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SLMC, ACMC, UCMC coalition for Uva

Aug 5 (DM) The SLMC said today it would contest the elections to the Uva Provincial Council from the Badulla District in a coalition with Minister Rishad Bathiyutheen’s All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) and the Up Country Muslim Council (UCMC) under the two-leaf symbol of the Democratic Unity Alliance. SLMC General Secretary M.T. Hasen Ali said the Muslims in Badulla had requested the SLMC, the ACMC, and UCMC to contest as a coalition so that the Muslims would be assured of a seat in more..

60,000 smuggled cigarettes detected

Aug 5 (Island) The Kotahena police nabbed three persons including two businessmen while they were transporting 60,000 foreign cigarettes smuggled into the country. The police found six cartons each carrying 10,000 cigarettes neatly packed inside the luxury double cab they were travelling in. The suspects aged 48, 43 and 37 were from Kandy, Pannipitiya and Mahaimbulgoda areas. The suspects had told investigators that they were transporting the contraband to be sold to more..

Death threat on Navagattegama teacher

Aug 5 (AD) Susila Herath, a school teacher of Navagattegama Navodya Vidyalaya who won a lawsuit against ex-PC member Ananda Sarath Kumara (UPFA), has received a death threatening letter today. The police said that the police inquiries have been already commenced following a complaint lodged by the teacher. Herath said that the lives of her and her family members are now in danger with the posted letter she more..

Moves to boost handicraft training sector

Aug 5 (DN) Minister Douglas Devananda said more facilities will be provided to develop the handicraft training sector. Minister Devananda was addressing a function held to hand over appointment letters to casual employees at the National Craft Council at the Mahaweli Center Colombo-7. The minister said action will be taken to implement training programs. Deputy Minister Weerakumara Dissanayake said around 1,000 craftsmen will be trained annually. He said some training centres have failed to more..

No water cut in Ratmalana - Water Board

Aug 5 (DM) The National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) said it had decided not to implement a water cut in Ratmalana as announced earlier. The NWSDB said it was withdrawing its notice issued earlier disconnecting water supply for 21 hours starting 9 a.m. to 6 a.m. tomorrow in Ratmalana along the Galle Road, Maliban Junction, Golumadama Junction and the by roads, Kandawala Road, Airport Road and Raja Mawatha. Earlier it was announced 21-hour water cut will be more..

BBS to go to Bribery Comm. against Rajitha

Aug 5 (DM) BBS Organisation today said that it would complain to the Bribery Commission as well as to the CID about Minister Rajitha Senaratne. BBS Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera, said that they had enough evidence to prove that the allegations against the minister were true. According to the Thera, Minister Rajitha Senaratne had recently lashed out at the BBS and its monks and charged them with igniting the violence more..

FACETS Sri Lanka to sparkle for 24th year

Aug 5 (CG) FACETS Sri Lanka 2014, the prestigious International Gem and Jewellery Show that showcases hundreds of local and foreign exhibitors, will be held from 4th – 7th Sept at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Centre. This year’s exhibition will comprise over 150 booths with a variety of Gem and Jewellery that include precious and semiprecious gems. Organized by the Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association (SLGJA), FACETS Sri Lanka enables all Gem & Jewellery more..

Move to give online evidence: DMPPF

Aug 5 (DM) The Dead and Missing Person’s Parents Front (DMPPF) today charged that certain NGOs and foreign groups had invited relatives of disappeared LTTE cadres to Colombo to give evidence against Sri Lanka via the internet on the promise they would be paid Rs.200,000. DMPFF advisor Ven. Angulugalle Siri Jinananda Thera asked the organisers why the DMPPF was not invited to last evening’s meeting held at the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR) at more..

Port City to be extended up to Mount Lavinia

Aug 5 (DM) The much hyped ‘Port City’ project, which will reclaim at least 252 hectares of sea in front of Galle Face, will be extended up to Mount Lavinia to be opened up for commercial activities, according to Sri Lanka’s port chief Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama. According to him, this will be carried out under a re-nourishment project linked to the ‘Port City’ and this land will be allocated for commercial activities. more..

Rawana Balaya demands PM to step down from Buddha Sasana ministry

Aug 5 (AM) ‘Ravana Balaya’ organization has asked the Maha Nayakas of Malwathu and Asgiri Chapters of the Siyam Nikaya to pressure the govt to remove the Buddha Sasana Ministry from PM D.M. Jayaratne. Several Buddhist monks of the ‘Ravana Balaya’, including its general secretary Ven. Iththakande Saddhathissa Thera had requested this from the Maha Nayakas when they paid visits to the latter in Kandy. The members of ‘Ravana Balaya’ had stressed that they do not have more..

Kaththankudi mass grave - excavation to commence on 18 August

Aug 5 (AD) The Kaluwanchikudy police have thus far recorded statements from at least 100 persons on an alleged mass grave in Batticaloa and the excavation of the site will be commenced on 18 August, a source from the Kaluwanchikudy police said. The mass grave is said to contain the remains of 160 Muslims who were killed by the LTTE in cold blood in June 1990. Magistrate Court in Kaththankudi temporary postponed the excavation process, after the Kaluwanchikudy more..

Sri Lanka has deported 36 Pakistanis

Aug 5 (CG) The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, has learnt that a total of 36 Pakistani asylum-seekers have been deported from Sri Lanka since last Friday. The deportations took place between August 1 and 5 following two months of arrests and detentions of people of concern to UNHCR. UNHCR spokesperson Ariane Rummery told reporters in Geneva that most of the deportees have arrived in Pakistan and been released. more..

SLFP asks NFF not to go solo in Uva

Aug 5 (DM) Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) had today requested the National Freedom Front (NFF) not to contest the elections to the UVA provincial Council, on its own, NFF sources said. However the NFF had not given an immediate reply to the request and sources said the NFF Central Committee was discussing the issue at the moment. Earlier today the SLFP hierarchy agreed with the 12-point action plan submitted by the NFF with the objective of putting the country back on the correct track.

Commission gets another six months

Aug 5 (CG) The term of the Presidential Commission investigating alleged disappearances of persons in the Northern and Eastern Provinces has been extended till Feb 15 next year. The three-member Commission, comprising Maxwell Paranagama (Chairman), Ms. Suranjana Vidyaratne and Ms. Mano Ramanathan, was appointed in August 2013 and has been given the authority to conduct inquiries and investigations into complaints of missing persons, and submit a report to more..

Govt slams diplomatic corps

Aug 5 (CG) Govt says certain sections of the diplomatic corps appear to be involved in a manner lacking in objectivity, in events organized for a particular region and community. External Affairs Ministry urged the diplomatic community to be more conscious of local sensitivities when attending events of an emotive nature. Comments by the Ministry were made with reference to an incident that occurred at more..

Gender rights and Tamil genocide

Aug 6 (CT) I am writing with reference to an article by Nirmala Rajasingam titled “Tamil Nationalism, Population Control and Gender Rights – A Response to Dr.Vallipuranathan”. Earlier I was happy to respond to Dr.Krishna Kalaichelvan though he had different views because it was written in academic language in polite words with real references and scientific facts. But this time I am writing with disappointment because the ranting of Nirmala is written in abusive language calling more..

World War I: The great war centenary and SL

Aug 6 (CT) World War I was a global war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918. It involved all of the great powers of the world, as at that time, which were grouped into two opposing alliances: The Allies, based on the Triple Entente of the UK and the British Empire, France and Russia on the one hand and the Central Powers, originally the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria, Hungary and Italy. But, as Austria and Hungary had taken more..

National Centre for NDT ready by October

Aug 6 (SO) It is not inevident how certain mega construction projects have come into effect as a result of the postwar development drive which is underway at present. A dozen or more high rise skyscrapers are being built by multinational private companies in Colombo and the suburbs along with the networking of the expressway projects utilising the latest technology in the world. But the strength and the durability of these colossal concrete more..

Young stars need to fire for Sri Lanka

Aug 6 (CT) It is time to look ahead and regroup for the Sri Lankans who will now play host to Pakistan in yet another two Test and three match ODI series. Whilst the Lankans are sure to look at the forthcoming series with optimism one has to dwell on the performance of the series lost to the South Africans! This column did highlight the need for the improvement in fielding immediately after the limited overs series and one hopes the suggestion has been taken in the spirit it was written. more..

Fighting corruption the PNG way ...And the Sri Lanka way

Aug 6 (CT) Speculation has been rife about the transfer of the former Director General of the Commission to Investigate Bribery or Corruption in Sri Lanka. So far no official position had been given by the Commission itself or the government, which in principle has to stand for the independence and the proper functioning of the Commission. Ceylon Today which broke the story quoted the Director General as saying she is unaware of the reasons behind her transfer. more..

'Politics in universities disrupts academic progress'

Aug 6 (NS) Higher Education Ministry will take responsibility for the issues faced by the students if the issues are lawful, valid and important, and brought to the Ministry’s notice in a genuine manner. Secretary to the Higher Education Ministry, Dr. Sunil Jayantha Nawaratne, stated that issues faced by students were being addressed gradually. He, however, stated that the influence of politics among university students had an more..

That which shall not be named

Aug 6 (GV) On the 19th of July 2014, my cook hands me a police form to fill. It is one of those usual forms that we were inundated with during the war. The form asks for almost the same information as the election registration forms, with the one exception of asking for details of everybody in the house, not just those eligible to vote from there. Being inculcated in the behavior of obeying authority, I duly filled in the form. Head of household being me, then my husband, then more..

The Lord Buddha comes to Nagadipa

Aug 6 (NS) A picturesque Sinhalese belief, almost certainly sired by the Hela-havula movement has it that the term Sihala’ has no relation to lion killing as that 10th century AD authority, Dampiya Atuva Gatapadaya claims, but is derived from the Siv Hela’ or the quartet of Helatribes; Yaksa, Deva, Naga and Raksa. It has no validity as a serious theory. A cursory examination into the antecedents of Yaksas, Nagas, Devas and Raksas would reveal them to be long-standing VIP citizens of more..

Packed schedules showing on SL bowlers

Aug 6 (CI) For a team that had only four Tests to play in 2013, Sri Lanka have had a crammed eight months since December of last year. In that time Sri Lanka have had full away tours to the UAE, Bangladesh and England, have played the maximum number of possible games in the Asia Cup and World T20, all before last month's South Africa tour, which was their first home assignment of the year. Though fans have been glad for more..

Editorial: Zombie voters

Aug 6 (Island) Election fever is running high with a few weeks to go for the Uva PC polls. Politicians are girding up their loins for the tussle which is the last provincial electoral contest before the presidential polls expected early next year. Government politicians have already declared that they will win hands down and, not to be outdone, the Opposition claims that the upcoming PC election will mark the beginning of the end of the incumbent dispensation. All politicians are confident of manipulating more..

The insignificance of Sinhala Buddhism

Aug 6 (Island) Recently another English female has been raped by three persons in Potuvil and not much publicity has been given to the incident. British High Commissioner did not make any noise or the noise they made was not unheard loud enough. I was just wondering what would have happened if the gang rapists were Sinhala Buddhists. Tangalle incident was given wide publicity in the media; the relevant High Commission took up the case and the incident was 'internationalised'. more..

'Sri Lanka should be wary of Ajmal'

Aug 6 (CI) Of all the promising battles in Pakistan's series in Sri Lanka, Saeed Ajmal's race for wickets against Rangana Herath may be the highest quality match-up. They are the only two spinners ranked in the top ten for Test bowlers, and each has held a place there for some years now. In a two-match series played on a traditionally dry deck in Galle, and on an SSC surface that was a dustbowl in its last match eight days ago, each team's more..

TU leaders have destroyed friendship between health staff - Maithripala

Aug 6 (DN) Trade Union leaders have destroyed the friendship and harmony existing between health staff, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. "These Trade Union leaders have turned the health staff into enemies and made them fight with each other," he said. The minister said when various health staff, such as nurses, midwives, doctors, etc fought with each other, the public did not blame the Health Minister or the Health Ministry. "They blamed those who fought," more..

‘Beggar thy neighbour or enrich thy neighbour?’

Aug 6 (Island) ‘Sudden swings in cross-border capital flows and exchange rate movements could complicate macro-economic management in the Emerging Market Economies, therefore, EMEs would benefit from managing their Capital Flows and Exchange Rate Volatility, Dr. Rakesh Mohan, Executive Director, IMF said last week at the Center for Banking Studies in Rajagiriya. "Ben Bernake, former chairman of the Fed Reserve said, Unconventional Monetary Policies of more..

World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index 2014: Sri Lanka top in South Asia

Aug 6 (FT) Sri Lanka ranks first among South Asian countries in the latest Rule of Law Index compiled by the World Justice Project’s (WJP) research team. “Sri Lanka ranks 48th globally and outperforms its regional peers in most dimensions of the rule of law,” the Index said. The country also outpaces most lower-middle income countries in several areas, ranking second in delivering effective criminal justice. more..

Drought: A result of environmental, Socio-economic and political factors

Aug 6 (Island) Drought is not an unusual event for inhabitants of Sri Lanka’s ‘dry zone’. It is a reality which they have had to contend with since time immemorial. It is the necessity of tiding over the rain-less (dry) period extending from April to September, which resulted in the construction of an ingenious system of village ‘tanks’ (reservoirs) by our ancestors, to collect and preserve the precious rainfall of four months (October-January) during the North-East monsoon season. more..

Cargills Bank take control of Capital Alliance Finance

Aug 6 (Island) The Colombo bourse yesterday closed in the red on a turnover of Rs.1.57 billion, down from the previous day’s Rs.2.29 billion, with strong interest seen in finance companies, brokers said. The new Cargills Bank acquired a 68.43% stake in Capital Alliance Finance buying slightly over 26.5 million shares at prices of Rs.15.40 and Rs.15.50. Cargills Bank has a commercial banking license from the Central Bank. All Share Price index was down 6.73 points (0.10%) more..

Pope's January visit no impact on Presidential Poll –MR

Aug 6 (CT) President Rajapaksa said there was no external or internal reasons to prevent the govt from holding an election in January 2015. He was referring to the planned visit of Pope Francis in January 2015 and reiterated that the Vatican had not given any directive or made any demand not to hold an election in January. "The Vatican had not said anything about having an election or any indication of postponing visit more..

Of uncertain mindscapes

Aug 6 (Hindu) Sri Lankan contemporary artist Muhanned Cader doesn’t like to be ‘definitive’ about anything, including his works. The state of being unsure thrills him no end and he strives to rub the feeling off onto connoisseurs of his art practice. In Kochi to do spadework for the forthcoming edition of the Kochi Muziris Biennale in December, Mr. Cader said that while he preferred to keep his works ‘simple’ for common people to understand, he would want each of them to derive her/his meaning more..

Pakistan aim to optimise talent pool

Aug 6 (CI) Sri Lanka-Pakistan cricket is vaguely akin to a backyard tussle between two brothers rigged by their parents to keep peace in the family. The older wins one, the younger takes the next and so it has been for 10 of their past 14 series. Their latest bout was squared in a twilit Sharjah in astonishing circumstances, but in the six months since, little brother has become a world champion, surprised England on their turf, and was surprised by South Africa on home turf. more..

Immediate security for BASL President

Aug 6 (CT) Colombo Chief Magistrate, Gihan Pilapitiya yesterday ordered the Police to take immediate action to ensure the security of the President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), Upul Jayasuriya. In addition, notice was issued to Secretary of the Ministry of Law and Order, Major General Nanda Mallawarachchi, to appear before Court on 8 August. Colombo Chief Magistrate issued this order in relation to an incident where more..

Korean push for regional apparel training

Aug 6 (DN) Korea has extended its support to enhance industry capacity in North and Sri Lanka's crucial apparel industry training efforts have now expanded to regions for the first time. "We are receiving today's apparel technical support thanks to Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Government of Korea. Our apparel training efforts have entered the regions," said Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen in Mannar on Monday. more..

Regional consultant wants to gauge compassion in business in Sri Lanka

Aug 6 (LBO) A regional consultant who works with mainly multinational businesses in South Asia and the Middle East says he wants to measure compassion in Sri Lanka business, after initiating the process in Pakistan. "I want to go deep and see how Sri Lankan organizations are different from Pakistan, even if they are multi-national, to understand the different dynamics and how people think," says Farhad Karamally, head of Navitus, an organizational development consultancy. more..

'Ex-RAW chief said LTTE commander was India's mole'

Aug 6 (TOI) Rajiv Gandhi's assassination turned the tide of history, impacted lives and continues to engage politicians, bureaucrats and investigators. Former Rajiv aide R D Pradhan's revelation in his book 'My years with Rajiv and Sonia' that a 'mole' from the LTTE had found refuge in 10 Janpath, the official residence of the Gandhi family, is the latest in a long series of sensational claims on the assassination. more..

Take stern action against those who fill paddy lands illegally: President

Aug 6 (FT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed officials to take stern action against those who fill paddy lands illegally. The President directed the Police to look into such incidents and to mediate. He gave these instructions while attending the Kurunegala District Special Development Meeting held on Monday. The progress of the development projects that have been implemented so far and the future development plans were thoroughly discussed at the meeting. more..