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Akila promises four million jobs

July 27 (Island) Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said the UNF would form the next govt after August 17 and provide four million new jobs for the country’s youth within the next five years. Addressing an election rally at Kurunegala, Minister Kariyawasam said: "I never thought that I would be contesting against UPFA group leader and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. But, now he has come to Kurunegala. I know that Kurunegala people will not vote for him. more..

'No factions in SLFP, UNP will be defeated'

July 27 (Island) Former President and UPFA Prime Ministerial Candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday that there were no factions in the SLFP and the party would go ahead as one entity to defeat the common enemy, the UNP. Addressing the UPFA Matale District rally at the Naula Public Grounds, he said: "Now, we are working as one group to defeat the UNP at the August 17 general election." more..

Patrolling along Indian coast to be intensified

July 27 (Hindu) With apprehensions growing about the smugglers may shift their focus from air to sea for importing gold, the Customs Department will soon activate sea patrolling formations in Kochi and Kozhikode. Officials said the department recently filled up the vacancies of lascars or sailors, who are currently under training. The team, comprising 24 sailors, will complete training later this month and is slated to commence operations from August. Surveillance of sea routes will be carried out more..

China’s MCC gets part of central expressway contract

July 27 (EN) Sri Lanka has given Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) a contract to build the first section of an expressway to the central region which is to be funded with a loan from China’s Exim Bank. Govt negotiations with MCC had fixed the total cost of the 32.5 km section from Kossinna to Mirigama at 145.8 billion rupees or 4.5 billion per kilometre, officials said. The first phase of the Central Expressway, from Colombo to Kandy in the central hills, consists of building more..

President orders STF protection for Dangerous Drugs Control Board Chief

July 27 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has ordered commandos of the police STF to be detailed to protect National Dangerous Drug Control Board Chairman Dr. Nilanga Samarasinghe immediately, Justice Minister Wijeyadsa Rajapakshe said. Minister Rajapakshe said that he had contacted President Sirisena after journalists at yesterday’s UNP press conference pointed out recent media reports of Dr. Samarasinghe more..

Are our students ready for the Asian Century?

July 27 (DM) With just three weeks to go for the crucial General Election on August 17, the UNF for Good Governance (UNFGG) and the JVP in their policy plans or manifestos issued last week have pledged to change the structure and the mindset in the vital area of education. UNFGG led by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has pledged it will build a new Sri Lanka with a job-oriented education process whereby one million high income and highly productive jobs will be made available more..

Vacancies for clean and capable parliamentarians! Be wise!

July 27 (DM) Prior to the last presidential elections, with the usual braggadocio, we, Sri Lankans, were made to believe that we as a nation were on a journey upwards to become – the miracle of Asia and the Emerging Wonder of Asia. However, six years after winning the war, we now need to take a realistic assessment whether we were on the right track. After winning the war, we do not have any fear now to go about our daily lives with improved road net-work, etc. more..

Destined to the Streets

July 27 (DM) They are on the streets, wearing tight-fit clothes, a handbag and an umbrella waiting for a vehicle to stop by them. Busy streets, dodgy brothels, stingy brokers are part of their everyday lives. Prostitution; a heavily tortured word in the Sri Lankan context, today has given rise to many social issues and a growing concern among the international community. Although it is officially illegal, Sri Lanka is a country that entertains more..

TNA says US, India must play stronger role

July 27 (CG) The TNA says the United States and India must play a more clear and stronger role to ensure the Tamils are given a political solution to their concerns. TNA spokesperson and former MP Suresh Premachandran said that the US seems to have got involved with Sri Lanka ahead of the January 8 Presidential election to reduce the role China had in Sri Lanka. “They may now prefer the current Government to remain in power,” more..

Around 74 HIV infected children reported

July 27 (DN) About 74 children are reported to be infected with HIV in Sri Lanka. There is a possibility that this is due to mother to child transmission of HIV. Around 80 percent of pregnant mothers are expected to be tested for HIV by year's end, National STD/AIDS Control Programme sources said. According to sources, cumulative HIV cases at the beginning of the first quarter of 2015 is 2,074. more..

SEC says transparency of information is the key for development

July 27 (LBO) Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) says that transparency enhancement leads to improve the performance of companies and enables businesses in becoming magnets for inward investment and more resilient in the face of future challenges. “Markets move on information,” Thilak Karunaratne, Chairman, SEC said. “More forward looking and detailed information organizations provide, more efficiently more..

People will have to bear cost of election propaganda: FSP

July 27 (Island) Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) has called upon people to calculate the cost of propaganda by the two main party candidates and be ready to cover the costs of such campaigns if they vote for such candidates. FSP Central Committee Member and Kegalle District candidate Sujith Kuruwita addressing an election rally held in Kegalle town said: "Today there is a competition to put up multi-coloured posters and billboards. more..

Sri Lanka has one of the highest rates of death by drowning

July 27 (ST) Sri Lanka has one of the highest rates of drowning in the world with more than three deaths a day, due mainly to carelessness and ignorance of basic safety rules. The Drowning Prevention Report compiled by the Association last year, the first of its kind done in the country, detailed the alarming extent of the problem. Last year, 1100 people died from drowning, the Life Saving Association of Sri Lanka’s chief examiner more..

JVP pledges a social, political, and economic transformation

July 27 (SL) The election manifesto of the JVP comprising of ideas and proposals from various professionals, experts, organisations and individuals was launched last week amongst a huge crowd of people’s representatives at the Sugathadasa indoor stadium. The manifesto with the slogan The Accord of Conscience contains a five year programme under a JVP administration. It is observed that the election manifesto is more..

'Much advertised casino tax not collected'

July 27 (Island) The UNP-led govt had failed to make good its promises as it had failed to collect Rs. 65 billion in taxes especially from casinos, former Badulla District UPFA MP, Dilan Perera said. Perera, who is now on the UPFA national list, challenged the govt to prove it had made an attempt in the supplementary budget to boost the state revenue through taxes on casinos and luxury houses. more..

'Warnasinghe victim of intra-party friction'

July 27 (Island) A group of thugs armed with firearms attacked the party office of Kalutara District UNF candidate Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe twice at Baduraliya in Agalawatte during the early hours yesterday, according to Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE). CaFFE said yesterday’s attack was the worst election law violation during last seven days as the attackers had used firearms to chase away more..

'Sri Lanka to manufacture ships and cars'

July 27 (DM) Sri Lanka will manufacture ships and cars in some years time with the help of foreign investors, said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday. He said at an election rally that a Chinese investor had promised to set up a ship manufacturing yard in Hambantota. He said this investor had decided to come to Sri Lanka after a decision by Volkswagen to set up a car manufacturing plant in Kuliyapitiya. more..

SLFP: A house divided

July 27 (CT) On Saturday this newspaper carried an article which said that former UPFA/SLFP MP and Minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon resigned from the govt. He had said that the recent speech of President Maithripala Sirisena who is also the SLFP/UPFA Leader and the activities of the SLFP's arch rival the UNP had precipitated his resignation. The reference to Sirisena's recent speech was where the President addressing the nation over TV the day after nominations closed more..

Four suspected treasure hunters remanded

July 27 (Island) Matale Magistrate and Additional District recently remanded, till July 29, four suspects arrested by police while they were excavating sites of historical significance in Wiltshire mountain range in search of treasure. Police said that there was no information about what the treasure hunters had already unearthed from the site. The suspects are from Colombo and Padiyathalawa areas. Matale Magistrate court also ordered police to obtain more..

Is Malinga an over-the-hill icon?

July 27 (ST) Who’s afraid of Virginia Wolf? Though this is just a pun on Edward Albee’s 1962 play about a breaking up of a marriage, my narration is based upon the breaking down of an icon who is gradually fudging himself to zero. When Lasith Malinga first broke into the international arena from almost total obscurity, he just walked into stardom. He was different to the other fast bowlers in the international circuit. more..

Sri Lanka shares ease on profit-taking, month-end settlements

July 27 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares slipped on Monday in thin trade from a two-month closing high hit in the previous session due to some profit-taking and month-end settlements. The main stock index was 0.16% weaker at 7,257.42, slipping from its highest close since May 25 hit on Friday. It hit a two-month closing high on Friday as hopes of improved corporate earnings and political stability after the parliamentary polls next month boosted investor sentiment. more..

Villagers blame officials for destruction of forest

July 27 (Island) Around 400 acres of the Kokagala Reserve in Padiyathalawa were destroyed by a fire that raged for two days from last Friday. The fire erupted around 8.30 am on Friday from the Wattegamthalawa area of the Reserve. Though the relevant officials had been informed of the fire none turned up to douse it, residents said. Residents suspect that some hunters or bee honey collectors might have set a section of the forest on fire. more..

'Looking forward to prove MR's guilt in court'

July 27 (DM) Commenting on the Letter of Demand sent by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayaka for defaming him, Mr. Ramanayaka said he looked forward to prove Mr. Rajapaksa’s guilt in court. The former President had demanded Rupees one billion from the Deputy Minister in damages over an alleged defamatory statement of him in a TV political programme. Mr. Ramanayaka said he was responsible for what he said more..

Sri Lanka sells Rs 60bn in 4 and 6-year rupee bonds

July 27 (EN) Sri Lanka has sold 27.6 billion rupees of 4-year bonds and 23 billion rupees of 6-year bonds and rejected bids for 10-year bond which were also offered. The 4-year bonds maturing on 01.07.2019 were sold at a weighted average yield of 8.19%. Similar 4-year bonds were last auctioned on May 12 at 8.15%. The bonds were quoted at 8.15/20% in the secondary market after the auction. The 6-year bonds maturing on 01.08.2021 were sold at an average yield of 8.87% more..

Don’t ignore the role of minor opposition parties

July 27 (CT) I am not a political analyst of any sort nor an academic with expert knowledge in politics. However, this is the time all Sri Lankans try to make sense out of the country’s political history to take informed decisions. I just thought of sharing my specific thoughts about the role of the minor political parties. The glare of main political parties often makes us overlook the role of minor opposition parties in the Sri Lankan parliament. We often forget that their composition and principles more..

Wasim Thajudeen was murdered : CID informs court

July 27 (AM) CID today informed Colombo Additional Magistrate that former Sri Lanka rugby player and Havlocks captain Wasim Thajudeen’s death was not an accident but murder. The death had been caused by a blow on his neck by a circular object and there were signs prior to his death that he had been brutally tortured, CID also informed. Thajudeen’s teeth had been broken and ribs & thigh bones were also damaged. more..

Sri Lankan student missing from coastal Karnataka

July 27 (IT) A Sri Lankan student, who was studying hotel management course at a renowned college in Moodbidri town in coastal Karnataka was reported missing from her hostel. The college management has lodged a complaint with the Moodbidri police stating that the student, Sattambiralage Don Nimnatarushi Sebastian, was found missing from her hostel room. Apparently, she had complained to her college management about facilities in the hostel on July 17. more..

UK-based WorldRemit launches mobile money transfer in Sri Lanka

July 27 (ANI) London-based money transfer business WorldRemit has launched instant mobile money transfers to Sri Lanka for the first time. The eZ Cash service is currently available to Dialog, Etisalat and Hutch subscribers, totaling 14 million people, according to a compnay media release. WorldRemit will enable customers to send instant, low-cost money transfers direct to the mobiles of family and friends in Sri Lanka, the press release stated further. more..

TNA’s manifesto becomes poll issue in South Lanka

July 27 (ENS) The manifesto of the TNA for the August 17 Sri Lankan parliamentary elections has become a major issue among the Sinhalese majority in the island nation. The TNA’s demand for self-determination within a united but federal Sri Lanka is being interpreted as a stepping stone to an independent Tamil Eelam. The TNA wants the 13 th. Amendment of the Lankan constitution to be scrapped and replaced by an amendment ensuring more..

Group of lawyers accuses US of dirty tricks against ex-President

July 27 (Island) The US was pumping money to the UNP to sling mud tarnishing the image of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is contesting from the UPFA from Kurunegala District, a team of lawyers backing the former President said. Fielding questions, Attorney-at-Law, Sagara Kariyawasam said that they had reliable information that US was behind the UNP mudslinging campaign. He said they would divulge information shortly. He also said that they had already sent letters of demand more..

Black July vigil in Downing Street

July 27 (CT) Hundreds of Tamils who hailed from the North and East of Sri Lanka and presently domiciled in the United Kingdom commemorated the 32nd anniversary of Black July communal riots with a vigil outside Downing Street in London on Thursday. British Tamils gathered outside the Prime Minister's residence and lit candles in remembrance of those who died in 1983. P Sathiyaseelan, a long-standing activist and friend of many of those who lost their lives, including political detainees more..

Sajith complains of mudslinging

July 27 (Island) Members of the Rajapaksa camp, unable to get votes because of what they had done while in power were slinging mud at the Maithripala-Wickremesinghe administration, UNP Hambantota District candidate and Minister Sajith Premadasa said. Addressing an election rally held at Ranna on Saturday, minister said: "They cannot talk of what they did and ask the people to elect them again more..

Second battle to decide Rajapaksa's fate

July 27 (ENS) The Sri Lankan parliamentary elections slated for August 17 are essentially about one issue — whether former President Mahinda Rajapaksa should or should not be at the helm of the island nation’s affairs. Contrary to expectations, his defeat in the January 8 presidential polls did not settle the matter. Winner Maithripala Sirisena had failed to take over Rajapaksa’s formidable outfits, the SLFP and the UPFA, which had a majority in the 225-member parliament. more..

Tiran Alles won’t be arrested till July 30: AG

July 27 (DM) The Attorney General (AG) undertook not to arrest former MP Tiran Alles until July 30 in connection with an alleged fraud at the Reconstruction and Development Agency (RADA) when the matter was taken up in the Supreme Court today. The Chief Justice was scheduled to sit on the bench when the matter was taken up. However, it was taken up before Judges Eva Wanasundare and Buwaneka Aluwihare instead. Therefore, the matter is due to be taken up before CJ on July 30. more..

Ex-Sri Lanka police spy bungles five-star liquor heist

July 27 (EN) A retired spy from Sri Lanka's premier intelligence unit pulled off what seemed a stunning theft of foreign liquor from a five-star hotel in Colombo, but was caught because of a careless mistake unbecoming of a rookie. The retired 63-year-old inspector from the State Intelligence Service (SIS) had a hearty meal at a Cinnamon Grand restaurant, took an unopened bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label and more..

BBS complains against Watareka Thera

July 27 (DM) The BBS today complained to the police about the defamatory statement made on the National Flag by Ven. Watareka Vijitha Thera. BBS CEO Dilantha Vithange said they had written to Police Chief N. K. Ilangakoon requesting him to arrest the monk for attempting to tarnish the country’s image. “We urge the Police Chief to take immediate action against Vijitha Thera. It looks like he is suffering from a distorted mentality and is attempting to acquire popularity more..

Dubai’s EIDS Cricket Club to tour Sri Lanka

July 27 (GN) The Dubai-based EIDS (Efficient Inventory Distribution Solutions) Cricket Club will become the latest UAE academy to take part in an overseas tour after it was confirmed they would visit Sri Lanka in September. Organisers hope the young players will return stronger through exposure against top Sri Lankans clubs and by playing in different conditions. Tariq Butt will be the team manager. Majid Bashir, who along with Khurram Noman started this club in 2000, more..

Replies to MR’s letters of demand

July 27 (DM) Several ministers including Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Ranjan Ramanayake, Nalin Bandara, Anura Kumara Dissanayake and the leader of Gypsies band, Sunil Perera have been accused of engaging in activities that have defamed ex-President Mahinda Rajapakse during various TV talk shows. As a result of these practices, MR had sent letters of demand to these five individuals. more..

Abdul Kalam is no more

July 27 (PTI) Former President A P J Abdul Kalam, the ‘missile man’ who came to be known as ‘People’s President’ died today after he collapsed during a lecture at the IIM here this evening. Kalam, who would have turned 84 in October, was confirmed dead more than two hours after he was wheeled into the ICU of Bethany hospital in a critical condition following the collapse at around 6.30 p.m. Considered the most popular President, Kalam became the 11th head of the state more..

UNP insists that it is for a united Sri Lanka

July 27 (CG) The UNP today insisted that it stands for a united Sri Lanka and urged the UPFA not to spread hatred among the communities in the country. Former UNP MP Gayantha Karunathilake said that the UPFA has no topic to discuss ahead of the August 17 Parliament election and so they are attempting to create communal disharmony. “Do not attempt to set fire to this country by using the election stage to incite racial hatred,” Karunathilake said. more..