However the Speaker said that six political parties are recognised in Parliament and among the six is the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).He said Sri Lanka Freedom Party had informed him that there is no alternate group in the SLFP. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya says he received death threats last night over his refusal to recognise the joint opposition as a separate group in Parliament.The Speaker told Parliament today that he received the threat over the telephone but he was not shaken by the threats and maintains his position on the issue. Joint opposition member Dinesh Gunawardena, speaking in Parliament today, made a fresh appeal for the joint opposition to be recognised as a separate group. Jayasuriya had yesterday refused to recognise the joint opposition as a separate group in Parliament and this led to an uproar in the House. The Speaker said that he is not in a position to recognise the joint opposition as an independent group as those in the group are elected SLFP Parliamentarians. (Colombo Gazette)
A 2013 inquest heard the 6ft 7in soldier nicknamed ‘High Tower’ by his comrades had been struck while in a field where soldiers ate their lunch, away from the firing.The inquest heard evidence that the placing of a target meant a machine gunner had fired over land, rather than out to sea, at the 5,900 acre training area.Ranger Maguire is believed to have been killed in by a machine gun bullet fired from around 0.6 miles away.After the inquest, which returned a verdict of unlawful killing, his family paid tribute to “a dearly loved son and brother”.They said: “We are pleased the inquest heard that Mike was a very well-liked member of his battalion, who served in difficult conditions in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.”It makes it all the more ironic that he should lose his life on a training exercise in Wales.”The most recent Ministry of Defence figures show 141 soldiers, sailors and airmen have died on training or exercises since 2000. Fifteen of those fatalities were live fire deaths.Commanders say the need to make training realistic and challenging means it is impossible to remove all risk.A recent internal defence safety review into the life fire death of another soldier heard he was shot dead during a night time exercise when a comrade mistook him for a target. Pte Conor McPherson from 3rd Bn, The Royal Regiment of Scotland, was killed at Otterburn, Northumberland in August 2016.CORRECTION: Lt Col Richard Bell and CSgt Stuart Pankhurst are not charged with manslaughter, as this article originally reported, but with the disciplinary offence of negligently performing a duty. We apologise for the error and we are happy to set the record straight. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. An Army officer has appeared in court charged with the manslaughter of a soldier killed on a training exercise by a stray shot fired from more than 1,000 yards away.Ranger Michael Maguire of 1st Bn The Royal Irish Regiment, was allegedly waiting in an administration area at a South Wales firing range when he was shot in the head.Capt Jonathan Price, who was running the May 2012 training exercise at Castlemartin Training Area, Pembrokeshire, faces a manslaughter charge over the incident.Two other soldiers, Lt Col Richard Bell and CSgt Stuart Pankhurst, who dealt with health and safety on the exercise have been charged with negligently performing a duty.The exercise had seen troops fire live rounds at both static and pop-up targets.Assistant Judge Advocate General Alan Large told Bulford Military Court, Wilts, the three would face trial in May next year.”The next hearing in this case will be on January 26, and we will work towards a trial in May.”It has been a long time for both the family of the deceased and the defendants and so I hope we have no more delays.”Ranger Maguire, 21 and from County Cork, Ireland, joined the battalion in May 2010 and had completed a tour of Afghanistan.