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500 questionable jobs in 2015

Aug 14 (CT) COPE has recommended that the Auditor General must conduct a special probe into the recruitment of 500 employees to the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) staff in 2015 without the approval of the Treasury and the Finance Ministry's Management Services Department. COPE has further recommended the Secretary to the Ministry of Urban Development, Water Supply and Drainage to order more..

Transformation from constitutional disequilibrium to sustainable equilibrium?

Aug 15 (CT) Traditionally, constitutional equilibrium talked about the balance between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. Independence of the judiciary was of paramount importance. Montesquieu in his The Spirit of Laws (1748), argued that England preserved constitutional equilibrium and thus human liberty because of separation of powers and checks and balances. While this is still valid and fundamental, there are many other aspects of constitutional more..

A needed Remembrance and some non-sense talk

Aug 15 (SO) On August 8, 1992, Lt. Gen Denzil Kobbekaduwa was killed in Arali, Jaffna. Except for one letter to the editor in a daily newspaper by Ranjith Soysa on the death anniversary, there was no public mention of the devastating assassination: Devastating to his family, the country and the public, including Tamils in the North who honoured and respected him. He was a man of such integrity, bravery and national mindedness. A true Lion of Trinity College, Kandy. more..

VAT or what?

Aug 15 (SO) The SLFP Ministers in the National Unity Govt categorically denied that there were differences between the UNP and the SLFP over the VAT issue. Neither the PM nor the Govt has shown any opposition to the amendments proposed by the SLFP, they said. SLFP Ministers however, maintain that some relief should be given to the retailers and wholesalers. Special SLFP committee comprising Ministers Susil Premajayantha, more..

Transitional justice & Reconciliation in SL

Aug 15 (CT) This submission highlights the importance of looking at the impact of the war on the Tamil communities in the North in all its multiplicity. It is important that the war, both in its final phase and the ethnic conflict, are not seen as a binaristic Sinhala -Tamil conflict, or purely as a Tamil versus SL state phenomenon, implying in the end a simple division between victims and perpetrators. For actual justice to be meted out, the historical detail of the ethnic conflict, the procedure of war, more..

Editorial: Probing disappearances

Aug 15 (Island) The govt claims the Office on Missing Persons Bill (OMPB) has been passed with amendments, though it does not know how many MPs voted for or against it according to Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe. Joint Opposition (JO) insists that the Bill was not duly passed as many MPs were not in their seats when it was put to the vote; they were protesting in the well of Parliament. What really matters in this regard is the alleged inconsistency of the Bill with the Constitution more..

'PTA simply for taking political vengeance'

Aug 15 (SL) Chairman of the COPE and JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti believes that in order to bring about true reconciliation in the country, politicians should first cast aside their racial bias and separatist ideologies. He said that it is inadequate for the govt to go before international bodies and promise various actions, while political prisoners in Sri Lanka are still lamenting in jails; some not even formally charged yet. more..

Shameful rejection of a collective mea culpa

Aug 15 (ST) The raucous commotion in Parliament this week with the passing of the Office of Missing Persons Bill without a vote is reflective of our utterly degenerate political culture. Even now, there is no clear idea of the numbers mustered on the floor to ensure the passage of this enormously significant legislation. Sri Lanka’s disappeared number in their thousands. These unfortunates are not confined to one ethnicity. Indeed, the fate of the missing is the most powerful common factor uniting more..

Democrazy Live in Lanka!

Aug 15 (ST) This Wednesday will mark the first milestone of the general elections that gave birth to Lanka’s 15th Parliament. Since the election result did not produce a clear winner, it led to the creation of a two face government made up of the two major parties, the UNP and the UPFA, another joint grouping of 12 parties in which the SLFP is the major player. This arranged marriage, conceived out of convenience, formed out of necessity and based on mutual interest, was envisaged more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Navigating the musical sea with Prinivan Mangalyaya

Aug 15 (Island) Dusk was slowly falling upon Abhina Academy of Performing Arts in Bellanvila, as the timbre of musically-bent sailors of the Sri Lanka Navy filled the tranquil environs in reverence to Lord Buddha. Rehearsing for the cantata pirinivan mangalyaya, originally created by the doyen of Lankan music, Premasiri Khemadasa were the naval voices fine-tuned by his musician daughter Gayathri Khemadasa. Caught in a melodious reverie, we spoke to talent behind ambitious musical feat more..

Govt, Basil, FCID and SB

Aug 15 (Island) Former minister Basil Rajapaksa (BR), who had been remanded over allegations of fraud and corruption, was released on bail last Tuesday. People are vaguely aware that BR’s latest stint in remand was over a case involving the distribution of GI pipes to Pradeshiya Sabhas. Minister S.B. Dissanayake said that he had no idea how Basil Rajapaksa had been arrested over the matter since the correct tender procedures had been adhered to in purchasing the GI pipes and more..

Chandimal contrives the old SSC experience

Aug 15 (CI) When the new SSC was contriving excitement with a score of 26 for 5, Dinesh Chandimal embraced everything he is not and no matter what the surface was doing, he had to wrestle himself. Through the noughties, the SSC pitch was so flat Sri Lankans were granted a Test hundred there along with their birth certificates. There was a bleak, authoritarian air to SSC matches in that decade. more..

Heat a big issue at SSC: Chandimal

Aug 15 (DN) The heat at the SSC played a big part in two stages for Dinesh Chandimal who carved out his seventh Test hundred for his country and his first against Australia. When Chandimal came to bat his team was in a crisis having lost four wickets for 24 and Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon threatening to run through the batting. But with newcomer Dhananjaya de Silva, Chandimal rescued the side with a double century partnership that saw Sri Lanka eventually post a respectable score of 355. more..

Starc joins Lyon in criticising SSC footholes

Aug 15 (CI) Australia's spearhead Mitchell Starc has joined offspinner Nathan Lyon in criticising the deep footholes on the crease at the SSC ground in Colombo, while also intimating that the touring pacemen have not been well served by the maintenance of that area all series. Lyon had already flagged the deep excavation in the landing areas for the bowlers after day one, and on the second morning, Starc attracted the attention of the umpires for following through in danger zone more..

'There is no good terrorism, Turkey will soon defeat terrorism'

Aug 15 (DS) Similar to Turkey, Sri Lanka suffered from terrorism for decades, and after successfully eradicating terrorism, the country has built a new Sri Lanka. Ambassador to Ankara Pakeer Mohideen Amza discussed with Daily Sabah what Turkey could learn from Sri Lanka's fight against terrorism. Amza said that the three pillars on which the new Sri Lanka is being built are democracy, development and reconciliation. more..

Aitken Spence records 31% YoY top line growth in 1Q

Aug 15 (DN) Reflecting top line growth across all sectors – tourism, maritime and logistics, strategic investments and services; leading blue chip - Aitken Spence posted a revenue figure of Rs. 7.5 billion in the first quarter of the 2016/17 financial year, a 31% increase from the previous year’s Rs. 5.8 billion. The top line growth is the result of strong contributions from a number of sectors including the recommenced power operation in Embilipitiya during the first quarter. more..

Chandimal's resistance, Starc's consecutive five-fors

Aug 15 (CI) 2: Number of times batsmen at No. 6 or lower have faced more balls in a Test innings against Australia than Dinesh Chandimal's 356 in his innings of 132. Faf du Plessis had faced 376 balls in the Adelaide Test in 2012-13. Only other instance came in 1938 Ashes at Oval when Joe Hardstaff (jnr) faced exactly 400 balls in England's first innings at the Oval. 3: Number of centuries Chandimal has hit at No. 6 when he has come in to bat with SL 4 down for less than 100 more..

Telecom Minister pledges to provide digital classrooms for students

Aug 15 (ST) Sri Lankan students will soon get an opportunity to study in modern digital class rooms under the govt’s ambitious IT initiative of harnessing high-tech digital technology to leapfrog into a tech-savvy world, Minister Harin Fernando revealed. 100 digital classrooms will be set up in schools especially in rural areas providing iPads for students while keeping some of the positive elements of the traditional classroom intact, more..

ONUR Chairperson visits Keeramalai Housing Project in Jaffna

Aug 15 (FT) Chairperson of the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR), former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has recently visited the Jaffna peninsula and observed the progress in the Keeramalai housing project for resettlement of displaced people. Former president Kumaratunga during her visits to Jaffna peninsula on Thursday met with the Commander, Security Forces - Jaffna (SF-J) Major General Mahesh Senanayake at Security Force Hq, Jaffna (SFHQJ). more..

Combank 2H profit after tax up 25.54% to Rs 6.488 bn

Aug 15 (DM) Commercial Bank of Ceylon, posted a net profit of Rs.3.26 billion or Rs.3.66 a share for the quarter ended June 30, 2016 (2Q16) increasing 23 percent a year ago, the interim results showed. This is despite the, increasing costs of funds and shrinking margins, the bank said. ComBank loaned as much as Rs.43.7 billion during the first six months of 2016 (1H16)—an average Rs.7 billion a month—recording an expansion of 8.3% in the loan book of the bank on a standalone basis. more..

Ex-LTTE members increasingly taking to writing

Aug 15 (Hindu) Former members of the LTTE are increasingly taking to writing to articulate their reflections on the civil war, which came to an end in May 2009. In recent months, books of three ex-combatants of the LTTE have been brought out and by a coincidence, all are women. A few days ago, the 24-year-old Rathika Pathmanathan launched her book, which contains a set of poems and a narrative account, more..

New Delhi-Tamil Nadu relations and India's Sri Lanka policy

Aug 15 (IPCS) “Could a state hostage the central govt’s decision especially affecting its foreign policy towards another nation? State can’t put pressure for the central government decisions. I am tired and like Muhammed Ali I will allow them to punch me continuously but wait for the right moment to strike,” said Salman Khurshid, the then Indian external affairs minster, at the Asian Relations Conference held in 2013 at the Indian Council for World Affairs, New Delhi. more..

Australia's spin struggles: it's a cultural thing

Aug 15 (CI) Day three in Galle: a Dilruwan Perera delivery stays quite low; Mitch Marsh, new to the crease, digs it out and offers a wry smile. It's a smile that masks bemusement. You can forgive him, because for the Australian No. 6, everything happening is truly foreign. Even so, the reaction reveals more about his team's attitude to these conditions than it does about Asian wickets. Has any Test match batting line-up looked as inept as Australia's in Sri Lanka? more..

Govt revenue from CTC up 12% to Rs. 49 b

Aug 15 (FT) Govt enjoyed a 12% gain in revenue contribution from the Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) to record Rs. 49 billion during the first half but analysts warned that the steady income stream would be at stake if the State went ahead with its overambitious move to up taxation of cigarettes to 90% of stick price. CTC’s contribution to State revenue in the form of Excise Tax, Corporate Tax & other levies rose by 12% to Rs. 49 billion. more..

Geethani finishes 129th in women’s marathon

Aug 15 (DN) Geethani Rajasekara finished 129th out of 157 competitors while Kenyan Jelagat Sumgong bagged the gold medal at the women’s marathon of the XXXIst Olympic Games worked off here this morning. Only 133 runners completed the course while 23 of them withdrew during the race due to various reasons and South Africa’s Irvette Van Zyl did not start. It was a tall order for the Lankan lass was nowhere near her usual form in clocking 3 hours, 11 minutes and 5 seconds. more..

Upul calls Sirisena Nelson Mandela of modern Sri Lanka

Aug 15 (Island) Chief Organiser of Lawasia diamond jubilee conference in Colombo Upul Jayasuriya, addressing last Friday highlighted the achievements of the incumbent administration. Turning to President Maithripala Sirisena, he said, "History will judge you to be the Nelson Mandela of modern SL the citizen who united our country and its people and created one nation and one people." Following is the text of Jayasuriyas address: It is my great privilege to welcome you all on this historic day more..

Paranagama Commission hands over incomplete report as term ends

Aug 15 (ST) Presidential Commission to Investigate Complaints Regarding Missing Persons wound up its activities by handing over a 48-page report to President’s Secretary P.B. Abeykoon on Friday. Its activities will now be taken over by the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) Commission which is to be set up soon. Commission Chairman Maxwell Paranagama who handed over the report said the Commission more..

'Inadequate funds for R&D hampering export development'

Aug 15 (Island) "Although Sri Lanka has enough scientific research personnel with a lot of skills and knowledge, the inadequate allocation of funds for Research and Development (R&D) is the main factor preventing Sri Lanka from coming out with new products for the export market, a specialist in the manufacture of herbal medicine said. "Sri Lanka is a country with rich bio-diversity but the sad part is that the relevant authorities have paid less attention to R&D. On the other hand, more..

SL mulls purchase of new fighter aircraft

Aug 15 (TD) Sri Lankan govt has publicly announced that it is intends to purchase eight to 12 new multirole combat aircraft for the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF), according to local media reports. Last week, President Maithripala Sirisena and his Cabinet have officially granted the country’s defense ministry permission to solicit offers from foreign aircraft manufacturers for the procurement of new aircraft and associated weapons systems on a govt-to-govt basis. more..

Govt backbenchers given Rs. 10 mn loan: JO

Aug 15 (Island) The Joint Opposition alleges that a section of backbenchers in Parliament have been offered Rs. 10 mn loan each at the taxpayers’ expense. UPFA MP Ranjith de Zoysa said that the loan facility had been made available two months back. According to the JO member, govt had added Rs. 250,000 each to the salaries of those who had obtained the loan to enable them to pay back in Rs. 200,000 monthly instalments. more..

Police probe pro-LTTE t-shirt

Aug 15 (CT) Kandy Police are investigating the discovery of pro-LTTE T-shirt found in a stock of clothes taken to a shop, in a shopping complex in the Kandy. Kandy Police Headquarters have launched an investigation to find whether the T-shirt, with an emblem of LTTE, belonged to an LTTE member or a supporter. This yellow t-shirt, had a photograph of LTTE Leader V Prabhakaran on the front and below it L'ASPIRARTION des Tamouls est un Tamil Eelam libre more..

COPE chief rejects luxury vehicle allocation

Aug 15 (CT) Chairperson of COPE, Sunil Handunnetti, said that he had refused to accept funds allocated for COPE members to purchase luxury vehicles. Govt had recently allocated Rs 90 million for COPE members to purchase vehicles in order to carry out their work. COPE Chairperson and Chairperson of Public Accounts Commission are included in the list of fund recipients. "I was informed about this by COPE secretary. But I said it was not needed because it was not necessary more..

Avant Garde investigation CID hands over report to CIABOC

Aug 15 (CT) The CID has handed over a copy of the final investigation report, on the controversial Avant Garde, to the CIABOC, on Saturday for observations and further action. The Director General of the Bribery Commission, Dilrukshi Wickramasinghe, PC, stated "Commission has received the final investigation report on Avant Garde. We would undertake further action on that in due course. more..

Visits by Americans highlight support to increase SL's growth: Keshap

Aug 15 (DM) The increasing number of visits by Americans highlight the full spectrum of US support to bolster SL's international relations, economic growth, development assistance and military professionalism, US Ambassador Atul Keshap said. These visits are a reflection of the promise made by US Secretary of State John Kerry that the US will stand with SL as it build a stronger democracy and a future that is marked by peace and prosperity after so many years of suffering & hardship. more..

Constitutional reforms process solely domestic: Jayampathy

Aug 15 (CT) Denying claims that the US would be lending its support to the Constitutional reforms process, MP Dr. Jayampathy Wickremeratne said the process will be solely a domestic one. He was responding to an article published in a Sunday newspaper, which indicated that the United States would be involved in the making of the new Constitution. He added, "So far I have not been informed of such things. But we can learn from the experiences of other countries, which had more..

President pooh-poohs Opposition’s War Heroes’ bogey

Aug 15 (DN) Office of Missing Persons is not aimed to make any of our War Heroes scape goats in any way as claimed by certain detractors, President Sirisena said. He said there were many reports about disappearances in the recent past. A large number of journalists and ordinary persons went missing with the white van culture. This Office can look into all these incidents and will not target our War Heroes in any way, more..

Was the Paada Yathra a genuine protest?

Aug 15 (DM) One can hardly call a it a protest when children are used as pawns to sling mud at political rivals in bad language, when leading participants lick at popsicles and ice-cream, holding them up in glee and so on, and when others, whose brains appear to be more in their feet than where they should be, dance on the streets. It was nothing more, nothing less than the poorest possible imitation of carnival time in Brazil! I have taken part in political protests many times, against the recent dictatorships, more..

The Cuban victory over US sanctions, invasion and intervention

Aug 15 (DM) 13th August marked the 90th birth anniversary of Fidel Castro, the revolutionary, who led the 1959 Cuban Revolution, which overthrew the US-backed dictator Fugencio Batista, whose brutal human rights abuses via his private police were a regular feature of life in Cuba. The US saw Batista as the bedrock of American interests in the island. At that time American corporations, mafia dons and wealthy individuals owned almost half of Cuba’s sugar plantations, majority of cattle ranches, more..

'Standing against corruption taking place in the country'

Aug 15 (SL) People wanted a change from the executive power and family ruling from the Rajapaksa regime where the reign and the politicians were corrupt as they used their political influence to do whatever they wanted as much as peoples’ rights were violated while the judiciary kept silent. Therefore, people voted for a change in the expectation that the good governance policies would implement the laws and the rights guaranteed more..