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'Country needs departure from Colombo 7 centric thinking'

July 26 (DM) Leading Buddhist monk Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thera, who works with the nationalist groups, speaks about the present status of politics in the country and what he envisages. Q: In the wake of the call by the Mahanayake Theras against a new Constitution, how do you see the current process? A: I also hold the view that there is no need for a new Constitution. It is not something demanded by the people. more..

The story of Mahaweli

July 26 (DM) At the very outset, allow me to draw your attention to an oversight in my previous column on Who represents the real SLFP. In the 8th paragraph I write thus: The passage of the 19th Amendment... It should read as the 18th Amendment. Please forgive me for this error. Now to my current column:   The mighty Mahaweli River begins its history-laden journey from the zenith of Sri Paada, pinnacle of Buddhist belief that Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha laid his footprint, more..

Mindfulness - why not in Sri Lanka?

July 26 (DM) Mindfulness has taken the world by storm.  From Hollywood’s Hugh Jackman to farmers in South Africa call it the new age panacea that heals the mind. That’s more than 2500 years after the practice was originated in the East, with its pioneer, Buddha advocating it to his disciples thus introducing a new psychological tradition to the world. Today millions across the globe belonging to almost every religion and ethnic community have embraced this tradition more..

JO says SLFPers in govt also responsible for biggest scam

July 26 (Island) The JO alleged that President Sirisena and the SLFP group in UNP-led govt couldn’t absolve themselves of the responsibility for unprecedented CB bond scams in Feb 2015 and March 2016. former Minister G.L. Peiris and MP Bandula Gunawardena pointed out that President Sirisena had appointed a three-member Commission of Inquiry (CoI) in Jan 2017, ten months after the second scam, more..

No posters or banners in city without permission: Champika

July 26 (DN) Minister Champika Ranawaka on a mission to transform Colombo and suburbs into clean environs, has ordered municipal commissioners, public health heads and the police to file charges against individuals and companies that put up posters and banners in the city ignoring respective municipal authority’s requirements. Legal action will be taken against those putting up posters illegally in public places or public property in keeping with the ongoing waste management drive. more..

Shiranthi summoned to CID tomorrow

July 26 (CT) Shiranthi Rajapaksa, the wife of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has been summoned to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) tomorrow (27) at 9:30 a.m. in order to obtain a statement in connection with the murder of national Rugby Player, Wasim Thajudeen. A top official told Ceylon Today the former President's son Yoshitha Rajapaksa too has been summoned to the CID on Friday (28) to obtain a statement from him regarding the murder. more..

CPC unions to continue strike

July 26 (DN) The CPC unions vowed to continue with their strike as discussions with the govt reached a deadlock yesterday. President of CPC General Employees Trade Union Asoka Ranwala said they would engage in continuous strike action until their demands are met. Unions launched their strike as of 12 midnight on Monday in protest of tendering the Cabinet paper to lease out the Hambantota Port Oil Tank to CMPort. more..

Bond scams: JO rules out no-faith motion against Ravi

July 26 (Island) Joint Opposition (JO) yesterday ruled out the possibility of moving a no-faith motion against Minister Ravi Karunanayake in the wake of sensational revelation regarding the then finance minister’s dealings with Perpetual Treasuries’ Arjun Aloysius, son-in-law of the then Governor Arjuna Mahendran, both now under investigation. JO MP Bandula Gunawardena emphasised that there was no purpose in moving a no confidence motion over bond scam revelation. more..

Spectators furious after SLC decides to cover Galle exterior

July 26 (SK) The excitement is building up for the series opener between Sri Lanka and India at the iconic Galle International Stadium but few of the cricket loving public were left disappointed with the exterior periphery of the stadium set to be closed for the first time since 2012. Corrugated iron sheets with the branding of SLC have come up on the exterior, thus preventing the view from the roads which was otherwise a common feature at the stadium, allowing passersby to get a free view more..

President rejects Ravi K’s Cabinet Papers

July 26 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena has yesterday rejected three Cabinet Papers presented by Minister Ravi Karunanayake, following severe criticism by Cabinet Members. A Cabinet Minister, on condition of anonymity, said that in one Cabinet Paper Minister Karunanayake had sought ministerial approval for the allocation of Visumpaya, a govt residence, as the official residence of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. more..

Parliament approves Foreign Exchange Bill

July 26 (FT) Lawmakers yesterday passed the Foreign Exchange Bill 2017 with amendments. The division was taken where 94 were in favour of it and 18 were against it. Bill will provide for the promotion and regulation of foreign exchange to vest the responsibility for promoting and regulating foreign exchange in the Central Bank as the agent of the Govt, to provide for the repeal of the Exchange Control Act (Chapter 423) and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. more..

First youth flag pinned on President

July 26 (PMD) The first flag of the youth flag program, organized by National Youth Services Council and SL Federation of Youth Clubs, in line with the National Youth Day, which falls on July 26, was pinned on President Maithripala Sirisena today (25) at the Presidential Secretariat. National Youth Flag Day was declared in 1985, which was the World Youth Year. The National Youth Flag Day was celebrated from 2011 to 2015. It was celebrated from 2016 under the current govt. more..

Ravi should resign: Mahindananda

July 26 (CT) MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage, in Parliament called for the resignation of Minister Ravi Karunanayake, following the revelations made at the Presidential Commission concerning the latter's connection to Treasury Bonds scam. He charged that when he revealed to the House last year that Arjun Aloysious was the financier of the then Minister of Finance's penthouse apartment, he was branded a liar. more..

‘Sri Lanka needs relaxing liquor restriction regulations’

July 26 (DN) SL must seriously look at relaxing regulation on liquor restrictions as its stumbling block for the industry, said Minister John Amaratunge. Speaking at the Certification Scheme for Tourist Friendly Eating Places, award ceremony he said that a Swedish national was apprehended and fined Rs. 100,000 for carrying 50 cans of beer for his consumption in Aurugam Bay. “I don’t want to criticize courts but my feeling is that this fine is uncalled for and he should have been warned more..

Congressional Caucus on Sri Lanka renewed for the 115th Congress

July 26 (SLE) Congressional Caucus on SL under the leadership of its co-chairs Representative Robert Aderholt (R-AL) and Representative Dina Titus (D-NV) recently renewed its registration as a Congressional Member Organization of the 115th U.S. Congress. Caucus comprises House Representatives from both the Republican and Democratic parties. Former House Representative Chris Van Hollen was the democratic co-chair of Caucus until his election to the Senate more..

In Parliament: Ravi raises privilege issue on Bond Commission

July 26 (DN) Minister Ravi Karunanayake in Parliament rounded on the members of PCol inquiring in to CB bond issues for summoning him before the Commission at short notice. Minister, observing that his Parliament privileges have been breached by the summon issued to him on a day that Parliament sits and the Cabinet meeting takes place, requested Speaker to look into it. “Govt servants must realise that they are part of the govt, more..

Central Bank introduces new primary issuance system for T-bonds

July 26 (LBO) Central Bank is to introduce a new primary issuance system for Treasury bonds. Effective from July 27, 2017, the new system replaces the existing fully auction based issuance system for T-bonds, that has been in practice since Feb 2015. The main purpose of introducing the new system is to further enhance the efficiency and transparency of the domestic borrowings of the Govt. “The new system is more structured and includes regular monthly T-bond auctions,” more..

It will be a challenging series: Herath

July 26 (Hindu) At 39, Rangana Herath, has found supreme joy in belated achievements. Be it wickets or now the Test captaincy, being thrust upon him due to Dinesh Chandimal’s unavailability, Herath has relished the challenges that have come his way. SL skipper stressed that the series will be a challenging one and serenely held all his cards close to his chest. Herath pointed out that the successful run-chase in the recent Test against Zimbabwe will hold the team in good stead. more..

Repatriation of SL refugees on the increase

July 26 (Hindu) The number of Sri Lankan refugees returning to their homeland under the voluntary repatriation programme of the UNHCR has witnessed an uptick over the past few years. As many as 57 Sri Lankan refugees residing in various camps across the State left for their native land on Tuesday alone. 39 and 18 refugees flew out of Tiruchi and Chennai airports respectively on Tuesday morning. more..

Higher depreciation incentive to north via new IR Bill?

July 26 (FT) Attorney General on Monday countered the contention that in the Inland Revenue Bill special concessions are being afforded to those who invest outside Colombo and Gampaha. Additional Solicitor General Farzana Jameel with Senior Deputy Solicitor General Arjuna Obeysekera and State Counsels Suren Gnanaraj, Kaniska de Silva, Chaya Sri Namuni and Hashini Opatha appeared for the Attorney General and Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera. more..

Under-prepared India no match for well-organised Sri Lanka

July 26 (DN) A tour to Sri Lanka by India always evokes memories of their first-ever Test tour in 1985 which marked the country’s first ever Test victory as well as their maiden Test series win. It is a well known fact that Sri Lanka’s energetic and well-organised pre-season training proved decisive - in stark contrast to India’s near total lack of preparation. Sri Lanka very nearly reached the milestone of their first victory in the first Test played at the SSC, but more..

Eating places upgrading project launched in Colombo and Kandy

July 26 (Island) Anticipated increased tourist arrivals in August and September this year and the reported full house position in city hotels and in those in Kandy are compelling the Ministry of Tourism to embark on upgrading selected restaurants (eating places) in Colombo and Kandy. Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said such certification was now essential to fast track products and ensure efficient quality. more..

Transport, energy among Sri Lanka priority PPP projects

July 26 (EN) Transport and energy are among Sri Lanka’s priority sectors for public-private partnerships (PPPs), the head of the govt’s new public-private partnership agency, Thilan Wijesinghe said. PPPs will be new projects in which the govt sector has long term interests with govt having some equity stakes and land, he told the two-day annual economic summit held by CCC. They will involve new investments and transfer of ownership or debt of unproductive govt assets, more..

SLT SpeedUp Cycle Sawariya flags off

July 26 (CT) SLT SpeedUp Cycle Sawariya ceremonially commenced at the Galle Face Green on Tuesday 25 July. Group Chairman Kumarasinghe Sirisena, Group CEO Dileepa Wijesundera, Group CMO Ajantha Seneviratne and the President of the Cycling Federation of SL, Dr. Amal Harsha De Silva were also present at the event along with a number of distinguished members of SLT's senior management, CFSL and SL Police. Chief Minister of Western Province, Isura Devapriya more..

'Tough series await the Lankans'

July 26 (ST) After narrowly escaping defeat against minnows Zimbabwe in the one-off Test last week, Sri Lanka will face a real Test when they take on India in a three-match Test series followed by a limited-over series—five ODIs and a one-off T20. Victory against Zimbabwe last week may have pumped up Sri Lankan side’s morale but their struggle towards a record run-chase proved that the road was bumpy for a team that has lately more..

PTA vis-a-vis Australian anti-terrorism laws

July 26 (Island) In the wake of UN Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson, QC, lambasting Sri Lanka over the delay in repealing the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), the TNA has sought Australian intervention to pressure Sri Lanka over a spate of issues, including the immediate abolition of long-standing anti-terrorism legislation. TNA leader R. Sampanthan and Jaffna District MP M.A. Sumanthiran made representations to Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop at more..

Gunathilaka to make Test debut

July 26 (Island) Middle order batsman Dhananjaya de Silva has failed to make a comeback to the Test side as Sri Lanka opted to hand Danushka Gunathilaka his Test debut in the first Test against India that gets underway in Galle today. De Silva was a straight swap to the sick Dinesh Chandimal at number four, but the 25-year-old picked up a duck in the warm-up game against India at CCC and questions about his form has forced the management to draft in an opening batsman more..

Culling of stray animals at University of Moratuwa: What you need to know

July 26 (Roar) On Saturday (15), explosive videos emerged on social media of stray animals being rounded up and drugged on the Uni of Moratuwa premises, provoking widespread public outcry. Filmed by students at the uni on Friday (14), footage showed dogs being injected hypodermically with a substance that rendered some of the animals unconscious and caused extreme reactions in others, making them thrash around in agony. more..

IFC, Commercial Bank partner to finance green energy projects in Sri Lanka

July 26 (CTBR) International Finance Corporation (IFC) has entered into a partnership with Commercial Bank to help the bank to increase investments in local companies focusing on renewable energy projects. IFC will help Commercial Bank develop a green-finance business—an emerging field in which banks provide credit to support a broad range of projects covering energy efficiency & renewable energy, cleaner production, green buildings, & resource efficiency, more..

Current political uncertainty serious setback to economic development

July 26 (ST) Political stability is a precondition for economic development. Doubts of the coalition of the two main parties continuing in office after the end of this year is a serious setback to the economy. The breakup of the unity govt at the end of this year would result in considerable political instability that would be a setback to economic growth, even though the unity govt’s economic performance has been modest and inadequate. About 18 SLFP members in the govt, who are opposed to more..

Roshan Ranasinghe

Development at what cost?

July 26 (DN) A number of Sri Lankans have become victims of development projects, harassed and their right to live freely been deprived, due to the unplanned development activities that are taking place in Sri Lanka, violating local environmental laws and international conventions. Although Sri Lankan laws make it mandatory to carry out thorough environmental impact assessments (EIA), before granting approval for large scale development projects, and to adhere to them, more..

That, Mr Speaker, is not the whole story

July 26 (ST) It is one thing to say that some politicians are making their children ashamed of them. It is more meaningful to tell the public why this is so. What makes children react to parental actions in a manner that causes the children to virtually turn their backs on politician fathers? That surely is the crucial question. What is it in the behaviour of some MPs that cause such negative reactions in their children to the extent that they seem to dissociate themselves with conduct of their MP fathers? more..

'NFTH to facilitate clinical training for SAITM'

July 26 (CT) Minister Rajitha Senaratne expressed his views to Ceylon Today in relation to the prevailing crisis in the healthcare sector. During the conversation, he censured trade unions, especially the GMOA and other politically motivated movements for exploiting students in order to achieve their selfish motives. "I highly disapprove the demeanour of the GMOA. Their behaviour is similar to unskilled labourers. more..

Editorial: The bond drama

July 26 (Island) President Sirisena has extended the term of the presidential commission of inquiry probing bond scams. Investigations have taken a dramatic turn and several key witnesses have not testified yet. The commission, therefore, needs some more time to complete its work, but care has to be taken to prevent the probe from dragging on indefinitely. A campaign against corruption, in this country, is as arduous as a war on terror. Perhaps, it is more difficult than a military campaign. more..

A Honeymoon in a refugee camp: Remembering Black July, 34 years later

July 26 (GV) S Sornalingam had always thought he would have happy memories of July 1983. On July 15 that year, he and Suhenthra Muthuraja got married in a civil ceremony in Jaffna. At the time, he had no idea that he would be spending his honeymoon in a refugee camp. There was no hint of the trouble to come when the newlyweds and Sornalingam’s mother returned to their newly rented home, located at Huludalgoda road on July 22. On July 26, Sornalingam traveled by bus more..

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