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TNA, SLMC to decide election strategy this week

June 28 (CT) The TNA and SLMC will decide on their parliamentary poll strategies this week. The TNA has already met President Maithripala Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga last week and discussed the political and humanitarian issues in the North and East. TNA MP Mavai S. Senathiraja said "we still stand by our views on the unresolved post war problems, which we had put forward in detail at the presidential poll period." more..

Govt investigating KP to freeze funds

June 28 (CG) Govt says it is investigating the activities of Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP) in an attempt to eventually freeze, once and for all, the financial networks of the LTTE. Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that KP was, in February, banned from leaving the country. “Our govt is continuing to intensify relations with our intelligence networks abroad and has increased access to real time information from these more..

Somawansa’s JSP to contest

June 28 (CT) Former Leader of the JVP, Somawansa Amarasinghe, will be contesting the upcoming general election under the symbol of his new party, the Janatha Sevaka Pakshaya (JSP) – People's Servant Party. Amarasinghe said that he will use his party to serve the people in a way that the JVP failed to do. "I will most probably be contesting the upcoming general elections under the symbol of my new party. The Golden Flag with a Red Star in the middle will be the symbol, more..

'MERS virus under control'

June 28 (SO) South Korean Govt announced on June 25 that the MERS virus, which has so far killed 29 and infected over 180 people in the country, is now under control. Quoting South Korean authorities, first Secretary of SL Embassy in South Korea said, the number of people quarantined following exposure to the virus had decreased over the past week. "Peontac and Seoul were the areas which were mainly affected by MERS with most of the cases concentrated in Seoul," more..

MSG controversy: How much is okay?

June 28 (SO) Although locally made instant noodles has passed the safety test, with the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) saying samples they tested contained less than 0.3 mg/kg of lead, health officials are still in the dark as to how much Mono Sodium Glutomate (MSG) should be permitted not only in instant noodles but in all ready made food, where this flavour enhancing agent is liberally used. more..

Mystery corpse at Rajagiriya identified

June 28 (ST) The mystery behind a corpse discovered in Silva Lane in Rajagiriya has been solved. Investigations carried out by the Department of Forensic Medicine of the Colombo University have revealed that the skeletal remains were that of 55-year-old B. Sugath Kuru, who was residing in the house in which the corpse was discovered, the Welikada police said. The skeletal remains were first discovered by the sister of the deceased who went to his residence as she had not been seen more..

'UNP has not given up on unity govt'

June 28 (CG) UNP says it has not given up on forming a national unity Govt after the Parliament elections. Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said that UNP leader and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has made it clear the UNP will look to work with other political parties even after the August election. He also said the UNP has been preparing to face the Parliament elections since January when it took office in the Govt, as it knew the Govt appointed then was only for a short period. more..

Prasad shines as SL seek 153 to level series

June 28 (CI) Fast bowler Dhammika Prasad's 4 for 92 helped Sri Lanka pull ahead in the second Test as they dismissed Pakistan for 329 to leave them needing 153 to draw level in the three-match series. His bowling also blunted the impact of Azhar Ali's ninth Test century, which had anchored Pakistan, helping them wipe out a significant deficit and then putting them in the lead. Sri Lanka's chase, however, will only get underway on final day more..

Arrogant Kosgoda developer humbled

June 28 (ST) A developer who rode roughshod over villagers’ rights by blatantly extending a building site over a long-used roadway, filling in part of a water source and causing flooding by blocking a culvert will face stringent action. Coast Conservation Department is to issue an order to demolish the construction of a guesthouse on Kosgoda beach, the Director-General of the department, Prabath Chandrakeerthi said. The action follows complaints made by the local villagers that more..

‘New opportunities are available, but they must be explored’

June 28 (Island) The balance of trade with Norway is in Sri Lanka’s favour, says Grete Lochen, Norwegian Ambassador in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan exports in real terms to Norway were US$ 20 million. Conversely, imports were US$ 12 million. The garments industry is the leading exporter to Norway, followed by rubber based products, the envoy told last week’s AGM of the Sri Lanka – Nordic Business Council AGM. Irrespective of the apparent disparity these figures indicate, it is not that opportunities are more..

Govt inaction to blame for flu deaths, unions charge

June 28 (ST) With the influenza death toll rising by the day the health sector is blaming the govt for doing little to combat the spread of the virus while authorities have other explanations for the figures. Last week the Epidemiology Unit (EU) recorded another eight deaths among patients, including a child, inflicted with the AH1N1 virus. This brings the total number of cases to 40 in the past six months. Victims include 10 pregnant women more..

Muzammil tries out gambling skills literally

June 28 (AM) Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil could find himself in serious trouble from both religious quarters and political supporters, after several photographs which show him gambling at a night club, went viral on social media. Muzammil came to the limelight recently due to his controversial decision to allow street vending on pavements in Colombo. He received a considerable amount of flak for this decision. Muzammil, a Muslim, is strictly prohibited by more..

TNA agrees on formula

June 28 (SL) The TNA has decided on a formula to distribute nominations and the number of seats among the parties of their alliance in certain districts including Trincomalee, Jaffna and Ampara. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said that they will not form an alliance with the UNP or any other political party but they will contest as the TNA alliance. “The parties within the TNA still have differences of opinion with reference to certain matters but all the parties under the TNA umbrella will more..

PAFFREL to invite 50 ANFE observers for monitoring polls

June 28 (DM) A total of 50 observers representing the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFE) would be invited to monitor the upcoming Parliamentary elections, People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) said. Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi said that they were in the process of coordinating with the ANFE experts who had been monitoring local polls for years. They had held two rounds of talks more..

'Govt firm in its resolve to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations'

June 28 (Island) I wish to answer the questions posed by the Hon. Leader of Opposition, relating to the US State Department Report titled Country Reports on Terrorism and Patterns of Global Terrorism. The US State Department released their Counterterrorism Report this June 2015. The report covered the calendar year 2014, during which Hon. Nimal Siripala De Silva himself was a cabinet minister in the Rajapaksa administration. It noted that a total of 13 LTTE supporters more..

Air Force declares general amnesty for deserters

June 28 (AD) Sri Lanka Air Force has declared a general amnesty period for its absentees, enabling them to receive their legal discharge from the Air Force. The amnesty period is offered for Airmen and Airwomen who have deserted the Air Force during the period from 2009, June 1 to 2014, Dec 31. Amnesty period would start from July 1. Deserters are required to report to Air Force Headquarters Colombo from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for their clearance formalities. more..

Ex-Tiger’s application for poll ticket puts ITAK in fix

June 28 (ENS) An application by a former top LTTE leader, Athmalingam Ravindra alias Rupan, for an ITAK ticket to contest the Aug 17 parliamentary elections, may have put the ITAK in a fix. Since the end of Eelam War IV in May 2009, the ITAK has been avoiding ex-LTTE cadres on the grounds that it has eschewed violence and is now a Gandhian party, unlike other parties in the TNA which have a militant and bloody past. more..

Strategic Autonomy and national consensus

June 29 (SL) It’s all in a nation’s heart, or so it seems. Suddenly, Sri Lanka seems to have adequate strategic space to share with the American and Chinese super-power rivals, on sea and/or land, but at the same time. News that an elite American SEALS team and a Chinese troops’ group are holding separate military exercises with counterparts, respectively, off the Trincomalee coast and at training institutions on-land, for about two weeks each, should come as a shock or more..

A Minister takes rickety official car to Niagara

June 29 (Island) A Sri Lankan cabinet minister visited Toronto on a tie up between an institute in Niagara, Canada. He did meet officials of the institute and I hosted a dinner for all of them. However, I also learnt a good lesson from him. That is never to give your official car - even if it’s rickety and falling apart - to a visiting politician because it gets misused. Thanks to this minister who took the car for just an hour and did not return it until the following day, I couldn't attend more..

'I am now an activist for my country'

June 29 (SO) At 70 years age, she is still chubby-cheeked and grins mischievously or, scowls expressively as she recalls some politico’s annoying action. Press photographers loved her for her animated face that rendered her photogenic, like her equally famous mother. And it was by no means just photographers. Millions loved her while some either were disillusioned or even hated her – often because she did not live up to their more..

Choices: How should we govern ourselves?

June 29 (CT) This central question of civilization has assumed greater salience in the aftermath of the Presidential Election of 8 Jan. This article seeks to shed a little light upon it, with aid of illustrations from recent Constitutional-reform efforts. Two hundred years after the fall of the Kandyan Kingdom, we carry within us thinking from that decadent feudal time. We yearn for a benevolent king who will be decisive and fair, but do not grasp what is required to assure continued benevolence. more..

Waiting for the circus to come to town again

June 29 (ST) As agonizing suspense finally ends with the dissolving of the 14th Parliament of Sri Lanka, unlamented and unsung as well it ought to be, a palpable sigh of relief palpitates through the land. This was a House that had far outlived its time, even as school children nervously balked from visiting its galleries with unprecedentedly crude verbiage echoing in its chambers. This was moreover an assembly where a majority stamped its infamy by insulting a sitting Chief Justice in more..

I want justice: Pulithevan's wife

June 29 (CT) White flag incident re-emerged when on Thursday, Kurinchi, wife of head of LTTE peace secretariat S. Pulithevan and son of LTTE's Political Wing Leader P. Nadesan among many others who attended the 29th session of the UNHRC, revealed the circumstances that led to their surrender and their subsequent disappearance. Reportedly, Nadesan and Pulithevan surrendered to Army, holding white flags, on the morning of more..

More democracy in candidate nominations

June 29 (SL) In anticipation of formulating a civil society collective to assist in sustaining and developing good governance in Sri Lanka, the declaration made on the 12th of March (referred to as the March 12th Movement M12M campaign) proved to be a vital one. The stakeholders of this historical event included members of civil society organizations, of Chamber of Commerce, members from the business community, religious leaders, media, academics, trade unions, and more..

Editorial: Deals galore

June 29 (Island) Sri Lanka has been known by several other names such as Thambapanni, Taprobane, Serendib and Ceylon in days of yore. But, if what is happening here currently is anything to go by it should be called Deal Land. For, it has earned notoriety for various deals, mostly political and economic. Rajapaksa administration was accused of mega corrupt deals. It was toppled and a new govt appointed in keeping with a pre-election deal between President Sirisena and UNP. more..

Prasad 2.0, up and running

June 29 (CI) Dhammika Prasad is a fast bowler who won his way through to Test level playing most of his cricket at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground. For that alone, he deserves a little respect. If the pitch at the SSC is ever dug up, multiple remains of quick bowlers are sure to be discovered. The other first-class decks on the island are not much better. At 32 years, a hit-the-deck seamer like Prasad should be a fossil. more..

Azhar's continued dominance

June 29 (CI) 40.6: Azhar Ali's strike rate, the lowest for any Pakistan batsman who has scored at least 1000 Test runs (where complete balls-faced data is available). Azhar scored 117 off 308 balls in the second innings, at a strike rate of 37.98. 1: Wicket taken by Sri Lanka's spinners in the second innings, their joint-fewest when they have bowled 50-plus overs in a home Test, which has happened on three other occasions. Rangana Herath and Tharindu Kaushal had combined more..

Rajapaksa: Despicable conduct under the cover of Dhamma

June 29 (CT) In his campaign aimed at returning to power, day before yesterday Pepilyana Sunethadevi pirivena became Mahinda Rajapaksa’s latest victim. It is sad to see that, claiming to be the followers of Lord Buddha, these people occupying temples wearing yellow robes practice completely the opposite of what Buddha taught. They simply permit Rajapaksa, who was shown the door by unequivocal terms by the people, to erect mega screens at sacred premises & to make absolutely resist, more..

'Wigneswaran jailed Tamil liberation fighters in the 1980s'

June 29 (Island) Jaffna MP and EPDP Leader Douglas Devananda speaks to C. A. Chandraprema about the post January 8th politics of the North. Q: At the January presidential election, Maithripala Sirisena received over 50,000 more votes than the TNA received at its height during the 2014 Northern PC election. The NPC election was held in the midst of a wave of Tamil nationalism sweeping through TN with the victory of Jeyalalitha Jeyaram. more..

Vidusha shatters her own SL record

June 29 (CT) Triple Jumper Vidusha Lakshani eclipsed her own record to a set new Sri Lanka record in the triple jump with a leap of 13.49m on the final day of the 26th National Youth Sports Festival held at Diyagama yesterday. Lakshani hailing from Newstead Girls College and trained under veteran coach Philip Ranjith, jumped 13.39m during her earlier attempts, just a month after she set the Sri Lanka record (13.22) during National trials. Then she again shattered that record in her more..

Govt digs riverbed for fishermen

June 29 (NS) Following The Nation report on Maduganga in Balapitiya being filled with sand, making fishing impossible, government officials have now dug the riverbed at a cost of Rupees one million. Previously it was being funded by two local politicians personally due to government inaction despite requests made by the fisherman to clear the obstruction. The Maduganga riverbed is constantly filled with sand due to high tide and requires it to be dug out every three months. more..

'Will call for Parliament's probe on bond deal to be made public'

June 29 (EN) Minister Eran Wickremeratne said he will call for the proceedings of a parliamentary committee on a controversial bond deal to be made public. Wickremeratne said the COPE, of which he was himself a member had called questioned persons involved, including primary dealers, officers of the Central Bank, the Treasury and even retired persons. "We started collecting information," he said. more..

To the hustings as President dissolves 7th Parliament; UNP’s minority govt survives

June 29 (ST) After weeks of speculation, President Maithripala Sirisena signed the Presidential decree bringing to and end the term of the 7th Parliament of Sri Lanka, 10 months ahead of its 6-year term. The dissolution came a little more than two months later than the day he had pledged to do so at the completion of the 100-day programme as per his election manifesto, and it couldn’t have come any sooner, given the fact that the minority Govt led by the UNP that he installed in office, more..

We used Chameera’s pace to unsettle Pakistan: Prasad

June 29 (NS) Sri Lanka fast bowler Dhammika Prasad said that debutant Dushmantha Chameera’s extra pace was used to unsettle the Pakistani batsmen and the plan had worked accordingly. “Before the game we had settled on a strategy for every batsman, and we worked on it. Chameera’s role was to unsettle the batsmen with his pace and he did that well. Each bowler had a role to play and as a group we executed that very well,” said Prasad who ended up with four wickets more..

BOI chief diagnoses industrial issues with investors on location

June 29 (Island) "The Biyagama Export Processing Zone (BEPZ) comprises a much diversified industry profile. Be it food, tobacco, electrical components or apparels, it is important that we continue supporting these entities to ensure a conducive business environment for not only the investors involved but for the present workforce as well." This statement was made by MIDAS Workwear Lanka Ltd. unit head, C. Radesh. more..

Shiromi wins Gold for Leadership Excellence in Corporate Media

June 29 (Island) Head of Group Sustainability and Corporate Communications at Hemas Holdings PLC Shiromi Masakorala won the prestigious and coveted Gold Award in Leadership Excellence in Corporate Media at the Women in Management Awards 2015, held on Friday. Leading the Hemas' award-winning Piyawara CSR initiative, she is an Executive Director of Hemas Outreach Foundation and has been heading the Company's Corporate Communications Division since 2003. more..

Minors attend beach parties in Mt. Lavinia; child abuse rampant

June 29 (Island) Dehiwela-Mount Lavinia Municipality Opposition Leader Sunethra Ranasinghe at the monthly meeting said that there were news reports about schoolchildren attending beach parties at restaurants and child abuse was rampant in the area. The meeting was chaired by Deputy Mayor Kesaralal Gunasekera. Ranasinghe said, "I informed then Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa about proliferation of drugs and child abuse in the area at a discussion held, but more..

'I have a Presidential mania'

June 29 (DM) I have a Presidential mania and not a mania for Parliamentary membership, the former leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe said. “I have a Presidential mania, but it is aimed at the abolition of executive presidency as stressed by our leader comrade Rohana Wijeweera” Amarasinghe stated while addressing first convention of his newly formed party, Janatha Sevaka Paksaya (JSP). more..

The Steuart by Citrus unveiled

June 29 (CT) The Steuart by Citrus, the luxurious business boutique hotel at the heart of Colombo's commercial hub has been declared open at a grand ceremony held under the auspices of Navin Dissanayake, Minister of Tourism and Sports,amidst a large gathering of dignitaries, well-wishers and hospitality industry personalities. The Steuart is the newest member of the Citrus Chain of Hotels and will be managed by the Citrus Leisure subsidiary, Citrus Silver. more..

Celebrated US photographer to visit SL

June 29 (Island) American celebrity photographer and TV personality Nigel Barker will be on a tour of Sri Lanka from July 15-23. Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts will host this event. The latest venture of this vibrant Lifestyle brand is to host Nigel Barker who is a celebrated reality TV show personality, noted fashion photographer, author, spokesperson, filmmaker, and former model. Nigel is best known for his participation as a judge and photographer on the reality show America's Next Top Model, more..