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For India, Sri Lanka is an island of struggle

Aug 6 (IE) The overall pace of life in Sri Lanka can vary from the charmingly tepid to the surreal, but it rarely gets close to being lively. Even Colombo for that matter, which despite its avant garde aesthetics, and constantly bean-stalking landscape, slips into a miss-the-bus-rather-than-run-after-it tempo as the day wears on. Getting attuned to the capital’s innate beat is how it must have been to get used to facing Tom Moody’s military medium-pace, which contrasted with with his javelin-thrower like more..

Underworld men brought back by govt: MR

Aug 6 (DM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that many leading underworld figures, who fled the country during the time of his rule, had returned to the country at the behest of politicians. “About 10 or 12 of those, who had fled the country during our time, have been brought back by UNP politicians and they are actively participating in election work,” the former President said during an interview held at his residence in Mirihana. more..

Disability activist urges Colombo households to cast one humanitarian vote

Aug 6 (Island) Despite being spinally injured and in a wheelchair, Ajith C. S. Perera, the well known disability activist has come forward to contest the August 17 parliamentary election as an independent candidate from the Colombo district. He has a convincing story to tell the Colombo voters as to why they should consider voting for him. Here’s what he told us. "All of us are certain to spend some period of our life experiencing deficiency in ability, therefore I ask every household in Colombo to mark more..

'GK case termination helps expedite GK repayment'

Aug 6 (DN) Minister Ravi Karunanayake said the govt welcomes the decision by the Supreme Court to terminate the Golden Key proceedings granting approval for the repayment mechanism. He said that it was a culmination of a joint effort by the govt with other stake holders including its depositors to resolve this long over drawn problems faced by the depositors of the Golden Key Company. Karunanayake described this as a sign of good governance in which justice was meted out to more..

Gandhi's principles should be followed to come together as a nation: PM

Aug 6 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said Sri Lanka faced a 30 year conflict dividing the nation on racial lines and now that the war is over they can make use of the principles of Mahatma Gandhi which were also practiced by late Nelson Mandela in South Africa to come together as one nation as Sri Lankans. Speaking at the Mahatma Gandhi Scholarship Awards Ceremony 2014/2015, PM said that more..

Ex-Customs fraud investigation head files FR against Dr. PBJ

Aug 6 (Island) Attorney-at-Law Nagananda Kodituwakku, former Head of the Customs Services Fraud Investigation Division, yesterday filed a petition in the Supreme Court requesting the court to issue a mandatory order on the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, directing the Commission to inquire into a complaint made by the petitioner regarding an alleged malpractice by Dr. P. B. Jayasundera, the former Secretary to the Treasury. more..

Kotahena shooting victim receives a house

Aug 6 (NS) Family of Siththi Nazeema who died marking the first major act of violence of the General Election was given a house. Shooting incident which took place on last Friday; July 31 morning at Bloemendhal Road, Kotahena had taken two lives including Nazeema and another and the number of injured was 12. Nazeema who was a mother of three was announced dead at the admission to the General Hospital and the second victim; B.N. Sampath, had succumbed to his injuries more..

Prelates excoriate political parties

Aug 6 (Island) Congress of Religions accused major political parties of violating what it called the March 12 Declaration meant to ensure nominations only to worthy candidates. Dr. Itthepana Dharmalankara Thero, Prof. Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thero and Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith on behalf of the Congress of Religions strongly excoriated major political parties for pursuing political strategies more..

'I wanted to promote energy saving habits'

Aug 6 (DM) Energy conservation is the process of reducing energy consumption through the prudent use of an energy source. Although energy conservation has been the subject of extensive discussion, and many energy saving devices such as solar panels and electric vehicles introduced to the market, much more needs to be done in terms of saving energy. After watching the television we sometimes forget to switch it off or we keep lights on during the night or keep a fan rotating more..

Child labour: A disgrace to humanity

Aug 6 (DM) One of the time-tested and time-honoured lessons of history is that while politicians generally work for the next election, statesmen or stateswomen work for the next generation. The main parties campaigning with vigour and largely without violence for the August 17 General Election are claiming they have long-term plans for the next generation with a knowledge-based economy, high technology and other virtues such as equal education and healthcare opportunities for all. more..

'Image of leaders not on cutouts but remain in the hearts of the people'

Aug 6 (DM) Sarvodaya leader Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne is an eminent social worker and a keen observer with a political vision of his own. During his long career as a social worker and a social reformist he has closely associated with political leaders of this country. In this interview, Dr. Ariyaratne expresses his candid views on the current political situation in the country. Q: What do think about the ongoing struggle for political more..

UN reiterates North must be involved in talks

Aug 6 (CG) The UN has reiterated that the Northern Province must be involved in talks to establish a mechanism to investigate incidents related to the war. Former Foreign Minister, G.L Peiris had earlier questioned a statement made by the UN that the Northern Provincial Council must be included in the accountability process. Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesperson for UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon however said that more..

'Give me five years'

Aug 6 (DM) PM and leader of the UNP – main party of UNFGG - Ranil Wickremesinghe is one of the forerunners at the upcoming General Elections. In an interview he discussed a wide range of issues, including the Central Bank bond controversy, the plan to revive the economy and battle against corruption, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s comeback into politics and the possibility of creating a new Constitution. more..

'My hands are clean'

Aug 6 (DM) Former president and UPFA candidate from the Kurunegala district, Mahinda Rajapaksa in a common interview, held at his residence in Mirihana said he was confident of the UPFA winning the upcoming general elections. The interview which took the form of a discussion was conducted with a few other print media outlets, was not confined to the questions and follow up questions posed by the daily mirror. more..

A close battle for power in Wayamba

Aug 6 (SL) The people of the North Western Province have become less enthusiastic of the upcoming general election and are flipping the coin to decide who they should vote for on August 17. While many, including the supporters of the SLFP, protested the comeback of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, some, mostly from less urban areas in the Kurunegala District, are determined to vote him back to power. more..

Victim’s mother and lodge owner give vital clues on body in bag

Aug 6 (ST) Police were yesterday trying to trace a man believed to be linked to the death of the 34-year-old woman whose body was discovered at the Bastian Mawatha private bus halt in Pettah on Wednesday. Questioning the victim’s mother on Friday afternoon, she had revealed that the suspect, who went by the name Krishna, had allegedly been having an extra marital affair with the woman for the past three years. more..

Corruption:Champika laments slow progress in investigations

Aug 6 (Island) Minister Champika Ranawaka said that though 52 cases had been investigated by the police in accordance with directive given by a committee headed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe cases had been filed as regards only two cases––800-mn-rupee fraud involving the RADA and the alleged killing of rugger player Wasim Thajudeen. He said committee that decided on investigations included JVP leader Anura Kumara. more..

Thajudeen’s body to be exhumed on Aug 10

Aug 6 (AD) Colombo Additional Magistrate ordered the Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) of Colombo to exhume the remains of former Sri Rugby player Wasim Thajudeen, who had died under suspicious circumstances. The body will be exhumed on August 10. Colombo Magistrate’s Court announce its decision today based on a request made by the CID. The CID had informed court that an analysis was required with regard to more..

Atul Keshap confirmed Ambassador to SL

Aug 6 (PTI) Indian-American Atul Keshap has been confirmed as the U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives, becoming the second Indian-origin diplomat to be posted to the region after Richard Rahul Verma. Mr. Keshap (44), a former official at the US Embassy in India, was on Wednesday confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the country’s envoy which would be his first Ambassadorial posting. more..

Committee to investigate corruption in transport sector

Aug 6 (CG) A committee has been appointed to investigate allegations of corruption said to have taken place in the public transport sector. The special investigations committee has been appointed by the Secretary to the Ministry of Internal Transport on the instructions given by the subject Minister for investigating and making recommendations on corruption, maladministration and irregularities occurred in the Ministry more..

Dullas should reply to Welgama before pointing fingers at others: Kabir

Aug 6 (Island) Former Minister Dullas Alahapperuma had got his facts mixed up about the proposed Central Expressway from Kadawatha to Kandy and was still uttering falsehoods as he had done when in power, the UNP said. Minister Kabir Hashim said that Alahapperuma, who obviously believed that the "Best Head of State was the Best Rogue", should before leveling allegations at the Maithripala-Ranil administration, reply to Kumara Welgama who succeeded Alahapperuma as more..

Counsel raise preliminary objections to Nalin’s FR application

Aug 6 (Island) Counsel Kanage Ishwaran, President’s Counsel raised a preliminary objection to the petition filed by Professor Nalin de Silva against the non-publication of the report compiled by the COPE on the Central Bank bond issue He said that there was no law passed by Parliament, which provided the right to information. When there was no law in operation unequal treatment enshrined in Article 12(1), did not have effect. The petition was premature. The COPE comprised MPs. more..

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa

Sri Lankan shares end at over 6-month high

Aug 6 (Reuters) Shares ended at their highest in more than six months on Thursday amid a strong turnover led by large-cap stocks on hopes of political stability after the Aug. 17 elections and better earnings in the April-June quarter. But foreign investors exited from risky assets, reversing the year-to-date net foreign inflow to net outflow. The main stock index ended 0.15%, or 10.93 points up, at 7,377.24, its highest level since Jan. 29, Thomson Reuters data showed. more..

Body bags from Middle East

Aug 6 (CT) Economist Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said that when a country grows economically, fewer of its citizens seek employment abroad. Coomaraswamy who was formerly Director, Economic Affairs at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London said that this was his experience when serving in London. Remittances made by such workers are Sri Lanka's biggest foreign exchange earner, a number of whom are blue collar workers, including housemaids. more..

Video: No rift in the SLFP: Dilan

Aug 6 (DM) While reiterating that there was no rift within SLFP, Party Spokesman Dilan Perera said it was the UNP, which should be worried about party fractions in future. Commenting on a statement made by SLFP Deputy Minister Thilanga Sumathipala to the effect that all remaining SLFP ministers were mulling to resign, which had been rejected by other SLFP ministers, Mr. Perera said the deputy minister had simply sought more..

SB gives bad prognosis for UNP, DP

Aug 6 (Island) A Maithri – Mahinda govt would be formed by SLFP-led UPFA on August 18 and Ranil Wickremasinghe will be chased out from the post of PM, Minister S.B. Dissanayake said. He said victory for the UPFA was certain as the UNP-led combination would not get the 6.2 million votes polled by President Sirisena in January last. Govt in office had cheated the people by making false promises and by stopping all development projects commenced by Rajapaksa administration. more..


Aug 6 (CT) By now the reality of climate change should be evident to most of us. The sober reality that forty years of biogeographic data produces, is seen in the disappearing populations of Pygmy Chameleons (Cophotis Zeylanica) in the central hills or by the disappearing beaches and beach ecosystems of the Southern Coast. The message is clear, there are changes happening in the environment. These changes are not and will not be benign. According to IPCC’s report from more..

'Funeral of free health service not far'

Aug 6 (AD) Former UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardena says that the funeral of Sri Lanka’s world-renowned free health service is not very far. Speaking at a press briefing, he stated that the previous UPFA govt had allocated Rs 160 billion to uplift the country’s health service. He stated that the election manifesto of the UNP proposes the abolishing of free healthcare and establishing of a National Health Service Authority. more..

'Mahinda plugging racist line in losing battle'

Aug 6 (Island) Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith P. Perera said that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa despite having decades of political experience, had still not realized that extremist policies had ruined his chance of winning the presidency for a third time. Rajapaksa was still plugging the racist line and religious extremism was one of the main causes of his defeat at the January 8, presidential election, he said. "Mahinda keeps contradicting himself. more..

'CID pursuing top military officers'

Aug 6 (AD) Ven. Bengamuwe Nalaka Thero says that presently the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) is chasing after high-ranking military officers who helped save the country and that the Defence Secretary is aware of it. He says that top brass of the security forces are disappointed by this situation and that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa should once again be the ruler of the country in order to prevent its descent into the abyss again. more..

Video: Udaya claims Rs.500mn from Hirunika

Aug 6 (DM) PHU General Secretary Udaya Gammanpila sent a letter of demand to UNP Colombo district candidate Hirunika Premachandra demanding Rs. 500 million as damages for allegedly making defamatory remarks on him. Mr. Gammanpila today said he would take legal action against Ms. Premachandra if she failed to pay the amount within two weeks. “In a television programme telecast on July 2, Hirunika more..

India assures solution to fishermen issue

Aug 6 (CG) Indian Govt informed Parliament that it is working towards evolving a permanent solution for the Tamil fishermen issue and that the Indian External Affairs Ministry is engaged in discussions with Sri Lanka. Describing the issue as a serious and recurring one, Indian Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said that Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj is taking necessary interest and engaged in discussions with Sri Lanka from time to time. more..

Weerawansa misused public money to help his journo and monk buddies

Aug 6 (CT) An Audit report shows how former Minister, Wimal Weerawansa misused public money to help his buddies namely Iththekande Saddhatissa Thero of Ravana Balaya organization and Journalist at Lankadeepa Prasanna Tennekoon. Wimal Weerawansa shamelessly had taken steps to provide two vehicles, which were obtained by the Housing Ministry on rent to his above two buddies who did not do anything for the Ministry in an official capacity. more..

Sri Lanka probes Rs 606mn architects’ consultancy in defence HQ deal

Aug 6 (EN) Govt is investigating an architects’ firm given a consultancy in the new military headquarters complex without competitive bidding and paid 80% of their fee for less than half the work. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the architects, Muditha Jayakody Associates (Pvt) Ltd., had been given a 606 million rupee contract for consultancy services in the Akuregoda security services headquarters building project in Battaramulla. more..

EC promises to probe misuse of children’s hospital ambulance for electioneering

Aug 6 (Island) Director of the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Children’s hospital, Peradeniya, Dr. M. Iqbal said that he would inquiry into how an ambulance sent to collect drugs by Deputy Director had ended up in Kalutara, where Minister Rajitha Senaratne on August 3 conducted a campaign meeting for health workers at a hotel in Kalutara. CMEV disclosed that an ambulance belonging to the Children’s hospital had been used for electioneering purposes by Health Minister Senaratne more..

BJP claims it is the true saviour of Sinhala Buddhists

Aug 6 (Island) Bodu Jana Peramuna (BJP) claimed that major political parties as well as senior Buddhist clergy had turned a blind eye to the Sinhala Buddhist being gradually deprived of their rights. BJP joined the parliamentary polls fray after having carefully considered the mounting challenges faced by the Sinhalese in spite of the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009, it said. Colombo District BJP candidate Anika Perera said that those speaking for the rights of the majority community had been more..

August 17th Movement to support JVP

Aug 6 (CT) The August 17th Movement, a civil society organization, comprising academics, doctors, lawyers and artistes pledged their support to the JVP. The August 17th Movement explained that there was no discernible difference between the two main parties, the SLFP led UPFA and the UNP led United National Front for Good Governance with regards to statesmanship, governance and conduct in politics. more..

UNFGG rally tomorrow Enter CBK

Aug 6 (CT) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga will make her first appearance to speak at a rally supporting the UNF for Good Governance (UNFGG) on 7 August at Meegahatenna, Matugama. Meeting is organized by Sadarana Samajayak Sandaha Purawesi Balaya. Ven. Dambara Amila Thera, Professor Sarath Wijesuriya, film director Dharmasiri Bandaranayake, Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri, J.C. Weliamuna and Chameera Perera will also address meeting. more..

UNP promises 6% for education

Aug 6 (CT) Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said that the UNP will allocate six per cent of the GDP for education as it is one of the priorities for the Maithri-Ranil Govt. He noted that the UPFA in their Manifesto or in their policies have not mentioned what percentage of the GDP would be allocated for education. "The UPFA has been rejecting the 6% allocation for education before, and still have not set a standard for expenditure on education. They should tell the masses what is their education more..