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'We are not on a very good plateau'

July 25 (NS) Chief selector Kapila Wijegunawardene said that the Test and ODI series against Pakistan has given the national selection committee the opportunity to assess where Sri Lanka stands in terms of overall requirement of the national side. Sri Lanka lost the Test series 2-1 and the five-match ODI series 3-1 with one to play at Hambantota on Sunday. “We came out of the World Cup where two of our main players retired more..

TNA election manifesto notes 13-A flawed

July 25 (CG) The TNA says the 13th Amendment, which was part of the Indo-Lanka accord, is flawed as power is concentrated at the Center and its agent, the Governor. In its election manifesto released in Jaffna today, the TNA said that the Tamil people are entitled to self-determination in keeping with United Nations International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, both of which Sri Lanka has accepted and acceded to. more..

What If the Tamil Tigers weren't labelled as terrorists?

July 25 (TD) The elections in Sri Lanka next month come just ahead of a much-anticipated report on the alleged war crimes by prime ministerial candidate and former President Rajapaksa’s govt during the country’s civil war. May 2009 saw the end of the three decade-long conflict between SL govt forces and the LTTE — a pro-Tamil extremist group that allegedly inspired Al Qaeda. The final phase of the war was particularly ghastly, with reports of atrocities carried out by both sides. more..

Devolution of power could lead to separatism: JVP

July 25 (Hindu) JVP is for the establishment of people’s assemblies and democratisation of the village administration instead of devolution of powers to provinces. Articulating the party’s position on a variety of issues on the sidelines of its special convention, Vijitha Herath, JVP spokesperson, and Bimal Ratnayaka, national organiser, said that the assemblies should be created on the basis of ethnicity, culture and more..

Haphazard SL look to derail Pakistan surge

July 25 (CI) "We're not too worried about losing," Angelo Mathews keeps saying, as his side reels from the high-profile exits. A dip in results might have been expected as new men came in and launched careers, but the meekness with which this series has been surrendered has rankled. The three losses have been heavy, and the team's willpower, seemingly weak. Copping a portion of the blame is Lasith Malinga, who has turned up bloated, and lives on the memory of past glories, more..

SA academy set for SL tour

July 25 (S24) The Cricket South Africa (CSA) Academy squad will depart on Sunday for a series against the Sri Lanka Emerging Squad. The tour consists of three four-day unofficial ‘Test’ matches and three limited overs matches. The squad includes several players who were part of the South Africa Under-19 side that won the ICC Junior World Cup last year as well as several others who have already made their mark at franchise level. David White, opening batsman from the Warriors, more..

Sports ministry condemns SLBA suspension

July 25 (DM) Sports Ministry condemned the suspension of the Sri Lanka Badminton Association (SLBA) by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) and said it would go before the Court of Arbitration for Sports to get the suspension removed. The world body on Wednesday suspended the membership of its Sri Lankan representative due to political interferences and flaws in the SLBA constitution. more..

Conviction of LTTE sympathisers set aside

July 25 (Hindu) Madras High Court Bench on Friday set aside an illegal conviction and seven-year sentence imposed by a trial court on three people, alleged to be LTTE sympathisers, on charges of conspiring to smuggle acetone, glycerine, formaldehyde and dicyanamide to Sri Lanka for making explosive substances and indulging in unlawful activities in 2008. Disposing of appeals filed by them, Justice S. Nagamuthu ordered retrial in the case since the ‘Q’ branch police and more..

MR promises to restart stalled dev. projects within one week of coming back to power

July 25 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa promised to re–start all development projects which had come to a standstill since January, within one week of forming a govt after the Aug 17 general election. Speaking at a ceremony to mark the opening of the Hambantota District UPFA campaign office, he said the UNP rule since January had been a failure. Instead of fulfilling the promises given before the election the Wickremesinghe govt had been busy spreading blatant lies, more..

UNP for share owning democracy with borrowed money

July 25 (EN) In a bizarre election promise UNP has proposed to provide half a million rupees of credit to small investors to play the stock market by getting into debt. In a manifesto for upcoming parliamentary polls in August, the ruling UNP said it wanted to increase asset ownership among the public. "Small investors will be given credit facilities of 500,000 rupees to encourage them to invest in stocks," the manifesto said. more..

Ready to face Ravi over Litro Gas: Bandula

July 25 (DM) Former UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardane said he was ready to face Minister Ravi Karunanayake in court if the minister sued him over charging the govt of privatizing state owned Litro Gas Lanka Ltd. “Let him come to the courts. Also, he should have send a letter of demand to the media institution which exposed the govt’s attempt to privatize the gas company instead of sending one to me,” he said. He earlier charged the govt had given approval to privatize Litro Gas Lanka more..

Geneva & UNP policy statement

July 25 (CT) UNP Govt released its policy statement on Thursday, targeting the 17 August general election. It was mainly a market-oriented policy document, but scrupulously avoided speaking about privatization, because of the seeming stigma attached to that word. The policy statement also avoided the Geneva Human Rights (HR) sessions to be held in another two months' time, where the government's alleged abuse of HR during the closing stages of its war against more..

An engineering marvel rising up to house the heart of Negombo Hospital

July 25 (ST) A bare area a month ago and now frenetic construction activity with two steel-framed buildings seemingly rising from scratch within the Negombo General Hospital premises. Being described as an engineering marvel, these two of four buildings opened on Thursday by President Sirisena after which the very heart of the 785-bed Negombo Hospital will beat from within them. Dubbed semi-permanent structures, more..

Onerous task while weighed by a paperwork load

July 25 (ST) It is while the Sunday Times is on the premises that Negombo Hospital’s Medical Superintendent Dr. Champa Aluthweera does her rounds not of wards but of the construction site. This is amidst her heavy administrative workload exacerbated by the stringent pile of paperwork that has come about due to evacuations, equipment movement and also new buildings. Three times a day, she goes walk-about to ensure that everything is functioning as smoothly as possible more..

'We are eating & drinking poison daily'

July 25 (ST) A leading agriculturist and environment specialist has warned that mother earth is facing its worst ever catastrophe unless immediate steps are taken by govts religions, other groups and individuals to cure the epidemic of pollution. Ranjith Seveviratne who worked for more than two decades as a specialist in the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome, called on all religions especially to unite in helping the world to turn around from its self-destructive course. more..

No relief for people in Panama

July 25 (SL) Another attempt was made recently by the people of Panama in the Ampara District seeking access to their land that was acquired forcefully during the former regime. As a result around, 350 families were displaced and left landless, homeless, and deprived of their livelihoods. Despite the cabinet decision taken by the interim government to release some lands that were forcibly taken in the Panama area, more..

JVP: A collective conscience & an accord

July 25 (CT) Third force has ended the age of complacency that has lasted for 67 post independence years. In the process, the JVP has promised the country something that we never realized as missing. The party that chose to abdicate armed rebellion in carefully crafted eloquence has now conceptualized what has been absent in the politics of patronage practiced since independence – a liberated citizenry. The front cover depicts a wooden ladle of rice on a background of a more..

Overseas Sinhala extremist brigade

July 25 (CT) Can individuals see themselves through the prism of their common humanity? Looking at almost every society today this seems a far way off. Racism is a contemporary reality and it does no good but creates welts and deep wounds in the body politic. The funny irony is that racism is a myth. Living and thinking over two thousand five hundred years ago the Buddha (Vaseththa Sutta) emphatically undermined racism as a myth. “Both the Theravada as well as Mahayana schools more..

Global Tamil Forum roots for Sirisena, Ranil and TNA

July 25 (ENS) Without explicitly naming any political party or leader, the UK-based Global Tamil Forum (GTF), has clearly indicated its support for President Maithripala Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and the TNA and opposition to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the run up to the crucial August 17 parliamentary elections. In a statement highlighting the vital issues at stake for all Sri Lankans, the GTF said on Saturday that more..

'Promote unity & co-existence in war-torn region'

July 25 (Island) Utterances of Northern Province Chief Minister Wigneswaran were not favourable to promoting unity among different communities, said the Most Venerable Mahanayake of Asgiriya when TULF leader Ananda Sangari called on him on Thursday 23. The prelate stressed that the need of the hour was unity among communities. Most Venerable Galagama Sri Attadassi Thera urged the TULF leader to take every step to promote unity and co-existence in the former war zone. more..

From the horse's mouth

July 25 (CT) One of the former LTTE top commanders and the outfit's leader Prabhakaran's one time bodyguard V Muralitharan alias Karuna had made some startling revelations with regard to some of the atrocities committed in the past. Karuna, who claims that he was instrumental in bringing an end to the three decades of civil war by deserting the LTTE and entering the political mainstream, is furious over not being given an opportunity to take part in general election in August. more..

Army says it has only limited role in North

July 25 (CG) The Sri Lankan Army has maintained that its involvement in the Northern Province is limited “only to demining, construction works and infrastructure development in connection with the resettlement of people.” Responding to a questionnaire sent by The Hindu on the status of the Army’s presence in the North and East, it said: “We have almost totally disengaged [ourselves] from non-military activities.” more..

UNP has ditched Maithripala’s January manifesto: UPFA

July 25 (Island) The manifesto of the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) for the August 17 general election was at variance with President Maithripala Sirisena’s policy statement issued in the run-up to the January 08 presidential election, UPFA claimed. Former MP Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha said that he had been involved in the drafting of the Maithri manifesto and the UNP’s fivefold development programme more..

Many an eyebrow raised over anti-narc chief addressing Sirikotha briefing

July 25 (Island) Chief of National Dangerous Drugs Control Board Dr. Nilanga Samarasinghe strongly denied accusations that he had promoted the UNP by addressing the media at party headquarters, Sirikotha. Many an eyebrow was raised when Dr. Samarasinghe joined Minister John Amaratunga & Deputy Minister Eran Wickremaratne during Thursday’s regular media briefing that dealt with forthcoming parliamentary polls. more..

I held his hand in admiration: MR supporter

July 25 (DM) The 35-year-old three wheeler driver, Hewa Chaminda of Makandura Kalahagama, who was involved in the controversial Akuressa incident of grasping the hands of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said he held his hand in admiration when he was moving towards the stage among the crowd but he couldn’t get his hand back due to the pressure exerted by the crowd gathered around him. more..

No Wallapatta permits until cultivation: Govt

July 25 (NS) Authorities insist the govt’s recent decision to promote commercial cultivation of Wallapatta (Gyrinops Walla) for export purposes will not play into the hands of smugglers. The environmentalists have expressed concern over moves to allow the possession and transportation of Wallapatta on commercial basis based on a permit issued by a respective authority. According to them, the problem with this move is that more..

Australia hails Lanka’s help against human smuggling

July 25 (CG) Australian Govt noted the assistance given by Sri Lanka in thwarting human smuggling at sea. The Australian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Robyn Mudie called on the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne at the Naval Headquarters in Colombo. She was accompanied by the Defence Adviser to the High Commission Captain Jasen Sears. They held cordial discussions on more..

Sri Lanka's ruling party promises justice for war victims

July 25 (AFP) Sri Lanka's ruling party pledged justice for thousands of victims of the island's separatist war as it released its manifesto ahead of Aug 17 general election. UNP promised to work with the UN to ensure accountability for war crimes committed during the conflict that ended in 2009, a longstanding demand of ethnic minority Tamils. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe urged support for his party to strengthen gains more..

Sri Lankan intelligence lays net over ISIS sympathizes

July 25 (NS) Several more Sri Lankan nationals are known to be fighting for the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria while the group also had some sympathizers inside the country, a senior intelligence official told The Nation. The official was responding to a query regarding activities of the intelligence community following reports that a Sri Lankan ISIS fighter had been killed in an airstrike in Syria on July 12. more..

Funds to be raised to purchase two Mobile Eye Care Units

July 25 (Island) Director General Health Services (DGHS), Dr. Palitha Mahipala said that over 39 million people in the world were visually impaired. That number increased by two million annually, he said. Announcing the National programme in view of World Sight Day under the Vision 2020 (V2020) programme, he said this year’s programme would have the theme, Sight for Life and the Health Ministry hoped to raise funds for more..

Bring Back Mahinda Movement

July 25 (DBS) The Nugegoda Rally demanding the return of Mahinda Rajapaksa to politics was the opening gambit in a planned series of political chess moves by the bring back Mahinda movement. It was a political experiment! The organizers had carefully selected the location. They did not dare to hold it within Colombo city regarded as the citadel of the UNP and chose to stage it elsewhere but within Colombo district for more..

At times identifying your boss is tricky

July 25 (DM) An open letter to the General Secretary of the SLFP. Dear Anura, I am sure you may be thinking of the reasons behind this open letter. Since we are friends, I should have mentioned these points to you in person. But I decided otherwise as this attempt would be more beneficial to you, than a one-on-one tête-à-tête. You have become a key figure within contemporary politics in Sri Lanka – especially with your appointment as the general secretary of the SLFP. more..

Stop the abuse of Lankan mothers and girls

July 25 (DM) Today is Orange Day, a day to raise awareness and take action on the crisis of violence against women and girls. As a bright and optimistic colour, orange represents a future free from such violence. This campaign observed on the 25th of every month is led by the UN and involves mainly young people. Orange Day calls upon activists, governments and UN partners to mobilize people and highlight issues relevant to preventing and ending violence against women and girls, more..

Mahinda no more Mr Nice Guy

July 25 (NS) Former President Rajapaksa, who is contesting the upcoming General Election as a UPFA candidate from the Kurunegala District, pledged to punish even his sons and brothers if they are found to have violated the law. When queried whether he believed the law and order situation in the country had deteriorated during his presidency, and whether this was one of the reasons he had lost his reelection bid, more..

Nimal 2020 presidential candidate: Dilan

July 25 (CT) The SLFP's next candidate at the scheduled 2020 presidential election would be the current Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva, former Badulla District MP, Dilan Perera confirmed. Generally, although the Opposition Leader should be the next PM, a massive majority in this country wanted former President Rajapaksa to be appointed as the Prime Minister and on 18 August it will be Mahinda Rajapaksa who will be appointed as the Prime Minister. more..

'Will attack if Indian fishermen continue using banned nets'

July 25 (PTI) Sri Lankan fishermen have reportedly warned their Indian counterparts that they would be attacked if they continued using banned fishing nets and damaged nets anchored in the Lankan sea. Justin, a leader of TN Fishermen's Association, was speaking to PTI after participating in a meeting of fishermen of two countries at Talaimannar. He said the fishermen there had decided to take matters into their own hands as they were not happy with the action taken by the SL naval men more..