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For whom the expressways toll

July 25 (CT) This columnist takes a line and a leaf today from American novelist and journalist Ernest Hemingway's (1899-1961) best known work For Whom The Bell Tolls published in 1940 and the film released in 1943. The saga is about a character named Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to a republican guerrilla unit during the Spanish Civil War. As a dynamiter, he is assigned to more..

Fixed prices on essential items put traders and consumers in a fix

July 25 (ST) Following the govt announcement last week, of a fixed maximum price on 16 essential food items, many businesses have refused to slash prices saying that the govt had not held discussions with them before fixing the price. Wholesalers at Pettah market continued to sell the marked products at the pre- gazette prices maintaining that selling the stocked items at fixed prices would make a dent in their profits. more..

My dissent with MR began with Moragahakanda project

July 25 (DM) President Maithripala Sirsena in a stoical revelation yesterday said there was a close link between the ceremony held to lay the foundation stone to the Moragahakanda-Kaluganga Multi-purpose Development Project (MKMDP) on Jan 25, 2007 and sowing the first seed of dissent and disappointment in his mind on the Rajapaksa govt that ultimately festered into a regime change in January 2015. more..

Pilots cry foul on unfair business

July 25 (SL) Airline Pilots Guild of SL will take stern action against the management of SriLankan Airlines if they fail to accord them the use of business class lounge facilities and its privileges both at Colombo and overseas airports which the employees had enjoyed from the very inception. The management of SriLankan Airlines has come under severe criticism for their unilateral decision to stop business class lounge facilities more..

Finance minister says too few tax payers

July 25 (EN) The govt tax collections remain insufficient with only a relatively few companies and individuals shouldering the burden of tax payments, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. “For a country of 23 million people, there are only 48,000 corporate tax files,” he told the AGM of the Exporters’ Association of SL. “There are only 148,000 individual tax files, only 21,000 NBT tax files and only 15,000 files. more..

Video: Namal charged with contempt of Bribery Commission

July 25 (DM) The Supreme Court Bench today fixed for August 3 the proceedings in the case where UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa is charged with contempt of the Bribery Commission. The Bribery Commission informed the SC that Mr. Rajapaksa committed the offense contempt by failing to appear before it on May 26. BC Director General Dilrukshi Dias Wickremasinghe said he had without reasonable cause failed to appear more..

Thailand’s Siam City Cement to acquire Holcim for USD400 Mln

July 25 (LBO) Thailand’s Siam City Cement Public Company Limited will proceed with an acquisition of 98.95 percent shares in Holcim (Lanka) Limited, including its subsidiaries from cement giant LafargeHolcim. LafargeHolcim said in a statement that the enterprise value of sale was 400 million dollars. Siam City Cement said that the acquisition of the interest, comprising 164,065,201 ordinary shares, in HLL will be made by more..

'Long delay in conclusion of corruption case highlights need for remedial measures'

July 25 (EN) Attorney-at-law Chrishmal Warnasuriya said that urgent remedial measures were required to obviate the inordinate delays in hearing both criminal and civil cases. Warnasuriya was commenting on Colombo High Court convicting former Director General of Emigration and Immigration J.A. Ariyasena (69) of bribery charges in respect of allegations 21 years ago. The court was told that investigations into accusations more..

Govt won’t be so stupid to block Pada Yathra: MR

July 25 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that the govt wouldn’t be so stupid as to ban the planned Joint Opposition (JO) march from Kandy to Colombo scheduled to commence on July 28. MP Rajapaksa said that an effort to block the protest march would generate move public interest in the JO’s campaign. Therefore, regardless of threats to sabotage mass protest campaign, JO would go ahead with more..

President summons JO SFLP MPs

July 25 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has summoned all SLFP MPs in the Joint Opposition (JO) for a special discussion at his official residence this evening. SLFP MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage said that he and other SLFP members had been called to be present at President’s house at 5 pm today and they would attend the meeting. Asked what they would do if the President in his capacity as leader of SLFP more..

FCID should stand firm

July 25 (CT) FCID seems to be struggling to carry out the investigations into several mega fraud cases as the FCID's requests have not been promptly responded to by several leading financial institutions abroad which have links with the corrupt individuals with regard to their financial transactions. There was a big hue and cry when the issue of Panama Papers surfaced two months ago. Central Bank also announced that based on the details of Panama Papers investigations would be carried out more..

Paranagama Comm. on missing persons seeks appointment with Prez

July 25 (Island) Presidential Commission on Missing Persons headed by retired High Court judge Maxwell Paranagama has been brought to an end to pave the way for the establishment of Office of Missing Persons (OMP). Former HC judge and member of the LLRC said that the Commission had sought an appointment with President Sirisena to hand over its interim report. Paranagama said that painstaking investigations carried out by experienced investigators attached to more..

ආචාර්ය සුමිත් පිලපිටිය

Battling the Gods: Atheism in ancient world

July 25 (CT) The Socratic dialogue was never aggressive; rather it was conducted with courtesy, gentleness and consideration. If a dialogue aroused malice or spite, it had failed (Karen Armstrong, The Case For God). At root, I think my opposition to militant atheism is based on a commitment to the very values which inspire atheism: “an open-minded commitment to the truth and rational inquiry”. Hostile opposition to the beliefs of others combined with a dogged conviction of the certainty of more..

Shares end down; turnover slumps

July 25 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares fell on Monday as investors sold large-cap shares like Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc while turnover slumped to a near-three-week low as investors awaited directions on the country's economic policy. The benchmark Colombo stock index ended down 0.49% at 6,397.09, slipping from its highest close since June 21 hit on Friday. "Investors are taking a look at where the market is going. It's just the direction that is required right now," more..

Mathews frustrated with depleted bowling stocks

July 25 (CI) On the eve of a series which Angelo Mathews embarks upon without his two best seam bowlers of the past 18 months, SL's captain has called on the coaching system to raise its game. Sri Lanka's quicks have been among the most injury-prone in the world over the past few years, with several spending up to 12 months in triage, and others regularly missing entire series with recurrent complaints. more..

1-10: Australia's win-loss record in Asia since 2008

July 25 (CI) Stats preview of the three-Test series between Sri Lanka and Australia, which begins in Pallekele on Tuesday. 4: Tests that Australia have won in their last six appearances in Sri Lanka. In 2004, they swept the series 3-0, and took the three-Test series 1-0 in their next visit, in 2011. The last time Australia lost a Test in Sri Lanka was at Kandy in 1999. Australia's overall record of 6-1 is easily the best win-loss record for any overseas team in Sri Lanka. 1-10 Australia's win-loss record more..

Sri Lanka release 49 TN fishermen

July 25 (PTI) As many as 49 fishermen from Tamil Nadu, arrested by Sri Lanka for allegedly fishing in its territorial waters, were today ordered to be released by the island nation’s courts. The fishermen from Rameswaram, Nagapattinam and Pudukottai were among the 77 fishers arrested in the last two months, a local fishermen association office-bearer said here. While 21 fishers were set free by Oorkavalthurai court, 22 by Parithithurai court and six others were released by more..

Form, history against brittle Sri Lanka

July 25 (CI) Once upon a time, Sri Lanka beat Australia in a Test series. Like most fairy tales, it was a little bit gruesome - Steve Waugh and Jason Gillespie met grisly fates during Sri Lanka's win in the first Test - and somewhat miraculous - persistent rain in the second and third Tests ensured draws that gave Sri Lanka a 1-0 victory. In the coming years, their achievement took on even more mythic proportions. more..

Pvt. bus union chief threatens to sue police if JO march disrupts traffic

July 25 (Island) Lanka Private Bus Owners Association President Gemunu Wijeratne yesterday said that if the Joint Opposition (JO) Pada Yathra from Kandy to Colombo against the govt disrupted public transport, his association would resort to legal action against the police. The LPBOA President, addressing a press conference, said: "We will make written representations to the IGP in this regard as it is the duty of the law enforcement officers to maintain the law and order." more..

NDB aborts move to scrap independent chairman

July 25 (EN) NDB Bank Plc has rolled back an attempt to scrap its mandatory requirement for an independent non-executive chairman, which earlier shareholders had put in place in a bid to maintain a superior governance standards. NDB had called an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on July 27, to get shareholder approval to scrap the requirement for an independent chairman. "However as several major shareholders have intimated their intention to vote against the proposed resolution, more..

Video: Don’t play with fire: Udaya G. tells PM

July 25 (DM) While criticizing the controversial statement made by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in Kandy on Saturday, regarding certain media personnel, Opposition MP Udaya Gammanpila today said the PM should not play with fire. MP Gammanpila said Premier Wickremesinghe would soon learn a lesson from media personnel if he goes ahead with his decision to teach a lesson for certain print media institutions. more..

American jailed for killing SL wife in Saudi

July 25 (AN) A US resident, convicted of killing his Sri Lankan wife, has been sentenced to five years in jail. He is said to have hidden her body for eight months in a tube inside a pipe designed to detect gas in Al-Kharj desert. Laborers at one of the major oil companies found the decomposed body inside the pipe located in their work area. That area is supervised by a US agent, married to a Sri Lankan woman, who had disappeared. Workers immediately reported the matter to the supervisor more..

Govt denies taking political revenge on opposition

July 25 (CG) Govt today denied claims it was taking political revenge on the opposition who supports former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said that if the Govt wanted to take political revenge it could have arrested 80 percent of former Govt members accused of corruption within 100 days of the new Govt taking office. However he insisted that the current Govt allowed independent investigations to deal with those facing accusations. more..

Video: US, Japanese and Oman Naval ships in Colombo

July 25 (DM) Four naval vessels, two Japanese ships, Inazuma and Suzutsuki, the US New Orleans and the Royal Omani Khassab arrived at the Colombo Port on goodwill visit yesterday. The two Japanese naval ships are to departure today. The visiting Japanese ships are due to conduct a passage exercise (PASSEX) with SL Navy to share professional expertise and strengthen camaraderie between two friendly navies. more..

USS New Orleans, 13th MEU arrive in SL

July 25 (C7F) The USS New Orleans (LPD 18) with embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) arrived in Colombo, Sri Lanka for a port visit, July 24. The ship and embarked MEU are in Sri Lanka to increase bilateral ties with the Sri Lankan navy and exchange best practices on humanitarian assistance/disaster relief. "This is a great occasion-not only in providing an opportunity to visit the people of Colombo and to experience the rich culture of Sri Lanka but also more..

Video: Ranil and MS a matching couple: Ajith

July 25 (DM) Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said the porondam (compatibility) chart of President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe were fully agreeable and that the marriage between the two would continue for five years. “There is a lot of talk about marriage and divorce nowadays but this political marriage between the two of them will continue. The marriage took place with a lot of vision and long-term understanding,” he said. The deputy minister told electoral organisers at more..

Murali and SLC involved in war of words

July 25 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket and Muttiah Muralitharan have traded caustic verbal blows following an altercation between Murali and the Sri Lanka team manager. SLC has made a formal complaint to Cricket Australia over the altercation, and has also contended Murali had conducted centre-wicket training at the Pallekele ground without permission. With consternation about Murali's role as spin-bowling consultant with more..

Man held for triple murder in Batticaloa

July 25 (DN) A man was arrested in Batticaloa over a triple murder yesterday. Investigations revealed the man had hacked to death his wife, father-in-law and child at Kakachchiveddai village, Vellaveli, Batticaloa. The deceased were identified as Perinpam Vijitha, 24, Prasanthan Sasnika, 18, and Kandaiyah Perinpam, 56. The woman and the infant had been murdered at 1 a.m. and their bodies dumped into a well. Perinpam living in a neigbouring house who heard his daughter screaming more..

UPFA to prepare to contest next election independently

July 25 (CG) UPFA says it will prepare to contest the next election independently. UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera said that while the SLFP and the UNP are currently working together in the Govt, the SLFP with the UPFA will contest the next election separately. Amaraweera said that the current cohabitation Govt will not change for at least five years as an election cannot be held any time soon. He also said that there are attempts to split the SLFP but the public must ensure more..

President enshrines relics on Moragahakanda dam

July 25 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena said the implementation of the Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganga Irrigation Development Project is not only a fulfillment of a long awaited aspiration of the farmers but also a personal dream come true for him. He made these remarks during the national ceremony to enshrine treasures to build the main dam of the Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganga Irrigation Development Project. more..

Communist party splits

July 25 (CT) Cracks have appeared in the SL Communist Party, over participation in the JO protest march, which is scheduled to be held at the end of this month. Communist Party Chairman, Raja Kollure and Secretary D.E.W. Gunasekera have expressed different opinions when entering in to a final decision. Commenting on the stand of left wing, Leader of the NDLF Vasudewa Nanayakkara had stated, "Kandy-Colombo protest march had been organized to express our discontent more..

A big bank deposit shrouded in mystery

July 25 (DM) A story has gone viral that a sum of Rs.12.5 million has mysteriously gone into the bank account of the head of a certain state establishment. Fact that this large amount of money has fattened the bank account of the bigwig soon after he okayed 26 projects related to his establishment has led some people in the know of it to add two and two together. Member of a profession with close ties to administration of justice, this bigwig is far from being in financial difficulties. more..

Video: Murali's Doosra at SLC

July 25 (AM) Muttiah Muralitharan hit out at the SL Cricket authorities for the allegations directed at him, saying that if he is a traitor, SLC is a bigger traitor. Murali blasted the SLC authorities including President Thilanga Sumathipala. Referring to the allegation that he had instructed to doctor the pitch at P. Sara Oval to suit Australian spinners, Murali said curator was working for the SLC and not under his instructions. more..

16 Thiruvalluvar statues to be installed in SL

July 25 (Hindu) Sixteen statues of Thiruvalluvar, the author of Tamil treatise on ethics Tirukkural, will be installed across Sri Lanka in the coming weeks, according to V. Radhakrishnan, State Minister of Education. Among the places where the statues would be kept would be Mannar, Kilinochchi, Mullativu and Chavakachcheri (Jaffna), all in the Northern Province; Puttalam in the North West; Colombo in the Western; Matale, Hatton and Nawalapitiya in the Central; Rakwana more..

Thajudeen case: Revision petition by Anura Senanayake fixed for Sept 8

July 25 (DN) Colombo High Court today fixed for support on Sept 8, the bail revision application filed by Western Province former Senior DIG Anura Senanayake. Senanayake was arrested and remanded over his alleged role in the cover up of evidence in the former rugby player Wasim Thajudeen's murder. Meanwhile, High Court Judge issued notices on the respondents, including the Director of CID and Attorney General to appear in Court on the next hearing date. more..

Video: Murali may suffer for his Aussie alliance: SLC

July 25 (DM) It is heartbreaking to see that legendary cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan is coaching the Australian team against his country at his hometown in Kandy, SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala says. “He is more than qualified for the job, but there is an ethical matter behind his decision,” Sumathipala told reporters. He also went on to say that a complaint has been lodged with the SLC against Muralitharan for allegedly more..

July 1983: Betrayal of the absolute right to justice

July 26 (CT) It has been 33 years since Black July, 1983. These 33 years have been part of our lifetime. We have witnessed not only the horrendously criminal acts of July 1983, but also what happened by way of justice after those serious crimes. I would like to illustrate my point in terms of one single event: the Welikada prison massacre. This was without a doubt an act that falls within the definition of crimes against humanity. What concerns me here are the procedures of the so-called inquiries more..

Escaping Armageddon, living with pessimism

July 26 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremsinghe on Saturday made a ferocious assault on two English Language Newspapers and its editors. He said that the Daily Mirror had demanded the ouster of Mangala Samaraweera the country’s Minster of External Affairs who had contributed immensely to restore the image of SL as was demonstrated by the invitation to President Sirisena to attend the G7 parley in Japan. Daily Financial Times he alleged attempted to sabotage economy by publishing negative more..

Jaffna University, what really triggered the cross swords

July 26 (SO) Seven years after the guns went silent on the conflict, the reconciliation is still far from reality. The student clash in the University of Jaffna has woken leaders of both communities from their slumber to face the unpleasant reality of the mistrust and cultural divide that exist between the two communities. Despite the fact that Sinhala students have been enrolled in the Jaffna University for the last four years, clash displayed that more..