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Video: 'Will sack top management of SOEs'

Aug 13 (DM) A UPFA govt formed after August 17 would replace the entire top management of State bodies with highly qualified new officials and immediately open inquiries on 70,000 files claimed to have received by the govt, since January on corruptions and misdeeds at State commercial ventures, UPFA said. General Secretary of UPFA Susil Premajayantha charged that yahapalana govt did nothing in the last six months, but more..

Duty free scooters for cops on eve of poll

Aug 13 (Island) 260 women police officers were given duty free scooters at Field Force Headquarters, Bambalapitiya yesterday just five days prior to general election. IGP N.K. Illangakoon and Public Order and Christian Affairs Ministry Secretary T.M.K.B. Tennakoon had been invited to be present on the occasion, but they kept away. The function was attended by Senior DIG of Police Admin, Senior DIG Gamini Navaratane and Additional Secretary to Public Order and more..

'Indian spinners exploited conditions nicely'

Aug 13 (PTI) Keeper-batsman Dinesh Chandimal credited the Indian bowlers for their brilliant performance on day one of the first cricket Test here today, as the hosts were bowled out for just 183 runs in their first innings. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took 6 for 46 and then Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli added an unbeaten 100-run partnership as the visitors finished just 55 runs adrift at stumps. “All credit goes to their bowlers and they bowled really well,” said Chandimal more..

Cases filed against MR, former CB Governor

Aug 13 (DN) Two cases have been filed in the Colombo Magistrates' Court yesterday against former President Rajapaksa and former CB Governor, Ajith Nivad Cabraal on corruption charges. The cases filed under the Penal Code accuse them of causing a loss of Rs. 12 billion to the EPF fund and causing a loss of Rs. 2.14 billion to the Central Bank. Counsel Kelum Kumarasinghe filed charges against Rajapaksa and Cabraal more..

‘Preferential Number engraved in Champika’s doughnuts’

Aug 13 (CT) Colombo District Candidate of UPFA Jagath Kumara lodged a complaint with Elections Commissioner that Minister Champika Ranawaka who is standing in 17 August election, had sent, as a bribe, sweets bearing his preferential number, in the guise of a gift. Jagath Kumara has stated in his complaint that Minister Ranawaka sending as gifts Doughnuts embossed with his preference number in celebration of his birthday which fell on the 4th of this month is a blatant violation more..

UNP says Mahinda has accepted Thajudeen was murdered

Aug 13 (Island) Deputy Minister Ajith Perera yesterday said that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who when in power said that former Havelocks Sports Club rugger captain and Sri Lanka player Wasim Thajudeen died in an accident in 2012, had today accepted that the top sportsman had been murdered, Perera said that the law would take its own course in finding the killers of Thajudeen though certain elements with vested interests were attempting to cover it up. more..

Torture of Tamil detainees in Sri Lanka has continued, says charity

Aug 13 (TG) Sri Lankan security forces have continued to torture Tamil detainees even after the election of reformist president Maithripala Sirisena in January, according to a report. The report, by the UK-based charity Freedom From Torture (FFT) and published on Thursday, comes just four days before critical elections on 17 August. Sirisena, elected on a promise to lift govt repression, is seeking to prevent a comeback more..

I could not even get Matara Post Office painted: Sanath

Aug 13 (DN) As the Deputy Minister of Post in the Mahinda Rajapaksa govt, I could not even get the buildings of the Matara Post Office painted, lamented former UPFA Parliamentarian, SLFP's organizer for Matara, Matara District Development Committee Chairman and Deputy Posts Minister Sanath Jayasuriya in reply to a question posed by media personnel. "Although I was the Chairman of the District Development Committee, I was unable to initiate any development work in Matara. more..

Treasury Bonds issue in Court: Lawyers use abusive language

Aug 13 (CT) A tensed situation erupted in the Colombo Chief Magistrate's Court yesterday as Lawyers accused each other in abusive language when they argued as to why former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabral cannot be summoned to Court for misappropriation of Rs 34.7 billion in Greek Bonds issue. The incident erupted when Colombo Additional Magistrate issued summons on CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran more..

Police to manage polls security with STF, CDF backing

Aug 13 (Island) Police have formally sought the deployment of the military in their support at the August 17 polls though actual troops deployment is unlikely. The troops could rapidly intervene in support of law enforcement officers in any part of the country if required. However, in accordance with current assessment, police could ensure countrywide security with minimal assistance from the military, the official said. more..

Rescuing our farmers from agro-chemical mudholes

Aug 13 (DM) For thousands of years, agriculture has not only provided millions of Sri Lankans with our staple food but has also been part of our culture and civilization. Famous ancient engineering marvels like the Parakrama Samudra were built to sustain Sri Lanka’s agriculture while the farmers played such a noble role that a well-known British author said that when the mud was washed off the back of the farmer, he was fit to be a king. Unfortunately after the imposition of the globalised capitalist more..

Requiem: One has to lose - Other has to win

Aug 13 (DM) One has to lose - the other has to win; to say the obvious. Who’s going to be the fallen guy - Ranil or Mahinda – in electing the Lord of the Throne for the Negatives? Picking the loser is a less onerous task than the winner. Two defeated old codgers closing on seventy need a wake-up call, being out of touch with reality. A match is on…crowds are bussed…. song and dance… applause is orchestrated; we go through the stupid motions that are no longer exciting except more..

'We want to improve the lives of underprivileged women and children'

Aug 13 (DM) Ferouza Muzammil, the first lady to be appointed as a Colombo District Organizer from the UNP is a hardworking candidate. Through the Kantha Saviya programme she has been a light in the dark for the poor people in the greater suburbs of Colombo. In a candid interview, Ferouza spoke about her responsibilities and shared her thoughts on certain ethnic issues which have arisen. more..

'The most respected man in Parliament should be appointed as PM'

Aug 13 (DM) A former deputy minister and UPFA Colombo district Candidate Thilanga Sumathipala speaks of his offer to resign and his support of Mahinda Rajapaksa as PM of next Parliament. Q: What can you tell me about the resignation of the ministers and deputy minister? All of us wrote on July 22, to the President saying that we were bound by the central committee decision taken on Feb 14 to join govt for two reasons. more..

'Political Decisions being based on affinity to geographies or vote base'

Aug 13 (DM) In an interview, Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne highlighted that a business enabling environment is required to attract foreign direct investments. He also pointed out the realities of past and future investments, and that any individual who has been found wanting, regardless of party affiliation, will be brought to justice. Q: Earlier you came into the Parliament from the national list. more..

'UPFA Govt made important decisions regarding SL’s Education System'

Aug 13 (DM) Former Deputy Minister of Education Mohan Lal Grero will contest the forthcoming general election from the Colombo District under the UPFA ticket. In a candid interview with Daily Mirror, he explained his crossover to UPFA and of his contribution to improve the education system in the country. Excerpts: Q: What was the main reason behind your decision to crossover from UNP to UPFA? more..

Dy Minister says Mahinda is like a drowning man clutching a straw

Aug 13 (Island) Deputy Minister Ajith Perera said that members of UPFA, which itself was past its shelf life, were uttering nonsense at political rallies and talk shows as they had neither coherent policy nor action plan nor an acceptable election manifesto which was full of false promises. "The UPFA election campaign centred solely on Mahinda Rajapaksa was today was dependent on President Maithripala Sirisena for its survival," he said. more..

Champika’s cabinet paper on the Coal tender: Who siphoned off Rs 12 billion?

Aug 13 (CT) Information received from the ministry of Power and Energy reveals that someone has tried to pilfer a sum of Rs 12.18 billion in the procedure to supply coal as raw material for the next three years on behalf of the Lakvijaya thermal power station in Norochcholai. With this incident being disclosed in the media, gradually the voices of a certain group have become silent, and side effect of this that supplying more..

Sri Lanka parliamentary polls bring Tamil radicalism to the fore

Aug 13 (ENS) For the first time since the end of the Sri Lankan war in 2009, Tamil radicalism has come to the fore in a Lankan election. In the parliamentary elections slated for August 17, the brazenly pro-LTTE Tamil National Peoples’ Front (TNPF) and Crusaders For Democracy (CFD), backed by pro-LTTE elements in the Tamil Diaspora, are challenging the 14-year electoral dominance of the moderate TNA. more..

'Thajudeen case delayed by govt institutions'

Aug 13 (DM) Aisha Thajudeen, the sister of the ruggerite, Wasim Thajudeen, who died under mysterious circumstances, said that the case had dragged on due to delays on the part of govt institutions. She said the family has been avoiding the media with good reason, and that everybody should understand that no-one would intentionally remain silent when a member of his or her own family dies under suspicious circumstances. more..

Atul Keshap sworn in as US Envoy to SL

Aug 13 (IE) Indian-American Atul Keshap has been sworn in as the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives, becoming the second Indian-origin diplomat to be posted to the region after Richard Rahul Verma. Keshap, 44, a former official at the US Embassy in India, was administered the oath of office by Deputy US Secretary of State for Management and Resources Heather Anne Higginbottom. more..

Rishad also asks for separate administrative unit

Aug 13 (Island) Minister, All Ceylon Makkal Congress Leader and Vanni ACMC Group Leader Rishad Bathiudeen, too, has backed the call for a new Coastal Administrative Unit in East on 09 August. The ACMC Leader said on 09 August. "If voters of Ampara District elect two new ACMC MPs from us and send the traditional Ampara SLMC MPs home, then it will be sufficient proof that (they) have given us, the ACMC, a mandate. more..

PM lauded for not using Temple Trees for election work

Aug 13 (DN) Transparency International commended Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for not using Temple Trees (which is a main public property) for election activities after submitting nominations, Transparency International Sri Lanka Senior Manager Shan Wijethunge said. Addressing the media, Wijethunge said that Temple Trees was used for one of the election activities before submitting nominations and there were no private sections at Temple Trees as stated. more..

DSG gives undertaking to court to peruse police IB extracts

Aug 13 (Island) Deputy Solicitor General, Parinda Ranasinghe yesterday gave an undertaking to the Supreme Court that he would call for IB extracts from the police and peruse the issue pertaining to the allegations made in the petition filed by Deputy Minister, Sujeewa Senasinghe against the police. Deputy Solicitor General would see what further steps should be taken, after studying the IB extracts. Attorney-at-law Senasinghe has complained that a police team led by Sergeant Gamini-Wansa more..

Sri Lanka's Missing Persons

SL envoy to leave Saudi as tenure ends

Aug 13 (AN) Sri Lankan Ambassador to the Kingdom Hussein Mohamed will be leaving the country upon the completion of his tenure on Thursday. Former mayor of Colombo expressed his sadness in bidding farewell to the Kingdom after an eventful year. He credited govt officials, members of the diplomatic corps and community members for the success of his stay in Saudi Arabia. “I am thankful to all those who contributed to facilitate my work as ambassador to serve the community more..

Sri Lanka stocks close down 0.4%

Aug 13 (LBO) Stocks closed down 0.39% on Thursday, with losses in some index heavy and Telecom stocks and investors taking profit. The Colombo benchmark All Share Price Index closed 29.15 points lower at 7,442.75 down 0.39%. The S&P SL20 closed 24.51 points lower at 4,128.24 down 0.59%. Turnover was 979 million rupees, down fron 2.12 billion on Wednesday with 48 stocks closing positive against 115 negative. The main index showed losses in Dialog Axiata more..

Tea exporters are to be blamed for tea export reduction: Dilmah Chief

Aug 13 (LBO) SL’s Tea exporter, Dilmah says tea exporters who create various brand names at very cheap price levels in the global market are to be blamed on the lesser demand for Ceylon Tea. However, the importance of Russia and other CIS countries to Ceylon tea continues, though on reduced volumes of bulk tea and value added exports, Chairman of Dilmah, Merrill J Fernando said. “This trend is likely to continue,” more..

Monks resident overseas ask UNP to reveal its position on poster with Eelam map

Aug 13 (Island) The Mahanayakes resident overseas yesterday asked the UNP to reveal its stand on some of its candidates using a poster with an Eelam map. Mahanaykes of the US, Singapore, Australia and India, addressing a press conference at Abahayaramaya in Narahenpita, said that Vijayakala Maheshwaran and some other UNP candidates were using a poster containing Eelam map along with the UNP’s Elephant symbol in their campaigns. more..

James Packer steps down as Crown Resorts chairman

Aug 13 (SMH) Billionaire James Packer has stepped down as chairman of Crown Resorts with the gambling tycoon taking on a new executive director role with oversight of the company's $4 billion Las Vegas casino. Robert Rankin will replace Mr Packer, who will retain his role as co-chairman of the company's Melco Crown joint venture which owns and operates casinos in Macau and the Philippines. "Crown has a pipeline of resorts globally and this is where the majority of my time will be spent," more..

Volkswagen gets 8-yr tax holiday for US$ 26.5mn Sri Lanka plant

Aug 13 (EN) Govt said a Volkswagen assembly plant to be set up in the island with an investment of US$ 26.5 million will get an eight year tax holiday and initially make cars for the local market. German firm which this year overtook Toyota as the world’s largest carmaker by sales will assemble diesel-powered vehicles in the 1,000cc to 2,000 cc category. BOI chairman Upul Jayasuriya signed an agreement for factory with Noel more..

Bond: Who scammed whom?

Aug 13 (CT) It was in 1992 that I returned to Sri Lanka from Hong Kong to start Forbes Research, one of the first independent equity research houses in Sri Lanka. During my two year stint with Forbes Research, before leaving to Hong Kong again to take up an offer with one of Asia´s top stock broking firms, Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia (CLSA) as their institutional sales head for the Indian sub-continent based in HK, I was a member of the USAID-ISTI primary debt committee that more..

Elusive GSP+

Aug 13 (CT) Sri Lanka lost its GSP+ zero duty concession in its exports to the EU, one of its top two export markets (the other being USA), exactly five years ago in Aug 2010. Among SL's merchandise exports that suffered were garments, the country's second largest foreign exchange (FX) earner after remittances, as well as smaller exports such as fish, ceramicware and bicycles. The deprivation of this facility has resulted in job losses, loss of FX and loss of investments. more..

Vote for any animal but not betel leaf: CBK

Aug 13 (DM) Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike said the people could vote for any animal and not for the betel leaf symbol or the hand symbol at the forthcoming general elections if they wanted to save the country from corrupt individuals. Addressing several public meetings former President said the UNP, the Hela Urumaya, a faction of the SLFP and the Leftist parties had joined hands on January 8 to more..

SL tourist found dead in temple pond in India

Aug 13 (PTI) A 78-year-old Sri Lankan tourist, who was missing two days ago, was found dead in a pond at Korean temple of neighbouring Sharavasti district, police said today. According to the police, the cause of Paltha Sunil Kriti Singhe's death was due to drowning in the temple pond at Ikauna area. Singhe was part of a team of 63 tourists which had reached the temple on the night of Aug 11 and were staying in the temple guest house. When Singhe did not return to his room, more..

Dhawan joins Gavaskar and Dravid

Aug 13 (CI) 3: Indian openers who have scored two back-to-back hundreds in away Tests - Sunil Gavaskar, Rahul Dravid and now Shikhar Dhawan. Dhawan scored 134 in the first innings of this Test, and 173 in his last Test innings - against Bangladesh in Fatuallah. 227: The partnership between Virat Kohli and Dhawan, the highest third-wicket stand for India in Tests against SL. Their partnership was India's 16th 3rd-wicket stand of 200-plus, but their first in a Test against SL. more..

Spinners cap India's day of batting domination

Aug 13 (CI) For the first time since the Wellington Test of Feb 2014, India got to bat with little pressure and could look forward to sessions of piling on runs. Back then they had bowled New Zealand out for 192, and took a lead of 246. Ten tough Tests later, having dismissed Sri Lanka for 183, India didn't quite bat Sri Lanka out of the game, but managed a healthy 192-run lead. It left Sri Lanka a narrow window, but in the 4 overs they had more..

UPFA will modernise the FCID: Susil

Aug 13 (AD) Measures will be taken to modernise the Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID), if the UPFA wins the forthcoming election, former Minister Susil Premajayantha asserted. The FCID most of the time drew attention to probe and interrogate complaints with respect to the close associates of the former govt. It has also come to light that President Sirisena was unaware about the establishment of the FCID. Special police unit has reportedly been established through more..

Prasanna files complaint with EU observers

Aug 13 (CG) Western Province Chief Minister and UPFA candidate at the Parliamentary election, Prasanna Ranatunga, filed a complaint with European Union (EU) election observers today over fears underworld members will be used by the ruling party during the polls. Ranatunga had told the EU observers that UNP member and Minister of Public Security, Law and Order John Amaratunga has threatened to use underworld members and the police to win the election next week. more..

Central Bank switches to public bond auctions after scandal

Aug 13 (Reuters) Central bank has formally announced that it will issue all treasury bonds by public auction, and no longer by direct placement, responding days before a parliamentary election to criticism of a controversial offering in February. CB said the new auction method would help to expand the local t-bond market. A more open bidding process could boost investor confidence and drive down govt's borrowing costs, analysts say. more..