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Sharp increase alcohol taxes up to April

July 3 (EN) Excise duties from alcohol rose 48.9% to 33.5 billion rupees in the first four months of the year while excise taxes from motor vehicles spiked, partly due a continued destruction of the value added tax system. Taxes from hard alcohol rose 32% with a 9% increase in production. Alcohol tax revenues have risen sharply after a new administration cracked down on smuggled ethanol which was turned into hard alcohol in at least more..

UNP politico on the run after assault

July 3 (Island) Kandana police are seeking public assistance to arrest Dushantha Perera, former UNP Member of the Ja-Ela Urban Council over an assault incident. The wanted UNP member has allegedly assaulted Aruna Chandrasiri of No 227/K, Rubber Watte, Batagama North, Ja-Ela on the night of Jan. 29 at Weligampitiya. The victim underwent surgery at the Ragama Teaching Hospital. Former Urban Council member had fled the area after the assault, police said. more..

Mubarak returns, Younis goes past Miandad

July 3 (CI) 13: Number of years since Sri Lanka last played a Test match without either Sangakkara or Mahela - against Bangladesh in 2002. Jehan Mubarak made his debut in that Test. Since then, at least one of the two have played in 111 consecutive Tests. 101: Tests Jehan Mubarak has missed since making his debut in 2002. He has only played 11 of Sri Lanka's 112 Tests in this period. 7: Years since Mubarak last played a Test match for Sri Lanka - against England in Colombo in 2007. more..

UPFA agrees to give nominations to MR

July 3 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena made a U-turn Friday and agreed to accommodate his nemesis Mahinda Rajapaksa in the UPFA in a move that avoided a formal break up. Three stalwarts of the UPFA and its main constituent party, the SLFP had been due to break away from the Maithripala camp of the party and join ranks with Rajapaksa later today. However, President Sirisena who had wind of the major more..

Man who brought heroin, cell phone hidden milk powder into prison nabbed

July 3 (Island) A person who tried to smuggle in ten sachets of heroin, a mobile phone and a phone charger into the Galle Prison on Poya Day Wednesday was nabbed. The suspect had brought in the items hidden inside a packet of milk powder and intended to give them to one of his friends held in the prison remand. The suspect had managed to bring in the milk packet into the prison premises but failed to pass it on to his inmate friend detained over his alleged involvement in a brawl. more..

Tremor attributed to piling work in building site

July 3 (Island) Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said that a minor tremor felt in the Bambalapitiya area on Wednesday evening had been caused by the piling work in a nearby building construction site. DMC Deputy Director and Media Spokesman Sarath Lal Kumara said that no damages had been reported due to vibrations. Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) had confirmed that minor vibrations felt by residents in Bambalapitiya were due to development projects in the area, more..

'Mahinda won’t accept nomination unless it’s for PM position'

July 3 (LBO) UPFA’s fraction of former president Rajpakse says that they won’t accept the nomination unless the party agrees to give leadership for Rajapakse. “We asked for the leadership (Prime Ministerial Candidate) of UPFA, not the nomination,” Vasudeva Nanayakkara said. “That is why it is not sufficient,” “So if Rajapakse would not get the leadership of the UPFA, he won’t come for the election from UPFA.” more..

Ex-LTTE cadre gets 10 years RI for Maithripala assassination attempt

July 3 (AD) The former LTTE operative who was involved in an assassination attempt on President Maithripala Sirisena, when he was the Minister of Mahaweli Development in 2006, has been sentenced to 10 years Rigorous Imprisonment (RI). Sivaraja Jenivan alias Mohommadu Sulthan Cader Mohideen a.k.a Senan, who was charged with setting up a claymore mine in an attempt to assassinate Sirisena, was also fined Rs 10,000 by Polonnaruwa High Court Judge. more..

MR is like a crab in a boiling pot: UNP

July 3 (DM) Speaking on the decision of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to re-enter into politics, UNP Spokesman Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said Mr. Rajapaksa behaves like a crab dancing in a boiling pot of water. He said therefore, Mr. Rajapaksa is allowed to do anything he wants until the election on August 17 in which he would be defeated again by the people. “People will show a lesson to politicians who hoodwinked them,” Minister Kariyawasam said. more..

UNHRC told to maintain scrutiny on SL

July 3 (CG) Human rights groups, have in a letter to Ambassadors of the UNHRC, urged them to maintain the fullest scrutiny of Sri Lanka on questions of justice and accountability. In the letter, released by the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, human rights groups noted that although it is to be acknowledged that since January Sri Lanka’s govt has induced some positive change in easing the abusive human rights climate of more..

UNP minority govt will be defeated on Aug 17: Dinesh

July 3 (AD) We hope to defeat the UNP minority govt on August 17, MEP Leader and former UPFA MP Dinesh Gunawardena said a short while ago. He also thanked President Maithripala Sirisena for the move to give nominations for former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest the upcoming General Election under the UPFA. Meanwhile NFF leader and former Minister Wimal Weerawansa said the people have confirmed that the Maithri-Ranil combination is unable to provide solutions to more..

Spanish couple arrested for smuggling two Sri Lankans

July 3 (CNA) National Immigration Agency (NIA) said that a Spanish couple who allegedly tried to smuggle two young Sri Lankans out of Taiwan to Canada were arrested on Thursday. The suspects were arrested at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport when they attempted to flee the country after coming under investigation following the arrest of the Sri Lankans on June 28. The trail to the Spaniards began when the Sri Lankans -- an 18-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman -- pretended to be more..

Sri Lanka crumble to legspin again

July 3 (CI) Sri Lanka succumbed to legspin yet again in the series, losing six wickets to the variety, and four of them to their tormentor Yasir Shah to crumble from a strong 106 for 1. Dimuth Karunaratne saw out the new ball on an unevenly grassy pitch in the morning, and dug in to make his second Test century, but fell to part-timer Azhar Ali just before the second one came. Rahat Ali, who had made the initial breakthrough as well, more..

Sri Lanka saddened by Indonesia crash

July 3 (CG) Sri Lankan Govt today said that it was saddened by the crash of a military aircraft carrying armed forces personnel and their families in Medan, Indonesia, which has resulted in the loss of many lives. "In this hour of grief, we express our heartfelt condolences to the Govt and the people of Indonesia, in particular, the families of the deceased. Our thoughts and prayers at this time are with all those affected by this tragedy,” a Foreign Ministry statement said. more..

Video: Medamulana villain attempting a come back

July 3 (LT) Not only former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was defeated but the vile, despotic villain of Medamulana that is hidden in his body too was beaten at the election held on 8th January. However, this villain is making another effort to make a comeback said Ven. Dambara Amila Thero at a press conference held at the auditorium of the Public Library in Colombo today (2). The conference held under the theme Don’t betray mandate – Mahinda has no place again! more..

Video: Prasanna to join MR bandwagon, even sans SLFP

July 3 (DM) Chief Minister of the WPC Prasanna Ranatunga said today that he would contest the upcoming general election together with former Prsident Mahinda Rajapaksa, whether the latter contests from the SLFP or separately. Mr. Ranatunga said he would contest from the Gampaha District. The Chief Minister said while efforts were being made to bring about unity in the SLFP and UPFA the former president and more..

Sri Lankan fishermen attack TN fishermen

July 3 (PTI) About 30 to 40 fishermen were attacked allegedly by their Sri Lankan counterparts off Kodiakarai coast, who damaged their nets worth Rs 6 crore and threw the catch into the sea, a fisheries department official said. However, none of them were injured in the attack and the group of 180 fishermen returned to shore safely today, District Assistant Director of Fisheries Sivakumar said. Quoting one of the fishermen who returned, he said 15 Sri Lankan fishermen in five crafts more..

CIUs to be launched islandwide

July 3 (CT) A Complaints Investigation Unit (CIU) in connection with the forthcoming general election to be held on 17 August has been inaugurated from 1 July at the Elections Secretariat, Rajagiriya, the Assistant Commissioner of Elections, M. M. Mohomed revealed. Mohomed said, this unit provides the opportunity to the public to lodge all complaints pertaining to elections including election law violations. This unit comprises of Police officers and Elections Secretariat officers, more..

JHU decision by Monday

July 3 (NS) JHU stand regarding how it will contest the August 17 General Election will be revealed by Monday (6), party’s General Secretary, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. When contacted regarding the JHU’s plans on contesting the election, Minister stated discussions were still ongoing regarding whether the party would contest alone or as part of a wider front. However, he confirmed a final decision would be made by Monday. more..

Sri Lanka seizes endangered tortoises

July 3 (AFP) Sri Lankan customs Friday seized its biggest haul of star tortoises and arrested a local man who was trying to smuggle the endangered reptiles to Malaysia. The batch of 124 star tortoises, each with a street value of nearly $1,000 was detected as they were being loaded onto a flight leaving Colombo international airport Friday, customs spokesman Leslie Gamini told AFP. "We confiscated the animals and handed them over to the national zoo," Gamini said. more..

UNP to consult Dangerous Drugs Control Board before nominations

July 3 (DM) The UNP said today it would request for a detail report from the National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB) about those who involved in drugs, ethanol or any other illegal business before finalizing nominations. Minister Karu Jayasuriya said steps would be taken to cancel nominations of candidates if their allegations were proved even after giving nominations to them. Minister Jayasuriya was appointed to lead the election campaign of the UNP. more..

Sirisena backtracks, gives election ticket to Rajapaksa

July 3 (ENS) President Maithripala Sirisena, who is also Chairman of the SLFP and UPFA, on Friday backtracked from his earlier stand and agreed to give an UPFA ticket to former President Rajapaksa to fight the August 17 parliamentary elections. Minister Rajitha Senaratne, said that the decision was a compromise between one group wanting Rajapakasa to be designated as the PM candidate and another wanting more..

A return to Tyranny or true Yahapâlanaya

July 4 (CT) Sri Lankans in January 2015 delivered what was believed to be an impossible task, A REGIME CHANGE! This was possible because a common opposition formed a broad coalition to ensure that Sri Lanka returned to the rule of law and democracy. It consisted of parties and people, who believed that Sri Lanka needed to rid it of unprecedented corruption, nepotism; abuse of the judiciary for political expediency, politicization of the police force and those who believed more..

Dissolution coming, coming and came

July 4 (ST) Dissolution this week, wrote some news media. That was early last week. Two days later they wrote dissolution tomorrow night. The tomorrow night came and went. The next day we were told it would happen that night. Next morning we woke up with gleeful anticipation only to find the pundits had misfired. Many citizens who had hoped that the morning would bring news of dissolution that would send the present lot up like a whiff of smoke, were doubtless solely disappointed. more..

The woman behind the Dying Christ

July 4 (ST) Kandyan saree and all, each day she would clamber agilely up the high scaffolding in her sprawling garden off Boyd Place, Kollupitiya, to attend to every tiny detail herself, while her husband would stand below and shout out advice based on photographs in his hands. How many of those who still gaze in prayerful wonder at the huge bronze figure of the Dying Christ at the Tewatte Basilica in Ragama would link this more..

The SLFP must be masochistic, yes?

July 4 (NS) The Sri Lankan voter has to believe in relative merits. There isn’t much need to argue about the pros and cons of change. Ambulance chasers who predicted there won’t be a free and fair poll had to be content with the reality of a peaceful transition of power. Now, they can start a post mortem on the wreck that is the result. That’s just a joke, but despite how people react to the change that resulted in May, this much is certain. Nobody is quite happy except those more..

War & domination by other means: Postwar tourism in the East coast

July 4 (CT) In one of the images that showcases the luxury and splendor that Anilana Hotel in Passikuda has to offer, we see a woman in a bikini. She could be a light skinned Sri Lankan or South Asian, or a well-tanned foreigner. Her cosmopolitan globalness makes her a universal sexual figure. She is lying back on a lounge chair, sun-glasses on, sex appeal on full blast, soaking it all in and looking in the direction of the camera. What caught my attention about this image is that her chair is more..

Karunaratne's lone march leaves Sri Lanka with deja vu

July 4 (CI) Many teams will allow one languid left-hander with acute allergies outside off stump, into the team. However, with Upul Tharanga, Lahiru Thirimanne and Jehan Mubarak all in the side, Sri Lanka seem to have had an HR malfunction and hired everyone in the country that fit this description. All day long the lefties took turns thrilling and frustrating, smoking fours through the ring, then poking jerkily at the ball. more..

BOC’s Change Concept heralding more customer-friendly services

July 4 (Island) Bank of Ceylon launched its renovated Kadawatha branch yesterday hard on the heels of inaugurating a transformative drive to make its branches increasingly customer-friendly. The transformation was part of a change concept that was initiated by BOC wherein various digital channels of the bank received a timely makeover. The project also brought into effect a range of services that were aimed at making the Bank’s operations user-friendly. more..

Are foreigners backing anti-Muslim racism in Sri Lanka?

July 4 (Island) I must state at the very outset that in my title Are foreigners backing anti-Muslim racism in Sri Lanka? I am posing a question, not stating a conclusion. I believe that in political analysis it is important to pose questions even when no definitive answer is available. The reason is that some questions could amount to fertile hypotheses that lead to answers later. In some situations it could be crucially important to pose questions even when no more than conjecture of a rather wild order more..

Video: Kumar Sangakkara on retirement, his future, the Ashes and Bayliss

July 4 (BBC) Last month the 37-year-old announced he will finish his international career after the second match of the three-Test series against India in August. Sangakkara, who is six months into a two-year deal with Surrey, is Sri Lanka's highest run scorer and is the fifth-highest Test scorer of all time, with 12,305 runs in his 132 Test appearances. He has spoken to the BBC Asian Network about his international retirement, more..

Peter Kuruvita finds seafood heaven at Noosa, and the Beach House

July 4 (Island) The Hundred-Foot Journey is one of the most delicious movies about food I’ve ever seen. However, it took me more than 100 feet, and a flight from Sydney to Noosa, to meet celebrity chef Peter ¬Kuruvita in a bid to find out more about his own journey through the hearts and stomachs of Australians. Call it a meeting of two ambassadors. Mine may have been the official title, but I reckon Kuruvita, in his unofficial role as Sri Lankan culinary ambassador — his other hats are more..

From PFLT to Crusaders of Democracy

July 4 (CT) Hello Rita how are you getting on? So asking Rita Sebastian, one of the senior women journalists of the Times of Ceylon era, who was seated among a large gathering of media personnel, LTTE theoretician Anton Balasingham walked into the auditorium of the Galadari along with LTTE deputy leader Gopalaswamy Mahendraraja alias Mahattaya and another senior cadre Yogaratnam Yogi to announce the outfit's political party, People's Front of Liberation Tigers (PFLT) in 1989. more..

Cabraal’s sister responds to allegation

July 4 (NS) The sister of the former CB governor Ajith Nivard Cabral, Ms Siromi Wickramasinghe responded to the assertion made in the leaked draft of the COPE Report in relation to the Feb 27, 2015 Treasury Bond auction. The report had stated that as Ms. Shiromi Wickremasinghe, a sister of the former Governor occupied the position of a director of Perpetual Treasuries from 23 Dec 2013 till 9 March 2015, more..

Confident Karunaratne set for new highs

July 4 (Island) Sri Lanka’s long await for a successful opening combination seems to be over with Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva notching up some crucial knocks in the last few months. Players with contrasting styles, they have scored the bulk of the runs for Sri Lanka in the current series. In fact, the two openers are the highest scorers in the series from either side. Speaking to journalists after his second Test hundred yesterday, Karunaratne elaborated on how his game has evolved. more..

Editorial: A haven for dregs

July 4 (Island) Our main news item yesterday may not have surprised many, but it provided some interesting facts and figures about our representatives. Chairman of the National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB) Dr. Chamira Samarasingha was quoted as having said that his institution had information about two dozen members of the last Parliament, involved in the narcotic trade. Calling upon all political parties to field only clean candidates at the election, more..

First Guangzhou-Lanka biz pact inked

July 4 (FT) The first trade and business pact between Sri Lanka and the capital city of mainland China’s Guandong Province, Guangzhou, was inked in Colombo on 3 July. “Today’s MoU signals a new opening for Lanka-China bilateral relations at business-to-business levels. We want to increase our exports to China, we also continuously use imports from China. A great amount of raw material imports from China more..

SLRFU bank account frozen

July 4 (CT) The service of rugby referees for upcoming assignments is doubtful after their dues for recent matches were not paid due to the SLRFU account operated at the Bank of Ceylon being frozen. The account was frozen due to the bank refusing to recognize the new signatures which were sent by the Sports Ministry. Sports Minister appointed a Chief Officer to run the SLRFU till the elections, and all current administration work is being over looked by the ministry. more..

PPP model for mobile hospital service

July 4 (NS) Sri Lanka is to pursue a private-public partnership to finance the free mobile hospital service in the country which is to be rolled out in the Western and Southern Provinces during the latter part of the year. Project was initiated by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe following discussions with the Indian Premier, Narendra Modi during the latter’s visit to the country earlier this year. Accordingly, Sri Lanka is to sign a fresh agreement with India in the coming two to three weeks to more..

'Don’t let Rajapaksa make a comeback'

July 4 (Island) President of NMSJ Ven. Madululuwawe Sobhitha said people had no trust in former President Rajapaksa, who had betrayed the masses on two occasions as by creating a political culture of rampant thuggery, corruption and mayhem and he wanted to return to the political arena to continue his dirty game. Thera, said a corrupt, power hungry Rajapaksa was trying to take the masses for another ride. more..