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Growth soon in debit cards

July 30 (ST) Plastic cards will soon replace cheques while preparations are also underway to have local credit cards, reducing the use of Visa and Mastercard for local purchases. “Only 5% of payments are made via cash and cheques in Sri Lanka today. Plastic credit cards will replace cheques for ease of transactions very soon, not only among individuals but also businesses,” says Hatton National Bank COO Dilshan Rodrigo. He was speaking at a panel discussion. more..

Rajiv case convict moves HC for parole to arrange daughter’s wedding in London

July 30 (Island) Nalini Sriharan, India’s longest serving woman prisoner and life convict in the 1991 Rajiv Gandhi assassination case has applied to the Madras High Court for six months ordinary leave to make arrangements for her London-based daughter Arithra’s marriage.  Nalini, right now lodged at Special Prison for women in Vellore in Tamil Nadu for over 26 years, said: "As a life convict I am entitled to be granted ordinary leave for one month once in two years. more..

Bond Scam II: Selling SL assets: Cabinet Paper to remove Ranil’s cohorts in EC

July 30 (CT) President Sirisena submitted a Cabinet Paper last Tuesday seeking approval to appoint a new Economic Council under his purview to take decisions on all the economic and development projects of the govt. President had in his proposals in the Cabinet Paper emphasized that the new Economic Council must comprise President, PM, Minister of Finance, Secretaries to those Ministries & selected economic experts only. more..

Fielding remains Sri Lanka's bugbear

July 30 (CB) About a decade ago, Sri Lanka were easily the best fielding side in Asia. But the standards have dropped alarmingly in recent times. Sri Lanka at present are ranked seventh in Tests, eighth in ODIs and eighth in T20Is. One of the important reasons for their slump has been the team's poor fielding standards. This year across all three formats, the Sri Lankans have dropped as many as 56 catches! There have been efforts made to address the issue. more..

'Corrupt ministers to be named'

July 30 (CT) A book titled Yahapalana Top Ten Kambahoru edited by MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage to reveal the corruptions committed by ten ministers in the Good Governance Govt is set to be released soon. MP said that the PM and several other ministers in the govt have embezzled a sum of Rs 131 billion during the year of 2015 alone. The book sheds light on corrupt acts of the ministers of Good Governance Govt and dossiers related to the corrupt transactions such as more..

CB Bond Scam probe: Ravi K adds spice to growing tension

July 30 (CT) There has never really been what one might call tangible tension since Presidential Commission of Inquiry began its probe into the CB Treasury Bond issues in January 2017. That changed with this past week's explosive revelations about Minister Ravi Karunanayake. There was a pervasive apprehension that something big was going to break at any moment in the process of the Commission's probe because more..

Three strongest private banks make cash calls within weeks of each other

July 30 (Island) Three of the country’s strongest privately owned banks have made cash calls on their shareholders within a matter of weeks to increase their Tier l capital to comply with Basel 111 requirements. Hard on the heels of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC’s recent rights issue for both its voting and non-voting shares, Hatton National Bank floated a similar rights issue which closed last week for its voting and non-voting shares. Now Sampath Bank on Friday announced a rights issue more..

Police Commission to probe fresh allegations against Police

July 30 (SL) The National Police Commission is to investigate fresh allegations raised against the police, Secretary to the Commission N. Ariyadasa Cooray said. Cooray told The Sunday Leader that the police has been accused of acting in a partial manner during the protest in Kolonnawa last week. He said that media reports indicated that the police had cracked down on the protesters but failed to arrest a group of thugs who attacked the protesters using poles. more..

Bankrupting SL through corrupt deals: President wants to take control of economy

July 30 (ST) Proposal placed before Cabinet, but deferred till talks are held between Sirisena and Ranil Hambantota port deal signed yesterday; security matters will be strictly under the Sri Lanka, says Govt. Bombshell at bond commission hearings; Ravi vows to fight back, says interested groups want to make him fall guy. The ruling coalition, now in its mid-term rule, faced some of its worst moments this week. more..

An overview of the dengue menace

July 30 (Island) Though dengue is everyone’s fear these days, we are still quite ignorant of the subject. As a result, we have lost control of the problem. Worse, when afflicted with it, we do not know what exactly needs to be done. Dengue is widely believed to have originated from Africa. The word Dengue in Swahili, an African dialect, means bone breaking pain, explains Dr. Sarath Ranasinghe, MD at Kandy Private Hospital. As a physician with 50 years of experience, more..

Rebooting the news

July 30 (Island) Tristan Harris, a former product manager at Google, flags a fundamental issue in our attention economy. As the window to the world is increasingly framed by the screen size of a smartphone, makers of apps – Instagram, Facebook, Google, YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter and makers of games like Candy Crush Saga – have to find ways to grab and hold the attention of users. On-screen notifications, that appear even when the phone is locked, alert users to breaking news more..

It was Victor who proposed first: Hashini

July 30 (DM) Victor Rathnayake is held in very high esteem among the people from all walks of life both as a renown musician and singer. People began to talk about him recently as there was a radical change in his private life. This change was caused by his second marriage. When brickbats being hurled at him by a certain section of the society, he faced them with patience. He selected a young lady named Hashini (30) as his wife. more..

Major security concerns over H’tota Port deal

July 30 (CT) Concerns are being raised in several quarters about the SL Govt's claim that it has maintained control of national and other aspects of security interest which have emerged with the signing of the Hambantota Port Project agreement with China. This is spurred by the fact that SLPA appears to be having merely a minority stake in the company that would handle security matters in the massive port as per more..

'Govt rides roughshod over students to protect SAITM'

July 30 (CT) The dramatic attempt of arrest or rather the alleged attempt of abduction of the Convener of the Medical Faculty Students' Action Committee (MFSAC) Ryan Jayalath at the Organization of Professional Associations (OPA) premises became the talk of the town recently with predictions of white van culture raising its ugly head again. It is alleged that an attempt was made to abduct Ryan on 20 July more..

Dengue treatment: Rs. 300 million for sophisticated equipment

July 30 (ST) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe wants the Treasury to allocate Rs 300 million to the Health Ministry for the immediate purchase of several sophisticated equipment to ensure effective treatment of dengue patients. The move follows a recommendation by a four-member official committee headed by Premier’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake. It was appointed by CCEM which is chaired by the PM. more..

Beijing not fully satisfied with Hambantota port deal

July 30 (SL) China is not fully satisfied with the agreement reached on the Hambantota Port deal, Chinese govt sources said. Beijing had questioned the Chinese Embassy in Colombo about the agreement reached with SL. China had provided over USD 1 billion for the construction of the port as a loan. Under the agreement the SLPA and China Merchant Port Holdings Company will establish Hambantota Int'l Port Services Co. more..

Proposed 300 MW power plant: Fresh tenders for Kerawalapitiya

July 30 (SO) The proposed 300 MW Combined Cycle Kerawalapitiya power plant may see the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management asking for a fresh tender this week. A govt source yesterday indicated that it will be quicker to call for a fresh tender with strict time limits than allowing the current controversial bid, which has now come under criticism by the highest in the land, “to go through the Procurement Appeal process more..

UNP, SLFP factions to back JO to oust Ravi

July 30 (CT) It is reliably learnt that several UNP and SLFP ministers have pledged their support for a proposed motion of No Confidence (NCM) to be very shortly brought against Minster Ravi Karunanayake by JO. 3 senior Cabinet Ministers each from the UNP and SLFP, confirmed that there was a large number of Ministers, Dy Ministers and MPs who would be voting for the NCM, given the severe embarrassment more..

Official list of detainees under PTA

July 30 (CT) Ceylon Today has a report in which a section headlined Pending Trials and Cases under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) / Emergency Regulations – gives the names of 84 persons held in remand custody and listed in cases filed in High Courts as at 12 July 2017. The document also reveals the names of 12 persons held in custody as at 20 July 2017 pending advice of legal action by the Attorney General. more..

Oil worker strike hobbles economic activity, ignites public rage

July 30 (ST) Workers of CPC, multi-billion rupee loss-making state liability now under Minister Arjuna Ranatunga, and whose work has a direct impact on the cost of living of Sri Lankans, dealt a body blow to the people – except hybrid drivers – once again with a decision to strike. This came as brent crude, int'l benchmark for oil prices, bounced back from just above US$48 per barrel to US$52.52 in just seven days to July 28. more..

Video: Sampanthan on permanent solution to Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict

July 30 (Hindu) The historic Indo-Lanka Peace Accord that mooted a permanent solution to the decades-long-ethnic conflict in the island nation was signed on July 29, thirty years ago. Veteran Tamil leader and Leader of Opposition in the Parliament R. Sampanthan recalls how the then govt & TULF, main Tamil party, had marathon negotiations for 20 days during 1986 that brought about the 13th Amendment of Constitution. more..

A formula to end the SAITM imbroglio

July 31 (CT) SAITM imbroglio appears to be dragging on without end. It is high time that the Govt in power intervened resolutely as of late, to establish the credibility of Yahapalanaya and put an end to this colossal waste of the country’s assets, both material and intellectual, without habitually waiting Micawber-like, for something to turn up some day.I think sticking to the following formula should see an end to this fiasco. 1. Medical Council plays a major role in the dispute. more..

Ravi’s Penthouse or Ranil’s house of cards?

July 31 (CT) One must avoid arguments with three types – ass holes, ass wipers, and ass kissers. That said, there is little that can be done with a Shyamon the common denominator of all three types who insists further on shitting all over. I said this once before.  My earlier essay, Preaching good governance from Penthouses seems to have irked many apologists of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. If Mahinda Rajapaksa was guilty of financial profligacy, the unfolding evidence suggests more..

'Sri Lanka to benefit as big powers compete'

July 31 (CT) South Asia is headed for a turbulent time with rivalries between US and China and India increasing in coming years. CT spoke to Kadira Pethiyagoda who is a visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Centre and has covered bilateral relations with India, SL, Indonesia, Iraq and EU to get his opinions on how SL could navigate through these rough times. Q: How do you see the rivalry between China and India affecting small more..

Octopus-like tentacles of high corruption

July 31 (ST) For decades since independence, Sri Lankans were wont to look over the Palk Strait and enviously compare the strides that the Indian legal system had been taking in regard to protection of the Rule of Law. True, serious blimps were evidenced on the radar in regard to practical implementation of good judicial decisions. Allegations of corruption were intermittently made against Indian judges themselves. However, despite these negatives and even notwithstanding more..

Editorial: Sheer arrogance of power

July 31 (Island) The govt is reported to have said the controversial Hambantota Port lease agreement, signed amidst protests, on Saturday, will be presented to Parliament. It is an exercise in futility in that the pact is now a fait accompli. Sirisena-Wickremesinghe govt came to power, promising to scrap the Colombo Port City project. But, two and a half years on, it has not only allowed the project to continue but also handed over a vital port to China, which couldn’t have asked for more. more..

Californian Countess and early SL feminism

July 31 (Roar) In March 1896, in San Francisco suburb of Oakland, L Buddhist revivalist and missionary Hewavitarne (Anagarika) Dharmapala, on a lecture tour of the USA, met Countess Canavarro. Seeking spiritual sustenance, she struck him as determined & forceful. According to Tessa Bartholomeusz, four months after meeting her, Dharmapala proposed that she travel to SL and establish an order of Buddhist nuns, more..

Patriots, Scoundrels and the Govt

July 31 (SL) The many patriots who are seen on the streets these days  bringing everyday life to a standstill, shouting obscenities, creating chaos, causing much hardship to people are indeed giving patriotism a bad name.  It gives credence to that old saying of Samuel Johnson: Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. Are these imposters of pretended patriotism or gullible people directed like a herd by diabolical political minds or are they simply idiots?  more..

Unanswered questions

July 31 (SL) The application of the title of this piece to what is happening on the political landscape might be considered to constitute the epitome of redundancy. No matter. Repeating the truth should never be unacceptable and in what follows, I will seek to draw the reader’s attention to a few, very few, questions that could and should be answered by a govt that was elected to serve us. Why is this govt, despite its claims of a Simon pure code of ethics and morality, continuing more..

Adaraneeya Sri Lanka: Kandy

The long and winding forty year quest to reach the elusive presidential door

July 31 (ST) Ranil Wickremesinghe was born on 24th March 1949 with the proverbial silver spoon awkwardly stuck between his toothless gums which his father carefully extracted and thus freed the new born’s silver tongue for future use on the nation’s behalf; and which spoon was, thereafter, used by the family to dish out to him all the delicacies life had to offer. They did a pretty good job of it; and Ranil Wickremesinghe could have supped life to the full, enjoying all the comforts more..

Sri Lankan Voter in a quandary

July 31 (Island) In a good democracy the voter should be made the king maker and must be given the total freedom for clear thinking, with regard to the policies of the political parties in the fray and the suitability of the individual candidates to represent the interests of the people in the legislature. The voter must have an assurance that the party and the person he/she votes for would abide by the policies which the political party had announced in its manifesto. more..

An accident or not?

July 31 (SO) Gunning down of a policeman in Nallur, Jaffna last week evoked an unexpected emotional reaction from the populace of the Northern peninsula together with contradictory statements from the parties concerned. Footage of a high court judge breaking down in tears while apologizing to the slain cop’s wife, moved many to tears while students of Uni of Jaffna held a candlelight vigil in honour of the policeman, more..

Football coaches relieved not sacked: FFSL

July 31 (ST) Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) has relieved the national team coaching staff with a 3-month notice and pay according to Anura de Silva, its newly reelected President. De Silva, who refuted local media reports told the Sunday Times that the FFSL did not sack the national coaching staff as stated. “We have just relieved them from their duties as SL does not have international engagements until September. We will call them back when needed, we have not sacked them,” more..

Hunt on for rape suspect

July 31 (CT) A man hunt has been launched for a suspect in an alleged rape case after he broke out from the Chilaw Prison on Wednesday evening, Police said yesterday. The man had fled the prison shortly before he was to be taken to the Chilaw High Court where the case was scheduled to be taken up. Police said the suspect, a 38-year-old, who is a resident of Mugunuwatawana, Wilaththawa is alleged to have abducted and raped a 16-year-old girl who is also a resident from same area. more..

DC does not have a mandate under the Constitution: Report

July 31 (DM) The 1978 Constitution, as amended to date, is not clear about the appointment of a Delimitation Commission (DC) or to specify a mandate for such a commission, DC annual performance report for the year 2016 has revealed. The report said the constitutions of Sri Lanka up to the first Republican Constitution of 1972 provided a clear mandate and rationale for DCs based on population and land characteristics. more..

Sri Lanka look to 18-year-old Bandara to address fielding woes

July 31 (Island) Sri Lanka’s Cricket officials in a desperate bid to address the team’s fielding woes had called up 18-year-old schoolboy Ashen Bandara to do fielding duties in the Galle Test after Asela Gunaratne was ruled out with injury. SL’s fielding has been in a sorry state in recent times and in 2017 they have dropped as many as 56 catches across all three formats of the game. In the Galle Test alone two dropped catches of Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya cost the team more than 200 runs. more..

Armed gang attacks two cops at Kopay

July 31 (Island) A gang armed with swords and clubs yesterday afternoon attacked two police constables near Nandavil Amman kovil in the Kopay area, causing injuries to them. Police sources told The Island the victims had been inquiring into a public complaint when they came under attack. Sources said the attackers had come on motorcycles. The wounded personnel, identified as Surendran and Dhammika, were admitted to the Jaffna Teaching Hospital. more..

Chandimal fit for second Test

July 31 (DN) Test captain Dinesh Chandimal will return to the Sri Lanka team to lead them in the second Test against India beginning at the SSC grounds on Aug 3 while the injury to veteran spinner Rangana Herath is being closely monitored. “Dinesh should be fit he actually played this morning and he has batted the last couple of days,” said manager and selector Asanka Gurusinha. Chandimal missed the first Test due to a bout of pneumonia more..

Significant progress in new governing legislation for SEC

July 31 (DN) Significant progress has been made with respect to the promulgation of a new governing legislation for the SEC in the form of the Securities Exchange Act, said Vajira Wijegunawardane Director General, SEC. A preliminary draft of the proposed Act which was finalised after extensive deliberation among members of the high-level advisory committee appointed for the purpose was later approved by the members of the commission for public consultation and policy underlying more..