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TNA reiterates demand for Tamils’ self-determination

July 26 (Hindu) The TNA reiterated, on Saturday its adherence to the right to self-determination of Tamils and the re-merger of the Northern and Eastern Provinces under the federal structure. While pointing out that Tamil-speaking Muslims would be entitled to the benefits of all power-sharing arrangements in the North-East, the Alliance, in its manifesto released on Saturday, said “this will no way inflict any disability on any people.” more..

A/L tuition classes, seminars banned from July 29

July 26 (AD) The conducting of tuition classes, seminars, workshops and printing model papers targeting students sitting for the 2015 G.C.E. A/L exam has been prohibited with effect from midnight on Wednesday until the exams end on September 08. In a statement issued today, the Department of Examinations said that organising or conducting tuition classes, special lectures, seminars, workshops as well as printing model question papers, distributing them and promoting more..

Crusaders take on TNA

July 26 (CT) Former LTTE cadres contesting the upcoming general election under the banner 'Crusaders for Democracy' have engaged the TNA in a head-on collision in 17 August election in the Northern Province. Intelligence reports have revealed that the new party of ex-LTTE cadres would secure at least five seats in the forthcoming election. They have become more popular among youth in the Northern Province than traditional TNA members since CFD men fought for the rights more..

Top politicos behind 2,000 liquor dealers

July 26 (ST) The Financial Crimes Investigation Department (FCID) is probing some 2,000 alcohol dealers to identify proxies of VIPs and politicians allegedly involved in a monopoly of the trade, senior Excise officials said yesterday. The Excise Department last week handed over to the FCID a list containing the names of more than 2000 alcohol dealers operating with an F-L-4 licence (wine shops) in all parts of the country, they said. more..

French giant to search for oil in Lanka’s east

July 26 (ST) The tender for the exploration for oil and natural gas off the eastern coast of Sri Lanka will be given to Total, a leading French company, the Cabinet has decided. The company would gain exclusive rights for scanning, data collection and mapping in the seas off the eastern coast, Power and Energy Ministry Secretary B.M.S. Batagoda said. He said this would be the first time that gas and oil exploration would take place in the eastern seas. more..

UNFGG to bring back Donoughmore system

July 26 (CT) Minister Lakshman Kiriella said that the UNF for Good Governance and a number of Opposition parties had arrived at a common policy agreement to establish the new Parliament, subsequent to the forthcoming General Election based on the Donoughmore system that will accommodate elected members of all parties in Parliament. Although final unanimity has not been reached on the entire format, preparations are being made to submit this proposal of PM Ranil more..

Unnecessary delay caused by non-presentation of cabinet plan to court

July 26 (Island) Central Bank said  that the Attorney General by not presenting the June Cabinet approved proposal to resolve the collapsed   Golden Key Credit Company issue to the Supreme Court, had caused an unnecesary delay. Governor Arjuna Mahendran said that AG had sought independent legal advice as well on the Cabinet’s resolution of the GK case and they had all agreed that it was by and large in order, but more..

Germany funds micro projects across the country

July 26 (Island) The German Embassy in Colombo granted assistance worth over Rs. 10 million to eight community development organizations operating in a number of districts. The projects cover livelihood support, education, water and sanitation. In meetings with representatives of the implementing organizations to hand over the funds, Ambassador Dr. Juergen Morhard said, "The micro projects initiative is a key component of Germany’s engagement with local communities. more..

Rs. 169 million theft: Ex-RADA Director re-remanded

July 26 (SO) The former Finance and Administration Director of Reconstruction and Development Agency (RADA), Jayantha Dias Samarasinghe, was re-remanded by the Fort Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage, when the case was taken up for hearing on July 22. The Magistrate made the order when the investigating officers from the Police Special Investigation Unit (SIU) objected to an application by Samarasinghe’s attorney, seeking bail on behalf of his client. more..

President continues cold war with UPFA to isolate Rajapaksa

July 26 (ST) For Colombo’s state intelligence community, there was a distraction from monitoring the polls this week. It was a report from southern India. Police in the town of Ramanathapuram, in the tongue shaped land mass that ends at the Dhanuskodi pier, arrested three people after a check they conducted on vehicle movements. This pier in the Palk Strait, narrow seas that divide India and SL, is located opposite more..

August promises and contenders

July 26 (Island) The August election is a non-issue election in the traditional sense. There are no burning constitutional, economic, or ethno-national issues in the campaign. 19th Amendment for all its imperfections has put a lid on the constitutional debate in this election. The economy is a serious matter, but there is no serious debate over the economy other than the unedifying bickering about the Central Bank bond scandal. So is the Tamil question, but there is studied silence more..

The Foreign Ministry Being Exhumed

July 26 (Island) After ten disastrous years we see Minister Samaraweera seeking to revive a half dead body. The first time that he was Foreign Minister, he appointed a Committee chaired by Mr. MDD Peiris of which I was also a member to study the staffing of our Missions in relation to the work that they had been entrusted to do; most unfortunately the Minister resigned before our report could be implemented. The Minister has now stated that he wishes to depoliticize more..

GK repayments: Questions raised over funding for next phase

July 26 (Island) With the Treasury injecting Rs. 544.3 million, the final 41% settlement to around 3,000 Golden Key (GK) depositors will be completed within three weeks, senior officials said last week. During Friday’s ceremony in Colombo to mark the launch of the new phase of repayments under financial assistance extended by the govt, President Maithripala Sirisena made a token presentation of cheques to 15 depositors. more..

60,000 postal vote applications rejected

July 26 (ST) At least 60,000 postal voting applications sent by State employees and Defence personnel have been rejected on the grounds of giving false information or the illegibility of the filled forms. Deputy Elections Commissioner M.M. Mohamed said that of the 628,925 applications for postal voting, 59,960 had been rejected. The applications were rejected on the grounds of providing false information, more..

Power dispatch automation by 2017

July 26 (NS) Sri Lanka is to establish a fully automated and centralized electricity performance monitoring and dispatch unit in Pelawatte with a US$ 100 million funding from the ADB, Minister Champika Ranawaka said recently. Ranawaka stated that construction work on the unit has already commenced and it is expected to be fully functional by 2017. The unit is being set up to overcome practical difficulties faced in existing system more..

UNP to present new constitution: Ranil

July 26 (SL) The UNP will pursue repealing the present 1978 Second Republican Constitution and replace it with a new constitution ensuring a consociational political model, Party Leader and United National Front for Good Governance Prime Ministerial Candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe, said. “We will introduce a brand new Constitution, doing away with the current Preferential Voting System and more..

Fresh probe into Welikada riots

July 26 (SO) The report on the 2012 Welikada prison riots has been handed over to the IGP to launch fresh criminal investigations into the incident, Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said. The Committee of Inquiry into the Prison Incident 2012 (CIPI), appointed by Rajapakshe in January this year, to inquire into the 2012 November Welikada prison incident, recommended that a special team of investigators, more..

MR answers some questions, ignores others

July 26 (CT) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said he is a loyalist of the SLFP and that he is not contesting the forthcoming parliamentary polls to serve his personal gains, in response to a question on his Facebook page. Rajapaksa who had his first Facebook question and answer session since the presidential election on Thursday (23) fielded several questions in relation to his comeback to politics. more..

Billions busted on RDA office

July 26 (SL) The former regime under Mahinda Rajapaksa had spent over 2.4 billion to construct a luxurious head office complex for the RDA in Pelawatte. The RDA comes under the purview of the Highways Ministry and Mahinda Rajapaksa was the subject minister until the fall of his regime on Jan 8. “Although the RDA was housed in a spacious section in Sethsiripaya, what made Rajapaksa to spend lavishly on this luxurious building when more..

Promises made in January Budget only partly fulfilled, say farmers, pensioners

July 26 (ST) The Government last week brought down the price of liquid petroleum gas by Rs. 100 — a concession enjoyed by consumers twice over since the UNP-led govt came to power on January 8. Last January the Govt brought down the price of gas by Rs. 300 in its January 29 Budget. Accordingly a 12.5 kg of LPG cylinder cost Rs. 1,496 compared to Rs. 1,641 for the same cylinder before the change of govt. more..

Legal action against election law violators, campaign relatively peaceful

July 26 (ST) With nearly 150 election law violators arrested within the past four weeks, Police have completed investigations into five of the incidents and forwarded reports to the Attorney General’s Department to take legal action. The AG’s advice has been sought in cases involving the conduct of illegal political parades, three of them in Kandy, and one each in Avissawella and Gampaha. Kandy incident involves three candidates, more..

Deeds and misdeeds: 6,000 owners fall flat in condominiums

July 26 (ST) Owners of flats in a shocking 236 condominiums —a majority of them in Colombo — do not hold deeds to their properties, statistics show. These buildings contain nearly 6,000 housing units and have not been certified by the Condominium Management Authority for various reasons. As a result, their developers are prevented from lodging the Deeds of Declaration with the Land Registry, a procedre that would allow them to more..

Does President Sirisena require a professional speech writer?

July 26 (Island) The sixth Executive President has become known for his note-less, teleprompter-less, stream of consciousness style of speech-making. Reports suggest that in the aftermath of the controversial I have nothing to do with Mahinda speech, the need for some sort of notes has occurred to his political allies and even to the President himself. According to some Sunday political commentaries he admitted to Ranil Wickremesinghe in a telephone conversation more..

Recent politics and the Liberal Party

July 26 (Island) Liberal Party’s stand in 2005 as well as in 2010 was to support Mahinda Rajapaksa’s candidacy for president. In 2010, I as the secretary of the party had number of discussions with key Mahinda Rajapaksa figures, namely, Sarath Keerthiratne (Mr. Rajapaksa’s coordinator with small parties), Basil Rajapaksa, Shamindra Rajapaksa (President Rajapaksa’s private secretary) and finally with Mr.Susil Premajayantha, Secretary of UPFA to get a national seat slot for the party. more..

White van fear psychosis haunts

July 26 (CT) Mirihana Police while on routine traffic duty around 7:30 p.m. on Monday night stopped a suspicious looking white van. Little did they know that it would become the centre of a conspiracy to assassinate a leading politician. Police found three soldiers, two from an infantry regiment and one from a commando regiment travelling in the van. One soldier was armed with a pistol. The soldiers and the van belonged to the personal more..

'SL must find its own form of pluralism'

July 26 (Island) Q: Have you done research on Sri Lanka? Does your work touch on specific case studies? A: No I am certainly not an expert on Sri Lanka. In preparation for coming, I did read a little bit about it. But my field is political philosophy and I study problems of democracy and nationalism generally. Not about a particular country. Q: What is a plural society? A: I mean by that a society divided into sections, it might be, on the basis of ethnicity, religion or nationality- where it is more..

Regulating Sri Lanka’s coconut oil trade is of vital importance

July 25 (Island) The government should intervene to introduce a regulatory mechanism to ensure that coconut oil sold in the open market complies with high quality safety standards to safeguard the interests of consumers, Cherubium Lanka, a key player in the industry suggested. The lack of regulation and the absence of an acceptable benchmark quality standard in the industry have led to an unfortunate situation, where various individuals and companies feed the marketplace more..

Underworld figure Ukkuwa killed

July 26 (DM) 38-year-old underworld gangster Indika Nilusha alias Ukkuwa was killed and two others were injured in a shooting incident at Tangalle this morning, Police said. Gangster Indika Nilusha alias Ukkuwa was killed and two others were injured in a shooting at Tangalle last morning, Police said. The three gangsters who were earlier arrested in connection with a killing had been released on bail last month. more..

Enjoining order against Gymkhana Club AGM

July 25 (SL) An enjoining order has been obtained to prevent the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Gymkhana Club of Colombo from taking place. Gymkhana Club Secretary, Prashantha Wimalasena, when contacted, said that he had to get an injunction order to prevent the AGM from being held on Wednesday, till a full audit is conducted on the membership. “Since of late we have noticed how new memberships have been given without following enrolment procedure more..

Cabraal used official Credit Card

July 25 (SL) Former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal had used his official credit card to pay for his accommodation at the Marriott in London and for a dinner he had hosted for the Commonwealth Games Federation during the attempt to secure the bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Hambantota. It has been revealed that a sum of Rs. 674,842.69 had been spent by Cabraal using the official credit card. Cabraal, who was the co-chair of the more..

Chinese beggars on Colombo streets

July 25 (CT) Foreign beggars are now invading Colombo streets. As we know begging is a violation of the law and legal action can be taken against anyone engaged in it. It is easy to find out how many beggars are there in SL, especially on the Colombo streets. There some beggars with pestering wounds. Others have physical deformities. Then there are others who adopt various tricks of the trade to make a fast buck. more..

Duleep Mendis-coached Oman secure world T20 Spot

July 25 (SL) Oman qualified for next year’s Twenty20 World Cup in India with a five-wicket victory over Namibia in Ireland. It will be the first time the Gulf country, coached by former Sri Lanka captain Duleep Mendis, have reached a major international tournament. Afghanistan beat Papua New Guinea by six wickets to claim the other qualifying place and book a spot in the tournament for the fourth time in a row. Scotland, Ireland, Hong Kong and the Netherlands will also join more..

CA Sri Lanka guide for Integrated corporate reporting

July 26 (EN) Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) has launched a guide for Integrated Corporate Reporting to help more companies adopt the practice and ensure consistency. The Preparer’s Guide to Integrated Corporate Reporting is an illustrative implementation guide to facilitate corporates in the country to produce a more comprehensive integrated report. President of CA Sri Lanka Arjuna Herath said that the institute has always been mindful of more..

Haul of Rs 4.2Bn African jumbo tusks to be destroyed after the election

July 25 (CT) The large consignment of illegally appropriated African elephant tusks confiscated by the Sri Lanka Customs (SLC) on 22 May 2012 will be destroyed after the August general election. Numerous political constraints stood in the way of the SLC taking decisive action about the 359 elephant tusks valued at Rs 4.2 billion. The decision to destroy the tusks has now been taken barring a date to implement that decision. more..

Hema Premadasa will campaingn for Champika

July 26 (DM) Former first lady Hema Premadasa today extended support to Minister Champika Ranawaka for his Colombo District campaign for the Aug 17 general election. President Premadasa's widow joined Minister Ranawaka at the Ape Gama complex in Battaramulla where minister explained his policies while launching his propaganda campaign. The late president Premadasa's son Sajith is contesting from Hambantota under the UNP and is the district group leader. more..

Daya Rajapakse no more

July 25 (DM) Veteran cartoonist and comic strip writer Daya Rajapakse died at the National Hospital in Colombo today at the age of 78. He was introduced to the cinema with his comic strip story Hulawali drawn for Sarasaviya newspaper in the 1970s. About 15 of Daya's comic strip stories were made into films and among them are Sakwithi Suwaya, Suboda, Raktha , Niwan Dakna Jathi Dakwa, Niliyakata Pem Kalemi, Ahimi Dadamang and Malani Fonseka's 'Sasara Chethana' more..

BBS: Death threats from ISIS

July 25 (DM) The BBS said today that they would lodge a complaint with the IGP over threats allegedly received from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera. BBS CEO Dr. Dilantha Withanage said they were threatened with death over the phone several times and some of them were from Afghanistan. “We came to know that the slain Sri Lankan ISIS militant had been more..

Probe on Lasantha murder not halted

July 26 (SL) The police insisted that investigations into the murder of The Sunday Leader founding Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge have not been suspended. ASP Ruwan Gunasekera said the investigation into the assassination on January 8, 2009 is being carried out based on the preliminary investigative reports. Former minister Mervyn Silva had also handed over documents related to the murder to the CID, but the CID says that they have not looked at those documents yet. more..

'I left Temple Trees before final results'

July 25 (CT) I have to say that I appreciate with gratitude the courageous dedication of all of you who did not put aside the national agenda I stand up for as well as stood up for me amidst various threats and intimidations during the period after the recent Presidential Election. Similarly, I accept with love all of you who visited me at my home in the village, at this moment. Today is Esala Poya Day when you arrived in my village in search of me. Today is the day that Lord Buddha went more..

Video: Police to probe Watareka Thera’s statement if complaint received

July 26 (DM) Police said today that it would launch a probe if a complaint is received regarding a statement allegedly made by NSSP Colombo district candidate Watareka Vijitha Thera that he would to tear the National Flag and trample it. A video footage of the statement made by the Thera at the launching of the NSSP election manifesto has gone viral in social media websites. He had also threatened to burn National Flag more..