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National reconciliation: A pipe dream unless inclusivity achieved

July 26 (GV) It is ironic that SL, which had such a favourable point of departure and was one of the most affluent countries in Asia in 1947; a model which even Singapore was yearning to emulate, gradually lost its sense of direction and purpose in an environment of increasing fragmentation and factionalism. The unity and mutual trust which emerged among the communities when gaining Independence quickly dissipated, with the hopes and aspirations of the people becoming more..

It’s from the past, yes, but even more about the future

July 26 (SL) By talking of ethnic reconciliation after the recent students’ clash in Jaffna Uni, President Sirisena and TNA supremo R. Sampanthan may have sought to put the lid, one more time, on an avoidable controversy at an avoidable time and in the most avoidable of venues. Yet, they need to acknowledge that pushing basic issues under the carpet as if they did not exist would take the nation nowhere, and so would their leaderships – and take pro-active steps in this direction. more..

'Late President Premadasa Did not panic on impeachment'

July 26 (CT) Secretary, to former President late R Premadasa, K.H.J. Wijedasa said the late President Premadasa did not panic when he heard about the Impeachment Motion against him, and said " President expected it and he had more information than we had." Q: Who first came to know of the Impeachment Motion against President R. Premadasa; you, as the Secretary to the President or was it the President himself? more..

What’s happening to real economy this year?

July 26 (ST) The foci of economic discussions this year have been on the balance of payments crisis, the IMF facility and its conditions, the bond issue, controversies on taxation, especially the increase in VAT, and the impact of BREXIT on the economy. These macroeconomic concerns and the country’s external financial vulnerability have been the dominant economic issues this year. There has been scant attention on how the real sectors of the economy are performing. more..

Biswal’s dreams just pretentious prattle

July 26 (ST) So Nisha Biswal, the US State Department’s point person on Sri Lanka, says that Sri Lanka could be another Singapore. That will be the day. If after six visits to the country in 20 months she has still not grasped the basics of Sri Lanka’s socio-political culture and mores, the lack of respect for law and order and the rule of law infused by political interference and intimidation, she could hardly be a messenger of hope and good sense. Perhaps she has become accustomed to more..

Face the Nation

Editorial: Turtles and hens

July 26 (Island) You know you are growing old when the candles cost more than the cake as Bob Hope has famously said. Similarly, cynics may say you know vanity has got the better of your leaders when publicity costs more than the development projects they launch. Whenever the late R Premadasa built some houses under the Gam Udawa project in a far-flung area all wayside walls, lampposts and trees in other parts of the country got covered with posters announcing the event. more..

The immorality of Canada’s Sri Lanka policy

July 26 (Island) Canadian PM issued a statement on Sri Lanka on 18th May 2016 that he had met a number of victims of war in Sri Lanka and he understood the unfortunate and bleak situation they were facing. He said that the Canadian Tamils were an integral part of the Canadians. He also said he was convinced that foreign and the Commonwealth judges and investigators must be included in the mechanism to help the war victims in the investigation of war crimes in Sri Lanka. more..

Ellice traces triple murderer

July 26 (DN) A suspect wanted in connection with a triple murder in Vellaveli was arrested after police kennel mastiff Ellice traced him to a nearby house, on Sunday evening. The incident occurred around 1 a.m. on Sunday when the suspect hacked Kandaiah Perinban (56), Perinban Vijitha (24) and her 18-month-old daughter, Prashanthan Shashmika at their house at Kakachchiwatta in Mandur. more..

Smith yearns to turn Asian tide

July 26 (CI) Steven Smith leans down the wicket to a Steve O'Keefe ball drifting towards leg stump. Australia's captain closes the face to whip through the leg side but does so too early, drawing an edge in the direction of slip. It is three days before the start of the first Test against Sri Lanka. As O'Keefe celebrates his little victory in the Pallekele nets, Smith chides himself tersely. "That's shit batting," he blurts. Later, he runs past a Nathan Lyon delivery angled across him from more..

Ranil’s dream and the delusional opposition

July 26 (CC) Arresting of an intelligence officer attached to Sri Lanka Army over the murder of late Lasantha Wickramatunge has sparked questions about the underworld of the state, and questioned the very ruling elements of the govt. The investigation of this blatantly committed daylight murder has turned into yet another all-consuming matter in the political arena. Flies are around, bugs are moving, state resources is bee-robbing, opportunists are slandering and plundering, more..

Alleged coal tender fraud govt going for highest tenderer: Vasu

July 26 (DN) The govt is acting in an illegal manner ignoring the stipulations and recommendations of the Auditor General, alleged MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara. Referring to the coal tender, he said the govt is trying to break a monopoly by rejecting the lowest tender and accepting the highest tender. He said the position taken by the govt regarding the alleged coal tender fraud had been to reject the lowest tenderer more..

Govt aiming to improve export performance to 40% GDP

July 26 (Island) "The govt is taking every step to expand the local export sector, to reach 40% of GDP, which is now less than 15%. Therefore, we are giving all support necessary to improve the ease of doing business in the country for that purpose, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. "The govt will act as a catalyst of economic growth, while the exporters could be the engine of the growth. Therefore, the environment is now rather buoyant for investors to come in. more..

Heroin roundup: Tip-offs lead to five arrests

July 26 (CT) Following a tip-off five persons were taken into custody in four different Police divisions on Saturday for possessing heroin. Police Media Unit said that one suspect was taken into custody with 9.6g of heroin by Mutwal Police. Suspect was identified as a 41-year-old resident of Peliyagoda. He was produced before the Maligakanda Magistrate's Court. Yet another person who was in possession of 2.02g of heroin also was taken into custody by the Bentota Police on Saturday. more..

'SL in danger of squandering growth window'

July 26 (FT) In a hard-hitting evaluation of the Govt’s performance, top economist Dr. Razeen Sally criticised policymakers for failing to formulate a credible economic plan and warned that it was in danger of squandering the best opportunity for growth Sri Lanka has had in 40 years. Highly-respected international economist Dr. Razeen Sally, who is an Associate Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at more..

Duckett double-ton as Lions smash records

July 26 (CI) Ben Duckett and Daniel Bell-Drummond smashed their way into the record books with the second-highest List A partnership in the world as England Lions cruised to a 140-run win over Sri Lanka A at Canterbury. Duckett had made 163 not out in the first match of the tri-series last week and his unbeaten 220 here set a new record for an England Lions player - topping captain Dawid Malan's 185 against the same opposition on Thursday. Duckett shared in an unbeaten more..

Vidura backs Mr’s OMP statement

July 26 (CT) Members of the Joint Opposition (JO) endorsed the statement made by former President Rajapaksa that the Bill to establish an Office of Missing Persons will persecute the armed forces. UPFA MP Vidura Wickremanayake, dismissing the Asian Human Rights Commission's (AHRC) statement criticizing former President Rajapaksa, said they in the Joint Opposition too, share the same sentiments. Last week Rajapaksa released a statement claiming that more..

Archbishop rejects secularisation ideology

July 26 (DN) Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith said that they will not support any Constitutional reforms that seek to turn Sri Lanka into a secular or nonreligious state. “We will never endorse the ideology of secularising Sri Lanka,” said the Archbishop. He said so at a Buddhist Pujopahara ceremony, to pay tribute to newly elected Mahanayaka Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter, more..

Relatives pray for missing persons

July 26 (CT) A special religious ceremony and a procession was held at the Thirukkovi Kalliyanthivu Sakala Kala Amman Kovil on Sunday, for the safe return, wellbeing and news of those who had gone missing. It was organized by Missing Persons Federation, under the patronage of its President Brito Fernando. The event drew a large crowd of Missing Persons' relatives. Chief Priest of the Temple Sabaratnam Gunasekeram conducted the pooja. This was followed by a peaceful, more..

Germany grants 13 m Euros for development

July 26 (FT) Govt of Germany has granted 13 million Euros as a grant to Sri Lanka to implement five development projects during this year. The grant was pledged to Sri Lanka during President Sirisena’s official tour of Germany in February this year. Agreements with regard to this grant were signed at Ministry of Finance on Sunday. Secretary of Ministry of Finance Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga signed in the agreement on behalf of SL govt while German Ambassador Dr. Jürgen Morhard more..

Wimal’s bro barred from leaving country

July 26 (CT) Fort Magistrate barred Sarath Weerawansa from leaving the country, after he was charged with allegedly misusing a vehicle belonging to the Presidential Secretariat, while allegedly misappropriating a sum of Rs 8.4 million. Fort Magistrate also ordered the Controller of the Immigration and Emigration to detain the suspect if he arrives at the BIA to leave the country. Suspect Sarath Weerawansa is the elder brother of more..

NGOs asked to submit data to NGO Secretariat

July 26 (DM) The NGO Secretariat has sent out a circular to relevant NGOs calling for data, which is to be sent in by July 29, a statement from the PM’s office said. The statement said the status of the prudential regulation of micro finance institutions operating in the micro finance and micro credit sectors was reviewed at a recent meeting. The Central Bank would convey the directions on prudential regulation methodology to the NGO Secretariat by August 30 more..

Shame on you Rajitha: Stop these double dealings!

July 26 (LeN) Minister Rajitha Senaratne who shouts and screams in public that rogues are not being trapped is himself actively shielding and safeguarding the crooks from behind the screen, based on reports reaching Lanka e news inside information division. It has come to light that it is Rajtha who had obstructed the arrest of two State officers of the higher echelons when the FCID went to arrest them on the 21 st. The two culprits who were to be arrested are M.D. Bandusena, more..

Arjuna bans using SLPA workers for political work

July 26 (Island) Party politics of trade unions within Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) would be banned under his administration, Arjuna Ranatunga said. He said employees of the SLPA had been used for political activities after being released from the service during the previous govt, but there was no room for it under the present regime. Ranatunga said he had held discussions with UNP & JVP led trade unions recently more..

Maga Engineering to rehabilitate Rs. 13.2 b worth of rural roads

July 26 (FT) Maga Engineering Ltd. was recently awarded the contract to rehabilitate and improve 634 km of rural roads in four districts, including their performance-based maintenance for three years. The project is formulated and financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and implemented by the RDA under the Integrated Road Investment Program. Maga Engineering will rehabilitate and improve 634km of rural access roads in A'pura, Polonnaruwa, Kalutara & Kurunegala. more..

A trial by spin awaits Aussies at Pallekele

July 26 (Island) SL look forward to gain early advantage in the three match Test series against Australia that gets underway today here at Pallekele by including a variety of spin options. A trial by spin awaits the tourists as four spin options will be at the disposal of Angelo Mathews. Chinaman bowler Lakshan Sandakan (25) will make his Test debut alongside all-rounder Dhananjaya de Silva (24), who bowls off-spin. Both were called back from England where they were representing SL ‘A’. more..

No force allowed to topple govt: PM

July 26 (DN) No force will be allowed to topple the good governance got until it reaches its full term of five years, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. Govt is an outcome of an untiring effort of people friendly forces. No evil force is allowed to topple the govt and harm the concept of good governance, he said. He made these remarks addressing the ceremony, organised to deposit treasure in the Kaluganga main dam, more..

RPCs agree to immediate payment of Rs. 2,500 wage hike

July 26 (FT) Bringing an end to a months-long dispute, Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) agreed to pay the Rs. 2,500 salary increase to plantation workers with arrears following discussions with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Finance Ministry was given Cabinet approval last week to release Rs. 1 billion worth Letters of Comfort to Bank of Ceylon and People’s Bank so that they can issue funds to plantation companies to provide workers with a Rs. 2,500 salary increase. more..

Former DLB chairman granted bail over three corruption cases

July 26 (DN) Former Development Lottery Board (DLB) Chairman Dr. Chandrawansa Pathiraja was ordered to be released on bail by the Colombo Chief Magistrate for allegedly causing a Rs.23 million unlawful loss to the DLB when awarding promotional activities pertaining to several lottery tickets to three private companies contrary to the accepted tender procedure. At a previous occasion, former DLB Chairman was noticed to appear before Court regarding 3 corruption cases more..

'Powerful hand behind policy formulation'

July 26 (DN) GMOA member Dr. Nalinda Herath said there is someone who is more powerful than the President, the PM and Minister Malik Samarawickrama, relating to the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) and formulating a National Policy. The person is non other than former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, he said. Dr. Herath said Dr. Saman Kelegama has been appointed to formulate more..

Rs 5 billion Cocaine haul: No arrest yet

July 26 (CT) The Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) yesterday informed the Colombo Chief Magistrate's Court that a detailed probe was currently being conducted to nab all suspects behind the recent shipment of a stock of cocaine from Brazil to Colombo – which was the largest such stock taken into custody in this country's history. The Colombo Chief Magistrate ordered the PNB to send the haul of cocaine to the Government Analyst and to obtain a report from him. more..

Cocaine haul: SL to seek Interpol help

July 26 (CT) Sri Lanka has decided to seek the assistance of Interpol pertaining to investigations into the recent seizure of 274 kilograms of cocaine at the Peliyagoda Container Yard. A Spokesperson for the PMD said the move was taken based on current information revealed in ongoing investigations. Three suspects were taken into custody and information revealed that this was the largest cocaine haul seized in Sri Lanka thus far. Cocaine haul was valued up to Rs 4,000 m. more..

KP’s travel ban further extended

July 26 (DN) Court of Appeal yesterday further extended the interim order for October 26 directing the Controller of Immigration and Emigration to prevent LTTE’s former leader of the International Wing Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP from leaving the country. The Court of Appeal (President) Justice Vijith Malalgoda and Justice S.C.J Madawala made this order consequent to a writ petition filed by JVP MP Vijitha Herath more..

Bridge for unity on the Mahaweli

July 26 (DM) In a major step to consolidate national unity by taking the waters of the Mahaweli to the Northern and Eastern provinces also, President presided at a national ceremony, telecast live, to enshrine treasures and relics on the main dam of the Kalu Ganga Reservoir of the Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganga Multi-purpose Development Project. Rs. 61,321.7 million-mega development project, second only to the Victoria Dam, is expected to provide water for irrigation and drinking in 7 districts. more..

Kashmir: The least of our problem

July 26 (DM) Early this month, a separatist militant named Burhan Wani was killed in a gun battle with the Indian Army in the Indian administered Kashmir. Kashmiris took to the streets and in the ensuing violent protests, scores were killed and over a thousand wounded, many were feared to have lost their eyesight when hit by pellet guns. Last week, a group of Sri Lankans and Pakistani community here also held a demonstration in front of the UN Office in Colombo against violence in Kashmir, more..

Reno rumble

July 26 (SL) Katunayake International Airport is very much in the news these days with many raising the question as to whether Mattala is going to be the main airport in Sri Lanka once Katunayake Airport is closed for renovations in December. This has raised concern among potential travellers living in Colombo and suburbs as well as other parts of the country. Many question whether they would have to travel to Mattala to board more..

'I disagree that govt has won over the world'

July 26 (DM) Former Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris, says the govt’s cosponsoring of the UNHRC resolution spells real danger for the country. He said though the govt speaks with different voices, it would find it difficult to renege from its own commitments given internationally. Q: How do you view the implementation of the UNHRC resolution on SL? A: The danger in which the country stands today is not fully appreciated by the people. more..

'We love to see unity amongst all Lankans'

July 26 (DM) Q: Now, you have been the Leader of the Opposition for almost one year. How do you assess the role you played during the time? A: My becoming the Leader of the Opposition was due to certain circumstances where the two main parties, in alliance, formed the govt. And, consequently, the second largest party was not entitled to be the main opposition in Parliament. We happened to be the third largest party. more..

Sri Lanka to revise electricity price twice a year from 2017: regulator

July 26 (EN) Sri Lanka plans to revise electricity tariffs every six months starting from April 2017, in a bid to maintain cost-reflective pricing. The govt has given the go ahead to revise power tariffs every April and October, director General of SL's Public Utility Commission Damith Kumarasinghe said. State-run CEB and LECO, is in the process of improving their cost accounting to boost transparency in costs. more..

Community vigilance can save schoolchildren from drug predators

July 26 (ST) Arresting drug dealers alone is not enough to prevent schoolchildren from falling prey to narcotic drugs as equal emphasis needs to be placed on creating awareness on the dangers of drugs and maintaining vigilance, officials say. They expressed this view as the Govt which is spearheading an ambitious National Drugs Prevention Programme foucsed its attention on attempts by drug dealers to target school more..