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The ends cannot justify the means in nation-building

Aug 22 (ST) A revealing comment was made to me by an infuriated social justice activist last week in relation to disturbing trends that have surfaced in public debate. As he said caustically; ‘when we raise criticism of government policy in discussion, the immediate response within some civil society groups is that of unmitigated fury.’ We are asked immediately; ‘do you want the Rajapaksas to come back?’ The question that he posed thereafter was as follows; more..

The redundancy of naming names

Aug 22 (SL) I have been, probably justifiably, taken to task for not specifying the names of those I’ve made thinly-veiled reference to in a recent column. Unfortunately, for practical reasons driven by journalistic practice in the country, I do not find it possible to deviate from that practice. As one who is compelled, from time to time, to deal with the permanently nose-to-tail nature of Kandy traffic, I continue to take strong exception to being poisoned by the result of never-ending traffic jams more..

SLFP already split: Basil

Aug 22 (CT) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa says he was not accused of soliciting bribes, but accused of bribing common people. Q: Some say the Pada Yathra alarmed the govt. Some others say it was not as successful as the organizers claimed it to be. What is your view? A: Jana Satana Pada Yathra was one of the events in the agenda of the anti-govt forces of the JO. That was just one step in our quest to safeguard our country. more..

Cricket with Aussies & Russians at Olympics

Aug 22 (SL) Cricket – call it a game, religion or nationalism – was one thing that united Sri Lanka. A victory against a foreign team caused a national uproar, brought dancing and the Lion Flag on to the streets with political leaders in a frantic race to be the first to send congratulatory messages to the cricket captain and even declare a public holiday. Strangely, not so this time. Sri Lanka, after being battered and bruised on the Indian sub-continent, England and Africa for quite some time, more..

Editorial: What’s up President’s sleeve?

Aug 22 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has a remarkable ability to stay composed and calm in times of trouble. Else, he would have incurred the wrath of the Rajapaksas while he was a minister in their govt and got booted out. But, last Friday President Sirisena could not maintain his composure in Matara, where the govt celebrated its first anniversary. He failed to be different from other orators who let out streams of invectives against their political rivals. more..


The OMP Act: The first step on the Long hard road to reconciliation

Aug 22 (ST) If those ultra chauvinists who thump the Sinhala only drum, do so out of a genuine concern that a separate state of Tamil Eelam will sooner or later be established on Lankan soil if measures are not taken now to prevent its inevitability, they should be amongst the first to hail the establishment of the Office of Missing Persons as a powerful tool in any Sinhala dominated govt’s arsenal to thwart future calls for a utopian Tamil Eelam. First they must understand why there is a need for more..

Tourism industry and the foreign ownership debate

Aug 22 (IPS) Tourism sector is one of SL’s success stories of the post-war economy. The industry represents Sri Lanka’s third largest foreign exchange earner, accumulating $2.8 bn in earnings last year. In 2015, the sector recorded close to 1.8 mn tourist arrivals, equating to a compound annual growth rate of 22% over the past five years. These results have been achieved through targeted investments in infrastructure development, tourist attractions, strategic promotional campaigns. more..

Mathews blames middle-order collapse for loss

Aug 22 (CI) The dismissal of three batsmen between the 30th and 33rd overs turned the course of the match and was a major cause of Sri Lanka's three-wicket defeat to Australia in the first ODI according to Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews. Mathews himself had lost his wicket in that period, miscuing a James Faulkner ball to backward point, where he was brilliantly caught. His wicket was the second in a double-wicket more..

Millennium Housing Developers invests Rs. 2 billion for two apartments

Aug 22 (DN) Sri Lanka's leading mega township developer Millennium Housing Developers Plc (MHD) has invested over Rs. 2 billion this year to build the two apartment complexes, Heights at Nawala Road, Colombo 05 and The Heights at Edmonton Road, Colombo 5. Nawaloka Group Group Chairman Jayantha Dharmadasa said that they are targeting the mid range customers and this is the key for their success. Heights at Nawala Road Colombov 5 builds on the success of more..

Thou shall not wilt; believe in your inner ability

Aug 22 (ST) Though his deliveries do not contain any freebies, Rangana Herath in general is a nice bloke who likes to live by what he believes in. Right now his stocks are worth a weight in gold. Yet, like a kid he was delighted by the praises heaped on him by his coach Graeme Ford. When Herath was hit by that Hazlewood snorter, his ball-guards got damaged so badly that parts of his genitals were stuck in between and to free him of that agony was an operation of its own, according insiders. more..

Finch, Smith help Australia pass SL spin test

Aug 22 (CI) Sri Lanka had no fewer than six slow-bowling options - half of them specialists. And by the time Australia batted, dry Premadasa pitch had begun to bubble and spit. In the Tests, these ingredients had led to humbling defeats for the visitors while the local spinners reaped sackfuls of wickets. But perhaps for the first time on tour, Australia satisfactorily negotiated the spin challenge. Win wasn't always pretty, but more..

Finch labels wicket poor despite win

Aug 22 (CI) Aaron Finch has labeled the Khettarama track a "poor wicket", after he struck a 46-ball 56 to set Australia on track for a three-wicket victory in the first ODI. Finch was only at the crease for the first 14.2 overs of the innings, but the ball was consistently raising puffs even during Sri Lanka's innings. Significant turn was also on offer - though Khettarama has long been a spin-friendly venue. "I don't think I've ever played on a wicket that spun that much," Finch said. more..

When Aponso did what Zampa couldn't

Aug 22 (CI) Mitchell Starc breathed fire to take 24 wickets in the Test series, but it was guile that brought him his 100th ODI wicket, which came in fewer games for him than any other bowler. Pitching full and wide, Starc drew Dhananjaya de Silva into one of his languid cover drives, but de Silva was through with his shot by the time the ball came. In the end, the inside half of the bat was taken, and the ball floated up towards short midwicket, where a fine catch was taken. more..

'Govt tax collection mechanism successful'

Aug 22 (FT) The govt has been able to earn a targeted income in the first seven months of this year following the introduction of a more efficient tax collecting mechanism, Minister Ravi Karunanayake says. He points out that these incomes have been generated through Inland Revenue Department, Excise Department and SL Customs Department. The three departments have collected Rs. 769,753 million for govt coffers more..

Now to follow the Under-20 success

Aug 22 (ST) Sri Lankan U 20 Sevens create history is a phrase that screamed after the juniors were crowned overall winners after the two leg Asian Sevens series. What is more important is not the writing of history but to plan as we have the men and material. History is in my view is not the best word to describe the performance as it is the future we should be looking for. History at most times remains a record and more often fills dustbin. You could learn many things from history. more..

Foreign inflow to capital market gathers pace

Aug 22 (FT) With foreign capital inflow gathering pace during the past couple of months alongside expected debt and equity listings scheduled to take off in the next two months, country’s capital market is hopeful that the positive trend will continue to end the year on a high note. Colombo Stock Exchange CEO Rajeeva Bandaranaike said considering the net foreign inflow during 2013 and 2014 the net outflow recorded last year was only a modest percentage which amounts to about Rs. 5 b. more..

Northern people want Navy to remain in the North: Ganesan

Aug 22 (DM) The people in the North want the Navy to remain there in order to prevent TN fishermen from encroaching into SL waters, Minister Mano Ganesan said. Minister, who was the chief guest at the launch of the Sinhala translation of International Human Rights Charter by Hemachnadra Pathirana in Colombo said Northern people whom he met recently had informed him that they want the Navy to remain in the North. more..

Right of reply by National Shooting Sport Federation

Aug 22 (DN) We refer to the article title Shooter Samarakoon blames federation for poor show (Dinesh Weerawansa reporting from Rio). In view of the article being totally inaccurate and false the National Shooting Sport Federation wishes to exercise its right of reply referring the comments made by Samarakoon regarding his shooting Jacket being old and unserviceable. The fact is that SL Army had imported the highest quality jacket and trouser incurring a cost exceeding more..

JAT to buy troubled Touchwood

Aug 22 (ST) Touchwood Investments will be bought by JAT Holdings and for this purpose is currently in negotiation with the court appointed liquidator. Local properties amounting to over 2000 acres will be bought by Esteem Plantations company, part of the JAT Group following a public announcement requesting anyone interested in buying this failed company, Liquidator of Touchwood Investments Sudath Kumar said. Currently the two parties are negotiating certain terms like ownership of more..

UL Captain grounded!

Aug 22 (CT) National Carrier SriLankan Airlines suspended Captain Upendra Ranaweera for having delayed a Colombo bound flight from Frankfurt, UL 554, for over 15 hours thereby keeping over 260 passengers waiting. The flight UL 554 was to leave Frankfurt at 3.20 p.m. on Friday and land at Katunayake at 4.50 a.m. on Saturday. Catastrophe took place when Captain Ranaweera allegedly failed a breathalyzer test more..

NDB growing well and poised to set-up nine new branches

Aug 22 (Island) National Development Bank's (NDB) CEO Rajendra Theagarajah told an investor forum of the bank recently that NDB is now growing well and poised to set up nine new branches this year. He said during the first six months to June, general provisions were made on a prudent policy as loans grew fast over the past year. Fitch Ratings has downgraded NDB Long-Term Rating to A+(lka) from AA-(lka). Further, profits of NDB fell 6.8% from a year earlier to Rs 535 million in June 2016 more..

Lankan gem businessmen invited to Thai gem, jewellery show

Aug 22 (DN) Thailand has invited SL gem and jewellery businessmen to participate at the 58th Thailand Gems and Jewellery show to be held in September. Thailand Commerce Ministry’s International Trade Promotion Department is the organiser for the show which to be held from Sept 7 to 11, 2016 at the Impact Challenger Hall in Thailand. “We are inviting SL gem and jewellry businessmen to visit this mega jewellry show. This is a very big event and the SL jewellers and more..

All SLFP JO MPs to quit from organiser ranks

Aug 22 (DN) All Joint Opposition MPs attached to the SLFP will step down from their district and electoral organiser ranks within the next few days, MP Keheliya Rumbukwella said. Rambukwella said resignation letters would be sent to Party Leadership shortly. MPs Dullas Alahapperuma and Bandula Gunawardena announced their decisions to resign from organiser posts, stating that resignation letters would be sent to President today. more..

Dr. Harsha addresses COYLE

Aug 22 (FT) Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva addressed the Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE) comprising leading business entrepreneurs representing a cross-section of commercial and industrial organisations. The meeting, hosted by HNB, was held at HNB Towers, Colombo 10 and was on the topic Role of Sri Lankan Missions Overseas for International Trade. This is a part of the Govt’s strategy of developing overseas missions to help local businesses more..

Untouchable problem for cops

Aug 22 (Island) Maharagama police anti-narcotic sleuths have come across a huge problem as heroin smugglers have resorted to transporting the banned substance inside women’s bras. As a result policemen need to be accompanied by women police constables. The police, acting on a tip-off nabbed a woman in Maharagama last Sunday and a subsequent search yielded 900 grams of heroin inside her bra. 50-year old suspect was later produced before the Magistrate & remanded. more..

Traders seek powwow with Prez on VAT

Aug 22 (Island) Delegation of Federation of Trader’s Associations (FTA), says it is planning to meet President Sirisena today to discuss the proposed VAT increase. FTA is the umbrella body which has spearheaded hartals against the VAT increase across the country in the recent past. President is expected to meet the traders to discuss a letter that FTA has written to him asking for a review of proposed VAT increase. more..

Gamage laments chamber silence on arbitrary Sevanagala takeover

Aug 22 (DN) None of the chambers in Sri Lanka spoke against the arbitrary takeover of the Sevanagala Sugar Company by the previous govt, Primary Industries Minister Daya Gamage lamented. Speaking at the 15th CNCI Achiever Awards of Industrial Excellence annual awards ceremony organized by Ceylon National Chamber of Industries (CNCI), Gamage said that special laws were drafted in a day to take over his Sevanagala Sugar Company for political reasons. more..

Fisheries Minister says Bandula quits before he is sacked as organiser

Aug 22 (Island) UPFA General Secretary said it was good that Bandula Gunawardena resigned as Homagama electorate organiser of the SLFP as the latter was to be removed from the post for not being active. Gunawardena failed to hold a single electorate balamandala meeting or any party branch meeting in the electorate during the recent past. Minister said several other electoral organisers too would be sacked in the near future for they had been found guilty of spreading racism. more..

Malik denies hiring US firm without Cabinet nod

Aug 22 (AFP) Minister Malik Samarawickrema has rejected a media report which said that an agreement has been reached without Cabinet approval or the knowledge of the Foreign Affairs ministry to hire a United States lobbying firm. Minister issuing a statement has said that the article under Sunday Times headline, Malik hires another US firm to lobby for Sri Lanka is inaccurate, full of falsehoods and misleading, more..

NUTA questions over US docs for medical care in North

Aug 22 (DM) In the backdrop of American military doctors giving medical care in the North, National University Teachers’ Association (NUTA) queried today whether these foreign medical practitioners obtained ethical clearance permission from the authorised bodies in SL to collect blood samples of Sri Lankan citizens. NUTA President Dr. Channa Jayasumana said his Association learnt of measures by these American doctors to collect blood samples of some ex LTTE combatants more..

Department of Immigration and Emigration moves to Battaramulla

Aug 22 (FT) The Department of Immigration and Emigration will be established at its new location in Battaramulla from 29 Aug in order to provide an efficient and prompt service to the public. The Department will be located at Suhurupaya in Battaramulla from Monday 29th Aug. The services to the public will not be available on 26 August at the Present head office at No 41 Ananda Rajakaruna Mw. Colombo 10 and at the regional offices at Kandy, Matara and Vavuniya. more..

Major security lapse during president Sirisena's visit to Tirumala

Aug 22 (ENS) A major security lapse came to the fore during the visit of Sri Lanka president Maithripala Sirisena to Tirumala on Sunday. He was forced to wait for 12 minutes for his car after a darshan atop the Tirumala hill, giving jitters to the staff of the Tiruumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), especially the security. An inquiry has been ordered into the lapse. SiriSena reached Tirumala late on Saturday night for a two-day pilgrimage. more..

Who are extremists: Muslims or Far Right?

Aug 22 (DM) An extract of a speech delivered by M.M. Zuhair PC, former MP at the Islamic conference organized by the Muslim World League held in Colombo recently. Theme of this conference, Muslims and the prospects for co-existence, is timely in the context of attempts in most parts of the world to show that co-existence with Muslims is difficult, sometimes impossible. This dialogue initiated by the Rabitha, with the participation of a large number of members of the clergy more..

The Olympics: The Fame and the Shame

Aug 22 (DM) The 2016 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXI Olympiad and commonly referred to as Rio 2016, came to an end yesterday. This year’s Games produced more than its share of controversy, commencing with Team Australia charging their quarters were inadequate and incomplete, to a few American athletes attempting to tarnish the host nation by making spurious claims of being mugged to cover up some of the shameful and nefarious activities more..

Ministry may purchase coal from long term supplier

Aug 22 (DN) Massive fluctuations in international prices for coal may induce the Power and Energy Ministry to resume purchase from their long term supplier Swiss Singapore whose long term contracted price is US$ 58 per metric ton which is approximately US$ 7 less than what was quoted in a recent spot tender, ministry sources said. The long term purchase, under current circumstances, would save govt approx. Rs. 320 million, more..

'Australian govt never recognised Tamil Eelam as a separate country'

Aug 22 (ST) Australian High Commissioner (HC) Bruce Hutchesson has responded to the Sunday Times following lead story Australia lists Tamil Eelam in census, stating that, what happened was that internal guidelines of the census enumerators accidentally got into the official website. Not that the country’s national census recognised Tamil Eelam as a separate country. Explaining what happened, the HC says more..

New ways to rob public money: Another office rental scam under Yahapalanaya

Aug 22 (SL) Minister D. M. Swaminathan, on his own decision, had allegedly selected the building located in Carlwil Place, Kollupitiya to house all its five institutions violating tender procedures. Had the Ministry followed a transparent tender procedure in selecting the building bid to house all its institutions under a roof and followed all the provisions mentioned in the bid, it would not have been an issue for a CID case to be more..

Ministry probes A/L students’ illegal sittings

Aug 22 (DN) The Education Ministry has launched an investigation following its findings that around 200 students had sat for the A/L exam from the Nuwara Eliya and Puttalam districts illegally, to gain an unfair advantage to enter state universities. The ministry found that these students are not eligible to sit the exam from the two districts as they had studied in schools outside the two district educational zones, more..

OMP: Fear due to lack of information: CTF

Aug 22 (DM) The Consultation Task Force (CTF), a body set up to deliberate with the public and make recommendations on reconciliation, says the lack of information and awareness about the process by which the Office of Missing Persons was established and its role and functions, has contributed to fear and suspicion in many, including the families of those missing in action (MIAs), that the OMP would exclude them. more..