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'I have no issues with the NPC'

July 21 (CT) Q: You are the first Governor of the Northern Province. What have you to say on your reappointment to that position? A: I am very happy to say that I have got the opportunity to continue with my service to the people in the North. When I was first appointed as the Governor Northern Province in July 2009, I was tasked with not only rebuilding the war-torn Province, but also creating a conducive atmosphere to stabilize more..

One verdict as against a culture of savagery

July 21 (ST) The Govt’s boast this week that the Colombo High Court’s conviction of a local authority chairman and three of his henchmen for the 2012 Christmas Eve murder of a British tourist and the brutal rape of his girlfriend ‘proves’ the independence of Sri Lanka’s judiciary is grossly inappropriate in the context of the case. The murder of Khuram Shaikh and the rape of Victoria Alexandrovna occurred directly as a result of the licence given by this Govt to more..

View from Ritigala - by mahasona

July 21 (NS) It is reported that over 250 teachers in the Eastern Province are suffering from mental disorders and that the authorities don’t know what to do with them. The authorities can be forgiven. After all they are not physicians and treating illnesses is not their job. On the other hand what are the authorities doing about the thousands of teachers in and out of the Eastern Province who are suffering from ‘teaching disorders’, i.e. who don’t do a stroke of work in class and/or are more..

Tracing the roots of Baila while cruising on the Beira

July 21 (ST) In the backdrop of Baila music, “8°on the Lake”, a floating restaurant on a two-storey catamaran-based boat, glided smoothly on Tuesday evening along the Beira lake on a ‘Voyage of discovery on the Baila’ carrying a group of corporate heads, businessmen, advertising personalities, professionals and private sector executives. The unusual event “Evening of Baila: Knowledge, Music & Dance” organized by more..

EZY Motor Racing to expand operations in five more countries

July 21 (ST) Sri Lanka’s professional motor racing company, EZY Motor Racing Corporation is to expand its overseas operations in five more countries, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam, after its recent entry into Pakistan’s motor sport arena, company officials said. EZY Racing and Pakistan’s IT and telecommunications firm, Interactive Group based in Dubai, have joined hands in a journey covering seven countries where the Sri Lankan motor racing company will more..

Thus spake Gurulugomi about the circles of power

July 21 (CT) Gurulugomi, the renowned prophet of the island of Bakamoona, lies in the home of his adopted land, Australia, having returned from a visit to his island of birth and upbringing. He had visited Bakamoona after twenty two years of voluntary exile in Melbourne. He had left the island because he had earned the wrath of its then rulers for his candid opinions, which he had the habit of expressing regardless. Fellow countrymen who met in the Community Centre at Glen Waverley more..

Developing prime lands in Colombo: Under-served communities to benefit

July 21 (SO) Colombo is on an expeditious track to become a hub for economic development. It has already become a safe city, free from fear, a spacious place to breath in fresh air and decorated with green and shade – with a view easy on the eye. Colombo which has a high potential for investment, needs more land for business purposes. According to calculations Colombo can free up to 400 acres of commercially viable land. more..

Rape In Peace (Immunity)

July 21 (CT) Qadri Ismail, in his ‘Responding to Aluthgama‘ (Groundviews, 10 July 2014) is not writing about Tamils but about the vicious (state-countenanced, if not instigated) attack on Muslims by fanatical Buddhists. Yet passing comments can be revelatory and significant. I quote: “…during and after the war, the Sri Lankan military has systematically raped Tamil women – and, yes, even men – mostly in the north. Not occasionally or in a sudden fit of insanity. Systematically.” more..

Declining decorum and dignity of politicians

July 21 (NS) The public spat between UNP MP Harin Fernando and ex-UNPer and now Chief Minister of the North Western Province Dayasiri Jayasekera during a television talk show last week highlights the changing trends in the local political landscape. Such incidents are not entirely new. There is the anecdote of how M.S. Themis, returned to Parliament after the 1956 ‘revolution’ that swept S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike into power, greeted former Premier Sir John with ‘Hello, John’ more..

Sri Lanka Cricket had asked for tampering footage to be aired

July 20 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket was able to ensure that the television footage of Vernon Philander's ball-tampering was aired 48 hours after the incident took place. In the interim period, it has been established that the Ten Sports producers were under pressure by the South African team not to have the footage shown in their broadcast. CSA have declined to comment on the incident. In the TV footage that finally appeared during the more..

Blaze causes extensive damage to Negombo building

July 20 (Island) The fire brigade was summoned to fight a blaze which erupted in an upper floor of St. Jude’s building in the heart of Negombo on Friday night, police said. It was around 1 am on Saturday when fire fighters brought the situation under control after a four-hour battle. Police said the building housed a computer instruction class on three floors, while the ground level had some shops. The damage was extensive though no estimate was immediately available. more..

Kadawatha accident: Death toll rises to three

July 20 (ST) A six-year-old boy died while being treated at the Colombo National Hospital after he was seriously injured in an accident aton Mankada road in Kadawatha, a Coroner’s Court inquiry was told yesterday. The boy, Nimesha Thathsara, a Grade 1 student of Kadawatha Mahabodhi School, was travelling in a three-wheeler with his family and a teacher when it collided with a lorry heading towards Colombo on Thursday. He was initially taken to the Ragama Hospital and more..

MR says committed to reconciliation

July 20 (CG) President Rajapaksa says the Govt is committed to the reconciliation process but added that It will take time to heal the wounds of the war. President said this during talks with the visiting Portugal PM Pedro Passos Coelho at Temple Trees today. During the discussion, PM Coelho said Portugal was interested in further improving relations with Sri Lanka, stating that it wanted 'deeper relations' not only in more..

SLFP to set in motion vibrant Presidential polls campaign

July 20 (Island) Amidst squabbling amongst opposition political parties on a common presidential candidate, the SLFP, main constituent of the UPFA govt, has unveiled plans for one of the strongest presidential propaganda campaigns, political sources said. SLFP has already set in motion an initiative to convene meetings at electoral level across the country, except the North and the East. Though the UPFA govt is of the view that the pulse of the people should be tested by more..

Results of medical tests can be accessed via website

July 20 (Island) Lanka Hospitals, launched a new revolutionary Medical Reference Laboratory in Colombo last week. This facility a ‘first’ in the country, offers a multitude of blood tests (300 new tests in Sri Lanka encompassing a total of 1,000). The medical complex comprises nine departments -- Haemotology, Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Flow Cytometry, Citogenetics, Histopathology, Immunology, Liquid based Cytology and Bio Chemistry. more..

Govt cautions Sobitha thero

July 20 (CG) The Govt today cautioned the venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha thero saying he may end up like Sarath Fonseka following the 2010 Presidential elections. Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said that Fonseka was roped in by others to contest the 2010 polls but failed to beat incumbent President Rajapaksa. “Now he (Fonseka) is like a disposed lottery ticket,” the Minister said at a function today. more..

SA's rare SL win, Sangakkara's elite club

July 20 (CI) This was South Africa's third win in 11 Tests in Sri Lanka and their first win in three visits to the island. Their last win came in the 2000 tour in Kandy when they beat the hosts by a margin of seven runs. Barring Australia, Sri Lanka is the only away/neutral country were South Africa have lost more Tests than they have won since their readmission to international cricket. This was South Africa's 14th Test win in the subcontinent since their readmission. more..

I owe it to Donald - Steyn

July 20 (CI) For inspiration for his paintings, Salvador Dali relied on his wife Gala. For motivation to write the upbeat tune Here Comes the Sun, The Beatles' George Harrison drew on the year he had quit the band temporarily and been arrested. For a reason to bowl faster and fiercer, Dale Steyn looks at the boundary rope because that's where Allan Donald is usually stationed. South Africa's bowling coach is not an unusual choice for a hero. Everyone from children playing street cricket more..

Harin to resign from Parliament on August 5

July 20 (AM) Harin Fernando will resign from Parliament on August 5 to contest the Uva PC election as the Chief Ministerial candidate of the UNP. His main opponent will be Shasheendra Rajapaksa, son of Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa and the present Chief Minister of the Uva province. Fernando has received permission from the UNP Leadership Council as well as from Working Committee of the party to be CM Candidate more..

Unidentified motorcyclists follow BASL President again!

July 20 (AM) Lodging another complaint with Thalangama police BASL president Upul Jayasuriya alleged that two unidentified motorcyclists had also hovered around his house located at Thalangama. According to his complaint, the suspicious behaviour of two motorcyclists had been spotted by his neighbors on July 15 and 17. The complaint in this regard had been registered on July 18 with Thalangama police. A few days ago, Jayasuriya lodged a complain at cinnamon garden police more..

Task Force abolished: New bureau for reconciliation

July 20 (ST) A new Bureau of Reconciliation is to be set up to handle matters earlier entrusted to the Presidential Task Force on Northern Development. A circular has been sent to ministries, govt departments and state corporations among others that the Task Force is no longer operational. Resettlement Ministry Secretary Janaka Sugathadasa said they had been informed by Task Force Secretary D. Divaratne that the Task Force had been appointed for a specific purpose more..

UN team on Sri Lanka to have sittings at 3 places overseas

July 20 (ENS) The UN team, which has been put together to investigate allegations of human rights violations and war crimes against the Sri Lankan govt and the LTTE, will be holding hearings in New York, Geneva and Bangkok, UN sources said. The team constituted by the OHCHR, would of course seek permission to hold sittings in Sri Lanka. But it is unlikely to get it as the Lankan govt has rejected any international probe. more..

Prosecute Gnanasara Thera, BASL tells Attorney General

July 20 (Island) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has called on the Attorney General Palitha Fernando to prosecute BBS Galabodaaththe Gnanasara Thera, for leading violent attacks on the Muslims of Authgama last month resulting in the loss of life and property. "The speech that Gnanasara Thera made in Authgama on June 15 contains offensive material inciting racial hatred against the Muslims. Sufficient prima facie evidence exists to prosecute the thera under PTA, ICCPR Act more..

Mannar fishermen take TNA MP to task

July 20 (SO) Fishermen's organisations in Mannar are up in arms against TNA MP Selvam Adaikalanathan for making representations that were detrimental to the interests of the fishing communities. Leaders of fishermen's organisations said that as a MP representing the district it is Selvam's bounden duty to take up the poaching issue and the fishermen's livelihood problem with the Sri Lankan and Indian authorities. But, instead, he had made representations to the Fisheries more..

A quintessential Sri Lanka collapse

July 20 (CI) There was a buzz about Galle Stadium on Sunday morning. Kumar Sangakkara was in. Mahela Jayawardene was to come. Sri Lanka's solidity on Saturday evening was cause for their coach believing victory was within their sight. Everyone knew 260 was a gargantuan target, but Lord's and Headingley has instilled a little belief in the Sri Lanka fans, just as those matches boosted confidence in the team. more..

Ada Derana launches Sri Lanka’s first 24x7 News Channel

July 20 (AD) Ada Derana launches Sri Lanka’s first ever 24-hour television news channel ‘ADA DERANA 24x7’ at 8am today. Tune in to channel 13 on your Dialog TV as Sri Lanka enters the realm of global news reporting. Redefining the annals of news reporting in Sri Lanka, Ada Derana is proud to introduce to you ADA DERANA 24x7, the latest innovation by the Nation’s most renowned News brand, fiercely proud of its independence, speed, style and accessibility via many touch points. more..

Young Buddhist monk commits suicide inside temple

July 20 (AD) A 19-year-old Buddhist monk has committed suicide at the Godella Dhammikarama Viharaya in Aluthgama. Police said the monk had used a rope to hang himself from the ceiling fan in his room at around 11.30pm last night. Nuwara Eliye Sudewa Thero, 19, who had been residing at a temple in Walapana, Beruwala, only arrived at the Dhammikarama Viharaya last evening to attend a ‘Bakthi Gee’ programme. Police have also discovered a letter written by the monk more..

No ship or large trawler has entered it so far

July 20 (CT) A project to develop the Oluvil Harbour, carried out by the Rajapaksa Govt, has not entirely borne fruit like the govt may have originally planned. This is evident from a study conducted by the COPE in Parliament. The study conducted by COPE had revealed that ever since the improvised harbour was opened in Sept 2013, not a single ship or large trawler had entered it. Member of COPE, Ravi Karunanayake, more..

Book on Dengue presented to Cardinal

July 20 (Island) National Intellectuals’ and Professionals’ Organisation (NIPO) presented a book on Dengue to Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith. Sinhala publication titled "Dengue, Maranaya Wenuwata Jeewithaya", covers almost all aspects of the dreaded disease including virus, mosquito, disease, treatment, control methodologies developed the world over, how other countries faced the challenge, socio-economic impact, and the reasons for the failure to control dengue. more..

Education Ministry supports CAA efforts

July 20 (NS) The Education Ministry yesterday said it fully supports the efforts of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) to clamp down on errant school canteen operators as the CAA continued to carry out inspections countrywide. Education Ministry Secretary Anura Dissanayake said that while there is a canteen policy governing schools, the ministry does not have a mechanism to enforce it properly. As such, the efforts of the CAA should be appreciated, he added. more..

Is Thisara contemplating retirement?

July 20 (ST) Is all-rounder Thisara Perera who opted out of the Sri Lanka ‘A’ tour of England and Ireland contemplating retirement from international cricket? Left-handed bowling all-rounder who has played six tests, 76 ODIs and 38 T-20s had been down thumbed by the selectors at national level and suddenly pulled out of the national squad during the present ODI series against South Africa citing mental stress. more..

Liberty Plaza owners expect new Kollupitiya hotels to drum up biz

July 20 (Island) Colombo Land & Development Company, owners of the Liberty Plaza in Kollupitiya, has grown revenue 20% in the year ended Dec 31, 2013 to Rs.125.5 million and posted a group profit after-tax of Rs.61.1 million, up from a loss of Rs.90 million the previous year, according to the company’s annual report. The company’s Chairman, Prof. Krishan Deheragoda, described the year under review as "exciting and eventful" in terms of the progress and accomplishment of more..

'NDA govt taking steps to protect Sri Lankan Tamils' interest'

July 20 (PTI) NDA Govt would not accept or tolerate any activity by Sri Lanka which would amount to treating Tamils there as slaves, Union Minister and senior BJP leader from TN Pon Radhakrishnan said today. The handling of Sri Lankan Tamils issue by the previous Congress-led UPA Govt was against the interests of Tamils. However, the NDA Govt was taking necessary steps, taking into account the interests and welfare of Tamils, he told reporters at the airport here. more..

Exposing the ‘Seychelles Strategy’

July 20 (Island) I was lucky. He didn’t have anything else in his diary for the remainder of the day. Upstairs and over a cup of tea we began. It’s been three and half years and one report. What is happening at the Public Accounts Committee? "Let me be very honest", he says. "In real democracies the PACs are not headed by the executive arm of the govt. It is always headed by by an opposition member. more..

Elephants: A world concern

July 20 (Island) Elephants have earned the attention of the world community, sadly not because they are such marvelous creatures but because the fear of their extinction is looming threateningly, not due to evolutionary selection or any such natural cause but because of the utter disregard for them by human beings. Driving their decimation is desire: in Africa for ivory, most of which ends up in China, fetching $1500 a pound. We have been part of this illegal trade; a huge amount of trafficked more..

No national justice without international pressure

July 20 (CT) The punishment might not be commensurate with the crimes – murder and gang rape. The sentence might get commuted; there might be an outright presidential pardon; an appeal might produce a more unjust outcome. But at least for now Sampath Chandrapushpa Vidanapathirana is behind bars. True he may receive most favoured treatment in jail or spend his time comfortably in the prison hospital. But the main thing is that he was convicted, sentenced and imprisoned. more..