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Video: Kusal Mendis arrested over fatal accident

Jul 6 (DM) Cricketer Kusal Mendis has been arrested following an accident that killed a 64-year-old man at Horethuduwa in Panadura, Police Spokesman Jaliya Senaratna said. He said the SUV of the 25-year-old cricketer was also taken into the police custody. The accident occurred at around 5 a.m today on the Old Galle Road when the Kusal's SUV crashed into a bicycle. The deceased was identified as a resident of Gokarella. more..

Sri Lanka’s Stassen makes ‘different class’ argument in Apple logo issue

Jul 6 (TM) Stassen Exports Ltd., which is being sued by US tech giant Apple Inc. over the use of their iconic logo, said that Stassen Exports is in a different trademark classification and therefore the use of a similar logo is not an issue. According to Nihal Fernando, PC, who is representing the defendant, the company used the logo on one of their tea brands, which put the company under the Class 30 trademark classification that is mainly used for types of food, drinks, and cooking ingredients. more..

BOC raises Rs. 5 b via BASEL III compliant Additional Tier 1 capital perpetual bonds

Jul 6 (FT) Bank of Ceylon (BOC), the largest bank and the market leader in the financial services sector in SL, has successfully raised Rs. 5 billion via a private placement of Basel III Compliant, Unlisted, Unsecured, Subordinated, Perpetual, Additional Tier I Capital Bond issue with Non-Viability Write Down features. The private placement opened on 25 June and subsequently closed on 3 July, as it was fully subscribed. Managers and Registrars for this bond issue is the Investment Banking Division more..

Sea Marshal and 154 contacts from Jinthupitiya sent home after testing negative

Jul 6 (AD) Sea Marshal from Jinthupitiya, who had tested positive for Covid-19 on July 2, has once again tested negative for the virus in five PCR tests. 154 of his close associates were also subjected PCR tests as a precaution and that all of them had tested negative for the virus as well. Therefore the Sea Marshal from Jinthupitiya has been discharged from hospital while the 154 close associates of his who were quarantined more..

Peradeniya University’s global ranking boost: Why we shouldn’t celebrate

Jul 6 (TM) The good news is that the University of Peradeniya was ranked 401-500 in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2020 last month. The bad news is that the overall performance in the rankings of SL’s universities is weak when compared to the western world and many Asian nations. China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and India count multiple universities among the world’s top 500. It is perhaps time to change this situation among our many more..

That match fixing mockery and the riddle of the Sphinx

Jul 6 (ST) What does the summoning of SL’s celebrated cricketers to appear before a special investigation committee of the Ministry of Sports tasked to inquire into a wild allegation by a former Sports Minister that the 2011 ICC Word Cup cricket final was fixed have in common with the ad hoc appointments of Task Forces and Commissions of Inquiry? This may seem like the fabled riddle of the Sphinx which, as the ancient legend has it, used to sit outside the city walls of Thebes more..

Govt struggles with fiscal performance

Jul 6 (FT) Fiscal operations of the Govt in the first four months of this year have showed a mixed performance even before the impact of COVID-19, though the Treasury attributes this to the decline in revenue mobilisation stemming from the outbreak in mid-March 2020 and the reduction of Govt expenditure. According to the Mid-Year Fiscal Position Report 2020, the Budget deficit for the first four months of 2020 was Rs. 452 billion, more..

Editorial: Crunch and rhetoric

Jul 6 (Island) Most political parties have launched their election campaigns officially. They are marketing old wine in new bottles. The govt has set a very bad example by holding rallies in violation of the health guidelines aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19. Physical distancing was conspicuous by its absence at those SLPP events attended by govt leaders including Prez Rajapaksa. Other political parties will do likewise, and one can only hope that the govt will refrain more..

The Trojan Horse

Jul 6 (Island) Neville Ladduwahetty’s contribution to The Island of 30 June 2020, entitled ‘A fresh perspective on the MCC compact’ deals with aspects relating to the MCC Compact, ACSA and SOFA and the report of the Expert Committee, headed by Prof Lalitasiri Gunuruwan. This reader’s attention was attracted to the statement "While these professed intentions are noteworthy, one has to look at history as forewarned by the words of Thucydides who, in the 5th century B.C., said: more..

හර්ෂ ද සිල්වා අවුලක ඉන්නේ ඇයි?

Saga of finance companies

Jul 6 (ST) Reading a daily newspaper, Serapina exclaimed, "Pinance company wala karadara aapahu paththara-wala thiyenawa, (The problems with finance companies have once again hit the news).” Adding to the conversation, Kussi Amma Sera said that “mage nedeyoth salli dala thiyenawa kada wetichcha pinance company eka-kata (my relatives have also deposited money in a finance company which has collapsed)”. “Wena monawada karanne. Evala banku-walata wediya poliyak more..

Prez continues push for nonaligned policy

Jul 6 (TM) The US MCC deal has turned into kryptonite for the UNP, following the publicising of the MCC Expert Committee report last week and the revelation that two agreements to the tune of $ 10 million were signed under the deal. UNP, issuing a statement, has refuted the allegations levelled against the former Yahapalana Govt by the Committee. The UNP said that according to media reports, Committee Chairman Prof. Dr. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan’s committee report alleges $10 m more..

'TMNF was formed because TNA failed to deliver the goods'

Jul 6 (SO) New coalition Tamil Makkal National Front (TMNF), also known as Tamil People’s National Front hopes to deliver goods that the TNA failed to give the Tamil community. “People are already fed-up of the TNA. People need a change,” said leader of the EPRLF Suresh K. Premachandran, who will be contesting under the banner of the TMNF at the forthcoming General Election. more..

Political circus over US$480m gift with love from Uncle Sam

Jul 6 (ST) If anyone thinks that America — or China or India for that matter — gives millions of dollars in foreign aid to Lanka out of an abundance of love and concern and without any strings attached that promote their countries own interest, one hasn’t the foggiest what is meant by aint no such thing as a free lunch. The Greeks have a saying: Never look a gift horse in the mouth. So why this political circus over examining every tooth, canal and cavity of this 480 million dollar more..

Cleansing the cops

Jul 6 (TM) There is a game that probably every Sri Lankan has played in his or her youth, called hora-police. Unfortunately, some of those who play the game at a tender age develop such a strong affinity towards it that they continue to indulge in the game well past their youth. Politicians of all hues have been noted to fall into this category. If that isn’t bad enough, the situation becomes dire when policemen who should actually be playing police, take on the role of the hora. more..

'Harmony among religious groups vital'

Jul 6 (SO) Former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said when PM Mahinda Rajapaksa was the President, the resettlement of the Northern Muslims was carried out methodically by the Task Force headed by former Minister Basil Rajapaksa. But unfortunately, it was not completed. The former Minister said there were many more waiting to be resettled in their own lands in the North. more..

Lanka fails to make it to Britain’s quarantine-exempt countries

Jul 6 (DM) The coronavirus pandemic which broke out in China in December last year, has left in its wake over ten million affected people, and over 500,000 fatalities. It has forced countries the world over, to go into lockdown mode including quarantine measures. People were confined to their homes. Health systems the world over were overwhelmed, business houses forced to go into temporary closure, millions lost their jobs, educational activities came to an abrupt halt, int'l trade came to more..

Bond scams were caused by a broken bond market: Part III

Jul 6 (CT) The Central Bank’s annual report for calendar 2015 contained the following paragraph on the operations of the Regional Development Department (RDD): ‘RDD invests excess funds held by it under custodial arrangements in Repo investments. As at 31 December 2015, Repo Investments amounting to Rs.1.40 Bn were found to be uncollateralized… If these investments cannot be recovered, it affects the future functions of the Dept and expansion of existing projects. more..

Month to go for polls, campaigning still on low key due to pandemic

Jul 5 (ST) A highly unusual feature ahead of the August 5 parliamentary elections, thirty days away, is the absence of visible campaigns by the contestants. There are no large public meetings, display of posters or placards. A handful so far have been confined to small gatherings inside buildings. With no fee except the cost of a template with their symbol and number, candidates have launched their propaganda mostly on social media hoping more..

Schools partially reopen tomorrow, but confusion over guidelines

Jul 5 (ST) Students from selected classes return to school tomorrow after more than three months amidst tight health precautions in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. Education Ministry Secretary M.H.M. Chitrananda said the school authorities had been given clear instructions on health restrictions to be followed when classes began. He said that to avoid confusion schools should design flexible time tables for the teachers working longer hours on one or two days a week. more..

Polls plans hampered as health chief delays gazette

Jul 5 (ST) Election Commission is in a dilemma over the delay on the part of the Health Services Director General issuing a gazette notification required to make preparations for next month’s parliamentary elections. This comes hot on the heels of Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) complaining the lack of legal backing for their work. A senior EC official said they were unable to go ahead with the procurement of items including face-masks, sanitisers and related equipment needed to conduct the poll more..

Ruwanpura Expressway: China officially exits

Jul 5 (TM) The Cabinet has officially removed the Chinese contractor from the Ruwanpura Expressway Project (REP) Section I from Kahatuduwa to Ingiriya and decided to go ahead with local funding. The local funds are to be raised through state banks and the Ministry of Roads and Highways is yet to lay out a mechanism for funding purposes, Secretary to the Ministry of Roads and Highways Ranjith Premasiri said. more..

Face masks protect others: Dr. Aluthge

Jul 5 (CT) The public should be aware that the face mask is worn to protect others from COVID-19 more than themselves, Executive Committee Member of the GMOA, Dr. Haritha Aluthge said. He added the public should be encouraged to wear the face mask while in public places to ensure that COVID-19 does not spread, if even one amongst them was infected. The recommended face mask is the surgical face mask. However, those who are among high-risk groups – especially those who have direct more..

Northern Connectivity by June 2021

Jul 5 (TM) Highways Ministry is expected to complete the Northern Highway Connectivity Project funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) by June next year. Accordingly, the Cabinet has extended the period of the relevant loan granted, up to the end of this year. Highways Ministry Secretary Ranjith Premasiri said the project had begun in 2014 and has been delayed due to the Covid-19 situation in the country. “There was only some development work to be completed,” he said, more..

Bending the law?: President allows clearing of DCSL ethanol shipments

Jul 5 (ST) While the Govt continues the ban on ethanol, it has permitted clearing a batch of pre-ordered containers belonging to the Distilleries Company of SL (DCSL) on the prez’s directive. This massive consignment of around 74 imported ethanol containers of DCSL held at the Colombo Port by SL Customs under the ethanol import ban effective from Jan 1, 2020 has been released recently on Directive of Finance more..

Govt mulls single shareholder limit increase in banks

Jul 5 (ST) Govt is strongly skewed towards increasing single shareholder limit of banks, bolstered by many requests from such main shareholders. This came after many such shareholders in the past few months appealed to the CB to reconsider its rules because time is running out for them. Most are supposed to sell the excess stakes by the end of the year. According to CB regulations, one party or parties acting in concert can own up to 10% in a bank. more..

Police to remove propaganda masks

Jul 5 (TM) While election propaganda seems to have levelled up to include the now mandatory face masks, since last week, the Election Commission (EC) has requested the Police to confiscate any such merchandise bearing candidate serial numbers and political party symbols. “The EC shared their observations and lodged a complaint over face masks that bore candidates’ serial numbers and political party symbols. On Thursday, we sent out a circular to all police divisions to take due more..

Diplomatic tussle for ECT continues

Jul 5 (ST) The govt on Friday agreed to install three Chinese cranes at the East Container Terminal (ECT) of the Colombo Port to defuse tensions caused by protesting trade unions during the week but fell short of allowing these to be commissioned. This decision was made in the backdrop of diplomatic discussions underway on rearranging an agreement to run this terminal made about a year back. PM Mahinda Rajapaksa called for more..

Air ticket refunds for passengers sought

Jul 5 (ST) SL’s civil aviation authorities are currently considering granting air ticket refunds to passengers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and whose bookings have had to be cancelled. A number of passengers had to cancel their bookings on airlines due to a number of issues arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic since airports were closed and airlines had stopped flying to various destinations. Local travel agents have sought assistance from the civil aviation authorities on refunds for their more..

The Cricketing Madness

Jul 5 (ST) Politics in SL seems to play the same melody from time to time. If there is nothing else to gain publicity, lets attack the cricketers! In 2015 when Kusal Janith Perera was allegedly approached, and such approach was informed to the then captain of the team, Angelo Mathews and was reported to ICC Anti-Corruption officer, for reasons unknown to the author or to anyone for that matter, the much feared FCID and the regime at the time decided to conduct a full blown investigation. more..

Now, UNP Alternates campaign for new faces regardless of party

Jul 5 (Island) A group of Colombo-based activists contesting the Aug 5 parliamentary polls on the UNP ticket strongly believes the ongoing political crises will influence the electorate to choose some of those new faces seeking entry into parliamentary politics. The Alternates of the UNP comprising attorney-at-law Chrishmal Warnasuriya, social media activist Oshala Herath, researcher Dr. Chandima Wijegunawardana, environmentalist more..

CB bond scam: CID to quiz R. Paskaralingam and Wasantha Kumar

Jul 5 (SO) CID hopes to record statements from the former Advisor to the PM R. Paskaralingam and the former People’s Bank General Manager Wasantha Kumar, over the CB Bond scam, in addition to the former Prez Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe. On June 18, Attorney General Dappula de Livera, PC, had instructed the acting IGP to record statements of former Prez, former PM, S.Paskaralingam, former advisor to PM Wickremesinghe and a former bank official over the Central Bank Bond Scam. more..

Seizing the opportunity to enhance community tourism

Jul 5 (CT) Tourism industry is one of the most vulnerable industries in the face of global uncertainty. SL’s tourism industry also had to face many challenges during the last couple of decades. We faced a 30-year war and its consequences. After the war came to an end in 2009, tourism boomed as never before. Int'l tourist arrivals in 2010 rose to 654,476 and continued to increase until 2018 with 2,333,796 arrivals. Unfortunately, however, Easter attack in 2019 caused int'l tourism arrivals more..

President instructs farmers to grow more grains after controlling imports

Jul 5 (PMD) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa says in Anuradhapura that now is the time for local farmers to increase their production aiming both local and foreign markets and earn more as importation of grains has been restricted. The President call upon framing community to engage themselves in mass cultivation of grains such as maize, Undu, Mun, Kawpi and Kurakkan. Prez made these remarks joining the SLPP election more..

Muthurajawela Landfill: Pressure to stop filling

Jul 5 (TM) Environmentalists urged the Govt to immediately stop the alleged attempt to fill up the Muthurajawela wetland under the guise of development. Environmental Conservation Trust (ECT) Executive Director Sajeewa Chamikara stressed that attempts are being made by the Agrarian Services Department to fill up a total of 50 acres of land in Muthurajawela. He alleged that the officials of the Department have already given approval to fill up the wetland, violating more..

President pays homage to Anuradhapura Mihindu Aranya Senasana

Jul 5 (PMD) Prez Rajapaksa visited ancient Mihindu Aranya Senasana in Anuradhapura and received blessings today (4). Mihindu Aranya Senasana is dated between 5-6 AD and it has been the headquarters for Wanawasi Sanga Sabha of Rohana Chapter of the Siyam sect. Prez arrived at the Mihindu Aranya Senasana in the morning and engaged in pleasantries with the Chief Sanganayake of the Wanawasi Sanga Sabha, Most Ven. Galpatha Sumana Thero, after paying his obeisance. more..