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British man loses bid to bring Sri Lankan parents to UK

July 10 (NT) A Kettering accountant has appealed against a Home Office refusal to allow him to be re-united with his ailing Sri Lanka parents in the UK. Sivasoruban Sivasubramani, 38, of Rockingham Road, Kettering, told a Birmingham Immigration and Asylum Tribunal that his parents, who are Tamils, felt vunerable in Sri Lanka and wanted to join him and his wife in Kettering. The Tamil community are said to still be facing trouble with govt troops despite an end to the civil war in 2009. more..

Aluthgama Violence: SC grants leave to proceed with FR in case

July 10 (Island) Supreme Court yesterday granted leave to proceed with the fundamental rights violation petitions filed by M.J.M. Imran and three other petitioners of Dharga Town, Alutgama, who complained of inaction by the police to intervene and prevent a dispute between the Sinhala and Muslim villagers of Alutgama, on June 15, 2014. The petitioners have requested the Court to direct the DIG of the Western Province, to instruct the police officers, to take timely action to prevent more..

I will quit politics if Mahinda gets a vote more than me: Sujeewa

July 10 (AD) Former Deputy Minister of Justice Sujeewa Senasinghe today vowed to leave politics forever, if former President Rajapaksa obtains even a single vote more than him at the forthcoming General Election. Speaking at an event in Hokandara, he stated that Mahinda Rajapaksa’s one brother was Defence Minister, the other was Economic Minister while his son was Minister of everyone. more..

Sri Lanka revives rail electrification plan

July 10 (EN) Sri Lanka has revived a plan to electrify suburban commuter rail links running to the capital Colombo, though several earlier attempts have been derailed. The cabinet of ministers had given the nod for an inter-agency committee to design and plan the electrification of rail links running to Panadura to the South of Colombo, and Veyangoda which is north eastwards, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. Sri Lanka plans to seek foreign funding for the project. Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Power, more..

Paranavitana turns down UPFA nominations

July 10 (AD) Karunaratne Paranavitana has turned down nominations extended to him from the UPFA to contest the forthcoming General Election from the Ratnapura District. The former diplomat, journalist and author had reportedly refused the offer based on a policy decision. Paranavitana was the one-time Ratnapura District Organiser of the SLFP and later served as Sri Lanka’s Consul General to Toronto, Canada. He was appointed as the Secretary to the Media Ministry by President Sirisena, more..

Tantrums after MR's nomination drama

July 10 (EN) At least two staunch loyalists of former president Rajapaksa have thrown tantrums when they discovered they were dropped as candidates at the August elections. WPC member Samanmalee Sakalasuriya was miffed that she was not being considered a candidate from the Gampaha district despite her strong loyalty to former president. She was among a host of other drop outs who complained more..

Cruise liners to link Sri Lanka-Kerala

July 10 (Hindu) Luxury cruise liners will commence operations from Sri Lanka to Kerala on October 2, Gandhi Jayanthi Day, giving a fillip to the burgeoning tourism industry. The launch of cruise ships between the island nation and Kerala follows the efforts of Kerala Tourism and Minister for Tourism A.P. Anil Kumar to increase the footfalls to the State during the Visit Kerala Year. The services are being launched by the Colombo-based Herbilan Cruises Lanka Pvt Ltd (HCLPL) more..

GMOA accuses Health Ministry of violating election laws

July 10 (Island) GMOA accused the Health Ministry of letting politics take precedence over the nation’s needs by interfering with a methodically prepared hospital vacancy list. Earlier, the Govt Medical Officers’ Forum (GMOF) complained that the Health Ministry had mae key appointments in the run-up to the August 17 general election. GMOA Secretary, Dr. Lasantha Jinadasa said that post intern appointments had been given according to the requirements of hospitals. more..

Rosy challenges MR to reveal wrongdoings, wrongdoers

July 10 (DM) State Minster Rosy Senanayake today challenged former president Rajapaksa to disclose the names of ministers and deputy ministers he claimed to have safeguarded and to reveal the wrongdoings he claimed to have committed and should do so before submitting nominations on July 13. “Mr. Rajapaksa on three occasions had claimed that he safeguarded ministers & deputy ministers who committed more..

Sri Lanka needs more value added tea exports; brew only 4% locally: EDB

July 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka needs to look at higher value additions in tea and the current value additions are not giving the required value addition levels, the head of EDB said. Bandula Egodage, the chairman of Export Development Board said a whopping 96% or 325 million Kilograms of Pure Ceylon Tea leave Sri Lanka to serve eager global buyers while only 4% of it is brewed locally. “Pure Ceylon Tea exports grew by 5.4% in 2014. Only 50% of tea export revenues came from value added while more..

Ravi Wijegunaratne appointed as Navy Commander

July 10 (AM) Vice Admiral Ravindra C. Wijegunaratne has been appointed as the 20th Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy with effect from tomorrow, Ministry of Defence announced. Wijegunaratne was the former Navy Chief of Staff and the former Director General of Sri Lanka Coast Guard Department. He was the 3rd Naval officer to head the Sri Lanka Coast Guard Department. He also served as the Commander Eastern Naval Area of the Sri Lanka Navy. more..

Sri Lanka: Isle Marco Polo admired awaits new visitors

July 10 (Reuters) The 13th-century Venetian traveller Marco Polo described Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon, as being for its size, better circumstanced than any island in the world. He probably would not have described it that way when SL was in the grips of a 25 year-long civil war that only ended in 2009. 2004 tsunami that caused widespread death & misery across the region also hit Sri Lanka, causing extensive damage. more..

Central Expressway to get ADB, Japan, China finance

July 10 (EN) An expressway to central Sri Lanka which is to go ahead with financing from Japan, China, the Asian Development Bank as well as domestic finance. A cabinet subcommittee on economic affairs has recommended the acceleration of the project, the state information department said. The first section of the road from Kadawatha to Meerigama will be financed by a loan from China EXIM Bank. The section from Meerigama to Kurunegalal will be financed by the ADB more..

Ossie's son enters politics from UNP

July 10 (AM) Asanga Abeygoonasekera, son of late Ossie Abeygoonasekera, signed nomination papers to contest the General Election from the Gampaha District under the UNP ticket. A past pupil of Ananda College, Asanga Abeygoonasekera is a member of the Insurance Board of Sri Lanka. He held several posts in the government and was the former Executive Director of Lakshman Kadirgarmar Institute of International Releations and Strategic Studies until recently. more..

JHU joins coalition with UNP

July 10 (EN) Sri Lanka's main party of Buddhists monks is set to join the UNP in forming a new coalition to contest upcoming parliamentary election, political sources said a short while ago. Talks with JHU's Champika Ranawaka and the UNP had resulted in a new collaboration calling for good governance, the sources said. Ranawaka is also the Energy minister and a key figure behind President Maithripala Sirisena's January 8 success. more..

Chief Minister Wiggie: A leader for all time

July 11 (CT) The days of fighting violence with violence are over; that which was undeniably and unquestionably forced on us, for which the torch was bravely borne by our undisputed Archuna, or some would say, Ellalan of the 21st century, Methahu V Pirabhaharan. Next, currently In the Tamil Diaspora we have in PM, Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran an empowering and visionary leader who is steering the Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam and Eelam Tamils around the globe, most admirably. more..

Et Tu Sirisena; A betrayer like no other!

July 11 (CT) “Sirisena has betrayed a nation. Has he got any conscience? The next parliament needs to impeach him”. This is probably what is there in the minds of 6,217,162 voters. The common opposition that facilitated the election of Maithripala Sirisena as the President, has had the shortest parliamentary life in recent history. While there was consensus among the common opposition that parliament would be dissolved after 100 days of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration, more..

'The people want Mahinda back in politics'

July 11 (FT) “The SLFP never thought President Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa would work together. None of us expected this as the end result. Now we are on the winning path and our victory is clear,” said Shehan Semesinghe, UPFA MP from the Anuradhapura District. Denying rumours he would cross over to the UNP, Semasinghe noted: “The UNP never had a vision or a manifesto. more..

Challenges facing the next govt

July 11 (SL) With President Maithripala Sirisena’s recent move of dissolving parliament, Sri Lanka is now caught up in the excitement of an upcoming Parliamentary election. The weeks leading up to it will be intense; complete with much discussion and fierce competition, and finally a group will emerge victorious, and form a new govt. This article is not a discussion about election predictions; instead, it wishes to focus on discussing the issues that need to be addressed, more..

Missing persons’ families in a quandary

July 11 (SL) The families of people reported missing in Trincomalee demanded answers last week with some claiming that there was a time the Army could locate even missing ants but not missing people. The Presidential Commission on Missing Persons conducted public sittings in Muttur and Trincomalee last week. Secretary to the Commission, H. W. Gunadasa said that people who had already made complaints from the Muttur, Seruwila, Eachilampattu (Verugal), Kinniya and more..

MR ruffles political feathers in Kurunegala

July 11 (CT) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa's announcement to contest from the Kurunegala District has turned it into a hot bed of politics. Some of the big wigs in politics such as Johnston Fernando (SLFP), S.B. Nawinna (UNP), T.B. Ekanayake (SLFP), Anura Priyadharshana Yapa (SLFP), Dayasiri Jayasekara (SLFP), Akila Viraj Kariyawasam (UNP) and Gamini Jayawickrema Perera (UNP) will vie for more..

Editorial: Wisdom of Bumble

July 11 (Island) Election fever is running high and the realignment of political forces is happening in a very interesting way. Almost all lawbreakers who masqueraded as lawmakers in the last Parliament have secured nominations from their parties to contest August 17 general election despite their despicable track records. Champions of good governance who campaigned hard to have unsavoury elements weeded out are down in the dumps. It is being lamented in some quarters more..

Midst the politics of rebirth and voodoo

July 11 (Island) When the history of the current nomination period in Sri Lanka is written there will be much said about the silence maintained on key issues by today’s leader of the SLFP, who does have a great responsibility on the matter and is certainly not placed in an easy position, with party unity more important than a corrupt free democracy. Yet it is time to recall the words of Martin Luther King Jr, the champion of the democratic rights of the black people of the USA, that: more..

Hooked on a high

July 11 (SO) They come in attractive shades, intriguing shapes and look rather innocuous. They could be toffees, lozenges, chewing gum, fizzy drink in miniature bottles, fancy mouth sprays… just about anything fun and funky and even familiar, to entice the unwitting targets, most of them young, most of them unaware, most of them just gullible. But all eager to experience the promise of more, better, best. No one openly claims more..

Maithri turns angel to Mahinda!

July 11 (CT) The TNA and the SLMC which were largely instrumental in ousting the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime and bringing President Maithripala Sirisena to power, in January this year, with the expectation of creating good governance in the country are now in a clueless state of facing the forthcoming parliamentary polls, with the mockery in the southern political scene. Former President Rajapaksa addressing his presidential poll rally at the Duraiappah Stadium more..

Ranil’s anti-COPE eyewash

July 11 (NS) Ranil Wickremesinghe is a politician. Yes, not a statesman. A politician, let us reiterate. The next election and not the next generation is what fascinates him. Like other politicians from other parties of course, leaders included. Yes, like Mahinda Rajapaksa and Maithripala Sirisena. Ranil Wickremesinghe is a lawyer. He is not just a politician but a seasoned one. So when he says that D.E.W. Gunasekera, then Chairman of COPE, was out of order in releasing more..

SL can spoil Pakistan’s qualifying hopes

July 11 (NS) The five-match ODI series between Sri Lanka and Pakistan which commences at Dambulla today is crucial for the visitors if they are to qualify for a place in the 2017 ICC Champions trophy in England. The extra pressure on the Pakistanis to win the series comes from the fact that only seven teams plus host England are eligible to qualify for the tournament to be held from June 1-19 and cut-off date for more..

Sri Lanka knocks hard at BOP crisis door

July 11 (EN) Sri Lanka is now knocking at the door of a balance of payments crisis and for all intents and purposes seems to have passed the point where the problem could have been solved with a 100 basis point rate hike. Rupee bond holders who were remarkably patient (or reckless) have started to sell out in earnest. That is why this column warned several times that Sri Lanka can no longer take the fiscal risks of the past, because we are now exposed to high levels of foreign market debt. more..

US trying to escape from SL's UN imbroglio

July 11 (CT) Last month the US came out with a report that claimed that the LTTE's international financial network was active. This news came as a fodder for many anti-LTTE armed chair critics, academics and govts too. In India the Intelligence Bureau report referred to vulnerability and threats from 'Islamist terror outfits, remnant cadres of LTTE and Naxals' and had advised precautionary measures in reference to the Mullaiperiyar dam, quickly picking a cue, TN Govt made this more..

Chunnakam battles water contamination

July 11 (NS) The wells in Chunnakam don’t stare back at you with clear water and silvery surface. Instead, what one would see is an oily surface. This can be a sign that something is not right with the groundwater of the area. Slightly over 13km from Jaffna Town, Chunnakam is a town that came to the spotlight recently due to the groundwater contamination which is believed to have poisoned many. more..

Troops assist to conduct Medical Clinic

July 11 (MoD) Sri Lanka Army troops serving under Security Forces Headquarters- Central extended their assistance to conduct two medical clinics in Hambantota recently. The medical clinics were held at the Yahangala Primary School and Beralihela Junior School in the Hambantota District during the weekend (4-5th July 2015) with the assistance of troops of 12 Division and 122 Brigade, 10(V) Gemunu Watch and 18 Sri Lanka National Guard (SLNG). more..

Sri Lanka Ashok Leyland unit eyes light commercial vehicles

July 11 (EN) Lanka Ashok Leyland aims to sell more light commercial vehicles and has embarked on an aggressive expansion strategy to widen its distribution network with new showrooms across the island this year. “Our hope is to make inroads into the light commercial vehicle segment,” Umesh Gautam, CEO of Lanka Ashok Leyland said. The firm offers the Dost, Partner and Mitr buses to augment any volatility in demand for its higher tier products in the heavy commercial and more..

Tea export earnings down to lowest over the last five years

July 11 (Island) Asia Siyaka Tea Brokers last week reported that their Customs analysis findings were that the Sri Lankan tea industry was in crisis. Comparing year – on - year performances, deputy chairman Asia Siyaka Tea Brokers Anil Cooke said that the market drop was substantial. US dollar earnings dropped to 562 million from January to May 2015. Last year’s comparative earnings over the same period were $ 650 million. more..

Speaking about COPE report against Parliamentary tradition: Wijayadasa

July 11 (DN) Speaking about the COPE report on the Treasury Bond issue which was not prepared or presented in Parliament by DEW Gunasekara is against Parliamentary tradition, said Justice Minister Wijayadasa Rajapakshe at a press conference. He said Gunasekara is no more a Parliamentarian, the COPE Chairman nor a COPE member as Parliament has been dissolved. He added in this context, COPE also seizes to function and therefore its investigations cease to exist. more..

EWIS conducts Jaffna forum on use of Secondary Schools Technological Labs

July 11 (DM) Yet another phase of a series of forums was carried out by EWIS with the collaboration of the Education Ministry and Provincial Education Department on educating principals and teachers of the Secondary Schools Technological Lab Project initiated by Education Ministry was held recently in Jaffna. 115 teachers and principals of 57 schools of the Northern Province and regional officials of the Education Ministry participated in the event. more..

Sri Lanka Air Force deploys second fleet of MI 17 helicopters to Sudan

July 11 (SLAF) SLAF has marked an another important milestone in the history of SLAF by deploying its second fleet of MI 17 helicopters as the Sri Lanka aviation contingent at the UN Peace Keeping Mission in South Sudan. Initially the required logistics have been dispatched to Juba, South Sudan by air and sea. Three MI 17 helicopters were initially dispatched to Uganda by an AN 124 cargo aircraft on 7th June more..

Court orders travel ban on four Selacine Television officials

July 11 (DN) Colombo Additional Magistrate Nirosha Fernando, issued an injunction banning foreign travel of four persons including former Chairman of the Selacine Television Institute. He made this order after the Financial Crimes Investigation Division officials pleaded Court to ban their foreign travel as they were allegedly involved in a fraud running up to Rs. 20 million of the Selacine Television Institute. After considering the submissions provided by the FCID, the Magistrate made order to more..

'Senarath, Kumarage responsible for vehicle scam'

July 11 (DN) Former President's Chief of Staff and former Chairman of People's Leasing Company Gamini Senarath, should be directly responsible for financial irregularities concerning 15 vehicles which had been leased by Presidential Secretariat in December last year, WPC member Niroshan Padukka said. Senerath and People's Leasing Company CEO D P Kumarage were accountable for purchasing 15 vehicles for lease spending Rs 140 million through Presidential Secretariat more..

I get greatest happiness by solving children’s problems: President

July 11 (PSL) I am giving priority for invitations for ceremonies and programs of schools as I earn a greatest happiness by talking to children and finding solutions to their problems, said President Maithripala Sirisena. Though I happily recall incidents of my school life with hardships experience by walking miles and miles, I am not ready to allow future generations of children to suffer such hardships, he added. more..

FINA puts SLASA in deep end

July 11 (CT) Based on a report by Majid Wassim, who was in Sri Lanka recently as an observer of FINA, their executive director, Cornel Merculez decided to inform the Minister of Sports Navin Dissanayake in writing that the new officials of Sri Lanka Aquatic Sports Associations are not recognized by them. He emphasized that all decisions when conducting meets are to be taken by the former officials of Sri Lanka Aquatic Sports Associations. more..