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Rajapaksa to skip SLFP 65th anniversary

Aug 18 (AM) Member of Parliament S. M. Chandrasena stated that former president Mahinda Rajapaksa will not be attending the anniversary celebrations of Sri Lanka Freedom Party as he will be out of the country for official purpose. Chandrasena revealed this at a media gathering today morning. He further stated that the former president revealed his plans on a foreign trip at a meeting with the members of Joint Opposition at his residence in Mirihana. more..

CM writes to Sushma on fishermen’s release

Aug 18 (Hindu) Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy has urged Union Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj to take steps for the release of four fishermen from the Union Territory who are lodged in Sri Lankan jail after being arrested in the high seas over a fortnight ago. In a letter, Mr. Narayanasamy also sought Ms. Swaraj’s help in securing the release of the boats that were seized by SL Coast Guard. Chief Minister said the fishermen from Karaikal region of Puducherry more..

Jeyakumary summoned by TID again

Aug 18 (TG) Tamil disappearances campaigner Balendran Jeyakumary has been called in for yet another inquiry by Terrorist Investigation Division (TID), following an interrogation by authorities this week. Ms Jeyakumary was summoned to appear before the TID on 16th of Aug, where she was questioned for several hours. She did not want to speak to reporters about the questioning, citing fears regarding her safety. more..

Five things we learned from Sri Lanka v Australia Test whitewash

Aug 18 (AFP) Five things we learned from Sri Lanka's first series whitewash against Australia after the hosts won the third and final Test in Colombo. -- Future's bright for Sri Lankan cricket: Sri Lanka's youngsters belied expectations with a string of match-winning performances against a side who came into the series as world number one. After a poor tour of England, players such as Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva and Lakshan Sandakan came of age back home. more..

‘104 LTTE cadres poisoned to death at Sri Lanka rehab centres’

Aug 18 (Hindu) Sri Lanka’s Tamil politicians have alleged that over 100 LTTE cadres at rehabilitation centres were injected with poison leading to their deaths, prompting the govt to reject their claims on Thursday. Politicians of the main Tamil party TNA politicians and the Tamil media claimed the deaths of some 104 ex-combatants who had allegedly been given poisonous injections. They had claimed physical disability due to the injections being given to them. more..

Theravada Buddhism is only religion that heals restless minds: President

Aug 18 (PMD) President Sirisena says that the Theravada Buddhism is the only religion to heal the restless minds of the people who are living in this stressful contemporary society. President was speaking at the religious ceremony to open the newly built shrine room at Sri Salawana Bodhi Vihara in Polgolla. The marble Buddha statue, brought from Myanmar has been placed in this shrine room. President said he, together with more..

Tamil women demand more space in politics at Jaffna consultations

Aug 18 (TG) A group of Tamil women called for a quota for female politicians to be instituted during consultations by the Jaffna Zonal Task Force of the Consultation Task Force earlier this month. At the consultation which happened at the Jaffna Kachcheri on August 5, a group of Tamil women including a local TNA village councillor and the Women's Society President, expressed frustration at the lack of political space given to women by both the TNA and the NPC. more..

Video: Some Northern politicians making false allegations: Ruwan

Aug 18 (DM) Some politicians in the North are making false allegations, stating that former LTTE cadres at rehabilitation centres are being injected with poison, which had resulted in them developing various ailments such as Cancer, State Minister of Defense Ruwan Wijewardene said. Mr. Wijewardene, speaking to journalists at the Sri Sambodhi Viharaya in Delgoda, said that these false allegations are being made at a time when the govt is making an enormous effort to resolve more..

Video: SLFP’s replacements not motivated by revenge: Duminda

Aug 18 (AD) The decision to replace several party organizers with new members is not motivated by revenge, SLFP General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake says. The observation was made at a press conference held in Colombo this afternoon. “The party had no intention to take revenge or harm anyone,” he added. President on Wednesday sacked nine loyalist of his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa more..

Sri Lankan delegation to visit Belarus

Aug 18 (BelTA) A Sri Lankan delegation will visit Belarus from 18 to 25 August. On 18 and 19 August, Belarusian capital will host the second meeting of the Belarusian-Sri Lankan intergovernmental commission for trade and economic cooperation. “The parties will discuss matters related to the establishment of joint assembly plants in Sri Lanka, implementtation of joint agricultural projects, and cooperation in pharmaceutics, medical education and tourism,” more..

Starc stands out amid Australian rubble

Aug 18 (CI) 9: Mitchell Starc (24 wickets at 15.16): Until Rangana Herath's final day burst of wickets to complete a 3-0 sweep, Starc was the series' leading wicket taker by a distance, a remarkable effort in the prevailing conditions. This series was confirmation of his arrival as a mature yet still fiercely-fast Test bowler, now pain-free after ankle and foot surgeries. His evolution has been undoubtedly helped by the presence of Allan Donald on this tour, particularly in reversing the ball from over the wicket more..

President hands over 50 Army built houses to war heroes & families

Aug 18 (SLN) Distribution of keys of 50 new houses out of a total of 86 built by the Army exclusively for next of kin of fallen War Heroes, battlefield-committed War Heroes and several serving War Heroes took place this afternoon (16) at the Presidential Secretariat, headed by President Sirisena and participating State Minister Ruwan Wijewardene, Secretary Defence, Karunasena Hettiarachchi more..

Infra-red cameras on trains to save wild elephants

Aug 18 (DM) The Wildlife Conservation Department has decided to install Infra-Red cameras in trains travelling through forest areas known to be frequented by wild elephants. This new move is an attempt to save the wild elephants from being run over by trains. Wildlife Conservation Department Director W.K.S. Pathirana said he decided to take this step in view of the increasing death toll of wild elephants run over by train in the Northern and Eastern railway lines. more..

President declares open Central Hill Country Agricultural & Livestock Exhibition

Aug 18 (PMD) President Sirisena declared open the Central Hill Country Agricultural and Livestock Exhibition held at Nuwara Eliya Town Hall auditorium, organized by Ministry of Agriculture of the Central Province today. Exhibition was organized with the aim of promoting agribusiness and to provide agricultural knowledge to the school students, youth community, farming community as well as for the Agri entrepreneurs in the area. Exhibition will be held today & tomorrow. more..

Video: JO threatens to move motion of no confidence against the Speaker

Aug 18 (AD) A motion of no confidence will be filed against the Speaker if he signs the Draft Bill on the Office of Missing Persons, Joint Opposition announced. MP Udaya Gammanpila said, a letter has also been submitted to the Speaker against the manner in which the Draft Bill was passed in the Parliament without a vote. He pointed out the Draft Bill is legally null since it was passed in the Parliament without due procedure. more..

Foreign police & Dimensions if impotency

Aug 19 (CT) Small nations typically do not have much by way of bargaining power vis-à-vis powerful nations; small meaning economically and militarily weak rather than land size. Weak, however, does not mean helpless. Indeed there are very few if any relationships between the powerful and the weak that are not characterized by contestation and continuous negotiation of the terms of control. The same goes for relations between countries, despite power differentials. more..

The continuing political ills of Sri Lanka

Aug 18 (CT) One can hardly deny the fact of various political ills plaguing and denting Sri Lanka’s image since 1956. A nation labelled as peaceful and prosperous until 1956 shed this image from then on to become a nation wracked with communalism, hegemony and ethnic strife promoted by power seeking politicians to score election victories with broken promises and a culture of impunity being the order of the day! If Sri Lankan powers that be, particularly the present regime, more..

Kandy’s glorious drummers and dancers fight poverty and caste stigma

Aug 18 (SO) Thousand-year-old art forms, today, they are still performed as a service - once feudal - to the great Maligawa, the Palace. They are also an enduring practice of spiritual devotion where you commit yourself unconditionally to the service of the holy – the Sacred Tooth of the Buddha. This is the aura, the identity, of the dancers, drummers and other traditional musicians of the Kandy Esala Perahera. more..

The Office on Missing Persons: A new chapter or Another empty promise?

Aug 18 (GV) 11 August 2016 was an important day for the victims of past abuses in Sri Lanka. This was when Sri Lanka’s Parliament enacted legislation to establish the first permanent entity to investigate and inquire in enforced and involuntary disappearances and missing persons. For the victims, many who have gone before numerous investigations with no follow up, the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) may finally be able to provide them answers and end the silence. more..

The controversy over CBSL’s decision

Aug 18 (CT) There is a significant difference between scientists and economists. Both, scientists and economists, use certain methodologies when testing hypotheses in their respective fields of study. However, the end results differ vastly. In science, dogmas cannot prevail, but on the contrary, dogmas prevail in the domain of economic science. Yet, this does not mean that we can ignore the importance of economic science, instead, it shows the necessity to remove dogmas from economic science, more..

'JO has become a laughing stock'

Aug 18 (CT) General Secretary of JVP, Tilvin Silva said that many corruption inquiries were undertaken by various govts. 'UNP and SLFP always conduct such inquiries only within a safe zone favourable to them.' Q: JVP issued a statement back in 2015, during the election that Mahinda Stores consists of contraband commodities and at the same time no assurance could be issued on the commodities available at Maithri Stores. more..

Ensuring a small business economy

Aug 18 (SL) Certain segments of SL’s business community was to take to streets and kickoff an island-wide protest last Tuesday (9) as a mark of remonstration against the VAT hike. However with President Maithripala Sirisena pledging to bring in amendments the protest was put to halt. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is spearheading the economic master plan of UNFGG. What President pledged to amend out of the blues was a project under the aegis of the Premier. more..

One year of unity

Aug 18 (DN) Today the National Unity govt is one year old. Despite the many euphemisms it has earned, it is a marriage of political convenience. It is in existence because it serves the interests of both parties, the UNP and the faction of the SLFP loyal to President Sirisena. One year on, how viable is this alliance? What lies ahead for a govt that, for the first time in post-independent Sri Lankan history brought together the two major political parties in the country? more..

Mahinda Samarasinghe

Herath's masterclass, Mendis' surge, de Silva's promise

Aug 19 (CI) 10: Rangana Herath (28 wickets at 12.75, 119 runs at 23.8) In 145 overs of lovable left-arm spin, Rangana Uncle took more wickets than anyone other bowler in the series, and also claimed many more hearts. His batting has always been wonderfully watchable, but since England, he has struck the form of his life, so the entertainment now lasts longer. He was hit in the box by Josh Hazlewood at the SSC, yet he collected the series' best bowling analysis there. more..

The alluring Sri Lanka

Aug 19 (DH) A trip to the enchanting emerald island, Sri Lanka, is bound to leave the traveller mesmerised by its serene surroundings, fascinating culture and the epicurean delights of the island’s delectable cuisine. One is spoilt for choices by the diverse wildlife, ancient sites, endless idyllic beaches and the lush green tropical forests. I visited our southern neighbour with family for a short sojourn of seven days and our itinerary included Colombo, Kandy, Sigirya, Polonnaruwa, more..

LG election in first quarter of 2017: Faizer

Aug 19 (FT) Q: President Sirisena said LG elections will be held next year. How prepared is your Ministry to conduct the election? A: President and PM gave me time and space to finish the appellate project to be done with the delimitation. Originally, delimitation process was not done properly. All political parties & civil societies clearly stated that they are against the election being held in delimitation report that was there before. more..

Beginning of international war crimes probe?

Aug 19 (Island) Northern Provincial Council (NPC) is making the most of the increasing impotency of the state to run a parallel govt of sorts in the northern parts of the country; it is also working overtime to annex the Eastern Province to the North. CM C.V. Wigneswaran and others of his ilk are all out to gain legitimacy for their political project with the help of foreign powers. Hardly a day passes without a foreign dignitary visiting the North and entertaining appeals from NPC members & doing a Dixit. more..

SL mangroves respond to conservation plan

Aug 19 (SD) A year after Sri Lanka launched a mangrove conservation plan with funds from a U.S. conservation group about half of its 37,000 hectares of mangrove forests are in a various stage of revival, officials say. With US$ 3.4 million from the Califronia-based Seacology and manpower and other support from the Sri Lankan govt, some 283 community organisations have been engaged in the work of conserving and replanting mangrove forests. The national conservation body, more..

Investor Forum in Jaffna on Aug 22

Aug 19 (CT) An Investor Forum initiated by Governor of the Northern Province, Reginald Cooray, will be held in Jaffna during the Nallur Festival. He said he had sent invitations to the Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran and all Tamil politicians of the Northern Province and about 150 other invitees from foreign countries too. Many in the Tamil diaspora with the potential to invest had also been invited, he said. more..

Australian Cavalier’s Over 60’s now in SL

Aug 19 (Island) A group of 13 Aussie cricketers arrived in Sri Lanka on Aug. 1 for a three-week cricket tour which will take them across the country playing and engaging with like-minded veteran cricketers. The team consists mostly of experienced Australian National over 60 players who have toured the world representing their country at this level. Skipper Stirling Hamman from New South Wales has been captaining the Australian National Over 60’s for the last four years and more..

Colombo Public Library opens a Japanese section

Aug 19 (Island) The opening ceremony of the refurbished Japanese Section at the Colombo Public Library was held on August 11, 2016. Kenichi Suganuma, ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka, Ms.Thamara Malawaarachchi, Deputy Commissioner, Colombo Municipal Council, Eiji Suga, Vice President, Japanese Solidarity Association, Ms. Varuni Gangabadaarachchi, Chief Librarian, Colombo Public Library and distinguished guests attended the ceremony. more..

JVP press conference: Bankrupting Sri Lanka

Usurping powers: Legislature v. Judiciary

Aug 19 (Island) VAT (Amendment) Bill in the form presented has come and gone. It is likely to reappear in another avatar. The reason for the Supreme Court to determine that the Bill was null and void was the vigilance of civil society whose interests were represented by one or two committed and dedicated lawyers. For this the nation is in their debt. However, what is most interesting is the PM’s reported statement: "The legislature should not let the judiciary usurp its powers" more..

SLBFE offers 50 jobs in Israel

Aug 19 (CT) Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) has offered 50 job opportunities in Israel for men and women, between the ages of 25-40, who wish to apply as caregivers to adults and the disabled. The offer comes within the scope of a Joint Pilot Programme between the bureau and Israel. "There are basic prerequisite qualifications for these positions, including a mid-level knowledge on English. Applications are exempt from fees except the specific amounts to more..

Dayasiri furious over Para-Officials

Aug 19 (CT) Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara threatened to ban the entire National Para Committee (NPC) after realizing that the list of athletes for the Rio Paralympics Games had been sent without his permission neglecting the ministry advice to consider the inclusion of the country's only Paralympics medalist Pradeep Sanjaya who richly deserves to be in the team. The amusing part is that neither president of NPC nor the secretary more..

Sumedha finishes 36th

Aug 19 (DN) South Asian Games silver medallist Sumeda Ranasinghe, of whom much was expected to take Sri Lanka’s presence at least to a final, disappointed all when he finished last in the men’s javelin throw qualification round of the XXXIst Olympic Games continued at the Rio Olympic Stadium last night. Competing in Group ‘A’ in the men’s javelin throw qualification round under lights, the 25-year-old undergraduate could clear only a distance of 71.93m. more..

Lankan dignitary meets TTD chief Minister

Aug 19 (HI) Western Province Chief Minister Isura Devapriya met TTD chairman Dr Chadalawada Krishnamurthy. Both discussed the issue of developing Subramanyeswara temple at Kedargram in Sri Lanka. Along with Sri Lanka Tourist Board chairman Kirti Disanayakelu, Devapriya paid a courtesy call on TTD chairman at his office in Madhavam Rest House here and sought support of TTD in developing infrastructure and temple maintenance at Kedargram temple. more..

Plantations pluck losses

Aug 19 (FT) Plantation companies are plucking losses with the crisis over prices, costs and wages threatening the industry’s survival. Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) have lost Rs. 2 billion from tea and Rs. 1 billion from rubber in the first half of this year. The impact is on top of Rs. 5.5 billion lost from tea and Rs. 1 billion from rubber in 2015. This was as a result of high grown tea prices dipping by Rs. 66 per kilo more..

Army Commander’s service extended

Aug 19 (FT) The service of Sri Lanka Army Commander Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva has been extended by another year. President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces has extended the Army Commander’s service, Military Spokesman Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera confirmed. Major General Crishanthe De Silva was appointed as the 21st Commander of the Sri Lanka Army, effective from 22 Feb 2015 on a directive by the President. more..