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Anti BBS gains ground

Aug 17 (SL) The BBS organization, a hardcore Sinhala Buddhist movement led by Galagodaaththe Gnanassara Thera, has encountered a fresh problem with a group of ministers of the govt forming a common front against the conduct of the organization. The “anti-Bodu Bala Sena” front is led by Minister Rajitha Senaratna who had recently locked horns with BBS General Secretary, Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera. A group of ministers representing the govt met with more..

Hoping for Galle type win

Aug 17 (CT) Contrary to the prediction in this column last week SL did surprise their fans with a magnificent 7-wicket win at Galle giving the legend Jayawardena the type of send off which are at best dreamt rather than real. This is true especially considering the way the game was poised at the end of day three on a pitch that never resembled the Galle surface! With rain about and no clear winner emerging at least at the half way stage of the game a result looked out of the question. more..

Disrupted by restrictions

Aug 17 (SL) Even though the govt is denying the allegations levelled at the govt that they are trying to restrict the NGOs, some NGOs claim that certain activities organised by the NGOs have been disrupted unlawfully by the govt proxies. Recently, a gathering organized by the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR) was disrupted by a mob led by monks. About a month back the NGO Secretariat under the Ministry of Defence issued a more..

A century after 1998 days

Aug 17 (CI) 18: The number of instances of bowlers taking nine or more wickets in a Test innings. Rangana Herath became the latest to join the group, with his innings haul of 9 for 127. Two bowlers - Jim Laker and Muralitharan - have achieved the feat twice, making Herath the 16th bowler to join this club. 1: The number of left-arm bowlers who have taken nine wickets in a Test innings. Unlike in batting, where four of the top five scores are by left-handers, the top 17 bowling figures more..

'World-class Herath made difference'

Aug 17 (CI) Pakistan began the SSC Test strongly but have since ceded the advantage, as Sri Lanka built a lead of 165 with eight wickets in hand. Pakistan batting coach Grant Flower said that the in-form spinner Rangana Herath was what separated the two teams. "He is a world-class bowler and bowled very well and he was the main difference," Flower said. "That's not surprising obviously as everyone knows that our guys struggled a bit but we hope to get things right in the 2nd innings." more..

A tense artist's final strive for perfection

Aug 17 (CI) When Mahela walked out for his final innings in Test cricket, Pakistan began to form their second guard of honour of the match. First half of their gesture went off without a hitch. Two columns of roughly equal length were formed about two metres apart, in line with the corridor that leads out of dressing rooms. As soon as Mahela walked past the two players, on either side, Pakistan began to close in around him. more..

How does SL rank in terms of corruption?

Aug 17 (NU) Corruptions Perceptions Index (CPI) and rankings are the most widely used indicators of public sector corruption worldwide. Compiled annually by the Transparency International, the CPI provides a measure of how a country is perceived by business people and country experts in terms of its level of public sector corruption. Index is a composite index, which takes into account a combination of surveys & assessments of corruption from a variety of reputable institutions. more..

Lakvijaya to add 300MW more to main grid

Aug 17 (NS) The third and final phase of the Lakvijaya coal power plant in Norochcholai should be operational by end of this month, Chairman of the CEB, W.B. Ganegala said. Once phase 3 of the plant is connected, the power plant will add a total of 300 megawatts to the national grid, making it a combined total of 900MW from the plant, Ganegala assured. All issues faced by the power plant, which had been plagued by constant breakdowns and delays in construction since more..

Birth of drug policy delayed

Aug 17 (NS) The GMOA has expressed concern at the continued delay in implementing the National Drug Policy, despite assurances given by authorities. GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said they had conveyed the trade union’s concerns regarding the delay when they met Minister Maithripala Sirisena last week to discuss several pressing issues related to the country’s health sector. more..

JITF, a boost for industrial development in North

Aug 17 (SO) The Achchuveli Industrial Zone in the North which is expected to have a large number of factories, will be opened shortly, Traditional and Small Enterprise Development Ministry Secretary V. Sivagnasothy told the media at a ceremony to launch the sixth edition of the Jaffna International Trade Fair (JITF) last week. He said that work on the project is nearing completion and will be commissioned shortly. The industrial zone will be a major boost to regional economic growth more..

TNA’s confrontational politics come under fire

Aug 17 (SO) The TNA came under fire from senior Tamil political leaders for its confrontational politics towards the Govt’s public welfare measures. TULF V. Anandasangaree and Minister Douglas Devananda said that the TNA is deliberately blocking, the implementation of the Rs.20 billion Iranamadu Water Supply Scheme for political reasons, as it would benefit people in Jaffna and Kilinochchi. The project is a long-felt need of the people, he said. more..

Sajith to be appointed UNP deputy leader

Aug 17 (CT) In a bid to unite and strengthen the UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe is to appoint Sajith Premadasa as his deputy very shortly, sources close to UNP leader revealed. This would be the third time Premadasa would occupy that position in the Party. This follows several rounds of talks between the duo held in the recent past, where the focus was on uniting the UNP and bringing back active members who had left more..

Fishing issue talks on Aug 29

Aug 17 (SL) India and Sri Lanka are to hold official level talks on August 29 in New Delhi to seek a solution to the fishermen issue. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the Joint Committee meeting between India and Sri Lanka to be held on August 29 would seek to find a permanent solution for the fishermen issue. He added that despite previous talks and regular arrests of Indian fishermen by the SL Navy, Indian fishermen continue to catch fish in Sri Lankan waters illegally. more..

German Training Institute in Killiniochchi

Aug 17 (GDI) Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development has taken steps to establish German Training Institute (SLGTI) in Killinochchi District with a Grant Assistance of Govt of Germany. It is expected to commence the construction of Sri Lanka German Training Institute in Oct 2014 and scheduled to be completed in 2015. The total construction cost of the training centre is Rs. 700 million. The Germany has already signed an Agreement with the Govt of Sri Lanka more..

'No release of boats'

Aug 17 (ENS) Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senaratne, said that there is no possibility of releasing the detained boats of TN fishermen even as 94 fishermen were repatriated to India on Saturday. “I don’t think it is possible to release the boats,” Senaratne said when asked about the fate of the 63 boats in detention in Jaffna and Mannar since June. The Sri Lankan view is that the detention of boats will deter TN and Puducherry fishermen more..

Sri Lanka the Little Wonder of Asia

Aug 17 (GT) Sri Lanka, known as the pearl of the Indian Ocean, has continued to inspire and heal many who travelled to its shores ever since its existence was known to the world. With its romantic landscapes, mountains that reach the skies, lush green forests, the ocean like a deep blue carpet stretching far out into the horizon and breathtaking waterfalls, it was once considered the lost paradise by many a globe trotters, who stumbled upon this land. Sri Lanka still continues to more..

Health Ministry awaits post-mortem report

Aug 17 (NS) A team of experts who have been appointed by the Ministry of Health to investigate the death of the 47-year-old doctor who died while undergoing a procedure at a cosmetology clinic on Tuesday (August 12), have seized several drugs which were used and are currently awaiting the post-mortem report for more conclusive evidence, according to Director Cosmetics Devices and Drugs Regulatory Authority (CDDRA) Dr. Amal Harsha de Silva. more..

On Sri Lankan soil

Aug 17 (CT) India has 'fortified' its military presence at its High Commission in Colombo by appointing an Army official, Col. Gurinder S. Klaire, to its intelligence wing, 'on seeing' the strong ties Sri Lanka has built up with China. The appointment also comes as a response to the Chinese Embassy appointing, for the first time, a Defence Attaché to its Colombo office recently. Col. Klaire will reportedly serve as more..

Pressure mounts on Nishantha Ranatunga

Aug 17 (Island) Despite desperate attempts from many corners, pressure has mounted on controversial SLC Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga to resign from his position before next Monday. Sources said that despite attempts by Ministry of Sports, SLC Chairman Jayantha Dharmadasa has threatened to quit if Ranatunga doesn’t go by Monday. Dharmadasa wasn’t available for comments, but one of his confidants said that the cricket chief delayed his resignation only to more..

Do or die in the next three years

Aug 17 (CT) The country must establish rule of law and create an environment for attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in a 'do or die' scenario over the next three years, an economist said. "When it comes to FDIs particularly for a developing economy, we need inflow of money. This could come through many mechanisms, such as loans, or investments made by multinational enterprises. The importance of this is; we have currency stability on one side, and long term gains more..

Sri Lanka signs US$ 760,000 lobbying deal

Aug 17 (CG) Sri Lankan govt has signed a new US$ 760,000 deal with Liberty International Group of the USA to promote the island in the US, including among US govt members. Signed earlier this month between Dr Nandalal Weerasinghe, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank and Connie Mack, President of Liberty International, the deal, which will be in force from Aug 1 to July 2015, looks to ensure the US receives more..

Grade 5 Scholarship Exam commences today

Aug 17 (GDI) All arrangements are in place to conduct Grade Five Scholarship Exam today and a conducive environment has been created for the children to answer the question papers in freedom. Any complaints with respect to the examination can be made on the Department’s hotline 1911, Commissioner General for Examinations W.M.N.J. Pushpakumara said. Examination Department has already initiated measures to hold the Exam without causing any hindrances to the children. more..

Census Dept to modernise data collection

Aug 17 (SO) The Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) has launched a project to set up a Statistical Database Management System (SDMS) with the financial and technical co-operation of the office of the Commissioner of the Statistics, Korea (KOSTAT). The project will modernise the system of data inputs in statistical production and deliver efficient service to end users. The project scope covers system development, expert dispatch, provision of equipment and training. more..

UN committee grills Sri Lanka

Aug 17 (CG) The UNHRC which is scheduled to convene in October, has questioned the Sri Lankan Govt on several issues including on the progress made by the Sri Lankan Army’s Court of Inquiry in investigating allegations of civilian casualties during the war. The 112th session of the Human Rights Committee will be held at the United Nations Office at Geneva from Oct7 to 31 with Sri Lanka being discussed on Oct 7 and 8. more..

Colonial rulers massacred locals - President

Aug 17 (SO) Some leaders of powerful Western countries who talk about human rights violations have today forgotten their own violent past and human rights abuses, President Rajapaksa said. He recalled that the colonial rulers had violated those rights at times engaging in the massacre of locals who fought for their rights. The President made these remarks at the Saddhananda Maha Vidyalaya in Rupaha, Walapone where he opened a new Mahindodaya Technological laboratory. more..

Regulations soon to streamline beauty parlours

Aug 17 (SO) The Cosmetics, Devices and Drugs Regulatory Authority (CDDRA) will soon implement Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to streamline beauty parlours and introduce regulations that will give them wider powers, Additional Secretary Ministry of Health and Director CDDRA Dr. Amal Harsha De Silva said. The CDDRA has authority over medical institutions. Since beauty parlours were not medical institutions they were outside its purview. more..

Sanction clauses for Sri Lanka’s deals with European agencies

Aug 17 (ST) European export credit agencies have begun imposing “sanction clauses” into draft agreements with Sri Lanka in anticipation of international economic, trade and financial sanctions or embargoes -- a move the Government has vigorously opposed. This would mean that if international sanctions or embargoes are imposed on Sri Lanka, the export credit insurance cover would be suspended. more..

Plunder and squander of public funds

Aug 17 (ST) Financial Regulations were referred to as the ‘Bible’ of the public service while Administrative Regulations were no less hallowed. Today, unbeknown to the citizenry, key members of the ruling administration are making a mockery of both. Vital processes are being overruled and overridden, often by persons who have neither legal nor legitimate right to deal with public funds. They seem to enjoy “special” political patronage that lets them circumvent the Ministry of Finance, more..

Mahela: Cricketer and Gentleman

Aug 17 (ST) My Dear Mahela, I thought I must write to you when I learnt that you had announced your retirement from Test cricket and that you are playing your last Test match this week. The announcement came as a surprise because you could have played for another year or two, but coming from you, it is only to be expected. We know that you were a key factor in Sri Lanka’s recent success as a cricket team not only because of your phenomenal performances with the bat but also because more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Aug 17 (ST) MP Namal Rajapaksa will present a Bill to incorporate The Parents Foundation. The objectives of the Foundation are seven fold. They are: To assist relevant authorities with the approval of such authorities to formulate and implement suitable projects for the advancement of women and children in Sri Lanka in social, economic and cultural spheres; To grant scholarships and other financial assistance more..

Police say no complaints from polls monitors

Aug 17 (SL) If there is a threat to the lives of election monitors, then they should lodge a complaint with the police and appropriate action will be taken to provide them with security, SSP Ajith Rohana said, in response to queries regarding a joint statement made by the election monitors raising concerns over their safety ahead of the Uva elections. He said that so far no complaint had been received by any of the election monitors, more..

Welcome showers end the eight month long drought

Aug 17 (DM) Welcome showers which fell on most parts of the North Central Province and Mannar, Vavuniya and batticaloa Districts during the weekend after eight months were greeted by the people of the area who grappled with a severe drought which caused the destruction of crops and livestock. The rains which commenced on last Friday in the North Central Province continued up to yesterday morning. more..

Niromi de Soyza had a privileged upbringing but ran away and joined the Tamil Tigers

Aug 17 (News) At first glance, Niromi de Soyza is just like any other mum you might meet, one who juggles the school run with running a household in an affluent area of North Sydney. But behind this peaceful suburban life lies an extraordinary story of AK-47s, cyanide capsules and death, fighting alongside rebel soldiers in the jungles of Sri Lanka. In her previous life, de Soyza was a Tamil Tiger. It was 1987 when de Soyza’s more..

Presidential polls TNA undecided on fielding candidate

Aug 17 (CT) The TNA will decide whether it is to field a presidential candidate or not only after the announcement of a presidential election is made, TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said. "Only then will we also decide on the other option whether to support a common candidate or not," he said. Sumanthiran, who has an insight into the main opposition UNP's thinking, said they would however field a candidate to challenge incumbent more..

Wide powers for new National Transport Commission

Aug 17 (ST) The Govt will introduce laws to regulate school, office and other transport services. These laws will give teeth to a new National Transport Commission (NTC) which is to be the sole authority to issue permits for vehicles to carry passengers. For this purpose, Private Transport Services Minister C.B. Rathnayake will move amendments in Parliament to the National Transport Commission Act of No. 37 of 1991 more..

Estate workers told: Eat rice flour items, not roti

Aug 17 (ST) A Govt Minister wants to change the food habits of the plantation worker whose daily staple diet is roti made from wheat flour. Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena says they should be given rice flour at a subsidised rate for this purpose. He has proposed that a kilogram of rice flour be sold to workers in the estate sector at Rs. 60, which he says, is nearly half the price of wheat flour. more..

Proposed waste disposal project not eco-friendly

Aug 17 (NS) Environmentalists allege that the newly proposed project to dispose of municipal solid waste in the metro Colombo region by transferring and disposing them at Arukkalu in Puttalam will have a far reaching negative impact on the environment. The Director of the Environment Conservation Trust Sajeewa Chamikara said that the area which is supposedly to be used to create a sanitary landfill consists of a Miocene deposit more..

India asks Malaysia for evidence on Lankan terror suspect

Aug 17 (PTI) India has requested Malaysian authorities to hand over evidence against an arrested accused who was part of a conspiracy to plan and carry out terror strikes allegedly at the behest of ISI on the US and Israeli consulates in the southern part of this country. Official sources in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said the request under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), signed by more..

Central Bank usurps Cabinet powers in bid to change US policy

Aug 17 (ST) UPFA Govt’s saga of hiring more PR agencies in the US to lobby and win over President Barrack Obama’s administration continues. Paradoxically, this is whilst being engaged domestically in a bitter war of words with the US. Just this week, External Affairs Ministry issued a strange news release with the heading “Examine root cause for US perception of anti-Western sentiment”. more..

A rice mafia exists within govt – Namal

Aug 17 (LT) A massive rice mafia is active within the govt says the President of All Ceylon Farmers Federation and Member of North-Western PC Namal Karunaratna. He says, “Today, traders have become owners of the rice mills of the government. These traders bought stocks of paddy and hoarded it. It is to create an artificial rice shortage and raise prices. The govt neither confronts this situation nor does it have a programme to arrest such a situation. What the govt states is that the prices more..