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11 women MPs a poor result for electoral reform say activists

Aug 27 (ST) A total of 556 female candidates contested the general elections but only 11 of them won seats. That is a drop of two female members from the previous 225-seat parliament that already under-represented the 52%-strong female population. These 11 women represent only 10 of the 22 electoral districts: Jaffna, Colombo, Moneragala, Gampaha, Galle, Ratnapura, Kegalle, Ampara, Anuradhapura and Matale. more..

How Sri Lanka's cricket legends are giving back to society

Aug 27 (TOI) Seenigama is a small village some 20 km from Galle. Muttiah Muralitharan would have been headed that way on the fateful morning of Dec 26, 2004 if he had woken up on time. As it stands, Murali missed the trip but his then-agent and current SLC interim committee vice-chairman, Kushil Gunasekara, was still there in the village & sought refuge at a nearby Buddhist temple when his family home was washed away more..

'In-fighting continues Susil destroyed UPFA'

Aug 27 (CT) The UPFA, which comprises several constituent partners, is not a personal property of anyone, which can be manipulated as and when one wants, Leader of MEP, Dinesh Gunawardena said. He also said that it was still his intention to establish a UPFA Govt. He alleged that the recently concluded parliamentary election was not free and fair as claimed by the Commissioner of Elections and that the nature of the election more..

US expected to accept SLA’s invitation

Aug 27 (Island) With the warming of relations with the US consequent to the change of govt in January, the Sri Lankan Army expects the US to participate at its post-war flagship project the annual two-day Defence Seminar early next month. Army Chief Lt. Gen. Crishanthe de Silva yesterday expressed confidence that the US would accept Sri Lanka’s invitation to participate in Defence Seminar 2015. more..

A drop in dengue cases

Aug 27 (Island) Epidemiology Unit (EU) said that 19,287 dengue patients had been reported from January to the last week of August and there was an improvement in comparison to the corresponding period last year. The highest number 6,343 cases were reported in January. EU sources said that 826 cases had been reported during the first three weeks of the current month. Last year over 29,000 cases were reported within the first eight months more..

Court lifts travel ban on Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Aug 27 (AD) The Galle Magistrate on Thursday lifted the foreign travel ban imposed on former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa over allegations he used a commercial floating armoury. Police this year seized more than 3,000 weapons in 20 containers from the armoury, run by private security firm Avant Garde Maritime Services and docked in port of Galle. Galle magistrate earlier imposed a travel ban on three people: more..

Zeid expected in SL before Geneva session

Aug 27 (CG) The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, is expected to visit Sri Lanka ahead of the September session of the UNHRC. Govt sources said that Al Hussein was expected in Sri Lanka before September 14 but the dates have not been finalized. The 30th session of the UNHRC will be held from 14 Sept – 2 Oct 2015. Sources said that Al Hussein is expected to present to the govt more..

2015, throwback of ‘77

Aug 27 (CT) If the USA is for us, who can be against us? US Assistant State Secretary for South and Central Asia Nisha Biswal speaking to reporters in Colombo on Tuesday had said that the USA will stand by Sri Lanka and reaffirmed its strong support to the country, its peoples and govt to keep to the path of democracy, good governance, peace and prosperity. With Yankee Dickie's nephew now in the saddle, Sri Lanka may at least get the political support from the West, more..

On war criminals & privileged holidaymakers

Aug 27 (CT) Ex British PM and multi-millionaire Tony Blair’s summer holiday in Sri Lanka has been taking place under privileged conditions, with next to no media exposure. A visit that takes place on the invitation of those holding the reins of power in Colombo, the Blairs were provided with state security and amenities during their visit. Two people who have played a special role in facilitating this visit were, indeed, Mnagala Samaraweera MP and Chandrika Kuamaratunga. more..

In SL's storied club rivalry, SSC still the king

Aug 27 (TOI) Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) is part of the holy trinity of Sri Lankan cricket along with the Colombo Cricket Club (CCC) and the Nondescripts Cricket Club (NCC). Of all these club grounds, the SSC has come to be known as the Lord's of Lankan cricket. "England has Lord's, Australia has the MCG, and Sri Lanka has the SSC. History is not as long, and the names that figure in the annals of ground's history are fewer, more..

Sri Lanka's unbeaten SSC streak

Aug 27 (CI) 6: Tests drawn out of the last ten played at the SSC, Colombo, including four of the last five. The Test Sri Lanka won against Pakistan at this venue last year was the first with a decisive result since 2009. 2004: Last time Sri Lanka lost a Test at the SSC, which was against Australia. Sri Lanka had taken a slender first-innings lead on that occasion before being bowled out on the last day chasing a target of 370 runs. Since then, Sri Lanka have remained unbeaten more..

Tea prices fall at Colombo auctions

Aug 27 (EN) Tea prices fell again at the Colombo auctions this week with demand slackening from the main markets of Russia and the Middle East owing to currency and petroleum problems. Lower quality teas harvested during a labour union go-slow in July fetched lower prices but those from estates in the Uva highland region producing seasonal quality teas fetched good prices. Tea prices at the Colombo auctions are still well below last year's levels in both rupee and US dollar terms. more..

Thondaman, Douglas back National Govt

Nov 27 (CT) CWC leader Arumugam Thondaman and EPDP leader Douglas Devananda have extended support to the National Govt. This was announced by SLFP General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake today. He said that talks are being held with other political parties as well to secure their support for the National Govt. Dissanayake said that during the Parliamentary election the public had clearly stated that more..

Six fishermen in distress rescued by Navy

Aug 27 (Island) For want of bigger vessels, the Coast Guard hadn’t been able to help fishermen in distress on high seas, thereby compelling the Navy to intervene to save lives of several of them after a two day operation. The Navy routinely deploys vessels to rescue both Sri Lankan and Indian fishermen in distress. The Coast Guard needed bigger vessels to engage in such missions, sources said, adding that SLNS Shakthi had towed a multi-day fishing trawler Suranga drifting more..

Somawansa to form new alliance for LG polls

Aug 27 (CG) Former JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe is to register a new alliance to contest the next Local Government (LG) elections. He said that the new alliance will be formed by including civil society and trade union representatives. Amarasinghe said that talks will begin early next month to form the new alliance. The former JVP leader said that the name of the new alliance and its policies will be decided once the new alliance is formed. more..

Video: Cabinet swearing-in further delayed?

Aug 27 (DM) SLFP acting General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake said the swearing-in of the Cabinet would not likely to happen on Sept 2, as scheduled earlier. He said a National Govt should be formed through parliament and not through political parties. He said the SLFP’s 64th convention would be held on Sept 2 in Polonnaruwa and said they had invited all party officials including President Sirisena who is party Chairman, more..

ADB to lend US$1bn for Sri Lanka education

Aug 27 (EN) Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it will triple lending to modernise Sri Lanka’s education sector to support the govt commitment to focus on human capital development and improve economic competitiveness. ADB operations will strengthen its support for human capital development to help Sri Lanka become a competitive economy, the bank said in an update on its Country Partnership Strategy. “Lending for education will be more than tripled to US$ 1 billion for the next 5 years,” more..

Dates set for Wele Sudha’s case

Aug 27 (AD) Colombo High Court today set dates for the trial of Samantha Kumara Vithanage alias Wele Sudha, his wife and a cousin brother over a drug related case. The case will be taken up for hearing on Dec 12. The accused have been indicted by the Attorney General for acquiring properties through money that obtained by dealing drugs and having drug money. Police had earlier interrogated the drug kingpin under a three months detention order on the details on how he managed to carry out more..

Series at stake as SL begin life after Sanga

Aug 27 (CI) Hearing this last section of Sangakkara's retirement speech, Angelo Mathews may well have wondered to himself: Really? Because without Sangakkara, and without Mahela Jayawardene, who played his final Test last year, Sri Lanka are bracing themselves for a long and arduous rebuilding phase, with the amazing future a dot on the horizon. In their home season so far, SL have lost two out of three Tests to Pakistan more..

I will accept a portfolio: Dayasiri

Aug 27 (CT) Kurunegela District UPFA MP-elect Dayasiri Jayasekera said if President Sirisena offers a ministerial portfolio he will accept. "I have not asked for anything. It is the President who appoints ministers and if he gives me a portfolio I will accept it," he said. He added that he spent a longtime in the Opposition and that he would like to remain with the SLFP. "I was in Northwestern Provincial Council for one and a half years. Before that I was in parliament for nine and a half years. more..

Shares up as investors snap up battered stocks; Keells leads

Aug 27 (Reuters) Shares ended firmer on Thursday as investors bought in some select battered shares such as conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc after recent falls, but foreign outflows from the island nation's risky assets continued. The main stock index ended up 0.46%, or 33.04 points, at 7,273.14 on Thursday, further moving away from its lowest close since July 23 hit on Tuesday. The index had lost 3.2% in the two sessions through Tuesday as foreign investors sold off risky assets more..

'Resolution in 2009 was not fully implemented'

Aug 27 (CG) The resolution in support of Sri Lanka presented to the UNHRC in 2009 was not fully implemented, former Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said today. Samarasinghe, who was the Minister in charge of human rights at the time, said that if the resolution was fully implemented then the 2012 and 2013 resolutions against Sri Lanka may have faced difficulties in being adopted. more..

DC issues restraining order on Ranil and Kabir over filling of vacancies in Uva PC

Aug 27 (Island) District Court of Colombo issued an enjoining order valid till Sept 9, 2015, restraining PM Ranil Wickremesinghe the Leader of the UNP, and Kabir Hashim, the General Secretary of the same party, from appointing a person other than Prof. Pradeep Wijewardene to the Uva Provincial Council. The petitioner Prof.Wijewardene has complained to the Court that he is the ninth on the list of elected members to the Provincial Council of Uva. Recently, two vacancies arose in Provincial Council. more..

Tilak Marapana of Avant Garde fame tipped to be Law & Order minister

Aug 27 (AM) Former Minister of Defence Tilak Marapana is tipped to be appointed as Minister of Law and Order. The position was previously held by Minister John Amaratunga. Police Department all its affiliated bodies came under the Ministry of Law and Order. Marapana's name has already been mentioned in connection with Avant Garde controversy which is already under investigation by law enforcement bodies. Therefore, Marapana's appointment as the Minister of Law & Order more..

'Sri Lanka not the only nice girl on the beach'

Aug 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka needs to build goods and services which can be competitive in the global market and plug in to value chains to gain cost advantages in the path towards a competitive economic nation, economic legislator and newly elected MP, Harsha de Silva said. “We are not the only nice looking girl on the beach. There are so many nice looking girls on the beach and Sri Lanka is no longer that nice looking,” de Silva said, more..

'Northern Sinhala voters have no MP'

Aug 27 (CT) The SLFP and UNP leaders are not paying heed to the Sinhala people in the North and are neglecting them, said, UPFA ex- Member of the Vavuniya Municipal Council, Lalith Jayasekera. Since about 25,000 Sinhala voters in the North cast their votes for various parties , it is difficult for them to elect even a single representative, he added. "Every govt that came to power has been aware of these issues. Although before a govt comes into power they say a representative will be more..

P. B. Jayasundera summoned to Police SIU

Aug 27 (AM) Former Treasury Secretary and Economic Development Ministry Secretary P.B. Jayasundera has been summoned to the police Special Investigations Unit tomorrow. He has been summoned to obtain a statement on the allegations of financial fraud in RADA regarding the construction of houses for Tsunami victims. Jayasundera was also questioned in March this year by FCID regarding the controversial hedging deal during the administration of former President more..

TNA meets US delegation

Aug 27 (AM) TNA met with the visiting top U.S. officials for discussions on critical issues, before the visiting Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal left the island for India. Members of the TNA met with the visiting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Biswal, and Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Tom Malinowski today at the official residence of more..

PMB Chairman blames farmers for delays in purchasing their paddy

Aug 27 (Island) Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) Chairman M.D. Dissanayake refuted allegations against his institution that lack of storage facilities had affected the process of purchasing paddy. Dissanayake said that there was no such issue. He blamed the farmers for not following the schedule. In North Central Province farmers have complained that they have to wait in long queues near the warehouses to sell their paddy. Asked to comment on the allegation, Dissanayake said, more..

Pearson Test of English qualification launched in Sri Lanka

Aug 27 (EN) The Pearson Test of English qualification has been made available in Sri Lanka providing language skills needed for living abroad and accepted for university admission in over 60 countries including the UK, USA and Canada. “Pearson’s launch of its Pearson Test of English – Academic and the Pearson Test of English for Young Learners in Sri Lanka is very timely,” said Premila Paulraj, Pearson’s Regional Director – Asia. “PTE – A scores are widely accepted more..

US hopes govt confronts the past

Aug 27 (CG) United States says it hopes the Sri Lankan Govt will accept the need to fully and honestly confront the past. US Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Tom Malinowski tweeted today saying that when the report on Sri Lanka by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is released, the Govt must not be defensive. “When UN report comes hope #SriLanka gov will continue more..

Face realities Gemunu Wijeratne warns Ranil

Aug 27 (CT) Transport sector Trade Unions claimed that the suggested national govt would not be successful and the UNP should establish a govt without the support of the SLFP. Gemunu Wijeratne, President of the Lanka Private Bus Owners' Association (LPBOA) said, the so called national govt likely to consist of a large cabinet and development is likely to flounder. "We can't call this a national govt as all parties are not a part of it. This is a joint govt. more..

Ex-Minister, top army officer involved?

Aug 27 (DM) The son of M.S.M Niyaz (alias Loku Seeya, and a former kapuwa of Ragama Devalaya) has lodged a complaint with the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power, State Resources, and Privileges (PRECIFAC) that his father’s killing had taken place with the knowledge of a former minister and a top army official. The son, M.N.M. Hijaz (alias Chooty Seeya), had said in his complaint more..

Sri Lanka fret over batting order

Aug 27 (CI) For the past week, Sri Lanka has reflected on Sangakkara's legacy. On the eve of the deciding Test match, the team has found he has also left behind a slew of dilemmas. Sri Lanka know there is no possible substitute for Sangakkara's experience, but they do hope to scavenge together the runs he used to score. They hope to tickle the top order in just the right way, to collectively squeeze out those few additional runs. more..

An open letter to SLFP Chairman Maithripala Sirisena

Aug 28 (NS) I read a letter sent by you to the former President four days prior to the general elections. This letter is contrary to the policy of neutrality you said you would adopt regarding the general election. After the grave digging tactic failed, I believe this to be the next logical recourse. Kudos, on effortlessly working for the defeat of your own party. I am somewhat disappointed that you are not also appointed the next UNP Party leader, then again Ranil the Party Leader of the UNP for more..

Sinister campaign afoot to block Sri Lanka using Paranagama report at UNHRC

Aug 28 (CT) The release of the long awaited Paranagama Commission Report, officially known as the Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons that was established in 2013, has now come into sharp focus, because both the UN and the world at large has been stuck with the conclusions of the Darusman Report, released in 2011, namely, that up to 40,000 civilians have been killed by the army in the final phase of the conflict. more..

Deep-rooted jumbo culture of Sri Lanka

Aug 28 (NS) This is the perahera season. Beautifully caparisoned elephants are among the best attractions of these peraheras or the Buddhist religious processions held annually in leading religious centers around the country. They carry the relic casket as well as the nilames or the chieftains in ceremonial dresses. The number of elephants in a perahera improves the state of it among others. more..

Giving priority to local constructors

Aug 28 (CT) We have a corporate sector. And a few of corporate leaders recently had spoken to Sri Lanka Daily News about the new govt. One of them made a comment and a request for which I paid a little more attention. This article is about it. In fact the article is not about his particular comment or request, instead this article is about an economic principle on which the govt should establish an important national policy in regard to his request. I believe his request merits in establishing more..

What options for the Tamils?

Aug 28 (NS) A great opportunity comes, but rarely and it has come to the Tamils now. The North needs the goodwill of the South to resolve its problems. The South cannot eschew the allegiance of the North if central governance needs to be stable. To convey a truism bluntly, both ethnicities Sinhalese and Tamil need one another to go towards peaceful times and to look for new horizons. Options may seem many, but are limited to a few. Bipartisanship is the name and it is a compulsion. more..

'We mapped the plan to defeat MR'

Aug 28 (CT) Former Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam says "We educated the people about the politics of Rajapaksa. I led a very good election campaign throughout the district to defeat him". Q: Former President Rajapaksa was defeated in some electorates in which he registered victory in the presidential election held in Jan. What is UNP's magic in the past 6 months to achieve such a victory? A: We were able to build up trust more..