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GR-MR pick A and B teams to deliver prosperity

Aug 13 (FT) Govt yesterday unveiled what could be described as the A and B teams picked by the dynamic duo Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa and PM Mahinda Rajapaksa to deliver on the Saubhagyaye Dekma (Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour) for the people amidst multiple challenges both internal and external. Prez appointed a 25-member Cabinet bringing the Defence Ministry under his purview and putting PM more..

OPPP General Secretary’s statement on controversy over National List seat

Aug 13 (AD) General Secretary of Ape Janabala Pakshaya/OPPP), Ven. Wedinigama Wimalatissa Thero has insisted that he will take his parliament until the tussle between Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera and Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera is resolved. Ven. Wimalatissa Thero, who is currently in hiding due to the alleged threats to his life, mentioned this speaking to Ada Derana. He says he submitted the party’s National List nomination to the Election Commission in the correct manner more..

23 District Coordinating Committee Chairmen appointed

Aug 13 (CT) 23 MPs were appointed as new District Coordinating Committee Chairpersons for 23 administrative districts by Prez Rajapaksa yesterday. They received their appointments from the Prez at the beginning of the swearing-in ceremony of the Cabinet in Kandy yesterday morning. MP Pradeep Undugoda has been appointed as the Chairperson of the Colombo District Coordinating Committee while MP Sahan Pradeep Withana was nominated for the Gampaha district. more..

Sirisena and 10 former Ministers left out of Cabinet

Aug 13 (FT) Former Prez Maithripala Sirisena and several other seniors were sidelined and did not get any Cabinet or State ministerial portfolios at yesterday’s swearing-in by Prez Rajapaksa. Sirisena, who topped the Polonnaruwa preferential votes list, was present at the ceremony held at the Magul Maduwa in Kandy, but neither he nor several others who held ministerial portfolios in the previous Govt were given appointments. more..

BOC-SLT launches Dynamic QR for utility bill payments

Aug 13 (CT) One of Sri Lanka’s leading banks, BOC recently tied up with the National telecommunication provider, Sri Lanka Telecom, to launch the first ever Dynamic QR for bill payments. Any SLT customer having BOC Smart Pay Payment App or any other Lanka QR certified Payment App can make payment by scanning the Dynamic QR printed on SLT monthly bill from August 2020. This feature is also available with e-bills for SLT customers who receive their monthly statements via emails. more..

President can hold defence portfolio: Legal source

Aug 13 (DM) A constitutional expert said that there was no barrier for Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa to hold the Defence portfolio. Making his remarks on the matter to the Daily Mirror, constitutional lawyer Manohara de Silva said the Constitution clearly states that the executive power of the people, including defence should be exercised by the Prez. Also he said the President is the Head of the Cabinet. Therefore, it was nonsensical to say that the Prez could not hold that portfolio, more..

State ministerial portfolios viewed with amusement

Aug 13 (FT) While the Prez’s Office said that composition of the Cabinet has been formulated in a pragmatic and realistic manner to implement the national program in keeping with the Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour policy statement, many were bemused by the choice of portfolios for some State Ministers. Among these, the portfolio given to Shasheendra Rajapaksa making him the State Minister for Paddy & Cereals, Organic Food, more..

Auto industry and thousands of jobs in peril: CMTA

Aug 13 (DN) The Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA), urged the Govt to provide a clear direction on the period of the vehicle import suspension and emphasized the need to regulate automotive imports to legitimate importers that have been vetted by the Govt. Yasendra Amerasinghe, Chairman of the CMTA stated, “First and foremost, we appreciate the Government’s leadership and initiatives taken to control the spread of COVID-19 in SL. However, the vehicle import ban has adversely impacted more..

Scottish Uni to help SL in renewables

Aug 13 (DN) Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) will receive a share of almost €1 million to help SL address workforce shortages in renewable energy skills and meet its ambitious targets. Researchers at the University have been tasked with helping the South Asian country upskill so it can deliver 80% of its energy from renewables. The project will look to achieve this by building skills in the designing, commissioning and maintaining of renewable energy projects, with a specific focus on solar/wind. more..

Prez takes defence

Aug 13 (Island) Prez Rajapaksa, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces yesterday took the defence portfolio although the 19th Amendment bars the President from holding any portfolio. The 19th Amendment enacted in early 2015 repealed Article 44 (2), which enabled the Prez to hold any number of portfolios. Prez Rajapaksa refrained from assuming defence portfolio when he appointed a smaller interim Cabinet more..

Industrial Asphalts to assist in coating roads

Aug 13 (ST) Increased investments in highways and roads related infrastructure by the state is opening up opportunities for the oldest bitumen-producing company in the country. In a bid to participate in the nation’s infrastructure revival, Industrial Asphalts (Ceylon) PLC (IAC), an investment holding company and originally specialised in manufacture and distribution of specialised bituminous products, distribution of a range of surface coatings and marketing of industrial chemicals is to raise more..

Evoke celebrates 12 years of redefining digital services

Aug 13 (Island) One of the country’s foremost entertainment brands, Evoke International (Pvt) Ltd celebrated its 12th anniversary recently. Evoke is the largest value-added service provider based in SL offering a wide range of innovative, data driven and customer-centric products with their 360 degree in-house development team. Some of their services include mobile app & web development, content aggregation, content production, WAP Products, SMSC, IVR & Voice Services & Digital Media. more..

Destruction in Beirut: crises multiply for sri lankans in lebanon

Aug 13 (DM) SL migrant workers employed in Middle Eastern countries are one of the most vulnerable groups. The recent explosion which caused a 10-kilometre radius of destruction in Beirut, Lebanon have made their situation even direr. There have been a considerable number of foreign migrant workers among the bodies dug up from the Beirut rubble. Many of the victims are thought to have been working more..

SLC Major Tier ‘A’ 3-day Tournament: CCC beat Ragama and head points table

Aug 13 (CT) CCC beat Ragama CC by innings and 125 runs yesterday at MCG Katunayake to lead the points table after the first weekend of the Super-8 round in the SLC Major League Tier ‘A’ Cricket tournament. The only other team to register an outright win was Negombo CC who beat Lankan CC by 5 wickets at De Soysa Stadium Moratuwa. Other matches were drawn.Four batsmen scored centuries in the second innings. *Kamindu Mendis (Chilaw Marians CC) scored an unbeaten 150 more..

Navy lends hand for beach cleaning campaigns

Aug 13 (SLN) Taking an interest in beach cleaning efforts with a view to maintain an unspoiled coastal belt around the island, SL Navy launched several beach clean-up drives in northern and southern parts of the island during the past week. Accordingly, naval personnel attached to the Northern Naval Command rolled up their sleeves and launched a beach cleaning campaign covering the beach areas of Kankesanthurai harbour, Kovalam, Pallikuda, Wallan, Sillalai and Kadeikadu where more..

Lull in information sharing by CID, TID hampered probe: Witness

Aug 13 (CT) Certain investigations conducted by Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) could not be conducted properly due to some issues between the CID and TID, said IP of the TID, Gayan Ratnayake. He was testifying before the PCoI probing the bombings on 21 April 2019 Easter Sunday, yesterday. In 2018, he served as the Acting OIC of the Unit on Islamic Extremism and Fundamentalism, which was operational under the TID. more..

Some insist Ranil must remain to revamp party: UNP Sources

Aug 13 (DM) Some of the UNP seniors said the party to be revamped under its present Leader Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe for the provincial council elections while others have stated that it should be reorganized under former Speaker and former Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya, the Daily Mirror reliably learns. Party seniors have come up with these ideas at a meeting of party seniors who had met at Mr. Wickremesinghe’s residence at 5th lane, this morning. Party Leader Wickremesinghe, General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, more..

Japanese Embassy mourns Prof. Dammika Dissanayake

Aug 13 (DN) Embassy of Japan expressed its profound sorrow and grief on the demise of Prof. Dammika Ganganath Dissanayake on August 11. In respect of Prof. Dissanayake’s contribution in promoting friendship and mutual understanding between SL and Japan, Kitamura Toshihiro, Chargé d’Affaires of Japan, visited Prof. Dissanayake’s residence on Aug 12 to extend his sincere condolences on behalf of Sugiyama Akira, Ambassador of Japan to SL, to the beloved more..

Repatriation of Sri Lankans to be expedited

Aug 13 (FT) Govt said that the program to repatriate stranded Sri Lankans overseas was progressing well, noting that over 50,000 more people have expressed their keenness to return to the country. “Over 20,000 Sri Lankans from 94 countries have now returned to the country so far. The focus now is to bring down the Sri Lankans stranded in the Middle Eastern countries and the Maldives,” Additional Secretary to the Prez for more..

Editorial: Smiles and grimaces

Aug 13 (Island) The new Cabinet was sworn in yesterday within the sacred precincts of Sri Dalada Maligawa. Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa had his inauguration ceremony in the vicinity of Ruwanweliseya, last year, and PM Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn in at the historical Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya, on Sunday. We hope that the govt members will abstain from killing and stealing in keeping at least two of the Five Precepts. Former Prez Maithripala Sirisena did not receive more..

JAAF welcomes new Govt., confident will revive economy

Aug 13 (FT) The Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) congratulated the new Govt for winning a strong mandate from the people and expressed confidence it will revive the economy. Following is the full text of the statement issued by JAAF Chairman A Sukumaran. The mandate given by the people at the recently polls has surpassed all expectations and it is a fitting tribute to the visionary leadership of Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the Premier Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Stock market soars on strong Cabinet; improved outlook with political stability

Aug 13 (FT) The Colombo stock market sustained its rebound for the second consecutive day raking up value by over Rs. 32 billion with popular high net worth individuals Nimal Perera and Rusi Captain leading from front along with institutional investors. On top of 1% gain on Tuesday, the ASPI rose by over 24 points or 0.5% and S&P SL 20 by 2% or over 45 points. Turnover was over Rs. 2.7 billion a level maintained more..

People have spoken: Govt’s turn to deliver the goods

Aug 13 (DM) The Grand Old Party -- which strode SL’s political arena for the past 70 years since it was founded on September 6, 1946 by the country’s first post-independence PM Don Stephen Senanayake, who was also fondly referred to as the Father of the Nation -- suffered an ignominious defeat unprecedented in our electoral history. Even former president J.R. Jayewardene, architect of the 1977 Constitution, who always believed that no other political party would ever muster 2/3rds more..

Bouquets and brickbats for new Cabinet from Opposition

Aug 13 (FT) Several Opposition members took to social media to congratulate the newly appointed Cabinet of Ministers. Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SBJ) MP elect Harsha de Silva took to Twitter to congratulate all the Cabinet and State Ministers including Namal Rajapaksa and Ajith Nivard Cabraal. “We will be a responsible Opposition, but the Government has a huge responsibility now to deliver on its promises and maintain democracy,” De Silva said. more..

3 more nominees for UNP’s leadership

Aug 13 (AD) A meeting of the hierarchy of the UNP has concluded without reaching a decision on its new leadership. General Secretary of the party, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, meanwhile, announced 3 new nominees – Navin Dissanayake, Ruwan Wijewardene and Palitha Range Bandara. Former MPs of the UNP and its leader Ranil Wickremesinghe met on Monday (10) at the Sirikotha premises, for the first time more..

Marvan’s blitz- Durban 2003

Aug 13 (Island) In a world full of glitz, glamour and grandeur more often than not the old schoolers often go unnoticed. Sri Lankan cricket has been blessed with many who have embodied the former and a few who have lived by the style of latter. Marvan Atapattu is the torch bearer for the old school traditionalist. Having opened with the flamboyant Sanath Jayasuriya for most of his career it is no surprise Marvan’s deeds have unfortunately being overlooked. more..

When political power dwarfs everything around

Aug 13 (DM) Sri Lanka gets little praise from the rest of the world for anything these days. But there was praise showered on the nation by Japan for conducting a fair and peaceful election. This is a good start for a country which is trying to be counted among the world’s performing nations; at least going on the promises made by the incumbent President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Following in the footsteps of those sending in congratulatory messages was The US which wants the Govt of SL more..

Gevindu Kumarathunga

Non-career lawmakers secure political authority

Aug 13 (DM) The results of the August 5 Parliamentary Elections reflected on new political dynamics in Sri Lanka, be it in the north and the east, or outside. SLPP, led by Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the PM, polled a resounding number of votes in all the areas bar the north and the east. The percentage was above 70 in some areas. The traditional political landscape has witnessed a clear shift given the way SLPP voters have marked their preferential votes this time around. more..

SJB is UNP in other vestments: Viyath-Yuthu is Gota’s fifth column

Aug 13 (CT) In reality the SJB and Sajith are the UNP – or part thereof, or maybe the real UNP. Consider: a) All the key leaders – Sajith, Madduma Bandara, Tissa Attanayake. Imthiaz Bakeer Marker, Harin Fernando, Eran Wickremaratne, Malik Samarawickrama – all, yes all are hardcore, staunch, traditional, born-and-bred UNPers b) If there had been no leadership split all would have been together in one UNP – we would never have heard of an SJB. In any case the fight more..

Over 60 new faces in Parliament

Aug 13 (SO) Many familiar faces will not be present when the 9th Parliament convenes on August 20, with as many as 70 former MPs having been shown the door by the voters at the General Election this year. Hence, almost 70 former MPs who served as Ministers, senior MPs and party leaders, who contested this time have failed to retain their seats. The people have chosen fresh faces to fulfil their political aspirations, more..

Saving the leopard for future generations

Aug 13 (DM) Sri Lanka Leopard or Panthera Pardus Kotiya is the largest species of cat in SL. It is unique to the island and categorized as ‘endangered’ by International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This leopard apparently is not Respected by the Dept of Wild Life Conservation, the Department of Forests or trap laying villagers or the law enforcement authorities. The animal is valuable to hunters for its teeth, nails etc. The leopard was widespread across the island 20-30 yrs ago. more..

General Election: Ready for a structural change?

Aug 13 (CT) The 1977 general election was transformative. It provided JR Jayewardene’s UNP more than a two-thirds majority in parliament. Jayewardene used the unassailable parliamentary majority to alter the Sri Lanka society and polity structurally. When the general election was announced in March this year, we did not know that the 2020 parliamentary election will also have a transformative capacity. Writing about the parliamentary election in an essay entitled, more..

Shelved BOI project from 2003: Indian investor still waiting to be reimbursed

Aug 13 (CT) An Indian investor has been waiting for over 10 years for a refund of his initial investment in a proposed BOI project that was shelved in 2003. Sunil Rallan, Chairman/MD of a multi-sector Special Economic Zone (SEZ) called the 'Chennai EPZ', explained that in 2002, his company invested USD 52,587 in a project to run a Tanning Park at Bata Atha, Hambantota. Although the project was subsequently cancelled, more..

The political comeback that made history

Aug 13 (CT) The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna’s (SLPP) historic victory was not the result of work carried out overnight or a 24-hour period. In fact, the groundwork was laid way back on 9 January 2015. The UNP-SLFP coalition installed Maithripala Sirisena as the new President on 8 January five years ago having ousted the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The Rajapaksa’s political rivals believed that it was similar to ousting the Russian Tsar during the Russian Revolution. more..

ITAK’s house in disarray!

Aug 13 (CT) The Illankai Tamil Arasu Katchchi (ITAK) which was formed after breaking away from the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) in 1949 is now in disarray following the setback it suffered at the General Election for the ninth Parliament last week. As a premier constituent party in the TNA, ITAK with its House symbol has failed significantly with only gaining 10 seats from the Northern and Eastern Provinces where the ITAK-led TNA had sixteen seats in the previous Parliament. more..

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