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Talk at the Cafe Spectator

July 20 (ST) A Sri Lankan diplomat who served in a foreign capital has been strongly admonished over allegations of financial misconduct. He was ordered to pay back Rs. 45 million he has helped himself after a building was bought outright to house the mission. Suspicions had earlier centred on the accountant who was involved in the transaction. He had spilled the beans to exculpate himself. The diplomat’s plea had been that more..

Why turn sri Lanka into a target?

July 20 (Island) Facing serious pressure on the Western front from the high profile UN international inquiry, the Tamil Diaspora secessionists, the international human rights movement and Western public and political opinion, SL needs a buffer zone in the world system. Japan, India and South Africa are crucial to that buffer zone. By its nativistic foreign policy/external relations (surely a paradox if not an oxymoron) the Sri Lankan govt has consistently undermined its own buffer zone. more..

The Tangalle verdict

July 20 (Island) There will undoubtedly be a sense of satisfaction among most that those responsible for the murder of a British national and the rape of his girl friend at a hotel in Tangalle on Christmas Eve three years ago have got their just desserts. The main accused was the Chairman of the Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha and readers may remember how he was driven in a prison’s vehicle from remand custody to chair meetings of that local body. It took a long time for indictment to more..

Total U-turn: Govt. Commission to probe ‘war crimes’

July 20 (ST) After resisting for almost five years, UPFA Govt has eventually capitulated to the relentless Western spearheaded international pressure to conduct a domestic inquiry into alleged war crimes during the final stages of the separatist war in May 2009. Move came this week as President Rajapaksa trained his guns on three of his ministers at their weekly meeting on Thursday. This was over their different actions. more..

Disgusting! Suspect wants water – Police Sgt. urinates in his mouth

July 20 (CT) On 8 May 2014, Sanjeewa having received a call from his mother on 4 May left his home at 164, Heenagara, Medagama, Panirendawa, with the intention of visiting his father who had been brought home after a stint in hospital. He arrived in Ampara (two kilometres from Priyangala, to Rajiwelathenna) at 6.30 p.m. Then Sunil, the owner of the cycle repair shop at which Sanjeewa works, called him at around 7.30 p.m. and inquired whether eight university friends of his could stay at more..

Govt hails TNA’s undertaking to SC

July 20 (SO) The Govt welcomes the TNA’s undertaking to the Supreme Court that they will tender an affidavit affirming the unitary status of the country, Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said. This means that they would recognise the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country, desisting from Eelam or separatism, he said. Asked whether the Govt would hold direct talks with the TNA, as desired by them, on evolving a solution to the Tamils’ problems, the Minister said that more..

More taxes on employees

July 20 (ST) Trade unions are accusing the Govt of trying to grab more taxes from employees through a gazette notification which directed that state and private sector employees receiving interest-free loans or loans at concessionary rates would be made liable to pay taxes retrospectively. In terms of the notification, employees will have to pay taxes on profit sharing schemes, govt grants, assistance and subsidies & short-term employment benefits. more..

Postal rates doubled from August 1

July 20 (ST) Postal charges are to be increased from August 1 – with the normal letter postage charge going up from Rs. 5 to Rs. 10 and the business mail (20 gram) rate from Rs. 5 to Rs. 15, Post Master General Rohana Abeysinha said yesterday. He said the postal rates had been not been revised for the past six years and the Government had therefore decided to increase them now. The rates for parcel post would be increased from the Rs. 50 for 500 grams to Rs. 90. more..

Ranil feels UNP is best for the people

July 20 (CG) Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today called for a change at the next Presidential elections saying only a UNP Govt can meet the needs of the people. Speaking in Gampola today the UNP leader said that President Rajapaksa is not showing the urgency in addressing the pressing issues faced by the people. “At an election all the Govt does is come and repair roads and go,” Wickremesinghe said at a public event in the area. more..

US hopes probe meets expectations

July 20 (CG) The US says it hopes the experts chosen to advise the Commission on Missing Persons can provide the assistance needed to help it meet international standards for credibility and independence. A Spokesperson at the US Embassy said US has long said it strongly supports a credible domestic Sri Lankan process to ensure meaningful national reconciliation and resolve outstanding concerns from the conflict, more..

Crisis over new Tax Chief

July 20 (ST) While grappling to meet revenue targets, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) is embroiled in a crisis over the appointment of the next Commissioner General. Cabinet of Ministers has requested a five-member interview board chaired by Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga to pick the new Tax Chief. It has been tasked to pick a suitable officer who could serve a minimum of three years. He or she should be selected on the basis of seniority and merit. more..

Committee appointed to establish Sri Lankan first Fruit Association

July 20 (GDI) Fruit Crop Research and Development Centre (FCRDC) has planned for the first time to establish a Fruit Association. Fruit Crop Research and Development Centre as an initial step appointed as a first step for establishing a Fruit Association A committee under the patronage of Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena was appointed to proceed with the establishment of a Fruit Association during Gram 200 Fruit Carnival. Committee consists of 2 research officers more..

Are doctors bribed by pharmaceutical companies?

July 20 (NS) The allegation that doctors are being bribed by various pharmaceutical companies to prescribe their branded product is no secret. In fact, the sham which has been around for years has neither been rejected by doctors nor denied by the companies, which makes one ponder all the more. A letter dated July 8, addressed to the Minister of Health under the letterhead of the Pharma Promoters Association laid bare more..

HRC demands more powers

July 20 (NS) The Human Rights Commission (HRC) of Sri Lanka has called for changes in the law which would give more powers to the commission. The commission has already forwarded a set of proposals to the Ministry of Justice that is now being studied by the Ministry before being sent to Parliament. Commissioner, HRCSL, Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa said that the current mandate only allows the HRC to submit recommendations to the respondents after investigations. more..

Sex enhancing drug sales soar

July 20 (SO) Several pharmacies in Colombo were found to be selling medical drugs to enhance sexual virility in men. "In our latest raid on June 17 we found four pharmacies in Pitakotte selling Sildenafil (generic term) without prescriptions. This is dangerous as it should be taken only on doctor's advice", Chief Food and Drugs Inspector, CDDRA Amith Perera said. He said the pharmacies raided were registered and the customers were mainly males in their early twenties or even younger. more..

Controversy engulfs costly blunder

July 20 (SL) Controversy surrounds the CPC decision to bypass Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) recommendations and purchase a Rs. 4 million inferior quality undersea buoy hose, which eventually ruptured on May 23 resulting in CPC incurring a huge financial loss. As of today the demurrage charges the CPC has to bear for the three fuel vessels from May 23, June 14 and June 29 are Rs 322.1 million. more..

Shuts the door on thugs and drug dealers

July 20 (NS) UNP would ensure that all of its candidates given nominations to contest the upcoming Uva PC election were men and women of excellent character, and not ‘thugs and drug dealers,’ the party’s Leadership Council Chairman and MP Karu Jayasuriya said. Speaking further on the criteria that the party’s nomination committee, which is expected to be appointed this week, would be using to determine who was fit to contest, Jayasuriya said they would obviously look for more..

Sri Lanka, South Africa cricketers raise funds for worthy cause

July 20 (ST) Standard Chartered joins hands with Sri Lanka Cricket to continue its efforts to raise funds and awareness for the SL Visually Handicapped XI and its bid at this year’s World Cup in South Africa in November. Inspired by Standard Chartered’s community investment platform addressing curable blindness globally, Seeing is Believing, the two organisations will drive three very unique fund raising activities around the current tour of South Africa – a money-can’t-buy experience, more..

Minister Navin Dissanayake admits President showed him the door

July 20 (CT) Minister Navin Dissanayake admitted President Rajapaksa having asked him to join hands with Karu Jayasuriya if he wanted to do so. "President never asked me to leave the Cabinet, but he simply said if Karu Jayasuriya were to contest as the next Presidential candidate, I was free to go and work for him" the minister said. He added that if the President were to get rid of him, he could simply remove him more..

Consumer-friendly digital energy meters

July 20 (NS) Ante LECO Metering Company, a joint venture between Lanka Electric Company (LECO) and Ante Meter Company of China have started manufacturing energy meters with the first batch of production completing in June, the company announced. The new digital meters will provide Sri Lanka’s electricity consumers an array of enhanced user-facilities such as remote metering, pre-paid facility, proximity meter reading and even checking energy consumption through the Internet. more..

Govt seeks release of fishermen

July 20 (SL) The 23 Sri Lankan fishermen and four boats taken into custody by the Indian authorities in Andra Pradesh will only be released after being produced in court, media spokesman of the ministry of fisheries and aquatic resources Narendra Rajapaksa said. He said that there were 12 Sri Lankan fishermen and four boats in Indian custody in Tamil Nadu but since the law in that state does not require them to be produced in court, they were released earlier. more..

Mathews the captain reveals attacking side

July 20 (CI) January. Sharjah. Days 4 and 5. Sri Lanka are 1-0 up in the series and have a 87-run first-innings lead. In his first major assignment as Test captain, Angelo Mathews orders his troops to pull the steel shutters down. They score at a crawl towards the end of 4th day, hitting only 45 runs in one session, on a flat surface. Next morning they are wiped out and Pakistan launch a famous chase, charging to victory in the gloom. more..

Abans adorns picturesque Arcade

July 20 (NS) On July 13, 2014 the majestic Arcade Independence Square was formally declared open by President Rajapaksa amongst a galaxy of dignitaries, which included Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, state ministers and MPs. The Arcade Independence Square is the most recent of a series of amazing restorations of colonial architecture and heritage sites undertaken by the UDA in a massive development drive to beautify the city of Colombo. more..

Sri Lankan fishermen return home

July 20 (TT) Five Sri Lankan fishermen, who were earlier held on infiltration charges, have been repatriated to their homeland following intervention by the Union govt. The five fishermen — Damika Parsanna, K. Pranithi, Duleep, Madhusan and Gudika — were set free yesterday. They were arrested off Paradip coast on April 30 and were subsequently handed over to Coast Guard. The Coast Guard personnel later escorted them to Sri Lankan water territory for their voyage back more..

Atapattu confident of Sri Lanka victory

July 20 (CI) Former Sri Lanka coaches have often spoken of the team's thrill for a fight, particularly from poor positions. As the man currently in that job, Marvan Atapattu delivered a fighting talk of his own, after the fourth day in Galle. Sri Lanka remain 260 runs adrift on a wearing surface, and although the hosts would have to score the highest-ever fourth innings total at the venue as well as break their own record for the highest more..

Marvan’s term extended, Kalpage faces axe

July 20 (ST) National head coach Marvan Atapattu’s term has been extended till the end of the Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka next month before Sri Lanka Cricket would advertise the position, it is learned. However, the assistant coach’s position currently held by Ruwan Kalpage will go under hammer immediately after the present South African tour. Atapattu who took over the Lankan reins after the sudden departure of Paul Farbrace who jumped camp to the England dressing room was more..

The underside of Black July

July 20 (NS) He was at one time the foremost Tamil leader espousing the Eelam cause, a man who fired the separatist imagination of a generation of Tamil youth, a man who went from being referred to ‘Thalapathy’ (Commander/General) by admiring supporters to ‘Thurogi’ (traitor) by the very same one-time admirers and later killed by forces he himself unleashed. He was assassinated on July 13, 1989. Only the inimitable D.B.S. Jeyaraj, provider of the above information, more..

Economic development or lack of vision

July 20 (SL) Five years have elapsed since the war ended. Despite roads and other infrastructure development that have come up in all parts of the country, the economic path and decisions related to the country’s economy that the govt has taken are being scoffed at by opposition politicians. Speaking to The Sunday Leader, several politicians criticized the govt’s lack of economic vision and policies. more..

Heated week for UNP

July 20 (SL) When the UNP launched its “gaweshana charika” programme three and a half months ago, the party never thought that it would create some important “PR opportunities” for the opposition. Their main intention was to visit controversial development projects of the govt, and present separate reports to Parliament on key issues concerning the projects. UNP only wanted to expose the major loopholes in the much vaunted large scale projects initiated by UPFA govt. more..

SLT becomes exclusive partner for Sri Dalada Maligawa ICT Project

July 20 (ST) Sri Lanka Telecom recently entered into a MoU with the Sri Dalada Maligawa to be the exclusive Official Telecommunication Partner for the temple. MoU was signed at the temple with Chinthaka Wijesooriya, Chief Regional Officer of SLT signing on behalf of the company and Krishantha Hiswella, Director-Media and Special Projects signing on behalf of the Sri Dalada Maligawa. Under the agreement, the company will be providing consistent, uninterrupted more..

'Present economic conditions are sustainable'

July 20 (SL) Governor of Central Bank, Ajith Nivaard Cabraal maintains that the high level of investment has supported higher growth activities, and led to the realization of benign macro-fundamentals. ‘Those outcomes, in turn, have enabled our inflation levels to remain low and the low interest rate environment to continue. In that background, it is our view that we could now consider current conditions as being sustainable,’ more..

A gamble that bit off more than it can chew

July 20 (ST) My Dear Dayasiri, I thought of writing to you when I heard you were in the news again — after a long time. I wrote to you last nearly one year ago when you surprised many people by leaving the Green camp and joining Mahinda maama and the Blues just before contesting the Wayamba provincial council elections. This time, though, what I heard was slightly surprising. You had allegedly assaulted young Harin during a television talk show. Perhaps you watched too much World Cup football, more..

The Public Service Omission

July 20 (ST) Details contained in the report of the Public Service Commission — the body responsible for the disciplinary conduct of public servants or now known as government servants — are published in this issue on Page 4 today. Set up during the pre-Independence era, today’s Sri Lanka Administrative Service was formerly known as the Ceylon Civil Service. The Public Service Commission (PSC) was then the insurance public officials had against politicians. more..

What is the govt’s economic policy?

July 20 (SL) While many have been criticising the govt for the economic path it has taken leading country into debt, some have pointed out that UNP should take part of the blame for the certain economic decisions taken during the UNP govt. UNP MP Harsha De Silva said that the UNP take credit for the economic decisions made during their time, whereas the present govt has not been able to build on the economy they introduced. more..

Billions wasted on snap elections

July 20 (CT) In 2011, a year after the Presidential and parliamentary elections were held, President Mahinda Rajapaksa met a group of representatives from an international donor agency at Temple Trees. The previous year, that is, in 2010, Sri Lanka had overshot its budgetary deficit target by 1.3 percentage points of GDP to 7.9% of GDP, from the original target of 6.6% of GDP. According to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, the island's GDP in 2010 was US$ 49.6 billion. more..

Is it too late for Arscharya?

July 20 (NS) Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe has stated that if national unity is to be obtained then the primacy of the law has to be protected. He has made the further point that the collapse of law and order has not only caused anxiety among Muslims and Tamils but has impacted everyone. He is correct. While Wickremesinghe has taken pains to cite specific instances where the behavior of law enforcement authorities have been suspicious and more..