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Rotgut den raid in East: Eight cops, two suspects injured

Aug 14 (Island) Eight police personnel including a woman constable attached to the Kokkadicholai police station were attacked by a group of villagers in Kanchankudi when they went there to arrest a woman who had been selling illicit liquor. The injured police officers are being treated at the Batticaloa hospital. A trishaw and a double cab belonging to the police were torched by the villagers who rushed to the scene when the suspect woman screamed for help while resisting arrest. more..

War crimes probe: ‘UNP discrediting president’s panel’

Aug 14 (Island) SLFP accused UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera of launching a special project to discredit British national of Sri Lankan origin, Sir Desmond de Silva now heading a panel to advice presidential commission tasked with investigating into accountability issues during the conflict, in addition to its original mandate to probe disappearances. Minister Alahapperuma alleged that Samaraweera had been pursuing more..

Customs 'SMS alert' to facilitate importers

Aug 14 (DN) Sri Lanka Customs joined hands with Dialog, to introduce a SMS alert system over mobile phones to track the clearance status of imported goods. Customs Spokesman Lesley Gamini said this is the first time Customs introduced such a facility. "The aim of the initiative is to provide importers with a speedier and hassle free service in Customs clearance procedures," he added. Importers could receive alerts on the clearance status of their goods via a SMS following the submission of more..

Swiss envoy and Mahinda hold talks

Aug 14 (CG) The Ambassador of Switzerland to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Thomas Litscher, called on President Rajapaksa at Temple Trees. During the discussion, President Rajapaksa said that Sri Lanka and Switzerland should further strengthen bilateral ties. Litscher meanwhile noted that relations between both countries are developing well and recently there has been growing interest from small and medium enterprises. Sri Lanka and Switzerland established diplomatic relations in 1956. more..

Lady doctor’s death jolts authorities into inspecting beauty parlours

Aug 14 (Island) Cosmetic Devices and Drug Regulatory Authority (CDDRA) said it was carrying out investigations into the death of a female doctor at a beauty clinic in Bambalapitiya following the administration of an antibiotic intravenously on Tuesday. CDDRA Director, Dr. Amal Harsha de Silva said that all precautionary measures would be taken. All drugs which were used at the clinic as well as all more..

Mahanayakes endorsed legal action against Gnanasara Thera - Rajitha

Aug 14 (AM) Mahanayake Theras of the Malwatte and Asgiriya chapters endorsed the decision to take legal action against BBS Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera, Minister Rajitha Senaratna said today. The minister made this remark shortly after a meeting with the Mahanayake Theras this evening in Kandy. Speaking to media, Senaratna also added that they informed the Mahanayakes of what he termed as “despicable conduct” of BBS General Secretary Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera. more..

Beauty clinic death: Doctor remanded

Aug 14 (Island) Hulftsdorp Magistrate yesterday remanded Dr. Nimal Gamage till August 18 over the death of Dr. P.A. Priyangi, mother of two. JMO of National Hospital Dr. Shriyantha Samarasinghe, who performed the postmortem exam, informed the magistrate that he had completed his part but the skin samples had to be examined by some other doctor and, therefore, another day was needed. Parts of the deceased doctors’ body were handed over to the Govt Analyst. more..

SLC stumped!

Aug 14 (CT) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is once again in deep crisis due to differences of opinion on how to administrate cricket and how funds should be utilized to develop the game. The two men battling it out are SLC President Jayantha Dharmadasa and its Secretary, Nishantha Ranatunga. The two have started to challenge each other by issuing different instructions to the membership on allocation of funds and more..

Vision 2020 and the right to sight

Aug 14 (DM) The Health Ministry, one of the most important ministries in the Govt, often comes under criticism for what it does or what it fails to do. One of the most enlightened plus points in the ministry is the vision 2020 charity unit whose main aim is to make the blind to see the world through a totally free cataract operation. According to the Vision 2020 unit, globally there are more than 39 million blind people and 285 million who are suffering from low vision. 80% of blindness is preventable. more..

Is free education becoming a lost cause?

Aug 14 (DM) Education indisputably is, one of the most essential ingredients necessary for the advancement of a nation in all vital respects, encompassing social, economic, technological, political, environmental, cultural and other spheres. The education sector in this country, no doubt, is in a big mess today. There is turmoil in almost every institution of higher learning belonging to the public sector. Student unrest is growing as never before. Although so much is being bragged about more..

UNP heads for mission Niyam Charika

Aug 14 (DM) As a group of UNP MPs undertook a fact finding mission this week, another set of MPs are now planning a similar mission to the drought hit areas. It is to be dubbed ‘Niyam Charika.’ The party’s MP for the Anuradhapura district P. Harrison will head this mission, and a few other members are expected to join him in the task to be undertaken next week. As many as 1.6 million people have been affected by the drought in more..

Dharmasena tip helped Moeen shine

Aug 14 (TI) Cricketers have concealed many things in their pockets over the years, from dirt to lucky hankies, but Moeen Ali has found a novel use for his that has trousered him 19 Indian wickets with power to add at the Kia Oval this week. As Moeen, 27, was casting around for ideas to help his bowling before the Lord’s Test against India, the umpire Kumar Dharmasena, an off spinner who played 31 Tests for Sri Lanka, provided more..

Fishing troubled in waters

Aug 14 (SL) While the issue of Indian fishermen encroaching on Sri Lankan territorial waters has continued for years giving rise to many disputes between Sri Lanka and India, especially the TN govt, no conclusive solution has been reached as yet. Chief Minister of TN Jayalalitha Jayaram has constantly been on the warpath against Sri Lanka due to the arrest of Indian fishermen who encroach on SL’s territory. more..

UN experts tell Lanka stop all returns

Aug 14 (CG) Two United Nations human rights experts today expressed their grave concern at the situation of Pakistani asylum seekers in Sri Lanka who are being detained and forcefully deported to Pakistan without an adequate assessment of their asylum claims. “States must guarantee that every single asylum claim is individually assessed with due process and in line with international law,” stressed the UN more..

Drip-feed of information irritates Colombo

Aug 14 (ST) A sight of a water bowser made everyone run after it in the hope of fetching a bucket or two of water. Where there was a well, there were hundreds of males, females and children who flocked to the location day in and out continuously for two or three days to collect some water needed for their basic day to day needs. While heaps of dirty linen and utensils piled up in households, those who had to set off for work more..

Colombo-Ratnapura expressway work to begin soon

Aug 14 (Island) The proposed 71.8 km Colombo-Ratnapura expressway would be constructed through the least populated areas and compensation paid for the lands and properties to be acquired, Ports, Highways and Shipping Project Minister Nirmala Kotalawala said. He said that the govt had decided to aquire state and private lands for the expressway within one and a half months to expedite its construction. more..

Brochure released on India and Sri Lanka development cooperation partnership

Aug 14 (GDI) A brochure titled “India & Sri Lanka: A Partnership That Transcends Time”, published by the High Commission of India in Sri Lanka, was released by the Minister Basil Rajapaksa, and the High Commissioner of India, Y.K. Sinha, Wednesday. Various stakeholders, institutions, agencies and officials who have been instrumental in the successful implementation of Indian Projects in SL more..

Seized Red Sandalwood to be released

Aug 14 (CT) The largest ever consignment of Red Sandalwood (Rath Handun) valued at over Rs 100 million which was seized by Sri Lanka Customs in November last year is to be released today in violation of internationally accepted conventions, internal sources of Customs revealed. A top source at the Customs revealed that a few officials in the top management have decided to release the shipment after imposing a fine more..

President offers USD 1m to Palestine

Aug 14 (CG) President Mahinda Rajapaksa today announced that Sri Lanka will be providing US$ 1 million in financial assistance to Palestine. President Rajapaksa has been a long-time supporter of the Palestinian cause and is the Founder President of the Sri Lanka Committee for Solidarity with Palestine. During this year’s Eid Festival Week, the President expressed concern for the violence in Gaza. “It is my hope that the violence in Gaza more..

Harin rejects SLFP claims of squabble over UNP leadership in Badulla

Aug 14 (Island) UNP Chief Ministerial candidate contesting the forthcoming Uva PC polls, Harin Fernando said that he had proposed senior UNPer Ravindra Samaraweera as the Leader of the UNP Group in the fray in the Badulla District as he wanted to focus on campaigning. There was absolutely no dispute over that appointment, he said. The SLFP was making a foolish effort to exploit Samaraweera’s appointment to cause an more..

Gnanasara thera distances himself from Karate pictures

Aug 14 (AM) Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary Galagodaaththe Gnanasara thera said that he was unaware of the picture which was published on Colombo Telegraph website, in which the Buddhist monk was practicing martial arts. The picture displays a bare-bodied person practicing a martial arts ‘punch’ with another two monks. The photograph was captioned as ‘Hate Speech Star BBS Gnanasara In Action’. Although the picture does not show his face, the side view of more..

Foreign policy by psychotics

Aug 14 (CT) Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s short story, ‘One of these days,’ is set in a small town. The town’s mayor is also its military-torturer. When the dentist refuses to treat the mayor’s toothache, the mayor pulls out a gun and threatens to shoot him. The dentist too has a hidden gun but decides not to use it. Unlike the mayor, he is not a killer and is unwilling to become one. The Rajapaksas rule like Marquez’s mayor, using violence and the threat of violence to have their arbitrary way. more..

How did Sri Lanka's tigers become leopards?

Aug 14 (CT) I was visiting the Yala National Park, with several friends recently. The time was just past 7 a.m. We proceeded towards the Wilapalaweva tank, passing Mahaseelawa and came across the Uraniya junction next to Wilapalaweva. It's a stone's throw from Kotigala, where I have seen tigers a number of times. We wanted to see them there again. Luckily, there was not one but two. more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.3%

Aug 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks closed 0.27% higher on Thursday with tobacco stocks gaining amid strong foreign buying. All Share Price Index closed 18.95 points higher at 6,973.09, up 0.27%. The S&P SL20 closed 8.51 points higher at 3,828.77, up 0.22%. Turnover was 2.01 billion rupees, up from 1.82 billion rupees a day earlier with 119 stocks closed positive against 84 negative. Hemas Holdings closed 2.30 rupees lower at 49.70 rupees with four off-market transactions of more..

The PM's unbecoming extravagance

Aug 14 (CT) The dictionary describes 'extravagance' as "lack of restraint in spending money or using resources". Neither the PM nor his office, nor other ministers for that matter, would see their expenses in this light, especially because accountability has become alien territory for this govt. But when Rs 20 million, give or take a few thousands, are spent on fun and frolic and giveaways, and much more on meaningless endeavours, one does begin to wonder whether people are being taxed more..

Fire ball in NCP skies a meteor

Aug 14 (Island) Prof. Chandana Jayaratne of the University of Colombo said that a meteor shower could be expected tonight, too, as the Perseid meteor showers occurred every August. He said that the annual meteor shower called Preside was now active. About 30 to 40 meteors could be visible each hour if the sky was clear, he said. Tthe full moon hinders clear view of the meteor shower. "According to the satellite images more..

CB seen keeping key rates at multi-year low

Aug 14 (Reuters) Central bank is expected to retain its key monetary policy rates on Friday for a seventh straight month, a poll showed. Central bank chief said last week there was a greater chance of a reduction in key policy rates than an increase, after the IMF urged the island nation to keep key interest rates on hold for the near term. Between Dec 2012 and Jan 2014, the central bank cut the repurchase rate by 125 basis points (bps) and the reverse repurchase rate by 175 bps to more..

Struggle for salary to meet COL

Aug 14 (LT) The petition campaign organized by the National Trade Union Center (NTUC) demanding the govt to increase the salaries of all employees on par with the increasing cost of living and attaching all allowances that are coupled to the salaries was held at the Department of Pensions at Maligawatta yesterday. A large number of employees at the Department of Pensions participated. The campaign was held at several state institutions and it would be carried out throughout the island. more..

Seamers make it Pakistan's day

Aug 14 (CI) Six thousand two hundred and twenty one days after earning his Test cap at the nearby Premadasa Stadium, Mahela Jayawardene's life as a Test cricketer came a full circle as he strode out for the last lap at the SSC, his favourite venue. Everything seemed like it was as per the script: bright skies, a firm pitch with nothing for the bowlers, SL winning the toss and opting to bat and a solid platform by the openers. more..

7 Sri Lankan passports found on Indian roadside handed over to owners

Aug 14 (AM) Indian police today said that Seven Sri Lankan passports which were found in a bag abandoned on a road in India were handed over to its holders. An Indian by the name of Mohammed, an employee of a private firm, found the bag with seven Sri Lankan passports in it lying abandoned on a road in R A Puram area of the city. Mohammed has handed over the bag to the police. Indian police said that the passports belonged to Ravichandran, Vadivambigai, Sai, Aarthy, more..

Sri Lanka needs to think beyond USD 4000 per capita income: Chamber Official

Aug 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s private sector should foresee the needs of the future customer and armed themselves to cater to the demand of the customer who will earn 7000 US dollar per capita in 2020, Chamber official said. “Sri Lanka is set to achieve a USD 4,000 per capita in 2015 and the time is right for us to look beyond and fix a new target,” Suresh Shah, Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said. He was speaking at the 15th Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2014, more..

Sri Lanka to end child labour by 2016

Aug 14 (CG) Sri Lanka is one of many countries which has ratified ILO conventions on child labour and has also developed a Road Map to achieve zero tolerance for the worst forms of child labour across the island by 2016, the ILO Country Office for Sri Lanka and the Maldives said today. As part of this commitment, the Ampara District, home to approximately 2,200 girls and boys in exploitative employment, has declared it will be a more..

CaFFE to aid Uva voters without IDs

Aug 14 (CT) Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) will commence a series of free mobile clinics to facilitate National Identity Cards and Special Identification Documents issued by the Department of Elections to the 40 350 eligible voters in Badulla district without identity cards. The initiative is held targeting the September 20 Uva provincial council election centering on Welimada, Bandarawela and Uva – Paranagama DS divisions between August 19 and 23. more..

Britannia plans to re-enter Sri Lankan biscuits market

Aug 14 (DM) Britannia Industries Ltd, the Indian biscuit giant, is looking at viable expansionary plans to enter the Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi markets, according to Indian media reports. “We are planning to revisit the SAARC countries. Bangladesh has a very big population, their habits are close to us … some preliminary work has begun,” company’s Managing Director Varun Berry was quoted as saying. He also expressed establishing a presence in Sri Lanka by elaborating on points more..

Sri Lanka dismisses UN criticism on deporting asylum seekers

Aug 14 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan govt Thursday defended its deportation of asylum seekers from Pakistan and Afghanistan despite UN appeal to the country to respect international conventions. Earlier this month, the UNHRC called on the Sri Lankan govt to stop the deportation. SL began arresting asylum seekers and refugees on June 9 and has since detained 214 Pakistanis & Afghans in two asylum centers, more..

President pays his last respects to actress Rebecca Nirmalee

Aug 14 (GDI) President Rajapaksa paid his last respects to the popular tele drama artiste Rebecca Nirmalee. President who went to the National Art Gallery this afternoon paid his last respects to the remains of veteran actress Rebecca Nirmalee and expressed his condolences to her daughter, relatives and artistes. Ministers Keheliya Rambukwella and T.B.Ekanayake were present. Actress Rebeca Nirmali passed away at the age of 49 while being treated for cancer at more..

Ram Sethu will not be broken for Sethusamudram project: India

Aug 14 (PTI) Govt will not "break" 'Ram Sethu' for the proposed Sethusamudram shipping canal project and will make efforts to see that the navigation system is put in place without damaging it, shipping minister Nitin Gadkari informed Lok Sabha on Thursday. Gadkari said during question hour that the matter is sub-judice and govt has certain "alternatives" in mind and will tell the Supreme Court an option. He said it is the stand of the NDA govt that 'Ram Sethu', more..

A/L student bitten by a snake during exam

Aug 14 (DM) A private GCE (A/L) candidate had been bitten by a rat snake (garandiya) inside the exam hall at Sri Medhalankara Vidyalaya, Horana. Her father has asked for redresson behalf of her. He said his daughter had been depressed since the chief invigilator had applied pressure on her to make a statement that the incident did not take place inside the exam hall. Victim is Thanuja Wimalka who was to sit for more..

All set for Defence Seminar - 2014

Aug 14 (MoD) 'Defence Seminar- 2014', Sri Lanka Army's international defence conference will be held from August 18th to 20th at the Galadari Hotel in Colombo. Held under the theme 'Sri Lanka: Challenge to a Rising Nation' the international conclave will see a host of local and foreign delegates share and discuss on thematic issues relating to Sri Lanka's post conflict recovery and diverse challenges facing the nation in its march towards becoming the wonder of Asia. more..

Steeve Vakeeswaran in Canada trade delegation to China

Aug 14 (LR) Steeve Vakeeswaran, former student of Colombo International School (CIS) is among a team of Junior Team Ambassadors on a trade mission to China representing Canadian business interests. Junior Team Canada (JTC) is a national youth delegation that represents Canadian business interests on the national and international stage. This year’s mission to China backs Canadian Trade Minister Ed Fast’s recent mission to that country. The 15 day mission from July 25 to Aug 13 more..