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Dayasiri’s ‘pole vault’ forced upon or just ambitious?

July 26 (DM) UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara is making a habit of generating headlines for controversial reasons, announcing yesterday that he would resign from Parliament and contest as chief ministerial candidate of the ruling UPFA. The rumour mill first went into overdrive a few weeks ago, when it was reported in the media that President Rajapaksa raised this possibility during a meeting with his own SLFP in the context of the upcoming elections to the North Western Province. more..

Errant politicos continue to hold sway

July 26 (ST) More incidents involving local politicians, most of them ruling party members have been reported this week from various parts of the country ahead of the upcoming provincial elections. These were the latest additions to over 90 such incidents during the past 13 months where local politicians were hauled before courts for various offences. On Tuesday, Yatawatta Pradeshiya Sabha chairman Lal Attanayake allegedly seized a jeep more..

Around the world with ‘Ceylinco’ Kotelawala

July 26 (SL) The full extent of the treachery indulged in by Lalith Kotelawala and some of his co-officers upon the ‘depositors’ of various Ceylinco Group companies, can be revealed today. We also publish a document which we believe has never been previously published – giving details of Lalith Kotelawala’s correspondence with his Swiss Bankers. We also reveal details of our investigation into some of Lalith Kotelawala’s more..

The CHOGM ‘horse’

July 26 (DM) Sri Lanka is a Country where everybody (with hardly any exception) loves a Tamasha. This is particularly so among politicians who not only gain from them but are also avid supporters of Tamashas provided they are paid for by somebody else - preferably from the public purse. One attempt at such a Tamasha made at a colossal expense to the Country was made when the Govt sought to have at a sports meet staged in more..

‘Refer Sri Lanka to war crime tribunal’

July 26 (FMT) Former senator S Ramakrishnan and civil societies in the country want the Malaysian govt to refer Sri Lanka to the war crimes tribunal for atrocities against Tamils in the final days of its decades long civil war. The DAP leader also suggested that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak denounce economic ties with Sri Lankan govt and refrain from attending the CHOGM meeting in Sri Lanka later this year. more..

Indian truck makers face the heat from Chinese brands in Sri Lanka

July 26 (ET) India truck makers are quickly losing their dominance in Sri Lanka, where sales have slumped, even as cheaper Chinese rivals have made inroads, piggybacking on their country's mega participation in the island's infrastructure development. Truck sales in Sri Lanka, which almost entirely depends on imports, have fallen dramatically from their peak in early 2012 owing to economic slowdown and high borrowing cost. more..

Sri Lanka viewed 'positively' by Standard Chartered

July 26 (LBO) Standard Chartered Bank views Sri Lanka positively and is looking to grow its business with a strategic decision to expand in the island, a top official said. This week Standard Chartered Sri Lanka took part in a 200 million US dollar syndicated loan to state-run Bank of Ceylon. "For a long time we were reviewing our strategy," Standard Chartered Bank's Sri Lanka branch chief Anirvan Ghosh Dastidar told LBO. more..

British MP to meet Hakeem over Tangalle murder

July 26 (AD) British MP Simon Danczuk is scheduled to meet Minister of Justice Rauf Hakeem to raise concerns over alleged delays into legal proceedings regarding the murder of British citizen Khuram Shaikh in Tangalle. Khuram Shaikh, who was a worker for the Red Cross, was holidaying when he was involved in a brawl following which he was shot dead and his partner brutally assaulted at a hotel in the beach resort of more..

Japan’s Internal Affairs Minister arrives on Sunday

July 26 (GDI) Japan’s Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications Yoshitaka Shindo will arrive in Sri Lanka on Sunday on an official visit. During his visit the Japanese Minister is also scheduled to hold discussions with President Mahinda Rajapaksa with a view to further strengthening the long-standing ties between the two countries. Japanese Embassy in Colombo said that the visit is being arranged as a follow-up to President more..

Rudd telephones Lankan dad

July 26 (CG) Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has telephoned a Sri Lankan man whose child had died in an asylum boat tragedy this week. Radio Australia reported that 3 year old Baremithan Balamanaran was among 13 people killed off Java when the asylum boat with over 150 people onboard sank. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd called the father of Baremithan, Nadarasa Balamanaran to offer his condolences. more..

Commission to probe missing

July 26 (CG) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga to appoint a commission to look into the incidents of disappearances that have taken place during the 30-year conflict. The decision with regard to the terms of reference and members of the commission will be taken soon, the Presidential media unit quoted Presidential Spokesman Mohan Samaranayake as saying. more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.2%

July 26 (LBO) Stocks closed up 0.23% on Friday with large cap stocks and some banking stocks showing gains. All Share Index closed 13.61 points higher at 6,051.77 and the S&P SL 20 Index closed 04.39 points higher at 3,427.48 up 0.13%. Turnover was 403 million rupees up from 290 million Thursday. C T Holdings contributed most to the index closing at 144.90 rupees up 8.70 rupees. John Keells Holdings closed at 268.00 up 1.00 rupee and Nestle Lanka closed at 1.912.70 rupees more..

Police Commission: Sri Lankan experience shows checks and balances vital

July 26 (CT) The establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) cannot exist without checks and balances, especially feedback from the public, said a Sri Lankan human rights lawyer. Relating the establishment of the National Police Commission in Sri Lanka and applying it in the Malaysian context, senior advocate Kishali Pinto Jayawardena said the IPCMC cannot exist without a framework that would constantly place pressure on the govt for more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sixty-two and counting...

July 26 (CT) Wednesday's much publicized defection of the UNP MP, Dayasiri Jayasekara, to the ruling party enclave, saw yet another chapter of the sad saga of Ranil Wickremesinghe's leadership coming to close. The entry of Nalin Bandara, who polled a pathetic 29,000 odd votes to lay claim to the number two slot, into Parliament, adds a vaguely interesting sidebar to the saga, more so because of the element of uncertainty he brings to the hopelessly fractured party. more..

Police move to arrest Jeevan’s attackers

July 26 (Island) In a bid to apprehend those who hurled bottles of water at Minister Jeevan Kumaratunga, when he went to inquire into a protest launched by carpenters on Wednesday, the Moratumulla and Moratuwa police have launched a wide probe. A senior police officer there said they hoped to get a court order to obtain media reports and film clips relating to the incident. When the Minister arrived at the scene of the protest, to listen to their grievances, the protesters got more..

Customs revenue arrears rise to Rs. 9bn

July 26 (DM) The Public Account Committee (PAC) of the present Parliament, in its first ever report, highlighted, among others, that the revenue arrears of Sri Lanka Customs had increased to Rs.9 billion during a five year period, but action had not been taken for their recovery. Like the COPE, the PAC is another supervision committee that examines the financial performance of Ministries and state departments. more..

Bandula replies to JVP allegations

July 26 (Island) The govt has re-opened 321 schools which remained closed for decades due to the war in the Northern Province. It has also financially assisted 342 schools in the province to restore their facilities during the last three years, Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena says. Denying allegations levelled by former JVP MP Bimal Rathnayake that the govt had done nothing to restore facilities in Kilinochchi schools, Gunawardena said that 90 schools there more..

Sri Lankan luxury brand Avirate to expand presence in India

July 26 (BS) Sri Lankan high street fashion brand Avirate--owned by the Timex and Fergasam Group, that set foot in India one-and-half-years back is drawing up an aggressive expansion plan. The company plans of opening up outlets in five to seven cities in India in the next two quarters. “We have strong expansion plans in place for India which includes reaching out to cities like Goa, Hyderabad, Noida, Gurgaon and Thane in the next seven to eight months. more..

Sri Lanka caps penalty rate on defaulted bank loans

July 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank has capped the penalty interests on defaulted loans of banks to two percent a year and those from leasing and finance companies to three percent a year. The regulator said at the moment penalty rates on overdue advances range from 2 to 20% above the original loan rate in banks and 36 to 48% for above loan rate for loans in leasing and finance companies. more..

GL briefs ICJ judge on post-war development

July 26 (Island) Minister Prof. GL. Peiris briefed Judge Hishashi Owada of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and formerly President of that Court, at the Hague on Wednesday, on post-war development. Minister had also thanked Judge Owada for his participation, as President of the International Court of Justice, at the meeting of the Afro-Asian Legal Council held in Sri Lanka last year and for his insightful presentation on a range of issues of special importance to the region. more..

Maurice Dahanayake dies

July 26 (DM) Veteran film actor and singer Maurice Dahanayake passed away this morning at the age of 81, family sources said. He was down with illness during the past couple of years. In a career spanning several decades Maurice Dahanayake has played crucial roles in maintaining high standards in the local arts. His songs like ‘Onna Olu Malak', ‘Sudo Poddak Andanna', ‘Meth Mal Pibidewa', 'Muthu Mitak Piri Eththe' are some creations that will linger in our memories forever. more..

Stranded Lankans brought ashore

July 26 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessel Samudura brought all the 73 stranded Sri Lankans ashore safely on 26th July 2013. On the direction of the Navy, a merchant vessel heading for Singapore had rescued them 290 nautical miles south east of Galle around noon on 24th. The Navy alerted the merchant vessels in the area for the rescue, having received information on the incident from the Police. more..

CAA raids fish stalls

July 26 (GDI) Minister Johnston Fernando said that his Ministry has received numerous complaints alleging that fish retailers and wholesalers are using formalin to prevent fresh fish from getting spoilt. Formalin is a chemical substance used to embalm bodies. Accordingly, the Minister has instructed the officials of the Consumer Affairs Authority to conduct country wide raids on fish retailers and wholesalers to verify the authenticity of these allegations as such unscrupulous traders are risking the lives of more..

No arsenic in sugar

July 26 (CG) The Ministry of Health says there is no arsenic or cadmium in imported sugar. A Health Ministry statement said that tests were carried out on imported sugar following claims that some of it contains arsenic and cadmium. The Health Ministry said that tests were carried out on 71 kilos of imported sugar samples. The results of the tests carried out on 24 samples returned negative for arsenic and cadmium. According to the Health Ministry, the tests were carried out on more..

Pakistani envoy visits central province

July 26 (APP) High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka, Maj. Gen. Qasim Qureshi visited the central province of Sri Lanka to explore opportunities to further develop economic, cultural and people-to-people links between the two countries. During the visit, Qasim Qureshi met Governor of the Central Province, Hon Tikiri Kobbekanduwa and held discussion on bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. more..

India colts denied victory by last Sri Lanka pair

July 26 (Rediff) Sri Lanka’s last-wicket pair of Ramesh Mendis and Lakshan Jayasinghe held on bravely to deny India victory in the first Youth Test between the two countries in Dambulla on Friday. Till Thursday, the penultimate day of the four-day match, it appeared that the home side would force a draw after being well-placed at 235 for 5 in their first innings, in reply to India's 503 for 7 declared. However, on Friday, with the hosts needing another 119 to reach 354 and avoid the follow-on, more..

Govt’s doors open to more sons of free education – Bandula

July 26 (Island) The govt was willing to welcome more ‘sons of free education’ to work for the country and there was no need for them to waste their youth in the Opposition, Minister Bandula Gunawardena said. He said that UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera’s decision was very correct, since products of the free education system had been sidelined by the UNP. Dayasiri, a product of Colombo University and an attorney–at–law by profession, had been sidelined by the UNP for years due to his talents, more..

U.S. embassy improves Fishing & Ag sectors via Ag-Biz North 2013

July 26 (USE) The U.S. Govt, through its development arm the USAID, is supporting Ag-Biz North 2013, an agricultural trade exhibition in Killinochchi from 26-27 July. This support is part of a $996,000 grant to develop livelihoods opportunities for vulnerable families in the agriculture and fisheries sectors through new markets, infrastructure and provision of critical training and equipment. NGO Practical Action is the implementing partner. more..

Cardinal forgives youth who desecrated church, will not press charges

July 26 (CC) Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo, the former Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, has forgiven the young men who desecrated a parish in his Sri Lankan archdiocese and will not press charges. “The unknown group had forcefully removed the tabernacle from the sanctuary of Angulana Church, broken it open and had tried to burn the Holy Communion (consecrated Hosts) by pouring kerosene oil on it,” more..

Learning from Sri Lanka’s violent past

July 26 (Ekklesia) In July 1983 in Sri Lanka, state-sponsored violence and undermining of democracy led to lengthy civil war and widespread suffering. Thirty years later, it would appear that many have failed to learn from the past. That summer, following a rigged referendum, the increasingly dictatorial govt had cancelled elections. Instead it organised riots, using as an excuse the funeral of soldiers killed by Tamil nationalist fighters. Thugs murdered some Tamil civilians and adestroyed the homes more..

LIOC asks for 107 CPC-owned filling stations

July 26 (CT) The Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC) has requested the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) to hand them 107 filling stations, which are currently operating under the CPC, sources said. President of the CPC branch of the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya, Ananda Palitha, alleged an arrangement is being made by the CPC to vest the LIOC with a majority of filling stations and warned that if such an more..

Tremendous development in the Fishery Sector

July 26 (GDI) 301 houses have been constructed for fishing families in the Trincomalee district under the Diyawara Gammana programme. Minister of Fisheries Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said that the Diyawara Gammana concept was launched by President Mahinda Rajapaksa when he was the Fisheries Minister. Minister Senaratne inaugurated a number of development projects is the Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts during an inspection tour in the East recently. more..

'Decentralisation of power would help development'

July 26 (Island) Decentralisation of powers to the local communities would contribute to the acceleration of Sri Lanka’s post war development programme, Commonwealth Local Govt Forum (CLGF) Secretary General Carl Wright said. Addressing a media briefing, after launching the Commonwealth Project, ‘Strengthening Local Governance for National Development’ at the Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo yesterday, he said that Sri Lanka had a perfect local govt system. more..

'Dayasiri was paid to cross over'

July 26 (DM) UNP national organizer Daya Gamage today challenged Dayasiri Jayasekara to an open debate, at which he said he would prove the allegations made against Jayasekara. Gamage, said he had ample evidence to prove that Jayasekara was offered a vast amount of money to crossover from the UNP. “I challenge Dayasiri for an open debate about everything he has said over the past few days. more..

Pillay’s security advisor here

July 26 (CG) The Chief Security Advisor to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay was in Sri Lanka ahead of the scheduled visit by Pillay to the country. During his stay Abraham Mathai and his team visited the Naval Dockyard in Trincomalee this week and called on the Commander Eastern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Rohan Amarasinghe and held cordial discussions on a range of topics which were of mutual interest, the Navy said today. more..

SC issues notice on CPA

July 26 (Island) A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court yesterday issued notice, returnable on September 26, 2013, on two petitioners, the Centre for Policy Alternatives, its Director P. Saravanamuttu and their Attorney-at-Law, N. Rajapakshe, to be present in Court, on September 26, represented by a Counsel. The notice pertains to the hearing of the preliminary objections raised by Deputy Solicitor General Shamindra Fernando stating that Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran, who for the petitioners, more..

All-round SA stay alive with win

July 26 (CI) South Africa dictated proceedings for the first time in the series as they pegged Sri Lanka back in what is a must-win game for the tourists. A fit-again Lonwabo Tsotsobe did the bulk of the damage, with three wickets in a six-over spell in which he extracted bounce and produced seam movement to have Sri Lanka's top order in trouble in more challenging conditions that what they are used to. more..

What friend India did to Sri Lanka

July 27 (NS) It’s getting a little tiresome hearing speeches and reading diplomatic statements that claim Sri Lanka is a friend of India’s. In our dictionary a friend does not act like a traitor but India’s dictionary is obviously different. What friend would secretly create terrorists on Indian soil that has resulted in the deaths of over 100,000 people since early 1980s? The conniving manipulations behind the diplomatic chivalry helps disrobe India’s false friendship revealing more..

Kachchativu: Flogging a dead horse

July 27 (NS) The Govt of India, in every parliamentary debate on Sri Lanka made a categorical statement that the 1974-76 agreements on the ownership of Kachchathivu, the uninhabited island, was final and there was no possibility, reason or desire to reopen the issue On August 26, 2011, the then Minister of External Affairs S M Krishna said that the agreement with Sri Lanka on the sovereignty of Kachchativu was a settled matter and India cannot reopen the issue unilaterally. more..