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How was Lasantha Wickramatunga murdered? Conclusion today

Aug 10 (NR) The conclusion of how veteran journalist Lasantha Wickramatunga was murdered will be announced in Court today. The conclusion will be issued by Mount Lavinia Chief Magistrate Mohammad Mihal. The conclusion could not be declared in Court to date despite two post mortem examination reports pertaining to the murder as the Govt Analysts report was not tabled. Earlier Court was informed through a medical reply that Lasantha Wickramatunga died due to gunshot wounds. more..

Cabinet approves National Economic Council

Aug 10 (FT) Cabinet yesterday gave the go-ahead to set up the proposed National Economic Council chaired by President Sirisena. The proposal, which was submitted by Sirisena as a note to the Cabinet to establish the high-level policymaking body, was deferred for two weeks until PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and the President were able to discuss the issue in detail. Senior SLFP Ministers present at Cabinet Meeting said that more..

Navy rescues 6 fishermen stranded in Sea

Aug 10 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy rendered assistance to 6 fishermen on a distressed multiday fishing trawler, Dinu Putha. The rescued fishermen were brought to the Hambantota harbour, onboard SLNS Sagara this morning (9). The fishing trawler was adrift in the southern sea area following an engine failure. The trawler had ventured out to waters from the Hambantota harbour on 21st July and succumbed to this unfortunate situation in the seas about 240 nm off from the coast. more..

Mattala Airport to be leased to Indian company

Aug 10 (DM) Soon after the agreement to lease the Hambantota Port to a Chinese company, the govt yesterday sought Cabinet approval for a 40-year lease of the Mattala International Airport to an Indian company. Cabinet paper was presented by Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva. An Indian company had made a bid to develop the airport which built under the previous regime with financial assistance from China. The airport and the harbour are in close proximity to each other. more..

Bond scam probe: Aloysius to submit Mendis accounts

Aug 10 (Island) The presidential commission has ordered CEO of Perpetual Capital Holdings, Arjun Aloysius, to submit all audited financial statements of W.M. Mendis and Company from 2013 to date with an affidavit. Aloysius’ Counsel Anuja Premaratne, PC acknowledged before the commission that the order had been received by his client. After Aloysius’s lawyer had informed that he needed some more time more..

Ravi to quit shortly

Aug 10 (Island) Following a meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday at the Presidential Secretariat, Minister Karunanayake is likely to quit his portfolio shortly, according to sources. A govt spokesman said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, too, had attended the meeting at President Sirisena’s request. Several SLFP ministers have demanded Karunanayake’s resignation pending the presidential commission of inquiry probe into alleged CB bond scams. more..

Ravi's issue figures in cabinet

Aug 10 (DN) Extensive discussions took place at the Cabinet meeting, last morning, on the controversy surrounding Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake. Minister Rajitha Senarathne, commenting on the matter, had said the Presidential Commission was appointed to look into the Bond issue and that the apartment issue was totally irrelevant to it. However, Cabinet Ministers had reportedly voiced their objection to it. Senarathne had also blamed a ministerial colleague regarding appointment more..

Ravi digs in until proven guilty: Closed door talks with President

Aug 10 (CT) Besieged Minister Ravi Karunanayake skipped the weekly Cabinet meeting yesterday and shrugged off calls for his resignation from members of his own Party as well as coalition partners. On a day where there was a flurry of meetings, Karunanayake opted instead to meet President & PM at the Presidential Secretariat after Cabinet meeting. At the Cabinet meeting Ministers did not discuss Karunanayake at length, more..

Perpetual voice recordings given without data

Aug 10 (DN) Attorney General’s Department said that telephone recordings submitted by Perpetual Treasuries did not contain times, durations, outgoing and incoming numbers, unlike the voice recordings submitted by three other entities. Deputy Solicitor General Milinda Gunathillake informed the Commission that the voice recordings in possession amount to 240,000. “In some recordings it was completely silent for 15 minutes. We were given an overload of information. more..

I did my part in Bond inquiry: President tells Cabinet

Aug 10 (FT) A Cabinet meeting heated up yesterday when discussing the slow progress made with corruption cases linked to Rajapaksa administration, with President Sirisena firing back at those who called on him to appoint presidential commissions to investigate the charges. Responding to allegations made by a number of UNP Ministers over the lack of action taken in investigations into corruption cases connected to the previous Govt compared to the speedy action meted by PCol on Bond Issue, more..

PTL bid 15 times higher by forecasting Govt’s need: CEO

Aug 10 (DM) Perpetual Treasuries, CEO Kasun Palisena was repeatedly questioned by Justice Prasanna Jayawardena as to why PTL made a Rs.15 billion bid when the offer was just for bonds worth Rs.1 billion at the auction on Feb 27, 2015. He explained the manner in which they bid at the controversial bond auction and the basis on which they decided to place a bid 15 times higher than the amount offered at the auction. more..

Let the Court of History summon all perception-peddlers

Aug 10 (DM) Dayan Jayatilleka is absolutely opposed to any move that goes beyond the 13th Amendment (in terms of power-devolution). Not even a single millimeter! Is he ready to concede. He adds a caveat: even the implementation of the 13th amendment must be gradual and conditional on conduct.   The conduct element has been prompted by a recent speech by NPC’s Chief Minister C.V Wigneswaran, delivered in Jaffna to an audience that included some British MPs more..

Public policy should be based on fact, not fiction

Aug 10 (DM) Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) held its 10th International Research Conference at the university premises on August 3 and 4 on the theme Changing Dynamics in the Global Environment: Challenges and Opportunities. Symposium featured an interesting yet disquieting presentation by Col. L.C.R. Jayasuriya of the SL Army on a topic entitled The Influence of Global Islam Radicalisation to Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka’s Art of War fights for recognition

Aug 10 (CT) In Athurugiriya, some 25 km away from Colombo, facing Korathota paddy field is a house made with clay walls that has sky-blue doors and windows. Anyone could mistake it for being abandoned or isolated, if not for the carefully and cleanly kept garden. Entering into the garden, apart from the chirping of birds and insects, all you can hear are the heavy inhales and exhales coming through the well secured doors & windows. more..

'Struggle against economic crisis is serious'

Aug 10 (DM) In a recent interview JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake -one of the leading figures who contributed to establish Good Governance in Sri Lanka-expressed the following views regarding the present political and economic situation in the country. Q: This govt is in the midst of several crises at present. The opposition values these crises like gold. But, is the present opposition taking advantage of this situation? more..

Inside Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Mystery: Left handed Lasith Malinga

Aug 10 (IE) The practice nets at the Max Cricket Academy are a veil of green mesh, one intertwined with the other, shrouding them from the world outside, as if a highly mysterious project is brewing. The only un-webbed stretch is the bowlers’ runway, where a cluster of young men is restlessly scattered around the two nets while some are sitting on the roller sipping Gatorade. It’s difficult to differentiate between pacers and spinners, more..

New political alignments in the offing after Ravi K. debacle

Aug 10 (DM) Although govt politicians, both UNP and UPFA, asked Mr. Karunanayake to relinquish office rather than get axed through a parliamentary process, it is learnt he has refused to resign   The no confidence motion against Minister Ravi Karunanayake that placed the govt in a quandary, is now poised to set the stage for new political alignments in Parliament sooner or later. Yet, complexion of possible political formation more..

I will return ownership of H'tota Port to the people: Wijeyadasa

Aug 10 (DM) Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said the sale of Hambantota Harbour - a public asset-to the Chinese was a wrong and assured the public that he would not rest until he regains its ownership on behalf of the people. He recalled that as a politician he had always done what was right by the country and fought against corruption. As a result he said he had been able to secure govt resources worth more than more..

Mano Tittawella appointed as senior adviser to Finance & Media Ministry

Aug 10 (LBO) The Cabinet has approved the appointment of Mano Tittawella as senior adviser to the minister of finance and media. In this capacity, he is expected to assist the minister in realizing the govt’s economic and development agenda and drive its reform agenda. He will continue to serve as the Secretary General of the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (SCRM), which is entrusted with coordinating more..

Farewell for Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam in Washington D.C.

Aug 10 (SLE) The State Department hosted the reception for a select group of well wishers of Sri Lanka, including U.S. govt representatives, Washington-based foreign diplomats, and representatives from business establishments, civil society and NGOs, in honour of the SL Ambassador who leaves the U.S. capital later this week to take up a new assignment as the Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs. more..

Foreign investment without harm to sovereignty: President

Aug 10 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says the policy of the present govt is to bring foreign investment in a way which will not harm the country’s sovereignty.  President further said that when entering into agreements with a foreign country or a company regarding  investments, a special clause will be included stating that  in any way  land ownership is not assigned to anyone and only the necessities more..

Unfulfilled promises and bond scams: Civil society steps up pressure on Prez, PM

Aug 10 (Island) Civil society organisations that campaigned for Maithripala Sirisena and the UNP at presidential and parliamentary polls in January and August 2015, respectively, will gather opposite Viharamahadevi park next Tuesday (15) to pressure the yahapalana leaders fulfil their much-touted promises. Civil society groups also want the govt to take punitive action against all those responsible for the alleged CB bond fraud. more..

Ravi Karunanayake resigns as Foreign Minister

Aug 10 (AD) Minister Ravi Karunanayake resigned from his ministerial portfolio, after delivering a lengthy statement in Parliament with regard to the allegations that have been leveled against him.  He termed various allegations against him regarding the bond scam as baseless and emphasized that he has absolutely no connection with the incident in question. However, certain media have already painted him as a criminal more..

When children play adult politics

Aug 10 (CT) We all have that unfortunate moment when we all have so many expenses to cover with so little revenue and funds to allocate. We, the merry commoners of the blessed land, have to make sacrifices every passing day to make ends meet. This is the sad truth of any adult. Ironically, this does not seem to apply to the adults who have been democratically elected to run and represent the country in the Parliament. They prefer to take money whenever necessary for exorbitant expenses more..

Sri Lanka: A nation with a derailed rule of law

Aug 10 (CT) I can clearly see the apprehension expressed by some concerned citizens about my untimely departure from SL with the decision taken to abate the case filed in Supreme Court challenging the appointment of 10 rejected candidates through National List. SL judiciary is not at all independent and has been compelled to perform under tremendous pressure and intimidation particularly in cases where interests of criminal elements occupying office office in the Legislature more..

Magsaysay winner: Gethsie Shanmugam

Properly appraise public investment projects: Senior Economist

Aug 10 (CT) Public investment projects should be properly planned and appraised, both technically and economically in order to ensure maximum overall viability, Senior Economist Dr. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan opined. Dr. Gunaruwan, former secretary to Transport Ministry, said that there were concerns regarding the public investment project appraisal of successive govts and insisted that public investment projects should be developed and implemented in such a way that more..

Harin sees JO campaign to eliminate from politics key UNP ministers

Aug 10 (Island) Minister Harin Fernando alleged that there was an orchestrated campaign by some Opposition members to eliminate UNP Ministers Kabir Hashim, Malik Samarawickrame, Mangala Samaraweera and him from politics. "There is a conspiracy by the rogue elements of the previous govt against some ministers of the unity govt," he charged. "These disgruntled elements who robbed millions of rupees during the previous regime are making a vain attempt to tarnish the image of more..

Distraught polythene makers seek ministerial intervention to tackle looming ban

Aug 10 (DM) SL’s high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and recycling industry said the looming ban on polythene is likely to affect Sri Lanka’s retail economy, exports and even garbage disposal. They further claimed the ban that is set to go live in three weeks from now, on Sept 1, will also result in the overnight loss of 345000 jobs across the country. “The new polythene ban is an industry and a humanitarian catastrophe that kills more..

'PC polls not until 2019'

Aug 10 (CT) Minister Faiszer Musthapha said that Provincial Council elections will be held on one day and the specific date will be determined by Parliament. He said that Govt is trying to facilitate a process by constitutional amendments to hold all the PC elections on one day. "Terms of some of the Councils will end this year, while for some PCs the terms will end in 2019. Govt is planning to hold all the elections on one day when the tenures of all the PCs have expired," he said. more..

SL Navy arrests 3 trawlers, 12 TN fishermen

Aug 10 (SLN) SL Navy and Coast Guard patrol craft attached to the Northern Naval Command whilst on routine patrol, arrested 12 Indian fishermen and 03 fishing trawlers for poaching in Sri Lankan territorial waters last night. Arrests were made in the island’s territorial waters respectively about 9.5, 7 and 6 nm west off Delft Island. These fishermen had ventured into Sri Lankan waters and practiced illegal bottom trawling which is considered as a destructive and banned fishing practice. more..

New laws to revamp RPCs: PM

Aug 10 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday confirmed that new laws will be introduced for regional plantation companies (RPCs) to improve productivity and make them accountable to Parliament. Speaking at the Colombo International Tea Convention organised by the Colombo Tea Traders Association (CTA) to celebrate 150 years of Ceylon Tea, he claimed that RPCs had enjoyed most of the benefits of more..

Ravi's resignation sets a good precedent: PM

Aug 10 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Parliament today that Minister Ravi Karunanayake had set a good precedent by resigning from his portfolio. He said no member of the previous govt had resigned no matter how serious the charges levelled against them were. He said minister’s resignation to allow for impartial investigations showed this govt’s commitment to good governance. PM said media institutions were making allegations today taking advantage of more..

Warrant issued for the arrest of Ryan Jayalath

Aug 10 (AD) Warrants have been issued for the arrest of Ryan Jayalath and 04 other members of the Medical Faculty Students Action Committee for not appearing in court for their hearing today. The order was issued by Fort Magistrate Ms. Lanka Jayaratne earlier on today. It has been reported that Fort Magistrate court had already issued warrants of arrest for Ryan Jayalath, who is the convener of the Medical Faculty Students Action Committee and 04 other members earlier on this week. more..

Rs. 3 b loss by granting frequencies to Maharaja: Democrats against Corruption

Aug 10 (LNW) Democrats against Corruption says President has caused a Rs. 3 billion loss to the state by granting eight frequencies to Maharaja organization without any tender calling. In a statement, it questions as to why no investigation is taking place into this loss. Maharaja has been given the frequencies unlike in any other country despite their could have been sold at very high prices in order to increase competitiveness more..

Security guard shot dead at Attidiya bank

Aug 10 (DM) A security officer of a bank in Attidiya had been shot dead by two men a while ago, Police said. The two security guards of the bank had noticed two unusual individuals among the customers and had tried to subdue them, during which the men had shot at the guards. It is believed that the men had been there to rob the bank, according to the Police. One of the security officers succumbed to the injuries at the hospital, while the other sustained gun shot injuries and more..

Sri Lankan maid dies in fire in Kuwait

Aug 10 (ATO) Two women — a Filipina and a Sri Lankan — died in a fire that engulfed the house of a Kuwaiti citizen in Adan area. When the Operations Room of Ministry of Interior received information about the house on fire, firefighters rushed to the location with securitymen and paramedics. Upon arrival, they discovered that two housemaids were trapped inside the burning house. Firefighters immediately worked on rescuing the two women but they were dead when found. more..

'Ravi’s resignation is not a victory for the govt or the opposition'

Aug 10 (LT) Mr Ravi Karunanayaka’s resignation is not a victory for either the govt or the opposition says JVP MP Sunil Handunneththi. Speaking in parliament after Ravi Karunanayaka announced his resignation today (10th) afternoon Mr Handunneththi said all information in connection with the bond scam should be revealed and the law should be allowed to take its course against all those who are involved in the bond scam. more..

Woman arrested for taking money to provide jobs in Kiwi farms

Aug 10 (Island) Officers of the Special Investigation Unit of Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment recently nabbed a woman who had obtained money from unsuspecting job seekers to the tune of nearly Rs. 20 million by promising them employment in New Zealand. The woman is a resident of Jaltara, Homagama. The suspect’s modus operandi had been to obtain Rs. 350,000 as an advance from each job seeker by asking the applicant to pay the balance Rs. 350,000 once the job was given. more..

Ravi has been used as the Govt’s scapegoat: Dullas

Aug 10 (AD) MP Dullas Alahapperuma states that Ravi Karunanayake was pressured into resigning in order to protect the integrity of the Govt. He expressed these sentiments upon attending the Joint Opposition’s (JO’s) press conference earlier today (10). The MP proceeded to complain that the Government was attempting to use Ravi Karunanayake as a scapegoat, and added that they had deposited the entirety of the Central Bank bond scandal in Karunanayake’s account. more..