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The cloning of the President

Dec 1 (ST) Api Mahindata (We are for Mahinda), Ape Janapati (Our President), Api Hambantota (We are Hambantota) – the thousands of banners and life-sized cutouts of President Rajapaksa across villages, cities and expressways will soon be joined by thousands more, just by public demand, the Govt says. There are almost 1800 election cutouts of the President in Greater Colombo alone, some cemented to the ground, more..

'We never said we support President Rajapaksa'

Dec 1 (AM) BBS General Secretary Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera today said the BBS did not openly extend its support to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the presidential election. Gnanasara Thera said the BBS never stated that it decided to support President Mahinda Rajapaksa or his govt. “What we have stated is that there is an international conspiracy to destroy Sri Lanka and we have stressed the need of defeating that. more..

War crimes probe: UN receives report on political, military liability

Dec 1 (Island) A UN investigation team has obtained a comprehensive analysis of Sri Lanka’s accountability with regard to war crimes from the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR). Among the high profile investigations undertaken by ECCHR is one on the conduct of the British army in Iraq as well as the accountability on the part of political leadership. International Criminal Court (ICC) in Hague more..

GMOA threatens strike over recruitment of non-medical nutritionists

Dec 1 (Island) Around 20,000 doctors attached to the GMOA would launch a countrywide strike in the first week of December against the Health Ministry for allegedly recruiting 41 non-medical nutritionists, the GMOA said. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Nalinda Herath said that while qualified doctors were being trained as nutritionists by the Post Graduate Institute of Medicine (PGIM), the acting Health Minister Lalith Dissanayaka more..

Vasu against Exec. Presidency but supports MR

Dec 1 (CT) Prominent leftist, Minister, Vasudeva Nanayakkara stressed that they do not approve of the executive powers held by president Rajapaksa and have been fighting to abolish the Executive Presidency, ever since it was created. He said that the DLF, headed by him, is continuing the fight and is doing it within the alliance. "This is not a fight to suppress the national forces behind the Alliance. more..

Champika’s thinking in a pickle?

Dec 1 (Island) JHU, General Secretary and Former Minister Champika Ranawake, addressing a meeting in Kandy on Saturday, stressed the need to replace the existing constitution by another but did not express support for any particular Presidential Candidate. Addressing the meeting at Kandy Postal Department Auditorium Ranwaka said that Sri Lanka needed what he called a National United Alliance Govt. more..

'Nothing against Ranil being PM'

Dec 1 (DM) JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the JVP would have no objection to Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe being appointed Prime Minister as planned by the common opposition, if former minister Maithripala Sirisena won the presidential poll. He said his party had no objection to any person who won the trust of the majority of voters and the consent of parliament assuming duties as PM, whether Ranil more..

Video: MOU signed

Dec 1 (DM) The MoU to field Maithripala Sisirsena as the common Opposition candidate at the forthcoming Presidential Election had been signed by several political parties and civic groups today. Mr. Sirisena, Leader of Opposition and UNP National Leader Ranil Wickremisinghe, DP Leader Sarath Fonseka, MP Arjuna Ranatunga, former Ministers Rajitha Senaratne M.P.B.S. Gunawardene and more..

Mahinda can win without minority votes???

Dec 1 (CT) A strange phenomenon on the streets of Colombo! It was the morning of 29th of November; I was at the wheel at a busy intersection, waiting for the light to turn green. There were groups of people (many) distributing election propaganda material to people in passing vehicles and pedestrians. Someone walked up to my vehicle and offered a booklet. He turned towards the vehicle parallel to mine, and stopped, turned and walked away to give those booklets to other vehicles waiting for more..

Controversy over SC opinion on President's third term

Dec 1 (CT) Despite repeated requests made by various sections of the Opposition for Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva to present the Supreme Court's opinion pertaining to a third term for President Rajapaksa falling on deaf ears, UNP MP John Amaratunga managed with the aid of the Speaker of the House, Chamal Rajapaksa to table a copy. Contrary to the provisions of Article 129 (4) about a private communiqué between the Supreme Court and the President, Silva had previously more..

Greedy ministers plunder forest and grasslands at will

Dec 1 (CT) With the end of the war, a large amount of forestland under the control of the Forest Department has been illegally appropriated by political henchmen and businessmen who are closely associated with politicians. The forest lands were often either catchment areas for water sources that thousands of farmers depended on, havens for elephants that used them as corridors or were used as grazing land by dairy farmers. more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 1.7%

Dec 1 (LBO) Stocks closed higher with the price gains of index heavy John Keells and Commercial Bank amid net foreign buying. All Share Price Index closed 121.78 points higher at 7,275.68, up 1.7%. The S&P SL20 closed 69.55 points higher at 4,040.67, up 1.75%. Turnover was 983.57 million rupees, down from 2.08 billion rupees last Friday with 178 stocks closed positive against 29 negative. Aggregate value of all off-the-floor deals represented 23% of the daily turnover. more..

Vietnam wants FTA with Sri Lanka

Dec 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka had been asked to promote trade with Vietnam through Free Trade Agreements as there was a vast unrealised trade potential between the countries. “There is huge unrealised trade potential between both countries that we need to explore,” Ms. Phan Kieu Thu, Vietnam’s new Ambassador requested Sri Lanka at a recent meeting with EDB. “Trade need not be mostly exchanging of rice and tea between both countries. Therefore, while in Colombo, I will take up more..

Nirogi Lanka-2014 program from today

Dec 1 (DN) Cabinet approval has been granted to implement Nirogi Lanka-2014 (Healthy Lanka-2014) National Health Promotion Program under the Mahinda Chinthana-Vision for the future. Sri Lanka’s free health service has already become top in the region. The program will be held from today to Dec 7 countrywide to educate the public on healthy habits, healthy attitudes, the large investment made by the govt on free health more..

Suspect in murder, kidnap cases arrested

Dec 1 (DN) A suspect wanted for two murders and kidnapping a person in Mount Lavinia, was arrested by Police. Police also seized two foreign made hand grenades, five Commando uniforms and 20 rounds of ammunition. Police identified the suspect as an Air Force deserter. He was arrested in a house at the Thelawala Housing Scheme on Friday. Mount Lavinia Police Special Vice Squad is conducting investigations. Meanwhile, an accused in a cash robbery case was fined Rs. 10,000 more..

PAFFREL considers legal action

Dec 1 (CT) Election monitoring body, PAFFREL are considering taking legal action against the Police and Local Govt institutions for not taking steps to remove election propaganda material. Executive Director of PAFFREL, Rohana Hettiarachchi said that the Police, which had separate Environmental Police Units, were not acting in accordance with the National Environmental Act and the Pradeshiya Sabhas, Urban Councils and Municipal Councils were themselves violating the Acts more..

Lankan man dies at Japan detention center

Dec 1 (JT) A Sri Lankan man died while in detention at the Shinagawa Immigration Bureau last month after the guards apparently ignored his repeated complaints about severe chest pain, a supporters’ group said Monday. The death of Nickeles Fernando, 57, comes amid allegations that critically ill detainees are being neglected by the immigration service. It also attests to a tendency to disregard the rights of foreign detainees, more..

Japan provides more funds on SME

Dec 1 (NS) Govt of Japan granted 200 million Japanese Yen (Rs. 240 million); to the Govt of Sri Lanka for procuring a variety of essential SME products manufactured in Japan, aimed at meeting the development needs in various social and economic sectors of Sri Lanka. The range of products provided under “Non-Project Grant Aid for Provision of Japanese SME’s Products (2014)” scheme was selected by the Govt of Sri Lanka in consultation with line agencies concerned. more..

CBK gives character certificate to Maithri

Dec 1 (AM) Addressing the ceremony to mark the signing of the MOU between the parties of the common opposition, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga issued a character certificate to common candidate Maithripala Sirisena saying she could assure that he would be a “good and fair” leader. “He is no thief or murderer. He has political vision and philosophy. He will be fair by every person after coming to power,” the former President said at Viharamahadevi open air theatre more..

Full structure of Maithri-Ranil-CBK Govt

Dec 1 (AM) Asian Mirror can now reveal the structure of the new govt – which has been designed by the leaders of the common opposition following their 'victory' at the presidential polls. A new voting system will be introduced as one of the key priorities of the post-January 8 govt – alongside the abolition of the Executive Presidency. Both tasks will be completed by the new administration within 100 days more..

Dog invasion

Dec 1 (CT) Dog is man's best friend. The two have had a close relationship for thousands of years. There is a dog in the story of Vijaya and Kuweni. Vijaya is considered the first King of Sri Lanka and the founder of the Sinhala race in this land. But can you imagine a situation where you are surrounded by 2,000 biting, barking, howling, tail-wagging, pooing and pissing dogs? They will be gnawing your bones soon if they are starved. There is a village in Ahangama in which about 2,000 dogs live. more..

Criminal politics: Death of democracy

Dec 1 (CT) Criminalization of politics is a grave problem at election time. It's now like a terminal illness in the political scene. This ugly face in politics emerged in the post 1970 era and it gradually spread to every nook and corner of the country. No political leader elected to office took steps to prevent the election of those with a criminal background into legislative bodies nor brought laws to prohibit such characters from entering politics. This failure by political leaders elected to high office has more..

'Disaster hazard maps going unused in SL'

Dec 1 (TRC) Sri Lanka needs to make better use of hazard mapping to minimise the impact of frequent, and often devastating, extreme weather events linked to climate change, experts say. For instance, if such maps had been properly used, lives could have been saved during a deadly landslide in Meeriyabedda, according to officials at the National Building Resources Organisation (NBRO), which develops the maps. more..

Today is World AIDS Day

Dec 1 (NS) Awareness on the spread of AIDS and its prevalence in every country is the underlying theme of World AIDS day which is marked today. According to the The Lanka Business Coalition of HIV and AIDS (LBCH) over 2,000 cases of HIV & AIDS have been reported in Sri Lanka as of the end of the third quarter of 2014. In a memo, the LBCH notes that Males were the worst affected, with 1,061 cases reported at the end of the third quarter alone. 21 AIDS related deaths were also reported more..

Released TN fishermen thank govts

Dec 1 (NS) Four of the five Rameswaram fishermen who faced death sentence and were released recently – R. Wilson, K. Prasad, J. Lanklet and P. Emerson – were here, on Sunday, to thank the founder of Sneham Trust, Swamy Sunildas, for the efforts he took to bring them back to India. It is learnt that the other fisherman could not be here, as he was unwell. Thanking the Central and State Govts and the Sri Lanka Govt for their timely efforts to release them, they claimed that more..

'Sri Lanka seeks collective action'

Dec 1 (CG) Sri Lanka today called for collective action to fight human smuggling as a two day conference began in Galle with the participation of officials and diplomats from several countries. Minister G.L Peiris, speaking at the Galle Dialogue, noted the role played by the Navy to fight human smuggling. He said that there was a direct nexus between terrorism and piracy and this was evident during the war in SL where LTTE hijacked more..

Full text: MOU signed by common opposition

Dec 1 (AM) As Sri Lankans we face several grave challenges. The country, which was once seen as a model of democracy, has degenerated in recent years into a place where its citizens cannot live with dignity and in safety. Among the manifestations of this situation are: the total breakdown of the Rule of Law, the erosion of democratic institutions essential for governance, an unprecedented widening of social disparities and social injustices, severe strains on co-existence between different ethnic and more..

More buses for Jaffna

Dec 1 (PRIU) Five new buses have been supplied to the Jaffna Depot by the Sri Lanka Transport Board. The buses were handed over to the Jaffna Depot by Minister Douglas Devananda last Thursday (27). Among the five, two buses will ply from Jaffna to Kandy and the other three buses will ply to Akkaraipattu, Pottuvil and Trincomalee. All these buses started service from last Friday (28). Earlier in January, 2010 fifteen buses were deployed daily to and from Colombo and Jaffna. more..

JHU and Maithri also sign MOU

Dec 1 (CG) The JHU has reportedly signed a MoU with common opposition Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena. MOU was to have been signed this afternoon at Nugegoda between Maithripala Sirisena and a JHU delegation. JHU media spokesman Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe refused to comment and said that the party position will be made public tomorrow. JHU were notable absentees at the MOU signing ceremony at more..

Mahela to miss third ODI

Dec 1 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene is unavailable for the third ODI against England, in Hambantota on Wednesday, after requesting the match off for personal reasons, Sri Lanka Cricket said. Jayawardene did not travel out of Colombo with the team, and has been replaced in the squad by Ashan Priyanjan, the 25-year-old right-hander who had been in Sri Lanka's squad for the recent tour of India. Batsman Thilina Kandamby, the 32-year-old who has not played an ODI since 2011, more..

President maintains defiant stand

Dec 1 (CG) President Rajapaksa says he and his govt are not ready to be pushed around by outsiders and foreign countries. Speaking at an event today, President also insisted that the war by the military was not against any particular race but against terrorism. He said that countries like Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Afghanistan have been forced to fall back and not go forward. “There needs to be stability,” he added. President said that with the defeat of terrorism in Sri Lanka no one should be more..

Nations’ teamwork needed for Indian Ocean security: Defence expert

Dec 1 (DM) The cooperation between nations is essential to assure the security in Indian Ocean and to make it free from human smuggling, drug trafficking and piracy, the visiting Indian Defence expert Dr. Ajit Doval said. He is the current National Security Adviser of India. He has served in Indian Police Service, Intelligence Bureau and many other security entities prior to his retirement in 2005 as Intelligence Bureau Director. more..

Wedding hall, Cooks, Spice: Codes in terror plot to attack US consulate in Chennai

Dec 1 (IT) The code name for the terror plot to attack the US consulate in Chennai last year was wedding hall which was to be executed by cooks, a code for terrorists who were to gain entry from Maldives into India. The details of the failed plot were contained in the 23-page court order of Designated Special National Investigation Agency judge in Poonamallee, Chennai, in connection with the case. Armed with court order, NIA would push its case for visiting Sri Lanka at the earliest. more..

MR’s deposit paid at the elections office

Dec 1 (DM) UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha today paid the cash deposit on behalf of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s candidature for the presidential election. SLFP National Organiser Basil Rajapaksa and Minister and MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardana accompanied the UPFA General Secretary to the Elections Secretariat. Additional Elections Commissioner U. Amaradasa said four other candidates, Ven Battaramulle Seelaratana more..

Video: Reveal contents of my file: Naveen

Dec 1 (DM) Former Minister Naveen Dissanayake who crossed over to the opposition today challenged the govt to reveal within 24 hours the contents of his file if there was one and if it contained any details of corrupt deals. He posed this challenge during a news conference held at the Sirikotha last afternoon. He said he his first priority was to extend his support to the common opposition candidate and would later decide on whether more..

EC should demand asset disclosure from all candidates and their families

Dec 2 (CT) I believe, you are much more conversant with the Declaration of Assets and Liabilities Act No. 1 of 1975 amended in 1988 as Act No. 74 than me, which requires candidates for the upcoming presidential election to hand over declarations of their assets and liabilities along with those of their families when they submit nominations on 8 Dec 2014. Yet with the Act as to date not making it mandatory to hand over such declarations at the time of submitting nominations, more..

Remembering the misled cadres in a long drawn war!

Dec 2 (CT) Afisherman from Viyaparimoolai, a fishing hamlet in Point Pedro, found an AK-47 assault rifle entangled in his fishing net, when he returned to the shore on Thursday, 27 November. As the entire Jaffna Peninsula was put under stringent security measures, to prevent any attempt to glorify the birthday of LTTE Leader Veluppillai Prabhakaran on 26 November, fisherman S. Selvathurai had found the lethal weapon caught in his fishing net. more..

Galle Dialogue 2014: Cooperation and collaboration for maritime prosperity

Dec 2 (SO) Sri Lanka, a country situated close to the lucrative East - West shipping route, one of the busiest shipping routes in the world, was not in a position to reap benefits from its typical and strategic location in the Indian Ocean due to the menace of LTTE terrorism that plagued the country for three decades from early 1980s. The end of humanitarian operation in 2009 which defeated the LTTE terrorism both in the land more..

On backing Maithripala Sirisena: Beyond critical support and resigned endorsement

Dec 2 (GV) The irony of the present political moment in Sri Lanka is that it appears the message of both Mahinda and Maithripala is essentially the same: ‘there is no substitute’. Both build their politics on how dangerous the other is, seeking to thrive on a politics of anxiety. And for these reasons alone critical democratic reasoning must be skeptical of both. But there is more to it. Just the other day a friend of mine recalled that a professor he once knew used to say that politics is more..

An appeal from a Sri Lankan Catholic to Pope Francis: Please don’t come

Dec 2 (GV) On 20th Nov. 2014, the President of Sri Lanka officially proclaimed his intention to hold presidential elections and seek a third term. This was when there was two more years to hold presidential elections. It was widely believed that the reasons for premature elections was the fading popularity of the President and his strong belief in astrological predictions that his best chance of winning elections is in early January 2015. The premature elections was not at all based on more..