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Dark and dirty side of politics

Nov 5 (ST) It is not only in Sri Lanka that obnoxious politics operates just below the surface and even above it, especially when election time draws near. The world’s most powerful nation elected a president called Donald Trump. His antics, his use of his political office to further his political and business interests to the point that today there is an impeachment inquiry against him. Has he knowingly or in ignorance violated US laws, it is said. That is not all. His use of vulgar and crude language more..

Presidency & The farce of a 35

Nov 5 (CT) It appears that there are three leading candidates in this election race, although one is less formidable than the other two unless and until a sudden change of mind of the rest of the candidates causes a voter surge in his direction. The public wonder how bloody the hands of those so-called leading candidates are before deciding. In my view, Sajith has inherited bloodier hands. Ranasingha Premadasa was instrumental in killing over 60 thousand of Sri Lanka’s young, more..

Know your candidate: Who is running for President in 2019?

Nov 5 (Roar) A whopping 35 candidates have decided to run for the Presidency in SL this year. This is a record number—the highest previously in 2010—when 22 entered the fray. Although a multi-party system, SL politics has been historically dominated by two parties and it is typically the contenders from the two strongest parties or alliances that have commanded the race. This year, however, a number of fresh more..

Dr Shafi: Victim of professional jealousy & Racism of medical professionals

Nov 5 (CT) Dr Mohamed Shafi of Kurunegala Teaching Hospital who was taken to custody in the wake of the Easter Sunday massacre and was detained for 47 days for questioning before he was released says “he was a victim of professional jealousy and shameful racism among medical professionals”. Speaking to me about his sufferings he said “the first five days in the custody were extremely difficult. He was confused and did not know what was going on, but later more..

Post-election political stability crucial for economic recovery

Nov 5 (ST) In two weeks’ time a new President will be in office. A period of political stability is essential to resolve the formidable economic challenges facing the country. Even a short period of political anarchy could aggravate the nation’s economic problems. Political stability after the election is an immediate requirement for economic recovery. This is only possible if the newly elected president is able to work together with the PM and the rest of the govt. more..

Polls chief clashes with Hoole on postal voting

Nov 5 (ST) When it comes to issues, National Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya is one who brooks no nonsense. Not even when it emanates from a fellow Commission member like Prof. S. Ratnajeevan Hoole. On Thursday, at a news conference, he showed how tough he could be when it comes to nitty gritties. The event was ending with Deshapriya answering the last question on postal voting. more..

Northern Muslims: Hope for a plural future

Nov 5 (DM) Over the last week, there were two events organised at Osmania College and St. John’s Church Parish Hall to remember the eviction of the Northern Muslims in Oct 1990. Muslim and Tamil activists committed to co-existence have been organising these annual events in Jaffna to narrate and learn from this tragic past, and to demand the right to return and secure the economic and social future of the Northern Muslims. Soon after the war in late 2009, a number of us met at Osmania more..

Editorial: From Volkswagen to sanitary pads

Nov 5 (Island) Minister Mangala Samaraweera once declared that yahapalana administration believed in giving fishing rods to the poor instead of fish so that they would be empowered to take care of their own needs. But the govt’s prez candidate has now undertaken to provide free sanitary napkins, among other things, if elected Prez. How his rivals will try to outdo him on this score remains to be seen. One need not be surprised even if the SLPP pundits offer pads to women and loincloth to men. more..

Face the Nation

Beyond campaigns: Choosing the best candidate

Nov 5 (DM) With the Prez Election campaigns coming to an end in a few days, most Sri Lankans who are not yet decided on their voting preferences have become baffled. They are in a quandary trying to make up their minds as to whom they are going to vote for. The country is awash in campaign promises as politicians press to get voters’ attention while each campaigner promising to cure all the ills of society, if he is elected. One of these voters asked me whether there is any proven scientific way more..

Beware of the governments

Nov 5 (ST) Today, I thought of ending our discussion series on the possibility of becoming rich, as we began on Sept 29 under the column heading Impossible possibilities. We raised the question: “How many more years should we wait for Sri Lanka to become a rich country?” In other words the question meant that “how long would it take for Sri Lanka to reach high-income status by raising its per capita income to US$12,000 from its current level of $4,000?” more..

The curious case of Mellony Wijesinghe

Nov 5 (ST) A few days after returning from the Asian Youth Netball Championship in Japan, Mellony Wijesinghe complained of a shoulder pain. Her family thought it may have been from the heavy workload she carried at the meet. The pain was in the right shoulder, her throwing hand. So they decided to consult Dr. Eliyantha White, a spiritual healer who has treated several sportsmen and women successfully, more..

Cartoonist's duty is to breakdown the politics for the layman

Nov 5 (Island) Most people are confused by his profession. Does he teach art or science? In fact, Pamuditha Chanthuranga is a science teacher at the Keeranthidiya Junior School, Matugama, by day and a cartoonist for The Daily Mirror by night. He says both professions are mutually beneficial. "I teach science, but I use a lot of art. At the paper my subject is art, but it's a science in its own right," says Pamuditha, who has been working at the Daily Mirror since 2011. more..

Indika and Chamari will lead weightlifting teams at South Asian Games

Nov 5 (DN) Commonwealth Games Silver medal weight lifter Indika Dissanayaka and Chamari Warnakulasuriya will lead the Sri Lanka mens and womens weight lifting teams for the South Asian Games which will be held from 1st to 10th Dec in Nepal. Dissanayaka who set up three Sri Lanka records recently at 73 Kg weight category at the world championships in Thailand will lead a strong contingent for the South Asian Games. He has a record of 134 kg weight at snatch method, more..

Iranian tea deal at a standstill

Nov 5 (ST) Sri Lanka is still working out the draft agreement to be signed with Iran that would enable the country to trade tea for oil but unlikely to ready before the Prez election. Iran has been subjected to sanctions by the US. The draft agreement had been worked out and sent to the Foreign Ministry and Attorney General’s Department for necessary approvals, Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) Chairman Lucille Wijewardena said. more..

LOT Polish Airlines turns bullish on SL

Nov 5 (FT) Popular European carrier LOT Polish Airlines is bullish on Sri Lanka, launching three weekly direct flights from yesterday for the current winter season, which is expected to attract 15,000 more tourists. The inaugural flight from Warsaw to Colombo touched down at Bandaranaike Int'l Airport (BIA) yesterday bearing holidaymakers, journalists and a top-tier trade delegation with members from Poland and across Europe. Just in time for the start of the winter tourist season in Sri Lanka, more..

Case against Wimal Weerawansa, others for unlawful protest fixed for Feb. 17

Nov 5 (DN) A case filed against NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa and six other party activists for allegedly providing leadership to a 2016 protest was today fixed for February 17 by Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne. On Feb 6, 2016, the NFF staged a protest march against the visit of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. The protest blocked the main roads at Bauddhaloka Mawatha, causing disturbance to the people and the normal flow of traffic. more..

Treasury secretary to remain in Sri Lanka’s revamped central bank law

Nov 5 (EN) SL’s new monetary law will continue to have the Treasury secretary in its governing board in but monetary policy decisions will be made by a separate body, a draft law to replace the island’s existing monetary law shows. There have been calls to remove the Treasury Secretary from the agency’s governing board as in the past, he has used his de fact veto to stop the central bank from raising interest rates and forced it to more..

Digitisation key to accelerated economic growth: Dr. Hans

Nov 5 (CT) Pointing out the importance of accelerating SL's economic growth to escape the Middle Income trap, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) Chairman, Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya said that Digitisation is key to achieving a higher growth rate. Addressing a forum organised by the Pathfinder Foundation, he said that the country had the opportunity to leap ahead in its global rankings by making Colombo Financial City (Colombo Port City) the most advanced smart city in the region. more..

Navy apprehends person with 650 foreign liquor bottles

Nov 5 (SLN) A person with 650 foreign liquor bottles, was apprehended in a joint raid conducted by Western Naval Command and Department of Excise, at Wattala area on 3rd Nov 2019. Accordingly, a suspicious car had been spotted during a joint raid conducted by Western Naval Command and Department of Excise and this stock of liquor was recovered during the search of the car. The owner of car was taken into Naval custody and he was identified as a drug dealer in the area. more..

Tourism showcases resilient recovery

Nov 5 (FT) SL’s tourism sector yesterday began showcasing its “resilient recovery” following the Easter Sunday terror attacks, displaying strong messaging that the country was back in business at the world’s largest travel fair in London. Positioned as a Premier Partner of the 2019 World Travel Market, a status secured through the investment of an estimated £ 300,000 (over Rs. 60 million), SL’s fresh push more..

SL fight to save first U19 test against B'desh

Nov 5 (DN) Sri Lanka had a fight on their hands to save the first under 19 youth test against Bangladesh after ending the penultimate day of the four-day fixture 17 runs ahead with five second innings wickets in hand at Khulna yesterday. In reply to Sri Lanka’s first innings of 184, Bangladesh continuing from their overnight score of 321-8 totalled 354 to gain a first innings lead of 160. Skipper Nipun Dananjaya was the pick of the SL bowlers taking four wickets for 35 runs more..

Customs destroy Rs. 60 mn worth cigarettes

Nov 5 (DM) A consignment worth more than Rs. 60 million illegally imported cigarettes from UAE, was destroyed at the Ceylon Tobacco Company warehouse, Colombo, Customs Director Sudath de Silva said. He said the stock consisted of over 1,040,000 sticks in 5200 cartons. The contraband was brought to Sri Lanka as a shipment on Aug 7, 2018 in a 40-foot container, he said. “The container had declared to the customs as imported electronic items and it was taken to customs custody more..

EC identifies 13 dummy candidates

Nov 5 (DM) Elections Commission (EC) has identified 13 prez candidates who were in the fray merely to support either of the two main contenders, an official said. EC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said his office mulled action against these candidates. “The commission noted seven candidates supporting one main candidate and six supporting the other,” he said. When asked how these candidates canvassed for more..

Over 224kg of drugs seized by Navy in southern seas

Nov 5 (SLN) Navy seized a multiday fishing trawler believed to have been carrying over a 224kg - haul of heroin, in southern seas of Sri Lanka on 3rd Nov. Navy during a special operation in the seas off Galle has spotted a suspicious multiday fishing trawler and searched the vessel. Accordingly, the Navy managed to find this haul of drugs in the vessel. Five SL nationals onboard were also held by the Navy, during this operation. Meanwhile, two persons who are believed to be suspects arrived at more..

Met. Dept. forecasts afternoon thundershowers in many areas

Nov 5 (AD) Showers or thundershowers will occur at several places in Western, Sabaragamuwa, Central, Southern and Uva provinces and in Kurunegala, Batticaloa and Ampara districts after 1 pm. Misty conditions can be expected at some places in Western, Sabaragamuwa, Central, Southern and Uva provinces during the morning. Meteorology Dept has requested the general public to take adequate precautions to minimize damages caused by temporary localized strong winds and more..

Champika refutes MCC allegations

Nov 5 (DN) Minister Champika Ranawaka yesterday deplored attempts by SLPP politicians to inculcate fear and suspicion about the proposed Millennium Challenge Co-operation (MCC) agreement among the public by proclaiming that the Govt was selling the country to the Americans. “This is a blatant lie. It will only lead to the country’s progress. They want to create a media fascism based on lies & fabrications,” more..

I am here to guide the Muslims: Hizbullah

Nov 5 (TM) Independent prez candidate M.L.A.M. Hizbullah said his aim of contesting the forthcoming presidential polls, was to guide the Muslims of Sri Lanka. He expressed these views to media yesterday. “Over the past 10 years, there has been violence between the Muslims and the Sinahlese. If this continues, it will lead to a major problem in the country.” He said it was important to choose a leader who could eliminate racism and extremism while strengthening peace and national security. more..

SLFP CC meets today to decide on action against Chandrika

Nov 5 (Island) General Secretary of the SLFP Dayasiri Jayasekera said that the party central committee would meet today to discuss action to be taken against former Prez Chandrika Kumaratunga and some others who had violated an MoU the party had signed with the SLPP to support the candidature of prez candidate Sajith Premadasa. MP Jayasekera said the SLFP central committee would meet today at 7 pm under the chairmanship of the party’s acting Chairman Dr. Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa, more..

Police foil attempt to hurl slippers at ITAK leaders

Nov 5 (DM) Several relatives of those who went missing during the 30-year-long civil war attempted to hurl their slippers at leaders of ITAK after a demonstration on Sunday in front of a private hotel in Vavuniya where the party held its central committee meeting. The protesters charged that leaders of the TNA put aside the issues relating to missing persons in their attempt to elect presidents. They urged the leaders to concentrate on this more..

FR against takeover of SLRC by MoD: SC grants leave to proceed

Nov 5 (CT) Supreme Court yesterday, granted leave to proceed with two Fundamental Rights (FR) petitions against Prez Sirisena's decision to take the SL Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) under the purview of the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The Supreme Court decided to take up the two FR petitions on 10 July 2020. The decision was delivered by Justice Buwaneka Aluwihare with Justices L.T.B. Dehideniya and Murdu Fernando consenting. However, the Bench rejected more..

LGBT community hails JVP leader, promises 2 mn votes

Nov 5 (Island) LGBT community has welcomed the manifesto of the JVP, and said they would deliver about two million votes to JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake at the upcoming prez election. Sherman De Rose, Founder Member of the Gay Movement of SL said: "We would like to support the JVP, which has indicated in its manifesto that it would decriminalise homosexuality by repealing section 365 of the Penal Code, whereas the leaders of the NDF and SLPP, despite having more..

Sajith pledges donor conferences for N-E development

Nov 5 (DM) NDF prez candidate pledged to hold two special donor conferences in the N&E to obtain foreign aid for the development of both areas. Speaking during an election rally in Mullaitivu, Mr. Premadasa said he would do it as soon as possible if elected to office. “Holding donor conferences after the conflict in many countries is done to obtain aid to rebuild the affected areas. However, SL has failed to follow this practice more..

ITAK’s support implies Sajith’s decision to accept pre-conditions: SLPP

Nov 5 (DM) The SLPP said the ITAK's decision to support NDF prez candidate Sajith Premadasa, indicated that the latter has accepted the conditions put forward by the TNA. SLPP Chairman Prof G.L. Peiris said the ITAK was the main constituent of the TNA which made public 13 conditions to candidates of the prez election. "The TNA said they would only support the prez candidate who would accept their conditions. Removal of the unitary state of the nation, merging of North & East Province more..

15 more parties ink MoUs with SLPP to back Gota

Nov 5 (DM) Fifteen new political parties yesterday signed MoUs with SLPP at its presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa's office in Mirihana. Accordingly, the number of parties which signed agreements backing Mr. Rajapaksa has topped 40. On behalf of the SLPP, its Secretary Sagara Kariyawasam inked the agreements with respective parties in the presence of Mr. Rajapaksa and MPs of the opposition. The parties include Akhila Ilangei Dravida Mahasabha, SL Telo Party, more..

AKD pledges to lift country out of poverty, ensure equal distribution of wealth

Nov 5 (FT) NPP prez candidate Anura Kumara Dissanayaka yesterday spelled out the economic policies of his party, which he said would lift the country out of poverty and minimise discrepancies with the distribution of wealth. “Our aim is to create a balanced economy to bring about continuous development with a stable growth ratio so that discrepancies in the distribution of income can be minimised and more..

EC and Maintaining a media balance

Nov 5 (DM) Chairman of the National Election Commission (NEC) Mahinda Deshapriya on Saturday had prohibited ITN from broadcasting any politically-oriented programmes, interviews from Nov 4, till the results of the Nov 16 prez election are declared. He had said if ITN wanted to broadcast any political content, it must be submitted to the Elections Commission for prior approval. However, he revoked his ban on the State-owned TV station after discussions with the ITN authorities, more..

Welfarism is good only within our means

Nov 5 (DM) When the UNP Prez hopeful Sajith Premadasa and his backers bulldozed the former’s nomination as the party’s prez candidate through the UNP executive committee -after a series of mass rallies and implicit threats of party division- their objective was just to have their man on the party ticket. It is unlikely that they thought beyond the nomination until that very moment. The UNP’s depleting grassroots voters might have preferred Mr. Premadasa over the others, but he also had more..

Presidential Poll 2019 sick and tired demand balm, not a president

Nov 5 (DM) With 1,751,892 registered voters as at 2018, Gampaha is described as one of the swing districts and is also the second largest with 18 seats next to Colombo. Why it is described as a swing District is because 14 out of the 15 times there has been a national vote, people of Gampaha have voted the right way. Known to be a stronghold of Blue Party, District is also home to Biyagama Export Zone, more..

Korea grants US$30mn loan to uplift Sri Lanka’s IT sector

Nov 5 (AD) The Govt of Republic of Korea has agreed to provide a concessional loan of USD 30 million (Rs.5,460 m) to establish National Center of e-Content Development for Computer Assisted Teaching in SL. The objectives of the proposed project are to; Improve ICT teaching and learning environment for secondary education in SL, enhance teachers’ ICT education capacity, and provide equal opportunity for education more..