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Mervyn wanted Gotabaya and MR implicated

Jul 2 (CT) Former Commissioner of Rehabilitation at Prisons Department, Emil Ranjan Lamahewa said he was forced by former Minister Mervyn Silva to make a confession that incumbent Prez Rajapaksa and PM Rajapaksa were involved in the killing of 27 Welikada Prison inmates in Nov 2012. Testifying before the PCoI probing Political Victimisation of public servants during the tenure of the former Govt, Lamahewa said that more..

Summons for Sanga

Jul 2 (Island) Pressure is mounting on the government after several former cricket captains had been hauled up by the Police to investigate claims by former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage that the 2011 World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka was fixed. While Aravinda de Silva gave his statements to the Police on Tuesday, another former skipper Upul Tharanga was called up yesterday. Today it will be the turn of Kumar Sangakkara to appear before Police. more..

IFC exits investment in Cargills Food

Jul 2 (Island) International Finance Corporation (IFC) has informed the CSE of its intention to exit its investment in Cargills Food Company (Pvt) Ltd. by enforcing the put option. Under this option, outlined in a prior agreement, an entity can resell its stake holding in a company at a future date. Cargills Ceylon PLC states in a disclosure to CSE that, "Pursuant to the agreement entered between Int'l Finance Corporation (IFC), Cargills (Ceylon) PLC and Cargills Food Company (Pvt) Ltd, more..

Shocking case of undeclared narcotics in police custody

Jul 2 (Island) The Office of Attorney General Dappula de Livera PC, yesterday (1), confirmed an unprecedented meeting between the AG and Acting IGP C. D. Wickremaratne at the former’s Office following a revelation that some Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) officers were dealing in heroin. State Counsel and Coordinating Officer to the AG Nishara Jayaratne said that that having inquired into the issue at hand, more..

Sri Lanka starts new payments services as online banking soars in Covid-19 lockdowns

Jul 2 (EN) SL’s interbank clearing house, Lanka Clear, is starting an easy-to-use mobile cash transfer and an automatic bill payment facility as internet banking use in the country soared during a Coronavirus crisis, when curfews confined people to their homes, an official said. Sri Lanka had seen a 600 percent growth in internet banking and a 200 percent growth in payments, during Covid-19 curfews, Channa de Silva, CEO of LankaClear (Pvt) Ltd, SL’s interbank clearing house said. more..

Sri Lanka Insurance posts record pre-tax profit of Rs. 8.2 b for 2019

Jul 2 (FT) Sri Lanka Insurance, at the recently held Annual General Meeting declared that the company has closed year 2019 in a positive note, recording phenomenal growth with exceptional service innovations. Sri Lanka Insurance, the premier insurer to the nation, recorded stellar performance in 2019 recording 15% growth in profit before taxation, reaching a profit before taxation of Rs. 8.2 billion for the year – a marked improvement on the Rs. 7.1 billion in the year 2019. more..

President Gotabaya distancing himself from his party candidates at the Parliamentary poll

Jul 2 (EN) Prez Rajapaksa does not want candidates of the SL Nidahas Podujana Peramuna (SLNPP) for the Aug 5 Parliamentary Poll to use his photograph in their campaigns. The SLNPP alliance that brings together the President’s party SLPP, SLFP, CWC and other allies backed his candidacy for Prez in last year’s resounding win. It is not clear whether the Prez will join the campaign. Up to now PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, the best-known more..

Talk about Unity in Sports unfolds in Olympian scale!

Jul 2 (ST) National Olympic Committee (NOC) President Suresh Subramaniam said a mouthful when he exclaimed that to dwell in the past was not the way to produce Olympic champions. What of course spoiled the appetite of the Olympic boss was the SAG tamasha that is now being taken to the cleaners who are scrutinising how each morsel was consumed on the way to the salubrious climes of Kathmandu and back by an oversize contingent that did not fully justify what hamstrung treasury more..

The MCC Compact: US Embassy should stop being cagey

Jul 2 (DM) The committee appointed to review the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact has raised serious concerns about the draft agreement. Noting that the document as it stands is detrimental to the national interest and essentially subverts sovereignty while surrendering judicial oversight, the committee clearly recommends that the Govt should not sign the document unless such sections are amended. The US Govt has not indicated any willingness to alter anything. more..

AASL pondering conducting selection trials in Oct and National C'ship in Dec

Jul 2 (Island) Athletics Association of SL is planning to conduct selection trials in October to pick pools for a number of international competitions taking place in 2021. While delaying the flagship event, the National Championship till December for top athletes striving for Olympic qualifications to gain ranking points, the AASL will conduct a selection trial in October to pick pools for several other international events, Palitha Fernando the president of the AASL said. more..

Wartime, post-conflict foreign funding of local groups, political parties, etc.

Jul 2 (Island) Over a decade after the conclusion of the war some civil society groups/NGOs have taken up new challenges. In the wake of the unprecedented crisis caused by coronavirus, the National Peace Council (NPC) had an opportunity to provide relief to the needy courtesy foreign donors. The writer sought an explanation from the NPC’s Executive Director, Dr. Jehan Perera, soon after the Canadian High Commission in Colombo announced a substantial grant for the organisation for more..

The Seetha Arambepola syndrome: A Sinhala-Buddhist-Feminist rebuke

Jul 2 (CT) Taking part in a television show, Dr Seetha Kumari Arambepola (Dr SKA), an ENT surgeon, Executive Committee member of the lobbying group Viyathmaga, former governor of the Western Province, high-profile confidante of the Gotabaya Rajapaksa regime, and SLPP National List nominee at the 2020 general election, made a number of remarks that can only be described as a celebration of an extremely violent and patriarchal set of societal norms, attitudes, and more..

Prasanna Ranathunga

Editorial: Rogue cops and other criminals

Jul 2 (Island) Defence Secretary Major General (retd) Kamal Gunaratne has got tough with the police. He went ballistic at a recent meeting with the police top brass, tearing into them as he did, for their failure to fight crime effectively. He, however, praised the efficient police officers while accusing others of being a disgrace to their profession. His consternation is understandable. The underworld has emerged stronger than ever. The police reportedly netted about 46,600 suspects more..

Oh! What games some politicians play

Jul 2 (DM) The controversy surrounding the public boast by V Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman alias Colonel Karuna, at a political rally held in Ampara, of having killed up to 3,000 soldiers in a single night at Elephant Pass and several more at Kilinochchi, seems to have cast a shadow over the ruling SLPP. It was during its previous incarnation as the UPFA led by Mahinda Rajapaksa that Karuna Amman entered Parliament through its National List and sworn in as Minister of National Integration. more..

'People in the North will vote for SLFP'

Jul 2 (SO) The Jaffna district SLFP team leader Angajan Ramanathan, in an interview said, “Due to the intense political struggle in the Northern Province, our community not only lost valuable lives and property, but have gradually lost out in competency levels. The Northern people have sadly given up on education. People’s Representatives so far have not done anything to ensure the people’s existence in the region, and have only more..

Rights lawyers under fire in Sri Lanka

Jul 2 (GV) Last month (May) a Magistrate in Jaffna had withdrawn quarantine orders against the organizers of end of war commemorations, based on appeals by lawyers. At least three lawyers have faced reprisals in the days afterwards. Attorney-at-Law Mr. Roy Dilaksan’s house was reported to have been attacked by unknown persons. Another lawyer who had appeared for the same case, saw a suspicious person hovering around his law office. Yet another lawyer who had appeared for more..

Finance depositors held to ransom

>Jul 2 (CT) It’s a daily experience in our lives to see people either changing their ways of thinking or deliberately continuing old ways of thinking as well as of their actions by recycling their experiences. The latter can be either needed in a morally deficient state of society while the former will be perhaps more defined in a state of political objectivity when society demands immediacy in compensatory action instead of a long harangued lecture on morals. Some call this being politically correct. more..

'SLPP Kegalle election campaign peaceful'

Jul 2 (SO) Former State Minister speaks about how the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) is running their campaign in the Kegalle district, promoting a peaceful election environment. In an interview with the Sunday Observer, Tharaka Balasuriya, the son of former Minister Jagath Balasuriya, expressed his preference for establishing independent institutions instead of independent commissions in the long run. more..

Freedom to demand unfreedom

Jul 2 (CT) History may or may not repeat. But there is no doubt that history can instruct. Over the millennia people have welcomed tyrannical, authoritarian leaders. They have willingly and enthusiastically participated in their own oppression by willingly electing authoritarian leaders. Why do people idolize, venerate and elect authoritarian leaders? How do we explain the mob psychology of shameless anti-reason that is immune to counter argument? more..

MCC: Matter for new parliament to decide

Jul 2 (DM) US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo (Mike Pompeo) contacted Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardane over the phone, the two highest diplomats discussed a broad range of matters covering bilateral relations. The call came in the wake of the new political debate on the proposed compact agreement with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). MCC agreement, as it is called, has been a controversial topic since before the Nov 16 Presidential Elections. more..

Scare threatens huge forest land appropriation

Jul 1 (CT) Around 500,000 hectares of forest land coming under the purview of the Department of Forest Conservation (DFC) will be destroyed, if Circular 5/2001 is removed, claimed Executive Director of the Centre for Environmental Justice, Hemantha Withanage. Circular was issued by the Ministry of Environment on 10 Aug 2001 in order to protect small forest patches previously managed by Divisional Secretariats, more..

Sri Lanka tech campus drives online exams in Covid-19 lockdown

Jul 1 (EN) SL Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT), a fee levying tech campus said nearly 10,000 students sat for exams online during a Coronavirus lockdown. Over 95% of students from the faculties of Computing, Engineering, Business, Humanities & Sciences, Graduate Studies & Research, School of Architecture, School of Law, School of Hospitality and Culinary had sat for the online exams. “It is unprecedented in SL’s higher education system, for such a large number to more..

No final decision on giving Colombo Port’s East Terminal to India: PM

Jul 1 (AD) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa says that a final decision has not been taken to give the Eastern Terminal of the Colombo Port to India. President Rajapaksa had last week given the go ahead to Shipping Minister Johnston Fernando to start talks on changing the agreement signed by the previous administration on building a container terminal in Colombo port. Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) had signed agreements with India and Japan to run the partially built East Terminal after more..

'Champika wanted Gotabaya and Senadhipathi charged'

Jul 1 (CT) Former MP Champika Ranawaka, following a meeting held during the tenure of former UNF-led Govt, urged that action be taken against incumbent Prez Rajapaksa and Chairman of Avant Garde, Nissanka Senadhipathi, in relation to the Avant Garde case, said former Solicitor General Suhada Gamlath (PC). He told the PCoI, that Ranawaka also questioned him on why Senadhipathi had been granted his passport more..

Covid-19 recoveries in SL climb to 1,748

Jul 1 (AD) Thirty-seven more patients who were infected with Covid-19 have fully recovered and have been discharged from hospital, the Ministry of Health confirmed. This brings the total number of recoveries in SL to 1,748. 288 patients infected with the virus are currently under medical care at hospitals. The tally of confirmed cases of Coronavirus reported in the country so far increased to 2,047 following the detection of 05 new cases, returnees from Oman, last evening. more..

Grade 1 & 2 classes to re-open on 10 Aug

Jul 1 (NR) Grade 1 and 2 classes and all pre-schools in the country that were closed since March due to the COVID-19 crisis will re-open on the 10 of August. Ministry of Education in a statement said, following lengthy discussions with all stakeholders, the decision to re-open pre-schools was taken. The Ministry said guidelines issued by the Director General of Health Services must be followed when recommencing classes. All premises must be disinfected before the re-opening and more..

Early policy interventions position Sri Lanka for post-COVID-19 growth: CB report

Jul 1 (Xinhua) Early fiscal and monetary policy interventions have ensured that Sri Lanka's economy repositions itself to generate value in the post-COVID-19 new normal, a report by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has said. Despite a curfew imposed to contain COVID-19 on March 20, which was fully lifted on June 28, SL's economy did not come to a complete standstill due to continued provision of essential services, more..

COVID-19 a strategic window of opportunity for Sri Lanka: Prof Nalin Abeysekera

Jul 1 (EN) The following is the second in a series of interviews with academics and public intellectuals on the way forward for Sri Lanka in a post-COVID-19 world. Prof Nalin Abeysekera (Professor in Management Studies) at the Open University of Sri Lanka believes COVID-19 is a strategic window that has been opened for Sri Lanka to exploit to the country’s advantage. He calls for a philosophical approach in order to not miss the bus (again). Excerpts follow. more..

Insufficient evidence against former NP Councillor to further sustain case: AG

Jul 1 (CT) Attorney General has informed the Organised Crimes Division (OCD) that was prosecuting former Northern Provincial Councilor M.K. Sivajilingam, on charges of issuing statements aimed at harming national reconciliation efforts, that there was insufficient evidence to further sustain the case. Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratna yesterday (30) concluded the legal proceedings pertaining to this case filed against Sivajilingam. When the case was taken up, more..

'Present situation could help correct incongruities in SL’s labour migration'

Jul 1 (MFA) Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha has observed that despite its immediate gloom, the present situation has been an eye opener in many respects that could help correct structural, procedural and human interface incongruities in Sri Lanka’s labour migration. It also presents an opportunity for Sri Lanka to re-orient foreign employment in a post-Covid-19 world, sensitive to the ground realities in both more..

Fujian, China firm joins Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port development

Jul 1 (EN) China’s CMPorts said a Fujian-based logistics group will take an indirect stake to join the development of Hambantota port, in a move that will bring in new industries from the province to SL and reduce its debt. Fujian Provincial Communication Transportation Group Co., Ltd (FJCT), will take a 23% stake in Gainpro Resources Ltd, British Virgin Islands company that holds CM Ports’ 85% stake of Hambantota Port Int'l Group, the operating company of the port. more..

World Bank announces new Country Manager for Sri Lanka

Jul 1 (WB) Chiyo Kanda is the World Bank’s new Country Manager for Sri Lanka. She will oversee a total portfolio of around $2.3 billion and the development of a new country partnership framework. Chiyo Kanda will be based in Colombo. Faris Hadad-Zervos is taking up the position of Country Director for Maldives, Nepal and SL, based in Nepal. Kanda’s appointment comes at a time when the Govt of SL is working to address both the immediate and longer-term health and more..

Kumar Sangakkara to be questioned in WC final fixing probe

Jul 1 (AD) Former SL cricket captain Kumar Sangakkara has been summoned to appear before the Special Investigations Unit of the Sports Ministry. He has been summoned by the unit to provide a statement regarding the match-fixing allegations leveled by former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage pertaining to the final of the 2011 ICC World Cup. Sangakkara, who captained the SL national cricket team more..

Sri Lanka relaxes listing rules to allow start-ups to raise capital

Jul 1 (EN) Securities and Exchange Commission said it had approved changing listing rules to allow start ups and small firms to raise capital and also make it easier to tap in to a mult-currency board. Moving away from profit requirement, SL would allow firms with revenues and strong cashflows to be considered for listing. “These eligibility criteria will facilitate companies who do not have a large asset base but have substantial revenue and cash flows (such as companies in the IT sector) more..

Video: Epidemiologist cautions of swine flu spreading in China

Jul 1 (DM) It was advised to be alert on a new type of swine flu spreading in China, which has the potentiality to develop into a future pandemic, Chief Epidemiologist of Epidemiology Unit, Dr. Sudath Samaraweera said. He said according to the Chinese researchers, virus which is descended from the H1N1 swine flu, had been confirmed to have infected some people working in the farms. “The new flu which has been identified in China is similar to 2009 swine flu, but with some changes,” more..