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Destined to the Streets

July 27 (DM) They are on the streets, wearing tight-fit clothes, a handbag and an umbrella waiting for a vehicle to stop by them. Busy streets, dodgy brothels, stingy brokers are part of their everyday lives. Prostitution; a heavily tortured word in the Sri Lankan context, today has given rise to many social issues and a growing concern among the international community. Although it is officially illegal, Sri Lanka is a country that entertains more..

Vacancies for clean and capable parliamentarians! Be wise!

July 27 (DM) Prior to the last presidential elections, with the usual braggadocio, we, Sri Lankans, were made to believe that we as a nation were on a journey upwards to become – the miracle of Asia and the Emerging Wonder of Asia. However, six years after winning the war, we now need to take a realistic assessment whether we were on the right track. After winning the war, we do not have any fear now to go about our daily lives with improved road net-work, etc. more..

Are our students ready for the Asian Century?

July 27 (DM) With just three weeks to go for the crucial General Election on August 17, the UNF for Good Governance (UNFGG) and the JVP in their policy plans or manifestos issued last week have pledged to change the structure and the mindset in the vital area of education. UNFGG led by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has pledged it will build a new Sri Lanka with a job-oriented education process whereby one million high income and highly productive jobs will be made available more..

President orders STF protection for Dangerous Drugs Control Board Chief

July 27 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has ordered commandos of the police STF to be detailed to protect National Dangerous Drug Control Board Chairman Dr. Nilanga Samarasinghe immediately, Justice Minister Wijeyadsa Rajapakshe said. Minister Rajapakshe said that he had contacted President Sirisena after journalists at yesterday’s UNP press conference pointed out recent media reports of Dr. Samarasinghe more..

China’s MCC gets part of central expressway contract

July 27 (EN) Sri Lanka has given Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) a contract to build the first section of an expressway to the central region which is to be funded with a loan from China’s Exim Bank. Govt negotiations with MCC had fixed the total cost of the 32.5 km section from Kossinna to Mirigama at 145.8 billion rupees or 4.5 billion per kilometre, officials said. The first phase of the Central Expressway, from Colombo to Kandy in the central hills, consists of building more..

Patrolling along Indian coast to be intensified

July 27 (Hindu) With apprehensions growing about the smugglers may shift their focus from air to sea for importing gold, the Customs Department will soon activate sea patrolling formations in Kochi and Kozhikode. Officials said the department recently filled up the vacancies of lascars or sailors, who are currently under training. The team, comprising 24 sailors, will complete training later this month and is slated to commence operations from August. Surveillance of sea routes will be carried out more..

'No factions in SLFP, UNP will be defeated'

July 27 (Island) Former President and UPFA Prime Ministerial Candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday that there were no factions in the SLFP and the party would go ahead as one entity to defeat the common enemy, the UNP. Addressing the UPFA Matale District rally at the Naula Public Grounds, he said: "Now, we are working as one group to defeat the UNP at the August 17 general election." more..

Akila promises four million jobs

July 27 (Island) Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said the UNF would form the next govt after August 17 and provide four million new jobs for the country’s youth within the next five years. Addressing an election rally at Kurunegala, Minister Kariyawasam said: "I never thought that I would be contesting against UPFA group leader and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. But, now he has come to Kurunegala. I know that Kurunegala people will not vote for him. more..

'Mirihana white van came for President'

July 27 (DN) The white van, in which three army personnel were travelling with a pistol, came for President Maithripala Sirisena, United National Front National List candidate M.K.D.S. Gunawardena said. "We created a country that was free from white vans. We ensured freedom and democracy in the country. Unfortunately, a white van resurfaced again from Mirihana, where former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa are resident," more..

'Make JVP the decisive factor'

July 27 (Island) JVP said the next govt would most probably be a coalition. It would never join such coalitions, but support any progressive move beneficial to the people, it added. General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva said that UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had spoken of forming a govt comprising all parties in Parliament. "We know that people can not comprehend the systems of governance he is talking about. more..

Road development 85% completed

July 27 (CT) NPC Minister of Road Development and Fisheries, B. Deniswaran has announced that 85% of the roads in the Northern Province have been completed. He made the above announcement last week at a special meeting held at his office in Jaffna. Minister said that 85% of the Road Development Department works has been completed. Secretary to the Fisheries Ministry S. Sathiyaseelan, Provincial Director of the Road Development Department T. Sivarajalingam, more..

We have always been right: Ratana Thera

July 27 (Island) UNF National List Candidate and Chairman of Pivithuru Hetak Organisation Ven Aturaliye Ratana Thera maintains that their political calculations have always been right and they never got it wrong when it came to what the country needed. Ven. Ratana Thera said: "There are some who criticize us for our decision to contest under the elephant symbol. But, if you look at the recent past, you would find that we were always right and people have approved what we did. more..

'TNA propaganda meaningless'

July 27 (CT) UNP's Jaffna District lead candidate Vijayakala Maheswaran pointed out that the TNA's hardcore policies would not be suitable in the future in solving political and humanitarian problems of people in the North. Vijayakala who is the widow of slain MP Thiyagaraja Maheswaran said "When the war was in progress in the Vanni, the TNA didn't do anything to safeguard the lives of thousands of innocent civilians. more..

Crowds hoot Nandamithra Ekanayake

July 27 (DM) Minister Nandimithra Ekanayake was humiliated at an election rally of the UPFA in Na-ula today when the crowd started hooting him. The rally was attended by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa who is the UPFA's prime ministerial candidate. Mr. Ekanayake left the UPFA before the Presidential Election, and supported Maitripala Sirisena against Rajapaksa. However, he is now a UPFA candidate for the Matale District. Despite being hooted by the UPFA supporters, more..

SL woos Indian tourists with exotic locations

July 27 (BS) Indian tourists accounted for around 20% of total foreign tourist inflows into the island nation Sri Lanka last year. Located strategically to India's south, the Indian Ocean nation is betting big on Indian visitors and hopes to double the arrivals in the next 2-3 years. Indians travelling to the country stood at 274,000 in 2014 from a total of around 1.5 million tourists arrivals from across the world during the year, said SL Tourism Promotion Board. "We have fixed a target to achieve 2.5 million more..

President Maithripala Sirisena participates Maldives’ 50th Independence Day

July 27 (AT) The Sri Lankan President was welcomed at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport by the Vice President, Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Gafoor, Foreign Minister, Dhunya Maumoon, Environment Minister, Thoriq Ibrahim, the Minister for the President’s Office, Mohamed Hussain Shareef and other officials of the Govt. Sirisena was also given an Honour Guard on arrival at the airport, by the Maldives National Defence Force. more..

Police do not suspect foul play over fire at Divisional Secretariat

July 27 (Island) Police suspect the fire that broke out in the room occupied by the security officers on ground floor of the Maharagama Divisional Secretariat Building recently was due to an electrical short circuit. A senior police officer attached said they were awaiting the Govt Analyst’s report. Six refrigerators to be distributed among low income families under the grants given to Provincial Councillors, a generator, four compressors, bicycles, four salon chairs and several other items more..

2.5 mn tourist arrivals target by 2016 not likely

July 27 (CT) Recent independent industry report claims that 2.5 million tourist arrivals by 2016 will not be possible. According to sources Bartleet Religare Securities (BRS) has claimed "achieving 2.5 million tourist by 2016 is not pragmatic goal". BRS further affirm "For the country to reach 2.5 million visitors by 2016 the annual arrivals should increase by approximately 28% per annum," As of December 2014 a total of 1.5 million tourists visited the island while the compound annual growth rate of more..

Major parties set economic policy goals leaving people scratching their heads

July 27 (Island) If you watched the TV show hosted by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) on Rupavahini last week with former MPs Dr. Harsha de Silva (UNF), Bandula Gunawardane (UPFA) and Sunil Handunnetti (JVP) on the panel, you would have spent a lot of time scratching your head and wondering what strategy options, what array of tools in the macro policy toolbox they would be using to achieve more..

Heritage SL app for Archaeology Dept. from Mobitel

July 27 (DN) The National Mobile Service Provider Mobitel partnered with the Department of Archaeology for the launch of an innovative mobile app named ‘HeritageSL’ that provides unlimited free access for the public to explore Sri Lanka’s archaeology and cultural heritage. The location-based app which is designed and developed by Mobitel and functions on sophisticated iBeacon technology was launched in view of the 125th anniversary of Department of Archaeology. more..

Expo 2015 secures Rs. 53 m sapphire order for Matale exporter

July 27 (FT) The Commissioner General for Sri Lanka for Expo 2015 Dr. Rohantha Athukorala announced that Sri Lanka has secured a Rs. 53 million order for sapphires from the Milano exposition. The exporter hailing from Matale was excited given that most visitors to a typical expo exhibition are end consumers. The buyer, who hails from the Zhejiang Province of the People’s Republic of China, has legally signed the agreement for delivery within a year, witnessed by more..

Sumeda new javelin champion

July 27 (Island) SL Air Force thrower Sumeda Ranasinghe turned tables on national champion and former national record holder Waruna Lakshan to win the men’s javelin as the 93rd National Athletic Championships concluded with high jumper Manjula Kumara and Nilani Ratnayake winning the best athlete titles in the men’s and women’s categories respectively at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium on Sunday. more..

Aravinda, Dulakshi impress in 400m hurdles

July 27 (CT) Hurdlers, Aravinda Chathuranga and Eranga Dulakshi, together with long jumper Janaka Wimalasiri, produced impressive performances while VL Sugandhi set the third Sri Lanka record of the meet in the Heptathlon at the 93rd National Athletics Championship concluded yesterday at Diyagama. Soldier Chathuranga who returned after training from Malaysia about two months ago, had his coach Ashoka Jayasundara by his side in the last few days, who had also returned from Germany more..

Another white collar crime exposed

July 27 (CT) Sashreeka Agro Management (Pvt) Ltd (SAM) which claimed to be a specialist company that provides turnkey agriculture/forestry services, management and advisory services to investors and property owners in the agricultural/forestry industry, within Sri Lanka proved to be a scam. This was revealed by a medical doctor who has lost a colossal amount of money. The Director of SAM Channa Abeyagunawardena of SAM has been the CEO of the now defunct Touchwood investment PLC. more..

Kusal ton sets up consolation SL victory

July 27 (CI) Kusal Perera sent Pakistan on the run with his most substantial innings to date, then Sri Lanka's middle order ran the opposition down and mauled them in a frenzied finish, to found a 165-run victory in the final ODI. Sri Lanka plundered 368 for 4, but even on a placid Hambantota deck, the chase was too steep for Pakistan's in-form top order. They slipped to 140 for 5 before the halfway stage of the innings, and more..

Ian Gould auditions for FC Barcelona

July 27 (CI) Umpire Ian Gould has worn his share of balls this tour, but he has rarely done so with as much skill as he managed in the 14th over of Sri Lanka's innings. Kusal Perera's cut off Imad Wasim was headed for the space between Gould's legs, but instead of being nutmegged, Gould moved his right leg and stopped the ball in its tracks, just like a Barcelona Football Club forward would control a fast pass from the midfield. Unlike a footballer, though, Gould resisted more..

Dilshan joins the 10,000 club

July 27 (CI) 4: Sri Lankan batsmen have scored 10,000-plus runs in ODI cricket - Kumar Sangakkara (14234), Sanath Jayasuriya (13430), Mahela Jayawardene (12650) and now Tillakaratne Dilshan (10007). Sri Lanka are the only country to have four batsmen scoring 10,000-plus runs. India has three, while Australia, South Africa, West Indies and Pakistan have one each. 7: five-match bilateral ODI series have been played between SL and Pakistan. Pakistan have now won five of these series, more..

'We must promote peace'

July 27 (SL) The ACMC led by Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, which is now a part of the UNP led alliance, has decided to contest six districts under the UNP’s elephant symbol and one district separately under their own party symbol. He said that his party joined the UNP led good governance front to carry forward the mandate given by the people at presidential election and that he is confident of securing 10 seats in parliament. more..

Infighting at High Commission

July 27 (Island) This week too we continue with the long email sent by Asoka Weerasinghe and his battles not only with the LTTE in Canada but some of his fellow Sri Lankans. It is historical and that is why we want it read by one and all. However, before we get to Asoka, I would like to reproduce an email sent by veteran SL supporter Daya Hettiarachchi is response to Assignment Toronto It was heartening to hear from Daya after a long time. "I am 87 now and tend to be careless and tired. more..

Editorial: CID’s Nelsonian eye

July 27 (Island) There has been a propaganda war of sorts over the recent arrest of three soldiers in a white van with a false number plate. The govt has, true to form, sought to pooh-pooh the incident and the SLFP has expressed grave concern about the safety of former President Rajapaksa and former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. What is of interest to us, however, is not the ongoing debate over the incident but a very serious allegation former Minister Wimal Weerawansa has made. more..

Colombo Fashion Forecast

The lumpen campaign of the clean

July 27 (NS) The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Out in the remote and inaccessible corners of this country, people know this verity almost by instinct. It is in the suburbs that folk seem to be bedazzled and lost, all at the same time. In the semi-rural, and the hinterland, the people seem to have a nose for these things. They have often favored performance over loose talk, and found it hard to support under-achievers. But, what’s happening in this country today beggars the imagination, and more..

Peace & Reconciliation: A way forward

July 27 (GV) I have enjoyed and appreciated the documents you have sent me and am happy to speak to you on Peace and Reconciliation – Way Forward. Up till the time of Independence in February 1984 our country was widely regarded, with much justification, as a model colony, eminently equipped to be a peaceful, democratic, stable, socially cohesive and economically upward mobile nation-state. There was much promise of our land and our people living up to the legend of the more..

'A continuation of presidential polls'

July 27 (SL) The SLMC is among the minority political parties that joined forces with the UNP led alliance to contest the upcoming general election. SLMC General Secretary Hasan Ali said that they are ready to accept a govt that is willing to give an alternative solution to address the concerns of the Muslims in the Ampara district. Q: On what grounds did the SLMC join the UNP led alliance? A: We have decided to join the more..

Destruction brewed by historic bond scam

July 27 (CT) Accepting bids at a yield of 12.5% for 30 year govt bonds while the market rate was nearly 300 basis points below the accepted yield caused a far greater destabilizing impact on the economy as a whole which went firmly under the radar of both economic commentators and politicians who raised the issue at public forums. It is common knowledge that the artificially higher yield offered to Perpetual Capital (pvt) ltd by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka effectively reduced the market value of more..

Measuring the maturity of the SL electorate

July 27 (ST) If Sri Lanka’s political and legal history since independence demonstrates one fact, it is the fundamental dishonesty of those whom we elect to serve us. Even the rare exceptions to this rule have failed to emulate an Ambedkar, a Gandhi or a Nehru whose visions and dreams lifted Indian society from its depths and fashioned an inimitable national spirit which carried that country through decades of communal turmoil. This has been our singular loss. Insisting on a rights discourse when drafting more..

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