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Parliament Mafia: No procedure for confiscated drugs

Aug 8 (DN) Following the absence of a proper procedure on disposing confiscated illegal substances by law enforcement authorities, a new legislation on the matter will be introduced before long, Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said. Following raids it is yet unclear as to what happens to the confiscated drugs, after it follows the process of being sent to Govt Analysts Department, or being held by the respective judicial body. more..

Decision on Ravi K’s fate today

Aug 8 (FT) A decision on the future of Minister Ravi Karunanayake will be taken today. Party Leaders are scheduled to meet today at 2 p.m. in Parliament to decide on the no confidence motion submitted by 32 MPs. Issues concerning Karunanayake have surfaced it is learnt during a meeting between President and PM yesterday as well. Sources close to Karunanayake denied alleged meeting of President & PM on Friday as well as reports that Foreign Minister has been asked to resign more..

Bond Scam: Ranil responsible says JVP

Aug 8 (CT) JVP alleged that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe should accept responsibility for the whole Treasury Bond scam. General Secretary of JVP Tilvin Silva stressed that, while it is a must that Minister Ravi Karunanayake should resign from his post in connection with the CB Treasury Bond Fraud, PM Wickremesinghe cannot wash his hands off either. Silva pointed out the fact that PM appointed his close friend Arjuna Mahendran to the post of Governor of CB amidst all opposition. more..

SriLankan in talks with 3 airlines

Aug 8 (DN) Three airlines including Japanese Airlines are currently in negotiations with govt, in efforts to divest 49% of holding of SriLankan Airlines, Minister Kabir Hashim said. “Japan Airlines have already visited us, their representatives have already met with PM, and initial discussions have commenced,” Hashim said. Still, this does not mean anything has been established yet. He did not wish to disclose other two airlines. more..

NH closes Dengue ward as epidemic drops

Aug 8 (DM) National Hospital in Colombo will close down its dengue ward from this week citing that the spread of dengue was declining gradually, National Hospital Deputy Director General Dr. Anil Jasinghe said. He said dengue patients being treated at the hospital had dropped to 185, in contrast to some 400 patients receiving treatment daily some time ago. He said though this ward would be closed, there were 16 other wards at the National Hospital that would treat patients with dengue fever. more..

TNA to meet President, PM

Aug 8 (CT) TNA hierarchy will meet President and PM tomorrow to discuss the security situation in the North. ITAK Leader Mavai Senathirajah said the Leader of the TNA R. Sampanthan had written to both the President and PM requesting for a discussion regarding the prevailing security situation in the North. "We will meet the President and PM during Parliament sittings on 9 August to discuss the recent arrests of youth, the prevailing security situation in the region, more..

Awa gang leader, 5 others arrested

Aug 8 (Island) Police have, with the help of information elicited from former LTTE cadres nabbed in the aftermath of recent attacks on police and security forces in the North, uncovered clues of a well-established terror network operating in Colombo. Police had busted two cells of the network at Mattakkuliya and Pettah and nabbed three cadres including a top leader of Aava Group known as Sathyavel Nishanthan alias Nisha Victor, more..

Australia deports 13 asylum seekers to SL

Aug 8 (TG) Australian govt deported at least 13 asylum seekers to Sri Lanka on Friday, according to a press release from the Australian High Commission. “These non-citizens have been found not to engage Australia’s protection obligations, and have no lawful basis to remain in Australia,” said the statement. “Settlement in Australia will never be an option for anyone who attempts to travel to Australia illegally by boat”.  The deportation marks at least the second such move in as many months. more..

SLC conducts crucial meeting at team hotel

Aug 8 (CT) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) conducted a series of meetings on Monday with the Executive Committee, support staff and team members at the Team hotel in Colombo, where it is expected some drastic changes will be made to the team, especially support and coaching staff, which comes in the wake of humiliating Test defeats against India. Sri Lanka lost both matches inside four days with India scoring 600 plus in both matches. Decisions of the team management had also come under fire, more..

Mangala’s secretary arrested with drugs!

Aug 8 (DM) Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s Media Secretary Asita Rajapakse said that it was Minister’s Public Relations Officer Sameera Manahara who was arrested by the STF in Mount Lavania on August 5. Mr. Rajapakse was responding to media reports that the Minister’s Private Secretary was arrested when a stock of narcotics was found in possession of one of those in the jeep. more..

‘Debt to GDP ratio of 68% okay for Sri Lanka’

Aug 8 (Island) 'Our research found that 68.22% debt to GDP ratio is the proper threshold level for Sri Lanka and is a good sign for the economy, but if economic growth comes down and public debt increases, it would have a negative impact on the economy. This implies that if debt to GDP ratio exceeds 68.22%, it will negatively affect GDP per-capita, Professor of Economics, N.S. Cooray said. 'The relationship between public debt and GDP per capita growth in Sri Lanka is non-linear. more..

People’s Bank creates history with launch of fully-fledged Digital Centre

Aug 8 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe whose vision is to enable the country with digital commerce recently inaugurated the country’s first Digital Centre at the historic People’s Bank building at York Street, Colombo 1. People’s Bank which is State owned with the opening of the fully-fledged Digital Centre achieves a unique milestone in its digitalisation drive and creates history in the country’s banking industry. This is a state-of-the-art banking centre on par with international standards and more..

SL Unions oppose USAID entry in labour reforms

Aug 8 (ST) Sri Lankan unions have strongly objected to the entry of a foreign party and the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade in labour reforms, saying this is the role of the Labour Department and the Ministry of Labour, and no one else. These objections have been raised in an August 3 letter to Nimal Saranathissa, Secretary, Ministry of Labour, Trade Union Relations & S'gamuwa Development, more..

Hiruni gives up after half way mark

Aug 8 (CT) Marathoner Hiruni Wijayarathne's IAAF World Championship campaign came to a disappointing end as she gave up the race after 22km in the women's marathon in London on Sunday. Hiruni had clocked one hour and 23 minutes at the 21km mark but could not proceed much further from there onwards. "I'm super disappointed in myself, especially since training was going so well. I won't let this bad result impact the future of my competitions for Sri Lanka," more..

GCE A/L Exam begins

Aug 8 (DN) The GCE Advanced Level Examination 2017 commences countrywide today at 8.30 am at 2,230 examination centres with the participation of 315,227 candidates. According to the Examinations Department sources, 28,000 invigilators have been deployed for the exam duties. The candidates are advised by the Examinations Department to report at their respective examinations centres by 8 am with their dully certified admission cards and the national identity cards. more..

1,000 MW in new power plants up for grabs

Aug 8 (FT) Power and Energy Ministry has begun the process of procuring power up to 1,000 MW to meet the demands of the Long-Term Generation Expansion Plan (LTGEP). Under pressure from the Public Utilities Commission of SL to launch the long-term generation plan and thereby avoid a shortage, CEB has drawn up plans to call for bids for a number of renewable plants as well as a barge-mounted Heavy Fuel Oil plant. more..

Rumesh Rathnayake to replace Vaas

Aug 8 (CT) SLC is mulling another change to their coaching staff, as newly appointed fast bowling coach Chaminda Vaas is set to be replaced by former coach Rumesh Rathnayake. Vaas will be reappointed as fast bowling coach at under-19 level. When inquired further he said they had in fact taken this decision on Saturday regarding appointment of Rathnayake and Vaas. Vaas was appointed as fast bowling coach after Champaka Ramanayake tendered his resignation when more..

Economic cost of natural disasters in SL

Aug 8 (IPS) Recent floods in Sri Lanka, triggered by the monsoon rains, affected over 700,000 people in 15 districts, killed over 200, fully destroyed over 2,000 houses and partially damaged around 12,529 houses. Sri Lanka has also experienced similar environmental crises due to droughts and landslides in recent years. Meanwhile, the Tsunami in 2004 that affected over a million people in Sri Lanka highlighted the country’s vulnerability to low frequency, but high impact events. more..

No plan

Aug 8 (ST) As I was saying before; keeping my ear to the ground, I presume it is a part of my job. It gives you vibes without prejudice or even second thoughts; it just surfaces from the ground within – where it began. The other day I was chatting to my grocery man Seneviratne, an ardent cricket fan. You must see how his face lights up when Sri Lanka wins. It’s so pleasing to see a face so bright. more..

Hambantota port shows Sri Lanka’s drive for independent diplomacy

Aug 8 (GT) Sri Lanka signed a 99-year agreement to lease its deep-sea port of Hambantota to China Merchant Port Holdings (CMPort) in late July. Under this deal, CMPort, owning a 70 percent stake, will invest up to $1.1 billion in the port and a nearby Sri Lanka-China Logistics and Industrial Zone. Sri Lanka's Port Authority (SLPA) holds the remaining 30 percent stake. The project is a commitment to build a deep-sea container terminal, and ease pressures on Colombo's port. more..

Pakistan and Sri Lanka agree to play day-night Test in Dubai

Aug 8 (PTI) Pakistan and SL have agreed to play a day and night Test match with pink ball in Dubai in the upcoming series between the two countries. This will be Pakistan's second day and night Test in Dubai as last year also they had played against the West Indies and won the encounter. "The two cricket boards are still finalising the itinerary for the series of two Tests, five ODIs and three T20 matches. Sri Lankans have requested the series to start earlier in late September instead of early October," more..

Art of lace: How Beeralu is being kept alive

Aug 8 (Roar) Elaborately woven beeralu lace may be hard to come by these days, but this product of an age-old craft was once popular, and much valued, across the island. Today, lacemakers down South—particularly in Magalle and Weligama—work hard to keep the tradition of beeralu lacemaking alive and going. The process of making beeralu—though fascinating to watch—requires a lot of time and effort. more..

Defence worse than offence

Aug 8 (Island) Samad, who hails from India and studied law passed his finals in the 15th attempt, was a very lovable character. He was a great voet inner. When he passed out he became a permanent boarder at the best watering hole in Hulftsdorp, the Crown Hotel. When he was retained, he had a very common defence. He pleaded insanity. Once he defended a notorious pick-pocket and pleaded insanity. Mr. Ellepola the Chief Magistrate who had an inherent sarcasm in him, asked Samad; more..

Koloppan in White House, kulappu in Penthouse

Aug 8 (ST) It is indeed a giant step for mankind. Both the print and electronic media in many countries carried the startling and happy news last week about a major breakthrough in scientific research that would have huge ramifications.  A joint team of scientists from the US and South Korea has discovered how to eliminate deadly heart disease running in families by editing a piece of faulty DNA. The average person would know little of the actual extent of its usefulness. more..

UNP engineered Bond Scam

GMOA silence on medical malpractices

Aug 8 (CT) Five months ago, Dambulla Base Hospital authorities had allegedly forcefully inserted intrauterine devices (IUDs) into patients who had just given birth. Until patients agreed to the procedure, the hospital refused to discharge them or to issue birth certificates to the newly born babies. The hospital authorities assured a special investigation into the matter as directed by Health Services Director Dr. Jayasundera Bandara. Western Province Health Services Director more..

NEC for smooth economic policy making

Aug 8 (CT) The differences between the two partners in the unity govt on economic issues came to a zenith two months ago and a temporary solution was found in the change of portfolios between Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera. Despite the change of minister of finance, major economic decisions continued to drift and the direct intervention of President Sirisena was needed to enact certain safeguards in agreements with foreign parties more..

Kusal Mendis rises above cauldron of doom

Aug 8 (CI) A series victory over Australia that put the island on a one-month high; a South Africa tour so disastrous, self-immolation seemed less painful than watching it; a record ODI chase against India at the Champions Trophy; a resplendently comic fielding performance against Pakistan - such has been SL's last year. Transition, if that is still what we are calling it, is supposed to be this lukewarm, intermediary stage. more..

Editorial: Question AG on missing file

Aug 8 (Island) Faced with the prospect of some govt members also backing the JO’s motion of no confidence against him, Ravi Karunanayake is apparently left with no alternative but to step down as Foreign Minister of his own volition pending investigations into the questionable penthouse deal. However, those who are out for Karunanayake’s blood, trying to blame the bond scams solely on him are barking up the wrong tree. An attempt is obviously being made in some quarters to more..

High level consensus needed to make the third transition 

Aug 8 (CT) Sri Lanka is at the threshold of its third transition within the space of a decade. The first took place in 2009 on the battlefields of the north when the LTTE was militarily defeated and the govt regained control over the entirety of the country. The second transition took place in 2015 with the political defeat of the former government that won the war at the presidential and general elections that took place in the course of the year. The issue of Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s involvement more..

'No LTTE threat – their attempts at violence are over'

Aug 8 (CT) ITAK Leader Mavai Senthirajah said Govt and the hierarchy of the security forces had informed them that there is no threat by the LTTE and their attempts at violence are over. "Many of those who are not connected to the LTTE are involved in this sword attack and other violent activities. Therefore if the Police are claiming that such activities are carried out by former LTTE members, they should tackle the issue carefully. more..

RK Drama: Only a symptom

Aug 8 (CT) Memory is essential for survival. The brain stores all kinds of memories, like the way to ride a bike, what happened yesterday and even the meaning of the word memory. But memories are fragile and when the brain is damaged by an accident or an illness, memories can disappear along with the ability to remember. However, Ravi K’s recent memory loss is symptomatic of a special type of syndrome (1st victim being Duminda Silva), Mata Mathaka Nehe syndrome, more..

Economic perspectives on taxation

Aug 8 (ST) Last Sunday’s column pointed out that the underlying rationale for the new Inland Revenue Bill was the critical need to gather adequate revenue for the country’s development. A significant increase in govt revenue is vital for fiscal consolidation, macroeconomic stability & economic development. Resolution of many fundamental macro-economic problems requires an increase in revenue collection as well as increased expenditure on education, health & economic development. more..

No-Confidence motion against Ravi K gathering steam

Aug 7 (CT) Joint Opposition (JO) is confident that the no confidence motion against Minister Ravi Karunanayake will prevail, with the support of a majority of MPs sans party loyalties and that they will push for the debate to be expedited at the forthcoming parliamentary party leaders meeting, PHU Leader MP Udaya Gammanpila said. "This will be the 3rd successful no confidence motion in the history of SL Parliamentary," more..

Harbour lease not necessary if govt. acted on COPE reports: Handunnetti

Aug 7 (DM) Chairman of the COPE Sunil Handunnetti (JVP) said that there wouldn't have been a need to lease out Hambantota Harbour had the Government taken measures to recover the losses after a proper investigation on matters related to 58 institutions reported by the COPE during the last one-and-a-half year period of time. “At 98 meetings during this period COPE was able to reveal instances of misappropriation of money and frauds in various Govt institutions including more..

Electricity to be bought from pvt. contractors if needed - Min. of Energy

Aug 7 (AD) Ministry of Power stated that they will be working towards providing a consistent supply of electricity, despite the prevailing dry conditions making electricity generation harder. Water levels of the reservoirs have decreased by 36.8%.  While the ministry is working towards allowing their hydropower plant to generate electricity smoothly, private energy contracts have been signed by the govt if the grid requires the purchasing of electricity from an external source. more..