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Maithripala to contest under Apey Jathika Peramuna with the symbol Pigeon

Nov 27 (AM) Maithripala Sirisena has officially confirmed that he would contest under the political party Apey Jathika Peramuna - which has the symbol pigeon. It was registered by PM Mangala Samaraweera soon after his defection from the SLFP. Ruwan Ferdinandez, was the General Secretary of the party. Present General Secretary will now have to step down from his position to make way for new office bearers more..

'No response to our request from SC'

Nov 27 (LT) It’s doubtful whether the Commissioner of Elections too is aware of the opinion given by the Supreme Court states the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL). The President of BASL Upul Jayasuriya speaking at a media conference held yesterday (26th) said a report of 26 pages have been presented to Parliament recently but it is doubtful whether it is the opinion of the SC and added that it is hard to believe that the SC would give such an opinion. more..

Three pronged manifesto for Maithri

Nov 27 (AM) The Common Opposition will present an election manifesto that is based on three main points, highly placed political sources told Asian Mirror. “The manifesto, which will be short and concise, will focus on three main points – namely bringing sovereignty back to the people, eradication of corruption and ensuring transparency and good governance,” a strongman of the common opposition, who was instrumental in drafting the manifesto, told ‘Asian Mirror’. more..

Nawagamuwa to be Leftist Front common candidate

Nov 27 (DM) Leftist Front comprising the Frontline Socialist Party (FLSP), New Leftist Front (NLF) and the United Socialist Party (USP) had decided to field FLSP politburo member Duminda Nawagamuwa as their common candidate for the upcoming presidential election. FLSP Propaganda Secretary Pubudu Jagoda said that they held discussions with leftist parties about the possibility of fielding such a candidate more..

Emerging common opposition

Nov 28 (CT) The factors which are forging unity among the opposition political parties and the civil society organizations are the immediate need to change the constitution and to abolish the Executive Presidency. This includes also ending the rule of one corrupt family. We have seen the results of the 18th Amendment to the constitution. How true is Edmund Burke for us today who said, the greater the power, the more dangerous will be the abuses. Undoubtedly, the preoccupations of more..

Mahinda in dire straits

Nov 28 (CT) President Rajapaksa has taken a calculated gamble when odds were seriously against him to call the Presidential election on 8 January 2015. Intoxicated with power, greed and destined by his fate, the President could not imagine or visualise the predicament he could face at the forthcoming presidential election. For those who believe in astrological predictions, the major Saturn change on 2 Nov 2014 for his Aeris Raasi is definitely not helpful for him. more..

'LSSP, left parties support President Mahinda Rajapaksa'

Nov 28 (SO) Minister and Leader of the LSSP, Prof. Tissa Vitharana said that his party decided to support President Rajapaksa running for a third term because he was sworn-in as Executive President on his second term only after the 18th Amendment was incorporated to the constitution and there were constitutional impediments. He said that sections of the international community, led by the US and more..

A reality check on the common candidate’s pledges

Nov 28 (Island) The intended nomination of Mr. Maithripala Sirisena as the common candidate of a coalition to challenge President Rajapaksa at the forthcoming Presidential Election represents a coalition of political objectives and aspirations. Despite claims by some that there is a need to change the current political culture in the name of good governance, law and order and corruption, it has to be granted that others seem not to be driven by such prospects, but by the raw thirst for more..

Democratic values vs. Sri Lankan values

Nov 28 (FT) The presidential election was declared and there will be two opposing candidates, incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa and common Opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena. It is likely to be that at the election platform of the incumbent President, the point of war victory would be brought in. He should get the full credit for that, but not at an election. The intention of this article is to examine this factor in light of the democratic values and Sri Lankan values. more..

Storm in a Tea Cup!

Nov 28 (CT) Chairman of Ceylon Marketing Services, Jayantha Keragala, believes that the multinational brands too gradually reduced orthodox tea with special flavour such as Ceylon high grown and or even blends with other origins in order to provide more marketable price levels of products. The high grown tea prices would have suffered adversely but following the privatization in Russia and CIS gave rise to an increase more..

Editorial: Bloated fleas

Nov 28 (Island) It is not only in fables that animals talk. In politics, too, they do. We saw one of them in action near the Colombo Magistrate Court the other day. However, this comment is not about barking dogs or braying donkeys in the garb of politicos but political parasites. A ministerial potentate is reported to have put forward an absurd argument; corruption is something common in this country and if the present set of politicians in power who have made enough money is voted out more..

Ranil the early winner

Nov 28 (NS) Early days. Remember that. Keep in mind also that in a 40-day run each day counts and that ‘early’ can quickly bleed into ‘late’ and ‘too late’. That said, let’s consider Maithripala Sirisena’s press conference on Friday November 20, 2014 where he announced he would be the ‘common candidate’ of the Opposition. ffu;%SrS md,khla’ [‘Maithree Paalanayak,’ meaning ‘Compassionate Governance’]. What a wonderful signature for a campaign! Pithy. Easy on the tongue. more..

'I will fight undergrads'

Nov 28 (CT) Minister for Higher Education, S. B. Dissanayake, famed for tackling the firebrand protests of university students with his own brand of fireworks, in an interview , says the only way to make universities apolitical is to remove student politics from them. As he is quick to blame union activities on students who are not interested in education, the minister is also quick to dismiss the inefficiencies of his own system and people. more..

Mahapola Lotto now at your doorstep

Nov 28 (CT) Continuing its efforts to innovate the lotteries sector for the betterment of all Sri Lankans, Mahapola Lotto has launched a new mobile sales promotions motor vehicle fleet, which has already started crisscrossing key regional markets, with even more destinations to be added in coming months. Currently spanning Colombo, Dambulla, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Puttalam, the Mahapola Lotto mobile units, which were only just commissioned at the end of October 2014, more..

Minister implores investors to exploit H'tota new economic centre, Port City

Nov 28 (CT) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, addressing the Asia-Pacific Investor Forum in Colombo, implored investors to explore new vistas now available at Hambantota as the new economic centre, and the Chinese built Colombo Port City as a commercial zone. Sri Lanka had vast opportunities for investments, he told the conference delegates. Further, he highlighted the China Communication Construction Company's Colombo Port City as an upcoming commercial area, more..

Phoenix act the Lankan way after holocaust in India

Nov 28 (ST) It’s time to wake from that bad dream. Yes, we all know it was a hasty decision and an ill-prepared tour which culminated in a historical disaster. Yet, it was not holocaust. Still, in spite of facing an almost holocaust, Hiroshima and Nagasaki rose up like phoenix, my distant memory recalls. Once again it must be reiterated that going with a makeshift team to meet India in India is just suicide. more..

Mathews happy with improvements

Nov 28 (Island) After Sri Lanka’s humiliating first ever 5-0 whitewash in India, captain Angelo Mathews was happy with the effort his side put in to beat England in the first match of the seven match series at Premadasa Stadium on Wednesday. "This is a big improvement in our performances from India. There are six more ODIs to go and we hope to keep improving. We are not going to experiment too much in the series. We will select only the players whom we want to see. more..

Reimagining the Silk Road

Nov 28 (FT) President Xi Jinping wants to recreate the Silk Road. The world will give him the credit, though Kazakhstan’s President Nazarbayev may have spoken of it earlier. Clearly, the Chinese Government is the prime mover behind this initiative. The Silk Road was not known by that name when it was a functioning channel of commerce centuries ago. It was so named in 1877 by Baron Ferdinand von Richthofen, a geographer charged with laying out the trace for a rail road from more..

Unilever’s Global CEO Paul Polman is here

Nov 28 (FT) Unilever CEO Paul Polman has arrived in Sri Lanka for a two-day business visit to Unilever Sri Lanka USL). Accompanying Polman is Executive Vice President – South Asia and CEO of Hindustan Unilever, Sanjiv Mehta. USL has been a high performing business and has a rich heritage of over 75 years in the country. USL has registered an exceptionally strong performance so far in 2014. more..

Abdul Cader threatened by anonymous call

Nov 28 (AM) In a complaint to the Kollupitiya police, Deputy Minister Abdul Cader has alleged that an anonymous caller gave him death threats via phone last Monday. He told police that he received death threats over the phone while he was staying at his residence in Kollupitiya. Colombo Fort Magistrate permitted the Police to obtain a court order from the mobile phone service provider to provide details pertaining to several telephone numbers that are alleged to have been used by more..

Climate Change response needs policy coordination: ADB

Nov 28 (Island) Sri Lanka has already developed a range of Climate Change adaptation options and strategies, but the climate change response policies need to be integrated into overall national development strategies through sustained governmental policy coordination and effective regional cooperation in South Asia. Dr. Bindu Lohani, Vice President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development of the Asian Development Bank said Wednesday more..

Pathfinder Foundation places policy agenda for political parties

Nov 28 (FT) Pathfinder Foundation has prepared the following economic policy agenda to contribute to the manifesto preparation processes of the political parties and to stimulate public discourse. This document will be handed over to the political parties, while being circulated widely in the press and media. It will be made available in all three languages. The Pathfinder Foundation has prepared the following economic policy agenda to more..

Ravana Balaya on Presidential Poll Candidates don't offer much of a choice

Nov 28 (CT) Ravana Balaya said the changes in the political landscape of the country are such that one is caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to choosing between the two main candidates. General Secretary of the Ravana Balaya, Ven. Iththekande Saddhatissa Thera said one was in perpetual doubt as to whom to vote for, and also, it is almost impossible for one to vote correctly. "One is left with the choice of voting for President Rajapaksa or Maithripala Sirisena, more..

University of Colombo wins CFA Sri Lanka Research Challenge

Nov 28 (FT) CFA Sri Lanka announced yesterday that University of Colombo has won the local competition of the CFA Institute Research Challenge and now advances to the Asia Pacific Regional Final, where it will compete against other universities from the region. University of Colombo team consists of Nadeera Udawatta, Samanmalie Herath, and Mario Ganeshathasan (Lecturer in Charge – Ganga Fernando). The following universities competed with the University of Colombo at more..

Call for strengthening UK-SL business links

Nov 28 (Island) British High Commissioner John Rankin yesterday urged 21 British companies on visit to Sri Lanka to promote trade and investment opportunities here, while requesting Sri Lankan businessmen to make use of openings of the same kind in London. Rankin said that rapidly growing markets of Asia, including those in Sri Lanka, present strong opportunities for British businesses. more..

'MR's 3rd-term bid SC Opinion controversial'

Nov 28 (CT) Lawyers for Democracy (LfD) and Lawyers' Collective (LC) claimed the Supreme Court (SC) Opinion that said there was no legal impediment for President Rajapaksa to contest for a third- term was written in 'political' language instead of 'judicial' language. The SC Opinion, which was recently tabled in Parliament by the Opposition, despite repeated requests by the Opposition for Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva to do so, falling on deaf ears, the language, more..

20 years of heartache, then finally, a baby

Nov 28 (Stuff) When I was 6 years old my mother got pregnant with my little brother and ever since I have been obsessed with babies. The day he was born was one of the happiest days of my life. I still remember holding him for the first time when he was maybe a day old at the Cooperative hospital in Matara, in the south of Sri Lanka. I had already started primary school by then and my mother used to recall that I would say I was taking a day off from school to look after my baby brother. more..

Sri Lanka to pay silent tribute to Hughes

Nov 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka's cricket players will observe a two minute silence at the start of their next ODI against England in Colombo on Saturday as a mark of respect for Australia's Phillip Hughes. The national players will also wear black armbands as a sign of mourning for Australian when they take the field in 2nd ODI at Premadasa stadium, pending approval from officials. "We await formal clearance from match referee," more..

Waterworks labourers demand permanency

Nov 28 (CT) Labourers attached to the Ministry of Water Supply and Drainage Board were engaged in a demonstration yesterday, demanding permanency for those who had rendered their services for more than 10 years. They also demanded that they be provided with ETF and EPF benefits. Furthermore, they demanded an end to recruitment through political influence. Around 300 to 500 workers demonstrated in front of the Ministry of Water Supply and Drainage Board. more..

Sirithunga Jayasuriya to vie for presidency

Nov 28 (CT) Leader of the United Socialist Party (USP), Sirithunga Jayasuriya, will contest the presidential election with a view to providing a solution to the national question which is acceptable to the majority of the Tamils. Neither President Rajapaksa nor common candidate, Maithripala Sirisena has a clear policy on the national question, Jayasuriya said. He said the people have become tired of the Rajapaksa regime, and were presently crying out for a much needed change. more..

Presidential race is a battle between democracy and autocracy: UNP

Nov 28 (LBO) The UNP said that the forthcoming presidential election is a battle between democracy and autocracy. “This presidential race is a battle between democracy and autocracy,” UNP said in a statement. “Between corruption and good governance. Between the rule of law and impunity,” “It will decide whether Sri Lankans will enjoy peace with dignity and equality or peace of the conquered and oppressed.” more..

Gulf ministers moot prior assessment of Asian workers

Nov 28 (AN) Member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are seeking to recruit only highly skilled qualified workers and their job performance assessment will be done in the country of origin. The Kingdom has also mooted a plan to pilot job assessments in certain professions. Ahmed F. Al-Fahaid, deputy minister of labor for international relations who was in Kuwait to attend the 3rd dialogue between the GCC and Asian manpower exporting countries, told Arab News more..

Mihintale PS budget defeated

Nov 28 (CT) The Budget for 2015, of the UPFA governed Mihintale Pradeshiya Sabha, was defeated by one vote yesterday. Secretary of the Mihintale PS, Kusum Jayawardane, said there had been a total of five members in the Pradeshiya Sabha. Two of them were from the UPFA, two from the UNP and one from the JVP. The Pradeshiya Sabha comprised of a chairman and a minister only, both from the ruling UPFA. Three opposition members had voted to defeat the budget, more..

'24 Indian fishermen currently in detention'

Nov 28 (PTI) 24 Indian fishermen are currently under detention or arrest in Sri Lankan jails on the charge of alleged fishery related violation, govt said. In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs Gen (retd) V K Singh gave this information. “As on 22 Nov 2014, there are 24 Indian fishermen currently under detention or arrest in SL jails on charges of alleged fishery related violation,” more..

Ex-CJ at exclusive Navy House

Nov 28 (Island) Many an eyebrow has been raised over former Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva staying at 'Navy House' at Kankesanthurai high security zone. Defence Ministry last night said that the former Chief Justice had been accompanied by head of anti-doping agency Prof. Arjuna de Silva. A senior official said that de Silva had secured navy headquarters authorisation for him to stay at 'Navy House' open only to the President, senior military officials and their special guests. more..

'National govt. needs new framework'

Nov 28 (CT) A new political framework, to usher in new economic prosperity in the country, is the aim of national govt; UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said. "It's not about beating Mahinda Rajapaksa and bringing in Maithripala in his place; we need to create a new political framework to achieve the economic progress needed" Wickremesinghe said, addressing a meeting of health workers' unions. The parties had come together on a common platform to abolish the Executive Presidency. more..

China denies reports of setting up 18 naval bases in Indian ocean

Nov 28 (PTI) Defending its submarine's docking at Colombo port as common practice, Chinese military today termed "utterly groundless" reports that it is setting up 18 naval bases in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Myanmar and several other places in the western and southern Indian Ocean. "The report is not accurate," Geng Yansheng told a media briefing here replying to a question about a report published in more..

Court of Appeal requested to prevent presidential polls

Nov 28 (CT) National Sinhala Buddhist People's Party Leader Rathna Bandara yesterday filed a writ petition in the Court of Appeal stating that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has violated the Constitution and therefore seizes to be president. According to the petition, President has intentionally violated the Constitution of the country. As a result, he is disqualified for the office of president, not only for a third time, but that he should be sacked from the office of president with immediate effect. more..

TISL urges ministry secretaries to safeguard public property during Presidential poll

Nov 28 (FT) In a letter addressed to all secretaries of Govt ministries, Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) requested that adequate arrangements were made for the safe custody and preservation of public resources belonging to the Govt during the presidential election. TISL drew the secretaries’ attention to the regulations stated in FR 128(1)(e), which states that it is the duty of the secretary and chief accounting officer of the ministry to ensure that proper arrangements are made to more..

SL-born Canadian MP commemorates event honouring fallen Tamil Tigers

Nov 28 (NP) Canada’s public safety minister said he was “shocked and appalled” after a New Democratic Party MP rose in the House of Commons to commemorate Tamil Heroes Day, which honours fallen Tamil Tigers rebels. He urged Rathika Sitsabaiesan, a SL-born rookie MP, to apologize “to veterans and all Canadians” for her statement that called the day “an important event” and likened it to Remembrance Day. more..