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CID completes investigations against Tissa Attanayake over allegedly forging signatures

July 27 (AM) CID today informed court that the investigations against Tissa Attanayake on the alleged forging of the signatures of Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe have been completed. The matter has been referred to the AG for his advice. Attanayake is accused of preparing a document claiming to have the signatures of the then common candidate of the opposition Maithripala Sirisena and then Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe during the 2015 more..

Pro-reconciliation mood tempers press coverage of Jaffna Ethnic clash

July 27 (ENS) The sober media coverage of a recent Jaffna University fracas in which Tamil and Sinhalese students violently clashed over the organization of an annual event, indicates that a pro-reconciliation sentiment has gained moral currency in Sri Lanka, says Verite Research in its analysis of the way the govt, political parties and the media reacted to the incident of July 16 and its aftermath. more..

Lasantha's killing: Suspect identified by driver

July 27 (DM) The suspect taken into custody in connection with killing of Sunday Leader Chief Editor Lasantha Wickramathunga has been identified by the man who was driving Mr. Wickramatunga's vehicle at the time he was killed. The suspect was today remanded till Aug 3 by Mount Lavinia Chief Magistrate. The suspect Prem Ananda Udalagama served as a staff sergeant in the army intelligence unit. He was arrested on the 15th and then remanded till the date of identification parade. more..

Video: JO ready to commence protest while respecting the court order

July 27 (AD) MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage says that the Joint Opposition will commence the protest march from Kandy tomorrow as scheduled while respecting the court order. Kandy Chief Magistrate today issued a restraining order against four MPs of the Joint opposition not to commence the protest march within the Kandy city limits. The order was issued on MPs including Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Dilum Amunugama, Keheliya Rambukwella, and Lohan Ratwatte. more..

President Sirisena vetoes SLFP MPs’ participation in opposition rally

July 27 (ENS) SLFP Chairman, Maithripala Sirisena, has disapproved of the participation of SLFP members and MPs in the Kandy to Colombo protest march planned by the Joint Opposition Group (JOG) headed by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Minister Manhinda Samarasinghe said that the President had disapproved participation of party men in the Pada Yathra when he met SLFP MPs at his official residence earlier. more..

Sri Lanka to sign MoU with Georgia to expand bilateral relationship

July 27 (CG) Sri Lanka is to sign a MoU with Georgia to expand the bilateral relationship between both countries, Minister Gayantha Karunatillake said. He said that the cabinet approved the signing of the MoU on bilateral political consultations between the Sri Lankan Ministry of foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia. The cabinet approved the proposal made by Minister Mangala Samaraweera to sign the MoU during the political consultations at more..

Vigneswaran claims rights to Moragahakanda project

July 27 (DM) Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran yesterday claimed rights to the Moragahakanda project as it supplied water to the Northern Province. Chief Minister revealed these sentiments during a discussion with the JICA. He added that there would be issues if the central government had full authority over the project. “We are happy that water is from the Mahaweli River is being distributed to the North, we have no objection to that,” Vigneswaran said. more..

ADB approves US$ 115mn loan for power sector in Sri Lanka

July 27 (FC) Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a loan of $115 million and $3.8 million in grants to help Sri Lanka meet its goal of achieving 100% electrification and improve the reliability of its electricity supply, including in former strife-torn areas and on small isolated islands. The grants comprise $2 million from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction and $1.8 million from the Clean Energy Fund under more..

Russian Naval Ship Igor Belousov arrives

July 27 (SLN) A Russian search and rescue vessel, Igor Belousov arrived today at the Colombo Port upon a goodwill visit. The ship was ceremonially welcomed by the SL Navy in accordance with the naval traditions on her arrival. During the four day stay, the ship crew is scheduled to take part in several programmes and training exercises with their local counterparts before sailing out of the Sri Lankan waters on July 30. Commanding Officer, Captain Aleksey Nehodcev and more..

June tea output down 14.3% on heavy rain

July 27 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's tea output in June fell 14.3% from a year earlier because of heavy rain the previous month, the state-run Tea Board said on Wednesday. Production in the first six months has fallen by 11.1%. "There was heavy rain in May and that is the main reason for the fall," S. A. Siriwardena, director general at the Sri Lanka Tea Board, told Reuters. Siriwardena added that the island nation would miss its full-year target of 338 million kg. more..

Sri Lanka cracks down on overseas jaunts by politicians, officials

July 27 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena has ordered a crackdown on the misuse of public funds and foreign grants by local govt politicians and officials for overseas jaunts. President has issued new guidelines to prevent abuse after previous instructions were ignored, Minister Gayantha Karunathilake said. Prez proposed that approval of overseas leave and travel abroad should not be granted if applications contravene guidelines. more..

Sri Lanka to set up independent body to probe aircraft accidents

July 27 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan cabinet, on Wednesday, granted approval to set up an independent institution in the island nation which would investigate aircraft accidents. Media Minister Gayantha Karunathilleke told reporters here that the objective of the bureau would be to improve the security of aviation services, prevent possible accidents in the future, and make recommendations for the improvement of aviation services by identifying factors for such incidents. more..

Man arrested with 4000 packets of heroin

July 27 (DM) A man was arrested with 4000 packets of heroin in Athurugiriya Town this morning on information received by the Mirihana Special Crime Investigation unit, police said. He was arrested while transporting the packets of heroin on a motorbike. Police arrested another man and recovered three motorbikes, five mobile phones, a cash counting machine and a scale during a raid on a nearby house following the information revealed by the suspect on questioning. more..

JO vows to go ahead with Pada Yathra

July 27 (Island) The Joint Opposition (JO) yesterday vowed to go ahead with the Pada Yatra as scheduled from tomorrow despite threats of disciplinary action and other obstacles. Addressing the media, JO National Organiser and Matara District MP Dullas Alahapperuma said their protest march starting from Kandy was not against the SLFP policies and it would be a joke to take disciplinary action against SLFP MPs who participate in the march. more..

Video: Boat service from Colombo Rowing Club to National Hospital

July 27 (DM) A new boat service will be launched soon near the Colombo Rowing Club and the National Hospital, providing a new mode of transport for people to get to the hospital, Minister of Megapolis Champika Ranawaka said today. Minister Ranawaka was informed of this when he went on an inspection tour today. The Minister said this would be a part of the government’s plan to revamp the banks of the Beira Lake which is aimed at controlling floods and for transportation. more..

Sandakan's four-for best by a chinaman on Test debut

July 27 (CI) 0: Number of bowling figures by a chinaman bowler on Test debut that are better than Lakshan Sandakan's 4 for 58. The only other chinaman bowler to take a four-wicket haul on his Test debut was Chuck Fleetwood-Smith (4 for 64) against South Africa in Durban in 1935. Sandakan's figures are the second-best by a SL spinner on Test debut. 320: Aggregate of runs by both teams in their first innings of this Test, second-lowest in a Test in SL where both sides batted. more..

Video: Aussie streaker lands in SL prison

July 27 (CC) Brisbane local fined and jailed for indecent exposure following ill-advised escapade on day one of first Test. Australian cricket fan Alex James has been fined 3,000 rupees and sentenced to a week in prison after completing a nude run during the washed-out final session on day one at the Pallekele Stadium. James made the questionable decision to seek some entertainment of his own as the afternoon rain rolled in more..

Woman bites molester's lip

July 27 (DM) A part of the lower lip of a man had been bitten off when he allegedly tried to sexually abuse his 65-year old mother- in -law. The 44-year old son-in-law has been taken into custody by Kirindiwela Police. Mother-in-law had been at home alone when the suspect allegedly entered the house by the back door and tried to molest her. She had defended herself by biting his lower lip. Police said suspect’s wife was working abroad and his daughter was living with his mother-in-law. more..

Raviraj murder case to proceed

July 27 (CT) Colombo High Court (CHC) Judge Manilal Waidyatilleke yesterday (26) ordered that a hearing with evidence be held on 02 September to decide whether the case against three suspects, charged in connection with the assassination of former MP Nadaraja Raviraj and his Security Officer Lakshman Lokuwella, be heard without them since they have gone missing. The suspects who are missing are Sedhian Thusain, Palanasami Suresh and Shivakanthan alias Charan. more..

Australia strike after handy lead of 86

July 27 (CI) You wouldn't know it to look at the wicket tally, but two full sessions have so far been lost in this Test. Two days, four sessions of play, 21 wickets taken. And enough afternoon rain to fill a dam. It was as if the weather gods were conspiring to stretch this Test to a fourth day. Or, come to that, a third. And despite Sri Lanka's fightback on day two, Australia still had the upper hand at stumps. more..

'Inferior cooking oil used in MPs' meals'

July 27 (DM) A consumer rights organization has informed Speaker Karu Jayasuriya that an inferior quality of cooking oil was being used in the parliamentary kitchen to prepare food for the MPs and requested him to investigate the matter. Consumer Rights Organization President Ranjith Vitanage had complained that errant traders mix coconut oil with substandard palm oil to make undue profits when selling the oil to Parliament. He said legislators should be served food which was more..

Sri Lankan shares end lower

July 27 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares ended slightly lower on Wednesday as investors sold blue-chips such as John Keells Holdings Plc and Ceylon Tobacco Company even as the market awaited directions on the country's economic policy. The benchmark Colombo stock index ended down 0.09% at 6,382.42. It has fallen for three straight sessions through Wednesday. "Investors area waiting to see tomorrow's policy rates," said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Equities. more..

දයාසිරි ජයසේකර

Clash at Jaffna University: Conversations on culture & history: Part I

July 27 (CT) The recent clash at University of Jaffna has triggered discussions on the university as a multicultural space and the role it ought to play in building bridges between the communities in SL. At one level, this clash mirrors the warring nationalisms in the country. Nationalisms in general hinge on an exclusivist logic where a particular territory despite its social, cultural and economic heterogeneities is identified exclusively with a particular community/nation, more..

Save Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganga from State Officials!

July 27 (CT) Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganga Irrigation Development Project is finally underway after nine years of lying dormant, giving a new hope to the denizens of the Northern, Eastern and Central Provinces. The project and several sub-projects that commenced under the Mahinda Chinthanaya during the tenure of the previous administration, ran into an unexpected stop when the construction was about to kick off. The main reason behind the project going dormant was never revealed to the public more..

Professionals misleading public on India trade deal, govt says

July 27 (EN) Sri Lanka’s govt said professional and business lobbies opposing efforts to enter into an economic pact with India were misleading the public, since free movement of people was not even on the agenda. Minister of International Trade Malik Samarawickrama said the aim of the proposed free trade deals with India, China and Singapore is to get duty free access and expand markets for Sri Lankan businesses. more..

Misgivings on VAT and diehard loyalists

July 27 (CT) Without a govt, there would be no taxes and in turn without taxes there would be no govt. No govt can survive without the revenue received from taxation. However, the people are of the opinion that the govt has to be careful when imposing taxes. After taking into consideration some of the factors brought forward by the general public, the major complaint that arose from those who viewed their opinions was more..

Murali first Sri Lankan in ICC Hall of Fame

July 27 (CI) Former Sri Lanka offspinner Muttiah Muralitharan has become the first player from his country to be voted into the ICC Hall of Fame. He will be formally inducted into it later this year, along with the late England fast bowler George Lohmann, the late Australia opener Arthur Morris and former Australia Women captain Karen Rolton. Murali is the leading wicket-taker in both Tests and ODIs, and one of only two players to tally more..

Sri Lanka’s pact with IMF faces flak

July 27 (Hindu) A recently-formed coalition of trade unions, student unions, progressive intellectuals, social organisations and activists has criticised the govt for its agreement with the IMF. The coalition, Alliance for Economic Democracy, has said the IMF's Extended Fund Facility, providing an assistance of $1.5 billion over 3 years, comes with a “number of conditions that will adversely impact the economic and social life of the people.” more..

Foreign judges: My decision will prevail: MS

July 27 (DM) Amid different shades of opinion being expressed on the involvement of foreign judges in the proposed judicial mechanism to inquire into allegations of human rights and accountability issues, President Sirisena is reported to have said his decision would prevail at the end. At a meeting with SLFP MPs in the joint opposition, MP Keheliya Rambukwella pointed out that though President was opposed to foreign judges, more..

GMOA extends support for govt move to prevent tobacco, alcohol use

July 27 (Island) The GMOA has expressed unconditional support for any positive step the govt would take to prevent the use of alcohol and tobacco, a media statement issued by the GMOA said. The statement signed by Secretary of the GMOA, Dr Navin de Zoysa has said that the increasing of taxes on alcohol and tobacco is a positive move. "In the meantime, the Minister of Health has stated that packets of cigarettes more..

JO asks govt what has happened to its commitment to media freedom

July 27 (Island) The Joint Opposition reminded the govt that having been elected on a platform of commitment to democratic values and media freedom it was today resorting to intimidation on a scale which had brought about "an environment of the most repulsive inhibition which makes it not merely difficult but virtually impossible for conscientious journalists to perform their functions without fear". more..

Inland Revenue, Excise, Customs unions join forces against threat to their Depts

July 27 (Island) Organisation for Protecting the Inland Revenue, Excise and Customs Departments, a collective of 18 unions, signed a MOU to join forces against what they termed efforts by the anti-national govt and Minister Ravi Karunanayake to destroy country’s main revenue generating institutions at the risk of plunging the economy into chaos. Unions warned the govt that they would not give up their struggle until more..

SAITM: Govt agrees to halt admission of new students to Medical Faculty

July 27 (ST) Govt has agreed to immediately suspend new admissions at the medical faculty of SAITM, based on a series of proposals by a high-powered committee of professors. The group, Deans of the Medical Faculties of SL’s eight state universities, had recommended that “… recruitment of students to MBBS programme and admission of new students should be halted with immediate effect. more..

CID links Army spies to several high–profile Rajapaksa era murders

July 27 (SL) The unexpected arrest and detention last Friday of one of the Army’s high ranking non-commissioned intelligence officers- Prema Ananda Udalagama, has drawn much attention to the CID inquiry into the assassination of The Sunday Leader founding editor Lasantha Wickrematunge. Warrant Officer Udalagama is the first person to be arrested by the CID task force that took over the inquiry in September 2015. more..

Is Free Education a boon or a bane?

July 27 (DM) Recently we witnessed a prominent civil society activist expressing views in favour of the privatisation of education at a meeting organised by Purawasi Balaya garnering displeasure from a large section of the audience. Who really are those in Purawasi Balaya? After campaigning against the Rajapaksa regime, they continue to support the current govt’s political, social and economic policies promoted especially by the ruling coterie who believe in neo-liberal fundamentalism. more..