Sri Lanka Air Force media spokesman Wing Commander Gihan Senevirathna said that special investigation was underway regarding a wheel found in the western sea of Sri Lanka.

The wheel which is suspected to be a part of an aircraft was recovered by a group of fishermen. Sources said that it had entangled in a fishing net.

Wing Commander Gihan Senevirathna said that an expert would be consulted regarding the wheel.

The wheel was found in the sea of Moragalla coast in Beruwala in the south of Western Province.

The wheel was handed over by the fishermen to Moragalla police station.

The news has caught attention since the search is underway for Malaysian aeroplane MH 370.
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Sri Lanka's Minister Wimal Weerawansa who met President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday showed a change of tone today.

Addressing a press briefing held in Colombo today, Minister Wimal Weerawansa slammed the attempt of the opposition to field a common candidate at the upcoming Presidential.

Weerawansa said that country did not need a common candidate but a common programme. Wimal laughed at the common candidate branding he or she as a common substitute to bear the defeat when there are no candidates for the parties to field.

He pointed out that Sri Lanka has not so far experienced the effects of ushering apolitical characters into political power.

Wimal's party National Freedom Front submitted the 12 point resolution of the party to the President yesterday and said they expected a positive response from the party. He also vowed to take strong decision unless they would not be able to change the path of the government positively. 

In a nutshell, the proposals seek the government to avoid any attempt to probe the human rights violations in the war internationally or locally, not to devolve power further or to discuss such devolution, to suppress Tamil struggle for state, to revoke concessions provided to multinational companies and to assist local industries, to sign a free trade agreement with China, not to allow casino and drugs and to introduce a new constitution that strengthens central governance.
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The Election Commissioner of Sri Lanka said that he had sought the legal advise of the Attorney General to decide if the vote cast by the former Army Commander at the past Provincial Council election legal.

Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka whose civic rights are questionable following the court sentences against him cast his vote at the Western Provincial Council election held recently.

The Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said that the former Army Commander had not registered his vote at the residence he mentioned in the documents submitted to the Election Commissioner's Department.

He further said that Fonseka had registered his vote from a relative's house in Piliyandala.

The Election Commissioner said that he had received a complaint in regard of Fonseka's voting and his name would be removed from the electoral registry if the Attorney General instructed to do so.

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Header of FUTA website
Sri Lanka's Federation of University Teachers' Associations (FUTA) announced yesterday that they would hold a token strike on June 03.

FUTA said yesterday that the Ministry of Higher Education had failed to oblige to the memorandum of understanding agreed at the end of the continuous strike of the university teachers in 2012.

FUTA demands the removal of the conditions of the research allowance of the university teachers, increase of basic salary by an amount similar to the research allowance, abolition of gazettes pertaining to the establishment of private universities, appointment of a special Presidential Commission to monitor the reforms in higher education and to have biannual discussions between the FUTA and the vice chancellors' federation.

A notable feature of the FUTA's new demands was the drop out of the popular demand they set forth amidst the past trade union action, allocating 6% of GDP for education.

FUTA representatives vowed to resort to a tougher trade union action unless the demands are granted soon.
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The verdict of the case filed by Ceylon Tobacco Company against Sri Lanka government over graphic warnings on the cigarette packets is to be delivered tomorrow, May 12th.

Sri Lanka government issued a special gazette on August 08, 2012 making it compulsory to display eight graphic warnings on cancer covering 80% of the surface of the cigarette pack.

The parliament passed three regulations under the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol Act on February 19. However, the implementation delayed due to lawsuit.

Ceylon Tobacco Company, a subsidiary of British American Tobacco, filed a petition against Minister of Health Maithripala Sirisena and National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol over the new regulation.

Health sources say that 60 to 65 persons die daily due to illnesses related to smoking.
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As the Sinhala daily The Divaina reported Sri Lanka's ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) general secretary Maithripala Sirisena is reportedly taking action to order some SLFP MPs to show cause for not voting for the Strategic Development Project Act which was recently passed in the parliament.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed the SLFP general secretary to take this action, as the newspapers say. The instruction has been given at the government parliamentary group meeting which is attended by non-SLFP MPs too.

Around 50 MPs of ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) did not vote for the act while ruling coalition Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) Minister Champika Ranawaka and MP Athuraliye Rathana Thero voted against the bill.

Minister Wimal Weerawansa who represents the National Freedom Front abstained voting and openly criticized the government for attempting to open big casinos.

These three MPs were not present in the government parliamentary group meeting held on May 05. They are openly criticizing the government over the casino issue and hinting the need for a change also. The MPs appear to be hiding from the President of whom they know too well.

MP Namal Rajapaksa, the son of the President was engaged in a tour in South Korea with a group of youth parliamentarians as the voting took place in the parliament. Media reported earlier that the President was not to take action against the MPs who did not vote due to his son's absence.

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The strike of the nurses of Sri Lanka's hospitals is likely to drag on to the next week also, the developments in the health sector indicate.

The Government Nursing Officers' Association Chairman Saman Rathnapriya said today that the nurses would continue the strike until the authorities grant a solution to their demand. They demand the government to provide midwifery training to all student nurses as part of their preliminary training. Midwifery training was given to nurses earlier as a post basic training.

Saman Rathnapriya said that the Government Medical Officers' Association (GMOA) must be responsible for the inconvenience caused to the public due to this strike. GMOA has rejected providing midwifery education to the student nurses and the nursing trade unions protest the move of the GMOA.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Public Service United Nurses' Union (PSUNU) Muruttettuwe Ananda Thero said that his union would strike only two days.

However, sources say that many of the hospital branches of the PSUNU are likely to decide to continue the strike.

Hospital services have been severely disrupted in Sri Lanka due to the strike of the nurses.
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UNP MP Eran Wickramarathna at empty airport of Mattala
Sri Lanka's major opposition United National Part (UNP) held a protest demonstration today in Hambanthota against the police inaction before the attack at the UNP MPs at Mattala airport and Hambanthota harbor.

A group of UNP MPs and Provincial Councilors went to Hambanthota today from Colombo and began their protest before Hambanthota police station. A large number of local government members and activists also participated in the protest.

They demanded to arrest the culprits including the Mayor of the Hambanthota Municipal Council who was seen wielding a pistol.

The protestors handed over a petition to the police and marched to the Hambanthota town.

The protest was led by UNP leadership council chairman Karu Jayasuriya. Hambanthota district MP Sajith Premadasa also addressed the people.

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