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UK votes to leave EU, PM resigns
Saturday, 25 June 2016 - 10:37 AM SL Time

Britain voted to break away from the European Union, toppling Prime Minister David Cameron and dealing a thunderous blow to the 60-year-old bloc that sent world markets plummeting on Friday.

Cameron announced he would step down to make way for a new leader by early October after voters opted to exit the 28-nation alliance in defiance of his predictions of economic disaster and isolation.

Britons, many of them worried by immigration, decided 52 percent to 48 percent in favour of quitting the bloc, a margin of more than one million votes, according to final results from Thursday`s referendum.
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Ulterior motives behind arrest of Govt. s opponents : Wimal
Friday, 24 June 2016 - 10:17 AM SL Time

Jathika Nidahas Peramuna (JNP) MP Wimal Weerawansa today charged that the government was imprisoning its opponents at a rate as it intended to hold a referendum to adopt its new Constitution which was aimed at dividing the country. The government is planning to implement a new constitution by obtaining a two thirds majority at a referendum and is doing the utmost to prevent a free and fair referendum. Any shortfall for the special majority at the referendum would be met by the pro-government Sri Lankan expatriates, Tamil Diaspora and Sri Lankan Tamils in refugee camps in India as they would be allowed to visit Sri Lanka under special arrangements, he told a news conference. The public would be debarred from knowing the right to information and the media would be suppressed until the proposed constitutional reforms are passed. Any individual who protests against it would end up in jail and this diabolical plan is already in progress, Mr. Weerawansa alleged. Now we can imagine why the Local Government elections were postponed,` he said. Due to failures in meeting people`s aspirations the government cannot go to villages and seek votes from the people and that is why the government is trying to postponed the Local Government election, he claimed. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Soyza hits out at Basil`s party
Friday, 24 June 2016 - 10:16 AM SL Time

The break away group of the SLFP, the joint opposition and the new party reported to be formed by former Minister Basil Rajapaksa are doomed for disaster as the SLFP`s history has proved in numerous occasions that not a single politician or group had succeeded after betraying the party, Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister Wijith Vijayamuni Soyza said yesterday. He said with the aim of holding the local government polls in the first quarter of 2017, the SLFP would fro call applications with immediate effect and start interviews on July 19, Minister Vijayamuni Soyza said. Minister Silva added that President Maithripala Sirisena had already announced that all qualified SLFP applicants would get nominations to contest the poll. This is going to be a Litmus Test for those who are pulling the leg of the SLFP and President Sirisena. They must decide whether to perish with those who are dreaming of forming a new party or a new government or find success and progress with the SLFP led by President Sirisena Minister Soyza said. Addressing the media at the weekly news briefing at the SLFP head office, Minister Silva said the SLFP Central Committee has also decided to hold the 65th Anniversary of the party on September 11 on a grand scale and a ten member organizing committee chaired by Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Sirisipala De Silva has been appointed. The best example is the Sri Lanka Mahajana Pakshaya formed by popular actor Vijaya Kumaratunga after leaving the SLFP. He formed the Sri Lanka Mahajana Pakshaya when he was in the peak of popularity and was a great crowd puller where ever he went. But he could not win a single election and enter Parliament. Even former President Chandrika Kumaratunga tasted victory at Provincial Councils, Parliamentary and Presidential polls after coming back to the SLFP, he said. Minister Silva responding to a journalist, said the downfall of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was a making of his family members and Basil Rajapaksa in particular who deserted the party after the Parliamentary polls defeat in August. The so called joint opposition or those who abandoned the party do not have a future and they are doomed as all those who betrayed the party in the past. Therefore, it is the responsibility of all SLFPers who truly love the party to extend their support to party leader President Sirisena to take the party to victory at the local government polls and then after to the Presidential and Parliamentary elections, he stressed. The interviews to select SLFP candidates for the local government polls will begin from July 19 from the Kandy District and conclude on November 11 from Colombo and Gampaha. A three member committee led by Ministers Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, S.B.Dissanayake, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, Susil Premajayantha, Wijith Vijayamuni Soyza, Fizer Musthapha and Chandima Weerakkodi has been appointed to conduct interviews for candidates of the 25 districts. A four member committee has been appointed by the CC of the SLFP headed by Minister A.H.M.Fowzy for the 8 districts in the North-East. Another 16 committees chaired by senior cabinet Ministers have also been appointed to re-organize the part from the grass roots level and covering agriculture, banking, trade union, public service and the private sector. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Celluloid gang operating in Jaffna
Friday, 24 June 2016 - 10:15 AM SL Time

A gang, inspired by violent scenes in South Indian cinema, is engaged in emulating them for various criminal activities in the Jaffna peninsula according to initial observations , Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake informed Parliament yesterday. The Minister , in his statement tabled in the House in response to a question raised by EPDP leader Douglas Devananda earlier, said many such gangsters had been arrested and remanded He said in the statement that the gang called ` Ava Group` was first identified by the Chunnakam police in Jaffna after a crackdown. These gang members have been accused of housebreaks, assaults, sword attacks and damaging a house . The Minister said a breakaway group of this group had formed a gang called `Rock Team`, and six of its criminals had been arrested along with two swords, one dagger, two hand grenades and two stolen motor bikes. They have been produced before a court of law. He noted that intelligence operations were underway for information gathering on the activities of this gang. In response to another matter raised by Mr. Devananda under the same question, the Minister said Sri Lanka Navy had increased its vigilance to curb the smuggling of Kerala Ganga and other narcotics. In 2015, the Navy had seized 456 kilos of Kerala Ganja on 21 occasions . On tours of these occasions, mid sea arrests have been made. In the overall context, he said there was a drop of criminal cases in the Jaffna peninsula over the years. Full Story     Post Reply To This

SC allows petition challenging VAT increase
Thursday, 23 June 2016 - 10:43 AM SL Time

The Supreme Court today granted leave to proceed with the rights petitions challenging the intended imposition of additional liabilities pertaining to multi-stage tax called the Value Added Tax (VAT) and Nation Building Tax (NBT). The Bench comprising Chief Justice K.Sripavan, Justice B.P.Aluvihara granted leave for the alleged infringement of the fundamental right to equality. Senior Deputy Solicitor General Farzana Jameel with Senior State Counsels S.Barrie and Dr. Avanti Perera opposed granting Interim Reliefs. Five petitions have been filed against the said intended imposition of Taxes. Former Minister Wimal Weerawansa, Ven. Maduruoya Dharmisiri Thera, Ven. Bengamuge Nalaka Thera, Centre for Policy Alternative and Sivapathasunderam Sivakumar are the Petitioners. Manohara de Silva PC, Shavindra Fernando PC and Viran Corea appeared for the Petitioners separately. Full Story     Post Reply To This

I ll go home tomorrow, if allegations proved: Arjuna
Thursday, 23 June 2016 - 10:38 AM SL Time

While rejecting the allegations made by the Joint Trade Union Collective of the Ports Authority, Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said today he would resign from politics and go home tomorrow if it was proved he had defrauded a single rupee. He said the union leaders did not have the backbone to go to the Police, FCID or the Bribery Commission instead of making false allegations against him because they did not have any evidence of fraud. If I had defrauded any money, they can go to the Police, FCID or the Bribery Commission and make a complaint against me. They are not doing so because they do not have any evidence. They are just criticizing me saying I am a thief. I have sent a letter of demand for Rs.500 million for making false allegations against me, the minister said. He said those so-called union leaders were making baseless allegations because he had stopped all fraud and corruption in the Ports Authority. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Not MR, but other Rajapaksas have allegations: Rajitha
Thursday, 23 June 2016 - 10:31 AM SL Time

There was no evidence to suggest that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was involved in any financial fraud, but allegations of money laundering and financial mismanagement had been levelled against many of the Rajapaksa family members, Cabinet Spokesman, Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said today. Responding to a journalist on an alleged statement by former President Rajapaksa that he would cut his own throat if it was proved that he had stolen a single dollar of State revenue, Minister Senaratne said there was no evidence to prove that former President Rajapaksa engaged in any financial frauds while in office. But Mahinda Rajapaksa is not all other Rajapaksas. Many other members of the Rajapaksa family have various allegations of financial fraud against them. I would like to know what they have to say, when inquiries are in progress or some of them are taken into custody, he added. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Six indicted for Sri Lankan cricket team attack
Thursday, 23 June 2016 - 10:19 AM SL Time

An anti-terrorism court on Wednesday summoned the prosecution witnesses by June 30 after framing charges against six members of a banned outfit accused in 2009 Sri Lankan cricket team attack case. During an in-camera proceedings on Wednesday held at Kot Lakhpat Jail all the suspects Obaidullah, Javed Anwar, Ibrahim Khalil, Abdul Wahab, Zubair and Adnan Arshad, pleaded not guilty. The first three suspects were on bail while other are behind bars. In this case, the court had already declared two suspects, Mohsin Rasheed and Abdul Rehman, proclaimed offenders. The presiding judge, Chaudhry Azam, summoned the prosecution witnesses on June 30. The alleged mastermind of the attack, Malik Ishaq, was killed last year in July during a crossfire between the personnel of Counter-Terrorism Department and the militants who tried to free their leader from the custody of the force in Muzaffargarh. Gulberg police had registered a case against Ishaq and others for their involvement in the attack. A bus carrying the guest team was attacked with AK-47 rifles and grenades at Liberty Chowk near Qaddafi Stadium on March 3, 2009. Seven players and an assistant coach were wounded while eight Pakistanis killed in the attack. Then Sri Lankan cricket team captain Mahela Jayawaredene, his deputy Kumar Sangakkara, Ajantha Mendis, Thilan Samaraweera, Tharanga Paranavitana and Chaminda Vaas had sustained injuries. Six escorting policemen were also killed in this attack. Attackers had a plan to take the cricket team hostage to get some arrested commanders of TTP released. remand extended: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) Wednesday extended three-day physical remand of one Anees Rafique, an accused of burning alive his 17-year-old sister in the name of honour with connivance of his mothers_day.jsp' class=black>mother and brother-in-law. Factory Area police produced the suspect, Anees, before the court and sought his further physical remand to complete investigation. The court has extended the remand by June 25. Anees was arrested from the house of his relatives in Nishtar Colony. Previously, the court had remanded the mother of the victim girl Parveen Rafique and brother-in-law Mushtaq. Zeenat was burnt alive for honour allegedly by her parents over contracting love marriage in the Factory Area police limits. A case was registered on the complaint of victim s husband Hassan Khan, a resident of Chungi Amar Sadhu. Hassan in his statement contended that he contracted love marriage with the victim on May 29 through a local court. Three days back, victim s cousin Mushtaq Ahmad visited his house and asked her to go back home so that marriage ceremony could be held in a proper way. Full Story     Post Reply To This

PHU alleges political hand moving Shaddick
Tuesday, 21 June 2016 - 8:58 AM SL Time

The Pivithurua Hela Urumaya (PHU) today alleged that a political party electoral organizer had promised to pay Brian Shaddick, the Australian businessman, who alleged he was swindled by PHU General Secretary and MP Udaya Gammanpila. Mr. Gammanpila was arrested on Saturday on charges of having used a fraudulent Power of Attorney to sell shares of an Australian Company owned by Mr. Shaddick. PHU Propaganda Secretary Thushara Dissanayake told a news conference that the organiser had sent an email to Mr. Shaddick in August last year inviting him to attend a news conference in Colombo. The e-mail said they have already paid for Shaddick`s air tickets and for his accommodation in Sri Lanka. The e-mail had also mentioned that they would pay the promised amount to Mr. Shaddick upon arrival, he said. Mr. Dassanayake said their party leader Gammanpila was not arrested because he had committed any crime but for holding different political views. Meanwhile, PHU National Organiser Madumadhawa Aravinda said Mr. Gammanpila was a man of honour who was not playing Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde unlike others. Full Story     Post Reply To This

NEC not informed of LG bodies sans delimitation issues
Tuesday, 21 June 2016 - 8:55 AM SL Time

The much awaited local government election could be conducted within two and a half months of receiving the final report of the Asoka Peiris Committee tasked with solving the problems arising from the report submitted by the National Delimitation Commission (NDC), Chairman of the National Election Commission Mahinda Deshapriya said yesterday.

Deshapriya said the Asoka Peiris Committee had informed the National Election Commission (NEC) that it would submit its final report by August 31.

However, the NEC would go ahead with the Supreme Court order if the judgment in the case filed demanding immediate conduct of the election was delivered before August 31, Deshapriya said.
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PM agrees to suspend re-appointment of Mahendran as CB governor
Monday, 20 June 2016 - 9:46 AM SL Time

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had agreed not to re-appoint Arjuna Mahendran as the Governor of the Central Bank until the investigation launched by the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) against him concluded. The Convener of Puravasi Balaya, Saman Ratnapriya said the decision was made during the meeting held yesterday between the Prime Minister and the Puravasi Balaya movement at Temple Trees. Mr. Ratnapriya said that following a two-hour long discussion, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe had agreed with their proposal not to re-appoint Mahendran as CB Governor pending the conclusion of investigations. Full Story     Post Reply To This

Rathana Thera calls on JVP groups to reunite
Monday, 20 June 2016 - 9:44 AM SL Time

Parliament Member Ven. Athureliye Rathana Thera called on all the break-away groups of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) to get together again to build the country and said that he too was willing to join such an effort. Speaking at the funeral of the former JVP leader and the leader of the Janatha Sevaka Pakshaya, Somawansa Amarasinghe at the Borella Kanatte cemetery, the Thera said that Mr. Amarasinghe brought in two aspects to the Sri Lankan leftist politics, internationalism and patriotism. `He was an internationalist as a leftist politician while being a patriot` he stated. Leaders of the JVP, its break away groups such as the Frontline Socialist Party and parliamentarians of many political parties also participated in the funeral. He called on the various groups that had broken away from the JVP to unite shedding minor differences so that they all could serve the country as a force. Full Story     Post Reply To This

GL: Govt. in a soup of its own making
Monday, 20 June 2016 - 9:36 AM SL Time

Former External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday said that the government found itself in the current predicament owing to its irresponsible action.

Prof. Peiris said: `They have solemnly committed themselves to binding agreements at the Human Rights Council in Geneva without giving any thought to the consequences. The sequence of events is really unbelievable.

`The resolution which the government of Sri Lanka co-sponsored in October last year states that it takes note with appreciation of the report High Commissioner for Human Rights on Sri Lanka. We wonder whether the government studied this report at all.
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Six JO members to crossover:Range Bandara
Friday, 17 June 2016 - 9:31 AM SL Time

Six members of the Joint Opposition would crossover to the Government shortly, State Minister Palitha Range Bandara told a media briefing today. However, the he fell short of mentioning who the MPs would be. You will find out who they are, when they make the move,` Bandara told journalists. Full Story     Post Reply To This

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