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Today is Full moon Poya Day of Esala

July 31 (Island) Today is the 2559th full Moon Poya Day of Esala, since the demise or the Final Passing Away of the Sakyamuni Siddharatha Gauthama Buddha. It is July 31, 2015 as per Gregorian Calendar. A number of significant events in the life of Bodhisatva as well as the Sakyamuni Siddhartha Gauthama Buddha took place on this day, the most significant event being the preaching of His first sermon more..

Heartbreaking news from Kekirilanthaya

July 31 (NS) UPFA will unleash Operation Socks to make MR PM: According to one of the many imbeciles in the former dictator of Mulana’s coalition, if the former dictator is not made the PM after August 17, he and his fellow imbeciles will remove all the socks from whoever is in the well of the Parliament. “Without mace the Sergeant-at-Arms’ will not be able to walk upright and then we will install our man the dictator,” the most imbecilic of the lot explained. more..

A troublesome boot, and the novel shin stop

July 31 (CI) From Rangana Herath's carrom ball, to Ajantha Mendis' two-finger googly, and Muttiah Muralitharan's wrist-spinning offbreaks, Sri Lanka spinners have found novel ways of contorting their fingers to send down unique deliveries over the years. So every time a new attacking bowler debuts for Sri Lanka, a little mystique is expected. The Premadasa didn't have to wait long for Jeffrey Vandersay to unveil his own tricks. His first ball was a regulation legbreak, but more..

Pakistan make short work of SL's challenge

July 31 (CI) A measured Ahmed Shehzad, a spry Shoaib Malik and a belligerent Umar Akmal hit 46 runs each to carry Pakistan to 175 for 5, a total Sri Lanka's chase never had the measure of. Milinda Siriwardana and Chamara Kapugedera played sprightly innings from the lower middle order, but Pakistan were always favourites to defend their score, having had hosts at 19 for 3 in 4th over. Sohail Tanvir was prime destroyer more..

Challenging divisive politics

July 31 (DN) The country is about to face another decisive Parliamentary election shaping our political future. Friday Forum wishes to place some crucial concerns before the voters. There is much confusion among the public about what is at stake with the Parliamentary election. Is it the danger of a return of terror and war, or is it the return of attacks on democracy, deterioration of the rule of law, authoritarianism and governance that is not accountable to the people? more..

Memon T-20 Premier League in late August

July 31 (Island) The second edition of the Memon T-20 Premier League, conducted under the World Memon Organisation, will get underway from Aug 24th to 30th at the R. Premadasa Stadium and SSC. The tournament is conducted by the Far East Chapter of the World Memon Organisation. This was announced at a media briefing held in Colombo last week. The World Memon Organisation is an international umbrella organisation of the Memon Community through seven of its chapters in more..

Boost for Ceylon Tea at World Expo in Milan

July 31 (FT) Ceylon Tea recently received a much-needed boost in front of a capacity crowd at the Sri Lanka pavilion at World Expo 2015 in Milan, Italy. Expo Milan which had its inauguration with much pomp and pageantry on 1 May boasted of 2.7 million visitors during the first month, which was estimated to have easily exceeded three million visitors in the second month (June). While 70% of the visitors are from Italy itself, the organisers more..

Who are the poorest children in Sri Lanka?

July 31 (IPS) UN General Assembly has adopted the following definition of child poverty, on 10th Jan, 2007 – “Children living in poverty are deprived of nutrition, water and sanitation, access to basic healthcare services, shelter, education, participation and protection, and that while a severe lack of goods and services hurts every human being, it is most threatening and harmful to children, leaving them unable to enjoy their rights to reach their full potential and to participate more..

Navy stages first-ever Unifight competition

July 31 (Island) The first-ever Unifight competition held in Sri Lanka was staged on July 18 at the Naval and Maritime Academy, Trincomalee. This was conducted by the Sri Lanka Amateur Unifight Federation, an affiliate of the World Amateur Unifight Federation. This introductory event was held in both Unifight Classic and Unifight Light divisions. This was held under the supervision of Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ravindra C. Wijegunaratne, Rear Admiral Neil Rozairo, more..

I will not engage in political propaganda supporting TNA: CV

July 31 (DM) I will not engage in any political propaganda supporting the TNA candidates, instead take a neutral stance, NPC Chief Minister C.V Wigneswaran said in a communiqué. He said that the General Elections was announced when he was on a tour abroad and many a people question about his stance now. "Ten candidates are vying for seven seats in Jaffna District while nine candidates are contesting for 6 seats in Wanni more..

Change in major positions of Carrom Federation after 14 years

July 31 (Island) At Sri Lanka Carrom Federation elections held at the Sports Ministry Auditorium on July 29 under the supervision of Sports Ministry, Dr. Prasad Samarasinghe was elected President whilst Thumula Naotunna was elected as the secretary. Dr. Samarasinghe is the Managing Director of Lanka Bell and is a novice for carrom administration. Naotunna is a Senior Executive Engineer of Sri Lanka Telecom and he was a former national carrom player. more..

Conducive atmosphere for free, fair poll: Catholic Bishops' Conference

July 31 (DN) Our country is at the threshold of another General Election. The citizens are therefore, once again, given the opportunity to elect their representatives to parliament, says The Catholic Bishops' Conference in Sri Lanka in a statement on the forthcoming General Election. "Due to the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which has given additional powers to the Elections Commissioner, there seems to be an atmosphere conducive for a free and fair election. more..

DEW challenges Govt, Opp. to explain how promises will be fulfilled with meagre income

July 31 (Island) One-time Chairman of the COPE D.E.W. Gunasekera challenged the caretaker govt and the SLFP-led UPFA to reveal how they were planning to increase state revenue needed for implementing a range of promises made by them in the run-up to the Aug. 17 parliamentary polls. General Secretary of the Communist Party urged the electorate not to be deceived by pledges made by both coalitions. more..

Mahinda to avoid Mahinda’s rally

July 31 (Island) Minister and UPFA Kalutara District candidate Mahinda Samarasinghe assured that he would never join with the UNP again. He said that the SLFP-led UPFA would win at least 113 seats in the next parliament. Samarasinghe said that he was not for the concept of a national government as the party was confident of a giant victory. However, an individual couldn’t decide whether the SLFP-led UPFA should support the concept of a national govt as it should be decided by more..

Sinhale Flag not National Flag: BBS

July 31 (CT) Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and the Bodu Jana Peramuna (BJP) yesterday conducted a token protest over the Sinhale Flag/Lion Flag bearing the image of a Lion being described as a flag symbolizing racism by certain media. BBS CEO Dr. Dilanthe Withanage said that the said flag was different from the national flag of the country as enshrined in the Sri Lankan Constitution, and that these were two different flags, not to be confused in any way with each other. more..

Election law violations galore, charges UPFA

July 31 (Island) UPFA alleged that the UNP was committing large scale election law violations countrywide but PM Ranil Wickremesinghe prevented those being reported by the media. Former Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said that UNP Matara District office was run as a govt building by Minister Mangala Samaraweera. He said that they counted 32 vehicles displaying UNP Deniyaya Organiser Sagala Ratnayake’s pictures at more..

Crowd hoots Jagath and Vijithamuni

July 31 (DM) At a UPFA propaganda meeting held at the Moneragala Pradeshiya Sabha grounds yesterday, in support of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, UPFA candidate contesting Kurunegala District, the crowd hooted Deputy Minister Jagath Pushpakumara as soon as he began his speech. Those who hooted him were at the front of the crowd. Pushpakumara who had been warned earlier that there was an organised gang waiting to hoot him had said it would not deter him. more..

'New constitution a people's prerogative'

July 31 (CT) In the light of the PM's announcement of the need for a new Constitution, it must be reminded that the sole prerogative of making a Constitution is with the people, Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) highlighted. The core element of the basic structure of a liberal democracy as enshrined in the Soulbury Constitution is the duty of the State to recognize and to protect the liberties of all individuals, whereas both the 1972 and 1978 Constitutions were more..

Coal bid runs into fresh controversy

July 31 (DM) The fifty billion rupee per year tender to supply coal to the Lakvijaya Power Plant in Norochcholai for three years has run into fresh controversy, with the chairman of the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) reportedly refusing to chair the technical committee for the spot tender scheduled for August 13. D.K.B.S Thilakasena, the chairman of the TEC, which oversaw the previous bid more..

Cabinet Decisions: 31.07.2015

July 31 (DN) According to the approval granted by the Cabinet, the Buddhist Temple in Swayambhunath and the Rato machindranath Hindu Kovil in Lalitpur, which were damaged by the earthquake in Nepal, have been selected for renovations. The proposal made by Buddha Sasana Minister Karu Jayasuriya, to send a group which is comprised of respective officers and technical craftsmen to Nepal to plan the above task, and to assign the construction work to the SL Army more..

Aksha Sudhari's bank accounts frozen

July 31 (DM) Colombo Additional Magistrate has ordered that the bank accounts of teledrama actress Aksha Sudhari (who is alleged to have had an affair with an Indian and defrauded him Rs 140 million) be frozen. Accordingly instruction had been issued to the mangers of the banks concerned. The actress had allegedly lured the Indian and had fraudulently obtained the above sum from him. CID had investigated the allegations and requested Court to freeze her accounts. more..

SriLankan claims Rs. 114 m from Presidential Secretariat

July 31 (DN) SriLankan Airlines has written to the Presidential Secretariat claiming nearly 114 million rupees accrued as expenses for Presidential voyages since 2011. SriLankan Chairman Ajith Dias in a detailed letter has asked the Secretary to the President P.B. Abeykoon to settle a sum of Rs 114 million as expenses incurred for Presidential voyages during the last three years of the tenure of former President Rajapaksa. more..

Champika challenges MR to debate on bribing Tigers

July 31 (DM) Minister Champika Ranawaka, who accused former President Mahinda Rajapaksa of bribing the LTTE at that time, challenged him to prove his innocence if possible. Mr. Ranawaka, who is contesting the upcoming election on the UNP ticket, said he would challenge Mr. Rajapaksa to make an announcement on the allegation regarding the bribing of the LTTE with money. He alleged the Rajapaksas used the white van culture to achieve their personal gains and more..

'Gota to take legal action against Dinamina'

July 31 (DN) Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is making arrangements to take legal action against the Dinamina for publishing a photograph of him with Mohamed Mubarak under a misleading headline, former UPFA MP Dullas Alahapperuma said. Dinamina reported that the former Defence Secretary had close contacts with an international drug trafficker. It also reported that Rajapaksa granted VIP security to Mubarak to protect him from officers of Narcotics Bureau more..

Controversy over GR at Selvam launch

July 31 (Island) Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa last night said that he had met the person described as a drug kingpin by the Police Spokesman and the UNP at the launch of the documentary movie Selvam on the evening of Nov 25, 2011 at Regal Cinema. Responding to Minister Jayasuriya’s allegations, Rajapaksa said that the then service commanders, IGP as well as Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) more..

Saving water means saving lives

July 31 (DM) While the two major alliances are campaigning vigorously, though largely without violence, for the General Elections, President Maithripala Sirisena – touching the dimensions of statesmanship – is taking action to solve the grave problems of the people. The President, who says he remains neutral and impartial in the campaign, met foreign envoys and representatives of world and regional organisations to seek immediate assistance to overcome the kidney epidemic. more..

Pakistan’s mango diplomacy and Lanka’s insect fear

July 31 (DM) The mangoes were delivered to Rosemead Place from Islamabad via the Pakistan HC in Colombo. Then Ambassador Khalid Khaishgi who had received them through diplomatic courier had assigned his second secretary Rehmat Khan to ensure that the premier received the mangoes-a gesture of good will from his new boss. He also attached a letter from Zia Ul Haq to the crate of mangoes that came from the trees of the central Pakistani city of Multan in Punjab Province. more..

Don’t be duped by fairy tales: FSP

July 31 (Island) Election times in Sri Lanka are only intermissions in hell, the Frontline Socialist Party says. "During such interludes of hell we hear entertaining speeches from all political leaders who think that people of this country have no memory at all," General Secretary of the FSP Senadheera Gunathilake addressing an election rally. "PM candidate number one Mahinda Rajapaksa now promises Rs. 200,000 for more..

Lal Kantha predicts Maithri-Ranil National Govt

July 31 (DN) A national govt will surely be set up in the country following the general election with the combination of President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, said Colombo District JVP candidate K.D. Lal Kantha. He made this observation yesterday at the 13th Mass Convention of CEB Workers to Accumulate Worker's Power at Pradeepa Hall in Pettah. He said a group of UPFA members would join to form more..

SLN veteran alleges govt playing politics with CDF

July 31 (Island) Retired Rear Admiral and Digamadulla District UPFA candidate Sarath Weerasekera alleged that an attempt was being made to promote certain candidates contesting the Aug. 17 general election, at his expense. Former UPFA MP said that at the behest of the caretaker govt the Civil Defence Force (CDF) had launched a special project in the Ampara District to deprive him of the credit for paving the way more..

Probe into Central Bank role in CMG bidding process

July 31 (SL) Sri Lanka’s bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games was not only a failure but also a very costly affair, according to documents seen by The Sunday Leader. CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran said that an investigation is already underway into the role played by the Central Bank in the biding process that was spearheaded by former CB Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal. The monies spent by the Rajapaksa regime on the bidding process more..

'Rajapaksas violated pledge given through Mahinda Chinthanaya'

July 31 (DN) "I will be dedicated to the task of totally eradicating the drug menace presently experienced in Sri Lanka. I will do so within a period of three years through a coordinated effort covering the implementation of laws, the actions of police and other social institutions". The above paragraph is quoted from the fancy document titled Mahinda Chinthana under the heading An end to the drug menace. more..

Malinga delivers harsh self-assessment

July 31 (CI) Lasith Malinga has blamed himself for an indifferent bowling performance in a frank assessment of his form following a 29-run loss against Pakistan in the first T20I. He has at times been perceived as an incurable egotist, but just as he did following the World T20 final in 2012, he has taken substantial personal responsibility for this loss. He even suggested his own place in the team may be at risk, more..

New diplomats appointed

July 31 (Island) Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday announced the appointment of two new ambassadors, one high commissioner and five Consuls General to a number of countries, including Canada, India, Russia, the Philippines, China, Australia and Italy. Envoys had received the concurrence of the respective receiving States and been cleared by the Parliamentary Committee on High Posts as well, more..

Video: Shots fired at Ravi’s supporters; 1 dead and 11 injured

July 31 (AD) One person has been confirmed dead while at least 13 supporters of UNP Colombo District candidate Ravi Karunanayake have been hospitalised with injuries following a shooting incident at Bloemendhal Road, Colombo. The group of UNP supporters were reportedly engaged in election-related campaigning in the Kotahena area when several unidentified individuals in two vehicles had opened fire at them and fled. more..

Army responsible for deaths at Rathupaswela: SLHRC

July 31 (DM) Investigations conducted by the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission had revealed that the Sri Lanka Army was responsible for the shooting and assaults that took place while dispersing the crowd at Rathupaswela. The incidents occurred on August 1, 2013. Three persons including two students were shot and killed by the army, and more than 37 were injured in the melee. more..

'Fabricated case against Tiran'

July 31 (CT) President's Counsel Romesh de Silva told the Supreme Court that the case against former MP Tiran Alles was fabricated and a citizen can only be arrested if the allegations were proved beyond reasonable doubt. He made these submissions when the Fundamental Rights petition filed by former MP Tiran Alles was taken up for hearing. Alles filed this petition to prevent his unlawful arrest over the RADA case more..

Net in the sharks

July 31 (CT) Yesterday this newspaper reported that the Cabinet has decided to carry out an investigation in regard to how the commissioners of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABC) acted during the last four years of President Mahinda Rajapaksa's regime. This is in the context that a total of 1,900 complaints against politicos, including ministers, MPs and public officials had allegedly been received during this period alone. more..

Rajapaksa says he can identify Parayâs; can the voters do the same please?

July 31 (CT) In recently held UPFA inaugural general election campaign meeting at Anuradhapura, former President Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa very firmly stated that he could clearly identify the Thora (Seer fish) from Mora (Sharks), Mora from Balaya (Tuna), Balaya from Paraw (Trevallies), and Paraw from Paraya (?). As I have never heard of a fish called Paraya, I looked in the dictionary to find the real meaning of Paraya. The word was not in the normal dictionary but more..

Somachandra de Silva's age-defying cricketing journey

July 31 (CI) In the build-up to Sri Lanka's first Test in England in 1984, a throwaway line in a newspaper article caught my eye. The Sri Lankan bowling attack was to be headed by a 42-year-old legspinner. That a bowling attack could be said to be headed by a spinner, in a summer headlined by fearsome West Indian pacemen, was unusual enough. That he was 42 was even more beguiling. Thirty years later, I met more..