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Is the Chief Minister of the NPC ethically & morally fit to govern?

July 29 (CT) Chief Minister of the Northern Province Mr. C.V. Wigneswaran made a “private visit” to India in November 2014. It was reported that he was invited to deliver a memorial lecture in Chennai to commemorate a civil liberties activist Mr. K.G. Kannapiran, who is a person from the legal fraternity. Later Mr. Wigneswaran also attended a World Congress of Buddhism and Hinduism in New Delhi which was graced by Dalai Lama, among others. more..

Why is govt reluctant to provide security?

July 29 (SO) Politicians of all hues and other powerful figures in society have been rattled by the innovative approach to narcotics control adopted by the Chairman of National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB), Dr. Nilanga Samarasinghe, so much so that he now faces a grave risk to his life. However, an undaunted Samarasinghe says he is committed to combat the drug menace. He is the first govt officer who more..

Seeking victory by default

July 29 (SL) One thing that strikes anyone with any experience of participating in and/or running political campaigns of any description in any part of the world is the ineptitude of the UNP’s strategists during the days since the writ was dropped for a general election. When/if the Ranil Wickremesinghe/UNP coalition, whose long title escapes me at this time, wins the forthcoming election it will be due to one or both of two factors: the public’s monumental distaste for all that Mahinda and his Minions stand for more..

Blessed is the govt service

July 29 (SL) What’s the best service for a young man with ambitions? Our grandmother (aachie amma) held that it was Govt Service. Even under the British, whatever rank you held and whatever happened, you were not sacked. Promotions were automatic and of course there was the pension. It still is the best service to join, we are inclined to think. Just under 10 full moons, the minimum salary of a low grade employee in govt service such as a peon was around Rs. 12,000. more..

'People will make JVP the main opposition'

July 29 (FT) “People will not make the JVP the ruling party but they will most certainly make us the main opposition,” noted former Auditor General Sarath Chandrasiri Mayadunne who heads the JVP national list. Reiterating his displeasure for party politics Mayadunne stressed that inactivity and silence of good individuals pave way for the bad people to govern the country. “Therefore it is the duty of such people to be more..

UNP, JVP manifestos paint rosy picture

July 29 (CT) Last week two major political parties, the UNP and the JVP released their manifestos targeting the upcoming general elections. Both manifestos have highlighted the importance of developing the education sector and they have come up with a variety of proposals. The manifestos are very impressive but voters are not sure whether they are practicable. The UNP Manifesto had focused on educational reforms from preschool to university. more..

Sri Lanka party promises fairy tale weddings

July 29 (EN) Former president Rajapaksa's lavish policy document was launched at a red-carpet ceremony in Colombo, but the event merited Hollywood glitz given the block-buster potential of the manifesto. Political parties in the early 1970s promised free rice even from the moon to starving millions, but no party has dangled this much cash before an election. An interest-free loan of LKR 200,000 is offered to each couple getting married after the UPFA forms a govt, if elected. more..

Taking the slow coach back to life

July 29 (NS) Youth is an important stage of one’s life, but more importantly, the youth hold a country’s future in its hands. However, in SL the youth often goes unnoticed and ignored. Kurt Cobain is quoted as saying, “the duty of youth is to challenge corruption.” However, in SL, the youth, besides a few exceptions, do not seem to be actively challenging corruption. In fact, only 1.9% of SL’s youth is engaged in political work. more..

Editorial: A great son of India dead

July 28 (Island) Former Indian President Dr. Abdul Kalam passed away on Monday at the age of 83. Death of any man diminishes us, but the demise of this great son of India has diminished us beyond measure. India has lost a super scientist and statesman par excellence who was a source of inspiration for people across the world. There is no way anyone can avoid going the way of all flesh and Dr. Kalam, who had lived and breathed science, must have died a happy man; he collapsed more..

Grabbing the wrong hand, Blue blues and, battle for K'gala

July 28 (SO) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa's claim that the party supporter who grabbed his hand in last week's tussle with him at an UPFA election rally in Akuressa was a little drunk prompted wags to comment that at least some of those attending rallies of the UPFA must be out of their senses. Former Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody, a candidate for the Galle district, too underwent a similar experience when he addressed an election meeting in Ambalangoda. more..

Sri Lanka businesses urged to practice good governance : IFAC President

July 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s business organization should practice good governance to build next level businesses and to support country to move ahead, Olivia Kirtley, president of the International Federation of Accountants said. “Sri Lanka is one of the fastest growing market in the South Asia region and economic outlook for Sri Lanka seems very positive. But the challenges remains. There is always work to do,” more..

HFC, Kurunegala overall Netball champions for eighth consecutive year

July 29 (Island) Holy Family Convent, Kurunegala continued their dominance in schools netball winning the overall championship for the eighth consecutive year in the 24th Milo Annual Netball Championship conducted by the Sri Lanka Schools Netball Association which concluded at the Bernard Aluvihare Stadium here in Matale. Maliyadeva Vidyalaya won the second place with overall points tally of 30 while HFC collected 55 points to clinch the overall championship. more..

BOI launches programme for greening of BOI zones

July 29 (Island) Board of Investment of Sri Lanka as a leading agency in the industrial and economic development of the country has taken the lead in the protection of Sri Lanka’s environment. The BOI is committed to ensure that the country achieves economic development in order to create employment opportunities, inflows of FDI and technology transfers, for the betterment of the people of Sri Lanka. "BOI is the main investment promotion agency in the country and more..

Divisive SL leader angles for a comeback

July 29 (WSJ) Flanked by saffron-robed Buddhist monks, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa exhorted a crowd of more than a thousand supporters at a weekend election rally, saying: “We saved this country. Don’t let it be divided again.” 69-year-old politician, ousted by voters earlier this year, is seeking a return to office—this time as PM—in an ethnically charged campaign mixing economic promises more..

BOC, once again among Top 1000 Banks

July 29 (Island) Bank of Ceylon has been ranked among the Top 5 banks in the Asia-Pacific Region (excluding China and Japan) in terms of Return on Capital (ROC) by The Banker Magazine, becoming the first Sri Lankan bank to achieve such a performance ranking from an internationally recognised entity, a BoC press release said. The release adds: ‘This unique milestone comes as a kind of "icing on the top" as Bank of Ceylon has yet again been ranked among the Top 1000 more..

SLT expands teleshop network to Mullaitivu

July 29 (DM) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), the leading information communication technology (ICT) solutions provider and infrastructure services provider in Sri Lanka expanded its branch network to Mullaitivu with the opening of its most recent teleshop at P.W.D. Road, Mullaitivu Town, which will serve the growing number of customers in the Mullaitivu District. At present, customers in the area need to travel approximately 60 km to Kilinochchi in order to obtain services. more..

'Corrupt political system barrier to progress'

July 29 (CT) Sri Lanka's prevailing corrupt political system did not provide an effective environment to privatize or listing of State owned enterprises (SOE's), JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said. He said, "Our state sector is full of corruption, inefficiencies and nepotism." In this scenario, allowing at least a partial listing is a major risk," "Successive govts have failed in their privatization attempts. more..

Commercial Bank rated the strongest bank in Sri Lanka by Fitch

July 29 (ST) National Long-Term Rating of Commercial Bank of Ceylon has been affirmed at AA (lka); Stable Outlook by Fitch Ratings Lanka. Commercial Bank’s Basel II compliant outstanding subordinated debentures have been affirmed by Fitch at AA-(ka). In a recent report, the agency said: “Fitch considers Commercial Bank as the strongest bank in this peer group. Its rating captures its more measured risk appetite, solid franchise, sound track record, and strong funding profile. more..

IFAC President talks accounting progress with PM

July 29 (FT) International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) President Olivia Kirtley, and CFO Russel Guthrie, who are on an official visit to Sri Lanka, paid a courtesy call on PM Ranil Wickremesinghe at Temple Trees. During the meeting, Kirtley explained the role of the IFAC in developing the profession and helping maintain the standards of local bodies. Matters in connection to the progression of the accounting profession in a Sri Lankan context were also discussed at length. more..

Cigarette sales up 10% amid consumption boom

July 29 (EN) Sales in Sri Lanka have picked up 10% in the June 2015 quarter from a year earlier amid higher consumption, island's cigarette monopoly Ceylon Tobacco Company said as profits rose 20%. Net profits rose 20% to 3 billion rupees in the quarter, giving earnings of 15.63 rupees per share. In the 6-months to June CTC reported earnings of 29.41 rupees per share on total profits of 5.5 billion rupees, up 21.4% more..

Health Ministry mulls legal action against Korean contractor

July 29 (Island) Health Secretary Dr. D.M.R.B. Dissanayake said that his ministry was planning to take legal action against a Korean contractor who constructed a Negombo District General Hospital building which was handed over to the WPC by it in early 2000. Health Ministry had been compelled to intervene when the condition of the building was brought to its notice. The Ministry had allocated Rs. 500 million to renovate and reconstruct the 7-storeyed building with Cabinet approval. more..

Left, Vaiko on same page on Sri Lanka issue

July 29 (ENS) Strong supporters of Tamil Eelam, including MDMK leader Vaiko and VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan, arrived at a common consensus on the sensitive issue, for the common agenda of their People’s Welfare Protection Movement. The CPM, which was not in favour of an international inquiry into the massacre of Sri Lankan Tamils and had been insisting on a local and credible probe, made a major climb down by agreeing to fight for bringing the culprits of the massacre before more..

SL-India underline close security cooperation

July 29 (Island) Indian High Commission spokesperson Esha Srivastava yesterday declined to elaborate on the recent arrest of an LTTE cadre with cyanide at Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu while he was planning to return to Jaffna. Asked whether India would share information regarding the suspect with Sri Lanka, the HC spokesperson said: "The HC will not comment on specific security issues. more..

Restraining order halts Hockey Federation election

July 29 (Island) Court of Appeal issued a stay order restraining the Director General of Sports from conducting the Sri Lanka Hockey Federation elections scheduled for July 28, 2015 or any other date. By this restraining order, the Secretary of the Nationalised Services Hockey Association, is also restrained from holding the election on that date. Dharshan Wijesinghe the Secretary of the State Services Hockey Association, Kandy and seven other persons had petitioned Court of Appeal. more..

MasterCard highlights latest e-payment innovations at Colombo workshop

July 29 (DM) MasterCard engaged with over 100 senior electronic payments professionals at its inaugural Payments Strategy Workshop in Colombo recently. Event was unique and one of the biggest in the electronic payments industry in Sri Lanka. “For over 25 years, our partners have been instrumental in helping us bring our world class secure solutions to Sri Lanka. As we reiterate our commitment to this dynamic market, we’d like to express our gratitude for their continued support,” more..

'Boundaries can’t cause divisions in country'

July 29 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena said in Kilinochchi that demographic descriptions like the North, South, East and West exist only on maps and that all should move forward bearing in mind that we live in one country. “Neither law nor boundaries can cause divisions in the country,” he said. He was speaking at a ceremony held in Kilinochchi town to open a modern supermarket-style Sathosa Mega Complex. more..

Govt servants’ new appointments ascend

July 29 (CT) Election monitoring bodies noted that the incidence of new appointments being made to the public service was increasing. Polls monitor, CaFFE said that a total of 568 complaints regarding election law violations were reported. Executive Director of CaFFE Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon added that there had been 35 incidents of Election related violence. PAFFREL explained that 524 instances of election law violations were recorded based on 505 complaints. more..

UPFA presents election manifesto to President

July 29 (FT) UPFA yesterday presented its election manifesto to Party Chairman, President Maithripala Sirisena. The manifesto titled Guarantee to the Future was presented to the President at his official residence. General Secretary of the UPFA Susil Premajayantha presented the Sinhala copy of the manifesto to the President and Anura Priyadarshana Yapa handed over the Tamil version. UPFA seniors held lengthy discussions with the President on the development projects and more..

Investigators question LTTE operative on links to outfit

July 29 (TOI) Investigators of the 'Q' branch police on Tuesday interrogated LTTE operative A Kumaraguru, who police arrested at Trichy airport on July 25 when he attempted to flee to Switzerland with a fake passport. Officers of the police's special anti-terror wing said they questioned Kumaraguru — an active operative of the LTTE till the Sri Lankan Army destroyed the outfit with the killing of its chief V Prabhakaran in May 2009 more..

Sri Lankan refugee sentenced to 20 years' jail for stabbing murder of neighbour

July 29 (ABC) A man found guilty of the stabbing murder of a fellow Sri Lankan refugee in Adelaide's north has been jailed for at least 20 years. Ketheshwaran Sivaperuman, 35, bled to death after being stabbed once with a large kitchen knife at his Elizabeth South home in January last year. The Supreme Court heard his killer, Satheeswaran Suppiah, 31, stabbed Sivaperuman after a falling-out, in which Suppiah was called a lady-boy. Suppiah was also a refugee from Sri Lanka. more..

Several key UPFA figures dodge election manifesto launch

July 29 (DN) Several key figures of the UPFA dodged the launch of the party's election manifesto yesterday. Among them were Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva, UPFA Ratnapura District Leader John Seneviratne, Kandy District Leader S.B. Dissanayake several other district leaders and senior ex-MPs. When asked about the party's senior-most members being absent at the launch of the election manifesto, a senior spokesman said they were busy with election campaigns more..

'Malinga was gunning for Chandimal'

July 29 (CT) Former captain Sanath Jayasuriya dropping a bombshell ahead of the two-match T-20 series against Pakistan charged captain Lasith Malinga for having demanded the removal of Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirimanne from the squad for the shortest format. Sri Lanka, current T-20 world champions are set to take on Shahid Afridi's men in a two-match T-20 series starting at RPS on Thursday. more..

Senanayake not a suspect: Police

July 29 (Island) Reports that former Senior DIG Anura Senanayake would be questioned over the death of ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen were baseless, ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said. He said so when he was asked to comment on a widely publicised claim that Senanayake was a suspect. Addressing a media conference at the Police Headquarters, ASP Gunasekara said the investigations had not been conducted in that direction because there was no suspicion as to Senanayake’s involvement. more..

Another batch of SL Tamils return home

July 29 (Hindu) A fresh batch of 45 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees headed back to their homeland from the international airport here on Tuesday. Airport sources said the refugees who were housed in various camps located in Tiruchi, Dindigul, Kanyakumari, Villupuram, Tuticorin, Sivaganga, Pudukottai, Madurai, Karur, Tirunelveli and Ramanathapuram districts had obtained exit clearance from the respective district administration authorities where the camps functioned. more..

Poster removal costs taxpayer an arm & a leg

July 29 (Island) Acknowledging that the Parliamentary Elections Act of 1981 lacked provision to deal with those candidates pasting posters at public places, Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya yesterday said that he would consult the Attorney General in that regard. EC Deshapriya said that the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) had assured of its support to Elections Secretariat’s in its efforts to rein in political parties. more..

Check whether candidate is on drug mafia

July 29 (DM) Tragically, the smuggling or trading in heroin and other narcotics has become a key issue in the campaign for the crucial general election on August 17. National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB) Chairman Dr. Nilanga Samarasinghe has emerged as a heroic figure in the battle against heroin which destroys not only the lives of thousands of addicts but even their families. Dr. Samarasinghe, speaking on TV talk shows, said he had prepared a list of about 135 racketeers more..

Recall of past general elections violence

July 29 (DM) After introducing a new constitution in 1978, the seventh parliament has prematurely been dissolved this year. Although the govt had the power to continue the Parliament for two years, as a result of distorted political space they were forced to dissolve it. The election campaign period for the parliamentary election this time can be identified as the lowest period when compared to the other general elections that took place in Sri Lanka so far. Decision to minimize the period was more..

UPFA losing steam in the South?

July 29 (SL) The Southern Province is yet to feel the election heat with the three main political parties in the province conducting their campaigns on a low profile. Politicians in the Hambantota district have set an example for their counterparts in other districts on how to conduct an election campaign without displaying large cutouts and banners. The situation in Matara and Galle districts are not the same as there were a few more..

Fit for prison, not Parliament: NBF

July 29 (CT) The National Bhikkhu Front (NBF) explained that they would be supporting the JVP at the General Election and called on all to elevate the JVP to a status of power beyond the main Opposition and being its Leader. Secretary of the NBF Ven. Wakamulle Uditha Thera said that in arriving at the said decision, their civil society organization had looked at three criterion primarily revolving round whom the three main political more..

'Widespread abuse of State resources by MR still under probe'

July 29 (FT) Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera this week said that widespread abuse of State resources by Mahinda Rajapaksa during his tenure as the President is still under probe and recent political statements of the latter are just to hoodwink the masses. “Investigations are proceeding on allegations of fraud and corruption against him and his henchman. Therefore, it becomes a joke when he makes payment for more..