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MR's & Thera's cut-outs, scattered island-wide!

Nov 25 (CT) There are already over 4000 cut-outs of the two candidates, who have officially shown their intention of contesting the coming Presidential Election, by handing over the deposit money, Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) said. "Those are, cut-outs of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Battaramulla Seelarathana Thera who have 'officially' indicated their intentions of contesting as of yesterday," said the CaFFE Executive Director Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon. more..

Hela Viru Rasa Udanaya showcases Army's culinary skills

Nov 25 (DN) 23 exhibition stalls, erected by 23 Regiments of the Army under the Phase 3 of the Army's latest Hela Viru Rasa Udanaya project, began at Kadolkele Stadium, Negombo on Nov 20, showing culinary skills of Army chefs and highlighting the importance of the use of indigenous food varieties among Sri Lankans. SFHQ-West Commander Major General U.A.B. Medawela opened the mega exhibition of food varieties, other senior officers last Thursday. more..

EDB hits China gold with first mainland MoU

Nov 25 (FT) Sri Lankan exports broke fresh ground on 20 Nov, as a pioneering MoU between the country’s apex exports facilitator EDB and China was entered into in Colombo. With the commencement of FTA talks, bilateral relations have also further deepened. “During President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to Sri Lanka this September, he and President Rajapaksa reached consensus to deepen the strategic partnership and more..

ITC to foster high spending tourists to SL

Nov 25 (CT) India's ITC, which is currently investing more than US$ 300 million enjoying a 25-year tax break, plans to attract niche market tourists in a bid to support the income generation from the industry. Sri Lanka last year earned more than US$ 1.7 billion from 1.27 million tourist arrivals and hopes this year would be better. The industry targets more than 1.5 million tourist arrivals this year, after surpassing last year's target of 1.2 million arrivals, which was achieved after a serious data revision. more..

Lalith Dissanayake assumes duties as acting Health Minister

Nov 25 (Island) Deputy Health Minister Lalith Dissanayaka assumed duties as Acting Health Minister. Since 1988 Minister Dissanayaka has been the SLFP organiser for Aranayaka. He is a lawyer by profession. In 1993 he Contested the Sabaragamuwa PC polls and in 1999 became the province’s Indigenous Medicine Minister. In 2004 he held several other ministerial positions in the provincial council. In 2005, at the Presidential election he dabbled in active national politics more..

IDB grant to set up a private school for Muslim students

Nov 25 (AN) The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has given an outright grant of SR750,000 to set up a private school for Muslim students in Colombo, the Sri Lankan Embassy announced. Thanking the IDB for the contribution, the country’s Ambassador Mohamed Hussein Mohamed said it would help a great deal in enabling Muslim students in Colombo to receive quality education. more..

Crossover MPs' seats get new owners

Nov 25 (CT) After the departure of ruling party front bencher Minister Maithripala Sirisena, Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama has been assigned that seat. Dr. Rajitha Senaratne's seat has been given to Minister of Labour and Labour Relations Gamini Lokuge and that of Education Services Minister Duminda Dissanayake will be occupied by Minister Nirmala Kotalawa. Former Deputy Minister of Buddha Sasana M.K.D.S. Gunawardena's seat was given to Deputy Minister Wijaya Dahanayake. more..

Panneerselvam wants all fishermen freed

Nov 25 (Hindu) Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam on Monday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure the prompt release of 38 fishermen, including the 14 detained by the Sri Lankan authorities on Sunday. He thanked Mr. Modi for the “timely intervention” in securing the release of five fishermen on death row. Mr. Panneerselvam reminded Mr. Modi that 24 Tamil Nadu fishermen, apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy nearly two months ago, were still in custody there. more..

Departures for employment down 3.3%

Nov 25 (CT) Remittances continued to be the foremost foreign exchange earner for the country during the first half of this year, despite a 3.3% fall in the number of departures across categories as a result 18% drop in migration of housemaids. The country's foreign employment policies have shifted the country's dependence on migrant housemaids and unskilled to semi and high-skilled categories. Central Bank attributed the 18% drop in more..

Embassy seeks info of SL expats in Iraq

Nov 25 (DM) Sri Lankan Embassy in Iraq requested information on SL expatriates living in various parts of Iraq, due to the prevailing security situation in Iraq. Embassy said it has been reported that there are around 2000-3000 Sri Lankan expatriates living in various parts of Iraq, mainly in Kurdistan Region in Northern part of Iraq. “Embassy learns that the number is increasing as the Iraqi Embassy in Colombo has informed that around 20 visas are being issued weekly for Sri Lankan workers more..

Russian naval ship arrives in Colombo

Nov 25 (SLN) Russian naval ship Yaroslav Mudriy, arrived at the Port of Colombo on a goodwill visit yesterday. The ship was welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions on her arrival. Yaroslav Mudriy is a destroyer commanded by Captain 3rd Rank Vladmir A Cherokov. It is 126.6 meters in length. It has a displacement of 4,480 tons and a crew of 210 naval personnel. The Commander of the task group, Captain 1st rank Igor N Smirnov and Commanding Officer paid a courtesy call more..

Murali throws light on his days of fizz

Nov 25 (Telegraph) Since seeing is believing, the world-record holder for Test wickets goes to a sideboard in the sitting room of his house – open, verdant, yet far from palatial – on the outskirts of Colombo, and kneels. “Come,” Muttiah Muralitharan says, asking for a volunteer. Palm upwards, the record holder extends his right elbow along the sideboard. It is not straight. His elbow rises at an angle of 27 degrees more..

QRC takes part in Lanka summit to commemorate tsunami tragedy

Nov 25 (GT) A high-profile delegation from Qatar Red Crescent (QRC) has participated in the three-day Red Cross and Red Crescent (RCRC) T10 summit in Sri Lanka to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami tragedy. The summit was organised by the Sri Lankan Red Cross (SLRC) with support from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and German Red Cross. more..

Sri Lanka wins IT/BPM destination of the year in UK again

Nov 25 (FT) Sri Lanka won the National Outsourcing Association (NOA) Offshoring Destination of the Year Award 2014 for the second time, validating that the country is a leading destination for outsourcing of information technology and Business Process Management. In BPM, finance and accounting is a global niche, whilst product engineering in IT is a core competence for the nation. The quality of service provided in these niches has contributed immensely to the IT/BPM industry’s growth more..

Govt. offering massive bribes to MPs – JVP

Nov 25 (Island) The JVP asked the govt to reveal from where it had obtained money for bribing its MPs to prevent them from crossing over to the Opposition and to poach opposition members came. JVP MP Vijitha Herath alleged that there were several ministers and MPs who had been ready to crossover with former Minister Maithripala Sirisena but they had been bribed into changing their mind. He alleged govt had offered Rs 500 million more..

New SLFP General Secretary assumes duties

Nov 25 (FT) Attorney Anura Priyadarshana Yapa assumed duties as the new General Secretary of the SLFP yesterday. The new General Secretary, who arrived amidst the loud cheering and applause of party supporters who had assembled at SLFP headquarters, was warmly greeted by Senior Ministers Piyasena Gamage and C.B. Ratnayake among a number of other ministers. Minister Basil Rajapaksa, Treasurer Dullas Alahapperuma, Deputy President Nimal Siripala De Silva and more..

Missing principal returns, but cannot recall the previous four days

Nov 25 (Island) Principal of Hewavitharana Maha Vidyalaya, Narendranagasinghe Chitrapala has told police that he did not know what really happened to him and he had been sleeping under a tree close to Prarakrama Samudraya in Polonnaruwa until he came to know where he was from a man there on Saturday, Police Media Unit said. The principal disappeared on Nov 19, on the day President Rajapaksa declared opened Mahindodaya science laboratory at his school. more..

Opposition presidential candidate pays homage to Sacred Tooth Relic

Nov 25 (Island) Common opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena yesterday paid homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic at Sri Dalada Maligawa and subsequently called on the prelates of Asgiriya and Malwatte in keeping with custom. Sirisena was received in Kandy and accompanied to the places of worship by a group of UNP activists. Among UNPers who accompanied Sirisena were MPs Karu Jayasuriya and more..

Let the people have the space to decide

Nov 25 (DM) Until President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared his intention by proclamation, to hold an early presidential election on Nov 20, a day after he completed four years of his current term, the Opposition seemed to be struggling to find a common candidate for the presidential election that was unofficially announced at the time. However, the Opposition had been so secretive that even the govt’s intelligence apparatuses seemed to have been caught on the wrong foot. more..

Creating a Noble Humane Environment

Nov 25 (DM) Development must necessarily mean Human Development. No development effort can be meaningful and fruitful unless and until the development is people-oriented and aimed to result in healthy human growth This requires optimization of available resources through an Integrated Development Plan. The ultimate goal of such a development plan should be the provision of Right Opportunities for the satisfaction of Human Needs at different levels without undue exposure to more..

'Those who left will be isolated'

Nov 25 (DM) Newly appointed SLFP General Secretary, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa spoke on the latest developments with regard to upcoming presidential election and the political situation in the country. Q: Even before the proclamation of a presidential poll, JHU left the alliance, then with the proclamation Wasantha Senanayake also came out, what is happening to the govt which boasted of big wigs of opposition cross overs? more..

Speaker sees brighter side as UNP tables much sought Supreme Court opinion

Nov 25 (Island) If the Opposition could steal a copy of the full report of the Supreme Court opinion on the incumbent President contesting a third term that indicates its resourcefulness and talent, Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa said in Parliament yesterday. Speaker said so after Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga claimed to have in his possession the full report of the Supreme Court opinion on the incumbent President more..

Gold for drugs: How Jaffna’s austerity is crumbling under addiction

Nov 25 (ST) A three-wheeler parks outside a boys’ school in Jaffna almost every day, seemingly to pick up pupils and take them home. After school closes, some students enter the vehicle and remain inside for some time. When they climb out and walk away their pockets are filled with packets of a mix of cannabis and arecanut. “If you watch them carefully they will have something in their mouths. Their faces are reddened,” more..

CBK - Maithripala crossover strategy backfired?

Nov 25 (AM) With no ruling party MP crossing over during the third reading vote of the budget, questions have now been raised whether the 'crossover' strategy adopted by common candidate Maithripala Sirisena and former President Chandrika Kunaratunga has backfired. From the outset, the former President assured the main opposition party that SLFP MPs will crossover and join the opposition in installments. more..

President leaves for Nepal amidst election heat

Nov 25 (AM) Amidst the heat of the presidential election, President Rajapaksa left for India this morning on his way to Nepal to attend the 18th SAARC Summit. On the sidelines of the summit, the President will hold important bilateral discussions with leaders of the South Asian regions. A special focus, according to them, will be given to discussions with Indian authorities just one and a half months ahead of presidential election. more..

Rampant corruption at RMV

Nov 25 (SL) Startling revelations have now come to the fore how the Registrar of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is registering brand new vehicles brought to the country illegally under old registration numbers that cannot be traced depriving the govt of revenue amounting to millions of rupees without paying customs duty. AG’s Department with many of its audit investigations has revealed how brand new luxury Jeeps either imported or assembled more..

Clarification sought from Sirisena

Nov 25 (Island) The Professor Senaka Bibile Commemoration Association (PSBCA) on Sunday urged Common Opposition Candidate and Former Health Minister, Maithripala Sirisena to reveal those who influenced him and prevented the Health Ministry from implementing the Senaka Bibile Drug Policy. Member of the PSBCA, Gamini Kumarasinghe said that the implementation of the Senaka Bibile Drug Policy had been included more..

Vaas to be sacked after England series

Nov 25 (DM) With less than three months to go for next year’s World Cup, the crisis within Sri Lanka national team has spilled over to the support staff as Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) executive committee discussed yesterday about sacking national team’s famous fast bowling coach Chaminda Vaas after the current home ODI series against England. SLC CEO Ashley de Silva had informed emergency ex-co meeting that more..

Sanga shouldn't quit says Aravinda

Nov 25 (Island) Former great Aravinda de Silva believes that star batsman Kumar Sangakkara should continue to play Test cricket after the ICC Cricket World Cup next year. Sangakkara has said he will not play any ODI cricket after the World Cup, but could be persuaded to continue playing Test cricket. De Silva said Sangakkara should chase one more milestone before bringing his illustrious career to an end. more..

Lords discuss Sri Lanka, LTTE, polls

Nov 25 (CG) The British House of Lords, yesterday, discussed Sri Lanka, including the lifting of EU sanctions on the LTTE and the Presidential elections. In response to a question, Lord Wallace of Saltaire, a cabinet spokesman at the House of Lords, said that the British Govt and others are talking about the best way in which to make sure that there is effective monitoring of the elections. Full discussion: more..

Sri Lanka stocks close higher

Nov 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks closed 0.06% higher with the price gains of Nestle Lanka and C T Holdings, brokers said. All Share Price Index closed 4.11 points higher at 7,239.36, up 0.06%. The S&P SL20 closed 0.78 points higher at 4,045.72, up 0.02%. Turnover was 1.08 billion rupees, down from 1.70 billion rupees a day earlier with 118 stocks closed positive against 73 negative. The aggregate value of all off-the-floor deals only represented 7% of the daily turnover. more..

Attack on UNP procession: UPFA attackers identified – police

Nov 25 (Island) SSP Ajith Rohana said that the Mawathagama police had identified ten UPFA supporters allegedly involved in Friday’s attack on a UNP motorcade. The police, however, had not been able to arrest any suspects so far. The incident occurred after Maithripala Sirisena had announced himself as the Common Candidate for the presidential election. Executive director of CaFFE Rajith Tennakoon has, in his letter to Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya, more..

Ada Cartoon

'Blocking Satana was an act of a fool'

Nov 25 (AM) Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara has stated that blocking the transmissions of Sirasa TV during the special Satana political talk show attended by opposition’s common candidate Maithripala Sirisena was an act of a fool. It was an act of the enemies of the govt, he added, answering a question at a press conference. Meanwhile North Western Province Chief Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera said that the government was informed that it was a problem with transmission. more..

Wele Suda’s drug distributors remanded

Nov 25 (Island) Two accomplices of notorious drug kingpin, Welle Suda, had been arrested by the Police Narcotic Bureau (PNB) and they had been remanded till Dec 4 by Mahara Magistrate, SSP Ajith Rohana said. Dilipa Jayasinghe of Enderamulla and Sinnappan John of Agrapatana had been arrested following a tip-off received by the PNB. They had distributed 25 kilos of heroin with a street value of Rs. 150 million, but they did not have narcotics in their possession at the time of arrest. more..

Sri Lanka to invite foreign monitors for polls

Nov 25 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka on Tuesday announced that it will invite foreign election monitors for the presidential elections next year. Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said that he will, however, not invite UN election monitors for the January election. He said that usually election monitors from Asia, the European Union (EU) and the Commonwealth are invited for a major election. more..

A case for SAARC reforms

Nov 25 (Hindu) Organisation of eight South Asian nations, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, with observer nations, Myanmar, China, Iran, the EU and the US, to name a few, is known as the SAARC. It was established at the first summit in Dhaka on Dec 7-8, 1985. Last summit, the 17th, was held in Addu, in the Maldives, in Nov 2011. After a gap of three years, the 18th Summit Meeting is to be held in Nepal on Nov 26-27, 2014. more..

Creates rift in TNA

Nov 25 (CT) It is alleged that TNA Leader R. Sampanthan had discussions with former President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Sunday going beyond the 13th Amendment. TamilNet reported that the TNA Leader was suspected of making a secret deal of his own accord with the former President, on supporting the common Opposition candidacy of Maithripala Sirisena. Kumaratunga in reply, had told Sampanthan not to seek anything beyond the implementation of the 13th Amendment, more..

Mervyn Silva threatened outside Court

Nov 25 (AM) An unknown man who came in a jeep threatened Minister Merveyn Silva in public this morning near the Colombo Chief Magistrate Court premises. This incident happened when the Minister was speaking to some reporters near the court premises. He was present at the court today as his son Malaka Silva's case was scheduled to be taken up before the Colombo Chief Magistrate. The man who threatened the Minister got off from more..

Food Act needs urgent amending

Nov 25 (CT) The Food Act, No. 26 of 1980, needs major amending whereby the people of the country could be protected, GMOA said. Addressing the media GMOA President, Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said that the existing Food Act No. 26 of 1980 is 32 years old and did not match with today's requirements. "The foods items consumed today are very different from the foods consumed three decades ago. Also the methods and equipment used to produce food products have changed. more..