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SLFP nominations for Mahinda: Talks inconclusive

June 30 (DN) Talks between President Sirisena and SLFP stalwarts over accommodating former President Rajapaksa in the SLFP nomination list at the next election ended without a conclusion last night. During the meeting however, UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha and SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa had insisted that former President Rajapaksa should be nominated more..

Pharmacists' strike hampers drug distribution

June 30 (DN) The issuance of drugs at certain state hospitals was affected yesterday due to the strike by the Govt Pharmacists' Association. The drug issuing process at the Colombo General Hospital and Teaching Hospitals at Ragama, Anuradhapura etc had not been affected due to the strike. They said small hospitals such as the one at Bentota had been affected due to the strike. Arrangements were being made to plan and implement a substitute system to issue drugs to the patients, more..

SL eying billion dollar funding: CB Governor

June 30 (CT) The newly formed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which was opened in China yesterday will boost our infrastructure projects with low cost funding, Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran exclusively revealed to Ceylon FT. I'm sure we would be one of the first beneficiaries of this bank. We wish to apply for at least US $ one billion project funding for our infrastructure projects, he said in an telephone interview from China. We hope to get those loans at around 2-3% rate, more..

GL, Mahendran trade fire over bond scam

June 30 (Island) Opposition alleged that the Governor of the CB Arjuna Mahendran had received instructions from PM Ranil Wickremesinghe as regards change of established procedures in the run-up to the controversial bond issue and such interventions were contrary to existing regulations. Prof. Peiris said that CB Governor himself had admitted premier’s intervention when he appeared before the special parliamentary committee more..

'All Ministry portfolios will remain in force'

June 30 (DM) Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe today said all Cabinet and State Ministers along with Deputy Ministers would continue to function until a new set of ministers was appointed in a new parliament following the general elections. However, according to the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, only Cabinet Ministers could function in a caretaker government during a general election. “The 19A will be applied once this general election is over. more..

JVP leader slams Maithri for meeting MR

June 30 (CG) JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake slammed President Maithripala Sirisena for having talks with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Dissanayake said that while Sirisena and Rajapaksa had denied that the meeting took place at the Speaker’s official residence, the meeting did take place last week at another location. “Both Rajapaksa and Sirisena issued statements saying they did not meet. They met at President Maithripala Sirisena’s house,” he said. more..

JHU in limbo after dissolution

June 30 (DN) JHU is now in a dilemma on how it should contest Parliamentary election. Although the party had a plan to align itself with the SLFP after the passage of 20th Amendment, dissolution of Parliament has plunged the party into a fresh problem. With the warring factions within SLFP negotiating to arrive at an agreement to contest together, JHU, a minor stakeholder of the govt, has now been left out of equation. more..

Sri Lanka challenges: Poll, LTTE network

June 30 (DNA) The upcoming election to the Sri Lankan Parliament, slated for August 17, is yet another high-stakes gamble for not only President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe but also former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Sirisena’s dissolution of Parliament, which he had promised on April 23 after 100 days in office, comes 10 months before the term of the 225-member House was to end. In the normal course, elections were due only in April 2016. more..

Sri Lanka showcased at Asia Pacific Yachting Conference

June 30 (AT) The 2-day Asia Pacific Yachting Conference, which coincided with the Singapore Yacht Show, was attended by a delegation from the Sri Lanka Govt. A prominent speaker at the conference, and at the Asia Boating Forum that followed, was Simon Arrol, Managing Director of Marina Lanka (Pvt) Limited. Theme of the conference was how to develop yachting and nautical tourism across the region. Although SL is at the extreme west of Asia Pacific Region, more..

Better defeat than contest with Mahinda: Pro-Maithri SLFP group tells President

June 30 (FT) In the backdrop of frantic negotiations to unite warring factions of the SLFP, 36 MPs loyal to the incumbent President have strongly urged him to refrain from joining forces with his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa at the forthcoming parliamentary poll. The group, many of whom hold ministerial portfolios in the now caretaker Govt established after the presidential election, met President last Friday to put their case across. more..

Ceylon Chamber curtails powers of Chairman

June 30 (DN) The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, too has introduced an amendment to their constitution similar to SL’s constitution. This too is to limit the number of times the Chamber President can hold office. Chamber’s former Chairman, Suresh Shah, said they have decided to restrict the term of its Chairman. “We want to give more autonomy to our secretariat,” he said. Traditionally the outgoing Chairperson was also offered a post, but this clause has been taken off. more..

Actor stabbed to death

June 30 (Island) An actor was stabbed to death during a brawl at a restaurant in Maharagama during the wee hours of yesterday. Deceased Indika Ratnayake (44) of Ranawana Road in Pannipitiya had acted in several teledramas and movies. He was a father of two. He had been stabbed in the mouth and chest, police said. The actor visited the restaurant in Maharagama around 4.15 am with two of his friends who got involved in an argument with a woman who had come there. more..

Economy expands by 6.4%, inflation low

June 30 (DN) Sri Lankan economy expanded by 6.4% in the first quarter of 2015, with positive contributions from all three key sectors of the economy. The Services sector and the Industry sector grew by 7.5% and 6.5%, respectively, while the Agriculture sector displayed strong signs of recovery. Going forward, the prospects of improved performance in advanced economies along with low inflation and more..

SL auction & secondary bond yields diverge

June 30 (EN) Yields at a Sri Lanka auction 5, 6 and 8-year bond diverged sharply from the secondary market, data from the state debt office showed, as foreign selling and deficit spending put pressure on bond and forex trading. The debt office said it sold 3,700 million rupees of 4-year 11-month bonds maturing on 01.06.2020 to yield 8.16%, compared to a 01.05.2020 bond sold at auction on June 09 at 8.11%. But in the secondary market 01.05.2020 bonds were quoted at 8.20/35%. more..

Adam Carbons reignites Bieco Link Kilns in Giriulla

June 30 (DM) Bieco Link’s activated carbon factory, renamed Adam Carbons (Pvt) Ltd. after Adam Investments bought out previous owners PCHH, commenced production after a brief period of inactivity, the company announced at a media conference recently. The opening and re-commissioning of its activated carbon factory was graced by Minister Ravi Karunanayake. The factory, once SL’s second biggest exporter of activated carbon has seen its fortunes revive since more..

Sri Lanka's war is long over, but reconciliation remains elusive

June 30 (NPR) Sri Lanka, a palm-fringed island in the Indian Ocean, is in the sixth year of peace. But as the country prepares for elections in August, the legacy of its long civil war still casts a shadow. The intervening years have been especially painful for the families of the thousands who disappeared in three decades of conflict and remain unaccounted for. The trauma endures in the fishing village of Mannar in the Northern Province, more..

Sampath Bank goes to Myanmar

June 30 (CT) Sampath Bank, Sri Lanka's third–biggest privately owned lender by assets, is looking to invest and lend in Southeast Asia's developing economies like Myanmar, CEO Aravinda Perera revealed. "We wish to start our Myanmar operations with a representative office. Sampath is the first Sri Lankan bank applied for the Myanmar banking licence. We wish, we will get it soon," he said. Myanmar is a virgin market. Firstly, we have to study the situation, he said. more..

GK depositor suffers heart attack in court

June 30 (ST) An unhappy Golden Key (GK) depositor suffered a heart attack soon after the hearing in the case in the Supreme Court on Thursday. After hearing the state submissions in the case which further delays the payment plan, President of the G.K. Depositors Society Wasanatha Gunathilaka had collapsed in the court premises and was admitted to a private hospital for treatment of a sudden heart attack, Dushanathi Hapugoda, President, GK Depositors’ Association said. more..

Peradeniya University opens vet skills lab

June 30 (Island) Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science (FVMAS) at the University of Peradeniya opened its newly established Veterinary skills laboratory for the utility of students on June 23. With this opening, the university now owns a first-of-its-kind lab in the South Asian region. The purpose of this lab is to offer novice veterinary undergraduates the opportunity to master day-one clinical skills in more..

'Sensible import of Knowledge Workers okay'

June 30 (Island) Dr. Saman Kelegama, Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Studies making a strong case for sensible liberalization of professional services recently said import of high quality Knowledge Workers is an option available for Sri Lanka, to deal with its current skills gap and to readily supply the talent pool today’s businesses need. Kelegama made this remark addressing leading professional figures from diverse sectors who come together to share more..

Polls Ahoy! as Parliament shuts down

June 30 (ST) The proposed 20th Amendment was not the first box on the people’s tick list that demanded the nation’s foremost attention. Given the increasing instability of this govt as it depended on the whim and fancy of an incongruous majority opposition for day to day survival, the pressing need for an immediate general election outranked all else. Thankfully the 20th Amendment Waiting for Godot is at long last over. Friday night’s announcement that Parliament stood dissolved must be more..

Nimali completes a hat trick

June 30 (CT) Wonderful middle distance runner from Sooriyawewa, Nimali Liyanarachchi completed a hat trick as she won the 800m, while Sri Lanka sealed 7 podium finishes at the third leg of the Asian Grand Prix held at Chanthaburi, Thailand yesterday. After two wins in the earlier two editions, Nimali was favourite to complete a hat trick, which she did with a 2 minutes 06.73 seconds performance. more..

To groom future Stars

June 30 (ST) An interim member of a leading sports body has told close associates that a considerable sum of money is being spent on two players and that money could be utilised to groom future players. “The money spent on these two players is colossal. What’s more these two players will not be in this particular sports scene for long as they are on the verge of retiring. So why not channel the money spent on these two be spent on several youngsters in order to groom future stars,” more..

Toronto Cricketers here on a 12-day tour

June 30 (DN) A combined schools cricket team from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) schools will start a 12-day cricket tour in Sri Lanka today. The tour marks the first official visit of a schools cricket team from Canada - a country beyond cricket's traditional boundaries. The Sri Lanka cricket tour is part of a larger Toronto youth initiative titled Cricket Across the Pond (CAP) aimed at introducing cricket as a vehicle to reach out to youth and enhance social cohesion & interaction among young people. more..

Elephantine tears

June 30 (DN) Anjalee is a baby elephant – eight years old. She was flown to New Zealand on March 13, this year, amidst appeals from conservationists and animal rights activists to stop her relocation, in the interests of conservation and animal welfare. Anjalee’s departure to New Zealand was the latest in a series of burning issues relating to Sri Lanka’s elephants - abduction of baby elephants from the wilds, illegal capture and detention, more..

Handle Wilpattu encroachment perceptively

June 30 (Island) The Govt is faced with a multi-headed Hydra in its attempt to resolve the Wilpattu encroachment problem. The biggest danger involved is the possibility of a communal confrontation. Such a calamity on the eve of an election would cause irreparable damage to the Govt in power. The Wilpattu settlement is supposed to have been undertaken to settle people who were displaced from the area under the LTTE. Majority of the settlers are reported to be Muslims. more..

Editorial: Sangha and Sanga

June 30 (Island) Cricketer par excellence, Kumar Sangakkara, has recently scotched off rumours that he is mulling over a career in politics. His fans must have heaved a huge sigh of relief. (Who wants his or her favourite player to plunge into a cesspit?) ‘Even the ranks of Tuscany could scarce forbid to cheer’ when he announced that he would not take to politics. Sanga is said to have graduated from racquet sports to cricket. Despicable racket sport aka politics is certainly not for him. more..

GTF asks Tamils to back TNA

June 30 (CT) Global Tamil Forum (GTF) Director Suren Surendiran said his organization urges the Tamil people in Sri Lanka to support the TNA in the upcoming parliamentary elections by casting their votes in to, also by and large all Sri Lankans to reject chauvinistic forces in the country. Q: Sri Lankan Diaspora organizations including the GTF and the BTF are propagated among the Sinhalese in the South as separatists' forces more..

Textured Jersey Lanka to buy Indian fabric maker for US$15mn

June 30 (EN) Sri Lanka's Textured Jersey Lanka (TJL) said it will acquire an Indian knit fabric manufacturer, owned by one of its main shareholders, Brandix Lanka, for US$ 15 million. TJL will pay half the price in cash and the balance through a share swap by issuing new Textured Jersey Lanka shares valued at 28.50 rupees each. Textured Jersey Lanka, said the acquisition was part of its regional expansion and capacity enhancement strategy. more..

Concerns on economic downturn and post-poll growth

June 30 (ST) Many reasons account for the growing anxiety about the economy. The stoppage of several large foreign-funded construction projects has slowed down the construction sector. The mismanagement of the Treasury bond issue and the interim govt’s economic management have not helped improve business confidence. The downward trend in stocks and low turnover reflects the depressed investment climate. And above all political controversies have created more..

Midwives' cadre insufficient: ACMU

June 30 (CT) Today Trade Union Talk focuses on an important trade union which was not highlighted much. CT interviewed General Secretary of All Ceylon Midwifery Union (ACMU), Kusuma Dias, regarding the issues faced by midwives. She noted that the midwives' cadre in the country is not sufficient. Midwives are attached to the hospitals as well as they are doing field visits in Medical Officer of Health (MOH) areas. more..

10 things Sri Lankans need to learn

June 30 (NS) 1: Queue and wait your turn without rushing forward en masse and revealing that regressive buffalo gene. 2: Don’t spit/blow your snot in public – if you must share your TB and other pulmonary diseases, do it at home and cough and/or blow mucus in your loved ones’ faces. Same goes for betel chewers. 3: Don’t rouse the neighborhood at all hours of the night – your bad taste in music, your bad choices in relationships, your need to use the loo and resulting impatience more..

Wealth of a New Nation

June 30 (NS) Behavior: Children love dolls. We have seen how childish they are when they play with beautiful dolls. It’s the same thing with politicians. Only thing is, with them the doll is called patriotism. Plaything: Patriotism has become everyone’s plaything. Balagiri: This dissolution is like balagiri. Not today, but tomorrow. Quoted from The History of Don Quixote “… wherein we are commanded to do good to our enemies and to love them that hate us; a command which, though it seems more..

Dissolution not welcomed by all parties

June 30 (SO) The dissolution of Parliament may have been long-awaited, but some major and minor political parties are not so happy about it. The SLFP is unhappy, according to one party senior, because of the failure by the govt to ensure the 20th Amendment is passed into law during this Parliament. Among the small parties, the JHU is also unhappy over the failure to legislate the 20th Amendment. more..

Pathetic state of University administration

June 30 (CT) Rendering unto Caesar has been the title of the acclaimed autobiography of the top civil servant Bradman Weerakoon who had served nine Prime Ministers during his long career. The message delivered by the title is that the bureaucracy which wields so much of administrative powers has a tendency to pass the responsibility for all mishaps unto Caesar, a collective title used for their political masters. The political masters too have created a situation to get the full blame by more..

Hallowed memories of eminence

June 30 (CT) In a single line cryptic and exquisite, a great Tamil poet, grammarian and scholar Tholkaapiar said “The world is of the learned”. For over two thousand years several generations have attested to the truism of the statement. With critical thought and reflection for three decades after the passing away of Principal St. John’s College, Jaffna, we have realised what a void men of eminence have left by their demise. Among those few was Mr. Anandarajan. more..

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