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'This is not a free and fair election'

Dec 24 (DM) Former Minister Navin Dissanayake, the son of former UNP heavyweight Gamini Dissanayake in an interview with the asserted his confidence on the Common Opposition winning the election, while rubbishing claims by Ministers of the government, who had cast negative aspersions on the election manifesto of common Presidential Candidate Maithripala Sirisena. Q: Following your initial media conference after more..

Political pressure was too much to bear: OIC

Dec 24 (DM) The Police Service which plays a pivotal role in fighting corruption and ensuring the safety of citizens is today falling apart against the backdrop of political manipulations that prevent the police from carrying out their duties without fear or favour. Many loyal and law-abiding police officers have opted to bid farewell to the service mainly because of the disdainful treatment and lack of encouragement they receive from more..

'People can choose between stability and chaos'

Dec 24 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday asked what would have been Sri Lanka’s fate if he hadn’t been elected President in 2005 presidential poll and re-elected in 2010. The war was brought to a successful conclusion during President Rajapaksa’s first term. President Rajapaksa was addressing a gathering at the BMICH after launching his manifesto for the presidential poll. more..

'UPFA confident of winning without Bathiudeen and SLMC'

Dec 24 (Island) The UPFA said its support base had not shrunk due to defections and it could win the presidential election without the ACMC or even the SLMC. Minister Susil Premajayantha said that ACMC leader Rishad Bathiudeen had no vote base in Wanni. Commenting on former Minister Bathiudeen’s defection, he said that the latter had contested on the UPFA ticket in the Wanni District with more..

CPC to lose US$ 2 billion!

Dec 24 (SL) Startling revelations have come to the fore as to how plans are underway to offer the country’s single largest project; Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery Expansion and Despite the fact that the Chinese and Sri Lankan Governments have jointly invited Sinopec Engineering Group (SEG) – the second largest oil refiner in the world who has successfully completed projects in US, Europe, Africa and even in more..

'Casino mafia more powerful than parliament'

Dec 24 (Island) Former Minister and JHU General Secretary Champika Ranawaka early this week repeated the charge that there was a casino mafia in the country and it was more powerful than Parliament. Ranawaka said that there were five major casinos operating in the country today. "There was a suggestion to shift all these casinos to the Kalpitiya Island in 2005 but that recommendation was not taken into consideration by rulers. more..

'Term of head of state should be four years'

Dec 24 (DM) The term of the head of state should be reduced to four years, said common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena. He said he had come to this conclusion some time ago. Mr. Sirisena said he would take the country towards stability if elected to office -- being one who could feel the pulse of the people. He said he was forced to leave the govt as his efforts to change the course of this govt were in vain. more..

Arrest warrant on Muthuhettigama

Dec 24 (AM) Baddegama Magistrate Court has ordered Police to arrest Deputy Minister Nishantha Muthuhettigama in connection with the attack on the opposition in Wanduramba. Muthuhettigama, who represents the District of Galle, was accused of damaging and burning the state of a Common Opposition meeting in Wandurama, along with a group of his supporters. As a result, the Common Candidate of more..

Clash outside UNP headquarters

Dec 24 (AD) A pandemonium broke out when a group of pro-govt protesters clashed with some UNP supporters in front of the UNP headquarters in Sirikotha, this morning. The clash transpired when the UNP supporters counter attacked in respond to pro-Govt protesters’ alleged move to attack the Sirikotha building with stones. A party source said that a meeting accompanied by Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena and more..

Stocks end up, DFCC Bank deal dominates

Dec 24 (EN) Sri Lankan stocks closed firmer Wednesday with trading dominated by a deal in DFCC Bank with the seller Distilleries Company, which is believed to be restructuring its portfolio, brokers said. The All Share Price Index closed up 25.20 points (0.35%) at 7,263.25 while the S&P SL20 index, ended up 6.58 points (0.16%) at 4,069.75. Turnover was 3.8 billion rupees the bulk of which came from a large crossing or off-market negotiated deal in DFCC Bank, with the seller more..

JVP Deniyaya organizer attacked

Dec 24 (AM) JVP Organizer in Deniyaya Electorate AD Ariyadasa has been assaulted by a groups allegedly belonging to the Special Task Force. He is also a District Organizer of All Ceylon Estate Workers’ Union Executive Committee. He has been attacked on early hours on Tuesday when he was returning from work. Ariyadasa has said that he was attacked by six people in civilian clothing. They threatened him with a pistol and attacked him with batons, Ariyadasa has said further. more..

Sri Lanka hails US and Cuba deal

Dec 24 (CG) Sri Lanka welcomed the announcements made by the leaders of the US and Cuba, of a rapprochement between the two countries, thereby ending decades’ long estrangement and paving the way for the renewal of diplomatic ties. SL External Affairs Ministry said that the release and exchange of prisoners is a concrete step towards a new era of US-Cuba relations which marks a turning point in the history more..

Deposit Insurance and Liquidity Support Scheme to increases the insurance cover

Dec 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Deposit Insurance and Liquidity Support Scheme (SLDILSS) will increase its deposit insurance coverage per-depositor per-institution from 200,000 rupees to 300,000 rupees, with effect from 01st of January 2015. Central Bank said, this was taken in line with the decision announced in the Budget 2015 to increase the deposit insurance cover by 50%. The Regulations on the revised insurance cover has been published in Gazette Extraordinary No. 1891/11 more..

CMC Vets saddled with rising stray dog population after removal of shanty dwellings

Dec 24 (Island) The Veterinary Department of the Colombo Municipal Council (VD-CMC) yesterday revealed that it had carried out over 200 sterilizations by the end of November this year in its bid to control rabies in the city. Chief Veterinary Surgeon, Dr. I. Dharmawardane said that three dogs with rabies had been identified in the city so far this year. Over 240 sterilisations had been carried out last year while three cases of rabies had been detected. more..

Ban wants Sri Lanka to back probe

Dec 24 (CG) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon still wants Sri Lanka to cooperate with the ongoing human rights investigation on Sri Lanka mandated by the UNHRC despite President Rajapaksa saying he will not back the investigation. President has said he will let local laws to deal with any human rights violators and not agree to a UN probe. Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for Secretary-General, said that Secretary‑General has more..

Incumbent PS members accused of rape

Dec 24 (CT) There were over 15 cases of rape and sexual assault committed by incumbent politicians in the Pradeshiya Sabhas from 2010-2011, according to the Commission to investigate violence against women and children, appointed by the Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe. The commission, comprising eight members and chaired by Priyani Wijesekara, however added that only one case out of those filed had been brought to Court. Exception was the case of Tangalle PS Chairman, more..

Maths barrier explains Sri Lanka's economic success

Dec 25 (EN) Sri Lanka's international lenders have often questioned the quality of economic data despite the authorities maintaining that there is no massaging of figures, but the president's latest election manifesto explains the disparity. President Rajapakse's The path to win the world manifesto admits that 50% of high school students have failed mathematics. He promises a probe into the poor mathematical skills of students. However, his minister Wimal Weerawansa, 44, more..

Why was Sangakkara deprived of speech after final ODI outing in Sri Lanka?

Dec 24 (IC) 7th ODI between England and Sri Lanka on Dec 16, 2014, was the last time Sangakkara and Mahela played an ODI on Sri Lankan soil. Thousands had turned up to Premadasa Stadium to be a part of the moment, and many thousands more were glued to their TV screens for the farewell of arguably Sri Lanka's two most adored cricketers. Both were unfortunately dismissed early in their innings and more..

CMC officer transferred over booking of Hyde Park

Dec 24 (Island) A high ranking officer of the CMC, who had reserved Hyde Park for the National Bhikku Conference yesterday, had been transferred immediately, alleged Common Opposition Presidential Candidate’s media Coordinator, Danushka Ramanayake. He said that the officer had been transferred on Dec 21 and the exact place he was transferred was not confirmed yet. "National Bhikku Conference’s (NBC) convener Pahiyangala Ananda Thera informed me of the transfer," more..

SSP Ranagala's son shocked and ashamed over his father's behaviour

Dec 24 (AM) SSP Premalal Ranagala’s son, Pradhan Ranagala has condemned the conduct of his father who recently used “police force” to disperse a protest by university students. A protest carried out by university students in front of the University Grants commission (UGC) at Ward Place came under attack from Police early this week. Police also used tear gas to disperse university students who demanded immediate solutions to their grievances. more..

Extreme weather delays Sri Lanka's post-war reconstruction

Dec 24 (Reuters) A series of extreme weather events in the past three years has held back already slow post-war reconstruction efforts in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, officials and experts say. An 11-month drought eased only in early December, and has been followed by monsoon-linked flooding that could cause additional delays. This year’s long dry spell drove down agricultural production. more..

Hakeem meets Basil: Agrees to soften his stance

Dec 24 (AM) Asian Mirror can now reveal that the govnt has succeeded in its attempt to approach SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem to remain in the UPFA government. Just a day after the SLMC Leader’s meeting with President Rajapaksa, two prominent members of the govt, including Economic Development Minister has met Hakeem in Colombo at the latter’s personal residence. The other person who took part in the meeting was a former MP and a Senior Advisor to the President. more..

Over 2000 Sri Lankan expats here for polls

Dec 24 (CT) Sri Lankan Expatriates' Forum UK (SLEF), confirmed that over 2,000 expatriates, from European countries, would arrive in the country to cast their votes at this decisive presidential election. Speaking to Ceylon Today, SLEF member Nishantha Pathiranage said, expatriates attached to the forum from European countries like Italy, UK, Germany and Switzerland would come to cast their votes at the upcoming decisive Presidential Election on 8 January. more..

Diaspora group wants Tamils to vote

Dec 24 (PTI) An influential Tamil diaspora group based in the UK has asked the Tamil people in Sri Lanka to use every vote carefully in Presidential election. In a statement published in the local media today, the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) has stressed on the need for the Tamils to exercise their vote. "GTF is fully aware that in the post-independent Sri Lanka, Tamil people have continuously lost their rights under more..

McMillan backs NZ to succeed against seam

Dec 24 (CI) The tourism ads sell New Zealand as being clean, green and pristine. With so many unspoilt vistas and arresting landscapes, that is not a difficult task. There are minor scratches on that perception. Some conservationists argue that parts of the Waikato river is swimming with farming effluent, while plenty also believe the country doesn't take its climate change responsibilities seriously enough. But at least New Zealand's Test grounds champion the national reputation more..

Dilshan backs Rajapaksa in Presidential poll

Dec 24 (PTI) Tillakaratne Dilshan has opted to support Mahinda Rajapaksa in the presidential election. Rajapaksa's campaign office said that Dilshan met the president today with a group of youth to extend support to him. 38-year-old former national cricket captain, who will appear in the 2015 Cricket World Cup, has already appeared in television commercials in support of Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa faces a stiff challenge from the main opposition rival Maithripala Sirisena. more..

Chandimal recalls Tsunami pain

Dec 24 (CI) If Dinesh Chandimal is picked for Sri Lanka on Thursday, he might recall the harrowing moment that changed his nation a decade ago. 15-year-old Chandimal was watching the NZ v SL Boxing Day ODI at his family's home by the sea in Amabalangoda, when his mother called out. Neighbour's boat, she said, was quickly closing in on their house. Chandimal took a single look at giant wave, raised the alarm, and they ran. more..

18 LG members pledge to support Maithri

Dec 24 (AD) North Central Provincial Council member P.B. Dissanayake and 12 PS members of the Anuradhapura district left the ruling party, today. Local govt members also pledged to support Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential election. This was announced at a press conference held in Anuradhapura with the participation of MP Duminda Dissanayake. The District Secretary of SLFP Chandrasiri Dissanayake also said he will assist Common Candidate. more..

Gunshots fired at Maithri’s rally stage

Dec 24 (AD) The police have not yet identified the group of persons who allegedly attacked and fired shots into the air at a venue of an election rally of the Common Candidate in Kolonnawa, early hours of this morning. Police have recovered some 20 used bullet shells of automatic firearms from the crime scene, it was reported. The armed gang arrived in a van had damaged and attempted to set the stage on fire as well. Police have also initiated a spate inquiry over inaction of deployed police more..

Video: Crossover attempt goes wrong

Dec 24 (DM) In an apparent cross over attempt that went wrong, Savithra De Silva, a UPFA member of the Dehiwela- Mt. Lavinia Municipal Council, today appeared at a news briefing held at the common opposition’s candidate office in Colombo and said that he would not betray Mahinda Rajapaksa. The news briefing was held with the participation of UNP MP Sujeewa Senasinghe and several other members of more..

Express train from BIA to Colombo soon

Dec 24 (GDI) Ministry of Investment Promotion has taken steps to implement an electric high speed train service from Negombo through Katunayake to Colombo with mixed development of commercial and township inclusive of terminus. Sri Lanka's transportation infrastructure is likely to receive a major boost if the proposed rapid transit system, an electric railway line connecting the arrivals terminal at the BIA at Katunayake and a new station at Colombo Fort is implemented. more..

Mahinda Chinthana has many authors

Dec 25 (Island) When the NDF formed a govt, it would expose the govt foreign policy internally and would establish rapport with the UNHRC along with other international human rights organisations, UNP MP Wijedasa Rajapakshe said. He said that the UPFA govt had got a loan of Rs.1700 billion at an interest rate of 7.8%. But the other countries had got the same loan with only 2% because the consultants and advisers to President Rajapaksa were not educated enough to take vital decisions. more..

A decade later, remembering a Sri Lanka town wiped away by tsunami

Dec 24 (KWGN) A dozen young children chatter and giggle around me, taking my pad and pen to write down their addresses very carefully. This way, they tell me, I’ll know where to send help. But how do you tell a six-year-old an address no longer means anything — houses and roads are gone and in too many cases, so are families. It was not just the young who could not comprehend how their world changed on December 26, 2004. more..

'Ameer Ali and Bathiudeen shamed the Muslims'

Dec 24 (CT) Minister Rishad Bathiudeen crossing over to support the common candidate is considered as another disappointment, because Bathiudeen is a person who was given enough money and a luxury life by the govt, said Senior Adviser to the President, A.H.M. Azwer. He said that it is a disappointment and a shame to the Muslim population in Sri Lanka that such despicable persons like Ameer Ali and Rishad Bathiudeen were present in their government. more..

Flood threat countrywide

Dec 24 (DM) Flood treat that caused much havoc in several areas of the country and disrupted civilian life was likely to subside today. Floods in Anuradhapura town and the sacred city had subsided by this morning and the displaced families were returning to their homes. However, the roads in the low lying areas of the Malwatu Oya including the sacred city were under water. The heavy rains experienced in the area endangering the tanks and reservoirs had ceased. more..

Video: 'Household income plunging'

Dec 24 (DM) The household income of the economy which at around 45% of the GDP in the past has started plummeting at an alarming rate during the past few years and was at a critical 35% in 2013 according to Department of Census and Statistics, ex-Minister Champika Ranawaka said today. “About a decade ago the GDP and household income grew at parallel rates close to 7% but in 2013 while the GDP growth was at 7% the more..

End is nigh for Maithri and his achcharu coalition

Dec 25 (ST) I feel it is my duty to respond to the comments of my unseen friend Viruddha Pakshikaya last week, as he has attempted to paint a bleak-and false-picture of Sri Lanka under President Rajapaksa — and is already behaving as if the election has been won by Maithripala Sirisena. I’m told that the joint Opposition is already fighting for portfolios among themselves! My answer to Viruddha Pakshikaya comes in the form of just two words: Tissa Attanayake. more..

Paranthan Chemicals notches Rs. 40 mn PBT for 2014

Dec 25 (Island) Paranthan Chemicals Company Limited (PCCL), records profit before tax of around Rs. 40 million for 2014, compared with Rs. 37 million for 2013 and Rs. 32 million for 2012 respectively. PCCL is a state owned profit making entity, which is currently under the purview of Ministry of State Resources and Enterprise Development. "We are very satisfied with our overall performance in 2014. We are the market leader of liquid chlorine with 95% of market share. more..

'University intake doubled in past few years'

Dec 25 (SO) "During the past nine years, especially since 2010, the university system in the country has developed remarkably. Online programs have been introduced in Universities targeting the farmer community in the country. They can go from basic level to Degree level. It is intended to improve the agriculture sector by improving the knowledge of farmers. In the West, courses are conducted targeting those in more..

O Christmas tree! O Christmas tree!

Dec 25 (CT) December - the month of Christmas. Regardless of religion, many people love setting up a Christmas tree with colourful baubles and fairy lights. Be it at home, in office or at stores, Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without seeing at least 20 different Christmas trees everywhere you go. How much do we know about this seasonal tree however? Many Catholics grew up having a fresh Christmas tree each year. There was a constant smell of pine in the air and the trees all more..