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Fabricated research reports and canards the calling card of the govt

Jan 6 (CT) Election monitoring bodies forewarned voters to not be swayed by fabricated research reports and canards of the govt which would abound during this week, the week of the presidential election. Highlighting an incident on Saturday where a haul of mudslinging posters (in Tamil and meant to address the Tamil speaking populace) against the Joint Opposition alliance's NDF backing common candidate, Maithripala Sirisena had been seized by the police, more..

Final rallies end without crossovers: Maithri stands behind bullet proof screen

Jan 6 (AM) Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena’s final rally in Maradana ended without any crossover despite widespread speculations. It was widely believed that a senior-most Minister of the present Cabinet might cross over to the opposition during the final election rally of the Common Opposition. Maithripala Sirisena, who arrived at the rally at about 11.30 pm, made his speech standing beside a bullet proof screen, more..

TV stations given time to file objections

Jan 6 (Island) District Judge of Colombo Sujatha Alahapperuma yesterday allowed time fill January 26, 2015 for four defendant TV stations to file objections to an injunction application filed by Maithripala Sirisena, the common opposition candidate. The plaintiff has said that the TV channels telecast an advertisement with a statement where he had praised the policies of President Rajapaksa in 2009. The plaint had said that the statement was said some years ago more..

Views of presidential candidates...

Jan 6 (CT) The race to the presidency is heating up, with the two main contenders, the incumbent President, Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Joint Opposition common candidate Maithripala Sirisena hogging the limelight. Last month, the nominations of 19 candidates were announced, including the main contenders. The New Sinhala Heritage leader pulled out from the race to join hands with President Rajapaksa. Thus, in light of the presidential election scheduled to take place on more..

Mahanayakes, Bishops call for peaceful polls

Jan 6 (Island) The Mahanayake Theras of Malwatte and Asgiriya have, in a joint statement, urged the Commissioner of Elections and IGP to take necessary steps to prevent election related violence and to maintain peace and brotherhood in the country. In two separate letters, addressed to Commissioner of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya and IGP, N.K. Ilangakoon, Most Venerable Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Mahanayake more..

SL Prez Poll divides astrologers, pollsters

Jan 6 (ENS) Given the general perception that the January 8 presidential election will see a photo finish, astrologers and opinion pollsters have jumped into the fray egged on by the two principal candidates, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Maithripala Sirisena. However, not surprisingly, these predictions, whether based on planetary positions or statistical data, have contradicted each other sharply. Given tension in the air, innuendos have been flung at the astrologers. more..

TNA campaign crew attacked

Jan 6 (CT) TNA members involved in the election campaign of common candidate Maithripala Sirisena were threatened by an unidentified gang in Velanai-Jaffna. The gang had also pelted stones at the vehicle in which the TNA members were travelling. Vehicle was badly damaged. A group of TNA members, under the leadership of NPC member Vinthan Kanagaratnam, were threatened by the gang when they were involved in campaign programmes for the common candidate more..

EC warns of re-poll in case of violence

Jan 6 (DM) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Desapriya said election violence appeared to be increasing and warned that he would have to call for re-polling in areas where such violence continued unabated. He told a hurriedly summoned news conference that there was the possibility of election violence rising in the wake of the shooting incidents and attacks reported during the past few days, along with some assault cases. more..

Elections and the sad plight of voters

Jan 6 (DM) After a month long campaigning, people of Sri Lanka will go to polls on Thursday to elect their ruler for the next six years, according to the present Constitution. This is their right, and not anything offered by any politician on a platter. After the hectic campaign assorted with promises - practical as well as impractical, unimaginable lies, veiled intimidations and fear psychosis voters have got two lull days- today and tomorrow- to ponder on and assess the situation before more..

Migrant workers’ voting rights

Jan 6 (DM) Sri Lankan labour migration currently stands at around 1.6 million with an annual outflow of about 200,000 persons and generates a substantial inflow of remittances, especially through women employment, relieving the country’s unemployment pressure. Recently the govt of Sri Lanka signed MOU’s with Saudi Arabian and Qatar govts to protect migrant workers’ rights in the respective countries. Unfortunately these MOU’s have not addressed their voting rights in more..

'Election with minimum violence'

Jan 6 (SL) While many directed their finger at the ruling party for carrying out violence to deter the opposition election campaigns, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that they have given necessary instructions to their party members and supporters not to engage in any kind of violence and added that such violence would only be disadvantage to their political campaign. However, he said that there could be a few isolated incidents which is more..

'Civil Society must cry for justice'

Jan 6 (CT) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) is a professional body whose membership is comprised of lawyers. President of the BASL, Upul Jayasuriya spoke about the BASL's stance on matters of public discourse including the need to uphold the rule of law, promote good governance, abolish the 13th and 18th Amendment and re-enact the 17th Amendment, re-emphasize the need to ponder these aspects more..

'100-Day target looks impossible'

Jan 6 (CT) Former Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva spoke on the 19th Amendment and elaborated on plans to enhance the powers of Parliament as per the manifesto of the common Opposition. He dealt with on the need to establish independent commissions to stabilize democracy and transparency. Q: Could you define the Constitution in a layman's term? A: The whole build up of the election is for constitutional reform. more..

CMEV condemns lack of cooperation from Law and Order Ministry

Jan 6 (Island) Secretary to the Law and Order Ministry, Mahinda Balasuriya’s support to the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence was not satisfactory as he had transferred high ranking police officers during the campaigning period, which even the President’s secretary Lalith Weeratunga would not have done at such a time, alleged its National Co-ordinator Manjula Gajanayake in an interview yesterday. more..

Day 4: Williamson-Watling record stand pummels Sri Lanka

Jan 6 (CI) Kane Williamson and BJ Watling used the slow grind to drive away the thoughts Sri Lanka had at the start of day four of winning the Wellington Test and levelling the series. In the process, they first broke the 27-year-old record of New Zealand's highest sixth-wicket partnership against Sri Lanka, and then smashed the all-time record for the sixth-wicket stand set up last year by Watling and Brendon McCullum more..

Minister’s evidence raises more questions

Jan 6 (ST) Breaking a week-long silence, Minister Piyankara Jayaratne claimed a vehicle bearing the identical number of the Land Rover involved in a controversial hit-and-run accident on Monday had recently been sold by him to someone else and the transfer of ownership was in process. The explanation only raises more questions about the muddled matter. In the meantime, two innocent victims of the crash are still in hospital, more..

Curtain on campaigning, real battle ahead

Jan 6 (FT) Campaigning for Sri Lanka’s do-or-die presidential election closed yesterday without dramatic crossover scenes and both candidates fiercely confident of victory and pledging to ensure a peaceful poll on Thursday. President Rajapaksa and his main Opposition challenger Maithripala Sirisena ended their election campaigns on a high note last night, urging their supporters to remain peaceful and desist from violence more..

'Election chief agrees new measures for vote counting'

Jan 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s election commissioner has agreed to a set of proposals aimed at holding a transparent vote counting process, the bar association of Sri Lanka said. The proposals for the upcoming presidential election include, polls monitors to be informed of the results of the counting centers before making it officially announced. “All the proposals forwarded by us on vote counting have already been accepted”, more..

No leave to vote: Over 200,000 plantation youth affected

Jan 6 (CT) Most of the plantation youth, working in various parts of the country, are not allowed to exercise their voting rights at the upcoming Presidential Election, as their employers show reluctance to grant them leave. Savumia Youth Foundation Chairman, S.P. Anthony Muthu said that the same problem erupted during past Uva PC Elections, as many youths working in Colombo and in various other places, were not granted more..

UN reiterates concerns on polls

Jan 6 (CG) The UN has reiterated its concerns on the violence ahead of Thursday’s Presidential elections, and called on the Govt to ensure an inclusive process. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said that the UN was aware of the incidents taking place in Sri Lanka. “Obviously, we’ve seen the recent events in Sri Lanka, even those today, and I think it makes Secretary‑General’s call for more..

Ballot vs. Bullet

Jan 6 (CT) In another two days' time the people of this country will cast their vote at another presidential election. It's in their hands to decide as to whether they want the incumbent president to continue for another six years, or whether they want a change. However, in the run up to the poll, that is from the time former SLFP General Secretary and the incumbent UPFA Govt's former Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena announced his candidature as the common Opposition candidate to more..

Barring shadow candidates at presidential elections

Jan 6 (Island) The Island of 3rd Jan reported that the Elections Commissioner had expressed his displeasure at the multiplicity of nominations submitted at a Presidential election with ulterior motives and strategies. The Commissioner has given the following reasons for his displeasure.1. Taxpayers’ money was squandered due to major political parties fielding contestants to sling mud at their rivals. 2. Such a candidate received undue privileges for services thus rendered. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lankan stocks end up almost 1%

Jan 6 (EN) Sri Lankan stocks rose almost one percent Tuesday with turnover topping two billion rupees in a broad-based rally just two days ahead of crucial presidential polls in which the incumbent, Mahinda Rajapaksa, faces a stiff challenge. The All Share Price Index rose 71.75 points (0.98%) to 7,420.14 while the S&P SL20 index, which tracks the top 20 largest and most liquid stocks on the Colombo Stock Exchange, went up 39.94 points (0.97%) to reach 4,150.24. more..

In predicting presidential elections?

Jan 6 (CT) In predicting the upcoming presidential elections, there are no regular opinion polls conducted in Sri Lanka, like for example in Australia. In Australia, which is a compulsory voting country, before we went to the polling booth last time, on 7 Sept 2013, we roughly knew through these polling predictions that the Labor would lose and the Liberals would win at the national parliamentary elections. As I have expressed in analyzing those results and predictions, more..

'Scrapping China project deals not advisable'

Jan 6 (CT) Indian human rights activist and Chairperson of RLEK in Uttarakhand, India, Avdhesh Kaushal, who is also appointed to be part of the international panel to assist Sri Lanka's Presidential Commission investigating wartime disappearances and charges of war crimes against Lankan forces and the LTTE, said that the Opposition Common candidate's stance to scrap the China Port deal is not a very good idea as more..

Sasitharan faints during argument

Jan 6 (CT) TNA Northern Provincial Councillor Ananthi Sasitharan had a blackout yesterday (2) following a heated argument with MP and ITAK Leader Mavai Senathirajah. The argument was over Sasitharan's demanding a boycott of the presidential election on the grounds that the common presidential candidate had not mentioned anything about fulfilling the political aspirations of the Tamils. When Sasitharan was contacted, her relatives said she was sick as she fainted in the morning more..

Ambassador Karunatilaka Amunugama meets German Parliamentarians

Jan 6 (GDI) Sri Lanka Ambassador to Germany Karunatilaka Amunugama met the Parliamentarians Jürgen Klimke of CDU (Christian Democratic Union) and Niels Annen of SPD (Social Democratic Party) recently at the German Parliament (Deutscher Bundestag). Klimke and Annen are among the 17 MPs appointed for the German-South Asia Parliamentary Group, which looks after the interests in Sri Lanka (along with Afghanisatan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Pakistan). more..

President promises 150,000 jobs for youth in current year, more development

Jan 6 (Island) More than 150,000 jobs for those who had passed GCE O/L and A/L would be created within the current year as a national priority, President Rajapaksa said last night in Piliyandala, where he addressed the final campaign rally. Besides, plans were already underway to set up university colleges at the district level in addition to the expansion of the existing universities to enroll 100,000 students for higher education by more..

SEC wants laws to protect investors soon

Jan 6 (EN) Sri Lanka's capital market watchdog chief says bureaucratic delays in introducing new laws to protect investors are hampering capital market growth. SEC chairman Nalaka Godahewa said he hoped market capitalization of the Colombo Stock Exchange as a percentage of GDP would reach 60% by 2020, or 100 billion US dollars, as against 36% in 2014, or 24 billion US dollars. Godahewa told a forum on the 'Capital Market Vision 2020' in Colombo that several structural more..

Days of the Rajapaksas numbered: Sirisena

Jan 6 (Island) The corrupt rule of the UPFA govt had made the masses despise it and now they were determined to change the govt to pave the way for good governance, said common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena, addressing his final campaign rally at Maradana last night. "There will be no division of the country when our party NDF is elected and we will safeguard the sovereignty of the nation and its unitary status, but the UPFA govt is engaged in a mudslinging campaign more..

Video: Cops to get T56 for the election

Jan 6 (DM) Police Department said today 66,100 police personnel have been deployed for election duties and that they will be each armed with a T56 weapon. Police personnel have been ordered to use reasonable force in the event it was necessary. Police personnel will also carry out mobile patrolling and be on duty at check points. “If any person violates the civic right of citizens to vote or uses criminal force or impedes the lawful more..

AirAsia flight diverted to Colombo

Jan 6 (Bernama) An AirAsia flight from Kuala Lumpur to Chennai, Tamil Nadu was among few other flights delayed and diverted to nearby cities due to thick fog engulfing the airport in the South Indian city Tuesday. A check on flight data revealed that AK11, which was scheduled to land in Chennai at 7.25am local time, was diverted to Colombo, Sri Lanka. The aircraft carrying 168 passengers later arrived safely at 11.15am local time when visibility got better. more..

NZ's friendly neighbourhood game-changers

Jan 6 (CI) Eventually you learn to tell them apart, from a distance. Both are slight right-hand batsmen, almost identical in height, and with similar scoring areas. BJ Watling is the more relaxed in his stance, weight hanging back as the bat draws a tight circle in its back lift. As the bowler lets go, he comes forward, crouched - always looking to pounce, even when his innings strike rate is in the 30s. Williamson is still and straight, back-lift perpendicular to the crease, with knees bent and elbows tense. more..

Opposition raises some concerns

Jan 6 (CG) The common opposition raised concerns with Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya with regards to the Presidential election. Common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena said that among the concerns raised was the misuse of State television to broadcast propaganda supporting President Rajapaksa. He said that State media is violating election laws and carrying out a campaign to discredit more..

Cyber attack on LankaCnews

Jan 6 (AM) Lanka C News, a news website that made headlines following the announcement of the Presidential Election, has reportedly come under a cyber-attack. Due to the cyber-attack the website is temporarily not functioning. Lanka C News was strongly critical of the opposition and its leaders in the recent past. Speaking to Asian Mirror a staff member of the website said an organized group launched the cyber-attack on Tuesday morning. It is widely considered that the website is more..

TNA wants all in N&E to vote for MS

Jan 6 (CT) TNA MP and Leader of ITAK Mavai Senathirajah said all from the North and East should cast their votes in favour of common candidate Maithripala Sirisena. It was decided by the party to support the common candidate after consulting all party members, he said. "All Tamils from the North and East should cast their votes in support of common candidate Sirisena, without creating any confusion. I also request all TNA members to campaign among people to cast their votes at more..

Opposition speak out ahead of crucial vote

Jan 6 (FT) In a final show of strength on the last day of campaigning, common opposition leaders rallied together to counter ruling party claims that the alliance was in league with the LTTE. Opposition common candidate Maithripala Sirisena charged that while the Govt was attempting to stick LTTE labels on the common alliance, it was the Rajapaksa regime which had the best practice of liaising with Tigers. more..

'We have plans if MR does not leave office'

Jan 6 (AM) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has said that the opposition has a plan if President Mahinda Rajapaksa does not leave office after he is defeated in the presidential election. Speaking to BBC Sandeshaya, Kumaratunga refused to give details of the action plan for such an event. She also said that she was getting reports that the government was planning violence and election fraud but it will not be able to defeat the public opinion. more..

SL Navy chase away Tamil Nadu fishermen

Jan 6 (PTI) Sri Lankan naval personnel allegedly threatened and chased away Tamil Nadu fishermen when they were fishing near Katchatheevu early on Tuesday morning, a local representative of the fishermen's association said. S Emerit, Rameswaram Fishermen Association president, alleged that the Lankan naval men threatened the fishermen at gun point and asked them to go back to the shore. They also allegedly damaged fishing nets of more than 20 boats. more..