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Marvelous MPs

July 22 (FT) Performance rankings for Sri Lanka’s 8th Parliament constituted in August 2015 were released by, with members of the opposition JVP dominating the Top-5 list. JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake leads the rankings, with his party member Sunil Handunetti coming in second. UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana comes in third in the rankings, with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe ranking 4th on the list more..

Sri Lanka will play constructive role in Asia’s peaceful development: Mangala

July 22 (DM) Sri Lanka will play a constructive role in promoting dialogue and cooperation for peaceful development in the region, Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. Delivering a speech under the theme Geo-Politics of South Asia at the South Asia Diaspora Conference in Singapore on Monday, the minister acknowledged that Singapore too had played a major role in helping stakeholders come together and work towards their common interests in South-East Asia. more..

PM commends Parliament action over Jaffna University clashes

July 22 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday commended Parliament for acting responsibly and helping to defuse tensions between students who clashed last Saturday during a welcome ceremony held at the University of Jaffna. However, the PM accused one parliamentarian of trying to capitalise on the incident. “But unfortunately there is one particular member who was eager to take advantage. He could find racism among blacks in Uganda if necessary. more..

'Need to understand characters as captain'

July 22 (CI) Captaining a cricket team is about man management, according to Mahela Jayawardene, who said his style of leadership was about allowing individuals the space to express themselves within a framework of rules. He was speaking about captaincy and how he grew into the job for SL. Mahela captained SL in 38 Tests (won 18, lost 12), 126 ODIs (w 68, l 49) and 19 T20Is (w 12, l 6) between 2004 and 2013. more..

Malan 185* leads Lions rout of Sri Lanka A

July 22 (CI) Dawid Malan rewrote the record books as England Lions made it two wins out of two in the 50-over Tri-Series by crushing Sri Lanka A in Northampton as comfortably as they had beaten Pakistan A in the opener in Cheltenham on Tuesday. Malan, who is leading the Lions for the first time in this series after his impressive performances in the winter, struck an unbeaten 185 from 126 balls with 16 fours and eight sixes - a new record for the Lions or England A in List A cricket, more..

Travel documents forgery ring busted

July 22 (CT) CID in Katunayake arrested a woman who attempted to travel to Kuwait with a forged passport bearing a fake Kuwait visa on 3 June 2016 from BIA. The authorities were able to track the forged passport and visa including the press where it was printed. Investigations lead to the arrest of a suspect with 28 bogus passports in his possession. Suspect was a resident of Ampara, and was apprehended in Colombo. He was produced in Courts on 17 July and remanded til 29 July. more..

Sri Lanka may shut 31 IDP camps in Jaffna

July 22 (Hindu) Govt is planning to close down all 31 camps of IDPs in the Jaffna district of the Northern Province and complete resettlement of 971 families by August 15. An official document, refers to the govt’s plan. Sources reveal that 204 houses are being built in Palaly and KKS with the help of SL Army. Minister D.M. Swaminathan asserts that there is no time frame to close down the camps, but we are doing all what we can. more..

Govt to lend Rs 1bn to private plantations for mandated wage hike

July 22 (EN) The govt is to lend up to a Rs1 billion to private regional plantations companies through two state banks to enable them to give a monthly Rs2500 pay hike to workers. Cabinet Committee on Economic Management has recommended financial aid to plantations companies given difficulties they face owing to depressed tea prices in the world market. A Rs. 2500 monthly wage increment proposed for private sector should also be applied for employees in plantation companies, more..

University of Jaffna Alumni Association Colombo Chapter laments clashes

July 22 (FT) University of Jaffna Alumni Association Colombo Chapter has expressed its sadness over recent clashes among its students and has called for greater reconciliation and unity. Following is the full text of the message issued by President Kingsley Bernard, Secretary M.B. Dissanayake and Treasurer G.M.K. Bandara. University of Jaffna, or the Jaffna Campus of the University of Sri Lanka as it was then known, was inaugurated in October 1974, by then Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. more..

UL taxiing for reform

July 22 (FT) Taxiing to take-off on its restructuring plans, SriLankan Airlines will hand over its European route-plying A330 aircraft to PIA with the crew and delivery of the first one already finalised for next month. Minister Kabir Hashim along with his Deputy Eran Wickramaratne, outlining a host of new measures to turn around the fortunes of debt-ridden national carrier, said aircraft currently flying to Paris, Rome & Frankfurt more..

Mihin Lanka to wind up this year

July 22 (DN) Mihin Lanka will wind up its operations this year.The airline will be absorbed to the national carrier SriLankan, Minister Kabir Hashim said. Mihin Lanka’s destination network includes Dhaka in Bangladesh, Jakarta and Medan in Indonesia as well as Madurai, Kolkata, Gaya and Varanasi in India. The airline also flies to Sharjah and Bahrain in the Middle East, as well as Lahore in Pakistan & Seychelles. Airline also launched daily flights to Jakarta from yesterday. more..

MPs disappointed by Murali’s Aussie consultancy: Thilanga

July 22 (DM) SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala said yesterday that MPs had expressed disappointment over the country’s cricket legend Muttiah Muralitharan joining the Australian team as a spin bowling Consultant. Sumathipala, who is also the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, said the MPs had said that someone like Muralitharan who is loved dearly by the country joining a country like Australia comes as a surprise. “However, there is nothing unethical in this move by Murali. more..

Agreement reached on converting SAITM into semi-state venture

July 22 (Island) Deans of medical faculties of state universities yesterday agreed to the govt’s proposal to convert the SAITM in Malabe into a semi-govt venture. Deans of medical faculties of seven state universities reached that agreement during a discussion with Minister Lakshman Kiriella yesterday. Deans had participated in the discussion with the minister in the presence of Chairman of UGC Prof. Mohan De Silva, more..

PM briefs Parliament on Singaporean sojourn

July 22 (FT) Returning from a successful official visit to Singapore, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe updated the House on the details of his meetings, including the agreements brokered and support garnered for the development of SL. “I revealed to the Singaporeans the programs we have launched to transform Sri Lanka into a regional transhipment centre and business and commerce hub as well as the development taking place within our sea, air, highways, energy and telecom sectors. more..

Video: SLFP threatens defeat of VAT

July 22 (DM) SLFP would defeat VAT Amendment if SLFP proposals were not incorporated or if the tax was increased to 15%, SLFP Spokesman Dilan Perera said. “We will definitely defeat the VAT Amendment if the amendments do not include our proposals and with the ideas taken from the affected communities in the country,” he said. The issue regarding recent VAT increase, was discussed by President, PM and Finance Minister with the people who connected in the country recently, more..

Customs Laws won't be diluted: President

July 22 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena said that he would not allow the Customs Law to be diluted by the proposed Customs Ordinance. He gave this assurance at a meeting with a group of Customs trade union representatives. Trade unionists met President to discuss the controversial customs ordinance. they stressed that the proposed customs ordinance would only serve the interests of racketeers. more..

Rs. 1.17 b allocated for Salawa compensation

July 22 (FT) Cabinet has given the green light for compensation payments of Rs. 1.17 billion to people who lost their homes in the Salawa disaster. The Treasury has been ordered to release the funds and it would be paid to the victims over the next few weeks. According to assessments carried out by the Disaster Management Ministry, 1,404 houses will be given Rs. 100,000 each as compensation while 390 more will be allocated assistance between Rs. 100,000 and Rs. 1 million. more..

Malaysia to study request for SL workers

July 22 (TS) The Malaysian govt will study Sime Darby Group Bhd’s request to bring in workers from Sri Lanka to work in the plantation sector, says Deputy PM Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. He said Malaysia would also look into a request by Sri Lanka to send more of its skilled and semi-skilled workers. “Sime Darby has asked for 5,000 workers from Sri Lanka to work in its plantations. “Both countries will have to study the legal aspects of the request and if approved, more..

Video: Largest ever cocaine haul seized

July 22 (DM) The largest ever detection of cocaine, weighing 274 kg and valued at around Rs. 4.1 billion, was made yesterday. It had been found inside a container of sugar in the Peliyagoda container yard. Container was seized by Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB). There was another suspicious container in the yard and it was to be inspected. The cocaine consignment had been brought to the country from Brazil. more..

Balangoda kitchen; Women are good political cooks, not crooks

July 22 (DM) Though many may have forgotten it, yesterday, July 21 marked the new chapter in the history of Sri Lanka. Exactly 56 years ago, on July 21, 1960 the 44-year-old Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike became the world’s first woman PM. At that time even the Western media to a large extent, were not gender friendly and somewhat male chauvinistic, though the widely respected Guardian newspaper yesterday spotlighted five strategies for creating gender equality in the media. more..

Extremism foiled but not permanently

July 22 (DM) Unlike during the communal riots in the past, very few groups tried to rouse the communal feelings of Sinhalese and Tamils following the clash between the Tamil and the Sinhalese students in Jaffna University that took place on last Saturday. In the South it was former President Rajapaksa and his right-hand man NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa who seemed to be attempting to take political mileage from the incident by stirring feelings among Sinhalese while EPRLF leader and more..

Proposed Constitution: Division on Executive Presidency and 13A

July 22 (SL) Discussions on the proposed amended or new Constitution has resulted in a division with some pushing to maintain the Executive Presidency with reduced powers. President Sirisena, in his election manifesto ahead of the Presidential elections last year, had promised to abolish the Executive Presidency. However most political parties engaged in talks to draft a new Constitution or amend existing Constitution more..

Jumbos for pageants, but not those going back to the wilds

July 22 (ST) The perahera (pageant) must go on but not at the cost of elephants which are born free and are to be gently guided back into the wild to live free. This is the categorical consensus among many environmentalists in the wake of a Cabinet paper last week to source elephants for peraheras not only from the Pinnawela orphanage but also from Eth Athuru Sevana (Elephant Transit Home — ETH) at Uda Walawe. more..

Lehmann outlines Sri Lanka blueprint

July 22 (CI) Twin spin, batting big and being wary of how a deteriorating pitch can dictate the pace of play. Australia's coach Darren Lehmann highlighted these areas as key battlegrounds in the series against Sri Lanka, as the touring team moved out of their initial Colombo base to prepare for the first Test match in Kandy. Steve O'Keefe's 10-wicket haul opposite Nathan Lyon has more than likely vaulted him back into Test XI more..

'Jaffna Uni clash perpetrators identified'

July 22 (CT) Minister Lakshman Kiriella, said action with regard to the violent clash at University of Jaffna would be taken upon the recommendation of the three member committee appointed to probe the incident. “Committee comprises senior academics of the Jaffna University. Namely, Engineering Faculty Board Member D.K.P.U. Gunathilake, Obstetrics and Gynecology Department Head Dr. K. Muhunthan and more..

Office of Missing Persons not subject to Right to Information Act

July 22 (Island) Controversy surrounds govt’s decision to exempt the proposed Office of Missing Persons (OMP) from the provisions of the much advertised, unanimously accepted Right to Information Act (RIA) for all intents and purposes. Former Media Secretary Charitha Herath said that having repeatedly assured the RIA would guarantee the right of the public to know, OMP Bill had proposed severe restrictions on more..

French giant Total S.A eyeing oil off East Coast

July 22 (DN) French oil and gas company Total S.A will be the first French investor to explore gas and oil blocks in Sri Lanka if the ongoing geological, technical surveys on two ultra-deep water blocks off the east coast of Sri Lanka become successful. French Ambassador to Sri Lanka Jean-Marine Schuh said Total S.A inked a joint study agreement with SL govt to explore for offshore oil and gas in Sri Lanka in Feb, 2016. more..

Govt will look to expand trade ties with China

July 22 (CG) The Govt will look to expand trade ties with China in future, the President’s office said today. President’s office quoted Minister Mangala Samaraweera as saying that while Sri Lanka is working on trade agreements with India and Pakistan, it will expand it with China as well in the future. Samaraweera said this at a ceremony attended by President to welcome a group of new foreign envoys to the country. more..

Govt would remain for five years: PM

July 22 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe asserted in Parliament the current rule would serve for another five years under the concept of the national unity govt. PM, making a statement to the House on the progress of his 2-day visit to Singapore early this week, said nobody should have an iota of doubt about it. "Present national unity govt will remain for five more years. There is no doubt about it," he said. While making his remarks on more..

VAT Bill needs Cabinet approval before being presented to parliament

July 22 (Island) President's Counsel, Manohara de Silva told the Supreme Court that the VAT increase Bill must be approved by the Cabinet before being placed before Parliament in keeping with Article 152 of the Constitution. The Cabinet had to consider what was presented to Parliament, he argued. The VAT increase Bill was referred to the Legal Draftsman on June 14, 2016. The Bill was gazetted on June 24. more..

Sri Lanka invites diaspora to make submissions for reconciliation

July 22 (PTI) Sri Lanka has invited the diaspora groups, including Tamils, to make submissions for advancing the task of reconciliation following the country's three-decade-long civil war that ended in 2009. The Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms (CTF) through the Sri Lankan embassy in Washington has called for submissions from diaspora organisations on the design of structures, processes & measures more..

JVP MP claims he has documentary proof

July 22 (Island) Minister Lakshman Kiriella said in Parliament that he had not appointed any Bhikkhu to the RDA. The minister said a statement made by JVP MP Dr Nalinda Jayatissa in Parliament to that effect had been displayed very prominently in newspapers and the entire Kandy District had been stirred by the news. "I have received numerous telephone calls inquiring why ever recruited a Bhikkhu as an RDA consultant. This is terrible and I have lost peace of mind. more..

Shares end at one-month closing high

July 22 (Reuters) Shares rose for a second straight session on Friday and posted its highest close in a month, helped by gains in large-cap beverage shares, while investors awaited directions on the macro economy. The benchmark Colombo stock index ended up 0.18%, or 11.31 points, at 6,428.77, its highest close since June 21. The bourse rose 0.09% during the week recording a third weekly gain. "Investors seems to be picking their stocks. Bargain hunting has been happening," more..

අශෝක් අබේගුණවර්ධන

Is treating supporters also good governance?

July 22 (CT) We have (and lived under, for several years, in fact) nepotistic and borderline despotic govts. One can even argue that all the govts we have lived under since obtaining our freedom in 1948, have been nepotistic and practised giving unfair preferential treatment to a certain group of individuals at the expense of another. Yet, at every possible juncture where govts change in the country, we expect newly appointed people's representatives will not conduct in such a manner. more..

Will the development (special provisions) bill sink the coalition govt in a bog?

July 22 (CT) The proposal made by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, to publish the SL Sustainable Development Bill in a gazette and present the same in parliament for approval, which was prepared with the view of promoting and implementing the SL’s national policy and strategy on sustainable development, establishment of the Sustainable Development Council and making other provisions on other matters, was approved by more..

PM pushes for closer economic ties with Tamil Nadu and South India

July 22 (ENS) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is pushing for closer economic ties with Tamil Nadu and other states of South India through an improved India-SL Free Trade Agreement (ISLFTA) and the proposed Economic Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India which is to be signed by year end. He said: “The complementary economic developments in South India and SL will be enhanced by ETCA, more..

Petroleum Resources Minister criticised for failure to answer questions

July 22 (DN) Minister of Petroleum Resources Chandima Weerakody came under criticism by the both govt and opposition in Parliament today, for not being present to answer a question raised under Standing Order 23(2) by the Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake. Anura Dissanayke had raised the issue at the last parliamentary sessions; on the govt's stance on the oil tanks in Trincomalee; but the minister was not present to respond during that session. more..

Jaffna violence: Ranil promises action after conclusion of probes

July 22 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament that several investigations were being conducted into last week’s violence at the Jaffna University and further action would be taken after the conclusion of those probes. The PM said JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake had informed him of the clash on the very same day and, thereafter, he had contacted TNA MP Mavai Senadhiraja, Higher Education Minister and Minister of Law and Order and instructed them to more..

Full list of bus fare revision

July 22 (AD) The annual bus fare revision which has been decided to be granted by the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation along with National Transport Commission (NTC) with effect from 1st August 2016, has been announced today. NTC said that stern action will be taken against any operator who charges fare in excess of the approved fare. Meanwhile the Expressway bus fares are to be increased as follows: more..