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We do not debate with swine smeared in faeces – SSU

July 18 (LT) They have no argument with swine smeared with faeces but their struggle is against the Rajapaksa regime, a massive struggle has to be launched against Rajapaksa regime to win students’ rights says the National Organizer of Socialist Students Union Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa. he said, “According to clause 14 of the Constitution of our country ‘every citizen in the country is entitled to the freedom of speech and expression more..

Reconvicted drug smuggler made to pay with interest

July 18 (Island) Kalutara High Court Judge Padman Surasena recently fined a reconvicted drug smuggler Rs. 50,000 and sentenced him to two years rigorous imprisonment after he had pleaded guilty to having had eight kilos of ganja in his possession. The convict is Saman Kumara of Wellawaya. He was found guilty of transporting the consignment of ganja hidden in the undercarriage of a lorry close to its fuel tank on Feb 18, 2011. He had pleaded not guilty to the charge at the more..

JVP complains of delay in scholarship grants

July 18 (Island) The payment of Rs. 10,000 to the members of Education Employees Co-operative Thrift and Credit Society Limited (EDCS), under the university scholarship scheme, had been delayed for two years, Ceylon Teachers Service Union (CTSU) claimed. CTSU General Secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe said that all members of the EDCS were entitled to Rs. 10,000 each if their children entered a university. He said that present EDCS administration had failed to pay the payments for more..

Govt says BBS not protected

July 18 (CG) The Govt says the BBS is not being protected or given special treatment by PresidentRajapaksa or Govt authorities. Mohan Samaranayake, spokesman for President Mahinda Rajapaksa, was quoted by CNN as saying there was “no protection or special treatment” for the BBS from the government, including Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Anyone who broke the law would face the consequences, he said. more..

Call for extending Hajj quotas to non-Muslim travel agents

July 18 (Island) Islamic Religious Education Mission, in a letter sent to President Rajapaksa alleges that the allocation of Hajj quotas to the travel agents this year has been done in a fraudulent manner. It has suggested that the quotas should not be limited to Muslim travel agents and others must also be allowed to organise Hajj pilgrimages. The mission also alleges that Hajj committee has failed to be of any use to Hajj pilgrims; both Hajj Committee and the Department of Muslim Cultural Affairs more..

'No Lankan passport holders in the crashed Airliner'

July 18 (AM) Sri Lankan Ambassador in the Netherlands Buddhi Athauda says so far they have not found any Lankan passport holders in flight MH17 which crashed over Ukraine yesterday. However, at a news conference at Schiphol airport, Malaysia Airlines' European chief Huib Gorter said they were still trying to identify some of the passengers from flight MH17. Of the passengers that have been identified there were 154 Dutch nationals, 27 Australians, 23 Malaysians, more..

Steyn five-for gives SA control

July 18 (CI) Dale Steyn ripped through Sri Lanka with his 23rd five-wicket haul to give South Africa control of the Galle Test. Angelo Mathews fought with another rearguard effort after Headlingley last month, but Steyn had inflicted so much damage that South Africa still ended the day 172 runs in front. The Galle pitch was still largely quiet amid sporadic bouts of activity, but that did not deter Steyn, whose pace and venom more..

President participates at Iftar celebrations

July 18 (GDI) President Rajapaksa participated in an Iftar ceremony at Temple Trees on Thursday. Islam religious leaders as well as Muslim devotees who were present at Temple Trees, praised action taken by President Rajapaksa to strengthen national reconciliation. Prayers were also offered invoking blessings for national reconciliation in the country. PM D.M. Jayaratne, ministers, deputy ministers, ambassadors and high commissioners and large number of Islam devotees more..

Swords, scales and blindfolds: The law has let us down again

July 18 (CT) Justice stands boldly, armed with a sword and tempered with scales. Her blindfolds demonstrate her impartiality. She wields the Law and bends it to her will. Yet the Law is prone to misuse when stripped from its true mistress and usurped by tyrants. They use her sword to strike the innocent; manipulate her scales to subjugate citizens; and apply her blindfold to conceal atrocities. Law without Justice is perhaps worse than no law at all. Throughout history, unjust laws more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lanka stocks close flat

July 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks closed with a lackluster note on Friday amid low foreign participation. All Share Price Index closed 0.33 points higher at 6,722.20. The S&P SL20 closed 8.49 points lower at 3,738.98, down 0.23%. Turnover was 1.30 billion rupees, up from 926.45 million rupees a day earlier with 108 stocks closed positive against 81 negative. Lanka Ashok Leyland closed 2.90 rupees higher at 1,742.90 rupees with an off-market transaction of 403.47 million more..

Days of the noose may be numbered, but...

July 18 (CT) In the ultimate wisdom of liberal thought, the UNHRC last month adopted a strong resolution on the death penalty, deploring the rights violation such a punishment entails. This was a first for the UN mechanism and ensures the inclusion of the topic in future UNHRC agendas, with the ultimate goal being the outlawing of an inhuman form of punishment. The resolution comfortably segues into the Sri Lanka situation, where the death penalty has once again become a topic of more..

Video: Khuram murder trial: PS chairman convicted

July 18 (DM) Former Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Sampath VidanaPathirana and three others found guilty of the murder of British tourist Khuram Sheik and of raping his Russian girlfriend Victoria Alexandrovna were sentenced to 20 years rigorous imprisonment on each of the two counts a short while ago. The tragedy had occurred at the Tangalle Resort on December 24, 2012. more..

Activists burn Sri Lankan warning notice to NGOs

July 18 (UCAN) Civil society groups and activists on Thursday burned copies of a notice issued by the Sri Lankan govt that warned nongovernmental organizations from engaging in activities the government deemed outside the groups' mandate. Protesters carried banners and chanted slogans against the government during the rally, which took place in front of the Fort Railway Station in the capital city Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka consults Foster to save Sachithra

July 18 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) committee has decided to consult Australian Human movement specialist Daryl Foster, possibly the foremost authority in the world in analysing suspect bowling actions, to obtain his support in clearing beleaguered star spinner Sachithra Senanayake. SLC had already contacted Foster during a special meeting that had been convened on July 14 when SLC’s Head of more..

No pressure in Uva seat allocations –EC

July 18 (CT) The number of seats allocated to Moneragala and Badulla for the Uva Provincial Council (PC) were based on population numbers and the land extent, not due to any political pressure, said Elections Commissioner (EC), Mahinda Deshapriya told a news conference yesterday. The Elections Chief said that the Department was simply abiding by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, Act No 42 of more..

UK welcomes verdict on Khuram case

July 18 (DM) Britain today welcomed the verdicts and sentences handed down today to those responsible for the murder of British aid worker Khuram Shaikh. “We hope that this will bring some closure for his family and friends who have faced a long and difficult fight for justice,” British High Commission in Colombo said in a statement. “The officials of the Attorney General’s office have shown great professionalism and integrity and more..

Battle of the sting goes to Colombo 7

July 18 (ST) The campaign to eradicate dengue continued in the Western Province, with health officials backed by security personnel moving into Colombo 7 this week to check on mosquito breeding grounds. We accompanied one of the teams involved in the campaign and we observed that the officials were quick to identify possible breeding grounds. Pointing at a pond where a lone catfish lay, Dimutha Thushara a Warrant Officer of more..

Wildlife activists petition CA over two elephants

July 18 (Island) The International Animal Welfare Trust, Animal Rights activist Mrs. Irangani de Silva and two other petitioners have complained to the Court of Appeal that two elephants, a male named ‘Waasala’ and a calf still unnamed, have not been licensed after the year 2012 by the Wildlife Authorities and they have been discovered without a registered lawful owner at the estate of Kandalama Walauwe, Mirigama more..

Skype complaining system receives 224 complaints

July 18 (DN) The Skype complaining system and the hotline introduced by the Private Transport Services Ministry has so far received 224 complaints from passengers against private buses since its inception on January 1. Minister C. B. Ratnayake said out of the total number of complaints, 84 have been received against inter-provincial long distance private bus services and the other 139 complaints against provincial level private bus services. more..

Plight of HIV positive children

July 18 (SL) Nearly 75 children are afflicted with the HIV virus at the first quarter of 2014, mainly due to mother to child transmission, while there are many cases that are unreported according to the Aids Foundation of Lanka (AFL). Mallika, (the mother of an HIV infected girl of nine years), said she had left for Dubai in 1998, leaving her husband and two children (son and daughter), at the age of 23, to work as a housemaid as more..

Novel strategies to address fisheries issue

July 18 (DM) The arrest of Indian fishermen, found poaching in Sri Lankan waters, and their subsequent release while retaining their vessels to be confiscated has become a common practice despite bilateral initiatives at every level concerned to address the fisheries issue once and for all. Discussions have taken place at every level, and even a Joint Working Group (JWG) has been appointed to look into the fisheries issue. more..

When disability is an ability

July 18 (DM) Great maestros who marked a revolution in the thinking patterns of people were not only great but were extraordinary. Beethoven mesmerised massive audiences with his evergreen pieces of piano sonata such as Appassionata and Waldstein. Next, the Einstein’s Era diverted the people’s attention to physics and his Theory of Relativity. This was followed by the quadruple reign of Roosevelt and his mission in politics. However, in the 21st century, Tom Cruise and his MI more..

Inflaming the fuel crisis

July 18 (DM) Pandemic corruption, both financial and moral, caused or compounded by the breakdown of the rule of law and democracy, transparency and accountability, appears to be causing a cancer in most sectors of society including vital areas such as the purchase and supply of fuel. Adding fire to the fuel crisis, was yesterday’s incident where some UNP MPs on their fifth fact-finding mission were blocked by political goons while the police as usual just watched, according to more..

Govt gets going on domestic inquiry

July 18 (FT) Govt set the stage for a domestic inquiry into alleged civilian deaths and violations of humanitarian law during the final stages of the war, appointing three international war crimes prosecutors to advise the Presidential Commission tasked with the probe. Presidential directive launching the inquiry comes just weeks after a UN investigation into rights abuses during the SL war got off the ground in Geneva. more..

Canada tells Sri Lanka to respect NGOs

July 18 (CG) Canada urged the Sri Lankan authorities to respect the right to freedoms of expression, assembly and association, and the right to take part in public affairs. Canadian Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and for International Human Rights Deepak Obhrai said Canada is deeply concerned by reports of efforts to restrict legitimate activities of civil society and NGOs in Sri Lanka. “Instructing civil society organizations to cease media engagement and activities, more..

New political party to shelter Common Candidate

July 18 (AM) A new political party has been formed in Sri Lanka under the name 'United Lanka Freedom Party' targeting forthcoming national level elections. It is reported that several senior members of the SLFP who are disappointed with the present state of affairs in the country are behind the formation of the new political party. It is in the grapevine that the party has been formed as an alternative option for the "common candidate". If the UNP fields its own candidate at the next Presidential Election, more..

UN sidesteps critical issues, refuses to name investigation team

July 18 (Island) Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Wednesday said that it wouldn’t release the names of the investigation team tasked with probing the war crimes allegations against the govt of Sri Lanka as well as the LTTE, though Ms Sandra Beidas was named its coordinator. OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville was answering a question on the ongoing investigation, more..

Footwear sector prepares a strategic plan on Treasury directive

July 18 (ST) Sri Lanka’s footwear and leather products industry has prepared a strategic plan to achieve the US$1 billion revenue target by 2020 based on a directive by the Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera. At a recent meeting attended by representatives of the Sri Lanka Footwear & Leather Products Manufacturers Association and senior officials of the Finance Ministry, Dr. Jayasundera had asked the association to prepare the plan, official sources said. more..

CaFFe writes to Uva governor regarding election policy violation

July 18 (AM) Campaign for Free and fair Elections (CaFFE) has written to the Governor of the Uva province, Nanda Mathew, asking him to take immediate action to reclaim the vehicles of former councilors and ministers, some of which are being used for electioneering. After the dissolution of the council the members are to hand over the resources given to them during their tenure. Former Chief Minister Saseendra Rajapaksa has already handed over the resources given to him. more..

'No plans to return SL asylum seekers'

July 18 (ABC) A High Court judge has given govt lawyers until Monday to file their defence in the case involving 153 Sri Lankan asylum seekers being held by on board an Australian customs ship. The group set sail from Pondicherry, India, last month and were intercepted when their boat came within 175 nautical miles of Christmas Island. Their lawyers want the court to order the Govt not to return them to Sri Lanka, more..

PSM strike cripples hospitals

July 18 (Island) Patients seeking treatment at hospitals are faced with difficulties as tests and drug dispensing have come to a standstill due a strike by the Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM). The 48-hour strike which commenced on Wednesday has affected the functions of 112 hospitals in the Western, Southern and Central Provinces. The affected hospitals include the National Hospital, Ragama, Kalubowila Teaching Hospital, Karapitiya, Peradeniya Teaching more..

Malaysian airliner downed in Ukraine war zone, 298 dead

July 18 (Reuters) The United States believes a surface-to-air missile brought down a Malaysian airliner that crashed in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing all 298 people on board, an incident that sharply raises the stakes in a conflict between Kiev and pro-Moscow rebels. One U.S. official said Washington strongly suspected the missile that downed the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 on a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was fired by Ukrainian separatists backed by Moscow. more..

Govts agree to stem cancer-causing arsenic in rice, says UN

July 18 (AFP) Governments have agreed the first international standards limiting cancer-causing arsenic pollution in rice, a key move to protect consumers of what is a staple food for billions, the UN said Thursday. The Codex Alimentarius Commission, the top global decision-making body for food standards, issued the decision at its ongoing annual meeting in Geneva. "Arsenic is an environmental contaminant. more..

Batsman's fault if mankaded - MCC

July 18 (CI) Stay in the crease, the MCC has once again reiterated to the batsmen, and avoid being mankaded. That missive was sent by the MCC's World Cricket Committee at the conclusion of its two-day meeting at Lord's when the panel said that it was "unequivocal in its belief" that the existing Law did not need any changes. Mankading has long been a controversial topic and caused a lengthy debate in May when Sri Lanka's offspinner Sachithra Senanayake ran out Jos Buttler at Edgbaston more..

Stolen albino cobra left near zoo gate

July 18 (Island) The missing albino cobra from the Dehiwala Zoological Gardens was found in a pillow case near the zoo gate yesterday. The snake went missing last Saturday and a complaint was lodged on Monday with the Dehiwala Police. Zoo officials said that snake was in good health, and it was clear that the reptile had been handled by an experienced person. According to officials, the albino snake would be produced by the police before the Mt. Lavinia Magistrate. more..

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