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Audio: Mavai forced out claims Wimal

July 19 (CG) Govt Minister and NFF MP Wimal Weerawansa claims that TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah was forced to step down from contesting for the post of Chief Minister for the Northern Province. Weerawansa said that two diplomatic missions in Sri Lanka had warned Senathirajah and forced him to step down and make way for former Supreme Court Judge C V Wigneswaran. “One diplomatic mission remainded him that his family was in their country and more..

Dayasiri, Ranil, Tissa meet

July 19 (CG) UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera had talks with UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today, UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said. Attanayake said that the talks focused on the upcoming provincial council elections, particularly the elections in the North Western province. The UNP General Secretary said the discussion was a “routine” discussion between party leader and party member. more..

Video: Not only Dayasiri, I too will represent govt – Harsha

July 19 (AD) While continuously increasing taxes imposed on the public, the govt has completely removed the income taxes on casino owners for a period of 10 years, the UNP charged today. UNP MP Dr Harsha de Silva stated that the govt had issued the gazette notification at 12 midnight yesterday, providing sweeping tax concessions for Australian billionaire and gaming tycoon James Packer’s casino. With this gazette notification Sri Lanka has set a Guinness world record more..

Ravi paints gloomy picture of Rs. 6.7 trillion govt. debt

July 19 (Island) Public debt has exceeded Rs. 6.7 trillion prior to the rupee devaluation and it was rising by the day, despite the rosy picture that the govt portrayed, Ravi Karunanayake, MP, says. He said that with the recent devaluation of the rupee and if one were to include institutional debt as well, the total sum borrowed from local and foreign institutions would be very much higher. On Jan. 1, 2005 the public debt figure stood at Rs.1.7 trillion, the MP noted. more..

Mathews ties the knot...

July 19 (AD) Captain of the Sri Lankan cricket team Angelo Mathews tied the knot this evening in Colombo. Mathews married his longtime girlfriend, Heshani Silva at a ceremony in St. Mary’s Church in Bambalapitiya today (18). President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa signed as witnesses for the wedding. Mathews is sitting out of two matches in the upcoming South Africa tour more..

CPC claims 'valid reasons' for non-payment

July 19 (CT) The CPC has decided not to pay the US$ 1.2 million owed to the Petro Vietnam (PV) Oil Company based on valid reasons, Secretary, Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS), Ananda Palitha, said. "Usually, agreements related to corporations are signed to ensure that both parties stand to benefit in an identical manner. Accordingly, when an agreement is signed on the value of petroleum, it depends on either the loading date or the departure date, and premium value for petroleum is more..

Japan hopes for fair poll

July 19 (CG) Japan says it will support the conduct of free and fair provincial elections. The Japanese govt appreciates the initiative taken by President Rajapaksa in directing the Elections Commissioner to conduct elections in the north, in pursuit of realizing the recommendation of the LLRC. Embassy said, the election would be a milestone for the Govt of Sri Lanka in the process of national reconciliation. The Embassy today announced that Japan has decided to provide US$ 88,667 more..

AG okays Sampur, but hurdles remain

July 19 (Island) The AG’s Department had given the legal clearance to go ahead with the much delayed proposed 500MW coal fired power plant at Sampur, Trincomalee. Ministry Secretary M.M.C. Ferdinando said that there was no misunderstanding between India and Sri Lanka, but there remained ‘wording issues’, which needed to be ironed out by the CEB engineers and its joint venture partner, NTPC of India. more..

Mr. President, good governance is good politics

July 20 (CT) Politics refers to achieving and exercising positions of governance — organized control over a human community, particularly a state. Once you achieve the position of governance, how you manage it, (governance), to the best of those who are governed is good governance. But when politics assumes a superior power over governance, you get something akin to what we have today in Sri Lanka - the uneducated trying to teach the educated; the incompetent dictating more..

‘Alles in Wonderland’ and Indo-Lanka relations

July 20 (GV) The hilarious political satire titled ‘Alles in Wonderland’ was presented by the Ananda College Drama Circle at a public performance recently. It won first place at the 2013 – Inter school Royal Drama Competition held in Colombo. Based on a unique adaption of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, the play on Indo Lanka relations was cleverly dramatised through a parody. The production was not only entertaining but also thought provoking. more..

A heroic life after death

July 20 (Hindu) Heroes are created long after their death. The embellished folklores, the sexed-up citations, even made-up stories of courage, valour and sacrifice — all contribute to the creation of a hero from an ordinary human being, who is often left without a choice of how, why and if he/she will be remembered or celebrated. Institutions and movements seek to capitalise on the emotional appeal of the ‘supreme sacrifice’ to more..

Re-conceptualizing National Identity

July 20 (CT) Do we, as Sri Lankans, dare to regard ourselves as a nation? More importantly, did we ever develop a true sense of belonging; one that is commonly shared by all of us? If so, how does it reflect in our social interactions and behaviours? How do we even define such a concept or rather such a feeling? Do we define it in political and/or legal terms or in terms of our shared history and culture? According to Ernest Renan, 19th century French historian and philosopher, more..

As others see us: The view from Sri Lanka

July 20 (HS) He's adored by breakaway movements across the globe and - publicly or privately - loathed by their enemies. An international statesman, he has inspired demands for freedom plebiscites, most recently in Catalunya after telling Spain rulers "to let the people decide". Meet David Cameron, world separatist pin-up. The British prime minister may seem an unlikely nationalist hero on these shores. But internationally his Edinburgh Agreement with Scottish counterpart Alex Salmond is often more..

Holy cows to be given new lease of life

July 20 (NS) Protests to stop cattle slaughter in Sri Lanka is nothing new. During the late 19th centaury, Anagarika Dharmapala took the issue of cattle slaughter up for discussion along with his temperance movement. Recently protests escalated when a Buddhist monk set himself on fire near Dalada Maligawa demanding a ban on cattle slaughter. However, the President has reportedly assured the Sinhala Buddhist movement, more..

Editorial: Challenge before Jumbos

July 20 (Island) The Krrish Towers affair has taken a dramatic turn with the govt going on the offensive. Claiming that the life of a high ranking public official who had allegedly accepted a USD 4 mn bribe on behalf of two govt bigwigs for granting a further extension of time to Krrish Towers to fully pay up on the Fort land agreement was in danger, the UNP on Wednesday called for a high level probe. The Ministry of Defence has demanded that the three persons involved in the alleged scam be more..

Govt by patronage is not democracy

July 20 (CT) Mr. S.L Gunasekera writing to the Daily Mirror has pointed out that devolution of power does not help to give power to the people and that what happens is that the power is exercised by local instead of national level politicians. So devolution only means devolution of power to local politicians and it does not enable the participation of the people. Yes indeed it is so. But why is it so? It is because we no longer have the institutions required for a liberal democracy. more..

Priyanga Hettiarachi

Call on Malaysian Prime Minister to skip the CHOGM 2013

July 20 (CT) Last year end the Malaysian Govt organised the 8th World Islamic Economic Forum in Johore. A total of 2100 delegates from 86 countries participated and today we are told that to hold this conference Malaysia spent over RM 9 million for the three days event. Thus the debate today is for the approval of the monies which were spent last year but which had not been budgeted for!! The organisers had been gravely wrong when they had initially invited the President of Sri Lanka more..

SLC in the land of NOD

July 20 (Island) I’m not writing about the most recent and repeated defeat of our cricketers to the Indians who keep finding glory under their own Captain Cool - Mahendra Singh Dhoni. I will also not ask whether our cricketers are a bunch of ‘chokers" as one reader had queried in the letters yesterday. I will leave that to better judges of cricket to answer. This is about the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) decision to fine a member of the Sri Lanka "A" team 50% of his tour fee in the recent tour of the West Indies, and more..

A road by another name

July 20 (CT) Changes in names can be hard to adjust to; once someone is used to a particular name, it is near impossible to get used to a new name that replaces one, that had been in existence for well over seven to eight decades. Names of roads in our island have undergone what one may call 'localization;' the names left behind to an independent Sri Lanka by the British are slowly but surely being replaced by the longer names more..

Chase your dreams: Chandimal’s message to rural youngsters

July 20 (Island) Since Sri Lanka’s first ever ODI in the 1975 ICC World Cup, 16 men have captained the country, and today Dinesh Chandimal will become the 17th and the youngest, breaking the record held by the legendary Arjuna Ranatunga. Chandimal is the third Sri Lankan captain to emerge from the outstations. Of the other 16 captains, most were from Colombo, while a couple of them hailed from Kandy. The complete outsiders along with Chandimal are Sanath Jayasuriya (Matara) more..

‘Start making use of benefits given to industries’

July 20 (Island) Industrialists should make the maximum use of the many facilities and benefits given to them by the government. "To develop our industry sector, the govt has given many facilities to our industries and industrialists should start making maximum use of them. As the facilitators of industry development of Sri Lanka, we thank Dr PB Jayasundara, the Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Planning for directly meeting our industrialists on 16 July and successfully explaining more..

'Muslims are self-alienating'

July 20 (CT) Dr. Ameer Ali, a prominent Islamic scholar and a former adviser of Muslim Affairs of Australian PM, John Howard's Govt, said Muslims in Sri Lanka are self-alienating themselves from the mainstream community. He is an academic at the Faculty of Management and Governance of Murdoch University. He spoke on the issues confronting the Muslim community in Sri Lanka. more..

Susanthika queries relay team selection trials

July 20 (Island) Olympic medalist Susanthika Jayasinghe opined that it was a blow to athletes’ morale to hold fresh selection trials, when they have proved their potential by meeting IAAF qualifying standards, to compete at the forthcoming World Championships, in Moscow. Jayasinghe was replying to a query with regard to the decision of the Athletics Association of Sri Lanka to hold a fresh selection trial to pick the country’s men’s 4x400 metres relay team for the IAAF World more..

Mahindra two wheelers enter Sri Lanka

July 20 (Island) Mahindra Two Wheelers Limited, part of the $ 16.2 billion Mahindra Group, one of India’s leading business houses, today launched its range of two wheelers in Sri Lanka. These include – two powerful scooters, the Rodeo RZ and Duro DZ and two intelligent motorcycles, the Pantero and the Centuro, marking its entry into the Sri Lankan two wheeler segment. Mahindra Two Wheelers has joined hands with Ideal 2 Wheelers (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of the SLR 15 billion Ideal Group. more..

The Mystery of Jehan Mubarak!

July 20 (Island) Once, during a tour of India in 2005, middle order batsman Chamara Kapugedara was injured. The replacement the selectors sent was a top order batsman! Jehan Mubarak is his name. That was yet another bizarre and inexplicable selection decision of Ashantha de Mel. Sanath Jayasuriya, who was a senior and respected player in the national team at that point, was fuming, especially as there were in-form more..

Sri Lanka hold edge against inexperienced South Africa

July 20 (CI) One of the more interesting statistical quirks that has been uncovered in the lead-up to the first match of the series is that only two members in South Africa's 15-man squad have played an ODI in Sri Lanka before. Robin Peterson played two matches, in 2002 and 2004 but did not bat in either game, while JP Duminy played the entire series in 2004. Neither man has been a part of a victory. Though most of this squad will have played elsewhere in Asia, Sri Lanka's heat, more..

True Cinnamon, the Royal Sister of a Commoner

July 20 (NYT) On a trip to Sri Lanka earlier this year, I inhaled the heady aroma of cinnamon almost everywhere I went: in the lobby of my hotel, at roadside food stands, and on a plantation that has been processing cinnamon bark, lotion and oil for three generations. I could not seem to escape that scent, and I was glad of it. This was real cinnamon, not the more common cassia that we buy in the grocery store. This was the spice that inspired King Solomon to send explorers to the Indian more..

TISL insists corrupt persons should not be given nominations

July 20 (FT) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) urged party leaders and party secretaries not to nominate persons who have been charged with bribery, corruption, child abuse, rape and other abuses, for the upcoming provincial council elections in the Northern, North Western and Central Provinces. TISL also requested political parties and independent groups that the candidates should be instructed to declare their assets more..

Mount Lavinia shoot out: Public help sought to identify man

July 20 (DN) The Police Department seeks public assistance to trace this man who was killed during a shoot out at Huludagoda Road, Mount Lavinia on Thursday. He was killed when he opened fire at a group of Police Narcotics Bureau officials raiding a suspected drug den at Huludagoda Road. Police raided the place on a tip-off when this suspected drug dealer opened fire at officers. The suspect died on the spot. The Police recovered a gun, seven bullets, a revolver, four bullets, more..

President praises Bhutan's second parliamentary elections

July 20 (GDI) President Rajapaksa has praised Bhutan’s second ever parliamentary elections held recently in messages to the President of the People’s Democratic Party. Tshering Tobgay, who is set to become the new prime minister, and the outgoing Prime Minister Jigmi Thinley. “The successful conduct of the second successive election in Bhutan is a tribute to the people of your country as well as the Head of State, His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk,” more..

Legal action against Colombo uni for mossie breeding

July 20 (Island) The Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council said that it had filed action against the Senior Assistant Registrar of the Management Faculty of the Colombo University for breeding mosquitoes. Chief of the Public Health Department, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said that there had been several complaints from concerned parents about the unclean surroundings, while a student from more..

Forex reserves hurt by gold price fall

July 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank, an active trader in gold, has seen losses from steep falls in the precious metal in 2013 after making steady profits over several years as prices rose, according to published data. In 2012 Central bank was a net seller by more than four tonnes in January and February when gold prices rose above 1750 dollars an ounce and was a net buyer in May and June when prices fell to as much as 1585 dollars an ounce. In December 2012 however Sri Lanka more..

Tea and drunk and disorderly elephants

July 20 (Telegraph) The night before I left Kandy for the central hill country, we dined with a group of expats who had decided to make Sri Lanka their home some years ago. It was interesting to compare notes and what came across loud and clear was the sense of freedom that they all felt living in a country where anything is possible. A former airline executive told me that the gentle chaos, lack of CCTV, Big Brother mentality and onerous health & safety legislation made a refreshing change more..

Sri Lankan troops hailed in Haiti

July 20 (SLA) The formal UN Medal Parade that awards medals of service recognition to the Sri Lankan contingent serving the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) took place at the Sri Lankan contingent headquarters in Leogane on Thursday (11). Sri Lankan contingent comprised of Army, Navy and Air Force troops after successful completion of their assignment is to return home shortly. more..

First accused claims lawyers threatened him

July 20 (CT) Krishantha Koralage, the first accused in the murder of millionaire businessman, Mohamed Shyam, complained to Additional Magistrate, that three attorneys-at-law visited his remand cell and threatened him. The alleged threats were issued after several suspects, including the first accused, decided that they did not need representation by the lawyers. The accused Koralage told the Court that lawyers threatened him and said: “Did you swallow (ASP) Shani’s capsule? more..

The Lankan Leap

July 20 (IE) Chef Duminda Abeysiriwardena loves serving delicious food But what he loves most is to serve healthy food. Based on this principle, Duminda Abeysiriwardena aka chef Duminda from Galle got associated with the International Slow Food Movement, originally founded by Carlo Petrini in 1986. Promoted as an alternative to fast food, the movement strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisines and encourages farming of plants, seeds and livestock endemic to the more..

Veddah Chief to travel in style

July 20 (CT) Veddah Chief, Uruwarige Wannila Aththo, appears to be the latest beneficiary of the govt’s benevolence as he is tipped to be gifted a brand new car on the Adivasi Day, which falls on 8 August 2013. The Ministry of Culture and the Arts will hand over the car to the Veddah Chief, on a request made by the Veddah Chief to President Rajapaksa. The Presidential Secretariat has then agreed to release a vehicle for the temporary more..

Karunanidhi defends himself, DMK on Katchatheevu

July 20 (TOI) DMK chief M Karunanidhi on Friday dismissed allegations that he had done nothing to stop India ceding Katchatheevu islet to Sri Lanka in 1974. On Thursday, chief minister J Jayalalithaa accused the DMK chief of doing precious little to stop the Indira Gandhi govt though he was the Tamil Nadu chief minister then. Listing what he claimed were the steps taken by him on the Katchatheevu issue, Karunanidhi said, "The DMK never accepted the ceding of the islet to Sri Lanka. more..

All-Island schools’ programmes planned for CHOGM 2013

July 20 (Island) As part of the ongoing initiatives to involve the public fully in events connected with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka in November, the Ministry of External Affairs convened a meeting on 17 July to organize a programme in schools throughout the country. Minister of External Affairs G.L. Peiris said that the govt considers it vitally important to involve the entire country as stakeholders in this historic event. more..