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What did Sri Lankan voters just say?

Aug 27 (CT) SL voters have given a mandate to UNP led UNFGG to continue with the Good Governance culture which was ushered in Janu 2015 and the party received 5,098,927 votes (45.66%) and UPFA 4,732,669 (42.38%) won 106 seats and 95 respectively, TNA received 515,963 (4.62%) and 16 seats JVP 543,944 (4.87%) and 6 seats in 225 seat legislature. Decline in UPFA vote base at General Election 2015 from Presidential election is in excess of 1 Mn. votes (18%). more..

'Overly restrictive campaign laws deprived level playing field'

Aug 27 (SO) Commonwealth election observers congratulating Sri Lanka for fulfilling the criteria of a democratic election said overly restrictive campaign laws deprived a level playing field for candidates who could not afford to spend money lavishly for their campaigns as some others. Chief Observer, former President of Malta, Dr. George Abela, said,” So you have moved pretty well in the right democratic direction but added more..

Tyrant de-listed while one-time Bring Backers now back out!

Aug 27 (SO) Alas, poor Tyran! It is common knowledge that Ty Ran Alas, a close ally of the former big boss, is now in hot water due to investigations on the anti-corruption front. Despite ongoing investigations, he managed to find his way into the UPFA national list at last week’s elections due to his strong connections with the Family. But all is not going sweetly for this ambitious entrepreneur known for his tyranny inside his companies. When the final UPFA national list more..

The Pied Piper of Polonnaruwa

Aug 27 (NS) Everyone knows the story of the Pied Piper. The one who came to the town of Hamlin, that is. He came to get rid of the rats and he did so by luring them out of every rat hole in that unhappy town. They followed his tunes to a river and as he stepped onto a boat they went on to drown themselves. The villagers refused to pay him what was promised. He duly played his pipe again. This time it was the children that followed. They were never heard of again. more..

We have to accept defeat: Mahinda A.

Aug 27 (CT) Q: Although you said you will obtain a majority at the election, it seems as if the Alliance has been rejected by the people this time round too? A: Yes, the people have rejected us. We have to accept our defeat. Q: What is the main reason for the defeat of the Alliance? A: As I see it, it was the ganging up and the quarrelling among ourselves. Without that if we had contested the election as one group we would definitely more..

Change PR Arithmetic for seat allocation

Aug 27 (NS) Results of the recent parliamentary election have spotlighted some shortcomings, arising from the basis adopted when applying the existing Proportionate Representation (PR) arithmetic. However, at the outset, it must be categorically stated that it is not a drawback of the most democratic PR System which ensures a shared-democracy. Many good governance supporters ask the question why JVP having polled a national vote of 543,944 won only four more..

Why the JVP failed so abysmally

Aug 27 (SO) The JVP, which according to public and media opinion, had the best campaign in the run up to the August 17 general election, was a party people viewed as having the potential to create a new political culture in the country. However, the party ended its election race on an abysmal note, throwing a big question mark over its political future. Why the party, which many thought could stir up things in the political pot and create a red wave in next legislature, failed to even create a ripple more..

The fallen king?

Aug 27 (FT) The small village of Medamulana, is a place of tranquility and scenic beauty. Tiny lakes glisten in the bright sunshine, studded with bright pink lotuses in full bloom. Endlessly green paddy fields extend as far as the eye can see, coconut trees dance and rustle in the wind. It is as idyllic as rural Sri Lanka gets. Unfortunately, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was not the retiring sort. more..

What happened?

Aug 27 (CT) Prior to the public rally by Mahinda Rajapaksa confidantes at Nugegoda where they proudly claimed that they would protect the 5.8 million votes of Mahinda, Ranil Wickremesinghe threw a challenge asking Mahinda to contest the general election stating he would reduce that 5.8 million votes to the range of four odd million votes. In the face of Ranil's challenge, Mahinda did not attack him, but got his confidantes to attack Ranil. They said Ranil was going mad fearing more..

President emphasizes importance of coast conservation

Aug 27 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena said a special program for coast conservation and preservation would be initiated shortly. “That program will be implemented with support of every party”, he added. President made these remarks during an inspection tour to Coast Conservation Department today (26). President Sirisena who arrived in Coast Conservation Department in Maligawatta observed its work. After that he met the staff at the auditorium. more..

Thirimanne eager to score at whatever position he gets

Aug 27 (CI) While the old firm of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara made merry in their last few years, unloading big scores on oppositions like they were having a going-out-of-business sale, Sri Lanka had also invested in a few startups. Lahiru Thirimanne was among the promising ventures that impressed in domestic cricket, and made encouraging starts to their international careers. more..

Elections and Selections

Aug 27 (Island) Okay, okay, many say it’s a free and fair election! But, is there anything free in this country? This is a country where, not so long ago, one could walk in to any house or shop and ask for a glass of water to quench one’s thirst. But, not today. The shopkeeper will ask you to buy a bottle of water and the house owner will ask you to go to the shop and buy one. You pay. Nothing is free. Not even water. So, how can we say the elections and selections were entirely free and fair? more..

Editorial: Of that shotgun marriage

Aug 27 (Island) The proposed national govt project is likely to get off to a delayed start. MoU signed by the UNP and the SLFP the other day to pave the way for their coming together has some loose ends to tie up and the issue of sharing ministerial portfolios is far from resolved. Beggars are said to be no choosers, but the SLFP which failed to obtain a popular mandate, at the recently concluded election, to savour power, is not satisfied with what is on offer. more..

Civil society activists calls for proper criteria for national list candidates

Aug 27 (LBO) Civil society activists including the election watchdog PAFFREL have called for proper criteria when naming national list candidates. Political parties have already used the 29 seats often referred to as the national list to accommodate people who have been rejected by the people at the last election. UPFA has named seven defeated candidates while JVP has named one defeated candidate for the two national list seats more..

Lakmali edges out Lekamge in close fight for javelin gold

Aug 27 (Island) A tight contest between national record holder Nadeeka Lakmali and Dilhani Lekamge for the women’s javelin throw gold lit up the second day of the 52nd Army Athletics Championship at the Sugathadasa Stadium on Wednesday. Up and coming thrower Lekamge pushed the national record holder hard as the contest was decided by a difference of just 31 centimetres. Asian Championship medalist Lakmali was well below her personal best but more..

Dayaratne, Wimalasiri impress on day one

Aug 27 (Island) Janaka Wimalasiri established a new meet record in the men’s long jump and former national record holder Waruna Dayaratne came back to form winning the men’s javelin throw with a new personal best performance on day one of the 52nd Army Athletics Championship at the Sugathadasa Stadium on Tuesday. Lakshan hurled the javelin to a distance of 77.39 metres surpassing his previous best by 0.31 metres as he gave the SLLI its only gold medal of the day. more..

Video: 'SLFPers did not vote for me'

Aug 27 (DM) Provincial councilor Prasanna Solangaarachchi said SLFPers neither understood him nor voted for him at the last general election. “SLFP supporters did not vote for me. Only my well-wishers, friends and school mates voted for me. If at all there might have only been a handful of SLFPers who voted for me. But I am not angry with them,” he said. He said that people allowed their emotions to take the more..

SLC’s U-15 tournament expands to 32 teams

Aug 27 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket conducted Under-15 cricket tournament will expand to 32 teams when the newest edition gets under way on Saturday. "There were only 29 teams last year. This year we will be expanding it to 32 teams," an official said. The District teams of Kandy, Kurunegala and Gampaha will have two teams each instead of the traditional one side. All three Districts will have a Zone I and Zone II team for the tournament starting at Pallekele. more..

Sri Lanka: A lesson for U.S. strategy

Aug 27 (TD) For much of the period since its independence, Sri Lanka attracted scant regard throughout the West. At the culmination of its civil war, some attention did begin to be paid to human rights issues. In the last few years, however, Sri Lanka has begun to feature as a country of strategic relevance to the great powers. For one, it sits at the center of the Indian Ocean, likely to be one of the world’s most strategically contested regions in the coming century. more..

Rajapaksa's electoral debacle helps Sirisena take over party

Aug 27 (ENS) The failure of former President Rajapaksa to make the UPFA win the Aug 17 Lankan parliamentary elections is enabling incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena to take over the UPFA and its main constituent, the SLFP. Prior to the polls, both the SLFP and the UPFA were with Rajapaksa, though Sirisena was the de jure Chairman of both outfits. But with the UPFA getting only 95 seats as more..

Blackbird International agrees JV for equipment factory, wave projects in SL

Aug 27 (SN) Israeli firm WERPO has agreed to build an equipment production facility and the first of a series of sea wave power plants in Sri Lanka through a joint venture with local firm Help Mankind. WERPO’s parent company, Blackbird International Corp, announced this on Wednesday, saying that it will hold a 51% stake in the new JV. It will be WERPO’s responsibility to construct the plants, while Help Mankind will secure the needed financing for the projects. more..

'Legends like Sangakkara are irreplaceable'

Aug 27 (Hindu) Talking about his former teammate, Sangakkara, who retired from international cricket earlier in the week, former captain Sanath Jayasuriya said that legends like him are irreplaceable. “You can’t replace people like Sangakkara, Dilshan and Mahela. It takes time to play cricket sans the great players who have retired. But when people retire, we have got to keep faith on youngsters like at present we have Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal. more..

Karuna on why MR lost the Northern vote

Aug 27 (DN) Former Deputy Minister V Muralitharan said although Mahinda Rajapaksa completed massive infrastructure programmes in the North the people were not impressed since they wanted much more by way of dignity and their rights. "Soon after the end of the war people of the North and East expected lot of things from the Govt, but it failed to meet their requirements," he said. "I was also a part of the govt. But more..

Rare opportunity for meaningful reconciliation in Sri Lanka

Aug 27 (TH) The Sri Lankan people deserve great admiration on the successful conclusion of the most free and fair parliamentary elections since May, 1970. The conclusion of the election has presented a rare opportunity to deliver meaningful reconciliation and a lasting peace. The U.S.-led international community should seize this historic opportunity, facilitating the required political climate to make reconciliation a reality in Sri Lanka. Election victory of UNP can shift the country in more..

Rohitha Amarapala re-elected as IPM Sri Lanka President

Aug 27 (CT) Reputed HR professional and Head of Human Resources at Pan Asia Bank – Rohitha Amarapala – was unanimously re-elected as the President of IPM Sri Lanka for the year 2015/16 at the Annual General Meeting held recently at the IPM's Head Office 'HR House' in Colombo 5. Over 200 members participated at the AGM. Accepting his re-election Rohitha Amarapala thanked the general membership for placing their trust and confidence in him to lead IPM Sri Lanka for more..

UNP offers key ministries to SLFP

Aug 27 (Island) The UNP has offered several key ministries to the SLFP following several rounds of talks to break the deadlock over sharing of portfolios. SLFP had received Higher Education, Samurdhi, Agriculture, Irrigation, Highways and Petroleum portfolios. Subjects coming under the purview of ministries, too, had been changed with Banking and Financial Institutions being removed from Finance Ministry. more..

Penn State alumna takes on autism in SL

Aug 27 (PSU) As an undergraduate speech-language pathology student in India, for the first time Nimisha Muttiah had the opportunity to work with children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) at specialized pre-schools. After the experience and before heading to the United States to earn her master’s degree, Muttiah returned to her home country of Sri Lanka where she started working with three children with ASD. That is when Muttiah noticed something was missing. more..

Lakshman Seneviratne withdraws case against UNP

Aug 27 (Island) Former Badulla District Member of Parliament, Lakshman Seneviratne yesterday withdrew the plaint he had filed earlier in the District Court of Colombo against his expulsion from the UNP. He had been expelled for supporting former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2010 and also for supporting the eighteenth amendment to the constitution. He had cited as defendants the party leader Ranil Wickrmemesighe and the Executive Committee of the UNP. more..

TNA consolidates with strong Diaspora backing

Aug 27 (Island) In the wake of the TNA winning the lion’s share of seats in the North and East at the recently concluded polls, influential South African Tamil Federation (SATF) has reiterated its support to the four-party political grouping. The TNA comprises ITAK, TELO, PLOTE and EPRLF. In a brief statement issued on Aug. 24, Nadas Pillay, on behalf of SATF said: "TNA’s victory sends a very clear message that more..

Tourism can contribute $15 b to export industry: SLTPB Chairman

Aug 27 (FT) With international tourism receipts increasing by $ 48 billion in 2014 to reach a record $ 1,245 billion with an additional $ 221 billion generated from international passenger transport, bringing total exports from international tourism up to $ 1.5 trillion, Sri Lanka must target a 1% share or a $15 billion tourism exports, said SL Tourism Promotions Bureau Chairman Dr. Rohantha Athukorala, addressing Uni of Colombo Masters in Tourism Economics & Hotel Management more..

Vacated PC seats to be filled after MPs take oath

Aug 27 (AD) The appointing of new Provincial Councillors to fill the seats left vacant by more than 50 Provincial Council members including 3 Chief Ministers who contested and won at the recent parliamentary elections, is scheduled to take place after the new Parliament is sworn in. Uva Province Chief Minister Harin Fernando, Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga and North Western Province Chief Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara contested the General Election more..

Bullish Biswal!

Aug 27 (FT) Sri Lanka looked set to escape a minefield of international action on war crimes allegations with a US govt announcement yesterday that it would sponsor a resolution at the UNHRC in Geneva next month supporting the govt’s plans for a domestic investigation and reconciliation. The announcement marks a departure from the previous US position that allegations about atrocities committed in Sri Lanka at the end of the war more..

Serial killer’s beheaded body in Marawila

Aug 27 (CT) Police have discovered the beheaded body on the 25th August near the Marawila, Lunuoya Nattandiya Road, Paru Ela belonged to Kahawavidanalage K. V. Shantha who was a criminal wanted in connection with three murders. A high ranking officer of the Marawila Police who is engaged in investigations into this incident said that it has been revealed that this individual was a suspect in the murder of a regional politician of Walallawita in the year 2002 as well. more..

Magistrate wants blood samples taken from suspects

Aug 27 (CG) Kayts Magistrate issued instructions for blood samples to be taken from the nine suspects who are in custody over the murder of Jaffna student Vidya Sivaloganathan. Magistrate gave the order when the suspects were produced in court. Vidya was found raped and murdered in May this year and nine suspects were later arrested. One of the suspects, who was among the nine produced in court today, claimed that he was forced by the police to accept involvement in the murder. more..

Clinched: 30 ministers from UNP, 15 from SLFP

Aug 27 (DN) Breaking what seemed to be a deadlock in the national govt formation, UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickrema said that an agreement was reached with the SLFP over its mechanism after extensive discussions. According to the agreement, the new Cabinet of the national govt will be sworn in before President Maithripala Sirisena on Sept 2 after Parliament approves the exact number of members to be in Cabinet. more..

Colombo’s water supply crisis overshadowed by elections

Aug 27 (DM) An important and highly sensitive matter that impacted on the lives of millions of people living in and visiting Colombo was ignored by the people and the media in their post-election euphoria last week. If not for the election fever the water cut in Colombo on August 17 would have been a major issue for the media and the people countrywide. Detection of oil-contaminated drinking water led to the disruption of the water supply to Colombo and its suburbs without prior notice more..

MS works out a National Unity Govt

Aug 27 (DM) UPFA is the political formation led by the SLFP. Formed in 2004, it has now evolved to be a formidable political force ruling the country ever since. President Sirisena, both as the Leader of UPFA and SLFP, met with the party’s elected members in batches on Sunday and discussed the way forward. He particularly highlighted these points and emphasized the need for a bilateral approach, at least for two years. He asked MPs-elect to accept responsibilities into the govt. more..

Battling mega corruption

Aug 27 (DM) One of the main slogans of the Yahapalana Govt that was established after Presidential Elections on January 8 under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was investigating into the alleged mass frauds and corruption that had taken place during the previous regime and bringing the perpetrators to book. With the goal of eliminating corruption and punishing those responsible, more..

'Don't worry about NL MPs'

Aug 27 (DM) People should not take the appointment of defeated MPs to Parliament through the National List seriously as many of them were slated to end up in prisons before long, UNP MP elect Ranjan Ramanayake said. He said that people should not care much about these defeated MPs who would enter Parliament because they might not be able attend sessions for long as they would be penalised for corruption soon. more..

Aspirations, expectations & disappointments

Aug 27 (SL) As expected by the country, Mahinda Rajapaksa has been thrown out from the main political arena of the country by ballot. It is more or less an extension of the decision of the people taken on January 8. Even though the UNP was unable to secure the simple majority to form a govt, there were immediately discussions to form a national govt with the assistance of some of the members of the UPFA. more..