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SL activist: Gov't trying to hurt UN probe

Aug 21 (AP) President Rajapaksa's decision to deny entry to U.N. investigators is intended to undermine the credibility of an ongoing war crimes inquiry, an activist said. Paikiyasothy Saravanamuttu, chief of Center for Policy Alternatives (CPA), said he believes the inquiry can still be conducted effectively because much evidence is available outside Sri Lanka and testimony can be gathered from within the more..

Three women arrested for visa fraud

Aug 21 (CG) A 42-year old Sri Lankan woman and her two adult daughters who applied together for UK visas were arrested today for using deception in their applications by applying in multiple identities. The applicants were referred by the UK Visas and Immigration to Fraud Investigations Bureau police in Colombo. The visa applicants had previously applied in 2005 using different names and dates of birth. Three visa applications have been refused and the arrested applicants will have a 10 year ban more..

'Sinhalese community will be a minority in Sri Lanka in the next century'

Aug 21 (AM) Minister Champika Ranawaka said the Sinhalese community will be a minority in Sri Lanka in the next century. Addressing a function, Minister has said the growth of the Sinhalese population in the country is slower than that of the population of Sri Lanka. "It will take another 160 years to double the population of the Sinhalese in Sri Lanka" Minister Ranawaka said while adding that population-growth of different ethnic communities in Sri Lanka is asymmetrical. more..

Sri Lanka exports jump on EU, US demand for garments

Aug 21 (AFP) Sri Lanka's trade deficit narrowed substantially this year thanks to increased demand for clothing exports to the United States and Europe, the island's central bank said Thursday. Exports jumped 16.8% to $5.44 billion in the first six months of calendar 2014 compared to the same period last year, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka said. Imports meanwhile declined 1.2% to $8.99 billion compared to the same period last year, more..

UNP election office, vehicle attacked

Aug 21 (CG) An election office of the UNP in Galahagama, Uva – Paranagama, was attacked early this morning, the CaFFE said. The office, located near Dharmaraja Vidyalaya, Galahagama, was established in a section of a vegetable shop. A three-wheeler which was used by the UNP office was also set on fire and completely destroyed. UNP Badulla District candidate Jayantha Kannangara alleged that the attack was carried out by supporters of UPFA candidate A.M Buddhadasa. more..

'Theras will be prisoners under BTA'

Aug 21 (DM) National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) Chief Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera today claimed that the proposed Buddhist Temporalities Act (BTA) was not conducive for the safety of Buddhism and he would request the Mahanayaka Theras to call for a discussion on the proposed Act immediately. The Thera, who met UNP members, including Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Kotte Sri Naga Viharaya said all the monks would be prisoners or only more..

Record harvest loss, food shortages hit dry Sri Lanka

Aug 21 (IRIN) SL's govt is scrambling to ease the impact of record harvest losses on millions of farmers as the country enters its tenth month of an acute dry spell. “It’s severe. In some areas in the North, North Central and Eastern Provinces, water levels in the irrigation reservoirs will be sufficient only for drinking purposes and that, too, will be barely enough. No harvesting will be possible [until the next rains],” more..

Girl,13, stabs her six-year old sister in Badalkumbura

Aug 21 (AD) A 6-year-old girl was stabbed by her 13-year-old sister in Badalkumbura, Monaragala, and the reason behind the stabbing is unknown as to yet. The parents who found the six-year old girl unconscious in need of medical attention was pronounced death upon her admission to the hospital, last night. Police suspect, the 13-year old sister, fatally stabbed the 6-year-old, her half sister, with a kitchen knife or a sharp objective because of a dispute between them. more..

Colombo University building in Hambantota?

Aug 21 (Island) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa asked Minister S.B. Dissanayake whether a building for the University of Colombo was being built at Weliwatte in Hambantota and requested him to inquire from his officials about it. Speaker intervened while the minister was responding to a question raised by UNP MP Sajith Premadasa in Parliament. Minister Dissanayake said that he had received sufficient funds to address welfare problems experienced by university students. more..

Senanayake returns after remedial work

Aug 21 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket hopes to have offspinner Sachithra Senanayake cleared by the ICC over the next few months, after biomechanics experts were confident his action had been sufficiently remedied. Senanayake has returned to Sri Lanka after ten days of remedial work with human movement expert Darryl Foster at the University of Western Australia, after which he underwent an unofficial biomechanics test at more..

Malsha challenges President to take the Ice Bucket Bath

Aug 21 (AM) WPC member Malsha Kumaratunga, the daughter of Minister Jeewan Kumaratunga, today officially invited President Rajapaksa to take the "Ice Bucket Challenge". She also nominated UPFA WPC member Hirunika Premachandra and Minister Mervyn Silva for the Ice Bucket Challenge, which is going viral on social media. Malsha Kumaratunga was nominated by popular singer Iraj Weeraratna who accepted the ice bucket challenge yesterday. ALS ‘Ice bucket challenge’ is more..

Scourge of heroin will be eliminated in three months, Dayasiri says

Aug 21 (Island) Chief Minister of the North Western Province Dayasiri Jayasekera said that those engaged in heroin business would be crushed within the next three months. Jayasekera said that the govt had the wherewithal to eliminate the heroin trade the way it had annihilated the LTTE. The CM was addressing the council sessions on Tuesday. Responding to UNP councillor Asanka Perera’s allegation that Kurunegala had been the second worst heroin affected area, more..

Two more Tamil MPs appointed as Deputy Ministers

Aug 21 (IL) Two more Indian origin Tamil MPs took oaths before President Rajapaksa as deputy ministers at Temple Trees this morning. Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga was present at the occasion. Already Sri Lankan cabinet has 67 members and with these two new appointments bring up the number of deputy ministers to 42. Democratic People's Congress leader Praba Ganeshan more..

Wanathamulla ‘watte’ dwellers move Court of Appeal against UDA

Aug 21 (Island) A group of residents of the condominium units of ‘34 Watte’ Wanathamulla have complained to the Court of Appeal, against a recent decision taken by the UDA to direct the petitioner to abandon the houses owned by them and move to condominia constructed in the vicinity after making a substantial payment. First respondent, the UDA constructed two multi-storey apartment complexes at "54 Watte" and "66 Watte". They are required to make an initial payment of Rs 50,000 more..

Sivajilingham’s 3 motions rattle NPC

Aug 21 (CG) Opposition members of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) staged a walkout from the Council session today in protest over three motions submitted by TNA NPC member M.K. Sivajilingham. The opposition members had opposed the contents of the motions and refused to agree to them being debated during the 14th session of the Council today. Eventually when the session began some members of the ruling party also raised objections to the motions. more..

Tourism earnings jump 34% to US$ 1.2 bln

Aug 21 (Xinhua) Earnings from SL's lucrative tourism industry jumped 33.9% in the first seven months of the year to US$ 1.24 billion on strong growth of Chinese tourist arrivals. China remains the third highest source of tourists to the island, which saw overall tourist arrivals recorded a growth of 24.7% to 861,324 by end July. Earnings from tourism were estimated to have increased by 34.4% to US$ 193.6 million in July 2014, more..

Baggage handlers take revenge from airlines

Aug 21 (Island) Following the arrest of some racketeers responsible for pilfering valuables from passengers’ luggage at the BIA, the luggage handlers are delaying flights by slowing down the process of loading and unloading bags, according to sources. Recently a flight that was to take off to Dubai had been delayed by 20 minutes due to their act of revenge. The Police Media Unit said that two suspects arrested by the BIA police in connection with the latest theft of a housemaid’s more..

Sri Lankan inmate marries Vavuniya girl

Aug 21 (ENS) A 33-year-old inmate of the special camp for foreigners in Cheyyar married his relative at a simple function amid tight security on Wednesday. Krishnalingam of Vavuniya married his aunt’s daughter Vasantha Malar, who came all they way from Sri Lanka to marry him. He had been detained at the camp since 2011 after being arrested by the Q branch police in Chennai for entering the country using forged documents. Sources said Krishnalingam had submitted a more..

UPFA of openly violating polls law – JVP

Aug 21 (Island) Election laws were being blatantly violated by the UPFA in the Uva Province especially in the Moneragala District where the ruling coalition’s Chief Ministerial candidate was contesting the election, the JVP claimed. JVP National Organiser Bimal Ratnayake said the UPFA had violated the polls laws with impunity during the Southern and Western PC elections as well and a repeat performance was taking place in Uva. more..

Only 31 of the 85 kg. seized was heroin

Aug 21 (DM) An analysis carried out by the Govt Analyst on the 85 kilograms of substance seized by the Police STF on June 11 and described as heroin, has indicated that 31 kilograms of it was heroin and the rest extraneous matter, police sources said. Police sources said that according to the Analyst’s report only 31 kilos of the material was heroin. 54 of the 85 kilograms seized by the STF on June 11 and described by them as heroin has turned out to be extraneous matter, the sources said. more..

Colombo magistrate demands Rs. 50 million from Ravaya newspaper

Aug 21 (AM) A letter of demand sent by Colombo Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage has demanded the Ravaya newspaper to pay a sum of Rs.50 million as loss and damage caused to him by several defamatory publications. The Magistrate has instructed attorney-at-law Ruwantha Cooray to post this letter of demand asking the Ravaya newspaper to pay the said amount within 14 days. The Magistrate stated that the Ravaya had published two news articles dated August 10 and 17 more..

Sobhitha thera to launch his presidential campaign on Aug 26

Aug 21 (AM) Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera, Convener of the National Movement for a Just Society, states that the NMJS has decided to field a common candidate for the next presidential election under a common symbol. Movement is to conduct the election campaign based on the need to abolish the executive presidency. It also expressed confidence that the political parties and leaders who support more..

Rajapaksa security; Lankan insecurity

Aug 21 (CT) Zionist ultras, the sort who decry Binyamin Netanyahu for dovish tendencies, have a new role model: Sri Lanka. Mr. Netanyahu is being urged to learn from the Lankan example of ‘resolute use of military force’ and give Hamas ‘the thrashing it deserves’. Nakba onwards, Israel has won every war it waged. And yet the Palestinian issue remains, a ‘grindstone of conflict’ which “crushes and erodes our lives, our hopes and our humanity”, as the internationally acclaimed more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.1%

Aug 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks crossed the key psychological barrier of 7,000 points Thursday, reaching a three year high. All Share Price Index closed 4.78 points higher at 7,004.75, up 0.07%. The S&P SL20 closed 0.30 points higher at 3,862.91, up 0.01%. Turnover was 1.47 billion rupees, down from 1.78 billion rupees a day earlier with 119 stocks closed positive against 91 negative. Lanka IOC closed 10 cents higher at 39.60 rupees with off-market transactions of more..

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Sri Lanka rupee steady in sluggish trade after central bank chief comments

Aug 21 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee traded steady on Thursday in dull trade, a day after the central bank governor said short-term interest rates seem to be bottoming out while there is little scope for long-term lending rates to come down. The rupee was trading at 130.20/23 per dollar at 0821 GMT, little changed from Wednesday's close of 130.19/23. "There was no move in the rupee, but the bonds were active after the governor's comments," a currency dealer said. more..

The world needs to be more humane

Aug 21 (CT) On Tuesday, 19 August, the world's focus shifted away from the multi-hued disasters threatening humanity and converged for a brief moment on a special group of people who give of their skills, energy and heart to help the world's most powerless and vulnerable. And in a world spinning out of kilter with wars, disease, famines, floods and a smorgasbord of misery, the number depending on these people, merely to survive another 24 hours, grows every day. more..

Video: 4-star diesel from tomorrow

Aug 21 (DM) Lanka Super Diesel 4-star, a new variety of diesel with low sulfur content will be introduced to the local market from tomorrow, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. The new product will be available at Ceypetco outlets and the price will be the same as Lanka Super Diesel -- Rs.145 a litre. The minister said that sulfur content of the new product was between 10 and 50 parts per million (ppm). more..

Indefinite work stoppage cripples health sector

Aug 21 (Island) Many patients seeking treatment at the OPDs and clinics in leading state hospitals including those run by the provincial councils were badly inconvenienced yesterday as around 50,000 attendants, labourers, casual workers, etc., launched a countrywide strike from at 6.30 a.m. All Ceylon Health Services Union (ACHSU) with the support of the other trade unions had launched the indefinite strike over more..

Sri Lankan Tamil leaders to raise 13A amendment during India visit

Aug 21 (PTI) Leaders of Sri Lanka's main Tamil party are to push their case for full implementation of the contentious thirteenth amendment to the Constitution during a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The TNA delegation leaves for India today for their first meeting with the new Indian govt. The delegation is expected to meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday and hopes to meet Modi on Saturday. more..

Former CEB Chief faces legal action

Aug 21 (Island) CEB Chairman W.D. Ganegala has ordered legal action against former CEB Chairman Vidya Amarapala and retired CEB General Manager Nihal Wickramasuriya to recover Rs. 35 million paid as compensation to a consultant because of their decision to terminate his contract arbitrarily. CEB Chairman said that following the preliminary investigations by retired audit superintendents, he had asked more..

Throwing spokes in the wheel

Aug 21 (FT) An impending alliance between the feuding Ranil and Sajith factions may offer hope of unity within the UNP, but will it torpedo burgeoning hopes of a common Opposition platform to contest the 2015 presidential poll? On 24 July, within the musty confines of New Town Hall on Green Path, extraordinary political scenes unfolded. Ironically, the politically-charged event featured only academic, professional and civil society more..

Pettah Floating Market opens on Friday

Aug 21 (MoD) The ceremonial opening of the 'Floating Market' will be held at 6.30 pm on friday at the Bastian Mawatha in Pettah. Minister Maithripala Sirisena, will be the Chief Guest of the event. Under this project, over 92 stalls have been established within the floating market to maintain local vendor's trade and this will be an ideal setting for thousands of people including foreigners visiting Colombo to buy products, more..

UN and Sri Lanka probe must cooperate: AI

Aug 21 (SL) As the Govt and the UN proceed with their respective investigations on the war in Sri Lanka, the London based human rights group, Amnesty International’s (AI) Yolanda Foster from the Asia Programme of AI, feels both should cooperate in order to establish the truth over the war. Q: The Sri Lankan Govt is yet to set a time frame by when it will conclude investigations by its commission on the war. more..

Freebies galore as candidates cosy up to voters

Aug 21 (ST) Distribution of water containers, sewing machines, plastic chairs and water pumps has become a regular sight in drought-hit Monragala, one of the two districts preparing for the next month’s provincial elections. Almost all items distributed contained stickers of named candidates making it clear that they were expecting votes in return of the goods distributed. Situation was similar but on a lesser scale in Badulla district. more..

'Sri Lankan cricket team on the verge of a serious crisis'

Aug 21 (AM) Former cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga said retirement of Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara from International cricket would make a disastrous impact on the Sri Lankan cricket team over the next 2-3 years. “Mahela and Sangakkara are likely to retire from all forms of the game after 2015 World Cup and that will plunge the Sri Lankan cricket team into a serious crisis,” Ranatunga said. more..

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