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Push to free Tamil detainees

July 1 (ST) The issue about Tamil political prisoners has remained a question for sometime now. Many Tamil political parties including the TNA have been calling upon the previous govt and even the present govt to address this issue meaningfully. Speaking in parliament last week TNA MP P. Ariyanenthiran called upon the govt to free Tamil political prisoners before holding a festival for the Sri Lankan Diaspora which is proposed to more..

'UNP providing jobs violating election laws'

July 1 (DM) MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardena alleged that the UNP was providing jobs through all the ministries, thus violating the election laws and disregarding the agreements to uphold the election laws. Mr. Gunawardena told media after making a complaint to the Elections Chief Mahinda Deshapriya that jobs were given without even considering the employee abilities and observing due procedure. more..

Caretaker govt to finalise countrywide ambulance service with Indian largesse

July 1 (Island) Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe’s caretaker govt will shortly finalise a MoU with India’s GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI) for the establishment of a countrywide ambulance service. Deputy Policy Planning and Economic Affairs Minister Dr Harsha de Silva said yesterday that the proposed service would make a tangible difference to existing health services in the country. more..

About 30% of children unable to attend pre-schools due to poverty

July 1 (Island) 30% of Sri Lankan children between three and five years were not attending pre-schools due to poverty, Child Affairs State Minister Rosy Senanayake revealed. Speaking at the launch of the Educational Curriculum of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) for Early Childhood Development (ECD) at the ministry auditorium at Sethsiripaya, minister said that many families were faced with economic hardships and more..

Survey finds public divided on key issues

July 1 (CG) According to the latest Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka survey conducted by the survey research unit of Centre for Policy Alternatives, divisions between people’s opinions on key issues still persist. On the topic of a credible mechanism look into accountability for what happened during the last stages of the war, 42.6% of Sri Lankans stated that there should be such a mechanism, while 36.3% said no. more..

'Strategic move to cover up bond scam'

July 1 (CT) The dissolution of Parliament was abrupt and it was a strategic move to prevent the bond scam from being revealed, said SLFP MP, Bandula Gunawardena. He said, "There was a hidden agenda for this sudden, dubious dissolution. This was a move to avoid the no confidence motions against the PM and Minister of Finance. The UNP pleaded with the President requesting him to dissolve Parliament. more..

Anura Kumara to contest from Colombo

July 1 (CT) The JVP has named its Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake as the group leader to contest from the Colombo District. Politburo member K.D. Lal Kantha, Central Committee Member Lakshman Nipunaarachchi and Attorney-at-Law Sunil Watagala will also contest the forthcoming parliamentary election from Colombo. The group leader of the Gampaha District is Vijitha Herath, while the National Organizer of more..

Mahinda breaks his silence, he will contest

July 1 (CG) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today broke his silence with regards to the August 17 Parliament elections and formally announced that he will be contesting the polls. Speaking in front of a large crowd at his home town in Madamulana, former President said that he is not in a position to reject the request of his supporters for him to contest. “We cannot reject the request you have put before us. We will contest more..

Quo Vadis MR?

July 1 (CT) Today is a crucial day for the country and for former SLFP/UPFA Leader and President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is expected to announce his political destiny in the backdrop that general elections will be held in under seven weeks' time, on 17 August, 2015. Certain factions within the UPFA coalition which is led by the SLFP, Sri Lanka's second largest political party after its bitter political rival the UNP, want Rajapaksa as the UPFA's prime ministerial candidate. more..

Who is in a dilemma?

July 1 (CT) Recent media reports hinted that President Sirisena is in a dilemma regarding the forthcoming parliamentary elections. Is he? A very brief reply to that question is an emphatic no he isn’t. His position as the President of Sri Lanka is secured for the next four and a half years. If he does not concentrate in contesting a second term, he has no obvious political calamity in sight. To change the deep-rooted, abhorrent political culture of SL he may need the help of like-minded people. more..

Schoolchildren affected by AIDS: Aid before it’s too late

July 1 (DN) Public’s reaction to reports of AIDS and HIV infections in Sri Lanka may not be as strong as it used to be when it was first reported. The initial shock that people in our country too have become victims of this dreaded disease is over. But schoolchildren? That is definitely alarming news which should be taken very seriously by everyone. Number of schoolchildren who have contracted HIV has increased from 22 cases last year to 23 more..

Flight diverts to Mumbai after Lankan collapses onboard

July 1 (DM) An international Colombo-Dubai flight had to be diverted to Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) on Tuesday and make an emergency landing due to a medical emergency onboard the plane. 35-year-old Uwaisa Mohideen Pichchai Abdul Raseedu, a female Sri Lankan citizen, who was traveling from Colombo to Madina via Dubai on the Fly Dubai FZ551 flight, fell unconscious forced the flight to be diverted to CSIA and landed in Mumbai at 10.50 am. more..

TN fishermen go on indefinite fast

July 1 (PTI) About 250 fishermen began an indefinite fast in front of the bus stand here today, demanding the release of 14 fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan navy since June 2, and also their boats. N J Bose, president of the TN and Puducherry Fishermen's Association, told reporters that 19 boats in the custody of the Sri Lankan govt had been totally damaged as they had been anchored and not maintained. He charged the BJP govt with not fulfilling its election promises more..

Call do deal severely with those behind prison massacre

July 1 (DN) The Peoples Movement Against Killings (Gathanayata Erehi Janatha Ekamuthuwa) has demanded that those responsible for the massacre at the Welikada Prison in 2012 be dealt with severely. They claim that evidence confirms that former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was part and parcel of the unfortunate incident. Report of Special Committee appointed to look into massacre was handed over to PM. more..

CBK receives 70th birthday blessings

July 1 (FT) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga visited her alma mater St. Bridget’s Convent for a special church service celebrating her 70th birthday, led by Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, from 9.00 a.m. on 30 June. The service was held in the school chapel and was attended by her sister Sunethra Bandaranaike, the heads of her alma mater who had been with her during her school years, and close friends including classmates. She was welcomed to the event by more..

Former CJ Sarath Silva at Medamulana

July 1 (CG) Former Chief Justice Sarath Silva, who backed President Maithripala Sirisena at the January Presidential elections, was among those present at former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s house at Madamulana today. The former Chief Justice took part in religious observances held to mark Poya Day ahead of the much awaited announcement by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa regarding his plans for the August 17 Parliament elections. more..

Video: Not the PM post, they should be in jail by now: Chandrika

July 1 (AD) Despite our lives are in danger, we will fight any battle for the sake of the country, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga said. The observation was made at a special event held in Negombo today. “It is the responsibility of the people to safeguard the freedom of this country. Despite our lives are in danger, we will fight any battle for the sake of the country,” she said. more..

Producing good candidates from a bad electoral system

July 1 (FT) Finally, the seventh Parliament has been put out of its misery. Now begins the nomination phase of the general election that will be conducted under the electoral system that has been in place since the 1980s. The true test of whether the country has made any progress toward good governance is the quality of the nominations. Contrary to the statements of some well-meaning people, there is considerable dissatisfaction in the land about the electoral system, especially about quality of more..

FLSP contesting election to create different discourse

July 1 (AM) Frontline Socialist Party officially announced that it will contest in the forthcoming general election. FLSP Propaganda Secretary Pubudu Jayagoda said that the party was contesting the election to point out the real issues faced by the public. He said that although the presidential election on Jan 8 is described as a revolution, it just transferred power from one group to the other. Pointing out that Rajapaksa's govt did not solve real issues, Jayagoda argued that present govt more..

Bonds sold at high rates on Central Bank Governor's orders: inquiry

July 1 (EN) Central Bank has sold 30-year bonds at high interest rates on the order of Governor Arjuna Mahendran, where a company connected to his son-in-law has benefitted, over-ruling officials of the debt office, a draft report of a parliamentary inquiry shows. CB's Public Debt Department which issues debt on behalf of the Treasury, sold 10 billion rupees of 30-year bonds on Feb 27, after calling bids for only a billion rupees. more..

15,000 poll monitors for General Election

July 1 (CT) People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) has decided to deploy 15,000 local and foreign observers for observing the forthcoming general election due to be held on 17 August. Executive Director of PAFFREL Rohana Hettiarachchi said that they expect to deploy 25 observers from the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) among the 15,000 election observers for the parliamentary election. He further said that he intends to deploy them as more..

People will consign MR to the dustbin: Navin

July 1 (DM) In a response to former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s speech today, Tourism and Sports Minister Navin Dissanayake said people would reject Mr. Rajapaksa and consign him into the dustbin of history. Mr. Rajapaksa in his speech from Medamulana said he would contest the general election. The minister in a message posted in his Facebook page said the speech was an old tape and was nothing new for the people. “Mahinda same old stuff..old tape...nothing new for the people more..

SEC scraps Lanka Rating Agency license

July 1 (EN) Sri Lanka's capital markets regulator said it had not renewed the license of Lanka Rating Agency (LRA), one of three credit rating agencies operating in the country, after issuing a cease and desist order against the firm in March. "LRA is not entitled to carry on the business of assessing and evaluating or reviewing the credit-worthiness of any issue of listed securities or securities to be listed," SEC said. more..

EROS contests alone

July 1 (AM) Eelavar Democratic Front leader Rajanathan Prabaharan stated that the party will contest the upcoming general election in the north, east and Central Highlands individually, under its symbol, the plough. Prabaharan said that his intention was to safeguard the liberty of the people. The EDF will support any party which comes to power will work with them for the betterment of the people, he added. Although a minor player in SL's Tamil politics, EDF has a history of 40 years. more..

Four SSPs, three ASPs transferred

July 1 (DM) Police Department today announced that four SSPs and three ASPs including one from the CID and the other from the TID were transferred with immediate effect.It said the transfers were based on service requirements. IGP's Command Information Division Director, SSP J.I.D.A. Gunathileka was transferred to the Mount Lavinia Division; SSP R.M. Harishchandra Bandara from the Kuliyapitiya Division to the Police Field Force Headquarters; SSP M.H.K.D. Mahagedara more..

SL’s 2015 Kunming take surpasses $2M

July 1 (CT) Sri Lankan biz, facilitated by EDB strongly raged at the recent Kunming international fair in China notching initial an income surpassing $2 M – and some eager Lankan firms are still continuing in the mainland having been asked by keen Chinese firms to stay back and conclude initial agreements for future biz. "Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and I led the Lankan delegation to Kunming Fair and this was a national level more..

Sri Lanka players shine in second Test victory in Colombo

July 1 (ICC) A fine all-round display inspired Sri Lanka to a seven-wicket victory over Pakistan in the second Test which concluded in Colombo on Monday. In the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakarra has dropped one place to fourth, but the biggest mover inside the top 10 is Angelo Mathews who has climbed three places to fifth after scoring 77 and 43 not out. Mathews now holds a 32-point advantage over England’s Joe Root. more..

We will go it alone unless threat from MR arises: SF

July 1 (DM) While claiming they would contest alone at the upcoming General Election, Democratic Party Leader, Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka said they would only join a common political front if there was a real threat of ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa returning to power. “If a threat arises where Mahinda Rajapaksa and his associates could return to power, we will join an alliance that would defeat it. That is the only scenario that would compel us to change our stance,” he said at an event more..

Sri Lanka to begin life without big two

July 1 (AFP) Sri Lanka will get a glimpse of a future without their batting greats when the decisive third and final Test against Pakistan begins in Pallekele on Friday. For the first time in 15 years since Kumar Sangakkara's debut in July 2000, Sri Lanka will take the field in a Test without either him or Mahela Jayawardene in the ranks. Sangakkara, Test cricket's leading current run-getter, committed himself to playing just two more..

Trade Union wants polls postponed

July 1 (ST) A leading education trade union today called the govt to postpone the Parliamentary elections as it was clashing with the G.C.E. (A/L) exams. Mahinda Jayasinghe General Secretary Ceylon Teachers’ Services Union said failing which they will call the students, parents and teachers for a protest. ‘We will protest against the rulers who scarify education over elections’, he said. He said that the parliament was dissolved on June 25 while nominations have been fixed more..

Voters urged to shun candidates of disrepute

July 1 (EN) Sri Lanka’s business community and professionals organisations have thrown their weight behind calls for voters to elect only candidates of repute and against those involved in frauds, violence and crime at forthcoming polls. A statement said they plan to launch an islandwide campaign asking political parties to refrain from nominating candidates of disrepute. They also endorsed the March 12th Declaration an initiative of PAFFREL and the Citizens’ Collective, more..

Rajapakse to lead faction at upcoming poll

July 1 (AFP) Sri Lanka's former president Mahinda Rajapakse announced Wednesday he would lead an opposition faction at the upcoming general election, months after defeat in a presidential poll ended his decade in power. Rajapakse, an autocratic ruler accused of siphoning off millions during his tenure, said he would spearhead a faction at parliamentary elections in August. But he stopped short of saying more..

Stakes at the parliamentary elections

July 2 (CT) Over 15 million are registered as voters and around 75 percent of them most probably would be voting at the scheduled parliamentary elections on 17 August. Although the 20th Amendment was proposed in Parliament, it was clear from the beginning that the next elections would be held under the prevailing PR system. This means preferential competitions within parties or coalition of parties, in addition to the bitter competitions between political parties. more..

Mr. President, Do not take it for granted!

July 2 (CT) The eagerly expected Presidential election was over in January. A tyrant was thrown out of the office by the democratic will of the people. Although the former president made several attempts to get him re-elected by deception and fraud, the peoples’ power won. There was very clear evidence for violence, misuse of the military for campaigning, wasteful distribution of benefits to govt employees to buy their loyalty and other misuse of state resources, creating more..

A unique campaign to create awareness about women’s rights

July 2 (CT) It’s just a rectangular piece of thin cardboard, innocuous in terms of influence, even fragile if one considers its breakability. But the message it is seeking to deliver is potent – Empowerment. Equality. Emancipation. Rights.... simple words, yet powerful in their import, especially for women, for whom every step forward towards an enlightened world has been akin to breaching a new frontier of male domination. more..

Targets need realistic timelines: SEC Chairman

July 2 (NS) The Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC), Thilak Karunaratne says the establishment of the Central Clearing Corporation, amending the SEC Act and facilitating the Demutualisation of the CSE will only be possible before the end of the year 2016. “I think it is time we gave serious consideration to achieve concrete outcomes on several important fronts by defining realistic timelines. I am of the belief that before the end of the year 2016 more..

Campaign issues revolve around leadership

July 2 (CT) Ranil the PM placed his UNP Working Committee on a serious footing by explaining the difficulties that should not be under estimated. As a leader in full control, he need not neglect anybody with a possible important contribution. Now there are no such complains and all have accepted his leadership. On the other hand there is evidence that a wide split is growing in the SLFP and in the UPFA. Hence the general belief in the UNP leadership is, that they could return to power, is inevitable. more..

President CBK: A reflection on her politics

July 2 (GV) In 1994, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, at the age of forty nine years, was elected as the youngest and first ever female President of Sri Lanka. 21 years later, in June 2015, as she celebrates her 70th birthday, it is appropriate to look back at the legacy of this amazing lady, who has so significantly impacted and helped shape the contemporary history of our nation. more..

Rajapaksa’s swansong

July 2 (FT) Slobodan Milosevic was the President of Serbia from 1989 to 1997 and President of Yugoslavia from 1997 to 2000. Yugoslavia was established in 1918 and in 1946 after World War II it was renamed the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia under communist rule of Josip Broz Tito who ruled the country as President until his death in 1980. The six Socialist Republics that made up Yugoslavia were Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia & Serbia. more..

NM at 110

July 2 (FT) This year marked the 110th birth anniversary of Nanayakkarapathirage Martin Perera, better known as Dr. N.M. Perera; Leader of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party, popular labour leader, one-time Mayor of Colombo, outstanding Parliamentarian, Marxist, intellectual, sportsman, sometime film actor and above all a man whose life and contribution to our political evolution is commemorated with respect even today, nearly four decades after his death. more..