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Angoda Lokka’s Death Confirmed

Aug 4 (CT) Coimbatore Police on 2 August, confirmed the death of Sri Lankan underworld drug kingpin Angoda Lokka, Indian Media reported yesterday (3). Further, a man and two women including a Sri Lankan national have been arrested for allegedly forging identity papers for Angoda Lokka and for cremating him in Madurai following his death on 3 July, Indian Media further reported yesterday. more..

Harsha joins Sampath Bank Board

Aug 4 (FT) Top legal professional Harsha Amarasekera PC has been appointed to the Board of Sampath Bank Plc as a Non-Executive, Non-Independent Director with effect from 18 Aug. Harsha is an eminent legal practitioner with a wide practice in both the Commercial Courts as well as the Appellate Courts. His areas of expertise include Commercial Law, Business Law, Securities Law, Banking Law and Intellectual Property Law. He also has significant experience in arbitration and more..

Errant PNB officers involved in firearms find

Aug 4 (CT) Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) confirmed that officers of the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) currently in remand had imported the four modern firearms found in Idigahadeniya Road, Attidiya. The firearms are said to be imported from Pakistan. Police said, firearms had been smuggled into the country a few months ago, together with 56 kg of heroin. It has been revealed that when a PNB Officer who was arrested for drug trafficking, a firearm of the same variety was found. more..

Auto industry and thousands of jobs in peril, says CMTA

Aug 4 (FT) Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA) has urged the Govt to provide a clear direction on the period of the vehicle import suspension and emphasised the need to regulate automotive imports to legitimate importers that have been vetted by the Govt. CMTA Chairman Yasendra Amerasinghe said: “First and foremost, we appreciate the Govt’s leadership and initiatives taken to control the spread of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka’s parliamentary elections will hold lessons for India ahead of Bihar polls

Aug 4 (IE) After successfully containing the spread of COVID-19, Sri Lanka is set to hold parliamentary elections on Aug 5. The elections will be held for 196 legislative seats, along with 29 seats that are proportionally distributed between the political parties based on their national vote share. In line with 19th amendment of SL’s constitution, which mandated completion of a minimum period of four-and-a-half years of the parliamentary term to avoid arbitrary dissolutions more..

Weapons assigned to Police officers on duty not to brush teeth:EC

Aug 4 (DM) Election Commission’s Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said the police officers on duty had been assigned weapons to be used if necessary. “We would like to remind the police officers on duty that they are not given weapons to brush their teeth but to use them if the need arises,” he said. He said a number of steps have been taken to assure the safety of ballot boxes till the counting of votes begins on Aug 6. Mr. Deshapriya that allegations that ballot boxes could be more..

Video: Delivering ballot boxes to polling stations underway

Aug 4 (AD) Transporting ballot boxes to polling stations got underway this morning, Election Commission (EC) said. Accordingly, the senior polling officers are transporting the ballot boxes to 12,985 polling stations across the country, under special security provided by the Police. These senior polling officers will stay overnight at their respective polling stations. It is further reported that the disinfecting process at polling stations is scheduled to more..

SI arrested over fabricating evidence

Aug 4 (DM) A Sub Inspector (SI) attached to the Embilipitiya Police Station had been arrested by the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) last night for allegedly fabricating evidence with former CID Director Shani Abeysekara, Police Spokesman Jaliya Senaratna said. He said the SI, who was a Sergeant of the CID when Shani Abeysekara functioning as the Director CID, was arrested at the CCD last night after recording statement over fabricating evidence over a firearms case. more..

Sri Lanka coconut auction price up 6.6%

Aug 4 (EN) SL’s average coconut prices grew 6.68% to 54,505 rupees for a 1000 nuts at an auction at the last auction in July. The highest price was 59,100 rupees for 1,000 nuts, up from 59,000 and the lowest 50,000 rupees up from 45,500 last weekat the auction conducted by Coconut Development Authority on July 30. Buyers offered 1,192,000 nuts at the auction and sold 989,000 nuts. SL’s coconut prices have picked up steadily from an average of 38,215 when auctions resumed on April 9 more..

GE 2020: It is a values-based and not value-based political culture that is needed today

Aug 4 (FT) Tomorrow Sri Lankans will to go to polls to elect their new political leaders. There are four main contending parties and a large number of minor parties and independent groups that are seeking a mandate from the people. Of the four main contenders, two have already resolved themselves to make a positive and productive contribution to the country’s governance by being opposition members. more..

Southern political parties need the LTTE at election time

Aug 4 (IPD) Sri Lanka’s governing political parties use the rebel LTTE as a foil to win elections and justify lapses in good governance. Long after the LTTE’s military defeat in May 2009, Sri Lanka’s Sinhala-dominated political parties have sounded the full-throated alarm of rebel regrouping just prior to an election to mobilise the Sinhala vote base, to justify continued coercion of the Tamils, and use it as bait to lure foreign military assistance for counterterrorism. more..

Man sentenced to death over murder of daughter

Aug 4 (AD) Nuwara Eliya High Court has sentenced a man to death for the murder of his 3 and half year old daughter. The verdict was issued on a 41-year-old father of 2 residing in the Halganoya area in Ragala, Nuwara Eliya. Reportedly, the convict had strangled his own daughter in 2014. His wife, who migrated to Kuwait for domestic service in 2014, had allegedly been in an extramarital affair with a SL youth. It has been revealed that the convict had murdered his daughter over to a conflict with more..

Mahinda Deshapriya

Port in crisis: Nationalism killed Trincomalee, do we need the same fate for Colombo?

Aug 4 (FT) Prez and the govt to be elected is facing a decision on either to take an extreme nationalistic view or a more liberal view on handling a crisis unfolding in Colombo in a truly global business which is shipping and logistics. Trade unions with self-interests and Buddhist priests with ignorance driven by politics have already started to ruin the reputation of the Port of Colombo by taking strike action and giving all possible wrong signals to int'l investors and our friendly partners around more..

The pre-poll acid tests (PT. II): How to pass those Ah!-Levels!

Aug 4 (FT) Tomorrow, you could be able to shape destiny. Not your fated lives alone. But those of your children, loved ones, and unborn generations of Sri Lankans, as well as others whom we blessed islanders may influence… should we get the electoral equation right! And I – for one (and I know I’m not alone) – would like to stop leaning on the karma of custom, rationalising a convention lack of wisdom, and eschewing this present political thinking. more..

Video: Deshapriya, Jasinghe on COVID-19 and General Election

Aug 4 (AD) Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya says that it is 100 percent guaranteed that COVID-19 will not be spread through polling stations. Deshapriya said that all voters must wear a mask to the polling station and that they will be made to wash their hands at two points of the polling process. Further, the voters are allowed to bring their own blue or black pen to cast the vote. more..

Rajapaksa brothers to get strong support in Sri Lanka polls

Aug 4 (AP) SL’s powerful, popular Rajapaksa brothers are likely to get strong support in parliamentary elections Wednesday that could add to their family political dynasty and their ability to amend the constitution – a prospect raising fears of weakening govt institutions and the rule of law. The results of the vote could also lead to sibling rivalry, charting the country into more confusion, analysts say. Gotabaya Rajapaksa won the presidential election last November after casting himself more..

August 5 polls: No international observers due to logistical issues

Aug 4 (ST) Despite the Election Commission (EC) having invited them, the Parliamentary election next week will be the first major national poll in recent years to be held without int'l observers. EC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya requested the Foreign Ministry as recently as last month to facilitate the arrival of observer missions from the EU and some Asian groups, authoritative sources said. However, the required logistics–particularly the quarantine requests of the observers–were more..

Intelligence officers helped trap wanted Negombo Prison Chief Sampayo: Police

Aug 4 (EN) State Intelligence Service is assisting police battle organized crime and drug cartels, a Senior Police official told media in Colombo today. Police Spokesman, SSP Jaliya Senaratne said this has been done on the instructions of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Senaratne told reporters that Intelligence Officers assisted in setting a trap to nab the Negombo Prison Superintendent Anuruddha Sampayo in Kurunegala. more..

New Parliament to meet on August 20

Aug 4 (AD) Prez has issued a Gazette Extraordinary proclaiming that the new Parliament will be summoned to meet on Aug 20, 2020. The gazette issued by the Secretary to the Prez P.B. Jayasundera by order of the Prez, was published last night. It states that a Proclamation was published in the Gazette Extraordinary No. 2165/8 dated 2nd March, 2020, inter alia dissolving the Parliament with effect from midnight of 2nd March, 2020, and fixing the date for Election of MPs more..

Detained drug smuggler cat escapes prison

Aug 4 (Telegraph) A cat detained at Sri Lanka's main prison while allegedly trying to smuggle drugs and cell phone SIM cards has escaped, media reports said Monday. The feline was detected by jail intelligence officials on Saturday at the high-security Welikada Prison, a police official said. He said nearly two grams of heroin, two SIM cards and a memory chip were found in a small plastic bag tied around the cat's neck. But it escaped on Sunday from a prison room where it was kept, more..

Sri Lanka only second to Canada in World Schools Debating Championship 2020

Aug 4 (Island) SL National Debating Team became the first runner-up in the online World Schools Debating Championship 2020, while Canada beat SL to win the Championship, in the final held on Sunday. SL was also named the best ESL (English as a second language) team. SL team’s Shalem Sumanthiran won the seventh place in the best ESL Speakers’ category. 2020 World Schools Debating C'ships scheduled to be held in Mexico more..

Basil’s call for electing more JVP MPs music to ears of comrades

Aug 4 (Island) JVP has welcomed SLPP National Organiser Basil Rajapaksa’s statement that the JVP should get more seats in the next Parliament. JVP-led NPP candidate Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa responding to Rajapaksa’s statement said: “Basil is the person I admire in the Rajapaksa family because of his political acumen. His statement shows that he has realised the need for the JVP presence in Parliament. His statement stands against what others below him in that party tells about us. more..

Archbishop urges all citizens to cast their vote

Aug 4 (CT) Archbishop of Colombo, His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, making a special statement, urged all electors to vote at the General Election tomorrow, and not to shirk the responsibility to exercise their franchise. He opined that the ballot is an oppor-tunity where suitable decisions can be taken regarding the future, and that if a voter were to neglect this responsibility and should any disaster befall in the future as a result, such a person too, would have to bear some of the blame. more..

Deepika Udagama quits as Chair of the Human Rights Commission

Aug 4 (EN) SL’s Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission, internationally renowned Human Rights Defender Dr Deepika Udagama has tendered her resignation. Director Media of the Parliament Shan Wijetunge said that Udagama’s letter of resignation reached them today and that she will function in her office until Sept 1. Constitutional Council has accepted the resignation and issued a statement deeply appreciating more..

Prez and Party Leaders to vote tomorrow

Aug 4 (CT) Prez and Party Leaders are scheduled to go to the polling centres tomorrow, to cast their vote at the General Election. Prez Rajapaksa will cast his vote at Gangodawila Pangiriwatta Sri Wiwekarama Temple, SLPP Leader and PM Mahinda Rajapaksa will cast his vote at Medamulana D.A. Rajapaksa Vidyalaya, SJB Leader Sajith Premadasa will cast his vote at Tissamaharama Weerawila Suranimala Primary School & UNP Leader Ranil W. will cast his vote at Colombo Uni. more..

With IPL gone, SLC now focus on LPL

Aug 4 (Island) With their hopes of hosting this year’s Indian Premier League event now gone, Sri Lanka Cricket is firmly focusing on successfully running their own franchise based T-20 competition – Lanka Premier League. SLC has allocated a three week window for the event – from 28th August to 20th September. Although the organizers are running against time in getting sponsors and television producers for the event, SLC has received some positive feedback from interested parties. more..

EC: HC judgment won’t bar Premalal from contesting

Aug 4 (Island) Election Commission (EC) Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said that the recent Ratnapura High Court ruling, in respect of the 2015 January Kahawatte killing, wouldn’t bar SLPP candidate Premalal Jayasekera from contesting the parliamentary polls. Deshapriya said so when asked for comment on the Ratnapura, High Court sentencing the SLPP candidate, along with two others, to death, over the killing of a person more..

EC Chairman dispels rumours of possible vote rigging

Aug 4 (FT) Election Commission (EC) Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya yesterday sought to dispel fears that election rigging could take place as the counting of votes has been fixed for the day after the poll, saying all necessary arrangements are in place to ensure there are no irregularities. “Some rumours are going around that ballot boxes will be changed and there will be rigging as counting will begin the day after the poll but there are enough security measures to ensure no such thing happens,” more..

Rajapaksas hope to tighten grip on power in election

Aug 4 (Reuters) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa hopes to tighten his hold on the nation’s fractious politics in an election on Wednesday that could elevate his brother and allow the two to change the constitution if they prevail. Rajapaksa, who claims credit for controlling the spread of the new coronavirus in the island nation, hopes to install his elder brother and former president - current caretaker PM Mahinda Rajapaksa - in the post formally with an outright election victory. more..

Candidate savaged by fake posts as online abuse mounts

Aug 4 (ST) Until a rash of pages impersonating her emerged in a coordinated misinformation campaign on Facebook, first-time election candidate Sashikala Raviraj had no idea how powerful the impact of social media could be. Numerous misleading and obscene posts about her and other candidates of her party have appeared on newly-created fake IDs on Facebook and are being shared across other social media. more..

EC will remove election publicity material from social media

Aug 4 (ST) The Election Commission will take steps to remove election campaigning content and propaganda material from social media sites during the cooling period which begins from midnight today, a senior EC official said. Suranga Ranasinghe, Assistant Commissioner who heads Election Dispute Resolution Unit, said that since social media platforms had a communication channel with the Election Commission, Commission would take proactive steps to remove them immediately. more..

Police initially believed in what Sampayo told them about Negombo Prison

Aug 4 (Island) Negombo Police, probing the alleged links between prison officials and inmates serving time there for drug offences, said that there had been numerous complaints about drug cartels operating from the Negombo Prison but former Superintendent (SP) of the Negombo Prison, Anuruddha Sampayo, always told them that there were no such rackets. SP Sampayo was of the opinion that some elements were spreading such stories to tarnish the good name of officers more..

An election in the time of pandemic

Aug 4 (CT) SL’s General Election, held once every five years, see the nation’s politicians vying for 196 of the 225 seats in Parliament, as voters exercise their mandate through a polling system that has remained mostly unchanged over the past 36 years. Next week, however, might pose new challenges, as citizens contend with the ongoing pandemic and try to avoid the threat of a second wave. Adapting to the situation, more..

NCPA looking to nail suspects

Aug 4 (CT) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) has commenced investigations into a viral video doing the rounds on social Media showing footage of a child being ill-treated by the child’s guardians. The incident was reported to the NCPA on 2 August. Chairman of NCPA, Professor Muditha Vidanapathirana said as soon as they find the suspects, the NCPA will file action against them. “Since we haven’t found any evidence of assault or injury on the child in the video footage, more..

As grand old parties wither away, Lankan politics enters new normal

Aug 4 (ST) When some 16 million voters eligible to trek to their polling booths on Wednesday, maintaining their social distance and carrying their own pens to mark that all important cross on their ballot paper at SL’s 16th general election to elect 225 MPs, it will truly be an election like no other this country has ever seen. That is not only because the twice-postponed poll — the country’s most expensive to date with each vote costing the state 625 rupees — is being held under the cloud more..