The Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) has reportedly refused to register the first batch of 30 medical students, who had passed out from the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM).
The aggrieved students are said to be preparing a petition seeking redress to be filed in the Supreme Court. The SAITM has been functioning amid protests by some medical professionals and students’ unions of State universities.
When asked for his views on this matter, Higher Education Minister Lakshman Kiriella told Daily Mirror that he hoped the Supreme Court would mete out justice to the students concerned.
He said about 700 students were studying for their medical degrees at SAITM and were anxiously awaiting a ruling from the SC so that this matter would be resolved once and for all.
The minister said SAITM was a degree-awarding institution recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
“SAITM students are in this predicament because of the actions of the previous regime. It is now the responsibility of the present government to solve this matter,” he said and added that the government encouraged private sector involvement to develop the higher education sector.
“That is how other countries have developed. With World Bank assistance, we hope to introduce quality assurance at State Universities and non-State Higher Education Institutions,” the minister said. “Today, only 17 per cent of Advanced Level students are admitted to State universities. Students who excel in their A/L studies have been denied access to universities because of the prevailing quota system for underprivileged districts. For example, a student who sits the A/L examination in Colombo and obtains distinctions in all subjects may not be eligible to enter a university while a student with lesser qualifications from an underprivileged district enters the university.”
Actor David Tennant is suing the owners of the defunct News of the World over alleged phone hacking.
His lawyers issued a claim for compensation at the High Court in London on Thursday.
Law firm Collyer Bristow said it was representing nine people in total, including former Formula One driver Eddie Irvine. They said other law firms have also issued claims this week.
News UK, which owned the paper until it closed in 2011, declined to comment.
Collyer Bristow said its clients had been left with "no alternative" following the closure of a compensation scheme.
It said the News of the World had previously "admitted and apologised for hacking into the voicemails of a number of high-profile individuals" and opened a compensation scheme in 2011 as an alternative to litigation.
But Collyer Bristow said the scheme closed "after less than 18 months of operation".
The NoW was shut down by owner Rupert Murdoch following the revelation that the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler had been hacked.
The scandal also led to the establishment of the Leveson Inquiry into press ethics, an MPs' inquiry and the launch of three police investigations into alleged widespread phone hacking and corruption.
Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson - who later became director of communications for then Prime Minister David Cameron - was jailed for 18 months for conspiracy to hack phones.
Hugh Grant and Charlotte Church were among those who settled claims against the paper over phone-hacking.
Steven Heffer, who is acting on behalf of the claimants, said: "My firm continues to act for a number of clients with claims against News Group arising out of phone hacking and other unlawful activities.
"News Group withdrew its compensation scheme in 2013, giving no proper explanation for this move and has failed to compensate victims despite all attempts by lawyers to settle cases out of court."
The firm says it has now acted for more than 200 "victims of hacking and unlawful surveillance".
Collyer Bristow said other claimants included Fran Cutler, Jess Morris, Tanya Frayne, Sophia Myles and Rob Gros.
Sources : BBC NEWS
A state-owned newspaper in the United Arab Emirates reported that two maids from Sri Lanka have been charged with theft over allegedly stealing from a Dubai palace belonging to a member of the city-state's ruling family.
The National newspaper of Abu Dhabi reported the two maids did not attend a Tuesday court hearing over the charges, the Associated Press said.
According to the newspaper report, one of the maids allegedly stole jewelry and three mobile phones from the palace in March, allegedly at the urging of two other maids. The third maid has fled the UAE.
The newspaper didn't identify the defendants or the member of the ruling family who owned the palace in question.
The second term of government schools and government approved private schools ends today while the schools will reopen for the third term commencing on August 31.
G.C.E. Advanced Level examinations will be held from August 02 to 27.
Dates for reopening the schools which will be used for paper marking will be announced at a future date.
The 'Jana Satana Paada Yatra' organized by the 'Joint Opposition will start from Uthuwankanda today for its second day.
The protest march was launched yesterday from Peradeniya and was ended for the day at Ganethenna.
It was initially planned to end the march at Mawanella on the first day and start off from that town today. However, a court order prevented the march from entering the town today, which made the organizers make this change.
The march is to arrive at Colombo on August 1.
The People's Action for Free and Fair Election (PAFFREL) filed a Fundamental Rights petition with the Supreme Court yesterday seeking an order to hold Local Government polls where delimitation has been completed.
PAFFREL said that the Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government Faizer Mustapha is deliberately delaying the delimitation.
PAFFREL has named the Minister, Secretary to the Ministry, Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya and eight others as respondents.
The police informed the Joint Opposition that the 'Jana Satana' protest march could not be launched from Getambe since it is within the city limits of Kandy.
Furthermore, the police adviced the 'Joint Opposition' to launch the march from across the Peradeniya bridge.
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that the march will be launched from Getambe since an injunction order was issued against it from being launched from the city limits.
The Southern Provincial Council has been adjourned until August 08 due to a tense situation erupted a short while ago on Tuesday (26) morning, Ada Derana reporter said.
The tense situation erupted when today’s session was obstructed by a group of UPFA Councilors in protest over the decision to take away the ministerial portfolios of D.V. Upul, it was reported.
Several ministries handled by D.V. Upul were granted to Southern Provincial Councilor H.W. Gunasena by the President on July 20.
Disabled war veterans staged a protest today near Colombo Fort Railway Station, and complained of the total neglect of their welfare by the government.
They say that the veterans are denied of a pension and the next of kin get a meager amount as compensation at the time of a death.
The protesters marched towards the Presidential Secretariat and staged a sit in on Lotus Road, Fort.
A US resident, convicted of killing his Sri Lankan wife, has been sentenced to five years in jail in Saudi, the Arab news reported.
He is said to have hidden her body for eight months in a tube inside a pipe designed to detect gas in Al-Kharj desert. Laborers at one of the major oil companies found the decomposed body inside the pipe located in their work area. That area is supervised by a US agent, married to a Sri Lankan woman, who had disappeared.
The workers immediately reported the matter to the supervisor who was supposed to report it to the company’s officials. But he was late in reporting the body for two hours, something that prompted the police to investigate the matter. The body turned out to be his wife’s.
One of the workers said the supervisor asked him to burn or bury the body, but he refused and asked him to inform the police. Another laborer told investigators that he had been asked to weld the pipe and then throw it in a well.
The convict acknowledged that the body was his wife’s, but denied accusations in the workers’ testimonies. The sons of the woman from a previous marriage rejected the verdict, demanding execution of the murderer.
They said, based on the witnesses’ testimony and the evidence, it looks like a deliberate murder.
The Court of Appeal on Monday (30) fixed date to consider the Writ Application filed against Shanmugam Kumaran Tharmalingam alias Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP).
The Court will consider whether to go ahead with the application or not on October 25.
Earlier, the Appeal Court informed the AG to submit an investigation report on KP who was one time LTTE’s arms procurement wing leader and ‘international secretariat’.
The Appeal Court also issued an Interim Order and directed the Controller General of Immigration and Emigration to prevent KP from leaving the country on 5 February. The Writ Application was filed by Parliamentarian and Propaganda Secretary of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), Vijitha Herath, last year.
The respondents for the case include the Army Commander, Inspector General of Police, and Controller General of Immigration and Emigration Department.
The US Navy’s vessel “LPD-18 USS New Orleans” has arrived at the Port of Colombo on a goodwill visit.
The ship was ceremonially welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions on her arrival.
During the six-day official visit, the crew of “USS New Orleans” is due to take part in an array of programmes organized by the Sri Lanka Navy.
The ship is scheduled to leave Sri Lanka on 29th of this month having conducted a passage exercise (PASSEX) with the Sri Lanka Navy.
The President enshrined treasures at the Moragahakanda Reservoir Project, a short while ago on Monday (25).
The foundation stone for this Moragahakanda project, the biggest multi-functional irrigation project, was laid by President Sirisena in 2007 when he was the Minister of Agricultural Development and Agrarian Services Development.
The construction work on the project is expected to be completed by 2016. While the project is completely handled by local engineers, the financial assistance is being provided through the Government.
Professor Jayadewa Uyangoda and Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri have been removed from the administrative body of the National Education Institute.
The Secretary of the Institute had informed the two academics that they had been removed with immediate effect.
According to the letter written by the Secretary, the decision has been made following instructions given by the minister. The letter does not explain as to why the two academics have been removed from the National Education Institute.
The decision, however, has come under heavy criticism from education sector trade unions.
Sri Lanka’s oil minister said on Sunday that his country plans to resume oil imports from Iran following the removal of anti-Tehran sanctions.
At a meeting with Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh in Tehran on Sunday, Chandima Weerakkody announced Colombo’s readiness to restart importing Iran's crude.
Describing Iran and Sri Lanka as close and old-age friends, he expressed the hope that the two nations will develop their mutual cooperation in the oil sector.
The Sri Lankan minister also hailed the removal of the sanctions as "good news" for the people of his country.
The sanctions were lifted after Tehran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) on July 14, 2015 reached an agreement on Iran’s peaceful nuclear program and started implementing it on January 16.
The Navy has arrested three local fishermen who engaged in illegal fishing activities using monofilament nets in the seas off Southbar.
Along with the suspects; three monofilament nets were also taken into naval custody.
The apprehended persons and belongings were produced to Mannar Assistant Directorate of Fisheries for further investigations.
The Judicial Service Commission has decided to interdict a Judge of the Minuwangoda District Court, a source said.
The decision was made following a complaint received by the commission.
The Judge has been interdicted with effect from last Friday (22), the source added.
The naval personnel who were on duty at the Radar Station at SLNS Therapuththa in Silawathurai belonging to the North Western Naval Command have seized 156 kilograms of Kerala Cannabis.
During the search carried out in the beach area of Arippu, following a detection, naval personnel managed to recover 156.5 kg of Kerala Cannabis abandoned in the Arippu Beach, the Navy said in a statement.
Subsequently the haul of cannabis was handed over to Narcotic Division Mannar for onward legal action.
To strengthen international relations, Indian Judges are going to share their experiences with the Judges of the neighbouring countries and telling them how India is dealing with the huge backlog of pending cases.
The National Judicial Academy is organising five-day training programme for judicial officers from Sri Lanka in Bhopal from August 20 to August 24. This is the first conference of the more schedule this year later.
The programme will be under the guidance of Chief Justice of India Justice T S Thakur, who is the also the chairperson of the academy. The sessions will be on issues like case development methods in developed in India, cyber crime & laws and usefulness of death penalty, among others. The seven-judge team is expected to visit to Sanchi, the world famous Buddhist vihara, and also a local court to see the proceedings. The Sri Lankan judges will also be attending training sessions on circumstantial evidence recording of confessions, realibility of witnesses, judicial ethics and art, science and craft of judging.
Similar training modules would be made for judges from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Mynammar and Nepal. Dates are yet to be finalised.
Our aim is to understand the issue of judicial officers and challenges they are facing and share ideas and techniques of each other in order to smoothen the justice delivery system, said one of the programme coordinator.
Police have called for background reports regarding the man who was arrested while dressing in a ‘Burka’ at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Katunayake.
He was arrested this afternoon by airport security for suspicious behavior.
During questioning, the 30-year-old from Colombo 12 had said he was dressed in a Burka, full body clothing worn by Muslim women, in order to surprise his girlfriend who was returning from Qatar.
However, as some of his statements were contradictory, he was handed over to Katunayake Police and will be produced at the Negombo Court.
Sri Lankan tea fulfils the specifications of the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA), a visiting island official, who was leading a delegation to the capital, said here on Wednesday.
Addressing a press conference, Hasitha De Alwis, director of international promotions at the Sri Lanka Tea Board, told media that the SFDA told the visiting delegation that Sri Lankan tea is of high quality and it meets the specifications of both the SFDA and the Gulf Standards Organization.
The delegation met with the senior officials of the SFDA here on Tuesday. He said that the Kingdom imports some 36,000 metric tons of tea, which includes 5,000 tons from Sri Lanka. The major share of the Kingdom’s tea requirements are supplied by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) through its Jebel Ali Free Zone, he added. The other members of the delegation included Nishanta Jayatilake, Sri Lanka Tea Board director for analytical services, and Dr. Sarath Abeysinghe, director of the Tea Research Institute in Colombo.
Sri Lanka’s major tea market includes Russia, Iran, Iraq, Turkey and now China is an emerging market, he noted.
Sri Lankan tea, known for generations as Ceylon Tea, carries behind it a heritage and success story like no other. A product that began as a diversification experiment in 1867, spanning just 19 acres of land, has today surpassed all geographical borders to satisfy 19 percent of global demand. Reputed for its tea’s signature taste and aroma, Sri Lanka has become the world’s third largest tea exporter to the world, the country’s largest employer, and has the distinction of supplying tea to the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.
Sri Lanka’s human rights situation continued to improve during the first half of this year with reconciliation efforts made by the administration but challenges still remain, according to a UK government report.
“The past 6 months have seen an improved environment for civil society and human rights defenders. Challenges remain particularly in the north and the east,” the British Foreign Office’s Human Rights Priority Country Update report has said
“The government announced further land releases in January and June and there have been signs the military have started to disengage from civilian life,” it noted.
The UK commended as positive steps the passing of the Right to Information Bill, the progress made in high profile cases of murder and disappearances, the ratification of international convention to protect people from enforced disappearances, declaration endorsing commitment to end sexual violence in conflict and hosting the visits by UN Rapporteurs on torture and independence of judiciary.
The report states that the new Constitution making process was a good opportunity for Sri Lanka to introduce improved human rights protections.
“The UK continued to urge Sri Lanka to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act and replace it with legislation that meets international standards,” the report said.
An unidentified body of a woman has washed ashore at the Paraviwella Beach in Tangalle.
The body, of a woman believed to be around 35 years old, was discovered following information received by Tangalle Police.
The remains have been placed at the Hambantota Hospital for identification while Tangalle Police is conducting an investigation.
At least 73 Indian fishermen held by Sri Lanka for allegedly fishing in their waters will be released, fisheries ministry officials said in Colombo on Friday.
The ministry has made the necessary recommendations for the release of the fishermen following interventions by the Indian High Commission, officials said without indicating when they would be freed.
They had been held for allegedly poaching in violation of the Sri Lankan side of International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) between July 6-21.
Fisheries minister Mahinda Amaraweera had yesterday said that none of the Indian boats would be released despite the release of the fishermen.
Lanka has also denied reports that it would allow restricted fishing in the Sri Lankan waters as part of the measures to counter bottom trawling by the Indians.
Amaraweera said any decision in this connection would be reached only after consulting the local fisher community who are aggrieved by the constant poaching by Indians in Lankan waters.
A former Controller of Immigration and Emigration, J.A. Ariyasena, was fined Rs 6.6 million and sentenced to a 10 year prison term suspended for two years by the Colombo High Court.
He was found guilty of keeping in possession Rs 200,000 and a house valued at Rs 2 million illegally.
Therefore he was fined three times the value he had kept in possession by illegal means.
Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva says that a bill will be introduced to Parliament in the future to enforce laws with regard to fixing seat belts for the safety of three-wheeler passengers.
Addressing an event held in Colombo today to unveil a new three-wheeler improved with safety features, he stated that this will be done with the safety of the public in mind.
He also said that the import of three-wheelers, also popularly known as “Tuk Tuks,” to the country would have to be limited as there are more than enough currently in Sri Lanka.
The minister said that there are plenty of technical deficiencies in the three-wheelers which are currently plying the roads in the country and that it is the duty of the government to correct them.
He stated that laws will be created for this purpose in the future.
Nimal Siripala said that there are around 1.5 million three-wheelers now in Sri Lanka and that although they provide the public with speedy transportation at a low cost, they lack sufficient safety measures.
Sri Lanka has invited the diaspora groups, including Tamils, to make submissions for advancing the task of reconciliation following the country’s three-decade-long civil war that ended in 2009.
The Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms (CTF) through the Sri Lankan embassy in Washington has called for submissions from diaspora organisations on the design of structures, processes and measures for truth, accountability, reparations and non-recurrence.
The diaspora can make submissions on Office on Missing Persons, an Office on Reparations, a Judicial Mechanism with a Special Counsel, a Truth, Justice, Reconciliation and Non-Recurrence Commission and any other mechanisms, processes or measures for advancing reconciliation.
The submissions can be made until July 28.
These mechanisms will be evolved through a process of wide consultations involving all stakeholders, including victims, the notice said.
The Tamil diaspora groups in the West were generally regarded as sympathisers of the LTTE during the armed separatist conflict.
The report of the CTF will be handed over to the government at the conclusion of the consultation process.
“It is expected that the Report, upon conclusion of consultations in August 2016, will be handed over in September 2016,” the notice said.
The Government of Sri Lanka today said that an Integrated Social Welfare Register, based on the recipient’s unique NIC, is nearing completion and that it will help streamline social welfare handouts in the country as well as reduce ‘ghost’ beneficiaries.
“The Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs, through the Department of Project Management and Monitoring, with technical assistance of ICTA, has prepared a single window for an Integrated Social Welfare Register, based on the recipient’s unique NIC, for all handouts from Ministries, Provincial Councils and Local Authorities.”
“Currently 80% of data has been uploaded to the system and further refining is in progress,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
It said that once the program is completed, it will be very useful in streamlining social welfare handouts, better targeting and reducing ‘ghost’ beneficiaries, if any.
The introduction of the Adhaar program in India, with a unique number for all social payment beneficiaries, has resulted substantial elimination of ghost beneficiaries, the statement said.
The National Water Supply and Drainage Board announced that an 11 hour water cut will affect several areas including Maharagama, Kotte, Malabe and parts of Colombo from 12 noon tomorrow (23) to 12 midnight.
The water supply to the following areas will be temporarily suspended:
Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte Municipal Council area, Battaramulla, Koswatta, Thalawathugoda, Malabe, Maharagama, Boralesgamuwa Urban Council area, Hokandara, Kalapaluwawa and Jayawadanagama.
Colombo 06 and Colombo 08 will receive water supply at low pressure during this time period.
The water board said that the water cut is being imposed due to urgent repairs and requested the public to store sufficient water in advance.
The annual bus fare revision which has been decided to be granted by the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation along with the National Transport Commission with effect from 1st August 2016, has been announced today (22).
The National Transport Commission said that stern action will be taken against any operator who charges fare in excess of the approved fare.
Meanwhile the Expressway bus fares are to be increased as follows:
Maharagama to Galle – Rs 390
Maharagama to Matara – Rs 470
Kaduwela to Matara – Rs 490
In terms of the National Bus Fares Policy Full fare in respect of approved Inter provincial (Normal, semi Luxury, luxury and Super Luxury) services implemented by the Sri Lanka Transport Board and Private Passenger Transport Services and the fare table depicting 305 normal fare stages are given below for the information of bus passengers, owners, crews, authorities, and the general public.
The All Ceylon Medical Officers’ Association (ACMOA) has requested for a meeting with the President to discuss regarding an agreement reached to convert the private medical college in Malabe into a semi-government institution.
An agreement in this regard had reportedly been reached following talks held with the Medical Faculty Deans of 6 government universities yesterday (21).
Minister of Higher Education Lakshman Kiriella and the Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC) Prof. Mohan de Silva also participated in the discussion.
It has been reported that during this meeting, the Deans of the Medical Faculties had expressed agreement that the private medical college in Malabe, also known as the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM), should be affiliated with the government.
It was also agreed that a definitive decision with this regard would be taken following the court proceedings.
UGC chairman Prof. Mohan de Silva has said that there appears to be no alternative other than to operate SAITM as a semi-government institution.
However, the ACMOA says that there is no issue with the ownership of SAITM and that they will unconditionally oppose the selling of medical degrees for money, be it by the private sector or the public sector.
In a letter addressed to President Maithripala Sirisena, the association claims that such proposals aimed at fulfilling various personal objectives will only further complicate the issue.
Meanwhile the Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF) has also expressed objection to converting the private medical college in Malabe into a semi-government institution.
The Sri Lanka government is planning to close down all 31 camps of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Jaffna district of the Northern Province and complete resettlement of 971 families by August 15.
An official document, a copy of which is available with The Hindu , refers to the government’s plan. Sources reveal that 204 houses are being built in Palaly and Kankesanthurai with the help of the Sri Lanka Army. D.M. Swaminathan, Resettlement Minister, asserts that there is no time frame to close down the camps, but “we are doing all what we can”.
The government move follows a direction given by President Maithripala Sirisena while chairing a high-level meeting last month on the resettlement of IDPs. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake were among those who attended the meeting. In December last, when the President visited an IDP camp in Konapulam, he assured people that he would address their problems in six months.
On Wednesday, the Cabinet sanctioned Rs. 971 million (Sri Lankan) to build houses at a unit cost of Rs. 1 million. While the 204 houses are expected to be ready in a few months, sources say the identification of land is under way to take care of the requirements of the remaining 767 families.
Arunachalam Kunabalasingham, president of the Vali North Rehabilitation and Resettlement Committee, a body representing IDPs, however is critical of the government’s approach towards the displaced. A large number of the IDPs are from places such as Myladdy and there is a 12-km-long coastline still under the control of the security forces, he says. “Without returning the Myladdy fishing harbour and providing free access to the coastline, the government will not be able to achieve much,” the Hindu reports.
A large consignment of cocaine has been discovered inside a container at the container yard in Peliyagoda.
The Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) today found 274 kilograms of cocaine in side one of the containers, police said.
The total value of the seized drugs has not been estimated yet while further investigations are ongoing.
The detection is one of the biggest hauls in recent times and comes just over a month after 80 kilograms of cocaine, estimated to be worth around Rs 1.2 billion, was found inside a container at the Orugodawatta container yard.
A fire has been reported in a shop at Olcott Mawatha opposite the Fort Railway station.
Traffic congestion also reported around the railway station and along the Olcott Mawatha due to the incident.
The police advice the motorists to use alternative roads if at all possible.
Helen Clark, one of the frontrunners to succeed Ban Ki-moon as UN secretary general, says there were legitimate criticisms of the way the United Nations dealt with allegations of human rights violations during the final stages of the war in Sri Lanka.
Foreign Policy magazine recently carried a probe into Clark’s management style that reported widespread disgruntlement among staff.
The article talked of a “trail of embittered peers and subordinates” in UNDP and told the story of an official who was allegedly driven out by Clark in retaliation for the employee’s participation in a critical review of the agency’s response to human rights abuses in Sri Lanka.
However, the former Prime Minister of New Zealand dismissed the claims about the allegedly retaliatory treatment of the official: “I have no evidence of that”.
Speaking to The Guardian, she said there were legitimate criticisms of the way the UN dealt with Sri Lankan abuses during the civil war with the Tamil Tigers, but said the conflict was officially declared over a month after she started at the helm of UNDP – “it was before my time”.
Clark also denied that her reorganisation of UNDP had been an internal disaster. She said the number of employment tribunals brought by individuals was “tiny, a handful”.
“One of the hardest things is to change an organisation, as people have a vested interests in the way things are. But not to do it, knowing that the whole nature of funding is changing and you have to be much more adaptable, is not an option – you have to act in the interests of the organisation.”
Minister of Provincial Council and Local Government, Faiszer Mustapha says that he has instructed relevant authorities to impose a fine on individuals who have erected buildings with multiple floors despite obtaining approval for plans with a fewer number of floors.
“Some people get plans approved for the construction of a three-storey building but they build 5 or 6 floors. Local government institutions have had to provide services for those 5-6 floors.”
“I have issued instruction to impose a fine on those locations, charge for services and separate follow up with legal proceedings for unauthorized contraction,” he told reporters in Colombo.
However, the minister emphasized that imposing a fine and charging for services does not make such actions legal.
Musthapha also said that he has accepted a challenge to be carried out by the local government bodies to reduce the spread of dengue by 25% compared to the previous month.
He said that Colombo and Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia municipality areas have been mainly targeted.
The minister further said that he has instructed officials to temporarily suspend approval of plans for construction sites with dengue mosquito breeding areas.
Former Chairman of Sathosa Nalin Fernando who was arrested by the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) has been remanded until 28 July.
Nalin Fernando was remanded after being produced before the Fort Magistrate, a short while ago on Thursday (21) afternoon. He was arrested on charge of alleged misuse of vehicles belonging to the Government, an official said.
The suspect will be produced before the Fort Magistrate again on July 28.
Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran, and S. Thavarajah, Leader of Opposition in the Northern Provincial Council (NPC), have together asked the government to set up a “full-fledged” Commission of Inquiry to conduct an in-depth probe into last Saturday’s clash between Tamil and Sinhalese students in Jaffna University.
In a joint letter, Vigneswaran and Thavarajah said that the incidents in question should not be viewed from a purely criminal law standpoint. “We must first try to understand the underlying causes that led to their violent behavior. Thereafter, we must determine ways and means of dealing with such underlying causes and implement them. This would ensure that such incidents will not be repeated,” they said.
Giving their understanding of the underlying causes, Vigneswaran and Thavarajah said that frustrations have been accumulating among Tamils, students as well as non-students, over certain developments in the Northern Province.
Indictment was served on six people for the murder of former TNA Parliamentarian Nadarajah Raviraj today at the Colombo High Court.
The six accused include three individuals of the Karuna Faction which broke out of the LTTE. Indictment was served in the absence of these three.
The others include two navy personnel and a policeman.
They are charged on five counts including murder, aiding and abetting murder and conspiring to murder.
Raviraj died after being shot on his way to work on November 10, 2006. One of his guards also died in the incident. He was 44 at the time of death.
Raviraj, a former Mayor of Jaffna, entered parliament from Jaffna District in 2001 and again in 2004. He was fearless in expressing his views and generally sympathized with the LTTE.
Fishing nets of six boats of Tamil Nadu fishermen were allegedly cut by Sri Lankan naval personnel, who also chased away more than 400 fishermen off Katchatheevu islet today, the Outlook India reported.
The Lankan naval personnel cut the nets and chased away the fishermen on charges of fishing in their territorial waters, Rameswaram Fishermen’s Association President Sagayam said.
He urged the Centre to act on Sri Lankan navy’s “atrocities” against Tamil Nadu fishermen.
Former Chairman of Sathosa Nalin Fernando has been arrested by the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) this morning, the police said.
Nalin Fernando was arrested on charge of alleged misuse of vehicles belonging to the Government, it was reported.
The suspect will be produced before the Fort Magistrate this afternoon.
A six-year-old girl has died as a result of food poisoning in Ithalawatunawewa, Kahatagasdigiliya.
Four children from the same family were admitted to the Kahatagasdigiliya Hospital due to food poison while one of them had passed away, police said.
The three other hospitalised girls (aged 17, 16 and 11) have been transferred to the Anuradhapura Hospital for further treatment.
Kahatagasdigiliya Police has commenced an investigation into the incident, according to the Police Headquarters.
Sri Lanka today received the Certification on Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis from the World Health Organization (WHO), as Sri Lanka has successfully brought down the microfilaria rate to less than 1%.
Globally, 120 million people are affected with lymphatic filariasis across 71 countries, of which 50% are residing in the WHO South-East Asian Region (SEAR).
In May 2016, Sri Lanka and Maldives became the first countries in the WHO South-East Asia Region to be officially declared ‘filariasis free’.
Sri Lanka has a long history with Lymphatic Filariasis (LF), the earliest known cases can be traced back to the 4th century B.C.
“The elimination of the disease in Sri Lanka and Maldives marks a significant achievement in combating neglected tropical diseases in the WHO South-East Asia Region,” the organization had said in a statement.
Commonly known as elephantiasis, LF occurs when filarial parasites are transmitted to humans through mosquito bites. Infection is usually acquired in childhood causing hidden damage to the lymphatic system.
The Anti Filariasis Campaign (AFC) was established in 1947. Sri Lanka intensified mosquito control efforts; treatment of the infected population, disability prevention and control; and strengthened surveillance in order to stop the spread of infection and alleviate the suffering caused by LF.
Due to the sustained efforts of the Anti Filariasis Campaign, supported by WHO and international partners, the MF rate was reduced to 0.03% by 2008, allowing the country to work towards elimination status.
Strong political commitment, dedication of the health workforce and active community participation were some of the key components which led to the elimination of this disease as a public health problem, according to Dr Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Health.
The 18 inmates of the Jaffna prison who launched a hunger strike have ended their protest fast as of last evening, Prison Spokesman Thushara Upuldeniya said.
The fast was started by suspects arrested on drug trafficking charges who were demanding their release on bail.
Thirty-six inmates commenced the protest fast, however 18 of them had left the stir earlier, according to the Spokesmen.
Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran, and S. Thavarajah, Leader of Opposition in the Northern Provincial Council (NPC), have together asked the government to set up a “full-fledged” Commission of Inquiry to conduct an in-depth probe into last Saturday’s clash between Tamil and Sinhalese students in Jaffna University.
In a joint letter, Vigneswaran and Thavarajah said that the incidents in question should not be viewed from a purely criminal law standpoint.
“We must first try to understand the underlying causes that led to their violent behavior. Thereafter, we must determine ways and means of dealing with such underlying causes and implement them. This would ensure that such incidents will not be repeated,” they said.
Giving their understanding of the underlying causes, Vigneswaran and Thavarajah said that frustrations have been accumulating among Tamils, students as well as non-students, over certain developments in the Northern Province.
Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray said that the Jaffna University incident where two student groups clashed over a cultural event provided an opportunity for the racists in both the north and the south.
Speaking at a press conference at the Governor's sub office in Battaramulla, Cooray said that both the university and the police are conducting investigations into the incident.
If the clash occurred because a Kandyan 'wes dance' was not allowed, it is not good for the country, Cooray said. He added that in the south, cultural events of all types were taking place. The same should apply to the whole island, he also pointed out.
The incident is harmful for the reconciliation process and therefore the truth should be revealed, Cooray also said.
Switzerland’s attorney general has indicted 13 people associated with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for providing financial support to the organisation via a sophisticated microcredit system.
The 13 accused, who come from Switzerland, Germany and Sri Lanka, have been charged with supporting or being members of a criminal organisation, fraud, false certification and money laundering.
As the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland announced on Wednesday, the LTTE was acting through a Swiss offshoot known as the World Tamil Coordinating Committee (WTCC). During the continuing civil war in Sri Lanka, the LTTE’s financial needs increased considerably. According to the attorney general’s office, LTTE leaders in Switzerland “devised and implemented a systematic and rapid method for obtaining money from the Tamil diaspora in Switzerland”. They reportedly raised around CHF15 million ($15.2 million).
“The LTTE remained an anonymous participant in the process by acting through the WTCC,” pointed out the attorney general’s office. “The mechanism for providing financial support to the LTTE essentially involved inducing members of the Tamil diaspora in Switzerland, who apparently had no links with each other, to enter into microcredit contracts in their own names but in a fiduciary capacity, and then to pass on the funds to the WTCC.”
A Swiss bank in canton Zurich provided microcredits of up to CHF100,000. In order to obtain the microcredits, two financial intermediaries prepared forged salary statements. Couriers carried cash to Singapore and Dubai. Each month, up to CHF1 million flowed abroad and was used to buy weapons.
“The LTTE’s funding system collapsed in 2009, following the organisation’s military defeat, and the diaspora community stopped making the loan payments,” explained the attorney general’s office.
At the main hearing before the Federal Criminal Court, the attorney general’s office will submit its proposals for the penalties to be imposed on the 13 accused. By filing the indictment, the court will be responsible for providing further information.
An undergraduate who alleged to have involved in the recent clash at the University of Jaffna has been granted bail today.
The student was released on two personal bails of Rs.100,000 rupees each after being produced before the Jaffna Magistrate, MP M.A. Sumanthiran who appeared on behalf of the suspect told .
A three-member committee has also been appointed to investigate into student clash at the university. The clash which occurred on Saturday (16) also caused the temporary closure of the university for few days.
The non-academic university staff will resort to continue strike actions over six demands including the proposed Rs.2500 wage hike, the Inter University Trade Union Joint Committee (IUTUJC) announced.
Treasurer of the Committee, K.L.D.G. Richmond said the non-academic staff will resort to strike action from July 27.
He added that the decision was taken as talks failed with top officials of the Ministry of Higher Education and the University Grants Commission.
The conducting of tuition classes, seminars, workshops and printing model papers targeting students sitting for the 2015 G.C.E. Advanced Level examination has been prohibited with effect from July 27 midnight to August 27, the Examinations Commissioner says.
In a statement issued today, the Department of Examinations said that organizing or conducting tuition classes, special lectures, seminars, workshops as well as printing model question papers, distributing them and promoting them through any form of media and even the possession of such papers are prohibited during the aforementioned time period.
It warned that legal action would be instigated against any institution or individuals who disregard these instructions.
Southern Provincial Councilor H.W. Gunasena has been appointed as the Southern Provincial Minister of Fisheries, Livestock, Environment, Electricity and Rural Industries.
The apportionment letter was handed over to Gunasena by President Maithripala Sirisena, a short while ago on Wednesday (20), the PMD reported.
Several ministries handled by Southern Provincial Council Minister D.V. Upul have been granted to Gunasena through the new appointment, it was reported.
Fishermen of Rameswaram today decided to hold a series of agitations from July 22, pressing for a charter of demands including the release of their 77 colleagues held by Sri Lanka.
A resolution to this effect was passed at the meeting of fishermen associations of Rameswaram, Secretary of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Confederation of Fishermen’s Associations, NJ Bose said.
The fishermen said they would hold a series of agitations on July 22, 26 and 28 in all fishing hamlets in and around Rameswaram, to draw the attention of the Centre and the state government towards their demands including the release of 77 fishermen and 103 boats from Sri Lankan custody.
Besides, they sought compensation from the Sri Lankan government for the damage caused to 18 mechanised boats released recently by the authorities of the island nation.
On July 12, the fishermen associations had announced the withdrawal of protest keeping in mind the livelihood of the fishermen.
Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa says that necessary disciplinary action regarding the student involved in the recent clash will be taken by the administration of the University of Jaffna and that the government will not get involved in the matter.
The Minister of Disaster Management said that they had a very constructive meeting with the vice chancellor and rest of the university staff.
He was joined by Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs D. M. Swaminathan and Deputy Minister of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Karunarathna Paranawithana.
“They all agreed that an unfortunate incident happened but that does not reflect to close the entire university. They have not closed it yet. Some examinations will be held tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. And they all agreed to open the university,” he told reporters following the meeting.
The minister said that afterwards they met with the student representatives, including the leaders of the student unions as well as Sinhala students, consisting of males and females.
“They all wanted to open the university and they say the situation is all normal and there is nothing to be worried about. They are still here in Jaffna and they will continue to be here.”
“They want the university to open to continue their studies. That’s what they said,” Yapa added.
He emphasized that whatever the disciplinary action that will be taken against the people who were involved in this incident will be done by the university itself not by anyone else. “We don’t want to interfere. We don’t want to get involved in that as the government.”
Deputy Minister Karunarathna Paranawithana also said that there will be a disciplinary inquiry in a university level.
He expressed belief that the university will be opened soon.
A protest fast has been launched by several inmates of the Jaffna Prison today (19).
This fast has been started by suspects arrested on drug trafficking charges who are demanding their release on bail, said Prison spokesperson Thushara Upuldeniya.
Thirty-six inmates had commenced the protest fast, however 18 of them have already left the stir, according to the prison spokesmen.
Members in India’s Rajya Sabha today sought government intervention in ensuring the release of a large number of Indian fishermen, arrested by the Sri Lankan navy in the recent past.
Vijila Sathyananth (AIADMK) raised the issue of arrest of fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy, blaming it for infringing upon rights of Indian fishermen.
She said four fishermen were arrested on July 15 and asked the Centre to ensure their immediate release and sought immediate intervention of the Ministry of External Affairs to secure their release as well as that of their fishing boats.
Tiruchi Siva (DMK) also raised the issue of “atrocities” on fishermen by Sri Lankan navy, saying 76 fishermen have been arrested in the recent past.
He alleged that the Lankan navy had manhandled fishermen and damanged their boats even in Indian waters.
Stressing that fishermen have been rendered “totally out of profession”, Siva sought immediate release of 76 fishermen and 102 fishing boats.
The fares of Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) buses will also be increased by 6 per cent with effect from August 01, Deputy Minister of Transport Ashoka Abeysinghe said.
The minimum fare of the state-owned bus operator in Sri Lanka will be Rs 9 from that date, he said.
Addressing an event in Kundasale, he stated that the fares would be increased due to the rising costs at the SLTB.
The deputy minister further said that the government has absolutely no plans to privatise the Sri Lanka Transport Board.
Last Thursday, the Cabinet approved the proposed 6% bus fare increase with effect from August 01.
The decision was made after a report with respect to the proposed bus fare revision based on the annual bus fare amendment was submitted to the Cabinet.
The Sri Lankan government has asked for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from any third parties interested in forming a strategic partnership with its carriers SriLankan Airlines and Mihin Lanka, the Ch-Aviation reported.
The deadline for proposals is August 24 with each submission to be accompanied by a non-refundable deposit of USD5,000. BNP Paribas and KPMG have been appointed financial and transaction advisors.
In April, the International Trade Minister said government would like to restructure SriLankan Airlines with either direct foreign capital or through a management agreement with a foreign airline. In the interests of expediting a deal for its mainline carrier, the Sri Lankan government has pledged to absorb all liabilities currently owned by SriLankan Airlines which, as of December 31, 2015, are said to stand at LKR461 billion (USD3.15 billion).
While the search for a strategic partner is underway, the government has, as an interim measure, said it will recapitalize both airlines to the tune of USD201 million, enough to last them through to the end of October.
Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne today refused to grant a warrant for former Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weratunge and said that the FCID must hand over the notice through the Foreign Ministry.
The FCID had sought an arrest warrant against Weeratunga for the alleged financial misconduct during the purchase of MiG aircrafts to the Sri Lanka Air Force.
The FCID had earlier told court that notice was handed over to his address in Sri Lanka. However, since he was out of the country, he was sent the notice through email, the FCID had said.
However, the Magistrate said that sending the notice through email is not adequate under the Criminal Procedure Code and that Weeratunga must be notified through Foreign Ministry assistance.
Meanwhile, the Magistrate ordered the SLAF Legal Director to appear in court on September 26 to explain the disappearance of documents regarding the transaction.
A 52-year-old businessman was killed after an unidentified person had opened fire at him in Watugedara area in Ambalangoda, the police said.
The deceased has been identified as a resident of Patiwatta area in Balapitiya.
The police added that an investigation is underway to identify the suspect who had fled the scene soon after the shooting incident on Monday (18) morning.
The remains of the businessman are kept at the Ambalangoda hospital pending an autopsy.
The Tamil National Alliance has condemned the clashes that took place at the University of Jaffna on Saturday.
The TNA in a statement today said, “We regret that several students have sustained injuries and that the Sinhala students had to be evacuated from the University and Jaffna as a precautionary measure.
The TNA appeals to all students not to permit any recurrence of such incidents or anything that will hinder genuine reconciliation amongst communities in our country.
Whilst inviting the students who have been evacuated to return to Jaffna, we urge the other students who remain to welcome them and assure them of their safety as they resume their studies.
We call upon the students and the authorities to work together in creating the right conditions for students from different backgrounds to live and study together in the University of Jaffna in the future.”
The final report of the Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons (PCICRMP) has been finalized, Commission Chairman Maxwell Parakrama Paranagama says.
He added the report will be submitted to the President within next few days.
The commission has received at least 20,000 complaints on alleged abductions and disappearances.
The three-member committee that comprises former High Court Judge Maxwell Parakrama Paranagama, Mano Ramanathan and Priyanthi Suranjana Vidyaratna was appointed on 15 August 2013 by Extraordinary Gazette, No. 1823/42, under the provisions of Section 2 of the Commission of Inquiry Act.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe expressed his support for Turkey’s elected government on Saturday as a coup attempt had been squashed by authorities earlier in the day.
Wickremesinghe said in a statement that foiling an attempt to overturn a democratically-elected government through a military coup would please all people who valued democracy.
He said he was happy to note that the president and prime minister of Turkey had been able to preserve democratic rule and assured the support of Sri Lanka and its people.
At least 2,800 military officers have been detained throughout Turkey after suspected coup plotters attempted to overthrow the government late Friday, using tanks and helicopters and blocking bridges and taking over some media outlets.
The Turkish government said on Saturday evening that the coup attempt had been thwarted and the situation was under control. More than 200 people have been killed in the attempted coup, reports said.
The Warrant Officer (WO) attached to the army intelligence unit who was arrested in connection with the assassination of journalist Lasantha Wickramatunge has been remanded until July 27.
The suspect was remanded after being produced before the Mt. Lavinia Magistrate’s Court this afternoon (17).
Police said that the army officer was arrested over the abduction, unlawful detention and questioning of an individual, who was the driver of Wickramatunge’s vehicle at the time of the assassination.
The CID was granted permission to detain and interrogate the suspect for 48 hours after he was produced before court earlier on Saturday. Wickrematunge, founding editor of privately-run newspaper Sunday Leader, was shot dead while he drove to work in January 2009. Wickrematunga was a staunch critic of the administration of then-president Mahinda Rajapaksa, which has insisted it had no role in the editor’s killing. Sri Lanka’s new government had reopened investigations into the murder after coming to power in January last year.
In February, the police released sketches of two persons who are suspected to be involved in the assassination. The Army Commander had recently appointed two Court of Inquiries to investigate the misplaced documents in the cases pertaining to the murder of Wickramatunge and the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda.
Following a days-long investigation, the Jaffna police have apprehended two burglars approximately one kilogram of gold in their possession last evening, an official said.
The investigation was launched after several burglaries were reported in the area within last few weeks.
The arrested suspects have been identified as residents of Kopai and Jaffna, the officer added.
They will be produced before the Magistrate today.
Four Tamil Nadu fishermen suffered minor injuries when they were attacked allegedly by Sri Lankan naval personnel off Katchathivu islet, the PTI reported.
The naval personnel took away their cellphones and GPS equipment and also damaged nets of 10 other boats, P Sesuraja, Fishermen’s Association leader said.
The fishermen, part of a group of 3,000 who had put out to sea from Rameswaram on Saturday night, returned without any catch after the navy officers threatened them against fishing in the island nation’s territorial waters, he said.
At least 17 persons including 12 foreigners were injured and hospitalized after a swarm of wasps attacked a group visiting the Sigiriya rock this morning (17).
The wounded have been admitted to Sigiriya and Dambulla Hospitals and are currently receiving treatment.
Tourists and locals visiting Sigiriya have been attacked by wasps on several previous occasions as well while entrance to the rock.
Wasp-attacks are relatively frequent in different parts of Sri Lanka, where 57 people were hospitalized in early this month after being attacked by wasps.
Last year, one woman died and 17 others were injured when a group of tea-pickers in the mountains in central Sri Lanka were attacked by wasps.
Two cops and a member of the Civil Security Force of the Kolonna police have been suspended on the charge of allegedly assisting an illegal liquor dealer.
The decision was taken upon an internal inquiry conducted by the police with effect from last evening, an officer said.
Further investigation in this regard are being carried out under directions from SP Anil Priyantha, it was reported.
Three undergraduates who were reported missing in the Saptha Kanya (Seven Virgins) mountain range since last afternoon have been found, the police confirmed a short while ago on Sunday (17).
The students were found following a joint operation launched by the police and army, an official said.
The operation was launched based on information received that the students were stranded in the forest after losing their way, police said.
Meanwhile s spokesman for the Hatton Police told that information had also been received regarding two French nationals who are also reportedly stranded in the mountain range. However, a search operation has not been launched to find them as of yet, he said.
The police and army have commenced a joint operation in search of three students of the Kelaniya University and a student of the Kotelawala Defence University who were exploring the Saptha Kanya (Seven Virgins) mountain range.
The operation was launched based on information received that the students are stranded in the forest after losing their way, police said.
Meanwhile s spokesman for the Hatton Police told Ada Derana that information has also been received regarding two French nationals who are also reportedly stranded in the mountain range.
However, a search operation has not been launched to find them as of yet, he said.
At least six students have been hospitalised following a clash between two groups at the University of Jaffna, Ada Derana reporter said.
However, none of them are in serious condition, according to hospital sources.
The incident had reportedly taken place earlier today (16) during a ceremony organized to welcome new students to the university’s science faculty.
One group of students had proposed that a Kandyan dance cultural event be presented during the ceremony while another group had opposed, saying the event should be a Tamil traditional dance.
However, the Kandyan dance event was performed while this had caused the dispute between the two student groups to escalate into a brawl.
It has also been reported that police protection has been provided to the Jaffna University as well as to the hostels of the assaulted students.
Meanwhile the Science Faculty of the university has been closed until further notice while student of the faculty have been instructed to temporarily leave their respective hostels.
Kopay Police is conducting an investigation into the incident.
Thirteen individuals including twelve alleged sex workers were arrested yesterday evening from Mount Lavinia, on the allegation of running a brothel in the guise of a massage centre.
One woman was arrested for allegedly managing the center.
Most of the alleged sex workers are from outstations.
They are to be produced before the Mt. Lavinia Magistrate today.
The Public Health Inspectors’ Association (PHIs) says that cases have been filed against 6,544 individuals for maintaining mosquito breeding grounds.
Public Health Inspectors’ Association President Mr Upul Rohana also said that cases were filed against 107 state institutions for facilitating dengue breeding grounds.
He said that this includes two Schools and two Ministry premises.
Mr Rohana said that a majority of the dengue mosquito breeding sites have been uncovered in the Western Province.
Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne at the invitation of Commander U.S. Marine Corps and Pacific Commanding General Fleet Marine Force, Lieutenant General John A. Toolan, took part in the Pacific Command Amphibious Leaders Symposium (PALS) 2016.
Commander of the Navy was accompanied by the Naval Secretary, Commodore Udaya Hettiarachchi. The event took off ground on 11th July and held until the 14th in Southern California, USA.
The intent of PALS 2016 was to promote shared awareness, increased cooperation and enhanced interoperability among like-minded forces. Further it brought together senior leaders of allied partner nations to discuss key aspects of amphibious operations, crisis response, sea-basing and capacity development. The symposium was consisted of academic discussions, a scenario based Table-Top-Exercise, Sea-basing and amphibious landing demonstration and group discussions. Moreover the four-day forum allowed senior leaders to share their ideas, provide better understanding of their own amphibious capabilities and set goals for their forces to achieve.
Engagements in the Indo-Asia-Pacific Region such as PALS and other exercises result in better training and interoperability among the friendly military leaders and partners throughout the region; they also pave the way for enhanced regional stability and economic ties that are beneficial to all. The event was attended by more than 20 Marine Corps, Naval Forces and Armies across the world.
The principal of a school in the Polonnaruwa area has been arrested on bribery charges.
The suspect was arrested this afternoon by officers of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, acting on information received, while at his office in the school.
He was caught in the act of soliciting a bribe of Rs 2750, handed over through a security guard, from a former teacher at the school in order to sign several of her documents.
Meanwhile the bribery commission says that in a separate operation an official working as a Management Assistant at the Puttalama District Court was arrested while receiving a bribe of Rs 4,500.
The suspect had reportedly promised to reduce the spousal maintenance paid by a certain divorced individual.
The National Water Supply and Drainage Board announced that a 12 hour water cut will affect several areas including Maharagama, Kottawa and Homagama from 12noon to midnight tomorrow (16).
The water supply to Maharagama, Boralesgamuwa, Kottawa, Pannipitiya, Homagama, Rukmalgama, Pelenwatta, Mattegoda, Godagama, Meepe, Hanwella, Kaluaggala and Padukka will be temporarily suspended during the aforementioned time period.
Meanwhile the Kaduwela area will be supplied with water at a low pressure.
The Water Board said that the water cut will be imposed due to urgent repairs at the Kalatuwawa water purification plant.
The Convenor of the Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF), Lahiru Weerasekara, who was arrested and remanded for violating a court order, has been released on bail by the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court.
The defendant ordered released after being produced before Colombo Fort magistrate Lanka Jayaratne today (15).
Weerasekara was arrested on July 08 by Fort Police on charges of violating a court order during a recent protest march staged in Colombo, organized by the IUSF. He was remanded till July 15 after being produced at court the same day.
The case was postponed till August 05.
The FICD today sought an arrest warrant through the Interpol from the Fort Magistrate's Court against former Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga over a complaint on alleged financial misappropriation during the purchase of MiG aircrafts for the Sri Lanka Air Force in around 2005-2006.
Weeratunga had been issued notice to appear in court today and the notice had been sent to his residence in Sri Lanka. It was handed over to his relatives since he was not present at his residence.
The Fort Magistrate heard the submission of the FCID and decided to give the decision on the request on July 18.
Weeratunga was the Sri Lankan Ambassador to Russia from 2006 to 2015. He is now said to be residing in Ukraine.
Sri Lanka recently came to an agreement on extradition.
Former Sri Lankan High Commissioner to United Kingdom Dr. Chris Nonis was notified by Kollupitiya police to appear at the police station on July 18, regarding a complaint lodged against him on an alleged verbal abuse and threat to a female company chairman on May 16, 2016.
Nonis had been asked to appear at the police station on July 14 to record a statement.
However, a lawyer appeared on behalf of Nonis yesterday and informed police that his client was unable to be present since he was suffering from an illness.
The complainant Mary Jane Verma (80) of Green Park Residencies had lodged a complainant with Kolllupitiya Police, saying that she was threatened by Nonis at Green Park Residencies in Kollupitiya. Verma said she was threatened by Nonis to withdraw a case pertaining to a company owned by him and another person.
Fathima (Nimisha) and Eeza (Bexon Vincent), the couple from Kerala, India who have allegedly joined the Islamic State, were in Sri Lanka for over two months before disappearing, a highly-placed source told Express on Thursday, Indian Media reports.
According to Indian intelligence agencies, Sri Lanka has emerged as one of the hotspots for Islamic studies, mainly for the Salafi sect following Wahhabism. It is also an easy access destination for Indians as they can visit without major security hiccups.
“They arrived from Tamil Nadu and went to Kochi after staying in Sri Lanka for over two months. Further details are not available,” the source said on condition of anonymity.
The Sri Lankan police had conducted investigations following revelations in the media that the couple were in Lanka before they disappeared, presumably to join the IS, the source said. However, DIG Ajith Rohana, the Lankan police spokesman, denied their visit to