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Call for display of warning posters at cigarette sales points

June 29 (Island) President of the SL Cancer Society, Mr. Walter Laduwahetty, has written to Minister Maitripala Sirisena urging that regulations be passed requiring sellers of cigarettes to display large posters showing the harmful effects of smoking at the point of sale. He has congratulated the minister for his courageous campaign, in the face of several obstacles, in regard to pictorial representation more..

Navy Commander Jayanath Colombage promoted to Admiral

June 29 (MoD) President Rajapaksa has been pleased to promote Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage to the rank of Admiral with effect from 28th June. Admiral Colombage has been decorated with Rana Sura Padakkama for gallantry and awarded with many other medals that include Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya and Utthama Seva Padakkama. Successive Commanders of the Navy have issued him with 'Letters of Commendation' for more..

Shelter used by protesters attacked

June 29 (CG) A shelter used by students of the Rajarata University to stage a protest which lasted for over 200 days, was attacked by men on motorbikes this morning. Student’s Council of the Rajarata University said that six students were seated under the shelter when petrol was thrown towards the shelter and it was set on fire. According to the Student’s Council, two men had carried out the attack and fled. A similar attack had taken place on the shelter on a previous occasion more..

On arrival visas suspended for others too

June 29 (SO) The on arrival Visa facility has been cancelled not only for Pakistani nationals but also for a number of other nationals too, an Immigration and Emigration official said, when asked for the reasons for the new rule. Without revealing the reasons for the suspension of the on arrival visa facility, he said the facilities to obtain visas for foreign nationals, via Electronic Travel Authorisation (online) and through foreign missions more..

Dhanapala warns against criticizing Prince Hussein

June 29 (SM) Senior diplomat Dr. Jayantha Dhanapala warns that it will be an act of spitting at own face if the Sri Lankan govt continues to attack Prince Hussein who is to succeed Navi Pillai as the UNHCR chief. The former ambassador in Washington and Geneva has told ‘Divaina’ that it was very disadvantageous to the country if the persons, not their acts and policies, are criticized. Dr. Dhanapala has said that he has had diplomatic dealings with Prince Hussein in New York, more..

Dimo Battas launched under Divi Naguma driven out

June 29 (Island) Hundreds of jobless youths who were offered ‘Dimo Batta’ mini trucks for diverse self-employment projects under a government initiated credit facility have been left in the lurch following police intervention to debar parking in Colombo and the suburbs, a senior official said last week. Referring to an avalanche of complaints by the victims, Mahinda Kahandagama, President of the Federation of Self-Employed, remarked "everything is topsy-turvy. more..

Govt. revenue drops to lowest since independence

June 29 (Island) Despite the Finance Ministry claiming that the economy was booming, revenue as a percentage of GDP had dropped to the lowest since independence, an Opposition legislator said. UNP MP Eran Wickremerane said that an acceptable revenue figure would have been 20% of GDP but the reality was that over five years after the war had ended it had tumbled to 11%, a record for the country since it gained freedom more..

‘I have always played by the rules’: Harcourts Chairman

June 29 (Island) Describing the media exposure as a "wanton attempt to discredit his company", Ahamed Rheyas, Chairman, Harcourts, stressed that as a key player in the pharmaceuticals industry "we have always maintained our integrity and credible application to rules and regulations stipulated by the govt". "The bad press was unjustified as Harcourts has always played by the rules and done what’s best for the industry", he asserted. "We have served the nation more..

Sri Lanka conditions to test Proteas

June 29 (IOL) The road to the World Cup starts here according to Proteas coach Russell Domingo, referring to the tour of Sri Lanka where his side will take on the home side in their conditions. South Africa will play Sri Lanka in three ODIs and two tests, but with the shorter format contest starting on July 6 the focus is securely on limited overs. “There are still 26 ODIs to play before the World Cup. There’s a lot of cricket to be played,” said Domingoa head of the team’s departure for Sri Lanka more..

Sri Lanka offers ‘help’ with asylum-seekers

June 29 (TA) Sri Lankan high commissioner Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe pledged his gov­t’s continued support for the border protection policies of “close friend” Australia, including the swift return of boatpeople, amid claims that 153 Tamils were being held aboard an Australian vessel close to Christmas Island after a two-week journey from India. There were reports yesterday that two asylum-seeker boats more..

NCPA records statements

June 29 (SL) National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) has recorded statements from seven young boys over an alleged child molestation incident involving a French national. NCPA has launched a manhunt in Hikkaduwa for the suspect who is alleged to have facilitated the French national to molest the children. On a previous occasion, two suspects from Galle were arrested and placed in remand custody. 52-year old French national is currently in custody of French Police. more..

SL Navy arrests 17 Tamil Nadu fishermen

June 29 (PTI) Sri Lankan Navy today arrested 17 fishermen along with their three boats when they were fishing near Katchatheevu, police said here. The fishermen were taken to Talaimannar from Katchativu. Meanwhile, Fisheries Department officials said though the island nation had released the fishermen arrested earlier, their boats were yet to be released. The Naval personnel had on June 24 arrested 11 fishermen of Pudukottai district. However, they were later freed. more..

Massive racket: Customs detain 400 luxury vehicles

June 29 (ST) Some 400 luxury vehicles have been detained by the Customs after revelations that they were undervalued and classed as used vehicles, depriving the State of revenue to the tune of more than Rs. 1.5 billion. Documents relating to these imports were handed over last Tuesday to Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga and Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera by the Customs Preventive Division’s more..

Dengue outbreak: Death rate falls, but patient count rises

June 29 (NS) With the spread of dengue continuing to be rampant in several parts of the country, officials have now called for appropriate research on the reasons for the country’s failure to curb the spread. Despite the rise in the number of dengue cases this year, medical officers say that they have been successful in reducing the number of deaths owing to the disease. According to experts, dengue is probably the only communicable disease Sri Lanka has failed to control its spread. more..

Rajarata lecturers to withdraw from duties

June 29 (NF) The teaching faculty of Rajarata University has decided to suspend their lectures in response to death threats from students. Vice-Chancellor Professor Ranjith Wijewardane stated that the University Lecturers Union had informed him about this move in writing. He added, however, that the four faculties shut down thus far will be reopened on Monday in response to student requests. Professor Wijewardane also mentioned that first-year students admitted to more..

Seychelles to open High Commission in SL

June 29 (SNA) Seychelles has announced it plans to open a diplomatic mission in Sri Lanka later this year. This follows the visit of Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa, who leaves Seychelles later today at the end of a three day official visit. He leaves behind a permanent diplomatic presence with the opening yesterday afternoon of the first Sri Lankan High Commission in the Indian Ocean archipelago. more..

The Aluthgama/Beruwala episodes

June 30 (SL) The recent events at Aluthgama and Beruwala have cast yet another indelible black mark on Sri Lanka. The full scale of the horrors that took place, and the whys and wherefore of it, though not fully known to the locals due to restraints on reporting, have been made known to the word outside by the international news media and the Internet. We have still not been able to get over the scars of the communal riots of July 1983 and its aftermath that continued for 26 long years more..

Angelo's unbendable steel

June 30 (SL) The achievements of Angelo Mathews’ men in England must surely be recognized as a watershed in Sri Lanka cricket, along with the 1996 World Cup triumph. Success in England might not be of the global dimension that the 1996 feat was, but all the same is of equal historical significance. History will record last week’s achievement as being Sri Lanka’s first ever Test series-win in England since elongated engagements between the two countries began back in 2001. more..

'A change of attitude will unite society'

June 30 (SO) Commenting on the communal clashes erupting now and then, Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara said that the only way to unite a fractured society is by ‘a change of attitude’. “Society has different levels and layers. And they do not seem to interact with one another for the common cause of the country,” he said. Minister said that it is the enforcement of law and order that can stop perpetrators from using communal more..

SL cannot afford another Rajapaksa term

June 30 (CT) Three Muslim men were shot and killed during the Aluthgama riots, before thousands of eye witnesses. Yet their autopsy reports claim that they were hacked to death. The police have informed the Colombo Magistrates Court that they are unable to identify the BBS monks who very publicly invaded the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in April 2014. These two surreal incidents symbolise the corrosion and subversion of the Lankan state by the Rajapaksas. more..

Other testimony on the Premadasa murder

June 30 (CT) The eight days, which separated the murder of Lalith Athulathmudali on 23rd April 1993 and that of Premadasa on 1 May, were marked by stormy emotions. Premadasa’s alleged complicity in the first was widely aired. Those who were keenly struck by this atmosphere felt uneasy about accepting the LTTE’s complicity in the murder of Premadasa. One instance concerned a group of persons, whom it is said, in paying their respects to the body of Athulathmudali, swore that more..

'I am not a paid liar'

June 30 (CT) Police spokesman, SSP Ajith Rohana, a lawyer, tells Ceylon Today that he never lies and he is not paid to lie. "Everyone is blaming the police but the masses do not have the stakeholders' approach. " Sri Lankans have a genetic and attitude problem. We don't need advice after an incident. We want the public to advice us before an incident occurs." The talk of the town is the Aluthgama incident. more..

Why UN panel may not see the big picture

June 30 (CT) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Wednesday announced three advisors to the UN panel investigating alleged war crimes committed during the final phase of the war in Sri Lanka. Panelists: Silvia Cartwright, Asma Jahangir and Martti Ahtisaari, are all too good hearted individuals known for their human rights activism and conflict resolution skills. Silvia Cartwright is the former Governor-General and High Court judge of New Zealand, and more..

Ashraff banned 'Bombay'

June 30 (CT) The late leader of the SLMC, M.H.M. Ashraff, was furious and succeeded in preventing the screening of 'Bombay' in Sri Lanka in 1995, saying that the movie will lead to damaging inter-communal harmony in the island. 'Bombay', the movie story was based on the Hindu-Muslim riots in India's Western port city, which is now known as Mumbai. The film was directed by Mani Ratnam and was about the love story of a young Hindu journalist and his Muslim girl friend, more..

Dr. Rajesh Tandon

Crisis proliferation, state of siege and the coming crack-up

June 30 (DBS) The crisis is proliferating by the week. Which will come first, the crack-up or the state of siege? Which is the egg and which the chicken? There are two ways in which a country, a nation state, is destroyed. One is by supra-state/supra-national forces, i.e. external forces of hegemonic interventionism. The other is by sub–state/sub-national forces i.e. internal forces of fragmentation. Sri Lanka is being destroyed by both, and the two are feeding off each other. more..

Racial riots hamper improving economy

June 30 (NS) The events of the past few weeks culminating in racial riots in Aluthgama that left at least two persons dead has brought into focus the changing role of the Buddhist clergy in national politics. This also comes at a time when two Buddhist monks are seeking to become presidential candidates. In the limelight is Galagoda aththe Gnanasaara Thera, the livewire in the BBS, a nationalist Buddhist organization. Many believe that it was Gnanasaara Thera’s more..

Video: SL redefines curfew in Beruwela

June 30 (GV) Lest we forget, the Police imposed a curfew in Beruwela and Aluthgama on 15th June in an effort to stop the violence against Muslims in the area. The curfew in Aluthgama was imposed at 6.45pm according to the Govt’s official news portal. A news bulletin broadcast at 9pm on TV featured Police Media Spokesperson SSP Ajith Rohana noting that a curfew had been declared in Beruwela as well. more..

Editorial: Bring hostage takers to justice

June 30 (Island) What we witnessed at the Rajarata University the other day was nothing but terrorism. A group of students took Vice Chancellor Prof. Ranjith Wijewardena and several lecturers hostage and held them incommunicado until the university administration caved in to their demands. Let those responsible for that dastardly act be named, arrested and prosecuted forthwith. Protesting students’ grievances may have been genuine and their demands justifiable. more..

View from Ritigala - by mahasona

June 30 (NS) Chandrika’s sorrow: The lady is upset. She’s upset over religious intolerance. She’s upset about ‘Aluthgama’. The lady abhors violence, she would have us believe. Well, 15 years is a long time, true, but not long enough for anyone to forget the Wayamba Provincial Council election, least of all the person who was in charge of all that at the time, a person who didn’t shed one tear! MP Palitha Thevarapperuma has said that it’s either the IGP or him. The IGP must resign or else he, more..

SriLankan Airlines bond issue flies high

June 30 (CT) SriLankan Airlines successfully priced a US$ 175 million international bond issue on 23 June, which was guaranteed by Sri Lanka, due 2019 at a pricing of 5.3%. Standard Chartered Bank has continued to strengthen its partnership with Sri Lankan Airlines and was privileged to act as the sole book runner for this highly successful and inaugural international bond issue of the airline. more..

SL to set up a carbon nano-tube factory

June 30 (ST) Sri Lanka is to change the age-old practice of exporting raw graphite with the innovation of a value added graphite product using nano technology. Minister Tissa Vitharana said that Sri Lanka Institute of Nano Technology (SLINTEC) has carried out extensive research relating to carbon nano-tubes composed of carbon atoms built at nano-scales. These nano-tubes have the strength approximately 100 times that of steel while the weight is one sixth of the weight of steel. more..

DPL profitable despite Rathupaswela disaster

June 30 (Island) Dipped Products PLC, one of the world’s leading manufacturers and distributors of protective gloves, has completed what its Chairman called "the most challenging period the company ever endured" as a result of the forced closure of its Rathupaswala factory. DPL Chairman A.M. Pandithage, has told shareholders in the company’s recently released annual report, that their hand was forced despite independent investigations confirming that the factory’s treated effluents more..

‘Hate, censorship are political tools of suppression’

June 30 (Hindu) Just last week, 52-year-old SL auteur Prasanna Vithanage was excited about his critically acclaimed romance drama With You, Without You finding a nationwide release in India. After a long chat with movie buffs over dinner following the premiere of his film in Mumbai, he grabbed the bill and ran toward the bar to pay, on sensing that we were not going to let him get it. We chased him down and grabbed the bill back more..

A new source of capital for SL innovators

June 30 (Island) The Institute of Fundamental Studies has found that only a few innovations made by Sri Lankan universities are fully developed and launched out to the market, resulting in such innovative products account for only 1.8% of the GDP, Flexport Innovations Chairman Dr. Nandadasa Narayana said. Sri Lankan innovators don't have access to reasonable means of funding to take their innovations through the evolution process to the final marketing stage, he explained. more..

Business confidence dips in June

June 30 (FT) Business magazine LMD says, that “concerns over price levels and taxes are negating a sense of optimism over the economy”. It reports: “The LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) remains more or less in line with where it was in May, falling by four basis points on a month-on-month basis, to 138 in June.” A spokesperson for LMD's publisher Media Services, notes that “survey respondents have a positive outlook on the economy and also the interest rate regime.” more..

Micro expands into the Southern atmosphere

June 30 (CT) Establishing the Micro image in the domain of Ruhunu Magampura, Micro Holdings has recently expanded its roadmap by constructing its third motor vehicle manufacturing plant coupled with a motor engineering vocational training centre in the Investment Promotional Zone in Mirijjawila, Hambantota. Partnering with Ceno Truck Ltd of China, the new plant will be used to upsurge the vehicle production capacity more..

CSE Chief defends NCAP de-listing plans

June 30 (NS) CEO of NDB Capital Holdings (NCAP), Vajira Kulatilaka, who recently assumed duties as the Chairman of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), defended criticisms aimed at him by a section of stock market analysts with regard to last week’s decision by directors of NCAP to initiate the process of de-listing the firm from the Colombo Stock Exchange subject to shareholder and regulatory approval. A few analysts who spoke to The Nation on condition of anonymity have more..

Commercial Bank joins LankaPay

June 30 (FT) Sri Lanka’s largest common ATM network ‘LankaPay’ strengthened its presence island wide with the advent of Commercial Bank of Ceylon on to its platform. Commercial Bank operates Sri Lanka’s single largest ATM network owned by a bank, and through its partnership with LankaPay, Combank customers and customers of all other member banks can now withdraw cash within the LankaPay network at over 2,300 ATMs for a nominal fee of just Rs.30 per cash withdrawal. more..

Ban hate speech Muslim Council tells Gota

June 30 (CT) Muslim Council of Sri Lanka has written to Secretary Defense Gotabaya Rajapaksa urging the prohibition of hate speech to mainstream media and public gatherings. “We also kindly request you to inquire in to the violence in Alutgama and Beruwela on the 15th and 16th of June 2014 and bring the instigators and perpetrators of violence to justice and ensure that the rule of law prevails equally for all.” more..