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Bank of Ceylon among the top 1000 banks in the world and ranked No. 1 in SL

July 21 (Island) The Banker U.K Magazine revealed The Bank of Ceylon as the No. 1 Bank in Sri Lanka among the World’s Top 1000 Banks in its July 2016 issue. BOC has won many accolades and recognition in the recent past including the title as the Strongest Bank in the country given by the Asian Banker for the strength of its 2015 balance sheet, the Gold Award as the winner of the National Business Excellence Awards Ceremony and being named the No.1 Brand in the country more..

CA suspends transfer of lady teacher at impugned instigation by Minister

July 21 (FT) Court of Appeal issued an Interim Order suspending the impugned transfer of a lady graduate teacher from Kurenegala to Moneragala district at the alleged malice on the part of the Education Minister. Bench comprising Justices Vijith Malalgoda (President of CA) and Padman Surasena directed to issue notices on the Minister and the Ministry Secretary returnable for 1 August. The aggrieved teacher who was serving at the Wayamba National College of Education, Bingiriya more..

And miles to go…

July 21 (FT) This month SL marked the 33rd anniversary of one of the darkest periods in the island’s history. Sparked by a LTTE ambush of soldiers in the North on 23 July 1983, anti-Tamil riots swept across the country, tacitly sponsored by the state; the legacy of a past steeped in discrimination, resentment and majoritarian policymaking that would herald a brutal and bloody future over the next three decades. more..

CID to reopen probes on Journo attacks

July 21 (CT) CID is planning to revive probes, from whence such inquiries had been stalled, relating to the abduction and assault of two former senior journalists, Upali Tennakoon and Keith Noyahr. CID sources said that, in an effort to revive the investigations, they had already questioned a former DIG, related to the two incidents, last month. CID it is reported had questioned the retired DIG on two separate occasions, before recording statements from him and had uncovered information on more..

‘Coconut-growing project in North and East, most welcome’

July 21 (Island) A special coconut development project in the Northern and Eastern provinces had been inaugurated by Minister Navin Disssnayake, on July 9 costing about Rs. 3000 million. This project is reported to develop infrastructure, model coconut gardens, and regional research and extension stations including human resources. This is welcome news for the coconut industry as the project could bring substantial extent of new land under coconut cultivation in these two provinces more..

GMOA frowns on Rajitha’s plain packaging move

July 21 (Island) GMOA urged Minister Rajitha Senaratne to discuss with all stakeholders the Health Ministry’s decision to introduce plain packaging instead of the pictorial warnings on 80% of the display area of packets of cigarette. GMOA Secretary, Dr Naveen Zoysa said the Minister should reveal the fora where the issue had been discussed. ‘Plain packaging is practised in Australia and several other countries. more..

Sri Lankan visit an eye-opener

July 21 (NZH) Whakatane dairy farmer Troy Doherty says spending four weeks in SL as part of a volunteer scheme organised by Fonterra opened his eyes to an industry that is light years behind New Zealand. He was part of a delegate of four farmers selected nationally for a farmer volunteer scheme designed to share knowledge and insights. Fonterra has been operating in SL for more than 35 years - and PM John Key opened Fonterra's new demonstration farm in the country in April. more..

Maduwantha overlooked

July 21 (CT) SL National Selection Committee announced a 12-member Under-18 squad that will take part in the Second Asian Schools Rugby Sevens Championship in Hong Kong this weekend. S. Thomas' wing three quarter Naveen Henakankanamge will lead the team which also consists of three players each from doubleatitle winners Isipathana College and Trinity College, Kandy. Among the Isipathana players are centre Sumudu Rankothge, scrum half Harith more..

Appoint commission to probe Jaffna varsity fracas: Wigneswaran and Thavarajah

July 21 (ENS) C.V.Wigneswaran, Chief Minister of Northern Province, and S. Thavarajah, Leader of Opposition in the NPC, have together asked the govt to set up a full-fledged Commission of Inquiry to conduct an in-depth probe into last Saturday’s clash between Tamil and Sinhalese students in Jaffna University saying that the fracas was a manifestation of deeper problems faced by the Tamils of North Lanka. more..

Ticket to cricket abyss: Why forget the homegrown

July 21 (ST) Are these some very ominous signs? At the news conference which was held to welcome the Australian cricketers, none of the big guns of Sri Lanka Cricket was present. The most conspicuous being the absence of Jayantha Dharmadasa, SLC’s pillar in charge of international cricket, and the ceremony was chaired by CEO Ashley de Silva. In general terms this should be the case, but, according to the present Sri Lankan culture it does not happen in this manner. more..

SLT improves location based public Wi-Fi Hotspot services

July 21 (Island) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has improved its post-paid and pre-paid Wi-Fi services by continuously expanding its hotspots coverage in important locations with Wi-Fi hotspots broadcasting SSID: SLT broadband. The company introduced a range of pre-paid options to improve user convenience. Recently, the latest addition of carrier-grade Wi-Fi hotspots to its network went live at the University of Peradeniya. SLT launched the first ever cutting-edge carrier-grade public Wi-Fi more..

Only two of 56 newly appointed RDA consultants have passed GCE A/L

July 21 (CT) Minister Lakshman Kiriella, told Parliament the govt had been predisposed to recruit individuals that assisted the UNP to secure a significant win at the General Election, to posts of consultants to various projects under the RDA. He made these remarks in response to a question posed by JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa, who inquired as to how and why a Bhikkhu had been recruited by the RDA as a consultant to more..

COPE instructs SLC to submit AG’s report

July 21 (DN) The Committee on Public Enterprise (COPE) instructed Sri Lanka Cricket to submit a report on the Auditor General's report on an institution set up to collect funds. COPE committee summoned the Sports Ministry and Sri Lanka Cricket officials before them yesterday. According to Parliamentary sources the COPE had inquired if an institution had been set up outside the provisions of Sri Lanka Cricket constitution to collect funds to develop cricket in Sri Lanka. more..

Former IGP grilled

July 21 (DN) Former IGP Jayantha Wickramaratne was questioned by CID recently in connection with the murder of former Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickremetunga. Prassana Nananaykara who was a Senior DIG and Chandra Wakishta who was a DIG at the time of the murder together with former Mount Lavinia Police SSP Hemantha Adikari were also questioned. CID also hopes to obtain advice from the Attorney General to question Army Intelligence Officer Kandegedera Piyawansa, more..

Thajudeen murder: CID says PSD men grilled

July 21 (CT) CID informed Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris that they had questioned, in detail, several PSD officers, who had provided security to Joint Opposition (JO) and SLFP MPs Mahinda Rajapaksa, Namal Rajapaksa and Yoshitha Rajapaksa, in relation to the brutal slaying of former rugby player Wasim Thajudeen. Senior State Counsel Dilan Ratnayake, appearing for the Attorney General (AG), told Court that more..

President removes D.V Upul, puts Gunasena

July 21 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena removed Southern Provincial Councilor D.V. Upul from his position of Southern Provincial Council Fisheries, Livestock, Environment, Electricity and Rural Industries Minister and appointed the UPFA Provincial Councilor H.W. Gunasena for the portfolio. Gunasena assumed his duties yesterday. Upul was on bail after being arrested by the CID in June 2015 over allegations of making several controversial comments including threatening more..

Ranil urges tri-nation economic convergence

July 21 (hindu) Improving on his 2003 idea of converting south India-Sri Lanka sub-region into a single market, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is now for economic collaboration among his country, Singapore and the five southern States of India. Describing his proposal as a “vision of convergence that is inextricably interwoven with the future of South Asia as a whole,” he said the proposed arrangement had the potential of enhancing economic cooperation among the 3 countries more..

‘Casinos out for investors’

July 21 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said no investor will be allowed to set up casinos in SL. PM said this answering a question when he addressed a Business Forum in Singapore. When discussions were held regarding investment sectors to be promoted in SL in future, one businessman asked PM whether the present govt would encourage the setting up of casino industries in SL as previous regime did in encouraging more..

'To keep align with IOC principles: Sports Law will be amended shortly'

July 21 (DN) The Sports Law will be amended shortly according to the principles of the International Olympic Charter, Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said. He was participating in the debate in Parliament yesterday on several regulations under the Sports Law. The minister said the Sports Law which is in force since 1973 would be revised in order to make it compatible with the basic principles laid out by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). more..

Lankan paddlers win nine out of ten golds: Dominate at South Asian Junior TT

July 21 (DN) Sri Lankan paddlers swept the board winning gold in nine out of ten finals at South Asian Junior Table Tennis Championships concluded in Karachi, Pakistan from July 15-17. Sri Lanka won gold in the four team events – Junior Boys, Junior Girls, Cadet Boys and Cadet Girls and five golds in the individual events – Junior Boys single and doubles, Junior Girls singles and doubles and Cadet Girls singles. The only event that SL were deprived of a gold was in the Cadet Boys final more..

Committee to probe coal tender bungle

July 21 (CT) Minister Ranjit Siyambalapitiya, informed Parliament CEB had incurred staggering losses due to problems in the coal stocks supplied by company Nobel Resources; and that a 3-member committee has been appointed to investigate in this regard. Minister, citing several examples, said that Nobel Resources had supplied coal at prices higher that index price since 2011, which had resulted in more..

GPS system faulty in most buses

July 21 (Island) Deputy Minister Ashok Abeysinghe told Parliament the govt would launch a special project to rectify the flaws in the GPS system used in buses and enable commuters to get all information about the buses via SMS. Responding to a question raised by JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti, Deputy Minister admitted that there were flaws in the GPS system installed a cost of Rs 61 million in buses. He said the system was functional only in 800 out of 2,085 buses in which it was installed. more..

Mike Hussey confident of Australia's success in Sri Lankan conditions

July 21 (CB) Mike Hussey, the former Australian batsman, believes Australia's inexperience in Sri Lankan conditions will be challenging to deal with but is confident they can replicate the success of their predecessors five years ago. Only three of Australia's 15-man squad have experienced Test cricket in Sri Lanka and eight of their players have never played five-day cricket in the subcontinent. In the past decade, Australia has only won one Test in Asia - against Sri Lanka in Galle 5 years ago. more..

PM denies existence of Task Force for National reconciliation

July 21 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that he was not aware of an institution by the name of Task Force for National Reconciliation. He said so in answer to a question by NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, who demanded to know whether an institution by the name of Task Force for National Reconciliation had been set up with former President Chandrika Kumaratunga appointed as its head. more..

Civilising the civil and public service

July 21 (DM) In Britain and several other Western countries, the civil and public services have to a large extent functioned independently, effectively and beyond party politics. Govts may change but the civil and public service go on to serve the people in line with the policies of the administration. This was one of the gifts or positive features that Britain left behind in Sri Lanka when we became independent in 1948. We saw some distortions or aberrations since 1948 but the major change to more..

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but

July 21 (DM) Contexts count. Hostage rescue operations are different from wars. Responding to military aggression is different from declaring war on a country on a pretext such as the possession of non-existent weapons of mass destruction. July ’83 is different from July ’16. Clashes between raggers and anti-raggers are different from the clash that took place a few days ago at the Jaffna University. Contexts count. And they frame the assessment of responses. more..

Bus fares up but commuters’ rights to better service not addressed

July 21 (ST) This week, private bus operators got yet another increase of 6% on fares, but passengers complain that their right to a better service has failed, as always to draw attention during negotiations. Complaints include overcrowded buses and the uncouth behaviour of conductors and drivers who treat passengers like herds of cattle. Critics argue that although there are provisions in Transport Act for negotiations more..

TUs want President to take over Customs

July 21 (DM) Hitting back at Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake on his remarks to go ahead with the new Customs Act despite objections, Customs Trade Unions yesterday urged President Maithripala Sirisena to either remove Minister Karunanayake or to bring the Customs under his purview. Minister said that he would go ahead with the proposed Customs Act and described those opposing the Act as offenders. more..

'I do not intend to contest elections in future'

July 21 (DM) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa, before he was arrested and remanded, said that the SLFP had virtually been divided at the moment. He said the new political movement braced for any election or referendum at any moment. Q: How do you look to the JO’s future political programme? A: In Badulla, we started a political programme with a long term vision. Before that, we engaged with all our stakeholders and more..

Ravi K bemoans Revenue Proposals challenged in court

July 21 (DM) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, says VAT increase was introduced with the aim of collecting Rs.100 billion in terms of revenue for the govt. However, he said it was regrettable to note the revenue proposals being challenged in court. Q: How do you analyse the present status of economy with reference to the financial situation of the govt? A: If you look at it from a broader aspect, it is a much safer, more..

A pricing formula for private sector healthcare services

July 21 (DM) Private hospital charges for surgeries, medical tests, scanning and drugs will be regulated by pricing formula making it affordable to the rich and the middle class while the National Medicinal Drugs Policy will introduced in six months, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. At a ceremony to mark the opening of the Sports Medicines Unit, the newly constructed Nurses Quarters, JMO office and Eye clinic at the Kandy General Hospital, more..

Video: Women too affected by cigarette, alcohol price increases: Geetha

July 21 (DM) Joint Opposition MP Geetha Kumarasinghe said the impact of the increase in the prices of cigarette and alcohol would effect women as well because it was unlikely that those who were in the habit of drinking and smoking would stop or even reduce their alcohol and nicotine intake even if prices for these items go up. “When a country’s economy is collapsing, it is the women who are greatly affected by it. more..

New Act to bring relief to those who lost land in N&E during war

July 21 (Island) Retired Fleet Chief Petty Officer W.A.M. Fernando said that some those who had been forced to abandon their properties in the Northern and Eastern Provinces during the conflict were still struggling to regain ownership nearly nine years after the end of the war. Fernando said that he had moved the Trincomalee District court in 2010 against two persons who had grabbed nearly 12 perches out of his 20 perch block more..

Poor reputation of employers hinders worker recruitment: Sri Lanka envoy

July 21 (AN) Sri Lanka’s Ambassador Mohammed Azmi has confirmed that the number of Sri Lankan workers in the Kingdom exceeds 200,000, with 100,000 working in professional fields and 100,000 working as domestic workers. He said the embassy is working on solving the issue of runaway workers among household workers by promoting more awareness and launching training programs at Sri Lankan recruitment offices, as well as by more..

Video: SL in a mess; so many trying to govern it: Gammanpila

July 21 (DM) UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila said the country was in a mess because too many groups including the US and India, apart from President and PM, are attempting to govern the country. Responding to a question by a journalist he said at least five groups are holding the reins of the country. “President Maithripala Sirisena thinks it’s he who runs the country and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe thinks it’s him. more..

Top candidate for post of UN chief backs criticism linked to Sri Lanka

July 21 (CG) Helen Clark, a leading candidate for the post of UN Secretary General, says there were legitimate criticisms of the way the UN dealt with Sri Lankan abuses during the civil war with the LTTE. She also said the UN must do a better job at combating the root causes of violent extremism and global insecurity. Clark spoke to the Guardian in New York just days before UN security council holds the first of three straw polls more..

How the New York Fed fumbled over the Bangladesh Bank heist

July 21 (Reuters) Jupiter. That single word, by a stroke of luck, helped stop the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from paying nearly $1 billion to the cyber-criminals behind a notorious bank heist earlier this year, according to sources familiar with the incident. When hackers broke into the computers of Bangladesh's central bank in February and sent fake payment orders, the Fed was tricked into paying out $101 million. But the losses could have been much higher had the name Jupiter not more..

India to build US$ 1.8 mn auditorium at University of Ruhuna

July 21 (PTI) India today said it will build a1500-seat auditorium at a cost of USD 1.8 million at a university in southern Sri Lanka as part of its development partnership with the country in the field of higher education. The govt of India is undertaking a project to set up the Rabindranath Tagore Memorial Auditorium in the University of Ruhuna in the southern town of Matara at a cost of Sri Lanka rupees 265 million, a statement from the Indian High Commission said. more..

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Siriwardana left out of SL squad for first Test

July 21 (CI) Fast bowlers Vishwa Fernando and Asitha Fernando, and left-arm wristspinner Lakshan Sandakan have been flown in from Sri Lanka A's tour of England to the national squad for the first Test against Australia. With so many frontline Test bowlers currently unavailable due to injury, Sri Lanka's selectors have been forced to look to the next tier of players for replacements. Three bowlers - all of whom are uncapped - more..