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Ali Sabry

#PresPollSL social media monitoring It’s a lot of talk, a lot of it, a little action here and there

Nov 6 (DM) The better part of last two months has been spent on looking at the Prez Election in general and social media implications in particular. It is an intriguing study to look at how the traditional love Sri Lankans show for all things innuendo has transferred itself on to the digital sphere. There has been so much talk, too much talk really, on verifying fake news and debunking them. So much so, that potential fact-checker have chickened out and tried to gag staff when more..

Coming duumvirate & Economic challenge

Nov 6 (CT) Four personalities – Gtabaya Rajapaksa, Sajith Premadasa, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Ranil Wickeremesinghe, two offices – Presidency and Prime Ministership and two elections – Presidential and General, can produce five different configurations of a President- PM duumvirate, based on the assumption that victory for the party or coalition of parties in the first election does not automatically guarantee victory in the second. Following are those possibilities: more..

'People’s front to challenge politics as usual'

Nov 6 (SO) Mere months after retiring from the Sri Lanka Army, Former Army Commander General Mahesh Senanayake marked his entry into Sri Lankan politics, announcing his candidacy for the upcoming Prez election. Having served the country for 36 years, Senanayake has now joined hands with the civilian organization, NPM and Janatha Sabhawa to contest as their chosen Presidential candidate. more..

Prez election 2019 and the ascendancy of national bourgeoisie

Nov 6 (Island) SL’s prez election 2019 is just a few days away. Understandably, there is no paucity of discussion on this most important event in the current year’s political calendar. However, the discourse on the prez election, at best, revolved around a plethora of topics such as national security, cost of living, poverty, corruption, foreign meddling in the internal affairs of the country, drug trafficking, capital punishment, human rights, democracy, education, women empowerment, more..

Gotabaya’s military career, role as Defence Secy under a cloud

Nov 6 (Island) Having declared Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka as the defence and law and order minister in the event of Sajith Premadasa’s victory at the prez poll, UNP-led NDF is working overtime to belittle wartime Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s role in the Eelam War IV (Aug 2006-May 2009) as well as his 20-year military career. The NDF and the civil society, affiliated to the political outfit, as well as some sections of the media, stepped-up attacks on SLPP candidate more..

Poland steps up economic engagement with Sri Lanka

Nov 6 (FT) Efforts to step up Sri Lanka - Poland ties received a boost this week with the arrival of a team of top officials from Warsaw and the private sector of the two countries forging new links. Poland Deputy Foreign Minister Maciej Lang who arrived in Colombo on Monday said the Polish and Sri Lankan business community had huge untapped potential to further strengthen bilateral trade and investment ties. more..

KPMG in Sri Lanka to host 18th MESA Partners’ Conference from 6-7 Nov

Nov 6 (FT) 18th KMPG MESA Partners Conference themed Re-inventing to meet clients’ agenda brings together the partners of KPMG in the Middle Eastern and South Asian region. KPMG (MESA) is a sub-region within the KPMG network of member firms, with nearly 8,000 professionals and associates working across 33 office locations in 15 countries. KPMG’s regional office for the MESA, located in UAE oversees the rollout of regional strategy and monitors progress of KPMG member firms more..

Australian tour a good eye-opener for World T20 – chief selector

Nov 6 (DN) Chairman of cricket selectors Ashantha de Mel said the recent cricket tour to Australia was a very good eye-opener for SL ahead of the ICC World T20 which will be hosted by Australia in October next year. “We realized that in order to play well in Australia we need special skills. We have to go there early and get used to the conditions that’s number one, the other thing is you must look at players who can play the horizontal bat shot otherwise you are not going to get pitched up deliveries to drive. more..

'We don’t need a military response to security risks'

Nov 6 (Hindu) Sri Lanka does not need a military response to tackle prevalent national security concerns; the country needs a sound political response, according to Anura Kumara Dissanayake, leader and presz candidate of the leftist JVP. In an interview to The Hindu, at the JVP headquarters, Mr. Dissanayake sought to debunk the national security pitch made by prominent contestant Gotabaya Rajapaksa, more..

Dinesh leads Sri Lankan contingent for World Para Athletic Championships

Nov 6 (DN) Paralympic bronze medalist Dinesh Herath will lead the SL contingent for the 9th World Para AthleticChampionship which is scheduled to be held from Nov 7 to 15 in Dubai. The SL team comprising nine Para athletes left yesterday to take part in this major event which will be very important for them to qualify for next year’s Paralympics to be held in Tokyo, Japan. Dinesh who won the bronze at the last Rio Paralympics in 2016 once again will take part in the F- 46 Javelin Throw while more..

Added pressure on Sri Lanka after Bangladesh’s historic win

Nov 6 (DN) Few would have given Bangladesh any chance of beating India in India in any format. But the Bengal Tigers (which is their national emblem) turned the form book upside down to pull off a stunning seven-wicket win to go one-up in the three-match T20 international series. Prior to leaving for India, Bangladesh cricket had to undergo a tumultuous few weeks. Their cricket was plunged into a state of turmoil by the players going on strike on the eve of the tour. more..

My family and I received death threats from MR: Sajin Vaas

Nov 6 (DM) Former MP Sajin Vaas Gunawardena said he had lodged a police complaint saying that Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa had told another SLPP MP that Sajin and his family will be killed if he continued to support NDF Prez candidate Sajith Premadasa in the Prez election. He said after making the police complaint, a letter describing the situation was sent to Opposition leader. more..

Dananjaya in marathon innings as SL Youth salvage pride

Nov 6 (Island) Skipper Nipun Dananjaya anchored SL Under-19s with a marathon innings, Sonal Dinusha scored a half century and St. Joseph’s College pair Lakshan Gamage and Dinuth Wellalage made handsome contributions as the visitors forced a draw to the second Youth Test against Bangladesh Under-19s in Khulna on Tuesday. The visitors had a deficit of 170 runs when they commenced the second innings and when the final day commenced yesterday they had just a lead of 17 runs more..

South Asian Games 2019: Kimiko injured: SL SAG team in trouble

Nov 6 (CT) Sri Lanka South Asian Games team faced a major blow yesterday as their most decorated female swimmer from the last edition, Kimiko Raheem, was ruled out from this year's SAG due to an injury. The South Asian Games 2019 will be held from 1-10 December in Kathmandu, Nepal, and the Sri Lanka Aquatic Sports Union (SLASU) was about to finalise the team yesterday following the National Championship which concluded on Sunday. An email from Kimiko's father to more..

Video: Sirisena must take responsibility for SLFP’s ruination: CBK

Nov 6 (AD) Prez Sirisena must bear the responsibility for the SLFP’s ruination, claims former Prez Chandrika Kumaratunga. She emphasized this while addressing the convention of the Organization to Protect the SLFP held at the Sugathadasa Stadium this evening (5). Event was held under the patronage of former Prez Chandrika Bandaranaike, who pledged support to NDF prez front-runner Sajith Premadasa recently. more..

JKH announces December opening of Rs. 4.8 b Cinnamon Bentota at WTM

Nov 6 (FT) John Keells Holdings (JKH) this week at the ongoing World Travel Market (WTM) expo in London announced the opening of Cinnamon Bentota Beach next month following an investment of Rs. 4.8 billion. The group also announced to the travel trade and media attending the WTM the launch of Cinnamon Velifushi Maldives, the 15th property under JKH’s flagship resort brand. “The launch of the revamped Bentota property in the second week of December is the first major more..

Video: Gotabaya requests Ven. Kashyapa Thera to quit hunger strike

Nov 6 (AD) SLPP’s prez hopeful Gotabaya Rajapaksa has requested Venerable Ven. Ududumbara Kashyapa Thera to call a halt to the protest fast that he commenced against the signing of the MCC Agreement this morning (5). The former Defence Secretary has addressed a letter to Ududumbara Kashyapa Thera making the said request. Rajapaksa says, from the time the Prez Election was announced until its results are released, more..

SL not included in MCC 2020 scorecard as current $ 480 m deal hangs in balance

Nov 6 (FT) Sri Lanka is not in the list of countries in the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) 2020 scorecard released on Monday. Sri Lanka’s exclusion was after the country moved to an upper middle-income status mid this year. They said given the fact that SL agreement is pending since April, and given the widespread misinformation leading to opposition, there is a good chance that the country may lose the $480 million grant. more..

Remove face cover when entering polling centres: EC

Nov 6 (DM) Muslim women can wear either the burqa or niqab when they come for voting but should remove their face cover at the entrance to the polling centre, Election Commission (EC) Director General Saman Sri Ratnayake said. He said what was required was to prove her identity inside the polling centre when she was given a ballot paper. “Her identity should tally with the face on the identity card. For that, she has to remove the face cover,” Mr Ratnayake said. more..

NCE gives Food for Thought to Prez Candidates on key challenges of country

Nov 6 (DN) National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) which represents a vital sector of the Economy of the Country, viz: Exporters of Products and Services and Service Providers to Exporters, has presented to the Prez Candidates Ten Key Proposals that are challenges to move the Country forward. These Proposals are the outcome of deliberations at a Forum titled Export Vision 2030, conducted by the Chamber, which had been attended by CEOs of Export Oriented Enterprises, and more..

‘Some OICs didn’t obey DIG’s order to warn churches of attacks’

Nov 6 (Island) Some OICs in the Colombo range had not informed the churches of a potential terrorist attack on Easter Sunday despite his orders, DIG Lalith Pathinayake yesterday told the PCoI. Pathinayake was in charge of the Colombo District when the Easter attacks took place. He said that he had been warned of a potential attack by SDIG N. Munasinghe, who was in charge of the Western province in a letter dated April 09. more..

Video: Kashyapa Thera calls off protest fast

Nov 6 (AD) Ven. Ududumbara Kashyapa Thera has called off his protest fast after receiving letters from PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Minister Sajith Premadasa stating that the MCC Agreement will not be signed. Kashyapa Thera commenced a protest fast last morning, calling for the govt not to ink the MCC Agreement. Multiple MPs visited Kashyapa Thera during his protest fast, including MP Bandula Gunawardena, who presented a letter from SLPP prez candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa. more..

Sajith will be hailed by SL women: Hirunika

Nov 6 (DM) NDF Prez candidate Sajith Premadasa will be hailed by all SL women as he has been bold enough to talk about a health issue which women in Sri Lanka are facing, UNP MP Hirunika Premachandra said. She told a press conference that Mr Premadasa is being ridiculed even by women despite him speaking of a real issue. The MP was referring to the pledge that has been made by NDF candidate that he will provide sanitary napkins free of charge if elected to office. more..

Sajith’s supporters pledge revolutionary change

Nov 6 (FT) A presidency under Sajith Premadasa will focus on curbing three social evils, namely, the drug menace, corruption, and religious extremism, while bringing about a socio-political revolution in the country not seen in decades, a group of senior members from the NDF candidate’s inner circle said yesterday. Minister Champika Ranawaka, State Minister Eran Wickramaratne, Non-Cabinet Minister Harsha more..

Govt now says MCC agreement will not be signed till poll is over

Nov 6 (Island) Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, yesterday, said that the govt would not sign the Millenium Challenge Corporation agreement until the presidential election was over. Addressing the media at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Ranawaka said the opinion of the Attorney General’s Department had already been obtained on the said agreement and after the Supreme Court gave its determination on the matter, it would be taken up for debate in parliament. more..

Wiggy claims ITAK paid to support Sajith

Nov 6 (CT) Former Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran said, the Govt had allegedly paid cash to the Parliamentarians of the ITAK in order to coax them into their camp prior to the 16 Nov Prez Poll. He made this comment to the Tamil media regarding the decision taken by the ITAK to support the NDF Prez candidate, Minister Sajith Premadasa at the coming Poll. He said: "It is obvious that the ITAK had taken this decision without thinking of the public, but only of the party. more..

GR pledges to fight violence against women

Nov 6 (FT) SLPP prez candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa pledged to create a safe environment for women and uphold equal rights for people with disabilities. Addressing an election rally, Rajapaksa said if elected, he would put an end to violence against women. He pledged to create an environment where women could live with dignity, and engage in daily life without being subject to any form of discrimination. more..

Tomorrow, perhaps, the future

Nov 6 (DM) Elections campaigns take two forms, broadly. In order to posit themselves as the best deal for the voter candidates get dragged into shouting matched where the focus is on relative demerits of opponents, their histories and political associations. Secondly, they talk of policies. However, these are typically kept snug in manifestos or, when they do get articulated, are drowned by rhetoric and invective. The past is referred to a lot. The present is either celebrated or decried, more..

Wisdom, humility and compassion

Nov 6 (DM) Would like to give you a different article today – to leave you with Pearls of Wisdom gathered over the years, pics of really great people who demonstrate their greatness through their innate goodness and humility and one of the most important attributes, compassion!!! 1. Never tell anyone your plans, show them your results instead Never reply when you are angry. 2. Never make a promise when you are happy. Never make a decision when you are sad. more..

Prez Poll: Kegalle, Kurunegala residents want safe environment and secure economy

Nov 6 (DM) Kegalle, a district in the Sabaragamuwa Province, comprises a largely agrarian society with rubber, tea and coconut being cultivated as main crops. Apart from that, minor export crops such as coffee, cocoa, pepper, clove and nutmeg also contribute to the district’s economy. Kegalle is also home to the country’s largest graphite mine situated at Bogala. During the 2015 Prez Election Mahinda Rajapaksa received more..

Equal Ground says LGBT community politically neutral

Nov 6 (Island) Equal Ground has taken exception to Sherman De Rose’s claim that since the JVP has undertaken to safeguard the rights of the LGBT community, it will overwhelmingly vote for JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake in the presidential fray, Equal Ground Executive Director Rosanna Flamer-Caldera has, in response to our lead story yesterday, "LGBT community hails JVP leader, promises 2 mn votes", said that more..

HRCSL continues to vet police and SLAF personnel for UN missions

Nov 6 (ST) Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) continues to vet police and air force personnel for deployment on UN peacekeeping, even after the UN Department of Peace Operations (UNDPO) announced it would no longer deploy soldiers from the country on UN missions. “We have stopped vetting army personnel but we continue to vet police and air force,” HRCSL Chairperson Deepika Udagama said. more..

Sri Lanka gets access to Aussie geoscience expertise

Nov 6 (RN) A MoU on Scientific and Technical Cooperation was signed between Sri Lanka and Australia in Canberra yesterday, which will give SL access to Australia’s famed geoscience expertise. The agreement was signed at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Australia, by the Chairman of Geological Survey and Mines Bureau of SL W.M.A.S. Iddawela, and the CEO, Geoscience Australia Dr. James Johnson. more..

600,000 New Samurdhi beneficiaries

Nov 6 (CT) 600,000 new families are proposed to be enrolled in the Samurdhi scheme in 2019 (this year) and the granting of benefits to the selected families is currently in progress, Central Bank, in a publication released this month, said. Dept of Samurdhi Development (DSD) distributed Rs 19.48 billion among 1.38 million beneficiary families under the Samurdhi Relief Programme during the first half (1H) of 2019 (this year). more..

SL owes 15% of external public debt to China

Nov 6 (EN) SL owes about 15% of its external public debt to China when the central govt and state enterprises loans are added together, an IMF report said. Central govt debt owned to China was 9.1% by end June 2019. But China had funded a number of state owned enterprises directly with Treasury guarantees in some cases. Some other agencies directly fund the govt who on-lend to state/private enterprises more..

Mahinda hits out at toxic constitutional provisions in Sajith’s manifesto

Nov 6 (AD) Leader of the Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa claims that like the draft Constitution, the UNP prez election manifesto also aims to turn SL into a loose federation of virtually independent provincial units. He stated that the chapter on constitutional reform in the manifesto of UNP prez candidate contains provisions to replace the unitary state with a formulation that describes SL as an undivided and indivisible state. more..

UN compensates families of fallen Sri Lankan peacekeepers

Nov 6 (SLA) UN- granted compensations for two Army Heroes, who made the supreme sacrifice whilst on active duty in the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) under the UN Peace Keeping Operations in the trouble-torn Mali on 25 January, this year were awarded to their next of kin by the Commander of the Army, Lt General Shavendra Silva this morning after inviting bereaved more..

Colombo air quality drops to unhealthy levels

Nov 6 (RN) Air pollution in Colombo reached a disconcerting unhealthy level this morning, according to the US Embassy. As at 8.30am today, air quality in Colombo had reached 173 AQI (air quality index) points, as announced by the embassy today. By 3pm today, it had dropped to 130 AQI, which is deemed unhealthy for sensitive groups. The US Embassy records air quality using an air quality monitor (AQM) installed in central Colombo, more..

US anticipates finalising MCC pact after presidential poll

Nov 6 (DM) While welcoming the cabinet decision to approve the MCC pact, the US today said it anticipates working toward grant signing and parliamentary approval with the Sri Lankan Govt after Nov 16. “With presidential elections approaching, the United States anticipates working toward grant signing and parliamentary approval with the Govt of Sri Lanka after Nov 16, 2019,” the US Embassy said in a statement. more..