Election Commission prepares to hold PC polls

Chairman of Elections Commission Mahinda Deshapriya has told the BBC Sandeshaya that the Elections Commission is ready to hold any election after the Supreme Court ruling.

Political critics have expressed doubts whether he had made these comments to hold provincial council elections before the presidential election as the comments were made at a time when the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) leader Maithripala Sirisena has asked the Chief Justice to inform the Supreme Court before August 30 whether the provincial council election could be held in the absence of the limitation report.

However, the President's request will be taken up before a five-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Buwaneka Aluvihare, Sisira de Abrew, Prasanna Jayawardena and Vijith Malalgoda on 23 August.

"There is nothing we can do regarding this. We are ready to hold any election as per the directives given to us," Deshapriya said.

8 Provincial Councils which have completed their official term

Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council - 1 year and 10 months from the end of official term.

North Central Provincial Council - 1 year and 10 months from the end of official term.

Eastern Provincial Council - 1 year and 10 months from the end of office term.

Central Provincial Council - 10 months from the end of official term.

Northern Provincial Council - 10 months from the end of official term.

North Western Provincial Council - 10 months from the end of official term.

Western Provincial Council - 4 months from the end of official term.

Southern Provincial Council - 4 months from the end of official term.

According to what the Constitution states regarding the term of a Provincial Council, unless a provincial council is dissolved in advance, its term lasts five years from the date fixed for the first meeting of the provincial council. When that five year period has elapsed, the Provincial Council will be considered dissolved.

When is the Presidential Election?

According to the Election Commission, the President can call the Presidential Election at any time from January 8, 2019.

If the President decides to complete his term, the presidential election will be held in November or December.

As the term of the President expires on January 8, 2020 it is necessary to hold a presidential election at the latter part of this year.

Source - BBC Sandeshaya

Anura Kumara to be the JVP presidential candidate

Leader of the JVP Anura Kumara Dissanayake would be appointed as the party’s presidential candidate, JVP sources said.

It is further revealed that a majority of proposals received by the party favours the appointment of the party leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake as the most suitable to be nominated as the presidential candidate.

Investigation on police officers alliance with Kanjipani Imran

An investigation has been initiated regarding a complaint lodged by Magalkande Sudantha Thera on several police officers attached to the CCD maintaining close ties with underworld drug leader Kanjipani Imran who is currently under the custody of the Colombo Crimes Division.

Amaraweera warns SLFP members who attended SLPP convention

The General Secretary of the UPFA Mahinda Amaraweera stated that none of the SLFP members had been permitted to attend the SLPP convention.

He said that all the SLFP members who had attended the SLPP convention last Sunday (11) would be brought before the SLFP Central Committee, which would convene shortly.

Hathuru makes friends with Bangladesh?

The Sri Lanka Cricket Board has wanted the Sri Lanka Cricket Team Coach Chandima Hathurusinghe to resign from his post and it is said that he has again focused his attention on regaining his position as the Coach of the Bangladesh Cricket team.

Sajith in operation to become PM prior to presidency?

Minister Sajith Premadasa is said to have engaged in an operation of gathering 62 MPs loyal to him currently.

This move is believed to be made to show the majority in parliament and to obtain the Premiership.

Set of high ranking officials arrested over Lasantha, Ekneligoda, Thadjudeen cases!

Currently the CID is conducting investigations into the killing of Lasantha Wickramatunga, abduction and disappearance of Ekneligoda, Killing of Wasim Thadjudeen, Abduction and assault of Keith Noyahr and the abduction of 11 youths.

Gamini Senarath and 2 others acquitted over Litro Gas case

The Permanent High Court-at-Bar acquitted and released former President’s chief of staff Gamini Senarath and two other defendants from the case filed against them over the alleged misappropriation of Litro Gas funds.

Fmr Navy and Air Force commanders awarded highest military ranks

Former Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda and the former Air Chief Marshal Roshan Goonetileke had been awarded highest military ranks by President Maithripala Sirisena.

Accordingly, Admiral Karannagoda was promoted to the rank of Admiral of the Fleet while Air Chief Marshal Goonetileke was promoted to the rank of Marshal of the Air Force.

UNP bans public announcements regarding presidential candidacy !

The decision regarding the presidential candidate to be fielded from the UNP led coalition should be made subsequent to discussions and agreement of UNP Leader Ranil Wiclremesinghe and his Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa, the government group had proposed yesterday (05).

Mahinda says Shiranthi not among presidential candidates

Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa states that there are five names proposed for the Presidential candidacy and that there is a female among them.

However, he said that the name of the candidate would not be revealed before August 11th.

Hambantota Mayor Eraj Fernando sentenced to prison

Mayor of Hambantota Eraj Ravindra Fernando has been sentenced to 5 years imprisonment by the Hambantota High Court.

He was sentenced over the case filed against him for threatening several UNP Parliamentarians with a pistol during their visit to the Hambantota Harbour on April 17, 2014.

‘Came to know of ‘note’ only on April 21 through social media’

Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake who had testified at the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) mandated to probe the terror attacks on Easter Sunday testified for the second time yesterday.

Harin visits India for secret meeting

The Cricket Age has reported that Sports Minister Harin Fernando suddenly went to India and met with ICC chairman Shashank Manohar to appoint an interim committee for Sri Lanka Cricket.

ICC backs Kumar Dharmasena's decision in World Cup final

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has backed umpire Kumar Dharmasena after he was targeted for his controversial overthrow call in the World Cup final 2019 recently.

Social media bosses to be brought to parliament

With the aim of looking into the possibility of regulating social media to prevent the spread of false and revengeful statements being disseminated through social media, the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Legal Affairs (anti-corruption) and Media has decided to summon the relevant persons before the committee to gather evidence for investigations.

SLPP inks MoU with 10 political parties

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with 10 political parties a short while ago, says Ada Derana reporter.

These political parties were previously not politically aligned with the Joint Opposition thus far and are also not represented in the Parliament.

Supreme Court stays Special HC’s trial against Gotabaya

The Supreme Court today (25) issued an order preventing trial at Special High Court against Gotabaya Rajapaksa over the D.A. Rajapaksa Museum case till the 1st of October, says Ada Derana reporter.

The order was delivered by the Supreme Court three-judge bench consisting of Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Gamini Amarasekara and S. Thurairajah considering an appeal filed by Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

No farewell match for retiring Nuwan Kulasekara?

Sports Minister Harin Fernando says that Sri Lanka’s third match in the upcoming ODI series against Bangladesh will be dedicated to retiring fast bowler Nuwan Kulasekara, but said it is unlikely he will play in that match.

Elections Commissioner restricts candidates expenditure

The Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya says legal drafts required to curb the expenses of the candidates contesting the elections is already in place.

In a statement to the Dinamina newspaper, the Elections Commissioner has said that in the past candidates would sell their properties to enter politics, but now they ride on the backs of thugs and racketeers for the
funds to back their election race.

Cardinal dismayed by state minister’s comment on Buddhist priests

His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith says that he is ashamed of the “so-called” Catholic state minister’s controversial comment against Buddhist priests.

Cardinal Ranjith, addressing a religious event held at the Bellanwila Raja Maha Viharaya, pointed out that these politicians are attempting to adopt a secular culture.

Harin requests selectors to resign

The National Cricket Selection Committee could also be revamped by Sports Minister Harin Fernando, who has called for the resignation of all members of the selection committee, following Sri Lanka’s dismal performance at the World Cup in England and Wales.

Zimbabwe cricket suspended over 'political interference'

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has suspended Zimbabwe over a failure to keep the sport free from government interference, the world governing body said.

The ICC board, after meeting in London, unanimously decided to freeze funding to the national governing body and ban the southern African country's teams from international events.

"We do not take the decision to suspend a member lightly, but we must keep our sport free from political interference," ICC chairman Shashank Manohar said in a statement on Thursday.

"What has happened in Zimbabwe is a serious breach of the ICC constitution and we cannot allow it to continue unchecked."

Zimbabwe's Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) suspended Zimbabwe Cricket last month and installed temporary leadership, putting the national cricket board on a collision course with the ICC.

Zimbabwe's absence at Cricket World Cup 'bitter pill to swallow'

The government-run commission acted after alleging corruption in the administration, but the ICC viewed it as government interference, which is against the world body's rules.

The ICC called for Zimbabwe's cricket officials to be reinstated within three months after which the suspension will be reviewed in October, it said.

Zimbabwe failed to qualify for the recent 50-overs World Cup in England, having struggled to schedule matches against major teams in international cricket as their financial position worsened.

The country first became a full ICC member in 1992 and enjoyed an impressive run at the 1999 World Cup, narrowly missing out on a semi-final spot.

Croatia and Zambia were also suspended, while Morocco was expelled for failing to meet ICC's membership criteria.

Harin dumbfounded over letter for trying to blame Hathurusinghe for defeat

A group of former cricketers are said to have requested an appointment to meet with the President and Prime Minister to request the removal of Sports Minister Harin Fernando after the Bangladesh tour, it is reported.
There are players who represented the 1996 world cup winning team among this group.

Contacted Singapore PM for Mahendran's extradition - President

President Maithripala Sirisena disclosed yesterday that he had personally spoken with Singapore’s Prime Minister concerning the extradition of Central Bank bond scam suspect former Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran. The President said all the respondents in the Central Bank bond scam case have been identified and while some have been arrested, international arrest warrants have been issued to apprehend those who fled overseas.

Contradictions about American aircraft !

The Defence Ministry in a letter states that the American cargo Aircraft which arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport had arrived with approval from Sri Lanka.

The letter states that the American aircraft had landed in Sri Lanka to obtain essential goods and services during their scheduled flight path.

Muslim candidate for Presidential election!

Discussions are said to be under way to nominate a Muslim candidate from the group representing the MPs who resigned from their posts recently, it is reported.

The Leader of the Muslim Congress had told the Ravaya newspaper that the starting point was when all the Muslim MPs had taken the decision to resign in support of Rishad Bathiudeen faced pressure forcing him to resign.

Dr. Shafi produced before court

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has produced Dr. Mohamed Shafi before the Kurunegala Magistrate’s Court a short while ago, said  reporter.

The case against Dr. Shafi, who is accused of allegedly amassing assets through suspicious means, performing illegal sterilization surgeries and having links to terrorist activities, is to be taken up for hearing at 1.00 p.m. today (11).

Ranil requests Mahinda not to resign !

As there are several elections scheduled in the near future, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had requested the Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya yesterday (09) not to resign.

This request had been made during a discussion held at the Prime Minister’s Office at the Parliament Complex yesterday.

IGP & former Defence Secretary granted bail

Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara and former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando have been released on bail today (09).

The bail order was issued by the Colombo Chief Magistrate.

Medals awarded by ICC to 1996 champions, hidden by SLC

The medals awarded by ICC to the 1996 World Cup winning Sri Lankan team, is alleged to have been hidden by Sri Lanka Cricket.

This allegation has been levelled by the members of the 1996 Sri Lankan Cricket team members.

Prime Minister issues order to MPs : Hizbullah upsets government

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed all government ministers to complete all development programs by September or October, it is reported.

The Prime Minister has said that measures would be taken to provide additional funds once the allocated Rs. 200 billion is spent.

This time’s common candidate from the JVP : 09th decisive for JO

While all main political parties are preparing to field their candidates for the upcoming Presidential election, the JVP has decided not to put forward a candidate from their party, it is reported.

Accordingly, plans are afoot to field a common candidate who represents the civil society.

SL banks vulnerable to cyber attacks: FinCSIRT says

Sri Lankan banks and other financial institutions were vulnerable to possible cyber attacks following attacks in Bangladesh in May, Sri Lanka’s Cyber Security Team said today.

Sri Lanka Financial Sector Computer Security Incident Response Team (FinCSIRT) said that cyber attacks took place in four Asian countries including Sri Lanka.

Two governors asked to resign !

President Maithripala Sirisena is said to have asked two of the Governors to resign from their posts.

This is over the severe criticism levelled against the two governors by the SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara and Mahinda Amaraweera.

Malinga blames Sri Lanka Cricket

For what Sri Lanka Cricket has done to him, it’s hard to imagine that they would expect anything back from him, said renowned fast bowler Lasith Malinga.

He said this during an interview with a popular TV channel in Sri Lanka. When asked if he had plans to work as a coach or get involved in cricket administration, Malinga said,

MP Shantha Abeysekara’s son arrested for assaulting MSD officer

The elder son of the Puttalam District MP Shantha Sisira Abeysekara who assaulted a police officer attached to the Ministers’ Security Division (MSD) has been arrested, stated the Police.

The suspect had turned himself in at the Chilaw Police station this morning (01) when the arrest was made, stated the Police Media Spokesperson.

Poojith and Hemasiri in danger of being arrested

Former Defense Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and former IGP Pujitha Jayasundara are to be arrested by the police for questioning, a weekend newspaper has reported.

Hemasiri and Pujitha are about to be arrested for not preventing the attack on Easter Sunday and for threatening and assaulting a person.

Welgama says will not support Gota for Prez

UPFA MP Kumara Welgama said that he will not support Gotabhaya Rajapaksa if he contests the next Presidential Election.

He said he will never support a person with a murderous background and a person who was notorious for having such a background. “If there is a person who has a murderous background, I will not support that person," he said.

Ten cases filed against Gotabaya at US District Court

Former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa faces ten new claims for damages in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California from alleged victims of torture inflicted while he was secretary of defense, reports foreign media.

Courts intervene over removal of Muslims from Dankotuwa fair

A social debate has arisen over a formal request made by the Wennappuwa PS Chairman requesting to remove the Muslim businessmen from the Dankotuwa weekly fair.

The Wennappuwa PS Chairman - K.V. Susantha Perera had requested this from the Dankotuwa OIC on June 24.

Rathana Thero urges President not to proceed with SOFA

Parliamentarian Venerable Athuraliye Rathana Thero urges President Maithripala Sirisena not to allow the government to proceed with the proposed Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the United States.

Rathana Thero stated this last evening (24) addressing a public event held to speak up against the SOFA.

SC to determine hearing of IGP's petition on July 31

The Supreme Court will determine whether the petition filed by Police Chief Pujith Jayasundara would be taken up for hearing, on July 31, court announced today (Jun 24).

State of Emergency in Sri Lanka extended by a month

An Extraordinary Gazette notification has been issued extending the State of Emergency in Sri Lanka by another month with effect from today (June 22).

The relevant proclamation by the President has been issued by the Presidential Secretariat and is signed by the Secretary to the President.

Govt. hiding truth over Easter attacks: cardinal

The head of the Catholic church in Sri Lanka on Thursday issued a scathing criticism of the government over the Easter attacks that killed more than 250 people, decrying a “total lack of interest” in determining why intelligence reports were ignored.

Parliament Select Committee activities to be carried out discretely !

The Parliament Select Committee appointed to investigate the Easter Sunday bombings has decided to protect the identity of the witnesses testifying before this commission in the future.

This decision was taken by the select committee which met last afternoon.

Kabir and Haleem reappointed as ministers

Two UNP Parliamentarians Kabir Hashim and Abdul Haleem have today (19) sworn into the ministerial positions held by them before tendering their resignations, according to sources.

Allegation against Thilanga’s brother who accuses Shafi

In the event President Maithripala Sirisena fails to appoint a commission to investigate the allegations against the Kurunegala Hospital’s Dr. Shafi, the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress will appoint an independent commission to conduct an investigation, said its President Jagath Sumathipala.

Resigned ministers, except three, to be assigned back-bench seats tomorrow

The Muslim parliamentarians, who resigned from their respective ministerial portfolios posts, will be assigned back-bench seats during tomorrow’s parliamentary session, says the Sergeant-at-Arms of the Parliament, Mr Narendra Fernando.

No extremism in my blood – Kabir Hashim

Former Minister Kabir Hashim says that he has always acted while staying true to his heart and that every decision he takes is on behalf of the country.