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Heta Dakina Ranil: Starts last campaign after too long a wait, but two years too soon

Aug 27 (Island) By all appearances the United National Party is rolling out a well laid plan to project Ranil Wickremesinghe as its candidate in the next presidential election which is not due at least for another two years. Are they starting the campaign two years too soon? Too much seems to have been packed in a span of six months - a new biography, 40th anniversary celebrations, a national exhibition of family albums, and posters pasting the town with the leader’s face. more..

Active politics is NOT for the Sangha

Aug 27 (Island) In discussing what’s what in current Sri Lanka with diverse groups this last week there was one fact of unanimity: the Sangha should not get actively involved in politics. But they are, at least some of them, and leaders of Sangha sects included. This is very distressing to Buddhists who have at least gone beyond blind rites and rituals and have lived to senior citizenship and seen so much good in the past. We had certain Buddhist monks coming up with two pronouncements to more..

British firm may get contract on migration to e-passport

Aug 27 (ST) Govt is to hire a leading British firm specialising in currency printing and is in partnership now to prepare the groundwork for electronic passports for Sri Lankans.  This new generation travel document will contain in a microchip the holder’s biometric data in electronic format. University of Moratuwa has just completed a comprehensive assessment on the Department’s readiness for migration to e-passport. more..

Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe: The man Vs the hero

Aug 27 (Island) Salagama? Certainly not, Sumangala Thera of the Sugatha-Dakshinaramaya temple in Skelton Road refutes my speculation about Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe’s caste as authoritatively as only a Buddhist monk hailing from Kanumuldeniya, just two kilometres from Rajapakshe’s original village of Horewala in Walasmulla, and somebody who went to school with him can. As political issues hotted up more..

Video: No Confidence Motion not an effective way to end corruption: JVP

Aug 27 (DM) JVP today said it would vote in favour of No Confidence Motion brought in against Minister of Health Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, although such motions were not an effective way to get rid of corruption. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake told a media briefing that his party would vote in favour of the motion as Minister Senaratne was not fit to hold the Ministerial portfolio for several reasons. more..

Dengue mosquito’s next assault looms, health officials predict more infections

Aug 27 (ST) Sri Lanka is facing yet another peak period attack from the deadly dengue mosquito in Oct and Nov in tandem with the expected rains. So far this year, the lives of whole families have been devastated. More than 143,00 people have been infected with dengue and 350 including children have lost their lives amid severe failure in the govt response, handicapped sanitation services, and underprepared, understaffed, and more..

I will come to politics from UNP: Tissa

Aug 27 (DM) UNP’s former General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said that he would come into national politics again as a UNP member in the upcoming elections. Addressing a rally in Geli Oya, Kandy Mr. Attanayake said though he supported former President Rajapaksa during the last Presidential Elections he always remained a UNPer and did not go to the SLFP. “I feel that this is the correct time to get back into politics. more..

Indian activist dies in car accident in SL

Aug 27 (Hindu) Vijay Nagaraj, a former director of Amnesty International in India and an activist-researcher based in Sri Lanka died in a car accident on Friday.  He was 44. According to local police, Mr. Nagaraj was driving from Colombo to the eastern town of Batticaloa for a workshop, and met with the accident early Friday morning in Polonnaruwa, about 220 km northeast of Colombo. Mr. Nagaraj, who was from Bengaluru, more..

Border protection: Navy deploys new strategy in N & E

Aug 27 (SO) The SL Navy will change the mode of operation and fleet deployments in the Northern and Eastern seas to enhance border protection against poaching. The new Navy Commander Vice Admiral Travis Sinniah said, “We are looking at an operation to aid the Indian fishermen, to see that they don’t get into trouble by crossing the line.” He said, “Poaching in SL waters had been taking place for over 100 years, more..

SLT engineers threaten strike action, allege mismanagement and malpractice

Aug 27 (ST) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) engineers are threatening to strike on Wednesday, alleging waste, corruption, malpractice and bad investment decisions by the management. Telecommunication Engineers Union (TEU) said the majority of SLT’s 21 unions were expected to join the strike if the TEU’s demands are not met beforehand. The other unions were not available for comment. In its letter addressed to more..

More than 1,300 foreigners denied entry for security reasons

Aug 27 (ST) More than 1,300 foreigners were not allowed to enter Sri Lanka by Immigration authorities last year — many of them from four countries whose citizens are subjected to clearances from the State Intelligence Service (SIS) before being issued Sri Lankan visas, according to the Department of Immigration and Emigration. Pakistani, Afghan, Egyptian and Syrian citizens require clearance from the SIS in view of more..

Priority Bus Lane: Third phase to be implemented this week

Aug 27 (SO) The third phase of the Priority Bus Lane project launched by the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development will be implemented on Tuesday, August 29. The new phase will consist of two priority. Bus lanes running from the Polduwa junction (Diyatha Uyana junction) to the Ayurveda junction, Borella and from the Town Hall to the Thummulla junction. The third phase comes after the successful implementation of more..

Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe: Hail the new sawdust filled martyr in town

Aug 28 (ST) Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends and country. In Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe’s case it wasn’t his life that he was prepared to lay down but the ministerial positions he held; and which he, with disdain, declared as but a trifle – one he could and would easily shuffle off from his mortal coil in the nation’s interest, with the same ease as a moulting snake in the grass, and in the ecdysis blue, sloughs its seasonal skin. more..

A minister’s removal cannot heal the beggars wound of high corruption

Aug 28 (ST) The agitated pleas of the ruling UNP MPs that they became fully aware of former Justice Minister Wijayadasa Rajapakshe allegedly stalling corruption cases against the Rajapaksa clan only now, must be taken with more than a pinch of that proverbial salt. Overstepping the line a long time ago. That explanation, as rich as it is, is a tad too disingenuous to swallow in one gulp. Let me be clear. If the basis for the ejection of the Minister was the violation of the principle of more..

Donate organs to save lives

Aug 28 (SO) President Sirisena’s call on Wednesday, to improve the overall delivery and quality of health care in the country for all Lankans, could not have been better timed. In a country where health is given the highest priority and stands unique in almost all health indices relating to mother and child mortality and eradication of many common communicable diseases such as, polio, diphtheria and measles, promise given by no less than more..

SL Cricket: It’s time for action to stop the rot

Aug 28 (CT) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is still going through a phase of rebuilding a cricket team to an international standard following the retirement of few world class players from the game more than two years ago. Loosing experienced top-quality players is not a new thing. Every country in the cricketing world has experienced this situation in the past, some countries are experiencing it now, and many other countries will face the same situation in the future. more..

Bequeathing their patrimony?

Aug 28 (CT) Several newspapers reported a recent Gazette notification of the reversion of Development Lotteries Board (DLB) and National Lotteries Board (NLB) to the Finance Ministry. These two cash rich institutions, since inception, have been vested under the Finance Ministry. In a surprise move, both were vested under the Foreign Ministry three months ago in May, when one-time Finance Minister moved to the Foreign Ministry. Both DLB and NLB have now reverted to the Finance Ministry more..

Ravana: An unlikely pioneer in aviation?

Aug 28 (Roar) Ravana is a legendary figure who looms large in SL & Indian folklore. It is said that the ten-headed monarch, also known as the demon king, ruled over prehistoric kingdom of Lanka more than 4,000 years ago. While there is no archaeological evidence to show that King Ravana existed, several Puranic texts, including Hindu epics, Ramayana & Mahabharata, claim that he was real, not just a mythical figure. more..

Editorial: Cabraal’s bombshell

Aug 28 (Island) The govt may have expected to postpone already delayed mini polls further by smuggling in some amendments into the Local Govt (Amendment) Bill and provoking its enemies who usually throw Parliament into turmoil. But, its plan went awry because the Joint Opposition acted with restraint. Bill was passed. Chairman of Election Commission Mahinda Deshapriya now says that if the Speaker signs the bill before mid September elections can be held in early December. more..

Pioneers of the STF

Aug 28 (Island) The Special Task Force (STF) is actually a police organisation, but in scope and structure is flavoured by military features. It is therefore a blend of both disciplines and as a product has been a blessing to the police since it’s inception in mid 1980’s because of it’s proven record against terrorism and lawlessness. It is now the pride of the police. They owe a debt of deep gratitude to late Ravi Jayewardene for he was it’s founder and author. more..

Adaraneeya Sri Lanka: Kurunagala

Sri Lanka’s dangerous quest for cash from China and India

Aug 28 (Island) There is a situation brewing about 4 km away from the crest of the mountain range separating the waters flowing into the Sikkim Teesta and its affluents from the waters flowing into the Thibetan Machu and northwards. These lyrical words in the 1890 Tibet-Sikkim Convention between the British and Qing Empires, define the boundaries between China and Bhutan, which China cites in its claim for territory at the border in Doklam in its on-going dispute with India since June this year.i more..

Hedging deal consigned to the dustbin?

Aug 28 (FT) There are unconfirmed reports stating that the AG’s Department has cleared 28 files pertaining to corruption and fraud for taking legal action. According to the information the hedging issue is not among them. It is history now as to how in 2009 the country was shocked with the breaking news of a dubious and illegal deal which had taken place at the CPC, causing huge losses to the country. The issue came to be known as the fraudulent Oil Hedging Deal with the total loss more..

Making ITAK relevant in changing times

Aug 28 (FT) There is an intention in the top echelons of the ITAK to re-orient the party’s policies to suit emerging local, regional & int'l trends. Aim is to face the next NPC elections in Sept 2018 with an agenda different from the traditional politicised and confrontational one, reliable source in the party said. ITAK hopes to be a party propagating and implementing economic development while fighting for the political rights of the Tamils.  more..

Govt mulls Rs 20B investment to uplift spice exports

Aug 28 (CT) Minister of Primary Industries, Daya Gamage announced that Rs 20 billion investments including private investments would be made in the spices and allied product sector in the next few years to achieve $1.5 billion in export revenue from spices including $1 billion export revenue from cinnamon exports. The Minister made these remarks while participating at the 33rd AGM of Spices and Allied Product Producers' and Traders' Association (SAPPTA). more..

Commander of the Navy pays homage to Sacred Tooth Relic

Aug 28 (SLN) The Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Travis Sinniah paid homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic at the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy on 25th Aug and called on the Mahanayakes of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters to receive their blessings on his new appointment. The Navy Commander was accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Thiruni Sinniah and several senior naval officers. Navy Commander first visited Sri Dalada Maligawa. He was received by Diyawadana Nilame, more..

Bumrah five-for, Rohit ton secure series win for India

Aug 28 (CI) Sri Lanka's on-field embarrassment became their off-field shame, as a bottle-flinging Pallekele crowd caused a 35-minute disruption before India were allowed to knock off the final eight runs that won them the match and sealed the series. Plastic bottles began to be flung from the two grass embankments during the 44th over. Riot police were eventually required to clear those areas before play could continue. more..

US top official to address the Indian Ocean Conference in Colombo

Aug 28 (Island) US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs and Acting Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Alice Wells would travel to SL, Bangladesh and Pakistan from today to Sept 2. It said she would meet with govt officials, business leaders and civil society representatives to discuss US cooperation in the region. ‘On Sept 1, she will speak at the Indian Ocean Conference in Colombo, which will bring together high-level officials from around the more..

Honourable Society of the Inner Temple to address Bar Association of Sri Lanka

Aug 28 (FT) A delegation of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple (The Inner Temple) will make an inaugural visit to Sri Lanka from 1-8 September.  The delegation will comprise Inner Temple Treasurer David Pittaway QC accompanied by his wife Jill Pittaway and Inner Temple Senior Bencher Julia Dias QC. As part of this maiden visit, the delegation of the Inner Temple will address the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) on several topical issues. more..

JVP press conference

Dilan defends Wijedasa

Aug 28 (FT) Ousted Justice Minister found an unlikely defender in State Minister Dilan Perera who said that Wijedasa Rajapakshe should have been warned first before removal. “He should have been given a yellow card not given the red card immediately. But this is how the UNP chose to deal with it,” Perera said.  SLFP Minister defended Minister Susil Premajayanatha, who has been noted for his criticism on some of the Govt projects, saying that action to be taken against him is unlikely more..

Will keep a closer watch on Thalatha: MR

Aug 28 (DM) Former President Rajapaksa said that they would keep a closer watch, how the newly appointed Justice Minister Thalatha Atukorale worked on her new office. After attending a religious event, Mr. Rajapaksa told the media that former Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe was removed from the office claiming he neglected his responsibilities. “Former Minister of Justice was removed stating that he did not take legal court action against the Rajapaksa family. more..

Private electric bus company mooted as commuters drop

Aug 28 (EN) Sri Lanka's private bus operator group is proposing to set up an electric city bus company on a key route in the capital Colombo, as passengers shift from the regulated bus service to private transport and office vans. "We want to import 1,000 electric low floor buses and run operate them on key routes but we cannot do it without the co-operation of the authorities," Gemunu Wijeratne, head of Lanka Pvt Bus Owners Assoc, said. more..

Sri Lanka, Russia discuss defense cooperation at military forum

Aug 28 (MoD) Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Mr. Kapila Waidyaratne PC attended the opening ceremony of Army-2017 Expo in Russia Recently. International Military - Technical Forum is being held from Aug 22-27 at the Patriot Expocenter in Moscow, Russia. During his visit to the exposition Secretary Waidyaratne was received by Russian officials and was accompanied to the expo pavilions where the latest technical aspects of defence and military technical related more..

10MW lower cost wind plants delayed

Aug 28 (EN) Two 10MegaWatt wind power plants awarded after international tender has been delayed due to problems in getting land, Deputy Minister Ajith Perera said. Ceylex Engineering, earlier known as LTL Projects, connected to some of the shareholders of LTL Projects, won the tender to supply wind power to the CEB, at the lowest 12.29 rupees a unit price. However there were objections from the people in the area and District Secretary had accepted the objections. more..

Hold local govt polls now, says JVP

Aug 28 (DM) JVP urged the Govt to hold the Local Govt elections immediately stating that there were no barriers preventing the poll now with the passing of Local Govt Elections Bill in Parliament last week. JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that LG elections could be held without further delays as the shortcomings of the Local Govt Elections Bill, which was passed in 2012 had been corrected by the amendment. more..

SriLankan Airlines, Visa, Standard Chartered partner for biggest-ever travel promotion

Aug 28 (FT) SriLankan Airlines, Visa and Standard Chartered Bank have partnered to unveil the biggest-ever travel promotion that offers a maximum of two tickets free for every online booking within two weeks from today to 14 destinations. The promotion is on a first come first served basis since only 1,000 free return air tickets are on offer.  For every online booking via dedicated webpage on between today and 6 September with payment by Visa debit or credit card, more..

JO wins all four coop polls of Godakawela MPCS

Aug 28 (DM) JO charged that a group of UNP members had disrupted the elections held for the Godakawela Cooperative Society in Ratnapura District and assaulted officials and Opposition members. UPFA MP Ranjith De Zoysa said the UNP members had assaulted the officials and tried to disrupt the elections being held yesterday for Warayaya, Welkeniyaya, Ambawila and Amitiyagda Divisional areas at the Ambawila Wajirama Temple, while Police officers were at the scene. more..

Crowd trouble from displeased Sri Lankan fans delays India's win

Aug 28 (CI) Bottle-flinging fans in Pallekele caused a 35-minute disruption, and prompted the intervention of riot police, in the closing stages of India's 6-wicket victory on Sunday. In the 44th over of India's innings, plastic bottles began to be thrown from the two grass embankments that flank the ground - many of these projectiles made their way on to the playing area. Ground staff were seen clearing the bottles, more..

Chandimal fractures thumb, in doubt for India series

Aug 28 (CI) Dinesh Chandimal's has been ruled out of the India series by the hairline fracture he sustained after being hit on the right thumb while batting in Pallekele. He had been on 25 when a Hardik Pandya bouncer caught him on the glove, as he attempted to work the ball towards the legside. Chandimal batted on, eventually making 36 off 71 deliveries, but had been unwilling to take on the short ball after receiving that blow. He will now consult a specialist in Colombo, more..