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Sarath (SLPP) and Sajith (SJB) heads Colombo district preferences



With over 300,000 votes each

Sarath Weerasekara, a former senior naval officer, topped the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Colombo district preferences with 328,092 votes, while Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) leader, Sajith Premadasa secured 305,744 votes.

The SLPP, which polled 674,603 (57.04%), mustered 12 seats, while the SJB won six seats by polling 387,145 (32.73%).

The JVP-led Jathika Jana Balawegaya won one seat by obtaining 67,600 (5.72%) votes.

While Weerasekara headed the SLPP preferences in the Colombo district, Wimal Weerawansa came a distant second with 267,084 votes. Udaya Gammanpila was third in line with 136,331 votes followed by Wijedasa Rajapakse 120,626, Bandula Gunawardena 101,644, Pradeep Undugoda 91,958, Dinesh Gunawardena 85,287, Madura Vithanage 70,205, Premanath C. Dolawatte 69,055, Gamini Lokuge 62,543, Susil Premajayanth 50,322 and Jagath kumara 47,693.

Second in line to Sajith Premadasa on the SJB Colombo district preferences was S. M. Marikkar who secured 96,916 votes followed by Mujibar Rahuman 87,589, Harsha De Silva 82,845, Patali Champika Ranawaka 65,574 and Mano Ganesan 62,091.

Anura Kumara Dissanayake of the Jathika Jana Balawegaya polled 49,814 votes.

In the Gampaha district, the SLPP won 13 sears with Nalaka Godahewa topping the preferences by securing 325,479 votes. Prasanna Ranatunge was second with 316,544 preferential votes followed by Indika Anurudda 136,297, Sisira Jayakody 113,130, Nimal Lanza 108,945, Sahan Pradeep Vithana 97,494, Sudarshani Fernandopulle 89,329, Prasanna Ranaweera, 83,203, Harshani Gunawardane, 77,922, Lasantha Alagiyawanna, 73,061, Nalin Ruwanjeewa Fernando 69,800, Milan Sajith Jayathilake 68,449 and Upul Mahendran Rajapaksa 67,756.

Sarath Fonseka headed the SJB preferences with 110,535, Ranjan Ramanayake 103,992, Harshana Rajakaruna 73,612 and Kavinda Jayawardane 52,026. The party won four seats in the district.

The Jathika Jana Balawegaya won one seat with Vijitha Herath polling 32,008 votes.

SLPP’s Vidura Wickramanayake won the highest number of 147,958 preferential votes in the Kalutara district with Rohitha Abeygunawardena a close second with 147,472. The others elected were Sanjeewa Edirimanne 105,973, Piyal Nishantha 103,904, Jayantha Samaraweera 100,386, Anupa Pasqual 97,777, Lalith Ellawala 76,705 and Mahinda Samarasinghe 58,514

The party secured eight seats in the district.

The SJB won two seats with Rajitha Senaratne obtaining 77,476 votes and Kumara Welgama 77,083.



Cardinal: Was there any link between passage of 20A and Easter Sunday probe outcome?



… stands by his claim of foreign involvement

By Norman Palihawadana

Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith yesterday said that there could be a connection between the outcome of the probe into the Easter Sunday attacks and the enlisting of Muslim MPs’ support for the passage of the 20th Amendment.

The Cardinal said: “The leader of a Muslim political party voted against the 2Oth Amendment. But his MPs voted for it. The brother of Rishad Bathiudeen too was released around the same time. These are questionable developments. These events could be part of a deal.”

The Cardinal reiterated that international forces were behind the Easter Sunday attacks and that he did not believe that there had been any local political group directly involved in the Easter attacks.

Addressing the media yesterday, the Cardinal said that the remarks he made on Sunday had been misunderstood. He stood by his claim that international forces had been behind the attacks, he said.

“However, some people claim that I said a local political group was behind the attack. I have always maintained that there are international forces that use religious and ethnic extremists such as Wahabists to create conflicts. I was referring to such groups.”

The Cardinal added that only a small group of Muslims was involved in extremism.

The Archbishop also said that former President Maithripala Sirisena believed that taking action against extremists like NTJ leader Zahran Hashim would create unnecessary issues.

“Something along these lines is also in the PCoI on Easter Sunday attacks. The report also implies that the then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was lenient in dealing with growing extremism in Sri Lanka.”

The Cardinal urged the government to protect the country and ensure that there would be no repeats of incidents like the Easter Sunday attacks.

The Archbishop of Colombo requested all religious leaders to work on rebuilding trust among all communities.



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AG appeals to Supreme Court against granting of bail to Ravi, others



The Attorney General yesterday appealed to the Supreme Court against bail for former Minister Ravi Karunanayake and seven others indicted in the bond case by the Colombo Special High Court Trial-at-Bar.

The eight accused were arrested and remanded over the bond scams. Later, they were released on bail.

The court warned that if the accused attempted to exert influence on the witnesses, by any means, bail would be revoked and they would be placed on remand until the end of the trial.



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26 more coronavirus cases detected in Jaffna Tirunelveli market area



Another 26 COVID-19 cases had been detected on Sunday, from the Tirunelveli Market in Jaffna, which was the epicentre of the recent outbreak in the town, Dr. A. Kethiswaran, Regional Director Health Services told the media yesterday.

The market and its surroundings had been reopened on April 11 following a 19-day lockdown. However, 378 PCR tests were conducted after the Sinhala and Tamil New Year and 26 of them proved positive.

Dr. Kethiswaran warned last week that there might be a spike in COVID-19 cases in Jaffna after the New Year celebrations.

A large number of COVID-19 cases had been reported in Jaffna in the past few weeks. Thus, the people should adhere to health guidelines. If people did not follow the guidelines, there would be a spike in cases and then some places would have to be lockdown, he warned.

“It’s too early to say whether we have to close the area down. We are monitoring the situation,” DR. Kethiswaran said.

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