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Prez Chief Guest at Thunbiya Ballet staging

July 29 (PSL) President Sirisena was the Chief Guest at the staging of††Thunbiya Performing Ballet by Prof. Ariyarathne Kaluarachchi, held yesterday (27) at Nelum Pokuna Theatre. This ballet has been created after two decades absence of ballets in SL history. This also was the first ballet staged in Nelum Pokuna Theatre. Department of Cultural Affairs organized this event. Ministers S.B. Navinna and Director of Dept of Cultural Affairs Anusha Gokula were also present at this occasion. more..

Law and Order in the North: Calls to address frustration of youth

July 29 (NS) Recent incidents of violence in the North have resulted in concerns raised by governmental factions and also the general public, who have called for immediate address of issues faced by frustrated youth. Opposition Leader of the NPC, S. Thavarajah said many youngsters were misled into unlawful activities through formation of groups and gangs. Even though he said there was no total breakdown of law and order in more..

Mangala promises wide ranging economic reforms

July 29 (DN) Minister Mangala Samaraweera promised wide ranging reforms to the economy in the wake of a positive report from the IMF on the countryís economic condition this month. ďWe have long term, mid and short terms goals for the economy, he said. Though the coalition govt had inherited a weakened and debt ridden economy from Rajapaksa regime in 2015, it had managed in the last two years to increase govt revenue from 10.1% of GDP in 2010 to 14.2% of GDP in 2016. more..

CB Governor baffled by private sector's wait-and-see stance

July 29 (Island) It is a little bit baffling that while foreign investors have clearly begun to place confidence in the methodical transformation of the Sri Lankan economy, the nation's investors are still waiting on the sidelines, Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswamy said recently. Dr. Coomaraswamy said so while addressing the Economic Summit 2017 hosted by the CCC, at the Cinnamon Grand, Colombo. "I see that Foreign investors are investing in the Stock Market. more..

After Speaker adjourns parliament JO members hold mock session

July 29 (Island) Some Joint Opposition (JO) members who remained in the main chamber after Speaker Karu Jayasuriya adjourned Parliament yesterday conducted a mock session. Speaker Jayasuriya abruptly adjourned Parliament following a tense situation created by the JO members by invading the well of the House and made a din while the vote was being taken on the Gazette Extraordinary proclaiming supply more..

Hakeem leads Lankan delegation to Dhaka Water Conference

July 29 (FT) A Sri Lankan delegation headed by Minister of City Planning and Water Supply Rauff Hakeem is participating in the Dhaka Water Conference scheduled for 29-30July. Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the conference on 29July. UN Secretary General and the World Bank President have jointly convened a High Level Panel on Water (HLPW) for a two-year term where PM Hasina is a member along with 10 other Heads of State and Govt and one Special Adviser. more..

Peradeniya bursar who went missing with Rs. 70mn has skipped country

July 29 (Island) The CID revealed that the Senior Assistant Bursar of the Science Post Graduate Institute of the Peradeniya University had fled the country after misappropriating funds belonging to the institute to the tune of Rs.70 million. University sources said the Administration department of the institution had taken three weeks to complain about the incident to the CID and they had also failed to provide the National Identity Card Number of the suspect in the first instance. more..

Sri Lankaís conflict-affected women: Dealing with the legacy of war

July 29 (ICG) Eight years after the end of Sri Lankaís armed conflict, Tamil speaking women in the islandís north and east are still seeking justice and truth for wartime violations. Bold promises by the govt to the UNHRC in 2015 Ė including a truth commission, a special court and offices to investigate missing persons and provide reparations Ė have failed to materialise even as the urgent economic and psychosocial needs of more..

GMOA withdraws from talks with President, PM alleging sabotage by Health Minister

July 29 (Island) GMOA on Wednesday withdrew from discussions with Prez & PM on Minimum Standards for Medical Education, following the alleged appointment of a person connected to the tobacco industry as a board member of the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital. GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge alleged that this latest govt move was against world norms. Union saw it as an attempt to vilify the govt and place it in a quandary by jeopardizing the lives of patients further. more..

Another Indo-Sri Lanka series this year

July 29 (DN) Sri Lanka will play India twice this year when they make a tour to India in Nov-Dec. Currently India is involved in a series of three Tests, 5 ODIs and a one-off T20 in Sri Lanka. The tour is expected to end on Sept 6 after which SL is due to undertake a tour to UAE where they play Pakistan in a series of 2 Tests, 5 ODIs and 3 T20Is in Sept-Oct. Following this tour will be the one to India in Nov-Dec where SL are billed to play a similar series of three Tests, 5 ODIs and a T20I. more..

Aloysius refuses to provide passwords

July 29 (DM) Commission of Inquiry ordered Arjun Aloysius to provide his Apple user account name and password, it to the investigating officers and directed the staff to notice him as he had earlier refused to provide this information. Additional Solicitor General told the Commission that the mobile phone which was given by Aloysius is the one he was using since Oct 2016. He said when the investigations had revealed about an account more..

Dilruwan disappointed on missing century

July 29 (Island) Off-spinner Dilruwan Perera told journalist that he is bitterly disappointed to miss out on a maiden Test hundred after third dayís play of the first Test against India at the Galle Int'l Stadium yesterday. Perera played well for his unbeaten 92 and ran out of partners. His 92 came off 132 deliveries with ten fours and four sixes. "Itís disappointing to miss on any century and a Test century is even more painful. So I am very disappointed to be honest. more..

'Cocaine was found in blacklisted supplier'

July 29 (Island) Ranjitha Pulses Splitting and Processing Industry Ltd, the company that supplied the sugar container, which contained a haul of cocaine, had been blacklisted, Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen told Parliament. Responding to a question raised by JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, Minister said the particular company would not be permitted to supply anything to the Lanka Sathosa till the investigation into the cocaine detection was over. more..

'Raviís penthouse bought from funds without origin'

July 29 (DM) The Rs.145 million used in making the initial payment of Rs.16.5 million and thereafter to pay the monthly loan installment of Rs. 11 million for the controversial purchase of the Monarch Residency Penthouse in Colombo by a company owned by Minister Ravi Karunanayake's family, has no origin nor has it been accounted for according to what was revealed at the PCoI. Testifying at the inquiry, CFO of GTLPL, more..

PCoI wants details on purchase of Perpetual Capital Holdings

July 29 (DM) PCoI wanted to find out information relating to the purchases of the Perpetual Capital Holdings or its subsidiaries since Feb 1, 2015 in order to ascertain how the money circulated in the secondary market transactions had been generated. SC Justice Prasanna Jayawardena pointing few company names requested Kalinga Indatissa, PS who appeared on behalf of Perpetual Capital Holdings to provide the dates and costs relating to the purchases of those companies. more..

Thajudeen murder probe: Yoshitha no show

July 29 (CT) Yoshitha Rajapaksa despite being ordered to appear before the CID on 28 July failed to answer summons yesterday. A senior Police Officer told this paper that Rajapaksa had sought a fresh date to appear before the CID through his lawyer. Yoshitha Rajapaksa had been summoned to the CID to record a statement from him related to a probe being conducted into a jeep belonging to the Siriliya Saviya organization that has been featured in the Wasim Thajudeen murder case. more..

'Govt going ahead with 99-yr H'tota port deal'

July 29 (Island) The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe govt yesterday reiterated that it would sign an agreement today (29) to hand over the Hambantota Port to a Chinese company for a period of 99 years. The agreement will be signed at the Ports and Shipping Ministry at†9.30 am. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe made the announcement at the Central Bank soon after the JO disrupted a scheduled adjournment debate in Parliament more..

Use water sparingly before we are left high and dry

July 29 (DM) Though the US isolationist President Donald Trump and his business associates are cynically dismissing climate change as a hoax, reality is hitting many parts of the world and at the recent G-20 summit of rich countries, Mr. Trump found himself isolated 19-1 with even Russia and China agreeing strict measures were needed to implement the 2016 Paris climate change accord. They will all attend a climate change summit in Paris later this year and if Mr. Trumpís more..

Crisis of credibility

July 29 (DM) 34 years ago on 24 July 1983, a Sunday that triggered an organised pogrom against Tamil people and set Colombo and its suburbs on fire the next morning, Senior Thondaman Saumyamoorthi was to tell a then Madras audience that in SL, It is Sunday Sil. Monday kill.† While most moderate, peace loving citizens and their organisations in Colombo observed this day as Black July, present govt is harping but not working towards much needed reconciliation. more..

Stooping to win

July 29 (DM) Thirty years ago on this day (July 29th 1987) an accord was signed by the then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Junius Richard Jayewardene the then President of Sri Lanka in Colombo that had far reaching implications for both the tear drop island in the Indian Ocean and its giant neighbour.† India - Sri Lanka Accord known popularly as Indo-Lanka peace accord was hailed then as a great breakthrough in relations more..

Bug vs bug

July 29 (ST) A harmless little bug to battle a harmful bug! This is the technique that Australia is offering Sri Lanka, caught in the vice-like grip of a dengue epidemic in the past seven months which has seen more than 100,000 men, women and children falling ill, with 290 deaths. The harmless, naturally-occurring bug or microbe is the bacterium Wolbachia which has successfully been used to block the virus spreading dengue. more..

Postal workers pocket billions and deliver multi-billion losses

July 29 (ST) Postal Department, which has been incurring multi-billion rupee losses is blowing away billions as salaries to its army of workers, its performance report reveals. Once the revenue is splurged on salaries, there is not much left over for investment to improve public services. But the top management is unmoved and unaccountable. Union says staff are faced with tough work conditions and blame mismanagement for the losses. more..

Nature reserve to be grabbed for aquaculture industrial park

July 29 (SL) Plans are underway to grab land which is unique under the Fauna and Flora Act and to de-gazette part of Nature Reserve for Aquaculture Industrial Park in Mannar. Despite strong opposition from officials, the so called authorities had endorsed the move. Conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for construction of a Industrial Estate of Aquaculture in Mannar District was discussed at the Cabinet more..

More lawyers push BASL over judicial independence†et al

July 29 (Island) A section of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) membership has called for special general meeting to discuss ways and means of preventing continuing intimidation of judges, undermining of judicial independence, inordinate delay in implementation of laws and seriously disappointing administration of justice as well as rule of law. A list containing 30 signatures of lawyers representing BASL more..

Call for disciplinary action against Jayaratne, Aluthgamage

July 29 (DN) The Govt members called on Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to take disciplinary action against Joint Opposition MPs Priyankara Jayaratne and Mahindananda Aluthgamage for ridiculing Parliament following its adjournment. Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera came up with this request during a hurried convened press conference at the Parliamentary complex to explain the Govtís position on the confusion reigned in more..

JVP tells President to prove he is not PMís puppet

July 29 (Island) The time had come for President Maithripala Sirisena to prove that he was not a puppet dancing to the tune of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said. He said: "The entire country is waiting to know the Presidentís position on the govt move to hand over the Hambantota oil tanks to China. If he is not a puppet he has to call off the agreement signing ceremony immediately." more..

First Kumbal Perahera to parade in Kandy today

July 29 (NR) The first Kumbal Perahera of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relicís Esala Festival will parade the streets of Kandy today. Accordingly, the Police stated that starting from today, vehicular traffic on the roads being used for the parade will be restricted from noon onwards on the days of the Perahera. SSP of Kandy Division said that the roads will be completely cordoned off only during the time of the Perahera. more..

Thajudeen case: CID to trace mystery man behind

July 29 (DM) The CID informed the Colombo Chief Magistrate's Court that it was in the process of identifying the individual in the vehicle which had followed Wasim Thajudeenís vehicle at the time of the incident. When Additional Magistrate Jeyaram Trotsky enquired into the progress of the investigation, Deputy Solicitor General (DSG) Dilan Ratnayake informed court that CID is in the process of tracking phone calls more..

Sri Lanka, China sign long-delayed $1.5 billion port deal

July 29 (AP) Sri Lanka's govt on Saturday signed a long-delayed agreement to sell a 70% stake in a $1.5 billion port to China in a bid to recover from the heavy burden of repaying a Chinese loan obtained to build the facility. The agreement comes after a nearly six-month delay since the signing of the framework deal, which immediately drew public criticism and protests. more..

Revenue Reforms Indispensable

July 29 (CT) The Inland Revenue (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to introduce tax reforms, was tabled in Parliament recently. The Bill was presented in Parliament on the heels of sustained pressure from the IMF, part of the pressure being the holding back of the third instalment of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) that helps resolve the Balance of Payments (BOP) crisis. Irrespective of whether it's a condition of the IMF or not, the bitter truth is that Sri Lanka needs serious tax reforms, more..

Writers for Rajapaksa

July 29 (CT) This is most interesting! Whenever a hole seems to appear in the armour of this govt that replaced Rajapaksa, writers sympathetic to the Mahinda Rajapaksa camp jump up like jack in the box! Out of their hibernating slumber, they prowl again. Mr Sarath De Alwisís latest in Colombo Telegraph, under the rubric, Preaching Good Governance From A Penthouse, is just such a comical drama piece. The fantasising is reminiscent of Disney Land. more..

News Line

Court of Appeal issues warrant on accused in Raviraj killing

July 29 (Island) Court of Appeal issued a warrant on accused respondent, Chandana Kumara alias Sampath of Naval Headquarters, Colombo, returnable on Sept 6, 2017. This order is in respect of the Appeal filed by the aggrieved party, Sasikala Raviraj, the wife of the slain TNA MP Raviraj. Sasikala has appealed for a trial without a jury and setting aside of the Colombo High Court order, dated Dec 24, 2016, which acquitted all the six persons indicted with the murder of Raviraj. more..

11- hour water cut tomorrow

July 29 (DM) Water supply in the areas of Kelaniya, Peliyagoda, Wattala, Biyagama, Mahara, Dompe and Gampaha would be temporary interrupted tomorrow (30) due to an essential maintenance work of CEB, National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) said. NWSDB said between 8a.m. to 7p.m. water supply would be interrupted at the areas in the Kelaniya, Peliyagoda, Wattala, Mahara Pradeshiya and Biyagama Pradeshiya Sabahsí including the Biyagama Investment Zone. more..

India win by 304 runs

July 29 (CI) Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja took three wickets each as India wrapped up a 304-run win - their biggest runs margin away - halfway through the final session of day four. With finger injuries leaving Rangana Herath and Asela Gunaratne unavailable to bat, India only needed to take eight second-innings wickets. They completed the task in 76.5 overs, with Dimuth K. and Niroshan D. proving their only real roadblocks. more..

China to help SL produce thin-film solar cells

July 29 (DM) Sri Lanka will be soon producing thin-film solar cells on a commercial basis with technological cooperation from China as a means of popularising the use of solar panels for domestic power generation, Minister Susil Premajayantha said. He said a number of young technicians were being trained on Modern Solar Power Technology at the Colombo, Ruhuna, Jaffna and Kelaniya universities. "I paid a visit to China last week with some SL scientists to obtain more..

4,500 tri forces deserters arrested

July 29 (MOD) Authorities are continuing to arrest tri forces personnel who are considered as Absent Without Official Leave (AWOL). So far nearly 4,500 deserters have been arrested. 8 officers and 4410 other rank personnel have been arrested till yesterday (27) since the end of the General Amnesty on midnight 31st Dec 2016. Accordingly, 8 officers and 3529 other rank personnel of the Army, 805 Navy and 76 Air Force deserters have been taken into custody. more..

I chew betel, so what?

July 29 (CT) Betel quid and some of the commercial preparations which contain smokeless tobacco are popular in Sri Lanka even though there is a high risk of cancer and heart disease when this is consumed over a period of time. There is clear evidence that many youths are getting addicted to smokeless tobacco preparations such as Maavaa, Baabul and Haans. Considering these facts, NATA has taken more..

274 arrested for illegal dumping garbage

July 29 (NR) Police Headquarters says 274 persons have been arrested for illegally dumping garbage in several areas following raids carried out in the Western Province. The arrests were made from the 25th to the 27th of July. Accordingly, the highest number of unauthorized garbage dumping amounting to 65 persons was reported from Colombo North. Police has also arrested 58 persons in Nugegoda and 50 individuals in Colombo Central for dumping garbage without authorisation. more..

Writ application over killing of 27 prisoners to be called on Sept 12

July 29 (DN) The Court of Appeal yesterday fixed for support for September 12 a writ petition which sought an order directing the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and Director of the CID to commence an investigation into the Welikada prison riot in 2012 that resulted in the death of 27 prisoners. When the petition came up before Court of Appeal (President) Justice L.T.B. Dehideniya, counsel appeared on behalf of the petitioner sought a further date to support the petition. more..