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Waruna a Hero in the Making

July 16 (CT) Javelin Thrower Waruna Lakshan Dayaratne surprised many at the recently concluded 21st Asian Championship where he finished fourth after leading the competition with 4 throws left even though he didn't have the best technique among the top Asian Competitors. Waruna didn't have the necessary hip movement or the leg crossing of a javelin thrower, but the well built upper body and strong speedy arms impressed many. The coach of Gold medalist Huang Shih-Feng from more..

How a Rajapaksa comeback would shake up Sri Lankan politics

July 16 (DW) A coalition - formally headed by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena - has nominated Rajapaksa to run in the upcoming parliamentary polls, due on August 17. The 69-year-old, considered a war hero by the country's majority Sinhalese for ending a three-decade civil war in 2009, will stand in the South Asian nation's third-largest electoral district, Kurunagala, where many voters have relatives in the military. more..

Forest Rock Garden Resort wins prestigious global award

July 16 (DN) Forest Rock Garden Resort in Anuradhapura has been appreciated for its commitment to excellence by being awarded the Gold Award for “International Star for Leadership in Quality (ISLQ) by the Spanish based Business Initiative Directions (BID). Prestigious award ceremony hosted at the Concorde Montparnasse Hotel in Paris. Forest Garden Rock Resort competed with submissions from over 116 countries, for a title that represents highest standards more..

BOC launches its branch in Borella

July 16 (CT) As a part of BOC's transformation process bank has transformed its fifth pilot fortune branch in Borella to offer customers the best banking experience. Bank of Ceylon Chairman, Ronald C. Perera opened the newly transformed branch in a ceremony held on Wednesday. Bank's General Manager D.M. Gunasekara, Deputy General Manager Sales and Channel Management P.L.G. Jinasoma, other members of corporate and executive management were also present. more..

Estate wage negotiations end in stalemate

July 16 (CT) The ongoing wage negotiations between Regional Plantation Companies and the estate trade unions ended in a stalemate with the former informing the latter that it could not afford the daily wage increase up to Rs. 1,000 per day. "This is a very serious situation where the Cost of Production per kilo would have increased to Rs 640 per kilo while the present auction price was Rs. 375 per kilo. more..

Softlogic Finance extends its cleaner environment concept to Jaffna

July 16 (Island) Softlogic Finance PLC has extended its Clean Zone community initiative which is intended to enhance the cleanliness of the environment – by supporting proper disposal of garbage, for the benefit of the residents of the fast-growing Jaffna peninsula. Coinciding with the opening of its new branch in Chunnakam and the opening of its relocated Jaffna branch, the company deployed its staff members on a large-scale awareness effort to engage with and more..

Sri Lankan team ready for 2015 CIMA GBC Global Finals in Poland

July 16 (Island) Winners of the Sri Lanka Country Finals, team Paragon Consultants from the University of Moratuwa, will represent the country and compete with 25 other teams in the 2015 CIMA GBC Global Finals to be held from 3 – 7 August in Warsaw, Poland. In the Sri Lanka Country Finals, the competition task required the teams to initially present a report on a business case pertaining to the oil and gas industry. Due to the sheer unfamiliarity of this industry in the country, more..

Pension arrears to be paid in full next month

July 16 (Island) Secretary to the Ministry of Public Admin & local govt J. Dadallage said that the anomalies in the pensions of around 330,000 pensioners had been rectified and the arrears would be paid to them in full next month. He urged the pensioners eligible for arrears to provide their names and if possible the date of retirement to respective Divisional Secretariats to expedite the process as database at the dept was not quite reliable. more..

Cold Stone Creamery to enter Lanka

July 16 (DN) Kahala Brands, the parent company of the Cold Stone Creamery, has joined forces with Tablez Food Company, to serve ice cream lovers here. “We now want to bring this unique experience to the India and Sri Lanka markets where we strongly believe that people will embrace not only the quality of the product, but also the overall guest experience. We are proud, privileged and excited to bring the brand to India and SriLanka, Tablez Food Company Chairperson more..

Finance Ministry to hold third forum on Ease of Doing Business today

July 16 (FT) The Ministry of Finance will be holding the third forum of the Ease of Doing Business today at 2 p.m. on the fourth floor auditorium of MILODA, Academy of Financial Studies, Sir Razik Fareed Mawatha, Colombo 1. The objective of this forum will be to identify and address the procedural and regulatory issues in doing business just as in the two previous forums conducted by the Finance Ministry on the 14 May and 18 June. This forum will also provide the private sector more..

'Sri Lanka request to increase port loan interest raised costs'

July 16 (EN) Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa had asked China to increase the interest on a loan to build the southern Hambantota port, causing huge losses to the country, Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva said. The request on the US$ 307 million loan by Rajapaksa, as finance minister, was made at a time of falling global interest rates and had no logical reason, de Silva said. He said Rajapaksa asked China to raise interest to more..

Customs seizes contraband valued Rs 8.5M

July 16 (CT) Seven packages containing 116,000 contraband cigarettes, 2,488 pairs of shoes, 5,088 bottles of body spray and eyeliner were seized by the Customs Revenue Task Force yesterday inside a container that had raised their suspicion. The seven packages of Top Mountain brand contraband cigarettes was found inside a cooker, refrigerator and a television set. The cigarettes were valued at Rs 6.4 million, shoes at Rs 497,600 while the cosmetics were valued at Rs 1.6 million. more..

NFF fields 11 candidates on the UPFA ticket

July 16 (Island) NFF led by former Minister Wimal Weerawansa has fielded eleven candidates under the UPFA ticket for the general election. Weerawansa will contest from the Colombo, former Deputy Minister and NFF Deputy Leader Weerakumara Dissanayake from Anuradhapura, former MP Jayantha Samaraweera from Kalutara, NFF Treasurer and Sabaragamuwa PC Member Deepal Gunasekera from Ratnapura, former MP Nimal Premawansa from Kandy, more..

JVP refuses to buy President Sirisena’s story

July 16 (Island) President Sirisena’s claim that he was opposed to giving nominations to former President Rajapaksa to contest upcoming polls is not acceptable, the JVP says. Former MP Vijitha Herath said: "After everything has happened the President appears on TV claiming he did not want to give nominations to Rajapaksa. We are sure the people of this country will not accept what he says ever again. He has made a bad mistake. more..

'President betrayed SLFP to benefit UNP'

July 16 (DM) Western Province CM Prasanna Ranatunga charged that President Maithripala Sirisena had indirectly acted to cover up corruption by dissolving Parliament before the no confidence motion against the govt could be taken up. He said the no confidence motion was to be brought against the govt following the Central Bank bond scam, and there was no action taken regarding it since Parliament was disolved. He said the President had betrayed the SLFP and its people by more..

Lankan Tamil arrested with 500 gm heroin

July 16 (Hindu) District unit of Organised Crime Intelligence (OCI) arrested a Sri Lankan Tamil, who was a members of the now-defunct PLOTE, when he attempted to smuggle 500 gm of heroin near Kothandaramar temple in Danushkodi. Acting on a tip-off, two teams from the unit detained him on Tuesday night when he was waiting at the shore to hand over the contraband to a boatman to smuggle it to Sri Lanka. Police identified the accused as Gowri Balan (43) of Paranthan in Kilinochchi. more..

'Villages were not developed under SLFP'

July 16 (DM) Malwatte Chapter Mahanayake, Most Venerable Thibbatuwave Sri Sumangala Thera said that, though the SLFP led govts had ruled the country for the last 20 years, no proper development had trickled down to the villages. Thera said the people of Hambantota had pressing needs besides a port and an airport. He said that as a result the people virtually took to the streets to unseat the last govt. more..

Army commemorates 24th death anniversary of Hasalaka Gamini

July 16 (SLA) 24th Death Anniversary of Corporal Gamini Kularathne of 6th Battalion Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment(SLSR), known to the general public as Hasalaka Gamini who made the supreme sacrifice to save his comrades from the siege at Elephant Pass Camp, took place on Tuesday at a ceremony, held at Hasalaka Gamini Memorial at Elephant Pass. Major General A.P. de Z Wickramaratne, General Officer Commanding, 66 Division graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. more..

Govt borrowings pass Rs 1 trillion: Rates rise as predicted

July 16 (CT) Govt's domestic borrowings in the calendar year to date passed the ignominious Rs one trillion mark at yesterday's trading, when it raised Rs 19,928 million from the market by selling Treasury (T) Bills at a T-Bill primary auction. Due to the tight liquidity situation, as predicted by this newspaper yesterday, the weighted average yields (WAYs) of T-Bills rose, with Central Bank keeping a tab on even sharper increases, by buying lower quantities than originally earmarked. more..

'Planned economic zones will bring development to village'

July 16 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, yesterday said his govt would establish 45 economic development zones throughout the country and such a zone too would be established in Raigama, covering a part of Homagama, Eheliyagoda, Bandaragama, Horana and Avissawella electorates. “One such zone would extend to one or two Divisional Secretariat areas and govt would uplift infrastructure facilities more..

Way open for comeback by ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa

July 16 (NYT) Former President Mahinda Rajapakse of Sri Lanka, who was defeated in January, now has a chance to make a major political comeback after his successor cleared the way for him to run for a seat in Parliament in elections scheduled for Aug. 17. President Maithripala Sirisena said this week that he did not have the power to block Mr. Rajapakse’s run for Parliament, because the alliance of parties he leads is still dominated by people loyal to the former president. more..

Cabinet imposes ban on using state-owned vehicles for election

July 16 (DN) Minister Ravi Karunanayake said that the Cabinet has decided that Ministers should not use official vehicles for election related activities. Cabinet decided to charge Rs. 100,000 per each govt vehicle used for election related activities. The decision will apply to politicians of all parties contesting the Parliamentary election. The decision was made following instructions issued by EC Mahinda Deshapriya on using state resources for election related activities. more..

SLFP counters MS; declares MR as campaign leader

July 16 (Island) SLFP strongly denied President Maithripala Sirisena’s accusation that the party had conspired to appoint former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Parliament through National List by moving a no-faith motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha insisted that in accordance with the Parliamentary Elections Act of 1981, only a person named in the original National List more..

President speaks out

July 16 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena, in a one- hour-long message to the nation on Tuesday, announced he would remain neutral in the campaign for the August 17 General Election and urged the Elections Commissioner, the police and public servants to ensure that the polls were free, fair and peaceful. However, he has left room for those opposing him to question as to how neutral he would remain since the message he delivered was a strong attack on the former President who more..

UFPA members baffled by MS’s speech

July 16 (DM) Even before the UPFA, political combination led by SLFP, kicked-off its propaganda for the general elections, it ran into confusion over the remarks by President Sirisena that he would not back the candidacy of former President Rajapaksa. Instead, the President, in his eagerly-awaited and widely-received speech on Tuesday, set forth his views clearly pronouncing his undiminished political wrath against MR though some thought that it had dissipated with the passage of time. more..

'We don’t find the calibre of parliamentarians like before'

July 16 (DM) Rukman Senanayake former Chairman of UNP and cabinet minister who hails from a strong and celebrated political lineage spoke to the Daily Mirror on the upcoming general elections. He also provided his insight into current political developments. Q: Mr. Senanayake what prompted you to rejoin the political fray? A: I have always been in politics since 1973 when I first became a member of parliament, more..

JVP convention on 22nd

July 16 (CT) The JVP is scheduled to hold special convention at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium on the 22nd of this month and they will be launching their election manifesto. They have organized 100 propaganda rallies centered on main towns and 1000 rallies in regional areas. JVP requests all sectors of the public to refrain from making wrong decisions such as in the past, at this general election so that you would not need more..

Domestic workers ignored!

July 16 (SL) It is a crying shame that Sri Lanka has continued to deny the rights and privileges of domestic workers and failed to introduce laws to safeguard their rights by guaranteeing personal safety, social security, minimum wage and decent working condition. Sri Lanka, a country that enjoys a high remittance from migrant domestic workers has simply ignored the existence of local domestic workers and has failed to recognise the more..

Liberated Tamil Tigers eye mainstream politics as NE parties submit nominations

July 16 (ST) Former LTTE group leaders, fighters and war-widows, along with veteran politicians, have handed over nominations to contest elections in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. The TNA, EPDP, the UNP and the JSP are among the parties which handed over their Nominations to some of the Districts in the two Provinces by Friday. With nominations set to close tomorrow, more parties and independent groups, including more..

'Many scandals under Rajapaksa regime will be exposed soon'

July 16 (Island) The lid would be blown off many of the former govt’s illegal operations within the next three months, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday. He asked why the supporters of Rajapaksa regime were scared of facing investigations and proving their innocence if they had nothing to hide. The PM said: "Some of the UPFA candidates have a history of snatching gold chains for a living. more..

Court order against publishing COPE report

July 16 (AD) The Colombo District Court today issued an interim injunction preventing the publishing of the COPE sub-committee report on the Central Bank bond issue, until July 23. The COPE sub-committee was appointed to look into the controversial bond issue and compile a report following concerns raised in Parliament by the opposition over controversial deals made by Perpetual Treasuries, a firm connected to more..

'I will pardon those for not nominating me'

July 16 (DM) Former Minister Mervyn Silva resigned from his Kelaniya electoral organiser post recently, sources said. In his resignation letter, he said he was denied nomination as a part of a conspiracy by the Rajapaksas. Stressing that only President Maithripala Sirisena and party people could save the SLFP, he said he would serve the party once again after it was resurrected from the Rajapaksas. more..

'Will sustain the January revolution'

July 16 (DM) The statement made by President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday had cleared the people's minds and it would pave the way for a Parliament, which would sustain the January 8 revolution, UNP said. UNP Spokesman Gayantha Karunatilaka said that President's action to let people know his stand on the political situation, would certainly help him and all those who wanted political reform and freedom. more..

Video: Three deputy ministers resign

July 16 (DM) Dr Sudarshani Fernandopulle, Lasantha Alagiyawanna and Eric Prasanna Weerawardena of the SLFP have decided to resign from their respective Deputy Ministerial portfolios. Fernandopulle, who served as Deputy Minister of Research & Higher Education, said that they decided to resign in protest of the resent statement delivered by President Sirisena, who is also the Chairman of the SLFP. more..

Network of hospitals with ICU facilities established

July 16 (GDI) A network of state hospitals with ICU facilities have been established which is in operation from the Castle Street Maternity Hospital, with the objective of providing ICU facilities to all infants without delay. The program was launched on Wednesday at the Family Health Bureau with the participation of Secretary of Health Ministry Dr. Dissanayake & Director General of Health Services Dr. Palitha Mahipala. more..

Appeal against jail term for election violence CP Chairman gets bail

July 16 (Island) Kandy Central Provincial High Court Judge Manilal Waidyatilaka on Wednesday ordered bail in cash and surety for Central Provincial Council Chairman Mahinda Abeykoon pending the hearing of the latter’s appeal against a jail term of two and a half years for flouting election laws and violence at a polling station on Dec. 05, 2001. He was released on cash bail in Rs. 30,000 with two sureties worth of Rs. 500,000 each. Judge Waidyatilaka laid down conditions that Mahinda Abeykoon report to more..

Time to say enough is enough

July 16 (CT) Reform could be the world’s most abused word. Its meaning was defined as make changes in order to improve. Now it has come to mean to rip off, normally by stealth and sleight of hand. The Greeks are forced to pay with their quality of life and even their lives for the so-called reform pushed by the Troikans. The right-wing Tory govt in Britain hopes its reforms will undo generations of workers’ rights and improvements. These processes reveal what Marxist political economists more..

Video: MR should be defeated :JVP

July 16 (DM) The govt of the SLFP and UNP headed by President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had failed to take effective steps to put an end to Rajapaksa political culture, the JVP said. JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the defeated Rajapaksa politics had been revived, while the new govt was focused on achieving their narrow political gains. “They should have wiped out Rajapaksa politics, more..

Shares end at over six-week high

July 16 (Reuters) Shares closed at their highest level in over six weeks on Thursday on heavy volume, led by select stocks as hopes of political stability after the Aug. 17 parliamentary elections helped boost sentiment. The main stock index ended up 0.82%, or 57.95 points, at 7,124.14, its highest close since June 3. "Now there is a perception that the ruling party has an edge in the election and there will be policy continuity," a stockbroker said on condition of anonymity. more..

UPFA orphaned

July 16 (CT) It's official, there is no support to either the UPFA or its former leader and the country's immediately preceding President by the island's incumbent President. President Sirisena who's also the present Leader of the UPFA coalition and its main constituent party the SLFP, addressing the nation on Tuesday said that he was against former President Rajapaksa, the immediately preceding leader of the UPFA and SLFP, from contesting the 17 August 2015 general election. more..