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Emirates Airlines apologises to Speaker, hospital says it’s a bug not a heart ailment

July 24 (ST) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has lodged a formal complaint with the UAE Ambassador in Colombo, expressing his displeasure at being offloaded from an Emirates Airlines flight from Colombo to Singapore minutes before the flight took off. A close family member said that soon after the complaint, the UAE Ambassador had called senior Emirates Airlines officials and asked them to apologise more..

Defence Officials evaluate progress in released lands

July 24 (MoD) With the express purpose of evaluating the status quo of the Army-released civilian lands in Jaffna and the ongoing house construction projects of the Army for resettlement, a high-level delegation of state officials, including Karunasena Hettiarachchi, Secretary of Defence, together with Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva, Commander of the Army arrived in Jaffna Yesterday. more..

Indian fishermen warned to avoid Diego Garcia waters; but not Sri Lanka

July 24 (ST) Fishermen in the Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu launched an indefinite strike from Friday in protest against the arrest of fishermen and impounding of their trawlers by the SL Navy. According to Sesu Raja, leader of one of the fishermens’ associations, 77 TN fishermen and more than 100 boats are in the custody of SL authorities. About 850 trawlers have been anchored at Rameswaram fishing jetty. more..

Cocaine haul: Customs has only two scanners working

July 24 (SO) Only two scanners of the four meant for container examinations at the Customs Yard were in working condition, while the Customs requires six such scanners to carry out functions smoothly. However, the Authorities were in the process of buying four new machines. Meanwhile, the Customs Authorities were now gearing up to examine thirty more containers after the Police Narcotics Bureau seized more..

Miracle caesarean at A’Pura Hospital

July 24 (CT) Uterus malformations or abnormalities are positive factors which contribute to fatal conceptions, miscarriages and in extreme cases lead to life-threatening gynaecological surgery. Any gynaecologist will tell you that if timely medical attention is not available or delayed it could lead to a definite prenatal fatality. Uterine abnormalities or freak malformations are estimated to occur in 0.1% to 3% of women. more..

A search for answers after Jaffna Uni clash

July 24 (SL) A traditional cultural event to welcome first year students at the Science Faculty of the Jaffna University turned violent last weekend threatening to destabilize the reconciliation process and raise suspicions of a hidden motive on the eve of Black July. The clash took place between Sinhalese and Tamil students of the university after a traditional Kandyan dance ceremony was staged to welcome the students. more..

Sri Lankan exporters want govt coalition partners to have common policy

July 24 (EN) Sri Lanka’s top export business chamber has called for govt coalition partners to agree on a common agenda, saying policy inconsistencies and duplication of effort were a drag on growth as competitor nations pulled ahead. Fazal Mushin, chairperson of the Exporters’ Association of SL, said the business community understands that the govt has been hard-pressed to carry on business as usual in the midst of the many challenges more..

Flat all-island rate of land compensation mooted

July 24 (CT) Residents whose properties were alienated for the Moragahakanda-Kaluganga Project under the Mahaweli Development Programme complain that they have not been given adequate compensation. They staged a protest demonstration last Thursday and Friday blocking traffic on the Dambulla-Mahiyangana road demanding compensation based on current market values. President is to attend a ceremony at more..

‘They are more on their mobile phones than visiting work sites’

July 24 (Island) Planters are now more on their mobile phones instructing their support staff on their allocated tasks, rather than visiting work sites. These trends are quite contrary to what was traditionally the norm for planters, who dedicated their lives to tending their fields ensuring they produced the best Ceylon Tea, a respected product which commanded brand respect internationally, Minister Naveen Dissanayake more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

July 24 (ST) Govt has strictly regulated the process for the issue of diplomatic passports after the previous administration issued a large volume of these travel documents to those who were not entitled to them. Now, applications for such passports will be scrutinised by a committee headed by the Secretary to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Others in the committee will include the Secretary to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, more..

Giving Sanity a Chance

July 24 (Island) Racism is not the birthright of any one race. It is a mental virus which can affect every ethnic community. The clash over a dance item in the Jaffna University was not a Tiger conspiracy or even a sign of Tiger resurgence, let alone the first salvo of another war. But it is equally specious to insist that racism had no hand in the affair. Racism was an ingredient, though not the only one, of the motley cocktail which made that deplorable incident possible. more..

July and its cruelties

July 24 (Island) It was not Sri Lanka that I was thinking of last week when I alluded to the months of April and July vying for mention in a universal cruelty context. But news after that from the Jaffna University that a gang of Tamil university students and outside thugs beat up on the Sinhalese students on campus, came as a rude reminder of the cruelties that July has come to be associated with in Sri Lanka. July 1983 has become a huge blot of blood in our history. more..

UNP-SLFP marriage of convenience: Temporary licence to be solemnised for 5 yrs

July 24 (ST) It was a significant week for the 19 month old UNF Govt. Its two main partners – UNP and SLFP – declared that instead of the previously agreed two years, they would continue together for the full duration of their term of office. That is until the next presidential election in January 2020 and the parliamentary elections in August 2020. In what was clearly a synchronised exercise, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told more..

COPE gives one month to file full report on Cricket Aid

July 24 (ST) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials and the Secretary to the Ministry of Sports have been asked to hand over a full report to the COPE regarding Cricket Aid, an ad hoc body that had been set up under the SLC to collect and disburse funds for social welfare projects. The directive from COPE came on Tuesday when officials of the SLC, Sports Ministry Secretary were summoned before the Committee to answer to a query raised by AG regarding the legitimacy of Cricket Aid. more..

Former banker Ranjit Fernando resigns as UDA chairman

July 24 (ST) Former banker Ranjit Fernando, a close associate of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, has resigned from the post of chairman of the Urban Development Authority (UDA) with the reasons for the resignation unknown, official sources said on Wednesday. Dr. Jagath Munasinghe assumed duties as acting chairman last week, a senior official revealed. Mr. Fernando is currently overseas and is expected to return to Colombo shortly, the official said. more..

Ministry passes buck on coal tender to Cabinet

July 24 (ST) Power and Energy Ministry will ask Cabinet to decide whether to cancel a controversial multibillion rupee coal tender and face a substantial compensation claim, or to continue with a contract which was awarded in a manner that the Supreme Court said had shocked its conscience. Secretary B.M.S. Batagoda said he would put the relevant paper to the Cabinet this week. He said AG’s Department, too, more..

973 female IRCs in the country

July 24 (CT) The total number of Island Reconvicted Criminals (IRC) who have been registered has increased to 43,929. Of that number 973 are females, these sources said. According to Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) sources the number of IRC members had been recorded by it as of 30 June this year. CCD sources said that the total number of criminals in the country who have been recorded by them stand at over 350,000 and of that number 22,937 are women. CCD sources said that more..

PIA confirms talks with SL for four A330s

July 24 (GT) PIA, Pakistan’s national air carrier, is in talks with Sri Lanka to take four wide-bodied planes (A330s) on rent, which it will use for its premium flights to London that PIA intends to start from August 14, officials said. In addition to the planes, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will also get the services of its accompanying crew. After plans for the UK route were approved by its board of directors, PIA management has been busy preparing for the flights. more..

FCID fights tough odds abroad

July 24 (CT) FCID is struggling to conclude 62 high profile financial corruption cases because foreign financial institutions have still not sent it details relating to these cases. Despite Sri Lanka being a signatory to UN Convention Against Corruption, FCID has come up against a brick wall and can't proceed with the cases because in practical terms the information flow is deterred by quirks in different laws and administrative more..

Mammoth Rs 133 B owed to China Exim bank

July 24 (CT) Treasury has been backed against the wall with the imminent need to cough up to China a mammoth Rs 129.84 billion installment against a loan from Exim Bank of China taken by Rajapaksa regime for the Hambantota Port. The massive loan, payable in 20 years at an interest rate of 6.5% excludes charges for allied services amounting to Rs 3.78 billion. It is learnt that govt was mulling the feasibility of transferring responsibility for settlement of the loan to SLPA. more..

Wasim’s family threatens to protest

July 24 (SL) The family of the murdered rugby player Wasim Thajudeen has threatened to take to the streets if investigations into the murder are placed under the carpet. A family member of Wasim Thajudeen told The Sunday Leader on condition of anonymity that they had faith in the ongoing investigations into the murder. However the family member said there is fear that like some other investigations, even this investigation too could take a back seat later owing to political influence. more..

Legal tangle affects Krrish square project

July 24 (ST) The US$650 million-Krrish square project on the 4.3 acre Transworks house building site in Fort has been temporarily suspended owing to a case pending at the Colombo Magistrate Court and ongoing investigations into an alleged payment of Rs. 70 million (US$ 500,000) to MP Namal Rajapaksa. The former President’s son was remanded for seven days in connection with the charge and released on bail on July 18. more..

CEB unaware of secret deals

July 24 (CT) The CEB has consulted the Attorney General (AG) about the possibility of filing civil action in Court against the alleged misappropriation of a sum of Rs 2.9 billion, by Entrust Securitas, belonging to the EPF of the CEB, which had been invested in Treasury Bonds through Entrust Securitas. CEB Chairman Anura Wijepala yesterday said that information available to him on the issue included allegations that Entrust Securitas also featured in alleged misappropriation of more..

58 more fraud probes on Rajapaksas

July 24 (SL) FCID and Special Police Investigations Unit (SPIU) are investigating 58 allegations against former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family members. This was revealed during a meeting held among the respective investigations units and President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Several govt ministers also attended the meeting where progress over the investigations being carried out by the FCID, CID and SPIU was discussed. more..

Tax on garbage on the cards

July 24 (ST) The govt is set to introduce a new tax called tipping fee compelling Sri Lankans to pay charges for garbage collection and disposal with the aim of encouraging the private sector to provide garbage collection services, sources said. Tipping fee is defined as a flat charge levied though local govt authorities from households and institutions for garbage collection and disposal by private sector service providers or PPP. more..

SLMC rebels form new party

July 24 (SL) Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) is on the verge of a split following divisions over the party leadership. SLMC rebels have formed a group under the name Eastern Uprising to work against SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem. Former Minister Segu Issadeen said that the new political front will look to register soon as a new political party serving Muslim interests. He said that several SLMC members who oppose the actions of Hakeem have shown interest to be part of the new political party. more..

NZ All Blacks Rugby Academy in Sri Lanka

July 24 (ST) New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) had agreed to set up an All Blacks Academy here, after a proposal made by the SL Govt has been successfully taken up by the world’s top rugby-playing nation. This was revealed by Minister Harin Fernando, who led a delegation from SL a few months back to make a presentation to the NZRU on the proposed academy. “We gave the NZRU a proposal, some months ago, to establish an All Blacks Rugby Academy in Sri Lanka, more..

Malaysian Deputy PM ends visit to Sri Lanka

July 24 (TS) Malaysian Deputy PM Datuk Seri Hamidi ended his two-day official visit to SL on a high note, having secured various incentives and agreement on plans to boost the bilateral ties between the two countries. During his meetings with several SL govt leaders, its govt has offered incentives, including lower taxes and land ownership to Malaysian business community. “Sri Lanka is offering Malaysian companies to invest in more..

Performance award for Renuka City Hotel

July 24 (Island) Exceptional occupancy figures and top-notch revenue generation by Renuka City Hotel resulted in the hotel winning’s Award for Best Performance in 2015. Recognition for the hotel’s performance was based on its outstanding occupancy rates over the previous year, during which Renuka City Hotel was able to record over 5,000 room nights leading to revenue generation in excess of US$ 500,000 during the same period from guests alone. more..

Quality Sri Lankan food at affordable prices

July 24 (GT) It is a new addition to the chain of an affordable dining restaurant that is literally for everyone, whether you are looking for traditional food or just need a quick bite on-the-go. In the presence of a large number of community members, the ambassador of Sri Lanka to Qatar Prof Dr W M Karundasa recently inaugurated the latest branch of New White Oceanic Restaurant & Bakery, sixth in the chain owned by Sri Lankan restaurateur Tenisan De Silva. more..

Murali parts company having imparted much knowledge

July 24 (Island) There’s been much murmur within the SL cricket team and in cricket circles after former great Muttiah Muralitharan joined ranks with Australia to help the tourists prepare for the Test series against Sri Lanka. To be fair on Murali, this is not the first time he has worked with the Aussies. Cricket Australia has sought his services before this too and to hire him again Darren Lehmann must be pretty pleased with more..

Call for enforcement mechanism to collect taxes

July 24 (SO) With the debate whether the upward revision of the VAT should be enforced or done away with, industry personalities expressed the need for an effective enforcement mechanism to collect taxes from businessmen and professionals. Corporate personalities said imposing or increasing taxes must be done with thought and managed properly. Precedent Partner of Nithya Partners, Aritha Wikramanayake said VAT or tax by any other name should be rational. more..

Project heads to be held accountable for results

July 24 (SO) The govt aims to make a sweeping revamp of public spending with Budget 2017, restoring financial discipline and making expenditure more efficient, ensuring transparency and holding implementers including project directors accountable for delivering results so that citizens get a better service and value for money. Preparation of Budget 2017 would continue to be based on the Zero Based Budgeting technique with some features of Performance Based Budgeting where more..

Video: As a leader, you need to understand the characters in the team: Mahela

July 24 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene talks about being a captain from a young age, and Arjuna Ranatunga's influence on Sri Lankan cricket. Q: Is leadership something you're born to do, or can you actually learn to do it? A: I think you need to learn to do it, and on a cricket field, a leader is as good as the team. I was quite blessed to have talented cricketers like Vaas, Murali, Sanga, Ajantha, who were impact players. more..

The solid bloc is on the way

July 24 (ST) Come Tuesday Lankans coming in for the first of their Tests in the three match series against Australia at Pallekelle are in no position to sit back and savour the home advantage as they perennially used to. According to Sri Lanka team manager Charith Senanayake right now they are earnestly engaged in an arduous task of putting Sri Lanka cricket back in shape. Senanayake who batted for SL at number 3 on several occasions said “Right at the moment we are working harder more..

Sri Lanka seek improvement against Aussies

July 24 (Island) SL’s recent tour of England exposed some bitter truths. Team lost all three series in one of national cricket team’s worst tours in the recent history. It was an opportunity to bite the bullet and move forward for the challenges ahead. This year we have some tough cricket. England was quite difficult as expected and so will be the Australian series that gets underway on Tuesday at Pallekele. Later this year, the Sri Lankans will be asked more tough questions when they tour South Africa. more..

 Australia in Sri Lanka