News Archives
  • Sri Lanka To Build Naval Base At Hambantota

  •    [ Jul 23, 2015 22:49:52 GMT ] [ Indian Express ]

        The Sri Lankan cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal by the Minister of Ports, Arjuna Ranatunga, to do a feasibility study and prepare a plan to build a naval dockyard at the Chinese-built Hambantota port in the island’s deep south. Built with a Chinese loan of US$ 316 million in 2010, the port has been lying virtually unused. It received heavy flak from the opposition United National Party (UNP) and the media after the parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) reported in 2013 that only 6 ships had called at the port in 2011, and 18 in 2012. [ Full Report ]

  • Will remain impartial in the coming election: Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena

  •    [ Jul 21, 2015 13:32:31 GMT ] [ Economic Times ]

        In what could be music to India's ears ahead of the August 17 Parliament elections in Sri Lanka, President Maithripala Sirisena has declared that he would remain neutral, thereby not supporting Mahinda Rajapaksa's efforts to become the next prime minister. Sirisena said also that his Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has many veterans who could become the PM provided the party gets majority. It had surprised many within Sri Lanka and outside when former President Rajapaksa, who was defeated by Sirisena last January, received nomination from the party to contest the parliamentary polls. [ Full Report ]

  • So you think politics in India is complicated? Go to Sri Lanka!

  •    [ Jul 21, 2015 13:29:36 GMT ] [ Rediff ]

        As Indian Parliament gets ready to convene the monsoon session -- and prepares itself for a washout -- it is worth considering what is happening in the parliament of its tiny neighbour, Sri Lanka. A quick recap for those who haven't followed politics in Sri Lanka closely: In January this year, Mahinda Rajapaksa of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party was ousted from the post of president. The elections were due two years later -- Rajapaksa advanced them in a political gamble he lost. Maithripala Sirisena, a minister in his government defected and became the Common Opposition Candidate, supported by a bizarre coalition of a large section of the SLFP (led mainly by Chandrika Kumaratunga, former president and senior party leader), Ranil Wickremesinghe of the United National Party, ... [ Full Report ]

  • Show No Mercy to Rajiv Gandhi's Killers, Says Centre in Supreme Court

  •    [ Jul 21, 2015 13:27:39 GMT ] [ NDTV ]

        The union government has pushed the button on a likely confrontation with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa by asking the Supreme Court not to show any mercy to the killers of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. "This was a brutal incident in which 18 persons died and over 200 sustained injuries and the killers deserve no sympathy or mercy," said the Centre's lawyer, Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, following the line taken by the earlier Congress-led government. [ Full Report ]

  • Ex-LTTE cadre held, cyanide capsules seized

  •    [ Jul 21, 2015 13:25:53 GMT ] [ The Hindu ]

        Police arrested a former militant of the proscribed LTTE and seized 75 cyanide capsules, 300 gm of cyanide, four Global Positioning System sets and seven mobile phones at coastal Uchipulli, near here on Monday. The seizure of the suicide pills carried by the LTTE militants tied around their necks triggered speculation that the LTTE was trying to revive the movement after it was defeated by the Lankan forces in the civil war, which ended in 2009. The police also seized seven mobile phones, Rs. 46,200 in Indian currency, Rs. 19,300 in Sri Lankan currency, Indian and Sri Lankan driving licences from the Lankan Tamil, identified as K Krishnakumar (39), who had served in the LTTE in the 1990s and came to Tamil Nadu in 2009. [ Full Report ]

  • Trudeau switches targets in bid to cut Mulcair’s momentum in polls

  •    [ Jul 21, 2015 13:23:54 GMT ] [ Globe and Mail ]

        The dynamics have changed. Where once Justin Trudeau shrugged off the NDP, insisting his opponent was Stephen Harper, the Liberal Leader has made the telltale decision to switch targets. Now, the Liberals are campaigning like the third-place party, attacking Thomas Mulcair and the New Democrats rather than keeping their guns trained solely on Mr. Harper and the Conservatives. That is driven by the reversal of fortunes for the two opposition parties in which the NDP has taken the lead in many polls, with the Liberals in third. But many Liberals are also feeling that the fall election is shaping up as a referendum on whether Mr. Harper and the Conservatives stay or go –and that those in the latter camp will coalesce behind whichever party seems mostly likely to displace them. [ Full Report ]

  • Political blackmail and the death penalty

  •    [ Jul 21, 2015 13:22:54 GMT ] [ Asian Age ]

        Should Yakub Memon, a convict in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, be hanged? The Bombay high court, the Supreme Court, and the President have all ruled that he should, so there’s little doubt on the legal verdict thus far. A curative petition is pending before the Supreme Court, and is likely to come up for hearing before his planned execution on July 30. It may commute his sentence, or not. And yet, there’s a lot of debate over the planned execution. The public arguments over the death penalty are not so much over legalities. They are over emotions and involve questions of politics and morality. [ Full Report ]

  • Fake war crimes report to be released before election

  •    [ Jul 20, 2015 9:44:36 GMT ] [ CDN ]

        The government has received information that plans were afoot to release a "fake" UNHRC war crimes report to benefit the election campaign of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, a top government spokesman told the Daily News.The fake war crimes report is likely to be released locally within the first week of August, nearly two weeks before the Parliamentary election. In the report, nearly 50 names will be included as "war heroes" against whom war crimes charges have been leveled, the spokesman added. "Among them will be former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, former commanders of the three forces and top army officers who played active roles during the final phase of war," he said. [ Full Report ]

  • Why Harper attacks Trudeau, but not Mulcair: Hepburn

  •    [ Jul 19, 2015 13:36:04 GMT ] [ Toronto Star ]

        For months now, Canadians have been bombarded non-stop by Conservative party ads attacking Justin Trudeau on everything from his hair to his foreign policy. In recent weeks, the most common ad on TV and radio is the one with a multi-ethnic panel talking about Trudeau as if he were applying for a job, in which panellists dismiss him as a lightweight with nice hair. You’ve likely seen it and heard it so many times yourself that you have almost memorized the words. [ Full Report ]

  • President battles with his own party amid suspense and turmoil

  •    [ Jul 19, 2015 12:33:21 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        It was an epochal, rare and historic moment in Sri Lanka’s three decade old executive presidency.A President heaped both agony and ecstasy to his fellow countrymen on the eve of a parliamentary election. Just one sentence in a 62 minute address to the nation said it all. President Maithripala Sirisena declared that he would urge “the people to select those who are suitable to march forward with the January 8 mandate.” The message was clear – support the United National Party (UNP) and its allies. It is the UNP and its allies who had carried forward the mandate with a 100 Day Programme of Work. [ Full Report ]

  • Seeking A Permanent Solution

  •    [ Jul 19, 2015 12:32:15 GMT ] [ Sunday Leader ]

        The upcoming Parliament election will see, possibly for the first time, a division in how the Tamil votes will go as several political parties and independent groups contest seats in Parliament. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has always been the clear winner at past elections held in the North but this time they are bound to face stiff competition. The Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) led by Douglas Devananda, the Crusaders for Democracy led by former journalist N. Vidyatharan and the Tamil National People’s Front led by Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam are among contenders seeking seats in Parliament from the North apart from the TNA. [ Full Report ]

  • Rajapaksa’s sky jack of Sri Lankan flights : Rs 785M for three years

  •    [ Jul 19, 2015 12:31:08 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        Former President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, spent more than Rs. 785 million within three years to charter SriLankan Airlines aircraft for his visits abroad, documents obtained by the Sunday Times show. The airbuses would often remain idle in various airports until Mr Rajapaksa finished his tours. SriLankan has billed his office a total of Rs 785,079,185 for 90 aircraft movements in 2012, 2013 and 2014. This figure does not reflect other multiple costs such as crew accommodation. These expenses were often met by Sri Lanka’s diplomatic missions abroad. [ Full Report ]

  • I, Too, Should Have Been Given Nominations – Mervyn Silva

  •    [ Jul 19, 2015 12:30:00 GMT ] [ Sunday Leader ]

        Former Deputy Minister Mervyn Silva is among the few former SLFP parliamentarians who have not been given nominations to contest at the upcoming general election under the UPFA ticket. Silva was quick to extend his support to President Maithripala Sirisena and go against the Rajapaksa clan soon after the last presidential election. Silva said that if former President Rajapaksa is given nominations, there is absolutely no justification for the SLFP nominations board to decide against giving nominations to him. He said he is puzzled by this decision as he has no corruption charges against him. [ Full Report ]

  • Towards An Independent And Accountable Judiciary In Sri Lanka

  •    [ Jul 19, 2015 12:29:15 GMT ] [ Sunday Leader ]

        The past four decades have been the most tumultuous period of the 200 year old judiciary in Sri Lanka. During this period, one Chief Justice was sacked and restored; two Chief Justices narrowly escaped impeachment and yet another has been deemed to have been an impostor who never held office at all, even though he presided over the judiciary for two years. In these years, we have seen judges being summarily removed due to operation of law (as happened when the 1978 Constitution came into operation); houses of judges being stoned (after the Vivienne Goonewardene case); independent judges being overlooked for higher office (Justices Mark Fernando, Sriskandarajah, among others) and questionable appointments being made to the judiciary by the executive. [ Full Report ]

  • Cannabis in CM’s police vehicle Mahipala Herath claims the jeep was stolen

  •    [ Jul 19, 2015 12:25:17 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        A surprise Excise raid on an official vehicle of Sabaragamuwa Chief Minister Mahipala Herath at Polgahawela yesterday revealed that it was transporting cannabis or Kerala Ganja. But the Chief Minister told the Kegalle Police three hours later that the jeep was stolen, Police and Excise officials said. The vehicle belonging to the inner security detail of the Chief Minister was carrying two kilograms of imported cannabis (ganja). The vehicle was a police jeep with a siren. The vehicle was taken into custody by the Excise Department’s Special Crime Branch sleuths who were acting on a tip-off. [ Full Report ]

  • Sirisena Checkmates MR, Supports Good Governance

  •    [ Jul 19, 2015 12:22:40 GMT ] [ Sunday Leader ]

        President Maithripala Sirisena, last week, broke the deafening sound of silence he maintained for several weeks by re-aligning himself with the mandate and forces that voted him to office at the January 8th Presidential polls in hope of a positive change in the country. Last week, it seemed like Sirisena had managed to checkmate Mahinda Rajapaksa. This column, last week, stated that Sirisena is scheduled to make a statement after the conclusion of nominations on the 13th, in which he would distance himself from the UPFA election campaign that is being dominated by pro-Mahinda Rajapaksa group. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka's ex-leader seeks reconciliation in comeback bid

  •    [ Jul 17, 2015 19:34:18 GMT ] [ AFP ]

        Sri Lanka's former strongman Mahinda Rajapakse formally launched his political comeback bid Friday from the historic Buddhist pilgrim town of Anuradhapura with a call for ethnic reconciliation. Rajapakse, 69, a staunch Sinhalese nationalist credited with crushing Tamil rebels and ending a 37-year-long separatist war in 2009, is standing for election in parliamentary polls on August 17 after losing a presidential vote in January. After initially saying he wanted to retire, Rajapakse re-emerged earlier this month seeking to spearhead the parliamentary election campaign for his United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA). [ Full Report ]

    - Sri Lanka's former president launches comeback bid - AP
  • India Asked Lanka to Stop Colombo Port City Project, Says Gotabaya

  •    [ Jul 17, 2015 19:30:08 GMT ] [ Indian Express ]

        India wanted the Rajapaksa government in Sri Lanka to stop the Chinese-funded US$ 1.4 billion Colombo Port City Project on the plea that it was inimical to India’s security, former Lankan Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has said. Gotabaya told a seminar organized by some professionals at the National Library here on Thursday that the request to stop the project was made to him personally by India’s National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval. “His primary request was to stop the Colombo Port City project. The reason he gave was that the Port City was a threat to the security of India. I don’t know if the present government is facing such demands,” Gotabaya said. [ Full Report ]

  • Canada's big banks cut prime rate after BoC move

  •    [ Jul 16, 2015 13:48:47 GMT ] [ Globe and Mail ]

        Canada's big banks followed the Bank of Canada’s interest rate cut, lowering their prime lending rates in a series of moves that nonetheless reinforce the reluctance of lenders to follow the central bank in lockstep. Toronto-Dominion Bank initially decreased its prime rate – the benchmark for creditworthy borrowers – to 2.7 per cent, down 0.15 percentage points. Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Montreal,Bank of Nova Scotia and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce responded on Wednesday evening, reducing theirs by 0.15 points to 2.70 per cent from 2.85 per cent. That’s a shallower reduction than the central bank’s 0.25-point cut. TD then matched the lower prime rates with an additional cut. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka seeks new funding sources in shift away from ally China

  •    [ Jul 16, 2015 13:48:04 GMT ] [ Reuters ]

        Sri Lanka is seeking cheaper funding sources to replace billions of dollars in debt from Chinese banks, government officials said, as the six-month-old government distances itself from Beijing weeks before a general election. The government is seeking to consolidate its power in the Aug. 17 vote after reformer Maithripala Sirisena was elected president in January. The pro-China leader he ousted - Mahinda Rajapaksa - is staging a comeback bid. Sirisena had suspended most Chinese-backed infrastructure projects started under Rajapaksa, who has denied allegations of corruption and overpricing in contract awards. [ Full Report ]

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