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New web system to track child cases

Aug 20 (CG) Ministry of Justice has initiated an innovative web-based tracking system for the AG’s Department developed by the University of Colombo -School of Computing with the financial and technical support from the UNICEF. Speaking at the launch event, Minister of Justice Rauf Hakeem said the lack of case tracking systems inevitably lead to delays in the processing of cases, resulting in the secondary victimization of children who had already been subjected to abuse. more..

Where are the Commission reports?

Aug 20 (DM) Govt has spent as much as Rs.270 million on 17 Presidential Commissions appointed between 2005 and 2013, but the reports of most of them have still not been presented to Parliament, it was revealed yesterday. Govt gave these details in response to a question asked by JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake on the number of Presidential Commissions appointed during the period under review, more..

Central Bank to introduce district based 10 rupee coins

Aug 20 (AM) Central Bank is planning to mint different Rs. 10 coins for each of the Administrative Districts. All 25 districts will thereby have their individual Rs. 10 coins. However it was not clear if the Central Bank will use the population or any other yardstick to determine how much coins will be issued per district. Regardless of this, it will be possible to use all coins anywhere in the country as legal tender. The use of Rs 10 coins has been promoted due to the fact that more..

Over 4616 criminals identified by Police Fingerprint Division

Aug 20 (Island) The newly computerised Police Fingerprint Division has been able to detect 15,290 criminals with the help of 66,557 ten fingerprints in its database when they applied for joining the security forces and the police and tried to leave country for overseas employment or to evade police arrest. The ten finger prints each had been collected from suspects who had committed various crimes, Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana told the media on Monday. more..

Ranbima deeds to 5000 families

Aug 20 (IL) “This govt is committed to provide benefits to all segment of the society and did not limit its service to a particular class of people worked to achieve set targets. Therefore we will never stop the targeted forward march for the welfare of common masses” said President Rajapaksa. President made these remarks at a ceremony held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium to distribute Ranbima title deeds on 19 Aug. more..

Japanese Vice-Minister Calls on President

Aug 20 (GDI) Japan’s Vice-Minister of Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Mr. Manabu Sakai called on President Rajapaksa at Temple Trees on Tuesday. President conveyed Sri Lanka’s appreciation to Japan for its continued support at international forums, pointing out that Japan has always assisted SL at times of need. He also briefed the Minister of post-war development. “After the war, we concentrated on reconciliation and development,” the President said. more..

Suspected Ebola victim's blood samples to be sent to India

Aug 20 (DM) The director of the Medical Research Institute said that arrangements had been made to send blood samples of the suspected female Ebola victim to a laboratory in Pune, India. The woman who went to India on pilgrimage had died soon after her return. The blood samples are to be sent on the advice of WHO as there are no facilities here to test for Ebola virus, the MRI director said. He said the results of the test would be reported to him within 48 hours. The deceased was the mother of three more..

Sri Lanka experienced linguistic struggle not ethnic: Swamy

Aug 20 (DM) Senior BJP leader Subramanium Swamy said today that what took place in Sri Lanka was not an ethnic struggle but a linguistic struggle. Speaking on the final day of the fourth Defence Seminar organised by the Sri Lanka Army, Dr. Swamy also said his Govt has made it clear that it was committed to improve ties between the two neighbours --India and Sri Lanka. “We in India are not going to maintain this more..

Between course-correction & regime-change

Aug 21 (NS) Many of Sri Lanka’s opposition movements that have sprung up in more recent times especially in the South, movements which seek to construct an alternative discourse, appear to be oscillating somewhat ambivalently between the ready desire to affect course-correction and the very reluctant ambition of initiating regime-change. Those which have the greatest potential of affecting regime-change are for course-correction; while those who may have influenced certain more..

Will this drought be prolonged?

Aug 21 (NS) The people of the Dry Zone of the country are suffering from a severe water shortage due to the prolonged drought. According to the statistics available on Disaster Management Centre, 1,620,602 persons of 468,329 families living in 13 districts are affected from the drought and its impacts, as at August 11. The most affected areas of the country are agricultural area which is serious as shown from the news reports. Most of the wewas or tanks are almost dry and people used to more..

Money spinning 'plastic surgeon' in the net

Aug 21 (SO) In the aftermath of the shocking death of a lady doctor specialised in plastic surgery in the hands of an alleged medical quack, the SO interviewed Dr. Sathis Wijemanne, a consultant plastic surgeon and an office bearer of the Association of Plastic Surgeons of Sri Lanka on the lesson learnt with Dr. Priyani's untimely and tragic death. Dr. P.A. Priyangani, 47, a specialist doctor at the Plastic Surgical Unit more..

Difficulty in gaining opposition cooperation

Aug 21 (SL) The decisions of prominent leaders of two main opposition parties to testify at the Investigation into war crimes launched by the UN Human Rights Commissioner is an indication of the polarised nature of Sri Lankan politics. The opposition is doing the opposite of what the govt has required of Sri Lankans. The govt has repeatedly stated that it will not cooperate with the UN investigation as it is detrimental to the country’s sovereignty. more..

Forging Human Security as a developmental challenge

Aug 21 (Island) Defence authorities of SL did well to conduct the 4th in their series of international Defence Seminars on the theme, ‘Sri Lanka: Challenges to a Rising Nation’, thereby providing a fresh forum for the discussion of a number of cardinal issues of topical and growing interest to the developing world in particular. Hopefully, the multi-dimensional nature of the concept of development was adequately focused on at this notable coming together of defence experts. more..

'Credible assessment of causalities must precede evaluation of govt’s actions'

Aug 21 (SL) Executive Director, Consortium for Humanitarian Agencies (CHA), Dr. Jeevan Thiyagarajah, speaks to Sunday Leader on the newly issued report that deals extensively with the on-going discussion on a war crimes investigation. Q: Your report justifies a full investigation which you maintain will provide more detailed information on how, when and for what purpose crimes were committed, and more..

BJP’s policy on Lanka

Aug 21 (TS) There has been a reset in India’s Sri Lanka policy which is at variance with what Narendra Modi and Sushma Swaraj had stated in public in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha election. Addressing an election rally in Chennai and another in Ramanathapuram, Modi said that just as the Sri Lankan Navy targeted Tamil Nadu fishermen, Pakistan’s Navy attacked fishermen from Gujarat. The weak UPA govt of Manmohan Singh had failed to protect these fishermen. more..

Did Welfare State produce Warfare State?

Aug 21 (Island) "President of the Republic, who is also the Minister of Finance, speaks jubilantly about his policies. I don't hear other members of the Cabinet or the academic community discuss these major changes in policy from that which was dear to us, most of the 20th century. Nobody else in govt nor in universities nor in civil seems worried about this change. I find these policies of the Rajapaksa govt wrong and not in our short and long term interest. I want to revert to a Welfare State." more..

Officials chasing a mirage

Aug 21 (CT) Official economic growth statistics continue to mislead and official projections are nothing but a mirage, a respected economic policy think tank points out. In real terms and when denominated in rupees, the currency used by people of this country, per capita GDP grew by just 27.4% between 2004 and 2009, whereas when dollarized, people's incomes, as denoted by per capita GDP, is said to have doubled and this is what more..

Editorial: ‘Swallowed’ reports

Aug 21 (Island) Parliament was told on Tuesday that 17 presidential commissions appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa from 2005 to 2013 had cost the taxpayers Rs. 272 million. Chief Government Whip and Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, in answer to a question by JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, MP said all those commissions save one had submitted their reports to the President. A question that went unasked was whether they had served any useful purpose. more..

Tourism statistics: Dimensions of Awareness and Comparisons

Aug 21 (DM) Recent arrivals data show continued momentum in overseas tourism demand, which, if sustained will result in stronger than expected growth in 2014. Tourist arrivals in the first seven months of this year totalled 861,324, which is a 24.7% increase over the 690,589 visitors received during the corresponding period in 2013. The 24.7% Year-on-Year-to date increase in 2014 over 2013 has been ecstatically described by some as, “Tourists arrivals up and above target”, more..

'Mahanayakes can lawfully expel errant Bhikkus'

Aug 21 (Island) "Once the Sanga Sabhawa makes a decision to expel a monk that cannot be challenged in courts. There was a recent judgment delivered by Justice Ranaraja upholding the authority of the Sangha Sabhawa in Kehelwathugoda Chandanada Thera vs Sirimalwatte Ananda Thera." UNP MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe is a lawyer with extensive experience in temple litigation. He has authored a book on the subject more..

Bake House wins case over trade name

Aug 21 (CT) Bake House Pvt. Ltd., well known for Bakery Products in the country for years won its legal battle against Testa Bake House Ltd., and protects its reputation of the trade name 'Bake House.' Bake House, instituted case No. HCL 27/2014 in the Commercial High Court of Colombo seeking two enjoining orders on the premise that the newly started business adjoining Bake House Ltd., termed Testa Bake House Ltd., was engaged in acts of unfair competition in terms of more..

BOI overhaul

Aug 21 (CT) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena has restructured the country's investment promotion agency to increase productivity and efficiency after it failed to achieve last two years' FDI targets. The BoI failed to achieve last two years' targets falling short US$ 160 million and US$ 610 million to achieve US$ 1.5 billion in 2012 and US$ 2 billion in 2013 respectively. The new structure included four new support committees and an investigation unit to speed and manage BOI projects. more..

'MR unlikely to obtain absolute majority'

Aug 20 (CT) TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran says it will be difficult for President Rajapaksa to get a 50% plus one vote on the first count, that is, an absolute majority, so that he could continue to be in office without having to count the preferential votes to decide the ultimate winner at the next presidential election. He says corruption and family bandyism have distanced the voter from Rajapaksa. In an interview with Ceylon Today more..

All-round Thisara powers President's XI win

Aug 21 (CI) Thisara Perera struck a brisk half-century and then took two wickets to help Sri Lanka Cricket Board President's XI beat Pakistanis by 13 runs on the D/L method. This was the only warm-up for the Pakistanis before the one-dayers start on Saturday. Opting to bat, the President's XI openers Danushka Gunathilaka and Tillakaratne Dilshan raced to 48 in 7.2 overs, but Mohammad Talha struck twice in the space of four deliveries to peg the hosts back. more..

New landing gear for SriLankan A330 aircraft

Aug 21 (Island) SriLankan Engineering, a pioneer MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) service provider for regional carriers, has just completed the replacement of all three Landing gear assemblies of a yet another A330 Aircraft of the national carrier.  This marks the eighth occasion the complete gear assemblies were changed on wide body aircraft which commenced with the first change in 2010. "This further signifies the position of SriLankan Engineering as a MRO facility more..

Sri Lanka ponder life after golden generation

Aug 21 (AFP) Sri Lanka are banking on young talent to see them through a transitional phase in Test cricket despite the departure of one batting great, another approaching retirement and an ageing spinner in the ranks. Former captain Mahela Jayawardene, who ended his 17-year Test career on Monday following the 2-0 series win over Pakistan, said there was no cause for panic over the side's immediate future. more..

CCC steps in to help drought-stricken areas

Aug 21 (ST) The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) said it was taking steps to muster the support of the local business community to help over a million people affected by severe drought conditions that has hit the regions of North-Western, North-Central, North, Eastern, Southern and Uva provinces. The CCC said it has made a request to its over 3,500 direct and indirect members, affiliates and associations to donate food, water and other essential items to help the trouble hit people more..

PB outlines challenges facing Sri Lanka

Aug 20 (FT) Good Morning to all. Professor G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, the Commanders and the officers of Sri Lanka tri-services, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen, I am indeed honoured and privileged to be the Keynote Speaker of this 2014 Defence Seminar organised by the Sri Lanka Army, being attended by a rich more..

Independent power producers to get short-term contracts based on price

Aug 21 (FT) Independent Power Producers (IPP) in Sri Lanka could negotiate for short-term contracts with the CEB when their current agreements expire, top officials said, insisting it was necessary to promote a more sustainable energy sector. Several contracts signed between the CEB and IPP are ending in the coming months, creating speculation over what would be done about the plants. IPPs are run by several local firms more..

Weeratunga calls for positive peace in a cohesive society

Aug 20 (FT) We must progressively build a “positive peace” and a kind of development that goes beyond monetary value and favours the growth of human and social relationships, cohesive societies, promote civic engagement and establish trust and reciprocity, said Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga. “In such a situation, we will find both a sustainable peace and a sustainable development,” he said addressing the ‘Defence Seminar 2014,’ at the Galadari on 18 August. more..

12,000 officials for Uva PC Elections

Aug 21 (CT) The Elections Department said it will deploy around 12,000 officials for the upcoming Uva PC elections to be held on 20 September. Deputy Commissioner of Election, M.M. Mohamed said the department was planning to send 8000 officers, each to the 800 polling stations in the Moneragala and Badulla Districts. "We plan to deploy 10 officers to each polling station," he said. Meanwhile, the 90 counting centres in the province are to be manned by 3,600 officers. more..

Granting US$1 Mn unconstitutional: Ex-CJ

Aug 21 (DM) Former Chief justice Sarath N. Silva said it was illegal and unconstitutional to grant one million US dollars to Palestine without following the proper procedure to do so. Mr. Silva said spending of one million US dollars by the Finance Ministry Secretary and the President as the Finance mMinister had violated Section 148 of the Constitution. “This amount of money had been spent outside budgetary allocations. more..

Arrest warrant on Haripriya de Silva

Aug 21 (DM) Colombo High Court yesterday issued an arrest warrant on Captain Senaka Haripriya de Silva, a personal assistant of former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka for evading court in a case where he is charged with harboring Army deserters. Captain De Silva was not present in Court when the case against him and Mr. Fonseka was taken up for hearing by Judge Rohini Walgama, resulting in the arrest warrant being issued. However, the case was postponed to more..

'Pulipaarvai will glorify cause of LTTE'

Aug 21 (ENS) It may have just been an unfortunate coincidence, but the director of controversial film Pulipaarvai found himself reiterating that his film would “magnify and glorify the cause of the LTTE and the great leader Prabhakaran” on the day Congressmen celebrated as Rajiv Gandhi’s 70th birth anniversary. “When every Tamilian watches this film it will light a fire in him and he will feel a righteous anger because of what happened there (in SL),” said film’s director Pravin Gandhi, more..

Tamil asylum-seeker court case may see UN intervene

Aug 21 (Guardian) UN may become involved in the case of the Tamil asylum seekers who were detained on an Australian customs boat, with a court hearing to take place in Canberra in October. A brief high court directions hearing in Melbourne on Thursday resulted in Justice Kenneth Hayne setting a date of Oct 14- 15 for the full court case. Refugee advocates are challenging the legality of the month-long detention of 157 Sri Lankan Tamil more..

Video: Meegalewa kidnapping - area residents hold demonstration

Aug 21 (AD) Some 500 residents of Meegalewa area held a demonstration this morning in front of the Galgamuwa Courts complex, demanding strict legal action against those who apprehended in connection with the kidnapping of a four-year old child. The protesters chanted slogans and demanded that the suspects should be given a maximum penalty. “We expect a fair decision on this matter. The law should be strictly implemented by the govt, against rapists and child abductors,” more..

Consumer confidence fails to match up to business optimism: Nielsen’s Cader

Aug 21 (FT) The apparent paradox facing private sector was summed up global research giant Nielsen when its local head last week revealed that though the Business Confidence Index (BCI) has improved in the recent months, the Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) has not been able to regain its value thus far. “The retail market is yet to recover from the loss of confidence after the devaluation of the rupee in 2012,” Nielsen Sri Lanka Managing Director Shaheen Cader said more..

Call for expanded UN probe divides TNA ahead of party convention

Aug 21 (Island) General Secretary of the five-party TNA as well as its dominant partner, ITAK, Mavai Senathirajah, MP, said that the party hadn’t authorised any of its members to seek a wider UN investigation against Sri Lanka. He said that the party was inquiring into circumstances under which a group of 33 members of the Northern and Eastern PCs had called for the UNHRC to expand its ongoing inquiry to investigate alleged more..

Govt insists borrowings at low interest rates

Aug 21 (FT) Taking advantage of the strategic development programs and the prevailing peace in the country, Sri Lanka has started borrowing at 2% from international agencies and financial institutions, Minister Sarath Amunugama told Parliament. Govt has borrowed $ 98 million and State institutions $ 642 million in 2010 from EXIM Bank of China. In 2011 Govt borrowing from EXIM bank was at $ 193.5 million while the institutional borrowings were reported at $ 150.9 million. more..

Kudu Nuwan arrested

Aug 21 (CT) Yet another heroin dealer, Nuwan Udaya Gunathileke alias Kudu Nuwan, who distributed heroin to areas in the outskirts of Colombo, was taken into custody yesterday noon (20). He was taken in with heroin valued at about Rs 2.5 million at Pansalhena, Meethotamulla, by a special team of police officers of the Colombo Crime Division (CCD). At the time of arrest, the suspect had 300 grams of heroin in his possession, police revealed. more..