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Allow President to play his cards

July 8 (Island) Cacophony of protests against the President reportedly, allowing his predecessor to contest at the general election is becoming almost a public nuisance. Politicians on all sides, activists for good governance, supporters and rivals have joined the fray calling upon the President to explain himself. Situation is reminiscent of a village fight in which a man is prevented to deal with an intruder due to women of the household clinging on to him. I myself faced such a predicament when I was more..

Post-war national conciliation: Diaspora factor

July 8 (Island) The UK headquartered Global Tamil Forum (GTF) had been in the thick of things when the US moved a resolution, against Sri Lanka, at the 19th session of the Geneva-based UNHRC, in March, 2012. The successful US resolution was the first of three moved since the conclusion of the war, in May, 2009. The US stepped-in after a Canadian attempt to garner support for an anti-SL resolution in Geneva, more..

Standards for the lamp, voice for the people, light for the darkness

July 8 (Island) Street lighting facilitates everyone’s mobility along the streets. Street lighting assists both drivers and pedestrians to find their way in the dark. Street lightning is also a commercial hub for beautification; thus street lighting has become an essential element on the road. In the Sri Lankan context, street lighting is often demanded to be improved especially in rural areas. Since there has been an issue of street lighting in rural areas for a long time, a novel system is?the need of more..

Rumblings in SLFP over MR nomination bid

July 8 (DN) UPFA, formed in 2004 to counter the UNP-led govt which came to power in 2001, is presently undergoing the biggest crisis in its history. Among the key players who were instrumental in forming the UPFA in 2004 were former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, Mangala Samaraweera and former JVP Propaganda Secretary Wimal Weerawansa. At the initial stages of the UPFA, they had strong political ties and were driven by idea of toppling UNP govt of PM Wickremesinghe. more..

Hiran on Hirunika: she is the ideal life

July 8 (DN) Hiran Yattowita who married WPC Minister Hirunika Premachandra on Monday says she has all the qualities he had been searching for in a life partner. "First impressions count in long term relationships. Hirunika left a lasting impression on me when I first met her a year back at a Miss Sri Lanka pageant. We spoke to each other and I was captivated by her beauty. But I soon found out that she more..

Series win a dream come true: Misbah

July 8 (CI) Pakistan landed in Sri Lanka last month with the aim of ending a nine-year series drought against the hosts in their home conditions. They were also looking to exploit the absence of Mahela and Sangakkara, who was available for only two Tests. They began well in Galle, fighting back from an early top-order collapse, but between the second Test in Colombo - which they lost - and the first three days of this Test, their batting was a major point of concern, and the players and more..

Sangakkara’s guts and glory era

July 8 (Hindu) It was strange watching Sri Lanka play a Test match this week without either Mahela or Sangakkara in the team. Not quite Hamlet without the prince, but almost. Generational changes occur in sport faster than in other spheres of human activity. We are prepared for it, yet funnily enough, surprised too. Especially in the context of cricket in the subcontinent, where few top players have got their timing right. Most quit when they have to, not when they ought to. more..

Sri Lankan plantation firms say tea output up despite less land, workers

July 8 (EN) Sri Lankan regional plantations companies (RPCs) said they have maintained adequate replanting rates on tea and rubber estates and increased production despite reductions in the workforce and land under cultivation. Planters’ Association, which represents the listed plantations companies, said their lease agreements on govt estates had no mandatory annual replanting amount. more..

CAA Chief calls for public ideas to develop Mattala

July 8 (ST) In a bid to explore all possible ways to make inactive Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) more productive, Shibly Aziz, Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of Sri Lanka, has called for suggestions from the people to develop the facility. He said, “We are trying to explore all the possible ways of making MRIA productive and also we’d like the people to give us ideas how to develop it. As a second alternative international airport it might take more..

Sri Lanka study sees other beverages as competitive threat to tea

July 8 (EN) Competition from other beverages, climatic changes and worker wages are seen as key issues the global tea industry is facing, including Sri Lanka, says a new study by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. It contains information about the competitors of Sri Lanka’s tea industry, one of the world’s largest exporters of tea, and product wise HS code descriptions among other information. The study points out that the tea industry will have to fight it out to sustain or grow its share more..

Customs hides identity of gold smuggling female accountant and her boss

July 8 (Island) The CID of Customs concluded its probe into an abortive gold smuggling attempt by a 31-year-old female accountant arrested on June 10 with 10 kilos of gold biscuits attached to her body and kept remand custody until yesterday. The woman from Kotahena had been fined Rs. 8 million and her boss Rs. 4 million for aiding and abetting the smuggling of gold into the country and both would be released as more..

Sajin Vaas denied bail again

July 8 (FT) The Colombo Fort Magistrate Court yesterday once again denied bail to the former monitoring MP of the External Affairs Ministry, Sajin Vass Gunawardena. The magistrate refused to grant bail to the UPFA MP when his case was taken up on Tuesday and further remanded him until 21 July. Gunawardena did not attend the court sessions, citing poor health. The Colombo Fort Magistrate will examine him at the Prison Hospital. He has been charged with misusing 22 vehicles more..

5-star hotels cheapest in SL, survey shows

July 8 (ST) Travellers searching for the most value-for-money stay in a five-star hotel can find the cheapest options in Sri Lanka, says online travel company Kayak after a recent analysis of five-star hotels in countries across Asia. It said Sri Lanka offers the cheapest five-star luxury hotels with average rates starting from just US$ 178.80 per night. For instance, Earl’s Regency, a hilltop retreat located in the town of Kandy boasts average prices that start at just US$153. more..

Team of Honeywell Corp to arrive next month

July 8 (LBO) Honeywell Corporation, a Fortune 100 diversified technology and manufacturing conglomerate is to send a team next month to discuss investment opportunities in Sri Lanka. Former Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said, the Corporation initially proposed to send a team here on 17 August 2015. CEO of American multinational Honeywell Corporation; Dave Cote visited Sri Lanka recently with his private jet to understand more..

Govt mum about plight of domestics: DWU

July 8 (CT) Domestic Workers' Union (DWU) has submitted three legal drafts to the Labour Department calling for a contract system to be established along with a minimum wage and a mechanism to inspect domestic workplaces, all of which have gone unheeded by the govt. Joint Secretary of the DWU Anandi Sivasubramaniam said that a minimum wage of Rs 1,000 per day would be good, as in the case of domestics who live in at their workplace, they commence work at more..

BCCI keen to push SL tour by one week

July 8 (PTI) The BCCI is planning to advance India's cricket tour of Sri Lanka next month for a three-Test series by at least a week. India are set to play Zimbabwe in a three ODI and two T20 series and the final match of the tour will end on July 19, leaving little rest for players in between. "We are working out the modalities and the programme will be out in 2-3 days. We are keen that the Indian team returns from Sri Lanka by Sept 2 or so, so that they have a complete break of one month before more..

Central Bank drags GK action plan

July 8 (CT) The Central Bank will shortly submit a motion to the Supreme Court on Sri Lanka's failed Golden Key Credit Card Company Ltd (GK) company's new payment modalities to depositors. The motion will be submitted to the Supreme Court prior to the next hearing of the FR case filed by the depositors on 4 August. This decision was made soon after a meeting between Treasury & Central Bank officials yesterday, more..

Four fishermen held, 200 kg ganja seized

July 8 (Hindu) Sri Lankan Navy has arrested four Rameswaram fishermen on charges of drug trafficking and confiscated their country boat and about 200 kg of ganja on Monday. The four fishermen, identified as Murugavel, Nambuvel, Muthukumar and Umayaraj, all in their twenties, had set out for fishing at the early hours on Monday from Muhuntharayar Chathiram in Dhanushkodi when the Lankan Navy from Mannar arrested them on the high seas. more..

Video: Drugs and intoxicants go to school

July 8 (NF) As part of our ongoing drive to investigate and find truth in the murky world of the drug trade in Sri Lanka, News1st now focuses on urban school students and what dangerous mystique drugs might hold for them. On a number of occasions, News1st revealed details of a drug ring that operates in close proximity to schools. It was also revealed that the drug ring is operating across the country. The ring’s primary target is school students. more..

Prasanna’s media secretary’s Email used to issue Udayanga’s purpoted press releases

July 8 (DN) Expressing concern that former SL Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga has not only failed to hand over his diplomatic passport to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs but is also using a letter head as a former SL ambassador, Deputy Minister Ajith P Perera. He said they are seriously looking at the situation now that press releases are being issued under this former diplomat’s letterhead to the media more..

'JVP aims at providing 60,000 jobs to unemployed youth'

July 8 (DN) The Chief JVP organizer and member of the Wayamba Provincial Council and former MP Namal Karunarathna, said at the Kurunegala Vilgoda Party office that the JVPs aim was to provide jobs for 60,000 unemployed youth of Sri Lanka in the government as well as the private sector." He said the JVP had selected suitable candidates from the Kurunegala district, adding that the JVP was not ready to grant nominations to thieves as the UPFA and SLFP does. more..

Direct flight to Colombo from Vizag could soon be a reality

July 8 (ENS) Increased international connectivity at the Visakhapatnam airport has attracted interest across the globe and airlines are coming forward to discuss business prospects. Taking this trend forward, Sri Lankan Airlines visited Visakhapatnam to study the potential demand for operation of flights from Visakhapatnam to Colombo here Tuesday. Visakhapatnam MP K Haribabu and other members from the city took part in the meeting and explained the tourism prospects and connectivity of more..

Sri Lanka moves to re-establish restrictive media regulatory body

July 8 (CPJ) The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned about Sri Lankan authorities' decision to re-establish the Sri Lankan Press Council, a media regulatory body which gives the govt powers to jail journalists in connection with their reporting. The Press Council was established under the 1973 Press Council law and is made up of members appointed by the president as well as two journalists chosen by media organizations. more..

T-Bond fiasco: Malik has his say

July 8 (FT) Special Advisor to the PM, Malik Samarawickrama, clarified his stance over alleged reports about his purported involvement in the 27 February 30-year Treasury Bond fiasco. He said that during a subcommittee meeting on economic affairs, the Highways Ministry revealed that there were a large number of contractors who required longstanding and urgent payment for work undertaken by the previous regime. Some of these projects had Treasury guarantee as well. more..

TNA in tough bargaining stand

July 8 (CT) The TNA would not go behind any govt, adopting a surrender policy. After the forthcoming parliamentary election, the TNA would adopt a tough bargaining policy to achieve its political target on behalf of the Tamil community, said K. Thurairatnem, Eastern Provincial Councillor and a prospective TNA candidate at the parliamentary election, from Batticaloa district. He further said that Tamil community was hailed as being responsible for sending home the past regime more..

Indians go to Sri Lanka for the beaches...stay for the kidneys

July 8 (BM) Money was not a problem for a patient of her means. But finding a donor match among relatives was an insurmountable challenge. Her MLA-husband couldn't manage to bend the rules either and the doctors in Bengaluru too threw up their hands in despair. Just when it seemed all was lost, a trip to Sri Lanka, along with her driver, gave her a fresh lease of life. She returned with a new kidney! more..

Five new envoys to Sri Lanka present credentials to President

July 8 (GDI) Four High Commissioners and an Ambassador presented credentials to President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat on Tuesday. Those who presented credentials were Japanese Ambassador Kenichi Suganuma, Ghana High Commissioner Samuel Panyin Yalley, Kenyan High Commissioner Florence Imisa Weche, Singapore High Commissioner S Chandra Das and Seychelles High Commissioner Philippe Le Gail. President Sirisena, referring to close bilateral more..

Unite to take country forward: President

July 8 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said that all should join hands in the spirit of unity and friendship to take the country forward while putting aside hate, jealousy and hostility. “This is the foundation of all religious teachings as well”the President said addressing those who participated in the National Ifthar ceremony held at President’s House last evening. The President went said getting together to celebrate important religious occasions, irrespective of which religion one belongs to more..

Conditional nominations for MR

July 8 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena, after lengthy negotiations with different stakeholders of the UPFA, has agreed to offer conditional nominations for former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. According to conditions laid out by the President, Rajapksa should only contest from Hambanthota and he will not be named as the Prime Ministerial candidate of the UPFA. In addition, he will not be appointed as the head of the campaign or district leader, more..

Was the previous parliament a failure?

July 8 (DM) Parliament consists of elected representatives who have been given a mandate by the people to perform certain important functions. These functions can be broadly classified as representation, lawmaking and oversight in a democracy. The question that arises is about the performance of the previous set of parliamentarians. The citizens, no doubt will agree that our parliamentarians failed to meet the desired standards as expected by the voters. more..

Green burials; earth-friendly low-cost option

July 8 (DM) In recent decades, most Sri Lankans have not only been living beyond their means but also dying beyond their means. During the war and even after that, funeral undertaking has overtaken most other businesses. As a result, while the richer elite indulge in extravagant funerals with several lakhs being spent on luxury coffins and other rites. Some reports say that ghostly if not ghastly gangs, working in deadly collision with drunken cemetery keepers often go there after midnight more..

'Maligawa financial procedures are Absolutely transparent'

July 8 (DM) Sri Dalada Maligawa is a place of utmost importance to Buddhists and the Diyawadana Nilame of the Dalada Maligawa is highly respected. The 10-year tenure of Diyawadana Nilame Pradeep Nilanga Dala ended on June 30. Currently, he is serving as the acting Diyawadana Nilame until elections are held to choose a new Diyawadana Nilame. In the light of the upcoming elections to fill this post, Dala spoke about more..

MR and his men!

July 8 (DM) A group of former MPs have gathered around former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to support his candidature at the next general election. Interestingly, most of the prominent pro-Rajapaksa members are accused with various allegations of fraud and corruption. While some of the members are under investigation by the law enforcement agencies some others are already facing court action. more..

Sri Lanka’s fertility rate picks up

July 8 (Island) The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of Sri Lanka has increased unexpectedly and the population age structure in the country has changed from its earlier pyramid shape to that of a barrel, according to a health expert. According to 2012 census, the TFR was at 2.4 live births per woman, which was well above the TFR reported by number of South Asian countries such as the Maldives, Bangladesh and Bhutan. more..

President opens Dialog Axiata’s new Corporate Headquarters

July 8 (GDI) President Maithripala Sirisena on tuesday declared open Sri Lanka’s premier telecom service provider, Dialog Axiata’s new Corporate Headquarters in Colombo 2 amongst a distinguished gathering. He unveiled the ceremonial plaque in the presence of several Ministers, Dialog Axiata Group CEO Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya, Chairman Datuk Azzat Kamaludin, Managing Director Berhad and Group CEO Dato Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim. more..

UNP members of COPE Sub Committee want Cabraal to be summoned

July 8 (DN) Former Deputy Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said that the UNP members of the COPE Sub Committee on the Central Bank Bond Issue insisted that former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal be summoned to the Committee as he was allegedly responsible in changing the manuals of the Public Debt Department of the Central Bank. "The former Central Bank Chairman amended the manuals of more..

Sri Lanka to trace hundreds of missing duty free tsunami relief vehicles

July 8 (EN) Finance ministry said a probe into a United Nations agency gifting luxury duty-free vehicles to a charity connected to ousted former president Mahinda Rajapakse has been broadened as “hundreds” of vehicles are believed to be involved. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake has initiated an inquiry into the import of high-value vehicles for tsunami relief and subsequently given to third parties without paying due taxes and more..

Outrage over putting votes ahead of students’ future

July 8 (ST) The decision to delay G.C.E A/L exams because of the parliamentary elections has drawn angry reactions from students, teachers and parents. They say the exam should have gone ahead as scheduled on August 4 and the elections delayed by a week. The exam timetable had been prepared after months of consultation in order to provide candidates with appropriate time for study, they said. more..

Pensions of pre-2006 retirees increased

July 8 (DM) The pension anomalies of those who retired before year 2006 would be increased, starting August, by amounts varying from Rs.3,000 to Rs. 12,000 under the revised pension scheme according to the post they served in, the Pensions Department said. The circular regarding the adjustment of pension anomalies of former govt servants who had retired prior to 2006 has been released on Pensions Department’s Website, more..

GR won’t join election fray

July 8 (Island) Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said that he wouldn’t join the general election fray. The war veteran said that that he decided against seeking nomination from the SLFP-led UPFA, though many well-wishers backed his entry into parliamentary politics. The 10-day nominations period for August 17 general election commenced on July 6. Rajapaksa said that he never desired a political role more..