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PIA confirms talks with SL for four A330s

July 24 (GT) PIA, Pakistan’s national air carrier, is in talks with Sri Lanka to take four wide-bodied planes (A330s) on rent, which it will use for its premium flights to London that PIA intends to start from August 14, officials said. In addition to the planes, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will also get the services of its accompanying crew. After plans for the UK route were approved by its board of directors, PIA management has been busy preparing for the flights. more..

973 female IRCs in the country

July 24 (CT) The total number of Island Reconvicted Criminals (IRC) who have been registered has increased to 43,929. Of that number 973 are females, these sources said. According to Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) sources the number of IRC members had been recorded by it as of 30 June this year. CCD sources said that the total number of criminals in the country who have been recorded by them stand at over 350,000 and of that number 22,937 are women. CCD sources said that more..

Ministry passes buck on coal tender to Cabinet

July 24 (ST) Power and Energy Ministry will ask Cabinet to decide whether to cancel a controversial multibillion rupee coal tender and face a substantial compensation claim, or to continue with a contract which was awarded in a manner that the Supreme Court said had shocked its conscience. Secretary B.M.S. Batagoda said he would put the relevant paper to the Cabinet this week. He said AG’s Department, too, more..

Former banker Ranjit Fernando resigns as UDA chairman

July 24 (ST) Former banker Ranjit Fernando, a close associate of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, has resigned from the post of chairman of the Urban Development Authority (UDA) with the reasons for the resignation unknown, official sources said on Wednesday. Dr. Jagath Munasinghe assumed duties as acting chairman last week, a senior official revealed. Mr. Fernando is currently overseas and is expected to return to Colombo shortly, the official said. more..

COPE gives one month to file full report on Cricket Aid

July 24 (ST) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials and the Secretary to the Ministry of Sports have been asked to hand over a full report to the COPE regarding Cricket Aid, an ad hoc body that had been set up under the SLC to collect and disburse funds for social welfare projects. The directive from COPE came on Tuesday when officials of the SLC, Sports Ministry Secretary were summoned before the Committee to answer to a query raised by AG regarding the legitimacy of Cricket Aid. more..

UNP-SLFP marriage of convenience: Temporary licence to be solemnised for 5 yrs

July 24 (ST) It was a significant week for the 19 month old UNF Govt. Its two main partners – UNP and SLFP – declared that instead of the previously agreed two years, they would continue together for the full duration of their term of office. That is until the next presidential election in January 2020 and the parliamentary elections in August 2020. In what was clearly a synchronised exercise, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told more..

July and its cruelties

July 24 (Island) It was not Sri Lanka that I was thinking of last week when I alluded to the months of April and July vying for mention in a universal cruelty context. But news after that from the Jaffna University that a gang of Tamil university students and outside thugs beat up on the Sinhalese students on campus, came as a rude reminder of the cruelties that July has come to be associated with in Sri Lanka. July 1983 has become a huge blot of blood in our history. more..

Giving Sanity a Chance

July 24 (Island) Racism is not the birthright of any one race. It is a mental virus which can affect every ethnic community. The clash over a dance item in the Jaffna University was not a Tiger conspiracy or even a sign of Tiger resurgence, let alone the first salvo of another war. But it is equally specious to insist that racism had no hand in the affair. Racism was an ingredient, though not the only one, of the motley cocktail which made that deplorable incident possible. more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

July 24 (ST) Govt has strictly regulated the process for the issue of diplomatic passports after the previous administration issued a large volume of these travel documents to those who were not entitled to them. Now, applications for such passports will be scrutinised by a committee headed by the Secretary to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Others in the committee will include the Secretary to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, more..

‘They are more on their mobile phones than visiting work sites’

July 24 (Island) Planters are now more on their mobile phones instructing their support staff on their allocated tasks, rather than visiting work sites. These trends are quite contrary to what was traditionally the norm for planters, who dedicated their lives to tending their fields ensuring they produced the best Ceylon Tea, a respected product which commanded brand respect internationally, Minister Naveen Dissanayake more..

Flat all-island rate of land compensation mooted

July 24 (CT) Residents whose properties were alienated for the Moragahakanda-Kaluganga Project under the Mahaweli Development Programme complain that they have not been given adequate compensation. They staged a protest demonstration last Thursday and Friday blocking traffic on the Dambulla-Mahiyangana road demanding compensation based on current market values. President is to attend a ceremony at more..

Sri Lankan exporters want govt coalition partners to have common policy

July 24 (EN) Sri Lanka’s top export business chamber has called for govt coalition partners to agree on a common agenda, saying policy inconsistencies and duplication of effort were a drag on growth as competitor nations pulled ahead. Fazal Mushin, chairperson of the Exporters’ Association of SL, said the business community understands that the govt has been hard-pressed to carry on business as usual in the midst of the many challenges more..

A search for answers after Jaffna Uni clash

July 24 (SL) A traditional cultural event to welcome first year students at the Science Faculty of the Jaffna University turned violent last weekend threatening to destabilize the reconciliation process and raise suspicions of a hidden motive on the eve of Black July. The clash took place between Sinhalese and Tamil students of the university after a traditional Kandyan dance ceremony was staged to welcome the students. more..

Miracle caesarean at A’Pura Hospital

July 24 (CT) Uterus malformations or abnormalities are positive factors which contribute to fatal conceptions, miscarriages and in extreme cases lead to life-threatening gynaecological surgery. Any gynaecologist will tell you that if timely medical attention is not available or delayed it could lead to a definite prenatal fatality. Uterine abnormalities or freak malformations are estimated to occur in 0.1% to 3% of women. more..

Cocaine haul: Customs has only two scanners working

July 24 (SO) Only two scanners of the four meant for container examinations at the Customs Yard were in working condition, while the Customs requires six such scanners to carry out functions smoothly. However, the Authorities were in the process of buying four new machines. Meanwhile, the Customs Authorities were now gearing up to examine thirty more containers after the Police Narcotics Bureau seized more..

Indian fishermen warned to avoid Diego Garcia waters; but not Sri Lanka

July 24 (ST) Fishermen in the Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu launched an indefinite strike from Friday in protest against the arrest of fishermen and impounding of their trawlers by the SL Navy. According to Sesu Raja, leader of one of the fishermens’ associations, 77 TN fishermen and more than 100 boats are in the custody of SL authorities. About 850 trawlers have been anchored at Rameswaram fishing jetty. more..

Defence Officials evaluate progress in released lands

July 24 (MoD) With the express purpose of evaluating the status quo of the Army-released civilian lands in Jaffna and the ongoing house construction projects of the Army for resettlement, a high-level delegation of state officials, including Karunasena Hettiarachchi, Secretary of Defence, together with Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva, Commander of the Army arrived in Jaffna Yesterday. more..

Emirates Airlines apologises to Speaker, hospital says it’s a bug not a heart ailment

July 24 (ST) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has lodged a formal complaint with the UAE Ambassador in Colombo, expressing his displeasure at being offloaded from an Emirates Airlines flight from Colombo to Singapore minutes before the flight took off. A close family member said that soon after the complaint, the UAE Ambassador had called senior Emirates Airlines officials and asked them to apologise more..

Pygmy confronts a Giant on the SAITM crisis

July 24 (Island) At one point in your insightful editorial titled Terror in Nice in The Sunday Island of 17 July, you felt impelled to remark that the relevant countries should unite in a concerted bid against global terror, instead of quibbling about who did what, when. I respectfully submit that in my trade (medicine) to deal purposefully and effectively with a case of a critically ill patient treated by one or more doctors, it is vitally important to ascertain precisely who did what and when; more..

President Sirisena: A curate’s egg

July 24 (Island) Before taking up my subject for the day I wish to make an urgent comment about last weekend’s news from Turkey; a failed coup attempt by mid-ranking officers who were unable to establish a chain of command. The top brass of the army seems not to have been involved in the botched adventure of a fraction of the military. Erdogan was lucky; he was able to bring tens of thousands onto the streets. Let this be a lesson to Sri Lanka’s President and PM that more..

PM slams media for backing MR

Police express dissatisfaction at sudden transfer scheme

July 24 (DN) Police officers have expressed dissatisfaction at the Police Department’s sudden decision to transfer all police officers having completed six years’ service in a one province, to another province, with immediate effect. Police sources said police officers believed that the Department should implement a transfer process upon request, rather than make recommendations to transfer all officers arbitrarily. Sources said that police officers’ job satisfaction would suffer, more..

The Singarasa Case: A brief comment

July 24 (Island) The recent judgement of the Supreme Court seeking to invalidate Sri Lanka’s accession to the Optional Protocol to the ICCPR has led to questions as to how this judgement came to be given. Yes, there was a case and as Senior Counsel I would like to explain the circumstances in which it came before the Supreme Court. An application was made to the Supreme Court in 2005 for the exercise of the Court’s inherent power of revision of a conviction and sentence in 1995. more..

A charred massacre

July 24 (CT) Black July also known as Kalu Juliya is the common name used to refer to the anti-Tamil pogrom and riots in SL in July 1983. The riots began as a response to a deadly ambush on 23 July 1983 by the LTTE, a Tamil militant group that killed 13 Sri Lankan soldiers. Yesterday was the 33rd anniversary of the pogrom which paved the way for a three decade civil strife in SL. 33 years ago on the night of 23 July, more..

Lankan judges on India study

July 24 (ENS) To strengthen international relations, Indian Judges are going to share their experiences with the Judges of the neighbouring countries and telling them how India is dealing with the huge backlog of pending cases. National Judicial Academy is organising 5-day training programme for judicial officers from Sri Lanka in Bhopal from Aug 20 to Aug 24. This is the first conference of the more schedule this year later. Programme will be under the guidance of Chief Justice of India more..

Kiriella falls flat on his face

July 24 (Island) The backfiring of Minister Lakshman Kiriella’s carpe diem (make most of the present with little thought for the future) strategy of denying the allegation that he had recruited a Buddhist monk as consultant to a road development project took centre stage in Parliament last week. The experienced minister who is also the Leader of the House and a seasoned politician could not paper the expose with simple denials; he failed miserably against young JVP MP Dr Nalinda Jayatissa who more..

India informally protests to Sri Lanka about Pakistani demo on Kashmir

July 24 (ENS) India has unofficially told SL govt that it is concerned about the Pakistan High Commission-organized anti-Indian demonstration on Kashmir held here on July 21. About 20 people, including members of the Pakistan-embassy sponsored Kashmir Study Forum, demonstrated before the UN office on Bauddhaloka Mawatha, holding placards asking the UN Secretary General and the UNHRC to take up with India more..

Yahapalanaya: A fatherly love that bends tender procedure

July 24 (DM) Charges of nepotism among other forms of corruption against political bigwigs of the previous regime raised much hullabaloo in the country at that time. And the people who set much store by the promise of a yahapalanaya voted the present administration into power. However, stories are galore that rank corruption continues under the yahapalanaya administration as well. One such story says that contracts for a number of govt projects coming under the purview of more..

Relocating our beggars

July 24 (ST) Begging and beggars are synonymous on Colombo’s streets. Daily hundreds of beggars flock to Colombo, begging inside buses and trains, loitering at traffic lights, state buildings and religious places. These people are a nuisance to the public, though it must be acknowledged that many of them are homeless and have few options other than begging to keep body and soul together. Govt plans to halt begging and ensure the beggar population is taken off the streets. more..

Australia's happy hunting ground

July 24 (CI) Why do Australia, so often poor in Asia, never seem to lose in Sri Lanka? Here are four possible reasons. Either side of the disastrous Australian tour of India in 2013, much comment passed within and outside the team about the lack of experience contained in the first touring squad chosen after the retirements of Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey. Among the points raised by certain Cricket Australia figures by way of more..

Funeral of veteran politician, diplomat, lawyer Mangala Moonesinghe today

July 24 (ST) Mangala Moonesinghe, veteran politician, diplomat and lawyer, passed away on Friday. He was 84. Educated at Royal College, Colombo, Mr. Moonesinghe qualified as a Barrister in the UK and practised law in Sri Lanka on his return. He won an Eisenhower Fellowship to USA and studied Space Law at Western State University, California. Taking to politics thereafter, he was a LSSP originally and became MP for Bulathsinghala seat in the then House of Representatives more..

Prof Uyangoda, Dr. Dewasiri axed from National Education Institute

July 24 (AM) Professor Jayadewa Uyangoda and Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri have been removed from the administrative body of the National Education Institute. Secretary of the Institute had informed the two academics that they had been removed with immediate effect. According to the letter written by Secretary, decision has been made following instructions given by the minister. Letter does not explain as to why the two academics have been removed from National Education Institute. more..

Video: JVP will never form a govt: Bandula

July 24 (DM) Colombo District MP Bandula Gunawardene said the JVP, would never realise its dream of forming a govt in 2020. Addressing a meeting, he pointed out that the people still remembered who created a season of terror by entering the houses by force at the dead of night and taking away the identity cards by force, by setting fire to public property and even by killing people in cold blood. more..

CBK tells SB not to get MR involved

July 24 (SL) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has told Minister S.B. Dissanayake not to get former President Rajapaksa involved in any activities of SLFP. Dissanayake, the SLFP General Secretary, had received the advice when he visited Hambantota last week, sources said. SLFP General Secretary was in Hambantota and Anuradhapura last week on work related to the SLFP when he received the call. Social Services Ministry officials and SLFP members more..

Warner stresses patient approach

July 24 (CI) David Warner, patient? In Sri Lanka, he knows he needs to be. Almost two years since his last Test hundred overseas, Warner is emphasising long innings and strike rotation as the keys to Australia's success in Sri Lanka, and also in India next year. Not since a century in the first Test against Pakistan in Dubai in October 2014 has Warner topped three figures away from home ports, scoring minimally in the West Indies last year and then squandering plenty of starts more..

Iran to seal oil sale deal with Sri Lanka

July 24 (MNA) Iranian and Sri Lankan oil ministers have begun a fresh round of oil talks over signing the first oil sale contract in the post-sanction era. With the passage of seven months since sanctions removals and Iran’s entrance to post-sanction period, a new round of oil talks between Iran and Sri Lanka kicked off today in Tehran at presence of Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh as well as the SL Minister of more..

Jana Satana march gathers momentum

July 24 (CT) The date was 12 March 1930. Hundreds of print and reel journalists from not only India but also from Europe and America had gathered around Sabarmati Ashrama. They were waiting for news which may change the world history. Mahatma Gandhi announced several weeks ago that he would commence a march with the intention of sacrificing his life. There was another reason to attract world attention to the march. This was the first mass action organized by more..

2 Japanese naval ships at Port of Colombo

July 24 (SLN) Two Japanese naval ships, JMSDF Inazuma and JMSDF Suzutsuki, arrived at the Port of Colombo on a goodwill and replenishment visit today. They were welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions on arrival. Prior to their departure on 25th July, the visiting Japanese ships are due to conduct a Passage Exercise with SLN craft with a view to sharing professional expertise and strengthening camaraderie between the two friendly navies. more..

BIA flight rescheduling talks next week

July 24 (ST) Sri Lanka’s aviation authorities are scheduled to meet with airlines and other stakeholders next week to discuss how one-third of the flights of a daily schedule, could be accommodated during the 3-month disruption next year at the BIA. Airport & Aviation Services Ltd. Executive Director Johanne Jayaratna said, this meeting will discuss issues including rescheduling of flights operating during the daytime, to be more..

Video: Three hacked to death in Batticaloa

July 24 (DM) Batticaloa police have launched an investigation in connection with the suspicious deaths of three people from the same family, police said. The inquest was launched following the discovery of remains of a woman, her child and her father in Velavali area this morning (24). The woman and the child were found dead near an abandoned well while her father was found with stab wounds near their house. Man was pronounced dead upon his admission to the Batticaloa hospital. more..