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Irrelevance of Gota’s & Sajith’s Programmes

Nov 10 (Island) A commentator on a popular website remarked: "It’s a waste of time analysing or deciphering the manifestos of the major parties. If one scrutinises previous manifestos of new-style Presidents or old-style Prime Ministers, what have they delivered?" Another commentator added "A manifesto is worthless unless it is implemented. What proportion of past manifestoes have been? Only a small fraction; an indictment of the rectitude of candidates". more..

Who has the lead? Who has momentum?

Nov 10 (Island) One more week to go. One last week for speculations. To be fair, I can cite one neutral and two partisan predictions. The neutral one plays it safe: Gotabaya has the lead, Sajith has momentum, and neither will win on the first count. Some Gotabaya supporters, however, are putting it out that Gotabaya will get it on the first count at 55%, no less. I first saw this in the gut-opinion of an emeritus academic. The same number has since been popularized in a journalistic piece more..

Sirisena may meet Premadasa the day before campaign ends

Nov 10 (ST) Barring today, there is only three more days to go for campaigning to close for the prez election. Campaigning by the two main candidates – Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Sajith Premadasa – have peaked. Amidst this, an advisor of Prez Sirisena is making a valiant effort to get him to meet NDF candidate Sajith Premadasa at a public event. Occasion he has chosen is Tuesday, just a day before the campaign closes. more..

I would feel safer under the presidency of Sajith: Ahimsa

Nov 10 (TM) Ahimsa Wickramatunga, daughter of slain journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge says she would feel safer under the presidency of Sajith Premadasa, a man who suffered horrifically at the hands of terrorists. She expressed these views in a letter addressed to the people of Sri Lanka. “Despite Sajith Premadasa’s role as a minister in this govt, which has let down many of us who fought for justice, more..

SLC issues ultimatum to Malinga

Nov 10 (Island) Fast bowler Lasith Malinga’s days as Sri Lanka’s T-20 skipper are numbered as cricket authorities have given him an ultimatum that the team can not move forward with a string of poor results under his leadership. There was renewed hope ahead of next year’s World T-20 when a second string Sri Lankan side whitewashed Pakistan last month but it was all back to square one in Australia last week more..

Video: 'We will ensure the right to language'

Nov 10 (AD) NPP Prez Candidate Anura Kumara Dissanayake says that he will ensure the right to language. Speaking at a public rally in Kuliyapitiya, he pointed out that there are 2 mother tongues used in the country; Sinhala and Tamil. He says it is the responsibility of the govt to make sure that people can connect with the govt through their own mother tongue. “They should have the right to learn in their mother tongue. more..

'Sri Lanka to double Ceylon Black Tea exports to China within next 5 years'

Nov 10 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka aims to double its black tea export to China to 20 million kilos per annum within the next five years as more Chinese youth now favor black tea, an official said here Saturday. Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) Lucille Wijewardena told Xinhua that the island country aims to change China into one of the leading export markets for Ceylon tea as it was a market with great potential. more..

Monk demands proof Gota has renounced US citizenship

Nov 10 (RN) A Buddhist Monk, Dr. Inguruwatte Sumangala Thero is demanding that the SLPP Prez Candidate furnish proof that he has renounced his United States citizenship within three days. The Monk says he needs to see written proof of renunciation and will fast unto death unless this proof is given to him. Sri Lankan law prohibits foreign citizens or those holding dual citizenship from holding elected office. more..

Sri Lanka: New reality

Nov 10 (FL) Late in 2011, as an invited group of residents of the posh Colombo-7 neighbourhood was partying in the Sri Lankan capital, an influential official took this correspondent aside and said, pointing to former President Chandrika Kumaratunga: “Watch her. She will be critical to a formation that will replace Mahinda [Rajapaksa].” It was difficult to take him seriously then. After all, Mahinda Rajapaksa had won more..

A week that will shake Sri Lanka’s future

Nov 10 (GV) Who is winning? This seems to be the question many people these days are keen to find an answer to. Whenever this question is put to me, my usual answer is one that disappoints the interlocutor: “It is difficult to say. But I can tell you a little bit about what I speculate as the current trend…” Such an imprecise answer can hardly please those who are impatient to hear something to confirm what they wish to be more..

'Land and police powers to N-E if Gota wins'

Nov 10 (SO) Former LTTE commander and ex-UPFA MP Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman who recently pledged support to the SLPP prez candidate, said the Tamils of the North and East will be given some land and police powers if Gotabaya Rajapaksa wins the Nov 16 election. Karuna Amman, claimed that he has personally presented a number of demands to Gotabaya Rakapaksa when more..

Cyberwar hits campaign for presidential poll

Nov 10 (ST) Facebook political advertisements have caused serious concerns for the National Elections Commission. “It is a challenging task to stop well targeted paid political ads,” NEC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said. “I don’t know how we can ensure all sorts of Facebook political campaigning activities are stopped after the ban on campaigning from midnight on Wednesday.” Facebook representatives came to SL more..

From White Vans to Menses

Nov 11 (CT) Albert Einstein was known for his thought experiments, which he used as a tool for understanding physical issues and for teaching his ideas to others. If you are a man, here is a simple thought experiment for you: Imagine, once every lunar month, blood oozing continuously out of your phallus for a week. Would you use a rag to cover and plug your phallus? If you had a choice, would you say, “I would rather have my hair on fire for a week”? Men cannot handle menses. more..

Anura, Sex and Gender Politics

Nov 11 (CT) Women, sex, sexuality, feminine hygiene, reproductive rights have all emerged front running themes and game changers in the Prez Election of 2019. As Kate Millet famously wrote in her groundbreaking book Sexual Politics in 1970, what is personal is political. The male worshipping Pohottu People seem to exhibit very little sensitivity towards these issues in their singular adulation of the Rajapaksa men. The best they could muster to face the PADMAN was to call a line of more..

SLPP alone expends over 59% of total election campaign expenditure

Nov 11 (CT) An Independent polls observing Body which embarked on a mission to probe campaign expenditure of presidential hopefuls, has uncovered the shocking revelation that front runners have spent in excess of one billion rupees on their polls campaigns, in less than three weeks. The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) has so far calculated that the three main contenders, from the SLPP, NDF and NPP have spent more..

The politics of blood and a decisive presidential poll

Nov 11 (ST) Seven days to go for a crucial Prez poll, Pohottuwa campaigners visiting predominantly Catholic belt neighbourhoods with flyers containing images of blood stained altars of the Katuwapitiya and Kochchikade churches while soliciting the vote for former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa must be reminded that the blame for allowing jihadists to flourish unchecked in Sri Lanka is multi-faceted. Today, as SLFP leadership inks electoral pacts with Rajapaksa-led Pohottuwa, more..

Premier stakes 2020: Putting the record straight!

Nov 11 (DM) SL has held seven Prez Elections since the introduction of the 1978 Constitution. Not in any one of these seven have so many questions arisen during the election campaign regarding the PM under a newly-elected Prez. On more than one previous occasion both Parliament and the people have had surprises imposed and one such surprise PM even ended up being the Prez! Why then has the question, who will be PM, hit the campaign trail so hard as happened at this prez election? more..

'TNA decision was unanimous: Sajith was the better choice'

Nov 11 (SO) In less than a week, SL citizens all over the island will go to the polls to select the country’s eighth executive president. There is no denying that, irrespective of the result, this election will mark a crucial turning point in Sri Lanka’s political history. A stark choice faced voters in the 2015 prez election. The people were called upon to choose between perpetuating authoritarian rule and turning a democratic corner. more..

A case for Sajith

Nov 11 (SO) “The common hope of the entire country is how to change this rotten, corrupt political and societal system.” Candidate Sajith Premadasa made this critically concise, piercingly persuasive statement on Thursday, just nine days before the final faceoff. He added, “I will appoint a new, first-time PM who will be endorsed by the majority.” Why did he say what he said? This essay undertakes to comprehend what he said and unravel the reasons why he said it. more..

Editorial: All bark and no bite

Nov 11 (Island) The CIABOC has launched an advertising campaign to publicize its hotline. It asks the public to call 1954 if it takes a bribe to get the job done. The real problem is that the CIABOC is not doing its job properly, we reckon. Before trying to cleanse other institutions, it has to put its own house in order. Opposition activists are berating the CIABOC for not probing the ruling party politicians, against whom many complaints have been lodged. No action has been taken against more..

සජිත් ප්රේමදාස on SLVLOG

Would Lanka dare take the mega Millennium Challenge?

Nov 11 (ST) Next Sunday morn, the smoke signals that have been emitting from the countryside’s rocky outcrop would have finally made clear its message and the distant drums that had been indistinctly beating what destiny holds for this nation would have come closer home and made its sonorous import clear after the island citizens had engaged in the tribal right of choosing its leader and caparisoning the chosen one with the highest power of the land. more..

We need a strong, unswayable, calm and confident leader

Nov 11 (Island) One feels these days that the only people who can predict the future with any degree of confidence (in his own predictions) are the fortune tellers. My phone and computer are deluged by opinions on every possible angle of the forthcoming elections and on every possible opinion, criticism, slander, flattery, fulsome praise and sometimes even genuine and well deserved praise. (Not too much of that last however!) Fortunately, we still manage in the midst of this avalanche of words, more..

The state of the race: A sprint to a close finish ahead

Nov 11 (RN) The race appears to be closer this week with the principle candidates sprinting to the finish. Gotabaya Rajapaksa is said to be ahead and the younger challenger, Sajith Premadasa closing in fast. Team Gota had, for a few days, decided to go into a holding pattern as they felt they were comfortably ahead and did not want to push the campaign or their candidate to the fore lest they make mistakes. more..

Election Manifestos Implementation Plans

Nov 11 (Island) I have been under pressure from friends and erstwhile colleagues to comment on the election manifestos of the prez candidates, at least of the three main contenders. My feeling is that a lot of thought has gone into their preparation and they deserve to be commended for these efforts. They also agree that whatever good intentions expressed by them must be incorporated into plans of action and implemented diligently. Whatever deficiencies and inconsistencies there are in manifestos more..

Dinesh wins Para World Silver medal

Nov 11 (CT) Para athlete Dinesh Herath won his second World Para medal when he took the Silver medal in the Javelin Throw (F46) with a seasonal best of 60.59m at the Para Athletics World Championship yesterday in Dubai. Dinesh, who led the Sri Lanka team to the championship this year, threw 60.59m in his very first attempt and skipped all but one attempt from his next five opportunities, but his only valid attempt during the night was more than enough for him to seal the medal. more..

Mathews to return for T20s?

Nov 11 (ST) After Sri Lanka’s frail middle-order was exposed in Australia, national cricket selectors are mulling whether to recall Angelo Mathews to the T20 team just a few months after he was dropped over fitness and a modest scoring rate. Mathews last played in August 2018 when he captained the side against South Africa at home but was overlooked for the short format during the last three series against NZ, Pakistan & Australia. more..

Singer Group reports rs. 27.1b revenue in 1H

Nov 11 (Island) Singer Group reported consolidated revenues of Rs.27.1 billion for the first half which ended 30th September 2019 and Company Singer (Sri Lanka) PLC which is the main marketing arm of the Group records Rs 22 billion for same period which is 3% above the prior year. Company revenue in second quarter grew over prior year by 7%. This is a gradual recovery despite challenging market conditions specially after the Easter Sunday attack and sluggish market conditions. more..

Gotabaya will ensure equal opportunities for the people with disabilities

Nov 11 (Island) It gives me great pleasure to hear that Gotabaya Rajapaksa has met representatives of the Disability Organisations Joint Front recently and assured them legal reform in order to enable them to enjoy the rights and privileges of all Sri Lankans on an equal basis. The purpose of this article is to render our assistance to him to achieve success in this just and worthy cause. One of the important needs of the differently abled people is the right to access to information. more..

Commercial flights begin at Jaffna Int’l Airport today

Nov 11 (Island) Alliance Air, a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India will commence commercial flight operations from Jaffna Int'l Airport to Chennai Int'l Airport tomorrow. It will begin direct flight operations connecting the two cities on Mon, Wed and Sat. The first flight will depart from Jaffna at 12.45 p.m. and arrive in Chennai at 2.10 p.m. This flight is special in many ways. Apart from being Alliance Air’s maiden int'l foray, more..

Economic sentiment improves: Survey

Nov 11 (FT) Sentiment surrounding the economy improved in October, according to the latest LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence (BCI) poll with a third of respondents expecting economic conditions to improve in the next 12 months. An executive who participated in the exclusive monthly survey states: “Due to the upcoming election, we believe that the economy will continue to remain the same and not demonstrate any major improvements or downturns.” more..

SL targets MENA boost via World Expo 2020

Nov 11 (FT) Sri Lanka aims to boost exports to the Middle East and North Africa, along with investments and tourists from the region, through its participation in the World Expo 2020 in Dubai, in the UAE. Officials of the Export Development Board (EDB) said SL’s preparations for the six-month World Expo 2020 were gathering momentum with a host of plans and initiatives in the works. “With an impressive display of products and companies, coupled with aggressive marketing, we hope to increase more..

Jaffna University student council opposes TNA decision to back SP

Nov 11 (Island) Jaffna Uni students’ council, on Saturday, decided not to respect the decision taken by the TNA to support NDF prez candidate Sajith Premadasa. Students say Premadasa has not responded to the 13 demands made by five different parties representing the North and the East. The student council played pivotal role in formulating the 13 demands and enlisting the support of the five Tamils parties for them. more..

Deadline to apply for temporary IDs for election extended

Nov 11 (AD) The Elections Commission has decided to extend the deadline imposed to apply for temporary identity cards pertaining to the Prez Election 2019 until the 12th of Nov. Application for temporary identity cards for persons who do not have a valid identity card to vote at the prez election commenced on October 18 and it was due to expire yesterday (9). However, according to Commissioner-General of Elections, the deadline was extended following a discussion held yesterday. more..

Cost of construction in SL, highest in S. Asia

Nov 11 (ST) Unit cost of construction in Sri Lanka is the highest in the South Asian region. Construction labour and the cost of the raw materials have been rising over the last five years, and are higher here than other parts South Asian or the South East Asian regions for that matter, experts say. “Our construction labour is about 25 to 30% more expensive than in these regions – especially in India,” Christopher Joshua, Managing Director Access Engineering PLC said. more..

GR’s citizenship row resurfaces

Nov 11 (FT) A fresh row erupted over the citizenship of SLPP prez candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa over the weekend, with Minister Harin Fernando alleging that the former had not completed the process of renouncing his US citizenship, which drew a strong rebuttal from lawyers for the SLPP candidate. The row resurfaced after Fernando, in a lengthy Facebook (FB) post, on Saturday said Rajapaksa’s name has not more..

Sobitha Thero’s plea to safeguard elephants

Nov 11 (AD) Ven. Omalpe Sobhitha Thero has called on for the implementation of an elephant conservation policy to protect the wild elephants of SL. The Thero made this plea engaging in a silent protest march organized under the theme Awasan Kunchanadayata Pera Saddanthayange Horawa (Hour of the Giants before the Final Trumpet) in Colombo, yesterday (9). Stating that he hopes to bring this up with the presidential candidates, Sobhitha Thero said that all have forgotten more..

Lanka-Australia trade tops AUD 1.5 bn mark

Nov 11 (DN) As the SL economy continues to grow, opportunities for greater trade and investment will also increase for Australia, said High Commissioner of Australia to SL David Holly. Noting that both SL and Australian govts are working together to create an environment conductive to future growth, he said that Australia’s AUD 27 million per year aid program is focused in ensuring Sri Lanka continues its development as a secure, stable and prosperous partner of Australia in Indian Ocean region. more..

Outrage as President pardons killer of Swedish teen

Nov 11 (AFP) Sri Lanka's president has pardoned a death-row prisoner who murdered a Swedish teenager just a week before he leaves office, officials said Sunday, in a move that sparked national outrage. Convicted killer Jude Jayamaha, from a wealthy, high-profile family, walked out of Welikada prison Saturday following the highly unusual amnesty granted by Prez Sirisena. Sirisena, who is stepping down after Saturday's more..

Video: Two arrested from Mirihana with derogatory leaflets on Gota

Nov 11 (AD) Two persons have been arrested over distributing derogatory leaflets against SLPP candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The stock of mudslinging leaflets has been discovered among the promotional material of Prez Candidate Sajith Premadasa, inside a house in Mirihana, Nugegoda. Reportedly, one of the arrestees is a coordinating secretary employed under Non-Cabinet Minister Harsha de Silva. The suspects are to be produced before the Nugegoda Magistrate Court. more..