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Ex-leader defends son over murder claim

Aug 9 (AFP) Former president Mahinda Rajapakse Sunday denied his son was involved in the controversial death of a national rugby player as a magistrate ordered a fresh investigation. Police said the body of rugby star Wasim Thajudeen will be exhumed Monday for forensic tests after allegations that authorities covered up investigation during Rajapakse's regime. Thajudeen was killed over a love triangle more..

SL uncovers horror in sexual jealousy crime

Aug 9 (EN) Gruesome details have emerged of the murder of rugger player Wasim Thajudeen ahead of the exhumation of his body, official sources said. Killers are said to have made a former girlfriend of Wasim's listen to him being tortured. The horrific account of the events will form part of the evidence in the case. A dossier has already been prepared by CID which has questioned the former girl friend who had served a brief stint as more..

Pakistan’s Mango Diplomacy and more

Aug 9 (Island) I read with much interest the recent article titled Pakistan’s Mango Diplomacy and Lanka’s Insect Fear in a daily publication written by one Dr Ranga Kalansooriya. He had narrated how in early July 1977, Pakistan’s military ruler and President Gen. Zia Ul Haq had sent a gift consignment of Pakistan’s Multan mangoes to Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike (Mrs. B). It had been returned with a message informing of her inability to "accept a gift from a person more..

Ensuring women’s rights for sustainable democracy

Aug 9 (Island) The advertisement placed by the UNP on Aug 4 in the Daily Mirror draws attention to the problems women are compelled to face in their daily lives. The call to preserve the dignity and integrity of women struck a note of empathy in me even as it would have with others, both men and women, who read the advertisement. According to the ad, UNFGG plans to institute measures to ease the problems of women particularly those who are employed in foreign countries. more..

Anura Kumara Disanayake

Ex President owes ITN nearly Rs. 102M

Aug 9 (SL) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa owes the Independent Television Network (ITN) nearly Rs.102 million for the advertisements aired during the 2015 Presidential elections, says ITN General Manager Aruna Wijesinghe. He said that investigations had revealed that the former President was yet to pay the money to the State broadcaster. Once the investigations are completed, legal action will be initiated in order to recover the money, he added. more..

Govt silent on UN stand

Aug 9 (SL) Sri Lankan govt is silent on the matters pertaining to their position as to whether they would involve the Northern Province in talks to establish a mechanism to investigate incidents related to the war. When questioned about the govt’s position, Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said that he would not comment on as to whether the government would involve the Northern Province in building a domestic mechanism. “It is not simple. I cannot comment on that matter,” he said. more..

Confessions of a paramour: Body of woman found in a bag

Aug 9 (CT) "We had a heated argument. I was angry and beat her. She fell on the bed. She looked lifeless and neither spoke nor breathed. She was dead. I could not imagine what to do. Later, I decided to take the body to her parents' house. That is why I put it in the bag. I kept the bag in the bus stand and bought tickets. When I returned there, I found police near the bag. I was afraid and left for Vavuniya," said the paramour of the more..

President to open Rs. 200mn ultra-modern, new Uswatte Confectionery Works complex

Aug 9 (Island) The new ultra-modern factory and office complex of Uswatte Confectionery Works (Pvt) Limited, built at a cost of Rs. 200 million, will be opened by President Maithripala Sirisena on Saturday, at Millaniya in Bandaragama. "Being able to build this state-of-the-art complex on our own land within three years was a dream come true", says Sunil Quintus Perera, Chairman of the company. "Converting a bare jungle into a factory complex by building from brick to brick by spending more..

Protection to victims and witnesses from Aug 15

Aug 9 (ST) The provisions of the Assistance to and Protection to Victims and Witness Act will come into effect from August 15, six months after the Bill was approved by Parliament. Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksha who is authorised to fix the date on which the provisions of the Act will come into operation, has notified it will be effective from the middle of this month. The move comes ahead of the September sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). more..

General Election : Canadian Tamil Congress backs TNA, calls for strong mandate

Aug 9 (Island) The Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) urged Tamils and all citizens of Sri Lanka to exercise their right to vote at the August 17, General Election. National Spokesperson for the Canadian Tamil Congress, David Poopalapillai, said the presidential election of January 8, 2015 was a turning point in the recent political history of Sri Lanka. "Voters turned up in large numbers and voted for change and a new beginning. more..

Tense situation at Grandpass

Aug 9 (DM) A tense situation prevailed between Police personnel and the residents in Grandpass this morning, when the Police arrested a woman on charges of possessing heroin. Residents had obstructed the Police, when arresting the suspect. A 65-year-old man had collapsed and died during the melee. Police said investigations were being conducted to determine if the man died due to Police action. “If the officers were found guilty, legal action would be taken against them,” more..

Chandrika insults herself: Dilan

Aug 9 (SO) SLFP Media Spokesman Dilan Perera expressing displeasure over the recent statement by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga said the former President by resorting to such remarks has insulted herself. “Former President has insulted the SLFP which was formed by her father, late PM S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike. She has also insulted her mother, late PM Sirimavo Bandaranaike,” he said, pointing out that it was the UNP, which imprisoned the former President’s husband Vijaya more..

Video: 'Sri Lanka's security not at risk'

Aug 9 (DM) Minister Champika Ranawaka assured the people that Sri Lanka's security was not under threat and that the LTTE would never be allowed to regroup or be revived ever again. He said that former president Rajapaksa and his supporters were spreading rumors that the country's security was at risk. He said LTTE supporters might be regrouping in other countries but they would never be allowed to try their pranks in SL. more..

Post-Aug 17: 15 UPFA MPs to support UNF

Aug 9 (SO) 15 UPFA candidates have consented to back the UNFGG to form the next govt, if the need for a national govt arises, Minister and UNF group leader for Kandy District, Lakshman Kiriella, said. He said there were no apprehensions about the UNF’s victory at the August 17 polls but that an understanding has been reached with some members of the UPFA to join UNF if they fall short of the numbers. “We are confident of sweeping the election with a total of 115 seats. more..

China discouraged investing in Sri Lanka after Port City project: G.L.

Aug 9 (DM) Confidence and certainty of the Chinese govt in investing in Sri Lankan projects were lost due to the contradictory statements made by several govt authorities towards the Chinese funded Port City project, former Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris said today. Speaking at an even named Panel Discussion on the Future Development of the Colombo District, Mr. Peiris said there is a trend of Chinese investors declining to invest for Lankan origin projects since they have been more..

202 ex-MPs re-contesting, but how have they performed?

Aug 9 (ST) The use of data analysis to make a business decision is a key tool for a CEO. Similarly, data can help inform citizens when they cast their vote at an election. Contesting the upcoming elections are 202 MPs from the last Parliament. Using the dataset, which comprises more than 28,000 Hansard records between May 2012 and June 2015, a wealth of new perspectives emerges. more..

Complaints filed against state institutions

Aug 9 (SL) Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRSL) has received complaints on minor incidents against some state organisations in relation to election law violations. HRCSL Legal Secretary, Nimal Punchihewa said that they have not received any complaint on major incidents of election law violations so far but have received some complaints of minor incidents such as election related promotions and display of cutouts and posters in state organisations. more..

No Paracetamol in State hospitals

Aug 9 (ST) State hospitals are facing a shortage of Paracetamol, one of the most commonly used items in the essential drugs list. “The Medical Supplies Division (MSD) is unable to provide the drug to hospitals until the State Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing Corporation (SPMC) supplies fresh stock,” said MSD Director General, Dr. Lal Panapitiya. “Hospitals are facing a shortage and we have no buffer stocks to supply them” Dr Panapitiya explained. more..

MR denies giving money to LTTE in 2005

Aug 9 (CG) Former President Rajapaksa denied allegations that he had given the LTTE money in 2005 in order to win the then Presidential election. In 2005 LTTE had prevented the people from taking part in elections, which allowed Rajapaksa to win with the support of the Sinhala votes in the South. Rajapaksa said that if he had given money to the LTTE he would not have taken much efforts to try to defeat them. more..

Gamini Lokuge’s slip of tongue goes viral

Aug 9 (CG) United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) member Gamini Lokuge, speaking at an election rally, has mistakenly said that the people are behind Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Parliamentary election. His slip of tongue has gone viral on social media and Uva Province Chief Minister Harin Fernando said that the slip of tongue showed who the real winner will be. Fernando says Lokuge has clearly confirmed that UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe will be the next PM. more..

UPFA backs solution under 13th Amendment

Aug 9 (CG) UPFA says it supports a political solution to address the National issue, under the 13th Amendment. UPFA member and candidate at the election, Dr. Charitha Herath, said that the UPFA proposes a unitary Sri Lanka with powers shared with the provinces under the 13th Amendment. “We do not believe in strengthening only parts of the country (for example like the megapolis proposed by the UNP). All parts of the country must see the benefits of development,” he said. more..

If I win, I'll probe Thajudeen's murder: MR

Aug 9 (DM) Ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa said he would probe the killing of ruggerite Wassim Thajudeen if his party was elected to office at the general election. He told a packed news conference held today to discuss a host of election-related issues and his political stance that the murder should be probed to ascertain the truth. He said this by way of a response to a question asked by a journalist. more..

The writing’s on the wall for election posters

Aug 9 (ST) Posters depicting political parties or candidates can be seen pasted on parapet walls, boulders and other areas where voters are likely to see them. While the illegal practice continues police officials are working around the clock to remove them. Despite strict rules against the use of posters being introduced by the Commissioner of Elections, police officials are still battling violators who stubbornly continue to break the law. In some places these officers were seen removing more..

Lot of expectations from Kohli: Kalu

Aug 9 (PTI) Eager to see how Virat Kohli shapes up as a leader, former Sri Lankan batsman Romesh Kaluwitharana said India’s new firebrand cricket captain looks hungry for wins but has to deal with a mountain of expectations as well. “For India, expectations will be high too. A lot of people back in their country have a keen interest and they will watch how Kohli shapes up as skipper. He will have to deal with all those expectations. I am sure the new captain wants to perform more..

CBK questions votes given for war victory

Aug 9 (CG) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has questioned the rationale by some voters to back former President Rajapaksa at elections on the basis that he won the war. Speaking at an event in Kurunegala, Kumaratunga said that if people are going to vote for Rajapaksa simply since he won the war, then they must vote for her and former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka since they too had a role to play. more..

Sri Lanka eyes China as major source of FDI

Aug 9 (Xinhua) Under the new govt, Sri Lanka is looking at China as a major source of foreign direct investment (FDI) to further expand its growing economy. Mangala P.B. Yapa, CEO of Sri Lanka's biggest business group, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, said China and Sri Lanka had been trading partners for years and due to Sri Lanka's strategic importance, China can pour investment into the country to benefit not only both nations but other South Asian countries as well. more..

Sri Lanka probes loss to govt railway from luxury train service

Aug 9 (EN) CID has been asked to probe a steam-engined luxury train owned by Govt Railway but operated by a private travel firm that has caused losses to the State. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the operation of carriages and special trains under Viceroy–2 service with private sector participation had caused financial loss to Railways Department. Loss was revealed in an investigation by Internal Transport Ministry, he said. Train is owned by SL Railway and managed by JF Tours, more..

Sri Lanka billed over half million rupees for ex-PM's 5-star laundering

Aug 9 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's new administration has been billed over half a million rupees for washing clothes of the Prime Minister of the ousted Rajapaksa regime during the last quarter of 2014, Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva said. Prime Minister's office had been sent a bills for 632,575 rupees (4,600 US dollars) by a laundry at Cinnamon Lakeside, 5-star city hotel in Colombo, for the last three months 2014, de Silva said. more..

The resurrection of Wasim Thajudeen raises questions-deep questions

Aug 10 (CT) The single and personal saga of popular young ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen’s mysterious death is bound to push election news aside in this last week of the General Election period. News stands already abound with stories of his death. Grapevines and gossip lines have gotten busy. Truth is getting mixed with fiction but the resultant public narrative is getting juicier by the hour. What was deemed an inconsequential issue and was thought buried for good under more..

Sri Lanka’s intensified history in nine months, 2014-2015

Aug 10 (CT) In a flash we have seen phenomenal changes within a span of nine months. From nominations for Presidential to Parliamentary elections in a week, events have moved with wholesome rapidity. Called silent or bloodless, glorious revolution or intensive evolution, it has inspired hope and purpose. Defeat and despair stand dispelled. The national polity which had grown defiant together with a political leadership with its sense of power brought this turn around. more..

'We will realize Tamils' dream sans weapons'

Aug 10 (CT) Rasiah Kirubhakaran alias Kathir, a well-known, strong, and trustworthy chief of one of the LTTE Bodyguard Units of former LTTE Leader V Prabhakaran spoke on the high level of security deployed for their leader. Kathir explained his long journey of 20 years with the LTTE and how he embraced democracy, yet again to redeem the misled Tamil community in the North. "Tamil community had never seen me though more..

Necessity of complicating the equation

Aug 10 (SL) The country is at the verge of a decisive election. Surveys and predictions of the election results are pumped to social media on an hourly basis. Mudslinging or distorted news, articles, photo-shopped images are also filling up the social media networks at the same speed. At the time of the Presidential Election campaign both Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe pledged that they would set up a National Government after this election. more..

Wasim Thajudeen and a bloodstained state

Aug 10 (ST) Deaths of innocents in Sri Lanka have had a long and terrible history. No political party can wash its hands of this blood despite the hypocritical outrage often professed in public. Such fire breathing rhetoric only increases in intensity when an election draws near. But the cold hard truth is that a genuine righting of wrongs is not manifested. Instead, these deaths are used for political advantage, time and time again. The only time it seemed that this devastating link more..

'JHU will change country’s political culture'

Aug 10 (SL) JHU and the UNP have had conflicting ideas on several issues, especially pertaining to their stance on the devolution of power, a federal system and the UNP’s pro-West neoliberal ideas. Even though, the JHU initially declared to contest the general election under a separate front, they changed their stance and joined UNP led good governance front. General Secretary of JHU, Minister Champika Ranawaka reiterated that more..

National economy: Way forward for sustainability

Aug 10 (Island) The readers must thank Prof. W.D. Lakshman for his article in The Island in which he has highlighted the recent changes made by the Dept of Census and Statistics in presenting national accounts. With a new system adopted, the key economic indicators such as gross domestic product (GDP) and its growth rate now take aa new set of values compared to those worked out previously. The GDP and its growth rate are widely used by policy makers and economists to more..

Hoot clue to who’s fit to get UPFA faithful’s hooray vote

Aug 10 (ST) Even as the Bellanwila Chief Monk, Ven. Prof. Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thera, appealed to the people on Wednesday to reject tainted candidates, so did President Maithripala Sirisena declare on Friday that the voters had a special responsibility cast on them to elect only qualified and untainted candidates to the next parliament. “People should use their intelligence, knowledge and their experience of what happened in the past when casting their vote,” more..

'Every district is my district'

Aug 10 (SO) Former Presiden Rajapaksa and UPFA candidate from the Kurunegala District is pretty much the other candidate in the August 17 polls. He secured his candidacy riding on a Bring Back Mahinda campaign launched by UPFA politicians and now, as head of the UPFA Election Operations Committee, is effectively steering the party’s propaganda campaign. Here the former President talks about Let’s Power the Nation, more..

Editorial: Arise, awake and fight!

Aug 10 (Island) People are often heard whinging that bottled water is cheap at half the price. One litre of the so-called mineral water (locally obtained from wells and springs) costs as much as half a litre of petrol shipped all the way from West Asia! But, the day may not be far off when Adam’s ale becomes as expensive as black gold unless the alleged attempts being made to involve multinationals in the management of water resources here are defeated. UPFA accuses the govt of having formulated more..

Parties, policies and poll-time promises

Aug 10 (SL) During the run-up to the 2005 presidential polls, candidate former president Rajapaksa, promised to find half a million more overseas jobs for SL women, if elected. Less than a week later, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Sri Lankans that he would create double that many jobs promised by his competitor. No one asked either of them how with their kind of governmental experience, they had thought that it is fit to make poll promises that could not be kept. more..