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England eye improvements, Sri Lanka need a win

June 23 (CI) Eoin Morgan wasn't buying the euphoria that drenched Trent Bridge on Tuesday night, after Liam Plunkett's long levers had bludgeoned England to a share of a thrilling contest which, on balance, they deserved to have lost. "We are very lucky to get out of this game with a tie," he said. "That was as bad as we have performed with the bat over the past year." Morgan's honesty was as refreshing as the attitude that had hauled his team back from the brink, more..

FM says he is appalled by the quality of some MPs

June 23 (Island) Minister Ravi Karunanayake told Parliament that he was appalled at the quality of some people who had been elected to the House. "Some of them who do not even have the basic qualifications to be engaged even at primary level of employment in any organisation have become elected MPs," the Minister said. Raising a privilege issue, he said on June 09 during the course of the debate on the vote of no confidence on the Minister of Finance by the Joint Opposition MP more..

Sri Lanka to take consent of TNA and war crimes victims on judicial mechanism

June 23 (ENS) Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has said that the nature and structure of the Judicial Mechanism meant to try cases of war crimes will be decided only after consultations with the TNA and the organizations representing the victims. Speaking at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs in Oslo, Samaraweera said: “ There is a certain degree of controversy on how it should be set up and the level of international participation. more..

Sri Lanka to scout talent in Tamil-dominated north

June 23 (PTI) Sri Lanka will build a new international cricket stadium in the Tamil-dominated north and scout for talent from the former war zone. Answering a question in the Parliament, Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera said that district coaches have already been placed in three northern districts with action also taken to build indoor cricket training facilities and concrete pitches. "We will be building a new international cricket stadium at Elephant Pass," he said. more..

FCID to check bank accounts of two companies

June 23 (DM) Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris today permitted FCID to check the bank accounts of two private companies, Nimbus and Steel Impex. The two companies are alleged to have provided funds to the then transport minister and the then SLTB for a tour of India between Dec 9 and 11 of 2011. This matter had cropped up during an inquiry into a case of violating tender procedures for the import of spare parts for SLTB buses by the two companies. more..

HRCSL welcomes President’s directives for arrests under PTA

June 23 (CT) Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka has welcomed the govt’s decision to repeal the controversial Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), and the directive issued by President Maithripala Sirisena on the arrest and detention of persons under the PTA and a state of emergency when in force. “Directives would facilitate the Commission exercise its powers, functions and duties in this regard and would without doubt reinforce the protection afforded more..

No proper organic fertilizer plan

June 23 (CT) The govt has no effective plan to provide organic fertilizer to the tea small holders as an alternative for the chemical kind, Convener of National Federation of Tea Small Holders Lal Premanath alleged. This was said at a media briefing organized by the National Federation of Tea Small Holders. He also said though they agree to the use of organic fertilizer as an alternative, adulterating the chemical fertilizer for tea farming is not a solution. more..

Lanka Phosphate Ltd. employees raise doubts about fire

June 23 (DN) Lanka Phosphate Ltd. employees have raised doubts as to whether Tuesday’s fire at the factory was an act of arson committed as part of a conspiracy to misplace documents relating to certain irregular tender transactions by the previous administration being probed by FCID. Anuradhapura Crimes Bureau and Eppawala Police have launched an investigation into the fire led by SSP Athula Weerasinghe while the CEB too has launched an investigation to ascertain the case of the fire. more..

Ranjan under fire for target practice

June 23 (DM) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake came under fire in Parliament today for using the premises of the MPs' housing complex in Madiwela to do target practicing for a film shoot. JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, angered by the move, asked Mr. Ramanayake not to consider every place in the country as theatres for film shooting. Mr. Ramanayake, the actor cum MP, was not present at the time in the House. Then, Joint Opposition MP Padma Gunasekara more..

Jayalalithaa shoots off six queries on Katchatheevu, DMK walks out

June 23 (ENS) Even four decades after the barren islet was ceded to Sri Lanka, Kathctheevu continues to haunt the DMK. With Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, justifiably, wielding it to beat the DMK, the past is revisiting on the later. The issue rocked the Assembly on Thursday too with Jayalalithaa posing six questions on the subject to DMK president M Karunanidhi, asking whether he would answer the queries on the floor of the House. Replying to the discussion on the motion of thanks to more..

Unlimited funds for treatment of cancer patients

June 23 (AD) Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne has directed officials to remove the current limit of Rs 1.5 million on allocations for a cancer patient and to make it ‘limitless’. Medical Supplies Division (MSD) of Ministry of Health had allocated only Rs 1.5 million per year for a single cancer patient up to now for drugs which are extremely costly. The budget for year 2016 have allocated Rs.2015 billions for the health sector and and Rs.3070 millions out of that have been allocated for more..

Governmental apathy, continued surveillance inhibit rehabilitation of LTTE cadre

June 23 (ENS) Former cadre of the LTTE, who had surrendered to the Sri Lankan army and undergone a year’s ‘rehabilitation’ in special camps, are manifestly eager to get back to normal life, forgetting their past. But lack of active interest on the part of the political leadership; the bureaucracy’s apathy; and above all, the Security Forces’ continued lack of faith in them; are preventing their return to normalcy. State actions ensure that eminently more..

Korea mulls mega infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka

June 23 (LBO) A South Korean delegation has visited Sri Lanka to discuss cooperative methods for large-scale infrastructure projects including the Western Province Megapolis and the construction of the Central Expressway. Vice Minister of Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Kim Kyung Hwan, accompanied by govt officials, visited Sri Lanka recently. A large business delegation representing the infrastructure sector, including Korea Expressway Corporation, more..

Dialog launches Voice over LTE

June 23 (EN) Dialog Axiata said that its fourth generation fixed and mobile networks have been enabled with Voice over LTE (VoLTE) allowing customers to experience near stereo quality. "VoLTE capability has been activated across the Dialog LTE Networks," Dialog said. "Subscribers would however require a LTE handset or LTE CPE (Customer Premise Equipment), which is VoLTE capable in order to experience VoLTE," "It is envisaged that a majority of upper-end LTE handsets more..

Probe into Bangladesh CB hacking: Court calls for analytical report

June 23 (DN) Colombo Chief Magistrate called for analytical reports from Colombo University pertaining to a CPU of a computer and two mobile phones alleged to have been used by a director of Shalika Foundation over money laundering investigations following the theft of $81 million from the Bangladesh Central Bank. Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya made this order following a request made by the CID that they need to obtain analytical reports more..

IMF program benefits may be short lived: Moody's

June 23 (EN) Sri Lanka may not get any lasting benefit from a program with the International Monetary Fund and the ability of the administration to implement reform will decide how the changes endure, Moody's, a rating agency said. The rating agency said fiscal strengthening under IMF programs tended to be shortlived. "Generally, an initial narrowing of deficits diminished or reversed after a few years and the govt's debt burden continued to rise," rating agency said. more..

Estate workers demand salary increase

June 23 (DN) A massive gathering of estate workers of the Galle district joined in a protest march outside the Galle district Deputy Labour Commissioner’s office yesterday, demanding an increase of up to Rs. 1,000/= of their monthly salary. A tense situation between labour authorities and the estate employees generated during the protest. Estate workers from Udugama, Nagoda, Yakkalamulla and Hiniduma areas took part in the protest campaign. The protestors who gathered at more..

NATA calls for support to prevent young getting hooked on cigarettes

June 23 (Island) The National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) called for public support to bring down the number of smokers. Addressing a media seminar, NATA Chairman, Dr Palitha Abeykoon said approximately 25,000 cigarette smokers died annually in Sri Lanka of tobacco related ailments such as heart and respiratory diseases and cancer. As a result the industry attempted to promote smoking and its target was children between the ages of 13 and 18. more..

New Delhi-Tamil Nadu relations and India’s Sri Lanka policy

June 24 (NS) “Could a state hostage the central govt’s decision especially affecting its foreign policy towards another nation? State can’t put pressure for the central govt decisions. I am tired and like Muhammed Ali I will allow them to punch me continuously but wait for the right moment to strike,” said Salman Khurshid, the then Indian external affairs minster, at the Asian Relations Conference held in 2013 at the Indian Council for World Affairs, New Delhi. more..

Cherry blossoms when an economist becomes a creative writer

June 24 (CT) Economists are known for being heartless because they practise a dismal science. The story is that, say, when the whole world cries for free goods, an economist would stand up and advise not to give them free. On many occasions, when the dance is going at high tempo, it is the economist who will pull the ‘punch bowl’ to the immense annoyance of the dancers. They would come up with a lot of theories and laws to substantiate what they say. These theories and laws are drawn from more..

'Thondaman is a threat to my life'

June 24 (FT) “Arumugam Thondaman objected to the former President offering me a ministerial portfolio. Now that we are in power, I will not allow him becoming a cabinet minister in our govt,” declared Minister Palani Digambaran. “I will never get together with Thondaman. He is a threat to my life. If he gets power he will take revenge from us. That is not a secret. However, I don’t want to work with lunatics,” the Minister said. more..

Normalising the abnormalcy

June 24 (GV) I am deeply honoured by this invitation to deliver the Maamanithar Prof Christopher Jeyaratnam Eliezer’s memorial lecture for the year 2016. It will be pretentious for me in these preliminary remarks to claim an understanding Prof. Eliezer’s achievements in the field of mathematical physics. Despite coming from a family of physicists, physics or any of the natural sciences never rubbed off on me. Thankfully for me the reason why we are remembering Prof. Eliezer today more..

More focus needed on short-term needs

June 24 (NS) Over the past few years, people in the Northern Province have seen quite a few changes around them in terms of infrastructure development. The absence of war and conflict paved the path for development to gain firm footing in the region. In fact, the rapid infrastructure development changed the face of Northern Province for the better. However, one of the allegations levelled against the then govt was that the benefits of the development activities did not reach the people. more..

'Gammanpila’s arrest is political revenge'

June 24 (CT) Nearly 74 individuals in the National Govt have ongoing investigations but individuals from the pro Rajapaksa faction are being arrested on false allegations, charged Thushara Dissanayake Propaganda Secretary of the PHU. Q: General Secretary of your party, Udaya Gammanpila was arrested recently on major fraud allegations. What's your party's take on this? A: MP Gammanpila has not committed any crime more..

Editorial: Yes, Prime Minister!

June 24 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said something sensible in Parliament. One could hardly hear him above the awful din in the House with many Opposition MPs on their restless feet shouting. He stressed the need for placing a cap on election campaign expenditure. This is a long felt need successive governments have chosen to ignore. A candidate contesting an election under the existing Proportional Representation (PR) system has to expend a colossal amount of funds on more..

Time for reflexion

June 24 (DN) Over 15 months have elapsed since the people’s victory of Jan 8, 2015 and the first anniversary of the Consensus Govt is drawing near. Hence the time is opportune for reflexion or introspection of how far the popular aspirations were fulfilled during the period of Yahapalanaya (Good governance). It is just that the NMSJ founded by the late Venerable Maduluwave Sobhita Thera and Citizen’s Power did last Tuesday at a well-attended public meeting at the Colombo Public Library. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Unaccountable accountants mock good governance: Activists not interested

June 24 (CT) It is baffling why good governance activists purportedly battling corruption steer clear of demanding accountability from Chartered Accountants faulted for egregious professional misconduct by the Supreme Court, Parliament’s watchdog COPE, the Attorney-General and CA Sri Lanka Ethics Committee itself in the scandalous privatisation of the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) causing major loss to the people of this country. This is bizarre since more..

This college tie and that college tie

June 24 (Island) Long ago I saw a post card with the saying ‘I was educated once and it took me years to overcome it’ I took that post card and got it framed and kept it with me for a long time. It reminded me not to be mad like most Sri Lankans who harp on their schools even after 60 or 70 years of leaving school. Sri Lanka must be the only country full of mad people like that and its ridiculous to see old men behaving like school children or sometimes even worse than them. more..

'Salawa: Relocation never materialised'

June 24 (SO) In the aftermath of the Kosgama catastrophe where rains of Artillery and RPGs destroyed homes and buildings, the govt launched a three prong investigation to probe into the fire at Salawa camp and subsequent explosions in the ammunition dump. Investigators have so far found no evidence of sabotage or terror links, however, such possibilities are not ruled out, said Defence Sec Karunasena Hettiarachchi. more..

RTC enters season two with more strength

June 24 (DN) The Royal Turf Club announced their second racing season (on August 6 and 20) and the future plans for the wellbeing of horse racing industry, animal welfare, charity, community service and sports tourism in Sri Lanka during a press briefing held at the Hilton, Colombo on Wednesday. The newly formed RTC conducted their inaugural race season from March 20 to April 30 including five Race Meets consisting of 35 races while attracting 176 starters. more..

Ratnayake Central, St. Mary’s dominate day 2

June 24 (Island) Ratnayake Central, Walala and St. Mary’s College, Kegalle took major honours for the second consecutive day before a controversial change of decisions to scrap points earned in the Under-21 age category frustrated several participating schools on day two of the All Island Schools Relay Carnival. Ratnayake Central won the Under-21 girls medley and 4x200 metres relays while St. Mary’s College, Kegalle bagged the golds in U-21 boys’ medley & 4x200 metres relays. more..

Sri Lanka sweat on late Mathews fitness test

June 24 (CI) Angelo Mathews is in a race to be fit for 2nd ODI but will be given until the last moment to prove his hamstring has fully recovered from the stiffness that forced him from the field in 1st ODI. Mathews looked somewhat uncomfortable and was only able to run at around 70% during a fitness test on Wednesday before sitting out the rest of the fielding session, although he did take part in some batting practice later. more..

Holcim Lanka in disclosure deficit?

June 24 (FT) Holcim Lanka, a former privatised venture of Sri Lanka, as it readies for an impending sale is said to be suppressing important information that could affect the price. It is alleged that Holcim, which has only invested $ 26 million, has enjoyed a 12 year tax holiday from funds borrowed from within Sri Lanka and has reaped approximately Rs. 48 billion from extraction and limestone alone, is not revealing to potential buyers the true state of the company. more..

China’s One Belt One Road initiative: Implications for Sri Lanka

June 24 (IPS) Trade along the Ancient Silk Road can be traced back to historical times when land and sea routes between China and Europe were vibrant with the movement of a range of goods including silk, spices, precious stones, etc., as well as cultural exchanges. SL too played an active role in the ancient Silk route of the ocean. Situated strategically in the middle of the ancient Silk route of the ocean between East & West, SL functioned as an entreport of trade for exchanging commodities. more..

Indian HC dismisses plea to ensure fishing rights in Katchatheevu waters

June 24 (Hindu) Madras High Court on Thursday dismissed as not maintainable a plea seeking a direction to the Union govt to enforce the 1974 agreement between India and SL in letter and spirit to ensure fishing rights of Indian fishermen in the international waters. Refusing to entertain the plea, First Bench of Chief Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice R. Mahadevan said, “This court has no jurisdiction to enforce a writ on SL govt. more..

Techno Sri Lanka 2016 from October 7 to 9

June 24 (DN) The Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL) launched its flagship event Techno Sri Lanka – 2016, the National Engineering and Technology Exhibition to be held for its 31st consecutive year on October 7-9, 2016 at the BMICH. "It is heartening to note that techno has matured and got established over the years as a very important event in the calender of engineering and technology community of Sri Lanka and it is my wish that it emerges as a prominent brand name in the field of more..

Mankading part of the game: Buttler

June 24 (CI) Jos Buttler has admitted he was at fault for the Mankading incident that occurred the last time England and Sri Lanka met at Edgbaston. Buttler was run out by the bowler, Sachithra Senanayake, after he overcommitted to backing up at the non-strikers' end during the 2014 ODI that Sri Lanka went on to win by six wickets. While Sri Lanka had warned Buttler a couple of times previously about his backing-up, the incident provoked boos from the Edgbaston crowd. more..

Govt introduces deemed VAT for transactions with non-VAT payers

June 24 (FT) Responding to appeals by the business community, Minister Ravi Karunanayake announced the implementation of deemed VAT for transactions done with a non-VAT paying party. Under the new VAT regulations introduced by the Govt in May, all businesses that earn more than Rs. 1 million a month or Rs. 3 million per quarter must be registered to pay VAT. However, those companies registered to pay more..

RPCs propose hybrid structure for estate worker remuneration

June 24 (FT) The Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) have put forward a modified proposal on the wages of estate/plantation sector workers, which via a hybrid solution attempts to bridge the gap between the demands of the unions and the need for productivity improvement emphasised by the RPCs since the inception of the current round of wage negotiations. Accordingly, the modified proposal suggests the remuneration of the workers based on the existing attendance-based wage more..