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Book on Lankan war crimes hits stands in India

Aug 2 (ENS) With a view to giving Tamil readers an exclusive insight and a better understanding of the controversial UN Panel report on Lankan war crimes, Chennai-based Manitham Publishers has published a book titled ‘War Criminal’ (Por Kutravali), which has reproduced the whole report in Tamil. The publisher of the 328-page book, which has already hit the stands in the city, more..

Heads of local bodies sworn in

Aug 2 (DM) The Ward System will be introduced at the local council level shortly and local councillors must be prepared to carry out a vigorous development programme in the wards allocated to them, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday. Addressing the swearing-in ceremony of the heads and deputy heads of the 45 local councils won by the UPFA at the July 23 polls, the President said more..

Rights group: Sri Lankan war report is a whitewash

Aug 2 (AP) An international rights group on Tuesday called Sri Lanka's report on its 26-year civil war an attempt to whitewash growing evidence of alleged government atrocities. Two years after the conflict ended, Sri Lanka conceded for the first time this week that troops caused civilian deaths in the last months of fighting against Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Card Joseph Cardijn’s ‘review of life’ remembered in Bangkok

Aug 3 (AN) The Cardijn Community International (CCI), an international movement inspired by the message of Card Joseph Cardijn, recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. For three days (23-25 July), CCI members held meetings and seminars during which they also marked the 44th anniversary of the death of the Belgian prelate, who had founded the Young Christian Workers (YCW) movement and promoted the principle of the “review of life”. more..

Addl. Education director caught with his pants down

Aug 3 (DM) An Additional Education Director was beaten and handed over to the Katugastota Police after he was found with a girl at a rest house in Katugastota by the girl’s relatives. The 20 year-old girl had been studying at the same school in Katugastota in which the education director, had been the Principal, which led to the latter having an affair with her. After receiving information that the couple was at a rest house in Katugastota, the relatives of the girl more..

Former Sri Lanka captain Gamini Goonasena dies at 80

Aug 3 (CI) Gamini Goonesena, the former Sri Lanka captain and allrounder who also played for Cambridge University and Nottinghamshire, has died at the age of 80 in Canberra. Goonesena played for Sri Lanka in the country's pre-Test era and captained them against India in the unofficial Test played at the P Sara Oval in 1956. He captured seven wickets for 69 with his leg-spin and top-scored for his side with 48. more..

Sri Lanka Navy rescues Indian fishing trawler

Aug 3 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy rescued an Indian fishing trawler which had run aground on the sand banks in the North-western seas of Sri Lanka on 31st July 2011. The Indian fishing trawler, named “Selvaboodhi” and bearing the registration number TN/10/MFB/843 with five Indian fishing crew onboard, was sighted stuck in the sand banks by a SLN craft on routine patrol in the seas off Thalai-mannar. Having realized the difficulty faced by the Indian fishing crew in retrieving more..

Curtailing street lights to cut down losses

Aug 3 (SL) Minister Champika Ranawaka says the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) incurs an annual loss of Rs. 2,673 million due to power costs on street lights. Ranawaka says that a majority of the street lights were illegal. Out of the 700,000 street lights island wide, 400,000 were illegal, he has said. The govt reportedly spends Rs. 200 per day to maintain a 250kw street light. In a bid to address the issue, the Minister has proposed that street lights be lit from 7 p.m. till 5 a.m. more..

Protest in Sri Lanka condemns attack on Tamil journalist

Aug 3 (G&M) Media personnel and activists demonstrated Tuesday in Colombo, condemning an attack that seriously injured a senior Tamil journalist in Jaffna. Ganasundaram Kuhanathan, 58, was hit in the head Friday with an iron rod as he was leaving the Uthayan newspaper office in Jaffna. He was in intensive care in hospital. An estimated 500 journalists rallied against the govt, saying it had failed to protect media freedom, and against the police, saying more..

Sri Lanka India ferry service gaining speed

Aug 3 (LBO) A newly started ferry service between India and Sri Lanka is becoming more popular and the group which operates the ferry from the Indian side, Flemingo Liners plans to add more services, an official said. Flemingo chief executive P K Thimmaya said the twice weekly ferry which now carries about 250 passengers after starting with half that number. The vessel, Scotia Prince has space for 1,044 passengers with economy and luxury cabins and duty free sales. more..

Sri Lanka consumer durables sales up

Aug 3 (LBO) Singer Sri Lanka, a top consumer durables retailer said profits rose 79.9 percent in the June 2011 quarter from a year earlier as sales grew rapidly after the state cut taxes on electrical home appliances. The firm reported earnings per share of 2.34 rupees for the quarter. Revenues in the June quarter rose 37.9 percent to 5.1 billion rupees. In the half year to June revenues were also up 37 percent to 10.26 billion rupees. "Since the selling prices of most products are more..

Buddhist temple workers can't afford worship in Sri Lanka

Aug 3 (GPI) Nilantha Dias and his father operate a flower boutique in Kelaniya, a small town near Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital. The shop, which specializes in flowers and other items used for worship, is one of 11 boutiques that belong to the much revered Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara temple here. Said to have been made holy by a visit from Lord Buddha, the temple is one of the most ancient and sacred worshipping places for Buddhists in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka port begins bridge widening to ease congestion

Aug 3 (LBO) The Sri Lanka Ports Authority has started work on widening a bridge inside Colombo port to ease traffic congestion within the harbour caused by an influx of cargo as trade recovers after a war. "The new constructions would further facilitate the increased flow of container transportation in and out of the port," the SLPA said in a statement. Roads inside the port are also being widened to cater to the increasing flow of vehicles, more..

Sri Lanka 400-room resort proposal by Four Seasons: minister

Aug 3 (LBO) Canada based Four Seasons leisure group has proposed building a 400-room resort on an islet off Kalpitiya in Sri Lanka's north western coast, deputy minister Lakshman Abeywardene said. A team from Four Seasons had visited the site on July 27. The islands owned by the state are offered on lease to developers. "They are now negotiating," minister Abeywardene said. He said details about possible investments needed for the resort was not available. more..

Govt. looking at reducing the marriageable age

Aug 3 (SL) The govt is currently considering the reduction of the marriageable age in the country to 15 years. Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne says the proposal to reduce the marriageable age had been by the judiciary. The current marriageable age is 18 years and Marriage Registrars do not have the mandate to give any person below the age in marriage. Addressing the anniversary celebrations of more..

Two Sri Lankan workers drowned in Cyprus

Aug 3 (CM) Two Sri Lankan workers drowned off the coast of Dhekelia at the weekend, police said yesterday. The men, whose names have not yet been released pending their families’ notification, drowned on Sunday night when they became separated from their friends. Preliminary investigations indicate the pair, who had worked at the Nicosia racecourse and were aged 21 and 26, had not known how to swim. The incident is being investigated by SBA Dhekelia police more..

Student fallen sick during ‘leadership training’ dies

Aug 3 (LT) A female student, who fell sick during the ‘leadership training’ for university students, has died in Badulla Hospital. Nishanthi Madhushani, who had been undergoing leadership training’ at Diyathalawa Army camp had fallen ill on 29th June and was admitted to Badulla Hospital. Later, she had been admitted to the intensive care unit. The inquest report indicates the cause of death was a germ entering her lungs as a result of staying in an environment full of dust. more..

'High probability of Govt-TNA talks failing'

Aug 3 (AD) The UNP says that even though the govt is currently holding discussions with the TNA, there is a high probability that the ongoing talks will fail. The main reason for this is that the govt while discussing a political solution for the North, on the other side is making decisions politically unjust towards the Tamils, Tissa Attanayake stated. He mentioned the recent proposal to reduce the number of parliamentary seats allocated for more..

Maldives to free seven Sri Lankan fishing boats

Aug 3 (NN) The Maldives is to free seven Sri Lankan fishing boats following discussions held with the Sri Lankan govt. Deputy Minister Neomal Perera, during a official visit to the Maldives, successfully negotiated the immediate release of the seven fishing boats which were held in custody in the Maldives, and also requested the Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Dr. Ibrahim Didi, for speedy legal procedures when dealing with future such cases, more..

Health sector protest based on eight demands

Aug 3 (SL) The All Ceylon Health Services Union launched an island wide protest campaign today based on eight demands. The union launched the island wide union action today by holding a protest outside the Colombo National Hospital at noon. Head of the union, Gamini Kumarasinghe says the protest would be expanded to areas out ofColomboand the failure of the authorities to address their demands would result in severe trade union action in future. more..

Channel 4 suspect released

Aug 3 (DM) A Bristish citizen charged with aiding and abetting Channel-4 make the controversial documentary on Sri Lanka which was aired recently intended to insult the armed force and the state was released after the court stated that the suspect was not involved in with the movie. When the matter was taken up for inquiry before the Colombo Chief Magistrate, the CID filing a report in court submitted that the suspect Kandawanam Jethiswaran who was alleged to more..

Sri Lanka stx slip on profit-taking; rupee down

Aug 3 (Reuters) Stock market ended weaker from a three-week high on Tuesday, snapping five straight gains as retail investors took profits in thin-volume trading, while importer dollar demand drove the rupee down. The main share index fell 0.5 percent or 34.56 points weaker to 6,819.58, retreating from a gain of 0.8 percent in early trade. "The indices dipped on selling pressure amid low activity levels," John Keells Stockbrokers said in a note to investors. more..

Over 200 judgments in a day

Aug 3 (DM) The Anuradhapura Magistrate yesterday cleared a massive backlog of cases when she delivered judgments in 203 cases in a day. Magistrate Ms. Dharshika Wimalasiri convicted suspects in 55 percent of these cases while releasing the rest. Sentences were imposed on some of those convicted while sentences on others were reserved and their finger prints were ordered to be recorded. It was reported that almost all the case files relating to these 203 cases were destroyed when more..

President personally phones newspaper’s chairman to threaten him

Aug 3 (RSF) Reporters Without Borders firmly condemns the threats that President Mahinda Rajapaksa made in a phone call to the chairman of The Sunday Leader, Lal Wickrematunge, on 19 July because of an article reporting that China had given the president and his son, parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa, money to be used “at their discretion.” “We are extremely shocked that the president personally phones journalists in order to threaten them.” more..

Dutch period bunker found from Galle Fort

Aug 3 (LT) A bunker believed to have been built during the Dutch period has been discovered by ‘Galle Heritage Foundation’ and ‘Galle Archeology Unit.’ The explorers believe the bunker found yesterday (1) under the clock tower of Galle Fort and had been closed until then had been used as a defense bunker. There are about 14 such bunkers in the Galle Fort but they had been restored or remodeled during the British period. However, the bunker that was discovered yesterday had more..

Rangiri Dambulu seats removed again

Aug 3 (LT) Cricket authorities have attempted to dismantle seats in Rangiri Dambulu stadium to be taken to Pallekale Cricket Stadium says our reporter at Dambulla. As a result of intervention by the Chairman and several Counselors of the Dambulla Municipal Council the removal of seats has been halted. The T-20 cricket match between Sri Lanka and the visiting Australian team is to be played at Pallekale Stadium on the 6th and the seats have been removed from Dambulla Stadium to be fixed at Pallekale. more..

Dilshan wary of youthful Australia

Aug 3 (AFP) Sri Lanka skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan insisted his team would not be taking Australia lightly despite the youthful look to the tourists' squad. The skipper will be without injured opening bowler Lasith Malinga for the two Twenty20 matches against Australia but said he wanted his younger players to take the opportunity to perform for the side. "Australian usually play very hard. They may be a bit inexperienced. But they are tough opponents," more..

Annual festival of Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil on Thursday

Aug 3 (GDI) The annual festival of ‘Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil’ in Jaffna will take place on 04 August. This is the most important festival of the Jaffna Peninsular held in July-August (26 days before the August new moon). The event which brings together hundreds of thousands of Jaffna natives living across the world is known to be the island’s longest festival. Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil or Nallur Murugan Kovil is one of the most significant Hindu temples in the Jaffna District of Sri Lanka. more..

New business Act

Aug 3 (NN) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka says stern action will be taken against illegal financial institutions which run public cash deposits. The government is to introduce new rules and regulations to avert this kind of illegal activities. Assistant Governor of the Central Bank Dharma Dheerasinghe told SLBC that a new Bill called Financial Business Act will be introduced soon. The Central Bank has already declared approved legal financial institutions to deposit public money. more..

Journalist in two divided demos

Aug 3 (BBC) Reflecting the political divide in Sri Lanka, pro- and anti-government demonstrations have been taking place in the capital, Colombo. A pro-government rally was held in protest against the British broadcaster Channel 4 which has recently aired two programmes alleging that Sri Lankan forces committed war crimes. In a smaller demonstration, journalists blamed pro-government elements for severely beating up a Tamil journalist in more..

Local Government Elections: Lessons Learnt

Aug 8 (DM) The ethnic based TNA which during the war always fronted for the LTTE won 15 of the 20 local govt bodies. The TULF won two, while the multi ethnic, national level UPFA won only three. The UPFA however had small footholds in almost all the northern electorates. If the rest of the country is included, the UPFA won 45 of the 65 local governments for which elections were held. As the UPFA secured all 39 councils where the Sinhalese were in the majority, the more..

Abused child forced to leave the school by the principal

Aug 3 (LG) Saliya Chandrasena and Padma Jayanthi are the parents of an 11 year child, Aruna Dinujaya Chandrasena. They wanted to admit their child to a better school for his education so in May 2011 they admitted their child to Lakpahana Adventist College Mailapitiya to year 6. During the process of admitting the child the principal asked the parents to pay Rs. 116,600/= to the school which they did. Later the child was sent to the school's hostel. Then after one week the child more..

The holy month of Ramadan

Aug 3 (LG) The Glorious and Holy Month of Ramadan has commenced. In this Month of Glory, Forbearance, Patience and Brotherhood we ask Allah the Almighty and Exalted to make us successful in fasting this holy month, rising during its days and nights, getting close to Him and humbly praying to Him, reciting the Holy Qur'an with pondering, and making use of its true guidance, clear signs, and criterion. The Holy Prophet of Islam (S.A.W.) has said: more..

Norway, Killing fields and double standards

Aug 3 (DM) The election results in the North were no doubt a slap on the wrist on the part of the govt. Once again, they said that their issues are too acute to be balmed by roads and bridges being built in the North. This once again fuelled the talks of the eelamists, made them urge the govt to look for a sustainable solution to their problems and flashed a red light at the govt to get their priorities right. One cannot be too optimistic about the North’s welcoming the state more..

Fighting LTTE International; harder during peace than war

Aug 3 (DM) The death of Prabhakaran only removed the LTTE’s military strength from Sri Lankan soil. Separatism was only one element of a larger network of illegal dealings and an international agenda of de-stability. The fact that the LTTE; behind the façade of seeking a Tamil nation ran a multi-million dollar business of drugs, arms, shipping and human smuggling etc, can not be removed from the equation when the government seeks to fight the ‘remnants’ of the LTTE. more..

Public Opinion on the Private Sector Pension Scheme

Aug 3 (DM) Roshen Chanaka Ratnasekera was shot dead by the Police while attempting to protect not only his economic freedom but that of all of us. The twenty one year old was protesting against a proposal that the Govt insisted was a mandatory plan to "provide all employees in the private sector a pension to maintain a decent lifestyle upon retirement". Even though at first glance the pension plan looked to be an extraordinary benefit he was to receive upon more..

Karu’s time

Aug 3 (LB) Elections were held for some sixty plus local govt authorities last week. The UNP lost and lost badly. So did the JVP. Udul Premaratne, ex-convenor of the IUSF, a known athakoluwa of the rathu sahodarayas and a shameless pawn of Eelamism-in-Decline, might realize that being anti-Sri Lankan will not get his party any votes. The communalist TNA did well, as expected in areas that are overwhelmingly Tamil, indicating more a preference for kind than for policy. more..

Gated communities slam down the gates!

Aug 3 (LB) There were a total of 23 Pradesiya Sabhas and Urban Councils in Tamil majority areas up for grabs on 23 July (Jaffna District 16, Killinochchi 3, Amparai 2, Mullaitivu 1 and Trinco just 1 Tamil majority UC). The TNA or a TNA alliance won every single one; well not quite, three small island sabhas, which were locked down and rigged by a politico-military operation, went to the UPFA in its Douglas avatar. Typical of the emotions of the Tamil man would be Nallur, more..

CMC to formulate participatory budget

Aug 3 (SO) Preparing budget proposals for the administration of the commercial capital of the country seems to be a challenging task. This task is becoming a more challenging one when the city is administered in the absence of people’s representatives. The Colombo Municipal Council which is now being run under the administration of a Special Commissioner appointed by the President, following the dissolution of its council few years back due to corruption charges more..

Editorial: Obama's debt deal

Aug 3 (Island) It is no exaggeration that the global economy had a close shave the other day. The US succeeded in averting disaster by bringing under control a mega debt crisis, which would have forced it to default for the first time in its history, sending not only its national economy but also many others into a tailspin. Nay, such a default would have triggered an economic tsunami across the world! However, trouble is far from over for the US. more..