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Continuing with corrupt practices of previous regime: US lobby firm hired by Malik

Aug 29 (ST) We thank Minister Malik Samarawickrama for confirming our story. He should have announced it long before the Sunday Times broke the story. We stand-by every word in our story. While we are happy that the Minister has been forced to come out publicly about his ministry hiring a US firm to lobby, an issue that is the subject of a Presidential Commission of Inquiry for the same exercise during the previous govt, we say more..

Partners in Crime?: Ranil in a do or die struggle to save Mahendran

Aug 29 (LT) It is reported that two COPE reports would be presented regarding Central Bank bond transaction. The two reports are from a section of COPE members who state the bond issue was done correctly and another report from the group that states the bond issue was not done correctly. However, the Chairman of COPE states, “There hadn’t been any such discussion so far. According to what I see it is a planted news item. From the time COPE investigations commenced on more..

Solar power war will begin in Sept 6

Aug 29 (ITN) The solar power war will begin on the 06th of next month. Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said that this would be a significant progressive turning point in the local power sector. He mentioned that the solar power war which is scheduled to commence on the 6th of September will be a remarkable turning point in the generation of solar power in the country. He said that this solar power war will get underway based on three strategies for the first time in the world. more..

Kalubowila Hospital doc on the mat

Aug 29 (DN) Minister Rajitha Senaratne ordered a special investigation into the alleged abuse of a female patient at the Colombo South Teaching Hospital. As of the minister’s direction, Health Services Director General Dr. Palitha Maheepala had instructed Colombo South Teaching Hospital Director Dr. Asela Gunawardena to hold a proper inquiry into the incident. A 21-year-old woman who was directed to more..

No separate SLFP convention

Aug 29 (CT) SLFP members of the JO said that they will not hold a separate SLFP Convention. They thus contradicted reports which indicated otherwise. SLFP member of the JO, MP Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said the JO would reveal its stand following a meeting that was scheduled to be held late yesterday. Fellow SLFP member of the JO, Vidura Wickremenayake added, "We are not having a separate convention. Depending on the decisions taken, the Bala mandalayas of respective more..

SL's July remittances down, 7-months up

Aug 29 (EN) Sri Lanka's worker remittances fell 4.4% from a year earlier to US$ 572.8 million in July 2016, though inflows up to July were up 3.8% to US$ 4,185.9 million. In 2016 Sri Lanka's remittances slowed to US$ 6,980 million from 7,018 million dollars according to central bank data. Middle Eastern economies slowed in 2015 amid falling oil prices, slowing construction and other activity. Sri Lanka's unemployment has also fallen over the last few years. more..

Estranged wife of Colonel shot and injured

Aug 29 (Island) Police have commenced an investigation into a shooting incident, where an unidentified person attempted to kill the estranged wife of an army Colonel at Malabe on Saturday. Police said the assailant had arrived and waited outside a house in Malabe and shot the 43-year-old mother of three when she was in her bedroom. The shots had been fired through the window. The injured woman had returned home after having dinner with more..

SL convicted of adultery in Saudi deported

Aug 29 (DN) A Sri Lankan woman convicted of adultery in Saudi Arabia was deported home on completion of her jail term in a prison in Dawadmi, some 400kms from the capital of Riyadh. Confirming the release and the subsequent deportation, The maid was originally sentenced to death for adultery and it was later to reduced to three years jail by a Court of Appeal in Al-Dawadmi. The married woman in her 40s, working as a maid in a Saudi household in the Kingdom, was sentenced to death more..

Two Lankan students participate in CERN Summer Student Programme

Aug 29 (Island) For the first time, two SL undergraduate students participated in the 2016 Summer Student Programme at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, the most prominent particle physics research institute in the world. Gamage Gihan Lakmal, a graduate from the Faculty of Science of the Ruhuna University and Malinda de Silva, a final year undergraduate from the Faculty of Science of the Colombo University, completed their more..

Social activists flays President, PM for suppressing political freedom of rivals

Aug 29 (Island) Both President and PM have failed to honour their promise of ensuring democratic rights of the public by depriving Kumar Gunaratnam of his, say political parties, trade unionists, artistes and civil society activists. "Depriving Gunaratnam of his rights to engage in political activities is not an isolated issue; it points to the suppresion of freedom in this country," political party leaders, trade unionists, artistes and more..

Changing of the guard at NDB

Aug 29 (FT) National Development Bank (NDB) on Friday announced key changes, including a new Chairman as well as the exit of its CEO/Director, with some linking the developments to the loss of independence while others claim they aren’t related. Ending much speculation as well as inside drama over who will be the Chairman at NDB, the bank announced that senior banker Ananda Atukorala has been appointed to the Board and Chairman subject to the approval of the Central Bank. more..

NSB ups after tax profit by 24% to Rs. 4.78 b

Aug 29 (FT) Savings giant NSB has posted a Profit After Tax (PAT) of Rs. 4.78 billion in the first half of this year, up by Rs. 3.86 billion or 24% from a year earlier. The bank said the performance was most noteworthy considering the challenges it had to face from January to June 2016. These obstacles included a weak equities market environment and mark to market losses on account of increases in interest rates on investments in Govt securities. Total assets of NSB reached Rs. 875 billion, more..

CSE suffers major reversal

Aug 29 (Island) The net worth of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) has decreased by Rs. 284 billion during the past one year. The net worth of the CSE was Rs. 3,076,000,000 a year ago and it has come down to Rs 2,792,000,000 as at Aug 30, this year. The daily turnover of the CSE was Rs. 1,878 million last year but as at Aug 30, this year the figure has come down by Rs. 864 million to Rs. 1,014 millions, Central Bank report states. more..

12 O/L high-achievers awarded with laptops

Aug 29 (Island) Singer Sri Lanka, the country’s premier consumer durables retailer, has stepped forward to inspire high-achieving students and thereby boost education in the country by providing the latest Singer X Series laptops to top 12 students who excelled in last year’s GCE O/L examination. The laptops were handed over to these students by His Excellency President Maithripala Sirisena at a special event organized at the Presidential Secretariat on 23rd August. more..

'Local bank consolidation mechanism, a vital need'

Aug 29 (Island) "The Sri Lankan banking sector is performing considerably well but to penetrate the regional level, a local bank consolidation mechanism is needed, like in Singapore and Malaysia, CEO, Investment Banking Cluster, NDB Capital Holdings Vajira Kulathilaka said. "The banking sector is an important sector in the national economy and in today's context it is not easy to take a risk due to Basel compliance. However, we could use other mechanisms, like the consolidation process, more..

Organized crime under Yahapalanaya: Crooked machinations in Rs. 60 b coal tender

Aug 29 (Island) It was only since last year that people have gradually become aware that the supply of coal to the Norochcholai power plant is by far the country’s biggest single tender worth more than Rs. 60 billion for a three years’ supply of 6.75 million metric tonnes. On 18 June 2014, a tender was floated to procure three years’ supply of coal. The price of coal fluctuates and in order to ensure a constant supply at a fixed price more..

CA Sri Lanka introduces online tool

Aug 29 (SO) The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) recently launched the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Online Tool for the benefit of its members. The CPD Online Tool helps members to plan their CPD activities, keep track of their CPD progress and upload their individual CPD activities online. CPD is a mandatory requirement for Chartered Accountants, which helps enhance their professional competency and also help them remain relevant with changes at more..

Unbeaten Sri Lanka crowned Cup Champions

Aug 29 (DN) Sri Lanka proved their superiority in the Asian Schools Under 18 Seven-a-side rugby tournament when they beat top contenders and host nation Chinese Taipei by 10-5 in the Cup championship final in Chinese Taipei after trailing 5-nil at the breather. The Junior Tuskers put up an excellent performance both in attack and defence which laid the foundation for this historic victory. This is the first time in SL’s rugby history they have become overall Cup champions. more..

3rd ODI: Australia seal nervy chase after Chandimal ton

Aug 29 (CI) There were reasons for SL fans to cheer at the 3rd ODI in Dambulla. But the result wasn't one of them. On a day when Tillakaratne Dilshan was farewelled from ODI cricket, and Dinesh Chandimal scored his fourth ODI hundred, Australia held on for a tense victory that gave them a 2-1 series lead with two to play - and gave David Warner a 100% success rate as an international captain. Not that it was all smooth sailing. more..

Channa dug his grave long before digging others’

Aug 29 (ST) A major overhaul of the entire system, is the only way out, according to Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) Vice President Ranjith Rodrigo, if Football in SL is to survive with dignity. Rodrigo, former President of FFSL and custodian of Negombo Youth Football Club, stated this as a rejoinder to former National Football Captain, E.B. Channa’s present plight. Channa, a prominent Footballer who represented Sri Lanka for 16 years, dreamed on and more..

Australia lends former SL athlete Anula to train Paralympic athletes

Aug 29 (ST) A former Sri Lankan woman Athlete, going great guns as an Athletic Coach and Instructor in Australia, is now in Sri Lanka, on an invitation to assist Sri Lanka’s Paralympic athletes in preparation for the 2016 Paralympics. Accepting the invitation with both hands, to serve her motherland with what she has achieved in Australia, to uplift the standards of our para-athletes, is none other than Anula Costa who hailed from Dunagaha – a small village in Divulapitiya. more..

Olympics for Official(s)’ FOC jaunt, while Athletes also ran

Aug 29 (ST) Young can write volumes about the Lankan Olympians. That is not for their achievements, but, the sick culture that they have inculcated within. We had four athletes who qualified and altogether there were nine in total. Yet, the Rio contingent totaled to at least half a plane load and most of them were freeloaders. Yet, it is said that some who really should have been were left out. We question when would this masquerade end more..

Cheers in Colombo, apathy in Jaffna

Aug 29 (ST) The contradiction was clear if not absurd. Even at the very moment in time that I was being sent unsolicited messages by Colombo’s non-governmental twitterati delighting in self-congratulatory chest-thumping over the turbulent passing of the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) Bill, that euphoria was distinctly missing in the Northern peninsula, among the very people for whom this piece of legislation was (primarily) intended. Let us be clear about this. more..

Starc's streak and Finch's oversight

Aug 29 (CI) Has Mitchell Starc been so dangerous with the new ball on this tour because Sri Lanka's openers have been dreadful? Or have they looked dreadful because Starc has been so good? If it was the chicken-or-the-egg question, the answer would be an egg-and-chicken sandwich. In other words, a bit of both. Twice in the Test series, Starc struck in the first over of an innings and he has now done so twice in the ODIs as well, first in the opening match in Colombo and now in Dambulla. more..

World’s first GPS drone weedkiller technology from CIC

Aug 29 (DN) CIC Holdingsfor the first time in the world has developed a technology to scan weeds in large paddy fields using battery powered drones (planes) and spray chemicals to them using the drone. The company’s research and development team has used studies and research for the past 8 years to introduce this novel technology which would also minimize the use of chemicals & minimize environmental impact. more..

So you think you know everything about perahera elephants?

Aug 29 (Island) Humans know so much. They know what they think and they know what their fellow humans think. They even know what other creatures think. And feel. One perception is as good (or bad) as another. And all creatures, large and small, articulate in languages comprehended or otherwise, are accorded importance as per these subjectivities. It’s all said in languages of imperfection, though, but perhaps we should step back and at least give ear to other perception, flawed though they may be. more..

Editorial: Attacks on journalists: Elephant in the room and can of worms

Aug 29 (Island) Investigations into attacks on journalists under the previous govt took a dramatic turn last week with former Rivira Editor Upali Tennakoon and his wife, Dhammika, identifying a military intelligence officer who assaulted them on Jan. 23, 2009 in Gampaha. But for resistance offered by Upali and his wife courageously, the incident would have had a tragic ending. It cannot be claimed by any stretch of the imagination that the assailants including the one identified more..

Face the Nation

House unites on Missing Persons Bill facilitating Certificates of Absence

Aug 29 (ST) The Govt this week moved a step further in its efforts to provide relief to loved ones of thousands of persons reported missing in the country, as a result of the conflict which took place in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, or its aftermath as well, due to subversive activities, political unrest, civil disturbances and enforced disappearances. This relief will come in the way of Certificates of Absence issued in lieu of a death certificate, until the circumstances of the disappearances more..

St. Anthony’s Group, Jinasena ink market expansion deal

Aug 29 (FT) Two of the country’s largest family-owned business groups, Jinasena Ltd. and St. Anthony’s Group Ltd, recently signed a MoU that will enable them to utilise key competencies they have acquired over time in their individual industrial value chains for their mutual benefit. Both organisations, which have a rich local heritage, global outlook and cutting-edge business acumen, agreed on MoU as a strategic move and timely effort to combine their distribution networks to reach a wider more..

'Today the whole world trusts us'

Aug 29 (SL) The unity govt led by President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe was given power on Aug 17, 2015. According to Minister S.B. Dissanayake, govt has made massive strides to restore democracy, empower people and also to provide social welfare facilities. He said that despite allegations that the govt has not done enough, it has allocated rupees one million for every village for its development. more..

Right to make and break parties

Aug 29 (SL) Profound statements made by politicians often fly over the heads of ordinary citizens which must be exasperating tothem. Ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa, last week, declared: Anybody has the right to form a party (a political party). But this profundity has escaped notice of the general public. It’s like some statements of cricket commentators who have to keep talking while the match is on and run out of words making bland and obvious statements. more..

A strong NO to Sinhala Only

Aug 29 (SO) Menika sat up and watched with great interest a part of Wednesday’s TV news on the channel she favours. There was Chandrika Kumaratunga, elegant in an orangy yellow sari, her trim hair distinctively streaked grey. Matching her elegance was her deeply reflective speech in BMICH at the soft launch of the website for a bilingual/trilingual resources pool. She was speaking as the Chairperson of the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR). more..

Ceylon Tea in crisis

Aug 29 (SO) SL's world famous tea industry is nearing crisis point in terms of profitability. The tea sector, a major contributor to the economy, has fallen from the frying pan to the fire with a gloomy global market scenario that has resulted in the exports dwindling drastically over the years. In addition to the recent wage hike demand by trade unions, the plantation industry has been plunged into further difficulty with the ban on more..

Sri Lanka’s development dilemma & The dependency syndrome

Aug 29 (CT) Each time we visit Sri Lanka for holiday, it throws fresh insights about the place, people, systems and what it offers in comparison to other countries. We just returned after spending three weeks primarily in Kandy and a couple of days in Colombo. On the way back, spent three days in Singapore, which is a remarkably well-organised place though the currency is equivalent to Australian dollars. There don’t seem to be a national plan to improve national production. more..

SLFP anniversary & Its crisis: Opportunity to join and strengthen democracy

Aug 29 (CT) 65th Anniversary of the SLFP this week is marked by a deep crisis within the party, its local organizations and policies. Crisis according to the Chinese tradition is not necessarily a bad thing. The Chinese character for crisis is composed of two separate characters meaning problems and prospects. Therefore, a crisis is a turning point for better or worse. In the case of the SLFP, while there are considerable problems, if these problems can be properly resolved, more..

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