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Give the President his January 2015 mandate

Aug 17 (ST) Once upon a time in this resplendent isle, a Commissioner of Elections broke down and cried before the public on national television in the midst of announcing the 2010 Presidential election result. The public consensus was that this weak but essentially decent public servant had been broken under the Rajapaksa Presidency, then at the post-war height of its glory. On record, the (then) Commissioner affirmed his inability to ensure the safety of a single ballot box. more..

Editorial: Batten down the hatches

Aug 17 (Island) Today, the people exercise their franchise to entrust some politicians with the task of exercising, for a period of five years, their legislative powers. They have done so many a time in the past only to be disillusioned and disappointed. For, they have had govts of politicians by politicians for politicians. The problem with most Sri Lankans is that they are unaware of their power and do precious little to prevent it being abused by their crafty representatives. more..

Lankan Chefs Guild to train Maldivians for Olympics Culinary Challenge

Aug 17 (Island) Chefs Guild of Sri Lanka is to train the best five Maldivian Chefs at the ongoing Maldives 2015 International Culinary Challenge, to participate in the next Food Asia Pastry and Olympics Culinary competitions. President of the Chefs Guild of Maldives (CGM) Maryam Noordeen said on the sidelines of the Food and Hospitality Asia Maldives (FHAM) 2015 International Culinary Challenge & Exhibition more..

Will Lanka answer the trumpet call or swallow the betel juice mocktail?

Aug 17 (ST) Today we will awake to perform a task that goes beyond the call of duty. We, the sovereign people of Lanka, will be called upon to decide the nation’s future. But unlike elections past, tomorrow’s general election will be momentous. We shall not be engaged in merely voting into Parliament a group of 225-members to serve as our representatives for a term of six years. Nay, our actions will have far greater impact than that and the consequences will be far more lasting. more..

Asian U-20 Rugby 7’s: HK beat SL

Aug 17 (CT) Sri Lanka finished the first leg of the Asian under 20 rugby Sevens series as runners up after losing to mighty Hong Kong in the Cup final worked off here at the MPPG Sports Ground Johor, Malaysia yesterday. It was billed to be a close contest but Sri Lanka made several unexpected mistakes which led to the defending champions Hong Kong registering a one-sided 29-15 victory. Young Tuskers lost their way midway into the game when two of their players, more..

1996 WC winning team to get free apartments

Aug 17 (ST) Wills Realtors, a company formed under the chairmanship of Sri Lanka’s World Cricket Cup 1996 winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga has paid a down payment of Rs.1.44 billion for a 3 acre block of land at the rate of Rs. 3 million per perch in Rajagiriya on 99 year lease from UDA, CEO of the company Sashi Danatunga said. This money was raised through investments of shareholders of Vivanta Associates, more..

Test your own IQ

Aug 17 (SL) Everything is now arranged to raise the curtain. The actors, prompters, stage managers, and the audience are impatiently waiting for the third bell. The significant feature of this Stage Play scheduled for tomorrow is the actors would convert into the audience immediately after the curtain call. Then the audience takes over the arena and performs the rest. This is the usual behaviour of a politico at the pre-election situation and the post-election situation in the country. more..

Voter is the master

Aug 17 (SL) Once again, it’s the hour of reckoning – not just for the divided polity, but more so for the nation’s voter. The voter cannot run away from his responsibilities and hold the politician alone accountable for the latter’s failures. The political class too could not claim the nation’s successes as their own and pass on only the failures to the rest, the voter included. Either they succeed together, or they fail together. It has been in the Sri Lankan scheme that one election follows another, more..

Polls violations around 1,500 but situation peaceful: Monitors

Aug 17 (ST) As campaigning for the elections closed on Friday midnight election monitors reported that they received around 1,500 complaints during the run up to the poll, but the situation has been peaceful compared to previous elections. The number of complaints received by separate election monitoring groups differed. During the campaign, police arrested over 700 persons for election-related offences after receiving 310 complaints, more..

Rajarata to get biggest career and entrepreneurship fair

Aug 17 (Island) Young Members’ Forum of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) is planning to hold a 'Career and Entrepreneurship Fair' at the Rajarata University during the next month to help empower the youth in the North Central, North, Eastern and the North Central provinces of the country. Accordingly, the CCC, recently signed an MOU with the Rajarata University, to jointly organize this event. Mangala Yapa, CEO / Secretary General of the CCC and Vice Chancellor of more..

Lankan accused of starting fire in Dubai jail

Aug 17 (TN) A Sri Lankan prisoner has appeared in court accused of lighting a fire in his cell. On Sunday, D L, 28, did not enter a plea at Dubai Criminal Court as a translator was not available. Court heard that on Nov 19 last year, a fire alarm sounded in Dubai Central Prison. Policeman H A, 29, a Yemeni, said: “When I heard the alarm, I checked the cameras and saw smoke and headed to its location. “I started looking in each cell trying to locate where the smoke was coming from.” more..

Liquor given as bribe for votes

Aug 17 (CG) Election monitors reported several incidents of liquor being distributed today as bribes to voters for Parliamentary election. CAFFE said that in Badulla 67 people had been given liquor bottles yesterday to secure their votes by a certain candidate. CAFFE Executive Director Keerthi Tenakoon said that the manager of the store who distributed the liquor and several others were arrested over incident. more..

Live grenade found in Kurunegala

Aug 17 (CT) A live hand grenade was found in front of the residence of UPFA Kurunegala candidate former MP Indika Bandaranayake yesterday. Police stated the grenade was found near the area adjacent to the residence of the former MP near the Anuradhapura- Kurunegala main road. Grenade was found following a tip-off to the Galgamuwa Police. Galgamuwa Police are currently conducting investigations into the matter as to ascertain whether grenade was placed or accidently dropped more..

Dialog, Asiri in e-commerce joint venture

Aug 17 (FT) Dialog Axiata has entered into a joint venture with the Asiri Hospital Holding to launch a company in the health sector. Digital Holdings Lanka, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dialog, has incorporated a joint venture company in partnership with Asiri Hospital Holdings to form a new JV company, Digital Health. Digital Holdings and Asiri Hospitals have come together to incorporate Digital Health with the objective of developing and operating a state-of-the-art more..

What does Sri Lanka’s election mean for global superpowers? Q&A

Aug 17 (BN) Sri Lanka votes on Monday to pick a new parliament for the second time since the end of a bloody civil war that deterred investors and tourists. The country’s economy has grown an average of 7.4% per year in that time, fueled in part by visitors to its beach resorts. Sri Lanka welcomed more than 1.5 million tourists last year, triple what it drew in 2009 when the war ended. Polls are scheduled to open at 7 a.m. local time more..

Condemn perpetuation of ethnic division for political gain

Aug 17 (Island) Too long politicians on all sides of the divide had played the game of fear syndrome, of national security. In today’s context many call out foul because national security can be and is well secured without trumped up fears of LTTE revival and diaspora interventions. The local north and south barrier still remains within the country. Nevertheless, it is possible to give people a better deal without seeming to remain on the same spot failing to recall the disastrous situations more..

Nepal-bound Sri Lankans held by India's SSB

Aug 17 (DN) Seema Surkashya Bal (SSB), border security force of India, arrested five Nepal-bound Sri Lankans from Panitanki, India, along Nepal-India on Friday. A number of Bangladeshis, Bhutanese, Tibetans and Sri Lankans are believed to be using Kakadvitta border point, taking advantage of slack checking to enter Nepal illegally. Many Bangladeshis sneak into Nepal as they bear a strong resemblance to Indians. Most are illegal immigrants who also enter India via banned road networks. more..

Sri Lanka turnout worries on eve of voting

Aug 17 (EN) Top election officials expressed concern that the turnout at today's election could be lower following a lacklustre election campaign. An official said he would be happy if the turnout exceeded 65% where 15.04 million people are eligible to vote. Authorities are using the 2014 electoral registers which mean the youngest to vote would be 20 years old although anyone over 18 years is eligible to vote, at least in theory. more..

Video: What you need to know about Sri Lankan election

Aug 17 (CNA) Today, Sri Lanka holds a parliamentary election where its citizens vote to elect 225 members of the country’s 15th parliament. Of these, 195 members of parliament will be chosen by the public. Once elected, the winning parties will then nominate 30 more MPs to fill the remaining seats. Two main competitors in this year’s election are the UPFA and the UNP. UPFA has been campaigning to bring back former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister. more..

Election frenzy sans cutouts, posters and billboards

Aug 17 (ENS) Sri Lanka will go to parliamentary elections on Monday, but the build-up in the last few days was unusually anodyne, apart from a few public rallies and politicians expending their throat boxes. Posters, billboards and cutouts were inconspicuous by their absence in public realm. Apart from a few miniature posters, pasted on coconut trees or on desolate walls or in party offices, there were hardly any in public vicinity. You’re shocked, because you come from that part of more..

Sri Lanka heads to the polls

Aug 17 (Hindu) On Sunday, the stage was set for over 1.5 crore Sri Lankan voters to elect their representatives to the 225-member Parliament. Country on Monday will witness its eighth general election in the last 37 years. In tune with SL’s electoral tradition, this time too, no single political formation is expected to win a majority. After the adoption of the 1978 Constitution providing for proportional representation, a party could more..

Aug 17 poll: Tourism alert helpline

Aug 17 (ST) A 24–hour call centre will be in operation for the service of tourists and tourism industry members on Monday and Tuesday for any emergencies, the Sri Lanka Association Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) said. In the event of any eventuality during the General Elections, tourists and industry members could contact SLAITO Chief Operating Officer Wing Commander Kumuda Eramudugolla, on 0777303402 or the following call centre hotlines: 0768336656 or 0767556656. more..

Sirisena-Rajapaksa face-off sets stage for Sri Lankan polls

Aug 17 (TOI) The big story of Monday's elections in Sri Lanka may well be the possibility of a comeback by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. After a surprise defeat in January - in no small measure due to the overwhelming negative vote against him by Tamils and Muslims - Rajapaksa is attempting to do a Putin in the island nation by seeking to assume the recently empowered post of PM. But an important side story is that elections are becoming a routine affair in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lankans to elect parliament in referendum on Rajapaksa comeback

Aug 17 (Reuters) Sri Lankans elect a new parliament today in what amounts to a referendum on ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa's comeback bid, with the reformist alliance that swept him from power in January seeking a stronger mandate for reforms. The nationalist strongman has set his sights on becoming premier of a govt led by his SLFP. But the former ally who beat him at the polls in January, President Sirisena, more..

Vote sensibly without breaking the law

Aug 17 (CT) Whom should we vote? Who is contesting? Why do they contest? Why should we vote? What shall we gain from voting? Will they remember us after election? We have seen for a long time the voters under a mountain of problems and politicians standing on it. They are sometimes referred to as people's representatives. Again they are people's servants. They are the lawmakers too. Election is so special to us because it is the only trump we have in our hand. more..

Mahinda or not? Not only issue in SL polls

Aug 17 (TOI) Sri Lankan voters will decide if August 17 will be a day of reckoning -or not. Pre-poll predictions have widely varied, but none of the pub lished ones seem to favour a return of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa -but then, he had held his course against such predictions in the past in all but the crucial January 8 polls that he ended up losing, and conclusively so. Ask supporters of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and the UNFGG, headed by his UNP, and they would say that more..

Ex-strongman Rajapakse plans comeback

Aug 17 (AFP) Sri Lanka began voting Monday in a general election in which former leader Mahinda Rajapakse is hoping to pull off a shock comeback, this time as prime minister, months after being toppled as president. Rajapakse is confident of returning to power after drawing massive crowds on the election trail, despite the 69-year-old and his closest relatives facing corruption allegations. "This election is about whether you want Mahinda more..

Sri Lanka heads to the polls

Aug 17 (AJ) Voting has started in SL's general election in a poll viewed as a referendum on the political future of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa. The alliance that swept him from power is also seeking a stronger mandate for reforms, as the nation on Monday elects the 225-member parliament. Main contest is between Rajapaksa's SLFP and outgoing PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's UNP, which formed a minority govt after Rajapaksa was ousted in January's presidential election. more..

SL elections: Rajapaksa hopes for comeback

Aug 17 (BBC) Sri Lankans are going to the polls in a general election, with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa aiming to return to office as prime minister. Mr Rajapaksa lost the presidency in a snap election in January to Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena. Four people have died in violent incidents during the campaign although monitors say there has been less violence than in previous years. Fifteen million people are eligible to vote, with results expected on Tuesday. more..

Virtuous vote today!

Aug 17 (FT) Sri Lankans will vote to elect legislators to sit in the country’s 15th Parliament today, in a poll that has become a rematch between former President Rajapaksa and the coalition that defeated him in the January presidential contest. Over 15 million voters are registered to vote at 12,314 polling stations around the island in today’s election to choose the new 225-member Legislature. Elections Department began the distribution more..

Candidates face the Court of the People

Aug 17 (DM) The campaigning or canvassing has ended, the trumpets have sounded and the candidates seeking election to the august assembly of parliament at the general election today, stand at judgment before the sovereign court of the people. More than in any previous election the people have been given a generally free and balanced picture of who the candidates are and what their party manifestos promise. So the decision to be taken by the court of the people today more..

Why post-war Sri Lanka still grappling to ratify disability convention?

Aug 17 (DM) People can be disabled for various reasons. Some are born with mental and physical disabilities. In today’s civilized world looking at disability from a human rights point of view and disabled communities are mainstreaming into the development process. They are not treated as a separate group any more, nor does one engage with them with charity base approaches. But unfortunately, only a very few countries in the world today still continue with charity-based more..

Uma Oya project delayed by Iranian contractors

Aug 17 (SL) Iranian contractor seems eager to go slow on the much discussed million dollars Uma Oya Multipurpose Project despite the govt giving the green light to proceed with the temporarily halted controversial project. When contacted, Mahaweli Development and Environment Ministry Secretary, Nihal Rupasinghe said that Cabinet sub committees appointed by President Sirisena had given the green light with few specifications. more..

PM, ex-President confident of victory

Aug 17 (EN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa expressed confidence of winning the parliamentary polls, and urged supporters to be peaceful. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said the elections were free and fair and met the legal and democratic norms, soon after casting his vote in Colombo. "This was made possible because of the Jan 8 revolution and we of the UNF as a contesting group representing more..

Loophole closed for speeding motorists

Aug 17 (ST) From this week, motorists ignoring speed limit signs will face strict action including spot fines of Rs. 1000. DIG of Traffic Police Amarasiri Senaratne said motorists who speed on the 152 roads that have been speed-marked will be issued with spot fines. Failure to pay the fine will result in a court case. The new rule came in on August 11 following Motor Traffic Gazette Notification (Speed Limit) Regulation more..

Killing of two farmers in water dispute: PM calls for report

Aug 17 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has called for a report from his secretary regarding last week’s clash between two groups of farmers over water distribution which resulted in killing of two at Medirigiriya in Polonnaruwa. Two groups of farmers clashed on Wednesday night at Godapotha, Ambagasduwa in Medirigiriya, where two of them were later found dead. The death had been caused by more..

Election puzzles: Would this election answer the queries?

Aug 17 (DM) Democratization is, certainly, a non-linear process. In Sri Lanka, since the introduction of the universal franchise in 1931, and more often since the Independence in 1948, the democratic process saw numerous ups and downs. However, on each occasion of its misfortune, it also displayed a unique self propelling capacity. The latest spectacular show of that propensity was in display in Maithripala Sirisena’s election win more..

Sri Lanka calls on international help to find former first family’s alleged foreign fortune

Aug 17 (Telegraph) Sri Lanka’s leaders have appealed to Britain, America and the World Bank to help to track down the overseas assets of the former ruling family as they accelerate plans for trials for rampant corruption after Monday's elections. Minister Mangala Samaraweera, revealed that Sri Lanka requested the assistance of several states, including the UK, as it investigated alleged widespread financial abuse by relatives of more..

Issues over ink used to mark fingers of voters

Aug 17 (CG) Election monitors had received a number of reports related to the ink used to mark fingers of voters. There were complaints of the ink fading even before voters could cast their votes. The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) said that a total seven such incidents have been recorded by the CMEV from Kurunegala, Mullathivu, Vavuniya and Vanni. CMEV has informed Election Commissioner about these complaints. more..

Voting shows upward trend: Poll Monitors

Aug 17 (DM) The voting in the Western, Southern, Eastern and Northern Provinces have seen and increase when compared with past elections, CaFFE said today. “It is a good sign to see the people enthusiastically casting their votes to elect the members of the new Parliament. The situation at election centres has so far been trouble free,” CaFFE Executive Director Ranjith Keerthi Tennakoon said. more..