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Rajapaksa pandal disaster: Victim faces uncertain future

Sep 22 (ST) A young woman remains paralysed below the waist and faces a long, hard road to recovery after the collapse of an unauthorised pandal erected for a political event of the SLPP in Maharagama. Sulari Laknima (27) was planning to go abroad for work. She left her home in Rathgama, Galle on September 8 for an appointment at an employment agency in Maharagama town. more..

Allegations of Rs. 5 billion loan written-off by People’s Bank against Daya Gamage

Sep 22 (Island) Minister Daya Gamage who, it was alleged in parliament last week, had a Rs. 5 billion loan written off by the People’s Bank, has left for China before the allegation was made and will be back only on Monday according to his media secretary. In the circumstances, there was no response from him to the allegations made in the House by two opposition MPs. The govt, however, is inquiring whether more..

UNP 24 Sept meeting expected to be tense

Sep 22 (CT) The UNP special Working Committee meeting, scheduled for 24 Sept, will be a heated and tense one, political sources reported. It is reported that the Party's faction loyal to the Premier is planning to propose PM Ranil Wickremesinghe or Speaker Karu Jayasuriya as the Presidential candidate while Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa's faction is planning to propose Premadasa as the candidate. In this context, there's a possibility more..

Sri Lanka loses MCC funding

Sep 22 (TM) Sri Lanka has lost its opportunity to make use of $ 480 million offered by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) of America. The MCC board which met last week had discussed the delay in Sri Lanka not signing the agreement and its next move. The board will now meet again in December for its annual selection process and will select another suitable country. Resident Country Director for the MCC Jenner Edelman said more..

16 reasons why most Sri Lankans vote the way they do

Sep 23 (CT) Among the many perceptive observations on our society and culture made by one of the greatest scholar monks of the 20th century, Venerable Kalukondayave Pannasekhara, was that the SL voter didn’t know how to properly exercise his vote as a citizen of a democratic society. Universal suffrage was granted to Sri Lanka as early as 1931, and the Ven. Pannasekhara was commenting on voter behavior during the ensuing elections, up to about 1950. more..

Ezhuka Tamil is a subterfuge by Wiggie to shore up his sagging fortunes!

Sep 23 (CT) Wigneswaran is an upstart in politics. He spent 25 years in the judiciary. It is true initially he was an unwilling horse. He was not used to the hurly-burly of rough politics. He was an unknown person to the Jaffna electorate. It was the ITAK which campaigned for his election victory. At one stage he got panicky that another upstart candidate Ananthi is going to beat him in the battle for preference votes. After winning the election he has the temerity to claim that more..

'There are alternatives if SLPP alliance fails'

Sep 23 (TM) Senior Deputy Leader of the SLFP Prof. Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa asserted that the party had no intention of abandoning talks with the SLPP to form an alliance. Q: What progress has been made with regard to your proposed alliance with the SLPP? A: There have been eight rounds of talks with the SLPP so far. In the first stage, there were six rounds of talks, and during the 2nd stage, we had more intense discussions more..

It’s high time to select the nominee

Sep 23 (SO) When the anniversaries of our late leaders come to pass, they receive honourable mentions in the media and last week it happened to be the 113th birth anniversary of the country’s first Executive Prez, J. R. Jayewardene. Had the man with one of the most astute minds in SL politics still been among us, he probably wouldn’t wish to see the plight of his beloved UNP today. Jayewardene almost single-handedly masterminded the UNP’s turnaround from being reduced to 17 seats more..

Desperate times, desperate measures

Sep 23 (TM) The signs of desperation emanating from the Ranil Wickremesinghe camp in the UNP are becoming way too obvious. In the past week, rather than focusing on naming the party’s nominee for the prez poll, which has already been fixed for 16 Nov, they occupied themselves with the task of preventing the election from taking place in the first place, in a desperate bid to overcome the nominee issue. As a result, PM has had to endure humiliation at the hands of his own Cabinet more..

'There’s only one candidate and that’s Sajith'

Sep 23 (TM) UNP MP and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake said it was clear that Party Deputy Leader Minister Sajith Premadasa was the best candidate for the UNF alliance. Q: We are hearing many names being thrown around for the presidential candidacy of the UNF these days. Who do you see as the realistic options to choose from? A: Sajith Premadasa. Of course Karu Jayasuriya would have been more..

Editorial: Obfuscation at its worst

Sep 23 (Island) The UNP and the SLFP are fighting a propaganda war over Thursday’s abortive attempt to secure Cabinet approval for scrapping the executive presidency. They are trying to pin the blame on each other and muddying the water to confuse the public. There are two versions of the circumstances that led to Thursday’s special Cabinet meeting, what transpired there and the fate that befell the move to have proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution approved. more..

Drama in the Supreme Court

Sep 23 (ST) For three days last week, I was following the unfolding of a fascinating drama in the Supreme Court. Thankfully I did not have to go to Court Number One to watch a clutch of celebrated Queen’s Counsel and their juniors dragging trolley-loads of files and bundles of documents, as they sorted themselves out inside the court room. Neither did I have to join the queue of interested spectators outside the court house that had start ed building up from around 4 a.m. (if that is not fake news more..

මඩකලපුව විශ්වවිද්යාලය සම්බන්ධ හීරා පදනම: කෝප්

Mystery of the missing 2 billion buck stigma of the Lotus Tower

Sep 23 (ST) Perhaps, it was not the best of all possible auspicious times for Prez Sirisena to reveal at the grand ceremonial opening of the Lotus Tower this Monday that a massive two billion bucks paid as an advance to a Chinese company had gone missing along with the Chinese company even before the first foundation stone had been laid for the tower project in 2012 under the Rajapaksa regime. It was as if the stigma at the centre of the lotus had been stolen even before the bud more..

99 World Champion Mark Occhilupo to compete at So Sri Lanka Pro surfing event

Sep 23 (ST) So Sri Lanka Pro World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 3000 event will not only play host to a massive field of international QS competitors but also a former World Champion and Surfing Icon in Mark Occy Occhilupo. Occy is set to make his first trip to Sri Lanka for the event that begins next week, but it won’t all be about competition. The event will be held from 22-29 in Arugam Bay. “When I was growing up a lot of my older mates would head to Sri Lanka more..

Lotus Tower: ALIT claims Rs 2 billion paid to CEIEC

Sep 23 (SO) A storm of controversy surrounds the much anticipated opening of the Lotus Tower, after Prez made startling allegations that an advance worth almost Rs. 2 billion had been paid out to an alleged shell company in China at the outset of the project in 2012. Aerospace Long-March Int'l Trade Co. Ltd (ALIT), the company concerned finally responded to the allegations saying TRCSL had paid USD 15.64 million to more..

Thirty years after: Rajani’s lasting impact

Sep 23 (Island) Ever since Rajani was killed, on 21st Sept 1989, many around the world have seen her as a heroic figure that stood for human values, not in a legalistic sense, but in the full-blooded sense that evokes an emotional and intellectual response; that moves those around her to commitment and action that is contagious. Accepting that we are living in a world that is not pacifist, her activism was towards solutions that avoided violence. The other view of Rajani was simply that she is a traitor. more..

New tea culture a boon for Sri Lanka

Sep 23 (SO) Tea has become a different experience in the present context and Sri Lanka needs to change the way it is marketed. A new approach is necessary to capture global market demand where tea becomes a part of a meal, rather than just a beverage, Minister Navin Dissanayake said. The world over, there is a tea culture being created and this presents lots of opportunities for Sri Lanka. As a premium quality tea producing country, we need to aggressively promote our teas, he said more..

All Island Schools Relay Carnival: St. Peter's, A. Rathnayaka CC shine again

Sep 23 (CT) St. Peter's College Bambalapitiya and A. Rathnayaka CC Walala maintained their supremacy by clinching yet another All-Island Schools title each: This time winning the Boys' and Girls' Champions titles respectively in the Schools Relay Carnival 2019 concluded at the Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday. The two schools, who had also earlier won the Overall Boys' and Girls' titles in the Sir John Tarbat Senior C'ship more..

Sri Lanka’s Most Admired Companies to be unveiled on Wednesday

Sep 23 (FT) The Most Admired Companies of Sri Lanka have been selected and will be unveiled at the awards ceremony on Wednesday at the BMICH. The awards are organised by the International Chamber of Commerce, Sri Lanka (ICCSL) together with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) Sri Lanka and the Daily FT. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will attend the event as the Chief Guest with Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu serving as Guest of Honour. more..

Chat with an Olympian: Sugath Thilakarathne

Sep 23 (CT) The late 1990s to late 2000s could easily be regarded as the golden era of Sri Lankan athletics. This was evident when Sri Lanka, for the first time in the Asian Games history, was able to win 3 Gold medals. The total medal tally for athletics was 5, which included 3 Golds and 2 Bronzes, and this helped Sri Lanka to be placed 6th in the medals table. This was also the first instance in the Asian Games history when the islanders were ranked higher than India in the athletics field. more..

Taj bullish on Sri Lanka tourism

Sep 23 (FT) India’s iconic and world-famous hospitality brand Taj yesterday expressed growing optimism on Sri Lanka committing over $ 40 million investment in the medium term to upgrade existing hotels as well as expand its footprint locally. “We are confident and bullish on Sri Lanka and we want to do more. This is the right time and most opportune,” Taj brand owner Tata Group's Indian Hotels Company Ltd. CEO said. more..

Cinnamon Future of Tourism Summit 2019 today

Sep 23 (TM) Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts will host the third edition of the Future of Tourism Summit (FOT 2019), to facilitate the resurgence of Sri Lanka’s tourism industry at an accelerated pace. Exploring topics under the timely theme Challenges and Growth in Crisis, this year’s summit has attracted some of the world’s top destination experts, helmed by CNN’s foremost business correspondent Richard Quest. Endorsed by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), more..

Army Commander calls on Northern Governor

Sep 23 (FT) Army Commander Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva met Northern Province Governor Dr. Suren Raghavan last week at Governor’s Secretariat. The Commander briefed the Governor on the security and humanitarian activities in post-war Northern Province and he said he would continue this under his commandership. Governor pointed out that we could see the drastic changes in the activities of the military in Northern Province since the assumption of office by Prez Sirisena on 8 Jan 2015. more..

Lack of coordination delays foreign-funded projects

Sep 21 (ST) Not all is well for Sri Lanka’s foreign-funded infrastructure projects, as most of those under implantation are either delayed or suspended midway due to lack of proper coordination between various public institutions that implement such projects, a progress review report revealed. CEB had been assigned as the implementation agency of 11 projects of which financial assistance was provided by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in 2017/2018. more..

‘Technology and modernization vital for plantation sector’

Sep 21 (DN) “Technology and modernization have provided levers for value chain transformation. Evolution of technology defines competitiveness. Plantation sector will need to play a critical role in re-calibration. Radical transformation thus is nexus of public and private sector contributions. Modernization will however fail in isolation of policy reforms and workforce re-engineering,” said The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Chairman Dr Hans Wijayasuriya at the 165th AGM of the Planters’ Association of Ceylon. more..

Breaking currency board was early birth defect of independent Sri Lanka: Sally

Sep 21 (EN) Abolishing a rule based currency board in favour of a discretionary central bank which allowed politicians and bureaucrats to print money as they wished was an early birth defect of Sri Lanka, as the later experience showed, a top economist has said. “I think that move away from the currency board to discretionary central banking was perhaps one of independent Ceylon’s, early birth defects in light of what’s happened subsequently,” Razeen Sally, a visiting professor at more..

ITF Calls for the Release of Captain Gennadiy Gavryloy

Sep 23 (ME) Hundreds of trade unionists from maritime unions affiliated with the Int'l Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) have expressed their support and solidarity with Captain Gennadiy Gavrylov and called on the SL govt to expedite his safe return home. Gavrylov, a Ukrainian seafarer, has been prevented from leaving Sri Lanka since his arrest on June 23, 2016 in connection with an ongoing police investigation relating to more..

Chulawansa goes on his final journey today

Sep 23 (Island) Veteran journalist Chulawansa Sirilal, who had served as a journalist for more than four decades, died after a brief illness on Saturday. He was 68-years old and his birthday also fell on Saturday. Chulawansa was not only a journalist, but also a leading media rights activist. Throughout his career, Chulawansa fearlessly campaigned for safeguarding democracy and freedom in Sri Lanka. He played a key role in journalists’ struggles to safeguard the freedom of the media more..

Steps taken to release private lands in Jaffna

Sep 23 (DM) Northern Province Governor Dr Suren Raghavan has decided to appoint a committee to identify alternative lands for the army and the police in Jaffna in place of the private lands used by them. It is reported that special attention has been paid to release the lands of 1800 families in the Palali east area and lands of 431 families in the Myliddy area to their original owners. This has been decided in a discussion held at the Jaffna District Secretariat yesterday. more..

Stormy conditions to continue: Mounting flood threats in South, WP

Sep 23 (DN) After announcing flash flood threats along the entire Nilvala River basin in the Southern Province since yesterday morning, the Disaster Management Centre last evening said the river waters were somewhat receding, but the authorities maintained the bad weather warnings for the whole southern half of the island. Stormy sea alerts have been issued for most of the island’s coastline except the North. more..

ComBank and Dialog Axiata engage with high net worth local investors

Sep 23 (Island) The third event of the Listed Company Feature Series organized by the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) in association with the Colombo Stock Brokers Association (CSBA) was organised recently and featured Commercial Bank of Ceylon and Dialog Axiata. This unique series brings together S&P SL 20 companies and Local Institutional and High-net-worth Investors for investment case driven discussions and offers investors an opportunity to engage with more..

SLA’s flagship military exercise Diyakawa ends tomorrow

Sep 23 (FT) The final exercise of the Sri Lanka Army’s (SLA) flagship military exercise Exercise Cormorant Strike X – 2019 (Diyakawa) themed Critical Engagement will be held at the Kuchchaveli beach today. SLA has organised its joint mega Tri-Service Field Training Exercise (FTX), which kicked off on 3 Sept with the participation of over 100 foreign military participants for the 10th consecutive year. The 3-week-long exercise, held with over 100 foreign military participants and observers, more..

Procurement Appeals Board has no power to handle BOOT projects

Sep 21 (Island) Procurement Appeals Board (PAB), which decided against awarding the contract for building a 300 MW LNG power plant at Kerawalapitiya to the lowest bidder Lanka Transformers Ltd. (LTL) had no power to review projects that fell under the build–own–operate–transfer (BOOT) form of project financing, the PCoI was told last week. Sri Lanka might lose Rs. 50 billion in 20 years as a result. more..

'No govt functions for political advantages'

Sep 23 (DM) The Election Commission has given strict instructions to the district secretaries to stop all govt functions and programmes that have been organised in a manner that violates the election law and gives political mileage to anyone, informed sources said. According to the information given by the Election Commission last week to the district secretaries, the permission was given till today for holding some govt functions that have been already planned. more..

Why blame only me, asks RW

Sep 23 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that false allegations had been made against him personally isolating him from others though he was engaged in politics together with a number of others. Premier made this remark at the launching of Pahatha Dumbara Water Management project on Saturday. “I am engaged in politics together with a number of others but it is only me who has to face false allegations,” he said as a closing remark to his speech during the launching of the project. more..

'UNP desperate to disqualify Gotabaya or abolish executive presidency instead of...'

Sep 23 (Island) JO lawmaker Shehan Semasinghe said that the UNP was all out to disqualify wartime Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa from contesting 2019 prez election or to do away with the executive presidency. He was commenting on UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s bid to secure cabinet approval for a move to abolish the executive presidency on Friday. Semasinghe pointed out that the constituents of UNF had met more..

Two arrested for kidnapping intl. school girl and mother

Sep 23 (AD) Dodangoda Police had launched an investigation into the kidnapping of an international school student and her mother in an attempt to extort money. Accordingly, two suspects, aged 40 and 25, have been arrested. The arrestees are residents of Dodangoda and Kalutara South and the police have seized an air rifle, items of a police uniform, a sword, and a machete. The kidnapped 8-year-old girl is a student studying in Grade 4 at an international school in Nagoda-Kalutara. more..

Stay order on Prelate’s cremation at the temple premises

Sep 23 (DM) Mulaitivu Additional Magistrate N. Sudaharan yesterday issued an interim order staying the cremation ceremony of the Nayaru Gurukanda Rajamaha Vihara Chief Incumbent Ven. Kolamba Medhalankarakitthi Thera at the temple premises. The members of the Dayaka Sabha and the resident monks were asked to attend court this morning. The interim order was given after the Mulaitivu police submitted a report to the court on a complaint lodged by the board of trustees of more..

Impossible to abolish executive presidency sans support of all parties: PM

Sep 23 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said he had informed the relevant persons including the Prez that it was not possible to abolish the executive presidency without the support of all parties. He told some UNP activists that a group of members of civil society organisations approached him recently and inquired on the pledge made by the present govt to abolish the executive presidency. He said the civil organisations submitted a draft more..