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Sirisena lost to me: How can he defeat Mahinda?

Dec 25 (Island) Minister and former SLFP General Secretary S.B. Dissanayake said that he had once comfortably beaten Maithripala Sirisena to become the SLFP General Secretary at an intra party election. "I won hands down and how can Sirisena defeat a popular President like Mahinda Rajapaksa," he said, who described his former cabinet colleague as a weakling. "He had to wait till I left to become party General Secretary." more..

Sujeewa places commissions earned by govt. cronies at Rs. 800 billion

Dec 25 (Island) UNP MP Sujeewa Senasinghe alleged that commissions earned by some UPFA politicians on development projects during the last few years amounted to Rs. 800 billion and when Common Opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena came to power they would be investigated and those responsible severely dealt with. He said family bandyism in the UPFA had ruined the country, deprived the poor masses more..

Maithri's website faces possible hack on Christmas Day

Dec 25 (AM) Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena announced that there was an attempt to hack his official web site on Christmas day. Issuing a statement through his website, the Common Candidate said the attempt was successfully prevented by a special “web security team”. Chances are extremely thin to ascertain the identity of the group who allegedly attempted to hack official website of the Common Candidate. more..

'I was never approached to support president's political campaign'

Dec 25 (AM) Denying certain media reports, Kumar Sangakkara today said he was never approached to support the election campaign of President Rajapaksa. It was reported that Sangakkara was offered a large sum of money to appear for an advertisement supporting President Rajapaksa. Reports also stated that Sangakkara politely turned down the offer, saying he did not want to get involved in politics. more..

Peace on earth, goodwill towards mankind

Dec 25 (CT) Today is Christmas. A day venerated by millions of Christians the world over as being the day that Jesus Christ, the saviour of the world, was born, over 2,000 years ago, according to them. However, it was not for the physical emancipation of the Jews, from the Roman yoke, as his countrymen wrongly thought, that Christ, born out of the womb of a virgin Jewish woman in Israel, by a miracle of God, which Christians believe, came into this world. Instead, his mission was to save the souls more..

Does the North need a Movement Joint?

Dec 25 (GV) One of the features about the run up to the Presidential election is the uncertainty about how the Northern voter will vote. This short article cannot cover all the nuances of the ‘national’ problem as it is called. However at this time of elections, it may be pertinent to consider two approaches towards seeking national integrity (i.e. integrating the South and the North). Structural and geo-technical engineers know that when a long building is constructed especially on weak soil, more..

Ada Cartoon

Sri Lanka tourism earnings grow faster than arrivals: data

Dec 25 (EN) Sri Lanka’s tourism arrivals grew 29% to US$ 1.94 billion in the 11 months to Nov 2014 while arrivals grew at a slower 20.3%. Data published by Central Bank said in the month of November alone arrivals grew 9.4% to 119,727, earnings grew at a faster 17.4% to US$ 173 million. Tourism earnings are not estimated by the Central Bank itself but by the tourism promotion agency, where questions were raised after last year's arrivals were suddenly revised upwards more..

Burglar caught with help of CCTV footage

Dec 25 (Island) Dimbula police, with the help of CCTV camera footage arrested a suspect who had stolen 98 gold sovereigns and Rs. 194,000 in cash from a pawning centre at Kotagala on Dec 09. Suspect is alleged to have entered the centre through the back door and stolen the cash and jewellery by breaking open the drawers. When the shop owner detected the robbery the following morning he was able to identify the suspect through the CCTV camera footage. more..

Sri Lankan maid kills herself in Saudi

Dec 25 (AN) A Sri Lankan housemaid has committed suicide in her employer’s house in the north eastern town of Khafji. The Sri Lankan Embassy has confirmed the death of Easwary (not her real name), 35, who hailed from Colombo. The maid’s Saudi employer had to break down the door of the bathroom when she failed to answer repeated calls only to find her dead. Police said maid committed suicide and that more..

Johnston ready to resign if…

Dec 25 (Island) Minister Johnston Fernando said he would give up politics if anyone could prove that he was involved in illegal ethanol business. Addressing the media at SLFP Head Office, Minister Fernando said he had inherited a family business which was more than 100 years old. President Rajapaksa had not issued licenses for liqour outlets or casinos, Minister said, adding that it was Chandrika Bandaranaike and Ranil Wickremesinghe who had issued most of the liqour licences. more..

Attempt to smuggle ganja by sea

Dec 25 (CG) Police in Ramanathapuram, India, have foiled an attempt to smuggle ganja to Sri Lanka by sea. The district police have seized 90 kg of ganja and arrested a 50-year-old man who attempted to smuggle the contraband to Sri Lanka via sea route. Acting on a tip off, a special police team, led by Sub Inspector Sivasubramanian of Kovilankulam police station, conducted a search in the forest area between Othathevarkottai and Kanikkur and seized the contraband. more..

Video: 'Mahindodaya lab openings on hold due to pressure'

Dec 25 (DM) Minister Bandula Gunawardena announced the plans that were underway to unveil Mahindodaya laboratories in several rural schools before the New Year, would be put on hold until the January 8 elections were over, complying with instructions issued by the Elections Commissioner. He said his mission in launching an ‘express’ unveiling of so many laboratories together, was to ensure rural students enjoyed the more..

A/L results on 27 Dec.

Dec 25 (CT) The Department of Examinations said yesterday that the 2014 G.C.E. Advanced Level Examination results will be released on the 27 December, 2014. Candidates can check their results online through the official government website Meanwhile, according to the Ministry of Higher Education, students who are qualified for the 2015 University Academic Year, based on the 2014 Advance Level results, will be admitted before the end of 2015. more..

Tea quality, volumes hit by erratic weather

Dec 25 (EN) Unseasonal rains have badly affected the quality and quantity of Sri Lanka's recent harvests of tea which partly rely on changes in weather to yield the subtle flavours that make them sought after, officials said. The industry's woes have been compounded by economic and political troubles in key markets like Russia and Iran, the biggest and third biggest buyers of Ceylon tea. The bad weather would likely mean a bad quarter for regional plantations companies. more..

Sri Lanka await trial by pace in Christchurch

Dec 25 (CI) Things that are less green than this Hagley Oval surface in the approach to the Test: Kermit the frog, the Kyoto protocol, Sri Lanka's seam attack. It's not that New Zealand don't rate SL in seaming conditions. At least, they have not outwardly said they don't. They just rate themselves more. With an outswing bowler in Tim Southee, and inswinging left-armer in Trent Boult, a hit-the-deck seamer in Doug Bracewell, and more..

Scarborough’s Tamil community to remember Tsunami victims

Dec 25 (CM) Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) invites everyone to join them in a memorial service on Boxing Day (26) to remember the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. Ten years ago the devastating tsunami crashed through the Indian Ocean affecting people from 14 different countries, largely Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka. The disaster took 230,000 lives and occurred on Boxing Day that year, As part of the 10-year anniversary, the CTC is holding its service in collaboration more..

The Toy Pistol Mayor says there is good governance today

Dec 25 (AM) Hambantota Mayor Eraj Fernando said that there was good governance in the Mahinda Rajapaksa government and his arrest was a good example for that. He said this when he was released on bail yesterday, after his arrest following the incident where he allegedly led an attack on a Street Drama troupe in Hambantota. Fernando denied the charges and said that the incident took place when he attempted to check the authorization for the stage drama event. more..

Karunanidhi flays Rajapaksa for following double standards

Dec 25 (PTI) M Karunanidhi said Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa was following "double standards" in announcing a judicial inquiry into the allegations of war crimes. Rajapaksa, who faces elections on January 8 next year, had said that rights violations and allegations of war cirmes will be probed through domestic judicial processes. Sri Lankan President, who had not cooperated with a UN probe into allegations more..

Sri Lankans in UAE still suffer effects of 2004 Tsunami

Dec 25 (National) Sri Lankans in the UAE who lost relatives and homes in the 2004 tsunami are still struggling to rebuild their lives back home. Dec 26 is the 10th anniversary of the tragedy, which claimed about 35,000 lives in Sri Lanka and 230,000 in total. Despite still suffering the after-effects, Sri Lankans here say they are determined to rise again and rebuilt their devastated homes. Mohammed Maheer, 40, said, “My family was there and had to desert home when it happened to save themselves more..

Communist Party alternative group supports Maithripala

Dec 25 (AM) Sri Lanka Communist Party (CP) alternative group expressed its supports to Maithripala Sirisena in the upcoming presidential election. This group includes 21 members of the Central Committee of the party. CP Central Committee Member DNA Subasinghe said that the party had been following the rulers in recent years with little questioning. Since the CP does not raise any voice, people have forgotten that there is such a party, he added. more..

'Secret doc can nullify MR’s Presidency if re-elected'

Dec 25 (DM) The bogus ‘secret’ document publicized by former UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake being used in President Rajapaksa’s campaign, is an offense that enables President Rajapaksa to be ousted from power if he is re-elected, former CJ Sarath N. Silva said. He said utilizing the alleged ‘secret’ document which both Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremaeinghe and Common candidate more..

Maithri demands Rs. 2.5 bn from Tissa

Dec 25 (CG) Common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena has sent a letter of demand for Rs. 2.5 billion from former UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake. He has made the demand over a document Attanayake had presented to the media claiming it was a deal signed between Sirisena and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. Document had the signatures of Sirisena and Wickremesinghe but they insisted that the document was fake and the signatures forged. more..

China-Sri Lanka signs Free Trade Agreement

Dec 25 (GDI) China and Sri Lanka has signed a MoU and agreed to establish a joint working group on trade to study the feasibility of a China-Sri Lanka free trade agreement and measures to enhance Sri Lankan exports to China. A joint feasibility study on the proposed FTA was completed in March 2014 and concluded that the building of an FTA will bring benefits to both countries. Although Sri Lanka’s exports to China have increased from US$ 28.39 million in 2005 to US$ 121.63 million in 2013, more..

Video: Another challenge from Wimal

Dec 25 (DM) Minister Wimal Weerawansa challenged the common opposition to reveal whether the content of the agreement revealed by former UNP General Secretary were true without just terming it a forged document. “Common candidate Maithripala Sirisena and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe came before media and said the agreement was a forged one and complained to the police. more..

Christmas message of the JVP

Dec 25 (LT) Today (25) is Christmas, commemorated with devotion and splendour by Christians all over the world. The JVP wishes Sri Lankan Christian devotees as well as Christians all over the world a Merry Christmas. Christmas is known as the day the message of peace was brought to this Earth. Jesus Christ taught to love others and to ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ The most valuable example of Jesus Christ’s life was that He stood up for more..

Video: Wimal accuses media over Sirikotha clash

Dec 25 (DM) Minister Wimal Weerawansa today accused the media of being biased in their reports on the clash that erupted before the Sirikotha Wednesday morning when a protest was staged by a group named ‘The Federation of National Organizations’ that is said to be affiliated to his party – the NFF. “Is this so-called free-media blind? It was not a clash! It was clearly an attack that was launched on the innocent protestors by UNP MP Mujibur Rahuman and his thugs,” more..

Devastating 2004 tsunami moved Canadian couple to help Sri Lanka rebuild

Dec 25 (NP) Janet McKelvey was decompressing after Christmas at her family’s ski cabin north of Toronto on Dec. 26, 2004 when, like a lot of other Canadians, she heard reports of a killer tsunami that had washed over much of South Asia. Indonesia, India, the Maldives, Somalia, Sri Lanka and Thailand were all hit. The horror of what happened, captured in the cellphone videos of eyewitnesses & broadcast on evening news, more..

Who made Sri Lanka indebted?

Dec 26 (NS) It is a fact that Sri Lanka is an indebted country today and party leaders who are with the Common Candidate make a meal of it putting the entire blame of the economy on President Mahinda Rajapaksa. As Chandra Maliyadde, former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Plan Implementation says, “At the end of 1976, the total outstanding aid to IMF/IBRD was only $75 million.” He has rightly questioned how the foreign debt increased five hundred times. more..

One day we will acquire ‘class conciseness’!

Dec 26 (NS) I’ve been talking to my fellow Kolombians. It’s almost as if they have been silent for almost five years. Some of them, not all, talk as though they’ve taken out words they had put in some back bedroom of their plush mansion, shaken off the dust and are now re-using them. The same words I heard when Sarath Fonseka put up what appeared to be a much more than a ‘good run’. He ran so fast through our minds that some of us thought that he could best Usain Bolt, forget more..

Golden chimes from Bethlehem

Dec 26 (SO) Church bells in the birthplace of Christ will ring out this year their Christmas message to a world threatened by man's suspicions and hatreds. The chimes from Bethlehem will carry not only joyful tidings of peace to men of goodwill, but also a grim warning to mankind to beware of self destruction. The majority of Christians throughout the world celebrate the birth of the Redeemer, horrible engines of devastation will be more..

Everyone should have a place in this world

Dec 26 (ST) You are stateless – you can lay claim to no nationality, and no nation claims you. You may have been born into anonymity as one of the persecuted Rohingya in Myanmar, your life encircled by fences of camps for the internally displaced, your only option to flee across the border to another refugee camp in Bangladesh. Perhaps your parents were Kurds, stripped of their nationality in Syria, or Roma in Eastern Europe rendered stateless in the messy dissolution of the Soviet Union. more..

The Sri Lankan voter

Dec 26 (FT) Our politicians have it easy. A few weeks back, Elizabeth Lauten, communications director to a US Republican congressman, wrote scornfully of the Obama children’s attire and attitude at an annual Thanksgiving event. These comments about underage children – generally a no-go area – were met with a huge public outcry and Lauten was forced to resign. With jibes at even visiting diplomats, Sri Lankan politicians are far more colourful than the Lautens of this world. more..

Common Candidate

Dec 26 (CT) Former Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne's son, Chathura, who identifies himself as a civil society activist, seems to have attracted politics from his teens. He spells out his experiences and plans to build democracy and ways to safeguard the sovereignty of the people in an interview. Q: How do you introduce yourself except as the son of Rajitha Senaratne? A: A civil society activist. Q: Explain it, please. more..

Black Prince's chapel: The church built by a Sinhalese prince in Portugal

Dec 26 (CT) It all began when Architect Sagara Jayasinghe made a visit to Portugal a couple of years back on a completely different mission. On this visit he became aware of the numerous chronicles and documentation on the political and religious affairs between Portugal and Sri Lanka. He says that these documents fascinated him and compelled him to explore further in particular the documentation relating to the church of Our Lady of the Gate of Heaven in Telheiras; more..

A showcase of lop-sided logic and crass political opportunism

Dec 26 (CT) The on-going debate on the presidential election could be comprehended in terms of two dominant intellectual trends: Lop-sided logic and crass political opportunism. The debate centers on which of the main contenders – Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR) or Maitripala Sirisena (MS) – offers the best hope of stability, security, development and democracy. For the purpose of convenience and clear demarcation, I shall consider the arguments put forward by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka more..

'Executive Presidency must be abolished'

Dec 26 (Island) Ravaya editor Victor Ivan has emerged in recent times as one of the most vocal critics of president Rajapaksa’s decision to seek a third term in office. He is also critical of the executive presidential system itself and has called for its abolition. In this interview, he speaks about the call to abolish the executive presidential system, question of political stability and the candidacy of Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Editorial: Of those promised constitutions

Dec 26 (Island) Visionary Marxist leaders like Dr. N.M. Perera and Dr. Colvin R. de Silva must be guffawing wherever they may be. Even their worst detractors who pooh-poohed their criticism of the present Constitution now agree that it needs a radical shake-up. J.R. Jayewardene, who became the Head of State too late in the day, at his back always heard time’s winged chariot hurrying near and took a short cut to self-aggrandizement through a new Constitution. more..

Racism: The final Rajapaksa refuge

Dec 26 (CT) In an election campaign predictably marred by violence and malpractices, the unlooked for, the unimaginable also happens. PL Keerthisinghe, the OIC of Wanduramba, resigned after 18 years of service, in protest against political interference in police work. “He charged that despite the political pressure on him, none of the senior police officers were willing to take action against the politicians…” Such an act of courage would have been unbelievable just days ago. more..

Winds of change in post-Sanga-Mahela era

Dec 26 (ST) Cricket is a beautiful game and we need to take care of it. While listening to that perennial Scorpion hit song “Wind of Change” those words crept through my mind. It all began at the Premadasa Stadium, when Kumar Sangakkara held that catch to complete an eventful 5-2 series win over the English cricketers. To make matters more significant, the catch was held off the bowling of less-than-part-time off spinner Mahela more..