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Govt. hikes dons’ pay by 20%, refuses to add research grant to salary

Aug 1 (Island) Research allowance for university teachers would not be added to the basic salary as the allowance had been introduced to encourage university dons to engage in research, Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayake said. Addressing a media conference at the UGC auditorium, minister said that few university lecturers wanted the 35% research grant added to the salary without doing any research. more..

Despair reigns in drought-stricken areas

Aug 1 (ST) Schoolchildren walking in the scorching sun, men and women carrying cans and pots trudging long distances searching for drinking water, farmers crying over lost crop, scrawny cattle desperately looking for green patches—these are common sights in the drought-stricken remote villages in the districts of Hambantota, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Moneragala, Puttalam, Trincomalee, Kurunegala and Matale. more..

'Only few aylum boats from Sri Lanka'

Aug 1 (CG) The Australian Govt says only a few boats reach from Sri Lanka attempt to reach Australia and so South India should not be an alternative for people smuggling. Reiterating that Australia was firm on not allowing illegal immigration, Australian High Commissioner to India Patrick Suckling said that in the last six months, not one boat has come from Indonesia and only a tiny amount has come from Sri Lanka. more..

UNP demands immediate action on kidnapping of 4 year old child

Aug 1 (AM) The UNP has demanded the govt to take immediate action on the kidnapping ofa four-year old boy from Hunupolagama, Meegallewa. The UNP Claims that this incident is a “clear reflection of the times and status of a country caught up in a vicious cycle of corruption and violence.” They further stated that the President and the President alone must take full responsibility for the breakdown of law and order and more..

Hakeem pledges to remain in UPFA despite issues faced by Muslims

Aug 1 (AM) Leader of SLMC and Minister Rauff Hakeem has said that he would never leave the govt, although they have issues that need to be addressed immediately. The SLMC leader has said that if he leaves the govt he would end up being another Azath Salley who has lost his clout in national politics. Hakeem has expressed confidence that the SLMC will be able to remain in the govt and act as an internal pressure group. more..

Madras HC backs India’s ties with Lanka

Aug 1 (Hindu) Madras High Court dismissed at the admission stage a petition seeking a direction to the Centre to recall the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India to the UN in Geneva. The petitioner, K. Balu, an advocate, said the UNHRC session was held in March. A draft resolution was introduced by 42 countries, for promoting reconciliation accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka. more..

Ebola virus not a threat to Sri Lanka

Aug 1 (DM) While maintaining that the possibility of a tourist carrying the deadly Ebola Virus entering Sri Lanka was slim, Govt Epidemiology Unit (GEU) Director Dr. Prabha Palihawadana said Sri Lanka was capable of tackling such an emergency. “The Ebola Virus was first detected in Congo in 1976 and the extremely fatal virus has now spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau and some other parts of the world. more..

'Premakeerthi's murderer on President's lap'

Aug 1 (LT) It was on a day like yesterday that distinctive artist Premakeerthi de Alwis was murdered 25 years ago. A commemoration ceremony was organized at SLBC complex. A large number of artistes including Victor Ratnayaka participated. The President was the special invitee. Premakeerthi’s widow Ms. Nirmala Alwis had told the President, “Mr. President, the murderer is on your lap.” more..

India to skip Asian Games again

Aug 1 (CI) The BCCI has continued to stay away from multinational games by refusing to field the women's and the men's cricket teams in the forthcoming Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea from September 19 to October 4. According to the list of participating teams for the men's and women's cricket events, India is the only Test nation from Asia to not participate. While Pakistan have entered only in the women's event, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will be playing in both categories. more..

Stiffer penalties for those who engage in illegal refuse tea trade

Aug 1 (Island) The Plantation Industries Ministry will soon increase the maximum fine to be imposed on a person found guilty of an offence under the Tea Control Act No. 51 of 1957. Cabinet approval has been granted to amend the Act by incorporating provisions for the Minister in-charge of the subject to make regulations on refuse tea and the transport thereof, conviction for an offence under the Act and punishment for such offences etc. The proposal was made by Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe more..

Colobmo: Playground for the Rich

Sri Lanka stocks close lower

Aug 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks closed 0.06% lower with Ceylon Tobacco Company losing ground amid net foreign selling. All Share Price Index closed 3.77 points lower at 6,810.13, down 0.06%. The S&P SL20 closed 13.09 points lower at 3,759.42, down 0.35%. Turnover was 775.04 million rupees, down from 1.05 billion rupees a day earlier with 110 stocks closed positive against 80 negative. Laugfs Gas non-voting closed 50 cents higher at 30.70 rupees with an off-market transaction of more..

Sri Lanka’s grand opposition alliance?

Aug 1 (EAR) President Rajapaksa’s popularity among Sinhala and Muslim people in Sri Lanka shot up following the military victory over the LTTE in 2009. He won the presidential election in 2010 with 57.88% of the votes cast, about a 7% increase from what he obtained in 2005. The President’s confidence was such that he modified the Constitution to remove the two-term limit through the 18th Amendment. The underlying assumption was that he was popular enough to win more more..

Environmentalists demand probe into corruption in WCD

Aug 1 (Island) Environmentalists on Tuesday raised concerns over lack of transparency within the Wildlife Conservation Department (WCD) in issuing permits, registration of captive elephants, and confiscation of illegal held elephants. They alleged that the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption (CIABOC) was trying to protect the officials of the WCD and others involved with issuing permits more..

National womens' dance troupe to stage national premiere in Staten Island

Aug 1 (SIL) Staten Island audiences have seen Sri Lankan dance over the past six or eight years, but not the rite-of-passage piece that will be performed Aug. 9 at the College of Staten Island's Center for the Arts. Called "Pahim Path Mangalya," this ceremonial graduation dance has probably never been performed in this country. The piece will be danced by 15 members of the National Womens' Dance Troupe (NWDT) of Sri Lanka, an Island-based company. more..

Suspended rebel members blamed for conspiring to oust GMOA leadership

Aug 1 (Island) About seven doctors whose membership had been suspended by the GMOA were behind a move to topple its present leadership, spokesman for the GMOA Dr. Chandika Epitakaduwa said. GMOA General Committee members had been distributing some important leaflets among about 1,400 of its members at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) on Wednesday afternoon when the suspended members went to the hospital canteen to more..

Jaffna University science teachers complain of foul play in recruitment

Aug 1 (Island) The Jaffna University Science Teachers’ Association (JUSTA) claimed that recruitment procedures in the university were abused through political interference by a member party of the ruling UPFA coalition. According to a report prepared by the JUSTA’s Subcommittee for Academic Integrity––summary of the report appears on page seven in today’s edition of this newspaper––the political party concerned has been more..

From stillness to motion and high speed

Aug 1 (CT) For a polity that yearned for change in the better part of two incumbencies, the coming together of multiple formations is strikingly inspiring. The single resolve welding them together is Regime Change. It is seen as the most powerful rallying cry to fuse the discordance into purpose. Executive Presidency should be terminated is the slogan. It is not the goal nor the ideal. Nor are illusions nourished that it can dazzle the multitude or win their allegiance. more..

Jaffna aquifer depleting from overuse

Aug 1 (SD) The single limestone aquifer, which is the main source of freshwater in Sri Lanka's northern Jaffna peninsula, is gradually depleting through overuse, researchers say. "The area suffers from severe groundwater imbalance which might reach crisis proportions in the future," Shanti de Silva, one of two scientists who carried out the research for the agricultural department of the University of Jaffna, told SciDev.Net. At a presentation of the research results more..

Hudson Samarasinghe scolds Premakeerthi’s wife in obscene language

Aug 1 (AM) Asian Mirror is now in a position to reveal that SLBC Chairman Hudson Samarasinghe has scolded Nirmala De Alwis, the wife of the late Premakeerithi De Alwis, in obscene language this morning. SLBC Chairman had informed Nirmala De Alwis and accused her of tarnishing his image before President Rajapaksa. At the commemoration event which took place yesterday Nirmala De Alwis had told more..

Court of Appeal directs CM to support appeal on August 08

Aug 1 (Island) The appeal filed in the Court of Appeal by the Chief Minister of the Southern Province, Shan Wijayalal de Silva seeking to set aside the Galle High Court order that Maithri de Silva be reinstated as Mayor of Galle will be supported in the Court of Appeal on August 8. Maithri Alexander de Silva was removed from the past of Mayor of Galle by the Chief Minister. De Silva moved the High Court against the removal. The High Court ordered his re-instatement. more..

Botanic Gardens earn Rs.219.8 Mn during first 5 months in 2014

Aug 1 (GDI) During the first five months of this year, 159,202 foreign tourists and 865,777 local tourists have visited botanic gardens in Sri Lanka and the revenue earned during the period is Rs.219.8 million. According to the prevailing trend, an average number of 900 foreign tourists and 2000 local tourists visit the gardens daily. The visits, particularly during festive seasons and weekends exceeds above 4000 local visitors and 1000 foreign visitors. A large number of local and foreign tourists more..

'Sri Lanka trying to create fissures in India's federal polity'

Aug 1 (PTI) Taking strong exception to an alleged derogatory article about her on the Sri Lankan defence website, TN CM Jayalalithaa today accused it of trying to create fissures in India's federal polity as she demanded an unconditional apology from Colombo for the insinuations against her. In a letter to PM Narendra Modi hours after the controversy broke out, leading to a furore in Tamil Nadu's political circles, she said that it also more..

India, Sri Lanka discuss boosting ties

Aug 1 (CG) India and Sri Lanka have had talks on boosting bilateral relations, the Sri Lankan High Commission in New Delhi said in a statement today. Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to India, Prof. Sudharshan Seneviratne presented his credentials to the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, yesterday. At a cordial meeting which followed the Credentials Ceremony, High Commissioner Prof. Seneviratne conveyed greetings of President Rajapaksa more..

Separate desk to issue IDs for Uva voters

Aug 1 (DN) A separate desk has been opened at the Department of Registration of Persons to provide National Identity Cards for those who don't have NICs and have to vote at the forthcoming Uva Provincial Council Election said the Assistant Commissioner of the Department of Registration of Persons Bagya Jayaratne. She made these observations at the press briefing held at the Media Centre for Defence and Urban Development Ministry in Kollupitiya on Wednesday. more..

Thisara Perera out of Pakistan series

Aug 1 (DM) Thisara Perera is unlikely to play any part in the homes series against Pakistan starting with the first cricket Test starting in Galle on Aug 6, according to chief national selector Sanath Jayasuriya who said that the key all-rounder will have to get medical clearance before being considered for national selection. Perera pulled himself out of Sri Lanka ODI squad during the recent home ODI series against South Africa more..

'All NGOs to be probed'

Aug 1 (Island) Govt said that all NGOs would be investigated since it had a duty to ensure national security. Minister Keheliya Rambukwalle, said that they had received information about the ‘irregular’ conduct of some NGOs lately and they were being probed. "It’s the duty of the State to safeguard national security and, therefore, in keeping with that obligation we are keeping a tab on all NGOs without exception, he noted, adding that appropriate action would be more..

Vaas case: Suspect refused bail

Aug 1 (DM) Colombo Additional Magistrate A.M. Shahabdeen refused to release on bail the fourth suspect Priyantha Sanjeewa who is alleged to have connived with former DIG Vaas Gunawardena to transport weapons and explosives to a hideout at Kalagedihena from his residence. The Magistrate overruled the request made by Counsel Jaliya Samarasinghe to release his client on bail and upheld the prosecution objection which emphasized that if the suspect was released on bail more..

‘Teacher-Kneeling' case witness found dead

Aug 1 (DM) The body of the witness, who gave crucial evidence in the case in which Wayamba Provincial Councillor Ananda Sarath Kumara was convicted of ordering a teacher to kneel down, was found inside an abandoned well, close approximate to the Navagattegama Navodya Vidyalaya today. Relatives said the witness identified as Punyasoma Bandara had gone missing a few days ago. Magisterial inquiries will be begin soon. more..

MOD's Article of Jayalalitha: Full Text

Aug 1 (OI) How meaningful are Jayalalitha’s love letters to Narendra Modi?: Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned they say and that aptly puts to context the feelings of Jayalalitha towards Sri Lanka. But, the BJP high powered delegation led by Dr. Subramaniam Swamy who arrived in Sri Lanka at the invitation of the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies recently made explicitly clear that Tamil Nadu would not come between Indo-Lanka relations and also thanked the more..

Fire destroys 1,000 acres of forest

Aug 1 (Island) Nearly 1,000 acres of forest were destroyed by fire during the last month in various parts of the country. The Forest Department and Wildlife Department of officials complain that they are badly handicapped by a severe shortage of staff and vehicles to carry out their duties and functions. More than 10 acres were destroyed by a fire in a forest area in Ambalamulla Rajapaksapura in Seeduwa on Wednesday evening. The fire was doused by the Fire Brigade with more..

ICC stops Rs. One billion payment to SLC

Aug 1 (DM) International Cricket Council (ICC) has informed all its members including Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) that they would not be in a position to make a payment due to members, sources told Daily Mirror. The payment which amounts to US $8 million (Rs. 1.056 billion) was to be received by SLC before the end of July as Sri Lanka’s due share of the forthcoming ICC World Cup to be played in Australia and NZ early next year. more..

UDA to sell Rs30bn listed debt

Aug 1 (LBO) Urban Development Authority is planning to sell up to 30 billion rupees of Treasury guarantee listed debt in three tranches, Chairman Nimal Perera said. The sale will be managed by state-run People's Bank. The agency wants to first sell 10 billion rupees of debentures in the first tranche, followed by another 10 billion tranche next year. "Like that will go up to 30 billion in a period of 3-4 years," Perera said. The cash will used to build 30,000 houses he said.

UNP Southern Provincial Councilor passes away

Aug 1 (AD) UNP Southern Provincial Council member Kapila Wellappili has passed away today at the age of 58. He was receiving treatment at the Kalubowila Hospital for liver failure when he passed away this morning, a close relative of the Provincial Councilor said. Kapila Jayantha Wellappili entered politics in 1980 as an active member of the Youth Front of the United National Party and made his electoral debut at the Southern Provincial Council election in 1994. more..

Sri Lanka tenders unqualified apology to Modi and Jayalalithaa for derogatory article

Aug 1 (Yahoo) The Sri Lankan govt has tendered an "unqualified apology" to PM Narendra Modi and TN Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for a controversial article on the two leaders on its defence ministry’s official website. The Sri Lankan govt said in a statement that the article was published "without proper authorization and it doesn't reflect the govt's official position." A statement posted on the Lankan Defence Ministry website said: more..

Our Kafkaesque nightmare

Aug 2 (CT) Sri Lanka suffers from a democratic deficit and a shrinking space for fundamental rights, the very rights that are enshrined in the Constitution. That the govt has succeeded in clamping down on the media coverage of those frequent acts of violations, could well hide the grim reality from the public. But that would not undo the strains they have on the democratic fabric of the country. Sri Lanka's decay into authoritarianism is slow and steady. With each new incident, more..

Review of Walking Path

Aug 2 (GV) It is a ‘must see’ play which is a bold and insightful critique on the rapidly changing landscape of Colombo. It describes the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful that is taking place as a consequence. The play creates a youthful atmosphere with plenty of comedy and entertaining rhythmic aerobics performed to lively music. However, it also carries a more somber message about Colombo’s beautification drive subtly entwined in the fun and games encountered in the new more..

Presence of International advisors increases people's faith

Aug 2 (SO) Chairman of the Presidential Commission on Missing Persons, former High Court Judge Maxwell Parakrama Paranagama said that over 19,000 complaints received during the past seven months is testimony to the trust people have placed on the Commission, notwithstanding the politically-driven criticism of it being an eyewash. Q: What was the need to appoint an international advisory panel to more..

Chanaka Amaratunga: Reflections after 18 years

Aug 2 (CT) Chanaka Amaratunga died 18 years ago on August 1st. Like Bishop Lakshman Wickremesinghe, he might have said that he had failed in everything he tried to do. But, like Bishop Lakshman, the impact of his thought continues, and with every day that passes the principles he enunciated seem more important. His masterwork was the volume of Ideas for Constitutional Reform which was based on widespread consultations with a range of parties and thinkers. more..

NPC Chief Minister’s battle with the Chief Secretary

Aug 2 (CT) I wrote an article under the tittle NPC- “Driving” Or “Driven” To “Failure Of Administrative Machinery”? on 20th April this year. It was due to the messy events that were taking place in the NPC due to lack of understanding of due processes, precedence, experience etc and ongoing political manipulations. I observed such during a short visit to Jaffna with my friends Late Professor Emeritus Ranjith Amerasinghe and Attorney Jayampathy Wickramaratne, PC. more..