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Wickremesinghe sworn in as Sri Lankan PM

Aug 21 (Reuters) Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in on Friday as Sri Lanka's PM after winning a general election, and agreed with President Maithripala Sirisena's party to form a national unity govt to push ahead with reforms. Wickremesinghe, 66, took the oath of office in a Buddhist ceremony in the presence of Sirisena, cementing an alliance between the two that successfully fought off a comeback bid by more..

UNP, SLFP sign MoU on national govt

Aug 21 (AM) A MoU was signed between the UNP and the SLFP on a national govt this morning at the Presidential Secretariat. MoU was signed immediately after the swearing-in of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim and SLFP Acting General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake signed the MoU on behalf of the two parties. UNP won 106 seats in the recent parliamentary election. more..

Malik, Karu, Athuraliya in UNP national list

Aug 21 (CG) UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickrema, Karu Jayasuriya, D.M. Swaminathan and JHU member Athuraliya Rathana thero are among those included in the UNP national list submitted today. Dr. Jayampathi Wickremeratne, Thilak Marapana, Professor C.A. Marasinghe, Anoma Gamage, M.K.D.S Gunawardena, Dr. A.R Hafeez of SLMC, Srinal de Mel, M.H.M Salman and M.H.M Navavi of ACMC are also in UNP national list. more..

Investigators resume probe against Rajapaksa regime

Aug 21 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's new UNF govt on Friday re-started a corruption probe against the former govt headed by Mahinda Rajapakse by questioning a former senior minister. Wimal Weerawansa, the previous health minister, was questioned by officers of the Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) on Friday over the misappropriation of funds when he was in power. His wife Sashi Weerawansa was also summoned to FCID on Thursday more..

Champika also extends invitation to form national govt

Aug 21 (Island) UNP MP elect Champika Ranawaka invited the SLFP to join the UNP to form a national unity govt. Everything would be done to protect the national security of the country, he added. The defeat of SLFP-led UPFA had indicated that the SLFP needed an immediate party re-structure and its liberation from the clutches of a single family, Ranawaka said. He said the TNA also needed to change as more..

June trade gap widens as tea, textile exports fall, car imports rise

Aug 21 (EN) Sri Lanka’s trade deficit widened in June 2015 as exports fell, dragged down by lower earnings from tea and textiles, while imports rose, led by car imports. Deficit in the trade account in June 2015 widened by 51.9% to US$ 689 million from the year before. Earnings from exports in June 2015 fell 4.2% to US$ 944 million from previous year. Expenditure on imports in June 2015 increased by 13.5% to US$ 1,633 million more..

Refugees guarded in reaction to Sri Lankan poll results

Aug 21 (Hindu) Sri Lankan Tamils at the Mandapam camp reacted to the election of UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as PM with cautious optimism. The refugees heaved a sigh of relief that former President Rajapaksa suffered yet another debacle but at the same time were not elated at the victory of Mr. Wickremesinghe. The return of Mr. Wickremesinghe as PM may not make a substantial difference in addressing more..

LPBOA Chairman issues warning to govt

Aug 21 (Island) Chairman of the Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA), Gemunu Wijeratne alleged that 45% of UPFA members elected to Parliament were corrupt. Despite being aware of all the corruption that had taken place people had voted for them. He said that his LPBOA and several other government and private sector trade unions had allied to form the Trade Union Alliance for a Just Society (TUAJS) to more..

Motorcyclists weave and speed……and die

Aug 21 (ST) Weaving impatiently through heavy traffic while overtaking heavy vehicles while taking little care to be seen clearly in the vehicle stream, in many cases jumping red lights, motorcyclists contribute to a large portion of the number of fatal accidents in the country. More than 600 motorcycle riders have been killed so far this year, most of them were youth, statistics by the Motor Traffic Department of SL revealed. more..

Bond Scam: Who’s scamming whom?

Aug 21 (SL) Budget deficit of Sri Lanka is funded through Commercial and Non-Commercial borrowing. Non-Commercial Borrowing is concessional funding from international donor agencies and countries. The Govt of Sri Lanka uses Treasury Bills and Treasury Bonds to fund a significant portion of the Commercial borrowing used to fund the budget deficit. Until 1995, the total Commercial borrowing to fund more..

Uncompromising techno Music

Aug 21 (DM) Leave the compromise to politicians; This is actually very good therapy for anyone who’s had to suffer ten years of Rajapaksa Inc. rule At first, I had that uncanny feeling I’d seen this before. Then it clicked. Why, all these weird hairstyles and hip characters showing off their biceps and legs. That’s the party scene from Blade. But, as a fan of vampire movies from my school days, it is not any fear of fangs sinking into my neck which unnerved me. It’s the distinct possibility of being thrown into more..

Taking a new step

Aug 21 (DM) In another dramatic move yesterday to form a National Government, the main Opposition SLFP, decided to form a coalition with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s UNFGG. The long-delayed meeting of the SLFP Central Committee – the first since the major split over the Mahinda Rajapaksa issue – was presided over by President Maithripala Sirisena in his capacity as the leader of the SLFP. Last week, Mr. Sirisena suspended SLFP’s General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa more..

SLFP CC for joining national govt

Aug 21 (Island) SLFP Central Committee unanimously decided to join a national govt as neither the UNP nor UPFA had succeeded in securing a majority of seats in Parliament. SLFP spokesman Dilan Perera said that the party’s CC had met at President Maithripala Sirisena’s official residence and latter presided over the meeting. He said that members of the SLFP CC agreed to form a national govt led by President Sirisena. more..

TNA wants Opposition leader post

Aug 21 (CT) Vanni District MP of TNA, Selvam Adaikalanadan said that if a National Govt is established, the post of Opposition Leader in Parliament should be granted to TNA Leader R. Sampanthan. If the two main parties, UNP and UPFA get together and establish a National Govt, the next main party in Parliament is the TNA which obtained 16 seats, he pointed out. Adaikalanadan also said that, during the final weeks of the previous Parliament there was a problem regarding more..

No losers in National List: Poll monitors urge

Aug 21 (CT) Election monitoring bodies have asked political parties not to include those who failed to win the general election in the National List. Instead they have urged the parties to appoint educated and intelligent candidates to the National List. Meanwhile, CAFFE and National Coordinator of the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence, Manjula Gajanayake said post-election law violations and election related acts of violence reported were minimal and only minor incidents. more..

Weerawansa blames President for the defeat

Aug 21 (Island) Leader of the NFF and MP elect Wimal Weerawansa said that if President Maithripala Sirisena had not slapped obstacles in its path, the UPFA would have secured more seats and defeated the UNP at Monday’s election. He said now the UPFA would function as a strong opposition as it had 95 seats in Parliament. Weerawansa vowed not to betray the people’s mandate by supporting UNP in Parliament. more..

CIMA signs MoU with Wayamba University

Aug 21 (DM) CIMA Sri Lanka signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Department of Accountancy, Wayamba University recently. Under this agreement, undergraduates and graduates of BSc in accounting from the university are entitled to a range of exemptions, which include registration at a discounted price, exemption fee waiver and a waiver of the CIMA subscription fee for the duration of their candidature at the university. At a time with Sri Lanka has been given more..

Names of the new MPs gazetted

Aug 21 (ITN) The names of MPs elected from the General Election will be gazetted. Additional Elections Commissioner M.M. Mohamed said that these names will definitely be gazetted today (20). 196 members were elected at the District level. Among them are new members as well as those who had represented Parliament earlier. Only the names of these 196 members will be gazetted today. Elections Secretariat had not yet received the names of the 29 National List MPs. more..

Lalkantha left holding short end of the stick

Aug 21 (Island) JVP trade union wing leader and WPC member K.D. Lalkantha’s resignation from the Provincial Council was a party decision taken before the general election, JVP Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath said. He said Lalkantha had tendered his resignation letter to the Provincial Council on Aug 10 according to a party decision. Lalkantha contested the general election from Colombo District unsuccessfully. more..

Half a dozen Central PC members elected

Aug 21 (Island) Half a dozen members of Central Provincial Council (CPC) have won seats in Parliament at the election. Six provincial councillors are from the districts of Kandy, Matale and Nuwara Eliya. Five are from the UNP and one from the UPFA. Leader of the Opposition of the CPC Ranjith Aluwihare (UNP) from Matale, K.K. Piyadasa (UNP), from Nuwara Eliya and from the Kandy district P. Velukumar (UNP), Mayantha Dissanayake (UNP) Lucky Jayawardana (UNP) more..

New HC to Australia presents credentials

Aug 21 (GDI) The new High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Australia, Somasundaram Skandakumar presented credentials to Sir Peter Cosgrove, the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, at the Got House in Canberra. The credentials ceremony included a one to one discussion between the new High Commissioner and the Governor General, an official photograph and Guard of Honour according a National Salute. Ceremony was followed by an official lunch more..

New Strategic development ministry?

Aug 21 (EN) New govt is set to fast track its economic reforms agenda with the creation of a new ministry for strategic development that will include functions of both the finance ministry as well as investment promotion, official sources said. UNP chairman Malik Samarawickrema is tipped to head the new ministry whose name is still being decided in time for Monday’s swearing in of a cabinet by UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe who more..

Karu to become next Speaker?

Aug 21 (AD) Senior UNP leader Karu Jayasuriya has been proposed as a suitable candidate for the post of Speaker of the next Parliament, according to political sources. However, it is said that no final decision has been taken on the matter. The former Gampaha District MP and Minister did not contest the recent Parliamentary Election, however his name was included in the National List of the UNP. Chamal Rajapaksa served as Speaker of the previous Parliament. more..

'Majority community rejects racist politics'

Aug 21 (Island) NUF led by M.M. Zuhair PC, former MP has welcomed the victory of the UNF at the general election 2015 as a rejection by the Sri Lankans of communal and racist politics. "This rejection is further reinforced by the majority community in particular defeating the anti-minority Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) sponsored BJP, in every one of the 16 electoral districts it contested. The message of the people is clear: "No more racist or communal politics." more..

Polls: Ranatunga brothers cry foul

Aug 21 (Island) Sanjeeva Ranatunga expressed dismay that Ruwan had failed to retain his seat in the Gampaha District at the election whereas Arjuna and Prasanna in spite of various allegations directed at them had entered Parliament. Prasanna and Ruwan contested on the UPFA ticket, while Arjuna joined the fray on the UNP ticket. Sanjeeva regretted that Ruwan, who had worked silently for the people, had been rejected. more..

Tony Blair, PM to open Grand Gourmet

Aug 21 (DN) Sri Lanka can be one of the best sought after MICE destinations if we could host the World Travel Awards, which is known as the Oscar awards in the travel and tourism sector, Member of European Parliament Niranjan Deva Aditiya said. "I will try my level best to canvass this most prestigious event World Travel Awards to Sri Lanka as I am involved in their activities. This would be a unique opportunity to promote Sri Lanka as a major MICE tourist destination, Deva Aditiya said. more..

Extremists on both sides of ethnic divide defeated: TU collective

Aug 21 (Island) Trade Union Alliance for a Just Society (TUAJS) said that certain extremist groups that contested general election had been defeated by the people. Convenor for TUAJS, Saman Ratnapriya said the number of votes received by Bodu Bala Sena and extremist Tamil groups comprising former members of the LTTE, had shown that people preferred to live in harmony. Ratnapriya campaigned with several other govt and private sector trade unions for the victory of the UNP. more..

EAP Group breaks ground today for $ 20m Galaxy Impala

Aug 21 (FT) Galaxy Landmarks, part of EAP Group, will break ground today to commence the construction of Galaxy Impala Complex in Rajagiriya. Ceremony will be attended by company’s directors and senior managers. Chief Guest will be EAP Group President Soma Edirisinghe. Galaxy Impala is the first of a series of cinema multiplexes cum retail/commercial complexes that Galaxy Landmarks is planning to construct. more..

A healing chapter in the Sri Lanka tale begins

Aug 21 (AA) In the end, Mahinda Rajapaksa of the UPFA, who presented himself as the Sinhala warrior king, lost the parliamentary election, frustrating his attempt to return to the political centre stage, this time as PM, after having lost the presidential election in January. The victors were President Maithripala Sirisena and his PM Ranil Wickremesinghe of the UNP. However, Mr Rajapaksa put up a good fight, polling big in the Sinhala south, winning his own seat in more..

Gung-ho for national govt

Aug 21 (FT) The SLFP headed by President Sirisena yesterday decided to back a national unity govt that will cohabit with the UNFGG which emerged as the single largest party in Parliament in Monday’s election for at least two years. SLFP General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake said that the party’s Central Committee had granted President Sirisena full authority to form a national govt under his leadership. “President emphasised that a national unity govt was necessary more..

Corporates want govt to deliver fast

Aug 21 (DN) Cross section of the business community welcomed the new govt and said that they should form broader alliance in parliament and work hand in hand towards creating a better Sri Lanka. They also say that a good Cabinet should be appointed while a strong Speaker too was needed. Former HNB Chairman Rienzie Wijetilleke, said since people have high expectations, the new govt should find quick solutions for several crucial more..

Ban, Maithripala agree to meet in New York

Aug 21 (FT) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and President Maithripala Sirisena have agreed to meet in New York next month when the President attends the UN General Assembly. Ban Ki-moon had telephoned the President yesterday and congratulated him on the peaceful conduct of the parliamentary elections, the President’s office said. During the conversation, the UN Secretary General had expressed keen interest to meet the President on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. more..

Disregard shocks Jayasooriya

Aug 21 (CT) Once a sparkling goal defence that terrorized Asian teams to be frozen out in the Netball World Cup 2015 in Australia by the coaching staff. An emotional Chathurangi Jayasooriya said she was shocked with the way she was disregarded during the World Cup. "I never thought I would have to sit on the bench for the entire tournament, especially with me being the most senior player in the squad," she said. Jayasooriya however, was given a chance to play a cameo in the final match, more..

Several parties draw a blank at elections

Aug 21 (FT) Sources within the Elections Department have revealed that a large number of recognized political parties and independent groups had been unable to obtain seats in Parliament at the recent General Election. The department’s reports show that only five recognised parties out of 35 were able to obtain parliamentary seats at the polls. Meanwhile, all 201 independent groups which contested failed to obtain more..

Winpro turbines to generate canal electricity

Aug 21 (DN) Japanese company, Winpro will invest in Sri Lanka in providing electricity from the canals of Mahaweli. The innovative idea is being coordinated in Sri Lanka by the Bela Group of Companies. The two companies are hoping to invest around Rs. 150 million for the first stage of the operation and it will generate nearly 100 employment opportunities. Bela Group Chairman Prageeth Herath said a team of Japanese investors will be in Sri Lanka on Sunday and they are likely to sign a MOU with more..

Coaches up in arms over U-19 preparations

Aug 21 (ST) A section of the Lankan coaching fraternity is unhappy about the current status of the Sri Lanka Under-19 Cricket pool which is in preparation for the ICC’s teen World Cup in Bangladesh next February. Sri Lanka Cricket last week announced a 37-member pool and they will be in training for the Under 19 World Cup next year. A much annoyed senior coach told the Sunday Times: “This situation is unacceptable. We have not been doing well in this age group’s exchanges and more..