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Probe into Easter Sunday attacks: Public figures under scrutiny

Jun 30 (SO) Revelations came to light at the PCoI probing into the Easter Sunday attacks this week, with a focus on several public figures in the political arena. Former Minister Rishard Bathiudeen came under scrutiny following several testimonies relating to him at the Commission this week. Making testimony before the Commission on Monday, a former Intelligence Director explained how a piece of information can be verified more..

Time for helicopter money

Jun 30 (ST) Let us assume that one day a helicopter flying above drops hundreds of currency notes among the people across the country. The money that falls from the sky is everywhere and people will wrestle and grapple to grab them. They know that this is a unique opportunity which is unlikely to happen again. As a result of the money from the sky, the amount of money in the country rises so much that people start spending freely this additional money in their hands. more..

I gave my best at 2011 World Cup final: Murali

Jun 30 (DN) Former SL Cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan who was a member of 2011 world cup final Sri Lanka team, spoke about the 2011 Cricket World Cup fixing allegation levelled by former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage at his brothers up country election campaign meeting. He said that since the former minister has made it clear players are not involved, there is no reason to reply to the accusation. Murali who has been named as the Most Valuable Test Player of the 21st Century by more..

The long road home: The story of Sri Lankan migrant workers in Saudi Arabia

Jun 30 (Roar) Across the largest Gulf State, more than hundreds of SL workers wait in hope to return home. It has been over three months since the WHO declared a COVID-19 pandemic, but none of the stranded workers in Saudi Arabia have yet been repatriated. Malini* (45) has worked in a number of countries in the Middle East for around 20 years. Now in Saudi, she is employed as a housemaid and undertakes more..

Foreign-based SL footballers: Jada Mawongo the next profile expected to join squad

Jun 30 (CT) 15- year-old Jada Mawongo is the latest overseas soccerite (who has a SL background) expected to join the SL squad. He is currently playing for Swansea Football Academy. Football in Sri Lanka had its glory days in the 90’s and became the best team in Asia when they emerged South Asian Champions in 1995, but lack of infrastructure and proper planning led to its eventual snake-like downward slide. Still where there was a glorious past, surely a great future can be recreated. more..

Editorial: Bounties, duplicity and irony

Jun 30 (Island) Trump administration and its political opponents are clashing over a claim that Russia has offered bounties to the Taliban-linked terrorists to kill US troops and their coalition counterparts in Afghanistan. Prez Donald Trump has, in a Twitter thread, vehemently denied the allegation, claiming that nobody has been tougher on Russia than his administration and, true to form, taken a swipe at Joe Biden. Both Russia and Taliban have refuted the reports of bounties, but the Democrats are more..

Face the Nation

Border Controls

Jun 30 (CT) On 25 June, this newspaper in its lead story, published under the headline Major Prison Shakeup, quoting Commissioner General of Prisons Thushara Upuldeniya said, ’19 Chief Jailors of Prisons have been transferred with immediate effect, including the Chief Jailor of the Negombo Prison who was transferred to the Dumbara Prison. The Negombo Prison located in the Gampaha District was in the spotlight recently after a drug racket operating from within Prison was uncovered. more..

How can voters know their candidate?

Jun 30 (DM) The country is not in a mood for an election, despite the Election Commission (EC) having announced the General Election to elect 225 MPs, to be held in another 35 days. The country is normally a hive of activity during elections with rival political parties holding public rallies bringing in large crowds, hundreds of people engaging in the house-to-house canvassing, and supporters of political parties even literally even engaging in fisticuffs, but this time, no such hullabaloos are evident. more..

'Sajith has abandoned his supporters in Hambantota'

Jun 30 (SO) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said it seems that both UNP factions have committed suicide and there is no question about that. At present the UNP is divided and is in total disarray. Minister said he feels sorry for the supporters who had been with the UNP for a long time. Now they have no option but to join hands with us and look to the future. Commenting on the SJB Leader Sajith Premadasa’s decision to contest more..

It’s election time again: Harin earns clergy wrath

Jun 30 (SO) Once again it is the election phase in Sri Lanka, that comes every five years or so where anything and everything spoken of by politicians is to win the election. Hence, to regain lost confidence in the Catholics, SJB national list candidate Harin Fernando, decided to crack the whip on Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, to take on his comments after the 2019 Easter Sunday terror attack. The comments he presumed robbed the UNP of valuable votes at the November Prez election. more..

UNP at crossroads and the coming wrecking of multi-party democracy

Jun 30 (DM) Grand Old Party, the UNP is in deep trouble. The multi-party democracy in SL is too. People are right to scorn the UNP for its self-inflicted calamity. But it is foolhardy to brush off the looming prospect of something of a near resemblance of a one-party state. Democracy needs an active and well -endowed opposition party. That will be missing in the next Parliament. We ended up here courtesy of a tragicomedy of egotism, lethargy and blissful ignorance. And there is a bit of bad luck too. more..

'Benefits of global fuel price reduction will be given to people in mid 2021'

Jun 30 (DM) The Daily Mirror discussed politics, Power, Energy and Transport sector changes in the country with the subject Minister Mahinda Amaraweera. Q: People keep asking as to why the govt did not bring down fuel prices when the crude oil price has dropped sharply in the global market? A: Firstly, the oil prices in the global market fluctuate regularly, and we can’t fully depend on int'l market prices alone in deciding the fuel prices more..

COVID-19 and People’s Attitudes

Jun 30 (CT) COVID-19 is everywhere. It has become the most frightening word in any language throughout the world. The philosopher Nostradamus in 1551, prophesied: “In the twin year (2020), a Queen (Corona) would raise her head from the East (China), and turn into a plague (Virus) in the darkness of the night, on a Country with Seven Hills (Italy) and transform the twilight of men into dust (Death), to destroy and ruin the world. It will be the end of the world’s economy.” more..

Will the US nail the coffin or the MCC?

Jun 30 (CT) Startling revelations made by Prof. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan, who headed the high level Govt inquiry into the proposed Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Agreement is likely to nail the MCC coffin unless the United States renegotiates and withdraws all the harmful clauses in the original proposal. Prez instructed officials to release the Gunaruwan Committee Report to the public so that the people would be aware of the good, bad and ugly sides of the MCC proposal. more..

Govt will assess MCC report at length: GL

Jun 29 (NR) The SLPP says the MCC report will be tabled at the Cabinet of Ministers meeting this week. Chairman of the SLPP Prof. GL Peiris said govt and the Cabinet will subsequently study the content of the report. He said the final report has been handed over to the govt while it has also been made public. Peiris added the Cabinet and the govt will study the report at length while the govt will reach a decision, more..

CPC losses: Govt owes Rs. 135 billion

Jun 29 (TM) Govt owes a whopping Rs. 135 billion to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) for various services including fuel subsidies. CPC Chairman Sumith Wijesinghe said that this included debt from SriLankan Airlines. “Govt owes Rs. 135 billion to the CPC, including what is owed by Srilankan Airlines and the CEB which also includes the independent power plant,” he said. SriLankan Airlines owed the lion’s share of govt debt to the CPC, which is an estimated Rs. 45 billion. more..

Sri Lanka Tourism to host UNWTO’s Asia & Pacific virtual joint commission meeting

Jun 29 (TM) The 32 nd Joint Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for East Asia and Pacific (CAP) and the UNWTO Commission for South Asia (CSA) which is UNWTO’s principal annual event in the Asia and the Pacific Region was scheduled to be hosted by Sri Lanka Tourism in Colombo from 29 th June to 01 st July 2020. However, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global restrictions on international travel, it was decided not to hold a physical meeting this year as it was initially planned. more..

As of now we are a safe nation: Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva

Jun 29 (DM) Commander of Army Lt. General Shavendra Silva said SL’s battle against COVID-19 was a success story, which could be shared with the world and post COVID-19, the island would have a special place on the global map. With airports set to reopen in August, Silva said risks would remain but strict preventive measures would be put in place to keep the society safe from a re-emergence. more..

Display of candidates’ names: EC says no official decision

Jun 29 (TM) The decision to block out the former President’s name in plaques was a regional regulation, the Election Secretariat stated. “Blocking out candidates’ names displayed on plaques set on buildings, development projects, or places where foundation stones were laid is an impractical exercise. It is not a directive issued by the Election Secretariat. It is possible that the regional elections office took such a decision,” Commissioner General of Elections Saman Sri Ratnayake said. more..

Over 1,200 sent to self-quarantine for not wearing face masks in public

Jun 29 (DM) Over 1,200 people have been sent to self-quarantine for failing to wear face masks in public places in Western Province yesterday, the Police said. Senior DIG Deshabandu Tennakoon said a total of 1,217 persons have been identified and they have been directed to undergo 14-day self-quarantine. Earlier, he said that a special operation will be carried out to identify the persons who fail to wear face masks in public places and that they would be arrested. more..

Chinese technicians committed to keeping power supply going in SL amid COVID-19

Jun 29 (PDO) “Ms. Lyu, please tell me your mother’s name. I’ll pray for her at the temple,” a SL engineer said to his Chinese colleague, Lyu Zeying. Lyu is a high-pressure welder with China Machinery Engineering Corporation, the Chinese contractor of the Puttalam coal-fired power plant in SL. The power plant generates more than 40% of the electricity needed by the country. In March, SL govt announced curfew measures to contain more..

Postal strike called off

Jun 29 (DM) The strike action which was launched by the postal workers at the Central Mail Exchange (CME), decided to call it off after authorities gave an assurance to carry-out election duties at the CME instead of a separate location, Lanka Postal Services Union President Jagath Mahinda said. However, after a written assurance from the Post-Master General, the union decided to call off the strike, he said. The categorisation and the distribution of election postal ballots papers more..

Five arrested for supplying banned items to Welikada prisoners

Jun 29 (Island) Police have arrested five persons living near the Welikada and Magazine prisons, for allegedly providing drugs, mobile phones and other equipment to prisoners. The police media unit said that the suspects were arrested during operations conducted by the Borella police. The police raided houses near the Magazine Prison and recovered several parcels ready to be thrown over the prison walls. Investigations have revealed that the suspects had tried to deliver banned items more..

Video: AG will not appear for Acting IGP in Gihan Pilapitiya’s writ

Jun 29 (AD) Attorney General has informed the Acting IGP that he cannot appear on his behalf in the writ application filed by High Court Judge Gihan Pilapitiya, due to his failure to comply with the AG’s advice. A writ application filed by the interdicted High Court Judge Gihan Pilapitiya seeking an interim injunction order is set to be considered at the Court of Appeal today. On June 08, Appeals Court issued an interim order more..

Health guidelines a must: Army Chief

Jun 29 (TM) Commander of the Army Lt General Shavendra Silva appealed to the general public to continue following guidelines set by health authorities for the prevention of Covid-19 within the country. This included the use of face masks, maintaining social distance, and washing hands with soap. The Army Commander made these remarks last Saturday afternoon, speaking to the media in Kandy regarding the Covid-19 control measures in place in the country, SL Army said. more..

Kalutara UC chairman arrested

Jun 29 (TM) Kalutara Urban Council (UC) Chairman was arrested by the police today. Chairman was arrested on charges of allegedly entering a sports complex, unlawful assembly and violating quarantine regulations. The incident had taken place on the 23rd of June. Following a complaint lodged by the manager of the stadium Kalutara Police launched an investigation into the incident. Last week, the Opposition Leader of the Kalutara PS S.A.D. Nilantha and another suspect were more..

UNP vehemently denies MCC committee report allegations

Jun 29 (TM) The UNP has refuted allegations leveled against the former Yahapalanaya govt by the MCC review committee headed by Prof Lalithasiri Gunaruwan. “According to media reports, Gunaruwan’s report alleges that US 10 million was provided by the MCC to the then govt following the signing of two agreements with the MCC in 2017 and 2018. However, Gunaruwan goes on to state that there is no record of these finances at more..

Eran says if MCC money was given to govt Auditor General can easily trace it

Jun 29 (EB) SJB National List candidate Eran Wickramaratne is saying that if any part of the MCC grant money was given to the previous govt then the Auditor General can easily trace the transaction. He said that the US embassy in Colombo issued a statement saying that no MCC grant monies were ever transferred to or spent by the Govt under the current $480 million grant. He said apart from that if they had given out any money then it should have being received at the Finance Ministry, more..

Ven. Yatiyana Buddhananda thera hacked to death

Jun 29 (DN) Kosgoda police have launched a murder investigation following the discovery of the body of the Chief Prelate of the Galkanda Sri Wijaya Dhamma Pirivena, Ven. Yatiyana Buddhananda Thera (79), this morning. The thera was hacked to death allegedly by an organized group trying to rob the temple, police said. His body was found lying on the floor of his chamber at the Galkanda Sri Wijaya Dhamma Pirivena in Induruwa. It had cut and stab wounds over the body, police said. more..

Match-fixing allegation: Aravinda summoned by Police

Jun 29 (DM) Former SL Cricket Captain Aravinda De Silva has been summoned by the Special Investigation Division of the Ministry of Sports to record a statement over the 2011 ICC World Cup Final match-fixing allegation, SSP W.A.J.H. Fonseka said. De Silva was the Chairman of the Selection Committee of the Sri Lanka Cricket at that time. He said the Police would record Mr Silva’s statement tomorrow. more..

Engaged couple falls off Sera Ella Falls during photoshoot; man dead

Jun 29 (AD) An engaged couple who had visited the Sera Ella Falls in Matale to conduct a pre-wedding photoshoot had fallen off the falls. As the Sera Ella Falls is a popular spot to hold wedding photoshoots, the couple too had arrived at the spot yesterday with relatives and the photographer. However, the couple posing for a photograph had fallen into the water during photo shoot. The woman had been rescued by a cousin while no one had been able to save the man, according to witnesses. more..

Decision on staying of arrest warrants against Ravi and others on July 7

Jun 29 (AD) The Appeal Court announced that the decision on issuing an interim order preventing the execution of the arrest warrants issued by the Fort Magistrate, against former minister Ravi Karunanayake and others over the Central Bank treasury bond scam, will be delivered on July 7. The writ petition filed by Mr Karunanayake and the other defendants was taken up for consideration before the judge-bench comprising President of the Court of Appeal A.H.M.D Nawaz, more..

Sri Lanka not in EU list considered for easing travel ban despite Coronavirus control

Jun 29 (EN) Sri Lanka is not in a list of 15 countries being considered first by the European Union to relax travel restrictions from, though the gains made by the Indian Ocean island against Coronavirus is recognized, the bloc’s delegation in Colombo said. “The EU and Member States Ambassadors resident in Colombo recognise the successful efforts of the SL govt to contain the spread of COVID-19,” EU delegation said. more..

Accomplice of Gagana arrested with 12 T-56 firearms

Jun 29 (AD) The Special task Force (STF) has recovered a stash of weapons during a raid carried out in Pitipana, Homagama. The raid has been carried on the tip-off that a weapon stash belonging to the underworld figure and drug racketeer Gagana, who is currently imprisoned. Reportedly, the STF has found 12 T-56 firearms have been recovered in the raid. It is considered to be the largest stash of firearms belonging to an underworld crime gang, found in Sri Lanka. more..

President and PM attend the Special Screening of The News Paper

Jun 29 (PMD) Prez Rajapaksa and PM Rajapaksa attended the special screening of the movie; The News Paper. The movie was screened at One Galleface-PVR yesterday (June 28). The film has been co-directed by Sarath Kothalawala and Kumara Thirimadura while its co-producers are Minister Bandula Gunawardana, Raveendra Guruge and H.D. Premasiri. The movie is scheduled to premiere on the 2nd of July and the first show (10.30 am) will be open to the public free of charge. more..