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Chinese money in Hambantota: Small change in the juggernaut of Belt and Road

Aug 14 (DM) The govt’s manner of communicating details of the Hambantota port deal to the public has been less than forthright, and lacking in transparency, considering public apprehensions over the fallout of the project.  In an attempt to get around the opposition to a big time give-away of control over a national asset – a strategically located deep water port – there seem to have been attempts to pull the wool over people’s eyes. The impression conveyed and widely reported as more..

In pursuit of a futuristic FR chapter

Aug 14 (DM) One of the key proposals in the current Constitution Reform process is to strengthen the Fundamental Rights (FR) chapter in the Constitution. Fundamental rights are judicially enforceable. However activists point out that the Chapter is too restrictive, and that it does not serve the purpose intended of a fundamental rights chapter. Only a limited number of rights are guaranteed. more..

AG officials involved in legal swindles

Aug 14 (SL) Damning evidence has now come to the fore as to how two senior officers at the Attorney General’s Department had attempted to favour former Navy Spokesman D.K.P. Dassanayake, who is under arrest in youth abduction, when his bail application was taken up in the High Court a few weeks ago despite of their client – CID objection. At the HC the same day, before the bail application was taken up, more..

JO to defend Wijeyadasa, but not Mustapha

Aug 14 (Island) The Joint Opposition (JO) has decided to vote differently in respect of two no-faith motions to be moved by the govt against two of its own ministers. UPFA MP and strong JO member Ranjith Zoysa said that the JO would go all out to defeat the no-faith motion against Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe but back the one against Provincial Councils and Local Govt Minister Faiszer Mustapha. more..

Sri Lanka hospital profits boosted by Dengue: Hemas

Aug 14 (EN) Sri Lanka's Hemas group said falling profits from price controls on pharmaceuticals and currency depreciation, was mitigated by a dengue epidemic which has boosted occupancy at its hospitals. Though pharmaceutical sales increased profits were hit, the group said. "However, this decline in profitability was mitigated by the strong growth in hospitals," CEO Steven Enderby told shareholders. more..

Govt will face the challenge to create a clean political culture -President

Aug 14 (PSL) Though the political culture of this country which consisted of fraud, theft and corruption cannot be changed at once, the current govt is bearing the difficult task to create a group of honest politicians who love the country”, says President Maithripala Sirisena. He said even amidst the slander, defamations and challenges, govt will perform to build the clean political culture, expected by the people. more..

Corrupt probing Corrupt: Govt maintains policy to investigate corruption: Duminda

Aug 14 (NR) General Secretary of the SLFP Minister Duminda Dissanayake says the present govt maintains a policy of investigating charges levelled against any govt representative. Speaking at an event in Galle the Minister said future govts can take this policy as a good example. Minister said if it was the previous govt, they would look at nabbing the corrupt from the govt prior to them. more..

Two CBSL accounts for money received from lease or sale of public assets

Aug 14 (ST) Two new Central Bank accounts are to be opened in the name of the Deputy Secretary to the Treasury to receive foreign exchange and rupee proceeds from the lease or sale of public assets. “The accounts will hold the proceeds earned from divesting these assets and that money will be used only for settlement of liabilities and management of external debt,” an authoritative CBSL source said. more..

Ravi K's close confidant, Muhunthan Canagey resigns from ICTA top post

Aug 14 (AM) Muhunthan Canagey, CEO and Managing Director of the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) has resigned from his position, saying the President asked him to leave. In a letter of resignation made pubic by Canagey, he said: “I have been asked to resign by President Maithripala Sirisena, which was communicated to me by the by Minister Harin Fernando”. more..

AG’s Dept. asked to file fresh case against Ravi over money laundering

Aug 14 (Island) The JO urged the AG’s Department to serve a fresh indictment on former Minister Ravi Karunanayake, MP, in respect of USD 3 mn alleged money laundering case linked to founder of the Galleon Group, US citizen Raj Rajaratnam of SL origin now serving a prison sentence in the US for his crimes. MP Bandula Gunawardena, in charge of the JO’s Economic Research unit pointed out that Karunanayake more..

Prez urged to release army-held land

Aug 14 (Island) TNA leader MP S. Sampanthan has urged President to ensure that the military vacates land at Keppapulavu, Mullaitivu district belonging to displaced Tamil Civilians. Having reminded President Sirisena that the TNA had taken up the issue in the third week of July, 2017, MP Sampanthan said: "Early action needs to be taken to return the land to the people. They were born and bred on this land. more..

Misleading attempts

Aug 14 (CT) As the three decades of separatist war has devastated the Northern and Eastern Provinces and the country at large, fears of the resurgence of the LTTE will emerge with the incidents which occur frequently in the North and the East threatening the hard-earned peace and creating a fear psychosis among the people not only in the North and the East but in the whole country as well. The separatist war has not only led to the enormous destruction of innocent lives and resources, more..

Issue of Treasury bonds: CB has finally vindicated direct placements

Aug 14 (FT) Effective from 27 July 2017, Central Bank has restored the system of direct placements in the issue of Treasury bonds to its due place. This system, started in 1997 by the then Governor A.S. Jayawardena, was abruptly abolished in Feb 2015 by the then Governor Arjuna Mahendran a few minutes before the close of the controversial bond issue of 27 Feb 2015.  As the evidence before the presently sitting Presidential Commission Treasury Bonds has revealed, more..

UNP engineered Bond Scam

SriLankan Airlines to be monitored quarterly

Aug 14 (EN) The performance of state-run SriLankan Airlines will be monitored quarterly under an International Monetary Fund-backed programme, amid a delay in finding a strategic partner. Other large state-run enterprises like the CEB, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, SL Ports Authority, and Airport and Aviation Services of SL have published statements of corporate intent. However, SriLankan Airlines had not, as it was expected to find a strategic partner last year. more..

Pakistan Independence Day celebrated in SL

Aug 14 (PHC) The High Commission of Pakistan in Sri Lanka and the Pakistani community celebrated 70th  Independence Anniversary of Pakistan in a befitting manner. Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka, Dr. Sarfraz Ahmed Khan Sipra hoisted the national flag of Pakistan at a colorful ceremony held at the Pakistan High Commission here this morning to mark the occasion. Later, the messages of the President and PM of Pakistan were read out to the participants. more..

Ravi K diabolical liar; Four different stories on Penthouse-saga

Aug 14 (CT) MP Ravi Karunanayake, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Lotteries who tendered his resignation from his ministerial post last Thursday, diabolically lied and withheld crucial information when providing evidence at the Bond Scam investigation. So far now on four separate occasions MP Karunanayake has provided four different accounts pertaining to the details regarding renting and purchasing of the penthouse more..

CB bond scam: Ready to give professional assessment on loss: Cabraal

Aug 14 (DM) Former CB Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said he would like to offer a professional assessment to the Bond Commission on the total loss suffered by the govt and the country as a result of the bond scam, and a scientific and studied insight into the actions and circumstances that enabled the scam to be carried out. He said certain MPs had suggested that he be summoned before the Bond Commission. “In that regard, I wish to state that I would be very happy to give evidence more..

Allegations against JO members: Govt must prove them: Vidura

Aug 14 (CT) Govt should go through the proper legal procedures to implicate the JO members, without making baseless allegations, said UPFA MP Vidura Wickremenayake. He added that they are innocent until proven guilty. "If there are allegations, they must be proven beyond doubt. Their party affiliations are irrelevant. His or her position or portfolio is also irrelevant. Whoever has taken a single cent from the public funds should be punished, even if they are from the JO or any other party," more..

Police form high-powered body to battle drugs, underworld

Aug 14 (DM) The Police have established a high-powered body, the Organised Crimes and Narcotic Range to launch comprehensive operations against the drug menace and the underworld, Minister Sagala Ratnayaka said. The new body will operationally combine the STF, the Narcotics Bureau and the Organised Crimes Unit. Senior DIG M.R Latheef will head the unit and he will work closely with heads of 3 divisions more..

They said I do twice to win compensation

Aug 14 (DN) Twenty couples are alleged to have said I do twice over to defraud the SL Mahaweli Authority and obtain compensation payments due to those who surrendered their lands to the Moragahakanda Resource project. Police have launched investigations into this matter following a complaint made by SL Mahaweli Authority Matale S.P.T.B. Sugahtapala. Mahaweli Authority had complained that 20 couples had obtained compensation due to such families who lost more..

Shiranthi and Yoshitha before CID tomorrow

Aug 14 (DN) Former First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa and her second son Yoshitha Rajapaksa will appear before the CID tomorrow. CID sources said they have been summoned with regard to a jeep owned by the Siriliya Saviya Foundation. The jeep was donated to the Foundation by the Red Cross. Summons had been previously sent to the two members of the Rajapaksa family on 27-28 July but both failed to show up citing various health reasons. It has been reported that the jeep in question more..

India whitewashes SL with innings victory

Aug 14 (CI) At 2.46 pm on Monday, when Lahiru Kumara played down the wrong line of an R Ashwin carrom ball, India achieved something they had done only once before. Until then, they had only once won three Tests in an away series, back in 1967-68, when they beat New Zealand 3-1. Now the scoreline was even more impressive, a 3-0 whitewash of SL in SL, each Test won with a fearsome victory margin: more..

PRECIFAC concludes investigations on two more complaints

Aug 14 (AD) The PRECIFAC has concluded investigations into two more complaints it had received.  Investigations have concluded regarding the complaint on alleged financial irregularities in renovating the tsunami and multi hazard early warning towers in the North and Eastern provinces and the complaint regarding the removal of scrap metal from the the Kankesanthurai cement factory. Secretary to commission H.W. Gunadasa said that the relevant reports will be compiled more..

New Mosque ceremonially opened in Pottuvil

Aug 14 (CT) The new Pottuvil Jummah Mosque, built at a cost of Rs 200 million donated by a philanthropist from Ehaliyagoda, the Late Al-Haj A.R.M. Sathakathullah. was ceremonially declared open after a Waqf ceremony on Friday at 10 a.m. The Late Al-Haj Sathakathullah was born in Pottuvil and married in Ehaliyagoda, where he settled down. Chief Trustee of the Mosque Al-Haj S.M. Zubair presided over the opening ceremony and the special Bayan was delivered by more..

Cherish the old memories, Sri Lanka

Aug 14 (CI) Never in their history have Sri Lanka been so comprehensively rolled over. There was no Duleep Mendis-style counterattack, or a Muttiah Muralitharan-esque bamboozling. There was only misery. At the beginning of the third Test of India's first tour of SL, the home side was 153 for 5, but Duleep Mendis was unbeaten at the crease. Do you remember Mendis? I am too young to, but more..

UNP will not bring no-confidence motion against Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe: Kiriella

Aug 14 (DN) The UNP does not intend to bring a no-confidence motion against Justice and Buddhasasana Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Highways and Higher Education Minister Lakshman Kiriella said. Addressing the media at a function held at the Dalada Maligawa in Kandy yesterday to mark the 40th anniversary of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's political career he said the UNP Working Committee would discuss the matter at length at its meeting on August 17.  more..

Bar Association condemns aspersions cast on AG’s Department

Aug 14 (DN) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) today strongly condemned accusations levelled against the Attorney General’s Department in relation to its role at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) into the Bond issue. BASL President U.R. de Silva told a press conference in Colombo that accusations should come with evidence and materials through a proper forum, without causing damage to the Attorney General Department's reputation.  more..

Elections Chief slams polls postponing

Aug 14 (DN) Postponement of election on whatever grounds is not a positive characteristic of democracy, Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said. He was delivering the keynote address at the inaugural ceremony of the National Diploma in Politics and Political Leaders conducted by SL Foundation Institute. Responsibility of not holding elections should be taken not by the Elections Commission but more..

Ravi continues to receive ministerial bliss!

Aug 14 (LT) Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Ravi Karunanayaka who had to relinquish his ministerial portfolio due to the exposure of information in connection with the bond scam of the Central Bank committed while he was the Minister of Finance is to be provided with all the privileges of a minister say political sources. According to these sources, it has been agreed not to remove the ministerial staff he was provided with as the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Meanwhile, it has been decided not to more..

Awful Sri Lanka boggle cricketing logic

Aug 14 (CB) You're at this fancy pub, drinking and having the time of your life. You're celebrating a record win over a team that's just plain happy to be playing Test cricket in the first place. But that's not your fault, you're toasting away thinking what a great performance that was. You've probably forgotten all the other problems you face. There's a stronger looking group beside you. All tattoos, moustaches, beards and fancy hairstyles. They're louder and frankly intimidate you, but in your drunken more..

SL to emphasize KPIs in budget preparation

Aug 14 (LBO) Finance ministry will focus on inclusion of key performance indicators (KPIs) for all budget proposals from ministries when preparing the budget for 2018. All proposals by line ministries, provincial ministries and the heads of departments should include details of output of such projects accompanied with KPIs, as Budget 2018 will be prepared on a performance basis, Treasury Secretary R.H.S Samaratunga has said. more..

Govt victimising Rajapaksas to cover up bond scam: Namal

Aug 14 (DM) MP Namal Rajapaksa said today said the govt had started victimizing the Rajapaksa family members as a ruse to cover up the bond scam. In a twitter message, he said his mother Shirathi and brothers Yoshitha and Rohitha had been calledby the CID and the FCID. “SL govt using Rajapaksas to cover up bond scam. Former First Lady, Yoshitha Rajapaksa and Rohitha called to CID/FCID this week,” he tweeted. Police said today the CID asked former President Rajapaksa’s wife more..

STF ambush helps bust well organised robber gang

Aug 14 (Island) Police commandos have busted a well organised robber gang following the arrest of two underworld members injured in Saturday shooting incident at Kurana. A senior police officer said that the gang had a network of moles providing them with information about persons transporting cash and the group would move in to rob them if the amount of cash exceeded one million rupees. They would rob the cash and change the number plates of their vehicles and flee the area. more..

Sri Lankan industrialists worry over China trade deal, cess removal

Aug 14 (EN) SL industrialists have voiced concern over a proposed free trade agreement with China and govt plans to reduce import tariffs that protect them, saying they feared they might not be able to compete. Govt has said FTA with China would give exporters access to the world’s biggest market and that it wants to liberalise the economy by removing import cesses that give undue protection to local industries at expense of consumers. more..

Wife uses pot of curd to save husband from gunman

Aug 14 (Island) A story of a brave wife who fought with an armed assailant to save her husband’s life is reported from Baddagama. After she had hit the gunman with a pot of curd, the latter fled, leaving a gun and a mobile phone. Two suspects had arrived on a motorbike and one of them entered a house at Goadwatte in Baddegama around 4.45 am on Saturday and shot at the householder who was sleeping in the front room. Gun shot injured the upper right arm of the victim, more..

Emirates' one-off A380 flight lands in Colombo

Aug 14 (TA) An Emirates A380 aircraft landed at Bandaranaike International Airport Katunayake today, helping Sri Lanka and the airport achieve an aviation milestone. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva was at the airport to greet Abdul Hameed Abdul Fattah Kazhim Al-Mulla, UAE Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Emirates' senior vice president commercial (West Asia & Indian Ocean) Ahmed Khoory who were among the VIPs on the flight - the first A380 commercial flight to the country. more..

Video: GMOA to complain to BC against NFTH

Aug 14 (DM) GMOA said it would complain to Bribery Commission (BC) tomorrow over the alleged financial misappropriation which had taken place when the govt took over the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH). GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said the govt would be spending Rs.3,000 million annually to maintain the hospital which is greater the than the annual income receiving by Hambantota Port Deal. more..

Ravi K’s Altruistic Suicide! 

Aug 15 (CT) Ravi Karunanayake sacrificed his pride and position by tendering his resignation to save the Maithri-Ranil government cabal. He could have faced and defeated the no confidence motion against him if Maithri (who owes his Presidency to Ravi) and Ranil Wickremesinghe had stood by him, but their cowardice will be recorded in history. The bond scam has been a controversy for over two and a half years and the main culprits did not include Ravi K as a key player. more..

Transcending partisan politics

Aug 15 (CT) The govt has put on a bold face on the resignation of Minister Ravi Karunanayake by making the argument that it is demonstrating good governance in practice. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Parliament that the former Foreign Minister 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 leveled against them were. It has not been the tradition in Sri Lanka for those holding more..