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Story of three governors

July 8 (DM) Former Governors of the CB – Mahendran and Cabraal– must be found guilty or innocent after a fair trial –without leaving the issue in doubt for too long. Yet it has to be proved in court. Till then they must be deemed innocent. It is a matter of public funds. Need is to try the big fish –not just catch the small fry-if public money is trifled with. So be it. Mahinda Rajapaksa looked the other way and kept Nivard Cabraal in office when more..

Lankan snakes appear in bogus Rwanda stamp issue

July 8 (ST) Sri Lankan snakes and the Republic of Rwanda have got coiled as victims in an illegal philatelic issue linked to stamp piracy. Going as far back as April 1, 2003, it has come to light that an unknown agency, probably based in Eastern Europe, has produced a series of two labels, purportedly to be philatelic in nature in the name of the Republic of Rwanda, exclusively depicting snake species found in Sri Lanka, more..

Aftermath of Aranayake: Residents hesitant to leave despite land promises

July 8 (FT) The soil beneath W. Gunasekara’s feet could give way at any moment but he refuses to budge. A few weeks ago the 92 year-old’s home, situated just a few kilometres away from the Aranayake landslide incident was declared a high-risk zone by NBRO. Gunasekara, along with his son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren were advised to evacuate immediately for their own safety. more..

Bonds; now it’s all greek to me

July 8 (SL) It’s all Greek to me is a famous English idiom which means difficult or beyond understanding and it has a greater degree of relevance in the current context of the national debate on the issuance of Treasury Bonds by the CB of which one of the responsibilities is to, in simple language, find money for the govt which in most cases in the form of debts. Treasury bond is one such tool used by the central bank for borrowing purposes more..

New constitution may divide country: MR

July 8 (DM) The Yahapalana Govt intends to divide the country by passing a new Constitution, former President Rajapaksa charged. “We have come to know that the govt is trying to pass a new constitution. The constitution may include some hidden terms and clauses that will only divide the country and which are detrimental to SL Buddhists and Buddhism. People and especially the Buddhist clergy must be alert to this situation,” more..

SLFP scouts for new presidential candidate

July 8 (Island) The SLFP said it would have to choose a presidential candidate as President Maithripala Sirisena had refused to contest for a second term. State Minister Dilan Perera said the next presidential candidate of the party would have to be a person who had the blessings of former Presidents Chandrika Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa as well as President Sirisena. "President Sirisena refused to contest for a second term more..

The politics behind the SAITM farce

July 8 (CT) For starters let's look this week at the persisting controversy of the SAITM in the context of globally accepted definitions in the realm of higher education. I will come to the politics of it shortly in an effort to look at this whole thing without a jaundiced eye but through the prism of established and acknowledged fact. University – Has a connotation of being well respected and well known. more..

China, India diplomatic spat looms over Holcim exit deal

July 8 (FT) A major diplomatic spat with India is in the offing over the possible takeover of Holcim Lanka Ltd. by China Resources Cement Holdings Ltd., a subsidiary of the China Resources Group, which in turn is a State-owned Chinese enterprise. Should the deal go through China, which already has a firm foothold in the Colombo and Hambantota harbours will also give that country a prominent presence in Galle & Trincomalee. more..

Granting relief to all disaster victims will take little longer, but not years: PM

July 8 (CT) The govt has sent Rs 18 million, to the Colombo District Secretariat, to facilitate payment of the govt pledged Rs 50,000 allowance for 276 families and 52 businessmen, whose homes/ business houses were destroyed in the Salawa Armoury explosions, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament. He added that some are not content with this estimate and their grievances would be further addressed. more..

MR steps down from Shadow Cabinet

July 8 (DN) The former President Rajapkasa has stepped down from the post assigned to him in the Joint Opposition’s Shadow Cabinet. Yesterday the JO made several appointments to its Shadow Cabinet: The former President was accorded the role of PM, Minister of Defence and Minister of Buddha Sasana. The reasons for the former President’s withdrawal from the Joint Opposition Shadow Cabinet is yet unknown, more..

Sri Lankan shares post 2-wk closing high

July 8 (Reuters) Shares rose for a third straight session on Friday and posted their highest close in two weeks, as foreign investors continued to buy into banking and diversified stocks after recent losses. Overseas investors, who have offloaded shares worth a net 5.63 billion rupees so far this year, bought equities worth a net 179.7 million rupees on Friday. Turnover rose to the highest level since May 27, at 1.02 billion rupees, well above this year's daily average of 736.1 million rupees. more..

ASPs hold the key to change at police stations

July 8 (CT) The media reported a speech made by the IGP Pujith Jayasundara, wherein he stated quite openly and categorically that the police should make use of the present opportunity and take steps to change. This is a welcome statement in a climate where any kind of positive development in Sri Lanka either in the economic front or in any other area of development requires a radical change in the entire administration of justice, of which the police are integral. more..

නියෝජ්ය අමාත්ය එරාන් වික්රමරත්න

Hybrid Court Fiasco: Local versus International Judges

July 8 (CT) Last Wednesday Minister Mangala Samaraweera revealed that the final framework of the UN proposed hybrid court system will most probably be completed by January or February next year. His statements which seemingly contradicted President Maithripala Sirisena's statement with regard to appointing international Judges into the local justice system, have opened several questions in the public. One is genuinely concerned over the Foreign Minister's remarks. more..

ADB mulls US$2bn more loans for Sri Lanka in 2017-19

July 8 (EN) Asian Development Bank (ADB) is preparing a new country strategy for Sri Lanka and envisages increasing lending to at least US$2 billion or more in the next three years. “We are preparing a new country strategy for Sri Lanka for 2017-21,” said Wencai Zhang, Vice President of the ADB who is on a 3-day visit to the island. The bank gave Sri Lanka around $600 million in 2015 and expects lending to reach $700 million in 2016, he said. “In the next three years – from 2017-19 more..

More air time to criticize govt: President

July 8 (DM) President Sirisena said private TV channels had allocated more air time to criticize the govt instead of showcasing the development activities carried out by the govt. “It is reported that some private television channels allocate 80% of their air time to criticize the govt. They only give less than 20% of the time for acknowledging people about development activities of the country and the policies of the govt” more..

2,20,000 unskilled join job market annually

July 8 (Island) Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training (SDVT), Mahinda Samarasinghe yesterday said the country about 220,000 unskilled youth joined the job market annually. Addressing the media at the Ministry of SDVT, Minister Samarasinghe said his ministry would be able to solve the problem as the Cabinet had approved a proposal submitted by him to consider the NVQ-3 as well as NVQ-4 certification an equivalent to the G.C.E. O/L and G.C.E. A/L respectively. more..

Pilgrims continue trek to Kataragama

July 8 (CT) A series of Poojas are to be conducted following the hoisting of the flag at the Uhandamalai Sri Murugan Temple on Tuesday. A special Alankara Pooja was held for Lord Murugapperuman at the Vasantha Mandapam. Thousands of pilgrims, after participating in the Pooja, resumed their holy trek to Kataragama. Up to 6 July, more than 18,000 Kataragama trekkers have passed through Kumana Jungle. The army has been assisting the pilgrims to successfully complete the trek. more..

Shadow cabinet: Lohan wants out

July 8 (DM) UPFA MP Lohan Ratwatte, who was named City Planning and Water Supply Minister of the Joint Opposition’s shadow cabinet, has requested his name be removed from the list. Speaking to the Daily Mirror, the MP said he was neither aware of the appointment of a shadow cabinet nor who made the appointments. “I requested MP Dullas Alahapperuma to remove my name from the list. I have no idea who made the appointments. more..

JHU wants SAITM abolished

July 8 (Island) JHU urged the govt to abolish the SAITM and to follow the recommendations of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC). JHU Education Secretary Anurudda Pradeep said that the SLMC was empowered to decide whether or not the degrees of medical proficiency conform to prescribed standards or not. If the SLMC refused to recognise medical students who passed out of SAITM there was no reason why the govt should allow the private medical college to continue, more..

Video: Sajin released on bail

July 8 (AD) Former MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, who was arrested on charges of financial fraud, has been released on bail. He was ordered released on a cash bail of Rs 500,000 and 4 personal bails of Rs 500,000 each after being produced before Chief Magistrate today. He was arrested by the CID on June 27 following an investigation initiated into a complaint lodged by a Director of a pvt company accusing Gunawardena of defrauding him for over Rs. 600 million. more..

DIMO, Uni of Moratuwa unveils formula student race car

July 8 (LBO) Diesel & Motor Engineering (DIMO), together with the engineering students from the Mechanical Engineering Department of University of Moratuwa, unveiled D-Mora P1, a car to compete in world’s biggest student motorsport competition. “Univ of Moratuwa is the one of the main hubs of engineering and technical knowledge in the country, and, delivers exceptional individuals in the fields of technical disciplines,” more..

HC reserves order on unlicensed elephant owners’ objections

July 8 (Island) The Colombo High Court Judge Manilal Waidyathilaka yesterday, reserved for July 22, 2016, the order in respect of the Preliminary objections to the Revision Application filed by the Attorney General. The Attorney General has filed the revision against the Magisterial Order which declared that a group of allegedly unlicensed elephants should be given back to the owners to be used in the forthcoming seasonal peraheras of Buddhist temples. more..

IUSF convener remanded for defying court order

July 8 (AM) IUSF Convener Lahiru Weerasekara was remanded till July 15 by Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne for allegedly defying court orders. Police had arrested Weerasekara and produced him before court. Fort Magistrate Court on June 16 ordered the Fort Police to arrest any university students who had defied the court order against their protest on June 15. This order was given by Fort Magistrate when the case against 3 students arrested on June 15 was taken up. more..

PUCSL raps CEB over failure to present long-term generation plans

July 8 (FT) Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) issued a directive to the CEB to present its long-term generation plan to the regulator by 1 August, warning repeated delays could result in the country being pushed into a power crisis. The letter sent by PUCSL Chairman Saliya Mathew to the CEB recalled that the regulator had sent a letter dated 28 December 2015 for the CEB to submit its Least Cost Long Term more..

Peradeniya Science U'grads clash: 5 injured

July 8 (Island) A clash between two groups of science undergraduates of the University of Peradeniya yesterday ended with five of them being injured. The two groups attacked each other with cricket bats, stones and other missiles. The area outside the buildings of the science faculty turned into battle field as large crowds of undergraduates exchanged abuse and missiles. The five students who sustained injuries were admitted to the medical centre of the university, more..

Việt Nam PM wants boost in ties with SL

July 8 (CG) Việt Nam PM Nguyễn Xuân Phúc wants ties with Sri Lanka to increase. Talking to the Ambassador of Sri Lanka, Hasathi Urgodawatt Dissanayke, PM Phúc affirmed the strong ties and traditional co-operation of the past 45 years. But he said the bilateral trade turnover, which was around $200 million last year, could be increased. For her part, Dissanayke echoed Phúc’s opinion of the good relations between the two countries, saying she has made considerable efforts to foster more..

Brexit won’t have major impact on Sri Lankan apparel: Colombo Chamber

July 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka needs to develop a strong local economy that is not vulnerable to changes caused by international incidents, president of CCC, Dr. Amila Kankanamge said expressing his views on Britain leaving the EU. Even though Brexit may not have a large impact on Sri Lankan economy, the island nation should empower the local business community further through an effective program, he said. more..

Rajitha promises to reverse any land grab at Panama

July 8 (Island) President would be requested to take necessary action if a govt minister was behind th alleged land grab in Panama and release lands for resettling displaced people in their native places, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. According to a cabinet decision in Feb 2015, the lands should have been released for building houses for 350 displaced families. "This is not the Rajapaksa regime to grab people’s property," he said. Minister Daya Gamage was behind the land grab in Panama. more..

Nalin Bandara complains to FCID over purchase of two ships

July 8 (AM) UNP MP Nalin Bandara today complained to the FCID over the purchase of two ships during the former regime of Rajapaksa, alleging that a financial fraud amounting to US $ 30 million has taken place in the transaction. According to Bandara, the two ships are valued at US $ 20 million each. However, the govt has spent US $ 35 million each for the ships. Furthermore, it is suspected that the ships have been manufactured in 1997 and that they are repaired old ships. more..

Mangala violated collective Cabinet responsibility: JO

July 8 (DM) Joint opposition urged President to take action against Minister Mangala Samaraweera whom it accused of violating the collective responsibility of the Cabinet. JO MP Dinesh Gunawardane said that Mr Samaraweera had challenged the President through his recent statement that the non-inclusion of foreign judges in judicial mechanism to probe human rights violations was an opinion expressed by President. more..

Lady using her clout to boost family business

July 8 (DM) A powerful fair one who has become a law unto herself at a vital point connected to the country’s economy has been the topic of much hush-hush talk among the employees high and low at the place for some time. The lady said to be having the full weight of the political authority behind her, had been giving orders like mad to issue permits and allow concessions here and there and also to grant tax relief here and levy taxes there. The white collar high-ups who had been forced to more..

Colombo-Trinco economic corridor study by ADB

July 8 (EN) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is studying the possibility of creating an economic corridor between Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo and eastern Trincomalee, a senior official said. “Transport infrastructure is important for connectivity, to send exports out and so that people and products can move very easily from one place to another,” said Wencai Zhang, Vice President of the Asian Development Bank who is on a three-day visit to the island. more..

Swiss to get tough on Lankan refugee status

July 8 (SI) Swiss authorities have announced that they will apply more stringent criteria for granting SL nationals, mostly ethnic Tamils, refugee status. They believe that the situation on the ground has improved since the 2009 civil war. “Today we acknowledge that considerable progress has been made in the area of human rights, for example in freedom of expression & assembly,” State Secretariat for Migration said. more..

Act against Sri Lanka, Jayalalithaa tells Modi

July 8 (IANS) TN Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has urged the Indian govt to undertake a strong diplomatic offensive against Sri Lanka to stop it from arresting Indian fishermen. In a letter of PM Narendra Modi released to the media, Jayalalithaa said: "I have repeatedly emphasized the importance of the govt of India undertaking a strong diplomatic offensive to uphold the rights and interests of Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu." Urging Modi's personal intervention in securing the release more..

Cabinet to decide on essential goods to remove VAT

July 8 (CG) Cabinet will decide on the prices of essential goods when it convenes next Tuesday and VAT will not be added to these items, Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said. “Though VAT component is applied to certain commodities, VAT component is not applied to essential food items” he said. He noted that an issue has been raised recently with regard to the price of consumer goods as the price of essential commodities have been differed significantly from one district to another. more..

Here's how Ranil is going to mess with COPE committee probe into Mahendran (8 Steps)

July 8 (AM) 1) All UNP MPs representing the COPE committee were summoned for a special meeting at Temple Trees on Monday evening. 2) The meeting was chaired by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe who instructed the MPs on how they should deal with the ingoing COPE committee probe into former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran. 3) A day after the meeting, COPE committee members met for a session where more..

Discreet smokescreen covers lies, deceit?

July 9 (NS) Yet, another thing appears quite predictable about Sri Lankan Budgets over the last few years. With every Budget, and non-budget, the increase in the prices of such commodities by gazette notification has simply become a case of expecting the expected. Spare a thought for our embattled govt. The whole beleaguered caboodle appears to be in a pathetic state. As if its hierarchy did have enough on its plate, it was beset by the recent back-to-back disasters. more..

SL benefit from cricket’s Olympic dream?

July 9 (NS) Despite the global cricket family growing every year with many minnows taking to the game, the ICC seems to be fighting shy to obtain Olympic status for this discipline. There is a lot of interest among cricket playing nations to see cricket being included as a discipline at future Olympic Games. The most suitable form of cricket to be included at the games, on a common understanding, is the T20 format. But it seems that the ICC’s decision to rotate the Cricket World Cup from more..

Tall Storeys: High-rise living in Colombo

July 9 (SO) Still under construction, Colombo's Lotus Tower at D.R. Wijewardena Mawatha, currently measuring over 292 meters, is already the most visible landmark in the capital. When completed in Oct 2017, it will stand as the tallest structure in the whole of South Asia at 350 meters. Lotus Tower however has competition. According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), a global body in more..