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Dengue fighting squads rejoice at sharp drop in cases

July 29 (ST) Dengue cases have declined sharply this month compared to the corresponding period in the past six years, much to the relief of health officials who claim the drop is due to the success of mosquito control methods adopted by the Health Ministry. In addition, statistics indicate a drop in the total number of dengue cases reported during these past few months, making it the lowest number of cases reported since 2011 more..

SL has strong growth but high debt: Moody's

July 29 (EN) Sri Lanka has strong growth compared to similar rated peers and its credit outlook is stable despite current political uncertainty, but the country will have to watch its debt and budget deficits, Moody's a rating agency said in a credit update. Sri Lanka's state credit is rated 'B1' below investment grade, by the rating agency. "The rating outlook is stable, incorporating Moody's expectation that ongoing growth slowdown more..

'We will clean up the black economy'

July 29 (CT) Those in Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa should not have to come all the way to the Colombo District in the Western Province to contribute to the economy, the JVP said. Addressing a gathering of small and medium scale business folk, factory owners and exporters in Colombo on the evening before last, JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake added that economic expansion was essential, & that it was State's responsibility more..

About 10 to 12 Internet offences reported daily

July 29 (Island) Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team (SLCERT) said that it received some 10-12 complaints of internet frauds daily and most of them were about fake Facebook profiles; they were made on behalf of women who ended up being abused on social media sites. SLCERT Media Spokesman Roshan Chandraguptha said that it had received a total of 1,150 complaints at the end of June. more..

Sri Lanka national accounts to be updated again with new census

July 29 (EN) Sri Lanka’s national accounts, which were revised recently, will be updated again with a more recent base year being taken using data from the latest island-wide census to economic growth calculations are more accurate. The census and statistics department said it plans to release the revised estimates of the nominal and real GDP along with the expenditure and income estimates by end of Aug 2015. more..

Litro Gas denies Bandula’s allegations

July 29 (AD) The Litro Gas Lanka Ltd denied allegations that the govt has signed a MoU with Shell Gas Ltd to purchase Gas at US$ 105 per MT, contrary to international tender procedures. This allegation was leveled by former Minister Bandula Gunawardena. He also alleged that the Govt has approved the privatization of the Litro Gas Lanka Ltd. However, the Litro Gas issuing a statement said that “it was previous govt more..

Don't arouse communal passions: EC

July 29 (DN) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya urged political parties and candidates contesting the forthcoming general election to refrain from arousing communal and religious passions for political gain. He was addressing the media at the Elections Department at Rajagiriya yesterday. "Don't arouse communalism and religious sensitivities for the sake of political gains during the election campaign," he said. more..

Father of India’s H Bomb

July 29 (CT) A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (84), the father of India's Hydrogen (H) Bomb died on Monday. After his successful H Bomb Project in 1998, he was made India's 11th President with the consent of both sides of the House in 2002 and served till the end of his term in 2007. A physicist, Kalam, came from a poor background. He used to distribute newspapers to keep the home fires burning. It was only last month that he visited Sri Lanka to participate at an energy symposium in Colombo. more..

Râvanâ & Sinhala Buddhism

July 29 (CT) Râvanâ, one of the principal characters in the Râmâyana, emerges as a villain in the mainstream (Hindu) understandings of the text. Given the important position that Rama (Râvanâ’s opponent) who is believed to be a manifestation of Viúnu occupies in the Hindu religious tradition, Râvanâ becomes a symbol of evil in those readings of the text. Nevertheless, the conceptualizations of Râvanâ within the context of Sinhala Buddhist nationalism point to alternative more..

Arjuna's winning team paid tribute by 96-floor cricket bat tower in Sri Lanka

July 29 (EN) India's Shreepati Edifice (Pvt) Ltd, will build a 96-floor tower in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo, styled after a cricket bat, which will be the tallest building in the country, the state investment promotion office said. The tubular structured tower, is a tribute to Sri Lanka's World Cup winning cricket team of 1996, the Board of Investments of Sri Lanka which signed an investment agreement said Wednesday. more..

JVP only party that kept its word: Lalkantha

July 29 (Island) JVP says it was the only party that had honoured the promise not to nominate corrupt and violent politicians to contest the forthcoming general election while the two main parties, UNF and UPFA, had reneged on their pledges. JVP trade union wing leader and Colombo District candidate K. D. Lalkantha, addressing an election rally on Monday evening at the Habarakada Junction, said that various issues were being flogged in the run-up to the August 17 polls. more..

Video: Body found in luggage near Bastian Mawatha

July 29 (AD) The police on Wednesday (29) found remains of a woman inside a luggage at the Fort bus station near the Bastian Mawatha, the Police Spokesperson said. The body was recovered after a pedestrian, who spotted the luggage, informed the Fort police, he added. “The police have yet to identify the person. The body will be taken to the Colombo National Hospital for a autopsy,” he said. They said the bag was found near the Anuradhapura bus queue. more..

Sri Lanka justice: leaked UN document casts doubts

July 29 (C4) A leaked UN document raises concerns over the prospects for genuine justice for the Sri Lankan victims of alleged war crimes. Channel 4 News has been supplied with the leaked document which critics claim could pre-empt and undermine September's UNHRC discussion on a UN's long-awaited investigation into crimes committed at the end of Sri Lanka's 26-year civil war. According to the UN tens of thousands of more..

JVP manifesto targets 2020 Govt

July 29 (CT) The JVP says the party's theme of a Conscience-based Nation Building programme embodied in its Manifesto was launched with the objective of playing a major and decisive role in a future govt, which would come into office by 2020. JVP Gampaha District Candidate Bimal Rathnayake said the party was presently carrying out a massive public awareness programme to familiarize the masses with its Manifesto's objectives and has been presenting copies of their Manifestos to more..

Court extends order preventing SLFP CC meeting

July 29 (CG) The Colombo District Court today extended an enjoining order preventing the SLFP from convening a Central Committee (CC) meeting without the permission of the head of the party. The District Court of Colombo had earlier issued the order on July 15 till today based on a petition filed by SLFP member Prasanna Solangaarachchi. When the case was heard today the Court extended the enjoining order till August 7. President Maithripala Sirisena is the head of the SLFP more..

Norochcholai: No more free work, Chinese company tells CEB

July 29 (Island) Builder of SL’s first coal-fired power plant, China Engineering Machinery Corporation (CMEC), has asked for about USD 2 mn a month from May onwards for extra operators and maintenance staff, a CEB engineer said. In a letter to Deputy General Manager Lakvijaya Power Station, CMEC has placed the number of Chinese technical maintenance and operation personnel deployed at the site at 3,863 and claimed that more..

Polls Chief to issue ban No Polls work at Opposition Leader’s office

July 29 (CT) Commissioner of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya said yesterday at a media briefing in Colombo that a statement would be issued prohibiting the use of the Opposition Leader's Office for election work as it comes under State property. A letter sent by Transparency International to the Elections Commissioner states that Temple Trees too comes under State property as much as the Opposition Leader's office and therefore, according to the Elections Act, more..

Heavy traffic in Town Hall due to IUSF protest

July 29 (AM) Heavy traffic was reported at Town Hall area in Colombo due to a protest by Inter University Student's Federation near the University Grants Commission. The students marched to the UGC from the Open University earlier in the day. They claim that the authorities are turning a blind eye towards the problems faced by the Open University students. The Satyagraha campaign launched by IUSF at the Open University has marked 225 days. Police closed off the Ward Place in anticipation more..

Video: 'US wants military bases in SL'

July 29 (DM) Recent statements made by an incoming ambassador of the US to the region and a high ranking military official of the US indicated that the US intended establishing military bases in Sri Lanka, leader of the LSSP Prof. Tissa Vitharana said. “The senior military official in charge of South East Asia and the ambassador have publicly said that they intend on including Sri Lanka in its security ring in this part of the region. more..

New-look Sri Lanka aim to unearth rough diamonds

July 29 (CI) Sri Lanka have more-or-less been the top-ranked T20 side in the world since September 2012, but no one will argue that it means much. T20 is the format most international sides forget about for 18 months in each two-year cycle. Sri Lanka are a full 13 rankings points clear of the next-best side, but have played only one T20I in the 16 months since winning the World T20. But now, with the next World T20 in India on the horizon, sides are again dusting their T20 kits more..

People might hoot at me: Samarasinghe

July 29 (DM) Former SLFP MP Mahinda Samarasinghe said he would not take part in the rally to be held in Kalutara on August 3, as he had information that several individuals were planning to hoot at him. Former President Rajapaksa is also slated to take part at the rally. State minister Samarasinghe addressing media personnel today said he had received two letters by post and information from the organisers that if he was to ever be on stage at the meeting he would be hooted at. more..

UNP rejects a federal solution for Tamil issue

July 29 (CG) The UNP today rejected a proposed Federal solution to address issues faced by the Tamils and reiterated that it stands for a united Sri Lanka. Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said that the UNP will not allow a situation to arise where the Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims are unable to live in unity in one country. The TNA had, in its election manifesto released this week, proposed that power sharing arrangements continue to be established more..

Strike at the Colombo National Hospital today

July 29 (AD) The paramedic staff at the Colombo National Hospitals on Wednesday resorted to a strike action in protest over several demands. Joint Convener of the Joint Council of Nursing, Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM) and Paramedics, Saman Jayasekara, said that the strike was launched as the authorities failed to address their issues though they held several rounds of discussions. He added that the union will commence an island wide strike if the Ministry more..

Live tortoises seized at BIA

July 29 (DM) Officials of the Sri Lanka Customs have nabbed 488 live tortoises worth Rs.405,879 at the BIA last night, Customs Spokesman Leslie Gamini said. “The live tortoises were packed in seven packages and were declared as crabs. There were 207 star tortoises, 169 rock tortoises and other unidentified rare species of tortoises and several live crabs,” he said. “The live tortoises and crabs weighing 200 kilograms were to be exported to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by more..

Mastermind of SL team attack in Lahore killed

July 29 (ABC) Pakistani police have killed the leader of the banned sectarian militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), his two sons and 11 others during a shootout that ensued after an attempted prison break. Malik Ishaq was on a US list of global terrorists, and the group he founded has claimed responsibility for the deaths of hundreds of civilians, most of them minority Shiite Muslims. He had been arrested again on July 25, under a Maintenance of Public Order act, more..

Video: Nalaka Thero reveals Champika’s alleged plan

July 29 (AD) In a bid to fulfill the demands of the TNA, a pact has been signed between the UNP and Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero, Convener of the National Joint Committee, Gunadasa Amarasekara said. The observation was made at a press conference held in Colombo on Wednesday. “The UNP did not directly sign an agreement with the TNA, instead it signed a pact with the Sobitha Thero. Former Minister Champika Ranawaka and Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero, who were severe critics of more..

Sri Lankan shares close at 5-mth high; turnover hits 2-1/2 mth peak

July 29 (Reuters) Shares gained more than 0.7% in high turnover on Wednesday, closing at their five-month peak, as expectations of strong corporate earnings and political stability after the Aug. 17 parliamentary polls lifted investor sentiment. Turnover rose to 3.65 billion rupees, its highest since May 14 and well above this year's daily average of 1.09 billion rupees, on block deals. The main stock index ended firmer 0.73%, or 52.90 points, at 7,313.97, its highest since Feb. 26. more..

SL begin grooming process for 2019 World Cup

July 29 (CI) Sri Lanka will send a young team to participate in the Moin-Ud-Dowla Gold Cup cricket tournament in Hyderabad from September 1 to 15. The tour will be part of Sri Lanka's preparations to have a strong team ready for the next World Cup, which will be held in England in 2019. "The need to bring in young blood into the side nobody is going to deny that it is a must," Kapila Wijegunawardene, the SLC's chief selector, said. more..

Mobile technology empowers women in Sri Lanka

July 29 (SOS) SOS Children is empowering women in Sri Lanka through mobile technology. The programme aims to teach women who are a part of the SOS Family Strengthening Programmes about child protection. The programme, Mobile for Development, started as a pilot project in 2013 in partnership with MobilTrain, an India-based mobile company that provides training and courses via mobile phones. Mobile for Development is currently running in two locations in Sri Lanka – more..

Sri Lanka-Pakistan 1st T20I a sell out

July 29 (NS) Sri Lanka Cricket in a media release states that tickets for the first T20 International between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at the R Premadasa Stadium on July 30 has been sold out. “Security checks will be strictly enforced and fans are requested to arrive early at the stadium to facilitate the smooth entry into the grounds,” the release states. Sri Lanka, the current T20 World Cup champions head the ICC T20 rankings with 135 rating points. more..

UPFA will undo UNP damages: Susil

July 29 (DM) In the first six months of a UPFA govt that was to be formed in the event of winning the August 17 poll, the Parliament would be turned into a Constitutional Assembly to introduce a new Constitution and electoral reforms, General Secretary of the UPFA Susil Premajayantha said. Premajayantha, who is contesting from the Colombo District, told the media at the SLFP head office that all unfair acts, layoffs, transfers and other punishments, more..

Customs: Three containers of whiskey seized

July 29 (DM) Three containers with a large number of liquor bottles and cigarettes valued at about Rs. 24 million imported from India and Dubai had been seized today, Customs Spokesman Leslie Gamini said. One 20-foot container arrived in Colombo by vessel Meratus Kalabahi on May 11 and it had been imported by a private company. “The container was seized by the Customs Revenue Task Force Division at the Rank Container Terminal (RCT) in Orugodawatta,” Gamini said. more..

Sobitha Thera supports to UNFGG on conditions

July 29 (DM) The civil organizations including the Movement for Just Society led by Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera said they had decided to support the United National Front for Just Society (UNFGG) under conditions including the appointment of Venerable Sobitha Thera as the Chairman of the Constitutional Assembly which the party had pledged to set up in its manifesto. The civil leaders and the Venerable Thera said that they would oppose the UNFGG if it failed to fulfil more..

SL seeks international assistance to fight kidney disease

July 29 (DM) Sri Lanka today sought assistance from friendly countries to combat kidney disease and save members of the farming community that was most affected by the disease. President Maithripala Sirisena, who met foreign diplomats at the Presidential Secretariat last morning, emphasised that about 40, 000 people were suffering from kidney disease and that hundred persons die every year in many areas of the country as a result. more..

Can Mahinda Rajapaksa become the PM?

July 30 (CT) Though the possibility of the UPFA wining a majority of seats at the forthcoming Parliamentary election is remote, the question as to whether Mahinda Rajapaksa can become the PM in such a situation is being debated. Article 42(4) of the constitution as amended by the 19th amendment clearly sets out that the President shall appoint as PM the Member of Parliament, who in the President’s opinion is most likely to command the confidence of Parliament. more..

Ruminations after Colombo Pride

July 30 (GV) Exactly a month ago from today, the US Supreme Court’s holding, in Obergefell v. Hodges, seemed to give cause for celebration to many individuals, most of whom expressed solidarity through their profile picture on Facebook. Newsfeeds were abuzz with reports of how gay marriage had been legalised in America. However, the actual holding, in fact, amounted to an affirmation of two, far less controversial propositions of law regarding liberty and equality. more..

What about the children?

July 30 (SO) Although children comprise one- third of the population in the country, the govt invests less than 10 percent of the annual national expenditure for children and over 15,000 children still live in institutions. According to statistics the low birth weight is 16.6% and stands at 31% in the estate sector. In 2012, 9382 child abuse cases had been reported, comparatively twice the number of cases reported in 2011, which was 4445. more..

Will Maithri make Mahinda PM?

July 30 (CT) This is guessing time in the SLFP. All keep their fingers crossed. Some look up the sky wondering while others seem to be at crossroads. Their guess is; who would be the next PM in case the SLFP/UPFA wins. Many voices are heard within these two entities. Who decides? Who is the final authority? A glance to the past would provide the answer. President Maithripala Sirisena should appoint the Prime Minister who commands the majority in Parliament. more..

Politics like Colomba Sanniya

July 30 (CT) Actresses have become a political commodity for political parties that market them. These beautiful women offer themselves to politics with hopes based on their popularity on the mega and mini screen. Some of them are professionals and others are only pretty girls. The pretty girls do not really know what acting is. With a series of tele-dramas being produced in the country it had made way for a large number of pretty girls to enter the profession of acting. more..

Doctor vs Drug Mafia?

July 30 (CT) Chairman of the National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB), Dr. Nilanga Samarasinghe will be provided with an STF security contingent on the orders of President. CT obtained the views of Secretary to the Ministry of Law and Peace, K.B.Thennakoon, District Secretary, Gampaha, Sunil Jayalath and Dr. Chamira Nilanga Samarasinghe. K.B. Thennakoon, Secretary to the Ministry of Law and Peace. more..