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Polls 2020: SJB biggest spender, SLPP has most election law violations: CMEV

Jul 27 (EN) With a week of campaigning left in the Parliamentary General Elections watchdog groups have found that the SJB has outspent everyone else while the SLPP has violated election laws more than any other party. The CMEV found that the parties had collectively spent Rs514mn with the SJB leading the way with Rs185mn. SJB has invested heavily in electronic media spending Rs168mn for advertising on TV and Radio. more..

Scheduled mobile polling station program for voters under quarantine cancelled

Jul 27 (AD) Mobile polling station program for voter currently under quarantine due to the COVID-19 outbreak will not be carried out on July 31 as previously scheduled, states the Election Commission of SL. The decision has been taken at the meeting held at the Elections Commission today, said Mahinda Deshapriya, Chairman of the Commission. This decision has been based on two issues; one is logistics and the other is the lack of legal provisions in SL on advanced voting. more..

PCoI won’t summon Anura Kumara and Shani Abeysekara until case ends

Jul 27 (AD) PCoI on political victimization has informed the court that JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake and 2 others will not be called before the Commission until the Appeal Court case on the matter concludes. Along with Dissanayake, former Director of the CID Shani Abeysekara, and Senior State Counsel Janaka Bandara will also won’t be summoned to record statements on the matter. Previously, 17 parties, including Dissanayake and Abeysekara, were issued summons to more..

Can CB initiate a V-shaped quick recovery by printing money and lending to businesses?

Jul 27 (FT) An enthusiastic reader of the article in this series last week has brought to my notice two propositions for SL to attain a quick economic recovery – dubbed as V-shaped recovery – after the present COVID-19, or in short C-19, monster has been fully caged in. In the above-mentioned article, it was suggested that Sri Lanka could at most bargain for a prolonged recovery – called a flattened U-shaped recovery – more..

Agrahara Insurance benefits for over 600,000 State sector pensioners

Jul 27 (DN) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing several meetings in the Badulla district pledged to implement a series of measures which would immensely benefit the public, including Agrahara Insurance benefits to all state sector pensioners, separate wards for them in govt hospitals and a daily wage of Rs 1,000 plus to plantation workers and a higher price for locally grown potatoes. PM said that Cabinet approval has been granted to provide Agrahara Insurance Scheme benefits more..

Hate speech could lead to election violence, polls monitors warn

Jul 27 (Island) National coordinator of the Center for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) Manjula Gajanayaka, addressing the media, yesterday, voiced his concern about the increase in hate speech within the past few days. He said incendiary words uttered by leaders of political parties or posed on social media could result in pre-election as well as post- election violence. Gajanayaka said the CMEV was more concerned about intra party battles over preferential votes. more..

Tilvin Silva, General Secretary, JVP

COVID-19 recoveries count hits 2,121

Jul 27 (AD) The Ministry of Health confirmed that fifteen more patients infected with COVID-19 have completely recovered from the disease. The recovered patients have been discharged from their respective hospitals today (27). Accordingly, the total count of recoveries from COVID-19 has increased to 2,121. Following the detection of 12 more coronavirus-positive cases during the last 24 hours ending from 6 am today, Sri Lanka’s infections tally has soared to 2,782. more..

Power of the powerless

Jul 27 (FT) If you think nothing will change, then do not bother to read this essay. We control our future with what we choose now. If you think nothing will change, indeed nothing will change. The absence of resolve, the presumption of the impossibility to make a change is self-fulfilling. Powerlessness can be transformed into a force capable of achieving justice. History does not teach fatalism. There are moments when the will of a handful of free men breaks through determinism and opens new roads. more..

First ever child liver transplant performed in Sri Lanka

Jul 27 (DN) North Colombo Teaching Hospital (NCTH) Ragama liver transplant team together with expert doctors from across the country, was able to perform a living-donor liver transplant on a 9-year-old girl. This marks the first successful liver transplant performed for a child in Sri Lanka, Prof. Rohan Siriwardana said. With this transplant, NCTH liver transplant team has reached a milestone of performing 50 liver transplants more..

Video: Anura on why public dislike parliament

Jul 27 (AD) Leader of the National People’s Power Movement (NPPM) Anura Kumara Dissanayake says that his team is the only group in the current parliament that is not involved in crime. The reason why the public do not like the parliament is that the majority there are involved in various crimes and have no discipline or policy, said Dissanayake. Thereby, there is anger and hatred towards Parliament in the minds of the majority of the people, he added. more..

Sangakkara backs Ganguly for ICC top post

Jul 27 (PTI) Sri Lanka cricket legend Kumar Sangakkara has backed Sourav Ganguly for the ICC chairman's post, saying the BCCI president's astute cricket brain and vast experience as an administrator make him a very suitable candidate for the role. Admitting that he is a big fan of Ganguly, Sangakkara said the former India captain has an international mindset which is necessary to remain unbiased in an important position. "I think Sourav definitely can make that change. more..

Video: COVID-19 case tally increases to 2,777

Jul 27 (AD) The count of coronavirus reported in SL has risen as 5 more people have tested positive for COVID-19 infection. Four of the new cases are recent arrivals from Qatar while another is detected from the Kandakadu Rehabilitation Center cluster. With the addition of new cases, 8 new cases have been identified within the day. Total count of coronavirus cases in the country now stands at 2,777 cases. more..

Video: Repatriation of Sri Lankans to resume within next week: Army Chief

Jul 27 (AD) Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva says that the repatriation of Sri Lankans abroad will be resumed within the next week. He stated this speaking to the media following a religious program held in Kaduwela. Responding to a question raised by a journalist regarding the escape of a COVID-19 patient from the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH), the Army Chief said that the police have taken necessary action regarding the security situation at the hospital. more..

Excise supports artificial toddy racket; Govt. losing Rs. 50 b annually, NSR charges

Jul 27 (FT) Nava Sinhala Ravaya General Secretary Magalkande Sudantha Thero last week charged the Department of Excise is akin to a den of thieves, and its officials are engaged in providing protection to artificial toddy racketeers in the country. Thero stated the apprehension of several Excise Officials with the drug ‘ice’ in Puttalam last week proves his continuous claim that Excise Department officials are corrupt. He called on the Prez to investigate and apprehend all politicians and more..

Relations appeal for justice over suspicious death of Miss Sri Lanka 1962

Jul 27 (DM) Tony Hawke, brother of former Miss Sri Lanka -1962 Jennifer Ingleton seek public assistance over the suspicious death of Miss Jennifer Ingelton. Jennifer, 78-year-old widow, without any children and without any relations living in SL had died under suspicious circumstances according to her brother who is presently living in England. According to him, she could have been saved if proper attention more..

MS confident of polling highest number of votes in Polonnaruwa

Jul 27 (Island) Former President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said he would obtain the highest number of votes in the Polonnaruwa District. He said he would poll more than 150,000 preferential votes at the August 05 general election. The former President said so, speaking a rally in the Polonnaruwa town. "After Aug 5, I will take charge of developing Polonnaruwa once again. When I started serving the peolpe of Polonnaruwa, 25 years ago, some of my present critics were children. more..

PM to meet warring PHIs today

Jul 27 (Island) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa will meet Public Health Inspectors today to discuss the issues they face. A spokesman for the Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) union said that they had postponed an executive committee meeting scheduled for today as they could take up their grievances with the PM. PHIs withdrew from COVID-19 prevention programmes as well as dengue and other duties involved in combatting communicable diseases last week following govt’s failure more..

CID probes oil refinery project

Jul 27 (ST) The CID has started a probe on Yahapalana administration’s controversial US$ 3.85bn (Rs 700bn) oil refinery project in Hambantota. It was announced in March last year that the Omani Ministry of Oil and Gas would have a 30 percent stake in this project. But it later emerged that Oman had no shareholding in the project which was mooted by a Singapore-registered entity called Silver Park International. more..

Arjuna Nanayakkara appointed head of London Stock Exchange services centre

Jul 27 (Island) London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) has announced that Arjuna Nanayakkara has been appointed as the Head of Shared Services Centre – Sri Lanka. He will be responsible for managing, building, and extending the capabilities of the centre in SL. Nanayakkara joins LSEG from Global Market Technologies (GMT), formerly known as Mubasher/Direct FN where he held multiple leadership roles during a 13-year tenure. He was part of the strategic leadership responsible more..

Dr. Coomaraswamy appointed Chairman of LYNEAR

Jul 27 (FT) LYNEAR Wealth Management Ltd. has announced the appointment of highly respected former CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy as the Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors. Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy will work the team at LYNEAR, drawing on his extensive int'l experience to provide the firm with the strategic advice and insight on global macroeconomic issues and emerging markets. LYNEAR Wealth Management is an investment manager regulated by SEC. more..

STF nets more criminals with arms and drugs

Jul 27 (Island) Raids conducted by STF commandos, on Saturday and Sunday, helped net 10 underworld characters and a haul of firearms along with stocks of heroin. The STF, on Saturday, raided an underworld weapons factory at Imbulana in Rathnagala, Ruwanwella and seized a haul of arms and ammunition. A person suspected of operating the weapons factory was arrested by STF. Raiders recovered three 12-bore shotguns more..

Spot falls deeper on NFOs; MPBCs

Jul 27 (CT) The benchmark spot marginally weakened by between seven and three cents in two-way quotes to trade at Rs 185.77/83 to the US dollar in two-way quotes as at 4pm on Friday due to continued net foreign outflows (NFOs) from the financial markets because of uncertainty. In the calendar year to Friday, the spot has weakened by between 2.47% and 2.44% (between Rs 4.47 and Rs 4.43) in two-way quotes, thereby causing cost-push inflationary pressure as more..

People’s Bank will be No. 1 bank: Chairman

Jul 27 (SO) People’s Bank, a leading State- owned commercial bank, will aim at becoming the No. 1 bank in the country in the coming years, People’s Bank Chairman Sujeewa Rajapakse said. “We have been the number two bank in the past and now we are well geared with competent staff to achieve this feat soon,” he said. With a staff of over 7,500 and a network of 750 branches, it provides banking and treasury services for personal, commercial and corporate entities across the country. more..

June remittances improve amid COVID-19

Jul 27 (CT) Sri Lanka’s largest source of foreign exchange, worker remittances, which has come under serious threat due to the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the global economy, has shown a growth in June this year for the first time since the country went into lockdown in March. According to data released by CB, worker remittances increased 6.7% during June this year to US$ 572.5 million compared to US$ 536.6 million last year. more..

THASL welcomes removal of travel restrictions by UK

Jul 27 (FT) The Hotels Association of SL (THASL) welcomed the latest update of the UK travel advice on Sri Lanka, noting that it is timely and positive news for the industry. “This is very positive news for our travel industry and very timely. Although we may not see an immediate impact on arrivals as the country is closed for foreign visitors at the moment, it is an endorsement of the great steps taken by the country collectively in handling the virus and builds confidence for future travellers more..

Sri Lanka would need hard reforms under an IMF program after elections: analysts

Jul 27 (EN) SL needs hard reforms under an IMF program from a stable govt after elections to restore investor confidence and provide a stable policy environment for companies to operate, analysts said. SLPP of Prez Rajapaksa is widely expected to win upcoming parliamentary polls in August with insiders pushing for a two thirds majority. Two thirds majorities from 1978 however had brought constitutional changes that fostered illiberal arbitrary rule and undermining of the judiciary and more..

Campaign health violations: Three districts in great danger

Jul 27 (TM) The CMEV has mapped out the Kurunegala, Nuwara Eliya, and Trincomalee Districts as having the greatest risk, should crowds be exposed to an asymptomatic person carrying the Covid-19 virus. This is according to a Covid-19 Risk Map designed and published by the CMEV, given the non-adherence to health guidelines by candidates as well as their supporters along their campaign trails. more..

Gang damages Kalvayal Grama Niladhari Office

Jul 27 (CT) An unidentified gang attacked the Chavakachcheri, Kalvayal Grama Niladhari’s office and his house early morning yesterday and escaped before the neighbours and villagers arrived at the scene, according to Chavakachcheri Police. The gang forcibly entered the house of the Grama Niladhari with iron rods, wooden rods and swords and carried out this attack, Police said. They caused damage to the household items, doors and windows of the house and when they escaped more..

UK start-up helping Sri Lankan fashion

Jul 26 (TM) Apparel is one of Sri Lanka’s main exports that has given rise to many large-scale apparel manufacturers to penetrate several international markets and brands. However, smaller apparel manufacturers usually lack the same reach as these larger companies. In order to combat this issue, Chanodil, a UK-based start-up, is now giving local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and manufacturers a platform to reach international brands. more..

EDB licenses Ceylon Spices trademark to preserve originality

Jul 27 (FT) To strengthen quality and preserve originality, the Export Development Board (EDB) has kicked-off licencing of Ceylon Spices trademark for qualifying producers, processors and exporters of cinnamon, pepper, clove, nutmeg and mace as well as cardamom. The latest initiative follows the EDB in September last year unveiling Ceylon Spice master brand as part of the latest global marketing initiative for the spice sector. more..

It is turning out to be a funny election!

Jul 27 (Island) Apologies to the voters who will cast their votes on 5th August in case if they feel that the noble act of discharging a civic duty is belittled by the title of this article. In fact, this election should have been the most serious of all, being conducted whilst most countries around the world are fighting hard to bring a nasty pandemic under control. Fortunately, Sri Lanka has done well allowing a general election to be held. Unfortunately, it has become funny in many ways; more..

Shocking Revelation!

Jul 27 (CT) An extensive investigation has been initiated following the shocking revelation of fifty records containing the details of crimes committed by a notorious underworld gangster called Samsunge Sampath Chamara alias Army Sampath going missing from the Grandpass Police Station in Colombo. The records which had gone missing, mysteriously, contained detailed of the crimes such as drug peddling, murders and extortions committed by the deadly underworld gangster. more..

Non-contact sports to restart soon

Jul 27 (CT) Ranjith Chandrasekara, Secretary to the State Ministry of Education and who’s in charge of sports, believes non-contact sports like Badminton, Table Tennis, Tennis and others, were in line to restart soon. According to Chandrasekera, only the Schools Tennis Association came up with a request to restart the game, while none of the other Associations made any request to restart their games. more..

Editorial: Poverty, pledges and dangers

Jul 27 (Island) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa has undertaken to rid the Colombo city of slums and shanties by implementing housing projects for the low-income groups. We have heard this promise before. The late Prez R. Premadasa was the first to pledge to do so. He, in fact, made a serious effort to help the urban poor, but more than one half of the people in Colombo are said to be living in slums and shanties. Successive govts have adopted densification by way of a solution, more..

Caretaker Cabinet concludes duties; final push for polls begins

Jul 26 (TM) With a little over a week to go for the 2020 general election, all political parties are now gearing to make its last push for the polls with full force. The caretaker Govt led by PM Mahinda Rajapaksa last week held its last cabinet meeting before the general election. The next cabinet meeting will be held once the new govt is formed and the ninth parliament holds its ceremonial opening. Until then, it is now officially the last stages of the general election campaign and more..