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'I was offered Rs. 100 million to stay in Govt'

Dec 2 (AM) In an interesting revelation, MP Navin Dissanayake, who joined the opposition, said he was offered 100 million to stay in the govt. “Govt cannot buy me over, I had already made a promise to Maithripala Siresena and I acted on that,” he said. “The govt is looting funds received from China for road development. We need a country that is free of corruption,” Dissanayake said, saying he could not speak about more..

EU to appeal in LTTE court case

Dec 2 (CG) The Council of the European Union (EU) has decided to appeal the Judgment of the General Court with regards to the sanctions on the LTTE, the EU office in Colombo said today. The Judgement of the General Court of the European Union annulled measures taken by the Council of the European Union against the LTTE, namely the designation of the LTTE as a terrorist organisation and the freezing of LTTE funds. more..

'State money siphoned off for election propaganda'

Dec 2 (AM) Economist and UNP MP Harsha De Silva has said that a majority of the state sector’s leading officials have become ‘puppies’ of the ruling party. He said that the main reason for the failure in the govt sector is due to a large amount of state resources being used for the ruling party’s publicity and propaganda campaigns of the govt ahead of the presidential election. “The entire state sector has become severely politicized. more..

Sri Lanka School Muscat students on top of the world

Dec 2 (TOO) Eight students from the Sri Lankan School, Muscat received the Top 10 Achievers in the World Award from Edexcel International for their performance in 10 subjects in the 2014 examination held in May and June. Manuji Bandara, who achieved four A* Grades at the Advanced Level examination, obtained the highest score in Mathematics in the Sultanate of Oman and is among the top 10 highest scorers in the world in the subject at the GCE Advanced Level. more..

Sri Lankan rupee forwards end tad up on exporter, bank dollar sales

Dec 2 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee forwards ended slightly firmer on Tuesday as dollar sales by exporters and banks outpaced importer dollar demand. Spot currency and three-day forwards, or spot-next, were not traded after the central bank capped the currency at predetermined levels to prevent volatility. Central bank officials were not available for comment. 4-day forwards, or spot-next-next, were actively traded, ending at 131.72/77 per dollar compared to Monday's close of 131.80. more..

Sri Lanka's presidential race heats up as incumbent seeks third term

Dec 2 (Xinhua) Wheels have been set in motion to make history in Sri Lanka after incumbent President Rajapaksa called for snap presidential elections on Jan 8 and sought a third term. The decision split his party with coalition partner, the nationalist JHU. JHU immediately withdrew its support to the ruling party and formed a coalition with the main opposition UNP and former President Chandrika Kumarathunga. more..

Sri Lanka stocks close down 0.6%

Dec 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks closed 0.62% lower with telco, beverages and oil palm stocks losing ground amid net foreign selling. All Share Price Index closed 45.10 points lower at 7,230.58, down 0.62%. S&P SL20 closed 15.54 points lower at 4,025.13, down 0.38%. Turnover was 1.00 billion rupees, up from 983.57 million rupees a day earlier with 72 stocks closed positive against 113 negative. Access Engineering closed flat at 38 rupees with six off market transactions of 249.50 million more..

ACMOA organises protest against PMC

Dec 2 (Island) All Ceylon Medical Officers’ Association General Secretary Dr. Jayantha Bandara said that the ACMOA had formed a joint alliance with six trade and professional associations to pressure the govt to close the Malabe Private Medical College. Dr. Bandara pointed out that the FUTA, Ceylon Principals’ Union, All Ceylon Nurses’ Union, Ceylon Teachers’ Union, All Ceylon Midwifery Union and Socialist Student’s Union had agreed with the ACMOA to lead a protest more..

Australia hails Sri Lanka’s progress

Dec 2 (CG) Australia today commended the Sri Lankan Govt for their progress in developing the response capacity to major natural disasters over the last ten years, including improved early warning systems, coordination and response mechanisms. This month marks ten years since the Indian Ocean Tsunami struck the coastal areas of eleven countries around the Indian Ocean rim. At an event held to commemorate the anniversary, more..

The significance of FSP candidacy

Dec 2 (CT) Mahinda Rajapaksa has to face his erstwhile colleague in the cabinet and the General Secretary of the SLFP, former Minister of Health, Maithripala Sirisena at the forthcoming presidential election. Since many parties including the main opposition party, UNP, and civil society organizations have already decided to back Maithripala’s candidacy, he has now emerged as the main contender to the incumbent president. JVP, one of the leading left parties has announced more..

One-time Sri Lanka’s top envoy in Iran pledges support to Maithripala

Dec 2 (Island) Sri Lanka’s former ambassador to Teheran M.M. Zuhair, PC has pledged his support to Opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena. After having signed the ‘Common People’s Agenda for Just, Democratic and People-friendly Governance’ at Vihara Maha Devi park yesterday, Zuhair said that he recently formed a new political outfit-National United Front (NUF) to promote the interests of all communities. Zuhair served as a PA National List MP (1994-2000) more..

JHU invites President Rajapaksa to be part of National Unity Govt

Dec 2 (AM) JHU invited President Rajapaksa to be part of the National Unity Govt which will be formed for 100 days following the victory of Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena. JHU MP Champika Ranawaka said that they would not allow any party to prosecute President Rajapaksa after the Presidential Election. He also announced that the JHU has decided to extend its support to Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena at the more..

Disparities galore

Dec 2 (CT) The Colombo City is taking on a new look with new roads, flyovers, expressways, paved sidewalks, refurbished ancient buildings, terraced walkways and so on to pamper the rich city dwellers, and also offer tourists and visitors a good first impression of the country. This is mainly because the country is expecting to receive around 2.5 million tourists by 2016, giving a boost to the earnings the country makes by way of tourism. But the distressing factor is all this development more..

Fighting breaks out in Eastern PC

Dec 2 (AM) A fight broke out in the Eastern Provincial Council when the budget for the year 2015 was being debated. Council session has been tense from the very beginning. Chairperson decided to adjourn the session when 3 Muslim members who recently decided to be independent left the session. This decision was opposed by the opposition members and when one member had tried to drag away the Mace, the fighting started. Members had been shouting in both Sinhalese & English more..

Opposition saying different things: UPFA

Dec 2 (DM) UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha said the opposition was making contradictory statements on the abolition of the executive presidency and the introduction of constitutional amendments. He told a news conference that the JVP had earlier held the view that the presidential election was illegal and President Rajapaksa could not contest for a third term. “President Rajapaksa sought the SC's more..

Two Japanese Naval ships in Sri Lanka

Dec 2 (SLN) Two Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) docked at Colombo port yesterday to attend the Galle Dialogue International Maritime Security Conference. The two vessels names Harusame DD-102 and Amagiri DD-154 arrived after accepting the invitation extended by the Sri Lanka Navy. They were welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions on arrival at the Port of Colombo. The mission, Commander Escort Division II, Captain Masatoshi Kashihara and more..

Sri Lanka’s Stock Exchange launches new generation depository system

Dec 2 (LBO) The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) today launched a new generation depository system with an investment of 150 million rupees for its fully owned subsidiary, the Central Depository System (Pvt.) Ltd. and an upgrade to the Automated Trading System (ATS). “We were behind the world standards due to the 30 years of war,” Vajira Kulatilaka, Chairman of the Colombo Stock Exchange said. “There were lot to catch up. This is one of such initiatives that we have taken so far to more..

Video: Harin determined to take control of Uva PC

Dec 2 (DM) Saying he was ready to take control of the Uva PC, Harin Fernando its present opposition leader said that his party would file legal action and get the council convened once again. He said it would be possible to present affidavits by a sufficient number of provincial councillors to the High Court and get an order to reconvene the council. He said he would take control of the provincial council soon as more..

Joint Trade Commission: Sri Lanka-Seychelles to hold further talks

Dec 2 (Island) High profile Sri Lankan and Seychelles govt delegations are scheduled to meet shortly in Victoria, the capital city of the scenic tourist paradise island, for discussions on furthering bilateral trade and investments. Seychelles Finance and Investment Minister Pierre Laporte speaking to The Island on the sidelines of Food and Hotel Seychelles (FHS) 2014, the country’s first international food, hotel supplies and trade exhibition held at the NSC Hall in Roche Caiman, more..

Group of UPFA MPs give a strange assurance to CBK to cross after the election

Dec 2 (AM) A group of ruling party MPs has given a strange assurance to former President Chandrika Kumaratunga saying they would join the common opposition, led by Maithripala Sirisena, immediately after the presidential election, Asian Mirror learns. They have cited various difficulties in joining the government before the election – including the ‘files’ that can suddenly come out in the face of such a crossover. However, this assurance has earned the ire of a certain section of common opposition more..

FIFA chief & President Rajapaksa hold talks

Dec 2 (CG) President of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Joseph Blatter called on President Rajapaksa at Temple Trees today. President and Blatter discussed ways in which Sri Lanka can create more enthusiasm for the sport of football among youth. “Football is becoming more popular in Sri Lanka,” President Rajapaksa said. “We should start from the school level.” Blatter agreed and said more..

Costa Rican officials detain two Sri Lankans

Dec 2 (TT) Costa Rican National Police officers conducting a routine patrol at 3 a.m. on Monday detained a group of 23 undocumented migrants – 19 of them from Nepal – while attempting to enter the country from Panama. Of the remaining four, two are from Ghana and two are from Sri Lanka. One man fled the scene. According to an official report, police encountered the group of men walking along a road in the border community of Paso Canoas, near a customs checkpoint. more..

Polls monitors write to the CMC

Dec 2 (CG) Election monitors have written to the Mayor of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) regarding the election related posters and cut-outs which had surfaced in the city even before nominations were called for. The People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) said that it had received several complaints regarding the posters appearing all over the city. PAFFREL questioned if the posters and cut-outs had been erected in the city following the accepted procedures. more..

'Rajapaksa stores should be closed down'

Dec 2 (LT) “Buying from Rajapaksa’s shop should be stopped. Not only that - it should be made to close down,” said the Leader of JVP Anura Dissanayaka at the rally held at Nugegoda yesterday under the theme Defeat despotic regime! Rally for Democracy!!, the first of the series of rallies the JVP has planned to hold in principal towns in the island as part of its election campaign. He said, “Two camps exist before us at present. more..

Defence Secretary lays foundation stone for Colombo City Center

Dec 2 (MoD) Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa laid foundation stone for the proposed Colombo City Center today. Construction work is scheduled to be complete in early 2018 at a cost of USD 150 million. This mixed-use lifestyle center with more than 1,000,000 square feet in 48 stories is the first project by the Colombo City center partners, a joint venture between Abans Group and silver Needle Hospitality of Singapore. more..

Maithri's symbol Swan: Makes deposits to contest Presidential Election

Dec 2 (AM) Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena made a deposit at the Elections Secretariat a short while ago contest the presidential election under the symbol ’Swan’. The common candidate’s party will be ‘New Democratic Front’ from which former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka contested the last presidential election. Sharmila Perera is the General Secretary of the party. The party was registered by UNP Colombo District MP Ravi Karunanayake, a few years ago. more..

LTTE ban: Sri Lanka praises EU decision

Dec 2 (DM) Sri Lanka welcomes the decision of the Council of the European Union to appeal the judgement of the General Court of the European Union of 16 Oct 2014, which annulled measures taken by the Council to designate the LTTE as a terrorist organization and the freezing of LTTE funds. The action taken by the Council of the EU demonstrates commitment for the fight against terrorism at a time when this threat is more..

Full text of Maithripala - JHU agreement

Dec 2 (AM) The full text of the MOU which was signed by common candidate Maithripala Sirisena and JHU Leader Omalpe Sobhitha Thera today. The common opposition had last morning signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the Viharamaha Devi park with the participation of common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena. However the JHU did not attend the event and instead signed the agreement separately with the common opposition candidate. more..

Sri Lanka monks warn of poll violence

Dec 2 (AFP) An influential party of Buddhist monks warned Tuesday of violence during Sri Lanka's upcoming presidential election, two weeks after it defected from the coalition govt. JHU, or National Heritage Party, said it feared President Rajapakse's regime would resort to violence as it tried to cling to power. The warning came as a private election-monitoring group said there had already been several incidences of pre-election violence and accused police of inaction. more..

Video: JHU for Maithri; Champika

Dec 2 (DM) The JHU has decided to support opposition Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena at the forthcoming Presidential Elections, JHU General Secretary MP Champika Ranawaka announced. He said the JHU had agreed to form a National Unity Govt with the SLFP, UNP, JVP and other parties in Parliament. “Unity govt will not be a Chandrika Kumaratunga or UNP govt, but it will consist of all parties,” Ranawaka said. more..

If Sirisena wins, what next?

Dec 3 (ST) Now that the initial shock effect of the announcement regarding Maithripala Sirisena’s candidacy in the presidential race has subsided, the questions that arise the ‘morning after’ are many. Sirisena’s courageous move in breaking ranks with the Govt to challenge as formidable an opponent as Mahinda Rajapaksa continues to generate the admiration it deserves. What he has described in terms of a resolve to ‘rescue’ SLFP from Rajapaksa diktat has also earned him respect. more..

MoU: The biggest hoax in electoral politics

Dec 3 (CT) In the history of coalitions formed in the post-independent era the latest one signed at Vihara Maha Devi Park yesterday is unique not for any distinguishing characteristics that give promise of better things to come but for the heap of bland platitudes that have been recycled time and time again at all previous elections without delivering the promises. As for the launch, the whole scene lacked the aura that was supposed to radiate from a reformist movement that was going to be more..

Uthuru Wasathaya pays dividends

Dec 3 (SO) The people in the North now live in peace and harmony. Industries destroyed by the LTTE are being developed by the Govt. The Govt has taken steps to reopen the Kankesanthurai Cement factory. The Achchuveli Industrial Park is also expected to bring prosperity to the region while providing a large number of direct and indirect employment to people in the region. The day-to-day activities of people show their independence. more..

Regime change a voter-choice

Dec 3 (NS) Another presidential election is due in early January next year to elect a president for a six-year term. This presidential election is different due to several reasons. The incumbent president Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR) is due to contest for re-election following the Amendment 18 to the Constitution recently. There is controversy regarding this amendment and MR’s eligibility to contest beyond two terms. The Supreme Court has cleared the position. The more intriguing factor is more..

TNA sitting on the fence

Nov 3 (NS) The highly anticipated stance of the TNA on the upcoming Presidential polls and the Common Candidate of the Opposition will only be revealed after the main candidates publish their respective manifestos. The TNA has been quiet ever since the announcement of the common candidate and had not expressed its opinions publicly. It had, however, has stated that it would back a candidate who was agreeable to their demands and conditions, which means that there are possibilities that more..

'Farmers have no faith in Govt'

Dec 3 (CT) This week's trade union talks focus on the agriculture sector. Amidst the heat of the Presidential Election, farmers continuously raise their concerns. Over the last week big onion farmers staged massive protests and several trade union actions due to the hardships they face in selling their produce for an adequate price. CT interviewed All Ceylon Peasants' Union National Organizer, Namal Karunaratne. more..

Poll overshadows economic imperatives: Whither reforms?

Dec 3 (ST) The current political developments have overshadowed economic concerns. The presidential election is the focus of attention for the rest of the year and into the early months of next year. Such distraction from the economy is an inevitable cost of a vibrant democracy: an accepted disadvantage of democratic politics. One can only hope that law and order is maintained during these maddening days, that no blood is shed in the coming months and that the democratic process is worked out more..

States of denial, The President and his brother Gotabaya

Dec 3 (CT) So his attitude seemed to harden with the passing years. Also, sadly, even though he might not have been ambitious himself, he seemed to see himself as the principal guardian of the victory the forces had won, with an obligation therefore to block the way of those who were anxious to give more political powers to Tamil politicians. Though, under threat from the LTTE, some of these had seemed to subscribe to the LTTE ideology, in fact most Tamil politicians were more..

Trapped at the Katunayake Free Trade Zone

Dec 3 (ST) The opening scene of ‘Modern Times’, a satirical comedy written and directed by Charlie Chaplin, portrays a line manufacturing process during the Great Depression in England. Chaplin, a factory worker, is bolting screws and loses track of his work as he takes a few minutes off to scratch his hand. He fights with his supervisor and chases a fly that lands on his nose. The scene gives a sense of the oppressive more..

Editorial: Messiahs and masses

Dec 3 (Island) This country has never been short of messiahs who appear at elections, promising us deliverance and seeking our votes in return. Now, with a little over one month to go for a crucial election, we are being promised many things including a national govt! It is being argued in some quarters that the people will have to opt for the lesser of two evils represented by the govt and the Opposition at the forthcoming election. But, they, in our opinion, will have to choose between more..