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Parliament felicitates PM on 40 yrs in politics

Aug 5 (FT) Parliament yesterday moved a vote to felicitate PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on his completion of continuous membership of the House over a period of 40 years and appreciating the selfless and dedicated service rendered by him for the betterment of SL in general and Parliament in particular. Conveying his best wishes to PM by wishing him success in all his future endeavors, Minister Lakshman Kiriella opened the floor. more..

Pradeep ruled out of rest of india series

Aug 5 (PTI) In a massive blow to Sri Lanka, pace spearhead Nuwan Pradeep was on Friday ruled out of the ongoing Test series against India due to a hamstring injury, leaving the hosts with just one medium pacer in the second match. Pradeep, who had taken six wickets in the opening Test, had bowled only four balls with the second new ball yesterday and did not take field today. The fresh injury blow to the hosts means that they have services of just one medium pacer, more..

Deficit reduced to 1.8% in first four months

Aug 5 (FT) Despite being beset by political challenges, Govt ramped up their fiscal performance, increasing tax revenue by 25.6% in nominal terms to Rs. 544.3 billion and shrinking the Budget deficit marginally when compared to the first four months of 2016. Revenue as a percentage of GDP increased to 4.5% during the first four months of 2017, the Central Bank said in its latest update of monetary policy this week. This, together with the nominal increase in tax revenue, helped more..

Farmers' issues were not resolved during the past period: President

Aug 5 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena says even though an agricultural country, during the past period priority was not given for the development projects aimed at the upliftment of the economy of the farmers as well as the issues of them were not resolved. He made these remarks participating in an event to vest the Medawachchiya Berty Premalal Dissanayake new Economic Center with the public, today (4). more..

16th edition of ProFood, ProPack and AgBiz Expo opens

Aug 5 (FT) Sri Lanka’s largest food, packaging and agricultural expo kicked off yesterday at the BMICH, giving a fresh impetus to the industry’s efforts to enhance growth. Exhibition has over 300 companies participating. Organised by the SL Food Processors Association together with Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services, the ProFood, ProPack and AgBiz Exhibition will be held until 6 August and is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Over 30,000 visitors are expected to visit the exhibition. more..

Lankans can view partial lunar eclipse on Monday night

Aug 5 (Island) Sri Lankans will be able to witness a partial lunar eclipse on Monday night (7) full moon day, which will remain visible till the following morning, according to the Astronomy and Space Science Unit (ASCU) of the Colombo University. ASCU Director Prof. Chandana Jayaratne told The Island that the eclipse would be visible to Sri Lanka and several other countries in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, eastern part of South America, Pacific, Atlantic and Antarctica. more..

Norwegian expert submits interim report on Uma Oya Project

Aug 5 (DM) Norwegian expert Bent Aagaard who inspected the Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project that had caused many problems in the Bandarawela area has said that the machinery used for the Project had not been capable of proper strengthening of the tunnel wall and to seal them with strong grout materials. Mr. Aagaard made these remarks in the interim report submitted to President Maithripala Sirisena more..

JVP will vote Aye: Herath

Aug 5 (CT) JVP MP and Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath says that since allegations brought against Minister Ravi Karunanayake at hearings into the controversial Central Bank Treasury Bond scandal are of a very grave nature, the minister ought to beg for forgiveness from the entire country. Herath stated that the JVP will continue to keep a close eye on the Minister to see whether the law of the land will be enforced against the latter at the end of the SPC proceedings. more..

New Deputy Chief of Staff of Army appointed

Aug 5 (GDI) Major General Dampath Fernando has been appointed the new Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army with effect from 4 Aug. He succeeds Major General Renaka Udawatte who retired recently. Major General Dampath Fernando of the SL Army Gemunu Watch (GW) Regiment has been serving as the Commander, Security Forces - Mullaittivu, before he was appointed to this post. He is also the Colonel of the Regiment, the Gemunu Watch. He is an old boy of De Mazenod College, Kandana. more..

Bond Scam sparks fears: Investors lose Rs 56.47B in 7 days

Aug 5 (CT) Colombo Share Market fell for the 7th consecutive market day yesterday, its second longest fall for the year to date, weighed down by perceptions of political instability impacting on local investor sentiment. These perceptions are led by revelations emerging in the ongoing probe into the Bond scandal in which Minister Ravi Karunanayake is now facing allegations. PM's name has also reportedly been mentioned more..

PCoI to take Budapest Convention on Cybercrime into consideration

Aug 5 (DN) The Chairman of the Presidential Commission, Justice K. T. Chitrasiri said that the PCoI will take the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime in to consideration when making an order regarding Arjun Mahendran’s request that a representative of his be allowed to be present when data is derived from his mobile phone by the CID. Sri Lanka became the first country in South Asia to be invited to join the Budapest Cybercrime Convention, in February 2015. more..

China donates equipment to parliament

Aug 5 (Xinhua) China has donated equipment estimated at US$ 293,000 to the SL Parliament in order to further strengthen parliament to parliament ties between the two countries. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya while accepting and appreciating the donation from China's ambassador, said to date over 100 MPs had visited China on several programs with the support of China. Jayasuriya said a further 15 MPs would visit China next week to undergo a program on disaster management. more..

PCoI to rule on legal issues raised by lawyers

Aug 5 (DM) PCoI yesterday considered giving certain appropriate orders pursuant to a few legal issues raised by lawyers appearing for CB's former governor Arjun Mahendran, PTL owner Arjun Aloysius and PTL CEO Kasun Palisena. President’s Counsel Kalinga Indatissa appearing for Mr. Palisena drew attention to the legal powers vested in the commission to call for material belonging to individuals for investigation. more..

Nuclear weapons: Let’s hope for a miracle

Aug 5 (DM) With North Korea’s recklessly arrogant young leader Kim Jong-un testing intercontinental ballistic missiles and boasting he would soon have the nuclear power to blast even cities in the US, the world tomorrow commemorates the nuclear holocaust in the Japanese city of Hiroshima, followed three days later by the  nuclear bombing of Nagasaki. In the aftermath of the two nuclear catastrophes killed 90,000-146,000 people in Hiroshima and 39,000-80,000 in Nagasaki. more..

An indefinite strike definitely doomed to fail

Aug 5 (DM) The indefinite work stoppage launched by the trade unions of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) on July 25 was the most absurd and foolhardy trade union action resorted to by any trade union in the recent times. The absurdity and the folly in the strike lay in its professed indefinity. One can imagine the situation that would have prevailed in the country had the strike been indefinite, in its professed sense. Govt had only 3 options in the light of CPC employees’ strike. more..

'Being single is my real strength'

Aug 5 (DM) He is the most popular actor in Sri Lankan Cinema. You can imagine how he has won the attraction of the people, largely due to the fact that he won on 11 consecutive times two of the most popular awards; the Most Popular Actor among people and the Most Popular Actor among the youth.    Following in the footsteps of his uncle, this renowned artiste has been able to stamp his authority both in the field of politics & cinema. more..

Ocean-going jumbos possibly disoriented

Aug 5 (ST) Wildlife experts have not been able to adequately explain why a few elephants had been sighted in distress in the oceans closer to shore in the east and even in the deep seas. Some suspect they had been disoriented. Elephants are known to be able to negotiate lakes, reservoirs and rivers. Once again, this week, the navy helped to rescue two elephants seen in the waters off Trinco. They had been detected by sailors more..

Controversy surrounds decision to close Wilpattu

Aug 5 (SL) Controversy surrounds on the decision taken by the Department of Wildlife Conservation to close the country’s largest national park, Wilpattu for the first time in history. Although the Wildlife Department claims the decision to close the park was due to prevailing drought, questions have been raised as to who had taken such a decision when most of the lakes & water holes within the park still have enough of water more..

Old habits die hard: Change the trade union culture

Aug 5 (ST) The decision by the Govt to declare the supply of petroleum and allied matters as an essential service would have been welcomed by the long suffering public. With many sections of the community being adversely affected by a series of wildcat strikes and demonstrations, Govt’s decisive action gave the citizenry some degree of relief. The declaration of any service as essential is based on the premise that the disruption of more..

'Post-rehab follow up of ex-cadres lacking'

Aug 5 (NS) In light of the identification of former LTTE cadres as being involved in several attacks on personnel attached to law enforcement agencies, counselors with experience of working with former combatants blamed shortcomings in the post-rehabilitation follow up process as having contributed to the said incidents occurring. One of this year’s awardees of the Ramon Magsaysay Award, educator and psychological counselor more..

Farmers in dire financial straits

Aug 5 (NS) With a drought raging across many parts of the country affecting millions, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) urged the public to use water carefully and sparingly while the Ministry of Agriculture informed that they only expected a harvest below 50% from this year’s Yala season cultivation. Deputy Director-c.d (Early Warning) at the Emergency Operation Centre of the DMC, Pradeep Kodippili said that more..

Issuance of route permits: Ministry admits errors in tender process

Aug 5 (NS) Ministry of Transport acknowledged that the National Transport Commission (NTC) had made certain mistakes in the tender process in relation to the issuing of route permits to passenger transport services seeking to operate on Southern expressway.   Recently, Lanka Private Bus Owners Association led by its President Gemunu Wijeratne who claimed he had received death threats in this regard previously, more..

Video: Politicians hindering establishing of minimum education standards: GMOA

Aug 5 (AD) The GMOA, stated that the misuse of finances by SAITM will reveal itself in a commission similar to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into the Issuance of Treasury Bonds.  He stated that politicians decide on the extent of the issue depending on the benefits they will reap in from the issue itself. GMOA added that the certain ministers who support the functioning of SAITM, have been hindering more..

Paiki urges Ravi K to resign immediately

Aug 5 (CT) The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) yesterday urged the immediate resignation of Minister Ravi Karunanayake, irrespective of the outcome of the Commission's proceedings, on the rationale that the allegations against the minister are of sufficient gravity to warrant his resignation. Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Executive Director of CPA, stated reported allegations of financial misconduct more..

Resign, President tells Ravi

Aug 5 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena has asked minister Ravi Karunanayake to resign from his portfolio in the face of the allegations levelled against him in connection with the CB bond sale, govt sources said yesterday. They said the President had told the minister that if he continued to function as a Cabinet minister, it would create serious issues not only to the government but also to the minister himself and as such President more..

Focus on preventive healthcare a must

Aug 5 (CT) In the recent past, with the rise in the incidence of victims of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) concerns were raised regarding the lack of focus on disease prevention. According to statistics, Sri Lanka's expenditure on health (both public and private) was around 3.2% of GDP, or US$ 89 per head, in 2012, according to estimates by the WHO. Interestingly, the private sector provides around half of outpatient curative care and around 5-10% of inpatient care. more..

SAITM as model for expanding medical Education?

Aug 5 (CT) On the 1st of Aug, concerned Academics and Activists gathered at Honourable Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya’s office in the parliament and handed over a response to the report on SAITM made by a sub-committee of the Oversight Committee on Education and Human Resources.  Copies of the report to be given all the members of the Oversight Committee, PM, Leader of Opposition, Govt Whip, Opposition Whip and Minister of Higher Education were also handed over to the Hon. Speaker. more..

Crime busting in Sri Lanka

Ranjan says PCI proceedings reveal massive fraud

Aug 5 (Island) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said yesterday that the govt would have no future if it tried to protect thieves and corrupt elements within its ranks. "I humbly request the President’s Counsel not to appear on behalf those who have swindled public funds. Deputy Minister Ramanayake said so when we contacted him in Jordan over the telephone. "Presidential Commission of Inquiry has been appointed to investigate the allegations of the bond scam. more..

Mobitel launches Municipal Assessment Payment System for property owners

Aug 5 (DN) Mobitel launched Municipal Assessment Payment System (MAPS), an eTax payment system on July 28, at the Dehiwala - Mount Lavinia Municipal Council premises. Occasion was graced by Minister Harin Fernando and Isura Devapriya CM of the Western Province. Revolutionary MAPS service allows all registered property owners under the preview of the Dehiwala - Mount Lavinia MC to pay their council tax via their Mobitel connection, doing away with the need to visit the Council more..


FM rubbishes mystery claim

Aug 5 (CT) Foreign Ministry has reiterated that the press release on North Korea was sanctioned by the govt and there is no mystery involved in it, a senior official disclosed. It confirmed that the media release on the North Korean issue was sent out by the Foreign Ministry and it was an official govt statement. During the Cabinet briefing several factual errors were stated regarding the media release. It was also stated that this is the first time such a media release more..

Full-face helmet ban off as state relents

Aug 5 (Island) Attorney General yesterday told the Court of Appeal that the state had formulated regulations to permit wearing of full-face helmets by motorcyclists. Accordingly, the petitioners sought the permission of the court to withdraw the writ application they had filed, requesting the court to order the IGP to withdraw his decision by gazette notification whereby the use of full-face helmets was to be prohibited. The petitioners had said that fatal head injuries could happen when more..

Mendis 110 and Karunaratne 92* defy India

Aug 5 (CI) For the morning session, India were like the pink panther, playing pranks, drawing laughs and having life be ever so blissful. They bowled the opposition out for 183, gained a lead of 439 and enforced the follow-on. In the same time, Sri Lanka were like Jacques Clouseau, bumbling and fumbling their way through the investigation to figure out how to bat on a spiteful pitch. And then came a dramatic role-reversal. more..

Ashwin having a ball with the new ball

Aug 5 (CI) On a day that India found it cool - in August 2017 - to do the dab, and on a day that statistically-minded Indian fans concocted another measure to celebrate - the double of 2000 runs and 250 wickets, to which R Ashwin is the fastest - Ashwin did provide a cool and real statistic by the time he was done with his first over. In the period since ESPNcricinfo began to maintain ball-by-ball statistics, Ashwin was now the most successful spinner with the new ball. more..

Patriotic Muslim Brotherhood launched

Aug 5 (CT) The Patriotic Muslim Brotherhood (PMB) which claims to be a political movement, criticized the current Muslim politicians and accused them of neglecting the interests of the people of the country. PMB was launched yesterday (3) at the National Library. PMB aims to stand up for the country's needs, unlike the Muslim extremists and opportunistic politicians, President of PMB Mohammed Rauf said. "All the Muslim leaders have turned politics into a stormy business. more..

GMOA appreciates PM’s stance

Aug 5 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is honestly trying to legalise the Minimum Standards of Medical Education while Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne is trying his best to stop it, GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said. Addressing a press conference at the GMOA Head Quarters in Colombo yesterday, he said that the PM has appointed MP Tilak Marapana to oversea the Attorney General’s Department. more..

Stories from a parched land

Aug 5 (ST) The prevalent drought in the North Central, Northern, North western and Eastern provinces is wrecking the lives of area residents. The drought is so severe it has ruined livelihood. Even potable water and food is in short supply. Animals are even worse off, with their normal waterholes drying up, they are forced to seek out little puddles of water which remain. Unfortunately though man and beast are equality affected by the scarcity of water, a few thoughtless huntsmen more..

JVP boycotts felicitation vote for PM

Aug 5 (Island) JVP boycotted the Vote of Felicitation debate in Parliament in honour of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, who marked 40 years of uninterrupted political life, having entered Parliament in 1977. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said JVP MPs had boycotted yesterday’s session in protest against abrupt adjourning of the House on July 28 by the Speaker. Herath said that the JVP was protesting against the manner the govt tried to get Parliament approval for the gazette notification by more..

'LTTE not regrouping'

Aug 5 (CT) Chairman of NPC C.V.K. Sivagnanam has said that generalization and coming to the conclusion that a revival of the LTTE is taking place in the country especially in the North is false. He stressed that connecting the entire lot of rehabilitated LTTE militants with recent criminal activities in Jaffna is malicious and unreasonable and urged all concerned to refrain from doing so. "An unknown power wants to keep this part of more..