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AG gives undertaking to court not to send nursing baby jumbo to NZ till Sept 27

Aug 4 (Island) The Attorney General yesterday gave an undertaking to the Court of Appeal that the state would not take further steps to send baby-elephant, Nandi to New Zealand until Sept. 27, 2016, the next date of calling of the writ application filed by Animal Rights Activists. Status quo will remain until that time. The petitioners have complained to the court that Nandi is still being breast-fed by her mother and even other female elephants of the herd at Pinnawala. more..

SL hoists national flag at Games Village

Aug 4 (DN) Sri Lanka contingent, which checked in at the Athletes’ Village of the XXX1st summer Olympic Games, hoisted the national flag at their compound at a ceremony held last night. Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera graced the flag hoisting ceremony of the Sri Lanka contingent, along with the officials of the National Olympic Committee of SL, some members of the SL contingent and the Mayor of the Olympic Games Village here. Most of the participating teams of the 207-nation Games more..

About 40% Sri Lankans consume alcohol

Aug 4 (Island) Nearly 40% of Sri Lankan adults––more than 35% males and two per cent females––consume alcohol, National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) says. Addressing the media to announce the National Alcohol Summit-2016 scheduled to commence today, NATA Chairman, Dr Palitha Abeykoon, said a survey carried out in 2008 showed over 48% Sri Lankan men consumed alcohol. more..

Framework for democracy, reconciliation and development in place: Mangala

Aug 4 (DM) Minister Mangala Samaraweera said the National Unity Govt was now putting in place the framework for democracy, reconciliation and development. Addressing the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2016, he said this framework would break-through Sri Lanka’s post-Independence malaise of consistently missing opportunities and simply doing too little too late. “We have made great strides in the areas of democratisation and foreign affairs. We are making progress on reconciliation. more..

Top experts to share latest threats, challenges to cyber security

Aug 4 (FT) Several global and local experts will share key insights on the latest threats and challenges to the cyber security of companies, institutions and individuals next week at the fourth annual summit organised jointly by the Daily FT and CICRA Consultancies. Dedicated this year to focusing on the internal and external threats and challenges confronting organisations, the one-day 2016 Cyber Security Summit on 9 August will be held at Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel Colombo. more..

'Hooting: Foolish act, if happened'

Aug 4 (DM) Former President Rajapaksa said it was a foolish act if the JO supporters hooted in front of the SLFP headquarters during the Paada Yathra. He said there was no such incident in his presence and he would never let such things to take place. He also said it was foolish to engage in such an act, as it was their party headquarters. “Some other political party could have been involved in this incident as some people are used to more..

Branding for our pineapples

Aug 4 (EN) Sri Lanka is seeking geographical indication (GI) for pineapples to certify the country of origin, head of the state export promotion office said. Indira Malwatte, head of SL's Export Development Board, said the fruit will be branded as the Ceylon Pineapple. "We believe Ceylon Pineapples have a special qualities," she told a forum in Colombo organized by CCC. Sri Lanka is also trying to prevent the abuse of the Ceylon Tea brand brand and Ceylon Cinnamon with GI certification. more..

Arrest warrant out for singer

Aug 4 (CT) Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya issued a warrant for the arrest of popular singer M.G. Dhanushka, as he was not present in Court, when a case, regarding his singing renowned singer M.S. Fernando's songs without permission, was taken up for hearing. The case had been filed against popular singer Dhanushka by Sarath Fernando who had made a complaint to CID that Dhanushka was singing well known Baila Singer M.S. Fernando's songs without permission. more..

Govt mulls mass public sector reforms

Aug 4 (FT) Govt efforts at Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) have to be uncomplicated and centered on reality checks of past failures said panelists who participated in the closing session of the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2016, organised by the CCC. Minister Malik Samarawickrama, Minister Mangala Samraweera, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake and Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PERMANDU) Malaysia CEO more..

Over 150 Int’l companies to showcase at Sri Lanka Lab and Medical Expo

Aug 4 (DN) More than 150 internationally reputed pharmaceutical and medical companies from ten countries will come together to showcase state-of-the-art Analytical, Scientific, and Biotechnology related instruments at the Sri Lanka Lab and Medical Expo. Serving as a platform for over 500 brands, the landmark event will also serve as an unprecedented hub for networking and knowledge sharing, drawing participation from leading international business leaders, govt officials, more..

Mother, two children killed at unprotected level crossing

Aug 4 (DN) Three persons - a woman and two children - were killed when a train collided with a motorcycle at an unprotected railway crossing in Weragala, Andagala in the Wellawa Police Division. The accident occurred while the gate keepers manning unprotected railway crossings were on a strike demanding a wage hike. “The accident occurred yesterday at around 10.30 a.m,” Police said. The victims have been identified as a mother and two daughters of the same family. more..

'Govts moving away from doing business'

Aug 4 (DN) Govts of most of the countries are moving away from doing business and Sri Lanka too should follow this, Minister Kabir Hashim said. Speaking at the 12th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) Ministerial Panel highlighting the Important Role of The Private Sector in Regional Economic Integration he said that globally there is a trend that the public sector is shrinking and the private sector is leading the way. more..

Weeratunga’s passport returned

Aug 4 (CT) Colombo High Court Judge ordered that the confiscated passport of former Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga be handed back to him and allowed him to go abroad on a Rs 10 million bond. Suspect is charged with misappropriating a sum of Rs 600 million belonging to TRC on the pretext of distributing Sil cloth from 30 Oct 2014 to 5 Jan 2015. Suspect is also charged with depositing the misappropriated amount in an account maintained by BOC at its Taprobane branch. more..

Turf war claims life of another underworld figure

Aug 4 (Island) An ongoing underworld turf war on Tuesday night claimed another life. The victim was Chamika Madhuranga alias Podi Chanaka accused of heroin peddling, extortion, contract killing and other crimes. He was shot at Katuwawala in Boralesgamuwa. Podi Chanaka had been pursued by members of a rival gang while he was riding a motorcycle to visit one of his friends in Piliyandala. Chanaka, sensing danger, jumped off his motorcycle and started running. more..

Ranil on convergence of politics, economics and faith

Aug 4 (FT) Let me thank you at the outset for inviting me to this, the twelfth World Islamic Economic Forum in the dynamic city of Jakarta. This Forum takes place at a pivotal time for the global economy, which is still, eight years after the event, coming to terms with the after-shocks of the global economic crisis of 2008. Islamic nations of the world have, by and large, weathered this economic storm far better than other countries. more..

School uniform grant TO be increased

Aug 4 (CT) Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam says, the amount given to students for official school uniforms will be increased with effect from next year. Addressing a gathering at an event at a school in Galgamuwa, he said the govt had been able to save a sum of Rs 600 million this year through the new formula adopted by the government In relation to school uniforms. He said, the financial grant for student uniforms will be further increased in 2016. more..

University strike continues

Aug 4 (Island) The strike launched by the university non academic and administrative staff would continue as discussions with the Chairman of the UGC had failed yesterday. The strike commenced on July 27. All academic activities in universities have been crippled and examinations postponed due to the strike. President of Inter University Trade Union Joint Committee said that they had met UGC Chairman Prof. Mohan de Silva on Wednesday, but they had not received any written assurance more..

UNP Deputy Ministers to resign?

Aug 4 (CT) A group of UNP Deputy Ministers are planning to resign from their positions shortly, as they have become disgusted with the conduct of certain Ministers in the govt. Sources said, the particular group of UNP Deputy Ministers had decided to resign not because of any shortcomings on the part of the Govt, but due primarily to the failure of certain Ministers to vest any powers in them. UNP Deputy Ministers are fed up with more..

8 International bids for SriLankan, Mihin

Aug 4 (CT) Minister Kabir Hashim said yesterday that eight international carriers have offered to enter into a partnership with the govt to administer SriLankan Airlines and its subsidiary Mihin Lanka. Several other companies have also expressed their interest in similar arrangements. This has made govt extend the closing date for such expressions of interest by another month, he said. "We were worried because we got no offers when we invited such expressions of interest. more..

Rajapaksa govt’s hi-tech wiretapping devices seized: Harin

Aug 4 (Island) Hi-tech equipment imported by Rajapaksa regime meant for tapping telephones had been seized govt said. Minister Harin Fernando, said that the equipment costing US$ 150,000 would be returned to the supplier since Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration has no need for such devices. Rajapaksas had spent the greater part of their ten years in power, spying on the people and Opposition members while filling their pockets and imposing economic hardships on the people, more..

Ordinary villagers will not care if SriLankan Airlines is privatized: JVP chief

Aug 4 (EN) A Sri Lankan villager in a remote area will not care if loss-making SriLankan Airlines is privatized, but the govt should have an interest in enterprises which are close to the lives of the people, the leaders of the country's most vocal Marxist Party said. "A villager Polonnaruwa will not care who owns SriLankan Airlines," Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who heads Marxist JVP told an economic forum organized by the CCC. more..

A new paradise or the risk of universal doom

Aug 4 (DM) Saturday August 6, marks the 71st anniversary of the Hiroshima nuclear bomb holocaust. On August 6 1945, during World War II (1939-45), an American B-29 bomber dropped the world’s first atomic bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The explosion wiped out 90% of the city and killed 80,000 people. Tens of thousands more would later die of radiation-exposure. Three days later, a second B-29 dropped another A-bomb on Nagasaki, killing an estimated 40,000 people. more..

Back on the block

Aug 4 (DM) In the Denzel Washington movie The Equalizer, a character explains his behaviour after an especially dramatic scene, saying It sends a message: I am here. That is the single most important effect of the significant Paada Yatra, the long march from Kandy to Colombo. Mahinda Rajapaksa has sent that same message to the political establishment and its external backers: I AM HERE. Joint Opposition has done so collectively, saying “You may perpetrate fraud that TNA more..

The March as a test of Yahapaalanaya

Aug 4 (DM) What did the Joint Opposition achieve by marching from Kandy to Colombo? What does it say about the strength of the joint Opposition? Does it say anything about the strength or otherwise of what is being called, tongue-in-cheek, the Official SLFP? Has to solidified the alliance between the SLFP and the UNP? Was it an exercise poorly timed because SLFP/UNP govt have been in power only for a year and a half more..

No AG power shift sans constitution change

Aug 4 (SL) Unless the Constitution is amended, the govt’s plan to give audit powers to a 3-member Audit Commission is invalid, says a senior high ranking Audit Officer at the AG’s Department. Govt’s proposed plan to grant powers to a three-member Audit Commission through the National Audit Act had come under severe criticism by the Auditor General’s Department and the Audit Officer added that they will not allow the pruning of more..

Call to abolish Sri Lanka's land reform law

Aug 4 (EN) Sri Lanka should abolish a land reform law that placed ceiling on citizens' ownership of private land to 20 hectares, blocking land aggregation and commercial agriculture, an economist and former official involved in privatisation policy has said. The Soviet-style law was aimed at taking over privately-held land and re-distributing it to the landless. But a lot of the land was still held in the govt's hand. more..

Students’ Action Committee to launch series of protests against SAITM

Aug 4 (DN) Medical Faculty Students’ Action Committee Convener, Ryan Jayalath said they are ready to launch a series of continuous protests against the SAITM at Malabe until it is absorbed to the state. Jayalath said the SAITM private medical faculty has not met the necessary standard criteria and the medical degree offered by the SAITM cannot be accepted by the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC). more..

Lanka Nippon BizTech Institute opens in Maharagama

Aug 4 (DN) Lanka Nippon BizTech Institute (LNBTI) - a Japanese based technology university, opened in Maharagama last week. It will provide an array of educational opportunities with an ambition to offer qualifications of the highest quality. The LNBTI is a partnership between Metatechno Japan, a company that specializes in developing embedded software for electronics and computer device manufacturers around the world, and more..

Gate keepers’ protest disrupts train services

Aug 4 (DN) Trains along the Northern Railway line came to a halt last morning due to a protest by the Northern railway line gate keepers, inconveniencing thousands of passengers. The protesters demanded authorities for job permanency and a Rs. 5,000 salary increase. Around 50 gate keepers converged at the Medawachchiya railway crossing and closed the railway gate thus blocking the path of 2 trains that had arrived at station. more..

'Govt trying to sneak out dialysis to India'

Aug 4 (DM) GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said he had learnt that of attempts by the top brass of the Govt to outsource dialysis service of kidney patients to Indian companies. He was delivering a speech at the function to mark the launch of book titled Wakugadu Satana by Dr. Channa Jayasumana. He said his office learnt of such a project proposal by the Govt to be implemented through surreptitious means. more..

No more political activities at 23 public grounds in Colombo

Aug 4 (DM) Political rallies and meetings will no longer be held at some 23 public grounds located in Colombo and its suburbs including the Hyde Park Corner, Colombo Municipality said. Among the 23 grounds, the renovation works of some ten public grounds had already begun, CMC Commissioner M.K.V.Anura said. No political party or trade union would be allowed to hold their rallies and meetings at the grounds more..

Victims and witnesses: No protection, but persecution

Aug 4 (ST) On a humid night in February, Sudesh Nandimal left his sister’s house in Moratuwa to buy credit for his mobile phone. Four men milled about the gate. A vehicle was stopped a short distance away, its parking lights on. They were still there when he returned and crowded around him. “You’re Nandimal, aren’t you?” one asked. He confirmed that he was. Machang, the man said, ominously, “don’t pull up the prison case. more..

SL & China agree on forming joint committee

Aug 4 (CG) Govts of China and Sri Lanka have agreed on forming a Sri Lanka-China Joint Committee, Chinese Embassy in Colombo said today. The agreement was reached following the recent visit to Hambantota by the Chinese Ambassador Yi Xianliang. Ambassador had visited Hambantota and later held an on-the-spot meeting with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on the construction of the Sri Lanka-China Industrial Zone. more..

The Pros and Cons of JO’s Agitation

Aug 4 (CT) It's against the backdrop of a toned down Tamil Tiger separatist ideology demand that's been pushed by the unapologetic LTTE proxy, to wit, the TNA, that some of today's Joint Opposition protests and sundry protests carried out at the behest of the JO, are being staged. As far as the leaders of the govt are concerned, moral factors had, of necessity, to be compromised in favour of political priorities, predominantly, that of getting rid of the Rajapaksa regime which more..

Newly discovered goblin spiders named in honour of Muller, Ondaatje and Selvadurai

Aug 4 (Island) National Institute of Fundamental Studies (NIFS) scientists have named three new Sri Lankan tiny goblin spiders of the genus Brignolia species in honour of prominent Sri Lanka authors. NIFS Science Education and Dissemination Unit Communication and Media Officer Pradeep Piyathilake said that the study authored by NIFS scientist Prof. Suresh Benjamin and his graduate student Sasanka Ranasinghe was a result of a country-wide survey and careful study of more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Why the Pâda Yâtrâ had only one objective

Aug 4 (CT) Yahapaalana govt must realise one thing, namely that freedom and liberty has a way of consuming itself. Plainly, and demonstrably the Pâda Yâtrâ led by the so-called Joint Opposition (JO) had just one purpose. This was to frighten those who are entrusted with investigating the serious charges for murder, embezzlement and abuse against Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family and against 2nd line of leaders. Pâda Yâtrâ was a campaign of the accused & the impugned. more..

MR and team off to S. Korea

Aug 4 (DM) Former President Rajapaksa is to leave for South Korea along with a team of MPs from JO tonight. Former Minister G.L. Peiris was to accompany him and others. During the stay, he will meet with SL community living there. After the defeat at the Presidential Election in January, last year, he undertook foreign visits to countries such as Japan, Uganda and Thailand. MPs Dalles Alahapperuma, Bandula Gunawardane and Piyal Nisantha are among delegation members. more..

Australia lose openers after SL make 281

Aug 4 (CI) A wicket fell from the first ball of the first innings of this Test. A wicket fell from the second ball of the second innings. Ten others tumbled throughout the opening day in Galle, where Mitchell Starc's reverse swing was just as much of a weapon as the anticipated turn on a very dry pitch. But in amongst it all was some good batting, from Kusal Mendis especially. Forget about two tiers of Test cricket, two divisions of batting already more..

Weight of history bears down on Australia

Aug 4 (CI) In their efforts to overcome Sri Lanka this week in Galle, Australia will not just be battling the vagaries of Asian conditions and the skills of Rangana Herath, Kusal Mendis and Lakshan Sandakan. Steven Smith's men will also be confronting history - almost 140 years of it. Never in all their years of Test matches, dating back to 1877, have Australia come back from 1-0 down to win a three-match series. The last time Australia successfully overturned a 1-0 deficit in any more..