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LBO gearing for interesting initiatives

July 13 (Island) Launched in the year 2000, Lanka Business Online, popularly known as LBO, is Sri Lanka’s and perhaps the region’s, first web based news service. Founder Publisher of LBO, Lakshaman Bandaranayake, spoke of his ground breaking venture on the eve of their Annual Enterprise Summit, which is sponsored by Platinum and Title Sponsor Leapset, while Singer Mega and Sampath Bank are Gold sponsors. more..

SC upholds DSG’s assertion: Nobody can challenge presidential gazettes

July 13 (ST) A Supreme Court (SC) Bench comprising Chief Justice K. Sripavan, Justices Eva Wanasundara and Rohini Marasinghe, Friday refused leave to proceed in a Fundamental Rights (FR) application filed by Sri Lanka Gateway Industries Ltd (SLGIL), challenging the gazette notification issued by President Maithripala Sirisena revoking the release of land in Sampur, Trincomalee, for their investment project. more..

Indonesia keen to learn Sri Lanka's experience in rehabilitating rebels

July 13 (SLA) A delegation from the National Resilience Institute of the Republic of Indonesia, currently in Sri Lanka on a three-day familiarization tour, called at the Army Headquarters Friday to meet the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva and a few other senior officers. The five-member Indonesian delegation, led by Air Vice Marshal (retd) Sumarman, Professional Staff for National Ideology Matters, more..

Wheeler dealing á la Weerawansa

July 13 (SL) Renegade Marxist politician, former minister Wimal Weerawansa has now been exposed as a wheeler-dealer engaged in money making tactics through various deals. Employees attached to institutions that were under his purview when he was the Minister have now come out openly and accuse him of offering tenders to the highest bidders disregarding govt rules and regulations, simply for financial gain. more..

full-face helmets: Stay order on ban extended

July 13 (AM) The Court of Appeal today extended the interim order suspending the Police Advisory Circular banning full-face helmets till Sept 2. The Attorney General informed the court that further time is needed to reach a settlement on the issue. The police earlier decided to ban full face helmets with effect from March 21 in order to stop crimes and burglaries done by people covering their faces using full face helmets. more..

Full List: Nominations for Colombo

July 13 (AD) Acceptance of nominations for the forthcoming General Election which is to be held on 17 Aug, ended today at 12 noon. Nomination list of the UNP showed that Champika Ranawaka, Mano Ganeshan and Hirunika Premachandra are among those contesting from Colombo district. From UPFA, Udaya Gammanpila, Rohitha Bogollagama and Jayantha Ketagoda are among those contesting from Colombo district. more..

SL and China conclude joint army exercise

July 13 (CG) Sri Lanka and China, on Monday, concluded a joint army exercise at a Special Forces training school in Maduruoya. A 43-member group of Chinese military officers, led by Lieutenant Colonel Qi Qiang of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) joined hands together with a similar number from the Sri Lanka Army’s Commando Regiment and Special Forces in the Exercise – Silk Route – 2015 which began last month. more..

No nominations for Duminda, Mervin, Sarana and Sajin

July 13 (LBO) Duminda Silva, Mervin Silva, Sarana Gunawardena and Sajin Vass Gunawardena have not been given nominations, General Secretary of the UPFA Susil Premajayantha said. Susil Premajayantha revealed this on Monday after handing over the nomination papers at the Colombo District secretariat. “Actually we have not removed any name. We have included the list we prepared in the nomination paper,” Premajayantha said. more..

Probe on corrupt will continue under new UNP govt

July 13 (DN) The ongoing investigations on wrong doings committed by politicians and officials over the past years would be continued uninterruptedly under a new UNP govt led by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister John Amaratunga said. He said all allegations of drug and ethanol trade, criminal acts, corruption, fraud and financial misuse would be investigated and legal action taken against the offenders. more..

England line up Mahela as batting consultant

July 13 (ES) After scoring nearly 4,000 international runs against England, Mahela Jayawardene might soon be sharing the secrets of his success with some of the men he drove to distraction. The former Sri Lanka captain is in line to be hired by England on a consultancy basis at the end of the summer. Coach Trevor Bayliss and his assistant Paul Farbrace worked extensively with Jayawardene during their time with Sri Lanka more..

Breaking the Hoodoo

July 13 (CT) The battle lines for the general elections due in another six weeks' time on 17 August are drawn.It's between UNP Leader and Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe's party and a new coalition called the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) comprising disenchanted SLFP/UPFA politicos and certain minority and minor parties and the SLFP led UPFA's proxy leader and its immediately preceding leader and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Civil society wants eight key pledges to be included in party manifestos

July 13 (CT) Sending an open letter to all political parties, 94 Civil Society activists and 29 organisations have today urged that 8 key pledges to be included as firm pledges in party manifestos. We publish below the letter in full; We the undersigned Sri Lankan civil society activists and organizations, wish to bring to your attention human rights issues of pivotal importance to reconciliation, unity, peace and prosperity in our country, which we strongly believe should be included more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Maithri’s options: From sensation to reality

July 13 (CT) Since the last presidential election, fun begins from the nominations stage. This time round, however, nominations of both sides exceed mere fun and borders on black humour – would you imagine Mahinda Rajapaksa runs under Maithri’s list and fiery Champika Ranawaka to camp in Ranil’s backyard? So, the proverbial desperate situations call for desperate solutions. May be. The central plot of the drama so far is the nomination for the former president Rajapaksa from the UPFA list. more..

Udaya says Champika eating his own words

July 13 (Island) General Secretary of the PHU Udaya Gammanpila alleged that his erstwhile colleague Champika Ranawaka had become a grand opportunist. Gammanpila, commenting on Ranawaka entering into an election pact with the UNP, said: "The very same Ranawaka, who earlier described the UNP Leader as the modern day Don Juan Dharmapala is now likening the latter to King Dutu Gemunu. I do not think that people have forgotten how Ranawaka accused more..

Prassana tells supporters be ready with poles

July 13 (CG) Western Province CM Prassana Ranatunga today urged supporters of the UPFA to be ready with poles in their hands to greet SLFP defectors when they visit them to seek their vote. Speaking to SLFP supporters, Ranatunga said that those who accused former President Rajapaksa are those who destroyed the SLFP. He said that those people had put pressure on President Sirisena with regards to nominations given to Rajapaksa more..

Sri Lankan shares end at over 1-week high on hopes of political stability

July 13 (Reuters) Shares hit a more than one-week high on Monday, surpassing the 7,000-point psychological barrier as hopes of political stability after the Aug. 17 election helped boost sentiment, stockbrokers said. The ruling UNP has formed a coalition with some other parties to contest the election. Political analysts see the new coalition could increase the ruling party's chances of winning the election. "The market will be positive after seeing some kind of clarity and on hopes that more..

Children’s Home incident: Girls taken in for assaulting warden

July 13 (Island) The Kalutara police took into custody 17 girls of the Vishaka Children’s Home for allegedly attacking their female warden on Friday night. Following a complaint by the warden, Amara Kasturiarachchi, an investigation was held by Kalutara South HQI Sampath Bandara, OIC of Kalutara Division Children and Women’s Affairs Bureau WIP Malka Thushari and OIC of Kalutara South Children and Women Affairs Branch WIP Sanjeewani Pathirana. more..

Election law violations reported at several locations

July 13 (CG) Local election monitors reported election law violations at several locations around the island as the deadline for accepting of nominations for the August 17 Parliament elections ended this afternoon. The CaFFE said that processions including several vehicle processions were reported after the main political parties handed over their nomination papers to the respective District Secretariats this afternoon. more..

Conservation and efficient use of energy

July 13 (Island) The conservation as well as efficient use of energy was one of the thrust areas in recently launched Sri Lanka’s energy sector development plan for a knowledge-based economy. The Green Village is one of the concepts in the thrust area of efficient use of energy. A land area, from Malkaduwawa to Gettuwana in Kurunegala, had been identified for the Green Village consisting of 3,206 domestic, 842 General Purpose, and 24 Industrial, totalling 4,102 customers, more..

Shiromal to lead SL Institute of Directors

July 13 (FT) Shiromal Cooray was unanimously elected Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Institute of Directors (SLID) at their 15th Annual Membership Meeting last month, held at the the Cinnamon Grand. After accepting the baton to chair the SLID, she spelt out her priorities, which included continuing the organisation’s main focus in governance by conducting events and workshops – with arrangements being made to enlist foreign professionals – & organising regional events more..

Sri Lanka plantations offer Rs 1,000 wage for higher productivity

July 13 (EN) Sri Lanka’s regional plantation companies have said they are willing to meet labour union demands to raise daily pay to 1,000 rupees if workers agree to improve their productivity and pluck more tea. The productivity-based formula provides opportunity for workers to improve earnings through greater output, the Planters’ Association which represents RPCs said. “The demand of plantation sector trade unions for more..

Kamal steps back to allow space for crossovers

July 13 (DM) Popular Actor Kaml Addararachchi said today he decided not to contest at the general elections so as to make way for those who crossed over to the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) considering the latest political developments. He was billed to contest on the UNP ticket from the Gampaha District and said he opted to step down to allow party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to accommodate the front-line politicians who had crossed over. more..

Inseparable political pals!

July 13 (Island) Former Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said in Kandy on Sunday that President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa were two characters who could not be separated. The two had been in politics for 47 together. He said so at a meeting held by the SLFP Bala Mandalaya of Senkadagala organised by former MP, Dilum Amunugama. Former MP Lohan Ratwatte said that the country would face serious danger if the present govt was not defeated. more..

National Lists of UPFA, UNP & JVP revealed

July 13 (NS) National Lists of the UNP, UPFA and JVP have been released. All three lists contain some familiar faces as well as many new ones. UPFA National List sees the inclusion of both loyalists of Mahinda Rajapaksa and Maithripala Sirisena. UNP National List also includes the likes of Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera and Athularaliye Rathana Thera, formally of the JHU and who have aligned with the UNP as part of UNFGG. more..

Colour red makes Arundika bellow

July 13 (LT) Two candidates of the JVP and another member of the party have been severely assaulted by a gang of thugs directly controlled by the Puttalam District UPFA candidate Arundika Fernando. Mr. P.I. Wjedasa who was injured in the attack committed yesterday night has been admitted to Marawila Hospital in a serious condition. A complaint - No. EIB5/25) - regarding the attack was lodged at Marawila Police. Already, three members of the gang of thugs have been arrested. more..

Cost of fossil fuels worries Ranawaka

July 13 (Island) Nearly 50% of Sri Lanka’s export income had to be spent to meet the country’s import cost of fossil fuel which was equivalent to nearly US$ 5 billion annually, according to Minister Champika Ranawaka. The Minister, hinting that it was not sustainable in the future said: "This is an astronomical figure which needs serious attention. This should not be continued if our country is to be developed and we need to find alternative strategies to meet our energy demands more..

Sri Lanka bans phones in safari park to save leopards

July 13 (EN) Sri Lanka's wildlife authorities today announced banning the use of mobile phones at the Yala national park in an effort to save animals from a network of speeding safari vehicles. The department of wildlife said sightings of large mammals such as leopard are usually conveyed to other vehicles using mobile phones inside the Yala park where wild animals had been run over by speeding visitors. more..

Upeksha Swarnamali granted UPFA nomination from Gampaha

July 13 (AM) Popular actress and former Parliamentarian Upeksha Swarnamali has been granted nomination from the UPFA in Gampaha District. During the nomination period, it was widely speculated that she will not be given nomination by the UPFA. In the 2010 General Election, Swarnamali contested from Gampaha District under the UNP ticket and entered parliament. She came second in the UNP list with 81, 350 preferences. She later crossed over to the UPFA. more..

Otara launches Foundation for environmental sustainability and animal welfare

July 13 (LBO) Fashion entrepreneur and animal lover Otara Gunewardene, has launched a non-profit foundation dedicated to improving the lives of all animals, communities and the environment. “There is no business that we engage in which is more important than preserving the environment we have been blessed with,” Otara Gunewardene said, announcing the formal registration of the Otara Foundation said. “This was always my belief and it has always been at the core of more..

Objections filed against candidates holding dual citizenship

July 13 (Xinhua) Objections were filed on Monday against some political candidates who were nominated to contest the August parliamentary elections after it was alleged that they held dual citizenship. The objections, which were filed in the Matara District in southern Sri Lanka, were against former minister Dallas Alahapperuma and provincial councilor Manoj Sirisena from the opposition UPFA. more..

SL sells $301 mln of development bonds

July 13 (Reuters) Sri Lanka raised $301 million from the sale of dollar-denominated development bonds on Monday. The govt accepted $291 million in 13-month bonds at six-month LIBOR plus a floating rate of 330.97 basis points (bps) after receiving bids worth $293 million, the central bank said. It also accepted $10 million out of $12 million total bids in 33-month bonds at six-month LIBOR plus a floating rate of 360 bps. Govt had offered $75 million for the issue in both tenures. more..

Full List: Nominations for Kurunegala

July 13 (AM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa leads the United People's Freedom Front nominations list as the team leader in Kurunegala District. SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa handed over nominations this morning at the District Secretariat. Meanwhile, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam leads the UNP list. Full Lists: UPFA: 1. Mahinda Rajapaksa 2. Anura Priyadarshana Yapa 3. Johnston Fernando 4. T.B. Ekanayake 5. Shantha Bandara more..

Press Council’s revival threatens media freedom in Sri Lanka

July 13 (RSF) Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) are alarmed by the new president’s decision to revive the Press Council – a controversial body that gave the authorities a great deal of scope to coerce the media – and urge him to create an independent council that guarantees a system of media self-regulation. President Sirisena’s govt announced the revival of the Press Council on 2 July, more..

Former Sri Lanka leader to run for prime minister in August elections

July 13 (Reuters) A coalition led by Sri Lanka's president has nominated war-time leader Mahinda Rajapaksa to run in elections next month, official documents showed on Monday, with allies saying he will stand for the post of prime minister. President Maithripala Sirisena defeated Rajapaksa in a bitterly fought election in January. He was forced to give the former leader the nomination in the face of strong demands from his party or risk a split. Rajapaksa's crushing of a 26-year Tamil Tiger more..

Sirisena likely to stay away

July 13 (Hindu) President and SLFP chairperson Maithripala Sirisena, who has received flak recently from certain sections for reportedly clearing the nomination of former President Rajapaksa for the parliamentary elections, is going to stay away from the polls. Indicating this in a chat with The Hindu at his office here, UNP leader and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his reply to a question whether he felt sad about Mr. Sirisena giving nomination to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, more..

Bigwigs to fight it out in Colombo District

July 13 (ENS) Colombo district, SL’s most populous electoral district with a 1.5 million strong electorate and 19 seats, will see top leaders of the various political parties fight it out in the August 17 parliamentary elections. UNP is fielding PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Justice Minister Wijayadasa Rajapakse, Power Minister Champika Ranawaka, and four junior ministers. more..

Mahinda’s return as PM: Not yet a done deal

July 14 (CT) Unfazed by his surprise defeat in the last presidential polls, Sri Lanka’s Mahinda Rajapaksa appears to be back with a bang on the nation’s political centre stage with the UPFA coalition nominating him to contest the August 17 parliamentary election. as a candidate. Six months ago, when Rajapaksa went into a sulk after his defeat, nobody would have imagined that he would bounce back so soon and so strongly with the support of UPFA. more..

An open letter to UN HR chief

July 14 (CT) I am a Sinhalese from the majority community in Sri Lanka. My cousin, Chandrika Kumaratunga was a former President. I am one of a very few Sinhalese, in or outside Sri Lanka, to campaign for the cause of the Tamil people to live with equality, dignity and safety in the country of their birth. I have done so since 1948 when a million Plantation Tamils (one seventh of the total population of the country at that time) were disenfranchised and decitizenised in more..

Making of a new media culture

July 14 (SO) A lawyer, politician, diplomat and administrator, Karunarathna Paranawithana has distinguished himself as a writer and a journalist. He has authored several books on media and journalism, including Sivuweni anduwe deshapalanaya (Politics of the Fourth Estate), prescribed as a reference reader in mass media by various universities. Paranawithana holds a BA degree from more..