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Sri Lanka Tourism takes high ground: $40 bn Silk Route initiative

July 2 (CT) In the backdrop of the $100 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank that has been set in China for which $ 40 billion is been assigned for the development of the Silk Route, Sri Lanka Tourism took the high ground together with the SL Embassy in Beijing to launch an aggressive Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion in the top end Chinese province of Shandgon in the Quingdao city. Quingdao connects with Colombo city by more..

Australian Skye who chases the sun

July 2 (Island) I met The Fit Traveller- Skye on Instagram as we posted travel pictures and then on Twitter. She had a unique description of herself "Wellness • Nourishing Food • Luxury Travel Journalist roaming the globe to bring health conscious travellers the latest" And one day Skye Gilkeson was in Sri Lanka with her husband Andrew and we decided to meet. I wanted to know her story and of her travels and why she and Andrew had decided to travel for one year wanting to be more..

Can UNP win without Maithri?

July 2 (CT) When the election results were announced in the 1994 general elections, Chandrika Kumaratunge was in hiding at a secret location. She felt there were threats on her life. Only her confidantes were permitted to visit her. Those confidantes who were with her when the results were announced saw tears in her eyes. "See, having done such a massive campaign and the people's swing towards us we've got only 105 seats," she lamented with deep pain of mind. more..

Crucial talks today on Rs 1000 per day wage demand by tea trade unions

July 2 (Island) Trade union sources in the tea plantations pressed their demand for a Rs. 1000 per day wage as the jump – off point for for further negotiations with the respective managements. This is to be granted irrespective of plantation losses. Crucial negotiations between the parties today would either continue a period of relative industrial peace or end in confrontation. Planters’ Association of Ceylon (PA) said prices for plantation more..

Basnayake Nilames back incumbent Diyawadana Nilame for second term

July 2 (Island) The Basnayake Nilames Association of Sri Lanka announced that the association had decided to help the incumbent Diyawadana Nilame Pradeep Nilanga Dela secure another ten-year term. President of the association Basnayake Nilame of Kataragama Devale, Kandy Kushan Wegodapola, said that the association had decided to support the incumbent Diyawadana Nilame. The association would launch a campaign to canvass for the re-election of Pradeep Nilanga Dela, more..

CMC hires extra lorries to clear Ginthupitiya garbage

July 2 (DN) CMC has hired extra lorries to address the garbage issue in Ginthupitiya, in addition to its own fleet of lorries, said Colombo Deputy Mayor Titus Perera. Those lorries would also be deployed today along with the CMC lorries to collect massive garbage dumps which have piled up for days in some areas of Colombo. Situation was aggravated due to part of the massive garbage dump in Jinthupitiya being strewn on the road causing problems for the trucks clearing the garbage. more..

Youth Athletes in a quandary: Only 4 out of 13 qualified athletes listed

July 2 (CT) Youth athletes were left in a quandary as the Athletics Association (AASL) has decided to send only four athletes for the IAAF World Youth Championship even though 13 youth (under 18) athletes have achieved required qualifying standards. Championship will be held from 15th to 19th July in Colombia. "For now we have decided to send four medalists of 1st Asian Youth Athletics championship for the world event" more..

Pros and cons of Whistle-blowing

July 2 (ST) “Other professionals like lawyers, doctors or architects are not asked to blow the whistle. So why only the accountants,” asked an irate accountant at a recent meeting. Another colleague responded from the other side of the room: “That may be because we audit company reports that are publicly listed and shareholders go by our statement and comments.” This discussion occurred at the auditorium of the Chartered Accountants Institute of Sri Lanka when more..

Monk Vs agents of Satan

July 2 (Island) I once read an article written by Prof. Kumar David in The Island. He says that the interview given by Ven. Maduluwave Sobitha, to the Sunday Thinakural, was the most significant political interview in the last six months. Prof. David says that the interview was a stunner when Sobitha Hamuduruwo said that, if he got elected, within six months he would abolish the executive presidency and the electoral system and step down from the position of President. more..

Kumar Sangakkara: not many compare to Sri Lanka’s selfless statesman

July 2 (Guardian) I remember very well the moment I first fell for Kumar Sangakkara. It wasn’t at Lord’s, or any other cricket ground, but in a sideroom at the offices of the Terrence Higgins Trust in King’s Cross. And he wasn’t playing a cover drive, or diving to take a catch, but interviewing HIV and Aids workers about their day jobs. Sangakkara was, still is, an ambassador for the ICC’s Think Wise campaign, more..

Pakistan’s HC vows to continue support for Lankan youth’s nation-building capacity

July 2 (FT) The High Commissioner of Pakistan to Sri Lanka, Major General Shakeel Hussain, reiterated Pakistan’s intention to continue its support to Sri Lanka to enhance the younger generation’s nation-building capacity through better educational opportunities. He made these comments last evening at a ceremony where scholarships worth Rs. 3.67 million were awarded to 154 Sri Lankan O/L and A/L students under the Jinnah Educational Scholarship Programme of Pakistani govt. more..

Editorial: An egregious blunder

July 2 (Island) An irate parent has, in a letter to the editor, lashed out at the politicians responsible for scheduling a general election for August, when the GCE A/L exam and Grade Five Scholarship exams are held. A respected senior engineer, he has spoken for hundreds of thousands of parents perturbed by the timing of the election. He has demanded that the polls be postponed. One cannot but agree with him. Priority should be given to children’s education & not electoral contests. more..

'Indian Ocean cannot be backyard of India'

July 2 (PTI) China recognises India’s special role in stabilising the strategic Indian Ocean region but the perception that it is India’s backyard may result in clashes, Chinese military officials and experts have cautioned. “The word backyard is not very appropriate to use for an open sea and international areas of sea,” Senior Captain Zhao Yi, associate professor of the Institute of Strategy in China’s National Defence University, said more..

NM at 110

July 2 (FT) This year marked the 110th birth anniversary of Nanayakkarapathirage Martin Perera, better known as Dr. N.M. Perera; Leader of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party, popular labour leader, one-time Mayor of Colombo, outstanding Parliamentarian, Marxist, intellectual, sportsman, sometime film actor and above all a man whose life and contribution to our political evolution is commemorated with respect even today, nearly four decades after his death. more..

Rajapaksa’s swansong

July 2 (FT) Slobodan Milosevic was the President of Serbia from 1989 to 1997 and President of Yugoslavia from 1997 to 2000. Yugoslavia was established in 1918 and in 1946 after World War II it was renamed the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia under communist rule of Josip Broz Tito who ruled the country as President until his death in 1980. The six Socialist Republics that made up Yugoslavia were Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia & Serbia. more..

President CBK: A reflection on her politics

July 2 (GV) In 1994, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, at the age of forty nine years, was elected as the youngest and first ever female President of Sri Lanka. 21 years later, in June 2015, as she celebrates her 70th birthday, it is appropriate to look back at the legacy of this amazing lady, who has so significantly impacted and helped shape the contemporary history of our nation. more..

Campaign issues revolve around leadership

July 2 (CT) Ranil the PM placed his UNP Working Committee on a serious footing by explaining the difficulties that should not be under estimated. As a leader in full control, he need not neglect anybody with a possible important contribution. Now there are no such complains and all have accepted his leadership. On the other hand there is evidence that a wide split is growing in the SLFP and in the UPFA. Hence the general belief in the UNP leadership is, that they could return to power, is inevitable. more..

Targets need realistic timelines: SEC Chairman

July 2 (NS) The Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC), Thilak Karunaratne says the establishment of the Central Clearing Corporation, amending the SEC Act and facilitating the Demutualisation of the CSE will only be possible before the end of the year 2016. “I think it is time we gave serious consideration to achieve concrete outcomes on several important fronts by defining realistic timelines. I am of the belief that before the end of the year 2016 more..

A unique campaign to create awareness about women’s rights

July 2 (CT) It’s just a rectangular piece of thin cardboard, innocuous in terms of influence, even fragile if one considers its breakability. But the message it is seeking to deliver is potent – Empowerment. Equality. Emancipation. Rights.... simple words, yet powerful in their import, especially for women, for whom every step forward towards an enlightened world has been akin to breaching a new frontier of male domination. more..

Mr. President, Do not take it for granted!

July 2 (CT) The eagerly expected Presidential election was over in January. A tyrant was thrown out of the office by the democratic will of the people. Although the former president made several attempts to get him re-elected by deception and fraud, the peoples’ power won. There was very clear evidence for violence, misuse of the military for campaigning, wasteful distribution of benefits to govt employees to buy their loyalty and other misuse of state resources, creating more..

Stakes at the parliamentary elections

July 2 (CT) Over 15 million are registered as voters and around 75 percent of them most probably would be voting at the scheduled parliamentary elections on 17 August. Although the 20th Amendment was proposed in Parliament, it was clear from the beginning that the next elections would be held under the prevailing PR system. This means preferential competitions within parties or coalition of parties, in addition to the bitter competitions between political parties. more..

Rajapakse to lead faction at upcoming poll

July 1 (AFP) Sri Lanka's former president Mahinda Rajapakse announced Wednesday he would lead an opposition faction at the upcoming general election, months after defeat in a presidential poll ended his decade in power. Rajapakse, an autocratic ruler accused of siphoning off millions during his tenure, said he would spearhead a faction at parliamentary elections in August. But he stopped short of saying more..

Voters urged to shun candidates of disrepute

July 1 (EN) Sri Lanka’s business community and professionals organisations have thrown their weight behind calls for voters to elect only candidates of repute and against those involved in frauds, violence and crime at forthcoming polls. A statement said they plan to launch an islandwide campaign asking political parties to refrain from nominating candidates of disrepute. They also endorsed the March 12th Declaration an initiative of PAFFREL and the Citizens’ Collective, more..

Trade Union wants polls postponed

July 1 (ST) A leading education trade union today called the govt to postpone the Parliamentary elections as it was clashing with the G.C.E. (A/L) exams. Mahinda Jayasinghe General Secretary Ceylon Teachers’ Services Union said failing which they will call the students, parents and teachers for a protest. ‘We will protest against the rulers who scarify education over elections’, he said. He said that the parliament was dissolved on June 25 while nominations have been fixed more..

Sri Lanka to begin life without big two

July 1 (AFP) Sri Lanka will get a glimpse of a future without their batting greats when the decisive third and final Test against Pakistan begins in Pallekele on Friday. For the first time in 15 years since Kumar Sangakkara's debut in July 2000, Sri Lanka will take the field in a Test without either him or Mahela Jayawardene in the ranks. Sangakkara, Test cricket's leading current run-getter, committed himself to playing just two more..

We will go it alone unless threat from MR arises: SF

July 1 (DM) While claiming they would contest alone at the upcoming General Election, Democratic Party Leader, Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka said they would only join a common political front if there was a real threat of ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa returning to power. “If a threat arises where Mahinda Rajapaksa and his associates could return to power, we will join an alliance that would defeat it. That is the only scenario that would compel us to change our stance,” he said at an event more..

Sri Lanka players shine in second Test victory in Colombo

July 1 (ICC) A fine all-round display inspired Sri Lanka to a seven-wicket victory over Pakistan in the second Test which concluded in Colombo on Monday. In the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakarra has dropped one place to fourth, but the biggest mover inside the top 10 is Angelo Mathews who has climbed three places to fifth after scoring 77 and 43 not out. Mathews now holds a 32-point advantage over England’s Joe Root. more..

SL’s 2015 Kunming take surpasses $2M

July 1 (CT) Sri Lankan biz, facilitated by EDB strongly raged at the recent Kunming international fair in China notching initial an income surpassing $2 M – and some eager Lankan firms are still continuing in the mainland having been asked by keen Chinese firms to stay back and conclude initial agreements for future biz. "Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and I led the Lankan delegation to Kunming Fair and this was a national level more..

Four SSPs, three ASPs transferred

July 1 (DM) Police Department today announced that four SSPs and three ASPs including one from the CID and the other from the TID were transferred with immediate effect.It said the transfers were based on service requirements. IGP's Command Information Division Director, SSP J.I.D.A. Gunathileka was transferred to the Mount Lavinia Division; SSP R.M. Harishchandra Bandara from the Kuliyapitiya Division to the Police Field Force Headquarters; SSP M.H.K.D. Mahagedara more..

EROS contests alone

July 1 (AM) Eelavar Democratic Front leader Rajanathan Prabaharan stated that the party will contest the upcoming general election in the north, east and Central Highlands individually, under its symbol, the plough. Prabaharan said that his intention was to safeguard the liberty of the people. The EDF will support any party which comes to power will work with them for the betterment of the people, he added. Although a minor player in SL's Tamil politics, EDF has a history of 40 years. more..

SEC scraps Lanka Rating Agency license

July 1 (EN) Sri Lanka's capital markets regulator said it had not renewed the license of Lanka Rating Agency (LRA), one of three credit rating agencies operating in the country, after issuing a cease and desist order against the firm in March. "LRA is not entitled to carry on the business of assessing and evaluating or reviewing the credit-worthiness of any issue of listed securities or securities to be listed," SEC said. more..

People will consign MR to the dustbin: Navin

July 1 (DM) In a response to former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s speech today, Tourism and Sports Minister Navin Dissanayake said people would reject Mr. Rajapaksa and consign him into the dustbin of history. Mr. Rajapaksa in his speech from Medamulana said he would contest the general election. The minister in a message posted in his Facebook page said the speech was an old tape and was nothing new for the people. “Mahinda same old stuff..old tape...nothing new for the people more..

15,000 poll monitors for General Election

July 1 (CT) People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) has decided to deploy 15,000 local and foreign observers for observing the forthcoming general election due to be held on 17 August. Executive Director of PAFFREL Rohana Hettiarachchi said that they expect to deploy 25 observers from the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) among the 15,000 election observers for the parliamentary election. He further said that he intends to deploy them as more..

Bonds sold at high rates on Central Bank Governor's orders: inquiry

July 1 (EN) Central Bank has sold 30-year bonds at high interest rates on the order of Governor Arjuna Mahendran, where a company connected to his son-in-law has benefitted, over-ruling officials of the debt office, a draft report of a parliamentary inquiry shows. CB's Public Debt Department which issues debt on behalf of the Treasury, sold 10 billion rupees of 30-year bonds on Feb 27, after calling bids for only a billion rupees. more..

FLSP contesting election to create different discourse

July 1 (AM) Frontline Socialist Party officially announced that it will contest in the forthcoming general election. FLSP Propaganda Secretary Pubudu Jayagoda said that the party was contesting the election to point out the real issues faced by the public. He said that although the presidential election on Jan 8 is described as a revolution, it just transferred power from one group to the other. Pointing out that Rajapaksa's govt did not solve real issues, Jayagoda argued that present govt more..

Producing good candidates from a bad electoral system

July 1 (FT) Finally, the seventh Parliament has been put out of its misery. Now begins the nomination phase of the general election that will be conducted under the electoral system that has been in place since the 1980s. The true test of whether the country has made any progress toward good governance is the quality of the nominations. Contrary to the statements of some well-meaning people, there is considerable dissatisfaction in the land about the electoral system, especially about quality of more..