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Today is Adhi Esala Full Moon

July 1 (DM) Former Indian PM, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the architect of the modern Indian nation-state, also wrote in his autobiography, “No country or people who are slaves to dogma and dogmatic mentality can progress, and unhappily our country and people have become extraordinarily dogmatic and little-minded.” On being queried over Communism, prolific writer in English said, “Danger to India is not communism. more..

Prime Minister de jure

July 1 (CT) President is empowered to appoint the PM under the terms of Article 43(3) of the Constitution. However, when there is a PM, the President cannot appoint another because there can be only one PM for a country at a time. Hence, President can appoint the PM only when the office is vacant. Similarly, President has the authority to appoint the Chief Justice and the Army Commander. Since there can be only one CJ, when there is one, President cannot appoint another. more..

Present, Past Presidents & Care Taker PM

July 1 (CT) On 22-6-15 I listened to the Daily Politics program of “Sirasa” conducted by TV Presenter Chamika Roshan, political analysts interviewed were Kingsley Senanayake and Sanjeeva Ranatunge both are veterans in current political developments. It sounded very interesting to me the manner in which the Roshan handled it and how it was dissected and disseminated by the analysts. Topic they delved into was about the past and present Presidents based on media headlines. more..

President dashes Rajapaksa PM hopes

June 30 (EN) President Sirisena today ruled out granting nominations to former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest as a prime ministerial candidate at up coming general elections. Sirisena in a special broadcast over state television, rejected opposition-initiated reports that the former president will make a come back as a PM candidate from UPFA. President Sirisena is the leader of UPFA as well as its main constituent, SLFP. more..

Sri Lanka inflation 0.1% in June 2015

June 30 (EN) Sri Lanka's consumer prices rose 0.1% in the 12-months to June 2015, falling back to the rate in March and April. Prices rose 1% during the month of June, highest rate since January, the central bank said. Sri Lanka's consumer prices are now at their lowest since the 0.5% reported in January 2004 with the government having cut taxes on some consumer goods and dropped fuel prices earlier this year. The annual inflation rate had edged up to 0.2% in May. more..

Access Engineering to enter property development sector

June 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s leading construction company, Access Engineering is to enter into the highly growing property development sector with 524 million rupees of investment, the company said. The company has invested 273.6 million rupees to acquire Horizon Holdings Ventures private limited incorporated in this month. It has also invested 250 million rupees to buy 50 percent of the ordinary shares in Horizon Holdings private limited which incorporated in March 2014. more..

Radical Sinhalese-Buddhist outfit takes political avatar as BJP

June 30 (ENS) SL politics has now got a new player, Budhu Jana Peramuna (BJP), an offshoot of the radical Sinhalese-Buddhist BBS. Translated into English as Intelligent Peoples’ Front, BJP will be contesting the August 17 parliamentary elections from at least 15 districts which have a Sinhalese-Buddhist majority. Ven. Gnanasara Thero said, that the BJP will represent the country’s Sinhalese Buddhist majority in parliament. more..

One killed, 2 injured in polls violence

June 30 (CG) One person was killed and two others were injured in incidents which were reported across the country over the past 24 hours in election related violence. Executive Director of CAFFE, Keerthi Tennakoon said that the incidents had occurred between supporters of UNP and the UPFA. Tennakoon said that the police were probing the latest incident which was reported on Monday night in Ratnapura, when a supporter of UNP had been attacked and killed by an unidentified group more..

Tharanga replaces Sangakkara for third Test

June 30 (CI) Sri Lanka batsman Upul Tharanga will replace Kumar Sangakkara for the third Test against Pakistan starting Friday in Pallekele. Sangakkara made himself unavailable for the last Test of the series partly because of commitments with Surrey. He will also not play the third Test against India in August, having already announced his international retirement. Tharanga's last Test was also against Pakistan, in Colombo last year, where he made 92 and 45. more..

Video: Mahinda-Maithri meeting took place, but different venue

June 30 (AD) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena today confirmed that a discussion did take place between President Sirisena and former President Rajapaksa and that they had only denied the location of the meeting. It was recently reported that a meeting between the two rival candidates of the Presidential Election took place at the Speaker’s residence on Thursday. However, both the Presidential Media Division and more..

Siriwardene reappointed SL Women captain

June 30 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket has reappointed allrounder Shashikala Siriwardene captain of the women's ODI and T20I teams, while batsman Chamari Atapattu has been named vice-captain. Siriwardene, 30, previously led Sri Lanka in 80 limited-overs matches between 2005 and 2014 before giving up the captaincy in April last year over administrative hassles. As captain, Siriwardene guided Sri Lanka to their maiden T20 series win, against India in January 2014, and more..

School term and holiday dates revised

June 30 (AD) Ministry of Education today announced that the dates of the school term holiday have been amended due to the General Election and the revision of the timetable of the 2015 G.C.E. A/L exam. Accordingly the schools which will be used as A/L exam centers will commence their 3rd term on September 09 while the other schools will begin on Aug 31. Department of Examinations had revised the dates for the 2015 A/L exam due to the General Election being held on August 17. more..

Video: Maithri - now a goose perched on mud

June 30 (LT) Mr. Maithripala Sirisena, who contested the presidential election under swan’ symbol promising he would, like the swan that separates milk from water, take legal action against all fraudsters and the corrupt, is now involved in protecting all fraudsters and the corrupt complains the Leader of the JVP Anura Dissanayaka. He said this addressing the meeting held at Malabe on the 28th to establish more..

Nilanga appointed acting Diyawadana Nilame

June 30 (AD) Pradeep Nilanga Dela has been appointed as the acting Diyawadana Nilame of the Sri Dalada Maligawa from July 01 until an election is held for the next Diyawadana Nilame. In a statement issued today, Commissioner General of Buddhist Affairs Chandraprema Gamage said that Pradeep Nilanga Dela has been appointed as the temporary custodian of the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy until the next Diyawadana Nilame is chosen or until another temporary custodian is appointed. more..

'MR's return to politics not a worry'

June 30 (DM) The National Council for a Better Tomorrow Chairman Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera said today they would not be worried if former president Mahinda Rajapaksa returned to politics by contesting at the general elections. He told a media briefing at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute that the only problem they had was the party through which Mr. Rajapaksa would contest. “It is not important if he contests or not. We have no intention of teaming up with politicians accused of being thugs, more..

JVP accuses govt of falling short

June 30 (CG) JVP accused the Govt of failing to meet the requirements of the people, despite being elected by the people. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said that the Govt had promised to arrest those responsible for corruption but yet arrested only a few people. He also said that forming a coalition Govt between the SLFP and the UNP led to the investigations on corrupt politicians being affected since the President is also from the SLFP. more..

'Tamils on a vital journey to fulfil aspirations'

June 30 (CT) Leader of the TNA R. Sampanthan said the international community has given first priority to the problems of the Tamil speaking community in Sri Lanka. Hence the Tamil people in the North and East will give vital attention when voting at the forthcoming parliamentary elections. We would have made a historical blunder if we failed in our utmost duty in this regard. He further appealed to the Tamil people to strength the TNA to capture more parliamentary seats more..

Stay order on full-face helmets extended

June 30 (AD) The Court of Appeal has further extended the stay order issued against the circular imposing a ban on full-face helmets. The stay order was extended until July 14 when two petitions filed against the circular, issued by the Police Department, were taken up before the Court of Appeals today. A recent surge in crimes such as bank robberies and shootings committed by individuals wearing full-face helmets had led to the police department introducing the ban, which more..

SLC reiterates commitment to elections

June 30 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket has reiterated its commitment to holding elections before the end of January next year, in the wake of the ICC's warning that further non-compliance could result in more sanctions. SLC interim committee chairman Sidath Wettimuny, who recently attended ICC annual conference, maintained that while ICC had publicly urged SLC to hold elections before end of Oct, that date served only as a soft deadline. more..

UPFA agrees to nominate MR

June 30 (DM) The UPFA has finally agreed to nominate former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as a candidate at the August 17 general election under the betel symbol, a party leader said. UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha, SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva communicated President’s message to Mr. Rajapaksa today. Mr. Rajapaksa agreed to reach a settlement on this matter with the President. more..

Looking to SL's Parliamentary Election

June 30 (HP) Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena recently dissolved parliament. The election will be held on August 17; a new parliament will gather on September 1. Yet what happens next is still far from clear. To complicate matters, Mahinda Rajapaksa could contest in the country's upcoming parliamentary election. Rajapaksa has stated that he'd only be interested in contesting as a member of the SLFP and has indicated that he'd like to become prime minister. more..

Don’t exceed authorized limits warns Army Commander

June 30 (GDI) Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva, Commander of the SL Army on Monday addressing a representative gathering of about 175 senior officers of the Army Headquarters and those serving nearby formations called upon the Army to sustain the reputation of the organization by strictly adhering to disciplinary code. De Silva, specific in his articulation throughout the near one-hour address, also did not mince words to more..

Yala National Park project to scale-up visitor experience

June 30 (Island) A development project of the Yala National Park commenced under the guidance of Navin Dissanayake, Minister of Tourism and Sports recently. The project is designed to enhance the quality of visitor-experience as well as the facilities provided to the Park’s staff to make their service more efficient. Once it is completed, the National Park will have a ticket counter with the latest technology, a cafeteria, a tourist information centre, a drinking water project, more..

GMOA General Committee backs incumbent office bearers

June 30 (Island) Govt Medical Officers’ Association General (GMOA) Committee decided to help the existing office bearers to get re-elected as they had no faith in the opponents, GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Navin de Soysa disclosed. He said that though the GMOA wanted to hold the annual election to elect new office bearers for 2016, some group had filed a case against it. An injunction order had been issued by the Nugegoda District court by suspending election scheduled for June 27. more..

Criminal probe for Insurance Corporation, Litro Gas hotel deal

June 30 (EN) A criminal probe will be initiated into alleged mis-appropriation of hundreds of millions of rupees at a unit of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation group which is building a 27 billion rupee hotel in Colombo, officials said. SLIC had invested 8.5 billion rupees in Canwill Holdings, an investment vehicle which in turn controlled SinoLanka Hotels and Spa, a firm with land and building expropriated from the Ceylinco group, which is more..

Sri Lanka fined for slow over-rate

June 30 (ICC) Sri Lanka has been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during the second Test match against Pakistan at Colombo which concluded on Monday. Chris Broad of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees imposed the fine after Angelo Mathews’ side was ruled to be one over short of its target when time allowances were taken into consideration. In accordance with Article 2.5.1 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Players Support Personnel, which relates to more..

Sri Lanka shares end weaker

June 30 (Reuters) Shares fell on Tuesday, hovering near 2-1/2 month lows, led by large caps such as Nestle Lanka as political uncertainty before parliamentary elections weighed on sentiment. President Sirisena dissolved parliament on Friday and scheduled elections for Aug. 17, in an effort to consolidate power and push through political reforms. The main stock index ended 0.16%, or 11.35 points, weaker at 7,020.80, hovering near its lowest close since April 15 hit on Friday. more..

Bond Scam: Full text of COPE report

June 30 (CT) The 13-member Special Parliamentary Investigation Committee that probed the alleged insider trading and favoritism in the recent treasury bond issue has established Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran’s direct intervention on behalf of his son-in-law Arjun Aloysius owned Perpetual Treasuries. Last month, the three-member lawyers committee appointed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to probe into more..

Elusive 113 seat majority

June 30 (CT) UNP, Sri Lanka's largest political party, has decided to go it alone at 15th General Election to be held in just under seven weeks, on 17 Aug. The JVP, SLMC and TNA will go it alone. Elections to 15th Parliament comprising a total of 225 seats will be held under the Proportional Representation System (PRS). It will be to elect 196 members or 87.1% of the members to the House under the PRS and the balance 29 seats or 12.9% of the Legislature as nominated members. more..

It is Ranil’s moment?

June 30 (CT) If it is to benefit from a high-growth region and prosper among other nations in the world, Sri Lanka must drastically switch its focus away from narrow and claustrophobic identity and tribal battles onto modern, secular goals related to the prosperity of its people. We are facing a new version of the old guns versus butter debate central to economics. Do we allocate our time, resources and effort toward guns? (meaning, war or conflict) Or are we going to allocate more..

Central Bank profits to bailout Golden Key

June 30 (EN) Sri Lanka is planning to use central bank profits expected to be earned in 2015 to fund an 8.5 billion rupee bailout of Golden Key Credit Card Company, an unregistered Ponzi-scam style firm that collapsed after promising high interest rates. A total of 8,545 million rupees are needed to bailout investors, according to a proposal made to cabinet. Of that 544 million rupees will go to investors who are owed less than 2 million, more..

UN to close down OCHA in Sri Lanka

June 30 (DM) The Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sri Lanka would be closed by the end of the year and in Papua New Guinea this month, while radically downsizing in Indonesia, the UN said. Oliver Lacey-Hall, the outgoing head of OCHA's Asia-Pacific office in Bangkok has said the UN was downsising its humanitarian staff in some Asian countries where govts have stepped up with funds and more..

IOC cries out for relief

June 30 (Island) Indian Oil Company (IOC) Sri Lanka has once again requested the govt to either increase fuel prices or give them a tax reduction. They had separate meetings with Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka. Both ministers asked for more time, while appreciating IOC’s role here. Ministry officials said that govt wouldn’t be in a position to take a decision till more..

Sri Lanka North calls for private investments

June 30 (LBO) Northern Province calls for private investments in water disposal, recycling, construction, health care, hospitality, trade and vocational targeting at increasing household income of the people. “Some of the fundamental problems faced by the people of the North and the East are their socio-economic problems, the post conflict trauma, livelihood needs, human rights and issues affecting vulnerable groups,” more..

JVP urges govt to postpone polls

June 30 (DM) The JVP urged the govt to postpone the general elections to the first week of September so that it won't affect students sitting the GCE A/L exam. JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake told a rally in Malabe that the date had been fixed for the polls is the earliest possible day in accordance with election laws. He therefore urged the govt to consider re-scheduling the election to early September. more..

Health Ministry takes first step to combat excess use of sugar by people

June 30 (Island) The Health Ministry is in the process of introducing a Traffic Light labelling System (Colour coding) initially on a limited range of packaged food items to indicate their sugar levels. As a preliminary step the Ministry would introduce the programme to indicate the amount of sugar included in ready to serve beverages such as colas, soft drinks and liquid milk. Ready to serve drinks containing more than 11 grammes of more..