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Deheragoda of Ezy Racing is 2nd in Asia

Dec 11 (Island) Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Deheragoda, who represented team EZY Racing, placed Sri Lanka on the world map bringing unparalleled glory by being ranked number two in Asia at the prestigious Asia Cup Rally in this year’s prestigious Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) conducted by FIA (Federation Internationale de L’Automobile), the world motor racing governing body. This was, remarkably, Deheragoda’s first-ever complete season in a FIA Championship. more..

Duty-free shopping: Sri Lanka set to upstage S’pore, Dubai

Dec 11 (Island) Sri Lankans and Asians need not visit Singapore or Dubai for world standard duty free shopping soon, said Maju Holdings Director and renowned Malaysian developer Datuk Patrick Lim. Lim, speaking at the launch of the ‘New City Apartments’ residential project by Quest Ventures in Hambantota on Tuesday said with the implementation of the duty free shopping complex by the end of next year, the country would be better placed for high end markets in Asia. more..

SL seeks Malaysian expertise to build integrated multimodal transportation system

Dec 11 (FT) The Ministry of Transport yesterday entered in to a joint collaboration with Maju Group of Malaysia to transform the country’s public transportation infrastructure. The formal documents were signed and exchanged between Ministry of Transport Secretary Dhammika Perera and Maju TMAS Managing Director Roslan Dato’ Sharrif at a press conference held in Colombo. Bearing witness to the event were Malaysia’s more..

'Rave Party' by foreigners near turtle sanctuary

Dec 11 (CT) The Federation of Environmental Organizations (FEO) of Sri Lanka has disclosed that a large scale international 'rave festival' will happen along a stretch of beach within the Rekawa Marine Turtle Sanctuary, according to Rainforest Protectors, an environmental group, which has already launched an online petition against this event. A total of 229 signatures against the event have so far been collected online. Known as The Atman Festival, it is a 5-day 'psychedelic rave' that more..

JKH clinches Gold for overall excellence at CA Sri Lanka annual report awards

Dec 11 (FT) John Keells Holdings Plc clinched the Cyril Gardiner Memorial Trophy Gold Award for Overall Excellence in Annual Financial Reporting at the golden jubilee of the Annual Report Awards. The Silver and Bronze awards were won by People’s Leasing Finance and Sampath Bank respectively. Organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka, the iconic award ceremony each year witnesses a gathering of top corporates and high-level Govt officials. more..

Sangakkara's Kandyan dance

Dec 11 (CI) All through the middle overs, England's offspinners tried to get Kumar Sangakkara out of his castle in the crease. So slow, and well-flighted were their deliveries, the ball was almost pleading with each revolution: "Come out of your ground, Sanga." "Dance down to me, Sanga." He would dance. But it wouldn't be to England's tune. Eyes on every puff of dust, brain whirring as the ball bounced and gripped, more..

The Pathfinder presidential manifesto

Dec 11 (FT) The Pathfinder Foundation has indeed done something commendable. Before commenting further, I have to disclose an interest, that I had the privilege of being associated with the institution many years ago at its formative stage. With that confession behind me, I must state that the Policy Agenda the Pathfinder Foundation has placed before the public and political parties through the pages of the Daily FT on 28 Nov is indeed a welcome step towards forcing & challenging more..

Independence and impartiality of Judiciary

Dec 11 (FT) In my last article, ‘Democratic Values vs. Sri Lankan Values,’ I mentioned that justice was a democratic value as indicated in the Declaration of Independence of US in 1776 and in the preamble of the Constitution of United States. I also said, “Justice is hardly available in Sri Lanka, not even in the Supreme Court.” Justice is not solely a western value or an alien concept in the East. The best example we can give is Elara, who ruled in Anuradhapura from 204 BC to 164 BC. more..

Azwer and the Muslim factor

Dec 11 (CT) A.H.M. Azwer, a firebrand personality in Parliament for the last 25 years recently retired to make way for Amir Ali of the ACMC. As the govt tries to balance the 'Muslim factor' before the upcoming elections, the former MP and present senior advisor to the President on Parliamentary Affairs, said it was time for the Muslims to make the wise decision to back President Rajapaksa at forthcoming election, more..

Will Sri Lanka be called to pay for making bribery charges against Sison?

Dec 11 (CT) Alist of names of likely defectors who were to follow Maithripala Sirisena to the Opposition when the latter made his exit from the government has now been publicized through the social media. Though some made their exit others did not. Among those names was Minister Gunaratne Weerakoon. Now, the minister claims that the United States Ambassador in Colombo Michele J. Sison promised to offer him a bribe if he was to cross over to the Opposition. more..

Turning Temple Trees into a 'goldmine' a political gimmick

Dec 11 (CT) Temple Trees turned into a 'goldmine' recently when President Rajapaksa handed over the gold jewellery recovered from the possession of the LTTE to the rightful owners. In the late 80s, the LTTE started its campaign to collect one gold sovereign from each family in the Northern Province, to enhance its monetary strength. One of the bigwigs of the LTTE's political wing, Yogaratnam Yogi, even conducted meetings in schools in Jaffna and said the lives of the LTTE cadres who more..

'Maithripala dragged me to politics'

Dec 11 (CT) Deputy Minister Siripala Gamlath says that Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena dragged him to politics and says that he knows Sirisena from tender age. Q: Describe briefly how you entered politics? A: I did not expect to engage in politics. I am a self-made businessman. Q: Who pushed you to politics? A: In 2001, Minister Maithripala Sirisena dragged me to politics. Q: How long have you known him? more..

Editorial: Frescoes and charcoal

Dec 11 (Island) It is crossover time in Sri Lanka. A lot of dosh is said to have changed hands, but our politicians insist that they are all honourable men and women. These are also times when political leaders are said to be moving sideways along corridors for fear of treacherous elements lurking behind pillars, poniards poised. Those who are really faithful to leaders are hard to come by these days and such diehard supporters are like frescoes which never turn their back on you as a popular more..

Dayan Jayatilleka’s balance is out of balance

Dec 11 (CT) I am amused to observe Dayan Jayatilleka (DJ) jumping up like Jack in the box upon getting the news that the UNP General Secretary, Attanayake, had crossed over to the govt side. DJ cries: “the balance is restored.” There are two major flaws in DJ’s “political analysis.” Firstly, it is rendered false by actual statistics. Secondly, DJ’s “analysis” place an exaggerated value on cross-overs in affecting public perception. Cross-overs are now becoming such an unbelievable thing more..

Batticaloa district makes headway

Dec 11 (SO) The Batticaloa district that has now turned out to be a much developed region virtually in all aspects of development on a par with many Southern regions, thanks to the multifarious development projects implemented under the Mahinda Chintana concept since 2009, also saw, in the recent months, the implementation of several special development-oriented programs inaugurated by ministers & deputy ministers more..

Gotabaya’s militarism and his intention of entering politics

Dec 11 (CT) I also suggested, as happened in Pakistan, the establishment of ordinary schools by the military, or taking over the management of existing schools in areas where the military had a presence. This had been essential in Pakistan, where the public education system had been inadequate in rural areas where there were military cantonments. Army had therefore begun schools to cater to the children of military personnel, and these were then opened to the public too for a fee. more..

Address controversial political issues that are not being addressed now

Dec 11 (SL) The political campaign for the presidential elections will begin in earnest after nominations are handed over on December 8. Not all issues will be canvassed during the campaign as some of them will felt to be too politically controversial. There is however two issues in particular that need some agreement within the contesting political groupings, at least at the level of principle, prior to the establishment of a new govt. After the election there are bound to more..

Digambaram and Radhakrishnan join common opposition

Dec 10 (AM) Two deputy ministers of the ruling party, namely P. Digambaram and P. Radhakrishnan, will officially extend their support to Common Candidate of the opposition, Maithripala Sirisena this evening, highly placed political sources told Asian Mirror. Digambaram, who was the Deputy Minister of National Languages and Social Integration, resigned from his position this morning to support the Common Candidate. more..

1,200 counting centres for presidential election Polls monitors offered only 300

Dec 10 (CT) The Elections Commissioner has offered six election monitoring bodies the opportunity to place observers at 300 counting centres for the coming Presidential Election. There are 1,200 counting centres for the coming Presidential Election and the Commissioner has not outlined how the 300 counting centres will be determined. However, election monitors are yet to decide whether to accept the offer, because of the lack of clarity in the process involved. more..

'No conspiracy over PM post'

Dec 10 (AM) UNP LC Chairman Karu Jayasuriya, while scoffing at what he termed as 'ridiculous' media reports, said he did never intended to be the PM under Maithripala Sirisena’s rule, and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was the most suitable person in the country to take up the post after the Common Candidate's ascension to power. He was referring to a story that was carried in a Sinhala daily, claiming there was a conspiracy in the party to appoint Karu Jayasuriya as Prime Minister more..

Rain pushes match to reserve day

Dec 10 (CI) England will need to overcome a trial by spin if they are to sustain their hopes of winning the ODI series against Sri Lanka after Kumar Sangakkara led the hosts to 239 with a measured innings of 91. Currently 3-1 down in the seven-match series, England will have a modest-looking target to chase when the match resumes on the reserve day. With rain intervening just as the Sri Lanka innings ended, play was abandoned more..

'Govt lost 2 dep. ministers 4 PC members & 34 PS members after MR's Thirupathy visit'

Dec 10 (SM) Opposition Leader of the Uva Provincial Council and former UNP Parliamentarian Harin Fernando said President Mahinda Rajapaksa lost two Hindu deputy ministers of his government following his trip to Thirupathy with former UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake. “In addition,” he said, “four Provincial Councilors and 34 Pradeshiya Sabha members have also left the ruling party and extended their support to Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena.” more..

Quest Ventures launches New City Apartments in Hambantota

Dec 10 (DN) The New City Apartments residential project by Quest Ventures was launched in Hambantota yesterday by Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, the former PM of Malaysia. The residential project will include a shopping centre, gym facility, swimming pool and 24 hour security surveillance. The project is scheduled for completion in 36 months and is valued at US$ 36 million. Quest Ventures is a subsidiary of the Maju Group, a leading Malaysian conglomerate which more..

'Crying Tiger and begging for votes is not on'

Dec 10 (CT) TNA Batticaloa District MP, Pon Selvaraja, requested the politicians in the south to stop labelling Tamils as 'Tigers' before begging for their votes in the forthcoming Presidential Polls. "First of all the TNA would take its decision after going through the manifestos of the Govt and the common Opposition candidate. "TNA is now in the process of listening to views of the Tamil voters in the N&E on the Presidential Election. more..

Minister blacklists 18 rogue associations

Dec 10 (SM) Several sportsmen and women have been hit with a visa embargo after sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage blacklisted 18 sports organisations that are supposed to take care of them. The reason for blacklisting the sports bodies under investigation is that they have not appointed selection committees. The Sports Ministry also claims that these sports bodies have not had any transparency in their dealings. The rogue administrations blacklisted control rugby, more..

IGP tells DIGs to prevent killings

Dec 10 (Island) IGP N. K. Ilangakoon has issued a directive that Senior DIGs in charge of provinces take responsibility for killings and major incidents, in their respective areas in the run-up to Jan. 8, 2015 poll. The IGP had issued written instructions to the effect that anyone carrying weapons illegally should be arrested regardless of his status. Sources said that Police had also received instructions to search for firearms in vehicles used by those campaigning for various political parties. more..

UN blames Sri Lanka’s neighbours

Dec 10 (CG) United Nations (UN) says the international community, especially Sri Lanka’s neighbours, had failed to address the plight of the Tamils during the war. UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng said that the failure to act resulted in thousands being eventually killed under the very eyes of the internationally community. He noted that UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon later showed more..

Attack on Maithri's vehicle: Woman gets 6 years RI

Dec 10 (DM) The woman -- who pleaded guilty to the charge of having provided accommodation to a female LTTE suicide cadre who blasted an explosive-laden jacket at the vehicle escorting former minister Maithripala Sirisena -- was sentenced to six years rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs.50,000 on October 9, 2008. The case was heard by High Court Judge Padmini Ranawaka. The accused Rattibatuge Ariyawathi (61) of Wellawatte was indicted in the Colombo High Court by more..

PMK wants Centre to rein in Lanka on fishermen issue

Dec 10 (PTI) NDA ally PMK said Sri Lanka was treating India 'badly' on the issue of arrest of Indian fishermen and called for strong steps to rein in Colombo. Party founder S Ramadoss said the latest incident of arrest had happened on Tuesday, on a day when Lankan President Rajapaksa was in India for a personal visit even as Parliament was discussing the fishermen issue with the govt responding to it. "These are examples of how badly SL treats India on the fishermen issue," more..

SLMC trapped: Pendulum swings between 3 options with no final decision

Dec 10 (AM) The SLMC, the largest Muslim party representing the country’s legislature, is now stuck in the middle of three different options where the party’s stance on the upcoming presidential election is concerned. The meeting for the SLMC High Command, which was convened yesterday with the aim of making a final decision on the matter, dragged till about 1 am today without any concrete agreement. more..

BASL sends letters of demand to three mayors over illegal election cutouts

Dec 10 (AM) While sending letters of demands to three Municipal Council Mayors including Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia Mayor Danasiri Amarathunge, Kaduwela Mayor G. H. Buddadasa and Sri J'pura Kotte Mayor Janaka Ranawaka, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) warned them that legal action would be taken against them unless they fail to take immediate steps to remove the large number of illegal propaganda hoardings of President Rajapakse within their municipalities. more..

Sri Lanka encourages people in North to invest in CSE to raise capital for businesses

Dec 10 (LBO) Securities and Exchange Commission’s chief said that, stock market is an alternative financial tool to raise capital for business activities and therefore Northern Province should take advantage of it and derive the benefits of capital market investments. Chairman of the SEC, Nalaka Godahewa, was quoted saying that at a investor forum held in Jaffna organized by SEC in collaboration with the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) to educate the general public more..

Tissa's letter to UNP Leader Ranil

Dec 10 (CT) I never expected that a day will come when I have to write a letter of resignation from the post of General Secretary of the United National Party. But the unexpected has happened not by choice but due to machinations employed against me by a set of conspirators who are all out to harm the party. I earned a lot of goodwill from genuine UNP supporters when after doing much hard work towards reconciliation. more..

Did Maithripala wear a bullet proof jacket?

Dec 10 (AM) Questions have arisen whether Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena wore a Narendra Modi style suit yesterday to hide the bullet proof vest which he was wearing. This was the first time, the Common Candidate appeared in public wearing a national suit and a waistcoat, resembling the dress of the Indian Prime Minister who rose to power early this year. A Parliamentarian of the opposition who has close relations with Maithripala Sirisena said, the common candidate is more..

UNP denies allegation by Tissa

Dec 10 (CG) The UNP today denied allegations raised by former party General Secretary Tissa Attanayake with regards to the agreement signed between the UNP and common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena. Newly appointed UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim said that there is no truth to the claims by Attanayake of a secret deal between the UNP and Sirisena. He insisted that everything is being done in a transparent manner and that the opposition had nothing to hide. more..

No Maithri solution for Tamils

Dec 10 (CG) Common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena says his election manifesto will not include proposals for a political solution for the Tamils. His main focus is the 100 day plan which will look at abolishing the Executive Presidency & making urgent constitutional changes. Once his 100 day plan is implemented a Parliament election will be held and the new govt will then need to look at the Tamil issue. more..