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Video: Local judicial system politically biased: Dulles

July 13 (DM) While claiming that the arrest of Namal Rajapaksa’s was political witch-hunt, UPFA MP Dullas Alahapperuma questioned the integrity of judicial system of the country. MP Alahapperuma said it was evident from the recent arrest of Namal Rajapaksa, that judicial system in this country was politically biased. He also said the court should take legal steps against such political personalities. more..

Arrests will not hinder political drive: MR

July 13 (Island) Former President Rajapaksa said no one could hinder the forward march of the Joint Opposition by arresting his family members and Opposition activists. "By slinging mud, framing false charges and insults no one can stop us, former President said. He likened the incumbent govt to a pickpocket. He said that govt was doing everything possible to cover up its weaknesses and failures and ever since it came to power was taking its political opponents into custody indiscriminately. more..

JO asks JVP to vote against VAT Bill

July 13 (FT) Joint Opposition (JO) called for the JVP to vote against VAT legislation, which will be presented in Parliament next week for a Second Reading. MP Dullas Alahapperuma said that due to the JO’s lack of numbers in Parliament it needed JVP and SLFP votes to gain a two-thirds majority. “The reality is that 51 MPs of the JO can’t make a majority with their own votes. Therefore we seek other progressive parties’ commitment to defeat VAT legislation in the people’s interest,” he said. more..

War crimes: TNA’s claim at Congressional hearing irrelevant: Minister

July 13 (Island) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe dismissed as irrelevant a statement made by TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran at a recent Congressional hearing on behalf of the TNA in respect of foreign judges in a judicial mechanism to inquire into war crimes. He was responding to a query at a special media conference held by President’s Office to explain President’s stand on Western intervention in Arab countries and more..

Three students knocked down on pedestrian crossing

July 13 (DN) Three students were injured after they were knocked down by a cab at a pedestrian crossing opposite Weeramohan Maha Vidyalaya in Dambulla yesterday. Police said the accident had occurred around 6.50 a.m. The cab had knocked another vehicle when the driver attempted to flee after the accident. The injured students were admitted to Dambulla hospital. The students aged between 11 and 12 years were identified as residents of Sigiriya and Palwehara. more..

Gnanasara Thero challenges his remand: SC fixes petition to support on 19 Sept

July 13 (FT) Pursuant to the motion by the Attorney General, the Supreme Court yesterday re-fixed for support on 19 September for granting leave to proceed with the fundamental rights petition filed by Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero. The Petitioner is seeking a declaration from the Supreme Court that the order made by the Magistrate of Homagama to remand him is unlawful and in violation of his fundamental rights of equality and freedom from arbitrary detention. more..

JHU warns Govt against introducing Constitutional reforms

July 13 (DM) JHU warned the Govt not to get entangled in a bush of thorns by trying to introduce Constitutional reforms which had no consensus except for electoral reforms, the only possible reform at present. JHU National Organizer Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said Govt should not implement any Constitutional reforms which could pave the way for division of society despite reforms proposed by various factions. more..

Bathiudeen’s Co-ordinating Secy quizzed

July 13 (CT) Lalith Abeygunawardena, Co-ordinating Secretary to Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, has been questioned by the PRECIFAC regarding reservation of the Shalika Grounds Narahenpita for an election propaganda meeting of former President Rajapaksa, without the stipulated advance payment being deposited, during the January 2015 presidential election. Abeygunawardena was questioned by the Police Investigations Unit of PRECIFAC for approximately 3 hours on the issue. more..

Today PRECIFAC to grill...

July 13 (CT) Convener of Ravana Balaya Iththekande Sadhdhatissa Thera has been summoned today, at 9 a.m. to PRECIFAC for questioning regarding the misuse of vehicles belonging to the State Engineering Corporation. Thera had been summoned for questioning to the Commission in connection with the misuse of a number of vehicles belonging to the Ministry of Housing, Construction, Engineering Services and Common Amenities under previous regime. more..

Ranil wants SL to grow with ETCA and FTAs

July 13 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe drove home the point that SL's future lies in greater trade with the world and Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India and Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with China and Singapore are being pursued with vigour. "SL has always prospered in the past by trading with India. ETCA will make SL and southern part of India the fastest growing sub-region in South Asia. more..

JO to complain TI IPU over Namal arrest

July 13 (DN) The Joint Opposition will lodge a complaint with the Inter Parliamentary Union in Geneva against the political vendetta carried out against Namal Rajapaksa by taking him into custody, parliamentarian Bandula Gunawardena said. Addressing a press conference, summoned by the Joint Opposition’s Economic Research Committe, he said a complaint has not been made against Rajapaksa by any person who had given him money or any other party. more..

Sri Lanka may take legal action against media for false reports

July 13 (PTI) Sri Lanka warned of a legal action against media which would carry inaccurate and distorted reports that may cause divisions in the country and disrupt reconciliation process with the minority community. Ranga Kalansuriya, Director General of Media at Govt Information Dept said that certain media have been carrying incorrect information with the aim to cause divisions in the current reconciliation environment. He cited a report which said that a war crimes tribunal more..

US will continue to support Sri Lanka in economic development: Bishwal

July 13 (DM) US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal said US would continue to support Sri Lanka as it takes meaningful and concrete steps in response to concerns of its people related to democratic governance and advancing respect for human rights, for reconciliation, justice and accountability. She said SL itself had been on a remarkable trajectory of addressing not only more..

Making Sri Lanka a fruitful nation

July 13 (DM) In a fruitful step towards creating a wasa wisa nethi country where we grow our own nourishing grains, vegetables and fruits, the govt held a 5-day exhibition at the Horana Fruit Research and Development Institute Farm from July 8 to yesterday. Thousands of people including schoolchildren visited this exhibition where there was a demonstration on how to grow different varieties of fruits. The visitors also had the opportunity of buying plants and cultivating more..

How do we see ourselves?

July 13 (DM) July is back again to haunt us. It was thirty-three years ago on the 24th of this month some of the most shameful events whose scars are still raw, overtook this country. Mobs, with the complicit backing of the govt of the day, slaughtered hundreds of Tamils in an orgy of blood-letting. The shameful events which commenced at eventide on 24 July 1983 on the streets of Borella that evening, gave birth to a brutal, near three-decade-long Tamil insurgency led by LTTE and more..

Salman Rushdie speaks to Daily Mirror

July 13 (DM) Salman Rushdie, acclaimed author whose second book Midnight's Children (1981) was awarded the Booker of Bookers prize, Professor and Knight of British Empire and Hafeel Farisz of the Daily Mirror speak on, literature, the freedom of expression, his childhood, religion and much more. Q: You have been very vocal about the idea or notion of the freedom of expression. Where does this voice in you toward more..

Parties get set for undated LG polls

July 13 (ST) Although uncertainty looms large over the dates of the long overdue local council polls, the main political parties are in full swing with preparations and have called for applications from would-be candidates. Last week, the UNP, the main constituent party of the Unity Govt, started an islandwide campaign to enrol some three million new members in a bid to strengthen the party ahead of the local council elections. more..

Maha Oya sand mining to affect millions

July 13 (SL) Excessive sand mining activities in the Maha Oya had caused reduction of sand supply to the coastline, breaking the natural sand equilibrium of the beaches, a study reveals. This indiscriminate sand extraction from the river leads to lack of sand availability for replenishing the beaches which are naturally washed away by the wave action, indicates Environmental Foundation (Guarantee) Limited recent study. more..

Govt move makes bus operators happy

July 13 (Island) The Cabinet approved a 6% bus fare hike after considering a report submitted by Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva. The minimum bus fare will go up by one rupee to Rs. 9.00. New fares will be implemented from August 1 and the list of revised bus fares will be announced by the National Transport Commission (NTC) shortly. Bus fares are revised on July 01 every year according to a govt policy and more..

Anura challenges Ravi to sue him

July 13 (DM) JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake challenged Minister Ravi Karunanayake to sue him for the revelations Dissanayake made with regard to the Rs.1.2 million worth of controversial financial irregularity, allegedly taken place in the import of luxury vehicles involving Minister Karunanayake. He was speaking at a meeting themed Debt burden, tax burden and collapsing economy at Ginigathhena. more..

Parangama commission defends controversial statement

July 13 (CG) The Missing Persons’s Commission has defended a statement it made recently with regards to the use of cluster bombs during the war, which created controversy. The Commission drew attention to recent media reports regarding the controversy surrounding the Press Release by the Chairman of the Commission regarding the allegation of the use of cluster bombs by the Sri Lankan Security Forces made in more..

Journalist assaulted after exposing environmental damage of mini-hydro plant

July 13 (EN) A journalists who had written about the environmental damage caused by a mini-hydropower plant in Neluwa, Galle, a media rights body said. Sri Lanka's Free Media Movement said Daya Neththasinghe, Features editor of Sathanda, a newspaper, had been assaulted while speaking at a meeting in a temple in Dellawa village in Neluwa. Villages had come to his assistance and taken him to hospital. more..

Sri Lanka’s greater involvement sought within ASEAN processes

July 13 (CG) Sri Lanka’s greater involvement has been sought within the relevant ASEAN processes. SL’s Ambassador to Indonesia, Dharshana Perera presented credentials as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to ASEAN to Secretary General Le Luong Minh at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta. During the discussion which followed, ASEAN Secretary General welcomed the accreditation of Ambassador of Sri Lanka and more..

UN hopes Sri Lanka will follow accountability pledges

July 13 (DM) Despite contradictions in the SL political spectrum on proposed accountability mechanisms, the UN said that they hoped the country would follow the procedure agreed upon with the UNHRC. Spokesperson to Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, Stéphane Dujarric said that he was yet to see the exact comments made by President Sirisena on involvement of international judges in the accountability procedure. more..

Plea to shift Rajiv case convict to Sri Lanka

July 13 (PTI) A representation to central and state govts to transfer Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict Santhan, a Sri Lankan national, to a prison in his country of origin, has been prepared for his approval. The representation has been sent through jail authorities to Santhan by his counsel for consent. One among the convicts in the case, T Suthendraraja alias Santhan, a Sri Lankan citizen, is lodged in the central jail here. more..

The Tax Madness

July 13 (CT) Joint Opposition was able to secure a well deserved (hardly) win, after a week of bad decisions that ruined what was left of their reputation, when the Supreme Court issued an Interim Order on Monday preventing the implementation of revisions made to the VAT and NBT. The petitioners against the VAT and the NBT, which was in action since last May, had deemed that the implementation of revisions made to VAT and NBT was in contravention of Article 148 of more..

Some more secretaries to be transferred soon

July 13 (Island) Secretaries to several ministries would be transferred shortly, govt sources said. Transfers would be effected on the grounds of inefficiency, clashes with administrative officers, disruptions and delays, non-cooperation in implementing govt plans, the sources said. The reason for the removal of Secretaries to the Ministries of Education and Cultural Affairs was the recent protest by artistes at the State Drama Festival Award Ceremony, sources. more..

කැලණිය විශ්වවිද්යාලයේ මහා ශිෂ්ය

Sri Lankan shares end slightly higher

July 13 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares ended slightly higher in thin trade on Wednesday, extending gains from the previous session when it touched a near three-week closing high, as investors bought into banking stocks. Sentiment was also boosted after Sri Lanka raised $1.5 billion in its first sale of dual-tranche eurobonds earlier this week, as the $6.6 billion in offers for the issue showed global investors were bullish about the prospects of the $82 billion economy. more..

Video: Senasinghes do it again!

July 13 (CT) The brother of Sujeewa Senasinghe, Dr. Namal Senasinghe has threatened a diner at a star class restaurant with death, according to a video doing the rounds on social media. Shaminda Herath, who sports a beard had been at a restaurant, on Saturday night when the brother of the minister had accosted him. According to Herat’s Facebook page, Senansinghe had “threatened him with death, jail and a whole other plethora of abuse”. The short video shows Senasinghe more..

Video: Yes we are happy now: Ajith tells MR

July 13 (DM) Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera today in response to a question -- asked by former president Rajapaksa as to whether the govt was happy now that his son Namal had been arrested on charges of misappropriation -- said, "Yes of course we are happy because it clearly shows that the law of the country prevails and that the law takes its course." He said that there was prima facie evidence against Mr. Rajapaksa on 3 counts more..

UNP MP's henchman attack CWE driver

July 13 (Island) UNP Anuradhapura District MP Chandima Gamage's supporters assaulted a 39-year-old driver attached to Lanka Sathosa in front of the Kekirawa police station yesterday. The driver, who was beaten mercilessly by the MP's henchmen, is being treated at the Kekirawa hospital. The driver was assaulted for tooting the horn as the MP's vehicle was parked near the Kekirawa police station obstructing the road. Victim said he had sounded the horn as he wanted to reverse his vehicle more..

Video: Muzammil further remanded

July 13 (AD) Media Spokesman of the NFF, Mohammed Muzammil, who was arrested by the FCID, has been further remanded until 27 July. The former MP was remanded after being produced before the Fort Magistrate a short while ago on Wednesday. Mohammed Muzammil was arrested as he arrived at the FCID to give a statement on 20 June. The arrest was made in connection with an investigation on the misuse of vehicles belonging to the Presidential Secretariat Office. more..

Video: UPFAers should vote against VAT bill

July 13 (AD) UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardena insisted that the members of the UPFA should not vote in favour of the bill on the VAT. He pointed out this issue cannot be sorted by reducing the prices of some essential goods or providing a controlled price on essential commodities. “Therefore, steps should be taken by the UPFA MPs to defeat the bill,” he added. He also pointed out that credit should be given to more..

Green Valley housing scheme for middle class

July 13 (Island) The foundation stone for the phase two of the proposed Green Valley middle class housing scheme comprising 352 units at Athurugiriya constructed jointly by National Housing Authority and Home Land Skyline Company will be laid by Minister Sajith Premadasa today at 10.00 a.m. The project with necessary infrastructure would cost around Rs. 1.6 billion. There will be 288 two roomed units each 688 sq. ft each priced between Rs. 4.5 million and Rs. 5 million a unit more..

National development organization with civil and military personnel

July 13 (DM) Cabinet approval was granted for a national development organization comprising of both civil and military personnel, Minister Gayantha Karunathilake said today. He said the knowledge and resources of the tri-forces could be obtained in nation building and they are ready to take responsibilities. “The proposal made by President Sirisena as the Defence Minister to establish an organization in this regard was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers,” he said. more..

Video: Corrupt vs Corrupt: Arrest of Namal: Ravi says ministers predict the obvious

July 13 (DM) Minister Ravi Karunanayake said that despite excitement in the Joint Opposition regarding predictions on arrests, people living in the country were aware of the investigations and therefore were able to arrive at reasonable conclusions. “I spoke of this (Namal’s) arrest two months ago, we live in this country and not overseas isn’t it? So, we are aware of what is going on in the country,” he said. more..

Video: Non-academic staff of several universities engage in token strike

July 13 (DM) The non-academic staff of fourteen universities have engaged in a token strike since midnight, demanding that the Rs.2500 allowance be added to their basic salary, and six other demands. Chairman of the University Trade Union Joint Committee, Edward Malwattage said that though the allowance was granted accordingly to the public sector, it was not granted to universities. The discussions with relevant authorities have not brought about any result. more..

Truth revealed regarding statement of JVP’s rearmament

July 13 (N24) JVP Southern Provincial Council (SPC) member Nalin Hewage states that he did not make any statement regarding the rearmament of his party, as it had done during its agitation in the past. He made this assertion while commenting on certain media reports regarding a statement made by him at the SPC. Certain Media reports circulated recently said that Nalin Hewage had mentioned that the JVP would resort to re-arm its self if the party was to be proscribed. more..

Call to include Batticaloa too under India’s railway project

July 13 (Hindu) The willingness of the Indian govt to lay a new railway line, connecting Trincomalee in the Eastern province with Medawachchiya in the North Central, has prompted a demand for including Batticaloa, another important city in the East, too under the proposed rail network. This project was discussed last week when Minister Malik Samarawickrama held discussion with India’s Minister of State for Railways more..