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President congratulates gold medalist Rakitha Malewana

June 21 (SO) Rakitha Malewana a student of Nalanda College, Colombo who won a gold medal for the treatment of HIV/AIDS at the International Science Research Olympiad called on President Maithripala Sirisena. The President expressed willingness to offer state sponsorship for him at any time. Rakitha said he wished to enter the Kotalawala Defence Academy for higher studies. Two Sri Lankan students won gold medals at the International Science Research Olympiad more..

Rajitha’s son challenges MR

June 21 (DM) Minister Rajitha Senaratna’s son challenged former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest the coming general elections from Beliatta. Chathura Senaratna said he would end the former President’s political career from the very place it began. “Beliatta is where he was first elected as a public representative. I challenge him to contest from the same constituency. I too will contest from there and I will ensure his political career ends where it began,” he said. more..

Pakistan beat Sri Lanka in first Test

June 21 (CI) A seven-wicket haul from Yasir Shah completed an emphatic turnaround from Pakistan, who took the Galle Test by 10 wickets after recovering from a precarious position at the start of the fourth morning. Pakistan had been five down and 182 behind Sri Lanka's first-innings total at the time; few could have predicted then that their openers would waltz to a target of 90 at eight runs an over a day and a half later. more..

Chandrananda:Tribute to a Friend and Colleague of 60 years

June 21 (Islnd) Deshamanya Chandrananda de Silva, former Commissioner of Elections and Defence Secretary, passed away in mid March, somewhat prematurely by current life - expectancy standards. Although he was under medical care for some time the final call was all too sudden to accept. Chandra and I had a long and close association spanning easily six decades. Even though we may have been physically apart, in mind and spirit there was a scarlet thread that bound us on some more..

Kahawatta election-related shooting: another suspect arrested

June 21 (AD) The CID has arrested yet another suspect who allegedly involved in the election-related shooting incident in Kahawatta during the last presidential polls in January. The suspect was apprehended in Kahathuduwa area in Piliyandala on Saturday evening. Earlier, the CID arrested and remanded former Deputy Minister Premalal Jayasekara in connection with the incident as well. On January 5, the Pelmadulla Magistrate issued an arrest warrant on Jayasekara more..

UNHRC has donated $3.2 million to hold a Diaspora festival: JHU

June 21 (CG) JHU Media Spokesperson Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe severely condemned the new govt’s decision to hold a Diaspora Festival in Colombo. “There were reports that the UNHRC has already donated over USD 3.2 million to hold this festival. It is highly questionable as to why they needed to allocate money in this regard,” he added. In order to encourage Diaspora members to engage and contribute to efforts more..

UNP to use minority concerns to scuttle electoral reforms and seek fresh polls

June 21 (ENS) The UNP, which runs the govt in alliance with a faction of the SLFP led by President Sirisena, is trying to use the objections of the small parties and the parties of the minorities, to scuttle Sirisena’s bid to pass the 20th Amendment embodying electoral reforms, and force him to order fresh parliamentary elections. Although electoral reforms were an important part of Sirisena’s Presidential election manifesto, which was co-authored by the UNP, more..

Maithripala says there can be only one leader

June 21 (CG) President Maithripala Sirisena says a country can have only one leader and not two leaders. Speaking to Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) members in Nuwara Eliya today, the President also insisted that he had no grudge with anyone in the SLFP. Sirisena said that since he has been given the leadership of the SLFP he is keen to work with the party and take it forward. He said the party now needs to decide if it wants to move forward or leave room for splits. more..

Yoga Day events in SL show wide appeal

June 21 (ENS) Events connected with the International Yoga Day organized by Indian diplomatic missions in Colombo, Jaffna, Kandy and Humbantota on Sunday, elicited the enthusiastic participation of a cross-section of people in Sri Lanka, including foreign diplomats and tourists. The 2,000-odd people gathered at the Galle Face Green facing the Arabian Sea included Maithri Wickremesinghe, wife of PM Ranil more..

I will resign if Sajith is found guilty: Thalatha

June 21 (DM) Minister Thalatha Athukorala said she would resign from politics if Housing and Samurdhi Minister Sajith Premadasa is found guilty of misusing the savings of Samurdhi beneficiaries for political purposes. Addressing a meeting in Ratnapura, she refuted allegations levelled at Mr. Premadasa and stated that those who accused the minister, of giving funds to financially stable individuals, were engaged in a futile attempt to insult him. more..

UNP says Parliament will be dissolved soon

June 21 (CG) The UNP today said that Parliament will be dissolved soon and elections will be held for a new Parliament. Leader of the House and UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella said that the UNP wants a majority in Parliament to do most of the things it promised the people. He said that now the Govt is a minority in Parliament and so it is unable to function smoothly. Kiriella also said that the opposition is split with two factions blaming each other over the loss at the last polls. more..

Udayanga denies all charges

June 21 (DM) Former ambassador to Russia, Udayanga Weeratunga who was accused of supplying arms to Ukrainian rebels has denied all the allegations levelled against him by the Sri Lankan govt. Mr. Weeratunga in a letter to them had stated that he was now living in Ukraine. “No criminal investigation against me is being carried out by the Ukrainian govt as the Ukrainian Internal Affairs Ministry has informed me in a more..

National security will be protected: Ruwan

June 21 (DM) The present regime will never do anything which is harmful to the national security, State Minister for Defence Ruwan Wijewardene said today. Addressing a Youth get together at Temple Trees he said there is no truth in the statements that are being made by the Opposition that the LTTE is raising its head in the North because of certain actions by the present regime. “UNP led governments too fought the LTTE in the past, even the late President D. B. Wijetunga more..

Sri Lanka navy arrests 26 Indian fishermen

June 21 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka navy arrested 26 Indian fishermen and also seized three Indian fishing trawlers for poaching in Sri Lankan waters. The navy said that the Indians had been arrested in the seas northern Point Pedro seas late on Saturday and they were brought ashore on Sunday. The arrested fishermen and trawlers were brought to the Kankasanthurai harbor in the north of the country and handed over to officials of Dept of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Kankasanthurai. more..

Minor parties warn Prime Minister on 20-A

June 21 (CG) Minor parties today met PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and warned him that they will defeat the 20th Amendment to the Constitution if it is submitted to Parliament in its current form. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that the minor parties have already agreed that there needs to be more discussions on electoral reforms. He said that the position of the minor parties, more..

Good governance incomplete without effective mechanism for ...

June 22 (CT) Restoring good governance in the political sphere was the main promise made by the incumbent President at the presidential election in January 2015. It was considered that good governance would usher a new era to Sri Lanka by paving way for the creation of justice-based rule and a society responsible and accountable for its actions. Now that the election is over and a new President is in place, all systems are being directed toward introducing political reforms but more..

Remembering former Principal St. John’s College Jaffna: Reflections of a son

June 22 (CT) It is 30 years since the death of my beloved father who was killed by the LTTE on June 26th 1985. Many things have happened since then and I hope we can contemplate on the violent path taken by the LTTE and the unconditional support given by most of the Tamils to address their grievances against the Sri Lankan state. I wonder if we have a collective maturity as citizens of Sri Lanka (Tamils, Sinhalese, Muslims, Burghers and other minorities) and Sri Lankan Diaspora to more..

A mortgaged media! media!

June 22 (SO) Scholars like Kumari Jayawardena, Karthigesu Sivathamby, Charles Abeysekara, Radhika Coomaraswamy, Sunil Bastian or V. Nithiyanandan and politicians of the calibre of Colin de Silva or Neelan Tiruchelvam sought to understand and bridge or transcend the deepening chasm of the ethnic divide. But they did not stand a chance against those hell-bent on descending into the depths of the chasm and more..

Editorial: Abducting babies

June 22 (Island) Everybody, especially nouveau riche, tries to be somebody these days by owning an elephant considered a status symbol. The new government made a song and a dance about the illegally kept elephants and went so far as to take into custody some of those animals—and rightly so. But, the much-advertised save the jumbo campaign has apparently come to an end and the despicable practice of removing baby elephants from the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage continues. more..

Memo to MR: Hug the political stage by all means but hands off temples, please

June 22 (ST) The stars hadn’t ordained, the astrologers hadn’t predicted and the people hadn’t decided it was the auspicious hour for former president Mahinda Rajapaksa to emerge from his temple kuti where he oft takes refuge and ascend the UPFA political stage at the Sanath Jayasuriya Matara ground last Friday. The tom-tom beaters had heralded the news of his grand entrance loud and clear, the whip crackers had corralled the crowds to the grounds with rice packets and booze, more..

'Neither I nor my community will do anything to betray the country'

June 22 (SL) The issue of resettling the Muslim people that LTTE expelled from the North in 1990 remains unresolved. Many of them still live outside their original residences. Meantime, various allegations have been directed at Minister Rishard Bathiudeen that he was encouraging the people to encroach on the Wilpattu National Park – however later it was alleged that internally displaced Muslims were resettled by encroaching on more..

Increase members in parliament, or lose sight of what truly matters!

June 22 (SL) The 20th Amendment has caused rifts in Parliament and become the central topic of discussion for the past few weeks. Members of the UNP and JVP have united with requests to hold a general election immediately as was promised to the people by the end of the 100-day program. However, the JHU and SLFP believe that what is important is not the timeline of the events, but delivering on the promises given to the people within those 100 days. more..

Asanga leaves new committee with a hard act to follow

June 22 (SL) THE haze that has long enveloped the AGM of the SLRFU appears to be lifting, with the powerful WPRFU handing, its nominations. And so finally, a movement towards an AGM has been made. This crucial meeting ought to have been done and dusted by the end of last March, but was held in a state of suspension, thanks to the infamous 2013 Sport Ministry regulation, which controversially limits the term of any official to four years, no matter in what capacity he/she has served. more..

'JVP will not be part of any alliance'

June 22 (SL) During the last presidential election, the JVP played a key role, especially at the grass root level to defeat former President Rajapaksa but yet they did not openly support the election campaign of President Sirisena. In the absence of a strong opposition, JVP was also seen playing the role of the main opposition as an alternative force. Vijitha Herath said JVP has maintained their stance for over the years more..

Kotte MC SLFP group condemns Rajitha

June 22 (Island) Kotte SLFP municipal council group led by Kotte Mayor Janaka Ranawaka, Deputy Mayor Madhura Vithana condemned Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne for making a statement to the effect that SLFP would not give nominations to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest at the forthcoming general election. The SLFP Group said that they would campaign within the party to secure nomination for the former president as the party’s prime ministerial candidate. more..

Inviting Canadian LTTE to taste SL tea

June 22 (Island) We continued to organise and strengthen the Consulate General’s Office. We tried to maintain close contact with the Controller of Immigration in Colombo and strict controls were put in place with regards to the issuance of emergency travel documents as LTTE supporters were known to use them to enter Sri Lanka. There was also close coordination with the Indian Consular Service to prevent LTTE members from entering Sri Lanka via India. more..

Sri Lanka enact a B-grade horror film

June 22 (CI) Late on day five, Angelo Mathews stands at slip, glum faced, chin resting on knuckles as the ball skids towards the straight boundary off Ahmed Shehzad's bat. Rangana Herath turns around grimacing in his follow through and puts hands on hips. Having watched Sri Lanka's young batsmen throw the game away again in the afternoon, old man Kumar Sangakkara wears a resigned look in the infield. more..

Are we jeopardising national security?

June 22 (Island) I was shocked and surprised to learn that the govt had decided to close the office of Strategic Studies of the Ministry of Defence. As a citizen of this country who feels affected by this decision, I believe I now have a legitimate right to demand (after the recent constitutional amendment) that we, the so-called sovereign people, be informed of the reason for what I would describe as a decision which is not in the interest of the country. I do hope it is not because this office was established more..

Hafeez reported for suspect action again

June 22 (CI) Offspinner Mohammad Hafeez has once again been reported for a suspect action, following the conclusion of the Galle Test, the Pakistan team management has confirmed. Hafeez bowled 20 overs in the match and contributed two wickets to Pakistan's ten-wicket victory in the first Test. According to the ICC's regulations for bowlers reported a second time within a period of a year, if Hafeez's action is found to be illegal once again he faces a bowling ban for a period of more..

Mathews bemoans ineffective spinners

June 22 (CI) Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews has admitted that his spinners had been overshadowed by Yasir Shah and Zulfiqar Babar on a helpful Galle deck. Yasir and Babar claimed 13 wickets between them, with Mohammad Hafeez' offspin adding a further two scalps. Sri Lanka's front-line spinners, meanwhile, returned 5 for 221 in the first innings, and each went at more than a run a ball during Pakistan's brief second-innings chase. more..

Misbah encouraged by Pakistan's Test future

June 22 (CI) Pakistan's ten-wicket win in Galle was their 123rd Test victory and their first in Sri Lanka for nine years. It took them past India as the subcontinent's most successful Test side, an achievement Misbah-ul-Haq said was great, especially because the result was built on the performances of the less-experienced players in the team. Sarfraz Ahmed's 96 off 86 balls wrested the first-innings advantage from Sri Lanka, Asad Shafiq's hundred consolidated the lead, more..

Another DRS blunder at Galle

June 22 (CT) Dismissal of home skipper Angelo Mathews was rather controversial as the incident again highlighted the drawbacks of Decision review system (DRS) without much needed element of that such as Sniko and Hot Spot which weren't available for this match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan which Pakistan won by 10 wickets at Galle yesterday. Mathews was given out by umpire Illingworth for caught at short leg shout which was immediately reviewed by Mathews. more..

Litro begins probe into alleged Rs. 1 b losses

June 22 (FT) Litro Gas, the country’s largest LPG supplier, said it has begun investigations into massive losses of Rs. 1 billion incurred during the last two years and would complete the financial probe in July. The new office holders of the State-run company claim the losses were caused by a previous contract made with supplier Oman Trading International, which had increased freight prices unfairly since 2013. more..

AXIB announces entry into SL market

June 22 (FT) Insurance and reinsurance broker Ax Insurance Brokers Ltd. (AXIB) marked its official entry into the Sri Lanka’s market last week. Formerly known as Asset Eye Insurance Brokers, the rebranded AXIB will be working in partnership with renowned multinational NMG Consulting to provide reinsurance advisory and placement services in addition to retail broking facilities. Speaking to a small but distinguished gathering of invitees comprised of leading figures in insurance more..

Sanga to hold press conference

June 22 (CT) Kumar Sangakkara will hold a press conference within the next two–three days to announce his plans about retirement said Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews yesterday. "He is still deciding on that, but he will hold a press conference within next two-three days to announce his decision" said Mathews. Sangakkara who is nearing his retirement hasn't announced specified dates about his retirement, but earlier he said he won't be playing more than 2 Test series after the World Cup. more..

Nurses’ Union insists immediate action to stop A H1N1 turns epidemic

June 22 (LBO) All Ceylon Nurses’ Union has called on the health ministry to sketch a speedy programme to curb A H1N1 virus before turning it into an epidemic in Sri Lanka. As per the Union, by last week, over 25 people severely affected with the virus have died. “Most of them between the ages of 15 and 45.” the Nurses’ union said. However according to a circular issued by health ministry, those below 2 years and more..

Shameful compromises with regard to January 2015 consensus

June 22 (ST) As the year winds to its mid-term, the January 2015 consensus for a better Sri Lanka seems dangerously fragile. One can only wistfully enough, wish for a virtual miracle to rescue the country. Battle lines are clearly drawn in several impending and imploding collisions. On the one side, militant factions of the Tamil diaspora supported by hard line voices in the Northern polity demand an international war crimes tribunal obviously aimed at the forthcoming sessions of more..

Politics dominating Economics: A recipe for a hard-landing

June 22 (Island) Sri Lanka is once again allowing politics to suppress and postpone urgently needed economic policy reforms. Since independence, time and again political opportunism and short-term political expediency have undermined sound economic policy-making. Politicians have been able to get away with this partly due to the low level of economic awareness among the population. While Sri Lankans are knowledgeable and engaged on political issues, their interest in economic more..

CB to launch multiple currency trading platform for Development Bonds

June 22 (CT) For the first time in the history of the Central Bank, measures are underway to introduce a multiple currency- Scripless Govt Securities Trading System for SL Development Bonds, Governor Arjuna Mahendran disclosed. "With this introduction of new the Scripless Trading System, the CBSL will not only be creating a secondary market but also a multiple currency- trading platform for SLDBs," more..

St. Joseph's & Mahamaya overall champions

June 22 (DN) 42nd Sri Lanka Schools' Age Group Aquatic Sports Championship concluded in a grand note yesterday at the Sugathadasa Swimming Pool with St Joseph's College, Colombo emerging boys' overall champions. Mahamaya College, Kandy walked away with the Girls' overall champions trophy. St Joseph's College and Mahamaya College also won the senior boys and girls championships in the team categories respectively. St Joseph's College collected 584.5 points to emerge more..