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First autopsy report on Lasantha murder issued to mislead probe

Aug 13 (SL) It has now proved that the first autopsy report of the Founding Editor of The Sunday Leader newspaper, Lasantha Manilal Wickrematunge had been issued to mislead investigations, similar to that of Wasim Thajudeen. On Thursday (10), second postmortem report of Wickrematunge was produced before the Mt. Lavinia Magistrate which stated the cause of death was due to stab injuries with a blunt weapon. more..

A spectre of graft haunts Sri Lanka

Aug 13 (Hindu) Corruption scandals seem to be following Sri Lanka’s national unity govt like an afternoon shadow, growing with time. The first blow came in relation to a bond sale at the Central Bank in February 2015, barely a month after the govt was formed on an anti-corruption platform. Former Governor of the Bank Arjuna Mahendran, who was hand-picked by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe for the job, was accused of sharing confidential information with his son-in-law’s firm, and more..

Railway guards on strike over bed bugs

Aug 13 (NR) Railway guards commenced a strike at 10am today in protest of authorities not taking measures to eradicate bed bugs in their restrooms. Chairman of the Railway Guards Union, PMCB Pieris said the conditions of the restrooms are unacceptable. He added authorities have not intervened to rid the restrooms of this menace adding the union was promised the matter would be to today yet they had been informed the matter would not be addressed. more..

Governance levels unlikely to improve: Poll

Aug 13 (ST) Not many people believe Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s resignation would improve governance and accountability levels, a poll conducted through email on Friday, reveals. But it was noted that this is a landmark development in Sri Lankan politics where an accused (not proven guilty yet by a court of law) has resigned. Some respondents commended the former minister for his bold move. more..

Sri Lanka struggles with debt trap

Aug 13 (ST) SL appears to be entangled in a skyrocketing debt issue as the country’s revenue has become inadequate to bridge state expenditure during the 1st quarter this year. Govt has resorted to heavy borrowings more than its revenue during the first four months this year risking its external debt profile, economic experts said. Therefore SL has no alternative other than tapping international capital markets once again to raise urgently needed funds through syndicated loans, they added. more..

Wijeyadasa denies charge

Aug 13 (DM) Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe denied allegations that he had breached the collective responsibility of the Cabinet by criticizing a decision taken by it. He was recently criticized by several ministers over a statement he made with regard to regaining of the Hambantota Port.   The minister said it was not a criticism but a comment made to retrieve a national asset.   “The Cabinet decision was to lease out the Hambantota Port and I didn’t challenge or criticize it.  more..

Sri Lanka to move on market pricing fuel

Aug 13 (EN) SL is in favour of formula pricing fuel to reflect international prices, a minister said, which is long required move to reduce the risk of balance of payments and currency collapse, when prices move up. "Finance minister Mangala Samaraweera will be introducing pricing formulae to reflect international prices and give the benefit to consumers," Minister Eran Wickramaratne said. Pricing formula on one side lowers fuel more..

Pallekele: Still cutting its teeth as a Test venue

Aug 13 (ST) It may surprise one and all to know that Pallekele has staged a mere five Test matches in a span of nearly seven years. There were a few two test tours, during which the Kandy venue invariably lost out. Spin-friendly Galle was always a first choice as the hosts liked to get off the blocks, fire the first salvo, in a truncated series. Quaint, old fashioned Asgiriya had her charms. Accessibility was a factor in her favour. Yet the draw backs outweighed the advantages. Media box was cramped and more..

Ravi’s dramatic withdrawal prods AG’s Dept to gee-up

Aug 13 (SO) Responsibility and irresponsibility - Last week´s events in our resplendent island can be used as a perfect example of the dichotomy between responsibility and irresponsibility. As former Finance and Foreign Minister, Ravi Karunanayake strode in the parliament chamber to make his resignation speech; the nation was already appraised of the decision. The former minister´s meeting on Tuesday morning with the President and PM was a much discussed item within political circles more..

‘I was devastated when things did not work’

Aug 13 (ST) Graham Ford who stepped down as Sri Lanka coach, ending his second tenure with the side after 15 months said that he was devastated at the circumstances which led to his resignation. “I was devastated when things did not work out for me at SLC,” said Ford responding to the ST from South Africa. However, Ford refused to discuss those circumstances which led for his resignation in public. more..

Is there a jinx on our cricket?

Aug 13 (Island) At the end of the second Test against India, the image of SLC is wallowing in the doldrums – possibly as never before. In the current Test rankings (as at Aug 7) Sri Lanka is at No.7 – out of 10 teams. In the ODI rankings we are at No. 8 out of 12 participating teams, and finally, in the T20 competition Sri Lanka is ranked No.8 out of 18 teams. The only Test-playing nations below Sri Lanka are Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. Then add on the results of the 2 past Tests against India: more..

The lost mystery

Aug 13 (Island) The often asked question by visiting journalists from India who are covering the ongoing series is what happened to Ajantha Mendis. It has been almost ten years since Mendis stunned the Indians in the bilateral series between the countries in 2008 taking a World Record 26 wickets. He broke Sir Alec Bedser’s record for most wickets in a debut series that had stood for more than 60 years. Since that series,  which Sri Lanka won 2-1, they have not been able to beat India in a series. more..

SL hit back after Dhawan 119, Rahul 85

Aug 13 (CI) The first half of the day produced a massive opening partnership, a seventh successive 50-plus score for KL Rahul and a second century of the tour for Shikhar Dhawan. Then, Sri Lanka hit back through their trio of left-armers, the orthodox spin of Malinda Pushpakumara, the unorthodox spin of Lakshan Sandakan, and the swing of Vishwa Fernando. India scored 188 without loss in the first 39.2 overs more..

Sharmal retains Men’s Singles title

Aug 13 (ST) Top seeded Sharmal Dissanayake kept composure and outclassed third seeded Sankha Athukorala to retain the Men’s Open Singles title with a convincing win in the final of the 102nd National Tennis Championship at the SLTA tennis courts in Greenpath, Colombo. Marauding Sharmal was too good for his opponent as he cruised through to victory with identical scores of 6-0, 6-0 in the three set finale. Sankha who earlier won the doubles title partnered by Yasitha de Silva was aiming to more..

Highest opening stand by a visiting team

Aug 13 (CI) Stats highlights from a banner day for Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul in Pallekele. 7 - Number of consecutive fifty-plus scores for KL Rahul in Tests. He equalled the record of Everton Weekes, Andy Flower, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Kumar Sangakkara and Chris Rogers for the most consecutive fifty-plus scores. Rogers and Rahul are the only players to have not converted any of their seven fifties in that sequence into a hundred. 188 - Opening stand between Dhawan and Rahul, more..

President Maithri looking for a Foreign Minister as ministers wage a war on AG

Aug 13 (CT) It completed 12 years on Saturday, since the country lost one of its finest Foreign Affairs Ministers Lakshman Kadirgamar to a bullet of an LTTE sniper. It remains a fact that his successors were far from being on par with Kadirgamar in executing duties as the Foreign Minister or gaining international as well as local respect and recognition. However, the office once treated as one of the prestigious institutions in the country, more..

Yahapalanaya’s collective sigh of relief at Ravi K.’s brouhaha-exit

Aug 13 (ST) Resignation of Ravi Karunanayake from his ministerial post on Thursday, just days before the Govt of national unity celebrates its second year in office, helped defuse a crisis that has shaken the yahapalanaya govt to its roots and tested its commitment to uphold principles of good governance. Despite his exit from the inner circles of Govt, Mr Karunanayake, who announced his resignation in a statement to the House, remained defiant while professing his innocence, more..

Ravi’s ouster: Yahapalanaya devouring its own rear end

Aug 13 (Island) Two momentous events that will have far reaching implications for the yahapalana govt took place last Thrusday. Because of the drama surrounding Ravi Karunanayake’s resignation from the position of Foreign Minister, the other even more important event which took place later that evening, went almost unnoticed. Yet this second event will have a more immediate and drastic impact on the yahapalana govt than even the resignation of Ravi K. This was the dissension that more..

Adaraneeya Sri Lanka: Monaragala

A time to plant, a time to reap

Aug 13 (ST) My dear Ravi, I do apologise for writing to you again so soon – especially after writing to you a fortnight ago and writing to your spouse only last week. I don’t think you will be annoyed though, because very few people will visit you, talk to you or write to you now, now that you are no longer a top minister! Ravi, I am not sure whether I should commiserate with you or congratulate you. At first I thought it should be the former because, after all, it is not every day that more..

Why this controversy over elections to PCs

Aug 13 (ST) While a new Constitution is on the drawing boards, a 20th Amendment to the existing (1978) Basic Law is creeping up for passage in the interim. 20th Amendment was meant to be on Electoral reforms, but this appears to be a hurried move to offset the need to hold Provincial Council elections that are looming in at least three areas, viz., East, North Central and Sabaragamuwa – something sections of govt are averse to holding, given its current standing with the electorate. more..

'Religious leaders behind theft and fraud'

Aug 13 (SL) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said he has never acted in a manner that would tarnish the image of the party or bring discredit to the party. He urged the people to assist the govt in taking the country forward towards prosperity, having taken over a country that was burdened with a huge debt. However, he said the majority of the country’s theft and fraud is committed by religious leaders, secondly those in legal more..

Let Yahapalana not trifle with justice

Aug 13 (CT) Philosophers, hedonists, idealists, et al have through the ages tried to sift this evil called crime in an effort to understand every single thread in its vast canvass and they find that crime is at best an invisible DNA element that runs in the blood of men and women born with that element. It's extensively pervasive in human nature, be it manifested as rape, graft, bribery and all manner of corruption, abduction, incest, whatever else that comes under the broad definition of crime. more..

Ravi departs – Gihilla ennang?

Aug 13 (Island) The dust is finally settling on the many headline grabbing news breaks of recent days with Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s departure from the govt last week. He had few options; having learned the hard way that politics is a dirty game, he made a statement in parliament explaining his side of the story without bitterness or rancor saying he was doing what was best for his country and his party and undoubtedly himself. Karunanayake, like PM Wickremesinghe, more..

'An ideal opportunity to market the Govt'

Aug 13 (SO) Minister Harin Fernando says, Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s resignation is a classic precedent that has never been set by any law maker or a Govt, and is a novel practice established in Sri Lankan politics. Minister Fernando said, we should not however forget, this is the second such occasion, since Minister Tilak Marapana also resigned and his resignation was not given prominence even by the media, more..

Rejuvenate the Yahapalanaya govt

Aug 13 (SL) Propaganda ghouls have announced driving the Nth+1 last nail into the Yahapalanaya coffin but the govt is not dead as they may have wished and is quite alive and kicking. Most democratic governments have their debacles but they cannot be counted out. In the United States, six months in office, President Donald Trump can’t get legislation through the Congress even though the Republican Party of which he is the president is in the majority. more..

Doing the right thing

Aug 13 (SO) Historic moments are often bitter-sweet, even to those heroes of the moment. To his ministerial colleagues in govt, Ravi Karunanayake did the right thing, at the right time, for his party and, most importantly, for his country. For his political opponents, the departure from the cabinet of a political heavyweight is opportune advantage and, hence, a victory. To the citizenry, those who want such propriety, Mr. Karunanayaka’s resignation from his cabinet post was certainly the right thing more..

TNA calls on US to ensure GoSL fulfils its Geneva commitments

Aug 12 (Island) The US has been urged to ensure that Sri Lanka fully implemented the Geneva Resolution 30/1 co-sponsored by Colombo on Oct 1, 2015. The Geneva resolution has proposed setting up of a hybrid war crimes court including foreign judges among other things. A statement issued by the Office of the Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan quoted the veteran politician as having told a visiting delegation of US Congressmen more..

Faiszer to remove Foreigners Only notice in southern hotels and restaurants

Aug 12 (FT) Minister Faiszer Musthapha is spearheading an initiative to ensure hotels and restaurants in the Southern coast do not bar locals from patronising them. “I got to know that various local entrepreneurs engaged in the hospitality industry in the southern coastal area have published Foreigners Only boards in their beach resorts and have totally ignored local tourists. Each citizen has the privilege to visit any part of their country. No one has the legal authority to take away that right” more..

India keen to run Sri Lanka airport

Aug 12 (Hindu) India has expressed interest to operate Sri Lanka’s second international airport situated in Mattala, about 40 km from the southern town of Hambantota, where China has majority stake in a strategic port it built. SL govt earlier this week cleared Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva’s request for a committee to study the Indian govt’s proposal. India proposes to operate, manage, maintain and develop the airport through a joint venture, holding 70% of equity for 40 years. more..

'Some illiterate elements blame AG’s Dept'

Aug 12 (CT) ASG Yasantha Kodagoda PC making a special statement before the Bond Commission said that people making allegations on how 8600 pages of data was derived were illiterate. Ravi Karunanayake in his resignation speech questioned as to how such a large volume of data was deciphered and accused the Attorney General of a conspiracy. “That is how 8600 pages were scanned & details found within 48 hrs. more..

Thalatha slams Land Reform Commission for fraud, corruption

Aug 12 (Island) Minister Thalatha Athukorale recently flayed the Land Reform Commission as a dormant institution full of fraud and corruption. She said in future all those who didn’t possess deeds for the lands they had and lived on for over two or three generations would be issued with deeds. She said Housing Minister Sajith Premadasa had visited the area and provided housing loans to 600 people in the District, 200 self-employment tool kits had also been presented. more..

Slashing of Samurdhi benefits: Officials to protest

Aug 12 (CT) A protest campaign will be staged soon against the slashing of Samurdhi relief and depriving the official pension scheme that was provided by former President Rajapaksa. Secretary to the All Ceylon Samurdhi Development and Agricultural Research Products Assistant Officers Association (ACSDARPAOA) and representatives from the Western Provincial Council announced. "When the present govt came into power, they assured many promises to Samurdhi scheme. more..

TNA won’t back 20 A: Govt. move to put off PC polls in jeopardy

Aug 12 (Island) The TNA declared that it wouldn’t support the 20th Amendment in its present form, under any circumstances, MP M.A. Sumanthiran said. TNA parliamentary group comprises 16 members, including two National List MPs. Asked whether the four-party coalition was having discussions with the govt regarding the 20th Amendment that would vest in Parliament the powers of dissolved Provincial Council, more..

Order issued to evacuate Eastern University students

Aug 12 (DM) An evacuation order was issued by Eravur Magistrate’s Court following a request made by the Eravur Police, University’s Vice Chancellor said. A tense situation was prevailing at the Eastern University from Tuesday when a large group of students surrounded the university's administrative building Senate House and held it's VC captive, making a number demands. The students had ignored a request made by the police to release the VC and move out of the premises. more..

Last of the Masters: With Ranagana Herath on his last legs

Aug 12 (IE) These days, SL’s chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya, by his own admission, dreads the word transition. With each passing defeat, the tenor, and the implication of the word acquires a gruffer tint. The fit-for-all tone is a readymade answer, accompanied by that wide smile. It’s not easy to replace legends like Mahela and Sanga, he would repeat. Somehow, he always misses the name of his contemporary, Muttiah Muralitharan. Rather, his successor Rangana Herath hasn’t more..