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Jayalalithaa urges Modi to ensure release of TN fishermen

July 18 (TOI) TN chief minister J Jayalalithaa has written to PM Narendra Modi seeking his intervention to secure the release of 77 fishermen and their 102 fishing boats, apprehended by SL navy. In a letter to PM, Jayalalithaa also pointed out that SL navy has "escalated the frequency and magnitude of incidents of abduction of our fishermen and seizure of boats & fishing equipment undeterred in recent days." more..

PM moves for pay hike to Bribery Commission DG

July 18 (ST) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will present a motion in Parliament to revise the salary of the Director General (DG) of the CIABOC Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe, to be on par with the entitlements of an Additional Solicitor General (ASG). She will also be entitled to telephone and fuel allowances of a Ministry Secretary, as well as house rent allowance, provided no govt official quarters are allocated. The motion to be presented by the PM states, the Cabinet has granted more..

Call to replace plastic bottles with glass

July 18 (SO) Two giant Indian investments in SL – Primal Glass and IOC have come together to educate people on the dangers of using water in plastic bottles. This educational project was carried out recently by the Believers in Glass movement in collaboration with Piramal Glass Ceylon and IOC. As part of this initiative, the Believers in Glass initiative distributed glass bottles free for water storage in vehicles at IOC petrol stations. Campaign called Don’t drive and drink toxic water more..

Standard Chartered CEO upbeat over SL

July 18 (FT) Standard Chartered Bank Group CEO Bill Winters expressed optimism over Sri Lanka noting that the country was well positioned to be a financial and logistics hub and the global giant will continue with its investments. Winters one-day stay in Sri Lanka was a landmark event as he was the first global CEO of Standard Chartered Bank to visit the country despite the Bank being in operation here since 1892. more..

Salawa blast: Half payment next week

July 18 (DN) Minister Ravi Karunanayake said that 90% of damage assessment to civilian property in the Salawa Army camp fire has been concluded and compensation on the estimated damages will be paid to the victims, starting next week. The minister said 50% of the estimated damages will be paid next week and the balance within a short period. According to the concluded assessment, it has been estimated that a damage of less than one million rupees had caused to 1,794 property. more..

Hand grenade found in private school

July 18 (DM) A live hand grenade manufactured in a foreign country was recovered from a swimming pool of an international school in Nugegoda today, police said. The police who searched the premises following information received by them had found the grenade and called the bomb disposal unit of the army who had detonated it at a nearby playground. The police are investigating as to how the bomb which could have wreaked havoc unless recovered by the police had come to the swimming pool more..

China's IZT may get Mattala Airport for Silk Road Station

July 18 (EN) IZT, a Chinese information technology company that builds financial infrastructure to popularize Renminbi on Silk Road Stations along China's One Belt One Road initiative is on track to get Mattala Airport. SL called for offers from investors to run and operate the airport with bids closing on Aug 12. Arrangement are being worked out with China's IZP group to operate Mattala Airport following a visit by minister more..

Hayleys Advantis unveils international distribution centre

July 18 (Island) Advantis Free Zone (AFZ) recently launched their second and brand new international distribution centre, Venus, one of the most sophisticated international distribution centres to be established in the country to date. The facility which caters to all green channel free zone operations with absolute convenience, is the largest facility of its kind in Sri Lanka, with Ground +7 high racking capabilities. Speaking about the new facility, Chairman of Hayleys PLC more..

Indonesia drub Sri Lanka in Davis Cup

July 18 (Island) Indonesia beat Sri Lanka 5-0 hampering all hopes of the Lankans to remain another year in Group-II Davis Cup – meaning the sixth year in a row – in the 2016 Relegation Play-off between the two countries in Gelora Manahan Tennis Stadium Complex, Surakarta, Indonesia on Sunday, July 17. Sri Lanka as a result will be demoted to Group-III in 2017 in the four-group Asia-Oceania Zone in this BNP Paribas sponsored world cup men’s international tennis. more..

Milinda Siriwardana to lead Sri Lankan XI

July 18 (CI) Left-arm spinning allrounder Milinda Siriwardana will lead the Sri Lankan XI in the three-day practice match against Australia, which begins on Monday in Colombo. Also in the XI are seam-bowling allrounder Dasun Shanaka, who made his Test debut on the recent tour of England, spin-bowling allrounders Shehan Jayasuriya and Chaturanga de Silva, and pacers Dilhara Fernando, Vimukthi Perera and Nisala Tharaka. more..

'Lanka Sathosa selling 12 consumer items below stipulated prices'

July 18 (Island) While the Ministry of Industry and Commerce announced price controls on 16 essential consumer items, including dhal, sugar, potatoes, imported onions and full cream milk powder, Lanka Sathosa said they will be selling 12 such items below the stipulated prices. The new prices are effective immediately. These consumer items will be made available in all Sathosa outlets. "Since we have turned Lanka Sathosa into a profitable organization during the last several months more..

On Silan Kadirgamar, Marxist, Humanist, Activist and Academic

July 18 (Island) Silan Kadirgamar, lecturer, Marxist, non-Marxist, humanist, activist, and one of the founder members of MIRJE and its strongest voice in Jaffna, passed away last year on July 25th in the 81st year of his life. Recalling my memories of him, on the first anniversary commemoration, to be held in Jaffna on the 16th of July this year, and the subsequent conference on Social Justice and Post War North, which focussed on gender, caste and class, I am once again overwhelmed, more..

Licences for mini solar power plants

July 18 (DN) Licenses will be issued to SME entrepreneurs for the first time to set up mini solar power plants in the country. SLSEA Chairman said the power generated from these plants will be purchased by the govt at attractive prices. “We hope this move would encourage even the smaller companies and individuals to set up solar power plants and also help the nation to produce energy at reduced prices.” more..

UNWTO hails Sri Lanka’s progress

July 18 (FT) United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) commended the efforts taken by the Sri Lankan Govt to promote peace, tolerance and acceptance among all communities while asserting that the country’s reconciliation process was headed in the right direction. “Tourism is not taken seriously for peace and reconciliation in many parts of the world but I am glad that Sri Lanka is doing it now,” UNWTO Secretary General Dr. Taleb Rifai told journalists more..

Launch of Grandfather’s Letters edited by C. Anjalendran

July 18 (Island) The International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES) and Perera–Hussein Publishing House launched ‘Grandfather’s Letters: a series of politically motivated letters to the grandchildren by C. Suntharalingam, the outspoken and controversial member of independent Ceylon’s first Cabinet, on 12 July at the Barefoot Café grounds. And thus the gathering of very many: members of the Suntharalingam extended family, relatives, friends and well wishers including the PM. more..

JVP press conference

Will SL learn from birth place of Buddha?

July 18 (CT) What is a constitution and what is its purpose? Stated simply, a country’s constitution is the fundamental laws and principles of a country or state on which all other laws are based. All permanent organization of individuals, whether public or private, must have basic rules or laws for its establishment and for the conduct of its activities. A country normally has a centre and local governmental systems of govt and both rests on constitutions. more..

The Prema-Chandra Athukorala Chinthanaya

July 18 (CT) SL born economist of international repute and Australian National University Don, Prema-chandra Athukorala, offered a new economic policy strategy for Sri Lanka recently. He did so in a series of presentations made before a number of select audiences starting from the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), a few months ago. In his presentation at IPS, he offered the choice to Sri Lanka: join the global production sharing chain or eternally remain as a lower middle income country. more..

'Policy of forgive & forget is ideal solution'

July 18 (SL) "Foreign policy of the present govt has helped SL to rebuild its image internationally,” Minister S.B. Dissanayake says. He further said that most of the problems could be solved by a policy of forgive and forget. Q: As a member of both former and present govts, how do you compare the present foreign policies with that of previous? A: During the latter part of the Rajapaksa govt, our country faced a great danger. more..

Shadow cabinet hits the buffers

July 18 (ST) JO’s shadowy world of make believe vanishes in a puff of scorn but one vital question still remains: Whose bright idea was it? In the manner of little children with nothing to occupy their time but play games of Let’s Pretend saying to one another Now today you be thaththa, you be amma, you be nanda, you be mama, before eating their sellam buth, the Joint Opposition last week decided to play their own game of pretence and appoint each other as minister of this and more..

Asking hard questions from yahapalana govt

July 18 (ST) As fashionable as this may seem at the moment, truth-telling in Sri Lanka should not be confined to the Northern conflict, its victims and its perpetrators. Rather, this effort needs also to be applied to properly understanding the undermining and near-collapse of democratic institutions in the South during the past two decades. Indeed, the first and the second issues are closely intertwined. It is precisely because Southern national justice institutions failed so spectacularly that more..

Food importers hit by price control, Govt firm

July 18 (SO) Claiming massive losses due to the new price controls, essential food importers are threatening to stop imports but, govt authorities say they will import via the state-owned CWE and take errant traders to task. Reacting to the sudden slapping of maximum retail price controls on a range of essential foods, sugar importers say they, alone, could face losses ranging from Rs.750 million to Rs. 900 million. more..

Editorial: Tourism and terrorism

July 18 (Island) The world has rightly pledged solidarity with France in the aftermath of the savage terror attack in Nice on the Bastille Day. Many countries including the US and Russia have even called for tough action against terrorism, which has demonstrated remarkable resilience. But, mere condemnations and calls for action are not enough. There has to be a truly global effort to eliminate the scourge in all its forms and manifestations. What has stood in the way of efforts being made to more..

What options for Jaffna economic revival?

July 18 (Island) Sometimes countries rise phoenix like from the ashes of devastation and war; the best known are Germany and Japan after WW2. Others like post-crisis Central African basket-cases remain depressed basket-cases. Northern Province, unlike the East which is picking up smartly is near the bottom end of the spectrum. I spent the last three days in conversation with a Tamil businessman-entrepreneur who is keen on doing something to revive the North, especially Jaffna Peninsula, more..

Lord Naseby accuses UK, US of double standards over Sri Lanka

July 17 (Island) Lord Naseby said it was unfair to demand Sri Lanka govt to have foreign judges to investigate alleged war crimes, while the UK was using its own judges to inquire into the Iraqi invasion by the British govt. Speaking at the House of Lords on the Chilcot report on the invasion of Iraq by the British govt and the then British PM, Tony Blair, Lord Naseby said that he was surprised to see UK and US govts endorsing recommendation of more..

18,400 deserters respond to amnesty offer; hunt on for another 18,400

July 17 (ST) Military deserters who failed to surrender during the amnesty that ended this week will be tracked down and arrested in a countrywide operation involving the military and the police, officials said. The move to launch the countrywide manhunt comes after almost half of the armed forces personnel who were listed as being Absent Without Leave (AWOL) surrendered during the month-long General Amnesty period. more..

SAITM operating illegally from the start, say medical unions

July 17 (ST) From the start SAITM has been operating illegally and there is mismanagement within the university, said the GMOA Secretary, Dr. Nalinda Herath, alleging that it has obtained the sponsorship of govt officials. Pointing out that up to now neither the SLMC nor the Health Ministry has given approval to SAITM, he alleged that today groups are going before courts and giving false information. more..

Otara Foundation joins concerned citizens’ call for closure of Dehiwala Zoo

July 17 (Island) The demand for the closure of the Dehiwala Zoo has gained fresh impetus with more than 15,000 people so far endorsing a call to give the animals a life they deserve, ending long years of suffering in small, filthy enclosures. Giving new life to a growing demand of animal lovers and rights activists, the Otara Foundation has submitted a three-point appeal to President and PM covering the closure of the zoo, and more..

CEB engineers say not happy with power sector policy decisions, warns of TU action

July 17 (ST) The Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers Union (CEBEU) has threatened to take trade union action in protest over what it claims are ad-hoc decisions by the Govt regarding the country’s power sector. CEBEU President Athula Wanniarachchi said their members as an initial mark of protest would not take part in Technical Evaluation Committees (TEC) meetings to assess proposed power generation projects. more..

Army Intelligence man arrested over Lasantha’s killing

July 17 (CT) The CID late Friday arrested Sergeant Major Pemananda Udulawala of the Army Intelligence Unit in connection with the murder of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge in Attidiya seven years ago. Military spokesman Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera confirmed the arrest had been made. The murder probe was shelved during the tenure of the former regime and re-opened a few months ago when the govt more..

Sri Lanka an IS transit hub?

July 17 (CT) Sri Lanka is very close to becoming the unofficial transit hub for IS members, and Ceylon Today speculates at least 12 persons from Kerala have travelled through BIA within the last one month to join the Islamic State. Despite this the Police say they have no information on people routing through BIA to reach Syria or any other Middle Eastern countries to join IS. But, sources in Kerala confirmed that at least 12 persons more..

Number of tasks still outstanding

July 17 (CT) US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal and Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour Tom Malinowski who met with a few Colombo based journalists said that the people of SL are not as yet totally committed to thinking ahead and moving forward on a path of common interest, therefore more dialogue amongst all communities more..

The making and re-making of a constitution

July 17 (SL) Sri Lanka’s political system has been shaped by its history as a British colony dating from 1801. The British attempted to develop a representative govt on the island through an 1833 constitution that created a legislative council. This council was largely powerless, however, and resigned in 1864 when their censure of the British govt was ignored. British attempted several other Constitutions to appease more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

July 17 (ST) A Govt minister wants air rifles issued to guards at the country’s nature reserves to cope with poachers. Minister Gamini Jayawickrema Perera has said in a memorandum to his colleagues that poaching has been on the rise and pointed out that the print and web media had reports on this. The rifles, he has pointed out in the memorandum headlined Weapons made out of air power would ensure the protection of wildlife. more..

Dr. Neville Fernando states his case

July 17 (Island) Derided as a degree shop that threatens free education and predicted to produce substandard doctors, Medical Faculty undergraduates, Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) and Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) vows to agitate until SAITM discontinues as a private enterprise. Prof. Carlo Fonseka, Chairman of the SLMC, declared that even if the Supreme Courts rules in SAITM students’ favor, he will never register them as doctors. more..

Archiving the future

July 17 (Island) Not without the greatest irony, sometime last week, the website of the Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons disappeared. Some years ago, the official website of the LLRC also disappeared without trace. The then govt said the content of the site had folded into the Presidential Secretariat site. This was untrue, since the original site’s record of public testimonies across the island, was completely lost. more..