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Intelligence services cleared Baithiudeen of involvement: PM

Jul 15 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said that a report on the Easter Sunday attacks by intelligence services hadn’t found fault with Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. A statement issued by PM’s Office quoted Premier Wickremesinghe as having said that accusations directed at Minister Bathiudeen hadn’t been proved according to the intelligence report. The PM said so at the inauguration of newly built auditorium more..

Video: Intelligence officers shouldn’t be exposed through media: Mahinda

Jul 15 (AD) State Intelligence Officers including the Head of the State Intelligence Service should not be revealed through media, says the Leader of the opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa. He expressed these views speaking to journalists, today (14). A group of women who sell flowers near the Mihintale sacred sites called on the Opposition Leader today. They informed Rajapaksa on a decision taken to remove their stalls from the area. Opp. Leader then responded to questions posed by media. more..

Enterprise Sri Lanka exhibition in Anuradhapura from July 24 to 27

Jul 15 (DN) Enterprise Sri Lanka Exhibition organized by the Ministry of Finance will be held in Anuradhapura Walisinghe Harischandra Play ground from July 24-27 from to 10 pm daily. This exhibition will be a platform for intended entrepreneurs to obtain the knowhow and share knowledge on the enterprise development. Arrangements have been made through the State and private banks and other relevant agencies to provide required assistance, advises and more..

Video: 'If Bill to abolish death penalty is tabled, it will be a national day of mourning'

Jul 15 (AD) If a bill to abolish the death penalty is brought before the Parliament, that day will be declared a national day of mourning, says Prez Sirisena. The President stated this addressing the national programme to grant land deeds of 5,000 Mahaweli farmers in the Walawa Zone today (14). Event was held under the patronage of Prez in Embilipitiya. The program was commenced in 2016 on the instructions of the President, more..

No response from MS to contest

Jul 15 (TM) President Sirisena was yet to respond to a request from the SLFP to contest the forthcoming presidential election. SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara said SLFP had not yet decided who their next presidential candidate would be but the party was of the view that it should be President Sirisena. Last month, a group of SLFPers consisting of Senior Deputy President of the SLFP Nimal Siripala de Silva, General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara, Mahinda Samarasinghe, more..

TNA and UNF in cahoots

Jul 15 (TM) The UNF Govt struck a deal with the TNA to garner the latter’s support to defeat the No-confidence Motion (NCM) last week, the TNA said. TNA PM Easwarapatham Saravanapavan said that the TNA demanded a separate Tamil division in Kalmunai. “We were undecided on how to vote on the NCM until we were certain that our demands would be met,” he said. Saravanapavan said the UNF Govt had finally agreed to set up a separate Tamil division in Kalmunai. more..

New amendments to Motor Vehicle Act to revoke driving license for life

Jul 15 (AD) Police say the new amendment to the Motor Vehicle Act could revoke a driver’s license for a lifetime for two offenses under drunk driving. Accordingly, if a driver of a passenger vehicle is found guilty of drunk driving or a drunken driving accident, the driver’s license can be revoked for life hereafter. Section 216 of the Motor Vehicle Amendment Act No. 10 of 2019 has been amended and accordingly more..

Navy Commander granted a service extension

Jul 15 (AD) Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Piyal de Silva has been granted a service extension as per an order of President Maithripala Sirisena. Accordingly, the service of Navy Commander de Silva will be extended by a year. The service extension will be in effect from today (14) onwards, stated the Spokesperson of the Sri Lanka Navy. President Sirisena appointed Vice-Admiral Piyal de Silva to the post of the Commander of the Navy on 01st January 2019. more..

SLC to dodge World Cup bouncer?

Jul 15 (TM) The 2019 ICC World Cup debacle is a debacle only in the media it seems! Finishing the 10-team tournament as the sixth after entering it as the ninth looks to have sufficed all parties concerning the country’s cricket, including the Cricket Board and the Ministry of Sports. It might be somewhat hilarious that none of the leading officials of the Cricket Board were to return to the island, even though the defeatist national side returned home early last week from England. more..

Postal workers and GMOA set to strike

Jul 15 (AD) Sri Lanka Postal Services Union has decided to launch a strike action over their grievances from 4 pm on the 16th of July. Recruitment, promotions, and salaries are lost under the Recruitment Procedure implemented in accordance with 6/2006 Salary Circular and the postal administration and the govt has been pressuring 26,000 postal employees for 13 years, according to the Postal Services Union. more..

India enhances Palaly airport with Rs.300 million grant

Jul 15 (ST) Palaly airport currently under renovation to meet international standards is likely to become the centre of business and tourist traffic between Sri Lanka’s North and India with the latter providing a Rs.300 million grant to boost the facility. Civil Aviation authorities have initiated plans to develop the airport with a large component of the budget amounting to Rs.20 billion spent on the renovation of the airport. The 3.5 km runway is currently being developed and more..

Sri Lankan made Filipina wife cybersex slave and molested stepdaughter

Jul 15 (PLS) A Sri Lankan man has admitted sexually abusing his Filipina wife and stepdaughter and broadcasting the attacks online for cash. The NBI raided the man’s home in Bulacan today (12) after his wife reported that she had lived as a cybersex slave for the past seven months. She said that she had finally called in the authorities after husband had started molesting her daughter from a previous relationship. She also claimed that he had sent copies of the sex videos to her relatives. more..

Selling SL Navy weapons to foreigners: MOD orders probe

Jul 15 (TM) Ministry of Defence (MOD) has ordered an investigation into allegations that weapons belonging to the SL Navy had been sold illegally to foreign nationals. State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene said that he had instructed the Navy to carry out an investigation. Avant Garde Maritime Services Chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi said that he had information that proves several low-ranking Navy officers more..

Video: One soldier dead, 8 injured as Army truck topples

Jul 15 (AD) An Army truck carrying soldiers has been met with an accident at Wattappalai Junction in Mullaitivu earlier today (14). The accident which had occurred at around 6 am this morning had resulted in the death of one soldier and the injuries to eight other Army personnel. Reportedly, the Army truck had toppled over injuring nine soldiers traveling on it. The 9 soldiers were admitted to the Mullativu hospital where one succumbed to his injuries. Army personally had been returning home after more..

SL appreciates support and solidarity by Commonwealth post-Easter Sunday tragedy

Jul 15 (FT) Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha last Wednesday conveyed Sri Lanka’s appreciation for the support and solidarity extended by the Commonwealth membership and the Secretary-General in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday tragedy, and called for greater focus in countering violent extremism within the Commonwealth. Welcoming the Christchurch Call Initiative which reaffirms the importance of addressing threats posed by terrorism & violent extremism online more..

Terror-hit tourism wants quick moves for proper revival

Jul 15 (FT) The multibillion dollar critical tourism industry hit by the Easter Sunday tragedy is concerned over the slow progress of the previously announced measures to fast-track a quicker revival. There is a fear that a false sense of complacency has arisen on the basis of a pickup in tourist arrivals in June compared with May though the sector is far from credible initial recovery. The industry is also yet to see the full fruition of more..

Rainbow coalition intact with defeat of no-faith motion

Jul 15 (Island) The No-Confidence motion (NCM) against the govt, presented by the JVP was defeated in Parliament a few days back, by 119 votes to 92 or by a majority of 27 votes. Voting in favor of the motion were three of the main opposition parties, the SLPP and the SLFP sitting in Parliament as the UPFA and the JVP. Opposing the same and having a comfortable margin above the threshold of 113 members required for a simple majority of the House, was the UNP and the TNA. more..

Sri Lanka bad loans grows 4.8% in June after soft-peg collapse

Jul 15 (EN) Bad loan in Sri Lanka banking system grew to 4.8% of gross loans by June 2019, up from 4.2% in March, though the credit system has gone through much worse levels of non-performing loans in the past Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomarasamy said. "Clearly it is something we have to be cautious about and monitor very carefully," Governor Coomaraswamy said. "It is not at crisis levels, we have had higher levels in the past. What we have to do is get growth growing again. more..

Colombo considers green living

Jul 15 (FT) Colombo’s first-ever open street concept day saw residents reclaiming their streets from Green Path to Independence Avenue on foot, bicycle, skateboard and rollerblades. Jointly organised by Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) and The Embassy of the Netherlands, CarFreeCMB was initiated to offer people a chance to experience everyday Colombo through a different lens and to promote more..

Google builds stronger ties with PickMe

Jul 15 (Island) PickMe SL’s home-grown digital mobility solutions provider is now one of Google Cloud’s key clients in the whole of South Asia. This is due to the high utilization of wide array of Google Services and deep technology integration with Google’s Technology. PickMe hailed Google Cloud’s Professional Services for facilitating the Company’s highly agile, scalable and stable digital infrastructure which enables rapid and hassle-free mobility solutions to Sri Lankans. more..

Sri Lanka face India in West Asia Baseball Cup opener

Jul 15 (DN) Sri Lanka will take on India in the opening game of XIV West Asia Baseball Cup at the Sri Lanka-Japan Friendship Baseball ground, Diyagama at 10.30 a.m. The first ever international baseball competition to be staged in Sri Lanka will kick-off with an opening ceremony at 9.00 a.m. before the six-nation event proper begins. The second match of the day is scheduled to start at 2.00 p.m. is between Pakistan and Iran. Sri Lanka, India and Nepal are in group A while more..

Despite cold war between officials four swimmers to leave for FINA event

Jul 15 (ST) Two men and two women swimmers have been picked by the Selection Committee of the Interim Committee of SL Aquatic Sports Union (SLASU) to represent Sri Lanka at the forthcoming 18th Federation International De Nation Amateur (FINA) World Swimming Championship 2019 to be held in Korea from July 21 to 28. Sri Lanka will be represented by Akalanka Peiris and Mathew Abeysinghe, more..

Schools Rugby: A Cardinal look

Jul 15 (ST) Daily Mirror reported on April 25, “I would have cancelled all the Masses and Services during Holy Week, if the Govt had informed me of an imminent terror attack,” said Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith. The statement has a deeper meaning than being about a system failure. It is about the value of life. The premier Catholic institution under the leadership of Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith- St. Joseph’s College, has been on the bad side of news, after an assault on a referee. more..

SL expects 100,000 tourists in July: PM

Jul 15 (EN) Sri Lanka is expecting 100,000 tourist come to the country in July, after arrivals plunged to 37,000 in May in the wake of Easter Sunday bombings, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. "Because of the swift action taken by the govt, arrivals rose to 63,000 in June," PM was quoted as saying during a speech in Trincomallee. "Arrivals will grow to 100,000 by end of July and 125,000 in the following month." Sri Lanka's arrivals were down 57% from a year earlier in June. more..

England win maiden World Cup title

Jul 15 (CI) It was never going to be easy, was it? Two teams without a World Cup title between them in 44 years of the men's competition. After 100 overs, the last couple of which contained almost as much drama as a few previous finals in their entirety, nothing could separate England and New Zealand. For the first time in World Cup history, a Super Over was required to determine the winner. Asked to score 16 from six balls, more..

The UK, the US and SL

Jul 15 (Island) Mano Ratwatte’s comments on the status of the UK Govt vis-à-vis Trump’s arrogance and rudeness were well said. Of course Trump has the full power of the USA behind him although much of the world thinks of him, as uncouth and boorish. He has power and uses it. His chances of re-election are very strong, they say, since his economic policies have benefitted so many in US. Obama’s elegance and erudition was not half as popular with many American voters. Sad is it not? more..

Edtorial: Robbing workers’ savings

Jul 15 (Island) Opposition Leader and former President Mahinda Rajapaska has taken up cudgels for the working class. He has warned of a govt move to rob the EPF by removing the Central Bank from the purview of the Ministry of Finance. A bill has been prepared to amend the Finance Act for that purpose, he says. That the incumbent govt is trying to dip into the 2.5-trillion-rupee superannuation fund is no secret. First, it sought to separate the EPF from the CB, but in vain. more..

ආණ්ඩුවට එරෙහි විශ්වාසභංගය

Safe ride to life

Jul 15 (DN) Now, no Sri Lankan needs to get into a three-wheeler while fighting for life with an illness or serious injury after an accident. They do not have to wait for vehicles to be stopped or beg their neighbours to be taken to the nearest hospital during a medical emergency. All they need to do is simply dial 1990. Within a few minutes, a modern ambulance with trained staff arrives at your doorstep to take you to the nearest hospital with emergency care. more..

US - CHINA increase wooing Sri Lanka

Jul 15 (DM) Given its strategic position in the Indian Ocean astride major trade arteries, Sri Lanka has become a place being wooed by the world powers in pursuit of their security and commercial interests in an integrated global system. So to speak, the United States (U.S) keeps engaging Sri Lanka for signing the Status of Forces Agreement which is commonly called SOFA or the Visiting Forces Agreement. The U.S. does so as the country with the largest economy and military power in the world. more..

Amid political storm over SOFA, Rodney presents credentials to Donald

Jul 15 (ST) Sri Lanka eventually has got a proper ambassador in one of the world’s most important capitals — Washington DC. This week, senior career diplomat Rodney Perera presented his credentials to US President Donald Trump who looked at his papers and seeing the full name of our envoy said, You have a long name. He made no remark though about the country’s full name – Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. more..

Hello there, your slips are showing

Jul 15 (ST) What is going on in good old Sri Lanka — that paradise isle in which the loquacious Trump is trying to plant his military boot print? More and more the country’s politics, not to mention its governance, is beginning to look like a pot of over-boiled noodles mixed with equally sticky string hoppers. Anybody who could neatly separate the two should have been offered a presidential award and a roundtrip air ticket to Manchester from where to watch a presidential progeny walk more..

Presidential candidates & Major concern of the citizen

Jul 15 (CT) It is needless to note that the entire nation is getting ready for a presidential election, even though an election is not yet officially declared. People have started talking about who should be the next president of the country. It is with October constitutional coup and most importantly April attack that people feel the necessity of a leader without political biases, but a clear vision. Accordingly, many high profile people in the country have fielded themselves as candidates for presidency, more..

Lanka’s largest ever development grant in political crosshairs

Jul 15 (SO) The intensity of the Joint Opposition propaganda cycle on the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and the Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement first signed in 2007 during Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s tenure as Defence Secretary, has inadvertently placed Sri Lanka’s largest ever development grant in the political crosshairs. Last week, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the Bar Association of SL, both professional bodies more..

SL is at an exceedingly dangerous juncture

Jul 15 (ST) There is a tragic disconnect between what Sri Lanka’s leaders say to the public and the patent disbelief with which these words are received. This will eventually have dangerous repercussions beyond the electoral defeat of those men, impacting on the nation as a whole as it is pushed in a perilous direction with raw bitterness and biting anger dominating the public mood. So even as words pour out of political mouths, often meaning very little, there is a serious question that more..

Lessons from US UK diplomatic row

Jul 15 (CT) The US and UK have been traditional friends for decades. Britain regularly boasts of a special relationship. Relations took a severe beating in the last couple of days. The row blew up when secret diplomatic cables from Sir Nigel Kim Darroch KCMG, British Ambassador, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the US since January 2016 were leaked. Extracts of confidential cables to his superiors in London over two years were published in The Mail on July 7, 2019. more..