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Presidential poll announced: Both sides predict crossovers

Nov 20 (Island) Yesterday’s proclamation announcing a presidential election saw both the Joint Opposition Front (JOF) and govt stating that they had engineered crossovers which would take effect in the coming days. Even as President Rajapaksa signed the proclamation at Temple Trees at 1.30 p.m, the SLFP’s Chief Organiser for Mirigama Wasantha Senanayake defected to UNP, while JOF sources said more..

Fresh water: What a damn shame

Nov 21 (DM) Fuel prices, supplies and pipelines have been a key factor in the economics of world politics or the politics of world economics since the 1970s. The United States and its western allies have fought two major wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, with the main agenda being to grab control of the remaining oil and natural gas resources in the region. World economic analysts believe that in the coming decades there will be subtle operations if not all-out wars to gain control of more..

Stage set for battle for Jerusalem

Nov 21 (DM) The Palestinian-Israeli crisis is taking a dangerous turn towards a religious war with the holy city of Jerusalem being in the centre of the dispute. In recent weeks, several attacks and counter attacks by both the Palestinians and Israelis have increased tension as Palestinians fear that Israel is trying to destroy or divide the al-Aqsa mosque, Islam’s third holiest place of worship. A week after a Palestinian protester was hanged inside a bus, two armed Palestinians on Tuesday raided a synagogue more..

'Almost all the officials in the system are partners of this ongoing corruption'

Nov 21 (DM) The once JVP presidential candidate and later strong ally of UPFA, Nandana Gunathillake, in an interview with the dailymirror said he left the Govt as the President failed to keep his promises and alleged that after 2010 the President became dictatorial. Q: You supported President Rajapaksha from 2005 and played a major role in his victorious campaign. Why did you decide to leave UPFA at such a crucial moment? more..

'Back MR, preserve political stability'

Dec 21 (Island) Deputy Minister Faiszer Mustapha said political assassinations by the LTTE had left the UNP rudderless. LTTE had thus destroyed that party’s future, he added. Some foreign elements wanted to overthrow the people-friendly govt of President Rajapaksa and establish a puppet to achieve their sinister ends at the expense of the national interest. Plots were being hatched in some quarters to bring down the govt more..

UN-monitored referendum on Tamil Eelam

Dec 21 (SL) The Penang International Tamil Conference held at George Town in Malaysia’s Penang state from Nov 7 to 9 has demanded a UN-monitored referendum on the formation of an independent Tamil Eelam. The Penang Declaration adopted at the end of the conference said that the participants in the referendum should be SL Tamils living in Sri Lanka as well those living abroad as expatriates, more..

Scarred women seek recognised surgeons after botched-up operations by quacks

Dec 21 (ST) Several women who suffered severe injury and have been scarred and marred after ‘treatment’ from a so-called ‘Age Reversing Clinic’ in Malabe have now sought help from qualified plastic surgeons. While plastic surgeons lashed out at these 'unsafe and unsterile' clinics where cosmetic surgery is being doled out in tiny rooms in private homes, health sources also sought measures to establish a Specialist Register. more..

Prasanna Vithanage wins at Seattle South Asian film festival

Dec 21 (IW) SL filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage’s With You, Without You was the closing night film at the 9th annual Seattle South Asian Film Festival. At a VIP reception later that evening, Vithanage — who could not attend due to scheduling conflicts — was also honored for his contribution to SL cinema, receiving the festival’s Tasveer Emerald Award which honors exemplary personalities in the South Asian film industry. more..

Facebook posting causes principal to faint

Dec 21 (DM) A derogatory posting on Face Book regarding the principal of a school in Nawalapitiya had caused her to fall sick resulting in her having to be admitted to the hospital. Soon after this incident, a group of persons had called over at the school and assaulted another teacher, resulting in that teacher too having to seek medical attention. Hearing of the two incidents the parents and students of the school had decided to more..

Sanga to announce retirement

Dec 21 (DM) Cricket superstar Kumar Sangakkara will officially announce his retirement from all forms of international cricket today. One of Sri Lanka’s most illustrious cricketers and statistically the best international batsman the country had ever produced will play no more international cricket after the ICC World Cup which would be played in Australia and New Zealand from February 14 to March 29 next year. more..

Video: 'This may be my last state function'

Dec 21 (DM) SLFP General Secretary Minister Maithripala Sirisena addressing an event said, ‘this may be my last state function’, amid widespread speculation that he might break ranks with the incumbent regime. “Time solves a lot of things. This may be my last state function. People give power not to abuse it and make money. It’s given to serve people. This power should never be abused. No one should be drunk with power,” more..

Susil dubs Maithripala's exit as a conspiracy

Dec 21 (AM) UPFA General Secretary Susil Premjayantha, dubbed Minister Maithripala Sirisena’s exit from the party as a conspiracy. “They are trying to destabilise the country like they did in 1959,” he said. “In the past individuals who held high positions in the party have moved away from the SLFP at various points,” he added. Over the past few years, Premjayantha was usually seen at UPFA press conferences with more..

'I am the Common candidate': Maithripala

Dec 21 (AM) Minister Maithripala said, in his capacity as the General Secretary of the SLFP, today announced that he would be the common candidate at the next presidential election. He said the SLFP held discussions with a number of political parties including the UNP on working together towards a common course. He made these remarks addressing a press conference at the New Town Hall in Colombo a short while ago. more..

Air pollution and lung cancers

Nov 21 (CT) The transport sector is accused of causing sixty per cent air pollution in the country as the number of vehicles that are in use has doubled in just two decades as revealed at the 2014 Integrated Conference on Better Air Quality and the 8th Regional Environmentally Sustainable Transport Forum that commenced last Wednesday in Colombo. Air pollution is a major cause for lung cancer, according to medical specialists. The International Agency for Research on more..

Split in UPFA: Emotional Maithripala cries

Nov 21 (CT) A likely split within the UPFA was visible during a press briefing held by the party a short while ago during which SLFP stalwart Maithripala Sirisena was absent and the Ministers who attended the conference revealed more than what they intended to. SLFP member and Minister Susil Premajayantha speaking at the media breifing said even though certain members of the coalition have left, they would nevertheless continue to grow stronger. more..

US confirms Sison for key UN position

Nov 21 (CG) The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee has confirmed US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Michele Sison, as the Deputy Representative of the United States to the UN, with the rank of Ambassador, and Deputy Representative of the US in the Security Council of the UN. President Barack Obama had earlier nominated her for the post. Ambassador Michele Jeanne Sison, a career member of the Foreign Service, more..

President opens the Maganauma HQ

Nov 21 (GDI) Maganeguma the newly constructed headquarters of Ministry of Highways, ports and Shipping was declared open by President Rajapaksa on Thursday. The Maganeguma 9-storey office complex is situated at No.236/B, Denzil obbekaduwa Mawatha in Battaramulla. President also opened the Lanka Sathosa shopping complex established at the building. Ministers A.H.M. Fowzie, Susil Premajayantha, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Wimal Weerawansa, Nirmala Kotalawala, more..

Prof. Wijesinha strikes discordant note

Nov 21 (Island) Leader of the UPFA’s ally Liberal Party Prof Rajiva Wijesinha, has in a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa has pointed out the failure on the part of his government to honour promises given in election manifestos. The outspoken MP has warned that an early presidential election would diminish government’s popularity. The statement was issued in the wake of UPFA Gampaha District MP Wasantha Senanayake switching allegiance to the UNP. more..

'I am shadow boxing; Nobody in the ring'

Nov 21 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa while publicly expressing his intentions of seeking a people’s mandate from the people to hold office as President by election for a further term, added that this would be conveyed to the Commissioner of Elections by relevant proclamation yesterday. He remarked: “We will let the people decide. That is democracy”. He made this announcement addressing over 5,000 more..

Court extends remand of 24 TN fishermen

Nov 21 (PTI) A Sri Lankan court on Friday extended till December 5 the judicial remand of 24 Tamil Nadu fishermen, a senior functionary of a local fishermen association said. The fishermen of Rameswaram, Pudukottai and Nagapattinam were arrested by the Lankan Navy on different dates when they were fishing in mid-sea, S Emiret, Rameswaram fishermen organisation president said. They were produced in the Oorkavalthurai court and the court magistrate extended their remand, more..

Galle Dialogue 2014 on Dec 1,2

Nov 21 (DN) Galle Dialogue 2014, the international maritime conference conducted for the 5th consecutive year will be organized by the Sri Lanka Navy on December 1 and 2. The conference has been organized on the directive of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. The Galle Dialogue will be held with local and foreign participation from the maritime fraternity. The theme for Galle Dialogue 2014 will be "Cooperation and collaboration for maritime prosperity," more..

CBK was the chief architect behind the scene

Nov 21 (AM) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who was prevented from contesting at the upcoming presidential election by her close associates due to legal impediments, was the chief architect of the entire process behind making SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena the common candidate of the opposition. Minister was livid at the govt for two main reasons. One was the incident where his son, Daham, was drawn into more..

India keen to resume talks with Lanka

Nov 21 (CG) India is keen to resume talks on the fishing issue with Sri Lanka, but till then it has urged fishermen not to cross the IMBL. Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has asked fishermen to refrain from poaching in Sri Lankan waters by crossing the IMBL till the government works out a solution to the problem and secures the release of 24 fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy. Swaraj, who had a two-hour meeting with the 12-member delegation of fishermen in Delhi more..

Moeen gets England off to a flyer

Nov 21 (CI) Moeen Ali followed up taking three wickets with a blistering half-century from 21 balls as England completed a confidence-boosting win over Sri Lanka A in their opening warm-up match. The promotion of Moeen to open alongside Alastair Cook instead of Alex Hales was viewed as a backward step but England were quickly on the front foot in pursuit of a target of 199 from 43 overs. Moeen struck six fours from the first over he faced, which also included a wide from Vishwa Fernando, more..

MR convenes Central Committee: SB proposed as Maithri's replacement

Nov 21 (AM) President Rajapaksa has convened all office bearers of the SLFP and Central Committee members to Temple Trees for a hurriedly arranged meeting. Meeting will be aimed at expelling SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena from all the positions he is presently holding in the party. Minister S.B. Dissanayake’s name has already been proposed as the replacement. Central Committee has the authority to appoint its more..

Tamil Nadu CM gives AIADMK govt credit for release of fishermen

Nov 21 (PTI) Taking potshots at other political parties for claiming credit over release of five Indian fishermen from Sri Lanka, TN Chief Minister O Panneerselvam asserted that his AIADMK-led govt's initiatives saved them from gallows and led to their freedom. He said AIADMK govt is the 'true friend' of the fishermen community and expressed 'regret' over attempts to politicise the matter. Recalling various welfare initiatives launched by Jayalalithaa as CM since AIADMK stormed to power more..

'LTTE has become strong voting blocs'

Nov 21 (CG) Govt says LTTE extremist elements have become strong voting blocs in many Western countries. Ambassador Raja Edirisuriya, the non-resident Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Suriname, had told the Foreign Minister of Suriname Winston G. Lackin that a section of the international community disregarded Sri Lanka’s progress due to false allegations that have no basis. Ambassador Edirisuriya had presented his letters of credence as the non-resident Ambassador of Sri Lanka to more..

'SL fishermen will remain on death row'

Nov 21 (DM) 3 Sri Lankan fishermen sentenced to death after they were found guilty of drug-trafficking charges will continue to remain on death row, despite the release of the 5 Indian fishermen. Local fishermen would serve their sentences in keeping with Sri Lankan laws. Five fishermen from TN and three from Sri Lanka were arrested on November 2011 while transporting heroin from India & were sentenced to death more..

Sri Lanka severely affected by indoor smoke

Nov 21 (CT) Thick and acrid smoke rising from stoves and fires inside homes cause 1.6 million deaths per year in developing countries, that is one life lost every 20 seconds and Sri Lanka is one of the most affected, said Anura Jayatilake from South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme. He revealed these findings during his presentation on 'Indoor Air Quality Research Findings and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Management in Sri Lanka' at the Better Air Quality (BAQ) Conference more..

Union threatens to surround CEB HQ

Nov 21 (CT) If the circular to enroll 4,800 workers recruited through manpower agencies into the CEB permanent cadre is not issued by 25 Nov, the Lanka Electricity Board Employees' Union (LEBEU) will surround CEB Headquarters, General Secretary of the Union Ranjan Jayalal warned. Union also charged that the efforts made by Former Minister Champika Ranawaka, to make the manpower workers permanent are being sabotaged by present Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi. more..

Business Today fetes top 25 corporate entities

Nov 21 (Island) In an enabling environment where national security, economic growth and quality of life had been ensured, people’s aspirations were growing even more and such further aspirations should be made a reality by continuing the tremendous transformation the nation was witnessing without pause, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said. He said so while speaking at the Business Today Top 25 more..

Chandrika announces her return to active politics after 9 years

Nov 21 (AM) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga today announced her return to active politics after a hiatus of nine years. “I was silent for nine years, but finally I decided to break my silence. I will actively engage in politics from this point on,” she said. “I am happy to be part of this historic mission and I am grateful to all parties who allowed me to do so. I am back at my old home and it is good to be back,” former President said addressing a press conferenceat at the New Town Hall. more..

Rajiva hands over official vehicle

Nov 21 (AM) UPFA MP Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha said that he handed over his official vehicle immediately after receiving a message from the Presidential Secreteriat. He received this message while taking part in the press conference attended by SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena, Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga and several other MPs of the UPFA. "I have no reason to keep the vehicle. Therefore I immediately sent it back to the Presidential Secreteriat", he said. more..

Mahinda tells public not to be misled

Nov 21 (CG) President Rajapaksa today urged the public not to be misled by false propaganda and also expressed confidence in winning the next election. Speaking at two separate events today, the President said that some foreign powers are attempting to destabilize the country by spreading false allegations. President said that he has faith in the public and urged them to support him like before. Speaking in Tamil at one event, more..

Central Bank warns on Yen weakness

Nov 21 (WSJ) The fall of the yen against the dollar has raised the specter of competitive depreciations that could upset Asia’s monetary order, the governor of Sri Lanka’s central bank said Friday. Ajith Nivard Cabraal said Sri Lanka would likely benefit, in the short-term at least, since the sliding yen makes it easier for the country to repay yen-denominated loans and cheaper for it to buy Japanese-made goods. But the governor said that central-bank policies that trigger significant depreciations more..

Poll monitors hard pressed to find funding

Nov 21 (CT) As the nation stands on the brink of an epoch-making Presidential Election, independent election monitoring bodies yesterday noted that, funding to fulfil their observational duties and other important election related activities was difficult to meet. Executive Director of Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE), Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon, said due to various restrictions, parties and stakeholders interested in donating for the cause and purpose were few and far between. more..

Sangakkara asked to delay Test retirement

Nov 21 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara's Test future remains undecided after Sri Lanka's selectors implored him to reconsider his decision to retire from all formats after the 2015 World Cup. Sangakkara told the selectors he would quit internationals in April at a meeting on Thursday but he is now rethinking that move upon request from the selectors, among others. He has repeatedly said he would not play ODIs beyond World Cup more..

Mathews: 'Captain cannot spy on players'

Nov 21 (AM) Sri Lanka cricket captain Angelo Mathews responded to the allegation put forward by the Minister of Sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage that the younger players of the team are not performing since they spend time on social media networks such as Facebook without getting proper sleep. However, Mathews replied that all players were adults and they were given their own rooms. ‘No one peep in to these rooms to check on what the players are doing’, he added. more..

Ranil now has two Maithris says MR

Nov 21 (CG) President Rajapaksa says opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe now has a Maithri at home and Maithri outside his home. President was referring to Wickremesinghe’s wife Maithri Wickremesinghe and common opposition candidate Maithripala Srisena. He noted that the UNP has now had no choice but to put forward a candidate from the SLFP as the opposition candidate. “This is like Tissa Attanayake coming to our party and contesting the election.” he said. more..

Presidential election on January 8

Nov 21 (AM) Department of Elections announced that the presidential election of 2015 will be held on Jan 8. The nominations for the Presidential Elections will be called on Dec 8. Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya yesterday said that nominations would be called for the Presidential Election 2015 will be called after 16 days and before 21 days. The election will be held within 45 to 65 days from today (20). more..