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'Work with existing powers before devolution'

Aug 29 (Hindu) The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) should work with existing powers before demanding further devolution, Minister Basil Rajapaksa said. “They have not done anything yet,” he said, speaking to media persons on the sidelines of a press conference to announce a new bank loan scheme launched by his ministry. His comments come less than a week after the TNA, which leads the NPC, met Indian PM more..

Dr. Dewasiri walks out of senate meeting after argument with VC

Aug 29 (Island) An argument between the Colombo University History Department Head Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri and Vice Chancellor Dr. Kumara Hirimburegama on Wednesday resulted in the former walking out from a Senate meeting. Dr. Dewasiri inquired about a request he had made six months back for two lecturers to teach history but there was no positive response from the Vice Chancellor. Dr. Dewasiri staged a day-long sit-in opposite the office of VC in protest more..

Consider patients' plight, minister to striking health staff

Aug 29 (DN) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday appealed to all health staff engaged in the ongoing strike to end the strike and report to work for the sake of poor and innocent patients. It was the stand of the Health Ministry that problems should be solved through discussions. Meanwhile, all Raajya Osu Sala outlets operated by the State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) countrywide provided drugs to patients free of charge during the strike. more..

MPs’ shocking dereliction of duty: 200 out of 225 missing

Aug 29 (Island) Parliamentarians’ attendance has dropped sharply and Opposition members skip parliament even when important Bills were taken up. About 200 members representing both the govt and the Opposition were absent when the vote on the Ocean University of Sri Lanka Bill was taken up on Aug 20, according to a statement issued by Youth Affairs and Skills Development Ministry shortly after Parliament adopted the Bill more..

Jackie refuses junk; Some food for thought

Aug 29 (DM) The unethical or illegitimate promotion of questionable products including junk food, often using popular personalities, has become a major problem for Third World Countries battling against various forms of neocolonialism by the West. One of the latest cases involved Bollywood star and Sri Lankan beauty queen Jacqueline Fernandez. In the afterglow of her latest Bollywood blockbuster ‘Kick’ where she plays the lead role with another superstar Salman Khan,reports say Jacqueline was more..

An ugly transition from Dharmadeepa

Aug 29 (CT) Sri Lanka is no longer the 'Dharmadeepa' (land of piety), which it once proudly claimed to be, when morality was held in high esteem and murder made everyone pause in shock. Today, this land, supposedly blessed, not once but thrice, by the Buddha, is taking on the mien of the long forgotten Wild West, with gun fights, knife fights, brawls, kidnappings, bank heists and all other kinds of violent encounters becoming not just commonplace, but everyday occurrences. more..

Sri Lanka, Seychelles sign MoU to promote investments

Aug 29 (FT) Sri Lanka and Seychelles yesterday signed a MoU to promote investments among the two countries. The two-year deal which is automatically renewable was entered into by the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka and the Seychelles Investment Board. Seychelles Minister of Finance, Trade and Investment and Sri Lanka’s Investment Promotion Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena witnessed the signing. more..

Thilini to file FR case against police

Aug 29 (DM) Thilini Amalka who had allegedly been subjected to sexual harassment by a man at the Wariyapola bus stand is to file a Fundamental Rights Violation case against the police for arresting her. Attorney-at-Law Lakshan Dias, who is appearing for Thilini said his client’s fundamental rights had been violated when she was arrested by the police. Mr. Dias said that in a situation where his client was a victim, more..

'President cannot contest for 3rd term'

Aug 29 (DM) While the question whether President Rajapaksa could contest the Presidency for the 3rd term has become a hotly debated argument in legal and political circles, former CJ and Constitutional expert, Sarath N. Silva says that President Rajapaksa has no right to contest the next Presidential Election. Describing why the 18th Amendment came into being, Mr. Silva says it is a dishonest amendment and was introduced more..

Govt intensifies propaganda war

Aug 29 (SL) As international pressure continues to mount on the govt on the human rights issue, supported by human rights groups and some western countries, including the United States, the govt is using all options available to boost its image both locally and overseas. Govt propaganda has targeted the local voter base while overseas millions of rupees is being spent on US based firms to promote the country among more..

'I have looked at officiating as a challenge'

Aug 29 (WI) After officiating in his 500th international match, ICC Chief Match Referee talks about his life in the game, how the role of the match officials have evolved and his hopes for the future. ICC Chief Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle officiated in his 500th international match when England faced India in the second One-Day International in Cardiff on Wednesday. The former Sri Lanka captain, who recently became more..

Demining: 98% complete

Aug 29 (AM) Brig. Ruwan Wanigasuriya states that nearly 98% of landmines in the Northern and Eastern Provinces have been cleared. This has cleared all areas needed to restore civilian life in the North to normalcy, he further stated. Only 80 square km of the total of 5000 square km remain to be cleared. He described this as a great achievement leading to restore normal civilian life in the conflict affected areas. more..

Kites pose risk to BIA planes

Aug 29 (DM) Flying kites near the airport raises the possibility of airplane crashes, The Air Traffic Control (ATC) room of the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake said. “We have a few reports of near misses, reported by pilots,” the ATC said. “Several awareness campaigns were held in the surrounding areas such as placing banners and deploying police officers to educate children and parents. more..

Alarm over rising seas but villagers keep returning to risky shore

Aug 29 (ST) For Shanthi of the Sri Dharmaarama Road fishing village in Ratmalana and Kamala Fernando of Ransigamawella off Wennappuwa, the coming days are a struggle to protect their houses from the strong waves that are rapidly swallowing up the shore. Thousands of families living bordering the south-western coasts and north-western coasts are at a growing risk of coastal erosion, experts fear. more..

Polls Chief discusses changes to election law with political parties

Aug 29 (Island) Commissioner of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya has proposed to the mainstream political parties that they reduce their propaganda expenses at elections. He made the proposal during a meeting with a delegation from the Democratic Party (DP) on Wednesday. The matter would have to be discussed in Parliament before an amendment could be introduced to the Elections Act, more..

Dam-hit Sri Lankans to get their own 'Bridge on River Kwai'

Aug 29 (AFP) Its detonation is one of the most iconic scenes in movie history. Now, 57 years after it was blown to smithereens, authorities in Sri Lanka plan to rebuild the "Bridge on the River Kwai" to assuage the anger among locals over a controversial dam project. While the World War II epic was supposedly set in Japanese-held Burma (present-day Myanmar), it was mostly filmed in Ceylon (now SL) between 1956 and 1957, more..

The world’s ‘new’ IFI

Aug 29 (CT) A brand new International Financial Institution (IFI) has emerged hot on the heels of and from among the debris, flotsam and jetsam of the 2014 Football World Cup in Brazil. The World Cup was won by Germany, reinforcing the reality of German domination of, among other things, the ‘Beautiful Game’ and in other areas, personified by Angela Merkel’s political and economic domination of the ‘real’ power politic in Europe. The leaders of the BRICS nations – Brazil, India, Russia, more..

Candidates won’t get opportunity to enter polling stations unless...

Aug 29 (Island) Assistant Commissioner of Elections for the Badulla District Asanga Abeywardena warned that candidates who fail to hand over their assets and wealth declaration would stand to lose the official identity card which gave them the right to enjoy privileges provided to a candidate, especially the right to enter a polling station during polling. The deadline for the issuing of applications for temporary polling identity cards would close on Tuesday the 9th of September. more..

'Rajapaksa’s daily cost to taxpayer a staggering Rs 23.4 million'

Aug 29 (CT) Convener of the National Movement for Social Justice, Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha thera who is spearheading the campaign to abolish Executive Presidency has stated it is high time for the present presidential system that has dragged the country into depths of a corrupt and lawless reign, is abolished. Speaking at the Hindu Cultural Center in Kandy, Sobitha thera who is also the Common Candidate in the offing more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.6%

Aug 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks close 0.61% higher on Friday with beverage stocks gaining despite low foreign participation, brokers said. All Share Price Index closed 42.33 points higher at 7,034.09, up 0.61%. The S&P SL20 closed 26.64 points higher at 3,872.51, up 0.69%. Turnover was 1.14 billion rupees, up from 888.75 million rupees a day earlier with 118 stocks closed positive against 79 negative. Commercial Bank closed 1.90 rupees higher at 148 rupees with three off-market transactions more..

It is our business to mind our own mind

Aug 29 (CT) Robin Williams was an American actor, comedian, film producer, and screenwriter. Starting as a stand-up comedian in San Francisco and Los Angeles in the mid-1970s, he is credited with leading San Francisco’s comedy renaissance. Robin Williams made us laugh and happy but it seems that he was not happy within. Once he said, “I felt alone and afraid” in one night in Alaska in 2003. In August 2014, he killed himself. Before that he was treated for depression and substance abuse. more..

Kithuruwan under fire for night frolics

Aug 29 (DM) SLC Disciplinary Committee will conduct an inquiry over young player Kithruwan Vithanage who had discreetly left the team hotel during the first Test against Pakistan to spend the night elsewhere, but SLC’s anticorruption officer Lakshman de Silva said that there would be no SLC or ICC anti-corruption investigation going on about the incident, despite several media reports making various allegations about the more..

Joint fishing proposal to be looked at

Aug 29 (CG) India and Sri Lanka will look at a joint fishing proposal in an attempt to resolve the fishing issue between both countries. The decision to discuss the proposal was taken at a meeting held between India and Sri Lanka today in New Delhi. The next meeting is to be held in Colombo. According to the Indian media the talks in New Delhi lasted for some 3 hours today. The first meeting of a joint committee between India and Sri Lanka was held today to discuss about institutionalising more..

Sri Lanka to launch online tracker to solve SME’s issues

Aug 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka is to launch an online support system focusing on the issues faced by the small and medium entrepreneurs in the island, Ministry of Industry and Commerce said. “This issue tracker will focus on the problems and difficulties of SME,” Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, was quoted in the release. “I and NEDA thank the Asia Foundation for extending its valuable support to develop this online system valued at more than US$ 13000.” Bathiudeen was addressing the launching more..

Veteran cinematographer Andrew Jayamanne passes away

Aug 29 (SM) Veteran cinematographer, film and television director and producer Andrew Jayamanne has passed away. Jayamanne was aged 71 at the time of his demise. He who was born on Nov 9, 1943 at Negombo was introduced as a director of photography to the main stream Sri Lankan cinema with the film ‘Haralakshaya’ of Titus Thotawatte in 1962. He worked as an assistant cameraman at Vijaya Studio during that time. more..

CoA extends temporary extradition order

Aug 29 (DM) The Court of Appeal order, which temporarily restrained the extradition of the Pakistani refugees staying in Sri Lanka, was extended today for four more days. When the case was taken up before Appeal Court Judge Upali Abeyrathne it was stated that judgement in the case would be delivered on Sept 1. Immigration and Emigration Department recently decided to extradite Pakistani refugees who were living in Sri Lanka. The restraining order was given by the Court of Appeal more..

Help line for those contemplating suicide

Aug 29 (Island) More than 2,000 Sri Lankans contemplated suicide daily and 11 of them took their own lives, said Courage, Compassion and Commitment (CCC) Foundation Founder and President, Jetha Devapura early this week. Devapura, a Sri Lankan born Australian, who is on an ambitious mission to bring down Sri Lanka’s suicide rate through rigorous awareness campaign countrywide told the media in Colombo on Tuesday that the numbers clearly demonstrated the more..

Pakistan cricket team prevented from entering mosque in Dambulla

Aug 29 (AM) Members of the Pakistani cricket team, who were in Dambulla today, were prevented from entering the Masjidul Khaira mosque in Dambulla for their Friday evening prayers. The decision, which earned the ire of the Pakistani cricket team and its management, was taken by authorities who overlooked the security of the team. The team arrived at Dambulla today for the third and final ODI with Sri Lanka which more..

Shyam Selvadurai finalist in 2014 Toronto Book Awards

Aug 29 (LR) Sri Lankan-born Canadian author Shyam Selvadurai was named among five finalists by the City of Toronto and the Toronto Public Library for the 2014 Toronto Book Awards, which honour authors of books of literary or artistic merit that are evocative of Toronto. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the event. Selvadurai was named for his novel The Hungry Ghosts, published by Doubleday Canada. Each finalist will receive $1,000 and the winning author receives $10,000. more..

Philippines, Sri Lanka boost military ties

Aug 29 (CG) Sri Lanka has emphasized the importance of bilateral military cooperation with the Philippines as both countries have common interests and enhanced diplomatic ties between the two nations will be mutually beneficial. External Affairs Ministry said today that a military delegation from Sri Lanka comprising eighteen officers from the Army, Navy and Air Force led by the Commandant of the Defence Services and Staff College, Major General N.J. Walgama visited the Philippines more..

U.S. support for new hospital in in Poonaryn

Aug 29 (CG) Sri Lankan Govt says it is proud of the close working relationship it has with the U.S. Embassy and USAID in Sri Lanka. Dr. P. Sathiyalingan, Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine said this at the opening of the Poonaryn Divisional Hospital by the NPC Ministry of Health. Govt has on previous occasions accused the US Embassy in Colombo of making baseless allegations which it says could be part of a much larger more..

Maithripala sidelined: UNP

Aug 29 (DM) UNP MP Ajith Mannaperuma charged Minister Maithripala Sirisena was helpless in the wake of the crisis in the health sector because the Govt had sidelined him. “Minister Sirisena has been sidelined because he is labeled as a supporter of the Banaranaikes in the SLFP,” he said. The Govt which created divisions among political parties is now creating divisions among public servants in various sectors including the health sector, Mr.Mannaperuma said. more..

Use of electric and hybrid vehicles promoted

Aug 29 (Island) The Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority (SLSEA) has taken steps to introduce electric and hybrid environmentally friendly vehicles concept to the country under its Energy Efficient and Environmentally Sustainable Transport (E3ST) programme. SLSEA Director General Dr. Thusitha Sugathapala said that the application of E3ST concept in Sri Lanka had become essential with the rapid development of the country as it faced several transport related challenges more..

TNA agrees to resume talks with govt

Aug 29 (IANS) Sri Lanka's main Tamil party has announced it is willing to restart talks with the govt after a lapse of nearly three years to find a political solution to a dragging ethnic issue after a three-decade civil war ended in 2009, an official said here Friday. The TNA said it was ready to resume discussions with the govt to reach a lasting solution to the ethnic crisis based on power devolution within a united Sri Lanka, more..

Leopard business in Vavuniya

Aug 29 (AD) The Range Forrest Office (RFO) in Vavuniya has raided a house in Kurumankadu, in a joint operation with Vavuniya police, where leopard cubs had been reportedly put up for sale. The owners of the house have fled the area by the time of the raid, a police officer said. The raid was carried out following a tip-off received by the RFO, last afternoon. RFO officer M.D.L. Lionel said that a dead leopard cub was found inside a lavatory of the house. more..

Election Commissioner assures legal action against UPFA Polls violators – John

Aug 29 (Island) Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya yesterday assured the UNP that he would move court against polls law violations committed by the UPFA. Chief Opposition Whip John Ameratunga said that a UNP delegation had met Deshapriya to protest against the blatant violation of election laws in the ongoing campaign for the Uva PC election. The other members of the delegation were LC Chairman Karu Jayasuriya, General Secretary Tissa Attanayake more..

Sri Lanka and Pakistan agree to enhance defense cooperation

Aug 29 (IL) Pakistan Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt called on Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Defence Secretariat in Colombo this morning and discussed ways to strengthen defense cooperation between the two countries. During the meeting, a cordial discussion was held between Secretary Defence and Air Chief Marshal Butt on matters of bilateral cooperation and mutual interest. more..

Unearthed ammunition carry LTTE symbol

Aug 29 (TOI) Hand-grenades and land mines, unearthed from Pacha Talamalai reserve forest near Puliyur in Mettur taluk on Tuesday night, belong to the LTTE, said Salem police, as the hand-grenades were found to be imprinted with LTTE logo. "We have seized more than 100 hand-grenades and landmines," a senior official from the investigation team told TOI. He said that all the shells were unused and could be exploded if filled with gun powder. The officials also unearthed more..

Meryn rejects Malsha’s Ice Bucket Challenge

Aug 29 (DM) While rejecting WPC member Malsha Kumarathunga’s Ice Bucket Challenge, Minister Mervyn Silva said it was better to raise money for charity through projects that protect our culture and was not detrimental to our economy. “I must thank Malsha for inviting me to take part in the “Ice Bucket Challenge”, but in a situation where people in several areas were badly affected by the drought, it is better to help them. I helped them with bottles of water and I invite everybodyelse to do it more..

Enjoining order issued on Paramedics strike

Aug 29 (HN) The Colombo district Court issued an enjoining order on the Para-medics’ strike that affected functions of the government hospitals for the last four days. The court issued the order after considering a petition filed by a patient of the Colombo National hospital. Accordingly Colombo district judge Sujatha Alahapperuma issued the interim order until the case is taken again for hearing on September 12th. more..