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Two George Keyt paintings worth Rs. 12mn missing

Jul 23 (DM) The CID today sought public assistance to locate two paintings of veteran artist George Keyt which had been stolen in 2013. It is believed that the masterpieces are worth more than Rs.12 million. Police said the two paintings -- Mother and Child and Vasanthi -- had gone missing since July 12, 2013 from a leading company located at No. 130, Glennie Street, Colombo 2. They had been stolen when the office was being relocated. The Mother and Child oil on canvas painting more..

Ten Containers held up in Harbour: FM orders holding of Beedi leaves

Jul 23 (CT) Around 10 containers of illegally imported beedi leaves, which were to be released into the market with the knowledge of certain officers of the SL Customs, have been withheld from release at the Colombo Harbour, on the orders of Finance Ministry (FM). State Minister Champika Premadasa, said that this procedure of importing dried beedi leaves, concealed within stocks of essential items such as chilly, more..

Former Walapane PS Chairman given 12 year prison term

Jul 23 (NR) The Former Chairman of the Walapane Pradeshiya Sabha Jagath Kumara Samarahewa and another individual have been sentenced to a 12 year rigorous imprisonment. The two were sentenced on the charges of misusing a jeep of the Department of Agriculture in 2004 and the illegal possession of a firearm without a license. The order was issued by the Nuwara-Eliya High Court Judge SUB Karaliyadda this afternoon. Court also fined the duo 10.5 million rupees each. more..

UNP needs a new face as Prez Candidate: Wasantha

Jul 23 (DM) State Minister Wasantha Senanayake was of the opinion that the time was ripe for the UNP to introduce a new face to be its presidential candidate if it intends to taste success at the next Prez Poll. He said this while distributing lawn mowers to the self-employed in Dimbulagala in the Polonnaruwa District. He said, “I have also been subjected to injustice by this govt. I could have delivered a lot to the people of Polonnaruwa had I been given a proper portfolio. more..

Video: President commences water filling of Kalu Ganga

Jul 23 (AD) The water filling of Kalu Ganga under the Kalu Ganga- Moragahakanda project was inaugurated by President Sirisena today. Kalu Ganga reservoir will be created by blocking the Kalu River at Laggala and Pallegama areas and the capacity of the reservoir is 248 million cubic meters. It is reported that the reservoir will provide water to 3000 families that will be resettled in the lower valley of Kalu River. more..

Coping with Nationalism In Jaffna through engagement

Jul 24 (CT) Early in the morning as I walked down a street in Jaffna, I heard a cry Annai, annai. Initially I took no notice and kept on walking, but the cry was persistent. So I looked back to see two small children behind the gate of their house. I smiled at them and recommenced my walk. But again the cry Annai, annai rent the air. This time I turned back and walked to the source of the sound. The elder one, a girl of about six years of age, ran away but the little one, boy of no more than 3 stood his ground. more..

SL: A nation torn between chronic political corruption & inadequacy of public activism

Jul 24 (CT) A Gura not heeding good advice; it does not matter whether he travels on the higher plane or the lower plane goes a popular Sinhala adage. In the context of the political corruption cesspit, Sri Lanka has fallen into, this adage quite deservingly applies to its’ people too, who despite repeated advice continue to mourn after getting deceived regularly by sending a different set of political actors at each election to represent them based on idle promises; knowing subconsciously that more..

MMDA reforms: Thalatha under pressure to permit male Muslim MPs decide?

Jul 24 (CT) It is alleged that undue pressure is being exerted on Justice Minister, Thalatha Atukorale to push through reforms proposed to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA), No. 13 of 1956, which seeks to bring justice to discriminated Muslim females, reliable sources said. An influential source attached to the original 19-Member committee to Consider and Propose Reforms to the Muslim Matrimonial more..

Economic implications of NYT expose: Infrastructure development and foreign debt

Jul 24 (ST) New York Times (NYT) expose of June 25, 2018 on the country’s high foreign indebtedness to China has once again drawn attention to the high cost of borrowing from the Chinese and the country’s debt servicing burden. It alleges that there was a great deal of kickbacks and corruption. Consequently the country’s indebtedness to China increased and resulted in SL being in a debt trap. Former Prez Rajapaksa has denied NYT claims of corruption and threatened to sue the paper. more..

Trump wouldn’t say that would he?

Jul 24 (ST) It is a world of weird happenings. From prelates to presidents to politicians of different hues in different countries and riff raff too are rushing to explain themselves. They are all having second and even third thoughts on words they have muttered hours before. They all wish to clarify what they had said previously. As though one clarification is not enough some want to clarify their clarifications. Breaking news now becomes broken news, no news and even fake news. more..

Thenuwara’s demon

Jul 24 (SO) The riots of July 1983 are seared into the mind of anti-war artist Chandraguptha Thenuwara. Arriving in Colombo for the first time just two days after the killings of 13 Army soldiers in Tirunelveli, Jaffna by the LTTE, a 23-year-old Thenuwara encountered sights of absolute terror as mobs ravaged the city in a racial furore. The scenes of innocents believed to be Tamils being dragged out of buses to be questioned and more..

On traitors and patriots

Jul 24 (DN) Last week was one of hope and despair. Hope because a group of academics came out boldly in defence of the Chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) who was unjustly accused of being an agent of the Tamil Diaspora, an LTTE agent and a traitor. Despair was on account of the emotionally charged and politically motivated attack on the academics, the Chairperson of the HRCSL and all citizens who differ in their opinion. more..

Taste of freedom

Jul 24 (DN) Despite coming under constant criticism of the politicians in the North, the Sri Lanka Army continues to render their contribution towards the reconciliation process and wellbeing of the people in Jaffna. They are engaged in providing assistance to the people of the North rebuild their lives, improve their livelihood and even in the education of the younger generation. With the aim of promoting religious harmony, the army assisted in organising a multi-religious conference more..

Face the Nation

Surprise! Surprise!! Sri Lankans can be resourceful as well as self-reliant

Jul 24 (Island) I happened to visit a hospital project undertaken by the people of a small village, Rupaha in the Walapone district. It struck me with a large dose of poignancy that dreams do not have to remain in the realm of the unachievable if in fact people will get together and work to make them real. Villagers from this village are in the process of demonstrating to the rest of us the extent to which a community can go if they are united. A hospital was a felt need of the people with more..

De Bruyn joins Jonty, and Herath's fourth-innings bounty

Jul 24 (CI) 101 - Theunis de Bruyn's score, which equals the highest by a South Africa batsman in the fourth innings of a Test match in Asia. Jonty Rhodes made 101 too, but he was unbeaten against SL in Moratuwa nearly 25 years ago. Temba Bavuma's 63 also makes it to the top five. 133 - Runs scored by de Bruyn in 11 previous Test innings, against NZ, England and Australia. Coming into the second innings of this Test, his Test average was 13.3, with highest of 48 & 8 dismissals for less than 15. more..

'South Africa need to change their approach in the subcontinent'

Jul 24 (CI) South Africa need to rethink their approach to touring the subcontinent, after a second successive series defeat in Asia, according to captain Faf du Plessis. After being defeated 3-0 in India in late 2015 and now 2-0 in Sri Lanka, du Plessis acknowledged that South Africa need to address both their attitude to using spin bowlers and their ability to play spin if they hope to be successful on slow surfaces in the future. more..

Edtorial: Wisdom of Nana of Ghana

Jul 24 (Island) The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe govt has been in seventh heaven, for the last few weeks, like a mendicant during Vesak, when he receives a lot of alms. India has expanded the free ambulance service. China has undertaken to build a hospital for kidney patients and, above all, granted a whopping USD 295 million to be utilised for a project of President Sirisena’s choice. (There is nothing called a free lunch!) The yahapalana leaders, as their predecessors did, run around, more..

Want to make No. 3 spot my own: de Bruyn

Jul 24 (CI) For most of this series, it appeared as if no South Africa batsman would bat for 100 balls in an innings, let alone score a century. Even getting to triple figures as a team seemed difficult enough. On the last day of the series, though, two relatively new batsmen saved some face for the visitors. Theunis de Bruyn and Temba Bavuma put on 123 together - South Africa's best partnership of the series by a distance. De Bruyn then went on to score his maiden Test hundred, more..

ITC hails Sri Lanka trade policies, but counsels faster pace

Jul 24 (FT) Strong commitment by the public and private sectors to increase capacity of local exports and improve trade performance & competitiveness augurs well for Sri Lanka to become a successful modern economy, believes International Trade Centre (ITC) Executive Director Arancha González, with the caveat that fast-pacing the effort would be crucial to success. “In my view, Sri Lanka is going in the right direction, but probably more..

Central Bank seeks expertise to probe/ audit some selected companies

Jul 24 (ST) Central Bank invited Expressions of Interest (EOI) from local and international companies to undertake an independent forensic audit cum investigation of selected companies regulated and supervised by SL’s banking regulator. It did not name the companies which are to be investigated. The public notice calling for EOI indicated that such interested firms should have a global practice and international experience in carrying out forensic audits/investigations. more..

SLR gives green light for foreign players

Jul 24 (CT) Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) is once again working on the possibility of opening the gates for clubs to bring down foreign rugby players for this year’s inter-club rugby league tournament, which is scheduled to commence from November. This was revealed by the newly appointed President of SLR Lasitha Gunaratne, who is planning on making more changes to the domestic tournaments, with the intention of increasing the attendance of spectators at matches, after noting that there was more..

Japan helps build electric 3-wheeler in SL

Jul 24 (FT) The Govt yesterday introduced electric three-wheelers in an effort to improve sustainability and lower transportation costs to boost the industry. Speaking at the launch, Minister Mangala Samaraweera noted that the number of three-wheelers in SL has increased eight-fold since the year 2000. The fuel consumption per person has increased from 90 litres to 150 litres during the same time, he observed. more..

Maersk Line has considerable reservations about Hambantota Port

Jul 24 (Island) A recent interview with Steve M. Felder, Managing Director- Maersk Line South Asia revealed that Maersk Line – the world's largest container shipping company – doesn't find SL's Hambantota Port of interest to them, at least not yet. Asked how Maersk Line views the potential of Hambantota Port, Steve told the IFR that Maersk Line is always looking to call ports with suitable infrastructure to service their vessels and their customers effectively. more..

SL Navy assists to transfer injured Russian sailor ashore for treatment

Jul 24 (SLN) SLNS Nandimithra, the Fast Missile Vessel attached to Southern Naval Command promptly transferred a severely injured Russian crew member who was onboard MV Boston, a Bulk Carrier belonging to Marshall Island, ashore for treatment yesterday (22). This crew member had got one of his legs severely injured due to an accident onboard MV Boston which were on her passage from Guinea to Singapore. On receipt of the information released by more..

Cabinet paper capping microfinance interest rates to be presented today

Jul 24 (FT) Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera will present a Cabinet paper today that would limit interest rates of microfinance loans to 30% as the latest effort by the Govt to reduce indebtedness in the country. Samaraweera is also expected to include the details of how debt created by microfinance loans would be absorbed by the Govt in 12 districts, primarily in the North & North Central Provinces, more..

Junior Tuskers’ mahout Nilfer has his work cut out for him

Jul 24 (ST) With 18 days to go before the Asia Under (U)-20 7s Series kicks off at the Kings Park Stadium in Hong Kong, preparing the Sri Lanka U-20 7s Rugby squad team for this challenge will be the short term goal of National Junior 7s Head Coach, Nilfer Ibrahim. In the long run, Ibrahim sees the bigger picture, where he feels heads of Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) and Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association (SLSRFA) should work together, aiming at the international stage. more..

Our hard work paid off: Lakmal

Jul 24 (DN) SL's stand-in Test captain Suranga Lakmal said that the hard training they put in ahead of the two Tests against South Africa had paid off when they won the series 2-0 at the SSC grounds yesterday. SL who won the first Test at Galle by 298 runs beat South Africa in the second Test by 199 runs to complete a series whitewash. “As a team we are very pleased with the result. When we play at home we know that spin will play a part and we have some of the best spinners in the world. more..

Galle Stadium conundrum: The inside story

Jul 24 (ST) Citing UNESCO requirements that do not exist, the Govt decided this week to demolish the pavilions at the historic Galle Int'l Cricket Stadium and to relocate the venue elsewhere. Gov't representatives at a recent meeting resolved to demolish the intrusive constructions and to set aside land in Pinnaduwa for a new cricket stadium. Among them were four ministers: Vajira Abeywardena, Sagala Ratnayake, Faiszer more..

Bus terminal construction spree

Jul 24 (Island) The Ministry of Transport and National Transportation Commission has launched a survey to identify areas where new bus terminals should be established, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva says in a media statement. The survey will focus on identifying the areas where bus terminals are needed and the deficiencies and issues regarding existing ones. The Ministry has already asked regional transport authorities and the passengers for feedback on the matter. more..

Jan-May spice exports drop 8.5% YoY

Jul 24 (CT) Spice exports in the first five months of 2018 dropped by 8.5% YOY to US$ 122 million, from last year’s US$ 132.9 million, owing mainly to the decrease in world market prices of certain spices and bad climatic conditions, Spices and Allied Products Producers and Traders Association (SAPPTA) Chairman Vernon Abeyratne said. Abeyratne said pepper, cloves and nutmeg were the main crops that had brought down the export value of spices in the first five months of this year. more..

Construction of US$ 250 million Rigid tyre factory plant proceeding rapidly

Jul 24 (DN) Minister Malik Samarawickrama visited the Rigid Tyre Corporation factory site which is being built at the BOI Wagawatte Industrial Park. The factory represents a total investment of US$ 250 million with the possibility of increasing to as much as US$ 300 million. The project will adhere to all environmental protection measures. Since the company is located within the premises of the Wagawatte Industrial Park, more..

NDB, British Council award English for Teaching candidates

Jul 24 (DN) NDB together with British Council recently awarded candidates who completed the English for Teaching training program at ceremony held at the DHPL/NDB auditorium at Nawam Mawatha with the participation of 188 English Teachers from over 150 Govt Schools. The ceremony was graced by senior officials of the Bank, British Council and the Ministry of Education. The activity based training was delivered through ten Regional English Support Centres more..

Names of criminal gangs used to extort money from the rich

Jul 24 (Island) The STF has launched an investigation into a racket where the names of notorious gangsters who have fled the country are used to extort money from the rich here. Investigations have revealed that these gangs have extorted a lot of money from businessmen and wealthy people after threatening them over the phone. None of the victims had complained to the police for fear of reprisals, the police said. A few days ago a person had telephoned more..

Alleged misappropriation charges against Senarath: Bank ordered to provide details

Jul 24 (CT) Colombo Chief Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake yesterday once again ordered the Chairman of Hatton National Bank (HNB) to provide the Police Special Detection Bureau (PSDB) with the details regarding certain cheques, to the value of Rs 1,250 million, that had been en-cashed from several banks and given to a few officials at the Temple Trees and to certain others in the run up to the last Presidential Poll. more..

Wiggy further stayed from expelling Denishwaran

Jul 24 (DN) The Court of Appeal yesterday further extended its Interim Order till August 9, preventing the decision of Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran to expel B. Denishwaran from functioning as the Minister of Fisheries and Transport in the province. The Court of Appeal Bench comprised Justice Kumuduni Wickremesinghe and Justice Janak de Silva. The petitioner B. Denishwaran had challenged Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran in more..

Sri Lankan student wins bronze at International Biology Olympiad

Jul 24 (AD) A SL student, Shakthi Senarathne of Dharmaraja College, Kandy, has secured a bronze medal at the International Biology Olympiad (IBO) 2018 held at Tehran, Iran. IBO is an annual competition for secondary school students where their skills in tackling biological problems, and dealing with biological experiments are tested. The competition consists of a theoretical and a practical examination, each of six hours duration. The competition this year was participated by more..

Gunathilaka innocent of rape charges: Police

Jul 24 (DM) SL batsman Danushka Gunathilaka, who has been suspended by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), has been declared innocent of any allegations of rape. This was revealed by the OIC of the Kollupitiya Police Station. He said: “We are not holding any further inquiries against this cricketer.” Gunathilaka’s name came into light when his friend was arrested on allegations of rape, at the same time the 27-year-old all-rounder was more..

PAFFREL writes to IGP

Jul 24 (CT) Elections monitoring body, PAFFREL wrote to IGP Pujith Jayasundara requesting that a programme of action be formulated to probe the security detail of people’s representatives. Executive Director of PAFFREL, Rohana Hettiarachchi, added that they had made the request in the backdrop of recent allegations that certain politicians, including a particular Minister, had individuals with alleged connections and links to the underworld, attached to their security detail. more..

Chairman insists on summoning former SriLankan CEO

Jul 24 (Island) Chairperson of the PCoI on irregularities at SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering and Mihin Lanka, Anil Goonaratne informed the Attorney General’s department officials that former CEO of SriLankan Airlines, Manoj de Vass Gunawardena should be summoned before the Commission no matter where he was now. Testifying before the PCoI Secretary of SriLankan Airilines Dalreen Thirukumar said that Gunawardena had been appointed CEO of SriLankan in more..