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No more flowers at Vihara Maha Devi Park

June 30 (DM) The Defence Ministry has asked flower and plant exhibitors and sellers at the Vihara Maha Devi Park to vacate the area by tomorrow because of plans to beautify the City of Colombo. The Vihara Maha Devi Floral Exhibition Organisers Consortium which has a membership of 400 flower and plant sellers said they were requested by Colombo DIG Anura Senanayake and Colombo Municipality Special Commissioner Omar Kamil to move out of more..

Ferry service with India a success: Ministry

June 30 (DM) The Ports and Aviation Ministry said yesterday that the ferry service from the Colombo port to Tuticorin harbour in India was a roaring success with ticketing agencies along with the Ceylon Shipping Corporation receiving more than 350 calls per day to book seats. The ferry service, which began on June 8, was said to transport more than 400 passengers twice a week between Colombo and Tuticorin. It was revealed that ticket prices range from between Rs.5500 to Rs.75, 000 more..

Colombo University teachers of medicine in agreement with FUTA

June 30 (Island) The Faculty of Medicine Teachers’ Association (FMTA) of the University of Colombo, yesterday, in a press statement dated June 21, informed ‘The Island’ that they were in full agreement with the grievances and demands made by the Federation of University Teachers Association (FUTA) and hoped that those demands will be addressed by the relevant authorities sooner, rather than later. The press release said: As teachers responsible for producing doctors and other more..

Shangri La deal no mystery says Govt.

June 30 (FT) The Government denied allegations of misappropriation in the sale of land for the US$ 500 million Shangri La property, which has been a hot topic in the business world since of late. Deputy Minister of Economic Development Laxman Yapa Abeywardena yesterday told the media that all legal and transparent procedures had been followed in conducting the transactions and that the issue was tabled before Parliament. more..

Editorial: A game of political chess

June 30 (Island) So, it is now clear from what President Mahinda Rajapaksa told the media on Tuesday at Temple Trees that the government is determined to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to find a solution to that which has come to be known as the national question. The delegation of responsibility to Parliament in this manner is being viewed as a dilatory tactic or a saataka geta (a political trick characteristic of the President). However, among the proponents of more..

Editorial: Saving Rizana can not be left to prayer

June 30 (DM) We can not write enough of Rizana’s plight. Till the innocent who sacrificed her freedoms to better the lives of her poverty stricken family is granted justice as we in the democratic world believe it; the luxury of putting down our pens would not be ours. This however, cannot remain the duty of the journalists or a handful of activists. Hers’ is a plight we must address as a nation because the outcome can have serious bearings upon the hundreds of thousands more..

Tamil politics abroad takes a Jaffna turn?

June 30 (LB) Are genuine Sri Lankan Tamils living overseas an unconscious reflection of the varying genetic traits displayed in traditional Jaffna? Their way of life, style of thinking, parochial politics, cultural outlook, likes and dislikes are no different to the symbolic icons of the typical Jaffna Man with his charismatic strengths and weaknesses. The weaknesses, few and far between, unless properly focused and overcome, will fail to meet the more..

Maid’s body brought down from Saudi Arabia: Husband suspects foul play

June 30 (DN) The body of Sri Lankan housemaid G. Pushpalatha, 27, of 60 acre colony, Mundalama who had died while working in a household in Saudi Arabia was brought down to Sri Lanka and handed over to her husband and relatives by Sri Lankan authorities. The body was later interred at the Mundalama cemetery by her family. Although Pushpalatha is alleged to have committed suicide at the Saudi Arabian home by hanging herself, her husband Anura Bandara had said he had suspicions about more..

Sri Lanka searching for developer for prime property

June 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka is searching for a buyer for a block of prime beach front land adjacent to two that is slated to be among the largest real-estate cum hotel developments to start in the country after the end of a 30-year war, officials said. "The land is still available," deputy minister Lakshman Abeywardene said. Sri Lanka sold 10 acres of land to Hong Kong based Shangri La for 125 million in the 'Galle Face' beach front shifting military installations that occupied the land. more..

Sri Lanka mosques exonerate 'pornography girls'

June 30 (BBC) Mosques in the eastern Sri Lankan town of Kattankudi have made public announcements exonerating two teenage girls accused of watching pornography. The loudspeaker announcements were made following a court order. A group of men allegedly beat up the 17-year-olds last week after they came out of an internet cafe in Kattankudi, a mostly Muslim town. The father of one of the girls says they were accused of watching pornography - a charge the girls deny. more..

Rally seeks unity among religious groups

June 30 (UCAN) An inter-denominational rally was staged in Colombo recently in a bid to bring the nation’s Christians closer together. As well as being a celebration of diversity, some observers believe the event may have had an underlying agenda: to calm tensions that have arisen lately and which could escalate in future over forced conversions. Thousand of believers, including Catholics, Anglicans, Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, members of the Ceylon Reformed Church and more..

Youths promote sex education

June 30 (UCAN) The Catholic Youth Federation says it is important that young people talk more about sex and that education is much more effective if it is taught in homes, religious places or schools. Young people are not encouraged to talk about sex, even with their parents, but attitudes are changing, said Thilan George, president of the Catholic Youth Federation at the Sacred Heart Church in Kandy. “I never heard my mother use the word ‘sex ’,” he admitted at an awareness program more..

Severe blow for SLC: England reduce Tests against Sri Lanka to two

June 30 (Island) Sri Lanka’s cricket administration, hit by allegations of mass scale corruption and incompetency, received another severe blow after the ECB announced its winter tour programme yesterday. After Sri Lanka beat England at The Oval in 1998, ECB had agreed to play Sri Lanka in three Test series indicating the country’s coming of age in Test cricket. However, their tour to the island next year will only have two Test Matches! more..

Plans afoot to Sinhalacise Tamil border villages in east, says MP

June 30 (TN) Of 310 families which fled from their homes only 70 have returned to the village Poochchikoodu located in Raanamadu GS division in Batticaloa district, according to Batticaloa TNA parliamentarian P. Selvarasa. Authorities in Colombo are ignoring resettlement of Tamil families with a sinister motive to “Sinhalacise” border Tamil villages, Selvarasa alleged. Officials in Colombo have failed to resettle the displaced Tamil families from more..

Death certificates to whitewash abductions, killings?

June 30 (TN) Relatives of persons categorized under the missing and disappeared in Batticaloa district for more than a year are in dilemma whether to obtain death certificates as they believe that they are alive. The relatives say that their loved ones were abducted, in their presence, by para military groups led by Karuna and Pilliayan, and by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers, and could be still alive. Three day-mobile service was held on June 14, 17 and 24 at more..

Azkals tie Sri Lanka in away match with sparse crowd

June 30 (GMA) The Philippine Azkals' match against Sri Lanka ended in a 1-1 draw in their 2014 World Cup Asia group playoffs Wednesday in Colombo, Sri Lanka. "I'm not the happiest man in the world but I'm not too disappointed. We take the result as it is and prepare for the match on Sunday," said Azkals' German coach Michael Weiss. The match in Sugathadasa Stadium drew a sparse crowd, with many of the fans OFWs who flew in from Dubai and other more..

Rs. 2.96 bn set aside to redevelop ancient tanks

June 30 (Island) The Ministry of Economic Development has set apart Rs. 2,960 million for the reconstruction and redevelopment of ancient tanks which are in dilapidated conditions. There are about 2,000 such tanks, including those damaged due to the recent floods. Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa together with the Ministry of Agrarian Services and Wildlife under Minister S. M. Chandrasena are in charge of this project and 233 tanks are being redeveloped. more..

STF implements post-war de-deployment strategy in East

June 30 (Island) The elite Special Task Force (STF) is now in the process of gradually reducing its presence in some parts of the Eastern Province. Defence sources say the STF will quit mini camps at Karaitivu and the Kalmunai in the Ampara District in the Eastern Province. The STF earlier withdrew from Panama and Kumana areas. Responding to a query by The Island, sources said that the Army was now responsible for security in the area. more..

'Why did genocidal GoSL save 300,000 civilians, 11,000 LTTE cadres'

June 30 (Island) Responding to a US threat to examine ‘other options’ unless Sri Lanka quickly addressed war crime allegations, former Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said that Sri Lankan military effort against the LTTE was definitely an integral part of the US-led global war on terror. There couldn’t be any dispute over that, Bogollagama said yesterday. The ex-MP emphasised that it would be a huge mistake for the international community to more..

Black gold in Mahawatte

June 30 (DM) People in the Mahawatte area of Kolonnawa have made a lot of money by collecting and selling petrol and diesel that had leaked from the pipeline that carries fuel from Colombo Port to the main storage tanks in Kolonnawa, employees of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) said yesterday. During the past couple of months, people in the area through which the pipeline passes, have been engaged in the business. Daily Mirror, during a visit to the area, more..

Racketeers selling crown land with bogus deeds

June 30 (Island) Lands and Land Development Minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon yesterday warned the public to exercise caution when purchasing land in the areas of the Puttalam, Nuwara Eliya, Moneragala, Hambantota, Ampara, Trincomalee and Anuradhapura districts as there was a large scale racket in selling crown land after preparing false deeds. The Minister said that the public should be more careful when purchasing land on deeds of declaration. more..

India, Lanka hold first Army-to-Army staff talks

June 30 (TOI) India and Sri Lanka began their first Army-to-Army staff talks on Wednesday to bolster bilateral military cooperation with joint exercises and training programmes. The three-day talks, led by Sri Lankan military secretary Major-General HCP Goonetilleke and Indian Army's additional director general (international cooperation) Major-General I P Singh, will chalk out the programmes to be undertaken by the two armies over the next one year. more..

CGF Evaluation Commission meets President

June 30 (DN) Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Evaluation Commission President Luise Martin and its members met President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees yesterday. The meeting was held after the Evaluation Commission members visited the Hambantota venue which will be vying to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The Commission had arrived in the country to assess Sri Lanka’s capability of hosting the prestigious Commonwealth Games 2018. more..

Pak High Commission funds school building in Sri Lanka

June 30 (APP) The Pakistan government has sponsored the construction of a three-storied state-of-the-art school building in Sri Lanka’s Gampaha district to support the education sector developmental drive of the Sri Lankan government. Pakistan High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Seema Ilahi Baloch on Thursday handed over a cheque for the construction of building in Pasyala, Gampaha to the Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapakasa more..

Int. Bar Association faults BASL resolution

June 30 (DM) The International Bar Association expressed its disappointment over the recent Resolution by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), condemning both the appointment of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on accountability in Sri Lanka, and its subsequent report. International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) stated that the role of the bar association is to promote human rights, more..

Sri Lanka to enhance border security

June 30 (DN) The government has planned to establish a Migration Intelligence Unit and a National Stolen and Lost Travel Document Passport database with “on-line real-time access” to Interpol’s global database to enhance Sri Lanka’s border security, strengthening its counter terrorism capacity. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) initiated this project under the directions of the Defence Ministry, more..

Co-ops could strengthen internal trade - PM

June 30 (Island) Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne said that through the Cooperative movement, Sri Lanka’s internal trade could be improved. He said that the Education and Trade Exhibition which commenced on Tuesday in Kurunegala was a very special event to coincide with the centenary of the Cooperative movement. Prime Minister Jayaratne said that he joined the Cooperative movements when he was 11 years old and more..

President misinformed about demands: FUTA

June 30 (DM) The FUTA yesterday charged that it was unfortunate for the President to be unaware of the academics’ real demands. While responding to a statement, allegedly made by President Rajapaksa claiming that he was not prepared to approve a pay hike of Rs. 200,000 for university academics, FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri remarked that their current demands do not amount to a Rs. 200,000 increase. more..

Indian defrauder remanded

June 30 (DM) An Indian national who had allegedly defrauded Rs.2.5 million from a Sri Lankan businessman by promising to grant a low-interest loan stating that he was having close relationship with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his son MP Namal Rajapaksa was remanded till July 13 by the Colombo Fort Magistrate Court today. Filing a motion before Colombo Fort Magistrate, the Colombo Crime Division (CCD) produced the suspect in Court. more..

North ruled via army violence? Army denies vehemently

June 30 (LB) On Thursday in Kilinochchi, the military dispersed a group of frail men and women who had gathered to get information on the whereabouts of their missing relatives. The protestors, many of who were ageing Tamil mothers and fathers who were clutching pictures of their missing children, had assembled at Depot junction, Kilinochchi, to demand that the govt reveals where their loved ones are being kept. more..

Cabinet approves appointment of Illangakoon as new IGP

June 30 (GDI) The Cabinet, on the recommendation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa has approved to appoint Senior DIG Mr.N.K.Illangakoon as the new IGP with immediate effect. Mr.Illangakooon joined the Police Service on 20th May 1982 as a ASP and has served in various parts of the country as SP, SSP, DIG of Police and Senior DIG of Police. He has also served in the Police STF for 11 years in Jaffaa, Batticaloa and Ampara. more..

SL Railways to reacquire land from squatters

June 30 (DM) Legal action will be taken to re-acquire Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) lands being used by people not authorized to do so, Transport Minister Kumara Welgama said. “Many people including party supporters have acquired land belonging to the SLR and in many instances do not pay a single sent to the SLR. This must be stopped. If the SLR utilises half of its properties in a commercially viable manner, more..

Only 14, 725 left to be resettled

June 30 (Island) The total number of IDPs has been reduced to 14,725 with the Govt’s expedited resettlement process. This number includes 13,566 in the Menik Farm Relief Village and 1,159 in the Jaffna Ramavil transit camp. A PRIU release said: "According to the Chief Co-ordinating Officer of the Competent Office for the IDPs, 1669 IDPs from 485 families were resettled in Suvandirapuram, Pudukudirippu on 22 June. more..

Sri Lanka to permit hotels in wildlife buffer zones

June 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka will permit eco-friendly hotels in buffer zones adjacent to nature reserves to cater to increased local and international interest in the island's wildlife assets, a govt minister said. Deputy minister Lakshman Abeywardene said discussions would start with wildlife protection authorities next month to change existing laws and develop guidelines to regulate resorts in buffer zones. more..

Malnutrition in Lanka: Minister

June 30 (DM) In a shocking and distressing revelation Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday long term malnutrition was as high 41 per cent in Nuwara Eliya with the short term malnutrition was at 11 per cent and called for a sharp change in food patterns among Sri Lankans. He said malnutrition and anaemia was spreading fast and surprisingly Colombo district was one of the most affected with more..

ICC to investigate after report criticises World Cup ticket sales

June 30 (Guardian) The ICC has promised a full investigation into how thousands of World Cup tickets allegedly ended up on the black market or in the hands of VIPs, police or politicians after the executive board in Hong Kong received a confidential report criticising the handling of ticket sales in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. "The report highlighted certain shortcomings around ticketing and stadia construction," more..