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Sri Lanka’s real test

July 3 (CT) Sri Lanka will walk into their first Test in 15 years without Kumar Sangakkara or Mahela Jayawardene in their team at the third and final Test match starting from today at Pallekele. The match will be the decider of the series, as the two teams have tied the series 1-1 so far even though both those matches were interrupted several times due to rain which will also be the case in Pallekele too. "This is the first match without those two (Kumar and Mahela), and sometimes it'll be hard but more..

India's CARE to buy Lanka Rating Agency

July 3 (CT) SL's troubled Lanka Ratings Agency Limited (LRA) has begun negotiations for the sale of its majority stake in India's CARE Ratings, SEC officials revealed. "Both parties will meet our Commission hierarchies, soon. We are currently re-examining their Credit Rating Agency license," officials said. LRA chairman Preethi Jayawardena said that he accepted their willingness to divest their majority stake to possible foreign more..

CPC makes Rs 5bn loss up to April 2015

July 3 (EN) Sri Lanka’s state-run oil refiner, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), has returned to making losses by April 2015 after a marginal profit in the first two months of the year, official data showed. The govt has said it is planning to a new energy policy o make entities like the CPC and Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) self-financing. During the first two months of 2015, CPC recorded a marginal profit supported by the reduction in international oil prices, a govt report said. more..

Northern Province Governor’s rallying call for investment and reconciliation

July 3 (FT) Northern Province Governor H.M.G.S. Palihakkara called on the private sector to capitalise on investment opportunities in the north while issuing a pointed criticism on the lack of true reconciliation six years into post-conflict development. Delivering an address at the 176th AGM of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC). He said: “The very fact that we are constrained to talk about conflict related challenges more than six years after ending the conflict more..

Agriculture Ministry, SupremeSAT introduce space technology

July 3 (DN) Agriculture Ministry and SupremeSAT have joined to introduce space technology into agriculture practices. Ministry signed an agreement with SupremeSAT to introduce ExactFarming in Sri Lanka. This is a first for SAARC region. ExactFarming is a platform jointly developed by SupremeSAT and USA's ExactFarming Inc. Platform will offer high quality, most frequent, processes and satellite imagery to agrarian more..

GMOA office bearers take their rivals to court

July 3 (Island) Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) said that in consultation with their lawyers, the union’s Executive Committee, Election Committee and the Interim Committee as respondents had filed a case against the GMOA rival group who held an election on the corridor of the Organisation of Professional Associations (OPA) a few days back. GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya, pointed out that the Nugegoda District Court had issued an injunction order on more..

Insurance Industry performs well in 2014

July 3 (DN) Insurance industry has recorded another successful year in 2014. "Year 2014 was another positive year for the Sri Lankan insurance industry, which recorded growth in Gross Written Premium (GWP) of both Long Term and General Insurance business sectors along with the assets of insurance companies," Insurance Board of SL Director General, Damayanthi Fernando said. Total GWP generated by insurance companies grew by 5.14% and total assets increased by 13.81% YoY. more..

'No plans to take action against CB Governor'

July 3 (LBO) Central Bank Governor, Arjuna Mahendran would not be removed from his post since the allegations are false, former leader of the house Lakshman Kiriella said. “We are not planning to take any action against him,” he said. “There were three draft reports on this bond issue, But none of the reports proved that Arjun Mahendran is wrong, That is the truth,” “The reports were not presented to parliament because more..

Food poisoning hospitalises around 75

July 3 (DN) Around 75 workers attached to two garment factories at Dematagoda and Maradana were hospitalised yesterday due to food poisoning. They are warded at the Colombo National Hospital, hospital sources said. Two of the victims are in the ICU receiving treatment. They had been provided food by the same supplier. Meanwhile, the CMC had ordered all food outlets providing food to over 100 guests should store samples of their food and drinks in refrigerators to use during more..

SriLankan Airlines lose Rs 4.9bn up to April 2015

July 3 (EN) State-run SriLankan Airlines had lost 4.9 billion rupees in the four months to April 2014, while its sister budget airline Mihin Lanka had also lost money. A state report said SriLankan earned revenues of 39.6 billion rupees but had costs of 44.9 billion rupees. Accumulated losses had rose to 130.9 billion rupees, which was almost a billion US dollars. SriLankan had lost money ever since its managing partner Emirates was dropped by the ousted Rajapaksa regime. more..

I will overcome any challenge for the sake of country & people: President

July 3 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says that he will overcome any challenge for the sake of the country and its people. He further said that he assumed duties as the President to meet all those challenges and, he has the strength and the ability to face these challenges. He made these observations addressing school children at the Rivisada Central College in Mawanella, after opening its new Technical Laboratory. more..

Hyatt says no to Hambantota

July 3 (DN) The new management of Hyatt hotels has decided to cancel the proposed Hambantota Hyatt hotel project. In a stunning disclosure by the new management it was spelt out that Rs. 300 m had been spent on the Hambantota Hyatt hotel even before start of the project. It was also disclosed that the hotel's Colombo's opening plans have been pushed back by nearly three years. Initial estimated cost of Rs. 13 b has more than doubled due to massive mismanagement. more..

PM to pay for bullet proof vehicle

July 3 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had asked the Election Commissioner to inform him of the govt's expense for bullet proof vehicle used by him until the election is held. This was revealed during a meeting Party Secretaries General had with EC Mahinda Deshapriya. It was revealed that the Premier had asked the expenses to settle the dues to the govt. This is the first time in the history of SL that a PM was taking measures to pay for using govt property during the election period. more..

Suspension of Chinese projects: Loss is for Sri Lanka

July 3 (FT) The suspension of Chinese-funded projects is the country has resulted in Sri Lanka being on the losing side, including in terms of livelihood for Sri Lankans, a spokesman for China Chamber of Commerce said yesterday. “Chinese-funded projects created 100,000 job opportunities in Sri Lanka in the past five years; 90% of workers in Chinese-funded projects are Sri Lankans,” said Chen Chuan, Spokesman for more..

Sri Lanka Ports Authority profit down 13.5% to Rs 3.2bn up to April 2015

July 3 (EN) Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) profit before tax fell 13.5% to 3.2 billion rupees during the first four months of the year from a year ago. It had budgeted a profit before tax of 4.4 billion rupees for the period. SLPA’s total revenue during the first four months of 2015 was 12.9 billion rupees while expenses were 9.3 billion rupees, including a foreign exchange loss of 0.45 billion rupees. Salaries of SLPA staff were increased with effect from January 2015 with the aim of improving efficiency and more..

Countries in Indian Ocean should respect geographical reality: envoy

July 3 (Hindu) Countries making their presence in the Indian Ocean should respect the geographical reality, individuality, and security of the nations in the region, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to India Sudharshan Seneviratne has said. Mr. Seneviratne, who is on a four-day visit to the State to foster ties between Kerala and Sri Lanka on various sectors, including tourism, was replying to questions at a press conference here on Thursday. On the problems faced by Indian fishermen, more..

COPE report on bond scam: DEW to go public today

July 3 (Island) The on-going controversy over the investigation carried out by a special 13-member committee into alleged Central Bank bond scam has taken a new turn with former Chairman of the parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) Dew Gunasekera deciding to go public today. The Gunasekera committee was the first in the country’s parliamentary history appointed to inquire into a specific transaction. more..

Politics in Sri Lanka: Come again?

July 3 (Economist) Until this year Mahinda Rajapaksa had seemed invincible: a war-winning president who had changed the constitution to give himself the right to stand for unlimited terms. Then in January, to almost universal surprise, he was beaten at the polls by a renegade member of his own party. It was a stunning defeat for Mr Rajapaksa, who was expected to take it as his cue to retire. Instead, in 6 months since Sirisena took office, Mr Rajapaksa has emerged as his principal headache. more..

TPA likely to contest under Elephant symbol

July 3 (DN) The newly formed alliance of three minority Tamil parties, Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) is likely to contest the elections under the Elephant symbol of the UNP, TPA sources said. TPA consists, DPF led by Mano Ganeshan, the WNF led by Minister P. Thigambaram and UPF led by former State Minister S. Radhakrishnan. TPA leader Mano Ganeshan said that the 3-party coalition is yet to take a final decision on the matter, but, will meet today to arrive at a consensus. more..

Drug Mafia: ‘We’ve incriminating info about 25 MPs of last parliament’

July 3 (Island) National Dangerous Drugs Control Board urged all political parties contesting the Aug. 17 general election to clear all nominations lists with it before being submitted to the Election Secretariat. The 10-day nomination period commences on July 6. The NDDCB head Dr. Chamira Samarasingha said that letters had been delivered to general secretaries of all registered political parties seeking their co-operation. more..

Mohamed Shiyam murder case: Lawyer wants President, ex-CJ summoned

July 3 (CT) Lawyers appearing for the fourth accused in the Mohamed Shiyam murder case yesterday requested the Colombo High Court to summon nine witnesses including President Maithripala Sirisena and Former Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake to give evidence. Mohamed Shiyam was a businessman from Bambalapitiya, who was allegedly killed by Former DIG Vaas Gunawardena. Lawyer Jaliya Samarasinghe made this request from a 3-Judge Bench yesterday. more..

UNP invites CBK to contest on its ticket

July 3 (Island) UNP expressed its readiness to invite former President Chandrika Kumaratunga to contest parliamentary polls on its ticket. Minister Lakshman Kiriella said that UNP was willing to give nominations to former President Kumaratunga if she was planning to contest the General election. "We are ready to give her nominations. There are no permanent friends and enemies in politics. We must put aside our differences in the fight against the common enemy. more..

MS to take final decision on MR today

July 3 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena had reportedly told a UPFA party leaders meeting yesterday that he was not in favour of making former president Mahinda Rajapaksa the prime ministerial candidate or the group leader of the UPFA at the general elections. However he had informed the UPFA party leaders that he would inform them whether former president Rajapaksa would be given nomination from UPFA by 10 am today. more..

Silent revolution in Medicine

July 3 (DM) Some 40 years after powerful transnational drug corporations killed the essential medicines concept of Prof. Senaka Bibile, Minister Rajitha Senaratne appointed members of the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) which in the coming months is expected to slash the huge number of drugs being imported and provide quality drugs to the people at affordable prices. He described it as being similar to the silent revolution that took place on Jan 8 to usher more..

Beyond a Fossil Fuel powered economy…

July 3 (DM) One of the greatest dilemmas in the history of the human civilization has been that of the fossil-fuel-powered economy. While on the one hand, we are confronted with rapid depletion of finite reserves of fossil-fuel, on the other hand we are on the brink of experiencing potential catastrophic climatic events endangering the very sustenance of the human civilization, brought about by burning of fossil fuel. Understanding the economic, environmental and geo-political realities more..

Hambantota White projects eat up economy

July 3 (SL) Multi-million rupee white-elephant mega projects in Hambantota, the constituent district of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, are now idling and have become a massive burden to the country’s economy. Hambantota has been the focal point since Rajapaksa was elected to office in Nov 2005 and billions of rupees have been spent on unnecessary projects. more..

Mayday call told of an aircraft in trouble

July 3 (ST) Dr Kevin Appleton from Australia, heading for a medical conference in Manchester in England, was among 501 passengers and crew on the Emirates EK412 flight that made an emergency landing at BIA on Friday. Nine hours into the flight from Sydney to Dubai, Dr. Appleton suddenly drew attention to an unusual sound in the engine. “The sound from the engine was slightly different from the normal sound. more..

'Sri Lanka, Indian Ocean and China Factor'

July 3 (AT) Sri Lanka has a long history intimately conditioned by the winds and tides of the vast Indian Ocean and the ambitions of regional and distant powers. It is, therefore, natural that it should engage more proactively with the sea that surrounds it as it charts its future course. Past experience suggests that the designs of powerful maritime nations will inevitably impact on its aspirations said Dr. Palitha Kohona. more..

300 Ex-LTTErs to contest GE

July 3 (CT) A group of former members of the now defunct LTTE's political wing is exploring the possibility of contesting the upcoming general election. They are expected to hold a special meeting in Jaffna today to discuss their entry into mainstream politics. Former Uthayan Editor N. Vithyatharan, who had been closely associated with the late LTTE theoretician Anton Balasingham, said that the former cadres of LTTE's political wing more..

TNA mulls over contesting outside N-E

July 3 (CT) The TNA is considering contesting the forthcoming general election outside the North and East. TNA General Secretary Mavai Senathiraja addressing a press conference at the ITAK office in Jaffna said the suggestions have been made to the TNA to contest outside the North and East. "The suggestions will be taken into consideration and the TNA will make its decision after consulting the key political figures more..

President should call for bond-scam probe report: COPE chief

July 3 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena should call for a parliamentary report on a Treasury bond scam for necessary action in the name of good governance, chairman of the inquiry committee DEW Gunasekera said. "President can call for the report from the Secretary General of Parliament, read it and take action if seen fit," Gunasekera told reporters. "This is very important as it deals with national finances. more..

Sri Lanka Cricket, Sony close to signing deal for India series

July 3 (MM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) seems to have overcome a major obstacle towards hosting the Indian team next month. Sri Lankan Board is now close to signing a deal with Sony Six for the three-Test home series against Virat Kohli & Co. The deal sure has not been inked as yet but, save a last minute turnaround, parties are close to signing on the dotted lines soon. Signing should please Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) more..

BBS asks MS to arrest those destroying Kallaru

July 3 (CT) The BBS demanded that President Maithripala Sirisena take steps to arrest political terrorists including Minister Rishad Bathiudeen involved in clearing the Kallaru/Marichchukkaddi-Karadikkuli forest reserve, which is situated to the north of the Wilpattu National Park. CEO of the BBS Dr. Dilanthe Withanage said that apart from the clearing of the forest reserve, the use of vehicles sans number plates and more..

President orders reinstatement of Wickramabahu with back wages from 1982

July 3 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has decided to reinstate leader of NSSP Dr Wickramabahu Karunaratne in his previous position of senior lecturer of the Faculty of Engineering Sciences at the University of Peradeniya with back wages from 1982. Dr. Karaunaratne said that he had been sacked from the university for fighting against executive presidency by former President J.R. Jayewardene in 1978. more..

UNP warns not to rouse the elephant

July 3 (CT) A confident UNP pledged to continue its battle to regain good governance in the country and warned its political opponents not to rouse the elephant in what is shaping up to be a close election battle. UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim and stalwart Lakshman Kiriella kicking off the post-Rajapaksa announcement battle of words insisted the UNP together with its supporters would complete the battle begun with President Sirisena more..

MR force

July 3 (CT) Former President Rajapaksa has confirmed his candidature at the forthcoming general elections for 15th Parliament due on 17 August 2015. It's however, not clear whether he would be contesting on his party, the SLFP-led UPFA coalition's ticket, or from another party, say, under the banner of one of those parties which are in the UPFA coalition or has aligned itself with it and who wants Rajapaksa not just to come forward as a candidate, but as PM candidate of UPFA's. more..

Moral relativism of the Maithri Presidency

July 3 (CT) American philosopher Eric Hoffer once wrote: “It has often been said that power corrupts. But it is perhaps equally important to realize that weakness, too, corrupts. Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many.” That seems to be the condensed quandary of the Maithripala Sirisena rain bow coalition. Color enriching, vibrant splashes everywhere. A new beginning. Alas! Rainbows don’t last. In its first 150 days of a few achievements and plenty of more..

Mahinda: The second coming?

July 3 (FT) The monk’s voice booms through rustling coconut fronds, carrying on the soft breezes over lotus ponds and endlessly green fields of paddy. “What is this title former president? Is that how we refer to our ancient kings?” On Esala full moon Poya day, the sleepy southern village of Medamulana is buzzing with activity, its narrow rural roads choked with traffic as people turnout in van and busloads, more..

CB likely to keep rates steady until polls

July 3 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's central bank is likely to keep key monetary policy rates steady until Aug. 17 parliamentary polls, but there could be a significant cut later if a stable govt is elected, Governor Arjuna Mahendran said on Friday. President Maithripala Sirisena dissolved parliament on June 26 in a bid to consolidate power and push through political reforms. "Until the elections, the rates are likely to be at the current level," Mahendran said, speaking after a news conference in the capital. more..

Sri Lanka shares end up

July 3 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares recovered on Friday from a 11-week low hit in the previous session led by market heavyweight John Keells Holdings while turnover hit a more-than-seven-week high due to a block deal in Textured Jersey Lanka. Local investors were mostly on the sidelines due to political uncertainty ahead of parliamentary elections. The main stock index ended up 0.35% at 7,007.05, recovering from its lowest close since April 15 hit on Thursday. more..