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TISL questions use of SLAF choppers for election work

Nov 11 (NR) Transparency International SL (TISL) has drawn the attention of the Elections Commission to the use of helicopters owned by SL Air Force (SLAF), for the transport of politicians to and from campaign rallies. TISL is concerned that this could constitute a violation of the directions issued by the Elections Commission in its gazette notice 2141/52 and calls on Commission to take appropriate action. more..

Video: Suspects of Sella Kataragama murder revealed

Nov 11 (AD) Police have been able to uncover many details into the shooting-stabbing incident which killed one in Sella Kataragama. One person was killed and another was injured after being stabbed and shot at in the Sella Kataragama area in Bogaha Junction, Thanamalwila Road, last evening. Reportedly, the deceased is a 26-year-old male from Sella Kataragama. The body is kept at the Kataragama Hospital morgue. The injured 42-year-old, also from Sella Kataragama, more..

I will take stern action against rapists: Sajith

Nov 11 (NR) Prez candidate of the NDF Minister Sajith Premadasa says he will take stern legal action against rapists and other wrongdoers while ensuring law and order in the country. Speaking during a rally, Minister said he will ensure those responsible for the rape of a girl in Kegalle, during a political rally, will be brought to book. Minister Premadasa added he will destroy terrorists, drug racketeers, extortionists and murderers and impose severe punishments on rapists and child abusers. more..

Next Prez faces major rights challenges

Nov 11 (HRW) The winner of SL’s prez election on Nov 16, will face enormous challenges to deliver justice for past crimes and prevent future abuses, Human Rights Watch said today. Since SL’s civil war ended in 2009, there has been progress on the right to free expression, but no accountability for war crimes and other abuses committed by both sides. SL’s next prez needs to make real progress on the 25 human rights more..

An open letter to the US Ambassador to SL

Nov 12 (CT) Dear Madam, This is an urgent letter, and I like to cut out all the decorum. I want this to be straightforward. Period! Oops! Period is a political slogan here in SL these days. I meant the other period. Perhaps, you remember madam that I take pleasure in writing some diplomats every once in a while. Beyond that pleasure principle, I have some urgent matter to bring to your attention. You know that we love elections in our country, and it is our national pastime after cricket. more..

Will Sri Lanka elect a President by default ?

Nov 12 (CT) Whatever the reason given, in 2005 the vast majority of the Tamils from the North and East and even in Colombo did not go to the polling booths to exercise their franchise. The result, as they say, is history. Yet it is imperative for that history to now be reflected upon seriously. The President who got elected partly due to Tamils’ decision not to exercise their franchise ruled over the entire country for the next 10 years, with grave effects for all. On the eve of another Presidential election, more..

Rajapaksas are playing the Racist card: TNA

Nov 12 (DM) All the political parties affiliated to the TNA representing the Tamil community especially in the N&E, have pledged their full support to NDF Prez candidate Sajith Premadasa. Five days ahead of the election, Daily Mirror interviewed TNA MP and leading lawyer M.A. Sumanthiran who explained the reasons for the decision to support Premadasa and why the Tamil community would resist return of Rajapaksas more..

Air pollution: a silent killer

Nov 12 (DM) Last week, the authorities, especially those at the NBRO warned of health hazards due to the air pollution mainly in Colombo and suburbs. At the same time, US Embassy’s Air Quality Monitor in Colombo indicated unhealthy values of air quality with 167 Air Quality Index (AQI) recorded by 10 pm last Tuesday. By Wednesday morning, AQI readings continued to rise to 173 by 8.30 am before declining to a 165 by 10 am. Despite the fluctuations, readings continued to indicate an unhealthy level of more..

Dengue Politics

Nov 12 (CT) Dengue deaths touched 100 in the calendar year to Friday (8) compared to a mere 58 last year, led by incessant rains, garbage problem, elections, relaxing of the guard and the emergence of Type 3 dengue, a new type of a dengue strain which has been gaining ascendancy since late last year. "Previously, the dengue plague had been restricted to types 1 and 2 which resulted in the development of the body's immune system to resist these types of dengue strains, but more..

‘Use brains not emotions when voting’

Nov 12 (DM) While much of the election spotlight is focused on the prez candidates of the major parties, those of smaller parties struggle to have their voices heard. One such person is FSP politburo member and propaganda secretary Duminda Nagamuwa, the youngest candidate in the fray. The 38-year-old former IUSF convener, who mustered 9,941 in 2015, is running for a second time. more..

Politics of pledges, promises and lies

Nov 12 (ST) Come Saturday SL’s voters will trek to the polls to elect the country’s new president. Less than a month later — on Dec 12 — the UK, far less united than the name suggests, will vote to elect a new govt. While racial and religious differences and personal acrimony at the top of the totems have marked the recent political history of both countries, their electoral politics differ so much in style and substance. Having followed in the last few years the struggle for power and the internecine battles more..

Editorial: Propaganda war hots up

Nov 12 (Island) The battle for the presidency has got red in tooth and claw. The govt has intensified its propaganda onslaught, and the SLPP is on the defensive. All contenders are going hell for leather to gain maximum possible propaganda mileage before the commencement of the period of silence. The ongoing propaganda war reminds us of the situation in the run-up to the 2010 prez election. Rajapaksa govt carried out a massive misinformation campaign against General Sarath Fonseka in the fray, more..

Face the Nation

Be an informed voter; ensure your vote counts

Nov 12 (DM) Presidential Election Day is almost here! Many people will have their minds already made up when they walk into their local voting booths on Saturday, confident in their choice for President. This is exciting, even if simply that election season will finally be over and we can all move on with our normal lives. And yet, there will still be some undecided voters who will make their choice in one of the remaining days or on their way to the voting booth. more..

Amateur Golf Champion Chanaka Perera wins in style

Nov 12 (DN) Chanaka Perera the SL Amateur Golf Champion 2019 played quality golf firing a scintillating six under Par final round playing alongside the co-leaders after round 3, B.A. Sanjeewa and local star Vinoth Kumar. Chanaka Perera asserted his superiority firing a series of Seven Birdies on the 2nd, 5th, 7th, 8th, 14th, 17th 18th, with an Eagle thrown in for good measure on the 10th, putting pressure on the co-leaders to fall apart & eventually Chanaka Perera marched more..

'Self glorification, prolonged war victory celebrations stifled reconciliation'

Nov 12 (Island) Leader of the SDP Dr. Rohan Pallewatte in this interview with The Island speaks of his vision for Sri Lanka, if elected President at the forthcoming Prez Election. He is contesting on a platform to establish a Dignified Society and Prosperous Country. The SDP was established as a result of discussions that took place among like-minded professionals, who were concerned about the distancing of SL’s dream more..

Today is il Full Moon Poya Day

Nov 12 (Island) It is one of the bitterest ironies of human life that although virtually all human beings cherish a desire to live in peace, we continually find ourselves embroiled in conflict, pitted against others in relationships marred by tension, distrust or open hostility. This irony is particularly poignant because it is immediately evident to us that cordial, harmonious relations with others are a necessary condition for our own genuine happiness. Not only do such relations allow us to pursue more..

Sunshine Energy opens 3rd hydro plant

Nov 12 (FT) Sunshine Energy Ltd. (SEL), a fully-owned subsidiary of Sri Lanka’s diversified conglomerate Sunshine Holdings Plc, opened its third hydropower plant Elgin recently in the town of Lindula in the Central Province. Sunshine Energy’s Elgin plant will contribute 2.4 MW to the national grid. With the addition of the third plant, Sunshine Energy now contributes close to 7 MW to the national grid through its mini-hydropower plants. The Elgin plant was ceremoniously opened by more..

Yahapalanaya concludes with Cabinet curtain call

Nov 12 (FT) Old hostilities were set aside yesterday as Prez Sirisena presided over his last Cabinet meeting, with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and other ministers thanking him for restoring democracy. PM, who briefly addressed Cabinet, said that Prez Sirisena had been in office for 1,700 days, during which time there were close to 3,000 protests, but no one was attacked or killed for participating in these demonstrations. more..

LOLC Group’s Browns Investments signs historic agreement with Spain’s Barceló

Nov 12 (Island) LOLC Group’s subsidiary company, Browns Investments PLC, signed an agreement with the Barceló Hotel Group to develop a three hotels complex in North Male’ Atoll, Maldives and to manage five leisure properties of Browns Hotels and Resorts in Sri Lanka and Maldives. With the signing of their latest management agreement with Browns Investments, Barceló Group will make its maiden entry into Asia through Sri Lanka and Maldives. Barceló will join Browns Investments in more..

Sri Lanka says air quality returning to normal

Nov 12 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's air quality is soon returning to normal as the air quality index has reached moderate levels from above 100 recorded last week, the state owned National Building Research Organization (NBRO) said here Monday. Senior Scientist at the NBRO, Sarath Premasiri told Xinhua that the air quality index over the island had lowered to a moderate 60 to 70 by the weekend from the above 100 recorded last week and it no longer posed a health risk on the citizens. more..

Harin to sue Ali Sabry for Rs. 500 million

Nov 12 (DN) Minister Harin Fernando yesterday said that he will sue President’s Counsel Ali Sabry for Rs. 500 million for Sabry’s misleading statement implying that he (Fernando) and his father had advance knowledge of the Easter Sunday attacks. “I have explained the real situation about the Easter Sunday terror attacks and now it is clearly seen that the Rajapaksas’ had nurtured Zaharan during their regime,” he alleged. more..

ACTC urges Northerners to boycott elections

Nov 12 (CT) ACTC leader Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam and his Party men were distributing handbills in the North requesting the people to boycott the election. The handbills stated that Tamils should not vote for Sinhala leaders because they do not protect the rights of Tamils and have failed to offer a reasonable political solution to their problems. The handbills also claimed that TNA had taken a decision to support a Sinhala leader for perks and that they support Southern Govts more..

UNP outlines Sajith’s tax concessions

Nov 12 (FT) UNP yesterday outlined broad tax concessions to foster local industries and make the economy more competitive if NDF prez candidate Sajith Premadasa was elected. Speaking to the media, State Minister Eran Wickramaratne said NDF prez aspirant Premadasa would introduce equitable tax policies that would focus on increasing direct taxes and reducing impact on low-income households. “Our candidate’s vision on tax policies is very equitable. more..

SLPP urges EC to foil bid to absorb political appointees

Nov 12 (Island) SLPP has requested the Election Commission (EC) to thwart moves by President Maithipala Sirisena and Internal and Minister Vajira Abeywardena on behalf of the UNP to absorb personal staff of the Prez and the cabinet of ministers, respectively into the state service, ahead of the Nov 16, prez poll. SLPP spokesman Dullas Alahapperuma said that such appointments weren’t acceptable under any circumstances. more..

No fuel price revision this month

Nov 12 (DM) The monthly fuel price revision would not come into effect this month due to no fluctuations in fuel prices in the world market, the Finance Ministry said. They said the committee formulated to determine the fuel prices did not meet on Sunday. Accordingly, the fuel price revision which came into effect on September 10 would continue till Dec 10. "The fuel price which was increased in August by Rs.2 was brought down after the price revision in September. more..

Sri Lanka participates at construction exhibition in Ethiopia

Nov 12 (CT) "It was indeed a pleasure to be a part of the Sri Lanka delegation of 16th Ethio-Con Construction Exhibition in Ethiopia and a great opportunity not only to expand the business globally but also to get to know the vast range of opportunities in Ethiopian market", stated a Sri Lankan delegate, APS Lanka at the recently concluded Ethio-Con Construction Exhibition. Sri Lankan delegation comprising three construction companies has successfully concluded more..

Video: What else to do if not release falsely accused war heroes? - Gotabaya

Nov 12 (AD) SLPP Prez Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa those who do not believe that he had revoked his citizenship of the United States can take it to the courts. The former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said he is no longer a citizen of the US as of April 17th. Stating that the US citizenship is a personal matter of his, Rajapaksa said that he followed through the procedures set by the US govt to renounce citizenship and more..

Harin slams Facebook over censorship

Nov 12 (Island) Minister Harin Fernando accused social media giant Facebook on Monday of censoring comments he made questioning the citizenship of prez election frontrunner Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The nationality of Rajapaksa, is a key issue ahead of voting on Saturday as SL law prohibits dual citizens from holding elected office. Minister Harin Fernando asked in a Facebook post on his official ministry page on Sunday whether Rajapaksa should be allowed to stand, more..

Massive loss caused by gas shortage

Nov 12 (Island) The recent gas shortage has caused a loss of around Rs 100 million to owners of eateries, hotels and restaurants countrywide, says Chairman of the Restaurant Owners’ Association of SL Asela Sampath. Sampath said there were around 150,000 members of his association countrywide and the owners of non-star hotels, eateries and restaurants had found it hard to continue with their businesses because of the scarcity of gas. "The rulers are not disturbed by the crisis more..

Cast your vote to one who preserves unitary status: Prelates

Nov 12 (DM) Issuing a statement yesterday, an independent group of eminent Buddhist monks requested people to cast their vote at the forthcoming presidential election to the most capable leader who would protect and preserve the unitary status of the country, ensure national security, enhance and promote local produce and production, pull the country out of the economic mess, strictly enforce law and order and restore civility by more..

SL Ambassador to Viet Nam meets with Ha Noi People’s Committee Chairman

Nov 12 (FT) On 31 Oct, Ambassador of SL to Viet Nam Prasanna Gamage met with Ha Noi People’s Committee Chairman Dr. Nguyen Duc Chung at the Headquarters of the People’s Committee of Ha Noi. At the outset, assuring his fullest support and cooperation, the Chairman conveyed his best wishes to the Ambassador for a successful tenure in Ha Noi. The Chairman requested that Ambassador Gamage convey his sincere greetings and best wishes to the people of Sri Lanka. more..

Prez Candidate Illiyas joins Sajith stage

Nov 12 (DN) NDF Prez candidate Sajith Premadasa yesterday promised the people of Puttalam that he would ensure the Aruwakkalu Waste Management Project will not affect the people in the area in an adverse manner. Aruwakkalu Waste Management Project was launched following the collapse of the Meethotamulla disposal site in 2017 as a sustainable solution to the solid waste disposal problem faced by many local govt authorities in the country. more..

Presidential Election: Complaints on the rise

Nov 12 (Island) Complaints of election-related incidents had increased to nearly 3,600 by yesterday evening, according to the Elections Commission (EC). 35 candidates are in the fray with many of them being dummy contenders, while the actual fight is between the top two contenders at the eighth prez election on Saturday (16). EC says more than 500 complaints have been lodged. The EC says it has received complaints of 26 acts of violence, 3,387 instances of elections regulations more..

No documents at EC confirming GR citizenship, says former Minister

Nov 12 (FT) Election Commission (EC) has not received any documentation to support assertions by SLPP prez candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa that he has renounced his US citizenship, a former minister claimed. Milroy Fernando, who served as a minister in the previous Govt and now supports NDF prez candidate Sajith Premadasa, visited the EC seeking the documents which Rajapaksa’s lawyers claimed were handed over to the EC. “The EC informed me that they were not given any more..

GR’s responsibility to prove US citizenship renunciation, say lawyers

Nov 12 (FT) SLPP prez candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa is responsible for addressing the renunciation of his US citizenship, Upul Jayasuriya PC said, adding that obtaining the documents and independently verifying them would be difficult just days ahead of the Prez Election. The statement was made at a press briefing at which Jayasuriya, in addition to M.C. Jayarathna PC, Thisath Wijegunawardena PC and more..

‘Rajapaksas sold off state land to foreigners in mega land deals’

Nov 12 (DN) Challenging the Rajapaksa-led opposition to prove that present govt had sold off any State land free-hold to foreigners, Minister Champika Ranawaka listed out various corrupt mega land deals he claimed as done by Rajapaksa & Company clan during the Rajapaksa era. He said that Rajapaksa clan had been involved in the sale of State land occupied by Army hq to foreign companies outside required procedure. more..

Commonwealth group begins observation of Sri Lankan presidential election

Nov 12 (CW) A group deployed by the Commonwealth to observe the prez election in Sri Lanka has called on stakeholders to demonstrate commitment to a peaceful, transparent, credible and inclusive poll. Commonwealth Observer Group (COG), whose members are drawn from various Commonwealth regions with backgrounds ranging from political, electoral, civil society and human rights as well as legal fields, was invited by SL Election Commission to observe 16 Nov poll. more..

Why hide Gota's citizenship documents from media? - Mangala

Nov 12 (DN) There is a doubt as to whether SLPP Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa has actually renounced his US citizenship or is he still a US Citizen, Minister Mangala Samaraweera queried. Minister noted what he said were discrepancies in the documents shown by Rajapaksa’s lawyer Ali Sabri PC at a hurriedly summoned press conference. The documents shown were purported to be the cancelled passport and the certificate of loss of citizenship of Rajapaksa. more..

SLPP doubles down on GR’s citizenship issue

Nov 12 (FT) The SLPP yesterday defended its prez candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s renunciation of his US citizenship and attempted to frame any criticism on the issue as a political move to undermine his election campaign. Fresh debate erupted over Rajapaksa’s citizenship during the weekend as Minister Harin Fernando alleged in a Twitter message that Rajapaksa had not renounced his US citizenship. more..