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Shameful politics for the Brits, déjà vu for us

Aug 9 (ST) There is an old Sinhala wise saw which, roughly translated, says the departing devil delights in breaking the pots and pans. One is loathe to label David Cameron, who resigned recently as PM following his defeat at the recent referendum to determine whether or not Britain should remain in the European Union, Satan-lite in an expensive business suit. But the apothegm is not entirely inapposite as some read devilish intent into his departing gesture in nominating almost 50 more..

The balance of payments and fiscal deficits serious economic concerns

Aug 9 (ST) Despite some recent improvements in the economy, the twin deficits– balance of payments and fiscal deficits– continue to be serious concerns. Reductions of both these deficits are of paramount importance for the country’s economic stability and growth. Country’s external financial vulnerability arises out of the heavy debt servicing costs of the massive foreign debt. Prospect of reducing the fiscal deficit is in doubt owing to the inability to raise adequate revenue. more..

'1978 Constitution changed beyond recognition'

Aug 9 (CT) Left wing politician and MP Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne said, the original 1978 Constitution has now been changed beyond recognition as a result of the many amendments. Q: The present govt promised a new Constitution for the country. In your opinion, what are the flaws in the 1978 (amended) Constitution, which is in force at present? A: The 1978 Constitution provided for a quite centralized structure. more..

Long marches: Lies, damned lies & statistics

Aug 9 (SL) The size of crowds at Long Marches and public rallies are usually determined by two sets of factors: (A) Frenzied political loyalties, capacity to make mountains out of mole hills, desire for boot licking and possibly a combinations of all. (B) Intense political rivalry and hatred, capacity to reduce mountains to mole hills and inveterate cynicism. In our happy Isle, rarely do we assess sizable crowds and perhaps never by scientific methodology. more..

Reconciliation efforts face minor setbacks

Aug 9 (SL) Sri Lanka’s efforts towards reconciliation is facing minor setbacks with Tamils in the North losing patience on some issues. The latest is the political prisoner issue which is back in the spotlight with the prisoners saying they will commence a hunger strike tomorrow. The political prisoners had staged a similar hunger strike in December last year but the strike was later suspended following assurances given by the govt. Some of the prisoners were released in stages but more..

Face The Nation

Kimiko has a long future despite Olympic failure: Coach

Aug 9 (DN) Veteran SL coach Manoj Abeysinghe said swimmer Kimiko Raheem should not think that her disappointing performance in Rio 2016 Olympic Games is not the end of road for her and that the promising teenage swimmer has a long way to go in her sporting career. “She is only 17 years old and competing at the highest level such as the Olympics is a big experience. It is unfortunate that she could not come out with her true form and the reason for that could be best described by more..

Don’t ignore WHO consultation on CKDu

Aug 9 (Island) An international expert consultation on Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Aetiology (CKDu) was held in Colombo in April 2016, organized by the Presidential Task Force for Prevention of Chronic Kidney Disease and the Sri Lanka country office of the World Health Organization (WHO). The report of the consultation is now available to the public on the WHO web portal. The report runs to 47 pages, and is organized into sections based on 3 one-day sessions. more..

When Murali bared his soul

Aug 9 (CI) A ball, a brace and video cameras: when the world's most prolific bowler set out to prove that he was not a chucker. There's a sincerity to Mark Nicholas as he stares into the camera. He looks almost childlike in appearance: suit slightly oversized, top button done up and tie fastened yet not dovetailing. This isn't Mark Nicholas who prowls pristine greens of Australia's outfields with the manner of one on top of food chain. more..

Sampath introduces Book Now, Pay Later

Aug 9 (Island) A pioneer in unveiling a wide range of online banking services, Sampath Bank in partnership with the national carrier, SriLankan Airlines, recently announced the introduction of Book Now, Pay Later – a unique internet payment option for purchasing airline tickets without the use of a credit or debit card. Book Now, Pay Later, newest addition to Sampath Bank’s diverse portfolio of Online Banking services is one of the first of its kind to be introduced to the industry. more..

Editorial: Conspiracies galore!

Aug 9 (Island) Former President Rajapaksa is reported to have said, in South Korea, recently, he had to work with conspirators while he was in power. All his predecessors had to contend with that problem. There were conspiracies against even the Buddha and Jesus. So, it is only natural that lesser mortals are troubled by them. Nowhere can one find power politics without conspiracies; they are coterminous. However, it was not because of conspirators that Rajapaksa lost power. more..

Minister gets warning from IOC to fall in line

Aug 9 (DN) Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said that International Olympic Committee has warned Sri Lanka to amend the country’s sports law on par with the Olympic Charter immediately or face the danger of being expelled from the world governing body. Addressing SL media team here to cover Olympic Games, he disclosed that SL will soon have to make necessary amendments to National Sports Law more..

Green Shine in new Star Ratings of SL hotels

Aug 9 (IPS) All registered hotels in SL should now have a star rating – according to a new regulation, which came into effect recently. Star classifications are primarily aimed at improving the quality of services offered by hotels. Star ratings can also be used as a marketing tool. Official star ratings are one source of information on quality for customers among others such as customer ratings in booking and review websites, information obtained through travel agents, publications, etc. more..

Dialog posts strong first half profits

Aug 9 (DN) Dialog Axiata has posted strong profits for the six months ended June 30. Financial results included those of Dialog Axiata and the Dialog Axiata Group post-consolidation with subsidiaries Dialog Broadband Networks (DBN), Dialog Television (DTV) and Digital Holdings Lanka (DHL). Group closed the first half of 2016 on a strong note, delivering growth across Mobile, Digital Pay Television, Tele-infrastructure and Fixed Line businesses, recording consolidated revenue more..

Revise remand order on Basil and Kithsiri

Aug 9 (CT) Colombo High Court (CHC) ordered Kaduwela Magistrate to revise the remand order made on former Minister Basil Rajapaksa and former Director General of Divi Neguma Development Dept Kithsiri Ranawaka. Having considered the revision applications filed by Rajapaksa and Ranawaka, CHC granted bail to the suspects having noted that there was no objection raised by AG to releasing suspects on bail. more..

Jaffna Uni Int'l Research Conference 2016

Aug 9 (FT) University of Jaffna has chosen Towards a Greener Future, as the theme for its third consecutive biennial Int'l Conference for the year 2016. This area has sought the attention of the whole world and set a platform for the search of the researchers. The conference, concerning globally disputed and highly challenged area; environment, has been scheduled to be held on 12 and 13 August at the University of Jaffna, with the presence of internationally reputed experts more..

Geelong to host Australia-Sri Lanka T20I

Aug 9 (CI) Australia will host Sri Lanka in a Twenty20 international at Geelong's Kardinia Park in February, after the ground was confirmed as the 11th venue in Australia currently accredited to host international cricket. Geelong, Melbourne and Adelaide have been named as the venues for three T20Is between Australia and SL, to be held from Feb 17 to 22. The fixtures will all be played as double-headers, with the men's games preceded by women's T20Is between Australia and NZ. more..

World Economic Forum enhances engagement with Sri Lanka

Aug 9 (FT) The influential World Economic Forum is enhancing its engagement with Sri Lanka, with a keenness to help the transformation of the country under good governance and policies. Recently the first visit by a high-profile official saw WEF expressing serious interest as well as lending its support to Sri Lanka. Geneva-based WEF Head of the Centre for Regional Strategies, Dr. Philipp Rösler met PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, more..

Top corporates educate university students on cyber security

Aug 9 (FT) Several top corporates have come forward to arm deserving university students with the latest knowledge and insights on cyber security at today’s sold-out summit at Cinnamon Lakeside, Colombo. Over 10 corporates, as part of their corporate social responsibility, are sponsoring over 60 students to attend the fourth annual Cyber Security Summit. The corporates who are sponsoring them are LOLC Technologies, CIC Holdings, Citi, Vallibel One, Union Bank, more..

‘Negative impact of recent floods greater than that of Dec. 2004 tsunami’

Aug 9 (Island) "The negative impact of the recent flood is greater than that of the tsunami of Dec 2004, President, Insurance Association of SL Dirk Pereira said. The industry expects the value of the claims relating to the recent floods to surpass the initial estimate of Rs. 7 billion as the number of claims is expected to rise when people fully settle down in post flood times. Minister Ravi Karunanayake said post-flood reconstruction costs would be between Rs.150 and Rs.250 billion. more..

Rs. 35 b outstanding from 500 projects under former govt

Aug 9 (FT) Digging through the morass of public projects over the past four years, a 3-member Cabinet committee has cleared Rs. 3 billion from a whopping Rs. 35 billion in outstanding payments on 500 projects started by the previous Govt covering 53 ministries. Cabinet committee was appointed in March 2016 to wade through massive amounts of paperwork to rationalise a slew of projects from 2011. more..

Johnny grilled by PRECIFAC

Aug 9 (CT) Joint Opposition (JO) and SLFP Kurunegala District MP Johnston Fernando was summoned before PRECIFAC yesterday to record his statement on the allegation that he had ordered the import of a stock of rice for Lanka Sathosa without obtaining Cabinet approval during the previous regime. He was grilled for over five and a half hours before a statement was recorded from him. The former minister is alleged to have imported 60,000 metric tons of rice valued at Rs 320m more..

Telco tariffs to reduce by December

Aug 9 (DN) The tariffs introduced to the telecom sector recently will reduce by December, Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure Minister Harin Fernando said. Speaking at a press conference he said that this increase has somewhat reversed the upward turned in the telecom usage. “We have observed that the call and internet usage has dropped due to this and the govt wants to correct this urgently. Hence I believe that this will be done by then end of the year.” more..

Traders say prez will delay VAT bill, suspend hartal

Aug 9 (Island) Trader unions decided to suspend their countrywide hartal against the VAT Amendment Bill scheduled to be presented to Parliament today following an assurance given by President Sirisena that it would not be submitted this week. Trader union leaders said that President had contacted them yesterday morning following media reports of a countrywide hartal against VAT Bill and requested them to meet him in the evening more..

Angelo can become best captain produced by Sri Lanka: Arjuna

Aug 9 (Island) Arjuna Ranatunga paid a glowing tribute to current skipper Angelo Mathews when he said that the latter could go onto become the best captain produced by SL. Ranatunga said that winning a Test series against Australia is no mean task and that Mathews could go onto become the greatest. Earmarked for leadership role at a very young age, Mathews rose through the ranks and succeeded Mahela Jayawardene in 2013, becoming SL’s youngest Test captain at the age of 25. more..

MR to visit Seokwang Temple in Korea

Aug 9 (DA) Seokwang Buddhist Temple in Bucheon City, Gyeonggi Province is holding the third July 7th and Baekjung (Buddhist All Soul's Day) Culture Festival from Aug 9 through Aug 17, in which visitors can gain holy witness of the Buddha’s sarira. SL's former President Mahinda Rajapaksa will attend the worship ritual at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, adding to the significance of the event. During his presidency, Rajapaksa donated Buddha’s sarira from the ancient Ruhunu Dynasty in July 2014. more..

Krrish deal: Four EX-officials under probe

Aug 9 (DN) Revealing another aspect of investigations into the alleged misappropriation of million of rupees granted by Indian Real Estate Company Krrish Lanka Ltd, FCID informed Court that former SL Tourism Board Chairman Nalaka Godahewa and three others are being investigated over a land deal involving Rs. 40 million in Puttalam with the Krrish Company. FCID made this revelation, when case against MP Namal more..

SAITM will stay: Kiriella

Aug 9 (CT) Minister Lakshman Kiriella assured that he would not revoke the legal recognition granted to SAITM under any circumstance. He said, "SAITM had obtained approval from the former govt to commence operations in 2011. It was recognized as a degree awarding institute by Ministry of Higher Education. MBBS degree awarded by SAITM has been accepted by UGC. Therefore, we cannot disregard that. Further, students at SAITM have undergone more than six years of studies more..

'Jayalalithaa helped SL in tsunami rehab'

Aug 9 (DC) Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa extended help to Sri Lankan govt by deputing officers to guide them in the tsunami rehabilitation, state revenue minister R.B. Udhayakumar claimed. After their friendly countries China and Pakistan turned down to help, SL govt sought Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa’s assistance who dispatched state govt officers to guide them in rehabilitation work, minister said in reply to DMK legislator and former fisheries minister K.P.P. Samy who claimed that more..

President urged to seek SC opinion: Is OMP Bill consistent with RTI law?

Aug 9 (Island) Constitutional affairs expert Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne, MP, said that parliament couldn’t be bound by any particular Act and that was the reason for the absence of reference to Office on Missing Persons (OMP) Bill in the unanimously endorsed Right to Information (RTI) Act. He emphasised that the issue had been discussed thoroughly and they had also received AG’s advice in that regard. more..

Australia set to tumble in cricket rankings after Sri Lanka debacle

Aug 9 (TG) Labelled Australia’s worst touring team to Sri Lanka, Steve Smith’s team now face the prospect of giving up their No1 Test ranking. Down 2-0 in the series, even if Australia win the third and final Test starting in Colombo on Saturday, they will relinquish top spot if other results go against them. England moved into the box seat to go top of the pile when they beat Pakistan in the third Test at Edgbaston on Sunday and go 2-1 up in their four-match series. more..

Civil activists demand release of political prisoners

Aug 9 (FT) The National Movement for the Release of Political Prisoners yesterday demanded that the Government release political prisoners who had been detained since 2009. The movement, comprising the United Socialist Party, New Sama Samaja Party, New Democratic Party, Voice of the Left, the Equal Rights Movement, the Aluth Parapura organisation and the All Ceylon Teachers’ Union, staged a protest in front of the Welikada prison to air their demands. more..

Harin unhappy with SLT, warns of competition

Aug 9 (FT) Expressing discontent with the country’s largest fixed line operator Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), Minister Harin Fernando insisted the company should formulate a plan to share its network with other players in the sector. SLT, which is headed by President’s brother Kumarasinghe Sirisena, has one of the largest fibre backbone systems in SL. In its 2015 Annual Report, company said it was prepared to share capacity with more..

Master Sir, when can we call you friend

Aug 9 (DM) Well-known singer-songwriter Nimal Mendis, in one of his most popular and challenging songs, Master Sir refers to the normal relationship between the master or mistress and the servant while expressing the hope it would someday be liberated into the enlightened realms of friendship. In today’s world-dominated by the rich and ruling elite with a monstrous gap between the impoverished people and the wealthy-there is a vital need for the revival of the principle of servant leadership. more..

Aftermath of Paada Yatra

Aug 9 (DM) The panic created within the Unity Regime on hearing the news of Padayatra led to an extension of the Maithri-Ranil temporary Two-year Living-together to a full five-year term. The bond of proposed relationship did not end there; though there weren’t millions as claimed, Joint Opposition was able to muster a sizeable mass of party men and a fair amount of public sympathy at the five-day march from Kandy to Colombo. Successful show of strengths by SLFP rebellious marchers more..

Dengue cases zoom, but officials predict decline

Aug 9 (ST) Dengue cases which hit a six year high in July may show a decline with island-wide programmes to eradicate mosquito breeding sites, health authorities say. Earlier, last month the number of dengue patients skyrocketed to 7,071 cases, the highest figure that was seen since 2010. Authorities said that hospitals particularly in the Western Province were flooded with patients and some hospitals did not have the capacity to more..

SLC invites Murali for awards ceremony

Aug 9 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Board has invited Muttiah Muralitharan for the prize distribution ceremony after the completion of the third and final Test against Australia. This was revealed by the president Thilanga Sumathipala. He said, “I have asked the secretary Mohan de Silva to invite Murali to give away the awards on the last day of the final Test match”. The dead-rubber Test will be played at the SSC from Aug 13 to 17. more..

Public property in the midst of Paada Yathra

Aug 9 (SL) The protest march carried out by the former president has become a topic of much discussion in recent times. While some have justified the protest march, others have criticised its motives. The protest march was organised by the Joint Opposition who claimed that the present govt had failed to deliver 99% of the promises that they made during their election campaigns. The march urged the govt to more..

Lehmann yearns for variety in domestic pitches

Aug 9 (CI) As he ponders changes to Australia's badly malfunctioning top order, coach Darren Lehmann has admitted that increasingly homogenised domestic pitches - and drop-in wickets at multipurpose stadiums - have played a role in stunting the adaptability of batsmen. When Lehmann and his contemporaries were learning their trade, each major venue had a pitch of unique character, from the bounce of Perth to more..

'International forensic analysts essential in Mannar investigation'

Aug 9 (CT) TNA MP, Leader of TELO Parliamentary Deputy Chairman of Committees, Selvam Adaikkalanathan said assistance of int'l forensic analysts and experts is a must, to detect the truth behind the sudden deaths of former LTTE cadres and that all rehabilitated cadres must undergo medical examinations by an international panel. Meanwhile, commenting on the recent exhuming of human remains in Mannar, more..