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Security and Democracy decisive factors this election

Nov 10 (CT) Blind devotion to two shadow figures will decide the fate of two main horses in the Prez race People of SL, by next week, will exercise their franchise to decide who the next Head of State should be. While there is a record number of 35 nominal candidates in the fray, it is quite clear the race is between two workaholics Gotabaya Rajapaksa & Sajith Premadasa, with Anura Kumara Dissanayake running for the bronze medal. more..

Formed to forward 13 demands: Five-party Tamil coalition shortlived?

Nov 10 (CT) Just a few weeks ago, on the initiative of students from the Northern and Eastern Universities, with the support of certain civil society activists in Jaffna, the TNA, TMK and EPRLF were brought together. This move led to 13 demands being put to the candidates contesting the forthcoming Prez election. The 5-Party Tamil coalition was considered significant as former Northern Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran, who has formed his own political party, the TMK, more..

Gota’s first test: Handling the transition of power

Nov 10 (Island) By this time next week, the results of the prez poll would be rolling in. It is very unlikely that the final result would have been announced by the time the newspapers hit the newsstands. Indeed the EC has said that the final result may not be announced till Monday Nov. 18. Be that as it may, the likely scenario at this election is that the govt would be defeated. Lanka News Web website which can hardly be described as pro-Rajapaksa, observed somberly after Elpitiya PS election more..

අනුර කුමාර දිසානායක

Choose your candidate carefully

Nov 10 (ST) My dear voters, I thought I must write to you as you are contemplating who you would mark that all important cross for, at the big race that will be held next Saturday. It is an important decision and one that could make or break our country, so I hope you will give a lot of thought to your decision and not take it lightly. We have been told that there are a record number of candidates, 35 in all, but I wouldn’t blame you if you are disappointed and feel that you have no good options to choose from. more..

Innovating for progress

Nov 10 (ST) Amidst all the election-related news this week, emerged a non-related but a very important development for the country’s progress – the gazetting of a bill to establish a National Innovation Agency. According to the bill, the objectives of the proposed Agency are to promote better understanding “on social innovation, science and technology innovation, defence innovation, eco innovation and service innovation and their impact on the economy”; make recommendations to more..

'I know how to protect SL, and to develop it'

Nov 10 (CT) SLPP prez candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa says he has a proven track record, as Secretary of Def. & Urban Dev. Ministry, in ensuring both national security and rebuilding the nation. Q: You have no previous political experience. So, can you rule the country and solve its many issues? A: What the country needs is a person who can take the right decisions & lead the country at crucial junctures. more..

Nov 16: Time to make a call

Nov 10 (ST) As the final lap of a somewhat lacklustre election campaign negotiates the bend, 15.9 million voters will be entitled to pick a Prez of their choice next Sat (16). Back in 2015, many who voted for the outgoing Prez Sirisena believed he would be the last of Executive Prezs in the country. Despite a solemn pledge to ensure that would be the case, the early innocence of a well-meaning Prez from a rural background developed into a craving to cling on to that controversial office. more..

Big race finishing

Nov 10 (Island) By the time you read next Sunday’s issue of this newspaper, the prez election would have been concluded and Sri Lanka’s seventh executive president declared, and hopefully sworn. That is, of course, if there is no delay in the counting as neither of the two principal contenders had one vote more than the magical 50% of the ballots cast. If that be the case, second and third preferences of the voters favouring the lead contenders will be counted and added to their tallies. more..

I'm just an identity; not contesting for victory

Nov 10 (CT) Prez Candidate and former TNA MP, M.K Sivajlingam told Ceylon Today, "We accept that the majority in this country is Sinhala- Buddhist, but equal recognition should be given to other religions and communities as well. I would take up the stance in my campaign that this country should be recognised as multireligious, multi-linguistic, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic. We should all be treated equally". more..

Out of the closet, onto the discussion table

Nov 10 (CT) Prez Election is just around the corner. To SL's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community (LGBT) community, this election will be rather special compared to the previous ones - for the first time in SL's history, the human rights of the LGBT community have surfaced as a topic of discussion in the run-up to the elections. LGBT people have always existed, and have always voted. Thus far, however, their human rights have not been a part of mainstream election promises. more..

We fear Gotabaya

Nov 10 (SO) A Series of policy dialogues between prez candidates was a unique feature of the 2019 presidential election season. These are not high pressure debates that make or break candidates in the primary and general election cycles in the US. But they provided brief glimpses into a candidate’s thinking outside the fever-pitch of election rallies and scripted political events. In each one of these, there has been a notable absentee. Gotabaya Rajapaksa claims work interests him more than talk. more..

After Prez election, PM appointed through House vote: PM

Nov 9 (DN) The currently held portfolios in Parliament, including the post of Prime Minister, will have to be freshly appointed once the election results are released, and the person who has the confidence of Parliament will become the Prime Minister, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday. The PM made this response to a question directed at him during the Talk with PM event attended by University academics more..

Colombo asks Pakistani investors to explore new trade, business avenues in Lanka

Nov 9 (PO) Consul General of Sri Lanka G.L. Gnanatheva, while suggesting numerous measures for enhancing trade and investment ties between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, asked the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) to send a delegation to Sri Lanka to explore trade and investment opportunities, besides seek ways and means on how to improve this existing ties with the SL business community. Speaking at a meeting during his visit to KCCI, he stressed that more..

Commonwealth to observe Sri Lanka’s presidential electoral process

Nov 9 (FT) The Commonwealth is deploying a team to observe the Prez Election in SL. A ten member Commonwealth Observer Group, led by former Ghanaian Minister of Interior Prosper Bani, will observe the polls, which take place on 16 Nov. Speaking after constituting the group, Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said: “I want to thank Mr Bani and all the other members of the group for accepting my invitation to undertake this significant assignment more..

Video: Time has come to give the country young leadership: Saijth

Nov 9 (AD) DNF prez candidate Sajith Premadasa says that the whole duty of man is to serve man and that those are the footsteps that he is following in. UNP deputy leader said that he decided to contest the upcoming prez poll in order to fulfill a historic service the people. He stated that the time has come for a young leadership for the country and that it’s about time that a young leadership is given the chance. more..

MCC not beneficial to Sri Lanka: Wijeyadasa

Nov 9 (DM) MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe claimed that Sri Lanka would not benefit from the MCC pact and that not even a cent would be received by the Treasury. He told a news conference that the US$480 million would be received by the particular US company which would undertake the project in SL and according to the MCC pact, the Treasury will not receive a cent. MP said neither the Auditor General nor the COPE would be able to mediate in any of the transactions involving MCC funds. more..

Report places most of the blame on CB

Nov 9 (DM) A senior Finance Ministry source said yesterday the Central Bank did not release the report on the forensic audit on the Central Bank bond scam because the report puts the blame for the bond scam on the doorstep of the Central Bank. He said the CB need not seek the Attorney General’s advice on the release of the five audit reports because they are public documents and that several requests to the CB to release the reports, had not received a favourable response. more..

Video: Gotabaya announces relief package for country’s poor

Nov 9 (AD) SLPP prez candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa says that a relief package will be provided to the poor and needy in the country, as an instant relief measure before the economy if uplifted. Speaking at an election rally, he said that the complete relief package will be presented tomorrow. He said that they have decided to provide a bag of rations free of charge every month especially to low-income families, families which are receiving more..

South Asian Games 2019: FFSL finalises Men's & Women's Squads

Nov 9 (CT) Football Federation SL (FFSL) finalised the Men's and Women's football squads for the upcoming South Asian Games in Kathmandu, Nepal from 1-10 Dec. Unfortunately, Sri Lanka will not have the service of their regular skipper Kavindu Ishan due to an injury to his left shoulder. Kavindu was injured during a FIFA World Qualifier match in South Korea and his absence in the team will be a big loss for the island nation. However, FFSL released a strong team with many seniors more..

Sajith seeks support of SL expatriates

Nov 9 (DM) New Democratic Front (NDF) presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa today sought the support of Sri Lankan expiates for his candidature. In a letter to the Sri Lankan community living abroad, he said the presidential elections this November comes at a crucial time when our country stands at a veritable crossroad in its history, at a time when our democratic traditions, values and institutions as well as the rule of law, are constantly under threat. more..

Racist elements should be defeated: Rishad

Nov 9 (AD) ACMC Leader and Minister Rishad Bathiudeen claims that fraudulent vote buying with cash is being planned to defeat NDF prez candidate Sajith Premadasa and also cautioned voters to not to sell their votes for a few extra rupees. “We have been informed that in the coming days organised vote buying will take place in Mannar area to defeat Sajith Premadasa and us. Do not be deceived by a few extra rupees,” more..

Services of 3 police officers suspended

Nov 9 (DM) The services of three police officers attached to the Hemmathagama Police Station have been suspended for failing to carry out proper investigations into the incident where a 26-year-old mentally disabled girl was sexually abused by a 23-year-old person yesterday at Devanagala, police said. The girl, who was on her way home by bus after attending an SLPP election rally, had been sexually abused on three occasions by the 23-year-old person, who had been identified as more..

Nigeria, Sri Lanka strengthen economic ties

Nov 9 (VML) President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) Adetokunbo Kayode on Friday underscored the need for Nigeria and SL to work closely to deliver on specific programmes, projects and activities. Kayode said this when the High Commissioner of SL to Nigeria, Ahamed Khan visited the chamber on Friday in Abuja. A statement issued by Mr Lubem Gena, Media & Strategy Officer, ACCI, said that several areas of cooperation were discussed during the visit. more..

Video: UNP is in the hands of the TNA: Varadaraja Perumal

Nov 9 (AD) Former North-East Chief Minister and leader of Tamil Social Democratic Party, Varadaraja Perumal, accused the TNA of auctioning the votes of the Tamils to the UNP. He said that he supported former President Chandrika Bandaranaike during her tenure from 1995 onwards. “She promised and we had a hope and she also did to an extent in bringing a reasonable political solution to the Tamil people and more..

Human society guided by Prophet’s divine teachings: PM

Nov 9 (DN) Prophet Muhammad, who is described as the last messenger of God in Islam, was among the religious leaders who had a profound influence on humanity. He dedicated his entire life to build a society based on peace, reconciliation and compassion, states PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in his Milad Un Nabi message. The message: His unwavering commitment in teaching his followers the importance of brotherhood, social harmony and charity in order to lead a blessed life is more..

Prophet’s universal message nourishes world: President

Nov 9 (DN) The birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad, Milad-Un-Nabi is indeed an occasion to reflect on the teachings of the Prophet that helped immensely to make the world better, states President Maithripala Sirisena in his Milad-Un-Nabi message. The message: The teachings of Prophet Muhammad was based on the noble concept of equality that one person is not superior or inferior to another by race, caste or colour. Every human being has equal rights, according to the Prophet. more..

Boosting tourism, IT, FDI key to 6.5% growth: Cabraal

Nov 9 (FT) Development of tourism, IT, and construction industries, coupled with stronger foreign direct investment (FDI), can boost growth to the ambitious 6.5% target outlined by the SLPP manifesto, former CB Ajith Nivard Cabraal said. Along with former SEC Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, Cabraal made a comparison between the manifestos of SLPP prez candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa and NDF prez candidate Sajith more..

EC halts Edu ministry polls eve hanky-panky

Nov 9 (Island) Ministry of Education (MoE) has instructed Principals to halt the admission of 44,000 students to National and Provincial schools, following the intervention of the National Elections Commission (NEC). Earlier the NEC halted admissions to all classes except grades 1, 5, 6 and 11, following an allegation that the MoE was planning to admit a large number of students to other classes on political reasons. Some Principals, too, had objected to the MoE decision more..

Costa Victoria calls on Colombo Port

Nov 9 (DN) Aitken Spence Maritime launched the passenger cruise season with Italy’s biggest tour operator Costa Cruises. The luxurious passenger vessel Costa Victoria called Colombo Port on Nov 5, 2019 carrying 1,739 passengers and 790 crew members on board. Costa Cruises offers cruise holidays to Europe, Mediterranean, Caribbean and Asian destinations. Costa Victoria is adorned with a stunning combination of Italian and Swedish design, with a capacity to accommodate 2,394 more..

'2019 prez poll: War crimes allegations proved wrong, can’t be an issue in North'

Nov 9 (Island) One-time Northern Province Governor, retired Maj. Gen. G.A. Chandrasiri, said that the Tamil vote at the prez poll shouldn’t be influenced by war crimes accusations made a decade ago. Chandrasiri, who served as Jaffna Security Forces Commander during the Wanni war, urged the Tamil citizens not to be deceived by unscrupulous elements still propagating lies at the expense of post-war reconciliation. more..

Commonwealth law ministers resolve to take action on access to justice

Nov 9 (FT) Commonwealth law ministers have unanimously resolved to remove barriers to access to justice in their respective countries, and to deliver Sustainable Development Goal 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions by 2030. The biennial Commonwealth Law Ministers Meeting concluded today with a set of proposed actions to be taken at the national and Commonwealth level. Ministers agreed to address the justice needs of vulnerable persons, including by expanding specialised more..

'Woo foreign investors at highest level'

Nov 9 (DN) Sri Lankan authorities should focus on getting foreign investors who have the ability to transform the economic landscape through mutual contacts at the highest level, internationally renowned artist, architect and engineer Cecil Balmond said. “Investment road shows alone cannot bring the right kind of investors to the island,” he said on the sidelines of a forum in Colombo yesterday. “Sri Lanka should make a greater effort to encourage investors with good plans. more..

Historic $ 608 m One Galle Face mall opens

Nov 9 (FT) Shangri-La yesterday ceremoniously opened Sri Lanka’s first internationally developed and managed mixed-use project, the $ 608 million One Galle Face Mall, which is also the Group’s biggest venture in South Asia. The 7-storey mall, home to over 200 tenants and international and local brands, was declared open by President Maithripala Sirisena and Shangri-La Group CEO Lim Beng Chee. more..

Lankan team leaves for Bangladesh to defend Emerging Asia Cup title

Nov 9 (DN) Emerging Asia Cup cricket champions Sri Lanka will leave for Bangladesh today to defend their title which they won last year. The fourth edition of the tournament will see Under-23 teams of five Test nations from Asia (SL, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan) battling it out with the national teams of Hong Kong, Oman and Nepal for the championship from Nov 14-23. UAE pulled out without stating any official reasons thus making way for Nepal’s entry. more..

Gota frontliner iterates anti-Muslim campaign has been paused for polls

Nov 9 (CT) SLPP’s front organization – Viyathmaga front-liner Prof. Channa Jayasumana says that anti-Muslim campaigns spearheaded by SLPP front organizations had been paused due to the forthcoming 16 Nov Prez Elections, at a book launch held at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute recently. “For four years along with the Maha Sangha we made sacrifices as the national movement to bring out a candidate (i.e. Gotabaya Rajapaksa). I personally believe that we were successful. more..