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President dismisses corruption allegations

Aug 25 (PTI) President Maithripala Sirisena today denied any wrongdoing following an Australian media report that claimed his adviser had allegedly demanded a kickback to approve a project during his tenure as Cabinet minister. The SMH had carried a story on an Australian police investigation that Sirisena's Coordinating Secretary had demanded a kickback to approve a project when he was a minister in Cabinet in 2011. more..

I gave MR Nobel nomination forms: Rajitha

Aug 25 (CT) In what appears likely to be yet another dramatic revelation of what took place during the Rajapaksa regime, Minister Rajitha Senaratne disclosed it was he who gave the application form for the Nobel Peace Prize nomination to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He said at yesterday's Cabinet media briefing that he had personally handed over the application form to the former President, in a bid to assist him in his crusade to become Asia's Nelson Mandela. more..

Sri Lanka wants Indian subcontinent firm involved in $400 mln port contract

Aug 25 (Reuters) Sri Lanka is seeking a consortium that must include a company from the Indian subcontinent to bid for a $400 million contract to build a port terminal. The move to include an Indian subcontinent firm could neutralise growing Chinese influence in Colombo's port. Arjuna Ranatunga, SL's ports minister, said at least a 20% stake in consortia bidding for the Colombo East terminal construction contract must be held by a firm from the Indian subcontinent. more..

Video: JO urges local inquiry into Aussie reports

Aug 25 (DM) The joint opposition requested President Maithripala Sirisena to call for a local investigation regarding the news reports in the Australian media involving the name of President Sirisena over a bribery investigation conducted on a company there. JO member MP Wimalaweera Dissanayake said it was not good for the country when the president is being accused of such an act and more..

Mano Tittawella neither Secretary nor member of OMP: SCRM

Aug 25 (DN) Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (SCRM), in a statement, said that Mano Tittawella was neither Secretary nor member of the Office on Missing Persons, but was instead Secretary General of SCRM, effective March 29, 2016. Statement: This is to confirm that Mano Tittawella was appointed the Secretary General of SCRM from 29th, March 2016. SCRM is the apex body created by Cabinet in Dec 2015 to coordinate all reconciliation related activities in SL. more..

Colombo East Container terminal, CEB, SLTB earmarked for privatisation: Mahindananda

Aug 25 (Island) Former Cabinet Minister and UPFA MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage alleged that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was planning to privatise 75% of the East Container Terminal at the Colombo Port. He told the media that Premier Wickremesinghe had revealed the privatisation plan at the Tuesday’s COPE committee meeting in Parliament. Aluthgamage claimed that not only the SLPA but also the CEB, SLTB would be privatised in the near future. more..

'President's office will issue statement on Aussie media reports'

Aug 25 (DM) Presidential Secretariat will issue a full statement in the days to come on the news reports published in Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and the ABC among the Australian media on an alleged attempt to obtain a financial donation from an Australian company for political work by a coordinating secretary of President Maithripala Sirisena when he served as Minister of Mahaweli Development and Irrigation in 2009, more..

TNA warns of campaign against Certificates of Absence

Aug 25 (CG) The TNA today warned of a mischievous campaign against the Certificates of Absence. TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran told Parliament today that families of those missing are being misled not to accept the Certificates of Absence. He was speaking on the Registration of Deaths (Temporary Provisions) (Amendment) Bill. Sumanthiran said that the Certificates of Absence does not mean investigations into the missing will not move forward. more..

Helicopter flying two ministers makes emergency landing

Aug 25 (DM) A helicopter carrying Ministers Sajith Premadasa and Navin Dissanayake to Nuwara Eliya made an emergency landing to a vegetable plot in Katumanne, Seetha Eliya today. They met with this incident while traveling to Nuwara Eliya. It had been scheduled to land at the Race Course Ground at Nuwara Eliya. Helicopter was flying low due to the mist this morning when the pilot saw high tension electric wires in the area, and decided to make the emergency landing. No one was hurt. more..

CID told to take action against elephant racketeers

Aug 25 (DN) CID had been instructed to take legal action against those Wildlife Department officers who are involved in elephant rackets, Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera said. He also said AG and Public Service Commission have also been informed, so that they could take measures against such errant officers. He added that govt would not protect any person who is found involved in elephant rackets. more..

Samaranayake cleared of fixing allegations

Aug 25 (CI) Anusha Samaranayake, a SLC fast-bowling coach, has been cleared of the fixing allegations over which he had been suspended in February. SLC had launched an inquiry about Samaranayake's role in the fixing-related approach of more than one SL cricketer last year. However, ICC has since informed SLC that there is no evidence Samaranayake has breached its Anti-Corruption Code. Despite this, Samaranayake's role with SLC remains in hiatus, more..

Video: Army leaves Kudiyiruppu Camp

Aug 25 (DM) Army has evacuated the Kudiyiruppu Camp which was in the hands of the army for the past 26 years. Camp which belonged to the Vanni security headquarters contributed immensely to provide security to the Sinhala and Tamil people during the war. Vavuniya District Secretary Rohana Pushpakumara said the army has taken steps to hand over the building where the camp had been set up to the Vavuniya district secretary. This building which belonged to Vavuniya district secretary more..

Video: No decision to remove army camps in North: Army Commander

Aug 25 (DM) While denying the statement made by a MP, Army Commander Lieutenant General Crishantha de Silva said that there was no decision to remove any Army camp in the North. “No decision has been taken to remove Army camps in the North and there is no truth behind this claim,” he said. While addressing media at Colombo Defence Seminar 2016 he said Army would take any measure to ensure National Security. more..

Thisara Perera fined, Starc reprimanded for breaching ICC Code of Conduct

Aug 25 (CC) Thisara Perera has been fined for breaching ICC Code of Conduct as he used some language and gestures mocking the Australia batsman David Warner. Meanwhile, Mitchell Starc was reprimanded in a different incident for throwing the ball towards batsman during second ODI match in Colombo on Wednesday. Sri Lanka won the second ODI by margin of 82 runs to level the ODI series against Australia. Both the players admitted the offences and accepted the sanctions more..

'More SLFP organizers to quit soon'

Aug 25 (CT) Joint Opposition (JO) and SLFP Ratnapura District MP Janaka Wakkumbura confirmed his resignation as SLFP organizer for Kalawana electorate with effect from yesterday. He announced this decision after a proposal calling for his resignation as Kalawana Organizer was approved at an SLFP central organizations meeting held at his residence in Elapatha yesterday. "They asked me to step down and I will respect their decision," he said. more..

Five Lankans drowned in London

Aug 25 (MO) These are the first pictures of five best friends - including two brothers - who drowned off Camber Sands on the hottest day of the year as beachgoers today urged the police to reveal more about their mysterious deaths. Three victims were pulled from the sea off the East Sussex beach yesterday afternoon and emergency services tried and failed to revive them in front of thousands of horrified holidaymakers. more..

President may have referred to SLFP secrets: Rajitha

Aug 25 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena may have referred to political secrets of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, when he threatened to reveal such details recently, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. Responding to questions during the weekly Cabinet Press Briefing, Senaratne said that the secrets the President had spoken of, may not pertain to the ongoing criminal investigations against some members of the Rajapaksa family, but matters relating to the SLFP. more..

Customs seeks AG’s advice to act against illegally assembled vehicle racket

Aug 25 (Island) Customs Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) had sought the advice of the Attorney General in respect of its raid conducted on July 11, and detection of 62 illegally assembled vehicles in Minuwangoda. Following our expose the consignee has sent letters of demand to the Director of Customs CIB, all the officers who had participated in the raid and this newspaper. Officers involved in the raid told The Island that they had obtained a court order for conducting the raid. more..

Millionaire’s murder: 5 businessmen barred from leaving country

Aug 25 (AD) Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris today issued an order preventing overseas travel of 5 businessmen in connection with the murder of Bambalapitiya-based businessman Mohamed Shakeeb Sulaiman, who was found dead in Mawanella after allegedly being abducted. The court order preventing them from leaving the country was issued by the court after considering a request made by the CCD. more..

Alleged move to sell state ventures irks NGOs

Aug 25 (Island) Anti-Corruption Front (ACF) claimed the govt was planning to sell several profitable state ventures including Litro Gas, Colombo Hilton and Lanka Hospitals while delaying probes into financial corruption. Its adviser Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said the govt had still not set up Procurement Commission under 19th Amendment, but was prepared to sell govt institutions underhand. "Litro Gas made a profit of Rs. 9 billion annually," he said, noting that the expected income from more..

Injured Coulter-Nile out of Sri Lanka tour

Aug 25 (CI) Fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile has been ruled out of the remainder of Australia's tour of Sri Lanka with an injury to his lower back. Australia have named a 13-man squad for the two T20s that round out the tour, with wicketkeeper Peter Nevill retaining his place and allrounder Glenn Maxwell and batsman Chris Lynn set to join the group. But Coulter-Nile, who played in all four of Australia's matches at the World T20 in India earlier this year, will not be part of the series more..

Dilshan to retire from ODIs and T20Is

Aug 25 (CI) Tillakaratne Dilshan has confirmed he will play his final ODI in Dambulla on Sunday, third of the series against Australia, and his last T20 in Colombo on Sept 9. His retirement comes in the wake of significant pressure from selectors. Dilshan's own performance has been outstanding over the past few years - he averages 49.18 in ODIs since the start of 2013, and had his most successful ODI year in 2015, more..

OMP now a sword of damocles

Aug 25 (CT) President Sirisena's swift response to resignations by the SLFP's Matara and Homagama leaders, replacing Bandula Gunawardena and Dullas Alahapperuma with Gamini Thilakasiri and Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, respectively, made evident the fact that the SLFP leader is not short of options when it comes to a matter of crisis management in the Party. We've been stressing the inevitability of this major split in the Party ever since President Sirisena took that stunning step to more..

Stocks end steady; turnover moderate

Aug 25 (Reuters) Shares ended steady on Thursday in moderate trading volume as local buying boosted by positive sentiment was offset by foreign outflows and selling for month-end settlement. Sentiment has been positive after the authorities started to take some bold steps to counter a balance of payments and credit problem. Sri Lanka's new govt is drafting reforms aimed at simplifying taxes, widening the tax base and increasing compliance, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said on Wednesday, more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon: Rich Man Poor Man

Lost evenings, lost lives: Tamil poems of Sri Lankan civil war

Aug 25 (CT) This bilingual anthology of fifty poems is by the very nature of its subject (ethnic conflict) political, and yet it would be inaccurate and unfortunate to describe the volume as a political work. It is about the experience of politics: politics as experienced not by the makers of History but by those who endure it; politics not as an abstraction but as something personally felt by ordinary, sentient, human individuals. As several of these poems attest, whether we are interested more..

Sri Lanka advised not to ignore mid-range hotel development

Aug 25 (EN) Although a lot of investments are going into building up-market hotels to attract high spenders, Sri Lanka should not lose sight of the need to cater to domestic and mid-range tourists, a hospitality forum in Colombo was told. Kevin Wallace, Managing Director, Dream Hotel Group, said Sri Lanka has a sizeable segment of domestic tourists which the industry needs to cater to and which do not patronise five-star hotels. “Sri Lanka has a lot of domestic tourists who more..

Video: Body recovered in Mawanella suspected to be of missing businessman

Aug 25 (DM) A man's body believed to be that of the missing businessman, Mohamed Sakeem Sulaiman, was found on the Hemmathagama Road in Rukulagama in Mawanella yesterday evening, police sources said. The victim whose face had been disfigured with serious injuries, believed to have been made by a blunt instrument, was in the process of being identified. Several police teams including a special team more..

JO to present proposal in Parliament demanding LG polls

Aug 25 (DM) The Joint Opposition would today present a proposal in Parliament demanding immediate local govt elections, which has been already delayed by one year and three months, the Joint Opposition said yesterday. Joint Opposition member MP Bandula Gunawardane said the Govt’s motive behind the postponing of the local government elections, was an attempt to grab hold of the democratic rights of the public. more..

Speaker promises submission of National Audit Bill soon

Aug 25 (Island) Combined Trade Union Alliance of the AG’s Department has received an assurance from Speaker Karu Jayasuriya that the National Audit Bill will be presented to Parliament soon. Speaker Jayasuriya is also the head of the Constitutional Council responsible for appointing the Independent Audit Commission. Deputy Auditor General and Convenor of the trade union grouping A.H.M.L. Ambanwela said they discussed more..

TNA leader seeks Tamil prisoners' release

Aug 25 (PTI) TNA has asked the govt to immediately release all Tamil political prisoners besides repealing an obnoxious anti-terrorism law. TNA leader R Sampanthan accused the govt of not acting promptly since coming to power. "Even the Rajapaksa govt released over 11,000 persons in custody. They gave them rehabilitation and released them. But this govt in the course of the past almost 18 months or more than that more..

UK PM rapped over SL militant’s asylum bid

Aug 25 (HS) ONE of Scotland’s most senior judges has said Theresa May acted unreasonably when she dismissed a former Sri Lankan militant’s asylum bid after he claimed his life would be at risk if he returned home. Former Lord Advocate Lord Boyd of Duncansby said that during her time as Home Secretary May was wrong to reject the unnamed petitioner’s bid to remain in Scotland by concluding he had no realistic more..

OMP : Boon or Bane to democracy?

Aug 25 (SL) President Maithripala Sirisena addressing the recent Law Asia 2016 Summit emphasized that law should be equal to everyone. The President said that the public questioned him as to how far it was fair for privileged persons who are in remand custody to ward themselves at the Merchant ward in a govt hospital. He remarked this at the Inauguration Ceremony celebrating 50th Anniversary of establishing Asia Pacific Law more..

JHU wants CoI into racism in North and East

Aug 25 (DN) JHU called on the govt to appoint a Commission of Inquiry into the campaign carried out of by certain racist and separatist elements of TNA against Sinhala people in the North and East, and building of Buddha statues, in these regions. JHU National Organiser Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said that these elements have launched a campaign against Sinhalese villages such as Navathkuli, Bogaswewa & Murukandi more..

Call for sevenfold increase in fines on dirty cafes

Aug 25 (ST) With at least 60 Colombo restaurants hauled into court last month on charges of food poisoning and lack of hygiene, city authorities are calling for sharp increases in penalties to protect customers. Many eateries and restaurants look clean enough on the outside, but most have dirty kitchens, dirty toilets, and a vermin-infested environment alive with rats and cockroaches. more..

Worsening MR, MS antagonism over the removal of 41 SLFP organisers

Aug 25 (DM) In the aftermath of the removal of 41 members from the organizers posts of SLFP, a rift between party leader President Maitripala Sirisena and his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa looked widened, and antagonism worsened. These organizers, including stalwarts like Mahinda Yapa Abeywardane, Pavithra Wanniarachchi and Keheliya Rambukwella are the MR loyalists. more..