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President to stay neutral at polls

July 5 (ST) President Sirisena’s decision to allow his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest the August 17 parliamentary elections on the UPFA ticket has caused ripples within his own rainbow coalition. Increasing tensions is Mr. Sirisena’s decision not to take part in the election campaign. UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha and SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa are urging him to name more..

Muslim alliance in the making

July 5 (CT) In a new turn of events, within the political scenario, Muslim political leaders are contemplating on forming a new alliance to contest the general election. One of the main mediators in this effort that they had already discussed the matter with the SLMC and ACMC of Minister Rishad Bathuideen. "We plan to discuss the matter with other Muslim politicians in the UNP and the SLFP. This will be something similar to the TNA. We have already received positive responses from more..

JHU changes Party name

July 5 (CT) JHU has changed the Party name to United National Front for Good Governance. The Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said that, the Diamond is the official symbol of the new Party instead of the Conch Shell which was the symbol of the JHU. At the same time, the Sri Lanka Jathika Peramuna which belongs to Wimal Geeganage has also changed its symbol to the Flower Bud. In the meantime, the symbol of the Akila Ilankai Dravida Maha Sabha under more..

SC in the dark

July 5 (SL) 50-foot chandelier, which adorned the Ceremonial Court of the Supreme Court, has gone missing since March 2014. It is alleged that this enormously expensive chandelier has been given to the UDA which was under the then Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, by the former CJ Mohan Peiris. This was confirmed by the Marshal of the Supreme Court, Mr Premathilake who said that he had written to the UDA to find out as to more..

No-show MR to show up at July 9 A'pura rally

July 5 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, a no-show or sideline presence at previous Bring Back Mahinda rallies, will be on stage at Anuradhapura on July 9, Prof. G.L. Pieris said. The rallies which began at Nugegoda some weeks after Rajapaksa’s stunning defeat of Jan. 8 were followed by others at Kandy, Ratnapura, Kurunegala and Matara. At a packed news briefing originally scheduled for Friday morning at Abhayarama Temple, later postponed for the evening of more..

No nominations for Sajin, Duminda and Mervyn?

July 5 (SL) The SLFP says it will not give nominations to corrupt politicians to contest the Parliamentary elections this August. SLFP sources said that former parliamentarians Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, Duminda Silva and Mervyn Silva are among those who are unlikely to be given nominations from the party. Sources also insisted that President Maithripala Sirisena, as the SLFP Chairman, has not taken a final decision on giving nominations to former President Rajapaksa. more..

Appointment of NDRA Chairman during election time runs into a storm

July 5 (Island) Appointment of a Chairman to the newly established National Drug Regulatory Authority (NDRA), in the run-up to a parliamentary poll, has triggered protests, with senior election officials urged to look into the legality behind the move. Though naming Prof. Lal Jayakody as head of this powerful regulatory body in pharmaceutical industry was ostensibly under a cloud due to intervention by Elections Department, more..

Eran challenges business community: Show leadership accountability

July 5 (Island) Hon. Eran Wickremaratne, MP, who was the Chief Guest at the Annual Meeting of the Membership of The Sri Lanka Institute of Directors (SLID) lauded the Institute for the yeoman service that had been done over the last 15 years in creating awareness of the regulatory framework and understanding of positive corporate behavior and values and making solid citizens of the Sri Lankan corporations as they contribute to the economic, social and moral development of this country. more..

Sajin Vaas can be indicted for misuse of State property: CID

July 5 (ST) The CID has reported to courts that action could be filed against former MP Sajin Vaas Gunawardena again for misuse of State property. The CID in a report filed in courts said they had recorded statements of 30 persons related to their investigation. The CID arrested Mr Gunawardena on May 11, on charges of misusing 22 State vehicles belonging to the Presidential Secretariat. The CID reported to the Fort Magistrates Court that, according to the complaint lodged by more..

MR’s polls campaign team owes millions

July 5 (SL) Mahinda Rajapaksa campaign team has overdue payments for several public institutions for the election campaign carried out during the last Presidential election. Sources from the Sri Lanka Transport Board and the Rupavahini Corperation said that Mahinda Rajapaksa’s presidential election campaign used the services of the state institutions but has failed to settle the overdue bills. more..

Clinton’s emails reveal IMF stand on war

July 5 (SL) Emails of former US Secretary of State and 2016 Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, placed on the public domain last week by the US State Department, have revealed some of the correspondence she had on Sri Lanka in 2009 during the critical stage of the war. In one such email, Clinton was told that the IMF had, during the final stages of the war, slammed her in a conversation the IMF had with Timothy Franz Geithner, then US Secretary of the Treasury, more..

Retired postmasters wanted to clear backlog at Central Mail Exchange

July 5 (ST) Postal Dept is recruiting retired Post Masters residing in Colombo to clear an unexpected volume of mail reaching the Central Mail Exchange (CME) daily due to public exams, university entrance and school admissions. Post Master General Rohana Abeyratna said, “Last week we had a huge amount of mail stuck at the CME due to insufficient staff. Hence, we have asked retired Post Masters residing in Colombo to assist us.” An estimated 100,000 mail articles were reaching the CME more..

People’s Rainbow Revolution under a dark cloud

July 5 (ST) Six months after being voted out of the presidency, Percy Mahendra Rajapaksa has bounced back to become a candidate for the UPFA at the August 17 parliamentary elections. He will choose from three different districts — Gampaha, Kurunegala or Ratnapura. “I was willing to agree to anything that would not divide our party. We will ensure a victory and protect our country,” Rajapaksa said. more..

Mahinda at halfway house?

July 5 (Island) Whether President Sirisena will break the eloquent silence he has maintained over his decision to permit former President Rajapaksa to run at the forthcoming general election either sometime yesterday or later thereafter remains to be seen. It was obvious that he was under sustained pressure to give the nod to Rajapaksa’s candidature either on SLFP or UPFA ticket for the past several days and weeks as the Bring Back Mahinda campaign gathered momentum. more..

President Sirisena & some election issues

July 5 (Island) Wide presidential powers, with immunity provisions, were built into the 1978 Constitution, which introduced the concept of an Executive Presidency. The misuse of these powers and provisions by incumbents has been strongly and unceasingly deplored by the Citizens’ Movement for Good Governance (CIMOGG) as well as many others. However, almost all protests, even those of the most bona fide provenance, were ignored by those who came to occupy presidential office more..

SLPI strongly oppose reactivation of the Press Council; a threat on Media Freedom

July 5 (Island) The constituent partners of the Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) vehemently condemned the Executive actions of President Maithripala Sirisena to re-activate the Sri Lanka Press Council on July 2, 2015 through the provisions of the anti-democratic Press Council Law No. 5 of 1973. The re-establishment of the govt appointed Press Council, re-introduces dormant legislation that provides for wide ranging more..

MS avoids Chandrika- PM after political shock

July 5 (ST) Six months ago they were political arch enemies. Like the saying goes, politics makes strange bedfellows. So it was. Last Friday, President Maithripala Sirisena agreed to allow his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest the August 17 parliamentary elections. Now, they appear to be not only chummy, but concerned of each other. After the official announcement of Rajapaksa’s candidature, UPFA leaders, more..

Could it be lust for power?

July 5 (SL) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s attempt to return to power and seek a third term in office, though not as President, has raised eyebrows both here and overseas. Historically, no Sri Lankan President has attempted to make a return to politics after two terms in office, especially as Prime Minister. The unique nature of the current scenario is that Rajapaksa is trying to make a comeback after being defeated on more..

‘Do not betray minorities’

July 5 (CT) The TNA said, the govt of President Maithripala Sirisena should not betray the minorities who brought him to power, by granting nomination to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. TNA spokesman Suresh Premachandran said the TNA was confused about the decision by the UPFA to grant nomination to Mahinda Rajapaksa. "More than anybody, President Sirisena criticized the entire Rajapaksa clan as corrupt. more..

NICU in New York named after SL physician

July 5 (Island) At an official ceremony last week, Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC) dedicated the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in honour of the late Dr. Anantham Harin, a Sri Lankan physician, who directed the unit at the time of his death in 2010 at age 65. "This is a simple honour for a man who earned the recognition and admiration not just of his colleagues here at Richmond University Medical Center, more..

MR factor in August

July 5 (CT) I will come with Maithri from Kelaniya – Mervyn Silva. I will contest the general election from the UPFA led by the SLFP from the Kelaniya electorate in the Gampaha District. This election will be won by the Alliance under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena. As the advice of the astrologer from Galle has not been obtained for this election, there is no doubt that we will record a victory. Now we have a leader who has more..

Swift action and prosecution of election law violators

July 5 (ST) Elections Department is seeking the advice of the Attorney General on how to expedite the prosecution of those violating election laws during the ongoing campaign for the general elections, Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said. Commissioner who has been given new powers under the 19th Amendment will request the Attorney General to assign a separate team of officials to assist police in the investigations more..

August Elections: Power blocs line up against common foe

July 5 (SO) Rapid political re-alignments have begun on the eve of nominations as parties and groups react to last week’s sudden decision by the leadership of the UPFA to field former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as one of its candidates for the forthcoming parliamentary hustings. The emerging new alignments are likely to pit a range of parties and coalitions that have been hostile to the Rajapaksa regime against more..

Victimised officers to be reinstated

July 5 (SO) The Defence Ministry has given approval to reinstate 11 officers of the Sri Lanka Army and the Sri Lanka Air Force who were politically victimised during the previous regime. The committee appointed by President Sirisena as the Defence Minister to look into the alleged allegations of political victimisation has recommended the restoration of their ranks, and the promotions of 7 Army officers and 4 Air Force officers more..

TNA faces dispute over nominations

July 5 (ST) The TNA and its coalition partners are locked in a dispute over nominations for smaller parties in the alliance, party sources said. The dispute arose after smaller parties asked that at least two members from each smaller party be given nominations in the Northern and eastern Provinces. These parties include the TELO, EPRLF-Suresh wing and the DPLF which is the political wing of the PLOTE. more..

A tale of crisis management

July 5 (Island) The encroachment dispute in Wilpattu reminds me of an experience of mine when I was the Govt Agent of Trincomalee in the sixties. I referred to it in my first article to the media published in the Sunday Times of 06/13 June, 2004. Of course, the Daily News had published in its center page on January 10, 1970, my address to the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress, assembled for the first time in a non-Buddhist majority district in Trincomalee. more..

‘Glyphosate is toxic to animals & humans’!

July 5 (Island) Samuel S. Epstein, M.D., Professor emeritus of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the School of Public Health, University of Illinois Medical Centre in Chicago, is an internationally recognized authority on the toxic and carcinogenic effects of environmental pollutants in air, water, and the workplace, and of ingredients and contaminants in consumer products. He had this to say about Academic Apologists in his 1998 prize-winning book, more..

An interview with Lakshman Arjuna Mahendran

July 5 (Island) Adam Smith whose fame is more accountable to ‘An enquiry into the wealth of nations’ is reported to have claimed that he would rather have been known for his work ‘The Theory of Moral Sentiments’, a work that remained in its sixth edition by 1790 having had its first edition in 1759, which states " How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, more..

Union to stage picketing against De Abrew

July 5 (SL) The Domestic Workers Union (DWU) is to stage a picketing tomorrow, at the courts complex in Hultsdorf in Colombo calling upon authorities to take legal actions against Supreme Court judge Sarath De Abrew. The DWU announced that the picketing will be held from 11 am to 12 pm on July 6, 2015. The Union called upon all activists and supporters to join the picketing to stand up for justice for domestic workers rights and demanded legal actions against Justice Sarath De Abrew. more..

Azath Salley to contest Parliament polls

July 5 (CG) Muslim Tamil National Alliance (MTNA) leader Azath Salley says he will be contesting the Parliament elections from the Kandy District. Speaking to reporters after meeting the Chief Prelates of the Asgiriya and Malwattu chapters, Salley said that he will contest the election either with the UNP or as an independent candidate. Salley said that the people of Kandy have requested him to contest the election from Kandy and represent the people of Kandy in Parliament. more..

Mathews builds commanding position for Sri Lanka

July 5 (CI) Angelo Mathews was the rock in Sri Lanka's middle order once again, soaking up all the pressure Pakistan created, and rebuilding from 35 for 3 to take the hosts to a commanding position. Upul Tharanga, Jehan Mubarak and Dinesh Chandimal supported their captain as Sri Lanka gradually stretched their lead to 291 until bad light ended play on another rain-hit day. It was typical Mathews resistance, blocking and blocking most of whatever more..

Sri Lanka's foreign reserves rise to US$7.5bn in June 2015

July 5 (EN) Sri Lanka's foreign reserves recovered to US$ 7,519 million in June 2015 from US$ 6,845 million in May, helped by bond sales by the state, official data showed. In June Sri Lanka received the proceeds of a 650 million dollar sovereign bond and US$ 665 million of dollar bonds sold in the domestic market but June is also a month where there are heavy debt repayments. Dollars however will move out of the country regardless of whether there are foreign repayments even when more..

Health Ministry promises: Better access to cheaper, quality drugs

July 5 (SO) Health Ministry has assured the public that health services would be much improved in the coming weeks, with better access to good quality drugs at a cheaper rate. When the National Medicine Regulatory Authority Act is established, for the regulation of medicinal drugs, medical devices and even borderline products, the services would vastly improve. The Regulatory Authority comprising 13 members are tasked with ensuring that all medicinal drugs, medicinal devices and more..

JHU quits from UPFA, forms new coalition

July 5 (CG) The JHU today announced that it had quit from the UPFA and that it had formed a new coalition. JHU General Secretary and former Minister Champika Ranawaka said that his party played a key role to help Maithripala Sirisena win the January 8 Presidential elections. He said the JHU had consistently pushed for the powers of the President to be reduced and this was achieved following the January election through the 19th Amendment more..

UNP says it will not accuse the President

July 5 (CG) UNP says it will not accuse President Maithripala Sirisena over the nomination issue involving former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Former UNP MP P. Harrison said that the UNP had reached an agreement with President Sirisena ahead of Presidential election and worked with him to meet the expectations of the people. He said that the President had promised to establish good governance and he had begun that process by getting support for the 19th Amendment to the constitution. more..

Indian hoopsters to face Lanka in title clash

July 5 (IANS) Defending champions India and challengers Sri Lanka progressed to the expected title clash in the fourth South Asian Basketball Association tournament here on Sunday by remaining unbeaten in their four matches. India roared past the Maldives 128-48 and Sri Lanka survived some close calls before overcoming Nepal 76-68 to register their fourth win in as many matches. Nepal thus completed their engagements in the competition with two wins and three defeats, more..

JVP accuses Maithripala of betraying people

July 5 (CG) JVP accused President Maithripala Sirisena of betraying the people by giving nominations to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest the Parliament election under the UPFA. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said that the statement issued by UPFA General Secretary Susil Premjayantha makes it official that Rajapaksa has been given nominations to contest the polls. “This is a betrayal of the mandate given to the President on Jan 8. more..

Sanga among Royal Box guests at Wimbledon

July 5 (DM) Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara is the star attraction in the Royal Box on centre court for Sportsman Saturday at Wimbledon, London. England’s star crickter Jimmy Anderson, England rugby coach Stuart Lancaster and captain Chris Robshaw are also in attendance, along with golfers Justin Rose and Luke Donald. Irish legend Brian O'Driscoll, Leeds-born boxer Nicola Adams, veteran runner Jo Pavey and Paralympian star David Weir are also on the royal list. more..

Gotabaya says he applied the US embassy to cancel his dual citizenship

July 5 (AD) Former Defence Secretary Gotabya Rajapaksa said the recent news that he is about to contest at the forthcoming General Election is a hoax. “This has nothing to do with my citizenship issue,” he said, adding that however he has already taken measures to cancel his dual citizenship. “I’ve already handed over the relevant documents to the US embassy, in this regard” he said. He said that he has no intention to contest at the election and enter the parliament. more..

Arjuna initiates discussions with UNP

July 5 (DM) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga has initiated negotiations with the UNP and other parties on contesting the election from a front against Mahinda Rajapaksa. Ranatunga, a strong critic of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, was elected to parliament in 2010 from the Democratic National Alliance. Following the election of Maithripala Sirisena as President, he was appointed SLFP Chief Organizer in Attanagalla, the traditional stronghold more..