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TNA joining MS camp inimical to Tamils: CWC

Jan 4 (Island) The Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) alleged that the TNA decision to throw its weight behind Opposition candidate Maithipala Sirisena was inimical to the interests of the Tamil community. CWC Deputy Leader P. Radhakrishnan emphasised that the four-party alliance should have remained neutral. He said that the moderate overseas Tamils, too, had been concerned over controversial TNA decision. more..

A fight to the finish

Jan 4 (KT) When President Rajapaksa announced snap polls in Nov 2014, he was all set to cruise through to the finale. His third-term was taken to be a cakewalk, especially with the apex court paving the way for it. Just over a month later, the mood is one of tension within the Rajapaksa camp. They are not sure of a landslide sweep as in the previous years. The common candidate for the Opposition Maithripala Sirisena is garnering more support as he campaigns across the length and breadth of more..

Sri Lanka election: Hopes and fears

Jan 4 (SG) Sri Lankans go to polls on Thursday to elect a new president, with Mahinda Rajapaksa seeking a third term. That the election is taking place nearly two years ahead of schedule tells us something about the declining political fortunes of Rajapaksa who first came to power in 2005 and was re-elected in 2010. The 2010 election was conducted when Rajapaksa was at the height of his popularity as the leader who ended a 37-year-old guerrilla war after defeating the LTTE more..

'President earns wrath of West by doing right by the country'

Jan 4 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa had earned the wrath of an influential section of the international community for changing Sri Lanka’s direction after having won the presidential election in Nov 2005, Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara said yesterday. Veteran leftist said Sri Lanka’s foreign as well as national economic policies hadn’t been to the liking of Western powers as well as their local agents. more..

University of Moratuwa wins Young Professionals’ Challenge

Jan 4 (Island) The SATA Team from the University of Moratuwa won last year’s Young Professionals’ Challenge (YPC), a unique case study competition open to students and young professionals in the logistics and transport sector. YPC, the highlight of the year for young logistics and transport professionals, is organized by the Young Professionals’ Forum (YPF) under the patronage of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) Sri Lanka. more..

State domination of domestic air travel sees declining trend in industry

Jan 4 (ST) The demand for domestic air travel in Sri Lanka has seen a drastic decline, owing to the Air Force’s dominance in this sector, industry sources say. “The demand has fallen since most local aircraft routes are operated from the Air Force which other operators don’t enjoy. This takes away from the industry’s competitiveness as others cannot compete with them,” an industry source said. He further explained that Air Force aircraft can land at ‘any’ location, which isn’t the same for other more..

Rajapaksas are US citizens; they carry out a contract here

Jan 4 (LT) Those who are in Rajapaksa regime do not want the country to be a unitary state. Gotabhaya, Basil, Dallas, Chandima Rasaputhra do not expect to live in this country for long. That’s why they have houses in the USA. They are US citizens and have been here for 9 years. However, they have not given up their US citizenship. Every now and then they run to the USA to renew their citizenships. more..

President's astrologer denies media reports

Jan 4 (CT) President's astrologer, Sumanadasa Abeygunawardene, denied media reports yesterday that he was hospitalized for treatment last Saturday. When contacted by Ceylon Today, he said, "I am at home after attending a function. I am fine and in good health. The media has carried misleading news about me stating I was hospitalized. I will sue them." Editor's Note: Ceylon Today issue of yesterday carried a news item based on hospital sources that Sumanadasa more..

President insists won’t runaway

Jan 4 (CG) President Mahinda Rajapaksa says he will not leave Sri Lanka after the January 8 Presidential election and will remain in the country. He was reacting to reports that the opposition will close the international airport and not allow him to escape if he loses the election on Thursday. Speaking at an election rally in Pollonaruwa today, Rajapaksa said that as a person who did not runaway from the LTTE he will not runaway from Sri Lanka. more..

'Sri Lankan poll machinery looks confident'

Jan 4 (Hindu) Amid concerns among sections regarding alleged abuse of govt machinery, discrimination by police, and control of the state media, Sri Lanka’s election commission appears confident about holding a free and fair election on Jan 8, said the former Chief Election Commissioner of India S.Y. Quraishi here on Sunday. “The Election Commissioner exuded supreme confidence and told us that all arrangements were in place,” more..

Even MR said Mr Praba says UNP

Jan 4 (CG) The UNP said that even President Rajapaksa had once referred to LTTE leader V Prabakaran as “Mr. Prabakaran”. The Govt has been accusing former President Chandrika Kumaratunga of giving recognition to a terrorist leader by referring to him as “Mr. Prabakaran” in one of her speeches. However UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera made reference to a speech made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2005 after he won the Presidential election, where he says more..

International monitors get down to duty today

Jan 4 (Island) 55 election observers from the Forum of Election Management Bodies of South Asia (FEMBSA) and the Association of Asian Election Authorities (AAEA) will fan out to all districts today. Chief Election Commissioner (Nepal) Nellkantha Uprety addressing a media conference yesterday in Colombo said that his team of observers and himself would observe the Presidential Election impartially and would issue a complete report just after the election to the media. more..

Compromising national security: FUTA defends MS

Jan 4 (Island) With the govt and the Opposition trading allegations as regards national security and post-war deployment of armed forces in the Northern Province, FUTA came out strongly in support of Maithripala Sirisena’s candidature at Jan 8, presidential poll. FUTA executive committee member Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri emphasized that there was absolutely no basis for a govt claim that Maithripala Sirisena’s election would be more..

The need to keep the fire burning

Jan 5 (DM) Despite who will win it, the upcoming election in its own right is paramount because it marks a key turning point in Sri Lanka’s 57-year post-independence political history. Unlike at any other moment in its history, the progressive civic forces have come to the front, demanding a better country. It seems the majority of Sri Lanka public has decided to transform themselves to citizens from subjects, who actively partake in the democratic process. more..

Over to you Mr. Mahinda Deshapriya ...

Jan 5 (DM) The month long presidential election campaign ends tonight. Both parties expect prominent members to cross over today at their main meetings. Common Opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena will wind up his campaign opposite the Tower Hall Theatre, Maradana, the traditional location where the UNP has held its final rally, the Premadasa stronghold. Mahinda Rajapaksa will conclude his final rally in Kesbewa in the Colombo District. more..

‘My father relieved the people’s fear and pain’

Jan 5 (DM) Q: The Rajapaksa family entered politics about 80 years ago. You are one of the youngest members in this family. What are your views about politics? A: Politics are completely different from what is used to be. My father, Mahinda Rajapaksa, became the President and finished the war. He ended the era where people were terrified. Then people needed a leader who could develop the country. more..

Opposition pulling in many directions

Jan 5 (Island) Senior Minister Tissa Vitharana said that President Rajapaksa had laid the foundation for a stable economy after bringing an end to the war. There was already considerable economic progress in the country. He said that the election was a decisive one in the country’s political history as it was a fight between the same elements in the international community and the patriotic forces and it will decide future of the country. more..

Police on the blind side of the campaign trail

Jan 5 (ST) Police investigating the attack on the election campaign rally of Common Opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena at Pelmadulla on Friday, were yet to make any breakthrough or arrests, although a regional politician’s goons were suspected to be behind the incident. At least 20 persons including several women were injured when unidentified persons hurled rocks & stones at the packed meeting, more..

No fight at all: President Rajapaksa

Jan 5 (SL) “No fight at all”, was the response from President Rajapaksa on Wednesday, when journalists asked his view on the outcome of the decisive Jan 8 election. Addressing the final media briefing before the Election, the President said that there were various rumours being spread in and around Colombo, but at all public meetings he takes part, it is very clear that the people’s response is extremely high. more..

'Prices of 10 essential items will be reduced'

Jan 5 (SL) Common Opposition Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena said prices of ten essential commodities will be brought down immediately after winning the election this week. He said that the prices of these commodities will further come down as he will remove the exorbitant taxes imposed on fuel. “By increasing taxes on fuel, the present govt collects Rs.40, 000 million annually. more..

Court orders Police to arrest Deputy Minister over shooting in Kahawatte

Jan 5 (AM) Pelmadulla Magistrate has ordered to arrest Deputy Minister Premalal Jayasekera over the shooting incident at Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena’s election rally in Kahawatte. Three people were injured following the incident and they were admitted to the hospital. This is the second shooting incident which took place during election rallies of the opposition. Eye-witnesses told the Police that the Deputy more..

MoU frenzy only shows President’s desperation

Jan 5 (DM) In an email interview with the Dailymirror, the leader of the UNP Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the SLFPers dissatisfied with Mahinda Rajapaksa are the crucial element in the upcoming presidential election and that Maithripala was the best man to win them over. He added that Maithripala Sirisena’s victory would not be a victory for him or any political party but a victory for the people of the country. more..

Day 3: Williamson gives NZ a fighting lead

Jan 5 (CI) In the previous Test played at Basin Reserve, a 352-run stand between Brendon McCullum and BJ Watling had turned the tables on India. Kumar Sangakkara and Dinesh Chandimal added 130 in this Test, a momentum-changing partnership that lifted Sri Lanka from a precarious position in their first innings. The two stands had been different in size, but similar in impact. Call it a new love affair between more..

Two election officers assaulted

Jan 5 (CG) Two election officers were assaulted last evening allegedly by supporters of the Deputy Minister Susantha Punchinilame in Trincomalee, the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) said. The incident occurred in front of the UPFA party office in Mattakkalli Junction, Trincomalee. When the CMEV monitor inquired from the Deputy Election Commissioner in the area, Sajith Welgama, he informed CMEV that more..

Maithripala to keep army in North

Jan 5 (CG) Common opposition Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena says he has no intention of withdrawing the army from the north if he wins the Presidential election. Sirisena said that if he wins Thursday’s election, as President, National security will be his responsibility. He said that he will give National security priority and not allow the country to be divided or allow the LTTE to regroup in Sri Lanka. more..

In two minds about violence and rule of law

Jan 5 (CT) Irrespective of political loyalty or ideological position, few would justify the increasing levels of violence in the run up to the election and the flagrant disregard for the law exhibited by the supporters of the incumbent President. Many are the public condemnations. Yet, previous election results show that candidates who engage in violence and disregard election law are rarely punished by the electorate. Those with the most cutouts win; leading to even greater excess in the next iteration. more..

Presidency under threat: Perversions of norms

Jan 5 (CT) I had thought this would be the last article in this series, since the election will be held in a couple of days, and the threat would have been fulfilled then (or possibly averted, though that seems increasingly unlikely as I write). But the manner in which some characters in the President’s camp are behaving suggests we may still have a period of uncertainty after the election results. First there is the extraordinary statement of Rev Nalaka that, even if he loses, President can go on for more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

JVP alert on polls day

Jan 5 (CT) Leader of the JVP, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, said that the JVP has put in place a special operation to ensure that the votes cast by the people are secure during the Presidential Election. He said that representatives of the JVP would be working together with the Department of Elections and the Elections Commissioner until the votes are in and the final results are out. He added that President Rajapaksa had no hopes of winning the upcoming elections no matter what more..

'Navy will never forget its heroes'

Jan 5 (Island) Sri Lanka Navy, which had played a pivotal role in ushering a lasting peace to the nation, would never forget its heroes. It would forever be grateful to the sacrifices made by the naval personnel who paved the way for the eradication of terrorism from the country, Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Jayantha Perera addressing the family members of its personnel killed in action (KIA), missing in action (MIA) and wounded in action (WIA) in the Western Naval Area at the more..

Violent incidents mount as Sri Lanka heads to presidential poll

Jan 5 (Reuters) Three supporters of the challenger for Sri Lanka's presidency were injured by unidentified gunmen on Monday, the latest in a series of violent incidents ahead of the election this week. Over the weekend a volley of shots were fired at a campaign meeting just after Mithripala Sirisena, who has emerged as a serious threat to President Rajapaksa's bid for a third term, had left the stage in his rural heartland home district. more..

Sri Lanka stock performance not related to politics, says broker

Jan 5 (EN) Sri Lanka's stock market will be volatile in the first half with two elections due but attempts to link its performance to that of any political party would be "an exercise in politics", a stock broker said. The island will have a presidential election on January 8 to be likely followed by parliamentary polls before May. Incumbent President Rajapaksa faces a strong challenge from Maithripala Sirisena, who defected from the ruling party to be the common candidate of a newly unified opposition more..

GMOA faults Sirisena’s manifesto on National Wage Policy

Jan 5 (Island) The GMOA has found fault with the election manifesto of the common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena, It is contradictory and vague and does not contain the basic principles of the National Wage Policy, the GMOA says. GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said that since 2001 the GMOA had been asking successive govts to implement the National Wage Policy for all categories of professionals in the country, because in the absence of many professionals more..

Court bars President’s TV show

Jan 5 (DM) The District Court of Kaduwela issued an enjoining order against four television stations from broadcasting a programme titled Janapathi Janahamuwa or a programme of similar nature featuring President Rajapakse. Issuing the enjoining order on an application filed by lawyers for the common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena, the District Court barred the ITN, Rupavahini, more..

Basnayake Nilames extend their support to President

Jan 5 (Island) The All-Island Basnayake Nilames' Association yesterday announced their support to President Rajapaksa at the forthcoming Presidential election. At a media conference chaired by Diyawadana Nilame Pradeep Nilanga Dela, Secretary of the Basnayaka Nilames' Association Priyantha Jayasundara said that the association decided to support President Mahinda Rajapaksa as a mark of gratitude for his assistance to improve the conditions of the historical places of worship more..

Man self immolates near Viharamahadevi Park

Jan 5 (AD) A 72-year-old person has self-immolated in front of the Viharamahadevi Park in Colombo, early hours of this morning. The wounded person has been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Colombo National Hospital with life threatening injuries. The victim who is a resident of Pannipitiya, kottwa has set himself on fire after pouring a bottle of kerosene oil, the police said. The police have not yet disclosed reasons behind the suicide attempt. more..

Video: 'Troops won’t be removed from North'

Jan 5 (DM) Common Opposition Candidate Maithripala Sirisena said the administration he would form on Saturday if elected to power would not remove the security forces from the North. He said his administration would not devolve power either but would initially focus on the 100-day programme under which social and political reforms would be implemented. TNA had also assured its support for these reforms. more..

Dullas bleating veiled plaudits

Jan 5 (CT) Minister Dullas Alahapperumma cautioned actress Samanalee Fonseka on her ascent to the political platform, while he praised her artistry in the film industry. The minister, who made these comments, at a press briefing held at SLFP headquarters yesterday, alleged that a number of young artists, who had extended their support to the common candidate, were being inaccurate in their assertions with regard to the Kumbukgate attack on them. more..

Maithripala skips election meetings due to security reasons

Jan 5 (AM) Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena avoided attending several political rallies yesterday due to security reasons. Despite his absence, the Common Candidate yesterday addressed a meeting in Kandy yesterday via a telephone call. Speaking to the crowd gathered at the house of the UNP organizer of Galagedara polling division, the Common Candidate said that the recent attacks on his election meetings posed a serious threat to his life. With the attack on our meeting in more..

Video: Those who induced MPs to quit govt. will be punished: Dulles

Jan 5 (DM) In the event President Rajapaksa wins Thursday’s election, legal action will be taken against foreign agencies and individuals who allegedly funded the common opposition election campaign and induced govt members to join the opposition, Minister Dulles Alahapperuma said. He said that the govt had identified ‘three foreign hands’ and certain foreign intelligence arms involved in helping the more..