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GL demands information on NPC as an implementing partner

Aug 2 (Island) Former Minister G.L. Pieris demanded information on whether the Govt of Sri Lanka and the Northern Provincial Council will be the implementing partners of a UNHRC scheme outlining plans to set up a domestic inquiry into human right violations in the concluding stages of the war. Pieris said that a Channel 4 report on an allegedly leaked UNHRC document says that the Govt of Sri Lanka and the NPC will more..

Hangman vacancy at Prisons Dept. pops up again

Aug 2 (ST) With the work of the Committee appointed to consider ways and means to commute the death sentence of prisoners awaiting execution drawing to a close, the Prisons Department is once again searching for hangmen to fill the vacancies for the posts. The Prisons Department last week said that it would once again advertise for the job of hangmen in the coming week. Commissioner General M.B.R. Pushpakumara who denied more..

Rudra’s TGTE has no faith in the local polls

Aug 2 (SL) Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) led by former LTTE member V. Rudrakumaran has said that it has no faith in the Parliamentary elections scheduled to be held next month. A statement by the TGTE said that the presence of Tamil members in the Sri Lankan Parliament will in no way transform the Sinhala Buddhist racist characteristics of the Sri Lankan State. TGTE says the Tamil people know more..

Retrospection about CHANGE

Aug 2 (Island) Is this piece to be a reprimand? No, it is meant to be a cleansing process to engineer revamping of the political and social environment and to exploit the opportunity given on Jan 8, 2015. Perhaps this introduces a process of introspection? Ask questions for elucidation, if not to elicit immediate answers? Perhaps it is all of the above. It is almost seven decades since Independence and yet we have not been successful in welding this country together as a unified nation. more..

Sociology of the Rajapaksa phenomenon

Aug 2 (Island) The Dutugemanu syndrome, by itself, is not an inadequate explanation for the persistence of Rajapaksa’s popularity. Of course the defeat of the LTTE is one determinant of today’s Sinhala-Buddhist psyche, but alone it is insufficient explanation of the Rajapaksa phenomenon. For example, though it does account for the 2010 result, it is tangential to the sea of blue that painted the January 2015 results map and does not account for the frenzy in recent months. more..

King-pin Mujahid had political blessings

Aug 2 (CT) Police Headquarters has decided to expose a top drug dealer who was enjoying the protection of the upper echelons of the political elite. This news is a resounding slap in the face of such elite figures that benefitted from this kind of unscrupulous elements. The drug dealer in question is Mubarak Mohammed Mujahid, who gained a name in the world of silver screen by pumping funds into films and getting fame as a film producer more..

Seylan Bank net up 53% in June 2015

Aug 2 (EN) Profits at Seylan Bank group rose 53% from a year earlier to 1,051 million rupees in the June 2015 quarter, helped by high fee income and lower loan loss provisions, interim accounts showed. The group reported earnings of 3.05 rupees per share, for the quarter. In the 6-months to June 2015 the group reported earnings of 4.97 rupees per share, on total profits of 1,710 million rupees, up 41% from a year earlier. Fees and commission income rose 14% to 1.2 billion rupees. more..

Maradana shooting: Another victim dies

Aug 2 (Island) Another victim of Friday’s drive-by shooting on a UNP polls campaign group died, pushing the death toll to two. Unidentified assailants opened fire on a group of supporters of Minister Ravi Karunanayake in close proximity to St. Benedicts’ College playground at Bloemendhal Road killing a woman, Siththi Maheema (46) and injuring 11 others. No arrests have been made so far. Police investigators are also probing the suspected involvement of an underworld gang. more..

Who will be next PM? - Ceylon Today visits Colombo and Kurunegala

Aug 2 (CT) Colombo is Sri Lanka's smallest but most densely populated district. It is so diverse in terms of demography and the problems faced by the people of Kurunduwatta and Hatewatta differ drastically. Nugegoda in city outskirts is vastly different from Avissawella in the district periphery. People are so diverse in class, creed, caste, thinking, education, literacy, lifestyle and many other aspects. But, both the street prostitute and more..

Relief for kidney transplant patients MRI now equipped to test for BK virus

Aug 2 (Island) Renal transplant patients can now hope for a better life as a testing facility for BK virus to which these patients are prone is now locally available. This has been made possible by introducing a new essential clinical testing program by the Department of Virology at the Medical Research Institute (MRI). The project is led by the Consultant Virologist Dr. Jude Jayamaha of the MRI in collaboration with the National Hospital of Sri Lanka and the University of Colombo. more..

Sushma urged to secure release of fishermen

Aug 2 (CG) The National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF) in India has appealed to Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to take efforts to release 40 Indian fishermen who have been languishing in the prisons of Sri Lanka. N.Elango, chairperson of the National Fishworkers’ Forum drew the attention of the Union Minister on the information given by Union Minister of State V.K. Singh on the floor of the Rajya Sabha on July 23. Elango pointed out Singh stated that 14 Indian fishermen were arrested more..

Govt insists development not suspended

Aug 2 (CG) Govt today insisted that development work has not been suspended and that the treasury had already released Rs 11900 million rupees to continue the ongoing projects at district level of which Rs 9000 million was paid for the projects that were completed. The Finance Ministry said that in pursuance of the good governance concept introduced by the new govt by alleviating the corruption and fraud that more..

Postal voting commences tomorrow

Aug 2 (ITN) The postal voting for the General Election will commence tomorrow. The Elections Secretariat has decided to deploy a special group of officials to monitor the postal voting. Police officers, officials of Zonal Education offices and teachers of National Schools are scheduled to mark their postal votes tomorrow. The postal voting will take place on the 5th and 6th of this month. 8th of this month have been allocated for the officials of the Elections Department and the District Secretariat more..

Body of missing child found

Aug 2 (CT) An autopsy of the decapitated body of a three-year-old child named Jerusha of Kilinochchi by the Judicial Medical Officers (JMO) from Colombo has revealed that she had been raped and killed. Unconfirmed reports said it has also been apparently proved that Jerusha's 14-year-old cousin had raped her before killing her. He was produced before the Kilinochchi Magistrate and remanded for 14 days until 10 August under law covering juvenile crime in Sri Lanka. more..

5 held for kidney change in Sri Lanka

Aug 2 (TOI) Special Task Force of the Crime Branch on Friday arrested five persons of a family from Berhampur, including a woman, in connection with an illegal kidney transplantation carried out at a hospital in Colombo recently. Crime Branch sources said the family lured a 20-year-old youth, Kanhu Behera of Phulbani, to sell his kidney for Rs 3.5 lakh to one of their family members. The Crime Branch action followed a complaint more..

A costly sale for EPF

Aug 2 (SL) Sale of up to 71 million ordinary shares of John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH) held by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), in March, 2012, during the period of former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, has deprived the Fund from earning billions of rupees in financial gains. EPF had puchased a state of JKH in 2012 and 2013 at prices ranging between Rs. 240 and Rs. 320 per share. It is learnt that around 71 million shares were bought at over Rs. 300 per share. more..

TNA to meet Wigi over stand on polls

Aug 2 (SL) TNA is to meet NPC Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran to discuss his stance to stay neutral at the upcoming elections without supporting the election propaganda of the TNA. Former TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said that he would not be able to comment on the statement made by the NPC Chief Minister as yet as they have not yet spoken to him. However, he added that the TNA expects to have a talk with the Chief Minister over his position and, thereafter, decide the next step. more..

'TNA is using communal issue for votes'

Aug 2 (CG) JVP accused TNA of attempting to incite communal hatred in order to win votes at the elections this month. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said that the TNA had failed to meet the expectations of the Tamils in the North and so now they are attempting to use the communal issue to win votes. Silva also said that the TNA election manifesto will go in favour of former President Rajapaksa since the document more..

UPFA fears for the life of Mahinda Rajapaksa

Aug 2 (CG) The UPFA has raised concerns over the life of former President and Kurunegala District UPFA candidate at the Parliamentary election, Mahinda Rajapaksa. UPFA candidate and SLFP member Dilan Perera said that a suspicious character had visited the election office of Mahinda Rajapaksa in Kurunegala but had later gone missing when an attempt was made to verify his identity. “We have information that this man had visited the location for about 2-3 days,” more..

Old masters come alive at the Wendt

Aug 2 (CT) Some of the old masters who are long forgotten and their pupils will come alive at an unusual exhibition of original paintings at the Lionel Wendt Art Gallery, on 9 and 10 August. The exhibition, sponsored by Dew Drops Resort, Ella, will be opened by Dr. Lester James Peries and Sumithra Peries on 8 August at 5.30 p.m. The very term old masters evokes nostalgic memories of art lovers. Maligawage Sarlis was a familiar figure in the early years of the 20th century. more..

CBK meets Arjuna, assures backing to UNFGG

Aug 2 (CG) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga met Minister Arjuna Ranatunga today and assured her support to UNFGG. Ranatunga said that Kumaratunga had said that she will ensure the country continues on the path to good governance. He said that at the meeting he had with her today, they had discussed measures which need to be taken to ensure the UNFGG wins the Aug 17 election. more..

Waqar Younis credits attacking mindset after thrashing Sri Lanka

Aug 2 (AFP) Pakistan coach Waqar Younis hailed his players' positive and attacking approach after they comprehensively defeated Sri Lanka in all three formats on the islanders' home turf. Pakistan clinched the second Twenty20 against Sri Lanka in a sensational last-over finish by one wicket to take the series 2-0 on Saturday, capping a successful tour where they also won the Test series 2-1 and one-dayers 3-2. Waqar said the victory had made him proud of his players, and team was on the up. more..

Toxic curd and bites infiltrate market

Aug 2 (SO) Pots of curd liberally laced with formalin, ascetic acid and aluhunu used to preserve the contents are openly sold in food outlets across the country, including wayside eateries, restaurants and hotels, food officials have charged. "These agents are toxic and carcinogenic and should never be used by the food industry," Dr Waruna Gunatileke said. "They cause blood abnormalities, cough, shortness of breath, blood clotting abnormalities and burning of the throat and esophagus, more..

Prabhakaran’s bodyguard in election fray

Aug 2 (ENS) Sivanathan Navindra alias Venthan, a former bodyguard of the slain Tamil Tiger leader V Prabhakaran is among nine ex-Tiger militants contesting the August 17 Sri Lankan parliamentary elections from the Jaffna-Kilinochchi electoral district as members of a new outfit, Crusaders for Democracy (CFD). Venthan and fellow candidate, Rasaiah Tharmakulasingham alias Gamini, had both lost their legs in the war. more..

Sotthi Upali’s son, accomplice

Aug 2 (DM) Sotthi Upali’s younger son and an accomplice were arrested by the Mirihana Crime Investigations Unit in connection with robberies in Welikada and Borella areas. Police said the two men had broken into shops and were known to have robbed cigarettes valued at more than Rs.200,000 reload cards, laptops, and cash worth Rs.50,000 from shops in these two areas. The police also seized a trishaw used by them to transport the stolen goods. more..

'The last nail of the JVP Coffin Misfires'

Aug 2 (CT) Nishantha Muthuhettigama whose brain is not according to the size of his body, said that the last nail was hammered into the JVP coffin. Who did the nail ultimately hit? It was to the leader of that corrupt gang of rogues Mahinda Rajapaksa and his corrupt administration. However, the JVP has entered the hearts of the people more than ever before and has become their conscience. Propaganda Secretary of the JVP, former PM Vijitha Herath made this comment while more..

North awakens to adulthood sans a childhood it never had

Aug 2 (ST) That the mainstream parties are able to cobble together lists of candidates to contest this election shows that, amidst the dark side of postwar North, a more liberal generation with a wider view of the world is coming to the fore. Dr R. Sivasegaran is one such candidate the Sunday Times interviewed. He has quit as a Medical Officer at the Health Ministry and is contesting for a seat in the National Parliament. more..

'Fuel prices may be reduced again within three months'

Aug 2 (ST) Fuel prices are likely to be reduced further within the next three months with world prices going down and Sri Lanka now being able to buy oil directly from Iran, following the lifting of sanctions by the United States. Power and Energy Ministry Secretary B.M.S. Batagoda said Sri Lanka’s oil purchase bill could be significantly reduced in the next three months and the benefits would be passed on to the people. He said that when Iranian crude oil came back to the market, more..

Parliamentary Committee system to in new Parliament

Ahu 2 (ITN) PM Ranil Wickremasinghe has said that a Parliamentary Committee system would be created to look into the conduct of Parliamentarians who are elected to the new Parliament. PM said that the President of the Government that would be formed by them is President Maithripala Sirisena who is the Chairman of the Alliance. He said that a committee system would be introduced in Parliament to monitor the work carried out by Ministers and Parliamentarians. more..

Rs. 50 b coal tender up for grabs; backroom manoeuvres to clinch deal

Aug 2 (ST) Two international firms are locked in battle to win a lucrative Rs 50 billion coal tender from Sri Lanka. The three-year contract was awarded in July to M/s Swiss Singapore Overseas Enterprises, a Singapore-based company. However, four other unsuccessful bidders— Noble Resources International, Suek AG, Adani Global & Liberty Commodities —complained to the Procurement Appeal Board (PAB) more..

The Akuressa man

Aug 3 (CT) It was the defining moment of a decisive election. Mahinda Rajapaksa tries to plunge into a crowd of supporters in Akuressa to hammer a man who grabbed his hand. The video shows a visibly angry Mr. Rajapaksa, his other hand balled into a fist, ready to take on the perpetrator of lèse majesté. Soon after the video went viral, some Rajapaksa acolytes tried to depict the incident as a dry run for a future assassination attempt. Had the alleged finger-puller been a real or suspected enemy, more..

Where does Maithri go from here?

Aug 3 (CT) For the first time in the history of the Second Republican Constitution, a Parliamentary Election is being held without any political party having the express support of the Executive President in office. Indeed for the first time in the political history of this country one main political party, is going in for elections without the support of its leader, who some may even say is tacitly supporting the other party. On the 18th of August 2015, when the results of more..

'TNA Manifesto reiterates right to self-determination'

Aug 3 (CT) TNA spokesman Suresh Premachandran, claimed that the TNA manifesto has been drafted to reiterate the right to self-determination of the people in the North and East, while emphasizing the unity and integrity of the country. He added that as usual, the chauvinist political elements had, however, branded the manifesto as detrimental to the integrity of the country. A: General impression in the South more..

Island reconvicted criminal also aboard rebel hijacked UPFA train

Aug 3 (ST) Innocent till proven guilty sham rogue defence blasted UPFA’s shocking decision to nominate an island reconvicted criminal as a fit and proper person to contest the election was revealed by UNP heavyweight John Amaratunga, shattering to smithereens the UPFA facade that whilst nominations would be given to those having criminal allegations against them for they had not been proved guilty, the line would be drawn at giving nominations to those who had been. more..

Rank absurdities and absence of principle

Aug 3 (ST) Expressing extreme exasperation late this week, a colleague of mine could not contain himself regarding the paucity of ideas emerging from competing candidates in Sri Lanka’s upcoming parliamentary elections. As he reflected, ‘generally, at least during a pre-election period in any country, candidates and parties are compelled to put forward their principles and policies but what we see here is just nonsensical.’ Curiously enough, much the same sentiment was expressed by more..

'I have taken a great challenge'

Aug 3 (SL) Former Democratic Party member, WPC member Susil Kindelpitiya has joined forces with the TULF led by V. Anandasangaree as he was not given nomination to contest under the Democratic Party. According to him, even though he is now contesting under the TULF, he has not become a member of the Front, but has launched a new front called People’s National United Front for Good Governance more..

Mahinda Rajapaksa cannot become PM

Aug 3 (GV) The question whether ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa is eligible to be appointed to the PM’s post if he has the support of a majority of members in Parliament following the August 17 poll is the subject of current debate. President Sirisena has made public his intention not to appoint Rajapaksa as the PM and has hinted that there are enough seniors in the party to be the PM. There are some within UPFA who want Rajapaksa as their PM in the event of a UPFA majority in Parliament. more..

TNA revives federal concept to garner votes

Aug 3 (NS) The general elections to be held in a few weeks has so far been all about the two major parties, the SLFP and the UNP and in this election in particular, the JVP which is expected to become a third force at the poll. In the media, attention has been focussed on the antics in the SLFP and its alliance, the UPFA. That is because of the split in the party between the factions headed by President Maithripala Sirisena and his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa made headlines. more..

Colombo Fashion Forecast

Govt reduces palm oil import levy amidst industry pressure

Aug 3 (ST) Heeding to pressure exerted by top players in the industry, the Finance Ministry has brought down the special commodity levy for palm oil to Rs.90 from Rs.110. The recent reduction of the commodity levy for palm oil was aimed at promoting value added palm oil exports from Sri Lanka, officials said, adding that at least two key palm oil companies in the island are processing crude oil for the export market. Decline in coconut oil production has resulted in more palm oil imports more..