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TN fisherfolk demand immediate release of men and their boats

July 7 (Hindu) Country boat fishermen and family members of six fishermen who were recently arrested by the SL navy on charges of poaching in their country’s waters, staged a demonstration here on Wednesday. They entered into the sea in protest against the arrests and demanded the release of the men with their vallams (country boats). Led by Country Boat Fishermen Association president S.P. Royappan, more than 200 fisherfolk entered into the south sea and demanded more..

Repair work completed: Will take more time to fully restore water supply: NWSDB

July 7 (DM) The repair work, on the pipeline carrying water to Colombo and the suburbs, was completed by 5 p.m. today and the supply of water from the Ambatale Water Treatment Plant has resumed, Ambatale Water Treatment Plant Operations Manager Piyal Rajapaksa said. However, a spokesman for National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) said it would take some time to fill the water tanks and the water supply would come to normal only by tomorrow morning (7). more..

India offers to link its growth with Sri Lanka

July 7 (IANS) In what can be called symbolic of its neighbourhood first policy, India has offered to link its growth story with southern neighbour Sri Lanka. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said this during a meeting with SL Minister Malik Samarawickrama during his visit to New Delhi on July 4-5, it is reliably learnt. Discussions between Sushma Swaraj and Samarawickrama focussed on the neighbourhood first policy of India. more..

Bathiudeen & Musthapha to lead committee

July 7 (CT) A committee has been appointed to resettle over 22,000 Muslim and Sinhala families in the North and to find solutions for issues they might face, Minister Gayantha Karunathilake said. "A large number of people have been displaced in Sri Lanka since 1980. Thus, apart from Tamils who lives in the North, a significant number of Muslim and Sinhala families were displaced. While some of them tried to return to their homes after the war, but they could not be properly resettled more..

'Hidden hand misleading Jaffna students'

July 7 (CT) Minister of State for Education V. Rathakrishnan pointed out that a hidden hand was in operation to spoil the students of Jaffna and encourage them to take to all sorts of nefarious activities. He was the Chief Guest at the Tamil Day, held at the Jaffna Hindu College, on Monday. He announced that it was for the first time a large sum of Rs 7,000 million has been allocated to the Education sector of the Northern Provincial Council by the Central Govt. more..

Hostile Tamil Diaspora activists invited again

July 7 (Island) Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has invited Tamil Diaspora activists, including those still promoting a separatist agenda to visit Sri Lanka. He has extended the invitation on behalf of the govt of Sri Lanka during a meeting with expatriate Tamils on the sidelines of 32 session of the Geneva-based UNHRC. Addressing the media, Minister explained the dialogue he had with Diaspora representatives. more..

Citizens awake, join the war on Dengue

July 7 (DM) Since the detection of the first dengue case in 1962, this deadly mosquito-borne disease has spread rapidly in SL and is reaching epidemic proportions this year with 27,731 cases reported up to the end of June 30. The number of cases last year was 21,500. In 2014 it was 46,584, the highest annual figure so far, but public health experts say this year is likely to be the worst unless effective counteraction is taken immediately. Dengue crisis became worse after the major floods more..

Surely, People Deserve a Better Deal

July 7 (DM) Sri Lanka has just started recovering from one the worst catastrophes of this century, the recent devastating deluge, that witnessed many areas including Colombo and the suburbs submerging under gushing flood waters, with some hilly areas burying under huge masses of soil rolling down the hilltops occurring at a time when people are already besieged and plagued by a whole gamut of woes and issues. The calamity no doubt has added more and more miseries worsening more..

'We are committed to reform the Prison system'

July 7 (DM) Minister of Prison Reforms, D.M. Swaminathan called for an urgent status report on the of 992 prisoners condemned to death and to the provisions regarding the accessibility of media to prisons. Currently the 992 persons condemned to death are provided only an hour of sunlight each day, divided into the two halves a day. Six inmates are housed in each cell, whereas it is designed to house a single prisoner. more..

President asserts his mutual understanding with PM

July 7 (DM) A public perception emerged on whether the issue involving the Central Bank bond scam which created a wedge between President and PM posing a threat to the stability of the national unity govt. Critical remarks against the govt by a few of its own members gave credence to such belief among politically savvy people. However, it appeared to be not so as President Sirisena, in his Monday’s address more..

Lalkantha wants govt. defeated, but not to bring back Rajapaksa clique

July 7 (DN) “The UNP-SLFP coalition govt should be defeated. But, the Rajapaksa clique should not be allowed to gain power again. A certain clique had a desire to bring the Rajapaksa cabal back to power. That should not be allowed at any cost. What we should do is to set up a people oriented administration” , said JVP Politburo Member K.D. Lalkantha. Addressing a seminar held at Goluwamulla Elpitiya Lalkantha said more..

A word in SC judgment adds confusion to the contentious coal saga

July 7 (ST) Power and Energy Ministry will seek the AG’s opinion on how to interpret a Supreme Court judgment calling for the cancellation of a controversial multibillion rupee coal tender. “I have advised the Secretary to the Ministry to forward the judgment to the AG next week for advice,” Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said. In last week’s ruling, Chief Justice K. Sripavan held that some events which took place in the award of more..

Why is prison riot report under lockdown?

July 7 (SL) The criminals behind the 2012 Welikada shooting where 27 inmates were killed and many others wounded, are yet to be brought to book despite investigators having unravelled the true facts with regard to the incident. The report of the investigation into the riot conducted by an independent committee is yet to be made public due to unknown reasons. Even though a part of the report was published after objections more..

Sri Lanka dropped 20 catches

July 7 (CT) Simon Wills, High Performance Manager of SLC updated on the work he has been performing for the past month following his appointment where he pointed out the purpose of his work is to provide oversupply of players to the SL Senior Teams capable of winning matches. Commenting on the recent performances of the Sri Lanka Cricket Team during the England tour, he said that SL dropped 20 catches, more..

Govt to maintain a pool of 35 elephants for cultural activities

July 7 (Island) The govt will set up a pool of elephants to provide them for cultural activities including peraheras to overcome the shortage of tamed elephants for such activities. Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said the Cabinet approval had been obtained to keep the elephants under the Department of National Zoological Gardens. According to the Cabinet paper presented by the minister Gamini Jayawickrema Perera a more..

Govt promises to reduce VAT to single digit after obtaining ADB, WB loans

July 7 (Island) The govt is planning to reduce VAT to a single digit soon after obtaining some loans from the Asian Development Bank and World Bank in a few months’ time. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the present govt had to pay 96% of state revenue to clear loans obtained by the previous govt. He alleged that Rajapaksa govt had obtained loans from various sources and the actual amount had been worked out only recently. more..

One in six Sri Lankans suffer from chronic illness, Diabetes high in services

July 7 (LBO) A new survey has found that 18% of SL’s population, or nearly one in six persons, have reported some chronic illness or an illness that persist for long time periods. This survey has considered diabetes, high blood pressure, heart diseases, stroke, cancer, asthma, mental illness, arthritis, epilepsy and other illnesses as chronic illnesses. This appears to be the first countrywide survey of self-reported health status more..

Joint Opposition appoints Shadow Cabinet with MR as PM

July 7 (DN) The Joint Opposition announced its Shadow Cabinet during a meeting in Parliament today. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was appointed PM and given the portfolio of Buddha Sasana and Defence as well. Some of the other appointments to the Shadow Cabinet were: Education: Dullas Alahapperuma; Finance: Bandula Gunawardana; Foreign Affairs: Namal Rajapaksa; more..

'AG's report on Treasury bond issue flawed'

July 7 (DN) Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella in Parliament said that the Auditor General’s report on the Treasury bond issue is flawed. The AG late last month (29) handed over a 1,251 page report on its investigation on the dealings of the Central Bank during the period February 2015 and May 2016. A summarised report was handed over to the COPE, who is expected to meet with the newly appointed Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy and other officials from the Central Bank today. more..

Palitha Thewapperuma is (Not) our hero

July 7 (CT) Not too long ago, a man called (Dr) Mervyn Silva roamed the country. He spiced things up. He was always in the news. The media loved him. They caricatured him. Whatever he did, however much he disregarded basic norms of decency and good conduct, he was indulged. Thankfully that was then and now we don’t (care to) hear about the man’s antics. Times have changed. What was new then is old now. Naturally, one can add. On the other hand though, when more..

Sri Lanka will always be Sri Lanka

Hemantha takes up web attacks on judiciary with BASL

July 7 (Island) President’s Counsel Hemantha Warnakulasuriya has taken up what he describes as unfair attacks on members of the judiciary, especially by the Demonic Fiendish web Mafia with President of Bar Association Geoffry Alagaratnam, PC. Warnakulasuriya has also found fault with BASL for accepting those canards as gospel and writing to Chief Justice asking for action against those victimsed judges without bothering to carry out even a cursory check on the allegation. more..

Development disasters: Learn from the Uma Oya debacle

July 7 (CT) Among the numerous dastardly development projects that ended up harming the public more than benefitting them, Uma Oya hydropower plant project ranks above the rest due to its notoriously ill gains. Rs 76, 316 million Multipurpose Development Project, which commenced in early 2009, was expected to transfer water from Uma Oya and Mahatotila Oya to Handapanagala and Lunugamwehera Reservoirs. Through these reservoirs, water was to be more..

The war crimes game: Pyrrhic victory that was Geneva and its aftermath

July 7 (CT) The oral update of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid, made on 28th June at the 32nd Session of the UNHRC carried no surprises for the reader who is familiar with how Sri Lanka has been treated by that office in the past. Both in substance and form it was little more than the fitful laments of the TNA or the pro-separatist elements of the Tamil diaspora. In fact, they could have very well dictated more..

No sign of dengue abating

July 7 (Island) The total number of dengue patients reported in the country from January to the beginning of July topped 21,000. 3,157 dengue patients had been recorded in June. There were 16,433 cases in the first half of last year. Over 36 dengue deaths have been reported till the beginning of July. About 1,754 cases had been reported from January to Wednesday (5) in CMC area while 1,490 cases were reported in the CMC area during the corresponding period last year. more..

Muzammil further remanded till July 13

July 7 (AM) NFF Spokeman Mohomad Muzammil was further remanded till July 13 by Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne over the alleged misuse of a Presidential Secretary vehicle. Muzammil's lawyers filed a written bail application on behalf of him today. It is expected to be considered on the next day of hearing. Muzammil is said to have misappropriated Rs 6.2 million as rent for a vehicle from State Engineering Corporation. Accordingly, he has been given a vehicle rented by more..

GL praises Missing Persons Commission Chairman

July 7 (Island) Former Minister G.L Peiris expressed appreciation of Chairman of Missing Persons Commission retired High Court Judge Maxwell Paranagama for his rejection of UNHR High Commissioner’s call for a fresh inquiry in respect of the use of cluster ammunition during the terrorist war in SL, for the simple reason it had not been banned during the war. He vehemently rejected the allegation against the country more..

Court grants bail to Thewarapperuma and others

July 7 (AD) Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma and twelve others including nine mothers who were arrested on charge of unlawful assembly have been released on bail. The suspects were released after being produced before the Matugama Magistrate this afternoon. Earlier police arrested the mothers of 9 students who were allegedly forcibly enrolled into the Grade One class of the Meegahatenna primary school. The arrested mothers were among the parents more..

Anura Senanayake, Sumith Perera further remanded

July 7 (AD) Colombo Additional Magistrate today rejected the bail applications submitted on behalf of former Senior DIG Anura Senanayake and former Crime OIC of the Narahenpita police Sumith Perera. They were further remanded after being produced before the court today. Senanayake was arrested by the CID on May 23, for concealing evidence pertaining to the murder of rugby player Wasim Thajudeen. He was questioned by the CID for several days before he was arrested. more..

Video: BBS demands action against Sally; challenges for an open debate

July 7 (DM) BBS Ven. Galagodaththe Gnanasara Thera challenged former CPC member Azath Sally for an open debate, instead of him issuing inflammatory statements. Ven. Thera said he was ready for an open debate anywhere in the country, or in Medina in Saudi Arabia. “Sally had threatened that he would blow himself up like a suicide bomber and kill me over a statement I made in Mahiyanganaya. more..

There is a clash of opinions within the Joint Opposition: Dilan

July 7 (AD) There is a clash of opinions about the appointment of the new CB Governor within the Joint Opposition, State Minister Dilan Perera asserts. The observation was made at a press conference held in Colombo this afternoon. He pointed out some members of the Joint Opposition back the decision though MPs Udaya Gammanpila and Wimal Weerawansa were against the new appointment. “There is a clash of opinions about the activities of Constitutional Council as well,” more..

Sri Lankan shares post over 1-wk closing high on foreign buying

July 7 (Reuters) Shares rose for a second straight session on Thursday and posted their highest close in more than one week, as foreign investors bought into banking and diversified stocks. Overseas investors, who have offloaded shares worth a net 5.81 billion rupees so far this year, bought equities worth a net 466.96 million rupees on Thursday. Turnover rose to the highest level since May 27, at 960.9 million rupees, well above this year's daily average of 733.8 million rupees. more..

PM hopeful of resolving fishing issue with India

July 7 (PTI) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe expressed hope that the fishermen issue with India would be resolved as talks were going on at different levels, even as more than 40 Indian fishermen have been arrested by SL Navy this month. Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake asked PM if moves were underway to allow fishing by Indian trawlers limited to a number of days per week or by a restricted zone in north eastern seas. more..

Video: Education officials more at fault than Thewarapperuma: JHU

July 7 (DM) JHU said Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma only mediated to mete out justice to the parents and children who were deprived of their right to education though his behaviour was unacceptable. JHU central committee member Ven. Hadigalle Wimalasara Thera said what was even more serious was the fact that education authorities had ignored the plight ofthe nine students who were without a school for six months. “As a responsible political party, we do not approve more..

'Don’t allow SAITM graduates become docs'

July 7 (CT) On justifiable grounds, the privatization of medical colleges should be immediately stopped and non-qualified graduates of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) in Malabe, should not be allowed to become doctors, Secretary of National Bhikkhu Front (NBF), Ven. Vakamulle Uditha Thera said. Thera also accused SAITM of being a market with purely commercial and money making motives and not for those who are truly talented in the field of medicine. more..

Chinese Foreign Minister in SL tomorrow

July 7 (DN) At the invitation of the Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will pay an official visit to Sri Lanka, Chinese Foreign Ministry announced. Foreign Minister Wang Yi will arrive tomorrow and leave on Sunday. He is expected to hold talks with President Sirisena, PM Wickremesinghe and his counterpart Minister Mangala Samaraweera. “Sri Lanka is a traditionally friendly neighbour of China, more..

Cabinet approval for compensations for more families in Salawa

July 7 (GDI) Cabinet approved a proposal made by Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa to settle the Rs.50, 000- payment for more houses in Salawa, destroyed by the Army Ammunition Dump explosion. The explosion damaged movable and immovable properties in 12 Grama Niladhari Divisions around the Salawa Army camp and currently, the families whose houses or business places were damaged are being paid by Rs. 50, 000 until they are resettled in their residences. more..

SC terminates FR proceedings in case against Port City

July 7 (DN) Supreme Court today terminated the proceedings of a case pertaining to a Fundamental Rights petition filed by the Ceylon Fisher-folk Trade Union, which sought an order to cease activities at the Colombo Port City Development Project. Chief Justice K. Sripavan and Justice K.T. Chitrasiri decided to terminate case proceedings, subject to recognition that the Petitioner may submit information on how the fishing community would be adversely affected due to sand extraction and more..

Sri Lanka up two notches in Networked Readiness Index 2016

July 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka has been ranked 63rd among 139 countries in the 2016 Networked Readiness Index (NRI) showing a marginal improvement on its previous 65th place rank in 2015. The island nation ranked 76th in 2014 and 69th in 2013 in the NRI. The index measures how economies use the opportunities offered by information and communications technologies for increased competitiveness and well-being. more..

Sri Lanka foreign reserves up after Brexit, USS 6.1bn now: Ravi K

July 7 (LBO) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake told Parliament Thursday that the country has seen an upward movement in foreign reserves after Brexit. He pointed out that the country now has reserves sufficient for 4 months of imports. “We can see that there is an advantage in Brexit to Sri Lanka,” Karunanayake said without giving details. “Foreign reserves have gone up by about US$ 250 million during these two weeks. Now the reserve position is at US$ 6.1 billion.” more..