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Massive efforts to restore mangroves in the east

Aug 1 (BBC) Sri Lanka's war has caused extensive damage to mangrove cultivations in the Batticaloa lagoon and a massive restoration effort is underway. The Batticaloa lagoon with an important eco-system provides protection for birds and flora and fauna unique to the area. The Tamil Tiger rebels took refuge in mangrove forests and in exchange of fire between the security forces and the rebels, a large amount of mangroves were destroyed. more..

D.R. Wijewardene was hooted and everyone cheered

Aug 1 (LG) Those who submit to assessment, one assumes, know on what they will be judged and would do well to reconcile themselves to living with the judgment. Judgment can sometimes be utterly subjective. Political and other loyalties can come into play. That’s part of the story and those who submit to judgment cannot pretend to be innocent about such things. This is true of all awards, by the way, local and foreign, pertaining to literature, cinema, music and more..

IDPs to sit for exams

Aug 1 (SL) Hundreds of young IDPs and the newly resettled, will be sitting the Ordinary and Advanced Level examinations this year. A representative from the Examinations Department said that a total of 214,239 candidates would be sitting for the exams through their respective schools. A further 54,694 would be sitting the exams privately, he added. Around 1921 exam centres will accommodate the candidates. more..

Editorial: the war is over or is it?

Aug 1 (SL) It is 27 years since Black July – and just over one year since the war ended… in a remote mangrove in the North. Gowri was 19 years old, her father was a clerical hand. It had taken Shanmugam 40 years to reach the position of Head Clerk. Shanmugam and his wife Shanthi’s only ambition was to see that Gowri enters university. They wanted simple things in life. Gowri to enter university, find a stable government job, and a lifelong partner. more..

Taking back the streets

Aug 1 (SL) Our dearly departed war had two major battlefields: the Wanni and the streets of Colombo. The ‘Colombian’ war saw untold terrorism wrought upon an urban center — from the Central Bank bombing to almost casual bombings of buses, police stations, public gatherings, shops, street corners and assassinations in kovils and homes. This instilled, predictably, terror and the Colombo population retreated to the suburbs so deeply that our downtown became prematurely historic. more..

Dengue claims more victims – Govt inactive

Aug 1 (SL) This week, the Epidemiology Unit reported that 164 people have died due to dengue. As of Thursday, 22,998 cases have been reported, 3,710 of them in Colombo. Meanwhile, the much-hyped Cuban BTI bacteria is yet to arrive. Now, the government is turning to alternative indigenous remedies to alleviate the situation. A homeopathy treatment centre has been set up at the Kichilan Community Centre, Slave Island. more..

Lessons from the Algama immolation

Aug 1 (SL) It has been in the news all week, but it has been a case of stating the obvious as to why Rienzie Algama decided to immolate himself in front of Sirikotha, the UNP headquarters in Kotte. Various opinions have been offered as to the reason why Algama did what he did and not a ‘WW’ like the one opposite the UN the other day, but many, if not all, seem to have missed out on one salient point – that while Algama’s stated reason for having set himself on fire more..

The S-Coup that never was

Aug 1 (SL) The Journalism Awards for Excellence 2009, conducted by the Editor’s Guild of Sri Lanka in association with the Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI), ended last Tuesday, July 27 at the Mount Lavinia Hotel. Despite these two supposedly august bodies insisting on transparency and accountability from the government, opposition and everybody who is an anybody related to the other in this country, the awards ceremony like all the previous are conducted with more..

Police inaction on Siyatha attack

Aug 1 (LB) Kariyapperuma family members, owners of Siyatha TV yesterday told media that they will not cow down to intimidatory tactics, after their Siyatha TV office was attacked. According to reliable sources, police have so far failed to launch an inquiry into Friday’s arson attack directed at the Siyatha TV and Radio station situated at Hunupitiya, Colombo 2, and owned by popular film actress Sangeetha Weerarathna and more..

There are Buddhist revolutions and Buddhist revolutions

Aug 1 (LB) Rajpal Abeynayake claims that ‘the alleged Cultural Revolution happened’ (Lakbima News of July 25). That’s the title of his response to my comments on the subject of a ‘Sinhala Buddhist cultural revolution’ the previous week. In the essay itself, the assertion is watered down, though. He says ‘faintly traceable’. The proof is pretty thin of course, but if Rajpal wants to believe there is some kind of silent move on the part of Sinhala Buddhists more..

The Demotic and the Universal

Aug 1 (LB) In earlier articles, I have argued that the different varieties of English spoken and written across the globe should all be subsumed under the category of the demotic, meaning the popular, taking into account the kind of poetry written by Adrian Mitchell, Brian Patten, Adrien Henri, Roger McGough and other English poets who write for the most part in straightforward Standard English (SE), not in dialect. more..

Tea Travels: A natural high!

Aug 1 (LB) Tea is the oldest, sassiest, most popular communal drink in the world, and brings people together, whether for a cosy tˆte-a-tˆte or to broker major deals. But what does tea, discovered in around 2,737 BC by the formidable Chinese Emperor Shennong, mean to us today? Talking to people on the streets of Colombo about this ubiquitous drink, the answers varied from taking a holiday in the incredibly popular Tea Trails or more..

SLT unveils new tariff plans

Aug 1 (LB) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) unveiled its new tariff plan for its SLT Citylink CDMA prepaid and postpaid telephone connections. Without a doubt, SLT now offers the country’s lowest on-net call rates at Rs. 1/= per minute through its SLT Citylink CDMA prepaid and postpaid connections. For prepaid connections, outgoing calls within the SLT Network is charged at Rs. 1/- per minute, while to other networks, the call charge is Rs. 2/- per minute. more..

Depleting forests endanger pharmacological progress

Aug 1 (SO) The disappearance of plant species from depleting forests is most damaging to the pharmacological progress and the pharmaceutical industry, which annually spends vast amounts of funds and energy to discover plant based drugs. Though we live in an era of synthetics our dependence on nature for medicinal properties has not diminished to any extent. It has been found that more than half of the prescriptions doled out by physicians the world over for more..

Neelan Tiruchelvam and Sri Lanka’s democratic development

Aug 1 (Island) More than 60 years into political independence, Sri Lanka continues with its tortuous search for the ideal constitution and now, perhaps more than ever before, the incisive constitutional and legal acumen of the Late Neelan Tiruchelvam would have proved most valuable. The point to be pondered is whether the leadership of the major political parties of this country, is turning back the hands of time by more..

Sri Lanka gets more Emirates flights to Male

Aug 1 (LBO) Emirates is to increase the frequency of flights between Sri Lanka and the Maldives to cater to increasing tourist traffic, a statement said. Emirates is to add three extra flights to Malé from August 1, resulting in the airline operating daily flights between Malé and Colombo and increasing its services from four to five flights a week. The additional flights take Emirates’ services to the Maldives to 19 a week, more..

41 Sri Lankan workers stranded in Riyadh

Aug 1 (AN) Forty-one Sri Lankan workers, all of them women, have been stranded in Riyadh since March because they were not given their assigned jobs by their local sponsor. “The local agent in Colombo recruited the workers for a cleaning company, which is unable to deploy the workers since it has a dispute with the concerned hospital (where the workers were to be deployed),” Nimal Ranawake, the Sri Lankan Embassy’s labor counselor, more..

Broadband Internet users seen at 4 milion in 4 years

Aug 1 (ST) Telecom and IT have driven growth in Sri Lanka, even during the war years with latest estimates of the broadband Internet market seeing it expanding to 4.3 million users in the next four year from around 330,000 now, according to a research study. According to the report on the Sri Lankan telecom industry by US-based Proactiveinvestors, a financial news and analysis provider, more..

4,260 MT of illegally imported chicken seized by Customs

Aug 1 (LP) 4260 Metric Tons of illegally imported frozen chicken has been seized by the Sri Lankan Customs last week. Sources say that the stock was brought via Singapore without authorization from the Department of Animal Husbandry and Health. It has not yet been determined what country the chicken was bought from. The private company that imported the stock has been fined Rs. 5 million by the Customs. more..

LTTE's withdrawal from talks, a severe blunder - Dr. Joy Maheswaran

Aug 1 (MoD) Dr. Joy Maheswaran, one of the key negotiators of the LTTE when the outfit engaged in talks with the Government from 2002 to 2005, said that the LTTE made a severe blunder by withdrawing from the peace talks and had dug its own grave. Dr. Maheswaran who is currently domiciled in Melbourne, Australia was delivering the Professor Eliazer memorial lecture at the University of Monash last week. more..

President inspects Kandy Water Refinery Projects

Aug 1 (LP) The President inspected the Kandy South Water Refinery and the Kandy Katugasthota Water Refinery yesterday morning. Special attention was paid about increasing the capacity of the refineries to provide water to areas where water is scarce, about how to solve various problems that have occurred, and about the drying up of water sprouts in the area. President Rajapaksa spoke about the water scarcity in Marassana, Galagedara and Anuragama and more..

Galle-Matara Railway track closed for 4 months

Aug 1 (LP) Trains will not be functioning on the Galle- Matara Railiway track for 04 months from today (01). The railway track is closed due to renovations and once the work is complete it will only take 02 hours to reach Matara from Colombo said the Railways Department. The construction of the highway is conducted in three phases and under the first phase concrete pillars will be replaced more..

Royalist Ranil targeted in absentia in Thomian Night skit

Aug 1 (Island) The simmering leadership battle in the UNP was an object of fun on Friday night when UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe (in absentia) came under heavy flak in a stage skit over his meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa to explore ways and means of doing away with the executive presidency. The 45-minute skit staged at the Thomian Night mercilessly made fun at the absent Wickremesinghe, more..

Viva and National Blood Transfusion Service to 'Gift Life'

Aug 1 (DM) Viva, a brand of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare - Sri Lanka recently renewed its partnership with the National Blood Transfusion Service in order to create wider awareness of the importance of blood donation, give tribute to blood donors and potential donors and highlight the presence of people who are in need of blood in order to survive certain illnesses. The partnership, titled 'VIVA Gift of Life' enters its second consecutive year. more..

Medico legal report to prove sexual abuse of woman Army deserter by four police personnel

Aug 1 (LT) Lanka Truth had reported on 28th of July that a woman Army deserter who had called over to Buttala Police station to lodge a complaint regarding a dispute alleged that she was raped by four police officers. Then she was admitted to General Hospital Badulla where she was examined by Consultant Judiciary Medical officer Dr. M.N Ruhul Haque to whom she has given full-fledged history how she was subjected to this sexual abuse by more..

Did Algama die in vain?

Aug 1 (NS) The UNP hierarchy has much to learn from recent events. Rienzie Algama paid the supreme sacrifice to demonstrate that internal party unity was the need of the hour. This only highlights the undercurrents within the UNP now. The overt leadership battle is in a state of abeyance. But a trigger such as Algama’s self-immolation brought the various factions to the surface yet again, sniping bitterly at each other. more..

President hold workshop to an attempt to averting the creation of divisions within the party

Aug 1 (LeN) President Mahinda Rajapakse is preparing to hold a three day workshop to please and motivate the Govt. Ministers and MPs. This is a sequel to the bitter disillusionment and disappointment the Ministers and Govt. MPs are manifesting while in Parliament against the Govt. since the Cabinet appointments were made following the General elections. more..

Axe to fall on errant job agencies

Aug 1 (SO) The flying squad of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) will take legal action against errant foreign job recruitment agencies which have mushroomed in the country, under a special program from today. As an initial step, the Sri Lanka Standards Institution will assist the Bureau to grade all registered foreign job agencies, considering the services they render to develop the foreign employment trade. The Bureau has received complaints that some job agencies retain the passports of job seekers and more..

New 3/4 Rule of the Maligawa

Aug 1 (Island) According to police officers controlling entry at the Maligawa in Kandy, a new dress code is in place from Thursday. Those wearing 3/4 length trousers will not be allowed entry. However those wearing 3/4 length skirts were allowed entry on Thursday. According to the police these rules were introduced by the Diyawadana Nilame and the chief priest of the Maligawa. Unofficially a WPC told this reporter that the reason for this discrepancy was because trousers hug the thighs, while skirts don’t. more..

India to send official to assess rehabilitation work in Sri Lanka

Aug 1 (Hindu) An official of the External Affairs Ministry will visit Sri Lanka in a week to see for himself the progress of the rehabilitation works in the Tamil areas, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said on Sunday. Talking to reporters after meeting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi at his Gopalapuram residence, Mr. Chidambaram said that he had conveyed the good news to him. more..

Bribery and corruption complaints go unheard

Aug 1 (SL) The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption has received 530 complaints since the Commission’s term expired on March 29 this year. However, no fresh investigations can be initiated until members are appointed to the commission, an official from the Commission said. The appointments to many independent commissions have been delayed due to the non constitution of more..

Move to accommodate prisoners in open camps

Aug 1 (SO) Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera said that there are around 7,000 convicts in prisons who had defaulted payment of fines of Rs. 1,500 or Rs. 1,000. According to the Minister these fines had been imposed by the courts. People from poor families who were unable to pay the fine were compelled to serve a prison term. He said that due to their failure to pay a fine of Rs. 1,500, some of them languished in jail for three months or more. more..

Probes on fertiliser fraud launched

Aug 1 (SO) The Police and the Internal Audit Division of the Agriculture Ministry have launched two separate investigations on the Rs. 850 million subsidized fertiliser fraud which was highlighted by the Auditor General in August 2009. A spokesman for the Agriculture Ministry said that all documents relating to the fraud had been taken over by the audit division. Statements have already been recorded from the officers concerned in this regard, he said. more..

Lanka in for clash with radical Islam

Aug 1 (NS) The country may have come out of one of the most difficult conflicts in its history last year, but according to evidence that is surfacing, it could be plunged into a conflict with even more radical Islamic fundamentalists soon, if early action to check them is not taken, warns some leading members of the Muslim community who fear a bloodbath in the offing. more..

Central Highlands, a Natural World Heritage

Aug 1 (MoD) The Central Highlands of Sri Lanka, including the Knuckles Forest Reserve have been designated as a Natural World Heritage site, at the World Heritage Committee meeting in Brazil. Deputy Minister of Environment, Faiszer Musthapha who led the Sri Lankan delegation to Brazil for the 34th Session of the World Heritage Conference said that all 21-member nations voted unanimously and it was a great achievement for Sri Lanka. more..

'State assets plundered in the pretext of development in the North'

Aug 1 (LeN) The media group which visited the North form the East have revealed that though a year has elapsed after the war has ended, the displaced Tamil population in the North have not been duly re settled. Under the pretext of developing the North, what is actually happening is a plunder of the funds in the process. Representatives of five major print media Organizations who held a discussion on the 30th at the SL Print media Institution at Narahenpita made these startling disclosures. more..

Hike in Cabinet rubber-stamping

Aug 1 (NS) Despite the post-April 8 General election Cabinet being ‘whittled down’ to 41 Ministers, less than the half the size of the previous one, there is an unprecedented increase in the number of Cabinet papers presented for approval at the weekly meetings, a senior Minister told The Nation yesterday. “The Cabinet had to study over 80 papers at last Wednesday’s meeting, which necessitated deliberations for over three hours,” he said. more..

Ranil contemplates action against pro-Sajith group

Aug 1 (NS) High ranking officials of the UNP are quoted as saying that Ranil Wickremesinghe is contemplating instituting disciplinary action against the UNP group supporting Sajith Premadasa. No sooner after completing his Indian tour and returning to the country, Ranil Wickremesinghe has been in discussion with the Deputy Leader of the UNP its President Gamini Jayawickrema Perera and Joseph Michael Perera and more..

Mendis sacked as cricket CEO

Aug 1 (LB) Duleep Mendis, CEO Sri Lanka Cricket has been served notice to vacate the post within a month’s time citing that the longest serving CEO has overstayed the stipulated retirement age of 55, but observes say that this was part of SLC hierarchy’s witch-hunt. Mendis admitted being served a notice when Lakbimanews contacted, but was none committal when asked what he thinks of the sudden move. more..

Politico’s brother in stolen vehicle racket

Aug 1 (NS) A stolen vehicle racket involving the brother of a ruling party politico in the Galle Municipal Council, along with four others, for almost two years, has now come to light, but all suspects had managed to give police the slip. Even the kingpin had given the slip, after handing over the stolen vehicles. The OIC Sarath Mendis acting on a tip off, raided a garage at Ranapanadeniya, Ratgama last Sunday, and found four stolen vehicles- a car, a truck and two vans. more..

Salary hike for varsity academic staff under study

Aug 1 (SO) The government has agreed to increase the salaries of university academic staff, said Higher Education Ministry Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha Nawaratna. He said that a committee consisting of the UGC Chairman, Prof. Gamini Samaranayake, Higher Education Ministry Secretary and representatives of the Federation of University teachers (FUTA) is studying the issue. He said that the committee hopes to complete its assignment soon. more..

Prof. Peiris highlights need to change laws in Sri Lanka

Aug 1 (Island) External Affairs Minister, Prof. G. L. Peiris highlighted the need of change of laws in Sri Lanka, especially in the areas such as torture where Judicial Medical Officers are closely working with. He said that academic bodies such as the College of Forensic Pathologists of Sri Lanka should initiate a dialogue on gray areas in law and legal medicine with relevant professionals. more..

Golden Key depositors seek re-arrest of Lalith K., directors

Aug 1 (NS) Depositors’ body of the collapsed Golden Key Credit Card Company - the Golden Key Depositors Society is to seek a Supreme Court order for the arrest of Ceylinco Consolidated Chairman, Lalith Kotalawela and other directors for breach of bail conditions. “Although Central Bank had invited Lalith Kotalawela for a meeting to resolve the crisis he had the audacity to boycot it. So, how can you expect us to believe that he is geniune? more..

The Laws of the Asses

Aug 1 (Island) Three vehicles carrying security types were spotted speeding to Kandy with scant regard to the road rules last Thursday. The registration numbers of the three vehicles were WP KC 2275, WPC 2008/2009, WP HN 4217. They were regularly crossing the white lines and double white lines while Kegalle police looked the other way. They were in such a hurry that the security officer riding on the front passenger seat of the Land Rover was displaying his pistol by holding it in his left hand and more..

Govt. expects major dividend from winning over KP

Aug 1 (Island) The government says the LTTE rump can play a pivotal role in the ongoing rehabilitation, reconstruction and resettlement process in the Northern Region following winning over KP and obtaining his cooperation. Authoritative sources say one-time LTTE heavyweight KP is now working with the government to bring relief to the war displaced as well as those ex-combatants held at rehabilitation facilities. more..

St. Anne prevails over fire

Aug 1 (SL) The feast of St. Anne’s Church in Thalawila commenced this morning despite the forest fire that raged in the area yesterday evening. A forest fire broke out yesterday in the Puttalam area in close proximity to St. Anne’s Church, which at the time was preparing for the feast scheduled to take place on today. The fire has reportedly destroyed about five hectares of coconut land belonging to the Kelepalliya Church, which is adjacent to the St. Anne’s Church in Thalawila. more..

Rs. 2,500 pay hike not in Mahinda Chintana: President

Aug 1 (ST) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has told trade union leaders that there was no promise of a salary hike of Rs. 2,500 for the public sector in the Mahinda Chintana policy and advised them not to expect the government to fulfil such a promise, a trade union leader said. Several trade union leaders who attended the meeting with the President on Wednesday expressed their displeasure over the comments made by him. more..

Rebirth for UNP in Algama death?

Aug 1 (ST) Acting UNP leader, Karu Jayasuriya, received an unusual call on his home telephone around 8 a.m. last Monday. "Sir mama deshapalanayen samuganna yanawa. Mama theeranayak gannawa adha," (Sir, I am going to say farewell to politics. I will make a decision today), the caller said. Jayasuriya, who had been speaking to him almost every day in the past weeks, even meeting him once, offered advice. more..

Female victims of fake ads end up marrying swindlers

Aug 1 (ST) The FIB has stepped up investigations into cases of marriage-related fraud. There has been an alarming increase in such crimes, where the victims are cheated out of large sums of money. Many such cases go unreported to the police. According to the police, fake marriage proposals often appear in the newspapers. Some carry promises of travel abroad, with the victims being asked to cough up large sums of money for travel and legal documents. more..

Academics will quit if salaries aren’t revised

Aug 1 (ST) The university system is in a precarious position, and could well collapse, if the academic staff at the universities vacated their posts in protest at the government’s failure to give them a salary increase. Professor Sampath Ameratunge, president of the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA), told the Sunday Times that the academic community is dissatisfied with the current pay structure. more..