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Sri Lankan SEP to hold public meetings to launch presidential election campaign

Dec 10 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) in Sri Lanka will hold a series of public meetings as a part of the party’s campaign for the presidential election on Jan 8. The SEP presidential candidate, political committee member Pani Wijesriwardena, has a long history of fighting for socialist policies among workers, youth and the oppressed. He is the only candidate who defends the interests of the working class more..

The Presidential election is not on good governance

Dec 10 (Island) What are the deciding factors at the presidential elections that will be held within a month on the 8th of Jan 2015, the 47th anniversary of the death of Ven. Dambarawe Ratanasara Thera. It is certainly not the killing of the Thera while he was going on a demonstration against a bill on use of Tamil by the UNP govt. Many people have forgotten the incident and it would not be an issue at the elections after nearly fifty years. January 8th happens to be the birthday of the late more..

Tharanga dropped for New Zealand Tests

Dec 10 (CI) Uncapped 21-year-old offspinner Tharindu Kaushal has been named in Sri Lanka's squad for the tour of New Zealand, while uncapped quick Dushmantha Chameera also earns a place. Wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Chandimal reclaims his place, but Niroshan Dickwella, who kept wicket in the last two Test series, and Prasanna Jayawardene, who has largely been SL's first-choice keeper, are in the squad as well. more..

Editorial: Heed Polls Chief’s call

Dec 10 (Island) Polls monitors have reported several incidents of serious election law violations including attacks on Opposition activists during the past few weeks. The situation is bound to take a turn for the worse, given the high stakes the main contenders have in the upcoming contest. Hence, the need for all precautions to be taken! Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya on Monday stressed the need for all candidates to abide by the polls laws. His call must be heeded! more..

Pallekele offers best World Cup examination

Dec 10 (CI) If proof were needed that the routine talk of four years' planning for the next World Cup is invariably overstated, it comes in the form of James Taylor, whose assured batting display in the previous ODI in Colombo has suddenly made him the favourite to bat in the key No. 3 position for England in the tournament, but who only got an opportunity because Alastair Cook was suspended for a match for England's slow over rate. However much the coaches and selectors yearn for more..

Atapattu backs Senanayake comeback

Dec 10 (CI) Sri Lanka coach Marvan Atapattu expressed confidence that Sachithra Senanayake will return successfully to international cricket, after the ICC cleared the spinner's remodelled action. Senanayake, 29, was the team's top spinner in the first half of 2014, regularly bowling in the Powerplay and at the death, while also posing a menace during the middle overs. His new action - which is said to have a higher release point more..

'Turn SOE's into multinational corporations'

Dec 10 (CT) Colombo University Professor of Economics Prof. Sirimal Abeyeratne advocated that the Sri Lanka's State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) not only needed reform, but, needed to be turned in to multinational corporations which engage in the businesses globally. At present, two fast growing economies China and India successfully made many of the SOEs into multinational state owned corporations. We also should think of taking our SOEs such as CEB and CPC to that level," more..

Jan-Oct exports surge to $ 9 b

Dec 10 (FT) Sri Lanka’s January-October YoY exports have surged by almost 9% while an export product that recently faced volatile EU markets showed a promising turnaround. “For the month of October 2014 alone our provisional exports were at $ 900 m and this is only merchandise exports without taking into account of service exports such as ICT,” said EDB CEO Bandula Egodage, commenting on the provisional top-line export data presented to him by EDB Directors at more..

Revisiting a piece of Sri Lanka in Goa

Dec 10 (TOI) A group of around 30 pilgrims surrendered themselves to nostalgia and prayer before a statue of Our Lady of Miracles at St Peter's church, brought more than 350 years ago to Panelim from their homeland. While treading the path of Blessed Joseph Vaz in and around Sancoale, the devotees - accompanied by Fr Eremita Rebello, rector of the Sanctuary of Blessed Joseph Vaz - took some time off to visit this suburb of Old Goa more..

Promotion of Sri Lanka in Lyon

Dec 10 (CT) The Sri Lankan stand, this year was a resounding success, during the Classe Export Salon with partnerships created in four sectors – infrastructure development, sub contracting and imports and exports. However, some pointed questions were directed at the Sri Lankan stand, which was organized by Investor Services Asia, a company specialized in promoting trade between France and Sri Lanka, for the last 15 years. During forums on Sri Lanka, Tima Lazarus was more..

Key shareholder goes to Court against Ceylinco Insurance Directors

Dec 10 (FT) Colombo High Court fixed the hearing for six consequent days till the 17th instant the civil action initiated against the Directors of the Ceylinco Insurance, which is the market leader in the insurance industry in the country. The petition was filed by one of the shareholder companies of the Ceylinco Insurance, impugning that the affairs of the Ceylinco Insurance are being conducted in a manner oppressive of the shareholders by the Respondent Members of the Director Board. more..

Falling standards of Higher Education; teachers on token strike

Dec 10 (CT) The Federation of University Teachers' Associations (FUTA) struck work for a day (9) voicing concern over the falling standards of higher education. FUTA President Chandraguptha Thenuwara told fellow strikers that the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the Higher Education Ministry were engaged in selling State education on one side, whilst politicizing both the university system and administration more..

Army briefed on national security

Dec 10 (CG) Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake has told soldiers in the east that the prime responsibility of the Army is national security adding that several attempts to destabilize the country had been successfully thwarted by the army. He said that various international elements are still making this attempt but the initiatives of the President and the Secretary of Defence have made them ineffective, inheriting a strong and stable country to all of us, more..

9,000 cops to remove cut-outs!

Dec 10 (CT) Nine thousand policemen have been deployed island-wide from yesterday to remove election propaganda material in public places, police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana told Ceylon Today. He said, "officers were instructed to remove all election propaganda material within the next three days and 8,000-9,000 officers have been deployed to carry out the operation islandwide". Policemen were instructed yesterday to remove all sorts of election propaganda materials more..

Mahathir moots Malaysian model

Dec 10 (FT) Sri Lanka should look towards the East for a model on development as Malaysia successfully did, according to the latter’s iconic former leader Dr. Mahathir Mohamed. “These are very interesting times for Sri Lanka because it is accelerating its development,” Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamed said during his keynote at the Hambantota Conclave 2014 held at BMICH more..

Cannot compare crossover Secys. – Nimal

Dec 10 (CT) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva yesterday said one cannot compare the two general secretaries who changed sides, Maithripala Sirisena and Tissa Attanayake, when it comes to morality. While calling UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake a symbol of gentlemanly politics, Minister de Silva said the biggest betrayal of country's politics, thus far, has been committed by former general secretary of the SLFP Maithripala Sirisena. more..

Health Ministry napping with nurses’ promotions, says GNOA

Dec 10 (Island) Govt Nursing Officers’ Association alleged that a large number of nurses who had 12 years in service had been denied their promotions as the Health Ministry had failed to issue the relevant circular. GNOA President Saman Ratnapriya said that there were 8,000 nurses who had not received Class One promotions. Cabinet paper submitted earlier had been approved. Public Service Commission, too, had given its nod for it, but the Health Ministry had yet to issue more..

Artistes Somaratne, Dharmasiri to support Maithripala

Dec 10 (Island) Leading Film Director Dr. Somaratne Dissanayake pledged his support to Common Opposition Candidate Maithripala Sirisena, claiming that President Rajapaksa had done nothing for the welfare and development of the film industry in the country for the past ten years. He said that he had received a call from a person asking him to keep his mouth shut if he did not want to support the President. more..

Tamil protesters against Rajapaksa visit stopped at AP border

Dec 10 (PTI) Andhra Pradesh police prevented several activists from Tamil Nadu, who wanted to stage a protest against the visit of Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa to the temple town of Tirupati, from entering the state. Police stopped a convoy of 75 vehicles, carrying over 250 persons including women, on Andhra Pradesh-Tamil Nadu border near Sullurpet in the district. The protesters, carrying placards and flags, shouted slogans against Rajapaksa before heading back to TN, more..

One killed, three others injured in clash beween families

Dec 10 (Island) A dispute between two neighbouring families in the Naula police area ended in one person being killed and three others of the same family injured yesterday. Three suspects were arrested immediately following the incident. One of the injured persons is said to be in a critical condition due to internal organs coming out from a deep cut in his abdomen. He is being treated at the Matale hospital. Three suspects are a 54-year-old father, his brother (45) and his son (34). more..

MR deserves a third term - Malsha

Dec 10 (DM) Western Provincial Councillor Malsha Kumaranatunga asserts that she and her father have no intention of crossing over from the ruling UPFA govt. Denying rumours that she would join the common opposition she said that President Rajapaksa deserved to serve a third term. “I believe President Mahinda Rajapaksa deserves to serve third term and I pledge my fullest support to him,” she said. more..

'Trains used for President’s election work'

Dec 10 (Island) All Ceylon Railway Employees’ General Union affiliated to the JVP has accused President Rajapaksa of providing free services to thousands of passengers including Buddhist monks at taxpayers’ expense. General Secretary of the union S.P. Vithanage alleged that the Defence and Transport Ministries had deployed special trains recently on two occasions in support of his presidential polls campaign. Vithanage alleged that services had been provided to more..

Angered Wigneswaran walks out of meeting

Dec 10 (CT) Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran yesterday walked out of the District Coordinating Committee (DCC) Meeting held in Kilinochchi in anger following an agitation between Minister Douglas Devananda and TNA MP T. Sritharan. MP Sritharan said that there was a discussion at the DCC regarding missing persons. Both C.V. Wigneswaran and Minister Devananda were jointly presiding over the meeting. "I told both presidents that there is no specific statistic on more..

Jayasuriya takes a backseat at SLC

Dec 10 (DM) Former captain Sanath Jayasuriya who is presently a Deputy Minister, was the undisputed strong man of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) ever since his retirement in June 2011 and had been entrusted with the task of handling all cricket matters of SLC in addition to his official duties as the chairman of national selectors. However Jayasuriya who is a close ally of SLC President Jayantha Dharmadasa in SLC’s more..

Essential post-surgery injection out of stock at state hospitals

Dec 10 (Island) Lives of thousands of post-operative patients were in danger as essential life-saving injection (Ephedrine) has been out of stock in all govt hospitals for last two weeks. All Ceylon Medical Officers’ Association (ACMOA), General Secretary Dr. Jayantha Bandara said many post-operative patients could not be given the drug administered by consultant anaesthetists. He pointed out that Ephedrine injection was essential to treat post-surgery patients who had low-blood pressure. more..

Joint Trade Union Alliance pledges total support to President

Dec 10 (DN) President Rajapaksa said that the Govt which rendered a massive service to all parts of the country, will record landslide victory at the forthcoming Presidential election. President added that people of all communities should join hands to safeguard the dignity of the country. President Rajapaksa pledged that his govt is committed towards the establishment of a disciplined society in the country and ensure a better future for the younger generation. more..

Tissa: MS will plunge country into chaos

Dec 10 (Island) Former UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, who has announced his support for President Rajapaksa at the presidential election said he had decided against backing presidential candidate Maitripala Sirisena because the latter had failed to fulfil his main pledge to UNP Working Committee (WC). WC had endorsed Sirisena’s candidature as he had promised to engineer defection of 25 govt MPs, more..

All ministers are for namesake: Sirisena

Dec 10 (CT) All ministers in the present govt are namesake ministers and all Ministry Secretaries take orders from the Temple Trees and not from the minister in question, common candidate, Maithripala Sirisena stated. Ministry Secretaries are appointed by the Temple Trees and during the course of their work gradually liaise with the Temple Trees bypassing the said Minister, Sirisena added. Addressing a group of lawyers attached to the UNP's National Lawyers' Association, more..

US warns its citizens in Sri Lanka during elections

Dec 10 (USE) Sri Lanka will hold presidential elections on Jan 8, 2015. The campaign will feature large public eventsý and rallies. Political rallies and election campaigns in Sri Lanka have occasionally turned violent. U.S. citizens are reminded to avoid polling stations, large public gatherings, political rallies, and demonstrations. U.S. citizens are advised to monitor local media in case of public disturbances. We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens living or traveling in Sri Lanka enroll more..

Maithripala promises to appoint commission to look into corruption

Dec 10 (DM) Common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena who kicked off his campaign in Kandy today pledged to appoint a special commission to look into corruption by the leaders of the present regime if he is elected. He said he would bring to book all who are guilty. “Changing the Constitution alone is not sufficient. It is also necessary to bring to book all who are guilty of robbing the public,” he said. more..

Let justice be done on January 8

Dec 10 (DM) With nominations being accepted on Monday from 19 candidates for the presidential election, we hope all candidates and parties will co-operate with the Elections Commissioner’s pledge that the normal laws of the country and special election laws would be strictly implemented to ensure a free, fair and peaceful poll. Most independent political analysts believe the crucial election which will be a turning point in SL’s history is likely to be a close and intense battle more..

I have a Dream!

Dec 10 (DM) I have a hope. Sometimes, it goes beyond that and becomes an expectation. The hope is that this country will once again be one in which every citizen is equal. A country in which members of one ethnic group, both individually and collectively, will feel totally and completely equal to the others, embracing each other not out of forced reconciliation but genuine emotion and feeling. Those hopes, aspirations and expectations have been dashed over and over again. more..

'Spare wheels bought over don’t constitute a party; we have genuine UNPers with us'

Dec 10 (DM) In an interview with the Dailymirror, assistant leader of the UNP, MP Ravi Karunanayake said that the Opposition was confident of a victory at the upcoming Presidential Election with their candidate, Maithripala Sirisena, the ex-minister and the former general secretary of the SLFP. He added that the party’s own general secretary leaving the UNP and joining the Govt was not a set back at all to the Opposition. more..

Professor Chelva Kanaganayakam honoured in Canadian parliament

Dec 10 (LR) Late Sri Lankan born Professor Chelva Kanaganayakam was honoured in the Canadian House of Commons yesterday by MP Arnold Chan. The University of Toronto English professor passed away recently on the same day he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada for his contribution to Canadian literary studies and culture. Professor Kanakanayakam was also the Director of more..

'Opposition plans will result in total breakdown of govt'

Dec 10 (DN) The need for a strong govt based on consistency of policy and unity of direction was never more important than it is today, in view of the grave challenges the country is facing. The challenges were obvious during the war, but it is important for the public to realise that the current issues, though less evident, are just as serious and call for a concerted and determined response, External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris said. more..

UNP reformists see eye to eye with Ranil, say Tissa useless

Dec 10 (Island) UNP reformist group saw eye to eye with their bete noire, UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, about the party General Secretary Tissa Attanayake’s defection. They said Attanayake was not a powerful politician and, therefore, could not be compared with former SLFP General Secretary and Opposition Candidate Maithripala Sirisena. Former SPC member Maithree Gunaratne challenged the govt to more..

Carbon dating in US tallies with accounts in chronicles about Sigiri frescoes

Dec 10 (Island) Assigning a scientific date done with the use of most sophisticated dating techniques in the US on a piece of charcoal recovered embedded in Sigiri frescoes tallied with accounts found in ancient chronicles. Beta Analytic Institute considered the world’s largest professional radiocarbon dating laboratory had assigned the piece of charcoal recovered from the frescoes belonging to between 390 to 540 AC. more..

President offers prayers at Tirumala temple

Dec 10 (PTI) Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Wednesday offered worship at the famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara in the wee hours near Tirupati. Rajapaksa was in the temple for about an hour, participating in the ‘Suprabhatam’ stanza recitation ritual conducted by a group of priests inside the ancient temple, temple sources said. Police had made tight security arrangements for the visit. more..

Report expects tough polls war

Dec 10 (CG) Sri Lanka’s presidential election, looks set to defy the predictions of many and be a true competition, a report released in Brussels said. The report by the International Crisis Group (ICG) said that the polls threaten risks and promise opportunities for long-term stability and post-war reconciliation. It said that the sudden emergence of a strong opposition candidate caught many, including President Rajapaksa, by surprise. more..

Australia: Stop forced returns without proper screening

Dec 10 (HRW) The Australian govt should cease forced returns of Sri Lankan asylum seekers until they are provided fair, thorough, and transparent processing of their protection claims, Amnesty International, the Human Rights Law Centre, and Human Rights Watch said today. On Nov 29, 2014, Australian authorities turned over to Sri Lankan authorities a boat carrying 37 asylum seekers. more..