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Modi thanks Rajapaksa for fishermen release

Nov 26 (PTI) Indian PM Narendra Modi held a bilateral meeting with President Rajapaksa during which he thanked him for pardoning and sending back five Indian fishermen, who were sentenced to death for alleged drug trafficking. During the meeting, which lasted for nearly 30 minutes, the two leaders discussed important bilateral and regional issues. This is the third meeting between the two leaders since Mr. Modi took over as Prime Minister in May. more..

'Conspiracy to leave Harin out of political shows ahead of presidential polls'

Nov 26 (AD) Former UNP MP and Opposition Leader of the Uva PC Harin Fernando said there was a conspiracy to leave him out of political programmes on television ahead of the upcoming present election. Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena and UPFA MP Ramesh Pathirana yesterday refused to engage In a debate with Fernando on the "waada pitiya" political talk show yesterday, on the grounds that Fernando was a Provincial Councilor. Gunawardena asserted that Cabinet more..

Umno signs MoU with North Korea and Sri Lanka in fostering closer relations

Nov 26 (SD) Umno today signed two MoU to foster closer relationships with North Korean and Sri Lankan political parties here today. Its Secretary-General Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor signed the MoUs on behalf of Umno with Workers' Party of North Korea (WPK) and Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) on the sidelines of the Umno General Assembly 2014 here today. WPK was represented by its deputy head Pak Kun Gwang and SLMC by its Secretary General Hasen Ali. more..

Vaiko celebrates Prabhakaran's 60th birthday

Nov 26 (ZN) Despite criticism from several quarters, MDMK founder Vaiko and hundreds of his supporters on Wednesday celebrated the 60th birth anniversary of slain LTTE founder V Prabakaran. The MDMK supporters cut cakes and held meetings at various places remembering the slain LTTE chief's struggle for the cause of common Tamilians. The MDMK chief Vaiko even condemned PM Narendra Modi for greeting Sri Lankan president Rajapaksa at the SAARC more..

Govt accuses U.S. on the war

Nov 26 (CG) The Govt today accused the Unites States (US) Government of wanting to rescue slain LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabakaran during the war. Minister S.B. Dissanayake said that the US and some other countries had used all their power in the attempt to end the war but they failed. He said that pressure was also exerted through the UN, Norway and the British Govt. However he said President Rajapaksa had refused to succumb to pressure and eventually defeated the LTTE. more..

Southern PC a white elephant - Geetha

Nov 26 (DM) Southern Provincial Council is a white elephant and three ministers, including the Chief Minister have used to share its resources; said Provincial Councillor Geetha Kumarasinghe at a news briefing held after the Provincial Council meeting yesterday. She expressed her inability to render a service to the people as expected, and that it was against her conscience to be remunerated by the Council. “I entered politics to serve the people but not to earn money. more..

Wanni UPFA MP Farook joins UNP

Nov 26 (AM) Wanni District UPFA MP Hunais Farook joined UNP today. Farook participated in a UNP meeting at Sirikotha that was also attended by common candidate of the opposition and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. Several stalwarts of the UNP held discussions with Farook over the past few days. Farook is one of the Muslim MPs who repeatedly urged the govt to curtail the activities of BBS. more..

UNP reformists pledge support for common candidate Sirisena

Nov 26 (Island) UNP reformist, former UNP WPC member Shiral Lakthilake said that they would support common candidate MP Maithripala Sirisena at the forthcoming presidential though their original choice was UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa. He said whatever their previous planning, they would work for Maithripala Sirisena’s victory. According to him, vast majority of UNPers backed Sajith Premadasa’s candidature, though he didn’t receive nomination from the party. more..

Security tightened in Jaffna

Nov 26 (CT) The security in the Northern Province, especially in the Jaffna Peninsula, has been tightened to prevent any unlawful gathering and to engage in any form of observing the LTTE Remembrance Day, which falls today 27 Nov. The increased presence of the security forces is very noticeable mainly around the Jaffna University, where the posters have come up on the walls of the institution with regard to the LTTE Remembrance Day (Tamil Eelam Maveerar Day), when more..

Zeid again seeks Sri Lanka’s support

Nov 26 (CG) The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid Al Hussein has urged SL Govt to engage productively with his office on the investigation on Sri Lanka. In response to a letter sent to his office by the External Affairs Ministry, Zeid’s office has sought Sri Lanka’s engagement on substantive issues under investigation. The OHCHR also reiterated that the call for submissions in relation to the investigation has ended and more..

Tamil Nadu Congress is against MR

Nov 26 (CG) Indian Govt under PM Narendra Modi should work to ensure the defeat of President Rajapaksa in the SL Presidential elections, said the TN Congress Committee chief E.V.K.S. Elangovan. He said justice continued to be denied to SL Tamils under President Rajapaksa’s rule. Referring to the verbal duel between the AIADMK and the BJP staking claim for the successful release of the five fishermen, he said the release of the fishermen need not be ‘politicised’. more..

Attacks on UNP activists: Opposition lambastes police inaction

Nov 26 (Island) UNP expressed its displeasure at the delay on the part of the police to arrest anyone in connection with the shooting incident in Maggona on Friday though it had been recorded in a CCTV camera and photographed by a foreigner. Chairman of UNP LC Karu Jayasuriya said that they were not happy with police investigations into the incidents at Maggona and Mawathagama on the same evening. Govt sponsored thugs had shot and assaulted opposition supporters celebrating more..

'We have plundered enough'

Nov 26 (DM) Presenting an interesting political theory, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said voters must not topple this govt as chances are minimum for corruption among UPFA members as they may have amassed ill lucre enough by now and if the UNP came to power, they would start afresh to make a killing. He admitted that there may be corruption and irregularities in the UPFA govt but voters must not make it a reason to topple more..

SEP to contest presidential election

Nov 26 (WSWS) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP), the Sri Lankan section of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), will contest the presidential election scheduled to be held on January 8, 2015. Our candidate is Pani Wijesiriwardena, an SEP Political Committee member and retired teacher with a long and principled history of struggle for the interests of the working class. The purpose of the SEP’s intervention in the election is to build more..

Sri Lankan rupee forwards slip

Nov 26 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee forwards ended weaker on Tuesday due to importer dollar demand, with the central bank pegging its desired level for the currency through moral suasion, even as political uncertainty weighed ahead of the presidential polls next month. the health minister, Mithripala Sirisena, said on Friday he would contest against President Rajapaksa in the presidential poll. Since the poll was announced, six other legislators have defected. Spot currency was quoted weaker at 131.25/35 more..

Saudi employer caused Kamaleswari's death

Nov 26 (CT) Ramanadan Kamaleswari and Sinnaiya lived with three children at Unifield Garden, Wellington Estate at Hatton. Neither Sinnaiya nor Kamaleswari could find lucrative careers at Hatton and Sinnaiya was off to Kurunegala for employment. Sinnaiya's income was not sufficient for the family of five. Kamaleswari, wanting to support her husband engaged in several small scale jobs which could not generate more..

Delay in appointing Dean: Colombo medical dons threaten TU action

Nov 26 (Island) The Teachers of the Colombo Medical Faculty have warned that they will resort to trade union action tomorrow if the university authorities fail to appoint a Dean to the Faculty of Medicine immediately. President of the Faculty of Medicine Teachers Association (FMTA), Prof. Deepal Mathew, has said that further delay in making that appointment will affect academic and other activities of the faculty. It will also delay the enrollment of new students, he has said. more..

Sri Lanka stocks close down 0.8-pct

Nov 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks closed 0.82% lower with Index heavy John Keells Holdings and Nestle Lanka losing ground. All Share Price Index closed 59.64 points lower at 7,179.72, down 0.82%. The S&P SL20 closed 21.02 points lower at 4,024.70, down 0.52%. Turnover was 1.70 billion rupees, up from 1.08 billion rupees a day earlier with 41 stocks closed positive against 164 negative. John Keells closed 2.60 rupees lower at 242 rupees with an off market transaction of 292.31 million rupees more..

'I have files': Hon. Chaminda Pusswedilla

X files, cold case files and Rajapaksa’s bambu files

Nov 26 (CT) The most famous files are X files and cold case files. Next will be MR files. The ‘Files’ story has more significance than most people realise. It is a double edged sword. Mahinda Rajapaksha (MR) can use ‘Files’ story to intimidate the remaining Ministers, MPs and lesser politicians to think twice before crossing over and can use it to prevent the ones who have already crossed from revealing certain truths. On the other hand the opposition coalition can use the files story more..

Need for good governance

Nov 26 (CT) The country goes to polls again on 8 January 2015. The presidential election is the most important national poll as the people elect their new leader for the next six years as specified in the Constitution. Hence, such election must be conducted in a free and fair manner at least from the date of nominations. This is the period that those in power should display good governance for the voters to exercise their franchise in a free and fair manner. more..

Defence Ministry acquires Lanka Cement’s Kankesanthurai plant

Nov 26 (DM) Lanka Cement PLC said its factory premises in Kankesanthurai were acquired by Defence and Urban Development Ministry. The acquisition included land to the extent of 104 acres and buildings. “In consequence to the acquisition, we have requested compensation for land and building from Ministry of Defence,” filing said. All factory staff would be retired under a govt sponsored Voluntary Retirement Scheme. more..

Emotional Tissa Attanayake says govt cannot buy him over

Nov 26 (AM) UNP General Secretary today asserted that his conscience could not be bought for money. He was referring to certain media reports claiming the UNP General Secretary was negotiating with the govt for a crossover. An online publication alleged that he had been offered a large amount of money to give his consent for a crossover – mainly to “balance” the defection of the former SLFP General Secretary. more..

UN rapporteur accuses BBS in report

Nov 26 (CG) UN special rapporteur on minority issues, Ms Rita Izsák, has accused the BBS of igniting tensions and contributing to more than 350 violent attacks against Muslims and over 150 attacks against Christians in the past two years. In a report to the 7th session of the Forum on Minorities Issues in Geneva which meets for two days beginning today, Izsák said BBS along with other groups, are promoting extremist views, more..

President Rajapaksa visits Lumbini

Nov 26 (GDI) Soon after arriving in Nepal, President Rajapaksa visited Lumbini – birthplace of the Lord Buddha – one of the most sacred places for Buddhists. Though it’s not the President’s first time in Lumbini, he did participate in a number of events, with particular significance to SL Buddhists. President first visited and prayed at the Maya Devi Temple, named after Queen Maha Maya, Lord Buddha’s Mother. more..

Defectors' list leaked to President at the last moment?

Nov 26 (AM) Asian Mirror can now reveal that a "spy" operating in the inner circle of the opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has sabotaged the crossover plans of over 20 ruling party MPs, soon after former SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena's exit from the govt. The list of SLFP defectors which was given to UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga was LEAKED to more..

UNP monks back Sirisena though confused about his post-election role

Nov 26 (Island) Two organisations of Buddhist monks, affiliated to the UNP, yesterday pledged their support for Maithripala Sirisena as the common presidential candidate, though both seemed confused about his post-presidential election role. The Eksath Bhikku Peramuna and the Eksath Jathika Bhikku Peramuna vowed to bring an end to what they called the authoritarian Rajapaksa regime by installing Sirisena as president. more..

'Rajapaksa family accounts for 56% of expenditure'

Nov 26 (DM) UNP lawmaker Eran Wickremaratne slammed the Govt’s 2015 Budget, saying it was not worth the paper it was written on, after the UPFA moved drastic amendments to the numbers within 10 days of its presentation. Addressing Parliament during the Third Reading of the Budget which passed with a 95-member majority, he charged that the ruling Rajapaksa family account for 56% of total Govt expenditure. more..

'I was the mastermind behind making Maithripala the common candidate'

Nov 26 (DM) The SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to cross over to the opposition and his nomination as the common opposition candidate shocked the country. In an interview with Dailymirror JHU General Secretary and the leading figure of the Pivithuru Hetak (Clean Tomorrow) Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera revealed that he had played an instrumental role in this political twist. more..

Genesis of Northern qualm

Nov 26 (SL) The employment statistics in Sri Lanka are flawed said Dr Muttukrishna Sarvananthan, Principal Researcher, Point Pedro Institute of Development. He pointed out that the official figures take unpaid farm work as employed and even work of one hour per week is counted as employment. “This inflates the employment figures. That is why in official statistics, the unemployment rate in Sri Lanka is as low as 4%. more..

A first at Kalubowila Hospital

Nov 26 (ST) Married for 10 long years, with her biological clock ticking, she and her husband longed to have a baby. It was to the pioneering Professorial Obstetrics and Gynaecology Unit of the Colombo South (Kalubowila) Teaching Hospital that they came, seeking help. The ‘time’ was right. For, although unfortunately there would be no baby for 41-year-old Kumari* from Horana, fortunately her life would be saved. more..

In Search of a Statesman

Nov 26 (DM) This year, as I put pen to paper to commemorate the birth of a great Sri Lankan, the country is gearing for a decisive election. While we feel his absence even more at this juncture, we have every reason to celebrate the birth of Lalith Athulathmudali; a scholar, an orator, a pragmatic politician and a true son of the soil whose exemplary commitment to the country can hardly be matched. This article will search for the Statesman whom we lost 21 years ago as we celebrate his life. more..

Who blocked the Bibile policy? expose them

Nov 26 (DM) On Friday, the day on which SL’s political scene took a historic turn, former Health Minister and common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena made a shocking disclosure about what was happening in the vital health service. Mr. Sirisena, who had been the Health Minister since 2010, told a packed news conference a powerful force had prevented him from implementing Prof. Senaka Bibile’s National Medicinal Drugs Policy to make quality drugs more..

Election monitors urge end to poll violence

Nov 26 (AFP) Sri Lanka's elections chief and pro-democracy activists on Tuesday urged police to stem a spate of campaign-related violence that has flared since President Rajapakse declared his re-election bid. Commissioner of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya said he had asked police to bring to justice those responsible for two shooting incidents since Friday, involving govt supporters and backers of main opposition more..

Postal Voting on Dec 23 and 24

Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya has announced that the postal voting for the forthcoming Presidential election will be held on 23rd and 24th December. He informed that the application procedure for postal votes for the upcoming Presidential Election has already commenced and applications will be accepted until the 4th of Dec. The Election Department requested the Public sector officials who expects to cast postal votes to apply for postal voting. more..

Japan Airlines and SriLankan Airlines launch codeshare cooperation

Nov 26 (eTN) Japan Airlines (JAL) and SriLankan Airlines (UL), both members of oneworld® alliance, have agreed to implement a codeshare relationship with each other for the first time and will commence codeshare flights from December 2, 2014 on UL-operated flights between Tokyo (Narita) and Colombo, the flights between Colombo and Male, as well as the flights between Bangkok and Colombo. Meanwhile, UL will place its flight indicator on JL-operated flights between more..

 England in Sri Lanka