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The EDR: The Lynchpin in clean elections

Aug 1 (CT) The Election Dispute Resolution Unit under the Election Commission (EC) is the key to conducting clean elections. I believe it is to gain control of the unit that the government moved in 10 Government Agents removing experienced and honest hands like Jaffna’s N. Vethanayagan, who was near retirement and prompted by the insulting transfer sent in his retirement papers. A good example of how GAs and Additional GAs are used to cheat is that, in Jaffna for example, more..

A closer look at the economy after Covid-19

Aug 1 (CT) Covt headed by Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been very successful in controlling the Covid-19, also known as, the Corona virus with very few causalities. Although a second wave of the virus cannot be ruled out, the authorities are very confident that they can face any challenge. The focus is now on rebuilding the economy. The economic and financial problems that emerged with the Corona virus are now becoming clear: foreign exchange earnings have dropped, more..

Gota Strikes: Shani arrested to pave way for Vass Gunawardena, Duminda Silva pardons

Aug 1 (CT) Five days before the parliamentary election the Gotabaya Rajapaksa administration which has seen its popularity plummet in recent months moved to arrest former CID Director SSP Shani Abeysekera, a police official that the regime has had in its cross-hairs since it won the Nov 2019 poll. Incongruously Abeysekera has been arrested by the CCD on charges of fabricating evidence in a 2013 case which resulted in more..

Youth taking leadership in crusade for social justice worldwide

Aug 1 (DM) Covid-19 catastrophe is producing some blessings also. Worldwide we see youth-led movements launching the biggest ever crusades to bring about racial equality, social justice and to get the people involved in the battle against climate change by developing creative and imaginative sources of clean, renewable energy. Social analysts say in these movements the youth leadership is a dynamic and historic factor which could bring about major structural changes leading to more..

Is 13 A to go along with 19 A?

Aug 1 (DM) The SLPP led by PM Mahinda Rajapaksa wants a political blank cheque from the people, in the form of two thirds majority Parliamentary power, at the next Wednesday’s election. It would be a blank cheque because the party has not specifically told the people as to what they would do with that special power. Almost all SLPP leaders have stated that the party would scrap the 19th Amendment if they are elected to power with sufficient Parliamentary numbers. more..

'Nationalists treat everyone alike'

Aug 1 (DM) Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara, former MP for Ampara District stood out as the only MP who voted against the 19th Amendment during the Yahapalana govt. He says he voted against it as he doesn’t like to dilute the powers of the Executive Presidency. Mr Weerasekara, known for his nationalist stance in the political arena, is contesting at the upcoming Parliamentary Election from Colombo District more..

Why we must all vote!

Aug 1 (CT) Voting is one of the fundamental ways in which our inalienable rights are guaranteed. Our vote determines how Parliament acts in our interest, and how and who will shape the public policy of the country, at least for the next five years. Public policy in turn, shapes the economy, education, transport, health, security, etc. of our nation. If done right, public policy can determine Sri Lanka’s trajectory in the third decade of the new millennium. If, on the other hand, more..

Editorial: Killings that go unnoticed

Aug 1 (Island) Everyone is concerned about the loss-making state-owned enterprises (SOEs) such as the CEB, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and SriLankan Airlines. International lending institutions and economists, both local and foreign, never miss an opportunity to recommend restructuring or divestiture as the panacea. However, none of these economic whiz kids ever express any concern about the colossal losses the economy suffers due to Sri Lankans’ tobacco addiction. more..


Two sides of the coin: Hambantota District

Aug 1 (DN) Daily News interviewed Hambantota District General Election candidates Minister Mahinda Amaraweera (SLPP) and Dilip Wedaarachchi (SJB) to listen to their views on current issues. Q: What will happen to the SLFP after Aug 5? Some say it will become a three-wheeler party after Aug 5. A: SLFP will remain intact even after Aug 5. The SLFP will be secured by Prez Rajapaksa and we have his blessings. Prez Rajapaksa is not a member of any party and more..

Forthcoming general election and its aftermath

Aug 1 (Island) Sri Lankans would be going to the polls on August fifth to elect a new parliament. However, what is to follow depends on which party secures the majority to form a stable govt. The prevailing prediction is that the SLPP is most likely to secure at least a sufficient majority to form a govt. Such an outcome would mean that Prez Rajapaksa as the Executive and a legislature headed by PM Mahinda Rajapaksa would be jointly responsible for the governance of Sri Lanka. more..

'Out-of-the-box thinking is the need of the moment'

Aug 1 (DM) Daily Mirror discussed the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on the national economy and how Sri Lanka could emerge from this unprecedented challenge with the least possible damage, with former CB Governor, senior advisor to Prime Minister on economic affairs and SLPP National List candidate, Ajith Nivard Cabraal. Q: What exactly is the nature of damage done to the economy by the pandemic? more..

Two Sides of the Coin: Matara District

Aug 1 (DN) Daily News interviewed Dullas Alahapperuma (SLPP) and Saroja Paulraj (NPP) respectively to gain an insight to their aspirations for the voters in the Matara District. Q: How do you differ from other politicians? A: I have not used any poster or cutout since 1994. I only distributed one handbill once. My electorate Kamburupitiya is the only electorate in SL which does not have a wine store. I was offered eight liquor licenses during my political career but I did not take even one. more..

Two sides of the coin: Gampaha District

Aug 1 (DN) Daily News Gampaha District General Election candidates Indika Anuruddha (SLPP) and Dr. Dhanawardana Guruge (UNP) to get their views ahead of the August 5 polls. Q: What prompted you to take up politics? A: I was always fond of serving people and have been engaged in politics from a young age at various levels. I contested in the local authority election in 2011 for the first time. I was elected as the Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman with a resounding victory in my first election itself. more..

'I will not worship politicians'

Aug 1 (DM) Arjuna Ranatunga led Sri Lanka to its only cricket world cup win. Today he is an active politician and a former minister batting for the UNP. The split in the UNP has led many people to ask if Ranatunga is batting for the right team? What if his team loses? Will he retire? Daily Mirror online sat down with Ranatunga while he was campaigning for the Parliamentary election and posed these questions to him. more..

Two sides of the coin: Galle District

Aug 1 (DN) Daily News interviewed Galle District candidates Shan Wijayalal De Silva (SLPP) and Vajira Abeygunawardena (UNP) to gauge voter sentiments ahead of the Parliamentary Poll on August 5. Q: You are contesting the forthcoming Parliamentary Election under SLPP ticket. People of South elected you as the Chief Minister for three consecutive terms. Are you trying to forget or desert the grateful people of the South by entering Parliamentary politics? more..

Two sides of the coin: Colombo district

Aug 1 (DN) Daily News interviewed Colombo District candidates Dhanasiri Amaratunga (SLPP) and M.S.Mohamed (UNP) to listen to their views ahead of the August 5 General Election. Q: Are you confident that the SLPP would be able to secure a two-thirds majority at the General Election? A: I am confident. I contested the last General Election as well. Those days, we had to ask the people to organise meetings for us. This time, 30 to 40 groups come to my campaign office daily asking me more..

Growth revision once 1Q GDP data released

Aug 1 (FT) Central Bank (CB) denied that it has released any new macroeconomic projections, insisting that it remains true to its expectation that Sri Lanka will grow by 1.5% in 2020 as outlined in the Annual Report, and any adjustments will only be made once first quarter growth numbers are released. Several media reports have been brought to the notice of the CB, in which certain macroeconomic projections are more..

East West Properties transaction bolsters bourse

Aug 1 (Island) A director of East West Properties PLC, Anika Wijesuriya, sold 30 million shares belonging to her at Rs. 11 each to an investor. This transaction amounts to Rs. 330 million, which was 22 percent of the issued quantity of the company’s shares, stock market analysts said. East West Properties PLC is owned by Wijesuriya’s father Nahil Wijesuriya. This transaction contributed more than 20 percent to the CSE’s turnover yesterday, market analysts said. more..

FIDE Online Chess Olympiad 2020: National Chess Team to participate

Aug 1 (CT) FIDE, the World Chess Federation, has decided to hold an online Chess Olympiad this year to be held from 4 to 25 Aug. The Sports organisation which has the maximum number of member countries next to IOC, is expecting at least 180 countries to participate in the event. A new format will be introduced for the event. Two males, two females, and two juniors (one male and one female under-20) will comprise the team. A country may include the same number of reserves as well. more..

'Blueprint for LPL to be finalised on 4 Aug'

Aug 1 (CT) SL’s highly anticipated franchise-based T20 league, Lanka Premier League (LPL), has now received official approval by the SLC Executive Committee and the SL Govt and is all set to get under way from 28 Aug to 11 Sept at four stadiums with the participation of five teams. Even though there are only limited details about franchise owners, player auction, sponsors or title sponsors, SLC President Shammi Silva more..

TTASL to appoint panel of national coaches

Aug 1 (DN) Table Tennis Association of SL (TTASL) has decided to appoint two new national coaches and four assistant coaches in their continuous search for medals at future international competitions. “We have decided to appoint a national coach for the Men’s and the Women’s Team and four additional coaches who would be assisting in their training,” a reliable source from the TTASL said. “The criteria for the appointment of national coaches and their assistants have already more..

SMEs and entities serving domestic and foreign markets worst hit in COVID-19 crisis

Aug 1 (Island) SMEs and businesses serving domestic and foreign markets were the worst-hit sectors at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, a survey titled An Initial Assessment of the Impact of COVID-19 on Employers, carried out by The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) reveals. ‘While the hospitality and food service sector recorded the highest economic losses in terms of revenue, foreign exchange earnings and investment, exporters employing more than 250 more..

Prez-PM battle no excuse for intelligence failure: GL

Aug 1 (Island) Former State Intelligence Service (SIS) Chief Senior DIG Nilantha Jayawardena’s testimony before the PCoI probing the Easter Sunday carnage had shown why Prez and PM should not be elected from two different parties, SLPP Chairman, Prof. G.L. Peiris, said. Prof. Peiris, who heads the SLPP National List said that former spy chief Jayawardena hadn’t shied away from pointing out how a dispute between Prez Sirisena more..

‘Many allegations but very few complaints’

Aug 1 (Island) Asoka Obeysekera, Executive Director of Transparency International in Sri Lanka said that as aggrieved parties did not come forward, many allegations of bribery were made but very few complaints were lodged. The aggrieved parties could inform the CIABOC or Transparency Int'l of their grievances pertaining to bribery who would make further investigations and inform CIABOC. A leading businessman recently alleged that both local as well as foreign investments in the country more..

Sri Lanka’s inflation in July 2020 at 4.8%

Aug 1 (EN) SL’s inflation picked up slightly to 4.8% in the 12-months to July 2020 from 4.7% a in June. Colombo Consumer Price Index grew 0.1% in the month of July to 135.4 points from 135.3 points after growing 0.8% in June. The food index grew 0.1 points to 148 in July after growing 2.6% in June and 1.3% in May. The food index had grown 10.9% in the past 12-months. Non-foods also grew 0.1%. SL’s rupee fell close to 200 to the US dollar from 182 as March credit spiked amid money printing, more..

Masks mandatory for new MPs

Aug 1 (FT) MPs in the new Parliament are required to wear masks when inside the Chamber, including while participating in debates, in keeping with the Operational Guidelines on Preparedness and Response for COVID-19 Outbreak for Parliament which was announced. MPs should not remove or lower the mask when addressing in Parliament and as long as they remain in the Chamber, the Guidelines stipulate. more..

SL envoy praises QC re-employment platform

Aug 1 (TP) Kohularangan Ratnasingam, Charge d’Affairs at the Embassy of SL to Qatar has praised the Qatar Chamber’s recently launched initiative called Labour Re-employment Platform in the Private Sector. He has emphasized that there are many Sri Lankans laid-off labour due to COVID-19 and would benefit from this platform and get new contracts. This came during a meeting hosted by the Chamber in the presence of the Commercial Attaché at SL embassy in Doha. more..

Malpractices committed during previous regime when providing housing loans

Aug 1 (DN) Various malpractices have been committed when providing housing loans and constructing houses under the Ministry of Housing and Construction during the former govt’s time and monies spent for propaganda activities exceed a staggering Rs.570 million, authorities said. Secretary to the Ministry of Urban Development, Water Supply and Housing Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama expressed shock over details found following internal investigations over the way monies had been more..

'Following clash between NTJ and another group: SIS recommended impartial probe'

Aug 1 (CT) Following a clash between the National Thowheed Jama’ath (NTJ) led by Zaharan Hashim and another organisation called the Sunnatul Wal Jama'at in 2017, the State Intelligence Service (SIS) recommended to the Kattankudy Police that an impartial investigation be conducted in that regard, said former SIS Director, Senior SDIG, Nilantha Jayawardena. He was testifying before the PCoI probing more..

Nearly 10,000 SL migrant workers lost their jobs due to COVID-19

Aug 1 (AD) Nearly 10,000 SL migrant workers have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SL Bureau of Foreign employment Deputy General Manager Mangala Randeniya stated. SLBFE is ready to provide all necessary facilities to repatriate migrant workers who wish to return to SL. “By now up to 8000- 9000 have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 situation. The most important fact of this situation is that the SLBFE staff and embassy are making efforts to re-employ them in different places. more..

Govt ready to sell Colombo East Terminal to India: JVP

Aug 1 (Island) All arrangements have been made to sell the East Container Terminal of the Colombo South Harbour to India, the JVP alleges. JVP-led NPP Kalutara District candidate Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa said: “The Colombo harbour has been ranked 27th in the world in terms of efficiency. As per the statistics of the SL Ports Authority Colombo port could generate a revenue of Rs. 500,000 million a year. If the ECT of Colombo harbour is handed over to India we will be left with nothing. more..

152 reports of abuse of public resources reported during campaign: TISL

Aug 1 (FT) Complaints on the misuse of State-sponsored development projects, State-owned vehicles and misconduct of public officials make up the majority of complaints received during the Parliamentary Election campaign period, watchdog Transparency International SL (TISL) said. TISL’s Program for the Protection of Public Resources (PPPR) had filed a total of 152 incident reports at the Elections Commission as more..

Akila rejects allegations on CCF fund misappropriation

Aug 1 (FT) UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam rejected allegations regarding misappropriation of funds at the Central Cultural Fund (CCF), arguing that there was no plan between the UNP and the Government to discredit SJB leader Sajith Premadasa ahead of next week’s General Election. Speaking at a press conference, Kariyawasam also stated that he was not aware of any misuse of funds at the CCF while he was a member off the CCF Administrative Council. more..

Despite summons: Bathiudeen a no show at CID

Aug 1 (CT) Leader of ACMC and ex-Minister Rishad Bathiudeen failed to turn up at the CID on 31 July to record a statement in connection with the ongoing probe into Easter Sunday bombings, despite being summoned. CID sources said they have already made submissions to Colombo Fort Chief Magistrate’s Court regarding Bathiudeen’s failure to report to the CID when summoned. Bathiudeen had also failed to provide a statement to the CID after being summoned twice, prior to 27 July. more..

General election: GTF discourages voters from backing major parties

Aug 1 (Island) The UK headquartered Global Tamil Forum (GTF), which has been working closely with Tamil National Alliance (TNA), has urged the Tamils to vote for those only contesting the northern and eastern regions. In addition to the TNA, the Thamizhi Makkal Tesiya Kootani or the Tamil People’s National Alliance led by former Northern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran are in the fray in the former war zones. more..

Anatomy of a tribal democracy

Aug 1 (FT) The pen was once mightier than the sword. In the age of the smartphone the tongue has taken over. The point of departure of this essay is digital electioneering amidst social distancing. Thanks to the smartphone, behaviour tends to leave behind digital footprints. COVID-19 has substantially altered the cacophony of the electoral process. The main contenders have made a definite, meaning full switchover to digital campaigning, micro-targeting and online mobilisation. more..

Mosque and the market in Muslim politics

Aug 1 (FT) The mosque and the market in Sri Lanka represent two principal agents of change influencing Muslim political thought and action. By saying this, what is meant is not that these two institutions act as platforms for any particular brand of political ideology or campaign, but that the type of religious indoctrination relayed through the pulpit and the rationale underpinning economic behaviour and attitude of Muslim traders and businessmen, a representative profession in Islam, more..

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Citra Lab facilitates design thinking approaches for PTF

Aug 1 (DM) Citra Lab has facilitated design thinking approaches for the Presidential Task Force (PTF) for economic revival and poverty alleviation, to introduce practical tools and approaches to tackle larger development issues which are to be taken on by the Presidential Task Force. Citra, Sri Lanka’s first social innovation lab, is supporting the execution of the PTF’s key tasks by lending its expertise on social innovation, foresighting and human-centered design to the process. more..