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Daily Mirror Cartoon

Two young smugglers nabbed with Rs. 5.4 million worth of gems at BIA

Dec 3 (Island) Customs at BIA, Katunayake yesterday thwarted an attempt of two young men to smuggle out gems worth Rs. 5.4 million to China, concealing them inside five bottles of shampoo. Customs spokesman Leslie Gamini said that the smugglers aged 22 and 24 from Bambalapitiya were detected at the departure lounge, before they boarded a flight scheduled to take off at 11.35 am to Shanghai. They had in their possession 218 gem stones weighing 547.8 carats, Leslie said. more..

Mother, daughter die as earth mound collapse on their home

Dec 3 (Island) A 45-year-old mother and her 19-year-old daughter died on Monday night after an earth mound collapsed on their house, as they slept inside it in one of the tea estates in Bogawantalawa. SSP Ajith Rohana said the victims; Murugaiya Kumari and M. Thushari met their unfortunate fate around 11.45 p.m. Victim had been rushed to the Bogawantalawa hospital by the residents, but to no avail as they had died on admission to the hospital. Kumari’s husband had not been there more..

Chevron President & Asia Pacific VP in town

Dec 3 (FT) Global giant Chevron’s President Colleen Cervantes will be in Sri Lanka tomorrow together with Asia Pacific Vice President Farrukh Saeed for the ceremonial opening of the state-of-the- art lubricant blending plant and the warehouse facility located at Sapugaskanda. The grand opening ceremony will also be graced by local dignitaries, media and other key stakeholders of the company. more..

Sri Lanka cricket bans horns, hooters

Dec 3 (CG) Sri Lanka Cricket board today announced that portable horns and ‘hooters’ have been banned at cricket venues with immediate effect. SLC said that Executive Committee arrived at the decision in order to safeguard spectator comfort inside spectator areas of the stadium. “This does not mean that the papare bands are banned. These are individual horns brought in by the spectators. We will be implementing this rule on Wednesday at the 3rd ODI in Hambantota,” more..

Sri Lanka SEC is on track: Regulator

Dec 3 (LBO) Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said that, they are very much near in achieving targets which were set in 2012 to address the limitations of the market and to develop the overall capital market. “We are very much near achieving our targets,” Nalaka Godahewa, Chairman of SEC said. “We have only completed two year and we have another year left.” The SEC and Colombo Stock Exchange point out a three year market development plan or 10 point action plan more..

Govt has hopes on SLMC

Dec 3 (CG) The Govt says it still has hopes on the SLMC and is confident it will remain with the Govt. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said that talks with the SLMC are still continuing and the Govt would not like to look at the talks negatively. SLMC had crucial talks with President Rajapaksa recently as the party looks to decide who it will support at the Presidential elections next year. SLMC delegation led by SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem had met more..

Greater flamingos return to Vankalai

Dec 3 (CT) Greater flamingos (Phoenicopterusroseus) are back in the Vankalai Sanctuary, Mannar with 17 birds being spotted a few days ago. The birds are back after a year's lapse, said Mannar District wildlife officer K.G.C.K. Athukorala. "They were not seen in the area last year," he said. Only four birds were seen at Vidattaltivu (in the vicinity of Vankalai) last year in Mannar District. Greater flamingos are migratory birds that come to Sri Lanka by end August more..

Tight security on nominations day

Dec 3 (CG) Special police security measures will be in place around the Department of Elections in Rajagiriya on Dec 8 when nominations for the Presidential elections are accepted. SSP Ajith Rohana said that a special traffic plan will also be implemented in Rajagiriya at the time nominations are being accepted. He also said that special police street units will be deployed on nominations day in other parts of the country to ensure election laws are not violated. more..

Maithri-Ranil reject Hakeem’s proposal for a separate district for Muslims

Dec 3 (AM) Common candidate of the opposition Maithripala Sirisena and opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe have rejected SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem’s demand for a separate administrative for Muslims in the East, Asian Mirror learns. The Leaders of the Common Opposition have already held a meeting with Hakeem on the forthcoming presidential election and political sources said that SLMC was likely to more..

'Govt MPs still dream of becoming President; more crossovers inevitable'

Dec 3 (AM) UNP Chairman Kabeer Hasheem has said that many reputed and educated members of the UPFA still dream of becoming President or Prime Minister someday. Speaking at a UNP meeting in Mawanella, the UNP Chairman remarked that no such dreams could come true as long as President Rajapaksa remains in his position. “Many members of the ruling party still hope that they could become President someday, even they know that it will be limited to a dream”, more..

CEB waste oil pollutes No safe drinking water in Chunnakam

Dec 3 (CT) The haphazard disposal of industrial waste oil has contaminated the water table in the Chunnakam, south division, a resident said. An office branch belonging to a CEB power plant has been discharging harmful waste oil without being treated. Residents said the 'speedy oil' was mixing with clean, safe water. People complained that they were greatly inconvenienced without other sources of safe drinking water. Nearly 200 families in and around Chunnakam had been affected more..

Margarine artist Vipula Athukorale's Culinary World Cup win

Dec 3 (BBC) Vipula Athukorale, 51, who lives in Leicester, achieved gold during the Culinary World Cup, held in Luxembourg, the same event he won in 2010. He said his winning entry, a World War One battlefield scene, took him three weeks and is made from 20kg (44lb) of pastry margarine. He said he had wanted to mark the 100th anniversary of the conflict's outbreak. Athukorale's 2010 win was based on a Victorian street scene by artist Ronald more..

President meets Uni. Lecturers and Staff

Dec 3 (GDI) President Rajapaksa emphasized that it is the responsibility of all citizens to give their fullest cooperation to the govt to strengthen the economy and the development process of the country. He said that some opposition elements are trying to obstruct the development process by destabilizing the country. President addressing the university lecturers and the staff at Temple Trees on Monday said the country is presently marching towards a streamlined development process. more..

SLFP wants evidence from Janaka

Dec 3 (CG) The SLFP says people who make allegations against members of the Govt must back those allegations with evidence. Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said this in response to a question raised with regards to claims made by the Minister of Lands and Land Development Janaka Bandara Tennakoon recently. Tennakoon had recently made an emotional appeal to the SLFP saying it needs to correct some of its mistakes adding that there are drug addicts and drunkards in the Govt. more..

Bangladesh signs deal to export rice to SL

Dec 3 (Reuters) Bangladesh signed a pact on Wednesday to export 50,000 tonnes of rice to Sri Lanka at $450 a tonne in a first govt-to-govt deal, a senior food ministry official said. Strong output and good reserves have prompted the Bangladesh govt to initiate the plan to export rice. Bangladesh exports a small quantity of aromatic rice, but this deal would be its first export of non-fragrant coarse rice. more..

'No law and order in the country'

Dec 3 (CT) Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera, addressing a gathering at Hyde Park yesterday, said there was no law and order in the country and the Police were violating the election laws by not taking action against those who use govt resources, manpower and vehicles during election time. He said in 1978, the late PM Sirimavo Bandaranaike explained the dangers of implementing the Executive Presidency. “DLF Leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara, NSSP Leader Wickramabahu more..

Army admits supporting Dhammaloka Thera's campaign

Dec 3 (CT) Election monitoring bodies said they had received information that the Army was organizing and coordinating campaigns at which former JHU govt affiliate, Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera, advocated pro-govt propaganda to schoolchildren and their parents. PAFFREL said the Sammabimani spiritual programmes were held in Galle and Ratnapura and CaFFE added that such programmes were also held in Kolonnawa and Kegalle. PAFFREL Executive Director, Rohana Hettiarachchi, said more..

'Missing Persons Commission has acted promptly to deal with complaints'

Dec 3 (DN) Missing Persons Commission Chairman Maxwell Paranagama reiterated the commitment to implement the mandate of the Commission, independently, transparently and to offer reasonable assistance to the relatives of missing persons as far as their livelihood problems are concerned. Paranagama in a release stated: "The Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints regarding Missing Persons more..

Schools closed for elections and Pope’s visit

Dec 3 (DM) In view of the January 8 presidential election, Govt and private schools countrywide will be closed for three days on Jan 7, 8 & 9 and reopened on Jan 12, the Ministry of Education said. Education Ministry Secretary Anura Dissanayake said first school term for 2015 would begin on Jan 5 and function on the 6th as well before the three-day closure. He said the reason for the closure was that the schools, the principals and the teachers would be engaged in election duties. more..

BBS slams JHU

Dec 3 (CT) The BBS said that the JHU, by signing a MoU with the joint Opposition alliance, had taken a political decision targeting the Parliamentary Election to increase the number of their seats. The JHU on Monday signed the 'A Common People's Agenda for Just, Democratic and People-Friendly Governance', a decision which the BBS opined was made without much concern for the Presidential Election. The BBS, alluding to what took place in 1815 in the country, reiterated more..

Video: Maithri to restore SF’s decorations and rights

Dec 3 (DM) Common opposition candidate Maithripala today said he would restore civic rights and all military decorations of former Army commander and DP Leader Sarath Fonseka within hours if he is elected as the Executive President. “I will restore all rights and military decorations of former army commander within hours of my election,” he said. Mr. Sirisena gave this assurance at a Democratic Party meeting more..

NIA wants to send a team to Sri Lanka to probe terror plan

Dec 3 (PTI) Indian Govt is yet to decide on a proposal of National Investigation Agency to send a team to Sri Lanka to carry out further probe in an aborted international conspiracy to attack the US and Israeli consulates in South India. Highly-placed sources said a proposal has been pending with the govt for the last three months as the Indian High Commission in Colombo is yet to take permission from Sri Lankan govt for allowing a NIA team to visit the island nation. more..

Bar Association wants Colombo Mayor to remove MR hoardings

Dec 3 (AM) Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has sent a letter of demand against the CMC Mayor A.J.M. Musammil demanding him to take immediate steps to remove the large number of illegal propaganda hoardings of President Rajapakse within the municipality of Colombo forthwith. BASL reiterated that in the event of failure to comply with this demand it would institute legal proceedings against the Mayor for contempt of court and for non compliance of law and acts of corruption more..

Colombo Mayor still silent on over 1,800 election cutouts

Dec 3 (CT) Election monitors are dismayed by the attitude of senior govt servants and politicians who do not respond to letters sent by the Commissioner of Elections. CaFFE said Mayor of Colombo, UGC Chairman Kshanika Hirimburegama and Vice Chancellor of the North-western Uni Prof. S.J.B.A. Jayasekara have not responded to letters sent by Elections Chief requesting explanations for alleged election law violations. more..

The MoU: The same old imperialist-chauvinist charade

Dec 4 (CT) My intention here is to critically analyse the contents of the immediate program outlined in the MOU signed in support of the common oppositional candidate, Hon. Maitripala Sirisena. This is with the objective of establishing how, and if, it addresses the fundamental structural fault-lines of the State and political system that have contributed to the prevailing political crisis. This will come in confrontation with those who hold the line of the “lesser evil”. more..

Deciding between ghosts of LTTE past and peace

Dec 4 (SL) Despite sharing over six decades of independence, the Sinhala and Tamil vote has not agreed when electing a President to the country. Five years post war, the irrelevance of the minority vote in a real sense outside of a number used to move a Southern agenda will become more real than ever. It is indeed ironic that the ethnic card will play little to seek a real solution to the ethnic sensitivities in the country. The credit for that must lie with the petty and opportunist politics more..

Community uplift vital in sustainable growth

Dec 4 (SO) People can work together in communities to increase their well-being, and to make their lives wealthier, fairer, safer, more skilled, healthier and more sustainable, or 'greener'. This - community development - in today's context is a vital part in achieving a sustainable development. As experts of the field reiterate the actual development should showcase in the lifestyles in majority of the community. more..

Presidential election and the Tamil dilemma

Dec 4 (CT) Will there be a Tamil boycott of the election? Last week, in an unexpected move, Maithripala Sirisena, General Secretary of the SLFP, was declared the common opposition candidate for the forthcoming presidential election scheduled to be held on January 8, 2015. Now, it is clear that the presidential election will be a two-horse race between President Rajapaksa and Maithripala Sirisena, although, as usual, there will be many more candidates on the list. more..

Political pundits rationalise their prejudices

Dec 4 (SL) This is the time for prophets in the land of prophecy. Consider the prophecy of the date of the presidential election. The independent Elections Commissioner, the bearded Mahinda Deshapriya fixed the date of the presidential election for January 8, exactly as astrologers had prophesied! We do not know whether the Elections Commissioner, said to be a communist in his student days, believed in astrology or not but the political grapevine had it that leading astrologers had given more..

'GTF will take President Rajapaksa to ICJ'

Dec 4 (CT) Spokesman for Global Tamil Forum (GTF), Suren Surendiran, told Aljazeera TV Channel that President Mahinda Rajapaksa, if beaten at the presidential polls, will be charged for war crimes and will be taken to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Speaking to CT, he reconfirmed that President Rajapaksa will be charged under accepted systems and mechanisms, for breaking international laws. more..

Editorial: Damning silence

Dec 4 (Island) SLFP dissident and Opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena is hopeful that there will be many more crossovers from the ruling coalition to help him secure the executive presidency; the govt says it is confident that President Rajapaksa will be able to spring a big surprise for the Opposition within the next few days. Elections are the times when political frogs have a field day! Time was when the UPFA gleefully engineered defections from the Opposition more..

A Kolombian’s worst nightmare

Dec 4 (NS) No, I didn’t even dream this would happen. I had bet on Ranil. No, not because I think he could beat Percy (yes, I am still hopeful that Mahinda would switch to his other name and come collect his Kolombian membership card); the opposition candidacy was his to give away. There was talk of Karu and Sajith too. Karu and Sajith are not exactly Kolombians, but they have acquired some Kolombian qualities that make it easier to pick them over Percy. But Ranil, undoubtedly, is more..

'Momentum against executive presidency is unstoppable'

Dec 4 (FT) Love her or hate her, ex-President Chandrika Kumaratunga is a force to reckon with. Coming out of a nine-year retirement last month, the former Head of State has joined forces with a broad opposition movement attempting to abolish and reform the presidential office that she once held for 11 years. The declaration of SLFP frontliner Maithripala Sirisena as a common opposition challenger to President more..

Presidential race presents a ridiculously easy choice

Dec 4 (NS) In what could be described as one of the most decisive ‘political coups’ the country has witnessed, SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena said he would contest President Rajapaksa at the upcoming presidential election.This is considered as a major turnaround in Sri Lankan politics. It is as big as a tsunami in political terms.Points of ComparisonIf we look at these two characters Mahinda and Maithripala, both names start with ‘M’. more..

Sangakkara's nifty footwork, Prasad's bad footwork

Dec 4 (CI) Rangana Herath played two characteristic baseball shots in his three-ball innings, then took the gag a little further on the final ball of the innings. Spotting a short one from Chris Jordan, he aimed a swipe over a straight midwicket, and took off for the run. Having top-edged the ball just past the 30-yard circle, Herath had a chance to run two, only, he had somehow dropped his bat at the striker's end, and was compelled to turn down a risky second. more..

England morale boosted by successful run chase

Dec 4 (CI) England have earned themselves a lifeline in the ODI series against Sri Lanka - and gained some encouragement ahead of the World Cup - with a nerve-wracking five-wicket victory in Hambantota with eight balls to spare. It was not just that England claimed a much-needed victory that sees the series balanced at 2-1 to Sri Lanka with four games to play. It was that the architects of the victory were the younger, more..

Preserve our soil today for tomorrow

Dec 4 (Island) Soil is a natural product developed or formed over hundreds and more years and thus less renewable in a short period, if degraded by natural and/or anthropogenic reasons such as land slides, fire, erosion, loading of wastes inclusive of pollutants. As the initiator of ancient civilizations rooted in fertile soils, protection and conservation of soils symbolizes a hand-giving to civilization and to life on earth. In around 12,000 years back, our ancestors had understood the significance of more..

Sangakkara: 474 dismissals, 13050 runs

Dec 4 (CI) 474: Number of ODI dismissals made by Kumar Sangakkara, a record for a wicketkeeper. Prior to this game, Sangakkara and Adam Gilchrist were tied on 472 dismissals each. 6: Number of ducks registed by Kusal Perera, the most by an ODI opener since 2012. Five of those ducks have come in 2014. The record for the most ducks in a calendar year is eight, by Herschelle Gibbs in 2002. 4: Number of batsmen to have collected 13,000 ODI runs. Sangakkara went past this mark when more..

Softlogic confirms Rs 3.5B Odel mall

Dec 4 (CT) Softlogic Holdings confirmed an investment of Rs 3.5 billion to put up its latest shopping mall adjoining the Odel flagship Store capitalizing on the booming retail sector. "The new shopping mall will be constructed on a 300-perch land at Alexandra Place, Colombo 7 and the project is scheduled to be completed within the next three years, Softlogic Group Chairman/ Managing Director Ashok Pathirage said. more..