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Indian couple arrested in Mullaitivu for violating visa

July 12 (CG) An Indian couple have been arrested in Mullaitivu for violating local visa regulations, the police media unit said. The police said that the Indian man, aged 38 and Indian woman, aged 35, were arrested in Selvapuram in Mullaitivu while selling goods in violation of their visas. According to the police, the two Indians were in Sri Lanka on tourists visas but had been doing business which is a violation of local immigration and emigration laws. more..

Anti-Rajapaksa parties pledge to carry forward Jan 8 revolution

July 12 (ENS) Sri Lankan political parties ranged against former President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Sunday formally launched the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) to carry forward the January 8 Revolution which was meant to restore and strengthen clean public life, democracy and ethnic reconciliation. It was the January 8, 2015 Sri Lankan Presidential election, in which the Joint Opposition Candidate Maithripala Sirisena beat more..

You can’t make Lanka’s omelette without first breaking SLFP egg

July 13 (ST) ‘You cannot make an omelette without breaking an egg’ would have been the adage staring in the face of Maithripala Sirisena when he rose at the New Town Hall meeting last November 21st to announce his intention to contest the presidential election and vowed to the nation that he would usher in a new maithri era and root out all the junk in the Rajapaksa trunk in order to do so. Prefacing his political bombshell with a quotation from the Dhammapada that emphasised that more..

Fear of opening economic borders: Countries to lose instead of gain

July 13 (CT) “Don’t harbour fears about opening economic borders. You are to gain rather than losing when economic borders are open.” This was the piece of advice which Ken Schoolland, Associate Professor of Economics and Political Science at the Hawaii Pacific University, left with his audience when he delivered the keynote address at a recent event organised by the Bastiat Society of Sri Lanka in Colombo. The event marked the publication of selected texts on liberty and economics of more..

'MR’s re-entry shows SLFP’s bankruptcy'

July 13 (SO) The re-entry of Mahinda Rajapaksa by arm-twisting his party leadership reflects the party’s political bankruptcy, Deputy Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said. Senasinghe, a long-term UNP campaigner against corruption and a promoter of political reforms, said the SLFP of today rides on personalities than policies. He said, with the entry of Rajapaksa, the Bring Back Mahinda campaigners have ensured not their victory more..

The old regime is falling; surely

July 13 (CT) I write, of course, from the framework of the Yahapalana movement. From this perspective what we observe now happening is tremendous and exulting. Also, looking back at the short-lived betrayal theories posted on President Sirisena’s wall, it all seems that those who indulged in that outcry were misinformed and lacking in tactical political knowledge. Our story began with the bring-back campaign. Who wanted this campaign? Not Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had by that time more..

Preparing ourselves for a test of peoples’ will

July 13 (ST) From an objective viewpoint, it did not take much foresight very early on this year to predict the fracturing of the January 2015 winning coalition even as it hurriedly groups itself anew against upcoming Rajapaksa forces. In that regard, the profound surprise of some at the sight of the former President signing nominations for the forthcoming parliamentary elections from the party alliance this week is somewhat amusing. This was exactly in line with the political undercurrents in play so far. more..

'UPFA needs MR to win the election'

July 13 (ST) Manusha Nanayakkara was a television journalist and media personality before he entered active politics. First elected as a member of the SPC in 2004, the 37- year- old politician contested the General Election on the UNP ticket from Galle in 2010 but later crossed over to the former UPFA Govt, along with many others. Considered as a close associate of former President Rajapaksa and a vociferous member of more..

Doing what’s needed to be politically viable

July 13 (NS) When the plot eventually unravels, UNPers throw tantrums. This is what happened last week when President Sirisena did what everybody expected him to do, which was not divide the SLFP. He would have been suicidal to attempt anything other than that. The SLFP is his political base. He won due to SLFP votes which came his way despite the fact that he had joined the UNP led Opposition bandwagon. But could he have won, exclusively with UNP and pro UNP minority votes? No. more..

UPFA bogged in nomination quagmire

July 13 (NS) With only hours to go for nominations for the general election to be closed, the UPFA and its major constituent party, the SLFP is trying its best to overcome its internal differences in what has become a race against time. The bone of contention is the nominations offered to former President Rajapaksa and his loyalists. Potential accommodation of Rajapaksa has evoked protests not only from parties which supported President Sirisena at the last election but also more..

'Investment over debt driven growth'

July 13 (CT) Ceylon Today interviewed the former Deputy Minister of Highways and Investment Promotion Eran Wickramaratne. Q: A general election was called and the political world is getting heated again. As a Deputy Minister of the interim govt where do you stand now? Will you be contesting in the forthcoming election ? A: I am contesting at the forthcoming General Election from the Colombo District more..

Editorial: Problematic polls

July 13 (Island) President Sirisena is in an unenviable situation. Having drawn heavy flak from the SLFP for decamping and bringing down its govt, he is now under fire from his newfound allies for nominating former President Rajapaksa to contest the election. It has been a case of Hobson’s choice for President Sirisena. Last year, having fallen out with the Rajapaksas, he had to align himself with their enemies, especially the UNP. Today, he has had to soften his stand on former President. more..

Bogols wants his driver in Toronto

July 13 (Island) Speaker of the Ontario Legislative Assembly, Steve Peters didn't know that it was the LTTE that had killed former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi until we briefed him. I told Steve that the LTTE in Canada prevented innocent Sri Lankan Tamil Canadians from integrating with Canadians and other Sri Lankan Canadians. He was of the view that security in Canada was inadequate and was disturbed by the increase of violence in the Toronto area. more..

Chandimal keen on batting up the order

July 13 (CT) Wicket-keeper batsman, Dinesh Chandimal gave consolation to Sri Lanka's sorry batting display on Saturday with an unbeaten 65; batting down the order in the number six position which helped the home team to post a decent total on board in their losing match against Pakistan at Dambulla. But the batting position of in-form Chandimal in the post Mahela –Sanga era comes into question as Chandimal had done well in more..

Mr. Rajapaksa in the fray

July 13 (Hindu) Former President Rajapaksa’s decision to contest the parliamentary elections in August has come hardly as a surprise. Ever since he was unexpectedly defeated in the presidential election in January 2015, he has been rallying his supporters in an apparent comeback bid. As President Sirisena dissolved Parliament and announced elections, Mr. Rajapaksa has seized the opportunity. What is intriguing, however, is the immediate decision of the ruling UPFA, more..

Betrayal in Sri Lanka

July 13 (TS) Mahinda Rajapaksa who was voted out by the people of Sri Lanka barely six months ago is poised to stage a comeback with the support of betrayers in the governing UPFA. The decision to give nomination to Rajapaksa to contest parliamentary election was taken at a UPFA meeting presided over by President Sirisena on 3 July. Though Sirisena assured Chandrika Kumaratunga two days later that he would renege on the decision to give nomination to Rajapaksa, more..

Tea workers pluck weeds for minimum work quotas

July 13 (FT) The deadlock over wage increases between estate worker trade unions and the Planters Association (PA) continued yesterday, with idle workers plucking weeds around the factories in order to fill up minimum work quotas. Stalled negotiations over wage hikes resulted in the All Island Workers Association (AIEWA) declaring strike action in the form of go-slow protests with the PA retaliating by declaring factory closures. more..

PM wants to divert Europeans visiting Tunisia to Sri Lanka

July 13 (ST) In the wake of the recent terrorist attack in Tunisia, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has asked the tourism industry to grab the opportunity to divert European tourists visiting that destination to Sri Lanka. A follow-up meeting in this regard was held last Tuesday with the Premier and the tourism industry which had made a presentation on the plan for a quick advertising blitz to attract British, French and German holidaymakers to the island. Mr. Wickremesinghe was keen on establishing more..

‘Anti-corruption drive in any country could have an impact on growth’

July 13 (Island) When corruption is tackled anywhere in the world, there will be a reduction in growth, and Sri Lanka is no exception, Minister of Finance and Planning Ravi Karunanayake told the Oxford Business Group last week. "There is no more massaging of accounts, and overall we are taking steps in the right direction. While there will be an automatic reduction, this does not mean the country is not growing. We are expecting 7.2% growth for the year." minister said. more..

High milk prices in Sri Lanka keeping liquid milk out of reach of masses

July 13 (EN) Sri Lanka's state mandated farmgate milk prices were pushing up costs and making a nutritional food less affordable to the less affluent, Cargills (Ceylon), a large Sri Lankan dairy player, has said. Company said it is the second largest private-sector milk collector in the country with an average daily collection of 90,000 litres. Milk powder is an essential nutrition component in the diet of a majority of Sri Lankans, more..

Cabinet approves fresh plans to boost ports

July 13 (FT) Govt has approved fresh plans to boost the ports and shipping business in the country. Last week the Cabinet approved two key measures calling for Expression of Interests for the East Terminal of the Colombo Port and Ro-Ro (Roll-On, Roll-Off) operations at the Hambantota Port, following proposals submitted by Minister Arjuna Ranatunga. SL Ports Authority had planned to gain an advantageous situation in the region by increasing the container operation capacity more..

SL to gain with Mannar basin explorations

July 13 (DN) The govt decision to call for fresh international tenders to extract natural gas from Mannar basin will be fruitful to Sri Lanka. “It will help Sri Lanka to gain a huge amount of foreign exchange and will transform Sri Lanka as a developed nation,” Minister Champika Ranawake said. Speaking at the BMICH yesterday he said the govt has decided to call for fresh international tenders for this purpose. “This will be the best thing that ever happened to the SL economy more..

WB Washington investment team in town

July 13 (FT) A top investment assessment delegation from the World Bank’s Washington offices is now in town. Boats, ICT and spices are among the Lankan exports that show future promise and the World Bank is open to evaluate the possibility of supporting an Exim Bank for Sri Lanka’s export push. “As the apex body of Sri Lankan exports, the EDB works with and across all stakeholders to develop exports. more..

School of Agriculture celebrates centenary

July 13 (DN) The Sri Lanka School of Agriculture is the first ever institution established in Sri Lanka for Agriculture Education. The first School was opened in 1916. A Hundred years of service with excellence is remarkable and historic. The Sri Lanka School of Agriculture and its Diploma Holders have made a great contribution towards Sri Lankan Agriculture. The first Prime Minister of Ceylon D.S. Senanayake has been a student of the 1916 pioneer batch. Since then thousands of past students from more.. web portal promotes holiday bungalows

July 13 (DN) A refreshingly honest booking site that sends its own investigators to review, rate and feature the best bungalows in the country is the kind of description that can be given to, a web portal that promotes a comprehensive collection of Holiday Bungalows in Sri Lanka. The brainchild of entrepreneur Adrian Thomas, commenced its operations little under two years ago. Understanding what it entailed to build, market and offer the disconcerting Sri Lankan traveller more..

Hambantota Port first phase, a burden of US$ 51mn per year: SLPA

July 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s govt had to pay US$ 51 million per year as loan repayments for the first phase of the Hambantota Port, Sri Lanka Ports Authority said. The first phase of the Port commenced in 2007 and incurred over US$ 500 million while 90% of which was granted by Chinese EXIM Bank. “Proper feasibility studies were not carried out regarding the viability of re-paying the large loan re-productively,” SLPA said. more..

I am not joining any Alliance: Faizer

July 13 (CT) There must be trust in the good judgment of the leadership of the party, said SLFP MP, Faizer Mustapha in reference to the high profile SLFPers who joined the Alliance UNFGG, led by the UNP. Yesterday several SLFP and UPFA bigwigs including the Vice Chairman of the SLFP, Rajitha Senaratne, former Ministers Arjuna Ranatunga, Champika Ranawaka, Rauff Hakeem signed an MoU with the UNP as part of the UNP led Alliance, United National Front for Good Governance. more..

Two Jaffna University students drowned

July 13 (CT) Two students from the Jaffna University drowned in the Wishwamadu Lake in Pudukkudiyiruppu Saturday. 28 third year students of the Management Faculty of the Jaffna University had gone to bathe in the Wishwamadu Lake where two of them had drowned. Furthermore, the Police added that the group consisted of 11 female and 17 male students, of them 24- year-old Mahalingam Kumudan of Vavuniya and 24-year-old Kiridaran Kapidan of the Olumadu area had drowned. more..

'I have neither here nor there now'

July 13 (DM) Former JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe has decided not to contest the upcoming general elections and withdrawn from the MoU to form the United National Front for Good-Governance with UNP, JHU and some SLFP breakaways. He said he would never collaborate with the UNP despite his losing a chance to contest the elections. Amarasinghe had earlier decided to join Pivithuru Hetak National more..

Basil & Gota out of the fray

July 13 (CT) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa will continue to engage in active politics even though he would not contest from Gampaha at the upcoming polls, sources said. He has further revealed that he is looking forward to working alongside President Sirisena and former President Rajapaksa, to provide assistance to the UPFA youth activists. He also stressed that with his experience as a former Presidential Consultant he would be able to engage in politics without having a ministerial post. more..

Colombo Fashion Week announces third annual season: Swim

July 13 (Island) Colombo Fashion Week (CFW) announces Swim, its third annual season, in line with its objective of uplifting Sri Lanka's fashion design industry. Swim, as a season of its own, focuses on swimwear as a specialized category, which has shown immense growth potential as an important fashion platform for Sri Lankan swimwear designers and swimwear manufacturers. Swim by CFW will be launching for the first time on 7 and 8 August at the Hilton Colombo and more..

Video: Maithripala committed the most loathsome betrayal in history: JVP

July 13 (LT) President Sirisena agreeing to give nomination to former president Rajapaksa is the most disgraceful political partnership says the Leader of the JVP Anura Dissanayaka. Speaking to the media after signing the nomination papers with other district leaders of the party he further said, “According to the manner the election has been propelled a nonsensical drama would be unfurled. more..

Mervyn makes last ditch attempt

July 13 (Island) SLFP Kelaniya Bala Mandalaya yesterday appealed to SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa to accommodate former MP Mervyn Silva in UPFA Gampaha District. A spokesperson said the SLFP hadn’t responded favourably so far to the appeal made by the chief organiser for Kelaniya electorate. She said as the former Minister hadn’t been found guilty by any court of law, there couldn’t be any reason to deprive him of an opportunity to seek re-election. more..

No statement from President today

July 13 (CT) President Sirisena will not be making a special statement today contrary to the reports which indicated otherwise. Media reports stated that the President was scheduled to make a statement with regard to granting nomination to former President, Rajapaksa. When Sirisena met representatives of Civil Society Organizations last Wednesday he told them that he will make a special statement announcing that he will remain neutral during the election. more..

'Return of Rajapaksa regime won’t be allowed'

July 13 (Island) Reiterating his commitment to protect what he called the January 8 revolution which brought Maithripala Sirisena to power, Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday vowed to wipe out Rajapaksa regime at the August 17 parliamentary polls. He compared the Rajapaksa era with that of South Indian invasion led by Kalinga Maga in 1214 A.D. Premier was addressing the media at Temple Trees after more..

Nimal: UNP will be taught a lesson for taking people for a ride

July 13 (Island) Former Opposition leader Nimal Siripala de Silva says the UPFA will teach a damn good lesson to the UNP for taking the masses for a ride, promising them good governance. Speaking at an event to welcome UPFA candidates in the Badulla District, he said the UNP was hoping to see a division within the SLFP. "However, their hopes were shattered; we have two strong leaders now. Thus, we are not worried about facing the forthcoming election. more..

Large scale brewery in Ja-ela busted

July 13 (DN) Excise officers busted a large scale illicit brewery at Mahawatte, Kalaeliya in Ja-ela and took into custody over 5,000 bottles of illicit liquor and spirits. The brewery owners had dug a large tank in a marshy land close to the Colombo – Katunayake highway. The brewers had used a large natural water tank adjoining the Muthrurajawela nature reserve for their brewing process, polluting the immediate enviornment which includes a highly congested residential area, more..

Rainbow reunites against Rajapaksa

July 13 (FT) The threat of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s political re-emergence has unified the fractured rainbow coalition that swept President Maithripala Sirisena to victory on 8 January, with several parties signing agreements yesterday to contest parliamentary elections under a single banner. United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) was inaugurated at Temple Trees yesterday, with several parties that backed more..

Free education for the heart

July 13 (DM) The legendary Greek philosopher Aristotle has enlightened us of the fact that educating the mind without educating the heart is no education. Some 2300 years after the philosopher gave us these words of wisdom they are more important now than ever before because of the ongoing battle between the spirit of goodness and the forces of evil for the hearts and minds of hundreds of millions of children. Such insights may have been in the heart and mind of President more..

Protect Maithri, the Democrat and Statesman

July 13 (DM) Did Maithripala Sirisena disappoint the 6.2 million voters by letting MR contest under the SLFP tag? Some call it a great betrayal; while others think it a democratic option or burying the hatchet for mutual survival. In the meantime, the govt and PM makes a strenuous effort to brainwash citizens in a well calculated and masterly cover-up agenda to save offenders involved in CB Bond scam. Why are they doing this if the govt politicos are not involved in the scandal? more..