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PM tells parliament CID will probe NYT exposè

Jul 5 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament that the CID would conduct an investigation into the matters raised by a recent report by the New York Times, which exposed a secret deal between the previous govt and China and the latter funding the 2015 Presidential Campaign of former President Rajapaksa. PM said that the CID would commence its investigation on the basis of a complaint more..

The Frozen Fire, first Sri Lankan movie to enter mainstream category at Oscars

Jul 5 (LBO) For the first time in the history of Sri Lankan film industry, a movie from the local industry will vie for Oscars 2019. The movie titled The Frozen Fire, directed by Anuruddha Jayasinghe, is the first Sri Lankan movie to enter in mainstream Best Picture category of Oscars 2019, officials revealed. The preview show of The Frozen Fire was screened on Tuesday at the National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka. more..

All at sea over mysterious shipping Gazette No. 2069/38

Jul 5 (FT) Shipping industry sources are baffled by a secret publication of a gazette by the Shipping Ministry on 4 May, in complete contrast and contradiction to the Govt policy on liberalisation announced in the 2018 Budget proposals. Allegedly this gazette has provided space for a cartel tariff, protecting the local shipping agents against market forces and efficiency. Daily FT has obtained a copy of the letter issued by the CB of Sri Lanka to more..

Question of Mahendran on the run figures at CIABOC forum

Jul 5 (Island) SL’s failure to secure Singapore’s assistance to bring back former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran, wanted in connection with treasury bond scams perpetrated in 2015 and 2016, was raised by The Island at a forum for the civil society and media on Monday. CIABOC organised the event in line with national consultations meant to develop national action plan to combat bribery and corruption. more..

Court halts tourism development on Eastern islet

Jul 5 (EN) Court of Appeal has halted the construction of tourist facilities on a small islet in the east coast after an environmental organization protested that it was done without required environmental clearances. The CA issued a stay order on the construction activities by a state agency Sallitivu Islet in Batticaloa, until the next hearing on August 04. Environmental Foundation Ltd, had gone to court saying more..

New whetting procedure for Samurdhi beneficiaries to prevent political bias

Jul 5 (ST) New applications for the Samurdhi subsidy programme will be evaluated by a team under the respective Divisional Secretaries in order to minimise allegations of political bias, Dept of Samurdhi Development states. Jinasiri Dadallage, Dept’s Director General, said the move would ensure that a local Samurdhi officer would not be able to arbitrarily chose or exclude families based on political or other biases. more..

'We are ready to help police fight the underworld'

Jul 5 (DM) The increasing rate of crimes and incidents related to contract killings and shootings has made people question the status of national security from time to time. Nine years into the post-war era, Sri Lanka still has several issues to solve in order to bear the fruits of the reconciliation process. While the North is being recovered, the South needs to be watched closely. In a recent statement, State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene more..

Will yahapalanists back a Tamil or A Muslim presidential candidate?

Jul 5 (DM) Yahapalanists, i.e. those advocating yahapalanaya or good governance, as per their own articulation of the term, are for equality, justice, truth, transparency, accountability and other such lovely things. Again, as per their rhetoric, they abhor injustice, corruption, nepotism, graft, misuse of state resources and abuse of authority, among other things. Yahapalanaya, in the way the term has been used by its advocates, is not just about good governance. more..

Parliamentary democracy or dictators: the choice is yours

Jul 5 (DM) With the US yesterday celebrating or possibly commemorating the 241st anniversary of its independence at a time when the dangerously unpredictable President Donald Trump appears to show a liking for dictators in countries such as Russia, China and Turkey, the UN last Saturday marked the International Day of Parliamentarism. Mr. Trump elected mainly by a white voter base and known to be advised mainly by right-wing extremist Steve Miller, on Monday again attacked more..

PM to take action after listening to Vijayakala

Jul 5 (Island) There was no need at all to revive the LTTE terrorist organisation, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament. He said action would be taken against State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran for calling for the revival of the LTTE. Making a special statement in Parliament, the PM said that what action should be taken against the State Minister would be decided after a meeting with her and listening to her explanation on more..

Leave of Police personnel cancelled in Jaffna

Jul 5 (Island) Northern Province Senior DIG, Roshan Fernando decided to cancel leave of all policemen deployed in Jaffna District due to the deteriorating security situation in the area. The Police have decided to increase the police presence in Jaffna due to the increasing criminal activities, including those of the Aava Group. Thus, the leave of policemen has been canceled until normalcy returns. Senior DIG has also brought in 100 policemen from Vavuniya and Mannar to beef up more..

June tourist arrivals grow 19%

Jul 5 (FT) The total number of tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka during June reached 146,828, latest data released by the Govt said, posting a growth of 19% and pushing cumulative arrivals to 1.16 million. This month, the largest source market for tourists is India, followed by China and United Kingdom. As at 30 June, 1,164,647 tourists had visited Sri Lanka for this year. It is a 15.3% growth over last year when 1,010,444 tourists had visited the country during the same period. more..

AG already filed action on UPF: PM

Jul 5 (DM) The Attorney General had already filed legal action to recover the additional revenue of Rs 140 million earned by Perpetual Treasuries by selling bonds to University Provident Fund (UPF), PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament. He said this in response to a query by JVP MP Nalinda Jayatissa in the House. PM said the Govt had already frozen Rs 11 billion held by Perpetual Treasuries. more..

Dozen pages of Bond Probe Commission Report missing: CaFFE

Jul 5 (Island) The C350 report, a part of the Bond Commission report containing phone records of COPE members, which was yesterday made available to the public by the Dept of National Archives only contained details of records of calls between CB officials and some other individuals, Executive Director of CaFFE Keerthi Tennakoon said. CID handed over reports on phone records of COPE members and Perpetual treasuries owner, Arjun Aloysius, and conversations that more..

Dhammika predicts Colombo will be developed by 2021

Jul 5 (FT) Business tycoon and Vallibel One Chairman Dhammika Perera yesterday expressed confidence that the 5% population living in the city of Colombo will surpass $12,650 per capita income within the next three years, falling into the brackets of a developed city. Addressing at the bell-ringing ceremony held at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) to welcome the firm into SL’s 20 largest listed entities, he pointed out that countries that surpass $12,650 per capita income more..

Mihin employees worked 9 months without wages: PCoI

Jul 5 (DM) One hundred employees, who were recruited to Mihin Lanka worked for nine months without salary, starting April 2008, retired Mihin Lanka employee Ingrid Guruge told PCol. During her testimony, she informed the Commission that Mihin Lanka had wet-leased (When leasing the aircraft with the entire crew) two aircraft from Bulgaria and Turkey in 2007 and after the expiration of their contract period in 2008, more..

Sri Lanka, UAE to sign agreement to expand investment promotion

Jul 5 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka and the UAE on Wednesday agreed to complete the Agreement for the Promotion and Protection of Investment (APPI) as early as possible in order to expand investment and trade cooperation between the two countries. A statement from the Ministry of Industry & Commerce, quoting UAE's Ambassador to SL, Ahmad Al Mualla said Sri Lanka and the UAE had maintained historic ties and trade and investments were key pillars of these relations. more..

Road Map ready for SLC election

Jul 5 (CT) A road map has been prepared to conduct the SLC election of office-bearers and it is planned to be held on 19 October 2018. This was revealed during the hearing of the case filed by former SLC Secretary Nishantha Ranathunga against former SLC President MP Thilanga Sumathipala, Minister of Sports Faiszer Musthapha, Chairman of SLC, the discarded SLC Election Committee Chairman Rasika Weerathunga and 24 others in the Court of Appeal yesterday. more..

Govt won’t delay PC polls: PM

Jul 5 (FT) The Govt had no interest in delaying Provincial Council Elections, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament yesterday. He made this statement in response to a question posed by JO MP Dullas Alahapperuma in Parliament. MP Alahapperuma, pointing out that several Provincial Council (PC) terms had expired, charged that the Govt was unduly postponing PC elections. more..

Lanka Premier League to be postponed to next year

Jul 5 (PO) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) board which was set to host the Lanka Premier League (LPL) in August this year is set to be postponed, it is learnt here. According to the highly placed sources in Colombo, the announcement will be made soon and the new dates will be announced at a later date. “LPL is not called off for ever but will be rescheduled”, source said. “In the current uncertain prevailing situation at SLC, it can’t be held in August and not before the elections are held. more..

Novel on Rajani Thiranagama gets ready for English readers

Jul 5 (Hindu) 29 years after the brutal murder of Tamil human rights activist and feminist Rajani Thiranagama in Jaffna by an assassin allegedly deputed by the LTTE, a powerful Malayalam literary work chronicling her struggle is breaking the language barrier to reach readers across the globe. T.D. Ramakrishnan’s Malayalam work Sugandhi Enna Andal Devanayaki created a sensation when it was published three years ago. Now, HarperCollins is bringing out its English version on July 25, more..

Weerawansa & Ranaweera disgraced Parliament: Speaker

Jul 5 (CT) Condemning the uproar which erupted in the Parliament Chamber on 3 July over State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran’s claim that the LTTE should return, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday, told the House that the behaviour of the JO MPs Wimal Weerawansa and Prasanna Ranaweera during the uproar was a disgrace to the entire Parliament. He said, “As soon as we came to know of the seriousness of more..

Sri Lanka Rugby team to take part in Paris World Games

Jul 5 (Island) SL Men’s National Sevens Rugby Team flew to France to take part in the Paris World Games sevens competition that will be held on July 7 and 8. This tour has been organized by Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) in order to prepare for the upcoming Asian Sevens Circuit next month. Before the tournament, the team will undergo a coaching camp conducted by coach Peter Woods. Team will be led by hard-working forward Sudarshana Muthuthanthri with plenty of young and experienced players more..

Govts must facilitate cybersecurity specialists

Jul 5 (FT) Countries need to emphasise their stance on cyber security and facilitate for more cybersecurity specialists, Secretary to the Minister of Telecom and Digital Infrastructure Wasantha Deshapriya said . Speaking at the Youth Cyber Summit, the Secretary who attended the event in place of the Minister Harin Fernando, said, “It is clear to us that countries need to emphasise their stance on cyber security and to facilitate for more cybersecurity specialists. more..

USAID funded CIABOC project: Top FM official paints bleak picture

Jul 5 (Island) Additional Secretary, Finance and Media Ministry Thilaka Jayasundara said early this week that the country hadn’t been able to achieve its full potential due to inconsistent govt policies, political instability, inefficient govt bureaucracy, and extremely poor work ethics culture. Jayasundara compared Sri Lanka with developed countries on the basis of World Bank’s 2017 Doing Business Report. more..

IPS highlights urgent policy reforms

Jul 5 (Island) Speaking at the Saman Kelegama Memorial Conference, Professor of Economics at Monash University, Australia, Sisira Jayasuriya, pointed out that Sri Lanka is in a vulnerable position in terms of its debt. He noted that there has been a shift in the sources of development finance. While earlier Sri Lanka used domestic savings, FDIs, concessional loans and aid, but now the country has to depend on loans from commercial banks and from China, he pointed out. more..

Yen 100 b loan for Central Highway stage III

Jul 5 (FT) Cabinet this week gave approval to seek a Japanese loan of 100 billion yen to construct the third section of the Central High Way from Pothuhera to Galagedara, minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said. The construction of the third section of the Central Highway stretching 32.05 km has been arranged as an Engineering Procurement Contract (EPC) of Japanese contractors under Japanese Banks Financing through a syndicated loan. more..

Maristella clocks historic world leading time

Jul 5 (Island) In a history making performance for SL Athletics, Parami Wasanthi Maristella clocked a stunning world leading time of six minutes and 35.20 seconds in the girls’ 2,000 metres steeplechase to book her place for the Youth Olympics yesterday, the Athletics Association of SL confirmed. The athlete hailing from Kuliyapitiya won the event conducted to select the Asian region’s participants for quadrennial event in Thailand more..

Best students of Jaffna receive Army support

Jul 5 (SLA) Three Jaffna students, who secured best island-wide results in the GCE (A/L) Exam - 2017 received incentives thanks to the coordination done by the Security Force Headquarters - Jaffna (SFHQ-J). At the request of the SFHQ-J, Makola Lions Club of District 306 B2 offered three laptops and monthly scholarship grants, each worth Rs 5000/= to all three students namely, Sridharan Thuwakaran of J/Hartley College (Island’s first in Physical Science), R.D.J Paul Jansen of more..

Lankan migrant worker gets lifetime trip to watch 2018 World Cup football

Jul 5 (DN) A SL migrant worker helping to build the 2022 World Cup had the trip of a lifetime when he was taken to the opening match of the current tournament in Russia. Najeem Hasan, 27, was among eight workers invited to accompany the former Barcelona star, Xavi Hernandez, on a five-day visit to Moscow. Xavi is global ambassador for the tournament Qatar will host in four years’ time and head of the Generation Amazing programme, tasked with helping build football at more..

Sri Lanka to send record number of athletes to Asian Games

Jul 5 (DN) Sri Lanka will send its largest ever contingent to the 18th Asian Games with 185 athletes participating in 28 sports for the multi-sport extravaganza in Jakarta and Palembang from August 18-September 2. “We want to give everyone the opportunity to showcase their talent. In the past there have been many instances where athletes, or sports, have tried to use influence to go to an international event. more..

Former SLC Presidents meet Sports Minister

Jul 5 (Island) Four former Presidents of SLC had a meeting with Minister of Sports Faizer Mustapaha at the Sports Ministry yesterday. World Cup winning former captain Arjuna Ranatunga, Sidath Wettimuny, Ana Punchihewa and Jayantha Dharmadasa discussed the current state of the sport. "We lost confidence that we could change the system in the past. But we came here with fresh hopes that things could be changed. We have to change the Sports Law & Constitution of SLC more..

JVP queries Govt policy on asbestos

Jul 5 (FT) The JVP in Parliament demanded to know from the Govt what its policy was towards the importation of asbestos, and to take measures to prevent the local tile industry from collapsing. JVP MP Vijitha Herath pointing out that the country had benefited only once from scrapping tax on asbestos import. “Soon after the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, Govt implemented a tax concession on asbestos imports to help and expedite the rebuilding process. more..

Behind some of Sri Lanka’s nicest hotels is a bleak situation for workers

Jul 5 (DN) Ruwan Gunaratne* has worked behind the bars of luxury hotels for nearly three decades. He started learning his trade in five-star hotels in Colombo, and then spent a few years in the Maldives before moving back home to his family. Now, he is a shift captain at a seaside hotel just outside Colombo, mixing tropical cocktails and managing a small bar staff. In all those years of work, Gunaratne has mastered English, and more..

CIABOC chief in quest to rout culture around corruption

Jul 5 (DN) When SL gained independence in 1948, country inherited a host of British criminal laws, and their legacy lives on today. Years later, some of the laws, including those that pertain to bribery and corruption, have not been updated for the 21st century. According to Sarath Jayamanne, Director General of the CIABOC, he and his team have received Cabinet approval to move forward with amending outdated laws as a part of a full-fledged effort to rout the culture around corruption more..

Vijayakala’s suicide bombing, Northern Nazism, Tamil Hitler & North-South politics

Jul 5 (CT) Though that may change, this island has so far produced only one movement which qualifies as Fascist by int'l standards. When the LTTE was decisively defeated in May 2009, the prestigious journal The Economist (London) described it as almost classically fascist. This was not a journalistic flourish. In his 1999 book The New Terrorism, Emeritus Professor Walter Laqueur wrote that in terms of its ruthlessness and fanaticism the only parallels for the Tamil Tigers more..