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We are who we elect

July 6 (DM) A society can be judged by how best it treats its least fortunate, the ones who always seem to get the bitter end of every circumstance. Today I was profoundly affected by something and it made me put into context a great many things, in light of recent events in my life and in the country. Out of the gaze of many, beyond the window of a prominent fast food outlet down Galle Road, stood a solitary 12-year-old girl, clinging to a post nearby and gazing through establishment’s window more..

Parallel enigmas of VP and MR

July 6 (DM) The attempts to field ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa as a PM candidate to contest the upcoming Parliamentary elections by a vocal fringe of the southern political community is similar to the attempts to reincarnate the mystique of V Prabhakaran by a vocal fringe of the northern political community. After the demise of the LTTE leader, a considerable section of northern political community refused to accept his death more..

Champika accuses SLMC, JVP of sabotaging 20A

July 7 (Island) It was the SLMC and the JVP that had sabotaged efforts to reform the electoral system to enable people to elect MPs responsible for their electorates and the UNP, too had not been keen to effect changes and people should not vote for them in forthcoming general election, General Secretary of the JHU Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka said on Saturday. more..

Costs borne by the public to maintain a monitoring MP

July 6 (SL) Startling revelations have surfaced as to how the former Monitoring MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena engaged in lavish spending of public funds during overseas tours. It is also alleged that Gunawardena had travelled to Dubai on personal business tours in the guise of official visits using public funds. Gunawardena, who is now under remand custody for allegedly misusing state more..

Moves to revive Common Alliance under Swan Symbol with Mahinda’s entry

July 7 (Island) With the UPFA announcing that it had decided to give former President Mahinda Rajapaksa nomination to contest the August 17 General Election, moves are on to revive the Common Alliance under the Swan Symbol which had ensured the installation of Maithripala Sirisena as President. Convenor of the National Fortress (Jathika Paura) and Ex-UNP SPC Member, Maithri Gunaratne said that they had approached more..

Polls Chief gets tough, wants assets declarations along with nominations

July 6 (ST) Elections Commissioner (EC) Mahinda Deshapriya has requested prospective candidates of the forthcoming Parliamentary polls to hand in their assets declaration forms along with their nominations. An Elections Dept official said that assets declaration could be handed over within three months, but the EC has requested that presenting them along with their nominations would set a good precedence. more..

Black Tigers commemorated in Jaffna Uni

July 7 (CG) The LTTE Black Tigers were commemorated in the Jaffna university today. Commemorating the LTTE is banned in Sri Lanka since the LTTE is listed as a terrorist group. However Jaffna university students had commemorated the LTTE Black Tigers by lighting candles. The first Black Tiger was Vallipuram Vasanthan, who drove a small truck laden with explosives into a SL Army camp in Nelliady, more..

Ranil recalls CBK chose party before nation

July 7 (CG) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe recalled that in 2003 when he was PM and Chandrika Kumaratunga was President, she chose her party before the country. Wickremesinghe, who at the time was involved in peace talks with the LTTE following the signing of a cease fire agreement, said that the SLFP which was led by Kumaratunga at the time, did not understand what the then UNP Govt was attempting to more..

Sri Lanka polls timed ahead of U.N. war crimes report to foil Rajapaksa comeback

July 7 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's August elections have been timed to stop a comeback by war-time president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who remarkably may see his popularity rise in coming months if criticized for war crimes in a UN report, said govt sources. Rajapaksa's crushing of a 26-year Tamil Tiger insurgency in 2009 won him support among the country's Sinhalese majority and he still has a very strong following. more..

'President agrees to review Rajapaksa nominations'

July 7 (AM) Asian Mirror is now in a position to reveal that President Maithripala Sirisena has agreed to review his decision on former President Rajapaksa being given nomination to contest from the UPFA. President has made this remark at a meeting held with former President Chandrika Kumaratunga on July 05, highly placed SLFP sources said. However, the same sources added that President did not promise more..

Sanath Jayasuriya to quit politics

July 7 (AD) MP Sanath Jayasuriya says that he will not contest at the forthcoming General Election. Jayasuriya said that he has already tendered his resignation as the SLFP organizer of the Matara district. He added that he has come to a conclusion to retire from his political life as well. The 46-year-old cricketer-turned politician won the UPFA parliamentary election list for Matara district in 2010. He served as deputy minister of Postal more..

Free, fair poll

July 6 (CT) Pre-polls violence leading up to the 17 August, 2015 General Elections has allegedly already snuffed out one life, a supporter of UNP's Ratnapura District MP and Minister Thalatha Athukorala. Pre and post-poll violence and violence on Election Day have been the norm and not the exception in Sri Lanka's politics at least since independence in 1948. It's due to the largely politicized environment in which the country operates that has caused this to happen. more..

Minister Harrison says Mahinda committing political suicide

July 6 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is planning to commit political suicide by coming forward to contest the forthcoming general elections as an ordinary candidate, says Social Services and Live stock Development Minister P Harrison. Minister Harrison, addressing a press conference, said that the former president was in that predicament because of the corrupt politicos around him. "These elements entered politics without a cent in their pockets. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lanka shares near 11-week low

July 6 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares fell on Monday to a near-11-week low hit last week led by large-cap shares such as Nestle Lanka Plc and Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc on political uncertainty ahead of parliamentary elections. The main stock index ended 0.25% weaker at 6,989.41, hovering near its lowest close since April 15 hit on Thursday. The day's turnover was 453.5 million rupees ($3.40 million), well below this year's daily average of 1.07 billion rupees. more..

An aimless TNA & the disillusioned Tamils

July 6 (CT) TNA, functioning like a tail during LTTE’s reign, is still continuing to don this robe. TNA, a mixture of, EPRLF, TELO, PLOTE, and the Thamil Arasu Katchi is grappling with disunity, dissension, lack of direction, and objectives each pulling in different directions in the absence of a strong willed dynamic and aggressive leadership. Sampanthan is ailing in politics and he is finding it difficult to put up a unified approach, and working for a set purpose and objective as expected from a strong more..

Younis, Masood tons put Pakistan ahead

July 6 (CI) Shan Masood and Younis Khan came together at 13 for 2 in a chase of 377, and responded with the highest fourth-innings partnership ever for Pakistan, leaving the visitors 147 runs adrift of achieving the highest successful chase ever in Sri Lanka. The duo had to contend with a charged up three-man pace attack running in with a new ball. Masood had to overcome considerable nerves in general in his first more..

Some powerful nations against Mahinda

July 6 (CG) SLFP member and former Parliamentarian Salinda Dissanayake says some powerful countries are against former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Dissanayake said that the countries which wanted Rajapaksa out of power had used President Maithripala Sirisena and those around him to achieve their goals. “These countries used Maithripala Sirisena, Rajitha Senaratne, Champika Ranawaka and others to remove Mahinda Rajapaksa from power in January,” he said. more..

Arrested fishermen begin indefinite fast in Sri Lanka demanding release

July 6 (PTI) Fourteen fishermen from this coastal town, who were arrested last month by Sri Lankan naval personnel and whose remand was extended to July 17 by a court in the island nation, began an indefinite fast there on Monday, demanding that they be released. The three boats of the fishermen, arrested on June 2 near Katchatheevu islet on charges of illegal fishing, had also been seized. They were lodged in a prison in Mannar after their arrest. more..

Video: Gayantha says UNP confident in election win

July 6 (AD) As the UNP is about to contest separately at the General Election, it does not matter to whom the UPFA grant nominations to, Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka asserted. Observation was made, in response to a question about whether the UNPers have lost faith in President with the controversial decision to give nominations to the former President. “They have the freedom to decide to whom they going to give nominations. more..

Twelve Policemen transferred out

July 6 (DN) Twelve police officers attached to the Mahiyanganaya Police Station had been transferred with immediate effect, sources at the Mahiyanganaya Police said. These transfers had been made during the past two days following an incident where a group of UNP supporters were attacked while pasting posters in Mahiyanganaya by a group of supporters of a former SLFP MP. The main reason for the transfers were the non-arrest of those involved in this violent incident. more..

'Will come forward as a third force'

July 6 (DM) JHU Chairman and head of the National Council for a Clean Tomorrow (NCCT) Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera said they were ready to contest the parliamentary election as the third political force and create the country’s next PM. Thera said they have come up with a set of proposals to follow at the upcoming election to create a new and a better political culture. “Our proposals are still open for discussion and we will present them to President & consult him first. more..

No threat to Mulla Periyar dam from LTTE: TN

July 6 (IANS) TN govt does not agree with intelligence warnings that the Mulla Periyar dam faces threats from Sri Lanka's vanquished Tamil Tigers, Finance Minister O. Panneerselvam said on Monday. The state government will state this in an additional affidavit it will file in the Supreme Court in the Mulla Periyar Dam case. Panneerselvam refuted opposition allegations that the Tamil Nadu govt had filed an affidavit more..

Water Board makes loss in first quarter

July 6 (EN) National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) made a loss of 29 million rupees during the first three months of 2015. The NWSDB gave a total of 25,019 connections all over the island, with a significant number of connections provided in the Western Province during this period. In the first three months of 2015, the total revenue of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board amounted to 4,756 million rupees, with total operating cost of 4,827 million rupees, more..

China happy with extension of Southern Expressway

July 6 (FT) China’s Embassy yesterday expressed its satisfaction over the commencement of work on the Matara-Hambantota segment of the Southern Expressway by the new Govt. The inauguration ceremony was officiated by President Maithripala Sirisena and Chinese Ambassador YI Xianliang on Saturday. “We appreciate both President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and other Ministers’ efforts to make the launch of the construction work on more..

Corruption commission grills ex- deputy Minister Kumara

July 6 (FT) The special presidential commission probing large-scale corruption on Friday questioned former deputy Minister of Fisheries, Sarath Kumara Gunaratne, over his alleged involvement in the misuse of public funds for the 8 January presidential election campaign. The commission, which has completed its preliminary investigations, commenced its first case by questioning the deputy minister for using more..

TNA, SLMC to announce candidates from today

July 6 (CT) The TNA and the SLMC are expected to release the names of candidates who will contest the five electoral districts in the Northern and Eastern Provinces in the forthcoming general election from today. On behalf of TNA, the main constituent ITAK is to field candidates in all the five districts in the North. All ITAK candidates will contest the elections under the house symbol. All the 13 former TNA MPs are expected to contest in addition to new candidates. more..

Honest desertion of silent revolt - Vasu calls it

July 6 (CT) DLF leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara said that President Sirisena betrayed the January 8 revolution in an honest desertion in relation to the latter's decision to give nomination to his rival in the 2015 Presidential polls, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. "My comments made to the BBC were misunderstood. President Sirisena abandoned the UNP for the sake of the greater good. He is much like the historic Sinhalese warrior Keppetipola who initially was fighting the locals along with more..

KOICA to assist forensic science agencies, officers

July 6 (DN) Republic of Korean govt pledged to assist Govt Analyst Department and Criminal Investigation Department through the Capacity Building Project for Sri Lanka’s Forensic Science Agencies and Officials, funded by KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency) for 2015-2017. “During our study we identified that there is a relatively good foundation on forensic science in Sri Lanka that we can work on. more..

Sick and tired: Sri Lankan domestic workers fight back against violence

July 6 (OD) The Sri Lankan Domestic Workers Union, along with other trade union and women’s groups, has organised a picket for Monday 6th July, outside the Supreme Court in Colombo. The protesters are demanding that action is taken against Justice Sarath Abrew who is alleged to have raped and brutally attacked a domestic worker at his home on or around the 26th June. The woman’s injuries included a fractured skull. She was admitted into hospital as an emergency. more..

Polls law violations: Good governance administration no better than previous one

July 6 (Island) Director General of the People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections, Rohana Hettiarachchi said that the Good Governance govt had effected transfers, given promotions and recruited workers since the announcement of the August 17 election. He said that the PAFFRELL had received a large number of complaints against the govt violating election laws. "The PAFFREL has received information that the govt is making arrangements to give new appointments to more..

Centre mulling rail bridge between Rameswaram and Talaimannar

July 6 (DC) Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan revealed that the Centre is considering a proposal to establish a rail bridge linking Rameswaram (a coastal pilgrim centre in TN) and Thalaimannar in Sri Lanka. If the project materialises, the two countries would be linked. A short boat ride used to connect the railway lines that ended at Talaimannar in Sri Lanka and Dhanushkodi in India, which was in operation till 1966. more..

Younis notches up fourth-innings record

July 6 (CI) 5: Number of fourth-innings hundreds for Younis Khan, the most in Test history. Sunil Gavaskar, Ricky Ponting, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Graeme Smith all have four. Younis' fourth-innings average, at the end of the fourth day of the Test, is 57.40, the third-best among all batsmen who've scored at least 1000 fourth-innings runs. The only batsmen with better averages are Geoffrey Boycott and Gavaskar. 217: The unbroken partnership between Shan Masood and Younis Khan, more..

Foreign investors sell-down rupee bonds

July 6 (EN) Foreign investors have sold down about 25 billion rupees of bonds over the last four weeks, continuing a trend that had gathered pace with a rate cut in April 2015, official data show. The surprise April rate cut came amid pressure on forex markets and rising state borrowing from domestic markets to finance subsidies and state worker salary hikes. Sri Lanka's interest rates spiked from late February amid a controversial auction in bond markets. more..

Sri Lankan bourse conducts live disaster recovery exercise

July 6 (EN) Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) said it had conducted a live exercise involving all market participants from its disaster recovery site that showed it could cope with any catastrophic incidents and resume normal trading activity. Text on July 3, was a part of the CSE’s Business Continuity Planning (BCP) with all trading and post trade operations taking place from the remote site for a complete market day. more..

‘Mass exodus of MPs expected if MR gets nomination under UPFA or SLFP ticket’

July 6 (DN) If President Maithripala Sirisena had taken a decision to give nomination to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest under the UPFA or the SLFP ticket, he will not be able to prevent a mass exodus of UPFA and SLFP MPs from joining other political parties to contest the forthcoming general election, Constitutional lawyer and Transparency International Executive Director J.C. Weliamuna said. Waliamuna said, “there is no element of doubt about it. more..

Three SLFP ministers to contest from UNP

July 6 (DM) Lands Minister M.K.D.S. Gunawardena, Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga and Cultural Affairs Minister Nandimithra Ekanayake are considering contesting the forthcoming general elections from the UNP, according political sources. It is also reported that they had held discussions with former president Chandrika Kumaratunga about their future political arrangements. They have decided not to contest as SLFPers, if Mahinda Rajapaksa contests as a UPFA nominee, more..

TNA rejects nominations for Anandi

July 6 (CG) The TNA has rejected nominations for TNA Provincial Council member Anandi Saseetharan to contest Parliament elections. Saseetharan had requested nominations to contest and enter Parliament but the TNA had today rejected that request. TNA had noted that Saseetharan has already been given several privileges by the party and so a policy decision was taken not to give her nominations. more..

Bewildering search for honest, educated moralists

July 7 (SL) Diogenes, the Greek philosopher walked the streets of Athens in broad daylight holding a lantern in faces of citizens passing by in an effort to find an honest face among them. Stories from the past say that he failed in his quest. Leaders of Sri Lankan political parties now attempting to find honest candidates to contest the forthcoming general election will find their task much more difficult than that of the Greek philosopher not only because of the Sri Lankan ability to more..

Nomination to Mahinda: Betrayal of good governance

July 7 (CT) So, once again yet another parliamentary election to elect a new govt! The question is what the choice available is for the island’s unfortunate voters. Inevitably the only choice is between the two major political parties-UNP and the SLFP- both of which, with their racist politics, brought the country to today’s shameful state of affairs. These two parties were solely responsible for dividing communities to promote the majority Sinhalese at the expense of more..