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JHU splits as Udaya switches allegiance to President

Dec 12 (Island) WPC member Udaya Gammanpila yesterday returned to the UPFA’s fold to back President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s re-election bid, after resigning as the JHU’s Deputy General Secretary. He warned that in the event of Maithripala Sirisena securing the presidency the country would be plunged into an unprecedented crisis. Gammanpila said he had been left with no option but to quit the JHU as his priority more..

Final volume of Judge Weeramantry’s memoirs launched

Dec 12 (FT) The Ambassador of the Netherlands to Sri Lanka, Louis W.M. Piet, launched the third volume of ‘Towards One World’ – the memoirs of renowned jurist and former Vice President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Judge C. G. Weeramantry – in Sri Lanka on 8 December in Colombo. Prior to its local launch, the book was released on 17 November at the Great Hall of Justice of the International Court of Justice at the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands. more..

Brandix walks the talk at SLDF Fashion Innovation Runway

Dec 12 (Island) Metallics, neon colours, laser cuts, sequins and leather vied for attention when Brandix, Sri Lanka’s inspiration-driven apparel manufacturer, brought the curtain down on the ‘Fashion Innovation Runway’ of the Sri Lanka Design Festival (SLDF) with a show-stealing segment. In-house designers and the products of several business units within the Brandix Group came together to present ‘Urban Collective’ – an assortment of purpose-designed casual wear, active wear, more..

'Senior Minister decides not to join JOF on account of age'

Dec 12 (Island) A Senior Minister who was to join the Joint Opposition Front (JOF) this week had decided to remain in the govt on account of his age, a minister who defected to the Opposition recently, said. Former Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the minister concerned had told him on Wednesday that he was disgusted with the dictatorial and undemocratic manner in which the Rajapaksas ruled, but on account of his age, more..

Sirisena's brother confident of sib's victory

Dec 12 (CT) The Opposition common candidate, Maithripala Sirisena's brother, Dudley Sirisena is confident that his brother will waltz to a landslide victory at the forthcoming Presidential Polls. Dudley Sirisena and Central Council Provincial Councillor, Azath Salley held a joint public rally at the Wellington theatre grounds in Valaichenai in the Kalkudah electorate on Wednesday (10). The public rally was attended by a large gathering of Tamil and Muslim people in the area. more..

Sirisena to herald in 'right to information' age

Dec 12 (CT) Common candidate, Maithripala Sirisena said when he is elected President he would have the 'Right to Information Act' passed in Parliament within 100 days. He added that they will finalize their election manifesto today and will be able to release it to the public in the coming few days. He added, both the print and electronic media, under the ownership of State and private institutions had a role to play in informing the people of the real situation of the country. more..

A spiritual high: Climbing Adam’s Peak

Dec 12 (WSJ) It was the mountain of a million yawns. All over the flagstone stairway, people slumbered in various uncomfortable positions. Some huddled in groups, their heads on their arms. Others sat on benches, hats pulled low to block out the lights of the tea stalls. Parents trudged uphill with their children slumped on their shoulders. For half the year, such sleepy scenes are a ritual on the slopes of the 7,359-foot-high Sri Pada, more..

Root hit the Sanga level: Cook

Dec 12 (CI) Alastair Cook's search for a significant ODI score goes on but his side showed impressive composure in completing a five-wicket win in the fifth ODI against Sri Lanka. Joe Root's third hundred of 2014 and a second consecutive half-century for James Taylor helped England to overhaul their target after play resumed on the reserve day, meaning they are 3-2 down in the series with two to play. Having dismissed Sri Lanka for 239 on Wednesday, with Chris Woakes taking more..

'H'tota: Next centre of excellence in Asia'

Dec 12 (CT) Aiming to make Hambantota the centre of excellence in the Asian region, govt has invested heavily to develop facilities in keeping with modern standards, to act as a catalyst for the govt to realize its vision of becoming a regional hub. Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that Hambantota was SL's first modern and planned city with an international standard port, airport, export processing zones, world class sport facilities, international convention centre & many more. more..

'Sri Lanka performing well with our grants'

Dec 12 (CT) The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) said yesterday, that Sri Lanka has been performing well with JICA grants, showing its cordial support towards achieving its goals, which is the wish of JICA too. JICA's Director-General of the South Asia Department of Arai Toru said that JICA has extended its technical cooperation in 10 fields and has offered 17 loans and 15 grants from 2009 onwards since more..

MAS and Brandix express confidence on future of apparel industry

Dec 12 (FT) Two of Sri Lanka’s prominent apparel leaders on Saturday expressed confidence in the future of the industry though global challenges remain. At the South Asia Apparel Leadership Forum 2014, MAS Holdings Chairman Mahesh Amalean and Brandix CEO Ashroff Omar shed some insights on the future outlook for Sri Lanka apparel. At the session moderated by Favourite Group Managing Director Kumar Mirchandani, the duo was questioned on how they were more..

John Keells 2Q revenue Rs 291 M, Profits Rs 88 M

Dec 12 (CT) John Keells PLC – a member company of the JKH Group, subsidiary – has released its financial results for the quarter ending 30 Sept with a 45% quarterly revenue increase to Rs 291 million and profit for the period of Rs 88 million, up 641% from the 16 million group loss of the corresponding 2013 quarter. In 2013 there was a loss from discontinued operations of Rs 46 million in the 30 Sept quarter. For six months to 30 Sept, income statement shows a profit of Rs 156 million. more..

'SLFP will rally around Sirisena in case of his victory'

Dec 12 (Island) University don turned MP Rajiva Wijesinghe was in the news recently for having crossed over from the govt to the opposition and for having appeared on Al Jazeera with the head of the GTF Suren Surenthiran where he made some utterances that have been given various interpretations. In this interview, he speaks to C.A. Chandraprema about his Al Jazeera interview, and his support for Maithreepala Sirisena. more..

Mobitel, mobile communications partner for Papal visit to Sri Lanka

Dec 12 (Island) Mobitel today announced that the Catholic Church of Sri Lanka has chosen the National Mobile Service Provider as the Exclusive Mobile Communications Partner for the forthcoming Papal visit scheduled for next month. His Holiness Pope Francis is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka on the 13th of Jan. During his 3 day visit, his holiness will celebrate a mass for the Catholic’s of Sri Lanka at Galle Face Green, where thousands of faithful devotees are expected to participate more..

Editorial: Horses and donkeys

Dec 12 (Island) The upcoming presidential poll is bound to go down in history as the electoral contest that caused the highest number of crossovers. Its aftermath is also likely to see many more defections as well as the return of some turncoats. Some more crossovers are expected during the next few days and both the government and the Opposition are determined to outdo each other in the defection circus as it were. Common presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena has assured his more..

The Piper and his broken charm!

Dec 12 (FT) The 8 Jan 2015 presidential election is a feeding frenzy for international conspirators and the LTTE rump. The candidacy of Maithripala Sirisena is not part of the democratic attempt to effect change through a multi-party, pluralistic electoral process. He is Washington’s pawn in the grand geopolitical struggle for influence between the US and China. The Sirisena candidacy project is the brainchild of more..

Uranium in fertilizer

Dec 12 (CT) Radioactive uranium is definitely found in the fertilizer bought into the country and there is no testing taking place, Senior Professor of Geology, C.B. Dissanayake said. The academic attached to the Department of Geology of the Faculty of Science at the Peradeniya University, added that although the scientific community had brought the matter to the notice of the relevant State authorities on many an occasion, counteracting forces with commercial interests had intervened. more..

GL, Sajin failed to take things forward

Dec 12 (CT) GL and Sajin meanwhile failed to take things forward in the other area which had been entrusted to them, in that they brought nothing from the negotiations to the PSC. It became such a joke that even representatives of the hardline parties asserted this and said it should be wound up. This made sense for nothing of what we had discussed, the unexceptionable measures which the TNA had accepted in principle, and which could have been fleshed out by the PSC, a Second Chamber more..

Mullaitivu lands under threat

Dec 12 (CT) The clearing up of forest land and distributing it among powerful businessmen and political henchmen has been increasing since the end of the war in 2009 as large swathes of land which were unusable in the past became available for farming and development. While development is essential, especially in the war affected areas, unplanned activities, ignoring all environmental laws would bring about more..

The Cleansing

Dec 12 (NS) The battle is over. A certain defeat was saved by a serendipitous puddle of bodily secretions. The Man from the South has been inaugurated for a third term as president of the Resplendent Isle like no other. Barnacle Wicky has been in an induced-political coma since the saliva and mucous debacle. Uncles and nephews like nieces have demanded an explanation from Barnacle, why he was not wearing slip-proof boots during the sluggery at the Hila. more..

An absolutely useless politician: Tissa Attanayake

Dec 12 (CT) When I was small my father Mr Richard de Silva, a veteran English journalist, had many close friendships with the political advocates of Sri Lanka at that time. He used to take me to the parliament gallery as I was keen to hear good speeches and political debates in the parliament and he used to mingle with the all politician’s in JRJ era. That is the time I remember. Then media minister, late Mr Ananda Tissa De Alwis was a very close friend of my father. more..

Welfare programs continue for landslide areas

Dec 12 (SO) One month after the Meeriyabedda landslide tragedy the plight of the affected people can be heard only occasionally. Immediately after the incident this poverty-hit community in the estate sector captured the world's attention as the incident made global media headlines and generous donors and kindhearted people came to support them. There are 1,213 displaced people belonging to 342 families in welfare camps. more..

Mahinda and Maithripala compare headaches

Dec 12 (NS) Everyone talks about the candidates. The candidates themselves talk about each other. In a parallel universe they actually talk WITH each other. And so we ‘heart’ Mahinda Rajapaksa comparing notes with Maithripala Sirisena. It was almost as though each was discussing an election that the other was contesting. ‘How are things going, Maithri?’ Mahinda opened with a question. ‘You know how it is, Janadhipathithumani…’ Maithri began but was cut short. more..

Sir, Madam and the political culture of SL

Dec 12 (CT) This is election time. Seeing what is happening, hearing what is being said, recognizing who comes to the fore, it is inevitable that our attention is drawn to the concept of South Asian political culture. Some highlights may shed light on the direction this article is taking. The other day someone took about ten minutes to remove the garlands from around the neck of Maithripala. Maithripala claimed that he will continue to call Chandrika, a Madam and Ranil, a Sir. more..

Udaya resigns, joins govt

Dec 11 (CG) JHU deputy general secretary Udaya Gammanpilla today joined the govt after resigning from his party and pledged support to President Rajapaksa. Gammanpilla said that he had communicated his decision to resign from the JHU to JHU General Secretary Champika Ranawaka. Explaining the reasons for his decision to leave the JHU and opposition alliance backing Maithripala Sirisena for President, more..

Opposition takes power of Nuwara Eliya PS

Dec 11 (NS) The opposition has taken control of the Nuwara Eliya Pradeshiya Sabha. The change of power occurred after Palani Digambaram and P Radhakrishnan, two former Deputy Ministers from Nuwara Eliya District, joined the opposition yesterday. Digambaram was from National Workers' Union while Radhakrishnan was from Up-country People's Front.Along with them 4 Provincial Council Members and 34 members of local government bodies joined the opposition. more..

Capital punishment to Sarpaya

Dec 11 (AD) The Ratnapura High Court today sentenced to death a Provincial Council member of the UNP in connection with a double murder case which took place in 2001. PC member Hasitha Muhandiram alias ‘Sarpaya’ was accused of killing two persons by running over them with a vehicle in Kalawana area in Ratnapura. Muhandiram who was the chief organizer for Kalawana was elected to the Sabaragamu Provincial Council with highest preferential votes from the Ratnapura District more..

Monitors call for peaceful polls

Dec 11 (CG) Local election monitors, in a joint statement today, called for a free, fair and violence free Presidential election and raised concerns over the prevailing conditions in the country. The PAFFREL, CMEV, TISL, CaFFE, MFFE, MDL and NPOC said that it is a right of the people to be able to choose a candidate of their choice within the framework of a free and fair contest. “Sri Lanka is presently in the midst of more..

Video: Mangala gives black marks for campaigning officials

Dec 11 (DM) The common opposition today announced its decision to open a ‘Big Black book’ where the names of all govt officers who are involved in election campaign would be written while all these names and their details would be handed over to foreign missions in Sri Lanka. Mr. Samaraweera said they had already found out the names of some high ranking officers of the security forces including few major generals from the army, admirals from the navy, DIGs, more..

Namal Rajapaksha to challenge Mahinda Rajapaksa

Dec 11 (EN) 19 candidates, including President Rajapaksa, have paid deposits for contesting the January 8 elections, but an unexpected Namal Rajapaksha too entered the fray at the last minute, the elections commission said. However, the Namal Rajapaksha taking the president head on is not the Hambantota district MP and eldest son of President Rajapaksa, but a human rights lawyer. The Elections Secretariat will accept nominations for the presidential polls Monday morning. more..

Video: My life is in danger: Solangarachchi

Dec 11 (DM) State sponsored goons had been unleashed on him and his that his life was at risk, Prasanna Solangarachchi, who teamed up with common opposition candidate Maitripala Sirisena, said today. He is the Chairman of the Kotikawatte-Mulleriyawa PS. He said persons, appeared to be from the STF, were following him in Defender vehicles after he left the govt and decided to support Mr. Sirisena. more..

Sri Lanka Air Force flies spares to repair Male water plant

Dec 11 (EN) Sri Lanka Air Force Thursday flew spares and other parts urgently needed to repair the desalination facility in the Maldivian capital Male whose breakdown caused a drinking water shortage on the atoll. An SLAF C-130 Hercules transport aircraft flew the equipment from Singapore to Maldives following a request from the Government of Maldives. "Due to the size and dimensions of the cargo, it was not feasible to dispatch the equipment on a commercial flight." more..

Senanayake flaunts his elbows

Dec 11 (CI) Sachithra Senanayake 1.0 had been shy about showing his arms, but now having been reconfigured, partly in a lab, he has embraced his inner exhibitionist. His nude elbows were on brazen display on his return to international cricket, and the crowd drank in the details of his arm's angles and flex. The elbow jiggled a bit in his run up, and though it had a slight kink during the delivery swing, did not seem to straighten. Senanayake took two wickets in his first spell, assured that the assets more..

Root century leads England to fine victory

Dec 11 (CI) Joe Root's third ODI century of the year helped England to a five-wicket victory in Pallekele and maintained their hopes of winning the series against Sri Lanka. Root came to the crease after the loss of two early wickets and with his side facing a familiar nemesis: a trial by spin on a dry pitch. But he exuded calm and skill, provided deft touches and powerful blows, and ran like a whippet between the wickets. more..

Sri Lanka navy detains 27 TN fishermen, releases them after warning

Dec 11 (PTI) Sri Lankan navy detained 27 fishermen from Tamil Nadu on Wednesday night, accusing them of poaching in the island nation's waters, and released them on Thursday morning with a warning. While 13 fishermen from Jagadapattinam in Thanjavur district were detained along with three boats, 14 fishermen from here were held with their three boats when they were fishing in the mid-sea late on Wednesday. The Lankan navy personnel also damaged their fishing nets, more..

Gunasinghepura Housing Scheme given a new birth

Dec 11(GDI) Gunasinghepura Housing Scheme has been given a new birth. The money then utilized for the war has now been put into repairing of houses. Ranil Wickremasinghe held the reins of govt for one and half years from 2001. No money was ever given for reconstruction of these houses. Our leader who ended the war has now taken action to repair these houses. We did not go into the politics of the residents, whether they were of the UNP, SLFP or they belonged to other parties. more..