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Studying the Domestic Worker in Sri Lanka

Aug 20 (DM) History has witnessed human labour exceeding the bounds of employment into slavery. With time, those who were slaves raised their voices; sometimes in rebellion, so that their masters would notice. Eventually, slavery was abolished almost everywhere. But a new, unofficial form of slavery is in practice in many parts of the world. For millions labouring in homes, farms and sweatshops, conditions and pay are abysmal. This is often the case when it comes to domestic workers more..

Fresh political challenges for MR after electoral defeat

Aug 20 (DM) As SLFP-led UPFA could not secure more seats than the UNP, former President Rajapaksa, who spearheaded the campaign, is slated to encounter yet another political challenge. That is from his erstwhile colleague President Sirisena who reluctantly gave him nomination to contest the election under the betel symbol of the UPFA. The President gave into pressure from the rank and file of the party, more..

Handunnetti, Mayadunne from JVP

Aug 20 (AM) JVP named former MP Sunil Handunnetti and former Auditor-General Sarath Chandra Mayadunne as its national list MPs. Mayadunne led the list submitted to the EC by the JVP on July 13. Handunnetti contested the election from Matara District and but failed to enter the parliament. There was a strong campaign by some JVP supporters demanding the appointment of Handunnetti through the national list. more..

Sajin in remand; Mastermind at large

Aug 20 (SL) Questions have emerged as to why only former MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena was brought before the law for misusing public property, whilst the alleged mastermind VVIP who gave blessings to carry out the alleged frauds is still at large. Although Vass Gunawardena is now languishing in remand custody over the past two months for the alleged misuse of a fleet of vehicles from the Presidential Secretariat, more..

Sri Lanka bureaucrats accused of delaying tea marketing campaign

Aug 20 (EN) A Sri Lankan exporter of value added teas has accused bureaucrats of the previous administration of deliberately delaying a global tea marketing campaign despite collecting a huge fund from a cess on exports. The present global slump in tea prices and turmoil in key export markets was hurting the industry, said Rohan Fernando, chairman of tea exporter HVA Foods. A new Tea Board administration appointed after more..

Anti-rabies campaign casts net wider to take in felines

Aug 20 (ST) The second phase of the Colombo Municipal Council’s rabies vaccination is underway, taking in stray cats as well as dogs as rabies-positive cats have been discovered. In the first phase of the campaign, the CMC carried out a survey on dogs and vaccinated and ear-notched street dogs. They also vaccinated and gave licences to pet dogs, going house to house through Colombo. In the second phase, officers are vaccinating more..

UNP's economic, investment heavyweights elected

Aug 20 (EN) Key ministers of short term UNP-led administration of 2015 dealing with economic policy and investment have been re-elected with scoring high on preferential votes. PM and Policy Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is also party leader scored a record 556,600 preferences from Colombo district. His rival Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was finance and highway minister in his administration scored 424,539 votes more..

Maldives mission in SL audited on request, foreign minister says

Aug 20 (Haveeru) Foreign minister Dhunya Maumoon said she had personally requested a special audit of the Maldives High Commission in Sri Lanka. After an audit flagged several financial irregularities, the minister said the request for the audit had been made in May 2014 to ensure that the mission's finances were being handled within the regulations. "Before I came, a lot of things in the ministry and the missions had been more..

SLFP decides to join National Govt

Aug 20 (CG) The SLFP has decided to join the National Govt to be formed by the UNP. The SLFP Central Committee, which met today with SLFP head and President Maithripala Sirisena, had agreed to be part of the National Govt, SLFP member Nimal Siripala de Silva said. Nimal Siripala de Silva said that the SLFP will be in the National Govt for two years and will work with other political parties in the Govt to address key issues. more..

Lal Kantha resigns as WPC member

Aug 20 (DM) JVP member of the Western Provincial Council K. D. Lal Kantha has resigned from his post in order to engage in trade union work full time, party sources said. Party sources said Mr. Lal Kantha will engage in trade union work full time. He was the president of the National Trade Union Federation for a long time. Sources scoffed rumours that he has resigned owning to a dispute. more..

Military earn praise for conduct during campaign, polls day

Aug 20 (Island) Election monitoring groups commended the exemplary conduct of the armed forces and the police during the parliamentary election campaign as well as on the day of the general election. Monitoring groups said that they hadn’t received allegations against the military or police as in the past. CaFFE chief Keerthi Tennakoon, TISL spokesperson Shan Wijetunga, CMEV National Organiser Manjula more..

shares fall from 7-month closing high; economic policy awaited

Aug 20 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares fell on Thursday after hitting their more than seven-month closing high in the previous session, with investors booking profit as they waited for the PM Ranil Wickremesinghe-led govt to announce its economic policies after the parliamentary election victory. Wickremesinghe's centre-right UNP is expected to form a stable govt along with President Maithripala Sirisena's centre-left SLFP, to help pass promised reforms. more..

Sri Lanka's ruling party pledges to work closely with China

Aug 20 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's ruling UNF on Wednesday pledged to work closely with China and further strengthen cordial relationship between the two countries. UNF member and former minister of finance, Ravi Karunanayake, told Xinhua that the relationship between the two countries could not go sour. The UNF led by Ranil Wickremesinghe won a parliamentary election on Monday, beating the opposition UPFA whose main candidate was former president Mahinda Rajapakse. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

General elections & our future

Aug 20 (CT) What do we learn from the parliamentary election held on the 17th August of 2015? In my opinion, which is shared by some other political analysts as well, the voters have questioned the divisive politics promoted by some narrow nationalist political parties. Exclusivist ethno-religious nationalisms have posed a threat to social harmony in the country. They have divided the people along lines of ethnicity, religion, language and territory. more..

Challenges before new govt

Aug 20 (CT) Considering the massive human dimensions alone involved in the immediacy of delivering to the huge mass of voters who reposed their trust in the new govt, seeking tangible solutions to their problems, one would not be faulted, for being pessimistic about the new administration's will power and yet untried and untested abilities to address these challenges effectively, to the satisfaction of the millions literally living a hand-to-mouth existence. Reverting to opposition aggression and more..

Rahul 108 shores up India on fluctuating day

Aug 20 (CI) KL Rahul's second Test century was the centrepiece of a fluctuating opening day at the P Sara Oval, which saw India recover from a troubled start and move to a solid but never dominant position. Rahul and Virat Kohli, who came together after two early strikes from Dhammika Prasad, added 164 for the third wicket before Rohit Sharma built on the platform they erected and scored the third half-century of his stop-start more..

BCCI felicitates retiring Sangakkara

Aug 20 (PTI) The BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur on Thursday felicitated batting great Kumar Sangakkara before the start of day’s play of the second Test between Sri Lanka and India, which marks the farewell match for the legendary cricketer. “Kumar Sangakkara is a true legend of the game. His conduct both on and off the field has been exemplary. He is one of the most consistent performers of our times and a role model for youngsters around the world. more..

India's No. 6 problems, Rahul emulates Rahul

Aug 20 (CI) 1: Number of India openers who had made two hundreds in their first five away innings before KL Rahul. Rahul Dravid made hundreds in his fourth and fifth away innings as an opener. 164: Runs added by the partnership between KL Rahul and Virat Kohli, India's highest at P Sara Oval for any wicket, beating the 162-run stand between Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli in 1993. This was also India's third-highest stand for the third wicket against Sri Lanka. more..

Mahinda misfires

Aug 20 (Economist) At the height of parliamentary campaign, footage taken with a mobile phone went viral. It showed Mahinda Rajapaksa, an authoritarian former president running to become an MP, lunging at a member of the public, his fists clenched, before aides pulled him away. The short film suggested that Mr Rajapaksa already knew things were going badly for his group, UPFA. Sure enough, his hopes of forming a govt and more..

Ranil equals his position to British Premier William Ewart Gladstone

Aug 20 (GDI) Leader of the UNP and UNFGG Ranil Wickremasinghe succeeded in polling 500,566 preferential votes. It is the highest number of votes polled by a candidate in SL’s elections history. Ranil Wickremasinghe who contested from the Colombo District in the General Election consolidated his victory polling 500,506 votes. Ranil Wickremasinghe who has served as the PM on three occasions, is slated to take oaths in this position for the fourth occasion. more..

Sri Lanka money markets tighten as BOP pressure builds

Aug 20 (EN) Sri Lanka's money markets tightened and excess rupee liquidity dropped as dollar outflows continued to outpace inflows pushing up overnight rates, amid expanding domestic credit and capital flight. Excess liquidity was down by 38 billion rupees by Wednesday to 35 billion rupees from 73 billion on July 30 despite the purchase of Treasury bills by the Central Bank, below the official reverse repo rate of 7.5% to print money to sterilize foreign exchange sales. more..

Cabraal, Udaya & Sashi questioned by FCID

Aug 20 (CG) Former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, UPFA MP elect Udaya Gammanpila and Sashi Weerawansa, wife of former Minister Wimal Weerawansa, were questioned by the police today. Cabraal had made a statement to the police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) over alleged fraud said to have been committed during the acquisition of a private firm by the UDA. more..

Shaveen declares campaign expenditure

Aug 20 (DM) Independent contestant, Shaveen Bandaranayaka, the son of former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, who had managed to bag 149 votes at the recently concluded Parliamentary election has declared a detailed breakdown of his election campaign expenditure. Shaveen had posted the declaration on his Facebook last week (14), providing a detailed breakdown of the expenditure incurred on his campaigning activities. He had spent a total of Rs. 178,164 between July14–Aug14 more..

Investigations regarding Eknaligoda’s disappearance obstructed by top brass

Aug 20 (LT) It is reported that investigations regarding the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda have been hampered due to the protection given by certain senior officers in the security forces to the four Army personnel who are to be arrested regarding the incident. According to sources the CID has informed the Army to hand over the four Army personnel. However, the senior Army officers have not responded until yesterday. Earlier, two personnel attached to Army Intelligence more..

Sobhitha Thera urges Ranil: Appoint a clean Cabinet

Aug 20 (CT) National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) urges that no one with allegations against them should be appointed to the Cabinet in the new govt. Outlining that the recently concluded general election was the most peaceful, free and fair one in the country's history and commending the efforts of the Elections Commissioner and the Police in this regard, NMSJ Leader Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera more..

France hopes polls helps inter-community reconciliation

Aug 20 (CG) The French Government says it hopes the outcome of the Parliamentary election will help continue the action taken since the election of President Maithripala Sirisena in support of human rights and inter-community reconciliation. A spokesperson of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development said that France welcomes the smooth running of the parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka, which saw high turnout amongst the population. more..

Court orders forensic report on Thajudeen vehicle

Aug 20 (CT) Based on a request by CID, Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris yesterday (19) called for a report of a forensic analysis on the vehicle (KQ 6543) that deceased ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen, who is alleged to have been brutally murdered, was travelling in. The study is to analyze how the vehicle met with the accident on 17, May 2012 in front of the Shalika Ground, Narahenpita, in which Thajudeen's body was found burnt, and will also include expert opinions. more..

EU tells new govt to ensure accountability

Aug 20 (CG) The European Union (EU) has urged the new Government to ensure accountability and genuine national reconciliation takes place in Sri Lanka. A spokesperson at the EU office in Brussels said that parliamentary elections on 17 August in Sri Lanka were genuine, well administered and peaceful overall and the people of Sri Lanka came out to vote in high numbers, confirming their support for continued democratic reform. more..

President condoles Thailand tragedy

Aug 20 (GDI) President Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday (19) offered his condolences to Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej over loss of lives in the deadly bomb blast near Bangkok's Erawan shrine on Monday. Sending a Message of Condolence, the President said the Govt and the people of Sri Lanka are "shocked and deeply saddened" by Monday's tragic bomb blast resulting in loss of life and injury to hundreds of innocent people including foreign nationals. more..

SLTB claims Rs. 142 Mn from UPFA

Aug 20 (DM) The SLTB filed a lawsuit in the Colombo Commercial High Court today against the 2015- presidential election committee members of the UPFA, including former president Rajapaksa, claiming a sum of Rs. 142 million. The complainant said the UPFA had hired buses from the SLTB for the January eighth presidential election but had failed to settle the payments after obtaining the services. The SLTB has named seven UPFA election committee members, including more..

Rajapaksa settles into backseat role

Aug 20 (AA) Former President Rajapaksa said that he is ready to settle into a humbling new role as an ordinary parliamentarian, following a failed attempt to return to power as prime minister. His SLFP narrowly lost out to the ruling UNP in Tuesday's parliamentary election, denying him a chance to return to power only eight months after being voted out. An aide of the former president said that he will accept the new role. more..

Japanese Defence Attaché calls on Navy Commander

Aug 20 (SLN) The Defence Attaché of the Embassy of Japan in Sri Lanka, Captain Mototsugu SHIGEKAWA paid a courtesy call on the Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne at the Naval Headquarters in Colombo on 19th Aug. They held cordial discussions on matters related to bilateral relations and cooperation between the two friendly navies. Captain Mototsugu SHIGEKAWA also conveyed his best wishes to Vice Admiral Ravindra more..

China’s investment in Mahinda Rajapaksa has backfired

Aug 20 (HT) Crucial parliamentary election this week in Sri Lanka — a swing state in the sharpening Indian Ocean geopolitics — was a close contest, with no party getting an absolute majority. Yet the poll outcome was decisive, not merely because Ranil Wickremesinghe seems set to return as prime minister: By thwarting the pro-China ex-president Rajapaksa’s political comeback bid, it represents a setback for Chinese diplomacy to increasingly encroach on India’s strategic backyard. more..

Newly elected UPFA MPs oppose national govt: Vasu

Aug 20 (AD) A group of newly elected MPs of the UPFA held a discussion in Colombo today with the participation of former President Rajapaksa, former UPFA MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara said. He stated that a large number of newly elected MPs representing the UPFA attended the meeting and that the topic of forming a National Govt was extensively discussed. Nanayakkara said that MPs present at the discussion objected more..

Roadmap to reconciliation: 4 challenges for Sri Lanka after polls

Aug 20 (HT) These are critical times for Sri Lanka. This week the country completed its second round of elections this year. A coalition led by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe scored a narrow victory. By contrast, presidential elections held in January ended in a surprise victory for Maithripala Sirisena, a veteran govt minister who broke ranks with Mahinda Rajapaksa. A notable feature of the election was Sirisena’s decision effectively to back the opposition coalition running against his own party, more..

National govt against mandate: Gammanpila

Aug 20 (DM) PHU general secretary Udaya Gammanpila said the SLFP’s decision to form a national govt with the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) was against the mandate because people voted for the UPFA in protest of UNFGG’s manifesto. Mr. Gammanpila said there was no mentioning of forming a national government in UPFA’s manifesto and that former president Mahinda Rajapaksa completely rejected the national government concept in his election rallies. more..

'New laws coming to tackle crime'

Aug 20 (DM) The new-UNP led govt would give priority to introduce legislation strengthening financial crimes and similar other crime busting and to give more legal teeth to the Bribery Commission as existing laws were not sufficient to deal with financial mismanagement, embezzling, corruption and fraud, former minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said. Addressing the media after a successful election campaign more..

Public apology; On JVP national list

Aug 21 (CT) My fellow Sri Lankans; As most of you are aware, my name appeared second amongst the 29 professionals and academics that made up the JVP National List (not listed alphabetically, but presumably in the order of priority that the Party would ultimately fill the number allocated) at the recently concluded General Election, where the Commissioner has since returned two seats to be filled by the Party; which I understand now have been allocated to Mr. Mayadunne more..

Compulsory age of retirement for politicians

Aug 21 (CT) Organized employment systems have a set age for retirement. That is but a natural outcome of the basic rules of biological decay. The compulsory age of retirement for public servants is 60. The judicial service has its own limit for retirement which falls a few years later. Even the private sector is governed by a predetermined limit to a service. Of course the self-employed have no such compulsion. They decide when to call it a day intuitively, depending on more..