News Archives
  • Sri Lanka opposition candidate offers to bring about ‘peaceful constitutional revolution’

  •    [ Nov 26, 2014 13:52:34 GMT ] [ AFP ]

        “I am inviting my former colleagues and all parties represented in the current parliament to join a national government,” Sirisena said after his first visit to the opposition United National Party (UNP) headquarters in the capital. Sirisena said he wanted to bring about a peaceful constitutional revolution, citing India’s independence icon Mahatma Gandhi and South Africa’s anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela as his inspirations.“I am a poor farmer’s son, I am not rich... but I am an admirer of both Gandhi and Mandela and will follow their example in leading the country to establish a new political culture,” he said. [ Full Report ]

    - Sri Lanka Opposition Candidate Offers Unity Government - AFP
  • Sri Lanka monitors urge end to election violence

  •    [ Nov 26, 2014 13:48:43 GMT ] [ Gulf Times ]

        Sri Lanka’s elections chief and pro-democracy activists yesterday urged police to stem a spate of campaign-related violence that has flared since President Mahinda Rajapakse declared his re-election bid.“I have asked police about these incidents, I have told them to take action against offenders,” Deshapriya said. “I seek the cooperation of political parties to ensure a trouble-free election. “It is also the responsibility of candidates to restraint their supporters.” Deshapriya said he was hoping to invite Commonwealth, European and Asian observers to monitor the election campaign. [ Full Report ]

  • Umno signs MoU with North Korea and Sri Lanka in fostering closer relations

  •    [ Nov 26, 2014 13:47:06 GMT ] [ Sun Daily ]

        Umno today signed two memoranda of understanding to foster closer relationships with North Korean and Sri Lankan political parties here today. Its Secretary-General Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor signed the MoUs on behalf of Umno with Workers' Party of North Korea (WPK) and Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) on the sidelines of the Umno General Assembly 2014 here today. WPK was represented by its deputy head Pak Kun Gwang and SLMC by its Secretary General M. T. Hasen Ali. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka tilts to Beijing

  •    [ Nov 26, 2014 13:42:33 GMT ] [ East Asia Forum ]

        A sea change is occurring in Sri Lanka’s strategic orientation. Recent developments suggest that Sri Lanka is becoming China’s new best friend and security partner in the eastern Indian Ocean. This would represent a major change in Sri Lanka’s foreign policy and could have significant consequences for regional security.How will India respond to these developments? Delhi has expressed anger at these visits in the strongest terms and has told the Rajapaska government that they are ‘unacceptable to India’. But despite strong trade and defence links, including considerable training for Sri Lanka’s military, India’s options are relatively limited. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka’s Catholic Church urges government not to use pope’s visit to help election campaign

  •    [ Nov 26, 2014 13:40:14 GMT ] [ Reuters ]

        Sri Lanka’s Catholic Church has urged the government not to use a forthcoming visit by Pope Francis to help its re-election campaign after media reported posters had appeared depicting the pontiff blessing President Mahinda Rajapaksa.“It has been brought to our notice that the political posters and cut-outs with the picture of the Holy Father have appeared in some places in the country,” the committee of the Sri Lankan Catholic Church that is preparing for the papal visit said in a statement. “We earnestly request respective authorities and persons to remove those political posters and cut-outs immediately and urge all the political groups to refrain from using either the Holy Father or His visit to Sri Lanka for the political campaign of the presidential election.” [ Full Report ]

    - Take the Pope off your election billboards, church tells Sri Lankan politicians in advance of papal visit - National Post
  • Freed fishermen: Modi not beholden to Sri Lanka-Tamil issue

  •    [ Nov 26, 2014 13:36:23 GMT ] [ MC ]

        An odd thing has happened in Tamil Nadu politics. The Narendra Modi intervention, which got Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse to free five fishermen sentenced to death in a drug trafficking case, has forced all Tamil political parties on the backfoot. While many of them have been trying to claim credit for something they could never have done themselves, Modi is getting back-handed praise for quietly getting them released. He has effectively shown them up for what they are: windbags who are part of the problem, not the solution, to the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils. [ Full Report ]

  • Four arrested in Tamil Nadu for trying to smuggle 250kg of ganja to Sri Lanka

  •    [ Nov 26, 2014 13:34:19 GMT ] [ ToI ]

        The Q Branch of the Tamil Nadu police arrested four men in Ramanathapuram district for trying to smuggle 250kg of ganja to Sri Lanka through sea route in the wee hours of Tuesday. Q Branch sleuths seized the contraband and the vehicles used for the purpose. However, three others managed to escape. Q Branch officials received a tip-off that ganja was smuggled to Sri Lanka from Keelakarai area in the district and intensified patrolling in the coastal areas. [ Full Report ]

  • MDMK leader Vaiko celebrates LTTE founder Prabhakaran's birthday

  •    [ Nov 26, 2014 13:33:07 GMT ] [ India Today ]

        MDMK leader Vaiko on Wednesday celebrated the 60th birth anniversary of the slain Tamil Tigers leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. Vaiko urged people to burst crackers and offer special prayers to mark the occasion. "The celebrations should take place wherever Tamils live around the world," he said in a statement. It should "echo the cause of Tamil Eelam", he said. Prabhakaran was born into a middle class family in the coastal town of Velvettiturai in Jaffna peninsula on the northern tip of Sri Lanka. [ Full Report ]

  • Winter of 2014 will be a rerun of 2013, forecaster says

  •    [ Nov 26, 2014 3:45:16 GMT ] [ Globe and Mail ]

        The prevailing weather conditions of last winter will be more or less the same across the country this winter, according to the Weather Network’s chief meteorologist Chris Scott. For Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Manitoba, the winter outlook calls for below-average temperatures and near-normal precipitation for most regions. Western Saskatchewan, Alberta and the other Atlantic provinces should brace for wildly swinging temperatures that average out to near seasonal norms, he said. In British Columbia and the North, 2013 winter weather patterns are expected to repeat, which means those regions can expect warmer than normal conditions for the next few months. [ Full Report ]

    - GTA should brace for cold winter, meteorologists warn - Toronto Star
  • UNP won’t allow war crimes charges against Govt. leaders: Harsha

  •    [ Nov 25, 2014 16:07:59 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        The United National Party (UNP) said today it would not allow government leaders to be hauled up before any international war crimes tribunal. UNP MP Harsha De Silva told Parliament that the UNP was committed to protect the security forces that freed the country from the scourge of terrorism. "We are fearless to tell it in public. We will not allow any government leader to be tried before war crime tribunals," he said. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka not to invite UN monitors for presidential polls

  •    [ Nov 25, 2014 15:36:54 GMT ] [ IANS ]

        Sri Lanka on Tuesday said it will invite foreign monitors to witness the presidential election in January. Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said he would, however, not invite U.N. election monitors, Xinhua reported. He told reporters that U.N. monitors play a role only if an election is being held for the first time or if there were serious concerns over the electoral process. Mr. Dishapriya said that usually election monitors from Asia, the European Union and the Commonwealth were invited to see a major election. The January 8 election will be mainly a contest between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his former Minister Maithripala Sirisena. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka signs a MOU with China

  •    [ Nov 25, 2014 15:33:46 GMT ] [ LBO ]

        Sri Lanka export developmwnt board signs a memorandam of understanding (MOU) with China Council for the Promotion of International Trade of Guangdong (CCPIT-Guangdon) to pave the way for both countries to share information and promote businesses, a media release said. “Today’s MOU aims to exchange market information and relevant publications, exchange of official visits between two countries and support to participate at trade exhibitions and other trade events with the overall objective of developing trade between two countries.” Yousuf Maraikkar, Executive Director of Export Development Board said. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka Catholics, monitor condemn use of pope's image on election posters

  •    [ Nov 25, 2014 14:52:45 GMT ] [ UCAN News ]

        An election monitoring body and Catholic leaders in Sri Lanka have condemned the use of Pope Francis’ image on campaign posters featuring President Mahinda Rajapaksa and called for their removal from public spaces. “The president has already used the Pope’s image for his election campaign and there are posters in public places in Colombo,” said Rohana Hettiarachchi, executive director of the People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL). The posters, which feature the pope and Rajapaksa, have been placed in multiple locations around Colombo since last week, though it is not known who is responsible for distributing them. [ Full Report ]

    - Sri Lanka: Call Not To Use Pope Visit For Political Gain - Eurasia Review
  • Sri Lanka presidential candidate's telecast blocked, technical error cited

  •    [ Nov 24, 2014 19:17:10 GMT ] [ Reuters ]

        A private Sri Lankan television network said on Monday it had received complaints that two local pay TV operators had blocked its live telecast of an appearance by new opposition presidential candidate Mithripala Sirisena."Our terrestrial signal was working fine and there was absolutely no way that there was any technical error on our side," Chevan Daniel, group director at Capital Maharaja Organization Ltd, which owns Sirasa TV, told Reuters. Anusha Palpita, head of Sri Lanka's state Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC), said he was unaware of the problem. "I haven't got any complaint yet. If it's something to do with technical, we can attend to it." [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka's Rajapaksa wins 2015 budget vote despite defections

  •    [ Nov 24, 2014 17:13:17 GMT ] [ Reuters ]

        Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is facing a split in his ruling coalition ahead of a snap presidential poll on Jan. 8, won the final vote on the 2015 budget Monday with a strong majority. Rajapaksa is aiming for a budget deficit of 4.6 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), its lowest since 1977, from this year's revised 5 percent. However, the opposition said the figure would be much higher after the budget was loosened. [ Full Report ]

  • I have files on those who left but will not use them - MR

  •    [ Nov 24, 2014 13:46:32 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        I won’t take revenge on anybody. When I took over the party from Chandrika there were only 57 parliamentarians. I increased it into 127, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.“Leaving the party is not a new thing. Quitting and joining the party has happened from 1964 when C.P.De Silva who was also from Minneriya in the Polonnaruwa District. “Those who left our party vanished but those entered it flourished,” the President said. I have files on all who left. But I am not so cheap person as to open them. It is not advisable for them to throw stones while in glass houses, he said. [ Full Report ]

    - Why not take action on the files: JVP - Daily Mirror
  • Don't use Pope's visit for political gains: Lanka Church

  •    [ Nov 24, 2014 13:41:43 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        Sri Lanka's Catholic church on Sunday asked all political parties to refrain from using the Pope's visit for political gains during the presidential polls in January. Father Cyril Gamini, the spokesman for the Catholic church issued a press release asking political parties to refrain from using the image of Pope Francis in the election posters. "It has been brought to our notice that the political posters and cut outs with the picture of the Holy Father have come up in some places in the country". [ Full Report ]

    - Papal Visit Not Part of Sri Lanka Politics - AP
    - Take the Pope off your election billboards, church tells Sri Lankan politicians in advance of papal visit - AP
  • Opposition secures Buddhist backing for Sri Lanka vote

  •    [ Nov 24, 2014 13:38:25 GMT ] [ AFP ]

        Sri Lanka's main opposition candidate on Sunday (Nov 23) won important backing from a top Buddhist monk campaigning to scrap the executive presidency and return the country to a parliamentary democracy. Agriculture minister Maithripala Sirisena, who defected Friday to challenge his former boss President Mahinda Rajapakse in the January 8 election, visited monk Maduliwawe Sobitha to receive his blessings. "I applaud your courage to enter the fray only to scrap the presidency and bring back parliamentary democracy, ensure rule of law and end corruption," Sobitha said while blessing Sirisena in front of reporters and TV cameras at his temple. [ Full Report ]

  • Sri Lanka Central Bank Warns on Yen Weakness

  •    [ Nov 24, 2014 13:35:38 GMT ] [ Wall Street Journal ]

        The fall of the yen against the dollar has raised the specter of competitive depreciations that could upset Asia’s monetary order, the governor of Sri Lanka’s central bank said Friday. Ajith Nivard Cabraal said Sri Lanka would likely benefit, in the short term at least, since the sliding yen makes it easier for the country to repay yen-denominated loans and cheaper for it to buy Japanese-made goods. But the governor said that central-bank policies that trigger significant depreciations set a dangerous precedent and make “it very difficult for others to deal with.” [ Full Report ]

    - Sri Lankan stocks fall over 3 pct on political uncertainty - Reuters
  • The Tamil Elephant in the Green (Blue?) Room

  •    [ Nov 24, 2014 13:33:43 GMT ] [ Groundviews ]

        Kalana Senaratne’s characteristically perceptive article on the implications of Maithripala Sirisena’s common candidacy for the upcoming Presidential election flags the Tamil question: what role do Tamils and issues of concern to them play in the politics of the election? Kalana deems the Tamils the ‘forgotten other’ of the upcoming campaign, noting that the contest is one between two versions of Sinhala Buddhist nationalism. Kalana is partially right. While the two main candidates will most certainly not attempt to provide reasonable solutions to the issues of militarization, devolution or the assault on Tamil community life and on civil liberties in the North and East; the Tamil question will not be forgotten. [ Full Report ]

    - Maithripala, a good governance challenge from within to Mahinda Rajapakse - Groundviews
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