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57,500 kg of refuse tea confiscated by STF

Aug 12 (DM) A large consignment of refuse tea had been seized by the STF from a lorry and two warehouses at Kelanimulla and Megoda Kolonnawa today. Five suspects had also been arrested in this regard, the Police said. The consignment of refuse tea totaled 57,500 kgs. Officials said the STF personnel seized 5,000 kgs refuse tea from a lorry this morning. Following interrogating the driver another stock 7,500 kgs of tea was recovered in a warehouse at Kelanimulla. more..

Police investigate govt politico's involvement in elephant smuggling

Aug 12 (AM) A man who was arrested while illegally transporting an elephant has confessed to Police that he was about to hand over the elephant to a prominent minister in the government representing Kalutara District. The man was caught while transporting a baby elephant from the Matale area and the Matale police has sent the suspect and the elephant to the Wildlife Unit in Matale for further investigation. After further interrogation, more..

Who had authority to take away luxury car with heroin?

Aug 12 (LT) Two police constables who were arrested for taking away 2 kilograms of heroin in an Allion car with registered number WP KC 4930 that had been seized with a large haul of heroin and was parked at Borella Police were produced before court and were released on bail yesterday. Allion car had been seized at Nagahawatta area at Wanathamulla in Borella on 15th July wih 11 kilograms of heroin worth Rs.60 million and cash Rs.3.3 million and was parked at Borella Police Station more..

Police take legal action against person for making false complaint against CM

Aug 12 (Island) Police will take legal action against a person named Diyagaha Vithanage Piyasena for lodging a false complaint on July 21 with the Welikada police station alleging that Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunaga had assaulted him with a cricket bat near his house at Nawala, Koswatte. Police investigations revealed that the Chief Minister had been attending a function at a different place at that time. A plaint will be filed on Dec 8 against the complainant for more..

UNHCR alarmed as Sri Lanka extends deportation to families outside detention

Aug 12 (Trust) UNHCR is alarmed that recent deportations of asylum-seekers from Sri Lanka are growing in size and scope despite international calls to stop sending them back to a place where their lives could be in danger. In all, 88 Pakistanis have been sent home since August 1. Initially, the deportees were men who had been placed into detention. Now, we are seeing whole families being deported. more..

Elephant population under threat – expert

Aug 12 (Island) Sri Lanka currently had a healthy elephant population, but it was under threat due to land fragmentation and the lack of elephant corridors, Wildlife Conservation Department (WCD) Director General H.D Ratnayake said. In Sri Lanka annually around 200 – 300 elephants died and around 250-300 were born, he said. The elephant habitat was restricted to few national parks and reserves especially in Udawalawe, Yala, Wilpattu, Minneriya and Kaudulla. more..

More showers over drought hit areas

Aug 12 (Island) Meteorology Department predicted yesterday more showers in the drought affected areas of the country. Duty Meteorologist Jeevan Karunaratne, however, said those showers would not be sufficient. "The drought may remain until end of September though few rains would be experienced in those areas," he said. Karunaratne said that showers would occur at times in the Western, Sabaragamuwa and Central provinces and in the Galle and Matara Districts. more..

Krrish chairman in special meeting with govt

Aug 12 (AD) A special meeting on the beginning of the work on the ‘Krrish Square’ proposed to be constructed on a four acre plot of land in Colombo Fort was held between the chairmen of the UDA and the Krrish Group in Colombo this morning. During this meeting, Krrish Group chairman Amit Katyal has informed the UDA that work on this project could begin in October this year. “Chairman of the Krrish Group arrived more..

Sri Lanka’s Geneva envoy, army in talks

Aug 12 (CG) Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ravinath Aryasinha had had talks with the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake on issues related to Sri Lanka. The army media unit said that the talks took place at the Army Headquarters today. During the brief meeting they had exchanged views on matters of relevance and various world-wide developments taking place in relation to Sri Lanka. Discussions also centered on Defence Seminar – 2014 more..

Serve the public or face trouble in next birth, prelated tells govt servants

Aug 12 (Island) Most Venerable Mahanayake of Asgiriya Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thera on Sunday warned public servants that unless they did their best in serving the public they would have to pay for their sins in the next birth. The prelate said so at the opening by President Mahinda Rajapaksa of a refurbished building complex of Rama Vihare near Udawatta Kele Sanctuary, on Sunday. The prelate said that the public servants were expected to serve the people and extend their more..

Court order against those who criticize exam papers of GCE A/L

Aug 12 (AM) Minister Bandula Gunawardena has said that his ministry has taken steps to obtain a Supreme court-order against the parties who are spreading rumors about this year’s GCE A/L Exam’s procedure. This step was taken due to criticism which was directed towards the GCE A/L Exam during the past few days. Some parties claimed that there were major errors in the Economics question paper and that more..

Business leader Kishu Gomes says Anura Kumara is among his political favourites

Aug 12 (AM) Managing Director of Chevron Lubricants Lanka Kishu Gomes has said that JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake is among his favorite politicians from the opposition. Commenting on politicians on the opposition, he said former UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa was also on his favourite list. He has made these remarks in an interview with a newspaper. Speaking further about his political preferences, Gomes has also said that he respect Dr. Sarath Amunugama, more..

Crimes committed by Maldivians in Lanka to be investigated jointly

Aug 12 (Haveeru) Police said that an agreement was reached between Commissioner of Police Hussain Waheed and Sri Lankan IGP N.K Ilankoon, which states that juvenile crimes being committed in Sri Lanka by Maldivians are to be investigated jointly by the police departments of both the countries, during the commissioner’s visit to Lanka on Aug 6, which lasted till August 10. The agreement, which was reached to a conclusion after holding a discussion between the police departments more..

'Student’s injuries were self-inflicted'

Aug 12 (AD) The complaint lodged with the police by an undergraduate attached to the University of Sabaragamuwa claiming that he was assaulted by an unidentified group of people, is a false one, police said. SSP Ajith Rohana said that this has been confirmed through the confessions made by the student. The Spokesperson added that the police investigation teams have also found contradictions in more..

Lankans in West Africa asked to return

Aug 12 (DM) Sri Lankans have been asked to inform their relatives still staying in West African countries to return immediately because of the threat of contracting the dreaded Ebola virus, the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) said. It said some 200 Sri Lankans were employed in western African countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. “There are Sri Lankans who had registered with the Bureau and those who had not. However, it’s not the number that matters. more..

Lankan Chefs Guild assisting Maldives establish a Chefs Association

Aug 12 (Island) The Chefs Guild of Sri Lanka(CGSL) is assisting the Maldives establish a Chefs Guild which would take place before the end of this month. The CGSL headed by Gerard Mendis and a team of seniors in the Maldivian leisure industry led by Mariyam Noordeen,the former Dean of the Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Studies (FHTS) of the University of Maldives (UoM) were in the process of working on the nitty gritty’s involved in the establishment of the MCG which had more..

Nishantha Ranatunga humiliates Mahela by inquiring about his farewell party

Aug 12 (SM) Nishantha Ranatunga, Secretary of SLC, has created a fresh controversy by asking star cricketer Mahela Jayawardena in a humiliating manner as to how his farewell should be organized. Jayawardena, in response, has said he does not need anything from the country’s cricket administration. In an e-mail to Ranatunga, the cricketer has added that his total focus was on the second Test match more..

Prioritising truth in post-war Sri Lanka

Aug 13 (GV) “How do we keep the past alive without becoming its prisoner? How do we forget it without risking its repetition in the future?” Ariel Dorfman, ‘Death and the Maiden’. The Chilean playwright Ariel Dorfman poses these questions in his play Death and the Maiden after witnessing massive human rights violations in his home country and alludes to a delicate balance needed in terms of the past, present and future. The Chilean National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation more..

Bank capital is not a Panacea

Aug 13 (CT) Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan, an illustrious academic but now a practising central banker, is reported to have left an important message to central bankers from South Asia at a seminar held in the Central Bank of Sri Lanka two weeks ago. He is quoted as having said: “When you have long term liabilities there would no control in what the banker does with the assets. The liability structure affects the kind of structure that you make. If you have long term liability without more..

Millions worth land scam exposed: Corrupt LRC officials in the net

Aug 13 (SO) Under the cover of quoting President Rajapaksa's name, corrupt govt officials have whisked away millions of rupees over a fake land deal. A project is deemed successful if billions worth of foreign currency flows into the country and this was envisaged by a group of businessmen. This would have been so if the deal was a true one. All the efforts made by them went down the drain for these local entrepreneurs more..

On illegal possession of land by the military and demographic change in North & East

Aug 13 (CT) Mr. Presiding Member, we are debating a Bill that deals with Prescription, a Bill that is being brought to bring about certain changes in the existing laws pertaining to prescription in regard to the category of persons defined in the new Bill as “disadvantaged persons”. That is, persons who have been unable to pursue their rights shall be entitled to avail themselves of the benefits conferred by this Act until 12 months after the coming into operation of this Act. In other words, Sir, more..

Bishop of Mannar’s letter to Presidential Commission on Missing Persons

Aug 13 (GV) I am thankful for your very kind visit to me and for your personal invitation to testify before the commission during it’s sittings to be held in Mannar between the 8th and 11th of August 2014. I am writing to inform you that having considered the following I have decided not to make representations before your commission. I have over the years grown to be weary of domestic mechanisms in resolving serious injustices that Tamil people have faced over the period of the war, more..

Is Sri Lanka sinking in to an abyss of racism and apartheid?

Aug 13 (GV) Two months since the BBS inspired anti Muslim attack in Aluthgama took place causing scores of damage, destruction and death to the livelihood, properties and life of the Muslim community, evidence is emerging that the attack is not spontaneous but a well orchestrated plan to attack Muslims and to incite more violence. It is very clear from this that some sections of the political powers that be wanted to create a more..

The Buddha, real and perceived

Aug 13 (NS) I heard Holmes chuckling to himself. In reply to my inquiring glance he said, “Here is a lady Watson who should distribute her frenzy among hundreds of men instead of saving it for a single man.” I was astonished, for vulgar insinuation was the last thing I’d have expected from him especially in connection with a woman. With one notable exception Holmes was lukewarm in his appreciation of womankind, but he was invariably the gentleman. My disgust must have shown, more..

Right to sovereignty

Aug 13 (Island) In Sri Lanka there are so many rights groups very often, if not always, financed by the western countries led by the US and England, though funds may be directed through other nations in the west. These groups are interested in various issues such as freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom to demonstrate on certain issues, right to protect the human rights, the rights of the minorities, but never in the right to sovereignty. It is almost a tautology that more..

Art of captaincy, the Mathews way

Aug 13 (WI) Sharjah, Jan 2014: Sri Lanka lead the three-Test series 1-0 against Pakistan and have an 87-run first-innings lead in the third Test. On day four, Sri Lanka adopt an overly cautious approach as they stumble along at 2.1 runs per over in their second innings and are wiped out the next day, shortly before lunch. Pakistan chase down 302 in just two sessions to pull off a thrilling five-wicket win – one of their finest Test successes more..

Editorial: Legislators as commuters

Aug 13 (Island) A group of UNP MPs took a train ride from Ratmalana to Colombo Fort on Monday to see for themselves the shortcomings in the Railway Department and the attendant woes of the commuting public. Hordes of govt trade unionists, true to form, booed and jeered at them. Lawmakers, regardless of the political parties they represent, as people’s representatives tasked with controlling public finance, among other things, have a right to visit state institutions, especially more..

Can HRW's interpretation holding Syrian civilians a war crime be applied to Sri Lanka?

Aug 13 (Island) New York based Human Rights Watch (HRW) recently warned that holding of civilians could amount to a war crime. The AFP in a Beirut datelined story quoted HRW’s Middle East and North Africa Director Sarah Leah Whitson as having said that individuals and countries that backed groups involved in hostage taking could be complicit in war crimes. Whitson was commenting on Syrian armed groups holding 54 persons, including 34 children hostages for an entire more..

Mahela: Leaving a legend behind in the dressing room

Aug 13 (ST) Now it seems that it was ions ago. I was at the Nalanda College pavilion at Campbell Place talking to a young cricketer who was full of promise for the future. But, I was here talking to him about his ailing brother, who subsequently passed away. The cricketer was young Mahela Jayawardena who was taking the school cricket scene by storm with a flurry of runs. There while I was speaking to him, he said more..

Battered and bruised in a world of male chauvinists

Aug 13 (NS) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena has taken some flak during the past week for wishing that all women be reborn as men in their next incarnation. The minister had made the remark at a meeting of the SLFP Women’s Federation meeting in Polonnaruwa. Many women’s rights activists will be horrified by the minister’s comments. However, the minister would possibly say that he was simply voicing his admiration for women and did not mean to offend anybody. more..

DFCC’s Rs. 5 b debenture draws Rs. 10.3 b demand

Aug 13 (FT) DFCC Bank’s Rs. 5 billion debenture issue had been oversubscribed by two times generating a demand of over Rs. 10 billion. The issue of 30 million senior, unsecured, redeemable, rated debentures of Rs. 100 each with an option of a further 20 million debentures in the event of an oversubscription of the original amount, was closed on Friday on its official opening day. The three-year debenture issue offered three options of interest payment for investors. more..

Levy on imports will not affect consumers

Aug 13 (DM) Commenting on the impact of the recently imposed special commodity levy, Finance Ministry said the tax imposition on imported potatoes and onions will not affect the consumers but rather will be a measure to safeguard both consumers and local farmers. “This is to safeguard the local farmer whose produce will be in higher demand as a result of this. The govt could stand to lose as a result of reduced imports, more..

HNB profits up 8%

Aug 13 (CT) Hatton National Bank PLC (HNB) reported a net profit of Rs 3.69 billion at group level during the first half of 2014, up eight per cent from a year ago. Net profit at bank level also grew by eight per cent to Rs 3.38 billion, interim financial results showed."This growth was achieved despite lower margins experienced during H1 of 2014 as a result of the drop in lending rates and over Rs 1.5 billion of interest written off on account of pawning. The margins for the second half are expected to more..

Focus on neglected SMEs

Aug 13 (CT) The country's small and medium enterprises (SMEs) sector continues to be neglected and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce is launching a programme to harness the true potential of this sector. "The SME sector is an important sector that could play a significant role in an emerging economy as a vital trigger of economy growth. But due to various reasons this sector is not effectively harnessed in Sri Lanka. The SME sector could be boosted and rejuvenated by more..

Sri Lankan doctorates for sale in Bangalore

Aug 13 (NIE) Vasudeva Sharma was shocked when two men walked into his office with an offer last week. They placed on his desk an application that would fetch him an honorary doctorate from a Sri Lankan university. “They told me I had to pay $3,500 to get an honorary doctorate for my social work,” said Sharma (48), executive director, Child Rights Trust. The men identified themselves as Suresh and Ananth, and said they represented the more..

NDB defends borrowing foreign funds

Aug 13 (FT) NDB defended its move in having reached out for foreign borrowings, stating competitive sourcing of new funds was in view of a deep project pipeline and not to simply inject money into the Govt. CEO Rajendra Theagarajah adding clarity to NDB’s foreign borrowing exercises at this week’s investor forum said: “The funds were not mobilised just to pump money into Govt bonds. We have made a decision to disburse it in the pipeline and I can confidently say that we have a more..

Gamage called up as cover for Eranga

Aug 13 (CI) Right-arm seam bowler Lahiru Gamage has been called up to the Sri Lanka squad as injury cover for Shaminda Eranga, who has developed inflammation in his hip following the first Test against Pakistan. Gamage was with the Sri Lanka A team on their tour of England, but will arrive in Sri Lanka on Wednesday, and is available for selection for the match, which begins on Thursday. Sri Lanka are likely to go in with a two-man pace attack at the SSC, with Dhammika Prasad and more..

26 more Tamil woman recruits pass out from Kilinochchi

Aug 13 (SLA) A batch of 26 more Tamil woman recruits from Kilinochchi after their four-month basic training at Security Force Headquarters Kilinochchi (SFHQ-KLN), passed out during a military ceremony on Saturday. Those recruits, apart from military training, learnt Sinhala and English languages as alternative communicative tools, together with basic computer knowledge and self-employment opportunities. more..

Don't allow global crises to obscure abuse of Tamils

Aug 13 (BP) With all the horrors taking place in Gaza, Ukraine, Iraq, and Syria, Sri Lanka has understandably fallen off the international radar. What you must know is that this suits Sri Lanka's President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, just fine. Yet the brutal methods he has used to defeat the Tamil Tigers — which ignore the cost of civilian casualties and frequently trample on human rights — are very similar to the ones used by those currently fighting in the spotlight. more..

A gastronomic journey with biryani

Aug 13 (Hindu) When Buhari hotel on Anna Salai threw its gates open to the public in 1951, it ushered in a number of firsts: espresso machines making cup after cup of steaming coffee, a jukebox playing tunes of the times, and cutlery and crockery brought from London to give a “fine-dining experience to Madras’ foodies.” A.M. Buhari, who brought the mildly spiced, fragrant biryani from Colombo, was a pioneer of sorts. Whether it was a boiled egg nestled in a bed of saffron-infused rice or Chicken more..