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More dissent in NPC ITAK to shun new portfolios

Aug 8 (CT) The ITAK which is the flagship in the TNA has announced that it would not accept any new ministerial portfolios which the Northern Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran intends to appoint shortly. ITAK Leader Mavai. Senathirajah, supported by other Party Provincial Councillors, arrived at this decision following a meeting held on Sunday. ITAK hierarchy held the meeting soon after the TNA met at Chief Minister C.V. Wigmeswaran's residence in Nallur on Saturday (5). more..

'President likely to sack Ravi over bond probe revelations'

Aug 8 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena is likely to sack Foreign Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake if he does not resign over revelations of seeming impropriety at a Presidential Commission of Inquiry, govt minister hinted. State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said President is likely to take a decision on Karunanayake, who was finance minister before a recent cabinet reshuffle, within the next two weeks. more..

SLFP won’t hesitate to vote against the corrupt: Chandima

Aug 8 (CT) SLFP says it will not hesitate to vote against anyone, be it a Minister or an MP, against whom a No Confidence Motion is brought, if the person's guilt is proved. Minister Chandima Weerakkodi said that he will take a stand against the corrupt politicians in the Govt irrespective of their positions. He said that he will vote against those who are found to be guilty of any corruption or has engaged in acts that are contrary to law. "President Sirisena has clearly mentioned that more..

‘Country making progress overcoming many obstacles’

Aug 8 (DN) Minister Mangala Samaraweera asserted that the country is now moving forward with a stable economy after overcoming many obstacles in the past. He noted that when the new govt assumed office there were two main challenges to resolve, the huge debt problem and the rights issue which had tarnished Sri Lanka’s image in the eyes of the international community. Minister was speaking at a ceremony organised to commence the Matara stage IV water supply project more..

Parliament Mafia: Supplementary estimate of Rs. 70.5 million submitted

Aug 8 (DN) Govt today presented a supplementary estimate to Parliament seeking its approval for total of Rs. 70.5 million to meet the travel expenses of few ministries incurred during the month of June. As per the estimate, Foreign Affairs Ministry has spent Rs. 28.8 million, City Planning Ministry a sum of Rs. 1.2 million, Sports Ministry Rs. 1.4 million and Power & Energy Ministry Rs. 1 million. Army had spent Rs. 20 million while more..

Court permits Dhammaloka Thera to go abroad

Aug 8 (DN) Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera whose passport was impounded by Court as part of indictment filed by Attorney General over an alleged offence of possessing an elephant without valid license was today temporally permitted to travel abroad by Colombo High Court. Ven. Thera through his lawyers had requested HC Judge Sampath Wijeratne that his passport be released for a six week period since he wants to several countries in order to attend a Dhamma sermon program. more..

Plotting to breach the confidentiality of CB?

Aug 8 (FT) According to media reports, an SMS, alleged to have been retrieved from the iPhone of Arjun Aloysius and presented to the currently sitting Presidential Commission, had spoken of an attempt at obtaining, through a MP, a paper submitted to the Monetary Board.  The reference to Monetary Board here is to the Monetary Board of the CB, the corporate body entrusted by Parliament to decide on the monetary policy and matters relating to the stability of financial institutions. more..

SL cricketers told to ignore trolls over slump

Aug 8 (AFP) Sri Lanka's cricketers have been urged to ignore trolling on social media after a dismal run of results triggered a wave of criticism -- with even a govt minister poking fun online. Team mentor Aravinda de Silva said players should not be disheartened ahead of the third Test against India starting on Saturday, despite their innings and 53-run loss in last week's 2nd Test. SL were also hammered by 304 runs in 1st Test, more..

SL soldier’s invention wins silver in Tokyo

Aug 8 (CT) An innovative and creative invention, by Corporal D.M.C. Dissanayake, of SL Army, won the silver medal at Japan's Tokyo-based Japan Design & Invention Expo (JDIE), which was held from 4-6 August. Corporal D.M.C. Dissanayake's invention titled Novel Flood Shield for Heavy Equipment won the silver under the Technical Category beating hundreds of innovations presented at the event. Corporal Dissanayake of the 2 Military Intelligence Corps (MIC) whose creative innovation more..

Finance Minister's PRO quits

Aug 8 (EN) Minister Mangala Samaraweera's Public Relations Officer resigned Tuesday after he was arrested during a controversial STF raid over the weekend. Sameera Manohara tendered his resignation and also returned his official vehicle. Manohara was taken into custody by a team led by an STF Assistant Superintendent allegedly on a tip off about narcotics. Manohara was arrested on Saturday night as while he was on his way to attend a party at Mount Lavinia. more..

Response to Mangala S. by Prof. G.L. Peiris

Aug 8 (DM) I refer to the response by Minisiter Mangala Samaraweera, to my comments on the consequences of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances Bill, currently before Parliament.   It is important to penetrate the fog of evasion and misinformation, and to identify the issues with stark clarity.   Is there any prospect of Foreign Judges trying SL military personnel? more..

Tuition for scholarship exam prohibited

Aug 8 (NR) All additional classes for the 2017 Grade 5 scholarship examination have been prohibited from 16th August midnight to the 20th August. The Department of Examinations stated the temporary ban will be in effect until the end of the examination on the 20th of August. Accordingly Commissioner General of Examinations WMNJ Pushpakumara said workshops, conferences, printing of model papers and digital and printed banners related to the exam are prohibited. more..

Parliament Mafia: Rs.6 mn for Agri ministry furniture: JVP

Aug 8 (DM) JVP asked a question with regard to the spending of Rs.6 million to buy furniture and equipment for Agricultural Ministry office. The question was asked in reference to an item included in the supplementary estimate presented to Parliament. JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake who raised this matter in the House said the govt was duty bound to explain before seeking parliamentary approval to spend the stipulated amount of money. State Minister of Agriculture, more..

Rajitha Senaratne should keep to his word or resign: GMOA

Aug 8 (AD) Senior members of the GMOA explicitly expressed their views on the establishment of a minimum standard for Medical Education.  Dr. Haritha Athuge, the Assistant Secretary of the GMOA began his remarks by stating that the Medical profession both locally and overseas had always been one that had respected and maintained a minimum standard. He further stated that traditionally, due to the existence of a well more..

Inter-University Bikku Federation Convener released on bail

Aug 8 (DN) Inter-Univ Bhikku Federation (IUBF) Convenor Ven. Tampitiye Sugathananda Thera, arrested on charges of causing damage to public property by forcibly entering the premises of the Ministry of Health during an anti-SAITM protest was ordered to be released on bail by Colombo High Court, today. Judge Manilal Waidyatilleke made this order taking into consideration a revision application filed on behalf of suspect challenging Maligakanda MC decision not to granting of bail. more..

No-confidence motion against Ravi to be delayed by 8 days

Aug 8 (AD) The hearing of the motion of no-confidence against Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake will be delayed by 08 days.  Parliament Secretary General of Staff Attorney Neil Iddawela has stated that any motion of this nature submitted against a member of parliament, must be analyzed by the speaker to determine its compliance and authenticity. He also stated that once completed the speaker of parliament must arrive at a decision on its legitimacy. more..

Rumesh Ratnayake appointed Lanka's head fast bowling coach

Aug 8 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket has appointed former quick Rumesh Ratnayake to the top fast-bowling coaching job in the country. As SLC's head of fast bowling, Ratnayake will work closely with Sri Lanka's high-performance centre, and will oversee the work of the board's other fast-bowling coaches, including whoever is posted with the national team. He may not himself work and tour with Sri Lanka side, however. more..

Sri Lanka arrests 48 Indian fishermen sparking fresh tension

Aug 8 (Sputnik) India has alleged that SL Navy has apprehended 48 Indian fishermen and their boats after forcing them to surrender by firing in the air. The fishermen were allegedly rounded off from the Palk Strait area — the body of water running between India’s southeast coast and the northern tip of Sri Lanka. The fishermen, belonging to Pudukottai and Jagadapattinam districts of Tamil Nadu in southern India, were taken to Kangesanthurai by the navy personnel. more..

Buck doesn’t stop with Ravi: GL

Aug 8 (DM) It said that there was no doubt that the minister should resign due to the nature of allegations levelled against him, but the responsibility for the scam should be taken by those who hold higher posts as well. “Minister Karunanayake was removed as finance minister and appointed as the foreign minister by the President. That is not all, they readily gave him control over National and Development Lotteries Boards as well. There is no rational basis for this allocation more..

PM asks JO to abide by Speaker’s orders

Aug 8 (NR) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe called for the JO to abide by Speaker’s orders within Parliament, as democracy has been established in the country. He made this statement in Parliament whilst commenting on no-confidence motion against Minister Ravi Karunanayake. PM said JO has presented a proposal to the Speaker, adding parties can take necessary measures once the Speaker’s decision is announced. more..

Do Tamils need an alternate leadership?

Aug 9 (CT) The matter very widely discussed today among the Tamil people and among the Tamils living in various countries, is that the Tamils in Sri Lanka need an alternate leadership. This gives me a great surprise. I can understand if those who do not know the history of the country speak like this. But those who know the history talking like this looks not only humorous but also gives a lot of pain. I wish to take you all to the nineteen seventies. The Parliament that met in 1970 more..

Is SL descending towards Kakistocracy?

Aug 9 (CT) On the eve of Sri Lanka’s independence in 1948 and in the immediate aftermath of that landmark event the island was an envy of many of its Asian neighbours. Domestic harmony and economic prosperity with a democratic polity was a rare combination in the Asian region at that time. Sri Lanka inherited from the British a healthy economy with a strong foreign balance, a robust democratic constitution reflecting the country’s pluralism and an efficient civil service. more..

'JO depends too much on MR'

Aug 9 (CT) The JO is very much dependent on former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and assumes that his presence will secure them a victory at the forthcoming elections, said UPFA MP affiliated with JO, Vidura Wickramanayaka. He added that while no one is of Rajapaksa's calibre, the JO MPs should develop themselves as people's representatives. Q: Have you consulted the Govt faction of the SLFP more..

Ravi under political spotlight

Aug 9 (DN) The biggest political development of the past week was the controversy surrounding Minister Ravi Karunanayake, relating to a Monarch Residencies penthouse transaction that had apparently taken place when he was holding the post of Finance Minister. Minister gave evidence before the Presidential Commission, where he essentially denied having any knowledge of the purported transaction. Political analysts were quick to point out that his appearance before more..

Changing the foundations of administration

Aug 9 (CT) In the last couple of weeks I looked at current problems with regard to MPs and put forward suggestions as to how things might be improved. The meeting for which I prepared the paper that was the basis of my last article was most interesting. There were clear areas of consensus, in particular that we needed a new electoral system. Indeed one very pleasant interlocutor asked why we were stressing this since it had been agreed that a change would be made. more..

Colombo’s Changing Skyline

Aug 9 (SO) Once a low-slung South Asian port city, the skyline of Colombo is now sprouting new skyscrapers at an almost unbelievable pace. Around the central business district, the days are full of the sounds of heavy machinery, and the nights ablaze with floodlights and cranes. In this flurry of activity, several high-profile developments are now reaching their peaks. And, fuelled by foreign investment, more..

Editorial: Hora polis

Aug 9 (Island) Most children stop playing hora polis or cops and robbers as they grow. But, those who take to dirty politics continue to play it until they fall dead. It may be recalled that some of them played cops before the 2015 regime change. What a song and dance they made about the collapse of the rule of law, the abuse of power and rampant corruption under Rajapaksa govt! We saw the yahapalana cops, with remarkable zeal and daring, chase down the UPFA robbers, vowing to catch them. more..

Bid to derail One Belt, One Road surmounted

Aug 9 (Island) Sri Lanka finalized an agreement with state-owned China Merchants Port Holdings (CMPH) to develop, manage and operate Hambantota port, which is on one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. The agreement was finalised on July 29, 2017, with the participation of senior members of the UNP-SLFP coalition. The signing of the agreement, between the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and Hongkong headquartered CMPH, took place consequent to more..

Vanished Trails: Lifestyle of Veddas

Remove Ravi from office: An appeal to the President

Aug 9 (Island) The media frenzy, following the testimony by Minister for Foreign Affairs and National Lotteries on Wednesday, 02 August before the Commission of Inquiry appointed by you, and his claims I did not know and I cannot remember to the origins of his over a million rupees a month abode for half a year, has been unprecedented. 6.2 million voters took your word and elected you to the highest office in the land on January 08, 2015. more..

Remembering Lt. General Denzil Kobbekaduwa and veterans

Aug 9 (SO) There is an old Norse legend that a rider named Valkyrie, mounted on a winged black horse used to swoop on battlefields at night and take home the brave soldiers in ancient times. Be that as it may, our nation has produced some of the finest military heroes over the past three decades. One of these men by his unblemished altruism is remembered today as a great officer and gentleman, and we all know him as General Denzil Kobbekaduwa. more..

Everything you need to know about the Hambantota port lease

Aug 9 (Roar) Controversy surrounding the Concession Agreement (CA) signed between SL and China, handing over a majority stake of the Hambantota Port to a Chinese state-owned company, is showing no signs of abating anytime soon. Questions abound on the long term benefits to SL, if any, of the USD 1.1 billion 99-year lease, with many parties raising concerns about the veracity of the claims made by govt. more..

Sri Lanka seeks to strengthen cultural ties with China

Aug 9 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan officials have said they hoped to further strengthen cultural ties with China at the opening of a new building of the China Cultural Center in Colombo. Speaking at the inauguration of the new premises Tuesday, Deputy Minister of Cultural Affairs Palitha Thewarapperuma said Sri Lanka and China had shared a very strong cultural bond since ancient times and the opening of this new building was a historic moment for both countries. more..

Perkins and Sterling & Wilson Group strengthen partnership in Sri Lanka

Aug 9 (LBO) The industrial policies in Sri Lanka have always encouraged investment in industries, making the country an important market for Perkins, the company said. A global company with over 85 years of history and 100 + distributors, Perkins is present in 180 countries with OEMs in sectors such as Electric Power, Construction, and Agriculture etc. “In fact, there are over 18000 Perkins engines currently running in Sri Lanka and the company is working closely with various customers more..

Match fixing investigations swept under carpet: Arjuna

Aug 9 (Island) Arjuna Ranatunga has alleged that Sri Lanka Cricket is sweeping the match fixing investigations in the controversial First Class game between Panadura SC and Kalutara Physical Culture Club under the carpet because several powerful members of the Executive Committees are involved in the incident. A lot of suspicious activities took place in the First Class game between Panadura SC & Kalutara PCC more..

Applications for the UK Chevening Scholarships open on Aug 7

Aug 9 (Island) British High Commission in Colombo announced that the Chevening Secretariat would begin accepting applications for UK Government scholarships to study in the UK in 2018/2019. "Applications for Chevening Scholarships are open between 7 Aug and 7 Nove, with applications to be submitted via "Chevening Scholarships are awarded to individuals with demonstrable leadership potential who also have strong academic backgrounds. more..

Lanka Ceramic announces restructuring

Aug 9 (FT) Lanka Ceramic Plc has announced a restructuring of operating assets of the company to give maximum value to shareholders and allow for capital to be raised at a reasonable cost to finance existing as well as future operations and to reflect the real net worth of the company based on growth potential. The board is of the view that the number of shares of the company is not in line with the capital needed by a company of its size and operation hence has recommended that more..

Agri-companies battered by drought

Aug 9 (ST) Battered by drought and hammered by losses as diminishing purchasing power eats into agriculture-linked companies, Sri Lanka’s public and private sectors are feeling the twin effects of erratic weather and sinking cash flows following the worst drought in 40 years. While the govt has been forced to cough up Rs. 380 billion as humanitarian assistance, companies exposed to the farming economy are counting losses more..

Test cricket: Four or five days?

Aug 9 (DN) The debate on whether Test cricket matches should be made four days will certainly raise its head again going by the current Test series taking place in England and in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka have lost the first two Tests of a three-match series to India inside four days and in Old Blighty barring the third Test between England and South Africa which went the full distance of five days the other three Tests in the four-match series all ended in four days. more..

Russia sends flood relief to Sri Lanka

Aug 9 (SN) The Russian Ministry of Civil Defense, Emergencies and Disaster Relief has sent around 32 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka hit by powerful floods, the ministry's press service told Sputnik on Tuesday. Russia's Minister of Civil Defense, Emergencies and Disaster Relief Vladimir Puchkov sent a telegram to Sri Lankan Minister of Disaster Management, expressing his condolences and readiness to provide the country with the necessary assistance. more..