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'Exec. Presidency cause of all evil'

July 24 (CT) Venerable Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera says the President is ruling the country in an arbitrary manner using his executive powers and not taking into account the Judiciary and the Constitution, which is the holy law of a country. Sobhitha Thera said the Commissioner of Elections is only a figurehead, with no powers under an Executive President, and due to this the public has lost confidence in the elections process. more..

16-year tax break for Tata Housing

July 24 (CT) India's Tata Housing's US$ 430 million project, of which only US$ 130 million would come in the form of foreign direct investment, has been identified as a Strategic Development Project and the country's investment promotion agency has decided to grant a 16 year tax break as a good-will gesture. The Ministry of Defence and Urban Development gave five acres to Tata Housing free of charge as the company promised to develop more..

Jayasuriya gives new twist to 'Thisara Perera controversy'

July 24 (AM) Chief selector of the Sri Lankan cricket team Sanath Jayasuriya has denied claims that all rounder Thisara Perera is contemplating retirement. It was in the grapevine that Perera was planning to retire from international cricket and migrate to New Zealand. Sources of the Sri Lanka Cricket stated that Perera was dissatisfied with the manner in which the cricket administrators treated him in the recent past. more..

Anura bashes India: 'North and East have been swallowed by Indian govt'

July 24 (AM) Leader of JVP Anura Kumara Dissanayake has told that India has invaded the North-East regions of the country and “swallowed” a substantial quantity of the Sri Lanka’s economy. He said that India has penetrated into almost all the large scale projects going on in Sri Lanka. He also added that the pharmaceutical market, automobile sector and a large portion of the North-East have been swallowed by India. more..

'Sanga and I try to compete with each other'

July 24 (DM) A century at his home ground could well sum-up an excellent career for Mahela Jayawardane who will make his last appearance at Sinhalese Sports Club against South Africa. Since making his Test debut against India in 1997, Jayawardane, 37, has reached many milestones, in his 18-year-long international career and Jayawardane discuss his career, the reasons behind the retirement, his rivalry with Sanga more..

Bevy of Chinese beauties to arrive in SL

July 24 (AD) Preparations have been made to bring 23 contestants who have qualified for the final round of the Chinese Universal Beauty Queen Contest to Sri Lanka as a strategy to attract more Chinese tourists to the island. It was revealed during a media conference in Colombo that these 23 Chinese Beauty Queens would tour Sri Lanka from 25 Aug to 1 Sept. This tour is an official part of this contest and following the regional selections more..

Audio: Gnanasara Thero speaks his concerns on the removal of thier FB pages

July 24 (AD) General Secretary of the BBS Ven. Galaboda Aththe Gnanasara Thero said that not only their fan pages on facebook, but some other pages handled by individuals who raised their voice against racism and social injustice too have been removed from the facebook. The Thero pointed out that fan pages including his personal account named ‘G Gnanasara Thero’ were removed as a result of continues cyber attack by more..

Sri Lanka to conduct a Census on Mental Patients

July 24 (GDI) The Ministry of Health has taken steps to conduct a census on mental patients in Sri Lanka. Objective of the census is to recognize the different degrees of mental disorders prevalent in the country. It has been decided to conduct a survey, as currently only the details of the patients who visit hospitals are available. Ministry of Health estimates the number of the patients with mental disorders to be approximately 2.3 million. more..

The Northern Economy: The untold story

July 24 (SL) The contribution of the North to the national GDP has been the lowest for a very long time due to the war. It was around 2.5% in 1999 which went only up to 2.9% in 2004. While the contribution of the East has been double of the North, yet it was around 5% in 1999 which went up to 5.4% in 2004. One reason attributed to the low contribution was the informal or the LTTE war economy which has completely ended with more..

Sexual predators run riot in schools

July 24 (ST) Last week, a Kegalle district primary school principal was arrested for sexually abusing eight schoolgirls. The father to two children, 52-year-old Swamivelu Sukumar is accused of showing pornography and then on several occasions sexually abusing the victims aged between 11 to 13 years. The principal was apprehended after a child who had dropped out of school confided to officials that the reason more..

From subsistence production to precarious work

July 24 (DM) Liberal economic reforms implemented in Sri Lanka since the late 1970s have facilitated the transfer of a majority of people from rural livelihoods to non-agricultural activities, mostly in the informal sector. As is well known, a majority of rural people engaged in largely subsistence-oriented farming before economic liberalization and many of them combined this with non-farm activities like handicrafts, hand-loom and wage work. The situation today is different. more..

Urgent need to police the police

July 24 (DM) While the Armed Services are maintained mainly for national security, the Police Service is for the security and safety of civilians or the ordinary people for whom the police station needs to be a refuge where they could find a solution to a crisis or problem. On the basis of what has been happening during the past few years the people-friendly Police Service to a large extent is imprisoned with most people today being afraid or unwilling to go to a police station to resolve more..

Ministers in drug trade: JHU questions CID

July 24 (CT) Leader of the JHU, Ven. Dr. Omalpe Sobitha Thera, asked why the CID and intelligence services were not investigating allegations that MPs and Ministers were connected to the drug trade. He added that though large consignments of narcotic opiates coming in from Pakistan, were being seized, only two-bit hustlers were arrested, while kingpins and masterminds of operation, who are politicians, remain free. more..

Minister Champika’s Facebook page disabled

July 24 (DM) The Facebook account and fan page of Minister Champika Ranawaka has been disabled without notice by the Facebook Administration Committee, according to the minister. The minister said that he had taken the matter up with the committee via e-mail. It had informed him that they would explain their reasons for disabling his account in due course. “There are about 21,000 fans who express various opinions on my official Facebook page,” the minister said. more..

Sri Lanka will learn from Pak on trawlers, hopes Indian govt

July 24 (HT) Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s goodwill gesture of returning 57 boats of Indian fishermen at PM Narendra Modi’s request has raised hopes that Colombo too may soon be persuaded. Pakistan and Sri Lanka have always refused to return boats of fishermen arrested for crossing over to their side, with Pakistan arguing that losing boats was a deterrent for the Gujarati fishermen lured by hopes of a bigger catch on the Pakistani side. more..

Proposed aircraft maintenance facility will be handled entirely by Sri Lankans – MoD

July 24 (Island) Govt had proposed the construction of an aircraft maintenance facility in Trincomalee with the assistance of the Chinese govt, but it would be completely handled by the Sri Lanka Air Force personnel, Military Spokesman Brig. Ruwan Wanigasooriya said. The major objective of the proposed facility was to carry out maintenance work on Chinese built aircraft used by the Sri Lanka Air Force locally. more..

Speaker asks Rosy to stay close to him

July 24 (DM) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa yesterday advised UNP MP Rosy Senanayake to stay close to him as otherwise she would disturb the proceedings in the House by chatting to others. The Speaker said this when he noticed Ms. Senanayake chatting to her colleagues Sujeewa Senasinghe and Harsha de Silva. “It is better for you stay near me. Otherwise, you will waste time chatting with others,” he said. The trio had quietened down when they heard the Speaker’s remarks.

Thirimanne to lead Sri Lanka at Asiad

July 24 (IANS) Left-handed batsman Lahiru Thirimanne will skipper the Sri Lanka cricket team at the Asian Games to be held at Incheon from Sept 19 to Oct 4. The National Selection Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) named a 15-member squad for the 17th Asiad with Thirimanne as the captain and another southpaw Upul Tharanga as vice-captain. This is the second time that cricket has been included as a discipline at the Asian Games with the last one being four years ago at Guangzhou, more..

Govt. thwarts Karu’s bid to throttle Casino projects

July 24 (FT) A private member bill to amend the Strategic Development Projects Act No. 14 of 2008 presented by opposition lawmaker Karu Jayasuriya was rejected by the Govt yesterday. The bill was aimed at preventing the Parliament from approving any project which would include the operation of casinos and other gaming activities by whatever name or description or the leasing out of space for such activities. more..

Walk the talk: Police ask Hirunika to disclose Kolonnawa drug barons’ names

July 24 (Island) Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana yesterday, in response to the UPFA Western Provincial Councillor Hirunika Premachandra’s claim that she knew the drug barons in Kolonnawa, asked her to disclose their names and addresses. If she could do so, the police would nab them forthwith, the SSP said. She has also said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa and IGP N. K. Illangakoon should take action against spread of drugs.

Sudarshani calls for urgent action to tackle drug menace

July 24 (Island) An upsurge in drug trafficking was fueling the potential for greater drug abuse among Sri Lankan youth, UPFA Gamapaha District MP, Dr. Mrs. Sudarshani Fernandopulle warned yesterday. She told The Island that though the drug business couldn’t be totally eradicated from the country, the police should, at least, contain it forthwith. Dr. Fernandopulle also said parental monitoring and supervision were critical for prevention of drug abuse. more..

Moody's affirms Sri Lanka's credit rating at B1 but warns of weak govt finances

July 24 (IBT) Moody's affirmed Sri Lanka's 'B1' sovereign bond rating with the stable outlook on 23 July, citing strong growth potential, but said the weakness of govt finances overshadows the rating. A sustained decline in its deficit, debt and borrowing costs would be seen as credit positive, Moody's said. Sri Lanka's real GDP growth is likely to remain in the 6.5-7.0% range over the medium term, supported by infrastructure investment, more..

Mighty hullabaloo over Minister Jayaratne’s contradictory reply

July 24 (Island) A mighty hullabaloo was witnessed in Parliament yesterday as Civil Aviation Minister Piyankara Jayaratne presented contradictory figures on visits of aircraft to the Mattala International Airport. Responding to a question raised by UNP National List MP Dr. Harsha de Silva, the Minister said that no flights of Mihin Lanka or Fly Dubai airlines had visited the Mattala Mahinda Rajapaksa International airport during the month of May this year. more..

Court issues probate of Dr. Gamani Corea’s estate to Suganthie Kadirgamar

July 24 (FT) District Court of Colombo has recently issued probate to Suganthie Kadirgamar in respect of the estate of the late Dr. Gamani Corea, well- known economist, one time Secretary-General of the UNCTAD and Under-Secretary-General of the UN. Avindra Rodrigo appeared with Nimesha de Silva on the instructions of Ananda Tikiriratne, on behalf of Kadirgamar. The probate was issued on 7 July. Kadirgamar was previously issued Temporary Letters of Administration as more..

Ranil raps Govt. for misleading Parliament on NGOs

July 24 (FT) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe rapped the Govt for misleading the House by providing false information on NGOs in the absence of a legal framework for intelligence services role. Raising a series of issues under Section 23 (2) of the Standing Orders, Wickremesinghe wanted the Govt to identify the intelligence service which raised the alarm over alleged unfavourable NGO activities. more..

JVP raises plight of unpaid pensioners in parliament

July 24 (Island) A large number of pensioners including 15,000 former security force members were facing severe hardships as they had not been paid their pensions and pension gratuity payments for one and half years, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake told Parliament. MP Dissanayake making a special statement said that the situation had taken a worse turn following the issuance of a circular No 06/2014 dated June 23, 2014 by the Director General of Pensions Department. more..

CWC asks for four slots to contest under UPFA

July 24 (Island) The Leader of the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) and Deputy Minister Mutthu Sivalingam claimed that his party had a large voter base in the Uva Province, especially amongst the plantation workers in the Badulla District. Therefore, the CWC had requested four slots from the govt, if it was contest the election on the UFPA ticket. He said that the CWC had commenced holding meetings at grassroots level presided over by party electoral organisers and more..

'Sri Lanka builds up forex reserves with stable currency'

July 24 (Reuters) Sri Lanka is building up its foreign exchange reserves while keeping its rupee currency stable as the island nation seeing more dollar inflows, Finance Secretary P.B. Jayasundera said. Central bank has absorbed more than $750 million so far this year due to a rise in inflows from exports, tourism and remittances and has said the local currency would have gained to 125 rupees against the U.S. currency had it not done so. more..

Govt’s program to uplift local industries will not be changed at any cost - President

July 24 (DN) President Rajapaksa says the country has achieved several economic victories due to the correct policies implemented by the government to uplift the local industries. He stresses that this program will not be changed at any cost. President pointed out how the local economy was destroyed by changing these policies in the past. He made these remarks at a special meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat with small and medium scale women entrepreneurs on more..

GMOA finds fault with Prof. Ranjini for comments made to press

July 24 (Island) Media Sub Committee of the GMOA warned they would take legal action against Prof. Ranjini Gamage for allegedly making derogatory comments against former GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya and the Executive Committee Members in the media. Media Sub Committee member, Dr. Chandika Epitakaduwa said that Consultant Neurologist being in govt service had no right to issue comments to the media – even though she held several govt positions. more..

SL seek turnaround on sleepy SSC pitch

July 24 (CI) Things that have been more lively than the SSC Test pitches in recent years: the planet Mars, the SLPL's twitter account and the third floor of London's Langham Hotel in the dead of night. The last three Tests there have been draws. But with Sri Lanka requiring a win there to level the series, perhaps the ground-staff have produced a surface more akin to what first-class teams regularly encounter at SSC. more..

Sri Lanka A beats Ireland in the first ODI

July 24 (CI) Stuart Poynter scored a fighting century to rejuvenate a sinking Ireland chase but his innings couldn't quite take his team over the finish line, as Sri Lanka A wrapped up a 28-run win in the first unofficial ODI in Belfast. Chasing 284, Ireland were 107 for 7 when Eddie Richardson, who had taken a five-wicket haul in the visitors' innings, retired hurt. Craig Young then added 81 with Poynter before he became medium-pacer Dushmantha Chameera's fourth victim. more..

GSK – Novartis deal to benefit Sri Lanka

July 24 (CT) A major three-part global transaction between GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Novartis AG will generate benefits for consumers in Sri Lanka, particularly in the sphere of vaccines, GSK Pharmaceuticals Sri Lanka said this week, GSK said in a statement. GSK's position as the leading provider of vaccines to the domestic private market, to which it supplies vaccines that prevent 14 infectious diseases, will be consolidated further with the strengthening of its vaccine portfolio more..

BOC pioneers Rupee Currency Option in SL

July 24 (FT) Bank of Ceylon (BOC) yesterday reinforced its leadership by introducing the country’s first structured product with the launch of Sri Lankan Rupee Currency Option. The custom-made, in-house developed, structured derivative solution was formulated for the bank’s long-standing client Sierra Cables. With Sierra Cables wanting to hedge its foreign exchange exposure against volatile market conditions, BOC constructed more..

Touchwood Chief summoned after Liquidator complaint

July 24 (FT) Upon an application made by the liquidator to Court, stating the difficulties faced in proceeding with the liquidation due to the uncooperative nature of the representatives of Touchwood Investments Plc, the Judge of the Commercial High Court has ordered to issue notice on CEO L.W. Kiwlegedara to be present in Court on 31 July when the case is called next. Soon after Sudath Kumar of Nanayakkara & Company was appointed by Court to proceed with the more..

House adjourned abruptly for want of quorum

July 24 (Island) Parliament sittings were suspended abruptly around 5.35 pm yesterday as there was no quorum in the House. A debate on an adjournment motion on 1980 July strikers moved by UPFA MP Shantha Bandara was in progress when Minister Sumedha G. Jayasena got up to participate in the debate. UNP MP Gayantha Karunathilake pointed out that there was no quorum in the House. Presiding member UPFA MP Mohan de Silva rang the quorum bell thrice but could summon only more..

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