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Probe begins on body of male found near beach

Aug 12 (CG) Investigations have been launched into the discovery of a body of a male near the beach at Kollupitiya, the police said. Police spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunasekera said that the male has not yet been identified and investigations are underway. The navy took the body out from the beach where it was found and it was later taken for investigations. There were no clothes on the body of the male nor were there any seen near the location where his body was found. more..

Central Bank launches fresh defence of controversial bond auction

Aug 12 (EN) Central Bank has issued a fresh defence of a highly controversial bond auction, just days ahead of parliamentary elections. Opposition led by former President Mahinda had latched on to the 30-year bond sale of February to discredit PM Ranil Wickremesinge and made it one of their main campaign planks for polls due next week. August statement sought to explain to the market a sudden decision apparently more..

Commercial Bank net up 19% in June quarter

Aug 12 (EN) Profits at Commercial Bank of Ceylon grew 19.3% to 2.64 billion rupees in the June 2015 quarter, helped by lower loan loss provisions, interim accounts show. The group reported earnings of 3.01 rupees per share for the quarter. In the six months to June, the group reported earnings of 5.92 rupees on total profits of 5.1 billion rupees, up 14% from a year earlier. Fees and commission income grew 4% to 1.2 billion rupees. Interest income grew 3.1% to 16.2 billion rupees, more..

IUSF accuse police of abducting two people

Aug 12 (CG) The Inter University Student’s Federation (IUSF) has accused the police of “abducting” two people following a demonstration staged in Colombo yesterday. According to the IUSF, the police had arrested a student and a driver of a vehicle used by the students at the end of the demonstration in Fort. The police have also seized loudspeakers used during the demonstration to draw attention to several demands of the university students. more..

Video: All use State resources PAFFREL

Aug 12 (DM) The ruling party and the Opposition have both used State resources and State powers to get an advantageous situation during the forthcoming elections, a leading election monitoring body, PAFFREL said. PAFFREL’s Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi said that there had been 131 complaints on using State power and resources to the elections out of which 88 were confirmed. more..

Best figures by an Indian in Sri Lanka

Aug 12 (CI) 6-46: R Ashwin's bowling figures, the best ever by any Indian spinner in the first innings of an away Test. The previous best was 6 for 94, by Bhagwath Chandrasekhar in Auckland in 1976. 1: Indian bowlers who had previously taken a six-wicket haul in Sri Lanka - Harbhajan Singh in Galle, in 2008. Ashwin's figures of 6 for 46 in this Galle Test are the best ever for any Indian bowler in Sri Lanka. 5: Years since India have taken five wickets before lunch on the first day of a Test. more..

Video: Public is ready, but are politicians? - Nalaka Thero

Aug 12 (AD) The people are prepared to represent the country and cast their votes, but the problem is whether the politicians are ready, says Venerable Bengamuwe Nalaka Thero. He stated that the voter have to think ponder as to whether the group which comes to power after the parliamentary election safeguard the nation. He claimed that the UNP led by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has never worked to safeguard the country and that he signed agreements to divide the country. more..

Rajapaksa’s racist brand of politics should be defeated: UNP

Aug 12 (AD) Minister Joseph Michael Perera says that it is very necessary to continue with the newly established atmosphere of communal and religious harmony in the country. He stated that the UPFA is unfortunately engaged in spreading racism and religious extremism by making false statements. “Therefore, on the 17th of August Mahinda Rajapaksa’s racist and extremist brand of politics should be defeated in order to prevent more..

'Will continue struggle towards just society'

Aug 12 (DM) Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, the Head of the National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) today reiterated that they would not remain silent once the election was over, and would continue to force the govt until it implements its political reforms and national policies. “Our battle for the establishment of a just society will not end once the next govt was established. We will force the govt to create political reforms which could not be achieved previously. more..

FTZ TUs slam Foreign Investors

Aug 12 (CT) All Ceylon Federation of Free Trade and the National Workers' Congress called for the implementation of quality standards to be imposed on Free Trade Zone employers relating to employees in FTZs. Speaking about the changing nature of employment in the FTZs, Coordinator Mayura Darmawardena said that tripartite (Labour Department officials, employers, trade unions) and collective (employers and the management, trade unions) discussions and agreements were more..

Wigneswaran maintains his neutral stand

Aug 12 (CG) Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran is maintaining his stand to remain neutral at the Parliamentary elections next week. In a media statement, Wigneswaran said that he took the decision to remain neutral after giving it deep thought and continues to maintain that stand. He says the Tamil speaking people should vote for the candidates they feel will address their immediate concerns. more..

Sri Lanka between elections

Aug 12 (ICG) A half year after Maithripala Sirisena’s stunning defeat of President Mahinda Raja­paksa raised hopes for democratic renaissance, the complexities of partisan politics, and Rajapaksa himself, have returned to centre stage. Sirisena’s initial months with a minority govt led by UNP have opened important political space: robust debate and criticism have replaced the fear under Rajapaksa, and important governance reforms have been made, but much remains undone. more..

I loaned Rs.2 Mn to Duminda: Wele Suda

Aug 12 (DM) Gampola Vidanage Samantha Kumara alias Wele Suda today told the Colombo High Court that he loaned Rs.2 million to former UPFA MP Duminda Silva for his election campaign and that white vans and the police had turned up at his home when he asked Mr. Silva to repay the loan. “I worked with Duminda Silva and he demanded a loan of Rs.2 million. I gave it to him and when I asked for the money, white vans and police turned up at my residence,” Mr. Kumara said. more..

Post-mortem begins

Aug 12 (CT) The post-mortem examination on the remains of ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen by forensic experts began yesterday. "As the body of Thajudeen has lain buried for only three years, the state of decomposition would enable us to interpret the bone findings and ascertain what sort of weapon was used and how many blows he sustained," a senior professor of forensic medicine and toxicology said. more..

Whither the old Left?

Aug 13 (CT) Today marks the 62nd anniversary of the Hartal the first mass uprising after independence. In these transformative times it is only appropriate that we heed the advice of Marx and indulge in some self-clarification of the struggles and wishes of the age. On 12th August 1953 politics was taken to the streets. Sixty three years ago, for the first time in Independent Sri Lanka nine people died and a Prime Minister resigned as a result of mass agitation. more..

Tumbling skeletons & bumbling politicians

Aug 13 (CT) With a week to go before Sri Lanka people elect a new parliament, former president Mahinda Rajapaksa predicted the UPFA, which had fielded him, to win up to 117 seats. However, a pre-election survey showed only 27.5% voters preferred him over his bęte noir and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, leader of the rival UNFGG, who led the survey with a hefty near 40% preference. The secret of Rajapaksa’s confidence may not be solely due to the good luck charm more..

Gampaha fertile ground for battle of the heavyweights

Aug 13 (FT) Lottery seller Sunil Shantha, travels by bicycle every day to remote villages in Divulapitiya, an electorate which has polled Blue for the better part of 21 years. Shantha, in his mid-sixties, remembers when UNP representatives like Ariyaratne Jayatillake were unshakable forces of power in Divulapitiya. But the UNP’s long winter in Opposition turned Gampaha District into a sure win for SLFP-led coalitions over past 2 decades. more..

Parliamentary elections and the political emancipation of Sri Lanka

Aug 13 (GV) 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 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..

If Mahinda wins will Sri Lanka live or perish?

Aug 13 (CT) The story of the man who clung onto Mahinda's finger at Akuressa ended up like the episode of the Samurdhi officer who was tied to a tree by Mervyn Silva in Kelaniya. The man who held onto Mahinda's finger at Akuressa and got assaulted claimed he did it for the love he had for Mahinda. The Samurdhi officer who was tied by Mervyn to a tree claimed he did it on his own for joy. There is a signal and a message from Mahinda from the Akuressa man's incident. more..

Who will win Kandy ?

Aug 13 (CT) The JVP, at its zenith as a standalone party in Parliament, won 16 seats and managed to win one seat from the Kandy District. This time around, JVP candidate for Kandy, Janaka Kumara expects to surpass that record. Kandy however, is not known to adopt the revolutionary too soon and according to retired High Court Judge P. B. Warawewa, the Yahapalanaya has taken root in the hills and is not be shaken off too soon. more..

Murder probe hinders Rajapaksa comeback

Aug 13 (FT) Attempts by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, to launch an unlikely comeback in parliamentary elections are being undermined by a murder investigation linked to a former national rugby player, whose body was exhumed this week. Mr Rajapaksa’s decade-long rule ended when he was unexpectedly defeated by Maithripala Sirisena, a one-time ally, in a presidential contest in January but he is now trying to re-enter parliament as prime minister in next Monday’s poll. more..

I don't know why

Aug 13 (CT) The fact that throughout the whole world women know less about politics than men is true when we evaluate the statements, comments and performances of some of our women candidates in the current contest for next Monday's general elections. Irrespective of gender equality, women are less likely to know about current affairs than men. Many say the reason for lack of knowledge in politics among women is higher level of risk aversion and they are afraid of being proved wrong. more..

Police looking for Sudu

Aug 13 (DM) Police are seeking people’s assistance to locate the suspect wanted in connection with the Bloemendhal shooting which killed two people and injured eleven others, ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said. Several suspects had been arrested in connection with the shooting. “The main suspect has been identified as Sameera Gunasekera alias Sudu. Any information could be relayed to the police on numbers: more..

Editorial: A tsunami of black money

Aug 13 (Island) Elections trigger tsunamis of black money in this country. Candidates spend millions of rupees, but none of them accounts for his or her campaign funds and reveals the sources thereof. These colossal amounts of money are taken for granted. If an ordinary citizen buys a car or a house, the taxman appears from nowhere, demanding to know where funds have come from. An income tax file is hurriedly opened and he or she is grilled for hours on end. more..

Wipe them off the walls

Aug 13 (Island) One morning I was out, Sunday the 9th, on some errands and saw a policeman walking with a gun accompanied by a young man in a grey jacket. Seemed like some serious hora police business on the Sabbath. Crowds were following them and I too watched whilst jammed in traffic wondering which criminal they were hunting. Sir, horu nemai Sir, boru karayo (not thieves Sir, but liars) a passer-by answered my query with a deflated shrug. more..

Sri Lanka startled by Galle's turn and bounce

Aug 13 (CI) When Sri Lanka's openers were bounced out cheaply by India seamers on a dry Galle pitch, it was easy to imagine the hosts were about to have a bad day. By the evening, Sri Lanka were dropping catches, spurning run-out opportunities, and generally treating the ball like a VIP, sometimes escorting it toward the rope, other times letting it pass freely through the guard-of-honour arch formed by their legs. more..

SL out of step with Ashwin's rhythm

Aug 13 (CI) India opened their tour of Sri Lanka with a bowling performance that came much like that Rohit Sharma catch to dismiss Angelo Mathews. Against the run of play, out of a surprisingly clear blue sky, against the normal order of things, the end result of a stretch upwards, and then an acrobatic backwards and sideways. At short leg of all the places. In a country where usually India are driven into the ground when fielding first, by misery and runs, they went at their opposition as if more..

Final appeal to voters, candidates and parties

Aug 13 (Island) The Friday Forum has, in recent statements, stressed factors and issues we consider important, when voting at an election, which is of critical importance for our country’s future. We note the comparatively violence and intimidation free manner in which campaigns have been conducted this time. We need to recognise that this is largely due to the democratic space created after President Sirisena and a new govt took office in January, and the continuous scrutiny of citizens more..

Neutral Wigneswaran’s statement shows tilt towards TNPF

Aug 13 (ENS) Northern Province CM C.V.Wigneswaran’s statement telling SL Tamils who they should vote for in the Aug 17 elections, seems to be an endorsement of radical TNPF rather than his own party, moderate TNA. Justifying his neutrality in the elections, Wigneswaran said that politicians who had got elected earlier had flouted their promises in regard to the Tamils’ rights such as the right to self-determination. more..

Would have loved a 50-over World Cup win, says Sangakkara

Aug 13 (Hindu) The 16th century Galle Fort, in all its splendour, has been a spectator to many a triumph of the human spirit — from the aftermath of the devastating Tsunami in which the average Sri Lankan picked up the pieces amidst total ruin, to the more blessed among them, like Muttiah Muralitharan, picking up his 800th and last Test wicket against India in 2010 in a fairy-tale finish. On Wednesday, under its doting eyes, yet another of the sons, Kumar Sangakkara, will more..

Sri Lanka accounting body aims for greater clarity in reports

Aug 13 (EN) Sri Lanka’s accounting standards body said it expects corporate financial reports to be more mature and have greater clarity now that international norms have been adopted for the past two years. Arjuna Herath, president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka), said its Annual Report Awards Competition aims to promote transparency, accountability and good governance. This year’s competition on the theme Clarity Redefined will encourage more..

Sri Lanka starts emergency paramedic service backed by India

Aug 13 (EN) Sri Lanka is starting a paramedic response service with the backing of India that will see accident victims and those needing life-saving medical treatment being stabilized and brought to hospital within 30 minutes. Secretary of Health Ministry Mahipala said country had very good health indicators and tax payer funded hospitals that gave medical care without fees but there was no paramedic service to give pre-hospital care. more..

Court acquits Sri Lankan of rape, robbery

Aug 13 (KJD) A Daegu couple’s campaign to get justice for their dead daughter ended in failure when an appeals court Tuesday upheld a controversial verdict that acquitted a Sri Lankan man of participating in a gang rape of the girl and robbing her 17 years ago, citing a lack of evidence. The parents believe three Sri Lankan men raped their daughter, Jeong Eun-hee, an 18-year-old freshman at Keimyung University, after she got drunk at the school’s autumn festival. more..

HNB posts Rs 4.3 billion profit in first half

Aug 13 (DN) Hatton National Bank PLC posted a strong performance in the first half of 2015 with profit after tax increasing by 27.5% to Rs 4.3 bn The total assets increased by 19.0% YOY to Rs 635.2 billion. HNB Managing Director and CEO, Jonathan Alles said HNB has continued its robust performance notwithstanding a lacklustre macro economic environment, stifled business and investment climate challenging the national and corporate growth aspirations. more..

IRD nets Rs. 169 b in first half

Aug 13 (FT) Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has collected total revenue of Rs. 169 billion during first half of the year. IRD Commissioner General Kalyani Dahanayake said that despite reductions in various taxes the department managed to post a 10% growth. During the first half of 2015, the department collected direct taxes of 41.5% (income tax and economic charges, stamp duty) and indirect taxes of 58.4% (VAT and Nation Building tax). more..

Fitch affirms seven SL Finance Companies

Aug 13 (Island) Fitch Ratings has affirmed the ratings of People’s Leasing & Finance PLC (PLC), Central Finance Company PLC (CF), Melsta Regal Finance Ltd (MRF), Siyapatha Finance PLC (Siyapatha), Senkadagala Finance PLC (Senka), AMW Capital Leasing And Finance PLC (AMCL) and Singer Finance PLC (SFL). PLC’s Issuer Default Rating (IDR) and National Long-Term Rating reflect Fitch’s view that PLC’s parent, state-owned People’s Bank (PB; AA+(lka)/Stable), more..

Special religious ceremony at Thambala Jumma Mosque to bless President

Aug 13 (PSL) A special religious ceremony was held yesterday (10) at the Thambala Jumma Mosque in Lankapura, Polonnaruwa to bless President Maithripala Sirisena. The President who arrived in the Mosque was warmly welcomed by Islamic devotees. The Islamic religious leaders, including Mavulavi Naina Marikkar held a special religious prair and blessed the President. The President also had cordial discussions with the Islamic devotees gathered at the Mosque. more..

Video: EC can save us from mudslinging, says JVP

Aug 13 (DM) Intervention of Elections Commissioner could stop mud-slinging targeting JVP, party said. JVP Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath said that false documents had been prepared to sling mud at the JVP. He said this had gone to the extent of preparing false manifestos by interested people. He also drew attention to a fake Facebook page, claimed to be party General Secretary Tilvin Silva’s official FB page. more..

PAFFREL claims violence and violations less

Aug 13 (Island) Election violence and violation of election laws, relating to the forthcoming Parliamentary election, had decreased considerably, compared to the previous elections in 2010 and Presidential election 2015, election monitoring organization PAFFREL claimed. Executive Director of PAFFREL Rohana Hettiarachchi maintained that though there were several major incidents reported during pre-election period, the country had a peaceful environment and more..

'Chandrika batting for UNP has no effect'

Aug 13 (Island) UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha yesterday accused former President and ex- SLFP Leader Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga of working for the UNP. Addressing the media, he said Kumaratunga worked for the UNP as if she were a sister of UNP leader and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Answering a query, he said that since her retirement in 2005, she had thrown her weight behind the UNP campaign instead of helping the SLFP and Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..