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Clowns or Murderers: Our Hobson’s Choice

Jul 17 (GV) The news was sensational, yet it was downplayed. The chief incumbent of a temple in Ratnapura strangled a police sergeant to death. The monk has been absconding after being charged with sexual abuse. The sergeant went to the temple to hand over the summons. He went alone and unarmed; after all, he was going to a temple to meet a monk. The sergeant’s screams alerted the neighbours who called 119. more..

In retrospect of a welcome achievement

Jul 17 (Island) The eighth place finish by SL men’s team in the 4x400 metres final at the IAAF World Under-20 Championship in Finland on Sunday was a sort of anticlimax but the fact that the team was among the best eight teams in the world is something that the athletes can take inspiration from. It was also testimony that 400 metres continues to be country’s flagship discipline in the athletics arena. Sri Lanka had never won a medal at these championships and now will have to more..

Changing of cricket constitution imperative

Jul 17 (ST) Thailand’s cave rescue mission could be described in many ways, with even a thousand superlatives, perhaps, fitting in with a perfect meaning. But, right now, we are ready to discuss only the lesson that this harrowing experience the boys went through has taught us. A lesson for posterity that could be remembered by future generations. Simply put, the lesson is: for any job there is a specialist, and if the task is handled by them, you can rest assured the results more..

The architect who let the light into Sri Lanka

Jul 17 (Nikkei) Geoffrey Bawa singlehandedly made Sri Lanka a country for buildings that live and breathe. The father of tropical modernism -- a school of architecture that can only be fully understood by seeing the maestro's buildings -- died in 2003, aged 83. By then, he had bequeathed to Sri Lanka a design legacy that has been widely recognized as the island state's hottest architectural genre. more..

SL-India U-19 series commences today

Jul 17 (DN) SL captain for the under cricket series against India Nipun Dananjaya said that his team was hoping to play good cricket with India and secure a win in the two-match 4-day Under 19 test series which begins at the NCC grounds today. “We are entitled to play some good cricket in this series against India whose side is well put together. We are hoping to secure a successful win in the series,” said all-rounder and skipper Dananjaya at a press conference held at yesterday. more..

CC: JO wants Dinesh to replace Sampanthan

Jul 17 (Island) Having secured the support of a section of the SLFP parliamentary group loyal to President Sirisena, the JO intends to step up pressure on Speaker Karu Jayasuriya this week to review his position on the post of Leader of the Opposition. SLPP Chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris said that with the amalgamation of the Joint Opposition group and SLFP members who distanced themselves from the govt in the wake of the abortive No-Confidence Motion (NCM) against PM more..

Du Plessis blasts Sri Lanka pitches

Jul 17 (CM) ‘We played a warm-up game which was a flat wicket – it didn’t spin – so you have to give credit to Sri Lanka for, I suppose, doing that well,’ said Du Plessis ruefully during the post-match press conference after Sri Lanka had humiliated South Africa in Galle. ‘There’s some learning in that for us to take even when we’re playing in South African conditions. Nets that we’ve been batting on have not been spinning at all. more..

Discussions on for Thai managed export processing zone

Jul 17 (DN) A Thai delegation consisting of 35 leading entrepreneurs from the Thai Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok visited Sri Lanka as part of the business delegation accompanying the Prime Minister of Thailand on a State visit to Sri Lanka. The delegation which was accompanying PM Gen. Prayut Chan-O-Cho included the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Board of Trade of Thailand, The Federation of Thai Industries, Mitr Phol, Siam City Cement, Bangkok Dock Company, more..

Jetwing steps in to resort condominium market

Jul 17 (FT) Giant hotelier Jetwing is embarking on a pioneering journey to the luxury resort condominium market with a Rs. 4.5 billion investment to build a 122-unit project in Thalahena, Negombo. Located on a 3 acre land adjoining the Jetwing Lagoon, the venture ‘Waterscape’ offers tenants both the sea and lagoon view. Facility, designed by Singaporean Sim Boon Yang of, will have eight 4-bedroom penthouses, 40 units of 2- and 3-bedroom apartments, & 34 1-bedroom apts. more..

Unions urge worker representatives to manage EPF investments

Jul 17 (ST) Unions, representing both workers and employers, are taking cautious approach to a proposal from an Asian Development Bank (ADB) to reform the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) by maximising its returns largely through investing in the stock market among other options. The draft White paper on the reform of EPF Legal and Operational Frameworks by US-based Aries Group Ltd under an ADB project more..

Ana and Kavinda appointed Int’l Match Commissioners

Jul 17 (CT) In a signal honour to Sri Lanka and Rugby, World Rugby appointed former Dimbulla/ Dickoya rugby skipper Ana Wijeratne and former Trinity College rugby lock forward, Havies and Sri Lanka player Kavinda Jayasena as International Match Commissioners last week. Both Wijeratne and Jayasena are distinguished products of Trinity College, Kandy. “This would enable us to officiate as Match Commissioners in World Rugby in both the 15-a-side games and the 7-a-side games,” more..

Chinese canned fish manufactures invited to Sri Lanka

Jul 17 (DN) Ministry of Industry and Commerce is inviting top Chinese canned fish manufactures to set up factories in Sri Lanka. “We invite a canned fish supplier delegation from China to Sri Lanka for discussions,” said the Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen addressing the Second Secretary of Chinese Embassy in Colombo Ran Xiong. Canned fish is a heavy use item by local consumers and an essential item in the management of day to day cost of living. more..

Mangala apologises to Rotarians and Lions Clubs

Jul 17 (FT) Minister Mangala Samaraweera issued a statement, apologising for remarks he accidentally made at a press conference. The full statement: In response to a question on the restoration of Capital Punishment for drug dealers at a press conference last week, while reiterating my opposition to Capital Punishment, I said that certain individuals connected to the drug trade try to cover their sins by being more..

Benkenstein calls for mental preparedness after Galle debacle

Jul 17 (CI) South Africa batting coach Dale Benkenstein put his team's struggles against spin down to their mental make-up after their twin collapses in the first Test in Galle. South Africa were routed 126 and 73 - their two lowest totals in Sri Lanka, and lowest since readmission - and Benkenstein said the poor performance arose from a lack of match practice and, chiefly, an absence of mental toughness on their first tour since early April. "It's not the standard we want. more..

CSE to host July 18 briefing event for potential Empower Board sponsors

Jul 17 (Island) The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) recently launched Empower, a listing platform fostering capital raising and growth opportunities for Sri Lankan Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). SMEs around the country now have at their disposal a range of new capital raising methods and entities listing on this platform will be offered guidance during the listing process by both the CSE and an independent sponsor. more..

Will increase forest cover to 32%: President

Jul 17 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena said that forests provide many socio-economic benefits, including food, energy and shelter, which are basic human needs and to sustain the products and services that help meet these and other needs, forests must be sustainably managed. Delivering the Inaugural Speech at the opening ceremony of the 24th Sessions of the Committee on Forestry, of FAO in Rome today (16), more..

15 districts still in poverty

Jul 17 (CT) Department of Census and Statistics highlighted that 60% of SL’s districts remained in poverty for the 30th consecutive month as of June this year, while 36% were above the national poverty line of Rs 4,677. 15 districts recorded a ‘minimum expenditure per person per month to fulfill the basic needs’ below Rs 4,677, while nine were above it, and one on the borderline. Despite a drop in the ‘minimum expenditure per person per month to fulfill the basic needs’ in March this year, more..

Minister Harsha de Silva meets senior management of Sri Lanka Insurance

Jul 17 (DN) State Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva paid a visit to Sri Lanka Insurance recently to meet with the corporate management to discuss the strategic way forward for the National Insurance giant. He was preview to a microscopic view of the corporate strategies in process alignment to deliver excellence in customer convenience while creating value for its stakeholders. He actively participated in the discussions with the Senior Management on the strategic direction for Sri Lanka Insurance. more..

SriLankan Airlines ad deals of over Rs400mn to one family; documents missing

Jul 17 (EN) State-run SriLankan Airlines had given advertising deals of over 450 million rupees to firms controlled by one family, where then- CEO Kapila Chandrasena had at times ordered payments without formal contracts. PCoI into fraud and malpractice at SriLankan Airlines was told that an internal audit had queried the contracts as far back as 2014, and written agreements were not available or missing in some cases. more..

PMI shows manufacturing and services pick up in June

Jul 17 (FT) The latest Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) released by the Central Bank showed that manufacturing activities had increased in June, but at a slower pace than May, while services had picked up with employment up in both sectors. Manufacturing Sector PMI decreased to 57.6 index points in June 2018, from 60.6 index points observed in the previous month, and was in line with the pattern observed in the previous years. The significant drop in Production, more..

SC extends Interim Order to prevent garbage dumping in Muthurajawela

Jul 17 (FT) Supreme Court yesterday re-fixed for mention on 27 November the Fundamental Rights petition against the impugned steps to dump garbage in the Muthurajawela sanctuary. The Bench comprised Justices Eva Wanasundera, Prasanna Jayawardena and Murdu Fernando extended the Interim Order against dumping in the sanctuary. The 35 Petitioners who are residents in close proximity to the Muthurajawela sanctuary, cited Colombo Municipal Council, its Commissioner, UDA, more..

Corrupt probing Corrupt?: Probe into MR’s Presidential campaign funds still on: PM

Jul 17 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe denied any suspension of investigations into alleged transfer of funds during the 2015 presidential election, a statement made by the PM’s Office said. Addressing the Parliamentary group of the UNF at Temple Trees, the PM noted that investigations into payments linked to the Presidential campaign began on 9 May 2016 and are still continuing. more..

On-line bus ticket booking for long distances launched

Jul 17 (DM) Bus transportation in the country is to undergo significant changes with the launching of online bus ticket booking facility and with the introduction of high-bred and electric buses, Deputy Minister of Transport and Aviation Asoka Abeysinghe said today. Deputy Minister Abeysinghe said commuters who travel long distances will now have the opportunity of booking bus tickets online through the website website and through an app. more..

Civil society condemns attacks on HRCSL chief

Jul 17 (FT) Thirty-seven civil society organisations and 170 individuals yesterday released a statement condemning the threats against Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka Chairperson Dr. Deepika Udagama. Given below is the full statement: We are appalled at statements akin to death threats, violence and hate speech against the Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL), Dr. Deepika Udagama, a highly respected scholar and human rights advocate. more..

Alleged Russian backing for Namal: Moscow seeks explanation from Colombo

Jul 17 (Island) Russia has sought an explanation from Sri Lanka as regards a recent claim by Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera that Russia funded a special propaganda unit backing UPFA/JO MP Namal Rajapaksa. A spokesperson for the Russian embassy said that they had noted Minister Samaraweera’s statement and requested an explanation from the Foreign Ministry. more..

Forests are vital for you and me

Jul 17 (DM) Forestry being a vital part in the battle against climate change or global warming, President Maithripala Sirisena in Rome yesterday made the keynote speech at the 24th session of the Committee on Forestry (COFO) and the 6th World Forest Week organized by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The Presidential Media Unit says, the Rome meeting will explore the contribution that forests can make to achieve sustainable development goals. more..

Rajapaksa probably loves what he sees

Jul 17 (DM) Nine years after the demise of rebel leader Velupillai Prabakaran he is still in the news. This time the slain tiger leader’s name was brought under the spotlight by former State Minister for Children’s Affairs Vijeyakala Maheswaran. One thing that the people of this country must fathom is that though it was possible to wipe out the LTTE erasing the name of Prabakaran is something impossible. This is because the one time tiger leader is considered as a demi God in the North. more..

'Missed to use Lord Naseby’s point'

Jul 17 (DM) Daily mirror sat with Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe to discuss the progress of controversial SL–China deal entered into developing Hambantota Port, Chinese investments in Sri Lanka, issues affecting the country in the global and domestic forums and politics. Q: What is the progress that has been made in the Hambantota Port Development Project since the signing of the Concession Agreement to entrust more..

July warming up for strike action

Jul 17 (ST) July is set to be a month of strikes with trade unions in several important state sectors threatening to call work stoppages over various grievances. Around 300,000 teachers and principals plan to strike on July 26, the Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) said, over the Education Ministry’s decision to promote teachers and principals on the basis that they had suffered political victimisation under previous govts. more..

Poverty cut-off point hits all-time high

Jul 17 (CT) The Department of Census and Statistics’ national monthly poverty cut-off point reached its highest last month, since the Department began computing monthly figures from January 2016. The monthly poverty cut-off point increased by Rs 93 to Rs 4,677 per person per month, driven upwards by the rapidly depreciating rupee and market driven fuel prices. This may result in at least another 411,789 of the country’s more..

All should own land: Kabir

Jul 17 (CT) The policy of the Govt is for everyone to own a land, a house and have an income, stated Minister of Highways and Road Development, Kabir Hashim. He was speaking at a meeting at which Minister of Lands and Parliamentary Reforms Gayantha Karunatileka was distributing deeds, under the programme, one million land deeds for landless people, launched by the Govt, at the Kegalle Kachcheri on 13 July. more..

Probe sought on Malaysian politician’s alleged links with LTTE

Jul 17 (NST) Pas has called on the police to investigate Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy’s possible links with the LTTE, the terrorist organisation based in northeastern Sri Lanka. Its information chief Nasrudin Hassan police needed to step in and check on the matter following the circulation of a picture which showed Ramasamy allegedly paying his respects to a Kalashnikov rifle - which is a symbol of the armed group. more..

Sri Lanka economic losses from disasters total 0.2% of GDP a year: Study

Jul 17 (EN) Sri Lanka has been hit by economic losses equivalent 0.2% of its gross domestic product over a 20-year period due to natural disasters, a new study done by British researchers said. Titled Climate Change and the Cost of Capital in Developing Countries, study was done by researchers at UK-based Imperial College Business School and SOAS Uni of London. Commissioned by UN Environment, study was conducted on more..

Cabinet paper on electric/hybrid buses soon

Jul 17 (CT) According to the latest financial reports, Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) has become a profit- making institution for the first time in its history. It had made a profit of a Rs 1.61 billion in 2017, Deputy Minister Ashok Abeysinghe stated. When the current Govt came to power, the SLTB was a burden to the country with continuous financial losses, while the debt burden was more than Rs 15 billion at the time. more..

Take steps to recall UNHRC resolution: GL

Jul 17 (DM) SLPP Chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris said he would write to the newly appointed British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt asking him to take decisive steps to call upon the UNHRC in Geneva to withdraw the resolution on SL. He said that SL co-sponsored this resolution by the US which was adopted on Oct 1, 2015. He said Britain played a major role in getting the support of EU member states to it. more..

Kiriella wholeheartedly backs hanging

Jul 17 (Island) Minister Lakshman Kiriella said in Kandy yesterday that the death penalty was not something new in Sri Lanka and that ancient rulers of Sri Lanka had got wrongdoers killed. Kings of Kandy for 300 years including the last ruler Sri Wickrema Rajasinghe had meted out capital punishment to offenders, Minister said at the inauguration of the Lak-Diriya loan scheme at the Kandy branch of the National Savings Bank. more..

Five underworld leaders protecting a minister

Jul 17 (DM) A senior police officer said that five underworld leaders whom the police are looking to arrest have become the private bodyguards of a minister. He said the special police squad which is engaged in combating underworld activities has the photos of these persons with the minister as well. According to him, there is a policeman who is interdicted due to close association with the underworld gangs. more..

Poor coordination hampers work

Jul 17 (CT) A three-and-a-half year-old child is in the National Hospital these days being treated for wounds she received at the hands of her cane-wielding Head Teacher of the preschool she attends in Colombo. At a panel discussion hosted by the United Nations Children’s Fund in Colombo, Dr. Mahesan Ganesan, Consultant Psychiatrist at the National Institute of Mental Health said that this child was observed to be disruptive, using abusive language and trying to hit the mother. more..

To hang or not to hang!

Jul 17 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena dropped a bombshell out of the blues last week, sans all maître (loving-kindness) when he launched a coup de main on drug offenders. He threatened to use his powers to place his signature to execute the death sentence on those sentenced for drug offenses. Drug trafficking carries the death penalty in Sri Lanka, but since 1976 it has not been implemented. Though J.R. Jayewardene retained the death penalty in the 1978 Constitution, more..

Upul Jayasuriya