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A secret Norwegian missive to Dear Mr Prabhakaran

Aug 17 (Island) Chairperson of the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation Chandrika Kumaratunga during a two-day visit to Jaffna beginning Aug 11, took credit for scoring impressive battlefield victories during her tenure as the President (Nov.1994 to Nov.2005). Addressing the media, former President who had been the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces declared that she finished off 75% of the war. Mrs Kumaratunga played down her successor more..

Editorial: ETCA: Holy and unholy issues

Aug 17 (Island) The proposed Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) between Sri Lanka and India continues to dominate public discussion. Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) has reiterated its position that the formulation of a national policy on international trade pacts must precede the inking of the ETCA. Else, doctors say they will go all out to torpedo it. They are capable of shoving bitter medicine down the throats of self-important politicians. more..

Today is Nikini Poya

Aug 17 (DN) The initiation of rainy retreat or Vas has two diverging views. One school of thought says that the Buddha imposed the rule after observing the agony of a group of monks who visited him after travelling a vast distance on foot during the rainy season. The group had to undergo enormous difficulties due to unfavourable and extreme weather conditions on the way to the city of Rajagaha. The alternate view is that more..

My best knock in cricket: Kaushal Silva

Aug 17 (Island) Opener Kaushal Silva, who made an outstanding century under pressure to put Sri Lanka in command in the third Test against Australia at SSC yesterday, said it was his best knock in cricket after batting for over six hours with a split webbing. Silva split the webbing between his ring finger and little finger on his left hand while fielding on day three and went on to score a memorable hundred to take the game away from the tourists. He had a horror series prior to yesterday’s knock more..

Beggism, Gautamism and popular Buddhism

Aug 17 (Island) Before I begin my argument I believe I should state my credentials. I am an 85+ born Buddhist. Most of my schooling has been in Buddhist schools [Nalanda, Dharmaraja, Anuruddha, Sivali, Ananda] where we, without much ha-ho, participated in traditional Buddhist practices such as Dhamma classes, ata sil on Poya Days. Popular Buddhist practices were a feature of our lives and the society we lived in. I am grateful to The Island for its frequent, and absorbing, featured articles more..

Silva fits into the Sri Lankan fight template

Aug 17 (CI) The Sri Lankan fight is a catchphrase increasingly fetishised by members & coaching staff of national team. It is uttered so freely, and so rhapsodically, fight can seem better-regarded in this side than technique, or tactical aptitude, or runs, or wickets, or indeed victory. Even in matches in which oppositions have amassed a total of roughly 7 mill, and SL's top order has then been dismissed for cumulative 0.5, more..

EP Councilor challenges his expulsion

Aug 17 (FT) Court of Appeal issued notices on UPFA, Elections Commission and others returnable for 5 Sept in pursuant to a petition filed by Eastern Provincial Council Member Ariff Samsudeen. Petitioner Ariff Samsudeen filed his petition challenging the impugned decision of the UPFA to expel him from the UPFA resulting in the loss of his provincial council seat. The matter came up before Bench comprising Justices P.R. Welgama, Devika de Tennakoon and L.U. Jayasuriya. more..

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera contributes chapter to Modi Doctrine

Aug 17 (FT) Institute of National Security Studies Sri Lanka (INSSSL) Director General Asanga Abeyagoonasekera has contributed a chapter to a new book entitled The Modi Doctrine: New Paradigms in India’s Foreign Policy. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on 13 August released the book which was edited by Anirban Ganguly, Director of the Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, Vijay Chauthaiwale, in charge of department of foreign affairs in the BJP, and more..

JC Weliamuna confirms he appeared for Lasantha Wickrematunge’s murder suspect

Aug 17 (CT) Lawyer J C Weliamuna has confirmed that he did appear on behalf of Kandegedara Piyawansa, a suspect in the assassination of Sunday Leader Founder Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge. On Aug 7, 2016, the Colombo Telegraph carried a story under the heading Weliamuna Appeared For Lasantha’s Murder Suspect Under Rajapaksas’ Watch: TI Director Now Evades Questions which said that Weliamuna, who is the Director of more..

153 HIV cases in first half 2016

Aug 17 (CT) Hospitals islandwide have reported a sharp spike in numbers of HIV/AIDS infected persons according to statistics collated in the first seven months of 2016. Dr. Sisira Liyanage, Director of theNational Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS Control Programme said this did not necessarily mean that the disease was spreading because the new statistics had been revealed by an additional 50,000 persons being screened for AIDS and other STDs. more..

Vehicle racket busted

Aug 17 (CT) A large-scale racketeer was taken into custody on Monday in Badureliya for selling for a sum of Rs 40 million, 30 motor vehicles which had been leased out from leasing companies and for having changed ownership registration and related documents fraudulently. The suspect had been for a very long time been dodging 28 warrants issued against him by Court in this connection. He was taken into custody after a month-long operation by the Kalutara Police. more..

Govt poorly equipped to handle disasters: Poll

Aug 17 (FT) The latest nationwide survey, conducted by research firm TNS Lanka, reveals that the majority of Sri Lankan citizens hold the view that the state is not properly equipped to handle disasters. 50% of those polled say that there is a lack of precautionary measures and systems to inform the public about emergency situations. Meanwhile, 36% are satisfied with the disaster management mechanisms that are in place, more..

Bangladeshi NDC delegation meets Secretary of Defence

Aug 17 (MoD) A delegation of the Bangladesh National Defence College (NDC) paid a courtesy call to the Secretary of the Ministry of Defence Karunasena Hettiarachchi today (16). The twenty four member delegation, led by Major General Hamidur Rahman Choudhury met the Secretary at the Ministry this morning. The delegation which arrived in the island on a study tour includes members of the Bangladesh army, navy, allied course members and also members of more..

Ten labourer job vacancies at CGR attract more than 13,000 applications

Aug 17 (Island) "A recent govt advertisement to fill ten labourer job vacancies at Ceylon Govt Railway (CGR) had attracted more than 13,000 applications and that's the level of entitlement mentality Sri Lankans had shown to get a job in a govt department, W.K.K Athukorala, Secretary to Ministry of Housing and Construction revealed at the Symposium on Sustainable Construction. "Time has come to make construction sector more rewarding to work, to meet its labour shortage. more..

Aussies accused of being poor losers and whingers

Aug 17 (TA) Tensions between the Australians and Sri Lankan cricket authorities have reached boiling point in Colombo with the local curator and former team manager labelling the side ugly Australians, poor losers and whingers. The Australians have had problems with curators and administrators at every venue since the squad arrived last month. There is even a brewing resentment between the higher levels of more..

Ranasinghe makes Olympic debut today

Aug 17 (DN) Javelin thrower Sumedha Ranasinghe will be the penultimate Sri Lankan competitor to be seen in action at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games here when he takes part in his pet event at Olympic Stadium here on Wednesday. The competitors of the men’s javelin throw at 2016 Olympic Games will commence their qualifying round throws under two groups from 8.30 pm local time (5 am SLT). The 25-year-old Lankan lad from Kegalle is confident that he could make a memorable Olympic debut, more..

Unesco to help establish platform

Aug 17 (CT) Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO said that UNESCO would fully support every SL endeavour to establish a National Technology Innovation Platform-driven development drive with the accent on cutting-edge scientific formulae. Addressing a UNESCO Science Dialogue organized by National Science Foundation, Bokava added that "This support will also be extended to the proposal of Minister Susil Premajayantha, to establish a National Science Centre in SL." more..

Deutsche Bank settles dispute over hedging fiasco with Sri Lanka

Aug 17 (FT) Deutsche Bank said yesterday it had concluded an agreement to settle with the SL Govt and the CPC over the much publicised, controversial and costly hedging deal in 2008. “We are pleased to announce that Deutsche Bank AG has concluded an agreement to settle its longstanding dispute with SL and the CPC relating to an oil hedging transaction concluded in 2008, on amicable terms,” Deutsche Bank said. more..

‘Magampura Port Festival did not help gain international attraction’

Aug 17 (DN) Former Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena in his written evidence before the PRECIFAC stated that the Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA) had spent Rs. 138 million on the water filling and opening ceremony of the Hambantota Magampura Port without his approval or knowledge. Ceremonies of this nature held with enormous spending had not helped to gain any international attraction or gainful thing for the country, he had said. Senior State Counsel Janaka Bandara more..

Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms releases interim report

Aug 17 (FT) Consultations Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms, appointed by PM on 26 Jan 2016, has released an interim report on the Office on Missing Persons Bill and Issues Concerning the Missing, the Disappeared and the Surrendered. This interim report, released last week to legislators, is based on all written submissions received as of 17 July 2016 and consultations conducted until 8 Aug 2016. This preliminary report provides a summary of submissions relating more..

Minister Kiriella says SLFP, JVP amendments accommodated in OMPB

Aug 17 (Island) Minister Lakshman Kiriella maintains that the Office of Missing Persons Bill (OMPB) was passed with amendments proposed by the SLFP and the JVP. He made the statement at a ceremony to rehabilitate a few roads under the Priority Road Development Project at the Bingiriya Electoral Division in the Kurunegala District. The OMPB is a new concept. People have gone missing in 1971, 1988-89 and during the war. more..

SL national involved in drug trafficking held at city airport

Aug 17 (TOI) A Sri Lankan national allegedly involved in a case related to seizure of 12.78kg heroin worth 12.8 crore in the international market, was arrested from the Chennai International airport by the Narcotics Control Bureau on August 13. The accused was identified as 38-year-old Saravana Kumar alias Shetty alias Saravanan. The seizure was at Ramanathapuram bus stand in 2004. NCB officials said he was involved in smuggling of contraband items between SL and India more..

RTC makes history with first Thoroughbred Racehorse auction

Aug 17 (DN) On August 20, the Racecourse in Nuwara Eliya which is steeped in history will be scripting an entirely new chapter in it’s archives. They will be hosting the first Auction Sale of thoroughbred racehorses and it promises to be something really special. The horses for Sale are all seasoned campaigners so you have a huge advantage in that you will have the opportunity to buy a ready made racehorse or one that is ready to race and earn his keep. more..

Video: Revenge politics: 90% of allegations against Gota investigations complete: SF

Aug 17 (DM) Minister Sarath Fonseka said that 90% of the investigations into two complaints against former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa had been completed and that he would have to face the consequences soon. “Two complaints had been received against Mr. Rajapaksa: one regarding the purchasing of MiG aircraft for the Air Force for US$ 7 million in an improper manner; and the other regarding more..

NFF asks govt to hold elections if it is not scared of losing

Aug 17 (Island) NFF called on govt to hold LG elections without resorting to dilatory tactics. The govt does not hold elections for it knows there is public displeasure and it will certainly lose. Govt seems to have decided to rely on measures of diversion such as arresting political opponents on false charges and giving huge publicity to those arrests, NFF spokesman Mohamed Muzammil said. He said: "The govt thinks that if it continues to arrest the members of the Opposition more..

SL partners Eurasian Union’s largest expo

Aug 17 (FT) Sri Lanka has agreed to partner with one of the largest export exhibitions in the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) region on 12 August. As a result, almost five million visitors attending the largest global export exhibition in the EEU region will be sampling the Lankan export portfolio for a three-month-long period in Astana. “Astana Expo 2017 is a valuable opportunity for both countries to commence new trade which is at present at a very low $ 5 mil” said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. more..

Australia returns 6 rejected asylum seekers

Aug 17 (TG) Australian govt has returned six Sri Lankans attempting to reach Australia by boat, the immigration minister has said. On Wednesday Peter Dutton confirmed the govt had returned the group after “recently intercepting a people-smuggling venture”. Dutton said the Australian and SL govts continued to work closely on the issue of boats trying to reach Australia. “Our Sri Lankan partners provided advice that more..

One year after: A critical analysis

Aug 17 (DM) Today, Aug 17, marks the completion of one year since the 2015 general elections which led to the appointment of a National Unity Govt between the two major parties -- UNP and SLFP which had ruled Sri Lanka separately for the 68 years since independence, the UNP for 33 years and the SLFP for 35. After last year’s elections where the UNP won 108 seats, five short of an overall majority of 113, the two parties, in consultation with former president Chandrika more..

Outplayed in every facet of the game: Smith

Aug 17 (CI) Australia's mystified captain Steven Smith apologised to travelling supporters for having to witness an ugly 3-0 defeat, before saying the touring batsmen and spin bowlers had a lot of thinking to do about their cricket in Asian conditions ahead of next year's trip to India. The visiting batsmen fell in an unruly heap on the final day of the series after reaching a platform of 100 for 1, mirroring their first innings slide from 267 for 1 to 379 all out. more..

රටේ වත්මන් අධ්යාපනය

Not Buddhism…, give Dhamma the foremost place

Aug 17 (DM) The concept of secularism makes a state officially neutral on themes of religion, it does not support a particular religion or religions. A secular state treats all its citizens equally in spite of their religious affiliations, and avoids favoured treatment for an inhabitant from a given religion over other religions. A Secular state does not have an established religion. The present Constitution of Sri Lanka makes ‘Protecting and upholding Buddhism, foremost place for Buddhism, more..

SL relaxes newly imposed exchange control

Aug 17 (EN) Sri Lanka has relaxed by 30 days a newly imposed exchange control that forced exporters to bring back foreign exchange, Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said. Sri Lanka forced exporters to bring back export proceeds by 90 days, reviving a three decade old exchange control, after the central bank printed money to finance a budget deficit and created a balance of payments crisis in 2015. The cabinet had approved a proposal by Minister Ravi Karunanayake to more..

Herath bowls Sri Lanka to historic whitewash

Aug 17 (CI) History was against this Sri Lanka team, so they created their own. Before this series, Sri Lanka had beaten Australia just once - one single Test in 33 years of cricket between the nations. Kumar Sangakkara, perhaps the finest batsman Sri Lanka has ever produced, played 134 Tests and never tasted victory against Australia. Dhananjaya de Silva and Lakshan Sandakan, uncapped month ago, have now played in 3. more..

Video: Body found in the sea off B’pitiya brought ashore

Aug 17 (DM) The rough seas off Bambalapitiya made it difficult for the body found floating to be brought shore and it remained in the sea for more than six hours. The body, which was later identified as that of Pathum Fernando, a 22-year-old resident of Indigahapitiya in Ja ela, was brought ashore by an unidentified individual and left on a pavement nearby. Kollupitiya Police arrived at the scene after being informed by a resident of the area. Police said their preliminary investigations more..

Amaraweera dares Wimal, Udaya to contest solo

Aug 17 (Island) UPFA General Secretary and Minister Mahinda Amaraweera challenged NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa and PHU Leader Udaya Gammanpila to go it alone at the forthcoming elections and win at least a single seat. He said both Weerawansa and Gammanpila had survived with the help of SLFP votes as they did not have any vote base. "They ride the SLFP piggyback for their political survival. They are nothing but fleas and leeches living off the SLFP. more..

President removes leading JO members as SLFP organisers

Aug 17 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena has removed leading Joint Opposition members, including MPs Mahinda Yapa Abeywardane, Gamini Lokuge, C.B. Ratnayake, Keheliya Rambukwella, Pavithra Wanniarachchi as the SLFP organizers and appointed 40 new district and electoral oragnisers today. Accordingly, sixteen electoral organizers and 24 district organizers were received their appointments letters more..

U-19 SL v Eng: Fernando ton sets up Sri Lanka whitewash

Aug 17 (CI) Avishka Fernando hit his second century in consecutive matches as Sri Lanka's Under-19s completed a 3-0 whitewash in the Royal London one-day series with a 24-run win in Canterbury. But England went down fighting, as Surrey wicketkeeper-batsman Ollie Pope hit a defiant 88 from 78 balls with good support from Gloucestershire's George Hankins and Somerset's Dom Bess. Fernando followed the 117 he scored on Saturday with 138 from 134 balls, more..

Tourism receipts rise to Rs50mn in half year

Aug 17 (EN) Sri Lanka's estimated tourism receipts rose 19% from a year earlier to 50 billion rupees in the first six month of 2016, with tourist arrivals also going up 16.2%, official data showed. In rupee terms estimated tourism receipts expanded 29.4% to 50.5 billion rupees as the rupee collapsed over late 2015 after the central bank resisted interest rate increases with massive printing of money which drove credit and imports to unsustainable levels. Interest rates have since been allowed to go up, more..

Clueless Australia need a cultural shift

Aug 17 (CI) In 1969, when choosing the Australian touring team for India, the selectors omitted a young Greg Chappell to the surprise of many. When pressed for a reason why, the selection chairman Sir Donald Bradman is said to have replied: "We don't want him going to India and getting sick." Though Bill Lawry's team went on to win a fractious and tightly contested series, Bradman's comment endured as more..

'If Herath was English he would be knighted'

Aug 17 (DM) Commenting on Sri Lankan spinner Rangana Herath’s 13 wickets at the third test match which secured the victory against Australia, former cricketer Kumar Sangakkara today said that “if Herath was English he would be knighted”. In a tweet, Sangakkara said he was glad Herath was a Sri Lankan. “He deserves the highest credit and recognition, great man” he tweeted. Sri Lanka for the first time in its cricket history beat Australia by 163 runs in the third and final test match more..