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SLC campaign to eradicate illegal actions

Aug 24 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket has begun a campaign to stamp out bowlers with illegal actions from the domestic game. The drive, which includes schools, started a month ago and has brought encouraging results. Umpires officiating in the ongoing Under-23 division I and 2 tournament were asked to report bowlers with suspect actions. Around 20-25 bowlers have been reported till date, the majority of them offspinners. more..

Over thousand prisoners in death row

Aug 24 (SO) The latest records of the Department of Prisons, confirm that 1,007 prisoners are sentenced to capital punishment and they are now housed at Welikada, Dumbara, Mahara and Badulla prisons. Of these prisoners, 550 prisoners are to be hanged while the rest of prisoners have already appealed for relief in their sentences by way of pleading mercy. Taking this plight into account, the Ministry of education has expanded its counselling programs for senior students of govt schools more..

Public campaign to abolish EP to be launched on 26th August

Aug 24 (Island) The public campaign demanding the abolition of the executive presidency of Sri Lanka will be launched in Kandy by the National Movement for Social Justice on Tuesday 26. Venerable Maduluwawe Sobhitha Chief incumbent of Sri Naga Vihare Kotte who is also tipped to be a common candidate of the opposition at the forthcoming Presidential election will preside at the public seminar held at the Central Province Hindu Cultural Centre, Kandy at 3 p.m. on Tuesday 26. more..

'Sri Lanka’s gasoline prices, lowest in South East Asia'

Aug 24 (SO) Sri Lanka has the lowest gasoline prices in the whole of South East Asia, Petroleum Industries Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said refuting claims that a revision in fuel prices will be effected in the near future. “The Ministry is still not in a position to sanction a reduction in fuel prices at this stage. We assure that prices will not go up if the price of a crude oil barrel in the world market remains between US $ 100 to 110. more..

3D glasses health hazard

Aug 24 (ST) 3D cinemas are a big hit in Sri Lankan movie-going culture but are audiences risking their health? A recent crackdown by CMC Public Health Department officers has raised concerns over 3D glasses handed out to audiences. CMC Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Ruwan Wijayamuni said that when 18 cinemas in Colombo, including 3D centres were checked for health, sanitary conditions, food hygiene and safety, poor maintenance of 3D glasses was detected among other problems more..

'No rationale to abolish Exec. Presidency'

Aug 24 (SO) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said that there is no rationale behind the UNP’s demand to abolish the Executive Presidency. It was the UNP that introduced the Executive Presidency, proportional representation and preferential voting system in the country. As the popular saying goes it is a “Dose of their own medicine”. This is because the Executive Presidency was a UNP creation, not ours. If they realised that the Executive Presidency is not suitable for the country, more..

Witness protection Bill finally coming

Aug 24 (ST) The much delayed Bill to provide assistance and protection to victims of crime and to witnesses is to be presented to Parliament shortly. The Bill to be presented by Minister Rauff Hakeem sets out rights and entitlements of victims of crime and witnesses and promotes their rights and entitlements. The draft Bill has been gazetted ahead of its presentation to Parliament. Bill also gives effect to appropriate international more..

Wilpattu bungalows close down

Aug 24 (ST) Two bungalows within Wilpattu sanctuary have been forced to close down due to the drought, Wilpattu National Park Manager, Manoj Widyaratne said. If the drought continues till the first week of September, other bungalows too would have to be closed down due to the shortage of drinking water. Dry Zone has been severely affected by the drought in the past few months. Water holes and tanks in the area have dried up, leaving wild animals without food and water. more..

CMEV confirms Uva Paranagama incident not related to election violence

Aug 24 (Island) The violence at Uva Paranagama on Wednesday where a three wheeler belonging to a supporter of the UNP was destroyed was not related to election violence, monitors from the Center for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) have determined. "Our monitors on the ground visited the location and spoke to several people including Mr. Upali Samaraweera, organizer for the UNP and a candidate himself, confirmed that this incident had been sparked by a personal matter," more..

Past patrons’ views sought on Dr. Gamage’s medical clinic

Aug 24 (ST) Public support is to be sought by an Inquiry Panel probing the death of a doctor at a medical clinic that illegally practised cosmetic procedures. The 5-member panel appointed by the Health Ministry on Friday will seek views and suggestions from those who had taken treatment at the medical clinic down Visakha Road, Colombo 4. The Private Health Sector Regulatory Council which met at an emergency more..

Drug detection: Pakistani nabbed at BIA

Aug 24 (DM) A Pakistan national, who is one of the main suspects in connection with the discovery of more than 150 kgs heroin from Orugodawatta and Katugastota, was arrested by law enforcement authorities when the suspect was coming from Karachchi at the Bandaranaike International Airport, on Saturday. The suspect identified as Shakil Ahemed who had direct involvement in the country’s main drug dealing network, was conducting his operation in a house in Seeduwa. more..

Sri Lanks wins first medal at Youth Olympics

Aug 24 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka has won its first medal of the 2nd Youth Olympic Games with a bronze in the badminton mixed doubles at the Nanjing Sports Institute Gymnasium on Friday. It an energetic fight, He Bingjiao of China and S.P.D. Vidanalage of Sri Lanka smashed their way to a 21-16, 21-18 win over Qin Jingjing of China and Mek Narongrit of Thailand. Both pairs were matched point-for-point towards the end of the second game but Vidanalage's smashes found their spot each time for the win. more..

Douglas supports Modi’s call for 13A

Aug 24 (CG) Minister and EPDP leader Douglas Devananda has backed calls by Indian PM Narendra Modi for a political solution for the Tamils based on the 13th Amendment to the constitution. He said that over the past 20 years govts in power in Sri Lanka have been impressed upon to provide a political solution for the Tamils based on the 13th Amendment. However he noted that TNA, which had met Modi in New Delhi more..

The spirit of 1977 is visible again: Karu J

Aug 24 (Island) The head of the UNP’s Uva PC election campaign, Mr. Karu Jayasuriya, yesterday said they were encouraged and enthused by the electors’ response to their campaign. "We are very happy with how the party is progressing on the Uva front and wherever we have gone the response has been tremendous," he said. "We see that the sentiments of the 1977 period is back with the old guard returning to the party and even those from other political parties joining us." more..

Drought-hit residents spare a thought for desperate animals

Aug 24 (ST) People are not the only victims of the drought in different parts of the country. Many wild animals are dying without food and water. In a bid to help these denizens of the wild in the forest reserve of the Sithulpawwa Yala area, the chief incumbent of the Sithulpawwa Viharaya Ven. Metaramba Hemaratne Thera and residents of the area have made plans for water to be transported to dried up water holes and also provide food to the hugry beasts. more..

Don’t dig too deep below the skin to enhance looks

Aug 24 (ST) Everyone wishes to look good and there is nothing wrong with that. But be aware of what falls within the ambit of a simple “appearance enhancing” measure and what would cause harm, major or minor, at the hands of non-qualified people dispensing medical procedures. These are the words of caution by Consultant Dermatologists Dr. Chalukya Gunasekera and Dr. Indira Kahawita who, in a public more..

President to visit New York next month despite Tamil Diaspora protest

Aug 24 (AM) Although bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and the US have not shown a significant improvement, President Rajapaksa is to leave for New York next month for an official visit. During the visit, President Rajapaksa will address the 69th sessions of the UN General Assembly on Sept 25. President will leave for New York after the state visits to Sri Lanka by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sept 7 and 8 and Chinese President Xi Jinpeng on Sept 16 and 17. more..

5th Phase of Leadership Training Programme to commence at 22 Army Camps

Aug 24 (GDI) University leadership training program for Sri Lankan students who have qualified to enter University for the 2013/2014 academic year will commence on Sept 7th. The program (Development of Leadership Qualities and Positive Thinking) is scheduled to start at 22 Army Camps islandwide under three stages with the participation of 23,300 students. The first stage will be operative from 7th to the 27th and the second stage from 4th to the 24th of October. more..

Wigneswaran seeks Treasury approval for CM’s fund

Aug 24 (ST) The Northern Provincial Council has sought Treasury approval to operate a ‘Chief Minister’s Fund’ despite objections by the Governor, a spokesman for the Chief Minister’s office said. The Council had granted approval for the establishment of the fund which hopes to attract aid from foreign donors and well-wishers. Similar funds have been set up in three provincial councils — the Southern, Sabaragamuwa and the Uva PCs. more..

MR orders ministers to avoid clashes with religious organizations

Aug 24 (AM) President Rajapaksa, at the weekly cabinet meeting, has ordered cabinet ministers to avoid clashes with religious organizations. President made this remark in the wake of the meeting between a group of ministers and Mahanayake Thera of the Asgiriya chapter over the conduct of BBS General Secretary Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera. Speaking to Ministers, President said he had received complaints that the ministers who met the Mahanayake thera had failed to more..

Nature gone wild; Three killed

Aug 24 (DM) Three people had been killed during the last few days due to inclement weather and related incidents, DMC said today. One drowned in Tangalle, while another person had died in the same district after being attacked by a wild-elephant. Lightening had killed another in Jaffna according to DMC. Meanwhile, people in Moneragala had been hit by two different natural disasters, namely the drought and high winds. Accordingly 53,512 families have been affected more..

Minister says the media not censored

Aug 24 (CG) The Govt insists there is no unofficial censorship on the media in Sri Lanka nor is there an attempt to crackdown on social media. Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that in his view the best example is that local television stations are allowed to broadcast views of opposition politicians, even when they criticize the President and his family. He said the Govt is able to fully express its views only through the state media while more..

Five women nabbed for gambling

Aug 24 (DM) Five women had been taken into custody for gambling at a house near a temple in Bulathsinhala. Three others fled from the scene during the raid. The suspects were from Kalawaellawa, Kendanwadiya and Bulathsinhala areas. The Police said that investigations had revealed that they had been running the gambling den for women for a long time and that gambling took place during the week ends. The suspects were to be produced before Matugama Magistrate more..

Father kills his infant daughter in Beruwala

Aug 24 (AD) In a shocking incident in Beruwala, a one and half year old infant was allegedly killed by her father by dashing the child on a rock, this morning. The 29-year old father who is a fiber worker has been apprehended by the Beruwala police. The infant was pronounced dead by doctors upon her admission to the Nagoda General Hospital. A senior police officer of the Beruwala police told Ada Derana that the parents of the infant were living apart since last January. more..

Grand ceremony to pass out Tamil women recruits

Aug 24 (MoD) Sri Lanka Army's Security Forces Headquarters East yesterday marked another turning point by taking the salute of 36 recently-enlisted Tamil woman soldiers who passed out during a colourful Passing out Parade at 22 Division, Trincomalee. The 36 Tamil women recruits of 5(V) Sri Lanka Army Women's Corps (SLAWC) were passed out on successful completion of four months training at 5 (V) SLAWC. more..

Refugees' mental anguish in Australia's 'Guantanamo'

Aug 24 (CT) At least one in four refugees locked in indefinite detention on the basis of secret ASIO findings have attempted or threatened suicide, a new analysis has revealed. Several of the 44 refugees have now been incarcerated more than five years without charge in Melbourne and Sydney and none are allowed to know the detail of the secret assessments used to justify their detention. The heavy psychological toll has led to extraordinary rates of depression, anxiety and self-harm, more..

Second ODI free of charge for public - SLC

Aug 24 (AD) SLC says that the second ODI between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at Sooriyawewa stadium will be open to the public for free of charge. Manager- Media & Communications of SLC Rajith Fernando says that the stadium will be open for public on 26 Aug, except the main pavilion and the Grand Stand. Meanwhile, the SLC further says that all tickets purchased for the second ODI which was to be played at Premadasa Stadium on the 27 August, will be refunded from the 2 Sept to 10 Sept. more..

Japan considering providing patrol ships

Aug 24 (Kyodo) Japanese govt is considering providing patrol ships to Sri Lanka to help the South Asian country strengthen its maritime surveillance capabilities. PM Shinzo Abe is expected to convey the plan to President Rajapaksa when he visits the country in early September. Tokyo expects the move to help improve sea lane security in the Indian Ocean where tankers transporting oil from the Middle East to Japan more..

BBS compounds the electoral equation

Aug 25 (NS) The announcement by the BBS that it could field a presidential candidate at the next elections has sent speculation sky high that the controversial organization is finally revealing its agenda and stating its political ambitions. The statement that the BBS would field a candidate ‘if necessary’ was made by Galagoda-aththe Gnanasaara Thera, the controversial monk who has become the public face of the BBS. He has now earned a reputation as a fiery platform orator more..

The nudge from Delhi

Aug 25 (CT) Narendra Modi has spoken. And his words are no different from Manmohan Singh’s. During his meeting with the TNA Mr. Modi has laid down the parameters of his administration’s preferred solution to the Lankan ethnic problem. A political package which builds on the 13th Amendment, within a united Sri Lanka; meaning, in essence, 13+ up to federalism; not 13-, which is the status quo; and not confederation, let alone separation. This BJP stance is no different more..

Ice Bucket Challenge storms the world

Aug 25 (SO) Sri Lankan version of the new world trend - The Ice Bucket Challenge, came to light after Western Provincial Councillor Malsha Kumaratunga, fashion icon Otara Gunewardene and popular vocalist Iraj Weeraratne took the challenge. The Ice Bucket Challenge, also known as ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, is an activity involving dumping a bucket of ice cold water on one's head or donating to ALS research. more..

Sarath Silva and MR’s third term

Aug 25 (Island) Last week the Irida Lankadeepa published an interview with the former CJ Sarath Silva where he had argued that President Rajapaksa was disqualified from contesting a third time. It was a ruling given by Silva in 2005 that sent Chandrika Kumaratunga home one year before she thought she was due to relinquish office. This writer has always held that Silva ranks as one of the heroes who pulled this nation out of the abyss because he sent CBK packing one year early. more..

View from Ritigala - by mahasona

Aug 25 (NS) Mahela Jayawardena retired from Test cricket. He said his piece. He talked of being privileged to play alongside with great cricketers. He showed class. And someone said ‘class never retires’. True. There are classes and classes. The working class may want to retire, but can’t. The privileged classes can retire, but won’t. Men and women come and go, politicians and political parties have their days in the sun and days in the wilderness. Through it all, class stays. Put. more..

'We will resist this pressure'

Aug 25 (SL) Pakistan has been a long standing and steadfast friend to Sri Lanka during the most trying times, and Pakistan will continue to support Sri Lanka against any pressure being brought on the country by the west, the President of the Institute of Regional Studies, Pakistan, Arif Ayub, a former high commissioner, assured. He said the explanations given by Sri Lanka with regard to the western nations hounding this country on more..

Slow evolution of a constitutional monstrosity

Aug 25 (ST) A mere two years before a doomed UNP administration staggering under accumulated burdens of long drawn out rule was destined to fall, opposition MP Mahinda Rajapaksa was in the forefront of an imaginative challenge on the afternoon of a characteristically hot day in 1992. In issue was a litany of grievances which seems unbearably familiar now; unprecedentedly increased cost of living, privatisation of public enterprises and consequent retrenchment, more..

Sri Lanka needs bullish treatment for manic disorder

Aug 25 (CT) Sri Lanka is acutely suffering from manic disorder since its military wresting control of the Eastern Province from the LTTE in July 2007. Sri Lanka is experiencing all the recognisable symptoms the ailment embody, and acute treatment of psychotherapy is needed to arrest the disease. Symptoms of manic attack are: overblown snobbishness, restlessness, sleeplessness, jabbering too much, conflicts in thoughts, agitated behaviour, risky pursuits and making meals more..

Little-known coastal Veddhas

Aug 25 (FT) A Veddah is generally identified as a bare-chested man, carrying a short ‘porawa’ on his shoulder with the hair tied behind in a ‘konde’. This description does not fit in to the Veddah community in the east who are referred to as ‘Muhudu Veddahs’ – Veddahs of the Sea. They mainly live in the districts of Trincomalee and Batticaloa. They do not resemble the indigenous people as we know, possibly because more..

Editorial: Who will stop IS?

Aug 25 (Island) There is no sign of Islamic State (IS) relenting in its efforts to capture the northern Iraqi town of Amerli in spite of international pressure. It is feared that one of the world’s worst massacres is about to happen in that town under siege, which is also faced with a worsening humanitarian crisis. The UN has called upon the world to act before it is too late. The US military intervention to help the Iraqi govt square up to the Jihadists was thought to yield quick results. more..

Dare to be different forum on Oct 1

Aug 25 (SL) Entrepreneurial Forum of the Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE) is scheduled for Oct 1, 2014. Titled ‘Dare to Be Different’: The COYLE Sampath Bank Entrepreneurial Forum, the event will present a panel of exceptional entrepreneurs and impact leaders in the areas of ICT, consumer goods, and infrastructure development to an audience of business managers and future leaders. The main objective of the Dare to be Different Forum more..

Accessing the seas of Mannar

Aug 25 (FT) Time and tide, they say, wait for no man. Now though, through the intervention of an infrastructure project funded by the EU to help fishermen, tides have been taken out of the equation. The Palk bay, running along the coast of Mannar, is known to many for various reasons, not the least of which is the controversial Sethusamudram project. Sethusamudram is the shallow sea off Gulf of Mannar. more..