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Candidates seem to have common policies So, what matters most is ability to deliver

Oct 31 (DM) Candidate of SLPP Gotabaya Rajapaksa has launched his election manifesto where NDF’s candidate Sajith Premadasa is expected to do it today. NPP candidate Anura Kumara Dissanayake has also unveiled his policy document. Whatever it may be, the candidates, in their addresses to constituents across the country, spell out what they intend to it. That is, more or less, is reflected in their respective manifestos. Though Mr. Premadasa’s manifesto is not yet put out, more..

Yahapâlana failures must not drive us into the arms of an authoritarian

Nov 1 (CT) It is in times of great peril that citizens are expected to stand and be counted. Our democracy appears to be approaching a fork in the road, a dark and perilous fork in the road, where all citizens must stand and be counted. It is no secret that, despite overwhelming, repressive control over the machinery of the State, citizens were willing to stand and (literally) be counted, when they went to the polls in Jan 2015. Outraged by the manifest corruption and human rights abuses of more..

Taking the plunge to save lives

Nov 1 (ST) It was a Thursday afternoon on Feb 1 last year when 19- year-old Hashindu Madushan suddenly heard a commotion in his neighbourhood of Karandeniya, Galle. The shocking news was that a baby had fallen into a well nearby. Rushing to the well, Hashindu could see the infant in the water. The villagers were gathered around. Without a second thought, Hashindu decided to go down the well, which was 23 feet deep. more..

Case of Sri Lankan civil war

Nov 1 (DM) Another critical factor in this regard was formalising the Civil Defence Force. This was initially a loose organisation of civilians who had been given only shotguns to protect the villages under threat from the LTTE. When the decision to once again engage the LTTE militarily was made, it was clear that the LTTE would try to distract the operations by attacking more innocent civilians in these villages. Therefore, it was necessary to formally organise these civilians into a proper more..

An attempt to turn me into a Dr. Shafi !

Nov 1 (CT) I was shocked to see on the 6:55pm Hiru News on Tuesday (29) a media briefing by a few MPs described as Catholic MPs of the SLPP, in which one of them, notably Arundika Fernando, accused me of conspiring with Minister Mangala Samaraweera and someone named Thusitha Halloluwe to engage in false propaganda which implicates Prez candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the Easter Sunday terror bombings. Not a shred of proof is presented for this accusation. more..

Tourism at a standstill in the South

Nov 1 (DM) Following the Easter Sunday carnage, tourism was one of the main income generating sectors that experienced a thundering blow. Almost all tourists left the country while many bookings were cancelled. Although several tax concessions were given to hotels, particularly those registered with the SLTDA, small scale hotels suffered badly. The picture seen in Colombo is quite different compared to more..

Communicating a power-grab

Nov 1 (DN) On that fateful day, Oct 26, 2018, the President of Sri Lanka was late. He was due to arrive at 2 p.m. Announcements were made that he would be arriving at any moment. I was at BMICH in a large gathering of journalists from all parts of Sri Lanka. We were awaiting the arrival of President Maithripala Sirisena. President Sirisena was the chief guest at the awards ceremony for excellence in investigative reporting, organised by the Federation of Media Employees Trade Unions. more..

Editorial: Prime Ministerial hopefuls

Nov 1 (Island) No sooner had Minister Navin Dissanayake said the next PM should be from the hill country than PM Ranil Wickremesinghe declared, that he would be the PM if Sajith Premadasa won the presidency. UNP like any other political party is full of ambitious men and women, and the PM may have thought others would also try to take the bread out of his mouth if he remained silent. It will be interesting to know what Sajith thinks; which part of the country would more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Easter Sunday attacks: Lessons from the PSC Report

Nov 1 (DN) The article today carries selected extracts from the Select Committee report. Following the attacks, evidence emerged that prior intelligence information was available regarding the impending attack but that it was not acted upon. This is compounded by the fact that since April 8, 2018, a full one year before the incident, he had in writing to IGP requested for shutting down of investigations by others into Zahran, which resulted in the SIS becoming the sole investigator into Zahran. more..

Will it be aplain win-and-lose or will riots ensue?

Nov 1 (Island) It’s getting hot, hot! Not weather wise which is definitely cooling while it dampens severely. Cassandra recollects the game she played as a child with friends. You hid a treasure (often a tiny trinket or bit of sticky chocolate) and got the other to look for it, shouting cool and cold if she moved away from the hidden treasure and crescendo-ing cries of hot, hotter, oh my goodness hottest when she pounced on the treasure. These times are similar, but minus the childish innocence and joy. more..

Less force, more kindness as Sri Lanka tries to defuse human-elephant conflict

Nov 1 (MB) When Chandi, an aggressive male elephant prone to breaking into village homes and destroying crops, was finally captured, he was collared and transferred to a holding ground in Horowpathana, in north-central SL. A few months later, he was back in his home range in Galgamuwa in the northwest, where he resumed his old routine. In making his way back home, Chandi had walked more than 200 km. more..

The probe for a prudent political order

Nov 1 (Island) The more visible euphoria that precedes the coming presidential election is accompanied with a deeper, solemn realism that the country is unlikely to be better placed after a new president is in place. The most recent experience of the post 2015 presidential election remains a hard lesson. Whoever the major political power blocks thrust into the highest seat the promised golden era will continue to elude us. This is largely because these power blocks simply cannot do better. more..

Rural-uprooting and urban-replanting

Nov 1 (ST) In 2014, China unveiled a strange urbanisation plan – the National New-type Urbanisation Plan (NUP)–, to accommodate 100 million people in the cities by 2020, and 250 million people by 2026. Where would people in 100s of millions come from in order to dwell in the cities? They would have to come from the remote rural areas in China. This means that it was, apparently, a genius plan for relocating people – in fact, the farmers, from rural areas to urban cities. more..

All-Island School Games 2019: Ravindu stuns arena with 47.53 in 400m

Nov 1 (CT) Ravindu Bandara from Wekada MV, Chilaw isn't a familiar name among the top crop of youth sprinters in SL, and did not even make it to the team for the Asian Youth Championship earlier this year. But when he took on Asian Youth Silver medallist Navishka Sandeesh in the 400m Boys' Under-18 finals yesterday at the All-Island School Games 2019, he produced a magical run which stunned the two Asian Youth team members Navishka more..

Only way is up for Sri Lanka as Australia eye whitewash

Nov 1 (CI) Margins of 134 runs and nine wickets (with seven overs to spare) have made the opening two matches of this series horrendously one-sided. David Warner has filled his boots while Aaron Finch, Steven Smith and Glenn Maxwell, who has now sadly stepped away from the game for a period of time, profited from time in the middle. But Australia's middle order has barely needed to pad up. The bowling has been impressive although has hardly been tested by some insipid SL batting. more..

‘Logistics sector needs to embrace new technology soon’

Nov 1 (DN) Sri Lanka Logistics sector will soon have to embrace new technology to keep pace with the global shipping and logistic trends said Managing Director of Hayleys Advantis Ltd Ruwan Waidyaratne. He said so as a panelist at the Modernization, Digitization and Disruption of Supply Chain breakfast meeting hosted by HSBC yesterday at Shangri La Colombo. He said that due to low cost of labour in Sri Lanka in comparison to some of the other (European) countries it’s still cheaper more..

The British are coming: SLTPB to launch massive promo in UK market

Nov 1 (FT) Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau will be the Premier Partner at WTM London 2019, as the island’s tourism industry continues its resolute recovery following April’s incident. The high-profile partnership will ensure global coverage for Sri Lanka, which has also teamed with legendary SL batsman Kumar Sangakkara to help tourism bounce back. WTM is the leading global event for travel industry, more..

Sri Lanka - Turkey bilateral trade on the rise

Nov 1 (CT) Bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Turkey have developed notably in the recent past, and the friendship between the two countries could usher in more benefits to both nations, stated Turkish Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Tunca Ozcuhadar, at celebration of the 96th Anniversary of the Proclamation of the Republic of Turkey held in Colombo on 29 Oct. Ambassador noted that the magnitude of trade between the two countries in recent years indicated that Turkey is more..

Dhanani beat odds to win 100 metres

Nov 1 (Island) Dhanani Kodituwakku was born with a defect in her right hand. Her mother had a difficult delivery and in a bid to save Dhanani’s life doctors opted for forceps and it resulted in a nerve damage leading to near paralysis of her right hand. Dhanani was introduced to physiotherapy from the time she was five days old. When she was four years old she was introduced to dancing and after she started schooling to ballet dancing and also to athletics. All those were to overcome her problem. more..

Dreaded torture chamber operator nabbed in Wennappuwa

Nov 1 (DM) An accomplice of Olu Mara who is alleged to have maintained a torture chamber in a house in Sirigampola, Wennapuwa, identified as Ran Chamara, had been taken into custody on suspicion by a team of Wennappuwa Police officers on Wednesday. At the time of the arrest, the suspect had 2g and 200 mg of Heroin in his possession. Olu Mara who had been operating a criminal gang in Wennappuwa more..

Teejay’s 6-month net profit surges 75% to Rs 1.24 billion on robust Q2 growth

Nov 1 (Island) Top textile manufacturer Teejay Lanka has witnessed impressive top and bottom line growth in the first half of 2019-20, with investments in expansion and internal measures continuing to generate anticipated improvements to net profit margins and other key performance indicators. Noteworthy revenue and profit improvements in the second quarter of the year have enabled SL’s only multinational textile producer to build on the strong start of the preceding quarter and report more..

Most politicians instigating racism and extremism: Liyanage

Nov 1 (DM) Most of the current politicians are attempting to instigate racism and extremism to stabilise politically, Sri Lanka Labour Party Prez Candidate A.S.P. Liyanage said yesterday. Addressing a media briefing he said that because of such politicians, the country is falling to distress and debt. “I have started my occupation as a teacher and now I’m a successful businessman. I have a clean career background without any corruption or being part of any extremist activities,” he said. more..

SLMC complains to EU poll observers about an alleged election conspiracy

Nov 1 (Island) The SLMC has informed the European Union polls observers that certain groups operating leadership of ex-militants Karuna and Pillayan are planning to intimidate voters and suff ballot boxes at the upcoming presidential election mainly in the Batticaloa District. The SLMC made this complaint to the visiting European Union’s Election Observation Mission to Sri Lanka at their meeting this week. more..

Sri Lanka showcases digital potential in Thailand’s Big Bang 2019

Nov 1 (Island) Adding boost to SL’s growing potential as an emerging world ICT destination of choice, the embassy of Sri Lanka in Bangkok together with Dept of Commerce of SL, organized for the first time, the participation of Sri Lankan IT companies in the Digital Thailand-Big Bang 2019 Exhibition held in Bangkok Thailand from Oct 28-31. The Exhibition, which is considered the biggest international conference and exhibition on digital technology and innovation in South East Asia, more..

Video: First day of prez poll postal voting peaceful: CaFFE

Nov 1 (AD) The first day of postal voting for the Presidential Election 2019 was carried out peacefully, says the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE). The two-day postal voting of public servants and military personnel commenced yesterday at 7 am and the voters were allowed to cast their ballot until 4 pm in the evening. CaFFE’s Director of Administration Surangi Ariyawansha said the election observers were deployed island-wide to monitor the postal voting process. more..

Catholic Bishops issue apolitical message with deep meaning to voters

Nov 1 (Island) "The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka wishes to draw the attention of the citizens of the country to discern wisely and courageously on the choice of the Presidential Candidate who should be a person of integrity to work in close collaboration with all to safeguard the freedom and rights of the people, uphold the democratic principles and work for the sustainable development of the country. more..

EC showcases waterproof cardboard boxes to be used as ballot boxes

Nov 1 (FT) Election Commission showcased some of the waterproof cardboard boxes that will be used in Prez Election. These will replace the wooden boxes usually used in most polling centres, due to the length of the ballot paper. “A wooden box can only hold 450 ballot papers, given the length of this ballot paper, but the biggest cardboard box can hold up to 1200 papers. The boxes come in three sizes, and will be sent to the polling centres depending on number of registered voters in each centre,” more..

CaFFE complains of GMOA threats to election monitors

Nov 1 (Island) CaFFE has condemned what it calls the threats on election monitoring made by the GMOA. Acting Executive Director of CaFFE Manas Makeen said that GMOA threatened PAFFREL and the CMEV. Makeen, "Officials of the GMOA have criticised these election monitors severely. We condemn this attempt to intimidate election monitors. SL election monitors have done a lot to ensure a free and fair election. They have brought attention to various misdeeds during elections." more..

PM challenges Gota: Make statement on recent ISIS bomb attacks

Nov 1 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said he will challenge Mahinda and Gotabaya Rajapaksa who speaks about national security to make a public statement explaining their stand on the recent bombs attacks made by the ISIS outfit. He said the govt on its part will co-operate with the international community including the US and Russia to eradicate terrorism not only from this country but the entire world. more..

Sri Lanka Tourism aims high for 2020

Nov 1 (FT) Come next year, Sri Lanka Tourism is optimistic of chasing a very ambitious target of 2.5-3 million tourist arrivals, while expecting revenue of $ 6 billion. “Sri Lanka is very optimistic about next year. Goal we want to chase is anything between 2.5 and 3 million tourist arrivals and an income of around $ 6 billion,” SLTPB Chairman Kishu Gomes said. Given how Sri Lanka was devastated by the deadly Easter Sunday attacks, he said we should all be satisfied with the recovery. more..

Business Sentiment Index at an 8 month high

Nov 1 (AD) SL’s trade deficit contracted in August as imports continued to decline while the dip in exports of the previous month had largely recovered, according to data. Import expenditure recorded a fall of 16.6% year on year and export earnings dropped by a fractional 0.4% year on year in August, which is mainly attributed to lower prices for major export categories. Tourist arrivals increased by 24% in August over the preceding month while also narrowing the year on year gap. more..

Sri Lanka hereditary legislators may top the House of Lords

Nov 1 (EN) Out of 225 members of SL’s parliament, 102 members are from political families, whose ancestors of close relatives have also been in the house, which if correct, tops the hereditary peers of the UK’s House of Lords. JVP MP Bimal Rathnayake said one research had shown that 102 members of the current parliament came from hereditary political families He said children of existing or former legislator find it easy to get elected, more..

PCoI on Easter Sunday Carnage: PSB and SIS short of personnel

Nov 1 (CT) Police Special Branch (PSB) and the State Intelligence Service (SIS) are short of officers, and there is a need to recruit more personnel, the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI), appointed to investigate and report on the Easter Sunday bomb attacks, was told yesterday. Testifying before the PCoI, DIG Mahesh Senaratne said that only 40% of PSB and SIS officers are currently involved in investigations, while the remaining officers handle documentation. more..

BASL concerned over MCC pact

Nov 1 (FT) Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) called for greater transparency before signing the MCC pact and said it is gravely concerned about efforts to sign it before 16 Nov. The full statement: Despite news reports seeking to assure the public of the benign nature of the said agreement, the draft that was previously made available to us had a multitude of disadvantageous clauses for Sri Lanka. BASL as a responsible organisation took a lot of time to study the proposed MCC and more..

SP unveils vision to tap Sri Lanka’s potential

Nov 1 (FT) NDF prez candidate Sajith Premadasa yesterday rolled out an election manifesto which outlined a raft of reforms, which he insisted would drive forward the economy by delivering consistent policies, ensuring democracy, protecting the rule of law, increasing welfare and promoting minority rights. According to the manifesto, if elected, an administration with Premadasa as its Prez would seek to get more..

Integrating smart tech to education

Nov 1 (DM) Presidential candidates are harping much about how they’ll raise the standard of education in the country. There are proposals in manifestos to raise the education through projects which would introduce a student-centred education system, the integration of smart technology into state universities, increase the intake into state universities and provide e-library with internet to every town. List goes on and we have jotted down the ones which would make us say wow. more..

Dirty tricks and cheap gimmicks on campaign trail

Nov 1 (DM) “There is a large number of war heroes in prison on utterly false charges. I like to tell at this moment, on 17th morning, I will acquit and release them all from prison. Will acquit and release them,” SLPP presz candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa promised at his maiden election rally held on Oct 9 in Anuradhapura. “I have appointed Sarath Fonseka to ensure that these incidents (Easter Sunday type attacks) will not repeat. I will destroy all terrorists before something like this takes place. more..

Voters’ rights and responsibilities

Nov 1 (DM) Exercising one’s right to vote is the fundamental right of any citizen. With SL’s eighth Prez Elections just weeks away on 16 Nov, there is an urgent and important need for citizens to educate themselves on how to exercise their voting rights, right. In this light, Daily Mirror spoke to Election Commission member Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole, TISL head Asoka Obeyesekere, PAFFREL head Rohana Hettiarachchi more..

Inflation picks up to 5.4% in October

Nov 1 (EN) Sri Lanka’s inflation in the capital Colombo in the 12-month to October 2019 rose to 5.4% in Sept 2019, from 5% in September, data from the state statistics office said. The Colombo Consumer Price Index grew 0.2% in the 30 days of October to 131.3 points, from 131.1 points a month earlier. Food inflation accelerated 6.8% in the 12-months to October from 3% in September. Food prices in Oct was 1.6% higher than Sept. more..