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Potty Electioneering of President’s brother

July 7 (LG) Tamil votes have become more important for the Rajapakse Bros. these days. In order to lure the Tamil voters for his party and the paramilitary group of the discredited Minister Douglas Devananda, President’s brother and senior government Minister Basil Rajapakse has said that his brother the President, will give everything for the Tamils except for the lost lives in the war. At the election campaign meeting held at the Veerasingham Hall in Jaffna on July 3, 2011 the more..

The challenge for the new IGP is to win the cooperation of his ASPs

July 7 (LG) The new IGP, N.K Illangakoon, in his first public statement has admitted that there are problems in the policing system of Sri Lanka. He mentioned that the policing system has been distanced from the people. The IGP's statement should be an occasion to reflect on another, more disconcerting problem for the citizens, which is the distancing of the policing system from the law. The new IGP admitted the need to reinforce discipline within the police and more..

'False propaganda countered: Lanka on solid growth path'

July 7 (SO) Minister Nimal Sripala de Silva who was a member of the Government delegation that visited the UNHRC last month said in an interview with the Sunday Observer that their delegation effectively countered the charges levelled against Sri Lanka on the basis of the Darusman Report and the Channel 4 video footage, impressing the international community and the Council's member States that the documents, based on falsehoods, were unauthentic. more..

Mullavaaikkal: Trapping the LTTE

July 7 (LG) The issue most debated by intelligent Tamils last May, the 2nd Anniversary of Mullivaaikkaal, was the following: why did the leadership of LTTE, possessing more than three decades of military experience and expertise, stay in their last and shrinking base in Mullaiteevu until it was too late to escape into the Vanni jungle? On the 1st Anniversary we analysed the dimensions of the global war against the LTTE in the essay ‘The Tiger Safari’, of how more than 30 countries more..

Rajapaksa diplomacy

July 7 (LG) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa went into warm embraces with Presidents Hu Jintao of China and Dmitry Medvedev of Russia at the St Petersburg International Economic Conference last month but there were only brickbats for Rajapaksa from British political leaders such as David Cameron and the US State Department during the same period. The Russian and Chinese leaders had assured the Sri Lankan president of their backing against attempts by the UN, which is strongly urged by more..

A Look at what the Doping Scandals means for International Politics in Sri Lanka

July 7 (GV) In the world of international governance and law, where definitions of human rights, sovereignty, and even war are hotly contested, one rulebook is quite definite in denotation and rather absolute in punishment. An athlete has either been using performance-enhancing drugs, or he has not; he can compete and retain the titles he has won, or he cannot. The punishment for infraction usually entails a stripping of awards and banishment from more..

Is PSC the only way out?

July 7 (NS) The stage is now set to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to find a political solution to the national question. Though it was minister and EPDP leader Douglas Devananda who initially made this proposal to the recently visiting Indian delegation and then subsequently to the President, it appears the government has now hijacked it from Devananda. If this gave Devananda the much needed credit for making this bold suggestion, it still gives more acclaim to more..

Sting operation over fake astrologer

July 7 (SL) In another time – another place – she would have been branded a witch. But in this day and age, particularly in Sri Lanka where astrology is the lifeline of many a soul, hundreds are dazzled by the impossible predictions which nevertheless haunt these men and women, who more often than not are unable to explain the mechanism by which they base their predictions. This week we carried out a sting operation and successfully caught a woman astrologer in the “act” pretending to more..

Journalists barred from visiting north

July 7 (BBC) Authorities in Sri Lanka have prevented a group of journalists from visiting northern Sri Lanka despite assurances that there will be no restrictions to travel to the north. Dinasena Ratugamage who was among the group says security force personnel at Omanthai checkpoint told him not to take photographs or interview people, local and foreigners, waiting to visit north on Wednesday. He was not allowed to cross the check point without more..

Editorial: Taming Goliath or waiting for Godot?

July 7 (Island) The National Drug policy (NDP) is in the news again. The need for denying the pharmaceutical Goliath the freedom of the wild ass to dupe and exploit the voiceless people has been felt for a long time. Prof. Senaka Bibile had the courage to grasp the nettle; he formulated a drug policy about forty years ago. Since his death under suspicious circumstances overseas, there have been only a few half-hearted attempts to implement the Bibile blueprint. more..

Editorial: New Delhi and its sensitivities towards T’Nadu

July 7 (DM) India is a political reality that we as its neighbour can not ignore. As difficult as it has been to remain cordial under some of the most diplomatically trying times, this fact had always remained strong in how we dealt with India. Our politically sour past apart, the very policies adopted by her with direct impact on our stability, still remain relevant. Two years after defeating the biggest scourge the country was being denied all the successes on its path from, more..

China tops Sri Lanka loan commitments

July 7 (LBO) China has committed 760 million US dollars of new loans in the first four month of 2011, topping Japan's 413 million dollars in the same period, to reach top spot. In the first four months of the year Sri Lanka notched up 1,382 million dollars of loans. Lending agencies had given 208.8 million dollars with the World Bank committing 105.8 million US dollars, the Asian Development Bank 89.2 million and UN agencies 8.8 million dollars. more..

Ticketless travel, Railways up by Rs 77 million

July 7 (DN) The Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) had arrested 14,044 people found travelling without tickets in 2010. The collective fines had amounted to Rs 77 million. The charges include fines levied for travelling without tickets, travelling in the second class using a third class ticket, travelling beyond the destination mentioned in the ticket and illegal trading and begging. "Fifty four officials of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) attached to the Sri Lanka Railways Security Force, more..

Kumar Sangakkara proves his blade can be as mighty as his words

July 7 (Guardian) Not for the first time Kumar Sangakkara held a Sri Lanka innings together, but this time had an added piquancy as one feared that at any moment he might be ordered from the field and told to catch the Sri Lankan Airlines flight back to Colombo because he had some explaining to do. Sangakkara's address in the MCC's annual Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey lecture has been dubbed the most courageous speech in cricket history, and courageous speeches tend to have consequences. more..

When the Chinese go marching by

July 7 (SL) Twenty acres of prime crown land used by the Sri Lanka Army Headquarters since the 19th Century and fronting the Galle Road at Colombo 1, has been sold by the Govt to Shangri- La Hotels and Resorts and a Chinese Aero manufacturing firm, China Aviation Technology Import – Export Corporation (CATIC). No tenders were called but ten acres each of a total 20 acre block have been sold by the Ministry of Finance and Planning to the two companies for 12.5 and 13.6 million US Dollars per acre respectively. more..

SLA officer 'involved' in Lasantha murder

July 7 (BBC) Police in Sri Lanka say that there is evidence to suggest the involvement of a Sri Lanka army (SLA) intelligence officer in the murder of Sunday Leader editor. Lasantha Wickramatunga was shot dead in Colombo on 08 January 2009. Police Terrorism Investigation Department (TID) told Colombo High Court of technical evidence that suggest SLA intelligence officer Kandegedara Priyawansa was involved in the killing. The TID made the revelation when the more..

Mechanized gem mining licences suspended

July 7 (DN) The National Gem and Jewellery Authority in a bid to protect the environment in gem mining districts has suspended issuing licences for mechanized gem mining on the directive of Environment Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa. According to Authority's Chief Executive Officer Rohan Daluwatte the licences already issued for mechanized gem mining will not be renewed under any circumstances. He added that the circular in this regard has already been sent to the Authority's more..

UNP wants Govt. to reveal ethnic issue solution

July 7 (Island) The UNP yesterday called on the govt to present meaningful proposals to resolve the ethnic issue, if it were to participate in the Parliamentary Select Committee on the National Question. UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera said that the need for a permanent resolution of the ethnic crisis has been discussed for a very long time and unless the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime submitted a workable set of proposals to the PSC, it would turn out to more..

Lands Ministry launches mobile service in East

July 7 (Island) The Land and Land Development Ministry has launched a mobile service programme in the Eastern Province. A spokesperson for the Ministry said that the first mobile service was held at Pottuvil Divisional Secretariat in the Ampara District recently, under the patronage of Land and Land Development Minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon. Minister Tennakoon said now that the war was over the govt would act decisively to resolve long standing land issues. more..

A green and pleasant land suits England fine

July 7 (CI) If England could have turned up at any ground in the country, in their situation of needing a win to stay in the one-day series, they would have picked Trent Bridge. It's a venue that always encourages swing bowling and when a pitch with a strong green tinge greeted them, they knew they'd been presented with everything they could have hoped for. Winning the toss is a lottery, but maybe the coin falling Alastair Cook's way was a favour from the 'cricketing gods' more..

'Being a General SF remained member of army'

July 7 (Island) Being a General, Sarath Fonseka remained a member of the Sri Lanka Army, when he held the post of Chief of Defence Staff, after relinquishing duties as the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army on July 14, 2009. The General retired as CDS on November 14, 2009, Counsel S. L. Gunesekera told the Court of Appeal yesterday, when he appeared for the member of Court Martial II, which convicted Fonseka of disgraceful conduct and sentenced him to more..

Failure to display prize tags: Forty companies on the mat

July 7 (DN) The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) has taken legal action against 40 companies that have failed to mark prices on products featured in their advertisements. Co-operatives and Internal Trade Minister Johnston Fernando said that the price marking of items is now compulsory in advertisements according to article 10 (1) (a) of the CAA Act. He said that legal action had been taken against companies who failed to display the prices of several products including more..

Student drinks poison during inquiry

July 7 (DM) A student of the Ragama Medical College who took poison during an inquiry at the Matara SSP’s office was admitted to Matara General Hospital. SSP Sumith Edirisinghe was inquiring into a complaint of the student concerned when the latter took out a small bottle from his pocket and swallowed the stuff. The rival party of the complaint, a schoolgirl and their parents were present during the inquiry. Meanwhile, the student’s father George Ranasinghe told the media that more..

England v Sri Lanka, 4th ODI: Quickfire Cook leads England rout

July 7 (CI) Alastair Cook made a mockery of his dour one-day reputation by galloping along to an extraordinary 75-ball 95, as England crushed Sri Lanka by ten wickets in the fourth ODI at Trent Bridge. The final margin was exactly the same as Sri Lanka themselves had inflicted on England in the World Cup quarter-final in Colombo back in March, and though this display hardly atoned for that drubbing on the game's biggest stage, more..

Every two acres of coconut to get 128 plants free next year

July 7 (Island) Minister of Coconut Development and Janatha Estate Development Jagath Pushpakumara said that for every two acres of land under Coconut cultivation, 128 coconut plants will be distributed free, while plants needed for three acres will be distributed at a subsidized rate of 50 per cent less. This project is to begin next year. Minister said that 600,000 coconut plants will be distributed for cultivation and steps had already been taken to grow the plants. more..

After PM remarks, Lanka reaches out to Jayalalithaa

July 7 (IE) Encouraged by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s assessment that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was “fully conscious” of the realities of managing the India-Sri Lanka relationship, Colombo is learnt to have asked its envoy to engage with the Tamil Nadu govt. Moves are afoot, sources said, to schedule a meeting between Sri Lankan High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam and Jayalalithaa in the coming weeks. The Sri Lankan envoy returned from Colombo on more..

Future of Ex-LTTE Combatants

Large crowds expected for Nallur Kandasamy Kovil celebrations

July 7 (Island) With the lifting of restrictions placed on travel to the North by the government for foreign passport holders, larger crowds of Murugan devotees were expected to participate in this year’s Nallur Kandasamy Kovil celebrations which commences on August 4 at 10.o a.m., Kovil sources said on Wednesday. On the advise of Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa, the Tourism Promotion Board has made special arrangements for the festival. more..

'SL should rise with one voice before int’l community'

July 7 (DN) His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith called upon all Sri Lankans to rise with one voice before the international community to take the country forward on behalf of future generations. He said that the media has a pivotal role in this effort to play as it is the human friendly way to create people to people contact between countries. “Sri Lanka must rise with one voice before the international community to take the country forward for the benefit of our younger generation,” more..

CATIC causes chaos!

July 7 (FT) The Govt’s deal with China National Aero Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC) caused some degree of chaos in Parliament with verbal clashes between some of those in the Opposition and ruling party benches. During the debate on supplementary allocation of Rs. 20 billion to build a new headquarters for the Defence Ministry, UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva alleged that there was lack of transparency and accountability over the Govt’s deal with CATIC more..

Sri Lanka should address India's concerns

July 7 (Hindu) When the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Ms J Jayalalithaa, paid her first visit to New Delhi after assuming office, she forcefully articulated her concerns on Sri Lanka. Two issues concerning Sri Lankan Tamils evoke passions in Tamil Nadu. The first is the firm belief that after the LTTE was eliminated in 2009, Sri Lankan Tamils have been displaced from their homes and denied basic human rights. The second concern is the attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan navy on more..

Ministers in Jaffna on election trail

July 7 (Island) The UPFA has dispatched droves of Ministers to Jaffna and opened a party secretariat in view of the forthcoming elections to the 20 local bodies in the North. UPFA General Secretary Minister Susil Premajayanth, who arrived in Colombo on Sunday, expressed utmost confidence that the UPFA would win and said that several Ministers had decided to stay back to continue campaigning. A group of ministers, led by minister Basil Rajapaksa and more..

Wimal warns of threat on political stability

July 7 (Island) NFF and Minister Wimal Weerawansa says the Rajapaksa administration is still under threat in spite of militarily defeating the LTTE in May two years ago. Minister alleges those who couldn’t stomach Sri Lanka’s victory over LTTE terrorism are working overtime to undermine post-war political stability. MP urged the people to help the incumbent administration to thwart what he called destabilization plans. more..

SC rejects UNP applications on three PS elections

July 7 (DM) The Supreme Court yesterday refused to entertain the three applications filed by the UNP challenging the Appeal Court’s dismissal of writ applications on nomination papers with regard to three Pradeshiya Sabha. The application for Special Leave to Appeal was filed by the UNP, challenging the Court of Appeal’s dismissal of its writ application in respect of its nomination papers for the Homagama Pradeshiya Sabha. more..

'Fertilizer subsidy to be pruned'

July 7 (Island) The chemical constitution of the country’s soil has changed for the worse and the govt had decided to respond accordingly by pruning down fertilizer subsidy to farmers, Minister S. M. Chandrasena told Parliament yesterday. Responding to a query, raised by DNA MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, the minister said that a recent study had found that chemical content in earth had been changed due to heavy input of fertilizer. more..

Islamic fundamentalism grows in Kattankudy

July 7 (LB) Mosques in the Eastern town of Kattankudy were ordered by the court last week to make public announcements exonerating two teenage girls who were earlier beaten up by a group of local Muslims for watching pornography on internet - a charge denied by the girls. The two 17 year-olds were surrounded by local Muslims when they came out of a local internet cafe‚ in the predominantly Muslim town. more..

Appoint Police Commission says Chief Prelate

July 7 (DM) The Mahanayake of the Malwatta Chapter Most Ven. Tibbotuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera expressed concern about the delay in establishing the Police Commission when IGP N. K. Illangakoon, paid a visit to the Malwatu Maha Viharaya after assuming duties as the new police chief. The Chief Prelate also said: “Politicians interfere in everything today. Isn’t it a problem when politicians interfere in police work?” more..

‘Master’ to mediate disputes out of court

July 7 (DM) Judicial Mediation would be introduced in Sri Lanka to ease legal delays and to meet present day demands of commercial and business sector. Justice Ministry Secretary Suhada Gamlath said The Civil Procedure Code would be amended for the purpose shortly. Explaining the novel judicial procedure, he said all civil disputes with the value up to Rs.10 million filed at the District Courts would be referred for mediation once the Judicial Mediation system was set up. more..

SC rejects UNP applications on three PS elections

July 7 (DM) The Supreme Court yesterday refused to entertain the three applications filed by the UNP challenging the Appeal Court’s dismissal of writ applications on nomination papers with regard to three Pradeshiya Sabha. The application for Special Leave to Appeal was filed by the UNP, challenging the Court of Appeal’s dismissal of its writ application in respect of its nomination papers for the Homagama Pradeshiya Sabha. more..

Harsha queries non-publication of gazette notifications

July 7 (DM) Gazettes that are required under the Strategic Development Act have not been published even though six months have passed since the approval for the sale of land for the hotel chain CATIC by the cabinet, UNP MP Dr. Harsha De Silva said. Dr. De Silva who was speaking during the debate on the Rs. 20 billion supplementary estimate for the construction of the proposed Defence Headquarters in the House charged that more..