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Geetha revoked Swiss citizenship

Aug 28 (CT) UPFA MP-elect Geetha Kumarasinghe squashed rumours that she was to be disqualified as an MP due to her holding dual citizenship in Switzerland as well as Sri Lanka. "I wrote to Switzerland in June and got them to revoke my citizenship. I no longer hold any dual citizenship so I am well within the law and entitled to take oaths as an MP," Kumarasinghe said. She added that even the Immigration Department more..

Cases against Anura & Susil withdrawn

Aug 28 (AD) The court cases filed against Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and Susil Premajayantha have been withdrawn by Duminda Dissanayake and Prof. Vishwa Warnapala. On Aug 14, President Sirisena in his capacity as the Chairman of the SLFP and UPFA removed Yapa and Premajayantha from the posts of General Secretaries of the two parties. Dissanayake was later appointed as the Acting General Secretary of the SLFP and more..

Steps from victory

Aug 28 (CT) After a victory at the recent parliamentary elections, Sri Lanka is seen by the outside world as a shining example of democratic peaceful elections and political transition. Our democratic values in society are far superior to an individual politician. According to Justice Weeramantry, “our ancient civilization fore-shadowed concepts of equality, freedom and democratic procedures in a manner which throws on us the burden of carrying on more..

Glasnost to prosperity

Aug 28 (CT) The people of this country reaffirmed the stance they took on 8 Jan 2015; seven months later on 17 August. It's now up to the elected, to fulfil the wishes of the electors, i.e. to live in peace and prosperity. Racism doesn't deliver peace. When there is no peace there is no prosperity to the broad mass of the people of this country. That is why the racist card failed in the last of the country's two major elections to date. An imaginary bogey was used successfully by vested political interests more..

Sri Lanka take two on rain-hit day

Aug 28 (CI) Asked to bat on a testing, grassy pitch, India held on grimly - with some luck on their side - to keep the damage down to two wickets on a day that rain allowed only 15 overs of play. KL Rahul fell shouldering arms in the first over, Ajinkya Rahane was done in by seam movement soon after, but Cheteshwar Pujara - getting an opportunity in the absence of two injured openers - and Virat Kohli stayed together for 36 runs more..

Shares rise for third day; investors snap up battered stocks

Aug 28 (Reuters) Shares rose more than 1% on Friday, rising for a third straight session, as investors bought into select battered stocks like conglomerate John Keells Holdings after recent falls. Main stock index ended 1.06%, or 77.38 points, higher at 7,350.52, moving further away from its lowest close since July 23 hit on Tuesday. Index had lost 3.2% in the two sessions through Tuesday as foreign investors sold off risky assets on fears of a China-led global economic slowdown, more..

S.B. claims defeated candidates selected to parliament through NL owing to pact

Aug 28 (Island) UPFA National List MP S.B. Dissanayake said he and several defeated UFPFA candiates had been appointed National List MPs according to a pact. If the SLFP decided to give the National List MPs ministerial posts they would accept them, Dissanayake said. Dissanayake said the defeated UPFA candidates like him had fared well at previous elections but failed at the recently concluded polls because the Mahinda Rajapaksa loyalists had conspired against them. more..

Bangar concerned by unfamiliar seam movement

Aug 28 (CI) Only 15 overs were bowled on day one at the SSC but in that time, India's inexperienced top-order batsmen were exposed to seam movement they were unfamiliar with, the visitors' batting coach Sanjay Bangar said. India lost their first wicket off the second ball of the day, when KL Rahul left a ball that seamed back to shave his off stump. According to Bangar, Rahul, who is playing his fifth Test on an unusually green SSC deck, still more..

UGGNF awaits EC approval to change name and symbol

Aug 28 (DM) United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) said it was awaiting the Elections Commissioner’s approval to change its name back to the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU). The party had also requested that diamond symbol of the UGGNF be replaced with the JHU’s Conch symbol. UGGNF General Secretary Champika Ranawaka said the JHU was changed into UGGNF during the previous parliamentary election for the purpose of forming a broad political front. more..

Kandy municipality kept on its toes during Perahera

Aug 28 (Island) Kandy Municipal Council (KMC) uses 17 tractors and 13 compactors daily for removing garbage and refuse that get piles up during Perahera. In addition to those vehicles, nine trishaws had been used to collect and remove refuse left behind by Esala Perahera viewers, Deputy Mayor Sena Dissanayaka said on Thursday. The collection of garbage during the Perahera has increased from 140 tonnes to 200 tonnes daily, Deputy Mayor Dissanayaka said, more..

PBJ quizzed by SIU for giving money to LTTE

Aug 28 (CT) Former Secretary of the Treasury, P.B. Jayasundera was today questioned by the Special Investigation Unit (SIU). It was reported that he is being questioned regarding the financial misappropriation case against Tiran Alles where a company chaired by him and established to reconstruct houses for Tsunami affected families has been charged with misappropriating state funds. more..

Diyawadana Nilame election on Sept 8

Aug 28 (Island) The Election of a new Diyawadana Nilame of the Sri Dalada Maligawa has been fixed for September 8. The election of the DN is held by the Buddhist Affairs Commissioner. The venue of the election will be the Kandy Buddhist Centre Hall at Anagarika Dharmapala Mawatha, Kandy. Four candidates are vying for the coveted office of the lay custodian of the Sacred Tooth Relic and Chief Administrator of the Temple of the Tooth. Among those contesting are more..

Killers fled to Italy: CID

Aug 28 (CT) Two suspects connected to the killing of rugger player Mohammed Thajudeen have secretly fled to Italy, top CID sources said. It has been learnt that a close associate of a politician of the previous govt had assisted the two suspects in their flight to Italy, source added. The fleeing of these suspects to Italy come in a sequel to the blaze of publicity following the re-opening of the case after the CID told Court recently the death was not accidental but a murder. more..

The fastest groundstaff in the world

Aug 28 (CI) At one point after the 15th over, on the first day of the third Test, the groundsmen on either side of the SSC square moved in; there had been no rain but they knew. From the media box with views of the city, the construction cranes, scattered multistorey towers, the white cupola of the Town Hall, and slowly-rising Lotus Tower were being obliterated by a curtain of grey. Groundskeeping team were on standby more..

Sarath Pathirana to take Lal Kantha’s seat

Aug 28 (CT) It is reported that Sarath Pathirana, who contested the recently concluded parliamentary election from the JVP for the Colombo District is to be appointed to fill the vacant JVP seat in the Western Provincial Council. This seat fell vacant when K.D. Lal Kantha of the JVP who had contested the PC elections for the Colombo District and won, resigned from his post of councillor on 10 August. Meanwhile, the Leader of the Western People's Front who was elected to more..

SL to get $200mn for wind power from ADB

Aug 28 (EN) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has allocated US$ 200 million in lending to Sri Lanka in 2018 to support wind power generation, including possible public–private partnerships, under the govt’s renewable energy program. The allocation was made in an update to the ADB’s Country Partnership Strategy aimed at strengthening efforts to improve Sri Lanka’s economic competitiveness through environmentally sustainable growth. The US$ 200 million will be more..

SLFP empowers President to decide on Ministers, posts

Aug 28 (AD) Central Committee of the SLFP today decided to authorize President Maithripala Sirisena, as the Chairman of the party, to appoint SLFP Ministers to the National Govt as well as the Opposition Leader, Chief Opposition Whip and Deputy Speaker. Proposal was approved at the SLFP central committee meeting this evening. A decision has been taken that all 80 SLFP MPs out of the 95 UPFA MPs elected to Parliament more..

13 apply for two posts of hangmen

Aug 28 (DM) The Prisons Department said today they had received 13 applications in response to an advertising calling for applications to fill the two vacant posts of hangmen. Assistant Commissioner Aruna Attapattu said the vacancies were advertised a month ago, based on Justice Ministry approval. He said the two vacancies would be filled by the beginning of November and the successful candidates would be given two-weeks training prior to assuming duties. more..

SL Looks in the mirror and sees Singapore

Aug 28 (Caixin) Despite boasting the highest per capita income in South Asia, Sri Lanka is still a developing country. The per capita GDP of the nation, with its 22 million inhabitants, was US$ 10,400 in 2014. The figure is higher than that for India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, but is certainly not high enough to defeat underdevelopment. Sri Lanka does not carry the same weight with its neighbors as Singapore does with its. In any case, the latest elections could ensure stability, more..

Oil contamination; Water supply disrupted

Aug 28 (DM) The water supply to Colombo, Sri J'pura Kotte and Dehiwala-Mt Lavinia was disrupted today after the water in the Kelani River was found to have been contaminated with oil, National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) said. The contamination had resulted in the Ambatale water treatment plant being forced to limit the supply of water. NWSDB said it hoped to resume the supply of water as soon as more..

Nigeria is now open for SL investments

Aug 28 (GDI) Nigeria’s High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, S U Ahmed said that they were not represented very well in Sri Lanka though they have been doing business for a long time with Sri Lanka. He stated this at a session on “Bilateral Trade between Sri Lanka and Nigeria”, organized by the National Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka. Nigeria is planning to creat a joint trade mission in Sri Lanka to strengthen bilateral trade and investment promotion between two countries. more..

TN groups to protest against US stand on SL

Aug 28 (CG) Political groups based in Tamil Nadu have threatened to stage a protest next week against the US Govt decision to back a domestic investigation on the war in Sri Lanka. Tamil Nadu politician Thol Thirumavalavan said that he has organised a protest outside the US Embassy in Chennai on Sept 3 against the announcement by the US that it will sponsor a resolution in support of Sri Lanka at the UNHRC. He said that the former Govt under Mahinda Rajapaksa had been accused more..

Ex-ITN boss in transparency controversy

Aug 28 (CT) Special Presidential Commission of Inquiry has decided to summon the former Chairman of ITN Anura Siriwardane, very soon, to question him regarding financial irregularities alleged to have taken place when providing propaganda facilities during the last Presidential Election to the former President as well as to the current President. Premise for this is said to be a lack of transparency in such propaganda facility provisions. more..

No repeal of PTA at present

Aug 28 (DM) Govt is not considering the revocation or the amendment of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) at present, Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said. Earlier, the CAFFE, a local election monitoring body, had said that it should be repealed. The organisation called it a draconian piece of legislation that was used to suppress human rights. However, Minister, in response to a query, said the govt was not considering it at the moment. more..

Opposition Leader? I will consider if invited: Chamal

Aug 28 (CT) Former Speaker and Hambantota District MP Chamal Rajapaksa said, that he would certainly consider it if he was invited to accept the position of Opposition Leader in the new Parliament. Rajapaksa said he learnt that his name was among those proposed for the Position of Opposition Leader but had as yet not been personally spoken to by anyone on the subject. It was his opinion that the UPFA parliamentary group should decide on who the opposition leader should be, more..

President emphasizes need for a national policy for construction sector

Aug 28 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says even though today’s construction industry has been completely enriched with modern technology, when we utilize that knowledge in the local field of construction, we should combine it the expertise we developed in ancient times. President further said that what we learn from historical chronicles about great creations like Lovamahapaya have been proved during excavations and more..

Shanthi Sachithanandam: Visionary of social change & beautiful human being

Aug 29 (CT) Shanthi, was the quintessential human being, multi-talented, multi-faceted and multi-tasking. A sparkling jewel, in looks and thought. A mother who had time to bring up 3 children who are sensitive and interested in the world around them. She had time for them, no matter where she was – while on the field or at home. Her husband, by her accounts of him, was her soul mate in his ideology and whole hearted immersion in social development. An architect by profession, Shanthi turned more..

Power fights should not thwart bipartisan governance

Aug 29 (SO) General Election of Aug 17, was significant in two respects. First, there is agreement across the board that the election was the freest and fairest in recent memory. Both the EC and the Police were able to operate as intended without hindrance or interference and both did so, pro-actively, to ensure adherence to the election laws. General political climate was enabling, allowing for free flow of discussion & debate to an extent not evinced in recent elections. more..

'SLFP has now become a legacy of racists'

~Aug 29 (CT) Senior Lecturer of the Aesthetics University, Chandragupta Thenuwara said if a National Govt is to be established there should be a Constitution without amendments, a clear solution for the national problem as well as an electoral system which does not fulfil requirements of political parties but achieves requirements of the people. He made these comments during a special discussion. more..

On political equations that never stay

Aug 29 (CT) Power struggles are rarely if at all about the people. Rhetoric is scripted in, yes, but for the most it remains a necessity as a means to an end. Outcomes which get preferred by parties never privilege the voter. This we know. As such elections have more to do with power and frill than with serving the people. This too we know. Writing 12 days before Maithripala Sirisena defected from the SLFP and thereby wrecked the political equation, Udaya Gammanpila, then allied with JHU, more..

Polls are (not always) for dogs!

Aug 29 (SL) I arrived in Canada sometime after John George Diefenbaker had been reduced to a raucous front-bench opposition (Conservative party) voice after his famous and totally unexpected ascendance as Prime Minister (PM) to a majority govt followed by a bout of back-stabbing by the Tories that would have put the Rome of the Caesars to shame. However, Dief the Chief continued to earn the grudging respect of many Canadians despite his curmudgeonly conduct and more..

National List treats for some losing freaks!

~Aug 29 (NS) The morning-after the 2015 general elections- must obviously have caused a monumental hangover to several former parliamentarians relegated to the political wilderness. Their dreams of making a comeback to the Assembly would have been shattered beyond belief. For the heavy-weights in particular among them the fall would certainly have been harder, going by the old adage, the bigger they are more..

Election defeat: International conspiracy or hooniyam?

Aug 29 (SL) Two old friends of the Forward School for Backward Boys were meeting at their Waterhole to analyse the election results. So, how-how Machang what happened to your Rajapaksa? Fell down like a jak tree in the monsoon winds no? Crashing and smashing all beneath, said Nodath a dyed-in-the-green Sri Kotha supporter. What to do yakko? Knowing people will know-no, mumbled Sududath, leftist theoretician and supporter of the UPFA — by hook or by crook. more..

US backing local inquiry into alleged war crimes: Old wine in new bottles

Aug 29 (CT) The TNA MPs are sarcastically described as white veshti men by the voters in the North and the East for appearing in their traditional white attire during their election campaign. However, a week after the election, four of the newly elected TNA MPs led by their Leader R. Sampanthan and Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran appeared in western attire wearing suits to meet the US Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal Desai at US Ambassador's residence in Colombo more..

'President distracted by party matters'

Aug 29 (NS) “I am appalled by what’s happening in the political arena in the first few days after the General Election,” Leader of the NMSJ, Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera said. Thero, who played a major role in the movement to field a common candidate against Mahinda Rajapaksa at the last Presidential Election and is a strong advocate of good governance who openly supported the coalition led by UNP at the recently more..

Mahinda is no one’s babysitter

Aug 29 (NS) It’s easy to offer advice after the fact. Mahinda Rajapaksa had many exit-options. He could have ruled in a way that he could go out, even in defeat, with head held high. He did not. And yet, he had enough popularity and even grudging respect from detractors, to go into quiet retirement, barring of course the possibility that ghosts of wrongs done might return to haunt him. As the all-powerful executive president everything that happened during his rule either more..

Editorial: Empty rhetoric

Aug 29 (Island) People were urged, before the recently concluded election, to vote wisely and they have done so. They haven’t enabled either of the two main parties which are responsible for taking turns to bring the country to the present pass, to secure a working majority in Parliament, thus compelling them to work out a compromise formula. When govts get comfortable or steamroller majorities they get intoxicated with power and their leaders act like druggies. more..

Cola giant in hot water

Aug 29 (NS) Coca-cola, the soda giant, announced an ambitious plan this Tuesday. The company now riddled in controversy over a contamination issue said it would replenish all the water used in making its beverages by the end of 2015. That’s five years of its scheduled goal. In retrospect the company may just have to rethink the numbers because over 500,000 cubic meters of water has already gone to waste. more..

There is no right of self-determination

Aug 29 (Island) In theory the post-General Elections situation looks very propitious for a political solution of the Tamil ethnic problem. There has been a note of moderation on the Tamil side, both on the part of the TNA and the GTF. On the Sinhalese side the new PM Ranil Wickremasinghe has been famously a soft-liner on the ethnic problem, and his political record shows that he could be expected to show a reasonable pragmatic accommodativeness in approaching the problem. more..

Health and wealth of defeat in politics

Aug 29 (Island) "Sri Lanka is moving with speed to establish a new tradition in democratic governance, in the post-election race for power. One is not certain whether advanced democratic societies will accept this, but who cares, if Nisha Desai Biswal, who is said to echo Obama thinking, does not see this as affecting democratic progress." "What are you talking about?" I asked Prof. Yahapaalaratne, who is working on new trends in good governance, with South Asian origins. more..