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SriLankan in quandary trying to cancel orders

Sept 8 (DN) SriLankan Airlines is desperately looking to cancel the orders placed to acquire new aircraft, Chairman Ajith Dias said. “Taking delivery of them and then running them will further add to our losses,” he said. The orders to acquire them were firmly placed by the previous govt and its very difficult to cancel them. “With the intervention of the govt we were able to cancel one order. However we still had to pay US$ 17.5 m for this. more..

Ford hopes for improved bowling display

Sept 8 (CI) Two days after his team was ravaged by Glenn Maxwell's 65-ball 145 not out, Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford was mulling over how Maxwell might be neutralised in the last match of the tour. It was Australia's middle order that had largely troubled Sri Lanka during the ODIs, but with David Warner and Maxwell now having scored hundreds in the two most recent games, SL will have to contend with in-form openers as well. more..

Glimpse of PM’s plantation reforms

Sept 8 (CT) Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe speaking at the Ceylon Planters' Society AGM said that the Govt of SL will come up with a plan to revive the country's ailing plantation economy before the year end. He further said that as long as oil prices remain low, the plantation economy will never recover, in the sense that sector led by tea and rubber will also find their prices, also virtually at floor levels. He attributed the decline in oil prices to the rise in the shale oil industry led by more..

LTTE, leader of the opposition & Avant Garde indictments

Sept 8 (CT) A social media post depicts the three images of Prabakaran in LTTE camouflage, Mr Sambanthan and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapksa with an additional word charged. It is interesting to see how a Tamil politician being the leader of the opposition irks the mind set of some. First question baffles any rational minded person is to why the Rjapaksa govt did not have similar emotions – as what they now feel in seeing GR being charged – when they more..

කොමර්දෝරු අජිත් බෝයගොඩ

Sri Lankan shares hit more than 1-mth closing low; large caps down

Sept 8 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's benchmark index hit a more than one-month closing low on Thursday, dragged down by large cap shares, as investors largely stayed on the sidelines amid confusion over falling bond yields. Colombo stock index ended 0.09% lower at 6,501.89, its lowest close since Aug. 1. Analysts said they expected shares to rise after results of the central bank's weekly treasury bill auction on Wednesday showed yields fell between 23 and 34 basis points, with more..

Srilankan pilots threaten work-to-rule campaign

Sept 8 (Island) Srilankan pilots are scheduled to launch a work-to-rule campaign tomorrow demanding that action be taken to ensure that the methodology adopted by the airline to find out whether pilots work under the influence of liquor confirms to internationally accepted standards. A spokesman for pilots said the trade union action was being taken on account of the interdiction of a pilot who had objected to the manner in which pilots were being subjected to alcohol tests following more..

Dilshan, a firestarter to the end

Sept 8 (CI) So before Dilshan has even left the building, he has tried to set the place on fire. There were the veiled accusations about lack of support from team-mates, after his final ODI. "We shouldn't dig up old grievances at a time like this," he had said at the time. Moments later, he found himself unable to resist exhuming them. In interviews since, the beefs have grown in number, and have become less veiled. more..

'Ranil, Ravi behind bond scam'

Sept 8 (LT) It is unsuitable to punish anyone else in the country without punishing the thieves connected with Central Bank bond scam says the convener of VAC, Wasantha Samarasinghe adding that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister Ravi Karunanayaka and the UNP are behind the scam. Speaking at a seminar Mr. Samarasinghe said the govt has not taken any action regarding the officials accused of the scam, the loss to the country due to the fraud and the harm to the system. more..

Gammanpila on how MR could regain power

Sept 8 (DN) PHU leader and UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila spoke about several ways how former President Mahinda Rajapaksa could regain power. “If the office of the President shall become vacant, Parliament can re-appoint former President Rajapaksa to fill the vacancy. “According to Article 31(2) of the constitution, people cannot re-elect a President who has held the post on two occasions. But nowhere in the constitution it says that Parliament cannot do so,” Gammanpila said. more..

Govt mulls banning fruit, vegetable imports

Sept 8 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said that there was no need for importing fruits and vegetables and the government would consider stopping it in the future. Fruit imports for foreigners would be exempted, he said. He said he would discuss with the Finance Ministry, Consumer Affairs Authority and Trade Ministry on ending fruit imports as Sri Lanka had the potential to meet local fruit and vegetable requirements. more..

Sea piling starts on ship lift repair facility at Sri Lanka harbor

Sept 8 (EN) Walkers Piling (Pvt) Ltd. said it has commenced work on Sri Lanka’s first sea piling project at Mutuwal Harbour to build a ship lift to repair vessels. The work will be done by a purpose-built barge that allows piling to be carried out at offshore locations, a statement from the company, a subsidiary of MTD Walkers, said. “Once completed, the Shiplift and Transfer System will allow vessels to be transported from the water to the pier to carry out required repairs,” it said. more..

PM unaware of engineers’ objection to LNG power plants

Sept 8 (Island) No public officer could object to the government’s move to solve the power crisis by setting up Liquefied Neutral Gas (LNG) power plants said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament yesterday. He said that he was not aware that the Engineers’ trade unions in the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) had opposed LNG plants in Sri Lanka. He added that even the Power and Renewable Energy Minister had informed him of such a situation in the CEB. more..

Invasion by Indian jets on June 4, 1987 enraged Sri Lankan army officers

Sept 8 (ENS) The brazen invasion of SL airspace by Indian Air Force jets and transport aircraft on June 4, 1987, enraged SL army officers who were, at that time, doggedly and successfully carrying out Operation Liberation against the LTTE in the Vadamarachchi region of Jaffna peninsula. “It was honestly, a terrible scene. My rage resurfaced; if we had any powerful anti-aircraft weapons in our possession, more..

Dilshan set for swansong against firing Australia

Sept 8 (CI) To watch Australia rewrite the T20 record books on Tuesday, you'd think they were the world's dominant team in the format. And indeed, they do boast two of the three highest T20 international totals of all time (263 for 3 this week and 248 for 6 against England in 2013) and all of the three highest individual scores (Aaron Finch 156, Glenn Maxwell 145*, and Shane Watson 124*). Yet, for all of those monster scores, Australia were booted out in the group stage of this year's more..

Seeman denies instigating attack on envoy

Sept 8 (Hindu) NTK founder Seeman, however, denied instigating the attack. “Mr. Wickremesinghe has also visited India several times. We have not indulged in any violence or disrupted his visit. We are a political party and always express our opposition in a democratic manner. Personally, I have not incited anyone to indulge in violence,” he said. Nonetheless, he said such attacks and protests were inevitable as the SL govt was resorting to all kinds of unethical means to more..

Video: Justice finally prevailed: Hirunika

Sept 8 (DM) In the immediate aftermath of the High Court convicting her father's murder accused to death, MP Hirunika Premachandra, broke down in Courts and said justice prevailed finally and thanked the govt of good governance. Speaking to the media outside the High Court premises, she said it was President Sirisena who created the environment for judicial independence and as a result justice more..

Sri Lanka mulls canal boat service with private partner for Colombo

Sept 8 (EN) Sri Lanka will study the feasibility of starting a boat service on the canals and the Kelani River in Colombo to boost transport with a private partner. The cabinet had given the go ahead for the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry to study inland water transport and identify a private partner to run a boat service. Colombo has a network of canals, which were connected and made suitable for boat transport during Dutch rule. Three routes could be established between more..

PM wants UNP to be major political force in Asia: Gayantha

Sept 8 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe hopes to see the UNP as a major political force in Asia by the time it celebrates its 80th Anniversary, said Minister Gayantha Karunathilake. UNP Working Committee which met yesterday evening to discuss its 70th year Anniversary which is to be celebrated on Saturday, according to Karunathilake was significant as it also invited UNP members of Parliament to its meeting. “We discussed ways in which we can take the party forward and move towards a new ideology”, more..

Police reviewing KLIA security procedures following Sri Lanka envoy assault

Sept 8 (NST) Police are reviewing the security procedures at the Kuala Lumpur Int'l Airport (KLIA) following Sunday's assault on SL's High Commissioner to Malaysia Ibrahim Ansar. This is to being done to establish if there is a need to deploy more personnel there, or for changes to be made on security duty procedures. Federal police Management Department director Datuk Abdullah said any changes on security procedures at more..

Cops should not create imagined enemies in Sri Lanka protests

Sept 8 (MK) Malaysian police force is entrusted to ensure the security and well-being of the country. However, such noble objectives should preclude them from creating and sustaining imagined enemies. Malaysia's political stability is dependent on a variety of factors emanating from the terrorist threats posed by those who are supporting the Islamic State (IS) organisation in the Middle East, those who are plundering the country of its wealth and those who are involved in more..

Video: Refusing nomination to Duminda justified: SLFP

Sept 8 (DM) The death sentence on former MP Duminda Silva by the Colombo High Court has shown that President Maithripala Sirisena was correct in refusing to endorse the Mr. Silva’s nomination for last year’s general elections, Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said. He told a media briefing today that the judgement was independent. “I cannot comment on the judgement other than to say it was based on the evidence submitted by the prosecution,” the minister said. more..

'Sri Lanka northern resettlement to finish by mid next year'

Sept 8 (PTI) Resettlement of over 3,000 people displaced in SL's former war zone in the northern Jaffna will be completed by mid next year, an official has said, days after UN chief Ban Ki-Moon called for expediting reconciliation efforts with minority Tamils. Jaffna's security forces commander Mahesh Senanayake said a little over 3,000 people are remaining to be resettled. There are 3,388 people from 971 families living in 71 camps more..

LTTE being strengthened locally and internationally warns: Ranatunga

Sept 8 (DN) MP and Joint Opposition member Prasanna Ranatunga in a letter addressed to President Maithripala Sirisena, has requested him to intervene and counter LTTE activities inimical to Sri Lanka which he says have been increasing both locally and internationally in recent times. To prove his point, Ranatunge has cited the destruction of two Buddha statues situated in Kanagarayankulam on the A9 road by some unidentified persons on August 29. He had said this followed the adoption of more..

Sri Lanka approves building expressway from Kurunegala to Dambulla

Sept 8 (LBO) Cabinet has approved the construction of the central expressway from Kurunegala to Dambulla with funds from Exim Bank of China. This 60 km long section of the central expressway has been identified as a project to be carried out under the Awakening Rajarata Development Programme. Cabinet decision said the Chinese Embassy has recommended China Gezhouba Group International Engineering Company, a Chinese state owned company for the construction of civil works. more..

Thajudeen Murder: Carlton House included in Presidential Secretariat phone

Sept 8 (DM) Senior State Counsel Dilan Ratnayake informed Court that it had been revealed that Carlton House in Hambanthota had been included in the internal phone network connection of the Presidential Secretariat. Earlier, the CID had informed court that there were phone calls from the Presidential Secretariat and Temple Trees to Narahenpita Police OIC Damien Perera on the day that Wasim Thajudeen was found dead. more..

Video: Case against Wimal postponed till next year

Sept 8 (AD) The hearing of the case filed against former Minister Wimal Weerawansa, for allegedly attempting to travel aboard using an expired diplomatic passport, has been postponed till Feb 2, 2017. When the case was taken up at the Negombo Magistrate’s Court today, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) had requested for more time to obtain certain evidence with regard to the incident. After considering this, the magistrate postponed the case to next year. more..

Next COPE report on Oct 13

Sept 8 (DM) COPE will present its next report, with details of the controversial bond issue, in Parliament on Oct 13 this year, its chairman Sunil Handunnetti said. He said this in response to an allegation by JO MP Bandula Gunawardena that there was a sinister move to sweep the bond issue under the carpet. "There is no sinister move to sweep the issue under the carpet; COPE is working according to a road map with regard to the Bond issue, and the details of it will be included in the next report more..

Duminda, four others sentenced to death

Sept 8 (AD) Former UPFA MP Duminda Silva and four other suspects have been sentenced to death over the murder of former MP and presidential advisor Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra. Delivering the verdict in one of Sri Lanka’s most high profile cases, the Colombo High Court today sentenced 5 out of the 13 defendants charged over the shooting and killing of four persons including Premachandra on Oct 8, 2011. more..

The story of Karnan my hero through the splendour of dance

Sept 9 (CT) Karnan is my hero, the character I most love in the epic, Maha Bharatham, even better than Arjunan or Tharman. His story is both soul stirring and heart breaking yet edifying. Though immortal I believe Karnan was sent to earth for a purpose to – exemplify noble qualities! And in one evening both the story of my hero and the splendour of Bharathanatyam dance came together in one innovative production – need I ask for more? Bharathanatyam is an exquisite dance form more..

Celebration of Indian independence: A cultural tribute in Kathak tradition

Sept 9 (CT) The Indian Cultural Centre in Colombo (ICC) celebrated India’s 70th Independence Anniversary with a dazzling recital of Kathak dance at the Bishop’s College Auditorium on Saturday 13th August 2016. Though attendance at the occasion was by invitation, ICC was gracious enough to give free tickets on request. Renowned Kathak exponent Pragati Sood Anand was the principal recitalist; her troupe comprised four other female danseuses and a musical ensemble. more..

Upwardly flowing Water miracle no more? Paintings under threat

Sept 9 (SO) The legendary upwardly flowing water stream that then drips from the rock roof of the main cave in Dambulla’s ancient rock temple now appears to have stopped its regular flow baffling experts and believers alike. Some of the faithful who pilgrimage to this historic temple view the sudden interruption of the flow as an ill omen. The beautiful, ancient paintings in the series of rock caves on top of Dambula rock are internationally admired more..

Policy vs Politics: Global Sri Lankan Forum’s telling myopia

Sept 9 (GV) The Sri Lanka Foundation Institute was largely empty as the Global Sri Lankan Forum, (a group in favour of the unitary state system of governance) convened for a seminar on The Geneva Resolution and Federalism as it is today. “My favourite quote on terrorism comes from Putin,” said retired Rear admiral Sarath Weerasekara. “To forgive the terrorists is up to God. But to send them there is up to me.” The audience chuckled grimly as he continued on to say that more..

SL’s Spitfire pilots: A forgotten history

Sept 9 (DM) Aviation history fascinates me and I’ve seen enough WWII pictures of Hurricanes and Spitfires, the British fighter planes which faced off Hitler’s Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain. I was visiting Duncan Jayawardana, an old friend from Moratuwa, and wondered why he had WWII aircraft pictures displayed prominently on his living room wall. Then I saw that the pilot in the pictures was a Sri Lankan, not British. “That’s my father,” Duncan told me with his usual modesty. more..

Geneva resolution & Federalism as it is today

Sept 9 (DM) Sri Lankan Forum conducted a public seminar titled Geneva Resolution and Federalism as it is Today. It focused on the Sri Lankan co-sponsored Geneva Resolution projected on the backdrop of the recently concluded visit by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon. The discussion featured Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara (Rtd.), Shamindra Ferdinando, journalist of The Island, Manohara Silva PC, more..

MR’s breakaway; SLFP’s family-rule mindset

Sept 9 (DM) Succession of leadership of political parties is always a subject of controversy. In Sri Lanka, of all these political entities, which came into being in the early part of the 20th Century, the overall political dynamic has been that they were basically founded on either political ideology or representing a particular social class. The Ceylon National Congress, not as a political party, but as the mainstream political entity of the Legislative and State Council days, more..

What’s in store for the Blues?

Sept 9 (DN) If local political observers waited with bated breath for a political bombshell at the 65th anniversary celebrations of the SLFP, they would have been disappointed. The occasion however did have its headline grabbing moments as well. The main focus of this year’s anniversary celebrations was whether it would widen or perhaps even resolve the differences between the two factions in the party supporting President Maithripala Sirisena and his predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Renuka City Hotels Chief warns of dangers of removing minimum rate

Sept 9 (FT) Veteran hotelier Renuka City Hotels Chairman Ravi Thambiayah has warned of the dangers of the abolition of the minimum room rate. He said that despite significant growth in tourism arrivals the formal tourism sector, consisting of SLTDA-approved hotels, has seen little benefit in terms of higher occupancy or REVPAR. SL currently has approx 28,000 rooms, of which over 60% fall in the informal segment consisting of supplementary establishments & unclassified hotel inventory. more..

China’s 13th Five Year Plan and its Implications on Sri Lanka

Sept 9 (IPS) China’s rapid development has been well documented. Since the initiation of market reforms in 1978, China’s GDP growth has averaged 10% per annum; an unparalleled feat amongst developing nations. Such brisk growth rates have been instrumental in developing large swathes of the nation and in lifting a significant portion of the population from poverty. However, growth rates have dipped over the last few years – between 2012 and 2015, the Chinese economy grew at more..