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‘Guilty let off the hook by Govt’

Aug 20 (CT) The Voice Against Corruption (VAC) is planning to stage a Satyagraha, a silent protest and demonstration, against the failure to punish those guilty of fraud and corruption under the previous regime. VAC sources said the event will begin in Colombo on 24 August at 10 a.m. VAC Convener and JVP politburo member Wasantha Samarasinghe commenting on it charged that the govt instead of punishing those guilty of corruption and fraud was mollycoddling them. more..

Sri Lanka to host top tourism confab

Aug 20 (NS) Sri Lanka, one of the top two emerging hotel and resort markets in Asia, is to host the first Asia Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference (AHTIC), a top-level gathering of international investors, business leaders, government ministers and officials. President Maithripala Sirisena is supporting the conference as its patron. The AHTIC conference will take place on November 27 and 29 at the Hilton Colombo in Sri Lanka. ( more..

Coalition crusade celebrates first year with conviction

Aug 20 (FT) President Sirisena said his Govt had restored freedom and democracy in the country and promised to end economic instability in the country as the ruling national unity coalition marked its first year in office with a massive rally in Matara yesterday. Large crowds gathered at the Kotuwegoda Sanath Jayasuriya stadium in Matara for the commemoration event which PM Ranil Wickremesinghe also attended. more..

2012 Welikada riot govt should investigate delay at Justice Ministry

Aug 20 (NS) Good governance activists called on the Govt to investigate the delay of the Ministry of Justice to inform the relevant authority or authorities of the course of action to be taken with regard to meting out justice for the 27 killed at the Welikada Prison in 2012. Allegations have been levelled against former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa for his involvement in the riot. NSSP Leader Dr. Wickremabahu Karunaratne said that so many decisions taken by Gotabaya more..

Kilinochchi-Mullaitivu residents demand OMP for North

Aug 20 (DN) Residents of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts staged a protest on Thursday claiming that the setting up of the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) in Colombo, will not be beneficial to the people in the North. The protesters demanded the govt to set up the Office on Missing Persons in Kilinochchi or Mullaitivu claiming that most of the missing people were from north who went on missing due to the war. They said the families of the missing have to bear huge expenses to come more..

US backs out of undertaking to medically examine former Tamil Tiger combatants

Aug 20 (ENS) The US has backed out of an undertaking to medically examine former combatants of the LTTE who had allegedly been injected with a poisonous drug when they were in detention or undergoing rehabilitation in camps run by SL army. CM of Northern Province, C.V.Wigneswaran, had told NPC that he had requested US Ambassador, Atul Keshap, to get US Air Force medical team camping in Jaffna more..

Quo vadis: Question to Rajapaksa dissidents

Aug 20 (DM) Leaders, Ministers, MPs, local councilors and members of the UNP and the SLFP for the first time yesterday held a joint public rally in the Southern heartland of Matara. This was to mark the first anniversary of the formation of a consensus Govt between the two major parties for the first time since independence in 1948. The joint rally took place two days after President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as SLFP leader, imposed an uncharacteristic but widely called-for more..

The day the Karanduwa nearly fell off

Aug 20 (DM) Controversy has piled up over the years as to why former Diyawadana Nilame Neranjan Wijeyeratne failed to accommodate the Basnayake Nilames of the four Devales during the first four days of the Kumbal Perahera. Diyawadana Nilame himself took the position of conducting the Sri Dalada Maligawa part of the procession during the entire eleven days. There are five sections of the Kandy Esala Maha Perahera. They are Sri Dalada Maligawa, Natha Devale, Vishnu Devale, more..

Death of a judge

Aug 20 (DM) Former Supreme Court Judge Sarath de Abrew succumbed to his injuries after falling off the balcony of the second floor of his residence in Ratmalana on Monday. His remains were taken to his residence in Ratmalana and the funeral was held. Neighbours state that his house was usually very turbulent and noisy, that the house was in uproar all the time and that they did not notice anything unusual on Monday (15) more..

SLBC fails to pay taxes to the inland revenue department

Aug 20 (SL) Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), which is one of the leading broadcasting corporations in the country, has failed to pay taxes to the Inland Revenue Department for many years, reports say. At a time tax evasion has become a major issue in SL, the failure of a state corporation in paying their dues has become a much talked about topic. According to reports the SLBC has failed to pay the required taxes for many years. more..

When a Tamil Catholic priest went missing in Jaffna ten years ago

Aug 20 (DBS) Exactly ten years ago on August 20th 2006 a member of the Catholic Clergy along with a member of the Catholic Laity went missing in the north. Clergyman was Fr. Thiruchelvam Nihal Jim Brown who was serving as a priest in the Catholic Diocese of Jaffna. Layman was Wenceslaus Vimaladhas a social worker. Day in question was a Sunday. Fr.Jim Brown had assisted in the morning mass at Kayts Church. more..

Rail security beefed up after vandalism death

Aug 20 (ST) More railway security guards, including plain-clothed officials, are being recruited to combat hoodlums hurling missiles at moving trains following the death of a man hit by a thrown bottle. The Superintendent of the Railways Protection Force, Anura Premaratne, said undercover security officials had been placed in various locations after a Zonal Education Dy Director was hit when a person in Orugodawatta, more..

Smith angry with himself over his dismissals

Aug 20 (CI) In the aftermath of Australia's 0-3 whitewash at the hands of Sri Lanka, captain Steven Smith has spoken about his annoyance at the nature of his dismissals and his frustration that his side had failed to capitalise on good positions. Smith was twice bowled by Rangana Herath while attempting to cut, and was also stumped twice and trapped lbw once off the same bowler. He admitted to mulling over those dismissals and more..

Govt locks horns with popular room tariff

Aug 20 (ST) The govt remains determined to go ahead with the popular call for a removal of the state enforced minimum room rates on Colombo city hotels in the face of growing opposition. Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said that they are going ahead with a decision to abandon minimum rooms from next year, and would not give in to a “handful of people who don’t want to part with it.” Minister believes this would help more..

‘Tamil diaspora can help rebuild Sri Lanka’

Aug 20 (Hindu) An atmosphere conducive to find a permanent political solution to the Sri Lankan Tamil issue is emerging now and it is the moral responsibility of the Tamil diaspora to join in reconstruction efforts, according to a group of Tamil MPs from SL. Addressing a press conference in India, Sivagnanam Siritharan, Kilinochi MP, said that with the coming together of two major political parties and the efforts of several nations, more..

Australia seeks SL guarantee to revoke Gunaratnam’s citizenship

Aug 20 (Island) The Australian govt has told the breakaway JVP faction, the Front-line Socialist Party (FSP) that it could revoke its leader Kumar Gunaratnam’s Australian citizenship only if Sri Lanka guaranteed he would be given Sri Lankan citizenship again. FSP spokesperson Pubudu Jagoda said that their leader wanted to revert to Sri Lankan citizenship though he obtained Australian citizenship during the previous administration. more..

Eastern undergrads hold Minister Kiriella incommunicado

Aug 20 (Island) Undergraduates of the Eastern University yesterday held Minister Lakshman Kiriella incommunicado for hours till he agreed to give them a written assurance that he would solve the problems they were faced with. The minister arrived at the university around 9.30 am to declare open several buildings, but the students stopped his car at the entrance, demanding that their grievances be redressed. more..

'Can't oblige JO by not signing OMP Bill'

Aug 20 (DM) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said he could not oblige the joint opposition request to desist from signing the OMP Bill which was passed in Parliament on Aug 11 amid protests by the JO. “To be fair by the opposition however, I will seek legal advice before signing the OMP Bill,” he said. The Speaker said he had no option but to accept the decision of the majority in Parliament made up of 173 of the 225. more..

Winning is all about bonding

Aug 20 (CT) When Sri Lanka was winning its first silver medal at the 1948 Olympics it had already got its freedom. In those early days as a free nation, in the area of sports, Sri Lanka had a place in the region and in 1973 Sri Lanka had its first world champion M.J.M. Lafir, winning the World Billiard Championship. In 1996 we were the winners of the cricket world cup, having been accepted to the world stage in 1975. Although we would have liked to have this written on a local athlete representing more..

The curtain comes down on an all-round performance

Aug 20 (ST) To start one’s career as an actor in serious plays – from stylised drama to dialogue plays – move over to cinema, then to comedies and end up in teledramas making viewers roar with laughter is real talent. He had that talent. True, many had misgivings about his moving over to hilarious characters but he proved that he was not just the slapstick-type but was able to make his audience appreciate clean humour. To be picked by Professor Sarachchandra to play the key role of more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

The Tamil leadership after the 1977 elections

Aug 20 (CT) Amirthalingam had many flaws as a politician. A non-violent struggle to which he was verbally committed would have meant building up a mass-movement. Federal Party (TULF’s predecessor) had developed as a mass-movement in the latter 1950s, but this was on the wane in the 60s for reasons including the nationalisation of schools, which made many school teachers govt servants overnight. Moreover, a feasible goal for non-violent action would have been more..

Hakkapatas kills Grade 5 boy

Aug 20 (CT) A 10-year-old boy, P.M. Sasindu, of Hambegamuwa in Thanamalwila who was scheduled to sit the Grade Five Scholarship Exam, died after tampering with a small home-made explosive yesterday that blew up in his face, killing him immediately. The explosive, called a hakkapatas, had been a snare for wild boars. The tragedy happened around mid-day yesterday, Police said. Boy had discovered the explosive while playing with his younger brother in the garden. more..

FDI lowest in 10 years

Aug 20 (CT) Political stability and policy consistency were imperative to attract foreign investments, an economist said. Professor Prema-Chandra Athukorala, Professor of Economics, Australian National University, speaking at a function said Sri Lanka foreign direct investments (FDI) inflows to SL were the lowest on record last year. Total FDI receipts last year, excluding foreign loans, amounted to US$ 681 million, more..

A testimony for the trishaw

Aug 20 (Island) A battered drum is being banged once again by bureaucratic buffoons who have decided to reduce the number of trishaws operating on our roads - a decision made by people who have never seen the inside of a trishaw nor know anything about their drivers/ owners. The stupidity of their oratory is reminiscent of the hilarious spectacle of some years back when a VVIP toured the Tsunami disaster area in knee-high boots and protective armour of surgical apron, cap, gloves and more..

Ancient Parakarma Samudraya bund being lost to bricks and roads

Aug 20 (ST) The ancient Parakrama Samudraya’s bund which lies outside the boundaries of the present tank is being destroyed by villagers without knowing its archaeological value, a study carried out by a young researcher shows. Indika Manawadu, a self-thought researcher and explorer, whose work has won appreciation from the Archaeologists community, said the ancient bund was found outside the archeological reserve of the ancient city. But it had been destroyed in places such as more..

Proposed Engineering Council Bill inimical to profession: FSP

Aug 20 (Island) Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) alleged that the enactment of the proposed Engineering Council Bill would be severely inimical to the profession and therefore the ruling coalition and other political parties and groups in parliament should review the Bill. FSP spokesperson Pubudu Jagoda urged professionals to take up the issue with the political parties represented in Parliament. Jagoda said that more..

Pre-university GELT course and a new driver

Aug 20 (CT) In 1993 I took on a new responsibility in addition to my work at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura (USJP) and the supervision of the AUC General English and English Diploma courses. This was the pre-university General English Language Training (GELT) Course. My involvement arose from meeting Prof A. J. Gunawardena on the flight back from my visit to Bellagio, and him telling me that he had suggested to the UGC Chairman that I be asked to run the course. more..

Drugs, alcohol blight Vedda villages

Aug 20 (CT) Several mothers of the country's indigenous Vedda community say that most of their people were facing a pathetic plight at its main village Dambana and at its nearby villages. These women said the illicit narcotics menace had also begun encroaching into Dambana and had already spread its ugly tentacles to nearby villages, snaring scores of families in the villages. These mothers in the Vedda community said their youth had also fallen prey to the drug menace more..

War widows in backdoor exit to the Gulf for survival: Officials

Aug 20 (ST) Govt Agents (GA) of the North brought to the attention of the SLBFE that war-affected women living under the poverty line, were leaving to the Middle East on the sly, as housemaids, without being documented. DS of Mullaithivu and Kilinochchi have written to the SLBFE seeking the Dept’s help to track the women who are being misled by foreign employment agencies, and hold awareness programmes more..

Mano claims he was offered millions to contest Prez polls

Aug 20 (AD) Minister Mano Ganesan says that a certain group had proposed that he contest the 2015 Presidential Election as a separate group and that he was promised millions of rupees in order to do so. He was addressing a ceremony held in Kotahena today to facilitate the leaders of Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) in view of the one year anniversary of the national govt. He stated that they wanted him to be the presidential candidate and with the backing of Palani Digambaram and more..

Shattered Australia faced with important selection decisions

Aug 20 (CI) A change of clothing, a change of ball, a change of format, a change of personnel. A change of fortune? Australia would certainly hope so. After the humiliation of the No. 1 Test side in the world being whitewashed by the No. 7, Steven Smith's men are now searching for a win - any old win - to restore a little bit of self-confidence. There are two pieces of good news for Australia that will encourage them ahead of this five-match ODI series. One: Rangana Herath is not playing. more..

Unavailability of crew member delays SriLankan flight

Aug 20 (AD) SriLankan Airlines today apologized to customers following the prolonged delay on flight UL554 from Frankfurt to Colombo, due to unavailability of a flight crew member on Friday. The flight had been delayed by around 15 hours. “Due to unavailability of a flight crew member, the aircraft was unable to leave Frankfurt as scheduled last afternoon.” The airline expects flight to depart at 0400 UTC today more..

IDPs in Jaffna to be resettled by year-end

Aug 20 (Hindu) SL govt will complete the resettlement of landless IDP in the Jaffna district by year-end. According to an earlier plan, the process was to be completed this month. A release issued by the Resettlement Ministry put the number of landless IDP families in Jaffna at 936 whereas, at the time of the Cabinet approval last month for housing, the figure mentioned was 971. One hundred houses, being built in Keerimalai near Kankesanthurai, with the support of the Sri Lanka Army, more..

Kalpitiya land fraud exposed

Aug 20 (ST) The Govt has reacquired 200 acres of state lands at Aalankudawa in Kalpitiya following allegations that some former Pradeshiya Sabha members and a Provincial Councillor had used forged documents to lease them out to investors, an official said. Kalpitiya Divisional Secretary Sunanda Herath said he had instructed these lands should be maintained by the Government and that they should not be leased without approval from the Secretary to the Lands Ministry. more..

Colour code system for salt, fat level in food and beverages

Aug 20 (DN) A colour code system will be introduced within the next three months for salt level and fat level in all food and beverages. A traffic light system for sugar contents in all beverages is now effective, Health Services Director General Dr. Palitha Mahipala said. He said the colour code labeling system for sugar level in all beverages except milk based drinks is implemented and the public can select what level of sugar more..

India made vehicles remain at top in Sri Lanka even as overall registration figures fall

Aug 20 (ENS) India-made vehicles have managed to remain at the top in new motor vehicle registration in Sri Lanka even as registrations as a whole hit a new low. In the Brand New Segment, 1331 vehicles were registered in July, down from 1490 units in the previous month and from 6773 units 12 months ago. But 663 of the 1331 units registered in July were from the Maruti stable. And this has been an improvement since June, when 633 Mautis were registered. more..

Next round of talks on ETCA to be held in Delhi

Aug 20 (DM) The next round of official talks on the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India will be conducted in New Delhi, next month, diplomatic sources said. The first round of talks was conducted in Colombo recently with the participation of an Indian delegation. Director General of Commerce had led the Sri Lankan delegation. In the meantime, Indian Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will arrive in the country next week for talks on ETCA. more..

Study shows problems with snake anti-venom

Aug 20 (ST) Research shows one of two kinds of anti-venom imported from India might not be very effective against some venomous snakes in Sri Lanka, where 40,000 people are hospitalised due to snakebite each year. The research team checked several batches of Indian antivenom from the VINS and Bharat brands, the only antivenom (antivenene) available in Sri Lankan hospitals for many decades. They are made to counter bites by 4 major more..

Thajudeen killing footage sent to Canada

Aug 20 (Island) Colombo Additional Magistrate gave permission to the CID to send CCTV footage obtained from cameras in and around the place where ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen was murdered to a Canadian computer analytical institute to get an expert opinion on those recordings. The CID informed the court that the police had obtained CCTV footage on the date and its surrounding dates pertaining to the death of the rugger player and arrangements had been made to obtain more..