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Chief Minister slams UN Resident Co-ordinator for ignoring war crimes

Aug 19 (TG) Chief Minister of the Northern Province C V Wigneswaran criticised the current UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka, accusing her of ignoring the topic of war crimes in a report that was sent to his office. Addressing NPC earlier this week, Justice Wigneswaran said that whilst topics such as justice, harmony, good governance and reconciliation were mentioned in the report, there was no mention of war crimes. more..

'Inquire JO attempt to stop you signing OMP Bill'

Aug 19 (DM) Deputy Govt Whip and UNP MP Ashu Marasinghe said he had written to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya requesting him to launch an inquiry into statements made by some joint opposition MPs that they had urged him to refrain from certifying the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) Bill. In a news article published in Daily Mirror dated on Aug 18, the JO MPs had urged the Speaker not to endorse the OMP Bill. Referring to the article, Mr. Marasinghe said certifying a Bill passed in the House more..

Thajudeen murder: SAITM VC seeks order against his arrest

Aug 19 (AM) SAITM Vice Chancellor and former Colombo Chief JMO Ananda Samarasekara filed a Fundamental Rights petition today requesting an order against his imminent arrest by the CID regarding the investigation into the murder of former Sri Lanka rugby player Wasim Thajudeen. Samarasekara, in his application, says that the CID was moving to arrest him based on the statements made by the current JMO that he has not conducted the original post mortem correctly. more..

Video: Only Mahinda can get back SLFP sold to UNP: Rohitha

Aug 19 (AM) UPFA MP Rohitha Abeygunawardena today said that the SLFP has been sold off to the UNP and that only former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has the right to get the party back. He said that UNP govts have always been skilled at selling things in the country; be it state institutions or the war. He, however, said that the govt properties which were sold by the UNP were brought back by Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Avant Garde debt written off: JVP

Aug 19 (CT) The latest COPE report reveals that the Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Company, which is a govt-owned company, took action last October to write off a sum of Rs 255 million which the Avant Garde Company owed the State. JVP asks, on what basis this was done. JVP accuses the govt of having failed to take any action to recover another Rs 843 million which the Avant Garde Company owes Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Company. Even though massive losses have been sustained more..

Video: Three of a family commit suicide in Kotahena

Aug 19 (AD) Three members of the same family including two children have died and are believed to have committed suicide by consuming poison at a residence in Kotahena. Police said that a father (47), his daughter (13) and son (9) were rushed to hospital by neighbors in Wasala Mawatha, Kotahena. However, all three of them died on admission to the hospital, according to police. The Police are investigating. more..

Office rental scam: Yahapalana Crook wants media to seek explanation from Speaker

Aug 19 (Island) SLFP General Secretary and Agriculture Minister Duminda Dissanayake said that he had received Cabinet approval to rent a privately-owned building for a five-year period. Alleging that a section of the media had repeatedly misinterpreted the transaction, Minister claimed that Agriculture Ministry had been compelled to hand over the Govijana Mandiraya to parliament and find new accommodation. more..

Corruption drove away investors during UPFA govt: Cooray

Aug 19 (Island) Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray admitted that rampant demands for exorbitant bribes by politicians and bureaucrats during the previous govt of which he was a minister had driven away investors keen to invest in the north. Cooray was addressing the media to announce the Investment Workshop to be held in Jaffna next Monday for foreign and local investors at Govt Agent’s office. "Although it is a fact that investors were driven away by previous govt more..

PM urges all to join hands for sake of the country

Aug 19 (AD) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says that one year ago the Sri Lanka was a heavily indebted country unable to pay back loans and that the national govt has managed to turn things around and achieve many things during this short period. He stated that they were handed a garbage dump but just like they did for cricket, the country started to win after the rouges were kicked out. Speaking during a ceremony to mark the completion of one year of SLFP-UNP national govt in Matara more..

Video: President threatens to reveal all secrets if new party is created

Aug 19 (AD) President Sirisena says that certain people are wrongly criticizing and wrongly interpreting the govt because the concept of a unity govt is a new tradition and experience for them. He was addressing a ceremony to mark the one year anniversary of the SLFP-UNP govt held in Matara today. President vowed that govt led by himself and PM will definitely save the country from the present economic crisis which was caused due to more..

Lessons from India’s partition

Aug 20 (CT) The approach of the seventieth anniversary of the Partition of India has inspired much writing in both India and Pakistan about its significance. William Dalrymple wrote in the New Yorker of June 29, 2015, that the Hindu-Muslim mutual genocide that accompanied the Partition was as unexpected as it was unprecedented. Between one to two million were killed, fifteen million were uprooted, and all imaginable horrors were committed by both sides. more..

People’s expectations: Fulfilled or what?

Aug 20 (FT) The first year anniversary celebrations of the Good Governance Govt held in Matara. President and PM will preside at the event titled New Country, One Journey. A colourful display of the National Govt’s achievements for the country and the people in the past year will be the highlight of the one year celebrations. While the Govt celebrates its achievements, it may be useful to reflect on the results of the recently-concluded survey and take stock of the current situation. more..

Office of Missing Persons sails through

Aug 20 (SO) The controversial Office of Missing Persons (OMP) Bill was passed in Parliament on Thursday amid a pandemonium created by the Joint Opposition members. Their attempts to disrupt the proceedings calling for the withdrawal of the Bill, which they termed an attempt to penalise war heroes and the former President Rajapaksa, had a counter effect. Bill was to be debated for two days but due to the JO hullabaloo the Bill was more..

Editorial: Eraj and Yahapalana mirage

Aug 20 (Island) Sri Lankans fall for catchy slogans and attractive election promises hook, line and sinker and vote for crafty politicians who get and forget. Late J.R. Jayewardene promised to bring about a righteous society or dharmista samajayak, in 1977 and obtained a steamroller majority, which he abused in every conceivable manner. His dictatorial rule plunged the country into bloodbaths and institutionalised political violence. Corruption and election malpractice became rampant. more..

Hopeful for a better future

Aug 20 (DN) Sixty fifth SLFP Convention is to be held on Sept 4 and party leader President Maithripala Sirisena has decided to clean the fascistic rebels, before that. In this column, we have pressed to defend this party of populist liberals, from fascistic intruders. SWRD who started the SLFP entered politics as a liberal politician proposing a federal solution to the nationality problem in 1926. However after forming the SLFP, on the sensitive issue of language, more..

'We can’t go for the SLFP convention'

Aug 20 (CT) UPFA MP and member of the Joint Opposition, Lohan Ratwatte, faulted the govt for presenting the Office of the Missing Persons Bill, during the absence of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The Joint Opposition only requested the debate pertaining to the OMP Bill to be delayed just by one day, he said, and added that the Speaker did not accommodate that request as he is puppeteered by PM Wickremesinghe. more..

Operation Pacific Angels

Aug 20 (CT) Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran descending from the steps of a mammoth C-130 transport plane of the US Air Force attired in a black suit at Palaly Airport, in Jaffna last week reminded of a scene from The Living Daylights, in which Timothy Dalton who played the role of James Bond 007 descending from a similar C-130 cargo plane in the movie. CM Wigneswaran accompanied by US Ambassador in SL Atul Keshap and Minister Mano Ganesan flew more..

Lanka without elephants

Aug 20 (NS) In one of the deadliest accidents involving elephants in the recent times, a grown up elephant and three calves were instantly killed when they were hit by a fast running train at Cheddikulam on Wednesday. The incident would have been one of the many such episodes where unsuspecting pachyderms have been killed in their own habitat over the years due to human intervention. Although elephants are considered sacred in SL and are legally protected, nearly 200 of them more..


Discipline in Blue ranks gives push for better governance

Aug 20 (DN) The completion of the first year of what was initially called the Grand Coalition of Good Governance, immediately after the General Election on August 17 last year, and what is now better known as the Coalition of National Unity, has shown the capability of consensual governance to move ahead on the democratic path to which it was voted by the people, albeit with considerable limitations; and also overcome the challenges of a so-called Joint Opposition (JO) that seeks more..

Blood Bank pushed to blood line crisis

Aug 20 (Island) "What I want is Sinha-Le" the patient insisted. He was being prepared for surgery and having tested his blood had been told it would be helpful to arrange for blood of the not so readily available A+ Group, and that was his problem. "What I have is Sinha-Le – there is nothing English or foreign with my blood, it is the real Sinha-Le" he told the nursing sister who told him of what may be needed. The sister thought it was a simple matter. "Alright, don’t worry. more..

18-year-old Avishka Fernando in ODI squad

Aug 20 (CI) A starring turn in the recent Sri Lanka U-19 team's tour of England has earned top-order batsman Avishka Fernando a call-up to Sri Lanka's squad for the first two ODIs against Australia. Left-arm spinner Amila Aponso has also been named in a national squad for the first time, following good outings in South Africa with the Sri Lanka emerging team. Allrounders Milinda Siriwardana and Thisara Perera returned to more..

Sangakkara supreme as last-ball win sees Surrey home

Aug 20 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara's masterful 130 not out saw Surrey into the semi-finals of the Royal London Cup in a thrilling one-wicket win over Northamptonshire achieved off the last ball of the match. With Surrey looking likely to crumble in a lower-order collapse, Sangakkara finally found a partner in No.11 Jade Dernbach and the pair found the 27 runs needed for victory. Chasing 277, Surrey slid from 234 for 5 to 250 for 9 with two catches behind the wicket and two run outs as more..

CIFL bail-out plan: Setting a thief to catch a thief?

Aug 20 (ST) A decision by Board of Directors of failed Central Investment and Finance (CIFL), which is discussing a bail-out plan with the assistance of court, to propose the name of Deepthi Perera as the new managing agent is akin to set a thief to catch a thief. Recommendation was communicated last week to Colombo Chief Magistrate who then put off the case involving misappropriation of Rs. 800 million at CIFL for Dec 9 to enable all parties concerned to examine the proposal. more..

COPE stirs Football and Cricket pots

Aug 20 (ST) Millions of rupees channelled by FIFA- Int'l Federation of Football Associations – to Football Federation of SL (FFSL) had been deposited in the private bank accounts of two senior ex- office bearers of the FFSL; the COPE was informed this week. The money had been channelled by FIFA to FFSL to develop football and assist football clubs but instead the funds had been pilfered off by these individuals, officials more..

When the Lion roared and Kangaroo cowed

Aug 20 (DN) For any country beating Australia is considered a great achievement because they have been the benchmark of what international cricket should be for many years. Although many players have retired through the years Australia have through their strong first-class domestic system found replacements good enough to keep them on top of world cricket in Tests and One-Day Internationals. When Steve Smith’s Australians arrived in SL for a lengthy two-month tour more..

Lanka Challenge Tuk Tuk Rally: 55 international participants, 1100 kms, 9 days

Aug 20 (Island) The successful exploration of Sri Lanka in Lanka Challenge Tuk Tuk adventure with enthusiastic tourists over the past seven years has inspired us to move on to its 8th edition from 21st to 28th August, Julian Carnell, organiser and co-founder, Large Minority said at the Ceylon Hotel School in Colombo last week. Julian was speaking at an event where Chandra Wickramasinghe, chairman / managing director Connaisance De Ceylan, Paddy Withana, chairman, SLTPB, more..

Controversy over Northern CM’s claim US conducting medical tests on LTTE cadres

Aug 20 (Island) The US has refrained from making its position clear on Northern Province CM C. V. Wignewaran’s request that the visiting American medical personnel examine the rehabilitated LTTE cadres to find out whether they have been injected with poisonous substances while they were being rehabilitated. In answer to several questions The Island posed on the controversy, US embassy has only said: more..

BCB sacks assistant coach Ruwan Kalpage

Aug 20 (CI) BCB has terminated the contract of assistant coach Ruwan Kalpage after he failed to turn up for work by Aug 16. Media committee chairman Jalal Yunus said Kalpage did not respond to BCB's latest letter. "We had sent him a letter asking him to return to work by Aug 16, but he didn't respond to us. So the BCB has terminated his contract," Yunus said. On Aug 17, BCB CEO had said that the board would take action against Kalpage for not turning up by the deadline. more..

Sigiriya Rock: SL's must-see ancient site

Aug 20 (Stuff) Sri Lankans knew they had something beyond palm fringed beaches and misty tea plantations to command the attention of travellers; something concentrated in a burst of tightly packed splendour sufficient to dazzle even jaded senses. They knew it in 1982 when a plan was drafted to tell the world all about it. But then came the inconvenience of a civil war waged by LTTE which effectively severed country from a lucrative tourist trail, dismantling its national carrier more..

Govt ignoring all COPE Reports: JVP

Aug 20 (CT) JVP accused that although steps were taken to raise awareness among Cabinet Ministers, including the President, regarding the large-scale misappropriation of public monies taking place in State institutions, prior to publicizing the latest report of the COPE, no official has taken any action to implement the COPE recommendations. JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said "In addition, COPE took action to inform more..

Where do they draw the line?

Aug 20 (ST) Watching the Schools Under-14 Rugby Championship on Monday and Tuesday, I was appalled at the attitude of some coaches during tournament where a slap across the face after losing a match was thought to be in order. The language used by some at the young student was even worse. Coach Gavithra de Zoysa and Master-in-Charge of Trinity set a worthy example when on the first day when they were to play the last match. The light was bad and fading. more..

350,000 sit Grade 5 Exam tomorrow

Aug 20 (CT) More than 350,000 students will sit the Grade Five Scholarship Exam to be held at 2,959 exam centres around the country tomorrow. 350,701 students will sit the exam. Of them, 421 students are described as children with special needs. Children with special needs are defined as those who may have mild learning disabilities or profound cognitive impairment; food allergies or terminal illnesses; developmental delays that catch up quickly or remain entrenched; more..

Breakthrough for 281 Ansell workers in SL

Aug 20 (FT) IndustriALL Global Union and its SL affiliate, Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees Union (FTZGSEU), have finalised a MoU with Ansell, putting an end to a long-running dispute with the multinational glove and personal protection equipment company. Some 281 workers at Ansell Lanka, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ansell in SL, were fired in Nov 2013 after they took strike action in support of 11 discharged colleagues and more..

Pakistan keen to invest in Sri Lanka’s agricultural, IT and construction sectors

Aug 20 (FT) Pakistan is keenly interested in investing in Sri Lanka, especially in the sectors of agriculture, Information Technology and construction, Pakistan High Commissioner Retired Major General Syed Hussain announced recently. Meeting Minister Ravi Karunanayake at the Finance Ministry on 18 August, Pakistan HC further said he would encourage top Pakistani investors to come to Sri Lanka as there was a favourable investment environment is prevailing in the island. more..

All amendments brought to OMP at Third Reading passed: Kiriella

Aug 20 (DN) All amendments brought to the Office on Missing Persons Bill (OMP) at the Third Reading in Parliament were duly passed, Minister Lakshman Kiriella said. Denying an allegation by the Joint Opposition (JO) that only two amendments to the Bill were passed properly, he said that there is no issue with the legitimacy of those amendments as those had been properly passed. “If the Joint Opposition had such concerns, those should have been raised inside the House and not outside. more..

15,000 km of roads in N&E to be rehabilitated

Aug 20 (FT) Govt plans to rehabilitate 15,000 km of roads in the North and East in an effort to promote economic development in the region, Minister Lakshman Kiriella said recently. “As much as 15000km of road will be carpeted in the North and East provinces. With the rule of the President and PM, we will renew the old friendship between the South and North.” “I thank the people of North for voting for a change on 8 Jan. more..

97 cases of filariasis detected

Aug 20 (NS) Filariasis which was thought to be eliminated as a public health problem has reared its head with 97 cases being detected this year in eight districts including in Colombo, primarily in the Southern Province, in the Galle District, in Balapitiya. The microfilaria rate (the percentage of filarial parasites in people following night blood film testing) given by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a target for Sri Lanka is for it to be less than 1%. more..

Problems, Problems

Aug 20 (ST) All eyes are in Rio, where the Olympics are taking place. Four big shots who have been holding the reigns of the local body for a long spell were once again trying to patch up things with the International body and the local body in Brazil. The problem cropped up many years ago and after four sports bosses still the problem exists. In all probability this problem will not be solved in Rio and neither will it be solved at the Moscow Olympics four years hence. more..

Last-ditch effort to salvage SLFP

Aug 20 (NS) In the wake of removing several SLFP organizers by President Maithripala Sirisena, a move which has been described by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa as an attempt to weaken the party, fresh efforts have been initiated by some party stalwarts to reconcile its key members. Ousted SLFP organizers whilst accusing the party hierarchy led by the President of attempting to split SLFP, have forewarned more..