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No photographs of polling stations please - EC

Apr 8 (Island) The Commissioner of Elections, Dayananda Dissanayake, has issued strict orders to senior Presiding Officers and Police personnel not to permit photographs or videoing of polling stations and their precincts without his written consent at today’s Parliamentary Elections. He states that persons guilty of this offense, will be dealt with severely and requested media personnel to refrain from such activity. more..

Ranil on The Island lead story

Apr 8 (Island) Apropos our lead story yesterday, ‘Ranil ready to sacrifice premiership to secure agreement with JVP-UNP’, Mahilal M. Seneviratne, who claims to act for the press secretary to the Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe says the Opposition and UNP Leader Wickremesinghe issued the following statement at a media briefing yesterday in response to our news item: "There is no truth in the claim that the UNP would be more..

People’s verdict today

Apr 8 (DM) One of the most crucial general elections in recent times that may have a far reaching impact on the political and economic spheres of the country will be held today from 7.00 a.m to 4.00 p.m., to elect 196 members to the 14th Parliament since Independence.A total of 7,620 candidates from 24 political parties and 310 independent groups are in the fray. more..

Election day media communiqué No 2: CMEV

Apr 8 (CMEV) The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) reported that as of 2pm on polling day, there was a turn -out of 35-40% across Sri Lanka with a low turn- out in Jaffna of around 10%. There were several reports of threat and intimidation against voters and polling agents. At present 75 Major incidents have been reported to CMEV and 196 Minor incidents. As reported in the Election Day communiqué 1, more..

Editorial: Vote wise to save Sri Lanka

Apr 8 (DM) Sri Lanka certainly runs the risk of losing an ideal opportunity to give a sense of direction to the country today if the voters get carried away with fancy promises or the bloated images of good for nothing candidates. The smug complacency of war victory and empty, loud rhetoric have partially blinded many to the reality that this country needs professionals and dignified persons to exploit economic opportunities that more..

Kurunegala Diocese runs into a legal battle

Apr 8 (DM) The election of a Bishop for the Diocese of Kurunegala had run into a legal battle, with Rev. Neil Wasantha Wimalaratne filing a case in the District Court of Kandy challenging that certain procedures have not been adopted for the election of a new Bishop for the Kurunegala Diocese of the Church of Ceylon. Additional District Judge Rohan Jayawardene has issued more..

Thousands of IDPs denied voting: CaFFE

Apr 8 (TN) Many interned Tamil civilians in Menik Farm in Vavuniyaa were told by Sri Lankan election officials that they must go to Ki'linochchi Cluster Polling Station to vote, while election officials in Ki'linochchi station were instructing civilians that they must proceed to the Menik Farm Polling Station to vote, said Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) in a statement issued Thursday. more..

Low turn out of voting, people disinterested in election in Jaffna

Apr 8 (TN) Around 11:00 a.m Thursday only 4.29% persons eligible to vote had cast their votes in Jaffna while after 2:00 p.m there was a slight increase. However, only 10% of the total registered voters had cast their votes in Jaffna electorate by afternoon, Jaffna Secretariat officials said. People were seen disinterested in the parliamentary election and the general atmosphere in the peninsula was peaceful without any considerable election violence, more..

Polls marred by violence

Apr 8 (DM) Several incidents of election violence have been reported islandwide since polling began this morning, including a shooting incident in Galle where several houses and a vehicle were damaged, election observers told Daily Mirror online. PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi told Daily Mirror online that the shooting incident had been a result of inter party violence and a vehicle had also been damaged in the shooting. more..

Islamic convert’s detention sparks debate on tolerance

Apr 8 (IPS) Issues of religious tolerance, the rule of law and freedom of expression in this mainly Buddhist country are being thrown into debate by the detention of a Sri Lankan Buddhist woman who converted to Islam and was writing a book on her conversion. Sarah Malathi Perera, a 38-year old migrant worker who has lived in Bahrain for 20 years, was detained by police in Colombo under more..

Sri Lanka beckons with ‘Ramayana Trail'

Apr 8 (Hindu) An attractive new offer from Sri Lanka's Tourism Department hopes to bring more Indian tourists to the island country. Dubbed as the ‘Ramayana Trail', the latest offering from Sri Lanka invites tourists to revisit the epic scenes from Ravana's Lanka. A slew of packages ranging from a little over Rs.15, 000 to Rs. 25, 000 are on offer. more..

President Rajapaksa casts his vote at Medamulana

Apr 8 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa cast his vote early this morning at the D.A. Rajapaksa Maha Vidayalaya in Medamulana, his home town of Hambantota. The President was accompanied with his elder brother Minister Chamal Rajapaksa, his elder son Namal Rajapaksa and the First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa. Voting of the General Election- April 2010 is underway and more..

Sri Lanka's trade gap widens in January

Apr 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka's exports fell in January 2010 owing to a sharp fall in apparel shipments, the island's main industrial export, despite higher agricultural export earnings, interrupting a recovery in the export sector, the Central Bank said. The bank said in a statement that exports fell 3.9 percent to 472 million US dollars in January 2010 from 491.1 million dollars a year ago. more..

We are the wine we make, and our hangovers are of our own making

Apr 8 (DM) Today we shall elect a new Parliament. We shall choose to put some new wine into an old bottle, along with some old wine, going strictly by results of previous elections. We might get a new bottle, we might not. The ‘new’ (bottle as well as wine) could be good or it could be worse than what we had. It all depends, as they say. No, I am not speculating about which party is likely to get the most number of seats; more..

Editorial: `Electoral diarrhoea`

Apr 8 (LNP) This country`s biggest problem is its sickening preoccupation with unproductive partisan politics, which has taken precedence over everything else except cricket, talent contests on TV and soap operas, and eaten into the vitals of society. Economics does not make sense to most Sri Lankans who would rather kill one another in a bid to send some imbecile politicians to Parliament etc than step up their productivity and help strengthen the economy. more..

Sri Lankans vote in parliamentary elections

Apr 8 (AP) Sri Lankans faced a clear choice in parliamentary elections Thursday between further strengthening the president's hand in deciding the nation's postwar fate or trying to check his power. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who won a resounding re-election victory three months ago, is seeking a two-thirds parliamentary majority that would allow his party to change the constitution. more..

Sri Lanka votes in parliamentary elections

Apr 8 (AFP) Sri Lankans on Thursday voted in parliamentary polls expected to deliver a comfortable win for President Mahinda Rajapakse's ruling party and consolidate his grip on power. With the opposition divided and his main political rival behind bars, Rajapakse had urged voters to give his party a two-thirds majority, allowing him to amend the constitution that currently limits the president to two terms. more..

Turnout low at Sri Lanka Parliamentary Elections

Apr 8 (NYT) Three months after his landslide victory in Sri Lanka’s presidential election, Mahinda Rajapaksa sought to solidify his party’s hold on power by securing a two-thirds majority in parliamentary elections held Thursday. Candidates and election monitors said that voter turnout appeared to be unusually low, especially given the circumstances: the country was holding its first parliamentary elections since the Tamil Tiger insurgency was defeated in May 2009. more..

Sri Lanka holds first post-war parliament poll

Apr 8 (Reuters) Sri Lankans voted on Thursday in an election likely to further entrench President Mahinda Rajapaksa's political dominance, the first parliamentary poll since last year's end of a quarter-century of war. Nearly 80,000 police and soldiers guarded polling stations across the island, where voters were deciding among 7,620 candidates for the 225-member parliament. Election monitors reported turnout of about 30 percent, and a handful of minor incidents of violence. more..

Debrief News - 08. 04. 2010

Sri Lanka shares at new record on retail buying

Apr 9 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's shares hit a new record high on Thursday led by heavy retail buying on hopes over a strong government and political stability after Thursday's parliamentary polls, analysts said. The All-Share Price Index .CSE of the Colombo Stock Exchange hit a new all-time high of 3,952.45, surpassing its previous high of 3,919.91 hit on Wednesday. It closed 0.77 percent or 30.01 points firmer at 3,939.62. more..

Q+A-Whither Sri Lanka's post-election economy?

Apr 9 (Reuters) Newly re-elected Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa was expected to cement his dominance at parliamentary polls on Thursday, with his ruling alliance heavily favoured to win a majority. Once the new parliament sits, it will be almost a year since Rajapaksa declared victory in a three-decade war over the Tamil Tiger rebels. So with political jostling out of the way, the focus will turn to the island nation's $42 billion economy. more..

Tamils face return in UN review

Apr 9 (TA) Hundreds of Tamil asylum-seekers could be sent home if new UN guidelines reflect Sri Lanka's improved humanitarian situation. Yesterday, Sri Lanka's ambassador to Australia, Senaka Walgampaya, said Colombo expected the UN High Commissioner for Refugees guidelines, currently under review, will soften its assessment of the country. more..

DNA complains to EC regarding serious election violations in Kandy District

Apr 9 (LT) The General Secretary of the DNA Vijithe Herath states there had been reports of several election violations in Kandy District and has asked the Commissioner of Elections to annul voting at such polling centers. The letter sent by Mr. Herath states: Regarding serious election violence carried out in Kandy district We have received reports regarding large scale election violations being carried out at more..

Failed asylum-seeker 'got it from both sides'

Apr 9 (TA) One of four Sri Lankans denied visas because of adverse security findings says he was bashed by the Sri Lankan army eight years ago. The denied visas were because of adverse security findings. The man from the Oceanic Viking says he was bashed on suspicion of being connected to LTTE. Former science student Sasi, 28, insists he was never a member of the LTTE nor an agent of it. more..

Will President Rajapaksa's family triumph in Sri Lankan elections?

Apr 9 (BBC) The polls have opened in Sri Lanka for the first parliamentary vote since government forces defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels last year. President Mahinda Rajapaksa's eldest son, two of his brothers and his cousin are all running for seats in parliament. The family, especially the president and his defence secretary brother Gotabhaya, remain popular as a result of last year's more..

Sri Lanka March tourist arrivals up 53.7-pct

Apr 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka's March 2010 tourist arrivals rose 53.7 percent to 52,352 from a year earlier with more visitors from Western Europe, Middle East and South Asia. The tourist arrivals from Western Europe rose 48.6 percent to 21,797 in March 2010 from a year ago with arrivals from the UK up 30.1 percent to 8,559, France up 63.1 percent to 2,872 and Germany up 96.5 percent to 5,305. more..

General Fonseka's elder brothers writes to the President

Apr 9 (LG) I am Sisira Fonseka, the elder brother of General Sarath Fonseka. I am writing this letter to express my concerns about the current situation regarding my brother and regarding the country as a whole. I am a chartered electrical engineer by profession having graduated from the Faculty of Engineering, University of Ceylon, Peradeniya in 1967 and later becoming a Corporate Member of The Institution of Electrical Engineers, London. more..

Book Review: Heart Chakra

Apr 9 (IL) Heart Chakra is a chronicle of contemporary Sri Lanka – a country that witnessed thirty years of bloodbath, sorrow and uncertainty because of the brutal war between the State and LTTE. This work of fiction – written in an uncomplicated mode – is a simple story of one man and his pursuit of happiness. His twenty year journey from the mountain citadel of Kandy, a charming city in Sri Lanka, to the multicultural enclave of Toronto, more..

Matara District (Final Result)

Deniyaya30,270(67%) 12,737(28%) 1960(4%)
Hakmana33,113(73%) 9,971(22%) 2,212(5%)
Akuressa 30,816(65%) 13,196(28%) 3,075(7%)
Kamburupitiya28,834(69%) 10,277(25%) 2,257(5%)
Devinuwara26,177(67%) 9,535(24%) 3,086(8%)
Matara24,353(51%) 19,875(41%) 3,624(8%)
Weligama29,814(66%) 12,482(27%) 2,812(6%)
Postal Votes10,560(70%) 3,041(20%) 1,439(10%)
Total296,155(65%) 91,114(28%) 20,465(6%)
Seats6 2 0

Monaragala district: Final Result

Bibile28,575(78%) 6,172(17%) 1,610(4%)
Moneragala32,315(75%) 8,500(20%) 2,168(5%)
Wellawaya50,073(75%) 12,199(18%) 4,507(7%)
Postal Votes9,671(78%) 2,021(16%) 733(6%)
Total120,634(76%) 28,892(18%) 9,018(6%)
Seats4 1 0

Badulla District: Final Result

Mahiyangane29,903(63%) 14,613(31%) 2,433(5%)
Wiyaluwa16,967(67%) 7,046(28%) 705(3%)
Passara18,320(56%) 11,744(36%) 695(2%)
Badulla18,670(58%) 11,314(35%) 1,655(5%)
Hali-Ela21,341(59%) 11,858(33%) 1544(4%)
Uva-Paranaga21,537(61%) 11,253(32%) 1,696(5%)
Welimada19,820(50%) 14,070(36%) 1,816(5%)
Bandarawela24,188(55%) 14,803(34%) 2,262(5%)
Haputale17,197(50%) 11,575(34%) 1,346(4%)
Postal Votes15,746(70%) 4,610(21%) 1,610(7%)
Total203,689(58%) 112,886(32%) 15,768(5%)
Seats6 2 0

Kalutara District: Final Result

Panadura37,818(60%) 18,022(28%) 7,340(12%)
Bandaragama44,927(64%) 19,017(27%) 5,803(8%)
Horana44,136(68%) 16,613(26%) 4,020(6%)
Bulathsinhala29,522(69%) 11,737(27%) 1,577(4%)
Matugama35,920(64%) 17,295(31%) 2,990(5%)
Kalutara38,300(63%) 16,838(28%) 5,584(9%)
Beruwala32,709(54%) 21,737(36%) 5,716(10%)
Agalawatta35,541(68%) 14,402(28%) 1,909(4%)
Postal Votes14,963(72%) 3,935(19%) 1,783(9%)
Total313,836(64%) 139,596(28%) 36,722(8%)
Seats7 3 0

Polonnaruwa District: Final Result

Minneriya29,597(73%) 8,890(22%) 2,166(5%)
Medirigiriya16,794(66%) 12,572(31%) 1,199(3%)
Polonnaruwa51,988(68%) 21,579(28%) 2,453(3%)
Postal Votes10,305(75%) 2,691(20%) 639(5%)
Total118,694(69%) 45,732(27%) 6,457(4%)
Seats4 1 0

Galle District: Final Result

Balapitiya17,374(65%) 7,295(27%) 1,899(7%)
Ambalangoda26,210(66%) 8,926(23%) 4,180(11%)
Karandeniya27,274(71%) 8,688(23%) 2,022(5%)
Bentara-El'tiya32,926(68%) 12,592(26%) 2,792(6%)
Hiniduma40,083(68%) 15,616(27%) 2,717(5%)
Baddegama35,733(68%) 14,119(27%) 2,696(5%)
Ratgama28,814(69%) 9,729(23%) 2,821(7%)
Galle20,348(50%) 14,804(36%) 5,324(13%)
Akmeemana31,998(65%) 13,062(27%) 4,026(8%)
Habaraduwa27,660(67%) 10,644(26%) 2,809(7%)
Postal Votes16,887(71%) 4,626(19%) 2,377(10%)
Total305,307(66%) 120,101(26%) 33,663(7%)
Seats7 7 1

Gampaha District: Final Result

Wattala31,444(50%) 26,659(42%) 4,929(8%)
Negombo26,076(48%) 23,987(44%) 3,463(6%)
Katana49,766(63%) 22,919(29%) 5,228(7%)
Divulapitiya38,957(65%) 18,026(30%) 2,931(5%)
Mirigama45,428(67%) 17,971(26%) 4,491(7%)
Minuwangoda49,033(66%) 19,295(26%) 5,270(7%)
Attanagalla51,172(70%) 15,912(22%) 5,626(8%)
Gampaha58,268(70%) 17,976(22%) 7,188(9%)
Ja-Ela43,920(57%) 26,397(34%) 6,544(9%)
Mahara55,327(67%) 20,387(25%) 7,027(9%)
Dompe46,356(72%) 14,185(22%) 3,709(6%)
Biyagama41,478(62%) 20,438(30%) 5,089(8%)
Kelaniya30,276(58%) 16,479(32%) 5,322(10%)
Postal Votes21,975(71%) 5,892(19%) 2,930(10%)
Total589,476(63%) 266,523(29%) 69,747(8%)
Seats12 5 1

Kurunegala District: Final Result

Galgamuwa34,119(71%) 12,267(26%) 1,503(3%)
Nikaweratiya28,687(64%) 14,677(33%) 1,486(3%)
Yapahuwa37,429(70%) 13,036(24%) 2,586(5%)
Hiriyala26,911(64%) 13,181(31%) 1,673(4%)
Wariyapola25,701(70%) 9,828(27%) 1,303(4%)
Panduwasnuwara21,953(55%) 16,847(43%) 716(2%)
Bingiriya27,396(60%) 16,779(37%) 1,108(2%)
Katugampola32,083(63%) 17,130(33%) 1,932(4%)
Kuliyapitiya29,501(58%) 19,146(38%) 1,826(4%)
Dambadeniya34,447(66%) 15,483(30%) 2,015(4%)
Polgahawela25,485(63%) 12,519(31%) 2,070(5%)
Kurunegala27,030(59%) 16,176(35%) 2,649(6%)
Mawathagama28,106(63%) 14,569(33%) 1,945(4%)
Dodangaslanda20,217(59%) 12,771(37%) 1,245(4%)
Postal Votes30,251(72%) 9,304(22%) 2,383(6%)
Total429,316(64%) 213,713(32%) 26,440(4%)
Seats10 5 0

Ratnapura District: Final Result

Eheliyagoda37,329(71%) 14,346(27%) 1,012(2%)
Ratnapura42,637(67%) 19,013(30%) 1,755(3%)
Pelmadulla28,453(64%) 14,817(34%) 704(2%)
Balangoda36,020(65%) 18,410(33%) 1,200(2%)
Rakwana35,835(67%) 16,179(30%) 1,037(2%)
Nivitigala37,603(72%) 13,603(26%) 668(1%)
Kalawana26,030(75%) 8,187(24%) 526(2%)
Kolonna49,778(70%) 17,511(25%) 3,455(5%)
Postal Votes11,315(75%) 3,010(20%) 696(5%)
Total305,327(69%) 125,076(28%) 11,053(3%)
Seats7 3 0

Kegalle District: Final Result

Dedigama31,983(66%) 14,331(30%) 2,022(4%)
Galigamuwa24,552(69%) 9,423(27%) 1,485(4%)
Kegalle25,513(69%) 9,106(25%) 2,061(6%)
Rambukkana23,317(68%) 9,545(28%) 1,427(4%)
Mawanella26,467(61%) 15,476(36%) 1,544(4%)
Aranayake19,758(70%) 7,396(26%) 997(4%)
Yatiyantota25,522(64%) 13,404(34%) 552(1%)
Ruwanwella26,700(66%) 12,640(31%) 1,190(3%)
Deraniyagala22,109(68%) 9,204(28%) 898(3%)
Postal Votes16,542(74%) 4,400(20%) 1,342(6%)
Total242,463(67%) 104,925(29%) 13,518(4%)
Seats7 2 0

Batticaloa District: Final Result

Batticaloa35,089(40%) 12,284(14%) 32,758(37%)
Padiruppu7,878(22%) 890(2%) 17,171(47%)
Postal Votes2,254(37%) 671(11%) 2,576(42%)
Total62,007(34%) 22,935(13%) 66,214(37%)
Seats1 1 3