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Vidura Wickramanayaka

Editorial: AG in govt’s crosshairs

July 20 (Island) The govt keeps telling us it is for an independent public service. But, it like its predecessor, obviously, does not want public officials to be so independent as to stand up to it on crucial issues that threaten its political survival. It spares no effort either in taming intrepid bureaucrats who have the courage to resist political pressure and act according to their conscience or in denying them their due promotions or in smoking them out. Govt has already made a mockery of yahapalana more..

The story of preserving culture

July 19 (CT) Last week started well for my friend Sivapuranam Thevaram, the Sri Lankan Tamil fellow who is my drinking partner in the Bridgetown pub that stretches my intellectual creativity. Earlier in the week, he spent several hours, checking exam scripts from UpNawth University in SL, an institution to which he acts as an external moderator. He was pleased to see some of his suggestions from the previous year had been included in the teaching of the module he was helping with. more..

'Media giving a criminal experience to people'

July 20 (CT) Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi called for a radical change of the media culture and stressed the local media should focus on news which does not give its readers a criminal experience. Q: During the war the security forces took over several thousand hectares of land from civilians and turned them into High Security Zones. While a substantial amount of land has been returned, this is an issue which is more..

The old school ties?

July 20 (SL) The recent kerfuffle at the Central Bank appeared to be a serious tug-of-war between, at least, the PM and the President of the Maithripala/Ranil (MR2) govt in the matter of what an appropriate response should be to the affaire Mahendran and what flowed from it. At the end of the day, we had a man whose opening statement expressed his intention to divorce politics from economics, utilizing rather hoary buzzwords like economic stability. more..

Damned if you don’t and damned if you do

July 20 (SL) The arrest of Namal Rajapaksa – one time dubbed the crown prince of the Rajapaksa regime – for alleged misappropriation of Rs. 70 million has resulted in innumerable accusations being made against the ruling party that he is being subjected to a witch-hunt. We refrain from commenting on the investigations and judicial procedure concerned. Our concern is about instantaneous allegations of witch-hunting unleashed by pro-Mahinda Rajapaksa cabal more..

'Govt changed but same old policy continues'

July 20 (SL) Suresh Premachandran, a Tamil militant turned politician and former MP, leader of EPRLF, a member of the TNA. He said that the present govt wants to show it to the world that they are best in human rights. But the rehabilitated people and other civilians arrested under the PTA; Army still keeping huge amount of private lands; not only that even under the new govt the armed forces are going ahead with their earlier agenda. more..

A marvel of human resolve

July 20 (DM) The glittering ensemble of Lord Buddha’s noble disciples including the Eighty Great Ones were personages virtually all of whom displayed on outstanding individual characteristic of their own, rendering the entire Order a veritable spectrum of unparalleled iridescence. They left behind a legacy of sheer moral inspiration for all humankind to extol till wisdom persists on earth. One among them, though not in the cluster of the resplendent Eighty was Arahant Chakkhupala more..

Jaffna clash; Never again yesterday

July 20 (DM) Significantly on the International Nelson Mandela Day yesterday, National Govt launched a landmark move towards interracial reconciliation and amity with the opening of the Sri Lanka-German Training Institute (SLGTI) in Kilinochchi. It came in the aftermath of Saturday’s Jaffna university science faculty tragedy which showed the need to speed up moves for interracial and inter-religious dialogue and reconciliation lest some extremist group or groups reignite more..

University dons, civil society want govt. to spearhead reconciliation moves

July 19 (Island) Urging the govt to take urgent action to bring about reconciliation between Sinhala and Tamil people, especially in the Northern Province, university teachers and several civil organisations yesterday condemned the attack on Sinhala students in the Science Faculty of the Jaffna University. They said some politicians in the South used the incident to project their political image like the extremists groups in the North. more..

Amana Takaful Life’s LKR 75 million IPO to open on July 21

July 19 (Island) Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Amana Takaful Life Limited (ATLL) – a fully-owned subsidiary of Amana Takaful PLC – via an Offer for Sale of LKR 75 million, will open on 21st July. The company is offering 50 million ordinary voting shares at a price of LKR 1.50 per share, on the Diri Savi Board of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE). Thereby it will become the first publicly quoted segregated life insurer in Sri Lanka, following the mandatory segregation of more..

KTR to address summit in Sri Lanka in Aug

July 19 (Siasat) In yet another rare distinction of sorts at world level, Telangana IT, NRI Affairs and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao has received an invitation for an international level summit to be held in Sri Lanka next month. SL Human Capital Summit 2016 of the Govt here on Monday extended an invitation to KTR to address in its international summit slated to be held at Taj Samudra Hotel in Colombo on August 11 and 12. The minister was asked to deliver key-note address more..

Medical specialists take on GMOA

July 19 (Island) Association of Medical Specialists (AMS) lashed out at Govt Medical Officers' Association (GMOA) over its unwanted interference in the post intern appointment list earlier this year, which it said, had set a bad impact on the smooth functioning of the public health service. Vice President AMS, Consultant Surgeon Dr. Lalantha Ranasinghe said that GMOA's allegation that the post intern list had been tampered with, more..

MR taking party men for a ride: Shan

July 19 (DN) Former President Rajapaksa’s present political maneuver is solely targeted at defending himself and his family members from grave allegations of corruption and fraud leveled against them. It will in no way benefit the party or the party men, Southern Province Chief Minister Shan Wijayalal de Silva said. “For the purpose, he abuses a section of grassroots level members of the SLFP as a shield. It is quite similar to the last hour attempt of LTTE leader Prabhakaran using more..

Caritas helps heal war-torn Sri Lanka

July 19 (UCAN) Caritas SL has organized an event to respond to what they say is an urgent need to reconcile individuals and communities who experienced three decades of ethnic-related civil war. Over 100 Sinhalese and Tamils from Jaffna, Mannar, Kandy and Anuradhapura dioceses gathered at the Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu Shrine Retreat House on July 15—16 to "bring hearts and minds together for national reconciliation." "On the first day they had some fear but that vanished more..

FUTA calls for bringing culprits to justice

July 19 (Island) The FUTA urged the university authorities to take all possible steps to identify the perpetrators of violence in the Science Faculty of the Jaffna University on Saturday and to bring them to justice. FUTA President Dr. Rangika Halwathura said, in a statement, that they condemned the attack. "We do not accept or endorse any form of violence including student clashes within universities," he said. more..

Many think pioneer Prima is Sri Lankan firm

July 19 (ST) Singapore food manufacturer Prima Holdings is the largest Singapore-based investor in Sri Lanka. It is so well known there that many think it is a local company, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a speech at a lunch he hosted for visiting Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. "Singaporeans are not new to the Sri Lankan market. One early pioneer, Prima Holdings, has been in Sri Lanka for almost 40 years," Mr Lee said at the Istana lunch. more..

Hayleys buys Maldive island resort for US$23mn

July 19 (EN) Sri Lanka’s Hayleys group said it had bought an island resort in the Maldives for US$23 million which will complement its city hotels and resorts portfolio in Sri Lanka. The acquisition was made by Hayleys subsidiary Luxury Resort (Pvt) Ltd., incorporated in the Maldives, a stock exchange filing said. It bought Kudarah Island Resort Maldives located in South Ari Atoll which has 51 luxury villas close to popular Kudarah Thila dive site. Resort will be branded Amaya Kudarah Maldives more..

Govt lends RPCs Rs.1 bln to hike estate worker wages

July 19 (ST) Holding fast to electoral promises, the Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) will be loaned Rs.1 billion from the Treasury to pay off the higher salaries to workers on the estates for the next two months. Plantations Ministry Secretary Upali Marasinghe said that his department had requested the Treasury to allocate Rs.1 billion for the payment of salaries to estate workers on the RPCs for the next two months. more..

Dy Minister of Environment tells world forum Lanka has zero tolerance on marine pollution

July 19 (Island) Industrial and economic growth had negatively affected the environment surrounding Sri Lanka, Deputy Minister Anuradha Jayaratne said addressing the Global Environment Forum 2016 in China recently. Jayaratne said possible pollution risks were very high with the further expansion of the industrial sector, especially on the marine environment. He said coastal pollution was becoming a very hot issue in the country and globally. more..

Roadmap ready to merge two local housing banks

July 19 (ST) The govt, in its quest to bring about a strong banking sector, has drawn up a roadmap to (initially) consolidate smaller state banks including the two housing banks. ”In this roadmap we identified that Housing Development and Finance Corporation (HDFC) and the State Mortgage and Investment Bank (SMIB) need long term funding. We aim to set up one strong housing bank for Sri Lanka by merging them. Over the years their market size hasn’t grown as the customers want more..

Asghar, openers give Pak A thumping win

July 19 (CI) Pakistan A romped to an eight-wicket win against Sri Lanka A in the opening game of the triangular series, also involving England Lions, in Cheltenham on Monday. Pakistan A's bowlers backed Babar Azam's decision to field as Sri Lanka A were dismantled for 199 in 37.5 overs. In reply, Fakhar Zaman (74) and Sharjeel Khan (90), their openers, shared a 155-run stand that helped Pakistan cruise. more..

Businessman gunned down in Watugedara

July 19 (CT) A 48-year-old businessman was killed after an unidentified person opened fire at him in Watugedara area in Ambalangoda yesterday, Police said. The deceased has been identified as a resident of the Ambalangoda area according to the Police. He succumbed to his injuries after he was admitted to hospital. The remains of the businessman lay in the morgue of the Ambalangoda Hospital and the post mortem examination was conducted yesterday. more..

Cricketers ready to jet off to Sri Lanka

July 19 (TB) After a decade of competing against each other, these cricketers are joining forces in their first overseas tour. Rockhampton Hospital and Queensland Ambulance Service staff have packed their gear and are ready to jet off to Sri Lanka for a two-week tour watching and playing cricket. Bradley Norris and Glen Evans from the Queensland Ambulance Service said while the idea originated over a few beers, it quickly became a reality. "We play the hospital each year more..

Govt MPs report Auditor General to PM

July 19 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is expected to ask Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe why the latter has failed to audit ministries where massive frauds allegedly took place during the previous govt. PM Wickremesinghe promised a group of senior ministers that he would summon the Auditor General for a meeting and inquire from him why he had failed to complete the auditing of the aforesaid ministries. more..

Japan- Sri Lanka Friendship Foundation donates an ambulance

July 19 (PSL) Japan- SL Friendship Foundation has donated an ambulance worth Rs. 35 million to Sri Lanka. Representing the Japan-Sri Lanka Friendship Foundation Mr. Toji Eiichi handed over the ambulance symbolically to the President and subsequently the President handed over it to SL Police Department. Maha Sangha, Buddika Pathirana MP, IGP Pujith Jayasundara, Chairman of Japan – SL Friendship Foundation, Lal Thilakarathne and several others participated more..

Junior handicraft exhibition, competition for students unveiled

July 19 (DN) The handicraft industry will be revamped with more sale centres islandwide in all parts of the country in par with state owned Laksala emporiums. Minister Rishad Bathiudeen after attending the Shilpa Navoda programme held in Colombo said foreigners are also fond of Sri Lanka's traditional handicraft and ensured that handicraft sale centres will be set up in all districts, so that not only locals but foreign nationals too will be able to buy them and more..

The Wettimuny papers an inner look at a better cricket constitution

July 19 (ST) This was the Concept Paper developed and presented by then P.C. Prasanna Jayawardena, in consultation with the Interim Committee headed by Sidath Wettimuny at that time, to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera and ICC, prior to the last Cricket Board elections in January. Prasanna Jayawardena P.C. was also a member of the then interim committee. In principle, even more..

Should sports achievements be only criteria in deciding flag bearer?

July 19 (Island) A former athlete who once carried the national flag at the Olympics urged authorities to forget about affiliations and not to look beyond the sports aspect when selecting the flag bearer for the Rio Olympics while another appealed to scrutinise all aspects of the would be flag bearer. "You should not look beyond sports aspects when deciding the captain of the team," said Sriyani Kulawansa. "One should look at the commitment of the sportsman or woman rather than his or her personal life. more..

Sri Lanka gets GCF funds to help small farmers adapt to climate change

July 19 (EN) The Green Climate Fund (GCF), the main international funding body for climate action, has US$ 38.1 million in funding for Sri Lanka to help smallholder famers in the dry zone cope with climate change. Sri Lanka’s proposal for the funds was prepared by the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment with the assistance of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It will enable the government to implement integrated solutions to water management, more..

Marathon man Cooray leads SL at Rio Olympics

July 19 (EN) Veteran long distance runner, Anuradha Indrajith Cooray will be the overall captain of the ten-member Sri Lanka contingent for next month’s Olympic Games in Brazil, with Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee Maxwell de Silva accompanying the contingent as the Chef-de-Mission. This will be the record third Olympic Games for the UK-based Lankan marathon runner, having represented more..

We get a lot of feedback from Murali: O’Keefe

July 19 (DN) Steve O’Keefe explained the role former SL spinner Muthiah Muralitharan was playing in the Australian camp as a spin consultant. “We used to bowl with a Kookaburra but the ball changes from hard to soft and field setting are a bit different along with the fact that these guys are sweeping more on shots that we don’t see typically played in Australia,” said O’Keefe. “You just have to adjust and think on your feet and Steve Smith (captain) is one of the greatest cricket brains more..

Sri Lanka cannot lighten up

July 19 (CT) Darren Lehman lost the Ashes series 3-0 taking over Australia's coaching job in 2013. Then in the 2013/14 Ashes series he went on to beat the Englishmen 5-0. Lehman the coach was determined as a player and continues with determination as a coach. Although he would have been happier to have had his way, it did not help much in his playing days for his country; especially while Simpson was coach. But he was one of most celebrated players in the Aussie domestic more..

Today is Esala Full Moon Poya day

July 19 (DN) If Vesak is important because Prince Siddhattha was born, then Esala is equally important as the prince was conceived in Queen Mahamaya. If Vesak is important because of the Buddha’s awakening, then Esala is equally important as Siddhartha left all his luxuries for an ascetic life; this is when his son Rahula was born. Queen Maya was born to King Anjana and Queen Yasodhara of the Koliya caste. more..

A remedy for despair

July 19 (Island) Most of us live in the cramped cold cages of our private projects, frantically struggling to stake out our own little comfortable place in the sun. Driven in circles by anxious yearnings and beckoning desires, we rarely ever glance aside to see how our neighbor is faring, and when we do it is usually only to assure ourselves that he is not trying to encroach upon our own domain or to find some means by which we might extend our dominion over his. more..

External finances fragile despite improvements in trade and services account

July 19 (ST) The external vulnerability of the country’s finances persists despite improvements in the trade and services account of the balance of payments in the first quarter of this year. This is owing to capital outflows, and large debt service payments this year. This is a fragile situation in view of the large debt servicing requirements this year. Even though the current account of the balance of payments generated a surplus owing to a decrease in the trade deficit and more..

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