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China-assisted projects to provide clean drinking water to thousands in Sri Lanka

Aug 7 (Xinhua) To L. Samudra and other villagers in Kurunegala, in Sri Lanka's northwestern province, clean and potable water has always been a problem as far as they could remember. "Clean drinking water is a luxury here in our village," Samudra said when chanced upon by Xinhua in his house in Kurunegala. Recently, however, residents of Kurunegala expressed a sigh of relief after the start of the construction of the Greater Kurunegala Water Supply and Sewerage Project which more..

PM vows to safeguard national security, dismisses fear of rebel insurgence

Aug 7 (Xinhua) PM and leader of the ruling UNP, Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that the country should not fear over a resurgence of the Tamil Tiger rebels as its national security is thoroughly safeguarded. Speaking at an election rally in the northwestern province of Kurunegala, Wickremesinghe said that if his party wins the upcoming parliamentary elections, the country's national security would continue to be one if its main focus. more..

The political emancipation of Sri Lanka

Aug 8 (CT) The current parliamentary election presents a clear division between democratic forces and anti-democratic forces. A victory for democracy would offer a generational chance of resolving some of the fault lines in SL society. Rajapaksa regime won the war against the LTTE but they used this victory to defeat the legitimate democratic aspirations of the Tamil people. When the Muslim community was attacked the law was not applied and the perpetrators got away scott-free. more..

A toss of the coin

Aug 8 (FT) “This is to record that the Southern Expressway write in history as the first venture in expressway construction in our motherland was gifted to the people on the 27th day of Nov 2011 by His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa President of Sri Lanka and be it so known by future generations as herein inscribed and may it also be known that it is the singular wish of the entire Sri Lanka nation that this would be the access to greatness in this land where His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa more..

'SLFP is full of corrupt people'

Aug 8 (FT) Chandrika Kumaratunga will never support the SLFP as long as there are corrupt and unwanted people in it, said Minister Arjuna Ranatunga. “How can Chandrika Kumaratunga support the SLFP? That party is full of corrupt people. She does not want to work with such people in SLFP. I am sure till the SLFP does away with these corrupt people she will ever support them,” pointed out Minister Ranatunga. more..

Potential disaster or golden opportunity?

Aug 8 (NS) Prime block of land for sale in close proximity to the expressway interchange is an increasingly visible advertisement that is sure to excite potential buyers. This same advertisement should, however, send shivers down the spine of attentive policy-makers and administrators, as it indicates a rapid growth occurring around the expressway interchanges. Smooth functioning of the interchanges is pivotal to the development of an effective and efficient expressway network more..

Get used to thirst!

Aug 8 (NS) The move to privatize water on a large scale didn’t begin yesterday. The first noises were made around 25 years ago, when the International Irrigation Management Institute (IIMI) set up its headquarters in Colombo. Back then too the talk was about the efficient use of water. It was a design that was promoted by those who wanted to see rice being replaced by so-called High Value Crops. It was an attempted strike not only on rice but on a nation’s cultural preferences. more..

Battle for Galle

Aug 8 (CT) Galle District saw the UNP through to victory until the arrival of Mahinda Rajapaksa at the helm of the SLFP. UNP continuously lost the district after their victory in 2001. CT interviewed the district leaders of both the UNP and the UPFA to learn which way the tide will turn. UPFA Galle District Leader, Piyasena Gamage: Q: How is your campaign in Galle progressing? You only see green flags in Galle these days? more..

Mahinda's Anukampawa for Mervyn turns Bhoomikampawa

Aug 8 (CT) Some may treat this news as the joke of the decade. But our former Minister Mervyn Silva is very serious about the attempt to kidnap him. He has lodged a complaint at the Mirihana Police last week that a white van was haunting his Mirihana residence to kidnap him. Readers may ask; who wants to kidnap Mervyn and for what? Mervyn lives in many places. He moves from place to place in fear. Obviously for fear, though he posed off as a brave warrior from the South more..

Sinhala imagery and dravidian ecstasy in the art song

Aug 8 (Island) Imagination and emotion are the two parents of the art music. Imagination gives rise to imagery – fascinating dream images. Emotion leads to exhilarating ecstasies. Music, which is inspired by strong imagination, evokes fascinating dream images. Likewise, music which is driven by powerful emotions, brings about exhilarating ecstasies. Both imagination and emotions are present in art music, albeit not equal proportions. Some music, such as the Sinhala art song, is dominated by more..

Sri Lanka to enable PayPal

Aug 8 (FT) In a bid to achieve an export target of $50 billion and explore advancements in digital commerce, Sri Lanka will soon enable the PayPal online payment gateway. “PayPal will be allowed. We want to ensure that the local financial system also benefits in this digital commerce era,” ICTA CEO Muhunthan Canagey said. “Allowing Paypal to operate here would be a very simple task; it’s only a matter of having them open, more..

Editorial: The holy and the unholy

Aug 8 (Island) Karl Marx famously said religion was the opium of the masses. It was the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of the heartless world and the soul of the soulless conditions, he argued. But, in this country the opium of the masses is something else; it is partisan politics! Sri Lankans live and breathe politics and all things political. They make a public display of their religiosity, flaunting as they do various religious symbols. Their vehicles are veritable shrines on wheels. more..

Social market economy or political manipulation of market?

Aug 8 (CT) It is always better if political parties explain to the people on what basis that they plan to manage the economy if they come into power. If they don’t, then it is up to the people to uncover their policy frameworks. This can be done on the basis of analysing their manifestos or past practices. Of course there can be a difference between what they say and what they actually (intend to) do. UNFGG has come up with the concept of social market economy (SME) quite commendably as more..

Welikada Prison riot 2012: A gross violation of rights

Aug 8 (SO) Evidence before the Committee of Inquiry into the Prison incident 2012 (CIPI) has revealed that by using the Police STF, which later precipitated the incident, was uncalled for. If properly managed it could have been done by the Prison Authorities without seeking outside assistance, which is their sole responsibility. The incident is termed by the CIPI as a gross violation of widely accepted norms and procedures. more..

Before the 2015 General Elections

Aug 8 (Island) It has been a time of much confusion in our politics after Jan 8 but the fundamentals have been clear enough. We can of course have varying notions of what are the fundamentals. My first fundamental is that the time for the grand narrative is over. Most of us can hardly think nowadays in terms of an ideology and an accompanying program that is going to set everything right. The contemporary outlook, right across the globe, might be best described as political meliorism: more..

Poison Politics is the brew on call

Aug 8 (Island) If the SLFP-led UPFA cannot take pride in the introducing of the proportional representation system in elections, together with the preferential vote or manaapey porey that is now reaching the final week of its run, it certainly has made a very significant and historic introduction to the politics of Sri Lanka, and possibly the world over. There is no one who could challenge their ownership and patent rights to the Politics of Poison, which was unveiled this week, more..

Top ILO official to visit Sri Lanka today

Aug 8 (GDI) A top official of the International Labor Organization (ILO) is scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka Saturday on a week-long official visit. The ILO Assistant Director General and Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, Ms. Tomoko Nishimoto will visit Sri Lanka from 8th to 15th Aug at the invitation of the Ministry of Labor. This is her first official visit to the island nation. During her visit, Ms. Nishimoto will meet more..

VW plant to initially target local market

Aug 8 (NS) The proposed Volkswagen plant which is to be set up in Kurunegala will initially target the local market for a year before exporting automobiles worldwide, The Nation learns. Accordingly, the much anticipated agreement between the Finance Ministry and representatives of Volkswagen International was signed last Tuesday. Initially, the plant will cater to the local automobile market and would assemble semi-knock down units, which would be brought into the country. more..

Mobitel partners with CodeGen to offer integrated school management systems

Aug 8 (Island) Mobitel in partnership with CodeGen International launched a superior integrated management solution comprising iCard and CloudSchool technology on behalf of the Bandaranayake College, Gampaha recently. The inaugural launch of the technological solution which was introduced to Sri Lanka for the very first time was held in the presence of Chief Guest President Maithripala Sirisena. Bandaranayake College is the first school the country to obtain the services more..

President advises voters to elect only suitable people to Parliament

Aug 8 (PSL) All voters of the country have a great responsibility to elect only suitable persons to the Parliament in forthcoming General Election, says President Sirisena. Only most suitable candidates who work for the country and safeguard the respect of the Parliament should be elected to the Parliament at the election, he added. People should do that selection according to their knowledge, intelligence & prior experience more..

Sri Lanka go down fighting in opener

Aug 8 (DN) Singapore got their Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015 campaign off to a winning start, overcoming Sri Lanka 56-43 at Netball Central on Friday. Veteran Premila Hirubalan, making her fourth world cup appearance, had a great defensive game, with fellow team mates Shiqi Ang, Li Li Chen and Kimberley Lim enjoying a victory on debut. Sri Lanka jumped out to an early 3-0 lead with strong ball movement down the court. Early turnovers were hurting the Singapore midcourters with more..

Dialog Axiata June net up 15% to Rs1.9bn

Aug 8 (EN) Mobile phone operator Dialog Axiata said the group’s June 2015 quarter net profit rose 15% to 1.9 billion rupees from a year ago and maintained its market leadership with subscribers crossing 10 million. Sales of the group rose 6.6% to 17.7 billion rupees during the period with earnings per share at 23 cents compared with 20 cents the year before. Group sales in the first half of 2015 rose six percent to 35.1 billion rupees from a year ago, a company statement said. more..

Sri Lanka to have world’s fifth highest per-capita GDP by 2050: EIU Report

Aug 8 (NS) Sri Lanka has been named as the only Asian country which is expected to be among the top five countries by 2050 in terms of nominal GDP per capita, according to a recently released macro-economic forecast by The Economist Intelligence Unit. Sri Lanka has been placed fifth with an expected GDP per capita of US$ 65,910 preceded by Sweden (US$ 174,995), Germany (US$ 156,940), Italy (US$ 102,323), more..

Govt to reconstruct A5 main road from Badulla to Chenkalady

Aug 8 (DN) The govt has decided to reconstruct the A5 main road from Badulla to Chenkalady which is one of the major highways linking parts of the Central Province to the Eastern Province. Highways and Investment Promotion Ministry Secretary D.C. Dissanayake told the Daily News the total estimated cost of the project for rehabilitation of the A5 road corridor from Badulla to Chenkalady is US $ 140 million. Project is to be jointly funded by the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) more..

Dipped Products profit down 43%

Aug 8 (EN) Rubber gloves maker Dipped Products’ June 2015 quarter net profit fell 43% to 132 million rupees from a year ago as competition squeezed margins and low commodity prices caused losses in plantations. Earnings per share fell to 2.20 rupees from 3.85 rupees over the period while sales fell 35% to 5.7 billion rupees, the Hayleys group subsidiary said in a stock exchange filing. Tax costs fell 77% to 32 million rupees. A sharp downturn in plantations reduced profits, more..

MR joins CBK in war of words

Aug 8 (FT) An ugly battle of words between country’s former presidents continued, with ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa hitting back at his predecessor Chandrika Kumaratunga over what he called her betrayal of the party. Rajapaksa issued a two-page rebuttal of Kumaratunga’s four-page statement issued on Wednesday, accusing her of supporting the UNP on pretext of putting the country before her own party. more..

Govt releases Rs. 1,500 m for pensioners' additional payment

Aug 8 (DN) The govt has released Rs. 1,500 million for the payment of the additional payment due to pensioners after the rectification of pension anomalies along with this month's pension on Aug 10. This payment had been denied to them by the past regime since 2006. This payment is a sequel to a decision taken by the govt on the direction of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to add the increased payment due to pensioners under circular number 6/2006 on rectification of pension anomalies more..

Visa exemption for Sri Lanka and Kazakhstan official passport holders

Aug 8 (GDI) The Govt has taken steps to enter into a agreement on exemption from visa requirement for holders of Diplomatic and official / service passports between the govt of Sri Lanka and Kazakhstan. The agreement will be entered into with the objective of furthering friendly relations between the two countries with the view to simplify the procedures and facilitating the movement of citizens between Sri Lanka and Kazakhstan. Nationals of the States of one party, holders of valid diplomatic or more..

Eknaligoda's disappearance: Two top Army officers to be grilled

Aug 8 (DN) Two senior Army officers will be questioned within the next few days in connection with the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda. They would be questioned based on information revealed by two intelligence unit members who remain in custody over the journalist's disappearance. Two members were previously affiliated with former Minister V Muralitharan who was head of LTTE military wing. more..

SLT Broadband launches first Terabyte Data package

Aug 8 (Island) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), recently launched the Terabyte Data package offering its broadband users the highest data volume given so far by an internet company in Sri Lanka. Now SLT Broadband internet users are offered with up to 1225 Gigabytes or GBs (1.2 Terabyte or TBs) data volume per month. This includes two brand new packages Web Inspire & Web Premier offering 675 GB & 1225 GB respectively for attractive monthly rentals and is ideal for heavy internet users more..

Pro Foods/Pro Pack & Agbiz 2015

Aug 8 (GDI) Profood Propack & Agbiz 2015 the most comprehensive food, beverage and packing exhibition will be held for the 14th successive year on 7, 8 and 9 August at the BMICH. This wide-ranged exhibition provides a one stop solution themed From the Farm to the Kitchen. Profood Propack & Agbiz 2015 being Sri Lanka’s largest trade fair is a must not miss exhibition which comprises of over 300 stalls from more than 20 countries. more..

JVP wins assets declaration war

Aug 8 (NS) According to statistics released by Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL), all candidates from the JVP contesting the upcoming General Election have submitted their assets and liabilities declarations to the Department of Elections. National Coordinator of TISL, Shan Wijethunga noted all 262 candidates contesting from the JVP had already submitted their assets and liabilities declarations. more..

Hirunika vows to press for Justice

Aug 8 (CT) UNP candidate, Hirunika Premachandra addressing journalists said that former MP Duminda Silva has no political power now and is the same as any average person. "Therefore, I invite everyone who has been hiding in fear of giving evidence to come forward now and give evidence," she said. Hirunika, while leaving the High Court after attending hearings into her father's killing, said "I am happy that this Case is being heard by a three-Judge bench. more..

'Public Opinion needed for Port City Project'

Aug 8 (CT) Deputy Solicitor General (DSG) Arjun Obeysekara told the Court of Appeal that govt has decided to seek public opinion regarding the stalled Chinese Port City Project. He added that the govt was having an extensive environmental impact assessment report that will also be placed in the public domain for feedback from the people. If the people want it to continue, then the govt will cancel all agreements signed regarding the project and sign fresh agreements with the CHEC more..

'Google Wi-Fi not going to be free'

Aug 8 (NS) The provision of wi-fi internet services through Google’s Project Loon is not going to be afforded to consumers free of charge once the project is in full flow post-March 2016, the Managing Director of ICTA, Muhunthan Canagey said. His comments came in the wake of a misinformation campaign doing the rounds especially by a section of govt representatives that Sri Lanka will benefit from free wi-fi services more..

Sri Lanka suspends leased vehicle seizures

Aug 8 (EN) Govt said it has asked leasing companies to suspend seizing leased vehicles from customers who had defaulted on payments after being charged penal interest rates for delaying to pay instalments. Minister Ravi Karunanayake said the govt had received many complaints that leasing companies were charging excessive monthly penal rates on delayed instalment payments. “This acts as an interest on interest and puts the customers who are already finding it difficult to pay more..

No admission card: Student takes own life

Aug 8 (DN) A student of Vipulananda Vidyalaya, Pandarikulam, Vavuniya who was not issued an admission card by the Principal to sit for the A/L Exam committed suicide on Thursday. Gunasekaram Diviya, 18, a Grade 13 student in the Arts Stream committed suicide by jumping into a well close to her house. According to sources, the admission card of the student had been sent to the principal together with other admission cards of other students of the school on July 6. more..

Major shake up in Sri Lanka VVIP security

Aug 8 (EN) President has ordered a major shake-up in VVIP security with immediate effect following reports that the once elite Presidential Security Division (PSD) was linked to murders during the former regime. The PSD of the police will be withdrawn immediately and replaced by a unit of the highly-trained STF which already has a small team of commandos forming the inner ring of security for President Maithripala Sirisena. more..

Lae Kiri Karala: Don’t deprive babies of their lifeblood

Aug 8 (DM) Newborn babies have only three needs. They are -- warmth in the arms of the mother, food from her breasts and security in the comfort of her presence. Breastfeeding satisfies all three, according to Grantly Dick-Read, a British obstetrician and a leading advocate of natural childbirth. In terms of knowledge, American Jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes has said that a pair of substantial mammary glands have the advantage over the two hemispheres of most learned more..

Some thoughts before the elections

Aug 8 (DM) Though the General Election is around the corner, the divisions among religions, parties, colour and all groups have not decreased. All are bent on getting the members of their teams into Diyawanna. They want a majority for their religion, caste or creed. There is one major race in this country. Therefore, before all else, we have to think of the major race. We see from the Newspapers that the President who is a little free these days, going around the villages more..