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Only beginning of political journey: MS

Nov 18 (FT) National People's Movement (NPM) Prez Candidate and former Army Commander Lt. Gen. (Rtd.) Mahesh Senanayake yesterday said the Prez Election result was only the beginning for their civil society movement. Despite the lower-than-expected showing, he said "we are quite alright with the outcome and we are planning and preparing for the upcoming General Election". He stressed the movement was not an established political party and had only one month to campaign. more..

Host of UNF Ministers lose their electorates

Nov 18 (CT) The 16 Nov Prez Poll, which was won by the SLPP candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa, saw two-thirds of Cabinet, Non-Cabinet, State and Deputy Ministers in the UNF Govt, who campaigned for NDF candidate Sajith Premadasa, losing their respective electoral Districts. The most notable aspect of this election was that NDF Prez candidate Premadasa inspite of losing his electoral District, Hambantota, also lost his electoral seat of more..

ANFREL, EU monitors to brief media today

Nov 18 (Island) The Asian Network for Free Elections’ (ANFREL) International Election Observation Mission and European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Sri Lanka will hold separate press conferences today to release their interim reports. ANFREL press conference will be held at 10 am today at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Colombo 03, while the EU EOM will address the media at 2 pm at the Colombo Hilton. ANFREL Press Conference will highlight more..

Aware of likely China tilt, India will engage with Sri Lanka carefully, Ex-Diplomats say

Nov 18 (Sputnik) India’s interests will be to encourage Sri Lanka to meet the legitimate aspirations of both the majoritarian Sinhala and Buddhist communities and the minority Tamil community. New Delhi will also be carefully monitoring Colombo’s relations with Beijing going forward, analysts said on Sunday. Official results released by the Election Commission of SL on Sunday morning showed that SLPP candidate Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had won prez election more..

SLMC says window of opportunity has opened again to build bridges

Nov 18 (Island) SLMC urged president elect Gotabaya Rajapaksa to safeguard rights and pave the way for reconciliation among various communities as a first step to erase the polarization that has taken place in view of the elections. This was said in a congratulatory message to Rajapaksa, from SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem. He said that in the run up to the election, the Muslim and Tamil political leaders were unfairly vilified but more..

Major parties in Tamil Nadu silent on SL presidential election results

Nov 18 (ENS) Even 12 hours after the outcome of SL elections, major political parties in Tamil Nadu have remained silent, except MDMK general secretary Vaiko and PMK founder S Ramadoss. Vaiko termed the victory of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa a bad day in SL history and sad day for Tamils. He said “Lakhs of Tamils were murdered, Tamil women become widows because of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who was Defence minister of Sri Lanka during the last phase of Eelam war in 2009. more..

US hopeful of working with Prez-elect Gotabaya

Nov 18 (AD) The United States is looking forward to working with President-elect Gotabaya Rajapaksa on issues of good governance, economic growth, the advancement of human rights and reconciliation in support of a strong, sovereign Sri Lanka, says US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Alaina B. Teplitz. She stated this tweeting a congratulatory message to the newly elected President of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who contested in the poll from SLPP, today (17). more..

Several Ministers urge PM to step down

Nov 18 (DM) A few Cabinet ministers are reported to have requested PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to step down from his office making way for Prez-elect Gotabaya Rajapaksa to form a govt in conformity with the mandate he received at the election. In the aftermath of the electoral defeat, the PM held a meeting with Cabinet ministers to discuss the next course of action. Ministers such as Rauff Hakeem, Mangala more..

The Rajapaksa brothers are back in Sri Lanka

Nov 18 (Economist) For nearly ten years the Rajapaksa family ran SL. Now, after a 5-year hiatus and a bit of a reshuffle, they are back. On Nov 16th an unprecedented 84% of voters turned out to crown Gotabaya Rajapaksa president, handing him well over half the votes in a crowded field of 35 candidates. Mr Rajapaksa had served as defence chief during the 2005-15 reign of his brother Mahinda. The latter, blocked by the constitution from becoming head of state again, is likely to more..

UNF grapples with future course of action

Nov 18 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe met with a group of ministers last evening at Temple Trees where they discussed the possibility of supporting an early dissolution of Parliament, official sources said. Several ministers attended the meeting where the PM sought their views on the future direction of the UNF in view of Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s election as President. “The PM said they could either sit in Opposition or support a motion for the early dissolution of Parliament,” the source said. more..

Gota to be sworn-in today in Anuradhapura

Nov 18 (DM) Prez-elect Gotabaya Rajapaksa will be sworn in as the 7th Executive Prez of SL at the Maha Maluwa of the Ruwanweliseya in Anuradhapura today. Mr Rajapaksa, who contested the prez election held on Saturday from the SLPP, was declared as the Prez yesterday upon his victory. SLPP said the swearing-in ceremony will take place in the morning and Mr Rajapaksa is to visit Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi and Ruwanweliseya more..

President Gotabaya

Nov 18 (DM) Today begins the first day of Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s tenure as the Executive President of Sri Lanka. It is obviously the hope of all those who voted for him and indeed many who did not that he would usher in a new era for the nation. A new and better time for each and every citizen where mandates are taken seriously and the promises delivered. Therefore at the outset, the Daily Mirror wishes him all the strength and wisdom required for the tough job ahead. more..

Northern Vote and National Engagement

Nov 18 (DM) With Gotabaya Rajapaska claiming victory in the prez elections, how does one understand the Northern vote? The Northern electoral districts of Jaffna and Vanni with just around 5% of the population of the country are marginal in determining electoral outcome except in very close electoral races. Nevertheless, for a country that has gone through a civil war, and a region that could not fully participate in national electoral politics for decades, more..

These families fear they'll never find missing loved ones after SL election result

Nov 18 (SBS) It’s been more than a decade since Ariyaratnam Annalutchmi saw her son. She says during the final years of Sri Lanka’s civil war, he was abducted by government forces. “There was a phone call. My daughter-in-law answered. We were told my son had been taken away in a white van,” she tells SBS News. She is one of hundreds of SL Tamils still searching for loved ones since the war ended a decade ago. more..

President cites conflicts within govt as major impediment to his programmes

Nov 18 (ST) Political and policy clashes between himself and members of his own administration caused serious disputes within the Govt, thereby impeding the implementation of an essential programme of work on people’s behalf, Prez Sirisena admitted yesterday in his final televised address to the nation. “I believe I was able to fulfil many of the promises in my election manifesto and achieved much on behalf of more..

Stunning Victory! Expression of Gratitude or Protest Vote?

Nov 18 (DM) One of the most radical political victories ever scored in this country will, we are certain, receive the widest acceptance. The will of the people as indicated by the ballot box at this election leaves no room for doubt even at this stage that Gotabaya must now be regarded as virtual Executive President, but with clipped wings. Voters have considered and analysed each main candidate’s past achievements and more..

Video: Patali Champika also resigns from minister post

Nov 18 (AD) Minister Champika Ranawaka has decided to step down from his ministerial portfolio. The outgoing Minister posted his letter of resignation, dated Nov 17th, in his official Facebook account a few hours ago. Addressing the letter to the newly elected President of SL, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Ranawaka extended wishes for the election victory.He further stated he respects the majority of the more..

Video: We did not achieve results we hoped for: Anura

Nov 18 (AD) Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who contested at the Prez Election 2019 under National People’s Power, says that they did not achieve the result they hoped for at the Prez Election. He pointed out it is difficult to carry out a presidential campaign against two major power camps. They entered the election race with an understanding of this, he added. “Nevertheless, we had a goal we expected to achieve. more..

EU observers flag absence of campaign finance laws

Nov 18 (TM) The European Union election observation mission (EU EOM) today said unregulated campaign spending, media bias, abuse of state resources affected the level playing field at the prez polls. However, the team said that the presidential election was largely free of violence and technically well-managed. Presenting the mission’s preliminary statement in Colombo, Chief Observer Marisa Matias said more..

U.S. says to support Sri Lanka’s sovereignty through heightened good governance

Nov 18 (EN) The United States said it is ready to work with new Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to support the country’s sovereignty through heightened good governance. “Sri Lanka has continued to show the strength and resilience of its republic with a free, fair, and transparent presidential election befitting Asia’s oldest democracy,” a U.S. embassy statement said. Rajapaksa was sworn in Monday more..

Video: Best to go for a parliamentary election: Mahinda

Nov 18 (AD) With the victory of the presidential election, it is best to hold a parliamentary election, according to the Leader of the Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa expressed these views to the media following a function held to commemorate his 74th birthday, today (18). However, he pointed out that 5 members of the incumbent Cabinet of Ministers have already resigned from their positions. more..

GR-MR administration ready with economic strategy for Sri Lanka: Cabraal

Nov 18 (EN) A new administration headed by newly elected President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is ready to tackle Sri Lanka’s economy, which has seen growth slow as the currency fell amid rising debt, an official said. “We know the responsibility and the challenges ahead,” Nivard Cabraal, central bank governor under an earlier administration headed by Mahinda Rajapaksa, and a key member of Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s more..

Video: I will establish new govt. to execute my policies: President Gotabaya

Nov 18 (AD) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa says that he will establish a new govt that can implement his policies. Delivering his first speech as the President of SL, Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that he is addressing the nation as the Executive President of Sri Lanka and the Defense Minister who will take on the responsibility of the security of the country. Prez Rajapaksa thanked all those who voted for him at the Prez Election and more..

A child’s guide to MCC Compact Sri Lanka

Nov 18 (FT) Intelligent children, unlike some of the adults, are curious, probing and questioning. They do not jump to conclusions until and unless they are convinced of facts that have been presented to them. Asani, a student in the Advanced Level class in a leading school, is such a curious child. She had heard and read much about the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Grant for SL and had not been convinced of the arguments made by those who stood for it or who criticised it. more..

Powers, Obligations and Character

Nov 18 (CT) SL's newly-elected Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa grabbed power at the just concluded election and will 'fore long be sworn into a position of to date the highest political power despite the aberrations to the executive exactitude of that office. Those who switched all of the SLFP votes, which went to former Prez Sirisena, back to the SLPP's candidate, will tell him quite easily that the gross abuse of powers by Sirisena has left behind in history an across-the-nation pejorative that more..

Gotabaya Rajapaksa swearing-in

Kenyan woman arrested with cocaine pellets at BIA

Nov 18 (AD) A woman holding a Kenyan passport has been arrested for attempting to smuggle cocaine into the country at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Katunayake. The passenger had arrived onboard a flight from Doha Qatar and she was arrested at the arrival terminal of the airport, police said. Airport Customs had discovered 30 pellets of cocaine concealed inside her luggage while the suspect was handed over to the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) unit at the airport. more..

Ranil to resign in the next 24 hours

Nov 18 (RN) The UNF govt will support the SLPP to go for early elections, House Leader and Minister Lakshman Kiriella told RepublicNext today. “We will give them a two-thirds majority in the House so that Parliament can dissolve,” he added. He said the decision was taken yesterday at a Cabinet meeting. “PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will meet with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and resign after that,” he added. The President and the PM will be at the swearing-in ceremony today, more..

Gotabaya Rajapaksa inherits Sri Lanka's mammoth economic burden

Nov 18 (AJ) Now that Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been sworn in as Sri Lanka's new president after winning a fiercely contested election, his country will not only be looking to the former defence minister to safeguard national security but also to boost its struggling economy. SL is in its deepest economic slump in more than 15 years, dragged down by its tourism sector after the Easter bombings on April 21 killed more than 250 people. more..

No approval for flour price hike: CAA

Nov 18 (NR) Consumer Affairs Authority says no company has been granted approval to increase the prices of wheat flour. Issuing a statement, the Authority said legal action will be taken against any company or businessman found to be selling wheat flour at a higher price. Under the Consumer Affairs Authority Act, a kilogram of wheat flour has a set retail price. The current price cited is Rs.87. In the event that wheat flour is packaged and sold, an additional Rs.5 can be charged. more..

Rishad congratulates new President

Nov 18 (AD) Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, as the leader of the ACMC and on behalf of its supporters, has congratulated Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa on winning the people’s mandate in the recently held prez election. He also thanked supporters of NDF candidate Sajith Premadasa as well as the voters who turned out to cast their votes for the poll. “Our firm belief is that the new Prez shall discharge his functions upholding unity, goodwill, reconciliation, trust & security of all ethnicities equally,” more..

Sri Lankans warned against buying mis-declared Audi A5s

Nov 18 (EN) Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA), representing SL agents of int'l automotive manufactures, has warned against buying Audi A5 cars it says were imported with mis-declared engine size, with 160 million rupees duty loss to govt. CMTA called for action against the importer of these vehicles and customs officers who released them. The CMTA said Customs were questioning the authority of the local agent more..

Iran stresses broadening ties with Sri Lanka during Rajapaksa's presidency

Nov 18 (FNA) Iranian foreign ministry in a statement congratulated Gotabaya Rajapaksa for winning the prez election in Sri Lanka, and hoped for the further expansion of relations between the two countries. "Islamic Republic of Iran felicitates the SL nation and govt for holding the prez election in Sri Lanka on Saturday in full tranquility and partnership of all walks of people which resulted in election of Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the president of the country with the majority of votes," more..

Afghanistan beat Sri Lanka in Emerging Teams Asia Cup

Nov 18 (TVN) Afghanistan defeated Sri Lanka by seven wickets in their third match of Emerging Teams Asia Cup in Bangladesh on Monday and advanced to semi-finals of the tournament. Choosing to field first after winning the toss, Samiullah Shinwari-led Afghan side bowled out Sri Lanka on 238 with one ball remaining from 50 overs. Afghanistan chased down the 239-run target in 44.5 overs with Shahidullah scoring 102 not out. Darwish Rasooli and Abdul Malik helped with 61 & 47 more..

Patali Champika Ranawaka

Complaint lodged against Mangala

Nov 18 (DM) Executive Director of Buddhist Information Center Ven. Athulugalle Sri Jinananda Thera has lodged a complaint with the Police Headquarters against MP Mangala Samaraweera over a message posted in his twitter. SSP Ruwan Gunasekera said the Thera had lodged a complaint with the police claiming that Mr. Samaraweera had insulted the Sanga in his massage. He said the complaint has been forwarded to the Legal Division DIG to seek legal advice. more..

We accept the people’s mandate: UNP

Nov 18 (NR) UNP says it respects and acknowledges the mandate given by the people at the 2019 Prez Election. General Secretary of the UNP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam issuing a message thanked the 55 million people who voted for his faction at the election. Kariyawasam said through the establishment of independent Commissions and by establishing democracy the present UNP-led administration managed to ensure the conduct of a free and fair election. more..

Sri Lankan media should self-regulate: Election Observers

Nov 18 (RN) Asian Election observers faulted both private and State Media organisations for favouring their chosen candidates during the elections and suggested they should self-regulate themselves. Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL), int'l election observation org based in Asia, observed that while the prez election ended in a largely peaceful and orderly manner, it witnessed both state and private media being biased more..

First monetary policy review under new govt on Nov 29

Nov 18 (AD) The Monetary Policy Review: No.7 -2019 will be announced on Friday (29) at 7.30 a.m. Issuing a statement last Friday (15), the Central Bank of Sri Lanka noted that The Monetary Policy Review: No. 7 – 2019, which was previously scheduled to be announced on 15 Nov 2019, has been rescheduled to Friday (29) at 7.30 a.m. as already announced in the previous Monetary Policy Review. Meanwhile, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was sworn-in as 7th Executive Prez of SL today. more..

China welcomes new Sri Lankan president, and old friend, Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Nov 18 (HT) China on Monday congratulated the newly-elected Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, saying Beijing is ready to work with the new leadership for high-quality cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the ambitious intercontinental connectivity project launched by President Xi Jinping. The Rajapaksa family, including the new president and his elder brother, former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, are considered close to Beijing. more..