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Sri Lanka presidential candidate eyes youth to beat pro-China rival

Nov 11 (NAR) As campaigning enters the final stretch in Nov. 16 prez polls, Sajith Premadasa, the leading political moderate in the fray, is staking his hopes for victory on the country's first-time voters. He aims to garner support from those who came of age after the strategically located South Asian island ended a decade of increasingly authoritarian rule. Youth vote accounts for 1.5 million ballots out of 16 million registered voters. more..

After 70 years in power both main parties yet promising development: Lalkantha

Nov 11 (DN) None of the two main Prez candidates would be able to exceed the 50% vote margin, JVP politico K.D. Lalkantha yesterday said. At the initial stage of the election campaign there was no such situation, however the election campaign has now developed into a three way battle. He made these observations at a media brief held at Devon Hotel, Kandy recently. Accordingly, Lalkantha requests people to use their first preference for NPP prez candidate Anura Kumara Dissanayake more..

Not allow southern politicos use NE people for their ends: Sajith

Nov 11 (DM) The NDF prez candidate Sajith Premadasa said yesterday he would end the use of people in the North and the East as a trump card by southern politicians for their ends. Speaking at an election rally in Paddiripu in the Batticaloa District, Mr Premadasa said that he would usher in an era where all citizens of the country would be treated equally. He pledged to have two separate donor conferences for the East and the North to attract investors to develop the two provinces. more..

Video: Do not be deceived by baseless mudslinging: Gotabaya

Nov 11 (AD) As it has been revealed that groups frustrated before the defeat are conspiring to carry out baseless mudslinging propaganda in the days leading up to the prez election, refrain from being misguided, SLPP Prez Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa requests the public. He expressed these views addressing a public meeting held Nochchiyagama. Rajapaksa says that while he and SLFP is educating the public on their policies, more..

3 Indian fishermen arrested in SL waters

Nov 11 (SLN) Navy apprehended 3 Indian fishermen along with a fishing trawler belonging to them for engaging in illegal fishing in SL territorial waters on 9th Nov. The arrest was made by the Northern Naval Command, during a routine patrol in the seas North-West of Kovilan Point. The arrested fishers were brought to SLNS Uththara and seized fishing trawler was brought to the naval base SLNS Elara. The fishers will be handed over to the Assistant Director of Fisheries in Jaffna for onward legal action, more..

'Rajapaksa regime behind abduction, killings'

Nov 11 (DM) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that to bring justice to enforced disappearances and abductions, there was a considerable need to investigate extra-judicial killings and the atrocities that were said to have taken place during the Rajapaksa regime. At a media briefing, Dr Senaratne said that the cases related to the murder of the prominent journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge and the abduction of Prageeth Ekneligoda should be investigated. more..

Video: Gota not a US citizen, says his attorney

Nov 11 (AD) SLPP Prez Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa had legally renounced his citizenship of the US, said President’s Counsel Ali Sabry. Attorney to the prez candidate mentioned this holding a special press brief today (10). He says that there is no truth in the rumors that he is still a citizen of the US. All documents related to the renouncement of citizenship have been handed over to the EC, Sabry further said. more..

Video: Will take a decision on CBK after election: Dayasiri

Nov 11 (AD) General Secretary of SLFP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara stated that a decision will be taken against former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who acted against the decision of the party, after the Prez Election. Jayasekara said that their top priority at this moment is to ensure the victory of SLPP Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the prez election. Meanwhile, it has been decided to remove the SLFP electoral organizers who attended the convention of Organization to Protect SLFP, more..

Video: Two arrested from Mirihana with derogatory leaflets on Gota

Nov 11 (AD) Two persons have been arrested over distributing derogatory leaflets against SLPP candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The stock of mudslinging leaflets has been discovered among the promotional material of Prez Candidate Sajith Premadasa, inside a house in Mirihana, Nugegoda. Reportedly, one of the arrestees is a coordinating secretary employed under Non-Cabinet Minister Harsha de Silva. The suspects are to be produced before the Nugegoda Magistrate Court. more..

Outrage as President pardons killer of Swedish teen

Nov 11 (AFP) Sri Lanka's president has pardoned a death-row prisoner who murdered a Swedish teenager just a week before he leaves office, officials said Sunday, in a move that sparked national outrage. Convicted killer Jude Jayamaha, from a wealthy, high-profile family, walked out of Welikada prison Saturday following the highly unusual amnesty granted by Prez Sirisena. Sirisena, who is stepping down after Saturday's more..

Lanka-Australia trade tops AUD 1.5 bn mark

Nov 11 (DN) As the SL economy continues to grow, opportunities for greater trade and investment will also increase for Australia, said High Commissioner of Australia to SL David Holly. Noting that both SL and Australian govts are working together to create an environment conductive to future growth, he said that Australia’s AUD 27 million per year aid program is focused in ensuring Sri Lanka continues its development as a secure, stable and prosperous partner of Australia in Indian Ocean region. more..

Sobitha Thero’s plea to safeguard elephants

Nov 11 (AD) Ven. Omalpe Sobhitha Thero has called on for the implementation of an elephant conservation policy to protect the wild elephants of SL. The Thero made this plea engaging in a silent protest march organized under the theme Awasan Kunchanadayata Pera Saddanthayange Horawa (Hour of the Giants before the Final Trumpet) in Colombo, yesterday (9). Stating that he hopes to bring this up with the presidential candidates, Sobhitha Thero said that all have forgotten more..

GR’s citizenship row resurfaces

Nov 11 (FT) A fresh row erupted over the citizenship of SLPP prez candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa over the weekend, with Minister Harin Fernando alleging that the former had not completed the process of renouncing his US citizenship, which drew a strong rebuttal from lawyers for the SLPP candidate. The row resurfaced after Fernando, in a lengthy Facebook (FB) post, on Saturday said Rajapaksa’s name has not more..

Cost of construction in SL, highest in S. Asia

Nov 11 (ST) Unit cost of construction in Sri Lanka is the highest in the South Asian region. Construction labour and the cost of the raw materials have been rising over the last five years, and are higher here than other parts South Asian or the South East Asian regions for that matter, experts say. “Our construction labour is about 25 to 30% more expensive than in these regions – especially in India,” Christopher Joshua, Managing Director Access Engineering PLC said. more..

Deadline to apply for temporary IDs for election extended

Nov 11 (AD) The Elections Commission has decided to extend the deadline imposed to apply for temporary identity cards pertaining to the Prez Election 2019 until the 12th of Nov. Application for temporary identity cards for persons who do not have a valid identity card to vote at the prez election commenced on October 18 and it was due to expire yesterday (9). However, according to Commissioner-General of Elections, the deadline was extended following a discussion held yesterday. more..

Jaffna University student council opposes TNA decision to back SP

Nov 11 (Island) Jaffna Uni students’ council, on Saturday, decided not to respect the decision taken by the TNA to support NDF prez candidate Sajith Premadasa. Students say Premadasa has not responded to the 13 demands made by five different parties representing the North and the East. The student council played pivotal role in formulating the 13 demands and enlisting the support of the five Tamils parties for them. more..

SL targets MENA boost via World Expo 2020

Nov 11 (FT) Sri Lanka aims to boost exports to the Middle East and North Africa, along with investments and tourists from the region, through its participation in the World Expo 2020 in Dubai, in the UAE. Officials of the Export Development Board (EDB) said SL’s preparations for the six-month World Expo 2020 were gathering momentum with a host of plans and initiatives in the works. “With an impressive display of products and companies, coupled with aggressive marketing, we hope to increase more..

Economic sentiment improves: Survey

Nov 11 (FT) Sentiment surrounding the economy improved in October, according to the latest LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence (BCI) poll with a third of respondents expecting economic conditions to improve in the next 12 months. An executive who participated in the exclusive monthly survey states: “Due to the upcoming election, we believe that the economy will continue to remain the same and not demonstrate any major improvements or downturns.” more..

Commercial flights begin at Jaffna Int’l Airport today

Nov 11 (Island) Alliance Air, a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India will commence commercial flight operations from Jaffna Int'l Airport to Chennai Int'l Airport tomorrow. It will begin direct flight operations connecting the two cities on Mon, Wed and Sat. The first flight will depart from Jaffna at 12.45 p.m. and arrive in Chennai at 2.10 p.m. This flight is special in many ways. Apart from being Alliance Air’s maiden int'l foray, more..

Gotabaya will ensure equal opportunities for the people with disabilities

Nov 11 (Island) It gives me great pleasure to hear that Gotabaya Rajapaksa has met representatives of the Disability Organisations Joint Front recently and assured them legal reform in order to enable them to enjoy the rights and privileges of all Sri Lankans on an equal basis. The purpose of this article is to render our assistance to him to achieve success in this just and worthy cause. One of the important needs of the differently abled people is the right to access to information. more..

Singer Group reports rs. 27.1b revenue in 1H

Nov 11 (Island) Singer Group reported consolidated revenues of Rs.27.1 billion for the first half which ended 30th September 2019 and Company Singer (Sri Lanka) PLC which is the main marketing arm of the Group records Rs 22 billion for same period which is 3% above the prior year. Company revenue in second quarter grew over prior year by 7%. This is a gradual recovery despite challenging market conditions specially after the Easter Sunday attack and sluggish market conditions. more..

Mathews to return for T20s?

Nov 11 (ST) After Sri Lanka’s frail middle-order was exposed in Australia, national cricket selectors are mulling whether to recall Angelo Mathews to the T20 team just a few months after he was dropped over fitness and a modest scoring rate. Mathews last played in August 2018 when he captained the side against South Africa at home but was overlooked for the short format during the last three series against NZ, Pakistan & Australia. more..

Dinesh wins Para World Silver medal

Nov 11 (CT) Para athlete Dinesh Herath won his second World Para medal when he took the Silver medal in the Javelin Throw (F46) with a seasonal best of 60.59m at the Para Athletics World Championship yesterday in Dubai. Dinesh, who led the Sri Lanka team to the championship this year, threw 60.59m in his very first attempt and skipped all but one attempt from his next five opportunities, but his only valid attempt during the night was more than enough for him to seal the medal. more..

Election Manifestos Implementation Plans

Nov 11 (Island) I have been under pressure from friends and erstwhile colleagues to comment on the election manifestos of the prez candidates, at least of the three main contenders. My feeling is that a lot of thought has gone into their preparation and they deserve to be commended for these efforts. They also agree that whatever good intentions expressed by them must be incorporated into plans of action and implemented diligently. Whatever deficiencies and inconsistencies there are in manifestos more..

The state of the race: A sprint to a close finish ahead

Nov 11 (RN) The race appears to be closer this week with the principle candidates sprinting to the finish. Gotabaya Rajapaksa is said to be ahead and the younger challenger, Sajith Premadasa closing in fast. Team Gota had, for a few days, decided to go into a holding pattern as they felt they were comfortably ahead and did not want to push the campaign or their candidate to the fore lest they make mistakes. more..

We need a strong, unswayable, calm and confident leader

Nov 11 (Island) One feels these days that the only people who can predict the future with any degree of confidence (in his own predictions) are the fortune tellers. My phone and computer are deluged by opinions on every possible angle of the forthcoming elections and on every possible opinion, criticism, slander, flattery, fulsome praise and sometimes even genuine and well deserved praise. (Not too much of that last however!) Fortunately, we still manage in the midst of this avalanche of words, more..

Would Lanka dare take the mega Millennium Challenge?

Nov 11 (ST) Next Sunday morn, the smoke signals that have been emitting from the countryside’s rocky outcrop would have finally made clear its message and the distant drums that had been indistinctly beating what destiny holds for this nation would have come closer home and made its sonorous import clear after the island citizens had engaged in the tribal right of choosing its leader and caparisoning the chosen one with the highest power of the land. more..

සජිත් ප්රේමදාස on SLVLOG

Editorial: All bark and no bite

Nov 11 (Island) The CIABOC has launched an advertising campaign to publicize its hotline. It asks the public to call 1954 if it takes a bribe to get the job done. The real problem is that the CIABOC is not doing its job properly, we reckon. Before trying to cleanse other institutions, it has to put its own house in order. Opposition activists are berating the CIABOC for not probing the ruling party politicians, against whom many complaints have been lodged. No action has been taken against more..

A case for Sajith

Nov 11 (SO) “The common hope of the entire country is how to change this rotten, corrupt political and societal system.” Candidate Sajith Premadasa made this critically concise, piercingly persuasive statement on Thursday, just nine days before the final faceoff. He added, “I will appoint a new, first-time PM who will be endorsed by the majority.” Why did he say what he said? This essay undertakes to comprehend what he said and unravel the reasons why he said it. more..

'TNA decision was unanimous: Sajith was the better choice'

Nov 11 (SO) In less than a week, SL citizens all over the island will go to the polls to select the country’s eighth executive president. There is no denying that, irrespective of the result, this election will mark a crucial turning point in Sri Lanka’s political history. A stark choice faced voters in the 2015 prez election. The people were called upon to choose between perpetuating authoritarian rule and turning a democratic corner. more..

Premier stakes 2020: Putting the record straight!

Nov 11 (DM) SL has held seven Prez Elections since the introduction of the 1978 Constitution. Not in any one of these seven have so many questions arisen during the election campaign regarding the PM under a newly-elected Prez. On more than one previous occasion both Parliament and the people have had surprises imposed and one such surprise PM even ended up being the Prez! Why then has the question, who will be PM, hit the campaign trail so hard as happened at this prez election? more..

The politics of blood and a decisive presidential poll

Nov 11 (ST) Seven days to go for a crucial Prez poll, Pohottuwa campaigners visiting predominantly Catholic belt neighbourhoods with flyers containing images of blood stained altars of the Katuwapitiya and Kochchikade churches while soliciting the vote for former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa must be reminded that the blame for allowing jihadists to flourish unchecked in Sri Lanka is multi-faceted. Today, as SLFP leadership inks electoral pacts with Rajapaksa-led Pohottuwa, more..

SLPP alone expends over 59% of total election campaign expenditure

Nov 11 (CT) An Independent polls observing Body which embarked on a mission to probe campaign expenditure of presidential hopefuls, has uncovered the shocking revelation that front runners have spent in excess of one billion rupees on their polls campaigns, in less than three weeks. The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) has so far calculated that the three main contenders, from the SLPP, NDF and NPP have spent more..

Anura, Sex and Gender Politics

Nov 11 (CT) Women, sex, sexuality, feminine hygiene, reproductive rights have all emerged front running themes and game changers in the Prez Election of 2019. As Kate Millet famously wrote in her groundbreaking book Sexual Politics in 1970, what is personal is political. The male worshipping Pohottu People seem to exhibit very little sensitivity towards these issues in their singular adulation of the Rajapaksa men. The best they could muster to face the PADMAN was to call a line of more..

From White Vans to Menses

Nov 11 (CT) Albert Einstein was known for his thought experiments, which he used as a tool for understanding physical issues and for teaching his ideas to others. If you are a man, here is a simple thought experiment for you: Imagine, once every lunar month, blood oozing continuously out of your phallus for a week. Would you use a rag to cover and plug your phallus? If you had a choice, would you say, “I would rather have my hair on fire for a week”? Men cannot handle menses. more..