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'Change archaic election laws'

Aug 18 (CT) Polling at yesterday's General Election was peaceful but according to the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) the next Parliament must update the archaic election laws of the country. This is the first election at which, after a long period of time, the Police and Elections Officers were able to exercise their power without pressure from the top and resistance from below," said CaFFE Executive Director, Keerthi Tennakoon. The 17 August General Election has been peaceful more..

A calm and peaceful election say all politicos

Aug 18 (CT) Politicians of all hues noted that the 2015 general election to elect MPs to the legislature was on the whole a peaceful one. Record numbers at polling stations meant that this parliamentary election was one with the highest in terms of voter turnout. Rains prevailed in most parts of the country which did little to dampen the spirits of the voters who were mostly enthusiastic about exercising their sovereign franchise more..

SriLankan Airlines adds 3 flights on Chennai-Colombo route

Aug 18 (PTI) SriLankan Airlines has increased the frequency on Chennai-Colombo route by adding three more flights connecting the two destinations. The addition has taken the total number of flights between India and Sri Lanka to a total of 89 per week. "The additional frequencies operate from August 16 onwards - on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. The addition of flights brings the total flights between Sri Lanka and India to 89 flights per week", Sri Lanka's national carrier said. more..

UNP, UPFA and JVP stand accused continued internet campaign

Aug 18 (CT) Elections Commissioner had informed all candidates even on the day before the election (16) that all election propaganda activities connected to the Parliamentary Election had to be halted at midnight on the 14th, but it was patently clear that excessive election propaganda activity via internet and SMS continued even on the day of the election (17). It was obseved that several parties including the UNP, UPFA, and the JVP who were contesting the election had engaged in illegal election more..

Video: Sri Lanka: Hey, Fed, stop the rate wait

Aug 18 (CNBC) Sri Lanka has joined the small club of emerging Asian nations openly asking the Federal Reserve to raise rates sooner rather than later to end the excruciating wait-and-see their financial markets are enduring. Speaking to CNBC, Central Bank of Sri Lanka Governor Arjuna Mahendran said he preferred the U.S. central bank to increase its short-term lending rate by September rather than postpone the long-awaited move. more..

Death visits girl in illicit love

Aug 18 (CT) A 29 year-old man and a 23 year-old woman occupying a room in a guest house at Moragahahena, Miriswatte were heard groaning in agony and found frothing at their mouths by employees of the guest house yesterday. This couple had taken signed in at the lodging on the 16 th , and on the 17 th, as the couple had not ventured out of the room in the morning, the employees had on suspicion gone into the room to investigate, police media spokesman revealed. more..

Polls chief to conduct inquiry

Aug 18 (DN) EC Mahinda Deshapriya said that he would conduct an inquiry into a false news spread through social media on Sunday night. The story, which went with an image showing the Commissioner inspecting some ballot papers, claimed that these were discovered in Colombo on Sunday night. However, Deshapriya said this was an image from 2013, where a set of marked ballot papers were discovered in Puttalam. He asked the public not to spread the news by sharing it more..

PTFOA gets Rs 12 Billion Credit line

Aug 18 (CT) All members of the Private Tea Factory Association, numbering 719, will avail themselves to a Rs 12 Billion credit line from both State and private banks, which will be a month's working capital to meet the tide of low auction prices. "This facility was made available on a request made by the Sri Lanka Tea Factory Owners' Association and this was considered due to the decline in auction prices below the cost of more..

The reasons for UPFA’s lost

Aug 19 (CT) The recently concluded General Election is a good indicator about the people’s choice and desire on electing their representatives for the next parliament. It also a clear indicator about how bad management decisions can cost you dearly. Let us analyze them briefly. In the Presidential Election in January 2015, UPFA got 5,768,090 votes while the NDF under Swan symbol received 6,217,162 votes. In yesterday’s General Election, UPFA received 4,732,669 votes more..

Editorial: Happy Jumbos

Aug 19 (Island) The people have spoken. Their message is loud and clear. They, however, haven’t given the winner a working majority. Perhaps, they have realised that majorities make politicians lose their heads and get intoxicated with power. The new govt to be formed will have to be mindful of public opinion and tread cautiously if it is to avoid the fate of the UPFA administration which, having secured 144 seats in 2010, failed to manage its electoral gains and came crashing down. more..

'Our struggle starts only now'

Aug 19 (CT) General Election of 17 August was one of the most peaceful elections in recent times and election monitors played a main role in ensuring this. Ceylon Today spoke to Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) Executive Director Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon to learn his opinion on what led to this peaceful election, the conduct of the election and the necessity for electoral reforms and updating election laws. more..

Decisive win will elude UNP

Aug 19 (NS) The reasons why UNP as a political party cannot win the coming general election decisively are many. The first and foremost is that the party, in the eyes of ordinary voter is not trustworthy any more given its policies and practices and even its foolish utterances regarding the war on terror in the past. Under its present leader, the party has lost its nation-building image in politics and as a consequence lost several elections in the past, as voting majority public more..

Let’s hope for a stable govt

Aug 19 (NS) For the second time in seven months, Sri Lankans go to the polls tomorrow (17). This time, they will elect the party that will govern them for the next five years. When they voted in January, the result was a surprise. There are fewer expectations of another shock outcome on Monday. From all accounts, UNFGG led by UNP has held the advantage in the campaign. It is the ruling party and is campaigning mainly on the theme of continuing the Jan 8 revolution which more..

'Stop branding people as plantation Tamils'

Aug 19 (CT) Popular civic rights activist in the plantations, Odaiyan Arumugam said the new govt that comes into power should mainly ensure that plantation Tamils are not just people living in the country but identified as citizens of Sri Lanka of Indian origins. "If we brand them as plantation Tamils, they will be identified as inferior or only confined to plantation. Giving them equal status with other communities could be more..

The house in the middle of a lake

Aug 19 (SL) Miss Kata Katha, a dedicated teacher, was coaching her students in the final days before the examination. Now, children, I want to tell you a story. It may sound like a fairy tale but a question on it may come up in your examination. It could be a part of history. I will tell you how to answer it the day before the exam. You know the facts of life and also facts about political life. To succeed you have to be on the winning side at the correct time. Now, for the story. Once upon a time, more..

It’s a challenge without Carlton 7s exposure

Aug 19 (SL) There’s more than one reason why the absence of the Carlton Rugby Sevens might come to be regretted. 2010-inaugurated annual extravaganza hosted normally in May/June was a no-show this year, the inevitable fallout from the outcome of the country’s Presidential election last January. The future of the two-tournament event, costing between Rs.300-400 million, anyway was always reliant on the patronage of the then first family, specifically the rugby-playing siblings. more..

Sri Lanka, 1970's

Sri Lanka’s govt gets fresh mandate, bolstering plan for change

Aug 19 (WSJ) Voters reaffirmed support for the country’s new leaders in legislative elections, strengthening a coalition that wants to revamp the political system, work on postwar reconciliation and strengthen ties with the West. Results announced on Tuesday showed a surge in support for PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and his UNP, giving him and his allies enough seats in the 225-member Parliament to form the next govt. UNP and its partners blocked a comeback bid by country’s ex-president, more..

India aim to resuscitate and renew at P Sara Oval

Aug 19 (CI) The P Saravanamuttu Oval may belong to the eastern Colombo neighbourhood called Wanathmulla which can be described in many words except the one which, quixotically, fits the ground perfectly: boutique. A small, compact, old-fashioned ground, with a metal scoreboard covered in ivy and internal rust and architectural flourishes like cornices and even lamp stands on pillars that are anything but the English colonial. In the middle of comforting jade haven, boutique branch of Indian cricket, more..

'Kumar Sangakkara the most professional cricketer I have seen'

Aug 19 (CI) Paul Farbrace, former SL assistant coach, has said that Kumar Sangakkara is the most professional cricketer he has seen at training, and had helped him become a better coach. Farbrace, now England's assistant coach, had two stints with the Sri Lanka team. He was assistant coach under Trevor Bayliss from 2007 to 2009, and was briefly head coach, from Jan to April 2014. "Kumar is, without doubt, more..

A debilitating post Jan. prez-poll defeat

Aug 19 (Island) UNP-led UNFGG emerged victorious at general election. UNFGG received a tremendous boost through President Sirisena’s merciless assault on his predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa, who earned the former SLFP General Secretary’s wrath for seeking premiership in the next govt. Both President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe called for a continuation of the status quo, whereas the Rajapaksa’s Camp wanted an administration of its own. more..

Prolific Sangakkara, a career to savour

Aug 19 (Island) Whatever happens in his final Test, Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara is assured of a place in history as one of the finest batsmen who graced the game. The left-hander, who turns 38 in October, will end his 15-year international cricket career after the second Test against India which starts at the P. Sara Oval in Colombo on Thursday. Statistics may not always tell the whole story, but in Sangakkara’s case they illuminate a glorious career marked with a prolific hunger for more..

Defeat of divisive politics

Aug 19 (Hindu) The parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka held risks of polarisation and the re-emergence of authoritarian politics. But the Lankan voters rejected divisive politics for the second time this year. The UNP will likely form the new govt, while the moderating presence of President Maithripala Sirisena as leader of the SLFP and the engagement of smaller parties like the TNA and the JVP will help reinforce democracy. more..

MR’s loss spells victory for democracy

Aug 19 (CT) Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s hopes of coming back to power as PM crashed when the. UPFA, which fielded him as a candidate, lost out narrowly to the UNP-led coalition in the parliamentary election held on August 17. In the most peacefully conducted election in Sri Lanka in recent times where over 70 per cent of the people are said to have voted, the UPFA could win only eight of the 22 electoral districts as against its rival UNP’s victory in 11 districts. more..

Cooray, the first Lankan to be seen in action

Aug 19 (DN) Veteran long distance runner Anuradha Indrajith Cooray will be the first Sri Lankan to be seen in action at the 15th IAAF World Championships in China when he competes in men’s marathon to be worked off in Beijing on Saturday. Incidentally, it will be the first event of the nine-day world athletic extravaganza. That would also decide the first gold medalist of the Beijing 2015 Championship. Cooray booked his passage to the star-studded meet in Chinese capital when more..

China resurgent in SL for one main reason

Aug 19 (BN) While most central bankers would relish an office with an unobstructed view of the Indian Ocean’s sparkling waters, Sri Lanka Governor Arjuna Mahendran finds it dull. He would rather see skyscrapers dotting the horizon while cargo vessels deposit containers into Colombo’s ports. Right now, piles of sand and stones remind him daily of a stalled China-backed $1.4 billion plan to build a city on reclaimed land that may more..

Healthy mandate in Sri Lanka

Aug 19 (Hindu) Seven months after the presidential elections that saw President Mahinda Rajapaksa being defeated by a coalition of disparate forces, the SLFP strongman has been dealt another blow in the parliamentary elections. UNP leader and presumptive PM Ranil Wickremasinghe’s UNFGG emerged as the largest coalition with about 46 per cent of the votes. It is set to form the govt with likely support from the TNA and parties such as the leftist JVP. The coalition that defeated more..

A vote for continuing change

Aug 19 (Hindu) There are two significant political consequences following Sri Lanka’s parliamentary elections. First, the majority of voters have given a verdict in favour of completing the partial political change that began with the presidential election of January 8 this year. Secondly, and no less important, it has dashed the hopes of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to return to power as PM. Parliament was dissolved on June 27 under some peculiar circumstances, more..

Sri Lanka's new political path

Craftsmen in flip-flops need to be treated with respect: German ambassador

Aug 19 (Island) It’s time to realistically weigh in on higher education qualifications and the types of skill demanded by the market and begin to treat the competent craftsman in informal clothes and flip-flops as valued people of the community, German ambassador Dr. Juergen Morhard said at the German-Sri Lanka Business Council meeting held recently. "It’s time to turn round the picture. The young craftsmen in shorts, T-shirt and flip-flops like the one you see in your soap-operas more..

Sirisena reconstitutes SLFP CC

Aug 19 (FT) Even as vote-counting commenced after the close of polls yesterday, President Sirisena continued his blitzkrieg campaign to wrest control of the SLFP, sacking 13 members of its 55-member Central Committee. Fresh appointments have been made to fill the vacancies, with most of them likely to be staunch supporters of President Sirisena within the SLFP. The appointments are reported to have been made by the party’s new acting General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake. more..

Ranil reigns, Mahinda mauled!

Aug 19 (FT) Voters rejected former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s prime ministerial bid yesterday, routing his party in a tight electoral contest and issuing a fresh mandate to the coalition that defeated him in January to carry forward democratic reforms, reconciliation and anti-corruption efforts. Monday’s Parliamentary contest crawled to a nail-biter of a finish, with both main parties neck-and-neck until UNP pulled off more..

Prospects of stability bright in Sri Lanka

Aug 19 (ENS) SL parliamentary elections unfolded as expected with the UNFGG, led by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, defeating the UPFA, headed by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa. A UNFGG win was on the cards because a significant number of Sri Lankans were eager to carry forward the revolution which they had triggered on Jan 8, when the joint opposition candidate, Maithripala Sirisena, trounced incumbent President Rajapaksa in an election dominated by issues such as more..

Sugathadasa turned to a killing zone

Aug 19 (CT) The dangerous worn out track of Sugathadasa Stadium almost turned out to be a killing zone when the country's top female 100m hurdler Ireshani Rajasinghe faced a life threatening accident on Friday due to worn out patches of the stadium track. Rajasinghe, who was training at the stadium, had unexpectedly fallen down due to worn out patches of the carpet, hit her head hard on the track and was unconscious for 2 hours. Rajasinghe was under observation for 24 hours in more..

TNA welcomes new govt

Aug 19 (CT) The TNA said that, based on their Election Manifestos, the party would be addressing the Tamil people's immediate needs and implement them without any delay as soon as the new Parliament is formed. The TNA, which swept the entire North and the East in the parliamentary election held on 17 Aug, said that they would also welcome the new Maithri-Ranil Govt to continue to protect and nurture the people's mandate that more..

Ranil urges: Create new political culture

Aug 19 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe urged the people to maintain peace stating that the majority of Sri Lankans have endorsed the continuation of 8 Jan revolution. "People have voted to continue the policies of good governance and conciliation. I thank all those who assisted us during the election. We were able to conduct a free and fair election and it is the responsibility of all to maintain that peace," he said. Wickremesinghe added that there are no winners or losers in the election. more..

UN chief welcomes peaceful elections

Aug 19 (UN) Applauding the people of Sri Lanka for their peaceful and broad-based participation in yesterday’s parliamentary elections, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has encouraged the new Govt to make further progress on good governance, accountability and reconciliation. “The Secretary-General applauds the people of Sri Lanka for their peaceful and broad-based participation in the parliamentary elections of 17 August,” said in a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson. more..

Mahinda thanks those who voted for UPFA

Aug 19 (Island) Former President and UPFA candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa said if he had been able to find more time to campaign in the Kurunegala District the result would have been much different and UPFA would have polled more votes. "I campaigned in Kurunegala only for two and a half days because I had to campaign throughout the country. "However, I am happy that the UPFA came up on top in Kurunegala. more..

Vishwa, Susil fight over National List

Aug 19 (CT) Professor Vishwa Warnapala said that as the General Secretary of the UPFA he will be dealing with election related tasks such as naming members for the National List. He made this comment when he arrived at the Election Commissioner's office yesterday in response to a summons by EC Mahinda Deshapriya. Faizer Mustapha, who has been listed in the UPFA National List, and a group of lawyers accompanied him. Former General Secretary of UPFA more..

US hails commitment shown by SL voters

Aug 19 (CG) The United States said it commends the Sri Lankan people and Govt for the election, which demonstrated their enduring commitment to democracy and the rule of law. US State Department spokesman John Kirby said the United States applauds the Sri Lankan elections commissioner, Sri Lankan civil society, and the candidates themselves for holding free and fair elections that were widely hailed as among the most peaceful in Sri Lanka’s history. more..