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AG orders immediate arrest of Avant-Garde chairman & 7 others

Jul 5 (AD) Attorney General has informed the Acting IGP to immediately arrest the Chairman of Avant-Garde Maritime Services (Pvt) Ltd Nissanka Senadhipathi and 7 others, AG’s Department said. However, CID has informed the AG’s Department that Mr Nissanka Senadhipathi has left the country, according to the Coordinating Officer to the AG, State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne. He has reportedly traveled to Singapore. more..

Over 3,000 housing units are set up now in hill country: Digambaram

Jul 5 (DN) Minister Palani Digambaram yesterday said the hill country is rapidly developing with the utmost support of the govt and all the promise were met before the elections. “No previous govt has supported the development of the hill country people. Over 8,000 houses were constructed and another 3,000 are under construction now. Indian PM Narendra Modi has extended his support to construct another 10,000 houses and the work on them will commence in October,” he said. more..

Coral reef stayed hidden until now discovered off Kankasanthurai harbour

Jul 5 (SLN) A diving team attached to the Northern Naval Command had discovered a beautiful coral reef which remained a well-hidden secret until a recent deep-sea expedition carried out over the past week in Kankasanthurai. The diving expedition to uncover this coral reef which extends approximately 400 metres along the seaward side of breakwater was conducted by a diving team led by Command Diving Officer, under the directives of Commander Northern Naval Area, Rear Admiral more..

Anura Kumara Disanayake

Acquiring the desired change

Jul 5 (FT) There is a wide circle of readers who used to ask me various questions over the phone and through social media viz. SMS and Facebook, in relation to the issues that I discuss through newspapers. How to eradicate the corrupt system that prevails in the country at present? can be considered the most common of the many questions they have posed to me in contemporary times. Though the question is presented in various forms, the essence of it remains same. more..

Human-Elephant conflict

Jul 5 (CT) Two hundred and fifty six elephants killed and 87 human lives lost in human-elephant conflict (HEC) in 2017, a UNDP report on Wednesday said. UNDP said that there were 5,879 wild elephants according to a 2011 census while stating that up to 50% of the Asian elephant stock had been decimated in the last three generations. If this trend continues, there will be no Asian elephants in the wild, including in Sri Lanka, by the end of the century. more..

Video: SC issues interim order against carrying out death penalty

Jul 5 (AD) Supreme Court has delivered an interim order preventing the implementation of the death penalty until the 30th of Oct. Order was delivered by a 3-judge bench consisting of SC Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Prasanna Jayawardene and Gamini Amarasekara. Twelve petitions filed with the Supreme Court against the implementation of the death penalty were taken up for consideration before judge bench today. more..

Wahhabism confronted: Sri Lanka curbs Saudi influence after bombings

Jul 5 (Reuters) Sri Lanka is moving to curtail Saudi Arabian influence, after some politicians and Buddhist monks blamed the spread of the kingdom’s ultra-conservative Wahhabi school of Islam for planting the seeds of militancy that culminated in deadly Easter bomb attacks. On April 21, nine Sri Lankans blew themselves up in churches and luxury hotels, killing more than 250 people and shocking the country more..

No execution until July 17th: Prisons Chief tells court

Jul 5 (AD) Commissioner General of Prisons T.M.W. Tennakoon has undertaken that no prisoner would be executed until the order of the Court of Appeal is delivered on the 17th of July. The Commissioner stated this when the petition filed by journalist Malinda Seneviratne, seeking a court order against the decision to implement the death penalty on four prisoners, was taken up for consideration for the third day today. more..

'Under Sharia law 20 sentenced to death in Eastern Province'

Jul 5 (CT) Sri Lanka's Wahabi terrorism is sponsored by the Govt, NFF leader and MP Wimal Weerawansa said yesterday. He was addressing the masses gathered at a rally, organised by the People's Movement Against Wahabi Extremism, in Nugegoda. "It's no secret that Zahran was helping the Swan during the 2015 elections. They thought that after these terror attacks, Sri Lanka would sink into another civil war, more..

Ex-BASL Chief faults Parliament for continuing PSC proceedings

Jul 5 (Island) Former President of the Bar Association of SL (BASL) U. R. de Silva, PC, faulted Parliament for continuing with its own inquiry into the Easter Sunday attacks even after Attorney General Dappula de Livera had initiated an inquiry. Acknowledging that Parliament had constituted the PSC, a couple of weeks before the AG intervened soon after receiving Justice Vijith Malalgoda report on the Sunday carnage, more..

UDA refuses to give letter to Health Min. that it will not cancel lease agreement with SAITM

Jul 5 (Island) In August 2017, the Urban Development Authority (UDA) refused a request by the Ministry of Health to give a letter confirming that the UDA would not cancel a lease agreement it had with South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM), for the land on which it was built, the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) probing corruption under the current administration was informed yesterday. more..

Link between smoking and schizophrenia

Jul 5 (ST) Smoking may worsen schizophrenia! The smokescreen to the contrary that has been created by powerful tobacco companies and researchers with vested interests has been dispelled by two Sri Lankan Psychiatrists. Their convincing evidence titled Tobacco smoking and schizophrenia: re-examining the evidence has been published by the prestigious medical journal, BJPsych Advances (British Journal of Psych Advances). more..

Poor nutrition harms children and stunts nation’s growth

Jul 5 (ST) The death through starvation of an 11-month-old child in the Hambantota district last week has cast doubt on the health sector’s effectiveness in making sure youth are properly fed. While media reports speculated that the infant died mainly due to economic reasons and the family could not afford appropriate nutritious food, nutritionists say the dysfunctional state health mechanism and the mother’s poor knowledge more..

Union Govt clash derails train services

Jul 5 (DM) Of late, Sri Lanka’s widely-used train services have been hampered by a series of strikes as railway unions and the govt tussle over promised economic demands. Inevitably, it is commuters who suffer the most due to ensuing power struggles and conflicts within the public transport sector. Hundreds of thousands of commuters in Colombo and throughout interconnected cities island-wide have been more..

It is Sri Lanka that’s on the Death Row now

Jul 5 (DM) The economy is in total disarray despite numbers trotted out to insist there is economic growth. The PM was reported as having told his ministers to complete all Development projects within three months by October. There is a sudden awakening, while 2019 budgetary proposals till now were almost forgotten. There are also massive salary increases given to the security establishment as against paltry sums for more..

Who's genuinely against capital punishment?

Jul 5 (DM) We hear these days many voices against the statement made to the heads of media institutions last week by Prez Sirisena that he had signed the documents for the implementation of the death sentence on four convicts. There are political party leaders and leaders of NGOs among those agitated by the announcement. Are all these voices against the implementation of the death sentence honest? In a close scrutiny of the history of most of these political parties and NGOs one would more..

Democracy’s cornerstone at stake

Jul 5 (DM) On Sunday, June 30 the UN marked the International Day of Parliamentarianism at a time in SL’s Parliament, standards, values and principles have plunged to one of the lowest levels with some cynics even suggesting that the Easter Sunday’s suicide bombers should have targeted Parliament also. At a recent event when there was a 21-gun salute at a ceremony presided over by the President in the vicinity of Parliament some had even suggested a gun or two should have been more..

Madush masterminded 4 major criminal acts from Dubai: CID

Jul 5 (DM) It has emerged that notorious underworld drug kingpin Makandure Madush had orchestrated four major criminal offences from Dubai, which include the prison bus attack in which Samayan was killed, the shooting incident of narcotic officers in Piliyandala, the Kos Malli murder and 5-billion-rupee worth diamond robbery. Police Spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said, following this revelation by the CID, more..

NTJ member arrested while trying to leave the country

Jul 5 (DM) Sein Anzar Mohamed Rinaz, a member of the National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ) has been arrested by the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) when he attempted to leave the country, SP Ruwan Gunasekera said. He said the suspect was arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport yesterday. The suspect, who was a resident of Mawanella, had NTJ militant training in Nuwara Eliya. He was brought to Colombo and detained for further questioning, more..

Moves to get President’s term extended unethical: SLPP

Jul 5 (DM) SLPP said the decision taken by Prez Sirisena to seek Court opinion to get his term extended was unethical since he pledged not to contest for a second term. MP Ramesh Pathirana said there was a move to seek court opinion next week, on the commencement date of the President's tenure. “This move is to clarify whether the President’s term commenced on Jan 9, 2015, when the President was sworn in his office or on May 19, 2015, when 19th Amendment was passed more..

Man who went to see his sick child in school shot dead

Jul 5 (CT) A 39-year-old man was shot dead by a soldier, providing security to a school in Akmeemana, Galle yesterday, after he allegedly attempted to force himself into the premises. The victim was identified as Udaya Pradeep Kumara, a father of three and former member of the SL Navy Band. The incident took place shortly after midday outside the school where the victim’s three children are studying, SP Ruwan Gunasekera said. more..

9,410 suspects nabbed during National Drug Prevention Week: Police

Jul 5 (DM) At least 9,410 suspects were nabbed in connection with toxic narcotic offences during a special countrywide operation carried out from June 9 to July 2 to coincide with the National Drug Prevention Week, Police Spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said. Addressing the media, he said the special operation was carried out by provincial police personnel in collaboration with the officers of the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB), Walana Anti-Vice Unit, Organised Crimes Division and STF. more..

Saudi govt says it helps projects to uplift quality of people’s life

Jul 5 (DM) While denying reports that Saudi Arabia was providing loans for Muslims through some local banks at the interest rate of one percent, the Saudi Embassy asserted that the soft loans had been provided by the Kingdom for the development projects in Sri Lanka, and they were intended to be contributions to provide a quality of life for the friendly people of Sri Lanka. Saudi Arabia has provided soft loans amounting to US $ 408.72 million. more..

'Gazette will be revoked if no further strikes'

Jul 5 (DM) The Gazette notification which was issued declaring the railways as an essential service would be revoked if the trade unions agree not to launch any strike action within the next two weeks, Transport Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said. He said the gazette notification making the railway service an essential service was issued because of the number of railway trade union actions experienced recently. more..

Madusanka banned for two years

Jul 5 (CT) St. Joseph’s College rugby player Tharindu Madusanka has been suspended for 96 weeks (two years) from participating in all formats of the game after an inquiry into the assault of Rugby Referee Priyantha Gunaratne was held yesterday headed by Ranjith Chandrasekere, President of SL Schools Rugby Football Association (SLSRFA) in Colombo. Both Tharindu Madusanka and Santosh Algama were reported by the SL Society for Rugby Football Referees (SLSRFR) to the SLSRFA more..

Sri Lankan tea prices slide, buyers shift to cheaper origins

Jul 5 (EN) Prices of Sri Lankan tea have been sliding despite their reputation for quality, owing to increased volume and comparatively less demand with big buyers shifting to cheaper alternatives. “No country can match our quality standards in orthodox tea,” said Lalith Obeysekere, Secretary General of the Planters’ Association, which represents regional plantations companies (RPCs). The high quality means prices tend to be higher than at auctions in other tea exporting countries. more..

SB struggles to explain why Mannar land grabs not probed during previous ...

Jul 5 (Island) ACMC leader Rishad Bathiudeen, MP, now under a cloud over his alleged links with the proscribed National Thowheed Jamaat (NTJ) has allegedly acquired over 6,500 acres in the Mannar administrative district during the Rajapaksa administration and the current dispensation, the media was told. The NTJ was among three organizations proscribed in the wake of the Easter Sunday attacks. more..

Sri Lanka making detailed designs for US$600mn Colombo suburban electric train

Jul 5 (EN) Sri Lanka has started making detailed designs for Colombo suburban electric trains adding an extra track to existing rail lines. An electric track is being designed as a second line running from Maradana to Padukka along the Kelani Valley line. A triple line from Maradana to Ragama will be expanded up to 4 lines. A double line from Ragama to Veyangoda will be expanded to 3 lines. A double line from Colombo Fort to Panadura along the seaside will be made into a triple like. more..

Intelligence service the backbone of national security: Weerasekara

Jul 5 (AD) National security is the backbone of a country and intelligence services are the backbone of national security, says Rear Admiral (Retd.) Sarath Weerasekera. He made these comments while addressing the public rally organized today (4) by People’s Movement Against Wahhabi Extremism at the Ananda Samarakoon Open Air Theatre, Nugegoda. The former MP claimed that through the strengthening of the country’s intelligence services under the previous govt, more..

Sri Lanka will not sign deals allowing US to build a military base: Wijewardene

Jul 5 (EN) Sri Lanka will not sign an agreement which will allow the US to build a military base in SL, State Minister for Defence Ruwan Wijewardene said. "JO and some groups have been saying that we are attempting to sign a secret agreement to allow US military forces to enter this country and set up bases," he said in a statement. "I deny this. I have given a statement in parliament that we are neither attempting to sign more..

Latest IPS publication explores prospects for Climate Insurance for Sri Lankan farmers

Jul 5 (Island) Research by the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS) has revealed that climate-induced natural disasters and fluctuations in rainfall are the biggest risks facing Sri Lanka’s farmers, especially those in the dry zone who are most vulnerable to both floods and droughts. IPS Research Economist, Kanchana Wickramasinghe’s, report Climate Insurance for Dry Zone Farmers in Sri Lanka: Prospects for Index Insurance noted that the most common risk management strategy more..

Under 19 Super Provincial 50-over Tournament from July 16

Jul 5 (DN) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) will conduct the ‘Under 19 Super Provincial 50 over Tournament’ from July 16 to 23 with the participation of the four Super Provincial Teams, namely Colombo, Kandy, Galle and Dambulla. Each team will play three games in the first round, while the two top-ranked teams will go into the finals. The matches will be played at the Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium and the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium. more..

Patali launches Pannaraya to create a country worth living in

Jul 5 (FT) The Pannaraya promotions campaign was created to inform the general public of the massive project of development as well as its large number of sub-projects as well to trigger human development and outlines, highlights and underscores the integrated effort of Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development and its line agencies, SL Land Reclamation and Development Corporation, UDA and the Project Office. more..

'Sri Lankan specialist doctors in digital health second to only those in US'

Jul 5 (Island) Sri Lankan specialist doctors in digital health are of very high standards and are second to only those in the US, chairman, Speciality Board in Biomedical Bioinformatics at the Uni of Colombo Prof. Vajira Dissanayake said. "Sri Lankan health system is on par with those in the Western world. Therefore, it is an achievement for Sri Lankan doctors to specialize in digital health and come up to world standards, Dissanayake said at the relaunch of the HealthNet Online Pharmacy Brand more..

IMF won't stop China from turning Pakistan into the next Sri Lanka

Jul 5 (Forbes) A $6 billion loan approved from the IMF this week will ease Pakistan’s debt problems, for now. But it won’t stop China from turning the country into the next Sri Lanka. China has been very close to Pakistan in recent years, for a couple of reasons. One of them is that Pakistan is a natural ally in Beijing’s long-time efforts to contain India. The other reason is that Pakistan offers a natural corridor between western China and the Indian Ocean, and, therefore, an alternative route more..

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