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Hospitals junior staff launch island wide strike

Aug 13 (AD) The patients at govt hospitals face immense problem as the junior staffs of all the hospitals across the country boycott their duties today. The island wide strike was launched from 6:30 a.m. under the direction of All Ceylon Health Services Union (ACHU), citing several demands, including the implementation of 6/2006 circular, non making of casual labourers permanent and several other issues. The convener of the National Trade Union Center Samantha Koralearachchi said more..

JITF an opportunity to tap vast potential in Jaffna peninsula - Arjun

Aug 13 (Island) The sixth edition of the Jaffna International Trade Fair(JITF) to be held in January next year, would be a good opportunity for investors to explore the vast potential that remained largely untapped in the peninsula, the Managing Director of Lanka Exhibition and Conference Serivces (LECS) Arjun Dharmadasa said yesterday. He said that the JITF had grown rapidly over the last five years and its sixth edition which would run from January 23 to 25, 2015 at the historic Durayappah stadium, more..

Video: Mahela a real fighter: Matthews

Aug 13 (DM) Mahela is a real fighter and an incredible player, Captain Angelo Matthews speaking at a media briefing said. He was commenting on the Mahela’s retirement from Test Cricket.“If you go into a warm-up match with him, he'll still try to fight and win. That's the kind of character he is and he is an unbelievable player,” Mathews said in Colombo. He said Mahela had helped him since the first day he met him and more..

CM Ranatunga complains of police inaction

Aug 13 (Island) Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga has, in a letter to IGP N.K. Illangakoon alleged that the police weren’t doing their duty as regards a complaint made by him on July 24. The Chief Minister lodged a complaint at the Cinnamon Gardens police after a person named P.W. Piyasena (64) on July 21 claimed that he was assaulted by CM Ranatunga with a cricket bat, while he was in his garden. He also alleged that the CM was also accompanied by a gang. more..

Graceful steel

Aug 13 (CI) 167 v New Zealand in Galle, 1998: Mahela Jayawardene's maiden hundred, not only announced his transition from schoolboy hero to Test asset, in his fourth Test, it also set down major themes of his career: superb technique against spin bowling, and a hunger to succeed where all else has failed. On a Galle surface that was crumbling from the outset, Jayawardene defused a spin attack headed by Daniel Vettori, and attacked the fast men who had begun to achieve inconsistent more..

Stage set for 17th Army Para Games

Aug 13 (SLA) Some 450 differently able Army War Heroes of our times, rich with unswerving moral courage and insatiable aptitude for multiple athletic skills, are to showcase their talents in the 17th ‘Sri Lanka Army Para Games - 2014’, final tournament, scheduled during August 20-22 at Sugathadasa Stadium. It is to be for the first time attended by several foreign sportsmen, including Indians, Pakistanis, Singaporeans, more..

I won’t pay compensation - Gnanasara Thera

Aug 13 (AD) Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary Ven. Galaboda Aththe Gnanasara Thera said that he will not pay compensation to Minister Rajitha Senaratne. Gnanasara Thera added that he has not received a letter of demand said to have sent by the Minister, thus far. “So far I haven’t got any letter. Though I get that, I won’t pay compensation to the Minister,” said Gnanasara Thera. However, Minister said that he will sue the Thera, unless he gets a positive answer, on this matter. more..

Mangala to go before UNHRC & local Panels

Aug 13 (DM) UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera said he would likely testify before the panel appointed by the UNHRC to look into the happenings in the final stages of war in Sri Lanka and the Missing Persons Commission appointed by the Sri Lankan govt. Mr. Samaraweera told media that he would possibly tell the two panels on the activities of LTTE and inform the two panels on the assets that were held by the LTTE and what became of them. “I would probably testify before the commission in order to more..

Ministers brief Chief Prelates on BBS

Aug 13 (CG) A group of Ministers and MPs today met the Mahanayakes (Chief Prelates) of the Asgiri and Malwathu chapters and briefed them on concerns being raised over the actions of monks attached to the BBS. Ministers and MPs had told the Chief Prelates that the actions of the General Secretary of the BBS, the venerable Galagodaaththe Gnanasara thero, is not in line with what is expected of a monk. more..

UVA election costs 200 million rupees

Aug 13 (HN) The Election Secretariat states the Uva Provincial Council election will cost nearly 200 million rupees. A Secretariat spokesman said this money is allocated to hire services of police, postal, government printer as well as to pay overtime to government servants on election duty. The department has grossly calculated that around 750 million rupees were spent to conduct the two previous elections in the Southern and Western Provinces. more..

Basil Rajapaksa launches compilation of Indian projects in Sri Lanka

Aug 13 (Hindu) Minister Basil Rajapaksa on Wednesday launched ‘India & Sri Lanka: A partnership that transcends time’, a compilation of India’s development projects in Sri Lanka. Published by the High Commission of India in Sri Lanka, the brochure features details of India’s engagement in Sri Lanka, covering various projects coming up at an estimated cost of USD 1.3 billion, including a massive housing project. A total of 50,000 homes are being built in SL with Indian assistance more..

Sri Lanka to release all fishermen to mark India's Independence Day

Aug 13 (Hindu) President Rajapaksa on Wednesday ordered the release of all Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody, ending the anxiety of Tamil Nadu fishermen who have been seeking their release. "On the occasion of India's Independence Day, President Rajapaksa orders the release of Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody," said a tweet from his official account. The announcement - following which the 94 Indian fishermen in more..

On election gimmicks and the politics of social choice over policy less policies

Aug 14 (CT) In the Constitution of Sri Lanka, the accountability of policy construction rests exclusively with the executive office, using other divisions among the central, regional/provincial and local govts as in any other democratic country. Thus, constructive policy making is imperative as much as its implementation. Hence, who initiates the process of policy formulation? In theory, a voted administration has a strategy/agenda on the foundation of which it is elected to power. more..

Genocidal human catastrophe in Gaza & Hypocrisy of the Rajapaksa regime

Aug 14 (CT) The stand taken on the recent genocidal catastrophe in Gaza by the External Affairs Ministry of the Rajapakse Regime is revealing in its barefaced hypocrisy. There is no reference to the cause of national liberation and self-determination of the Palestinian nation. There is no outright condemnation of the carpet bombing, including civilian and refugee populations, and the ground invasion by the occupying forces of the Zionist-Fascist State of Israel, more..

'Wastepaper is needed'

Aug 14 (SO) In the past we had many local industries as national assets. But many of them ground to a halt in the face of the inflow of foreign products and due to lack of state sponsorship to compete with other products. The blessing of the people and the govt and its help therefore are essential to produce a truly national product. The paper mill at Valachchenai which once operated as a 100% profit making entity is more..

Sri Lanka – ‘Refugee producing factory’

Aug 14 (NS) It behooves me to express my views about the contents of the article written by Emily Howie, that Sri Lanka is a “refugee-producing country”. (Guardian Australia) Emily claims to be a lawyer with the Australian Human Rights Law Centre, who is using statistics as a drunken man uses lampposts - for support rather than illumination! She expresses her concern that most of the asylum seekers Australia returning to Sri Lanka will be charged or worse. more..

Triumphalism gets unpacked

Aug 14 (NS) For a couple of days in May 2009 much of Sri Lanka was adorned with flags. The streets were full of flag-waving, firecracker-lighting people. In many places, following customs of celebration, there were people dishing out milk-rice or kiribath. Free. It was all about celebrating the end of 30 years living under the threat of terrorist attacks; 30 years of check-points and being wary of parcel bombs and suicide bombers. 30 years of lamenting the unnecessary deaths of young people. more..

Service providers abetting crime?

Aug 14 (NS) The scene unfolded as the country watched in shock. Four masked individuals arrived on motorbikes and taken away a couple’s precious four-year-old child. Dinidu Yashen of Meegalaawa became the talk of the country. While first there was shock and then an agonizing wait, in a few days there was elation as he was found safely by the CID and to add to it, the four abductors had been nabbed. more..

Crocodile tears for drought stricken farmers

Aug 14 (SL) The monsoons have failed and people in a great part of the country are in the throes of a severe drought. The farmers are destitute. Their fields have dried up, the earth is parched and their crops are destroyed. There is no water even to drink and all their poojas and prayers have not been answered. So, what have you done about it? We asked a political bureaucrat who spends a greater part of the year praising the virtues of SL farmer on political platforms & school prize giving’s, more..

Odel in local, global expansion mode

Aug 14 (CT) Listed fashion retailer Odel PLC is planning to expand its operations, introduce global brands to the domestic market and venture the brand overseas. "With significant land banks under our belt opposite the Town Hall and in Battaramulla, which are the few available vacant plots of land of this scale, we have some good strategic expansion options before us now. Our management team is working hard with the architects and local authorities to finalize these plans," Odel Chairman more..

'Ranil to challenge Mahinda'

Aug 14 (Island) UNP general secretary Tissa Attanayake speaks to C.A. Chandraprema about the agenda of the combined Opposition for the forthcoming presidential election and the most suitable candidate to challenge President Rajapaksa. Q: You were present at the meeting presided over by Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera calling for the abolishing of the executive presidency & restoration of 17th Amendment. more..

Editorial: Mandarins and karma

Aug 14 (Island) Maha Nayake of Asgiriya Most Venerable Udugama Sri Buddharakkhitha Thera has, at a recent function where President Mahinda Rajapaksa opened a refurbished monastery, warned state officials that unless they serve the public to the best of their ability now they will have to pay for those lapses in the next birth. The prelate has struck a responsive chord with the masses undergoing harassment at the hands of some hoity-toity bureaucrats. more..

'Have to be on our toes every session'

Aug 14 (CI) Misbah-ul-Haq has said Pakistan are ready to square off against Sri Lanka and insisted that his team is capable of bouncing back hard. Pakistan haven't won a series since beating England 3-0 in the UAE in 2012 and after the Galle defeat last week are facing another winless series. "We did play well [in Galle] but we weren't consistent," Misbah said at the pre-match press conference in Colombo. "We played well in patches and lacked the consistency in every department so more..

All that glistens!

Aug 14 (FT) Under the glass deck at the entrance to Independence Arcade on Bauddhaloka Mawatha, hundreds of ornamental fish swim hypnotically to and fro, delighting children and visitors to the latest entertainment spot in the capital. The glass is tough enough to walk on and the pond is lit up beautifully at night, making the massive underground tank a major attraction at the 85,000 sq.ft. recreational facility. more..

The international community becomes a check and balance locally

Aug 14 (SL) The use of Buddhist extremist groups to march into events that are critical of the govt and disrupt them was seen last week in the manner the meeting of the Families of Disappeared Persons from the North was prevented from taking place. About 30 family members of those who went missing in the period of the war in the North had congregated at the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR) in Colombo. The centre, which was established by the late Fr Tissa Balasuriya more..

Gayanthika makes strong case for Asian Games selection

Aug 14 (Island) Sri Lanka Navy athlete Gayanthika Abeyratne made a strong case to be selected for the Asian Games, as she won the women’s 800 metres in a personal best time of two minutes and 04.46 seconds on day two of the 92nd National Athletics Championships yesterday. Despite the absence of her arch rival and favourite W.K.L.A. Nimali, the 27-year-old maintained a steady speed to finish ahead of former champion Champika Dilrukshi, who returned a time of 2:05.64 secs. more..

Pakistan hope to spoil Mahela's farewell

Aug 14 (CI) The umbrellas went up in Galle almost as soon as Angelo Mathews had swatted away the winning runs for Sri Lanka. Making their way back to the dressing room as the drizzle intensified, Pakistan's players must have wondered how on earth they lost the Test match after scoring 451 in the first innings. Whether it was their Test-match rustiness or an outcome of over-caution in their second innings, Pakistan simply didn't more..

No winners in this war

Aug 14 (Hindu) A war brings out many memories and stories. There are tales of horror and carnage, of young children being forcibily recruited or new houses being razed to the ground. There are also tales of dark humour. A man is tired of losing his bicycle every time there is an evacuation, decides to slather his cycle with grease and leave it in a well. He is pleased and surprised to discover it right there when he returns many years later. Such tales make the crux of Samanth Subramanian’s more..

Putting the mega development ambitions of Sri Lanka in context

Aug 14 (Island) This article is based on the position paper "Reconciling Rights, Responsibilites and Disjunctures: An Assessment of Sri Lanka’s Post-War Development Drive" published by the Law and Society Trust’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Program. Since the end of the war in 2009, Sri Lanka is assertively seeking to reshape its socio-economic topography in line with its ambitious Ten-Year Development Framework that demands the holistic re-casting of the island as a more..

Sports Ministry, NOC set mind-boggling qualifying standards

Aug 14 (Island) Athletics, Sri Lanka’s single most medal-winning sport at Asian level, is likely to be the first casualty after the Sports Ministry and the National Olympic Committee (NOC) joined hands to issue a new set of qualifying standards yesterday to select sportsman and women to represent the country at future Major International competitions such as the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games. more..

ASCOT soars on Rights, Warrants issue

Aug 14 (FT) Investors toasted ASCOT Holdings's move for a Rights cum Warrants issue to raise Rs. 75 million for a new hotel in Yala. Company’s share price gained by 18% or Rs 16.50 to close at Rs. 106.40 when trading was allowed after a brief halt following the announcement. Intra-day highest was Rs. 112.30 as 273,450 shares changed hands via 744 trades reflecting heavy retail interest. ASOCT Board has resolved to have a Rights Issue on the basis of one new share for more..

Hemas Group profits decline

Aug 14 (CT) Hemas Holdings PLC reported a consolidated group revenue of Rs 7.3 billion for the first quarter of 2014/15, a growth of 20% from a year ago. Group operating profit closed at Rs 452 million while earnings stood atRs 247 million, a decline of 12%. "The variance between top line growth and decline in earnings is explained by sharp variations in performance of the different sectors within the group," Hemas Holdings PLC CEO Steven Enderby told shareholders. more..

SLBC Chairman asks for Rs. 500m damages from Mrs. Alwis

Aug 14 (DN) SLBC Chairman Hudson Samarasinghe is demanding Rs. 500 million as damages from Mrs Nirmala de Alwis for harm caused to his reputation by the publication of defamatory articles in the Lanka Irida Sangrahaya newspaper of August 3 and 10. He has sent a letter of demand to Mrs Alwis through his lawyer, Sanjay Fonseka. The full text of the Letter of Demand is as follows: I write on the instructions of my client more..

Sri Lanka gets lessons on getting economy right the Dutch way

Aug 14 (FT) Sri Lanka’s economy will be able to reap the benefits of five future trends in the medium term provided that it pays emphasis on technology, said former Finance Minister and Secretary of State for Finance of Netherlands Jan Kees de Jager yesterday. Identifying the five future trends as digital revolution, demographic changes, clean technology, shift in real powers and good financial order, the Minister who was in charge of the treasury at the time of the 2009 global recession, more..

Sri Sri may return honorary doctorate

Aug 14 (ENS) The Art of Living may return the honorary doctorate conferred on its founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to the Open International University for Complementary Medicines (OIUCM) in Sri Lanka, after Express reported that the university does not have any statutory recognition. “The (Express) article came as a surprise to us. We received a message that they wanted to confer a doctorate on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Sri Sri did not even go himself to receive the doctorate more..

COPE gets tough on Krrish

Aug 14 (CT) The UDA told the COPE that it would include a deadline on all future agreements, after it was questioned about the feasibility of campaigning for investments outside the authorised mechanisms such as the Board of Investments. This new condition would be applied to new projects, after the Indian property developer failed to honour payments for the Transworks Square Development Project. more..

Mock funeral for Swamy ahead of Sri Lanka military meet

Aug 14 (ENS) Activists of Periyar Sindanaiyalargal Iyyakkam attempted to stage a mock funeral procession, protesting against BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s proposed participation in a military conference in Sri Lanka next week. Nearly 50 activists of the outfit assembled near the Singaravelar statue with a “paadai” and an effigy of Swamy on it along with the BJP flags. The activists were seen beating it with chappals. Police stopped them when they tried to move ahead with it. more..

Merseyside firefighter to treat survivors of Sri Lanka civil war

Aug 14 (LE) A Merseyside firefighter is set to fly to Sri Lanka to help deal with the aftermath of the country’s 26-year civil war. Claire Crilly, 27, from Mossley Hill, will spend 12 weeks in country. The psychology and health sciences graduate will work in the community and in psychiatric hospitals to treat sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – a common illness among survivors of the conflict. Ms Crilly said: “The impact of 26 years of civil war between July 1983 and May 2009 has more..

'International experts hired to save MR, GR'

Aug 14 (Island) UNP alleged that the appointment of the International Advisory Council (IAC) was an exercise to save President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya from an international war crimes tribunal. UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera who is also a member of the Leadership Council of the party claimed that the IAC headed by British national Sir Desmond de Silva was spearheading a more..

Minister catches officials cooking venison

Aug 14 (CT) A group of Wildlife Conservation Department (DWLC) employees cooking venison at the Kataragama Range Office, off a deer killed in the area, were caught red handed by the Minister of Wildlife himself! It all happened when Minister of Wildlife Vijith Wijayamuni Zoysa received a tip off on his mobile phone about some DWLC employees eating venison at the Kataragama Range Office, while he was on an inspection tour on anti-elephant fencing in the Tanamalwila, Hambegamuwa more..