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Mahinda defends impeachment of Shirani

Aug 6 (CG) Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa strongly defended the controversial impeachment that ousted Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranaike in Jan 2014. Move was heavily criticised by the international community and legal watchdogs as an authoritarian and undermining the rule of law. “We did everything as per constitutional provisions,” Rajapaksa told BBC. He also vowed to win an outright majority more..

Rahane century holds Indians together

Aug 6 (CI) A smooth Ajinkya Rahane century headed up a sturdy first outing for the Indians, who withstood occasionally testing fast bowling on a green surface to post 314 for 6 on the first day in Colombo. Shikhar Dhawan made a half-century, in a 108-run opening stand with KL Rahul, who fell in sight of his own fifty. Only M Vijay did not bat, from among India's top seven. He is currently resting a strained hamstring, but is on track to play the first Test starting August 12. more..

Lakshman Wasantha Perera released on bail

Aug 6 (AD) Former UPFA MP Lakshman Wasantha Perera, who was arrested and remanded in connection with an assault incident, has been released on bail by the Matale Magistrate’s Court. He was ordered released on a personal bail of Rs 250,000 by Matale Magistrate. However, he was ordered to appear before the court when the case is taken up again on Aug 12. Perera was arrested on Monday after he surrendered to police over the alleged assault incident. more..

Election Survey Network predicts hung parliament

Aug 6 (AM) The upcoming general election is likely to elect a hung parliament with the UNP becoming the largest single party in parliament, Election Survey Network, Sri Lanka, said today. According to a survey done by the Election Survey Network, the UNP is likely to win between 98-100 votes while the UPFA will win 94-96 seats. The survey also found JVP winning 14-15 seats and TNA slightly overtaking them with 16-17 seats. more..

Duminda pleads not guilty in Bharatha murder case

Aug 6 (AD) Former UPFA MP Duminda Silva and 12 other accused on Thursday pleaded not guilty in the murder of former President’s Advisor Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and three others in Mulleriyawa on Oct 8, 2011. Attorney General’s Department has filed indictments against them at the Colombo High Court on 17 charges including unlawful assembly, murder, conspiring to murder and abetting murder. High Court has also decided to continue with the case in the absence of more..

Fake ballots papers seized in Kantale

Aug 6 (DM) A stack of fake ballot papers had been seized from a store in Kantale this morning, ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said. Trincomalee Assistant Elections Commissioner had informed Kantale Police OIC after he received information about the fake ballot papers at a store near the Clock Tower junction in Kantale. Police had arrested one suspect and 14,989 of fake ballot papers were found inside the store. “The suspect is to be produced in Kantale Magistrate’s Court,” ASP Gunasekara said. more..

MR would have stilled captained SLC: Arjuna

Aug 6 (DM) Fortunately the Kurunegala District UPFA candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa had not played cricket. Had he played and won the cricket World Cup in 1996, he would have still been the captain of the Sri Lanka team, Gampaha District UPFA candidate Arjuna Ranatunga said. He made these remarks when he addressed a large gathering of supporters, when former President Chandrika Kumaratunga visited more..

BBS: Cobras are not pets, they belong to the jungle

Aug 7 (CT) The events of 6 December 1992, which led to the demolition of the Babri Mosque rewrote the history of modern India on communal lines. It was apparent that top BJP leaders like L K Advani and the then UP chief minister Kalyan Singh, as well the former Congress PM, P V Narasimha Rao, were aware of the planned demolition, according to a sting operation by the Cobrapost, an Indian news website and television production house, known for its investigative journalism. more..

Foreign policy in Sri Lanka: Is it effective & productive?

Aug 7 (CT) Correct foreign Policy for a nation is a pre-requisite for development and prosperity. It has a direct effect and impact on commercial and trade relations among members of the world family and the world. In a fast developing world, it is becoming increasingly difficult to live in isolation. The advent of modern technology has promoted increased globalisation and an interconnected world community with the internet playing a large role in redefining political dynamics more..

Wasim Thajudeen’s death: It is murder!

Aug 7 (SO) There is much that is known but unsaid, at least publicly, about national rugby star, Wasim Thajudeen’s mysterious death in May 2012. Purported cause of his death had been at first, an accident (the manner of which experts have failed to explain, according to investigators). Next, it was said that Thajudeen, one time the island’s most popular ruggerite, died under mysterious circumstances. more..

Who will win?

Aug 7 (CT) Following the UNP defeat at the parliamentary election in 1994, Gamini Dissanayake decided to contest the presidential election a few months later and surprised everyone. Many claimed Gamini was unwise and mad to take such a decision. But Gamini thought he could win the presidential election. People rallied round Gamini wherever he went. Those supporters belonged to the UNP which ruled for 17 years and lost. They thought Gamini could give victory to the party more..

Editorial: A crook with a difference

Aug 7 (Island) Fraudsters, confidence tricksters and other such guileful elements are, no doubt, detestable. This world will be a much better place without them. However, the lives of some of those characters are not devoid of positive sides. Frank Abagnale Jr., immortalised by Steven Spielberg in celluloid—who will ever forget the edge-of-the-seat thriller, Catch Me If You Can, starring Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio?—was still a teenager when he amassed millions of dollars more..

UNP betrayed me: Hunais Farook

Aug 7 (CT) UPFA Vanni District candidate and former MP Hunais Farook, said UNP failed to fulfil the promises assured to him when he crossed over as the first minority MP to bring in a change in this country. "People of Vanni believe that I have been betrayed by the UNP," he said. Q: You were the very first minority MP who crossed over to the UNP to represent good governance. But why were you rejected from the UNP ticket. more..

What kind of country are we voting for?

Aug 7 (GV) The phrase regime-change is often used to describe the dramatic result of the presidential election on 8th January 2015, both in the sense of a democratic change of govt, as well as at a deeper level, to denote the electorate’s expression of a choice between two competing conceptions of the Sri Lankan state. The country rejected the Rajapaksa model and endorsed the common opposition’s promise of a radically different vision of Sri Lanka. more..

Resurrecting a Supremacist

Aug 7 (GV) If there is a man in this country, apart from Mahinda Rajapaksa, with a conscience more impervious to ethical and moral considerations, a conscience so thickly armour plated that it can blithely adopt the most unprincipled position, then that must be Sarath Nanda Silva, former Chief Justice. This is the man who apologized to the public, just a few months ago, for having delivered an erroneous verdict in exonerating Rajapaksa in the Helping Hambantota fraud. more..

Champika Ranawaka: සජීවී සංවාද මණ්ඩපය

UPFA marriage bonanza and Adi Ennai Rakamma

Aug 7 (CT) The UPFA Election Manifesto has many goodies. While it offers many concessions to the people, the most exciting proposal that is discussed among the young and old is the bonanza of Rs 200,000 for marriage. Since this proposal was made public everybody seems to talk about marriage with the hope that the UPFA will form a government soon to get this bonanza. Rupees two hundred thousand is a considerable sum that could cover expenses of a wedding. This exciting proposal has also more..

Part III: Would reconciliation process work in post-war Sri Lanka?

Aug 7 (IL) The African National Congress (ANC) fought for freedom but their struggles were met with violence of the government led by the British Empire that took the lives of thousands of people. Even F.W. de Klerk, president of South Africa in 1989, admitted the failure of apartheid policies. After South Africa emerged from the long period of totalitarian rule (aka apartheid) into a democracy, there was urgent need for reconciliation. The creation of the TRC in 1995 was crucial because more..

COYLE renews opposition to CEPA, wants protection for local SMEs against FDIs

Aug 7 (FT) Moves by any future Govt to sign the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India will be actively opposed by local entrepreneurs, Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE) said. The collective also called for a tightening of regulations vis-à-vis foreign investments and urged the next Govt to take steps to ensure protection of SL entrepreneurs and all local Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs). more..

An Appeal to Mr. President

Aug 7 (CT) I was a successful rugby coach at all levels, schools, clubs, and at national level. After successfully coaching Kandy Sports Club from 1995-1997 where they were triple champions for the first time in history of Sri Lankan rugby, those were the days I used to travel to Kandy from Vavuniya. In 1994 soon after the election, I was summoned to the office of General Ratwatte and told that I am transferred to Vavuniya with immediate effect, because I was Ranil's Chief Security Officer. more..

The need for a credible economic vision

Aug 7 (Island) Many economic problems have not been addressed in the parliamentary election campaigns and debates. The Friday Forum raises some concerns relating to an egalitarian and viable economic vision for the voters to consider. The three decade long war curtailed public discussion of economic priorities. The post-war years characterised by an authoritarian development push further constrained the space for democratic and participatory economic development. more..

'Carefully orchestrated NGO campaign against me'

Aug 7 (CT) International war crimes prosecutor Sir Desmond de Silva, QC, Chair of the advisory panel probing missing persons appointed by the former regime, charged civil society entities with undermining his services in probing alleged war crimes and missing persons in Sri Lanka and calling for his removal from that role. Sir de Silva said that he is "not willing to be drawn into the carefully orchestrated campaign against him more..

New law to provide more powers to AG to ensure stringent state tender procedures

Aug 7 (ST) The Govt cannot be complacent with the tender procedure adopted by the state sector and measures have to be taken to wipe out financial and accounting frauds in govt institutions to ensure people and investors receive correct information on fnancial matters, according to President Maithripala Sirisena. He said that after the August Parliamentary election a new Act governing the role and responsibilities of the Auditor General’s Department will be enacted. more..

Singer posts Rs 660 m profit in second half

Aug 7 (DN) Singer Sri Lanka recorded Rs. 18 billion in revenue, a 28% surge in the first half of the 2015 financial year compared to the previous year. The Group's continued initiatives and expansion plans and overall improvement in the business environment has contributed to this impressive growth momentum. Establishing new shops and renovating existing ones, introducing and securing new brands, products, dealers and distributorships has helped the Group consolidate more..

US - Lanka joint venture for Tea

Aug 7 (CT) Tea Exporters' Association has proposed to the US Embassy in Colombo for the creation of awareness for superior quality of Ceylon tea amongst the US consumers and possible joint ventures between the US and Sri Lankan companies in the private sector. The TEA has had several discussions with officials in the Commercial Section of US Embassy in Colombo on Wednesday for greater trade corporation between more..

Speeding bus kills policeman at Galle Face

Aug 7 (DN) In a shocking accident, a constable who was on traffic duty on Galle Road near the Galle Face Green was run over by a speeding private bus this evening and fatally injured. The 42-year-old constable was standing on the seaside lane of Galle Road opposite the partly built Shangri-la Hotel when the accident occurred at around 6.30pm. A route 100 Pettah bound private bus coming from Moratuwa, at high speed had run over the constable whilst it was trying to overtake another more..

India's Test squad thin on SL experience

Aug 7 (TOI) Of the 15-man India squad that will play three Test matches against Sri Lanka, only four players have previously played a Test in the country. And that does not include the captain, Virat Kohli. Here's a look at those four men with prior Test experience on Sri Lankan soil, and how they have fared. Harbhajan Singh: The most experienced of the current Test squad with 102 caps, the veteran offspinner has played nine matches on Sri Lankan soil from between 1999 and 2010. more..

Nivard writes to Arjuna

Aug 7 (FT) Former Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal had written to his successor, Arjuna Mahendran, levelling various charges against him while defending his own behaviour during his tenure at the head of the financial institution. Full text of the letter by Cabraal for what he described as the interest of transparency and good governance. Dear Mr. Mahendran, I write with reference to several recent news reports more..

Hilton grabs 20 medals at Culinary Art 2015

Aug 7 (DN) Champika Rajapaksha - Most Outstanding Artist for Fruit & Vegetable Carving: Culinary Art 2015 presented by the Chefs Guild of Lanka is one of the prestigious events in the culinary calendar and Sri Lanka's biggest food and hotel show was concluded recently at the BMICH. Hilton Colombo bagged altogether 20 medals and an award for The Most Outstanding Artist (Fruit & Vegetable Carving). Judges were flown in from around the world to select the winners and more..

JBF calls for conducive atmosphere for Diaspora investment

Aug 7 (CT) Jaffna Business Forum (JBF) has pointed out that the North and East provinces should be conducive for the Tamil Diaspora investors and the govt should create the atmosphere in its 2016 Budget. At a JBF meeting held in Jaffna the members discussed the future economic development activities extensively when the new Parliament is formed. It also prepared proposals for the economic development of the North and urged govt to help Tamil businessmen who more..

Sri Lanka's 'B+' rating confirmed, foreign reserves growing: S&P

Aug 7 (EN) Standard & Poor's has confirmed Sri Lanka's 'B+' rating and has said foreign reserves will grow, external debt will fall in the next three years. "The risks associated with the country's moderately weak external settings are mitigated by growing reserve buffers that improve Sri Lanka's external resilience," S&P said. "We expect Sri Lanka's gross international reserves (US$7.5 billion at June 2015) to remain at more than more..

MR to pull out of race if ...

Aug 7 (Island) UPFA Prime Ministerial Candidate former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said he didn’t have any foreign bank accounts. "If anyone could prove that I had even five dollars in a foreign account I will leave politics immediately," Rajapaksa said. The former President made the statement in an interview with Hiru TV. He said though some politicians said there were over 7,000 complaints of corruption against the previous govt, no one knew where those files had gone today. more..

'We want to beat India for retiring Sanga'

Aug 7 (AP) Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews said his team is eager to send off the retiring Kumar Sangakkara by winning the test series against India that starts next week. Sangakkara has announced he will retire from international cricket after the second game of the three-test series. His last match will be from Aug. 20-24 at P. Sara Oval, Colombo. "A series win is the best way to send off a player of Sangakkara's caliber," Mathews said. He said his own participation in the first test more..

Police probing Siriliya link to rugger player's murder

Aug 7 (EN) Authorities are probing stunning new evidence that may link former First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa's Siriliya charity to the murder of rugger player Wasim Thajudeen, police sources disclosed. Thajudeen was found dead inside his own car along Park Road in May 2012 in what the police then said was a motor accident. However, since then the police have done a U-turn and reopened a murder investigation. more..

7,500 graduates to be recruited to Public Service after polls: Ravi K

Aug 7 (FT) Minister Ravi Karunanayake said that the Govt has decided to recruit 7,500 graduates to fill the vacancies in the public sector institutions. Though the Cabinet has already taken a decision in this regard, recruitments would be made after the election due on 17 August. Under the program of providing employment to graduates, all those who obtained their degree certificate before March 2012 were recruited to the public sector and those who could not apply during this period more..

Tamils are my brothers and sisters: Rishad

Aug 7 (CT) UNP leading candidate for Vanni District and ACMC Leader, Rishad Bathiudeen said his aim is to ensure a bright future for the people of Vanni who were directly affected in the last phases of the war. "People of Vanni were terribly affected during the last phases of the war, when the war was at its peak; I functioned as the Minister of Resettlement without any communal or religious bias. I took all necessary steps to hasten the resettlement process and offered livelihood facilities & employment more..

‘How come Chinese suddenly became good'

Aug 7 (Island) Prof. Sumanasiri Liyanage warned of the danger of heavy dependence on foreign investments and loans, particularly from Western sources vis-a-vis the unprecedented financial crisis experienced by Greece. Prof. Liyanage, Dean, Faculty of Management and Finance SANASA Institute of Business and Development Studies particularly frowned on German ultimatum to Greek govt. more..

IGP promises action against Deputy Minister

Aug 7 (Island) IGP N.K. Illangakoon is expected to take tough action against Deputy Justice Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe tomorrow after consulting the Attorney General and the Election Commissioner for some serious allegations levelled against him by the latter at a media briefing early this week. ASP Ruwan Gunasekera said that the IGP had ordered that a case be filed against Deputy Minister Senasinghe for he had undermined the office of the Police Chief to a great extent. more..

Is Rajapaksa making a comeback?

Aug 7 (BBC) Sri Lanka votes in parliamentary elections on 17 August, with two major contenders for prime minister - current PM Ranil Wickramasinghe, and defeated former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Mr Rajapaksa is standing as a candidate - despite his successor as president, Maithripala Sirisena, attempting to stop him from running. Mr Sirisena had unseated his rival in a surprise victory in presidential polls - but now there is talk of Mr Rajapaksa making a comeback. more..

Always green or always blue politics should be terminated'

Aug 7 (LT) “When people voted for the green or the blue following their forefathers there were clashes. The winning side attacked houses of the opponents. They were hooted and crackers were lit in their compounds. We were divided. However, those in higher level of the parties did not get divided. They drank together and ate together. However, we were made to fight each other. This always green or always blue more..