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Minister rejects racial issue behind Madawala school incident
Saturday, 28 May 2016 - 11:06 AM SL Time

Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam today rejected reports of an alleged incident that had taken place during a parent-teacher meeting at the Madina Central College in Madawala, a national school in Kandy as being racially motivated. Reports circulating in websites and social media claimed that the parents of the school are demanding that only Muslim teachers be appointed to the school. When contacted by Daily Mirror, the minister dismissed the claims but said that there was an issue about the school. I m not aware as to the details of the issue and have to contact the additional secretary for further information, he said. Meanwhile, Ceylon Teachers` Union Secretary Joseph Stalin also denied the reports but said a tense situation had arisen during a parent-teacher meeting of the grade-11 class Tuesday. The parents have complained to the ministry against the School Principal. During the parent-teacher meeting, a Sinhalese teacher had reportedly defended the Principal and that was when the tense situation arose. Some parents had brought eggs and tomatoes to be thrown at the Principal, he said. Our reporter said seven parents had been arrested by the Wattegama Police after eggs were thrown at the Principal and that they were released after being produced in the Theldeniya Magistrate s Court on Friday. Ceylon Teachers` Services Union (CTSU) General Secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe also said that there was a complaint against the Principal by the parents over allegations of financial misappropriation and administration issues. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Ex-Senior DIG, Ex-Crimes OIC re-remanded till June 09
Friday, 27 May 2016 - 9:25 AM SL Time

Former Western Province Senior DIG Anura Senanayake and former Narahenpita Crimes OIC Sumith Perera were ordered to be further remanded till June 9 over the Magisterial Inquiry relating to the murder of ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen by the Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris today. The former SDIG and the former Crimes OIC were remanded on charges of causing disappearance of evidence, fabricating false evidence, touching it to screen the offender and conspiring under the clauses of 189,198 and 296 of the Penal Code. Acceding to the request of the prosecution that the Mobitel Company was not supporting probe sufficiently by providing mobile phone details appropriately, the Magistrate ordered the Mobitel Company to provide certain mobile phone details relating to the inquiry immediately to expedite investigations. Submitting a report of the preliminary inquiry conducted by the Sri Lanka Medical Council against Former JMO Ananda Samarasekara and two others on the allegation of missing body parts of the corpse of Thajudeen, the counsel appearing on behalf of the SLMC told the court that the council had charged the former JMO and others in a Professional Behavior Committee for further inquiry. The Magistrate also directed the SLMC to report over the progress of the inquiry consistently to the court. Senior State Counsel, Dilan Ratnayake told the Court that the prosecution was conducting a sensitive investigation dedicatedly into the complex nature of the murder of Thajudeen, therefore, the CID needs appropriate time to work on the investigations. Submitting a further report in Court, the CID informed the court that the former SDIG had interfered in closing the extracts of the case deceitfully, since he had not taken any appropriate actions as an experienced police officer to investigate on the deceased, Thajudeen s wallet which was found after the accident from 3 kilo meters away from the place of the accident. Appearing for the first suspect, former Crimes OIC, Sumith Perera, the Counsel Ajith Pathirana told the court that his client was prepared to provide a statement to the Magistrate over the inquiry under the Power to record statements and confessions of section 127 in the Criminal Procedure Code. However the Magistrate told the suspect that he may have to satisfy the Magistrate if he was to make a statement independently on the next date. Appearing for the second suspect, counsel Anil Silva PC moved that the offences stated in the B report under the section of 190 and 198 of the Penal Code were bailable if the magistrate was satisfied to grant bail considering the other facts. And he also citing few precedents, and said that it was not fair to consider on the prosecution s arguements in rejecting bail application as it cannot be seen that the suspect would interfere with witnesses in the inquiry or effect public peace. The Magistrate rejecting the bail applications of the suspects held that the Court could apparently see the possibility of the witnesses being affected by the suspects if they were released on bail, as they were once powerful police officers with the capability of affecting the inquiry. The Magistrate also held that under the section of 32 in the Penal Code, Liability for act done by several persons in furtherance of common intention , provides more broader provision to a magistrate to consider on remanding a suspect and he also considered the allegation under section 113 of the penal code, conspiracy . The Magistrate also rejected the request of the defense counsel that to allow the second suspect, former SDIG to be examined by his private specialist Doctor at the prison and directed the defense to request the Prison authority first regarding any outside medical treatments and then tender the recommendation letter from Prison Medical Officer in court. Full Story     Post Reply To This

CM`s tirade: MR urges probe
Friday, 27 May 2016 - 9:21 AM SL Time

Responding to the behaviour of Eastern Province Chief Minister Nazeer Ahamed who slandered a Navy officer at an event, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa urged a full investigation into the matter, and said insults directed at the security forces by political authorities should stop. Issuing a statement, he said , A video clip of the Eastern Province Chief Minister verbally abusing a naval officer at a public meeting in Sampur has appeared in the media and been posted widely on social networks. The fact that this ugly incident took place in the presence of the American ambassador has added to its seriousness. The Eastern Province Chief Minister who raised an issue of protocol over his place on the stage can be heard shouting at the naval officer repeatedly using phrases like get out from here idiot and shut up . On a previous occasion when TNA politicians forcibly entered an army camp in the north, the government went out of its way to portray this as a minor incident and to sweep it under the carpet. This is now the second such incident. The incidents that took place in the north and in Sampur should not have taken place anywhere in the country. Politicians in any part of the country should not seek to enter army camps without obtaining prior permission or giving due notice. Likewise no politician in any part of the country should ever speak to a uniformed member of the armed forces at a public meeting the way the EP Chief Minister spoke to that naval officer. Deliberate insults directed in this manner by the political authorities at the armed forces that rid the country of the scourge of terrorism, should stop. We suspect that this latest incident is a part of the project that began in January last year to demoralise our war heroes. I call upon the government not to sweep this latest incident under the carpet the way they dodged taking action over the incident in the north. It is the duty of the government to formally investigate the conduct of the EP Chief Minister and to take steps to ensure that such incidents do not occur anywhere in the country in future., Full Story     Post Reply To This

Chief Minister Nazeer not allowed in military camps
Friday, 27 May 2016 - 9:15 AM SL Time

Eastern Province Chief Minister Nazeer Ahamed would not be allowed to enter military camps and the three forces would not participate in functions attended by the Chief Minister, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) said. Defense Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi said the decision was taken after considering a request by the security forces to do so. He said the security forces have been perturbed following the recent incident where Chief Minister Ahamed rebuked a naval officer during an event held at the Sampur Maha Vidyalaya. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Damage to antique Buddha statue: JO calls for inquiry
Thursday, 26 May 2016 - 9:26 AM SL Time

The Joint Opposition (JO), today, called for an inquiry into how a valuable bronze Buddha statue belonging to the Anuradhapura era had been damaged after it was taken to Temple Trees to grace an exposition of relics. JO stalwart MP Wimal Weerawansa said at a media briefing that the statue had been removed from the National Museum without the approval of the museum`s director. Calling it a grave crime under the laws governing archaeological affairs, he said action should be taken forthwith against those responsible. `The statue had been damaged. After that, it had been repaired with glue and returned to the museum,` he said. Mahinda Yapa Abeywardan MP, a former cultural affairs minister, said that artefacts could not be removed from the museum without Cabinet approval and that this was a grave crime. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Navy wants action be taken against EP CM Nazeer
Thursday, 26 May 2016 - 9:25 AM SL Time

The navy today handed a report to the Defence Ministry requesting action be taken against Eastern Province Chief Minister Nazeer Ahamed for allegedly rebuking a naval officer at an event at the Sampur Maha Vidyalaya on Friday. A video of the CM rebuking a naval officer, who was the compere at an event at the Sampur Maha Vidyalaya, went viral recently. Eastern Province Governor Austin Fernando and US Ambassador Atul Keshap also attended the event as Chief Guests. Mr. Ahamed lost his cool when he had mistakenly assumed that the navy personnel was requesting him to move off the stage, when he had in fact only requested the media personnel to make room for students to come up on stage. `Get out from here idiot. If you don t know what protocol is, just get out. Who the hell are you to stop me? Even you, the Governor, don t know what the protocol is. I respect the Ambassador much more. You should know Governor, you should know the protocol,` he was heard saying. Navy Commander Ravindra Wijegunaratne yesterday said that he handed over a report on the incident to the Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi. We have handed over a report recommending the measures that need to be taken to the Defence Secretary yesterday. We are quite happy that the naval personnel did not act in a manner that made the situation worse, he said. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Flood affected areas to be marked HSZs : President
Tuesday, 24 May 2016 - 10:27 AM SL Time

President Maithripala Sirisena today instructed the officials of the newly establish special Environmental Relief Task Force to mark the flood affected areas as High Security Zones. The President had ordered them to be on the lookout for encroachment in the Colombo area and not to reclaim lands in the Colombo District any more. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Namal arrives at FCID
Tuesday, 24 May 2016 - 10:23 AM SL Time

MP Namal Rajapaksa arrived at the Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) this morning to give a statement. Sources said the parliamentarian was summoned to record a statement regarding the investigation into the construction of a house at Mihindu Mawatha, Mount Lavinia. Earlier, the FCID examined the house on a court order in connection with the CSN investigation. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Investigation against Manusha Nanayakkara
Monday, 23 May 2016 - 10:30 AM SL Time

An investigation is currently underway against the Deputy Minister of Foreign Employment Manusha Nanayakkara for his alleged involvement in misleading the public by superimposing a false news item on The Hindu newspaper, to tarnish the political image of Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Daily Mirror reliably learns. Colombo Fraud Investigation Bureau has initiated an inquiry following a directive by the former Police Chief N. K. Illangakoon, in response to a complaint lodged by then Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ajith P. Perera on August 10, 2015. The complaint was lodged against the Galle District SLFP MP Nanayakkara after he produced a false document at a live political talk show conducted by a leading television channel on August 08, 2015. The talk show was attended by MP Nanayakkara, then Deputy Minister of Women s Affairs Vijayakala Maheswaran and UNP Ratnapura District MP Heshan Vithana, the Daily Mirror learns. At the talk show MP Nanayakkara produces a photocopy of The Hindu newspaper dated July 11, 2012, carrying an article about a statement made by MP Vijayakala Maheswaran to the respective Indian newspaper. The statement was about a political vow given to her by the then Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe of handing over the Eelam, once he comes to power. The police following the initial inquiry have learnt that there was no such news item was published on The Hindu newspaper on the said date as shown by MP Nanayakkara. Instead, the original paper had carried a news item about a statement made by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa with his photograph on. An in depth inquiry had revealed that the copy of the newspaper which was shown through the media by MP Nanayakkara was a one that had been superimposed by a false news item on MP Maheswaran and Premier Wickremesinghe. The Daily Mirror reliably learns through its parliamentary sources that the Colombo Fraud Investigation Bureau had so far recorded statements from MPs Maheswaran and Heshan Vithana with the permission of the Speaker. When contacted OIC CFIB Chief Inspector P. P. A. Wijenayake said an inquiry is currently underway against MP Manusha Nanayakkara regarding a forged document but denied to give further details. However, Deputy Foreign Employment Minister Ajith P. Perera speaking from an overseas destination told the Daily Mirror yesterday, that he personally lodged a complaint with the Police Headquarters last year against MP Manusha Nanayakkara and the CFIB had already recorded his statement. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Cooperation is the need of the hour: PM
Friday, 20 May 2016 - 11:30 AM SL Time

Addressing a media briefing at the Temple Trees today, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe warned that prevalent inclement weather conditions would prolong for some time, and said cooperation was the need of the hour. He urged all people and forces to extend a helping hand to save the lives of those affected by floods. Our priority is to save the lives of those who have been affected by the prevalent weather conditions. We cannot expect the inclement weather to return to normalcy as more rain clouds were expected to arrive from the Maldives. More landslides like the ones that occurred in Aranayake could take place in other areas as well, and those who have been advised to leave their homes, please do so, he said. The premier stated that security forces and the police would be deployed to all flood affected areas on the instructions of protecting the belongings of the displaced and the ones who were evacuated. Some people have been reluctant to leave their premises when they have been asked to, assuming that their valuables would be robbed. But, the police and security forces have been deployed to prevent such happenings. A survey done on the situation in Colombo and Gampaha areas stated that the floods were unusual. I have personally witnessed floods in the Gampaha area since 1975, but this time, the region is inundated like never before, he lamented. Responding to a question raised by a journalist as to whether an emergency situation would be declared, the Prime Minister said such a move was not needed as only certain parts of the country were affected. Meanwhile, Disaster Management Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa who was also present at the briefing said a special insurance scheme had been introduced to assist the flood affected people. He said a colossal sum of Rs. 300 million had been allocated for it, and added that the funds would be spent without considering any circular. While further pointing out that some 414, 627 people belonging to 98, 076 families have been affected thus far, Minister Yapa said the floods have claimed 43 lives, and 16 persons had gone missing. As many as 286 houses have been destroyed while 3, 057 were partly damaged. Meanwhile, some 61, 381 families have been put up in 594 camps, he said. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Govt. will remove Cabinet moles: Rajitha
Thursday, 19 May 2016 - 10:36 AM SL Time

Reshuffle or not, the Government would remove a few Ministers from the Cabinet for sabotaging the anti-corruption drive of the Government, inefficiency and treachery before long, a senior Cabinet Minister said today. Joint Cabinet Spokesman Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne told the weekly Cabinet news briefing that not only the members of the Joint Opposition, the Mahinda Rajapaksa camp and public sector officials and senior Police officers, who benefitted from the Rajapaksa Government, certain Ministers also would do everything to scuttle the ongoing investigations against corruption, money laundering, frauds, and embezzlement that allegedly took place under the Rajapaksa regime. Four Ministers including Minister Champika Ranawaka and I discussed the ongoing investigations by the Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) the other day and decided to make a request to the FCID to submit a report on the investigations completed. But one Minister has put our efforts in ex-President Rajapaksa s ear and the following morning he disclosed the contents in the Cabinet paper in Kandy and added that there was a move by the Government to arrest him and Namal, Basil and some other family members. This is treachery on the part of this Minister, Minister Senaratne said. He said President Maithripala Sirisena was fully supportive to their move and instructed not to obtain the FCID reports through the Cabinet, when the relevant Cabinet paper was submitted on Tuesday. President Sirisena is aware of the double dealing of this particular minister and few others. They will be removed from the Cabinet shortly with a couple of other Ministers whose performance is nil, Minister Senaratne added. Responding to a journalist on the mediocre publicity given to the last week s exposure of the alleged transfer of money amounting to Rs. 12.6 billion on January 9, 2015, by the Chief of Staff of former President Rajapaksa, Minister Senaratne said a large section of the media was still with members of the previous regime and did not support the anti-corruption drive of the Consensual Government. In other countries, the media takes the lead of the fight corruption. In our country many journalists and media institutions do the very opposite of it, Dr. Senaratne charged. He added that he wondered whether they get paid from those agencies and politicians. Minister Senaratne revealed that when the FCID first questioned the Financial Investigation Unit (FIU) of the Central Bank about the money transfer, the head of the unit, an ASP of the Rajapaksa Camp, had said there was no such transaction taken place on that day. But during the inquiries it has been revealed that the money has been delivered in bags from the BoC City Branch to the residence of Mr. Senarat from nine in the morning to 4 p.m. by the driver, who has changed three cheque leaves given to him. Minister Senaratne said the VAT increase was the result of massive scale frauds, money laundering and embezzlement under the Rajapaksa regime and therefore the blame must go to it He added that the people must punish those who still rally around that clique. Full Story     Post Reply To This

MR not invited for Victory Day ceremonies
Tuesday, 17 May 2016 - 8:53 AM SL Time

Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa has not been invited to participate in the Victory Day ceremonies being held on May 18, Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi said today. The seventh war victory celebration, Sanhindiyawe Piya Satahan is scheduled to be held at the War Memorial in Battaramulla under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena. The event is to be followed by a cultural show at the Independence Square in Colombo. Mr. Hettiarachchi told a news briefing held at the Government Information Department that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Commanders of the three armed forces, parliamentarians, war heroes, the Police, the Civil Defense Forces and war heroes` family members will participate. Government parliamentarians were billed to participate while neither the former president nor his supporters invited. The public have been invited to the cultural show. Meanwhile, when asked whether another War Victory Day was being organized in Kurunegala at which the former president and his supporters would participate, Mr. Hettiarachi said that he had also heard about the rumour. None of the military personnel have been given permission to attend any such event, he said. The Government had decided not to hold a military parade because it was too costly to do so. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Mervyn forms his own Joint Opposition
Tuesday, 17 May 2016 - 8:51 AM SL Time

The sacred term, joint opposition must not be used to identify a gang of rogues, I will form a joint opposition so as to perform the duties of an actual opposition, former minister Mervyn Silva told a media briefing today. He said in the past everything took place according to the whims and fancies of the Rajapaksas and he had to act on their behalf on several occasions. Mr. Silva said that from today he would act as the convener of the joint opposition and in the very near future there would be many who would join him. He said when a group from the UPFA is in the government another group of the same alliance has no right to conduct themselves as the joint opposition. Full Story     Post Reply To This     Read Replies ( 1 )

MR security- Remaining army personal removed
Tuesday, 17 May 2016 - 8:49 AM SL Time

National Freedom Front (NFF) Leader Wimal Weerawansa said the last batch of army personnel attached to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa`s security detail had been asked to report to the Army Headquarters. He said this was a sign that the government feared Mr. Rajapaksa `This also proves that the government has affected by the Mahinda Rajapaksa Phobia when considering the fact that all army personnel have been removed from Mr. Rajapaksa s security detail,` he said. Mr. Weerawansa told a media briefing that the report on the government deploying the Special Task Force s (STF) personnel for Mr. Rajapaksa`s security was a lie. Instead of STF security, the government has assigned personnel from the Ministerial Security Division for Mr. Rajapaksa. This move will prove dangerous. By pulling out the remaining army personnel, the government may be attempting to place Mr. Rajapaksa s life in danger, he added. Mr. Weerawansa said the government might have thought it was the best time to withdraw the remaining army personnel because of the current weather conditions and the upcoming Vesak celebrations. It is a despicable act to take such a step. There should not be any political influence when it comes to a national crisis, he said and added that NFF decried this attempt to put Mr. Rajapaksa s life in danger. Full Story     Post Reply To This

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