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Five years after the capture of Ex-LTTE chief KP in Malaysia

Aug 9 (DBS) It was five years ago on August 5th 2009 that Selvarasah Pathmanathan alias “KP” the chief of the LTTE was captured in Malaysia and brought to Colombo in a well-planned operation amounting to an “extraordinary rendition”. KP who had served for many years as the chief arms procurer of the LTTE heading a tiger department known euphemistically as “overseas purchases” was discontinued from his post more..

Harley Davidson riders take on Sri Lanka

Aug 9 (CG) The brute machines will be back in August 2014 for a ride of a lifetime around Sri Lanka, when a group of Harley Davidson owners from the Middle East region arrive with their thunderous motorbikes. Just as it was last year, the upcoming Sri Lanka Ride will wind its way around Sri Lanka on a 9 day program covering over 1600km so that the riders can experience the country’s diversity of topology, weather, scenery, more..

'Media furthering UNP’s interests in Uva'

Aug 9 (Island) Minister Susil Premjayantha alleges that a section of the media is pursing a political campaign against the ruling party at the behest of some bankrupt Opposition politicians. A desperate attempt was being made to portray a bleak picture, he said, adding that if one were to take those propagating lies seriously, the govt hadn’t done anything. A smiling Premjayantha said that some Sunday newspapers had been more..

Mahiyanganaya security handed over to the STF

Aug 9 (AM) Police Headquarters has decided to deploy the Special Task Force (STF) to ensure security until the end of the Uva PC Election. A team of STF members have been sent to the area to coordinate security with the local police. This step has been taken after the Elections Commissioner requested the Police to take necessary action to prevent the possible acts of violence that can break out in the area. more..

How bad is the situation for Tamil asylum seekers in Sri Lanka?

Aug 9 (ABC) As Tamil asylum seekers continue to make headlines in Australia, members of the Sri Lankan govt and the Tamil diaspora have disputed the the status of human rights and the rule of law in the country today. According to Dr Dayan Jayatilaka, the former Sri Lankan ambassador to the UN, there is no evidence that the Sri Lankan govt engages in torture of anyone who has been returned to the country. more..

Sri Lanka lose Kalpage to Bangladesh, spin coach stays

Aug 9 (CI) Ruwan Kalpage is set to quit his role as Sri Lanka's acting assistant coach to take up a job as Bangladesh fielding coach, but spin coach Piyal Wijetunge has been convinced to stay, SLC CEO Ashley de Silva confirmed. Both Kalpage and Wijetunge had sent letters of resignation to the SLC earlier this week, but while Kalpage's has been accepted, executive committee has given Wijetunge a counter-offer. more..

'No matter who rules, abolish executive presidency'

Aug 9 (Island) Chairman of the National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera said yesterday that he was on a mission to restore democracy and the rule of law and it did not matter if the SLFP or UNP ruled the country. The Thera was addressing the media after launching the website "The name of my movement describes my mission. I feel sorry to see our country has been more..

65% of Lankan migrant workers unskilled

Aug 9 (Island) About 65% of Sri Lankan migrant workers are unskilled, Minister Dullas Alahapperuma says. He was addressing the media at the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA) to promote the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) certificate programme conducted by NAITA in partnership with Holcim Lanka with the support of North Western Provincial Council with a view to producing more..

Polls law violations, no end in sight

Aug 9 (CT) The cancer in Sri Lanka is that laws are observed on the breach. If one is connected, then, one is above the law, if not, sometimes more than the full force of the law is applied on such hapless victims. 'Hapless', not because justice is being meted out on such a person or persons who broke the law, but, because the law is more than allowed to take its course on such persons, where, sometimes, resulting in the law enforcement officers themselves taking the law into their own more..

Sri Lanka – Commission for omissions

Aug 9 (CT) Mahinda Rajapaksa, who went to Geneva to attend the 31st Session of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances – WGEID, in September 1990, was forced to appoint a Presidential Commission Investigating Cases of Missing Persons on 14 August 2013. This was initially mandated to inquire into and report on alleged abductions or disappearances during the period June 10, 1990, to May 19, 2009. According Mahinda Rajapaksa, during the JVP more..

Is SB related to King Rajasinha II?

Aug 9 (CT) Director General of Archaeology Senarath Dissanayake told Mawbima, that the Walauwa purchased by Minister S.B. Dissanayake is not related to King Keerthi Sri Rajasinha but Rajasinha II. He referred to the lead news of Mawbima newspaper on Saturday, July 26, 2014. That news said "Director General of Archaeology Senarath Dissanayake said that information is coming out that royal treasure more..

Republican constitution and executive presidency: Review, revise and retain

Aug 9 (CT) The Executive Presidency instituted through the 1978 republican constitution and subsequently amended eighteen times (are there a few more on line?) has to be faulted for myriad failures in Sri Lanka’s democracy and governance. The Executive Presidency of Sri Lanka is a badly designed institution within a badly designed and subsequently further distorted constitution. It is probably the strongest office in the world! The constitution of 1978 was designed to bestow more..

Ragama hospital accused of cover-up; Police ordered to refer victim to NH

Aug 9 (Island) The Mahara Magistrate directed the police to refer a 25-year-old rape victim to the National Hospital after her lawyer attorney-at-law Lal Kumarapeli had alleged in court that the Ragama Hospital staff interfered in the case and the police were dragging their feet on the investigation. Kumarapeli sought the court intervention consequent to the police recording a statement from the victim as regards her ordeal at the hands of the medical staff who allegedly more..

Tess Group introduces 'Oliver's Pride' canned fish

Aug 9 (GDI) Although Sri Lanka is surrounded by ocean on all sides, the fish resources in the North and the East could not be harvested for many decades but the situation has now changed and they are getting fish from all coastal areas, said Minister Rajitha Senaratne. Salmon is a favourite food item among the rich as well as the low income groups as it does not need to be refrigerated. Therefore the govt has taken steps to more..

Rs. 3.41 million gold smuggling attempt; fine measly Rs. 100,000

Aug 9 (Island) The Airport and Aviation Services on Thursday night foiled a gold smuggling attempt by two Sri Lankans to India secreting the precious metal weighing 682 g worth Rs. 3.41 million in thier bags and inside the soles of their shoes. The smugglers had been handed over to the Customs at Bandaranaike International Airport by AAS. They were nabbed while they were in the Departure Lounge waiting to board flight UL 171 scheduled to take off around 10.00 p.m. to Bangalore. more..

Silver Medalist Sudesh Peiris felicitated

Aug 9 (GDI) Sudesh Peiris, the Silver Medalist at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, was warmly welcomed at the BIA on Wednesday. Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage welcomed him at the airport where a felicitation ceremony was organized. Speaking on the occasion Minister Aluthgamage thanking Sudesh and his coach for bringing a silver medal to the country announced that as a well deserved gesture of appreciation Sudesh and his coach will be awarded 3 million rupees and more..

Sangakkara double gives Sri Lanka lead

Aug 9 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara continued to torment Pakistan with his tenth double-century that took him past Brian Lara and put him only behind Don Bradman's 12. Sri Lanka began the day 199 runs behind but Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews wiped off the deficit with a 181-run partnership for the fourth wicket. Mathews fell just before tea for the fifth time in the nineties, the last three of which have all been against more..

Teenage pregnancies on the rise

Aug 9 (Island) Teenage pregnancies in Sri Lanka were becoming a major concern with 6.5% of the pregnant women registered during 2012 being in the 15-19 year age group, Professor of Sociology, of the Kelaniya University Prof. K. Karunathilaka said on Thursday. He told a media conference, the situation was largely due to factors such as mothers being employed overseas, lack of family support and parental supervision and the misuse of mobile phones, he said. more..

Railway TUs sick of Dhammika Perera?

Aug 9 (SM) A host of Railway Trade Unions are calling to remove casino businessman Dhammika Perera from his post of Transport Ministry secretary. Noting that Perera is yet to fulfill his promise that their salary issues would be solved within a week's time, the Trade Unions say that they do not see the necessity of Dhammika Perera's services anymore. The minister of Transport - Kumara Welgama says that the biggest millionaire in the island is his secretary. more..

Bringing inept persons into SLFS hurting country: Sobitha Thera

Aug 9 (DM) Head of the National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ), Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, claimed that the Sri Lanka Foreign Service was a chaotic mess and that the wrong people were being awarded posts in the Foreign Service. Thera said that only intellectuals and those who have knowledge of the Foreign Service should be appointed as ambassadors if the country wanted to improve the image of the country and more..

Epidemiology Chief says checks in place to keep out deadly Ebola virus

Aug 9 (Island) Epidemiology Unit said that all precautions had been taken to prevent the deadly Ebola virus from entering the country. Epidemiology Chief, Dr. Paba Palihawadana said that Sri Lanka had not had any tourists visiting from the affected countries like Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. A system had been put in place to ascertain details of suspected patients entering the country. A 24-hour Health Unit and Emergency Operation Centre which had been set up at the BIA. more..

HRC gives urgent attention to constable’s rights violation petition

Aug 9 (Island) Sri Lanka Human Rights Commissioner Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa said yesterday that the two respondents cited in the human rights violation petition submitted by Constable Sumith Kumarawansa on July 28 against his sudden interdiction would be summoned. The two respondents are Borella Police, OIC, Sarath Premachandra and Assistant Superintendent Police Roshan Dias. The HR petition was filed by the constable’s counsel Eranjith Atapattu. more..

Falsified reports, forged signatures galore in jambo registrations

Aug 9 (ST) An AG’s Department audit query sent to the Department of Wildlife and Conservation (DWC) last week has revealed that forged signatures, non-existent addresses, pre-dated applications, questionable veterinarian’s reports and documents containing blatantly false information have been used to obtain valid permits for wild-caught baby elephants. (An audit query only calls information for clarifying more..

Sangakkara's golden run, Ajmal's long wait

Aug 9 (CI) 501: Runs scored by Kumar Sangakkara off Saeed Ajmal in Tests. Ajmal has dismissed him Sangakkara only three times, giving the batsman an average of 167. The next-highest runs scored by any batsman off a bowler since May 2001 is 431, by Mahela Jayawardene against Harbhajan Singh. 10: The number of double-centuries Sangakkara has scored in Tests, next only to Don Bradman's 12. Sangakkara also has six scores of 150 or more against Pakistan, the second-best by more..

Armed gang arrested

Aug 9 (NS) A four member armed gang responsible for several armed robberies in the Middeniya area were arrested by the Crime Investigation Unit of the Tangalle police yesterday. Police initially arrested three suspects and upon further interrogation of them, managed to apprehend a fourth member of the gang in Embilipitiya. Interrogation of one suspect had led police to uncover that the gang was responsible for the recent armed robbery of a mobile service provider dealership in Elpitiya. more..

Human rights defenders seek the safety of asylum seekers in Sri Lanka

Aug 9 (AM) The plead for granting an interim order to suspend the decision of the Ministry of Defence from deporting about 2,000 Pakistani and Afghanistan refugees who were arrested by Sri Lanka Immigration, is to be considered by Supreme Court on August 26. The Supreme Court today fixed for August 26 the fundamental rights petition filed on behalf of the refugees by six human rights defenders in Sri Lanka. more..

Provide police protection for election officials – JVP

Aug 9 (LT) At the discussion held between the Commissioner of Elections and secretaries of political parties the issues raised by the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva have been accepted by the DIG Gamini Nawaratna who was present. Mr. Tilvin Silva has raised the issues of obstructions to duties of election officials and the inadequacy displayed by the police on the 6th, the day nominations were closed. He had raised the issues of providing VIP security for UPFA more..

'Cey-Nor Foundation is progressing as a profitable venture'

Aug 9 (GDI) Cey-Nor Foundation, paid all salary arrears of its employees at a special ceremony held at the Cey-Nor Foundation premises, recently under the patronage of Minister Rajitha Senaratne. Accordingly, out of 120 Cey-Nor employees, 60 employees who did not receive their salaries and increments according to the govt procedures received at this special ceremony. A sum of 6 million rupees was incurred in this regard. The remaining employees and those who had retired will more..

'Sri Lanka rupee not under downward pressure for now'

Aug 9 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's rupee will not be under downward pressure in the foreseeable future due to a policy aimed at building foreign reserves and a gradual appreciation in the currency is expected, central bank governor said. Central bank has bought more than $1 billion this year to prevent a sharp gain in the currency amid strong inflows from remittances, project-related loans, and investment in govt securities more..

War on slums to be complete by 2020

Aug 9 (CG) The UDA which operates under the Ministry of Defence, has set the year 2020 by when it hopes Colombo will be free of slums and shanties. During the last two years the UDA has awarded contracts for the construction of housing schemes at 19 sites containing walk-up apartments and 12 storied condominium apartments with a floor area of a unit around 400sq feet including all facilities and amenities. “In near future the resettlement of low income families has been scheduled to more..

Sri Lankan Tamils held

Aug 9 (Hindu) The district and Q branch police have arrested nine Sri Lankan Tamil refugees who attempted to illegally ferry to Australia from the coastal town of Oriyur in Ramanathapuram district. Police said the nine refugees, all men, who had come from different refugee camps in the State, were staying in rooms attached to St. Arulanandar Church at Oriyur for the past two days when police zeroed in on them on Friday night. They started moving out after realising that more..

Will the President investigate himself? – UNP

Aug 9 (AD) UNP today alleged that the Defence Ministry has become severely politicised under the Rajapaksa regime, with incompetency and nepotism triumphing over experience ability and basic intelligence. UNP says that Sri Lanka “was acutely embarrassed” due to the recent fiasco concerning the defamatory article published by the Ministry of Defence, which resulted in the demand of a 'humiliating apology' to more..

Rains expected in drought-hit areas

Aug 9 (DM) The Meteorology Department said today that thundershowers could be expected in drought-hit areas of the Northern, North-Central, Uva and Eastern provinces during the afternoon or evening. It said several spells of showers will occur in the Western, Sabaragamuwa and Central provinces and in the Galle and Matara districts. Batticaloa, Hambantota, Badulla, Kurunegala and Trincomalee districts which are affected by the prevailing drought received rainfalls of 0.4 mm, 2 mm, 1.4 mm, more..

Ranil questions govt. on mystery questionnaire

Aug 9 (Island) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament that a questionnaire had been distributed among people purportedly to update householders’ lists and the people wanted to know who was behind it. "The govt should explain who has distributed that questionnaire. This House should be told whether it is a govt project or someone else is responsible for it. Who collects these demographic data and is the purpose? Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said that more..

Ebola outbreak: 200 Sri Lankans to be repatriated from Liberia

Aug 9 (AD) The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) says that around 200 Sri Lankan nationals currently employed in Liberia will be brought back due to the Ebola epidemic spreading rapidly in the African region. The WHO has declared the West African Ebola outbreak that has killed nearly 1,000 people an international public-health emergency. Decision to bring them back was taken in view of the seriousness of the outbreak more..

Ranil swears by the West

Aug 10 (SO) Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe swears by the West and turns to it for anything under the sun. This was manifest even during his brief stint as the Prime Minister from 2001 to 2004. Wickremesinghe's Regaining Sri Lanka policy and the controversial Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) with LTTE terrorists were two classic examples of his over-dependence on the West. He even abandoned his customary national top to don the European formal attire since his more..

Help Narendra Modi and help ourselves

Aug 10 (SL) Indo-Sri Lanka relations have been plagued for over three decades because of the vacillations in the relationships among Colombo, Chennai and New Delhi. The election of the leader of the BJP, Narendra Modi one time strong advocate of ‘Hindutva’ was looked upon with much anxiety not only among minorities in India but even India’s neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka. Modi however on being elected swept away all such fears and doubts of neighbours by taking more..

'CPC will soon be a profit-making entity'

Aug 10 (SO) COPE Chairman D.E.W. Gunasekara said the performance of most state institutions under COPE had vastly improved after he took over as chairman in 2010. He said that when he took over, there were some state institutions which had not submitted annual reports for ten years. All this has been rectified and brought upto date during the past four years. Submitting annual reports to Parliament was encouraging. more..

Resurrect the General Practitioner!

Aug 10 (NS) If you have a persistent headache you might rub some medicinal oil on your head or take a Paracetamol tablet. If you have aches and pains, there’s peyava, there’s koththamalli with some venivelgeta or Siddhalepa. Even a cat medicates itself, chewing on kuppameniya when feeling out of sorts. A little boy trips and bruises his knee and his friends will administer first aid, for example, in the form of grating a kurumbettiya on a rough surface and packing the pulp on the wound. more..

Droughts don't happen overnight

Aug 10 (CT) It is typical of the style of governance in Sri Lanka that while large tracts of the country are experiencing severe drought conditions and over a million people are struggling to find even drinking water, the govt and its officials are busy with yet another round of elections, oblivious both to the sufferings of the people and the extent to which election laws are being violated. The drought encompassing 14 districts primarily in the rice belt in the North, North Central, South and Eastern more..