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Our cricket legends remain untarnished

Jul 5 (ST) Dear Sanga and Mahela, I thought I must write to you because we saw both of you being asked to provide statements to the Police like some suspects in a criminal matter. That is after that chap Mahindananda made some foul accusations that the World Cup final in India nine years ago which you played in, was fixed. It was indeed a sad sight to see two of the very few people this country who can be hailed as role models and heroes being subjected to this ignominy. One could argue that more..

Elections Commission in the eye of a storm

Jul 5 (Island) As the parliamentary election campaign gathers momentum, candidates belonging to all political parties are chafing under the Elections Commission’s decision to implement the 1981 elections law to the letter. At this moment, the rule that all candidates are most annoyed with is their inability to display their number so that voters will know who to vote for. Only those with the wherewithal to be able to get their numbers known to the voting public through advertisements more..

'A divided opposition, no threat to Govt'

Jul 5 (SO) Contrary to the Govt’s belief of an easy two-thirds win at the General Election 2020, UNP Kalutara district candidate Nandana Gunathilake said that the Govt will have a tough fight to win even a simple majority in Parliament. He said that the division between opposition parties, is a clear disadvantage to the governing party at the upcoming Parliamentary elections since they were in a do or die battle. more..

Family Power in Sri Lankan justice

Jul 5 (Island) Former French PM Francois Fillion (66), and his British wife, Penelope (64), were found guilty of misusing public funds, by having his wife as his Staff Assistant in the National Assembly, with her doing no such work. Fillon - five years in prison, three suspended; wife Penelope - three years in prison, suspended. Must repay all public (US$ 34,940) misused and separate fines. Don’t you think it is good to follow this French example in dealing with our political leaders?" more..

The dung in the milk

Jul 5 (Island) That Mervyn Silva was able to get UNP nomination for the forthcoming parliamentary election is much more than the proverbial spot of dung in the pot of milk. It’s a whole gob of the smelly stuff and there is no need to elaborate why. The public are too well aware of the reasons. Of course the in-coming Parliament, like its predecessor, will be no pot of milk – far from it. The quality of our legislature has deteriorated with succeeding elections and neither the political parties and more..

'Govt confident of two-thirds majority'

Jul 5 (SO) Former State Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the outcome of the last Prez Election was that the majority of the people realised that the former Yahapalana regime was most retrogressive and inefficient and what they did in the context of national security, economy, agriculture and education was a dismal failure. Former State Minister said he is confident there will be more people who would muster more..

Notes to the People: NO to the MCC

Jul 5 (CT) The two seemingly unrelated events became quite important in understanding the emerging trends in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The first was the simmering tension that has been prevailing in the border between India and China turned into face-to-face fighting between two sides broke out in the Galwan Valley on 15 June. The Line of Actual Control (LAC) between China and India runs from east to west for some 4,057 km. As BBC reported, at least 20 Indian soldiers were more..

Reforming Police and Prisons services

Jul 5 (SO) There are many things wrong with our State institutions, from corruption to lethargy. While it will not be possible to rectify them overnight, a start has to be made somewhere. Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa has promised to cleanse public entities and to turn them into efficient ventures that serve the public 24/7. After his much-publicised dressing down of Central Bank and State Bank officials a couple of weeks ago, which we commented on editorially, his attention has been drawn to two of the more..

Former minister offers ICC evidence 2011 World Cup was fixed

Jul 4 (AFP) Former sports minister said Saturday he has offered more evidence to cricket's world governing body that he says shows the 2011 World Cup was fixed. Mahindananda Aluthgamage's remarks come a day after local police dropped an investigation into the claims, citing a lack of evidence that SL deliberately lost the final to hosts India. Police had grilled former chief selector opening batsman Upul Tharanga and more..

Malaka Silva assault case: Scottish Engineer’s name cleared

Jul 4 (DM) Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court on Friday concluded the counter case filed by Malaka Silva, son of former Minister Mervyn Sliva, against Scottish Engineer James Cassserly who was allegedly involved in a brawl with Malaka Silva at a nightclub in 2014. When the case was taken up before Colombo Additional Magistrate Shalini Perera, the Magistrate decided to conclude the counter case stating that there were no charges to be pursued against James Casserly. more..

Five arrivals bring COVID-19 cases count to 2,074

Jul 4 (AD) The Ministry of Health says five more persons have tested positive for COVID-19 in Sri Lanka as of 7.30 pm today. The latest coronavirus infections have moved the tally to 2,074. These patients are arrivals from the United States (1), Madagascar (1), Qatar (2) and Bangladesh (1). Meanwhile, the total number of COVID-19 recoveries confirmed in Sri Lanka increased to 1,885 earlier today as 22 patients were discharged from hospitals as they have returned to health. more..

Proposed elevated expressway poses risk to Thalangama wetland

Jul 4 (ST) Thalangama wetland–home to birds, reptiles, mammals, fish and insects, including threatened species–is under threat from the proposed elevated expressway from Athurugiriya to New Kelani Bridge via Rajagiriya, the Environment and Wildlife Resources Ministry has warned. Ministry has asked the Highways Ministry to therefore reassess the proposed route and look for alternatives giving due attention to more..

117 Indian nationals repatriated

Jul 4 (FT) A total of 117 Indian nationals stranded in Sri Lanka were repatriated on a special Air India (AI 0274) flight from Colombo to Chennai yesterday, according to the Indian High Commission. The flight was scheduled as part of Phase IV of the Vande Bharat Mission – a Govt of India initiative to undertake the largest ever repatriation of Indian nationals stranded abroad due to the COVID-19 pandemic, back to India. The next special repatriation flight from Sri Lanka under more..

Bimal urges President to protect forest lands

Jul 4 (CT) Former JVP MP Bimal Rathnayake, in a letter to President Rajapaksa, has said the decision taken by the Cabinet to withdraw or amend Circular 5/2001 that protects certain forest lands, and transferring them under the purview of Divisional and District Secretaries, will lead to irreparable damage of the environment. Circular 5/2001 protects any State forest land that is not officially recognised as a Protected Area under a Gazette, and accordingly brings 500,000 hectares of more..

Operation prison clean up sees intense raids and shakeup of officials

Jul 4 (ST) As authorities continue to intensify raids within prisons to locate mobile phones, drugs and other contraband, the Department of Prisons has also initiated a major shakeup of senior officers at many prisons in the wake of criticism over how criminals direct crimes from jail. On Friday (26), a suspicious parcel thrown over the wall onto the grounds of the Magazine Prison resulted in STF Bomb Disposal Squad being called in. more..

Video: AG says public trust in PNB has dropped

Jul 4 (AD) Attorney General Dappula de Livera says the public trust in the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) has dropped due to the recent turn of events involving its officers with possible links to drug traffickers. He made these remarks while delivering a special lecture to the officers of the PNB on Friday (03) at the office of the Deputy Inspector General of Police of Colombo range. Attorney General said these institutions cannot make headway unless the corrupt officers are removed. more..

CEB collects Rs 59 million from power pirates

Jul 4 (Island) CEB has collected Rs. 59 million in fines from power pirates following recent court verdicts. Legal action had been taken against 1,937 persons who had obtained electricity illegally. CEB said that annually it incurred a loss of more than Rs.100 million due to power piracy. On the instructions of Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, investigation teams of the CEB, with the assistance of the police, have begun operations to arrest those who illegally obtain electricity. more..

Video: Will introduce laws to prohibit sale of country’s resources: PM

Jul 4 (AD) Laws will be brought forward to prohibit the sale of the country’s resources, says PM Mahinda Rajapaksa. “As the former President of the country, I initiated and carried out the development of the whole country. We constructed a port, an airport, an int'l cricket ground and an expressway in Hambantota,” the Premier said addressing a public meeting in Beliatta on Friday. He said the UNP-led govt sold the port built more..

Sri Lanka’s total recoveries from Covid-19 move to 1,885

Jul 4 (AD) The Ministry of Health says 22 more individuals, who had tested positive for the COVID-19, recovered from the disease today (04). According to the situation report issued by the Epidemiology Unit, the latest recoveries are reported from the IDH (5), Welikanda Base Hospital (7), Colombo East Base Hospital (03), Iranawila Hospital (1) and Minuwangoda Base Hospital (6). These health improvements have brought Sri Lanka’s total count of recuperations to 1,885. more..

Police net 429 suspects in 23 hours from WP in relentless pursuit of bad guys

Jul 4 (Island) Police nabbed 429 suspects in connection with narcotics and other illegal activities during raids conducted from 6 am Thursday to 5 am yesterday in the Western Province. The law enforcers conducted 424 raids during the 23 hour period and 195 suspects have been arrested for heroin trafficking. Among the arrested were 97 suspects for Cannabis dealing, 22 suspects for goda and ice trafficking and 11 for other illegal activities. A special raid has been conducted in Payagala more..

Sirisena’s PR Director got 500MT of brass issued to suicide bomber’s company

Jul 4 (CT) The Industrial Development Board (IDB) had once been informed to issue 500 metric tonnes of copper to the factory owned by Cinnamon Grand Hotel suicide bomber, Mohamed Ibrahim Insaf Ahmed, located in the Wellampitiya area through a letter sent in June 2018 by former President Maithripala Sirisena’s Public Relations Director, Shantha Bandara, said former Secretary to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, more..

19A brought to keep Rajapaksas out of politics: SLPP

Jul 4 (FT) Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) charged the 19th Amendment was passed into law by the former Govt with the aim of penalising the Rajapaksa family, as well as their loyalists, to keep them out of politics, and emphasised that a two-thirds majority was needed to scrap it. Speaking to reporters at the SLPP Head Office, former MP Sisira Jayakody said the main purpose of bringing the 19th Amendment was to take revenge on the Rajapaksa family and keep them away from politics. more..

Education Ministry stalls bid to buy 16,000 temperature screening devices

Jul 4 (ST) On the advice of the Health Services Director General, the Education Ministry has cancelled the purchase of 16,000 temperature screening devices to be used in schools and educational institutions, a top official said. Education Ministry Secretary M.H.M. Chitrananda said the procurement had been stalled as the Health Ministry and the Sri Lanka Medical Association had deemed it unnecessary to check the temperatures of the country’s 4.3 million schoolchildren. more..

Dogs tied with wire to lure leopards to snare: Suspect arrested

Jul 4 (ST) The man who cruelly tied up a dog as bait to attract leopards to snares set up on an estate in Uduweriya area near Horton Plains was arrested this week, a senior wildlife official said. A resident of Nuwara Eliya who was hiking near the area on Tuesday, spotted the tethered dog on a private property bordering Horton Plains. He took photographs of the dog, which had been tightly tethered to a pole with wire. more..

‘Do not vote for Monks’

Jul 4 (CT) Chief Incumbent of the Mihintale Rajamaha Viharaya, Ven. Dr. Walahahengunawawe Dhammaratana Thera made a request to voters to refrain from voting for monks contesting the 5 August General Election. He expressed regret that none of the monks elected to Parliament thus far had presented a Bill in furtherance of the Buddha Sasana, adding that all they had done was to enter Parliament to fulfil their lust for privileges and in turn live lives of luxury whilst enjoying more..

Education Ministry all set to reopen schools

Jul 4 (AD) Ministry of Education says that all arrangements have been made for reopening schools following the Covid-19 outbreak. Disinfection of schools, preparation of timetables and other required measures required for resuming academic activities at schools in compliance with health guidelines were carried out last week, Ministry added. All public schools are scheduled to reopen under four stages, as the country is gradually returning to normalcy with no community more..

Light rail project: JICA demands clear answer from Govt

Jul 4 (ST) Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has urged the SL Govt to follow due process if it intended to shift from Japanese funding for the Colombo light rail transit system (LRT) to a public-private partnership. Govt is yet to respond to the strongly-worded letter to the Treasury Secretary from JICA’s SL Representative Fusato Tanaka. It expressed great shock at a recent pronouncement by Urban Development more..

Sri Lanka fixes cranes at terminal linked to India deal after protests

Jul 4 (EN) State-run Sri Lanka Ports Authority will fix three gantry cranes that had arrived from China at the East Container Terminal of Colombo Port, a top official said after some port workers staged dramatic protests to support the move. SLPA Chairman Daya Ratanayake said the three gantry cranes were ordered during the period of the last administration to expand the Jaye Container Terminal complex, but the berths had not been built. “Though they are not the right cranes to fix at more..

India’ Mahindra and Mahindra backing helps Sri Lanka’s Ideal Finance rating

Jul 4 (EN) Fitch Ratings said it was confirming a ‘BB-(lka)’ rating of SL’s Ideal Finance Limited, with a Rating Watch Positive after India’s Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Limited injected captial amid a fallout from a Coronavirus pandemic. MMFSL had injected 1.1 billion rupees of capital in Feb 2020. “This has strengthened the company’s financial profile and bolstered its loss-absorption buffers against Sri Lanka’s challenging operating environment,” the rating agency said. more..

Central Bank approves Rs53bn in re-financed Covid-19 credit

Jul 4 (EN) Central Bank has approved 58 billion rupees of subsidized credit from re-finance (printed money), for Coronavirus affected businesses while import controls have been extended indefinitely. The central bank has it will re-finance up to 150 billion rupees of loans with printed money, which could result in forex reserve losses of up to US$ 800 million once private credit picks up or the money is re-used in the banking system more..

An issue of aid (MCC)

Jul 4 (FT) Understandably, every social/political activist will oppose an aid-package that carries an implication adverse to the sovereignty of the country. No one likes an intruder, even if he bears gifts, and it is in the nature of the world that men as well as nations, resent a benefactor. Although only a handful can claim first-hand knowledge of the proposed compact (if the complete agreement is finalised), many already have decided that Millennium Challenge Corporation is in its essence, more..

Three SEP candidates in Jaffna threatened

Jul 4 (DM) The fallout of the militarization process on some of the candidates in Jaffna contesting the general election under the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) was evident when some persons claiming to belong to military intelligence had forced three SEP candidates and their family members to provide personal information, SEP General Secretary Wije Dias, told a news conference. “We filed a complaint to Defense Secretary Kamal Gunaratne. It has been two weeks since the letter was sent to him. more..

මොරටුව විද්වත් හමුව: Anura Dissanayake

Sri Lanka sinks in April and May, must avoid a second wave

Jul 4 (FT) Last week was a tough week for the WHO as the single day COVID-19 cases crossed 183,000, which was the highest seen globally in the backdrop of 9.8 million people contracting the virus and 495,000 succumbing to the lethal virus. What is very alarming is that WHO announced that the earliest that the world can expect a vaccine would be in around 12-18 months from now, and the funding requirement until that time will be $ 11 billion, which is a tough task for an economy in recession. more..

AG to raise objections against FR filed seeking an order to arrest Karuna

Jul 4 (DN) Attorney General is expected to raise preliminary objections against the Fundamental Rights petition filed seeking an order directing the police to immediately arrest and take necessary legal action against Former LTTE armed group leader Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, the Senior Deputy Solicitor General (SDSG) informed Supreme Court yesterday. At a public meeting held in Ampara recently, Karuna Amman had allegedly stated that he is more dangerous than COVID-19 since more..