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ශ්˛රී ලංකාවේ වයස්ගතම මිනිසාගේ ...

Editorial: Happy voting!

Nov 16 (Island) The country is going to the polls today to elect the next President. There are over 30 candidates in the fray, but the contest looks nick and tuck with two candidates being ahead of the rest. Others will be also-rans; they have only made the ballot paper irritatingly long and the processes of conducting the election frustratingly tedious. The results of several polls surveys available to us indicate that one candidate has a comfortable lead in the race, but more..

Elections, manifestos and the Paddy Farmer

Nov 16 (Island) All Sri Lankan political leaders like to pay homage to agriculture. They remind us that we are an agricultural nation and their statements are often complemented by invocations of the country’s great hydraulic civilization. It is true that agriculture in general, and the paddy farmer in particular, is central to the post-colonial nation-building trope of gamai-pansalai-wewai-dagabai, which tightly interlinks, in both material and ideological forms, rural agriculture, more..

Era of Crooked Promises

Nov 16 (Island) In the search for the power and glory of the Office of President the past weeks have seen the drum beats, songs and dancing of politics, and the result of all this performance will be known tomorrow, and there will be the winning performer. It has been a performance of promises, a display of the humbug of politics by players whose theme from both ends of the stage and moving to the centre was one of hugely fooling the voters. more..

South Asian Games 2019: Seven golfers to represent Sri Lanka in Kathmandu

Nov 16 (CT) A 7-member squad of talented players who are full of potential will carry the country's hopes of bagging a rich haul of medals, at the upcoming South Asian Games scheduled to be held from 1-10 Dec in Kathmandu, Nepal. The golfers from SL last played in the 2010 SAG edition. Within the past ten years the game has improved within the country's younger players. These young golfers are now playing at very high standards and are playing more golf annually at various centres around the country. more..

PM calls for public to exercise franchise peacefully

Nov 16 (FT) PM Ranil Wickreme-singhe yesterday called on the public to peacefully exercise their franchise and ensure free and fair Elections, insisting that the environment for a democratic transition of power had been enhanced by the passing of the 19th Amendment. Wickremesinghe, releasing a statement, said democracy had been strengthened by the 19th Amendment that created independent commissions, including the Election Commission, which had worked tirelessly to create the space for free and fair Elections more..

Authorities shut the door on Shelinda to avoid ‘predicament’

Nov 16 (Island) Sports authorities shut the door on sprinter Shelinda Jansen’s chances of entering the track and field team for the South Asian Games yesterday and with it the possibility of a huge predicament. Jansen, a huge medal prospect, failed to live up to her reputation at the National Athletics Championships, which was conducted as the final selection trial for the regional Games. The Gateway College sprinter who excelled at two Athletics Association-conducted events more..

DFCC Bank records resilient performance amidst challenges

Nov 16 (Island) DFCC Bank recorded a profit after tax of LKR 2,217 million for the period ended 30 September 2019 before the adjustment for the fair value loss on Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC (CBC)in comparison to profit after tax of LKR 2,723million recorded in the comparative period. The Bank’s profit after tax with the adjustment for the fair value loss on CBC shares amounted to LKR 1,594 million for the current period against LKR 1,791 million in the comparative period. more..

Company quarterly results boost stock market prospects

Nov 16 (Island) The CSE was positive yesterday because most companies recorded positive quarterly results, stock brokers said. It is said that shares ended weaker on the previous day, edging lower from their near one-week high hit in the previous session, as investors sold healthcare and telecom shares ahead of the presidential election. Amid those developments both indices recorded positive, ie, the All Share Price Index was up by 42.95 points and S and P SL20 up by 25.35 points. more..

Speaker won’t rule out possibility of prorogation of Parliament after today’s election

Nov 16 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said that as the Prez had the power to prorogue parliament, House might not meet on Dec 3, as scheduled. Committee on Parliamentary Business earlier decided to adjourn parliament till Dec 3. Speaker said so in response to a query whether there was a likelihood of parliament being prorogued by the winner of the prez election today. NDF candidate Sajith Premadasa and SLPP candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa are the front runners more..

Sri Lanka shines at Swiss International Holiday Exhibition

Nov 16 (CT) SL Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) was able to make a considerable impact on the international community with its tourism products, culture and scenic locations with its participation at the Swiss International Holiday Exhibition in Lugano, Switzerland, which was held at the beginning of this month, November. The hoteliers, travel agents and industry participants were there among the SL delegation. SLTPB was represented by SL Ambassador to Switzerland Gothami Silva who also officially opened more..

Polls Chief confident officials will be on duty today after treatment

Nov 16 (Island) 51 election officials at the Royal College counting centre, Colombo, were admitted to hospital yesterday due to food poisoning. "We have 50 officials at the moment," Soysa said. "They are being treated for food poisoning." Police said an investigation was underway. Elections Commission sources said that the officials who had been hospitalised were part of a team deployed at the counting centre at Royal College. The officials hadbeen provided with the relevant medications more..

Prof. Hoole denies having ambitions to succeed Deshapriya

Nov 16 (Island) Election Commission member Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole, under fire for having said that the preferences may have to be counted in the absence of a clear winner at the first count of the Nov 16 prez poll, has found fault with the EC for not taking tangible measures in respect of a controversial statement made by SLPP leader Mahinda Rajapaksa. Prof. Hoole alleged that the EC shirked its responsibilities by not acting on specific decision taken with the concurrence of all members more..

Malinga retained by Mumbai Indians

Nov 16 (PTI) Defending champions Mumbai Indians on Friday retained its core team including veteran SL pacer Lasith Malinga despite his fitness issues while releasing 12 players. While releasing 12, the franchise, which has won record four IPL titles, has retained 18 players which helped it win it's fourth IPL title earlier this year. MI, however, has released Australian fast bowler Jason Behrendorff and Alzarri Joseph of West Indies, NZ's Adam Milne, Beuran Hendricks and Ben Cutting. more..

Strengthening RTI in Sri Lanka

Nov 16 (FT) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognises that freedom of expression includes the right to seek, receive and impart information. Right to information is therefore a fundamental right and an essential component of a democratic society. In Sri Lanka, the right to seek and receive information is a constitutional right guaranteed under Article 14A of Sri Lanka’s Constitution. The Right to Information (RTI) Act which came into full effect by 2017, more..

Voting begins in crucial poll

Nov 16 (RN) From 7 am today Sri Lankans will go to the polls to elect a new Prez at 12,845 polling stations across the island. As of this writing, it looks like the most peaceful and incident-free election in many years, an achievement of the creation of an Independent National Elections Commission and Police Commission. Those were two key reforms Lankans voted for in 2015. Battle between the contestants is also a struggle to replace SL’s septuagenarian leadership with younger leaders. more..

CID to launch inquiry into fake letter regarding Election outcome

Nov 16 (FT) The CID will launch an inquiry into an alleged letter circulating on social media that Prez Sirisena has received reports from the State Intelligence Service (SIS) on the possible outcome of the Prez Elections Police said. Police Media Division said: “All divisions of the Police, including State Intelligence Services, were not engaged in any activity related to the Election or research on the Election. The Police is only focusing on holding a fair and peaceful Election.” more..

SLTDA and DCC & CRM sign MoU to fasten investment approvals for tourism

Nov 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) and the Department of Coast Conservation & Coastal Resources Management (DCC & CRM) marked a significant milestone when the two institutions signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enhance the cooperation between the two agencies, and to reduce time and costs for investors both foreign and domestic by streamlining the SLTDA and DCC & CRM investment approval processes. The signing took place at a formal ceremony last week with more..

Minister Bathiudeen talks of tough action against wheat flour price hike

Nov 16 (Island) The price of wheat flour has not been changed or revised-and any retailer selling flour at an increased price will have to face legal action, warns Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. "Increasing wheat flour prices at a critical time like this, where the country is preparing for a crucial election is clearly conspiratorial and part of a plot to discredit the govt. Any supplier responsible for such a price hike without our permission does it illegally and more..

Spike in fake news and hate speech leading up to Election: NPOC

Nov 16 (FT) National Polls Observation Centre (NPOC) yesterday said they had observed an increase in fake news and hate speech compared to the previous Presidential Election but overall election violations were lower compared to the 2015 Prez Poll. National Organiser Rasanga Harischandra said an increase in fake news was seen, particularly on social media, higher in comparison to the previous Prez Election in 2015. He insisted new mechanisms were needed to monitor such activities. more..

ACJU offers guidance to Muslim voters

Nov 16 (FT) All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) has issued a statement offering guidance to Muslim voters at today’s Prez Election. Following is the full text of the statement issued by ACJU Deputy Chairman Al Sheikh A.C. Agar Mohamed: We are aware that the Prez Election would be held on 16 Nov. As citizens of SL it is our right to cast our vote to our preferred candidate. We therefore urge all citizens who have obtained their voting right to utilise it by casting their votes without wasting. more..

SL’s Access begins Marine Square projects backed by Mustapha, China Harbhour

Nov 16 (EN) SL’s Access group, Singapore-based Mustapha and China Harbour Engineering group have begun construction of Colombo’s Marina Square project. The oceanfront residential development with around 1,000 apartments will have a 150,000 square feet commercial area with retail and office space and two acres of landscaped gardens, in the capital’s Colombo 15 suburb. “It’s very seldom that part of a Fortune 500 enterprise such as China Harbour Engineering would partner more..

The China question in Sri Lanka’s presidential election

Nov 16 (SCMP) Sri Lanka heads to the presidential polls on Saturday in an election that could see the country steer a course closer to China again, observers said. Under the administration of President Maithripala Sirisena – who is not running for re-election – Sri Lanka focused on relations with India and the West, putting ties with Beijing and Chinese-backed projects on hold. It interrupted the trend under his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa, who held the post from 2005-2015. more..

Voter’s ‘Do’s & ‘Don’t’s list

Nov 16 (DN) No mobile phones allowed within polling centre; No taking photographs of voting, ballot paper etc or posting on social media; Ringing of mobile phones within polling centre a punishable offence; No congregating within 500 meter radius of polling station; No canvassing, harassing or influencing voters for or against any party; No displaying of posters on private vehicles; No cutouts or banners allowed near polling stations; No transporting groups of voters to polling stations, more..

Gunmen fire on bus carrying Muslim voters

Nov 16 (AFP) Gunmen opened fire on a convoy of buses carrying minority Muslim voters in northwest Sri Lanka on Saturday, hours before polling in presidential elections got under way, police said. There were no immediate reports of casualties, but a police official said the attackers had burnt tyres on the road and set up makeshift road blocks to ambush the convoy of more than 100 vehicles. "The gunmen opened fire and also pelted stones," a police official in Tantirimale, more..

Rajapaksas eye comeback in Sri Lanka presidential election

Nov 16 (AFP) Sri Lankans voted Saturday for a new president in what could mark a comeback for the Rajapaksa clan, lauded by supporters for crushing the Tamil Tigers but condemned by critics for war crimes, corruption and cosying up to China. Almost five years after political heavyweight Mahinda Rajapaksa lost power, his brother Gotabaya, 70, is running for the top job, promising development and security in the wake of Islamist extremist attacks that killed 269 people in April. more..

Video: President says his unbiasedness paved way for peaceful, fair election

Nov 16 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena claims, for the first time in history a President in power opted to remain unbiased paving the room for a peaceful and fair election. This unbiasedness is a feature of a democratic country, the President said further during a meeting organized by the Police Department to appreciate the President’s service. The event took place Police Department auditorium today (15). As the Minister of Defense and the person in charge of Police Department, more..

Video: All results can be released by dinner time on 18th: EC chairman

Nov 16 (AD) All results of the Prez Election can be released before the dinner time on the 18th of Nov, says the Chairman of Election Commission. He stated this addressing a media briefing held today (15) in the runup to the much-anticipated prez poll. He said, the Commission had received information two incidents of voter intimidation from the Central Province. However, these reports are as yet unconfirmed, as the Police report in this regard is yet to be received, Deshapriya added. more..

Editorial: The countdown begins

Nov 17 (Island) Either Royal will win the match, or S. Thomas’ or it will be draw predicted one pundit on the likely result of the long-running contest that is an annual event in Colombo’s social calendar. Writing this as voting continues in over 12,800 polling stations countrywide, the predictions or projections are very similar. Of course there will be no draw (read tie). Either Sajith Premadasa or Gotabaya Rajapaksa will be elected the eighth President of Sri Lanka in a race that more..

Enter the seventh Executive President

Nov 17 (ST) And so, an election for the seventh Executive President of the Republic has just concluded. We might say the Executive President is gone; Long live the Executive President as a new Head of State and Head of Govt prepares to take his oath either today or tomorrow. The question the country may still ask is, if it still ought to be a case of Long live the Executive Presidency. The victor may want it that way, the vanquished will probably have second thoughts. more..

Blatant violation of election laws in social media despite silent period

Nov 17 (ST) Tough all campaigning for the prez election came to an end at midnight on Wednesday (13), election propaganda activities continued widely over social media during the so-called silent period in direct violation of election laws. Social media such as Facebook and Twitter were rife with propaganda posts by accounts affiliated to the two main candidates, Gotabaya Rajapaksa from SLPP and more..

AKD happy with votes but expected better

Nov 17 (NR) Prez candidate Anura Kumara Dissanayaka says he is pleased with the votes the NPP garnered at the 2019 Prez Election that drew to a close today. In a Facebook post MP Dissanayaka however noted that he expected that the party may have drawn more favourable votes. MP Dissanayaka claimed that the two main political parties intimidated voters into casting ballot for respective candidates. MP vowed to rebuild and forge ahead stronger to serve the public. more..

Sri Lanka election: Unity hard to achieve in divided country

Nov 17 (BBC) As news broke of Gotabaya Rajapaksa's win, supporters and party workers gathered at headquarters. The mood was cautious but many here are relieved to see the Rajapaksa family back in office. It's a family affair. Mahinda, Gotabaya's brother and the former Prez here for 10 years, is widely expected to be the next PM. The two brothers appear side by side on election posters and banners. "It's a victorious day for us," Sagala Abhayawickreme, part of a group of lawyers more..

PAFFREL reports more than 100 violations of election laws

Nov 17 (ST) The PAFFREL said 101 election law violations and incidents of violence had been reported up to 3 p.m. yesterday. Of these 42 cases were confirmed. The complaints included 32 cases of illegal election propaganda, 23 cases of intimidating voters and 5 cases of attempts at impersonation, PAFFREL said. In addition 25 incidents of attempting to influence the voters had been received. more..

Pakistan felicitates Sri Lanka president-elect on electoral win

Nov 17 (ARY) The Govt and leadership of Pakistan on Sunday warmly felicitated the newly-elected President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, on his electoral victory as the 7th head of the country. “Pakistan is confident that under his stewardship, Sri Lanka will continue its journey towards greater prosperity and peace,” a statement put out by the Foreign Office said. It said Pakistan appreciated the conduct of a free, fair and peaceful election more..

Mangala quits as Finance Minister

Nov 17 (Reuters) Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera resigned from his post on Sunday saying he had lost the mandate after voters rejected the ruling party’s candidate in a prez election. Former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse defeated his main rival and govt minister Sajith Premadasa by a big margin on Sunday and is set to become prez. “I bow down to the people’s mandate and I resign from the ministerial position,” Samaraweera, who led Premadasa’s more..

Video: I am duty-bound to serve all Sri Lankans: Gotabaya

Nov 17 (AD) President-elect Gotabaya Rajapaksa says that he understands very well that he is the President of all the citizens of the country and not only to those who voted for him. He stated this while making a special statement at the Elections Commission today (17), in the presence of the other presidential candidates, after he was declared the winner of the 2019 Presidential Election and the 7th Executive President of Sri Lanka. more..

Bread prices likely to increase by Rs.5

Nov 17 (DM) Following the increase in the price of wheat flour, the price of a loaf of bread must be increased by Rs.5 after receiving written assurances from two of the main wheat flour milling companies, All Ceylon Bakery Owner's Association President N.K. Jayawardena said. He said the two milling companies had increased the price of a kilogramme of wheat flour on three previous occasions and due to govt's intervention, the price increase could not be implemented. more..

Maldives President congratulates Gotabaya

Nov 17 (RMV) President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has congratulated Gotabaya Rajapaksa, prez-elect of SL. The former defence chief won the prez election held on Saturday, and official results show that he took a 52.25% victory. President Solih, congratulated the president-elect for a resounding victory in the election, adding that he looks forward to working with Rajapaksa’s administration “to further the already close and fraternal ties between Maldives and SL.” more..

EC chairman commends everyone’s commitment during presidential poll

Nov 17 (AD) The Chairman of the Election Commission Mahinda Deshapriya commended the outgoing President Maithripala Sirisena for maintaining an unbiased stance during this tight competition between two frontrunners. Deshapriya stated this addressing the presidential candidates and the political party representatives during a media briefing held at the Election Commission to officially announce the winner more..