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 ]

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Sri Lanka Presidential Election and Minorities!! [ more ]



Expat Lunchbox: What to Eat in Colombo, Sri Lanka

If you don’t have a doting parent, devoted spouse or a dutiful domes...


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

Canadians are not feeling good about the performance of the federal Co...


Sri Lanka leader asks Tamils to 'forget the past'

Sri Lanka's president asked minority Tamils to "forget the past" as he...



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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 ]

Sri Lankan government censors Prasanna Vithanage’s latest film

[ WSWS ][ Dec 18 14:45 GMT ]

In another serious attack on fundamental democratic rights and freedom of artistic expression, the Sri Lankan government has demanded extensive cuts to Prasanna Vithanage’s With You, Without You. The film is the last in the writer-director’s Sri Lankan anti-war trilogy. Vithanage has been told he cannot publicly screen the film anywhere in Sri Lanka unless he makes the changes ordered by the government’s Public Performances Board (PPB). With You, Without You is based on a novella by Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky. [ full story | comments ]

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

[ Reuters ][ Dec 17 17:02 GMT ]

A leader of Sri Lanka's opposition said he would scrap a $1.5 billion deal with China Communications Construction Co Ltd (601800.SS) to build a port city if the challenger to President Mahinda Rajapaksa wins next month's election. Chinese President Xi Jinping launched the project, which will be built on reclaimed land in the capital, Colombo, when he visited in September. Opposition parties say that some infrastructure deals struck by Rajapaksa's government, which has become heavily dependent on China for infrastructure, did not follow appropriate tender procedures and were not transparent. [ full story | comments ]

Obama to announce historic overhaul of relations; Cuba releases American

[ CNN ][ Dec 17 16:34 GMT ]

President Obama is also set to announce a major loosening of travel and economic restrictions on the country. And the two nations are set to re-open embassies, with preliminary discussions on that next step in normalizing diplomatic relations beginning in the coming weeks, a senior administration official tells CNN. Talks between the U.S. and Cuba have been ongoing since June of 2013 and were facilitated by the Canadians and the Vatican in brokering the deal.In 2013, Obama drew praise from advocates of changing U.S. policy toward Cuba when he said the U.S. had to be "creative" and "thoughtful" about fostering change on the island. [ full story | comments ]

It’s raining judges in Ontario

[ CLM ][ Dec 17 15:12 GMT ]

Late Tuesday, Justice Minister Peter MacKay announced 22 appointments to the bench in Ontario. Of those, 17 are new appointments and many of them are Crowns, former Crowns, or government lawyers. Ontario had the largest number of unfilled positions in the country at 31. There had not been a federal judicial appointment in the province since April. While these appointments are a bit of an early Christmas present to the Ontario bar and go some way to filling the gap in the courts, the province still isn’t at full throttle. [ full story | comments ]

Rishad pounces on Ranga

[ Island ][ Dec 17 14:06 GMT ]

Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen pounced on Nuwara Eliya District MP J. Sri Ranga at a meeting in Colombo on Monday over public criticism of him and his party in the run-up to January 8, 2015 presidential election. Vanni District MP Bathiudeen lambasted the General Secretary of the Citizen’s Front for having clandestine links with the government while publicly denouncing All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC), a constituent of the SLFP-led coalition. [ full story | comments ]

Rebuilding Sri Lanka after the flood

[ Scotsman ][ Dec 17 13:52 GMT ]

Ten years ago Scots contributed £2.7 million to Catholic aid in tsunami-struck Sri Lanka. Life is now better than it was before, says Alistair Dutton, is the director of the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF). Thanks to Scottish donations, SCIAF has been able to build new houses for 420 other families. In addition to the new homes, I saw other signs that people had not only recovered, but were now living better lives than before the tsunami. No-one can take away the pain and the grief of the loved ones lost in the tsunami, but for those that were left behind it has been an opportunity to build better lives. [ full story | comments ]

Govt says 87 Indian fishing vessels in Sri Lanka’s custody

[ PTI ][ Dec 17 13:43 GMT ]

As many as 87 Indian fishing vessels are in custody of Sri Lanka and the government has taken up the issue with the country’s authorities, Lok Sabha was informed on Wednesday. Minister of state for external affairs Gen V.K. Singh said in a written reply that as on 12 December, there were 87 Indian fishing vessels under the custody of Sri Lanka. He said government attaches the highest importance to the safety, security and welfare of Indian fishermen and, in this regard, has consistently taken up the issue of release of Indian fishermen and boats with the government of Sri Lanka. [ 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 ]

EU court takes Hamas off terrorist organisations list

[ BBC ][ Dec 17 18:41 GMT ]

A top court of the European Union has annulled the bloc's decision to keep the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas on a list of terrorist groups. The decision had been based not on an examination of Hamas' actions, but on "factual imputations derived from the press and the internet", judges found. The court said the move was technical and was not a reassessment of Hamas' classification as a terrorist group. It said a funding freeze on the group would continue for the time being. [ full story | comments ]

Burning issues facing Sri Lanka ahead of January polls

[ IRIN ][ Dec 17 17:01 GMT ]

As Sri Lanka gears up for a presidential election five years after the end a long separatist rebellion, the country, especially the war-scarred North, faces a raft of unresolved chronic problems. Analysts regard many of them as long-term drivers of conflict. The front-runners in the January poll are incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is seeking an unprecedented third term (thanks to a constitutional amendment passed by the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), and his former minister of health, Maithripala Sirisena. Both are southerners. [ full story | comments ]

The heart of Jaffna Tamil community

[ Star ][ Dec 17 15:22 GMT ]

“The area was where the first generation of Jaffna (Sri Lankan) Tamil community in Malaya settled. Many of them were government clerks staying at the Hundred Quarters. Further away, where KL Sentral and Brickfields Asia College are now situated, stood rows of government quarters for Indian civil servants back then. “They sweated blood to build these establishments to preserve their culture and heritage,” said an old-timer of Brickfields who preferred to remain anonymous. [ full story | comments ]

ANALYSIS: Justin Trudeau's Liberals lead in year-end polls

[ CBC ][ Dec 17 15:07 GMT ]

A flurry of federal polls over the last few days has painted a picture of Canada's political landscape as the year comes to an end. However, what that picture shows is up for interpretation. Three polls, all conducted in early December, have been published in the last week. The race is still tight in Ontario, though the Liberals may have given themselves a little breathing room. The race in Quebec is still primarily between the Liberals (32 per cent in the averages) and the New Democrats (28 per cent), but of note is the improvement in the Conservatives' position. [ full story | comments ]

Sri Lanka opposition opposes China’s $1.4 billion port project

[ Customs Today ][ Dec 17 13:54 GMT ]

Sri Lanka’s opposition accused China of destroying the island’s pristine beaches and warned Beijing its $1.4 billion port investment could be in jeopardy if they returned to power. Former prime minister and opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said his party would take a fresh look at “haphazard reclamation” of land near Colombo harbour for a new port city. He said that if you build the port city, the (western) coast (of Sri Lanka) will be completely destroyed. Chinese President Xi Jinping during a brief visit to Sri Lanka in September launched construction of the $1.4 billion port city that will give Beijing a firmer foothold in the Indian Ocean region. [ full story | comments ]

Maithri’s rally sabotaged

[ Daily Mirror ][ Dec 17 13:44 GMT ]

The stage and decorations for a rally for the Common Opposition Candidate Maithripala Sirisena at Wanduramba in Galle was sabotaged this morning by an unidentified gang. Police said the unidentified gang has arrived in two defenders, set fire to the stage and decorations with petrol and also damaged a vehicle and speakers. Baddegama Pradeshiya Saba member Premalal Liyanage who filed a complaint with the Wanduramba Police also said three individuals installing the speakers are missing. Southern Provincial Councilor Bandula Lal Bandarigoda said the three men may have been abducted. [ full story | comments ]

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

[ Xinhua ][ Dec 16 14:19 GMT ]

Chinese Ambassador Wu Jianghao said he believes Sri Lanka needs to continue upgrading its infrastructure and enhance cooperation with China in other sectors of the economy. "We want to utilize the achievements in infrastructure construction to promote our cooperation in other fields, such as in manufacturing, services and finance," he said. "We will enlarge the cooperation between the two countries, promote the negotiations on free trade area. We will take full advantage of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and increase Sri Lanka's investment appeal," Finance Ministry Secretary P.B. Jayasundara added. [ full story | comments ]

>> News Archives

Featured News

[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]

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

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

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

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Sri Lankan government denies using state resources to skew pol