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Wijeyadasa’s criticism on UN Rapporteur: Ministers harbour different views

July 20 (DM) The govt, which received many a laurel in for the mode of its engagement with the UNHRC, got a brickbat for the first time after the fact- finding mission of Special UN Rapporteur Ben Emmerson.  Mr. Emmerson charged that Sri Lanka continued to use torture against people detained on national security grounds, and its progress on human rights, reforms and justice remained woefully slow. more..

Mount Lavinia residents up-in-arms

July 20 (SL) Residents in Mount Lavinia are continuing a battle against illegal contructions in the area. The Mount Lavinia Residents Association said their campaign to save Mount Lavinia is not against the construction of apartment buildings in the area but against the failure to follow proper procedure. “We are for sustainable development where the old world charm of Mount Lavinia is protected and also the living environment is more..

'Majority of people are against SAITM’

July 20 (DN) Western Province Chief Minister Isura Devapriya said the number of persons who oppose SAITM is higher than the number of persons who support SAITM.  "The President and the Govt has paid attention to the issue. It is good to let the Govt solve it without interferences of others," he said. He said that the Front Line Socialist Party had said that it will bring schoolchildren into the protest against SAITM. more..

Widespread brutality against women uncontained

July 20 (ST) In Sri Lanka, women not only just suffer catcalls on the streets and widespread violence from their husbands and partners, but they are also subject to attack by state officials, politicians, and state agencies such as the police and military. Gender-based violence in the island has increased along with the level of brutality. Children are not spared. National agencies have reported more than 9,000 acts violence more..

Empower the youth to go green

July 20 (DM) Last week, National Unity Govt took a bold and effective step to ban the use of plastic and polythene, including the popular silli silli bags which come easily but do not go away easily. However, there are interested parties with vested interests. They are demanding an alternative.  Environment analysts and responsible eco-friendly citizens believe that the plastic lobby is basically anti-Sri Lanka -- somewhat like LTTE terrorists, who wanted to destroy our country and people. more..

Who represents the real SLFP: Maithri or Mahinda?

July 20 (DM) SLFP, although purported to be following the Bandaranaike policies and principles, basically consists of socialized economic principles and hard nationalism bordering on extremism. Its fundamental appeal has been to Sinhalese Buddhists who it rightly assumed as marginalized and under-served by the then governing principals, a Colombo-based, English-speaking elite led by the UNP. That is all post-Independence politics in Ceylon.    more..

UN access to LTTE detainees to be regulated

July 20 (DN) President Sirisena has asked that new guidelines be put in place when UN Special Rapporteurs visit the country so all parties involved are aware of their activities. Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara stressed that President was not displeased with UN Rapporteur Ben Emmerson having visited Tamil political prisoners but that he simply wanted all relevant departments such as Ministry of Defence informed of such visits. more..

CCTV to nab nocturnal garbage dumpers

July 20 (CT) CCTV cameras will be installed in public areas where garbage is haphazardly dumped by the public in a bid to nab those disposing of waste under cover of dark, Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said. "Authorities have been alerted to the fact that there was no cooperation from the public in ensuring a systematic and safe waste disposal mechanism, with most of the unlawful waste disposal taking place at night. Hence, Cabinet approved a number of proposals submitted more..

Visiting Singapore FM says Jaffna holds special significance to Singapore

July 20 (FT) Singapore Foreign Minister Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan after visiting Jaffna and meeting with the Northern Provincial officials yesterday said Jaffna holds special significance for Singapore given the strong cultural and people-to-people ties between the two sides. He said the relationship has evolved from the early days of govt administrators to present day institutions such as the Singapore Ceylon Tamils’ Association. “Some of our pioneer leaders in politics, education and more..

Pan Asia DGM thinks Aloysious wanted evidence concealed

July 20 (Island) Deputy General Manager of Pan Asia Bank Richie Dias, testifying before Presidential Commission, said that when he met Perpetual Treasuries Director Arjun Aloysius on June 30, he got the impression that the latter wanted vital information and evidence concealed. Dias said so when Deputy Solicitor General (DSG) Milinda Gunatillake asked him what kind of assistance, he thought, Aloysius had expected of him. more..

PHI develops dengue mosquito detection instrument

July 20 (DN) Chirantha Guruge, Public Health Inspector (PHI) attached to the Galle Municipal Council has produced an instrument which helps to detect the dengue mosquito. Guruge says his instrument helps to detect the dengue mosquito found in gutters, concrete slabs toilet pits and higher elevations in homes and buildings easily. Introducing his novel creation, Guruge said he used a vehicle reversing camera battery, monitor, aluminium pipe & battery charger to turn out his instrument. more..

Navy sought police probe after key suspect fled

July 20 (Island) Wartime navy Chief Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda called for a police investigation in late May 2009 after personally inquiring into his chief security officer, Lt. Commander Sampath Munasinghe’s alleged involvement in the disappearance of 21-year-old Rajiv Naganathan of No 87, Shoe road, Kotahena. Sources said that Admiral Karannagoda had called for an explanation from Lt. Commander Munasinghe after the then Captain Jagath Ranasinghe more..

Confusion reigns at first official World Capital Centre press meet

July 20 (FT) First official press conference of the proposed World Capital Centre (WCC), billed to be Asia's tallest building - purportedly a $ 2 billion investment - ended up raising more questions than answers, with the company being unable to satisfactorily clear up doubts surrounding the project. Since the project's official announcement earlier this month (the company itself was incorporated in Mar 2015), more..

Trade adjustment package for local industrialists: Malik

July 20 (FT) As negotiations on Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) progress, the Govt is mulling introducing a trade adjustment package to assist local industrialists improve their competitiveness.  Minister Malik Samarawickrama said that GSP+ gives SL the chance to deepen backward integration so that export earnings are more equitably distributed among farmer communities. “We are considering introducing a trade adjustment package to local industrialists to upgrade machinery more..

Madras HC rejects SL refugee’s plea to transfer him to Coimbatore

July 20 (Hindu) Madras High Court Bench here has rejected the plea of a Sri Lankan refugee, K. Arulinbathevar alias Ayya, facing a criminal case on a charge of cheating other refugees by promising to take them to Australia, to transfer him from a special camp at Tiruchi to the one in Coimbatore where his wife and children have been lodged. Justice P.N. Prakash dismissed a writ petition filed by him on several grounds, including the absence of a right conferred on a refugee to demand such more..

Radical elements in GMOA not interested in resolving SAITM issue: Govt

July 20 (Island) The GMOA did not want to resolve any issue that it had raised, since it wanted to keep its protest campaign going in a bid to topple the govt, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said yesterday. Senaratne said that radical elements within the GMOA’s ranks were uttering blatant lies to give like minded colleagues confidence to continue with their demonstrations to re-install former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in power. more..

Last SL tour changed India's mindset: Kohli

July 20 (Reuters) The odds were against India the last time they toured Sri Lanka in 2015, but Virat Kohli led the inexperienced side to a comeback win in the test series which changed the team's mindset, the captain said. "That tour for us was a landmark tour," Kohli told reporters before India's departure for the island country, where the team will play three tests, five one-day internationals and a one-off twenty20 match. "If you look at the average age of that team a couple of years back. more..

Singer Logistics Hub in Dambulla

July 20 (DN) Singer Sri Lanka created a new milestone in logistics capability when President Sirisena ceremonially opened the company’s massive 75,000 sq.ft. Logistics Hub in Dambulla last week. The opening of the state-of-the-art logistics hub would result in doubling up Singer’s speed of distribution while maintaining a streamlined inventory control to keep up with rapidly increasing growth in sales. New Singer Logistics Hub located on a 5.5 acre extent of land in Dambulla more..

Australia to help SL fight dengue outbreak

July 20 (AP) Australia is helping Sri Lanka combat the deadly mosquito-borne disease dengue fever that has claimed 250 lives and infected nearly 100,000 so far this year. Visiting foreign minister Julie Bishop said Australia is giving US $377,000 to the WHO to implement immediate dengue prevention, management and eradication programs. SL is suffering its worst-ever dengue outbreak and hospitals are overcrowded with patients. more..

$1.4 billion revenue loss due to incentives

July 20 (CT) Highlighting a revenue loss of more than US$ 1.4 billion due to the tax concessions given to several projects, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that the govt was focusing on a 60:40 ratio for direct and indirect tax. Acknowledging that the indirect taxes were burdening the poor, he said that indirect taxes in the country were the highest in South Asia. According to Samaraweera the tax incentives provided by the previous govt had led to higher dependence on indirect taxes more..

SL record wins in Devis Cup & Fed Cup

July 20 (DN) Sri Lanka continued its winning streak in the Davis Cup Asia Oceania Group III when they beat Pacific Oceania 2/1 in their group 'A' tie at the SLTA clay courts yesterday. Sri Lanka's key player Harshana Godamanna gave a superb start by beating Heve Kelley in comfortable straight sets 6/1, 6/3 in the first singles, but Sharmal Dissanayake was unable to maintain momentum and went down to Colin Sinclair 4/6, 4/6 in the other singles match. Both Harshana and Sharmal put up a superb more..

Dr. Fernando to settle all loans in 10 years

July 20 (DM) SAITM said that as per the Cabinet Memorandum, the mortgage rights of the Dr. Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH) will remain with the Bank of Ceylon (BoC) until such time all loans are repaid by SAITM within the next 10 years, after which all titles of ownership will be vested with the Govt of SL. SAITM also stated that “This arrangement was materialized under the advocacy of attorneys of BoC, govt & SAITM more..

Secretary to the President holds meeting on Dengue Prevention

July 20 (GDI) Secretary to the President, Austin Fernando held a special meeting with the Operation Committee on Dengue Prevention today (19) at the Presidential Secretariat. Heads of the Institutions of health sector joined this meeting. As the 30% of dengue patients are school children, the Committee suggested handing over the responsibility of making the school premises free from dengue mosquitoes to the Principals of the schools. Accordingly, all Principals of the island will be educated more..

Emirates to operate one-off A380 flight to Colombo

July 20 (FT) Emirates’ iconic A380 aircraft will make a one-off landing at the BIA, Katunayake, on 14 August as the global airline joins local authorities in the celebration of the airport’s resurfaced runway. The special flight, operating as EK654 from Dubai, will be the first A380 aircraft to disembark passengers in Sri Lanka after completing a commercial service. The one-off A380 aircraft will arrive at 16:10 hours and be on ground for more than six hours before it returns to Dubai more..

Drug misuse keeps haunting Lankan sports

July 20 (ST) Upon the withdrawal of 400metres athlete Pradeep Kumara who was brought back home from the 22nd Asian Athletic meet in India last week due to failing a drug test, SL athletic sources are abuzz with the discovery of the iceberg. According to a senior SL athletic official they have stumbled upon evidence to say that there are more than a dozen more such cases and the list of names are in their possession. more..

SL to host International Junior Golf C'ships

July 20 (ST) Royal Colombo Golf Club will be the centre stage when the Sri Lanka Golf Union, the national body for Golf in Sri Lanka together with HSBC, launches Sri Lanka’s first ever International Junior Golf Championship. The tussle for supremacy will be teed off between Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. The event which has been initiated by the Sri Lanka Golf Union (SLGU) – Junior Sub Committee aims to raise the standard of Junior Golf in the country by identifying more..

Sri Lanka to tap travel agents

July 20 (Hindu) Days after their national carrier Sri Lankan Airlines introduced direct Hyderabad-Colombo flights, travel and tourism representatives from Sri Lanka showcased the various product offerings for Indian tourists at a roadshow here. As many as 28 travel and tour operators are participating, said Indrajith De Silva, Director, Destination and Social Responsibility of SL Tourism Promotion Bureau. Interacting with presspersons, in a hall teeming with stakeholders from more..

VAT exemptions not pro-Poor: World Bank

July 20 (CT) Most of Sri Lanka's VAT exemptions do not benefit the poor and are effectively a subsidy to the non-poor, World Bank Senior Country Economist for Sri Lanka Ralph van Doorn said. He urged the govt to use better targeted instruments such as public investment to mitigate effect on the poor with net positive fiscal impact. "Sri Lanka's need of the hour is good quality public health and education services and more..

Sri Lanka’s apparel sector heading for major labour shortage: DMS Group Head

July 20 (Island) Sri Lanka's apparel sector is heading for a major crisis due to an acute labour shortage, which needs to be addressed by using latest technology, DMS Group Head Ruwan Rathnathunga said. "The apparel sector is a high labour intensified sector and the current labour shortage will be a challenge for the sector with the GSP Plus trade arrangement coming into effect, he said at an event that was held to launch the latest sewing machines for local apparel industry more..

The world should help Gammedda serve forgotten people

July 20 (Island) I have visited many remote areas and even recorded special programmes with Sirasa Gammedda, the News 1st initiative to help the forgotten people of Sri Lanka. I studied development journalism in New Delhi sometime back, but it was here that I saw real development journalism being practised. People from all walks of life complain, today, that both the government and the Opposition including the so-called Joint Opposition have failed to solve the issues concerning more..

A new heart begins to beat

July 20 (ST) Overjoyed is Wijaya Kumarasiri from a village in Anuradhapura. His Sudu, with her new heart beating strongly within, had opened her eyes and given him a smile that morning, as he murmured endearments to her. We meet him the same day, Wednesday, at noon as he lingers outside Kandy Teaching Hospital’s Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit, awaiting another glimpse of his wife. more..

Editorial: Jobless gods and idling demons

July 20 (Island) Mahanayake Theras are in an unenviable position. As if the headaches caused by some yahapalana politicians tilting at temple tills were not enough, they have to receive and bless all and sundry and, at times, suffer fools with equanimity for want of a better alternative. Former Minister Mervyn Silva, of all people, visited the Mahanayake Theras in Kandy the other day. He turned the occasion into a media circus of sorts much to the embarrassment of the prelates. more..

Constitution, equality and Beethoven’s ninth symphony

July 20 (GV) I’m responding to one aspect of the article by Dr Rohan Wickramasinghe published in The Island of 17 July, 2017. He poses the question as to what the aristocratic framers of the Indian and Sri Lankan Constitutions would have to say about the wish expressed in Lyrics to Ludwig van Beethoven’s ninth symphony 'Ode to Joy' to have beggars become brothers of Lords. I don’t feel equal to answer the question but I wish to comment on his statement that Indian and SL Constitution more..

Arundika Fernando

Facts on the Enforced Disappearances Bill

July 20 (GV) The following is a note prepared by the Spokesperson of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Mahishini Colonne. This was in response to an interview conducted with Former Minister G L Peiris, in which he made several claims about the bill to give effect to the International Convention to Protect All Persons from Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances. The interview made several incorrect assertions, including that the Bill will be subjected to the jurisdiction of the ICC. more..

National Consciousness: Scarce commodity

July 20 (Island) All successful nations in the world, whether Japan, Korea, Germany, Singapore, USA or Israel, have had a common thread running through them that is resilient patriotic national consciousness which gave them the identity, spirit, cohesion and momentum to work with one mind to achieve their present greatness. In SL, except for cricket, national consciousness and patriotism are unfortunately rare commodities among most of our politicians, and a vast majority of the people. more..