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'Sri Lanka had shuffled Chinese loans to understate debt in 2010-2013'

Jul 1 (EN) Sri Lanka has shuffled several Chinese loans to state agencies and companies in a bid to understate central govt debt in 2010 and 2013, Minister Eran Wickramaratne has said in parliament responding to queries raised by the state audit chief. He said the Auditor General was correct to raise the queries, but the loans had been hidden in 2010 and 2013. “Cabinet approval was taken during the time of ex-President Rajapaska to more..

Sri Lanka says pressing ahead with shipping liberalization, amid Indian moves

Jul 1 (EN) Sri Lanka will press ahead with liberalizing the island’s shipping industry Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said, a move first announced last year but was opposed by a domestic shipping agency cartel, while India is also freeing the sector to make it more competitive. “We are going ahead with the liberalisation of the shippingindustry before the next budget,” Minister Samaraweera said at the 179th annual general meeting of CCC. more..

Chinese handling 40% of construction projects

Jul 1 (CT) President of the Ceylon Institute of Builders (CIB), Dr. Rohan Karunaratne Friday observed that currently almost 40% of Sri Lankan construction projects had been taken up by Chinese firms. Dr. Karunaratne, addressing the gathering at the launch of the seventh construction industry exhibition, Construction Expo 2018 at the BMICH, pointed out the impact of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in the more..

Sri Lanka to ask ICC for leniency in Chandimal case

Jul 1 (CI) SL hopes to convince the ICC to allow the three men accused of breaching the Spirit of Cricket to play some part in the forthcoming Test series against South Africa. That hearing is due to be held on July 10 - two days before the first Test. On the surface, it appears as if captain Dinesh Chandimal, coach Chandika Hathurusingha and manager Asanka Gurusinha will be suspended for both Tests against SA in July; more..

Pol Pot’s brothers call me Hitler’s brother: MR

Jul 1 (DM) Those who call me Adolf Hitler’s elder brother are Pol Pot’s younger brothers, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa told a public meeting held at Sri Visuddarama Temple in Mawathagama, Kurunegala. He denied the allegation made by New York Times in its report, How China got Sri Lanka to cough up a port; he said it was a story planted by the present administration to attack him. more..

Sri Lanka reopens probe into Rajapaksa election funding

Jul 1 (EN) Police has been asked to revive an investigation into alleged Chinese funding of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s re-election bid following a foreign newspaper report that $7.6 million was paid through the Standard Chartered Bank. Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake lodged a complaint with the FCID on Friday after the New York Times (NYT) last week said that the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) paid more..

Tobacco causes over 85% premature deaths

Jul 1 (CT) Country profile of the WHO Report on the global tobacco epidemic -2017 reveals that 19.9% adult men smoke daily and that the current adult smokers comprised a 29.4%. WHO states that tobacco use is the single biggest cause for Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs), only followed by alcohol use, unhealthy diet practices, and physical inactivity. NCDs annually kill 41 million, equivalent to 71% of all deaths globally. more..

China didn’t fund my election campaign: MR

Jul 1 (DM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today rejected the allegations made by the New York Times article and said no contribution was made by the China Harbour Company to his presidential election campaign in 2015. In a statement, Mr. Rajapaksa said if any election campaign contributions had been made to him by China Harbour Company, Port City contract would not have been restored to them more..

The China Story can bring in a tide against former President

Jul 2 (CT) The New york Times’s story about Mahindsa Rajapaksa having got millions of dollars as election money off the China Harbour Company account offers the yahapalanaya govt and the broad civil support movement for good governance a wonderful opportunity to torpedo forever the febrile campaign of the Rajapakses to return to power ever since the family lost in 2015. This campaign we call Mahinda Sulanaga, because that is what the organisers wanted it to be. more..

If the govt does not govern, summary justice will ensue

Jul 2 (ST) Competing for top billing for the most ghastly news headlines this week has been public outrage over rampant robberies and murders by notorious underworld gangs along with feverish speculation over the (possibly apocryphal) list of politicians who accepted money from tainted financier Arjun Aloysius and a fracas over Chinese funding of former President Rajapaksa’s election campaign. And as always, the tussle is on who is to blame rather than contributing to a concerted more..

Colombo Light Rail Transit project set to go

Jul 2 (SO) Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development on Friday announced the commencement of acquisition of lands required for the construction of the proposed fully elevated Light Rail Transit (LRT) system in Colombo which is set to revolutionise SL’s transportation system. The move follows the official handing over of the feasibility studies of the project carried out by Seoyoung Engineering to more..

Civil Society & Its gripe about Dayan J.

Jul 2 (CT) When news broke out that Dr Dayan Jayatilleka was nominated by President Maithripala Sirisena to be SL’s ambassador to Russia, the immediate reaction for those (still) loyal to the President and/or the Prime Minister were thrilled. This is because Dayan was widely seen as a staunch backer of the former President and more crucially his brother Gotabaya. Gotabaya Rajapaksa has not announced that he would contest the next presidential election but Yahapalana regime more..

Is racism to be the chosen path?

Jul 2 (SO) Are sections of the Buddhist clergy advocating racism at the expense of national unity, and, are some political parties hoping to reap political rewards from that? These questions need to be asked in view of two recent incidents, if one may call them that. First, there were howls of protests when the leader of the BBS organisation, Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara thero, was jailed for threatening Sandya Ekneligoda, wife of missing journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda. more..

Workers of the damned

Jul 2 (CT) The Cost of Living (CoL) continues rising to dizzy heights while the wages for the majority of the work force in the country remains the same and despite appeals and representations to the relevant authorities there has been zero relief, forcing the workers to suffer in silence. The situation has always remained the same irrespective of whatever govt is in power and the worst affected is the private sector which has an estimated more..

A Nazi Nirvana: Bana talk of a Hitler

Jul 2 (SO) If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed. - Adolf Hitler. Shine as they may, there are no kings, adorned with jewellry and pearls, that shine as does a man restrained, adorned with virtue’s ornament. - Visuddhimagga. Two quotes, one from Dear Adolf’s Mein Kampf and the other from Buddhagosha’s Visuddhimagga, path to purification, demonstrate the incongruity of the dhamma that emanate from Monastic monopoly, more..

Edtorial: Dreadful ghosts

Jul 2 (Island) Never a dull day in SL politics. It looks as if we were haunted by the ghosts of some mass murderers, who have been thrust centre stage posthumously of late. No sooner had an erudite monk blundered by dragging Hitler into a sermon and stirring up a real hornets' nest than the dreadful memories of the dead JVP leader Rohana Wijeweera were evoked. Almost three decades after the bloody conclusion of JVP's 2nd uprising and the capture & alleged extra-judicial execution more..

මංගලගේ මිලියන 30 ක කප්පම සහ SLVLOG තර්ජනය

Can Gota live down Hitler slur when wooing the minority vote?

Jul 2 (ST) 2020 presidential hopeful, birthday boy Gotabaya Rajapaksa may have felt somewhat uncomfortable when a monk, no less a personage than the Anunayaka of Asgiriya Chapter Venerable Vendaruwe Upali, whom he had invited along with a retinue of other senior monks to his residence for an alms-giving ceremony to celebrate his 69th b'day on 21st of June, unwittingly stamped his forehead with Hitler’s anti clockwise Swastika and bade him take over power with the aid of the military. more..

Vandersay out till disciplinary inquiries are over

Jul 2 (ST) Leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay is likely to miss the forthcoming tour of South Africa as he faces a ban for breaching discipline during the concluded West Indies tour. Vandersay was sent home ahead of the third Test after he had not returned to the hotel after a night out. The exact nature of the incident which led to leg spinner’s expulsion from the West Indies is not yet known and SLC said an inquiry will be held shortly to uncover the truth & determine next course of action. more..

Lakmal to shoulder the responsibility during SA Test series

Jul 2 (ST) It now goes down as one of the most infamous episodes in Sri Lanka’s cricketing history: national team skipper Dinesh Chandimal getting caught on camera while appearing to alter the condition of the ball, a charge he challenged unsuccessfully. Chandimal now faces further reprimand for his role in holding up play for two hours during the second Test in Gros Islet, along with Manager Asanka Gurusinha and more..

Who then wants to blink first?

Jul 2 (Island) With the presidential and parliamentary polls already in their mind, the political class in the country are already on election-mode, taking off from where they did not leave it since the local govt polls in February. At the same time, those in govt want the Provincial Council polls that are due already in some, falling due in a few others later in the year. They do not want the PC polls early. Do they want the presidential poll on schedule is a remote question, for which they too may not more..

Selling our sovereignty

Jul 2 (Island) "There is an undeclared, covert war against Sri Lanka, conducted by a Holy Alliance between Yahapalana, US Administration, and the corporate world. The result will be more deadly than the almost 30-year-war against LTTE terror and separatism. Failure to resist will result in us losing total control over our territory, wealth, natural resources and economic activity. Our national identity and culture will be dismantled, our ability to determine domestic policy and foreign policy more..

Dummy traffic cops to curb speeding

Jul 2 (ST) With road accident casualty figures rising to their highest levels, Police are using novel methods to curb the trend. On the Colombo-Puttalam Road, life-size dummies resembling traffic police officers with speed guns in hand have been placed at various points. Even the dummy faces resemble traffic police officers serving in the area. But don’t take a chance, the real policeman also may be there. more..

Crime is on the decline: Police Spokesman

Jul 2 (FT) Despite daily media reports indicating an upward trend in crimes, including murders, organised robberies and rape, the police said that there was a decline in the number of criminal cases in the country according to its data. Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara said that when the existing data on crimes was compared with the last few years, the number of crimes, including organised crimes, reported in the first five months of 2018 had recorded a decrease. more..

Questions galore as Sri Lanka fail to live up to the expectations

Jul 2 (Island) After weeks of controversy in the cricketing world, it was time to focus on Sri Lanka’s historic Test series against the West Indies. It was a historic series for the two teams as it was Sri Lanka’s first tour to the Caribbean islands in a decade. This tour was more significant as it was the first time that a day/night Test was played in the Caribbean. Sri Lankans had the ideal preparation for the tour. They had the Super Provincial 4-day tournament where all the national players more..

Silumina editor Chamara Lakshan passed away

Jul 2 (DN) Chamara Lakshan Kumara the Editor-in-Chief of the Silumina and Resa passed away on Saturday night after a brief illness. Chamara was 39 at the time of his death. He leaves behind his wife and four-year-old son. Chamara who was a student of C. W. W. Kannangara Vidyalaya, Matugama later joined the Colombo University to read for his basic degree and later for his Masters in Political Science. more..

Sri Lanka beer sales to grow slowly in 2018, currency fall to hit buying power

Jul 2 (EN) Sri Lanka’s legal producers will continue claw back market share from illicit hard liqour following a change in taxes, but overall market growth will be subdued in 2018 amid currency depreciation and energy price hikes, the island’s largest brewer has said. “We are inclined to believe that beer volumes will be subdued during this financial year,” Chief Executive of Lion Brewery (Ceylon) Plc, said Suresh Shah told shareholders in the annual report. more..

Sri Lanka ready to bite the bullet for Caribbean excesses

Jul 2 (Island) The national cricket team has come to terms with accepting the inevitable as captain Dinesh Chandimal, Head Coach Chandika Hathurusingha and Manager Asanka Gurusinha all face axe from the upcoming series against South Africa. The Proteas captained by Francois Du Plessis, no stranger for ball tampering, arrive in the island later this week and will play a two day warm-up game starting on Saturday at P. Sara Oval. The first Test takes place in Galle next week. more..

Former SLC Presidents highlight corruption at SLC

Jul 2 (Island) In a letter to Sports Minister Faizer Mustapaha, seven former Presidents of Sri Lanka Cricket had highlighted several alleged corrupt practice during the two year tenure of Thilanga Sumathipala as President of SLC. Sumathipala was seeking re-election at the SLC AGM scheduled for 31st May, but a court ruling delayed the elections. Attorney General is supposed to inform the Appeal Court a road map more..

Foreign investment in CSE records net inflow of US$ 28.4 mn in April

Jul 2 (DN) SL’s external sector strengthened in April 2018 with continuous inflows to the financial account of the balance of payments (BOP) despite the mixed performance demonstrated in the current account. Higher inflows to the financial account, particularly with the proceeds of the 12th international sovereign bond (ISB) issuance, project loans and FCBU loans and foreign investment in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and the govt securities market, resulted in gross official reserves reaching more..

Video: I never said NYT journalist got information from CID: Ranjan

Jul 2 (FT) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake states that he never said that the New York Times (NYT) journalist received information from the CID. He said this responding to an inquiry Ada Derana made with regard to the statement he made earlier on the subject and the journalist Maria Abi-Habib’s tweet posted yesterday (30). At a press conference held on the 29th June, Deputy Minister said that he had discussed the matter with the NYT journalist who reported the news. more..

Clarion call for tax holidays for new investments

Jul 2 (FT) Lobbying by the private sector for the Govt to reintroduce straightforward tax holidays as a key impetus to kick-start much-needed investments both foreign and local is gathering momentum ahead of preparation for the 2019 Budget with many viewing it rationally as a time-bound basis rather than the previous open-ended approach. Govt did away with tax holidays, a move that was welcomed by the IMF but scorned by the private sector. more..

Sri Lanka’s hotel sector fast reaching saturation point: veteran hotelier

Jul 2 (Island) The number of star class hotels in operation in Sri Lanka currently and that are to be built in the future will push Sri Lanka's hotel sector to reach saturation point very soon, locally and internationally known veteran hotelier Hilary Smith said. With the coming up of new hotel complexes in Colombo, the sector would reach saturation point and most hotels will have to reduce their charges to a great extent to attract customers in order to survive in the business, Smith, more..

Video: Veteran actor Roy de Silva passes away at age 80

Jul 2 (AD) Veteran actor and film director Roy de Silva has passed away last night (30), at the age of 80. He has passed away while being admitted at the Sri J'pura Hospital yesterday. After studying at St Sebastian’s College, Moratuwa and St. Joseph’s College, Colombo, he has commenced his career from stage plays. Roy De Silva began his movie acting career from the film Sujage Rahasa and started ventured in to film direction in 1977 as a director of comedy films. more..

Tug of war between stakeholders limits tea industry modifications

Jul 2 (FT) Despite all in the tea industry seeing diversification as a positive, State Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said the tug of war between the two sides of stakeholders was continuing with them unable to agree on the appropriate means of modification as the endgames were not mutually exclusive. “One side of the debate is that diversification should take place under the Ceylon Tea umbrella and the other side says more..

Sri Lanka needs a leader who wants all beings to be happy: Sajith

Jul 2 (DM) Sri Lanka needs a leader who wants all beings to be happy and healthy as it is preached in Buddhism, Minister Sajith Premadasa said over the weekend. He said this during an opening of Sanda Dinu Gama reawaken village in Anuradhapura on Saturday. ‘We hear statements where some call for a Hitler type administration in this country. Some say the country need a Mussolini type of administration and others call for an Idi Amin type of administration. These are shameless statements,” more..

Vehicles not up to Euro four standard, banned from today

Jul 2 (DM) Importing vehicles which are not equipped with safety features such as air bags, seat belts and below the emission levels or their equivalent as prescribed by Euro IV was banned with effect from today, Finance Ministry Information Director M. Ali Hassan said. He said, earlier, the ban had come to effect from January 1 as proposed in the 2017 Budget, but considering the requests made by the motor vehicle importers and manufacturers for more time to make required adjustments more..

Mahapola Fund another victim of bond scams

Jul 2 (Island) Mahapola Scholarship Trust Fund, which invested RS. 440 million in Treasury Bonds, had also lost Rs. 18 million due to bond scams, Executive Director of CHR Keerthi Tennakoon said. "A large number of institutions in the higher education sector have become victims of the bond scams as they have invested heavily in excessively priced bonds," he said. According to CHR calculations, the loss, incurred by more..

Tourism earnings up 5% Jan-April

Jul 2 (CT) Sri Lanka earned nearly US$ 1.6 billion from tourism during the first four months of this year, up 16% compared to US$ 1.42 billion a year ago, reflecting the same growth as tourist arrivals to the country during the period. In April this year, the country earned nearly US$ 335 million from the sector, up 12.1% compared to US$ 297 million during the same month last year. SL hopes to welcome 2.5 million tourists this year, same target Govt failed to achieve during the last 2 years. more..

Brazilian swallows Rs. 14mn worth cocaine

Jul 2 (DN) A 30-year-old Brazilian drug smuggler who swallowed 66 pellets of cocaine worth over Rs.14 million, in an attempt to get through security officials was nabbed by the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) at the BIA in Katunayake. The PNB officers after receiving information that a foreign drug smuggler was attempting to smuggle cocaine into the country, arrested the suspect who arrived at BIA on Saturday night on a flight from Qatar, Police Spokespersons Office said. more..