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State intervenes to settle Dialog licence dispute with SLT

July 31 (ST) TGovt has proposed a resolution for settling a dispute between the country’s two telecom giants ending long, dragging legal acrimony. Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CCEM) has directed Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) and the Telecom Regulatory Commission (TRC) to settle the legal dispute regarding the renewal of a proposed integrated transmission network licence to Dialog. SLT filed a fundamental rights case at the Supreme Court last year against TRC and Dialog more..

Wealthy gem businessman’s wife abducted

July 31 (Island) Ratnapura police are trying to trace a wealthy gem businessman’s wife abducted by an unknown group four days ago. Vishaka Abeyratne (34) had been abducted from her home around 7.30 pm on July 27 by a group of persons who came in a three wheeler. The police investigations commenced following a complaint by her husband, but so far no one has been arrested. more..

India face selection dilemma after SL win

July 31 (AFP) India's thrashing of Sri Lanka in the first Test has left captain Virat Kohli with a massive yet welcome headache as he ponders his team selection for the next match. India dominated the first Test from the outset to win by 304 runs with a day to spare in Galle. The tourist's top order batsmen fared well, with Shikhar Dhawan making 190 in the first innings and fellow opener Abhinav Mukund contributing a quickfire 81 in the second. Chatesh Pujara also blasted 153 more..

‘Sri Lanka lagging in stock market development in the region’

July 31 (Island) Although there has been a phenomenal increase in recent times in foreign investor participation in the Colombo Stock Exchange, Sri Lanka trails many prominent foreign investment destinations in the South and South-east Asian regions with regard to important aspects of stock market development. For example, Sri Lanka's market capitalization as a percentage of its GDP is currently only 23% while the corresponding data for Vietnam, Bangladesh and Thailand are, 53%, more..

Expert opinion on corrupt deals: Rs. 160 mn penthouse only tip of the iceberg: Namal

July 31 (Island) UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa alleges that the UNP-led govt which swindled over 13 billion rupees through the Treasury bond scams is now trying to find a scapegoat by highlighting the purchase by former Finance Minister of a 160-million-rupee penthouse. MP said that the govt was mistaken if it thought that the people would be ignorant enough to forget bond scams. "Govt ripped off more than 13 billion rupees more..

Ruhunu Uni. Student leader remanded

July 31 (DM) Convener of the students union attached to Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Ruhuna University had been remanded yesterday until Aug 11 by the Matara Magistrate. He was remanded over an incident of an attack on two Police Sergeants during a protest organised in front of the University premises on last Sunday (23).  The suspect, Lahiru Weerasekara had allegedly assaulted two Sergeants attached to Crimes Investigation Unit of Matara more..

Special police unit to fight porn: Hirunika

July 31 (Island) UNP MP Hirunika Premachandra seeks parliament approval to set up a special unit under the Criminal Investigation Department to crackdown on porn on the internet. The former glamour model says in a private member motion submitted to be debated in Parliament that pornographic videos have damaged the privacy of various people. Women are mostly inconvenienced because of the pornographic videos available in abundance on the net, says more..

PPP development model fore Mattala airport

July 31 (DM) On the heels of inking a successful joint venture agreement on the development of Hambantota Int'l Port, Govt is now seeking to develop Mattala Int'l Airport under a Public-Private Partnership in a bid to make it a fully functional and busy airport in the region. PM, on Friday, announced that the govt would arrange an investor for Mattala Airport, by year end. Minister Ashok Abeysinghe said discussions are on with 3-4 int'l more..

Sri Lanka releases 77 Indian fishermen

July 31 (PTI) Sri Lanka on Saturday released 77 Indian fishermen held by it for allegedly poaching in the island nation’s international waters, officials said. Nishantha Dhanasinghe, the commissioner general of prisons said the Department of Fisheries had instructed for the release of the fishermen who were arrested during different time periods. Dhanasinghe said 44 of them had already been released by the northern courts in Jaffna and Mannar in Sri Lanka’s northern province. more..

Deep-sea fishing no solution: TN fisherfolk

July 31 (Hindu) Last week, PM Narendra Modi formally launched the project to promote deep-sea fishing among Ramanathapuram fishermen by handing over work orders to five fishermen for the construction of tuna long-liners with gill nets. Deep-sea fishing, a project of the Central and State govts, has been touted as the remedy for the problems faced by fishermen of Ramanathapuram district in the hands of the SL Navy. Recently, SL had passed a law banning bottom trawling in its territorial more..

Financial duplicity stinks up bond probe

July 31 (CT) Rs 145 million of the Rs 165 million paid for the controversial purchase of the super luxury Monarch Residencies apartment by one of Minister Ravi Karunanayake's family companies, in the wake of 3 controversial Treasury Bond issues during Arjuna Mahendran's tenure as CB Governor, has no known origin nor has it been accounted for or declared and that money had been paid out of office safe of Minister's company. more..

Sports minister's antics underlines need to change Sri Lanka's sports law

July 31 (IC) Regardless of whether one accepts the Sri Lankan sport minister’s view that poor fitness is Sri Lanka’s Achilles’ heel, in no way can the minister’s unvarnished threat to interfere in the selection process be tolerated. "Everyone should undergo a fitness test and only those who reach the required standards will have my approval to represent the national team," thundered Dayasiri Jayasekara, the minister of sports. This is dangerous behaviour and exemplifies more..

CPC TUs express doubts about H’tota Port lease agreement

July 31 (DM) Despite the signing of US$1.1 billion deal to lease the southern Hambantota port to China, CPC trade union Collective today expressed their concerns whether they were hoodwinked by the President Maithripala Sirisena. CPC TU Collective Convener D J Rajakaruna said the Union doubts whether the appointment given for a discussion with the President Sirisena on August 01 will be canalled and therefore sent a letter to the President for a re-confirmation. more..

Toiletgate rocks Lankan cricket?

July 31 (ST) Has Lankan cricket opened another can of worms with the Toiletgate — the latest to hit the beleaguered sporting nation? The story goes to say that ICC anti-corruption sleuths had stormed into the toilet of the player’s dressing room looking for a device, after two senior national team players made a complaint during the ODI series against Zimbabwe. As confirmed by a dressing-room insider to a former player, more..

SL to host conference on Tamil culture

July 31 (Hindu) International Movement of Tamil Culture (SL chapter) in association with the University of Jaffna will be holding a two-day special conference on Challenges and Initiatives of Tamil Language and Culture at the University premises on Aug 5 and 6. Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, Malathi Rajavelu, IMTC India Chapter and Panch. Ramalingam, Reader in the UGC- Human Resource development Centre, Pondicherry University and chairman of conference said more..

No thank you; Mangala to MR

July 31 (DM) Minister Mangala Samaraweera has told former President Rajapaksa that there was no necessity of the latter’s help to govern the country, as he (MR) had left them a mess up. In a twitter interview, former President Rajapaksa said he was open for discussion with anyone including President for the sake of the country. In response, Minister tweeted back saying NO THANK YOU! Certainly not your advice on how to govern the country. Look at the mess you left, for us to clean. more..

SL to clear Google Loon Project impasse

July 31 (ST) SL’s ambitious Google Loon Pilot Project initiated almost two years ago to determine this innovation as a viable project for the increasing of the country’s Internet penetration is on the verge of clearing the hurdle of spectrum issue through negotiations with International Telecommunications Union (ITU). SL Ambassador to UN has had several rounds of discussions with ITU authorities in Geneva to more..

Sharif's fall and will we probe the Panama Papers?

July 31 (DM) On Friday July 28, 2017, PM Nawaz Sharif was forced to resign as PM of Pakistan after the Supreme court disqualified him from holding public office in a landmark decision based on leaked documents - Panama Papers - released in April 2016.  The Panama Papers originally obtained by the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zaitung and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), was made public in April 2016. more..

Self-interest and weakening of rule-based systems of Governance

July 31 (DM) Patron client politics, informal social networks and corruption have been mostly responsible for the weakening of rule-based systems of decision making and allocation of scarce public resources in Sri Lanka. Today, many people consider getting around formal rules as near normal and perceive anyone trying to follow the rules to the letter as utterly out of touch with reality. At the end of the day, most people want to get their things done, no matter how. more..

Vetoing women prejudic in politics

July 31 (DM) The year 1931 marked a milestone in the history of Sri Lanka, with women receiving the right to vote and get involved in politics. However today representation of women in local politics has been the lowest among the South Asian nations. Sri Lanka is ranked 180 out of 190 in the IPU ranking of female representation in Parliament as of July 2017, which of course was reason to raise concern. more..

New IRB to further Parliament’s control over source of public finance: AG

July 31 (FT) In a written submission to the Supreme Court concerning the Inland Revenue Bill, the Attorney General has reiterated that the proposed Bill is a law enacted in furtherance of Parliament’s control over a source of public finance and does not violate any of the provisions of the Constitution.  Additional Solicitor General Farzana Jameel, with Senior Deputy Solicitor General Arjuna Obeysekere, State Counsels Suren more..

Tri forces troops join three-day anti- Dengue campaign

July 31 (MoD) Another Dengue eradication programme, planned jointly by Ministry of Education and Ministry of Defence in parallel with the ongoing Presidential Task Force on Dengue control got underway on Friday. 791 Army personnel together with school students, teachers, parents and other volunteers joined this three day anti-dengue programme. This programme carried out across the country will see schools, public spaces and more..

Both sides suffered: Gethsie Shanmugam

July 31 (NS) Octogenarian teacher, psychological counsellor, social worker and child rights activist, Gethsie Shanmugam, who is a recipient of this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Awards, explained that both sides had suffered in the over three-decade-long ethnic conflict that ravaged the country. The 83-year-old was awarded such for her work conducted during the war in conflict zones with IDPs, war widows, more..

Over 1 million people hit by drought: DMC

July 31 (DM) The total number of people affected by the prevailing drought had increased over one million, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) census said today. The DMC said that eight provinces out of the nine, where people in 17 districts were hit by the drought. According to the DMC latest situation report 1, 093, 717 people belonging to 314, 049 families had been severely affected by the prevailing drought. more..

Intermittent daytime power cuts to continue

July 31 (ST) CEB will continue to impose intermittent power cuts, an official said. Power situation was aggravated after yet another power plant was shut down on Friday due to technical issues. 163mw privately owned Sojitz Kelanitissa power plant broke down on Friday adding to the existing breakdowns. CEB has been without one 300MW generator at the Lakvijaya coal power plant in Norochcholai for more than a week, more..

Police action raises several questions

July 31 (SL) The manner in which the Police had attempted to arrest a student activist recently has raised several questions. Police in plain clothes had attempted to arrest student activist Ryan Jayalath in Colombo over his involvement in a recent protest at the Health Ministry. The attempt to arrest the activist was seen by some as an attempt to abduct him using a white van. ASP Ruwan Gunasekara however said the van was one more..

CPC TU Collective voice doubts of Prez Sirisena’s intent

July 31 (CT) Trade Unions Collective of CPC emphasized that they could no further rely on the word of President Sirisena if he so much as breached the promise given to them on July 26th. "People of the entire country will have to bring a no-confidence if the President breaks his promise given to us. Trade unions represent the people. We suspended our continuous strike on 26 July because the President asked us to trust him. more..

Who is the President of the SLFP: Mahinda or Maithripala?

July 31 (BBC) SLFP has no two Presidents and President of SLFP is President Sirisena says its General Secretary, Duminda Dissanayake. He made this statement by pointing out that SLFP had responded to a statement made by former President Rajapakse for the presidency of the party. Media reported that former President Rajapakse has stated that he has no resignation or withdrawal from the post of SLFP President. more..

Prez visits drought affected Kebithigollewa

July 31 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena made an inspection tour in the Kebithigollewa area today (30), to look into the issues faced by the people who have been affected as a result of the dry weather conditions prevailing in the country. President first visited Kahatagollewa in the Kebithigollewa Divisional Secretariat Division. The President, who made an unscheduled visit to the area, was warmly welcomed by the people. more..

Ridiculing Democracy

July 31 (CT) The chaos that prevailed in Parliament last Friday ridiculed democracy in the country with the Joint Opposition (JO) MPs even attempting to forcibly take the mace into their hands. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya was compelled to bring Parliament sittings to an abrupt end, following the manner in which JO members conducted themselves, disrupting proceedings last Friday. Parliament being considered the temple of democracy, the behaviour of the JO with several of them even holding more..

Friends who met on FaceBook found getting high in dawn raid

July 31 (DM) The Colombo Excise Special Operations Unit said that they had busted a drug induced party and the organizer of it had been taken into custody from Sirisanda, in Puwakpitiya, Avissawella. Those participating in this wild party were said to have befriended each other on facebook and once they assembled at the designated spot the party had begun with those present, both men and women getting high on drugs and booze. more..

Gomin Dayasiri

News First complains of harassment

July 31 (Island) News First has complained to the Hatton police that Minister Palani Digambaram's press officer, Aruna Ratnayake, removed its microphone at a public function held in connection with the National Breastfeeding Week yesterday. It says the removal of its microphone amounts to harassment and a violation of right to information. News First says it had received an invitation, dated July 28, 2017, from the Government Information to cover the event. more..

Ravi K: Fall guy or saviour of the monarch?

July 31 (FT) Educated and highly focused, the introduction of Miss Anika Wijesuriya (AW) and her testimony at the Commission to Inquire into the Bond Scandal (CIBS) has indeed created a storm. SL’s political culture has changed very little since the time the late J.R. Jayawardena introduced the open market economy. Power corrupts and all politicians are either in it for power, money or both. And unsurprisingly, politicians and businessmen make strange bedfellows. more..

Nallur shooting incident: Northern legal experts disgruntled

July 31 (CT) Legal experts in the North expressed their dissatisfaction at the handling of the investigation so far of the shooting incident that killed the bodyguard of Jaffna High Court Judge M. Ilanchelian. They claim that the Police have failed in their duty to handle the case in a professional manner. Also the majority of the public is of the opinion that the Judge was targeted due to the sensitive cases he was hearing, more..

Petrol adulterating racket busted at Kaduwela

July 31 (Island) The Nawagamuwa Police have uncovered a clandestine operation of mixing substandard oil with fuel released from the Kolonnawa Oil Installation and apprehended three persons red-handed on Saturday at Kaduwela. The suspects had been engaged in the racket for a long time. Acting on information that the racket was carried out on an enclosed land near the Kaduwela junction police conducted the raid. The suspects were from Akuressa and Kaduwela areas, more..

Two cases against Shashi W. fixed for trial

July 31 (DN) Two cases filed against Shashi Weerawansa, for fraudulently obtaining two passports including a diplomatic passport by submitting forged documents to the Department of Immigration and Emigration were fixed for further trial by Colombo Chief Magistrate, today. Accordingly, the seventh, sixteenth and seventeenth witnesses of the case were notified to appear in Courts on May 25, 30 and 31 by Chief Magistrate Lal Ranasinghe Bandara. more..

CPC shuns debt responsibility

July 31 (CT) The CPC has denied responsibility for huge debts owed to state banks saying that it was not responsible for the current situation adding that the govt was to blame, Secretary to Ministry of Petroleum, Upali Marasinghe said. CPC has to pay back Rs 357.66 billion due for import of crude oil as at 30 June 2017. CPC is in debt of Rs 186.35 billion to Bank of Ceylon and Rs 171.31 billion to People's Bank. more..

Devananda proposes building common war memorial

July 31 (Island) EPDP leader Douglas Devananda now wants to build a war memorial in Omanthai so that all those who lost their loved ones in the war could commemorate them. The Tamil militant turned MP has submitted a private member motion seeking parliament’s approval to build the war memorial and to get the govt to declare a common day for the commemoration, according to the latest Addendum to the Order Book of Parliament released on July 28. Motion submitted by MP Devananda says: more..

Video: If Ravi is a true gentleman, he should resign: Dayasiri

July 31 (AD) Minister os Sports, Dayasiri Jayasekara stated that Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake should ideally resign in light of the Central Bank’s bond scam allegations directed at him. He stated this upon attending a public gathering in Kurunegala. Minister proceeded to say that a proper gentleman should resign from his duties until investigations are concluded, and added that Karunanayake’s failure to do so had put everyone else in the Govt in a difficult position. more..