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Video: MR’s henchmen to blame for MR's behaviour: Rosy

July 24 (DM) Ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa turning aggressive cannot be blamed for the incident at the Akuressa rally because those who pushed him to make a comeback have to be blamed for such behavior, Minister Rosy Senanayake said. She said that one should have compassion on Mr. Rajapaksa because his sycophants have made him to be what he is today. "Bankrupt politicians such as Vasudeva more..

Muslims seek solutions to their problems; not ministerial portfolios

July 24 (CT) Will the burning issues of the island’s Muslim community be addressed under a United National Front for Good Governance, UNFGG, government led by UNP? This has become the main common concern especially of the civil society of the Muslim community island wide. This is especially so in the context of the presence of SLMC, and its splinter groups in the UNFGG. They express the fear that the SLMC, and its splinter groups which have entered into agreements with the UNP, more..

Sri Lanka shares at 8-wk high; hopes on earnings, political stability help

July 24 (Reuters) Shares rose to an 8-week high on Friday, gaining for a third straight session, as hopes of improved corporate earnings and political stability after the parliamentary polls next month boosted investor sentiment. The main stock index was up 0.48% at 7,247.09, its highest level since May 29. Turnover stood at 633.2 million rupees in early trade on Friday. "Market has been up on positive sentiment on the elections and expectations over a strong govt after the elections," more..

Janaka Bandara Tennakoon sends resignation letter in poetry

July 24 (AM) Minister of Provincial Councils and Regional Development Janaka Bandara Tennakoon sent his resignation letter to President Maithripala Sirisena this morning. Interestingly, his letter was written in poetry, through which Tennakoon explained his reasons for the decision. Tennakoon has expressed his displeasure on the July 14 speech by President Maithripala Sirisena and his cooperation with the UNP. more..

Champika challenges former President to speak up on dealings with LTTE

July 24 (Island) United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) General Secretary and Minister Champika Ranawaka has challenged the UPFA Kurunegala District candidate former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to reveal whether he had given money to the LTTE or not. Ranawaka said former President Rajapaksa should reveal to the nation whether he had given money to the LTTE’s Emil Kanthan, who had been more..

A/L student behind Facebook political mudslinging

July 24 (CT) A student who was taken into custody on suspicion of putting on Facebook, photographs of naked children with the heads of the President and the Prime Minister was produced before Chief Magistrate of Colombo Gihan Pilapitiya yesterday. Chief Magistrate ordered that the suspect student, resident in Ambalantota and studying for the A/L exam, be released on two surety bonds of Rs 200,000 each. more..

UNP to place EPF under public wealth trust

July 24 (EN) Sri Lanka’s governing UNP said it would set up a public trust to independently manage private sector workers' retirement funds which are now under the Central Bank, if it wins next month's parliamentary polls. The announcement, in the UNP’s manifesto for the August 17 general elections, said the trustees would be appointed by the proposed Constitutional Council. more..

UNP promises 45 economic hyper zones

July 24 (EN) UNP said it would set up 45 hyper zones in hi-tech manufacturing, fishing, services, agriculture and tourism spread throughout the country that can compete with international markets if it was elected to office in August polls. The UNP in the late 1970s set up two export promotion zones drawing foreign direct investment, which brought new technology, management techniques and marketing from more..

Sri Lanka holds rates amid monetary expansion, rising imports

July 24 (EN) Central bank said it was holding interest rates at record lows as credit and money supply expanded, pushing imports up and domestic assets of the central bank expanded amid state spending and borrowings. Central Bank said broad money defined as (M2b) grew 15.4% in May from a year earlier, accelerating from 13.9% a year earlier, with state borrowings from the banking system going up amid a recovery more..

Press Complaints Commission received 291 complaints in 2014

July 24 (ST) The Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka (PCCSL) received 291 complaints last year, hosted an International Conference on Self Regulation and Ethical Reporting and reviewed the Editors’ Code of Professional Practice with inputs from the public, journalists, editors, publishers and academics, PCCSL CEO said in his annual report for 2014. The report was read out at Annual General Meeting of the Commission more..

Towards an independent and accountable judiciary in Sri Lanka

July 24 (SL) The past four decades have been the most tumultuous period of the 200 year old judiciary in Sri Lanka. During this period, one Chief Justice was sacked and restored; two Chief Justices narrowly escaped impeachment and yet another has been deemed to have been an impostor who never held office at all, even though he presided over the judiciary for two years. In these years, we have seen judges being summarily more..

Video: Sri Lankan policy driven by political events: Mahendran

July 24 (Bloomburg) Sri Lankan central bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran talks about policy and the nation's economy. The central bank kept its interest rates unchanged and said near-record-low inflation is likely to continue for the next few months. Mahendran speaks with Rishaad Salamat on Bloomberg Television's Trending Business. more..

'I will practise equality as my main principle'

July 24 (DM) Politics is a platform that opens doors to budding individuals striving to make a change. Today we see many young faces in the political arena but a question remains as to whether they can survive the battle. While the public makes the final decision, the entire process of politics revolves around impressing people. In an interview with the Udara Ratnayake, son of veteran filmmaker Bennett Ratnayake, speaks on more..

‘Here’s another election result...’

July 24 (DM) “Here is an election result…UPFA led by Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR) secured the largest number of members of parliament: yet is unable to form a govt, as it cannot muster a majority.” “Here is another election result… Alliance led by Ranil Wickremesinghe (RW) lags behind the UPFA in the populous south of Sri Lanka but with the help of the SLMC vote is nearing the 113 members required. Yet, he cannot overrun the turnstile, as the southern vote is overwhelmingly unfavourable.” more..

The shameful trade in human misery

July 24 (DM) In our Editorial yesterday, the Daily Mirror highlighted the link between the catastrophic global warming and poverty-related issues such as youth unemployment, human trafficking or human slavery and the racket where poor people are lured to sell their vital organs. The British Daily Mirror reported this week that criminal gangs were cashing in on the poor and terminally ill by setting up deals to flog kidneys for transplants. Some penniless people were so desperate for money more..

'There was no sinister plot to assassinate either Mahinda or Gota'

July 24 (Island) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that Maj General Prasanna Silva, who was being accused by Mahinda and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, of planning to assassinate them was a close confidant of former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and he was the most feared officer in the Army according to LTTE leader V Prabhakaran. Senaratne said: "Maj. Gen. Silva is a war hero and he will not stoop to more..

PPPR exposes misuse of State-owned residences

July 24 (FT) Program for Protection of Public Resources (PPPR), the election monitoring arm of Transparency International Sri Lanka, has recorded a large number of violations pertaining to the misuse of public resources carried out by candidates in the Ampara District belonging to both the UNF and the UPFA. Following the submission of nominations, these candidates have converted their official residences to party offices and have used them for various campaigning purposes, more..

Janaka Bandara Tennakoon to resign today

July 24 (DM) Minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon is to resign today, sources said yesterday. They said his resignation letter would be handed to President Maithripala Sirisena today. Sources also said that the recent controversial speech made by the president, and the activities of the UNP had impelled him to resign. Soon after President Maithripala Sirisena took office, Tennakoon was appointed Minister of Provincial Councils and Regional Development. more..

Contaminated chemical stock in Port

July 24 (Island) Three state institutions are grappling with a large stock of potassium permanganate brought into the country about two years ago and stored in a privately owned warehouse at the Colombo Port. Sri Lanka has accepted the contaminated consignment consequent to Singapore rejecting it due to the vessel carrying it catching fire at the Singapore Port. Precursor Control Authority affiliated to more..

Govt plans to privatise Litro gas: Bandula

July 24 (DM) Former UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardane said that the govt had given the green light to privatise state owned Litro Gas Lanka Ltd by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Shell Gas Lanka Ltd. He said the govt had signed a MoU with Shell Gas Lanka Ltd to purchase gas at US$105 per tonne, contrary to international tender procedure. “34 companies had sent tendered to provide gas at lower prices while Shell Gas Lanka Ltd had quoted a higher price (US$ 122). more..

White van saga: Gota blows hot and cold

July 24 (CT) Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday said he was only quoting the govt when he said the white van found in Mirihana belonged to the LTTE. "I am only quoting the official statement of the govt. How else would I know? And I live in that area, they should be more careful," said Rajapaksa. On Monday night three soldiers, one of whom had a pistol, were arrested by the Mirihana Police while travelling in a white van. Minister Joseph Michael Perera stated that white van more..

'Black July victims & perpetrators banded'

July 24 (CT) How does JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake know that, a file, of UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha's, is with President Maithripala Sirisena, the UPFA queried. Premajayantha said that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had confirmed that the National Executive Council (NEC) was a democratic junta. "My files are with Sirisena. His files are with me. Dissanayake was a member of the NEC more..

Rauff’s Kandy office attacked

July 24 (FT) An unnamed group attacked Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Leader Rauff Hakeem’s election office in Kandy on Wednesday night, polls monitors reported, as campaigning for the 17 August poll gets into high gear. The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence reported that the attack had taken place at about 7:30 p.m. at the office on Katugastota Road. Office staff had been assaulted by the attackers, who also damaged office equipment and propaganda material, CMEV said. more..

Video: Politicians misusing Mirihana incident: Api Ranaviruwo

July 24 (DM) An organization calling itself Api Ranaviruwo said that the recent incident involving the arrest of three army soldiers in Mirihana was been used by some politicians to gain a political advantage in the run up to the polls. Speaking at a media briefing that was organised by several retired senior officers of the forces, Colonel (Retd) Jayavi Fernando said that the unwarranted remarks made by some politicians had caused much frustration among the members of the army. more..

Sri Lanka police force to get bag of goodies including wage hike and new retirement plan

July 24 (LBO) Police force will be given a new salary revision, retirement plan and several other benefits. “Govt plans to increase the salary of police officers by 40%,” John Amaratunga, UNP MP said. “A cabinet paper proposing the increase will be submitted to the Cabinet,” “Previous govt totally neglected the needs of the police force so we decided that we should do something to address the issues faced by the policemen.” more..

UNPer who slapped boy gets bail

July 24 (Island) A supporter of former UNP MP P. Harrison, remanded for slapping a 13-year-old student on July 17, was bailed out yesterday. Police said that the suspect had been arrested on July 20, when the boy was discharged from the Anuradhapura hospital. The suspect allegedly slapped the victim for drawing a moustache on Harrison’s face in an election poster. Harrison is contesting the upcoming election on the UNP ticket in the Anuradhapura District. more..

India pick leg-spinner Mishra for SL tour

July 24 (CI) Leg spinner Amit Mishra has been recalled to India's Test squad for the tour of Sri Lanka in August. Mishra, 32, last played a Test in 2011 and he took leg spinner Karn Sharma's place in the team that had travelled to Bangladesh in June. It was the only change to India's 15-man squad. Mishra has not played a Test since the 2011 tour of England, where he played two matches and took three wickets at an average of 106.66. In the 2014-15 Ranji Trophy season, more..

Muslims will vote for me: Pillaiyan

July 24 (CT) One time Chief Minister of the Eastern Province and UPFA candidate for Batticaloa, S Chandrakanthan also known as Pillaiyan, said at a UPFA campaign meeting that he shall create history in the district by changing its traditional methodology of voting where Tamils are voting for Tamils and Muslims for Muslims. Instead, this time most of the Muslim supporters would cast their vote for him thus paving the way for more..

Chandimal omission surprises many

July 24 (Island) The omission of Dinesh Chandimal, the batsman in form, from the two-match T-20 series against Pakistan has surprised many observers. 25-year-old Chandimal, who has already led the country in T-20s, tops the averages in the current ODI series. Chandimal’s average of 75 after four matches is the highest by a Sri Lankan in the ongoing series and with Sri Lanka having already lost the Test and ODI series, the focus should be at least winning the T-20 series. more..

Customs to get modern container scanning facility; dock yard for Hambantota Port

July 24 (LBO) Cabinet has approved a proposal to install a modern container scanning system at Sri Lanka Customs with the view of improving the efficiency and productivity of Customs. The proposal has been made by Minister Ravi Karunanayake to implement the system through a partnership with the private sector. Customs processes an average of about 1,100 import containers per day. Only about 10 to 15% of randomly selected containers are subjected to x-ray scanning using more..

'Unlike UNP, SLFP listened to opinion of people and brought back Mahinda'

July 24 (Island) There was no internal democracy in the UNP and, therefore, people couldn’t expect a UNP-led govt to rule the country democratically, SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. He said that the difference between UNP and SLFP was that the latter heeded the opinion of the party supporters at the grassroots level. "Most parties don’t do that; they just expel dissidents and run the show with a cabal. more..

IPS-IFPRI partner to strengthen collaboration

July 24 (DM) Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a collaborative research on Food Security in South Asia to strengthen research and capacity building. The MoU also aims to facilitate effective management of agricultural resources, by govt and poor rural communities in developing countries and increase the impact of research. more..

Look out for Geethani, Manjula on day one

July 24 (Island) The National Athletic Championships commences with some of country’s leading athletes including sprinter Himasha Eshan, high jumper Manjula Kumara and long-distance runner Geethani Rajasekara taking the field on day one at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Diyagama today. With only two athletes –marathoners Anuradha Indrajith Cooray and Geethani Rajasekara- qualifying for the forthcoming IAAF World Championships so far, more..

Athletic Nationals from today

July 24 (DN) The 93rd National Athletics Championship organized by the Athletic Association of SL and sponsored by Sri Lanka Telecom, will be held on July 24, 25 and 26 at the Mahinda Rajapaksa Sports Complex in Diyagama, Homagama. The event will be the last opportunity for the athletes to reach the qualifying standards of the upcoming World Athletic Championship which will be held in Beijing, China in August. more..

Women earn more in all sectors: Rosy

July 24 (DN) Though 62% of women employed in the private sector are women, there are only a few Ministry Secretaries and top decision makers in the sector, Child Affairs Minister Rosy Senanayake said. She also said that once again women are involved in the top three foreign exchange earners to the country.They are foreign remittances women migrant workers, the apparel sector and plantations but the recognition that they receive from the country is inadequate. more..

Fashion bug receives award

July 24 (CT) Fashion Bug, one of Sri Lanka's leading Fashion retailers with over 17 outlets island wide, were recognized for the work carried out by them via their ground breaking Sisu Dirimaga Foundation, including their Career Guidance programme for GCE A/L Students and school leavers, the drinking water project that was completed and presented to the Ovitigamuwa Maha Vidyalaya, the donation of the computer unit to the Thumbe Kanishta Vidyalaya, and Sponsorship of Dhammika Kithulgoda more..