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Sri Lanka and China's Hambantota debacle may now be too big to fail

Aug 5 (Forbes) If there is a bright spot in Sri Lanka and China’s multi-billion dollar Hambantota debacle it’s that nobody has given up on it yet. Too big to fail is a term that’s often been applied to China’s large-scale developments which don’t take off right away or appear to be failures that the govt continues pumping with new resources, funding, supporting infrastructure, and ideas until they eventually come to fruition. more..

Japanese financial powerhouse makes strategic investment in Sri Lankan Brokerage

Aug 5 (Island) The SBI Group is to acquire a strategic 25% stake in SL Brokerage First Guardian Equities through an investment via a private placement. MOU was signed by CEO of SBI Holdings Yoshitaka Kitao and CEO of First Guardian Equities Rohan Goonewardene. SBI Group will be offered two representatives on the Board of First Guardian Equities. This transaction is due to be concluded shortly after obtaining the required regulatory approvals. more..

Is SL finally seeing its peace dividend?

Aug 5 (FN) At the tip of the teardrop of India, as Sri Lanka is often described, lies the Thalsevana Holiday Resort. From here you could once walk to India over 30 miles of limestone shoals. Long since washed over by the Palk Strait, its silver shoreline and turquoise waters make this an idyllic spot to contemplate the passage of time. In an area ravaged by nearly three decades of civil war, the first green shoots of tourism and economic regeneration are starting to appear. more..

Case against Tawheed Jamath referred to AG

Aug 5 (DN) The case against six members of the SL Tawheed Jamath for allegedly making derogatory remarks on the Buddha and hurting the sentiments of the Sinhala-Buddhist community in the country has been referred to the Attorney General for his advice. Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) conducting investigations into the incident informed Colombo Chief Magistrate that the extracts of investigations have been forwarded to AG. more..

Gammedda 100-day initiative inaugurates 1st completed project

Aug 5 (Island) Gammedda initiative, launched by News 1st/Sirasa/Shakthi Media Network is causing waves in both cities and villages. The initiative to help solve people’s problems identified earlier in a home-to-home study, has been launched islandwide. The first completed project, repairs to the Damanayaya Road in Sigirimulla, was vested with the public on Wednesday. The road which had been in a state of disrepair for nearly two decades link more than 20 villages in the area. more..

Indian Sagar Mala could steal limelight from Colombo Port

Aug 5 (FT) India’s Sagar Mala (garland around the sea) port modernisation project includes a proposed transshipment port on the southern coast of India expected to directly compete with the Colombo harbour, and in order to secure its position as a regional shipping hub, Sri Lanka should take strategic steps such as developing economic zones and introducing low tariffs while consolidating its economic ties with China, an international transshipment expert said on Tuesday. more..

French charity urges SL to act over killings

Aug 5 (AFP) A French charity urged Sri Lanka’s government on Thursday to hold a credible investigation into the killing a decade ago of 17 of its staff. The head of Action Against Hunger (ACF) said it was time for Sri Lanka to act on its promises as she visited the island to mark the 10th anniversary of the massacre. No one has ever been prosecuted over the execution style killings of ACF staff, among them four women, the worst attack against more..

Wimal grilled on Rs 100 M loss

Aug 5 (CT) Former Minister Wimal Weerawansa was questioned yesterday by the PRECIFAC in connection with a loss of Rs 100 million incurred by his ministry between 2010 and 2015. PRECIFAC source said the loss of Rs 100 million had been sustained in the course of misuse and abuse in connection with vehicles, houses and shops belonging to the ministry. The former minister had allegedly used vehicles and fuel belonging to the State Engineering Corporation which was more..

Nihal Fonseka to CBSL Monetary Board

Aug 5 (Island) Anthony Nihal Fonseka has been appointed by the President as a member of the Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka with effect from July 27, 2016 in terms of Section 8(2)(c) of the Monetary Law Act. Fonseka is a veteran banker who held a number of key managerial positions in Sri Lanka as well as overseas. He was the Chief Executive Officer of the DFCC Bank for over 13 years and the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the HSBC Colombo for 10 years. more..

President assures Jaffna University safety

Aug 5 (DN) President Sirisena requested the students of Uni of Jaffna to engage in studies without any fear and suspicion, as the security and safety of the university has been assured. President made this request when VC, the academic staff and a group of parents of the students of Uni of Jaffna met him at Presidential Secretariat. They discussed the recent clash at the university and the measures taken to ensure more..

Over 20 m attended Paada Yatra: Geetha

Aug 5 (DN) UPFA MP Geetha Kumarasinghe said over 20 million people attended the Joint Opposition’s Paada Yatra. According to the survey conducted by the Department of Census and Statistics in 2001, the population of Sri Lanka is less than the crowd turned up at the Paada Yatra rally. “This is the power of the people. The govt is afraid of the people’s support received by the Joint Opposition,” Kumarasinghe said addressing a press conference in Colombo yesterday. more..

Ministry to get tough with Uni academic staff

Aug 5 (DN) If University Academic Staff do not report to work, that day will be considered as a no pay leave, sources from Higher Education Ministry revealed. Sources said if academic staff continue their protest, which began on July 27 and do not report to work, the days will be considered as no pay leave. The protest began citing that seven demands be met. Of the seven demands, six have been met. During a discussion between Ministers Lakshman Kiriella and Ravi Karunanayake more..

SAITM ready for PPP but GMOA insists on 100% nationalisation

Aug 5 (FT) With the SAITM fiasco continuing to escalate and with no clear resolution in sight, management of SAITM has made aware of a possible Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with the Govt. SAITM management stresses that the PPP will be only limited to the management of affairs and quality control of the hospital and its medical faculty with no dilution of the original ownership. more..

Child involved in Paada Yatra: NCPA commences investigations

Aug 5 (DN) National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) has commenced investigations into an incident where a child was involved in the Paada Yathra organised by the JO on Monday. According to a NCPA official this investigation has been initiated on a complaint received by the authority on Tuesday. He said members of the foundation to Protect the Rights of the People made the complaint over the alleged involvement of an under aged person in political activities. more..

Dubai’s Al Ghurair eyeing to build Sri Lanka’s largest mall

Aug 5 (DN) Al Ghurair Investment LLC, UAE, is looking to build Sri Lanka’s largest shopping mall in Colombo, its Chairman Essa Abdulla Al Ghurair said. Speaking on the sidelines of the World Islamic Economic Forum he said they are already in Sri Lanka with their flour mill operations through Serendib Flour Mills. This was was set up with the objective of providing an uninterrupted supply of wheat flour to SL consumers is one of the modern and the largest single line wheat flour mills. more..

'Port City Project: Govt has let Indian cat out of the bag'

Aug 5 (Island) Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said that the govt had now accepted his public declaration that India had pressured the previous govt to abandon the $ 1.4 bn Chinese funded off-shore Port City Project. He first made the accusation over a year ago in the run-up to parliamentary polls in August last year. He said that previous govt had been brought under tremendous pressure over the joint venture more..

Railway crossings; go to the digital fast track

Aug 5 (DM) While most of our politicians are arguing over the import of duty-free vehicles worth hundreds of millions of rupees and other privileges, the day to day problems of the ordinary people are often side tracked. On Wednesday we saw a bloody tragedy where an army soldier’s young wife and their two little daughters were killed on an unprotected railway crossing at Wellawa in the Kurunegala district. Such a heavy price had to be paid to fast-track the transport ministry to take some action more..

A stroll to become the main Opposition

Aug 5 (DM) The rhetorical observations made by those for and against the Jana Satana Paada Yathra or the march by loyalists of the former President Rajapaksa from Peradeniya to Colombo over the weekend were interesting. Going by their remarks one would wonder whether this was what the situation some call a win-win situation. One of the former President’s closest lieutenants and former Minister Dullas Allahapperuma beat all in the Mahinda camp in this regard by claiming that more..

At the butt end of an excise scam

Aug 5 (SL) The govt’s failure to introduce a system to collect excise duty from cigarette warehouses when prices are increased has cost the national coffers millions of rupees, highly reliable Excise Department sources said. Although excise duty is levied from the relevant companies by the Excise Department at the time cigarettes are removed from the manufacturing plants, govt’s failure to introduce a system to recover returns from every cigarette removed from more..

Migration-linked promiscuity causes HIV spike

Aug 5 (ST) Migration for work and risky sexual behaviour have sent up HIV rates in young men. Every week an average five HIV positive cases have been detected among the most at risk population, AIDS Surveillance data shows. There have been 127 HIV positive cases reported so far this year – 95 males and 32 females. The spike in infection has been among homosexuals in the sexually active group of 19-24 years. more..

Three-wheeler, Maruti offers fail to lure workers to Sri Lanka's construction industry

Aug 5 (EN) Offers of three-wheelers and Maruti cars for long service failed to draw workers to construction industry, which is facing a severe shortfalls of tradesmen, but foreign labour is restricted, an industry official said. "We have offered a free three-wheeler for workers who stay with us for five years. A Maruti car for staying for 10 years," Ranjith Gunatilleke, Managing Director of Sanken Construction, said. more..

Sri Lanka, Georgia conclude first session of political consultations

Aug 5 (MEA) First Session of Political Consultations between SL and Georgia was held from 3-4 August at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombo. Inaugural political consultations were preceded by the signing of the MoU on Political Consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of SL and Georgia. The consultations between the two countries served as first formal process to comprehensively review more..

Vasu says leftists will do everything to stop sale of country’s assets

Aug 5 (Island) Socialist Alliance stalwart and former UPFA Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara said that the govt had plans to amend the constitution to make the country a federal state at the behest of self-appointed int'l community. He said the left parties opposed the move and said they stood for devolution of power within a unitary state. He lambasted the govt for its moves to sell state resources to foreign countries more..

LTTE suspect in Canada fights against deportation

Aug 5 (NP) A Toronto woman ordered out of Canada for being a self-declared member of a terrorist group argues the only evidence against her is her own past claims, which she says are not credible. Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board, Minister of Public Safety and the Federal Court of Canada, however, reject her revision of her past in SL during civil war. Jayasiri Puvanenthiram was first declared inadmissible more..

Now TULF leader beats war drums over acquiring of some land in Mulaitivu for Navy

Aug 5 (Island) TULF leader V. Anandasangaree lashed-out at ITAK politicians for not taking any action against, what he termed provocative actions of the Govt to acquire private lands for use of the security forces in the North and East. Anandasangaree said that ITAK MPs in TNA should quit their positions and make way for people who really care for Tamils to come forward. "They are playing a double game," more..

Cabinet paper submitted to solve gatekeepers strike

Aug 5 (Island) A cabinet paper had already been submitted to solve the salary issue which had led to a strike by those manning gates at level crossings, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva said. In the wake of third fatal accident at an unprotected level crossing at Wellawa during the strike of gatekeepers, Minister de Silva said he had submitted the Cabinet paper before the commencement of the strike. more..

Rs 97.6 M fraud at SLPA PRECIFAC concludes probe

Aug 5 (CT) PRECIFAC into reasons why former Executive Director of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Sanjaya Sedara Senerath had not paid a sum of Rs 97.6 million to the Sri Lanka Shipping Corporation (SLSC) as dues payable on renting a ship belonging to the SLSC were completed yesterday. A spokesman for the Commission said that the investigation report will be handed over to President Sirisena shortly. more..

SLFP CC decides on stern action against errant MPs

Aug 5 (DM) SLFP Central Committee (CC), which met after some of its MPs conducted the paada yathra, decided to expel all those who had acted in contravention of the party's rules and regulations. Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said, after the meeting, that the disciplinary committee of the party had been asked to identify those who had criticised the party and its leadership during paada yathra and more..

Sri Lankan shares end at over 7-week closing high on foreign buying

Aug 5 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares gained on Friday to a more than seven-week closing high on foreign buying, and as investors bought blue chips expecting better profits on hopes that the central bank's rate hike would help improve the island nation's macro-economic outlook. Overseas investors were net buyers of 167 million rupees ($1.15 million) worth of shares on Friday, extending the net foreign inflow during the last eight sessions to 951.3 million rupees worth of equities. more..

Pada Yathra did not address issues concerning the masses: Ruwan

Aug 5 (Island) The Pada Yathra conducted by a faction of the Opposition led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa last week had not addressed any issues the people were faced with, the govt said. State Minister Ruwan Wijewardene, addressing a news conference, said those who had participated in the protest march from Kandy to Colombo had used it to slander leading govt figures. "Nothing worthwhile that required the attention of the authorities was raised. more..

ගැමුණු විජේරත්න

When enough is too little

Aug 5 (CT) The regular exegeses of Dr Dayan Jayatilleka on post war reconciliation, have acquired a paroxysmal character. His remonstrations of Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera call for an unambiguous refutation. This writer is an unabashed admirer of Mr. Samarawera. He earns my unequivocal admiration and esteem for being the one and only Sinhala Buddhist Politician in the present firmament who refuses to pander to the Apey Hsamuduruwane cult. more..

Regaining investor confidence

Aug 5 (CT) Yesterday, this newspaper's lead story, quoting Deputy Minister Kabir Hashim said the govt has received eight international bids for the operation of the State run, loss making, SriLankan Airlines and its subsidiary, the budget airline Mihin Lanka. The bids came via expressions of interest (EOI) document of the Govt of Sri Lanka, made available to interested parties. According to sources, these EOI documents were sold to interested parties at a price of US$ 5,000 each. more..

Tourist arrivals up 19.1% in July 2016

Aug 5 (EN) Tourist arrivals grew 19.1% from a year earlier in July 2016 to 209,351 recovering from a slow 2.2% growth in June, with China, India and Western Europe growing. Visitors from China rose 21.9% in July to 30,631, charging ahead of India which also grew 12.1% 27,665. In the 7-months to July, arrivals from India, top generating market grew 17.9% to 200,506. Chinese tourist arrivals were up 36.6% more..

Samurdhi is for all who qualify: Kiriella

Aug 5 (CT) Samurdhi funds should be distributed to all who are qualified irrespective of party politics, Minister Lakshman Kiriella said Wednesday. He said that officers who distribute Samurdhi funds to unqualified individuals would be prosecuted. He was responding to a Samurdhi Manager who stated that in Kandy around 40% of Samurdhi recipients were not qualified to receive Samurdhi benefits. He was speaking at the Gangawata Korala Regional Development Committee meeting more..

COPE summons CB officials

Aug 5 (DM) With a view to obtaining further details of the Sri Lanka Central Bank’s bond transaction, the heads of the Bank have been summoned to present themselves before COPE on August 12th. On several earlier occasions, too, these officials have been summoned by COPE and questioned. The chairman of COPE, MP Sunil Handunnetti said that, as there were more details relating to the bond transaction that have to be resolved, the heads of the CB had been summoned once again. more..

Lucky? Lucky to be playing Australia

Aug 5 (CI) As Sri Lanka stretched their lead in Galle after another Australian surrender to spin bowling, stump microphones picked up a touring player using the words 'f*** you guys are lucky'. How so? F*** you guys are lucky. Lucky that when Joe Burns failed to make contact with Vishwa Fernando's first ball in Test cricket, a wide long hop he could barely reach, opener redoubled his effort with a hook shot straight to more..

Govt has failed to heed even its Think Tank Chief’s advice: G.L.

Aug 5 (Island) Top Joint Opposition spokesman, former External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said that Chairman of the Institute of Policy Studies Dr. Razeen Sally had been strongly critical of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe govt’s economic policy. Internationally reputed academic has warned of dire consequences unless swift remedial measures were taken, Prof. Peiris said, accusing the govt of turning a blind eye to rapidly deteriorating economic situation. more..

Ex-BASL chief: Regional legal fraternity has faith in Sri Lankan judiciary

Aug 5 (Island) Chairman of the Organising Committee of the forthcoming Law Asia 2016 Golden Jubilee Conference and former Bar Association President Upul Jayasuriya yesterday said the legal fraternity in the region had reposed its trust in the Sri Lankan judiciary. "Lawyers and other delegates across the globe will converge here to attend the conference scheduled from August 12-15 in Colombo." he said. The theme of the conference is 50 years of supporting the rule of law more..

Sri Lankan in Australia rejected for job because of brown-skin

Aug 5 (ADN) Independent advertising agency Banjo has publicly apologised after what has been alleged as a racist incident involving a senior member of staff and an interview candidate. The Sydney-based shop, which has clients on the book such as Best & Less, Pacific Brands and Crown, says in the course of expanding the account management team at Banjo, an unfortunate misunderstanding occurred during more..