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Janaka Bandara Tennakoon to resign today
Friday, 24 July 2015 - 10:44 AM SL Time

Provincial Councils and Regional Development Minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon is to resign today, sources said yesterday. They said his resignation letter would be handed to President Maithripala Sirisena today. Sources also said that the recent controversial speech made by the president, and the activities of the UNP had impelled him to resign. Soon after President Maithripala Sirisena took office, Tennakoon was appointed Minister of Provincial Councils and Regional Development. Tennakoon recently held a media briefing to protest the speech made by the president. He is due to hold another media briefing today to announce his decision. Full Story     Post Reply To This     Read Replies ( 129 )


GS says drunken man was the culprit
Friday, 24 July 2015 - 1:33 AM SL Time

A Grama Seva Niladhari caught in the Akuressa election rally incident involving former President and Kurunegala district UPFA candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa, said today a drunken person who was behind him had grabbed the hand of Mr. Rajapaksa. GS Officer W. Wijesinghe, attached to the Telijjawila, Wandagoda Division of the Matara district, said this drunken person put his arm behind, and that at the same time, the crowd started showing. Then, he said Mr. Rajapaksa slackened his hand from this grab. According to video footages, many assumed that I was grabbing the hand of Mr. Rajapaksa. I received several telephone calls from here and abroad inquiring about this incident, he said. He also said state intelligence authorities had started recording statements from him. Elaborating further on what happened, he said, I went to the Akuressa town that day to pump fuel for my motorbike. Then, it started raining. I came to know that Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa was coming. I wanted to have a glimpse of him. Mr. Rajapaksa was proceeding towards the stage. Then, a drunken man behind me tried to grip the hand of Mr. Rajapaksa, with ringed fingers. The crowd was jostling at the time. Mr. Rajapaksa tried to untighten the grip at once. That is it. Yet, it went viral on the internet. Newspapers also published it. Most think I am the one who had a grip of Mr. Rajapaksa s hand. Today, I am in a predicament not being able to walk on roads freely. I am exhausted after giving too many statements. I never though this will spin out of control to this extent. I do not know the person who was behind me at that moment. A team of intelligence officials headed to his home yesterday to record a statement
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Six Chinese fined for begging in Sri Lanka
Thursday, 23 July 2015 - 11:53 AM SL Time

Six Chinese who pleaded guilty to the charges of begging near the Fort Railway Station and of obstructing the people there were fined Rs.100 each by the Colombo Fort Magistrate. They were arrested by the Fort Police after being informed that a group of foreigners were begging near the Fort Railway Station by obstructing public movement in the area. Police told the Fort Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage that the six Chinese -- Si Yang Sin, Sun Bautan, Si Dong Shing, Yang Sun Chin, Suwel Sung and Liyong Siyang In had committed a punishable offence under section 3(1) of the Vagrants Ordinance. Police charged that the fifth and sixth suspects were the masterminds behind this offence had sent them out for begging from a house which they had rented out in Kollupitiya. Full Story     Post Reply To This     Read Replies ( 75 )


Mervyn vows to campaign for Ranil
Wednesday, 22 July 2015 - 11:05 PM SL Time

In an unexpected turn of events former Public Relations Minister Mervyn Silva said he would launch a separate campaign in support of the Ranil Wickremesinghe-led United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG).

He told Daily Mirror that he would never betray the SLFP and pledged his support for President Maithripala Sirisena.
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Sri Lanka Premier speaks of a five-year development plan for villages
Tuesday, 21 July 2015 - 4:33 PM SL Time

Sri Lanka`s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe says the future United National Party government will implement a special five year plan to develop the country.

Addressing an election rally of United National Party at Panduwasnuwara area this evening, the Prime Minister said the rural areas will be developed agriculturally and industrially.

He said an economic development zone will be established from Kuliyapitiya to Divulapitiya and the proposed economic development zone is one of the prime initiatives in his development plan.
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No constitutional barrier to MR becoming PM
Monday, 20 July 2015 - 11:57 PM SL Time

Former UPFA Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday said nowhere in the constitution was it stated that a former President could not become the Prime Minister. The President had to appoint the MP who commanded the support of a majority of parliamentarians, he added.

Therefore, President Maithripala Sirisena could not say that he would not appoint Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister, Prof Peiris said.

Addressing the media at the Opposition Leader s office, Prof. Peiris accused Prime Minister Wickremesinghe of shielding rogues behind the Central Bank bond scam.
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Sajin back in Prison ward Skin disease found to be bogus
Monday, 20 July 2015 - 3:00 PM SL Time

Former Parliamen-tarian Sajin de Vaas Gunawardena who is currently in remand custody for the misuse of 16 State owned vehicles was ordered to be removed from Prison Hospital and relocated into a normal prison ward by the Colombo High Court Justice Ranawaka Gunatileke.

Former Parliamen-tarian Sajin de Vaas Gunawardena who is currently in remand custody for the misuse of 16 State owned vehicles was ordered to be removed from Prison Hospital and relocated into a normal prison ward by the Colombo High Court Justice Ranawaka Gunatileke.
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Fake war crimes report to be released before election
Monday, 20 July 2015 - 11:28 AM SL Time

The government has received information that plans were afoot to release a `fake` UNHRC war crimes report to benefit the election campaign of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, a top government spokesman told the Daily News.

The fake war crimes report is likely to be released locally within the first week of August, nearly two weeks before the Parliamentary election. In the report, nearly 50 names will be included as `war heroes` against whom war crimes charges have been leveled, the spokesman added.

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Rajapaksa Pledges To Increase Minimum Salary To Rs. 25,000
Monday, 20 July 2015 - 2:25 AM SL Time

Kurunegala District UPFA candidate and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa pledged to increase the minimum salary of the government sector to Rs. 25,000.

Speaking at a meeting in Kuliyapitiya, Rajapaksa said that the government has misled the people during the past six months.

The government failed to carry out its promises of increasing the salary, he said.

Furthermore, he claimed that 1.5 million people have lost their jobs during the six months the government was in power. Rajapaksa also said that development projects started by his government have also been stopped.
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Rajapaksa s sky jack of Sri Lankan flights : Rs 785M for three years
Sunday, 19 July 2015 - 12:50 PM SL Time

Former President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, spent more than Rs. 785 million within three years to charter SriLankan Airlines aircraft for his visits abroad, documents obtained by the Sunday Times show. The airbuses would often remain idle in various airports until Mr Rajapaksa finished his tours. SriLankan has billed his office a total of Rs 785,079,185 for 90 aircraft movements in 2012, 2013 and 2014. This figure does not reflect other multiple costs such as crew accommodation. These expenses were often met by Sri Lanka s diplomatic missions abroad.
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`White vans only for tourism now` - Sri Lankan PM
Friday, 17 July 2015 - 10:46 PM SL Time

Sri Lanka`s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe said that there is no anxiety among the people about abduction by `White Vans` and white vans are now being used only for tourism activities.

Addressing an election campaign rally, the Prime Minister said the people of the country are now enjoying the benefits of the concessions provided by the government within a short period of 100 days.

He said that the government, the United National Party (UNP) and the good governance front are dedicated for a just and fair election.
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SLFP counters MS declares MR as campaign leader
Thursday, 16 July 2015 - 12:59 PM SL Time

The SLFP yesterday strongly denied President Maithripala Sirisena s accusation that the party had conspired to appoint former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Parliament through the National List by moving a no-faith motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha insisted that in accordance with the Parliamentary Elections Act of 1981, only a person named in the original National List submitted to the Elections Secretariat along with nominations for the last parliamentary election or an unsuccessful candidate at the same election could be appointed.
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Maithri acted as predicted
Thursday, 16 July 2015 - 2:04 AM SL Time

While claiming that President Maithripala Sirisena acted in the manner the UNP believed, Uva Provincial Council Chief Minister Harin Fernando today said that they were certain of the President s promise that he would not support former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the general elections.

Though we had some doubts, we repeatedly said the President would not support Mahinda Rajapaksa or get on the same stage with Rajapaksa. We are thankful for President Sirisena for keeping his promise, Mr. Fernando said commenting on the speech made by the President on Tuesday.
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Will remain neutral, won`t back MR: Maithri
Tuesday, 14 July 2015 - 11:31 PM SL Time

President Maithripala Sirisena said he would remain neutral at the general election and won t back former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

He said that he is against Mr. Rajapaksa and that there are many seniors he could appoint as Prime Minister in the event the SLFP wins at the general elections. He said that irrespective of the party that comes to power, he wants those who could carry his pledges forward to be elected.

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Sri Lanka`s ex-leader Mahinda ditches Muslims
Tuesday, 14 July 2015 - 12:03 PM SL Time

Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa who is opposition United People`s Freedom Alliance in Kurunegala has dropped minority Tamils and Muslims from his list of candidates to head a Sinhala-only team.

The former leader was not present at the Kurunegala district secretariat to submit nomination forms leaving the menial task to his deputy and former energy minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa.

Kurunegala, the third largest electoral district with a vote base of 1.26 million has a seven percent Muslim population.
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Former Sri Lanka leader to run for prime minister in August elections
Monday, 13 July 2015 - 11:11 PM SL Time

A coalition led by Sri Lanka`s president has nominated war-time leader Mahinda Rajapaksa to run in elections next month, official documents showed on Monday, with allies saying he will stand for the post of prime minister.

President Maithripala Sirisena defeated Rajapaksa in a bitterly fought election in January. He was forced to give the former leader the nomination in the face of strong demands from his party or risk a split.

Rajapaksa`s crushing of a 26-year Tamil Tiger insurgency in 2009 won him support among the island nation`s Sinhalese majority, and he still has a strong following. He becomes Sri Lanka`s first defeated leader to seek a legislative seat.
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Disillusioned supporters of Sri Lanka President form a new front with UNP to contest parliamentary elections
Sunday, 12 July 2015 - 7:09 PM SL Time

Members of the United People`s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), who were opposed to allowing the former president Mahinda Rajapaksa to be nominated to contest the upcoming general elections, have allied with the United national Party to form a new front.

Several SLFP stalwarts and former UPFA constituent party, Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) which was recently renamed as the United National Front for Good Governance along with several others leftist parties have formed a new front with the United National Party to contest the upcoming election.
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Major political realignments as nominations end
Sunday, 12 July 2015 - 12:30 PM SL Time

The bitter truth which some disbelieved, others hoped was untrue and yet others dismissed as impossible was officially confirmed as a reality this week.

President Maithripala Sirisena has given his blessings to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest from the United People s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) for the Kurunegala District. He has also done so for Rajapaksa s close allies to contest from different districts. Rajapaksa also submitted names to be added to the UPFA National List. It included a former Navy Commander, Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda. He was Sri Lanka s Ambassador to Japan until his recall after the UNP Government came into office. That list is now awaiting approval. Among other names in the UPFA National List are former External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris, former UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, one-time diplomat Dayan Jayatilleke, former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, former Media Ministry Secretary Charitha Herath, constitutional lawyer Jayampathy Wickremeratne, and scientist/publisher Devindu Kumaratunga.
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8 Jan coalition to regroup for continuity of Yahapalanya sans Maithri
Saturday, 11 July 2015 - 2:07 PM SL Time

Talks began in earnest yesterday to re-forge the broad opposition coalition that ousted President Mahinda Rajapaksa in January, with the United National Party in the lead and several top SLFP members, the Jathika Hela Urumaya and Sarath Fonseka s Democratic Party also tipped to join.
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US President has endorsed restoration of GSP Plus to Sri Lanka
Thursday, 9 July 2015 - 2:28 AM SL Time

US President Barack Obama has endorsed the Generalized System of Preferences Plus or the GSP + concession to Sri Lanka on June 29, Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith P Perera said.

Addressing a press briefing at the Foreign Ministry in Colombo yesterday he said President Obama s approval came after the US Congress recommended GSP + on June 25.

The GSP Plus concession would be a major boost to Sri Lanka s apparel sector the Deputy Minister said adding it would mark a radical change in the apparel industry, giving Sri Lanka more business opportunities.
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