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Sri Lanka shares end at near 8-week high

July 23 (Reuters) Shares closed at their highest level in about eight weeks on Thursday on strong foreign inflows for a second session as hopes of political stability after Aug. 17 parliamentary polls and better earnings lifted sentiment. The main stock index ended 0.18%, or 12.99 points up at 7,212.62, its highest since May 29. Turnover was at 2.21 billion rupees, boosted by foreign buying. This was the highest turnover since July 3 and more than double of this year's daily average more..

Sri Lanka June tea exports down 9.5%

July 23 (EN) Sri Lanka’s tea exports fell 9.5% or by 2.9 million kilos to 27.7 million kilos in June 2015 from a year ago, with most of the decline in tea bags and packets, brokers said. Earnings from tea exports for June 2015 fell 17.7% or by 3.5 billion rupees to 16.3 billion rupees from the year before, Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers said. “Although tea in bulk have shown a marginal increase, tea bags and packeted teas have shown a negative growth in 2015,” they said. more..

Video: More legal teeth to probe financial crimes: Rajitha

July 23 (DM) UNP-led alliance today pledged to prioritize the enactment of legislation to deal with those involved in financial crimes and other wrongdoings under the regime of former President Rajapaksa, if it was elected to office. Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said that the only solution to the snail phased investigations and legal action against suspects who have allegedly committed financial crimes & misdeeds under Rajapaksa regime more..

JVP vows to vest executive powers in Parliament

July 23 (Island) The JVP, in its election manifesto unveiled yesterday, promises to abolish the executive presidency and to vest the executive powers in Parliament. The manifesto made public at a special convention held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium pledges to limit the number of Cabinet of ministers to 25 and to abolish the pensions and duty free car permits given to MPs. It assures that all draconian laws including the Prevention of Terrorism Act would be done away with more..

FSP says right wing parties suffering from Mahinda syndrome

July 23 (Island) The Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) has called upon the people not to vote for right wing parties. FSP leader Duminda Nagamuwa, who contest the upcoming parliamentary polls from Kalutary told a party gathering in Kandy that all right wing parties acted in a similar manner. "Look at what the incumbent govt did after ousting Mahinda Rajapaksa. They just repeated what he had done. They engaged in frauds on a much bigger scale and the bond scam serves as an example. more..

Video: Ranil wants report on alleged Sri Lankan ISI combatant

July 23 (DM) Minister Rajitha Senaratne announcing the Cabinet decisions said that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had requested the IGP to investigate the incident and close associates of the deceased involved the recent Syria attack and submit a report to him. The deceased was a one time Principal of an International school in Galewela and alleged to be a combatant of the ISIs. A special police team is due to conduct investigations. more..

Kindelpitiya says no action against Kolonnawa land grabbing mafia

July 23 (Island) Western Provincial Councillor and TULF Colombo District candidate Susil Kindelpitiya yesterday said that there was a highly powerful land grabbing and land filling mafias operating in Kolonnawa controlled by politicians at different levels. Kindelpitiya said the racket, which started about 25 years ago had today reached alarming proportions with illegal land grabbing and filling causing severe environmental hazards in the area. Politicians were part of the mafia and more..

If Treasury Bonds case is proved fraud Sujeewa ready to withdraw case

July 23 (CT) Deputy Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe challenged D.E.W. Gunasekera, Chairman of the COPE, to reveal an alleged fraudulent report on the controversial Treasury Bonds issue, vowing that he would retract the injunction sought by him. Senasinghe demanded that Gunasekera reveals the contents of a fake COPE report on the contentious Treasury Bonds scam and promised that he would retract the injunction requested by him which prohibited the contents of the COPE report more..

Sri Lanka to harness wasted rainwater for crops, power

July 23 (Reuters) Sri Lanka plans to store and use a billion cubic metres of rainwater per year, which would otherwise drain into the sea, in an ambitious effort to boost irrigation and power production. The new water management system is being built in the country's dry zone, which covers its northern and eastern areas. Home to at least a third of SL's population of 20 million, the mainly agricultural zone has been hit hard by climate shifts more..

Police try to find out why soliders changed van’s number plate

July 23 (Island) Police are trying to find out why the three soldiers assigned to Major General Prasanna Silva had changed the number plates of the white van and were in civvies when they were taken into custody in the Mirihana police area on Sunday evening. ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said that the soldiers had a weapon which belonged to the Major General and the latter had made a statement saying that he was on his way to Kandy and his security personnel were asked to join him after more..

No corrupt or old persons among us: JVP

July 23 (CT) Launching their election manifesto yesterday, the JVP noted that all parties with the exception of the JVP had nomination lists full of the old and the corrupt. General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva added that all would have to eventually choose the path taken by the party. He said that certain leaders lacked a conscience. It is time to rewrite history and the power of the people always triumphs over wealth, the mafia, family bandyism and weapons, he mentioned. more..

GS says drunken man was the culprit

July 23 (DM) A Grama Seva Niladhari caught in the Akuressa election rally incident involving former President and Kurunegala district UPFA candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa, said a drunken person who was behind him had grabbed the hand of Mr. Rajapaksa. GS Officer W. Wijesinghe, attached to the Telijjawila, Wandagoda Division of the Matara district, said this drunken person put his arm behind, and that at the more..

'Soldiers in White Van got firearm from Gota'

July 23 (Island) Minister Joseph Michael Perera says that three soldiers arrested by the Mirihana police on Monday evening with a firearm in their possession have confessed to police that the weapon had been given to them by former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. Police investigations had found that the white van used by the suspect soldiers had once belonged to the LTTE. Van had not been registered and the soldiers had used it with a false number plate. more..

'SLTB buses not obtained under my name'

July 23 (AD) UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha says that it is unreasonable to direct accusations at only him regarding the payments to be made for SLTB buses used during the Presidential Election and balance sheets also concern the President, as he is the incumbent Chairman of the party. Cabinet announced today that it has decided to file legal action against the UPFA General Secretary due to the failure to pay Rs 142.5 million owed to SLTB, for buses used more..

Video: Sujeewa had to withdraw enjoying order: DEW

July 23 (DM) Chairman of COPE D.E.W. Gunasekera said that the Deputy Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe had to withdraw the enjoining order that prevented the publication or circulation of the COPE subcommittee draft report on the sale of Central Bank Bonds in fear of the statement made by Prof. G.L. Peiris recently. Mr. Gunasekara said Prof. Peris had revealed that the COPE report would be submitted to the police when some of the more..

Soon-to-be-married Lankan dies in car accident

July 23 (AN) A Sri Lankan youth, who was driving his own vehicle died instantly in an accident which occurred in the capital on Sunday. The deceased, Riswan Mohamed Hilmy, 28, from Colombo, had been working for Splash as a salesman. On the day of the tragedy, he was driving his car at a very high speed when the collision took place. The driver of the other car, who is also an Asian, escaped with minor injuries, Confirming the death, the Sri Lankan Embassy here said it is coordinating more..

Countrywide Sangha conventions for Good Governance

July 23 (DN) The Bhikku Forum for Good Governance say that they will hold Sangha Conventions in all provinces in the country to make both the monks and people aware about the importance of protecting the victory achieved on Jan 8 to ensure good governance and build a united and a prosperous nation. Sangha conventions are to begin from Kurunegala on Aug 8, the district which former President Rajapaksa has chosen to contest the August 17 general election. more..

Five uncapped players in SL squad for Pakistan T20s

July 23 (EN) Sri Lanka have picked five uncapped players - fast bowler Binura Fernando, legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay and batsmen Shehan Jayasuriya, Dasun Shanaka, and Dhananjaya de Silva - in their Twenty20 squad for the two-match series against Pakistan. Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirimanne have not been included while fast bowler Nuwan Kulasekara, who was left out for the ODI series, has been picked. more..

Buddhist monks in election fray

July 23 (CT) Nearly 36 Buddhist monks will be contesting the general election, including the first Buddhist monk to enter Parliament, Ven. Baddegama Samitha Thera, who is contesting from UPFA. Meanwhile, General Secretary of BBS, Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera will be contesting from the BJP with 15 other monks. Leader of the JSP Ven. Battaramulle Seelarathana Thera is also contesting with 16 monks and Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera & Ven. Omalpe Sobhitha more..

UNP accused of a hidden post polls agenda

July 23 (CG) UNP has been accused of having a hidden post election agenda where several Govt institutions will be privatised. UPFA candidate at the Parliament election, Wimal Weerawansa alleged that UNP wants to sell the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, the State owned Gas company and a partially Govt owned hospital to Indian companies. “Former President Rajapaksa stopped the privatisation of Govt owned institutions but now the UNP is looking at reversing that,” he said. more..

Sri Lanka demands Rs142.5mln as unsettled dues from former rulers

July 23 (EN) Govt is to take legal action against the former ruling alliance for spending public money on its election campaign and seeking payment for hiring state-owned buses to transport participants to political rallies. “Although bills have been sent, the payment have not been settled,” Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. Claim have sent to General Secretary of UPFA demanding 142.5 million rupees for unsettled dues more..

SLFP warns President over PM post after polls

July 23 (CG) SLFP has warned President Maithripala Sirisena over the appointment of a new PM if the SLFP wins the August 17 Parliament elections. Former Minister Dilan Perera said that the President expects the SLFP to win the election under the UPFA ticket. He said that if the SLFP and UPFA win the election then former President Mahinda Rajapaksa must be appointed the new PM. Perera said that if the President refuses to appoint Rajapaksa as the PM, then the UPFA more..

Chinese company rejects reports of funding Sri Lankan politicians

July 23 (Xinhua) China Harbour Engineering Co Ltd (CHEC) rejected reports that it had offered financial assistance to any politician during January presidential elections. CHEC said the allegation made by local media was misleading and has bought disrepute to an international level company. "CHEC calls on all the relevant Sri Lankan officials and parties not to misunderstand their responsible and cooperative partner, and not to send a wrong signal to the investors from China and more..

Video: UNFGG manifesto pledges 60-month dev. plan

July 23 (DM) The United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) which launched its manifesto in Colombo today pledged more amendments to the 19th Amendment and rename the Constitutional Council set up under this legislation as the State Assembly. The party said the State Assembly would comprise civil society members other than the Speaker, Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition. more..

Despicable attempt to sanitize abuse

July 24 (Island) Much is being said about the need to strengthen the rule of law which has taken a severe beating during the last several decades. That, no doubt, is the need of the hour. But, sadly, even those who have taken upon themselves that noble task have no qualms about taking full advantage of loopholes in the law or manipulating the legal and judicial systems to further their interests, especially during elections. Run-up to Aug 17 parliamentary polls is characterised by more..

(Dr) Mervyn Silva’s rants

July 24 (CT) (Dr) Mervyn Silva wants attention. He craves for it so much it’s no wonder he was the Minister for Public Relations once. At present though, he’s an orphan. Has nowhere to go. Having been denied nominations from his own party despite his overtures to President Maithripala Sirisena (he was one of Mahinda’s men before he lost, as we know), he’s seeking a way out. He’s trying to find an ally. Trying to worm himself in. This is not the first time he’s tried to jump ship. more..

'The UPFA is harping on a warped record'

July 24 (CT) UNP Gampaha District candidate Harshana Rajakaruna says that Media personnel were attacked and taken away in white vans during the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime. "Media institutions were destroyed. We are fearful of another administration led by Mahinda Rajapaksa being given the reins again, for one family ruling the country, using State property as though their personal booty and isolating Sri Lanka from more..

'Development agenda should continue'

July 24 (SO) Ceylon Workers' Congress (CWC), political party that had represented the upcountry plantation community intends contesting one of its most strategic electoral districts -the multi-member Nuwara Eliya District -on the UPFA ticket. CWC is fielding both party leader Arumugan Thondaman and party president Muthu Sivalingam in the district that had always been the field of the toughest electoral battles among all trade-union-based political parties of the plantation community. more..

'Bhikkhus with a vision should enter politics'

July 24 (SO) Accusing the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), now contesting under the Bodu Jana Peramuna flag for deceiving him, controversial personality, Vijitha Rohana Wijemuni said only Bhikkus with a vision and discipline should become parliamentarians not those who crave for power. Wijemuni, the naval rating is remembered by many for his assault on Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on July 30, 1987 at the President's House, Colombo. He later became a political activist and a well-known more..

People over 60 years: A powerful vote bank

July 24 (SO) National census in 2012 counted 2,520,573 persons who were over 60 years, which was of 12.4% of the total population. Of these older persons, 56% were women. When the census was taken, more than three quarters of the older persons (78%) were aged between 60 and 74 years. This means most are still active and potentially productive. However, census also found that only 25.6% are economically engaged, more..

'We exploited the inexperience of Lankans'

July 24 (NS) Pakistan’s one-day skipper Azhar Ali disclosed that they exploited the inexperience of the Sri Lankan team to win the one-day international series at the R Premadasa Stadium. Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the fourth ODI to take a winning 3-1 lead in the five-match series. “In the first half the wicket was playing very well and there wasn’t much for the bowlers the main thing is we kept to our plans,” said Azhar at the post-match press conference. more..

Rebasing national accounts estimates

July 24 (NS) Sri Lanka has recently revised the key indicators of economy, GDP and economic growth in the past four years after changing the base year and the new calculations have lowered the economic growth during the last two years significantly from previously reported figures. Department of Census and Statistics said the move is to keep up with international practices resulting in the change of the base year from 2002 to a more recent 2010 and including additional data more..

Boston Lanka: Last Week

Macroeconomic adjustment needs for food crops sector

July 24 (CT) On Monday of this week, President Maithripala Sirisena met with top level agriculturists and agricultural administrators of the country. It is a good sign that the president himself took a greater interest to emphasize the essential need of establishing a vibrant and viable non-plantation agricultural sector. I like it but there is a serious problem or an issue which has not been paid due attention. What is it? Even if we assume that all technical issues in regard to productivity more..

Comments on President’s special statement

July 24 (Island) President Sirisena in his special statement, said: "… my sole interest in the next election result would not be about which party will receive majority votes out of 225 coming to Parliament, but about making sure the agenda that I promised to the people on Jan 8th will be taken forward with the support of the parliament. All my decisions have been made with regard to making sure that goal is achieved". President should realise that without the support of Parliament more..

Warrior, Watchdog and Statesman

July 24 (SL) The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) or the People’s Liberation Front commenced its Marxist campaign in late 60s with a challenge to all other conventional leftist political parties such as the CP and LSSP. The JVP was capable enough to attract a considerable percentage of the Sri Lankan Youth with its’ hard hitting anti-imperialism and anti-Capitalist slogans which were directly aimed at the then rulers. more..

SLN renders assistance to Indian fishing trawler in distress in Sri Lankan waters

July 24 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy has rendered assistance to an Indian fishing trawler with 4 fishermen in distress in Sri Lankan waters on 23rd July. The trawler had experienced an engine failure while in the seas 8.5 nautical miles north of Delft. It was sighted by an SLN patrol craft attached to the Northern Naval Command in the early hours of Thursday. They were provided with meals and refreshment as found exhausted due to the ordeal in the prevailing rough sea condition, more..

Rear Admiral S Ranasinghe assumed duties as the Navy Chief of Staff

July 24 (MoD) Rear Admiral Sirimevan Ranasinghe assumed duties as the Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Navy amidst the blessings of the Venerable Maha Sangha at the Naval Headquarters, Colombo yesterday (22). He was also called on the Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne to receive the Letter of Designation for his new appointment. In view of the fact that, former Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne was appointed as more..

'Our fast bowlers are fat and unfit'

July 24 (Island) Former fast bowling great Chaminda Vaas hit out at the national cricket team’s fast bowlers after Sri Lanka’s meek surrender in the current five-match ODI series to Pakistan. Sri Lankans lost the series with a game to spare and now run the risk of going down 4-1. Malinga, Lakmal and Thisara were all disappointing during the series. Malinga was well below par and conceded 80 runs in the third ODI more..

Fashion bug receives award

July 24 (CT) Fashion Bug, one of Sri Lanka's leading Fashion retailers with over 17 outlets island wide, were recognized for the work carried out by them via their ground breaking Sisu Dirimaga Foundation, including their Career Guidance programme for GCE A/L Students and school leavers, the drinking water project that was completed and presented to the Ovitigamuwa Maha Vidyalaya, the donation of the computer unit to the Thumbe Kanishta Vidyalaya, and Sponsorship of Dhammika Kithulgoda more..