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CB Chief to resign if Rajapaksa wins vote

Aug 17 (BN) Sri Lankan central bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran will find out on Tuesday if he still has a job. Mahendran plans to step down if former President Mahinda Rajapaksa returns to power after parliamentary elections on Monday. Mahendran, formerly a wealth manager with HSBC Holdings Plc, took over the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in January after President Maithripala Sirisena ended Rajapaksa’s 10-year rule. more..

Simmering battle over UPFA NL: Polls chief in dilemma

Aug 17 (Island) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya has declined to reveal his position as regards the validity of one-time Minister Prof. Wishwa Warnapala’s appointment as the UPFA General Secretary on the eve of Aug. 17 parliamentary polls. Deshapriya said that he would tackle the issue at the appropriate time. President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as the President of the SLFP as well as the leader of UPFA more..

Shares end at 7-month high on stability hopes after polls

Aug 17 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares closed at their highest level in seven months in a truncated session on Monday on hopes that political stability after the Aug. 17 parliamentary elections would help boost investor sentiment, brokers said. Sri Lankans went to the polls on Monday to elect a new parliament in what amounts to a referendum on ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa's comeback bid, with the reformist alliance that swept him from power seeking a stronger mandate. more..

Female European drug smuggler still being grilled

Aug 17 (Island) Customs at the BIA on Friday nabbed a foreign national attempting to smuggle in 5.5 kilos of cocaine hidden in children’s books and a stock of paper used in fax machines. Having arrived in Colombo from Dubai she was to leave for Kuala Lumpur after spending two days in Sri Lanka. Street value of the consignment was around Rs. 90 million. Customs officials are keeping a close tab on a Sri Lankan who is believe to have close links with the suspect who is an European. more..

Maithripala removes 25 members from SLFP Central Committee

Aug 17 (CG) President Maithripala Sirisena, as head of the SLFP has removed 25 members from the Central Committee of the party. The President had sent the list of the members removed to Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya today. Among those removed are John Seniviratne, D.M Jayaratne, Susil Premajayantha and Ratnasiri Wickremenayake. SLFP sources said that the President was to more..

Three ifs & four buts about Sri Lanka election

Aug 17 (CT) Forecasting elections is hazardous in Sri Lanka. And the general election held on Monday makes the job even more difficult. The three seasoned political stalwarts – former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, president Maithriala Sirisena his foe within the UPFA and Ranil Wickremesinghe leading the UNFGG – are jockeying for power. Though poll forecasts had predicted Ranil’s coalition having an edge over Rajapaksa’s UPFA, at least twice in the past they were proved wrong. more..

Polls violence

Aug 17 (CT) Sri Lankans go to the polls to elect their candidates from the party of their choice to the island's 15th Parliament today. Country is Asia's second oldest democracy, having had enjoyed the franchise since 1931. The only country in Asia which has been enjoying the franchise longer than SL is Japan. Nevertheless, polling in Sri Lanka, in the past 84 years have been far from peaceful, and this time there might even be a possibility that it could be worse than before. more..

UNP to maintain status quo; UPFA promises new beginning

Aug 17 (Island) Both the UNP-led coalition and the SLFP-led UPFA say they are confident of winning today’s election. The caretaker govt is sanguine about extending its alliance with President Maithripala Sirisena for another five years whereas the UPFA seeks to form a govt of its own. Throughout the election campaign, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe repeatedly declared his intention to continue his partnership with the President. more..

Sangakkara: Brand ambassador for NDDCB

Aug 17 (CT) Kumar Sangakkara was handed over the invitation to his appointment as the brand ambassador for the National Dangerous Drug Control Board (NDDCB) by a group of delegates from the board at the Galle Stadium last week. Chairperson of the NDDB Dr. Chameera Samarasinghe stated that after the Director of NDDCB Chandia Rosa and Kumudini Jayathileke handed over the invitation to Sangakkara he had accepted the position in the board. more..

SLN recruits told of post-war responsibilities

Aug 17 (Island) Navy Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Sirimevan Ranasinghe has said that those joining the military in post-war era were responsible for ensuring long lasting peace. RA Ranasinghe was addressing a passing out parade at the SLNS Shiksha in Poonewa on Saturday (Aug, 15). SLNS Shiksha is a key training facility established at the height of the conflict. Captain Priyantha Perera is the senior officer in charge of the facility. Emphasizing the spearheading role by the SLN more..

Indian cricketers pay tributes to Sangakkara

Aug 17 (IANS) Indian cricketers Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and team director Ravi Shastri on Monday paid tributes to veteran Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara, who will be playing the final Test of his career in the second game of the three-match series which begins at the P. Sara Oval Stadium here on Thursday. India Test skipper Kohli said he would remember Sangakkara for the lovely human being that he is and the honour of more..

Dhawan ruled out of remaining SL tests

Aug 17 (Reuters) Opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan has been ruled out of India's remaining two tests in Sri Lanka after fracturing his hand in the opening match at Galle, the country's cricket board (BCCI) said on Monday. 29-year-old Dhawan hit 134 and 28 with the bat but did not take the field during Sri Lanka's second innings in the match that the hosts won by 63 runs to take a 1-0 lead. "Dhawan had injured his right hand during the first test at Galle," the BCCI said. more..

'Rajapaksa's comeback would be bad for SL'

Aug 17 (DW) Sri Lanka's parliamentary elections have been billed as a referendum on ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa's comeback bid. His main rival - 63-year-old Maithripala Sirisena - was elected in January and has been campaigning to reach out to minorities who make up about a quarter of the population. He called elections early in a bid to increase his power to pass reforms. Sociologist Rohini Hensman said that the voting was largely peaceful in Monday elections but the voters more..

We won't change our style of play: Shastri

Aug 17 (PTI) Notwithstanding India's shock defeat in the first cricket Test against Sri Lanka, Team Director Ravi Shastri today made it clear that the team will not change its style of play in the remaining two Tests, saying the endeavour has always been to play fearless cricket. He said India lost the match because they brought pressure on themselves and it was just a matter of winning one match to get the team rolling. more..

'SL transport taxation needs urgent fix'

Aug 17 (EN) Sri Lankan transport experts recommend replacing the existing tax system with cost-based pricing so users pay actual costs, removing a bias that favours the rich over poor and private commuters and road users over public transport and rail. Credit-driven demand for car imports, government reliance on vehicle taxes for revenue and long-term soft loans to build highways have led to an unsustainable fixation on private transport, says Amal Kumarage, more..

Sri Lanka condoles loss of lives in Tianjin explosions

Aug 17 (GDI) Sri Lankan govt has condoled the loss of lives and injury to the people of China due to deadly explosions in Tianjin. "The Govt and the people of Sri Lanka express their heartfelt condolences to the Govt and the people of People’s Republic of China over the deadly explosions that occurred in a warehouse in the coastal city of Tianjin, resulting in the death and injury of several hundreds of people" the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. more..

Parliamentary polls end peacefully with over 60% voter turnout

Aug 17 (Xinhua) Over 60% voters turned up to cast their votes at Sri Lanka's parliamentary elections on Monday which will look to elect a new prime minister and form a new govt in the island nation. Local election monitors said that the polls ended peacefully at 4 p.m. local time and voter turnout was higher compared with previous elections. "It is a good sign to see people enthusiastically casting their votes to elect members of new parliament. more..

Results of peaceful vote awaited

Aug 17 (BBC) Sri Lankans have voted in a general election in which former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is hoping to return to office as prime minister. Turnout has been high in a vote widely seen as a referendum on the controversial former leader. Fifteen million people were eligible to vote on Monday, with results expected from early on Tuesday morning. Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said the vote was incident-free, barring some minor complaints. more..

CaFFE hails most free and fair election

Aug 17 (NS) CaFFE declared the 2015 General Election the most fair and peaceful election held in recent years. According to Executive Director, CaFFE, Keerthi Tennekoon in no other election held, was the primacy of rule of law upheld as during the concluded election. He also commended the Election Commission, Govt officials and the Police for carrying out their duties in good faith. “This is a step towards changing the election culture of our country for the better” he said more..

Ex-strongman Rajapakse plots comeback

Aug 17 (AFP) A bullish Mahinda Rajapakse said he was confident of staging a shock return to power as Sri Lanka's prime minister after elections Monday, held just months after he was toppled as president. The election commissioner said the vote, called a year ahead of schedule by President Maithripala Sirisena who ousted the veteran leader in January, had been one of the most peaceful in Sri Lanka's history. more..

Ganja to Jaffna is from Kerala

Aug 17 (CT) Police investigations have revealed that Kerala Ganja is being brought to Sri Lanka with the support of large scale fishery businessmen in the area of Valvettithurai. These facts were revealed by a motorcyclist, who was nabbed with 10kg and 227 grams of Kerala Ganja, on being interrogated by the Police. Furthermore, the suspect revealed that the cannabis was transported from Kerala via the fishing boats backed by several sponsors, while another method included cannabis smugglers from more..

Court orders handed over to Yapa and Premajayantha

Aug 17 (AD) The Colombo High Court today ordered to handover a notice and an order, with respect to the court’s ruling to prevent Anura Priyadharshana Yapa and Susil Premajayantha from acting and discharging duties as the General Secretaries of the SLFP and UPFA respectively, to their houses. The order was issued after the enjoining orders, in this regard, were not accepted. Colombo District Court earlier issued the enjoining order preventing Yapa and Premajayantha from more..

UPFA, SLFP general secretaries stuck in a quagmire

Aug 17 (DM) Concerns were raised by political parties and the legal fraternity today over a possible delay in gazetting of national list members by Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya because of the dispute over the post of UPFA General Secretary. The UPFA expects to file a petition in the Supreme Court today or tomorrow challenging the sacking of Susil Premajayantha and Anura Priyadharshana Yapa from the posts more..

Sri Lanka election: A Rajapaksa comeback?

Aug 17 (DW) "Yes, we are scared. Anything can happen if the old regime returns to power," a lady who has come in to cast her vote, tells reporters. She makes a sign with her hand to indicate that her throat will be cut! Naturally, she refuses to reveal her name. She is holding her grandson by the hand. The polling booth is situated in a part of the capital where mainly Muslims live - Muslims being the second largest minority group in the country, after the Tamils. more..

Over 70% vote in most peaceful SL election

Aug 17 (CT) Over 70% of Sri Lanka’s electorate of 15 million voted on Monday in one of the most peaceful parliamentary elections in the recent history of the island nation. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is also leader of the UNFGG, told the media that it was the “most peaceful election in the history of Sri Lanka.” He thanked President Maithripala Sirisena for ensuring “a most free and fair” election in which “people voted without tension in their minds.” CMEV reported that “polling was peaceful and more..

Saudi Arabia executes three Sri Lankans

Aug 17 (AFP) Saudi Arabia on Monday executed three Sri Lankans found guilty of robbing and killing a citizen as well as an Egyptian convicted of murder in a separate case. The four deaths bring to 120 the number of executions this year in the kingdom, compared with 87 for the whole of 2014. The three Sri Lankans were convicted of breaking into the Saudi man’s home, striking him on the head and suffocating him before stealing money, more..

Sri Lanka goes to the polls: Why it matters

Aug 17 (CNN) Just eight months after casting their ballots in a historic presidential election, Sri Lankans head back to the polls to pick a new parliament, from which a Prime Minister will be selected. Once again, the imposing figure of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa looms over the small island country's future. We take a closer look at a country trying to put its bloody and turbulent past behind it. Mahinda Rajapaksa likes to project himself as a warrior king, and former president is refusing to leave more..

Nimal Siripala backtracks on supporting Rajapaksa for PM

Aug 17 (AM) Nimal Siripala de Silva today stated that the President will decide on who will become the Prime Minister of the next parliament. He made this statement earlier today, speaking after casting his vote in Badulla. De Silva had earlier supported the naming of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as PM if the UPFA wins the election. At a recent meeting, he said that he sacrificed his position of PM to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. On Friday de Silva signed the letter sent by more..

Election free and fair; most peaceful in decades: Polls Chief

Aug 17 (EN) Sri Lanka's parliamentary polls was free and fair and the most peaceful seen in decades, Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said. "We have conducted peaceful and free and fair election," Deshapriya told reporters after polls closed Monday. "According police reports and my assistant commissioners' reports it is so far so good." He said in the 48 hour period before the poll no deaths more..

Rajapakse concedes election defeat

Aug 18 (AFP) Sri Lanka's former strongman Mahinda Rajapakse told AFP that he has conceded defeat in parliamentary elections after a close fought comeback attempt just months after he was toppled as president. "My dream of becoming prime minister has faded away," Rajapakse told AFP. "I am conceding. We have lost a good fight." Rajapakse accepted that his UPFA had lost even before Elections Chief Mahinda Deshapriya could announce the final results. more..

Ranil is to take oaths as PM later today

Aug 18 (CG) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe will take oaths today as the new PM before President Sirisena. UNP member John Amaratunga said that while the final results in the 2015 Parliamentary election have not yet been announced, it has already been confirmed that the UNP will end with the number of seats it requires to form the next Govt. He said that after the PM takes oaths a decision will be taken on the new Govt, which will be a National coalition Govt. more..

Election Result: Trincomalee District

Seruwila43.8% 40.4%11.0%
Trincomalee14.5% 31.2% 48.7%
Mutur8.1% 64.7%17.0%
Postal Votes27.1%48.8% 19.6%
Total25.4% 46.4%25.4%
Seats1 21

Election Result: Moneragala District

Bibile51.6% 43.6% 4.4%
Moneragala51.9% 43.4% 4.3%
Wellawaya55.0% 39.0% 5.7%
Postal Votes42.3% 49.2% 8.2%
Total52.5%42.0% 5.2%
Seats32 0

Election Result: Batticaloa District

Kalkudah12.3% 26.3%44.1% 14.0%
Batticaloa17.6% 5.4%49.5% 24.3%
Padiruppu6.6%16.1% 71.9% 0.3%
Postal Votes7.5% 11.6%64.0% 14.7%
Total13.5% 13.6%53.3% 16.1%
SeatsO1 3 1

Election Result: Polonnaruwa District

Minneriya49.1%43.4% 7.0%
Medirigiriya44.7%50.2% 4.7%
Polonnaruwa41.3%53.1% 5.2%
Postal Votes34.2%57.5% 8.0%
Total43.6%50.3% 5.7%
Seats23 0

Election Result: Matale District

Dambulla50.6%44.9% 4.0%
Laggala54.4%42.4% 2.7%
Matale37.2%57.9% 4.2%
Rattota39.4%56.0% 3.8%
Postal Votes44.1%48.2% 7.0%
Total45.5%49.8% 4.0%
Seats23 0

Election Result: Hambantota District

Mulkirigala56.5% 35.2% 7.8%
Beliatta53.9% 36.3% 9.3%
Tangalle53.8% 35.7% 10.0%
Tissamaharama51.3% 38.7% 9.7%
Postal Votes50.0% 35.2% 14.2%
Total53.8% 35.7% 10.0%
Seats4 2 1

Election Result: Vanni District

Mannar5.6%27.4%58.2%6.1% 0.72
Vavuniya21.7%21.7%48.1%1.0% 1.1%
Mullaitivu6.7%16.2%70.9%0.9% 2.5%
Displaced8.7%66.4%0.0%24.2% 0%
Postal Votes12.0%22.6%57.5%2.9% 1.1%
Total12.7%24.0%54.6% 3.5% 0.7%
Seats114 0 0

Election Result: Nuwara-Eliya District

N'Eliya-Maskeliya35.3%61.8% 0.9%
Kotmale40.1% 57.1% 1.9%
Hanguranketa41.3%55.2% 2.6%
Walapane43.2% 54.4% 1.2%
Postal Votes39.0%55.9% 4.1%
Total38.0%59.0% 1.4%
Seats35 0

Election Result: Puttalam District

Puttalam19.2%66.1% 1.3%
Anamaduwa57.4%39.0% 2.9%
Chilaw45.2%50.2% 4.0%
Nattandiya47.0% 48.2% 4.2%
Wennappuwa46.3%48.4% 4.5%
Postal Votes43.7%46.9% 6.8%
Total42.8%50.4% 3.4%
Seats3 5 0