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August polls: The need for women

June 2 (CT) It appears that while supposedly retired politicians and new aspirants scramble for nominations before the closing date on 15 July, the political parties in their fervour to return to power may forget one crucial factor. They may end up dashing the hopes of 51% of Sri Lanka's population, who expect that at least in this election the number of women in Parliament would increase from a measly 5.8% to at least 30%. This topic came into the limelight in the past few weeks when more..

Sirisena, Wickremasinghe & Rakapaksa Dilemmas

June 2 (CT) Political maize in Sri Lanka has further complicated after the dissolution of the Parliament without passing 20A which is a demand and a promise by Sirisena to the people agitated for a change. Whose decision was the snap elections and who runs the country is a mystery and known to few. Some say people now need a change for the changes made due to dissatisfaction and disappointment of the state of affairs today. Sirisena is in a dilemma sandwiched between more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Shares fall below key barrier; banks lead

July 2 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares ended at a 2-1/2 month low on Thursday, falling below a key psychological barrier of 7,000 points, led by banks and telecommunication shares as political uncertainty ahead of parliamentary elections weighed on sentiment. The main stock index ended 0.54% weaker at 6,982.80, its lowest close since April 15. The day's turnover was 435.6 million rupees ($3.26 million), well below this year's daily average of 1.06 billion rupees. more..

SLFP needs Rajapaksa to win: Duminda

July 2 (AM) Former UPFA MP R. Duminda Silva said that the SLFP cannot win the forthcoming general election without the support of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa. Speaking at a public meeting in Homagama, Silva hinted that he will contest forthcoming general election under the ticket of pro-Rajapaksa faction. He also said that his objective was to form a new SLFP govt under the leadership of Rajapaksa. Silva refuted all allegations against him and said he will not stop more..

Video: Imminent MR faction exit a blessing for SLFP: Amunugama

July 2 (DM) Alluding to a certain split within the SLFP led UPFA, Minister Sarath Amunugama said the SLFP felt the situation came as a miserable pleasure because the gap created by the Mahinda Rajapaksa faction's exit, could be filled with educated youth in the nomination lists at the upcoming Parliamentary elections. He said when Parliament was dissolved last Friday, the SLFP had 127 members in Parliament. more..

Investment advisor fined over Rs 1mn for offence

July 2 (EN) An investment advisor on the stock market has been fined over a million rupees to settle an offence to manipulate the share market, the capital markets regulator has revealed. The SEC said it imposed a fine of 1.1 million rupees on an investment advisor in order to compound an offence of conspiracy to manipulate the market/ price of a share. The offence was compounded on the request made by the accused in a case that was pending before the Magistrate’s Court Fort, more..

MS won't give nominations to MR: Rajitha

July 2 (DM) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that as far as he knew President Maithripala Sirisena had not changed his stance that Mahinda Rajapaksa would not be given nomination. He said in response to a query, that the president had made it clear that Mr. Rajapaksa would not receive nomination from the SLFP President Sirisena had firmly expressed his position -- that he would not give nomination to Mr. Rajapaksa. That position had not changed since, he said. more..

SL suspends fuel contracts worth millions

July 2 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corp (Ceypetco) has suspended oil contracts worth millions of dollars that were signed last year for fuel deliveries, the company chairman said. "We have suspended some previous contracts due to (Ceypetco) not following standard competitive guidelines and standards," said Ranjith Wickremesingha, chairman of Ceypetco. Under some of the contracts, companies have been more..

Our best chance to beat SL at home: Misbah

July 2 (CI) Pakistan might have been a dominant team in Sri Lanka before 2009, but in the last six years, they have enjoyed little success, having last won a series in the island nation in 2006. This is the first time since then that Pakistan have come close to registering a victory, with the series locked 1-1 ahead of the third and final Test. Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan's captain, felt his team had a big chance to create history since the hosts will be without both Mahela and Sangakkara for the final Test. more..

Teams in flux square up for decider

July 2 (CI) With the series tied, it's tempting to invoke the idea of momentum. Pakistan have more experience, you might say, but Sri Lanka are more confident following the win at the P Sara Oval. But as unhelpful a gauge as momentum is normally, it's even less useful for matches between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Already in this series, each team has proved capable of stirring highs and stinking lows. To add to this uncertainty: both teams are in flux. Pakistan will be forced to make at least more..

Karunaratne relishes batting under pressure

July 2 (CI) When Dimuth Karunaratne was out for a duck in his first Test innings, he was following in the footsteps of other openers in the dressing room. Batting coach Marvan Atapattu had also begun his career with a zero and the then-manager Charith Senanayake, who had awarded Karunaratne his Test cap, was no different. But it was in the third day of that match that Karunaratne set up a trend that would define more..

Shasheendra to contest Parliament election

July 2 (CG) Former Uva Province Chief Minister Shasheendra Rajapaksa says he will be contesting the upcoming Parliament elections. Rajapaksa, who was among those present at Madamulana yesterday to extend support to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, told the Colombo Gazette that he will be contesting from the Monaragala district. Shasheendra Rajapaksa said that all those supporting former President Mahinda Rajapaksa are keen to protect the SLFP. more..

Chamal to be named as PM candidate?

July 2 (AD) A request has been made to nominate former Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa as the Prime Ministerial candidate of the SLFP, Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said. The observation was made at a press conference held today. “However, the former Speaker has apprised the President that he is about to retire from politics,” said Amunugama. The Minister also pointed out that the request was made by several Mps who represent neither pro nor anti-Mahinda Rajapaksa clan. more..

Sri Lanka net domestic borrowings rise 74%

July 2 (EN) Sri Lanka's domestic borrowings rose 74% from a year earlier to 339.5 billion rupees in the first four months of 2015 topping the overall deficit of 271.5 billion rupees amid net foreign loan repayments, official data showed. Revenues rose 15% from a year earlier to 395.1 billion rupees, with tax revenues rising 16.1% helped by a crackdown on illegal alcohol and rising vehicle imports driven by low interest rates. more..

Prasanna's wife summoned by FCID

July 2 (AM) Police Financial Crimes Investigations Division summoned the wife of Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga to question over an alleged financial fraud, Police Media Unit said. The questioning follows a recent complaint by a businessman from Moratuwa who alleged that Ranatunga had solicited a bribe of Rs. 64 million and accepted a bribe of Rs. 15 million. It was alleged that Ranatunga accepted the bribe by a cheque written in his wife's name. more..

TULF seeks to form Tamil common front

July 2 (CG) Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) has called on Tamil Political Parties including those of the South and the Upcountry to get united under one banner to form a common front, as an alternative to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in the interest of the Tamil speaking people. TULF General Secretary V. Anandasangaree said that the TULF is the only Political Party that has the moral right to represent the Tamil people in all their activities. more..

COPE report proves CB governor intervened in scam: JVP

July 2 (DM) JVP alleged it was clear from the written evidence in the COPE report that Central Bank Governor Arjun Mahendran had intervened in the Central Bank Treasury bond issue. Former JVP MP Sunil Handunneththi said that they had produced even the audio records of the agents to the COPE. He said if the govt wanted to submit the COPE report to parliament, it could have done so but certain UNPers wanted to deter it more..

Prof. Wijesinha wants next Parliament to take up COPE report on bond scam

July 2 (Island) Former UPFA MP Rajiva Wijesinha says the next parliament should take up a special parliamentary report that dealt with alleged Central Bank bond scam. The report shouldn’t be allowed to be suppressed; former MP said, adding that the new parliament should take a fresh look at the alleged scam. Parliament will meet again on Sept 1. The Liberal Party leader represented the 13-member committee chaired by the then MP D.E.W. Gunasekera, Chairman of the COPE. more..

Mystery vibration at Bambalapitiya

July 2 (DM) Investigations are being carried out into a report that residents had sensed some kind of a vibration which had occurred in Bambalapitiya last evening, Disaster Management Centre (DMC) Deputy Director Pradeep Kodippili said. “The vibration was sensed in several houses in Bambalapitiya a few minutes after 4 p.m.,” he said. Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) has been informed by the DMC to conduct investigations. more..

SLMC to contest with UNP

July 2 (DM) The SLMC is planning to contest the general election with the UNP, its leader Rauff Hakeem said today. Mr. Hakeem who was approached by a few journalists when he was coming out of Sirikotha last afternoon said he was on his way after a meeting with UNP leader and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and his party had decided to sign an MOU with the UNP soon. The SLMC was originally planning to contest alone but more..

Cops in hot water for accepting a bribe from a young couple

July 2 (AD) The police on Thursday arrested three cops attached to the Cinnamon Garden police for allegedly soliciting a bribe from a young couple in a bid to refrain from taking legal action for behaving indecently in public. Police officers including two Sergeants and a Constable were arrested following a complaint lodged with the Cinnamon Garden police by the couple this morning, a police officer said. Police officers have reportedly demanded and accepted Rs. 2000 from the couple, more..

Magistrate permits probe on CSE transactions of four individuals including

July 2 (AM) Securities and Exchange Commission was ordered by Colombo Magistrate Courts to submit a report on transactions in Colombo Stock Exchange by four individuals including Dilith Jayaweera and Nalaka Godahewa. The other individuals named are Varuni Amunugama and Sarvajana Amarasekera. Magistrate Courts directed SEC to submit records of the transactions from 2008. This order was given by the court following a request by police FCID in relation to alleged more..

UNP rejects invitation from MR

July 2 (Xinhua) UNP on Thursday rejected an invitation from former President Mahinda Rajapakse to work with him at the upcoming elections. Rajapakse had invited the UNP and other political parties to join him after he announced his candidacy for the Parliamentary Elections. However, UNP senior MP John Amaratunga said that UNP would not consider such a request and were confident of gaining a majority at the polls. more..

Injured Chameera out of Pallekele Test

July 2 (CI) Sri Lanka's new fast-bowling find Dushmantha Chameera has been ruled out of the third Test against Pakistan starting in Pallekele on Friday. Chameera, on debut, suffered a side strain in the second Test at the P Sara Oval and has been declared unfit for the decider. SLC chief selector Kapila Wijegunawardene said that Lahiru Gamage has been included in the squad as cover in the event of any injuries to other fast bowlers. Sri Lanka will decide on the morning of the match whether more..

Mahendran left without informing: Bandula

July 2 (DM) Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran left the island even without passing over his liabilities to another official or informing relevant authorities, Bandula Gunawardena charged today. “Reliable sources at financial institutions informed me on the sudden flight of the Central Bank governor on Saturday, the very next day of dissolving Parliament. Sources told me that Mr. Mahendran had not informed about his tour abroad to the Monetary Board untill Tuesday,” more..

SL's main opposition shoots down Mahinda

July 2 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena's party today firmly rejected a bid by smaller allies to make his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa the coalition's prime ministerial candidate. Former MP, Vasudeva Nanayakkara said talks among leaders of the UPFA ended in failure a short while ago as Sirisena did not favour a comeback by Rajapaksa. "Talks this evening were a complete waste of our efforts," he said. more..

Mr. President, Do not take it for granted!

July 3 (CT) The eagerly expected Presidential election was over in January. A tyrant was thrown out of the office by the democratic will of the people. Although the former president made several attempts to get him re-elected by deception and fraud, the peoples’ power won. There was very clear evidence for violence, misuse of the military for campaigning, wasteful distribution of benefits to govt employees to buy their loyalty and other misuse of state resources, creating confusions by more..

Comparing numbers; USA & Sri Lanka

July 3 (CT) USA is Sri Lanka’s new Best Friend Forever (BFF); USA has done a lot of preaching on racial diversity and representation and democracy. Thus it might be a good place to look at Uncle Sam’s numbers. Is there any nation where there is tremendous diversity of population such as in the US where there is single State Assembly or Federal institution that has equal numbers representing different ethnic groups? The 114th Congress of the United States has following makeup. more..

'We risked our lives to change Rajapaksa regime to protect our freedom'

July 3 (FT) Chathura Senarathne, son of Minister Rajitha Senarathne, has openly challenged former President Rajapaksa to contest the next general election from the Beliatta electorate, saying that he would too contest from Beliatta and defeat the former President. He made this challenge at a conference held last week. Conference was organised by Democratic National Movement of which Chathura Senarathne is the leader. more..

Mirusuvil case: Why searching reform is urgent and necessary

July 3 (GV) High Court Trial at Bar’s recent conviction and sentencing of Staff Sergeant Sunil Rathnayake to death for what has come to be known as the Mirusuvil massacre was met with the entirely expected and bellicose outrage of extremist nationalist Sinhala Buddhist elements. But a more interesting and nuanced response emerged from within the state apparatus. A military spokesman claimed that the judgment demonstrates the capacity of Sri Lanka’s legal system to more..

For whom are electoral reforms sans voters?

July 3 (NS) There was a political necessity in society over a long time to effect decent electoral reforms. Necessity was to strengthen people’s representation in an improved parliamentary democracy. That required the whole electoral system to be clean and devoid of corruption. That in turn required political parties to be democratic, corruption free and accountable to the people. We therefore wish to note that electoral reforms brought to straighten the tail of the system as proposed in 20A more..

'President tried his best to pass 20A'

July 3 (CT) UPFA Ratnapura District former MP, W.D.J. Seneviratne says that President tried his maximum to pass the 20th Amendment to the Constitution. "But the UNP did not support it. I think the President dissolved Parliament as he understood that the UNP would not support the constitutional amendment," he says. Q: I would like to know your opinion about dissolving Parliament and calling a general election on 17 August. more..

Heartbreaking news from Kekirilanthaya

July 3 (NS) Radhika Coomaraswamy, the heir apparent to Navi Pillay the former terrorist rubber-stamp at the UN has accused the editor of Daily Mirror of saying mean things about a real-life character like her. The editor of the DM has laughed in her face and told her to get a real PhD and life. Sri Lanka’s Minister of Transport has said that the United National Party will be able to secure 125 seats in Parliament at the next general election. He was speaking to fellow residents of more..

Territorializing the environment

July 3 (Island) I have in the past few weeks attended two of Shahul Hasbullah’s excellently laid out map of the displaced in the Musali South area and the entanglement of that in a controversy of environmental proportions, the Wilpattu question, first at the University of Peradeniya, where he is a Professor in Geography, and later at the Social Scientist Association Auditorium. Imagine my shock and dismay then, when just a few hours after listening to an informative & layered lecture, more..

It was the butter! Or was it?

July 3 (SO) Speculations as to what caused 12 guests at the Queen's birthday shindig on June 12 to be hospitalized continue, even though the management of Cinnamon Grand, where the event was held, acknowledged that butter was the likely culprit. Early this week, the hotel issued a press release stating, "Immediately after the incident, the Cinnamon Grand sent 67 items of food & drink for expert analysis by an independent more..

Editorial: Orgies and ogres

July 3 (Island) Dehiwala-Mt. Lavinia Municipal Council Opposition Leader Sunethra Ranasinghe has recently made a shocking revelation which is sure to send a chill down every parent’s spine. Schoolchildren attend beach parties and child abuse is rampant in the Mt. Lavinia area, she has told a council meeting. What is even more worrisome is Ranasinghe’s claim that she met the defence authorities and apprised them of the situation, under the Rajapaksa govt, but to no avail. more..

Ayureveda Expo 2015 opens today

July 3 (DN) Ayurveda Expo 2015,the three day International Indigenous Healthcare Exhibition opens at the BMICH today. It is organised by the National Chamber of Commerce in association with Health & Indigenous Medicine Ministry, Industry & Commerce Ministry, Export Development Board, Board of Investment, Tourism Promotion Bureau, Dept of Commerce and other institutions. Exhibition held from July 3 to 5, at the BMICH from 9 am to 9 pm and entrance will be free. more..

Illegal settlements around Wilpattu Park

July 3 (NS) A month has now passed since several environmental organizations and the National Sangha Council handed over a report to President Maithripala Sirisena on the alleged illegal settlements around the region of Wilpattu National Park. The extensive report, spanning 50 pages, paints a grim picture regarding the situation currently facing the region. It also disputes the assertion that settlements are more..

No risk of ICC sanctions: Navin

July 3 (CT) Minister Navin Dissanayake insisted that SLC interim committee's current dealings with the International Cricket Council (ICC) were smooth and transparent and hence there was no risk of the ICC imposing any sanctions on the local body. He made this remark to reporters after having laid the foundation stone for an indoor cricket net and a swimming pool at the R. Premadasa International Stadium yesterday. The said project is set to cost around Rs. 100 million. more..