CDS back in the country

Chief of the Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, who left for Mexico last week, for an official visit, had arrived in the country this morning.

Earlier, the the Criminal Investigations Department summoned Admiral Wijegunaratne, to record a statement with regard to harbouring a suspect wanted in connection with the abduction of 11 youths in 2008 and 2009.

However, he left the country on September 10, to attend the 208th Independence Commemoration Ceremony of United Mexican States, representing Sri Lanka on the invitation of Mexican Defence Minister General Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda.

An official said earlier that the CDS had informed the CID in writing about the visit and had requested for another date to appear before the CID.

Ready to provide security to Gota if he requests: PM

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the government would provide police security to former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa if he requested.

He told parliament that if Mr. Rajapaksa thinks that his life was at risk, he could request for security.

“As I know, we may have to provide him security due to the rift in the joint opposition. Do not try to gain political advantages from this incident,” he said.

Mr. Wickremesinghe said he was surprised that opposition members who were silent when the common candidate’s security was removed during the presidential election, were now bothering about the President’s security.

He said both he and the President had ordered an investigation into the incident.

“CID will inform us on actions to be taken after the investigations. There is an investigation going on and we cannot reveal all the details right now,” he said

Two cops killed in accident in Galgamuwa

Two police officers aged 29 and 31were killed when their motorcycle collided head on with a cab in Galgamuwa on the Anuradhapura- Padeniya Main Road last night, Police said.

They said police officers attached to the Thambuththegama and Anuradhapura Police Stations were identified as residents of Ambanpola and Galle.

The cab driver surrendered to the Thambuththegama Police after the accident and later he was handed over to the Galgamuwa Police.

Sri Lanka to release 173 boats

The Sri Lankan government has ordered the release of all the 173 trawlers confiscated by its navy since 2015 after arresting fishermen on the charge of illegal fishing in their waters.

The government order dated September 7 was received by the Fisheries Department here last week and it is set to send a salvage team comprising fishermen, mechanics and officials to the island nation to assess the condition of the trawlers.

“We have received the order and the salvage team will leave for Sri Lanka after getting clearances from the Tamil Nadu government,” Mr Johny Tom Varghese, Additional Director of Fisheries (Ramanathapuram) told The Hindu on Monday.

He would head the team comprising fishermen from Ramanathapuram, Nagapattinam and Pudukottai and two mechanics. The operation is expected to commence before the onset of north monsoon.

The island nation’s order clearly states that trawling equipment in boats would not be released.

The boats, each valued at ₹10 to ₹50 lakh, were berthed in Karai Nagar, Kankesanthurai, Trincomalee, Kalpatti and Mannar, sources said, adding most of the boats after years of neglect got submerged in water. “We will be happy if we could salvage 40 to 50% of the trawlers,” they said.

P Sesu Raja, fishermen leader, welcomed the Sri Lankan government order

Sri Lanka knocked out by Afghanistan

Afghanistan have on Monday knocked five-time Asian champion Sri Lanka out of the continent’s premier ODI competition.

Batting first, Afghanistan set a modest target of 250.

Shah struck five boundaries during his 90-ball knock of 72 and added 50 for the second wicket with Ihsanullah Janat (45) after Afghanistan won the toss and opted to bat on a flat pitch.

Janat hit six boundaries in his 65-ball innings while his opening partner Mohammad Shahzad batted in his aggressive style, hitting a six and four boundaries in his 47-ball 34.

For Sri Lanka, who lost the opening match to Bangladesh by 137 runs in Dubai, seamer Thisara Perera took five for 55 and spinner Akila Dananjaya finished with two for 39.

In reply, Sri Lanka were all dismissed for 158. Rehman, Nabi and Rashid took two wickets apiece. Tharanga remained highest scorer for Sri Lanka with 36 runs.