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UNFGG, an alliance to further advance Jan 8 victory

July 31 (NS) Minister Champika Ranawaka and his party the JHU played a pivotal role in the victory of President Maithripala Sirisena at Januaryís Presidential Election. JHU, however, has now part of an alliance named the UNFGG and is contesting the August 17 General Election under the Elephant symbol of the UNP. Ranawaka, who is contesting from Colombo and is also the UNFGGís General Secretary, speaks more..

Wealth of a New Nation

July 31 (NS) Too much speaking: Earlier Maithri spoke too much. Now Mahindaís doing the same. Ball of fortune: Now the ball of fortune is turning on the JVPís side. So, their duty is to make it a fortune of the people. Live drama: People are enjoying the way, politicians act, that is to say their capacity to change roles instantly. First victory: Ranil is going or hoping to record his first victory against Mahinda. First defeat: Mahinda is going to record or hoping to record his first victory against Mahinda. more..

Chandrika the Bomb

July 31 (NS) A question was asked from the former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, during his final breakfast meeting with media heads last year. Who is your real opponent, Maithripala Sirisena, Ranil Wickremesinghe or Chandrika Kumaratunga? He did not hesitate in responding: Chandrika! This became the lead story in all newspapers the following day. The headline in almost all newspapers was Chandrika is my real opponent! or else versions of that same line. more..

New generation vs old guard

July 31 (CT) Two very different candidates, a young filmmaker representing the JVP and a veteran member of the UNP, are contesting for a seat in Parliament from the Colombo District. While their policies may be different, both candidates have one thing in common; they both believe in not having fanfare. With politics being all about marketing, these two stand out for not selling themselves enough. Following are excerpts: more..

The need for a balancing act

July 31 (CT) Environmentalists have questioned the motives of the Central Environment Authority (CEA) and the Forest Department for initially approving a mini hydro power project in the Athwelthota area, which if completed would destroy the Athwelthota Waterfall also known as the Pilithuda waterfall and the rare fish species in the river. Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) Executive Director Hemantha Withanage told Ceylon Today that permission was given to Sakura Energy, more..

Maithri: From Waterloo to Watershed?

July 31 (CT) General belief in the country is that most of our politicians are comedians. Most of our politicians do act like comedians time and again. In the previous regime Mervyn Silva was outstanding. He tied a govt official to a tree. Later, it was told that the victim performed that act himself. Mervyn staged a drama both inside and outside Rupavahini Corporation. Finally he won the award titled Minister of Public Affairs and Public Relations for his outstanding "public performances." more..

Lankaputra: Lending to loyalists

July 31 (SO) Lankaputra Development Bank (LDB), created to boost entrepreneurship in the island, is now in the eye of a storm, with the FCID probing a number of loan facilities granted to political associates and public officials without any collateral, amounting to over Rs. 1 billion. In the absence of the recovery of loans - despite funds being issued on the basis of loans with a recovery plan, LDB's current chairman has complained more..

In Jaffna exit boycott enter fifth column

July 31 (CT) It is 135 years since Mr. Charles Boycott entered the English vocabulary and also the dictionary. Boycott as noun and to boycott as verb. As a term it connotes a finer shade and more to the word ostracize or spurn or set aside. For 85 years the idea has plagued the Tamils with its rampant use and devastating damage. It ravaged Tamil politics from State Council elections. Ever active, it dealt a mortal blow to Tamils in 2005. It stalked unerringly till Dec 2014 and demised in Jan 2015. more..

Editorial: Cost of inefficiency

July 31 (Island) Elections are, no doubt, the lifeblood of democracy. But, they become a real nuisance when the laws governing them are not properly enforced and the violators thereof go scot free. The end justifies the means in Sri Lankan elections and those who get returned stay put no matter how unlawful their modi operandi are. It is against the law to put up election posters, banners, cutouts etc in public places, as is common knowledge. But, the country is awash with them at present. more..

AG clears MR in RADA case

July 30 (DM) Even though the original complaint in connection with an alleged fraud at Reconstruction and Development Agency (RADA) was lodged against former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in the course of investigations, former President had not been found to be among the perpetrators of the crime, Attorney General informed the Supreme Court today. Additional Solicitor General Yasantha Kodagoda, appearing more..

Businessman arrested on charges of rape

July 30 (AM) Greenlanka Shipping Ltd. Managing Director Prashan Nanayakkara was arrested and produced before Colombo Fort Magistrateís Court today on charges of rape and was released on a surety of one million rupees. He was arrested earlier today following investigations on a complaint filed by a young woman, who said that she was sexually exploited by the said individual for a period of 10 years and that she was also brutally raped and assaulted. more..

New Zealand team due in November to explore investment opportunities

July 30 (ITN) A high level delegation from New Zealand is due in the island in November. Its purpose is to explore investment opportunities. This was revealed by NZ High Commissioner to SL. High Commissioner Grahame Morton made this revelation during a meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidentís Office. He said that the programmes mooted by the new SL Govt along with many transformations needed by the island nation came in for appreciation by more..

Budget to target economic growth beyond 8%

July 30 (CG) The 2016 budget is to target economic growth beyond 8% in the medium term, cabinet was informed, according to cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake informed cabinet that it has been planned to prepare the Budget for the year 2016 to achieve the undermentioned objectives. Reduce the budget deficit to 5.5% of Gross National Production; more..

SL to help Nepal renovate places of worship

July 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka plans to send a group which is comprised of respective officers and technical craftsmen to Nepal to renovate places of worship which were damaged by the earthquake, the cabinet spokesman said. The Buddhist Temple in Swayambhunath and the Rato machindranath Hindu Kovil in Lalitpur, which were damaged by the earthquake in Nepal, have been selected for renovations. The govt will assigned the task to the Sri Lanka Army and to allocate an additional more..

Drug baron & Gota....

July 30 (LT) Sri Lanka is preparing to issue a red notice through Interpol to arrest Mohamed Mubarak Mujahid, A Sri Lankan living in Malaysia states ASP Ruwan Gunasekera. It has gone viral that this drug baron has had very close relations with former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. Police Narcotics Bureau has revealed that the suspect has sent seven container-loads of drugs to the country from 2009 to 7th July, 2014 containing 750 to 1000 kilograms of drugs. more..

Govt will not comment on alleged UN document

July 30 (DM) Govt today refused to comment on a document a British television station claims could undermine international investigations into the war. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maheshini Colonne said the Govt was aware of the British ĀeChannel 4ĀĆ news report on the document but will not comment on such media reports. Channel 4 News reported this week that it has been supplied with the leaked UN document which more..

Yatinuwara PS chairman arrested over hoisting of distorted national flag

July 30 (AM) Yatinuwara Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Thusitha Kumara was arrested today for hoisting distorted national flags at a meeting in Yatinuwara recently. The incident occurred on Monday ahead of the arrival of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the rally in Yatinuwara. Meanwhile, several people claiming to be the former presidentís security guards reportedly attempted to prevent the media from taking photographs of the flags before they were removed. more..

Polonnaruwa to become a metro city at cost of Rs16 bn

July 30 (LBO) Sri Lankaís heritage city Polonnaruwa to develop as a metro city at a cost 16,650 million rupees, cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said. Polonnaruwa town and its nodal points known as Polonnaruwa, Kaduruwela and New Town are growing fast as Heritage City, Commercial City and Administrative City respectively. The development project will implement a number of town development projects to develop Polonnaruwa as a Metro City, overcoming the issues of traffic more..

Sri Lanka allocates funds to settle RDAís outstanding payments

July 30 (LBO) Cabinet has given approval to allocate funds to settle the outstanding payments of 24 road projects which were stopped due to the funds being used for other activities outside the scope of loan. RDA has been implementing a programme for the rehabilitation and improvement of 28 national highways in various parts of the island through domestic contractors with the loans obtained from NSB amounting to more..

Will now have to jump into Diyawanna

July 30 (CT) There are individuals in our list as well, who are waiting to enter Parliament and join a National Government. Therefore the vote should be used very carefully. Already some are trying to mislead the people by saying this ministry is for me and that ministry is for me. Leader of the UPFA group in Kalutara, former MP Kumara Welgama said that people who say such things will not even receive a Deputy Ministerial post in the next alliance govt. He also said at a meeting held in more..

Body in bag identified

July 30 (DM) The womanís body found in a travelling bag at the Bastian Mawatha private bus terminal in Pettah on Wednesday, had been identified as a 34-year-old resident of Jaffna, police said. They said the name of the deceased was Rangan Karthika who was a resident of Vadukoddai, Jaffna. Police investigation has been launched in to the incident after the group of commuters found the abandoned bag, near the bus queue of the Anuradhapura bus stand, in which the body was found. more..

UPFA accuses UNP of corruption in Chinese highway deal

July 30 (CG) UPFA today accused the UNP led Govt of signing a suspicious highway deal with a Chinese company. UPFA member Dullas Alahapperuma said that the same Govt which had accused the former regime of corrupt deals with China was now facing the same accusations. He claimed that for the Central Expressway project between Kandy and Colombo, the Govt has signed a Rs. 150 billion deal more..

Parties asked to reveal stand on TNA demand

July 30 (Island) Chairman of Federation of National Organisations and President of the Patriotic National Movement Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera said that UNP, UPFA, JVP and Peopleís Movement for a Just Society leader Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera reveal their positions on TNA leader R. Sambandanís recent statement that his party wanted federalism. Secretary of the Patriotic National Movement Wasantha Bandara said, "Federalism will be a stepping stone to Eelam and more..

Rupavahini chairman resigns

July 30 (AM) Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation Chairman somaratne Dissanayake decided to resign from his post. Reports said that he had taken this decision due to both personal and political reasons. Dissanayake, once an ardent supporter of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, offered his support to common candidate Maithripala Sirisena during the recent Presidential Election. His appointment to the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation created some controversy in January. more..

Kalam's Links with Sri Lanka recalled

July 30 (ENS) As former Indian President Abdul Kalam was laid to rest at Rameswaram across the Palk Strait on Thursday, Sri Lankans mourned his death and recalled his association with the island nation which was longer than people imagine. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said in his message that Kalam had told him that many of his relations were living in Anuradhapura, Mannar and Puttalam. more..

Thomas Cook acquires travel firm in SL

July 30 (BS) Tour operator Thomas Cook has acquired Luxe Asia, a destination management company in Sri Lanka, to grow its overseas business. Company did not disclose the deal size, which was carried out through its Sri Lankan subsidiary. Currently Thomas Cook only operates foreign exchange stores in SL. A destination management company arranges ground service at a destination including hotel accommodation, transport, meet and greet services and helps more..

Creating equality in the electoral process

July 30 (CT) The Department of Elections declare their vision to be the protection of democracy of the country through conducting free and fair elections and referenda. A free and fair election is primarily one that provides opportunities for every eligible citizen to exercise his or her vote on an equal basis with others. Every single voter has the right to exercise the vote that is his or her democratic entitlement. Persons with Disabilities are often deprived of this right, more..

'Bribery Commission did not probe any serious allegations'

July 30 (AD) New commissioners will be appointed to the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption after Aug 18, says Cabinet Spokesman Dr Rajitha Senaratne. Minister charged that so far the bribery commission has not conducted a proper investigation into any serious allegations. He stated that bribery allegations had even been leveled against the former chairman of the bribery more..

Police look for UPFA candidate over abduction and assault

July 30 (Island) Matale police are looking for Matale District UPFA candidate and former Deputy Minister Lakshman Wasantha Perera and a group of his supporters for allegedly abducting a man and assaulting him for launching a campaign against the proliferation of ethanol and printing a set of posters to be pasted in public in that regard. The police said the victim had been assaulted allegedly at the UPFA candidateís house. It is alleged that the supporters of the politician had arrived in a car and more..

Sri Lankan exporters to help draw govt policy

July 30 (EN) Sri Lankan govt accepts a call by exporters to be involved in shaping the countryís export policy, Deputy Minister Harsha De Silva said. The new govt will focus more strongly on exports, he told the annual general meeting of the Exporters Association of Sri Lanka. Exporters Association of SL is to be included in designing and developing export policy, he said. ďI invite you to be a part of that and that is the way we are going to be moving forward, it should be consensus driven, more..

July consumer prices fall for first time

July 30 (EN) Sri Lanka's 12-month inflation turned a negative 0.2% in July 2015, though prices rose four the fourth straight month, amid a consumer boom fired by state spending and credit. Colombo Consumer Price Index also rose 0.2% in April, 0.7% in May and 1% in June, following sharp 2.3% fall in February after the state cut prices of fuel and some imported foods. Current low inflation also comes on back of falling commodity prices more..

Fulfilling the unfulfilled

July 30 (CT) UNP and UNFGG leader PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and National Movement for a Just Society (NMJS) Chairman Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera signed a MoU on Tuesday to further strengthen the hand of good governance in the country. Signing of this MoU took place on the eve of the general election to be held on 17 Aug. It's said that between 106-110 civil society organizations, NGOs and political parties were signatories to this MoU. MoU comprised a 14 point programme. more..

Shares end at more-than-5-month high

July 30 (Reuters) Shares ended at their highest in more than five months on Thursday, as investors picked up risky assets on expectations of strong corporate earnings and political stability after the Aug. 17 parliamentary polls. The main stock index ended up 0.25% at 7,332.05, its highest since Feb 13. Turnover was at 1.78 billion rupees, more than this year's daily average of 1.09 billion rupees. "The market ended the holiday-shortened week on a positive note with more..

Anura Kumara Dissanayake

JVP Puttalam team leader arrested for illegally distributing leaflets

July 30 (AM) JVP Puttalam team leader Samantha Koralearachchi was arrested for illegally entering Chilaw Hospital and distributing leaflets earlier today. Another individual, B.M. Ranmanika, was also arrested along with Koralearachchi, Police Media Unit told Asian Mirror. They were to be produced before the Magistrate's Court. Koralearachchi, the Convener of Puttalame Janatha Handa (Puttalam People's Voice) organization, is a gradualte of the Moratuwa University. more..

UPFA explains how they will implement their promises

July 30 (Island) UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajanatha said that his party would form the next govt and create 1.5 million online job opportunities and generate USD 5 billion. Addressing a press briefing in Colombo yesterday at the SLFP headquarters at Darley Road, he said that plans were afoot to provide broadband (online) facilities especially targeting youth in the country. He said that 5.7 million households were linked to the national grid & providing broadband facilities more..

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