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Sri Lanka named Asia’s leading destination at World Travel Awards

July 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka Tourism clinched two prestigious awards at the World Travel Awards Ceremony held in the Maldives last week. Competing among 47 countries in Asia, Sri Lanka bagged the awards for Asia’s Leading Destination and Asia’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination. The awards were received by Managing Director, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), Sutheash Balasubramanium and Director Marketing, SLTPB, Madhubani Perera. more..

Grand welcome for President at Dhaka International Airport

July 13 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena, who arrived at the Dhaka Int'l Airport, today on a 3-day State Visit to Bangladesh at the invitation of Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina received a grand welcome at the Airport. This is the first State Visit to Bangladesh by the President after he assumed office. Govt of Bangladesh had prepared all the arrangements to accord him a grand welcome. President was warmly received by President more..

JO opposes new supplementary estimate to purchase luxuries for ministers

July 13 (Island) The Joint Opposition (JO) said it was opposed to the supplementary estimate which was tabled in parliament last Friday seeking financial allocations to purchase new vehicles for ministers and to renovate their official residences. JO MP Dinesh Gunawardena said parliamentary members should spend a simple lifestyle at a time the country was facing many difficulties and the people themselves were troubled by high cost of living and the dengue epidemic. more..

Video: If Sangakkara wants an investigation, so be it: Arjuna

July 13 (AD) Former Test cricket captain, Minister Arjuna Ranatunga stated that he was also in agreement that an investigation should be launched into the terror attack against the Sri Lanka cricket team in Lahore, Pakistan, back in 2009. Minister also requested to uncover what truly happened at the final match of the ICC World Cup in 2011. Minister Ranatunga made the request upon meeting a group of newspaper journalists at the Ministry of Petroleum Resource Development. more..

Former U.S. envoy Blake clarifies stance on Tamil Tigers, beach rescue plan

July 13 (IB) Former U.S. Ambassador to SL Robert Blake has said it is a myth that he orchestrated a rescue of tens of thousands of Tamil refugees from a northern Sri Lankan beach to help V. Prabhakaran, the leader of LTTE, escape the SL armed forces who ultimately killed him in 2009. Blake, who also served as assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia during first term of the Obama administration, said more..

Taco Bell opens its doors in Sri Lanka

July 13 (DM) Hold your breath, Sri Lanka! Taco Bell, the world’s largest Mexican-inspired quick service restaurant chain, will unleash an electrifying experience when it opens its doors in Sri Lanka on 17 July at No. 36, Horton Place, Colombo 7. The popular global quick service restaurant chain infuses the local restaurant scene with its own dash of piquant taste to tantalize the taste buds and bring a new dimension in dining out. Taco Bell is brought to Sri Lanka by Gamma Pizzakraft Lanka, more..

SL navy arrests 7 TN fishermen

July 13 (PTI) Seven Tamil Nadu fishermen were arrested today by Sri Lankan navy, prompting Chief Minister K Palaniswami to dub the recurring mid-sea apprehensions a deliberate bid to derail India's efforts to permanently resolve the vexed issue of fishing rights. The fishermen from nearby Mandapam were fishing at Neduntheevu, close to Sri Lankan coast when they were arrested and taken to Kangesanthurai port there, Assistant Director of Fisheries Gopinath said. more..

UN special rapporteur visits Sri Lanka's Tamil political detainees

July 13 (PTI) For the first time, a special UN rapporteur today visited the Tamil political prisoners arrested under Sri Lanka's anti-terrorism laws in the Northern Province to get a first-hand information on their human rights situation. Ben Emmerson, the special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, is visiting the island nation since July 10 on a five-day trip following an invitation by the Sri Lankan govt. more..

Can confident Zimbabwe topple Chandimal's Sri Lanka?

July 13 (CI) When last these teams met, Zimbabwe almost survived in the first game, but were rolled over in the second, taking Sri Lanka's Test-match winning streak to five. The world has changed dramatically since. Heading into this match at Khettarama, the hosts have a new captain, and new-ish head coach, and a startling dearth of confidence. As was the case with the ODI series, this spells opportunity for Zimbabwe. Opportunity, because Sri Lanka will have only 3 days to recover from more..

SLFP, Mahanayakas want only reforms to Constitution: Dilan

July 13 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and the joint opposition are agitating for a new constitution and the abolition of the executive presidency while the SLFP and Mahanayakas of three Nikayas want to retain the executive presidency and introduce reforms to the existing Constitution, Minister and SLFP spokesman Dilan Perera said. Minister Perera said he wondered whether there was a hidden agenda between the UNP and the JO to weaken President Sirisena's stature more..

Sri Lanka opens landmark inquiry into 2012 jail massacre

July 13 (AFP) Sri Lanka announced a long-awaited investigation into the massacre of 27 prisoners that became a symbol of the rights abuses allegedly perpetrated by the war-era regime. IGP ordered the investigation into the 2012 bloodshed, when security forces allegedly gunned down inmates in cold blood. Trouble erupted inside the maximum security Welikada prison when police conducted a sweep for drugs and allegedly more..

Violence is the new nonviolence

July 14 (CT) A Group of GMOA members and the medical faculty undergraduates were on their way to pelt stones on SAITM building in Malabe. On the way, they saw Lord Buddha meditating under a ‘Bo’ tree. They all went to him and told ‘Oh, Most Venerable! We are on our way to pelt stones at SAITM in order to protect the standard of the medical education of our beloved motherland. Please bless us’. Lord Buddha opened his eyes and said calmly. more..

Hate talk continues

July 14 (CT) The argument from the top of the SL govt that war crimes against Tamil civilians need not be prosecuted puts our govt’s pronouncements in the same category as Gnanasara Thero’s. While Gnanasara’s rowdy tirades are against Muslims, the PM’s and President’s dehumanize Tamil civilians murdered in Mullivaikal. In this backdrop, it is refreshing that our new Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, says that he rejects the war crime allegations against more..

'New Constitution will compromise soldiers'

July 14 (CT) JO MP Prasanna Ranatunga says that they have clearly set forth their stand that the Unitary State and the prominence accorded to Buddhism in the Constitution cannot be compromised in the new Constitution. Q: Why are you getting ready for a snap election? A: We are ready for elections at any moment but the govt is afraid of them. Q: Why did you launch your campaign in Trinco? A: It's only one of our planned rallies. more..

Doctor of Art

July 14 (NS) He started painting at the tender age of five. He had no inkling what it was that he was doing, which was doodling something akin to ancient cave paintings. His muse was the buffalos and cows of his ancestral home in Thalahena. It was meant to be a record of all the animals that he encountered while on his solitary excursions in the village. I couldn’t write, so this was a means of record-keeping, reminisced Shanaka Kulathunge, a medical doctor by day and painter by night, more..

Constitutional impasse !

July 14 (DN) Among the main priorities of President Maithripala Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and their National Unity govt was the task of enacting a new Constitution to replace the nearly forty-year-old Constitution introduced by former President J.R. Jayewardene which ushered in an executive presidential system of govt in the country. Although the 3 Presidents from the UNP who held office, Jayewardene, R. Premadasa and D.B. Wijetunge did nothing to diminish powers of Presidency, more..

The man and his vision

July 14 (CT) As we approach the half-way point of the term with unity govt, it is clear beyond any doubt that the administration has failed in all aspects including the foremost touted political and ethnic reconciliation process. A rotten capital market, uncontrollable inflation, and absolutely pathetic fiscal/economic policy, corrupt politicians and legislators, inefficient bloated ministries, civil/union unrests have been the highlights of more..

Tuk-Tuk-Tuk Talk: Safe or Not?

July 14 (NS) US Embassy in Colombo recently issued a warning to US tourists to avoid travelling alone in three-wheelers, after a spate of sexual harassment complaints. In the security message posted on its website, US Embassy in Colombo further said that it has been made aware of an increase in incidents involving tuk-tuk drivers in the Colombo area inappropriately touching female passengers. Females should avoid travelling in tuk-tuks alone in Colombo, the message warned. more..

Editorial: Yahapalanaya unmasked

July 14 (Island) Many organisations that rallied behind Sirisena-Wickremesinghe coalition, enabling it to dislodge the Rajapaksa govt more than two years ago, expected the new dispensation to bring about a radical change. But, what they have got by way of yahapalanaya or good governance is like the curate’s egg. They are in the same predicament as Mr. Jones in the famous Punch cartoon. They are reluctant to tell the truth; instead they claim that part of yahapalanaya is excellent! more..


A peace dividend of no enforced disappearances

July 14 (Island) Recent weeks have witnessed a political debate over the presentation by the govt of the enabling legislation for the enactment of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances. Much of the criticisms of the proposed Act seems to stem from misinformation and a misconception about what the proposed Act is all about and what it seeks to achieve. The first point which must be noted with regard to the enabling legislation more..

Waters Edge Triumphs at Bocuse d’Or SL

July 14 (DN) Paying tribute to its world-class culinary prowess the team from Waters Edge once again triumphed at the Bocuse d’Or Sri Lanka Selection Competition that was held recently. Team comprising of multiple award-winning Executive Sous Chef Chamaka Perera and W Dinesh, diced, minced, stirred and plated their way to victory and the opportunity to compete in the Bocuse d’ Or Asia 2018. Speaking at the awards ceremony Waters Edge, General Manager culinary guru more..

Polythene Ban: Should we celebrate just yet?

July 14 (Roar) This week’s announcement by the Govt of a ban on polythene lunch sheets, rigifoam boxes, and shopping bags starting September 1 has been met with tumultuous applause, as expected. However, questions remain as to the practicality of enforcing such a blanket ban and whether or not it would instead prove counterproductive. In 2006, then Environment Minister Maithripala Sirisena prohibited more..

Wadey seller robbed by two men in 3-wheeler

July 14 (DN) A woman selling wadey on the roadside for a living in the Ibbagamuwa area was robbed of her daily wage when two men in a three-wheeler snatched the tin in which she put her daily collection to. The victim of the incident happened to 57-year-old H. M. Hemathilaka, a resident of Gokarella, Godgama. She made a living through the selling of wadey in a makeshift hut on the Kurunegala-Dambulla main road, on the outskirts of Ibbagamuwa town. more..

Healing The Sea

July 14 (IE) SL Parliament’s unanimous amendment of its Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act last week to ban trawling is a bold step from both political and ecological perspectives. It will have an impact on the conflict between Indian Tamil fishermen and the fishermen of Northern SL who fish in the Palk Bay, a highly productive but spatially limited marine ecosystem. During the ethnic conflict in SL’s northern districts, Colombo had prohibited all coastal fishing in a bid to curb LTTE’s naval prowess. more..

Sri Lanka’s difficulty with Truth

July 14 (HRW) War is messy, leaving in its wake, not just death, injuries and destruction, but persistent distrust. To heal, there needs to be communication, understanding, and above all a sense of righting wrongs. In this, Sri Lanka’s Govt is faltering, despite promises to its own people, as well as to the international community. SL’s three-decade war with the separatist LTTE killed an estimated 100,000 civilians, more..

Cremer backs Zimbabwe to counter Herath

July 14 (CI) When last these teams met, Rangana Herath practically gobbled the opposition up, and took nearly half the Zimbabwe wickets on offer in the series. Herath had not previously played Zimbabwe, and as such, it was the only team against whom he did not have a five-wicket haul. He claimed only six wickets in the first Test, but was irresistible in the next, taking five wickets in the first innings and eight in the second. All up, his 19 wickets came at 15.10 apiece. more..

Sri Lanka’s tea industry is in celebratory mode, while India’s struggles

July 14 (Hindu) Sri Lanka has unfurled a series of events to mark the sesquicentennial of its tea industry. Starting with the installation of a bust of James Taylor, the man reputed to have launched commercial cultivation of tea in 1867, the island nation has lined up many programmes throughout the year to commemorate the occasion. These include: release of a coin, outreach programmes in its seven tea-growing regions, a charity auction, an international Colombo Tea Convention, more..

South Asia must cooperate to eradicate drug menace: President

July 14 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena called on South Asian leaders to cooperate in collective programmes to eradicate drug menace. He said that the spread of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances is the most dangerous threat to the youths in the region and it requires constant attention and utmost vigilance to prevent smuggling and distribution of drugs. Speaking to the delegates attending 8th Meeting of SAARC more..

National Export Strategy to be implemented with budget 2018: Advisor

July 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s proposed National Export Strategy will be implemented with the budget of 2018, a senior official at the International Trade Center said. Int'l Trade Ministry and Export Development Board, together with the help of the International Trade Center, is currently conducting the second round of consultations to chart a national export strategy for Sri Lanka. Trade Strategy and Competitiveness Advisor of the Int'l Trade Center Charles Roberge told more..

SriLankan Airlines enhances services for Chinese travelers

July 14 (EN) SriLankan Airlines said it enhanced its services for customers in China, one of the fastest growing travel markets into the island, with the launch of a local direct-dial number for the airline’s customers throughout China. This will connect customers directly with Mandarin-speaking customer service staff at the airline’s Global Contact Centre. “China is one of the most rapidly growing travel markets into Sri Lanka, which is currently witnessing a boom in visitor arrivals,” more..

'There is nothing we cannot do for Sri Lanka'

July 14 (PSL) ’Bangladesh will not hesitate to provide whatever the possible assistance or help to Sri Lanka  as we have an extremely  cordial relationship’, said  the Bangladesh Foreign Minister Mahmood Ali when he met with President Maithripala Sirisena. President Maithripala Sirisena who is on a three-day State Visit to Bangladesh met with Bangladesh Foreign Minister at the Hotel Sonargaon, today (13). more..

Moderate poverty remains high in SL: WB

July 14 (EN) Although extreme poverty is low in Sri Lanka and continues to fall, a  large share of the population subsists on little more than the extreme poverty line, World Bank has said. Despite the fast poverty reduction, there remain areas with significant poverty, the bank noted in its latest development update. Moderate poverty remains high, it said, noting that  in 2012/13, nearly 15% of the population, and a quarter of the estate sector, lived on less than $3.10 per day. more..

Lanka Tiles seeks production plant in India

July 14 (ST) Lanka Tiles PLC (Tiles) has plans to buy a tile manufacturing facility in India in a bid to meet tile demand stemming from the construction boom that’s being witnessed now. The company which had a tough FY 2017 will be expanding capacity and is eyeing to buy a tile factory in India to meet escalating demand in corporate construction sites. Officials added that in 18 months they’ll be increasing capacity but after that too the company will have room to import from India & China. more..

'Goal is No. 1, but can't do that in a year'

July 14 (CI) SL's new Test captain Dinesh Chandimal has hopes of taking the team to the top of the rankings, but expects the climb to be hard-fought, beginning with Friday's Test against Zimbabwe. Having been as high as No. 2 in 2010, SL have now slipped to No. 7 on the table, and have lost four of their 5 most-recent games. They have sprung most surprises in Tests, however, having unexpectedly won a series against Australia a year ago. more..

Motion tabled to do away with honorary titles for elected representatives

July 14 (Island) UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana says that the use of honorific titles such as his/her excellency and honourable before the names of politicians has become a joke. He is to move a motion in parliament seeking to do away with the practice. MP has submitted a private member’s motion, which has been included in the latest addendum to the Order Book of Parliament issued on July 07. Motion titled Abandoning of honorary titles of representatives of the people, more..

Jayasuriya confident team will turn the corner soon

July 14 (DN) Chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya was confident that the young and inexperienced SL team will turn the corner very soon. “As a former captain and as the chairman of selectors I am disappointed that we lost ODI series to Zimbabwe,” he said. “We need to give them the strength and the confidence to come out of this situation. We need to fine tune some of the areas batsmen and bowlers. When you get a 100 you need try and get to 150, these are little things we need to fine tune. more..

Welikada Prison murders: Death threats to Lawyers and Witness

July 14 (DN) The Attanagalla Magistrate yesterday issued an order to obtain the telephone records of Attorney –at- Law Senaka Perera and eyewitness Sudesh Nandimal Silva, after they received death threats on Tuesday July 11. Perera filed a writ petition before the Court of Appeal on April 4th seeking the courts intervention to order authorities to investigate the alleged massacre at the Welikada prison on November 9, 2012. more..

‘Sri Lanka’s detention of Indian fishers sees huge increase’

July 14 (TOI) Union external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj expressed deep concern over the increase in number of Indian fishermen crossing the IMBL for fishing leading to their arrest and seizure of their fishing vessels by the SL navy. Replying to a letter by former Lok Sabha MP M Ramadass urging her to initiate efforts to secure the release of 17 fishermen from Karaikal, who were arrested by the SL navy, Swaraj asked him to sensitise the fishermen community along the Palk Bay more..

Hardy Institute closed indefinitely

July 14 (DM) Hardy Advanced Technological Institute in Ampara was closed indefinitely by its Director General today following a tense situation which arose at the institute last evening. It was reported that a group of students had taken hostage the Director of the institute by surrounding his office.   Previously, two groups of students had clashed at the institute premises. Several students who were injured in the clash had been hospitalized while 10 students had been arrested by the police.   more..