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Irate Ranil rings Maithri in London

July 24 (CT) Last week with the re-launch of www.manthri.lk, which keeps track of the performance of MPs in a scientific way, Verite Research an independent think tank who operates the website revealed the voters, how their elected members have performed in the new Parliament that came into power after 17 August 2015. It was not long ago that statistics revealed, it costs Rs 4.6 million of tax payers' money each sitting day more..

Namal emerges out of MR’s shadow

July 24 (Island) The present govt did much to further Namal Rajapaksa’s political career by arresting him. The govt’s contention was that he had taken a bribe from a property developer on the pretext of a promotional campaign for rugby. Namal’s defence was that this was indeed a donation to promote the sport. Sports are sponsored by private companies and nobody has complained that Namal solicited a bribe so it’s not surprising that he got bail after just one week. more..

Coal purchase tender politics revealed as UPFA rebels gear up for march

July 24 (SO) The clash that occurred at the University of Jaffna, last weekend, was a manifestation of the communal sentiments dominating Sri Lanka’s post-war politics since May, 2009. As much as racism has plagued the country’s political spectrum in the South, it has done the same damage to the North, coming out of a traumatic experience of a 30-year long war. It all began with an innocuous fresher’s welcome held at the Jaffna University over the weekend. more..

Anura Kumara Disanayake

Coaching the opponent

July 24 (ST) My Dear Murali, I am writing to congratulate you on your appointment as a spin bowling coach for Australia for their series against Sri Lanka. You must be feeling fantastic because you have been recruited by the same country which labelled you a ‘chucker’ and tried to ‘throw’ you out of the game for good! The deal you did with them sounds a bit like the Chinese Port City agreement: they say that your services were obtained for an undisclosed sum. more..

RTI: Let it be implemented in spirit

July 24 (ST) It is some irony that information on the status of the Right to the Access of Information (RTI) Bill that was passed unanimously by Parliament a fortnight ago is itself so hard to access. What has now transpired (having to ferret out the information the old fashioned way) is that after the passage of the Bill and the Speaker ready with his pen to give his assent to make the Bill into law, some niggle on the wording cropped up and his hand was stayed. Bill with the amendments moved on the floor more..

'Country needs a complete overhaul'

July 24 (SL) UNP MP Kavinda Jayawardena is of the view that changing one aspect of the country’s system is not enough and we need a complete overhaul. Previous govt changed the constitution and brought in amendments to protect their own interests. Govt and all political parties need to sit together and discuss as to what changes should be made or if we should instead go in for a completely new constitution. more..

Lanka: Vital cog in US 7th fleet

July 24 (CT) We wrote a few weeks ago that the govt was taking Sri Lanka deeper into the pro-west big league in global affairs with a redefined foreign policy, far removed from the hallucination of non-alignment. As a US commentator once put it succinctly, "the only non-aligned countries in the world are Russia and China. The rest, with no offence meant to the late Sirimavo Bandaranaike, is hoopla. US Marine Corps' Lieut. Gen. John A. Toolan Jr., a 7-star war veteran who more..

Egg on the face

July 24 (Island) Higher Education and Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella, who is also the Leader of the House, has ended up with a lot of egg on his face about profligacy in the Road Development Authority recruiting dozens of so-called consultants for various projects at considerable cost to the exchequer. These passengers on the RDA payroll are obviously of no benefit to the taxpayer whose money in being freely handed out to pay off political debts. more..

Public sector medicines below par?

July 24 (SO) The pharmaceutical storage mechanism within the state sector is not safe and does not conform to the proper methods in transporting and storing the drugs in hospitals, a senior consultant says, “Govt health institutions all over the country have to use their own vehicles to transport their required drug quota from Medical Supplies Division. Almost all these vehicles – generally, lorries, are devoid of A/C. more..

The five year bond of matrimony

July 24 (SL) UNP-SLFP marriage will run beyond its agreed two-year term to a full term of five years – till 2020, SLFP General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake announced on Thursday while PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, the leader of the UNP too assured that this govt will go for its full five-year term. This is not only good news but the only option available because the opposition to it, the so called Joint Opposition, while attempting to demonstrate its capacity to destroy a democratic govt, more..

What is a pogrom?

July 24 (SO) The older generation Sri Lankans may have been struck by the coincidence of last week’s minor clash between Sinhala and Tamil students in Jaffna University on the eve of the 33rd anniversary of the Black July ethnic riots in 1983. The 1983 riots were actually less of a violent clash between Tamils and Sinhalese citizens and more of a pogrom by Sinhalese against Tamils. But the fact that the pogrom was provoked by a military incident in which 13 army troopers died more..

What’s touted as Tamil King Elara’s tomb is a fable, says Historian

July 23 (ENS) What is touted as the tomb of the Sri Lankan Tamil King Elara in Anuradhapura district, is actually a fable, says noted historian, Prof. S. Pathmanathan. “There is no evidence of Elara’s tomb anywhere. If the massive pile of burnt bricks near Anuradhapura is being touted as Elara’s tomb, it is because nobody is able to read the inscription on it, which is in Tamil Brahmi script,” he said. more..

SAITM to be run as Private Public Partnership: Kiriella

July 23 (DM) Minister Lakshman Kiriella yesterday said seven out of eight Medical Faculty Deans, had agreed with him for a Private Public Partnership (PPP) to run the SAITM in Malabe. The Minister said that a discussion was held in this regard on Thursday and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also attended the meeting. Minister Kiriella said a model would be worked out for such partnerships to attract private sector investment in the Higher Education Sector in Sri Lanka. more..

NCPA hotline for harassed & bullied children

July 23 (DN) National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) has set up a hotline, for children Being harassed or bullied online or via mobile devices.The NCPA is currently working on several different fronts to combat the growing threat to children posed by the improper use of the internet and mobile devices to harass and bully children both sexually and otherwise. The 24 hour confidential telephone line, is separate from the 1929 line, for children and young persons who are being bullied, harassed, more..

PM slams media for backing MR

July 23 (PTI) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe accused the country's print media of backing the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa with a view to see him back in power. PM said he would name the media personnel who had benefited during the Rajapaksa presidency and who are now bidding for his return. He named the Daily Mirror, the English daily, and Financial Times daily, for allegedly favouring Rajapaksa. more..

Kuwait to partner with Lankan fishery sector

July 23 (DN) Kuwait, the Persian Gulf economy with a longstanding aquaculture tradition, revealed its keenness for Lankan seafood -and also expressed interest to partner with the Lankan fishery industry, Kuwaiti Commerce Minister Yousuf M.Abdullah Al-Ali said. The Kuwaiti Foreign Minister was speaking with Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen on the side-lines of 14th Session of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (#UNCTAD14) in Nairobi, Kenya on July 18. more..

More corruption concerns in Sri Lanka?

July 23 (HP) Arjuna Mahendran, former central bank governor, appears be back in business. President Sirisena appointed Mahendran as governor in Jan 2015, after Mahinda Rajapaksa lost the presidency. Mahendran is a controversial figure whose tenure at the central bank was plagued by scandal; he still hasn’t been exonerated. (Mahendran had expressed an interest in being reappointed to an additional term as governor and is close to Ranil Wickremesinghe, nation’s prime minister.) more..

Ministers accuse Customs of collusion

July 23 (CT) Several ministers will shortly submit a petition calling for action by President and PM on the failure of Customs officials to detect two recent cocaine hauls valued at Rs 6.11 billion, which the Police Narcotics Bureau and the STF jointly uncovered in undercover operations. These ministers pointed out that the failure of Customs men to detect the smuggled narcotics had prompted them to urge both President and PM to probe more..

Man dressed in Burka arrested at BIA

July 23 (AD) Police have called for background reports regarding the man who was arrested while dressing in a Burka at the BIA in Katunayake. He was arrested this afternoon by airport security for suspicious behavior. During questioning, the 30-year-old from Colombo 12 had said he was dressed in a Burka, full body clothing worn by Muslim women, in order to surprise his girlfriend who was returning from Qatar. However, as some of his statements were contradictory, more..

Finance Minister to meet Customs officials

July 23 (NS) President Sirisena has promised Customs trade unions that he will within two weeks arrange a meeting between Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake, Finance Ministry officials, the Customs administration and the trade unions, regarding the proposed repeal of the Customs Ordinance. Customs trade unions met President this week. Secretary of All Ceylon Customs Services Union, J. Gunathilaka said that President had however not promised anything more..

Run Cricket like a company: Ana Punchihewa

July 23 (WI) After seeing through Sri Lanka’s successful World Cup campaign in 1996, Ana Punchihewa, the then Sri Lanka Cricket Board president, had never thought he would fail at the election of office bearers. But on March 31 just few days after Sri Lanka won the World Cup, he was left devastated when he was beaten by Upali Dharmadasa at the election to wrest control of the Board, an institution that was destined for more..

Sri Lanka A slump to third loss

July 23 (CI) A 139-run third-wicket stand between opener Jaahid Ali and captain Babar Azam set up a four-wicket win for Pakistan A over SL A in Northampton. The partnership, coming off 154 balls, helped Pakistan A ride a mini-collapse to win with 11 balls to spare. Sri Lanka A made brisk progress after opting to bat, largely thanks to Niroshan Dickwella's 31-ball 44 and Bhanuka Rajapaksa's 63-ball 56. But wickets fell at regular intervals - by the 34th over, Sri Lanka A had slipped to 173 for 6. more..

Biggest ever cocaine haul: No arrests yet

July 23 (Island) Police Narcotic Bureau had not arrested anyone yet in connection with the biggest ever cocaine bust in Sri Lanka, a high ranking officer said. He said that they had recovered 274 parcels of cocaine weighing 301 kilos. "One kilo of cocaine has a street value of Rs. 15 million and the total street value of the narcotic would be over Rs. 4,500 million," PNB officer said. Cocaine had been smuggled into the country from Brazil via Portugal and the detection was made at more..

Three members of the family of Kiriella’s media secy. appointed RDA consultants: JVP

July 23 (Island) JVP MP Dr Nalinda Jayatissa accused Minister Lakshman Kiriella of misleading the House by providing false information regarding the number of consultants the latter had hired for the RDA. "When I asked for the number of consultants, minister said 45. Actually there are 56 consultants. Instead of correcting himself he accused me of lying to the House. I made a mistake when I said two members of the same family more..

Mackwoods Chairman responds to SEC’s directive

July 23 (LBO) Chairman of Mackwoods Plantations, Dr Chrishantha Nonis, says the sale of 60.8 percent shares of Agalawatte Plantations PLC was carried out with due authorization and instructions being issued to the stock broker. On 14th of July, Browns Power Holdings (Private) Limited purchased 15,200,000 ordinary shares, or 60.3 percent, of Agalawatte Plantations PLC (AGAL.N.0000) on the Colombo Stock Exchange from Mackwood Plantations for 304 million rupees. more..

Children of the Vavuniya, Madukanda National School met the President

July 23 (PSL) Children of the Vavuniya, Madukanda National School met President Maithripala Sirisena today (22) at the President’s House. These children met the President, accepting an invitation by him. During the President’s recent visit in Bogaswewa, Madukanda, Tharika Mihirangi, a student of the Madukanda National School made a request from the President to give an opportunity to make him knowledgeable about the defects of their school. Accordingly, President gave the opportunity more..

Vavuniya economic centre site tussle lands on district official’s desk

July 23 (ST) As northern politicos are at loggerheads over a venue for a proposed dedicated economic centre in Vavuniya, the cabinet directed the District Secretary last week to hold the District Coordination Committee meeting to decide whether Thandikulam or Omanthai should be selected. District Secretary of Vavuniya, M.B.R. Pushpakumara, said that he has been preparing for the meeting. “This issue has been dragging more..

Poisoned

July 23 (ST) Officers of Department of Wildlife Conservation’s (DWC) Hambantota recently uncovered a racket taking place within the precincts of forest reserves and jungles in the Mahaweli basin in the Hambantota district. Method used by poachers is to poison small waterholes and/or actually dig waterholes which they poison. Several suspects have already been arrested. Two suspects were apprehended by officers of the Hambantota DWC within a section of Mahaweli forest at more..

Unregulated cosmetics still in the market

July 23 (NS) Consumer rights groups bemoaned that the lack of a regulatory authority with regard to cosmetics including skin creams and perfumes had resulted in major issues across the country, arising out of complications resulting from their use. National Movement for Consumer Rights Protection (NMCRP) highlighted that at present neither the Ministry of Health nor the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) were regulating such imports, adding that the CAA looked at solely the date of expiration. more..

President laying siege on MR clan?

July 23 (CT) Mahinda Amaraweera, UPFA General Secretary and Minister, said that President was willing to give any appointment, including a ministerial portfolio, to MP Chamal Rajapaksa, if the latter joined the govt. Minister said, that he had been appointed as the head of the Hambantota District Development Committee as its former head Chamal Rajapaksa had not attended some recent meetings of the Committee. more..

Students go berserk after new drug

July 23 (CT) Several students attending a leading school in Sewanagala are reported to have seriously lacerated their wrists with shards of glass while stoned on narcotics and alcohol. Inquiries made by the school's Principal have revealed that the boys had inhaled what is believed to be a new hallucinatory narcotic substance in the market. Following complaints lodged with the Sewanagala Police on 20 July, the students had been summoned to the Police station for questioning. more..

Judge orders indefinite remand

July 23 (CT) Colombo High Court (CHC) Judge Manilal Widyathilaka Thursday ordered the 3 Navy officers indicted on a charge of assassinating former MP Nadaraja Raviraj, and his security officer, to be further remanded indefinitely until conclusion of the case. The suspects Prasanna Chandana Kumara, Gamini Kumara and Pradeep Chaminda were indicted by the Attorney General (AG) who in addition filed charges against 4 other suspects, in the CHC, of conspiring in the killing more..

Douglas wants Elara's tomb traced, preserved

July 23 (Island) Opposition MP Douglas Devananda requested the govt to locate and preserve the tomb of King Elara. EPDP leader Devananda said in Parliament that misinterpretations of history had caused some people to believe that the Dutugemunu-Elara war had been a communal conflict whereas in reality it had been a battle for of the Anuradhapura Kingdom. "Some claim that it was a communal conflict more..

Pain-free Starc targets Angelo Mathews

July 23 (CI) Freed of ankle pain that halved the range of movement in his right foot, Mitchell Starc has forecast a concerted Australian attack on Sri Lanka's captain Angelo Mathews in the three-Test series that begins in Pallekele on Tuesday. Following a dispiriting tour of England and amid a surfeit of injuries to Sri Lanka's fast bowlers, Mathews is set to face a searching examination from the No. 1-ranked Australians, who have often worked diligently to undermine the authority more..

SL condemns deadly shooting in Munich

July 23 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka condemned the deadly shooting in the German city of Munich on Friday which left at least 9 people dead and 16 others injured. Foreign Ministry Spokespersonsaid that Sri Lanka extended its condolences to the families of the victims and wished a quick recovery to those injured. An 18-year-old German-Iranian who had lived in Munich for at least two years is alleged to be responsible for the attack after he opened fire in a busy shopping mall in Munich on Friday, more..

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