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What’s in the final victory?

Jan 8 (DM) Voting is a democratic right of every citizen. However, many of us have only a vague idea of polling and counting procedures. How these votes get counted for the final result, what makes a vote invalid and whether there is a proper coordination at every counting centre is also unknown. Therefore the Daily Mirror spoke to a few election monitoring bodies such as PAFFREL, CAFFE, Transparency International Sri Lanka more..

New Zealand's potent modus operandi

Jan 8 (CI) When Kaushal Silva cut a ball behind point early in the 29thth over of the innings, third slip, fourth slip, gully and point peeled off to give chase. Sangakkara had already been dismissed. Sri Lanka were 66 for 3, in pursuit of 390. Most teams would commit one man to this errand, some might send two. But here was more than a third of New Zealand's fielding resources tearing after it; in each other's more..

Britain assures support to have EU ban on Sri Lankan fish exports lifted

Jan 8 (Island) British High Commissioner in Sri Lanka John Rankin assured Minister Basil Rajapaksa that UK Would support Sri Lanka to have the European Union's ban on fish exports from this country lifted, a press release issued by the Ministry of External Affairs said. It said: The ban came into effect this month following the country’s Fisheries Ministry's failure to implement the recommendations the EU Commission made more..

Dual citizenship: Background checks, security clearance from Interpol required

Jan 8 (ST) The new system to grant dual citizenship will scrutinise the applicants in greater detail than under the earlier system, and will require security clearance from Interpol and other intelligence services. The system which has a two step assessment process does not provide for appeals either. The new application, which would be uploaded to the Immigration Department website next week, will also seek to obtain more info more..

'We will focus more on equity'

Jan 8 (SL) Q: Where did the current govt go wrong with the economy? A: There are three issues. One being they believed that by focusing on infrastructure alone that the benefits will accrue to the households, which did not happen. The evidence is now out where high cost infrastructure, GDP is growing at a rapid rate. Since Mahinda Rajapaksa came to power since 2007 to around 2013, it has been growing at a rapid rate of 7.5%. more..

Lankans hope for change as elections start

Jan 8 (KT) As voters in Sri Lanka brace for what is said to be one of the tightest and most significant presidential elections today, a majority of Sri Lankans in the UAE are looking for a change of power in Colombo. Mohamed Shiyam, who works as an accountant in Dubai says, “People want a change. The country’s economy is not doing well. The war got over in 2009 but the peace hasn’t been consolidated yet. more..

CMEV interim campaign report

Jan 8 (DM) In preparation for monitoring the Presidential Election 2015, the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence deployed 160 field coordinators based in polling divisions or electorates, while 25 field coordinators were deployed in the 25 administrative districts during the pre-election period. All field monitors report daily to the main CMEV secretariat in Colombo. CMEV officers stationed at the secretariat conduct further more..

'No room for computer jilmaat'

Jan 8 (Island) The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) has received an assurance from Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya that there was no room for any party to electronically manipulate results of today’s presidential election. CMEV spokesperson Dr. Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu on Tuesday said that his outfit had taken it up with Election Commissioner in the wake of the Opposition allegations as more..

Monitors say voters obstructed in SL election

Jan 8 (AP) Election monitors said Thursday that voters in northern Sri Lanka were prevented from casting their ballots in an election that pits President Rajapaksa against an ally who suddenly defected from the ruling party to run against him. The Center for Monitoring Election Violence, based in Colombo, also said a hand grenade exploded near a voting station in the northern Jaffna peninsula in the Tamil minority heartland, more..

High voter turnout in many parts of SL

Jan 8 (AM) The total voter turnout of the Presidential Election 2015 exceeded 60% in many parts of the country by 2.30 pm on January 08. The District of Kandy had a voter turnout of 60% by 2.30pm while 57% in Polonnaruwa and 70% was reported in Matale, sources of Elections Department said. A turnout of 66% in Anuradhapura at 2.30 pm, while 45% in Matara, 40% in Kalutara and 50% in Kurunegala as at 11 am. more..

Today's poll must be free and credible

Jan 8 (CT) A little over 15 million voters would go to polls today to elect their next President. Let the calm that characterize the early hours of today last until polling is over across the country. Every registered voter should head to the respective polling booths as early as possible to avoid the possibility of creating tensions in the final hours of the polling process which could lead to violence. There will only be one winner today and the loser must gracefully accept the decision of the people. more..

Are we too late?

Jan 8 (CT) Sleepless nights. Today Sri Lankan voters are going to decide our political future. Are we too late? I have nothing much to say. I have said it all. Even long before the elimination of the LTTE. Even long before Rajapaksas became so-called war heroes. I wrote two articles in July 2006 in Ravaya, a Sinhala language weekly where I worked at that time. One was about why people called Ranil a loser. In that article I explained Ranil’s major mistake. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Why people seek a change

Dec 8 (GV) Today, Jan 8, approximately 15 million Sri Lankans will seek to elect the island’s next president at a tightly-contested presidential election. The chosen day is a special one. It is the birth anniversary of the founder of the SLFP, S.W.R.D Bandaranaike and the sixth death anniversary of Lasantha Wickrematunga, the founder editor of The Sunday Leader. Incumbent President Rajapaksa now seeks a third term as the island’s president, having removed the two-term more..

Remembering Lasantha six years on: Launch of photo-essays on Sri Lanka

Dec 8 (GV) Journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge‘s murder on 8th January 2009 was utterly horrible and yet, even more unforgettable was the Rajapaksa govt’s reaction to it. Lasantha’s last editorial, published posthumously, didn’t mince words. "“It is well known that I was on two occasions brutally assaulted, while on another my house was sprayed with machine-gun fire. Despite the govt’s sanctimonious assurances, there was never a serious police inquiry into the perpetrators more..

Voting for Lasantha Again, 26 Years Later

Dec 8 (GV) A quarter century ago, as an eager first time voter, I cast my maiden vote for a young journalist friend who had recently taken to electoral politics. Lasantha Wickrematunge was contesting in the Colombo District from SLFP, at the General Election of 15 Feb 1989. It was the first general election in Sri Lanka in a dozen years. And it was being held in conditions far from ideal. A fully-fledged youth insurrection was raging in more..

Sri Lanka’s strongman President could be facing a poll upset

Jan 8 (Time) Sri Lanka went to the polls on Thursday, kicking off an election that could result in the biggest shake-up of its govt in over a decade. Thousands lined up to vote at more than 12,000 polling stations across the country after the polls opened at 7 a.m. local time, with local media reporting that most districts had showed a turnout of 30 to 40% within the first three hours. The snap election was called by President Rajapaksa in November, about two years before more..

Separate line allocates to monitor election violence

Jan 8 (AD) The Election Department has allocated a separate phone line to receive complaints with respect to the Presidential election, Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said. “This is to inform that centers for election complaints investigation located in the Election Secretariat and offices of the District Returning Offices are open from 6.30 a.m. on the polling day for receiving complaints or observation submitted to the above fax and telephone numbers more..

Video: The most peaceful presidential poll; Police

Jan 8 (DM) Today’s presidential election was the most peaceful election held so far compared to the presidential polls in 2005 and 2010, the police said. SSP Ajith Rohana said only 405 incidents of polls violations were reported as at 12 noon today whereas 1,200 incidents were reported in 2005 and 1,090 in 2010 during the corresponding period. “We were able to conduct a peaceful election and we expect this situation will prevail within more..

Police deploy 800 officers to protect Temple Trees

Jan 8 (AM) Strong security measures are now in place around Temple Trees in Colombo, the residence of incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Police Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana told Media on Thursday evening. It is reported that over 800 Police officers have been deployed to protect the President’s residence, under the instructions of Senior DIG Anura Senanayake. Barricades have also been set up around the Temple Trees to provide more security. more..

Bathiudeen charges 10000 muslim IDPs barred from Voting

Jan 8 (AM) Former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen charged that nearly 10,000 Muslim IDP s were prevented from voting today due to transport issues. Although 20 buses were arranged by the Elections Commissioner to facilitate their transport, he alleged that a politician of the UPFA blocked them. IDPs had to travel to Manar to cast their votes. However, our reporters in Puttalam said some of the IDPs were using three wheelers and other means of transport to travel to puttalam. more..

Election day: Sri Lanka at a crossroads

Jan 8 (CNN) In November, when President Mahinda Rajapaksa called an election two years earlier than necessary, the path ahead looked clear for an unprecedented third term in office. Today, as the nation of 15 million eligible voters goes to the polls, the 69-year-old's electoral ambitions appear in jeopardy. After enabling an extension of his presidency by doing away with a two-term limit, Rajapaksa's campaign was more..

Minor explosion 800m away from Nawaladi polling centre

Jan 8 (AM) A minor blast occurred in Jaffna Nawaladi area due to a hand-grenade explosion. Asian Mirror reporter in Jaffna said that no injuries were reported due to the insident. The explosion has reportedly occurred near the Nawaladi polling center. Meanwhile, issuing a statement to media earlier today, CaFFE election monitors said that the explosion has occurred about 800 metres away from the polling center. The statement added that the people who were on the way to more..

Sri Lanka polling stations close with high voter turnout

Jan 8 (Guardian) Polling stations have shut after a largely peaceful day of voting to decide Sri Lanka’s closely fought presidential election. Though some problems were reported in the north of the island, in areas dominated by the Tamil minority, the more dire predictions of widespread violence went unfulfilled and turnout is expected to be high. The contest pits the incumbent, Mahinda Rajapaksa, against the former health minister, Maithripala Sirisena, and is one of the most significant more..

SL's Mahinda Rajapaksa faces crucial poll

Jan 8 (BBC) Millions of Sri Lankans have voted in an unexpectedly close election that pits President Rajapaksa against one of his former allies. Mr Rajapaksa, in office since 2005, called the election two years early with analysts predicting an easy win. But many voters have since rallied behind the challenger, former health minister Maithripala Sirisena. There were armed policemen at every polling station because of concerns the vote more..

Polls chief says poll was peaceful

Jan 8 (CG) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya says the 2015 Presidential election was overall peaceful and the counting of votes will begin on schedule. Speaking to reporters this evening, Deshapriya said that the counting of the votes will begin at 7pm tonight and the final results are expected to be released by tomorrow evening. He also said that the counting of postal votes had already begun and the first postal vote result is expected by 10 tonight. more..

Sajith's mobile number faked and used for SMS campaign

Jan 8 (AM) An SMS is now being circulated using a fake mobile number of UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa urging the UNP supporters to vote for President Rajapaksa. The United National Party confirmed that Sajith Premadasa had nothing to do with the SMS and this mobile number had been used without his knowledge. UNP sources said that Premadasa would lodge a formal complaint with the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) in this regard. more..

Polls Chief forces Rupavahini to apologise for Sajith P crossover stunt propaganda

Jan 8 (AM) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said that he personally visited the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) and requested them to correct the false story it carried on UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa’s crossover. State-run television carried a story on the day of presidential election saying UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa met President Rajapaksa at Carlton Residence more..

Discouraged Rajapaksa to advance presidential election: Sirisena

Jan 8 (HT) A day before today’s presidential election and surrounded by swarms of noisy supporters in his office, candidate of the opposition, Maithripala Sirisena, who is challenging incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa spoke exclusively to Hindustan Times through his media advisor. Q: For decades and till just two months ago when you crossed over to the opposition the day after preponed presidential elections were announced, you were one of President Rajapaksa’s most trusted more..

Sri Lanka can't have a president with unlimited powers: Wickremesinghe

Jan 8 (HT) Sri Lanka's opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe is the brains and chief architect behind the 'Rainbow Coalition', whose candidate Maithripala Sirisena challenges incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa in presidential elections. The exhausted but upbeat politician, who will then be prime minister, spoke exclusively to Padma Rao Sundarji for the Hindustan Times on India, the international community and the charges that Sri Lanka could slide back into anarchy if Sirisena wins: more..

Monitors: Sri Lankan vote largely peaceful despite incidents

Jan 8 (AP) Long lines formed in the capital Thursday and voter turnout was heavy in Sri Lanka's Tamil heartland as President Rajapaksa faced his toughest electoral challenge in years, with a former ally trying to unseat the leader who crushed a brutal Tamil insurgency and amassed immense power for himself and his family. Some voters were prevented from casting ballots in the Tamil-dominated north, according to more..

SL's president facing stiff election challenge

Jan 8 (LAT) Ballots were being counted Thursday in Sri Lanka’s closest election in recent memory as powerful President Rajapaksa faced a surprisingly fierce challenge from a onetime ally. In spite of threats of violence, precincts across the island nation reported high turnout in what was widely seen as a referendum on Rajapaksa’s decade-long rule. He is credited with ending a bloody civil war against ethnic Tamil rebels but is increasingly accused of turning the country into a family dictatorship. more..

Special police security tomorrow

Jan 8 (CG) A special police security plan will be in place tomorrow in Colombo and several other areas, SSP Ajith Rohana said today. He said that while the election was the most peaceful when compared to the past two Presidential elections, the police will look to maintain tight security even after the results are released. There are reports that special police security will also be deployed around Temple Trees as part of the special security plan in the city. Police had received 405 election related complaints more..

Sri Lanka on edge as voting ends in tight presidential election

Jan 8 (Reuters) A night of suspense lay ahead for Sri Lanka as voting ended in a presidential election that could hand Mahinda Rajapaksa a third term or bring to power a rival who has vowed to root out corruption and political decay. Supporters of Mithripala Sirisena, a former govt minister who deserted the president and changed sides to become the opposition's candidate in November, said figures showing a high voter turnout more..

A challenge for change

Jan 9 (CT) Retruning back from Nedunkerni and Mulathivu after an election monitoring exercise today I was horrified to see two huge armed cars and vehicles carrying soldiers near the Kelaniya bridge. Eventhough I could have avoided the visit the message I received challenged me as a human rights defender to be present with the people as they exercised their right to vote. On the otherhand I am glad that the visit now compelled me to share with the Sri Lankan citizens who more..

Bishop Shantha Francis and the Diaspora

Jan 9 (CT) This week Rt. Reverend Shantha Francis, the Anglican Bishop of Kurunegala, resigned from his position claiming that “he, being a Tamil, was under pressure from Tamil Diaspora groups to toe their line.”(DM, 05/01) According to Bishop Francis the Diaspora is against his support for a unitary state and his lack of speaking for the rights of the minorities. Bishop Francis was never actively involved in a campaign to support unitary state or rights of the minorities. more..

Introducing Jaffna: Sri Lanka's rising star

Jan 9 (SO) Earlier this year, hundreds of enthusiastic Sri Lankans joined President Rajapaksa at Jaffna Station to witness the arrival of the Queen of Jaffna for the first time in 24 years. The long suspended "Queen" train service connects Colombo to the city of Jaffna, a former war zone on the island's far north. The rail track was built by the British in 1905 and shut down in 1990 by Tamil rebels, who spent a quarter of a century more..

The Chandrika Bandaranaike factor - Part I

Jan 9 (GV) A Gaullist executive presidency for Sri Lanka was an idea that J.R. Jayewardene cherished since the early years of the Dominion state. Having won a spectacular majority against Sirima Bandaranaike’s United Front in 1977 (by then disunited and disintegrating), Jayewardene was finally in a position to give expression to his ultimate wish, an all-powerful, overarching Gaullist executive presidency. Since its establishment, the executive presidency of Sri Lanka has been the topic of more..

Editorial: Thankfully, it’s over

Jan 9 (Island) The outcome of yesterday’s presidential election will be announced officially over the course of next few hours, but the trend is clear and who the winner is not difficult to guess. One man’s victory is another man’s defeat. That is the way with all contests, electoral or otherwise. We have seen politicians voted in and voted out on numerous occasions. The people have spoken and it is now up to every contestant to accept their verdict without making issues out of more..

Investments on the rise

Jan 9 (CT) It is said that economics is the science about scarcity. In a world with limited resources it is important to manage those resources to achieve the best result. As it is important to individuals, it is important to any country to manage its resources. JK Packing (Pvt) Ltd. Managing Director Lakshman de Fonseka in an interview with Ceylon Today shared his views and opinions about the country's economy. more..