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Sri Lanka set to lose 3 Gold medals

Aug 5 (CT) Sri Lanka is set to lose at least three possible Gold medals along with a few other medals due to an unwise decision taken to scrap major athletics disciplines from the next South Asian Games schedule. During a meeting of representatives from South Asian countries, Sri Lankan representatives who included NOC Secretary, Maxwell De Silva and Sports Ministry representative, Director General of Sports, more..

UNP claims past govt wasted imported rice

Aug 5 (FT) The UNP alleged that the previous Govt had wasted 350,000 metric tonnes of imported rice through Sathosa. Attacking the former Minister Johnston Fernando, UNP National Organiser Gamage accused Fernando of importing several metric tonnes of rice while Sri Lankan famers were having their harvest. “During the last few years local famers cultivated their paddy fields and produced sufficient harvest. However, the past Govt wasted the harvest by importing rice. more..

Central Bank to raise $ 100 m more via development bonds

Aug 5 (FT) Central Bank has announced that it plans to sell $ 100 million worth of development bonds to foreign and local investors. Public Debt Department of Central Bank will issue $ 100 million in Sri Lanka development bonds of one year and seven months and two years and five months tenors to eligible investors for subscription at a rate of either $ 6 month LIBOR plus a margin determined through competitive bidding (floating rate) or at a fixed rate to be determined through competitive bidding. more..

Health Minister used two Ministry vehicles for campaigning purposes: CMEV

Aug 5 (Island) An ambulance belonging to the Peradeniya Sirimavo Bandaranaike Children’s hospital had been used for electioneering purposes by Minister Rajitha Senaratne on August 3, first postal voting day, when he conducted a campaign meeting for health staff, at Garden Beach Hotel, Kalutara from 10.30 a.m. to 2.30 pm, an operations manager of the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) disclosed. more..

Uni of Colombo welcomed into CFA institute university recognition program

Aug 5 (Island) University of Colombo (UoC) has become the latest university to be welcomed into the CFA Institute University Recognition Program. CFA Institute acknowledges the UoC’s Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance Programs incorporating at least 70%of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK) and placing emphasis on CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. This program positions students well to obtain Chartered Financial more..

Crusaders release manifesto: Police halt public rally

Aug 5 (CT) Ex-LTTE cadres contesting under the banner of Crusaders for Democracy released their Election Manifesto yesterday at the Suthumalai Amman Temple premises in Manipay, Jaffna where LTTE Leader V Prabhakaran appeared for the first time in public and announced the surrender of arms to IPKF 28 years ago on 4 Aug 1987. Coordinator and one of the 10 candidates of the Crusaders for Democracy N. Vithyatharan said that his party had made elaborate arrangements to release more..

Former LTTE members seek self-rule for Tamils

Aug 5 (Hindu) The Crusaders for Democracy, a group of former members of the LTTE, on Tuesday urged the Sri Lankan govt to honour its commitments made in the past at the international level on the Tamil question. According to the 1987 India-Sri Lanka Accord and the Oslo Communique of Dec 2002, the Sri Lankan govt had agreed to the concepts of federalism and internal self-determination, besides recognising more..

India upbeat ahead of warm-up game against Sri Lanka Board's XI

Aug 5 (IANS) Despite rain playing spoilsport during their outdoor practice session, Indian batsmen made the most of the indoor facility at the NCC while the bowlers stayed at the hotel for their assessments and gym sessions with newly appointed physiotherapist Patrick Farhart and trainer Shankar Basu here on Tuesday. After the team's short flight from Chennai on Monday, captain Virat Kohli and his team are looking to spending some quality time at the nets to start their preparations more..

'Drug dealers and addicts in election campaigns'

Aug 5 (CT) National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB) said that it was confirmed that drug dealers and drug addicts were actively involved in election campaigning, propaganda and promotional activities. NDDCB Chairman Dr. Nilanga Samarasingha added that NDDCB field officers island-wide had informed the Board of this. He explained that leaders of all political parties and candidates had been informed in writing about the matter. more..

UK Bar launches formal inquiry into Sir Desmond’s conduct

Aug 5 (FT) The Bar Standards Board of the United Kingdom has decided to initiate a formal investigation into the professional conduct of Sir Desmond de Silva, Queen’s Counsel, over his role in Sri Lanka, based on a complaint by the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice. The Bar Standards Board commenced its investigation on 20 July, and will probe the top barrister’s conduct for five weeks, authoritative sources said. more..

GCE A/Ls in progress at 2,180 centres

Aug 5 (DN) The GCE A/L exam 2015, which commenced on Monday is in progress without any hindrance, sources said. Accordingly, no serious incidents have been reported so far except for a few minor incidents such as an attempt to copy. The examination is being conducted at 2,180 centres countrywide as scheduled. This year, 390,069 school and private candidates are sitting for the exam. 236,072 are school candidates and 153,997 are private candidates. more..

Supreme Court terminates GK FR case

Aug 5 (ST) Supreme Court on Tuesday granted approval to the govt’s new action plan of paying back 41 per cent of the deposits of the Golden Key Company (GK) and thus terminated the 6-year old case, GK counsel Prof. H.M Zafrullah said. All parties, including the depositors and the company have agreed to the settlement proposed by the govt recently. Therefore, three Fundamental Rights petitions filed by depositors were terminated by the Supreme Court. more..

151 Lankans in Mid-East jobs died this year

Aug 5 (CT) During a period of seven months from the beginning of this year to 31 July, 151 bodies of Sri Lankan workers have been brought back to Sri Lanka from Middle Eastern countries. Dead bodies have been sent from Middle Eastern countries including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other countries. 23 bodies arrived in Jan, 17 in Feb, 30 in March, 19 in April, 27 in May, 17 in June and 18 in July. more..

Police bust drug ring run from prison

Aug 5 (Island) Mirihana Special Anti-Vice Squad arrested a former airman with 1,600 packets of heroin with a street value of about one million rupees at Ratmalana. Suspect admitted that he had been working for an underworld figure currently serving a sentence at the Welikada Prison. The suspect distributed heroin to locations named by the prison over the telephone. Heroin had been distributed in Ratmalana, Dehiwala, Moratuwa, Katubedda & Piliyandala. more..

Kotahena shooting: No arrests yet

Aug 5 (DM) No arrests have been made in connection with the Kotahena shooting which killed two people and injured 12 others despite repeated claims that underworld gangsters were involved in the fracas. Police Spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said the CID detectives were still sifting through the evidence and checking on the clues before arresting any suspects. “The matter has been handed over to the CID which is conducting investigations but no suspects have been arrested yet,” he said. more..

'UN assistance to N&E only through govt'

Aug 5 (DM) The govt said that if any project is being done by the UN as assistance for the resettled people in Northern Province, it would be done through Ministry of Resettlement of the central govt not through NPC. Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Mahishini Colonne said this while commenting on a statement by UN Spokesman that UN was exploring provision of technical and financial assistance including more..

Clean Energy: A giant leap for all

Aug 5 (DM) In a dramatic move to lead the world in the battle against the catastrophic air pollution, US President Barack Obama unveiled the final version of his plan to tackle greenhouse gases from coal-fired power plants. Foreign agency reports say this is likely to set off a major legal battle between federal environmental regulators and the coal industry. The revised clean power plan will seek to slash carbon emissions from the power sector by 32% by 2030 from 2005 levels, more..

UNFGG Manifesto Women: Greener pastures come home

Aug 5 (DM) Greener pastures are generally alluded to as being abroad. But they will soon be here too. One important pledge concerning women is the promise of a National Council for Women in the manifesto of the UNF for Good Governance. This has long been overdue and will be in the form of a governing body for all issues relating to women. Women are in for a better deal in life. At long last we have acknowledgement of the major contributions made by women to our economic growth by more..

'No President can appoint a person as PM without parliamentary majority'

Aug 5 (DM) PHU Leader Udaya Gammanpila, a candidate contesting the election from the Colombo district under the betel symbol of the UPFA said the procedure had been laid down in the Constitution on the appointment of the PM, and nobody could deviate from it. In an interview, he said he was confident of the UPFA victory. Q: How is your campaign progressing? A: As a practising environmentalist, I have run more..

School van accidents expose regulation vacuum

Aug 5 (ST) The school van system is “completely unregulated”, a leading child safety expert said as concerns were raised over passenger and pedestrian safety following a series of tragic accidents this week. 13-year-old Chamod Hasintha Dias was run over and killed by a school van veering off the road in the Moronthuduwa area in Wadduwa on Monday. Three other students with him were injured and rushed to hospital. more..

Rain greets India in low-key SL arrival

Aug 5 (CI) The sun has shone in daylight hours in the week preceding the India team's arrival in Colombo, but as so often happens on the island, rains lie in ambush for the first sign of cricket. The visitors had been scheduled to train at the Premadasa Stadium, but when early morning drizzle worsened into showers, they switched to the indoor nets, partway across town at the NCC. So when M Vijay was asked before this training more..

Tracking the MR Effect through Social Media

Aug 5 (DM) Elections in Sri Lanka are an exciting affair. One need only look at a condensed timeline of events from the last Presidential Election to confirm this – from the then SLFP Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena’s shock announcement that he would be running as the Common Candidate against the then incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa to his unexpected victory. Various defections and crossovers provided the political backdrop. more..

HRCSL report on Rathupaswala Army Chief to respond this week

Aug 5 (CT) The National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB) said that it was confirmed that drug dealers and drug addicts were actively involved in election campaigning, propaganda and promotional activities. NDDCB Chairman Dr. Nilanga Samarasingha added that NDDCB field officers island-wide had informed the Board of this. He explained that leaders of all political parties and candidates had been more..

Malwatte Prelate says Allegations by Opposition against UNP baseless

Aug 5 (DN) The allegation by opposition parties that the country will be divided under a UNP govt is completely baseless, said the Most Ven. Tibbotuwawe Sri Sidhartha Sumangala Mahanayake Thera of the Malwatte Chapter. “They make these hollow and baseless allegation because they are hard up for slogans to dupe voters at election time,” he said. The prelate said the previous regime did not identify the country’s needs more..

BJP looking to win through Sinhala Buddhist roots

Aug 5 (SL) It is well known that Sri Lanka has faced many problems due to ethnic and religious conflicts. Historical records of such unfortunate events have shown the adverse impact of extremism on communities as well as on the country. However, in times of such chaos, many religious leaders and patriots have come forward sacrificing their lives for the betterment of the country and its religion. At present, among the parties that more..

With 19A in place, sky’s the limit for next Cabinet: JVP

Aug 5 (Island) JVP heavyweight K.D. Lal Kantha alleged that the 19 Amendment to the Constitution had been designed to pave the way for a national govt at the conclusion of the August 17 parliamentary polls. Colombo District JVP candidate Lal Kantha pointed out that there had never been a previous instance of the Constitution facilitating shaping of a National Govt at the expense of what he called democratically elected Opposition. more..

Drink poison on Aug 18: Harin tells Dilan

Aug 5 (DM) Badulla District UNP candidate Harin Fernando told UPFA candidate Dilan Perera that he himself would have to consume poison when the UPFA was defeated at the parliamentary election on August 18. At a news conference held in response to the one held by the UPFA on Wednesday at which Mr. Perera had urged UNP leaders including the Prime Minister to drink poison, Mr. Fernando said UPFA members more..

SLFP ministers seek president's consent to resign from national govt

Aug 5 (Xinhua) Ministers from topposition SLFP sought permission from President Maithripala Sirisena to resign from the country's national govt. Former minister and SLFP member, Thilanga Sumathipala told journalists that the ministers had sent a letter to President Sirisena urging him and the party's central committee to convene soon to make a decision. In their letter, Sumathipala said that they had informed the president that party's more..

Prepare for TNA’s capitulation

Aug 5 (CT) The sharpest criticism of the TNA to date comes from C.V. Wicgneswaran, the TNA’s Chief Minister of the Northern Province. His criticism can be summed up as follows: TNA leaders don’t listen; they don’t give opportunities to youth activists; they treat politics like a business; and they don’t have sufficient integrity to fight for the demands of the Tamil people. Basically these accusations amount to a claim that the TNA (ITAK specifically) is a business party and incapable of more..

VIP security

Aug 5 (CT) Yesterday the lead story of this newspaper was about alleged death threats faced by UNP's de facto second in command Sajith Premadasa and the SLFP led UPFA's de facto Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa. Premadasa has informed the IGP that he's facing death threats at Hambantota from where he's contesting the forthcoming general election to be held in under two weeks' time on 17 Aug, whilst Rajapaksa's fears have been aroused due to an allegedly more..

Sri Lanka guarantees freedom for business, strong foreign relations: President

Aug 5 (EN) Sri Lanka's govt will not interfere in private business and will build friendly relations with all countries which will also help trade and investments, President Maithripala Sirisena said. "The state sector and private sector have to work together in trust and transparency," President Sirisena told Sri Lanka Economic Summit organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, themed on boosting exports to US$ 50 billion. more..

Sakvithi sits A/L in prison

Aug 5 (Island) Abhaya Ranasinghe Arachchige Weerakumar alias Sakvithi Ranasinghe who is currently in prison for a massive financial fraud would sit the GCE A/L examination in the arts stream. The only GCE A/L candidate in the prison this year, Sakvithi is sitting the examination in the Sinhala medium though he used to be a popular teacher of English. Ranasinghe, who is serving a 15-year jail term, was teaching prison inmates English, officials said.

Sri Lankan shares gain to over 6-month high on stability hopes

Aug 5 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares jumped to their highest in more than six months on Wednesday on hopes of political stability after the Aug. 17 elections and better earnings in the April-June quarter, brokers said. The main stock index was up 0.79% at 7,367.72, its highest level since Jan. 30, Thomson Reuters data showed. "June-quarter earnings have been good so far and investors expect better earnings to continue," said Prashan Fernando, CEO at Acuity Stockbrokers. more..

Decision on exhuming Thajudeen’s body expected tomorrow

Aug 5 (AD) The Colombo Magistrate’s Court is due to announce its decision Thursday on the request made by the CID to exhume the body of former Sri Lankan Rugby player Wasim Thajudeen. When the case was taken up before Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris today, the CID informed court that an analysis was required with regard to Thajudeen’s fractured bones. Therefore, CID had requested permission from more..

Rajagala excavations confirm chronicle accounts

Aug 5 (Island) Archaeologists have found a stone sundial while excavating Rajagala historic religious site of which the date could be assigned to a period between 1,000 to 2,200 years. The archaeologists have been excavating the site for the past three years and unearthed various artefacts, including the sun dial. Prof. P.B. Mandawala of Department of History and Archaeology of the University of Sri J'pura said that they had unearthed several building structures including a Daana Salawa more..

Hirunika says she will never betray voters by joining Rajapaksa

Aug 5 (AM) Western Provincial Councilor and UNFGG candidate Hirunika Premachandra on Sunday stated that she would never betray her voters by joining SLFP in future. Addressing an election meeting she told that she could not stand by the side of Mahinda Rajapaksa ever. Premachandra revealed that after gaining highest votes at the 2013 Western Provincial Council Election, she met former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and requested the post of Kolonnawa SLFP Chief Organizer. more..

Video: Sujeewa wants IGP to resign

Aug 5 (AD) Deputy Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe says that it is wrong to ask a person to consume poison and that it is also wrong to attempt to make someone drink poison. He was referring yesterday’s UPFA press conference during which Dilan Perera and Udaya Gammanpila had produced several vials of poison. Senasinghe stated that the UPFA candidates had insulted Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero by saying more..

Nine violations during postal voting

Aug 5 (Island) There were nine incidents of election law violations during postal voting by police officers and govt teachers, the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) said. CMEV alleged that OIC of Nilaveli Police station, N.P.F. Bandara had allowed the govt servants to cast their votes without producing their National Identity Cards (NIC). "UNP candidate for Polonnaruwa District Aluthgamage Nanda Kumara entered the postal voting centre at Zonal Education Office, more..

Suspect who left murdered woman's body in traveling bag arrested

Aug 5 (AM) The Police today arrested the suspect who allegedly murdered a woman, and left her body in a traveling bag at the Private Bus Stand, Pettah, a week ago. The arrest was made at Kovilkulam in Mannar District a short while ago. The body of the woman was found on July 29 at Anuradhapura queue of the Bastian Mawatha Private Bus Terminal, Pettah. The victim was identified as Rangan Karthika from Vaddukkoddai, Jaffna. She was 34 years old, the police said. more..

SL Tamils push for autonomy and justice

Aug 5 (AFP) The road blocks and military checkpoints are gone, and the restrictions on foreign tourists and journalists visiting the area have been lifted. But the mostly Tamil residents of Sri Lanka's northern Jaffna peninsula say much more still needs to be done to heal the wounds of a long civil war -- and they are pinning their hopes on an upcoming general election. Jaffna voted overwhelmingly in January's presidential election to oust the more..