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Save Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganga from State Officials!

July 27 (CT) Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganga Irrigation Development Project is finally underway after nine years of lying dormant, giving a new hope to the denizens of the Northern, Eastern and Central Provinces. The project and several sub-projects that commenced under the Mahinda Chinthanaya during the tenure of the previous administration, ran into an unexpected stop when the construction was about to kick off. The main reason behind the project going dormant was never revealed to the public more..

Clash at Jaffna University: Conversations on culture & history: Part I

July 27 (CT) The recent clash at University of Jaffna has triggered discussions on the university as a multicultural space and the role it ought to play in building bridges between the communities in SL. At one level, this clash mirrors the warring nationalisms in the country. Nationalisms in general hinge on an exclusivist logic where a particular territory despite its social, cultural and economic heterogeneities is identified exclusively with a particular community/nation, more..

දයාසිරි ජයසේකර

Sri Lankan shares end lower

July 27 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares ended slightly lower on Wednesday as investors sold blue-chips such as John Keells Holdings Plc and Ceylon Tobacco Company even as the market awaited directions on the country's economic policy. The benchmark Colombo stock index ended down 0.09% at 6,382.42. It has fallen for three straight sessions through Wednesday. "Investors area waiting to see tomorrow's policy rates," said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Equities. more..

'Inferior cooking oil used in MPs' meals'

July 27 (DM) A consumer rights organization has informed Speaker Karu Jayasuriya that an inferior quality of cooking oil was being used in the parliamentary kitchen to prepare food for the MPs and requested him to investigate the matter. Consumer Rights Organization President Ranjith Vitanage had complained that errant traders mix coconut oil with substandard palm oil to make undue profits when selling the oil to Parliament. He said legislators should be served food which was more..

Australia strike after handy lead of 86

July 27 (CI) You wouldn't know it to look at the wicket tally, but two full sessions have so far been lost in this Test. Two days, four sessions of play, 21 wickets taken. And enough afternoon rain to fill a dam. It was as if the weather gods were conspiring to stretch this Test to a fourth day. Or, come to that, a third. And despite Sri Lanka's fightback on day two, Australia still had the upper hand at stumps. more..

Raviraj murder case to proceed

July 27 (CT) Colombo High Court (CHC) Judge Manilal Waidyatilleke yesterday (26) ordered that a hearing with evidence be held on 02 September to decide whether the case against three suspects, charged in connection with the assassination of former MP Nadaraja Raviraj and his Security Officer Lakshman Lokuwella, be heard without them since they have gone missing. The suspects who are missing are Sedhian Thusain, Palanasami Suresh and Shivakanthan alias Charan. more..

Woman bites molester's lip

July 27 (DM) A part of the lower lip of a man had been bitten off when he allegedly tried to sexually abuse his 65-year old mother- in -law. The 44-year old son-in-law has been taken into custody by Kirindiwela Police. Mother-in-law had been at home alone when the suspect allegedly entered the house by the back door and tried to molest her. She had defended herself by biting his lower lip. Police said suspect’s wife was working abroad and his daughter was living with his mother-in-law. more..

Video: Aussie streaker lands in SL prison

July 27 (CC) Brisbane local fined and jailed for indecent exposure following ill-advised escapade on day one of first Test. Australian cricket fan Alex James has been fined 3,000 rupees and sentenced to a week in prison after completing a nude run during the washed-out final session on day one at the Pallekele Stadium. James made the questionable decision to seek some entertainment of his own as the afternoon rain rolled in more..

Sandakan's four-for best by a chinaman on Test debut

July 27 (CI) 0: Number of bowling figures by a chinaman bowler on Test debut that are better than Lakshan Sandakan's 4 for 58. The only other chinaman bowler to take a four-wicket haul on his Test debut was Chuck Fleetwood-Smith (4 for 64) against South Africa in Durban in 1935. Sandakan's figures are the second-best by a SL spinner on Test debut. 320: Aggregate of runs by both teams in their first innings of this Test, second-lowest in a Test in SL where both sides batted. more..

Video: Boat service from Colombo Rowing Club to National Hospital

July 27 (DM) A new boat service will be launched soon near the Colombo Rowing Club and the National Hospital, providing a new mode of transport for people to get to the hospital, Minister of Megapolis Champika Ranawaka said today. Minister Ranawaka was informed of this when he went on an inspection tour today. The Minister said this would be a part of the government’s plan to revamp the banks of the Beira Lake which is aimed at controlling floods and for transportation. more..

JO vows to go ahead with Pada Yathra

July 27 (Island) The Joint Opposition (JO) yesterday vowed to go ahead with the Pada Yatra as scheduled from tomorrow despite threats of disciplinary action and other obstacles. Addressing the media, JO National Organiser and Matara District MP Dullas Alahapperuma said their protest march starting from Kandy was not against the SLFP policies and it would be a joke to take disciplinary action against SLFP MPs who participate in the march. more..

Man arrested with 4000 packets of heroin

July 27 (DM) A man was arrested with 4000 packets of heroin in Athurugiriya Town this morning on information received by the Mirihana Special Crime Investigation unit, police said. He was arrested while transporting the packets of heroin on a motorbike. Police arrested another man and recovered three motorbikes, five mobile phones, a cash counting machine and a scale during a raid on a nearby house following the information revealed by the suspect on questioning. more..

Sri Lanka to set up independent body to probe aircraft accidents

July 27 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan cabinet, on Wednesday, granted approval to set up an independent institution in the island nation which would investigate aircraft accidents. Media Minister Gayantha Karunathilleke told reporters here that the objective of the bureau would be to improve the security of aviation services, prevent possible accidents in the future, and make recommendations for the improvement of aviation services by identifying factors for such incidents. more..

Sri Lanka cracks down on overseas jaunts by politicians, officials

July 27 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena has ordered a crackdown on the misuse of public funds and foreign grants by local govt politicians and officials for overseas jaunts. President has issued new guidelines to prevent abuse after previous instructions were ignored, Minister Gayantha Karunathilake said. Prez proposed that approval of overseas leave and travel abroad should not be granted if applications contravene guidelines. more..

June tea output down 14.3% on heavy rain

July 27 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's tea output in June fell 14.3% from a year earlier because of heavy rain the previous month, the state-run Tea Board said on Wednesday. Production in the first six months has fallen by 11.1%. "There was heavy rain in May and that is the main reason for the fall," S. A. Siriwardena, director general at the Sri Lanka Tea Board, told Reuters. Siriwardena added that the island nation would miss its full-year target of 338 million kg. more..

Russian Naval Ship Igor Belousov arrives

July 27 (SLN) A Russian search and rescue vessel, Igor Belousov arrived today at the Colombo Port upon a goodwill visit. The ship was ceremonially welcomed by the SL Navy in accordance with the naval traditions on her arrival. During the four day stay, the ship crew is scheduled to take part in several programmes and training exercises with their local counterparts before sailing out of the Sri Lankan waters on July 30. Commanding Officer, Captain Aleksey Nehodcev and more..

ADB approves US$ 115mn loan for power sector in Sri Lanka

July 27 (FC) Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a loan of $115 million and $3.8 million in grants to help Sri Lanka meet its goal of achieving 100% electrification and improve the reliability of its electricity supply, including in former strife-torn areas and on small isolated islands. The grants comprise $2 million from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction and $1.8 million from the Clean Energy Fund under more..

Vigneswaran claims rights to Moragahakanda project

July 27 (DM) Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran yesterday claimed rights to the Moragahakanda project as it supplied water to the Northern Province. Chief Minister revealed these sentiments during a discussion with the JICA. He added that there would be issues if the central government had full authority over the project. “We are happy that water is from the Mahaweli River is being distributed to the North, we have no objection to that,” Vigneswaran said. more..

Sri Lanka to sign MoU with Georgia to expand bilateral relationship

July 27 (CG) Sri Lanka is to sign a MoU with Georgia to expand the bilateral relationship between both countries, Minister Gayantha Karunatillake said. He said that the cabinet approved the signing of the MoU on bilateral political consultations between the Sri Lankan Ministry of foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia. The cabinet approved the proposal made by Minister Mangala Samaraweera to sign the MoU during the political consultations at more..

President Sirisena vetoes SLFP MPs’ participation in opposition rally

July 27 (ENS) SLFP Chairman, Maithripala Sirisena, has disapproved of the participation of SLFP members and MPs in the Kandy to Colombo protest march planned by the Joint Opposition Group (JOG) headed by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Minister Manhinda Samarasinghe said that the President had disapproved participation of party men in the Pada Yathra when he met SLFP MPs at his official residence earlier. more..

Video: JO ready to commence protest while respecting the court order

July 27 (AD) MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage says that the Joint Opposition will commence the protest march from Kandy tomorrow as scheduled while respecting the court order. Kandy Chief Magistrate today issued a restraining order against four MPs of the Joint opposition not to commence the protest march within the Kandy city limits. The order was issued on MPs including Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Dilum Amunugama, Keheliya Rambukwella, and Lohan Ratwatte. more..

Lasantha's killing: Suspect identified by driver

July 27 (DM) The suspect taken into custody in connection with killing of Sunday Leader Chief Editor Lasantha Wickramathunga has been identified by the man who was driving Mr. Wickramatunga's vehicle at the time he was killed. The suspect was today remanded till Aug 3 by Mount Lavinia Chief Magistrate. The suspect Prem Ananda Udalagama served as a staff sergeant in the army intelligence unit. He was arrested on the 15th and then remanded till the date of identification parade. more..

Pro-reconciliation mood tempers press coverage of Jaffna Ethnic clash

July 27 (ENS) The sober media coverage of a recent Jaffna University fracas in which Tamil and Sinhalese students violently clashed over the organization of an annual event, indicates that a pro-reconciliation sentiment has gained moral currency in Sri Lanka, says Verite Research in its analysis of the way the govt, political parties and the media reacted to the incident of July 16 and its aftermath. more..

CID completes investigations against Tissa Attanayake over allegedly forging signatures

July 27 (AM) CID today informed court that the investigations against Tissa Attanayake on the alleged forging of the signatures of Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe have been completed. The matter has been referred to the AG for his advice. Attanayake is accused of preparing a document claiming to have the signatures of the then common candidate of the opposition Maithripala Sirisena and then Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe during the 2015 more..

SL extends deadline in port terminal tender

July 27 (EN) Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has extended by a month the deadline for expressions of interest in the pre-qualification stage to build and operate a new container terminal in Colombo port. Invitations for Expressions of Interest for prequalification to bid for the development of the East Container Terminal of Port of Colombo have been extended till 21 August 2016. The deadline was extended to give more time for interested parties to bid for the project which more..

India’s $318-million aid for SL railways

July 27 (Hindu) The railway sector in Sri Lanka is to receive a fillip with the Cabinet approving on Wednesday a $318-million line of credit from the Indian govt for the procurement of rolling stock and upgrading two important railway lines in the country. With this, the total amount of assistance from India for the development of the sector in SL has gone up to $1,284 million. As part of the rolling stock, six diesel multiple units with a/c compartments more..

killing our country

July 28 (DM) It is no longer sensible to be sensible. It is no longer reasonable to be reasonable. Whatever we do must be related to the consequences that our deeds entail. They must be directly related to the effects -- good or bad, redeemable or irredeemable and rectifiable or not, of action we took. Any deviation or oblivion that we might show in the face of unfathomable odds should not be given a scrap of a chance to succeed. In order to avert a much more alarming and more..

The missing millions from Singapore?

July 28 (CT) The NP Chief Minister in declaring open a housing scheme by a chartable member of the public in Achchuvely about a month ago, made a startling claim. He said in public from the stage that: A foundation in Singapore had donated Rs. 90 million for the furtherance of Tamil studies and so far the university has seen only Rs. 30,000 of it. As proof of his source, he pointed to Aru Thirumurugan who has present, and is and has been a member of the University of Jaffna Council for more..

Jana Satana- Paada Yathra

July 28 (CT) UPFA MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage who is also an active member of the Joint Opposition (JO) noted that President Maithripala Sirisena has allowed the latter to function as long as they adhere to the criteria set out by the former. As a result the Jana Satana-Paada Yathra will commence tomorrow as planned. In fact the President shared the same concerns as with the JO which is the focus of the Paada Yathra, more..

Think outside the box, the way out?

July 28 (FT) 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. Undoubtedly, we are prisoners of our own minds and more..

Editorial: Cricket and patriotism

July 28 (Island) Murali is being raked over the coals in some quarters for doing his damnedest as Australia’s bowling coach to help the Kangaroos trounce the Lions on Sri Lankan soil. A Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) bigwig has gone so far as to call him a traitor. The question is whether Murali can bat for Sri Lanka while being Australia’s bowling coach in his retirement. Former World Cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga has said that if he were Murali he would not do what the latter has done. more..

'No proposals still to amend constitution'

July 28 (SL) JVP Western Provincial Councillor, Sunil Watagala says that many committees have been formed to gather ideas and suggestions for a new constitution, but no proposals came out to date. He said the govt is delaying the LG elections because they think opposition parties will take advantage of such a situation. He said three groups: President’s faction, PM’s faction, and the Rajapaksa faction will contest the LG polls more..

A response to Thisuri: We know all forms of violence better than you

July 28 (CT) An article by Thisuri Wanniarachchi on the recent violence at Jaffna University is being shared by many of my Facebook friends. It is great that she acknowledges her privileges and apologizes throughout the article. Her point about how women respond to everyday violence against them with tolerance (rather than violence) is noteworthy. We, among friends, have often debated on how every protest organizer should ponder on the fact that women were able to achieve more..

Students’ troubles in universities: A question of misconceived cultural property rights?

July 28 (FT) SL’s state-owned universities have always been hotbeds of trouble. Troubles are good for universities if they are in the right direction. Universities are knowledge-makers and knowledge-making comes from troubling the existing knowledge. If there is a problem or trouble out there, university academics together with students go on troubling the trouble. In that manner, they find solutions to the problem at hand. That is how the world has heard of the leaders in the trade more..


Under the new electoral system No more extravagant expenses

July 28 (CT) One startling fact that came out of recent investigations on bribery and corruption is that almost all fraudulent deals to make money were connected to past or future election campaign fund requirements. The politicians resort to make money either to recover the huge funds spent for the election campaign or/and to hoard money for future elections. There has been a rapid deterioration of political ethics and morals. Today our politicians seem to be of the opinion that more..

Eng U-19 v SL U-19: Pope leads England to dominant position

July 28 (CI) England Under-19s dominated with the bat on the second day of their match against Sri Lanka, declaring at 500-9 and then making inroads with the ball as the tourists moved to 96 for 2 at stumps. After rain delayed start to the day, play finally got underway at 1.40pm with Worcestershire's Olly Westbury looking to build on his overnight score of 157. But he fell short of his double-century by just four runs after being caught at first slip by Avishka Fernando from a slow Damitha Silva delivery. more..

'Jana Satana Pada Yathra will be the largest protest march in SL’s political history'

July 28 (FT) The Jana Satana Pada Yathra will be the largest protest march in Sri Lanka’s political history, said Joint Opposition strongman Bandula Gunawardena, adding that over one million protestors are expected to join the rally that will commence today from Kandy and conclude in Colombo on Monday. Q: The much-discussed Jana Satana Pada Yathra of the Joint Opposition will commence today from Kandy. more..

Australia still with much to learn

July 28 (CI) Bat big. Make it count. Bat once in the Test match. Be prepared to be boring. Rotate the strike. Be patient. Respect the conditions. Attack and defend at the right moments. All these phrases were uttered by Australia's batsmen entering into this series, and they have been heard on other occasions too. None of that was in Steven Smith's head when Rangana Herath looped up his first ball of the day to Australian captain. Instead, Smith appeared to be working off the mantra more..