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Permission to transfer weapons to another vessel

July 18 (DM) A request made by the Ceylon Shipping Company to transfer the stock of weapons from the controversial floating armoury belonging to the Avant Garde company into another ship was granted today by Galle Chief Magistrate. He made this order after the CID informed court that the AG did not have any objection the shipping company’s request. Shipping company had earlier informed court that ship which was very old more..

Four fatal accidents within five hours

July 18 (CT) Four individuals were killed in motor accidents on Thursday within a span of five hours, police said. An individual was killed when a lorry collided with the motorcycle he was riding on High Level Road in Makumbura area, at noon. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead upon admission to the Homagama Hospital. He was a 24-year-old resident of Maharagama. The body is placed at the Homagama Hospital morgue and the post mortem examination was held yesterday. more..

Irony, thy name is Sri Lanka

July 18 (BS) As Indian Parliament gets ready to convene the monsoon session - and prepares itself for a washout - it is worth considering what is happening in the parliament of its tiny neighbour, Sri Lanka. A quick recap for those who haven't followed politics in Sri Lanka closely. In January this year, Mahinda Rajapaksa of the SLFP was ousted from the post of President. The elections were due two years later - Rajapaksa advanced them in a political gamble he lost. more..

'Secret pact with LTTE helped MR win in 2005'

July 18 (DN) Mahinda Rajapaksa was able to win the 2005 Presidential election because he entered into a secret agreement with LTTE terrorists. One of the clauses of this agreement was to coerce the Tamils in the N&E to boycott the Presidential election, said Minister Rauf Hakeem. He said Pulidevan and so-called LTTE Police Chief Nadesan represented LTTE during talks held in this connection with Rajapaksa camp. more..

Sania Mirza off to Sri Lanka for Eid with Shoaib Malik

July 18 (DC) After her recent exploits at the Wimbledon in London, Sania Mirza has left for Sri Lanka on Friday night to celebrate Eid with husband Shoaib Malik, member of the Pakistan cricket team currently playing the Lankans in a series. “Eid with Shoaib will be special — a chance that I don’t get too often as am playing on the circuit. Luckily, I have some time off tennis now and am happy about my career currently,” Sania said. Sania greeted everyone on Eid as well. more..

Planters’ Association refutes rumour on double day’s pay

July 18 (Island) Planters' Association of Ceylon refutes incorrect and misleading statements being circulated by certain parties with regard to the payment of daily wages to estate workers who pluck 18kg to 20kg of tea leaves being entitled to receive two full days' wage for a single day's work. While information has come to light of such a rumour, the Association wishes to categorically state that the Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) did not agree to any such demand more..

SLFP won’t be able to pin Aug 17 defeat on MR’s ex-astrologer: JVP

July 18 (Island) JVP said those who had brought former President Rajapaksa back on political stage would desert him soon after SLFP-led UPFA suffered defeat at the polls. Former President is in the fray in Kurunegala. Matara District JVP candidate Sunil Handunetti said none of those SLFPers in the former President’s camp dared to challenge his decision to seek a fresh mandate well over a year ahead of scheduled poll. more..

'Economy thrives if only peace exists'

July 18 (GDI) "National security plays a pivotal role because any economy of any country would flourish if only peace exists" said Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Mr. BMUD Basnayake while speaking at the International Business Conference of the Vehicle Importers Association of Lanka (VIAL) held at the Galadari Hotel. This year's International Business Conference of the VIAL was held under the theme of "Synchronizing the Rising Vehicle Culture with Societal Elegance". more..

Polls: NPOC records 168 complaints

July 18 (NS) National Polls Observations Center (NPOC) revealed today that they have received 168 complaints related to election and other related incidents. “We received 21 cases related to election violence, 86 cases of misuse of state property and 62 cases of illegal propaganda,” said NPOC Convener Rasanga Harischandra. The NPOC have been informed that after the election was declared there had been appointments made to several govt institutions. more..

'UPFA will lose fighting over PM candidate'

July 18 (Island) With the UPFA deeply divided over the issue of prime ministerial candidate, the people were certain to vote in large numbers for the UNFGG at next month’s general election, UNP leader and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe predicted. He said that the failure of leading figures in the SLFP-led UPFA to listen to President Sirisena’s advice, had led to the entire coalition being treated like a joke. more..

Corrupt contesting election

July 18 (CT) UPFA Kegalle District group leader and former Senior Minister Athauda Seneviratne said, the main political parties in the country have granted nominations to corrupt people, using a loophole in the law as an excuse that those accused of corruption are not offenders until they are proven guilty. He said therefore it is the responsibility of voters to defeat candidates who are contesting the election from all parties, while accused of corruption. "When the Alliance General Secretary more..

Former CMC medical chief contests as independent

July 18 (Island) Former Chief Medical officer, of the Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council (PHD-CMC) Dr Pradeep Kariyawasam said that he would be contesting next month’s general elections as an Independent candidate from the group campaigning for Clean and Competent Candidates. Dr. Kariyawasam said he would contest from Colombo. "My main aim is to make voters aware that there are professionals who wish to contribute towards betterment of the people more..

'What we achieved in four years they have destroyed in six months'

July 18 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa alleged that the present Yahapalana govt had destroyed within six months what his administration had achieved in four years. The former President asked at the inaugural UPFA parliamentary election campaign rally what would have happened if the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration had continued for five years. Addressing a massive rally he said that more..

Religious unity to save Mother earth

July 18 (DM) With Mother Earth facing its worst ever catastrophe due to the pollution of the air the soil, water and food the oceans and the bio diversity in the ecology, there is an urgent need for all religions to come together for a common battle to defeat this monstrous threat to human life. Fatima Church in Maradana to coincide with the 50th jubilee of the ordination of Rev. Fr. Aloysius Peiris SJ who is widely respected as the pioneer of Buddhist--Christian encounter and dialogue. more..

The last thing that Mahinda can expect

July 18 (DM) It was from zero to hero last January – within six months hero to zero – but again on Tuesday this week President Maithripala Sirisena attempted to revive his position back – from zero to hero. So far he has been successful but the SLFP’s tug of war is now in the courts. This is politics in Sri Lanka. Never a dull moment – and full of surprises. In fact the entire landscape of contemporary politics in Sri Lanka was always designed and destined by surprises. more..

'MR will lose at next Poll'

July 18 (SL) Gods that sent former President Rajapaksa home on Jan 8th this year, will never allow him back to power, said Indika Thotawatta. Visually handicapped soothsayer, Thotawatta became a popular figure during the last Presidential election as the only astrologer who openly predicted a definite defeat to the then President Rajapaksa at the last Presidential election. He said that according to astrology, more..

MR condemns witch hunt against state employees

July 18 (Island) Former President Rajapaksa strongly condemned police action against public officials. Addressing UPFA’s inaugural campaign rally, he alleged that 898 public servants had been questioned so far and some already left the country. An irate Rajapaksa said that those who had been engaged in what he called witch hunt had even stormed the premises where new diplomatic mission was to be built for the govt of Russia. more..

Bring back, Oh bring back, bring back Mahinda to Temple Trees….

July 18 (DBS) My Bonnie lies over the Ocean is a Scottish folk song quite popular in Sri Lanka in those days. No sing- song at a party was complete without spirited revellers exuberantly chorusing Bring back, bring back, Oh bring back my Bonnie to me, to me. Interestingly enough, these lines have been regularly buzzing in my head ever since the Bring back Mahinda movement began gathering momentum. more..

Unacceptably high levels of crime worry analysts

July 18 (ST) Almost 51,000 recorded grave crimes, an average of one for every 400 people, were committed last year, a tragically high figure blamed on a weak police force, the effects of civil war and a lack of attention to rehabilitation that sees a high rate of recidivism. Political corruption was also to blame, a former high-ranking officer said, but a leading lawyer heading a corruption watchdog agency sounded an optimistic note, more..

Indian police to block Indo-Lanka drug trafficking

July 18 (Hindu) As this coastal district witnessed a spurt in smuggling of drugs to Sri Lanka via the sea route, the district police have constituted D-Team, an exclusive police team to mount surveillance on drug traffickers and contain the smuggling activities. Five-member team, headed by a Sub Inspector of Police, would work round the clock, collecting intelligence on drug trafficking after mounting surveillance on drug traffickers, more..

Polls law violations galore: monitors

July 18 (Island) Candidates of the UNF including the PM, UPFA and the JVP were violating election laws and there was photographic evidence against them, Transparency International Sri Lanka’s National Co-odinator Shan Wijethunge said. He said that his outfit had informed the EC Mahinda Deshapriya how the UNP had used Temple Trees recently for electioneering purposes; it had used that place to sign MoUs with members of other more..

Govt seeks US grant assistance

July 18 (CG) Govt has sought grant assistance from the United States under the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the Sri Lankan Embassy in Washington said. At a meeting with the CEO of the MCC Dana Hyde, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam has emphasized the desire of the Govt to establish a partnership with the US under the Millennium Challenge Corporation. Created by U.S. Congress in January 2004, more..

Panama residents issue 30-day ultimatum

July 18 (NS) The Panama Pattuwa Protection Organization has given govt authorities a 30-day ultimatum starting July 24 to return the land that was allegedly illegally taken from them. P. Somasiri, resident of Panama and leader of the group, said having been patient for five years the villagers will now only give the authorities a month’s time to return their land to them. “This includes the time it takes to quantify and divide the land” more..

Wallapatta shock!

July 18 (NS) Environmentalists have voiced concern that the govt’s moves to promote commercial cultivation of Wallapatta (Gyrinops Walla) for export may in fact benefit illegal Wallapatta smugglers if not implemented properly. Director of the ECT Sajeewa Chamikara said while environmentalists welcomed moves to promote commercial cultivation of Wallapatta, it was still far too soon to think about exporting the plant. more..

COPE committee members to go to court

July 18 (DM) Former UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardane said COPE committee members had decided to explain their position to the court regarding the enjoining order which prevented the publication or circulation of the COPE subcommittee draft report on the sale of Central Bank bonds. He said that COPE committee members Susil Premajayantha, Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Sunil Hadunneththi and more..

Resignation gimmicks

July 18 (CT) Three former deputy ministers of the SLFP led-UPFA coalition, who served under the UNP-led minority govt resigned from government on Thursday, ostensibly in protest over President Maithripala Sirisena's Tuesday's speech where he had predicted the defeat of his new arch rival former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is contesting the 17 August General Election on the UPFA ticket and the imputation that this would also lead to the defeat of the UPFA as well. more..

SLEAS Union decries written exams for Principal’s post

July 18 (ST) Sri Lanka Education Administrative Services (SLEAS) Union said it was against Govt plans for written examinations for eligible Class I, II & III SLEAS officers and principals to fill principal vacancies in National schools. Eastern Province SLEAS Convenor, M.L.M. Mukthar said this is the first time such an exam is being held, while in the past, eligibility was judged solely on seniority and service. He said these officers have been in service for over 30 years, and now, to sit an exam more..

HRC rules use of experts for GCE A/L papers and intellectuals for answer scripts

July 18 (ST) Examinations Commissioner and Examination Dept officials should ensure they involve experts when setting GCE Exam question papers, and intellectuals with a thorough understanding of the subject to mark the answer scripts, the Human Rights Commission (HRC) has ruled. Chairman, Justice Priyantha Perera has also ruled that if there are problems in the exam procedure, Exams Dept must more..

Health Secretary on Island report

July 18 (Island) Calling attention to our news report headlined Rajitha has established family rule in Health Ministry – docs published in The Island, the Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medicine, Dr D.M.R.B. Dissanayake said: I observed that the above article is not based on correct facts and information and would like to request you to publish these facts/information giving the same priority and publicity in your newspaper. As the Sri Lanka population is one of the fastest aging more..


July 18 (CT) The TNA Leader, R. Sampanthan, at a consultative meeting with his party men in Trincomalee mentioned that the TNA which targeted a landslide victory with the total of twenty seats from the Northern and the Eastern Provinces would solve the Tamil question with its formidable bargaining strength in 2016. Though the TNA supported President Maithripala Sirisena at the presidential poll in January this year, its manifesto then highlighted the unresolved political and more..

FCID investigating Weerawansa's Ministry diary printing scam

July 18 (DN) Ex-MP Wimal Weerawansa had allegedly cheated Rs. 13.3 million through a deal to print Ministry diaries when he was the minister of Construction, in the previous Govt, UNP MP Nalin Bandara Jayamaha said. He challenged Weerawansa to prove this allegation wrong if possible. Jayamaha said former minister had allegedly collected Rs 14 million from institutions affiliated to the ministry to print 40,000 diaries more..

Presidential Commission appointed to decide fate of KP

July 18 (Island) A Presidential Commission had been appointed to recommend the action that should be taken regarding the controversial LTTEer Kumaran Pathmanadan (KP), Deputy Justice Minister Sujeeva Senasinghe said. The report of the commission had not yet been made available to the Attorney General (AG), he said. When media inquired whether KP was still in Sri Lanka or out of the country, Deputy Minister attempted to contact the AG by phone without success. more..

'If President is determined to defeat UPFA he has no right to be its leader'

July 18 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena should not remain in his post as the President of the SLFP if he was determined to defeat the SLFP led UPFA, said the Western Provincial Chief Minister and Gampaha District UPFA candidate at the forthcoming general election Prasanna Ranatunga in Kandy on Wednesday 15. Ranatunga said they were certain that the UPFA led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa would score a mammoth victory without President Mathripala Sirisena. more..

Legal action against Keheliya, Kiriella, Kongahage

July 18 (DM) Police at the Kandy Police Headquarters was considering taking legal action against Keheliya Rambukwella (UPFA) Lakshman Kiriella (UNP) and Shathini Kongahage (UNP) for violating elections regulations and engaging in illegal propaganda activities after the handing over of nominations on Monday. The three named had allegedly gone with their supporters in processions shouting slogans more..

Muslims can celebrate without fear: Ranil

July 18 (CG) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his message to mark the Eid-ul-Fitr Ramadan Festival, said that this year the Muslim Community has got a golden opportunity to Celebrate the Ramadan Festival without any suspicion or fear while breathing the fresh air of freedom. PM said that the festival is a very sacred event in the Muslim Calendar which is being celebrated by SL Muslim Community with great devotion and also a very important religious event in lives of Muslims. more..

ICC President in Sri Lanka today

July 18 (CG) Former Pakistani batsman and the present International Cricket Council (ICC) President Zaheer Abbas will arrive in Sri Lanka today, the Sri Lanka Cricket Board said. Sri Lanka Cricket Board Chairman Sidath Wettimuny had invited the newly elected ICC President to visit Sri Lanka when they met at the ICC annual conference in Barbados last month. This will be his first official visit to a full member nation since he took over as the president of the ICC. more..

'FLSP contesting for real political change'

July 18 (NS) Duminda Nagamuwa was the common candidate of the Left parties at the concluded presidential election on Jan 8 this year. He is in the election fray at this general election too representing his party – Frontline Socialist Party (FLSP). He is the group leader of the Kalutara District. He opined that they do not see any change in the way the so called good governance regime operates compared to that of former govt of Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

India boosts teaching facilities

July 18 (Island) Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and the Indian High Commissioner Y.K. Sinha recently opened one of the nine Language Labs donated by the Govt on India, at Akuressa, Matara. The Lab is a part of the Three-tier English Language Training System signed between the Govts of Sri Lanka and India to help enhance English language teaching facilities and infrastructure, especially for training English teachers. India will provide 30 computers more..

Pakistan cricket team celebrates Eid in SL

July 18 (PT) Eid away from home is just not the same. As Muslims worldwide celebrated Eidul Fitr, Pakistan cricket team travelled on Saturday to a local mosque in Colombo to offer Eid prayers. The cricket team is currently on its tour to Sri Lanka for three Tests, five ODIs and two T20s. Eid marks the culmination of the holy month of Ramazan during which Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn to duck. Here are some pictures of the cricket team at a mosque in Colombo. more..

Chief minister's security vehicle stolen

July 18 (EN) Chief minister of Sabaragamuwa Province, Maheepala Herath, has complained that his back up security vehicle provided by the police had been stolen right under the nose of his bodyguards. Police said the chief minister who represents the opposition UPFA told the Kegalle this morning that his backup vehicle had inexplicably disappeared. "The chief minister made a compliant to Kegalle SP that the vehicle more..