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Sea of chances for tourists

July 15 (Hindu) With the resumption of passenger ferry service between India and Sri Lanka, southern districts have got a golden opportunity to boost the much-awaited economic growth. The Tuticorin-Colombo ferry service, which began on June 13, marks the resumption of passenger service between the two countries after a gap of 30 years. The stated aim was to boost tourism and economic cooperation after the end of Sri Lanka's civil war. more..

Friendship Bridge between North and South

July 15 (DN) Students of the Southern part of the country have commenced stretching cooperative hands towards those in the North and East in a major friendship-building exercise. Thus, friendship and cordiality between the young of the North and South will get an opportunity to bloom, after 30 years. The students of Swarnajayanthi Maha Vidyalaya in Kegalle paid a goodwill visit to St Joseph’s College in Mathagal, Jaffna, and conducted a cultural show together while staying there for two days. more..

Air Force officer’s wife and child kidnapped

July 15 (Island) An air force officer has complained to Meegahatenna police that his wife and ten-year-old child have been kidnapped by an unidentified group and a sum of Rs 500,000 demanded for their release. They had been kidnapped on Wednesday at Matugama town. The wife of the Air Force officer was accompanying their son, a student of Grade four at a school in Matugama, to a private tuition class. According to the complaint, the abductors have called the Air Force officer more..

University crisis likely to end

July 15 (DM) Normal academic activities in the university system are likely resume this week with Wednesday’s talks between university lecturers and the government ending on a positive note, officials said yesterday. Higher Education Ministry Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne said that he, along with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Treasury Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundare had met representatives of the FUTA on Wednesday. more..

DRS out of Sri Lanka-Australia series

July 15 (CI) Sri Lanka's board has reportedly decided not to use the decision review system (DRS) during the upcoming series against Australia, despite the ICC last month making the DRS mandatory for Tests and one-day internationals. The new rule does not take effect until October 1, meaning Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) can save some money by refusing to have umpire reviews in place for Australia's seven-week tour. The SLC would need to fork out up to US$150,000 to more..

Book Review: Dispelling the myths of humanitarian aid

July 15 (AT) In 2009, the world watched in horror as hundreds of thousands of Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka's northern province were prevented by the LTTE from fleeing relentless bombing by the Sri Lankan security forces. Shocking images and accounts trickled out of the war zone of the govt bombing homes and hospitals, and of the LTTE using civilian shields. These drew world attention not just to the callous treatment of civilians by the two sides but also the more..

Disarmament essential for return to normalcy

July 15 (LB) Last week Eastern Province Commander Major General Boniface Perera claimed that several political parties have groups wielding weapons in the province and the army will take steps to disarm them. Media reports claim that he made this statement during a meeting held between general managers of banks and political party representatives who had met to discuss the bank robbery at Thimilaithivu in Batticaloa on June 30, more..

WHO to reveal reasons for kidney disease

July 15 (LB) In a speech delivered on Monday (July 04) at the Prime Minister’s office, the Sri Lanka Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. F. R. Mehta, said that according to statistics available with WHO around 35 per cent of urine samples obtained from 650 kidney patients in the North Central Province (NCP) had traces of arsenic. The Prime Minister and those connected to the agriculture sector were present. more..

No power cuts, ‘Only restrictions’

July 15 (Island) The country’s hydro power generation capacity has dropped below 23 per cent, despite light showers, particularly in the Laxapana reservoir area. Though some engineers opine that the alarming water levels will not be a problem with the functioning of the 300MW Yugadanavi Coal Power Plant in Norochchcholai, others warn that if rains fail, in catchment areas like Victoria and Randenigala, the situation will worsen. more..

'Corruption rife inside prison system'

July 15 (DM) More than 300 complaints relating to corruption and irregularities involving senior prison officials had been received by a special investigations unit set up at the ministry. Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera said yesterday that officials of the Prison Headquarters and those of several other Prisons were among those who had been accused of corruption. He said that several other shortcomings and issues had also been highlighted. more..

One refugee longing for home: Sri Lankans separated by a body of water

July 15 (UNHCR) Selliah Arumugam walked through the gates at the bustling Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo, his wife and four children in tow. With a big smile on his face, the 42-year-old pushed a metal cart piled high with their belongings into the arrival lounge. Selliah is the 1,000th Sri Lankan refugee to return home this year with help from the UN refugee agency. Originally from the north-western coastal district of Mannar, more..

Luring young teledrama actresses in to prostitution

July 15 (NN) The police are looking for the main contractor who operates a massive ring of luring young teledrama actresses in to prostitution to cater to the up market clientele, highly placed police sources said. Investigations have revealed a list of names of the teledrama actresses who are members of this massive prostitute ring being operated in the main towns of Colombo, Galle, Kandy, Gampaha, Kurunegala and Kalutara. more..

President at STC: Quality education is founded on bedrock of cultural identity

July 15 (Island) Quality education, to be complete, must be founded on the bedrock of cultural identity. A mind, however cultivated, but without cultural moorings, is pushed around by wind and wave. A man without awareness of the well-springs of his culture is little more than a robot, President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared on Wednesday. Addressing the annual prize giving of the S. Thomas’ College, more..

US Senators to watch ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’ today

July 15 (TD) Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International-USA, the International Crisis Group, and Open Society Foundations in conjunction with Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission are screening the “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields” Documentary at Capitol Visitors’ Center, Congressional Auditorium and Atrium, Washington D.C, on Friday, July 15th, at 3pm for US policy makers, Senators and Congressmen. more..

Rumesh Ratnayake named SL interim coach

July 15 (CI) Former Sri Lanka fast bowler Rumesh Ratnayake has been appointed as the interim Sri Lanka coach for the home series against Australia that begins next month. "We have appointed Rumesh Ratnayake only for the Australian tour because there is hardly any time to look for another coach," Upali Dharmadasa, Sri Lanka Cricket's interim committee chairman, said. Former Australia batsman Stuart Law, who was appointed the interim coach for Sri Lanka's tour of England, more..

Iranian offer as good as dead: Urgent need to upgrade Sapugaskanda

July 15 (Island) The Iranian offer to expand the Sapugaskanda oil refinery, from 50,000 barrels per day to 100,000 is apparently as good as dead due to Teheran insisting on Sri Lanka putting up US $500 million of its share of the cost up front and the Treasury not ready to commit such a vast sum at once. It is learnt that the Treasury would have acceded to the Iranian request if it at least had been on a pro rata basis more..

Army unearths massive weapons haul

July 16 (DM) The army has unearthed a large number of artillery and ammunition including 1,555 120mm mortar bombs, 27,000 rounds of ammunition used for 12.7 mm guns and 15,000 rounds of ammunition used for 7.52mm guns in Polloly, Vannivilankulam, Kokavil and Udayarkattukulam. Army has unearthed nine hundred and fifty-four 81 mm mortar bombs, three thousand 86 pounder bombs and fifty 130 mm projectiles during the massive search operation which was conducted on Thursday. more..

Three school children drown in Nilaweli beach

July 16 (NN) Three school children drowned while swimming in the Nilaweli beach in Trincomale today, the police said. According to the police the three boys, aged 16, had gone to Trincomlaee from Nuwera Eliya on a trip. The three children were among four children who went for a swim in the Nilaweli beach today. A sudden gush of water pulled the children deep in the sea. The Navy and police had attempted to save the four boys but their efforts proved futile. more..

Assets of state TV to Namal’s channel

July 16 (LT) Assets of ‘Rupavahini’ and TNA are being illegally used by Namal Rajapakse to commence broadcasts of Carlton TV channel say employees of ‘Rupavahini.’ They say the relevant equipment for broadcasting the channel of President’s son are being fixed on the TNA tower in Sinharaja and two transmitters have been already fixed in a rest room of the employees. Normally a fee has to be paid when fixing equipment of any other institution on the tower. more..

Decisions taken by the Cabinet at its Meeting held on 13.07.2011

July 16 (GDI) Rehabilitation of Pillaiyar (Ganadeviyo) Kovil at 'Thunnukai in Mullathivu District by the Central Engineering: Consultancy Bureau - Several construction activities have been undertaken by the Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau, which is a Government concern, in the Northern Province and work costing over Rs.500 million has already been completed. The Cabinet approved the proposal made by Hon, Nimal Siripala de Silva, more..

MR for collective action

July 16 (NN) Sri Lanka called for collective action to fight terrorism following the recent bomb explosions in India's financial capital of Mumbai. Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa said in a statement Friday that terrorism should not be tolerated in the South Asian region. Sri Lanka is still recovering from a 30-year bloody war against Tamil Tiger rebels who were finally defeated in May 2009. The Tamil Tigers were regarded as one of the most ruthless terrorist groups in more..

Jaffna Lagoon protected from Salt Water Intrusion

July 16 (GDI) With the commencement of the development projects in Jaffna soon after the end of war the prevention of salt water intrusion into agricultural lands became the centre stage for livelihood assistance. The Jaffna mainland and the Islands in Sri Lanka have 34 salt water exclusion bunds with funds allocated by the Ministry of Economic Development and 20 bunds have already been reconstructed. more..

Sri Lanka shippers advised to insure cargo against piracy risk

July 16 (LBO) With pirate attacks on the increase, Sri Lankan shippers have been advised to insure cargo against the risk of piracy off Somalia to minimize losses and delays if a vessel with their shipments is hijacked. Ships hijacked by Somali pirates take a long time to get released, said P Mukundan, director of the International Maritime Bureau, an industry body which probes trade fraud and runs the Piracy Reporting Centre which provides information on piracy attacks. more..

Sri Lanka's post-war dilemma

July 16 (Hindu) This collection of essays, contributed mostly by eminent social scientists, looks at the problems of reconstruction and harmonisation Sri Lanka is grappling with in the aftermath of what has come to be referred to as the “fourth Eelam war” that saw the liquidation of the LTTE. In the words of the editor of the volume, Gnana Moonasinghe, a scholar of repute, it is a “response to the post-war dilemma of how best to bring together the different communities and more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 15.07.2011

President for enhanced Pak-Sri Lanka economic cooperation

July 16 (APP) President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday said that Pakistan values its relations with Sri Lanka which are based on mutual respect, shared civilizational heritage and shared perceptions on host of issues.He said that there was a need to translate this equation into economic terms and take advantage of each other’s economic expertise and opportunities. The President was talking to Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka Prof. Gamini Lakshman Peiris, more..

Sri Lankan nationalists doubt legality of 13th amendment

July 16 (PTI) The 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution, which incorporates devolution plan for the Tamils in the country's north and east, needs to be probed by Parliament to examine its legality, a nationalist pressure group has said. "The 13th amendment was never a demand by either the Sinhalese, Tamils or Muslims. Even at this late stage the amendment needs to be rejected," Elle Gunawansa, a pro-government Buddhist monk who leads the "National Organisations Collective", more..

Sri Lanka remaining north railway to be built by India

July 16 (LBO) India's state-run Indian Railway Construction International Ltd (lRCON) has been given a 149.3 million US dollar contract to build a remaining part of a railway track to Sri Lanka's north, the government's information office said. The entire track from Vavuniya to Jaffna was destroyed during a civil war which ended in 2009. A railway track from the northern town of Vavuniya to Omanthai has already been built and trains are being run. more..

Sri Lanka bourse at 1-wk high on diversified shares; rupee up

July 16 (Reuters) Stock market gained on Friday to a one-week closing high led by market heavyweight John Keells Holdings as investors bought up beaten shares in market hovering near oversold. The main share index gained 0.91 percent or 61.36 points to 6,777.03, highest since July 8. It fell 3.6 percent in the first two sessions this week to hit a six-month low before recovering in thin volumes. The market's 14-day relative strength index gained to 36.4 from more..

Tense atmosphere in Jaffna ahead of elections, women’s vote at risk

July 16 (AN) It is "urgent" to ensure a free and fair polls, in view of forthcoming elections in 65 local government districts, to be held July 23. The Women's Political Academy has written a letter to Mahinda Deshapriya, new election commissioner, to open an inquiry into a series of incidents in Jaffna. Nimalka Fernando, Sri Lankan activist for the rights of women and director of the association, said she had reports of intimidation and violations from more..

Rehab of Tamils in Lanka should get top priority: India

July 16 (PTI) India today said rehabilitation of Tamils should be of the "highest and most immediate priority" for Sri Lankan govt but maintained there were "questions" on the UN report alleging 'war crimes' against the government in the island nation. "A fair and reasonable settlement of the political issues concerning the minorities in Sri Lanka is of utmost importance and the historic opportunity offered by the end of the conflict more..

Pakistani dates growers visit Lanka to explore markets

July 16 (APP) A delegation of date growers and exporters have reached Sri Lanka to enhance bilateral trade and to introduce the Pakistani dates of different varieties in Sri Lankan markets. During their stay in Sri Lanka, the delegation would hold meetings with the Sri Lankan fruit and dry fruit importers to explore the possibilities of enhancing bilateral trade. According to a statement received here Friday, Pakistan is ranked as the second largest exporter and more..

Sanctuaries closed for the first elephant census

July 16 (NN) National sanctuaries inhabited by elephants will close on August 13 and 14 as the country carries out its first elephant census, Minister of Agrarian Services and Wildlife S.M. Chandrasena said today. He that 22 sanctuaries will be closed for the census and includes Wilpattu, Yala, Wasgamuwa, Minerriya and Udawalawa. Minister said that all forest and wildlife officials will be used in the census. The census will include tuskers and the most dangerous beasts. more..

Sri Lankan Tamils after the war

UNCOHR Ms N. Pillay unmask her true identity

July 16 (LG) When I first read the news that one Ms Navenetham Pillay (Navi Pillay) from South Africa has been appointed as UN Commissioner for Human Rights, I was skeptical thinking another LTTE supporter in the UN to back LTTE appeasing Ms Radhika Coomarswamy who is the special representative for children and armed conflict. I was skeptical because name Pillay sounded Tamilish (I am not a racist in any way but anti LTTE) and she hails from South Africa a haven which more..

Australian Greens & French Tamils

July 16 (LG) I write in response to the article ‘Sri Lankan atrocities exposed: 'It's like Israel and Palestine' by Reporter Tony Iltis, of Green Left. Mr. Tony Iltis says about the Channel 4 documentary on Sri Lanka’s Battle of Vanni - ‘The documentary’s maker Callum Macrae described it as “probably the most horrific ever to have been broadcast on mainstream television”. Channel 4 defended screening the footage by pointing to the lack of response by Western governments to more..

Prof. Anuradha Seneviratne: His footprints on Sri Lankan cultural studies

July 16 (SO) In the early phase of studies of Sri Lankan heritage and culture, important observations were made by English civil servants such as H.Parker, H.Nevil, Hocart, Codrinton and Emerson Tenent. Though Hocart said "I had originally an intention of going over again the ground trodden by my predecessor", almost all the scholars in the field depended upon one another. Following the English civil servants, Sri Lankan cultural anthropologist such as more..

Cricket in Sri Lanka – Is it Sinhalese or Sri Lankan?

July 16 (LG) I write in response to the article ‘Inclusivity and pluralism retains a country’s vitality' by Shanie, published in Sri Lanka Guardian. The writer has stated ‘Kumar Sangakkara has done the country proud in his Colin Cowdrey Memorial Lecture delivered in the Nursery Pavilion of the MCC’s Lords Cricket ground. In a powerful speech, he stressed what leaders like Nehru and Amartya Sen have been stating in neighbouring India. It is a synthesis of our diverse cultures over more..

A threat to the credibility of the University of Kelaniya

July 16 (LG) The Faculty of Science of the University of Kelaniya is well known both nationally and internationally as a center of excellence which dispenses knowledge of Science by producing a large number of eminent scientists since its inception in 1967. It has been accepted practice of the researchers of the faculty to publish their findings at academic conferences, seminars and in internationally accepted peer reviewing journals. It is a known fact that these research results more..

Namal Rajapaksa MP visits ex-LTTE combatants in Mullaittivu

July 16 (MoD) MP Namal Rajapaksa on his recent visit to Mullaittivu district met ex-LTTE combatants who have been reintegrated to the society after completing comprehensive training program conducted by the govt. Over 1800 ex-LTTE combatants, who are leading a successful life after being rehabilitated, participated at the function held on 13th July. Addressing the gathering MP Namal Rajapaksa said that the government is taking much effort to find more employment more..