the syndication which is expected to give a fresh boost to the nation’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) was initially signed in March this year. The fundraising exercise has been more..

Elusive economic peace dividend in Sri Lanka: All that glitters is not gold

June 25 (GV) It is five years since the decisive end of the civil war in May 2009. The govt’s approach to resolving the long festering ethnic conflict in the country has been reconciliation and peace through economic development. Although I do have reservations about the validity of the govt’s mantra of reconciliation and peace through economic development, I do want to accept that approach as fait accompli and would like to investigate whether such an approach has resulted in more..

‘Sri Lanka’s imports from China in 2013 $ 3.17 bn, in bilateral trade of $ 3.28 bn’

June 25 (Island) The trade volume between Sri Lanka and China in 2013 was $ 3.28 billion, with a year-on-year growth rate of 13.27%. The quantum of imports from China was valued at $3.17 billion, an increase of 13.47% over the previous year, Chinese ambassador Wu Jianhao said issuing a message to mark the inauguration session of the Sri Lanka –China Business Forum and B2B meetings organized by the Sri Lanka-China Business Council (SLCHBC) of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce more..

Remains of the hate

June 25 (Hindu) Sri Lanka has just experienced the worst communal violence in decades but you wouldn’t always know it from the behaviour of its politicians. Six members of the main Opposition party went on a fact-finding mission to look into the well-being of the animals in Dehiwala Zoo, in particular the deaths of lions and hippopotamuses. No matter that four humans had just died, 80 injured and hundreds of properties including at least more..

Rare away success for Sri Lanka

June 25 (CI) Sri Lanka, with this win, have now won seven Test matches outside the subcontinent, excluding Tests in Zimbabwe. The margin of victory in this Test - 100 runs - is the narrowest in terms of runs for Sri Lanka in these countries. They have won five Tests by larger margins and another by 10 wickets. Three of these seven wins have come in England, two in NZ and one each in South Africa and WI. These seven wins have come in 57 Tests, which makes their win percentage 12.3%. more..

More super luxury bus services

June 25 (DN) The Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) will launch two super luxury bus services along Arugam Bay-Colombo and Pasikuda-Colombo routes from this week. The bus fare will be Rs. 1,100 per person on the Colombo-Arugam Bay route while the bus fare per person would be Rs. 1,000 on the Colombo-Pasikuda route. Meanwhile, a new super luxury bus service was introduced on the Colombo-Badulla route last week. The bus fare per passenger is Rs. 750 per journey. more..

Sri Lanka to conduct an economic census

June 25 (DN) Officials of the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) will conduct an economic census in 2013/14 considering the structural changes that have taken place in Sri Lanka, as in many developed countries. The 14th population census was conducted in 2012 and in general, within two years after the conduct of the population census, the agriculture census and the industrial census are conducted. more..

Govt guarantee SriLankan Airlines to achieve record low yield

June 25 (IFR) The national carrier priced a US$175m debut offering of 5-year bonds last night at par to yield 5.3%. The Reg S deal finished 32.5bp inside the initial guidance. It was also 2.5bp lower than the reoffer yield on Bank of Ceylon’s 5-year 5.325% bond issued in 2013. Celyon’s issue did not have a explicit govt guarantee. However, investors thought the govt’s support for the bonds was implied. Last night trade was the first time the sovereign has offered such a guarantee to more..

CMC to take legal action against eating houses near Fort Station

June 25 (Island) Public Health Department of the Colombo MC warns of legal action against unlicensed eating houses near the Fort Railway Station on Olcott Mawatha. Acting Food Inspector CMC PHD, Lal Kumara said that inspections had been carried out on the eateries on instructions issued by the Chief of the PHD, Dr. Ruwan Wijayamuny. The eateries were squalid as some of them did not even have proper kitchens and a proper water supply. more..

'No registration of new parties'

June 25 (CT) Elections Department said they have stopped registering new political Parties for the upcoming Presidential Elections, scheduled for January 2015, in compliance with an injunction order from Court. Assistant Elections Commissioner said, they are unable to register new political parties because of the injunction issued by the Court of Appeal. in March 2012, preventing the holding of Pradeshiya Sabha elections more..

Garment warehouse goes up in smoke

June 25 (Island) A fire that broke out in a T-shirt warehouse in the Katunayake Free Trade Zone (FTZ), yesterday, was brought under control by the fire brigades of the Air Force, Negombo Urban Council and FTZ by noon. SSP Ajith Rohana said that the fire had broken out around 10.50 a.m. in a storage facility belonging to a garment factory in the FTZ, Katunayake. Factory belonged to a Chinese and the loss incurred had been about Rs. 100 million as tailored t-shirts had been destroyed. more..

Hakeem gets activated by The Island report

June 25 (Island) SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem, referring to our report headlined, Police won’t prevent BBS event in Kandy –SSP, sent a letter to the Secretary of the Ministry of Law and Order yesterday alerting him to the possibility of fresh trouble following the latest BBS meeting. Following is the full text of the SLMC Leader’s letter: I address this urgent communication to you with reference to the news item in the newspaper today, ‘The Island’ of 24th June, under the titled more..

Gotabhaya visits monorail projects in Japan

June 25 (MoD) Secretary of Defence, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, visited Japan on an invitation extended by the JICA, along with the Secretary of Transport, Dhammika Perera. Key objectives of the four day visit were to assess the feasibility and viability of the state of the art Monorail Projects in Japan, and to discuss issues of relevance with senior most officials of the JICA, political leaders and senior technocrats of the Govt of Japan. more..

Tamil Nadu airports see big jump in gold smuggling cases

June 25 (TOI) It was a last minute decision by customs officials to weigh the batteries of an LED emergency lamp that led to the seizure of eight gold bars at Coimbatore airport on June 13. The bars were found flattened and concealed inside the batteries. A man from Kerala who arrived from Sharjah was arrested. In a 2011 case, a passenger had brought in 1.6kg gold after converting into rim and spokes of a bicycle wheel. From belt buckles to lining of suitcases, people are finding more..

No charge sheet says Colombo Uni. deputy VC; Removal is legal says UGC

June 25 (HN) UGC stated that the removal of Professor Prema Kumara de Silva from the post of Deputy Vice Chancellor of Colombo University is legal. Meanwhile Professor Prema Kumara de Silva said that University Senate has taken steps to remove him from the post of Deputy VC but no reason or charge sheet has been sent to him. When contacted UGC Chairperson Professor Kshanika Hirimburegama said Senate has removed him under the powers vested with the Senate. more..

Land purchase for Tata’s project leaves ex-residents perturbed

June 25 (Hindu) “That was once my home,” said M.F. Nazruddin, pointing to a patch of land that is fully bare but for a small, blue van that stands nearby. His is among the nearly-570 families that saw their homes getting bulldozed for the promise of development in suburban Colombo, where Tata Housing, in partnership with the UDA, is developing a “mixed use township”. UDA functions under Ministry of Defence and Urban Development more..

Family, friends gather to mourn Côte-de-Neiges stabbing victim

June 25 (MG) One of the first things to greet visitors to the Manikarajah’s family tiny apartment are two graduation photos, proudly and prominently displayed high on the wall above the kitchen table. There’s eldest daughter Thivyapriya Jeyarasan in her black high school graduation gown and mortar board atop her charcoal-coloured hair, a warm smile crossing her face as she clutches the rolled-up diploma in her hand. There’s the second child and first son, Abisath Manikarajah, more..

'Civil activities and freedoms curbed, five years after Sri Lanka's civil war'

June 25 (ABC) An assessment of Sri Lanka, five years after the civil war, says ethnic minorities are no better off and the sources of conflict are still being sustained. This is due to a near collapse of the rule of law and ongoing militarisation in the former war zones. Dr Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu, executive director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, says there's hardly any space for civil activity, with freedom of speech diminished considerably. Dr Saravanamuttu, currently visiting Melbourne, more..

UNP makes fresh charges against govt over Aluthgama clashes

June 25 (FT) UNP claims the Govt has distorted evidence of the two murders and incidents related to the Aluthgama and Beruwala riots, and alleged there is a plot to divide the communities while trying to damage the long-term friendship with Middle Eastern countries. “There is a conspiracy taking place and it is the Govt that is behind the ongoing violence in the country. It is not the US or Saudi Arabia or any other international force more..

Another batch of security forces personnel completes Tamil language training

June 25 (FT) A group of 1,122 Army personnel who successfully followed Tamil language training received proficiency certificates at the Security Forces Headquarters – Jaffna (SFHQ-Jafffna) recently. Commander of SFHQ-Jaffna Maj. Gen. Udaya Perera said 12 officers and 1,110 personnel from other ranks completed this language training. “Language is a bridge between different communities,” he said. “Hence, Sinhala people learning Tamil and vice versa is very crucial more..

Forest department begins efforts to save Bodhi tree at Sarnath

June 25 (TOI) The state forest department has launched a mission to save the world famous Bodhi tree at Mulgandha Kuti Vihara in Sarnath after one of its branches fell in last week's thunderstorm. "This tree was planted on November 12, 1931, by the founder of Maha Bodhi Society of India, Devamitta Dhammapala, to mark the opening of Mulagandha Kuty Vihara. It is a descendant of the original Bodhi tree of Sri Lanka. Last week, one of its branches fell off due to natural reasons. more..

Obama to meet Sri Lanka’s new envoy

June 25 (CG) US President Barack Obama is scheduled to receive Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam on July 14 at the Oval Office of the White House at a Ceremony accepting the Credentials of the new Sri Lankan envoy. Kariyawasam assumed duties at the Embassy of Sri Lanka to US at Washington this week. He replaced Jaliya Jayasuriya as the Ambassador to Sri Lanka in the US. Ambassador Kariyawasam joined more..

Sri Lanka call to arrest reporter

June 25 (TA) AS journalists around the world reel over lengthy prison sentences handed down to three Al Jazeera reporters in Egypt, a media freedom controversy has erupted in Sri Lanka after the editor of the Daily News called for the arrest of a local Al Jazeera journalist for reporting on inter-religious riots. In a series of Twitter rants, the state-owned newspaper’s editor, Rajpal Abeynayake, accused Al Jazeera’s Colombo stringer, Dinouk Colombage, of inciting ­religious tensions by reporting more..

Preparations begin for Pope's state visit

June 25 (DN) The first meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Task Force in preparation of the State Visit by His Holiness Pope Francis to Sri Lanka from Jan 13 to 15 next year was held yesterday. Minister G.L. Peiris welcomed Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, the Apostolic Nuncio Nguyen Van Tot, Bishop of Chilaw Most Rev. Valence Mendis, Bishop of Galle Most Rev. Raymond Wickramasinghe, Bishop of Kurunegala Most Rev. Dr. Harold Anthony Perera, more..

Sri Lanka win series with a ball to spare

June 25 (CI) Sri Lanka won when they had almost abandoned hope. From the penultimate ball of a gripping final day, Eranga found a hostile delivery to bring their first series win in England. James Anderson, who could only fend it to the leg side in self-preservation, dropped to his haunches in despair. Moeen Ali's immense maiden Test century was briefly forgotten, submerged beneath an ecstatic Sri Lankan celebration. more..