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Identical captains at opposite ends

Aug 5 (CI) Sometimes in the cosmic journey, life contrives for kindred souls to cross paths: two people who may be separated geographically, ethnically, economically, even politically, but who are one at the most elemental, human level. As Angelo Mathews and Misbah-ul-Haq look across their battlements in SL, they may meet each other's gaze, and know they are a lot alike. Last time the two met in Tests, more..

600 motorbikes to government servants

Aug 5 (DN) President Rajapaksa handed over 600 motorbikes to govt servants at Maligapitiya, Kurunegala yesterday, in line with the govt’s program to handover 100,000 motor cycles to field officers in the state service. Accordingly, midwives, Samurdh Development Officers, field officers at AGA offices such as Grama Sanwardana, Grama Niladari, Sports Officers etc will receive motorbikes in appreciation of their service. This program is being carried out countrywide and more..

CSE to provide SMS updates

Aug 5 (CT) Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) has announced the plan to deliver investors with mobile text message alerts on changes to share balances in their stock depository accounts. As per the plan, two daily alerts will keep investors updated on purchases, sales, share deposits, withdrawals, deposits of rights issues and splits. CSE CIO Chandrakanth Jayasinghe commented: "With the launching of our mobile app, we offered them a generic overview of the market, more..

Kalpage, Wijetunge hand in resignations

Aug 5 (CI) Sri Lanka acting assistant coach Ruwan Kalpage has handed in his letter of resignation to SLC, after Kalpage is understood to have received an offer to become Bangladesh fielding coach under Chandika Hathurusingha. Sri Lanka's national spin bowling coach Piyal Wijetunge is also set to join the Bangladesh staff in a similar capacity, and has handed in his resignation letter to SLC as well. more..

Nedumaran for strong condemnation of SL

Aug 5 (Hindu) The Tamizhar Desiya Munnani on Monday urged the Union govt to condemn Sri Lanka in the strongest terms for publication of a derogatory article on TN Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and PM Narendra Modi in the Lankan Defence website. Tamizhar Desiya Munnani president P. Nedumaran said that all political parties in Tamil Nadu had condemned the Sri Lankan Govt in the strongest terms forcing Lanka to issue an apology and remove the derogatory post from the website. more..

Sri Lanka Must Respect Indian Sensibilities

Aug 5 (ENS) Protests against a derogatory article that appeared in a Sri Lankan website continue in TN. What agitates the people in the state and elsewhere in the country is that the website belonged to the defence ministry of Sri Lanka. Article referred to TN chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s letters to prime minister Modi and was accompanied by an illustration which was in bad taste. The letters had been written to protest against the frequent arrest and harassment of Tamil fishermen. more..

Officer responsible for jumbo report transferred

Aug 5 (CT) The officer tasked with preparing the report released by the AG's Department, on the issue of 'illegal' licences for elephants, was transferred yesterday, weeks after the report was released. Deputy Auditor General, A.H.M.L. Ambanwela, compiled the report, based on complaints made by environmentalists, regarding the illegal issue of elephant ownership licences by the Department of Wildlife Conservation. more..

What happens when politicians decide research priorities

Aug 5 (LBO) I agree with the Minister of Technology and Research that we need a lot more discussion about economic strategy. I’ve been pleading for this for several years: in English, in this column, since at least 2006. An example: “Choices: Geography or ideology?” But one could say these things should be discussed in Sinhala. Done that too, in theVikalpa column I used to write in Ravaya. Then in 2012, I even wrote a book in Sinhala and sent personal invitations for the launch to all MPs. more..

President wants environment protected

Aug 5 (DN) Accordingly, such proposals will assist budding entrepreneurs to reach high levels in their fields. An interest free loan of Rs. 200,000 is offered to a woman engaged in self-employment in the 2014 budget proposals. Besides, budding entrepreneurs can obtain a Rs. 500,000 loan to improve their fields. President said public servants are duty bound to take prompt action to resolve issues in their fields. “They must not allow things to drag on so that the subject will surface over and over again. more..

CSR meeting triggers tense situation

Aug 5 (DM) A tense situation was reported at the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR), at Deans Road, Maradana this evening when a group of people forcibly entered a meeting at the CSR where the organizers claimed that families of disappeared persons from the civil conflict were meeting with civil society groups and members of the diplomatic community. Meanwhile, the US embassy in Colombo in a statement more..

Police gear up for Perahera

Aug 5 (CT) The Police Department is to deploy nearly 4,000 policemen for Esala Perahera duties in Kandy. SSP Ajith Rohana, said 750 of them will be deployed on duty in civvies. In addition, a special traffic arrangement will be operational in and around Kandy town, he said, adding that parents who come to see the perahera should be careful about their small children. He made a request to put a note with their telephone numbers and addresses into the pockets of their children. more..

Sri Lanka offers China aid after quake

Aug 5 (CG) President Rajapaksa today offered medical assistance to China after a powerful earthquake struck the Yunnan province in South West China. Rajapaksa sent a condolence message to his Chinese counterpart, President XI Jinping expressing a deep sense of shock and sadness over the quake which resulted in a large number of deaths and massive destruction of property. “The Govt and People of Sri Lanka join me in conveying deepest condolences and sympathies to more..

AG wants Khuram murder sentences enhanced

Aug 5 (DM) Attorney General filed an appeal in the High Court stating that the sentences imposed on the convicts of British aid worker Khuram Sheikh’s murder were not sufficient. While requesting to amend the punishments given to the convicts the AG also suggested that these convicts should be given death sentence or life imprisonment as they committed the murder using weapons as members of an unlawful assembly. more..

We have a shared belief in the power of education: US tells SL

Aug 5 (Island) "One of our strongest connections is a shared belief in the power of education to transform lives and create opportunity, Dawn Suni, Cultural Affairs Officer of the US embassy said at the American National College (ANC) Awards Night held at the Hilton, Colombo recently. "With your degree from an overseas university, and your strong global perspective, you are a tremendous asset to Sri Lanka. You will lead your country in business, education, health, govt and technology," more..

Lankan HC summoned over article; conveyed 'anger and concern' of MPs

Aug 5 (ZN) India on Monday summoned the Sri Lankan High Commissioner and lodged a protest against a derogatory article about Prime Minister Narendra Modi and TN CM J Jayalalithaa which rocked parliament here. Sri Lankan High Commissioner Sudharshan Seneviratne was summoned by the External Affairs Ministry and was conveyed the "anger and concerns" among parliamentarians on the issue in the strongest possible words by Joint Secretary incharge more..

TN sends back Lankan kids: Expulsion angers sports fraternity

Aug 5 (TOI) The junior Sri Lankan cricket team that was sent back from Chennai in the early hours on Monday isn't a case in isolation. Such instances have turned into a recurring theme in the state, with politics becoming the biggest player in the sporting arena. Chief minister J Jayalalithaa has a reputation for encouraging sports and sportsmen from various disciplines, but on the Sri Lankan issue, she has not budged. more..

A govt with priorities mixed up & messed up

Aug 5 (DM) While walking paths and arcades are being built in the city of Colombo with much zest and state sponsorship, the mother of three in Bissobandaragama, Hingurakgoda, ropes down a 30-foot well to dig out some water to quench the thirst of her children. The farmers in Rajarata still drink poison for not being able to pay their bank loans while the education and health sectors -- things we have been talking so highly about -- are deteriorating. In parallel however, more..

Who's afaid of the common candidate?

Aug 5 (DM) An election result divulges the northern mind more than a thousand words spoken. The North voted overwhelmingly for the former Sri Lankan Army Commander as against the Commander-in-Chief at the last Presidential Election. Indeed queer and bizarre. That indicates the North will swing for ‘anybody but Mahinda Rajapaksa’- thrust TNA desire. At the 2013 PC election 65% of the 719,477 registered voters puffed TNA to a sprawling vote of 78.8% more..

'Laws, including the Constitution are blatantly violated today'

Aug 5 (DM) The following is an excerpt from the Deshamanya Professor Nandadasa Kodagoda Memorial Oration 2014 “We the People”: Reflections on Governance and Civic Engagement in Sri Lanka, delivered by Dr. Deepika Udagama, Head of the Department of Law at the University of Peradeniya. She was the founding Director (1989-2007) of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights of the Faculty of Law at more..

Boom times paid for in blood

Aug 5 (ST) Stoked on cannabis to raise energy and endurance levels, labourers work barefoot and bareheaded on construction and industrial sites where scores of deaths occur each year from the neglect of safety laws and the lack of resources to police industrial activity. As Sri Lanka sees a prolonged construction and industrial boom, the resources to ensure the safety of workers engaged on hundreds of sites more..

Corruption ‘steals’ billions in health sector

Aug 5 (SL) Corruption and malpractices has plagued the Health Ministry that has resulted in a severe drug and medical supplies shortage in government hospitals alleged National Organiser of Prof. Senaka Bibile Commemorative Association Dr. Jayantha Bandara. According to Dr. Bandara, it has now come to light that a sizeable amount of public funds allocated for the country’s health sector ends up in the pockets of certain ‘big wigs’ more..

'Indian govt actively working on TN fishermen issue'

Aug 5 (PTI) The govt is actively working on resolving issues concerning Tamil Nadu fishermen, a group of BJP leaders from the state said today. The delegation, led by BJP national General Secretary P Muralidhar Rao, today met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who assured them that the govt was engaging all its resources on issues concerning the state fishermen and Lankan Tamils. "Govt of India is actively engaging more..

Higher education system undergoing many developments – SB

Aug 5 (DN) While focusing on increasing access and quality of education at existing universities with the aim of producing employable graduates to suit global markets, Sri Lanka’s higher education sector will also strive to set up world class universities to attract both foreign students and academics, Minister S.B. Dissanayake said. He said the higher education system in the country today was undergoing many more..

US demands Sri Lanka enforce its laws in latest rebuke

Aug 5 (AFP) United States on Tuesday demanded Sri Lanka enforce its own laws after a meeting of US diplomats and war widows was disrupted by pro-govt activists, in the latest rebuke by Washington. US embassy said activists led by Buddhist monks stormed the meeting in Colombo on Monday and "behaved threateningly towards the families of the disappeared". Embassy said the police appeared to support the mob, more..

Temple jumbos found at Walawwa: Notice issued on Wildlife Minister

Aug 5 (Island) The Court of Appeal yesterday issued notice on the Minister of Wildlife Resources Conservation, Wijayamuni Zoysa, Conservator General of Wildlife, B. Ratnayake, Venerable Seelakanda Thera of Athkanda Viharaya, Kurunegala and the Ven. Kolonnawe Sri Sumangala Thera of Devuram Viharaya Pannipitiya. The notice is pertaining to a petition filed by several animal welfare activists who have complained to more..

Harsha asks to restore water supply quickly

Aug 5 (DM) The United National Party Kotte organizer Parliamentarian Harsha de Sliva said tens of thousands of residents of certain areas of Kotte, Nugegoda, Jambugasmulla and Udahamulla within the Kotte electorate have still not got their water connections restored close to Sixty hours since being denied of the utility even though almost twice the time estimated time for the so called repair has elapsed. more..

Velayuthan to replace Harin in Parliament

Aug 5 (Island) Badulla District UNP MP Harin Fernando is scheduled to resign from Parliament today to contest the forthcoming Uva PC. The vacancy would be filled by K. Velayuthan of the UNP, party source said. MP Fernando is scheduled to make a special statement in parliament today with regard to his resignation and on decision to give up parliament seat to be his party’s chief ministerial candidate of the Uva Province. more..

Advisory panel to be expanded to six

Aug 5 (CG) The number of experts on the advisory panel appointed by President Rajapaksa to advice the Missing Persons Commission may be expanded to six. Speaking to media heads at Temple Trees today, President said that there has been a request to expand the advisory panel from three to six. He said that due consideration is being given to the request. President Rajapaksa had last month expanded the mandate of more..

Fissures in the coalition, is it for real?

Aug 5 (CT) When two prominent partners of the UPFA coalition, JHU & NFF throw a challenge at their 'Master', people are going to raise a sceptical eye brow or two, even though the grandstanding for all ostensible purposes may appear real. This is to be expected when unlikely Don Quixotes tilt at windmills. For, when those who are part of the same govt and hold responsible positions claim they are forging an independent path, you need more than a 20ft container of salt to take it. more..

Minister Ranawaka launches book

Aug 5 (Island) Minister Champika Ranawaka will launch today a book on energy anthropology titled Power and Power’ at 3 pm at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI). He said that the book contained an analysis of contemporary issues in the energy sector in the country including ground realities with regard to the CEB, CPC and the Mahaweli Project. "The book comprising 10 chapters and 319 pages examines how energy transformed the lives of the people throughout history," more..

Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 25% in July

Aug 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose 25.2% to 133,971 in June 2014 from a year earlier, by driven by China and India, data showed. In the first seven months of 2014 arrivals were up 24.7% to 861,324. South Asian visitors were up 27.9% to 26,681 with arrivals from India, Sri Lanka top market, up 30.4% to 19,277. Visitors from Maldives were up 55.5% to 4,892 and Pakistan was down 40.5% to 1,227. more..

Sri Lanka rupee edges up on inflows; shares slip from near 3-year high

Aug 5 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee traded firmer on Tuesday on inflows from exporter dollar sales and inward remittances, with dealers expecting the currency to be under upward pressure in the absence of strong growth in private credit and imports. The rupee was traded 130.20/21 per dollar at 0625, edging up from Monday's close of 130.21/24. "There are inflows today from remittances and exporters," said a currency dealer. Two state banks, through which central bank more..

Tamil nationalism, population control and gender rights

Aug 5 (CT) I write to express my concern and bewilderment over Dr. Murali Vallipuranathan’s recent pronouncements on the legalisation of polygamy in Sri Lanka, in a bid to arrest the dangerous decline in Tamil population numbers. Such suggestions, to be expected from the lunatic fringes of Tamil nationalism, or the BBS in the South, are especially worrying when coming from a respected health professional working in mainstream academia. more..

Sri Lanka, Pakistan gear for Mahela finale

Aug 5 (AFP) Hosts Sri Lanka hope to give retiring former captain Mahela Jayawardene a winning farewell when they take on Pakistan for a sixth Test series in as many years from Wednesday. The elegant right-hander, sixth in the all-time scorers' list with 11,671 runs in 147 Tests since his debut in 1997, is due to quit the longer format after the series. Jayawardene, 37, who retired from Twenty20 internationals after more..

BASL on invitation by American bar

Aug 5 (Island) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) said that certain persons with vested interests had given a misinterpretation and a malicious twist to an invitation extended by the American Bar Association (ABA) to the current leadership of the BASL to attend the annual sessions of the ABA to be held in Boston from August 7 to 10, 2014. "This is an invitation extended by the ABA to the current leadership of the BASL. It is not a scholarship extended to all lawyers, more..

Nanda Mallawaarachchi summoned before court over Upul Jayasooriya's security

Aug 5 (AM) Secretary of the Ministry of Law and Order Major General (retd) Nanda Mallawaarachchi was ordered appear before the Colombo Chief Magistrate on Friday over security concerns raised by Bar Association President Upul Jayasooriya. The Secretary of Law and Order ministry was ordered to appear before court after IGP N.K. Illangakoon stated that he had sought advice from the Secretary over providing security to the BASL president. However, Colombo Chief Magistrate noted more..

France, Germany, UK and Switzerland joins US call for freedom of assembly

Aug 5 (AD) Embassies of France, UK, Germany and Switzerland today strongly condemn the disruption of a meeting in which families of disappeared Tamils were briefing Colombo-based diplomats and civil society activists. Issuing a joint statement, the embassies stated that “an organized group including monks” had disrupted the civil society meeting, on the theme “Sharing and listening session with families of disappeared” more..

Further threat on Upul Jayasuriya

Aug 5 (Island) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) said that at an emergency meeting of its Executive Committee on August 1, 2014 at the BASL Secretariat in Hulftsdorp, it had decided to urge the IGP to ensure the safety of BASL President Upul Jayasuriya. The BASL has said in a statement: "Among those who attended the meeting on invitation were senior members of the Bar, including former Attorneys General Tilak Marapona and Shibly Aziz, Ikram Mohamed, Faisz Musthapha more..

'Soft Stance against SL Not Good for India'

Aug 5 (ENS) Thamizhar Desiya Munnani (Tamil National Front) leader P Nedumaran has urged the BJP led-Central govt to condemn in the strongest possible way the derogatory remarks in the Sri Lankan govt’s Defence Ministry website against TN Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. After the protests, the derogatory remarks were withdrawn and Sri Lanka apologised. But this is not enough. The Central govt should condemn the remarks in the strongest possible terms. more..

Mahinda orders probe on MOD article

Aug 5 (CG) President Rajapaksa has ordered an investigation into the controversial article which appeared on the Ministry of Defence (MOD) website. President today expressed regret over the article which stirred emotions in India resulting in protests in Tamils Nadu as well as in the Indian Parliament. President told media heads at a meeting at Temple Trees today that he has asked for a report over the article being published more..