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Sugar importers clear Sathosa on huge cocaine contraband

July 21 (FT) Sri Lanka’s powerful sugar importers’ group promptly cleared Lanka Sathosa and CWE (Sathosa) from any links to the huge cocaine haul detected on 19 July while the Head of Lanka Sathosa said that the initial detection was not by the Police but by vigilant Sathosa employees themselves. Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen has urgently called for a report on the 19 July incident. more..

Popular demand prompts KLM to fly thrice a week to Colombo

July 21 (FT) Due to popular demand, world’s oldest airline KLM will increase the frequency of its flights between Colombo and Amsterdam to three times a week in late October during the 2017/18 Winter season. KLM’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner will continue to operate between BIA and Amsterdam connecting its 294 passengers into KLM’s global network of more than 140 destinations. Flights will depart from Colombo on Tue, Thur and Sat and return from Amsterdam on Mon, Wed and Fri.  more..

'Lankan businessmen should strive to negate imbalanced trade'

July 21 (DN) Malaysian High Commissioner Wan Zaidi Abdullah invited the SL business community to further explore emerging trade and investment opportunities to make Malaysia as a preferred export destination for Sri Lanka or as an ideal source of imports for local needs. HC noted that existing trade and investment ties between Sri Lanka and Malaysia must be further enhanced since the contribution of SL’s exports to Malaysia compared to Malaysia’s exports to Sri Lanka is getting imbalanced. more..

Constitution making process: Top UN official here to evaluate progress

July 21 (Island) UN is in the process of evaluating the ongoing UNP-led constitution making process marred by political turmoil close on the heels of UN Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson, QC’s controversial visit. Emmerson concluded his 5-day visit last Friday. Sources said Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman currently here on a 3-day visit had sought to ascertain the current status of constitution making process. more..

JVP lines up trade unions, people’s movements against SAITM

July 21 (Island) JVP Trade Union Leader, K.D. Lalkantha yesterday warned that all trade unions and people’s movements opposed to the SAITM would launch a series of protests demanding its closure. Addressing the media at a briefing, Lalkantha said the govt had ignored the demands by sections of society for the closure of SAITM for long enough. He said that to do so all SAITM opposing factions would jointly launch a series of agitations until the govt met their demand. more..

JO leader says no split

July 21 (Island) Leader of the Joint Opposition (JO) parliamentary group MP Dinesh Gunwardena insisted that there was no split in the JO as the decision by National Freedom Party (NFF) to resign from the constitution making process had been taken in consultation with all constituent members of the JO. Gunawardena told the media that all constituent members of the JO were against the UNP proposal for a new constitution and the parties would oppose in different ways. more..

Video: Govt will lose 2/3 majority in 2 weeks

July 21 (DM) JO MP Dullas Alahapperuma yesterday requested UPFA and SLFP ministers in the govt to withdraw from their portfolios as this is a UNP regime, while claiming that govt will lose its two third majority of the parliament within two weeks. He said that govt had lost its focus as to how it should tackle the shortcomings and issues prevailing currently in the country. "It is useless to hold a portfolio in the govt. It is full of chaos. more..

Nurses warn of trade union action

July 21 (DN) The Govt Nursing Officers Union (GNOU) yesterday warned the govt of trade union action if their demands are not met by August 20. According to chairman of the Union Ven Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera, his union is committed to safeguard the professional rights and privileges of the nursing community. “We will launch a trade union action if the government fails to grant the nursing staff the revised allowances by August 20,” the Thera said. more..

Sri Lanka enters semi-final in Davis Cup

July 21 (CT) Sri Lanka secured their third straight first round victory and finished top in group 'B' when they defeated Syria in the Davis Cup Group III tie concluded at Sri Lanka Tennis Association yesterday. Sri Lanka booked their semi-final berth after beating Pacific Oceania 2-1 on the third day of the tournament before registering a 2-1 win over Syria in the last group match last evening. In the first single Sri Lanka's Harshana Godamanna won 6-1, 6-3 over Yacoub Makzoume. more..

Exciting witness to be summoned before bond commission next

July 21 (Island) Senior Solicitor General Dappula de Livera PC informed Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the alleged bond scam that the recording of evidence of state witnesses by AG’s Department would be concluded by July 31, 2017. Livera told the Commission that in the coming week several more witnesses would be summoned to give evidence and after July 31 other parties could give evidence. more..

New medical association: A futile attempt by Rajitha: GMOA

July 21 (DM) Despite unlimited political sponsorships, Minister Rajitha Senaratne was able to gather only a mere 45 members to the newly-formed medical association, GMOA said. GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said among 18,000 doctors serving the govt service, the minister was only able to recruit only a handful of those who were removed from the GMOA. “Minister Senaratne aimed to destabilise GMOA that has a rich history of over 90 years. He simply missed the shot. more..

UN chief congratulates govt on setting up office of missing persons

July 21 (UN) United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today congratulated the Sri Lankan Govt for setting up an Office of Missing Persons (OMP), “an important step for all Sri Lankans who are still looking for the truth about their loved ones.” “The United Nations stands ready to support this process and the Secretary-General looks forward to [the Office] becoming operational as soon as possible, starting with the appointment of independent commissioners,” more..

UK may submit its diplomatic cables to hybrid court

July 21 (Island) UK is willing to consider submitting uncensored wartime dispatches sent by its High Commission in Colombo to London to the proposed hybrid war crimes court. Last week UN Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson, QC, declared that he had received an assurance from PM Ranil Wickremesinghe regarding the setting up of an Office of Special Prosecutor to bring criminal charges against those responsible for serious more..

Don’t strike with all your might

July 21 (DM) Though we hear and talk a lot about human rights, responsibility ranks among our noblest virtues. Major religions teach and we need to be aware that we are responsible for the welfare and well-being of all people, specially the oppressed people enslaved in the poverty trap. Beyond that, in this modern era, we are also responsible for all creatures—ranging from elephants to ants. We are responsible for the oceans and rivers, trees and plants, air & delicate balance in our ecology. more..

Re-size cabinet to specified subjects in the national interest

July 21 (DM) Elections are fought over all kinds of issues. The winners typically secure the right to interpret their mandate. This election was about A, B, C or D they would say and often give their own interpretation of A, B, C and D, amending the same as per prerogatives of the particular political moment.  If you were to ask 10  people at random what would be the key issue in 2020, most likely you would get more than a single answer. Give the same 10 people a list of ten key issues more..

Respect public opinion: Ven. Dhammananda

July 21 (DM) Venerable Galkande Dammananda thera, the Priest-in-Charge of  Walpola  Rahula Institute and lecturer of the University of Kelaniya, said that religious leaders must first respect public opinion. Dhammananda Thera affirmed that Buddhist religious leaders  must focus on ensuring the betterment of the entire society and empower people to think right. “Changing the current constitution and replacing it with a new one more..

CEB protests over alleged attack on employee

July 21 (DM) Power failures have been reported in Sri J'pura and the surrounding areas yesterday due to a protest launched by CEB trade union employees demanding the arrest of the suspect who allegedly assaulted a CEB employee in Ambatale, Mulleriyawa on Wednesday. CEB sources said power interruptions were reported in Avissawella, Homagama, Horana, Malabe & J'pura for several hours causing inconvenience more..

Uma Oya project: More moves to grab public money

July 21 (SL) Uma Oya contractor, FARAB Energy and Water Project Company, an Iranian company, is responsible for carrying out the project. It  is an insured company  and  should take steps to use its insurance money rather than trying to grab public money, environmentalists and scientists claim. Environmentalist Dr. Ravindra Kariyawasam says that a company like FARAB is insured especially knowing consequences. more..

People mixed up over garbage segregation, say officials

July 21 (ST) Residents in Colombo and its suburbs are still confused over the segregation of garbage despite an improvement in the clearing of garbage heaps that accumulated over the past few weeks, officials say. S. Abeyratne the senior operations manager of a private company which handles solid waste in the Colombo area said that they have removed the garbage from several dumping areas such as Bloemendal, more..

'International brands keen to set up facilities in Sri Lanka'

July 21 (FT) With the help of foreign missions, the Export Development Board (EDB) confirmed that its collective effort has enabled it to knock on the doors of some well-known international brands that are keen on shifting their production facilities to Sri Lanka.  EDB Chairperson Indira Malwatte said few leading apparel and automobile companies had expressed their enthusiasm to work from Sri Lanka. more..

Emmerson's meeting with LTTE detainees within terms of ref: Ministry

July 21 (DM) In the wake of controversy surrounding the permission given to Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter Terrorism Ben Emmerson to meet LTTE detainees, Law and Order Ministry had acted in this regard in keeping with Terms of Reference governing such visits, it is learnt. During the Universal Periodical Review of the UNHRC, the Member States made a recommendation to Sri Lanka to extend more..

Video: Universal medical science: A blessing for curing multiple diseases: Rajitha

July 21 (DM) If we could continue all the medical experiments in all the medical sciences, it would help to fill up all the loopholes by adding them to one, and that could be the result of creating of the Universal Medical Science which would be to cure all the diseases, Health and indigenous Minister Rajitha Senarathne said. Addressing an appreciation ceremony at the SL Ayurvedic Drugs Corporation for its achievement of gaining profit of Rs.3.5 b more..

FCO announces Sri Lanka as one of 30 Human Rights Priority Countries

July 21 (DM) The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in its annual Human Rights Report for 2016 announced that Sri Lanka was one of 30 Human Rights Priority Countries (HRPCs), countries with which the UK looks for positive engagement that contributes to addressing human rights concerns. The Human Rights Priority Countries as announced by FCO included Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bahrain, more..

LG polls Amendment Act: Govt, party leaders reach consensus on ratio

July 21 (DM) Govt and other party leaders have reached consensus to differ the First Past the Post System / PR system ratio to 60/40 from the earlier proposed ratio of 70/30 and to pass the amendments to Local Govt Electoral Act no 12 of 2012 next week, Minister Faizer Musthapha said. The govt would be in a position to hold LG polls within this year after passing much delayed Amendments to Local Govt electoral system next week. more..

Constitutional Assembly: JO divided

July 21 (DN) Joint Opposition (JO) group is divided over the Constitution making process with one group insisting on immediate withdrawal from the Constitutional Assembly (CA) and the other adamant on remaining in it. Federation of National Organisations led by Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekara lashed out at the JO for deciding to remain in the CA. This was after the five MPs from NFF decided to leave the assembly. more..

Preserving Sovereignty

July 21 (CT) UN Human Rights and Counter Terrorism Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson met LTTE suspects in prison in his recent visit to the island. Prisons in SL come under Minister D.M. Swaminathan, a UNP MP. Bradman Weerakoon is an adviser to this Ministry, while his son Asela is Foreign Ministry Secretary. Ostensibly, permission for Emmerson to meet these inmates had been given by the Foreign Ministry in a practice allegedly adopted by Rajapaksa regime of the past, more..

Former Walallawita PS Chairman Athukorala indicted in High Court

July 21 (DN) Director General of CIABOC yesterday filed indictments in the Colombo High Court against Walallawita former Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Udeni Athukorala. This is for allegedly accepting a bribe of one million rupees from the former Bentara Pradeshiya Sabha chairman in exchange for issuing a permit to transport sand in 2013. Bribery Commission filed indictments against the former Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman on 13 charges under Bribery Commission Act more..

JVP press conference: Tax bill issue

Champaka resigns as fast bowling coach

July 21 (NR) Sri Lanka’s fast bowling coach Champaka Ramanayake has tendered his letter of resignation to Sri Lanka Cricket. It is believed that Chaminda Vaas will once again be appointed fast bowling coach following the resignation of Ramanayake. Champaka Ramanayake was reappointed Sri Lanka’s fast-bowling coach in May 2015 after two years away from the role. He replaced Chaminda Vaas, who parted ways with SLC at the end of April. more..

No SLFP MP will leave govt: Duminda

July 21 (DN) SLFP General Secretary and Minister Duminda Dissanayake said he was certain that no SLFP MP will leave the Govt. Dissanayake was responding to a question from a journalist at a press briefing, about speculation that 18 SLFP MPs are planning to leave the govt shortly. Dissanayake went on to say that there is no need to panic and take a decision on whether to leave the Govt at this juncture as the bipartite agreement between the UNP and SLFP will go till December. more..

Chandimal ruled out of Galle Test

July 21 (CI) Dinesh Chandimal, the newly-appointed Sri Lanka Test captain, will miss at least the first Test against India after contracting pneumonia. Rangana Herath, who captained Sri Lanka in four Tests in the 2016-17 season, is likely to lead the side in Galle, in Chandimal's stead. "We were actually only told late last night - the blood Test came a bit late. He's got pneumonia," Asanka Gurusinha, SL's cricket manager, said. more..

Corruption: 3rd leg of a govt’s crooked stool

July 21 (FT) If the human race is fallen, politics – perhaps – is where it shows most blushingly. It is, after all, the world’s oldest profession; having thrived before the fall. In the beginning, when God began to create all the other pastimes and vocations, there was chaos and darkness brooded over the deep… but who created the chaos? In case you’re thinking prostitution is the oldest profession, perhaps you can now attribute it to policy – or the creation of employment for fallen humanity by more..

Volvo to check on buying rubber components from Sri Lanka

July 21 (EN) Sweden's Volvo has agreed to consider the possibility of buying rubber components from Sri Lanka for its automobiles, Chairperson of the Export Development Board (EDB) Indira Malwatta said. Sri Lanka has established a reputation for rubber gloves and tires, but needs to diversify its product range, she told a business forum held by the European Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (ECCSL) and the European Union Delegation to Sri Lanka and the Maldives. more..

PUCSL approves CEB’s 20 year electricity generation plan

July 21 (AD) Public Utilities Commission of SL has granted approval to the alternate Least Cost Long Term Generation Expansion Plan (LCLTGEP) 2018- 2037 of CEB, with the view of ensuring energy security and continuous supply of electricity.  LCLTGEP has been compiled based on the results of the latest electricity expansion planning studies conducted by the CEB for the planning period of 2018-2037 which includes more..

Severe drought in 13 districts: DMC

July 21 (NR) Disaster Management Centre says extreme drought conditions prevail in 13 districts across the country. Accordingly the DMC noted Mannar, Puttalam and many areas in the North and North Central Provinces are adversely affected by the drought. Assistant Director of the Disaster Management Centre Pradeep Koddippili said drought conditions have been reported for close to a year. Many areas in Kurunegala and in the Kandy district as well are affected. more..

DIG Jayasinghe suspended from duties

July 21 (AD) National Police Commission has approved the suspension of Senior DIG, Lalith Jayasinghe. Commission has approved the request put forward by the IGP in writing, to suspend Jayasinghe from his duties. Senior DIG Lalith Jayasinghe, who was arrested on the 15 of July, was remanded till the July 25 after being produced at the Kayts Magistrates Court. Jayasinghe was arrested for allegedly helping a suspect in the murder of schoolgirl Sivaloganathan Vidya more..

Sri Lanka slams police over abduction bid

July 21 (AFP) Police faced censure on Friday over an attempt to abduct a student activist, a tactic widely used against dissidents by the previous strongman leader's regime. Minister Mangala Samaraweera said he lodged a protest with IGP Pujith Jayasundara over an attempt by plain-clothed officers to seize a student known for his anti-govt views on Thursday night. Other students prevented him from being grabbed by more..

Garbage crisis will be resolved soon: PM

July 21 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said govt has put in place a well coordinated system to permanently resolve the garbage crisis which has hit Colombo as well as several other cities in the country. “Several cities including Kandy are facing a garbage crisis. The intention of the government is to implement a coordinated effort by all local govt bodies, provincial councils, govt ministers including the Megapolis Minister to resolve resolve this matter permanently,” he said. more..

Senior Writers Award ceremony under President’s patronage

July 21 (PSL) Godage Senior Writers Award ceremony jointly organized by the SLBC and Sirisumana Godage Publications was held under the patronage of President Sirisena at the SLBC’s auditorium, yesterday. During this event 15 senior writers, including authors and journalists received their felicitation awards from the President and in parallel to this the winners of the Penayata Pilithuru competition held at school level, were also presented their awards by the President. more..

25 tanks were renovated in Trincomalee District this year: President

July 21 (PSL) President Sirisena says renovations of 25 irrigational tanks in Trincomalee District alone have been completed by this year, under the govt’s program to build an agricultural economy to bring the historical irrigation culture back in Sri Lanka. President was speaking at a ceremony held today near the historical Kantale Reservoir. Ceremony was held to appraise the excellences in 2016 of Local Food Production Program. more..