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House may request probe on MPs breaching criminal law

July 12 (DM) The newly prepared Code of Conduct for MPs allows Parliament to request the police to conduct an inquiry on any MP found to have engaged in breaching criminal law. Paragraph 52 of the code of conduct states that, if the Committee on Ethics and Privileges finds any evidence to the effect that any breach relating to criminal law is present, it shall forthwith refer such matters to the Police or any other Institution more..

Estimations underway for damaged houses from disaster

July 12 (NR) Minister of Disaster Management Anura Priyadarshana Yapa says estimation activities are currently underway over the reconstruction of fully damaged houses from the disaster situation. He said the govt decided to construct new houses in safe lands away from areas prone to landslides. Minister said a portion of the funds have been allocated for this purpose. However, Minister said there is an issue surrounding the provision of safe lands. more..

Import, production & sale of lunch sheets banned

July 12 (NR) The Cabinet has decided to ban the importation, production and sale of lunch sheets. Accordingly, the Cabinet last evening approved banning the importation, production and sale of food packaging boxes made out of Polystyrene and plastic plates, cups and cutlery. Another proposal is to ban the sale of cooked food to be packaged in polythene. The use of polythene for decorative purposes during national ceremonies is also due to be prohibited. more..

Video: Players hire Charlie, not the other way around: Mahela

July 12 (DM) Mahela Jayawardene brushed aside allegations that managers of players influenced the team selection process. Jayawardene is the first Sri Lankan cricketer to employ a manager to explore the commercial opportunities that came with his success in international cricket. In the video, Jayawardene also speaks about the current status quo of the national team and what measures Sri Lanka should take to correct more..

American Innovation Expert Collaborates with Sri Lankan IT Entrepreneurs

July 12 (USE) As part of its efforts to advance U.S.-Sri Lankan economic ties and prosperity, the Embassy of the United States of America recently supported Cheryl Edison, American innovation expert, to work with Sri Lanka’s leading IT entrepreneurs, engineering students, and Information and Communications Technology Agency (ICTA) representatives.  Edison was also the keynote speaker for this year’s Disrupt Asia conference. “With its strategic location and more..

CB to issue Rs10 commemorative coin to mark 150 yrs of Ceylon Tea

July 12 (LBO) Central Bank is to issue 10 rupee commemorative coin to mark 150 years of Ceylon Tea. The coin which will be in general circulation, as customary, will be released by the Governor of the Central Bank to Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera. Since the day James Taylor planted the first seed of tea, Ceylon Tea has embarked on a massive journey. This is a remarkable achievement from a mere experiment sampling to a gigantic US$ 1.5 billion export achievement of today, more..

Video: Navy rescues Jumbo at sea

July 12 (AD) A group of naval personnel attached to the Eastern Naval Command, helped save an elephant who was being dragged out to sea by the current, in Kokkuthuduwai, Kokilai yesterday. Elephant dragged away by the current, was initially noticed by a Fast Attack Craft while on a routine patrol in the area.  Thereupon, another Fast Attack Craft on patrol and a team of navy divers were promptly directed to location by Navy. more..

Glad to meet the TNA: Asgiriya Registrar

July 12 (DM) The Asgiriya Chapter Registrar and the Asgiriya Sangha Sabha senior committee member, the Ven. Medagma Dhammananda Thera said he appreciated the decision taken by the TNA parliamentarians including the Opposition leader to meet the Mahanayake Theras. “We are happy to have met the TNA parliamentarians including the Opposition leader and clear up misunderstandings if any,” he said. “We have expressed our views on amending the Constitution. more..

SLC to compensate stripped ground staff

July 12 (DM) While apologizing to the causal workers engaged as ground laborers at the Sooriyawewa stadium in Hambantota as they were asked earlier to hand over their trousers to obtain the daily wages, Sri Lanka Cricket announced today that steps would be taken to compensate the workers. It was reported that about 100 workers who were recruited as ground staff on temporary basis had gone to obtain their salaries after six days of work at the Sooriyawewa stadium during more..

Sri Lanka to get US$1.3bn in World Bank aid

July 12 (GDI) Sri Lanka will receive US$1,340 million worth of financial and technical assistance from the World Bank Group for the 3-year period starting from July1, 2017,. The aid will be under the IDA (International Development Association) Transitional Support Facility. Previously SL received US$660 million IDA support from 2014 to 2017. SL is expected to access about US$300 million a year for the next 3 years from IBRD. more..

Even if offered, MR should reject SLFP nomination: GL

July 12 (DM) Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa should reject nominations of the SLFP even if he was offered to contest at future elections from that party, SLPP Chairman G.L. Peiris said. He made this remark in a response to the SLFP General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake’s statement that the SLFP would no longer offer nomination to Mr. Rajapaksa. “My personal view is that even if Mr. Rajapaksa is offered SLFP nominations, he should reject them in a heartbeat more..

Ocean University students demand UGC recognition

July 12 (DM) The students of South Asia’s biggest State Nautical Engineering University, the Ocean University (OCU) have started boycotting lectures demanding recognition by the UGC. Even though the Ocean University in Mattakkuliya does not have the UGC recognition it has claimed in its website and advertisements that it was a UGC recognized University. The Ocean University formally known as the National Institute of Fisheries and Nautical Engineering (NIFNE) more..

Dhananjaya dropped for Zimbabwe Test

July 12 (CI) Allrounder Dhananjaya de Silva has been dropped for Sri Lanka's one-off Test against Zimbabwe, which begins in Colombo on Friday. Batsman Kusal Perera and fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep will miss the game with injuries, while fast bowlers Vishwa Fernando and Dushmantha Chameera return to the squad. ODI opener Danushka Gunathilaka, meanwhile, made his first entry into a Test squad, more..

Former Sri Lanka Navy Spokesman arrested

July 12 (AD) Former Spokesman of SL Navy, Commodore D.K.P. Dassanayake, has been arrested by the CID in connection with the case involving the abduction and enforced disappearance of 11 Tamil youths in 2008. Former navy media spokesperson had been named as a suspect in the investigation conducted by CID. Fort Magistrate had also issued a warrant for the arrest of another suspect, SLN Lt. Commander Prasad Hettiarachchi, who is reportedly eluding the Court. more..

Prez to undertake State Visit to Bangladesh

July 12 (PSL) President Sirisena will leave for Bangladesh tomorrow for a three-day State Visit to Bangladesh at the invitation of Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina.  During the visit, President will hold bilateral meetings with the Bangladesh PM and the President. He will also hold bilateral meetings with the Bangladesh Foreign Minister, Health Minister, Speaker as well as the Opposition Leader. Diplomatic relations between SL and Bangladesh were formally established in 1972. more..

Case against Gota fixed for August trial

July 12 (DN) A corruption case filed against former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and seven others for allegedly causing a Rs.11.4 billion unlawful loss to the govt by permitting Avant-Garde Maritime Services to operate a floating armoury was fixed for August 11 by Colombo Chief Magistrate's court today. When the matter came up, both parties were directed to submit their written submissions regarding more..

Impact of bureaucracy on FDI

July 13 (FT) What is the impact of bureaucracy on Foreign Direct Investment? In an article in the Sunday Times titled Killer bureaucracy impedes tea exports, the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) was quoted saying: “Red tape at the SLTB directly impacts tea exporters who are compelled to send their teas to the Board for testing and the laboratories for analysis and a culture testing takes seven days, and if a test has to be repeated it may eventually result in a delay in exports more..

On Medical Education in Sri Lanka

July 13 (CT) The admission criteria for medical education should be at least 2B and C. At present UGC minimum qualification adopted in 2011 for medicine 2C S. Before 2011 it was 3S. Implement a merit based admission criteria for state universities (75% merit, 25% marginalised district quota system) or 100% merit. At present 40% merit, 55% district quota, 5% marginalized districts (since 1970, prior to 1970 admission to universities 100% merit)1. For the past 45 years this non merit base more..

Investing: Art of watching your money grow

July 13 (Roar) Investment has traditionally been seen in Sri Lanka as a pastime for the retired. The able-bodied consign their youth to the routine of monthly salaries and weekend parties. Their future they entrust to the feebly maturing creature called the provident fund for their retirement. Ravi Abeysuriya, Certified Financial Analyst, Group Director of Candor Group, believes in the opposite of the formula. more..

On framing our Constitution

July 13 (GV) On Independence Day we had a Constitution framed primarily by a British academic, Sir (then Dr) Ivor Jennings in the mid-40s. In formulating this document he consulted PM D.S Senanayake, Sir Oliver Goonetellike and others as and when he considered it to be necessary. The superficiality of the consultation is revealed in the response of 8, Oct 1949 of PM Senanayake to Jennings on receiving a complimentary copy of The Constitution of Ceylon; more..

When elitist hierarchies & systems fail: A community empowerment model 

July 13 (CT) Whether we read newspapers, listen to radio or watch Television, there is no shortage of issues confronting the country as many stakeholders, commentators and politicians express themselves freely their views through such media. This is in quite a contrasting situation when compared to the atmosphere that existed before the present coalition govt came into power in 2015. But the issue now is not the lack of freedom to express or comment on social and political issues. more..

'Sri Lanka should emulate Singapore’s commercial side'

July 13 (CT) Since the late 1970s Singapore has been cited by many as a model that Sri Lanka can emulate for its development. But there has been little discussion on what particular aspects that we can draw inspiration from. Ceylon Today sat down with Mahdev Mohan, a nominated MP of Singapore and Assistant Professor of Law, to discuss the similarities and differences between the two countries. more..

Editorial: Render unto monks what’s theirs

July 13 (Island) It looks as if the yahapalana govt were trying to gain control of temple assets while handing over public property to foreigners for a song. Some holier-than-thou politicians, who have incurred much public opprobrium for shielding a bunch of pro-govt Treasury bond racketeers responsible for causing a huge loss to the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF), have embarked on a campaign to enforce financial discipline on Buddhist monks! more..

Prez powers and Commissions of Inquiry

July 13 (DN) Sri Lanka has had its fair share of Commissions of Inquiry in the last few decades with one of them being the much spoken of Presidential Commission of Inquiry, investigating into the Treasury Bond issue, which was appointed on February 27, 2017. A Commission of Inquiry (CoI) is one of many bodies available to the government to inquire into various issues in the interest of the public. A CoI report findings, give advice and make recommendations. more..

Chamal Rajapaksa

Telecommunications Engineers Union express concerns

July 13 (SL) Telecommunications Engineers Union (TEU) has expressed concern over the recent decisions of the Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) terming violating professionalism. Union had strongly urged Chairman and Board of Directors, SLT, to look into their recommendations and concerns without further delay. TEU President Samantha Ruwanpathirana when contacted, said they had been trying to take up the matter with Minister Harin Fernando; however, he was not approachable, more..

How about a minister for Cycling

July 13 (Island) I bought a bicycle again to better my cycle of life. Yes. A normal push cycle as we call it. (Who started calling it a push cycle, I wouldn't know. It should have been called a peddling cycle instead.) My bicycle has no fancy gears or gadgets. There is nothing for me to boast about. It is my Plain Jane. It is blue and black. Tyres look good too. However, I miss those old black Raleigh and Hero cycles which we used to ride in good old days. All my brothers and I learned to cycle. more..

The advent of rape pornography in sri Lanka

July 13 (CT) The gruesome rape and murder of Vithya Sivaloganathan in 2015 is hardly discussed anymore, even among the activists who laboured and campaigned vigorously to have the perpetrators arrested, at least, not outside of the North where the entire ordeal took place. However, the case filed in the Jaffna High Court has progressed steadily, and as if the details of rape & murder were not already disturbing enough, more..

Women's World cup: South Africa beat SL

July 13 (CI) South Africa's bowlers continued their red-hot form to book a semi-final berth after 17 years in the 50-over World Cup, with a resounding eight-wicket win in Taunton, and were helped by victories from Australia and England, who made it to the knockouts too. Shabnim Ismail's speedy 3 for 14 and Dane van Niekerk's 4 for 24 - her third four-for in four matches - bowled out a dispirited Sri Lanka for 101. The win took South Africa's points tally to nine and since India and New Zealand more..

Where will Chandimal take SL cricket?

July 13 (Island) In 2009, when NZ arrived in SL, an 18-year-old was named in the Board President's XI side to take on the Kiwis in a warm-up game. Dinesh Chandimal is his name and he was making his First Class debut. Our brilliant school cricket reporter Reemus Fernando had told us about Chandimal's exploits for Ananda College. He was firm in his opinion that we were seeing the next big thing in SL cricket. So the both of us hopped into a three-wheeler and rushed to Colts Cricket Ground more..

Current leaders are following the same path as the corrupt regime of Rajapaksas

July 13 (Island) Almost 50% of all politicians, as they are far too uneducated, lacking in intellectual depth and foresight on national destiny and uncaring of it, are incapable of understanding the complicated problems confronting the Nation, which have been left as an unenviable legacy by the corrupt regime of Rajapaksas. Other 50% seem to be so self-absorbed that they are more interested in power & privileges that they too are blinded more..

Sri Lanka’s hill country among Lonely Planet’s Best Places to Visit in 2017

July 13 (FT) The global travel authority Lonely Planet has listed Sri Lanka’s hill country among Top 10 places to visit in Asia in 2017. For this second-annual Best in Asia list, Lonely Planet’s in-house Asia experts ranked the hill country as eighth best with China’s Gansu as number one. Others in the list are South of Tokyo, Japan; Northern Kerala, India; Keong Saik Road, Singapore; Astana, Kazakhstan; Takayama, Japan; Xi’an, China; Melaka City, Malaysia and Raja Ampat, Indonesia. more..

What were your favorite entries from the Sri Lanka environment photo contest?

July 13 (WB) Inspired by Sri Lanka's incredible natural beauty, the World Bank organized a photo contest starting on June 21st aimed at showcasing the many talented photographers among us as well as celebrating the rich flora and fauna of Sri Lanka. We received an overwhelming response from many talented photographers, both professional and amateur, who sent us hundreds of awe-inspiring entries. After the contest ended on June 30th, 167 entries were shortlisted. more..

Mahela Jayawardena

Sri Lanka to go ahead with LNG plants of India, Japan

July 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s cabinet has approved a proposal to issue letters of intent to build two LNG power plants in the island. These two plants, which will generate 500MW each, is to be carried out by India and Japan, a cabinet decision said without revealing details. In April this year, Sri Lanka and India signed an MoU on economic co-operation in the presence of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe in New Delhi. more..

Schools Mini Marathons 2017: First phase starts in Jaffna on July 15

July 13 (DN) Schools Mini Marathons 2017 organized by the Education Ministry and sponsored by Nestle Lanka’s popular supplementary drink, Nestomalt will be worked off in four segments including three regional events and the grand finals with the first phase scheduled to be held at Doreiappa grounds, Jaffna on July 15, under the theme of Nestomalt Power commencing at 5pm where athletes from North, East and North Central Provinces compete to qualify for the finals. more..

Appointment of defeated candidates as NL MPs: BASL intervention sought

July 13 (Island) More than 100 members of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) have signed a petition requesting the association’s President U.R. de Silva, PC, to summon a Special General Meeting to request CJ Priyasath Dep to appoint a full bench comprising ten Supreme Court judges to decide on the constitutionality of appointing defeated candidates through respective National Lists of political parties. more..

Gnasara Thero challenges his remand; SC re-fixes for support on 9 October

July 13 (FT) Supreme Court re-fixed for support on 9 October for granting leave to proceed with the Fundamental Rights petition filed by Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero. Bench comprised CJ Priyasath Dep, Justices Priyantha Jayawardane and Anil Gooneratne. The Petitioner is seeking a declaration from the SC that the order made by the Magistrate of Homagama to remand him is unlawful and in violation of his fundamental rights of equality and freedom from arbitrary detention. more..

‘Tea can fill void of shifting from carbonate drinks’

July 13 (DN) Tea has and will be an important commodity in the Sri Lankan economy in the future as well and the stakeholders and the government must discus and solve some of the issues in the industry, said Governor CB, Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy. Speaking at the launch of a commemorative Rs10 coin at the Central Bank to mark Tea industry’s 150th anniversary he said that there are issues with regard to wages, prices, fertilizer, taxes, branding, research, more..

Govt lying about convention on enforced disappearances: JO

July 13 (DM) The govt is lying when it says that Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances would not have a retrospective effect, JO said. Former MP G.L. Peiris said that the convention would not only permit action to be taken against personnel accused of future incidents of enforced disappearances but also on past incidents. “The convention can & will be used to take action more..