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Sarana remanded

Aug 24 (DM) Sarana Gunawardane and two others were remanded today till August 26 by the Gampaha Magistrate for allegedly assaulting a man in Gampaha during the election campaign period. The Police said the former minister was arrested after he and the two others surrendered to the Police this morning. They said the three arrested had allegedly assaulted a man who had protested electioneering activities violating election laws in an area. revealing all details to the media. He was campaigning for his wife Cinari more..

Sacked SLFPers plan future

Aug 24 (CT) Four SLFP members who were sacked from the SLFP Executive Committee are to meet and discuss about further actions to be taken regarding the matter. One of the sacked members, T.B. Ekanayake said that they were not informed of the reasons to remove them from the Executive Committee and hoped to discuss about the possible action that can be taken. "We have not taken a final decision. S.M. Chandrasena, Pavithra Wanniarachchi and Kumara Welgama will be meeting more..

President visits Eastern Province

Aug 24 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena who visited Kinniya and Sampur in the Eastern Province yesterday (22) participated in ashirvada puja at Kali Kovil in Trincomalee. The ashirvada puja was organized by the member of TNA Mr. R. Sambandan. The President had cordial discussions with the devotees who gathered at the Kovil. President Sirisena also made an observation tour to Navy Camp, Trincomalee today (22). more..

'Sirisena is wrong to appoint the voters' rejects'

Aug 24 (CT) Former National Executive Council (NEC) Member, Lal Wijenayake said that President Maithripala Sirisena was party to promises to reject corrupt politicians, a position he had presently contradicted by appointing candidates defeated by the people, as MPs, through the National List. Although there is no legal bar to appointing those who did not receive sufficient votes to be elected as MPs at the recently concluded Parliamentary Election, more..

CID grills four soldiers over Prageeth’s disappearance

Aug 24 (CG) CID today questioned four soldiers over the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda and later arrested them. CID had recently requested the army to hand over the four soldiers to be questioned over the incident. The police had earlier this month assured transparency in the investigations over missing journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda. Police headquarters had said that the police will not leave room for the investigations to be hampered by revealing all details to media. more..

Getting back lands in Sampur a big achievement: TNA

Aug 24 (ENS) TNA leader R.Sampanthan has described the Maithripala Sirisena govt’s decision to return 1055 acres of land to the Tamil farmers of Sampur in Eastern Province, as a very big achievement of the struggle to get back lands seized during the war. On Saturday, President Sirisena and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga ceremonially handed over land deeds to 25 of the 1272 families displaced from more..

UPFA members slam President on unity Govt

Aug 24 (CG) A group of UPFA members slammed UPFA Chairman and President Sirisena over the loss the UPFA suffered at the Parliamentary election. NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa said that while many claim the election was free and fair, the actions of the President meant the election was not completely fair. President, ahead of election day, had made public a letter he had sent former President Rajapaksa saying he would not be made PM even if he wins the election. more..

EC turns down Rosy's request

Aug 24 (DN) The Elections Secretariat turned down the request by Colombo district UNP Candidate Rosy Senanayake for a recount of preferential votes, Additional Elections Commissioner, M.M.Mohammed said. He said the request had to be turned down due to lack of legal provisions to go for a recount after the results were released. "It contravenes the legal provisions in the Parliament Elections Act (No. 1 of 1981). According to the clause 53 (8) of this Act, more..

Biswal’s visit hastens swearing-in of three key ministers

Aug 24 (ENS) The visit of Nisha Biswal, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia on Tuesday to discuss UNHRC report on war crimes in SL, has hastened the swearing-in of Mangala Samaraweera as Foreign Minister; Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe as Justice Minister; and D.M. Swaminathan as Resettlement Minister. The trio were inducted by President Sirisena on Monday. more..

Small businesses to help promote ethnic harmony

Aug 24 (EN) A business program to promote ethnic harmony between Sri Lanka’s main communities will be launched next month, supporting small and medium enterprises in the island’s north and south to strengthen ties and expand markets. The SME-ProLink: Unity Through Business program will bring together 30 SMEs from the Northern Province and 30 SMEs from the Southern Province to interact and share experiences, a statement said. It aims to “link the Northern and Southern SMEs more..

President makes observation tour to Naval Base in Trincomalee

Aug 24 (SLN) President Maithripala Sirisena made an observation tour to Naval Base in Trincomalee on 23rd Aug. He was warmly welcomed by the Commander of the Navy. Governor of the Eastern Province Austin Fernando, Daya Gamage and Asath Sally also participated in this occasion. Whilst the visit the President undertook a short tour onboard a Fast Attack Craft of the SL Navy. President who went to the Museum observed the craft and weapons captured by Navy from the LTTE. more..

High-powered ministry to handle Megapolis mooted

Aug 24 (DN) Govt has considered setting up a separate ministry to handle the giant megapolis project – the flagship development project in UNP manifesto, govt sources said. High-powered new ministry will amalgamate all relevant bodies, departments and state authorities required to carry out the Megapolis project that will develop the region stretching from Negombo to Beruwela with the city of Colombo as the core. more..

‘It is that one minute ….’

Aug 25 (CT) Rudyard Kipling states elegantly in IF, If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distant run. Many of us face this, and later regret to state it is only that minute I lost my temper other wise, I would not have done it. Unfortunately, It is that minute that matters and not all the thousand of minutes before or after. Swami Vivekananda says in one his preaching ‘it is easy to be a hermit in wild with no interference but more difficult to practice purity living with all forms of distractions more..

Where from here, Sri Lanka!

Aug 25 (SL) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has promised to begin his second and continuing innings this time round, by calling for a new political culture in the country. It’s rightly so, though not in the same way, as is commonly understood. For, an impression has also since gained ground that the results of the parliamentary polls are (alone) a re-iteration of victory for democracy in SL – as if there was no democracy in the country all these past decades until the critical dawn of 9 Jan 2015. more..

'Promote consensual decision making culture'

Aug 25 (CT) Governor of the Northern Province H.M.G.S. Palihakkara, a prominent Sri Lankan diplomat and former Foreign Secretary who replaced Major General (Retd.) G.A. Chandrasiri, in an exclusive interview at his office in Jaffna, said that the IDPs will be resettled within the next five years leaving no one in camps. He also said that the LLRC was a success but it was a failure in implementing it. more..

Wanted: A new leadership culture for public institutions

Aug 25 (CT) Political and civil society leaders campaigned for good governance in Sri Lanka and on 8th January, the people agreed. We now have a new President. Then again the people spoke on 17th August and confirmed that the country needs to continue in its journey towards Yahapalanaya. We will soon have a new Parliament. But is this enough to achieve Yahapalanaya? Can the public rest now and await our new political leadership to deliver to us a better tomorrow? more..

Stage set for long-lasting good governance

Aug 25 (SL) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has promised to begin his second and continuing innings this time round, by calling for a new political culture in the country. It’s rightly so, though not in the same way, as is commonly understood. For, an impression has also since gained ground that the results of the parliamentary polls are (alone) a re-iteration of victory for democracy in SL – as if there was no democracy in the country all these past decades until the critical dawn of 9 Jan 2015. more..

'We changed the line house lifestyle'

Aug 25 (CT) Former Minister of Plantation Infrastructure and Development Palani Digambaram who secured the highest number of preferential votes (more than 100,00)in the Nuwara Eliya District said, people in the plantations have changed their political culture by electing new candidates at the recent parliamentary elections as they expect a change for their community. "I did not win in the elections my people have won," he said. more..

High spice prices seen luring plantations firms

Aug 25 (EN) High prices for spices should make it more attractive for Sri Lankan plantations companies to take up spice cultivation, diversifying from the main crops of tea, rubber and coconut. M C M Zarook of the Spices and Allied Products Producers and Traders Association (SAPPTA), said 15 of Sri Lanka’s regional plantations companies are now cultivating spices. “They have plenty of land for spice cultivation. The only problem is investment,” he said. more..

Second victory offers unique opportunity for problem solving

Aug 25 (Island) At the presidential elections held in January this year Sri Lanka made its initial transition away from authoritarian rule in which ethnic nationalism was utilised to deliver repeated electoral mandates. The victory of the coalition of parties led by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe at the General Elections on August 17 will ensure that the changes brought about at the presidential election will be sustained. The majority of Sri Lankan voters reaffirmed the choice more..

The strange MOU between UNP and SLFP

Aug 25 (Island) In 1994, the day after the August parliamentary election, this writer visited the then president D. B. Wijetunga at President’s House in the Colombo Fort. When I entered the conference room of the president, Mr Dharmadasa Banda, a minister of the then UNP government was having a conversation with DBW. If my memory does not fail me, Mr P. G.Wilson the private secretary to president Wijetunga was more..

National List hijacked

Aug 25 (Island) To me the so-called National list concept is a big fraud. In this country it appears to be a combination of the Machiavellian and Kautilyan strategies in state craft with a pinch of salt from JRJ’S political cunningness and acumen. So one can just imagine what kind of vicious political invention it would be. This SL invention is the most undemocratic mechanism designed by any to subvert and rob the people’s mandate and install the dictatorship of the politician. more..

'New govt must ensure separation of powers'

Aug 25 (CT) The new govt must ensure the modernization of the system of governance, the overall framework of democracy and the rule of law along with the effective enforcement of the separation of powers, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) noted. Director of Policy and Programmes at the AHRC, Basil Fernando said that the double defeat suffered by former President Rajapaksa in the presidential election of 8 Jan and in parliamentary elections on 17 Aug, more..

'Must find a way to counterattack Ashwin'

Aug 25 (CI) For the second home series in a row Sri Lanka are being hounded by an opposition spinner, but the strategy that briefly worked against Yasir Shah may not yield dividends against R Ashwin, Angelo Mathews has said. Ashwin has taken 17 wickets at an average of 16.35 in the series so far, claiming five-wicket hauls in each of the two Tests. In June, SL had also faltered against Pakistan legspinner Yasir Shah, who took 24 wickets more..

2nd-day bowling our best in two years: Kohli

Aug 25 (CI) India captain Virat Kohli has said that the attack's second-day performance at the P Sara Oval was "easily" their best bowling effort in the last two years. India had bowled tightly to the Sri Lanka top order on day two, restricting Sri Lanka to 116 for 3 from the first 45 overs of the innings. The visitors then endured a wicketless session against Angelo Mathews and Lahiru Thirimanne on the third morning, but claimed the last seven Sri Lanka wickets for 65 runs. more..

Excellent India get the job done, finally

Aug 25 (CI) In Galle, India came excruciatingly close to the perfect Test: it began with their bowlers, was followed through by their batsmen in the first innings, and then they were as good as home with half the Sri Lankan line-up dismantled by the third afternoon. Then, however, they were hit by a dangerous cocktail: a batting performance out of an action comic, inexperience, and a brain and feet freeze in chase of 176. The match left the Indians clutching empty air, trying to work out answer a more..

The emotional final lap of a 15-year journey

Aug 25 (CI) Test match days in Sri Lanka are relaxed - gates are usually wide open, the guards cast a sideways cursory check at the accreditation dangling around the neck and there is a general hand-waving in which direction to go. Of course, there are a handsome number of policemen around; this is Asia and cricket, the constabulary always turns up in large numbers. But Monday morning at P Sara Oval suddenly felt serious. more..

Editorial: Lucky rejects

Aug 25 (Island) We withdraw two of the three hearty cheers we gave the UNP last week for its much-advertised decision against appointing defeated candidates as MPs though the National List (NL). Now, we learn that it, too, has smuggled into Parliament a political reject via the NL. Regrettably, that mistake is the proverbial smidgeon of cow dung in the UNP’s pot of milk! However, what really takes the cake is the appointment of defeated UPFA candidates as NL MPs. more..

Car carrier Helios Highway calls at Hambantota Port

Aug 25 (DN) K Line brand new car carrier MV HELIOS HIGHWAY with a load of vehicles from Japan made the maiden call at Port of Hambantota on Aug 19. A plaque ceremony had been organized on board the vessel between the General Manager of the Port of Hambantota Norman Weeraratne and the Master of the vessel Capt. Rosen Georgiev. ABC Shipping acts the agents for the vessel. Chief Manager of SLPA - Mr. Upul Jayathissa expressing views at the occasion stated that SLPA was more..

CID seeks to investigate bank accounts of Wele Suda relatives

Aug 25 (CT) It has come to light that huge sums of money earned from dealing heroin by Samantha Kumara alias Wele Suda, considered to be a leading heroin peddler, has been deposited in various bank accounts of his relatives, and the assets purchased out of them are now kept hidden, CID informed Court. Wele Suda is currently in the custody of the CID on a Detention Order obtained from Court. more..

ICC hails retiring Sangakkara as a legend of the game

Aug 25 (ICC) In 2007, Sangakkara became the first player to make scores of 150 or more in four successive Test matches, and in February 2014, he became just the second player (after Graham Gooch) to score a triple century and a century in the same Test. CEO of the ICC David Richardson has paid tribute to former SL captain Kumar Sangakkara, who retired from international cricket today. Sangakkara was one of the leading cricketers in world cricket for the last 15 years more..

Sangakkara's retirement will hit Sri Lanka hard, says Sunil Gavaskar

Aug 25 (NDTV) Kumar Sangakkara's retirement from international cricket will make it virtually impossible for Sri Lanka to win the series-deciding Test against India which starts at the SSC in Colombo later this week. Sangakkara played his final Test match at P. Sara Oval after India clinched a series-levelling win against the hosts. By his lofty standards, Sangakkara could barely produce the form he is known for. In his last two innings, the former Sri Lankan skipper, who more..

SL to pluck more tea for Guinness Record

Aug 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka will aim for a Guinness Record this week by having 3,000 kilograms of tea plucked with the help of 200 foreigners before serving 35,000 cups of tea at the Esala Perahera procession, tourism promotion office said. The event at Pedro Estate in the Central Province hill country of Nuwara Eliya will be orgernized by SL Tourism, Tea Board and Sri Lankan Airlines, backed by, Basilur tea, a tea manufacturer. more..

Low hanging fruit for the new regime

Aug 25 (PF) At the conclusion of the parliamentary election a new govt has been formed under the Premiership of Ranil Wickremesinghe. It is important to emphasise the need for introducing immediate policy reforms to accelerate economic growth and development. The new govt’s manifesto sets out a major reform program. In this regard, the Pathfinder Foundation (PF) has frequently highlighted the need for macro-economic policy adjustments as a pre-condition for sustained growth. more..

MATRADE eager to finance Sri Lankan projects

Aug 25 (Island) Malaysia's MATRADE says it is ready to work with Sri Lanka in the areas of property development, monorail, railway infrastructure development, port operations, real estate, and also constructions of resorts. This was announced by MATRADE, when they met a group of Sri Lankan businessmen at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. The meeting was organized by Sri Lanka Malaysia Business Council and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. more..

Further review of 19 A, presidential powers underway

Aug 25 (Island) The original draft of the 19 Amendment provided for the formation of a national govt only once after the recently concluded parliamentary polls and that provision had been done away with as demanded by the SLFP-led UPFA in the last parliament, authoritative sources said. Instead, the UPFA wanted the clause that dealt with national govt to be a permanent feature, sources said, adding that more..

NSB profits soar to Rs. 6.2 b in first half

Aug 25 (DN) National Savings Bank (NSB) recorded the highest half yearly profits in its history with an impressive Profit Before Tax (PBT) growth of 68% as compared to same period last year. The profitability for the first half for 2015 reached Rs. 6.2 billion with the increase mainly fuelled by growth in its traditional lines of business. Profit After Tax (PAT) was reported at Rs. 3.9 billion for the first half of 2015. These profits were reported following prudent provisioning policies adopted for more..

'High hotel charges hinder promoting Lanka'

Aug 25 (DN) Travel personality based in Britain, Nissther Annis of Lanka Travel and Tours says high priced hotel charges in Sri Lanka is a big hindrance to promote UK and other European tourists into Sri Lanka. “Sri Lankan hotel prices are very high and over priced when compared to other markets like the Maldives and Thailand in the region. This has resulted in difficulty in promoting British and other European tourists into the country,” Annis said. He said at one time British tourist arrivals topped more..

UPFA vows to serve people from opposition with former President

Aug 25 (Island) UPFA constituent parties said that they were ready to continue their struggle with former President Rajapaksa as their leader even as a new political force if the SLFP opted out of the alliance. Former Minister Wimal Weerawansa said President Maithripala Sirisena’s underhand acts in the run-up to the election was reason for the defeat of his own alliance. NFF leader said that they would function as Opposition in Parliament more..

Sanga to discuss diplomatic role with President

Aug 25 (Island) Star batsman Kumar Sangakkara said that he was surprised to be offered a top diplomatic post on the day he retired from international cricket. President Maithripala Sirisena was the Chief Guest during Kumar Sangakkara’s farewell Test and after presenting the former captain a memento, the President offered Sangakkara the vacant High Commissioner post in London. The suggestion was met with thunderous applause by the spectators. more..