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JVP accuses TNA of using communal issue for votes

Aug 2 (CG) JVP accused TNA of attempting to incite communal hatred in order to win votes at the elections this month. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said that the TNA had failed to meet the expectations of the Tamils in the North and so now they are attempting to use the communal issue to win votes. Silva also said that the TNA election manifesto will go in favour of former President Rajapaksa since the document speaks of a Federal solution more..

TNA to meet Wigi over stand on polls

Aug 2 (SL) TNA is to meet NPC Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran to discuss his stance to stay neutral at the upcoming elections without supporting the election propaganda of the TNA. Former TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said that he would not be able to comment on the statement made by the NPC Chief Minister as yet as they have not yet spoken to him. However, he added that the TNA expects to have a talk with the Chief Minister over his position and, thereafter, decide the next step. more..

A costly sale for EPF

Aug 2 (SL) The sale of up to 71 million ordinary shares of John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH) held by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), in March, 2012, during the period of former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, has deprived the Fund from earning billions of rupees in financial gains. EPF had puchased a state of JKH in 2012 and 2013 at prices ranging between Rs. 240 and Rs. 320 per share. It is learnt that around 71 million shares were bought at over Rs. 300 per share. more..

5 held for kidney change in Sri Lanka

Aug 2 (TOI) Special Task Force of the Crime Branch on Friday arrested five persons of a family from Berhampur, including a woman, in connection with an illegal kidney transplantation carried out at a hospital in Colombo recently. Crime Branch sources said the family lured a 20-year-old youth, Kanhu Behera of Phulbani, to sell his kidney for Rs 3.5 lakh to one of their family members. The Crime Branch action followed a complaint lodged by more..

Body of missing child found

Aug 2 (CT) An autopsy of the decapitated body of a three-year-old child named Jerusha of Kilinochchi by the Judicial Medical Officers (JMO) from Colombo has revealed that she had been raped and killed. Unconfirmed reports said it has also been apparently proved that Jerusha's 14-year-old cousin had raped her before killing her. He was produced before the Kilinochchi Magistrate and remanded for 14 days until 10 August under law covering juvenile crime in Sri Lanka. more..

Postal voting commences tomorrow

Aug 2 (ITN) The postal voting for the General Election will commence tomorrow. The Elections Secretariat has decided to deploy a special group of officials to monitor the postal voting. Police officers, officials of Zonal Education offices and teachers of National Schools are scheduled to mark their postal votes tomorrow. The postal voting will take place on the 5th and 6th of this month. 8th of this month have been allocated for the officials of the Elections Department and more..

Govt insists development not suspended

Aug 2 (CG) Govt today insisted that development work has not been suspended and that the treasury had already released Rs 11900 million rupees to continue the ongoing projects at district level of which Rs 9000 million was paid for the projects that were completed. The Finance Ministry said that in pursuance of the good governance concept introduced by the new govt by alleviating the corruption and fraud that prevailed during the last ten years of more..

Sushma urged to secure release of fishermen

Aug 2 (CG) The National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF) in India has appealed to Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to take efforts to release 40 Indian fishermen who have been languishing in the prisons of Sri Lanka. N.Elango, chairperson of the National Fishworkers’ Forum drew the attention of the Union Minister on the information given by Union Minister of State V.K. Singh on the floor of the Rajya Sabha on July 23. Elango pointed out Singh stated that more..

Relief for kidney transplant patients MRI now equipped to test for BK virus

Aug 2 (Island) Renal transplant patients can now hope for a better life as a testing facility for BK virus to which these patients are prone is now locally available. This has been made possible by introducing a new essential clinical testing program by the Department of Virology at the Medical Research Institute (MRI). The project is led by the Consultant Virologist Dr. Jude Jayamaha of the MRI in collaboration with the National Hospital of Sri Lanka and the University of Colombo. more..

Who will be next PM? - Ceylon Today visits Colombo and Kurunegala

Aug 2 (CT) Colombo is Sri Lanka's smallest but most densely populated district. It is so diverse in terms of demography and the problems faced by the people of Kurunduwatta and Hatewatta differ drastically. Nugegoda in city outskirts is vastly different from Avissawella in the district periphery. People are so diverse in class, creed, caste, thinking, education, literacy, lifestyle and many other aspects. But, both the street prostitute and the multimillionaire more..

Bloemendhal Road shooting: Another victim dies

Aug 2 (Island) Another victim of Friday’s drive-by shooting on a UNP polls campaign group died, pushing the death toll to two. Unidentified assailants opened fire on a group of supporters of Minister Ravi Karunanayake in close proximity to St. Benedicts’ College playground at Bloemendhal Road killing a woman, Siththi Maheema (46) and injuring 11 others. No arrests have been made so far. Police investigators are also probing the suspected involvement of more..

Seylan Bank net up 53% in June 2015

Aug 2 (EN) Profits at Seylan Bank group rose 53% from a year earlier to 1,051 million rupees in the June 2015 quarter, helped by high fee income and lower loan loss provisions, interim accounts showed. The group reported earnings of 3.05 rupees per share, for the quarter. In the 6-months to June 2015 the group reported earnings of 4.97 rupees per share, on total profits of 1,710 million rupees, up 41% from a year earlier. Fees and commission income rose 14% to 1.2 billion rupees. more..

King-pin Mujahid had political blessings

Aug 2 (CT) Police Headquarters has decided to expose a top drug dealer who was enjoying the protection of the upper echelons of the political elite. This news is a resounding slap in the face of such elite figures that benefitted from this kind of unscrupulous elements. The drug dealer in question is Mubarak Mohammed Mujahid, who gained a name in the world of the silver screen by pumping funds into films and getting fame as a film producer who now has the two movies, more..

Sociology of the Rajapaksa phenomenon

Aug 2 (Island) The Dutugemanu syndrome, by itself, is not an inadequate explanation for the persistence of Rajapaksa’s popularity. Of course the defeat of the LTTE is one determinant of today’s Sinhala-Buddhist psyche, but alone it is insufficient explanation of the Rajapaksa phenomenon. For example, though it does account for the 2010 result, it is tangential to the sea of blue that painted the January 2015 results map and does not account for the frenzy in recent months. more..

Retrospection about CHANGE

Aug 2 (Island) Is this piece to be a reprimand? No, it is meant to be a cleansing process to engineer revamping of the political and social environment and to exploit the opportunity given on Jan 8, 2015. Perhaps this introduces a process of introspection? Ask questions for elucidation, if not to elicit immediate answers? Perhaps it is all of the above. It is almost seven decades since Independence and yet we have not been successful in welding this country together as a unified nation. more..

GL demands information on NPC as an implementing partner

Aug 2 (Island) Former Minister G.L. Pieris demanded information on whether the Govt of Sri Lanka and the Northern Provincial Council will be the implementing partners of a UNHRC scheme outlining plans to set up a domestic inquiry into human right violations in the concluding stages of the war. Pieris said that a Channel 4 report on an allegedly leaked UNHRC document says that the Govt of Sri Lanka and the NPC will more..

Hangman vacancy at Prisons Dept. pops up again

Aug 2 (ST) With the work of the Committee appointed to consider ways and means to commute the death sentence of prisoners awaiting execution drawing to a close, the Prisons Department is once again searching for hangmen to fill the vacancies for the posts. The Prisons Department last week said that it would once again advertise for the job of hangmen in the coming week. Commissioner General M.B.R. Pushpakumara who denied more..

Rudra’s TGTE has no faith in the local polls

Aug 2 (SL) Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) led by former LTTE member V. Rudrakumaran has said that it has no faith in the Parliamentary elections scheduled to be held next month. A statement by the TGTE said that the presence of Tamil members in the Sri Lankan Parliament will in no way transform the Sinhala Buddhist racist characteristics of the Sri Lankan State. TGTE says the Tamil people know more..

Concerns raised over Sooka’s new report

Aug 2 (CG) The Govt has raised concerns over the report released by an international human rights agency which claims that human rights violations had taken place in Sri Lanka even in 2015. Govt sources said that it would be helpful if groups like the International Truth and Justice Project focuses on working with the Govt to share details and evidence of alleged incidents related to human rights abuses. more..

SLMC tells TNA: No talks, no merger

Aug 2 (SO) General Secretary of the SLMC and State Minister M.T. Hasan Ali said plans by TNA to unilaterally propose a North-East unification would be rejected outright by the Muslims, unless there was consultation and consensus. Responding to the TNA’ call for the merger of the North and the East – based on Tamil leaders’ persistent call for a federal system of governance within a unified North-Eastern Province more..

The heat is on till September

Aug 2 (ST) The prevailing extreme heat and humidity will continue till the first week of September, the Meteorological Department has warned. The usual monsoonal rains that come in March and April had avoided Sri Lanka this year, except for occasional rains marked by intense thunder and lightning. Sri Lanka had not received its seasonal rain, at the beginning of the year, due to the prevailing El-Nino Southern Oscillation more..

J'accuse' Ravi K! – says the people

Aug 2 (CT) Following the harrowing incident where one person was killed and 13 others were injured in a shooting, during an election canvassing of the UNP in Kotahena last Friday, Minister Ravi Karunanayake is reportedly seeking therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder. He accused the former President Rajapaksa as the mastermind behind this attempt on his life and the Yahapalana Govt, said that he was more..

I did not leave Hambantota due to fear: MR

Aug 2 (CT) I came especially to Sooriyawewa to give an important message to the people here. I am contesting from Kurunegala and not from Hambantota. I saw in certain media that I was supposed to be scared of Hambantota which is why I am not contesting from there. Why should I be scared? The people of my district love me. People in other districts are battling for me. I decided it would be better if I more..

Galle Lit Fest 2016 will be on again

Aug 2 (Island) The Galle Literary Festival, or since its first appearance in 2005, the Galle Lit Fest will be celebrated again, from January 13, 2016. Since its eventful entry into the realm of literature and writing, and its growth and progressive confluence to foster writers, poets, authors and allied interest areas, the Galle Lit Fest grew in stature and is now a phenomenon in the world of writing. Gore Vidal, was one of the visiting more..

Rajapaksas’ billion-rupee travel bills

Aug 2 (ST) Eye-watering amounts of public mney have been splurged on former President Rajapaksa’s visits abroad, documents obtained by Sunday Times show. Between 2012 and 2014, Presidential Secretariat spent more than Rs. 2 billion on expenses incurred by Mr. Rajapaksa and his various delegations. Money was routed through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to foreign missions for settlement of bills. more..

National Security, in Peace Time

Aug 2 (Island) For Lankan Tamils, the cruellest month had to be July. No defeat or tragedy which befell them was as universal as Black July. It was a general conflagration which spared no Tamil. Poor bottle-sellers and wealthy entrepreneurs, uneducated road-sweepers and highly qualified professionals, voters and politicians, Hindus and Christians, young and old, leftists and rightists, men and women, every Tamil was imperilled by it. Last year, as Aluthgama burnt, it looked as if more..

Silan Kadirgamar (1934-2015)

Aug 2 (Island) The passing away of Silan Kadirgamar last Saturday has left an unfillable void in the lives of many who knew him and appreciated their association with him. Silan’s circles of associations went far beyond the usual circles of family and friends that most people have. Those of us who were willingly trapped in Silan’s intersecting circles of commitment and action will miss him dearly, but we also owe it to him to reflect on his life for its many accomplishments more..

Rumblings in Jaffna: War was won, not yet the hearts and minds of the people

Aug 2 (ST) Crowded restaurant of a luxury hotel in town tells the story of the ever changing social scene nearly six years after the military defeat of Tiger guerrillas. Tables are full. Bottles of red and white wine are emptied by men in fancy T-shirts and jeans. Their female counterparts also in jeans & different tops are a contrast to their local friends or relatives. Locals are mostly in sarong & shirt whilst women folk are in colourful salwar more..

Joint South Asian battle against narcotics, human smuggling

Aug 2 (ST) Sri Lanka will from next month be part of a new regional grouping to share intelligence to prevent drug trafficking, human smuggling and organised crime. National Dangerous Drugs Control Board Chairman Nilanga Samarasinghe said the groundwork for this had been laid and later this month, the leaders of several Asian countries would sign an agreement. This Indian Ocean Monitoring Centre would be set up to prevent drug trafficking, money laundering, human trafficking and more..

‘I cannot comment on whether it was arson’

Aug 2 (Island) The house of former Minister, C.B. Ratnayake at Madiwala was extensively damaged in a fire that broke out around 3.30 am yesterday, police said. Ratnayake was away campaigning as a contender for the August 17 parliamentary poll at the time of the blaze. The house situated at Subra Mawatha, Madiwala, Kotte, was owned by the ex MP, who occupied it when he visited Colombo, but due to a busy poll-related schedule, it had remained closed for about a month. more..

Italian jobs scam: SL faces blacklisting

Aug 2 (ST) Italy has threatened to blacklist Sri Lanka in the job market following a scandal involving the alleged sale of 480 officially sanctioned employment visas to private individuals at a staggering Rs. 500 million or more. 594 job visas in the domestic and semi-skilled category were issued by Italian govt last year but only 114 were documented with the regulatory authorities while the remaining had gone unaccounted for. more..

IGP orders crackdown

Aug 2 (CT) IGP, N.K. Illangakoon yesterday ordered a probe into the Bloemandhal Road, Kotahena attack on UNP election campaigners to ascertain whether the incident was politically motivated or an underworld clash. Illangakoon gave orders for a swift and thorough investigation into the attack, following a personal visit yesterday to the venue of the attack. The STF, CCD and the CID have been all called in to ensure an early breakthrough in the probe. STF, called to the scene of the crime soon after more..

Security stepped up for UNP candidates

Aug 2 (ST) Police probing the attack on supporters of Minister Ravi Karunanayaka at Kotahena on Friday are looking into two possible motives — a political attack or rivalry among underworld gangs, a senior police officer said. Twenty suspects were taken in for questioning soon after the attack, which was the worst act of violence in the current election campaign. The suspects were released after statements were recorded from them. Modara resident Siththi Nazima (42) was killed more..

Paramour killed his Lover?

Aug 2 (CT) The mystery of the body of the woman that was discovered in a travelling bag at the private bus stand at Bastian Mawatha, Pettah has been solved. Police said her body was brought to the bus terminus by the man she was involved with in an extra-marital affair for 3 years. According to details that have been uncovered by the Colombo Crimes Division, up to now, the body of the woman discovered in the travelling bag was of more..

CTC gives Rs. 43.7 Bn to State coffers

Aug 2 (CT) Ceylon Tobacco Company contributed Rs 43.7 billion to the Govt as excise and other taxes for the six months ended 30th June 2015; this is an increase of 18% in comparison to the same period last year and was primarily driven by an excise led price increase experienced in Oct 2014 along with higher volumes during the first six months of 2015. The increase in domestic volumes of 10% as at the end of the 2nd quarter could be attributed to a higher level of consumer confidence more..

UPFA handout manifesto could cost over Rs. 400 bln to implement

Aug 2 (ST) The election manifesto of the UPFA with a host of handouts to be given within 30 days of capturing power would cost the Treasury much more than the usual spend in a national budget. A comprehensive analysis by some financial experts with national budgeting experience, considering the financial implications to any govt, put down the cost of 20 of the main proposals at Rs. 404.2 billion, more than four times the total amount of Rs. 95.5 billion set for expenditure measures in more..

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