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Cocaine in cargo puts Sri Lanka’s sugar importers in a jam

Aug 2 (ST) The recent detection of a large haul of cocaine at a govt warehouse has prompted detectives to shift their focus on international smuggling rings and probe whether Sri Lanka’s sugar importers have become unwitting victims. On July 19, cocaine weighing 218 kilograms was detected from a shipping container that brought sugar to the Sathosa Economic Centre in Ratmalana. 7 suspects have been arrested more..

Hambantota port to be linked to China's One Belt One Road

Aug 2 (CT) The signing up of the Concessionary Agreement between Sri Lanka and China for the development of the Hambantota Port last Saturday was a epoch making moment for SL. New trade and maritime links would be opening up which includes China's meat and other exports to Africa and also  imports. The Silk Road was formerly a network of trade routes, established during the Han Dynasty in ancient China. more..

Bond scams: Ravi urged to step down pending judicial proceedings

Aug 2 (Island) JO urged Minister Ravi Karunanayake, to step down pending conclusion of judicial proceedings subsequent to the ongoing CoI into bond scams in Feb 2015 and March 2016. The JO loyal to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa emphasised that Minister Karunanayake should give up ministerial responsibilities before the JO moved a no-faith motion against him. President Sirisena recently extended the CoI for more..

Percy Abeyasekara remains SL’s top cricket cheerleader despite age and demanding job

Aug 2 (HT) We have only seen Percy Abeyasekara in a casual Sri Lankan shirt, waving the national flag and leading the chorus in the stands. The other, more formal side of Percy was on display at the Sinhalese Sports Club Stadium on Tuesday afternoon, when he walked in dressed smartly in a white shirt and a tie. When not cheering cricket teams, the most famous Sri Lankan face in the stands, is a corporate man, working as a PRO at ACL Cables. When the game is on, more..

Resurgence of National Payment Platform via Total Pay?

Aug 2 (FT) Arising out of the media exposures on the subject of a National Payment Platform, several interested parties have started to express opinions about the matter. As the subject matter is related and connected to various Acts and Legislation now in operation in the country, it has become necessary to invite the focus of the authorities on the issue as there appears to be a resurfacing of a resurgence by interested parties who wish to circumvent the laws in their business interest. more..

UNP engineered Bond Scam

AAVA Terrorism

Aug 2 (CT) If the killing of 13 soldiers at Thirunelveli, Jaffna, 37 years ago on 23 July 1983 was the straw that broke the camel's back leading to the July '83 riots, responsible for turning at least Sri Lanka's development clock back, Jaffna is once more in the news due to five terrorist type of incidents that took place in the Peninsula during the past nine months. First of these five incidents was a sword attack on two Policemen at Chunnakam, Jaffna on 23 Oct, similar to that which took place on Sunday, more..

Rohitha A. corruption case fixed for trial

Aug 2 (DN) A corruption case filed against former Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena for the alleged unlawful acquisition of assets estimated at Rs.41.1 million was today fixed for trial by Colombo High Court. Accordingly, the case will be taken up for trial on Oct 12 and 24. Meanwhile, the defense party today informed High Court Judge Sampath Wijeratne that they were yet to inspect and access with the computer evidence at a private bank pertaining to accused's financial transaction. more..

Reconsider PM Celebrations: TISL

Aug 2 (AD) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) has raised concerns pertaining to the costs incurred for the celebrations organized for PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, in honour of him completing 40 years of public service. With reference to a letter dated July 27 from the Ministry of Home Affairs, TISL has reported that the ensuing celebrations would include 1300 bodhi pooja ceremonies, alms for a 1000 monks more..

Rajapaksa ally to pocket out Rs 2.5 b in tax dues: BOI under pressure

Aug 2 (CT) Alleged front man of former President Rajapaksa, Nandana Lokuwithana will have to pay approximately RS 2.5 Billion in taxes due to violation of the BOI agreement with Ceylon Steel Corporation (CSC). Although Ceylon Steel Corporation was granted a ten year tax holiday, the Board of Directors of the BOI under former Chairman Upul Jayasuriya had decided to suspend the exemption granted for the import of raw materials due to non-fulfilment of terms & conditions of agreement more..

IUSF Convener further remanded

Aug 2 (NR) Convener of the IUSF Lahiru Weerasekera and 4 others arrested on charges of unlawful assembly and the destruction of public property have been further remanded till the 4th of Aug. The order was issued by Maligakanda Chief Magistrate. Magistrate said a statement will be made pertaining to the bail applications filed by the Defendants after acquiring the views of the AG. The suspects were arrested on charges of damaging public property during a protest initiated by more..

No price cut on bakery items despite tax cuts

Aug 2 (DM) No price reduction of baked products could be given to consumers, if the Govt decides to remove various taxes imposed on 47 essential food items including a kilogram of imported flour. All Ceylon Bakery Owners Association President said flour companies should reduce the price of flour so t hat we could pass it on to consumers. CESS on a kilogram of imported flour had been reduced from Rs. 25 to Rs. 10. more..

Chief of the Indian Southern Naval Command pays a courtesy call on Commander of Navy

Aug 2 (SLN) The Flag Officer Commander in Chief of the Indian Southern Naval Command, Vice Admiral AR Karve paid a courtesy call at the Navy Headquarters today. He was accorded a Guard of Honour in accordance with naval traditions. Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Niraja Attygalle warmly received the visiting Indian Southern Naval Commander on his arrival. Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral   Ravindra Wijegunaratne and Director Generals were more..

British Council and Apex Business Academy expand into new premises in Matara

Aug 2 (DM) British Council in Sri Lanka expanded its Partner Teaching Centre in Matara recently. The institution is partnering with the Apex Business Academy in order to offer a range of teaching services that will facilitate students to discover the English language in new and diverse ways. The launch event was attended by Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, and Keith Davies, Country Director British Council. Vice Chancellor University of Ruhuna, Professor Gamini Senanayake, more..

Cabinet nods to introduce e-passports

Aug 2 (DN) Dept of Immigration & Emigration received cabinet approval to introduce e-passports to all through a public-private partnership (PPP). This would be a travel document with the holder’s biometric data in electronic format and it will store, digitally signed data, which include a copy of the MRZ in data page, digital facial image (mandatory), fingerprint (optional), iris (optional), chip authentication, validation data. more..

Lankan who arrived from Saudi found dead at BIA

Aug 2 (DM) A Sri Lankan passenger who arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) from Saudi Arabia, was found dead at the airport this morning. Airport officials suspect that the 49-year-old Abdul Wahid, a resident at Teldeniya in Kandy might have died due to sudden cardiac arrest. It was reported that the victim who was residing at Jeddah in Saudi Arabia arrived in the country early this morning to take his wife to Jeddah. more..

Minister attempts to obstruct journalist at work

Aug 2 (IFJ) International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins the Free Media Movement (FMM), in condemning the attempt by Minister Palani Digambaram to block access to news of a journalist who was reporting a govt event. IFJ demands that journalists be treated with respect and allowed to carry out their professional duties with dignity. Minister Palani Digambaram allegedly ordered the microphone of Sirasa Media correspondent Indika Kauarachchi to be removed from the podium more..

Our batsmen need to identify what risks to take: Chandimal

Aug 2 (CI) Having been appointed to the captaincy in a time of cricketing crisis, Dinesh Chandimal finds himself scrambling to prevent another one. He only walked out of hospital a few days ago, after having had pneumonia, but thanks in part to an ICC-approved inhaler, he has come back to take control of his side. Just don't tell him that SL are outgunned and that a 0-3 result is possible. When this suggestion was made to more..

Rahul set for return as India aim to close out series

Aug 2 (CI) Fourteen overs. That's about as long as Sri Lanka stayed in the contest in Galle. As soon as Shikhar Dhawan's catch went down and Asela Gunaratne left the field, shoulders seemed to drop, bowlers' lines seemed to stray, and India rampaged more or less unhindered for four days. How Sri Lanka can get themselves into this series without trying something even slightly radical, it is difficult to see. They are strengthened by the return of their captain Dinesh Chandimal, but more..

Sri Lanka’s accountants should adapt with changing times: Harsha

Aug 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s chartered accountants should adapt and face head on the drastic changes the business world is witnessing, Harsha de Silva, deputy Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs said. Addressing the Financial Charted Accounts (FCA) Convocation at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) he told the audience that business models that have lasted for decades have been revolutionized within a matter of just a few years. more..

Parliament disrupted by JO on foreign instigation: Dayasiri

Aug 2 (DM) The sabotaging acts staged by the members of the Joint Opposition in Parliament last Friday with the intention to preventing the passing of the Hambantota Port Development Project (HPDP) Agreement, had been instigated by a diplomatic mission of a powerful country, Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera said. He said the opposition members had no intention to disrupt the Parliamentary proceedings, when more..

Parliament Mafia: An enlightened political leadership from father and son!

Aug 2 (DM) Gabby purohita who played a lead role in ushering in yahapalanaya after burning bridges behind the former strongman, has now embarked on a new mega plan to blaze the path for a new political journey, they say. Talks are being held hush-hush behind the scene these days to finalize the preliminaries of the plan themed: An enlightened political leadership for the country. Meanwhile, political sources say that this plan is nothing but a roadmap designed for purohita and his son more..

I am hurt: Ravi K expresses disappointment at the tone of questioning

Aug 2 (AM) Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake, who appeared before the Presidential Commission to inquire into the Treasury Bonds issue, said he was hurt by the attempts to assassinate his character. "We came to power to bring about good governance. That's how we have conducted ourselves. That's why I am hurt," the Foreign Minister, who was the Finance Minister at the time of the Treasury Bonds issue, said while speaking to media after the Commission's proceedings. more..

GMOA wants details of staff attached to NFTH

Aug 2 (DM) GMOA today referred a letter to Health Ministry Secretary Janaka Sugathadasa requesting for information on the staff of medical officers attached to the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH) under the RTI Act. GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said that they had earlier referred a letter to Mr. Sugathadasa requesting for a copy of the agreement signed on acquiring the NFTH to the govt under the RTI more..

Bickram Ghosh to perform in Sri Lanka

Aug 2 (PTI) Tabla maestro Bickram Ghosh will perform in Sri Lanka at an event organised by the Indian High Commission to celebrate the 70th anniversary of India’s Independence here. Grammy-nominated percussionist will play along with his fusion band Rhythmscape at the function. To celebrate 70 years of independence of India – India@70 High Commission of India is organising a special event on Aug 15 in Colombo, featuring performance by legendary percussion more..

LTTE resurgence should be thwarted: IGP

Aug 2 (DM) The terrorism had not been eliminated completely from the country and the attempts made by the LTTE to stage a comeback should be defeated at any cost, IGP Pujith Jayasundera said in Jaffna. He expressed these views during a discussion held with the religious leaders and civil society organisations in Jaffna on Tuesday. “Though we say we have eliminated terrorism from the country, no one can make sure that seeds of terrorism had been removed completely. more..

I knew nothing: Ravi

Aug 2 (EN) Ex-finance minister Ravi Karunanayake said he did not know Perpetual Treasuries group paid the lease of an apartment he stayed for several months and his wife and family did the negotiations. Karunanayake, now foreign minister, was giving evidence before a Presidential commission inquiring into a series of alleged securities frauds involving Perpetual Treasuries, a firm connected to Arjun Aloysius son-in-law of more..

Video: Ex-Navy Spokesman re-remanded

Aug 2 (DM) Former Media Spokesman of Navy DKP Dasanayake and five others have been further remanded after being produced before Court. Colombo Fort Magistrate remanded the suspects till the 10th of August. The Former Navy Spokesman was arrested by the CID in July on charges of the kidnap and disappearance of 11 youth in the year 2008. Commodore DKP Dasanayake did not appear before Court today as he is suffering from an illness and is receiving in house treatment. more..

Ravi K and Aloysius had travelled to Singapore on the same days 13 times

Aug 2 (AM) The Attorney General's Department today informed the Bond Commission that Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Arjun Aloysius had travelled to Singapore on the same days, 13 times. The AG's Department made the revelation after examining the travel details of the Foreign Minister and Aloysius, the CEO of the Perpetual Treasuries. Karunanayake was the Finance Minister of the Unity Govt, at the time the controversial bonds issue took place. more..

Parnters in crime: Aloysius' phone text messages refer to Ravi K and PM

Aug 2 (AM) In a startling revelation, the Attorney General’s Department today informed Bond Commission that it had extracted 8600 pages of data from Perpetual Treasuries head Arjuna Aloysius’ mobile phone. Several text messages in the database refers to two individuals called Ravi K and PM. Some of the text messages indicated that Aloysius had funded The Sunday Leader newspaper, in the recent past. more..

1990 Kattankudy mosque killings: Reliving bloodshed & trauma 27 years on

Aug 3 (CT) For the last 27 years, the month of August had descended upon me, bringing with it dark memories of the gruesome images of the Kattankudy Mosque killings that has had a lasting imprint of sorrow and agony on me. This year is no different. On 3 Aug, 1990, 141 worshippers were massacred while they were in communion with God in two different mosques in the town of Kattankudy, in Batticoloa district of Eastern Province. Today marks 27 years since the Kattankudy killings more..

When the law ceases to be a command that must be obeyed

Aug 3 (CT) A lawyer practicing in Negombo was abducted on the night of 12 July 2017 and taken to a deserted field. There six persons, two of whom were wearing camouflaged uniforms, beat him thoroughly on his back and his head, threatening him that, you should not be messing with us, and you should not try to fight with the police. Holding a gun to his head, they threatened to shoot him. They also took off his shirt, took two mobile telephones from his pocket, stole all the money he had in his wallet, more..

Jumbo jolly!

Aug 3 (NS) the sea is a place filled with mysteries. It is an entirely different world underneath that endless stretch of salt water. But, surface is far less mysterious, and all you get to see is a calm stretch of blue sea which sometimes turns violent during turbulent weather. There are ships, boats, people going for a dip, occasional dolphin or whale. And then there are elephants, humongous pachyderms that look quite out of place more..

Law governing electronic devices

Aug 3 (CT) Major financial fraud in a rapidly advancing technological world can be quite a challenge for the rather outspoken state. It is the role of the Govt to keep itself updated with the laws to ensure that criminals are in check. However, they say the biggest criminals wear suits. They control the politics and make use of evasive tactics utilizing technology to their convenience and to escape the jurisdiction of the law. In this day and age, backstage politicians and more..

Missing Persons: Responsibility of a State

Aug 3 (CT) Any Nation is responsible for the welfare of its citizens. A Nation facing trying times due to terrorism, internal conflicts, militancy and/or extra-constitutional attempts to seize power could be saddled with the issue of killings and disappearances of some people. The missing persons could be members of terror outfits, revolutionary organizations, members of State armed forces or law enforcement agencies or even civilians. more..

'Ban TNA to realize reconciliation'

Aug 3 (CT) The European Court of Justice (ECJ) delivered a judgment recently annulling measures against the LTTE, namely the designation of the LTTE as a terrorist organization. In spite of the ECJ's ruling, the European Union (EU) stated in a press release on 27 July that LTTE remains listed as a terror organization by the EU. Commenting on this latest state of affairs with regard to the now defunct terror outfit, more..

Editorial: Putin’s cutting edge diplomacy

Aug 3 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday gifted to the National Museum a Kandyan era sword or kastane he had received as a present from Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in March. The kastane has thus completed its epic journey from Kandy to Colombo via London and Moscow. President Putin, a man of few words, is reported to have said the gifting of the sword will help further strengthen the bonds between the two nations. He is right; his gesture more..

Polythene and plastics: The guilt is ours!

Aug 3 (FT) The Govt of Sri Lanka has declared a ban and restrictions on the use of plastic bags and lunch sheets, etc. The new regulations are to come into effect from 1 September 2017.  The lunch sheet and the bag have been around for a long time and have been subjected to serious scrutiny and perhaps Meethotamulla triggered the final showdown.  The pictures from Meethotamulla clearly show the impact of white pollution, as plastic pollution has come to be known, and more..

Thilanga Sumathipala

The Geoffrey Bawa Awards 2016/2017 for Excellence in Architecture

Aug 3 (Island) Geoffrey Bawa seems immortal. His name is mentioned more now, and much more is written about him after his death than while he lived. Even though 14 years have passed since his death, his legacy remains prominently in the buildings he left behind: the Parliament, University of Ruhuna, hotels, particularly Heritance Kandalama, and the houses he built. Although there have been some significant losses (like the demolition of the Ena de Silva house in Kollupitiya more..