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US$1 million to assist Sampur resettlement

Aug 25 (CG) United States has decided to provide $1 million to support resettlement efforts in Sampur as part of its continuing commitment to strengthen Sri Lanka’s peace and development. The US Embassy in Colombo said that as President Sirisena said last Saturday at a land-return ceremony in Sampur, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka’s efforts has attracted support from the international community. “Our goal is to help Sri Lankans around the country overcome more..

Resolution at NPC by Sivaji blocked by chair

Aug 25 (CG) A resolution which was submitted at the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) today by TNA member M K Shivajilingam was blocked by the chairman of the council CVK Sivagnanam. Shivajilingam said that the resolution calls for an independent international investigation into the war in Sri Lanka. Sivagnanam had told the TNA member that the resolution cannot be debated today as it did not have the support of the council. However Sivagnanam had then wanted to have more..

Rajapaksa recommends Welgama as opposition leader

Aug 25 (AM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that former Minister Kumara Welgama is a good candidate for the post of opposition leader. Speaking to local media, Rajapaksa said that many elected SLFP MPs agree that Welgama is a good candidate for the post. Rajapaksa added that he has no intention of becoming the opposition leader. He also maintained that it was easy to do politics with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe since he did not take revenge. more..

Karzai to attend Defence Seminar in Colombo

Aug 25 (CG) Former President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai will attend the annual defence seminar which will be held next month. The Ministry of Defence said that final touches are now underway in preparation for Defence Seminar – 2015 which will be held on September 1-2 at the Colombo Galadari Hotel with the participation of more than 350 participants, including 62 foreign delegates and distinguished statesmen. more..

Sri Lanka’s pipe dream

Aug 26 (CT) When JRJ swept into power he had a vision for Sri Lanka – a liberalized economy. To a great extent this dream was converted into a reality. Similarly Premadasa’s Village Awakening program was realized to a good extent too! MR‘s determination to Liberalize Sri Lanka was well accomplished! When MS took over there was no such proclamation – and hence no dramatic performance – fair enough since an impending general election was anticipated in the next more..

A far reaching SLFP-UNP pact

Aug 26 (Island) Having thwarted former President Rajapaksa’s prime ministerial aspirations, President Sirisena moved swiftly, and decisively, to consolidate his position, in the SLFP, at the expense of the UPFA. Within 72 hours after the announcement of the final result, of the Aug. 17 polls, President Sirisena regained control of the party. Having denied National List slots to those who had been supportive of former President Rajapaksa’s bid to secure premiership, more..

Punishment of rogues is a judicial procedure: Eran W

Aug 26 (CT) Q: The UNFGG won the parliamentary election with a majority of 366,258 votes. However, certain members of the Opposition do not say this is a huge victory achieved by the UNP? A: (Smiling) each person can depict victory and defeat in different ways. However, I have to say one thing. This proportionate system of election is a very good thing for democracy which exists in our country. more..

Defeated candidates on the National List; it is no sacrilege, calm down!

Aug 26 (CT) Some of the candidates who were defeated in the recent parliamentary election have been appointed as MPs on the National List. This has created a bit of an uproar, particularly in the social media. The argument is that the holy clause concerning the appointment of National List MPs have been contravened. (Rather, the spirit of the sacred provision.) I don’t think any sacrilege has been committed. Put plainly – leaving out all the euphemism – provision for National List more..

Changing the tune and tone of foreign policy

Aug 26 (ST) Indian PM Narendra Modi was quick out of the starting blocks. Shortly after the UNP-led UNFGG emerged as winner last Tuesday, he telephoned his counterpart-to-be, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, to congratulate him and hail the wonderful performance of his alliance. It might, of course, be read as a pro-forma exercise in diplomatic courtesy and a sign of good neighbourliness. But the sea change in relations with India since Maithripala Sirisena more..

'Diaspora's role is in investment not politics'

Aug 26 (CT) Political Analyst and former Arts Faculty Dean of Jaffna University Prof. Rajaratnam Sivachandran said the TNA should make use of the favourable opportunity to quickly solve the ethnic issue with the new govt. They should make use of the golden opportunity to develop the North and East. "TNA has obtained a very good opportunity unlike in the past 65 years, they should learn to solve ethnic issue diplomatically," more..

The floating voter and Ranil’s gamble

Aug 26 (NS) One of the most frequent allegations (misguided as it was) against President Sirisena was that he was chosen by minorities. Racist as it was, the UNP needed to legitimize victory without attracting that allegation. It took a huge gamble. Such gambles can cost. Fortunately for the Greens, it paid off here. Not only did it win without Tamil parties, but in areas where TNA held sway, both it and UPFA lost sorely. Even with that, UNP embraced victory. more..

Not guaranteed

Aug 26 (NS) One might pose the question whether President Sirisena acted with responsibility during the election campaign. Did the president maintain a neutral role during the campaign? Definitely not. A moderate Tamil from the north would advise President Sirisena to learn neutral play from the Chief Minister of Northern Province CV Vigneswaran. The UNP won in 11 districts while UPFA dominated in 8 districts in a closely contested General Election held on August 17. more..

Colombo Fashion Forecast

Formidable economic challenges for the new govt

Aug 26 (ST) Hopefully the coalition government would provide political stability, ensure good governance and take bold economic and social policy decisions for the country’s development. President Sirisena has a critical role and responsibility in ensuring political stability and good governance. The UNP-led UNFGG that obtained 106 of the required 113 seats to command a majority in parliament has formed the govt with President Maithripala Sirisena’s loyalists. more..

Anantara to open first Sri Lanka hotel

Aug 26 (ITCM) In a uniquely secluded beachfront location, along Sri Lanka’s southern coast, Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort will open as the first Anantara Resort & Spa in late 2015. Blending the private exclusivity of a secret paradise beach, with easy access to an abundance of natural wonders and cultural gems, this luxury opening will be one to watch. The allure of the resort is matched by convenient travel; Cinnamon Air offers a daily 30-minute sea-plane flight from more..

Vandersay working on new variations

Aug 26 (CT) Emerging left-arm leg spinner Jeffrey Vandersay is of the view he is experimenting with many variations in his bowling armoury. Vandersay who has already made his T-20 debut for Sri Lanka against Pakistan, can bowl the googly and top spinner, and is currently trying to master the flipper. Q: How are you doing these days? A: Doing great and fine. My life has taken its turn and now I am happy that I am here. more..

Asian U-20 7s: Raffaideen secures 6th slot

Aug 26 (CT) Tuan Reeza Raffaideen of Kingswood College secured the sixth position on the top players list at the recently concluded second leg of the Asian Under-20 Sevens Series in Hong Kong. His performance has extraordinarily gone up during the second leg of the tournament as he bagged 36 points by scoring six tries and converting three. James Christie of Hong Kong finished on top while his team mate Timothy Evans was placed second. China became number one disciplined team more..

Pujara's chance to beat his blues

Aug 26 (CI) Michael Holding once made a telling statement about the business of picking an XI. Selection, he said, is not about justice. It is about balance. Cheteshwar Pujara heads into the third Sri Lanka v India Test at the SSC looking for both: seeking equilibrium in his career after a 10-month free-fall and a slice of divine justice to get him back into the India XI. India's growing injury list has meant that the team itself is looking for balance by making full use of whatever options are available more..

ICBT opens Rs 1 bn campus in Colombo 4

Aug 26 (DN) ICBT opened its state-of-the-art campus building on R.A. De Mel Mawatha, in Colombo 4 yesterday. Total investment for this ICBT campus is Rs. 1 billion. ICBT Campus CEO Dr. Mohan Pathirana said they plan to expand to Kandy by next year and will invest more for the state-of-the-art campus building. "We are working with five British Universities and we are going to expand our education to the entire country," more..

Editorial: Cricketers and diplomats

Aug 26 (Island) Kumar Sangakkara’s retirement from international cricket has left a void no one else will be able to fill for many more years to come. Needless to say he is a nonpareil admired the world over for playing the game as gentlemen do. There are obviously several more years of international cricket left in him, but he has made a wise decision to retire while he is at the zenith of his career. He has set an example to other sportspersons. more..

First Capital Holdings maintains momentum

Aug 26 (Island) First Capital Holdings recorded a consolidated profit after tax of Rs. 176Mn for the quarter ended 30th June 2015. Consequent to the policy rate reductions in April 2015 the company’s structuring and placement arm First Capital Limited, which specialises in mobilised listed debentures, asset backed securitisations and commercial papers, successfully generated a fee income of Rs. 27Mn during the period under review (2014/15 – Rs. 13Mn). more..

UK to work with SL for peace, prosperity

Aug 26 (CG) British Govt says it looks forward to continue working with Sri Lanka, following the appointment of the new Foreign Minister. While congratulating Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on his reappointment to the post, Minister of State at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire said he looks forward to continue working with Sri Lanka on peace and prosperity. more..

Cracks in CRIB over corruption charge!

Aug 26 (FT) Credit Information Bureau (CRIB) is alleged to be embroiled in a questionable process over the procurement of key IT solution with management apparently disregarding a probe to the matter directed by the PM’s Office. It is uncertain whether the CRIB management is keeping the Board of Directors in the dark or the latter is not competent enough to realise the modus operandi of those with vested interests. From late 2013, CRIB has been on the lookout for more..

No-confidence motion against Central province CM

Aug 26 (DM) Central Province Opposition Leader Ranjith Aluvihare said today the Attorney General had granted approval to submit the no-confidence motion against the Central Province Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake and that his party (UNP) will be submitting it to the council shortly. “We have the support of 33 Councillors out of 57 in the council. We will submit the no-confidence motion once the new Councillors are appointed in place of the ones who were elected to parliament,” more..

Creator of revolutionary prosthetic leg wins The Ray

Aug 26 (FT) Aruna Samarawickrama, an inventor from Matara, won the prestigious Ray award presented by the Ray Wijewardene Charitable Trust for his invention of a lightweight and manoeuvrable prosthetic leg. Samarawickrama was among four candidates nominated for the award and was presented with the coveted trophy along with a Rs. 1 million grant from Commercial Bank at a ceremony held in Colombo. more..

PM expects support of clergy to carry forward the country ushering in peace

Aug 26 (ITN) PM Ranil Wickremasinghe has emphasized that he expects the support of religious leaders to usher in peace to carry forward religious coexistence along with national consensus. The PM said that he met the Cardinal and other Bishops. He said that he informed them that he and President Maithripala Sirisena expected the full support of the clergy and the Religious Congress to carry forward religious coexistence in the process of building a new country. more..

Chaminda Vaas is impressed with India

Aug 26 (PTI) Impressed with India’s aggressive brand of cricket in the two Test matches so far, Chaminda Vaas said that the five-bowler theory is reaping rich results for the young visiting side. Trailing the three-match series, India came from behind to humble the islanders by 278 runs and deny Kumar Sangakkara a fairytale ending in his swansong as the visitors drew level the rubber at 1-1. Vaas said the Indian unit has played good cricket to turn it around. more..

Tamil Tigers change their stripes

Aug 26 (Independent) Rebel-turned-politicians once carried heavy weapons, killed civilians as well as soldiers and bombed buses and trains packed with children. They wore cyanide capsules around their necks and lived by a code that required them to lay down their lives at any given moment. Shut inside the hot confines of a house in Jaffna, located in the former northern war zone of Sri Lanka, the nine men are busy drawing more..

Transcending cricket

Aug 26 (Hindu) Rare is the cricketer who meets the exacting demands of unconditional greatness; rarer still the one who transcends the game. It says everything about Kumar Sangakkara’s life in cricket that he appeared to accomplish both with masterful ease. There isn’t the smallest doubt that the Sri Lankan is among the very best the game has seen. Only four batsmen have exceeded his tally of 12,400 Test runs, and no one with more than 8,500 runs has averaged as much as his 57.40. more..

Lanka IOC to invest Rs 400m on more outlets

Aug 26 (DN) Lanka IOC is planning on investing Rs. 400 million to add another 20 fuel stations to the current network, while also completing refurbishments of the existing fuel outlets, Lanka IOC MD Subodh Dakwale said. Company has also plans to export lubricants to test the markets of Indonesia and Malaysia. Company’s market share of the lubricants sector will also be expanded through promotional campaigns by utilising the growing fuel station network as retail points. more..

3 years on – the body most likely is skeletal

Aug 26 (CT) Former Colombo Chief JMO Prof. Ananda Samarasekera said that following a body being in the ground for over three years, as was the case with the body of deceased ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen, he would expect the body to be a skeletonized one. I do not know what the stage of the remains that were discovered is, but, whatever it is I would expect it to be a skeletonized body and only if it is skeletonized, more..

Govt borrowings set to rise to Rs 1.2T

Aug 26 (CT) Govt's gross borrowings by selling Treasury (T)- Bills and T-Bonds to the market are set to rise to Rs 1,217,221 million by today, when it plans to sell Rs18 billion worth of gross T-Bills to the market. Yesterday it sold Rs 30,582 million worth of T-Bonds to the market. Those comprised Rs 10,294 million worth of 2023 maturities at a weighted average yield (WAY) of 9.76% and Rs 20,288 million worth of 2025 maturities at a WAY of 9.97% respectively. more..

SL and Pakistan to tour England in 2016

Aug 26 (CI) Pakistan will tour England for the first time since the spot-fixing scandal of 2010, with next summer's schedule for four Tests, five ODIs and a T20 confirmed by the ECB. Sri Lanka are England's other opponents and will arrive in early May, a time of the year that regularly leads to a clash with the IPL. Both touring sides will play ODIs in Ireland ahead of limited-overs series with England - a development that goes towards Cricket Ireland's attempts to secure more more..

Sri Lanka inks 3 MoUs to boost exports

Aug 26 (FT) Export Development Board (EDB) on Monday entered into three trade MoUs with Korea, Thailand and Hong Kong at the launch of the 28th CEOs meeting of Asian Trade Promotion Forum in Colombo. Three MoUs related to trade were signed between Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) and Dept of International Trade Promotion of Thailand more..

Welivita tells FCID: CSN records in order

Aug 26 (CT) Former Chairman of CSN channel, and Spokesperson to former President Rajapaksa, Rohan Welivita, was questioned by the FCID yesterday. He was questioned regarding alleged financial irregularities which took place in CSN. He added that an investigation was presently underway in this regard. Welivita stated that CSN was a legally established company, and that all its legal documentation and records were in order and did not reflect any financial misdemeanours more..

MR won't accept post of opposition leader

Aug 26 (DM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa will give political leadership to the parties and groups with him, but will not accept the post of opposition leader in parliament and function as an ordinary MP, it is learnt. It is learnt that his closed confidants had advised him not to accept such a post in parliament. Meanwhile, the UNP has decided to reappoint its parliamentarian Lakshman Kiriella as the Leader of the House and parliamentarian Gayantha Karunatilake as Chief Govt Whip. more..

Unity govt MoU: Several clauses to be amended

Aug 26 (DN) MoU between SLFP and UNP to form a National Unity Govt will be amended shortly to include more clauses, SLFP acting General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake said. Revised MoU would be announced when it is endorsed by the two parties. "The existing clauses will remain same. We have proposed some more additions to it to further enhance the cooperation between the two parties. more..

2012 Welikada Prison massacre: Relatives and friends to protest

Aug 26 (CT) Former prisoners, families of presently incarcerated prisoners, their relatives and friends will conduct a massive protest in front of the Welikada Prison within the first half of September to mark World Prisoners' Day. Former political prisoner and eyewitness to Welikada Prison massacre, Sudesh Nandimal said that Minister of Justice Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, who was recently reappointed as the Justice Minister, despite being informed on several occasions more..

EPDP wants to join National Govt

Aug 26 (CT) Leader of the EPDP former Minister Douglas Devananda has met President Maithripala Sirisena and informed him that his party would like to support the National Govt. It is known that subsequent to the meeting with the President, Devananda had informed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of his willingness to join forces with the National Govt too. Devananda's press secretary Nelson Edirisinghe confirmed that Devananda met the President recently. more..

US hails Sri Lanka

Aug 26 (FT) A top US diplomat hailed Sri Lanka’s tremendous progress towards good governance, reconciliation and democracy during a two-day visit to Colombo, weeks ahead of the release of a UN report on allegations of war crimes committed during the final stages of the war. US Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South Asian Affairs, Nisha Biswal, told reporters, at the conclusion of discussions with FM Mangala more..