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UN team is strong: Ex-Lankan envoy

June 27 (ENS) The three-member panel of experts appointed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, to “advice and support” the team she had set up to inquire into rights violations in Sri Lanka, is “very strong” says Dr Dayan Jayatilleka, a leading SL political commentator and former Ambassador to UN in Geneva. “UN fact finding mission on Gaza conflict had only one person, Richard Goldstone more..

SL to provide air combat training to Maldives

June 27 (DM) President Rajapaksa on Thursday agreed to help to develop the defence services in the Maldives including air combat training, the President’s Office said. The President, who in Maldives agreed during a meeting with Defence and National Security Minister of Maldives Col (Ret.) Mohamed Nazim at the Kurumba Island Resort. The Defence Minister briefed President Rajapaksa on a number of defence priorities more..

Ramazan in troubled times

June 27 (CT) This weekend will mark the beginning of the holy month of Ramazan, a 30-day period of self-restraint, prayer and piety for Muslim in Sri Lanka and across the world. Ramazan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, significant, not simply because of the fasting, which teaches a Muslim patience, spirituality, humility and submissiveness to God, but specifically because this is the month in which the Qur'an was revealed to Prophet Mohamed, as a pathfinder to mankind, more..

Sri Lanka shares close up 0.6%

June 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka's shares closed 0.56% higher for the forth consecutive day with tobacco stocks gaining amid net foreign buying, brokers said. All Share Price Index closed 35.33 points higher at 6,363.49, up 0.56%. The S&P SL20 closed 13.31 points higher at 3,520.85, up 0.38%. Turnover was 1.13 billion rupees, up from 484.95 million rupees a day earlier with 90 stocks closed positive against 87 negative. Access Engineering closed 1.00 rupee higher at 25.00 rupees more..

SAITM controversy rages on

June 27 (CT) South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) has no agreement with the govt on providing scholarships to students who want to study in the university, SAITM Director Dr. Sameera Senadeera said. He said 14 scholarships were granted to follow the MBBS course at SAITM in 2013, when SAITM enrolled the seventh batch to follow the course. He said, those scholarships were granted on more..

UNP should close ranks, and the SLFP? Oppose Rajapaksas!

June 27 (CT) Sri Lanka is definitely at cross roads after Aluthgama. It is not merely a question of the magnitude of the events, but the way the events were unleashed and the purported investigations were/are conducted by the police and the security establishment. It is very clear that the government or, more correctly, some sections of the govt are behind the carnage. If there is any threat of ‘fascism’ in the country, then that definitely comes from those sections. more..

GMOA blames contradictory Health Ministry circulars

June 27 (Island) GMOA said two circulars issued in 1985 and 1997 under the Establishment Code in the health sector were contradictory and that had led to the current dispute between nurses and midwives. According to the original circular issued in 1985 contained that all paramedics including the midwives were required to sign the attendance register at the hospital administrator’s office. Under that procedure all the hospital staff had to sign the attendance sheets at the hospital director’s office. more..

Video: UNP challenges govt. on Mangala

June 27 (DM) UNP MP Ajith Perera said that govt should arrest Mr. Samaraweera if he had divulged State secrets or made a false statement with regard to recent incidents in Aluthgama and Beruwela. “There is no point slinging mud at Mr. Samaraweera if he had made a false statement or divulged State secrets,” Perera said. He said Mr. Samaraweea had not divulged any State secrets as he had only named few officers more..

Rupee tad weaker on importer dlr demand

June 27 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee ended slightly weaker on Friday on importer dollar demand, while the central bank curbed the fall by moral suasion, dealers said. The rupee ended weaker at 130.30/35 per dollar, weaker from Thursday's close of 130.28/30. It hit a more-than-three-week closing low of 130.34/38 on Wednesday. "There was demand from importers. The central bank did not allow the rupee to be traded above 130.33 per dollar," a currency dealer said, more..

Villagers foil temple robbery, capture seven

June 27 (Island) A robber gang that attempted to break into Anandarama Viharaya at Balana, Kadugannawa on Tuesday night to rob its valuables was rounded up by the villagers and handed over to the police. The suspects, having arrived at the temple, asked for some water. The chief monk went in, but grew suspicious. He then raised alarm, causing villagers to rush to his help, according to the police. The suspects had come from Talawakelle. One of them managed to escape. more..

UNP slams govt’s wasteful ‘nightly carnivals’

June 27 (AD) UNP requested the Govt to do away with “nightly carnivals” and heed the request made by the Mahanayakes to cancel ‘Night Races’ scheduled to be held in Kandy, while terming them as “wasteful tamashas”. Rajapaksa regime that has been governing through a constant flow of ‘media carnivals’ is poised to stage another spectacle in the coming weekend in Kandy, the ancient citadel of Ceylon, Chairman of more..

50th anniversary of Group of 77 marked in Vienna

June 27 (UNIDO) The Group of 77 Vienna Chapter and China this week commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the Group with celebrations at the Vienna International Centre. The cultural performances featured Sri Lankan drummers and dancers provided by the Ministry of Skills Development and Youth Affairs, as well as Shani Diluka, a Sri Lankan pianist, and Valentin Erben, an Austrian cellist. Food festivals and a charity event also took place. more..

Aitken Spence ties up with Spanish RIU to introduce charter flight tourism

June 27 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's Blue chip conglomerate Aitken Spence will invest 100 million U.S. dollars in a five star hotel that will be managed by Spanish hotel chain RIU Hotels in its first Asia Pacific venture, the company said in a statement on Friday. This will be RIU's first venture in the Asia Pacific and follows on large scale investment projects by Shangri-la, Sheraton and Hyatt. The project will also be unique in its concept, since it will introduce charter flights to Sri Lanka. more..

Details of 2,000 web child abusers exposed

June 27 (DM) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) has found details of more than 2,000 persons who had attempted to sexually abuse children through the internet. The NCPA Investigations Unit under the guidance of its Chairperson Anoma Dissanayake, arrested six persons over attempted abuse. “There are several govt employees and some professionals among those arrested,” NCPA said. more..

Sri Lanka: An addiction to torture

June 27 (AHRC) 17-year-old Sandun Malinga died in police custody on May 9, 2014. He had been wrongfully arrested and beaten. His repeated entreaties for medical attention because of the chest pains he suffered after the beatings were ignored. After his arrest and initial beating, he had been brought before a magistrate. He and his lawyers told the magistrate that he was suffering chest pains. Instead of following protocol and asking for the boy to be examined, magistrate ignored their more..

A’pura HC summons Mahara magistrate

June 27 (AD) Notice has been issued on four witnesses including the Mahara Magistrate to appear before the Anuradhapura High Court for the case regarding the suicide bombing which claimed the lives of Major General Janaka Perera and 28 others. High Court Judge Sunanda Kumara Ratnayake issued notice on Mahara Magistrate Darshika Wimalasiri, Translator at the Anuradhapura Special High Court Irfan Yakoob Lebbe, court typist Thanuja Kumari and a sergeant at more..

Sri Lanka begins rebuilding riot-hit areas

June 27 (PTI) Sri Lanka on Friday began rebuilding the properties damaged during the deadly riots targeting businesses of a minority community in a popular tourist region in the country’s southwest that left four people dead. “The work to rebuild over 200 properties began this morning”, D.L. Jayalal, govt administrative official at Beruwala, said. The ethnic clashes earlier this month in Muslim-dominated areas of more..

Sivajilingam wants UN investigators in Sri Lanka - TNA say no

June 27 (SN) Chairman of the NPC, CVK Sivagnanam removed provincial councilor MK Sivajilingam's proposal calling for UN investigators to enter Sri Lanka, from the provincial councils agenda yesterday. Sivajilingam wanted the council to pass a resolution demanding the SL govt to allow the investigators in. Such a proposal would have led to a direct confrontation with the central govt who has refused to cooperate with the UN investigators looking into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. more..

China's financial assistance for Sri Lanka's first coal plant lauded

June 27 (Xinhua) China's concessional loan for the building of Sri Lanka's first coal power plant at a cost of 1.3 billion U.S. dollars will provide impetus for the country's economic development and further improve the already robust relations between Beijing and Colombo, a top official said. Lakvijaya coal power plant built in the northwestern town of Norochcholai will provide local businesses with steady and affordable electricity, Power and Energy Ministry Secretary M.M.C. Ferdinando said. more..

Champika accused of inciting hatred

June 27 (CG) Muslim Council of Sri Lanka says it is shocked and dismayed at the verbal diatribe against the Muslim religious, civil society and political leadership on the mainstream and social media carried out by Minister Champika Ranawaka. In a letter to the Minister, Muslim Council said that they had restrained themselves from commenting on the relentless allegations Minister has been hurling against the Muslims more..

Mangala to expose Gota’s conspiracies!

June 27 (SM) Lawyers for MP Mangala Samaraweera are preparing to expose everything before courts if Mirihana police are going to obtain a statement from him over his accusation at a media briefing that chauvinistic groups are being led by defence ministry advisor, retired Maj. Gen. Kapila Hendrawitharana, Col. Suresh Salley, a Malay Muslims, and State Intelligence Service chief DIG Chandra Wagista. Mirihana police yesterday received a complaint that seeks the arrest of more..

SL's seam attack, and NZ's wicketkeeper

June 27 (CI) Sri Lanka's Headingley Test win was a historic one for several reasons: it gave them their first Test series win in England, and two of the batsmen who played key roles - Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene - have both been legendary figures and might never play another Test in England. However, along with the solid batting recovery in the second innings, a key aspect of their win was the role played by the pace attack. Nuwan Pradeep, Shaminda Eranga, Dhammika more..

President in Seychelles to expand ties

June 27 (SM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has arrived in the Seychelles this afternoon on his second visit to the archipelago. Seychelles President James Michel was at the Seychelles’ International Airport at Pointe Larue, to welcome the head of state and the First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa, who disembarked from a chartered SriLankan Airlines flight at 1430 local time. The welcoming party included Vice President more..

Japanese PM may visit Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in early September

June 27 (kyodo) Japanese PM Shinzo Abe is considering visiting Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in early September. If Abe makes the visit, Bangladeshi PM Sheikh Hasina is likely to announce the withdrawal of her country’s candidacy for a 2016-2017 nonpermanent seat on the U.N. Security Council. When Hasina made a trip to Japan in May, she invited Abe to visit Bangladesh in late August. Hasina hinted Bangladesh could withdraw before the council election in 2015, saying, more..

Rajarata VC and officials released by students; University remains closed

June 27 (AD) Vice Chancellor and several officials of the Rajarata University, who were trapped inside the VC’s office and prevented from leaving by students since yesterday, have been released. University of Rajarata has been closed until further notice after the Vice Chancellor and several lecturers were taken hostage by a group of university students, who had surrounded the VC’s office and prevented them from leaving. Around 300 students were reportedly outside vice chancellor’s office more..

Sri Lanka clinches 'Important' future tours

June 27 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) who gave their support, though after a hesitance, to ICC’s “Big Three” plan have been rewarded richly with two profitable in-bound tours each by top members India,Australia and England according to the draft FTP (Future Tours Programme) that had been discussed at the ICC annual conference. Most of the tours in the new FTP had been on the cards, but were in danger more..

Editorial: Sri Lanka’s agony

June 27 (NTY) Hate-mongering Buddhist extremists in Sri Lanka have set off the country’s worst wave of anti-Muslim violence in years. A bloody rampage on June 15 in and near the southern city of Aluthgama left four Muslims dead, at least 78 people injured, and Muslim homes and businesses destroyed. Attacks followed an anti-Muslim rally organized by the BBS, which roughly translates as Buddhist Power Force, an ultranationalist group linked to the governing Rajapaksa family. more..

Newly built houses, irrigation channels handed over by EU

June 27 (SM) Head of Operations of the European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Willy Vandenberghe, visited the conflict affected village of Welikakandiya in Batticaloa district in the Eastern Province on 24th June. During his visit, Mr. Vandenberghe handed over newly constructed houses to returnee families who like many have been in the process of rebuilding their homes through the support provided by the Housing Recovery Programme, an initiative funded by more..

Sri Lanka cancels on-arrival visa facility for Pakistanis

June 27 (Dawn) Pakistani citizens intending to travel to Sri Lanka have been advised by the govt to apply for a visa before taking a flight. The decision, which was taken in view of the rising number of political asylum cases in Sri Lanka, was officially communicated to Pakistan’s Foreign ministry. Nearly 1,500 Pakistanis, many of whom are registered with the UNHCR, have been picked up by Sri Lankan Department of Immigration and more..

GM banana enters human trials

June 28 (Independent) A genetically modified banana which has the potential to dramatically reduce infant mortality and blindness in children across Africa is to undergo its first human trials in a major step towards becoming a staple for millions of people. The GM banana developed by Australian scientists is enriched with vitamin A to combat a nutritional deficiency which leads to hundreds of thousands of deaths, and children losing their sight across the world every year. more..

Premadasa: Swadeshaya & social democracy

June 28 (CT) At the age of 18, R Premadasa had launched a monthly magazine called ‘SWADESHAYA’. He was a patriot. But that was not all he was, and his patriotism was different from that which is dominant today. As the UNP struggles to recover as an opposition party and faces two national elections in less than a year, it is vital to understand Premadasa’s role in the UNP comeback of 1970-73 and its sweeping victory in 1977. Dominant interpretation is one of more..

A conversation with Tony Ranasinghe

June 28 (CT) Like a meteor does the name and fame of Tony Ranasinghe arise in the annals of our film history. An accomplished actor with a vast career behind his years, he is also a successful thespian, Shakespeare translator, and scriptwriter. At a time when dance-driven, music-ridden stage plays and films ruled the day, Ranasinghe was part of a movement that sought to free both from the artifice to which they had more..

Indira planned an invasion of Sri Lanka

June 28 (CT) 1. In August 1983 Indira Gandhi summoned a top level security conference to plan the invasion of Sri Lanka. 2. If not for her sudden death, Indira Gandhi would have takenover Sri Lanka and made Sri Lanka an Indian State like Tamil Nadu. 3. All these plans were ready with the RAW being in Sri Lanka since its inception in Sri Lanka. Since August 1983 Indian and even now, secret services have been waging a secret war. It was revealed that Sri Lankan Tamil Refugees more..

Shadow play

June 28 (CT) Shadows aren't foreigners to any living being in this world. Anything solid placed in front of a light casts a shadow. They are as natural as clouds, trees, and the sun and the moon. In ancient times people used shadows for various reasons, to predict the time and then to entertain themselves. Numerous cultures around the world use shadows to express heroism, redemption and humour in their art and entertainment, the oldest method being shadow puppetry. more..

A villain or saviour?

June 28 (CT) The meeting room inside his Kirulapona temple smells of salmon. The strong aroma of Thai food served in the adjacent room, by a foreign patron, pervades the air. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera has just finished his lunch at 2.30 in the afternoon, after marathon three hours of media interviews with the local press. He sits across the table, ready for an afternoon session of media interviews. Room looks Spartan - more..

New lustre for old Pettah

June 28 (ST) Before the advent of plush shopping malls, it was Pettah that was the hub for shoppers and it is still faithfully visited by determined bargain hunters, who comb the crowded streets and bustling shops for a purchase. Pettah admittedly lost some of its lustre in recent years but the Ministry of Defence and the UDA that have implemented a number of projects including the city beautification programme, and refurbishment of old buildings,in their drive to make Colombo a Garden City, more..

Editorial: Commuters voting with their feet

June 28 (Island) Private bus operators notorious for fleecing the commuting public have, at long last, realised that the sky is not the limit and they have to mend their ways. They have unconscionably obtained massive fare hikes by coercing govts into submission with no heed for commuters’ woes, all these years, but now they are convinced that they cannot go on doing so for ever. The worm has turned! Commuters are voting with their feet. LPBOA President Gemunu Wijeratne has told more..

ජාතිය - ජාතිවාදය සහ ගැටුම්

The UN human rights system and its relevance to us

June 28 (CT) The recent violence against the Muslims in Alutgama and Beruwala are being discussed in civil society and in the Opposition political party. Discussions are mainly on what happened and who is to blame. Most people end up blaming both communities. But different communities will always have differences of opinion. But resorting to violence is not an option for any community to resolve such differences. Don’t we have a govt which was elected on the more..

Against Ethnolunacy on Muslim extremism

June 28 (Island) Ethnolunacy is a neologism coined by me to designate a phenomenon that has been, and continues to be, frighteningly destructive in Sri Lanka. If it is not curbed, it can even lead to the disintegration of Sri Lanka. In my view there are two defining characteristics of the racist. One is an essentialising habit of mind which makes the racist believe that ethnic groups have essential characteristics that never change or change only very slowly. more..