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UNP MP denies endorsing GTF views

Nov 24 (CG) UNP MP Dr Harsha de Silva denied claims that he had backed the views expressed by the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) during an interview on Al-Jazeera television. He said that he had agreed to take part in the interview last week after he was told that Minister Keheliya Rambukwella will be the other guest. However, he said that when the interview went on air live, he found that GTF spokesman Suren Surendiran more..

Police unit under Polls Chief?

Nov 24 (DM) Amidst indication that violence will surge in the run up to the presidential poll, Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya decided to seek the establishment of a police unit directly answerable to him in containing such activities. Mr. Deshapriya said he was planning to make such a request from Police Chief N.K. Ialngakoon. “I have decided to engage with the IGP to discuss this matter. But, I have not taken more..

Kandamby, Jeevan recalled; Kulasekara, Chandimal dropped; Sri Lanka ring changes

Nov 24 (CI) Sri Lanka have named a substantially changed ODI squad for the first three games against England, jettisoning several ODI regulars in favour of players who had not been part of the limited-overs sides in the past year. Sri Lanka will effectively field a new-look attack against England, but the most left-field selection is that of a batsman. Thilina Kandamby, 32, has not played and ODI since 2011, but will now be considered more..

UPFA defectors betray country at behest of international conspirators – NFF

Nov 24 (Island) UPFA govt defectors were betraying the country at the behest of international conspirators, NFF Media spokesman Mohammed Muzammil charged. He said that an international conspiracy by some foreign embassies, NGOs, Tamil diaspora and some Tamil organisations had surfaced. Their only motive was to defeat President Rajapaksa, who would never allow foreign or local powers to more..

India flooded with joy

Nov 24 (SL) Four years of deep sorrow ended on Wednesday (19) for the families of the five TN fishermen who were languishing in Welikada prison facing the danger of life imprisonment if not death at the gallows. Thanks to President Rajapaksa, smiles reappeared on the faces of the wives, sisters, brothers, children and parents of the five young men “unfairly” charged of smuggling 995 gm of heroin into north SL more..

Jaffna’s youth hit the bottle

Nov 24 (ST) More than 15,000 litres of alcohol are consumed daily in the former war-torn district of Jaffna – a dramatic increase in liquor consumption patterns, statistics reveal. Figures show some 6 million litres of arrack and beer and 5m litres of toddy were consumed last year in Jaffna district, which has a population of under 600,000. This year, 4.2m litres of beer and arrack were consumed in Jaffna up to September. more..

'We will shatter coalition & isolate this govt'

Nov 24 (DM) Minister Rajitha Senaratne has always cut a rebellious figure in the local political arena and this image was further boosted when he left the govt to join common opposition movement that has fielded SLFP stalwart Maithripala Sirisena as the much anticipated common candidate to contest against President Rajapaksa at the upcoming presidential polls. From believing President was fit to win Nobel Prize, more..

Balancing malls and temples

Nov 24 (DM) Sri Lanka’s media landscape today is reflective of the inherently contradictory nature of modern human life. On the one hand, there is hardly any TV channel in the country that does not give a prominent place to religious sermons, in particular the Buddhist ones, that often emphasise the futility of perusing an overly materialistic way of life. On the other, such religious programming is frequently interrupted by advertisements that strive to entice people to go behind a whole range of more..

Let sovereign people make informed choice

Nov 24 (DM) On Nov 5, President Percy Mahinda Rajapaksa perhaps unknowingly set off the ignition for what is turning out to be one of the most momentous and historic periods in Sri Lanka. The use of the phrase ignition of a motor vehicle is appropriate because of the passion for expressways, racing cars and even spacecraft. Phrases and symbolism apart, it was on Nov 5 that Mr. Rajapaksa sought an opinion from the Supreme Court on whether he had the right to call for more..

A budget defeat and parliament dissolution ?

Nov 24 (CT) The fate of Budget 2015 hangs in the balance with speculation rife of more crossovers when it is taken up- for vote today in Parliament at 5 p.m. If the Budget is defeated, the Parliament stands dissolved automatically under the provisions of the Constitution and the President's will, under powers vested in him, issue a proclamation directing the Commissioner of Elections to call a General Election. more..

JHU praises Maithripala Decision soon

Nov 24 (CT) The JHU congratulated Maithripala Sirisena on his decision to contest as the common Opposition candidate, JHU's national organizer Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said. Maithripala Sirisena is one of the senior ministers in the SLFP and a politician with much experience Warnasinghe said. "Moreover, he has earned the respect of the people, being a genuine man and with sound morals. Furthermore, there are no allegations of corruption about him. more..

Another mega housing complex for underserved communities

Nov 24 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa opened another mega housing complex for the underserved communities in Colombo. The newly constructed ‘Sirimuthu Uyana’ Housing Scheme situated at Bandaranaike Avenue in Colombo 14, was opened by the President at a grand ceremony on Friday evening. During the ceremony, President handed over legal documents to the houses to the beneficiaries. The 12-storied housing complex comprises 546 modern housing units. more..

Political parties urged not to exploit papal visit

Nov 24 (Island) The Catholic Church has again strongly opposed attempts by the SLFP-led ruling coalition and the Opposition alliance to use the forthcoming papal visit to the advantage of their respective presidential election campaigns. The Church has intervened in the wake of several Catholic politicians launching poster and billboard campaigns. Director, Media Information Centre for Papal visit, Rev. Fr. Cyril Gamini more..

Lending a leg to change your life

Nov 24 (DN) Rotary International has linked up with the Rotary Club of Capital City and Rotary Clubs from Mumbai to meet the needs and provide limbs to those immobile in Sri Lanka. The Colombo Friend In Need Society (CFINS) sought the assistance of the Rotary Club of Capital City, RI D-3220, Sri Lanka and Maldives to help upgrade their products. The Rotarians then came aboard joining hands in an International Jaipur Foot Prosthetic Limb Project between India and Sri Lanka, more..

IGP stands tall

Nov 24 (LT) An attempt to illegally transfer thousands of police officers of various grades when a presidential election has been announced has been stopped by the mediation of the IGP. Already, a large number of illegal transfers have been carried out in the Department of Police but all transfers that were to be carried out after the announcement of the presidential election have been cancelled. Most of the urgent transfers in the Department of Police have been carried out without more..

President warns betrayers: ‘I have your files’

Nov 23 (DN) President Rajapaksa on Saturday warned party-men who betray and cross to the opposition not to throw stones while living in glass houses. “I have their files and documents which will be very detrimental to their well being. I will not use them against those who had left betraying the party, but I warn them not to throw stones from inside glass houses,” he said. The President said from the time of Aluvihare, more..

Campaign to protect wild elephants

Nov 24 (LBT) An initiative was launched on Nov 18 by the Colombo Jewellery Store (CJS) in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society (SLWCS), to use the backdrop of the remote Pussellayaya and Weheragalagama villages in Wasgamuwa, home to about 350 elephants, to place its ‘Unforgettable’ campaign to seek sustainable solutions for the villagers to live united with the elephants in the wild, encouraging a cohesive tolerance and a habitat that would more..

Dambulla onion farmers stage protest

Nov 24 (AD) Big onion farmers in Dambulla staged a protest blocking the Jaffna- Kandy A9 road near the Dambulla Economic Center, this morning (23). A part of the A-9 road from Dambulla clock tower had been closed, and now open for traffic. The farmers alleged that they receive an unfair market price with the authorities not being able to use its controlled price due to importation of onion for several months. The consumer is currently buying onion at the market price of Rs. 80-90 per kilo, more..

President moves to stabilize Polonnaruwa

Nov 24 (Island) Following Polonnaruwa District MP and SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to challenge President Rajapaksa at the forthcoming presidential election, the latter yesterday addressed all elected UPFA representatives in Polonnaruwa District. President received an assurance from UPFA representatives they would stand by the SLFP leader. more..

SFs encourage interaction between Sinhala, Tamil students in EP

Nov 24 (CT) Security Forces (SFs) personnel in the Eastern Province (EP) organized several programmes to encourage closer interaction between the Tamil and Sinhala students in the Province. Different social activities, including Shramadana campaigns, seminars and educational tours were conducted with entertainments such as musical shows for the Tamil and Sinhala students from the remote areas in the province. Shramadana projects to clean the premises of more..

Doctorate for President from Thai University for service to Buddhism

Nov 24 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been conferred a doctorate by the Surindri Rajabhat University of Thailand in honour of the services he rendered to uplift Buddhism in Sri Lanka and abroad. The Surindri Rajabhat University functions under the administration of the King of Thailand. The University has appreciated the yeomen services rendered by the President to safeguard Buddhism and measures taken for the protection of Buddhism. This is the first occasion such a doctorate more..

‘Conspiracy to take MR before international court by April’

Nov 24 (DM) Govt said an interview telecast recently on Al-Jazeera was related to a discussion by some opposition MPs with regard to the possibility of President Rajapaksa being taken before an international war tribunal by next April. “We are aware about the covert walks by night by certain politicians to those foreign missions. Foreign conspiracy to oust President Rajapaksa and replace the govt with a one that danced to their tune more..

Govt to establish a separate Drug Addicts Rehabilitation Centre

Nov 24 (GDI) The Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms has taken steps to construct buildings for Kandakadu Treatment and Rehabilitation Center. It is expected to construct necessary buildings for the establishment of a separate centre for the rehabilitation of drug addicted persons to be useful citizens through counseling, religious and aesthetic activities, educational activities, vocational training and sports. Ministry of Rehabilitation of Prison Reforms is more..

Killing accused acquitted due to contradictory evidence

Nov 24 (Island) A person accused of assaulting a woman and causing her death was acquitted recently by Galle High Court Judge as the evidence against him was contradictory. The accused was a trader Nimal Thilaka (45). He had been indicted with the killing of Kananke Liyanarachchige Nandawathi (50) by assaulting her with a coconut scraper on August 24, 2005. The suspect had been going from house to house dealing in furniture, police said. According to the evidence led at the trial more..

'Private sector must take bold steps for strong economic growth'

Nov 24 (CT) I thank Business Today for having invited me as the Chief Guest for this event, which recognizes the Top 25 Companies in Sri Lanka for the last financial year. The recognition given to these companies is the result of the hard work and diligence of their directors, management, executives and staff in increasing shareholder value. At the outset, I extend my warm congratulations and best wishes to them for their outstanding more..

Ramprakash wants 'no fear' England

Nov 24 (CI) Most teams have begun to shift their ODI cricket into World Cup gear, but for England, the trip to Sri Lanka is not so much a training run for the big event, as it is an expedition. Dismissed as World Cup no-hopers by former players near and far, they are looking for the means with which to hoist themselves out of their one-day funk. They are in search of one thing in particular. England are now in the homeland of early-overs batting aggression; where explosive starts more..

It’s a two horse race from main parties

Nov 24 (Island) With the JVP deciding against fielding a candidate at the seventh presidential election now scheduled for Jan 8, 2015, there is no likelihood of a smaller party nominating a candidate of its own. Asked whether the five-party TNA had decided on its position, MP A.M. Sumanthiran said that they haven’t met yet to discuss their stand. At the first presidential election held in October, 1982, JRJ and Kobbekaduwa polled 34,50, 811 and 25,48,438, respectively. more..

At dance place, Asanga Domask presents a taste of her Sri Lanka

Nov 24 (WP) If Asanga Domask entered one of those box-jumping squat competitions at a CrossFit gym, she would win — not because she has spent hours lifting weights but because she is a Sri Lankan dancer. Flying leaps and deep knee bends are key to preserving her country’s cultural heritage. Domask spent most of her opening number at Dance Place on Saturday with her thighs parallel to the floor, about 18 inches off the ground. more..

Global Big Players Collaborate To Save Tea Industry

Nov 24 (DM) Although global tea plantations are under threat from climate change and competition for land, life without tea is unthinkable for the billions of people who rely on their cherished cups of tea to get them through the day. Tea crops the world over are facing multiple threats, from climate change and water shortages to rural de-population and low wages. Therefore, serious are these threats that some of the world’s biggest tea companies are joining forces to combat them. more..

Editorial: D-Day

Nov 24 (Island) Resentment within the ranks of any government, however powerful it may be, usually finds expression in a split or at least an attempted breakaway as well as attendant rifts. Even the J. R. Jayewardene government with an unprecedented five-sixths majority (obtained under the first-past-the-post system in 1977 and illegitimately retained with the help of a referendum in 1982) was troubled by the threat of a split towards its tail end though JRJ had obtained undated resignation letters from more..

'we need An active and well-informed society'

Nov 24 (NS) Former Chairman of the Panadura Urban Council and first Chairman of the UPFA Nandana Gunathileke was the first notable figure to resign from the ruling UPFA Govt states that many irregularities were taking place and they were unattended by the party leadership. The veteran politician began his politics from the JVP where he ended up as the General Secretary of the Front. Gunathileke contested the more..

Mobitel rings inflight deal with 15 airlines

Nov 24 (FT) Mobitel is reaching new heights with its superior roaming facilities that offer a higher level of connectivity onboard across 15 leading airlines with voice, SMS and data accessibility to suit the roaming requirements of Mobitel customers travelling to almost any part of the world. The special inflight roaming services would be available among airlines including Sri Lankan Airlines, Emirates, British Airways, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines, Philippine Airlines, more..

SL's future is in the growth of SME sector

Nov 24 (CT) Lankaputhra Development Bank Chairman H.S. Dharmasiri in an exclusive interview said that the future of Sri Lanka depends on the future of SMEs. The market is small; at present around 60% of the GDP comes from SMEs. Our ultimate object is developing at least 100 SME leaders. The present ones in the fold will grow to be the large and big ones in the near future. Lankaputhra Development Bank is a licensed specialized Bank fully owned by Govt of SL. more..

Common Candidate true story: Dinesh reveals 1988 Opposition

Nov 24 (CT) Q: How did this secret mission start? A: 1988 was an era of terror which is now forgotten by many people. There were both the JVP terror and State suppression. We discussed about the Presidential Election with the SLFP and the other leaders of the Opposition. Premadsasa was the UNP candidate and the competition was tooth and nail. The Presidential campaign was very hard and there were more..

Social responsibility in universities in unstable times

Nov 24 (GV) Guest lecture delivered at the international conference, ‘Revisiting Social Responsibility in Contexts of Crisis: Challenges and Possibilities in Sri Lanka’ at Faculty of Arts, University of Colombo, 17 Nov 2014. Vice Chancellor, the dean and colleagues, let me wish all of you a very good morning. When the Dean, Faculty of Arts wrote to me some time ago and asked if I am willing to speak at this conference under the theme, more..

President, After the poll

Nov 24 (SL) By naming incumbent SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena as the common Opposition candidate in the polls to nation’s highest office, Opposition may have surprised President Rajapaksa. If not to the same extent, it might also many a liberal in the UNP, who are averse to Sinhala-Buddhist nationalism beyond the decimation of the terrorist LTTE. This is not to say that Maithripala is a weak candidate, or the Opposition has a losing proposition already on hand. more..