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Sri Lanka looking for Gold since 2009

July 5 (CT) 22nd Asian Athletics Championship will mark its beginning today with the grand opening ceremony which will start at 6 p.m. here in Kalinga Stadium Bhubaneswar. Championship will see the best of Asia battling it out for Asian Glory, where the winner of each event will automatically qualify for IAAF World Championship to be held from 4-13 August. Sri Lanka sent a strong 23 member team for the event, but with the recent development regarding Pradeep Ruwan Kumara's doping incident more..

Mahela and those bloodless coups

July 5 (Island) Former captain Mahela Jayawardene dismissed as baseless a gossip website claim that his agent controlled the affairs of the national cricket team. Ironically, it was only last week that Mahela fully backed speedster Lasith Malinga, who attacked Minister of Sports via a gossip website. Mahela in fact posted the video of the gossip website in his twitter account, saying, This is why I like this guy (Malinga). more..

Ravi K rejects short draw on lottery tickets

July 5 (FT) Minister Ravi Karunanayake rejected JO MP Bandula Gunawardana’s charges in Parliament that lottery tickets were printed without a draw date, draw number and winning numbers. Minister clarified to the House that no such printing was done and CID was assigned to investigate MP’s statement, which misleads the public and could have a serious impact on lottery sales. “MP Gunawardena at a media conference on 25 June displayed pieces of paper indicating them as lottery tickets. more..

Schoolboy elopes with GF’s mother

July 5 (DM) A 35-year-old mother of two children had allegedly eloped with her daughter’s 17-year-old school going lover. The schoolboy, who had fallen in love with a girl in his class, had often visited her at her home with the consent of the parents. However, when the lover had gone missing for several days the girl was under impression that he might have jilted her and fallen in love with another girl, but soon she understood that it was her mother who robbed her of her lover. more..

Opposing civil society groups intensify projects

July 5 (Island) With the govt going ahead with its efforts to reach consensus among political parties in respect of proposed constitutional reforms as well as privatisation of public property, Yuthukama has stepped up a project to oppose yahapalana initiatives. Yahapalana govt efforts are backed by an influential grouping of civil society activists who are pushing the administration to introduce a brand new Constitution. more..

Rajiv Gandhi case convict seeks parole for co-plotter

July 5 (TOI) Robert Payas, a convict in the assassination of former PM Rajiv Gandhi and sentenced to life imprisonment, has written to the superintendent of prisons seeking leave for AG Perarivalan, another convict in the case. Perarivalan, lodged in the Vellore Central Prison, had sought parole for a month to meet his ailing mother. Payas is at the Central Prison in Puzhal, Chennai. Letter has been forwarded to the prison head and will be sent to state department more..

University students eating poison

July 5 (CT) University students must protest against the unhealthy food served in their canteens with the same vigour with which they protest against SAITM issue said Ranjith Withanage, Chairman of National Movement for Consumer Rights Protection (NMCRP). He that the quality of food at university canteens was appalling. President of SL Canteen Owners' Association said that students are eating unhealthy food and therefore get diseases such as cancer and diabetes at a young age. more..

President pummels Police, FCID, AG’s dept

July 5 (CT) President Sirisena has stated at yesterday's Cabinet Meeting that if the Police, AG's Department and FCID are brought under him, he will show them how thieves can be nabbed within a period of three months. President's tough talk came when the Cabinet took up the issue of action to be taken regarding Anti-Corruption Secretariat whose mandate ended on 30 June 2017. Subsequent to the statement made by PM more..

Welcome to SL's $286 million ghost airport

July 5 (Stuff) It has everything a modern, gleaming airport should have. Shops, check-in counters, customs, a business lounge and a runway that can cater for the A380. Well it has everything, that is, except passengers. Welcome to Sri Lanka's second biggest airport - Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport. Built by former president  Rajapaksa in 2013, the $286 million structure was meant to bring in hordes of tourists to a rundown and rural part of Sri Lanka. more..

Mel murder verdict today

July 5 (Island) The Colombo High Court will deliver, today, the judgement in the Mel Gunasekera murder case. The accused is A. Anthony Ramasan George, indicted on three charges. He had been hired by the victim’s family to paint their house previously. On Feb. 2 2014, the accused entered the victim’s house with a view to removing valuables. On seeing the victim, who identified, him he attacked her. Her family members were away attending church service at the time. more..

SAITM Issue: President calls for common stance by govt

July 5 (DM) President Sirisena is reported to have said the govt should project a common stance on the SAITM issue instead of ministers making contradictory statements. Cabinet discussed this matter yesterday amid ministers expressing various views on it. Ministers like Rajitha Senaratne and S.B. Dissanayake are in favour of SAITM being operated as a non-state university while Ministers Champika Ranawaka and Dayasiri more..

Inside the Sri Lankan Architecture of Geoffrey Bawa and others

July 5 (AD) Sri Lanka, emerging as an upscale travel destination, has many of the usual drawing cards you’d expect—beaches, culture, cuisine—and as a bonus, you can add unique architecture to the list. Tropical modernism, heralded by the late Geoffrey Bawa, is an intriguing local evolution of international style, adapted to the hot and humid local climate and referencing various cultural elements. His style is exemplified in his family’s Lunuganga estate—but that’s not the only testament to more..

Legal changes mooted for notice of Sri Lanka land acquisition

July 5 (EN) Changes are needed to urban development regulations to ensure prior notice of land acquisitions in order to give better effect to the new Right to Information law, Verité Research, a private think-tank, said. It said in a new study of the RTI act that existing regulations might not encourage adequate disclosure by public officials when lands are taken over for urban development projects. The present Urban Development Project Act empowers the Minister in charge of more..

Parliament Mafia is robbing people's money: Rs 500 million paid for ghost building

July 5 (CT) Govt in Parliament admitted that it had leased out a building to house the Ministry of Agriculture in 2016 for which it had paid an advance of Rs 504 million. This information by State Minister of Agriculture Wasantha Aluvihare. The document added that the Govt had estimated a monthly rent of Rs 13.5 million with the actual rent being Rs 21 million, including Rs 6.1 million in monthly service charges. more..

'Will help approve them if tabled this week'

July 5 (DM) JO said it would support the govt to have the necessary amendments to the Local Govt Elections Bill approved if they were presented in Parliament this week. JO MP Dinesh Gunawardene gave this assurance in response to a statement made by Minister Faiser Mustapha that it was up to Parliament to decide on the fate of the LG elections. "I have done my part as the subject minister with regard to LG elections and now it is up to Parliament to approve the necessary amendments more..

Wijeyadasa clarifies till issue

July 5 (FT) Following the legal provisions in the Buddhist Temporalities Act, Govt has recently helped Aluthgama Kande Vihara to manage its overflowing tills, Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said. “We received a request from the Chief Incumbent of the Aluthgama Kande Viharaya to intervene in opening the overflowing tills and to count the donations. The money was deposited in the temple accounts. Unless there is a request the Govt will not get involved in such issues,” more..

Mahanayakes flex muscles on threat to Buddhism, National crises

July 5 (CT) The combined forces of Sri Lanka's powerful Buddhist hierarchy including all the Mahanayaka and Anunayaka Theras of the three Chapters assembled in Kandy yesterday to deliberate on vital national issues currently besetting the nation. Mahanayaka Thera of Asgiriya Chapter Most Ven. Warakagoda Gnanaratana Thera, Mahanayaka Thera of Amarapura Chapter Most Ven. Kotugoda Dhammawamsa more..

Army launches week long special dengue prevention programme

July 5 (SLA) Sri Lanka Army troops, adding strength to the national dengue eradication programme took another step and launched a week long Dengue Prevention Programme on Saturday (1). This programme is carried out in addition to ongoing projects, got off the ground at the MOH office near Sugathadasa Stadium in Colombo. Programme was launched with 25 separate teams made of 200 Army personnel 25 policemen and 25 Public Health Inspectors with the intention of identifying more..

Dejected ASP Liyanage to resign as Ambassador to Qatar

July 5 (CG) Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Qatar A S P Liyanage says he hopes to resign from his post tomorrow. Liyanage, who returned to Sri Lanka today, said he was expected to be given the post of Eastern Province Governor. The businessman said that he was disappointed on hearing that the post had been given to former Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogallagama. Liyanage, who was appointed as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Qatar in March, is to hold a press conference tomorrow where more..

Finance Minister’s presence at primary dealers’ CEO meeting unprecedented

July 5 (Island) Assistant General Manager of Netwealth Securities and former Bank of Ceylon Chief Dealer, Nimal Meegolla, revealed, that on March 23, 2015, then Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake had been present at a primary dealers’ CEO meeting at the Central Bank. He said no Finance Minister had attended such a meeting previously. He said he had attended many meetings of the primary dealers at Central Bank. more..

A costly blooper

July 5 (DM) Many thought the suave and sophisticated PM of Canada, Justin Trudeau, had easy way up the political ladder being the son of a two time PM. His father Pierre Trudeau dated Hollywood icon Barbara Streisand during his first stint, as a bachelor, in the late 1960s. Today his eldest son, Justin is in trouble over his father’s political legacy. However it has got nothing to do with Streisand. During his second spell in the 1980s Pierre Trudeau clashed with the head of more..

Rajapaksas Inc. vs. Maithri-Ranil Combo: Corruption vs. Yahapalanaya

July 5 (DM) What is the magic that the Rajapaksas have and the Maithri-Ranil Combo do not? What is it that sustains the Rajapaksa campaign of vitriol, lies, exaggerations and hallucinations? They resumed their terrible habit of corruption and nepotism.  The victory rallies that followed kept that impression afresh at least in the minds of Sinhalese-Buddhists. That constant changed only n 2009. That is because of the war-victory and Rajapaksa Inc. managed quite rightly so.  more..

Deep concerns raised over recent attempts to silence dissent

July 5 (SL) A group of individuals and organisations committed to human rights and democratic freedoms, and the rights of freedom of expression and dissent, have expressed deep concerns over recent attempts to stifle voices of human rights activists and silence dissent. A statement signed by nearly 100 individuals and organisations noted that on 17th June, Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, publicly threatened more..

Welikada Prison deaths; Eyewitnesses ready to back those denied justice

July 5 (DM) Failure to promptly open and carry out a criminal investigation into the deaths of 27 inmates in Welikada prison during a riot and its aftermath on Nov 9 and 10 of 2012 has become a stigma to the justice system. Human rights activists and organisations had expressed concerns at the lack of a prompt and expeditious investigation and the impunity of the culprits.  Despite having strong evidence and testimonies of witnesses more..

Sri Lanka launches hotline for garbage collection in Colombo

July 5 (LBO) Provincial Councils and Local Govt Ministry has launched a hotline for people to make complaints about garbage collection in Colombo Municipal area. Ministry has set up a special unit called National Task Force for Management of Waste which will be manned by the tri-forces and an environmental police unit. Hotlines are: 011-3301445 and 011-5993755. “People can call and complain about issues pertaining to waste more..

SriLankan says previous govt ordered eight Airbus A 350-900 aircraft

July 5 (ST) SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ajith Dias has responded with a statement to some references in last week’s political commentary headlined More details emerge on SriLankan state of affairs. A significant highlight of the statement is the disclosure that the previous govt ordered eight A 350-900 aircraft and not four as widely believed. 4 were direct purchases from the manufacturer whilst the other 4 were procured through a lease. more..

Disappointed Liyanage requests President to accept resignation

July 5 (DM) A disappointed ambassador to Qatar A.S.P. Liyanage said he had requested President Sirisena to relieve his of his position as he wanted to be of service in Sri Lanka and nowhere else in the world. The well known businessman was appointed to his post this March.  Liyanage said the president had promised to appoint him as a provincial governor when a post fell vacant. As he was unable to fulfill this promise he was more..

New Army Commander denies war crimes charges

July 5 (NR) The new Commander of the Sri Lanka Army Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake has vehemently denied allegations that the tri-forces committed war crimes. Speaking to media after officially assuming duties as the Army Commander said the Army works with discipline and dedication. Lieutenant General Senanayake said certain persons are levelling various baseless allegations. more..

Mel G.’s murderer sentenced to death

July 5 (PTI) A 39-year-old man was today sentenced to death by the High Court for murdering a senior woman journalist. Mel Gunasekara (40) was found dead with cut injuries at her Colombo suburb home on Feb, 2014, while her other family members were attending a weekly mass at a nearby church. Police arrested Anthony George, who had been previously hired by Gunsekara family to paint their house, over the killing. more..

SC halts garbage dumping in Muthurajawela

July 5 (AD) The Supreme Court today issued an injunction order prohibiting the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) from disposing garbage in Muthurajawela till July 20.  A petition filed by several residents in the area seeking a court order against the disposal of garbage at the Muthurajawela site was taken up before a judge bench comprising Chief Justice Priyasad Dep and Justice Upali Abeyratne. more..

Rs 8 billion embezzled from Dambulla Cave Temple?

July 5 (CT) Rejecting the audit reports of the Dambulla Cave Temple submitted by Commissioner of Buddhist Affairs, Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said, that the daily income at the Dambulla Cave Temple, from foreign tourists exceeds the sum mentioned in the annual income of the temple by the Commissioner. "2015 audit report states, that the annual income of the temple was Rs 2,971,000 but we have conducted a study more..

Anyone watching TV feels there is no Govt in the country: President

July 5 (DM) Anyone watching the TV in the evenings, would think that there is no country and or a govt in the country. Assumptions are made about what is going to happen the following day. Media reveals the opposite of what is really happening in the country. Development activities, people's welfare, the peaceful situation in the country are all portrayed turning these facts upside down, mainly to attract people’s attention. more..

In defence of Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe: The lonely patriot

July 5 (FT) Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe is the target of a fire-hose of criticism. What I find most interesting is where this criticism is coming from and the larger truth it obscures. The criticism comes from a network of lobbies and caucuses comprised for the most part of those who never stood up for the country and its protection during the greatest test it faced in its contemporary history: the onslaught of the separatist, terrorist and fascist LTTE.  more..

Violence looms once again

July 5 (CT) Once again what we have been warning the Govt about, repeatedly for the past two years, that the Opposition's manipulation of the GMOA, IUSF, State sector trade unions, peasants and other lackeys will manifest in violence sooner or later, is sadly coming to pass. On 23 June 2017, 11 days agao, GMOA's Editor Dr. Nalinda Herath said in relation to the GMOA's continued belligerence on the SAITM issue that "The last resort for IUSF students is to take up arms. more..

Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe

World Bank concerned over Sri Lanka external debt servicing

July 5 (EN) The World Bank has drawn attention to a bunching up of foreign loan repayments in 2019, saying it is concerned over Sri Lanka’s ability to service the debt.  Exchange rate depreciation and high interest rates have pushed up central govt debt further, in spite of fiscal achievements, the World Bank said in its latest development update. The debt profile also indicated significant exposure to a variety of risks, the bank said. more..

Udayanga had not returned his passport: Ravi

July 5 (DM) Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake said even though the govt had cancelled the Diplomatic Passport of former SL Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunge, he had not returned it to the authorities. He told parliament that he had visited Japan, Pakistan and Dubai with former President Rajapaksa on several occasions recently. He said this in response to a question raised by JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa. Dr. Jayatissa said former Deputy Foreign Minister more..

'Education, health should remain under govt control'

July 5 (CT) Two topics that occupy news these days are the dispute regarding the medical faculty of the SAITM and the dengue epidemic. Both these issues involve the health and education sectors. In this backdrop, Ceylon Today decided to speak to JVP MP, Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa, who is a medical doctor, on these matters. Q: ? The government plans to nationalize the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital, which is affiliated to the SAITM Medical Faculty. more..

Lankan illegals in S. Arabia urged to take amnesty

July 5 (Island) More than 4,500 Sri Lankan visa overstayers who surrendered during the three-month amnesty period announced by the govt of Saudi Arabia are being issued with passports in order to return to Sri Lanka, according to the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE). The SLBFE announced that the three-month amnesty period to facilitate the return of Sri Lankan employees stranded in Saudi Arabia has been extended till July 23 by the Saudi govt. more..

Amended electoral act to be tabled before cabinet

July 5 (NR) Minister of Justice Wijedasa Rajapaksa said an amendment to the electoral act will be tabled before the Cabinet of Ministers promptly. Minister Rajapaksa said a new programme to grant anyone from the day they turn 18 years of age right to vote is a necessity. Minister Rajapaksa said the chairman of elections has held discussions with a number of party leaders in this regard adding that the govt has also held discussions pertaining to this issue. more..