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We must not allow the January 8th democratic gains to be rolled back

July 30 (CT) General election to Sri Lanka’s 15th parliament is less than 3 weeks away. It will be held on 17 August 2015, ten months ahead of schedule to elect 225 members. There is hectic campaign by the two main contenders namely the UNFGG and the UPFA too entice the voters. Each alliance is claiming victory at the polls, but we will know how the voters will cast their vote. Surprisingly the voters have an uncanny knack and sophistication in picking the winning party. more..

Daunting economic problems facing new govt

July 30 (ST) Whoever forms the next government would have to face daunting economic problems. However, most of the 21 political parties that are vying to form a govt may not be aware of the magnitude of the economic problems or have an idea about how they could be resolved. What matters, however, are the economic policies of main parties which are likely to form the govt. Their extravagant election promises of salary increases, more public employment and increased more..

'Mahinda is ideal agent for good governance'

July 30 (Island) Former chief justice Sarath N. Silva has become a familiar figure on the UPFA political platform – a very unusual situation for a former head of the judiciary. Former CJ explains why he decided to come out in this manner. Among the matters dealt with is the question of appointing the PM after the election and whether civic disabilities can be imposed on Mahinda Rajapaksa if he is found guilty of corruption more..

Editorial: Sacking friends

July 30 (Island) Many shook their heads in disbelief when they heard on Tuesday that President Maithripala Sirisena had sacked some of his close allies from the SLFP for contesting next month’s election from the UNP. They asked how come he could do so because those candidates including Rajitha Senaratne, Arjuna Ranatunga and Hirunika Premachandra had risked their political future and left the Rajapaksa govt to back him in the presidential race. more..

Part II: Would reconciliation process work in post-war Sri Lanka?

July 30 (IL) Tamils were propagating through Tamil media outlets and academic journals in countries where Tamils live, such as India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Fiji, etc., that Tamils lost their kingdoms after the occupation of their countries from foreign invaders. Thus, proponent of the primordialist theory on ethnic conflict is valid in SL's ethnic conflict because, in the context of South Africa, blacks saw whites as a threat to their identity and allowed them to marginalize in all sectors more..

'China has no hidden agenda on maritime silk route move'

July 30 (EN) China's 21st Century Maritime Silk Route is a trade and economic initiative with no hidden security agenda and there was no intention to set Sri Lanka against any other country, Beijing's envoy to Colombo said. "We have no hidden agenda in this initiative," Ambassador Yi Xianliang told members of the Sri Lanka China Business Association of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. more..

Adam Capital launches Sharia compliant lending up to Rs. 2.5mn

July 30 (Island) Adam Capital Micro Credit (Pvt) Ltd. launched operations yesterday at 264, Grandpass Road Colombo with the participation of Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake as chief guest. Adam Capital will offer Sharia compliant lending facilities for all communities in the country, irrespective of any religious considerations or gender discrimination. Adam Capital offers Sharia compliant lending and leasing facilities up to Rs. 2.5 million. Company focuses on providing micro credit facilities to more..

China’s Plateno takes over Ranna 212 resort in Tangalle

July 30 (FT) China-based global hotel chain giant Plateno Group has taken over the management of Ranna 212 resort in Tangalle as part of expanding its footprint in Sri Lanka with its city hotel under Zmax brand slated for opening in 2017. Plateno said Ranna 212 Beach Resort Tangalle will join Plateno’s Portofino Brand as Portofino Resort Tangalle starting from Sept 2015. Portofino Brand is the luxury collection of city hotels, resorts and serviced apartments perfect for guests who more..

Malinga determined to prove his mojo

July 30 (CI) Lasith Malinga has conceded his fitness has not been optimal in the past few months, but said he relished the opportunity to regain form. He was dropped from the final ODI against Pakistan after claiming only four wickets at an average of 61.50 in the first four matches, but is now preparing to lead the T20 side in two matches. Pace attack led by Malinga has attracted substantial criticism over the past week, more..

Rape of blind folded lady justice

July 30 (Island) I read a newspaper report that the Supreme Court Judge we wrote about in the previous column had, on the advice of his lawyers, refused to make a statement to the Police. A few days later the social media had a field day, giving as they did, graphic details of the attempted rape of the victim. A friend of mine who is an ex-police officer now practising law told me that the police may have been angered by the attitude of the Judge who refused to co-operate with them. more..

'Public, private listings key to GDP growth'

July 30 (FT) The capital markets are expected to play a key role in the next chapter of Sri Lanka’s growth story, the CEO of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) Rajeeva Bandaranaike has said. Speaking during an interview he gave to the Oxford Business Group (OBG), Bandaranaike said that raising funds by getting both State-owned enterprises and larger capitalised private sector companies to list would be “essential” in meeting the Govt’s targets for GDP growth. more..

Sri Lanka Tourism presents Live Trinco

July 30 (FT) Trincomalee, the beautiful city located in the east coast of the island with its unspoiled beaches, historical sites and the unique hot springs will come alive this weekend starting from 31 July to 2 August with Live Trinco. Live Trinco featuring vibrant music for a unstoppable rave party with international DJs, the typical watersports of Trinco extending to Nilaveli, is linked to the exotic world festival of arts, more..

Japan’s Mitsui Sumitomo enters with 6% stake in Ceylinco Insurance for Rs. 1.9 b

July 30 (FT) Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, the largest insurance company in Japan, yesterday bought 1.2 million shares amounting to 6% of CIESOT, the employee share ownership trust ofCeylinco Insurance PLC. The shares were sold at Rs. 1,602 per share and the total transaction amounted to Rs. 1.92 billion (JPY 1.7 billion). Ceylinco Insurance said that they were quite pleased with Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Ltd. (MSI) entering the local market through Ceylinco Insurance. more..

SLC's challenge to pull cricket out of the new low

July 30 (DN) That cricket in Sri Lanka has hit a new low there is no doubt. If this is not so how can one explain the Tests and one-day international defeats to Pakistan. The defeats spell a formidable challenge to the Interim Committee, the coaches, the players and all others concerned with the game. The win by 165 runs in the final one-dayer in Hambantota is no big deal considering that it was an also played game. After the debacle that was the World Cup 2015 in NZ and Australia more..

Samarasinghe wants domestic inquiry without outside pressure

July 30 (Island) Sri Lanka should be allowed to hold a domestic investigation into alleged human rights violations during the final stages of the country’s war against the LTTE without international pressure, State Minister and UPFA Kalutara District candidate Mahinda Samarasinghe said. Addressing a press conference to announce the launch of his new book Samarasinghe said Sri Lanka must implement some more more..

Iranian Military Attaché calls on the Commander of the Navy

July 30 (SLN) Military Attaché of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Sri Lanka Colonel Ebrahim Rohani called on the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne at the Naval Headquarters in Colombo on 29th July. They held cordial discussions on a range of issues of mutual interest and bilateral importance. Colonel Rohani also conveyed his best wishes to Vice Admiral Wijegunaratne on his taking over of command of the Sri Lanka Navy. more..

Rajarata Uni sex predator remanded

July 30 (CT) A student of the Rajarata University Medical Faculty who was arrested by the CID for stripping naked a female student of the same university, molesting her, taking photographs and posting them on the internet, was remanded until 7 August by Colombo Chief Magistrate. Suspect was taken into custody based on a complaint made by the victim to the CID. The victim is a final year medical student, and in 2013, she and the suspect had started a relationship, but more..

Rajiv Gandhi killers will not be hanged: SC

July 30 (HT) Supreme Court dismissed the centre’s curative petition against its 2014 judgment commuting the death sentence of three convicts to life term in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, upholding a verdict that brought into focus the inordinate delays in executions in India. Central govt plea had sought a review of last year’s decision when the SC reduced the punishment while saying prisoners had been more..

Indian Navy, CG heighten security in Palk Bay, Gulf of Mannar

July 30 (Hindu) A high alert has been sounded along the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coast in view of the visit of PM Narendra Modi, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and other leaders to Rameswaram on Thursday to attend the funeral of former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. Units of Navy and Coast Guard situated along the east coast, from Chennai to Tuticorin, have been fully activated. “We have heightened the seaward security in both Palk Bay and Gulf of Mannar. more..

President finds solutions to problems in Welioya

July 30 (ITN) President Maithripala Sirisena has found solutions to the issues of the farmer fraternity within the Welioya colony. President Sirisena undertook an observations visit to the Welioya colony with the intention of looking into the problems confronted of the farmers. They told the President that the main problem they are confronting a serious drinking water issue. The President informed that a permanent programme will be launched to sort out this issue. more..

Ranawaka calls on Tamils to integrate with Sinhalese

July 30 (Hindu) JHU leader Champika Ranawaka called upon Sri Lankan Tamils to integrate themselves with the majority Sinhalese community. He said the 30-year-old Ealam War has deteriorated the socio-economic development of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka. Contrasting the case of the Tamils with those of plantation workers of Indian origin and Muslims, Mr. Ranawaka, who is the Minister for Energy and Power, said more..

Improving financial reporting for clean growth in Sri Lanka

July 30 (WB) Any small business needs to access financial resources or attract investors to expand and grow. Banks require credible financial statements to process a loan. Likewise, investors request reliable and comprehensive financial records to assess a prospective company’s reliability prior to making an investment decision. A country is similar to a small business and needs to adopt internationally accepted financial reporting standards to attract investors and spur its growth. more..

Asset declaration postponed

July 30 (FT) All candidates representing political parties contesting the forthcoming general election must submit statements of assets and liabilities on or before 5 August, EC Mahinda Deshapriya said. The deadline given earlier for the submission of assets and liabilities has been extended in order to avoid difficulties that will be encountered by candidates who send in their applications through post due to the Poya holiday falling on 31 July and 1 and 2 August being a weekend. more..

India to build Sri Lanka’s tallest highrise

July 30 (CT) One of India's biggest Real Estate Development Groups, Shreepathi Edifice, yesterday signed an agreement with the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka to invest US$ 330 Million to construct Sri Lanka's tallest ever high rise, comprising 96 storeys at Buthgamuwa Road Rajagiriya, billed to be completed in four years. The project, which was the brainchild of 1996 World Cup winning SL cricket team turned Minister Arjuna more..

'MR insults intellect of voters'

July 30 (DN) Kurunegala district UPFA candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa is insulting the intellect of the voters by giving very silly promises to voters including youth to deceive them and capture power by hook or crook. People have not forgotten the manner he suppressed student rights without any shame showing his 10 year oppressive rule, State Minister of Defence and Gampaha district UNP candidate Ruwan Wijewardena said in a statement issued yesterday. more..

9 August is Bond Scam Day: UPFA

July 30 (CT) The UPFA will be holding a series of public meetings on 9 August, to inform the public about the scale of the alleged Treasury Bonds scam and have unilaterally declared the day, 9 August, as the Bond Scam Day. The date marks six months since the alleged Treasury Bonds fraud featuring Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran came into public focus. UPFA National List nominee G.L. Peiris said public would also be kept updated on sustained efforts at a very high level to cover up more..

Bribery Commissioners to be probed

July 30 (CT) The Cabinet decided yesterday to conduct a complete investigation into the manner in which Commissioners of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption have acted during the past four years. A total of 1,900 complaints had been received by the Bribery Commission during this period against politicians including parliamentarians and ministers as well as certain govt officials. more..

Avant Garde case Sujeewa wages war on AG

July 30 (CT) Deputy Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said that he would take legal action against the decision made by Attorney General (AG) regarding the Avant Garde case. Although the Deputy Solicitor General had recommended that the suspects in the Avant Garde case be taken into custody, the AG is of the opinion that there is no wrong committed over the incident and that he could therefore standby his decision. Deputy Minister questioned as to how the AG could arrive at such a decision. more..

China to give kidney hospital, US$ 250mn in grants to Sri Lanka

July 30 (EN) China will build a 100 million dollar specialized hospital to treat a mysterious kidney disease that is striking mainly rice farmers in Sri Lanka and also give another 250 million dollars in grant aid, Ambassador Yi Xianliang said. "China will contribute assistance to Sri Lanka to construct a special hospital," Ambassador Yi told members of the Sri Lanka China Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. China will donate 600 million Yuan or about US$ 100 million to more..

MR likely to be questioned over RADA allegations!

July 30 (DN) Former President and UPFA Kurunegala District candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa is likely to be questioned in connection with alleged financial misappropriations involving RADA, highly placed police sources said. Agency, headed by former MP Tiran Alles, came under the purview of former President Rajapaksa. It was mainly set up to grant relief to Tsunami victims who lost houses and properties more..

Election campaign emerging as A model for Sri Lanka

July 30 (DM) The most important and inspiring feature of the ongoing campaign for the general elections on Aug 17 is that, to a large extent the rule of law is reigning while the incidents of election violence and violations of election laws have been reduced significantly. Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya is acting with independence and fearlessly implementing election laws. Two weeks ago he even told the State television channels to stop the repeated telecast of more..

Sri Lanka’s ISIS militant: Why we should be (very) worried

July 30 (DM) After a nearly three-decade-long war waged by radicalized Tamils, the last thing Sri Lanka needs is its Muslims to be radicalized. But something seems to have gone wrong with the revelation that a SL Muslim was killed fighting for the ISIS in Syria and his brother-in-law also reportedly serving the terror group. Mohamed Sharhaz Nilam (37) (known in the ISIS as Abu Shuraih Sailania), a karate instructor and a teacher in an international school at Galewela, was reportedly killed more..

SLMC renews call for equal opportunities legislation

July 30 (DM) SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem, in an interview with Dailymirror stressed the need to strengthen democracy in the country, and to bring about post war reconciliation. SLMC is contesting the General Election in alliance with the UNP. Mr. Hakeem, a candidate from the Kandy district, is also the Urban Development and Water Supply Minister. It has its vote base mainly in the Eastern Province. more..

PSM strike likely to spread

July 30 (Island) Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM) warned they would extend their strike to all hospitals in Colombo today as the Health Ministry officials had failed to meet their just demands. General Secretary of the PSM, Saman Jayasekara, said that representatives of PSM and paramedical unions had held discussions with Health Minister, Rajith Senaratne in March and minister had agreed to more..

Three committees to probe MR ads on ITN

July 30 (SL) An investigation launched by Ministry of Mass Media and Parliamentary Affairs has revealed that State owned ITN had violated regulations in place when accepting advertisements for the last Presidential election under Rajapaksa regime. ITN Chairman, Prof. Ganganath Dissanayake said that three separate committees had been appointed to investigate the allegations against former management of ITN. more..

'Ours is a country battered by imperialism'

July 30 (DM) JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva, in an interview with the Dailymirror, said his party opts for socialism with modern characteristics rather than deviating from the party’s original principles, policies and objectives. Q: The JVP, played a role in the 100-day govt by participating in the deliberations of the National Executive Council (NEC). What would be the JVP role after the General Election? more..

SC rejects Samurdhi FR case

July 30 (CT) The Supreme Court yesterday considered a Fundamental Rights application and refused to grant leave to proceed with its respondents, Samurdhi Minister Sajith Premadasa, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and the members of the Cabinet. Court decided to grant leave to proceed in the FR case with only two respondents former Director General of Samurdhi M. Sumanapala and present Director General R.A.K. Ranawaka more..

Woman ASP wins prestigious international award

July 30 (Island) Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Deemathi Periyapperuma became the first Sri Lankan Police woman to receive a prestigious award, International Recognition and Scholarship Award 2015 offered by the Intonational Association of Women Police (IAWP) recently. Co-Chairs Linda Mayberry & Cindy Shain and members of IAWP International Scholarship Committee announced dual recipients of IAWP more..

Govt frames rules on use of radioactive material

July 30 (ST) Govt has promulgated regulations to streamline the use of radioactive material in industry, medicine and teaching. Two rules and one order, together comprising around 90 pages, have been sent to Govt Printer for publishing. They introduce a method of licensing based on the scientific levels of radioactive material that are permitted for use in specified sectors, said Anil Ranjith, director at Atomic Energy Council. more..

CB bond scam issue reverberates in the run-up to general election

July 30 (Island) Deputy Minister and Kalutara District UNP leader Ajith P. Perera said that the alleged beneficiary in controversial Treasury bond issue involving Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran had been accused of insider trading and favouritism during the previous administration. Perera named primary dealer Perpetual Treasuries as the enterprise under a cloud. He was on a live political programme. more..