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Police snub Court order to arrest Namal

Aug 6 (CT) Though Additional Colombo Magistrate Nishantha Peiris had ordered the arrest of Joint Opposition (JO) and SLFP Hambantota District MP Namal Rajapaksa on charges of having carried out illegal transactions at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) using political clout, Police have failed to arrest him to date though nine days have elapsed since the Court Order was given. Colombo Additional Magistrate issued order for the arrest of the suspect on 28 July this year. more..

7 in same family sentenced to death

Aug 6 (CT) Nuwara Eliya High Court Judge sentenced to death seven members of a family on conviction of collective culpability in a killing in year 2000. Those sentenced to death were Palani Muthuraj, Palani Arimar, Palani Mogan, Palani Subramanium, S Vigneswaran, Neela Kamalanadan and Neela Balachandran respectively. Muthuraj, Arimar, Neela Mogan and Subramanium are brothers, while Vigneswaran who was more..

MR complains of govt harassment

Aug 6 (Island) Former President Rajapaksa said the govt was harassing the members of the SLFP supporting him and was taking revenge from its opponents. Speaking to The Island from South Korea, Rajapaksa said the SLFP had sacked Puttalam District MP Sanath Nishantha in a revengeful act for supporting the Joint Opposition. "Although two of Nishantha’s family members made numerous sacrifices on behalf of the SLFP, the party has now even threatened them," he said. more..

Of serendipity and starry nights

Aug 6 (Hindu) There’s a pleasant chill in the air brought on by the recent spell of rain. As the sun dips low on the horizon, and a blue tinge streaks across the sky, all I can hear are crickets and animals calling to each other and the low hum of the van we’re travelling in. We’re passing through the Ambepussa-Trincomalee highway through dense forests and have just spotted a tusker crossing the road. The promise to see many more, and hopefully a leopard or two, has us training our sights on more..

'No plans for Indo-Lanka bridge'

Aug 6 (CT) Minister of Higher Education and Highways Lakshman Kiriella denied plans to build a bridge linking Sri Lanka and South India. "There are no plans to build an Indo-Lanka Bridge. The Joint Opposition was earlier hung up on the Bond issue, then the VAT issue and the claims of foreign judges being brought down to Sri Lanka. Now they are clinging on to a bridge. In the end, they will end up hanging onto Hanuman's tail. more..

Envoy expects more Qataris, expats to visit Sri Lanka

Aug 6 (GT) Sri Lanka is banking on its growing tourism industry to entice more Qatari nationals and expatriates to visit the country’s tourist destinations, ambassador W M Karunadasa has said. “Many Qataris visit Sri Lanka but still many people do not know about the beauty of SL and the many destinations that the country can offer to its tourists. There are many tourist destinations that can be visited in about four days, especially if visitors plan to stay in different places,” he said. more..

No JO MPs offered support to PM to form govt: Mahinda Yapa

Aug 6 (DM) The joint opposition rejected the allegation made by UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera that five senior members of the JO had offered PM Ranil Wickremesinghe their support to form a separate govt. SLFP CC member and MP Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, who is in the JO, said as far as he knew none of their MPs had met PM asking for portfolios or offered their support to form a govt. “These are mere statements which are of no value. more..

Christians urge Sri Lanka to adopt a secular constitution

Aug 6 (UCAN) SL rights activists hope that the new constitution will afford citizens the freedom of religion, promote religious harmony and recognize human rights but traditionalists want to keep the Buddhist hegemony. "A secular state does not mean being irreligious," said Father Sarath Iddamalgoda, a rights activist. "But an equal freedom for people to pursue their spirituality and faith without the obstacle of a constitution more..

Task force to provide counselling to missing persons’ families

Aug 6 (Hindu) A psychosocial support task force, which will introduce a range of services to families of missing persons and others in Sri Lanka who suffer from post-conflict trauma, has been set up. Formed by the Office for National Unity & Reconciliation (ONUR), the task force will take care of psychosocial needs of the families which will be part of the healing process. As per one estimate, there are at least 24,000 cases of missing persons. Headed by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, more..

Huge HR dilemma at all BOI Zones!

Aug 6 (NS) Amidst the current hue and cry opposing the movement of natural persons (Mode 4) for services in the proposed ETCA agreement with India, head of Sri Lanka’s main investment promotion agency last week revealed that the country’s twelve BOI-Administered Industrial Zones are presently struggling to fill a staggering 200,000 vacant job positions from the domestic labour market. Chairman of BoI, Upul Jayasuriya said if Sri Lanka is opposing importing required labour, more..

'Move to strip MR of civic rights feared'

Aug 6 (Island) UPFA MP Dallus Alahapperuma says the stories being floated in some quarters that moves are underway to strip former President Rajapaksa of his civic rights should not be taken lightly. That could be a trial balloon, he said. Alahapperuma was responsing to a story that a group of senior UNP ministers had decided to meet President and request him to appoint a special Presidential Commission to investigate more..

Australia's batting, a cry for help

Aug 6 (CI) At the height of Shane Warne's powers, one of Australia's Ashes celebration rituals was to sing along to Midnight Oil's Beds Are Burning - with a twist. The chorus belted out in unison went something along the lines of Poms are crap when the wicket's turning. Whether Sri Lanka's music scene has unearthed an Oils-style anthem is unclear, but the hosts had every right to mark their second-ever series victory over Australia in a similar manner. more..

Future of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs)

Aug 6 (DM) State-owned enterprises are a part of public wealth and are supposed to be for the benefit of the people of the country. Therefore, it is necessary to set up a framework to have State-owned enterprises (SOEs) managed and operated as efficient commercial enterprises, based on prudent commercial principles, ensuring adequate returns equal to or more than the comparable commercial enterprises in the private sector. With this objective in mind, the govt will introduce more..

The transformed ways of Sri Lankan cricket

Aug 6 (CI) It was only six weeks ago, when on day two at Chester-le-Street, Angelo Mathews walked down the pitch, conferred with a team-mate, and, having been given out, decided to review the decision. He had quite clearly hit the ball, so this was the shambolic head-on collision to cap a veritable pile-up of facepalm reviews. Does he understand the rules? people wondered on social media. What the hell is going on? In Galle, more..

Selection rethink needed: Smith

Aug 6 (CI) Australia's captain Steven Smith has conceded a radical shift in Test selection may be required in order to change the national side's increasingly grim record in Asia, after he presided over a series-ending thrashing at the hands of Sri Lanka in Galle. It was Australia's eighth consecutive loss in the region, following series clean sweeps by India and Pakistan in 2013 and 2014. The top six chosen for Pallekele and Galle was the same as that used through last summer in Australia & NZ, more..

Eighth straight loss for Australia in Asia

Aug 6 (CI) 8: Number of consecutive losses for Australia in Tests in Asia - the second-longest losing sequence for an overseas team in Asia after West Indies' ten consecutive losses from 1997 to 2002. Australia's last win in Asia came at the same venue, in 2011. Their current sequence of ten Tests without a win in Asia since then is their second longest. They had gone 12 Tests without a win in the subcontinent between 1979 and 1982. 1999: Only time before this Sri Lanka more..

'Dilruwan Perera a silent hero'

Aug 6 (CI) Captain Angelo Mathews has called Dilruwan Perera a silent hero after the offspinner became the first Sri Lanka player to take ten wickets and score a half-century in a Test. Perera was both the most economical and the most penetrative of Sri Lanka's frontline bowlers in the match, taking 10 for 99. In the process he also became the fastest Sri Lankan to 50 Test wickets, achieving the milestone in 11 Tests, more..

Father finds daughter lost in tsunami after 12 years

Aug 6 (DM) In an emotional reunion, a father was given the ownership and custody of his daughter who had been washed away by the tsunami in Dec 2004. The girl who was just two and six months old then is now aged 14. The court order was given by Kalmunai Magistrate Fiaz Razzak after considering the father's plea. The father, M. Mowlana said on Dec 26, 2004 when the tsunami hit the country his little daughter Shareefa Ashra was washed away from his clutch about 1 ½ km from the beach more..

Rio Olympics 2016 : How we play the game is what matters

Aug 6 (DM) As the controversial and conflict-ridden Rio de Janeiro Olympic games began at around 5.00 am (Sri Lanka time) today with the biggest ever worldwide television audience of about three billion people, our thoughts go to the Olympic Motto, Citius - Altius – Fortius which means Faster - Higher - Stronger. It was the Dominican Priest Henri Didon who first expressed the words at the opening ceremony of a school sports event in 1881. Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of more..

2nd Youth Test: SL U-19 beat Eng U-19

Aug 6 (CI) England Under-19s suffered their first home defeat for six years in a four-day match as an outstanding bowling performance by Lahiru Kumara fired Sri Lanka to a seven-wicket victory in Northampton. Kumara, a well-built seamer from Kandy, claimed four more wickets as England could only manage 192 in their second innings. That completed match figures of 11 for 134, and left Sri Lanka needing only 94 for victory. more..

It was a slip of the tongue: Geetha

Aug 6 (DM) JO MP Geetha Kumarasinghe said her saying at Thursday's news conference that 20 million people had participated in paada yathra was a slip of the tongue. She said she meant to say two million people and that she did not regret saying 20 million because the crowed was good as 20 million participating in the march. “Two million people participated in the protest march from Kandy to Colombo even though all of them did not come all the way to Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka congratulates Nepal’s new PM

Aug 6 (MR) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has congratulated newly-elected PM of Nepal Pushpa Kamal Dahal and also expressed best wishes for the successful tenure of his Nepali counterpart. Talking to Prime Minister Dahal over the phone today, SL premier Wickremesinghe expressed his confidence that major tasks of constitution implementation and addressing national problems would be undertaken under PM Dahal's leadership, according to PM Dahal's private secretariat. more..

'Signing ETCA will help secure N/E vote base'

Aug 6 (DN) Society of IT Professionals (SITP) Sri Lanka alleged that the govt wants to sign the proposed Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India to secure the North and East vote base. SITP Secretary Lasantha Wickremasinghe said the voting population there generally sides with the TNA which is working at the behest of India. “This is why the govt is rushing to sign this agreement which more..

ICAO says ready to provide proposals to revamp MRIA

Aug 6 (DM) International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Chairman Olumuyiwa Barnard Aliu yesterday assured that they were ready to provide proposals to convert the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) in Mattala into a lucrative second airport in Sri Lanka. He expressed these views after he called on Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva at the ministry. “A country like Sri Lanka needs a second airport. I inspected the MRIA and it could be developed in a lucrative manner. more..

When Tamil Tigers cheered for Sri Lanka with Civil War's top prisoner

Aug 6 (DO) One day we were told we had a visitor. We were taken outside and assembled in a circle under a tree. Here, Karikalan came to speak to us. He was then a leader in LTTE political wing. He said perhaps we could assist in securing our own release. He suggested that we write to the Leader of the Opposition, and ask him to press the govt to send a representative to negotiate for the release of their prisoners. I can’t remember the exact conversation but this was the gist of it. more..

Video: Some people are against saving lives: Harsha

Aug 6 (AD) Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva says that the toll free hotline 1990 of the recently launched emergency ambulance service currently receives around 270 phone calls on a daily basis, but a majority of them are to check whether such a service exists. Some of them cut the call without even speaking, he said, adding that some even use hurtful and abusive language after calling the hotline. more..

Hakeem to gather opinion of minor and minority parties on electoral reforms

Aug 6 (Island) The govt has assigned SLMC leader and Minister Rauff Hakeem to obtain proposals of the minor and minority parties with regard to electoral reforms and submit a comprehensive report to the govt. Accordingly, Minister has been asked by the govt to meet minor and minority parties with or without parliamentary representation to obtain their views on proposed electoral reforms. He is expected to submit his report to the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly. more..

Madras court dismisses case filed against Srilankan airlines

Aug 6 (CG) Madras High Court has dismissed a case filed against Srilankan airlines by a travel agent in Tiruchi. Madras High Court Bench said travel agents cannot file writ petitions against airline companies, especially if they happen to be foreign airlines, seeking a direction to issue air tickets without demanding additional charges. Justice M. Venugopal passed the order while dismissing a writ petition filed by Ameer Travels of Tiruchi seeking a direction to Srilankan Airlines to more..

Mysterious deaths of ex-LTTE cadres create unease in North Sri Lanka

Aug 6 (ENS) A series of mysterious deaths reportedly occurring among former Tamil Tiger cadres who had been rehabilitated and released into society is creating unease in Northern Province. According to the Tamil media, 105 former members of the LTTE have so far died mysteriously, allegedly after being injected with a drug when they were undergoing post-war rehabilitation in SL army run camps. Deaths, allegedly due to poisoning, more..

Amaraweera denies Wiggie’s allegations

Aug 6 (DN) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera denied the allegations made by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran that the govt has planned to build a new fisheries harbour in the Keerimalai area in the Northern Province. Speaking at the Aadi Amavasai Hindu religious event at Sivapoomi Madam in Keerimalai, Wigneswaran accused the government of constructing the harbour to allow the Navy to keep the Maathakal fisheries harbour under its control. more..

Ex-MP remanded for misusing state vehicle

Aug 6 (Island) Colombo Fort Magistrate Miss Lanka Jayaratne re-remanded till August 12, former TNA MP for Ampara District, P. Piyasena. Presidential Secretariat has complained that Piyasena misused a state vehicle thereby abusing public property. The CID had inquired into the complaint made by the Presidential Secretariat and filed a plaint in the Magistrate’s Court. The ex-MP’s driver was granted bail in Rs. 10,000 cash and a surety of Rs. 300,000. Case will be called again on Aug 12. more..

Kabir Hashim denies reports on Indo-Lanka bridge

Aug 6 (AM) Minister Kabir Hashim refuted allegations by several Joint Opposition politicians that high level talks between SL and India on a land connection have almost been concluded. Hashim said that he never said such a thing during the recent trip to Indonesia. NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa claimed recently that Hashim had commented on the talks between India and SL on a land connection while he was in Indonesia. more..

PUCSL rejects CEB least cost long term generation proposal

Aug 6 (CG) Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) has rejected a proposal made by the CEB in its least cost long term generation plan. In a letter to the CEB, the PUCSL said that the proposed plan does not justify some of the condition put in place by the PUCSL when the proposal was called for. Taking into consideration that the Sampur power plant will also be delayed and that a grave situation may arise between 2017 and 2020 in meeting the electricity demand of Sri Lanka, more..

PAFFREL warn of possibility of vote buying

Aug 6 (NS) Elections monitoring bodies warned of the possibility of vote buying that could take place at the forthcoming Local Govt elections. Polls monitor, PAFFREL urged the Govt to pass legislation imposing limitations on the expenditure of candidates. Executive Director of PAFFREL, Rohana Hettiarachchi said that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe too had raised the matter in Parliament. “If the candidates are allowed to spend the amounts they had spent previously, more..

Perera bowls Sri Lanka to series triumph

Aug 6 (CI) Remember the way this series began? Angelo Mathews won the toss and chose to bat in Pallekele, and his men were bundled out for 117. They failed even to survive 35 overs. Eight days of cricket later, the series has been decided, and one of these two teams has been completely humiliated. And it's not Sri Lanka. What a turnaround it has been. Mathews will lift the Warne-Muralitharan Trophy, and Sri Lanka could more..

Vets to report sick on Aug 9 and 10

Aug 6 (Island) State Veterinary Surgeons’ Association (SUSA) has decided to hold a sick note campaign on August 9 and 10 in protest against the govt’s failure to meet their demands. State Veterinary Surgeons’ Association said that they would resort to a strike if demands were not met immediately. The secretary of the SVSA Dr Pradeep Kumarawadu said that a strike by Veterinary Surgeons would have a serious impact on livestock farming, particularly milch cows and calves, more..

Singer and lover-MP in hot water

Aug 6 (CT) The CID will shortly be talking to a popular female singer on a charge of providing protection for an LTTE activist at the residence of a former opposition MP. The Tiger activist is believed to have come to Colombo from Vavuniya to assassinate a VIP during the previous regime former opposition MP at a house in Colombo. However, the CID has discovered that with the change of regime and the subsequent crossing over by the former Opposition MP to the govt, more..

Vote on VAT Bill: SLFP factions yet to reach understanding

Aug 6 (Island) SLFP/UPFA parliamentary group loyal to President Sirisena is yet to reach agreement with the UNP regarding forthcoming vote of the VAT Bill. Vote is scheduled to be taken on Aug. 11. Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said the SLFP was yet to reach a common stand on the VAT Bill. He was responding to former President Rajapaksa’s call to all MPs to oppose the VAT Bill. more..

Sri Lanka makes big financial gains from plantations privatization

Aug 6 (EN) Sri Lanka's govt has made financial gains from privatizing plantations and also avoided continuous bailouts from tax-payers but diversification had been slow, partly due to state restrictions, an economist said. "I would say it was a qualified success from the country's point of view," Romesh Dias Bandaranaike, an economist who was involved in the privatization process told an economic forum organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in Colombo. more..

Strikers must not deemed to have vacated posts: WSC

Aug 6 (Island) Boycotting work is one of the trade union rights of workers and the govt is trying to deprive the university non-academics of their democratic right by issuing a threat that they will be deemed to have vacated their posts unless they report to work immediately, the Workers’ Struggle Centre (WSC) says. WSC has said that even days have passed since the launch of the strike action by the university non-academic staff demanding solutions to problems related to their work, more..