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Well played Sanga, but you still have miles to go

Aug 26 (DM) If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you. If you can trust yourself when others doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too. If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same. If you can make one heap of all your winnings and risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss. If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds of a match well played. Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, more..

Connect to the world

Aug 26 (DM) Since President Maithripala Sirisena assumed office on January 9 Sri Lanka was able to renew new diplomatic relationships with such important nations as well as the UN and other international organisations. In this respect, it must positively engage the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and with other countries on the post-war reconciliation process. The new government should be able to carry out certain important tasks in the immediate future. more..

Winners and losers at the Polls

Aug 26 (SL) General election to elect members to the country’s eighth parliament concluded last week after a campaign period that lasted a little over 45 days. Setting the stage for an entirely different political framework, this election can be identified as one of the most competitive as well as decisive elections witnessed by the country. However, 59 former legislators could not make their way back to the House and a majority of more..

Family jewels on parade in new parliament

Aug 26 (ST) Ancestry and genealogy have played a massive role in electing parliamentarians in this week’s polls. A large proportion of the legislature is made up of relatives and descendants of former political bigwigs. The most prominent family ties are those of the Rajapaksa clan. Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa has returned to the chamber with his son, Namal. A third-generation politician, Namal Rajapaksa more..

Reading between the results the SL way

Aug 26 (DM) A vote for the blue betel leaf has since undergone a colour variation: blight seems to affect a part of the leaf, at least. After 20 years of rule and misrule of one alliance there is still no comfortable majority for another to form a govt. Results made them members of the Opposition but they took oaths, as holders of a ministerial rank in a national government ushering the policies of the UNP. more..

President looks into Deegavapi development

Aug 26 (PSL) A special discussion on the development work of the Deegavapi sacred place was held yesterday, under the patronage of President Sirisena. President inquired about the progress of the development work which has been implemented so far and questioned officials about the future plans in that regard. He emphasized the necessity of expediting the development work of the Deegavapi sacred place which was blessed more..

Of a SL cricket legend and a murder mystery

Aug 26 (TOI) The Oval Tavern is where all the old-timers love to hang out at the P Sara Oval. Everyone has a cold one as they appreciate Kumar Sangakkara's silky smooth off-drive. There is a huge portrait that graces the pub, of Sir Donald Bradman and Mahadevan Sathasivam, the captains of Australia XI and Ceylon XI respectively in a match played here in 1948. The latter is one of the biggest heroes in this part of the world, more..

U.S. to work with Sri Lanka on UN resolution addressing alleged war crimes

Aug 26 (Reuters) The United States said on Wednesday it would work together with Sri Lanka's new govt to propose a resolution to a U.N. human rights forum that seeks to come to terms with the painful legacy of a 26-year civil war. Washington will move the resolution, to address responsibility for alleged human rights abuses and propose a framework for reconciliation, at next month's UNHRC session in Geneva. more..

SLFP has no mandate to form national govt: JVP

Aug 26 (Island) The JVP said that the proposed UNP-SLFP joint govt was already in a quandary over the distribution of ministerial portfolios. It was a misnomer to call what was being plannted a national govt, JVP Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath said. He said it was a coalition govt. He said the swearing in of the ministers had been postponed. It continued to be delayed as the two parties were unable to reach a final more..

Ramaphosa did not have talks in Sri Lanka

Aug 26 (CG) The South African President’s office has denied reports that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa had talks in Sri Lanka while on his way to Japan over the weekend. A statement by the President’s office said that Deputy President Ramaphosa did not visit Sri Lanka over the weekend as alleged in the media reports but merely refuelled in Colombo en route to Japan. The President’s office said it also noted media more..

UNP-SLFP reach agreement: Malik

Aug 26 (DM) UNP today said it had finally reached an agreement with the SLFP to form a national govt for two years. UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickrama said that an agreement had been reached after extensive and cordial discussions with the SLFP. “The ultimate objective of both parties was to serve the people by moving away from the traditional political culture and ensuring the betterment of the nation without considering more..

SLFP asks for important portfolios

Aug 26 (DM) SLFP is dismayed over the nature of Cabinet portfolios offered to its members during initial discussions in the proposed national unity govt, and discussions are underway to sort them out, it is learnt. Especially, SLFP believes it has been offered less powerful portfolios in the Cabinet. The party demands key posts. According to political sources, SLFP is seeking portfolios such as Finance, & Power/Energy & Samurdhi more..

Right pacifies West

Aug 26 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in an interview with The Hindu said that a domestic mechanism would probe alleged war crimes, allegedly committed by the then govt and the security forces during the closing stages of the LTTE war, where the international community led by the USA and the EU has been baying for Colombo's blood, at least prior to the regime change of 8 Jan 2015. The previous regime antagonized the international community more..

'Tea exporters to see a silver lining in dark cloud soon'

Aug 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s tea exports will see positive signs in the market in near future with prospects of a settlement to the long drawn political tension between the USA and Iran and the stabilizing of the Russian Ruble, HVA foods, which exports ready to drink tea under Heladiv said. Sri Lankan tea exporters are currently going through a difficult period with tea exports declining for eleven consecutive months due to lower demand from Middle East and Russian markets. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Shares recover from near 5-week closing low

Aug 26 (Reuters) Shares edged up on Wednesday, rebounding from near five-week closing low hit in the previous session as investors bought in some select shares after two days of losses, but further gains were capped due to foreign selling in some stocks. Main stock index was up 0.12%, or 8.52 points, at 7,240.10 on Wednesday, edging up from its lowest close since July 23 hit on Tuesday. Main stock index lost 3.2% in the two sessions through Tuesday as foreign investors sold off risky assets more..

Takeaways from Sri Lanka general election

Aug 26 (CT) After the din of recently concluded general election in Sri Lanka is over, the UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has been sworn in as Sri Lanka’s PM. He is poised to work with a national unity government. There are eight takeaways from the election and its aftermath that can help in visualising the future course of events in the island nation. Positive trends: A number of positive trends have emerged both in the conduct and in the aftermath of elections. more..

Gammanpila warns of dangers of domestic war crimes investigation

Aug 26 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has let the cat out of the bag when he revealed the intention of his govt to prosecute those who had liberated the country from terrorism in the name of a domestic war crimes investigation, MP elect Udaya Gammanpila said. Wickremesinghe in an interview with The Hindu has said that the govt had agreed to a domestic investigation. He said that the visit of US Assistant Secretary of State more..

Complaints against Mahendran, Cabraal and Ravi to be withdrawn

Aug 26 (Island) Colombo Chief Magistrate, Gihan Pilapitiya yesterday allowed time till Aug 27, 2015, to two separate complainants, to withdraw their complaints of banking misappropriation. In one plaint the complaint has alleged a Central Bank bond scam by Arjuna Mahandran the present governor of the Central Bank. In the other plaint the complaint has been made against the former Governor of the Central Bank, Ajith Nivard Cabraal and former President and Finance Minister more..

Sarana Gunawardena further remanded

Aug 26 (AD) Gampaha Magistrate on Wednesday further remanded former Deputy Minister Sarana Gunawardena who was in custody for allegedly assaulting a person. However, three other suspects, who were in custody over the incident, have been enlarged on a personal bail of Rs. 50,000. Former Deputy Minister and the others were remanded till 26 August for alleged assault on the person during the General Election. Police summoned Gunawardena earlier on Monday over a more..

MR to quit politics in 3 months: Reports

Aug 26 (CT) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who met President Maithripala Sirisena at the President’s house three days ago, informed him that he will be quitting politics for good in the next three months, as his two sisters have advised him to do so, Colombo Telegraph reliably learns. However on the pretext of naming his sisters Preethi and Gandhini’s demands, the former President Rajapaksa’s modus operandi is to more..

SL ratifies Palermo Protocol to prevent trafficking in persons

Aug 26 (Island) Govt of Sri Lanka (GoSL) has ratified the Protocol to Prevent and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children" (Palermo Protocol), supplementing the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (UNTOC) on 15th June 2015, the Justice Ministry announced. Justice Ministry said in a media statement: "As a signatory to the Protocol, in 2006 the GoSL introduced legislation by way of an amendment as the Penal Code Act more..

BJP monk arrested over Dharga town meeting

Aug 26 (CG) Bodu Jana Peramuna (BJP) monk has been arrested over an election related meeting held at the Dharga Town ahead of the last Presidential election. BBS General Secretary and BJP Parliamentary candidate, the venerable Galagoda aththe Gnanasara said that Magalkande Sudantha Thero had been arrested for allegedly disregarding a police order at the time. Magalkande Sudantha Thero was a BJP candidate at the Parliamentary election and he had held a public meeting more..

Prof. Warnapala assumes duties as UPFA General Secretary

Aug 26 (AD) Professor Vishwa Warnapala today assumed duties as the new General Secretary of the UPFA. Prof. Warnapala stated that he has been an active member of the SLFP, the main coalition partner of the UPFA, since his university days and that he was appointed to the SLFP Central Committee by Sirimavo Bandaranaike in the 1980s. He takes over from Susil Premajayantha who tendered his resignation more..

Sri Lanka agri-exporters asked to justify blocking imports

Aug 26 (EN) Sri Lankan agricultural product exporters have been asked to justify their opposition to proposals to allow imports of tea and other spices for re-export with the aim of promoting entrepot trade and increasing earnings. “There are different views on allowing imports for re-export after blending,” said former deputy minister Harsha De Silva. The new govt aims to improve the island’s export competitiveness and remove obstacles to exports, he told the AGM of more..

Kadirgamar never believed in a military solution: Mangala

Aug 26 (Island) Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, on Monday, asserted that the slain FM Lakshman Kadirgamar had never believed in a military solution to the national problem. He said: "However, at times Lakshman has been misunderstood by some who claim that he believed in a military solution. This is far from the truth. Having had the honour of knowing him and working closely with him I can confidently say that Lakshman did not believe that there was a more..

Austrian Airline resumes flights to Colombo from next month

Aug 26 (Island) Austrian Airlines would resume its flights to Colombo in October after an eight-year lapse, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced. CAA Director General H.M.C Nimalsiri said the Austrian Airlines which had suspended flights to Colombo on January 24, 2008 would restore services on Oct. 27. By further strengthening the aviation relations between Sri Lanka and Austria, once-a-week flight would resume on Oct 27. more..

Healthy expectations

Aug 26 (CT) This week's Health is Wealth focuses on the ideas of various unions in the health sector on actions the govt should take to develop the health sector, and provide a better health care service to the public. Five major unions in the health sector shared their views on what the new govt should do in order to develop the health sector. Enhance the quality of human resources Dr. Naveen de Zoysa – Assistant Secretary of the Govt Medical Officers' Association (GMOA) more..

Finance ministry invites proposals for budget

Aug 26 (CG) The Ministry of Finance has requested the public and private sector institutions and the general public to submit their proposals to be included in the proposed budget for the year 2016. Building the Economy, Fighting corruption, Ensuring freedom, Developing infrastructure and investment and Developing education are the new govt’s five point plan spelled out in its policy paper to create a new country in 60 months. Accordingly, the public sector institutions such as ministries, more..

FR petition challenging UFPA National List

Aug 26 (AD) A Fundamental Rights (FR) petition has been filed today by a member of MEP challenging the UFPA National List, which includes several candidates who were defeated at the general election. FR petition has been filed with the Supreme Court by MEP member Somaweera Chandrasiri, challenging the decision to name losing candidates in the UPFA National List. MEP, led by former Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, more..

Sri Lanka : Is this the march to final victory?

Aug 26 (SM) As an old IPKF hand, my interest in Sri Lanka remains abiding. I never spare a moment to jot down my thoughts on trends and events in that beautiful island state. It was in 2008-09 when Sri Lanka took upon itself to resolve its internal security problem in its own way, even as the rest of the world dragged its feet. The UN and rest of the international community worked overtime on peacemaking in various hot spots of the post Cold War world but found little time to more..

CID to question MP-elect Arundika over Ekneligoda disappearance

Aug 26 (Island) The CID would soon record a statement from UPFA MP elect Arundika Fernando regarding the disappearance of cartoonist Prageeth Ekneligoda several years ago. The police decided to question Fernando in the wake of the CID taking four army personnel, including two Lt. Colonels into custody in connection with the disappearance. Sources said that MP Fernando had publicly declared on more than one occasion that he had seen Ekneligoda during a visit to France. more..

'Sri Lankan batsmen not as good as they think they are playing spin'

Aug 26 (PTI) With Ravichandran Ashwin and Amit Mishra tormenting Sri Lankan team in the first two Tests, former captain Sanath Jayasuriya feels that the newer crop of batsmen emerging from the island nation have not done proper assessment of their ability to handle quality spinners. Asked if there is some kind of technical deficiency in current Asian batsmen, who were considered to be good players of spin more..

Biswal meets with wife of missing Sri Lankan cartoonist

Aug 26 (TG) US assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, Nisha Biswal, who is currently visiting Sri Lanka, met with the wife of the missing political cartoonist, Prageeth Eknaligoda on Wednesday. Earlier this week, SL Criminal Investigation Department has questioned four army officers over the disappearance of cartoonist, who his wife says disappeared after he had uncovered evidence of the Sri Lankan army’s use of chemical weapons against the Tamil people. more..

Japanese Co. establishes hi-tech electronics outsourcing centre in Mullaitivu

Aug 26 (Island) A fully Japanese-owned BOI enterprise has established hi-tech electronics outsourcing centre in former LTTE stronghold deep in the Vanni. A senior spokesperson for Tos Lanka Co. (Pvt.) Ltd. said the project was meant to promote post-war ethnic harmony and national reconciliation. The text of a statement issued by the company: "Tos Lanka Co. (Pvt.) Ltd. which is a Section 17, enterprise specialising in high tech electronics manufacturing, launched more..

Sri Lanka military is on alert says Army Chief

Aug 26 (CG) Sri Lanka is now one of the most peaceful countries but the military is still on alert to global threats, be it drug peddling, human trafficking, man made and natural disasters or terrorism, Army Commander Lieutenant Crishanthe De Silva said today. He was speaking at a press conference held to brief the media on the 5th Defence Seminar – 2015 which takes place at the Colombo Galadari Hotel next month. more..

Sri Lanka offers to work with the Fiji military

Aug 26 (CG) Sri Lanka has offered to work with the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF). Highly decorated Sri Lankan officer, Major-General Aruna Perera, met with Fiji PM Voreqe Bainimarama in Suva. Major General Perera mentioned Sri Lanka’s offer to work to assist the RFMF. He said he was happy with the PM’s response. RFMF Land Force Commander, Colonel Sitiveni Qiliho who was also at the meeting told the Fiji Sun he would be looking into the defence co-operation. more..

Japanese PM wishes Ranil

Aug 26 (DM) Japanese PM Shinzo Abe had sent a congratulatory message today to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe following his swearing in as the Prime Minister. While sending a message, Japanese PM felicitated Ranil Wickremesinghe upon his reappointment as the PM and stated his intention to work closely with the new govt to further develop the Japan-Sri Lanka relationship. He said Japan would continue to support SL’s efforts towards economic development and national reconciliation. more..

CaFFE urges repeal of PTA

Aug 26 (DM) The CaFFE urged the govt to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) saying it was misused by the previous regime to suppress media and human rights activists in the country. CaFFE Executive Director Ranjith Keerthi Tennakoon said the Act was mainly implemented to curtail the freedom of the people. He said the Act was used to detain media personnel and several civil society activists without a time limit. more..

Remembering Santasilan Kadirgamar

Aug 27 (CT) When I learnt about Santasilan Kadirgamar’s demise, I felt I had lost a loyal alumnus of my old school Jaffna College and a friend from whose activism I learnt a lot about the significance of inclusive social movements to our quest for justice. My interactions with Silan happened in these two spheres besides knowing him as the father of my good friend Ahilan. I had the opportunity to converse with Silan for the first time when both of us were elected to serve more..