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MR tells JO not to vilify MS on unsubstantiated bribery allegation

Sept 1 (Island) Former President Rajapaksa has instructed JO not to engage in a mud slinging campaign in the wake of President Sirisena being embroiled in an alleged bribery scandal involving an Australian company at the time he was a Cabinet minister. MP Dallas Alahapperuma quoted former President Rajapaksa as having told the group that it wasn’t fair to go on the offensive without verifying facts. more..

Kurunegala War Heroes memorial removed to please TNA: MR

Sept 1 (DM) Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa today hit out at the govt saying that the demolishing of the war heroes memorial in Kurunegala indicated that this govt was bent on blotting out the war in Sri Lanka and that war heroes ever existed . He said from the information he had received this the demolishing of the war memorial had been done to satisfy the TNA representatives who were expected to attend the 65th convention of the SLFP to be held in Kurunegala. more..

Colonel’s gun fished out of Diyawanna

Sept 1 (CT) Police are probing reports of a 9mm pistol thrown into the Diyawanna Oya by an Army Colonel who lives in Malabe, who is a prime suspect in the recent shooting of his estranged wife. A senior Police officer told this paper that, however, the registration number on the pistol had been sent to the armouries of the Army, and Police too, to rule out the possibility that it had been from either stock. Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera stated the Army was conducting a separate probe into the incident. more..

Gota, JO reject Mangala’s belated allegation

Sept 1 (Island) Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said that govt was working overtime to discredit the former Rajapaksa administration which had defeated terrorism against numerous odds. Rajapaksa said that those who had been demanding Geneva-supervised probe into accountability issues were now accusing him of helping terrorists escape. He was responding to Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s claim that more..

Police going in circles over molestation case

Sept 1 (Island) Kohuwela Police said they would have to record a statement from hospital staff before questioning the trainee judicial medical officer (JMO) suspected of molesting a young woman at the Kalubowila Teaching Hospital (KTH). Police sources said they had visited KTH to question the doctor concerned but he had not been present. Police would obtain a statement from him today on the alleged incident last Friday (26) when the young woman was transferred to the KTH more..

ADB to take 10% stake of HNB for $ 50 m

Sept 1 (FT) Hatton National Bank (HNB) announced a $ 50 million issue of shares by private placement to Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) to strengthen their balance sheet and support the overall business growth of the company. In a stock exchange filing, HNB informed the Colombo Stock Exchange that it had taken the decision at a meeting on Wednesday to issue up to $ 50 million or ordinary voting shares up to 9.9% of the total ordinary voting shares of the bank. more..

'China won't allow anyone to use Financial City project to spoil Sino-SL relations'

Sept 1 (ENS) Chinese Ambassador in SL, Yi Xianliang, has said that the Colombo Financial City to be built by Chinese firms, will be a transparent commercial venture in which companies from any part of the world can participate. But he warned that China will not allow anyone to use the project to spoil relations between China and Sri Lanka. Ambassador said this in answer to a question whether Indian firms will be participating in more..

Steps in reconciliation and accountability for sustainable peace

Sept 1 (DPA) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon continues his Southeast Asia trip with a visit to SL from 1 to 3 Sept. His last visit to the country in 2009 came right after the end of the armed conflict. The Secretary-General then aimed to address immediate post-conflict challenges, including humanitarian relief, resettlement, reconciliation and the rehabilitation of war-torn areas. Ahead of the Secretary-General’s visit, we spoke to the UN’s Reconciliation & Development Adviser in SL, more..

Nimal steps down as PABC Chairman, Eshana takes over

Sept 1 (FT) Nimal Perera stepped down as Chairman of Pan Asia Banking Corporation (PABC) after completing nine years on the Board as per Central Bank directions on good corporate governance. Deputy Chairman Eshana de Silva takes over as the Chairman of PABC. Perera first joined the Board of Pan Asia Bank as a Director in Sept, 2007 and was appointed as the Deputy Chairman in March 2008 and as Chairman in April 2012. more..

Yahapalana Trick: Delimitation deadline further extended

Sept 1 (Island) Minister Faizer Mustapha has further extended the deadline for concluding the delimitation review process on a request made by the committee appointed to review the National Delimitation Committee report. Accordingly, Minister has instructed the committee to conclude the process by Oct 31. He said that the committee had already completed 90% of the reviewing process and handed information over to more..

'Expert stresses need to analyse FTA'

Sept 1 (DM) An expert on int'l trade, stressed the need to analyse the outcomes of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India before opening up new sectors under a fresh agreement. A former director general of commerce, P.D. Fernando said that FTA was a flawed agreement and implemented badly. As a result, he said, country’s export sector was harmed, due to the removal of concessions that had been granted. “We should make projections of what exactly we would gain from new agreement. more..

CCTV report submitted to Court

Sept 1 (CT) CID yesterday sealed and handed over, to Colombo Additional Magistrate, the special report on the CCTV camera footage pertaining to the Wasim Thajudeen murder case, they had received from the Canadian Laboratory Institute. CID had forwarded 10 CDs containing CCTV footage, captured on the route taken for the last time by Thajudeen, to Canadian Laboratory. Special report was issued by David Mackie, Head of Lecturers at British Columbia Technical Institute in more..

Killing an LTTE in his custody: cardre Major given suspended sentence

Sept 1 (CT) Colombo High Court Judge handed down a suspended prison sentence to a former Army Major Wimal Wickremage, who was found guilty of non-culpable homicide. He was however, ordered to pay a sum of Rs 2 million to the aggrieved party. Major Wickremage had been charged with the killing, using his official weapon, of an LTTE cadre, who was in his custody 18 years ago. Incident had occurred at Pt Pedro camp, more..

Bull Campus Cricket World Finals in SL

Sept 1 (Island) The fifth edition of Red Bull Campus Cricket, the world championship for college cricketers, will take place from Sept 5 to 11 in Sri Lanka. College teams from eight countries, Sri Lanka, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Pakistan, South Africa and UAE have qualified through their own national competitions, with Assupol TuksCricket (University of Pretoria), aiming for the hat-trick after winning the last two World Finals in 2014 and 2015. more..

July tea crop slumps to 15-year low

Sept 1 (FT) A mix of continuing bad weather and disruption to agricultural practices has restricted Sri Lanka’s July 2016 tea production to 21.3 Mnkg; 19% lower than the last year’s figure of 26.3 Mnkg. According to Asia Siyaka Commodities this year’s July crop figure is at a 15-year low and is only higher to 19.4 Mnkg recorded in 2001. Whilst all there elevations recorded crop losses YoY 2015. Worst hit was the Low Grown sector which was down 22% YoY 2015 to13.6 Mnkg. more..

PM demands explanation

Sept 1 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has ordered officials to call explanations from the Sports Ministry Secretary for allegedly having downplayed the report on the National Olympics Committee. The PM recently ordered an investigation into the activities of the National Olympic Committee (NOC), specifically directing officials that the complete report should include NOC activities and operations carried out over the past 5 years. more..

When the Pereras took centrestage

Sept 1 (CI) Three Pereras - Kusal, Thisara and Dilruwan - played in the earlier matches of this series, but selectors decided they still didn't have enough. And so for the 4th ODI in Dambulla, they decided a fourth Perera in Angelo was necessary. Just to confuse matters further, they batted respectively at Nos. 6, 7, 8 and 10, which meant that often a pair of Pereras batted together, and sometimes one replaced another. For the record, 12 Pereras have played first-class cricket in SL more..

Aussie bouncer breaks SL skipper’s helmet

Sept 1 (DN) Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews was badly shaken Wednesday after a bouncer smashed into his helmet during a match against Australia and broke a protective strap designed to safeguard the back of his skull. Play was stopped for several minutes while Mathews recovered from the impact of the ball from fast bowler Scott Boland which evoked memories of the on-field death of the Australian batsman Phillip Hughes in 2014. Mathews was struck after losing sight and more..

TIFA work plan to mark major US-Sri Lanka trade milestone

Sept 1 (FT) US-SL bilateral trade will reach a significant milestone today when the work plan under the US-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework (TIFA) is signed and ratified by both countries. “I am here to complete the work plan under the US-Sri Lanka Joint Action Plan finalised on 28 April in Washington, DC,” said visiting Assistant US Trade Representative for South Asia, Michael J. Delaney, said last afternoon in Colombo. - more..

Brig. Roshan Seneviratne new Military Spokesman

Sept 1 (DN) Brigadier Roshan Seneviratne has been appointed the new Military Spokesman. His predecessor Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera is leaving to the UK on a military course, on September 4. Outgoing Military Spokesman Brigadier Jayaweera made this revelation yesterday at the Cabinet briefing. When questioned by a media personnel about the report on Salawa armory, he said it would be revealed to media in future when the report was ready. more..

Unregistered motorcycles: Four months grace period for registration

Sept 1 (DM) To prevent unregistered motorcycles being used for illegal purposes such as highway robberies, snatching of gold chains, hit and run accidents and in an effort to collect a large amount of unpaid registration fees, Cabinet approved a grace period of four months for their registration. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, who presented the Cabinet memo said there were several unregistered motorcycles being used in rural areas where public transport was not available. more..

President refutes false rumours spread by interested parties to mislead public

Sept 1 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena says he has given instructions to the Defense Secretary and the Army to speedily rebuild the War Hero Monument near the Kurunegala town, which was removed temporarily due to Kurunegala- Dambulla road reconstruction works, more innovatively and attractive than before it was. President further said that the rumors stating that the Govt have taken steps to remove more..

Many rogues have joined Yahapalanaya

Sept 1 (CT) Sri Lankans were kept by catchy slogans and attractive election promises hook, by the leaders since Independence. But we never got real freedom or democracy. The late J. R. Jayewardene promised to bring about a righteous society or Dharmista Samajayak, in 1977 and obtained more than a two-third majority, which he abused at first, for dictatorial power. His dictatorial rule plunged the country into bloodbaths and institutionalized political violence. more..

Finch scores joint-fastest Australian ODI fifty

Sept 1 (CI) 7: Australia's run rate in their chase of 213 in this ODI, their second-highest in a successful chase of 200 or more in ODIs. The only time they had a higher run rate was against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2010-11 - 8.92 when they chased down 230 in only 26 overs. 1: Better figures by an Australia bowler in ODIs against Sri Lanka than John Hastings' 6 for 45 in this match. Mitchell Johnson had taken 6 for 31 in Pallekele in 2011. This was a maiden five-wicket haul for more..

Bailey, Finch star as Australia win series

Sept 1 (CI) Who needs a world-record ODI total? There was plenty of breathless action in Dambulla without one. Aaron Finch smashed the equal fastest ODI fifty by an Australian. John Hastings took six wickets. Angelo Mathews limped off with a calf injury while batting. Dhananjaya de Silva entertained with a breezy 76. And Sachith Pathirana was briefly unplayable, collecting three wickets in five balls early in Australia's chase. more..

Hoot me and you will be arrested

Sept 1 (Island) Due to the friendly relations between Sri Lanka and Japan, the Japanese government requested the International Olympic Committee to let Sri Lanka host the next Olympics. International Olympic Committee readily agreed and it has been already notified to all other countries. This week the cabinet of Ministers will meet at the Independence Square for a special cabinet meeting and they would declare whole of SL as Olympic village. Thereafter, parliament will have a special session more..

Microfinance institutions rake In billions through unprofessional practices

Sept 1 (CT) Financial institution’s high-rise buildings with magnificent bill boards trying to portray an image of success and trust is an awfully common sight in Sri Lanka. In the meantime while the financial institutions basks in glory, 84% of Sri Lankan’s are either financially struggling or suffering according to the survey done by Gallup Healthways in 2014. An ex-employee from a financial institution located in Jaffna says “We offered loans even when we doubted about the repayment capacity more..

Satana

The Ban Ki-moon chapter

Sept 1 (DN) The visit of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will shift focus away from the battles within the SLFP as the seasoned diplomat undertakes what would be one of his last major tours before retirement. Ban Ki-moon is no stranger to SL. South Korean first attracted the attention of Sri Lankans when he ran for the office of Secretary General of UN. That was because another SL, Jayantha Dhanapala, was also in the fray. Eventually, Dhanapala was to pull out from the race. more..

Focus on satisfying the common man

Sept 1 (NS) The govt last week had instructed the District Secretariats in the North to speed up resettlement processes and make sure that all IDP camps and welfare centres are closed down before next month. According to reports, the Presidential Secretariat had given the instruction to the District Secretariat offices in Jaffna and Vavuniya in light of the visit of UN Secretary General, Bank Ki-moon during the first week of September. The directive was given by President Sirisena and more..

'Not a very happy birthday for the govt'

Sept 1 (SL) The govt celebrated one year in office this month but several shortcomings have damaged an otherwise successful stay in office. Among the concerns is the govt’s failure to keep to its promise on some issues. The following are some of the comments made by intellectuals and civil society activists on the progress of the govt during its first year in office. Keerthi Tennakoon: Executive Director, CaFFE: It is clear that the govt has more..

Secret ritual held after the Esala Perahera

Sept 1 (DM) The thousands of devotees, who frequent the Kandy Esala Perahera, see that the perahera come to an end only after the water-cutting ceremony. But, that does not end after the water -cutting ceremony, but really ends after the blessings showered on the tuskers, elephants, Nilames and the most important sector - the dancers and drummers. In the earlier days, this was a secret ritual was enacted exclusively for those who participated in Perahera, but over the years more..

India sends new envoy while RW honeymoons with China

Sept 1 (CT) Sri Lanka media are keeping an intense watch on the Indian High Commissioner who has the capacity to change the Cabinet of Sri Lanka (SL). This is because India is also our neighbour. No sooner the name Taranjit Singh Sandhu was mentioned, and he was appointed as the new Indian High Commissioner to SL than the SL media, politicians and leading businessmen as well as the foreign diplomatic circles evinced a special interest and began inquiring about him. more..

Hakka Patas: How poachers kill humans and animals

Sept 1 (SO) Hakka Patas, an explosive-based hunting device which is used to kill wild animals, has claimed the life of a nine-year old boy from Hambegamuwa. A Grade Five student of Hambegamuwa Primary School, Tasindu Kaveesha sustained serious injuries when he accidentally bit a stick of explosives, Hakka Patas, and died at Hambegamuwa hospital. According to Police, Tasindu, while playing with his brother, more..

Open letter to UN secretary general

Sept 1 (CT) Dear Mr Secretary General, Welcome to Sri Lanka. We Sri Lankans are indeed gratified of your decision to visit our island for the second time during your term of office, which is drawing to a close at the end of the year. According to your media spokesperson, the main focus during your previous visit to Sri Lanka in 2009 was in three critical areas; Humanitarian Relief, Reintegration & Reconstruction and a sustainable and equitable political solution. more..

Editorial: Cometh the UN chief

Sept 1 (Island) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has arrived in Colombo. The last several months have seen the arrival of many foreign dignitaries for various purposes. It looks as if western diplomats and political leaders were falling over themselves to rush here. One must be wondering how on earth a speck of a country in the Indian Ocean receives so much of international attention. Besides, three US Navy vessels have made port calls in Colombo so far this year. more..

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