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Rs. 9.4 million breakfast bill cooked up story

July 7 (CG) Office of former President Rajapaksa says the allegation that Rajapaksa and his family had ordered breakfast for over Rs. 9.4 million from a Colombo five star hotel and not paid the bill, is false. Former UNP MP Nalin Bandara had said at a press conference yesterday that the Rajapaksa family had ordered breakfast for over Rs. 9.4 million from The Hilton Hotel and not paid the bill. This was supposed to be the cost incurred for a single family meal. more..

Prasanna Ranatunga summoned before FCID

July 7 (CG) Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga has been summoned before the police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID). Ranatunga has been asked to appear before the FCID on Thursday morning. The Western Province Chief Minister is to be questioned over allegations surrounding a land deal. Ranatunga had last week denied allegations of corruption made against him and his wife after his wife was also questioned over the same land deal. more..

‘No notorious figures please’

July 7 (NS) Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera reiterated yesterday that it is the responsibility of the people not to elect corrupt people, murderers, drug traffickers, ethanol dealers, uneducated people etc to Parliament. The Thera who is actively engaging in Sri Lankan politics pleaded that each and every citizen of the country to elect a group responsible people who could enact laws to govern the country and keep those respected by whole the country. more..

'Improvements led to US GSP'

July 7 (CG) Improvements in Sri Lanka’s human rights situation led to the United States giving back the GSP trade concession to Sri Lanka. Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith Perera said that Sri Lanka has made notable progress on the human rights issue and this has been recognized by countries like the US. The US Department of Commerce announced last week announced that the US President had restored the GSP with effect from 29 June 2015 for more..

Sri Lanka-born cricketer dies after being hit on chest

July 7 (IE) Bavalan Pathmanathan, a Sri Lanka born cricketer, died after being hit on the chest during a British Tamil League Division 3 match in Surrey, UK, on Sunday. The 24-year-old was playing for the Manipay Parish Sports Club when a ball hit him in the chest. An air ambulance was flown into the Litton Dong recreational ground. But Pathmanathan died of a heart failure later, the British Tamil League official website said. Pathmanathan was originally from Jaffna, Sri Lanka. more..

Justice Sarath de Abrew surrenders

July 7 (AD) Justice Sarath de Abrew, who is alleged to have attacked a domestic worker at his home on or around June 26, surrendered to the Mt-Lavinia Magistrate’s Court. A woman who had served as a domestic worker at the residence of the Justice in question lodged a complaint with Mt. Lavinia Police claiming that she had been assaulted. Based on this complaint, a team of police officers had visited Abrew’s residence in order to record a statement, however, more..

Video: Dhanuna to contest with SF

July 7 (DM) Dhanuna Thilakaratne, who was mired in controversy during the last Presidential Election, would contest at the upcoming General Elections from the Democratic Party led by Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka. He said that he had decided to contest the elections in order to strengthen the Democratic Party as it lacked a second tier. “I will contest from Colombo East in order to strengthen the Democratic Party led by Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka more..

Former MP Thenuka remanded

July 7 (AD) The Mahiyanganaya Magistrate’s Court on Monday remanded Parliamentarian Thenuka Vidanagamage till 14 July in connection with his alleged involvement in an assaulting incident during the last Uva Provincial Council election. The former MP was remanded when he surrendered to the Court through his counsel, a short while ago, Ada Derana court reporter said. Earlier, the police apprehended four more suspects in connection with the incident. more..

Sri Lankan woman dies after fall at U.S. Marine residence in Bahrain

July 7 (S&S) A 23-year-old Sri Lankan woman died early Saturday morning in Bahrain after falling from the balcony of a ninth-floor residence belonging to a U.S. Marine.The woman, Nimesha Gunasekera, was attending a party at Class Plaza Two in Juffair at the time of the incident, according to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service Middle East field office. According to NCIS, witnesses claim Gunasekera was “visibly intoxicated and stumbling.” more..

Video: DEW’s claim: Ranil says breach of Privilege

July 7 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said former Chairman of the COPE D.E.W. Gunasekera and reports in the media regarding the recent inquiry into the Bond scam had violated the Parliamentary Privileges Act In a letter addressed to Secretary General of Parliament, the PM said both Gunasekera and certain media institutions should be penalised under Section 22, Sub Section 5 for coming up with false more..

President Sirisena witness at Hirunika Premachandra’s wedding

July 7 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena was a witness at the wedding of budding politician Hirunika Premachandra held in Colombo yesterday. Hirunika, who was a model before she started her political career, married actor, model and TV presenter Hiran Yatowita. Only a few close associates were invited to the wedding. President Sirisena and Minister Rajitha Senaratne signed as witnesses. Premachandra, a Western Provincial Councillor, is the daughter of late Bharatha Lakshman more..

Dy. Minister reiterates plan to form national govt

July 7 (Island) Deputy Minister of Environment and Mahaweli Wasantha Aluwihare says that there will be a national govt after the August 17 polls. Deputy Minister Aluwihare, addressing a ceremony at the Matale Hotel School auditorium to distribute land deeds among 1,100 recipients on Saturday, said that the UNP and SLFP would form a national govt for a period of five years to develop the country. "That national govt would banish fraudsters and corrupt politicos. more..

SL probes WFP over tsunami SUV gifts

July 7 (AFP) World Food Program is being investigated in Sri Lanka for gifting luxury duty-free vehicles to a charity headed by former president Rajapakse's wife. Police said an investigation into an accident involving a sports utility vehicle revealed that it was one of two SUVs to be given as a donation by the UN agency to Shiranthi Rajapakse's Siriliya Saviya Foundation and that neither party had paid import taxes which more..

Tiran Alles’ FR application fixed for support on July 10

July 7 (Island) Supreme Court fixed for support on July 10, the fundamental rights violation petition, filed by Tiran Alles, alleging imminent, illegal arrest. Additional Solicitor General who appeared for the IGP and the Director of the CID, gave an undertaking to the Court that Alles would not be arrested until July 10. The status quo would remain the same, he assured. Alles has said that the CID says he is suspected of having financial transaction with the LTTE. more..

Rajapaksa returns to test SL's democracy

July 7 (LI) The re-emergence of Sri Lanka's controversial former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, as the leader of the main opposition alliance in the country's general elections in August, and as potential prime minister, appears to signal the end of the country's brief democratic honeymoon and a return to divisive politics as usual. Six months after his stunning victory in presidential election, Maithripala Sirisena faces a renewed challenge from the man he ousted. more..

Sri Lanka drop Herath for Pakistan ODIs

July 7 (CI) Uncapped left-arm spinning allrounders Milinda Siriwardana and Sachith Pathirana have been called up to Sri Lanka's squad for the five-match ODI series against Pakistan. Test spinners Rangana Herath and Tharindu Kaushal have been left out, as have seamers Nuwan Kulasekara and Dhammika Prasad. In addition to the new allrounders, Sachithra Senanayake and legspinner Seekkuge more..

Amarasekera et al given time to file written submissions

July 7 (Island) The Supreme Court yesterday granted parties time till October, 9, 2015 to file written submissions in respect of the preliminary objections raised by the parties cited as respondents in five petitions filed by Gunadasa Amerasekera and four others. The petitioner has said the TNA and the ITAK has said during the provincial council polls, in the North, that they would work for a separate Tamil state in the North. The petitioner wanted the court to direct the IGP and the CID to find out whether more..

Younis & Pakistan break 4th-innings records

July 7 (CI) 382: Pakistan's total was their best in the fourth innings of a Test and also their highest successful chase. It was also the sixth highest successful chase overall in Tests. 171: Younis Khan's score was the the highest by a Pakistan batsman in the fourth innings of a Test. It was also the fifth highest individual score in a successful chase, behind efforts from Greenidge, Arthur Morris, Bradman and Mark Butcher. 7: Number of wickets by which Pakistan won this Test, more..

'Defeat will take a lot of time to digest'

July 7 (CI) Sri Lanka did not imagine they could lose the match at lunch on day four, Angelo Mathews admitted after Pakistan strode to a seven-wicket win in Pallekele, to complete a 2-1 series victory. Mathews had been instrumental in Sri Lanka's third-innings 313, which set up a lead of 376. However, Pakistan chased down this target with ease, inside four sessions of batting. Sri Lanka's seamers had claimed two early wickets in Pakistan chase, more..

GMOF: Rajitha trying to appoint health officials arbitrary

July 7 (Island) Govt Medical Officers’ Forum (GMOF) has vehemently opposed what it calls an arbitrary attempt to appoint two deputy directors general (DDGs) in govt health service. Welcoming the creation of the two new positions, namely that of DDG Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) and the DDG Medical Supplies Division in Health Ministry a GMOF member said his organisation took exception to the manner in which the Health Minister was trying to appoint two officers. more..

Sri Lanka shares fall to over-12-week low

July 7 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares fell to their lowest in more than 12 weeks on Tuesday led by market heavyweight John Keells Holdings Plc as political uncertainty dented investor sentiment ahead of parliamentary elections. The main stock index ended 0.31% weaker at 6,967.78, its lowest close since April 10. The day's turnover was 713.5 million rupees ($5.34 million), less than this year's daily average of 1.07 billion rupees. Shares in John Keells Holdings fell 1.1% more..

Ceylon Today Cartoon

MR's PM ambitions

July 7 (CT) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa after having been given nomination to contest the 17 August, 2015 General Election under the UPFA ticket on Friday, in probably his first interview to the media, reproduced by this newspaper on its yesterday's edition, revealed his prime ministerial ambitions. In a 10 questionnaire interview with, an Indian website, he sidestepped the first question as to whether he would be the SLFP led UPFA's premier candidate, more..

Return of the redeemer & road builder

July 7 (CT) Contemplating a return of Mahinda Rajapaksa is a gut churning and an offensive experience to those in possession of even a minuscule awareness of the value of autonomy and freedom of the individual. Nevertheless, we must come to terms with the materiality that Mahinda Rajapaksa is an exceptional politician who continues to retain a substantial reservoir of mass support and adulation. The return of the redeemer and road builder to that exalted status of supreme law more..

PM promises new probe over bond scam

July 7 (EN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said a new parliamentary probe will be initiated into a controversial bonds sale where a firm connected to Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran's son-in-law benefitted. "When the next parliament meets, three months will be given for a select committee to probe this and three or four other frauds at the Central Bank," Wickremesinghe said. He said if Perpetual Treasuries, the company more..

Pakistan win series with record chase

July 7 (CI) Younis Khan's epic, unbeaten 171 led Pakistan to their highest successful chase, the second highest in Asia for any side, and the sixth highest in all Test cricket. It also gave them their first series win in Sri Lanka since 2006, and catapulted them to third in the ICC Test rankings. The feat required the highest fourth-innings partnership for Pakistan, 242 between Younis and Shan Masood, who fell on the more..

If UPFA nomination foils; Mahinda prepared to contest through budding flower

July 7 (AD) In case former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is unable to contest the upcoming General Election under the UPFA due to a breakdown in the Mahinda-Maithri collaboration, Rajapaksa is scheduled to contest under the Our Sri Lanka Freedom Front (Ape Sri Lanka Nidahas Peramuna) with the symbol of a budding flower. The party which was formerly named Sri Lanka National Front with the symbol cricket bat recently more..

‘I am better qualified than any other politician to contest polls’

July 7 (Island) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga says that she has a right and qualifications to contest elections more than many other politicians. She said: "I have not done anything wrong. I have not committed theft. I don’t have blood on our hands. Therefore, I am better qualified than anyone else to contest elections." She said some politicians were boasting that they had made SL the miracle of Asia, more..

Sigiriya frescoes under threat

July 7 (DM) Sigiriya which is one of the most valuable historical monuments of SL with locals referring to it as the Eighth Wonder of the World is under threat because of human activities. This ancient palace and fortress complex has significant archaeological importance and attracts thousands of tourists every year. Appearance of cracks on some of the frescoes, signals an imminent danger to this world heritage site. more..

Equal health facilities for estate community?

July 7 (Island) Health care facilities should be made available to the estate community of the country without any discrimination, Minister Palani Digambaram stressed. He was addressing a workshop on the Health and Nutrition Status of the plantation Community. He noted that the health statistics for estate sector was inadequate due to lack of qualified doctors on the plantations and successive govts more..

Helitours hit more storm clouds

July 7 (ST) Helitours, the Air Force’s domestic passenger carrier, could have been giving indemnity forms to paying customers for several reasons —including the fact that it often flew them on a Harbin Y-12 aircraft not cleared to transport civilians. Another reason could be that insurance policies taken out on any of the company’s airplanes had run out or did not cover its paying passengers. It was also possible that certain flights were more..

MR’s Aide faces money laundering charges

July 7 (SL) CID files B report against Gamini Senarath at the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court. The Chief of Staff of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is to face legal action shortly for alleged money laundering, the CID said. Highly reliable sources at the CID said that the CID has filed a ‘B’ report in the Colombo Chief Magistrate Court against former president’s Chief of Staff, Gamini Senarath. more..

'TNA is the only party fighting for the rights of the Tamil people'

July 7 (FT) Before contesting the election, Mahinda Rajapaksa needs to prove that he and his family are not corrupt, notes TNA strongman Suresh Premechandran. “If he (Rajapaksa) comes to power, he will safeguard his entire family and protect them from all the allegations against them,” Premechandran said, adding, “We supported Sinhalese people to bring a change in the govt. Now it is up to the Sinhalese people to decide more..

'Mahinda Rajapaksa contesting General elections: A joke to think it’s a challenge'

July 7 (DM) Taking on the mantle of UNP General Secretary, after Tissa Attanayake; Kabir Hashim spoke of the crowds gathering around Maithripala Sirisena, the bond issue and discussions between the UNP and other parties, the Minister of Highways and Investment Promotion is to contest the general election from the Mawanella Electorate in the Kegalle District. Q: What are the UNP’s slogans for the general election? more..

Rajapaksa’s political comeback: Some moral and practical questions

July 7 (DM) Now that the SLFP has decided to grant nomination to ex-President Rajapaksa to contest the forthcoming general elections, a sense of gloom has dawned on certain quarters of the public who genuinely loath the long-term effects of the ex-President’s political comeback. Such sentiments are quite understandable. A sizable portion of the total 6.2 million people who voted against the authoritarian ex-President now fear that he would roll back democratic reforms more..

Political atmosphere clouded in confusion

July 7 (DM) Confusion reigns over the political atmosphere these days with political parties doing one thing today while reversing it tomorrow. In the meantime there are signs of unexpected political alliances emerging not based on principles but with the sole intention of facing the August 17 parliamentary election. On June 30 the media carried a news item that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is to be given nomination to contest the election under the UPFA by the President more..