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'Gnansara will be used to split Sinhala Buddhist vote in 2019'

Jun 24 (Island) Last week, Attorney at Law and political activist Major Ajith Prasanna addressing a media conference in Colombo made a startling revelation. He stated that since the yahapalana govt came into power, many members of the armed forces have been arrested and remanded or held in detention but that Galagodatte Gananasara had not attended any of the court hearings pertaining to those cases. He said that he was making that statement with authority because he himself more..

We are awaiting Hathuru’s return before taking further action: Graeme Labrooy

Jun 24 (ST) SL Cricket’s chief selector Graeme Labrooy said that it is too early to comment on their next step under the prevailing circumstances. When asked as to what sort of steps that they are hoping to take with regard to the South African tour which is almost on our doorstep Labrooy said “It’s too early to comment on our action in the present context. The ICC’s hearing of the case with regarding Hathurusingha and Gurusingha and Dinesh Chandimal will be on July 10. more..

What did Norwegians tell Sampanthan and team?

Jun 24 (CT) As the country was busy debating the morality of a leading Buddhist monk advocating a rumoured 2020 presidential candidate to be like Hitler and a barbaric act of killing a leopard in the former de facto tiger capital Kilinochchi, US pulled out of the UNHRC, calling it a cesspool of political bias. Nikki Haley, the US envoy to the UN, said it was a hypocritical body that makes a mockery of human rights. Formed in 2006, more..

No walk in the park for Madhavi

Jun 24 (SO) Harshita Madavi, schoolgirl captain of Anula College in Nugegoda has seen her childhood dream come true. She’s made it to the SL women’s cricket team. And it was not a bed of roses for Madhavi as she had to overcome several obstacles to reach the top. Madhavi started playing cricket at the age of 12 and was always seen as a potential bet to make the grade. Her parents were devoted and supportive. “My family was very important to me and my parents helped me in my passion more..

Waiting for Herr Hitler?

Jun 24 (SO) Is Sri Lanka ready for an elected dictator? This is the latest question to enter the country’s current political debate. Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s preparations to contest the next presidential election in 2019 have already precipitated a potentially explosive controversy that can last weeks and months. An admirer of Gotabaya Rajapaksa has echoed as a positive political desire, what his detractors have been suggesting indirectly for the past few months. more..

Olympian Liam Tancock on a four-day training session in Lanka

Jun 24 (ST) World 50-metre backstroke record holder (24.04 secs) and Olympian Liam Tancock will begin his four-day training session in Colombo today to help develop skills of the swimmers and coaches by sharing his passion and transferring his vast knowledge and experience. The sessions will be held at the Sugathadasa pool and the British School swimming pool in Colombo. Englishman Tancock who is the current more..

Enterprise Sri Lanka to give extra credit support for women, disabled soldiers

Jun 24 (EN) A credit support schemed under Enterprise Sri Lanka, will provide an extra 10% concession for small enterprises started by women and the disabled soldiers, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. "The aim of Enterprise Sri Lanka is to create 100,000 new entrepreneurs in the next year and further strengthen existing ones," he said. He said the program covers a broad range of activities in agriculture, fisheries, animal husbandry, small-scale apparel and tourism. more..

The Lankan defence lawyers saw Chandi manner in this manner

Jun 24 (ST) Dinesh Chandimal’s appeal against ball tampering charges was dismissed by the Judicial Commissioner despite there not having been conclusive evidence to show his action had changed the condition of the ball. Chandimal pleaded for interim relief until the final hearing is concluded. This would have allowed to him to play the third and final Test which began yesterday. Chandimal got the maximum penalty of one Test ban and 100% of his match fee after he was accused of more..

Vandersay sent home; Lankan cricket in further chaos

Jun 24 (ST) Sri Lanka’s troubled West Indies tour took a fresh turn for the worse yesterday with the home board recalling leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay home on disciplinary grounds. The board did not specify the exact nature of the incident which led to the Lankan leg spinner’s expulsion ahead of the third and final Test in Barbados but the Sunday Times can confirm it was related to a late night out by the player concerned. more..

Grundfos to introduce ambitious water technology plans in Sri Lanka

Jun 24 (SO) Grundfos, the world’s largest pump manufacturer sees high potential in the Sri Lankan market due to its construction, tourism and apparel industry boom. The company plans to expand its Colombo office at the World Trade Centre (WTC) over the next couple of years, by investing in human capital. Currently, there are eight employees in the Colombo office. The company has worked with several govt and private sector institutions in Sri Lanka over the past 25 years and more..

Local industries being neglected by import oriented govt: Dinesh

Jun 24 (DM) Joint Opposition MP Dinesh Gunawardane charged that local industries were in crisis due to the govt's policy of favouring foreign industrialists and asked what action the government would take to protect local small and medium-scale entrepreneurs. He told parliament that medium and small-scale industries were in grave crisis due to the increase in the loan interest rates, the rupee depreciation against the dollar and new taxes imposed under the new Inland Revenue Act. more..

Sri Lankan FTP crash-lands with unofficial Big Three doosra

Jun 24 (ST) Four years ago, the Boards of India, England and Australia drew up a Big Three financial model to enable them to appropriate a lion’s share of ICC revenue. It was shot down through the collective will of the other Boards. But the three countries have outsmarted everyone through clever scheduling of their bilateral matches in the next 5-year cycle. England features in 59 Test matches, highest number more..

Cleanup of Beira Lake and its environs on July 21, 22

Jun 24 (ST) A major Cleanup project of the Beira Lake and its environs will take place on July 21 and 22, on the initiative of a civic minded group backed by the Colombo Municipal Council and several State agencies. Chief Prelate of the Gangaramaya Temple, the Ven. Galaboda Gnanissara Thera will provide leadership to the project. Residents and the Corporate sector around the Beira Lake have been called to volunteer for the Cleanup campaign. A spokesperson for the civic minded group said more..

Demarcated areas outside Knuckles boundary: Ministry

Jun 24 (DM) Public Enterprise and Kandy City Development Ministry said the report of the team of auditors sent to the Knuckles Mountain Range had revealed that the lands demarcated for the proposed-projects were outside the rock boundary of the mountain range. Ministry Secretary Ravindra Hewavitharana said that they had sent a team of auditors last week to inquire into the alleged transfer of 21,000 acres of land in the Knuckles Mountain Range to close associates of govt ministers. more..

Russia, China first to sip Ceylon Tea’s global promotion in Oct.

Jun 24 (ST) Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) is tipped to launch its much-talked about Rs.4 billion global promotion campaign by mid-October this year kicking off in Russia and China. Phoenix Ogilvy has been appointed to handle the creative aspect based on the initial tender awarded to them and Dentsu Grants would be working on media scheduling and media buying, SLTB Director Gen. Anura Siriwardena said. more..

'I feel tenderness towards most of my books'

Jun 24 (Hindu) Michael Ondaatje is one of the finest builders of the English sentence. His first novel, Coming Through Slaughter, was published in 1976, and since then, readers have come to expect a certain blend of prose and poetry from him. Rather than have a clear neat path where the reader is shepherded through the novel, Ondaatje requires participation. His approach is the art of collage. In terms of literary influences, he has sited, Less Wordsworth, more Ray Charles. more..

Empower Board for SMEs on CSE

Jun 24 (Island) The Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) together with the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) last week announced the launch of Empower - the SME Board to attract Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to the CSE. As the apex regulator of the Capital/Stock market, the SEC will expedite the launch of the Empower - SME Board, thus creating a platform to attract SMEs to the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), SEC said in a news release. more..

'US will push SL to honour its promises'

Jun 24 (CT) Former UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Jayantha Dhanapala, commenting on the US quitting the UNHRC, said “The US will continue lobby its friends to do so and will push Sri Lanka to honour its promises, which as a member of a multilateral body, we are obliged to do.” He added that whether in or out of the HRC the US has said it will continue to pursue implementation of the 2015 resolution on SL. more..

SLTPB tie-up with airlines on joint promos

Jun 24 (ST) Tourism promotion officials are in talks with airlines aimed at attracting more travellers while working jointly with tour operators. Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) Managing Director Sutheash Balasubramaniam said that currently they were looking at a new kind of promotion similar to that with MasterCard where they would work together with airlines and tour operators. Right now officials were in the process of engaging the industry to evolve a policy that more..

1,000 applications a month for dual citizenship

Jun 24 (AD) Sri Lankan expatriates are presently showing a keen interest towards obtaining dual citizenship, according to Immigration and Emigration Controller General Nihal Ranasinghe. He stated that they receive over 1,000 applications for this purpose every month and that applicants are only given dual citizenship and the applications are checked and approved by a committee comprised of officials from the Defence Ministry, Foreign Affairs Ministry and Internal Affairs Ministry. more..

India expresses concern over huge Chinese housing project in NE

Jun 24 (ST) India has raised concern at the highest levels of the SL Govt about the manner in which a contract to build 40,000 houses in the North and East was recently awarded without tender to a Chinese company that has no history of building houses in the country. Resettlement Ministry last month secured Cabinet approval for China Railway Beijing Engineering Group and its country representative Yapka Construction to more..

Sri Lankan asylum seeker attacked in UK

Jun 24 (edp24) Sasitharan Letcsumanon has lived through a civil war, endured freezing conditions in a refugee camp and survived a treacherous journey into the UK. But it was only during a late-night walk through a Norwich housing estate that he became the victim of a vicious assault. The 39-year-old was punched in the face and beaten with a stick as he walked home on Foxley Close. Norfolk Police is yet to arrest anyone in connection with the incident, but is continuing to appeal for witnesses. more..

SriLankan hires new COO/CFO

Jun 24 (ST) SriLankan Airlines, which is going through a restructuring exercise aimed at reducing debt and preparing a business plan that would be attractive to new investors, is revamping its management team. Business Times learns that the airline has recruited Vipula Gunatilleka as the Chief Operating Officer cum Chief Financial Officer (COO/CFO). Mr. Gunatilleka, a former CFO at SriLankan many years ago, is currently CFO/Board Member at TAAG Angolan Air Lines, more..

Civil society oppose Dayan for Moscow

Jun 24 (Island) Civil society representatives and several rights organisations asked President Maithripala Sirisena to withdraw his controversial nomination of Dayan Jayatilleka as ambassador to Moscow and protect the country’s international image. Nearly 100 individuals and over a dozen organisations signed a petition to the High Posts Committee of Parliament arguing that they must reject Jayatilleka’s nomination more..

4th Int'l Day of Yoga celebrated in Sri Lanka

Jun 24 (IHC) Prez Sirisena and thousands of yoga enthusiasts celebrated International Day of Yoga at Independence Square in Colombo on June 23 despite rain. President practiced a number of yoga asanas and thanked yoga institutions in Sri Lanka for their excellent efforts. The event was attended by a number of Ministers and officials, apart from public at large, including professionals, doctors, academicians and cultural personalities, cutting across all religions and ethnicities. more..

Video: Wedaruwe Upali Thero issues clarification on Hitler comments

Jun 24 (AD) Anunayaka Thero of the Asgiri Chapter, Wedaruwe Upali Thero, issued statement to clarify the comments he had made during a religious ceremony held recently to invoke blessing on former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa on his birthday. During the event, Thero blessed Rajapaksa on his 69th birthday while encouraging him to come to power and rebuild the country even if it means establishing military rule. “Some people have described you as a Hitler” more..

Prez rejects proposal to pay compensation to former LTTE cadres and their families

Jun 24 (ST) President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday rejected outright a proposal by a UNP Cabinet Minister to pay compensation to Tiger guerrilla ex combatants and their next of kin. “I am not going to allow this to be even discussed,” he told last Tuesday’s weekly ministerial meeting. He was alluding to the Cabinet Memorandum forwarded by Minister Deva Manoharan Swaminathan, who recommended the move. more..

Triple jeopardy: American withdrawals, Supreme Court recusals, and Be a Hitler!

Jun 24 (Island) It is the time for withdrawals in Trump’s America. It is the time of recusals in SL. It is also the time when spiritual pontiffs commend Adolf Hitler as a role model to an aspiring presidential candidate. Left to themselves each one of the three distractions can harmlessly fizzle out. But they also have the potential to harmfully align with each other leading to a triple jeopardy for the rest of us. There are too many withdrawals going on in America, but the one that is making more..

In defence of Gotabhaya the idea and the icon

Jun 24 (Island) Sunday Island recently carried two articles that tried to undermine a probable foray into the 2020 presidential fray by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who was the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development in the previous govt led by his brother President Mahinda Rajapaksa: ‘Stop Gotabhaya-Rex! Choice of candidate a significant factor in defeating Gotabhaya’ (June 10) by Kumar David and Apples and oranges by Sanjana Hattotuwa (June 17). more..

Row over housing project: Sajith again threatens to resign

Jun 24 (ST) At last Tuesday’s weekly cabinet meeting, Minister Sajith Premadasa threatened to resign from both his portfolio and the post of Deputy Leader of the UNP. That is if he is not allowed to go ahead with a housing project to be located in a palm oil cultivation property in the Hambantota District. Protests over this move were raised by his colleague Minister Mahinda Amaraweera who complained that neither he more..

Committees say postal and SLAS officers’ demands will cost billions

Jun 24 (ST) SL Administrative Service officers and Postal Department unions are demanding increased allowances and salaries but two committees say the demands cannot be granted fully in view of the complications arising in other sectors. Two separate committees are studying the demands of the postal unions which are continuing their strike and the demands of SLAS officers who have postponed their trade union more..

Environmentally un-friendly

Jun 24 (CT) It is the season of rough seas. Fishermen tend to limit the frequency of their fishing trips till the end of November and wait until the sea finally settles into her usual tranquillity. Fishermen of the Kalpitiya peninsula however, are not at such liberty as they are forced to sail towards the deep sea despite it being rough and hostile, to sustain their families. One reason for them to dare aggressive sea is money, or rather, lack of it. more..

Sandya gets death threats

Jun 24 (SO) After the sentencing of Galagodaththe Gnansara Thera to six months rigorous imprisonment for criminal intimidation earlier this month, his victim Sandya Ekneligoda, the wife of missing journalist, Prageeth Ekneligoda has been facing harassment and intimidation, largely via social media networks. Sandya Ekneligoda complained about receiving continuous death threats and daily abuse through Facebook messages. more..

Colombo CJMO hails OMP’s impact on forensics

Jun 24 (ST) Chief Judicial Medical Officer (CJMO) of Colombo Dr. Ajith Tennakoon commended the establishment of the Office of Missing Persons (OMP), which has brought out the need to expand public awareness and understanding of forensic sciences, which provide scientific reasoning behind various matters, including unexplained deaths and disappearances. Dr. Tennakoon made this statement at the official event, more..

'Lankans pay low taxes, want Scandinavian-style welfare'

Jun 24 (SO) With the new tax structure raising many eyebrows amongst a section of the country’s taxpayers, Governor of CB said it is interesting to learn that Lankans want Scandinavian- type social welfare while paying Hong Kong rates of tax. “Sadly that doesn’t add up. If we want to continue with our free education and free health, we have to pay taxes. We have one of the most regressive & unfair tax systems in the world” more..

Buddha’s teachings and Hitler’s brutality cannot be reconciled, says PM

Jun 24 (SO) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe joined in the criticism against remarks by a senior member of the Buddhist Clergy, calling on former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa to be like Hitler, saying he would have condemned the statement immediately if it had been made in his presence. “There is no way Buddhism and Hitler’s brutality can be reconciled,” said PM addressing crowds at an event more..

Video: Two suspected arrested over brutal killing of leopard

Jun 24 (AD) The two suspects arrested over killing the leopard have been remanded till 29th June by the order of the Kilinochchi Magistrate. The court has ordered the police to arrest the other suspects as well. Two suspects among the mob that brutally killed the leopard at Kilinochchi have been arrested, stated the Police Spokesperson. The 2 suspects are residents of Kilinochchi, according to the Police. more..

Sri Lanka disallows entertainment island near Hambantota Port

Jun 24 (ST) SL has turned down a proposal by China Merchant Port Holdings (CMPort) to use a 4-acre artificial island around the Hambantota Port for entertainment projects, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said. The proposal was ruled out on the grounds that the original agreement had stated that the island could be used only for marine, port services and commercial services and could not be used for military exercises more..

Outrage over death of suspect in police custody

Jun 24 (SO) The death of a suspect in the Matara jewellery heist while in police custody drew swift condemnation from Minister Mangala Samaraweera, a Matara District MP who tweeted that it was a brutal murder yesterday while lawyers and human rights activists slammed the police action as an extra-judicial killing. The rule of law must prevail even when dealing with criminals, Minister tweeting last evening more..