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Shares slip from near 6-month high

Aug 4 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares fell on Tuesday from their highest in nearly six months as investors booked profits following a four-day rally on hopes of political stability after the Aug. 17 elections. The index has gained 6% in nearly a month through Monday as investors picked up risky assets, also on expectations of strong corporate earnings. The main stock index was 0.32% weaker at 7,313.01 by 0702 GMT, slipping from its highest level since Feb. 13 touched on Monday. more..

Video: UPFA wants Ranil et al to take poison

Aug 4 (DM) UPFA said it was illegal for the PM to lay the foundation stone of the Central Expressway. “This is the Northern Expressway that we planned and wanted to implement. They have instead changed the name and called it the Central Expressway," SLFP Spokesman Dilan Perera said. Having been informed of the plans to lay the foundation stone, UPFA had complained to the Elections Commissioner, who had more..

Rishad’s party eats into SLMC vote base

Aug 4 (Island) Expanding the reach of his party All Ceylon Makkal Congress to the Eastern province for the first time, ACMC Leader Rishad Bathiudeen has taken his battle to the bastion of SLMC. He said: "In the Northern Province, our party, the ACMC is contesting with the UNP. Seeing the sad political situation of the Muslims in East, my party has arrived in Ampara to contest and as a result we are taking on SLMC’s home-base without coalescing with any mainstream parties. more..

CB Governor must be sacked: Former CJ

Aug 4 (Island) Former Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva said that the bond scam was an insider job and dishonest scheme with the Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran was a part of it, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was in it, he added. "There was absolutely no need to go for a 30-year-bond." "It was a case of insider working with outsider and the country being the loser." the former CJ said. Silva said, the govt should remove Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran from his office more..

Video: UNFGG denounces Kotahena shooting

Aug 4 (DM) The UNFGG today denounced the Kotahena shooting incident in which two people lost their lives and said no candidate should be involved with underworld figures during their election campaign. UNFGG Kalutara District candidate Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said if any candidate sought the assistance of underworld figures, the act should be denounced completely. more..

Pro-Mahinda group wanted to form separate party: SB

Aug 4 (DN) Wimal, Dinesh and Gammanpila group had plans to form a separate party led by Mahinda Rajapaksa and contest the general election under the Lotus Bud Symbol. Similarly, those who left the SLFP before the presidential election to support Maithripala Sirisena influenced President Sirisena to deny nominations to certain individuals to contest the general election. This created many divisions in the SLFP led UPFA, Minister and UPFA candidate S.B. Dissanayake said. more..

Stuffing political henchmen to Sri Lanka private banks could end

Aug 4 (EN) The stuffing of political appointees to private banks using voting rights of stocks bought by state-controlled funds will end if end independent wealth management trusts are set up, Deputy Economic Policy Minister Harsha de Silva said. The UNP is proposing independent trusts to manage Sri Lanka's Employees Provident Fund and Employees Trust Fund, where trustees will be appointed by a proposed constitutional council if they come to power after August polls. more..

Sharma calls for credible polling, vote-counting

Aug 4 (CG) Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma has called for credible polling and vote-counting in Sri Lanka during the August 17 Parliamentary election. A team of Commonwealth observers led by the former President of Malta, Dr George Abela, will be deployed to Sri Lanka for Parliamentary Elections scheduled for 17 August 2015. The Commonwealth Observer Group was constituted by more..

Colombo might become a Chicago : UPFA

Aug 4 (DM) UPFA charged that the Colombo city which recorded a high development rate would soon become a city like Chicago where there are frequent clashes because of the UNP administration. UPFA Colombo District candidate Wimal Weerawansa said the city was developed at a high rate due to the action taken by the previous govt and alleged the actions of the UNP administration were detrimental to the city because the UNP had allegedly involved with underworld figures. more..

CBK’s SLFP membership in question

Aug 4 (CT) General Secretary of the UPFA Susil Premajayantha said that the party membership of former President and SLFP patron Chandrika Kumaratunga will be discussed at the first central committee meeting following the election. Addressing the media, Premajayantha said that if the party membership of several SLFP members were suspended because they joined the UNP, action against Kumaratunga who is supporting them must be taken as well. more..

Sri Lanka has to free consumers, liberalize factor markets, slash state controls: PM

Aug 4 (EN) Sri Lanka has to move to the next generation of reforms, liberalizing factor and product markets and also reduce state controls and approvals that hold back entrepreneurs, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. SL has import duties and other controls on poorer consumers that benefit businesses and also controls on services and domestic markets that businesses themselves has to wade through to get simple approvals. more..

Muslims have stopped believing scare stories against Mahinda: Azwer

Aug 4 (Island) Muslims were rallying around the UPFA in spite of scare stories being spread against Mahinda Rajapaksa by the UNP, JVP, TNA, JHU and other parties in the election campaign. The Muslims of Kurunegala were attending the UFPA campaigns in large numbers as never seen before, said Former Minister addressing a gathering of Muslims at Wilgoda Kurunegala. A.H.M. Azwer said that UNP and its allies were carrying out a vicious campaign against Mahinda Rajapaksa; more..

Killer of Jaffna woman still at large

Aug 4 (Island) Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) and Pettah police had thus far failed to arrest the suspect, who is alleged to have killed 34-year-old woman identified as Rangan Karthika, whose body was dumped after it was secreted inside a travelling bag at the Pettah Bus Terminal on the Bastian Road, ASP Gunsekara said. The mother of the victim, who reached Colombo from Jaffna after her daughter’s picture was published in the media, had identified the killer as the victim’s paramour more..

Litro sends letter of demand to Bandula

Aug 4 (AD) The Litro Gas Lanka Ltd sent a letter of demand to former Minister Bandula Gunawardena demanding Rs. 1 billion in damage over several remarks made against it. Litro Gas Lanka Executive Chairman Shalila Moonesinghe has sent the letter of demand on tuesday. In a statement issued recently, Litro Gas said, “Bandula Gunawardene who was silent on the corrupt practices of ex-President now sheds more..

Rishad issued notice on Wilpattu issue

Aug 4 (AM) Court of Appeals today issued notice on Minister Rishad Bathiudeen to appear in court on Sept 16 with regards to a writ petition filed by the Centre for Environmental Justice against the illegal clearing of Wilpattu and illegal settlement on the adjacent area. Centre for Environmental Justice petitioned the Court of Appeal on July 16, seeking a writ order against the clearing of the Wilpattu National Park and illegal settlement of people in the adjacent areas. more..

Deputy FM slams former FM

Aug 4 (CG) Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith Perera accused former Foreign Minister, G.L Peiris of telling lies with regards to a leaked UN report on the investigations over the war. Perera insisted that there was no such report and if there was then Professor G.L Peiris should make it public instead of making unsubstantiated claims. “We do not know how Professor G.L Peiris got such a report and from where he got it. If he has such a report he must release it to the media. more..

TNA’s election manifesto: Full text

Aug 4 (AD) “We, the Tamil People of Sri Lanka are a distinct People in terms of relevant International Conventions and Covenants. We as a People want to continue to live in our country in peaceful co-existence with others, with dignity and self-respect, with freedom and liberty and without fear, as equal citizens free from majoritarian hegemony,” the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said in its parliamentary election manifesto. more..

Kotahena casualty not army sampath

Aug 4 (CT) Fourth victim of election related violence was reported yesterday when Niroshan Sampath, died yesterday following critical injuries he received during the Bloemendhal Road shooting in Kotahena last Friday. Although reports circulated that he was Army Sampath, Police denied this claim. Police Media Spokesperson ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said that the deceased is not an underworld figure and the CID is currently conducting investigations into the matter. more..

Sri Lanka should overhaul state agencies, give easy services to public: PM

Aug 4 (EN) Sri Lanka has to overhaul state agencies so that public would be able to get services and approvals from the state more easily in a new administration, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. A three year law would be brought to restructure state agencies so that the public can get state services from fewer places, he told an economic policy forum organized by Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. "How many organizations do we have supporting exports? And how much do we export? he questioned. more..

Survey finds Ranil has more support than Mahinda

Aug 4 (CG) A survey conducted by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), has found that Ranil Wickremesinghe has more support to be Prime Minister than Mahinda Rajapaksa. CPA conducted an island wide pre election opinion poll with the objective of identifying Sri Lankan voter perceptions and attitudes on key topics being discussed in the lead up to the election and thereby contribute to the current political discourse. more..

Citizens should decide carefully after weighing the pros and cons

Aug 5 (GV) The Parliamentary election is getting closer. The submission of nominations has been completed. Voters look on with surprise at the antics of some candidates. Some people are confused due to views expressed through the media by the President. How does this situation affect the elections and the future of our country? Let us ask Mr. Tissa Jayatilaka, Executive Director of the US-SL Fulbright Educational Exchange Commission about his views. more..

Open letter to President on the conduct of Sir Desmond de Silva

Aug 5 (GV) We the undersigned members of Sri Lankan civil society write to you pursuant to credible information made available to us that the Bar Standards Board of the UK has decided to initiate a formal investigation into the conduct of Sir Desmond de Silva with respect to his role in Sri Lanka. This investigation commenced on 20 July 2015. In this respect, we unreservedly condemn your govt’s continued retention of the Advisory Panel of international lawyers hired by more..

Harsha 100% confident of UNP victory

Aug 5 (FT) Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva is confident UNP will win the upcoming general election. “I cannot say we will get the required 113 seats but the UNP will definitely win the general election” he said. Q: We are only a couple of weeks away from the general election. But there is hardly a visible campaign from any of the parties. Why? A: The UNP started work a long time ago. I started my campaign in August 2014. more..

It’s all about power in the North

Aug 5 (CT) Treasuring the above values conveyed by the poet or valuing the substance, whatever the language, men of worth emerged as leaders and thrust themselves in people’s service. Before venturing into public life, they had discipline in their personal lives. That was in times past. In little Ceylon too, even as late as at the time of independence both pre and post, men of learning considered it proper to engage in public life. They came in because of eminence they had more..

Muslims should reject SLMC & its offshoots

Aug 5 (CT) The creation of the SLMC as a political party based solely on religion was a historic blunder, which if not rectified soon, will drag the Muslim community into political abyss. The foundational philosophers of SLMC were deluded by a misguided vision about the Indian Muslim League model. The tragic consequences that Muslims of India had to face and are still facing as a result of this ethno-religious model somehow or other missed the attention of the SLMC founders. more..

Minority factor in Gampaha

Aug 5 (CT) While it is natural to see minority parties fielding minority candidates, it comes as a pleasant surprise to see major parties fielding minority candidates in majority areas. Lost between majority and minority factors, these candidates seek to strike a balance between having to keep true to their identities while trying to bridge the gap with the rest of their people. JVP this time has fielded Birhan Ismil Abdeen to contest more..

Election promises without pragmatic programmes and finances

Aug 5 (ST) The election manifestos of the two main political parties promise a post-election paradise. However the implementation of these promises, especially those of the UPFA, would weaken the economy and pave the way towards a financial crisis of Grecian proportions. Once again these manifestos illustrate Lee Kuan Yew’s observation that elections in Sri Lanka are an auction of nonexistent resources. Economic resources are scarce while extravagant public expenditure more..

Assets, liabilities and the moment of truth

Aug 5 (ST) So the Elections Commissioner has given the candidates at the August 17 polls a couple of more days to submit their assets declarations. It is not due to any special magnanimity on the part of the Commissioner. Apparently it is on an appeal made by political parties that wanted a few more days as the July 31 deadline fell on a Poya day which would be followed by a weekend. It was, of course, well known that the law required candidates to submit their declarations more..

'A new country within 60 months'

Aug 5 (SO) PM and Leader of the UNP Ranil Wickremesinghe is a man with a grand vision seeking a majority in Parliament to build a new country within 60 months. “Our aim is to emulate the dignified tradition of the Lichchavi Kings, where people would meet peacefully, discuss issues peacefully and disperse peacefully ensure good governance and build a united and prosperous nation,” he says in this wide ranging interview more..

Editorial: Get cracking, Prez

Aug 5 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena, delivering the Prof. Nandadasa Kodagoda Memorial Lecture 2015, on Monday, highlighted two issues while paying a glowing tribute to the late don. A code of ethics for politicians had been promised by both main parties, but other professionals such as doctors and bureaucrats and members of the business community, too, needed such guidelines based on values and the standards of conduct, he said. more..

General Election: Switching allegiance easy

Aug 5 (Island) Asanga, son of slain UNP loyalist, Ossie Abeygoonasekera, had been the executive director of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKIIRSS) during the previous administration. Asanga Abeygoonasekera held several other state sector appointments, during Mahinda Rajapaksa’s tenure as the president (2005-2014). Rajapaksa’s defeat, at the presidential election, deprived Asanga of his LKIIRSS appointment. more..

'Dedication saw me through'

Aug 5 (CT) Former SL skipper Sanath Jayasuriya says cricket has undergone vast strides since he left the game four years ago. Former chief selector and World Cup winner has advised the present day players to grab whatever opportunities come their way and thus cement their place in all formats. He identified three attributes of talent, dedication and physical fitness as key for a player to go far in international cricket. more..

Tourist arrivals top 1-million mark in July

Aug 5 (FT) Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka surpassed the one million mark in July, reflecting the country’s continuous momentum. The milestone was reached thanks to the largest-ever arrival figure of 175,804 in July, up by 31.2% thereby bringing the first seven months’ haul to 1.005 million. In comparison to a year earlier, 2015 performance reflected a strong 17% growth. Arrivals in July, which is off-season in the context of traditional Western European markets, surpassed 2015’s best month of Feb, more..

'SL needs new export finance instruments'

Aug 5 (EN) Sri Lanka’s govt will help develop new export finance instruments as part of an initiative to rapidly raise export earnings to 50 billion US dollars, Deputy Minister of Highways & Investment Promotion Eran Wickremaratne said. Two major problems faced by the island was the falling share of exports in economic output and the low participation of small and medium enterprises, he told an economic policy forum organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. more..

Govt releases Rs. 900 mn to purchase rubber at guaranteed prices

Aug 5 (Island) Rubber Development Department announced that it had released Rs 900 million to purchase natural rubber from small holders at a certified price of Rs 350 per kilo. During the last six months, govt had purchased raw rubber from 60,901 rubber small holders at a certified price of Rs 350 per kilo at a cost of Rs 897 million. Govt had allocated Rs 4,000 million to purchase rubber out of which Rs 900 mn more..

'SL should have simple, clear, predictable policies for economy to move ahead'

Aug 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka should have policies that are simple, clear, and predictable policies for economy to move ahead rather than having plethora of policies which hold the business back, an economist said. “Simplicity is the Key,” Razeen Sally an Associate Professor at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore said at the Economic Summit 2015 held in Colombo Tuesday. “If we are to learn one general lesson from East Asian miracles, more.. 2015 winners announced

Aug 5 (Island) is a unique annual competition that recognises Sri Lankan websites with a ".lk" domain for excellence in visual appeal, usability, and popularity in terms of web traffic. 2015 marked the sixth successive year that the event was held, further cementing its position as the island’s premier recognition of a high quality web presence. Winners of 2015 include several former winners – the most notable being – and several websites that were nominated more..

Mahela to join England as consultant

Aug 5 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene is to join the England side as batting consultant. The prolific batsman will be part of the England coaching team travelling to the UAE for the Test and limited-overs series against Pakistan. He is not a full time member of the ECB staff, but is likely to be contracted for a certain amount of days a year, much in the manner that Mushtaq Ahmed was in his period as spin consultant. more..

Gammanpila offers AKD advice

Aug 5 (CT) The leader of the JVP Anura Kumara Dissanayake is perverting the course of justice by not providing the information he has on the killers behind the mysterious death of Wasim Thajudeen, claimed Western Province candidate for UPFA Udaya Gammanpila. Addressing a press briefing, he said, "Dissnaanyake keeps accusing the former President Rajapaksa of being linked to the Thajudeen murder. He should not be making these declarations on stage or at meetings. more..

Gunaratne smashes six sixes in one over

Aug 5 (CT) Clitheroe pro Janaka Gunaratne smashed his way into the Houldsworth Ribblesdale League record books and straight into a derby war of words. The Sri Lankan professional, 34, became the first player in the league's 122-year history to hit six sixes off one over. But furious Ribblesdale Wanderers players believed Gunaratne should have been out for a duck. He celebrated his reprieve by blasting the final six deliveries of the Clitheroe innings to all parts of the ground, more..