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Stones pelted at UNP organizer's house when CBK was having dinner

Dec 27 (AM) UPFA supporters pelted stones at Beruwala UNP Organizer Iftikar Jameel’s residence in Beruwala yesterday when former President Chandrika Kumaratunga was having dinner inside the house, an opposition spokesman said. Former President visited Beruwala to take part in the election rally organized by the Common Opposition to support Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena. Rally was also attended by former Minister Rajitha Senaratne, UNP LC Chairman Karu more..

Ten foreigners rescued from Wasgamuwa National Park

Dec 27 (Island) Ten foreign tourists who had gone to watch elephants in the Wasgamuwa national park in Matale were rescued by the officials attached to the Disaster Management Ministry on Thursday. Deputy Director Pradeep Kodippily said though some parts of the Matale were in danger of possible earth-slips, so far no landslide tragedy had been reported. But due to the continuous heavy rainfall experienced some areas, especially Wasgamuwa area of Matale had been devastated. more..

'Many are deaf and blind to opposition misdeeds'

Dec 27 (Island) Those who talked about good governance and criticised the govt at every turn were blind to violence and irregularities committed by their own camp, UPFA charged. Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said that a gang from Sirikotha attacked protesters who held a peaceful protest opposite the organisation, but a section of the media and other organisations who always shouted against the govt were silent on more..

Investigation on non-arrest of Muthuhettigama

Dec 27 (DM) Police Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has launched an investigation as to why deputy minister Nishantha Muthuhettigama was not arrested following a claim by an individual that he informed the 119 call centre. Police Chief N.K. Ilangakoon had ordered the SIU to investigate whether the 119 call centre had dispatched the message to responsible officials and if so why he was not arrested by any police station. Police said if certain officials had overlooked their service, more..

Group of artistes pledges support to Sirisena

Dec 27 (Island) A group of artistes pledged support to opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena at a recent press conference held at New Democratic Front headquarters. Among those who attended the briefing were Prof. Sarath Wijesuriya, Prof Ratnasiri Arangala, Dr. W.A. Abeysinghe, Gunasena Withana, Karunaratne Amarasinghe, Sirisena Withanage, Kamal Perera, Bobi B Botheju, Mohan Raj Madawala, Suda Raj, Nasona Mirasa, Rsheed Haleel, Saman Chandranath more..

'No more ethnic or religious conflicts'

Dec 27 (Island) President Rajapaksa ran a govt bullying his ministers and party leaders in the cabinet. No one dared to cross him fearing the files. Even institutions of good governance and legal bodies were brought under his spell, common opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena. He said "We will however re-establish a country where all are free to perform their duties and equal before the law". more..

Maithripala spins fairy-tale promises

Dec 28 (SO) NDF candidate for the upcoming Presidential election, Maithripala Sirisena is playing the role of Santa Claus this Christmas season by making impractical promises which no human being could fulfill. The most notable is to increase the salaries of public servants by Rs. 10,000 each - the identical election pledge made by NDF candidate Sarath Fonseka at the last Presidential election in 2010. Among the other fairy-tale promises in Maithripala's 'dream' manifesto is to pay more..

Bring these foolish desperadoes to heel!

Dec 28 (SL) A midst the end of year mood for merriment and the excitement of the hustings for the presidential election, there lurks the fear of a deluge that can spell disaster for a great many, particularly the lesser privileged of the country. This is a challenge that will be carried over to the New Year and there is the obvious call to all who can help, to devote themselves to meet this challenge. It is a challenge particularly to the govt and govt officials who have by virtue of their office are more..

'Development drive in Batticaloa pays dividends'

Dec 28 (SO) "Poverty alleviation, improving the economic and living standards of people who live below the poverty line will be the main focus of my Ministry for 2016. Money will be spent on self-employment programs, Deputy Minister M.L.A.M. Hisbullah said. He said that the Eastern province has achieved tremendous development in the past five years. People victimised by LTTE have rallied round more..

Campaign moves on secret documents and forged signatures

Dec 28 (SL) The political week began with allegations of a secret agreement signed between Common Opposition Candidate Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe inclusive of some contentious issues. Given that the revelations came from none other than the former Secretary General of the UNP Tissa Attanayake, the political circles and the voter public was abuzz with conspiracy theories and foreign funded campaigns, etc. However, barely hours later UNP Leader more..

Do what’s right, not what’s convenient

Dec 28 (Island) Along with all the depressing reports of the damage done and lives taken by what some reports called the worst weather since 1957, there was some good news published in yesterday’s front page of The Island about what the police expect to do about complaints lodged by presidential challenger Maithripala Sirisena and opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe about the alleged forgery of their signatures in a document waved in public by recent defector Tissa Attanayake. more..

'Present the proof!'

Dec 28 (SL) Many local election monitors have observed grave incidents of election law violations and violence ahead of the Presidential Election whereas some govt ministers have directed a number of accusations at local election observers of being biased towards the opposition common candidate Maithripala Sirisena. Executive Director of Centre for Policy Alternatives Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu said that more..

End this circus of crossovers

Dec 28 (ST) The country has been witnessing the theatrical spectacle these days of parliamentarians and lesser mortals jumping from one side to the other of the political divide. Almost all parties, big and small, have been hit by this crossover syndrome. This circus has its roots, by an unhappy co-incidence with the case of Amir Ali vs. SLMC and Others (2006). It was in this case that the Supreme Court tipped the scales in favour of an expelled MP over a party constitution, more..

Politically, he is precious Muthu

Dec 28 (ST) My dear Muthu, I thought I must write to you because the entire country is talking about you these days even though you are only a mere deputy minister in a govt that has nearly 70 ministers and most people hadn’t even heard of you until a few days ago. I also hope this letter reaches you because there is some confusion about your whereabouts. I am told you are in Singapore even though you should really be in prison because there is a warrant out for your arrest for more..

Boston Lanka: Dec. 27, 2014

Mahinda manifesto bases on national security phobia

Dec 28 (NS) When terrorism was ferocious and playing havoc, Mahinda Chinthana 2005 was soft on the LTTE. Everyone knows what the reason was. In addressing the problem, Mahinda said in his so-called Chinthana, “The fundamental platform that I would base my initiative would be an undivided country, a national consensus and an honorable peace” on page 31. I am quoting from the President’s official website and the emphasis is not mine, but of the original document. more..

Top brokers attend IronOne event displaying advanced capabilities

Dec 28 (Island) IronOne Technologies, with offices in Colombo and a presence in the USA and Malaysia, earlier this month explained the services it offers members of the Colombo Stock Exchange to enhance internet enabled stock trading activities at an event attended by CEOs and selected senior managers of CSE member firms. Lakmini Wijesundera, Co-founder and CEO of IronOne explained that internet enabled stock trading is the trend for the future. more..

'It’s exec. presidency that keeps country together!'

Dec 28 (SL) Monitoring MP Sajin Vass Gunawardena speaks about the govt campaign and the virtues of the Executive Presidency to the country’s development. Q: Your party lost its Secretary General, a senior party man. In reality how will this impact on the President’s campaign? A: In my view there is absolutely no impact at all. It is in fact a blessing in disguise. The General Secretary that we lost was not at all an active person. more..

Home grown war crimes inquiry

Dec 28 (Island) The most diabolical and fiendishly clever policy position that the common opposition has taken is that they will not allow our war heroes to be tried by any international war crimes tribunal, but that any allegations of war crimes will be looked into by a domestic tribunal. The common opposition candidate himself has come before the people and pledged publicly that no international war crimes tribunal will be allowed to try any war hero. However he has given a statement which was more..

The Bar lowers itself

Dec 28 (NS) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka often tries to claim moral high ground and political neutrality. This was particularly apparent during moves to oust the former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. Whenever issues pertaining to the profession come up, the office-bearers and the membership articulate positions. They also speak up whenever they feel the independence of the judiciary is under threat. As they should. What the Bar Association cannot get away from, however, more..

'Violence is not the biggest issue right now'

Dec 28 (SL) Many have observed an increasing number of election violations especially with reference to abusing state power and misusing state resources. PAFFREL has observed many such incidents but claimed that the postal voting process by and large had only some isolated incidents. PAFFREL Executive Director Rohan Hettiarachchi expressed his views regarding the pre-election situ based on their observations. more..

Hakeem’s dilemma ends with more problems

Dec 28 (NS) It is no exaggeration to say that the SLMC, the largest Muslim party in the country led by Minister Rauff Hakeem, is experiencing a tough phase. Several years ago the SLMC dubbed itself as king-makers of the country’s political sphere. But today the party has found itself in a dilemma where the king-making process is concerned. Although the presidential election is just two weeks away, SLMC is yet to make its final announcement on its stance with regard to the election. more..

'You have done well, you could have done better'

Dec 28 (Island) This is a synopsis of the speech made by Eran Wickremaratne, MP, at Tuesday’s Business Forum of Maithripala Sirisena: Contrary to what some believe the present economic regime lacks trust, stability and sustainability. Businesses suffered through 30 years of war losing competitiveness and markets. It was only right for business to have growth. You have done well, but you could have done better. Mr. Wickremesinghe gave you global competitiveness indexes. more..

2.5 million arrivals, 45,000 hotel rooms by 2016 SLAITO agrees THASL disagrees

Dec 28 (CT) Two frontline private sector lobby groups on the tourism industry, Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) and Tourist Hotels Association (THASL) while commending the govt on the efforts to develop the industry, disagreed on the statistics relating to govt targets. This follows the govt, in 2011, setting the tourism industry the targets of 2.5 million arrivals and 45,000 hotel rooms by the end of 2016. more..

Chitra Manthilaka backs MR

Dec 28 (CT) UNP Central Provincial Councillor Chitra Manthilaka yesterday met President Rajapaksa and expressed her support to him at the forthcoming Presidential Election. She met the President at the President's House in Kandy last morning. Associated with the President at the time Manthilaka called on him was Health Minister Tissa Attanayake and other Kandy District UPFA ministers and members. Chithra Manthilaka (63) is one of the two women members of the UNP, more..

UNFPA launches Population Report

Dec 28 (NS) MTD Walkers PLC and MTI Consulting have joined to develop their strategic plan for 2020, which has reached the final stages of the exercise. The Colombo-based infrastructure company undertook this exercise to achieve greater heights in line with Sri Lanka’s economic development path. The past few months have involved numerous workshops, site visits and one to one sessions with a cross-section of people in the company from the managing director to CEO’s, functional staff, more..

Chinese contractor pockets Rs. 410 mln from low standard Colombo Port Terminal

Dec 28 (ST) Sri Lanka’s Colombo South Container Terminal (CSCT) has been completed by a Chinese contractor without following the quality standards of construction stipulated in the contract, according to a revelation made by the consultancy company. Hong Kong based AECOM Consultancy Company has brought to the notice of Sri Lankan authorities that a sum of over Rs. 410 million had been cheated by the contractor more..

CIC to export pharmaceuticals, discussing joint venture

Dec 28 (ST) CIC Holdings PLC is aiming to strike a joint venture (JV) partnership with a foreign party to manufacture and export pharmaceuticals for the region. “This (pharmaceuticals) is one of our thrust sectors. We are currently in discussion with a foreign party on a JV,” Samantha Ranatunga, Managing Director/CEO CIC Holdings said. He added that Healthcare is a core area in which CIC sees considerable future growth and strong business potential. more..

French, Singapore models of managing state enterprises involve professionals, not political stooges

Dec 28 (CT) French and Singapore models in running state enterprises involve hiring professionals not stooges of ministers as the case is in Sri Lanka, alleged an economist and former public sector official. Dr. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan, Senior Lecturer (economics) of the University of Colombo, a former Transport Secretary and former General Manager of Railways, said the French model where the state held major shares and was run by professionals was an example. more..

State workers get ‘distress’ loans worth Rs.250,000 from Rs.30,000 earlier

Dec 28 (ST) Sri Lanka’s state banks have been directed to immediately facilitate the payment of interest-free distress loans for public sector employees with the amount rising several times to a maximum of Rs. 250,000 per year from an average Rs. 30,000 earlier. The directive by the Treasury comes a few weeks before the Jan 8, 2015 presidential poll and deviates from the past practice of the employees absorbing more..

Getting Maithri's goat

Dec 28 (EN) President Rajapakse was the last to release an election manifesto, but the delay may have been deliberately designed to get his main rival Maithripala Sirisena's goat. What ever the stories about Maithripala stealing a march on the manifesto by pinching key elements from the president's policy document, the latest edition of the Mahinda Chintana, or Mahinda's philosophy, has an unbeatable offer. President is offering goats to every family in the north and east more..

Maithri will not create a new constitution

Dec 28 (SL) Common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena will not look to create a new constitution but only amend the existing one. Convener of the People’s Movement for a Just Society, the Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero said that it will take at least five years to form a new constitution. Therefore Sirisena will only amend the existing constitution within the set 100 days, if he wins the election. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero said that all the powers in the hands of more..

In a long telephone call to president malik spills the beans

Dec 28 (CT) Malik Samarawickreme, former UNP Chairman, businessman and confidante of UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday telephoned President Rajapaksa who was at the President's House in Kandy at 9.35 a.m. and spilled the beans on how former President Chandrika Kumaratunga manipulated the joint opposition plan to grab UPFA ministers and members to challenge Rajapaksa at the upcoming presidential poll, more..

Day before postal voting, police-army get new motorbikes

Dec 28 (ST) Police Department, just 24 hours before postal voting began for the January presidential poll, rushed out a circular to all police officers saying they are eligible to a motorcycle worth Rs. 250,000 on easy payment terms. The motorcycle offer was a proposal in the 2015 Budget (presented last month) and was to be executed only after Jan 2015. However after presidential elections were announced in second half November, certain police stations already began receiving more..

Three ASPs on sudden transfer

Dec 28 (CT) Three ASPs have been given transfer orders, contrary to Election Laws, under the Presidential Elections Act No. 15 of 1981. However, SSP Ajith Rohana said the transfers were made with the consent of the Elections Commissioner. The three officers sent on transfer were those who served the Badulla, Trincomalee and Panadura Divisions. Therefore, Panadura ASP, P.M.K.D. Palihakkara was transferred to Badulla, Badulla ASP, A.D. Prematilleke to more..

Death toll rises to 15, five missing

Dec 28 (Island) "The death toll has risen as 15 bodies have been recovered from landslide sites in the Badulla District," said Minister Mahinda Amaraweera. "There are approximately 80,000 displaced in the island due to the rains," he said. "We are providing food and essentials to all displaced persons. We have also provided the necessary funds to the Divisional Secretaries for any further requirements." more..

SLMC going Maithri's way

Dec 28 (CT) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has decided to support Common Opposition Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena as the majority of party members are in favour of the candidate, SLMC sources said. According to these sources the SLMC has held a series of meetings with its party members at regional level and several issues discussed with regard to the safety, integrity and the dignity of Muslims regarding the forthcoming Presidential polls. more..

TNA to support Maithri in Jaffna

Dec 28 (CT) The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is expected to announce its support to the Common Opposition Candidate Maithripala Sirisena, at his first meeting, scheduled to be held in Jaffna on Tuesday (30). According to sources, Sirisena will address his first Jaffna meeting at Muththirai Chanthi in Nallur, where the TNA 's General Secretary and the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) President Mavai Senathiraja is expected to announce the alliance's support to him. more..

Flood havoc: EC reviews Jan. 8 election

Dec 28 (ST) A review on whether the presidential election can be conducted on Jan 8 in districts where floods and landslides have affected nearly a million people is now being carried out by the Commissioner of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya. The decision will follow another review meeting with the District Secretaries, Deputy Commissioner M.M. Mohamed said. He said a full assessment of ground situation was made more..

Monitors get training on polls laws

Dec 28 (ST) Training of monitors to be deployed for the Presidential election has got underway by the respective monitoring groups. Polls observers are being briefed about the election laws and action which could be initiated in the event of election law violations. Over 15,000 observers from seven monitoring groups are to be deployed island wide. The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) said around 4,250 election monitors including 4,000 stationary observers and 250 mobile units more..