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Contaminants were benzoic and sorbic acids, not narcotics

July 19 (SO) National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB) has ruled out all traces of narcotics in the 30 odd samples of Cola pray, Cola jelly and sweets, believed to have caused abnormal behaviour among school children, but says they contained at least two low grade preservatives commonly used in the food industry - Benzoic acid and Sorbic acid. After testing all the different brands of samples sent to us more..

Justice minister says Mahinda Rajapaksa will not be PM

July 19 (AM) Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa will never be the next Prime Minister since the UNP will win the upcoming parliamentary election. Even in the unlikely event of a UPFA victory, Rajapaksa will not become the Prime Minister, the Minister further said. He explained that under the 1978 Constitution and the 19th Amendment, President Maithripala Sirisena has the authority to decide on the Prime Minister. more..

Rajapaksa pledges to increase minimum salary to Rs. 25,000

July 19 (AM) Kurunegala District UPFA candidate and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa pledged to increase the minimum salary of the govt sector to Rs. 25,000. Speaking at a meeting in Kuliyapitiya, Rajapaksa said that the govt has misled the people during the past six months. The govt failed to carry out its promises of increasing the salary, he said. Furthermore, he claimed that 1.5 million people have lost their jobs during the six months the govt was in power. more..

Consultancy sought after signing project contract

July 19 (SL) The former Govt had signed a contract with a Chinese company to carry out consultancy on the 96-km stretch of the Southern Expressway extension from Matara to Hambantota, after the contract for the project was signed. Documents in the possession of The Sunday Leader showed that the agreement pertaining to the consultancy services of the China Railway First Survey and Design Institute Group Co. more..

President who captained the Titanic sinking with crooks

July 20 (CT) President Sirisena’s speech, covering several key aspects of his six-month rule, was timed to be a critical political intervention on the eve of election. The broad overview of his stewardship was angled to undermine his bete noir, Mahinda Rajapaksa. Though it was also meant to give a shine to his 100 days (it ran into six months!) it did not enhance his image as the head of the promised Yahapalanaya (good governance). In fact, by the time he ended his speech more..

Critically assessing that stunner of a presidential speech

July 20 (ST) Those who constantly complain (with good reason) that the Southern political dynamic disregards the sentiments of minority voters may take heart from President Sirisena’s advice during this Tuesday’s special statement. Breaking his hitherto stoic silence and dispersing the bone-chilling suspense surrounding the internal party wrangle within the UPFA, his refusal to name former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the PM candidate of the UPFA was unequivocal. more..

'We represent progressive patriotic Tamils'

July 20 (SO) Interview with leader of DPF and Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) Mano Ganesan on their forthcoming general election polls campaign. Q: Why did you decide to contest under the UNP led coalition? Wouldn't it have been better to contest alone? A: We are adding a progressive patriotic Tamil dimension to this United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG). The JHU is adding the patriotic Sinhala-Buddhist flavour. more..

The Freak Show returns

July 20 (CT) The UPFA’s election campaign is based on Four Ignoble Lies: Sri Lanka and all true-born Lankans are suffering; the reason for this suffering is the defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa on January 8th; national salvation depends on bringing Mahinda Rajapaksa back to power; the way to do it is to make Mahinda Rajapaksa the prime minister on August 17th. At their inaugural rally in Anuradhapura, the leading lights of the UPFA stood in orderly rows on the main stage, more..

Maithripala throws baton back to the people

July 20 (ST) If it’s always lonely at the pinnacle of power where standing room is only for one, then the presidency for Maithripala Sirisena must seem like solitary confinement in a straitjacket with the four walls closing in on him. Bereft of friends and besieged by enemies, with even the fundamental right of the 6.2 million people who voted him to office to hear again his heartbreak appeal to the nation on July 14th denied them by the arbitrary hand of the elections commissioner who has thought more..

'President’s neutral stance favours UNF'

July 20 (SL) As the breakaway faction of the SLFP and JHU joined the UNP to form a new front to contest the election, people were left puzzled trying to understand the political stance of the new front. Some felt that President Maithripala Sirisena has been isolated ahead of the General Election by the set of SLFP members who supported the President’s political campaign for good governance at the last Presidential Election. more..

Sustaining the hard won freedom!

July 20 (SL) Those who pave the way for a change are called revolutionaries. Normally for the ruling class these revolutionaries are thorns in the eye, for it is the revolutionaries who fire the first salvo when changing a regime. Usually only a fraction of individuals in a country become revolutionaries. However, during recent years a new trend has emerged where the majority of the global population have transformed into revolutionaries in ousting corrupt and tyrannical regimes. more..

For a sound election campaign

July 20 (SL) A number of legislations have been passed throughout history to strengthen the system of conducting parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka. Namely, Act No.1 of 1981, No. 15 of 1988, No. 29 of 1988, No. 35 of 1988, No. 58 of 2009, and No. 28 of 2011 were a few legislations introduced for the purpose. These Acts have secured the right of citizens in a democratic society to use their vote without hindrances and for the candidate of their preference. more..

Boston Lanka: Chanaka Perera

SLTPB Global Advertising campaign: 19 top global agencies vie for honours

July 20 (CT) A total of 19 top rung global advertising agencies are vying for honours at the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Board's global advertising campaign which will enjoy a Rs 200 million creative budget. When we opened the bids at 2 p.m. (on Friday), there were 19 global advertising agencies who had submitted their applications. These agencies vying for the position will enjoy a creative budget of Rs 200 million for the next two years, SLTPB Chairman Rohantha Athukorala said. more..

Getting Asoka Weerasinghe on board

July 20 (Island) Asoka Weerasinghe refused to meet me. He refused to speak to me or anything to do with the government of Sri Lanka. A strong supporter of Sri Lanka, member of SLUNA who wasn't scared to face the LTTE in Canada had written several articles to the Canadian newspapers. He battled them whenever and wherever he could with his friends from SLUNA. But, he was disgusted because he was of the view that Sri Lankan diplomats were not doing enough. more..

'I, too, should have been given nominations'

July 20 (SL) Former Deputy Minister Mervyn Silva is among the few former SLFP MPs who have not been given nominations to contest at the upcoming general election under the UPFA ticket. Silva was quick to extend his support to President Sirisena and go against Rajapaksa clan soon after last presidential election. Silva said that if former President Rajapaksa is given nominations, there is absolutely no justification more..

SL, India pin hopes on 4th round of talks

July 20 (ENS) The leader of the Sri Lankan National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO), despite voicing disappointment on the slow progress during the Indo-Sri Lankan fishermen’s talks, expressed optimism that the next round of talks (the fourth) between the two groups will go well. Herman Kumara said three rounds of talks have taken place between the representatives of fishermen of the two countries and there was deadlock in the third round of talks because more..

Editorial: The economy, stupid!

July 20 (Island) Much is being said, these days, about the need to preserve national sovereignty and many costly welfare measures promised to the public in the lead-up to August 17 election. But, none of the political parties, well versed in kidology and jousting for power, tells us exactly how it proposes to strengthen the economy. The former govt went on a spending spree. In handling public finance it behaved like a kid in a candy store. And, during the past six months or so more..

Sports law needs another look

July 20 (ST) Former Nations Sports Council head and former National rugby football captain Dr. Maiya Gunasekera is of the view that the current impasse in the sports arena, where ambiguity is rife about the term of office at sports bodies, is only a misinterpretation of a word in a legal document and the whole scenario could be promptly cleared in no time if the Ministry of Sports expedites the matter. He explained, “I was the head of more..

Record first for Pakistan's top six

July 20 (CI) 135: The margin of victory, Pakistan's second-best in an ODI against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka. The biggest margin, of 146 runs, was also at the Premadasa, in 2009, when Pakistan scored 321 and then bowled Sri Lanka out for 175. It's the fourth-best for Pakistan against Sri Lanka at any venue. It's also Sri Lanka's third-highest margin of defeat in a home ODI. 24-11: The win-loss record for teams batting first in day-night ODIs at the Premadasa since the beginning of 2005. more..

Four of same family, another drown

July 20 (Island) Five persons including four members of the same family drowned in the Kirama Warapitiya Vewa in Walasmulla yesterday. They were bathing in the tank when the mishap occurred. The deceased have been identified as D. H. Sujatha (Manageress of the Amabagahahena Cooperative Shop) her husband and two children. They were from Uthuru Haggeethakanda area. A female student of the Dehiwala Advanced Technical Institute who was with them was rescued and more..

Pakistan take 2-1 lead with 135-run win

July 20 (CI) The third ODI ended badly for Sri Lanka, whose cricket team were pummeled by 135 runs, but it was made worse by an outbreak of violence in the stands, which forced a half-hour suspension of play. Rocks were thrown inside the southeastern stand, and when offenders were evicted from the ground, projectiles were thrown from outside the stadium, through the back of the same, open stand. more..

'Sri Lanka tourist attractions’ entry fees highest in South Asia'

July 20 (Island) Sri Lanka's tourist attractions’ entry fee charge between local and foreign visitors is higher when compared to other countries in the region. "Along with regional countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and China, Sri Lanka too charges a two-tier price system whereby foreigners are charged a higher price," Bartleet Religare Securities in a report on hotel industry said. "However, the difference between local and foreign ratio is much higher in Sri Lanka." more..

Sri Lanka Tourism launches strong marketing campaign in India

July 20 (DN) India International Travel Mart - IITM India's premier travel and tourism Exhibition has awarded Sri Lanka Tourism two awards. The brand established in 1998 which is held across country's major markets in India staged the IITM- Bangalore 2015 edition awarded Sri Lanka Tourism the two awards -MICE Operator of the Year and the best country profiling presentation which held good stead for the 250 million rupee marketing launched in the number one source market. more..

Sri Lanka in historic 3-2 win over Lebanon

July 20 (DN) Sri Lanka emerged champions when they beat Lebanon by 3 - 2 in the Davis Cup Group two Asia Oceania Zone Relegation play off concluded at Sri Lanka Tennis Association Courts yesterday. Lebanon’s Hady Habib outplayed Sri Lanka’s emerging tennis player Shermal Dissanayake after a stiff encounter in the first singles in the morning. Lebanese suffered a setback when he lost the third and fourth sets, but more..

200 polls related incidents so far: PAFFREL

July 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s election watchdog PAFFREL says the organization have received 200 complaints in relation to 203 electoral and general law violations by yesterday afternoon. Among them 17 are related to acts of violence and 20 incidents of electoral and general law violations. As per the PAFFREL statistical report of election law violations which covers the pre election period, a total of 5 hospitalizations have been reported to date. 50 violations relating to abuse of state power, more..

Don't arrest fishermen, says WFFP

July 20 (ENS) World Forum of Fisher Peoples (WFFP) has appealed for compensation for Indian fishermen killed by Sri Lankan navy. The fishermen’s organisation representing 37 countries urged the governments of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka not to arrest fisher people who cross maritime border while fishing for their livelihood. Explaining the decisions taken at its co-ordination committee meeting, Muhammed Ali Shah, Co-chair of WFFP, said a permanent solution should be found more..

NO reason to resign: CB governor

July 20 (CT) Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said that there was no tangible reason for him to tender his resignation. He was responding to a question whether he was ready to hand over his resignation from office in the aftermath of President's television address where he (President Sirisena) said that he had told PM Ranil Wickremesinghe that the Governor should resign in the aftermath of the Rs 10 billion bond scam. more..

4 brokers install mandatory phone recording system

July 20 (ST) Four stockbrokers have installed a telephone system that records all transactions which the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has made mandatory. Enterprise Ceylon Capital, Richard Peiris Securities, Capital Alliance Securities and First Guardian Equities have implemented it so far, they said. “Six more companies are in the process of implementing it,” an official said. This system was incorporated into the stockbroker rules in August 2012 by the CSE more..

Jaffna takes a close look at celebrated models of Mercedes-Benz

July 20 (Island) Recently, the Mercedes-Benz Club of Sri Lanka organised a fun rally to the Jaffna peninsula from July 10 to 12. Committee members and their families organised the rally, which consisted of 12 Mercedes-Benz vehicles ranging from Pre-War era to the latest. Mercedes-Benz Club thus celebrated its 25th anniversary which falls this year. It is an exclusive club, a group of automobile enthusiasts who have an exceptional deep-rooted passion towards the three-pointed Star. more..

More land to be released in North

July 20 (Hindu) The govt is in the process of identifying and releasing more private land from the High Security Zones in the Northern Province. Responding to queries on the discussion during the visit of Defence Secretary B.M.U.D. Basnayake to Jaffna on Saturday, official said that surveyors and other field officials are also being involved in the process to ascertain the veracity of claims and spot the owners concerned. more..

Two Japanese naval ships at Colombo port

July 20 (GDI) Two Japanese naval ships, Akizuki and Sawagiri, arrived at the Port of Colombo on a goodwill and supply visit on Sunday. They were welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions on arrival, and officials from the Embassy of Japan also were present on the occasion. The head of the mission, Commander Escort Division V Captain Futoshi Toyozumi and the ships’ Commanding Officers, Commander Yasuharu Asou and Commander Tsuyoshi Sato are more..

UNFGG will create cluster villages: Ranil

July 20 (DM) The United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG), if elected, would set up a cluster village system in Sri Lanka by putting several villages together and decentralise power to these new units, said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe over the weekend. Addressing an election rally in Maho, the prime minister said the cluster village system would be set up under the Gamata Ratak (a country for a village) programme which had been planned by the UNFGG. more..

NDDCA board chief's life in danger

July 20 (CT) Chairman of the National Dangerous Drugs Control Authority Dr. Nilanga Samarasinghe and his family have not been provided with any protection after continuous threats had been received for revealing information about politicians and govt servants involved in the drug trade. Samarasinghe said, he informed the IGP and Secretary of the Ministry of Law and Order about his predicament last Friday. more..

Police probe cop who boozed with suspect’s husband

July 20 (Island) Mirihana police have assigned a special team to investigate a policeman who had partied with the husband of a woman who had scolded two police officers in a video that has gone viral in social media during the last few days. The suspect policeman befriended the husband when the latter came to the Talangama police to hand over an official helmet of a traffic policeman his wife had taken away by force on July 13. The policeman partying with the suspect’s husband more..

Sajin back in Prison ward Skin disease found to be bogus

July 20 (CT) Former PM Sajin de Vaas Gunawardena who is currently in remand custody for the misuse of 16 State owned vehicles was ordered to be removed from Prison Hospital and relocated into a normal prison ward by the Colombo High Court Justice Ranawaka Gunatileke. The decision was taken after it was found that Sajin had been diagnosed with a nonexistent fictitious skin disease. A report was submitted to the Courts, after a medical check-up was conducted on more..

EC gets tough with those using religious places for electioneering purposes

July 20 (Island) Elections Secretariat is expected to instruct Secretaries of all political parties and Independent Groups in the polls fray to immediately stop using places of religious worship for propaganda purposes. EC Mahinda Deshapriya will meet representatives of political party representatives today. A spokesperson said that those contesting the polls had been misusing places of religious worship. more..

United Front’s development plan to be based on policies of founding leaders

July 20 (FT) The new political front formed to prevent the return of former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa will present a development plan for the country based on the policies of democracy’s founding leaders. Minister Champika Ranawaka says the United National Front for Good Governance will launch a new policy manifesto based on President Sirisena’s 8 January good governance plan. UNF will launch many new policies for good governance targeting the general election, more..

Crowd trouble at Premadasa Stadium interrupts match

July 20 (CI) Match referee Javagal Srinath was forced to suspend play for half an hour in the third ODI between Sri Lanka and Pakistan after a rock was thrown onto the field at the Premadasa Stadium. The incident came after fights had broken out in the terraced section of the south-eastern stand during Sri Lanka's innings. "There was an issue between two factions in the stands," SLC secretary Prakash Schaffter said. "The police sorted that out. There was a stone that found more..

Fake war crimes report to be released before election?

July 20 (DN) Govt has received information that plans were afoot to release a fake UNHRC war crimes report to benefit the election campaign of former President Rajapaksa, a top govt spokesman said. The fake war crimes report is likely to be released locally within the first week of August, nearly two weeks before the election. In the report, nearly 50 names will be included as war heroes against whom more..