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Largest weekly fair in the country vested on public

Dec 6 (MoD) Turning a new folio in the annals of Sri Lankan history the largest weekly fair in the country which erected in Embilipitiya was vested on public by His Excellency the President Rajapaksa at a ceremony held at the Embilipitiya town today (3). The Chief Guest of the opening ceremony, President Mahinda Rajapaksa unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion amidst the gathering at the outset of the event. more..

Mangala takes the lead to set up multi-party propaganda mechanism for Maithri

Dec 6 (AM) Head of the UNP Media Unit and Matara District MP Mangala Samaraweera has taken the lead in setting up a cohesive, multi-party propaganda campaign for the common candidate of the opposition targeting the upcoming presidential election. Asian Mirror, over the past few days, revealed that the campaign of the common candidate of the opposition is crippled – to a certain extent – due to lack of coordination on the part of the leaders of the opposition camp. more..

Sri Lanka aim to quell England revival

Dec 6 (CI) If the scoreline had read 3-0 to Sri Lanka after Hambantota, the series would have started to lose its edge. Instead, at 2-1, and with a trio of England's young guns central to the victory, there is much to play for as the teams return to the capital for a day game. However, England will be without their captain Alastair Cook after his suspension for a second slow over-rate offence. Cook's critics, of which there are many, will see it as a chance to pile further pressure on him if more..

Mathews happy to spin the wheel on Kusal

Dec 6 (CI) As controversy surrounding James Packer's proposed casino venture in Sri Lanka settles into the background of presidential election campaigns, the nation's cricketers have been conducting some risky business of their own. Kusal Perera trades on the swashbuckling starts that lurch Sri Lanka toward victory. But while SL have plonked themselves down on the roulette table, and placed big bets on Kusal at times in the last month, more..

A Sri Lankan in NJ gets 3 years for crash that killed his 1-year-old niece

Dec 6 (NJ) The Guttenberg man who was driving drunk when he collided head-on with another vehicle in March 2012, killing his 1-year-old niece, was sentenced yesterday despite emotional pleas from the girl's parents to keep him out of jail. Ramesh Murugesapillai, 33, who pleaded guilty to second degree vehicular homicide, was sentenced to three years in prison. Murugesapillai, who must serve at least 85% of his sentence, was also sentenced to three years of parole after his prison term. more..

BBS says common candidate is a result of an international conspiracy

Dec 6 (AM) Bodu Bala Sena stated that common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena’s candidature is a result of an international conspiracy. Speaking at a rally on Friday at Hyde Park, Colombo, BBS General Secretary Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera has said that the same conspiracy that was launched in 2010 was taking place against Mahinda Rajapaksa this time. He further mentioned that this trap was laid in the previous election by making the former army commander contest more..

Govt reduces LP gas prices suddenly

Dec 6 (AM) Just two days before the final day of nominations, the Internal Trade ministry has reduced the price of a 12.5kg domestic has cylinder by Rs 250. This move comes a day after the CPC reduced prices of Petrol, Diesel and Kerosene. With this reduction, the new price of a gas cylinder will stand at Rs 1896. The opposition dubbed this move as a desperate attempt to draw the support of the public before presidential election. more..

Rishad decides to support MR

Dec 6 (CG) Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and his party, the All Ceylon Muslim Congress (ACMC), have decided to support President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Presidential election next year. The President’s media unit said that a delegation led by Bathiudeen had met the President today and conveyed the decision to support the President at the polls. At the talks, the ACMC had also handed over some proposals to be implemented by the govt. The President had told the ACMC that more..

Arms to destroy LTTE bought during UNP regime: Ruwan

Dec 6 (DM) UNP National Youth Front President and MP Ruwan Wijewardene said that all arms and ammunition to destroy the LTTE were purchased during the previous UNP regime. Speaking during the Western Province Convention of the UNP national youth front, he said this was the reality though the UNP was accused of having a rapport with the LTTE. The UNP did not have anything to do with the LTTE in the past and will not have anything to do with them in the future as well. more..

'Ministers are behind strikes and trade union actions against the govt'

Dec 6 (AM) Former Minister Champika Ranawaka said the ministers of the UPFA Govt are leading trade union action and strikes against the govt. He said the Minister have embarked on that process as they are deprived of necessary funds to carry out day to day activities of the ministries. “Funds are not given to the Ministries within the first three months of the year. Funds are not given within the last 3 months of the year. more..

A rudderless ship on turbulent waters

Dec 7 (SO) The so-called joint Opposition is like a rudderless ship drifting on turbulent waters. It neither knows where it is heading nor which route to take to avoid disasters. Although there is no real captain to anchor the 'common Opposition ship', many are trying to take control of the ship. Divergent views have been expressed by the leaders of the so-called joint Opposition from the day Maithripala Sirisena was named the common candidate for next month's Presidential election. more..

Cross overs in a parliamentary democracy

Dec 7 (SL) Cross over is the name of the political game that is being played fast and furious right now. It is not a new game in Sri Lankan politics. Some govts have stood firm despite the so called pillars propping it up having walked away. Other govts have collapsed almost instantly. Carried away by prevalent political winds, the Sri Lankan voter does not seem to realise the impact of such a cross over at the moment it occurs. However laudable the motives of an MP walking from one side of more..

'We can confidently face any contender'

Dec 7 (SO) Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said the Common Opposition, in a bid to mislead the voters, was coming out with millions of quixotic promises such as the abolition of the Executive Presidency, which is only a dream, given that they need 100 MPs from the Govt side to acquire the necessary two thirds in Parliament. "The Opposition does not have even a simple majority in the House. more..


Dec 7 (NS) Phil Hughes. Mahinda vs Chandrika. Feguson, Missouri. Eric Garner. Akai Gurley. US hypocrisy. Yes-we-can Obama to We-are-blind Obama. These are all possible headlines for an editorial comment this week. We go with something else. Someone else, to be precise. Rukshan Abeywansha. Our readers will not in this edition of ‘The Nation’ that the cover pages of several supplements, namely FREE, JEANS and LENS are in somber colors; black and white except for more..

Ready, Steady, Go!

Dec 7 (Island) With a month to go for the presidential election, the country is undoubtedly headed for exciting times. It is the wish of the vast majority of Lankans that the coming weeks will be non-violent and that the police and other responsible authorities from the very top downwards will ensure that the contest is free and fair with no untoward incidents. Unfortunately, their track record in this respect is far from admirable. Each succeeding election has been worse than more..

'Our battle goes beyond elections'

Dec 7 (NS) Duminda Nagamuwa from the Frontline Socialist Party (FLSP), which was formed by a breakaway faction of the JVP is among the candidates contesting the upcoming presidential election. Nagamuwa is representing an alliance of leftist political parties. A prominent member of the FLSP, Nagamuwa also served as the Convener of the IUSF for several years. He explains why he chose to come forward as more..

This crucial election, make it genuine

Dec 7 (ST) Tomorrow, Monday December 8, the Elections Commissioner will accept nominations for a virtual mid-term Presidential election scheduled for a month hence. The country will then see more of the same or more of the same. The UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights states; “The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of govts; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage”. more..

Buddies, bloom and beyond

Dec 7 (ST) My Dear Sajith and Navin, I thought of writing to both of you after seeing Navin return to the Green camp after a few years on the Blue side. That this happened just before an election means that the reasons for the crossover may not be what you say they are. Anyway, the people will deliver the verdict on that. Navin, I think the decision to return to the Greens was the correct one simply because of your father’s legacy in that party. You couldn’t have forgotten the fact that more..

'Forget Third Force We are the Alternative'

Dec 7 (NS) WPC Member KD Lalkantha is a key leader of the JVP and is active in the labor movement. In an interview, he discussed the stance of the JVP on the presidential election, and the changes needed to be done to the political system. Q: Front Line Socialist Party (FLSP) has made its entry into the election and is making its presence felt in the election as a movement in the left. But the JVP is absent from the contest. more..

Dullest of all presidential election campaigns

Dec 7 (Island) That Navin Dissanayake defected to the opposition last week was hardly surprising. From the time Karu Jayasuriya went back to the UNP, Navin’s days in the UPFA were more or less numbered. With a father-in-law who was the deputy leader and later the Chairman of the Leadership Council of the UNP, Navin would never have been completely trusted by the UPFA leadership. Yet, to his credit, it has to be said that Navin was one of the 17 UNP defectors of 2007 who managed to more..

Spoiling the opposition campaign soup

Dec 7 (NS) The presidential election is expected to enter into a crucial stage after tomorrow, with its two main candidates - President Rajapaksa and common candidate Maithripala Sirisena - planning to accelerate their election campaigns following the final date of nominations. Although the common candidate held his first election rally in Polonnaruwa last weekend, his election symbol was not finalized at that time and it made some impact on the final outcome of the rally. more..

'The poor man paying for their sins'

Dec 7 (SL) JHU leader Champika Ranawaka said that the govt is the main supporter of the LTTE and the govt huge development schemes are white elephants since they do not give expected revenues to the govt but sources of corruptions. Q: In 2005 the JHU signed agreements with Mahinda Rajapaksa and joined him, but later you lost faith in the govt. Now you support Maithripala Sirisena, but on what grounds? more..

Celebrating 25 years of Aravinda’s greatest knock

Dec 7 (Island) When picking the best knock of former great Aravinda de Silva, people weigh in differently. For the younger generation there are no two words. His unbeaten 107 in the World Cup final is the greatest knock of them all. That’s one reason why still fans rate Aravinda better than Kumar Sangakkara. There are other knocks of Aravinda that are still cherished and highly spoken of. His career best 267 at the Basin Reserve against New Zealand is hard to forget. more..

Rajapaksa confident whilst Sirisena finds his feet

Dec 7 (SL) The latest aspirant working his way towards unseating the incumbent President appears to be still finding his feet. His task is a formidable one as his sponsors are masters at political expediency and control: Chandrika Kumaratunga and Ranil Wickremesinghe. However observers have noticed a definitive trend in the manner Sirisena is gaining confidence – the confidence growing no sooner he is in front of a microphone. Die-hard SLFPers will be reminded of more..

Sanga: The rock of our age

Dec 7 (ST) He is the rock of SL cricket. The word ‘resolve’ in its own right has a meaning, but, when one coins that word with Kumar Sangakkara it takes a different perspective altogether. Cricket-wise it becomes a statement so strong that not even the cricket establishment of Sri Lanka could move it from what it stands for – not even an inch. May be it was a twist of fate in SL cricket that moved Kumar towards cricket from his first more..

GTF on the Hague

Dec 7 (SL) The spokesman of the Global Tamil Forum Suren Surendiran recently made a statement to Al-Jazeera that the President Rajapaksa would be taken before the War Crime Tribunal if he loses the election. While UNP MP Harsha De Silva denies making such a statement and adds such a twist of facts is done by “repulsive people” just to sling mud for political advantages, a few politicians express their views on the matter. Harsha De Silva - UNP MP: What I can say is I said no such thing. more..

Immature politicians UNP’s Achilles heel

Dec 7 (NS) Two UNPers are in trouble over their immature use of language. One is former Minister Naveen Dissanayake, who crossed over to the govt from the UNP in 2007, contested the last general election under the UPFA ticket and couple of days ago returned to the Grand Old Party. He displayed his immaturity while addressing a Joint Opposition press conference to promote common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena. Dissanayake alleged that the govt had attempted to buy him over, more..

'I can’t change destiny'

Dec 7 (Island) It’s exactly 25 years ago when Aravinda de Silva scored a fabulous 167 against Australia in the Gabba Test which Sri Lanka went onto draw, a rare feat for the national cricket team given the fact that they have been completely outplayed during their tours to Australia over the years. Aravinda’s century ranks alongside Kumar Sangakkara’s 192 in 2007 as the best knock by a Sri Lankan on Australian soil. more..

Backstage drama unfurled on stage

Dec 7 (NS) It was supposed to be a show meant to fall in line with international academy award ceremonies but it could not even match the island’s annual Cricket Awards Night although expectedly cricketers were the cynosure of all eyes when the inaugural Mobitel Platinum Awards was held last Sunday. The show itself had many hollows and the presence of some half-baked presenters, apart from film star Lucky Dias and ex-Sri Lanka captains Arjuna Ranatunga and Anura Tennekoon, more..

Is Sandakan the next mystery bowler?

Dec 7 (CT) England young guns came into form as they were expected to, when they registered their first win at Hambantota. Now the stand-in Captain Eoin Morgan will be eying for series leveling victory when they meet hosts Sri Lanka in the fourth ODI of the seven match series to be played at Premadasa Stadium Colombo today. England regular Captain Alastair Cook will be serving a one match ban due to maintaining a slow over-rate in the last match and another young gun Alex Hales will be more..

IT exports to hit $1b early

Dec 7 (NS) Sri Lanka’s surging IT and BPO exports could hit the critical dollar one billion mark as early as next year, surpassing previous expectations, an official from EDB told the Northern IT Exports forum which concluded last week. Forum packed with enthusiastic regional IT industry was held in northern peninsula of Jaffna for the first time. “We earned $719 million from ICT exports, and our projection for 2014 is $820 million. more..

SEC, CSE ready to list BOI companies

Dec 7 (CT) Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) are now ready to list Board of Investment approved companies on the floor of the CSE. "The Board of Investment wanted such mechanism to make Sri Lanka more attractive to foreign investors. The SEC and CSE agreed and responded positively by drafting regulations, but the ball is now in the BOI Court to make use of it. Until the BOI is ready, the CSE will not launch the listings, more..

Aitken Spence brings Brazil’s leading tour operators to Sri Lanka

Dec 7 (Island) 12 leading tour operators and destination promoters from Brazil arrived in Sri Lanka last week on a week-long familiarization tour sponsored by the country’s largest destination management company, Aitken Spence Travels. The tour is being jointly organized by Sri Lanka Embassy in Brazil and Aitken Spence Travels. The operators visiting Sri Lanka are amongst largest members of BRAZTOA, the umbrella organization of travel companies in South America’s largest nation, more..

Infrastructure, rule of law emerge as top issues among working/urban class

Dec 7 (ST) Voters in urban and semi-rural Sri Lanka, not unexpectedly, think differently as voting patterns emerged for the upcoming presidential poll a joint poll has revealed. The BT-RCB poll conducted on email and on the streets of Nugegoda, Borella and Maradana this week found that the urban affluent and semi-affluent community believe the proper application of the rule of law was the main priority while among semi-rural and more..

Sri Lankans in Goa for Bl Vaz pilgrimage

Dec 7 (TOI) Sri Lankan pilgrims are visiting holy places of Blessed Joseph Vaz in Goa from Dec 6 to 9. Bl Vaz, a son of Goa, saved the Catholic faith on the island of Sri Lanka. The pilgrims are descendents of those converted to Christianity by Bl Vaz. They will pray at the Church of Sao Pedro, which houses the statue of Our Lady of Jaffna. Statue was brought to Goa from SL during the Dutch persecution of Catholics in SL. The statue is known in Goa as statue of Our Lady of Miracles. more..

Chilly in Colombo, warm in Nuwara Eliya

Dec 7 (ST) Was the nip in the air early this Christmas? Many people in Colombo felt so as the capital has experienced incessant rain and chilly mornings and during the day since the second half of November. Normally this kind of feeling – nip in the air and a cold spell – is seen starting from the first or second week of December just as celebrations for Christmas and the New Year get underway. This year however the weather has been different but this shouldn’t come as a surprise more..

Political diplomats recalled for polls work

Dec 7 (ST) Several political appointees working as heads of diplomatic missions are being recalled, apprently to handle various aspects of President Rajapaksa’s election campaign, authoritative sources said. They include Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, High Commissioner in Canberra; Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, Ambassador to Japan; Bandula Jayasekera, Consul General in Sydney; Lakshman Hulugalle, more..

TNA MP refutes crossover rumors

Dec 7 (NS) TNA MP E. Saravanapavan strongly refuted reports that he would be supporting President Rajapaksa at the upcoming presidential election. Saravanapavan, who is also the Managing Director of the Jaffna-based Uthayan Tamil newspaper, described reports of him supporting President Rajapaksa as ‘completely baseless’ and an attempt to create a ‘wrong picture’ in the minds of the people. However, Saravanapavan lightheartedly quipped he was now getting ‘publicity’ more..

Mayor takes a tough lline on propaganda displays in city

Dec 7 (Island) Following the unauthorised display of the President’s election propaganda including banners and cutouts in Colombo, Mayor A J M Muzammil yesterday said "I have checked with the Municipal Treasurer and can categorically say that we have not given authority for any of these cut outs and posters nor have we collected or been paid any monies for the display of these posters and cutouts as we should have been". Asked what the estimated losses to the CMC were he said more..

Presidential election to cost staggering Rs.10.5 billion

Dec 7 (ST) Upcoming presidential election will eat into public funds running into billions of rupees with increasing govt expenditure beyond the control of the Treasury. Estimated cost of conducting of election had been around Rs. 2.5 billion but spending of ministries and affiliated institutions including indirect costs as well as massive spending by President Rajapaksa will add at least another Rs. 8 billion making the total cost Rs.10.5 billion, more..