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Mining a rich seam of publicity needs

June 26 (SL) National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA) has come under severe criticism for spending Authority funds on pleasing politicians and their families. The Gem Authority is accused of making payments to the value of Rs.63,500 for fuel bills incurred by Minister Susil Premajayantha’s brother, Deepal Chandrakantha. Bills have been submitted by a secretary attached to Environment and Renewable Energy Minister more..

'Dons’ 6% demand, a ruse to get higher pay'

June 26 (Island) Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake claimed that university teachers who staged protests demanding that 6% of GDP be allocated for education had a hidden agenda to get their salaries increased with an enhanced allocation. Dissanayake said that they did not at all acknowledge projects implemented by the govt to enhance the university system, but always tried to sabotage the system. more..

Racial violence: Rankin meets Hakeem

June 26 (Island) The SLMC is under heavy pressure to take a tougher stand on recent violence directed at the Muslim community at Alutgama and Beruwala. Political sources said that the SLMC seemed divided over the position taken up by party leader Rauf Hakeem that the party should continue its fight for Muslims’ rights, while being a constituent of the SLFP-led UPFA. British High Commissioner John Rankin yesterday more..

Sri Lanka and Maldives sign three bilateral agreements

June 26 (GDI) President Rajapaksa, currently on a state visit to Maldives, and President Abdulla Yameen Gayoom presided over the signing ceremony of three MoUs yesterday at the President’s Office in Malé. Agreement between the health sectors, signed by the Minister G.L. Peiris and Maldivian Minister of Health Mariyam Shakeela, focused on exchanging specialists and trained staff, training of nurses and the provision of more..

Sapugaskanda Refinery temporarily shut down

June 26 (DM) The Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) was temporarily shut down because the pipeline connected to the buoy was damaged, CPC Managing Director Susantha de Silva said. “We have halted the operations of the Sapugaskanda oil refinery for four days to repair the broken pipeline to the buoy,” he said. Investigations were being carried out to determine the cause of the damage more..

Maldives against pressure on Sri Lanka

June 26 (CG) The Maldives says it is against pressure being exerted on Sri Lanka and will continue to support the country in the international fora. “Our two countries have been very good neighbors for a long time. We do not approve undue external pressure over countries. That is why the Maldives consistently stood for Sri Lanka at international fora. We will continue to do so shoulder to shoulder with Sri Lanka,” more..

US tells Sri Lanka to take concrete steps

June 26 (CG) The US has urged the Sri Lankan Govt to take concrete steps to address outstanding concerns related to democratic governance, human rights, reconciliation, justice, and accountability. Marie Harf, Deputy Spokesperson at the US State Department said that the US welcomed the announcement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on the distinguished experts who will advise more..

Hate speech laws and then what?

June 26 (CT) There cannot be a more dangerous legislative double-edged knife than laws restricting the freedom of expression. Although no man or woman should be given a free pass when he or she spouts invectives that carry no meaning other than the expression of hatred for some group, especially in circumstances in which the communication is likely to provoke violence, any legislation that would even barely limit free speech could be death-dealing in the long run in any society. more..

'Involving intelligence services in politics is alarming'

June 26 (LT) Deploying intelligence officers to fulfill personal political aims contravening their official duties is a serious matter says General Secretary of JVP Tilvin Silva. He said this when asked for his opinion regarding MP Mangala Samaraweera’s exposure of intelligence services in the country. He said there is ample evidence in the past regarding officers of intelligence services being deployed for political ends and added that Mr. Samaraweera’s exposure should be investigated more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lanka shares close up 0.1%

June 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka's shares closed 0.1% higher for the third consecutive day with banking stocks gaining amid thin foreign participation. All Share Price Index closed 6.61 points higher at 6,328.16, up 0.1%. The S&P SL20 closed 5.99 points higher at 3,507.54, up 0.17%. Turnover was 484.95 million rupees, down from 705.26 million rupees a day earlier with 95 stocks closed positive against 72 negative. Hemas Holdings closed 20 cents lower at 43.60 rupees more..

Reflections on the brink of the next abyss

June 26 (CT) President Rajapaksa is furious. Not about the Aluthgama riots; that, in his eyes, was a ‘most minor incident’. He is furious about the peaceful protest (Hartal) against the Aluthgama riots. Little wonder then that Galagoda-Atte Gnanasara Thera is not only free but was allowed to hold another ‘religious meeting’ in Kandy. According to President Rajapaksa, murder and mayhem constitute far, far lesser crimes than a peaceful protest: “During the conflict period the LTTE more..

'Gnanasara thero remains free, I’m jailed but the truth will be revealed'

June 26 (CT) Watareka Vijitha thera, whom the Police recently claimed to have confessed to self-inflicting the wounds on his body and fabricating his abduction, has condemned the police and media accusations leveled at him during a brief interview last night given just minutes before his arrest. Speaking to the Ceylon Today, Vijitha thera has refuted the statements publicized by the Police, as confessions made by the monk. more..

Sri Lanka rupee recovers on remittances, exporter dollar sales

June 26 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee pulled back from early losses on Thursday due to inflows from remittances and exporter conversions, outpacing the importer dollar demand early in the session, dealers said. The rupee ended at 130.28/30 per dollar, up from Wednesday's close of 130.34/38, which was its lowest since June 2. "There were inflows from remittances and exporter dollar sales. The state bank also stopped buying dollars for imports," a currency dealer said. more..

'Norochcholai transmission line to Anuradhapura on hold due to protests'

June 26 (Island) Fishers’ protests have prevented the erection of pylons in the Puttalam lagoon to transmit electricity from the Norchcholai Coal Power Plant (NCPP) to Anuradhapura being put on hold. R. Yograjan MP, one of the ten UNP MPs who undertook a fact finding mission of the NCPP recently said that lack of proper planning had stood in the way of the construction of transmission lines to Anuradhapura over Puttalam lagoon, as the fisherfolk raised environmental concerns. more..

'Likes of Hakeem, Thondaman and Rajapaksa get together to create clashes'

June 26 (LT) “There is no need for any more blood shedding in this country. The likes of Hakeem, Thondaman and Rajapaksa get together to create clashes among masses,” says the General Secretary JVP Tilvin Silva. “Today is a special day. For, we opened a district office for Batticaloa. This is a decisive period. Several days ago a communal clash was created at Dharga Town in Aluthgama. Despite it has been quelled, more..

Kovil animal sacrifices: SC relists for support appeal against CA judgment

June 26 (Island) The special leave to appeal application filed by the Poosaries of the Kali Amman Kovil of Chilaw against a judgment of the Court of Appeal was called before the Supreme Court yesterday and relisted for support on July 2. The appellant Poosaries have challenged the Court of Appeal judgment that the Cruelty to Animals Ordinance had been violated owing to the annual ritual of the Kovil, which resulted in the killing of goats and fowls. more..

Commemorative stamp to mark centenary of Assemblies of God

June 26 (Island) Minister Jeevan Kumaratunga launched a commemorative stamp and first day cover to mark the centenary celebrations of the Assemblies of God of Ceylon (AoG-Ceylon). Addressing the gathering on the occasion he said that the mission had been responsible for uplifting and providing spiritual support to its congregation. "I have been witness to some of their services and seen how they strengthen the lives of people with spiritual support and counseling," he said. more..

Video: No bus fare hike this time

June 26 (DM) Private bus owners affirmed today that there would be no bus fare hike as it would further lead to the collapse of the industry. Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) President Gemunu Wijeratne said that they had decided not to increase bus fares on July 1 as they do annually. “If we do then it would further collapse the industry and the passengers will also move out of the industry seeking other alternatives,” more..

Sri Lanka issues a travel advice for Iraq

June 26 (CG) Sri Lanka today issued a travel advice for Iraq as a result of the violence being experienced in that country. In view of the deteriorating security situation in Iraq, Sri Lankan nationals are strongly advised to exercise extreme caution in travelling to Iraq, until further notice, the travel advice said. Ministry of External Affairs urged all Sri Lankans who are currently in Iraq to remain in contact with the Sri Lankan Embassy in Baghdad for necessary advice and updated information on the more..

NPC adopts motion over Aluthgama

June 26 (CG) Northern Provincial Council (NPC) today adopted a motion over the recent violence in Aluthgama which resulted in a tense situation between Muslims and Buddhists in the south. The motion was submitted by TNA NPC member Ayub Asmin and was adopted after several members expressed their views on the violence. In the motion, the NPC calls on IGP to investigate the violence and arrest those responsible. Meanwhile the Jaffna Municipal Council which also convened more..

Nepalese military delegation in the country

June 26 (SLA) A high level four-member military delegation of the Nepalese Army, headed by Lieutenant General Pradeep Rana, Chief of Staff, Nepalese Army, is now in Sri Lanka with the express objective of learning more on welfare modules of the Sri Lanka Army and other non-military engagements. The delegation, comprised of Lieutenant General Pradeep Rana, Chief of Staff, Major General Rajendra Sha, more..

Civil Aviation and Finance ministries clash over SriLankan Airlines

June 26 (AM) Civil Aviation Minister Priyankara Jayarathne has admitted that there is a tug of war between the Civil Aviation Ministry and the Finance Ministry over the administration of SriLankan Airlines. The Civil Aviation Minister has said that the SriLankan Airlines does not act in accordance with certain decisions made by the Civil Aviation Ministry. “Although I have the authority over the institution through regulations, SriLankan Airlines is controlled by the Finance Ministry. more..

Police fail to identify BBS monks who stormed Rishad’s ministry

June 26 (AM) Kollupitiya Police today informed the Colombo Fort Magistrate today that they have failed to ascertained the suspects of the case pertaining to the incident where a group of BBS monks stormed the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, led by Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. Kollupitiya Police informed the Fort Magistrate that they have observed video footage given by six media institutions, but failed to ascertain the suspects of the case. more..

No imminent fuel shortage: Minister

June 26 (DM) While assuring that there would not be a fuel shortage in the country as there were sufficient fuel stocks for 30 days, Minister Anura Priyadarsha Yapa today said the buoy which was damaged is being repaired by local and foreign experts. “We have a sufficient fuel stock for 30 days and there will be no imminent fuel shortage in the country even though the refinery was closed due to the damage of buoy which carries crude oil more..

Minister Rishad given time to file objections

June 26 (Island) Court of Appeal gave time till August 29, to respondents, Cabinet Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, the District Secretary of Mannar, and a few others, to file objections to a Writ application filed by the Green Movement of Sri Lanka. The petition said that instructions had been given to the District Secretariat to clear nearly 2,339 acres of forest land in Mannar, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya Districts to re-settle displaced Muslims. It said that the destruction of forest would cause more..

Mahasamayama staged to a packed crowd

June 26 (GDI) Prof. Ariyarathna Athugala's Epic Drama "Mahasamayama" was staged at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre today to a packed audience. The Chief Guests were vocalist, violinist and composer. Maestro W.D.Amaradeva and famous lyricist Ratna Sri Wijesinghe. Children from schools in the districts of Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Kurunegala and Anuradhapura came to watch the school show held today. Also a significant feature was Prof. Ariyarathna Athugla and veteran artiste more..

Sri Lanka assures safety of Maldivians

June 26 (Haveeru) Sri Lankan govt said that Maldivians residing in the country will not face any danger from the anti-Muslim riots in the country and that it was "conscious" of the safety of Maldivians. At a joint press conference with Maldivian foreign minister Dunya Maumoon, minister GL Peiris, who is accompanying President Rajapaksa on a two-day state visit to Maldives, said that 9000 plus Maldivian community in SL more..

Ananthi’s police security withdrawn

June 26 (CG) The police security provided to Northern Provincial Council (NPC) member Ananthi Saseetharan and two other NPC members has been withdrawn. SSP Ajith Rohana said that the police security had been withdrawn on the basis that the provincial council members must make a request to the Ministry of Law and Order to obtain such security. He said that police security had earlier been provided by Ministry of Defence when police operated directly under Defence Ministry. more..

'Mangala’s remark encourages conspiracy'

June 26 (SM) The JHU says a remark by UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera is an encouragement for a conspiracy to corner the country. In a statement by its media secretary Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe, the JHU demands the immediate enforcement of the law against the MP, who made the remark in question at a media briefing two days ago. Addressing the media, MP Samaraweera said the chauvinistic groups are being led by defence ministry advisor, retired Maj. Gen. Kapila Hendrawitharana, more..

Former Galle Mayor Methsiri de Silva reinstated

June 26 (DM) Galle High Court Judge K.B.K. Hirimburegama today issued a writ order revoking the decision taken by Southern Province Chief Minister Shan Vijaya Lal De Silva to remove former Galle Mayor Methsiri De Silva from his position and the council membership. The High Court Judge issued the writ order after considering the petition submitted by Methsiri De Silva. The petitioner sought a court order to revoke more..

Amnesty International welcomes establishment of war crimes investigation

June 26 (AI) The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has announced that three experts with long and distinguished careers in human rights – Mr Martti Ahtisaari, Ms Silvia Cartwright and Ms Asma Jahangir – will assist a UN team investigating war crimes and other crimes under international law committed in Sri Lanka. Their appointment is a welcome sign of progress in the effort to establish once and for all what happened in the final phase of Sri Lanka’s long armed conflict and to ensure more..

Mathews achieves career-best ranking

June 26 (CG) Angelo Mathews has achieved his career-best ranking to date as England’s Moeen Ali and Sam Robson have made it to the top 100 in the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen,which were released after Sri Lanka won the second Test and the series off the penultimate ball against England at Headingley. The 100 run victory is Sri Lanka’s first ever Test series win on English soil. Player of the match Angelo Mathews has climbed two places on the rankings table more..

Britain hails appointment of experts

June 26 (CG) British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, has welcomed the appointment of a team of experts to investigate alleged abuses in Sri Lanka. Hague said the investigation is an important step in establishing the truth and facilitating reconciliation within Sri Lanka. A statement by the UN Commissioner, announces the appointment of international experts to the team investigating alleged abuses by both parties more..

Transformation to enlightenment

June 27 (CT) In today’s World Knowledge and Wisdom seem all important. God wanted man not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. Man disobeyed. This led to original sin. The use of Knowledge not in Harmony with Gods will is the greatest sin. Wisdom is Knowledge accordance to Gods will. God created man in the image of God. In his heart God implanted his will for us. Even the fall did not change man creation in the image of God. What we now need is the circumcision of the Heart. more..

Are Sri Lankans fools or jokers or both?

June 27 (CT) Ven Watareka Vijitha Thero gets thrown into prison for allegedly falsifying information regarding the attack on his person. Ironically the person who is well known to be the cause for all the attacks on him, Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara is walking about happily, in the precincts of the Dalada Maligawa no less, doing an Adhishtana Pooja. What is the Adhishtanaya? Interesting to know! Let me ask the jokers and fools of my country including myself, what sort of justice system is this? more..

Agony of #Aluthgama virtually speaking…

June 27 (NS) ‘If you were to reconstruct history based on the articles that have been published in the State-run newspapers, some of us who lived through the major incidents, would not even be able to recognize it,’ Nalaka Gunawardena jocularly opined. Nalaka was referring to stoic radio silence of Main Stream Media (MSM) during the height of the recent communal clashes and the morning after in Aluthgama and Beruwala. more..

Editorial: Wijeweera’s legacy

June 27 (Island) Lewwegoda Walawwa in Bandarawela, where JVP founder leader Rohana Wijeweera was arrested before being put to a violent death in 1989, will be handed over to the National Youth Services Council (NYSC), Minister Dullas Alahapperuma has said in Badulla recently. Wijeweera was responsible for staging two abortive uprisings where thousands of young lives were destroyed, as is common knowledge, and whatever he owned should be vested with the youth. more..

The true colors of racism

June 27 (NS) Social media is for some a stress reliever. Facebook and Twitter are sounding boards for some and for others Agony Aunts or even shrinks. That’s at the personal level. There is by definition a social element to it too of course. That’s why there are groups, followers and followed on these sites. Social media is not all that it is claimed to be and neither is it the nothing that others claim it to be. Has its uses, has its pitfalls. It steps in when mainstream media steps back and this is more..

A day in the life of a flying squad officer

June 27 (CT) Sarath Siripala, 57, of Eheliyagoda has worked for 25 years with the Flying Squad. Although he mainly oversees operations at the SLTB head office now, he too takes part in bus checks regularly. "On days I come to office I wake up at 3 a.m. and leave for work by about 5 a.m. My office shifts are as any others would be; I work from 7.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. On the days I go on bus checks, I need to work according to roster. more..