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Japan grants 226 million Yen for HR Development Scholarships

July 26 (Island) The Japanese govt has selected the second batch of 15 prospective scholars from Sri Lanka under its Second Phase of Japanese Grant Aid worth 226 million Japanese Yen for Human Resources Development Scholarship (JDS) Program – 2015 which commenced in September 2014. The Exchange of Notes took place at the Ministry of Finance, between Japanese Ambassador Kenichi Suganuma and Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga. more..

Police very co-operative: CaFFE

July 26 (SO) Campaign for Free and Fair Election (CaFFE) has been observing and monitoring all elections in SL since April 2008 and has deployed its monitors at the grassroots level to monitor next month's Parliamentary elections from the date of nomination. According to Executive Director, CaFFE, Rajith Tennekoon they have deployed more than 150 election observers throughout the country and hope to deploy more than 10,000 observers covering all the electoral districts. more..

MR sends Letters of Demand

July 26 (DM) Under instructions of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, a collective of lawyers had sent Letters of Demand to five persons including Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayaka and JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayaka for allegedly making defamatory comments about Mr. Rajapaksa. The lawyers said Singer Sunil Perera and former UNP MP Nalin Bandara had also been sent more..

Upper Kotmale project: JICA’s value addition benefits infrastructure at Talawakelle

July 26 (Island) The Kotmale project, funded by the Japanese government and implemented by The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), transformed the Talawakelle area into a modern township. The total commitment from the Japanese govt was approximately US$ 441 million. Kiyoshi Amada, Chief Representative on JICA’s operations in Sri Lanka, said every aspect for development of the Kotmale Hydro project was examined, and implemented. more..

Yasmin Sooka releases torture, sexual violence, abduction report

July 26 (CT) International Truth and Justice Project Sri Lanka (ITJP) organization functioning under global human rights expert Yasmin Sooka from South Africa, will this week release the report of its study titled An Unfinished War: Torture and Sexual Violence in Sri Lanka. Also defined as A Still Unfinished War: Sri Lanka's Survivors of Torture and Sexual Violence, 2009-2015 the study will focus on ongoing international violations, white van abductions in 2015 and reprisals. more..

'TNA's manifesto a threat to SL sovereignty'

July 26 (DM) United Citizens' Front (UCF) Leader Tissa Attanayake said today the Tamil National Alliance’s (TNA) manifesto is a threat to the country's sovereignty because it calls for the pardoning of the LTTE. He said the TNA’s manifesto released on Saturday is a challenge to the war victory because it wants a re-merger of the North and East under federal structure and right to self determination for Sri Lankan Tamils. more..

Tea, temples and tragic history in Sri Lanka

July 26 (ST) The man in the khaki vest slurped noisily from his cup, descended briefly into scowling meditation, spat the contents into a sink and then unleashed a torrent of approving descriptors, lavishly rolling his r’s along the way: “No foreign taste, very refreshing, robust, strong tannins, a tingly sensation at the end of the tongue — good show!” I sipped as well and nodded gravely, thinking: right, but it’s still tea. Granted, it was excellent tea, cultivated just outside more..

'Polls chief's guidelines being followed'

July 26 (SO) Over 5,000 election monitors have been deployed by the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence to monitor election related incidents countrywide in the pre and post election period till the end of August, National Coordinator of the CMEV, Manjula Gajanayake said. The CMEV has already set up nine provincial desks in their head office in Colombo and hopes to send mobile teams to selected areas based on the ground reports they receive from election monitors, he added. more..

Mahinda says no to a National Govt

July 26 (CT) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today said that the UPFA will not agree to form a National Govt after the August 17 Parliamentary election. Speaking at an election rally in Matale today, Rajapaksa said that the UNP has been speaking of forming a National Govt after the election. However he said the UPFA is confident of securing majority seats in Parliament and will not form a National Govt. more..

National education policy: Professionals should design it & take its ownership

July 27 (CT) In a recent TV talk show on what should be the country’s national education policy, a selected group of politicians from main political parties had been seated on the stage. Presumably, it would have been thought that it was necessary to seat them on the stage to pick their brains on how the national education policy should be framed. In the opposite, some invitee-experts on education were confined to the front raw of the audience so that they could listen attentively to more..

Drummers line up for Rajapaksakariya at UPFA’s Election Perehera in August

July 27 (ST) The tried and tested bevy of drummers lined up to do their Rajakariya, or feudal duties, this year at the Rajapaksa perehera have already started beating their drums vigorously, thumping out their signature drone Make Mahinda PM to raise the pressure on President to do a double somersault on his avowed stance and relent, even as he was pushed into a corner and forced to flip flop on his election pledge to the nation to bring tainted members of Rajapaksa regime to justice. more..

TULF is not selfish: V. Anandasangaree

July 27 (SL) Leader of the TULF V Anandasangaree, who has been critical of the conduct of the TNA, said he has been fighting to get ex-LTTE carders into mainstream politics from earlier days. He said that his party, the TULF, is now comprised of young, energetic, moderate and progressive candidates belonging to three different communities. Q: What is the emphasis of your election campaign this time? more..

Measuring the maturity of the SL electorate

July 27 (ST) If Sri Lanka’s political and legal history since independence demonstrates one fact, it is the fundamental dishonesty of those whom we elect to serve us. Even the rare exceptions to this rule have failed to emulate an Ambedkar, a Gandhi or a Nehru whose visions and dreams lifted Indian society from its depths and fashioned an inimitable national spirit which carried that country through decades of communal turmoil. This has been our singular loss. Insisting on a rights discourse when drafting more..

Destruction brewed by historic bond scam

July 27 (CT) Accepting bids at a yield of 12.5% for 30 year govt bonds while the market rate was nearly 300 basis points below the accepted yield caused a far greater destabilizing impact on the economy as a whole which went firmly under the radar of both economic commentators and politicians who raised the issue at public forums. It is common knowledge that the artificially higher yield offered to Perpetual Capital (pvt) ltd by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka effectively reduced the market value of more..

'A continuation of presidential polls'

July 27 (SL) The SLMC is among the minority political parties that joined forces with the UNP led alliance to contest the upcoming general election. SLMC General Secretary Hasan Ali said that they are ready to accept a govt that is willing to give an alternative solution to address the concerns of the Muslims in the Ampara district. Q: On what grounds did the SLMC join the UNP led alliance? A: We have decided to join the more..

Peace & Reconciliation: A way forward

July 27 (GV) I have enjoyed and appreciated the documents you have sent me and am happy to speak to you on Peace and Reconciliation – Way Forward. Up till the time of Independence in February 1984 our country was widely regarded, with much justification, as a model colony, eminently equipped to be a peaceful, democratic, stable, socially cohesive and economically upward mobile nation-state. There was much promise of our land and our people living up to the legend of the more..

The lumpen campaign of the clean

July 27 (NS) The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Out in the remote and inaccessible corners of this country, people know this verity almost by instinct. It is in the suburbs that folk seem to be bedazzled and lost, all at the same time. In the semi-rural, and the hinterland, the people seem to have a nose for these things. They have often favored performance over loose talk, and found it hard to support under-achievers. But, what’s happening in this country today beggars the imagination, and more..

Colombo Fashion Forecast

Editorial: CID’s Nelsonian eye

July 27 (Island) There has been a propaganda war of sorts over the recent arrest of three soldiers in a white van with a false number plate. The govt has, true to form, sought to pooh-pooh the incident and the SLFP has expressed grave concern about the safety of former President Rajapaksa and former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. What is of interest to us, however, is not the ongoing debate over the incident but a very serious allegation former Minister Wimal Weerawansa has made. more..

Infighting at High Commission

July 27 (Island) This week too we continue with the long email sent by Asoka Weerasinghe and his battles not only with the LTTE in Canada but some of his fellow Sri Lankans. It is historical and that is why we want it read by one and all. However, before we get to Asoka, I would like to reproduce an email sent by veteran SL supporter Daya Hettiarachchi is response to Assignment Toronto It was heartening to hear from Daya after a long time. "I am 87 now and tend to be careless and tired. more..

'We must promote peace'

July 27 (SL) The ACMC led by Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, which is now a part of the UNP led alliance, has decided to contest six districts under the UNP’s elephant symbol and one district separately under their own party symbol. He said that his party joined the UNP led good governance front to carry forward the mandate given by the people at presidential election and that he is confident of securing 10 seats in parliament. more..

Dilshan joins the 10,000 club

July 27 (CI) 4: Sri Lankan batsmen have scored 10,000-plus runs in ODI cricket - Kumar Sangakkara (14234), Sanath Jayasuriya (13430), Mahela Jayawardene (12650) and now Tillakaratne Dilshan (10007). Sri Lanka are the only country to have four batsmen scoring 10,000-plus runs. India has three, while Australia, South Africa, West Indies and Pakistan have one each. 7: five-match bilateral ODI series have been played between SL and Pakistan. Pakistan have now won five of these series, more..

Ian Gould auditions for FC Barcelona

July 27 (CI) Umpire Ian Gould has worn his share of balls this tour, but he has rarely done so with as much skill as he managed in the 14th over of Sri Lanka's innings. Kusal Perera's cut off Imad Wasim was headed for the space between Gould's legs, but instead of being nutmegged, Gould moved his right leg and stopped the ball in its tracks, just like a Barcelona Football Club forward would control a fast pass from the midfield. Unlike a footballer, though, Gould resisted more..

Kusal ton sets up consolation SL victory

July 27 (CI) Kusal Perera sent Pakistan on the run with his most substantial innings to date, then Sri Lanka's middle order ran the opposition down and mauled them in a frenzied finish, to found a 165-run victory in the final ODI. Sri Lanka plundered 368 for 4, but even on a placid Hambantota deck, the chase was too steep for Pakistan's in-form top order. They slipped to 140 for 5 before the halfway stage of the innings, and more..

Another white collar crime exposed

July 27 (CT) Sashreeka Agro Management (Pvt) Ltd (SAM) which claimed to be a specialist company that provides turnkey agriculture/forestry services, management and advisory services to investors and property owners in the agricultural/forestry industry, within Sri Lanka proved to be a scam. This was revealed by a medical doctor who has lost a colossal amount of money. The Director of SAM Channa Abeyagunawardena of SAM has been the CEO of the now defunct Touchwood investment PLC. more..

Aravinda, Dulakshi impress in 400m hurdles

July 27 (CT) Hurdlers, Aravinda Chathuranga and Eranga Dulakshi, together with long jumper Janaka Wimalasiri, produced impressive performances while VL Sugandhi set the third Sri Lanka record of the meet in the Heptathlon at the 93rd National Athletics Championship concluded yesterday at Diyagama. Soldier Chathuranga who returned after training from Malaysia about two months ago, had his coach Ashoka Jayasundara by his side in the last few days, who had also returned from Germany more..

Sumeda new javelin champion

July 27 (Island) SL Air Force thrower Sumeda Ranasinghe turned tables on national champion and former national record holder Waruna Lakshan to win the men’s javelin as the 93rd National Athletic Championships concluded with high jumper Manjula Kumara and Nilani Ratnayake winning the best athlete titles in the men’s and women’s categories respectively at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium on Sunday. more..

Expo 2015 secures Rs. 53 m sapphire order for Matale exporter

July 27 (FT) The Commissioner General for Sri Lanka for Expo 2015 Dr. Rohantha Athukorala announced that Sri Lanka has secured a Rs. 53 million order for sapphires from the Milano exposition. The exporter hailing from Matale was excited given that most visitors to a typical expo exhibition are end consumers. The buyer, who hails from the Zhejiang Province of the People’s Republic of China, has legally signed the agreement for delivery within a year, witnessed by more..

Heritage SL app for Archaeology Dept. from Mobitel

July 27 (DN) The National Mobile Service Provider Mobitel partnered with the Department of Archaeology for the launch of an innovative mobile app named ‘HeritageSL’ that provides unlimited free access for the public to explore Sri Lanka’s archaeology and cultural heritage. The location-based app which is designed and developed by Mobitel and functions on sophisticated iBeacon technology was launched in view of the 125th anniversary of Department of Archaeology. more..

Major parties set economic policy goals leaving people scratching their heads

July 27 (Island) If you watched the TV show hosted by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) on Rupavahini last week with former MPs Dr. Harsha de Silva (UNF), Bandula Gunawardane (UPFA) and Sunil Handunnetti (JVP) on the panel, you would have spent a lot of time scratching your head and wondering what strategy options, what array of tools in the macro policy toolbox they would be using to achieve more..

2.5 mn tourist arrivals target by 2016 not likely

July 27 (CT) Recent independent industry report claims that 2.5 million tourist arrivals by 2016 will not be possible. According to sources Bartleet Religare Securities (BRS) has claimed "achieving 2.5 million tourist by 2016 is not pragmatic goal". BRS further affirm "For the country to reach 2.5 million visitors by 2016 the annual arrivals should increase by approximately 28% per annum," As of December 2014 a total of 1.5 million tourists visited the island while the compound annual growth rate of more..

Police do not suspect foul play over fire at Divisional Secretariat

July 27 (Island) Police suspect the fire that broke out in the room occupied by the security officers on ground floor of the Maharagama Divisional Secretariat Building recently was due to an electrical short circuit. A senior police officer attached said they were awaiting the Govt Analyst’s report. Six refrigerators to be distributed among low income families under the grants given to Provincial Councillors, a generator, four compressors, bicycles, four salon chairs and several other items more..

President Maithripala Sirisena participates Maldives’ 50th Independence Day

July 27 (AT) The Sri Lankan President was welcomed at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport by the Vice President, Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Gafoor, Foreign Minister, Dhunya Maumoon, Environment Minister, Thoriq Ibrahim, the Minister for the President’s Office, Mohamed Hussain Shareef and other officials of the Govt. Sirisena was also given an Honour Guard on arrival at the airport, by the Maldives National Defence Force. more..

SL woos Indian tourists with exotic locations

July 27 (BS) Indian tourists accounted for around 20% of total foreign tourist inflows into the island nation Sri Lanka last year. Located strategically to India's south, the Indian Ocean nation is betting big on Indian visitors and hopes to double the arrivals in the next 2-3 years. Indians travelling to the country stood at 274,000 in 2014 from a total of around 1.5 million tourists arrivals from across the world during the year, said SL Tourism Promotion Board. "We have fixed a target to achieve 2.5 million more..

Crowds hoot Nandamithra Ekanayake

July 27 (DM) Minister Nandimithra Ekanayake was humiliated at an election rally of the UPFA in Na-ula today when the crowd started hooting him. The rally was attended by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa who is the UPFA's prime ministerial candidate. Mr. Ekanayake left the UPFA before the Presidential Election, and supported Maitripala Sirisena against Rajapaksa. However, he is now a UPFA candidate for the Matale District. Despite being hooted by the UPFA supporters, more..

'TNA propaganda meaningless'

July 27 (CT) UNP's Jaffna District lead candidate Vijayakala Maheswaran pointed out that the TNA's hardcore policies would not be suitable in the future in solving political and humanitarian problems of people in the North. Vijayakala who is the widow of slain MP Thiyagaraja Maheswaran said "When the war was in progress in the Vanni, the TNA didn't do anything to safeguard the lives of thousands of innocent civilians. more..

We have always been right: Ratana Thera

July 27 (Island) UNF National List Candidate and Chairman of Pivithuru Hetak Organisation Ven Aturaliye Ratana Thera maintains that their political calculations have always been right and they never got it wrong when it came to what the country needed. Ven. Ratana Thera said: "There are some who criticize us for our decision to contest under the elephant symbol. But, if you look at the recent past, you would find that we were always right and people have approved what we did. more..

Road development 85% completed

July 27 (CT) NPC Minister of Road Development and Fisheries, B. Deniswaran has announced that 85% of the roads in the Northern Province have been completed. He made the above announcement last week at a special meeting held at his office in Jaffna. Minister said that 85% of the Road Development Department works has been completed. Secretary to the Fisheries Ministry S. Sathiyaseelan, Provincial Director of the Road Development Department T. Sivarajalingam, more..

'Make JVP the decisive factor'

July 27 (Island) JVP said the next govt would most probably be a coalition. It would never join such coalitions, but support any progressive move beneficial to the people, it added. General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva said that UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had spoken of forming a govt comprising all parties in Parliament. "We know that people can not comprehend the systems of governance he is talking about. more..

'Mirihana white van came for President'

July 27 (DN) The white van, in which three army personnel were travelling with a pistol, came for President Maithripala Sirisena, United National Front National List candidate M.K.D.S. Gunawardena said. "We created a country that was free from white vans. We ensured freedom and democracy in the country. Unfortunately, a white van resurfaced again from Mirihana, where former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa are resident," more..