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Court wants DNA report of Zahran’s daughter

May 11 (DM) Colombo Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake allowed the prosecution to obtain a DNA report using a blood sample obtained from Zahran Hashim’s daughter for the investigators to confirm the identity of the Shangri-La Hotel suicide bomber. CID also informed the Court that two suicide bombers who blasted themselves at the Shangri-La Hotel had stayed at houses in Templers Road, Mount Lavinia and Kollupitiya prior to the attack. The prosecution has also recovered more..

Universities to reopen from 13 Monday

May 11 (FT) UGC gave the green light for universities to reopen from 13 May. UGC releasing a statement said that Vice Chancellors of the respective universities could decide on when to restart universities after assessing the security situation in the higher education institutions. “UGC wishes to inform students of all State universities and higher education institutes that VCs are now authorised to decide the dates and modes of commencement of academic activities more..

Rishad says ready to face investigations

May 11 (FT) In a special statement, Minister and ACMC Leader Rishad Bathiudeen clarifies various allegations made against him, stressing that they are attempts to accuse him falsely. “I am ready to prove that I am correct,” he adds. The full statement: Various people made allegations against me saying I ran away from SL when I was recently for official work. Some people and media made these allegations. more..

Suspect linked to Easter Sunday attackers arrested in Maradana

May 11 (AD) Police have arrested another individual suspected to be linked to the Easter Sunday attackers, along with gold and over Rs 8.3 million in cash in the Maradana area. SP Ruwan Gunasekara said the suspect, Buhari Mohamed Rafik, was arrested yesterday (9) by Slave Island Police. He said that over Rs 8.3 million in cash and 776 grams of gold jewellery were discovered after a search at his official room at a private institution in T.B. Jayah Mawatha, Colombo 10. more..

Military appraises foreign missions of security improvement

May 11 (FT) Military officials have begun to meet diplomatic missions to appraise them of the improvements in the security situation post-Easter Sunday terror attacks to relax the adverse travel advisories, a top official confirmed. “Chief of Defence Staff yesterday met the defence attachés of all the embassies and high commissions in Sri Lanka to update on the latest progress of the security situation in the country,” SLTDA Chairman Kishu Gomes told journalists. more..

Army calls for stringent measures to halt misuse of state emblem and VIP tag

May 11 (Island) The abuse of state emblem along with VIP tag has been brought to the notice of army headquarters following the launch of cordon and search operations in the Vanni region. Suicide bombings, on April 21, prompted Parliament to pass Emergency Regulations for the deployment of the armed forces in support of law enforcement authorities. Troops deployed in Tharapuram west of Kandy-Jaffna road, more..

Govt and Opposition members to propose Cardinal for Nobel Peace Prize

May 11 (DN) Govt and Opposition Members of Parliament expressed their views in Parliament yesterday that Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this time. All Parliamentarians irrespective of party or religious differences, praised the efforts taken by the Cardinal to avert a disaster in the country and spread the word of peace, which helped in maintaining peace among all segments of our society. more..

Hartal in Trinco and Kantale demanding resignation of Hisbullah

May 11 (Island) A hartal was staged in Trinco and Kantale yesterday against Eastern Province Governor M.L.A.M. Hisbullah. Virtually all business establishments put up shutters and private buses kept off the roads in support of the hartal. The organisers of the protest called for Hisbullah’s resignation. Demonstrators, holding large banners and posters calling for Hisbullah’s resignation, marched in Kantale and Trincomalee towns. Police, STF and Army were deployed to prevent more..

COPE to summon institutions linked to Sharia University

May 11 (CT) Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) Chairman and JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti, said he hopes to summon the BOI, UGC, the Vocational Training Authority (VTA) and all the other institutions which have links with the controversial Sharia University project in Batticaloa before COPE on 21 May. Handunnetti made this remark while participating in the Adjournment debate on the current security situation more..

Abolishing Customary Laws pointless: Jayampathy

May 11 (CT) UNP National List MP, Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne, said in Parliament that attempts to abolish the Customary Laws in SL in Parliament would most probably be in vain and therefore, such Laws should be included under the Fundamental Rights Chapter in the Constitution. Joining the debate on current security situation, he said that it is not practical to abolish customary Laws like Muslim, Thesavalamai and Kandyan as a whole as they are related to certain cultures. more..

Army extends general amnesty period by another week

May 11 (SLA) General Amnesty period declared for Army deserters to receive their legal discharge has been extended by the Army Headquarters by another week considering the need for more to receive their discharge. Accordingly, Army deserters who have so far failed to report to their respective Regimental Hq can make use of this extension and receive their discharge before 17th May 2019 by 6 p.m. Earlier, General Amnesty period was effective from 22nd Apr 2019 to 10th May 2019. more..

Opposition calls for proposal to remove IGP

May 11 (FT) The Opposition was called on by Govt lawmakers to propose appointing a Parliamentary Committee to investigate allegations against IGP Pujith Jayasundara now on compulsory on the instructions of Prez Sirisena. Rejecting any Constitutional barriers preventing the IGP’s removal if found guilty by a Parliamentary Committee, Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella said: “The removal of the IGP is not in the 19th Amendment. more..

Ban on extremist groups not gazetted yet

May 11 (Island) Govt Printer is yet to issue gazette notifications proscribing two extremist organizations responsible for the Easter Sunday carnage. Well informed sources said that the Government Press was yet to receive the go ahead in this regard. The Presidential Secretariat announced the move to proscribe the National Thawheedh Jamaath (NTJ) and Jamathei Millathu Ibrahim a week after suicide bombers killed nearly 260 men, women and children and injured nearly 500 others. more..

Hisbullah not bothered

May 11 (Island) Eastern Province Governor M.L.A.M. Hisbullah, dismissed the hartal in the province as a politically motivated campaign by a group of Tamils with the support of a SLPP parliamentarians to have him removed. Hisbullah said that just because of a protest someone could not be removed from his post. For someone to be removed there must be a valid reason. "Let there be any number of hartals, but I will continue to serve Eastern Province as its Governor" he said. more..

Sri Lanka raises petrol to Rs135

May 11 (EN) Sri Lanka's fuel prices will be increased at midnight under the cost-reflective price formula, the Finance Ministry said on Friday. A litre of 92 Octane petrol will be raised by 3 rupees to 135 rupees, while for 95 Octane petrol, the hike will be 5 rupees to 164 rupees. The price of Super Diesel will be raised by 2 rupees to 136 rupees a litre, while Auto Diesel prices will remain unchanged. more..

UN Child Rights Committee to review Sri Lanka on sale of children

May 11 (Menafn) UN Child Rights Committee will meet in Geneva from 13 to 31 May to review Botswana, Cabo Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Malta, Singapore, and Tonga. The Committee will also review SL under the Optional Protocol on sale of children. The above are among the States parties to the Child Rights Convention and its Optional Protocols, and so are required to undergo regular reviews on how they are implementing the Committee's previous recommendations and more..

Govt to procure new security equipment for BIA

May 11 (FT) Airport and Aviation Services said it is in talks with foreign security experts to procure new tools and machinery to ensure security and provide more convenience to passengers. Stating that heightened security measures will not be the new normal, Airport and Aviation Services (SL) Ltd. Chairman Dammika Ranatunga said as the situation in the country gradually returns to normal, the heightened security processes will be removed. He said procuring up-to-date security tools more..

No technical feasibility for proposed 200 MW barge power

May 11 (FT) The report by the Technical Evaluation Committee on 200 MW barge mounted power ship proposed to be set up in Kerawalapitiya has said it was not technically feasible to connect the supply to the existing transmission line. “The report says that 70% cannot be connected to the line, only about 25%-30% can be connected,” a top source privy to the report submitted to Cabinet Appointed Negotiating Committee (CANC) more..

AG directed to expedite legal advice regarding Vijayakala’s case

May 11 (DN) Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne yesterday sent a reminder to the Attorney General directing him to expedite legal advice regarding the case filed against former State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran. When the case was taken up in court yesterday, the Organized Crimes Prevention Division informed the court that the investigations had been completed and the reports had been sent to the Attorney General. The Organized Crimes Prevention Division more..

IGP wants complaints to probe super rich MPs

May 11 (Island) Acting IGP Chandana Wickramaratne, yesterday, said if the police received a complaint against any MP who had become billionaires overnight, an investigation could be launched. In response to a query by The Island about the statement made by Colombo Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith that some individuals had become enormously rich almost overnight and it was the responsibility of the govt to ascertain how they had amassed so much of wealth. more..

Avishka charged with breach of Anti Corruption Code

May 11 (Island) The giant strides that Avishka Gunawardene made as a cricket coach has met with some stumbling blocks after the ICC announced yesterday that he has been charged for breaching the Anti-Corruption Code. The 42-year-old has been provisionally suspended. Gunawardene, the former opening batsman, had achieved unprecedented success with Sri Lanka ‘A’ and had occasionally functioned as the Batting Coach more..

US woman convicted of forcing Lankan to work without pay for 9 years

May 11 (NYT) A New Jersey woman was convicted Thursday on charges of forcing a Sri Lankan woman to work without pay for nine years, causing her to overstay her visa and marrying her in an attempt to keep her in the country. A jury found the defendant, Alia Imad Faleh Al Hunaity, 43, guilty on charges of forced labour, alien harbouring for financial gain and marriage fraud. The jury had deliberated for two hours after a six-day trial before Judge Robert B. Kugler of the US District Court in Camden. more..

Sri Lankan community in Singapore holds memorial service

May 11 (FT) More than 500 members of the Sri Lankan community in Singapore together with the Singaporean friends gathered in the heart of the city at Ceylon Sports Club grounds on 4 May to pray for the victims of the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka. The High Commission of Sri Lanka in Singapore in collaboration with several associations/organisations of SL expatriates namely, Ceylon Sports Club, Lanka Lions Cricket Club, Singapore-SL Business Association, more..

Does copper-power rule in rising disaster?

May 11 (Island) Although copper is not a very valuable metal, it certainly has much value and power in the current post-Easter Sunday context. The metal with its reddish-brown or rusty colour is today seen as better than gold and even platinum, in how a copper factory and its employees are handled in this disaster situation. Sinhala reference to a thamba doyituva the mere copper value is not the stuff of Copper-reign of terror. more..

Edtorial: The holy and the unholy

May 11 (Island) Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith is, undoubtedly, the most popular Sri Lankan, at present. (Even veteran film stars are falling over themselves to pose for photographs with him in a bid to shine brighter!) He has earned the people’s respect and admiration in this manner because he, ably assisted by other priests, forestalled a violent backlash following the Easter Sunday carnage and helped bring the situation under control. Head of State was holidaying more..

Sri Lanka Youth need skills of diversity management

May 11 (CT) Sri Lanka is currently experiencing a renewed form of violence and ethnic tensions heightened aftermath of the April 2019 terror attack. The major segment in question is youth, radicalized and misguided by the extremist fractions which have both local and global roots. Speculations are being made that this extremist ideologies of one religion could create a breeding ground for hard-core radical segments of youth of other religions to propagate their divisive narrow political agendas more..

Balaya

Counter-terrorism demands political integrity

May 11 (CT) Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa claimed in Parliament earlier this week that There are protests against the proposed Counter Terrorism Bill by almost all sections of society. Whether there were such protests or not is insignificant in the context that the external threat now being posed to Sri Lanka’s unity, territorial integrity, security and sovereignty has the potential to being exceedingly more threatening to SL than the LTTE’s separatist war ever was, and needs to be addressed more..

Are we paying for treachery?

May 11 (DM) Admittedly, there is a huge amount of work to be done, but the rapidity of the response and speed in which our police and security services apprehended the Islamist terrorists following the Easter Sunday attacks, and exposed the vast extent of their network, was the only silver lining in the unwarranted gloom that had descended upon our motherland. They deserve the gratitude of the nation, more so, because it was their prompt action alone that reassured the public. more..

'National Security Council certainly has not lived up to its expectations'

May 11 (DM) Daily Mirror spoke to Minister Ravi Karunanayaka on the current political situation in the country aftermath the Easter Sunday carnage and issues relating to power and energy sector. Q: The biggest ever bomb explosions that claimed nearly 260 innocent lives and wounded another 500 on Easter Sunday (4/21). What is your view and assessment on this heinous act of terrorism? A: I condemned such barbaric more..

Mainstream Muslims must unite to bring about a progressive Islam

May 11 (DM) The Easter Sunday terror attacks have opened the Pandora’s Box of questions on various aspects of Islam, its teachings and commands, amid an avalanche of Islamophobia, hate speech, distrust and scorn. When the 9/11 terror attacks happened, a similar wave of Islamophobia swept the United States and the Americans began to ask questions about Islam and its alleged association with violence. Some white supremacists went to the extent of promoting nuking the Muslims. more..

Identifying the killer ideology

May 11 (DM) The terrorist group that was behind the barbaric suicide bomb attacks on three churches and three five-star hotels on Easter Sunday which killed nearly 300 innocent men, women and children seem to have been contained. President Sirisena, who is in charge of defence as well as law-and-order said on Wednesday in Sainthamaruthu where the last suicide bombs were exploded by terrorists on April 26, that only about five persons linked to the killer group were at large. more..

Understanding new face of terrorism in SL

May 11 (Roar) This month, Sri Lanka would have celebrated ten years since the conclusion of a civil war that lasted 26 years. However, tragedy befell the country once more, in the form of the Easter Sunday terror attacks, which killed hundreds and injured scores more. Easter Sunday attacks were very different from what Sri Lanka was accustomed to. A multitude of variables, such as the lean and distributed nature of the terrorist more..

Conundrum: Caliphate & Killing spree!

May 11 (CT) The brief is not a sermon, but an informal pathological analysis of some sick people of the Muslim society and its Ullema (Scholars /intellectuals). The Easter tragedy reached the all inhabited parts of the planet earth very quickly and made mentally healthy humans sad. The sad news has also reached the astronauts in the space station, who work very hard to do some good things for the same humans. I’m pretty sure if any one of these space scientists (Ullema) is a believer, more..

Harsh reality: What needs to be done

May 11 (Island) It is being argued that the govt has not assigned top priority to national security. Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith is also reported to have told the govt, in no uncertain terms, that he is utterly displeased with the security measures adopted since the Easter Sunday attacks. The opponents of the govt claimed that this so-called yahapalana govt was brought into power with the majority Muslim votes - is being kept in power with the continuous support of Muslim MPs more..

Sharia University under fire: Hizbullah’s son being probed over Rs 500M shares

May 10 (Island) State Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene told Parliament, yesterday, that the government would hold an investigation to find out how son of Eastern Province Governor M.L.A.M. Hisbullah had secured shares amounting to 500 million rupees in the proposed Sharia University in Batticaloa. The University is a gift from Saudi Arabia. Prez in January this year appointed Hisbullah Eastern Province Governor. more..

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