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Will not give land rights to the US through MCC: AKD

Nov 8 (RN) NPP prez candidate MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that his party will not let the controversial Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement be signed unless the section on land reforms will be removed. Addressing a rally held in Anuradhapura last Wednesday, Dissanayake said that his party finds the proposal to amend the land laws problematic. “We are not against signing bilateral or multilateral agreements between countries. more..

Video: The threat to our security today is extremism: Anura

Nov 8 (AD) NPP Prez Candidate Anura Kumara Dissanayake says that the security of the country’s people is facing threats from extremism. Speaking at an election rally in Ambalangoda, he said that the extremism which surfaced from within the Muslim community resulted in the Easter Sunday attacks and that the extremism which grew in the Sinhalese community led to the attacks on Muslims in Digana, Darga Town and Akurana. more..

Video: Wasantha joins Gotabaya on stage

Nov 8 (AD) State Minister Wasantha Senanayake today joined SLPP Prez Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa on stage at a campaign rally at Manampitiya. Rajapaksa was addressing the gathering as the State Minister, accompanied by several individuals, suddenly appeared to be making his way through the large crowd at the rally and eventually joined the SLPP candidate on stage. UNP last week decided to remove Wasantha Senanayake from the party with immediate effect. more..

Brouhaha at Rupavahini

Nov 8 (RN) Senior Rupavahini Corporation officials last night complained to the Cinnamon Gardens police in Colombo after staff objected to the presence of police officers and Election Commission staff inside the Master Control room (MCR) of the station. MCR is the place where the transmission of programming handled and is a high-security area. The presence of policemen and other civilians in this area had perturbed the staff. Officials present had entered the MCR and gone to a particular more..

Video: Gotabaya aims to yield USD 10 Bn revenue from tourism

Nov 8 (AD) SLPP’s prez hopeful Gotabaya Rajapaksa says he intends to yield USD 10 billion revenue in the country from the tourism industry. Addressing a rally, Rajapaksa added that he also aims to attract 7 million tourists into the country. The tourism industry is a field that can generate a large number of job opportunities in the country, says Rajapaksa, stressing on the govt’s intervention in this regard. more..

Video: President commends commitment of Tri-Forces & Police

Nov 8 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena has expressed high appreciation to the armed forces, the police and the intelligence services for their absolute commitment to national security and regional security. President made this statement participating at the ceremony to declare open the new Army Headquarters at Akuregoda, Pelawatta this morning. The President was welcomed by the Commander of the Army Lt General Shavendra Silva at the new Army Headquarters premises. more..

Public debt hits 90% of GDP after currency collapse

Nov 8 (EN) Sri Lanka’s public debt has hit 90% of gross domestic product by end 2018, IMF data showed, amid a collapsing flexible exchange rate, and a forex debacle at a petroleum utility. When state enterprises were counted public debt hit 99.4% of GDP. Some state enterprises however had their own revenues to service debt. If some SOE debt becomes direct liabilities of the central govt, public debt could hit 101% of GDP In 2019, the IMF said in a debt analysis. more..

Land sold against proper tender procedure taken over

Nov 8 (AD) A 79 perch land belonging to the Wattala-Mabola Municipal Council, sold against the proper tender procedure, has been taken over upon the recommendation made by the Committee on Public Accounts (CoPA). The committee had thanked the officials of the Western Provincial Council for restoring a large asset to the Govt. Officials were given the due credit for taking over the land at CoPA held in Parliament more..

Creativity is their signature dish

Nov 9 (ST) Above Shirohana Romantico on Dickman’s Road, Colombo 5, you’ll find KIKU Colombo, a dynamic Japanese fusion restaurant and event space. Creating its own special vibe, it has soft soothing colour patterns and light streaming in through the large windows. The brainchild of Jacqueline Samarasinghe in partnership with Shirohana, KIKU started more than a year ago, and is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. If KIKU could be described simply it would be more..

'We oppose Tamil extremist proposals'

Nov 9 (CT) SLPP Prez Candidate, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, says he had totally rejected the proposals submitted to him by extremist Tamil political parties, as they were harmful and threatening to the country's territorial integrity and sovereignty. He stressed that under his leadership, a regime will be formed, which will not be dictated to by either foreign powers or NGOs. The former Defence Secretary made these remarks, addressing an SLPP rally in Katugampala, more..

Coping with latest COPE report

Nov 9 (TM) On 22 Oct, COPE presented its Third Report to Parliament which examines the performance of 23 state-owned enterprises (SOEs) over the last 19 months. The findings are certainly characteristic of the widescale corruption, wasteful spending, and poor management practices that Sri Lanka’s SOEs are renowned for. Chairman’s Note within the report states: more..

'Fallen comrades should be revered'

Nov 9 (CT) NPP Prez Candidate, Anura Kumara Dissanayaka, addressing the 71st Comrades Convention recently in Colombo, stated the present-day comrades in the country have no right whatsoever, to either go against or stand opposite to the ideals or the vision espoused by the fallen comrades of the past. He said those comrades, who had sacrificed their lives for the 1971 insurrection, and the struggle, had thereby paved the way for the present-day comrades to chart their journey. more..

Is Sajith slowly pulling ahead as Gota fails to gain traction?

Nov 9 (DN) The 2019 prez election, rather predictably is shaping up politically, very similar to its precedent in 2015. On that occasion, the then ruling Rajapaksas’ sought an unprecedented third term and was rebuffed at the polls. In 2019, the Rajapaksas’ are essentially seeking a third term, with the personalities changed. The message though from the Rajapaksa camp has not changed, only increased in intensity. The message that the Sinhala people are under threat both from more..

The unsurpassed legacy of Prophet Mohamed remembered

Nov 9 (Island) Yet another year has passed since the birth of the Prophet of Islam Mohamed, on whom be peace and blessings of Allah (PBUH) over 1440 years ago. In this year, I shall reminisce upon the legacy left behind by the prophet (PBUH) not only for his followers but for all God’s creation as a perfect example as stated in the Qur’an by God in Surah Al- Ahzab, verse 21 – "Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad SAW) more..

Battling for the PM's job

Nov 9 (CT) What had started off as a campaign for the Prez Poll, scheduled for 16 Nov, is now increasingly getting the colour of one for PM, too, now unlike any time in the past, it is the latter that seems to be deciding the results of the former. It is not without reason, though at the end of the day, it is the elected Prez who will (have to) decide who his PM will be, at least until the Parliamentary Polls, which are normally due by mid-Aug 2020, but could be advanced by weeks and months, more..

Editorial: Black money and polls

Nov 9 (Island) The CMEV has said five prez candidates spent as much as Rs. 1.25 billion on electioneering, from 14 Oct to 4 Nov. The actual amount must be much higher. It is well-nigh impossible to ascertain how much they really spend as it is not mandatory for them to maintain records of their expenses. Nobody knows how much their political rallies and other such activities cost. All their party organisers are given huge amounts of money for campaigning at the grassroots level. more..


Prez election: The multiple crises in Sri Lankan education

Nov 9 (CT) Sri Lanka’s entire system of education, at pre-school, primary, secondary and tertiary levels, has been facing multiple crises. Attempts made in the recent past to address some aspects of these crises have either succeeded only partially, or failed altogether. The persistence of these multiple crises has also generated new interest in educational reforms among Sri Lanka’s presidential candidates in the 2019 Prez Campaign. It is reported that the main prez candidates have assigned more..

The Jaffna Intl Airport and 13 points of Tamil political parties

Nov 9 (Island) The opening of the Jaffna Int'l Airport at Palali was an important step both from the point of view of national integration as well as development of the Northern part of the country. It also helps the reconciliation process, as it gives recognition to the Northern Province and the Tamil speaking people of that province. However, I was dismayed to read an article where the writer was critical of the opening of this Airport, on the grounds that it was inimical to security concerns. more..

MCC, ACSA, SOFA, incompatible with international law

Nov 9 (Island) Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA), the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and Millennium Challenge Compact (MCC) are agreements integral to US national security and self-defense strategies, whose goal is American Self-Preservation, an ideology incompatible with the Charter of UN and int'l law. A clarification of MCC’s role in America’s national security & self-defense strategies is required. more..

Gota frontliner iterates anti-Muslim campaign has been paused for polls

Nov 9 (CT) SLPP’s front organization – Viyathmaga front-liner Prof. Channa Jayasumana says that anti-Muslim campaigns spearheaded by SLPP front organizations had been paused due to the forthcoming 16 Nov Prez Elections, at a book launch held at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute recently. “For four years along with the Maha Sangha we made sacrifices as the national movement to bring out a candidate (i.e. Gotabaya Rajapaksa). I personally believe that we were successful. more..

Lankan team leaves for Bangladesh to defend Emerging Asia Cup title

Nov 9 (DN) Emerging Asia Cup cricket champions Sri Lanka will leave for Bangladesh today to defend their title which they won last year. The fourth edition of the tournament will see Under-23 teams of five Test nations from Asia (SL, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan) battling it out with the national teams of Hong Kong, Oman and Nepal for the championship from Nov 14-23. UAE pulled out without stating any official reasons thus making way for Nepal’s entry. more..

Historic $ 608 m One Galle Face mall opens

Nov 9 (FT) Shangri-La yesterday ceremoniously opened Sri Lanka’s first internationally developed and managed mixed-use project, the $ 608 million One Galle Face Mall, which is also the Group’s biggest venture in South Asia. The 7-storey mall, home to over 200 tenants and international and local brands, was declared open by President Maithripala Sirisena and Shangri-La Group CEO Lim Beng Chee. more..

'Woo foreign investors at highest level'

Nov 9 (DN) Sri Lankan authorities should focus on getting foreign investors who have the ability to transform the economic landscape through mutual contacts at the highest level, internationally renowned artist, architect and engineer Cecil Balmond said. “Investment road shows alone cannot bring the right kind of investors to the island,” he said on the sidelines of a forum in Colombo yesterday. “Sri Lanka should make a greater effort to encourage investors with good plans. more..

Commonwealth law ministers resolve to take action on access to justice

Nov 9 (FT) Commonwealth law ministers have unanimously resolved to remove barriers to access to justice in their respective countries, and to deliver Sustainable Development Goal 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions by 2030. The biennial Commonwealth Law Ministers Meeting concluded today with a set of proposed actions to be taken at the national and Commonwealth level. Ministers agreed to address the justice needs of vulnerable persons, including by expanding specialised more..

'2019 prez poll: War crimes allegations proved wrong, can’t be an issue in North'

Nov 9 (Island) One-time Northern Province Governor, retired Maj. Gen. G.A. Chandrasiri, said that the Tamil vote at the prez poll shouldn’t be influenced by war crimes accusations made a decade ago. Chandrasiri, who served as Jaffna Security Forces Commander during the Wanni war, urged the Tamil citizens not to be deceived by unscrupulous elements still propagating lies at the expense of post-war reconciliation. more..

Costa Victoria calls on Colombo Port

Nov 9 (DN) Aitken Spence Maritime launched the passenger cruise season with Italy’s biggest tour operator Costa Cruises. The luxurious passenger vessel Costa Victoria called Colombo Port on Nov 5, 2019 carrying 1,739 passengers and 790 crew members on board. Costa Cruises offers cruise holidays to Europe, Mediterranean, Caribbean and Asian destinations. Costa Victoria is adorned with a stunning combination of Italian and Swedish design, with a capacity to accommodate 2,394 more..

EC halts Edu ministry polls eve hanky-panky

Nov 9 (Island) Ministry of Education (MoE) has instructed Principals to halt the admission of 44,000 students to National and Provincial schools, following the intervention of the National Elections Commission (NEC). Earlier the NEC halted admissions to all classes except grades 1, 5, 6 and 11, following an allegation that the MoE was planning to admit a large number of students to other classes on political reasons. Some Principals, too, had objected to the MoE decision more..

Boosting tourism, IT, FDI key to 6.5% growth: Cabraal

Nov 9 (FT) Development of tourism, IT, and construction industries, coupled with stronger foreign direct investment (FDI), can boost growth to the ambitious 6.5% target outlined by the SLPP manifesto, former CB Ajith Nivard Cabraal said. Along with former SEC Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, Cabraal made a comparison between the manifestos of SLPP prez candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa and NDF prez candidate Sajith more..

Prophet’s universal message nourishes world: President

Nov 9 (DN) The birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad, Milad-Un-Nabi is indeed an occasion to reflect on the teachings of the Prophet that helped immensely to make the world better, states President Maithripala Sirisena in his Milad-Un-Nabi message. The message: The teachings of Prophet Muhammad was based on the noble concept of equality that one person is not superior or inferior to another by race, caste or colour. Every human being has equal rights, according to the Prophet. more..

Human society guided by Prophet’s divine teachings: PM

Nov 9 (DN) Prophet Muhammad, who is described as the last messenger of God in Islam, was among the religious leaders who had a profound influence on humanity. He dedicated his entire life to build a society based on peace, reconciliation and compassion, states PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in his Milad Un Nabi message. The message: His unwavering commitment in teaching his followers the importance of brotherhood, social harmony and charity in order to lead a blessed life is more..

Video: UNP is in the hands of the TNA: Varadaraja Perumal

Nov 9 (AD) Former North-East Chief Minister and leader of Tamil Social Democratic Party, Varadaraja Perumal, accused the TNA of auctioning the votes of the Tamils to the UNP. He said that he supported former President Chandrika Bandaranaike during her tenure from 1995 onwards. “She promised and we had a hope and she also did to an extent in bringing a reasonable political solution to the Tamil people and more..

Nigeria, Sri Lanka strengthen economic ties

Nov 9 (VML) President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) Adetokunbo Kayode on Friday underscored the need for Nigeria and SL to work closely to deliver on specific programmes, projects and activities. Kayode said this when the High Commissioner of SL to Nigeria, Ahamed Khan visited the chamber on Friday in Abuja. A statement issued by Mr Lubem Gena, Media & Strategy Officer, ACCI, said that several areas of cooperation were discussed during the visit. more..

Services of 3 police officers suspended

Nov 9 (DM) The services of three police officers attached to the Hemmathagama Police Station have been suspended for failing to carry out proper investigations into the incident where a 26-year-old mentally disabled girl was sexually abused by a 23-year-old person yesterday at Devanagala, police said. The girl, who was on her way home by bus after attending an SLPP election rally, had been sexually abused on three occasions by the 23-year-old person, who had been identified as more..

Racist elements should be defeated: Rishad

Nov 9 (AD) ACMC Leader and Minister Rishad Bathiudeen claims that fraudulent vote buying with cash is being planned to defeat NDF prez candidate Sajith Premadasa and also cautioned voters to not to sell their votes for a few extra rupees. “We have been informed that in the coming days organised vote buying will take place in Mannar area to defeat Sajith Premadasa and us. Do not be deceived by a few extra rupees,” more..

Sajith seeks support of SL expatriates

Nov 9 (DM) New Democratic Front (NDF) presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa today sought the support of Sri Lankan expiates for his candidature. In a letter to the Sri Lankan community living abroad, he said the presidential elections this November comes at a crucial time when our country stands at a veritable crossroad in its history, at a time when our democratic traditions, values and institutions as well as the rule of law, are constantly under threat. more..

South Asian Games 2019: FFSL finalises Men's & Women's Squads

Nov 9 (CT) Football Federation SL (FFSL) finalised the Men's and Women's football squads for the upcoming South Asian Games in Kathmandu, Nepal from 1-10 Dec. Unfortunately, Sri Lanka will not have the service of their regular skipper Kavindu Ishan due to an injury to his left shoulder. Kavindu was injured during a FIFA World Qualifier match in South Korea and his absence in the team will be a big loss for the island nation. However, FFSL released a strong team with many seniors more..

Video: Gotabaya announces relief package for country’s poor

Nov 9 (AD) SLPP prez candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa says that a relief package will be provided to the poor and needy in the country, as an instant relief measure before the economy if uplifted. Speaking at an election rally, he said that the complete relief package will be presented tomorrow. He said that they have decided to provide a bag of rations free of charge every month especially to low-income families, families which are receiving more..

Report places most of the blame on CB

Nov 9 (DM) A senior Finance Ministry source said yesterday the Central Bank did not release the report on the forensic audit on the Central Bank bond scam because the report puts the blame for the bond scam on the doorstep of the Central Bank. He said the CB need not seek the Attorney General’s advice on the release of the five audit reports because they are public documents and that several requests to the CB to release the reports, had not received a favourable response. more..

MCC not beneficial to Sri Lanka: Wijeyadasa

Nov 9 (DM) MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe claimed that Sri Lanka would not benefit from the MCC pact and that not even a cent would be received by the Treasury. He told a news conference that the US$480 million would be received by the particular US company which would undertake the project in SL and according to the MCC pact, the Treasury will not receive a cent. MP said neither the Auditor General nor the COPE would be able to mediate in any of the transactions involving MCC funds. more..