Sri Lanka presidential challenger vows to cancel Crown casino licence

[ Reuters ][ Dec 20 11:22 GMT ]

Mithripala Sirisena, who is challenging Mahinda Rajapaksa's bid for a third term as Sri Lanka's president, will cancel a casino licence given to Australia's Crown Resorts Ltd if he wins the vote, his party's manifesto said. With an eye on the votes of Buddhists opposed to the casinos, Sirisena's New Democratic Front said it would also cancel a licence given to Sri Lanka's most valuable listed company John Keells Holdings if he comes to power in the Jan. 8 election. [ full story | comments ]

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Sri Lanka Presidential Election and Minorities!! [ more ]

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Revisiting seaside Sri Lankan village a decade after tsunami like sequel to a horror movie

For the first time in 10 years, my wife, Sian, and I climbed the small...

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Are free and fair elections possible in Sri Lanka?

An island nation is ticking as pressure builds up from within. The te...

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China’s key role as Sri Lanka rebuilds after 2004 tsunami

WHEN the Indian Ocean tsunami pulverised much of the town of Hamba...

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Scarborough Paint Centre

 

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Japan deports dozens of Sri Lankan, Vietnamese asylum seekers

[ Japan Times ][ Dec 20 11:31 GMT ]

In a move lawyers and activists denounced as “inhumane,” Japan deported 26 Sri Lankans and six Vietnamese on Thursday, including a “sizable” number of denied applicants. It was the third round of mass deportations conducted using a specially chartered plane, the Justice Ministry and a support group said Friday.“Even though these people were deemed ineligible for refugee status by the government and deporting them is not illegal, the fact remains that they face great danger of persecution by their government back home — for reasons such as their political activities,” said Hiromi Takahashi, a lawyer and adviser to PRAJ. [ full story | comments ]

CM disappointed over Sri Lanka's unwillingness to release Tamil Nadu boats

[ TNN ][ Dec 20 11:27 GMT ]

The Tamil Nadu government on Saturday expressed disappointment over the Sri Lankan government's unwillingness to release boats of Tamil Nadu fishermen impounded by the Lankan navy for crossing the international maritime boundary line. "In view of the approaching Christmas festival, the state government will, however, release of all the 30 fishermen from Sri Lanka on December 22. We expect that the Union government will ensure that the 66 fishermen from Tamil Nadu in Sri Lankan custody will also return home well in time for Christmas," Panneerselvam said, indicating, however, that Tamil Nadu government too would not release Sri Lankan boats in its custody. [ full story | comments ]

Revisiting seaside Sri Lankan village a decade after tsunami like sequel to a horror movie

[ The Age ][ Dec 19 16:53 GMT ]

For the first time in 10 years, my wife, Sian, and I climbed the small staircase to the balcony of our apartment at the Sea View Hotel in the seaside village of Unawatuna, near Galle in Sri Lanka. The previous time, we were racing to beat the rapidly rising water and awesome power of the Boxing Day tsunami that engulfed the coast of Sri Lanka. It was eerie being up there again – like a sequel to a horror movie. [ full story | comments ]

China’s key role as Sri Lanka rebuilds after 2004 tsunami

[ The Australian ][ Dec 19 16:51 GMT ]

WHEN the Indian Ocean tsunami pulverised much of the town of Hambantota in Sri Lanka 10 years ago, locals wondered if it would ever recover. A decade later, a $US1 billion ($1.22bn) port is being built and a $US209 million airport has opened, along with a convention centre and a cricket stadium for 25,000. A 10-storey hospital is under construction near signs warning of wild peacocks. Much of Sri Lanka’s resurgence since the tsunami that killed 35,000 people in the nation has been with help from China. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka elections: Sirisena pledges war crime inquiry

[ Hindu ][ Dec 19 11:24 GMT ]

Sri Lanka’s main opposition presidential candidate said the country cannot be charged with war crimes in the International Criminal Court, but he will launch a domestic inquiry if he wins a January election. Maithripala Sirisena said in a policy statement on Friday that Sri Lanka has not ratified the statute that established the international court, and that he would therefore institute an investigation by a local independent court. [ full story | comments ]

How Caste Plays a Role in India’s Biggest Classical Music Festival

[ Wall Street Journal ][ Dec 19 04:08 GMT ]

One of the world’s biggest – and longest – festivals of classical music and dance begins in Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu state, this week but only a tiny percentage of the city’s residents will enter the concert halls to listen or take part. South Indian classical music, or Carnatic music, is dominated by performers, audiences and organizers from the Brahmin community that sits atop the country’s caste hierarchy and accounts for less than 5% of Tamil Nadu’s population. The proportion of Chennai made up of Brahmins is roughly the same. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka think tank calls for a genuine truth seeking mechanism

[ PTI ][ Dec 19 03:51 GMT ]

A leading Sri Lankan think tank has called for a “genuine and credible domestic process” to probe allegations of human rights abuses in the country during the last phase of war with LTTE in 2009. The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), a leading public policy think tank here noted that the Commission, operating under the Commissions of Inquiry apparatus, is structurally flawed, given its dependence on the Executive for appointments, financing and follow up action. Calling for a “genuine and credible domestic process at truth seeking, justice and accountability,” the CPA warned that “failure in this regard further confirms the inability of domestic processes to address grievances in a post-war context and strengthens calls for international investigations.” [ full story | comments ]

Expat Lunchbox: What to Eat in Colombo, Sri Lanka

[ Wall Street Journal ][ Dec 18 16:11 GMT ]

If you don’t have a doting parent, devoted spouse or a dutiful domestic at home, chances are you will spend most weekday afternoons in a bit of a bind. Often, the weather here is too sweltering to wander around the dispersed neighborhoods in search of affordable restaurants, and with 20% tax or more at most outlets, this quickly becomes a costly affair. So one winds up with fast-food take-away. And if, like me, you come from Singapore, where a hawker center filled with cheap and tasty options is a basic right, lunch hour in Colombo can seem difficult — until you discover the “bath” packet. The Sri Lankan “bath” packet, which translates to rice packet, is the island’s answer to the Japanese bento box. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka leader asks Tamils to 'forget the past'

[ AFP ][ Dec 18 14:50 GMT ]

Sri Lanka's president asked minority Tamils to "forget the past" as he campaigned for re-election Thursday (Dec 18), vowing not to allow another uprising after decades of ethnic war. President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is seeking an unprecedented third term, told a public rally in the former war zone of Mullaittivu that Tamils should join him to rebuild the battle-scarred region. He made no reference to allegations that his troops killed some 40,000 Tamil civilians in the final months of fighting, when the leadership of the Tamil Tiger separatists was wiped out. "Let us unite. Forget the past. Let us develop this country together," he said in an address broadcast live. "We cannot let history repeat in this country." [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka, the world's most seductive island

[ Daily Life ][ Dec 18 14:49 GMT ]

Women sashay past, saris fluttering and hips swaying rhythmically to the thumping drums. The high-pitched whining of a wind instrument draws me like the call of the Pied Piper. I'm swept along by the crowd of spiritual devotees circling a massive white stupa at Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka's Cultural Triangle. The region, in the centre of the island, was the seat of two powerful kingdoms, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. It's the place to visit for statues, relics, ruins and to soak up Sri Lanka's days of glory. There's an air of mystery around the Cultural Triangle and although more than 2000 years have passed, I can still feel the seductive tug of power from a long-gone kingdom that was once great. [ full story | comments ]

After Mauritius, India to export warships to Sri Lanka

[ IANS ][ Dec 20 11:28 GMT ]

India will now export two warships to Sri Lanka after delivering a warship to Mauritius for the first time, Minister of State for Defence Production Rao Inderjit Singh said here Saturday. "From Sri Lanka, we have received an order to build two off-shore patrol vehicles (OPV) and they are under construction in Goa Shipyard," the minister said on the sidelines of the ceremonial delivery of warship CGS Barracuda to the Mauritian Coast Guard."This is the first time the export barrier has been breached... This will be the first in the long line of ships that we hope to export from our country... I think the country can feel proud that the ship-building industry has come of age," the minister said. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka: SEP presidential candidate addresses Colombo meeting

[ WSWS ][ Dec 20 11:24 GMT ]

“Rajapakse’s health minister Maithripala Sirisena has defected from the government and become the ‘common opposition candidate’ in order to more closely embrace US imperialism,” Wijesiriwardena said. “He has been selected and promoted by former president Chandrika Kumaratunga, who is an adviser to the Clinton Global Initiative. This organisation is affiliated to the US-based Clinton Foundation, which is notorious for its behind-the-scene operations in countries whose governments do not toe American foreign policy. [ full story | comments ]

Are free and fair elections possible in Sri Lanka?

[ The Commentator ][ Dec 19 16:52 GMT ]

An island nation is ticking as pressure builds up from within. The tear drop in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka, is on the edge. At stake for its populace, is freedom, the most basic right denied to the Sri Lankan people, despite decades of democracy. Sri Lanka, no doubt, has an unbroken record of regular elections dating back to 1931. Elections alone, however, cannot lay claim to a transparent and fair system. Critics of its current President Mahindra Rajapaksa say he has demonstrated exactly this reality, since he came to power in 2005. [ full story | comments ]

Lanka Opposition to forge closer ties with India

[ PTI ][ Dec 19 13:50 GMT ]

Sri Lanka's main opposition today pledged to have closer ties with India that would be neither "anti-Indian nor dependent" if they win the January presidential polls against incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa. "Our Indian policy will take into due consideration the diversity of India. I would act to have closer relations with an attitude that would be neither anti-Indian nor dependent," Sirisena, a former health minister who triggered a revolt in Rajapaksa's ruling coalition said in his 63-page election manifesto. He said that he "will make Sri Lanka again the centre of distribution of the knowledge and discipline of Indian as well as Asian Buddhists." [ full story | comments ]

In Sri Lanka’s Post-Tsunami Rise, China Is Key

[ Wall Street Journal ][ Dec 19 04:12 GMT ]

When the Indian Ocean tsunami pulverized much of this town 10 years ago, locals wondered if it would ever recover. Then China stepped in. It came through with money for big projects including a $1 billion port and a $209 million airport. It is also providing assistance for other developments across Sri Lanka, including a $500 million Colombo port expansion, new highways and rail links, a $1.4 billion landfill project near Colombo’s financial district and a $1.3 billion power plant. [ full story | comments ]

Demand in LS for declaring Tamil classic as national scripture

[ PTI ][ Dec 19 03:51 GMT ]

An AIADMK member on Thursday demanded in Lok Sabha that Thirukkural, a Tamil classic written by saint Thiruvalluvar, be declared a "national scripture", saying such a decision will add to the pride of country. P R Sundaram's demand comes days after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj suggested that the Centre should declare Bhagavad Gita as a ?Rashtriya Granth? (national scripture). She had said only a formality remained to be done in this regard. In the House today, Sundaram said the book, which consists of 1330 couplets offering the saint's commentary on almost every aspects of human life, is without any discrimination against caste, creed or religion. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka Military Denies Dabbling in Politics

[ AFP ][ Dec 18 21:02 GMT ]

Sri Lanka's military Thursday rejected opposition allegations that it had deployed troops to campaign for President Mahinda Rajapakse's re-election. Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya denied opposition claims that soldiers were distributing material in support of the President who is seeking an unprecedented third term at the January 8 elections. "The statement that the army has employed soldiers for election-related propaganda is baseless and extremely presumptuous," Wanigasooriya said. [ full story | comments ]

Canadians not happy with Tories or direction of country, poll suggests

[ Globe and Mail ][ Dec 18 15:30 GMT ]

Canadians are not feeling good about the performance of the federal Conservative government and the direction of the country, but they are more positive than they were last year, a new poll suggests. A survey released Thursday from Nanos Research and the Institute for Research on Public Policy found that 45 per cent of respondents rated the performance of Stephen Harper’s government as poor or very poor, with 37 per cent rating it as very or somewhat good. Forty-eight per cent of respondents said the country is going in the “wrong direction,” while 37 per cent said the country was going in the “right direction.” [ full story | comments ]

Govt in talks with Lanka to find solution on fishermen issue

[ PTI ][ Dec 18 14:49 GMT ]

Government is steadfastly working in close cooperation with relevant stakeholders in finding a long-term solution to the Tamil fishermen issue, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Thursday. In a written reply, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said India and Sri Lanka have discussed measures for expeditious release of bonafide fishermen and have set up a Joint Working Group (JWG) to resolve the issue. "Government is steadfastly working, in close cooperation with the relevant stakeholders, in finding a long term solution to the Fishermen's issue," she said in her reply. [ full story | comments ]

Insights into Mahinda Rajapaksa’s re-election campaign on social media

[ Groundviews ][ Dec 18 14:47 GMT ]

On the same day the Centre for Policy Alternatives, through an online survey, flagged the importance of social media in the up-coming Presidential Election to reach young voters, a series of retweets offered a glimpse into the strategic social media eco-system supporting the re-election of the incumbent President, Mahinda Rajapaksa. [ full story | comments ]


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[The Age - Dec 19, 2014 16:53:38 GMT]

Revisiting seaside Sri Lankan village a decade after tsunami like sequel to a horror movie


[The Commentator - Dec 19, 2014 16:52:43 GMT]

Are free and fair elections possible in Sri Lanka?


[The Australian - Dec 19, 2014 16:51:45 GMT]

China’s key role as Sri Lanka rebuilds after 2004 tsunami


[Wall Street Journal - Dec 19, 2014 4:12:37 GMT]

In Sri Lanka’s Post-Tsunami Rise, China Is Key


[Wall Street Journal - Dec 19, 2014 4:08:57 GMT]

How Caste Plays a Role in India’s Biggest Classical Music Festival


[PTI - Dec 19, 2014 3:51:17 GMT]

Sri Lanka think tank calls for a genuine truth seeking mechanism


[Wall Street Journal - Dec 18, 2014 16:11:10 GMT]

Expat Lunchbox: What to Eat in Colombo, Sri Lanka


[Globe and Mail - Dec 18, 2014 15:30:38 GMT]

Canadians not happy with Tories or direction of country, poll suggests


[AFP - Dec 18, 2014 14:50:45 GMT]

Sri Lanka leader asks Tamils to 'forget the past'


[Reuters - Dec 17, 2014 17:02:25 GMT]

Sri Lanka opposition vows to scrap China port deal if wins election


[IRIN - Dec 17, 2014 17:01:26 GMT]

Burning issues facing Sri Lanka ahead of January polls


[Scotsman - Dec 17, 2014 13:52:19 GMT]

Rebuilding Sri Lanka after the flood


[Xinhua - Dec 16, 2014 14:19:16 GMT]

China,Sri Lanka to expand investment through 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiative


[Island - Dec 16, 2014 14:11:23 GMT]

Offering material inducements without policy change to win votes


[SAAG - Dec 16, 2014 13:31:50 GMT]

Sri Lanka: Don’t underestimate Rajapaksa