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China’s Hainan frontrunner for SriLankan

July 20 (DM) On a quest to find a strategic investor to help revive the loss-making national carrier, it is learnt that the government is close to finding a prospective partner to manage SriLankan Airlines. Informed sources told Mirror Business that the firm likely to come on board to manage the debt-laden carrier would be China’s largest privately-owned air transport firm, Hainan Airlines Company Limited (HNA). more..

Invest in skilled labour and technology

July 20 (CT) PM Wickremesinghe who addressed 3rd South Asian Diaspora Convention in Singapore expressed aspirations of pursuing free trade agreements with potential partners in the region and the world. He predicted that by next year, Singapore-India CEPA, Indo-SL ETCA and SL-Singapore FTA will permit the Southern Sub-region of South Asia and Singapore to enter into a tripartite arrangement for trade and investments. Stressing such an arrangement will create a favourable more..

South Asian geopolitics from Sri Lanka’s perspective

July 20 (CT) Building understanding and confidence is a tremendous task that will require great courage, political will and perseverance. But we have a useful example in the region in the form of ASEAN. Both South Asian and East Asian countries have a great deal to learn from this example as we navigate the transitions in the short, medium and long terms. And just as Singapore has over the years helped stakeholders come together and work towards their common interests in South-East Asia, more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lankan shares end little changed; large caps lead losers

July 20 (Reuters) Shares ended little changed on Wednesday as gains led by top conglomerate John Keells Holdings were offset by losses in large caps, while investors turned cautious ahead of a policy statement by the govt in early August. Colombo stock index ended down 0.02%, or 1.32 points lower, at 6,414.49 in thin trade. "Though the market ended in negative note, we have seen some interest in blue chip counters," said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd. more..

Anuradhapura docs’ struggle to save twins successful

July 20 (Island) Doctors at the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital performed an emergency cesarean operation to save the lives of twins recently. The womb of the mother had got separated into two and that kind of operation had not been conducted in the country before. An examination previously conducted in Colombo on the 27-year-old woman, had revealed the condition of her womb and she had been warded at A'pura Hospital for 3 months before she was operated on. more..

O'Keefe ten-for crushes Sri Lankan XI

July 20 (CI) Australia's spinners will move into the Test series well-heeled and confident, after setting in motion a dramatic collapse that yielded seven wickets for 33 runs on the third and final day of their tour fixture, at P Sara Oval. On a surface that had begun to take fast turn, Steve O'Keefe collected his second five-wicket haul of the match, in only 6.5 overs. At the other end, Nathan Lyon tuned up with 2 for 14 from five overs; more..

Three lawyers complain to IGP

July 20 (CT) Three lawyers have complained to the IGP that they were forcibly detained, assaulted, threatened and intimidated by the Kollupitiya Police on 18 July. The lawyers, Sajitha Jayawardena, Ishantha Mendis and Samitha Warnakulasuriya, are representing the Chairperson of a Company, who had lodged a complaint with the Kollupitiya Police, against former SL Ambassador to England Chris Nonis. They said they had gone to the Kollupitiya Police Station on 18 July, more..

Jaffna University Clash: Student leader released on bail

July 20 (DM) Jaffna University Students' Federation President T. Sasidaran was today released on bail by the Jaffna Magistrate after he surrendered to Court in connection with the recent clash among two student factions at the Jaffna University. He surrendered to Court through his Attorney, TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran after the Police launched an investigation based on the statement provided by a student who was seriously injured in the clash. Jaffna Magistrate granted bail more..

Dial 1977: Sri Lanka unleashes enforcers to police price controls

July 20 (EN) Sri Lanka has unleashed 200 enforcers to police price controls and citizens can inform on shop keepers selling above controlled prices by dialling 1977. SL had price controls, shortages black markets and rationing, before 1977, when an administration led by the country's UNP opened the economy. Current price controls are coming under an administration led by the UNP. It is not clear to many observers what has happened more..

TU demands appointment of newly qualified principals to schools

July 20 (Island) Ceylon Teachers Union is planning to hold a demonstration in Colombo on July 22 to pressure govt appoint 3,859 teachers recently promoted as principals to schools. General Secretary of the CTU, Joseph Stalin said that the teachers had passed a qualifying exam and therefore deserved appointments as principals. "We bring in all those new principals to Vihara Maha Devi Park and start a protest march from there demanding authorities to take action to more..

Mahendran will not be part of Trade negotiations: Ministry

July 20 (DM) The Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade today sent the following note: “We write to inform you that the Negotiating Team for the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement with India and FTAs with China and Singapore will comprise of the following: Dr Saman Kelegama, Director General, Department of Commerce; Mr Mangala Yapa; Dr Aritha Wickramanayake; Mr K J Weerasinghe; Representatives of the Ministry of Finance more..

Swiss AG indicts 13 LTTE supporters

July 20 (AGS) The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland has indicted 13 accused associated with the LTTE. The indictment alleges that the accused provided financial support to the LTTE, which is regarded as a presumed terrorist organisation, through a sophisticated microcredit system. 13 accused, who come from Switzerland, Germany & SL, have been charged with supporting and / or being members of a criminal more..

Customs bust another mega vehicle racket

July 20 (Island) Customs Central Investigations Bureau (CIB) has blown the lid off a mega vehicle racket amounting to Rs. 248 million. Acting on a tip-off the CIB conducted a raid on Vehicles Lanka PVT Ltd, Jayapalawatta, Minuwangoda on July 11, and found a fleet of illegally assembled vehicles. However, Customs Director General Chulananda Perera has not yet instructed his officers to seize those vehicles and fine the businessman concerned who will have to pay thrice value of vehicles more..

Govt lost Rs 2B on vehicle permits

July 20 (CT) Auditor General said a loss of Rs 2,000 million had been incurred from the beginning of January 2013 to end of August 2014 when more than a hundred vehicles had been imported by members of Provincial Councils on concessionary permits since they had undervalued the vehicles. This information has been stated in an Audit Review issued to the Director General of Customs under No. FB/D/CUS/2014/32 stating the conclusions of an Audit carried out regarding more..

Chamal loses H’tota DCC Co-Chair

July 20 (CT) District Secretary of Hambantota W.H. Karunaratne said Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has been appointed Co-Chairman of the Hambantota District Coordinating Committee, in place of former Speaker and Hambantota District UPFA MP Chamal Rajapaksa. The District Secretary said the Presidential Secretariat had informed him in writing about the new appointment. more..

Sunday Leader editor’s killing: Senior DIG among four retired top cops to be arrested

July 20 (Island) Police investigating the assassination of The Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunga on Jan 8, 2008 would soon arrest four retired police officers, including three high ranking personnel, police headquarters sources said yesterday. Among those expected to be arrested were a Senior DIG and a DIG. Wickrematunga was on his way to work at the time of the attack. Sources said that the retired officers had suppressed information about the crime. more..

Sri Lanka briefs EU on moves to repeal anti-terror laws

July 20 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka and the European Union (EU) have had talks on the progress with regards to moves to repeal anti-terror laws, Sri Lanka's foreign ministry said on Wednesday. The Foreign Ministry said that Sri Lanka and the EU discussed the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and the release or prosecution of detainees held under the PTA, and the establishment of the transitional mechanisms for truth, reconciliation, justice and reparations were also discussed. more..

Malaysian Deputy PM here for talks tomorrow

July 20 (Bernama) Malaysian Deputy PM Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi begins a two-day working visit to Sri Lanka Thursday with a tight schedule that includes a courtesy call on President Maithripala Sirisena. Malaysian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Wan Zaidi Wan Abdullah, speaking to Malaysian journalists at the Malaysian Embassy, said Ahmad Zahid's visit was aimed at enhancing bilateral relations more..

Ranil says no to Casinos

July 20 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has declared that there will be no room for casinos in Sri Lanka. Speaking at an even held at the Shangri-La hotel in Singapore on Tuesday, Wickremesinghe underscored that his government will not permit any casino to be built in the country. He made this statement in response to a question raised by a businessman at the meeting, as to whether SL govt encourages casino investments. “There is absolutely no room for new casinos in SL. more..

Norway and UNDP partner to expand support to resettled communities

July 20 (CG) UNDP Sri Lanka and Norway have signed a partnership agreement to extend the Govt of Norway’s support to the recently resettled communities in the Jaffna and Trincomalee Districts (with an emphasis on the Thellipallai and Sampoor areas). The agreement was signed between UNDP SL Resident Representative, Ms. Lovita Ramguttee and Ambassador of Norway to SL Thorbjørn Gaustadsæther. Under this partnership, UNDP SL, through the support of Govt of Norway, more..

Thewarapperuma fiasco: children get a new school

July 20 (DM) The nine children who had been refused admission to Meegahathenna Primary School were admitted today to Matugama St. Mary’s College on a Presidential order. President Sirisena who looked into the issue ordered the Western Province Director of Education Wimal Gunaratne to find a school for the children concerned. On the instructions of Provincial Director of Education, Matugama Zonal Director more..

Attempt to smuggle out stock of foreign currencies foiled

July 20 (Island) Customs officials yesterday nabbed a woman trying to smuggle out a stock of foreign currencies hidden inside false bottoms of three bags. The arrest had been made on a tip-off, said Customs Director Parakrama Basnayake. The suspect woman is from Kalutara. Customs Director Basnayake said two other passengers who were with the suspect woman had also been detained and questioned. Among the foreign currencies taken into custody were Kuwait Dinars, Qatar Riyals, more..

SEC halts payment on controversial Agalawatte deal

July 20 (EN) Securities and Exchange Commission has ordered a stock broker to halt the payment on a 60% stake in Agalawatte Plantations, following a complaint by some shareholders of the privately held controlling Mackwoods group. Members of Nonis family are involved in multiple legal battles alleging mis-management of the group by Chrishantha Nonis, who is de facto chairman. A 60% stake of Agalawatte Plantations, a listed company owned by Mackwoods Plantations, more..

Govt and World Bank sign agreement to develop Jaffna with Galle, Kandy

July 20 (FC) Govt of Sri Lanka and the World Bank today signed a $55 million loan to Sri Lanka to improve urban services, preserve cultural and environment assets, and improve livability in Jaffna, adding the city to an existing project to develop Galle and Kandy. The credit agreement for the project was signed by Dr. R.H.S. Samarathunga Secretary to the Treasury, and Françoise Clottes, World Bank Country Director for Sri Lanka. more..

JO Pada Yathra: no SLFP support, says Duminda

July 20 (DN) SLFP will not support the Pada Yathra protest march against the govt organised by the Joint Opposition, SLFP General Secretary Minister Duminda Dissanayake said. He said so far no SLFP parliamentarian has intimated that they will join the protest march, slated to start from Kandy on July 28. Questioned whether the SLFP will initiate disciplinary action against its members who may participate disregarding party wishes, he said this has not been discussed so far. more..

Hakeem welcomes defeat of Turkish coup attempt

July 20 (Island) Minister and SLMC Leader, Rauff Hakeem, in statement on Turkey's triumph over antidemocratic military putsch said that the heroic display of solidarity with the elected govt by the people will be universally celebrated by all democratic societies. Full text: "As the President of the SL- Turkey Friendship Association, I congratulate the People and the govt of Turkey for crushing antidemocratic military putsch attempted by a handful of misguided adventurists. more..

Yahapalanaya: Distributing people's hard-earned money among minister's supporters

July 20 (DM) While admitting in Parliament today that 45 people were appointed as consultants of the Southern Transport Development Project of the RDA on a monthly payment of Rs.65,000 each, Minister Lakshman Kiriella said the govt should look after those who ensured a thumping electoral victory from the Kandy district at the two elections. Minister who is also the Leader of the House said this in response to a question more..

Jaffna Campus rumpus requires our serious attention

July 21 (CT) A few days ago, there was a clash between Tamil and Sinhala students at the Freshers’ Party, at the Science Faculty of the University of Jaffna. There has been an avalanche of responses to this event. Most have expressed self-righteous outrage, some are gloating in a kind of we told you so – Tamil Tigers are alive and well way and a few (too few) have reflected on the seriousness of this event and what it means in terms of reconciliation and community relations. more..

The fundamental reasons behind the Jaffna University brawl

July 21 (CT) Note – I have a special message to those self-proclaimed guardians of justice and law, who call for an independent investigation of the Jaffna University brawl. Please lie down on your back. Make sure there is no wind. Spit on the air and experience the outcome. Think about the thousands of Tamil Civilians massacred in the War against Tamil Terrorism and remember, this country is not even ready to investigate those massacres. This country has seen so much of violence. more..

Let there be light

July 21 (SL) CEB awaits the recommendations of govt policy makers to put the final touches to the long-term electricity generation plan. When contacted, CEB Chairman Anura Wijayapala said that the govt had issued instructions on the forthcoming Sampur power plant complex in Trincomalee. “We were told not to go for coal in Sampur,” he stressed. However, he said that they were not given specific instructions about more..

Power plant ball games: Season 4 has begun

July 21 (Island) The year was 1999. The country was approaching a severe shortage of power generating capacity, with blackouts in the horizon. Engineers had previously planned to build major power plants to be operational by 1992, but their plans had been repeatedly thrown out of balance. President 1 did his best to build the power plant at Trincomalee, but failed; President 2 pushed it to the South, while his Energy Minister scuttled a tender for a stop-gap diesel power plant, which more..

Why Mangala must exit and Amunugama must enter

July 21 (DM) Sooner, rather than later, there will have to be a Mexit: Mangala Samaraweera’s exit from the Foreign Ministry. His abject West-fetishism instead of Realist multi-polarity is counter-productively anomalous as SL returns to an Eastward reliance in foreign investment. At the least, his policies will be electorally ruinous - at a national level he is a cross between an electoral albatross and an electoral suicide-bomber. His agenda poses an existential threat to State’s sovereignty more..

'Reconciliation necessary for political solution'

July 21 (CT) NPC Opposition Leader Sinnadurai Thavarajah commenting on the recent clash between students, at the Jaffna University said this clash should have been totally avoided, "It will not help us in any way to establish unity in our country. Reconciliation is necessary to bring about a Constitutional Amendment to solve the political issue. Without proper reconciliation a political solution is impossible." more..

All signs point to a hard grind Test series

July 21 (NS) Sri Lanka hope to bring all the positives gained from their tour of England into the three Test series against Australia which is scheduled to begin with the first game in Pallakele on July 26. Aussies are a force in any form of cricket and do their homework needed to know all about the opposition. It’s no secret that the hosts are recovering from the battering they received in England. However, Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford sees positives from the tour of the UK and told media more..

Think outside the box, the way out

July 21 (DN) It will not be wrong to say that we are a country in a permanent state of crisis, but one that no one can fully explain. Saddled with a constitution that is damned all around, an economy barely moving, simmering racial and other social tensions, leaders only distinguished by their mediocrity, primary institutions which have lost all credibility; a gloom, peculiar to a specific set of circumstances, holds the nation firmly in its grip. We are prisoners of our own minds and creatures of habit. more..

W A Wijewardena: CB Bond Scam

Joint opposition’s shadow cabinet: A malignancy beyond cure

July 21 (DM) Joint Opposition has knowingly thrown a challenge at the morality of all decent men and women in Sri Lanka. Announcing a Shadow Cabinet that consists of those who once occupied the most rewarding portfolios of the defeated Mahinda Rajapaksa-regime and whose many dealings are being questioned at various commissions and committees today is simply preposterous and pathetic. The bare audacity to challenge the intelligence of average voter is further proof more..

Editorial: SLFP’s dilemma

July 21 (Island) The SLFP finds itself in a peculiar position. Politically speaking, it is neither fish nor fowl. It is part of the incumbent govt and at the same time it tries to act as an Opposition party. One may call this political cross-dressing, which, however, is not of recent origin. Individual politicians have practised it since Independence and the last govt was full of them. But, it was only after the 2015 general election that a mainstream party adopted it as a policy. more..

Cultural dance ends in uncultured behaviour

July 21 (DN) Music and dance usually bring people together, but in the case of a welcome procession for first year Science Faculty students at Jaffna Uni, dance has divided students rather than unite them. On Saturday, a clash between two student groups left six students injured, with one in critical condition. The students had fought over which cultural dance; traditional Tamil Nadaswaram or Sinhalese kandyan dance, more..