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Australian companies linked to bribe scandals in Sri Lanka and Congo

Aug 24 (SMH) Two Australian companies are embroiled in bribery scandals that reach into the offices of the presidents of Sri Lanka and the Republic of Congo, as the firms sought to secure multi-million dollar contracts. Coming in the wake of foreign bribery allegations implicating Tabcorp, Leighton Holdings and BHP Billiton, the revelations will put pressure on the Turnbull govt to reform Australia's failing anti-corruption framework. more..

The sacred and profane at cross roads

Aug 24 (CT) Listening to President Sirisena at the Matara rally threating to reveal secrets of the joint opposition, instinctively I recalled this exquisitely emblematic confluence of the benign and the bawdy that Steinbeck describes in his novel East of Eden. It was Steinbeck’s greatest work in which he explores the good and evil in the human condition. Steinbeck saw the confused world as a poem, a habit or dream. Sen though a peep hole its inhabitants were whores, pimps, gamblers & sons of bitches, more..

Sarana on trial from 9 Dec

Aug 24 (CT) Colombo Additional Magistrate yesterday decided to fix the nine cases, filed by the Bribery Commission, against former Deputy Minister Sarana Gunawardene pertaining to alleged malpractices committed by him, during his tenure as the Chairman of the Development Lotteries Board (DLB), for trial from 9 December. When the case was taken up for hearing yesterday, the accused former Deputy Minister was in Court. Bribery Commission amended two of the charges, more..

Police seek public help to find abducted businessman

Aug 24 (DM) Police today released a picture of the29-year-old Mohammed Sakeem Sulaiman, a businessman who went missing last Sunday night, seeking public assistance to find him. Police suspected Sulaiman had been abducted and asked the public to inform the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) or the Bambalapitiya Police Station, if they had any information about the missing businessman. more..

Some reservations about new SLFP organisers: Arundika

Aug 24 (AD) Deputy Minister Arundika Fernando says that no one can accuse President Sirisena of taking sudden decisions with regard to removing several SLFP stalwarts from organiser posts as those members were given plenty of opportunities to resolve issues through discussion. He stated that they were given several opportunities and only in the end were decisions reached regarding certain electorates, organisers & discipline. “Even regarding that there is still discourse within the party. more..

Govt merging huge tracts for Development

Aug 24 (CT) China has insisted on 15,000 acres of land from the proposed industrial park to be set up in Hambantota which at the moment has only 3,000 acres, identified as land made available for the special zone. Announcing this in Parliament PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said the Industrial Park abutting the Hambantota Port would be controlled under a new mechanism in which the BOI will also be included. Responding to a query by JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake he added that more..

Investors flabbergasted

Aug 24 (CT) Investors attending the Jaffna Investors Forum (JIF) held Monday were perturbed when they were informed at the panel discussion that any projects undertaken in the North would be allowed 30 years leasing, only of the land. It is said local politicians in the North had been quoting a range of land leasing arrangements; between 29 years to 35 years, leaving the investors shocked beyond words. more..

Alleged Sex Pervert released on bail

Aug 24 (CT) The main suspect accused of sexually harassing female students at a study camp in Kandy, were released on bail by the Kandy Magistrate yesterday. Police sources said yesterday that suspect Nimal Peiris was released on a bond of Rs 100,000 and cash bail of Rs 10,000. The second suspect and two other alleged accomplices were not released because they were unable to meet bail requirements. The case was postponed to 21 Nov. The two main suspects had conducted more..

Amaraweera to remove ‘racists’ from SLFP

Aug 24 (Island) Racists would be removed from the SLFP, UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera said. Addressing the launching of Wewak Samaga Gamak, a development project at Mannar, he said UPFA would not form coalitions with political parties with racist agendas. Minister said the SLFP was not a racist party as it represented all ethnic groups in the country. But during last few years minorities had left the party as UPFA formed coalitions with racist parties. more..

Video: Cabinet approval given to Central and Ratnapura highways: Gayantha

Aug 24 (DM) Cabinet approval had been given to call bids to select a contractor for the Central Expressway Project and to call for technical and financial proposals for Ratnapura Expressway project, Minister Gayantha Karunathilake said. He said obtaining bids and proposals for the construction of third phase of the Central Expressway Project from Pothuhera to Galagedara covering a distance of 32.5 km more..

Bakeer Marker appointed chairman of National Information Center

Aug 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Cabinet has approved appointing former Media Minister Imthiaz Bakeer Marker as the chairman of the proposed National Information Center for a period of two years. The centre will provide official information of the govt to electronic and print media, coordinate information and act as the govt’s official media spokesperson. The center will be established under a Patron Council comprising the President, PM and Media Minister. more..

Sri Lanka corporate earnings growth slows to 6% in June quarter

Aug 24 (EN) Sri Lanka's corporate earnings grew 6.6% from a year earlier in the June 2016 quarter to Rs50 billion, slowing from 15.9% in the March quarter. CAL Research, a Colombo-base equities research house, said trailing 12-month earnings grew 5% to Rs217 billion, compared to a 16.5% growth last year. CAL compared the results of 265 companies for year-on-year data. March quarter data involved 269 firms and the difference was not material, an analyst said. more..

Thajudeen case: Telephone records at PS erased

Aug 24 (DN) The CID conducting investigation into the murder of rugby player Wasim Thajudeen informed Colombo Additional Magistrate today, that the telephone records on calls made from the Presidential Secretariat to the then OIC of the Narahenpita Police Damien Perera on the day of Thajudeen's death, have been erased. At the previous occasion, CID told Court that several telephone calls originated from telephones at more..

Indonesia, Sri Lanka sign MOU on election management cooperation

Aug 24 (JP) The General Elections Commission (KPU) has signed a MoU with Sri Lanka’s Election Commission on cooperation in the management of elections. The ceremony was held on Wednesday during the Asian Electoral Stakeholder Forum III in Bali. KPU chairman Juri Ardiantoro and Election Commission chairman Mahinda Deshapriya inked the MoU to promote democratic values through cooperation in information exchange and other issues in the field of electoral management. more..

SLMC's Kariyappa advocates for Muslim Personal Law reform

Aug 24 (DN) SLMC Media Spokesman Nizam Kariyappa in a bold move advocated for Muslim Personal Law reform and supported the amendment of Article 16 of the Constitution. Making his submissions to the Fundamental Rights Sub Committee of the Constitutional Assembly to form a new Constitution at Parliament, Kariyappa admitted that it was time that the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) be amended to truly represent Islamic law and its principles. more..

Govt slams news reports sabotaging economic development

Aug 24 (AD) Govt of SL denied as misleading news reports alleging that it will obtain the services of a leading global law firm to prepare new laws and that professionals walked out from discussions on the proposed trade agreement with India. Issuing a statement in response to the negative reports which have appeared in the newspapers on the engagement of internationally reputed consultancy firms by the govt, more..

Samurdhi Movement will be turned into an efficient and effective institution: President

Aug 24 (PSL) President Sirisena says he will make the Samurdhi Movement which has become an unsatisfactory state institution due to the disappointments of its employers, caused by the bad management by the former govt, to an efficient and effective institution. He made these remarks at a special meeting on professional issues of the Samurdhi Managers held today (23). The discussion, in which all related parties took part, focused on the issues faced by Samurdhi more..

Sri Lanka hotel boom seen hitting room rates

Aug 24 (EN) Sri Lanka’s hotel construction boom, especially in the capital Colombo, could put pressure on room rates, a hospitality investment forum was told. The island does need more investment in hotels to keep pace with rapid growth in arrivals since the ethnic war ended seven years ago, said Jesper Palmqvist, area director Asia Pacific of STR, a hotel industry market research company. “Arrivals are increasing steadily to two million tourists,” he told Hospitality Investment Conference. more..

CPC Unions fear privatization

Aug 24 (CT) Trade unions of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) demand that the CPC revokes the decision to award the Sapugaskanda Petroleum Refinery Plant Modernization Project to a new contractor. Convener of Petroleum Trade Union Coalition Janaka Rajakaruna said trade union action would be launched next week if their demands were not met. He said that the effect would be drastic if more..

When I heard LTTE forces order Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination

Aug 25 (CT) Saturday, Aug 20th was the late Rajiv Gandhi‘s birthday. Rajiv Gandhi’s political career was barely seven years; it started with the assassination of his mother Ms Indira Gandhi in 1984 and ended with his own assassination. But within those years, he made a mark by doing things differently from the traditional political class. Had the charismatic leader not become the victim of a LTTE suicide bomber on 21 May 1991, Congress party’s fortunes might have been scripted differently. more..

Missing Persons: From Rohana Wijeweera to Noel Gunaratnam, and more…

Aug 25 (SL) Now that Parliament has passed a govt-sponsored Bill on missing persons, questions arise as to how the proposed Office under the new law would go about its job. The final word however may stay with the higher judiciary of the land, if and when moved – and the Supreme Court verdict might decide where from here for the Office of the Missing Persons (OMP). In between, the self-styled Joint Opposition (JO) identified with war-time President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appealed to Speaker more..

Ex-National Football Captain now a grave digger at 37

Aug 25 (ST) Another day dawns in Galle and Ediri Bandanage or, E.B. Channa, former National Football Captain, begins his daily routine. A father of 3 daughters, Channa, at 37, helps around the house a little before donning a Football jersey from his collection in a career that spanned almost 2 decades. Unlike in the recent past, Channa is not headed for any ground for training, instead, he heads to the Dadella Cemetery Grounds, more..

Is Cardinal against searching for missing priests?

Aug 25 (CT) Senior Journalist D.B.S. Jeyaraj had written an article to a weekend English newspaper. The article was based on the disappearance of Father Thiruchelvam Nihal Jim Brown from a Catholic church in the North. At a moment when laws have been prepared to establish an office to inquire into disappeared persons, it was stated in this article that it was the responsibility of the Maithri-Ranil govt to look into the disappearance of this clergyman as well. more..

Banality of Evil

Aug 25 (DN) Namal Rajapaksa, MP, the eldest son of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, was interviewed recently on television. By and large, the tone of the lengthy interview, nearly two hours in duration, was defensive, an attempt at validating a period characterised by the most vulgar form of family rule seen in this country since independence. Unlike what was the norm when his father ruled, the panel of interviewers, considering that before them was one of the most powerful more..

Office Of Missing Persons: Lurking dangers

Aug 25 (CT) I. Co-Sponsorship of the Geneva Resolution as the Original Sin: The proposal to establish the Office of Missing Persons is one of the solemn guarantees embodied in the Resolution co-sponsored by Govt of SL at the UNHRC in Geneva on 1 Oct 2015. This is pledged explicitly in Operative Paragraph 4 of the Resolution. The intensity of pressure to compel implementation is reflected powerfully in the statements at more..

Smoke signal for street warriors

Aug 25 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena used the national unity govt’s first anniversary celebration in Matara as an opportunity to give the party’s rebel group cozying up to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa a strong warning. “They are talking about forming new political parties. I have to say only one thing. Let them do and deal with the repercussions. If they take that path, I will reveal some stunning political secrets that we have kept under wraps, so far. When we reveal those secrets, more..

An opportunity to rectify a grave error

Aug 25 (Island) The govt came under fire from the Opposition in Parliament on Tuesday over the Office on Missing Persons Bill (OMPB), which the Speaker is said to have signed into law. Even the JVP, which is for OMPB, insisted that some of the amendments including those it proposed had not been accommodated. Urged to resubmit the Bill with amendments to Parliament again minister Kiriella said he would explore the possibility of doing so. Will he prove that he is a man of his word? more..

Satana: Sarath Fonseka

Do as we do at home to live with Meetotamulla garbage dump

Aug 25 (FT) Piles of garbage seen about in public places is a measure of a nation’s poverty, its bad politics and inefficient administration on the one hand and the erosion of civility and moral standards of its people on the other. The wretched garbage dump at Meetotamulla-Pothuwila marshy land is a case in point that goes on regardless of health hazards, collateral damage and social issues that it entails. Following a court order that decreed Meetotamulla as the destination for more..

Sri Lanka's big win, Faulkner's hat-trick

Aug 25 (CI) 82: Sri Lanka's margin of victory by runs - their biggest win when batting first in ODIs against Australia. Their previous best came in 2003 at the SCG when they won by 79 runs. 5: Number of Australia bowlers to take a hat-trick in ODIs before James Faulkner. He is the second Australia bowler to take a hat-trick against Sri Lanka in ODIs. Before him, Daniel Christian did so at the MCG in 2012. Thisara Perera was included among the three wickets on both occasions. more..

SLFP: A war within

Aug 25 (FT) As the Govt of national unity celebrated the completion of its first year in office last week, President Sirisena was grappling with a problem that preceded his presidency. For nine years, while Mahinda Rajapaksa held the party reins and the presidency, the SLFP was in quiet crisis. Party seniors were sidelined and increasingly disgruntled. SLFP brand had become synonymous with the Rajapaksa brand. more..

The first ODI hat-trick of 2016, and the sitter that sat

Aug 25 (CI) Bruce Reid, Anthony Stuart, Brett Lee, Daniel Christian, Clint McKay, James Faulkner. That is the list of Australians to have taken an ODI hat-trick, six names in total after Faulkner joined the group in this match. And he did so across two overs, his wickets coming from the last ball of the 46th over and the first two deliveries of the 48th over. First was Kusal Perera, who was lbw trying to reverse-sweep a cutter. Then it was Angelo Mathews, who drilled one down the ground and was caught more..

Malik optimistic of govt ushering in inclusive growth despite challenges

Aug 25 (FT) Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama last night reiterated that the Govt was committed to ensuring Sri Lanka achieved inclusive growth while modernising the economy for the benefit of all segments of society, a process which required difficult decisions to be made. He made this observation during his speech as the Chief Guest at the inauguration of the CIMA Business Leaders Summit at the Cinnamon Grand. more..

'Mendis the future of Sri Lanka'

Aug 25 (CI) He has been an international cricketer for barely nine months, and has only played as many ODIs, but great expectations are already being thrust upon Kusal Mendis. Captain Angelo Mathews has labeled Mendis the future of the national side. "He's going to be a big player for us," Mathews said of Mendis, who scored his second consecutive half-century in Wednesday's 82-run win over Australia. more..

Football: We have COPE, but scope and hope

Aug 25 (ST) “The game of football in SL has deteriorated day by day. Though present officials say, they will not commit the same mistakes made by previous officials in the administration, it has been observed they keep repeating the same mistakes. It is alleged that during the time of Manilal Fernando, they formed a pseudo Football Management Committee just to hold on to power and relegated the real FFSL to the level of mere puppets. Now the same situation looks to be more..

Sri Lanka fails to make impact in Rio

Aug 25 (DN) Yet another Olympic Games has ended, shattering Sri Lanka’s hopes of another dream medal in Rio 2016 Games. Will Sri Lanka be able to win an Olympic medal after 20 years is left to be seen in Tokyo 2020. But Sri Lanka must work from now itself and make an investment for the future if they are to win a medal even at the next Olympic Games in Japan in four years’ time. SL has won only two medals in the 120-year-old history of the Olympic Games – both silver medals. more..

Aponso 4 for 18 seals SL's 82-run victory

Aug 25 (CI) Sri Lanka's openers gone cheaply. A recovery led by Kusal Mendis. A Sri Lankan attack heavy on spin options. Australia's batsmen struggling to have any impact. A Sri Lankan victory. Steven Smith could be forgiven for feeling like this was a flashback to the Test series just ended. But the big difference was that Australia already have a win in this one-day series. At the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, Sri Lanka more..

Lanka Hospitals surpasses 900 IVF babies

Aug 25 (Island) SL’s internationally accredited multi- specialty hospital, Lanka Hospitals announces the surpassing of 900 In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) baby deliveries. This landmark achievement since the inception of its ultra-modern Fertility Centre in 2008, has elevated Lanka Hospitals to be the most reputed Fertility Center in Sri Lanka with a success rate identical to natural conception. Lanka Hospitals’ revolutionary Fertility Centre has set several benchmarks in the IVF field. more..

Australian HC visits Southern Province

Aug 25 (FT) Australian High Commissioner Bryce Hutchesson visited the Southern Province from 17 to 19 August, where he met with Govt and business interlocutors and visited SL govt infrastructure projects and Australian govt-supported development projects. In Hambantota, Hutchesson toured Mattala Rajapaksa Airport, Convention Centre and Ruhunupura Rajapaksa Port. He had productive discussions on the economic and development situation with Hambantota District Secretary more..

ONUR launches language facilitators’ pool website

Aug 25 (FT) Office for National Unity & Reconciliation (ONUR) in partnership with the Department of Official Languages launched the website for Bilingual and Trilingual Resources Pool, which allows public institutions to have access to qualified translators in ensuring language rights of all citizens. The inability for any citizen to be able to communicate with public institutions in their language of choice has been a challenge for more..