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ASG Kodagoda asks court to reject Aloysius bail application in toto

May 26 (Island) The Additional Solicitor General Yasantha Kodagoda P.C., yesterday told the Court of Appeal, that the revision bail application filed by Arjun Aloysius and Kasun Palisena, should be rejected in limine without issuing notice on the respondents. It did not merit notice. Criminal proceedings against these petitioners, were proceeding in the Magistrate’s Court, subsequent to the findings of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the Treasury Bond Scam of 2018. more..

SL- S’pore FTA tabled by Joint Opposition

May 26 (Island) JO MP Bandula Gunawardena tabled a copy of the SL-Singapore Free Trade Agreement in Parliament yesterday. MP Gunawardena, speaking at the Parliamentary debate over several Orders under the Appropriation Act, said the Govt which signed the Agreement had so far failed to table it in Parliament and therefore he tabled a copy of it for future references of all MPs. He said the Agreement contained over thousand pages and weighed over 3 kgs. more..

Cricket match-fixers caught in the act in SL

May 26 (AJ) Al Jazeera's Investigative Unit has revealed how criminals fixed two Test matches - the highest level of int'l cricket - and were planning to fix a third. The two fixed matches were Sri Lanka versus India in July last year and SL versus Australia in August 2016. Both matches were played at Galle Int'l Stadium in SL. In secretly filmed meetings, the match-fixers also said that they were planning to fix England's game against SL, more..

Video: Chathura speaks about the remaining days of the present govt

May 26 (AD) UNP MP Chathura Senarathne says that there are a set of thieves who are protecting thieves in the present govt as well. He made this statement in response to questions raised by journalists at Colombo yesterday. “The present govt has done a vast revolution within 100 days, and it has another 541 days left.” Senarathne said. “During that period the govt would work five times better than 100-days period for the victory of upcoming elections” he added. more..

Indian Cultural Center named after Swami Vivekananda

May 26 (GDI) The Govt of India has decided to name the Indian Cultural Centre, Colombo after the famous Indian philosopher and spiritual leader, Swami Vivekananda. The Indian Cultural Centre, which has been a prominent hub of cultural activities in Colombo since 1998, will henceforth be called Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre, Colombo (SVCC). Swami Vivekananda is a globally respected personality, who was at the forefront of social reform in India in the 19th century. more..

20 dead, nearly 150,000 affected by severe weather

May 26 (NR) Ministry of Irrigation, Water Resources and Disaster Management says over 150,000 people have been affected by adverse weather in the island. Ministry said heavy pre-monsoon rains have killed 20 people in 19 districts with a further two people still reported missing. The Disaster Management Ministry said over 14,000 families have been evacuated into 265 welfare centres more..

Video: Mahinda answers only those who can challenge him: Semasinghe

May 26 (AD) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa only responds to those who can challenge him, says UPFA MP Shehan Semasinghe. He made this statement while commenting on a challenge made by minister Mangala Samaraweera against the Former President. Addressing a gathering held in Anuradhapura, Semasinghe alleged that the govt is misusing public funds for advertising propaganda activities which contain false information regarding reliefs provided by govt to public. more..

UN Vesak celebrations in Thailand

May 26 (Island) The UN Vesak Day programme, under the theme Human Development and Buddhism, was launched at the Mahachulalongkorn Raja Vidyalaya University Conference Hall, in Thailand, yesterday. The event, organised for the 15 occasion, was held under the auspices of the Sangaraja of Thailand. The Vesak festival will be attended by 3,000 delegates from 80 countries including Sri Lanka. There were talks delivered on the theme of the event by eminent scholars. more..

Epidemiology Unit buffeted by controversy

May 26 (ST) As news of five deaths due to a viral infection in the south hit the headlines, Health Ministry’s Epidemiology Unit was in the eye of a storm, with several doctors alleging that the Chief Epidemiologist could not handle the job, but with the latter adamant that he was competent to do so. “I am certainly not out of my depth,” asserted Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Anil Dissanayake on Thursday. more..

Applications invited for Indian degree courses

May 26 (Island) The High Commission of India has invited applications from eligible Sri Lankan students (excluding PIO, OCI Card holders & NRIs) seeking admission to Undergraduate Courses in MBBS, BDS, BE, B.Tech, B.Pharm & B.Arch under the Self Financing Scheme for the academic year 2018-19. The following is the text of the statement issued by the Indian HC in this regard: "The candidates who wish to apply for MBBS/BDS courses should have obtained minimum of Marks at more..

A novel of Sri Lanka’s civil war, in lush tropical detail

May 26 (NYT) From the opening scene of her new novel, Brixton Beach, Roma Tearne signals that political violence and memory are among her themes. A doctor runs through the streets of central London, navigating the mayhem caused by explosions on Underground trains and a bus, and looking for a woman he knows. No date is given but many readers will recognize the terrorist attacks of July 7, 2005, that killed more than 50 people and injured more than 700. more..

Govt allocates Rs. 69 million to provide relief

May 26 (GDI) The govt has allocated Rs. 33.8 million to provide relief to those affected and displaced by the floods and landslides.The Ministry says that an additional Rs. 35.3 million have been given to the Divisional Secretaries to pay Rs.10,000 as an advance to each affected family until the payment of compensation to the damaged houses and property made after proper evaluation. 138,292 persons belonging 35,129 families more..

Everyone is scared of Gota: Ranjan

May 26 (DM) Everyone will fear former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa if he comes to power, Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said. Ramanayake came out with this sentiment in response to a statement made by Minister Mangala Samaraweera that he fear's former Defence Secretary. "Won't all of us run away if we find out that there is a person here with a bomb? Aren’t you afraid of Mahasona," he asked journalists. Quoting former Minister Mervyn Silva, more..

Wildlife vet officers withdraw from vulnerable tasks

May 26 (DM) The Wildlife veterinary officers have decided to withdraw from the duties vulnerable to dangers from yesterday afternoon in protest of the Wildlife Department’s decision to suspend the service of a veterinary surgeon and two other employees on charges of shooting a bear, Union Secretary Dr. Nalaka Abeywardena said. The wildlife employees said they had to shoot the bear to protect the life of a man when the bear was attacking him. The union said it was very unreasonable to more..

India welcomes UN Peacebuilding Commission work in Sri Lanka

May 26 (IANS) India has welcomed the work of the UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) in Sri Lanka and elsewhere. "We welcome the efforts undertaken by the Peacebuilding Commission in a number of activities to support countries and regions with their peacebuilding priorities and to enhance coherence across the UN system," Sandeep Kumar Bayyapu, a First Secretary in India's UN Mission, told the General Assembly on Thursday. more..

Homagama judgment: Vinaya must prevail

May 27 (SO) Last week, judicial history was made when the Homagama Magistrate found a high profile Buddhist monk, long associated in the public eye with inter-ethnic social tensions, guilty of criminal threats and intimidation. The monk, the Venerable Galagoda-Aththé Gnanasara Thera, General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena, was found guilty of criminal acts of intimidation and harassment against a person while in the premises of the Magistrate’s Court. more..

Need to defend the space for reconciliation

May 27 (SL) The political space opened up by the govt over the past three years has enabled political parties and civil society to engage in public activities without restriction. National Peace Council is concerned that this political space is being utilized most fully by ethnic nationalists. This has increased the divisions in society, as manifested in the public activities that commemorated the last day of the war on May 18. At the main public event that took place in the North the demand was made that more..

Killing of Municipal Councillor Ranjan Silva : Police suspect Ratmalana drug gang

May 27 (SO) As SL cricket fans awaited the upcoming Sri Lanka-West Indies tour, they were instead faced with the shocking news of the killing of Ranjan Silva, father of national cricketer Dhananjaya Silva on Thursday. While several Police teams have now been deployed in search of the suspects, Police sources say the killing was probably carried out by members of an underworld drug gang operating in the Ratmalana area. more..

Dayasiri: What’s JO’s Stance?

May 27 (CT) UPFA/SLFP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara told Parliament on Friday that he had received a Rs 1 million cheque from Walt and Row Associates for his August 2015 Parliamentary Election campaign. Jayasekara was Wayamba Chief Minister from 3 Oct 2013 to 1 Sept 2015 and Sports Minister from 4 Sep 2015 to 12 April of this year before he resigned from office and crossed over to the Opposition in Parliament comprising UPFA MPs supportive of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Sri Lankan cricket has become a laughing stock

May 27 (Island) On Saturday, the entire nation woke up to the shocking news that on a sting operation conducted by Al Jazeera Television network, a curator of the Galle International Cricket Stadium had been caught on tape expressing his willingness to doctor the pitch. The ICC is believed to have started an investigation on the allegations. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) was alerted about the damning evidence, but until noon yesterday the board had failed to issue a statement more..

Criticism over Mullivaikkal remembrance event Jaffna student leader fires back

May 27 (CT) The remembrance event for the war dead held in Mullivaikkal on 18 May this year was attended by an unprecedented number of 5,000 people. The event, mainly organized by the student union of the Uni of Jaffna, however, received much criticism from various segments in the Tamil political sphere. Most of the TNA members who participated in the event claimed they were sidelined by the students and more..

20A: That which is best governed is best

May 27 (ST) After a false start on the all but forgotten Republic Day (22), the JVP eventually submitted the 20th Amendment to the Constitution (20A) on Friday to the Speaker of Parliament. One can only hope the 20A which is introduced as a Private Member’s motion will not end up like the Impeachment motion of yesteryear which seems to have gone missing from Parliament Records. Presented sans much fanfare, the Amendment is meant to change a whole system of govt more..

All bets off

May 27 (ST) My Dear Thilanga, I thought I must write to you when I heard that you are running for the top job at Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) once more. Cricket gives us more joy – or grief – than anything else that is happening in this paradise of ours, so I suppose it is fair to say that you are running for the most important job in this land! Thilanga, I find it funny – and ridiculous at the same time – that one can be the leader of this country only twice but you can be boss of SLC again & again & again. more..


Yahapalana govt seeks foreign assistance in war crime matters

May 27 (Island) A few days ago, the govt gazetted an amendment to the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, No. 25 of 2002. Most members of the public would not see anything amiss with this, because the generally prevalent view in society is that SL is a country that is in dire need of mutual assistance in criminal matters so as to find the elusive former Governor of the CB who is wanted in SL over the bond scam and Udayanga Weeratunga the former SL Ambassador to Russia whom more..

State condominiums: Approval for illegal constructions

May 27 (ST) Govt is to give legal approval for condominium houses constructed before 2009 by state institutions even if the floor areas have been extended by the owners in violation of regulations. To give legal effect to the proposal, the Govt is to introduce the Apartment Ownership Bill. The bill seeks to remove the existing impediments to vesting the title of the condominium houses constructed by the National Housing Development Authority and other state institutions prior to Dec 31, 2009. more..

People should take opposite of what Mangala says: Dilan Perera

May 27 (CT) 16 SLFP members who vowed they will not leave the Party nor will they defy SLFP Leader Maithripala Sirisena, following a meeting held with former Prez Rajapaksa last week, openly declared that they were willing to form a broader opposition alliance under Rajapaksa’s leadership. Though this was not completely unexpected they appeared to be in two minds whether or not to abandon Prez more..

Calm before the storm

May 27 (ST) "Budu ammo, Mahattaya … onna enawa … onna enawa (my God, sir, it’s coming… there it’s coming),” shouted Kussi Amma Sera as she ran into the house, with clattering chatti pots in tow. She had been cleaning them outside on a bright Thursday morning when the clouds suddenly turned dark and, sensing danger or the proverbial calm before the storm, she ran inside. Rain then simply poured, flooding parts of the garden. Persistent rain was not the only worry on Kussi Amma more..

Dayasiri or Dayasorry?

May 27 (Island) The voters of this country are too well aware that their elected representatives, whether they are sitting in Parliament, Provincial Councils or Local Bodies including the humble Pradeshiya Sabhas are not as pure as the driven snow. Former Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera’s parliamentary speech that he accepted a million rupee cheque from Walt and Row, a member of the Perpetual Group, was obviously an attempt to put the best face possible on accepting what more..

16% drop out of school before O/L

May 27 (CT) In a startling revelation it has been found that 16% of students who enter Grade I dropped out of school before sitting the GCE O/L Exam. The reason attributed for dropping out of the 13-year school-based programme was the fact that learning disabilities had not been identified along with nutrition-related issues. An official of the Ministry of Education, who was present at the Parliamentary Sectoral Oversight Committee more..

Enter Gota

May 27 (SO) Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus was the third Roman Emperor. He was popularly known among his Roman subjects by the nickname Caligula. The first seven months of his reign was peaceful, and he was hailed as a moderate and generous leader. But in the following years, Caligula became a law unto himself. The entire Roman treasury was his largesse and within one year of his reign, he had siphoned off from state coffers monies to the tune of 2,700,000,000 more..

Nishantha Ranatunga petitions against Thilanga candidacy

May 27 (ST) Former Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Nishantha Ranatunga says that even against seemingly heavy odds he has come forward to contest for the post of SLC President for the sole reason of saving the game’s future for the next cricketing generation. Ranatunga told the Sunday Times, “I field an 1,800 page objection against the candidacy of incumbent SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala to newly set-up Elections Commission of SLC and awaiting its response”. more..

Barmy Army war: SLC on damage control mode

May 27 (ST) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Friday went into damage control mode after the Barmy Army’s incensed reaction to what it said were exorbitant ticket prices for the upcoming England Test tour of Sri Lanka. The sport’s governing body is now offering the fifth day’s play free of charge for all visitors who buy tickets for all five days. England’s October visit has turned the focus on ticket rates with English supporters, more..

SLC AGM to be postponed?

May 27 (ST) There are ominous signs that the SLC Annual General Meeting scheduled for May 31 would be postponed. According reliable sources a case has been filed in the Colombo District Court – 3 by the Mutwal Cricket Club against Sri Lanka Cricket seeking a writ against SLC to allegedly defer the AGM and the hearing to be taken up on 28 May. Interestingly, Mutwal Sports Club is one of the twenty eight seconders to the candidature of Thilanga Sumathipala. more..

Jaliya W’s warrant re-issued on sureties

May 27 (DN) Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayarathne re-issued a warrant on the sureties of former SL ambassador to USA Jaliya Wickramasooriya. This is after the latter being unable to appear before Court for two consecutive days of hearing. The Magistrate re-issued the notice on the sureties H.A. Priyangika and Deepika Kumuduni who appeared as sureties when Wickramasooriya was permitted to travel abroad. At the previous occasion, FCID filed a B-report more..

Cricket match-fixers caught in the act in SL

Sisira Kumara wins Grand Prix May Edition at 12 under par

May 27 (ST) George Patrick Sisira Kumara completed a pillar to post victory as he returned a 3 under par closing Round to hold on to the lead, by 2 strokes from Amarapadma who finished strongly with the joint best card in the final round at 4 under par. Sachin De Silva too shared the best Card score of 67 and finished strongly to secure 4th place. J.M.D. Indika who shot a 7 under par second Round closed the May Edition of the UTE Engineering PFGP with 3 under par 68 to take 3rd place. more..

President looks into problems of Immigration and Emigration Officials

May 27 (PSL) A meeting between President Maithripala Sirisena and the officers of the SL Immigration and Emigration officers’ Association was held at the Presidential Secretariat today (24). Several issues faced by the Immigration and Emigration officers at professional level were discussed and the President broadly agreed to find solutions to those issues. It was agreed to discuss these matters with the relevant authorities shortly and to provide solutions step by step. more..

China delays Hambantota Port deal’s final tranche

May 27 (ST) The Chinese company-lessee of Hambantota Port is refusing to release the final lease rent of US$585 million to the SL Govt unless a man-made island – which has been built as an entertainment facility off Hambantota – is also given, as part of the deal. In a related development, this time from the Sri Lanka side, the Govt is hoping to re-negotiate the contract to reduce or remove the tax breaks and concessions. more..

Bureaucratic bungling drags SLT into crisis

May 27 (ST) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) is facing another crisis as some of its key divisions are likely to be closed down, with workers moved to other sections, amidst allegations by trade unions that the company was conducting politically influenced countrywide recruitment drive under the guise of restructuring. Discussions are underway to close down the IT division of the SLT and outsource it to a local company with US interests, officials from the Telecom Engineers Union (TEU) said. more..