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Kandy Esala Perahera parades from Aug 8-18

Aug 8 (DM) This globally renowned cultural and religious pageant is held annually to pay homage to the sacred Tooth Relic of the Exalted One, Sakyamuni Tathagata and to invoke the blessings of the guardian deities (Sri Vishnu, Kataragama, Natha and Pathini of the four devalas) to seek peace and prosperity. The Perahera is highlighted by five Kumbal Peraheras, four Randoli Peraheras and finally the Day Perahera and more..

Wimal calls on people to defeat MPs who vote for VAT

Aug 8 (Island) NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa called upon the people remember the MPs who would vote for the VAT Amendment Bill and to ensure their defeat at the next election. Addressing a seminar titled Vyavastha Mara Ugula and Jathiye Avamagula (Constitutional death trap and funeral of a nation) at Dinidu Hall in Seeduwa, the NFF leader said: VAT increases had been imposed illegally without parliamentary approval. more..

Brother abducts sister: Demands Rs. 7 lakhs ransom

Aug 8 (DM) A 17-year-old man who hid his own sister and demanded Rs.700,000 from his father over the phone with a changed voice was arrested by the Gampaha Police. The suspect was the eldest in the family of three children. His mother had gone abroad for employment leaving the children in the care of their father. His father told police that his son who wanted Rs.500,000 to form a music group was displeased with him when more..

Spot tenders for coal: SL saves Rs. 1.1 billion

Aug 8 (ST) The Power and Energy Minister’s initiative to introduce spot tenders for the procurement of coal has resulted in a saving of nearly Rs. 1.1 billion compared with coal purchase through long-term tenders, an independent committee has found. Decision to implement a mix of procurement through long-term and spot tenders is a good formula for coal purchases, concludes the report of the independent committee appointed by more..

Land acquisition in the North creates a stir

Aug 8 (SL) An attempt to acquire private land in the North has created a stir with Tamils in the area raising strong objections and accusing the govt of misleading the international community. The govt however denied claims there was a move to acquire private land in the North with Minister D. M. Swaminathan telling The Sunday Leader the govt does not require more land for the military in the North. He said that one such attempt more..

Economic revolution soon: Champika

Aug 8 (DN) We have created a presidency of good governance instead of a President with absolute powers and soon we will initiate the economic revolution in the country, Minister Champika Ranawaka said in Anuradhapura. "The former President recently in Japan has said that if he had misappropriated even a dollar he would slit his neck himself. I challenge him to do this because we have evidence to more..

150 DSs to lose voting rights

Aug 8 (CT) Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that he intends to take a decision on the advice given by the Mahanayakes, subsequent to discussions on a common dialogue concept for the development of the Buddha Sasana. The minister was speaking to the media following a discussion held with Gold Weapons Board of Sri Dalada Maligawa, which will in future adopt the Vihara and Dewalagam Act and the Bill to more..

Pakistan Air chief’s visit might revive bid to sell F-17 fighters to Sri Lanka

Aug 8 (ENS) The on-going visit of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) chief, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, to Sri Lanka is likely to revive Islamabad’s bid to sell F-17 Thunder fighter aircraft – an earlier attempt having been thwarted by India. Announcing ACM Aman’s visit, a Pakistan High Commission press release said that the visit will provide both sides an opportunity to review ongoing cooperation and collaboration, and to discuss more..

'New Constitution a death trap is an utter canard'

Aug 8 (CT) If there is anything harmful to the Sinhalese or Buddhism in the new Constitution we are wholly against it! So said Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka. Saying that the proposed new Constitution is a death trap is an utter lie. Minister said the day before yesterday at Ahungalla that they will oppose it in Parliament if it harms the Sinhalese or Buddhism in anyway. He made this comment at a UNP member promotion more..

Port City attracts high tech hospital

Aug 8 (DN) The govt has been able to woo an international hospital chain to invest in a high tech hospital at the Port City, said State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe. He said that this will encourage medical tourism to Sri Lanka. “In addition there will be several other state of the art facilities and numerous international projects in the Port City.” The construction of the facility will commence next month. “Before that we hope to more..

PM for expanding the role of civil society

Aug 8 (CT) Civil society members from all parts of the country walked into Temple Trees last week to meet with PM. This was the first time for most of them. This included religious clergy from both North and South. In past years, they had been more accustomed to the govt treating them in a hostile manner which meant Temple Trees was out of bounds. One of the Buddhist monks said he chose not to come in the past, because he did not agree with the practices of those who had been more..

Rio Olympics focused on saving mankind, universe

Aug 8 (CT) Rio Olympics – 2016 commenced in a unique way emphasizing the need of saving the universe as well as calling for mankind to show solidarity with those who live as refugees in difficult conditions, uprooted from their countries due to wars, violence and poverty. Brazil which becomes the first country in South America to host the Olympic Games could be described as a country blessed with healthy flora and fauna and a country of the largest forest cover with more than more..

මහේෂ් බණ්ඩාර

Sri Lankan shares end lower; slip from more than 7-wk closing high

Aug 8 (Reuters) Shares ended slightly weaker in dull trade on Monday, slipping from their more than seven-week closing high hit in the previous session, as investors waited for firm direction on the govt's economic policies. Colombo stock index ended 0.16%, or 10.20 points weaker, at 6,506.93 on Monday. On Friday, index hit a more than seven-week high as investors bought blue chips expecting better profits on hopes that CB's rate hike would help improve the macro-economic outlook. more..

MP accused of violating party discipline threatens to expose his accusers

Aug 8 (Island) UPFA MP Sanath Nishantha threatens to move courts against President Maithripala Sirisena if the latter removes him from the party. He says he will also expose all those who are out for his scalp. He said he would not accept President Sirisena as the Chairman of the party. Commenting on speculations in political circles that he would be removed from the party for attending the recent Pada Yathra, the MP said: "I do not accept President Sirisena as SLFP leader more..

Uni. non-academic staff strike called off

Aug 8 (DM) The strike action launched by the non-academic staff of all universities was called off today following an agreement reached with the govt. Co-President of the Collective Committee of University Trade Union, Dias Wijaya Kumara said that they would report to work from today itself. A discussion was held with the trade union leaders of non-academic staff by the Minister Lakshman Kiriella and State Minister Mohan Lal Grero more..

Veteran actor Vijaya Nandasiri passes away

Aug 8 (DN) Actor Vijaya Nandasiri (b. 1944) passed away at the Colombo South Teaching Hospital, this morning. The veteran actor was 72 years old. He leaves behind wife, actress Devika Mihirani, whom he met on the sets of Subha Saha Yasa in 1974, and children Navanjana and Rasanjana. Illukpitiya Muduyanselage Vijaya Nandasiri was born in Maharagama and had his primary and secondary education at Vidyakara Vidyalaya, where he availed himself to many of the school productions. more..

Basil gets bail

Aug 8 (DM) Former minister Basil Rajapaksa was released on Bail in line with the Colombo High Court order this morning directing the Kaduwela Magistrate to revise his remand order on the suspect. The former minister and Devineguma Development Department’s former director general Kithsiri Ranawaka were released on a personal bail of Rs.1 million each. They were remanded three weeks ago on charges of purchasing GI pipes from funds belonging to the Department and more..

Tourist boom threatens SL's golden beaches

Aug 8 (AFP) Tourists have flocked back to Sri Lanka's palm-fringed beaches since a bloody civil war ended in 2009, but environmentalists warn unchecked development means some areas are now so polluted, swimming there is a health hazard. Sewage from thriving hotels and guesthouses pours, often untreated, out into the water polluting the sea and shore. Even the country's own tourism minister says he has more..

House sinks above hydro power station tunnel

Aug 8 (Island) One of the houses in the Polpitiya Housing Scheme in Ginigathhena sank 60 ft below the ground level yesterday and cracks appeared on the walls and the floor of several others. The people in the area said the house had got buried and at the time of the incident there had been no one there. Residents said the house was situated right above one of the tunnels of the Broadland Hydro Power Project of Kalugala. They said that after the work on the hydro power project got underway, more..

Mother, daughter remanded for stealing sarees from shops

Aug 8 (Island) Wellampitiya Police recently arrested a woman and her daughter for allegedly stealing sarees from various shops to the tune of one million rupees after visiting them on the pretext of buying clothes. They were taken into custody from a house in Piliyandala following a complaint received from a trader. Police said their modus operandi had been to visit a shop and request the sales staff to take out the sarees on display and dump some of them into a sack sewn to the inside of her skirt more..

Another irregular Rs. 40 million Krrish transaction found: FCID

Aug 8 (DM) Another Rs. 40 million transaction by the Krrish Company to purchase a land in Puttalam was found while investigating the Rs. 70 million transaction between the company and Namal Rajapaksa, FCID said at the Colombo Fort Magistrate Court. The prosecution said they had identified four suspects including Nalaka Godahewa (former Chairman of SEC) over the alleged deal and said the property was more..

Over 200 held for protest near Sri Lankan HC in Chennai

Aug 8 (Island) Tense moments prevailed at Nungambakkam in Chennai on Saturday, after members of Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam held a protest in front of the Sri Lankan deputy high commission there. The cadres demanded for an inquiry into the deaths of Lankan Tamil refugees. Speaking to reporters, the party’s general secretary Kovai Ramakrishnan said, "There should be an international inquiry into the suspicious deaths of 104 persons in refugee camps". more..

Sagala calls for SAARC cooperation to tackle regional menaces

Aug 8 (Island) Minister Sagala Ratnayake told a SAARC assembly that the region was troubled by terrorism, human trafficking and drug smuggling and, therefore, a spirit of friendship and camaraderie among nations in the region were needed to counter those problems. Addressing SAARC Home Ministers’ conference in Islamabad, he said: "Unstinted cooperation of all member States is urged to introduce appropriate legal instruments to deal with such situations and more..

Sri Lankan refugees are selling organs to get to Australia?

Aug 8 (HS) Asylum seekers are selling their kidneys so they can pay to get on a boat to Australia, a News Corp investigation into the illegal organ trade has found. And terror group ISIS is organising for Syrian refugees to sell their organs to get their family passage into Europe. A 3-year investigation has found almost 100 desperate Australians have paid to have an illegal transplant overseas because demand for organs more..

Sri Lanka 28th in happiest on the planet

Aug 8 (CT) Sri Lanka achieves a Happy Planet Index score of 33.8 and ranks 28th of all the countries analyzed. Happy Planet Index measures sustainable wellbeing of individuals all over the world and gives a data of how nations are doing at achieving long, happy and sustainable lives. UK-based New Economics Foundation released its World Happiness Report recently ranking the 140 countries it analyzed. According to the index, SL has 75 years in life expectancy and ranks 55th. more..

Soldiers will not be target of OMP: Govt

Aug 8 (CG) Govt insisted that the proposed Office on Missing Persons (OMP) will not be used to take action on the military over the war. Minister Mano Ganesan said that the issue of missing persons is not an issue which affected people in the North alone but even people in the South. He said Govt has decided to establish an OMP to address the issue of missing persons. However he said joint opposition is attempting to give the impression that OMP is being established to betray military. more..

'Central Bank, Finance Ministry main sources of economic instability'

Aug 8 (EN) The finance ministry, which runs budget deficits, and the central bank, which compounded fiscal debacles by printing money, are the main sources of macro-economic instability in Sri Lanka, economists said. Finance Minister (who has the power to spend large volumes of money suddenly without taxing people) and Governor of Central Bank (who has a monopoly in creating new money) are responsible for maintaining more..

Asst. Education Director killed from stone thrown at train

Aug 8 (DM) A 49 year-old Assistant Education Director who was injured when a stone thrown at Vavuniya bound train hit him, died yesterday while undergoing treatment at the Anuradhapura teaching hospital. He was injured on August 3 when the stone thrown at the train in Ragama area had hit him in the head. The victim K.L. Pushpakumara has also served as the examination coordinator of the Education Department of Central Province. He was a father of three children. more..

Increase in railway deaths due to suicide

Aug 8 (CT) Nearly 250 people have died in railway accidents so far in 2016. A majority of such deaths are due to suicide, the Railway Department revealed. Superintendent of Railway Security, Anura Premaratne, said that a large number of accidents occur at railway crossings, where traffic lights have been installed. "Most people use jumping in front of the train as a means of committing suicide. That is one major reason for the large number of train accidents. more..

SL seeks spiritual help to reduce accidents

Aug 8 (AFP) Sri Lanka's police sought spiritual help from Buddhist clergy Monday to bless an accident-prone highway in a country that has some of the world's most dangerous roads. Police at Mawathagama, about 100 km north-east of Colombo, directed three saffron-robed monks to bless a spot where there had been five fatal accidents in a month. "Traffic constables sat by the roadside while monks chanted sacred texts more..

Billionaire businessman out on bail

Aug 8 (CT) The tea factory owner who was taken into custody by the Police for being in possession of two 12 bore shotguns, with 21 live ammunition for it, manufactured in America and Persia, was ordered to be released on bail on Friday by the Magistrate of Elpitiya, on Rs 10,000 cash bail and two surety bails of Rs 100,000 each. Magistrate also ordered that the suspect has to sign in at the Elpitiya Police every Sunday between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. stipulated that case will be taken up for hearing on 6 Nov. more..

Deadly bite fells snake catcher

Aug 8 (DN) A verdict of death due to a snake bite was returned at the inquest on the death of famed snake rescuer and environmentalist Amal Wijesekera, 46, held by the Inquirer into Sudden Deaths, Dr. B.G.N. Karunatilleke at the Karapitiya Hospital on August 6. Wijesekera’s father, giving evidence said he saw his son fallen prostrate near the front gate on information given by a girl in the opposite house. He said the deceased was his eldest son and he had no illnesses. more..

Elephant Nandi stuck in Sri Lanka

Aug 8 (NH) There's an elephant in the courtroom and Auckland Zoo's not saying a word. Five-year-old Asian elephant Nandi should already be in her new home at the zoo after being gifted to New Zealand PM John Key by President Sirisena in February. But legal action by more than a dozen community groups has delayed, and may even prevent, her from leaving her current home at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. more..

Video: Poll on VAT to be a loyalty test: Udaya

Aug 8 (AD) The parliamentary poll on the bill on proposed VAT hike will be a decider to review the loyalty of SLFP ministers, PHU leader Udaya Gammanpila says. He went on to say the poll would decide whether they are loyal to President Sirisena or to PM Wickremesinghe. Gammanpila pointed out that the SLFP ministers should vote against the bill as the President has given a vow not to impose any tax that would be a burden on the people during a meeting at Polonnaruwa. more..

President opens new Technical Lab of Malharuz Zulhiya Central College, Galle

Aug 8 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena vested the newly built Technical Laboratory of Malharuz Zulhiya Central College, Galle to the students. This new Technical Laboratory has been built on the provisions of the Ministry of Education under the national progrmme of reconstructing the primary and secondary schools to achieve the Knowledge based development goals. President was warmly welcomed by the students when he arrived at the school. Later, President unveiled the plaque more..

Does Vatican disapprove of Cardinal's nod to give Buddhism foremost place in Sri Lanka?

Aug 8 (ENS) The Vatican appears to disapprove of Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith’s statement of July 25, that it is right to give to Buddhism the foremost place in the SL constitution and that it is not right to declare Sri Lanka a secular state. The Vatican Radio’s website carries a story from Colombo dated August 4, in which a group of Sri Lankan Catholics are quoted as saying that the new SL constitution should be a secular one more..

There are many problems with SL politics

Aug 9 (CT) There are many problems with Sri Lankan politics. Here’s another: it’s Colombo centric. Mahinda Rajapaksa was – for all the flaws I fail to mention – a refreshing exception. Investing in parts of the Island that for years; since independence, had been overlooked. When I visited the Island in 2013 I travelled down the coast of the Southern parts of the Island. When I asked them what they liked about Rajapaksa they brought up the roads and infrastructure he was developing. more..

Economics of A.S. Jayawardena

Aug 9 (CT) Amarananda Somasiri Jayawardena, fondly addressed as AS by his friends, celebrated his 80th birthday last week. His friends, followers and disciples got an opportunity to pay tribute to this legendary man at a simple birthday party organised by his children. A booklet, titled Many Faceted ASJ, containing contributions by 19 of his friends and followers was also issued to mark the occasion. Those contributions had looked at many aspects of his personal, family and professional life. more..

Farmer still awaiting fertilizer grant, water

Aug 9 (SO) Is the country’s rice production in trouble due to poor fertilizer distribution and water management? Govt officials are unable to clarify the issues but the country’s farmers are crying for help. Seven months after the introduction of the new scheme nearly 25% of 1.1 million farmers in Sri Lanka were yet to receive the cash allowance of Rs. 25,000 to purchase fertilizers for the cultivation of paddy, more..