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'Cook has my sympathies'

July 1 (CI) After a good win in Bristol in the Twenty20 on Saturday, we came back to earth with a bit of a bump in the first ODI at The Oval. But that's the thing when you play against top teams. If you make too many mistakes, they'll make sure you don't get back up, and unfortunately at 15 for 4, chasing 232, we were never in the contest. We made too many mistakes in all departments, not just the batting. We started pretty well with the ball, but then, when play restarted more..

Cabinet Decisions

July 1 (GDI) 1. 5 Greater Hambantota to be developed as a Central Business and Industrial City: With the development of the International Sea Port and the International Air Port in the Hambantota District, the area identified for Central Business Activity and Industrial Activity is also to be developed. On a proposal made by President, Cabinet approval was granted to allocate a sum of Rs 812 Million to acquire the lands required by the UDA for more..

Sri Lanka fuel quality problem blamed on dregs, rain

July 1 (LBO) Petroleum industries minister has rejected allegations the government imported low quality petrol, saying motorists whose vehicles were damaged had been supplied fuel contaminated by rain and dregs. Susil Premajayantha said motorists who could prove they had been supplied contaminated fuel would be given compensation. He rejected allegations the state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation had imported low quality fuel which had been blamed for more..

Remodeled Hikkaduwa Marine National park opened

July 1 (GDI) Marking yet another step towards boosting tourism industry, the Marine National Park at Hikkaduwa on the South coast of Sri Lanka was declared open for the local and foreign tourists by the Deputy Minister Lukshman Yapa Abewardhana and miister S.M. Chandrasena. Hikkaduwa Marine National Park covers an area of 101 hectares including a snorkeling and diving zone and also a bathing zone, catering to the diverse needs of both local and foreign adventure seekers more..

Lankan authorities to crackdown on Sri Lanka-Maldives drug network

July 1 (HNS) As a result of the recent breakthrough in a high profile narcotics case in Maldives, the Sri Lankan Police has commenced investigations into a large scale drug trafficking network which is operated in Sri Lanka and Maldives. Currently plans are being made by the police departments of the two countries to coordinate with their investigations in order to thwart the ongoing narcotics trade between Sri Lanka and Maldives. This move comes in the light of the recent arrest of more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 30.06.2011

Navy to buy 80 interception boats from Lankan firm

July 1 (PTI) As part of the exercise to strengthen coastal security post 26/11, the Navy has decided to procure 80 interception boats at a cost of Rs 300 crore from a Sri Lanka-based ship manufacturer. The boats are planned to be used by the newly formed Sagar Prahari Bal (SPB) and other wings of the Navy, naval officials said. The contract process for 80 Fast Interception Craft (FIC) from Sri Lanka-based SOLAS Marine is in its final stages and the deal is expected to be finalised soon, more..

'Higher education in SL at a standstill'

July 1 (AD) The decision taken by the govt to increase the quota of foreign students in local universities is one made with motives of personal financial gain while students from the rural areas will be deprived of the opportunity to study at local universities, UNP MP Ruwan Wijewardena stated. He said that this decision was unfair on local university applicants, especially poor students from rural areas adding that the party along with their university youth movements more..

Families demand info on Sri Lankans said abducted

July 1 (AP) Hundreds of people protested Thursday demanding to know the whereabouts of their family members abducted by "white van squads" allegedly operated by the Sri Lankan govt during the height of the country's civil war. The protesters said they have not heard from their sons or husbands since they were bundled into often white-colored vehicles or surrendered to the army over involvement with the now-defeated Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Sri Lanka inflation eases to 7.1-pct in June

July 1 (LBO) Consumer prices in Colombo rose 7.1 percent by June 2011, down from 8.2 percent in May, with prices falling 0.2 percent during the month, the government's statistics office said. The food category fell 1.0 percent during the month, but all other categories rose or were flat. The clothing and footwear category gained 1.3 percent, furnishing and housing rose 1.0 percent and transport rose 0.8 percent. Central bank has earlier said that inflation will ease after April. more..

'No fuel price hike'

July 1 (NN) The Ministry of Petroleum Industries says the government has not taken an immediate decision to raise the price of fuel. The Ministry, in a statement, quoted Minister Susil Premjayanth as saying that claims of a fuel price hike made by UNP MP John Amaratunga is false and misleading. The Minister charged that there is an attempt to spread fear among the public of a possible fuel shortage and a fuel price hike. He urged the public not to be misled by such false claims.

Sri Lanka bows to ICC ban on govt

July 1 (AFP) Sri Lanka said Thursday it would fall in line with an International Cricket Council (ICC) directive aimed at banning government interference in national cricket boards. Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said an election would be held in January for the Sri Lanka Cricket Board which, for the past seven years, has been appointed by the government. "We will abide by ICC rules," Aluthgamage said. more..

Sri Lanka: Rajapakse and the return of dissent

July 1 (Himal) The last two months in Sri Lanka have seen increasing international pressure coupled with domestic struggles against Mahinda Rajapakse’s government. In fact, in the post-war context, other than perhaps General Sarath Fonseka’s challenge during the presidential elections of January 2010, which split the war coalition in the south, these recent weeks have been among the most worrying of times for the Rajapakse regime. International criticism centring on questions of more..

Sri Lanka stocks at 7-month lows; rupee gains

July 1 (Reuters) Stocks fell to a near seven-month low in thin trade on Thursday on selling pressure due to month-end settlements while speculative trading continued amid margin calls that forced selling and low liquidity. Sri Lanka's main share index slipped 0.76 percent or 52.21 points to 6,825.94, its lowest since Jan. 6. The index gained 0.5 percent in early trade, but selling pressure on forced sales amid low liquidity weighed down on the index. more..

'Keep politics out'

July 1 (NN) The government urged countries which will be voting to select the host for the 2018 Commonwealth Games to keep politics out of sport. Responding to a question posed by journalists at a press briefing today, government MP Namal Rajapakse said that when selecting the venue for the 2018 games, the countries making the selection should decide who needs the games the most. “Let’s play a clean game” MP Namal Rajapakse said. more..

Law hopes sun shines on Sri Lanka

July 1 (CI) Sri Lanka's outgoing coach, Stuart Law, has backed his team to bounce back from their 110-run defeat in the opening ODI at The Oval, and expects them to compete strongly in the remaining four matches of the five-match series. Sri Lanka lost the series opener at The Oval on Tuesday in cold and clammy conditions which suited the England bowlers, in particular James Anderson. He claimed 4 for 18 including three wickets in his first three overs, as Sri Lanka stumbled to 15 for 4. more..

'We'll beat Lankans in Manila'

July 1 (MB) The German coach of the Philippine football team admits he’s not happy, but is not about to cry over spilled milk. “I’m not the happiest man in the world but I’m not too disappointed. We take the result as it is and prepare for the match on Sunday,” Michael Weiss told, a television website. The Azkals barely escaped with a 1-all draw with Sri Lanka Wednesday in the first leg of their opening World Cup qualifying match in Colombo. more..

Hambantota bid praised by Commonwealth Games officials

July 1 (AP) Commonwealth Games officials on Thursday praised the bid from the Sri Lankan port town of Hambantota to host the multi-sport event in 2018. Sri Lanka's southern port town Hambantota and Australia's Gold Coast are the only bidders for the 2018 event, having lodged their bids with the Commonwealth Games Federation in Kuala Lumpur last month. "We have been impressed with the vision for Sri Lanka and Hambantota and more..

Death & Eternal Life: contrasting sensibilities in the face of corpses

July 1 (LG) When inserting Kalana Senaratne’s essay on “Killing Fields: Problems and Prospects” into my web site[1] I took the liberty of placing two photographs at the masthead, both centred on corpses from Eelam War IV (though one turned out to be an LTTE agit-prop trick utilizing dead bodies from a suicide strike at Anuradhapura). This measure was in keeping with Senaratne’s topic on the one hand and a market ploy on the other. One of the pictures was more..

Online visas could hurt tourism

July 1 (LG) The tourism industry in Sri Lanka is a never-ending saga of problems being piled over problems without an all-encompassing solution in sight. Just look at the issues the industry has faced since the ethnic struggle broke out in 1983: *Struggle to promote tourism in a war-affected country *Cut-throat competition particularly among city hotels to get a share of the market and (forget profit) even break-even *Inability to enforce a minimum pricing mechanism due to more..

Beyond Punishment

July 1 (NS) This saying of Lord Buddha was the first thing that caught our sight when we entered the Watareka Prison Camp. On a lawn neatly trimmed, the saying stood carved in stone and it certainly did not apply to the convicted alone because the saying makes us all think whether we too act in the same manner. The prisoners would have obviously acknowledged the fact that their wrong doings hurt others during their sentenced period but it also speaks of their plight. more..

Sri Lankan Academics – Thinkers or Feelers?

July 1 (LG) I write in response to the article ‘Pathological Symptoms of the Crisis of Higher Education in Sri Lanka’ by Professor Gamini Keerawella, published in Sri Lanka Guardian. Professor Keerawella says in his analysis of the challenges faced by Sri Lankan Universities ‘The utter incapability in crisis management and conflict resolution of the Higher Education authorities is the hallmark of their behaviour. As in the case of Medical Science, in more..

Pernicious caste curse of Tamils living in the dark ages

July 1 (LG) Mr Sebastian Rasalingam’ article, Sinhalisation of the North and Tamilisation of the South in yesterday’s Sri Lanka Guardian, is of utmost necessity and urgent issue Tamils need to address if we are to reach closure on our prejudices and shine the torch inwards for permanent integration into Sri Lankan polity and obtain our legitimate rights from the majority Sinhala govt. Tamil leaders have systematically fuelled caste based hierarchy and even more..

Gentle giants and babes at the mercy of roaring ‘yakada yakas’

July 1 (ST) Young and feisty, the world was at her feet. It was a nightly journey she had made many times with her mother, aunts, sisters and cousins. The second night after Poson was no different and Thushari, her mother and a baby relative, climbed up the embankment as they had done on numerous occasions, when out of the gloom thundered unexpected danger. With a mighty roar, ripping the stillness of the night, more..

Freedom of information a must in a democratizing process

July 1 (DM) In May 2009 and for a few months thereafter Colombo appeared (as it has appeared for several years) like a besieged and threatened city. ‘High Security Alert’ seemed to be written all over the face of the capital. There were those who took umbrage at what was seen to be infringement on freedoms and the deliberate gagging of democracy. Fortunately such people don’t always end up having to defend a nation and the citizenry from ruthless terrorists or more..

(No) right to information and beaten freedoms

July 1 (DM) The defeat of the Right to Information Bill in Parliament only goes to show how badly democracy is being let down by those who are honour-bound to safeguard it. However, the tragedy was not a stand-alone incident, nor did it raise a huge public outcry, as it ought to have done – thanks to the fairy-tales and epics fed to people by state-owned media organizations. Those who go by these fairy-tales only believe that Sri Lanka is a country devoid of bribery and more..

Dengue, viral flu and hospital corridors flooded with patients

July 1 (DM) Wijeratne Gunawardana (56) of Beliatta came to Colombo National Hospital (CNH) seeking advanced treatment for his son Shan’s (28) kidney ailment. By the time the Daily Mirror met him at the OPD of CNH on Thursday, it was 11.50 in the morning. Father and son were waiting until the doctor would call them with the ticket that carries the number 726. “We in fact came to Colombo on Wednesday and stayed overnight at a relative’s place as it is impossible to more..

Two years after the end of the war in Sri Lanka

July 1 (GV) The UN panel report or the Darusman report was condemned and rejected. The stand taken by the govt was that “not a single civilian was killed during the last stages of the war. If some of those dead were found to be in civilian clothes, they were Tigers in disguise, even if they happened to be children or elderly women. No one can say we committed war crimes because no one saw what happened during the last stages of the war. Therefore we don’t have to more..

Sri Lanka’s diplomatic offensive won’t make killing fields disappear

July 1 (GV) The Sri Lankan government continues its diplomatic offensive, denying and dismissing the growing evidence of war crimes during the final bloody battles between the Sri Lankan armed forces and the separatist LTTE that ended in May 2009. Last week, at a panel presentation of the Channel 4 film, the ‘Killing Fields of Sri Lanka’, Sri Lanka’s United Nations Ambassador Palitha Kohona said, “To suggest that the Sri Lankan military was so foolhardy as to more..

The classic factory workers' nightmare

July 1 (SL) An alleged serial rapist of Sri Lankan nationality has been freed by Jordanian officials after being arrested last weekend, said a report by the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights (IGLHR). According to IGLHR, Anil Santha, a general manager for the Classic Fashion Apparel Industry in Jordan, has now returned to work at the factories where several women workers have claimed that they are frequently raped and abused by him. more..

Editorial: Reds shouldn't run away

July 1 (Island) We have, amongst us, some accomplished critics who consider themselves omniscient and infallible. They make a lot of noise and proffer unsolicited advice to everybody and claim to be capable of performing great feats. But when asked to match their words with deeds, they run away. Our Red Comrades fall into this category. The JVP has taken up the cudgels for the war affected people of the North. It wants them politically empowered and more..

Editorial: Not to win or lose, but how you played the game

July 1 (DM) First it was about boxer Manju Wanniarachchi and not many people bothered to realize it was only a ringside view of the larger picture that was to emerge as Sri Lanka took a dubious place in the international scene as a nation dabbling heavily in doping or the use of artificial stimulants known as performance enhancing drugs. The scandal hit local and international headlines mainly because of the role of a person who carried out his trade by pontificating he was an more..

Koheda yanne? Malle pol! says UNP MP Harsha on Govt. take on Shangri-La deal

July 1 (FT) UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva issued a strong rebuttal to the Govt’s clarification and stand on the alleged controversies over the deal on Shangri-la Hotel and connected issues. He said that upon the Govt. being questioned on the sale of 10 acres of land opposite Galle Face to a Chinese fighter aircraft manufacturer without a tender procedure, Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena is now attempting desperately to confuse the public more..

Raids on thin polythene producers, sellers continue

July 1 (Island) Despite painstaking efforts by the Central Environment Authority (CEA) to prosecute those dealing in polythene, particularly less than 20 microns in thickness, some manufactures and sellers get away easily due to loopholes in the law. CEA Chairman Charitha Herath said that the Waste Management Unit of the CEA was engaged in continuous raids on thin polythene manufacturers and sellers. Within the last three years, nearly 600 raids had been carried out and more..

Nominations for called Nat. Integrity Award

July 1 (Island) Nominations for the National Integrity Award 2011 are now being accepted. Individuals as well as organizations that have shown exemplary courage for the cause of integrity in the fight against corruption will be considered for the Award, Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) said, in a release issued to media yesterday. The release said: "The Award is presented by TISL every year on the UN Anti-Corruption day which falls on December 9. more..

Unhealthy food packagings banned from today

July 1 (DN) Importing, transporting, storing, packing, distributing and selling food packed in packages that cause health problems to the human body will be banned from today. Action will be taken against all persons who do so under Article 32 of the Food Act Number 26 of 1980 under the direction of Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena. The gazette notification is to be released today, a Health Ministry spokesman said. more..

Teachers forced to participate in census duty

July 1 (DM) Teachers employed in schools located in the Mullaitivu and Mannar Districts had expressed their displeasure at being compelled to participate in a population census in those areas. The teachers complained that the zonal education directors had made it compulsory for them to engage in the data collection that was a part of population census duty that had gone on for ten days. The Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) commenting on the use of teachers for population census duty said more..

New interim committee for SLC under Upali Dharmadasa?

July 1 (Island) A fresh interim committee will be appointed to administer Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) under Upali Dharmadasa, Sports Ministry sources revealed yesterday, June 30. It was only last month that the Supreme Court ordered the present SLC interim committee, which was under heavy media criticism, especially due to financial mismanagement, that it should provide reasons for not holding elections or to decide on dates for fresh elections. more..

Wedding bells ring to Daminda, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s son

July 1 (IL) The only child of Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Mrs Ioma Rajapaksa, Daminda Rajapaksa entered in to married life today on 30 June. Daminda’s wedding took place at the Hilton Hotel, Colombo amidst a bevy of high profile guests, including his uncle President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Daminda married to Miss Seuwandhi Liyanarachchi, daughter of Mr and Mrs Chandra Liyanarachchi. In fact, President Mahinda Rajapaksa signed witness to more..

Varsities, schools to have cooperative societies

July 1 (DM) To celebrate 100 years of the cooperative movement in Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Trade has taken a decision to take cooperatives to the youth by introducing them in schools as well as universities, Minister Johnston Fernando said yesterday in Kurunegala. “We have decided on this approach to re-energize the cooperative movement and to make it more accessible to the youth of the country,” Minister Fernando said, adding “When I took over the cooperative societies more..