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COPE report proves CB governor intervened in scam: JVP

July 2 (DM) JVP alleged it was clear from the written evidence in the COPE report that Central Bank Governor Arjun Mahendran had intervened in the Central Bank Treasury bond issue. Former JVP MP Sunil Handunneththi said that they had produced even the audio records of the agents to the COPE. He said if the govt wanted to submit the COPE report to parliament, it could have done so but certain UNPers wanted to deter it more..

TULF seeks to form Tamil common front

July 2 (CG) Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) has called on Tamil Political Parties including those of the South and the Upcountry to get united under one banner to form a common front, as an alternative to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in the interest of the Tamil speaking people. TULF General Secretary V. Anandasangaree said that the TULF is the only Political Party that has the moral right to represent the Tamil people in all their activities. more..

Prasanna's wife summoned by FCID

July 2 (AM) Police Financial Crimes Investigations Division summoned the wife of Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga to question over an alleged financial fraud, Police Media Unit said. The questioning follows a recent complaint by a businessman from Moratuwa who alleged that Ranatunga had solicited a bribe of Rs. 64 million and accepted a bribe of Rs. 15 million. It was alleged that Ranatunga accepted the bribe by a cheque written in his wife's name. more..

Sri Lanka net domestic borrowings rise 74%

July 2 (EN) Sri Lanka's domestic borrowings rose 74% from a year earlier to 339.5 billion rupees in the first four months of 2015 topping the overall deficit of 271.5 billion rupees amid net foreign loan repayments, official data showed. Revenues rose 15% from a year earlier to 395.1 billion rupees, with tax revenues rising 16.1% helped by a crackdown on illegal alcohol and rising vehicle imports driven by low interest rates. more..

Chamal to be named as PM candidate?

July 2 (AD) A request has been made to nominate former Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa as the Prime Ministerial candidate of the SLFP, Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said. The observation was made at a press conference held today. “However, the former Speaker has apprised the President that he is about to retire from politics,” said Amunugama. The Minister also pointed out that the request was made by several Mps who represent neither pro nor anti-Mahinda Rajapaksa clan. more..

Shasheendra to contest Parliament election

July 2 (CG) Former Uva Province Chief Minister Shasheendra Rajapaksa says he will be contesting the upcoming Parliament elections. Rajapaksa, who was among those present at Madamulana yesterday to extend support to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, told the Colombo Gazette that he will be contesting from the Monaragala district. Shasheendra Rajapaksa said that all those supporting former President Mahinda Rajapaksa are keen to protect the SLFP. more..

Karunaratne relishes batting under pressure

July 2 (CI) When Dimuth Karunaratne was out for a duck in his first Test innings, he was following in the footsteps of other openers in the dressing room. Batting coach Marvan Atapattu had also begun his career with a zero and the then-manager Charith Senanayake, who had awarded Karunaratne his Test cap, was no different. But it was in the third day of that match that Karunaratne set up a trend that would define more..

Teams in flux square up for decider

July 2 (CI) With the series tied, it's tempting to invoke the idea of momentum. Pakistan have more experience, you might say, but Sri Lanka are more confident following the win at the P Sara Oval. But as unhelpful a gauge as momentum is normally, it's even less useful for matches between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Already in this series, each team has proved capable of stirring highs and stinking lows. To add to this uncertainty: both teams are in flux. Pakistan will be forced to make at least more..

Our best chance to beat SL at home: Misbah

July 2 (CI) Pakistan might have been a dominant team in Sri Lanka before 2009, but in the last six years, they have enjoyed little success, having last won a series in the island nation in 2006. This is the first time since then that Pakistan have come close to registering a victory, with the series locked 1-1 ahead of the third and final Test. Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan's captain, felt his team had a big chance to create history since the hosts will be without both Mahela and Sangakkara for the final Test. more..

SL suspends fuel contracts worth millions

July 2 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corp (Ceypetco) has suspended oil contracts worth millions of dollars that were signed last year for fuel deliveries, the company chairman said. "We have suspended some previous contracts due to (Ceypetco) not following standard competitive guidelines and standards," said Ranjith Wickremesingha, chairman of Ceypetco. Under some of the contracts, companies have been more..

MS won't give nominations to MR: Rajitha

July 2 (DM) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that as far as he knew President Maithripala Sirisena had not changed his stance that Mahinda Rajapaksa would not be given nomination. He said in response to a query, that the president had made it clear that Mr. Rajapaksa would not receive nomination from the SLFP President Sirisena had firmly expressed his position -- that he would not give nomination to Mr. Rajapaksa. That position had not changed since, he said. more..

Investment advisor fined over Rs 1mn for offence

July 2 (EN) An investment advisor on the stock market has been fined over a million rupees to settle an offence to manipulate the share market, the capital markets regulator has revealed. The SEC said it imposed a fine of 1.1 million rupees on an investment advisor in order to compound an offence of conspiracy to manipulate the market/ price of a share. The offence was compounded on the request made by the accused in a case that was pending before the Magistrate’s Court Fort, more..

Video: Imminent MR faction exit a blessing for SLFP: Amunugama

July 2 (DM) Alluding to a certain split within the SLFP led UPFA, Minister Sarath Amunugama said the SLFP felt the situation came as a miserable pleasure because the gap created by the Mahinda Rajapaksa faction's exit, could be filled with educated youth in the nomination lists at the upcoming Parliamentary elections. He said when Parliament was dissolved last Friday, the SLFP had 127 members in Parliament. more..

SLFP needs Rajapaksa to win: Duminda

July 2 (AM) Former UPFA MP R. Duminda Silva said that the SLFP cannot win the forthcoming general election without the support of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa. Speaking at a public meeting in Homagama, Silva hinted that he will contest forthcoming general election under the ticket of pro-Rajapaksa faction. He also said that his objective was to form a new SLFP govt under the leadership of Rajapaksa. Silva refuted all allegations against him and said he will not stop more..

Shares fall below key barrier; banks lead

July 2 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares ended at a 2-1/2 month low on Thursday, falling below a key psychological barrier of 7,000 points, led by banks and telecommunication shares as political uncertainty ahead of parliamentary elections weighed on sentiment. The main stock index ended 0.54% weaker at 6,982.80, its lowest close since April 15. The day's turnover was 435.6 million rupees ($3.26 million), well below this year's daily average of 1.06 billion rupees. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sirisena, Wickremasinghe & Rakapaksa Dilemmas

June 2 (CT) Political maize in Sri Lanka has further complicated after the dissolution of the Parliament without passing 20A which is a demand and a promise by Sirisena to the people agitated for a change. Whose decision was the snap elections and who runs the country is a mystery and known to few. Some say people now need a change for the changes made due to dissatisfaction and disappointment of the state of affairs today. Sirisena is in a dilemma sandwiched between more..

August polls: The need for women

June 2 (CT) It appears that while supposedly retired politicians and new aspirants scramble for nominations before the closing date on 15 July, the political parties in their fervour to return to power may forget one crucial factor. They may end up dashing the hopes of 51% of Sri Lanka's population, who expect that at least in this election the number of women in Parliament would increase from a measly 5.8% to at least 30%. This topic came into the limelight in the past few weeks when more..

DEW flaks Ranil and Sujeewa

July 2 (CT) Chairman of the COPE D.E.W. Gunasekera said recent statements made by everyone including PM, Ranil Wickremesinghe and former Deputy Minister, Sujeewa Senasinghe regarding the controversial Treasury bonds issue were all absolute drivel. We have obtained the telephone call records pertaining to conversations between Bank of Ceylon and Central Bank, plus 30 persons have given evidence under oath, more..

'Govt won’t stop foreign borrowings'

July 2 (Island) Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said that it would be in Sri Lanka’s economic interests to continue with govt borrowings both onshore and offshore, in order to preserve the continued momentum of economic growth and to re-affirm the strong positive image in the minds of lending institutions that Sri Lanka was fast becoming a mature democracy where political events did not unduly affect the workings of more..

The Mystery over Maria

July 2 (DM) Sri Lanka has been a country that has always worked in line with its friendly allies to maintain and enhance ties as means of strengthening international relations. These ties include partnerships for import and export trade and other business initiatives which aim at the development of the country. While every country would fall prey to illegal offshore activities, it is nothing new to Sri Lanka. more..

'Why would MS give nomination to a rejected President'

July 2 (DN) If by chance former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was given nomination to contest forthcoming General Election by President Maithripala Sirisena, the political parties that supported him to dislodge Rajapaksa will be forced to take serious political decisions against the President, Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said. "Why would President Sirisena want to give nomination to a rejected President", asked Ranatunga. more..

Thajudeen’s phone records could not be retrieved

July 2 (AM) Filing an affidavit to court today, Dialog Axiata informed that it was unable to provide telephone records of Wasim Thajudeen to the CID due to technical and practical difficulties. The company said that it keeps records of telephone calls for only a duration of three months. Colombo Aditional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris asked the company to assist the investigations in whatever capacity possible. more..

Why Mattala could not take off: Here’s the plane truth

July 2 (ST) Since it opened two years ago, much was done to make Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport viable. Little or nothing has worked. Incentives have included rock-bottom handling, landing and parking charges. Businesses were offered exemptions on customs duty, exchange control and import-export regulations to set up shop in surrounding areas. Even liquor was cheaper at the duty free. more..

Polls chief’s intervention sought to stop formation of Drug Regulatory Authority

July 2 (Island) The Govt Medical Officers’ Forum (GMOF) has sought Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya’s immediate intervention to thwart the Health Ministry moving to establish a Drug Regulatory Authority (DRA) in violation of the Parliamentary Election law. The DRA is formed in accordance with the new National Medicinal Drug, Devices and Cosmetic Authority policy. GMOF Secretary Dr Jayantha Abeyratne more..

Swan symbol revived

July 2 (DM) The swan symbol may appear again on ballot papers at the August 17 general elections as the New Democratic Front (NDF) has conveyed its intention to contest the polls, party officials said. Mr. Maitripala Sirisena also contested the January 8 presidential election as the common Opposition candidate using the swan symbol of the NDF. Earlier, in 2010, Mr. Sarath Fonseka contested presidential election using the same symbol. more..

Selling at public or hawkers’ expense?

July 2 (SL) Heavy criticism was directed at the Colombo Mayor’s alleged decision to lift the ban imposed by the former regime on hawkers preventing them from doing business on the Colombo city pavements. During the last govt, UDA under former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa initiated several city beautification projects and they imposed the ban on hawkers of Colombo city from selling on the pavements. more..

President’s dilemma over MR

July 2 (DM) President Maitripala Sirisena displayed greater flexibility to the call by a section of the UPFA, the political combination led by the SLFP to nominate Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Ministerial candidate. But he is under pressure from his loyalists not to do so. Now, the President is caught in a dilemma. He dissolved Parliament in a proclamation issued last Friday and declared the General Elections. more..

Heroin: Law makers become law breakers

July 2 (DM) Heroin is a grave menace that has gripped Sri Lanka at present. Numerous recent detections thwarted trafficking attempts though it earned an ill-repute to the country as the narcotics hub in the region. From an ex-PM to a former Police Chief the allegations were levelled against many for aiding and abetting the trade. Amidst authorities busy escorting the evading drug barons back to the country, a shocking arrest was made last week of a law enforcement officer who sold Heroin. more..

President Sirisena faces new challenges

July 2 (DM) Sri Lanka was again plunged into political turmoil and tension yesterday with the re-emergence of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who declared from his home base of Medamulana that he would be a candidate at the general elections on August 17. Mr. Rajapaksa made the announcement to a huge crowd including a large number of former ministers or MPs of the SLFP and the UPFA -- but he did not specifically say from which party or alliance he would contest. more..

MR waves Medamulana magic wand

July 2 (FT) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, ousted from office in January, set the stage for a major political comeback in his hometown of Medamulana yesterday, with the announcement that he would lead a faction of the SLFP to contest in the parliamentary election. A low drum-roll of firecrackers sounded in the distance, as thousands of supporters gathered in the leafy gardens of Rajapaksa’s Carlton House more..

Abuse of prescription painkillers on the rise

July 2 (CT) The Jaffna Medical Council (JMC) has warned about a growing trend of abuse of prescription painkillers in the peninsula. Addressing a media briefing The JMC said the majority of those who abuse prescription painkillers are the youths. Such addiction could have debilitating effects on the nervous system and the long-term abuse could also lead to death, the JMC representative explained. "Some are in the habit of taking a large amount of painkillers. more..

UNP to hold talks with Fonseka on polls

July 2 (CG) The United National Party (UNP) is to hold talks with Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka with regards to the Parliament elections. Fonseka said that he has been informed that UNP chairman Malik Samarawickrema will meet him in an attempt to obtain the support of Fonseka’s political party for the UNP at the election. The former Army Commander said that the Democratic Party led by him has already decided to contest the August 17 election independently. more..

I am not coming: Chandrika

July 2 (CT) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga denied reports that she too would contest the election if former President Rajapaksa was to do so. She said, "Just because Mahinda Rajapaksa is going to submit his nomination to contest the election, it does not mean I am going to do the same. This is a lie. I have a party and the party has a chairman. The party also has discipline. I will not talk about it too much now. more..

Mihin Lanka ranked third best by Skytrax

July 2 (DN) Mihin Lanka has been ranked by Skytrax as the third best low-cost airline in Central Asia and India in 2015. Airline was launched in 2007 and strives to deliver quality service by adapting to passenger needs and maintaining the highest of standards. Airline has successfully evolved into a trusted brand for travellers within the region. Skytrax rank is based upon customer satisfaction survey results of product & staff service standards, more..

Rare conjunction of Venus and Jupiter

July 2 (DM) The two brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter are visible after sunset pass extremely closer to each other from July 1, Astronomy and Space Applications, Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies Dr. Chandana Jayaratne said. “This rare conjunction event is visible from July 1 onwards provide a spectacular view in the Sky just after sunset on the western horizon as two bright objects which are closer to each other,” he said. more..