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I am alive because due process was followed: Lal Kantha

May 1 (DM) K.D. Lalkantha is a member of the JVP Politburo and a prominent activist of the party. One of the fine political orators in the country, Lalkantha began his chequered political career as a Marxist rebel at a very young age. In an interview with the Lankadeepa. Q: How old were you in 1971? A: I was born in 1964. That means I was only seven years old. Q: What is the locality in Anuradhapura where you were born? more..

Constitution: Strides in the right direction

May 1 (Economist) The Parliament of Sri Lanka voted on April 28th to impose vital checks and balances on the country’s powerful presidency, ending weeks of fraught negotiations and political horse-trading. The 19th amendment to the constitution limits a president to two five-year terms, negating an earlier revision that introduced unlimited six-year terms. It also mandates that the president consult the PM on ministerial appointments. more..

Electric chair: John proposes

May 1 (CT) Minister John Amaratunge proposed that death by electrocution be introduced in Sri Lanka for convicted drug dealers. He made this statement commenting on the execution of drug dealers in Indonesia. 'Drug dealers in Indonesia have been executed by firing squad. The narcotics menace has been spreading across Sri Lanka. But though peddlers are taken into custody for possessing drugs they are jailed and more..

Campaign on child sexual abuse

May 1 (CG) At an event attended by high level govt officials, civil society, media and children, State Minister of Child Affairs, Rosy Senanayake launched a national campaign to prevent and respond to child sexual abuse and violence in the country. The campaign focuses on the mark of a thumbprint as a symbolic and personal pledge to galvanize public support to end sexual abuse & violence against children in the country. more..

SriLankan marks one year with oneworld

May 1 (EN) State-run SriLankan Airlines said it had struck a code-share deal with American Airlines, a founder of oneworld, a global airline alliance it joined a year ago. SriLankan Airlines 'UL' designator will be placed on six transatlantic routes operating from Dallas, Chicago and New York to Frankfurt and Paris. These flights are available for booking from April 27, 2015 for travel from April 30, SriLankan said in a statement. more..

Video: Somawansa stages fast demanding action on coup plot

May 1 (DM) Former JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe has commenced a protest fast at Independence Square demanding action against the alleged coup attempt on January 9. He says that there are several people who are aware of the conspiracy which was hatched on that day and that they are prepared to assist an investigation into the matter. Amarasinghe claims that there is a risk of more..

Public donations to earthquake victims in Nepal top Rs. 5mn

May 1 (Island) Disaster Management Centre (DMC) announced that it had received more than five million rupees in donations to the Disaster Management Nepal Earthquake Fund at the People’s Bank during two days. DMC Deputy Director (Media) Sarath Lal Kumara said that the centre had launched the programme on a request made by the Disaster Management Ministry and the monetary donations would be handed over to more..

Eight Hundred workers seek justice

May 1 (SL) Around 800 technical staff, technical assistants, transport assistants, drivers, watchers and labourers attached to the Road Development Authority (RDA) of Western province had their employment terminated by the provincial road development general manager. The group of workers had joined the RDA in 2011 and had been serving under various provincial road development projects until 28th of Feb this year. more..

Polls overshadow May Day

May 1 (CT) "Workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains."– Karl Marx Today, Sri Lanka and in several other parts of the world, May Day or International Workers' Day (IWD) is being commemorated. Also known as Labour Day, one of the key factors that led to the commemoration of 1 May as IWD was the police shooting in Chicago, at a demonstration demanding the institution of an eight hour working day on 4 May, 1886, which in its wake left four demonstrators dead. more..

Post 19A political scenario: Parliamentary elections & after

May 1 (CT) There was a struggle against the model of 19A first presented by Ranil Wickremesinghe, but there was no struggle against 19A as such—by which I mean the idea that the executive presidency required downward readjustment. The UNP-CBK-TNA-JVP Quartet had envisaged decapitation of the Executive presidency while the masses, the SLFP-UPFA and JHU envisaged trimming; downward revision. Thus, there was no struggle against 19A; there was a struggle over 19A; its scale & more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Arrested students remanded till May 11

May 1 (DN) Two students who were arrested over allegedly damaging the public properties at the UGC on Wednesday were remanded until May 11. Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya remanded Vishva Danajaya Silva of Kelaniya University and Malinda Shakthi of the Jayawardenapura University. The Cinnamon Garden Police informed the Magistrate that Police is investigating to arrest four Buddhist monks over the same charge. The Magistrate ordered the TV more..

Promises to keep

May 1 (ENS) Close on the heels of the completion of President Sirisena’s first 100 days in power — which also marked a self-imposed deadline for a programme meant to distinguish his administration from his predecessor’s — Sri Lanka’s parliament has adopted the 19th Constitutional Amendment. It introduces curbs on the powers of the executive presidency and is an important step towards nudging the country in a new direction, the main promise of Sirisena’s campaign. more..

Once a battle ground Thoppigala Now a Heritage Park

May 1 (CT) The former LTTE camp has now been converted in to a holiday campsite which provides an adventurous stay for brave campers who do not mind the intrusion from insects, other animals, primarily the elephants. Located 40 km off north-west of Batticoloa, in the Eastern Province, Thoppigala, is a rock situated surrounded by thick jungle, it was once an LTTE stronghold and unapproachable by mainstream media in more..

Half of Constitutional Council to be picked by PM and Opposition Leader

May 1 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva will choose five out of seven members of the ten-member Constitutional Council tasked with naming independent commissions in accordance with the 19 Amendment to the Constitution. The PM, the Opposition Leader as well as Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa are ex-officio members of the CC. President Maithripala Sirisena’s constitutional affairs advisor Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne said more..

Five ex LTTE members sent to jail

May 1 (CG) Five Dutch nationals of Sri Lankan origin have been jailed for between 19 months and six years three months for raising money for the Tamil Tigers (LTTE), Dutch News reported. The Tamil Tigers have been on the EU’s official list of terrorist organisations since 2006. The group has been fighting for what it calls Tamil Eelam, an independent state for Tamils on the island of Sri Lanka, since the 1970s. The appeal court ruled the five, who range in age from 43 to 60, more..

Death sentence for killing Lankan mistress

May 1 (GDN) A Bahrain resident, who murdered his mistress while his wife was abroad on holiday, has been sentenced to death. Henry Josten De Silva, a Sri Lankan national, killed Prilica Kumari, 45, after he accused her of being unfaithful, according to prosecutors. SL victim had told her friends, hours before she was murdered on March 1, 2012, that the 39-year-old hacked into her Facebook account because he suspected her of more..

SC ruling on Tissa’s expulsion on May 5

May 1 (Island) The Supreme Court will deliver the judgment in respect of the petition filed by Parliamentarian Tissa Attanayake, challenging the purported expulsion from the UNP, consequent to his recent crossover to the UPFA on May 5, 2015. Attanayake has complained that his expulsion was unreasonable since several MPs who crossed over had remained in their respective political parties as the court had held that the crossover could be allowed. more..

Herbs, tusks at Chinese lady’s house

May 1 (CG) Officers from the Immigration and Emigration Department seized a large amount of expensive herbs and elephant tusks belonging to a Chinese national from an apartment in Colombo. The items were seized when officers from the Department were conducting a routine visit to check on the visa status of the foreign nationals in the area. An officer from the Department said that the seized items included the expensive herb Agarwood, three elephant tusks and two varieties more..

Religious freedom: US commends Sirisena’s govt

May 1 (DM) US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) commended President Maithripala Sirisena led govt for taking steps to improve religious unity and religious freedom. “Since President Sirisena took office in January, he has taken several steps to improve religious unity and religious freedom. For example, he created three new ministries to handle religious affairs for more..

CPC to sell its stockpile of furnace oil to LTL power plants in B’desh

May 1 (Island) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) will join hands with the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) subsidiary Lanka Transformers Limited (LTL) to export low sulphur furnace oil to the two LTL power plants in Bangladesh and other Bangladeshi plants. A senior management level official of the LTL confirmed that they had spelt out their willingness to initially export between 20,000 and 30,000 MT low sulphur furnace oil to Bangladesh without making any losses to the CPC. more..

Taraki's 10th death anniversary commemorated

May 1 (CT) The death anniversary of veteran journalist Tharmaratnam Sivaram who was popularly known by his pen name as Taraki was commemorated by several North and East media organizations in Batticaloa on Wednesday. Veerakesari Consultant Editor V. Thevaraj garlanded a portrait of Sivaram and several lamps were also lit in memory of the media personnel who were killed in the past. TNA MPs P. Ariyanenthiran, C. Yogeswaran and P. Selvarasa also paid more..

Kerry heads to Sri Lanka on historic visit to mend ties

May 1 (AFP) Top US diplomat John Kerry left early Friday on a landmark trip to Sri Lanka, the first such visit in a decade to the Indian Ocean island as it returns to the diplomatic fold. Kerry is due to arrive around dawn Saturday in Colombo, becoming the first US secretary of state to set foot in South Asian nation since Colin Powell, who visited in 2005 in the wake of the devastating Asian tsunami. Kerry will meet with new President Sirisena, more..

Unsolved murders in Vavuniya

May 1 (CT) People in Vavuniya are living in fear as the police are yet to arrest the culprits connected with two recent murders. Within the last two months, two murders have been reported from Vavuniya but no suspects have been arrested. On 3 March former member of the TELO S. Vadivel (45) was shot by a T56 gun. Although investigations were carried out, nobody has been arrested. Meanwhile, on 9 March, a 10 year old boy Chandrasekeran Sanjay was killed in Vavuniya-Nelunkulam-Sambal Thottam more..

Conservatives woo Tamil diaspora vote

May 1 (CT) British PM David Cameron's visit to Jaffna during his presence in the Island for the 2013 CHOGM has been highlighted in the Conservative Party's election manifesto with the party's commitment towards finding a political settlement to the Lankan Tamil issue. Addressing in a manner attracting the Tamil diaspora in Britain the Conservative Party's election manifesto was released on 14 April along with other priorities of the Conservatives. more..

MS gives date to meet MR: Reginald

May 1 (DM) SLFP MP Reginald Cooray said President Maithripala Sirisena had given a date to meet former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to resolve differences between them. Speaking at the SLFP May Day rally at Hyde Park, Mr. Cooray said the marriage between Maithri and Mahinda will be a success. “We are not slaves of the UNP. The Next May Day will be celebrated under a SLFP govt,” he said. more..

Video: May Day rallies underway in Colombo

May 1 (DM) May Day rallies organised by almost all the political parties in the country are currently underway at various places in Colombo with the participation of a large number of party supporters. The SLFP rally led by President Maithripala Sirisena and the UNP rally led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe are under way at Hyde Park and Campbel Park respectively. Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, more..

May Day message of the JVP

May 1 (LT) Today is May Day, the day the heroes and heroines of the working class, who shed their blood and sweat and sacrificed their lives in a bitter, protracted struggle carried out to win an eight hour working day, is commemorated. The 1st of May was named to commemorate the leaders of the working class who were assassinated by the capitalist rulers for the struggle they carried out demanding an eight hour working day. Hence, it is the day that belongs o the working masses. more..

Sky is the limit for next Sri Lanka cabinet

May 1 (EN) An attempt to limit the number of ministers to 45 in a future national unity govt has been shot down following protests from opposition from MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardene clearing the way for a jumbo cabinet. The 19th amendment has a limit of 30 cabinet ministers. But it suggested a cap of 45 ministers and 55 deputies in the event of a unity govt comprising two or more of the main political parties in parliament. more..

'Rajapaksa supporters want to create anarchy'

May 1 (AM) JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the MPs backing Mahinda Rajapaksa created disturbances in the parliament with the objective of stopping the passing of legislation in parliament and creating a state of anarchy. Speaking at the JVP May Day rally, Dissanayake stated that by creating a state of anarchy, Rajapaksa-allies planned to create the myth that only he could rule the country properly. This was a part of the plan of bringing back Mahinda Rajapaksa, Dissanayake stated. more..

Illegally kept elephants: Deputy Minister Tourism delays legal process

May 1 (CT) Request by the Deputy Minister of Tourism and Sports to the Attorney General's Department to delay for two weeks the legal procedures regarding elephants being kept illegally has angered environmentalists who say plans are underway by the Deputy Minister to legalize this. Deputy Minister Vasantha Senanayake was the first minister to hand over the illegally kept elephant investigation to the CID and the first minister to request the AG's Department to delay more..

No foreign interference in future: President

May 1 (DM) President Sirisena today pledged he would never leave room for the international community, any other country or group to raise issues regarding Sri Lanka’s fundamental rights, human rights, democracy or give them any excuse to interfere in the internal affairs of the country. “I will fulfil all my pledges in restoring and safeguarding the human rights and the fundamental rights of our people & lead country on a victorious path more..

More relief through a stable govt: Ranil

May 1 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe today urged that a stable Parliament be formed so that the people could be provided with long-term relief. Addressing UNP May Day Rally, PM said it was essential to hold a general election and a stable Parliament be formed. He said the govt had decided to increase the salaries of the private sector employees though a Parliamentary Bill. “We have given salary increments to public sector employees, provided a nutrition package for pregnant more..

Dr Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri hospitalised following attack

May 1 (AD) Former FUTA president, Dr Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri, has been admitted to the Colombo National Hospital following an attack by a group of individuals in Kirulapana. ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said that the Senior Lecturer at the University of Colombo was assaulted near the Lalith Athulathmudali Grounds in Kirulapana, the location of a May Day rally. Dr Devasiri, who served as the Chairman of the FUTA from 2012-2014, is a prominent political activists in the country. more..

Video: Even the best constitution can be wrongly implemented: GL

May 1 (AD) Former External Affairs Minister Professor G.L. Peiris says that the passage of the 19th amendment is not the massive constitutional revolution believed by certain sections of the public. “Actually there has been no big change. Certain sections of the public believe this has caused a massive constitutional revolution. That has not happened,” he said, in an exclusive interview with Ada Derana 24X7. more..

Power to perform: Pathway to freedom

May 2 (CT) The rationale for the birth of Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) as a timely transnational political formation was the need felt for articulating the political aspirations of the Tamils of the island of Sri Lanka in clear terms, when the political space for doing so by those on the island became limited. This was made so by of the 6th Amendment to Constitution which criminalized even peaceful advocacy of independence, encirclement of the Tamil homeland more..

Editorial: Editors on dangerous mission

May 2 (Island) Sorry to disappoint you, folks! This comment is not a diatribe against the claque in rah-rah skirts in the state media performing journalistic can-can to please govt politicians. Instead, it is about a group of editors of a different kind on an ambitious yet dangerous mission. Mistakes we, the lesser editors, make—okay, okay, they are legion—are correctable in most cases and, if not, remedies, legal or otherwise, are available. But, the mistakes the other editors make are bound to more..

Unequal and unfair

May 2 (SO) Though there is verbalised appreciation for women in politics, among politicians and political parties alike during election campaigns, often it is a ploy to gain only women's support and hardly translate into supporting women as candidates. Sri Lanka produced the first woman to head a Govt in the modern world by electing Sirimavo Bandaranaike as the PM in 1960. more..

John Kerry's visit to Colombo

May 2 (CT) The 68th US Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to Sri Lanka today is extremely significant as the visit brings into view several land mark aspects in retrospect with regard to the ties between the US and Sri Lanka. John Kerry who is a Vietnam War veteran had won several medals during his tour of duty in South Vietnam in 1968 and 1969. Being a Naval commando John Kerry had rescued some of his colleagues when they were surrounded by Vietnamese guerilla fighters more..

Chamali's campaign for change

May 2 (CT) Being exceptional is almost a force of habit for Chamali Fernando. She is, after all, the youngest ever shortlisted candidate for the role of Mayor of London by any political party. Chamali, according to reports, was the first ever female Asian candidate to stand in this race. Most importantly she is now contesting the Cambridge constituency from the Conservative Party at the British General Election. To say she entered the world with a bang is surely an understatement. more..