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Karu’s candidacy dream disturbed by Chandrika’s shadow

Nov 9 (NS) While other political parties of the opposition were having discussions with the Movement for a Just society on forming a common alliance before the next presidential election, the G-20 group of the main opposition party met on Friday evening to discuss its standpoint on fielding a UNP-backed common candidate. G-20 Group is the twenty member operations committee appointed by UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to manage the party presidential election campaign and more..

Mangala has the makings of General Vassakara

Nov 9 (NS) While debate on budget 2015 is proceeding as per the schedule, the much talked about topic in the lobbies of Parliament is whether MP Mangala Samaraweera is returning to the SLFP or not. While the die-hard UNPers and wishful thinkers argue the possibilities and impossibilities, pros and cons of MP Samaraweera joining the forces with govt in the present context, the matter has been beyond argument for a handful of journalists, who were among the media men more..

'Intention of legislation is very clear'

Nov 9 (SL) Speaking to The Sunday Leader, left-wing politician Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara assured that the Democratic Left Front will continue to support President Rajapaksa in the next presidential election. According to him, President had no need to seek the Supreme Court interpretation to contest for the third term as the legislation has clearly enabled him to contest for the third term without any legal barriers. more..

The hijacking of a political party

Nov 9 (Island) The present controversy within the UNP over the choice of a presidential candidate is not what one would expect given the electoral gains they made so recently. Less than eight weeks ago, the UNP was riding high in the wake of the Uva PC elections. They had got no less than 40% of the votes in the province and actually won the Badulla, Hali Ela and Welimada electorates and come within a hair’s breadth of winning the Uva-Paranagama and Bandarawela electorates as well. more..

Ranil prefers CBK to Karu

Nov 9 (SL) Wickremesinghe had removed Mangala Samaraweera and Krishantha Cooray from strategic media work and replaced them with his own trusted aides Erwin Werakkody and Sugath Chadrasekera. The news sent the UNP leadership into a tailspin – Dialog earning plenty of revenue thanks to the huge amount of calls that were made to each other and Wickremesinghe trying to limit the damage. This week we exclusively reveal details of two luncheon meets aimed at trying to placate Mangala, more..

'President is playing with fire'

Nov 9 (CT) The political establishment of this country has already hinted at a possible Presidential Election in Jan 2015, and incumbent President and Leader of the SLFP and the UPFA Govt, Mahinda Rajapaksa, is expected to contest the election seeking a third presidential term. Despite extensive discussions to field a common opposition candidate to challenge President Rajapaksa, in the event of an election, Leader of the UNP more..

Hills are alive with the sound of landslides

Nov 9 (ST) The drought came first, heaping untold misery upon man and beast. The deluge followed and, with it, a sweeping landslide. A succession of environmental disasters in recent years has proved that Sri Lanka remains ill-equipped to mitigate threats and save precious lives. If anything, the country is racing towards bigger catastrophes. The Koslanda landslide on October 29 — it now has a Wikipedia entry of its own — is a case in point. Ironically, the tragedy struck more..

Right person, wrong person

Nov 9 (ST) My dear Satellite, I thought I should write to you because there are whispers that you are back in business. You have been seen around town, talking to people and making your presence felt, all in anticipation of the big contest that is to be declared in the next few days. I heard that you are part of Sri Lanka biggest ever manhunt: the search for the ‘common’ candidate. Although he (or indeed, she) is called the ‘common’ candidate, he seems to be quite uncommon because more..

The tragedy of racial politics: Ampara

Nov 9 (SL) SLMC recently passed a resolution demanding a separate administrative district for Muslims in the Ampara District claiming that the Muslim majority in the Ampara District face certain difficulties having administrative capital in Ampara and having to deal with most of the administrative activities in Sinhala. Many political parties including some Tamil political parties took a complete different stand on the matter and more..

Stephen Fleming promotes cricket ties in SL

Nov 9 (Island) Cricket Live Foundation is delighted to host visiting New Zealand Minister Nathan Guy and cricketing great Stephen Fleming at its facility at Moratuwa, Cricket Live founder Alex Reese says. Reese runs the Cricket Live Foundation, an organisation operated in partnership with the Merrill J. Fernando Charitable Foundation. Sir Richard Hadlee, Patron of the Cricket Live Foundation is also involved in the initiative which aims to provide disadvantaged children more..

Britannia explores Sri Lankan re-entry

Nov 9 (ST) Britannia Industries, an Indian food-products corporation based in Kolkata is aiming to return to the Sri Lankan market. “We had a presence in Sri Lanka some years ago and now we are planning a re-entry. The fundamentals of the economy are great. That’s what attracts us,” Manjunath Desai, company Vice President Strategy and Business Development said. The company had decided to withdraw from the operations in SL a few years ago as they were not found to be viable. more..

Tax burden weighs heavily on citizens

Nov 9 (CT) The bulk of the country's tax burden continues to weigh heavily on ordinary citizens, especially the poor, a trend that needs to change, a taxation expert said. "The applicable ratios of taxes in Sri Lanka need to change in order to ensure a fair distribution of wealth," Tax Consultant Suresh Perera said. He pointed out that of the tax revenues proposed for 2015, 78% was to be collected from indirect taxes and 22% from direct taxes. more..

Brandix to inspire Sri J’pura University’s entrepreneurial pool

Nov 9 (ST) The Brandix Group has pledged to support efforts by the University of Sri Jayewardenepura to stimulate invention and innovation as one of the initiatives of the latter’s World Class University Project. As a first step in this partnership, the Brandix-led start-up seed accelerator Disrupt Unlimited accepted an invitation to be one of the presenters at a recent workshop organised by the University at which selected inventors who have commercialised their more..

Good time to mull consolidating the insurance sector, CB Governor says

Nov 9 (ST) With Sri Lanka’s Non Bank Financial Institutions (NBFI) sector consolidation nearing completion, the time has come to consider a similar move in the insurance sector, Nivard Cabraal, Governor Central Bank (CB) says. “Now that we have a good body of knowledge built with the experience in consolidating the NBFI sector, it’s a good time to consider consolidation in the insurance sector,” he told the Business Times in a recent interview. more..

‘Sri Lanka's international borrowing costs are not declining’

Nov 9 (Island) Govt first raised international debt through bonds in Oct 2007. Since then several international bonds have been issued to feed the govt's twin demands: financing its spending and propping up foreign reserves. While this trend of foreign borrowing is on the rise, what is happening to the cost of borrowing? And what is the prognosis for the future? Govt & media created perception that SL's borrowing costs have declined. more..

JHU undecided

Nov 9 (SL) JHU says it has not taken a final decision on the Presidential elections as it is still awaiting a response from the Govt to JHU proposals. JHU MP Udaya Gammanpila said there JHU do not press the Govt to receive a response for the set of proposals since the date for the Presidential election has not been declared yet. “Govt has appointed a committee comprising Ministers Nimal Siripala De Silva, Susil Premajayanth, Dullas Alahapperuma, Champika Ranawaka and myself to discuss more..

India vs Sri Lanka: Identity crisis

Nov 9 (IE) Roger Wijesuriya’s Cricinfo profile page describes him as someone with “a claim to being the most toothless bowler in Test history”. With a bowling average of 294, it’s plausible the former left-arm spinner, who is interestingly now Sri Lanka’s spin bowling coach, must have been used to such questions as — to put it crassly — “What are you doing here?” Which was more or less what a rather direct journalist, who wanted to know why Angelo Mathews didn’t show up for the pre-match more..

Sri Lanka shuffle squad for final two ODIs

Nov 9 (CI) Four Sri Lanka players, including Kumar Sangakkara, will be replaced in the squad for the two final ODIs against India, as the selectors seek to test fringe players with the World Cup on the horizon. Dhammika Prasad, Suraj Randiv, Upul Tharanga and Sangakkara will be withdrawn after the third ODI, and Eranga, Thirimanne, Chandimal and Ajantha Mendis will enter the squad in their stead. more..

'No excuses for our poor outings'

Nov 9 (DH) Sri Lanka fielded their spin bowling coach Roger Wijesuriya to face the media and the former left-arm spinner said there was no excuse for the manner of defeats they have suffered in the first two matches. “Before this tour we had a bit of time for the English tour and the boys got on more with the physical aspect of their game,” he began here on Saturday. “At the same time the West Indies ‘A’ side was coming and we wanted to give the chance to others and that’s when we got an invitation more..

Police complete probe on landslide

Nov 9 (SL) Police investigations into the recent landslide in Haldemulla have been completed, according to the police. SSP Ajith Rohana said that 19 statements had been recorded including that of the GA Badulla, Former GA Badulla, Haldemulla Divisional Secretary, experts on landslides at the National Building Research Organisation (NBRO), the Grama Seva Niladhary, Estate Superintendent, the villagers, disaster management officers of the Haldemulla Divisional Secretariat and more..

ECJ to review lifting of LTTE ban before 15 Jan

Nov 9 (CT) The next hearing on the annulling of the restrictions imposed on the LTTE at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) will take place before 15 January 2015, according the French Ambassador, Jean-Paul Monchau. The French Envoy said before 15 January, the matter will be reviewed and brought forth in Brussels. He added, that annulling of the restrictions on the LTTE is the decision of the ECJ at the moment. more..

First-ever Sri Lanka travel guide in Arabic relaunched on popular demand

Nov 9 (Zawya) With 20,000 copies already being sold out and in response to constant demand for more copies, the first-ever Arabic language travel guidebook titled - 'Sri Lanka: The Most Beautiful Island in the World' is being re-launched for the benefit of potential tourists and the travel trade across the region. The guidebook, a labour of love* by Emirati serial entrepreneur Ms. Heba Al Mansoori, Founder and CEO of marketing communications agency BIZ COM and more..

October roar: 1,000 new mobikes a day as registrations soar

Nov 9 (ST) More than 1,000 motorcycles were registered every day with the Motor Traffic Department last month, showing a roaring increase in the number of registrations, officials said. Motor Traffic Department Director General S.H. Harischandra said that last month 35,614 motorcycles were registered compared to 24,437 bikes in the previous month. “We expect that there will be more than 150,000 registrations of bikes in the coming months,” he said. more..

Polls on Jan 2; search for Opp. common candidate intensifies

Nov 9 (ST) With the presidential elections advanced to January 2 next year to facilitate the Sri Lanka visit by Pope Francis, the UNP is still in search of a ‘common candidate.’ The task of finding one and forming a ‘common front’ has fallen on former UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickrema, now a Working Committee member and close confidant of national leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. He is now conducting talks with different more..

NGOs slam Australia over Sri Lanka

Nov 9 (SL) Human Rights Groups and NGOs have, in a joint report submitted to the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT), accused Australia of failing to protect even legitimate Sri Lankan asylum seekers. The report, endorsed in whole or in part by 77 NGOs, was submitted to CAT which is currently meeting in Geneva and considering Australia’s compliance to international laws dealing with torture. The report notes that the Australian Govt’s lack of commitment to core human rights more..

I have helicopters – Sajin

Nov 9 (CT) Monitoring MP for External Affairs, Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, Friday invited Opposition members who are levelling accusations against him to come and have a look at his assets. "I am openly inviting anyone to come. I am open, my assets are open and my dealings are transparent and I have nothing to hide," he said. He said this in response to UNP Members accusing the govt in Parliament that Mihin Air served several key politicians in the govt to line up their pockets. more..

Presidents third term bid : SC opinion not binding - BASL

Nov 9 (Island) Supreme Court (SC) was not bound to give a ruling on President Rajapaksa’s reference seeking a determination on whether he was eligible to seek re-election for a third term, nor is its opinion binding, says the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL). BASL President Upul Jayasuriya said that in the event the SC ruled that Rajapaksa could bid for a third term they could at the time he declared his candidature more..

Uma Oya tunnel being dugout 100 M below Koslanda

Nov 9 (CT) A tunnel being dug 100 metres below the Koslanda hills, where the recent landslide tragedy took place, may be the cause of the tragedy, environmentalists inferred. This tunnel will divert Mahaweli waters from Kirindi Oya to the Moneragala, Badulla and Hambantota Districts under the Rs 80 billion multipurpose Uma Oya Hydro Electric Power and Irrigation Project. Environmentalists, Prasad Ambalanyaya and Ravindra Kairyawasam from the more..

Move against nuclear catastrophe: EAM clueless

Nov 9 (ST) The External Affairs Ministry was unaware that a joint statement was being presented to the UN First Committee on the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons use — as the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN in New York had not brought it to the notice of the Ministry, authoritative sources said. They also said no country had approached or lobbied Sri Lanka to sign the joint statement, which had been endorsed by 155 states — excluding Sri Lanka more..

Poll advanced to Jan 2, common candidate CBK or Ranil

Nov 9 (ST) As presidential election fever continues to mount, a series of dramatic and significant political developments were the major highlights this week. Date of the polls has now been advanced to Jan 2 instead of Jan 8 next year. This is to give more time for preparations for the three-day visit of Pope Francis beginning Jan 13. Govt believes this will influence the Vatican to keep the visit on schedule. more..

Stamp out the wastage

Oct 9 (CT) Barely a week after presenting what has been described as a very people-friendly budget, govt went back to Parliament asking for more money to fulfil its impressive promises. Cabinet members rushed to defend the measure and Opposition jumped up and down with glee. But this is no laughing matter. For the amount that govt requires is a whopping Rs 356 billion. In addition, govt sought Parliament's permission to increase its borrowing limit by another extraordinary Rs 440 billion. more..

Why can’t Lankans keep to a constitution?

Oct 9 (Island) It is a long-standing joke that anyone who wants to peruse Sri Lanka’s Constitution is referred to the "periodicals" section of the Library. This is because since 1932 this Island nation of 25,000 square miles has had four different constitutions, and the current one has been amended over twenty times. As this is not intended to be a history lesson, the salient features of the previous constitutions will only be summarized. Donoughmore Constitution more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Oct 9 (ST) The boisterous ‘elephant’ Rajahs might have been offloaded by the national airline’s captain who was rightly concerned about the safety of the flight from Colombo to London and the convenience of the other passengers. But in London where the elephant herd cannot be corralled what with their donations to dear Cameron’s party, the Rajahs once more boarded a Sri Lankan Airlines aircraft. more..

Praba could have been CM says TULF

Oct 9 (CG) TULF Secretary General V Anandasangaree today blamed the media saying they failed to carry his message to the Tamil people in the North and East during the war which eventually resulted in most of them being misled and lives being lost. Anandasangaree, who was very critical of the LTTE and pushed for an end to the war, said that if his voice was given enough publicity in the north then today even slain LTTE leader more..

'JVP not party to common candidate program'

Oct 9 (NS) JVP pooh-poohed the news items that they will join in a common platform to select a common candidate at the Presidential election. DNA MP Sunil Handunneththi said they had not given any green light to join such a “political program” with any political party or an organization. “Whole country knows that we are in a completely different move on a possible presidential election. How can someone call upon us to discuss more..

‘Enact laws to make recommendations of HRCSL and Ombudsman legally binding’

Oct 9 (Island) UNP proposed that Parliament should devise a new mechanism or bring about laws to make recommendations of Human Rights Commission of SL (HRSL) and Ombudsman legally binding. UNP MP Ajith P. Perera opening the committee stage debate on budget 2015 under the expenditure heads of the Ministry of Public Administration said that both HCRSL and Ombudsman had become ‘toothless’ tigers. more..

Govt urged to invest more in public transport

Oct 9 (NS) Transport experts warn that the encouragement given to private transport would be detrimental for the country’s public transport sector. Senior Lecturer at the Colombo University and expert on Public Transportation, Dr. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan said that the Govt should focus on investing more in public transportation systems rather than encouraging the usage of private motor vehicles in the country. more..

'Majority of Lankan students are outstanding'

Oct 9 (CT) Visiting Vice Chancellor of Monash University, Malaysia, Prof. Helen Bartlett, said yesterday a majority of the Sri Lanka students studying at heruniversity were simply outstanding in their academic performances and that they were aspiring for leadership positions."Sri Lankan students are visible and forthcoming. Some of them were outstanding, but they have issues in adjusting themselves to new environment," more..

Sri Lanka pushes for UN holiday for Vesak

Oct 9 (ST) Sri Lanka is leading an effort to have Vesak declared a full-fledged UN holiday. Proposal will first go before Administrative and Budgetary Committee and finally before 193 member General Assembly, the highest policy making body at the UN, for approval. Currently, the UN annually commemorates a Day of National Observance for Vesak, move that was successfully initiated by former FM Lakshman Kadirgamar more..


Oct 9 (CT) Observing the strengthening of ties between SL and China, French Ambassador Jean-Paul Monchau said even though China was fast emerging as a First World power protagonist on the world's stage, SL should maintain good relationships with all countries and should 'not put all their eggs in one basket'. "SL should build good relationships with other nations too and I would say, 'not put all their eggs in the same basket'. more..