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War crimes probe: UK says fully committed to UN process, follow-up action

Aug 29 (Island) The British govt said that its position vis-a-vis the investigation undertaken by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) into alleged war crimes accusations hadn’t changed. The British HC in Colombo was responding to a query by whether the US had consulted UK regarding its decision to back Sri Lanka’s domestic investigation into alleged war crimes accusations and whether UK would more..

Making candidates account for campaign funds a must during polls: PAFFREL

Aug 29 (DM) Local election watchdog PAFFREL said strict election laws should be introduced to make it compulsory for candidates to maintain only one bank account for election campaigning. PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi said candidates should declare the account to the Elections Commissioner and must also be required to reveal their campaign expenses once the election was over. more..

'Offshoot achieved better results than JVP'

Aug 29 (Island) Breakaway JVP faction, the NFF said that it had done better than the JVP at the Aug. 17 polls. NFF spokesperson Mohammed Muzammil said that under Wimal Weerawansa’s leadership the party had secured five parliamentary seats in Colombo (Wimal Weerawansa), Anuradhapura (Weerakumara Dissanayake), Kalutara (Jayantha Samaraweera), Matara (Niroshan Premaratne) and more..

Can we ever rely on official data?

Aug 29 (DM) It was sometime in mid last year I was having dinner with a former World Bank senior official where he started humiliating me and my journalist colleagues in a friendly tone saying that we were not performing our duty as demanded by society. Govt was lying even in its official statistics but the fourth pillar of democracy that should highlight these misdoings of the regime in the larger interest of public was keeping more..

Praise from British MPs for new SL govt

Aug 29 (DM) News of Ranil Wickremesinghe securing a 4th Term as Sri Lanka’s PM has been greeted with enthusiasm and expectation in Britain’s ruling Conservative Party which has historically enjoyed a close relationship with the UNP. British PM, David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party, which defied pollsters and won an overall majority at Britain’s May General Election, sent an official tweet from No.10 Downing St. praising Sri Lanka for a peaceful General Election, more..

Crisis of turning human beings into unpeople

Aug 29 (DM) Human trafficking and human slavery compounded by long-drawn wars, violence and persecution mainly in Iraq and Syria have set off the biggest refugee crisis in world history. On Wednesday two more horrifying events were reported. As Austria opened a summit on Thursday on asylum seekers crossing into the European Union en masse through western Balkan nations, the bodies of up to 50 refugees were discovered in a truck along a highway few miles from Vienna. more..

No need to present report on missing persons to UNHRC

Aug 29 (NS) Govt is unlikely to present the interim report, compiled by Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons (PCICRMP), at next month’s session of the UNHRC in Geneva. Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said the question of presenting interim report to UNHRC would not arise as the United States had already pledged to introduce a resolution in support of Sri Lanka more..

PM to appoint a committee of intellectuals to formulate constitutional reforms

Aug 29 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe plans to appoint a committee comprising intellectuals in the country to formulate the constitutional reforms. Committee will function under the directions of the PM. Committee will consist of several intellectuals including former Head of Dept of Political Science at Uni of Peradeniya Prof. M.O.A De Soyza and President’s Counsel Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne. PM has earlier announced that govt will formulate a new constitution within more..

Govt deploys Additional staff for paddy purchasing

Aug 29 (NS) Paddy Marketing Board is to deploy additional staff to paddy purchasing centers in order to expedite the process of purchasing and rectify the current situation. According to Paddy Marketing Board Chairman M.B Dissanayake officers of the Civil Defense Force as well, as Development Officers attached to District Secretariats will be deployed to paddy purchasing centers facing difficulties in making purchases due to the hundreds of farmers gathering at more..

Conflicting opinions on appointing Opposition Leader

Aug 29 (FT) No cabinet appointments or appointment for post of Opposition Leader have been made even though two weeks have passed since the conclusion of general election. However, there has been a lot of speculation as to which party is the Opposition and who has the right to hold the post of the Opposition Leader. SLFP spokesperson Dilan Perera has been quoted in the media in his personal capacity that he believes that TNA more..

Forged stamps on envelops of English teaching academy

Aug 29 (NS) The Special Crimes Investigation Unit of the Gampaha Police has commenced investigations into the discovery of 513 envelopes which were pasted with forged stamps amounting to over Rs.23,000. The envelopes all contained the name of a prominent English language teaching academy in Nittambuwa. Investigations commenced after a complaint was made to the Gampaha Special Crimes Investigation Unit by the Postmaster of the Nittambuwa post office regarding more..

UOM Department of Materials Science & Engineering celebrates Ruby anniversary

Aug 29 (CT) Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSc &E) of the University of Moratuwa celebrates its 40th anniversary today the 28 August 2015. The Head of the Department, Dr. S. U. Adikary said that a function has been arranged at 4:30 p.m. today at the Winchester Ballroom-Kingsbury Hotel, Colombo for staff, students and invitees. The distinguished invitees include several CEO's of Blue Chip Companies in Sri Lanka who will be gracing the occasion. more..

JVP National List MP to resign?

Aug 29 (NS) There are reports that JVP National List MP, former Auditor General Sarathchandra Mayadunne, is due to resign from his position as an MP when Parliament convenes. According to reports, Mayadunne is due to resign from his position after making a special statement in Parliament. JVP secured two National List MP slots. Mayadunne’s name was first on the JVP’s nominees on its National List and was also the most more..

CB likely to keep rates steady on Monday

Aug 29 (Reuters) The Central bank is expected to keep its policy interest rates unchanged at record lows on Monday. Central bank governor last month said that there could be a significant cut if a stable govt was elected, but as of Friday afternoon, however, a stable coalition govt had not been formed following the Aug 17 election. Eleven out of 13 analysts surveyed said they expect the central bank to leave the repurchase rate or standing deposit facility rate (SDFR) at 6%. more..

CHEC to supervise EIA on Port City

Aug 29 (NS) The project company of the Colombo Port City, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) last week said that it would supervise the production of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report following the inability of the relevant govt agencies to fund the process. The interim govt had previously directed the company to upgrade some of the environmental reports related to the project to a supplemental EIA in order to append the existing EIA. more..

Chamal to join National Unity Govt

Aug 29 (DN) Former Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa is to join National Unity Govt. Rajapaksa said he would stand along with the position of SLFP Party Chairman and President Sirisena on forming a Unity Govt. He said he was willing to give necessary strength required to form a govt to carry out the functions of the state uninterruptedly. "Politics is an ideology and a discipline. We have to abide by Party leader's decision," more..

Asian Sevens Series: Fazil's recovery vital

Aug 29 (CT) Sri Lanka Sevens skipper Fazil Marija and the best player at the recently held inter-club sevens tournament Richard Dharmapala who are recovering from injuries are scheduled to face a fitness trial on 31 August ahead of the Asian Sevens Series, which kicks off in China on 5th and 6th of September. Both players were included in the 16-member squad announced on Wednesday after a trial. But they did not take part in the trail which was held at the Race Course, due to injury. more..

Foreign liquor outlet close to Dalada Maligawa raided

Aug 29 (DN) Excise Department officers raided a foreign liquor sales outlet in a supermarket at D.S. Senanayake Mawatha, Kandy and arrested one person with 20 bottles of foreign liquor. Officials said the liquor outlet was located close to the Dalada Maligawa, adding that Kandy Perahera passes the outlet. All liquor outlets in Kandy town were closed on the direction of Excise Department Commissioner General L.K.G. Gunawardena in view of the Kandy Perahera. more..

Sanga: Just what every sportsman needs; a grumpy dad to say how useless they are

Aug 29 (Independent) If you don’t remember The Fast Show’s brilliant Competitive Dad character, don’t worry, you shouldn’t need to linger too long in any public park around the country before one comes along. That his two boys were not yet 10 years old didn’t prevent Competitive Dad from mercilessly pulverising them at whatever that week’s sporting contest happened to be, much to the dismay of his rather feeble wife. more..

Army campaign underway to make environment green

Aug 29 (NS) A tree planting campaign under the theme of Prevent disaster through greenery by Sri Lanka Army Security Forces Headquarters West gets underway at Preethipura beach, Wattala on September 7. The program which is supported by the Coast Conservation and Coastal Resources Department, Forest Conservation Department, ecologists and environmentalists, SFHQ West Commander Major General Ubaya Medawala announced at a press briefing at Panagoda. more..

DMK, PMK condemn U.S. stand on Sri Lanka

Aug 29 (Hindu) U.S. govt’s decision to support the new SL govt’s plans for a local inquiry into alleged wartime atrocities has evoked strong criticism from DMK leader M. Karunanidhi and PMK founder S. Ramadoss. “The U.S. govt’s move looks as if it wants to cover up the war crimes. I hope it will not happen. If Sri Lanka is allowed to conduct its own inquiry, DMK will strongly condemn the U.S.,” Mr. Karunanidhi said. Dr. Ramadoss said that though he was pained by decision of US govt, more..

Life around the bend in Sri Lanka

Aug 29 (IE) If Muttiah Muralitharan was a young upcoming spinner coming through the ranks in Sri Lanka today, there’s a good chance he might have never even made it to international cricket. For long the island has been renowned for producing spinners that have both charmed and mesmerised the cricket world. At the same time, these spinners have also routinely come under extreme scrutiny with regards to legitimacy of more..

SL cracks down on illegal ethanol imports

Aug 29 (ST) Sri Lanka’s revenue from excise duty jumped by 123% to Rs. 251.6 billion in the first seven months this year due to a state crackdown on illegal ethanol exports by reducing corruption and tax evasion, official sources revealed. The estimated loss on unpaid taxes through ethanol imports was over Rs. 60 billion per annum in the recent past while this year the Customs has already collected 73% of the full-year target of excise revenue. Much talked illegal ethanol import racket which has more..

SL expedites Volkswagen assembly plant

Aug 29 (ST) Sri Lanka will expedite the setting up of a Volkswagen automobile assembly plant in Kuliyapitya considering it as high priority under the new govt, officials said. Although it has been planned to commence operations within a time span of two years following the signing of the agreement recently between the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka and Senok Automobile and Volkswagen AG, the local company plans to launch the project as early as possible with the assistance of more..

Latest OBG research report says Market forces to drive Financial Consolidation

Aug 29 (CT) The coming year looks set to bring further consolidation to Sri Lanka's financial sector, with market forces expected to drive the trend, in lieu of the govt-led policy of the previous administration, a global publishing and research and consultancy firm, said. Oxford Business Group (OBG) releasing its latest Sri Lanka country report had stated that, "Although the in-coming govt is expected to formulate a new policy more..

Sri Lanka BOP pressured by consumer spending, external woes

Aug 29 (LBO) Post-war stimulus packages by Sri Lanka’s government have pushed up consumption demand which is now having an adverse impact on the trade deficit and balance of payments. This is one reason for the negative BOP position so far this year, Shiran Fernando at Frontier Research said. “We are in consumption overdrive. Fiscally you had two budgets full of stimulus that increased purchasing power of consumers,” Fernando told Lanka Business Online. more..

SINGER Fashion Academy empowers over 60,000 local entrepreneurs

Aug 29 (Island) Addressing the critical need of empowering young Sri Lankans to secure sustainable livelihoods through self-employment and entrepreneurship, SINGER Fashion Academy has produced over 60,000 young people skilled in professional dress-making and fashion design thereby enabling them to be self-employed or enter the garment industry as skilled workers, Kumar Samarasinghe, Sales Director-Singer (Sri Lanka) said in Colombo on Wednesday. more..

Harry J cries foul over state inaction related to illegal alcohol trade

Aug 29 (DM) Illegal alcohol manufacture is continuing to thrive with the aid of public officials as the state refuses to take action against provided information, said Distilleries Company of SL (DCSL) Chairman Harry Jayawardene. “We are sorry to witness the continuation of unfair and illegal practices in the industry, taking place under the very nose of the enforcement authorities,” business magnate said in his annual review this week. more..

Health and wealth of defeat in politics

Aug 29 (Island) "Sri Lanka is moving with speed to establish a new tradition in democratic governance, in the post-election race for power. One is not certain whether advanced democratic societies will accept this, but who cares, if Nisha Desai Biswal, who is said to echo Obama thinking, does not see this as affecting democratic progress." "What are you talking about?" I asked Prof. Yahapaalaratne, who is working on new trends in good governance, with South Asian origins. more..

There is no right of self-determination

Aug 29 (Island) In theory the post-General Elections situation looks very propitious for a political solution of the Tamil ethnic problem. There has been a note of moderation on the Tamil side, both on the part of the TNA and the GTF. On the Sinhalese side the new PM Ranil Wickremasinghe has been famously a soft-liner on the ethnic problem, and his political record shows that he could be expected to show a reasonable pragmatic accommodativeness in approaching the problem. more..

Cola giant in hot water

Aug 29 (NS) Coca-cola, the soda giant, announced an ambitious plan this Tuesday. The company now riddled in controversy over a contamination issue said it would replenish all the water used in making its beverages by the end of 2015. That’s five years of its scheduled goal. In retrospect the company may just have to rethink the numbers because over 500,000 cubic meters of water has already gone to waste. more..

Editorial: Empty rhetoric

Aug 29 (Island) People were urged, before the recently concluded election, to vote wisely and they have done so. They haven’t enabled either of the two main parties which are responsible for taking turns to bring the country to the present pass, to secure a working majority in Parliament, thus compelling them to work out a compromise formula. When govts get comfortable or steamroller majorities they get intoxicated with power and their leaders act like druggies. more..

Mahinda is no one’s babysitter

Aug 29 (NS) It’s easy to offer advice after the fact. Mahinda Rajapaksa had many exit-options. He could have ruled in a way that he could go out, even in defeat, with head held high. He did not. And yet, he had enough popularity and even grudging respect from detractors, to go into quiet retirement, barring of course the possibility that ghosts of wrongs done might return to haunt him. As the all-powerful executive president everything that happened during his rule either more..

'President distracted by party matters'

Aug 29 (NS) “I am appalled by what’s happening in the political arena in the first few days after the General Election,” Leader of the NMSJ, Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera said. Thero, who played a major role in the movement to field a common candidate against Mahinda Rajapaksa at the last Presidential Election and is a strong advocate of good governance who openly supported the coalition led by UNP at the recently more..

US backing local inquiry into alleged war crimes: Old wine in new bottles

Aug 29 (CT) The TNA MPs are sarcastically described as white veshti men by the voters in the North and the East for appearing in their traditional white attire during their election campaign. However, a week after the election, four of the newly elected TNA MPs led by their Leader R. Sampanthan and Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran appeared in western attire wearing suits to meet the US Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal Desai at US Ambassador's residence in Colombo more..

Election defeat: International conspiracy or hooniyam?

Aug 29 (SL) Two old friends of the Forward School for Backward Boys were meeting at their Waterhole to analyse the election results. So, how-how Machang what happened to your Rajapaksa? Fell down like a jak tree in the monsoon winds no? Crashing and smashing all beneath, said Nodath a dyed-in-the-green Sri Kotha supporter. What to do yakko? Knowing people will know-no, mumbled Sududath, leftist theoretician and supporter of the UPFA — by hook or by crook. more..

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