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Conviction of LTTE sympathisers set aside

July 25 (Hindu) Madras High Court Bench on Friday set aside an illegal conviction and seven-year sentence imposed by a trial court on three people, alleged to be LTTE sympathisers, on charges of conspiring to smuggle acetone, glycerine, formaldehyde and dicyanamide to Sri Lanka for making explosive substances and indulging in unlawful activities in 2008. Disposing of appeals filed by them, Justice S. Nagamuthu ordered retrial in the case since the ‘Q’ branch police and more..

Sports ministry condemns SLBA suspension

July 25 (DM) Sports Ministry condemned the suspension of the Sri Lanka Badminton Association (SLBA) by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) and said it would go before the Court of Arbitration for Sports to get the suspension removed. The world body on Wednesday suspended the membership of its Sri Lankan representative due to political interferences and flaws in the SLBA constitution. more..

SA academy set for SL tour

July 25 (S24) The Cricket South Africa (CSA) Academy squad will depart on Sunday for a series against the Sri Lanka Emerging Squad. The tour consists of three four-day unofficial ‘Test’ matches and three limited overs matches. The squad includes several players who were part of the South Africa Under-19 side that won the ICC Junior World Cup last year as well as several others who have already made their mark at franchise level. David White, opening batsman from the Warriors, more..

Haphazard SL look to derail Pakistan surge

July 25 (CI) "We're not too worried about losing," Angelo Mathews keeps saying, as his side reels from the high-profile exits. A dip in results might have been expected as new men came in and launched careers, but the meekness with which this series has been surrendered has rankled. The three losses have been heavy, and the team's willpower, seemingly weak. Copping a portion of the blame is Lasith Malinga, who has turned up bloated, and lives on the memory of past glories, more..

Devolution of power could lead to separatism: JVP

July 25 (Hindu) JVP is for the establishment of people’s assemblies and democratisation of the village administration instead of devolution of powers to provinces. Articulating the party’s position on a variety of issues on the sidelines of its special convention, Vijitha Herath, JVP spokesperson, and Bimal Ratnayaka, national organiser, said that the assemblies should be created on the basis of ethnicity, culture and more..

What If the Tamil Tigers weren't labelled as terrorists?

July 25 (TD) The elections in Sri Lanka next month come just ahead of a much-anticipated report on the alleged war crimes by prime ministerial candidate and former President Rajapaksa’s govt during the country’s civil war. May 2009 saw the end of the three decade-long conflict between SL govt forces and the LTTE — a pro-Tamil extremist group that allegedly inspired Al Qaeda. The final phase of the war was particularly ghastly, with reports of atrocities carried out by both sides. more..

TNA election manifesto notes 13-A flawed

July 25 (CG) The TNA says the 13th Amendment, which was part of the Indo-Lanka accord, is flawed as power is concentrated at the Center and its agent, the Governor. In its election manifesto released in Jaffna today, the TNA said that the Tamil people are entitled to self-determination in keeping with United Nations International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, both of which Sri Lanka has accepted and acceded to. more..

'We are not on a very good plateau'

July 25 (NS) Chief selector Kapila Wijegunawardene said that the Test and ODI series against Pakistan has given the national selection committee the opportunity to assess where Sri Lanka stands in terms of overall requirement of the national side. Sri Lanka lost the Test series 2-1 and the five-match ODI series 3-1 with one to play at Hambantota on Sunday. “We came out of the World Cup where two of our main players retired more..

Anura visits Mahanayakas with The Accord of Conscience

July 25 (LT) The Accord of Conscience, National Programme of the JVP that was launched on the 22nd was presented to Mahanayakas of Asgiriya and Malwatta by the Leader of the JVP Anura Dissanayaka yesterday. First Mr. Dissanayaka visited the Mahanayaka of Asgiriya Ven. Galagama Sri Aththadassi Thera. The Mahanayaka said the country needs a strong opposition and said the JVP should be the party that governs the govt. Next he visited Mahanayaka of Malwatta Chapter more..

JVP releases authentic bill paid to ITN for live telecast

July 25 (AM) JVP today released the bill issued by ITN pertaining to the live telecast of the special convention on July 22. The bill was released through the official Facebook page of JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake. A statement along with the bill, stating that certain individuals had started a mudslinging campaign on the live telecast. Those who cannot engage in meaningful debate with the JVP have started this mudslinging, Dissanayake’s statement said. more..

Ravi accuses AG department

July 25 (LBO) Minister Ravi Karunanayake accused AG over an incident occurred when dealing with the Golden Key Depositor’s issue. “Everyone thinks Attorney General is on our govt side. But what we see here is an act against our govt. Even yesterday night there was going to be a problem,” “Cabinet decided to pay Golden Key Depositors over one month back. But our solicitors go to the Supreme Court and more..

'BBS lost face due to its support for MR'

July 25 (DN) The BBS which gained immense popularity at its inception lost its clout and suffered a great setback due to its decision to support former President Mahinda Rajapaksa's Presidential election campaign, said its General Secretary Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera. He was speaking after the launch of the BBS election manifesto which is contesting the forthcoming General Election as the Bodu Jana Peramuna (BJP), at a ceremony held in Kandy. more..

Govt changes northern expressway structure: UPFA

July 25 (DM) The UPFA charged the present govt had reduced the number of lanes of the Northern Expressway planned by the previous govt in order to show that it was able to reduce the cost of the project. UPFA Candidate Danasiri Amaratunga said the UNP led govt had reduced the number of the lanes of the expressway to two from three. “The UPFA govt introduced the project with three lanes to ease the increasing traffic. However, the UNP govt had reduced the number of lanes to two more..

President Sirisena to leave for Maldives on Sunday

July 25 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena is to undertake a state visit to Maldives on Sunday to participate in the special ceremony celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Independence of the Indian Ocean archipelago to be held in Male. During his two-day official visit to the island nation, President Sirisena will also hold bilateral talks with his counterpart President Abdul Gayoom. The President will be accompanied by more..

Finger pointing aside what of the serious issues?

July 26 (Island) Right round the country the question on most people’s lips and minds is what’s going to happen at the election? Both main contenders claim victory for themselves, some giving exaggeratedly bloated figures running up to even a two thirds majority which was widely perceived as impossible under the proportional representation (PR) system introduced in the J.R. Jayewardene constitution. JRJ used the five sixths majority he won under the Westminster system to ensure that more..

Development: For the people or ego of leaders

July 26 (SL) A noticeable feature of the parliamentary election campaign is that aspirants to office are speaking mostly about the past – their past and of what they had done – not about the future for which they have to pledge themselves to. Voters are bored with politicians telling them about their wonderful past which is all very well-known such as Mahinda Rajapaksa’s entry into politics 45 years ago, his ‘historic victory’… etc, etc. His rival Ranil Wickremesinghe is the opposite: more..

'We won't get into the bandwagon with MR'

July 26 (SO) The UPFA consists of corrupt characters who were rejected by a vast majority at the last election, JHU National Organiser Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said elaborating the plans of the party, the MoU with the UNP and the decision to walk out of the UPFA. Q: How many electorates the JHU hopes to contest? A: We will be contesting only nine districts this time. We have fielded nine candidates. more..

The political economy of short-memories

July 26 (NS) It’s an old and tired adage, the one about permanent friends and enemies in politics. What makes it new in this instance, however, is the fact that the good governance hype whipped up by Maithripala Sirisena and those who supported him against Mahinda Rajapakasa generated a lot of hope. Things wouldn’t be the same. There could be new friends of course but the doors would be closed to those with bad records, the voter was made to understand. more..

Sirisena checkmates MR, supports good governance

July 26 (SL) President Maithripala Sirisena, last week, broke the deafening sound of silence he maintained for several weeks by re-aligning himself with the mandate and forces that voted him to office at the Jan 8th Presidential polls in hope of a positive change in the country. Last week, it seemed like Sirisena had managed to checkmate Mahinda Rajapaksa. This column, last week, stated that Sirisena is scheduled to make a statement after the conclusion of nominations on the 13th, more..

'We want to defeat the Rajapaksa political culture'

July 26 (SO) JVP which launched its manifesto last week has committed itself to an ideological struggle to bring about political changes in the country. Former JVP MP Vijitha Herath said the party aims at taking controlling power of the next Parliament to work for the people. Q: In the past two parliamentary elections the JVP opted to contest as an alliance. Why did it decide to contest the elections as a single party? more..

Affronts to the electoral process

July 26 (ST) In most born-again democracies — countries which have escaped from the grip of long totalitarian rule –in Eastern Europe a few decades ago, some in Africa and more recently in West Asia, voters at their first elections would display their index finger to show the indelible ink painted on it as a proud symbol of this newfound freedom. But in a country like Sri Lanka, which has a long and cherished history of the franchise, a history that began more than 80 years ago, more..

Green & grin: Say Paraw My dear Green Man

July 26 (ST) I thought I must write to you to find out how you are faring as you go about the business of campaigning for next month’s elections. I am sure you must be an anxious man, now that Mahinda maama is also contesting and threatening to upset your grand plans for a great Green victory. We saw you on Thursday unveiling what you called your 60-month programme. I can’t see why you have to put a time period on all your promises. The last time you did that with the dina seeye wedasatahana or more..

'I saved MR from the electric chair'

July 26 (SL) The upcoming August 17 General Election would solidify the historic people’s revolution won on January 8 and the govt-hopeful United National Front’s Five-fold Plan (Pancha Widha Kriyawaliya) gives the much-needed boost to make Sri Lanka a global knowledge economy, emphasized UNP Party Leader and UNF for Good Governance prime ministerial candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe, in an interview. more..


July 26 (SO) Sri Lanka's voters are a set of people who have long been used to a gush of promises by their political and governmental leaders. And they are equally used to seeing these promises being broken or unfulfilled in the time stipulated by those making promises. In the early years of our electoral politics, the promises made to voters at election time were more down-to-earth and tended to be specific and concrete policy commitments. The promise of the Mahaveli river hydrel and more..

Low key election campaign

July 26 (Island) One may say that this has been one of the most low key parliamentary election campaigns we have ever experienced. One just does not see the poster wars that characterized previous elections. There are no processions or droves of people going canvassing. Even the election invective sounds subdued. One no longer hears the sensational allegations that one heard from the election platform at the last presidential election. Now we do not hear any specific more..

'It’s Mahinda versus Ranil and not his proxy'

July 26 (NS) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that he would work aggressively to restore faith in institutions related to law and order if his party is voted to power. He spoke confidently of his chances and said he relishes the prospect of going head to head with Ranil Wickremesinghe, who he claims had been using proxies for many years instead of facing him directly. The following are excerpts of the interview. more..

JVP now seen as the worthy third force

July 26 (NS) With the spotlight focused on shifting allegiances in the two main coalitions for the general election, the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) and the UPFA, the impact of the third force, the JVP has gone unnoticed. Since the decline of the Old Left in the aftermath of their crushing defeat at the 1977 general election, the JVP has justifiably or not claimed the mantle of being the third force in Sri Lankan politics. It re-entered mainstream politics in early nineties more..

Dilan's pipe dreams

July 26 (CT) Former Minister, Dilan Perera is reported to have had said that the SLFP's presidential candidate at the next presidential poll allegedly due in 2020 would be former Opposition Leader, Nimal Siripala de Silva. It was only a year ago, when former President and UPFA/SLFP Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa was at the height of his power and when the Bandaranaike name was almost thrown to the dustbin, de Silva said that Badulla adheres to Bandaranaike policies. more..

'Problem was created by NOC'

July 26 (NS) President of Sri Lanka Badminton Association (SLBA) Suraj Dandeniya said that the suspension of the SLBA by the world body – Badminton World Federation (BWF) was the result of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) not sitting with the Sports Ministry and sorting out the issues regarding the Sport Law. Problem could have been sorted out within 48 hours but it won’t be done till more..

Don't dare a repeat

July 26 (CT) The exposure internationally of the recent incident at Khettarama is not good for cricket or the country. We can remember the '96 World Cup when some top teams did not want to come to Sri Lanka given the war situation in the north and east – that, yet in no way had an effect in areas matches were to be played. The recent stone throwing incident - which now it has been dissected by the Sri Lankan public as political – but which some extremists tried to exploit. more..

Chameera the next Malinga?

July 26 (NS) With the declining in pace and ineffectiveness of Sri Lanka’s fast bowling spearhead Lasith Malinga as witnessed in the on-going five-match one-day international series against Pakistan, Sri Lanka are not too eager to rush up and coming speedster Dushmantha Chameera who is recovering from a side strain. Chameera bowled Sri Lanka to victory in the second Test against Pakistan at the P Sara Oval last month with a match bag of four wickets on his debut more..

Anoma establishes new national record

July 26 (Island) Anoma Karunawansa improved her own national record with a feat of 3.33 metres in the women’s pole vault on day two of the 93rd National Athletic Championships on Saturday. The athlete from Navy was some 13 centimetres clear of her closest rival from Air Force, S.D. Ranasinghe, who managed to make a jump of 3.20 metres as the rest of the competitors failed to clear the 3.20 metres mark. more..

China to help build Nephrology hospital in Polonnaruwa

July 26 (NS) The govt of China has signed a MoU with the Govt of Sri Lanka agreeing to construct a fully equipped hospital complex in Polonnaruwa for Nephrology at a cost of approximately Rs. 12.8 billion. The joint proposal made by Ministers Rajitha Senaratne and Mahinda Amaraweera to acquire an adjoining land of 7.27 hectares possessed by the National Aquaculture Development Authority in Polonnaruwa District and the Fresh Water Fish Hatcheries in Station as the existing space in more..

Former SEC chief Godahewa emerges as a UPFA supporter

July 26 (ST) Nalaka Godahewa, Sri Lanka’s former high profile Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman, who once said he was not a political appointee, emerged this week – after a near 6-month absence from the public spotlight – as a supporter of the opposition UPFA. He was shown on a local television station on Tuesday night addressing a UPFA political meeting and criticising the controversial Central Bank Treasury bond issue. Some of the decisions taken by more..

Unpaid bills delay road projects

July 26 (SO) Construction of roads and highways, a penchant of the Rajapaksa regime, which turned into a well-spring to amass wealth, ran into serious difficulty when the govt was left with a hefty outstanding bill of Rs. 38.178 billion to be paid to local contractors for work done up to Dec 31, 2014. Working Director, RDA, Keith Bernard said there were new bills to the tune of Rs. 17.2 billion from Dec 31, 2014 to May this year. more..

Tea exporters seek clarity on Iran

July 26 (NS) Tea exporters are to meet representatives of the Central Bank and the Embassy of the United States to get clarity on the Iranian deal with the US and to see possibilities of recommencing direct exports to the country. Iran has been one of Sri Lanka’s traditional market for tea and exports were affected following sanctions laid out by the US on the country. However, the recent deal signed by Iran with US has rekindled interests of tea exporters in Sri Lanka more..

Beijing gets Tea Board office

July 26 (ST) Amidst challenging times for the tea sector, the Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) Beijing office opened this month giving a fillip to its black tea exports. In the meantime a new circular is expected this week granting a subsidy on interest for up to Rs.12 billion in capital loans. Planters Association Chairman Roshan Rajadurai told the Business Times on Thursday that there was a significant increase in black tea consumption as a result of which the Beijing office established by more..

Second Lankan Isis Militant traced

July 26 (CT) Another Sri Lankan named Sharfaz Nilam Muhsin, has been identified as the second known Lankan cadre fighting with the Islamic State (IS) forces in Syria. He has been also identified as being the brother-in-law of Sharfaz Nilam Muhsin (37) aka Abu Shuraih Sailani (Caliphate name) who was killed on July 12 in a US coalition airstrike in Syria. The brother- in-law of Nilam goes under the pseudonym of more..

Kelaniya University launches first-ever Film and TV Degree

July 26 (Island) In an unprecedented pioneering move of national significance, Kelaniya University has launched Sri Lanka’s first degree program in Film and Television. Even though they are the most popular mass media in the country, no University has thus far launched a degree program in film and television nor had the two been recognised as worthy of study by any University. Kelaniya has simultaneously appointed the celebrated film and television pioneer Dr. D. B. Nihalsingha, more..

UK diplomats advised against using Helitours

July 26 (CG) British diplomats have been advised against using Helitours after it was revealed that the domestic passenger airline was operating with an expired air safety certificate. UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office said that staff at the British High Commission in Sri Lanka have been advised not to use the airline Helitours due to concerns about its safety certification. Helitours is the commercial air arm of Air Force and is established as a company under the companies act. more..