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

  •    [ Dec 18, 2014 14:47:34 GMT ] [ Groundviews ]

        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 Report ]

    - RESULTS: Online survey on Sri Lanka’s Presidential Election 2015 - Groundviews
  • Sri Lankan government censors Prasanna Vithanage’s latest film

  •    [ Dec 18, 2014 14:45:45 GMT ] [ WSWS ]

        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 Report ]

  • EU court takes Hamas off terrorist organisations list

  •    [ Dec 17, 2014 18:41:14 GMT ] [ BBC ]

        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 Report ]

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

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

        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 Report ]

  • Burning issues facing Sri Lanka ahead of January polls

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

        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 Report ]

  • Obama to announce historic overhaul of relations; Cuba releases American

  •    [ Dec 17, 2014 16:34:27 GMT ] [ CNN ]

        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 Report ]

  • The heart of Jaffna Tamil community

  •    [ Dec 17, 2014 15:22:36 GMT ] [ Star ]

        “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 Report ]

  • It’s raining judges in Ontario

  •    [ Dec 17, 2014 15:12:34 GMT ] [ CLM ]

        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 Report ]

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

  •    [ Dec 17, 2014 15:07:26 GMT ] [ CBC ]

        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 Report ]

  • Rishad pounces on Ranga

  •    [ Dec 17, 2014 14:06:38 GMT ] [ Island ]

        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 Report ]

    - Minister and MP exchange blows - Daily Mirror
  • Sri Lanka opposition opposes China’s $1.4 billion port project

  •    [ Dec 17, 2014 13:54:44 GMT ] [ Customs Today ]

        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 Report ]

  • Rebuilding Sri Lanka after the flood

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

        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 Report ]

    - Perth team changes lives in Sri Lanka - West Australian
  • Maithri’s rally sabotaged

  •    [ Dec 17, 2014 13:44:32 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        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 Report ]

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

  •    [ Dec 17, 2014 13:43:32 GMT ] [ PTI ]

        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 Report ]

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

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

        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 Report ]

  • Artists, dramatist, film directors supporting Maithripala‏

  •    [ Dec 16, 2014 14:14:17 GMT ] [ Sunday Times ]

        Veteran artist, dramatist, film directors, authors, film stars and musicians today announced their decision to support New Democratic Front candidate Maithripala Sirisena today. Dharmasiri Bandaranayake, Prasanna Vithanage, Parakrama Niriella, Prof Sarath Wijesuriya, Lakhsman Wijesekara, Rajiv Sebestian, K.B.Herath are among them who said they were supporting Mr Sirisena. This was after Mr Sirisena agreed to implement 13 requests from them which was put forward by the ‘Puravesi Balaya’ (Citizens power). Among the requests are to protect art and culture and looking into their welfare. [ Full Report ]

  • Offering material inducements without policy change to win votes

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

        As the election campaign heightens in intensity the government has begun to release large stocks of gold and jewellery that is in its possession which was taken by the LTTE from the people of the North. The government has begun to distribute these back to their owners. The timing of the release of these assets that belong to the people suggests a political motivation of obtaining their votes. The war-affected people are likely to wonder why the government held on to their assets for five years, instead of returning it to them shortly after the war ended. Indeed, they are also asking why the government is holding on to their land, which it has appropriated to build army camps and hotels. [ Full Report ]

  • Admin powers of executive presidency led to war victory- Gotabaya

  •    [ Dec 16, 2014 14:03:34 GMT ] [ Adaderana ]

        While expressing that the international community still attempts to summon Sri Lankan Government to the International Criminal Court (ICC), Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa pointed out that the administrative powers of the executive presidency assisted and led the war victory.The Defence Secretary said that international pressure will continue under any government in future, so the opposition must act practically in such case, without limiting their assurance to protect the Tri-Forces to just an oral statement. [ Full Report ]

  • Will muster 200,000 Tamil votes - DPF leader Mano Ganesan

  •    [ Dec 16, 2014 13:49:42 GMT ] [ Daily Mirror ]

        The new Parliamentary government elected to power after the next General Elections is expected to address the national questions and other unique issues of minorities in the country. This is our road map for harmonious and peaceful environment. It is not only harmonious but also the most intelligent way out of this rigid autocracy. Tamil community in the North and the East. They re for change, so are my voters in the Western Province. Despite the plantation based parties being in the government, this too may change, I am confident that the Tamil voters in the central hills are with us in this election. [ Full Report ]

  • UPFA in last ditch bid to keep SLMC

  •    [ Dec 16, 2014 13:45:28 GMT ] [ Island ]

        A top level government delegation yesterday held talks with SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem in a bid to retain his support for incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s re-election bid at January 08, 2015 presidential election. UPFA General Secretary Susil Premjayantha, SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, and SLFP Treasurer Dallas Alahapperuma met Minister Hakeem at the Presidential Secretariat. Sources told The Island that presidential secretary Lalith Weeratunga had joined the discussion. [ Full Report ]

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