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Indian fishermen to invade Sri Lankan waters in masses

July 31 (ENS) The govt is likely to release all the Indian fishermen in its custody before the fishermen of Rameswaram start on their “Journey for Justice” to Sri Lanka on August 2. “There is every possibility of their release before August 2. The govt had already taken a decision to release all fishermen while detaining their vessels and the fishing gear. I do not know why the AG’s department has not taken steps to release the men. more..

Australia tried to get India to take Tamil asylum seekers while still on Customs ship

July 31 (ABC) Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has revealed Australia unsuccessfully tried to get India to take 157 asylum seekers while they were being held on a Customs ship for almost a month. The Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers, including at least 37 children, were transferred to the Curtin Detention Centre several days ago, breaking long-standing govt policy. They had set sail from Indian state of Pondicherry more..

Borella police catch one more drug baron

July 31 (Island) Borella police are hunting for a small coffin that carried 17 kilos of heroin from Wanathamulla to Minuwangoda following the arrest of Wasantha Sanjeewa Abeyratne alias Punchi Borelle Otha yesterday. Sanjeewa is being grilled by the Borella police under a seven-day detention order as it is he who allegedly smuggled the huge haul of heroin in a child’s coffin to avoid suspicion. more..

Breakaway faction of UPFA forms First Front

July 31 (AM) Political sources told Asian Mirror that a faction from the UPFA has formed a new party with the name “First Front”. A prominent figure of the parliament will be in the driving seat of the party. Another large faction of the ruling party is to accompany him when forming this alliance. Governor of Panadura Nandana Gunathilake and MP Achala Jagoda are said to be the main member of the initial motion. more..

'Per Capita income to top US$ 4000 in 2015'

July 31 (DN) The govt has now drawn up plans to take the country’s economic development into the next level by 2020 and has already laid the foundation for it by investing heavily on infrastructure projects in the country, President Rajapaksa said. “We always took long-term decisions to develop the country and never looked at short term gains or the next election. As a result of this Sri Lanka was able to develop to a more..

Cyril says Sri Lanka visit successful

July 31 (DN) Deputy South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says his recent visit to Sri Lanka, during which he had talks with the Govt and the opposition, was successful. Ramaphosa has told the South African Parliament that South Africa was invited to share its experiences on the truth and reconciliation and constitution-building process with the people of Sri Lanka. He recalled that his delegation more..

Sri Lanka to block protesting Indian fishermen

July 31 (PTI) Sri Lanka today said it will block all attempts to violate its Territorial waters amid reports that TN fishermen have threatened to force their way into Sri Lankan waters to protest against frequent arrests. The Indian fishermen are reportedly contemplating forcing themselves into Sri Lankan waters on August 2 to protest Sri Lankan Navy's arrest of Indians. "The security forces will act like they have always performed their duties," more..

Justice delayed but not denied clears blind masseur of operating a brothel

July 31 (ST) A veteran blind masseur whom the police tried with false charges of running a brothel, and was cleared of the charges by Court, said that, despite a legal battle that lasted more than three years and cost him thousands of rupees in legal fees, he was confident the truth would prevail in the end. E.M. Navaratna (82) and eight employees of the Ratna Ayurveda Massage Centre down Adam’s Avenue in Colombo, more..

Aluthgama peace returns but questions remain

July 31 (SL) While the dust has settled and attempts are being made to restore normalcy in Aluthgama and Beruwela following the violence last month, questions are still being asked and fingers continue to be pointed. Fundamental Rights petitions have now been filed against the authorities following the violence that erupted in Aluthgama and Beruwela last month. Respondents of the petition included IGP N. Illangakoon, DIG Anura more..

As UVA PC polls approach Joint opposition voice for abolition of Executive presidency

July 31 (DM) SLMC leader Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem was under fire from President Rajapaksa in recent times, particularly after he made a salvo at the government over the outbreak of communal riots in Aluthgama, Beruwala and adjacent villages. The Minister, however received Ramazan greetings from President Rajapaksa on July 29, and the two had a cordial chat. But, President once again has complained about more..

Upul Jayasuriya in the limelight again

July 31 (DM) The controversy surrounding the alleged intimidation of the Bar Association President Upul Jayasuriya has thrust the veteran lawyer into the limelight as he deals with yet another tussle as the head of the country’s most influential body representing the legal fraternity. Jayasuriya had lodged a complaint with the Cinnamon Gardens Police stating that he was followed by unidentified persons on two motorcycles while he was returning home from Hulftsdorp on July 15. more..

Agriculture turning into a vulture

July 31 (DM) Sri Lanka for the past few decades has been sowing with the wind and is now reaping the whirlwind with the vital field of agriculture being virtually turned into a vulture. So severe is the crisis that the Internal Trade Ministry, according to a report in the Sunday Times, has sought Cabinet approval to import as much as 50,000 metric tons of rice from India. The newspaper quoted a ministry spokesman as saying there has been a failure in the Maha and Yala cultivation seasons mainly due to more..

Docs in shocking brawl

July 31 (Island) A simmering dispute between two factions of doctors came to a boil with some of them exchanging blows and heaping abuse on one another at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL), Colombo yesterday. The doctors engaged in the violent free-for-all were from the powerful GMOA and its rebel faction. Witnesses to the doctors’ fight said the NHSL had remained calm and quiet with many workers on a sick note more..

Kidney scamsters still roaming free

July 31 (DC) Three months after the death of Hyderabadi Dinesh Maroo, who was taken to Lanka for kidney transplant surgery by racketeers, his family is still awaiting justice. Though the police had arrested three agents from Hyderabad, the main racketeers, including the Lankan doctor, are still free. Despite approaching the police, the Indian High Commission in Colombo, and the PMO Maroo’s family has not got the postmortem report. Police says that the case is almost closed as more..

'Our decisions always focus on benefitting future generations, not merely the immediate'

July 31 (FT) “When taking political decisions we always took a very long-term view of issues, and did not focus merely the immediate and short-term time horizon,” President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. “When we developed the infrastructure of our country we were not thinking of the next five years or the next election, but about the next 100 years and beyond,” President Rajapaksa said, addressing the 175th anniversary ceremony of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday. more..

Uva PC polls: JHU won’t contest on UPFA ticket

July 31 (Island) JHU yesterday said that it wouldn’t contest the forthcoming Uva PC polls on the UPFA ticket. The JHU is the second UPFA constituent to decide against contesting the Uva PC polls. NFF leader, Wimal Weerawansa on Tuesday announced that his party wouldn’t field candidates on the UPFA ticket over a simmering dispute over policy matters, including handling of accountability issues/war crimes. more..

Korea donates 12 new school buildings to Kilinochchi

July 31 (Island) The hand-over ceremony of twelve new school buildings and three teachers’ quarters donated by KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency) on behalf of the Govt of Korea in collaboration with UNOPS (United Nations Office for Project Services) for twelve schools in Kilinochchi district was held in three beneficiary schools, KN/ Konavil GTMS, KN/ Tharmapuram Maha Vidyalayam and KN/ Piramanthanaru Maha Vidyalayam on Monday (28). more..

Kin seek release of fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan navy

July 31 (Hindu) Eleven of the 50 fishermen arrested from Nagapattinam by the Sri Lankan Navy two days ago belonged to Ramanathapuram district. The issue came to light on Wednesday when the family members of 11 fishermen submitted a petition to the District Collector in Ramanathapuram seeking his help to get them released from the Sri Lankan jail. Tamil Nadu Fishermen Association (CITU) district secretary M. Karunamoorthi said the fishermen — K. Ramesh, S. Panchanathan and nine others more..

Video: Buddha Sasana under threat: Ranil

July 31 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe proposed the setting up of a parliamentary monitoring committee to look into the threats faced by the Buddha Sasana. “We have already suggested the setting up of a parliamentary committee to monitor the development of various important sectors and it would be possible to set up such a monitoring system to look into the threats faced by the Buddha Sasana,” more..

Rajarata University reopens on Aug 4

July 31 (AM) Academic activities at the Rajarata University will recommence on Aug 4, according to the university administration. The decision to reopen the university was taken after students apologized for holding the university's VC and several other staff members hostage earlier this month. All students who were facing disciplinary action have also been pardoned following the apology by students. Meanwhile, the bans on students' unions within the university have also been lifted. more..

MRL Corporation assays show 99.2% Total Carbon, Sri Lanka

July 31 (PI) Sri Lankan graphite-company MRL Corporation has delivered more analytical assay results from diamond hole DHE228-01, which recently intersected high grade graphite in SL. Adding to the potential of the area, mineralisation continues in DHE228-04 towards the second shaft. Today's highlight from the contact chill zone of DHE228-01 included 99.2% Total Carbon. Company said that the result was unexpected as normally contact graphite averages around 85% more..

Amending Executive Powers Former CJ takes reins

July 31 (CT) A Committee headed by former Chief Justice, Sarath Nanda Silva has been appointed to draft an amendment to the Constitution in the form of limiting the powers of the Executive Presidency, implementing the 17th Amendment with further amendments, and to completely do away with the preferential vote system. The new draft will strengthen the positions of the Prime Minister, ministers and powers more..

Stolen St. Sebastian’s bone relic found

July 31 (Island) Kandana police have taken into custody a suspect over the theft of the bone relic of St. Sebastian which had been brought from Italy and placed on the altar of St. Sebastian’s Church, Kandana. The relic was recovered yesterday. Under interrogation the suspect has told the police that he had two houses, one at Ja-Ela and the other at Batagama. The one at Batagama had been converted into a church and he wanted to bring the statue at St Sebastian’s church and place it more..

BJP crusader for Lankan Tamils dead

July 31 (TOI) Senior BJP ideologue M V M Alagappan, who championed the cause of the Sri Lankan Tamils and spoke at various forums demanding protection of Indian fishermen from the Sri Lankan navy attacks, died in Chennai early on Wednesday. He penned Tamil booklets on the state of human rights in Sri Lanka and why Narendra Modi should be chosen Prime Minister. Alagappan, 81, had been ailing for some time and was admitted to Vijaya Hospital in Vadapalani. more..

No truth in Pulipaarvai being screened to Rajapakse

July 31 (TOI) Pravin Gandhi, the director of Pulipaarvai, a Tamil film on 12-year-old son of LTTE leader Prabhakaran who was found shot dead after being captured by Lankan troops, has strongly dismissed reports that suggested that his film was privately screened to President Rajapakse to seek his approval. "There is absolutely no truth to such rumours. How is it even possible? I'm an Indian who has made a film for Indians. more..

Ranaviru apparels silently strengthens national economy

July 31 (GDI) Sri Lanka Army’s Ranaviru Apparel industries at Yakkala and Alawwa, run purely by disable Army personnel. These factories produce high quality uniforms for the army that are of international standards. The Yakkala factory has a workforce numbering over 849 with 269 machines and 17 Army officers and produced an average of 1090 uniform sets per day. In the Alawwa factory there is a workforce of 745 soldiers with 230 machines and 10 Army Officers. more..

Lawyers Collective: Save Palestine

July 31 (Island) Senior lawyer Lal Wijenayake issuing a statement on behalf of the Lawyers’ Collective yesterday condemned the UN and the international community for failing to halt the massacre of defenseless civilians in Palestine in the guise of neutralizing armed Hamas. The statement said: Lawyers’ Collective’ condemns the attack by Israel on unarmed civilians in Gaza and other parts of Palestine in the guise of neutralizing armed Hamas militants. more..

CDF to help hospitals

July 31 (CT) The Ministry of Defence yesterday deployed 341 officers of the Civil Defence Force (CDF) to hospitals around the country. The CDF men were meant to fill in the void of 45,000 minor health staff who launched a token strike beginning at 6 a.m. yesterday. Consequently, most of the health services were crippled, it is learned. The move was a joint directive of the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Health. more..

‘United we win, divided we fall’

July 31 (Island) Text of speech delivered by Chairman, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Suresh Shah, at the 175th anniversary celebrations of the Chamber at the Cinnamon Grand on Tuesday. I am privileged to welcome all of you this evening as the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce celebrates its 175th anniversary. This is a landmark occasion for the Chamber & we deeply appreciate your presence here this evening. Today we recall the illustrious journey of an institution – the first of its kind more..

Govts fund NGO gravy train

July 31 (DN) Donors gave Rs. 618.33 million to three NGOs - Centre for Policy Alternatives received Rs. 277 million, National Peace Council received Rs.171 million while Transparency International received Rs.174 million. Observers say these are Western Governmental Organisations and not NGOs, with funding by foreign govt or foreign govt maintained agencies such as the European Union, Helvetas Sri Lanka, Germany, Canadian International Development Agency, more..

Video: Pillay stands by her report on SL

July 31 (CG) The outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says she stands by her report on Sri Lanka submitted to the UN Human Rights Council last year and rejected the notion that it was “propaganda”. In an interview with Al-Jazeera television this week, Pillay said that some of the information mentioned in her report and the UN Experts Panel report was similar to what was reported by the LLRC. more..

Three killed on the spot in head-on collision

July 31 (Island) Three persons were killed on the spot and one was injured when the trishaw they were travelling in collided head-on with a private bus at Meepitiya on the Colombo-Kandy main road yesterday. The fatal accident had occurred around 4.50 p.m. and the injured man had been rushed to the Kegalle hospital. The private bus had been plying from Colombo to Kandy at the time, they said. Police said that the injured person (31) was also in a critical condition. more..

Rs. 1900 mn spent on giving relief to drought affected

July 31 (Island) Disaster Management Ministry said that it had allocated Rs. 1900 million to assist drought victims. Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that Rs. 1300 million had already been released to compensate drought victims in the Northern, Eastern, and North Central Provinces and Hambantota, Moneragala, Puttalam and Badulla Districts. He said that the compensation would be given to all drought victims after evaluating the damage. more..

Whom did Chandimal fail: Himself, the country or the puppeteer?

July 31 (ST) I would not be flummoxed or flabbergasted when I tune on my television or walk into one of the Test venues shortly, to see Rangana Herath batting with one of the top order guys, but, with only a few Lankan wickets fallen. The reason, little old roly-poly guy has been forced to come up in the order as the Lankans have run out of choices in the middle-order. Problem is the SL cricket hierarchy seems to have more..

BOC marks 75 years of ‘service to the nation’

July 31 (Island) ‘Wait and see the changes that are going to take place in the Bank of Ceylon (BOC) in the near future, which will elevate the Bank’s status to the level of leading international banks operating in the country, BOC Chairman, Air Chief Marshal Harsha Abeywickema said, following the BOC media conference to announce its 75th anniversary celebration plans. On Aug 1, Bank of Ceylon celebrates 75 years of service in shaping the financial and banking landscape of Sri Lanka, more..

Sanga story: SLC Clarifies

July 31 (Island) In response to our article "Sanga cries foul" that appeared in The Island, Sri Lanka Cricket CEO Ashley de Silva has sent us the following clarification. ‘All decisions taken by SLC with regard to the player who represent the CLT20 tournament or any other decision are taken by the entire ExCo and not by any individual of the ExCo. Even last year when Mr. Kumar Sangakkara requested to represent his IPL Team, the Exco whilst expressing Sri Lanka Cricket’s more..