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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..

Let’s get together to form a Govt with a conscience: Sajith

Aug 4 (CT) SJB Leader, Sajith Premadasa, addressing the final rally in Colombo, said he is ready to go to prison for constructing temples. His full speech: Dear friends, I went all over the country. During this short time, I visited every electorate. People gathered around the Telephone daily. As of today, an extremely large wave of people have been created around the Telephone across the country. I would like to tell you all that this wave more..

Mattala Airport gets busy in Covid-19 crisis, eyes scheduled flights

Aug 4 (EN) SL’s little used Mattala Airport has heightened activity amid a Coronavirus crisis with over 50 flights in the past two months and is eying scheduled flights in the post-Covid era, airport agency said. Airport had been handling ship crew changes and repatriation flights, which had raised the activity levels of the airport, which has had hardly any scheduled flights before the crisis. Indigo Airlines had flown ATR72 and Airbus A320 aircraft into Mattala 20 times during June 26-July 31. more..

SLT and Epic Technology Group launch Helaviru Digital Economic Center

Aug 4 (Island) Sri Lanka Telecom and Epic Technology Group, proudly launched the Helaviru Digital Economic Center online platform for the first time in South Asia on the July 31. Helaviru Agro-produce & Commodities Trading Platform is a cloud-based digital marketplace that facilitates trading activities (buying & selling) of agriculture and farm produce and Commodities among diverse stakeholders on a seamlessly connected supply chain. more..

'We want the North and East merged'

Aug 4 (CT) Former TNA MP Sivagnanam Sritharan is contesting the General Election from Jaffna. This is the third time he is representing the TNA. Q: Is there any reason why Tamil political parties in the North carry negative propaganda and want to defeat the TNA in the polls? A: The TNA is strong and the Govt has this military-backed governance to reduce the strength of the TNA. They have advocated many independent group more..

Reality of two-thirds power in parliament

Aug 4 (Island) Reading the articles published in The Island over the last few weeks, it seems that most of the political analysts, regardless of the party they support, agree on a few assumptions with regard to the upcoming general election and subsequent issues of governance. Firstly, that the current constitution needs some kind of reform if not a complete overhaul in order to at least facilitate a smooth process of governance. Secondly, that the SLPP will come into power. more..

Swordsmen to do cops’ work?

Aug 4 (Island) The Attorney General’s Department has caused quite a stir; it says it can seek the assistance of the armed forces to execute arrest warrants in case the police fail to do so. Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris made a statement to that effect, at a media briefing, on Friday, as we reported yesterday. The consternation of the state prosecutor and his staff is understandable. The police, more often than not, run around like headless chickens when arrest warrants are issued more..

මැතිවරණ කොමිසමේ සභාපති මහින්ද දේශප්‍රිය

To vote or not, now a voter’s dilemma!

Aug 4 (DM) SL is in the throes of a parliamentary election soon to be held on 5 August amidst challenges being faced like never before. These challenges come in the form of an inherited weak economy worsened by a global COVID-19 pandemic. Adding to the country’s woes are foreign remittances from migrant labor, earnings from apparel exports, foreign tourism and traditional exports virtually coming to a standstill. A second wave of the COVID-19 infection is now more..

Pandemic & The Poll

Aug 4 (CT) A total of 16,263,885 citizens will be eligible to cast their vote at Sri Lanka’s 16th Parliamentary Poll which will be held islandwide tomorrow, according to the Election Commission’s 2019 voter registration list. This number includes those who were eligible to vote for the now concluded postal voting as well. This number of 16,263,885 is an increase of 271,789 (1.7%) from the 15,992,096 who were eligible to vote as per the recently concluded Prez Polls of Nov 2019. more..

'Will Initiate massive development drive after 5 Aug victory'

Aug 4 (CT) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa in conversation with our sister paper Mawbima says he did not see any disadvantageous areas as far as the SLPP was concerned and that he expects a majority in the Tamil and Muslim community to vote for the SLPP this time around. Q: The election propaganda campaign ends today. Both the President and the PM participated in election campaigns covering the entire island. more..

Against all odds, how to make your vote meaningful?

Aug 4 (DM) As SL goes to polls tomorrow, its outcome is a foregone conclusion. This is one of the most uneven elections in recent history, not least due to the fratricidal struggle within the UNP, and the fragmented opposition. Rather, the Sri Lankans decide on their future Parliament, when they elected a president or vice versa. However, this election is one of many ironies. First of all, given the public mood, when most voters exercise their universal suffrage to elect a new parliament, more..

Devolution with development after the elections

Aug 4 (CT) Many years ago, former Govt Agent of Jaffna, Dr Devanesan Nesiah, explained northern sentiment when elections were taking place. He said there was apprehension at the possible turn of events over which they had no control. The minority status of the Tamil people would invariably mean that their future would be determined by the outcome of the power struggle in the south of the country. I was reminded of these words of Dr Nesiah during discussions organised by more..

'Political map of this nation could change irrevocably post-5 Aug'

Aug 4 (CT) National People’s Power (NPP) Leader, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, in frank conversation with our sister paper Mawbima. Q: We had seen previously how the JVP had faced past elections. However, next Wednesday’s Poll is going to be decisive. How crucial is this Poll going to be for the NPP? A: Yes, there are no two words about it; the looming Poll is going to be extremely crucial for us. more..

Vote for those who respect people’s mandate

Aug 4 (DM) Some 100 years ago when the demands for the franchise in Sri Lanka was gaining ground slowly, the British rulers had reportedly attempted to reject it on the grounds that SL masses then were not matured enough to use the franchise. Then it was perceived as an insult to the local people by the colonial rulers. However, SL gained the universal suffrage through the Donoughmore Commission recommendations in 1931. Going by the maturity that voters have been showing in selecting more..

A super majority is a bad idea

Aug 4 (CT) Poet and playwright Bertolt Brecht wrote this General your tank poem when he was a refugee fleeing Nazi Germany moving from one land to another until he found sanctuary in America. That man can think is something that those who wish to manipulate people often overlook. Man can be manipulated to fly or kill. Since man can also think at some point, man will think about what is right and wrong. In this masterpiece of sardonic disdain for the dictator, Brecht informs the autocrat more..

Video: Negombo Prison SP Sampayo arrested

Aug 3 (AD) Interdicted Superintendent (SP) of the Negombo Prison Anuruddha Sampayo who was arrested in Kurunegala today (2) has been brought to the CID in Colombo. Following an operation carried out on intelligence received by a team including the Chief Inspector of the Negombo Police HQ, Sampayo was arrested near the St. Anne’s College in Kurunegla, at around 3.35pm. He was first brought to the Kurunegala Police more..

Video: Baby born to coronavirus-positive mother tests negative

Aug 3 (AD) The baby born to a COVID-19 positive expectant mother have tested negative for the coronavirus following PCR tests, Dr. Priyantha Karunarathna, the Director of Colombo East Base Hospital said. On Saturday (01) an expectant mother, who was recently repatriated from Dubai, delivered her child at the special unit of the Colombo East Base Hospital for coronavirus-infected expectant mothers. However, she had been previously diagnosed with the coronavirus. more..

Cat caught smuggling drugs

Aug 3 (CT) A cat that was strapped with a pack of heroin and other banned items was discovered inside the Colombo Magazine Prison premises yesterday. Two packets of heroin weighing 1.2 grams, two phone SIM cards and a memory chip were also found in a tiny bag. The animal was detected by an alert Prisons intelligence officer positioned at the main entrance. The banned items had been handed over to the Borella Police, while the Prison Dept is conducting an inquiry more..

Tamil diaspora extend support to TNA

Aug 3 (Island) Global Tamil Forum has called on all Tamils to cast their precious vote wisely at the forthcoming Parliamentary Election. GTF in a post published by the Canadian Tamil Congress said the Tamil people’s struggle for democratic rights in SL has a long history and since independence the desire of Tamils to live as a free people has not been diminished by the many setbacks and the tests of endurance faced by Tamils in their onward more..

Confirmed COVID-19 cases rise to 2,823

Aug 3 (NR) The number of coronavirus cases confirmed in the country has increased to 2,823 after the detection of eight COVID-19 patients yesterday. An associate of a COVID-19 patient reported from Lankapura and seven returnees from the UAE, who were undergoing quarantine measures, tested positive for the virus yesterday. Accordingly, 602 cases confirmed in the country are linked to the Kandakadu COVID-19 cluster while 926 persons who returned to the country recently from more..

Video: Port employees call off strike

Aug 3 (AD) Colombo Port trade union workers have called of their trade union action with immediate effect. This was following a successful discussion with PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, stated Port Trade Unions. Trade unions of the Colombo Port, who launched a strike action on the 2nd of July, later called off their strike action following a meeting held with PM. During this discussion, held on July 3, a decision was taken to unload the 03 gantry cranes brought down from China, more..

'Power hungry rulers unconcerned about people'

Aug 3 (CT) Leader of the Colombo District Team of the National People's Power, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, says at the final rally in Colombo that Sri Lanka will face more calamities if Rajapaksas return to power. He said: The lives of the people of this country are not as valuable as the greed for power these rulers have. That is why they tried to hold an election amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. more..

Lasith Malinga (Mumbai Indians) and Isuru Udana (RCB) are set to play in the IPL

Aug 3 (DN) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) are exploring the possibilities of bringing forward the Lanka Premier League (LPL) franchise based Twenty20 Cricket Tournament, so that all top players would be able to participate in the high profile Indian Premier League (IPL) scheduled to be worked off in the UAE. The LPL which includes five franchise teams, is set to commence on August 28 and end on Sept 20 while the more lucrative IPL is scheduled to begin on Sept 19 and conclude on Nov 8. more..

Video: Close associate of Angoda Lokka arrested

Aug 3 (AD) An individual has been arrested at the Mulleriyawa area while in the possession of narcotic drugs. The arrested suspect has been identified to be a close associate of crime gang leader Lasantha Perera alias Angoda Lokka. The arrest has been made based on a tip-off received by Mulleriyawa Police. Reportedly, 8 grams and 60 milligrams of heroin had been in the possession of the suspect. The arrestee is a 48 year old resident of Parakum Mawatha area in Mulleriyawa. more..

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