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What is going to happen next?

Aug 1 (SL) The political arena was churned on Nov 21, 2014 when the Minister of Health and General Secretary of SLFP Maithripala Sirisena resigned from his Ministerial portfolio. Since then, things have taken a drastic and uncertain tack through the political landscape of the country. Every single incident that followed was a new experience to Sri Lankan society. Then incumbent president Mahinda Rajapaksa was defeated; more..

Archeology Dept. sanctions destruction of historical sites

Aug 1 (NS) The Kotte Heritage Foundation has alleged that the Department of Archeology is sanctioning the destruction of archeological sites falling under the Ancient Kingdom of Kotte. President of the Foundation, Prasad Fonseka accused the department of approving projects that have the potential to destroy valuable archeological sites around Kotte. Fonseka, who is a researcher, said more..

GL seeks UNP stand on GoSL-TNA being implementing partners in ....

Aug 1 (Island) Former Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris urged the caretaker govt to explain its stand on a UN project to establish a domestic mechanism to handle accountability issues with the govt of Sri Lanka and the TNA run Northern Provincial Council (NPC) named as implementing partners. Prof. Peiris said that the govt owed the public an explanation in the wake of Channel 4 News revelation as regards the UN proposal for a domestic mechanism more..

SL to subsidize six apparel factories in North

Aug 1 (EN) Sri Lankan tax payers will subsidize six apparel factories in and around former zones in the north, in a bid to draw investors and generate employment in the area. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the cabinet had approved a proposal by Minister Rishard Bathiudeen to build six factories and lease them to investors to build apparel factories. Investors were reluctant to build factories in Mannar and Mullativu, despite more..

UN supports North on CV’s request

Aug 1 (CG) The UN says it is exploring provision of a broad package of technical and financial assistance to the Northern Province on a request made by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V Wigneswaran. UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said the UN supports the Govt and the people of Sri Lanka and their efforts to advance reconciliation and accountability. “What is currently under discussion for support by more..

MR denies receiving funds from China for polls

Aug 1 (CG) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has denied receiving money from China to help him in his election campaign. He also accused the UNP of receiving money from Western countries through various organisations. “Please tell them to give me money,” he said laughing when asked by Shree FM Radio to respond to allegations he received funds from China for the August 17 Parliamentary election. more..

Disappearances: UN visit on hold due to parliamentary polls

Aug 1 (Island) A 10-day visit by the UN Working Group of Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) scheduled to begin on Monday has been cancelled due to Aug 17 parliamentary polls. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mahishini Kolonne said that new dates would be decided after the election. Ms Kolonne said: "WGEID has visited Sri Lanka several times in the past as well and the decision to invite them to more..

Kotahena shooting: Gunmen targeted two underworld rivals: police

Aug 1 (Island) Investigations had revealed that two underworld criminals wanted by police in connection with many criminal activities had returned to the country to do political work for a govt politician and they had been the target of yesterday’s shooting at Bloemendhal Road, Kotahena, a police officer said. The car used for the attack found near the crime scene. The attack left one person dead and twelve other injured. more..

Eye tests and surgeries for those in need in North and East under Vision 2020

Aug 1 (Island) The Health Ministry said yesterday that it had taken steps to carry out eye tests and operations on the people of the Northern and Eastern Provinces under the Vision 2020 (V2020) Programme. Health Ministry Spokesman S.M. Kumari said recently that 130 cataract operations had been performed at the Kilinochchi District General Hospital. The patients had been chosen from amongst those who attended the eye clinics at that hospital. more..

Socialist Equality Party holds first election meeting in Sri Lanka’s north

Aug 1 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) held its first election campaign public meeting in Kayts, an island near Jaffna in Sri Lanka’s war-torn north, last Saturday. The party is running 43 candidates in the Colombo, Jaffna and Nuwara-Eliya districts in the August 17 general election. About 50 SEP and International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) members and supporters held a powerful open-air meeting in a park adjacent to the Kayts market and local shops. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

GCE A/L exam begins on Tuesday

Aug 1 (Island) GCE A/L Exam will commence on Tuesday. The Examination Department sources said that there were 309,669 candidates of whom 236,072 were school applicants. Exam would be conducted at 2,180 centres countrywide. The department has set up 303 coordinating centres. Police Headquarters has informed all police stations to take action to prohibit election campaigning, canvassing, meetings, rallies, demonstrations and marches near exam centres. more..

SL ICT sector taps Japanese market afresh

Aug 1 (FT) Sri Lanka’s surging ICT/BPM exporters facilitated by the EDB have made a splash at the recently-concluded top IT trade show of Asia, notching $ 1 m in immediate contracts and also securing many JV calls. EDB-facilitated Lankan delegation of leading six ICT/BPM firms generated more than 35 international software business leads and entertained 12 inquiries for serious Joint Ventures in a short period of three days in their first-ever participation at the Japan IT Week more..

One dead, 4 injured after van runs over Duminda’s supporters

Aug 1 (AD) One person died while another 4 were wounded, 2 critically, when a van driven by a police officer ran over a group of political party supporters in Rambewa, Anuradhapura. The vehicle in question was driven by a Chief Inspector (CI) attached to the Anuradhapura Police and that he has been arrested by Mihinthalaya Police. The van had reportedly run over a group of supporters of UPFA more..

Maithri loyalists to skip UPFA rallies due to hooting

Aug 1 (Island) A group of SLFPers who are supporting President Maithripala Sirisena have decided to skip the UPFA election campaign led by its PM candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa for fear of being booed. They made the decision as they had observed a tendency of party supporters Maithripala loyalists during the last couple of weeks and not allowing them to speak. Party supporters booed Nandimitra Ekanayake last week when he tried to address a UPFA election more..

Kotahena shooting: Police seek public assistance

Aug 1 (DM) Police are seeking public assistance to apprehend the suspects wanted for yesterday’s shooting in Kotahena. Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said people could inform CID Director through 071 859 1753 of any information regarding the shooting. He said investigation into the incident were handed over to the CID while several other police teams headed by Western province Senior DIG Pujith Jayasundara were assisting the CID in the investigations. more..

EU team due in October to review ban on fish exports to the bloc

Aug 1 (Island) A technical evaluation team from the European Union (EU) will visit the country in October, to evaluate the implementation process and to assess the ban imposed by the EU on the export of Sri Lanka’s fishery products, Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed. The office of the Director General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries in Brussels had expressed interest in sending a technical evaluation mission to SL in October. more..

Govt to establish a standard for fertilizers

Aug 1 (GDI) The Ministry of Agriculture has taken steps to establish a standard for fertilizers in agreement with fertilizer importers. The application of fertilizer for crops varies depending on types of crops, soil conditions, climatic zones and the Department of Agriculture has declared fertilizer recommendations for all food crops. Farmers who are engaged in commercial farming tend to use more chemical fertilizer with the objective of achieving higher economical benefits. more..

Children, women suffer most in war: envoy

Aug 1 (DN) The harsh reality in a conflict is that children and women suffer the most, Canadian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Shelly Whiting said. She said although the physical impact of the war on property is less, the social impact and certain social issues are severe. Whiting said the number of war widows is comparably large when compared to experiences of other countries. She said addressing their issues was a challenge. Whiting said a political solution to the issue and more..

Polls campaign picks up steam as it enters last two week stretch

Aug 1 (Island) Main political parties have intensified their propaganda activities as the election campaigning has entered its last two weeks. UNP had instructed its candidates and activists to hold pocket meetings in all electorates in addition to main rallies in the cities. The party would continue its main rallies at the district level. The UPFA has instructed its candidates and electoral organisers to increase the number of canvassing rounds more..

Many accuse non-receipt of dual citizenship certificates

Aug 1 (CT) Many who have applied for dual citizenship accuse that although they have qualified for receiving dual citizenship and have paid the required monies, they have not received the relevant certificates as yet. On an inquiry we made from the Controller of Emigration and Immigration, Nihal Ranasinghe, he said that, expedited steps will be taken to provide these applicants with their dual citizenship certificates subsequent to a discussion with Secretary to the Ministry of Public Order. more..

Those behind bond scam will be revealed on Aug 9: Rajiva

Aug 1 (Island) Former Minister Dilan Perera said that the SLFP-led alliance would form a govt on August 17 the same way it had defeated the 17-year UNP administration in 1994 and it would be a record win this time. He said that the SLFP-led UPFA worked as a team to defeat the corrupt UNP-led administration. As former President and UPFA Prime Ministerial Candidate mentioned at the manifesto launching ceremony, there were no factions in the SLFP, but the UNP tried to more..

UPFA suspects domestic probe will have foreign hand

Aug 1 (CG) UPFA suspects the proposed domestic investigation on the war will have an international involvement. Former Minister, G.L Peiris, said that a leaked UN report makes clear that the international community will be directly involved in the investigations. “Report says the investigation will be a domestic process with foreign technical assistance,” he sai. However he said the nature of foreign assistance and the responsibilities more..

'CB Governor cleared of wrong doing by SC'

Aug 1 (Island) Central Bank Chief Arjuna Mahendran had been cleared of his allegations by the Supreme Court, but Opposition kept on accusing him of a fraud, Minister Lakshman Kiriella said. Three persons filed action in the Supreme Court but they could not prove the charges against the Central Bank Chief, minister said. He that former President Rajapaksa was making the promises that he had failed to implement while he was in power and the most ludicrous among them was more..

Sri Lanka: Back to the Future?

Aug 1 (FP) After months of intense speculation, it has become official: Sri Lanka’s recently ousted president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, will contest in the country’s parliamentary elections which will be held on Aug 17. He will be contesting from Kurunegala district as a part of the UPFA, and the possibility of him becoming prime minister is not out of the question. Former president’s return to power would complicate further efforts at democratic reform within the war-torn country. more..

China’s soft power diplomacy in Sri Lanka yields dividends

Aug 1 (ENS) China has switched over to soft power projection in Sri Lanka to make China acceptable to Lankans in the context of widespread criticism of the many multi-million dollar projects it had secured during the pro-China regime of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Chinese companies as well as the Chinese govt have, since the defeat Rajapaksa in Presidential election, gone on a massive public relations exercise. more..

President launches luxury bus service for pilgrims

Aug 1 (ITN) President Maithrepala Sirisena has presided over a ceremony to launch a luxury bus service for the convenience of the pilgrims who visit Atamastanaya in Anuradhapura. Four luxury busses have been deployed to the service for the convenience of pilgrims who visit the Atamastanaya, from all around the country. The President attended the function to commission the busses after taking part in the first pooja to the renovated Abhayagiriya Stupa. more..

Sri Lanka targets budget deficit of 5.5% of GDP over next 3-years

Aug 1 (EN) Sri Lanka is targeting an average budget deficit of 5.5% of gross domestic over 2016 to 2018 with public investment at around 6 to 8% of GDP, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. This year the budget deficit was originally forecast at 4.4% of GDP but there are also other spending such as a 170 billion rupee bailout (1.7% of GDP) of state enterprise for old losses incurred in other periods. The Finance Ministry has begun preparations for the 2016 budget and it will be on the principle more..

Video: Ravi has unleashed terror in Colombo: Thilanga

Aug 1 (AD) Deputy Minister Thilanga Sumathipala says that although the Elections Commissioner had promised to conduct a free and fare election, Minister Ravi Karunanayake has been able to unleash terror in the city of Colombo. He stated that the UPFA govt had managed to eradicate the underworld during its reign. Sumathipala, who is a UPFA Colombo District candidate, charged that UNP candidate Karunanayake had violated more..

JVP: Dramatic turn for the better

Aug 1 (CT) The founder of the JVP, Rohana Wijeweera having launched two insurrections in the country, one in 1971 and the other in 1988, said Those who don't listen to us today will do so tomorrow. Two failed insurrections later, the JVP officially decided to veer from the path of the revolutionary to a more democratic path in 1994. Several elections have lapsed since but the JVP remained a minority party in Sri Lankan politics and contrary to Wijeweera's expectations more..

China’s continuing woes in Sri Lanka

Aug 1 (CT) Even in the midst of all political gerrymandering going on in Sri Lanka as election fever is heating up, China must be one country praying (but do Communist nations pray?) for former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s successful return as prime minister after the country elects a new parliament on August 17. When the people elected President Maithripala Sirisena in preference to Rajapaksa in the presidential poll last January, they also derailed China’s strategic more..

Smoking and drinking scenes back on screen

Aug 1 (Island) The National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) yesterday alleged that some teledramas and films promoted the use of alcohol. Chairman NATA, Dr Palitha Abeykoon said that in accordance with NATA Act No. 27 of 2006, the Media Ministry had issued guidelines which should be followed when producing dramas and films. There were times when those guidelines were not adhered to, he said. more..

Tip from pilot leads to gold-smuggling bust at BIA

Aug 1 (AD) A Sri Lankan national has been arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake for attempting to smuggle 24 gold biscuits worth Rs 12 million, into the country. 40-year-old from Akurana was arrested by Customs officers at the airport this morning on information given by the Captain of the flight he had arrived in. Suspect had arrived from Mumbai by Jet Airways flight 9W256 at 5.55am today, customs spokesman Leslie Gamini said. more..

Fire breaks out at CB Ratnayake’s house

Aug 1 (AD) A fire had broken out in a three-storied house belonging to former Minister C.B. Ratnayake located at Subadrarama Mawatha in Madiwela this morning. The Police Spokesman’s Office said that fire had erupted at around 2.30am today in the top most floor of the residence. The fire had caused damages to the second and third floors of the house before the Kotte fire brigade managed to douse the flames. The cause for the fire is yet to be ascertained. more..

Pakistan beat Sri Lanka in a nail-biter

Aug 1 (CI) Anwar Ali, Pakistan's No. 9 batsman, waltzed into the belly of a baying Premadasa with 66 required from 35 balls, and produced a cataclysmic 46 from 17 balls, to help prise stunning victory from the clutches of almost-certain defeat. He brought the chase to sudden life when he plundered two sixes and a four off debutant Shehan Jayasuriya in the 17th over, before treating Thisara Perera and Lasith Malinga with almost as much disdain more..

Orphaning the Lion

Aug 2 (SO) Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, that great English litterateur, Samuel Johnson, is supposed to have said, according to a biographer. Although the exact context in which he uttered this dictum is unclear, Johnson had already written much on British politics and, about patriotism in Britain in particular. Thus, he was probably not referring to all patriots in general but to those politicos who spuriously used patriotism as cover for their nefarious purposes. more..

Rajapaksa Seeni Boola

Aug 2 (SL) Nikita Khrushchev, successor to Josef Stalin, in his devastating sarcasm described fellow politicians as: Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build bridges where there are no rivers. We were reminded of Khrushchev’s quote in the sixties on our initial glance at the UPFA manifesto launched with much ceremony at the Henry Pedris Stadium on Tuesday. On development, media reports quoted the UPFA as saying that 58,000 development projects that were stalled by more..

'We are running without a proper contender'

Aug 2 (SL) Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe is not only confident of victory in the Aug 17 polls, but also believes UNF for Good Governance has already won the election with an ailing contender, haunted by unfulfilled past promises to voters. "It seems we are running an ex-parte campaign. If the UPFA manages to get 60 to 65 seats in the election, in my view, it will be a graceful victory for the party," he confides. more..

Auctioning non-existent resources

Aug 2 (Island) Singapore’s Lee Kwan Yew once said that democracy in Sri Lanka is an auction of non-existent resources. This has been proved over and over again through the decades and is once again becoming evident ahead of the upcoming Aug. 17 election with the publication of the different party manifestos. These documents are lavish in the promises they make to the people but say nothing about how the revenue to implement the various proposals are going to be raised. more..

The tide is turning, so must the TNA

Aug 2 (ST) The Northern Province, often crying out for greater autonomy, was a virtual one party political entity for years. The TNA, a coalition of the former Federal Party and other parties, ruled the roost. Not anymore. The only challenge the TNA faced was from the EPDP, a one-time guerrilla outfit that aligned with the governments in Colombo when it abandoned militancy. This cost the EPDP dearly as the TNA kept drumming the communal card in the North. more..