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An attempt to grasp India’s advice to Sri Lanka on Tamil Nadu concerns

July 16 (DM) Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao recently summed up the last forty year’s history of Indo-Sri Lanka relationship at a meeting with the visiting Sri Lankan and Maldivian journalists in New Delhi on July 5. She said that the Indian government cannot remain insensitive to the sentiments of the Tamil Nadu government, about issues affecting the Tamil-speaking people in Sri Lanka. She also, in a way, had theorized the relationship between the two counties in one sentence. more..

Pressure by the International Community may have made a difference?

July 16 (GV) Some argue that International pressure will not change Sri Lanka for the better; however, recent evidence reveals the contrary. D.B.S Jeyaraj in a recent blog post argued that international pressure could not encourage progressive change in Sri Lanka. As he stated, “I don’t want to speculate about the possible turns and twists in International relations concerning Sri Lanka because I know there will be no real big change whatever the current excitement”. more..

S. B. Dissanayake’s education revolution!

July 16 (LB) This writer used to believe that the cabinet portfolio of higher education, which regularly deals with the nation’s intellectual elite should be held by someone of the same calibre. That, in fact, has been more or less the global practice. (For instance, Kapil Sibal, India’s minister for Human Resource Development under whose purview comes the Indian Department of Education is a Harvard Law School alumni. more..

Editorial: Terrorism: Let India lead the battle

July 16 (Island) No sooner had Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh declared that South Asia as a region was capable of tackling its problems like terrorism without external help than three bombs rocked Mumbai. Those dastardly attacks which snuffed out over twenty precious lives must steel our resolve to sink all differences and stand united to meet the threat of mindless terrorism head on. India is said to be trying to establish the motive for Wednesday's bomb blasts. more..

Editorial: Rights and responsibilities of our vocation

July 16 (DM) But a sordid story within the story was exposed this month with the outrageous scandal of telephone hacking and other unethical practices which led to the sudden closure of world media giant Rupert Murdoch’s flagship, the ‘News of the World’. The fate of the popular 168-year-old News of the World, which was by far the largest selling English language weekly newspaper in the world, has important lessons for Sri Lanka and its independent media. more..

Spiriting out endemic species

July 16 (ST) A beautiful veil-tail Cherry Barb is on sale at Aquarama 2011 held in Singapore recently while a reputed international beauty-care company openly advertises Wewiya as the answer for wrinkles. How is it that the Cherry Barb (Puntius titteya) endemic to Sri Lanka is being sold at Asia’s largest international trade and consumer event for ornamental and aquatic fish and Wewiya (Hortonia floribunda) once again endemic to Sri Lanka comes back to the country packed as a cream more..

Happy to be back in her ‘heart home’

July 16 (ST) If I’ve ever enjoyed listening to stories of the past over a cup of tea it had to be at Hayleys down Dean’s Road last week with Penelope Gordon, the great-granddaughter of Charles Pickering Hayley, founder of what is now Hayleys PLC. When Charles Hayley boarded the Percy Douglas heading towards Sri Lanka –then Ceylon, the “crown jewel” of the British colonial empire – in 1871, it must have been with a knot in his stomach and worry in his heart about leaving home. more..

The govt tests ‘Smart Transportation System’

July 16 (Island) A new "smart" transportation system is being proposed and tested as a pilot project through the Ministry of Environment with joint partner of U.S.A. The aim of this project is to test and introduce a new transportation system that can help people reduce traffic and vehicle overcrowding on the roads as well as reduce pollution in Sri Lanka. Zebigo along with the (AirMac) Air Resources Management Center introduced a new transportation technology to more..

KP flays Jayalalithaa, blames Nadesan for Prabhakaran’s demise

July 16 (AT) The Tamils of Sri Lanka pinned their hopes, trust and faith on the Tamil Nadu leaders, considered them as benefactors and redeemers, but they have miserably failed to practice what they preached. In the meantime, blame has been squarely placed on the former LTTE political czar B. Nadesan for the demise of the LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. Kumaran Pathmanathan or simply called “KP” blamed Nadesan for his lethargic approach and more..

Govt refuses new church plan

July 16 (UCAN) The government has turned down a bishop’s request to build a new church in his diocese, citing strong opposition from local Buddhists. The Ministry of Religious Affairs wrote to Bishop Harold Anthony Perera of Kurunegala yesterday, telling him it was unable to give permission because it would damage relations between Buddhists and Catholics in Hendiyagala near Pannala. “They said they can’t give permission because of objections raised by Buddhists,” more..

Former LTTE member reported missing in Colombo

July 16 (TN) A former LTTE member, who was detained by the Sri Lanka Army for more than one year after the Vanni war and released 9 months ago, has been reported missing in Colombo since 08 July. The missing person, 36-year-old Nanthakumar Navaratnaraja from Koddadi in Jaffna, had come to Colombo to travel abroad. On July 08, he went out from the hotel where he was staying at around 4:30 p.m. and has since been reported missing, his father said in the complaint to the police and human rights groups. more..

Challenges before new IGP numerous and onerous

July 16 (LG) One IGP departed and the 33rd one took his place in a succession of such changes at the top post, as the police force is in sharp public focus for its record of work, both good and bad, of course, more for its demerits nowadays than merits. What the New IGP N.K.Illangakoon said and did in the first flush of his assuming duty have drawn much public attention. The statements that the police force should build up closer relationship with the people and more..

SL Navy, EPDP, seal off election campaign in the islands of Jaffna

July 16 (TN) Sri Lanka Navy and the EPDP collaborating with Rajapaksa regime have sealed off the islands sector of the Jaffna Peninsula for the civic elections scheduled to 23rd of this month, by ordering the TNA candidates not to leave the islands and by preventing TNA campaigners coming into the islands sector from outside. In the meantime, former SL Navy commander who was earlier occupying the islands and now holding the office of the Governor of the Eastern Province has more..

Govt. to import 340,000 tonnes of diesel urgently for power generation

July 16 (FT) The Ministry of Petroleum Industry says that measures are now underway to import an urgent stock of 340,000 metric tonnes of diesel to generate electricity. The imported diesel is to be given to the Ministry of Power and Energy to be used for the generation of thermal power. The Ministry says that around US$ 350 million will be needed to import the urgent stock of diesel as the stocks of diesel available in the stores have already been diverted to the CEB to more..

Indonesian maid's pardon raises new hope for Rizana

July 16 (AN) In the wake of the pardon given to an Indonesian housemaid who was sentenced to death on murder charges, the Sri Lankan govt and social service organizations on Friday renewed their appeal for clemency for Rizana Nafeek, who is currently awaiting execution in the Kingdom. Darsem binti Dawud Tawar, an Indonesian maid who was convicted of murdering her employer, returned to Jakarta on Wednesday following a pardon given by the kin of her victim. more..

CB in fresh bid to identifyforged currency notes

July 16 (Island) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has found that forged notes or counterfeits are available even of the recently released currency notes series. An official of the CBSL Currency Division said that there were few incidents reported where the newly released note series had been forged. "Most of the notes subjected to forgery were of a higher denomination," the spokesperson added. CBSL yesterday said that the ongoing advertising campaign mostly on the more..

Extortion in the guise of obtaining release of LTTE cadre

July 16 (Island) A suspect who was taken into custody for allegedly soliciting and obtaining money on several occasions from the mother of a LTTE member undergoing rehabilitation on the pretext of securing his release was taken into custody and produced before Mt. Lavinia Chief Magistrate Nirosha Fernando last week. The suspect in this case is Kandasamy Nandakumar said to be an army deserter. Prosecution alleged that the suspect had telephoned Ravindra Raja Vijaya Sulochana the more..

Millions for spare parts to repair damaged equipment

July 16 (DM) The cash-strapped Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) will have to bear additional costs amounting to millions of rupees having to airlift spare parts for fuel pumping machines at filling stations and other equipment damaged after the use of sub standard petrol, trade unions said yesterday. The CPC had earlier admitted that the 20,000 tonnes of petrol imported to the country on June 17, had been of low quality. more..

KKS Port to be developed after removal of war remains

July 16 (DM) The Ports and Highways Ministry said yesterday that it had begun to remove the remains of vessels that were destroyed during the war with the LTTE at the Kankasanthurai Port (KKS) and would complete the project in about a month. Ministry sources said that the development of KKS would also begin next month after the vessels were removed. The ministry had handed over the project to an Indian company which had undertaken the work to dismantle the six vessels, more..

Sri Lanka congratulates Southern Sudan

July 16 (DM) The Sri Lankan Government has congratulated the newly formed African Nation, ‘the Republic of Southern Sudan,’ which became an Independent Country after the long period of Civil War. On behalf of the Sri Lankan Government and President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Senior Minister of Scientific Affairs Tissa Vitharana participated as Special Envoy at the Inauguration Ceremony of Africa’s 54th nation, which was held at its capital Juba on Saturday, July 9, 2011. more..

HR lawyers seek stringent punishment for rapists

July 16 (DM) In a fundamental rights petition, a human rights organization yesterday requested the Supreme Court to issue guidelines with regard to sentencing those found guilty of rape and child abuse. The Lawyers for Human Rights and Development (LHRD) complained to the Supreme Court that there was a serious threat to women and children as rapists and child abusers were given suspended sentences because of misunderstanding, misconception and more..

Police exposed by STF!

July 16 (Island) Operations conducted by Special Task Force (STF) in several parts of the country have exposed negligence on the part the police. The police commandos have cracked down on those engaged in illegal sand mining, illicit felling, pilfering fuel from State-owned vehicles, cultivating ganja (cannabis) and underworld activities. The STF recently busted a long standing fuel racket run by a powerful gang based in the Grandpass police area. Sources said at the time of the raid, more..

'Tigers re-grouping abroad'

July 16 (Island) ASIES, a French current affairs magazine in its inaugural issue says the LTTE has set up new networks in Tamil Nadu, Canada and Europe and is in the process of re-grouping for another war. The following is a translation of the ASIES piece made available to The Island by the External Affairs Ministry: The prodigal son of the North-Korean dictator and the tattooed members of the Chinese mafias are not the only ones to launder dirty money in the "great boiler" more..

Ayurvedic Expo 2011- Sri Lanka promotes Indigenous Medicine

July 16 (IL) Ayurvedic Expo 2011 International Indigenous Health care Exhibition, Trade Fair and Symposium was ceremonially inaugurated by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the BMICH, today (15). The three day mega Exhibition & Symposium will showcase and promote local and foreign Ayurvedic products and services from over 20 participating countries including India, Canada, Singapore, Pakistan, the Netherlands, Japan, China, the United Kingdom, Germany and more..

New office express train service between Fort, Chilaw

July 16 (DN) The Sri Lanka Railways commenced the new office express train service between Colombo Fort and Chilaw yesterday. The train will stop at Madampe, Nattandiya, Negombo, Dematagoda and Maradana Railway stations. The train will leave Chilaw railway station at 5.35 am and reach the Colombo Fort Railway Station at 7.30 am. The evening train service will commence from Colombo Fort at 4.45 pm and arrive at the Chilaw station at 6.30 pm. more..

Ranjan lashes out at CID

July 16 (Island) Although the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau has made several inquiries from the CID about the outcome of the investigation conducted by them on the job agency which sent under aged Rizana Nafeek to Saudi Arabia on a forged passport, the sleuths have so far failed to answer. UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake asked why the CID which probed the job agency which sent Rizana, who has been sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for manslaughter, doesn’t release its report or more..

Hedging crisis deepens

July 16 (DM) The CEYPETCO may have to place a security deposit of US$162,733,500 which is the amount ordered by the London High Court to be paid to the Standard Chartered Bank in the hedging deal if the appeal is to be proceeded with, a highly placed govt source said. He said the Standard Chartered Bank might request the court to order CEYPETCO to place a security deposit of a similar amount as a preliminary objection/condition before the court entertains the appeal. more..

LIOC wants to increase prices

July 16 (DM) In the midst of the existing CPC petroleum crisis, the Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC) said that it was in urgent need of a fuel price hike and was still waiting for a positive response from the govt to increase its prices. LIOC managing director, Suresh Kumar said that there was an urgent need to increase its petrol and diesel prices. He said the prevailing quality issue over substandard petrol imported by the CPC would have no impact on the LIOC’s intentions to increase its fuel prices. more..

India asks Sri Lanka to probe war crimes claims

July 16 (AFP) India on Friday urged Sri Lanka to examine claims made in a British documentary that said it targeted civilians while crushing Tamil Tiger rebels two years ago. The Channel 4 documentary, "Sri Lanka's Killing Fields" aired last month on British television contained footage of what it said were prisoner executions. It also showed the bodies of female Tamil fighters who appeared to have been sexually assaulted by government forces. more..

Sri Lanka probe urged as video airs in US

July 16 (AFP) US lawmakers and rights advocates on Friday stepped up calls for an international probe into Sri Lanka's civil war as they screened a British documentary that purports to show war crimes. "Sri Lanka's Killing Fields" was shown to the public inside the US Capitol complex. First aired on Channel 4 in June, the 50-minute documentary caused shock in Britain and angry denials from Sri Lanka's military. more..

India demolish SL, make FIBA championship

July 16 (IE) India demolished Sri Lanka 89-35 in the final of the Middle Asia Zone qualifiers at the Thyagraj Stadium in New Delhi on Friday to qualify for Group A of the 26th FIBA Asia Championship to be held in Wuhan (China) in September. India is grouped together with Lebanon, Korea, and Malaysia. With lopsided victories in the competition — India won with scores of 99-42 against Sri Lanka in the group match, 120-26 against Bangladesh in the semis before the final — more..

MR to visit Pakistan in November

July 16 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is to visit Pakistan in November this year on an invitation by the Pakistani govt, the Pakistani High Commission in Colombo said yesterday. Currently, Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris is on a two-day visit to Pakistan. He had called on the Prime Minister of Pakistan Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani yesterday. During the talks, the Pakistani Prime Minister had encouraged Sri Lanka to move forward on negotiations with Pakistan on more..

Following SC judgment, minister orders: Easy access to state hospitals for disabled

July 16 (DN) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena ordered ministry officials to provide accessibility and safety features, meeting specified regulations and standards, at state hospitals and at all state health institutions, for disabled persons, following a Supreme Court judgment on April 27. According to a spokesman all private hospitals also need to follow the directive issued by the Health Ministry under the direction of Minister Sirisena. more..

CMC plans to inspect food brought to city

July 16 (Island) The Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council would inspect food which is brought into the city in vans from next week. Chief of the CMC Public Health Department, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said yesterday that a majority of these vans were from outside the city. He said the PHD would take food samples for testing during inspections. It would also issue instructions to those who prepared those food items such as more..

Many motorists turn to LIOC

July 16 (DM) While the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) is struggling to cope up with the low quality petrol fiasco, the Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC) has recorded a growth of 10 to 15 per cent in petrol sales in Colombo. Because of problems faced by motor vehicle owners who used the low quality petrol sold at CPC filling stations a large number of vehicles owners had turned to LIOC filling stations to obtain their petrol requirements. more..

'Incompetent UPFA looking for scapegoats'

July 16 (Island) UNP Western Provincial Councillor A. J. M. Muzammil accused the government of making an obvious attempt to save the cabinet of ministers by blaming officials for importing a stock of contaminated petrol and the controversial oil hedging deals with three banks a few years ago. The veteran UNPer said that UPFA politicians were seeking a way out of the ‘dirty fuel crisis’ by blaming it on incompetent and corrupt officials. more..

NGO suspects wanted for Gotabhaya assassination bid have fled to India

July 16 (Island) Two LTTE operatives allegedly involved in the Dec 1, 2006 attempt to assassinate Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa have fled to India, according to intelligence sources. The suspects have been identified as two employees of CARE Sri Lanka, including the senior officer in charge of the NGO’s Kilinochchi office when the LTTE controlled the Vanni region. more..

CPA meet:Dr JJ slams UPFA over thwarting his UK visit

July 16 (Island) UNP MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena alleges the govt has deprived him of an opportunity to attend the forthcoming meet of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) in the UK. An irate MP says Dhammika Kitulgoda, Secretary General of Parliament recently informed him of a decision taken by the Executive Committee of the Sri Lankan branch of the CPA not to allow any observers from Sri Lanka. more..

PAFFREL reiterates need to monitor NP elections closely

July 16 (DM) The main elections monitoring body PAFFREL reiterated yesterday the necessity to closely monitor the election in the North, in order to reduce election violence and enhance the legitimacy of the elections. PAFFREL added that the govt ministers and MPs and senior MPs from other political parties were campaigning in Jaffna and other districts -- which added to the significance of these elections. more..

'Govt. and opposition should unite against corruption'

July 16 (DM) Ranil Wickremesinghe, the UNP leader, said yesterday that both the ruling party and the opposition should work together in local bodies to build up a corruption free administrations. Addressing an election rally in Piliyandala last evening, Mr. Wickremesinghe said no one should object to good proposals brought to any local body whether it be by the ruling party or the opposition. more..