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Genesis of Northern qualm

Nov 26 (SL) The employment statistics in Sri Lanka are flawed said Dr Muttukrishna Sarvananthan, Principal Researcher, Point Pedro Institute of Development. He pointed out that the official figures take unpaid farm work as employed and even work of one hour per week is counted as employment. “This inflates the employment figures. That is why in official statistics, the unemployment rate in Sri Lanka is as low as 4%. more..

In Search of a Statesman

Nov 26 (DM) This year, as I put pen to paper to commemorate the birth of a great Sri Lankan, the country is gearing for a decisive election. While we feel his absence even more at this juncture, we have every reason to celebrate the birth of Lalith Athulathmudali; a scholar, an orator, a pragmatic politician and a true son of the soil whose exemplary commitment to the country can hardly be matched. This article will search for the Statesman whom we lost 21 years ago as we celebrate his life. more..

Who blocked the Bibile policy? expose them

Nov 26 (DM) On Friday, the day on which SL’s political scene took a historic turn, former Health Minister and common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena made a shocking disclosure about what was happening in the vital health service. Mr. Sirisena, who had been the Health Minister since 2010, told a packed news conference a powerful force had prevented him from implementing Prof. Senaka Bibile’s National Medicinal Drugs Policy to make quality drugs more..

Election monitors urge end to poll violence

Nov 26 (AFP) Sri Lanka's elections chief and pro-democracy activists on Tuesday urged police to stem a spate of campaign-related violence that has flared since President Rajapakse declared his re-election bid. Commissioner of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya said he had asked police to bring to justice those responsible for two shooting incidents since Friday, involving govt supporters and backers of main opposition more..

Postal Voting on Dec 23 and 24

Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya has announced that the postal voting for the forthcoming Presidential election will be held on 23rd and 24th December. He informed that the application procedure for postal votes for the upcoming Presidential Election has already commenced and applications will be accepted until the 4th of Dec. The Election Department requested the Public sector officials who expects to cast postal votes to apply for postal voting. more..

Japan Airlines and SriLankan Airlines launch codeshare cooperation

Nov 26 (eTN) Japan Airlines (JAL) and SriLankan Airlines (UL), both members of oneworld® alliance, have agreed to implement a codeshare relationship with each other for the first time and will commence codeshare flights from December 2, 2014 on UL-operated flights between Tokyo (Narita) and Colombo, the flights between Colombo and Male, as well as the flights between Bangkok and Colombo. Meanwhile, UL will place its flight indicator on JL-operated flights between more..

Sajith dreams of a prez from UNP but pledges support to Sirisena

Nov 26 (Island) UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa, has said that he still dreamt of a president from the UNP. Reminiscing of his father, R Premadasa’s commitment to securing a commanding five-sixth majority in Parliament for the then JRJ’s govt, he said that the party always dreamt of electing a UNPer as the president. "Even today our dream is the same," Premadasa said, adding that it was his personal opinion. more..

'Maithri cannot make Ranil PM'

Nov 26 (CT) JVP Western Provincial Councillor, K.D. Lal Kantha said, even if the common Opposition candidate, Maithripala Sirisena, is elected the Executive President, he has no powers to appoint UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister. "That powers lies with Parliament," Lal Kantha said adding the JVP will not field a candidate in the coming Presidential Election, as it would give it legitimacy for Rajapaksa's contest. "We don't want to take part in this farce. more..

FDI to improve in coming years

Nov 26 (CT) Despite failures to attract desired foreign direct investments during the last two years, inflows in the coming years are expected to perform beyond expectation as a result of relaxed exchange controls and major infrastructure developments. However, many industrial experts and economists have warned of negative outcomes from several policy decisions taken by the govt. Central Bank said that high foreign inflows are expected during the next year and beyond as a result of more..

'President Rajapaksa the last Executive President of Sri Lanka'

Nov 26 (DN) When all international challenges, the LTTE threat and the threat of separatism ends, President Mahinda Rajapaksa will himself declare that he is the last Executive President of Sri Lanka, SLFP Treasurer and Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said yesterday. Minister Alahapperuma said the day President Rajapaksa announces an end to the Executive Presidency will come definitely before 2020 (2015-2020). more..

Only the Rajapaksa govt. capable of abolishing ex. presidency - Dilan

Nov 26 (Island) Only the UPFA govt could abolish the executive president as it had a two-thirds majority in Parliament, Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Minister Dilan Perera said yesterday. Addressing the media, Minister Perera said that Maithripala Sirisena couldn’t abolish the executive presidency. Hestressed that though the Mahinda Chinthana had pledged to abolish the Executive Presidency, it was not the biggest issue people were faced with. more..

Johnston warns imported rice price will be reduced to tackle hoarding

Nov 26 (FT) Minister of Internal Trade Johnston Fernando yesterday asserted that the Govt would reduce the selling price of imported rice if suppliers continue to hoard rice and limit the supply in the market. Addressing the Annual Convocation of the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) at the BMICH yesterday, Fernando charged that the suppliers were creating a shortage in the market to increase prices during the run-up to the presidential election. more..

MAS Intimate wins coveted Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award 2014

Nov 26 (FT) MAS Intimates Ltd. last night bagged the coveted Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award 12014 presented by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. The 1st Runner-Up was Commercial Bank, while the 2nd Runner-Up was Aitken Spence. The annual awards scheme saw the ‘Sustainability’ stars of the corporate world being recognised for their untiring efforts to adopt ‘Best Sustainability Practices’ more..

Aussie, Kiwi Plastic surgeons in East

Nov 26 (CT) A team of medical experts in Plastic surgery, including Anesthetists and Nursing staff have arrived from Australia and New Zealand on the initiative of the former Health Minister. Treatment will be carried out free of charge and the surgical activities have been sponsored by the Plastic Surgical Unit of the National Hospital of Sri Lanka. They conducted a free preliminary clinic, on Monday, at the Batticaloa Teaching Hospital and screened 90 persons for free surgery more..

Father and son killed in wild jumbo attack

Nov 26 (Island) A 45-year-old worker in a quarry and his six-year-old son were killed by a wild elephant in Aralaganwila in the early hours of yesterday while they were fast asleep. The victims had been identified as Periyasami Muttaiah (father) and M. Shashikumar and they were residents of No. 2/223, Ukuwela, Nagollawatta, Matale. The incident had occurred around 1.30 a.m. There had been two other workers in the house at the time of the elephant attack but they had managed to run more..

Maithri, CBK breath fire against MR

Nov 26 (FT) Presidential challenger Maithripala Sirisena hit back against the Govt yesterday, saying his removal as General Secretary of the ruling SLFP was unlawful. “I am still the legal General Secretary of the SLFP,” Sirisena said, as he addressed media personnel following a visit to the Bandaranaike Memorial in Horagolla. Due process had not been followed in the stripping of his SLFP membership and his position in the party, more..

UN ESCAP meeting to raise SL’s profile

Nov 26 (DN) Sri Lanka’s interest in hosting the this year UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia And the Pacific (ESCAP) - Asia Pacific Business Forum will raise the country’s profile and create opportunities for trade, tourism and investment, Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene said. Addressing the Asia Pacific Business Forum inauguration ceremony held in Colombo he said many of the delegates who are attending the conference are from private sector more..

'LFCs and SLCs should look at CB as an ally'

Nov 26 (Island) Licensed Finance Companies (LFCs) and Specialized Leasing Companies (SLCs) should look at the Central Bank as an ally that provides them with good regulations and input for sustainable business practices, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said Monday at the Directors Symposium- 2014 organized by the Central Bank for the seventh year and held at the Kingsbury. "2015 road map to be unveiled on Jan 2, 2015 will give you further clues as to how more..

President arrive in Nepal

Nov 26 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Nepal this morning ahead of the 18th SAARC Summit that is taking place in Kathmandu Nov. 25-27. Upon his arrival, the President was warmly welcomed by Deputy PM and Minister for Home Affairs, Mr. Bam Dev Gautam, at the VVIP Lounge at Tribhuvan International Airport. President was offered the guard of honour by Nepal Army. more..

Protective canopy for Maligawila statue

Nov 26 (Island) Department of Archaeology had commenced constructing a canopy for the protection of the Maligawila Buddha Statue, which is known as the tallest ancient free-standing image in Sri Lanka, at a height of 37 feet 10 inches (11.53 m), Director General of Archaeology Dr Senarath Dissanayake said. He said that the protective canopy was being constructed on the instructions of President Rajapaksa at a cost of Rs 15 million released by the Ministry of National Heritage more..

Hakeem in Malaysia

Nov 26 (Island) Justice Minister and SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem is on an official visit to Malaysia to meet his counterpart in that country and hold discussions with high level officials of the trade chamber and Malaysian Arbitration Centre. He will be a panelist at a forum under the theme "Hyper connected world-challenges in the Nation Building". He will also be participating at the annual general assembly of United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), Malaysia’s largest political party, more..

'Buy entire country's catch' – fishers demand

Nov 26 (CT) President Rajapaksa's proposal to purchase the entire fish catch of fishermen along the Negombo coast line at a fair price must be extended to the fish caught by fishermen all over the country, All Island General Fisheries Federation said. This follows Presiadent's instructions Monday that the Ministry of Fisheries paurchase all fish caught from the Negombo, Chilaw, Kalutara and Beruwala coastal areas, more..

Struggling sides seek World Cup form

Nov 26 (CI) This series, in itself, amounts to very little: just seven more ODIs squeezed into the Sri Lankan rainy season to accommodate a schedule that is already bursting at the seams. But its proximity to the World Cup provides relevance. Two sides struggling for form and to find settled line-ups have another opportunity to define positions and tactics before departing for Australia and NZ. Some players will see their Word Cup hopes enhanced or crushed in coming weeks. more..

A formidable challenge

Nov 26 (NS) It had to happen that way, and the break was only possible with a serious split within the regime. The moment had come for members of the SLFP to take the plunge. And when finally Mr. Wasantha Senanayake, MP, crossed over (the first member of the brave ‘suicide squad’) and mentioned that he knew who the common candidate was, the matter was settled. It had to be one name; Maithripala Sirisena. And yet it was somewhat remarkable, in this day and age of more..

Thirimanne set for middle order role

Nov 26 (CI) Lahiru Thirimanne, Sri Lanka vice-captain, suggested he would continue to bat in the lower middle order until the World Cup, despite having tasted his greatest successes higher up. Thirimanne struck two centuries opening the innings in this year's Asia Cup - for which he received a Player of the Tournament award - but he has been more often seen at No. 5 or lower, as Sri Lanka seek support for Angelo Mathews more..

2015 budget estimates go haywire with erroneous data and records

Nov 26 (ST) The govt’s 2015 sunshine budget with some erroneous estimates, data and records is endangering the country’s economy with relation to 77 expenditure proposals mostly for handouts where the financial allocations to be made from Treasury votes for the medium term 2015-2017 provisions, economic experts warned. Several budget estimates have gone haywire with printing mistakes and miscalculations and Treasury officials were being pressurised to review the whole more..

Plight of Phil Hughes diverts England focus away from Sri Lanka

Nov 26 (Guardian) England’s cricketers are in Colombo and about to begin a seven-match series against Sri Lanka but they have all had Australia on their minds. The focus has not been on the Australasian World Cup, for which they are preparing here, but the plight of Phil Hughes, in hospital in Sydney after being struck on the head while batting in a Sheffield Shield match at the SCG. Hughes has been a team-mate of several of this England squad (those from Middlesex and more..

Create democratic Constitution before 2/3 majority is lost

Nov 26 (Island) Today’s burning issue is the struggle to find a common candidate to contest at the oncoming presidential election. That choice will affect only the next election. But the highest national priority is undoubtedly to save the country from the shackles of autocracy imposed on it by Constitutional amendments made by successive self-seeking rulers. If the inroads made into the people’s freedoms are allowed to continue more..

Players hoping fans will give Big Three good send off

Nov 26 (Island) Sri Lankan cricketers are hopeful that local fans will give a grand send off to the Big Three – Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Tillekeratne Dilshan, who will be playing their last ODI series at home. "Yes, this will be their last series. They are the foundation of our team. They have won us so many games. I sincerely hope the fans will turn up in numbers and give them a good send off," Lahiru Thirimanne told journalists yesterday. more..

Shhhhhh Mr.Sampanthan, not so loud please

Nov 26 (NS) The normally intransigent TNA has suddenly started acting as if they care about presidential politics in Sri Lanka. The president, deputy president and at least one of the deputy secretaries of the TNA have been making coy statements about who the Alliance will support if a presidential election were to be held next year. Wow, the TNA seem willing to take their subservient attention away from their diaspora mafia, however briefly, and actually consider acting more..

'Education system totally politicized'

Nov 26 (CT) General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers' Union, Joseph Stalin spoke about the 2015 Budget's vision for education, while highlighting current issues affecting the sector. He was of the view that Education Minister Bandula Gunawardene had a tuition oriented mindset being a former tuition master and he believed to showcase pass percentages as successes while his deputy minister owned private schools. more..

Mahinda, the problem of the west

Nov 26 (Island) How to solve a problem like Mahinda must be a question asked in London, Washington and may be a few other cities in the west. However, it is a major problem in London and a problem to a great extent in Washington, which will be solved by the west in their usual "democratic" way of good governance and what not by demanding blood. Mahinda Rajapaksa, who defied the west by not allowing them to send a ship to rescue Prabhakaran has been hated by more..

Editorial: Omerta

Nov 26 (Island) It is popularly said that there is a code of conduct even among thieves, but politicians are guided by Rafferty’s rules (no rules at all) in trying to gain or retain power. But, the latter also act with some restraint and apparently abide by omerta or code of silence associated with Mafiosi. The naïve among us tend to believe that the method of setting a thief to catch a thief works in politics. But, with the benefit of hindsight we know it doesn’t. Once ensconced in power, politicians more..

'Maithripala will only be interim resident'

Nov 26 (CT) Western Provincial Councillor and Leader of DPF Mano Ganesan said the ethnic and religious minorities require an environment where they can stand up and speak on their issues and to conduct a democratic political campaign to achieve their aspirations. "Here we have a govt that has totally knocked down the norms of democracy and rule of law. Therefore, we are joining hands with the rest of the country more..

Will Tamils help electing Mahinda again?

Nov 26 (CT) Prabhakaran’s infamous boycott at the 2005 election backfired and paved the way for Mahinda Rajapaksa’s emergence which did not help the separatists’ course. The country as a whole benefited from the boycott that time as MR played the lead role in vanquishing Prabhakaran and his murderous marauders. After the war Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR) had the most conducive political and social atmosphere to be the best-ever leader that Sri Lanka had seen. more..

Opposition’s challenge to govt

Nov 26 (CT) Mysterious are the ways in which political strategies have moved in Sri Lanka. The opposition determined to do its duty by the people labored for long to unseat the incumbent President, perched seemingly secure in power. Weeks of effort and a day’s decisiveness have directed the country towards a new course of hope and promise. The Opposition which had evolved into a national collective of purpose weighed its strengths and weaknesses. more..