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War widows' heart -rending tale

Aug 3 (CT) This week celebrated the International War Widows' Day, an important day for a country with 100,000 war widows. While the majority are from North & East, Sati Chronicles this week will highlight the stories of two war widows. One from the North and the other from the South. These women show that to live after the war is a greater challenge than war itself. These are the stories of the women who were left behind. more..

Shares end steady near 6-month high

Aug 3 (Reuters) Shares ended steady at their highest in nearly six months on Monday, as investors picked up risky assets on expectations of strong corporate earnings and political stability after the Aug. 17 polls. Main stock index edged up 0.06% to 7,336.59, its highest close since Feb. 13. Turnover stood at 982.2 million rupees, less than this year's daily average of 1.09 billion rupees. "Market believes there will be a strong govt after the election & investors are buying on that hope" more..

Two journalists roughed up at SLMC meeting

Aug 3 (Island) Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) and the police said that journalists namely M.M.S. Udha (Nawamani Vidiwelli) A.L.M. Ziyath (Kilakkuvaan news website) had been attacked allegedly by SLMC supporters on Friday night for recording a clash there during a political meeting presided over by SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem at Old Court city in Potuvil. Potuvil police confirmed receiving a complaint from Udha. CMEV said that Ziyath had confirmed the incident more..

Video: UNP campaign dead: Susil

Aug 3 (DM) UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha today said the UNP’s election campaign was now defunct. Premajayantha said the UNP had promised their supporters that a group of individuals would be released from prison. “Many of these individuals were arrested for grave crimes,” he said. “The Kotahena incident is a clear example that the UNP is engaged in its usual form of election campaigning,” more..

Iran wants to further boost ties with SL

Aug 3 (CG) Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at a meeting with Sri Lanka’s new envoy to Iran, has voiced Tehran’s willingness to further boost ties with Sri Lanka. During seperate meetings held in Tehran with the envoys of Iraq, Benin and Sri Lanka, Zarif said Iran has resolved to further boost mutual interactions with the three countries. At the meeting with Iraq’s new ambassador, Iranian minister described the relations between Baghdad & Tehran as special and hoped for stronger ties more..

'UNP has not abandoned National Govt'

Aug 3 (CG) UNP says it has not abandoned the idea of forming a National Govt after the Parliamentary election. UNP member Lakshman Kiriella said that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is firm on the idea of having a National Govt which will result in the entire Parliament being the Govt. “The entire Parliament must look for solutions for this country. We cannot be like the former Govt where we were divided and where minorities were harassed. The country cannot develop like that,” he said. more..

TNA rejects joining future United Govt

Aug 3 (Xinhua) The TNA, said on Monday that it would not join a united govt in the future, if the govt in power fails to address the grievances of the Tamils in the island nation. The party, which holds 14 seats in the 225-member parliament, said it hopes to win at least 20 seats in the elections on Aug. 17. The battle to form a new govt will be waged between two political parties, the newly formed UNF coalition, led by PM Ranil more..

MR draws strength from an elephant

Aug 3 (EN) Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa added elephant hair to his armoury of mumbo jumbo to draw strength and courage to face the August 17 elections, his latest photograph showed Monday. Rajapaksa was seen wearing a bracelet and a ring made of several strands of elephant hair and gold and silver in addition to his usual charm balls and five gem-studded rings to ward off evil and give him super natural strength. Elephant tail hair bracelets and rings are said to bring more..

Ravi J. to assume duties as SLRC chairman?

Aug 3 (AD) Ravi Jayawardena, who is a Director and Current Affairs head of Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC), will likely be appointed as the new Chairman of the Corporation. Jayawardena would be appointed as the Chairman before the President and assume duties from tomorrow. Jayawardena, who previously served at the Prisons Department, is also a law graduate from Colombo University. He joined the SLRC after the new govt came to power following the January election. more..

Will leave no room for separatism: MR

Aug 3 (DM) While warning the unitary character of the Constitution would be compromised under the rule of PM and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, former President and UPFA Mahinda Rajapaksa today pledged he would leave no room for separatism. He addressed an event held at the Vihara Maha Devi Park Open Theatre, where a collective of 61 civil organisations called Jathika Ekamuthuwa inked an agreement with more..

Vajira promises strong and stable UNF govt

Aug 3 (Island) Only a UNF govt led by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe could win the economic war and bring benefits to people, Galle District UNP group leader Vajira Abeywardena said on Saturday. Abeywardena said that the UNP had led a revolution to send a corrupt regime home and establish good governance since the presidential election on Jan 08 and the people should cast their votes for the elephant symbol to ensure the continuity of the new political culture. more..

Six counterfeiters held with fake currency

Aug 3 (PTI) Six members of a 16-strong gang have been arrested in various parts of Ramanathapuram over the past three days, including one today, in connection with smuggling of fake Indian currency - some of which were allegedly printed in Pakistan - from Sri Lanka, police said. The racket came to light after the arrest of two persons who attempted to exchange some fake notes at Keezhakarai Branch of the State Bank of India in the district a couple of days ago. more..

TNA and Wiggie may be heading for a split

Aug 3 (ENS) C.V. Wigneswaran, who became CM of Northern Province in 2013 thanks to the TNA, appears to be drifting away from the party which propped him up. Well placed sources in the TNA said that the rift, which is being kept under wraps in view of the elections, could surface after the polls. TNA, which is playing a key role in Lankan politics in the post-Rajapaksa era, is inching towards a more moderate and accommodative line on more..

BOI chief says to ensure fair play in concessions

Aug 3 (EN) The head of Sri Lanka’s investment promotion agency said they would ensure fair treatment to all investors with the Treasury no longer having the discretion to grant tax concessions. Upul Jayasuriya, chairman of the Board of Investment, said the agency had reverted to regulations under Gazette No. 1469/ 35 of Nov 2, 2006 with the ending of tax incentives granted in last year’s budget. This was to ensure continuity of investments and avoid confusion that had arisen after tax proposals more..

Ravi and Champika will take up further price reductions in gas and electricity

Aug 3 (Island) The govt is mulling over another domestic gas price reduction, according to sources. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said proposals had been made to reduce the price of a domestic gas cylinder by another Rs. 100 He said that there were proposals to bring down the electricity prices too. The minister said that he and Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka would meet PM Ranil Wickremesinghe this week to finalise the price reductions. more..

Australian Federal Police supports CID despite allegations

Aug 3 (ABC) Australia Federal Police (AFP) has been providing equipment and assistance to Sri Lanka's CID, which has been accused of kidnapping and torture. AFP was central to the Govt's attempts to deal with the influx of asylum seekers fleeing the civil war in Sri Lanka. In mid-2009 it struck a deal with SL police to provide equipment and training to help Sri Lanka disrupt people-smuggling networks. more..

Man offering jobs in Russia arrested with nine passports, including a fake

Aug 3 (Island) The Emergency Unit of the Kandy Police has taken into custody a resident of Hindagala with nine passports including a fake passport in his possession. Eight of the nine passports belonged to those from different parts of the country seeking employment in Russia. The passports had been sent to the suspect following an advertisement published by him on a website, investigators said. The suspect was arrested at Deiyannewela by police acting on a tip-off. more..

Election law violations cross 700 incidents

Aug 3 (LBO) PAFFREL says the organization has received 704 complaints in relation to 740 electoral and general law violations by yesterday afternoon. Among them, 77 are related to acts of violence and 89 incidents of electoral and general law violations. As per the PAFFREL statistical report of election law violations which covers the pre election period, a total of 34 hospitalizations have been reported to date. One killing and 16 grievous assaults were among 89 acts of violence. more..

Kabir rejects allegations by Dullas on hiway

Aug 3 (CG) UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim has rejected allegations raised by UPFA member Dullas Alahapperuma with regards to proposed central expressway from Kadawatha to Kandy. Hashim said that the allegations prove his poor knowledge in Arithmetic and that he has got confused about the length of the proposed highway. “The actual distance from Kadawatha – Kossinna, Kossinna-Meerigama is 36.5 km & not 32 km. more..

Too soon to comment on Kotahena shooting: Gayantha

Aug 3 (DM) UNP Galle District Candidate Gayantha Karunatilleke today said it was too soon to tell that there was underworld involvement in the Kotahena shooting because the police investigations on the Kotahena shootout were yet to be completed. Meanwhile, UNP National Organizer Daya Gamage said Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran should be sent home if found guilty without transferring him to another State institution. Mr. Gamage expressed these views when more..

Minister Champika Ranawaka says the govt banished white van culture

Aug 3 (Island) Minister and UNP Colombo District candidate Champika Ranawaka said that not a single person had been abducted during the last 160 days as the new govt came to power after Jan 8 presidential election put an end to the white-van abduction culture. Addressing a UNP election rally at Padukka, minister said that people now enjoyed the benefits of their decision to send the previous govt home and live free from the fear of being abducted in a white van. more..

Thajudeen's killing: CID seeks AG's advice

Aug 3 (DM) CID which is investigating the death of the Ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen has sought the Attorney General’s advice to exhume his body in connection with the magisterial inquiry. ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said the body would be exhumed based on the Attorney General’s advice and upon the receipt of a Court order. The burial site of Mr. Thajudeen who died in May 2012 was being provided police protection. more..

68% of the candidates declare assets

Aug 3 (DM) EC Mahinda Deshapriya today informed political party representatives that 68% of the candidates had declared their assets. Nearly 4183 candidates comprising 262 candidates from each political party contesting the election had declared their assets. Of them, 261 candidates from JVP, 232 from UNP and 220 from UPFA have declared their assets. It was mentioned at this meeting that some of the candidates who served as MPs in the previous parliament had not handed over more..

Former UPFA MP Lakshman Perera arrested

Aug 3 (AM) Former Deputy Minister Lakshman Wasantha Perera, who was arrested by Matale Police early this morning, was remanded until Aug 6. A complaint was filed against him recently alleging that he assaulted a UNP supporter during a rally in Matale recently. Perera surrendered to police this morning. Four of his supporters were recently arrested over the incident and remanded till Aug 12. An identification parade will be held on that day, ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said. more..

Sujeewa may be reliant on MR: Ravi

Aug 3 (DM) While denying any links with underworld gangsters, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said Deputy Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe might be reliant on ex-president Rajapaksa for some reason because he denied Mr. Rajapaksa’s involvement in the Kotahena shooting. “People like Thilanga Sumathipala, Dilan Perera and some of our party fellows are accusing me without having any credible factors. more..

Crossing the bridge

Aug 4 (CT) UPFA manifesto says it all. It is a Rajapaksa power project that relies on neo patrimonial politics. It is not a policy statement. It consists of a series of pledges. It has no time frame for implementation or explanation of how the relief measures will be financed. It leaves such intricacies to be resolved by the Redeemer . Therefore its primary purpose is the restoration of the Ancien Régime. It is unsurprising and consistent with the UPFA’s proven disregard for more..

Withering Heights of Ranil Wickremesinghe

Aug 4 (CT) The most noteworthy promise kept by President Maithripala Sirisena after he became president on Jan 8, 2015 was to appoint Ranil Wickremesinghe as the PM. And, needless to say, the rot began from that moment onwards. Together they promised in their Manifesto to take the nation to an ideal society in 100 days. The winning card they played was to promise a moral political culture, quite different from the previous regime. It is the failure to honour their own commitment of more..

The Chief Minister’s position

Aug 4 (SO) We write with reference to the article titled Wigneswaran Unravelled written by Dr. Muttukrishna Sarvananthan. We are surprised to note that no steps were taken by your esteemed newspaper to verify the malicious and defamatory allegations levelled against CM of the Northern Province prior to publishing the said article. We hold the Sunday Observer to high journalistic standards and are most disappointed by this lapse. more..

Bloemendhal the Thajudeen

Aug 4 (SO) The shooting incident at Kotahena on Friday, which claimed the life of a supporter of Minister Ravi Karunanayake, marred the peaceful nature of Parliamentary Elections 2015. The incident, which took place at Kotahena, also left twelve people injured with two in critical condition. Police are conducting investigations on the attack and no conclusive statement has so far been made by the Police with regard to the perpetrators. Fingers have been pointed in various directions while more..

Corruption is self-evident; Proof not necessary

Aug 4 (SL) With less than three weeks to go for elections, much heat and thunder has developed in debates but very little light is being shed. The same allegations are being reduced and gelled and the counter argument is basically the same: What did you do in your time? TV debates are going far into the night and the same charges are repeated in most of the channels with little or no fresh controversies coming in. A favourite Opposition gambit in debates is: more..

'UN domestic mechanism: UPFA won't please foreign elements'

Aug 4 (CT) Former Foreign Minister, G.L. Peiris, who addressed the press conference on Saturday spoke lengthily on the United Nation's review on the report on Sri Lanka that is to be tabled in Geneva in September and criticized the govt for keeping the entire country in the dark by signing a secret deal with the Northern Provincial Council and the UN. He said that Channel 4 Director Callum Macrae leaked a UN document. more..

Of Mujha and Hula

Aug 4 (SO) Before the Parliamentary election was announced there was widespread speculation that former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa would join the electoral fray as a candidate. The former Defence Secretary even applied to get his US citizenship cancelled as dual citizens were not permitted to contest Parliamentary elections under the 19th Amendment. However, Rajapaksa later decided to stay out of the race while even his elder brother, who once led party with an iron fist, more..

QRC digs 32 wells in Sri Lanka

Aug 4 (TP) Qatar Red Crescent (QRC) has recently completed the project of digging surface and artesian water wells in the towns affected by civil war in Sri Lanka, in cooperation with the Islamic Relief Committee (ISRC), with funding from the General Directorate of Endowments and a Qatari benefactor. The project, which lasted for five months, cost QR 401,500, of which QR129,240 was contributed by a big Qatari donor. Under the project, 25 surface water wells and 7 artesian wells more..

Screen Star meets Political Scion

Aug 4 (CT) This week Ceylon Today interviewed two candidates from the Gampaha District UNP's Harshana Rajakaruna and UPFA's Upeksha Swarnamali. Excerpts from the interviews: Gampaha will be UNP – Harshana Rajakaruna. Q : You were a Western Provincial Councillor for a quite some time and one of the younger candidates contesting in the forthcoming Parliamentary Election. more..

Editorial: Exams vs elections

Aug 4 (Island) GCE A/L exam commences today at 2,180 centres countrywide. This year there are 309,069 candidates. Election campaigns have got into the killing mode, as it were, with about two weeks to go for the polls. Three lives have already been snuffed out. Nothing demonstrates politicians’ callous disregard for children’s education than conducting elections during the exams. In a way, this is something to be expected when people elect misfits to govern the country. more..

Haycarb profit grows slowly in June quarter

Aug 4 (EN) SL coconut shell-based activated carbon manufacturer Haycarb reported slow growth in profit in the June 2015 quarter owing to the continued slump in gold mining, currency depreciation and stiff lower cost competition. Hayleys group unit said June 2015 quarter net profit rose 4% to 135 million rupees from a year ago although sales rose 20% to 2.9 billion rupees. Earnings per share for the June 2015 quarter were 4.55 compared with 4.40 rupees the year before, interim accounts showed. more..

The cult of Sanga

Aug 4 (CM) When clients came to see Kshema Sangakkara in the late 1980s and early 1990s, many were made to wait. A renowned civil lawyer, Kshema would be busy in the backyard of his colonial home, which had sat proudly on a Kandy hillside for close to a century. "Why don't you come now?" his wife Kumari used to ask. "They have been waiting here a while." "So?" Kshema would reply. "Let them wait. They have come to see me. more..

Why am I silent

Aug 4 (Island) Two hugely popular local entertainers prompted me to write this article. They are Nanda Malini and Sunil Perera. I need not say more; everybody knows them. Of course, we are all aware that the current flavour of the season is the August 17 election. If one listens to what is amplified and trumpeted by the lily white contestants, one may get the impression that there are no more saints left in heaven or wherever people with halos gather. They have all descended here to take part in more..

Herath must bounce back against India

Aug 4 (CC) Rangana Herath had a horrendous series against Pakistan, picking up just two wickets in four innings. Sri Lanka lost the series 1-2, with Herath being dropped in the third Test. With India visiting Sri Lanka in a couple of days, Herath will be earmarked by the home side as one of the key bowlers. Herath has a decent record against India and will be raring to go once the series starts. Pramod Ananth believes Herath can redeem himself against India. more..

'Malinga had support of some seniors in gunning for Chandimal'

Aug 4 (CT) Former member of the selection committee and 1996 World Cup winning team member, Pramodya Wickramasinghe, criticized T20 skipper Lasith Malinga and the present selection committee, stating that they had their priorities mixed up. Speaking at a radio programme Singaha Kelibima, he said that Malinga wanted Dinesh Chandimal out of the team even before the start of the last T20 World Cup, and more..