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'Cricket officials bury the hatchet'

Aug 15 (CT) Sri Lanka Cricket officials following a meeting with Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage have decided to work amicably for the betterment of the game, a communiqué issued by the Ministry of Sports said yesterday. Aluthgamage summoned Sri Lanka Cricket officials including President Jayantha Dharmadasa and Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga for a special meeting following weeks of speculation that Ranatunga worked against the interests of the players and more..

India thanks Mahinda Rajapaksa over fishermen release

Aug 15 (PTI) India thanked President Rajapaksa for releasing all Indian fishermen in Sri Lanka's custody as a goodwill gesture ahead of India's Independence Day. India's High Commissioner to SL, YK Sinha, called on Mr Rajapaksa at the Temple Trees to convey his gratitude. "Mr Sinha expressed his appreciation for the President's gesture to release Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody on the occasion of India's Independence Day that is celebrated tomorrow," more..

Haphazard issuance of licences led to doctor’s death – GMOA

Aug 15 (Island) The GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya blamed the Private Health Services Regulatory Council (PHSRC) for issuing a licence to the Beauty Clinic at Visakha Road Bambalapitiya hastily. That had caused the untimely death of Dr. Mrs. P.A. Priyangi, he said. The GMOA had been campaigning for ridding the country of quacks but no tangible action had been taken by the authorities concerned so far. more..

Drought disaster; Thousands drowning in debts

Aug 15 (DM) Sri Lanka is facing one of its worst-ever droughts and the Govt, along with other charity groups, should give the highest priority for short-term and long-term measures to build bridges over these troubled waters. Environmentalists and others say this calamity if not catastrophe has been brought about by a multitude of reasons. They include global warming, caused mainly by large-scale deforestation which has given this country the dubious record of being 4th in the list of world’s worst offenders more..

Mahela: Cricketing gentleman takes his bow

Aug 15 (DM) Mahela Jayawardena, arguably Sri Lanka’s most elegant batsman of his generation and second only to Arjuna Ranatunga as a captain, leaves the game’s biggest stage this week, playing his last Test Match against Pakistan at his favourite hunting ground, the SSC in Colombo. Jayawardena had indicated that he would continue playing in the one-day format of the game until the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year. It is the one prize that has eluded him, more..

Wife pregnant with twins: Poverty leads to suicide

Aug 15 (CT) A man, plagued by debt, had killed himself having learned his eight months pregnant wife was carrying twins. Aghast by the bleak future of raising a family on the pittance he earns, he had taken his wife to her mother's house after having bought several baby items and had then taken his life. This tragic incident occurred in Kandapola. The victim of this tragic episode had been identified as 28-year-old Perumal more..

Water reserves now critical at just 15% in North and East

Aug 15 (ST) Extreme hardship is setting in for the country’s north and east with the area’s total water resources now only 15% full, and water reserves at Ampara now at a critical level of 9% and the major tanks in Trincomalee district nine-tenths empty. The 11 major tanks in Anuradhapura are four-fifths empty. Jaffna’s precious crops are failing in several areas. Yala National Park has been closed as water for animals and more..

Legal luminary accused of ‘stealing’ elephants

Aug 15 (SL) Following the release of the AG Department’s initial report on the investigation of illegal elephant registrations by the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC), all eyes are now focused on the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) as to what action they are going to take against the Fort Magistrate who is accused of producing forged documents to obtain an elephant registration. more..

Sri Lanka holds rates at multi-year lows for 7th straight month

Aug 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka unchanged a policy rate corridor at 6.5 to 8% in order to remain broadly on target in 2014 with low inflation the Central Bank in its August monetary policy review. The island inflation continued to remain in low single digit levels, although it increased to 3.6% on a year-on –year basis in July 2014 from 2.8 percent in last month due to high prices of certain food items caused by adverse weather condition. more..

BBS calls for Bishop Rayappu’s arrest

Aug 15 (AM) BBS General Secretary Galagodaaththe Gnanasara thera has demanded the arrest of Bishop Rayappu Joseph of Mannar. Jaffna based Uthayan newspaper reported that Gnanasara thera has demanded the arrest after the Bishop Rayappu Joseph publicly stated his refusal to participate in the proceedings of the commission on disappearances. The Bishop is a prominent Tamil civil society activist in the area. more..

SL Tennis player makes olympic history

Aug 15 (Bernama) Sharmal Dissanayake from Sri Lanka will make history in Nanjing when he becomes the first Sri Lankan tennis player to compete at an Olympic Games. The groundbreaking 18-year-old said that he is trying to put the honour to the back of his mind after a nightmarish few months. Dissanayake dislocated his right patella during training in Autumn 2013 and has seen his world ranking plummet as a result. more..

CEB pays additional Rs. 500 mn due to fishermen’s agitation

Aug 15 (Island) The CEB has had to pay more than Rs. 500 million to expedite the country’s first coal fired power complex’s third plant to add 300 MW more to the national grid. CEB engineers said that Rs. 450 was being spent on four pylons construction firms apart from other costs amounting to Rs. 50 and 100 million, for the new high tension line. "We engineers strongly feel that the Board should not go all out to spend exorbitant more..

FUTA complains of back-door entry to university one year later

Aug 15 (Island) The FUTA asked the UGC to explain why a student had been admitted outside the laid down procedure on the basis of a letter from Hambantota District MP Namal Rajapaksa. FUTA executive committee member Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri said that the UGC had admitted a student who had applied for admission one year later to the Ruhuna University just because she had a letter issued by MP Rajapaksa. more..

SL releases 74 TN men, 20 to be freed today

Aug 15 (ENS) Following an order issued by President Rajapaksa to release all Indian fishermen in custody as a gesture of goodwill to mark India’s 68th Independence Day, 74 fishermen were released in Jaffna on Thursday. Indian Consulate officials in Jaffna told Express that 20 more will be released at Mannar on Friday. All the 94 fishermen are likely to be repatriated to India by sea on Saturday or Sunday after more..

India says high level talks underway

Aug 15 (CG) India says High-level level bilateral interaction between Sri Lanka and the new Indian Govt had commenced with the visits to India by the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in May to attend the swearing-in of PM Narendra Modi and the Council of Ministers, and by the Minister G.L. Peiris, in May for bilateral talks. High Commissioner Mr. Y.K. Sinha said that Sri Lanka has always occupied a special place in Indian hearts and that more..

Can a family 'live' on Rs 27,100?

Aug 15 (CT) The need of any reasonable human being is for his or her family to have three square meals a day, to live and to be dressed comfortably, be able for him and his/her family to travel from point A to B, to give a sound education for their children, to live in peace and security and to have a little saving for a 'rainy' day. Those may be considered the bare necessities of life, from a socio-economic perspective. To enjoy these comforts, a family needs to earn a decent income, hopefully. more..

Who oils or massages Ellalan Rajah?

Aug 15 (CT) I was so impressed when I read the article titled “Don’t Trust The Colombo TNA Leadership With War Crimes Evidence”, written under the obvious pseudonym ‘Ellalan Rajah’, in the CT. By impressed, I mean that I marvelled at how the Rajapaksa regime is now able to get mercenaries to pose off as Tamil rights activists online, to work and campaign to deprive the Tamils of and in Sri Lanka the opportunity to properly and effectively fight for their grievances. more..

Madugalle makes history in Oval Test

Aug 15 (WI) Ranjan Madugalle, the chief match referee of the International Cricket Council, became the first member of the Elite Panel of ICC match referees to officiate in 150 Test matches when he took the field for the fifth and final Test between England and India at The Oval on Friday (15). The former Sri Lanka skipper had played in 21 Tests and 62 ODIs before assuming the role of a match referee in 1993. more..

Sri Lanka stocks close down 0.4%

Aug 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks closed 0.42% lower on Friday with tobacco stocks losing ground amid strong foreign selling. All Share Price Index closed 29.24 points lower at 6,943.85, down 0.42%. The S&P SL20 closed 7.79 points lower at 3,820.98, down 0.2%. Turnover was 2.93 billion rupees, up from 2.01 billion rupees a day earlier with 59 stocks closed positive against 154 negative. John Keells Holdings closed 90 cents lower at 238 rupees with eleven off-market transactions more..

ADB will pump USD 800 million to link 1000 Lankan villages to major roads

Aug 15 (Island) Plans are underway by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to provide USD 800 million in stages to connect 1,000 villages countrywide to the major road network in Lanka, a top official said. ADB Sri Lanka Resident Mission, Country Director, Sri Widowati said that if all went right Sri Lanka would receive USD 100 million in September and another USD 100 million in December for the project that would go on for 10 years. "To connect lagging regions with more..

High Commission of India celebrates Independence Day in Sri Lanka

Aug 15 (IL) The High Commission of India and the Indian expatriate community living in Sri Lanka celebrated the 68th Independence Day of India today at India House in Colombo. According to the traditions, Indian High Commissioner in Colombo, Mr. Y.K. Sinha commenced the celebrations by raising the Indian National Flag, a symbol of unity and stability of India followed by inspecting a Guard of Honour more..

Only 86 out of 106 SLTB depots maintain services properly

Aug 15 (Island) Minister Kumara Welgama says that only 86 out of 106 SLTB depots maintain their services at a satisfactory level. The success of any depot depended on the Depot Superintendent. If he was incapable of managing his institution properly, losses were the result. Though people were under the impression that the SLTB could not be turned around that task could be achieved with a dedicated workforce, Minister Welgama said at a ceremony where best drivers of super luxury buses more..

Allocation of 2284 million rupees for economic development in Matara

Aug 15 (GDI) Ministry Economic Development has allocated 2284 million rupees for development work in the Matara District for the year 2014. A sum of 1914.48 million rupees has been approved for 2674 projects. While 965.85 million rupees has been allocated for development work in the province so far, 869.42 million rupees has been approved for 623 projects. Under the development programme 'One Project for One Village' 650 million rupees have been allocated out of which more..

Herath's five put Sri Lanka ahead

Aug 15 (CI) There is a reason why the SSC pitch is notorious for its reputation as the graveyard for bowlers. In the last five years and through the course of five matches, batsmen have collected 30 scores - 14 centuries and 16 fifties - of 50 or more in the first two innings. The pitch that was laid for this Test, Mahela's last, was no different. However, 16 wickets went down and only three batsmen were able to put up significant runs more..

PSM threatens all-out strike from Aug 26

Aug 15 (Island) The Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM) yesterday warned of a continuous strike from August 26 to pressure the health Ministry to grant six of their demands including the implementation of class and grade promotions. PSM General Secretary, Saman Jayasekara said that more than 400 PSM personnel had been awaiting Class One promotions since 2006. The Cabinet was yet to approve the implementation of the promotion scheme. more..

The UN investigation into human rights in Sri Lanka; its legal basis, nature and scope

Aug 15 (CT) A UN investigation into allegations of violations of human rights in Sri Lanka is about to commence. As an aid to public discussion, Friday Forum sets out below information to help the general public understand the legal basis, origin, nature and scope of this inquiry. Frequently Asked Questions on the UNHRC Resolution (2014) on Sri Lanka. 1. WHAT is the Human Rights Council? The Human Rights Council (HRC) is the main inter-governmental body within the UN that is responsible for more..

Weerawansa says UNP leader won’t allow a strong common candidate

Aug 15 (AM) Minister Wimal Weerawansa said Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe would not allow a strong opposition candidate at the Presidential Election. “If Ranil Wickremesinghe does not contest the next presidential election, he won’t let a strong common candidate to enter the race”, he said. “Ranil will only allow a candidate who is not a threat to his UNP & opposition leaderships,” more..

Housing assistance for War Heroes

Aug 15 (MoD) Under the housing assistance programme for war heroes carried out by the Ranaviru Seva Authority, a group of armed forces personnel were awarded financial grants during a function held Ranaviru Seva Authority today. Serving and retired disable tri forces and police personnel and families of war heroes killed or missing in action are provided financial assistance to build or renovate their houses. In addition assistance is also provided to repair houses damaged more..

CEB transforms itself into a Profit Making Organization

Aug 15 (GDI) Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi announced that the CEB which was a non-profit organization for a number of years according to the COPE Report has now turned into a profit making organization. This transition is a result of the correct guidance given by President Rajapaksa on Economic Policy. Minister disclosed this at the inauguration of the ceremonies connected with the Araporuwa, Phalawalakade and Dickwela Katuwedameda & Madana electricity projects more..

Court stops deportation of Pakistanis

Aug 15 (CG) The Court of Appeal has ordered the suspension of deporting Pakistani asylum seekers back to their country, till August 29. In issuing the order, the Court of Appeal had noted that Sri Lanka is a signatory to UN refugee laws and so should not send back asylum seekers. Earlier this week two UN human rights experts expressed their grave concern at the situation of Pakistani asylum seekers in Sri Lanka who are being detained more..

Carlton Super 7s spectacle to hit Colombo

Aug 15 (UR7s) Ten teams of outstanding 7s rugby players inclusive of Lankan stars and international stars have arrived in Colombo to take part in the Carlton Super Sevens 2nd Leg which will be held on 15th & 16th of Aug at the Race Course Rugby Stadium. Crowds are expected in numbers to watch the home growns rub up against the best of 7s international players and without the heavy breeze experienced in Koggala a showpiece of fast and furious rugby is on the cards. more..

Wife questioned regarding Premakeerthi

Aug 15 (LT) A statement has been taken today (14) by the Colombo Crimes Division from Ms. Nirmala de Alwis, the wife of murdered renowned programmer and popular lyricist Premakeerthi de Alwis regarding the information she had revealed to the media on his murder. Ms. Alwis went to Colombo Crimes Division at Dematagoda at 11.00 a.m. and her statement had been recorded till 4.30 p.m. It is reported that the statement from Ms. Alwis has been taken on an order made by the IGP. more..

Security still insufficient - Upul Jayasuriya

Aug 15 (AD) President of the Bar Association, Upul Jayasuriya alleged that the security provided to him by the Police Department is still insufficient. The observation was made at a press conference held this morning. Jayasuriya added that the situation is still the same with respect to his security matter though Senior DIG Anura Senanayake promised the Courts that the department would take adequate measures more..

Sri Lanka condoles with Iran over crash

Aug 15 (CG) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in a letter to Iranian President Dr Hassan Rouhani, conveyed condolences to those who have been affected by the crash of the passenger plane in the capital Tehran. “The Government and the people of Sri Lanka join me in expressing our heartfelt condolences to the Govt and the people of Iran, particularly the bereaved families, and wish a speedy recovery to those injured in this tragedy,” President Rajapaksa said. more..

Largest haul of heroin in Central Province

Aug 15 (AD) The Police Narcotic Bureau (PNB) have seized 59 kilograms of heroin, from Katugastota, Kandy, which is said to be the biggest ever heroin haul detected in the central province. Four individuals including a woman who were apprehended during the raid are currently being interrogated by the PNB, a senior police officer told Ada Derana. The police interrogations have been initiated after obtaining detention orders through the Kandy Magistrate’s Court, this morning, more..

Nishantha Ranatunga retains SLC position with Mahindananda’s help

Aug 15 (AM) After the meeting convened by Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage yesterday, SLC Secretary NIshantha Ranatunga had told his close associates that he would not leave the SLC position. It was widely reported in media that President Rajapaksa had ordered Ranatunga to step down from his position as the Secretary of the SLC. President had reportedly asked Ranatunga to leave after a request made by SLC President more..

P.E.I. firm must repay money from tsunami aid work

Aug 15 (TG) A P.E.I. company has been ordered to pay back close to a quarter of a million dollars after a judge of the P.E.I. Supreme Court ruled the company overbilled Canadian govt for international aid work in Sri Lanka following the 2004 tsunami. Justice Gordon Campbell said the Canadian Agro Sustainability Partnership (CASP) not only overbilled the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), it also made representations to that agency that were “purposely misleading.” more..

Durdans Hospital sued for medical negligence and keeping guardians in custody

Aug 15 (AM) A husband (47) and a 15-year-old daughter of a 38-year-old woman who died due to alleged medical negligence at the Durdans Hospital in Colombo filed a lawsuit against the hospital and the gynecologist and obstetrician who performed a surgery into an ovarian cyst of the deceased woman, claiming Rs.14.6 million as loss and damages. Filing two separate petitions before Colombo District Court, the first plaintiff Upali Gunatilake a resident of Thunmodara more..

Seychelles seeks Sri Lanka's assistance to develop country's health sector

Aug 15 (GDI) Seychelles Minister of Health Mrs. Mitcy Larue called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees yesterday afternoon. Accompanied by the CEO of the Seychelles Health Care Agency Dr. Suresh Menon and several other high-level health officials from Seychelles, Minister Larue requested President Rajapaksa for Sri Lanka’s assistance to further develop several areas of her country’s health sector. more..

Remembering Tamil King Elara

Aug 16 (CT) The Chola dynasty in South India was considered as one of the most powerful dynasties in South Asia as Chola kings had extended their empire up to Indonesia. It was Rajendra Chola, the son of the mighty Raja Raja Chola, who even invaded Sri Lanka and built the ancient Sivan Temple in Polonnaruwa which yet remains a testimony to the Chola regime in the island. Therefore, in the backdrop of the State of TN on 24 July celebrating the 1000th year of the more..