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Sri Lankan shares end at one-month high on post-poll stability hopes

July 15 (Reuters) Shares hit a one-month high on Wednesday, led by large-caps and banks, as hopes of political stability after the Aug. 17 parliamentary elections improved sentiment. On Tuesday, President Sirisena criticised a comeback bid by Mahinda Rajapaksa, whom he beat in elections last January, and his own allies for backing him to become PM. Analysts see Sirisena's statement as a step towards strengthening his grip and likely to help the ruling coalition win at the polls. more..

Removing impunity for offences committed under the previous regime

July 15 (CT) Rule of Law is an essential part of restoring Good Governance. Good Governance must include restoring the Rule of Law to bring to book those who acted with impunity through the exercise of political power. The cry of good governance seems to be reverberating in our country today. It is as if a social revolution is taking place. A similar situation in the past in the West was he cry for good govt. During the French Revolution the cry was for liberty, equality and fraternity. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

UPFA banks on Genevaleaks

July 15 (CT) With the closure of nominations on Monday, the campaign for the general election of 17 August kicked off yesterday, in a perennial repetition of a two horse race between the country's two major parties, the SLFP and the UNP, though under various coalitions and coalition names. The SLFP will be contesting under the UPFA coalition formed 11 years ago and the UNP in a new coalition called the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) made only a few days ago. more..

IGP orders removal of illegal posters

July 15 (CT) IGP N.K. Illangakoon has issued a strict order to all Police Stations in the country to immediately remove illegal posters, banners and cut-outs. The IGP has called on all OIC of Police Stations to send him a written report confirming that all such illegal banners, cut-outs and posters have been removed. The Provincial Senior DIG of Police have been ordered by the IGP to take steps to obtain advice from the Attorney General by next Monday and to gather facts in connection more..

Ethanol river continues to flood Sri Lanka

July 15 (Island) The number of legal ethanol importers has increased alarmingly since the new govt came to power in Jan. 2015 and the volume of ethanol imported to the country, too, has increased drastically over six months nearly equal to the amount imported in the whole of last year. Customs spokesman Leslie Gamini said that from January to June 30 this year, it was over 10.3 million litres worth over one billion rupees. more..

Malabe fracas: Husband and wife arrested

July 15 (DM) A man and a woman were arrested by the Kaduwela Police this morning following a fracas the woman had with traffic Police at Malabe last evening, ASP Ruwan Gunasekera said. He said that the mother had threatened the Police officers after they had warned her against driving with her infant on her lap. The video of the incident, where the 38-year-old mother threatening the officers went viral on social media after a bystander posted it on the Facebook. more..

High drama as excise men give chase to bootlegger

July 15 (Island) There was high drama on a busy road at Kochchikade, recently when Excise men gave chase to a speeding car transporting illicit liquor. Finally the men in khaki overtook the car, and forced it to stop. According to Excise Department spokesman, Jayantha de Silva the driver was taken into custody with eight polythene bags containing equivalent of 400 bottles of kasippu. "The consignment of spirits had been covered with a black cloth to avoid detection," he said. more..

Court stops SLFP meeting without party head

July 15 (CG) A court order has been issued against the SLFP from convening a Central Working Committee meeting without the permission of the head of the party. District Court of Colombo issued the order based on a petition filed by SLFP member Prasanna Solangaarachchi. President Sirisena is the head of the SLFP and he had opposed an attempt by the SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadharshana Yapa to more..

Request has been made to sack five SLFPers, says Thilanga

July 15 (AD) A request has been made to the Central Committee (CC) of the SLFP to sack five party members who defected from the SLFP and scheduled to contest under the UNF at the forthcoming election, SLFP Media Coordinator Thilanga Sumathipala said. He that this request was about to be considered at the CC meeting that was scheduled to be held today. Names of Rajitha Senaratne, Hirunika Premachandra, Arjuna Ranatunga, M.K.D.S. Gunawardena and more..

Doctors to press their case with all political parties

July 15 (Island) The GMOA will shortly hold discussions with leaders of all political parties contesting upcoming elections. The office bearers of the biggest doctors’ union will be spelling out its stance on the National Wages Policy circular of 2006 and at the same time express concern about salary compression ratio of a medical officer and urge it to be increased to 1:12 as in India. Former Indian PM Manmohan Singh had taken steps to increase the ratio as an incentive for most of more..

'New alliance not against MR'

July 15 (DM) United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) was not an alliance formed only against former President Mahinda Rajapaksa but formed to fulfil the political reforms that could not be achieved in previous Parliament, JHU General Secretary Champika Ranawaka said today. “This is not an alliance against Mahinda Rajapaksa. We were prevented from fulfilling certain political reforms, such as the case of more..

Arjuna accuses Susil over UPFA nominations

July 15 (CG) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga, accused UPFA General Secretary and SLFP member Susil Premajayantha of creating a nominations list without consulting the party leadership. Speaking to the chief prelate of the Malwatte Chapter the Ven. Thibbotuwawa Sri Sumangala thera, Ranatunga said that the UPFA nominations list for the Gampaha District had initially been drafted with the participation of former President and SLFP member Chandrika Kumaratunga. more..

Finance Ministry hogging double cabs meant for Postal Department

July 15 (Island) Postal and Telecommunications Officers’ Union complain their department is unable to perform election duties as it has not received 18 of 25 double cabs imported for its use recently. General Secretary of the union H. K. Kariyawasam said that regional postal superintendents and staff officials were responsible for the department’s tasks including distributing ballot papers, accepting insured postal vote packets and circulating them among respective institutions more..

'Sri Lanka new administration has not tinkered with GDP data'

July 15 (EN) Sri Lanka’s govt has rejected allegations that it tinkered with economic growth rates in newly published revised gross domestic product data with a new base year. Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva said the revision had been done in 2011 during the time of the ousted Rajapaksa regime but not published as it would have exposed the reality that the economy was not doing as well as the then-govt claimed. more..

Amaraweera to decide on resigning from politics tomorrow

July 15 (AM) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera stated that he will announce if he would resign from politics tomorrow. He said that he is confused by the prevailing political situation. He added that one reason for the confusion is the speech by President Sirisena last evening. However, he added that incidents that happened even before the speech were also reasons for the confusion. If he decide to resign from politics, he would even suspend the election campaign, Amaraweera said. more..

Lankan national held, heroin worth Rs 50 lakh seized

July 15 (PTI) A 45-year-old Sri Lankan national was arrested and heroin worth Rs 50 lakh in the international market was seized from him in nearby Pamban, police said today. Officials of Integrated Intelligence Unit seized 500 gm of heroin from Gowry Balan and arrested him at Pamban bus stand late last night. Police said Balan had arrived from Killinochi in Sri Lanka and was going back to his home town when he was nabbed. He was produced before a court which remanded more..

Video: Reply to MS on July 17: MR

July 15 (DM) Former President Rajapaksa today said the reply to the speech made by President Sirisena yesterday would be given on July 17 in Anuradhapura. Mr. Rajapaksa made these remarks when he arrived at the SLFP head office to take part at the UPFA party leaders meeting a short while ago. President Sirisena yesterday made a special speech in which he said he was against giving nomination to former President Rajapaksa to more..

TNA and EPDP battle on their own

July 15 (CT) In the North, the battle for supremacy is between the two Tamil parties: the TNA which constitutes EPRLF, ITAK, TELO and PLOTE are the main contenders and their main opposition is the EPDP of Douglas Devananda. Both parties promise a more equal and democratic future for the Tamil people and the much awaited political solution. Statistics over the years however, have shown that the TNA has had an edge at elections over other parties in the North. more..

Karuna upset: Dumped from UPFA national list

July 15 (CT) Leaders of the UPFA promised V Muralidharan a.k.a. Karuna Amman that he will be given a National List seat, Muralidharan said. "Both Susil Premajayantha and Anura Priyadharshana Yapa confirmed that I would be given an opportunity to enter Parliament via the national list, but in the end the non inclusion of my name is something most regrettable," Karuna Amman pointed out. Under these circumstances, he must take a decision in this regard, Karuna Amman said. more..

Sri Lanka seeks new funding sources in shift away from ally China

July 15 (Reuters) Sri Lanka is seeking cheaper funding sources to replace billions of dollars in debt from Chinese banks, govt officials said, as the six-month-old govt distances itself from Beijing weeks before a general election. The govt is seeking to consolidate its power in the Aug. 17 vote after reformer Maithripala Sirisena was elected president in January. Pro-China leader he ousted - Mahinda Rajapaksa - is staging a more..

India offers scholarships to SL students

July 15 (IHC) The High Commission of India announces the offer of few scholarship slots for Sri Lankan nationals under the Ayush Scholarship Scheme for UG/PG/Ph.D courses under the Delhi Declaration for South East Asian(SEA) countries for the academic year 2015-16. The Govt of India selects meritorious Sri Lankan nationals for award of these prestigious scholarships in consultation with the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), Government of Sri Lanka. more..

Maithri acted as predicted: Harin

July 15 (DM) While claiming that President Maithripala Sirisena acted in the manner the UNP believed, Uva Provincial Council CM Harin Fernando said that they were certain of the President’s promise that he would not support former President Rajapaksa at the general elections. “Though we had some doubts, we repeatedly said the President would not support Mahinda Rajapaksa or get on the same stage with Rajapaksa. We are thankful for President Sirisena for keeping his promise,” more..

SL's cuppa cheers end of Iran sanctions

July 15 (AFP) The easing of sanctions on Iran will deliver a much needed pick-me-up to Sri Lanka's troubled tea industry by allowing the resumption of direct exports to one of its main markets, govt said. Although tea was not on the list of products banned from being exported to Iran over its nuclear programme, restrictions on banking meant exporters had to go through risky and expensive channels to be paid. more..

Sujeewa Senasinghe demands Rs 2B

July 15 (CT) Deputy Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe has filed legal action against Wijeya Newspapers Limited which publishes the Sunday Times and its Editor Sinha Ranatunga, requesting compensation of Rs 2,000 million. Senasinghe has filed legal action regarding two articles published in the Sunday Times which is said to have insulted him. According to the complaint lodged, one of these articles was published on 12 April and the other was published on 26 April. more..

Surety bail of Rs 30 million for aksha Sudhari

July 15 (CT) Additional Magistrate of Colombo Nishantha Peiris issued an order on Monday that the suspect in the case of criminal breach of trust of millions of rupees which were obtained on various requirements from an Indian national with whom she had had a relationship, Aaksha Sudhari, a popular teledrama and film actress, be released on surety bail of Rs 30 million and cash bail of Rs 25,000. Additional Magistrate banned foreign travel for the suspect and after bail was granted, more..

Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 2 wickets

July 15 (CI) Kusal Perera threatened to finish the match extremely early, but his dismissal sparked a massive collapse though Sri Lanka managed to keep a spirited Pakistan at bay to win the second ODI at Pallekele on Wednesday by two wickets. Rahat Ali went for 34 in his first two overs, but he came back brilliantly to take three wickets. The way Perera batted at the start of the innings, it looked like Sri Lanka would canter to a win. more..

Heartbreaking news from Kekirilanthaya

July 16 (NS) Upon hearing that Mahinda Rajapaksa will be contesting under the UPFA symbol, both President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe were rushed to the emergency ward of the National Hospital complaining of nausea, dizziness, and vomiting. Later both were seen screaming and throwing inanimate objects at a smart TV while daintily holding on to pink handkerchiefs between their right thumb and forefinger. In a development directly linked to the threatening more..

Prominence should be to ethics and morality

July 16 (SL) The famous American Senator Daniel Webster, though a courageous politician, was notorious for accepting gifts and favours from different people, so much so that even on his death bed it is said that an old gentleman turned up to offer the household a large roll of dollar bills. In his book Profiles in Courage, John F Kennedy observed that it never occured to Webster that obtaining gifts and favours was unethical or wrong but that he thought that it was his due, for services rendered. more..

'President Sirisena did us a favour by making things clear to voters'

July 16 (Island) In this interview, Udaya Gammanpila, UPFA candidate for the Colombo district and leader of PHU speaks about the controversial statement made by President Maithripala Sirisena the day before yesterday. This interview was taken a couple of hours after president Sirisena made his special statement. Q: What do you make of President Maithripala Sirisena’s special statement on Tuesday evening? more..

A million people & counting want Sri Lanka referred to the ICC

July 16 (CT) Today we have more than a million people (and counting) wanting Sri Lanka to be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC). That means a million people have now spoken with one voice – a fact that should undoubtedly persuade the UN and members of the Security Council to act decisively – both of whom, according the UN Internal Review Panel’s findings during the final months of the war in Sri Lanka, failed Tamil Civilians. In a major blow to Sri Lanka more..

Wealth of a New Nation

July 16 (NS) Heart patients: The next Parliament will be like a soup without salt. But it may be good as there are many heart patients today. If it happens: Ranil should shift Sajith from Hambantota and field him against Mahinda in Kurunegala. Sanath: Sanath retired from Cricket like a hero. But he was not as lucky in his retirement from politics. He has not scored any centuries or half centuries in his political innings, and has to retire as a failure who did nothing of consequence. more..

We will not join an alliance now: Suresh P

July 16 (NS) Q: There have been rumours that the TNA would join the UNP alliance –The UNF for Good Governance? A: No. We are actually waiting until the election is over to decide. We will not form an alliance with any political party. After the election we will discuss with the party that comes into power. At the last election we joined the alliance of President Maithripala Sirisena but now I am not sure what has happened to him more..

Mahinda: A rebel without a cause?

July 16 (SL) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is back in the limelight again – this time as a candidate of the UPFA contesting from the Kurunegala District at the general elections next month. Hence, it is once again time to look at Mahinda Rajapaksa, the man who ended the war in the country but whose other activities have posed many questions in the minds of a majority of Sri Lankans. Rebel by nature, Percy Mahendra Rajapaksa entered politics merely by chance more..

Editorial: Maithri on warpath

July 16 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena’s speech on Tuesday could not have come at a worse time for the SLFP with a general election only four weeks away. He, however, made no revelations. The President only reiterated the fact that he had opposed the UPFA’s decision to nominate his bete noire, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the loyalists of the latter to contest the August 17 election. That he has no intention of appointing Rajapaksa as the PM is only too well known. more..

Colombo Fashion Forecast

Strong UNP antidote to MR challenge: Role for Ven. Sobitha thero?

July 16 (CT) This analysis is written in good faith in the interest of the country and the United National Party. Its objective is to demonstrate that all the brouhaha and panic in the aftermath of the Mahinda Rajapaksa nomination is misplaced if only the UNP asserts itself to its potential. For this to materialize its response must be principled. The old fox JRJ rightly castigated for foisting on us the monstrous executive presidency, had a lot going for him in some ways. more..

Kusal: 17 balls, 68 runs, strike-rate 272

July 16 (CI) 288: Target chased down by Sri Lanka in this match, the second-highest successful chase in ODIs in Sri Lanka, and only one run short of the highest. The highest successful chase in Sri Lanka also was by the hosts against the same opposition, in Dambulla in 2009. 4: Times Sri Lanka have beaten Pakistan in ODIs by a margin of two wickets, including this game. This is the narrowest margin of win in terms of wickets for Sri Lanka against Pakistan in ODIs. more..

Killer on your walls

July 16 (SO) That fresh coat of paint on your wall may make the room look pretty. But the lead levels camouflaged in the pretty colours could prove hazardous, even fatal. A recent research done by environmental scientists of Sri Lanka revealed that a significant number of paint manufacturers in the country still produce enamel paint with high concentrations of lead - far above the standard level. more..

Anwar Ali, the flying third man

July 16 (CI) Five balls, 22 runs. That was Kusal Perera breaking Pakistan. The sequence played out across three overs from the fifth to the seventh, but every ball he faced was hurtling to the leg-side boundary. Mohammad Hafeez tried to keep the ball outside off, but he was bottom-hand swatted over midwicket and long-on. Anwar Ali was on off, but was whipped over square leg. Hafeez tried adjusting his length, but was muscled twice over cow corner again. more..