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Aquarium fish exporters in reef clean-up

July 23 (EN) SL exporters of tropical fish plan to start a reef cleaning campaign to protect the habitat of their export product for which there is growing demand in world markets. Coral Reef Enrichment Program, an effort to protect the marine fish habitat in coral reef Ecosystems around the country’s coast, will start in Trinco on 17 Aug, said Sathyendra Wijayapura, head of the committee in charge of the clean-up. Ornamental fish exports earned $17 million in 2015, half from fish in inland waters more..

Paranagama Commission: NGOs behind disbanding?

July 23 (NS) Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints of Missing Persons observed that they had not been provided with a reason or reasons for the disbandment of the Commission and observed that such had been the agenda of certain NGOs which had prevailed at the UNHRC. Chairman of the Commission, Maxwell Paranagama also noted that their work had yet to be completed, more..

Agalawatte Plantations PLC employees oppose takeover by Browns Group

July 23 (CT) With Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announcing the withholding of sale proceeds of Agalawatte Plantations this week, employee representatives all six estates of Agalawatte Plantation say they will oppose the gaining of effective control by the buyer Browns Group till the SEC clears out the imbroglio. “Nearly all of Agalawatte Plantations PLC employees from all six estates belonging to the Company oppose the illegal takeover of Agalawatte Plantations more..

Malaysian firm starts work on $ 30 m lubricant manufacturing plant

July 23 (Bernama) The collaboration between Malaysia's Hyrax Oil and Sri Lanka's National Oil Company, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) testified the commitment and good relationship not only between the business communities of the two countries but also at govt to govt level, said Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. The Deputy Prime Minister said the initiative was also a testimony of Malaysia and Sri Lanka's strong and continuous stable bilateral relationship. more..

Singapore company to develop Trincomalee Port and Hinterland

July 23 (ENS) Trincomalee harbor, which is one of the best natural harbors in the world, will be turned into a modern one with a technologically advanced hinterland with the help of the Singapore company, Surbana Jurong, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Singapore. Surbana Jurong, with 40 years experience in infrastructure development, will prepare a Master Plan for Trincomalee harbor and its environs, more..

CID gets confessions from Sgt. Major

July 23 (CT) Startling new information has emerged from an examination of a cell phone that will weigh heavily in the case relating to the killing of former Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge. Sources said, startling evidence had been uncovered following a thorough examination of this cell phone belonging to a security officer , allegedly involved in the Wickrematunge killing, by officers of the CID and the TID. CID sources said they had examined five cell phones more..

Court extend remand of 49 TN fishermen

July 23 (PTI) Two courts in SL extended till August 3 the remand of 49 TN fishermen, arrested by the Lankan navy for allegedly fishing in their territorial waters. Rameswaram Fishermen's Association President P Sesuraja said the 49 fishermen were among the 77 fishers arrested in June and July by the island nation's authorities for allegedly fishing in their territorial waters. A court in Mannar, extended the judicial custody of 28 fishermen from Rameswaram till Aug 3, he said. more..

‘Certain politicians resorting to various gimmicks’

July 23 (DN) Those who fall sick when in remand become very healthy overnight to join protest walks, once they are granted bail, Minister Sagala Ratnayaka said. He was speaking in Parliament in response to a question raised by JVP MP Nalin Jayathissa during the round of questions for oral answers. MP said FCID was under Minister Sagala Rathnayaka. “When politicians are remanded they are admitted to Prisons Hospital more..

Body of Sri Lankan expat worker to be buried in Saudi

July 23 (DM) Consular Affairs Division of the Foreign Ministry said they had got approval from the family of Mohamed Shihabdeen (32), a Sri Lankan expatriate worker who was allegedly stabbed to death by his room-mate in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia a few days ago, to bury his body in Saudi according to Islamic religious traditions. Mr. Shihabdeen, a resident of Kekirawa, had been working as a glass cutter in a private firm in Yanbu. Victim’s body would be buried after police investigations more..

Govt to limit Tuk Tuk imports; introduce seat belts

July 23 (AD) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva says that a bill will be introduced to Parliament in the future to enforce laws with regard to fixing seat belts for the safety of three-wheeler passengers. Addressing an event held in Colombo today to unveil a new three-wheeler improved with safety features, he stated that this will be done with the safety of the public in mind. He also said that the import of three-wheelers, also popularly known as Tuk Tuks, to the country would have to be limited as more..

In Sri Lanka, former Marxist insurgents are the most active MPs

July 23 (ENS) A SL Marxist party, which had tried to overthrow bourgeois democracy twice in the last 45 years, is today wedded to the norms and practices associated with Westminster system, setting an example to parties which have traditionally laid claim to being democratic. JVP, which had staged two insurrections, one in 1971 and the other in 1989, and was banned twice, in 1971 & 1983, is today most active parliamentary more..

The health sector is sick

July 23 (DM) Minister Rajitha Senaratne, proudly boasting that he believes SL has one of the best health services in the region, on Thursday received a WHO certificate declaring SL as a filaria-free country. He says SL will also soon receive a WHO certificate declaring that we are a malaria free country. While these certificates are healthy signs, the dengue epidemic continues to rage though even the Armed Services have been deployed for the war against mosquito and dengue breeding sites. more..

US game plan in Sri Lanka Biswal, Malinowski playing Chinese chequers?

July 23 (DM) After yet another visit by two US Assistant Secretaries of State, Nisha Biswal and Tom Malinowski one cannot help noticing the proximity of the visit to that of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi just four days before. The most notable aspect of the US officials’ trip has been a change in tone (rather than substance) of their public remarks. While there has not been any turnaround from the professed concerns with human rights, reconciliation and accountability, more..

Dr. Death bleeding patients dry

July 23 (SL) Startling revelations have emerged on how a certain consultant at Sri J'pura General Hospital (SJGH) is making money from patients who come for neurosurgery, in addition to the professional charges. Allegations have been levelled at the consultant neurosurgeon for making money from patients who came for neurosurgeries over the past few years. Although this was brought to the notice of then Health Ministers more..

Sri Lanka tea meets SFDA specifications

July 23 (AN) Sri Lankan tea fulfils the specifications of the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA), a visiting island official, who was leading a delegation to the capital, said here. Hasitha De Alwis, director of international promotions at Sri Lanka Tea Board, said that the SFDA told the visiting delegation that Sri Lankan tea is of high quality and it meets the specifications of both the SFDA and the Gulf Standards Organization. more..

Jaffna Uni violence: What really happened

July 23 (DBS) Violence reared its ugly head again in Jaffna on Saturday July 16th when student groups fought each other within the Jaffna varsity precincts in Thirunelvaeli known generally as Thinnaivaeli. It was basically a confrontation between two undergraduate factions of the Univ of Jaffna. There was also an ethnic dimension to the incident as one of the clashing factions was Sinhala and the other Tamil. more..

Sri Lanka's rights situation improved but challenges remain:report

July 23 (PTI) SL's human rights situation continued to improve during the first half of this year with reconciliation efforts made by the administration but challenges still remain, according to a UK govt report. "Past 6 months have seen an improved environment for civil society and human rights defenders. Challenges remain particularly in the north and the east," British Foreign Office's Human Rights Priority Country report has said. more..

Dengue fight goes to waste, mosquito’s blood-meal exacts heavy toll

July 23 (ST) In the past three years alone, the dengue virus has claimed 594 lives including children, while public health and municipal authorities continue to fight a losing battle to contain the menace, which now has spread to the far reaches of the island. So far this year, 40 people have lost their lives and 23,000 have been infected. There is yet no WHO-prequalified vaccine for the viral illness, which can be potentially lethal. more..

Lasantha and Ekneligoda: Army Courts of Inquiry reports to CID soon

July 23 (Island) Army headquarters intends to submit comprehensive reports in respect of investigations into the alleged disappearance of various documents sought by the CID probing two high profile cases to courts and the law enforcement authorities. A senior military official told The Island yesterday that two courts of inquiry tasked with locating documents were in the process of making inquiries. more..

'Rs. 4,500 mn spent on Suriyawewa stadium which actually cost only Rs. 850 mn'

July 23 (Island) Minister Ravi Karunanayake told Parliament that the real value of Suriyawewa Cricket Stadium had been estimated at Rs. 852 mn by valuation officers though the previous govt claimed to have spent a staggering Rs. 4,500 mn on the project. he said that the govt had called for a fresh valuation as it felt the estimated amount was higher than the actual cost. The govt received fresh valuation last week. more..

Sri Lanka tax-payers in fresh Rs 11.7bn bailout of SriLankan Airlines

July 23 (EN) SriLankan tax payers have just paid out US$ 80 million (Rs. 11.7 billion) to bailout state carrier SriLankan Airlines which has been making losses since ex-President Rajapaksa reversed a privatization. US$ 80 million subsidy had just been given to cover oil and old bills Minister Kabir Hashim said. SL had just raised US$ 1.5 billion in int'l markets from a sovereign bond, which will have to be repaid by tax-payers. more..

No fraud charges against Amarapala: FCID informs ministry

July 23 (DM) The FCID has informed the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry that the Ministry’s former consultant Vidya Amarapala had no involvement in any financial fraud though his name was mentioned in the controversial Panama papers. Issuing a statement, the Ministry yesterday said the FCID had launched a probe into the allegations levelled against Mr. Amarapala, on a request made by more..

High drama in house over Geetha's remarks

July 23 (DM) Parliament sessions came alive with amusement when UPFA MP Geetha Kumarasinghe spoke during an adjournment debate last evening with the MP making some sarcastic remarks on the govt and the ruling party MPs heckling her. House became more noisy when some joint opposition MPs came to her defence when she was heckled by members from the govt benches. “I came to Parliament with a great expectation to more..

Is the Olympic Charter distorted?

July 23 (CT) It was in 1948 in London that Olympics commenced, since the last before WW2 in Munich, Germany in 1936. Since the Second World War had just come to a close, its losers Germany and Japan were not allowed to take part. The Russians too did not participate though they were invited. The Chinese were not yet ready as a nation to take part in the Olympics. It was in fact a the 1952 Olympiad that USSR and Peoples Republic of China made their first appearance at Olympic Games. more..

We need new remedies to old problems

July 23 (CT) We are today determined on investigations on human rights abuses. In effect, what he asserts is that the process did not deliver closure per se. He rightly points out that the work of the South African TRC in dealing with human rights abuse was a middle path that steered between an uncompromising insistence on prosecution and a defeatist acceptance of amnesty and impunity on the other. The text of the 93rd Birth Anniversary memorial oration of Late Leader of TULF more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

SL condemns deadly shooting in Munich

July 23 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka condemned the deadly shooting in the German city of Munich on Friday which left at least 9 people dead and 16 others injured. Foreign Ministry Spokespersonsaid that Sri Lanka extended its condolences to the families of the victims and wished a quick recovery to those injured. An 18-year-old German-Iranian who had lived in Munich for at least two years is alleged to be responsible for the attack after he opened fire in a busy shopping mall in Munich on Friday, more..

Pain-free Starc targets Angelo Mathews

July 23 (CI) Freed of ankle pain that halved the range of movement in his right foot, Mitchell Starc has forecast a concerted Australian attack on Sri Lanka's captain Angelo Mathews in the three-Test series that begins in Pallekele on Tuesday. Following a dispiriting tour of England and amid a surfeit of injuries to Sri Lanka's fast bowlers, Mathews is set to face a searching examination from the No. 1-ranked Australians, who have often worked diligently to undermine the authority more..

Douglas wants Elara's tomb traced, preserved

July 23 (Island) Opposition MP Douglas Devananda requested the govt to locate and preserve the tomb of King Elara. EPDP leader Devananda said in Parliament that misinterpretations of history had caused some people to believe that the Dutugemunu-Elara war had been a communal conflict whereas in reality it had been a battle for of the Anuradhapura Kingdom. "Some claim that it was a communal conflict more..

Judge orders indefinite remand

July 23 (CT) Colombo High Court (CHC) Judge Manilal Widyathilaka Thursday ordered the 3 Navy officers indicted on a charge of assassinating former MP Nadaraja Raviraj, and his security officer, to be further remanded indefinitely until conclusion of the case. The suspects Prasanna Chandana Kumara, Gamini Kumara and Pradeep Chaminda were indicted by the Attorney General (AG) who in addition filed charges against 4 other suspects, in the CHC, of conspiring in the killing more..

Students go berserk after new drug

July 23 (CT) Several students attending a leading school in Sewanagala are reported to have seriously lacerated their wrists with shards of glass while stoned on narcotics and alcohol. Inquiries made by the school's Principal have revealed that the boys had inhaled what is believed to be a new hallucinatory narcotic substance in the market. Following complaints lodged with the Sewanagala Police on 20 July, the students had been summoned to the Police station for questioning. more..

President laying siege on MR clan?

July 23 (CT) Mahinda Amaraweera, UPFA General Secretary and Minister, said that President was willing to give any appointment, including a ministerial portfolio, to MP Chamal Rajapaksa, if the latter joined the govt. Minister said, that he had been appointed as the head of the Hambantota District Development Committee as its former head Chamal Rajapaksa had not attended some recent meetings of the Committee. more..

Unregulated cosmetics still in the market

July 23 (NS) Consumer rights groups bemoaned that the lack of a regulatory authority with regard to cosmetics including skin creams and perfumes had resulted in major issues across the country, arising out of complications resulting from their use. National Movement for Consumer Rights Protection (NMCRP) highlighted that at present neither the Ministry of Health nor the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) were regulating such imports, adding that the CAA looked at solely the date of expiration. more..


July 23 (ST) Officers of Department of Wildlife Conservation’s (DWC) Hambantota recently uncovered a racket taking place within the precincts of forest reserves and jungles in the Mahaweli basin in the Hambantota district. Method used by poachers is to poison small waterholes and/or actually dig waterholes which they poison. Several suspects have already been arrested. Two suspects were apprehended by officers of the Hambantota DWC within a section of Mahaweli forest at more..

Vavuniya economic centre site tussle lands on district official’s desk

July 23 (ST) As northern politicos are at loggerheads over a venue for a proposed dedicated economic centre in Vavuniya, the cabinet directed the District Secretary last week to hold the District Coordination Committee meeting to decide whether Thandikulam or Omanthai should be selected. District Secretary of Vavuniya, M.B.R. Pushpakumara, said that he has been preparing for the meeting. “This issue has been dragging more..

Children of the Vavuniya, Madukanda National School met the President

July 23 (PSL) Children of the Vavuniya, Madukanda National School met President Maithripala Sirisena today (22) at the President’s House. These children met the President, accepting an invitation by him. During the President’s recent visit in Bogaswewa, Madukanda, Tharika Mihirangi, a student of the Madukanda National School made a request from the President to give an opportunity to make him knowledgeable about the defects of their school. Accordingly, President gave the opportunity more..

Mackwoods Chairman responds to SEC’s directive

July 23 (LBO) Chairman of Mackwoods Plantations, Dr Chrishantha Nonis, says the sale of 60.8 percent shares of Agalawatte Plantations PLC was carried out with due authorization and instructions being issued to the stock broker. On 14th of July, Browns Power Holdings (Private) Limited purchased 15,200,000 ordinary shares, or 60.3 percent, of Agalawatte Plantations PLC (AGAL.N.0000) on the Colombo Stock Exchange from Mackwood Plantations for 304 million rupees. more..

Three members of the family of Kiriella’s media secy. appointed RDA consultants: JVP

July 23 (Island) JVP MP Dr Nalinda Jayatissa accused Minister Lakshman Kiriella of misleading the House by providing false information regarding the number of consultants the latter had hired for the RDA. "When I asked for the number of consultants, minister said 45. Actually there are 56 consultants. Instead of correcting himself he accused me of lying to the House. I made a mistake when I said two members of the same family more..

Biggest ever cocaine haul: No arrests yet

July 23 (Island) Police Narcotic Bureau had not arrested anyone yet in connection with the biggest ever cocaine bust in Sri Lanka, a high ranking officer said. He said that they had recovered 274 parcels of cocaine weighing 301 kilos. "One kilo of cocaine has a street value of Rs. 15 million and the total street value of the narcotic would be over Rs. 4,500 million," PNB officer said. Cocaine had been smuggled into the country from Brazil via Portugal and the detection was made at more..

Sri Lanka A slump to third loss

July 23 (CI) A 139-run third-wicket stand between opener Jaahid Ali and captain Babar Azam set up a four-wicket win for Pakistan A over SL A in Northampton. The partnership, coming off 154 balls, helped Pakistan A ride a mini-collapse to win with 11 balls to spare. Sri Lanka A made brisk progress after opting to bat, largely thanks to Niroshan Dickwella's 31-ball 44 and Bhanuka Rajapaksa's 63-ball 56. But wickets fell at regular intervals - by the 34th over, Sri Lanka A had slipped to 173 for 6. more..