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Godfather of corruption initially reluctant to sign no-faith motion against Ravi

Aug 7 (Island) Top JO spokesman Bandula Gunawardena, assured that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa would vote for a no-faith motion against Minister Ravi Karunanayake over the UNPer’s alleged role in Feb 2015 and March 2016 CB bond scams. Karunanayake, who had held the finance portfolio in President Sirisena’s 100-day govt, was given the same office following parliamentary polls in Aug 2015. more..

Susil: Peoples’ confidence shattered

Aug 7 (DM) It would be very difficult for Minister Ravi Karunanayake to maintain his credibility in the diplomatic arena after his credibility was shattered internally during the investigations into CB bond deal, Minister Susil Premajayantha said. Although questions were directed at him and he had answered them at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry, over the deal were not sufficient to clear his name, circumstantial evidences appear to suggest some possible offense had been committed, more..

Sajith says I won’t vote for the corrupt

Aug 7 (DM) Minister Sajith Premadasa said over the weekend that he would resign from his Ministerial post if he were asked to vote in favour of corrupt people in Parliament. He made this statement at the opening of Manabarana Gama in Siyambalanduwa in the Moneragala District, 35th village under his Uda-Gammana Programme on Saturday. "I will resign from the Cabinet and take to the streets against corruption if anyone asked me to defend corrupt people," Mr. Premadasa said. more..

Root cause of corruption: Mastermind behind Bond Scam: Remove Ravi & probe PM

Aug 7 (Island) There is no point in waiting for the Presidential Commission to conclude the No Confidence Motion to take place. There can be a Parliamentary debate on the Penthouse Issue or Public Corruption in general for the members to express their views and show their determination, if anything remaining, against corrupt practices. President must remove Minister Ravi Karunanayake from the Cabinet forthwith. more..

China takes control of Sri Lanka’s strategically valuable Hambantota seaport

Aug 7 (Breibart) Last week, Sri Lanka’s govt signed an agreement giving China a 99-year lease to use Sri Lanka’s strategically valuable southern Hambantota seaport. The seaport is on the main shipping route from Asia to Europe and oversees the Indian ocean all the way to Antarctica. In addition, China will hold a 70% stake in a joint venture to handle the commercial operations of the port. The deal has been extremely controversial for several reasons: more..

Some want to abolish the FCID as their irregularities are disclosed: JVP

Aug 7 (ITN) JVP Central Committee member Wasantha Samarasinghe has said that some are calling for the revocation of FCID fearing that their irregularities would come to light. He made this comment addressing a public meeting in the Suriyawewa area. Wasantha Samarasinghe said that the present Government launched the FCID. Those who have committed irregularities visit the FCID and claim that they are interrogated in an inappropriate manner and this is not legal. more..

Parliament Mafia: New code of conduct, revised set of standing orders for MPs

Aug 7 (DN) Parliament is to adopt a new Code of Conduct for MPs and revised set of Standing Orders shortly making it obligatory for all MPs to disclose information on their business relationships and financial interests including those of close family members. Assistant Secretary-General of Parliament said that the final draft of Code of Conduct for MPs would be presented in Parliament this week. more..

PMA underutilized by Lankan exporters

Aug 7 (CT) Preferential Market Access (PMA) provided through free trade agreements (FTAs) are vastly underutilized by Sri Lankan exporters, the New Trade Policy (NTP), which was recently approved by the Cabinet, revealed. The NTP also identified that while trade agreements have potential, preferences accorded are partial and limited and several factors, including the existence of Non Tariff Barriers (NTBs), had resulted in poor performances of FTAs. more..

CBSL buys $65.5M from market

Aug 7 (CT) SL's foreign reserves position was strengthened by US$ 65.50 million (Rs 10,055 m) on Friday, led by Central Bank (CB) purchases of exporter conversions and remittances, interpretation of CB's open market operations. Conversions are based on the middle rate of the benchmark spot as at Wednesday (2) which was Rs 153.50 to the US dollar according to market sources. CB retired some of its Treasury (T)-Bill holdings which carried a face value (FV) of Rs 26,646 million, more..

SL embassy in Kuwait saves two Lankans on death row

Aug 7 (Island) SL Embassy in Kuwait has been able to obtain pardon for two Lankans sentenced to death for crimes committed in that country. One of them had been sentenced to death for killing another Sri Lankan in Kuwait. Embassy had been able to raise blood-money with the assistance of other Sri Lankans working there and to negotiate with the kith and kin of the dead to secure the release of the convict from being beheaded, more..

Aitken Spence Travels SL’s top destination management company

Aug 7 (CT) Aitken Spence Travels was named Sri Lanka's leading destination management company at the 24th annual World Travel Awards held in the Maldives recently. Aitken Spence Travels is Sri Lanka's leading inbound tourism company which marked its 40th anniversary recently. The company, a joint venture between conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC and TUI, the world's number one integrated tourism company, served 153,000 visitors to Sri Lanka during its last financial year. more..

Finance Ministry Coordinating secy caught with narcotics

Aug 7 (Island) Police commandos arrested four persons including a coordinating secretary attached to the Finance Ministry while they were transporting narcotics, foreign liquor and cigarettes for a beach party at Mount Lavinia on Saturday. STF found 3,000 milligrams of cocaine, 4,500 milligrams of narcotic tablets, 9,470 milligrams of hashish, 9,420 milligrams of Kush cannabis, 18 bottles of foreign liquor, 400 foreign cigarettes and two swords in the possession of the suspects. more..

'PM’s constitutional reforms ploy to delay polls'

Aug 7 (Island) CaFFE says it has been shocked by the revelation that the 20th Amendment, which the govt wants to introduce, seeks to give Parliament the powers of dissovlved Provincial Councils.  CaFFE Executive Director Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said that with the controversial move was aimed at postponing PC elections by two years. "PM is attempting to delay elections by way of bogus constitutional amendments," he said. more..

Sampath Bank posts Rs 5.7 bn PAT in 1H 2017

Aug 7 (Island) Sampath Bank further extended its growth momentum in the 2nd quarter of the year and recorded a post-tax profit of Rs 5.7 Bn for the six months ended 30th June 2017. This registered an impressive 35.1% YoY growth in comparison to the Profit After Tax (PAT) of Rs 4.2 Bn recorded for the six months ended 30th June 2016. Profit Before Tax (PBT) too grew by 36.6% YoY and reached Rs 7.8 Bn by 30th June 2017. Sampath Group, which comprises of Sampath Bank more..

Not looking at Tests as home or away anymore: Kohli

Aug 7 (CI) India came up against some high-quality sweeping from SL, which finally made them work hard to bowl the hosts out, but on a pitch were balls were exploding off a length and beating the bat, it was a matter of time before one took the edge too. Once that breakthrough was achieved, in the form of Dimuth Karunaratne after lunch on the fourth day, India broke open the door. Their captain Virat Kohli said it was important to maintain patience and discipline even as he praised SL batting. more..

China not to use Lanka’s strategic location for its security needs: envoy

Aug 7 (DM) Chinese Ambassador to SL, Yi Xianliang, on Saturday assured Sri Lankans that China will never use Sri Lanka’s strategic location in the Indian Ocean for its strategic and security needs. Speaking at the reception to the Chinese naval hospital ship Ark Peace at the Colombo harbor, Yi said: “From over 1000 years ago, Sri Lanka has enjoyed its strategic location because the island is in the middle of the silk route. more..

Only the President can change the Govt until 2020: Mahinda Amaraweera

Aug 7 (ITN) General Secretary of UPFA, Mahinda Amarawera has said that no one other than the President can change the Govt until 2020. He made this reference joining in the launch of the SLFP Puttalam District Balamandalaya. Minister said that Parliament will remain until 2020 and even the President has no possibility of changing it. He can dissolve it only six months before. He pointed out that some may say that the govt will toppled soon and dupe the public to keep them in their fold. more..

Probe urged into Singapore Conspiracy

Aug 7 (CT) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that a series of discussions, conspiratorial in nature, took place at the Singapore residence of the former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran during the Presidential Election and the General Election periods in 2015. The former President expressed these views at a media briefing held at the Tangalle Carlton house. "Many people say that several underhand monetary transactions took place at his house during that time. more..

Poor batting cost us the Test: Chandimal

Aug 7 (DN) Captain Dinesh Chandimal admitted that Sri Lanka lost the second Test to India at the SSC because of their poor batting display in the first innings. Replying to India’s massive first innings of 622-9 declared, SL was shot out for 183 and although they came up with a fighting batting display in their second innings to score 386 they still lost the Test by an innings. “We were completely outplayed. more..

No Confidence in a kleptocracy

Aug 7 (Island) I bring before the nation a proposal of no confidence (NC) in the present govt consisting of the UNP and the SLFP. There is no point in bringing NC motions against individuals of this unity govt. Yahapalanaya govt is nothing but a kleptocracy. The JO bringing a NC motion against Ravi Karunanayake (RK) is the joke of the century. It is the pot calling the kettle black. It is ludicrous. After all, when RK was installed as Minister of Finance he had a case against him for money laundering. more..

Cooray stops after 12km in World Marathon

Aug 7 (CT) Marathoner Anuradha Indajith Cooray faced an unfortunate incident as he had to give up the IAAF World Championship marathon after 12 km due to a ligament injury yesterday. The 39 year old who competed in his third IAAF World Championship marathon, said that he was suffering from a minor injury after running a 10km race a few weeks ago in London which he won and rested ahead of the world race yesterday, but it did not come off well. "Course had too many bends more..

Dimuth produces narrative-changing knock

Aug 7 (CI) When play begins on day four, Dimuth Karunaratne is in the nineties, and he is tentative. Of that there is little doubt. Second ball, he is beaten by a Mohammed Shami ball that straightens. Four overs later, a similar Shami delivery beats another of his drives. At the other end, where Ravindra Jadeja is bowling, deliveries fizz past his inside edge, and make conniving lunges at his stumps. more..

Today is Nikini Full Moon Poya Day

Aug 7 (DM) Just 21 days after the parinibbana of Buddha, Arahant Maha Kassapa decided that a great council must be held with the commencement of the rains retreat for the Sangha. It was held three months after the demise of the Buddha, at Sattapanni Rock Cave in Rajagaha, under the patronage of King Ajasattu. The attitude of Bhikkhu Subhadda who believed that the Buddha had been curtailing their freedom prompted Elder Maha Kassapa Maha Thera to call for it. more..

LOLC’s Riverina to become South Asia’s first Club Med

Aug 7 (CT) In recent months, Club Méditerranée SA, commonly known as Club Med, a French company, has accelerated its strategy of growth and international expansion - and the newest location to come under the Club Med brand umbrella is LOLC Group's Riverina Resort in Beruwela, a media release stated. Scheduled for completion in 2019, Sri Lanka's First Club Med will be the first Club Med in South Asia, giving it a unique positioning in the region, it added. more..

Adaraneeya Sri Lanka: NuwaraEliya

Tolerance and Diversity

Aug 7 (Island) Today all the major religions of the world must respond to a double challenge. On one side is the challenge of secularism, a trend which has swept across the globe, battering against the most ancient strongholds of the sacred and turning all man's movements towards the Beyond into a forlorn gesture, poignant but devoid of sense. On the other side is the meeting of the great religions with each other. As the most far-flung nations & cultures merge into a single global community, more..

Editorial: Of those winged MPs

Aug 7 (Island) MPs spend more time in foreign capitals than in their electorates. During a spate of natural disasters which left over 200 people dead and hundreds of thousands of others displaced a few moons ago, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe urged his MPs including ministers to go back to their constituencies and be with their electors in distress. Only a few govt & Opposition MPs were considerate enough to brave the extreme weather conditions to help those who had elected them and, more..

'High time Sri Lanka developed a comprehensive security and FR policy'

Aug 7 (CT) As Sri Lanka is facing a myriad of security challenges, both traditional and non-traditional, it is high time that the country develops a comprehensive security and foreign relations policy. Ceylon Today met the Director General of Sri Lanka's only security think tank, the Institute of National Security Studies SL, Asanga Abeyagoonasekera to discuss how he feels about the challenges we face. more..

Bond probe’s explosive claims threaten to eclipse I know nothing Ravi K’s sun

Aug 7 (ST) Oh dear! Would it not have been a bowl of hot soup that Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake found himself dipping his spoon into last Sunday with the dread of eating porridge on his mind after allegations were made by a witness at the Presidential Commission hearing into the bond scam that he and his family’s eight months stay last year at the 4000 square feet luxurious penthouse suite at the Monarch Residencies next to the Cinnamon Grand in Colombo 3, more..

Why we mustn’t move a millimeter beyond the 13th Amendment

Aug 7 (CT) The great American poet Robert Frost, alluding to the erection of the Berlin Wall, said that before he built a wall he’d ask to know what he was walling in or walling out (Mending Wall).  Similarly, before we devolve power any further, we must realize who, what and where we would be devolving power to, and with what result. Obviously we would be devolving more power to the Tamil majority North and East. More specifically we would be giving more power to the Northern and Eastern PCs more..

The perceptions of the Sinhalese should also be understood

Aug 7 (CT) The perceptions of the Sinhalese too should be understood. Many Sinhalese identify the Tamils of North and East with the recent Tamil immigrants from South India during British times during the past 200 years or so. They forget that the Tamils of the North and East occupied our Island even before the birth of Buddha. There had been waves of immigrants from India who added to the indigenous Tamil populations. more..

Classic dilemma of the unrepentant ministers

Aug 7 (ST) It is an exceedingly disconsolate reflection that key Cabinet Ministers of the unity alliance, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Justice for instance, appear to have a magic cloak around them, affording impunity for acts which should have, to put it bluntly, led to resignations by now. A favorite chorus that members of this Govt love to chant is that there is freedom to criticize now, unlike in dark and dangerous Rajapaksa times. However, to what extent is freedom of speech of any value more..

TINA……….Again

Aug 7 (CT) The recent plethora of events proves conclusively what many of us have been saying for longer than we care to remember: there is no alternative to the practice of the highest of moral and ethical codes and an unequivocal adherence to principle in governance. Nothing less will suffice. What has emerged from the, oftentimes overstated, pages of what have hitherto been treated as scurrilous scandal-sheets, is increasingly displaying, not merely the ring of truth, more..

No room for thieves in the govt: PM

Aug 6 (NR) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says tough measures will be taken if it is confirmed that anyone attached to the govt is involved in corruption. Speaking at an event held in Maskeliya today, PM said if allegations are confirmed, such persons will be evicted from the party. Premier said the Attorney General now summons and questions Ministers adding that the govt is open to such situations. more..

Daya: Better for Ravi to resign

Aug 6 (DM) The Minister of Primary Industries Daya Gamage said he personally believed it was appropriate for Minister Ravi Karunanayake to quit his portfolio until his innocence was proved in the allegations against him over obtaining a penthouse from the controversial Central Bank bond dealer Arjun Aloysius. “Such a decision on the part of the Minister will be good for the party Minister Karunanayake and I represent as well as for the Govt,” he said. more..

SL urged to enhance Seafarer opportunities

Aug 6 (CT) An international maritime organization yesterday called on the authorities to enhance training and facilities for local Seafarers adding that the country is positioned in a strategic shipping lane that could provide huge job opportunities in this sector. "The relevant State authorities must come together with private maritime organizations, including trade unions and concentrate on improving job opportunities for locals and towards this end they could encourage more institutes more..

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