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How come GTF predicts outcome of Geneva probe 6 months before its conclusion?

Nov 29 (Island) Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) had already found the Sri Lankan govt guilty of war crimes even before the conclusion of the investigation conducted by Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). He was responding to a query as regards a statement made by GTF spokesperson Suren Surendiran at a panel discussion on Al Jazeera last week. more..

Australian govt accused of secrecy over Sri Lanka asylum-seekers’ interception

Nov 29 (AFP) The Australian govt was Saturday accused of secrecy over an operation with Sri Lankan authorities in which a boat carrying asylum-seekers was intercepted and all but one of its passengers sent back. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison confirmed Saturday that a people-smuggling boat carrying 38 Sri Lankans had been stopped north west of the Cocos Islands two weeks ago as it made its way to Australia. more..

Who will get the 700,000 Northern votes?

Nov 29 (CT) Political analysts say that the voters in the Northern Province would be a decisive factor in the upcoming Presidential elections. Given this fact, political analysts predict that both, the govt, as well as the Opposition, would fight hard to win the Northern vote. Though the Ceylon Workers' Congress (CWC) tries hard to show that the decisive Tamil vote comes from the Central and Uva Provinces, the 2005 Presidential more..

'No international conspiracy'

Nov 29 (CT) JHU MP Athuraliye Rathana Thera, brushed aside govt allegations of an 'international conspiracy' amongst the Opposition. He said, "We need not have international conspiracies, the govt has already sold every inch of our country to the foreigners." He stressed that the time was right for all parties to come together, whether it be TNA or JVP, to form a national consensus on how to deal with more..

Tragic abuse of social media

Nov 30 (CT) Social media, like anything else in the world, has both pluses and minuses. While social media like Facebook, among other things, has been used to blackmail and defame people, thereby, even leading to suicides, a different sort of tragedy took place in Sri Lanka recently. As reported by our sister newspaper Mawbima, a few days ago, Facebook was also responsible for another kind of tragedy. It was a case of a young man who lost his life, while attempting to perform all types of more..

Reducing the power of the Executive

Nov 30 (CT) It is widely agreed that the Executive Presidency has too much power, and those now supporting the common candidate are pledged to reduce this. However, in doing so, they should work on basic political principles, and particularly the doctrine known as the Separation of Powers. This involves building up the powers of other institutions of State, so that the Executive can be held in check. Such institutions include Parliament as representing the legislative power of the State, more..

Pure air and water a plaintive cry

Nov 30 (CT) Waste is an issue that is generated by the human species and waste management is a growing concern in the modern-day world, where urbanization is on the rise and population is increasing, leading to socio-political chaos. Among others, the matter of the Karadiyana open dumping site should be highlighted. This is a place that has being used for municipal solid waste processing for more than a decade. more..

SLMC in no hurry to decide on polls

Nov 30 (CG) The SLMC will take its time to decide who to support at the Presidential elections scheduled for January next year, SLMC sources said. An SLMC meeting was held last night with the participation of SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem and party members where the election was discussed. Sources said that at the meeting there was a split on who the SLMC should support with some backing President Rajapaksa and others common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena. more..

SEP holds press conference to announce its presidential campaign

Nov 29 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka held a media conference on Wednesday to announce its intervention in the January 8 presidential elections and to introduce its candidate, SEP political committee member Pani Wijesiriwardena. Journalists from the English-weekly Sunday Times, the English-daily Ceylon Today and Sinhala-dailies Mavbima, Lankadeepa and Lakbima attended the event which was chaired by SEP General Secretary Wije Dias. more..

'Project to abolish executive powers in 100 days'

Nov 30 (Island) UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera said that the joint opposition was of the opinion it would be beneficial to the country if a govt of National Unity could be formed even after the next General Elections for a minimum of two years bringing to end the era of confrontational politics. He said that as some print and electronic media reports based on a media conference given by him on Thursday at more..

Missing Persons Commission holds public sittings in Vavuniya

Nov 30 (Island) The Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons yesterday announced that it would conduct public sittings in the Vavuniya District from Dec 14 to 17. Secretary to the Commission H.W. Gunadasa said that persons who had been officially invited by the Commission were requested to attend the sittings to be held from 9 am to 5 pm at Cheddikulam Divisional Secretariat on Dec 14 and 15 and at Vavuniya DS on Dec 16 and 17. more..

More Buddhist archaeological sites found in East

Nov 29 (Island) Epigraphical records being discovered recently from the Eastern Province further confirm that the area was inhabited by Buddhists since third century BC, Director General of Archaeology Dr Senarath Dissanayake said. Almost all cave inscriptions ended with the line agatha anagatha chatudisa shagsa dine meaning that those caves had been offered to the Maha Sangha of the four quarters present and absent. With the assistance of the Ministry of more..

Kasippu use rising but Excise says moonshine

Nov 30 (ST) With rising costs putting hard liquor beyond their reach, many drinkers are turning in large numbers to kasippu, brewed by about 5,000 producers nationwide and estimated to comprise about 60% of the total alcohol market. Police have arrested nearly 70,000 people and seized more than 1.5 million litres of illicit brew in raids on producers and outlets so far this year. Consumption of kasippu, considered the poor man’s drink, is thriving more..

Veteran journalist Mahinda Abeysundera passes away

Nov 29 (GDI) Mahinda Abeysundara, former Editor and Consultant Editor of the Dinamina newspaper passed away last evening at his residence in Dampe, Piliyandala. He was 75 years at his demise. He played a pioneering role in Sri Lankan media. A former English teacher, Abeysundara joined the Davasa Group of Newspapers in 1961 and the Janadina in 1964. He rendered a yeoman service to the News Division of the Independent Television Network as Manager/Consultant News. more..

TNA denies being invited to New Delhi

Nov 30 (CG) The TNA today denied reports that it had been invited to India for talks on the Presidential elections. Local media reports had said that the Indian Government has invited Tamil political parties based in Sri Lanka for talks in New Delhi next week. “We have not been invited,” TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said when asked by Colombo Gazette if those reports were true. The TNA is yet to announce its decision with regards to who it will back at the election but more..

Sea of discord

Nov 29 (Hindu) Recent release of 5 Indian fishermen, sentenced to death in SL on charges of drug trafficking, came as a huge diplomatic victory for India, but the issue of alleged poaching by Indian fishermen continues to be a big challenge. Despite a notion of ‘Tamil brotherhood’ binding them, the fishermen on either side of the Palk Strait are unable to come to a consensus. Still recovering from the impact of a brutal ethnic conflict, more..

UNP PS members injured in shooting: Assailants still at large

Nov 29 (Island) Police investigating the shooting incident at Maggona, where former UNP Beruwela Pradeshiya Sabha member Chamila Ranasinghe was injured in the head, had not been able to arrest the assailants so far though the vehicle had been taken into the custody, police spokesman said. The victim is still being treated at the Intensive Care Unit of the National Hospital, Colombo. SSP Ajith Rohana said that police had identified the owner of the vehicle. more..

Tuition classes, seminars, lectures targeting O/L banned from Wednesday

Nov 29 (GDI) The Commissioner General of Examinations Jayantha Pushpakumara said that holding seminars, tuition classes and lectures targeting this year's GCE O/L Examination is prohibited from midnight Wednesday. He highlighted that people who breach the ban will be dealt with the law. He requests the public to complain about such occurrences to the nearest police stations. Hotlines 1911, 0112 421 11 and 119 are open for lodging complains. more..

Navin to announce big decision on Monday

Nov 29 (AM) Nuwaraeliya District UPFA MP and Minister Navin Dissanayake will announce his decision to extend his support to the common opposition on Monday. Dissanayake is expected to hold a special press conference in this regard. The press conference will be attended by several stalwarts of the common opposition. He will support common candidate Maithripala Sirisena at the forthcoming presdiential election. more..

Cook's gift to Dilshan

Nov 29 (CI) Dilshan opened with his offspin from one end, against two left-handers, and Sri Lanka's plan could hardly have worked better. Moeen Ali was dismissed trying to charge Dilshan in the second over, but Alastair Cook might fairly attract more scrutiny for getting out on 22. England had just lost Ian Bell, and the score was 37 for 2, yet, Cook sought to slog sweep Dilshan against the turn on a slow track, and put the ball perfectly in the lap of the deep square leg fielder. more..

National Bird Watching Month from Monday

Nov 29 (GDI) The month of December has been declared as the National Bird Watching Month by the Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka, the national affiliate of Bird Life International. Tropical climate and exotic landscape of the paradise isle of Sri Lanka make it a true haven for bird watching enthusiasts. Home to more than 400 bird species with around 23 endemics and 200 migratory from India, Siberia, Scandinavia and Western Europe, the best time for bird watching enthusiasts more..

Sri Lanka canter to 2-0 series lead

Nov 29 (CI) England presented Sri Lanka with the sort of run chase that Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene could have supervised in their sleep. It was all so predictable that they might have batted with servants holding sun shades. A single there, sir; would you like to take more runs there perhaps? All politely accepted with eight wickets and more than ten overs to spare. England's 185 had felt inadequate at midway, despite more..

Maithri's brother Dudley Sirisena's lorry attacked in Marandagahamula

Nov 29 (AM) A lorry belonging to Araliya Sahal, owned by the Dudley Sirisena, a brother of Common Candidate Maithripla Sirisena has come under attack in Marandagahamula, Asian Mirror reliably learns. Speaking to Asian Mirror, General Manager of Araliya Group Lal Sirisena, another brother of Maithripala Sirisena, told that the lorry has been attacked by an armed group. He asserted that a powerful Minister of the ruling party was behind the attack. more..

Secretary Defence declare open restored hostel bulding Sri Jayawardanapura M V

Nov 29 (MoD) Secretary Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa was the chief guest at the opening ceremony held to open newly restore hostel building in the historic Sri J'pura Maha Vidyalaya, Kotte yesterday. The school was established in 1822 with 8 students and has over the years produced a number of eminent personalities such as Anagarika Dharmapala, John De Silva and Ananda Samarakoon. After unveiling a commemorative plaque the Secretary Defence addressed more..

Jeewan decides to stay back due to daughter's influence

Nov 29 (AM) After much contemplation, Minister Jeewan Kumaratunga has decided to remain in the ruling party, declining the invitation from Maithripala Sirisena and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga. Although he previously gave his consent to a crossover, he later changed his mind due to the influence of Malsha Kumaratunga, a provincial councilor of the UPFA. Malsha plays an active role in the youth front more..

SIS to sue Rawaya for publishing false intelligence report

Nov 30 (AM) The State Intelligent Service is to take legal against the Ravaya newspaper for publishing a "false story" that was damaging to the intelligence service, Police Department sources said. The Rawaya lead story today reported that the SIS had informed the President that common candidate Maithripala Sirisena would win the forthcoming presidential election with a majority of 59%. According to the story the President will obtain only 41% at the presidential polls. more..

Landslide warnings for Kegalle

Nov 29 (CT) Landslide warnings were issued yesterday for Kegalle District, which had experienced heavy rains. The heavy rains had forced the authorities to evacuate 141 individuals and 128 families following warnings issued by National Building Research Organization (NBRO). NBRO has issued warning for Aranayaka, Bulathkohupitiya, Dehiowita, Deraniyagala, Galigamuwa, Kegalle, Mawanella, Rambukana, Ruwanwella, Warakapola and Yatiyanthota more..

I only brought in Gotabaya says MR

Nov 29 (CG) President Rajapaksa says it was the people and the Bandaranaike’s who brought Minister Basil Rajapaksa and Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa to politics while he only introduced Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa in order to end the war. He recalled that Minister Basil Rajapaksa first received nominations in 1977. He said that the Minister was eventually included in the SLFP working committee by former PM more..

Traitors will learn a bitter lesson

Nov 30 (SO) The forthcoming Presidential election is not merely a prestige battle to elect the Head of State for the next six years but a poll that would decide on the country's political future. It is patently clear that the Presidential election 2015 has turned out to be a battle between patriots and traitors, similar to the last Presidential election in 2010. There were traitors in the patriots' camp some time ago as well. Even the Opposition's so-called common candidate Maithripala Sirisena was more..

SAARC with India and China impossible

Nov 30 (SL) The 18th SAARC Summit ended in a depressing note at Kathmandu on Thursday with the leaders of the two biggest countries avoiding each other and shaking hands only at the tail end of the conference as a gesture to show that the conference was not a total flop. The two leaders, Narendra Modi, PM of India and Nawaz Sharif, PM of Pakistan acted no better than two petulant schoolboys unable to settle old grudges. A flop the Summit was when viewed from the point of view of more..

'Resounding victory assured at election'

Nov 30 (SO) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe says the resounding victory President Rajapaksa will achieve at the forthcoming election will offer the best answer to the external forces using their political clout at the UNHRC to destabilise Sri Lanka. He shot down speculation that he will join the common opposition candidate. "I have never played double games. I have always played with a straight bat. more..

Insulting ‘the common’

Nov 30 (NS) Podu Apekshakaya (common candidate) screams one set of people. Podu apekshaawa (common hope) screams another. We are in podu or ‘common’ days. The days of the people. Common people. Voters, to be precise. The ‘commoners’ have got their once-every-six years (well, every four years, since of late) moment. They will be salaamed. They will be placated with promises. They will be championed. They will be promised better representation. more..

Let’s have a free and fair election

Nov 30 (Island) With the presidential election only a few short weeks away, President Rajapaksa and his campaigners have been first off the blocks and the whole country is awash with propaganda material. Rajapaksa’s smiling face beams at his countrymen and women from lamp posts and cutouts mounted at various strategic places. Before the poll is taken, we will have many more of these and thousands of tons of polluting polythene will have been expended whatever the law on such displays. more..

'Give us time'

Nov 30 (SL) Former Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne challenged President Rajapaksa to bring out the files and expose the defectors if they were corrupt. “The President says he has our files but will not expose us. We want to get our names cleared and request the President to expose the corrupt politicians and cleanse the party. If the President has the files why cannot he give it to the Bribery Commission? Our hands are clean. more..

Mixed yields for opposition

Nov 30 (NS) A week into the presidential campaign, the common opposition, led by candidate Maithripala Sirisena, has shown progress on some fronts while experiencing certain setbacks internally. The major progress on the part of the common opposition during the first week of the campaign is taking an early lead in the propaganda war – which plays an important role when determining the final result of the election. At this stage, the opposition is making headlines in the mainstream media more..

When the intoxicated speak their hearts out

Nov 30 (NS) People tend to tell various things when they get drunk. Politicians, we may say, do better than the average when they get drunk because their drunken ramblings haven’t been just random thoughts and ridiculous notions. The levels of consumption of alcohol of our political leaders and their supporters have gone notches up dramatically in recent times as we are phasing out towards major national elections. Of all that drunk talk, the worse has been spawned out of the mouth more..

'We have yet not decided'

Nov 30 (SL) TNA MP and ITAK leader Mawei Senathirajah claims that the Tamil people in the North will only support a presidential candidate who will be genuinely committed to resolving the issues of the Tamils. He claimed that while several countries had, during the PC elections, promised to assist the people of the North and East the govt has done nothing to help bring in these funds. He claims that even the Diaspora more..

Tissa Attanayake’s discontent

Nov 30 (Island) Last Thursday, at the UNP executive-committee meeting held at Sirikotha in Kotte to welcome the common candidate of the opposition, Tissa Attanayake made a brief speech that probably catapulted him from being merely the party general secretary to being a national leader of the UNP in his own right. The most thunderous applause and shouts of approval at that meeting were reserved for Tissa. In the presence of Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sajith Premadasa, Ravi more..

Game of politics plays on!

Nov 30 (SL) Up until passing the Budget, there were palpitations at SLFP upper balcony. This was caused not so much by any uncertainty from the bulk of the SLFP parliamentary group but more in anticipation of who would ‘do the dirty’ and openly display their ‘treachery’. In the event, the budget passed comfortably amidst jeers Madam lanuwak dunna, Nayaka thuma iwarai (Madam has given a rope and Opposition Leader is now finished). The ruling members of course were alluding to more..

'Will discuss on a third candidate'

Nov 30 (SL) JHU has decided to submit 3 proposals to the common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena. JHU proposals are to abolish the dictatorial powers of the President, establish independent commissions to guarantee good governance and amend the election system to be answerable to people. JHU MP Udaya Gamanpila said that they have exhausted all avenues of discussion with the govt. more..