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Editorial: Peacetime oil war!

July 27 (Island) It looks as if Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian PM Narendra Modi were running the yahapalana govt. For, Sri Lanka’s interests have been subjugated to those of China and India in the most despicable manner. The leaders of the current UNP-SLFP administration are in the same predicament as the proverbial man who sold his soul to the devil. There is no way they can escape from the two Asian giants at each other’s jugular, thanks to their foreign policy bungling. more..

Can the unity govt deliver?

July 27 (CT) The last couples of columns written by me on Gotabaya Rajapaksa drew a lot of praise and criticism. I want to make it clear to all readers. I am not a career journalist, nor a specialist in political science. The premise of my articles rests on the following: It is important to be correct, not politically correct. I write on subjects as I view them and believe in adopting a practical approach to governance as opposed to a theoretical approach. On a very recent note PM Wickremesinghe more..

Hambanthota Port & Petroleum strike

Ravi Karunanayake should resign, not because Aluthgamage says so

July 27 (CT) It is another matter that the very fact that investigators now, unlike during Rajapakse rule, invade the person of powerful political figures stands as a most refreshing outcome of yahapalanaya. The gentleman by the name of Minister Ravi Karunanayake, is one of the black sheep falling off from the broad ranks of the yahapalanaya movement. He must resign; if he doesn’t, he must be removed. This is not because former Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage says so; more..

A Publication and Website on SDG for Sri Lanka Launched

July 27 (Island) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, to protect the planet and to ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. SDGs, officially known as Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are a set of seventeen aspirational Global Goals with 169 targets and 244 indicators between them to be achieved by April 2030. SDGs were born at the UN Conference on more..

Pradeep's miserly resurgence amid Sri Lanka's continued misery

July 27 (CI) Dinesh Chandimal might be missing the Test with pneumonia, Asela Gunaratne may have fractured a thumb, but as far as bad luck goes, no one in this SL side has known as long a spell of misfortune as day one's honest toiler: Nuwan Pradeep. Mishaps, for him, have been both many and memorable. Never far from injury, Pradeep has spent so much time in triage over the last few years, that he could easily have more..

Fortunate Dhawan directs his sail

July 27 (CI) Test openers share a special bond. They walk out together for one of the most difficult tasks in cricket: negotiate the mischievous new ball, two men against 11. They know each other's weaknesses and insecurities. They thrive off each other's strengths. When KL Rahul, a nervous wreck, failed on his debut in Australia, the two other openers in the squad, M Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan, comforted him. Dhawan may have had mixed feelings then that his comeback into Test more..

Rugby chiefs begin passing game

July 27 (CT) Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) are trying to make a move on the blind side by saying that they are unable to take any action over the assault on referee Mohamed Ashroff as they have not received any complaints from the SL Society of Rugby Football Referees' SL. Kandy wing three quarter and national player Vishvamithra Jayasinghe assaulted one of the assistant referees, Mohamed Ashraff, in the face during the Cup final between MAS Holdings and Access in the Mercantile Sevens more..

Harsha tells private sector to put up or shut up about bribery

July 27 (FT) Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva hushed a packed audience at SL Economic Summit 2017, calling on the private sector to refrain from pointing fingers at corrupt systems unless they were serious about putting a stop to bribery from the bottom right up to the top at Govt agencies by not indulging in the practice to get their work done. “I want people here who have not paid a bribe to any govt agency to get a job done. more..

Shangri-La Hotel's The Mall at One Galle Face signs mega deal with Odel

July 27 (Island) Shangri-La Hotels Lanka Pvt Ltd inked an agreement of partnership with Odel, fashion and lifestyle department store owned and managed by ODEL, a subsidiary of Softlogic Holdings. The Mall at One Galle Face is part of a mixed development project comprising a 450-room hotel, 390 luxury apartments and 38 levels of office tower space. Targeting to open in June 2019, The Mall at One Galle Face boasts 490,000 square feet of net lettable space in the heart of Colombo, more..

30 years of soul-searching: The lasting legacy of 1987

July 27 (Hindu) Thirty years have passed, not so quietly, since President J.R. Jayewardene of Sri Lanka and PM Rajiv Gandhi of India signed the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord in July 1987. The accord’s story has become part of history in India as well as Sri Lanka. However, has Sri Lanka’s politics changed since the advent of the accord? The answer is both yes and no. In Sri Lanka, the most important political change since 1987 has been the total military defeat and demise of the LTTE. more..

Govt to formulate SAITM agreement in next few weeks

July 27 (FT) Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva said Govt would be able to come up with a compromise agreement with all stakeholders regarding the SAITM within the next couple of weeks. “We have almost arrived at a workable solution based on some modalities like trust, in which the public and private sector together would be able to get SAITM under the same name or some other name back into operation,” he said more..

Thirty years of soul-searching

July 27 (Hindu) July 29, 1987 was a watershed in Sri Lanka’s history. That was the day Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi signed an accord with Sri Lankan President J.R. Jayewardene in Colombo, in which Sri Lanka promised to share power with the Tamil people. One cannot also forget the attack on the Indian Prime Minister later that day by a Naval Rating at a Guard of Honour. If not for his quick reflexes, the rifle butt that was swung at him would most certainly have cracked his skull. more..

NDB records highest ever Profit After Tax

July 27 (Island) National Development Bank (NDB) concluded the first half of the financial year with a record Profit After Tax (PAT) of LKR 2.3 billion (81% growth YOY). This is the highest recorded PAT for the Bank in its history for the first half of a financial year, which was supported by commendable growth in core banking operations and dividend contributions from Group companies. Reported growth levels for the Bank’s Profit Before Tax (PBT) of LKR 3,814 million was 70% over more..

CMPort to ink Hambantota Port lease with govt on Saturday

July 27 (DN) China will go ahead with the signing of the Hambantota Port lease agreement with the govt on Saturday, said Hang Tian, Deputy General Manager, China Merchant Port Holdings Company Ltd (CMPort). Speaking at the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2017, he said that this is not a deal to just manage a port but it is to transform a region. “China will invest heavily in this project and create H'tota harbor as a major logistic hub more..

We not only dropped Dhawan but we also lost a player: Gurusinha

July 27 (DN) Cricket manager Asanka Gurusinha painted a grim picture for his team as they faced a tough opening day of the first Test at the Galle International Stadium where they lost the services of a key player to injury and saw India rattle up an impressive 399 runs for the loss of three wickets. “It’s a tough one to lose one of our main players. We are down with ten players against the world’s number one team,” said Gurusinha at the end of the day. more..

FIBA Asia women’s cup: India beat Sri Lanka

July 27 (Hindu) India whipped Sri Lanka 88-42 to emerge as the group topper in Division B of the FIBA Asia women’s cup at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium. Grima Merlin (20 points) led the rout as the over-matched Lankan unit caved in without much fight. As the best team in Group-A, India enters the knockout rounds as the top-seed. The home side will face Fiji in the quarterfinals on Thursday. Earlier, Australia edged out Japan 83-74 to finish Group-B (Division A) on top. more..

Dengue vaccine not effective enough: Rajitha

July 27 (FT) Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the Govt was not ready to purchase a dengue vaccine available in Singapore as the preventive medicine did not have a desirable efficacy rate. “The effectiveness of the vaccine is only 52% so we cannot just give the medicine to the people telling them that the vaccine will prevent them from contracting the disease,” he said while addressing the weekly media briefing. more..

Justice Minister suggests BOI shutdown

July 27 (FT) Justice Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said they have asked the Govt to do away with the Board of Investment (BOI), claiming the institution has become a barrier to economic development in the country. He charged that the institution has destroyed legitimate local enterprises by allowing BOI registered companies to engage in business activates. “The BOI was established with a good intention; it worked properly and it helped develop our economy. more..

Sri Lanka has exhausted borrowing capacity

July 27 (CT) Sri Lanka has exhausted its borrowing capacity according to a senior State official, who said that the country was now going through a difficult process of public private partnerships (PPP). Addressing the 2017 Sri Lanka Economy Summit, Ministry of Megapolis and Western Province Development Project Director Lakshman Jayasekara said that govt and State officials generally take the comfort of hiding behind loans from various agencies when it comes to mega projects. more..

CPC workers suspend strike till Tuesday

July 27 (Island) Striking petroleum workers yesterday evening suspended trade union protest till next Tuesday following talks with President. Govt and trade union sources said that workers had agreed to resume operations at the state-owned petroleum facilities pending further talks with the authorities. Chinese govt, too, had to be consulted in case changes were to be introduced to the finalised agreement. more..

SL not to use strike-ban against doctors

July 27 (EN) The govt has decided not to use the tough Public Security Act to outlaw work stoppages of state-sector doctors because their trade union has been greatly weakened, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. The govt on Tuesday resorted to the Public Security Act to ban a strike by petroleum workers unlike work stoppages by the GMOA. "The last strike by the GMOA on Tuesday was a flop. A large number of doctors did not join the strike," Senaratne told reporters. more..

SAITM Dean on NFTH Board: Rajitha

July 27 (CT) Dean of Medicine of the SAITM will also be a member of the Board of Governors, of the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH), appointed by the Cabinet, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. "NFTH will act as the teaching hospital for SAITM students, thus the Dean of Medicine of the SAITM has to be a part of the board. Board of Governors comprises 12 members and they will be provided with a monthly allowance of Rs 200 million as operational expenses, more..

Commission well aware of MPs’ privileges

July 27 (DN) Minister Ravi Karunanayake failed to appear before the Treasury Bond Commission for the second time yesterday. His lawyer said that he was summoned for a Security Council meeting, called for by the President. Following the absence which resulted in back and forth dialogue between the Commission and Karunanayake’s lawyer, Commission said he must appear before the Commission on Aug 2, more..

CEB warns of power cuts

July 27 (CT) CEB General Manager A.K. Samarasinghe warned that there would be power cuts, if the distribution of diesel is not carried out. 47% of the daily power requirement of the country as of now is being produced using diesel and if diesel is not received, supplying electricity to the entire country would prove to be a serious problem. 73.3% of the requirement of power in the country is being produced through thermal power plants and 47% of that is being supplied by diesel plants. more..

Port Workers won't work tomorrow

July 27 (DM) All Ceylon Port General Workers’ Union has decided to stop work on Friday against the govt's move to lease 70% of the Hambantota Harbour to a Chinese firm, union's chief secretary Chandrasiri Mahagamage said. "We have organized a protest today against the govt’s decision. We will do our best to fight this treasonable act," he said. Mahagamage said the Bill on leasing 70% of the Hambantota Harbour to a Chinese firm was presented to Parliament yesterday more..

Selling Sri Lanka to stay in Power: H’tota Port deal signing might be postponed

July 27 (CT) Govt said it might postpone the signing of the Hambantota Port deal with the Chinese, which had been scheduled for 29 July. Signing of Hambantota Port Concession Agreement, that is scheduled to be signed on Saturday, with the SLPA obtaining 30% of the ownership and the rest given to China Merchants Holdings Company, might be postponed depending on Parliamentary debate on Friday, more..

Facing a stiff challenge: Govt needs Rs 1 Trillion to pay for T-bonds by 2018: Harsha

July 27 (CT) Govt is facing a challenge to find Rs 1 trillion to pay for Treasury Bonds that will mature by 2018, Deputy Minister of Policy Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Harsha de Silva, said. Minister, elaborating on the new Treasury Bonds issuance system said, this is in addition to other debts the govt has accumulated that amounts to little over Rs 3 trillion. "Treasury Bonds issued over the years since 1990s will reach their maturity and govt needs at least Rs 987 billion for that. more..

LTTE to remain on EU’s terrorism list despite ECJ’s ruling

July 27 (DN) The European Union (EU) has taken note of the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ’s) judgement annulling measures against the LTTE, namely the designation of the LTTE as a terrorist organisation and the freezing of LTTE funds. The judgment is a legal ruling of the European Court of Justice on the procedure used for listing the LTTE. It does not involve any assessment by the Court of the substantive reasons for the designation of the LTTE as a terrorist organisation. more..

Bond scam probe: Mahendran hands over 2 mobile phones to CID; Ravi doesn’t turn up

July 27 (Island) CoI ordered former CB Governor Arjun Mahendran to immediately hand over his hand phones, tab computers and laptops used since Jan 1, 2015. The order followed an application made by ASG Yasantha Kodagoda. Directions were issued to Mahendran’s counsel within 30 minutes after having initially reserved the order. At the time Singaporean national Mahendran received appointment on Jan 15, 2015, more..

What in place of lunch sheets & silli silli bags

July 27 (DM) Govt has decided to ban the use of polythene and rigifoam from September as one of the measures to reduce the quantity of garbage countrywide and as a measure to protect the environment. The short notice for the implementation of the polythene and rigiform ban by the government might have been prompted by the garbage crisis that erupted following the collapse of the 300-foot Meethotamulla garbage mountain on National New Year’s Day this year and more..

O Zorro, Zorro, wherefore art thou Zorro?

July 27 (DM) There’s a singular vacancy in this country, according to some. Ranil Amirtthiah of the popular local band Black, whenever he speaks and in whatever forum he chooses to do so, is often poetic but sometimes he flushes subtlety down the tube. He says it straight from the heart, always. This is clearly evident in a vacancy ad he posted a few hours ago.   Post: Sri Lankan ZORRO. Area of work: Colombo and suburbs. Job description: to terrorize those selfish Essential Service blackmailers, more..

‘SAITM won’t be nationalized’

July 27 (DM) Sunday Lankadeepa met with the Minister of Health, Dr. Rajitha Senarathna two days after the govt acquired the Malabe Neville Fernando Hospital. At the time we sat down to interview the minister, there was a protest being staged against SAITM in front of his ministry. Q: Do you think that the SAITM problem is over?   A: I can’t say that we have sorted out this problem to the very end.    more..

Battle lines drawn as dengue toll increases

July 27 (SL) The spread of dengue has taken a turn for the worse putting the govt on a war footing with cabinet last week approving a proposal to amend the Public Security Act to assist in the fight against dengue. Public Security Act is to be used to check abandoned property, including houses and construction sites, for dengue mosquito breeding grounds. Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health said that during the last 7 months of this year, more..

Forced to move in search of water

July 27 (ST) Joseph Arulraj, a youth from Pungudutivu, one of the northern islands in Jaffna, pays Rs. 300 twice a week for 500 litres of water transported in water tankers. “It is a business, six water tankers are in this trade of transporting water to households,” he said. He said since an individual requires around six litres of water per day, residents have to use salty water for washing and bathing. “We have no choice, some people more..

GL demands polls to 3 PCs

July 27 (CT) Chairman of SLPP Prof. G.L. Peiris demanded the Commissioner of Elections to hold elections to three Provincial Councils where the current terms are due to expire in Sept-Oct this year. Prof Peiris, in a letter sent through his lawyer Yajish Tennakoon, pointed out to Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya that PCs, Eastern, Sabaragamuwa and North-Central Provinces are to be expired and as per more..

No accusation against us as serious as that of Ravi: Basil

July 27 (CT) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa said, that no minister in the previous govt has been levelled with such serious accusations as Minister Ravi Karunanayake has earned following the Treasury Bonds Incident Investigating Commission. Basil Rajapaksa made this comment, while expressing hi views to journalists when he arrived at the Colombo High Court yesterday for a case hearing. more..

'GMOA trying to topple govt knowing legal action against Rajapaksas imminent'

July 27 (Island) Knowing fully well that legal action against some members of former President Rajapaksa on criminal charges was imminent, GMOA, was trying hard to topple the govt as quickly as possible, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. He said that in the history of the GMOA, it had struck work only on issues that directly affected their profession. "But, of late it has been protesting even against issues not connected to more..

Nobody can topple the govt: President

July 27 (PSL) “Though those who were removed from power by the people are launching many conspiracies by dreaming to come to power again, nobody will be able to topple the current govt”, says President Maithripala Sirisena. “The govt is proceeding according to the constitution and the law in the country. Nobody can stop the govt’s journey towards the betterment of the country with long term political experience”, he said. more..

'I'll take Hemachandra's son & daughter'

July 27 (BBC) Jaffna High Court Judge, M. Ilancheliyan, vowed to protect his two children for the death of his guard. He was given this pledge at the funeral of Sub Inspector Sarath Hemachandra who was killed. "I have two children, both sons and sisters, from today I am taking care of Hemachandra's daughter and son, now I have four children, and I will accept the future of my two children till my death" Judge said. more..