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Dimuth produces narrative-changing knock

Aug 7 (CI) When play begins on day four, Dimuth Karunaratne is in the nineties, and he is tentative. Of that there is little doubt. Second ball, he is beaten by a Mohammed Shami ball that straightens. Four overs later, a similar Shami delivery beats another of his drives. At the other end, where Ravindra Jadeja is bowling, deliveries fizz past his inside edge, and make conniving lunges at his stumps. more..

Cooray stops after 12km in World Marathon

Aug 7 (CT) Marathoner Anuradha Indajith Cooray faced an unfortunate incident as he had to give up the IAAF World Championship marathon after 12 km due to a ligament injury yesterday. The 39 year old who competed in his third IAAF World Championship marathon, said that he was suffering from a minor injury after running a 10km race a few weeks ago in London which he won and rested ahead of the world race yesterday, but it did not come off well. "Course had too many bends more..

No Confidence in a kleptocracy

Aug 7 (Island) I bring before the nation a proposal of no confidence (NC) in the present govt consisting of the UNP and the SLFP. There is no point in bringing NC motions against individuals of this unity govt. Yahapalanaya govt is nothing but a kleptocracy. The JO bringing a NC motion against Ravi Karunanayake (RK) is the joke of the century. It is the pot calling the kettle black. It is ludicrous. After all, when RK was installed as Minister of Finance he had a case against him for money laundering. more..

Poor batting cost us the Test: Chandimal

Aug 7 (DN) Captain Dinesh Chandimal admitted that Sri Lanka lost the second Test to India at the SSC because of their poor batting display in the first innings. Replying to India’s massive first innings of 622-9 declared, SL was shot out for 183 and although they came up with a fighting batting display in their second innings to score 386 they still lost the Test by an innings. “We were completely outplayed. more..

Probe urged into Singapore Conspiracy

Aug 7 (CT) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that a series of discussions, conspiratorial in nature, took place at the Singapore residence of the former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran during the Presidential Election and the General Election periods in 2015. The former President expressed these views at a media briefing held at the Tangalle Carlton house. "Many people say that several underhand monetary transactions took place at his house during that time. more..

Only the President can change the Govt until 2020: Mahinda Amaraweera

Aug 7 (ITN) General Secretary of UPFA, Mahinda Amarawera has said that no one other than the President can change the Govt until 2020. He made this reference joining in the launch of the SLFP Puttalam District Balamandalaya. Minister said that Parliament will remain until 2020 and even the President has no possibility of changing it. He can dissolve it only six months before. He pointed out that some may say that the govt will toppled soon and dupe the public to keep them in their fold. more..

China not to use Lanka’s strategic location for its security needs: envoy

Aug 7 (DM) Chinese Ambassador to SL, Yi Xianliang, on Saturday assured Sri Lankans that China will never use Sri Lanka’s strategic location in the Indian Ocean for its strategic and security needs. Speaking at the reception to the Chinese naval hospital ship Ark Peace at the Colombo harbor, Yi said: “From over 1000 years ago, Sri Lanka has enjoyed its strategic location because the island is in the middle of the silk route. more..

Not looking at Tests as home or away anymore: Kohli

Aug 7 (CI) India came up against some high-quality sweeping from SL, which finally made them work hard to bowl the hosts out, but on a pitch were balls were exploding off a length and beating the bat, it was a matter of time before one took the edge too. Once that breakthrough was achieved, in the form of Dimuth Karunaratne after lunch on the fourth day, India broke open the door. Their captain Virat Kohli said it was important to maintain patience and discipline even as he praised SL batting. more..

Sampath Bank posts Rs 5.7 bn PAT in 1H 2017

Aug 7 (Island) Sampath Bank further extended its growth momentum in the 2nd quarter of the year and recorded a post-tax profit of Rs 5.7 Bn for the six months ended 30th June 2017. This registered an impressive 35.1% YoY growth in comparison to the Profit After Tax (PAT) of Rs 4.2 Bn recorded for the six months ended 30th June 2016. Profit Before Tax (PBT) too grew by 36.6% YoY and reached Rs 7.8 Bn by 30th June 2017. Sampath Group, which comprises of Sampath Bank more..

'PM’s constitutional reforms ploy to delay polls'

Aug 7 (Island) CaFFE says it has been shocked by the revelation that the 20th Amendment, which the govt wants to introduce, seeks to give Parliament the powers of dissovlved Provincial Councils.  CaFFE Executive Director Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said that with the controversial move was aimed at postponing PC elections by two years. "PM is attempting to delay elections by way of bogus constitutional amendments," he said. more..

Finance Ministry Coordinating secy caught with narcotics

Aug 7 (Island) Police commandos arrested four persons including a coordinating secretary attached to the Finance Ministry while they were transporting narcotics, foreign liquor and cigarettes for a beach party at Mount Lavinia on Saturday. STF found 3,000 milligrams of cocaine, 4,500 milligrams of narcotic tablets, 9,470 milligrams of hashish, 9,420 milligrams of Kush cannabis, 18 bottles of foreign liquor, 400 foreign cigarettes and two swords in the possession of the suspects. more..

Aitken Spence Travels SL’s top destination management company

Aug 7 (CT) Aitken Spence Travels was named Sri Lanka's leading destination management company at the 24th annual World Travel Awards held in the Maldives recently. Aitken Spence Travels is Sri Lanka's leading inbound tourism company which marked its 40th anniversary recently. The company, a joint venture between conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC and TUI, the world's number one integrated tourism company, served 153,000 visitors to Sri Lanka during its last financial year. more..

SL embassy in Kuwait saves two Lankans on death row

Aug 7 (Island) SL Embassy in Kuwait has been able to obtain pardon for two Lankans sentenced to death for crimes committed in that country. One of them had been sentenced to death for killing another Sri Lankan in Kuwait. Embassy had been able to raise blood-money with the assistance of other Sri Lankans working there and to negotiate with the kith and kin of the dead to secure the release of the convict from being beheaded, more..

CBSL buys $65.5M from market

Aug 7 (CT) SL's foreign reserves position was strengthened by US$ 65.50 million (Rs 10,055 m) on Friday, led by Central Bank (CB) purchases of exporter conversions and remittances, interpretation of CB's open market operations. Conversions are based on the middle rate of the benchmark spot as at Wednesday (2) which was Rs 153.50 to the US dollar according to market sources. CB retired some of its Treasury (T)-Bill holdings which carried a face value (FV) of Rs 26,646 million, more..

PMA underutilized by Lankan exporters

Aug 7 (CT) Preferential Market Access (PMA) provided through free trade agreements (FTAs) are vastly underutilized by Sri Lankan exporters, the New Trade Policy (NTP), which was recently approved by the Cabinet, revealed. The NTP also identified that while trade agreements have potential, preferences accorded are partial and limited and several factors, including the existence of Non Tariff Barriers (NTBs), had resulted in poor performances of FTAs. more..

Parliament Mafia: New code of conduct, revised set of standing orders for MPs

Aug 7 (DN) Parliament is to adopt a new Code of Conduct for MPs and revised set of Standing Orders shortly making it obligatory for all MPs to disclose information on their business relationships and financial interests including those of close family members. Assistant Secretary-General of Parliament said that the final draft of Code of Conduct for MPs would be presented in Parliament this week. more..

Some want to abolish the FCID as their irregularities are disclosed: JVP

Aug 7 (ITN) JVP Central Committee member Wasantha Samarasinghe has said that some are calling for the revocation of FCID fearing that their irregularities would come to light. He made this comment addressing a public meeting in the Suriyawewa area. Wasantha Samarasinghe said that the present Government launched the FCID. Those who have committed irregularities visit the FCID and claim that they are interrogated in an inappropriate manner and this is not legal. more..

China takes control of Sri Lanka’s strategically valuable Hambantota seaport

Aug 7 (Breibart) Last week, Sri Lanka’s govt signed an agreement giving China a 99-year lease to use Sri Lanka’s strategically valuable southern Hambantota seaport. The seaport is on the main shipping route from Asia to Europe and oversees the Indian ocean all the way to Antarctica. In addition, China will hold a 70% stake in a joint venture to handle the commercial operations of the port. The deal has been extremely controversial for several reasons: more..

Root cause of corruption: Mastermind behind Bond Scam: Remove Ravi & probe PM

Aug 7 (Island) There is no point in waiting for the Presidential Commission to conclude the No Confidence Motion to take place. There can be a Parliamentary debate on the Penthouse Issue or Public Corruption in general for the members to express their views and show their determination, if anything remaining, against corrupt practices. President must remove Minister Ravi Karunanayake from the Cabinet forthwith. more..

Sajith says I won’t vote for the corrupt

Aug 7 (DM) Minister Sajith Premadasa said over the weekend that he would resign from his Ministerial post if he were asked to vote in favour of corrupt people in Parliament. He made this statement at the opening of Manabarana Gama in Siyambalanduwa in the Moneragala District, 35th village under his Uda-Gammana Programme on Saturday. "I will resign from the Cabinet and take to the streets against corruption if anyone asked me to defend corrupt people," Mr. Premadasa said. more..

Susil: Peoples’ confidence shattered

Aug 7 (DM) It would be very difficult for Minister Ravi Karunanayake to maintain his credibility in the diplomatic arena after his credibility was shattered internally during the investigations into CB bond deal, Minister Susil Premajayantha said. Although questions were directed at him and he had answered them at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry, over the deal were not sufficient to clear his name, circumstantial evidences appear to suggest some possible offense had been committed, more..

Godfather of corruption initially reluctant to sign no-faith motion against Ravi

Aug 7 (Island) Top JO spokesman Bandula Gunawardena, assured that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa would vote for a no-faith motion against Minister Ravi Karunanayake over the UNPer’s alleged role in Feb 2015 and March 2016 CB bond scams. Karunanayake, who had held the finance portfolio in President Sirisena’s 100-day govt, was given the same office following parliamentary polls in Aug 2015. more..

Electricity to be bought from pvt. contractors if needed - Min. of Energy

Aug 7 (AD) Ministry of Power stated that they will be working towards providing a consistent supply of electricity, despite the prevailing dry conditions making electricity generation harder. Water levels of the reservoirs have decreased by 36.8%.  While the ministry is working towards allowing their hydropower plant to generate electricity smoothly, private energy contracts have been signed by the govt if the grid requires the purchasing of electricity from an external source. more..

Harbour lease not necessary if govt. acted on COPE reports: Handunnetti

Aug 7 (DM) Chairman of the COPE Sunil Handunnetti (JVP) said that there wouldn't have been a need to lease out Hambantota Harbour had the Government taken measures to recover the losses after a proper investigation on matters related to 58 institutions reported by the COPE during the last one-and-a-half year period of time. “At 98 meetings during this period COPE was able to reveal instances of misappropriation of money and frauds in various Govt institutions including more..

No-Confidence motion against Ravi K gathering steam

Aug 7 (CT) Joint Opposition (JO) is confident that the no confidence motion against Minister Ravi Karunanayake will prevail, with the support of a majority of MPs sans party loyalties and that they will push for the debate to be expedited at the forthcoming parliamentary party leaders meeting, PHU Leader MP Udaya Gammanpila said. "This will be the 3rd successful no confidence motion in the history of SL Parliamentary," more..

Economic perspectives on taxation

Aug 8 (ST) Last Sunday’s column pointed out that the underlying rationale for the new Inland Revenue Bill was the critical need to gather adequate revenue for the country’s development. A significant increase in govt revenue is vital for fiscal consolidation, macroeconomic stability & economic development. Resolution of many fundamental macro-economic problems requires an increase in revenue collection as well as increased expenditure on education, health & economic development. more..

RK Drama: Only a symptom

Aug 8 (CT) Memory is essential for survival. The brain stores all kinds of memories, like the way to ride a bike, what happened yesterday and even the meaning of the word memory. But memories are fragile and when the brain is damaged by an accident or an illness, memories can disappear along with the ability to remember. However, Ravi K’s recent memory loss is symptomatic of a special type of syndrome (1st victim being Duminda Silva), Mata Mathaka Nehe syndrome, more..

'No LTTE threat – their attempts at violence are over'

Aug 8 (CT) ITAK Leader Mavai Senthirajah said Govt and the hierarchy of the security forces had informed them that there is no threat by the LTTE and their attempts at violence are over. "Many of those who are not connected to the LTTE are involved in this sword attack and other violent activities. Therefore if the Police are claiming that such activities are carried out by former LTTE members, they should tackle the issue carefully. more..

High level consensus needed to make the third transition 

Aug 8 (CT) Sri Lanka is at the threshold of its third transition within the space of a decade. The first took place in 2009 on the battlefields of the north when the LTTE was militarily defeated and the govt regained control over the entirety of the country. The second transition took place in 2015 with the political defeat of the former government that won the war at the presidential and general elections that took place in the course of the year. The issue of Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s involvement more..

Editorial: Question AG on missing file

Aug 8 (Island) Faced with the prospect of some govt members also backing the JO’s motion of no confidence against him, Ravi Karunanayake is apparently left with no alternative but to step down as Foreign Minister of his own volition pending investigations into the questionable penthouse deal. However, those who are out for Karunanayake’s blood, trying to blame the bond scams solely on him are barking up the wrong tree. An attempt is obviously being made in some quarters to more..

Kusal Mendis rises above cauldron of doom

Aug 8 (CI) A series victory over Australia that put the island on a one-month high; a South Africa tour so disastrous, self-immolation seemed less painful than watching it; a record ODI chase against India at the Champions Trophy; a resplendently comic fielding performance against Pakistan - such has been SL's last year. Transition, if that is still what we are calling it, is supposed to be this lukewarm, intermediary stage. more..

NEC for smooth economic policy making

Aug 8 (CT) The differences between the two partners in the unity govt on economic issues came to a zenith two months ago and a temporary solution was found in the change of portfolios between Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera. Despite the change of minister of finance, major economic decisions continued to drift and the direct intervention of President Sirisena was needed to enact certain safeguards in agreements with foreign parties more..

GMOA silence on medical malpractices

Aug 8 (CT) Five months ago, Dambulla Base Hospital authorities had allegedly forcefully inserted intrauterine devices (IUDs) into patients who had just given birth. Until patients agreed to the procedure, the hospital refused to discharge them or to issue birth certificates to the newly born babies. The hospital authorities assured a special investigation into the matter as directed by Health Services Director Dr. Jayasundera Bandara. Western Province Health Services Director more..

UNP engineered Bond Scam

Koloppan in White House, kulappu in Penthouse

Aug 8 (ST) It is indeed a giant step for mankind. Both the print and electronic media in many countries carried the startling and happy news last week about a major breakthrough in scientific research that would have huge ramifications.  A joint team of scientists from the US and South Korea has discovered how to eliminate deadly heart disease running in families by editing a piece of faulty DNA. The average person would know little of the actual extent of its usefulness. more..

Defence worse than offence

Aug 8 (Island) Samad, who hails from India and studied law passed his finals in the 15th attempt, was a very lovable character. He was a great voet inner. When he passed out he became a permanent boarder at the best watering hole in Hulftsdorp, the Crown Hotel. When he was retained, he had a very common defence. He pleaded insanity. Once he defended a notorious pick-pocket and pleaded insanity. Mr. Ellepola the Chief Magistrate who had an inherent sarcasm in him, asked Samad; more..

Art of lace: How Beeralu is being kept alive

Aug 8 (Roar) Elaborately woven beeralu lace may be hard to come by these days, but this product of an age-old craft was once popular, and much valued, across the island. Today, lacemakers down South—particularly in Magalle and Weligama—work hard to keep the tradition of beeralu lacemaking alive and going. The process of making beeralu—though fascinating to watch—requires a lot of time and effort. more..

Pakistan and Sri Lanka agree to play day-night Test in Dubai

Aug 8 (PTI) Pakistan and SL have agreed to play a day and night Test match with pink ball in Dubai in the upcoming series between the two countries. This will be Pakistan's second day and night Test in Dubai as last year also they had played against the West Indies and won the encounter. "The two cricket boards are still finalising the itinerary for the series of two Tests, five ODIs and three T20 matches. Sri Lankans have requested the series to start earlier in late September instead of early October," more..

Hambantota port shows Sri Lanka’s drive for independent diplomacy

Aug 8 (GT) Sri Lanka signed a 99-year agreement to lease its deep-sea port of Hambantota to China Merchant Port Holdings (CMPort) in late July. Under this deal, CMPort, owning a 70 percent stake, will invest up to $1.1 billion in the port and a nearby Sri Lanka-China Logistics and Industrial Zone. Sri Lanka's Port Authority (SLPA) holds the remaining 30 percent stake. The project is a commitment to build a deep-sea container terminal, and ease pressures on Colombo's port. more..

No plan

Aug 8 (ST) As I was saying before; keeping my ear to the ground, I presume it is a part of my job. It gives you vibes without prejudice or even second thoughts; it just surfaces from the ground within – where it began. The other day I was chatting to my grocery man Seneviratne, an ardent cricket fan. You must see how his face lights up when Sri Lanka wins. It’s so pleasing to see a face so bright. more..