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Company within company in Namal’s HelloCorp

Aug 26 (ST) Namal Rajapaksa’s financial dealings during the tenure of his father’s presidency continue to be under scrutiny. He is once again in remand custody, charged with money laundering over the acquisition of a call centre by one of his many companies. FCID has filed charges against 30-year-old Mr Rajapaksa, who was only released on bail on July 18 in a separate case. In that one, he is alleged to have misappropriated Rs. 70 m more..

Japan, SL exploring port infrastructure deals to counter reliance on China

Aug 26 (Kyodo) Japan plans to dispatch a team to Sri Lanka in the coming months to inquire about the potential for infrastructure investment in the key port of Trincomalee, a govt source said. The move is aimed at strengthening bilateral cooperation through infrastructure and helping Sri Lanka achieve its goal of reducing its dependence on Chinese assistance, the source said. For Japan, closer cooperation with SL more..

Now, Mano proposes revolutionary cabinet paper to solve language problem

Aug 26 (Island) National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages Minister Mano Ganesan said that he would submit a revolutionary cabinet paper to strengthen ongoing efforts meant to induce the Sinhalese to learn the Tamil language. He said the proposed cabinet paper would seek a policy decision regarding the Sinhalese acquiring proficiency in Tamil language before being absorbed into public sector. more..

Video: Important to build capacities to prevent human trafficking: FM

Aug 26 (AD) Sri Lanka’s foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera today said that the govt is determined to reinforce stringent domestic measures in order to curb the considerable number citizens falling prey to human trafficking or human smuggling. “As we emphasize on safe and orderly migration, there is a considerable number of our citizens falling prey to human trafficking or human smuggling” he said. more..

Runway closure costs SriLankan airline $50 million

Aug 26 (EN) Loss-making national carrier stands to lose some $50 million in revenue when the only runway at the Colombo int'l airport will be shut during much of the day for three months. Sri Lankan which is the largest single carrier out of Colombo airport will see 17% of its seat capacity affected by the 8.30 am to 4.30 p.m. closure of the runway from Jan 6 to April 6. "Runway closure will put a $50 million hole in our revenue," more..

Ranatunga bemoans SL reliance on spin

Aug 26 (AFP) Sri Lanka's heavy reliance on its spin bowlers threatens to undermine their chances at the next cricket World Cup on the faster pitches of England, according to former skipper Arjuna Ranatunga. Ranatunga, who led Sri Lanka to their first and so far only World Cup triumph in 1996, told reporters he had been heartened by Sri Lanka's recent whitewashing of Australia in a home Test series and more..

UN Chief to visit Jaffna during Sri Lanka trip

Aug 26 (PTI) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will visit a resettlement site in Jaffna and meet President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe during his trip to the island nation later this month. Ban will leave for Singapore later this week, on the first leg of the trip that includes visits to to Myanmar and Sri Lanka for official visits, to China for the G20 Summit and the Lao Republic for the annual ASEAN-UN Summit. more..

Tracing war missing still a dangerous quest in Sri Lanka

Aug 26 (IPS) As Sri Lanka readies to begin the grim task of searching for thousands of war missing, those doing the tracing on the ground say that they still face intimidation and threats while doing their work. The govt will set up the Office for Missing Persons (OMP) by October following its ratification in parliament earlier this month. The office, the first of its kind, is expected to coordinate a nationwide tracing programme. more..

Envoy rejects rumours over Sri Lankan school closure in Qatar

Aug 26 (P) Sri Lankan Ambassador to Qatar, Prof (Dr) W M Karunadasa, clarified that the Stafford Sri Lankan School Doha will not be closed, as suspicion has been created in the community following a letter issued by the embassy on conducting board meetings of the school. He also expressed desire for expansion of the school on a new premises. “There are rumours going on about the school and that has created fear among more..

Dumbara nindagama residents forced to become gypsies!

Aug 26 (SL) Dumbara Nindagama has a key significance in the recent social discussions regarding land issues. For many years, the residents of Dumbara Nindagama have been doing everything they could to obtain legal titles to their ancestral lands. Although this issue was reported in the media from time to time, it received little attention from the authorities. As such the residents are continuously being harassed more..

A great academic and a pioneer in social work education

Aug 26 (DM) The sad news of Prof. E.G. de Silva’s demise reached me only a few days ago. On March 29, 2016, he had peacefully passed away at the ripe age of 90 in Pittsburg in the U.S.A., where he lived almost half a century. He used to visit SL with his wife on a regular basis, and spend four or five weeks with his relatives, friends and pupils, enjoying their company. He relished meeting them over a dinner, a lunch or a cup of tea, engaged in going down memory lane and cherishing good old times. more..

Trumpet has sounded, at judgment we stand

Aug 26 (DM) On the railway track last week in Chettikulam there was a horrible elephant tragedy which needs to be a trumpet call as to how serious Sri Lanka is in its commitment to protecting and promoting biodiversity -- the world environmental theme for this year. On August 18, three baby elephants and a mother elephant were killed when they were hit by the Mannar night mail train heading towards Colombo. Reports say a herd of about twenty five elephants had attempted to cross more..

Govt ready to accommodate amendments to OMP Act: PM

Aug 26 (DN) The govt is ready is accommodate any amendment to the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) Act which had been missed at its Committee Stage, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Parliament. PM made this observation when JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake queried the govt’s stance on the amendment proposed by JVP which had been missed. MP Dissanayake pointed out more..

Rishad informs Parliament of loss from imported rice consignment

Aug 26 (FT) The Govt has incurred a loss of Rs. 5 billion after it was unable to sell 83,554 metric tonnes of rice imported over the last two years. With the Corporate Wholesale Establishment coming to a standstill, 257,853 metric tonnes was imported through Lanka Sathosa Ltd. at a cost of Rs. 17.3 billion. However, by selling these imports at a reduced price, Lanka Sathosa has incurred a loss of Rs. 14 per kg of white rice, Rs. 9 per kg of nadu rice and Rs. 15 per kg of ponni rice. more..

PM refers lack of facilities affecting independent commissions to Speaker

Aug 26 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe referred the issue of lack of facilities for the independent commissions to the Speaker. The PM, responding to a point of order raised by MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardena, who drew the attention of the House to an article by Ratnajeevan Hoole, a member of the Elections Commission. MP said the writer of the article had been critical of the Constitutional Council and as well as the conduct of the Elections Commission while more..

Bond Scam: Partners in Crime?: COPE in dilemma over contradictory evidence

Aug 26 (Island) Evidence given by the officials of Central Bank regarding the bond issue is contradictory, according to the minutes of the 44th meeting of the COPE held at Parliamentary Complex on Aug 12. COPE has resolved to consider whether investigations regarding bond issue should be carried out based on evidence already given by officials or they need to be called to give further oral evidence. more..

CID seeks AG’s advice on Aksha Sudhari

Aug 26 (DN) CID conducting investigations over an allegation that popular teledrama actress Aksha Sudhari had defrauded an Indian of Rs.140 million informed Court yesterday that it has concluded investigation and sought the Attorney General’s advice regarding the incident. Therefore, Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishanta Peiris fixed matter for Dec 8. In this case, teledrama actress Aksha Sudhari who is alleged to have had an affair with an Indian, had defrauded Rs.140 million. more..

PM orders probe into Police failures

Aug 26 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has ordered a full inquiry into the manner in which the Police probe of the abduction of Bambalapitiya businessman Mohammad Sulaiman has been proceeding, in a sequel to information that a decomposing body found on Wednesday in Mawanella could be that of Sulaiman. PM ordered Minister of Law and Order Sagala Ratnayake to direct a thorough inquiry into the incident, specifically to ascertain why Police had failed more..

JMO report: Businessman clubbed to death

Aug 26 (DN) The post-mortem conducted on the body of millionaire businessman Mohammed Sulaiman, 29, of Kotelawala Avenue, Bambalapitiya yesterday revealed that he died after being struck on his head, above the left ear, within an hour of abduction. Chief Judicial Medical Officer of Kegalle Hospital Ramesh Alagiyawanna in his report said Sulaiman’s death was caused by a blow with a blunt weapon on his head. more..

Mahela surprised over Smith’s actions

Aug 26 (CT) Former SL Skipper Mahela Jayawardene has shown his surprise over the decision of the Australian Skipper Steven Smith to head home in the middle of the one-day series which is now level 1-1 with three more ODIs and two T20s to be played in the series. "It is surprising to see Smith going back home to prepare for a SA tour when this one is not yet finished. Would any other Cricket Captain done this?" tweets Mahela who came back to Sri Lanka on Wednesday more..

PRECIFAC to question Rishad today

Aug 26 (FT) Minister Rishard Bathiudeen will be questioned today by the anti-corruption commission over allegedly extending a Letter of Credit (LC) for the import of a rice consignment of questionable quality. He was summoned to appear at the police unit of the commission last week but he requested another date to appear before the police investigators of the PRECIFAC. According to PRECIFAC officials, Bathiudeen will be questioned to find out why he extended the LC. more..

Why has KP not been charged?: Opp. Leader

Aug 26 (DN) Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan in Parliament questioned why Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP) has not been charged. He raised this question from the govt when he was moving an adjournment motion on the prisoners detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. “Different people have been treated differently. Tamil prisoners are asking as to why KP has not been charged. He was a favourite of previous govt. more..

‘SriLankan pilots and crew their own whistleblowers’

Aug 26 (Island) You might have experienced late flight arrivals or departures with SriLankan Airlines and other issues, but we have never compromised your safety whatever cost it might have incurred the Airline, and it would be worthy to remember that we ourselves were the whistle-blower at the recent incident in Frankfurt where a pilot under intoxication was stopped from flying his plane to Colombo, to avert possible danger to the plane and the passengers, Captain Ranga Amadoru and more..

Hike in special goods tax on imported potatoes

Aug 26 (FT) With the intention of safeguarding local potato farmers, Govt has increased Special Goods Tax on imported potatoes from Rs. 40 from Rs. 35 per kg. The revised Special Goods Tax on potatoes became effective from midnight on 24 Aug. Finance Ministry said the aim of the Govt was to fetch a better price for the local farmer as the domestic harvest has started reaching the market. Decision was taken subsequent to repeated requests by local potato farmers to provide them a better price. more..

Scotsman named as suspect over assault on Malaka

Aug 26 (DN) Colombo Additional Magistrate named a Scotsman as a suspect in a case where he had allegedly punched Malaka Silva in the face during the scuffle at a nightclub in Colombo 3 in 2014. Accordingly, James Casserly was ordered to be released on a personal bail of Rs. 200,000 by Additional Magistrate. Meanwhile, Police were ordered to seek the AG’s advice regarding the incident and the case was fixed for Dec 8 for more..

Unclaimed money orders add over Rs. 5 mln to state revenue

Aug 26 (ST) Department of Posts will henceforth be invalidating unclaimed Postal Service Money Orders (MOs) issued three years ago – in 2013, a top official of the Department said. A newspaper advertisement was recently placed by the department announcing this move. Total amount accumulated during this period is in the region of Rs. 5.8 million, he revealed. The department holds a significant amount of unclaimed money in MOs and the accumulated money is credited to more..

Why Australia’s batsmen struggled in SL

Aug 26 (Hindu) A setback of any kind demands a retrospective study. It is a matter of concern for followers of Australian cricket that they have now lost their No. 1 position in Tests. As a matter of fact, it must have been a rude shock to Australian legends to watch their batsmen struggle against the spinners in Sri Lanka. For, if truth be told, the Australian batsmen, at one time, had mastered top-class spin bowling, thanks to their sheer guts and intelligence in counter-attacking. more..

Two rivals on a smooth journey

Aug 26 (Hindu) The first year in office for any govt should normally not be problematic. This holds good more or less in the case of SL’s national unity govt, which has completed one year in office despite huge challenges in the areas of economy, constitutional reforms, and, importantly, the Tamil question. Billed as the first of its sort, govt was formed immediately following the Aug 2015 parliamentary elections after traditional rivals, more..

Miss Earth 2015 Angelia Ong in Sri Lanka

Aug 26 (DN) Angelia Ong, winner of the Miss Earth 2015 pageant will arrive in Sri Lanka on today August 26. She will be here on a special invitation by TV Derana and she is expected to crown the Derana Miss Sri Lanka for Miss Earth 2016. The grand finale is to be held on Aug 31 at Citrus, Waskaduwa. Angelia will be accompanied by the 2nd runner-up of the same pageant Brittany Payne. Angelia Ong, is a 26 year old Filipino model and beauty queen who was crowned Miss Philippines Earth 2015. more..

Body found in Kotahena lodge

Aug 26 (DN) Police found the body of a man in a room at a lodge in Kotahena on Wednesday night. A Police team headed by OIC, CI Sanath Amarasinghe arrived at the scene after the lodge manager alerted Police regarding the body on Wednesday night. The man appearing to be around 65 years had been a frequent visitor to the lodge. He had arrived at the lodge on August 14 and the manager had last seen the man going into the room on Monday evening. more..

Visa finds more value in Sri Lanka

Aug 26 (FT) In a market in which it has existed for nearly three decades, global leader in payments technology, Visa, yesterday formally Untitled-6announced the opening of a fully fledged office in Sri Lanka saying the move reflects growing confidence in the economy and future of electronic payments. Company said that with electronic payments amounting to only around $ 2 billion out of a $ 45 b personal consumption expenditure more..

Racing at highest level at N’Eliya

Aug 26 (Island) The glorious uncertainty of the sport of racing has a worthy compatriot in the town of Nuwara Eliya – the weather! Both can be as fickle and unpredictable as the other and you would probably need a photo finish to determine the winner on any given race day at the Royal Turf Club. But Saturday the 20th of August dawned bright and clear and the sun came out to shine on the racecourse and all of Nuwara Eliya. It was almost as if the weather gods were as excited about more..

Third ODI is dedicated to Dilshan: Thilanga

Aug 26 (Island) The 3rd ODI between SL and Australia in Dambulla on Sunday, Aug. 28 has been dedicated to Tillakaratne Dilshan as is revealed in an SLC media communique issued. Following is the SLC statement on renowned player’s retirement: Sri Lanka’s opening batsman T. M. Dilshan has decided to retire from One-Day cricket after the 3rd ODI in Dambulla. Born on 14th Oct 1976, former SL captain Dilshan made his debut to the one-day team on 11th Dec 1999 against Zimbabwe. more..

Dilshan brings curtain down on career

Aug 26 (DN) Tillakaratne Dilshan has finally decided to end his career as a cricketer once and for all and according to him he will not want to be involved with the game he bestrode for over two decades any longer in whatever capacity. “I have taken this decision after consultation with my family members. I think this is the right time for me to retire and I have no other ambitions of prolonging my career any further,” Dilshan said. more..

LOLC’s records strong 1Q profits growth post outstanding 2015/16

Aug 26 (FT) LOLC’s dominant financial services sector companies have led the Group to record strong profits in the first three months of 2016/17, a PBT of Rs. 3.2 b when compared to Rs. 2.7 b recorded in the same period last year. The current year’s performance, strengthened by the outstanding performance of the Group in 2015/16 of Rs. 11.9 b of PBT, is a 45% growth over the last year. The financial services companies, which account for 82% of the Group’s PBT, more..

The Kandy Perehera through the eyes of another elephant

Aug 26 (Island) The Kandy Perehera is over. It will be another year before I get to undertake this slow regal march through the streets of historic Kandy as thousands watch in awe and undisguised reverence. As a being with above average intelligence and sensitivity, I love the discipline of the masses, thousands of them, as they patiently wait to feast their eyes as we regally tread our way past them for almost three hours each night. The atmosphere is magical. more..