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Found: Honest, educated, young politician with no criminal record

July 22 (SL) Wheeler-dealer Avanka Silva was looking out for an honest, educated young man free of criminal taints, loud and clear, at the Waterhole. Avanka was a reputed This-Way-That-Way broker. Rumour had it that he had bought and sold many non-existent Lamborghinis, Ferraris twice over in recent times and no questions have been asked by any person. That’s the way the This-Way-That-Way business works, Waterhole members whispered. Avanka, why do you want an ‘honest, more..

Would reconciliation process work in post-conflict Sri Lanka?

July 22 (IL) Despite growing pressure from the international community (IC), little has been done by the Sri Lankan government to end one of the world's oldest ethnic conflicts, even though the bloody civil war ended in 2009 with over 140,000 civilian deaths. IC has demanded an impartial Truth and Reconciliation Commission (T&R) to investigate abuses committed by both warring parties. A genuine truth and reconciliation with the determination to seek a fair and reasonable more..

'UNP and UPFA the same!'

July 22 (CT) M.K. Sivajilingam, TNA NPC Member, who recently obtained nominations under an independent group from Kurunegala said, UNP UPFA don't have any political differences in their views on the Tamil National Question. Therefore the ethnic issue will not be solved by both parties. "I feel the current President has cheated 62 million people of the country by giving nominations to former President. more..

On believing one’s own sycophants

July 22 (SL) While there is no gainsaying the value of political supporters who fit the category of zealots in most circumstances, there is a down side to that equation for the Rajapaksa Regime that has coasted on such support for a long time. The reason for such myopia would be obvious to anyone who observes the human condition no matter how cursorily. In the last analysis, the truism that If we don’t hang together, we will hang separately is the bedrock of the movement to restore Mahinda Rajapaksa more..

Editorial: Doc made to do cop’s job

July 22 (Island) Chairman of the National Dangerous Drug Control Board (NDDCB) Dr. Nilanga Samarasinghe has complained to the police that his life is in danger. That was something to be anticipated. He told this newspaper the other day that he had a list of 25 former MPs involved in drug related offices. He also offered to share information in his possession with all political party leaders so as to prevent those politicians being nominated to contest elections. more..

‘I had nothing to do with the bond issue’

July 22 (DM) In an interview with the daily mirror, Malik Samarawickrama, the chairman of the UNP – the main party in the newly formed coalition, United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) – said that they were certain of securing a majority at the upcoming general election. He also commented on Mahinda Rajpaksa gaining nominations to contest from Kurunegala, the controversial bond issue & UNP leadership. more..

Why they were denied nominations...

July 22 (CT) With only a few weeks remaining until the general election, Ceylon Today interviewed several individuals who were once high up on the political totem pole, and now – according to what they say – to the disappointment of their supporters, have been thrown down from it. Nominations to contest the 17 August General Election were denied to several prominent individuals in the SLFP and the UPFA, who were constantly in the limelight, due to various reasons. more..

BBS, foreign policy matters et al

July 22 (Island) Today, the electorate is at a crossroad with twice-president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, launching a new movement to form a govt, at the parliamentary polls. A confident Rajapaksa launched his parliamentary polls campaign at Anuradhapura where he vowed to overcome the Maithripala Sirisena-Wickremesinghe combination. The pledge was made at the largest ever gathering in the historic city, where Rajapaksa recalled ancient kings had defeated foreign invaders. more..

Sri Lanka aiming to be top swimwear hub

July 22 (EN) Sri Lanka is aiming to be the top spot for swimwear in the world with key international brands already sourcing a bulk of their products from the island, as the island planned a swimsuit fashion show. "When we started 15-years ago we were the first and only swimwear plant in Sri Lanka," Sarinda Unamboowe, CEO of Linea Aqua, a unit of MAS apparel said. "At that time SL was known for tea shirts, jeans & intimate apparel. more..

Upside-down politics in Sri Lanka

July 22 (WSJ) President Maithripala Sirisena dissolved Parliament in late June to consolidate his power and get a stronger mandate for reforms. Big mistake. The Aug. 17 election has provided an opening for former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to relaunch his career and perhaps emerge as PM. That would be a strange reprise of the January presidential election. Mr. Rajapaksa called an early poll in the expectation of an easy win, only for Mr. Sirisena to emerge as a serious challenger. more..

Canadian school cricket team tour of Sri Lanka, a success

July 22 (DN) Canadian school cricket team in Sri Lanka for a 13-day tour under the CIMA Cricket Across the Pond (CAP) Programme. The 2015 CIMA Toronto Mayor's Cricket team visited Sri Lanka on an official tour from 29 June till 11 July. Toronto Mayor's Cricket team has been visiting the UK for the past 5 to 6 years. This is the first time they toured Sri Lanka and the island was chosen because of its passion for cricket. There is also the additional connection with more..

Arrest of three raises suspicion of LTTE operatives regrouping

July 22 (TOI) Police suspect that LTTE operative held at Uchipuli on Monday was possibly smuggling materials like cyanide capsules and GPS equipment to some people in Northern Province of Sri Lanka. Based on a tipoff, Uchipuli police picked up three people from a car during a vehicular check at night. Investigation revealed that they were Krishnakumar, 33, from Kilinochi and his associates Sasikumar, 35, & Rajendran, 40, more..

Sports in a morass sans policy: Arjuna

July 22 (CT) World Cup-winning former Captain Arjuna Ranatunga says that unless the next government makes it a priority to introduce a national policy, sports in general will continue to wallow in mediocrity. He made this comment during a political talk-show programme Malimawa, aired by Siyatha TV last Monday. "It is a given that unless the next government is able to formulate a national policy, sports in Sri Lanka will continue to further stagnate," said Ranatunga more..

A must-win game for SL to keep series alive

July 22 (NS) Sri Lanka will have a fight on their hands to save the five-match one-day international series against Pakistan from slipping away from their hands when they play the fourth game at the R Premadasa Stadium on Wednesday. They trail Pakistan 1-2 and tomorrow’s contest becomes a must-win for them if Pakistan is to be denied of wrapping up the series. “The wicket looks a bit dry and seems to have a bit of grass on it as well. Not quite sure what to do on that. more..

CID bust massive money transaction during Presidential election

July 22 (DN) The CID is investigating a case where China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) has allegedly handed over a staggering Rs. 149 million to former President Rajapaksa’s election campaign, last year. CHEC was a company involved in a number of key construction projects in Sri Lanka – including the Hambanthota International Harbour- when former President Rajapaksa was in power. more..

All students of Kegalle Technical College pass Korean exam

July 22 (Island) Ms. KANG Yujin, KOICA dispatched volunteer attached to the Technical College, Kegalle since November 2014 as a Korean Language Instructor taught 12 students at the college and under her guidance they successfully faced the EPS - TOPIK exam conducted in June, 2015. Due to the students’ enthusiasm and KOICA volunteer’s teaching skills as a native instructor; all 12 students of her class passed the exam successfully for the first time in the history. more..

Heads of SAARC statistical organizations to meet in Sri Lanka tomorrow

July 22 (LBO) The seventh meeting of the heads of SAARC statistical organizations is scheduled to be held in Colombo for two days starting from tomorrow. Director General of Department of census and statistics Amara Satharasingha will be officially elected as the chairperson of the seventh conference. It is organized by the National statistical organization of Sri Lanka, Department of census and statistics with the coordination of Ministry of Foreign Affairs. more..

TULF candidate Kindelpitiya drops bombshell

July 22 (Island) WPC member and TULF Colombo District candidate at the general election, Susil Kindelpiitya said that drug abuse had reached an alarming proportion in the country and in Kolonnawa alone there were 7,000 drug addicts. He said it was not a new phenomenon as certain elements attempt to portray, but large scale drug trafficking proliferated in the area during the last two decades with leading politicians more..

Lankan spices make it big in USA

July 22 (CT) Sri Lankan spice exporters who visited the International Food Technology (IFT) Food Expo and Annual Conference held in Chicago from 12 – 14 July, hit it big with orders to the value of US$ 600,000 (Over Rs. 81 Million). The companies that represented the spice industry of Sri Lanka at the recently concluded IFT held in Chicago were made aware of the growing trends in the food market. In addition to the spices and allied products, coconut and coconut based products also more..

Japan donates a Fire Vehicle to SLAF

July 22 (MoD) Japan Sri Lanka Friendship Association has decided to donate fully a equipped modern fire vehicle worth more than 100 million Rupees to Sri Lanka Air Force this year. Thus the ceremony of handing over the Sky Ladder Fire Vehicle to Sri Lanka Air Force through this Association was held at AFHQ on 21 July. The delegation handed over the vehicle to Commander of the Air Force Air Marshal Gagan Bulathsinghala during the ceremony. more..

Video: Govt has given less priority for national security: Gota

July 22 (DM) Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said today the new govt has given less priority for national security which was crucial for the development process in the country. “When we stabilised the security in the country, we were charged to be war fanatics. We can clearly see how the national security deteriorated during this short period,” he said. He expressed these views at a function more..

Foxhill Green to launch reforestation in Diyatalawa mountain range

July 22 (SLA) The popular mountain range, Nariya Kanda alias Foxhill that surrounds the Diyatalawa garrison city in the hill country is to be turned more greener with initiatives, taken by the troops serving the Security Force Headquarters - Central (SFHQ-C). The iconic mountain valley, famous for the annual Foxhill Supercross, the premier motocross event in Sri Lanka as well as for various other public events, continues to be polluted as hundreds of people and sightseers are more..

30 July deadline to declare assets/liabilities

July 22 (CT) It has been declared mandatory that every candidate standing for election to parliament, in the August 2015 general election, submits a Declaration of Assets and Liabilities before 30 July, 2015. Additional Elections Commissioner R.M.A.L. Rathnayake, said that all candidates must submit this declaration to the District Returning Officers. Expediting this process would also enable the early issuing of identity cards for the candidates, he said. Obtaining such information from candidates more..

'No proof China backing MR at polls'

July 22 (CG) Govt said that there was no proof to back claims that China was supporting the election campaign of former President Rajapaksa. Minister Mangala Samaraweera, responding to a question posed by Colombo Gazette on a live chat over the Facebook page of BBC Sinhala Service, said that he was aware of unconfirmed reports that Chinese Govt was funding Mahinda Rajapaksa’s election campaign. more..

Dubai Marriott Hotel: Under int’l probe

July 22 (CT) An international investigation has been initiated into the US$ 238 million Dubai Marriott Hotel property owned by Nandana Lokuvithana, Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said. He said "Lokuvithana hails from Bandaragama, from my electorate, and what's astounding in how he made such an investment. He is also the chairman of the Steel Corporation. But to make vast amounts of wealth to buy a property in Dubai is simply stupendous and investigation is going on." more..

Gota claims his life is at risk

July 22 (CT) There were many who were corrupt in the former president's govt which resulted in his defeat earlier this year, said the former defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. Addressing a crowd in Colombo, at the UPFA election candidate Udaya Gammanpila's campaign launch he said, "The former president has a better set of people who will assist him in his campaign. We will correct our mistakes and send decent educated people to represent us in Parliament." more..

MR says Ranil holding PM post illegally

July 22 (FT) Former President Rajapaksa said that Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe had been illegally holding the post of PM for over six months by manipulating the mandate given by the people at the recent Presidential Election. “Election held on 8 Jan was to elect a President and not a PM. So it is time the people show that incumbent PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has been holding post of PM for over 6 months illegally,” he said. more..

SL bans alcohol for Pakistan ODI after riot

July 22 (AFP) Sri Lanka's cricket (SLC) authorities announced a ban on alcohol during Wednesday's fourth ODI between Pakistan and the hosts following a drunken riot at the venue on Sunday. SLC said unruly behaviour will be dealt with severely as a response to crowd unrest that held up play for 30 minutes at the Premadasa stadium, delaying Pakistan's victory to lead the five-match series 2-1. Items banned include hooters, liquor, glass bottles, sharp objects, lighters and boxes of matches. more..

UNF’s five- point Master Plan to be unveiled on Thursday: PM

July 22 (DN) The five-point Master Plan, which would take the country towards socio-economic prosperity under a UNF Govt would be unveiled on Thursday, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said addressing a UNF election rally in Batticaloa yesterday. The master plan themed Our Solutions to your Problems according to the Premier will pool the main issues faced by the people under five main areas, while presenting comprehensive solutions to overcome the matters. more..

Arrest of soldiers in white van at Mirihana: UPFA demands impartial probe

July 22 (Island) Former Minister G.L. Peiris urged the govt to inquire into circumstances under which three army personnel had been arrested in the Mirihana Police area, while travelling in a white van bearing a forged number plates. He said that UPFA was seriously concerned about the development particularly because former President Rajapakasa and former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa lived in the area. more..

Total revision of 1978 constitution

July 22 (DM) With the two major alliances and other parties campaigning intensively on a level playing field for the General Elections a leading and widely respected constitutional expert has called on the newly elected Govt to totally change the 1978 Constitution because he believes its negatives far outweigh the positives. Dr. Rohan Edirisinha, a veteran law lecturer at the Colombo University said the 19th Amendment which took away more than 50% of the powers of Executive Presidency more..

Even President seems to vote for UNP

July 22 (DM) Finally, the president has spoken. And by renouncing the granting of nomination to his predecessor, President has effectively disassociated himself from the election campaign of UPFA/SLFP, of which he is the Chairman. He also said he would choose someone else over Mahinda Rajapaksa as the PM should the UPFA win the election. According to the Constitution, ‘President shall appoint as the PM the MP, who in his opinion is most likely to command the confidence of Parliament. more..

Sri Lanka opts for desalination to solve north water problem

July 22 (EN) Sri Lanka has decided to go for a seawater desalination plant to supply drinking water to people in the northern Jaffna peninsula after a plan to divert water from a reservoir failed. ADB has agreed to consider a loan of US$ 90 million to Sri Lanka to fund the seawater desalination project. Cabinet has approved a proposal to seek additional funds to revamp Jaffna - Kilinochchi water supply & sanitation project. more..

It’s a feel-good election for the moment Police prepare to tackle posters

July 22 (ST) Election observers are happy about a fairly orderly start to the election campaign and urged all stakeholders, including the general public, to help maintain this atmosphere. Unlike in previous elections, posters and cutouts are not tolerated with the police taking these down as fast as they are being put up, in keeping with strict guidelines. “At the moment there exists a feel-good atmosphere and it’s hoped that more..

Journalists call for political commitment for media reform and freedom of expression

July 22 (FT) A collective of journalists and media activists yesterday called to the attention of all political parties contesting the upcoming parliamentary elections a series of recommendations for media reform and freedom of expression in Sri Lanka that included the adoption of the much-hyped Right to Information Bill and the repealing of the controversial Press Council Act. Issuing a joint statement, representatives from several journalistic more..

Govt hails resolution of Iran nuclear issue

July 22 (CG) The Sri Lankan Govt has welcomed the resolution of the Iran nuclear issue. Foreign Ministry said that Sri Lanka welcomes the successful conclusion of negotiations between Iran and the US, UK, France, Germany, China, Russia and the European Union in Vienna on 14 July 2015. “Sri Lanka has always supported efforts by the international community to resolve the Iran nuclear issue amicably, respecting Iran’s right to more..

Migrant workers funds swindled

July 22 (SL) Former Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Dilan Perera has been accused of swindling public funds. Last week, Sunday Leader exposed several such incidents that were uncovered by an audit carried out on the ministry and institutions under its purview. Following last week’s expose, employees of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) have come forward to provide more details about their more..

UPFA promises to form independent commissions

July 22 (FT) The UPFA said that if it claimed victory at the General Elections it would form independent commissions to further investigate the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda and the murder of the Sunday Leader’s founder Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge. Pivithuru Hela Urumaya Leader Udaya Gammanpila claimed that the UNP Govt did not pay attention to those two incidents during its six months in power. more..

Dullas warns of political tsunami if people’s wish is not respected

July 22 (Island) A political tsunami would be created if somebody acted against the people's mandate, UPFA Matara District candidate Dullas Alahapperuma warned. He said that the SLFP led UPFA was very confident of President Sirisena that he would never act against a people's mandate. He said that on August 18 the major problem in this country would not be about the Prime Ministerial post, but about the opposition leadership as more..

'I can defeat Mahinda Rajapaksa'

July 22 (FT) “People in Kurunegala have already rejected Mahinda Rajapaksa. They will not vote for a once-defeated politician who is accused of corruption and malpractice,” said Akila Viraj Kariyawasam UNP Group Leader of Kurunegala District. Kariyawasam is confident of defeating Rajapaksa and securing all 14 seats in Kurunegala. “I will defeat Rajapaksa. He is not a challenge. He has been parachuted to Kurunegala. more..