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Galle likely to host West Indies Test

Sep 4 (CI) After much deliberation, Sri Lanka Cricket's interim committee is likely to retain Galle as a venue for the two-Test series against West Indies in October but has decided to drastically reduce the costs it will incur in hosting the match there, as well as at other venues for the tour. "We hope to cut costs down to about Rs 3 million (approx. $22,200) to try and offset the losses we will incur hosting West Indies," more..

Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 19% in August

Sep 4 (EN) Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals rose almost 19 percent to 166,610 in August 2015 from a year ago with China remaining the top source market followed by India, data from state tourism promotion office showed. The number of Chinese visitors, including those from Hong Kong and Macau, rose 73.3% to 24,734 in August 2015 from a year ago. Chinese arrivals have shown the highest growth rate this year, up 76.8% to 144,439 in the eight months to August from the year before. more..

Woman MP trips and fall during debate

Sep 4 (Island) UNP National List MP Anoma Gamage accidentally fell on the floor of Parliament yesterday while the debate on a resolution moved by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, seeking the approval of the House to increase the number of Ministers of the new govt. MP Gamage was sitting in a back row seat during the debate and got up to move to another place inside the chamber when she fell. MP Ranjan Ramanayake and another new comer sitting close by ran to her help, more..

Committee to decide on heads for public institutions: President

Sep 4 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena today stated that a common committee will be appointed by himself and the PM to ensure that the most suitable individuals are selected for the top posts in govt institutions. He made the announcement during his speech at the swearing in ceremony of new Cabinet. Sirisena stated that when the 100-day govt was established it did not engage in a common process for more..

Local authorities not pulling their weight in fighting dengue

Sep 4 (Island) Epidemiology Unit (EU) of the Health Ministry said that it had been able to identify two types of areas vulnerable to dengue during the second National Mosquito Control week organised this year. Documentation provided by the EU outlined the work which was to be carried out in areas which had been categorised as high and low risk for dengue. It would remain focussed on houses, schools and other educational institutions in the state & private sectors, construction sites, more..

No Parliamentary privileges for Wimal, Udaya, Dinesh & Vasu

Sep 4 (LT) Leaders of main parties have decided not to recognize Wimal Weerawansa, Udaya Gammanpila, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Dinesh Gunawardene and Chandrasiri Gajadeera as party leaders as they contested the election under UPFA. The decision has been approved by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya. Above mentioned MPs will not be considered as party leaders but Members of UPFA and hereafter they would not get any Parliamentary privileges party leaders are entitled to. more..

JVP asks those joining govt for positions whether they have no shame

Sep 4 (Island) JVP leader MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake demanded to know from the UPFA  MPs who were planning to join the govt whether they were not ashamed of doing so to obtain perks and benefits. Participating in the debate on a resolution moved by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, seeking the approval of Parliament to enable the new government to increase the number of ministers up to 48, MP said that more..

NCPA overhauls its own policies

Sep 4 (Island) National Child Protection Authority Chief Natasha Balendran said that its advertising campaign on the obligation of all members of society to protect children was part of a reorientation of the policies of the Authority. NCPA Chairperson issuing a communiqué said that in the past, the Authority had concentrated on the efforts on law enforcement and providing redress for children and their families after they had become victims of child abuse. While continuing its work in this area energetically, more..

Wildlife men struggle to save life of elephant

Sep 4 (CT) A wild elephant, roaming into a paddy field, was shot at by an unidentified gunman on Wednesday (3). The animal was found by villagers bellowing in pain due to the injuries sustained in the shooting. In Ampara District, farmers, chena cultivators and villagers residing on the boarder lines of the district are very much inconvenienced by these wild elephants as they come into their fields suddenly and destroy their paddy and chena cultivations. more..

JVP defends appointment of Sampanthan as the Leader of the Opposition

Sep 4 (DM) The JVP, which defended the appointment of TNA Parliamentary Group Leader R. Sampanthan as the Leader of the Opposition, explained that the latter had been appointed in accordance with Parliamentary traditions. JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that they had backed Mr. Sampanthan for the post as he was from the party that had the most number of seats among the parties in the opposition. more..

Rights Violations in new SLEAS: Teachers' Unions slam

Sep 4 (CT) Ceylon Teachers' Service Union (CTSU) citing several inconsistencies in the Service Constitution for the Sri Lanka Education Administration Service (SLEAS) now being circulated, called for the immediate withdrawal of the proposed new Constitution yesterday. General Secretary of the CTSU, Mahinda Jayasinghe said the Constitution that was issued by special Gazette notification on 21 August heaped injustice on teachers who intend to join SLEAS because more..

Vaiko for resolution against domestic probe in Sri Lanka

Sep 4 (Hindu) MDMK leader Vaiko called upon the Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to initiate steps to pass a resolution in the Assembly opposing any move to carry out a domestic investigation into the alleged atrocities during the war in Sri Lanka in which many Tamil people were killed. “If such a resolution is passed, I will be the first person to support the same,” he said while paying a lightning visit to the site near Palladam where the party planned to hold a conference later this month. more..

Sri Lanka rupee falls 3% to record low after Central Bank bank floats

Sep 4 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's rupee fell more than 3% to a record low of 139 per dollar on Friday after the central bank effectively floated the currency by ceasing to quote its own reference rate. The rupee rebounded in late trade to end the day down 2% at 137.25/75. Currency dealers said there were large dollar sales from exporters at the session lows. The slide came amid weakness in emerging markets triggered by a devaluation of Yuan. more..

The Left takes a back seat in Sri Lanka

Sep 4 (NI) The first sitting of Sri Lanka’s new parliament took place this week amidst some uncertainty. Following the UNP election victory, negotiations continue on the formation of a national govt, with a number of MPs from the opposition SLFP expected to be given ministerial portfolios. The new cabinet is yet to be announced. One thing that’s clear is that the Left will no longer wield much clout. Earlier, though few in number the leftist MPs held important positions. more..

Ex-husband douses wife with acid

Sep 4 (CT) A woman and the man driving the car she was travelling in were admitted to the Embilipitiya Hospital yesterday with serious burn injuries sustained when her ex-husband allegedly threw acid at them, police sources said. The woman's ex- husband, who had allegedly kidnapped her a few days ago and had tried to force acid down her throat, had himself been injured when she instinctively spat out the acid that fell on his face. The acid had seriously damaged his eyes more..

Supermarket food court stall managers watch out!

Sep 4 (DM) Raids will be carried out at supermarket complexes in the city by the Colombo Municipality Public Health Department due to the increase in complaints of the standard of food and beverages sold at the food courts of the shopping complexes. When conducting several health related programmes, health officials discovered houseflies, rats and roaches in food courts in supermarket complexes in more..

SL national dies in Chennai police custody

Sep 4 (TOI) A Sri Lankan Tamil, who was picked up in connection with a fake passport case, died in police custody in Chennai in the early hours of Friday. Deceased has been identified as Mohan, who was staying at a house in Medavakkam with his wife Fatima Sulthana and two children. He was wanted in a fake passport case being investigated by Central Crime Branch of Chennai police. Mohan had been absconding for the last few days. However, he returned home on Thursday. more..

Thalatha gifts home for slain UNPer's family

Sep 4 (CT) MP Thalatha Athukorala has taken action to construct a house for the family of UNP supporter Upul Thushara who was killed in Nivithigala. Thushara was hacked to death by an unidentified group of people in the Dodagammaha area in Nivithigala. The foundation stone for the construction of the house was laid by the late Thushara's three daughters. Athukorala said she would do all that she could to help the family of the man who gave his life for the party. more..

UAE to improve the welfare of SL workers

Sep 4 (CG) United Arab Emirates’ Foreign Minister, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nayhan, visited Sri Lanka on the invitation of the Govt of Sri Lanka. During bilateral consultations the Foreign Ministers explored ways of strengthening trade and investment ties, improving the welfare of Sri Lankan workers in the UAE, and collaborating on issues of regional and international concern. more..

The TNA Challenge

Sep 5 (CT) TNA as expected has got the mandate of Tamils for what they pledged in the manifesto so also Ranil. Ranil will find it easier to run the government with the support of SLEP members backed by a President Maithri who is accommodative. As a result the bargaining power which Sampanthan relied has not materialized unless and until Ranil faces a successful no confidence motion with the backing of entire opposition members. more..

Sampanthan stands tall

Sep 5 (CT) Rajavarothayam Sampanthan has become the second Tamil Opposition Leader in 32 years after late Appapillai Amirthalingam who was instrumental in making Sampanthan enter Parliament with the TULF landslide victory in the 1977 general election. Though Sampanthan had joined the ITAK led by late S.J.V. Chelvanayakam in 1952, he didn't show any interest in entering big time politics and remained as one of the prominent criminal lawyers in Trincomalee. more..

Sri Lankans star in Hollywood epic: Where humans failed, our rilawas succeeded

Sep 5 (SO) Although human Sri Lankans have failed to take leading roles in Hollywood a film composed entirely of Sri Lankans has now entered the history books and the actors are our closest cousins, our own rilawas, the endemic toque macaques (Macaca sinica). The epic story of a monkey troop living in Polonnaruwa, captured in the Disney film Monkey Kingdom, was released in Sri Lanka on August 21. more..

National govt & new political culture: Two steps forward, one step back?

Sep 5 (CT) Forming a national govt as the bedrock of a just political culture is a welcome move indeed. While I appreciate the current govt’s many efforts toward good governance, I also see that some of those efforts have compromised President Sirisena’s desire to “formulate and implement rational, evidence-based national policies to address this country’s critical issues.” The way the so-called national govt is evolving is sowing the seeds of its own demise and paving more..

Celebrating Sampanthan

Sep 5 (CT) After many political volcanic eruptions and bitter contentious battles over the past four decades, and a wave of ethnic intolerance that led to communal clashes resulting in arson and terrorism, Sri Lanka seems to head towards sanity to understand that this is one country and one people. Tamils and Muslims are not second class citizens. They are equal. In my view, Tamils and Muslims are not minorities. Just because one community happens to be large population-wise, more..

Former COPE chairman denies clearing Dilan

Sep 5 (SL) The appointment of defeated candidates through the national list and the election of some candidates who are accused of large scale frauds and malpractices during the previous Rajapaksa regime to the parliament have raised fear among the public that they may be appointed to key ministerial portfolios in the national govt. One such prospective ministerial candidate is UPFA national list MP Dilan Perera. more..

Coke is a Drug

Sep 5 (NS) Coca-Cola shares an also known as with the narcotic cocaine: Coke. It’s not an accident. Coca-Cola once contained cocaine and is still flavored with a non-narcotic extract from the coca, the plant from which cocaine is obtained. Perhaps the popularity of the drink is also explained by the presence of some addictive element of the ingredient. But we are talking here about a different kind of addiction, a different inducement that has the intoxicating power of a drug. more..

Kite-flying at Galle Face

Sep 5 (FT) Even on an average Sunday afternoon the crowd out at the Galle Face Green taking in the fresh air seems too large relative to the famous promenade. In 1856, when the five-hectare green was developed, Colombo was a small port town with a population less than 50,000. Now, one and half centuries later it is simply overwhelmed by the throng, with just enough space to manoeuvre yourself forward, the grass simply beaten into dust by shuffling feet. more..

An unforgettable afternoon spent with Uncle Nihal, the Off-Road Dog Feeder

Sep 5 (GV) This is a story about a dog lover called Uncle Nihal. He puts all his time into feeding the street dogs who live just outside Colombo. He wakes up at 4 am each morning and makes huge amounts of food for the dogs. He cooks them red rice and meat because it contains vitamins, his favourite dogs get special treats like liver. Uncle Nihal feeds over 120 street doggies as well as a few cats and lots of crows. He also takes care of more..

Debaters to battle it out at Hulftsdorp this weekend

Sep 5 (FT) The fourth Hulftsdorp Debates will kick off at the Sri Lanka Law College today. The two-day event is organised annually by the English Literary Association of Sri Lanka Law College. Justice Buwaneka Aluwihare, PC will grace the event as the Chief Guest. Debating is considered to be an important part of tertiary education as it develops important soft skills such as public speaking, language skills as well and argument generation. British Parliamentary style of debating more..

President’s call for expatriate Sri Lankan intellectuals

Sep 5 (Island) At the opening of the 8th session of the Parliament of Sri Lanka, the President said that Sri Lanka would lay a red carpet to welcome Sri Lankan intellectuals, if those presently working overseas decide to return to Sri Lanka. He further said that a special unit would be set up in the Presidential Secretariat to facilitate their return. This offer made by the President is certainly laudable, which no other President had done before. It is very encouraging to find that more..

SLFP leader Maithripala makes a mockery of President Sirisena’s good governance

Sep 5 (DBS) Maithripala Yapa Sirisena was elected President of SL on Jan 8th 2015. The general secretary of the SLFP had broken away from his party and contested the Presidential elections as the common opposition candidate. Maithripala Sirisena defeated his former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa. The victory was hailed as a silent revolution. UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was appointed PM of a Govt that promised to more..

Next step: Identifying policy priorities and preparing for the challenge

Sep 5 (SL) With the last week’s The Sunday Leader Economy focusing on the immediate ‘bold reform process’ the country requires just coming out of a General Election, the focus will then be naturally shifted to the necessary policy changes and the challenges that the country’s economy currently faces. This time period has been recognised by many economists as a challenging time period for the Asian economy. With even more powerful economies in Asia-Pacific region undergoing more..

CID convinced Prageeth Ekneligoda was no journalist; abducted for other reasons

Sep 5 (CT) The CID currently investigating the abduction of Prageeth Ekneligoda, now firmly believe that journalism was not the key reason for his disappearance. An officer investigating the case told Colombo Telegraph that it is either the active role he played in forging of passports and his involvement in human smuggling, his involvement with military intelligence or perhaps his co-ordinated efforts with certain opposition members then, that were involved in mailing ash from all across more..

Paddy price crisis: Farmers hit out at Mafia

Sep 5 (ST) Farmers in many parts of the country are angered and disappointed over the failure to set up an adequate mechanism to purchase their paddy, but authorities in turn blame them for disregarding instructions over the sale of their stock. This situation is widely prevalent in Matale, Ampara, Wilgamuwa, Anuradhapura and Eppawala and other areas, with long queues outside paddy purchasing points. more..

Editorial: Mega Cabinet & micro Opposition

Sep 5 (Island) The UNP has lived up to its symbol, Elephant, where the size of the new Cabinet is concerned. Ably assisted by the SLFP, which wished to relegate to the Opposition at the Aug 17 general election, it has formed a joint administration and appointed a mammoth Cabinet. We will now have 48 Cabinet members and 45 other ministers. It cannot be argued that the expansion of the Cabinet should be acceptable simply because it has been approved by Parliament. more..

Gem dealers to get locally-issued standardisation reports

Sep 5 (FT) Gemstone dealers will soon have the convenient facility of obtaining internationally-recognised gemstone reports in Colombo with the launch of the new Take-in Window by the Gemmological Institute of Ceylon. The Gemmological Institute is a subsidiary of Ceylon Fine Gems together with the Asian Institute of Gemmological Sciences (AIGS) and Lotus Gemmology. “The new facility will make it feasible for the local gem dealers who wish to obtain more..

Sri Lanka sets world record with highways and higher education

Sep 5 (EN) Sri Lanka’s new national govt may appear lacklustre with narcoleptic ministers, but combining universities and highways under one ministry appears to set a world record in cabinet construction. The subject of university education and highways went to Lakshman Kiriella, suggesting that crafting portfolios was a piece of pure genius. Given that undergraduates spend most of their time on the road protesting, only an Einstein would have more..

Windies seek maiden Test series win - On Sri Lanka soil

Sep 5 (CT) West Indies under wicket-keeper batsman Denesh Ramdin will be determined to take a leaf out of the books of South Africa, Pakistan and India and create history by winning their first Test series in this country, when they land here next month. The once mighty West Indies who are currently ranked eighth in the ICC Test table will play two Tests, three ODIs and two Twenty20s against seventh ranked Angelo Mathews' men in October-November this year. more..

Fitch rates BOC’s subordinated debentures Final ‘AA(lka)’

Sep 5 (Island) Fitch Ratings has assigned Bank of Ceylon’s (BOC; AA+(lka)/Stable) proposed up to LKR 8bn of subordinated debentures a final National Long-Term Rating of ‘AA(lka)’. Assignment of the final rating follows the receipt of documents conforming to information already received, and the final rating is the same as the expected ratings assigned on July 17, 2015. Proposed subordinated debentures, which will have tenors of 5 and 8 years and carry fixed and floating coupons, more..

Hathurusingha and Ford in the mix as likely successors

Sep 5 (NS) The resignation of former captain Marvan Atapattu from his post as head coach of the Sri Lanka cricket team may come as a shock to many but for those in the know it is the best thing that has happened to Sri Lanka cricket. No suitable reason was given in the media release put out by SLC except for the fact that Atapattu’s resignation letter has been accepted. Interim Committee members were tight lipped to comment on more..