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Aluthgama suspects released 'legally'

July 30 (SM) Police say that a police OIC is empowered to release the 13 suspects of the Aluthgama incident, on police bail. Speaking to BBC, SSP Ajith Rohana has said thus, while responding to queries over the release of the 13 suspects. Though journalist J.S. Tissanayagam was arrested on the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) on charges of abetting terrorism, the Aluthgama incident did not come under the PTA, he has added. more..

Navy to be placed on alert for Indians

July 30 (CG) The navy will be placed on alert to arrest Indian fishermen if they attempt to force their way into Sri Lankan waters, the military said today. Indian fishermen have threatened to cross into Sri Lankan waters on August 2 in protest over the navy arresting Indian fishermen. Militarily spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that Indian fishermen had made similar threats even on earlier occasions but never went ahead with it. However he said even if the Indians go ahead with more..

Hudson skins the radio

July 30 (LT) SLBC has decided to sell a 71 acre land belonging to it on a proposal by its Chairman Hudson Samarasinghe as a solution for the financial crisis it is confronted with say reports. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella has already forwarded a proposal regarding this to the cabinet. The money that would be available after selling the land would be used to modernize the Corporation, implement a voluntary compensation scheme for redundant employees and bring up the standard of more..

IMF Executive Director calls on President

July 30 (GDI) The Executive Director at the IMF in Washington, D.C., United States, representing Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh and Bhutan, Dr. Rakesh Mohan called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa this evening at Temple Trees. Commenting on the Govt's initiatives toward rapid infrastructure development, Dr. Mohan said that it was a very wise decision to put in place development plans that focus on the medium more..

Kallis retires from international cricket

July 30 (CI) Jacques Kallis has announced his retirement from international cricket, across all three formats. The South Africa batsman had quit Tests late last year and decided to call time on his limited-overs career after the recent poor one-day tour of Sri Lanka. Kallis will, however, continue to play T20 franchise cricket for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL and for Sydney Thunder in the BBL. He ends his ODI career with 11579 runs in 328 matches with 17 centuries & 86 fifties at an average of 44.36. more..

Sri Lanka: Time to take spice route

July 30 (FPJ) Last week, I visited the beautiful home of local businessman Thirukumar Nadesan in a part of Colombo-7 that is so reminiscent of Kolkata’s Alipore of yore. There are three facets of Nadesan that strike me as significant. First, he is a Jaffna Tamil now living in Colombo; second, he is an extremely devout Hindu, with a fully functioning puja room and even a goshala in his back garden; and finally, his wife Nirupama, a MP for the ruling SLFP, is a niece of President Rajapaksa. more..

Video: Sri Lanka a happy hunting ground for the newly rich – Kunanayakam

July 30 (LT) “I’m here as I’m a Sri Lankan and I’m proud to be a Sri Lankan. I do not believe that separatism or partition is the answer for problems of the society. I’m convinced that the unity of all Sri Lankan people can free the country and the people from exploitation and preserve our sovereignty and independence. People joined together will be able to combat all exploitation,” said Ms Tamara Kunanayakam, former more..

Tense situation arises at Colombo National Hospital

July 30 (NF) A tense situation has arisen between two groups of doctors at the Colombo National Hospital. Police has been deployed to the area. A group of health workers are currently engaging in a countrywide strike action citing several demands including salary anomalies and the non-payment of salary deficits. The Co-convenor of the strike, Deepika Wijeysooriya stated that employees attached to 27 health professions are taking part in this strike action. more..

Ranil demands an end to Presidency

July 30 (CG) The UNP says it is firmly against the Executive Presidency and wants it abolished. UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said that continuing with the Executive Presidency is a threat to the country. “Not just us but even other political parties agree the Executive Presidency must be abolished,” he said. Wickremesinghe said that the main goal of the UNP is not only to remove the current President and his Govt but to also address several key issues. 17th Amendment must be implemented more..

Video: Bandula to complain to CID

July 30 (DM) Minister Bandula Gunawardene said today he would complain to the CID over a false allegation made by a Ruhunu University Professor that he had provided an answer to a question in the A/L Economics Administration Paper held in 2012. When asked at a news conference whether he had sent such a fax message to the Examinations Department giving the answer to a question in A/L Economics more..

Lanka exports clinch hat trick win in first half

July 30 (GDI) Sri Lanka’s exports sector has clinched a triple win for 2014 1st half (January-June) –a first time event. “Latest reports are good news for our $20B goal therefore we should commend our committed exporters for this achievement” said Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka on Monday in Colombo. Minister Bathiudeen was responding to Bandula Egodage, Chairman/CEO-EDB who briefed him of the latest provisional export revenues. more..

Sea, sun, scandal

July 30 (CI) July 13: Moving house is listed among the five most stressful things that can happen in one's lifetime. As someone who travels fairly frequently, I did not believe that until I did it. Two weeks before I was due to head out to Sri Lanka, I left Johannesburg's icy sunshine for Cape Town's wet, windy winter. Being a summer person, I was relieved when it came time to leave for Sri Lanka. Taking off from Cape Town International was a different feeling from more..

Sri Lanka launches dollar mutual fund to draw foreign investors

July 30 (LBO) Ceylon Asset Management (CAM) has launched a dollar denominated mutual fund that will invest in sovereign debt and securities issued by rated banks and firms in Sri Lanka. CAM Managing Director Dulindra Fernando said the fund expects to draw foreign investors with a target return of over 4% a year. Fernando said the dollar asset fund will be a first step for Sri Lanka based firms to manage foreign funds, more..

Construction work on 28 bridges completed under French Aid

July 30 (GDI) Construction work of 28 bridges under Reconstruction Programme of 46 bridges implemented under French aid has been completed said Pillipe Matiere, Chairman, Unibridge Agency. This was stated by him when he met Minister Basil Rajapaksa recently. The progress of Bridges construction Programme implemented in Sri Lanka by the French Govt and future construction programmes, were discussed between the Minister and the Chairman of Unibridge Agency. more..

'Tamils issue an internal matter of Sri Lanka'

July 30 (PTI) Seshadri Chari, National Convener of BJP's Foreign Policy Cell, today denied a report quoting him as saying that India has told Sri Lanka that the Tamils issue should be resolved for making progress on bilateral trade and commerce. Referring to a PTI report from Singapore last week in this regard, he said he never spoke these words in a seminar there. Chari said in Colombo, which he had visited from July 20 to 22, he had expressed his opinion that the Tamils issue was an internal more..

'Debt crisis worsens in the country'

July 30 (AD) The country currently confronts a worsening economic crisis and the debt accumulation exceeds the annual household income, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. He pointed out that the impact will escalate in near future, if the govt fails to come across a practical plan to defray heavy foreign debts. “Despite the efforts of the govt to demonstrate that the country marches towards the success, foreign debts more..

36-hour water cut in Colombo & suburbs

July 30 (DM) A 36-hour water cut will be imposed in several areas in Colombo for two days (August 2 -3) due to construction work that is being carried out at the Battaramulla-Polduwa Bridge, the National Water Supple and Drainage Board said. The NSWDB said the construction work is being done to facilitate the connection of the new Ambatale- Dehiwela pipeline to the Battaramulla- Polduwa main line. Water supply will be suspended from 9 am on Saturday until 9 pm on Sunday more..

SLT holds prestigious Transformers’ Awards

July 30 (GDI) “As a nation we all must be proud of the economic benefits we are enjoying through the robust ICT services in the country,” commented Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, speaking at Sri Lanka Telecom's Transformers' Award Ceremony held at Cinnamon Grand Colombo recently. He was the Chief Guest of the event. Janath Fernando, Private Secretary to Minister Telecommunications & IT and Kalinga Indatissa, Director / SLT also graced the event with their presence. more..

Attack on policeman: The Department fails to deliver truth as promised

July 30 (AM) Police have so far failed reveal the truth behind the attack on the then police constable Suminda Saman and arson attack on his car while reporting to work on the May 30, though the Department promised to reveal it by July 25. Earlier, SSP Ajith Rohana said that the investigation conducted by the CCD had been concluded, but they were waiting for a few medical reports to make their findings public. more..

‘Still no official invitation from Indian govt for TNA visit’

July 30 (AM) The TNA today said that they have still not received an invitation from the govt to conduct their expected visit. Despite the speculations that the TNA is expected visit to India in the coming days, TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah said that they have not yet received the invitation from the Indian Govt. A delegation of five led by R Sampanthan is expected to visit India during the first part of August. The delegation will include TNA Leader R Sampanthan, TNA Spokesperson Suresh Premachandran, more..

No rains over North, East, North Central till October

July 30 (Island) Meteorology Department said that no rains could be expected in Northern, Eastern, North Central and some parts of Southern Provinces till the end of October. Duty Meteorologist Pabodani Karunapala said that the department had not yet witnessed El Nino situation in Sri Lanka. If the country experienced El Nino conditions the current situation would become worse. The drought like condition in Northern and Eastern Provinces was normal from April to October every year, more..

Video: Minister reserves right to exercise 'any and every option' on asylum seekers

July 30 (ABC) Immigration Minister Scott Morrison says the Govt reserves the right to use 'any and every option' they deem in the national interest in the area of asylum seeker policy, while discussing the case of 157 Sri Lankan asylum seekers kept on a boat for nearly a month. PRESENTER: I'm joined by the Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison. You've said variously that these people are economic migrants. more..

Kataragama PS opposition leader joins UPFA

July 30 (Island) Opposition Leader of the Kataragama Pradeshiya Sabha Ashoka Wickramasinghe has resigned from the UNP to contest the forthcoming Uva PC election on the UPFA ticket. Wickremesinghe, who was an active member of the UNP for the last 25 years, received the SLFP membership from President Rajapaksa at Temple Trees yesterday. Wickremesinghe said that he had no confidence in the UNP leadership or the Leadership Council and his former party more..

Sri Lanka shares close up 0.3%

July 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka's shares closed 0.26% higher on Wednesday with Ceylon Tobacco Company gaining amid net foreign buying. All Share Price Index closed 17.57 points higher at 6,801.84, up 0.26%. The S&P SL20 closed 6.75 points higher at 3,768.18, up 0.18%. Turnover was 973.71 million rupees, up from 493.10 million rupees last Monday with 87 stocks closed positive against 98 negative. Amana Bank closed flat at 5.70 rupees with two off-market transactions of 160.71 million rupees more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Gotabaya and I were right

July 30 (CT) I was privileged, a couple of weeks back, to attend the release of the Northern Education Sector Review Report at a ceremony held at Vembadi Girls School. I had last been at Vembadi in 2008, when the then Commander of the Special Forces in Jaffna, General Chandrasiri, arranged what was termed a Future Minds Exhibition. It was at the height of the war, but the General had already begun to plan for the future, and sensibly so for he stressed the need for the development of more..

From shipping hub to drugs hub

July 30 (CT) If Colombo Port is the transshipment hub in South Asia, the city is also fast obtaining the dubious reputation of becoming the region's narcotics hub! Last week this newspaper reported about the authorities busting a Rs 700 million heroin racket at Orugodawatte, where the drugs were stashed in moulding machines. That haul comprised 100 kilos, one of the largest drug hauls in Sri Lanka to date. In the previous month, this newspaper, in its 12 June issue, reported of the police seizing more..

Sangakkara alleges cricket official harassing him

July 30 (Island) Star batsman Kumar Sangakkara has opened out saying that a ‘powerful’ cricket official has been victimising him. The former captain had several run ins with this ‘powerful’ official during his tenure as national captain and after that, and yesterday alleged that the individual had a personal agenda against him. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) issuing a media release yesterday said that the Board had freed Lasith Malinga more..

17 year old boy siphons off millions from Sampath Bank

July 30 (AM) A 17 year old boy from Pollonnaruwa who siphoned off millions of rupees from Sampath Bank in a fraudulent manner was released on bail by the Colombo Fort Magistrate. He was produced before court after Smapath Bank lodged a complaint that the boy had taken mney from ATM machine in a wrongful manner. He had opened an account with Sampath Bank in January 2014 and had deposited more..

Tamil film portraying Prabha’s son as a hero creates controversy

July 30 (AM) A Tamil film Pulipaarvai, believed to portray slain LTTE leader V Prabhakaran’s son Balachandran as a hero handling weapons with ease has met with stiff resistance from supporters of the Tigers. The film’s trailer shows Balachandran in LTTE uniform with a pistol in hand, receiving combat training. Pro-Tamil outfits say it could be an attempt to depict the child as a heroic fighter, amidst the heat of war and more..

Ravana Balaya fears US conspiracy

July 30 (CG) The Ravana Balaya today met the Secretary of the Buddhasasana and Religious Affairs Ministry M.K.B. Dissanayaka and handed over a petition alleging a US conspiracy in Sri Lanka. Monks attached to the Ravana Balaya said that the US Embassy is involved in promoting extremist groups in Sri Lanka. The monks, who had on an earlier occasion opposed the new religious police unit setup at the Ministry, said that more..

US envoy to Lanka keen on UN role

July 30 (CG) The US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and nominee for Deputy Representative of the United States to the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador, and Deputy Representative of the United States in the Security Council of the UN Michele J. Sison, says if confirmed to her new post she will look at advancing America’s interests at the UN. Making a statement before the US Senate Foreign Relations more..

Red alert as corruption, addiction feed tidal wave of heroin

July 30 (ST) Heroin smuggling into Sri Lanka is reaching unprecedented proportions as agencies tasked to combat the menace are struggling to combat it, an investigation by ST has revealed. It was only this week that 93.76kg of heroin with a market value of more than Rs. 700 million was seized in an Orugodawatta container yard. Drugs were hidden inside three plastic moulding machines that had come in from Karachi. more..

Police obtain CCTV footage of persons following BASL Chief

July 30 (Island) The police have obtained the CCTV footage of two unknown persons wearing full-face helmets on a motorcycle following President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) Upul Jayasuriya’s car recently. The BASL chief alleged that he had been followed while he was returning from Hulfstdorp. Police said that investigators had been able to secure CCTV footage from cameras installed by the police more..

Polonnaruwa farmers accuse irrigation officials

July 30 (SL) Farmers in the Polonnaruwa district accuse the Irrigation Department for releasing enough water for cultivation only to the areas in the district that represents Govt Ministers. Farmer Organisations in Maduru Oya, Elahera, Kawudulla, Minneriya and Girithale said how unfair it is for the Irrigation Department to release water to areas that has govt representation but paying no attention to the other areas. more..

HRC might intervene on behalf of interdicted cop

July 30 (Island) Sri Lanka Human Rights Commissioner Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa said that they would screen the fundamental rights violation case filed by Constable Sumith Kumarawansa on Monday against his sudden interdiction and take action to grant him justice considering it an urgent matter. Sumith had filed the Fundamental Rights Violation case against ASP, Rohan Dias and OIC of Borella, more..