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Opposition to seek JVP backing

Dec 20 (CG) UNP says it will seek the support of the JVP after the Jan 8 election. JVP has already said it will not publicly support common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena at the election but UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe says JVP support will be sought for a National govt after the election. He said that the election manifesto of Maithripala Sirisena, clearly spells out the need for political parties represented in Parliament to more..

'Govt still needs me even after my defection'

Dec 20 (AM) Common opposition Candidate Maithripala Sirsisena said Preident Rajapaksa and his UPFA govt still needed him – even after his departure. He made these remarks on the govt’s propaganda campaign using some old speeches of Maithripla Sirisena – which he made when he was a Minister. In their propaganda campaign, the govt demonstrated the way Maithripala Sirisena spoke in praise of President Rajapaksa while serving as a Cabinet Minister of the same govt. more..

Mervyn insists he will not jump

Dec 20 (CG) Public Relations Minister Mervyn Silva today said he will not jump, and if he needs to leave the govt, he will walk away. Speaking at an election rally in Ampara today held in support of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Minister said that people have been wondering where he was all these days. He said that his silence had raised speculation that he may join the opposition but he refuted those claims and said that he has great respect for the Rajapaksa family. more..

Video: MR rebukes Maithri’s manifesto

Dec 20 (CG) President Rajapaksa today rebuked the election manifesto of common opposition Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena which promises change should the opposition win the Presidential election. Speaking at an election rally in Ampara, he said that when an election is near a lot of promises are made and some are not realistic. He said that the country had to wait nearly 60 years for change and that change took place over more..

Severe weather warning issued

Dec 20 (CG) Early Warning Centre of the Department of Meteorology has issued a severe weather alert for 24 hours beginning at 9 this morning. It said that an atmospheric disturbance is still affecting the weather over the island. As such cloudy skies with showers or thundershowers will occur over most parts of the island particularly in the Central, North-central, Eastern, Uva and Southern provinces. Heavy rain falls are also expected at some places. more..

Kelaniya u'grads surround admin building

Dec 20 (DM) Kelaniya university undergraduates have surrounded the administration building at present, to express their objection to the administration’s inaction towards the dengue menace that is spreading through the university. A member of the Kelaniya student union said that within the past two weeks alone, a total of 55 students of the Kelaniya University have been hospitalized due to contracting dengue. “We are currently having examinations. more..

Sri Lanka to get 2 Indian warships

Dec 20 (CG) India is to export two warships to Sri Lanka after delivering a warship to Mauritius for the first time, India’s Minister of State for Defence Production Rao Inderjit Singh. “From Sri Lanka, we have received an order to build two off-shore patrol vehicles (OPV) and they are under construction in Goa Shipyard,” the minister said on the sidelines of the ceremonial delivery of warship CGS Barracuda to Mauritian Coast Guard. more..

‘Let’s sink differences, work for our people’

Dec 20 (Island) Health Minister Tissa Attanayaka addressing the Ministry officials stressed yesterday that he had decided to implement the National Health Programme from next year at provincial and rural levels. Minister Attanayaka pointed out that he believed that there were no people at his Ministry who wanted to sabotage its activities. He had accepted the Health portfolio not to find fault with former Minister Maithripala Sirisena or his predecessors. more..

FSP lodges complaint with HRC over leader’s visa issue

Dec 20 (Island) JVP splinter group, Frontline Socialist Party lodged a complaint with Human Rights Commission (HRC) on behalf of FSP leader Kumar Mahattaya alias Premakumar Gunaratnam currently in Australia using the name, Noel Mudalige. FSP’s Presidential candidate Duminda Nagamuwa and politburo member Chameera Koswatte complained to HRC that the govt was dragging its feet on a online visa application submitted by their leader Gunaratnam. more..

'Dr. PB flouted election laws with Hudson Samarasinghe's help' - UNP

Dec 20 (AM) UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake lashed out at Finance Secretary P.B. Jayasundara, a public servant, for blatantly violating election laws by appearing for a two hour long television interview conducted by SLBC Chairman Hudson Samarasinghe on Rupavahini. During the programme, the SLBC Chairman repeatedly criticized the election manifesto of the Common Opposition. more..

Snake bite deaths down dramatically

Dec 20 (Island) Number of snake bites and resulting deaths has come down dramatically, says SL’s foremost authority on snakes, herpetologist Anslem de Silva. Effective use of anti-venom was the major contributory factor. Number of snakes had also come down. A few years back snake bites were a major problem with nearly 60,000 people becoming victims annually. Only close to 40,000 received treatment from hospitals and others resorted to traditional snake bite treatment. more..

PSM to behave until after election

Dec 20 (Island) Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM) said it would wait till the end of the presidential election to make its demands which the govt had only partially granted. PSM General Secretary, Saman Jayasekara, said that one of their chief demands was that promotions be given to those who completed 12 years in service over a span of five years; those promotions had been pending for nine years, he added. Promotions had been given to those who completed 12 years more..

CM disappointed over Sri Lanka's unwillingness to release Tamil Nadu boats

Dec 20 (TOI) The Tamil Nadu govt on Saturday expressed disappointment over the Sri Lankan govt's unwillingness to release boats of TN fishermen impounded by the Lankan navy for crossing the international maritime boundary line. On Friday, the external affairs ministry informed the TN govt that though the offer of the state (to release the Sri Lankan fishermen from Tamil Nadu jails) was conveyed to Sri Lankan govt, more..

Proposal to re-establish direct air links between Berlin and Colombo

Dec 20 (AD) Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Germany, Karunatilaka Amunugama met the Director General of the Department of Aerospace of the Federal Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure of Germany, Gerold Reichle in Berlin, and discussed at length, the strengthening of Sri Lanka - German civil aviation relations. Ambassador Amunugama highlighted the great demand for intensifying bilateral cooperation in the field of civil aviation, due to increased inbound tourism from Germany more..

CEB vows to be apolitical

Dec 20 (Island) The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) had not received any complaints from the Common Opposition Presidential Candidate Mahithripala Sirisena or any other members from the opposition regarding any unannounced power cuts during their public rallies, the CEB management said. CEB Spokesman, Deputy General Manager Business and Operational Strategy, Senajith Dassanayake said that CEB was an independent body and it had no political affiliation to any party. more..

Five crossovers from UNP, JVP join MR

Dec 20 (Island) The Govt yesterday said that the intention of the Common Opposition Alliance was to follow the Tamasek model adopted by Singapore during the rule of Lee kuan Yew, where all state enterprises which were performing well had been privatised. Minister Susil Premajayantha said that policy had been publicised by the Common Opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena during the last few days. more..

'Remember to cast your vote'

Dec 20 (CT) TNA has kicked off its Presidential Poll campaign from the Eastern Province emphasizing that voters should cast their votes without fail in the Presidential polls. TNA General Secretary Mavai Senathiraja said that the Tamil voters from the North and East should not refrain from voting at the forthcoming polls. "The votes from the North and East will be crucial in the forthcoming poll. By refraining from voting, the Tamils are allowing the candidate who will be not of their choice. more..

Street vendors: Victims or nuisance

Dec 20 (ST) Street vendors are a common sight to most motorists and pedestrians. Clutching packets of incense sticks, children’s story books, plastic ornaments and other items, they flit in between traffic. These self-employed persons operate on busy roads, climbing into buses and pressing their goods to halted vehicles in an effort to sell their ware. While these vendors are merely trying to earn a living, the unsupervised manner in which they operate, does create several problems. more..

John Amaratunga meets top military officers at opposition leader's office

Dec 20 (AM) A group of senior Army officers, who are now retired, met with Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga this morning at the Opposition Leader’s Office for a special discussion. The meeting was aimed at discussing essential security measures for the party supporters and activists on January 08. The meeting was attended by two retired Major Generals and a group of ex-Brigadiers and Colonels. more..

Kumbichchankulam bund at risk of collapsing

Dec 20 (DM) Residents living in low-lying areas of the Anuradhapura Kumbichchankulam tank have been asked to evacuate as the tank bund is at risk of collapsing, Anuradhapura Municipal Commissioner Sampath Dharmadasa said. New bus stand in Anuradhapura has also been temporarily closed down as a result of the floods in the area. Spill gates of most tanks in Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa have been opened and added that low lying areas of Somawathi & Mihinthale are inundated. more..

Opposition meeting in Haputale attacked 10 minutes before Ranil's arrival

Dec 20 (AM) An election meeting of the Common Opposition which was scheduled to be held in Haputale came under attack by goons just ten minutes before the arrival of Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. The meeting was organized by Opposition Leader of Uva PC Harin Fernando. He said the attack was carried out by the brother of Haputale UC Chairman and his supporters. They removed flags and damaged the stage, commanding the opposition to stop the meeting. more..

Nagamuwa says only the Left can save country

Dec 20 (CT) Presidential candidate Duminda Nagamuwa said he decided to contest the Presidential Election to expose the aggressive politics of the govt and the Opposition's intention to plunder from the people. "The slogans of the govt and the Opposition do not represent the people's problems. We must build an opinion regarding finding solutions for people's real problems. We must build a left force for that. more..

Who Should Captain?

Dec 20 (CT) In October 1988, accepting the UNP nomination at the Sugathadasa Stadium, R Premadasa complained in a bitter, biting aside, that as PM he had enjoyed “the powers of a peon”. That status is about to change if the Opposition wins, because the Maithri manifesto makes clear that the centre of gravity of executive power will undergo a decisive structural shift from the Presidency to the parliament and the Cabinet. Thus Ranil Wickremesinghe is tipped to be more..

EC: A toothless tiger?

Dec 20 (CT) An independent national daily quoting Elections Commissioner (EC) Mahinda Deshapriya said yesterday, that he had issued a directive to Heads of State institutions that, at no instance could state resources, much less, public servants be utilized for electioneering. However, the exemption in using State resources, in particular State premises for polls work was, if those premises were hired. He made these remarks in the context that the presidential poll is to take place barely more..

Ada Cartoon

Namal has no inhibitions about discussing his lucrative business deals

Dec 20 (CT) Namal in fact had no inhibitions about discussing with friends the lucrative business deals he was involved in. But it is possible that he did not think there was anything wrong with all these. Over the years a culture of close involvement of politicians with the business sector had developed, and the favours received from them were seen simply as tokens of friendship – as were the concessions and contracts the complaisant businessmen received. So Chandrika Kumaratunga benefited as more..

Maithri’s manifesto launched: It is for provider govt with a vision

Dec 20 (CT) The government could be an economic facilitator or provider. Economists usually prefer to have a facilitator government due to a fundamental reason which is linked to an efficiency factor. However, what Maithri has promised us is a “Provider” government at least in the first 100 days, but it has a vision. That would be a better beginning in view of the economic difficulties faced by wage earners and businesses of all categories except a few. But a gradual transition to a more more..

Postal vote: JVP alleges SLTB workers forced to vote for Rajapaksa

Dec 19 (Island) Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) employees had been asked to cast their votes for President Rajapaksa during postal voting after showing the ballot paper to the official assigned by the SLFP affiliated Sri Lanka Nidahas National Transport Employees Union (SLNNTEU), General Secretary of the JVP led All Ceylon Transport Workers Union Sepala Liyanage claimed. He said the union affiliated to SLFP had also asked more..

Prabhakaran's man helped kill T’chelvam

Dec 20 (CG) Geocoordinate information provided by a former bodyguard of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran contributed to an accurate Sri Lankan military bombing raid that killed LTTE political spokesman S.P. Thamilchelvan and other LTTE leaders on 2 Nov 2007, a WikiLeaks document has revealed. It contains information from a classified report of the CIA, one of the principal intelligence-gathering agencies of the US. more..

Environmentalists oppose Colombo port city

Dec 19 (Island) A Sri Lankan environmentalist body has objected to a billion-dollar Chinese funded Port City being built off the coast of Colombo to uplift the city as a modern international metropolis. The Centre for Environmental and Nature Studies (CENS) has claimed that the country’s delicate marine ecosystem is paying the price for this project. It claims that the artificial island, when completed, more..

Pakistan hangs mastermind in Sri Lanka cricket team attack

Dec 20 (HT) Pakistan on Friday hanged two militants as it began executing those on death row in the wake of the moratorium on the death penalty being lifted following the Peshawar school massacre. The first to be executed were Aqeel Ahmad aka Dr Usman, and Arshad Mehmood. While Ahmad, a former member of the Army Medical Corps, was involved in attacks on the Army GHQ and Sri Lankan cricket team (both in 2009), more..

Dayasiri warns of sinister move to re-implement Regaining Sri Lanka

Dec 19 (Island) NWP Chief Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera yesterday alleged that the UNP-led Opposition was planning to introduce controversial Regaining Sri Lanka project. CM Jayasekera said that the UNP was banking on Opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena to implement the project, though people had rejected ‘Regaining Sri Lanka’. The move to re-implement the project had recently come to more..

Life after loss

Dec 20 (AO) 9-year-old Sri Lankan girl does not know that her father died before she was born. She has known only her stepfather. When she saw a photograph of her mother with her biological father, she crushed it, thinking her mother was having an affair. Her mother, Ms Sanjeewani, had brought her up with her second husband, shielding her from the story of the tragedy that had struck the family. more..

52 TUs pledge support to MS

Dec 20 (CT) Trade union coalition for a just society comprising 52 trade unions, the biggest gathering of trade unions pledged its support to common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena at the forthcoming Presidential Election, at a media conference held yesterday. The trade union coalition beseeched 6.4 million workers in the country to use their vote to defeat Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Presidential Election. more..

How the People of Sri Lanka united briefly after the Tsunami 10 years ago

Dec 19 (DBS) Ten years ago on Dec 26th 2004 a series of giant Tsunami waves engulfed the coasts and littoral areas in different parts of Sri Lanka. It was a terrible tragedy that resulted in tremendous loss of human life, limb and property. Until the destructive waves rolled over our shores on that fateful day most Sri Lankans were unaware of the Japanese word Tsunami. Today it has entered the vocabulary of SL people in everyday life. more..

Sri lankan deploys newest airbus for Chinese tourists

Dec 19 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's national carrier SriLankan Airlines received its second new Airbus 330-300 on Friday, which will be deployed on flights to Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong, the airline said in a statement. This latest wide body A330-300 aircraft with its superior inflight features and comfort, advanced technological features and enhanced fuel efficiency joins Sri Lankan's existing all Airbus fleet. more..

 Sri Lanka in New Zealand