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Protesters demand the resignation of Bishop Thiagarajah from the Jaffna College Board

Jul 26 (CT) A protest was held near Jaffna College, Vaddukoddai yesterday, the 24th of July 2018 demanding the resignation of the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the Jaffna College Board of Directors. The protest was attended by the alumni of the College, parents, members of the community and well-wishers of Jaffna College. A statement was issued at the end of the protest and submitted to the Principal of Jaffna College. Earlier, on the 19th of July, in a letter addressed to more..

Sudden rise in gold imports: Bandula asks Prez to intervene

Jul 26 (DM) The joint opposition said gold worth of USD 1,087 million had been imported in the recent past and that this was strange because the jewellery industry had not been developed in line with the colossal amount of gold imports. JO MP Bandula Gunawardana said USD 650 million worth of gold had been imported in 2017, which was an increase of 73.7% when compared with the previous year. “During the first quarter of this year, a staggering USD 437 mil had been spent on gold imports. more..

Moody’s affirms Sri Lanka’s ratings at B1; maintains negative outlook

Jul 26 (LBO) Moody’s Investors Service has today affirmed the Govt of SL’s foreign currency issuer and senior unsecured ratings at B1 and maintained the negative outlook. Moody’s Investors Service said the decision to affirm the rating at B1 reflects SL’s progress in implementing the planned reform program, which entails fiscal consolidation and a build-up foreign exchange reserves buffers, ahead of the end of the IMF Extended Fund more..

She attracts more unwanted visitors!

Jul 26 (DM) There was an actress who turned an economic advisor overnight. She once stole the limelight when she accompanied a very high authority on one of his foreign visits. She has now become the Girl Friday of a deputy from Siyane Korale eying an electorate in Wayamba, they say. The deputy has offered this job to the fair and lovely one out of consideration for their past friendship. From the time this fair one assumed duties, deputy’s office has become a busy crowded place. more..

Part of BIA to be privatised next week: JO

Jul 26 (AD) Joint Opposition claims that the current govt has been engaged in systematically selling off state resources to foreign countries ever since its assumption of power. The statement made by the Minister Rajitha Senaratne yesterday contradicts the claims of the govt that the state resources are sold off to reduce the debt burden imposed on the country, said MP D.V. Chanaka. He said that the Minister himself admitted to Mattala Airport being given to India while more..

SLFP plays down importance of debate on Chinese funding

Jul 26 (Island) Minister and SLFP spokesman Mahinda Samarasinghe played down the importance of an adjournment debate on Chinese funding former President Rajapaksa’s re-election bid to the tune of USD 7.6 mn. He claimed that the debate had been called by the National Unity Govt. The SLFPer said two MPs asked for the adjournment debate. He said so in response to The Island query why such an important more..

Gotabaya assassination attempt: suspect acquitted after 13 years

Jul 26 (AD) Hindu priest, who had been charged of aiding and abetting the assassination attempt on former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa in a suicide bombing at Piththala Junction in Kollupitiya in 2006, has been acquitted and released by Colombo High Court. Judge Sampath Abeykoon said that it has been uncovered that the confession made by the defendant, Iyer Sriskandarajah, to the police when the case was taken up for hearing was not made voluntarily. more..

Handover mobile phones, SIM cards: Notices in Welikada Prison

Jul 26 (DM) Welikada Prison officers had displayed notices inside the prisons premises ordering the inmates to handover any mobile phones or SIM cards to officers immediately, if they had any. The notices were put up in places where inmates and prisoners frequent. Notices said those who handed over mobile phones or SIM cards before raids in the cell, would be pardoned and those, who failed to do so and caught with such devices after the given date, would receive maximum punishment. more..

Presidential Commission questions security lapses at SriLankan Airlines

Jul 26 (EN) Two explosives detectors operating at the cargo arm of SriLankan Airlines since 2016 are low-cost machines with expired certification and field tests failures, although security has so far not been compromised, a witness said at the PCoI investigating irregularities at the national carrier. CAA Director P. A. Jayakantha said that SriLankan Cargo had installed and operated the two explosives trace detectors (ETDs) prior to more..

Railway Unions to launch 48 hour token strike

Jul 26 (NR) Several railway trade unions have decided to join a 48 hour token strike from midnight on the 30th. Engine Drivers, Railway Guards, Railway Controllers and Station Masters will accordingly join the strike. Secretary of the Railway Locomotive Union Indika Dodangoda threatened to launch indefinite trade union action if officials fail to provide a prompt solution to their demands. He noted a cabinet paper that was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers in May to solve more..

Mannar mass grave: Skeletal remains of 53 unearthed

Jul 26 (DM) Skeletal remains belonging to 53 individuals had been unearthed by yesterday from excavations of the mass grave in Mannar Sathosa Building Site, JMO S. Rajapaksa said today. He said the excavations of the site were being done under the supervision of Mannar Magistrate T.G. Prabhakaran. He said 34 out of 53 skeletal remains that had been unearthed were sealed and placed at the Mannar Magistrate’s Court. The excavations of the site began after some skeletal remains more..

No proposal for AAI to take controlling stake in Mattala airport: India

Jul 26 (PTI) Civil Aviation Ministry today said there is no proposal under consideration for the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to buy a controlling stake in Sri Lanka's Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport. The ministry's comments come less than a week after the Sri Lankan govt said that it has asked the AAI to submit its business plan for operating the Mattala airport. In the Lok Sabha, BJP member Poonam Mahajan asked whether more..

PM’s Policy Development Office gets progress report on Yala National Park

Jul 26 (FT) The progress of the report of the action plan in protecting Yala National Park prepared by the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) has been sent to the PM’s Policy Development Office (PDO). According to the PDO, the action plan is divided into three sections namely, short-term, medium- term and long-term actions. As for the progress report of the action plan, the following actions have been already implemented/partially implemented so far. more..

Songstress Priyani’s murder case postponed for August 6

Jul 26 (DN) Panadura Chief Magistrate Chandana Liyanage postponed the hearing into the murder case of songstress Priyani Jayasinghe for August 6 and remanded the suspect, the husband of the deceased. On June 23, the witness, Lochana Nimuth Peter, the son of the singer, testifying before the Panadura Chief Magistrate said, he found his mother lying in a pool of blood in a room of a rented house at Arulgoda in Panadura on July 7. He had rushed to the house from a boutique on more..

SriLankan Airlines assets used in Rajapaksa’s presidential campaign

Jul 26 (EN) Security officers and vehicles of the state-run airline had been used in the 2015 presidential campaign of Mahinda Rajapaksa, a witness said at the PCoI investigating irregularities at the national carrier. “Security officers and vehicles were used for election work. This was for the campaign of Mahinda Rajapaksa,” SriLankan Airlines Security Officer Hasantha Yasaratne said. He said that these were used for more..

Vijayakala’s LTTE statement: Mavai questioned by OCPD

Jul 26 (CT) Organized Crimes Prevention Division (OCPD) had also questioned TNA’s Jaffna District MP and ITAK leader, Mavai S Senathiraja over Vijayakala Maheswaran’s statement. OCPD officials who had questioned Vijayakala on Tuesday (24) had also questioned TNA MP at his residence in Jaffna and recorded his statement because he was also present at the event where Maheswaran made remarks regarding the now defunct LTTE. Senathiraja had pointed out that more..

U-19 Test: Sri Lanka trail by 250 runs against India on Day 3

Jul 26 (PTI) The Sri Lanka Under-19 players scored 47/3 in the second innings, trailing by 250 runs against India Under-19 at the end of the third day's play of their second and final Youth Test here on Thursday. Nuwanidu Fernando (2) and S. Senarathne (0) were at the crease when umpires dislodged the bails for the day. After India declared their first innings for a massive 613 for 8 wickets on Wednesday, the bowlers did a fantastic job to reduce Sri Lanka to 140 for four. more..

Video: 'Vijayakala will never be arrested'

Jul 26 (AD) Former State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran will never be arrested by the current govt, says MP Udaya Gammanpila. Gammanpila stated that he will take action to issue a writ against the AG to immediately arrest Vijayakala over her controversial statement. MP says that this will never be resolved seeing as the current govt isn’t investigating on this matter and this has made taking legal action against it difficult. more..

Madhu Feast preparations begin

Jul 26 (CT) Preparations for the Madhu Church Festival scheduled from 6 to 15 August were discussed at a meeting chaired by Mannar District Secretary, Christopher Anton Mohandas on Tuesday (24) at the District Secretariat. Department of Christian Affairs, Mannar District Secretariat and the Madhu Church will collaboratively organize this Festival, he said. What was mainly discussed was providing the necessary facilities to devotees participating at the Festival. more..

Power upgrade tomorrow; disruptions expected in several areas

Jul 26 (DM) The CEB is set to upgrade its 132 kilo-volts (kV) cable network system that feeds electricity to the Colombo area in a bid to reduce the wastage of power during transmission and distribution. Power and Renewable Energy Ministry Media Secretary Pathum Pasqual said the upgrade would take place tomorrow from 9.00am to 3.00pm. Accordingly, the power supply would be disconnected in several areas including Colombo 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8 during the period the upgrade is taking place. more..

Dubai police recover rare $20 million stolen blue diamond in Sri Lanka

Jul 26 (AP) Dubai police say they’ve recovered a rare $20 million blue diamond that was stolen from a city company’s vault and smuggled to Sri Lanka inside a pair of sneakers in a shoebox. Police said Thursday a guard with the money transfer company secreted the diamond out of the vault on May 25 and passed it off to a relative who smuggled it out of the country. After more than 100 interviews and the review of thousands more..

Confusion, distraction and cover-up

Jul 27 (CT) Three separate series of incidents that took place in the past few weeks highlight the confusion that currently prevails in Sri Lanka. The first, in a series, is the current status on the glyphosate ban. The second incident in the series sparked off, soon after a drug dealer confessed to working under the drug kingpin Wele Suda, who is on death row and Maithripala Sirisena’s impulsive declaration that the death penalty must be enforced has sparked a huge controversy. more..

The story of a Sri Lankan man’s lawn

Jul 27 (CT) Yesterday, after a long break, three of us met in the famous pub in Bridgetown, UK. My companions were Sivapuranam Thevaram, who is my regular drinking partner and Polgahawela Aarachchige Don Soloman Rathmana Thanthiriya Bandarawela, our occasional company. You will know from the structure of their names that the former, Thevaram, is from the Tamil tribe and the latter, whose name we shall shorten to Pol for convenience, is Sinhalese. more..

Today is Esala Full Moon Poya Day

Jul 27 (DN) Prince Siddhartha, son of King Suddhodana and Queen Maha Maya lived in three deluxe palaces provided by his father. He was not pleased with these pleasures, and at 29, on realising that he would fall ill become aged and that one day he will breathe his last. An urge to discover the truth emerged— he finally takes a decision. It was exactly, 2614 yrs ago, Siduhath abandoned the worldly possessions to become an ascetic. more..

Planet Mars

Jul 27 (CT) In 1950, acclaimed writer Ray Bradbury published his novel The Martian Chronicles, ushering a new age of space operas to the time period which was not set in a galaxy far, far away but in our own, and set in our neighbouring planet, at that, as the title suggests. In 2018, we have proof that Mars, the fourth planet from our Sun, may, indeed, support life, with a bit of help from science and technology. Since 2015, researchers and scientists all over the globe more..

Yahapâlanists readying to cough up sovereignty

Jul 27 (CT) Sovereignty is about authority. In usage it is about a people or a nation or a state being able to control affairs independeant of outside influence. In this globalized world there are no sovereign states, if you really think about it. What we have is the appearance of sovereignty even in the best of cases; if you think for example that the USA has it, then delve into the history of the US Federal Reserve and of course its present day operation. Truth is that if one digs deep enough more..

Is it wrong for two or three Ministers to meet and hold discussions?

Jul 27 (CT) Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara says it is too early to say who the UNP candidate will be, “The Presidential candidate of this country is selected at the last moment.” Q: When the Govt of Good Governance was established, after winning power in 2015, the country was told that law and order will be protected. That there will be no interference or pressure brought on the judiciary. more..

Laying Down the Rod

Jul 27 (Island) The textbooks of history come into our hands bound in decorative covers and set in crisp clear types. To the discerning reader, however, their glossy pages are stained with blood and wet with streams of tears. The story of man's sojourn on this planet has generally not been a very pretty one. For sure, deeds of virtue and flashes of the sublime light up the tale like meteorites shooting across the night time sky. But the pageant of events that the records spell out for us unfolds more..

Two Faces of the Dhamma

Jul 27 (DN) On first encounter Buddhism confronts us as a paradox. Intellectually, it appears a freethinker's delight: sober, realistic, undogmatic, almost scientific in its outlook and method. But if we come into contact with the living Dhamma from within, we soon discover that it has another side which seems the antithesis of all our rationalistic presuppositions. We still don't meet rigid creeds or random speculation, but we do come upon religious ideals of renunciation, contemplation, more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Hang your head in shame, instead of hanging convicts!

Jul 27 (Island) The cabinet spokesman told the media on July 25, 2018, as reported on Hiru News, that the cabinet had unanimously approved the (presidential) decision to implement the death penalty even if the EU withdrew the GSP+ facility in response, as warned. Though I personally do not attach much credibility to the particular person’s statement, I thought as a patriotic Sri Lankan that it would be in the national interest to sound a warning before it is too late. more..

People’s eternal grouses and profligacy of the past regime

Jul 27 (Island) Is Cassandra imagining it or has a TV Channel that gives prominence to the Voice of the People where the voices are unanimously venomous to the present govt, toned it down? Watching 9.00 o’clock news in English on this channel, she did not hear People’s Voices as she was wont to. Has this channel taken note of the President’s recent impassioned grouse, nay growl with threatened repercussions, that the media is quick to report negatives of govt but more..

Re-implementing death penalty: Exporters worried over trade implications

Jul 27 (SO) SL’s exporters last week expressed serious reservations over the govt’s plans to end the moratorium on capital punishment which could lead to the loss of the GSP Plus preferential trade concession granted by the European Union. According to exporters representing a cross-section of industries, loss of the EU’s Special Incentive Arrangement for Sustainable Development and Good Governance, also known as GSP+ more..

Proteas register first win on tour: Win one-day warm-up

Jul 27 (DN) Skipper Faf du Plessis hit an attractive 71 off 60 balls with 10 fours and a six and Reeza Hendricks and Willem Mulder chipped in with useful half-centuries to help South Africa beat Sri Lanka Board XI 63 runs in their one-day warm-up match played at the P Sara Oval yesterday. It was the Proteas first win on the tour having drawn their two-day warm-up game and then lost the two Tests to Sri Lanka. Winning the toss and batting first South Africa hit an impressive 293 despite more..

Pushpakumara takes five as SA Emerging Players reach 318/7

Jul 27 (DN) South African Emerging Players hit up an impressive first day total of 318-7 in their first 4-day match against Sri Lanka Emerging Players at Chilaw Marians grounds, Katunayake yesterday. Half-centuries from Rickleton, skipper de Zorzi and Breetzke saw the tourists to that first day total. Left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara was the most successful bowler for the home side with 5 for 91. The match continues today. Scores: SA Emerging Players 318-7 at close in 90 overs more..

Australia deports Tamil asylum seeker despite father's murder

Jul 27 (TG) A Tamil asylum seeker has been deported to Sri Lanka despite a last-minute plea to re-examine his case, after his father was shot dead and his mother and sister disappeared earlier this year. The 25-year-old asylum seeker, known as Kavi, had been detained in the Yongah Hill immigration detention centre near Perth for 4 months, since his bridging visa expired. He had been in Australia for six years, more..

Local canned fish manufacturers can meet market demand

Jul 27 (DN) Canned Fish Manufacturers Association (CFMASL) says they are able meet the demand for canned fish in the local market with a little encouragement from the govt. Hence there’s no rationale for inviting foreign manufacturers to enter the canned fish manufacturing market, they stressed. CFMASL President Shiran Fernando at a press briefing said with a little encouragement from the government they could produce the daily requirement of approximately 175,000 tins. more..

Comply and complain

Jul 27 (Island) Sri Lanka completed a 2-0 rout of a visibly distraught and disengaged South Africa at the SSC, registering a historic series win that will not be remembered as a showpiece advertisement for the kind of stroke play that would have sent the long dead Sir Neville Cardus into raptures. What was on show was a scrap of a different kind between bat and ball, which merits a separate discussion at some later time. The point to remember is that SL won the series outright, without the services more..

ITC backs focus on export-led job creation

Jul 27 (FT) International Trade Centre (ITC) has called on the Govt to translate its export push to new employment generation, pointing out that this would be a medium- to long-term effort that will require political management, Industry and Commerce Ministry said. “There is clear progress in the management of Sri Lanka’s international trade. We at the International Trade Centre are pleased. The glass is half-full for Sri Lanka’s trade and more..

PM says star grading hotels outdated

Jul 27 (EN) Giving hotels a govt approved star rating is obsolete, as tourists prefer to rate accommodation based on how much they spent instead, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said at the Hotel Show Colombo 2018. “We are used to grading hotels, 3-star, 4-star, 5-star, but now the tourist who come, they like to grade on how much they spend on luxury,” he said. He said that tourists have different grading criteria for hotels, boutique hotels, homestays or hostels. Online booking engines such as more..