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Govt partner alleges TNA trying to avenge LTTE defeat

Jan 1 (Island) The four-party TNA couldn’t absolve itself of the responsibility for being part of the Eelam project, the NFF said yesterday. The TNA comprises the ITAK, PLOTE, TELO and EPRLF. However, at the inception, the TULF had been a constituent. NFF spokesman Mohammed Muzammil alleged that the TNA had pretended to denounce the LTTE to clear the way for an agreement with Opposition presidential more..

Quadruple murder in Wennappuwa

Jan 1 (AD) The police have launched an investigation in connection with bodies of four members of the same family which were recovered in Nainamadama area in Wennappuwa. The bodied were recovered as a result of intensive search operation launched by the Crime Unite of the Wennappuwa police, this afternoon. The deceased have been identified as Punya Wijesinghe (49), a female doctor of Lunuwila Base hospital, more..

Sri Lanka opposition says army scaring off Tamil voters

Jan 1 (AFP) Sri Lanka's opposition Thursday accused the government of deploying thousands of troops to deter ethnic minority Tamils from voting against President Mahinda Rajapakse in next week's election. A top opposition official said the sending of reinforcements to Tamil-majority areas was part of a strategy to intimidate voters against backing Rajapakse's main challenger Maithripala Sirisena in the January 8 contest. more..

'Security forces add 14,000 skilled workers since end of war'

Jan 1 (MoD) Producing statistical details with regard to the Tri-Forces involvement in the development process, defence spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that, over 14000 skilled personnel have been added to the cadre since the conclusion of war who were directly recruited into several professions categories. Further explaining he stated that, in addition the Army has recruited over 10000 skilled personnel who more..

Maithri assures diplomatic corps

Jan 1 (CG) Common opposition Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena today assured the diplomatic community based in Sri Lanka that he will take measures to establish democracy in Sri Lanka. Addressing the diplomats at the Galadari hotel, Sirisena said that he has already shared copies of his manifesto with the diplomats based in Sri Lanka and UN organisations. He told the diplomats that, if he wins Jan 8 election, more..

Match fixing in Sri Lanka confirmed!

Jan 1 (DM) There were many shady areas over Sri Lanka’s short-lived professional T20 Cricket League called SL Premier League (SLPL) that led to much suspicion and speculation over the authenticity of the tournament for a long time. There had however been no concrete evidence to prove match fixing in the controversial tournament, but last month, SLC which conducted the tournament had finally received solid proof more..

Elections in Sri Lanka: Down to the wire

Jan 1 (Economist) THE plan seemed such a simple one. Mahinda Rajapaksa called an election in November expecting to breeze past a shambolic, divided opposition and take an unprecedented third term as SL’s president. The poll, would be two years earlier than necessary. It would also be the first after a constitutional amendment in 2010 that abolished a two-term limit for presidents. more..

Rathana Thera warns of youth uprising

Jan 1 (NS) Unless steps are taken to immediately free the country from the forces of corruption that are governing it today, it is likely to face a youth uprising within the next two years, JHU MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera warned today. Thera said President Rajapaksa’s govt had failed in implementing a reconciliation process after the war, instead preferring to completely bypass the people of the North and East when initiating more..

A New Year dawns with much promise

Jan 1 (CT) Ah, a New Year dawns, bringing with it new expectations, new hopes, new dreams. What can Sri Lanka expect in the New Year? Well, 2015 certainly promises plenty of thrills. Just a week into the New Year, millions of Sri Lankans will go to the polls. Come 8 January, each of us will be proudly showing off an ink-stained finger. Many of us will stay awake late into the night on that day, to catch the first results of the presidential election. By the next morning perhaps, more..

Sri Lankan snake sighted in Seshachalam

Jan 1 (Hindu) Chrysopelea taprobanica Smith 1943, a snake considered endemic to the dry and intermediate zones of Sri Lanka, has been sighted for the first time in India in the Seshachalam Biosphere Reserve, Andhra Pradesh. The development, which significantly expands the known area of presence of this species, also indicates its probable movement between the dry zones of peninsular India and Sri Lanka, which remained connected around 17,000 years ago. more..

Sri Lanka's presidential race closely monitored by Australia

Jan 1 (WAT) Australian officials are carefully watching SL's surprisingly close presidential election, uneasy about how a change of govt might affect joint action to stop asylum seekers' boats. But human rights advocates have urged the Abbott govt to cease its "unquestioning" support for President Rajapaksa and push for an international investigation into claims of war crimes during the country's civil war. more..

New Year 2015: A principled pre-election compromise

Jan 1 (CT) Ok it’s 1 January 2015 and the last week before the election. After so much water has flowed under the bridge – I have contributed much water in more ways than one – it is time to draw up our paper, and for better for worse, take a final position. Easiest is to share with interested readers an understanding that I reached with two large e-mail circulation groups. The two extracts reproduced here pretty much sum up what I believe is a realistic but principled compromise. more..

Muthoot Finance acquires SL company

Jan 1 (Hindu) Muthoot Finance (MFL) has acquired 51% equity shares of Colombo-based Asia Asset Finance PLC (AAF), the company told the National Stock Exchange (NSE) Wednesday. “Pursuant to open offer given by MFL for acquisition of shares of AAF in Colombo Stock Exchange, the company has acquired 56,059,084 shares at 1.60 LKR,” MFL chief general manager K.R. Bijimon informed the NSE. MFL said it had received the necessary approvals from CSE and SEC in Sri Lanka for more..

Salman faces rap for Lanka campaign

Jan 1 (TOI) Actor Salman Khan, known to court controversies, has now invited censure from the newly-floated Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC), a breakaway faction of Congress in Tamil Nadu. On Wednesday, TMC leader and former Union minister G K Vasan reacted sharply to reports of the actor campaigning for SL President Rajapaksa. "For an actor like Salman Khan to go to SL to campaign for Rajapaksa more..

Commotion over docs’ enhanced DAT allowance too premature – Health Secy

Jan 1 (Island) Health Secretary Sudharma Kurunaratne said that though the Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera had issued a directive increasing the Disturbance, Availability and Transport Allowance (DAT) by Rs.15,000 for doctors, she had not issued a circular to implement the Rs.15,000 DAT as the Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya had instructed her not to act in a manner that would be advantageous to incumbent govt on the eve of Presidential Election. more..

Students’ union alleges bid to set up 7 medical schools

Jan 1 (Island) Medical Faculty Students’ Action Committee (MFSAC) Convener Rayan Jayalath claimed that some foreign universities had secretly got the approval of the BOI to open seven medical schools in Sri Lanka. The MFSAC had learnt through a reliable source that some foreign universities were interested in establishing more private medical schools in Sri Lanka. He said their struggle against the Malabe PMC would never stop as they wanted to maintain the standards more..

NPOC claims CaFFE is biased

Jan 1 (CT) The National Polls Observation Centre (NPOC) yesterday slammed Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) for operating on foreign funds, alleging that their election monitoring activities and reportage was biased. Media Spokesman, Chandrasiri de Silva said that CaFFE was not independent because they received foreign funds and were therefore, serving the agenda of countries which did not want SL to more..

Nandamitra’s son still supports MR

Jan 1 (DM) Deputy Minister Nandimithra Ekanayake’s son Chinthana Ekanayake, who is a Central Provincial Councillor, said he would remain with the SLFP and support President Mahinda Rajapaksa. “I won’t leave the SLFP. I love my father but I don’t approve of his decision to support Mr. Sirisena,” he said. Minister Ekanayake quit the Government this morning and pledged his support to Common Opposition Candidate Maithripala Sirisena.

Muslims will vote for Mahinda: Karuna

Jan 1 (CT) Deputy Resettlement Minister, V Muralitharan said, although the SLMC has left the government the Muslim community will support President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the forthcoming election. "The SLMC committed the biggest betrayal by leaving the government. The Muslim leadership has rejected the people. They have stopped all the advantages given to the people by the government. I believe that President Rajapaksa is the only non-communal leader. more..

MR rebukes CBK on Mr. Praba

Jan 1 (CG) President Rajapaksa rebuked former President Chandrika Kumaratunga saying she had used the term “Mr” to refer to LTTE leader Prabakaran. President said that Kumaratunga had never used the term “Mr” for him and instead simply called him Mahinda while she called the LTTE leader “Mr. Prabakaran”. President also recalled the terror period when the UNP was in power and the atrocities committed by the LTTE. more..

Loss making CEB spends Rs. 800 mn on advertising!

Jan 1 (Island) CEB employees and unions question why millions of rupees are spent on advertising when it is free from competition being a state monopoly. Unionists say the prime time television advertisements have cost the CEB close to Rs. 800 million. Some senior engineers told The Island that while CEB had advertised in the past, too, such advertisements always had a specific purpose such as conserving electricity and educating the public on efficient use of energy. more..

Bishop of Mannar discusses the need for unity with MS

Jan 1 (CT) Bishop of Mannar, Rev. Rayappu Joseph told common presidential candidate, Maithripala Sirisena that all politicians in the country said they will provide all facilities to the Tamil people other than 'Tamil Eelam'. But none of the promises have been fulfilled thus far. "We don't want any Eelam but we want to live with self respect. We only expect that these people get all the promises given to them," he said. Bishop of Mannar further said the common alliance including common presidential more..

Video: Gunaratnam says change won’t help

Jan 1 (DM) FSP politburo member Kumar Gunaratnam today vowed to continue politics in Sri Lanka and said replacing the Rakapaksa Govt with a Maithripala Sirisena Government would only provide temporary relief to the burning issues in this country. “It will be like an interval in hell. People are fed up with one rule and are so eager for a change. The so called change would not provide lasting solutions to the plight of the people. more..

Polls law violation thwarted by Deputy Election Commissioner

Jan 1 (Island) Ratnapura Deputy Election Commissioner (DEC) has recovered a part of five million almanacs with the face of UPFA Presidential Candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa, being distributed among the people in the area on Tuesday targeting the Presidential Election in January, 2015. The calendars worth Rs. 50 million had been printed by the Divi Neguma Department, using tax payers’ money, claimed Executive Director of PAFFREL Rohana Hettiarachchi. more..

Tiran - Gammanpila influence Sajith Premadasa to join govt

Jan 1 (AM) It has now come to the limelight that DNA MP Tiran Alles and UPFA Provincial Councilor Udaya Gammanpila have influenced UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa to join the UPFA govt just days before the presidential election. Asian Mirror reliably learns that the Deputy Leader of the UNP has agreed to negotiate the matter only if he gets the post of PM immediately after the crossover. However, the top echelons of the ruling party had communicated to Premadasa that more..

Court orders govt examiner's 'analysis' of signatures of Ranil and Maithri

Jan 1 (AM) The CID was today ordered to obtain an analysis from Government Examiner of documents regarding the alleged signatures that appear in a secret agreement between Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe and the opposition's common candidate Maithripala Sirisena by the Colombo Fort Magistrate. The CID had begun an investigation into the matter following a complaint made by UNP Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe. more..

'President scolded me after my speech at father's funeral'

Jan 1 (AM) WPC Member Hirunika Premachandra claimed that President Rajapaksa scolded her over the phone on the day of her father’s funeral, after she had made a speech that day, local media reported. She made this revelation speaking at the women’s convention which gathered in support of common candidate Maithripala Sirisena at Viharamahadevi Open Air Theater. She added that the president had asked if she was trying to topple the govt by making unnecessary speeches. more..

'My govt committed to maintain free education, health service in country'

Jan 1 (FT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa underscored that he strongly believed that every Government should mandatorily maintain free education as well as free health service in the country. As such he pointed out that he would be totally dedicated to safeguarding free education and free health, addressing specialist doctors at a meeting in Colombo on Tuesday. The Government has taken initiatives to grant all facilities required by the health sector. more..

Hakeem rejects govt. charges

Jan 1 (DM) SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem said today his party neither demanded a separate administrative district nor had any secret agreement with the TNA to amalgamate North and East as alleged by the govt. He said the Muslim Congress was formed as a result of the fight to separate North and East. “The govt is making allegations that the SLMC and the TNA have secret agreement to amalgamate the North and the East. more..

'Chandrika gifted Punarin and Elephant Pass'

Jan 1 (AM) SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said that during former President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s rule lives of thousands of soldiers were sacrificed to the LTTE and major strongholds such as Punarin and Elephant pass were ‘gifted’ to the LTTE. “Former President claimed that she finished 75% of the war and that President Rajapaksa picked up from there. I simply have to ask, how can a person who took one step to the front and then two steps back, more..

SL remain content with their rub of the green

Jan 1 (Stuff) The nervous laughter said more than Lahiru Thirimanne could. Where the Sri Lankan batsman's from - Moratuwa - pitches don't get great grass coverage. No-one was required to bat on the Basin Reserve yesterday but the prospect of having to do it tomorrow left Thirimanne wide-eyed and practically speechless. "The first test [at Hagley Oval] we saw some green on the top. But this one is even greener, I think," an incredulous Thirimanne said ahead of the second test more..

Video: Nandimithra Ekanayake for Maitri

Jan 1 (AD) Deputy Minister Nandimithra Ekanayake pledged to support Maithripala Sirisena at the forthcoming Presidential election. This was announced at a press conference held in Colombo, this afternoon. Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Arjuna Ranatunga also participated for the press conference. Ekanayake said that he tendered his resignation letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, this morning. more..

Presidential Elections 2015: The choice

Jan 2 (CT) There are two main candidates – Mahinda Rajapaksa and ‘Common Opposition candidate’ Maithripala Sirisena. The election was called by Rajapaksa two years before it was due because of a slide in his popularity as judged from the recent PC Elections. It is important to know that he had two more years as President when he called the election. The importance is that he has claimed, with some strange reasoning, that even if he loses, he will continue as President for two more more..

My new year’s wish: A change of status quo

Jan 2 (CT) Frankly (and in a few words), I am utterly disgusted with what I see! From such a promising future that was so easily within our grasp with the defeat of terror in 2009, we have done everything but capitalize on it; and even at the risk of being tagged a non-patriot, I am not willing to allow a regime to remain simply out of “gratitude”! We will be eternally indebted to President Rajapaksa (MR) for leading us with unparalleled political defiance during that period, thus paving the way for more..

Adios 2014 - Greetings 2015

Jan 2 (SO) My good friend, the universal communications sage - Sir Arthur C. Clarke had an intriguing method of dramatising the passage of life. At his 90th birthday, he said to the surprise of us all, that he had orbited the sun 90 times. And, that is the stark scientific truth. The planet we inhabit makes a complete orbit around our star - the sun - every year. This process has been going on for billions of years, uninterrupted. more..

Sri Lanka in 2014

Jan 2 (NS) January 01 - Following revelations in The Nation over the past several weeks, DNA MP Sunil Handunnetti handed over a petition to the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption requesting it to open an investigation into the Commission’s Chairman and former Supreme Court Judge, Justice Jagath Balapatabendi. 22 - A mass grave was discovered in Mannar. Weeks later, the Archeological Department said that it belonged to the 1950s, a claim challenged by some. more..

How they view the ongoing election campaigns

Jan 2 (CT) The political arena in the last week has not been short of entertainment as members of one party crossed over to the other and caused a media frenzy every time they did so. Interestingly however, most of these crossovers took place at the local govt level. While many in the govt camp find solace that these crossovers are simply minor setbacks, an analysis of how these crossovers in their totality impact the grass-roots campaign of the common opposition is needed. more..

Stringent laws to control causes of landslides

Jan 2 (CT) Director of Landslide Research & Risk Management Division, R.M.S. Bandara, of the National Building Research Organization (NBRO), in an interview with the Ceylon Today, insisted on the need for a more stringent legal framework to control the causes of landslides in the country. Q: The country has been experiencing a frequent occurrence of landslides recently. What are the reasons for these frequent landslides? more..

Men at Election 2015 !

Jan 2 (NS) It’s three weeks since the presidential nominations have been called up. Nineteen candidates are scheduled to run for the next term presidency with two independent and 17 parties. All of them are men; and it seems like men are politically at war with one another. A political commentator told me, “Well your argument is right and wrong, because there is a prominent woman at the center of the election campaign. Then the other one told me, “Don’t you know that she had to more..

Schoolgirls commit suicide

Jan 2 (CT) The Buddhist clergy (non political), those who belong to NGOs, Hindu, Catholic, Christian priests and Muslim religious leaders, all together, form themselves into a strong Council and prevent the younger generation of this country from further disaster to their lives. Even children (school going children) take heroin and other drugs. Girls are being raped and murdered. School girls commit suicide. Why do you young girls with children end up in streets? more..