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SLC crisis defused for time being

Aug 24 (ST) The SLC conundrum that erupted into a major administrative controversy last week, took a positive turn when its President Jayantha Dharmadasa decided to indefinitely postpone the proposed stakeholders gathering which was to be presented under the banner “Proposal for Development of Cricket”. A major war of wits erupted between SLC President Dharmadasa & its Secretary Nishantha more..

Major scale Japanese investments in SL

Aug 24 (GDI) A discussion on Japanese investments in Sri Lanka between the Minister Basil Rajapaksa and Thadai Suki, Chairman of Japan Sri Lanka Enterprise Committee, took place recently at the Ministry premises. Minister Basil Rajapaksa expressing his views at the discussion stated ” We have been enjoying very successful business relations between us for a long time. At the same time, Japanese Govt made major scale investments in our country. more..

Achieving a trade surplus in 2020: A challenging task

Aug 24 (ST) An important objective of the Govt is to achieve a trade surplus by 2020. This key objective, according to Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera, is to be achieved through two strategies: Import substitution and increased exports. This is a challenging task given the trade deficits of more than US$ 7 billion in recent years and exports being only about 45 per cent of the value of imports. However, aiming for a trade surplus is a laudable objective that must be backed up by policies that more..

Otara, Mahela, Sanga etc.. take up Ice Bucket Challenge

Aug 24 (DM) Several local celebrities including politicians, singers and cricketers took a dousing during the past few days in the name of raising funds for various charities by being part of the Ice Bucket Challenge that has taken up the online sphere by storm. Among the local celebrities who have participated in the challenge and posted the videos so far includes Otara Gunawardena, Iraj Weeraratne, Bathiya Jayakody, more..

Sivajilingam accepts amendments

Aug 24 (SL) Northern Provincial Council Member of the TNA M.K Sivajilingam says he is open for amendments to the motions that he submitted to the Northern Provincial Council at its 14th session last week. Sivagalingam said that members of his party had not rejected his motions but only suggested amending some wordings. “Some of them expressed their views on the practicality of calling for investigations since 1974 as it requires covering a long period of time. more..

Second ODI moved to Hambantota

Aug 24 (CI) The second ODI between Sri Lanka and Pakistan has been moved to Hambantota and brought forward to 26 Aug, after the Premadasa Stadium outfield was left waterlogged by 48 hours of continuous heavy rain. More bad weather is expected in Colombo over the next few days, making a recovery unlikely for the ground, as well as putting play in doubt on match day. SLC had considered moving the match to Dambulla, where the third ODI is to be played, but because more..

UN probe witnesses being paid?

Aug 24 (SL) Speaking of the UN led investigation on war crimes and human rights issues at the Defence Seminar organised by the Sri Lankan Army, Minister G.L. Peiris claimed that there are instances where people are being paid to give evidence. Several civil society activists and Tamil political leaders expressed their opinion to The Sunday Leader about the statement made by the minister. No necessity for anybody to pay more..

All eyes on Delhi for support

Aug 24 (SL) It is now clear that the government is likely to win the support of Indian PM Narendra Modi through the support of Dr Subramanium Swamy, who is known to be a close friend of Sri Lanka. Even when the bilateral relations between India and Sri Lanka were strained towards the end of the former PM Dr Manmohan Singh’s tenure in India, Dr Swamy vehemently defended the govt of Sri Lanka and President Rajapaksa. While the govt was trying to develop an equation with PM Modi, more..

Rohan Gunaratne throws some punches

Aug 24 (NS) Parliament last week could have been just another week without anything special to talk about but for a special lecture organized by the Sri Lanka Parliamentary Journalists’ Association (SLPJA). The lecture was delivered on Wednesday (20) by Prof Rohan Gunaratna, head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies affiliated to the Nanyang University of Singapore. more..

'We have a good relationship with US'

Aug 24 (NS) Newly appointed Ambassador to the United States, Prasad Kariywasam says that Sri Lanka continues to maintain a cordial relationship with US despite its concerns on Sri Lanka’s human rights issues. He stated that he had held discussions with US President Barrack Obama and several officials of the US State Department with regard to strengthening the bilateral relationship. Kariyawasam who was in SL more..

Defence Seminar 2014

Aug 24 (NS) The fourth annual defense seminar organized by the Sri Lanka Army was held in Colombo amid much pageantry and fanfare. In the words of the Army itself, the event was ‘aimed at inspiring discourse on the rise of Nations after a conflict with the objective of showcasing Sri Lanka’s progress in development and reconciliation’. The three-day gathering having concluded has left one with time and space to reflect, giving rise to questions such as what Sri Lanka more..

Come on, common candidate!

Aug 24 (ST) My Dear Common Candidate, I thought I must write to you — whoever you are — because everyone is searching high and low for you these days. Despite various reports about various people from time to time, no one seems to have found you yet — and time is running out because Mahinda maama may soon call for elections. I am told that you may come in the form of someone from the Green camp who contested twice and lost, once to Satellite because Velupillai injured her more..

'President doing much for the North'

Aug 24 (SL) There were reports of protests staged in India against the leader of BJP, Subramanian Swamy’s recent visit to Sri Lanka to participate at the Defence Seminar held in Colombo. In an interview conducted on the sidelines of the seminar, Swamy told reporters that such petty acts would undoubtedly impact on Indo-Lanka relations. “Now it would be a one-to-one between the PM of India and the President of SL, more..

Targetted sanctions; the new weapons of war

Aug 24 (ST) Sanctions are the necessary middle ground between war and words, said Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General. Today, sanctions are widely used as a political tool to impose the will of some countries upon others, without the commitment of troops or military hardware. The United States takes the lead. Its list of designated persons is more than 500 pages long and there are separate sanctions regimes for countries. The Office of the US Treasury unabashedly states that more..

Sajith’s move(s)

Aug 24 (NS) The faith of South Asian people in dynastic rule is astounding considering all the braggadocio about democratic traditions. There have been the odd ‘outsider’ of course but by and large the political stories of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and as of late the Maldives have been about fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, brothers and sisters. It’s not a two generation thing either, for there are grandparents and grandchildren as well. more..

'UPFA victory assured'

Aug 24 (SO) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said the people of Uva Wellassa were grateful, politically mature and cannot be fooled by fabricated stories and media gimmicks. Minister in an interview with the Sunday Observer said that the UNP was no threat whatsoever to the UPFA at the upcoming Uva Provincial Council Elections, because the people have no faith or confidence in the UNP. There is no vibrant leadership in the UNP more..

The solution is in Colombo not New Delhi

Aug 24 (SL) A delegation from the Tamil National Alliance is scheduled to visit New Delhi to meet the all-powerful Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his newly appointed ministers and other officials. The new prime minister’s foreign policy, particularly to his South Asian neighbours, is expected to be different from the previous Congress governments but three months after his election, when he effused goodwill to neighbours, changes if any, are hardly discernible. more..

Blending security and development

Aug 24 (SO) Jordan's Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid al Hussein, a seasoned human rights campaigner, will take over from Navi Pillay as the UN High Commissioner for Human rights from Sept 1. It is earnestly hoped that the new UNHRC chief would act in an impartial and transparent manner while respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all UN member countries. Prince Hussein has a huge responsibility to restore the UNHRC to its pristine glory and protect original principles more..

Red Light on revenue

Aug 23 (DM) A confidential report by a cabinet subcommittee states that Sri Lanka’s tax revenue is only 11% of the GDP for last year and that the govt revenue as a percentage of the GDP has been on the decline, therefore the estimates for 2015 are unrealistic and unachievable under the existing tax regime. Report states that there has been a shortfall in revenue even in the first quarter of this year, leaving govt’s development goals in disarray. more..

Ranil turns to cricket before elections

Aug 23 (CG) The UNP has decided to promote cricket by organising games in Colombo and outside while focusing on establishing a UNP led Govt. UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said that historically the party had focused a lot on sports and as part of this the youth front of the UNP staged a cricket event in Colombo today. He said the youth wing will stage similar cricket events in other districts and pick the best teams for future matches while games will also be staged for seniors which more..

WPC to ban tuition on Poya days & Sundays

Aug 23 (DM) Western Province CM Prasanna Ranatunga has decided to prohibit private tuition on Full Moon Poya Days and Sunday mornings as done by Central and Sabaragamuwa Chief Ministers Sarath Ekanayaka and W.J.M. Lokubandara. At a function to mark the distribution of Rs.100,000 to daham pasals in the Western Province under the ‘SarudhamArunella’ programme, he said laws will be introduced in the WP to prohibit private tuition on Poya Days and Sunday mornings. more..

Potato farmers mashed by imports

Aug 23 (ST) A special commodity levy imposed on potato imports has failed to help local farmers due to the increasing cost of cultivation, farmers claim. Potato cultivators in the Uva province fear losing their livelihood as they could not compete with the prices offered by big-time potato importers. The Ministry of Finance and Planning recently imposed a special commodity levy for imported potatoes and large onions. more..

India to build new Cultural Centre and Municipal building for Jaffna

Aug 23 (Island) The Jaffna Municipal Council was planning to construct a new building and a fully-fledged Cultural centre with funds granted by the govt of India, Mayoress Yogeswari Patkunarajah said. She said that Cabinet approval had been granted for the construction of a new building to meet present day needs of the ratepayers of Jaffna at a cost of Rs. 780 mn and the Cultural Centre at a cost of Rs. 1,030 million. Patkunarajah, who heads the EPDP-led administration of more..

Former LTTE Colonel pleads guilty for Janaka Perera assasination

Aug 23 (AM) A former ‘colonel’ of the LTTE has pleaded guilty for the assassination of former Opposition Leader of the North Western Provincial Council Major General Janaka Perera. Shanmuganathan Suthaharan of Chenkaladi in Batticaloa District has pleaded guilty for the assassination when he was produced before the Anuradhapura High Court judge Sunanda Rathnayake yesterday. The sentence on Suthaharan will be delivered on Sept 5. more..

Maqsood, Fawad power Pakistan in stunning chase

Aug 23 (CI) Three-fourths of the way through this first ODI, the match seemed to be over as a contest. But just when the spectators at Hambantota might have resigned themselves to watch the game drag itself to a stultifying finish, Pakistan staged one of those incredible revivals that sprinkle 50-over cricket with that dash of magic. The protagonists in this drama were Sohaib Maqsood and Fawad Alam, who added 147 runs for more..

Lack of proper National Wage Policy blamed for most problems

Aug 23 (Island) GMOA said the concept of a National Wage Policy introduced in 2006 on the recommendations of Tissa Devendra and Lionel Fernando salary reform committees had not been implemented. GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said the GMOA Executive Committee on August 21 had unanimously decided to bring to the notice of President Rajapaksa that for want of a sound National Wage Policy wildcat strike, agitations against salary anomalies, personality clashes more..

Training for sportsmen and athletes in British Army to be explored

Aug 23 (GDI) Possibilities for exchange of sports programmes and sports training opportunities between Sri Lanka Army and British Army are to be explored in the future through diplomatic channels in the UK as a result of extensive discussions that ensued when Dr Chris Nonis, Sri Lanka's High Commissioner for UK called on the Commander of the Army, Daya Ratnayake at the Army Headquarters. Dr Nonis who arrived in Sri Lanka in order to make concluding remarks at the more..

Customs confiscated 75kg of gold at BIA in 6 months

Aug 23 (NS) Around 100 people have been detained at the BIA in Katunayake during the first six months of this year after they were detected trying to smuggle gold out of the country, Sri Lanka Customs revealed. Customs Media Spokesman Leslie Gamini said Customs officials had confiscated a combined total of 75 kilograms of gold from these individuals. Total value of the gold amounts to Rs.300 million, more..

Errant elbows, and Priyanjan's shuffle

Aug 23 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara had just arrived at the crease when he drove hard at a wide one from Junaid Khan. He connected well, but hit it uppishly, to the right of Fawad Alam at cover. Alam flew horizontally and grabbed the ball with his right hand, but his - and Pakistan's - joy only lasted the few fractions of a second that elapsed till he landed, the impact of his elbow against the outfield causing the ball to pop out of his grasp. Dinesh Chandimal came into this match with some form behind more..

CCD gets 31 tip-offs on illegal weapons

Aug 23 (Island) Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) has so far received 31 tip-offs regarding the persons in possession of illegal firearms in the Western and other provinces. SSP Ajith Rohana said that most of the culprits were in the Western Province and they would be arrested soon. The unit had nabbed two suspects in Pindeniya and Kegalle recently and they had been prosecuted. One of them was a ruling party member of the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council, Imitiaz Cader. more..

No apparent owners for baby jumbo rescued at Matale

Aug 23 (ST) Police claim the baby elephant rescued from Matale last week was transported from a house belonging to the Kandy Mayor Mahendra Ratwatte. “According to testimonies of the apprehended driver and the mahout, the baby elephant was being transported from the household of the Mayor of Kandy,” Matale Police OIC Wimal Shantha said. Mayor Ratwatte was not immediately available for comment. more..

Divi Neguma is a national movement implemented by public and private sectors

Aug 23 (FT) Minister Basil Rajapaksa stated that the Divi Neguma program is not a program confined to a single ministry, but a national movement jointly implemented by the public and private sector including the NGOs. Therefore, the assistance of all quarters is essential for its successful implementation. Rajapaksa was addressing an awareness program on the implementation of the sixth phase of the Divi Neguma program conducted on 18 August at Ape Gama premises, more..

Jolly tours bring UPFA & UNP councilors together

Aug 23 (LT) The Chairman, UPFA and UNP councilors of Ja-ela Pradeshiya Sabha are to undertake a tour to Malaysia using funds of the Pradeshiya Sabha say reports. The group includes 16 councilors and the Pradeshiya Sabha has allocated Rs.130,000 from public funds for each councilor. They have also passed US$50 for each councilor. Councilors of the UPFA and UNP have voted for the proposal for the tour. Only the JVP councilor of the Pradeshiya Sabha Keerthi more..

DHL Express excited about Govt.’s five-hub strategy; sees key

Aug 23 (FT) Yasmin Aladad Khan, the Senior Vice President for Southeast Asia and South Asia of DHL Express, the world’s leading cross-border express services provider, was in Sri Lanka last week for the first time. Her visit was hot on the heels of DHL Express recently uniting the management of two of the world’s fastest growing regions – South East Asia and South Asia. During her visit Yasmin met with customers and more..

I’m isolated – Maithripala

Aug 23 (LT) “The Ministry of Health has various directors and generals in large numbers. However, when I, as the Minister of Health, participated for this function not a single general or for that matter even a soldier has come. Today, I feel lonely,” says the Minister of Health Maithripala Sirisena. He said despite allocations have been passed to buy equipment necessary for hospitals, officials follow a policy of marking time and he doesn’t know the reason for it. more..

FAO praised for rehabilitating Pookulam tank

Aug 23 (Island) The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) says in a statement that rehabilitation of Pookulam tank by it and EU has brought relief to farmers experiencing difficulties during the continuing drought. The statement quoted President of Thevipuram B Farmers Organisation, Kandaiya Krishnapillai as having said: "I am 63 years old. This is the second worst drought that I have experienced in my life time. The first one was in 1973. If our tank had not been more..