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JVP leader takes govt to task

June 25 (CT) Q: JVP shouldered the burden of bringing this govt into power. Why do you openly and harshly criticize the govt now? A: Our aim was defeating the past regime than forming this govt. We clearly stressed the need for defeating the Rajapaksa regime at the presidential election. But we did not guarantee the formation of a new regime. We highlighted the need of mobilizing the people to struggle for their rights. more..

Editorial: Of that diatribe

June 26 (Island) Rifts within the ruling coalition are deepening. The govt’s desperate efforts to paper over the cracks have failed and its internal clashes have spilled over into Parliament. SLMC leader and Minister Rauff Hakeem is known for maintaining his composure and speaking in a measured tone, weighing his words very carefully in Parliament as well as elsewhere. But, on Wednesday he saw red and tore into some of his Cabinet colleagues with all guns blazing. more..

People do miss elephant house fountain cafe

June 26 (Island) I have realised that many still miss Elephant House Fountain Cafe based on the response from The Island readers from all over the world. There was a wide and varied interest from everyone who read The Street Walk Bring Back The Fountain Café. First response came early morning from Cricket Commentator Palitha Perera who complained that I had missed his favourite dessert " Went through your article today. Very interesting and readable stuff. more..

Colombo Fashion Forecast

Sri Lankan entrepreneurship program selects 11 start-ups

June 26 (EN) Venture Engine, a Sri Lankan entrepreneurship development program, has chosen 11 start-ups for support with three firms, Stripes & Checks, Yamu, and Audio Book named as having the top three business plans. Stripes & Checks, is a manufacturer of made to measure shirts, Yamu an online guide to dining and leisure in Sri Lanka, and Audio Book a company that provides books in audio format which are also available native languages. “Next step for these businesses as well as more..

Herath surplus to Sri Lanka for first time

June 26 (CI) 0: Balls bowled by Rangana Herath in the first innings. Since the start of Herath's Test career, Sri Lanka have never previously bowled out the opposition without him bowling a single ball. 50: Catches taken by Kumar Sangakkara as a fielder, to go with his 131 catches as a wicketkeeper. He is one of only two players to take 50 catches or more, both as a fielder and a keeper, the other being AB de Villiers. 4: Sri Lankan offspinners who have taken a five-wicket haul since Murali's retirement more..

Tharindu Kaushal's charismatic inception

June 26 (CI) Mohammad Hafeez, playing Tharindu Kaushal for the first time in a match, offered a genial handshake, but the ball that got him out leant in for the kiss on both cheeks. Hafeez was back in his crease, prodding at what he thought would be a regulation offbreak. The ball pounced at the wickets instead, took the inside half of the bat, then wriggled onto leg stump. SL has not witnessed a five-for from this kind of spin in Tests more..

Umpiring oversight costs Pakistan

June 26 (CI) Sub-optimal use of the DRS by the officiating umpires at the P Sara Oval has appeared to have cost Pakistan the wicket of Kaushal Silva in Sri Lanka's first innings of the second Test. S Ravi had given Silva not out - after which Pakistan reviewed the decision - off the bowling of left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar on the fourth ball of the 19th over of Sri Lanka's innings. The players were ostensibly appealing for a bat-pad catch to slip, and that seems to be what the on-field umpire more..

10-day long celebrations of CBK’s 70th b'day

June 26 (FT) In celebration of the 70th birthday of former president Chandrika Kumaratunga, well-wishers from across Sri Lanka have organised a 10-day series of religious services and charitable activities in various parts of the island from 26 June to 5 July. The events will recognise her decades of leadership and service to the country and be highlighted by multi-religious services. These include Bodhipoojas at Sri Maha Bodhi Vihara Anuradhapura, and Dalada Maligawa, Kandy; more..

Aluthgamage blasts Navin in Parliament

June 26 (CT) Former Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage launching a scathing attack on his successor in Parliament alleged that Minister Navin Dissanayake should take full responsibility if a sports ban was imposed on Sri Lankan athletes as there is an imminent threat of the International Olympic Committee imposing such ban in the near future. He said that the International Olympic Committee had indicated more..

Olympic hopefuls train at Thanyapura

June 26 (Island) Sri Lankan Olympic hopefuls commenced a full-time one-year swimming training stint through the FINA Targeting Rio 2016 Olympic Scholarship at the Thanyapura Aquatic Training Centre in Phuket, Thailand recently. Swimmers Cherantha de Silva (Ananda College/Rainbow Aquatics Club) and Kimiko Raheem (Asian International School/Killer Whale Aquatics Club) are part of the worldwide scholarship program Targeting Rio 2016 to assist national federations more..

JKH Downsizes waterfront loan to US$ 395 Million

June 26 (CT) Premier blue chip corporate leader – John Keells Holdings has downsized the original loan of US $ 445 Million that it negotiated with Standard Chartered Bank for the Slave Island Waterfront project to US $ 395 Million. The finally negotiated US $ 395 Million covers the right sizing of the project debt to be in line with the revised scope of the project, JKH Group Finance Director Ronnie Peiris said. "We do not need to borrow excessively more than what we need," Peiris said. more..

SEC chairman stresses on quality and reliability of information

June 26 (Island) The capital market is considered a vital conduit for long term fund mobilization and a key driver of economic growth. As the capital market regulator, our focus is to facilitate a fair, efficient, orderly and transparent market, in which issuers can raise funds with adequate safeguards provided to protect investors. Hence, the regulatory framework of the securities market has been designed to fulfill this mandate and more..

Softlogic targets tourism industry

June 26 (CT) The growing tourism industry has paved the way for Softlogic to invest in the import and supply of customized luxury tourist buses to suit the customers' requirements, is a first in its field today. Today the demand for luxury tourist buses is high. The purchase of reconditioned Japanese buses are both expensive and a little out of date as they are not the current models. However, these buses from Xiamen King Long Ltd in China are very advantageous to us. more..

Samantha Ranatunga takes the helm at CCC

June 26 (FT) The top leadership at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) officially changed hands yesterday with CIC Group CEO Samantha Ranatunga taking up chairmanship of the chamber. Speaking at the 176th Annual General Meeting of the CCC, Ranatunga commended outgoing Chairman Suresh Shah and his Board of Directors for the work they carried out during their tenure at the CCC. He also elaborated on some of the challenges facing SL and its private sector more..

Rustom-1 drone to monitor maritime boundary between Sri Lanka and India

June 26 (BS) International maritime boundary line (IMBL) between India and Sri Lanka, frequently violated by fisherfolk and smugglers from both sides, could soon be kept under surveillance by the Rustom-1 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) - a drone developed by the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO). DRDO said it is working with the navy to fit the Rustom-1 with an Automatic Identification System (AIS) that more..

A Port City contractor transferred $150,000 to a Foundation: Bandara

June 26 (DN) Colombo International Container Terminal that obtained a contract to build a part of the port city has transferred US$ 150,000 to the account of a Foundation initiated by a private individual, UNP MP Nalin Bandara said. Addressing the media briefing Bandara noted that the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) had revealed that although this foundation was established as a charity organisation, its money was used by the management for their benefit. more..

'No conspiracy at Abhayaramaya'

June 26 (DN) No conspiracy takes place at Abhayaramaya. If there is a conspiracy it is a conspiracy to save the country, Abhayaramaya chief incumbent Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera said. While rejecting the statement by Minister Mangala Samaraweera that the coup at the temple had become a failure, the thera said Samaraweera should refrain from throwing stones while being inside glass houses. He was addressing a media conference at Abhayaramaya organised by more..

Sri Lanka instant noodles safe: Health DG

June 26 (DM) Samples of locally produced instant noodles tested at the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) have been found to be safe and their lead concentration is below the internationally accepted risk level, Health Services Director General Dr. Palitha Mahipala said. An ad-hoc Food Consultative Committee meeting chaired by Dr. Mahipala and attended by officials representing the Consumer Affairs Authority, SL Standard more..

469 school Stars to be felicitated today

June 26 (ST) The annual All Island Schools Milo colours nite organized by the Sri Lanka Schools Sports Council (SLSSC) along with the Minister of Education and sponsored by Nestle Lanka for the 17th successive year is scheduled be held today at the Nelum Pokuna Theater. 469 sportsman and sportswomen from schools around the island have been selected to receive their colours for their outstanding performances in the 31 sports which comes under the umbrella of the SLSSC. more..

Will it be another white elephant?

June 26 (DM) Ministry of Sports will press ahead with the proposed multi-million dollar High Altitude Training Centre and the super luxury hotel within the confines of the picturesque Race Course in Nuwara Eliya once it gets the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) done. Rejected by the Cabinet Review Sub Committee (CRSC) of the Treasury on two previous instances (2009 and 2013), the project has been pursued under the new govt despite all of the former regime’s unsolicited more..

US report slams SL’s rights record last year

June 26 (CG) Several human rights violations had taken place last year in Sri Lanka, according to the annual human rights report of the US State Department released yesterday. The Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2014 noted that the major human rights problems reported over the year were: attacks on, and harassment of, civil society activists, journalists, and persons viewed as sympathizers of the LTTE by individuals more..

Karannagoda responds

June 26 (DN) With reference to our lead story on Wednesday, former Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda has sent the following statement. I wish to state that I was not aware of such abductions carried out by some naval personnel, until the incident was brought to my attention during the first quarter of 2009. Immediately upon hearing of same, the matter was reported to the DIG CID requesting to investigate the matter whilst keeping the Ministry of Defence more..

Graham Ford may make Sri Lanka return

June 26 (CI) Graham Ford could be on the verge of a return to the Sri Lanka coaching job. Ford, who was Sri Lanka coach from January 2012 to January 2014, is currently with Surrey, but is believed to have responded positively to the approach from Sri Lanka Cricket. Ford, who is in his second season as coach of Surrey, is believed to be the preferred choice of Kumar Sangakkara, who joined Surrey as overseas player this season largely as a result of Ford's presence. more..

MS-MR pow-wow in the offing?

June 26 (DN) The six member committee appointed by the SLFP to coordinate President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is likely to facilitate a one to one meeting between the two leaders, informed SLFP sources said. This discussion will be the last ditch effort to resolve the internal power struggle within the SLFP. However, President is yet to give the green light more..

Prof Wijesinha lashes out at minority govt., regrets promoting change

June 26 (Island) Liberal Party Leader Prof Rajiva Wijesinha told Parliament that LTTE would find it easier to renew its efforts of regrouping to revamp its separatist objective thanks to present impasse and mismanagement of the govt and the Foreign Ministry. Participating in an adjournment debate on recent US report of LTTE renewing its operations, he said: "The Foreign Minister dances with the GTF, which is not bad in itself, but that is not where he should concentrate. more..

Parliament will be dissolved only after 20A is enacted: Rajitha

June 26 (Island) Admitting that it had become difficult to introduce electoral reforms the govt insisted that Parliament would be dissolved only after the proposed 20th Amendment was enacted. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the changes envisaged to the current electoral system were a key election pledge of President Sirisena. President did not want to dissolve the legislature without implementing at least the main pledges he had given the masses, the Minister emphasized. more..

MR has more security than MS, says PM

June 26 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Parliament that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was using more security apparatus including a highly sophisticated bullet proof Benz car than even the incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena. The Premier said that a posse of 105 policemen including three ASPs and 104 soldiers including a colonel had been detailed to provide security to the former President. more..

MR says will contest only from SLFP

June 26 (DM) "I will contest the next election only from the UPFA led by the SLFP", stated former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the committee which was now attempting to unite the SLFP, sources said. These sources also indicated that the former President had not requested for the candidacy of the premier. He had stated so to this committee when they met yesterday at his residence in Mirihana. The former President had reiterated that he had no intention of splitting up the party. more..

Basil discharged from hospital

June 26 (DM) Minister Basil Rajapaksa, who was granted bail by the Colombo High Court on June 15, had been discharged on Thursday from a private hospital in Colombo where he had been warded. It was reported that MP Rajapaksa had gone to meet his brother, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, yesterday evening after he was discharged from hospital. Basil Rajapaksa, who was in remand custody at the Colombo National Hospital’s Merchant Ward, was admitted to more..

Bond fiasco: COPE failed to summon me: PM

June 26 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said although he had requested from the COPE Committee investigating the issuance of CB Treasury bonds to call him over to give evidence regarding the matter, they had not summoned him up to date. He said: "COPE Committee has the right either to accept or dismiss his evidence. Nevertheless, since they have not sent for me so far despite my request as minister more..

Implement Yahapalanaya against police excesses

June 26 (DM) The rise of violent extremism and unprecedented levels of forced displacement in our world demand a comprehensive response – and no aspect is more urgent than assisting the many victims of rising levels of torture that these and related trends generate, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message to mark the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. As the world community observes this day today millions of people are displaced without more..

Be careful of the Kitchen Team

June 26 (DM) Dear Mr. President, If my memory serves me correct, it was June 26, 1996 at Polonnaruwa Rajakeeya Vidyalaya’s anniversary educational exhibition where Prof. G. L. Peiris, a high profile cabinet minister of that regime was the Chief Guest. I went there to cover the event for the Daily News. The speech you made there - the then Mahaweli Minister - would never fade from my mind. You recalled how you as a kid took part in a zonal music contest by playing a borrowed violin, more..

To London for reconciliation?

June 26 (SL) It’s anybody’s guess why London was chosen as the venue for the latest round of secret parleys on the ethnic front, but like any other things in London, New York or most big cities of the world, when it rains, it pours. It’s not that discussions and negotiations of the kind should not be held in utter secrecy, for them to succeed, but it’s also necessary that those secrets are kept secret until secrecy had served its purpose. more..

I take responsibility for defeat: Basil

June 26 (DM) Former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, in an interview with Daily Mirror after being released on bail, said he felt so sad about his predicament. Also, he admitted that he was responsible in part for the defeat at the Presidential Election, as the key person who was in charge of the campaign. Yet, he said he was not responsible for certain policies and actions of the then govt that brought about its downfall. more..

Another victory for Nimali

June 26 (DN) Sri Lankans accounted for three podium finishes during the second leg of the Asian Grand Prix (AGP) series which was held in Thailand yesterday. Nimali Liyanarachchi was the best among them, winning her pet event, the women's 800metres final with a time of 2:06.14 seconds. Nimali was the lone medalist for Sri Lanka at the recently concluded Asian Athletics Championships and she was more..

'Opposition in a quandary over who its leader is'

June 26 (Island) Parliament was in chaos because the Opposition parties did not know who their leader was, JVP Leader Anura Kumara told Parliament. "Thanks to crossover following presidential election, we do not know who the Opposition Leader is. Under 19th Amendment Opposition Leader has a pivotal role to play. "We have asked Speaker who the Opposition Leader is but we have not been given a response. more..

ADB gives US$ 453mn loan for dry zone water projects

June 26 (LBO) The Asian Development bank is to grant a loan of US$ 453 million to help deliver surplus water from the Mahaweli river basin to the dry zone, a statement said. “Sri Lanka has abundant water resources but they are not distributed evenly across the country,” Lance Gore, ADB Water Resources Specialist said in the statement. “This assistance will allow the govt to complete a decades-old program to transfer more..

John promises to reveal names of state agencies involved in drug smuggling

June 26 (Island) Public Order and Christian Religious Affairs Minister John Amaratunga yesterday said that he would be meeting President Maithripala Sirisena at Temple Trees this morning and request him to name the two key state agencies he had accused of smuggling drugs and order the IGP to take appropriate action. "I will name the two state institutions to the public following the meeting with the President today," Minister assured. more..

Terrified, asphyxiated, brutalised: The chicken on your plate

June 26 (ST) Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) this week cracked down on poultry stalls operating in filthy conditions and seized some 100kg of chicken, sometimes swarming with flies, as unfit for human consumption. They found chickens being killed on top of plastic crates while chickens marked for slaughter were trapped underneath, covered in blood dripping from above. CMC Chief Municipal Veterinary Surgeon Dr. Vipula more..