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Dehiwela Zoo: More stress on animals?

July 8 (DM) In a bid to provide visitors to the National Zoological Gardens in Dehiwala more time a decision was taken to extend its visiting hours, Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera recently said. Accordingly, the zoo will be open to the public from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. from September, while additional attractions will be established at the premises. While attending the 81 Anniversary of the National Zoological Gardens, more..

'Reforms an absolute necessity'

July 8 (NS) TNA has warned that the abandonment of the Constitutional reforms process at this juncture would constitute a serious blow to reconciliation efforts. Whilst expressing bafflement about the Mahanayakes’ recent statement concerning the Constitutional reforms process, TNA MP, M.A. Sumanthiran PC added that a new Constitution was a governmental promise made to Tamil political representation as an essential more..

Shortage of PHIs hinders battle against raging dengue

July 8 (ST) A serious shortage of Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) is hindering efforts to battle the dengue epidemic raging across the country. Trainees are filling in the gaps. For all of the 25 districts there are 1,900 PHIs, the Sunday Times learns. Field visits to check mosquito breeding sites is proving difficult because there are not enough PHIs, a union claims. The general rule is that for a population of 9,000 one PHI is appointed, more..

SAITM issue: GMOA takes up AG's conduct with Prez

July 8 (Island) The GMOA has complained to President Maithripala Sirisena against the Attorney General and his officers in respect of their conduct in the ongoing case concerning the SAITM. In a letter dated June 6, 2017, signed by GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya and its Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge, the trade union has alleged that AG thwarted its repeated attempts to inform courts of the correct position with regard to SAITM. more..

Ananthi’s appointment as NP minister: Prez draws fire for acquiescence

>July 8 (Island) The recent appointment of Ananthi Sashitharan as a minister of the Northern Province has irked those campaigning against foreign interference in SL under the Geneva Resolution 30/1 adopted on Oct 1, 2015, Global Sri Lanka Forum (GSLF) says. GSLF spokesperson said that Sashitharan had been rewarded with several ministerial portfolios in spite of being at the forefront of anti-SL campaign at the UNHRC more..

Former PABC Chairman, EPF Officer figures in Treasury bond probe

July 8 (DN) Certain probe worthy negotiations between the former PABC Chairman Nimal Perera and EPF Senior Officer B.H.I Saman Kumara was brought to the notice of the Presidential Commission inquiring into the Treasury bond issue yesterday. Evidence was lead by Deputy Solicitor General Milinda Gunatilake through Pan Asia Banking Corporation Deputy General Manager, Richard Dias. more..

'No way of calling off Uma Oya Project'

July 8 (DM) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera ruled out the possibility of abandoning Uma Oya Project because 70% work had been completed already. Minister, who is a member of Cabinet subcommittee inquiring into this project said controversial Uma Oya Project was the first-ever project undertaken by Iranian contractor FARAB and the machinery used in excavating the 18-km tunnel was not suitable for such work. more..

Govt sends team on rice quest

July 8 (FT) The Government has picked three countries to supply 200,000 MT of rice immediately to meet the shortfall in its domestic market, the Industry and Commerce Ministry said in a statement yesterday. A four-member team of officials left to Pakistan on Friday night to pick rice varieties for the domestic rice market. On 12 July the team will head to Myanmar from Islamabad to test Burmese rice varieties for the Lankan market. more..

Pakistan is a force with a different cricket culture

July 8 (CT) Losing and winning in sports are two sides of the same coin. Losing is bitter and sweetness of winning tingles on for many days. When the Australians came down to Sri Lanka no one would have guessed that the Sri Lankans, who had a horrible nightmare while touring South Africa, could beat them in the Tests. Not only was the Sri Lanka team in a transition period, it was a side that had undergone far too many changes all at once. This was clearly seen when more..

Fishermen allegedly engaged in dynamite fishing in Kilinochchi apprehended

July 8 (ST) At least ten local fishermen who were allegedly engaged in illegal fishing using dynamite in the waters south of Iranathivu island in Kilinochchi were arrested by a Navy patrol unit on Friday, the Navy said. Two dinghies, 11 unauthorised fishing nets, 11 diving masks, 11 pairs of diving fins, two GPS units and 29 kg of fish-harvest were also apprehended. Apprehended fishermen, fishing gear and the stock of fish were handed over to Fisheries Resources Assistant, Kilinochchi. more..

UNP engineered Bond Scam

Uma Oya project’s responsibility rests with us: Harin

July 8 (AD) Certain individuals attempt to politicize the decision to temporary suspend the progression of a section of the Uma Oya project in a bid to pressurize the people of Bandarawela. Minister Harin Fernando told reporters in Colombo that he also accepts the decision of President Maithripala Sirisena in this regard. Minister said there was no resistance from ministers who took part in a recent meeting with the President to temporary suspend the section of the project. more..

Nonpayment of salary arrears: Govt to learn a good lesson from teachers

July 8 (Island) Ceylon Teachers' Union (CTU) says no arrangement has been made even after three years to pay salary arrears due to teachers. CTU General Secretary, Joseph Stalin said that according to the Extra Ordinary Gazette notification issued on 23rd Oct 2014, salary arrears should be paid to teachers with effect from 1st of Jan, 2011. Stalin said three years had passed since the issuance of new service minute of the Sri Lanka Teacher Service and SL Principals' Service, but more..

PM's cronies bankrupting SL: SriLankan Airlines loses Rs9.5bn in four months

July 8 (EN) SriLankan Airlines has lost 9.52 billion rupees in the first four months of 2017, up 55% from 6.12 billion rupees a year earlier, on top of 28.14 billion rupees lost in 2016. SriLankan is losing despite low fuel prices, when many int'l airlines are making profits. But a part of last year's losses were due to compensation payments to AerCap, a leasing firm to prematurely terminate operating leases on new A350 aircraft more..

Anunayake Thera tells Gota not to jump the gun

July 8 (DN) Anunayake of Malwathu Chapter Ven. Dimbulkumbure Wimaladhamma Thera told former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa that opposition to the proposed Constitution has no basis. “It is akin to making a horoscope for an unborn baby,” Anunayake Thera said, stating that the opposition to a Constitution for which a draft has not been finalised is futile. Rajapaksa met the Prelate to recieve blessings yesterday after visiting and paying homage at Temple of the Tooth more..

Gota asks how Minister Amaraweera can announce his arrest in a month

July 8 (Island) Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said in Kandy that he had been informed that Minister Mahinda Amaraweera had warned that he would be arrested in a month. In a response to Amaraweera’s warning Rajapaksa asked, "Is crushing LTTE terrorism the offence I have committed to warrant my arrest? Ex-Defence Secretary, after calling on the prelates of Malwatte and Asgirya, said that Rajapaksas were not robbers; they had served the people for over 80 yrs. more..

India will move on ETCA at a pace set by Lanka: envoy

July 8 (LBO) Assuaging fears that India is set to impose an Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) on Sri Lanka, the Indian High Commissioner in SL, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, has said that India is ready to move on the ETCA at a pace Sri Lanka is comfortable with. “The proposed Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement is in mutual interest. However, I would like to reiterate more..

Army laboratory near Negombo Hospital becoming popular

July 8 (DN) Army established medical laboratory near the Negombo Hospital premises for free screening of blood samples for Dengue have so far tested blood of more than 1500 civilians who volunteered, Army Medical Corps said. Army with the support of Navy personnel with funds, provided by Presidential Secretariat within 3 days erected this makeshift laboratory to assist medical authorities at the Negombo Hospital as incidence of Dengue has dramatically increased in the areas. more..

Bogollagama now sees brighter side of yahapalanaya

July 8 (Island) Yahapalana govt was committed to bringing about national reconciliation, newly appointed Governor of the Eastern Province Rohitha Bogollagama told the media in Kandy on Thursday. Bogollagama addressed the media after paying homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic and paying courtesy calls on the prelates of Asgiriya and Malwatta. Bogollagama, stressing the need for reconciliation to achieve national progress, said that he would perform his duties and functions more..

I’m here in Sri Lanka to inspire and not direct on how to craft a just constitution

July 8 (ST) “You my children are not chickens, you are eagles, you must take off and fly high. Eagles must fly into the sun without much bother because they are built for hard things and for high things,” reverberate the credos of young Dikgang Moseneke’s Primary School teacher. It was a bugle call for all youngsters in Pretoria to defy the Bantu Education prevailing in South Africa which promoted racially segregated learning and more..

Lung health gets a powerful breath

July 8 (ST) Wide-ranging are the plans on the table to take respiratory medicine in Sri Lanka to a different level, as chest physicians, both local and foreign, meet for an exhaustive and in-depth three-day pow-wow. Aptly titled Respire 9 with the theme Nurture healthy lungs for life, the annual academic sessions of SL College of Pulmonologists will be held from July 6 to 8 at the Hotel Galadari. The plans include developing the Welisara Hospital as a National Institute of Respiratory Medicine more..


July 8 (CT) There was a time in history where people were made to believe that health problems were a result of unseen super natural forces beyond the understanding of the patients. There was also a period when the medical profession was dominated by untrained quacks who portrayed themselves as Physicians. What they really did was swindling the patients stripping them of money and wealth by making them believe those myths. The qualified physicians who honestly believed in more..

Port City picks global architect firm for financial district

July 8 (FT) Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), one of the world’s largest architecture, interior design, engineering and urban planning firms, which was judged the winner of the International Conceptual Urban Design Idea Competition for the Financial District and Marina of the Colombo Port City, was presented with its award at a ceremony held recently at the Cinnamon Grand.   The competition, which was supported by more..

Govt has no intention to divest Peradeniya, Colombo Universities from UGC: Kiriella

July 8 (DM) Minister Lakshman Kiriella said the govt had not taken any decision to divest the Colombo and Peradeniya universities from the purview of the UGC. He said this in response to a question asked by JVP MP Nalinda Jayatissa whether the govt was planning to remove these universities from UGC administration and make them income-generating independent institutions. The minister said the govt had not even thought of such a move and rejected the allegations. more..

Bank of China to open branch here

July 8(DM) Bank of China, one of the largest State-owned financial institutions in China is expected to open a branch in Colombo this year, its first in South Asia, a spokesman said. The banking authorities are in contact with the Sri Lankan authorities to finalize the process. A Chinese embassy spokesman said that it would be opened with an initial capital of US$90 million. He said the bank's presence in Colombo would facilitate Sri Lanka’s financial transactions with China. more..

Zimbabwe win rain-hit 4th ODI

July 8 (CI) Craig Ervine's experience and Malcolm Waller's composure blended well as Zimbabwe overcame rain, pressure and fading light to clinch a steep chase and take the series into the decider. The four-wicket win in Hambantota was as much a result of their good work with the ball in the last 15 overs, off which they conceded only 92, to restrict Sri Lanka to 300 for 6. This after 350 looked on at one stage after Niroshan Dickwella more..

Military joins dengue eradication programme

July 8 (MoD) Sri Lanka Army commenced a free screening of blood samples for Dengue fever at an army established medical laboratory near Negombo Hospital and have completed more than 1500 screenings for civilians by Thursday (6), states army media. Operations of the newly built medical laboratory are conducted by the SL Army Medical Corps with the utilization of their medical equipment. The requirement was highlighted by the President during his recent visit to Negombo Hospital. more..

A tale of two weather patterns

July 8 (ST) Blowing wet and dry– This is the current weather pattern being experienced in the country with monsoon rains in certain areas and drought conditions in others. Heavy showers are to be expected from tomorrow, with the Western, Central, Sabaragamuwa, and North Western Provinces and districts such as Galle and Matara to get showers in the morning hours and certain areas of the Eastern, Uva, North Central and Northern Provinces to experience thunder showers. more..

NMCRP complains to IGP over alleged lottery scam

July 8 (DM) National Movement for Consumer Right’s Protection (NMCRP) handed over a complaint to IGP Pujith Jayasundara over an alleged bogus lottery scam in the market. NMCRP Chairman said NMCRP received a Govisetha Lottery which was not printed the draw numbers or any other security symbols through a customer. He said NMCRP suspects the particular lottery among one of the others that circulating more..

AG says there is a possibility of arresting Prof. Samarasekara

July 8 (DN) The Attorney General yesterday informed the Colombo High Court there is a possibility of arresting former Colombo Chief Medical Officer Prof. Ananda Samarasekara over the alleged loss of body parts of rugby player Wasim Thajudeen. Deputy Solicitor General Dilan Ratnayake appearing for the Attorney General made this observation when a revision application filed by Prof. Samarasekara was taken up before High Court Judge R. Gurusinghe. more..

TN fishermen plan stir against Sri Lanka's Fisheries Bill

July 8 (PTI) Fishermen here today announced that they would go on an indefinite fast from tomorrow to press the Centre to urge Sri Lanka to withdraw the Fisheries bill, which aimed at preventing Indian fishermen from entering their territorial waters. Members of various fishermen associations during a meeting here resolved to launch the protest fast and also demanded that Lankan govt release the arrested fishermen and fishing boats seized by the island nation's navy. more..

No Tamil appeasement; Buddhism to be foremost in Constitution: PM

July 8 (PTI) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has assured Sri Lankan's Buddhist monks that the government will not change the foremost place accorded to Buddhism in the proposed new Constitution amid concerns that it is being done to appease the Tamil minority. Speaking in the northeastern region of Mannar yesterday, he said, no finality has been reached on the form of the new Constitution and more..

Uma Oya: Legacy of showpiece governance

July 9 (SO) When unjust and wrong things are done on a country-wide scale, repercussions are country-wide, as people have learnt throughout human history. Sadly, the citizens of a country place their trust in governance in the hands of those they elect, only to find that, however patriotic they may sound, those elected leaders are actually mismanaging the country for their own purposes. The uproar over the alarming ecological fall-out from the construction of the Uma Oya power more..

No time to sleepwalk

July 9 (SL) The political strategies of the anti-UNP forces together aimed against the Joint National Govt are clear: Rally all possible forces – sane or insane, informed or stupid – in addition to the traditional anti-UNP forces lined up to topple this govt and keep to the Rajapaksa pledge of destroying this govt within the course of this year and take over power. All that is permissible under democratic rules which this govt pledged to abide with although Mahinda Rajapaksa would have found ways more..

'Govt is vague and we are suspicious'

July 9 (CT) Registrar of Asgiri Chapter (SiyamNikaya) Ven. Medagama Dhammananda Thera says that Sri Lanka must remain a unitary State and Buddhism must be assured its place of eminence. "We also demanded that police powers as proposed in the 13th Amendment be not granted to the provinces". Q: Why did the Maha Sangha declare last Tuesday that a new Constitution or amendments to more..

Free Press

July 9 (CT) UNP or UNP-led Govts of the past and of the present, though able to deliver, both from a political and economic sense, relative to their peers in their various manifestations in coalitions formed under the auspices of their historical arch rival the SLFP, nonetheless have a penchant for blunder-bussing. This history of blunder-bussing is, in particular, in respect of enforcing laws & regulations pertaining to curbing of press freedom, which had its beginning 38 years ago in 1979. more..

When investing in infrastructure don’t forget gender

July 9 (NS) Making infrastructure gender-responsive is not rocket science. ADB’s Hyun H Son explains how investing in roads or utilities can help women lead healthy and productive lives. Can building a road, improving electricity access, or upgrading a port help to promote gender equality? Though it might seem counter-intuitive, the answer is an unqualified yes. The fact is that poor infrastructure exacerbates the gender gap in many ways. Women and girls living in areas with poor roads and more..

'I won’t abuse my portfolio to console comrades'

July 9 (CT) In a tete-a-tete with Ceylon Today, Minister of Finance and Media, Mangala Samaraweera said despite his busy schedule he still can allocate time to listen to his favourite music and to read books while engaging in other activities that interest him. He also said President and PM have kept faith in him that he would execute the assigned responsibilities in an adroit manner and he is steadfast in achieving the goals. more..

GMOA bows to saner counsel

July 9 (ST) Senior officers of Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) like to feel they are a cut above the rest, so to say; that due to the marks they received at the A/L exam and because they heal the sick, they are entitled to be treated preferentially by governments and society. While not all who got good marks can enter the state Medical Colleges, or wish to do medicine, it seems it needed senior members of the clergy to knock some common sense into the senior members of GMOA. more..

Over to you?

July 9 (ST) My dear Maithri, I thought I must write to you even though I know you are a very busy person, what with all this business of running the country and appointing new secretaries, ambassadors, governors and army commanders. Still, I wanted to write to you because of something you had said last week. Pardon me if I have got this wrong, but you were reported as having said that anyone watching television would feel that there was no government in the country. more..