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Salawa fire: Compensation for about 1,225 houses and businesses

July 3 (ST) Compensation is to be paid to the owners of about 1,225 houses and business establishments destroyed or damaged in the Salawa ammunition depot inferno. A comprehensive compensation plan, including payments for damaged household goods and electronic equipment will be taken up for approval at the next cabinet meeting, Minister Susil Premajayantha said. He has been appointed by President Sirisena to oversee compensation payments. more..

Root and Buttler lay groundwork for 3-0 series win

July 3 (CI) England's start was swift, their middle overs lively, and their finish was efficient. In response to an imposing total of 324, their visitors stuttered at the outset, lost wickets through the middle, and arrived at a limp finish. SL's 122-run defeat was an apt reflection of the chasm between the quality of the teams on display this series, which England have sewn up 3-0. Joe Root produced a seamless 93 from 106 balls to underpin his more..

The Renaissance Man?

July 3 (CT) Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, a distinguished son of an equally or more distinguished father, Raju Coomaraswamy, and brother of UN Rapporteur for Rights of Children in War, Radhika, is perhaps the best possible man from among SL's distinguished realm of top bureaucrats, to have ever been appointed to the Governorship of CB at a juncture in the nation's economic affairs which demand a man of sheer integrity rather than a man with mere more..

England's second-biggest win over Sri Lanka

July 3 (CI) 4: Number of bilateral ODI series of five or more matches in which England have not lost any game, including this series. The first such series was against Zimbabwe in 2001-02 when they won all the five matches. The second came against South Africa in 2008 when they won four of the five matches, with one game being washed out. The last such series came against India at home in 2011, which had similar result like this series - three wins, one tie and one no-result. more..

Legal pundits want expansion of CIABOC, FCID powers

July 3 (ST) A Sri Lankan team of legal experts are planning to make recommendations to the govt calling for the expansion of powers of the key institutions looking into bribery and corruption and the police’s new financial crimes division. CIABOC requires an enhancement of its powers to cover money laundering to ensure they could issue an indictment on a case, Deputy Solicitor General Yasantha Kodagoda said addressing more..

JO to launch broad-based national movement

July 3 (SO) Joint Opposition (JO) will launch a broad-based national movement urging the people to rally against the govt. It will be marked with a four-day protest march that would commence on July 28 from Kandy and expected to reach Colombo on Aug 1. The march which will take the form of a national movement which will kick off opposite the Sri Dalada Maligawa, Kandy on July 28. There have been isolated protests in towns and institutions islandwide against the undemocratic moves of the Govt. more..

President condemns terrorist attack in Bangladesh

July 3 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena, condemning the terrorist act and hostage taking in the Diplomatic conclave in Dhaka, Bangladesh, expressed his condolence to the Govt and the people of Bangladesh over the incident. In his message of condolence, the President said that the Govt and the people of Sri Lanka strongly condemn terrorist acts in all its manifestations especially involving innocent civilians. “At this hour of grief, the Govt and people of SL stand in solidarity more..

Measures to re-appoint Mahendran as CB Governor under consideration

July 3 (ST) Measures got underway this week as a section of the Govt led by PM Wickremesinghe sought to retain under-fire Arjuna Mahendran as the Central Bank Governor, in the event of his clearance by the COPE probe. In this process, the authorities either knowingly or unknowingly violated provisions of the Monetary Law. For instance there is no acting provision and only the governor can call a Monetary Board meeting. more..

Matthew makes Olympic history

July 3 (SO) Sensational Sri Lankan swimmer Matthew Abeysinghe booked his place to compete in the 100m freestyle event in the Rio Olympics after he won the men’s 100m freestyle event at the Hong Kong Age Group Championships on Saturday. Abeysinghe who clocked 50.53 seconds in his pet event, 100m freestyle, became the first Lankan swimmer to achieve an Olympic standard as early Lankan swimming entries to Olympics had been on Wild Cards. more..

Debts not the way to go

July 3 (ST) My dear Arjuna, I thought I must write to you because you seem to be the man of the moment. Everyone is talking about you, some people want you to stay in your job, others want you out and they even seem to be finding it difficult to get a replacement for you, so you must be a pretty special person! Pardon me, Arjuna, but I am confused by all these conflicting stories that are doing the rounds. Some say that you should not be holding top job because of some Bond issue. more..

'I won't run away from captaincy'

July 3 (CI) Angelo Mathews has said he will not run away from the SL captaincy and insisted he wants to help haul the team out of their current trough. The 122-run defeat in Cardiff meant SL lost the one-day series 3-0 to follow the 2-0 reversal in the Test matches. They now have the lone T20 in Southampton on Tuesday to try and take something tangible from the two-month tour before returning home to face Australia across all 3 formats. more..

Megapolis project faces further delays

July 3 (SO) Disagreements among the key stakeholders and internal squabbles are blocking the progress of the much-awaited Megapolis project. Despite PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s keen interest to expedite the process, things are not happening, an official close to the project said. The main objectives of the megapolis project include creating jobs, spread industries and strengthening public service across the province, thereby giving people the opportunity to comfortably live and work more..

Treasury begins 2017 budget plans with thorough review

July 3 (ST) In the midst of CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran ending a controversial tenure in office and uncertainty amongst several senior Finance Ministry officials under the present system, the Govt is planning to strictly ban supplementary estimates next year. With the budget planning process to get underway, the Treasury Secretary has directed all Ministry Secretaries to finalise their 2017 budget and advised that no supplementary allocation will be given to them next year. more..

President orders to remove Sajin’s STF security

July 3 (SL) President has ordered the removal of the STF security provided to former MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena. President had issued the order to IGP Pujitha Jayasundara. The order was given after civil society members had raised concerns over the security given to the former MP who is facing several allegations. When asked on whose instructions Sajin de Vass was given STF security, IGP has told President more..

Confusion over Audit Draft Bill

July 3 (SO) The long overdue new Audit Draft Bill that will give sweeping powers to the Auditor General to hold state officials accountable over fiscal matters has stopped short of reaching Cabinet. Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe said they were expecting the draft Bill to be presented to Cabinet this week but due to some reason or other it has been going back and forth for the past several weeks. This was the third time it failed to reach Cabinet, the Auditor General said. more..

MR skips Badulla Joint Opposition campaign

July 3 (SL) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was not taking part in a 3-day Joint Opposition campaign in Badulla, which began yesterday. The campaign was launched to promote a new political alliance of the Joint Opposition. A spokesperson of the former President said that Rajapaksa will not be attending the campaign in Badulla, which ends tomorrow. When contacted, Joint Opposition MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara said 52 Joint Opposition members will attend the campaign in Badulla. more..

Plan to grant licences to limited number of Indian trawlers

July 3 (ST) SL Govt is considering a proposal to issue permits to a limited number of Indian trawlers in an attempt to minimise mass-scale illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in sovereign seas by Tamil Nadu boats. However, the proposal — which has been floated by the Indian side several times in the past as a solution to IUU fishing by their fishermen — is likely to be resisted by officials, fisher associations, exporters and more..

Madushanka case: Maldivians can’t question family here

July 3 (ST) Govt has rejected a request from the Maldivian govt for its detectives to question a Sri Lankan family. The move came on the advice of the Attorney General. This was on the grounds that Sri Lankan law does not allow any foreign investigators to question or record any statement from any citizen. Maldivian detectives wanted to question the family of Lahiru Madushanka, who is now in their custody in connection with the alleged plot to kill Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen. more..

Five small state banks to be restructured

July 3 (ST) Govt is to restructure five small state banks in an effort to make it not only stable and resilient but also competitive, official sources revealed. Public Enterprises Development Ministry has made a recommendation to Cabinet on the rationalisation of the activities of State Mortgage and Investment Bank (SMIB), Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) Bank. Lankaputhra Dev. Bank (LDB) SL Savings Bank (former Pramuka Bank) and Regional Dev. Bank (RDB). more..

Tamil Diaspora does it again

July 3 (CT) Tamil Diaspora kept up the pressure, though international heavyweights, on war crimes to ensure that issues are not downplayed. To some extent, they were successful. What the Diaspora wants is basically to keep the issue alive and active until the Human Rights Chief Zeid submits his final report in March 2017 about whether Sri Lanka is right on track. TGTE member S Sivagurunathan, in Geneva, said that more..

Vince's second coming, Plunkett's yorker

July 3 (CI) Jason Roy and James Vince made their ODI debuts in the same game, the rain-ruined match against Ireland last May. Today they opened the batting together, Roy beginning the match with 840 runs to his name and Vince zero - he had not played another ODI since that dank day in Dublin when he did not get a bat. He soon opened his account this time, gliding his first ball down to third man. June had been a frustrating month for Vince as he faced just 96 deliveries across six innings more..

Former Rugby captain appointed Governor

July 3 (Island) Former Sri Lanka rugby captain and top economist Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy (66) has been appointed as the Governor of Central Bank. A respected economist, Dr. Coomaraswamy was the Director of Economic Affairs at the Commonwealth Secretariat, an intergovernmental agency of Commonwealth countries in London. Educated at Royal College, Dr. Coomaraswamy later studied at Harrow School in London. He represented Harrow’s First XI in cricket at the age of 14. more..

How Indrajit was appointed as CB Governor

July 3 (CT) Former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, whose tenure was plagued by scandal and controversy, went home (Singapore) on Friday afternoon on Emirates 348. Although he is no longer the Central Bank Governor nor is he in the country, the political crisis he left behind, which threatened to dismantle the Govt, was only averted by appointing Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy as the Governor. "After consulting all parties more..

Another committee: To screen viable FDIs

July 3 (ST) A high powered investment committee to channel foreign direct investments (FDI) into the country is to be set up under the aegis of the PM. He said this will be akin to the Singapore Economic Council and will vet FDI proposals before directing them to the BoI). “This is an expert council,” the official said adding that now the FDI proposals go through many stages and this expert group aims to bring competency into the selection process of the FDI proposals. more..

16 elephants, eight people killed as human-elephant conflict rages in Hambantota

July 3 (ST) Despite promises that govt would give top priority to prevent human-elephant conflict via the Hambantota Elephant Conservation Declaration, a plan is yet to materialise. The haphazard development projects started by the previous Rajapaksa regime at Mattala and Hambantota have completely ignored implementation of basic environment re quirements, and these concerns have been limited to the paper on which they were written. Mining & logging continues unabated more..

President calls the shots: Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy Central Bank Governor

July 3 (ST) President appointed Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy a renowned diplomat and economist, as the Governor of CB, ending weeks of speculation over who will take the post. The move which climaxed a behind-the-scenes drama this week had pitted the two key players of the Govt, UNP & SLFP, on a virtual collision course. The first intimation of Dr. Coomaraswamy’s appointment came in the President’s twitter account. more..

Dithering over CB & Damned over UNHRC

July 2 (Island) More than half the govt’s troubles are of its own making. The remaining troubles that are not self-made are the ones that the govt is supposed to deal with, directing all its energies to addressing them in some order of priority. Yet, week by week and month by month the govt creates new troubles while its involuntary troubles are festering for lack of systematic attention. Two examples, one from each category, are dominating the current news waves and illustrate the govt’s more..

The good is hardly ever appreciated

July 2 (Island) I have been shocked each night as I watch TV I news. The dark T-Shirt clad young lads and lasses are on again on one of their island wide missions of collecting opinions – this time on The Think Again programme asking the question: "Are you satisfied with the MP you voted in?" Not one, not one single person has had one single word of good for their MP. The usual moan is: "They promise a lot, get our votes, get elected and never keep their promises, never even come here." more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

July 2 (ST) Deputy Minister Palitha Thevarapperuma has been involved in a series of controversies in recent months. This week, in addition to his protest at a school in Kalutara over admission of children, he was involved in a clash at a hotel outside his constituency. During a drive to recruit more members to his party, he had stopped over at the hotel for dinner. There he entered into an argument and allegedly assaulted a waiter. more..

Bus strike called off following MS assurance

July 2 (DM) The island wide private bus strike which was scheduled from midnight tonight has been called off, the All Island Private Bus Company Federation (AIPBCF) said. Several private bus owner unions had earlier called an islandwide strike, scheduled to commence midnight today over the revision of fares. The unions demanded a 15 percent bus fare increase. AIPBCF General Secretary Anjana Priyanjith said more..

Animal hunters arrested; suspect surrenders

July 2 (DM) Six hunters, including the main suspect, were arrested today in Panwila, Kandy in connection with hunting wild animals in the Knuckles Conservation Forest, following uproar on social media over the incident. Pictures of hunters with meat of various wild animals went viral on social media last week creating a massive uproar among the public. One of the hunters is said to be an Estate Superintendant, more..

We lock them up and throw away the key

July 2 (ST) Judges and magistrates who do not understand the Bail Act are contributing to dire overcrowding in prisons that sometimes hold close to twice as many inmates as they are designed to house. While prisons should hold 11,762 inmates, in 2015 they had a daily average of 16,000 to 19,000 with a daily average population of 8,406 remand prisoners. For every convicted prisoner there are three remand prisoners in jail. more..

UDA, CMC and KUC play hide-and-seek

July 2 (CT) The Meethotamulla garbage dump has been looming over Kolonnawa and Wellampitiya, embroiled with sordid politics leaving the residents in its proximity bereft of a decent living. Ceylon Today has extensively highlighted the plight of the residents and the neglect they suffered from politicians who unabashedly abuse their grievance to garner votes during elections. There have been several proposals to solve garbage problem, more..

Lankan ministers respond to UK Tamil diaspora concerns in London

July 2 (Island) For the first-ever time since the civil war ended, a delegation of Sri Lankan ministers met with the UK Tamil diaspora in a public forum and responded to their concerns in London last week. Deputy Minister Dr Harsha de Silva and Mrs Rosie Senanayake, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister’s Office met with a wide gathering of Tamils at a meeting organized by the Non Resident Tamils of Sri Lanka (NRTSL) more..

Gnanasara Thero reignites anti-Muslim sentiments

July 2 (SL) BBS General Secretary Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero has reignited anti-Muslim sentiments after he warned that another Aluthgama was in the offing. The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka wrote a letter to IGP Pujitha Jayasundara while a group of Muslim lawyers filed a complaint at the police headquarters last week accusing Gnanasara Thero of attempting to incite violence against Muslims through a speech more..

Fonseka vows to stop Mahinda’s bid to re-capture power

July 2 (Island) Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka has vowed to stop the attempt by his arch rival former President Rajapaksa to re-capture power. Having obtained UNP membership, Fonseka who is also Regional Development Minister and former leader of DP, said during a welcome ceremony held at Srikotha last week, that the verdict of the last Presidential election indicated clearly that the people wanted an end to the corruption, more..

Homeowners in Colombo play hide-and-seek with dengue teams

July 2 (ST) Non co-operative Colombo city residents, the failure of public and private institutions to maintain their premises and abandoned buildings and lands were major obstacles for officials carrying out a three-day anti-dengue campaign that ended yesterday. CMC PHIs along with the environmental police and army engaged carried out checks on 2,667 premises and found 29 sites with mosquito larvae more..

A rip-off from govt revenue

July 2 (CT) Is the heavy tax holding you back from your next top notch vehicle purchase? Well driving a luxury vehicle is no more a distant dream if you are fortunate enough to buy a vehicle permit from a MP with tax immunity to a limit of US$62500. Most of the vehicles ordered under the permits are Range Rover Sports Hybrid 2016s. But can you really buy an RR Sports 2016 for US$ 62500? As of June 2016 the price of an RR sports amounts more..

The Right to Information

July 3 (Island) On the day the Right to Information Bill was taken up for debate in Parliament last week, I found myself seated next to a 5th Grader from Urubokka Maha Vidyalaya in public gallery. At the time, our vantage point afforded a view of no more than ten MPs. Two were visibly asleep, comfortably reclined on their seats, even as the merits of RTI was being debated on the floor. During the course of the day, I witnessed shouting, screaming, the trading of insults & crass disruptions to submissions. more..

Ranil’s Wild Card Governor and Musings on Suicide

July 3 (CT) Satire aborted! With President Sirisena opting for the Plan C in Spin The Bottle and Pick a Central Bank Governor and appointing Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy as the new Governor, he inadvertently killed all the potential fun we could have had writing about how hard the out-going Governor Arjuna Mahendran tried to keep his seat. Plan A - taking the letter of appointment to the Central Bank on the sly - clearly did not work out for our President when more..