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We cannot condone efforts to create problems to Army: PM

June 11 (DN) Efforts taken by some interested parties to create problems between the Army and the people living in close proximity to the Salawa Army Camp where ammunition caught fire destroying the whole camp recently could not be approved, said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament. He made this observation in response to JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake stating that delays in providing relief to the affected had more..

Basil & Pushpa used Salawa central armoury to earn big bucks

June 11 (CT) Former President Rajapaksa’s brother, Basil Rajapaksa and his wife Pushpa Rajapaksa had used the Sri Lanka Army’s central armoury located at the Salawa army camp in Kosgama as a location to earn big bucks, Colombo Telegraph can reveal today. The Salawa camp and 800 houses in its vicinity were completely destroyed and damaged beyond repair in an explosion last week, including loss of lives and physical harm to many, though the numbers are yet to be confirmed. more..

Wasim Thajudeen murder: Former OIC makes confidential statement in camera

June 11 (DN) Former Narahenpita Crimes OIC Sumith Perera arrested for allegedly covering up evidence in connection with the murder of Wasim Thajudeen made a confidential statement in camera before Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris over the incident. Sumith Perera the first suspect in the Thajudeen murder case was produced before Court around 9 am by prison authorities. Suspect was allowed to enter Magistrate’s chamber at 12.05 pm and returned at 2.10 pm. more..

British Tamil tortured and detained during Sri Lanka wedding trip

June 11 (TG) A British man has been detained and tortured in Sri Lanka after travelling to the south Asian country to get married, his family and human rights lawyers have claimed. Velauthapillai Renukaruban, 36, who lives in Ealing, arrived in the country of his birth on 1 June to marry Thajeepa Vinayagamoorthy, 27. Marriage had been arranged by the couple’s families and they had got to know each other by speaking on the phone more..

Wele Suda’s money laundering case: CID yet to arrest 17 suspects

June 11 (DN) The CID investigating into the case against controversial drug kingpin Gampola Vidanage Wele Suda and his accomplices on money laundering charges informed Court yesterday that they were yet to arrest 17 other suspects involved in the incident. The main suspect Gampola Vidanage Samantha Kumara alias Wele Suda is currently serving a sentence at Welikada prison and he was produced in Court by Prison Authorities. Samantha Kumara alias Wele Suda, his sister more..

Salawa blast: CBK in clarification says she isn’t responsible

June 11 (CT) In a clarification sent to Colombo Telegraph, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has said that the story carried on June 5, Fire At Kosgama Army Camp Causes Havoc, Is CBK To Be Blamed is completely false. The clarification sent on behalf of her by her Director Media said, “Madam Chandrika Kumaratunga, asserts that this statement is completely false, she did not give these orders & it was decided by Army in 1993, before her Govt came into power.” more..

Skill of hospital staff saves bright child’s life

June 11 (ST) As he walks in shyly and hesitantly into the auditorium, clasping his Thaththa’s hand tightly and later into the cafeteria trailed by his Amma and his Nangi, he is the star attraction. Me Embilipitiye babane, the staff murmur and gather around him and his family to ask after his health. It was not that long ago that 10+ Sashith Nethmina was brought all the way from his humble home in Udagala Gama, in Thunkama, Embilipitiya, more..

'No unlawful arrest will be made'

June 11 (AM) Minister D. M. Swaminathan said that not only rehabilitated LTTE cadres but anyone else could be arrested to maintain law and order. However, if anyone is arrested unlawfully, he will bring it to the notice of the President and PM. Swaminathan made this observation answering a question by TNA MP Charles Nirmalanathan. "Arrest of a person is related to the country’s law and order, and to maintain law and order not only Tamils, persons from other more..

Justice should be done not to elephant thieves but to elephant calves

June 11 (LT) Justice should be done not to elephant thieves but to elephant calves says Sajeewa Chamikara of Environment Conservation Trust. In a letter released to the media Mr. Sajeewa Chamikara states any citizen should have the right to criticize the action of a magistrate if such a magistrate ignores the laws and regulations of the country to give judgments to save his associates as such judgments would give wrong precedence for the future. more..

HRW writes to Mano, defends concerns raised on missing persons office

June 11 (CG) Human Rights Watch (HRW) has written to the Secretary General of the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (SCRM) Mano Tittawella and defended the concerns raised on the proposed missing persons office. The letter was sent as a response to a letter sent to Human Rights Watch by Tittawella where he had raised concerns over a press release from HRW after the Govt had more..

Dambulla cave temple vandalised

June 11 (ST) Investigations are underway to arrest a group of unidentified individuals who caused damage to ancient Buddha statues, paintings and stone inscriptions (sel lipi) at the Dambulla cave temple. The suspects had vandalized the site by scribbling in Sinhalese and English on the religious artefacts. The Chief Incumbent of the Dambulla Raja Maha Viharaya, Inamaluwe Sri Sumangala Thera lodged a complaint with the Dambulla police yesterday over the incident. more..

Plans in place to salvage fallen SLTB

June 11 (DN) A restructure plan for the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) would be introduced to salvage it, while retaining its ownership by the Govt, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Parliament. He said the SLTB has a debt burden of Rs 16 billion, adding that the efforts of the Govt was to find this money without burdening the general public with more and more taxes. He pointed out even though the Treasury had been doling out money to the SLTB for many years, more..

Rape of wetland leads to floody hell

June 11 (ST) Residents of Joy Lanka Watta, a housing scheme in Kohilawatta on the outskirts of Colombo, still remember the lake. It had stretched out for as far as the eye could see. In the early mornings, the air echoed with birdsong. People had fished there, or waded into its still waters to pick red lotuses to offer at the temple. Several years ago, trucks had started trundling up with garbage, rocks and soil. more..

Army ready to deploy 50,000 personnel

June 11 (DN) Twelve Service Centres will be set up to provide relief to people in 12 Grama Niladhari Divisions affected by the Salawa Armoury explosion and fire and 50,000 soldiers would be deployed if necessary to restore normal civilian life in the region, Army Commander Lt.Gen. Crishantha de Silvasaid. He was addressing a disaster relief meeting at the Seethawaka Divisional Secretariat presided by Minister Susil Premajayantha yesterday. The Army Commander at the outset set more..

Mahindananda aluthgamage nominated as COPE member despite corruption charges

June 11 (AM) The Joint Opposition has nominated MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage as a member of the Parliamentary Committee of Public Enterprises. Aluthgamage was nominated for the COPE committee after the Joint Opposition was asked to nominate a member for the COPE committee. Interestingly, Aluthgamage's name has been linked to some of the allegations investigated by the COPE committee. Aluthgamage was the Sports Minister under the Rajapaksa administration. more..

CID records statements from witnesses over Kosgama fire

June 11 (AD) CID has recorded statements from over 40 persons regarding last Sunday’s fire at the Salawa Army Camp in Kosgama. Apart from the CID, a Ministry of Defence investigation team consisting with senior military officials of the tri forces and a Court of Inquiry appointed by the Commander of the Army are conducting separate investigations on the incident. Following preliminary inquiries, questioning more..


June 12 (SO) By now the nation will have seen the images of fiery devastation, shattered livelihoods, a dazed populace and, also, an angry populace. This is the aftermath of last week's firestorm at the Army base in Salawa, in the Avissawella area. The total disaster impact, while major in terms of Sri Lankan proportions, is somewhat smaller in impact when compared to some similar arms dump disasters that have occurred in larger countries with far bigger military installations. more..

Politicos’ duty free cars; Corrupt public

June 12 (SL) Most govts of today, whether they are capitalist/socialist democracies or democracies under the sandals or jackboots of presidents for life, share the common feature of living the good life as public expense. Over the years they have worked into their systems the cockeyed belief that democracy involves spending a sizeable share of public funds for the servants of the people. How much should be expended on the servants of the people should necessarily more..

'Country needs to increase its exports'

June 12 (SL) UNP MP Harshana Rajakaruna says as a strategy the govt is going on a long term plan. However he said that there are the ups and downs but these are small issues that need to be ironed out along the way. He said that the govt is doing its best for the people. However the govt had to make a choice between having to take further loans to cover these debts or in the short term raise the taxes and pay these. more..


June 12 (Island) The predictable game of witch-hunting has begun in real earnest in the seven days that have passed since the Salawa disaster and now. While it is wisdom ex post facto, the conclusion is irresistible that the army’s central ammunition dump should never have been located in a densely populated area. But obviously it was built for a much more limited purpose than what emerged when the war escalated in ferocity; and in those days the area was much less populated than now. more..

Code of Conduct: Make it legally binding

June 12 (CT) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, who perhaps above anyone else seems to command the spontaneous respect of both sides of the Parliament divide, last week circulated what was textually defined as a set of ethics to be adhered to by all MPs when in the House. The circular sure smacks of Jayasuriya's usual proven approach to problems and even crisis solutions garnered in his heyday as a brilliant corporate leader. Non-confrontational seems to be the key word in his Set of Ethics more..

Many want me to run for President: Gota

June 12 (CT) Former Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, speaks his heart out about his commitment towards the war heroes and stated they need to be protected from being investigated by the international community on alleged war crimes. Gotabaya, who is anticipating that Donald Trump will win the US presidential election later this year said, it has been suggested to him by many Sri Lankans to more..

Choose the right healing process

June 12 (ST) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has allayed the long entertained apprehensions within the Armed Forces whether they are going to be sacrificed at the altar of political expediency by throwing them before an international tribunal that will inquire into allegations of violations of International Humanitarian Law for committing the crime of safeguarding the security, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of this country. National Unity Govt dilly-dallied on this crucial question more..

Sri Lanka consumed by borrowing frenzy

June 12 (Island) The no confidence motion against finance minister Ravi Karunanayake ended on Thursday in the only way it could have - with defeat, given the overwhelming majority the govt has in parliament. However, the most important spinoff of the no confidence motion as far as the opposition is concerned is the redrawing of the line between the governing coalition and the opposition coalition. The fiction that some members of the Sirisena faction of the SLFP tried to maintain more..

When the old jalopy won’t do

June 12 (ST) My dear Ministers and Deputy Ministers who have been allocated luxury vehicles, I am writing to congratulate you on being allocated billions of rupees to purchase luxury vehicles for yourselves. After passing the 19th Amendment and setting up a govt of nearly one hundred ministers, this must rank as the greatest achievement of yahapaalanaya! Some people are making a huge fuss about this, asking why our ministers more..

Salawa: Story of a military disaster

June 12 (SO) It was just a week ago that a major fire and a chain of massive blasts rocked several areas around the Salawa Army camp, at Kosgama, a residential area near Avissawella in the densely populated Western Province. Although the death toll and the number of casualties of the incident remained low, the incident, as a whole, plunged the Army into a serious crisis on many a front. On the logistics front, the Sri Lanka Army, which militarily crushed the one of the biggest terrorist outfits more..

CID must talk to Fonseka and Illangakoon

June 12 (SL) It has now surfaced that certain Army and Police officers were involved in the brutal murders of the Founding Editor of The Sunday Leader newspaper, Lasantha Wickrematunge, and the Captain of the Havelock Sports Club, Wasim Thajudeen. But serious doubts have been raised as to why the CID has so far failed to question the then Army Commander and the IGP, in connection to these murders. CID’s failure to take a statement from former Army Comm Sarath Fonseka more..

Why did the munitions blow up?

June 12 (SO) Investigators are yet to access the immediate disaster zone to examine the cause of the fire at the Army Camp complex at Salawa, Avissawella, last Sunday night. What ensued that night still remains a mystery to the authorities as well as the general public. The extent of damage caused by the series of explosions that continued from Sunday evening till around 10.30 pm on June 5 and the intermittent explosions till more..

Dilshan’s memorable day at Lord’s

June 12 (Island) For every Test cricketer, representing his country in a Test match at Lord’s – the home of cricket – is a huge moment. Players strive hard for individual excellence at this iconic venue as well as centuries and five wicket hauls are recognized with your name going in the Honours Board in the dressing room. There’s a special place for the highest score in an innings and most wickets in an innings from every Test nation as pictures of those players are hanging around the ground. more..

Rajeendra new National Chess Champion

June 12 (Island) Rajeendra Kalugampitiya was his first national title with a determined run after a sluggish start which saw him lost the first two games of the 13-round tournament. He won five straight thereafter before slipping against eventual runner up and International Master Romesh Weerawardane. Despite a hiccup in the penultimate round where he went down to Akila Kavinda, Kalugampitiya held his nerve to score in the must-win last game against Lakshitha Randil to pip Weerawardena by more..

Will Maithri be able to save face for Ranil?

June 12 (CT) President Sirisena was in his Chamber at Parliament Complex on Thursday observing each member as the vote on the No-Confidence Motion against country's Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake was taken through a division called for by name. Things looked calm on the surface, yet the Joint Opposition's No-Faith Motion against Minister Karunanayake, which was actually submitted last Nov, did manage more..

Pathana beat Royal and the rolling maul

June 12 (ST) In a battle of forwards and backs, Isipathana College finally found the remedy to counter the unfathomed rolling maul of Royal College. They thus stretched their unbeaten streak with another 28-14 victory in a Cup Segment game of the Singer Schools Under-20 League Championship played at Longden Place yesterday. By countering the unpredictable opponents, Royal, Isipathana won a crucial match in the penultimate week of the league competition, and regained more..

Poor results, high expenses

June 12 (ST) There is this story for a popular sport team which went to Korea recently to take part in a competition. The association concerned had doled out Rs. Two Million for the tour and participants amounting to 18 too had been asked to cough up SLR 10,000 each. The 18 member playing squad was accompanied by no less than nine officials. The results were won two and lost three. Is there any worth in sending teams for such contests with poor results and such high expenses? more..

Come on folks, you need to be realistic

June 12 (CI) If you are a Sri Lanka fan, you might have woken up this morning with high hopes. Your team's openers had made a triple-figure stand. One of the openers had a Lord's century in his sights. Could Sri Lanka bat long enough to bring Rangana Herath's spin into the game, you might have wondered. Might batsmen leave the field with a strut of a peacock this time, instead of eyes of a puppy dog? more..

Yahapalana govt must uphold the trust placed in good faith by the people

June 12 (ST) When the UNP, the UPFA and a coterie of small parties formed a formidable alliance which met with success when Maithripala Sirisena won the January 2015 presidential poll, many Sri Lankans were elated. A few problems arose thereafter – problems that one would expect in an uneasy parliamentary co-habitation of this magnitude. However, the UNP and the Maithripala-led UPFA faction secured enough seats at the 2015 general elections to form a govt. more..

Singapore Port interested in investing in Colombo East Container Terminal

June 12 (SO) As the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) last week called for Expressions of Interest for the East Container Terminal (ECT) of the Colombo Port, the Business Observer learns that several key players have shown keen interest in coming to Colombo. A senior government Minister said among the interested parties is the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA), a highly successful global port operator with facilities in several parts of the world. more..

England in front as bowlers hold sway

June 12 (CI) Nearly 10 years have slipped by while Alastair Cook has been a permanent fixture at the top of England's order in home Tests. His absence at Lord's was only temporary, the result of a hospital scan on a bruised knee, but in that time England had an unnerving vision of the future as Sri Lanka made them sweat in the final Investec Test. Four down by the close of the third day, England still held a healthy lead of 237, more..

The missing plan and SLA’s ticking bomb

June 12 (SL) A plan mooted to relocate Sri Lanka Army’s central armory to a location in Rambewa, Oyamaduwa in Anuradhapura in 2010 following the end of the war, that had gone missing between 2010 and now, has resulted in the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) facing a herculean task at present of ensuring the safety of its ammunition dump in Veyangoda. The recent explosion and eventual devastation at the Salawa ammunition dump resulted in focus being directed towards the storage and locations of more..

40 Sri Lankan immigrants stranded in Aceh

June 12 (AN) As many as 40 immigrants from Sri Lanka have been stranded in Lhoknga in the district of Aceh Besar, in the Sumatran province of Aceh after the engine of their boat broke down. The Lhoknga district military chief, Major Darul Amin, said the boat measuring 17 meters in length and five meters in width, was on its way to Australia from Sri Lanka. Amin, flanked by an officer from the Navy, said he had checked the documents of adults, women and children. more..

Salawa: Army’s loss more than Rs. 5 billion

June 12 (ST) The devastating fire at their Central Armoury in Kosgama last Sunday has caused a loss of five billion rupees or more, Army Commander Chrisanthe de Silva said. “While the reconstruction of the installations has begum,” he said “the premises will no longer be used to store ammunition.” Stocks that have remained are now being moved out to areas that are not heavily built up civilian locations, Lt. Gen. de Silva said. more..