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Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena

Edtorial: Megaphone diplomacy and espousal of terror

Jul 4 (Island) The nomination of former diplomat Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka as SL’s ambassador to Russia has run into stiff resistance in some quarters. Scores of yahapalana activists have written to the High Posts Committee, demanding that his nomination be rejected forthwith. They are also cranking up pressure on Prez Sirisena to withdraw nomination. Their right to campaign against Dr. Jayatilleka cannot be questioned. Likewise, the right of others to defend him should also be recognised. more..

Daily FT-CICRA Youth Cyber Security Summit today

Jul 4 (FT) The second annual Youth Cyber Security Summit organised by Daily FT and CICRA Holdings Ltd., will be held today from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Jasmin Hall of the BMICH. The Youth Summit is stemming from the success of the popular Cyber Security Summit, also jointly organised by Daily FT and CICRA. Over 400 Ordinary Level and Advanced Level students who are keen to pursue a career in IT, telecom, software engineering and cyber security, will attend the Summit. more..

Video: Even garbage can be imported through FTA with Singapore: JO

Jul 4 (DM) The JO said the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed with Singapore had enabled the import of waste materials released by municipal councils and medical facilities of other countries to SL. JO MP Bandula Gunawardana said the FTA has listed a number of waste materials categorized by the Harmonised System (HS) Code, which can be imported to Sri Lanka. “Waste pharmaceuticals, sewage sludge & residual more..

Political Managers vs Natural Leaders

Jul 4 (Island) In the second week of June, on a very popular morning TV show, Minister Eran Wickramaratne confided with passing wisdom why Sri Lanka had continuously missed the development bus. He said he believed the main problem was that people with expert skills in a particular field thought that they were suited to hold any position in that business. The Minister may give a short time to also reflect why the 2015 govt, that people believed would be honest and voted to victory, more..

Slaughter of a leopard

Jul 4 (DN) It was getting towards noon, the height of a hot June day. In the distance, the skies were turning ominously dark, threatening another monsoonal downpour. The heat was terrific. We moved towards the grateful shade of the Nuga tree by the Good Market, for a quick chat. If Peter finds himself in Colombo on a Saturday he will not miss the Good Market, the city’s popular craft, farmers and street food bazaar. After holidaying for nearly two months in SL he was booked on a flight more..

Asian Games 2018-Atheltics: Team to be finalized after Nationals

Jul 4 (CT) The Athletics Association of SL has submitted 28 entries for the Asian Games. However, their participation will be finalized only after considering the performances of athletes, at the National Athletics Championship from 3-5 August. All athletes had been given reasonable performance standards to reach during the National Championship. Failing to make those will result in their omission from the Asian Games team. more..

Govt pledges to solve payment issues on tea exports to Iran

Jul 4 (FT) The Govt assured it would resolve the payment concerns of tea exports that are dampened by the US sanctions on Iran, as the Central Bank has now begun to negotiate with a couple of international banks to get assistance on payment term mechanism. “We are trying to negotiate with the Americans and the Europeans on payment terms. CB is already having discussions with the stakeholders. There are a couple of German banks that were interested in helping us. more..

Is Vijayakala’s statement a trap of Mahinda?

Jul 4 (AD) UNP MP Kavinda Jayawardena questions the motives behind State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran’s statement of wanting the LTTE back for the freedom of Tamil people. Responding to media this morning (03), he stated that he condemns the statement made by the State Minister Maheswaran. He says that the current govt has done an immense service to the Tamil citizens of North who suffered from the war and established a democratic frame needed for reconciliation. more..

Sri Lanka to grow 4.8%: UNESCAP

Jul 4 (FT) Sri Lanka is expected to grow at 4.8% in 2018, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) said, but will lag behind developing Asia Pacific economies that are projected to grow at 5.5% in both 2018 and 2019. SL’s growth, which declined to 3.1% last year, is projected to continue its recovery in 2019, hitting 4.9% growth. However, SL is the third slowest growing country in South Asia only ahead of more..

Ruwan vehemently condemns Vijayakala’s statement

Jul 4 (DM) Responding to a remark by State Minister Vijayakala Maheshwaran stating that LTTE organization should return to govern the North, State Minister of Defense Ruwan Wijewardene, making a special statement, said that he abhors her view on the matter and vehemently opposes it. He pointed out that by stating that the LTTE should return to provide security to the children in the North, Ms. Maheshwaran had displayed her ignorance and it is also amusing that she had forgotten in such a more..

SC deems Bill to amend Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act inconsistent with ...

Jul 4 (Island) Supreme Court had determined that two clauses of the bill to amend Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act are inconsistent with the Constitution, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya told Parliament yesterday. The Speaker, making an announcement at the commencement of the sittings, said the SC in its determination sent to Parliament after concluding the hearing of petitions challenging the Bill had stated that Clause 5(3) and 5A were inconsistent with the Constitution. more..

Lasantha Wickrematunga murder case: Lalith Weeratunga had intervened

Jul 4 (CT) CID yesterday, informed Mount Lavinia Additional Magistrate that former DIG of the CID Ashoka Wijethunga had given a phone call to Deputy Director of the CID, Sisira Mendis in 2006, that journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge had published a certain article in his Sunday Leader Newspaper and that he should be apprehended in connection to that article. CID made these submissions to the Mount Lavinia Magistrate more..

Sri Lanka Foreign Correspondents condemn intimidation of journalists

Jul 4 (LBO) Foreign Correspondents Association of Sri Lanka (FCA) has released a statement on their Facebook page in response to the firestorm created by the recent New York Times article on Chinese influence in Sri Lanka. The statement: The Foreign Correspondents’ Association of Sri Lanka (FCA) is deeply concerned about a campaign of intimidation directed against foreign journalists who contributed to a recent New York Times report on corruption in the island. more..

Women for Justice demand Vijayakala to be sacked and arrested

Jul 4 (DM) Referring to the statement made by State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran in Jaffna, where she said there was a need for the reorganization of the LTTE in the N&E, organization of Women for Justice demanded the relevant Minister to be sacked and arrested. Women for Justice Co-President Sharmila Gonawala said what she had proclaimed could not be condoned because she wanted the LTTE, a prohibited organization to come again and put the people of this county in danger. more..

Cabinet defers decision on second LNG plant in Kerawalapitiya

Jul 4 (FT) The Cabinet yesterday decided to postpone the decision to award the tender on the second LNG plant in Kerawalapitiya until a Supreme Court ruling was given, highly-placed Cabinet sources revealed. A Fundamental Rights petition filed by National Movement for Consumer Rights Protection in SL Chairman Ranjith Pushpa Kumara was fixed for support by the Supreme Court on 11 July. more..

Gotabhaya at Pohottuwa event with Mahinda and Basil

Jul 4 (Island) Wartime Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, now widely believed to be the JO’s choice as its presidential candidate will visit Neluma Mawatha, Battaramulla Office of former Prez Rajapaksa today. Former Prez Rajapaksa and former SLFP National organizer Basil Rajapaksa, too, are scheduled to accompany the former Defence Secretary. Chairman of SLPP G.L. Peiris said that local govt members would take SLPP membership at today’s event chaired by more..

'Private equity financing crucial for SME development'

Jul 4 (DN) Private equity financing could play a crucial role in the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and social enterprises in Sri Lanka, Chairman, Lanka Impact Investing Network, Chandula Abeywickrama said. Private equity investors could help to create, deepen and expand growth of small and medium enterprises. In addition to capital, private equity investors bring knowledge and expertise to the companies in which they invest, Abeywickrama said. more..

‘AG can be compelled to indict Vijayakala’

Jul 4 (Island) Top constitutional lawyer Manohara de Silva, PC, said that the Attorney General could file an indictment in accordance with Article 157 A against State Minister for child affairs, Vijayakala Maheswaran. President’s Counsel De Silva said so when The Island asked him what action the govt could take against Maheswaran for call for the revival of the LTTE. The senior lawyer emphasised that AG could act on his own. more..

Putting the country’s cricket back on track

Jul 4 (DN) When iconic cricketers such as Mahela, Sangakkara, Murali & Mahanama who have served for over a decade and brought honour and distinction to the country through cricket turned down a formal request made by national selectors through Minister of Sports to serve in the capacity of consultants to help resuscitate the country’s dipping fortunes, there has to be a very good reason for it. Reason these cricketing legends gave was that they had no trust in the system. more..

ADB to invest in lanka’s Healthcare Sector

Jul 4 (DN) Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to invest $10 million of equity in DCDC Healthcare Services Private Limited (DCDCPL), a company providing dialysis and ancillary services to end stage renal disease, to help enable the establishment of critical healthcare infrastructure in India and Sri Lanka. ADB’s financing will also include a $5 million equity investment made on behalf of the Leading Asia’s Private Infrastructure Fund (LEAP), one of ADB’s cofinancing more..

Principals, teachers on sick leave today

Jul 4 (DM) Principals and teachers unions confirmed that they would go ahead with the island-wide one-day token strike today against making appointments of principals and teachers for political victimization, the Ceylon Teachers' Union said. The Union’s Secretary Joseph Stalin said they had decided to launch the token strike after failing the discussions with the PM and Law and Order Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara yesterday. more..

Vijayakala’s statement: JVP wants Parliament Privileges Committee to take action

Jul 4 (Island) JVP called on Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to summon the Parliament Privileges Committee and get it to investigate State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran’s statement calling for the revival of the LTTE. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said that his party vehemently condemned the statement made by State Minister Maheshwaran. "We all suffered because of the LTTE and calling for the revival of a terrorist outfit is unconstitutional and against the oath she had taken as an MP. more..

TISL calls for 4 key amendments to National Audit Bill

Jul 4 (FT) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) has met with key legislators last week to present the legislative brief on the National Audit Bill detailing key amendments to be made in committee stage, ahead of the debate on the Bill which will commence in Parliament on Thursday. Attorney-at-Law Maheshi Herat, author of the legislative brief, presented the document to State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne, Committee on Public Enterprises Chairman Sunil Handunnetti and more..

BASL rep alleges NYT promotes US strategic interests

Jul 4 (Island) Attorney-at-law Crishmal Warnasuriya, questioned the accuracy and partiality of New York Times piece headlined How China got Sri Lanka to cough up a port that dealt with China Harbour allegedly funding the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s 2015 January re-election bid. Representing the Bar Association of SL (BASL), Warnasuriya alleged that the NYT was advancing US strategic interests vis-a-vis more..

Sri Lanka, Maldives important to security, prosperity of Indo-Pacific region: U.S.

Jul 4 (Island) SL and Maldives were important to the wider security and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region as both nations are positioned astride key shipping lanes that connect the Straits of Hormuz and Malacca, says Alaina Teplitz , U.S. nominee for Ambassador to both countries. Testifying before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Alaina who was the current American Ambassador to Nepal said that the free navigation of key shipping lanes, was vital to U.S. economic and security interests. more..

Prices of 5 Kg & 2.3 Kg LPG gas lowered

Jul 4 (FT) Along with the 29 June price slash of the 12.5 Kg cylinder of gas, prices of 5 Kg and 2.3 Kg cylinders too have been reduced accordingly. Therefore the price of a 5 Kg LPG domestic gas cylinder has been reduced by Rs. 55 and price of a 2.3 Kg cylinder has been reduced by Rs. 25, effective 29 June. Minister Rishad Bathiudeen has instructed his Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) on 2 July to raid errant retailers who violate the new price structure. more..

Our people are unhappy with govt: TNA

Jul 4 (DM) The TNA said that their people were unhappy and that while they had contributed substantially to bring this govt to power the govt has shown very little progress in the past. Leader of the Opposition and the TNA R. Sampanthan expressed these views when UN Resident Coordinator for SL Terence Jones paid a courtesy call on him in Parliament. "Our young people are being discriminated against in many matters, more..

PC polls under mixed system: Think twice

Jul 4 (DM) Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya has reportedly been pressing the govt to hold elections to provincial councils that already stand dissolved due to the expiration of their terms. He had reportedly warned the authorities concerned that he would take stern action if the elections were not held within a particular time frame. However, the authorities can argue that it was not they but the law that prevented the polls from being held right away. more..

Allegation as bad as proof

Jul 4 (DM) In the deep conclaves of libraries and reading houses philosophers and great thinkers exchange a vast array of ideas and thought, yet only a rare few of political leaders have come out as shining beacons studying the complex human condition and what cascades from that condition either to a benevolent or destructive effect on the future. While these great philosophers and thinkers are many and sometimes innumerable, those who chose politics as their profession or livelihood more..

Mail services back to normal, but postal unions deliver fresh warning

Jul 4 (ST) Although the postal unions’16-day island-wide strike has temporarily come to an end, issues faced by the Postal Department are far from resolved, with unions threatening to resume the strike after July 7 if the authorities fail to meet their demands. The unions say they are awaiting a positive outcome from the ongoing talks between the National Salaries and Cadre Commission (NSCC) and union representatives. more..

'Efforts underway to form common alliance for next Presidential Polls'

Jul 4 (DM) Minister Rajitha Senaratne speaks to Dailymirror about plans for the next presidential elections and the reasons for antagonism between the President and the PM. Q: The govt has reached the tail end of its term. German Ambassador to Sri Lanka Jorn Rohde insisted that the govt should implement the reform agenda. How do you see the govt’s performance in retrospect? A: Of course, the govt has done a lot. more..

Lawyer flays JVP for not finding what befell Wijeweera

Jul 4 (Island) JVP should have resorted to legal means decades back to ascertain the fate of their founder leader Rohana Wijeweera, abducted by the then UNP govt in Nov, 1989, says Attorney-at-Law Senaka Perera, the instructing lawyer of Wijeweera’s wife WW Srimathie Chithrangnie Wijeweera in her habeas corpus case. "Even if our dog goes missing we search for it. But the JVP did nothing of that sort for 3 decades more..

Sri Lanka College of Psychiatrists takes up cudgels LGBT

Jul 4 (CT) Sri Lanka College of Psychiatrists (SLCP) informed that non-heterosexual orientations and diverse gender identities including the categorization of Lesbian (LGBT), Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, are not mental health disorders. Vice-President of the SLCP, Dr. Kapila Ranasinghe said that they are a part of a spectrum of natural exhibition of sexual orientations and gender identities. more..

CIABOC says 25% public officials are corrupt

Jul 4 (DN) Surveys done on the public sector by the CIABOC had revealed that 25% of public sector officials are corrupt. CIABOC Commissioner Neville Guruge addressing the media and civil society members at an event held at Movenpick Hotel, on Monday said the remaining 75% were clean but their voices were drowned by the 25%, “They have been cornered, the clean have not been given a place in the public sector” more..

Trade negotiations dogged by false criticism

Jul 4 (EN) Sri Lanka's trade negotiations are dogged by false criticism and baseless fears spread by lobby groups, and debunked claims are repeated even when a signed deal is available for anyone to read, officials have said. A key fear spread by some professional organizations, such as a doctors union, is that foreigners will flood Sri Lanka and offer cheaper services to consumers, lowering costs for the poor. more..

Archives publicise Section C-350 of Bond Report

Jul 4 (DM) The Section C-350 of the Central Bank Treasury Bond Commission Report which contains call records of COPE members and former Finance Minister relating to the Treasury bond controversy had been publicized today by the National Archives upon a request of the Presidential Secretariat, the National Archives Department said. The Section C-350 of the report consists of 127 pages. more..

Senior lawyer Dayasiri offers free services to defend those taking Vijayakala to Court

Jul 4 (DN) Senior Attorney-at-Law Gomin Dayasiri has offered his services free of charge to whomever who wished to take State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran to court over her recent comments with regard to the LTTE. State Minister in a speech delivered on Monday, stated that the Tamils needed to the LTTE if they are to live freely in the country. She stressed that women and children were safer under the terrorist organization. more..

GMOA highlights need for medical sub-specialties

Jul 4 (CT) Assistant Secretary of the GMOA, Dr. Samantha Ananda yesterday said that the country needed to develop and increase sub specialties in the field of medicine to meet the increasing demand. Dr. Ananda, further spelling out the GMOA’s commitment to increasing the number of specialists in the country said that there were still areas in the country where patients had to travel a long way in order to meet specialist doctors. more..

Court stops proceedings against Ex-defence secretary

Jul 4 (EN) Court of Appeal on Wednesday suspended a magisterial inquiry against former defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and several others who are facing criminal charges. The CA prevented the Colombo Magistrate’s Court proceeding with the trial of Rajapaksa and others in a case filed by the bribery commission for causing a loss of 11.4 billion rupees to the state. CIABOC was asked to submit objections by more..