Body of university lecturer discovered in Trincomalee

A body of a female lecturer aged 29 was discovered by the police on the shores of Trincomalee this afternoon.

The victim who was identified as Nadarasa Pothanayangi is a lecturer at the Eastern University and a resident of Vavuniya.

The handbag of the victim was found by a person who later handed it over to the lifeguards who were on duty at the beach.

Army can end Ava threat in two days: Jaffna Army Commander

"We need only two days to control the Ava gang operating in  Jaffna peninsula," Security Forces Jaffna Headquarters Commander Major General Darshana Hettiarachchi said.

"We have already briefed the President on the security situation with regard to the Ava group and are awaiting his final instructions," he said, addressing a news conference in Jaffna today. 

He said the Army would not get involved in maintaining law and order in the Jaffna peninsula since it was a matter for the police. However, if the Army was called in, "we are prepared to step in to bring the situation under control," he said

India probes death of 12 endangered lions

Indian authorities Friday ordered a probe into the deaths of a dozen endangered wild Asiatic lions, half of them cubs, over the last 10 days, officials said.

One lioness died after preying on a poisoned boar while eight others lions died of an infection in the lungs and liver. Three cubs were killed in infighting while other three passed away in the course of treatment.

Gujarat officials have sent the lions' carcasses to a veterinary hospital for further analysis into the cause of infection.

“Primarily the deaths appear due to natural causes or some infection,” Vijay Chaudhary, forest department official, told AFP.

The lions, a major tourist attraction in the state, have been a target of poachers in the past. Experts said that the deaths cannot be dismissed as part of a natural cycle.

“There needs to be some preventive action by tracking the pride of lions in the area and checking them for infections,” Priyavrat Gadhvi, a wildlife expert and members of state wildlife board in Gujarat, told AFP.

According to the latest lion count done in 2015, there are 521 Asiatic lions. About 10 of them died in floods in 2016.

Lt. Col. Erantha Peiris remanded till Sep 8 over disappearance of Prageeth Eknaligoda

Lt. Col. Erantha Peiris who was arrested yesterday over the enforced disappearance of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda has been remanded until September 28.

The order was issued after Lt. Col. Peiris was produced before the Homagama Magistrate today.

Eknaligoda was reported missing on January 28, 2010 and has remained missing since.


Three police abducted and killed in Indian Kashmir

The bodies of three policemen abducted by militants were recovered in Indian-administered Kashmir on Friday, police said, as tensions mount ahead of local civic polls. Police officers, many of them local Muslims, have been increasingly targeted in recent months in the territory rocked for decades by violence.The increased focus on policemen seems to be in response to what appear to be new police tactics of detaining the family members of prominent militants.

Kashmir has been divided since the end of British colonial rule in 1947 but both India and Pakistan claim the former Himalayan kingdom in full. India has about 500,000 soldiers in the zone it controls, where separatist groups demand independence or a merger with Pakistan.
The latest incident saw groups of armed militants raiding the homes of at least 11 policemen in the twin villages of Kapran and Batgund in southern Kashmir valley.

They abducted three Special Police Officers (SPOs), as well as the brother of a police constable, police and witnesses said.
“Three bullet-riddled bodies of the SPOs were found lying in the fields,” a police officer told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The brother of the constable was released unharmed.

– AFP 

Magistrates Court temporary lifts court orders against MP Karunanayake

The Colombo Magistrates Court today (Sept 21)  temporarily suspended the court orders issued over MP Ravi Karunanayake for allegedly providing misleading information to the Bond Commission.

The CID alleged that MP Karunanayake had provided false information to the Bond Commission on  August 2, 2017. 

Maldives Abdullah Yameen to tighten grip as opposition muzzled

Maldives strongman Abdulla Yameen seeks a second term as president Sunday in a tourist paradise that has become a battleground for influence between regional giants India and China, and a source of global alarm over political oppression and a muzzling of the media.

With all his main rivals in prison or in exile, the odds appear stacked in the Beijing-friendly incumbent's favour, and warnings of punitive action from the international community have been flowing in even before a single ballot has been cast.

The EU has said it is ready to slap travel bans and asset freezes on individuals “if the situation does not improve”, while the US has warned it would “consider appropriate measures” against people undermining democracy and rule of law. Battered by years of violent intimidation, spurious arrests and enforced exile, the opposition has united behind a joint candidate — the little-known Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. But voters would be hard-pressed to notice, with heavy-handed decrees and reporting restrictions stifling a media already fearful of doing anything to offend the president of the Muslim nation of 340,000 people.

“The election campaign reporting is severely restricted by the defamation law. This is not fair reporting, but we have no choice,” one local journalist told AFP, preferring to remain anonymous for fear of repercussions. “We can't even use social media to talk about opposition politicians,” the reporter said.

Even publishing photos of people wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the faces of jailed politicians is off-limits.

Few foreign journalists seeking to cover the election have been granted visas, and in many cases only at the last minute, anecdotal information suggests.

Supreme Court upholds Appeal Court decision on SAITM

The Supreme Court upheld the Appeals Court decision calling upon the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) to register the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) medical graduates.

The Court of Appeal  ruled  in January 31, 2017 that SAITM is legally eligible to issue medical degrees to its students.

The Appellate Court had also directed the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) to give provisional registration to medical students passing out from the private medical college in Malabe.

However, the SLMC decided to appeal against the ruling of the Appeals Court to provisionally register SAITM medical degree holders





Colombo International Book Fair 2018 gets underway

The Colombo International Book Fair 2018 got underway this morning (Sept 21) at the BMICH.

Education Minister, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, officiated as Chief Guest at the opening of the Fair while Gill Caldicott, Director of the British Council, Sri Lanka, graced the occasion as Guest of Honour.

Organised by the Sri Lanka Book Publishers’ Association, for the 20th consecutive year the fair will be open daily from 9am – 9pm at  the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Exhibition Centre. The fair will conclude on Sept. 30.

Captured below are scenes from the opening.