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Prez and PM pledge to continue SLFP-UNP alliance indefinitely to rebuild SL

Sept 10 (ENS) Both President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe on Saturday clearly indicated that the on-going fruitful alliance between their respective parties – SLFP & UNP – will continue in order to develop SL and maintain its sovereignty. That the alliance between the two major Sparties, which jointly head a unity govt will continue for the foreseeable future, came out clearly from the speeches of the President and PM at a rally more..

Hanjin shipping bankruptcy to have indirect impact on Sri Lanka

Sept 10 (LBO) The filing for bankruptcy by South Korean container shipper Hanjin Shipping will have an indirect impact on Sri Lanka with reduced space for cargo originating from the island, an industry official said. Hanjin, ranked the seventh largest globally, with 98 ships and 2.9% share of trade, has about 14 billion dollars worth of cargo stranded after the collapse announced on Aug 31. “Hanjin’s main hubs were Busan and Singapore within Asia, so there is little direct impact on more..

New bank to be established to meet housing needs

Sept 10 (CG) Govt is to establish a new bank to meet the housing needs of the country, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said today. Three banks will be merged to form the new housing bank to give housing loans at concessionary rates to the public. PM, speaking at the UNP 70th anniversary event in Colombo, said that the proposed housing bank will help ensure the housing needs of the public around the country is met. Finance Ministry is working with Ministry of Housing to build new houses more..

Fears coffin could open Pandora’s box of deadly virus

Sept 10 (ST) A row is brewing over the expediency of opening a sealed coffin of a man who died in Saudi Arabia after contracting the Middle East Respiratory Corono Syndrome (MERCS) virus. The JMO in Negombo is defying a court ruling by the Negombo Magistrate to carry out a postmortem on the body of 31-year-old man tagged as MERCS-infected. Dr Ruhul Haq has refused to perform the postmortem more..

JO MP decries President’s decision to attend anniversary celebrations of UNP

Sept 10 (CT) The proclamation by President Maithripala Sirisena and SLFP General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake that they intend to form an SLFP Govt in 2020 is not realistic as they have both been invited to attend the 70th anniversary celebrations of the UNP today, Joint Opposition (JO) claimed. SLFP Ratnapura District MP Ranjith Soyza said no SLFP supporter can approve the President's decision to attend the UNP event in his capacity as the Leader of the SLFP. more..

Probe on EX-IGP Balasuriya

Sept 10 (DM) PRECIFAC has begun an investigation against former IGP Mahinda Balasuriya for abuse of power in providing police security to eight members of People’s Freedom Front (PFF). He had recommended to provide security on an order given by Wimal Weerawans to NFF media spokesman Mohamed Muzammil, Anjan Umma, Weerakumara Dissanayake, Nimal Premawansa, Padma Udaya Shantha, Deepal Gunasekera, Jayantha Samaraweera and Samansiri. more..

Sri Lanka national with LTTE links deported

Sept 10 (TOI) Pune police on Friday deported Sudhan Subbiah (37), a Sri Lankan national having LTTE links. Subbiah was picked up from Lohegaon airport on Sept 1 while he was trying to fly to Germany on a fake Indian passport. Police team handed over Subbiah to immigration officials at the Sahar international airport in Mumbai on Thursday night. He was put on a Colombo-bound plane around 3.10am. more..

Abeysinghe who cashed cheques valued at Rs.218 million missing

Sept 10 (LT) A.M.B. Abeysinghe, who served as an administrative officer in the office of Presidents Chief of Staff and had cashed 18 cheques to the value of Rs.218,825,000 is missing. He has cashed cheques issued by 12 companies and one individual. Except for one cheque valued at Rs.250,000 all other cheques were to the value between one million and 55 million. The institutions that had given cheques were Senura Civil Engineering, Komun Engineering Services, Celtek Group, Nawaloka more..

Sri Lanka Tourism kick-starts Nordic roadshow with success

Sept 10 (SLT) Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) just started their inspiring roadshow in the Nordics. The first out of four workshops was held in Copenhagen providing Sri Lankan tourism partners with a platform to make valuable business relations with Danish and Swedish tour operators. SLTPB is currently visiting the Nordic countries with the aim to promote the destination towards the Nordic travel trade, and to generate new contacts for Sri Lankan trade partners. more..

We should rise up for unity: President

Sept 10 (DM) President Sirisena said today all Sri Lankans should rise up for unity just as late Anagarika Dharamapala said Sinhalese should rise to save their nation from the colonial powers. “The vision of unity was the policy of the UNP when it was first launched in 1946 but we have not been able to fulfill it so far. We still talk about unity 70 years later,” he said. President expressed these views while speaking at the UNP’s 70th more..

Recall of SL envoy in Malaysia: Vaiko

Sept 10 (Hindu) MDK general secretary Vaiko on Friday made a strong case for the recall of Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Malaysia, Ibrahim Sahib Ansar, alleging that he was functioning as a spy of his govt. In a statement issued here, he said Mr. Ansar was attacked by Tamils because he had threatened to annihilate them the way the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was destroyed when they expressed their protest against the visit of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

334 killings so far this year

Sept 10 (DM) A total of 334 killings were carried out in Sri Lanka from January to August this year, Parliament was informed yesterday. This was compared to 443 killings in 2015. Of the killings, 90 had occurred in the Western Province. During the same period there were 267 incidents of attempted murder, in which fire arms were used in 156 attempts. In 2013 there were 402 assassinations in the first eight months, and 391 assassinations during the same period in 2014. more..

Debt burden to be reduced by 2020: PM

Sept 10 (AD) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe predicts that the debt burden of the country will significantly be reduced by 2020. The observation was made while speaking at the 70th Convention of UNP held in Borella today. PM Wickremesinghe also went on to say that this would be the ideal time to develop the country under the rule of the coalition Govt of the UNP and the SLFP. “As we mark the 70th anniversary, the UNP more..

Pragmatism at 70

Sept 11 (SO) When party leader, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, told his party colleagues last week that the UNP must build a new leadership for the future, he was reflecting a long-standing trait of the Grand Old Party of Sri Lanka: pragmatism. In contrast, many of the UNP's rival political parties are known for powerful ideals that have, sometimes, clouded the strategic thinking of those parties, leading them away from the immediate, practical goals of capturing power and governing. more..

The Duminda case

Sept 11 (Island) The long awaited verdict in the Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra murder case in which former political grandee Duminda Silva was an accused has been delivered by a three-judge trial-at-bar. This, of course, is not the final word on the matter. The judgment was divided with the presiding judge discharging the accused saying the evidence was contradictory and the accused must have the benefit of the doubt. The convicts have expressed their intention of appealing and more..

Attack on Sri Lanka envoy in Malaysia

Sept 11 (SO) Independent observers have raised doubts over the manner in which Malaysian law enforcement is handling the probe into the attack on the SL envoy by suspected LTTE supporters. Both, Govt and Opposition legislators in SL, including TNA Leader R.Sampanthan condemned the shocking attack in the strongest possible manner when Parliament met on Monday. Along with the top diplomat, second Secretary of the SL Mission more..

Are People losing faith in elections?

Sept 11 (ST) Two main political parties, the UNP and the SLFP at 70 and 65 respectively, celebrated their anniversaries over the past two weeks. In the meantime, however, National Elections Commission (NEC) has re-launched a campaign to get eligible voters to register for next year because the level of interest has seemingly, waned. That disinterest among the public is alarming given the fact that voting at elections was one of the high points of Sri Lanka’s democracy. more..

Gota ally strongman Duminda to death row for Bharatha Lakshman murder

Sept 11 (SO) A former MP was sentenced to death for the first time in the country’s recent history when Colombo High Court decided to impose the death penalty on former MP Duminda Silva and four others in connection with Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra’s murder. Duminda Silva, a close ally of former President Rajapaksa at one point, was the monitoring MP of Defence and Urban Development Ministry, under the previous administration. Therefore, many assumed that Thursday’s more..

Propelling the hotel industry to be a catalyst for change

Sept 11 (FT) William Costley, Hilton Worldwide Vice President Operations – South East Asia and India, believes that the hotel industry could be a catalyst for change in diverse ways, which includes being an integrated component of holistic development of a country, a contributor to youth leadership and assisting in the eradication of gender stereo types. He was one of the speakers at last month’s Human Capital Summit in Colombo more..

Congratulations on your 70th birthday

Sept 11 (ST) My dear Green Man, I thought of congratulating you because you are celebrating the 70th birthday of the Green Party. There are reasons for you to celebrate because you are now in power after being in the opposition for almost twenty years. That was when you became the world’s longest serving Opposition Leader! I know that many people were surprised when you invited Maithri to be the Chief Guest for the celebrations because he is, after all, the leader of your arch rivals, more..

One Great Achievement

Sept 11 (SO) No, it is not winning a cricket test series; neither is it that the Jt Op has been asked to leave the SLFP; not even them Prodigal Sons being taken in with open arms, all sins forgiven and soon to be forgotten. The achievement is not even convincing our previous Prez to stay confined in his demesne in Medamulana and emerge only for R&R, since now he is not only causing mayhem within the land but even without. What a shame that our man in Malaysia was manhandled just because more..

Face The Nation

Remembering, celebrating and missing Sunila Abeysekera

Sept 11 (GV) Ever since Sunila passed away 3 years ago, I have wanted to write about her, but found it difficult to articulate my experiences and feelings. There’s much that has been said by many about her. Among these, what Dayapala Thiranagama wrote about her two years ago has remained in my memory, as it captures much of the Sunila I knew, remember, celebrate and miss. Below are some excerpts of how Dayapala, describes his first encounter with Sunila which led to their more..

The UNP at 70 and SLFP at 65

Sept 11 (Island) UNP marked the 70th anniversary of its founding yesterday with a very well attended rally at Campbell Park. The promise that UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe made at the poorly attended first anniversary celebrations of UNP-SLFP unity govt held in Matara was that he would show the country what a crowd was (senaga kiyanne mokakda kiyala penwanawa) at the 70th Anniversary rally of the party, meaning that the crowd attending this rally would be unlike more..

Tough proposition ahead of Chaminda Vaas

Sept 11 (ST) SLC secretary Mohan de Silva feels, now there is more pressure on us to deliver. He said the series win over Australia had captured the imagination of the cricket loving public to such an extent, the crowd opted to ignore the results of the rest of the series and were there in their thousands. De Silva said “The onus is on us now. Our cricketers managed to bring the Lankan crowds back on to the stands and it is up to us more..

What is Good Governance?

Sept 11 (Island) Recently terms governance & good governance are being increasingly used in development literature. Bad governance is being increasingly regarded as one of the root causes of all evil within our societies. Major donors and int'l financial institutions are increasingly basing their aid & loans on condition that reforms that ensure good governance are undertaken. What then is meant by good governance? Let’s first see what governance is. Concept of governance is not new. more..

More questions after limited overs drubbing

Sept 11 (Island) SL cricket is in a deep hole and unless corrective measures are taken to address some of these urgent matters, more humiliation awaits the national cricket team. 3-0 whitewash in the Test series gave the hosts a false sense of security that everything was hale and hearty with our cricket. The reality, however, is far from that. West Indies’ decline was alarming 20 years after they were world champions and the same fate awaits SL cricket 2 decades after they won World Cup. more..

I can serve the people without getting into politics: Dilshan

Sept 11 (SO) Tillakaratne Dilshan who retired from international cricket said that he could serve the people without getting into politics. “I don’t know anything about politics a lot of our cricketers have fallen into trouble by delving into politics without knowing what it is,” said Dilshan replying to a question whether he would turn his attention on politics like some of his contemporary cricketers had done after retiring. more..

Sri Lanka reaffirms commitment to further advance bilateral ties with Slovenia

Sept 11 (MEA) Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera visited the Republic of Slovenia from 4-8 September on the invitation of Hon Karl Erjavec, Deputy PM and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia to attend the 11th Bled Strategic Forum 2016. During the visit, Minister Samaraweera met with President Borut Pahor, PM Miro Cerar, Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec and Minister of Economic Development and Technology Zdravko Počivalšek and reaffirmed Sri Lanka’s commitment to more..

Sri Lanka moves a strong delegation to Guangxi’s CAEXPO

Sept 11 (GDI) No less than 25 Lankan exporters, biz reps and officials are joining one of the strongest ever Lankan trade delegations will arrive in China on 10 Sept. “We believe that Sri Lanka can showcase its products to China in a big way at 13th CAEXPO-more importantly it is an opening to ASEAN importers” said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. Minister Bathiudeen is scheduled to lead the 25 member Lankan delegation to arrive in China on 10 Sept for the 13 CAEXPO (China ASEAN Expo) more..

SriLankan pilots protest illegal suspension, not alcohol tests

Sept 11 (Island) SriLankan airlines pilots have begun trade union action protesting the suspension of a colleague who challenged flawed breathalyser test and not the decision to reintroduce checks on flight crew, their trade union said. Airline Pilots’ Guild said they will not undertake extra flying hours and also not fill in for absent colleagues as part of their work-to-rule after management suspended captain Jayasekera. more..

Airport Express ECD Global rolls out Business Class Limousine Service

Sept 11 (Island) Airport Express and ECD Global Pvt Ltd have entered in to a strategic partnership to introduce the Business Class Premium Transportation offering superior convenience and comfort to discerning and busy passengers and travelers, a news release issued in connection with the arrangement said. The two firms are specialists and leaders in their own fields and have a combined experience of over 60 years in the transportation industry. more..

Army helps Kosgama farmers with machinery for paddy cultivation

Sept 11 (Island) On a request made by farmers to the Agrarian Services Department for assistance to dig up the nearby paddy-fields in Kosgama blast-affected areas, the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva instructed Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe, Commander, Security Forces – West (SF-West) and Colonel Buwaneka Gunarathne, Director Agriculture to make army heavy machinery and tractors available for ploughing the paddy-fields that more..

'Don’t dictate terms to us'

Sept 11 (CT) Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran in an interview in Jaffna recently said he would be happy if the entire Sinhala Police Force from the South take up duty in the North, instead the Army. "Bring all the Sinhalese Policemen from the South instead of the Army," said the CM who added that the centre needs to consult and discuss matters with them without planning haphazardly and illogically. more..

Sucker is born every minute, nay every sec.

Sept 11 (ST) Athula Devapriya, our roving photographer, this week came across a crowd surrounding a woman seated on the ground busily pouring what looked like engine oil into small bottles. The woman seated on the pavement at Olcott Mawatha had a brisk business for dozens of gullible Sri Lankans, many young waiting impatiently with a 100-rupee note to grab a bottle of this wonder oil that claimed to treat all kinds of skin ailments and body joints. more..

Int'l karate C’ships: SL team wins 4 Golds

Sept 11 (SO) The International traditional Karatedo Championship and Masters Seminar was held on July 23 and 24 at the Soka University and the Hilton Hotel in California USA respectively. The Japan Karatedo Itosukai Sri Lanka team had the opportunity to take part in this prestigious event and win four golds, four silvers and seven bronze medals. The participants from Lyceum International Schools, British School in Colombo and Hendala Dojo are as follows: more..

People’s Bank in cover-up mode?

Sept 11 (CT) Controversial plan to digitize the People's Bank at a cost of Rs 700 million was raised in Parliament on Friday with several party leaders in the opposition questioning the justification for the bank taking out a full-page newspaper advertisement in relation to the issue. The newspaper advertisement had been published by the People's Bank in an obvious rebuke to a series of articles carried by more..

Murali Harmony Cup in Kilinochchi

Sept 11 (SO) 2016 Murali Harmony Cup will be launched on Sept 20th in Kilinochchi The event is a reconciliation cricket tournament that promotes unity, goodwill, teamwork, the spirit of fair play and service to disadvantaged rural communities in post-war Sri Lanka. The tournament is organised by Muthiah Muralidaran's charity the Foundation of Goodness with assistance from the SL Army. The 5-day event featuring U19 schoolboys and U23 women cricketers is being played at more..

Indian Railways offers SL tour packages

Sept 11 (Hindu) Buoyed by the success of the international tours from Vizag to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore in September last year, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Limited, has once again come out with package tours to Goa and international tours to Sri Lanka and Hong Kong from Hyderabad. The Goa tour would start with the Hyderabad-Goa flight at 12.50 p.m. on October 21 and return to Hyderabad Airport would be at 3.45 p.m. on October 24. more..

Govt to reacquire CSN land

Sept 11 (ST) Govt has taken measures to annul the lease agreement and reacquire the land at Denzil Kobbekaduwa Mawatha, Battaramulla, where the building in which operations of Carlton Sports Network (CSN) Channel is situated. Minister Champika Ranawaka said that the persons to who the land was leased had breached the conditions set out in the lease agreement by carrying out a business in premises of a property which was more..