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'Unconstitutional for MR to seek, third term'

Aug 31 (CT) Q: Why do you say that it's unconstitutional for President Rajapaksa to seek a third term in office? A: Because he was elected to power to serve only two terms in office. Q: But the 18th Amendment (18A) to the Constitution did away with those limits? A: Rajapaksa was re-elected to power before the 18A was passed. He could seek for a third term only if there was a sub clause in 18A, saying more..

Lame duck Lanka for World Cup 2015

Aug 31 (ST) While watching the second One-Day International between Sri Lanka and Pakistan, many thoughts were reverberating in my mind. There is no argument, Sri Lanka won the match in an emphatic manner scoring over three hundred runs against an attack which is as good as the Pakistanis possess. Yet, the composition of the Lankan team looked ill-fitting and full of plasters. In that game, one glaring feature was that the team hierarchy and the selectors had concocted an outfit which more..

15 teams in Asian Volleyball Championship

Aug 31 (SO) Shehan Bandara of Joseph Vaz College, Wenappuwa, will lead the Sri Lanka Under 18 Boys Volleyball Team at the 10th Asian Boys Volleyball Championship which will commence next Friday at the Sugathadasa Stadium Indoor Volleyball Arena. Almost all the players are from outstation schools with five players coming from Devi Samara Maha Vidyalaya, Seeduwa and a solitary player from Royal College, Colombo. The team coach Charles said that he was confident of the performance more..

13th Amendment: Yes or No!

Aug 31 (SL) Despite the pressure from India and Tamil political parties, the SL govt has maintained that the 13th Amendment would not be fully implemented and police and land powers would not be devolved to the provinces. Sunday Leader spoke to several politicians to get their opinion on as to why the full implementation of the 13th Amendment is important to the Northern Province and what solution could be given to more..

TPG to acquire maximum 70% in Union Bank

Aug 31 (ST) TPG, the USA-based global private investment firm has informed Union Bank (UB) that they’ll acquire up to 70% of the latter as permitted by law under the mandatory offer, at an offer price of Rs 25 per share. This will provide TPG with an aggregate shareholding of up to a maximum of 70% of the issued shares of the bank. UB announced recently that it has finalized an investment agreement with the TPG in which the latter is investing Rs. 15 billion in the local bank. more..

Gloomy economy

Aug 31 (CT) Despite Central Bank's efforts to keep interest rates down to support the private sector credit growth, there has not been any remarkable economic activity as expected, a senior economist said. Senior professor at the dept of economics of the Colombo Uni Dr. Priyanga Dunusinghe said, Central Bank continued to keep the low interest rates unchanged to accelerate private sector credit growth; despite which the private sector has not shown any enthusiasm. more..

Is LTTE trying to regroup in Australia?

Aug 31 (Hindu) Is the LTTE, which ran out of steam in 2009 following the killing of its founder Prabhakaran by SL forces, trying to regroup itself in Australia? The arrest of four human traffickers while trying to transport six Sri Lankans to the land of Kangaroos through the Prakasam coast earlier this week has led to a suspicion among sleuths that the LTTE may be trying to revive itself after lying low for five years. more..

Sri Lanka vies for Offshoring Destination Award in UK

Aug 31 (LBT) Sri Lankan Outsourcing industry has continued to add to its growing brand value and International recognition by being Short Listed by the National Association for Outsourcing (NOA) in the U.K for its Offshoring Destination of the Year Award for 2014. Winners will be announced on Nov 20, 2014 at a glittering event to be held at the London Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square. The National Outsourcing Association Awards (NOAAs) now in its eleventh year recognizes and celebrates more..

Some northern fishermen want to use trawlers

Aug 31 (Hindu) A section of Sri Lanka’s northern fishermen has urged the NPC to allow them to use trawlers, citing the damage caused by Indian trawlers. A group of fishermen from Valvettithurai, on the north-eastern coast of the Jaffna peninsula, met Northern Province Fisheries Minister B. Deniswaran recently and told him that unless they were allowed to use trawlers, they would not be able to stay in business. Sri Lanka has banned 18 fishing practices, including bottom trawling. more..

'Thisara will be major part of WC squad'

Aug 31 (CI) As teams gear up for the battle royale in Australia and New Zealand next year, penetrative quick bowlers are at a premium. For months Sri Lanka's selectors and captain have been speaking of developing pace stocks for the World Cup, and they appear to have lurched closer to that goal in the series against Pakistan. Lasith Malinga was seemingly lower on pace, but even with a quieter series for their usual more..

Touchwood former directors to be held liable

Aug 31 (ST) The Touchwood case on Thursday took a new twist in the Commercial High Court when lawyers said the former directors should also be held accountable. The company’s former directors and not only the present Touchwood CEO Lanka Kiwlegedera could also be held liable for the company it was stated in court. Avindra Rodrigo, Counsel for the petitioner in the Touchwood winding up case, had stated that the company directors were not acting bona fide and had committed fraud more..

Palestine thanks President for donation

Aug 31 (SO) Palestine’s Ambassador in Colombo Zuhair Mhzaid called upon the External Affairs Ministry on Wednesday to express the gratitude of the people for President Rajapaksa’s US $ 1 million donation to the war-affected people of the Gaza strip. He expressed delight that a long-time truce has been reached between Palestine and Israel ending the gruesome deaths, destruction and trauma of the people and they were optimistic that there will be no more clashes between more..

Boat tangle botched up Indo-Lankan talks

Aug 31 (ENS) Talks between the governments of India, Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu on the fisheries issue, which were held in New Delhi on Friday, ended inconclusively, because of the dispute over the release of boats/trawlers, a leader of TN fishermen said. “The actual proceedings of the meeting are being kept under wraps, with the press release saying nothing. But we hear that the issue of the release of boats created a deadlock,” more..

Level playing field elusive – Harry J

Aug 31 (NS) The Chairman of top diversified conglomerate, Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka (DCSL), D.H.S. Jayawardena laments that the level playing field the company has sought for carrying out their business remains elusive on account of inaction by the powers that be, effectively stifling the Group from achieving its true financial potential. he said that although Sri Lanka is poised on the cusp of expansion and fast track development, there are certain obstacles in its path more..

Faizer tells EU Bring your problems to me

Aug 31 (CT) Minister Faizer Mustapha invited European investors to lobby him on all issues, in a bid to increase investment from the region, despite warnings of transparency issues looming in the country. Launching the EU-Sri Lanka business dialogue, Mustapha told investors that the Ministry of Investment Promotion was ready to listen and resolve any issues faced by them. The Board of Investment, which acts as the initial point of contact for investors, would also help investors to more..

Four parties give nod to JHU Constitutional Amendment

Aug 31 (CT) Four political parties have agreed to a new Constitutional Amendment, which has been proposed by the JHU MP Ven. Athureliye Rathana Thera. Amendment revolves round the reducing of the powers of the Executive President and limiting the number of Cabinet Ministers to between 20 and 25. The proposals, which come under a banner titled: 'Way forward for the country for a better tomorrow,' has been more..

KMC seeks police probe on ‘saffron water’ barrier

Aug 31 (ST) Kandy Municipal Council has decided to request the IGP for a probe on why police officers prevented Mayor Mahendra Ratwatte from proceeding along the perahera route to the Sri Dalada Maligawa after the road was washed with saffron water. When the matter was taken up at the council sessions on Thursday, opposition leader and former Diyawadana Nilame Niranjan Wijeyaratne said that it was he who introduced the practice of washing perahera route with saffron water. more..

Sri Lanka’s own war probe begins soon

Aug 31 (CG) The probe on the war by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (COI) is to begin soon and will be conducted parallel to the hearings being conducted on missing persons. Commission Chairman Maxwell Paranagama said that the Commission is making preparations to commence inquiries using the new mandate it was given. The inquiries will not be conducted separately but will go hand in hand with the current investigations being conducted by commission on missing people. more..

Sajith’s Pre-conditions shake up UNP

Aug 31 (NS) The UNP is caught up in a fresh dilemma with Sajith Premadasa, who is likely to be appointed as the Deputy Leader of the party soon, proposing to abolish the Leadership Council of the party. Premadasa has also demanded that 10 members, nominated by him, should be appointed to the Working Committee of the party, simultaneously with his appointment as Deputy Leader of the UNP. more..

'Local universities to admit 50,000 foreign students by 2020'

Aug 31 (SO) The Higher Education Ministry hopes to admit 50,000 foreign students to local universities by 2020 under the Government’s vision of turning Sri Lanka into an international hub of excellence in higher education by 2020. There were only 300 foreign students in local universities in 2010. This has been increased to 3,000 foreign students. Therefore, the intake of foreign students to local universities has increased ten-fold during the past three years. more..

External Affairs Ministry to decide on Jinping’s tour itinerary tomorrow

Aug 31 (NS) A special meeting between officials of the External Affairs Ministry and the Embassy of China will take place tomorrow to finalize the itinerary of Chinese President Xi Jinping who is expected in Sri Lanka mid September. This would be the first time that a Chinese Head of State will visit Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, the CEB confirmed that the Chinese President will attend the commissioning of the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant during his stay in the country. more..

Deshapriya cracks down on abuse of state resources

Aug 31 (NS) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said he has instructed his officials to closely monitor whether govt employees and property were being illegally used for campaigns leading to the Uva PC Elections. Deshapriya made these comments following allegations that over 10,000 Samurdhi officers were about to be deployed for this purpose on false pretexts. Trade unions and election monitors more..

Results of Ebola suspect’s tests due this week - MRI

Aug 31 (SO) The long awaited results of Sri Lanka’s first suspected victim of the dreaded Ebola virus who died a fortnight ago, are likely to be released this week. Director, MRI Dr Sumith Ananda said the MRI had received approval from the virology laboratory in Pune, India to send the samples on Thursday and assured that the samples would be despatched by tomorrow. “We are grateful to the Pune laboratory which volunteered to do the testing free, the WHO, and the virologists at the MRI more..

Govt. to invest Rs. 230 b more in crisis- ridden CPC

Aug 31 (ST) Govt is to invest more than Rs. 230 billion for a string of projects of the crisis-ridden and loss-making Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) within the next two years, senior officials said. The CPC’s Acting Chairman, S. Amarasekara, who is also the Prime Minister’s Secretary, said the biggest investment would go for the Sapugaskanda oil refinery expansion and modernisation project which was estimated to cost around US$ 1,500 million (more than Rs. 195 billion). more..

Rajapaksa can fight his foes, God save him from his friends

Aug 31 (ST) A few hundred metres away from one of New Delhi’s best known addresses – No 7, Race Course Road – security men stopped a three-vehicle convoy. The occupants were told to alight and board three other vehicles for the rest of their journey. It was to the official residence of the PM of India. There, with clasped hands Premier Narendra Modi greeted TNA leader R Sampanthan and 5 of his colleagues. more..

Editorial: The cat among the pigeons

Aug 31 (Island) Few Lankans will disagree with President Rajapaksa’s assessment that he will win the next presidential election widely expected to be held early next year although his present term is due to end only on Nov 19, 2016. He exuded confidence that he’s going to be around for many more years when he hosted the Foreign Correspondents Association at a breakfast meeting a few days ago. Asked if he wanted Indian PM Narendra Modi to visit Sri Lanka before or after the widely predicted more..

Sarath Silva and MR’s third term

Aug 31 (Island) I write to you in response to the Article bearing the above title published in the "Political Watch" Column of The Sunday Island of August 24. The Article claims to be a response to an interview of mine published in the Irida Lankadeepa of August 17. I raised a strictly legal issue whether the incumbent President, who has been twice elected to office, is qualified in law to be elected to office for another term. If he is not so qualified, whether he is entitled in terms of Article more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Aug 31 (ST) In twenty days from now, the Uva PC goes to polls in what is easily a litmus test before the upcoming presidential election. The major contenders, the ruling UPFA and the UNP, are battling it out. The JVP is also in the fray. For it, the task is to enhance its vote base after Anura Kumara Dissanayake took over as the leader. Ironically, at a time when one issue after another is falling on its lap almost every day, more..

Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant woes: Jellyfish clog pump filters

Aug 31 (NS) Engineers are scrambling to repair the latest breakdown at the Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant in Norochcholai before September 16, when its final phase is set to be formally commissioned by the Presidents of Sri Lanka and China. CEB Media Spokesman Senajith Dassanayake said the govt has told the CEB that the commissioning ceremony is scheduled for Sept 16 during Chinese President Xi Jinping's more..

Situation in National Hospital improves following court order

Aug 31 (Island) "There is an improvement, but not all of them have returned to work," said Dr. Anil Jasinghe, Director of the National Hospital, summing up the situation in the hospital following a `return to work’ court order. "There is an improvement and specifically pharmacists have informed over the telephone that they will make arrangements to dispense drugs at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL). more..

'Intelligence OIC transferred for messing up my surveillance'

Aug 31 (Island) The Officer in Charge of the State Intelligence Service (SIS) headed by DIG Nimal Chandra Wagista has been transferred to the BIA for having made a hash placing Bar Association President Upul Jayasuriya under surveillance. Jayasuriya said that the OIC had been made a scapegoat for carrying out orders from the "top" to monitor his movements after the Bar Association had issued statements more..

From Facebook friendships to sexual harassment: Police probe cases

Aug 31 (ST) Two more complaints where women were harassed by men with whom they built a friendship via social media – Facebook – were received at the Kotahena police. Kotahena Chief Inspector Hemantha Ovitigama said that the women lodged complaints at the police regarding incidents where they were harassed and threatened by men using fake accounts over a social media site. “They get friendly through more..

SL’s Deputy HC in London to be replaced?

Aug 31 (Island) Sri Lanka’s Deputy High Commissioner, Neville de Silva, a veteran journalist, who has completed two years in London, is expected to be replaced by Dr. Chanka Thalpahewa. However, the High Commission in London has not been officially informed of his proposed appointment.  When the Sunday Island asked about the two years he spent here, de Silva said that he came to London with "great expectations" more..

More power for China in Norochcholai

Aug 31 (ST) China is to play a bigger role in Sri Lanka’s power generation sector by helping to maintain the US$ 1.35 billion Norochcholai coal fired power plant that has been plagued by repeated breakdowns. President Xi Jingping who arrives in Colombo on a two-day visit on September 16 will watch, together with President Rajapaksa, the signing of first of two MoU for this purpose. It will be between the Ministry of Power and Energy more..

New land transfer laws may affect CSE-listed companies

Aug 31 (ST) A new draft Bill restricting the transfer of land to foreigners says that if a local company sells a majority of its shares to a foreigner within twenty years of purchasing land, that property transaction will be deemed null and void. Lawyers warned that this might have implications for local companies listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange. The draft Land (Restrictions on Alienation) Bill clearly states more..

Fishing talks fail as Lanka rejects Indian proposals

Aug 31 (ST) Sri Lanka has rejected a proposal to allow Indian fishermen to enter Sri Lankan waters for three days a week through a MoU with the Indian Govt to resolve the fishing disputes, Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. The details of this rejection and other matters that were taken up at the talks between the two sides in New Delhi on Friday were communicated to the minister yesterday by the 3-member Sri Lankan delegation led by more..

Lankan Muslims concerned over ISIS

Aug 31 (CG) Sri Lankan Muslims have called for the protection of the ancient and historical Buddhist wonder of Borobudur in Indonesia after ISIS extremists threatened to attack it. Muslim Council of Sri Lanka says ISIS and a number of other terrorist groups have been funded and armed by vested interests to destabilize the Arab and Muslim regions. In a letter to the President of Indonesia, Susilo Yudhoyono, more..

Drought affected yet to recover

Aug 31 (SL) The people affected by the drought are yet to recover despite the little rain experienced in some of the affected areas. According to the DMC, the number of people affected by drought as of last Friday was 2,007,520. Despite small showers experienced in some of the drought hit areas, the situation prevails. “The Disaster Management Centre have been dispatching necessary funds and water to District Secretariat of drought hit areas daily to help people face the situation,” more..

How liable are children for crimes?

Aug 31 (Island) "I don’t know what happened at that time", the 13-year-old suspect from Badalkumbura, Moneragala, who stabbed her six-year-old sister with a knife, over a quarrel over a snack, confessed to the police. Her confession to the killing of her younger sister, although claiming that she was oblivious to what was happening, revealed a psychological confusion she was battling with according to the police sources. Born as the eldest daughter to Muslim parents, both more..

The man with a Plan

Aug 31 (Island) I was born in a democratic Sri Lanka and I want to die in a democratic Sri Lanka, said Karu Jayasuriya. There was conviction in his voice. "That’s powerful," I told him. Well we are slowly but surely moving towards a despotic regime. It is also my duty to see that the UNP unifies. When the chairmanship of the leadership council was offered to me for the first time, I rejected it. First it was the priests and more..