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Going beyond election manifestos in the national interest

Aug 4 (Island) There are two attributes of election manifestos. One is for a political party to place its vision for the future and programme of action to achieve it before the electorate. Virtually all political parties have revelled in making excessive promises during election time. The election manifesto of President Maithripala Sirisena during the presidential election in January was different. As it focused on a 100 Day Plan, its promises were realistic. more..

Can licked SL extend misery on India?

Aug 4 (CT) The Indian cricket team led by Virat Kohli arrived in the country last evening for a three-Test series and they will not have a better chance than ending a dismal run of not having won a Test series in the island-nation since 1993, when they lock horns with Angelo Mathews team, shortly. The hosts are currently down in the dumps having been licked at home in all three formats (Tests, ODIs and T-20) by Pakistan during the past one and a half month period. more..

Kohli to stick to aggressive cricket in SL

Aug 4 (Island) Aggression and Virat Kohli are two sides of the same coin. He may win a few, he may lose a few, but the Indian captain is not going to back down from his philosophy. The first step that he is going to take in the process is to make the Indian Test team look different from the way it used to over the last decade -there will be five bowlers playing from now on. He did that against Bangladesh and if anyone thought that more..

Will insatiable greed overcome the democratic impulse?

Aug 4 (SL) When one begins to step back and try to analyse the issues and problems faced by Sudu Banda, Rasalingam or Cader Mohideen in this country, after a while the penny drops and one is left with a whole bunch of uncomfortable realities, the primary one being the massive corruption that seems to have reached into every nook and cranny of Sri Lanka. While corruption seems to have accelerated very dramatically during the Rajapaksa hegemony, its roots seems to have more..

Bansei Royal Resort to build a food village in Hikkaduwa to boost revenue

Aug 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Bansei Royal Resort, managed by resort chain Jetwing leisure group is planning to build a food village in Hikkaduwa, a small beach town on the south coast of Sri Lanka located in the Southern Province. Given the vibe of Hikkaduwa, the company has identified the impetus for tourists and guests to walk the streets of Hikkaduwa, be it for a morning stroll or an evening out, and the fact that guests in this area spend very little time inside the hotel itself. more..

No one will be allowed to abuse Laws, Rights or Privileges: President

Aug 4 (PSL) “No one will be allowed to hide behind laws, rights or privileges to promote indiscipline or promote misbehavior” said President Maithripala Sirisena participating at the annual prize giving ceremony of Asoka Vidyalaya held at the BMICH today (3). Recalling the recent incident in a school where a student brought a mobile phone which had indecent contents to the classroom and re-emphasized that Laws, Rights & Privileges more..

India's BJP follows Sri Lanka into net censorship with sex site blocking

Aug 4 (EN) India's nationalist BJP administration has blocked pornographic internet sites, despite a Supreme Court refusing to back such controls, a move that Sri Lanka initiated as far back as 2009, Sri Lanka also began blocking pornographic websites during the ousted Rajapaksa regime, creating initial public acceptance of net censorship by the state. SL began banning sex site in 2009, with even courts supporting police. Net censorship was soon extended to news and information more..

3,000 shareholders in limbo after acquisition of Pelwatte Sugar Industries: DCSL

Aug 4 (Island) 3000 shareholders have been in limbo since the govt's acquisition of Pelwatte Sugar Industries in Nov 2011, and hitherto no action has been taken to pay any compensation to them, Amitha Lal Gooneratne - Alternate Director of Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka (DCSL) said. "The acquisition made under the Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilized Assets Act came only after eight months' of operation of Pelwatte Sugar Industries more..

'Moragahakanda project will end the sorrowful story of Rajarata farmers'

Aug 4 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena engaged in an emergency observation tour of the Moragahakanda Reservoir Project and reviewed progress of the construction work today (3). President emphasized that he will not allow to discontinue the construction work of the Moragahakanda water project halfway as this project would resolve the agricultural and drinking water problems faced by the farmers in Rajarata, more..

Tea continuing in the doldrums

Aug 4 (Island) Bad news from the tea auction rooms in Colombo continued. Tea Market Report, John Keels (JKP) said; ‘All in all, a very poor sale as far as prices are concerned, with a high percentage of unsold teas.’ These were comments recorded on sale No. 29, 27th / 28th July. CEO JK Sudath Munasinghe commenting on the declining position of the industry said there was no silver lining to the dark cloud. Attributed reasons were declining oil prices and the Russian Ruble devaluation. more..

Rs 5.4 M land-grab adjoining Bolgoda Lake

Aug 4 (CT) Rs 5 million was paid to acquire land near the Bolgoda Lake reservation area to construct a water sporting area, revealed WPC member Niroshan Padukka. He revealed that the construction of the wharf for sail boats and other motor boats were carried out for four to five years with the protection of the SLN and without the knowledge of the Kesbewa PS. However, after the regime change in January the construction of the wharf was stopped due to govt pressure. more..

Work begins on Central Expressway

Aug 4 (DN) First phase of the Central expressway from Colombo to Kandy commenced yesterday. Expressway cutting through Central Province will mark a new era in the country’s development sphere. Total length of the Expressway is 178 kms and will cost Rs. 5.4 billion. Govt has been able to cut down the entire cost by 50% and construction work has been entrusted to China Metrogical Company. more..

Police seek help to arrest Wele Suda’s aides

Aug 4 (CG) Police have sought public assistance to arrest four suspects who are believed to be accomplices of underworld kingpin and drug trafficker Wele Suda, and who are alleged to have been involved in money laundering. Investigations have been launched to locate the four suspects, including two women. Police identified the suspects as Dilini Nilmani a resident of Dehiwala, Nadeeka Nilmini, a resident of Colombo 6, Sugath Kumara, a resident of Wellawatta & Chanaka Fonseka, more..

Police promotion procedure to be restructured

Aug 4 (ITN) ASP Ruwan Gunasekara has said that the promotion procedure of Police Service will be restructured and initiatives taken to eliminate the efficiency exam system. He mentioned that the new programme is being planned on the instructions of Secretary to the Ministry of Public Order and Christian Affairs. He said that the recruitment of Police Officers to the Department is being carried out under four positions. They have to face an efficiency exam to seek promotion. more..

Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2015 starts today with PM in attendance

Aug 4 (FT) The two-day Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2015, organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, will kick off today at 9 a.m. in Colombo with eight sessions, where various topics will come under discussion in relation to the summit’s theme of Towards Exports of US$ 50 billion. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will be the Chief Guest at the ceremonial inauguration today whilst President Maithripala Sirisena will address more..

COPE controversy: Nalin’s FR application before SC on Aug 05

Aug 4 (Island) A FR Petition filed by Prof. Nalin de Silva, will be taken up on Wednesday before the Supreme Court, for leave to proceed. Petition requests that the fundamental Right to Information newly recognised in the Constitution be respected and that the interim COPE Report on the bond issue be released. The petitioner has said that parliamentary privilege cannot be claimed to suppress the report which is a vital document that needs to be released in the public interest. more..

Major foreign debt restructuring move after elections

Aug 4 (DM) Interest rates on foreign borrowings will be brought down significantly via debt restructuring following the upcoming election, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. “We cannot reduce the debt. All we can do is reduce debt servicing; increase the tenor and reduce the interest rate. We have managed to increase the tenor by speaking to Chinese companies and the Chinese govt and we have successfully pushed it back.” Karunanayake said this at a recent forum titled more..

'Sri Lanka will have it tough against India'

Aug 4 (Hindu) After losing some of its big stars, SL cricket is going through a tough period. Signals coming from the island nation are not very promising either. 34-year-old Jehan Mubarak was brought back to the team after eight years for the country’s last Test against Pakistan which gave the impression that there could be a long-term problem with not many quality juniors coming up to fill slots left vacant by seniors. more..

Death threats on Sajith and MR

Aug 4 (CT) UNP candidate for Hambantota District Sajith Premadasa has written to the IGP requesting for additional security for his rallies in Hambantota stating that he is facing severe threats. "There is a prevailing culture of violence in Hambantota and my life is under threat. I have organized a number of rallies in the district targeting the 17 August general election and I request you to provide special security to the main rallies," Premadasa said. he requested IGP to provide STF and additional Police more..

EC allows Buddhist monks contesting GE to set up party offices in temples

Aug 4 (DN) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya agreed to allow Buddhist monks contesting the forthcoming General Election to set up a party office in their respective temples yesterday. The Elections Commissioner agreed to do so considering a request made by Ven. Vitharandeniye Nanda Thera. Thera made the request when some political party representatives, election observation groups and IGP N.K. Ilangakoon met EC yesterday. more..

Nothing can be done about crossovers after polls: HRCSL Secy

Aug 4 (Island) Human Rights Commission of SL admitted that it lacked power to prevent elected members from switching allegiance for personal gain at the conclusion of the parliamentary polls. Secretary to the HRCSL Nimal Punchihewa said that nothing could be done to thwart crossovers. Punchihewa was responding to a query whether HRCSL could take some remedial action to prevent corrupt politicians from more..

Trauma of A/L students caught in midst of electioneering

Aug 4 (DM) relatively calm election campaign after decades was disturbed last Friday with the shooting incident in Colombo in which two of Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s supporters were killed --one, a woman on the spot and another, a man yesterday at the hospital. Despite minor incidents here and there the election campaign by political parties, even those infamous for their violent nature had been encouragingly peaceful this time until this incident occurred. more..

Beyond ​Google Loon: More needed to bring Internet for all

Aug 4 (DM) On July 28, the Sri Lankan Govt signed a memorandum of understanding with Google, Inc., to spread wireless Internet access throughout the country. The partnership with Google Project Loon is for setting up a network of 13 high-tech balloons strategically positioned some 20 km above the island. These helium-filled and solar-powered balloons will act as floating cell towers that distribute 3G mobile signals wider than ground-based towers can. When commissioned in early 2016, more..

Post war development not for all

Aug 4 (SL) A mother and her two children walk along a long dusty road in the scorching sun as they make their way home. Korakankaddu village in Paranthan in the north has no carpeted roads; it has few shops around and a military camp close by. This is a sharp contrast to parts of the North which was developed under the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration, mostly areas used by visitors from the South and overseas. more..

Saudi employer offers Sri Lankan housemaid for sale online

Aug 4 (E24|7) A Saudi employer offered his SL housemaid for SR25,000 (Dh25,00) in an advertisement he published on a local auction website. Employer wrote in the ads that he wanted to end the contract with the 30-year-old maid and that she wants to work for another employer in the Gulf Kingdom for one more year before returning to her home country. He said in the advertisement that the maid is good in dealing with children. more..

UPFA divided and crest fallen; Raja Rata turning green

Aug 4 (ST) Anuradhapura District is where former President Mahinda Rajapaksa decided to kick-off his election campaign as the virtual leader of the UPFA, SLFP-led coalition. This inaugural rally last month at the Salgado stadium drew large crowds. Like all major party rallies nowadays, crowds have to be drawn from outer areas making political assessments based on crowds at rallies no longer an accurate estimate of popular more..

'MR’s corrupt forces are history'

Aug 4 (DM) Minister and General Secretary of the UNFGG and Colombo District candidate Champika Ranawaka spoke to the on the upcoming general elections. Q: On what basis have you all joined hands with the UNP headed by Ranil Wickremesinghe? A: Even during the past, a party has always been a raft to us. Even Lord Buddha has said that the Philosophy of Buddhism should be used as a raft and that it shouldn’t more..

Coal Tender: PAB refuses to sit

Aug 4 (DM) The fifty billion rupee per year tender to supply coal to the Lakvijaya power plant into Norochcholai for three years has run into a yet another controversy with the members of the Procurement Appeal Board (PAB) refusing to sit following allegations made in the media against the PAB by Power and Energy Ministry Secretary Dr. B.M.S Batagoda and a member of the Standing Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee. more..

Tamil issue comes to the fore in SL elections

Aug 4 (ENS) In Jan 8 Presidential election, main issue was corruption and authoritarianism associated with UPFA regime. But in the run up to Aug 17 parliamentary elections, opposition UPFA has brought to the fore the issue of Tamil separatism & militancy, putting ruling UNFGG on the defensive. UPFA speakers, including former President Rajapaksa, are shouting from roof tops about a revival of the LTTE through its proxy TNA. more..

BOI to ink deal with 4 investors for US$ 4b

Aug 4 (DN) The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) will sign agreements with four major foreign investors to setup factories to the tune of US$ 4 billion. “These foreign direct investments would be a gantry crane factory with ship building facility at the Colombo Port, monorail and control centre, ship breaking project at Hambantota and the Volkswagen car assembly project that are to be signed soon,” BOI Chairman Upul Jayasuriya said. more..

Rajapaksa fears undoing of his work in ending LTTE's campaign

Aug 4 (PTI) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa accused PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's UNP of working to undo his legacy by working hand in glove with the main Tamil minority party TNA. "I do not know what agreements have been worked out between the two parties. I fear if the country would see separation as a result," he told an election rally. Former president is running for a seat in the parliament in the election. more..

Major Sri Lankan parties reject TNA’s demand for federalism

Aug 4 (Hindu) Major political parties in Sri Lanka have flatly rejected the TNA’s demand for federalism. SLFP-led UPFA; UNP-led UNFGG and the JVP have, in unison, said the demand, if accepted, would lead to division of the country. Certain terms will be interpreted to convey different meanings in Sri Lanka, said Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, general secretary of SLFP. Federalism is one of them and if you say federalism, people more..

Police trace owner of car used by gunmen

Aug 4 (Island) CID had been able to identify the owner of the car that was used to shoot UNP supporters campaigning for Minister Ravi Karunanayake near St. Benedict’s College playground on the Bloemendhal road last Friday (31), ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said. Another victim, 36-year-old Niroshan Sampath of Stace Road, Grand Pass, Colombo 14, succumbed to his injuries yesterday at the National Hospital Colombo. more..

The 19 amendment & dual citizenship

Aug 4 (CT) Maithripala Sirisena became the President, winning the Presidential Election held on Jan 8. As he promised before the election, he introduced the 19th Amendment to the Constitution within a brief period, making a favourable ground for the functioning of democratic system, which had collapsed during the previous regime. Unfortunately, some regressive elements in SL politics have somehow managed to insert a particular legal provision to this remarkable Amendment, more..

Criminals and politicos

Aug 4 (CT) Last week's machine gunning of supporters of Minister Ravi Karunanayake at Colombo in broad daylight which left one dead and 13 injured is a reflection of the serious breakdown in the law and order situation in the country. No civilian is authorized to possess an automatic weapon. But the shooting had allegedly been done with the gunmen using at least one automatic weapon. The fact that these gunmen were in possession of automatic weapons, which weapons only the more..

Tiger Diaspora backs Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam led TNPF in polls

Aug 4 (DBS) Valvettithurai is a place that has figured prominently in the politics of Sri Lankan Tamils. Valvettithurai is a coastal town along the Vadamaratchy littoral region of the northern Jaffna peninsula. VVT as Valvettithurai is generally referred to acquired a notorious reputation at one time as the hotbed of smuggling. In later years Valvettithurai became known as the nursery of Tamil militancy. more..

'Rajapaksas’ Colombo development a farce'

Aug 4 (DN) The naked truth of the lie propagated by both Mahinda Rajapaksa and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa came into limelight in the words of the husband of Siththi Nazima who died in the shooting incident in Kotahena on Friday, Deputy Minister Eran Wickremarathne stated in a communique. He said Nazima’s husband told PM Ranil Wickremesinghe who visited the grieving family that they live in a rented house and occupy the upper part of the house built with wooden planks which more..

Lankan Tamil, wife attempt suicide

Aug 4 (Hindu) A Sri Lankan Tamil housed in the special camp in the Tiruchi prison campus here reportedly attempted to end his life by consuming sleeping tablets on Monday. His wife, who had come to meet him at the camp, also consumed sleeping pills. Maheswaran (35), said to be a supporter of the banned LTTE, was booked in a Explosives Act case by the Q Branch CID, of Chennai City in 2012. Case is pending trial. Maheswaran’s wife Prashanthi came to meet him at camp as a visitor on Monday. more..

President expresses satisfaction about improved cooperation with Turkey

Aug 4 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena thanked Turkey for the steps taken to strengthen bilateral relations and cooperation. He said Turkish construction companies have partnered in several construction projects including a housing project in Mannar where 100 houses were built. He made this comment when the outgoing Turkish Ambassador Iskender Okyay paid a farewell call on President Sirisena at his official residence today. more..

Premier railway station without canteen facility since January

Aug 4 (Island) Fort Railway Station has been without a canteen for the past six months. It was closed since February this year due to a financial dispute between the canteen owner and the Railway Department. Commuters were had to buy their food from the small boutiques around the station. But, those who arrive at the station as early as 5 am to catch morning trains were greatly inconvenienced, a railway worker said. Previous canteen owner had failed to pay the rent of Rs. 100,000 more..