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'Revoke his benefits as retired Head of State'

July 8 (DM) The UNP said benefits given to former President Mahinda Rajapska as a retired Head of State should be taken back if he makes a comeback to politics. UNP Deputy General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said that the former President is no longer legally entitled to all benefits which a retired Head of State. Kariyawasam said he will not be affected at all as a UNP candidate for the Kurunegala District, even more..

Will Maithri chew his words?

July 8 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena in the run up to the last January presidential election put the country and the people before party politics. Today we reproduce important contents of his speeches made during that period and published in our sister paper Mawbima for an analysis to ascertain whether he had truly put the country before party politics after occupying the presidency of this country over the past six months as a general election has been fixed for 17 August. more..

The unforgivable betrayal in the Sri Lankan political history?

July 8 (CT) There is a widespread rumour that Mithripala Sirisena agreed to nominate Mahinda Rajapaksa as a candidate for the forthcoming parliamentary election. Many people do not believe this rumour for the reasons well known to the world. Victory of MS in the presidential election in Jan 8th, 2015 was not a surprise because it was expected that the Tamil and Muslim minority groups that were subjected to serious injustices by the MR govt since 2005 would overwhelmingly vote for him. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Magistrate favoured Justice Abrew: ASG

July 8 (DM) The Attorney General’s Department today informed the Supreme Court that Mt. Lavinia Magistrate Mohomed Shahabdeen had favoured Justice Sarath De Abrew because of his position as a Supreme Court Judge. Additional Solicitor General Yasantha Kodagoda who appeared for the AG, in the Fundamental Rights Petition filed by Justice Sarath De Abrew, said the Magistrate had favoured Justice Abrew when releasing him on bail. The Court ordered the case records of more..

Sri Lankan shares close at 3-month low

July 8 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares closed at their lowest in three months, pulled down by market heavyweight John Keells Holdings, as political uncertainty ahead of the Aug. 17 parliamentary elections weighed on investor sentiment. The main stock index ended 0.63% weaker at 6,923.79, its lowest close since April 10 and the biggest single-day loss since June 3. The day's turnover stood at 518 million rupees, less than half of this year's daily average of 1.06 billion rupees. more..

Video: MR candidature a positive phenomenon: Ranjan

July 8 (DM) The candidature of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the general elections should be considered as a positive phenomenon, UNP member Ranjan Ramanayake said today. He told a media briefing that President Maithripala Sirisena should be thanked if the former President was given nomination as he would be providing slogans and a proper rival at the election if the latter was given the ticket. more..

CBK under fire for desecrating Ifthar celebration

July 8 (Island) Muslims had condemned the political statements made by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga at an Ifthar celebration in Matara recently, former parliamentarian A.H.M. Azwer said yesterday. Azwer told The Island that no politician had used Ifthar celebration for political propaganda purposes. He said that President Maitripala Sirisena had participated in an Ifthar celebration at Temple Trees and refrained from making political statements. more..

Apply for temporary IDs before Aug.10

July 8 (NS) Commissioner of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya reminds all the voters that a valid identity card is a must to vote at the general elections duo on August 17. He reminds all who do not have a valid identity card to apply for a temporary identity card before August 10. The Commissioner of Elections announces that National Identity card, valid passport, valid driving license, Government pensioner’s identity card, senior citizen’s identity card, identity for clergies, more..

Liquor shops closed from July 10-12

July 8 (AD) The Department of Excise announced that all liquor shops in the island will be closed on July 10, 11 and 12 in view of the Temperance Month announced by the Ministry of Health. A National Drug Prevention month was declared from July 9 to August 8, under the direction of President Maithripala Sirisena. The Secretary to the President PB Abeykoon said the special programme will be launched at 10 am on more..

Prostitution suspect escapes while police go for dinner

July 8 (TS) A Sri Lankan woman, wanted for allegedly soliciting for prostitution, escaped from police custody while being treated at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital. 27-year-old woman, who was detained under Section 372(B) of the Penal Code by the Wangsa Maju Anti-Vice, Gaming Division, fled her hospital bed at about 8.30pm on Tuesday. At the time of the incident, the woman was handcuffed but managed to free herself when two officers in charge went to break their fast. more..

Ex-CB Governor warns govt against hasty borrowings

July 8 (Island) Former Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal alleged that late February Central Bank bond scam had so far cost the country an estimated Rs. 59 billion in additional interest costs. The former Governor has issued the following statement: "On 1st July 2015, Professor G.L. Peiris had alerted the govt about the risk of foreign borrowing during the interim period from the time Parliament had been dissolved until the time the new Parliament Members have been sworn in. more..

SLFP insists no rift with UPFA, will contest together

July 8 (CG) SLFP today insisted that there was no rift with the UPFA and said that they will contest the Parliament election together. SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said that several rounds of talks were held over the past few days between the SLFP and UPFA partners, and the talks were positive. He said that the final list of candidates contesting the election will be finalised over the next few days. more..

Election monitors to be deployed countrywide

July 8 (Island) The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) says it will deploy monitors around the country to observe election violence during the upcoming general election. A CMEV officer said that it had taken steps to investigate all polls-related incidents. Over 200 field officers and district monitors would co-ordinate with the monitors around the country, he said. He said that they would deploy 75 mobile teams to monitor election violence on the day of the election. more..

Sri Lanka calls for nomination of more women candidates

July 8 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's Ministry of Women's Affairs on Tuesday called on all political parties contesting the August parliamentary elections to nominate at least 30 percent of women candidates from each party. Swarna Sumanasekera, chairman of the National Committee on Women under the ministry, was quoted by local media as saying that the ministry also requests the political parties to allocate one third of seats for women in the national list. "We want well educated women who more..

Central Bank’s 30-year bond debacle: What is the loss?

July 8 (DM) The Sri Lankan Central Bank’s issue of a 30-year bond on February 27, 2015 ran into immediate controversy. The main reason was that markets were expecting the bank to take up only around Rs.1 billion, but the bank accepted bids upwards of Rs.10 billion. The weighted average rate of return paid on the bond was also driven up by the excess uptake (the term interest rate will be used for this, instead of more..

WPC UPFA member Thushara Perera arrested

July 8 (DM) WPC UPFA member Thushara Perera was today arrested following a dispute with a group of people after an accident involving his jeep and another vehicle at the 18th mile post on the Katunayake-Colombo Main Road, police said. They said Mr. Perera had allegedly threatened those who had gathered there with a pistol. The arrest was made on a complaint to the Katunayake Airport Police. His pistol which was inside his vehicle was also taken into custody. more..

Audio: Private buses to shun election posters, banners

July 8 (DM) Private buses would not be allowed to use election propaganda banners and posters on them for the upcoming general elections, Lanka Private Bus Owners' Association (LPBOA) said today. “If any candidate or political party did so, action will be taken to remove them with the help of the Police after informing the Elections Commissioner,” LPBOA Chairman Gemunu Wijeratne said. “A special written request had been made by the Elections Commissioner more..

Ranil urged to increase Muslim candidates

July 8 (CG) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has been urged to increase the number of Muslim candidates contesting the upcoming election from the UNP. In a letter to UNP leader, Muslim Council of SL noted that the Muslim communities have been loyal supporters and have been voting for the UNP overwhelmingly for decades. “There is much concern amongst the community that their representation within more..

Passenger transport co. takes SLTB to court

July 8 (Island) Seemasahitha Badulla Magee Pravahana Samagama has complained to the Court of Appeal that since Sept 2014, SL Transport Board has operated omnibuses along the Colombo-Badulla route outside the scheduled time table issued by the National Transport Commission. It had resulted in confusion among other omnibus operators causing speeding, rivalry and accidents while running passenger buses along this route. The lives of the passengers had been endangered, more..

'UNP always plays by the rules'

July 8 (DN) The UNP led by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will always respect the election laws and conduct the election campaign in a praiseworthy manner, former UNP MP Ajith Mannaperuma said. He was addressing the Expose press conference at Sirikotha yesterday. He noted that the Elections Commissioner recently commended PM Wickremesinghe, as a humble and honest politician. Mannapperuma observed that the Elections Commissioner at a meeting with more..

Quality cricket marks compelling series

July 8 (CI) On the eve of the Galle Test, Misbah-ul-Haq said Pakistan had arrived on the island having worked out an answer for Rangana Herath. This was greeted with mild bemusement in Sri Lanka. For years, visiting captains have claimed to have viewed enough footage, or pored over enough statistics, or hired the best witch doctors, to neutralise Sri Lanka's top spinner. For years, at the end of these series, that spinner would be more..

Explosion in school leaves 11 students, teacher injured

July 8 (DN) Eleven students and a teacher were injured following an explosion in the premises of Dematapitiya Kanista Vidyalaya, Arachchikattuwa, Chilaw. The explosion occurred in the science laboratory of the school when an experiment related to a Grade 10 science subject was being carried out. Investigations revealed that a test tube used for the experiment had exploded around 11 a.m. yesterday. There were around 40 Grade 10 students taking part in the experiment in the lab. more..

MR ruffled over rejection of Prasanna's nominations

July 8 (AM) Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga's nomination is turning out to be a crucial point in the controversy surrounding the UPFA nominations. Highly placed party sources said that the SLFP has made a decision to refrain from giving nominations to the Western Province CM and two members of his family have already received nominations from the party to contest from Gampaha. Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has vehemently opposed the more..

Sri Lanka may increase taxes for tobacco and alcoholic products in the next budget

July 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka may increase the taxes for tobacco and alcoholic products in the coming budget as the economic loss for the country is threefold than the income from these products to the government, government official said. “We expects the government will take action with regard to the price of tobacco and alcohol products in the next budget,” P B Abeykoon, Secretary to the President told reporters on Wednesday. more..

Foreigner who stabbed 2 women at restaurant shot by cop

July 8 (AD) A knife-wielding foreigner attacked and wounded two women at a restaurant located near Maya Avenue roundabout, along Havelock Road in Colombo. Attacker was an employee of the restaurant in question along with the two victims, however the foreigner was reportedly sacked yesterday over a cash dispute. He had arrived at the eatery earlier today and attacked the two women with a knife, severely injuring them, before a police officer on duty at a nearby police post arrived more..

Wariyapola assault: suspect pleads guilty

July 8 (DM) Robert Chandra Kumara alias Selva, who was slapped by a girl at the Wariyapola bus stand and led to a social media sensation, pleaded guilty for sexually harassing the girl and other offences. The video recording of the assault of ‘Selva’ by a girl following the alleged provocation resulted in the video going viral and a debate on women’s rights and sexual harassment in the country. The suspect pleaded guilty at the Wariyapola Magistrate’s Court today. more..

'MR will contest from Kurunegala'

July 8 (CG) SLFP member and former Parliament opposition leader Nimal Siripala de Silva today confirmed that former President Rajapaksa will be contesting the elections from Kurunegala. He said that several UNP members have been asking him if Rajapaksa will contest the election. He says he told the UNP members that Rajapaksa will contest from Kurunegala and that he will contest under UPFA. more..

Sri Lanka: The comedy of Asia!

July 9 (CT) Once again, we see yet another version of a Comedy of Errors unfolding on the political stage of Sri Lanka. Over the years, this stage has seen many a comic performance, enacted by comedians of all hues, but the current scene takes the cake. Its title Good Governance aka Yahapalana is a joke in itself, and seemed fanciful, right from the start. In a country where daylight robbers, drug lords, rapists, child molester, murders et al call the shots, and are seemingly above the law more..

The Nomination Imbroglio & A Question Mark

July 9 (CT) There is hardly a dull moment in dear Mother Lanka. The country has a plethora of unsolved problems; yet. it has time and opportunity to witness the comedy drama that politics is, over there. This time, it is the furore over the President’s apparent decision to give nomination from the UPFA to his arch rival, Mahinda Rajapaksa. Mahinda fans and parasites went jubilant. As when a wicket falls on the opposite side how the fielding side flock around together in the mesmeric moment more..

Another poll of a voter hell-hole!

July 9 (NS) President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to finally dissolve Parliament sounded like a clash of cymbals without the customary fanfare of trumpets, heralding its demise. Not that the move came as a surprise to anyone because it was expected at any moment within the month. Yet, if not for the dissolution, the Parliament could have remained until April 2016. President Sirisena, no doubt, would have had no objections to have more..

Death penalty not the answer

July 9 (SO) The death penalty can be considered as a pre-meditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the State, in the name of justice. It violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). As of March 2015, 99 countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes. In 2014, at least 22 countries around the world carried out executions. In 2014, at least 2,466 people were sentenced to death worldwide - up 28% on 2013. more..

Editorial: The question of exam papers

July 9 (Island) There has been a reawakening of civic consciousness for the past several months. Although the much-needed electoral reforms haven’t seen the light of day and not-so-surreptitious attempts are being made to cause them to wither on the vine, there is a campaign to have only qualified, competent candidates fielded at the upcoming election. Incompetence has eaten into the vitals of Parliament as is common knowledge. However, political institutions are not alone more..

'We will defeat Mahinda'

July 9 (CT) Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera says that the UNP will defeat former President Mahinda Rajapaksa once again at the general election: We would like to explain reality to him. Q: Have you achieved the change you expected on 8 January? A: Yes, most definitely. We reduced the powers of the Executive Presidency in a very strong manner have strengthened Parliament. We have reduced the cost of living, more..

Budgets and ballots: Electoral politics widens fiscal deficit

July 9 (ST) Electoral politics will dominate national life till a govt is elected on August 17. Not only would economic concerns be put on the back burner for about six weeks, the election would also evoke many promises that would increase the fiscal deficit that threatens economic stability and long-term growth. Sri Lanka has a history of pork barrel politics. Political parties pander to the electors with promises of concessions, subsidies, wage increases and other welfare measures. more..

Kunuharupa, DPL ripples, wiggles up North and foot-in-mouth

July 9 (SO) UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha had a hectic schedule last week as he had various front door and back door discussions with various factions in the UPFA. One such discussion was held at his personal residence in Udahamulla, Nugegoda and it was attended by former President Rajapaksa and former Minister Basil Rajapaksa. It was after this meeting that Premajayantha decided to send out a controversial press communiqué announcing Rajapaksa’s more..

Will maithri lose the nation?

July 9 (CT) Political activist and co-convener of Puravesi Balaya (Peoples' Power), Gamini Viyangoda is one of the many members of civil society who has decided to take up the cause of Yahapalanaya (Good governance). Recently he has been voicing disappointment over the current political scenario in the country. He explained where and what went wrong in the last 6 months since era of good governance began. more..

Of moral betrayal

July 9 (Island) A friend of mine, who was simply over the moon when Maithripala Sirisena came forward as the common Opposition candidate, came to me and strenuously canvassed my support for Sirisena against the then President Rajapaksa, who had been my friend and from the same village as I. I told my friend this: "Maithripala Sirisena, carrying a relic casket on his head at a pirith ceremony to invoke blessings on Rajapaksa in view of the last presidential election, said he would not more..

Aho maha Perakumba I am so sad for you

July 9 (Island) I always had great respect for King Maha Parakramabahu not because my parents decided to name me Bandula PARAKUM Jayasekara (Nevertheless I was very proud they named me Parakum) . It is because King Maha Parakrambahu unlike any other king, worked towards making Sri Lanka a self sufficient nation. King Maha Parakramabahu built canals, large reservoirs such as the Parakrama Samudra (The Sea of Parakrama) and his famous words more..

US GSP renewal: Hype and reality

July 9 (FT) The renewal of the GSP of the United States is indeed welcome news for exporters from developing countries, not only Sri Lanka. It is a scheme that provides non-reciprocal, duty free access to certain products imported from designated Beneficiary Developing Countries (BDCs). Some of the articles that appeared on newspapers about the US GSP renewal however carried inaccurate information & exaggerated more..