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Video: 'Govt planning to sell SriLankan'

Aug 11 (DM) UPFA candidate Wimal Weerawansa alleged that the govt was planning to sell the national carrier SriLankan under its restructuring programme. He said that separate companies are to be established for ground handling, training of cadet pilots, catering, management and maintenance of the airline. “The proposed re-structuring will no doubt create the laying off of 6,800 employees directly and more..

Sri Lanka looks to attract more South Korean investments

Aug 11 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is seeking to enhance its political and economic ties with South Korea and the island nation plans to attract more South Korean investments. SL's designated envoy to South Korea Manisha Gunesekara was quoted in the statement by the CCC as saying the country's economic links with South Korea were mainly from the large number of Sri Lankans working in that country and also nearly half a billion dollars' worth of trade between the two nations. more..

Sumanthiran calls for rescinding Desmond’s appointment

Aug 11 (Island) The press has recently reported that the Bar Standards Board has initiated a formal investigation into the professional conduct of Sir Desmond de Silva QC with respect to his role in Sri Lanka. I raised the question of Sir Desmond’s professional conduct in Parliament on 17 March 2015 and urged the govt itself to forward a complaint to the Bar Standards Board. Though the govt failed to take any action in this regard, a complaint was forwarded by a NGO. more..

Tsunami funds: Champika says MR may lose civic rights if guilty

Aug 11 (DM) Minister Champika Ranawaka said today that former president Mahinda Rajapaksa would be stripped of his civic rights if he was found guilty of misappropriating Tsunami funds. “Mahinda Rajapaksa will have to face the charges levelled against him with regard to the misappropriating of Tsunami funds and assisting a terrorist organisation. He had presented a Cabinet note instead of a proper Cabinet paper to more..

Sri Lankan beaten to death over alleged break-in

Aug 11 (TS) A Sri Lankan was beaten to death after he was caught trying to break into an apartment in Kota Kemuning. Shah Alam OCPD Asst Comm Shafien Mamat said the incident occurred at around 3am on Sunday. “The man tried to pick the lock of an apartment on the second floor not knowing that it was occupied at the time. “The owner heard noises and opened the door and came face to face with the suspect,” he said at the Shah Alam police headquarters yesterday. more..

Pakistan tourist has narrow shave

Aug 11 (DM) A tourist who was enjoying an elephant ride at an Elephant Safari centre in Randeniya on the Rambukkana - Kegalle road had a harrowing experience when the elephant in a frenzy attempted to unseat the tourist and throw him off its back. The tourist remained on the back of the elephant clinging with dear life to the chain round the jumbo’s neck for more than one hour until the mahouts managed to rescue him with a forklift. 28-year-tourist was a Pakistani who was on a visit to more..

Govt to pump money into Mihin, CPC

Aug 11 (CG) The new govt plans to restructure loss making State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), including Mihin Lanka, to be self financed without depending on the Treasury. At present SL has around 245 public Corporations, institutions and the boards classified as SOEs of which 55 have been identified by the govt as the strategically important enterprises which are engaged in commercial, industrial and more..

Eksath Senaratna case: parents withdraw petition

Aug 11 (AD) The petitioner, who accused Minister Rajitha Senaratna’s son of abducting his underage daughter, has withdrawn the petition he had filed at the Colombo High Court. The case was withdrawn when it was taken up for hearing before the Colombo High Court Judge on Tuesday. The parents of the girl had earlier accused the minister’s son of abducting their daughter while claiming that they neither knew her whereabouts ever since nor whether the child is alive. more..

South Korean Court acquits Lankan man in rape case

Aug 11 (CG) An appeals court in Korea on Tuesday found a Sri Lankan man accused of raping a South Korean college student not guilty, citing a lack of evidence. The Daegu High Court acquitted the 49-year-old, identified only by the initial K, of charges that he sexually assaulted and robbed 18-year-old student Chung Eun-hee, who later died in a car accident right after the crime in 1998. While the case was concluded as a mere accident at that time, prosecutors launched another more..

Sri Lanka needs reforms to bloated govt sector to drive growth: Eran

Aug 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s bloated state sector, which comprises 1.5 million employees who are paid from ordinary people’s money, needs reforms to drive growth, a minister said. “The problem in this county is not with the institutions, but with the human resources,” Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said. “If you go to a govt office and don’t get the response you want, the problem is not with the air conditioner not working, or more..

Bloemendhal killing: CID confirms underworld figures among campaigners

Aug 11 (Island) CID has confirmed that one of the underworld gang leaders known as Army Samapth and his associate called Sanka had been among the UNP election campaigners on July 31 when the daring gun attack took place, according to statements given by some of the UNP supporters who were there at the time, Police said. ASP Ruwan Gunasekera said that CID had been able to take into custody two cars and five suspects in connection with the attack. more..

AHRC hails Thajudeen's exhumation

Aug 11 (CT) The exhumation of the body of the well-known rugby player and former Havelock's Captain Wasim Thajudeen may open an important page in criminal investigations, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) noted. Director of Policy and Programmes at the AHRC and the Asian Legal Resource Centre Basil Fernando said that the criminal investigators who dared to take steps to uncover crimes that have been safely buried were taking enormous risks. more..

Bad weather threatens to disrupt Galle Test

Aug 11 (NS) Sri Lanka will have their work cut out against bad weather and a resurgent India team as they plan to give batting icon Kumar Sangakkara a memorable farewell from international cricket when he plays his final Test series starting here on Wednesday. Neither team managed a full practice session as the weather turned foul in the morning and did not improve since thus raising question marks whether more..

Sri Lanka’s Chinese election

Aug 11 (PS) Sri Lanka’s parliamentary election this month promises to shape not only the country’s political future, but also geopolitics in the wider Indian Ocean region, a global center of trade and energy flows that accounts for half of the world’s container traffic and 70% of its petroleum shipments. The country’s strategic importance has not been lost on China, which has, to the dismay of India and the United States, been working hard to strengthen its presence in the Indian Ocean. more..

Sri Lanka sees an election like no other

Aug 11 (ENS) SL parliamentary elections slated for Aug 17 will go down in history as one of the most unusual. President Maithripala Sirisena is featured in the posters and ads of UNFGG, the ruling party, as well as the UPFA, the opposition party. Both the UNFGG and UPFA are claiming Sirisena because as Executive President for the next five years, he could play a critical role. Sirisena is the chairman of the UPFA, and yet, he declared in a televised address that the UPFA will not win, more..

Gammanpila invites Patali for a debate

Aug 11 (AD) UPFA Colombo district candidate Udaya Gammanpila threw a challenge to former Minister Champika Ranawaka for a debate about an alleged deal by the former President with the LTTE during the last presidential election. This came after Champika Ranawaka, at a press conference, claimed that he would testify against the former President on the alleged deal as he possesses enough evidence prove it. more..

Wele Suda's trial on day-to-day basis

Aug 11 (DM) Colombo High Court today began the trial at which Samantha Kumara alias Wele Suda is charged with the possession and peddling of 7.05 grams of heroin in Mount Lavinia in 2008. Trial would be held on a day-to-day basis The Attorney General indicted the accused on two counts and said he had committed a punishable offence under the Poisons, Opium and Dangerous Drugs Act No. 13 of 1984. A Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) officer who arrested Wele Suda more..

'Transparency needed to attract FDI to SL'

Aug 11 (EN) Foreign investors will consider investing in Sri Lanka only if the country is committed to transparency and good governance, Australian High Commissioner in the island, Robyn Mudie, said. Several Australian firms had already invested in the island and its trade relations with Australia were growing, she told the AGM of the SL Australia NZ Business Council. “But for all of our business promotion efforts, there is a real need to boost business confidence in Sri Lanka,” more..

Former British PM Tony Blair arrives in SL

Aug 11 (AM) Former British PM Tony Blair arrived in the island at 1.40pm from Bandaranayake International Airport on board an Emirates flight. His wife Cherie Booth and two of his children also arrived with him. They went in a domestic flight to Anuradhapura. In late June, it was reported that Blair was due to arrive in Sri Lanka this month on a private visit. He is expected to remain in the island for two weeks. more..

Climate Changes

Aug 12 (CT) Internationally there is a palpable sense of urgency among the climate scientists. While waiting for our climate scientists to even twitch from their slumber, we should begin to consider what all this means to us. There seems to be a real concern that the sea level will rise substantially. On July 20th, a major study suggested that mean sea levels could rise 10 times faster than previously predicted: 10 feet by 2065. While the level is up for debate the fact of sea level rise seems to be certain. more..

TNA is promoting racism !

Aug 12 (NS) The talk of the town is TNA’s demands mentioned in their manifesto. This is not only a controversial matter, but these demands go against the present Constitution of the country too. Given this situation, how can a registered political alliance ask for something which not supported by the constitution? Therefore, this gives clear signs of a conspiracy to disrupt the democratic system of this country. This also can be termed as another attempt to cheat innocent Tamils and grab their votes. more..

'There are accused among those contesting'

Aug 12 (SO) The Presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI) to Investigate and Inquire in to Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power, State Resources and Privileges is investigating in to nearly 220 large scale frauds, according to its Secretary Lacille de Silva. "Whether minor or major, the cases are investigated giving equal priority while taking serious consideration of issues where there is a huge loss to govt" more..

The very revealing last lap

Aug 12 (NS) JVP’s Bimal Ratnayake acknowledged that Ranil Wickremesinghe had murdered youth as a senior member of a former UNP government. This occurred during a Hiru TV LIVE discussion which can be viewed here. This undermines the JVP’s blatantly pro UNP campaign that attempts to split the UPFA vote, an effort that no self-respecting JVPer would deny exists. The JVP’s sanctimonious humbug of a campaign is unraveling fast, and the push to divide the UPFA is floundering more..

Pilfering as a way of life: Cabinet papers of the UNP led govt

Aug 12 (CT) After the Central Bank Bond Scam, which there were so many desperate efforts to conceal, evidence about further financial fraud by the present govt has come in thick and fast. Most worrying perhaps was the contract signed with regard to an unsolicited bid by the Metallurgical Corporation of China to construct the first phase of what is now known as the Central Expressway. Or rather I should say the agreement, for a contract has been reported to Cabinet more..

Building legacies of their own: Coming out of the shadows

Aug 12 (CT) As several children of famous politicians are contesting at the general elections this year, Ceylon Today interviewed two of them: one the son of former PM Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka; Vidura Wickramanayaka and the other, the son of late Ossie Abeyagoonasekara; Asanga Abeyagoonasekara, on their quest in building their own legacies. Given below are some excerpts: I am my own individual -Vidura Wickramanayaka more..

Crunch time - Less than ten days to go!

Aug 12 (SL) So far there have been relatively few polls published relating to the watershed election that will soon be upon us and some that I have seen amount to little more than gobbledegook parading as erudition, with the text seemingly contradicting the graphs and other mumbo-jumbo accompanying it! I don’t know whether this is a phenomenon typical of the current political discourse in English in Sri Lanka or whether the so-called researchers really don’t know what they are talking about more..

Hanuman’s Bridge: Bombshell before polls

Aug 12 (SL) Thinker, writer, nationalist and dentist Gunadasa Amarasekera hit the headlines of a morning newspaper on Friday with a dire warning of an imminent danger facing the Sri Lanka nation: a non-existent bridge that has been proposed to be constructed across the Palk Strait linking Sri Lanka to India. Addressing a press conference held at the Abeyarama Temple in Narahenpita (the cradle of contemporary political balderdash) Amarasekera as co- chairman of the Federation of more..

Election gimmicks and manifestos

Aug 12 (NS) History of the word manifesto begins in Italy and the accepted belief is that the word was derived from the Latin manifestum, which means clear or conspicuous. Dictionaries define the word as “a public declaration of policy and aims, especially one issued before an election by a political party or candidate.” In another place, it says “A published verbal declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of the issuer, more..

Editorial: Remembering a true patriot

Aug 12 (Island) Ten years ago on this day Sri Lanka lost an illustrious son at the hands of terrorists. Lakshman Kadirgamar was his name. A statesman par excellence, legal luminary and, above all, patriot to the core, he adorned Sri Lankan politics and infused professionalism into an ailing foreign service in his capacity as Minister of Foreign Affairs. He helped repair the country’s badly dented image and win over int'l community and, in the process, had himself placed high on LTTE hit list. more..

National Weight Lifting C'ship: Dinuda sets three new national records

Aug 12 (CT) Dinuda Abeyasekara is one of the most outstanding weight and power-lifters produced by Polonnaruwa Royal College. Representing Polonnaruwa Sports Club she set three national records in the 48 kg weight category at the National Weight Lifting Championship. The previous record in the same category was held by Dinuda herself. Dinuda has set up SL National records by lifting 65 kg in the snatch event, and lifting 80kgs in clean & jerk events in the weight lifting categories. more..

Remembering Lakshman Kadirgamar on his Tenth Death Anniversary

Aug 12 (DBS) Spotlight’ will move away from its usual focus on movies and movie-related topics this week and beam on an illustrious personality of Sri Lanka whose 10th death anniversary falls on 12 August. Sri Lanka’s finest Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar was assassinated in Colombo by a suspected sniper of the LTTE a decade ago. His death was mourned by the nation at large as a tremendous loss to the country. more..

Unitary status, re-merger of EP with NP and other critical matters

Aug 12 (Island) Former SLN radioman, Wijitha Rohana Wijemuni is in the fray in the Colombo District at the August 17 parliamentary polls, on the Janasetha Peramuna ticket. Wijemuni contested the Oct. 2000 general election on the Sihala Urumaya ticket. Wijemuni, who had been punished by a military court for swinging his rifle at the then Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi in July, 1987, polled the third highest number of preferences received by the Sihala Urumaya in Colombo. more..

Professionals with restricted ability enter election fray as a last resort

Aug 12 (Island) We will implement measures to ensure accessible public services for all those who have limitations in physical ability and all others who are vulnerable to the same fate at any point in life, the well-known Disability Rights activist Dr. Ajith Perera said. Announcing the remarkable decision to contest the forthcoming parliamentary elections led by Dr. Ajith Perera and Dr. Prasanna Kuruppu, the candidates made their grasp of the political, economic and social realities more..

'This election will decide fate of our nation'

Aug 12 (Island) If anybody can be described as the face of this parliamentary election, it is former president Mahinda Rajapaksa. Not only is his likeness displayed on the posters pamphlets and other election material of the candidates of the UPFA, the UNP and the JVP also direct all their attacks at him. Thus, Mahinda Rajapaksa is the pivot around which this election revolves. more..

Lakshman Kadirgamar: Tribute to a lion

Aug 12 (Island) "People who live in Sri Lanka are first and foremost Sri Lankans. Then we have our race and religion, which is something given to us at birth. We have to live in Sri Lanka tolerating all races and religions" - Lakshman Kadirgamar. He was born on April 12, 1932. Sacrificed his life for his motherland on August 12, 2005 It is ten years since the cowardly assassination of one of the best loved public figures of Sri Lanka who did his Motherland proud. more..

SLC hierarchy to meet stakeholders

Aug 12 (ST) Sri Lanka Cricket is making plans to meet its stakeholders on August 18 in a bid to explain about the restructuring of the local tournaments so that they could bridge the gap between the domestic standards and the international requirements. SLC Interim Committee Chairman Sidath Wettimuny said “We are hoping to meet all stakeholders on August 18 and explain the proposed restructuring programme. This will be the first of many such congregations where more..

Video: 'Maithri-Ranil combination best for SL'

Aug 12 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is the ideal politician to work with President Maithripala Sirisena for the next five years and take Sri Lanka forward based on a strong foreign policy and meaningful development, UNP candidate Rosy Senanayake said. She said that the unique and unparalleled combination of the two politicians President Sirisena and PM Wickremeisnghe who would able to work together more..

Hambantota port to take 400 years to pay off investment: Eran

Aug 12 (EN) A Chinese-funded and built port in Hambantota could take 400 years to pay off its investment at the present rate of return, Deputy Minister Eran Wickremaratne said. The first phase of the Hambantota port on the south coast cost 361 million US dollars of which 80 percent was funded with a loan from the Exim Bank of China. But the port has been criticised as a white elephant for not having enough business more than two years after it was commissioned. more..

Emirates announces sixth daily A380 service to Australia

Aug 12 (Island) Emirates, a global connector of people, places and economies, has announced its sixth daily A380 service to Australia and second daily service to Singapore with the up-gauge of its current service between Dubai and Melbourne via Singapore. From the 1st of March 2016, EK404 and EK405 will be operated by Emirates flagship A380 aircraft, replacing the existing Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, providing more customer options as well as additional seat capacity on the route. more..

Devolution: TULF calls for solution based on Indian model

Aug 12 (Island) TULF General Secretary V. Anandasangaree said that general election would give the electorate an opportunity to choose those who could strengthen the post-war national reconciliation. Colombo District TULF candidate Anandasangaree said that TULF was in the fray in Colombo, Northern Province and Eastern electoral districts, except Digamadulla. He said that a sizeable vote for TULF in Colombo more..