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Mechanisms to prevent voter intimidation PAFFREL to meet IGP

Dec 27 (CT) Polls observers highlighted the need for a preventive mechanism to halt acts of force, threat and intimidation to stop voters from going to the polling centres to exercise their franchise. PAFFREL observed that working in tangent with Elections Department officials and other elections monitors, by increasing their cadre and thereby increasing the visibility of their presence on the night of 7 January 2015 would be more..

'Colombo's garbage mountains posing severe health risks'

Dec 27 (Island) Human and Environmental Links Progressive Organization (HELP-O) has initiated a project to assess the capacity of bio gas in Climate Change mitigation and adaptation and has introduced the most effective standards for bio gas plants, in a Navy camp, with quality parameters, with funding from UNDP’s GEF/SGP and in partnership with govt and NGOs. HELP-O CEO, Chathura Welivitiya said that the camp was facing a major problem due to sewerage waste, and more..

Ten Youth Parliament members to support Maithri

Dec 27 (CT) Ten members of the Youth Parliament extended their support to Common Candidate, Maithripala Sirisena. The members who called themselves 'Young Parliamentarians for Democracy' said the current corrupt practices of the govt had created very little opportunity for the youth in the country and thus, they expected 'change'. Youth MP, Helasiri Ganegoda said, "Only those who benefit from the corrupt practices of the regime support the Mahinda Chinthanaya". more..

Sri Lanka train guard mourns tsunami dead 10 years on

Dec 27 (AFP) Head guard Wanigaratne Karunatilleke was one of the few people to survive when a wall of water slammed into the Ocean Queen train on SL's south coast a decade ago, killing around 1,000 people. On Friday the 58-year-old, who is still haunted by memories of the passengers he could not save, flagged off the train for a special journey to commemorate the victims of Asian tsunami, SL's worst ever disaster. more..

Police arrest 44 polls law breakers

Dec 27 (CT) By the end of this week, the police had received 88 complaints on election law violations and 44 suspects have been arrested in relation to these incidents. DIG Gamini Navaratne, who is in charge of security during the election period, said a police team had been deployed to arrest another 50 suspects. The DIG said that while the Police in charge of maintaining law and order during election time have been given firearms for their use, they have been instructed to more..

Chavakachcheri UC passes resolution

Dec 27 (CT) A resolution was unanimously passed by the Chavakachcheri Urban Council recently to invite all Urban Council and Pradeshiya Sabha members to the Thennamarachi Divisional Development Committee (DDC) meeting. This resolution was proposed by Chavakachcheri Urban Councillor, A. Balamayooran requesting the Jaffna District Secretary, Sundaram Arumainayagam to invite all Urban Councillors and Pradeshiya Sabha members to participate in the DDC meeting. more..

Attack on MS stage: Wanted Minister leaves for Singapore

Dec 27 (Island) The police never expected Deputy Minister Nishantha Mutuhettigama to leave the country for Singapore early morning on Boxing Day, as he was a member of the supreme law making body in the country. SSP Ajith Rohana said that MP Mutuhettigama had left the country through the VIP at BIA terminal around 1.30 a.m. and there wasn’t any police security, but the MP would be arrested when he returned to more..

Survivors will never forget the day the tsunami hit

Dec 27 (PRI) One of the people who survived the tsunami was Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne, who lives in Sri Lanka. Immediately after the waves hit, he raced down to the shoreline to help. He says he'll never be able to forget that day. "The houses were completely destroyed — the ones that were closest to the beach," he says. "There were many bodies lying around. People were traumatized. They had gathered in temples, churches and public places. We were also traumatized by what we saw." more..

Met says depression moving out

Dec 27 (CT) The Department of Meteorology said that the depression, that had intensified, due to the low pressure areas around the country, is expected to move away from the island, thus the weather becoming normal. However, there is a possibility for strong winds as the atmospheric pressure increases. Showers or thundershowers are to be expected in the Northern, North-central, Central, Uva, North-western, Eastern and Hambantota Provinces during the evening and night. more..

Champika does not fear arrest

Dec 27 (CT) JHU General Secretary Champika Ranawaka stressed that they are not afraid of death or arrest, whilst fighting for their cause. He alleged that the govt is attempting to sling mud at the common opposition and emphasized that the common opposition would not be deterred by such attempts. "We got to know that the govt is planning to sling mud at us by creating false documents. First, former UNP General Secretary Tissa more..

Up-country trains cancelled

Dec 27 (CT) The up-country railway lines, from Colombo-Kandy, Badulla and Matale have been cancelled due to mudslides and landslip warnings, Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) said. SLR control room said the train services only operated up to Rambukkana. However, SLR was not sure when they would be able to clear the rail lines and resume services. According to SLR Superintendant, L. A. R. Ratnayake, the rail lines were under repair since last Thursday (25). more..

SLMC denies Basil's claim

Dec 27 (CT) SLMC National Organizer, Shafik Rajabdeen vehemently denied Minister Basil Rajapaksa's comment that the SLMC will support the govt. "It must be a dream of Basil Rajapaksa's, to get the support of the SLMC," Rajabdeen said, adding that the SLMC, at grassroots level, is not with President Mahinda Rajapaksa. "If we support the govt, we might lose the people," he said. He added that both Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Basil Rajapaksa have approached the party, more..

Basil cites killing of US Amb. to highlight regime change project going awry

Dec 27 (Island) Claiming that a section of the international community had been pursuing a destabilization project here, Minister Basil Rajapaksa said the horrific assassination of US Ambassador Chris Stevens (52) in Sept 2012 was a glaring example of a Western operation aimed at regime change gone awry. Minister Rajapaksa asserted that there couldn’t be a better example than the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya to more..

Dullas condemns police attacks on students SSP Rohana admits law violation

Dec 27 (CT) Police attacks on student demonstrations came in for condemnation yesterday. Minister Dullas Alahapperuma stressed that he condemned the attack on the students of the Higher National Diploma for Accountancy (HNDA). "As the Youth Minister, I condemn this attack on the young group of students," he said. Inter HNDA Conservation Students Unity staged a demonstration in front of the UGC last Monday requesting the reinstatement of degree status more..

Mutuhettigama’s wife says her husband will be back soon

Dec 27 (Island) Kokila Mutuhettigama, wife of maverick UPFA politician Nishantha Mutuhettigama who left the country for Singapore, while a magisterial warrant was out for his arrest told The Island yesterday that the law enforcement officers should have taken him into custody if he was wanted by court and asked why they didn’t perform their duty. Baddegama Magistrate Chandima Edirimanne had issued a warrant for his arrest for his failure to appear before court having being charged more..

Death toll in worst weather since 1957 rises to seven; more fatalities feared

Dec 27 (Island) The situation in most flood-hit districts continued to worsen with the authorities warning of continuing heavy rains in the badly-hit districts of Eastern, Northern and North Central Provinces. As many as 664,893 people had been displaced in the 16 districts of Northern, Central, North Central, North Western, Eastern, Western and Sabaragamuwa provinces, according to DMC, which termed the flood as the worst since 1957. more..

Restore dignity of the public service

Dec 27 (DM) Since 1978 and especially after 2010, the dignity of the once highly-respected public service has been seriously damaged. Today it is virtually a Govt service working for the party in power with posts, promotions and transfers depending mainly on the extent to which the public servant is ready to stooge or be a servile flatterer of ruling politicians. Till 1965, the Secretaries to Ministries were mostly distinguished civil servants and were known as Permanent Secretaries more..

New president must put us on disarmament map

Dec 27 (DM) The new Sri Lankan President will be named on January 9, 2015. The ongoing presidential election campaign should discuss linking Sri Lanka to the World Disarmament Map from which the country has been disconnected since 2004. Despite the end of the civil conflict in 2009, post-war Sri Lanka has entirely neglected or not acceded to any of the disarmament conventions or treaties which were initiated by the United Nations or by Civil Society initiatives. more..

Colombo Society, Colombo Businessmen and Presidential election

Dec 27 (DM) This columnist decided to share with readers the views of a very experienced political campaigner about how Colombo Society (what he likes to call the Cinnamon Garden Crowd) and the big wig Colombo businessmen, view the current presidential campaign and their vote. The seasoned campaigner expressing these views has, since the 1970s, seen many elections. He has worked at a senior level for both the Govt more..

SLMC's delay good for alternate Muslim parties

Dec 27 (CT) The longer the SLMC delays its decision to support either of the main candidates at the Presidential Election, the more likely that the Muslim people are going to support alternative groups like ours, said the National Front for Good Governance (NFFGG) yesterday. The NFFGG, which calls itself a Muslim based national party, has extended its support to common candidate Maithripala Sirisena. more..

Election law violations on the rise

Dec 27 (SL) Many people including members of the civil society have expressed their grave concerns over alleged election law violations and violence ahead of the up-coming election. As of Dec 17, PAFFREL recorded 358 cases among which 304 incidents were proven to be genuine incidents. Executive Director of CaFFE, Keerthi Tennakoon said that compared to other elections, a very high number of election violations have been more..

Degrees for govt schools’ IT teachers

Dec 27 (ST) With the increasing demand for qualified teachers in Information Technology (IT) in govt schools, the Education Ministry has initiated a plan to offer IT Degrees to teachers of the subject. Education Ministry’s IT branch jointly with the University of Vocational Technology (UNIVOTEC) will conduct the Degree programmes for teachers of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in State schools. more..

Interference by Security Forces in Jaffna schools

Dec 27 (CT) Ceylon Teachers' Union President Joseph Stalin said there were interferences by the Security Forces in the schools functioning within the Jaffna Peninsula. Stalin said more than 69 schools under the purview of Palaly Teachers Training College division remained closed due to occupation by the security forces. "The interference of the security forces has caused great setbacks in the education of the Jaffna Peninsula," more..

Navy extends flood relief operations to Matale & Mannar

Dec 27 (GDI) Further extending its flood relief duties to Matale and Mannar districts Sri Lanka Navy rescue missions are in operation in full swing since the commencement of the inclement weather condition. Accordingly, Navy flood relief teams have been deployed in 7 districts including Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura and Ampara districts. Over 149 Naval personnel equipped with 62 fiberglass boats more..

35 Sri Lankan maids await deportation

Dec 27 (AN) A total of 35 stranded Sri Lankan housemaids will be sent home from Jeddah beginning next week, the Sri Lankan Consulate in Jeddah said on Thursday. “This is the last group of stranded housemaids handed to Tarheel for repatriation home,” Consul General Adambawa Uthuma Lebbe said. The group comprised maidservants who had run away from their homes and had sought asylum at the mission. more..

Day 2: Boult, Southee force SL to follow on

Dec 27 (CI) Having been battered and bruised on Boxing Day, the ball finally had its way in Christchurch. Trent Boult summoned swing, Tim Southee got it to seam, and Sri Lanka collapsed to 138 in reply to New Zealand's massive 441 and were forced to follow-on. Sri Lanka showed better mettle in the second innings, as Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva shared an unbroken, opening stand of 84. The first ball of the morning, more..

STF sent to Beruwala after clash

Dec 27 (CG) The police STF has been deployed to Beruwala following a clash last night involving the opposition and Govt supporters. The clash had taken place after an opposition rally held in Beruwala in support of common opposition Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena. SSP Ajith Rohana said that the clash took place when those who attended the rally had met at the house of an opposition politician in the area. more..

Floods, landslides kill 17, maroon one million

Dec 27 (PTI) Floods and landslides in Sri Lanka have killed at least 17 people so far. Officials said that over a million others are marooned in floods that are triggered by heavy rains in the country. Lal Kumara, a disaster management official, said 980,095 people from over 270,000 families are affected in 17 districts in the country. "There were 17 deaths with 15 more disappearances. 12 more are wounded", he said. more..

Natural, man-made disasters

Dec 27 (CT) Sri Lanka is 'building up' an unenviable reputation of being a country recording the highest number of casualties caused by both man-made and natural disasters, post tsunami 26 Dec, 2004, which 10th anniversary was commemorated yesterday. According to available statistics with the traffic police, the year 2011 saw 2,721 road casualties, averaging seven casualties per day. These figures 'come' in the backdrop of an accident reported in the Southern Expressway on Christmas Day, more..

These men do not deserve public office

Dec 27 (CT) If the opposition can get Rosy Senanayake, Chandrika Kumaratunga, Hirunika Premachandra and perhaps Susanthika Jayasinghe on one stage to talk about their personal grievances against some of the powerful politicians of this govt, they can launch a genuine but serious attack on some of the perverts who are protected by Mahinda Rajapaksa. At present the whole country seems to protest against S.B. Dissanayake for his degrading comments against a woman in our society. more..

CeylonToday Cartoon

State-nation-hero: A clarification on Rajiva’s observations

Dec 27 (CT) As my dear friend Rajiva Wijesinha would recall, I have, even at my most acerbically critical of the policies, ideological doctrine, structures, policy process and personalities of Govt and State, always and explicitly exempted Mahinda Rajapaksa from that critique, except for his sins of omission. As such I have never advocated the defeat/removal of Mahinda Rajapaksa and would have done so only if it represented a step forward, which would have been the case ONLY with more..

Reading Election Manifestos

Dec 27 (CT) Tariq Ali, once informed us that democracy will perish even before capitalism reaches its end. Does it imply a new phase of capitalism with the absence of democracy? In a way it is not a novel phenomenon since in its short history, not going beyond 300 years, capitalism and democracy have not always co-existed. Modern democracy was invented under capitalism, but it has not been an outcome of capitalism. It has been an outcome of multiple struggles waged by more..

Mahinda Mahaththaya: He is like a God to us!

Dec 27 (CT) Over the past several weeks now, the entire country has been abuzz with the goings on about the upcoming Presidential Election, while the media, social organizations and various individuals were expressing their support to either of the main contenders that is the incumbent President Rajapaksa and opposition common candidate Maithripala Sirisena. Quite like a case of leap-frog, one would surprise the other, as he who was more..

Rama or Ravana; political destiny of N&E to remain same!

Dec 27 (CT) It is in the backdrop of only a few days more for the Presidential poll, several areas in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces have been inundated due to the severity of the North-East monsoon. Internal displacements had been the order of the day in the North and the East when the war was in progress, five years ago. Despite the post-war humanitarian activities such as resettling the IDPs and rebuilding the war-torn areas several IDPs still remain sheltered in more..

Friday Forum wants EC to insist that 152 riot squads be deployed under him

Dec 27 (CT) The Friday Forum has today written to the Commissioner of Elections demanding him to follow certain actions to safeguard a free and fair election. “It essential that the role and mandate of the Police and others involved in providing security for the elections are explained to them, particularly the Officers In Charge of police stations island wide so that those breaking the law would be dealt with impartially. We note with concern the incidents already in the news, particularly more..

New Zealand's deadly tag team

Dec 27 (CI) There's a gentle cadence to a Tim Southee-Trent Boult dual spell. One swings the ball away, the other brings it in. A right-armer and a leftie, both tall, sharp and slim. They're each sleek in their approach too, no wasted energy, no vortex limbs. Through the crease like stones skipping over water. By the time the ball reaches the other end, the batsman is dodging a grenade. Day two's Hagley Oval crowd wasn't quite the more..

'More effective disaster management needed'

Dec 27 (CT) A better and more effective disaster management policy will be implemented to forewarn the country of natural disasters under a Maithri rule said JHU Minister Champika Ranawaka. He said this at a gathering where the Joint Opposition Common Candidate, Maithripala Sirisena, met with the tsunami survivors of Mattakkuliya at Rock House to mark ten years since the tsunami destruction. The Common Candidate said that all the families who were affected by the tsunami that more..

TNL to host Gammanpila- JHU debate

Dec 27 (AM) TNL has expressed willingness to host the debate between JHU and Pivithuru Hela Urumaya Leader Udaya Gammanpila. The television channel has stated that that they will make preparations to host the debate on next Monday at 9.30 pm as a special political programme. It was the JHU who challenged its former Deputy General Secretary Udaya Gammanpila to engage in a public debate over the allegations that the latter has raised against the party. more..

Opposition for a diplomatic war

Dec 27 (CG) The opposition says it will launch a diplomatic war against attempts to destabilize the country through the push for an international war crimes probe on Sri Lanka. JHU General Secretary Champika Ranawaka, said that the opposition has taken a clear stand that it will not allow the country to be divided. He was speaking to reporters as the opposition launched a house to house campaign in Borella today to distribute more..