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Changing pillows for headache
At last the common candidate has appeared. No doubt it’s a master stroke by behind the scene manipulators in that Maithripala Sirisena(MS) is much more acceptable as a contender to the incumbent president than any one who vied.

He is much more a commoner hailing from a farming family in Polonnaruwa than the Rajapaksas . His beginnings are humble and he was never overridden by the perks that go with power. (The Island/ Opinion )





Political parties urged not to exploit papal visit
The Catholic Church has again strongly opposed attempts by the SLFP-led ruling coalition and the Opposition alliance to use the forthcoming papal visit to the advantage of their respective presidential election campaigns.

The Church has intervened in the wake of several Catholic politicians launching poster and billboard campaigns.(The Island)


Political parties in Sri Lanka reconsidering their support to President
Some minor political parties in Sri Lanka that pledged support to President Mahinda Rajapaksa earlier have started to reconsider their decision after former Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena announced his candidacy for President as the common opposition candidate, political sources say.

Sources said that the leftist Lanka Sama Samaja Party and Communist Party, two coalition partners of ruling alliance are also to reconsider their stance.(Colombo Page)


Sri Lanka's first female bus driver on expressway holds a protest
Sri Lanka's first female driver who drives a bus on Southern Expressway held a protest this morning at the Matara bus stand.

The female driver parked her bus blocking the way to the other buses and launched her sit-in protest campaign on a disaster monitoring tower.(Colombo Page)


MR says he has files on the defectors
President Mahinda Rajapaksa today warned that he had “files” on those who had defected from the Government but will not use it against them.

Speaking at an event after opening the newly reconstructed A12 road between Anuradhapura and Trincomalee, the President said that the doors of the Government is like a salon where anyone can enter and anyone can leave.(Colombo Gazette)


I will not leave even if MR does: Nimal
Denying rumours that he was planning to quit the SLFP, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva today said he would not do so even if Mahinda Rajapaksa left the SLFP.

“Almost every day, there were reports in the media that I will be the next Prime Minister. I am not a person who goes behind portfolios.(Daily Mirror)


Australia supports Sri Lanka's long term development - High Commissioner
Australia has been a long term partner in supporting Sri Lankans to help achieve the national development goals of the country, the Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Robyn Mudie said recently.

She said the Australian Government supports Sri Lanka's long term development by focusing its aid investments in the sectors of education, sustainable economic development and health. (Colombo Page)


Rajapaksa treated as a ‘cash cow’ by those around him - Rajiva
Leader of the Liberal Party of Sri Lanka MP Rajiva Wijesinha says that it is important that Mahinda Rajapaksa does not win the forthcoming Presidential Election, because if he wins the consequences for Sri Lanka’s armed forces will be very negative.

Wijesinha, who recently quit the government with former Minister Maithripala Sirisena, was speaking as a panelist, along with UNP economic spokesman MP Harsha de Silva and Global Tamil Forum (GTF) spokesman Suren Surendiran, in Aljazeera’s “Inside Story” segment on Thursday (20). (Ada Derana)


Opposition secures Buddhist backing for Sri Lanka vote
Agriculture minister Maithripala Sirisena, who defected Friday to challenge his former boss President Mahinda Rajapakse in the Jan 8 election, has received backing from influential monk, Maduliwawe Sobitha.

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. (Channel NewsAsia)


Sri Lanka arrests 14 Indian fishermen
The Sri Lankan Navy on Sunday arrested 14 Indian fishermen off Delft islands, near Jaffna Peninsula, on charges of poaching in Sri Lankan waters.

Three trawlers in their possession were seized, Navy officials said. The arrested fishermen were likely to be produced before the Kayts Magistrate, officials in the Indian Consulate in Jaffna — who were in touch with the fishermen — said. (The Hindu)


Presidential polls postpones police transfers
The Police Department said today that transferring of 10,000 police officers that was to be effective from January 2015, has been postponed to February.

Police Media Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said that the decision has been taken as a result of upcoming Presidential Election. (Daily Mirror)


Cabinet reshuffle pending in Sri Lanka; Nimal Siripala de Silva likely to be named Prime Minister
Sri Lankan government is considering a major reshuffle in the cabinet soon, political sources in the country say.

Certain local media reports say it would take place within 72 hours and a change in Prime Minister's position is under consideration. (Colombo Page)


Sirisena’s security, vehicles withdrawn
The security provided to the three Cabinet Ministers and the Deputy Minister who left the Government on Friday has been withdrawn and they have been provided with the security that is accorded to MPs, Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said yesterday.

They include former Health Minister and the ruling SLFP’s former General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena who will be the joint opposition common candidate for the January 8 Presidential election. (Sunday Times)


Pope’s Sri Lanka visit: politics or religious
“Pope Francis will visit Sri Lanka” confirming this news, President Mahinda Rajapaksa seems to have effortlessly materialized his strategic plans for the next presidential elections in Sri Lanka.

What was only being speculated as a ‘shrewd tactical move’ earlier, now seems to have been exposed as a validation to all erstwhile speculations. It was President Rajapaksa who invited Pope Francis to visit Sri Lanka and it was Rajapaksa again who announced presidential elections in January 2015. (New Delhi Times)


Sri Lankan election faces 'Game of Thrones' twist
The race for Sri Lanka's presidency has taken a new turn after a member of the ruling party announced his resignation and decision to contest the upcoming elections as the main opposition candidate.

Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena will run against President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the January poll. The news on Friday came a day after Rajapaksa announced his intention to seek an unprecedented third term in office, made possible after he pushed through changes in the constitution. (Aljazeera)


Chandrika returns to politics
Less than two months before Sri Lanka’s presidential elections, former president Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga announced her re-entry to active politics, but not as a candidate.

Instead, she has chosen to back the common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena, who on Friday quit the ruling party to challenge President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the presidential polls. Sri Lanka’s Election Commission on Friday said elections will be held on January 8. (The Hindu)


AIADMK government takes credit for fishermen release from Sri Lanka
Taking potshots at other political parties for claiming credit over release of five Indian fishermen from Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam today asserted that his AIADMK-led government's initiatives saved them from gallows and led to their freedom.

In a statement here he said AIADMK government is the 'true friend' of the fishermen community and expressed 'regret' over attempts to politicise the matter. (Economic Times)


Betrayals are nothing new for us – Wimal
General Secretary of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and Minister Susil Premajayantha today said that the UPFA Executive Committee has endorsed the decision taken by the SLFP Central Committee field Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Presidential Candidate of the ruling alliance.

The Minister made these comments while addressing a press conference at the UPFA Headquarters in Colombo a short while ago.(Ada Derana)


Sri Lanka main opposition UNP elections Committee chooses Maithripala Sirisena as common candidate
Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party’s newly appointed Group 20 or G 20 elections committee has chosen Maithripala Sirisena as their presidential candidate, media reports said.

However the working committee of the United National Party is yet to approve the decision, UNP parliamentarian and G20 member Akila Viraj Kariyswasam told LBO.(Lanka Business Online)


MR can win third term no matter who challenged him - UPFA
UPFA General Secretary Susil Premjayantha and National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa yesterday said that incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa was capable of securing a third term hands down regardless of who challenged him at the next presidential election.

Addressing the media at SLFP headquarters yesterday afternoon, they said the UPFA was confident of a comfortable victory at the forthcoming poll.(The Island)


JVP still undecided
The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) said it is yet to decide on their stance on the upcoming Presidential Election.

General Secretary of the JVP, Tilvin Silva, speaking to Ceylon Today said they would decide in thenext few days whether they would support a common candidate, propose their own or boycott the election altogether.(ceylontoday)


Swamy seeks ban on Prabhakaran's birth anniversary celebration in TN
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy today urged Home Minister Rajnath Singh to issue a directive to the Tamil Nadu government to ban the move to celebrate birth anniversary of slain chief of LTTE V Prabhakaran, who was responsible for killing of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

"These celebrations are being organised by MDMK leader Vaiko. MDMK must be ejected from the NDA and Vaiko should be locked up under the National Security Act," Swamy said in a press release.(Business Standard)


Presidential Election on January 08
Department of Elections, a short while ago, announced that the presidential election of 2015 will be held on January 08.

Department of Elections, a short while ago, announced that the presidential election of 2015 will be held on January 08.(Asia Mirror)


Sri Lanka leader to face health minister in polls
Sri Lanka's health minister quit President Mahinda Rajapaksa's government Friday to challenge him in the upcoming elections in the most serious setback for the leader's quest for a third term.

The defection of Maithripala Sirisena, who is also No. 2 in the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party, poses the biggest threat to Rajapaksa since he came to power nine years go. He is still popular after leading a military campaign to end a 25-year civil war against Tamil Tiger rebels, but the erosion of support from within his own party is unprecedented.(abc News)


Susil dubs Maithripala's exit as a "Conspiracy"
UPFA General Secretary Susil Premjayantha, addressing a press conference in Colombo, dubbed Minister Maithripala Sirisena’s exit from the party as a conspiracy, like in 1959.

“They are trying to destabilise the country like they did in 1959,” the Minister, addressing the weekly UPFA press conference, said.(Asia Mirror)


This may be my last state function: Maithripala
SLFP General Secretary Minister Maithripala Sirisena addressing an event at Battaramulla a short while ago said, ‘this may be my last state function’, amid widespread speculation that he might break ranks with the incumbent regime.

“Time solves a lot of things. This may be my last state function. People give power not to abuse it and make money. It’s given to serve the people. This power should never be abused. No one should be drunk with power,” he said at a function to appoint officials to the Health Ministry. (Daily Mirror)


Of that elephantine dilemma
Everybody knew there would be a snap presidential election early next year and now President Mahinda Rajapaksa has announced it officially. The SLFP has unanimously decided that he will be the presidential candidate.

Who will be fielded by either the UNP or the Opposition to face President Rajapaksa? The UNP’s kept on saying it would reveal the name of its candidate immediately after a presidential election was declared..(The Island/Editorial)


Osaka court orders return of child to Sri Lanka under Hague treaty
The Osaka Family Court has ordered a mother to return her daughter to her father in Sri Lanka, the first such decree by a Japanese court based on the Hague Convention on child abduction.

According to the Nov. 19 court decision and other documents, the 4-year-old girl went to Sri Lanka in February 2013 with her Japanese parents for the father’s business purposes. In June this year, the three temporarily returned to Japan.(Asia and Japan Watch)


Ashok Malik on Mahinda Rajapaksa and India-Sri Lanka relations
Are India-Sri Lanka relations in trouble or lacking in trust with the recent incident involving the death sentence to Indian fishermen ?

Is China using Sri Lanka to encircle India with Chinese nuclear-powered submarines and warships in Colombo ?(NITI CENTRAL)


Ashok Malik on Mahinda Rajapaksa and India-Sri Lanka relations
Are India-Sri Lanka relations in trouble or lacking in trust with the recent incident involving the death sentence to Indian fishermen ?

Is China using Sri Lanka to encircle India with Chinese nuclear-powered submarines and warships in Colombo ?(NITI CENTRAL)


SL fishermen will remain on death row: Ministry
The three Sri Lankan fishermen sentenced to death after they were found guilty of drug-trafficking charges will continue to remain on death row, despite the release of the five Indian fishermen, the Justice Ministry said yesterday.

Ministry Secretary Kamalini De Silva told Daily Mirror online that the local fishermen would serve their sentences in keeping with Sri Lankan laws.(Daily Mirror)


Attack on temple only a rumour – Rathana Thera
Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) MP, Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera, said there were no attacks on his temple although he is expecting trouble after the JHU's decision to resign from positions in the government.

During a press conference yesterday at the Buddhist Information and Research Institute (BIRI) Rathana Thera said, there were rumours that the temple would be attacked.(ceylontoday)


Maithri is common candidate
The Minister of Health Maithripala Sirisena has been named as the presidential candidate of the political parties of the united opposition say reports.

Minister Sirisena has agreed to be the common candidate.(LankaTruth)


ITC Colombo groundbreaking ceremony today
The ground breaking ceremony of the country's premier hotel and residencies, ITC Colombo, will take place under the patronage of Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa today.

This hotel to be built on a five acre land opposite the Galle Face promenade adjoining the Shangri La Hotel, comprises luxury hotel, residencies and a shopping mall.The estimated investment is US$ 140 million.(Daily News)


Ratana Thera stands his ground, refuses to hand over ashram
The UPFA dissident, the JHU said that it wouldn't hand over Sadaham Sevana at Rajagiriya to the state.

JHU leader Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera said as Ven. Atureliye Rathana Thera, MP, had received the land on behalf of the Sangha and the government couldn't demand it back because the JHU had given up ministerial portfolios over some differenceswith the UPFA.(The Island)


SB believes Ranil's the best
The common Opposition has to field Ranil Wickremesinghe as the presidential candidate, as the United National Party (UNP) machinery will only respond properly to him, Minister of Higher Education S.B. Dissanayake said Wednesday.

The minister, speaking to Ceylon Today, said that the UNP, which will decide on the common candidate, will eventually propose the name of Ranil Wickremesinghe. "The party must decide who the candidate will be, not outsiders. Though many outsiders have been suggesting the name of Karu Jayasuriya, the party cannot base its decision on external pressures," he said.(ceylontoday)


Presidential poll announced: Both sides predict crossovers
Yesterday’s proclamation announcing a presidential election saw both the Joint Opposition Front(JOF) and government stating that they had engineered crossovers which would take effect in the coming days.

Even as President Mahinda Rajapaksa signed the proclamation at Temple Trees at 1.30 p.m, the SLFP’s Chief Organiser for Mirigama Wasantha Senanayake defected to the UNP, while JOF sources said they were hopeful that 15 government MPs including some Ministers led by Maithripala Srisena would back their common Presidential candidate depending on the person nominated by the UNP Working Committee (WC) scheduled to meet today.(The Island)


Govt. brands Solheim a liar
The government today branded the Development Assistance Committee (OECD) Chairman and former Norwegian Sri Lanka peace negotiator Eric Solheim ‘a liar and a supporter of terrorists’ who was in cahoots with the LTTE.

Responding to a journalist at todays’ weekly cabinet news briefing, Cabinet spokesman and Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said Eric Solheim who had a soft spot for separatist terrorists always acted against the Sri Lankan government and armed force.(Daily Mirror)


Elections Chief to set date for poll
Having received President Mahinda Rajapaka's proclamation as regards the next presidential election yesterday (Nov 20), Polls Chief Mahinda Deshapriya said that 16 to 21 days would be given for nominations from the date of the publication of the presidential order.

In accordance with the Presidential Election Act, Deshapriya will fix the date on which the poll can be held, being a date not less than four weeks and not more than six weeks from the date of nomination.(the Island)


Britisher lived here for 24 years without a VISA
A Britisher, who had pleaded guilty to the charge of having lived in Sri Lanka for 24 years after the expiry of his VISA was fined Rs.50,000 and sentenced to a month in jail in case of non-payment of the fine imprisonment in default of the fine by Bandarawela Magisrate Jeyaram Troskey.

The Prisons Superintendent was directed to handover the convict David Higgto the Mirihana illicit immigrant’s camp after serving the jail term in case of default.(Daily Mirror)


Athuraliye Rathana Thera seeks protection
MP Athuraliye Rathana Thera seeks protection from Inspector General of Police; N.K. Illangakoon in written stating that he has security threats.

In this letter the reforms in the policies of his political career resulted for security threats to him, colleagues and the Sadaham Sevana , in Rajagiriya Gothami road, Rathana Thera stated.(Ceylontoday)


Sri Lanka at risk of increased terrorist activity, ranks 36th in Global Terrorism Index
Sri Lanka has been identified as one of the 13 countries that are being at risk of increased terrorist activity from current levels in the 2014 Global Terrorism Index Report released Wednesday.

The second edition of the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) report, produced by the London-based Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), has ranked Sri Lanka at 36th place with a score of 4.01 out of 10 among 162 countries(Colombo Page)


JVP interested in reports of a Govt. minister becoming common candidate
The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna has stated that the party was watching the developments on the reports which claim that a Minister of the government may be the common candidate in the forthcoming presidential election.

JVP Propaganda Secretary, MP Vijitha Heart has told the BBC that the party will take a decision taking into account how the political environment evolves in the country. (Asia Mirror)


President signs proclamation declaring intention to hold presidential election
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa a short while ago signed the proclamation declaring his intention to hold a Presidential Election seeking another term, President's Twitter feed said.

The President signed the document at 1:30 p.m. today at Temple Trees.(Colombo Page)


Sri Lanka stocks close higher
Sri Lanka's stocks closed 0.07 percent higher with the price gains in Nestle Lanka, brokers said.

The Colombo benchmark All Share Price Index closed 5.23 points higher at 7,530.33, up 0.07 percent. (Lanka Business Online)


UPFA MP Wasantha joins UNP
United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Gampaha District parliamentarian Wasantha Senanayake joined the United National Party (UNP) a short while ago at the UNP Headquarters, Sirikotha. (Daily Mirror)


UNP WC urged to nominate Ranil
An influential section of the UNP is bringing pressure to bear on the party Working Committee to nominate its National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to contest the upcoming presidential election with newly appointed Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa, MP, playing a significant role.

Convenor of UNP trade union organisation at the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) Ananda Palitha yesterday told The Island yesterday that there shouldn’t be a further delay in unanimously naming Wickremesinghe as the UNP candidate. (The Island)


Are you the common candidate?-Maithripala asked
Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena told our sister paper in Gampaha that that there was talk going around that he was going to resign from the government.

The Minister had gone to the Gampaha residence of Silumina Consultant Editor Karunatilaka Suriyaarachchi as a representative of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Government, to express his condolences. (Daily Mirror)


Sri Lankan President Rajapakse cleared to seek re-election
Sri Lanka's president cleared a final hurdle to seeking re-election on Wednesday when he completed the mandatory four years of his second term, opening the way for snap polls expected in January.

Mahinda Rajapakse is widely expected to seek re-election after Sri Lanka's Supreme Court last week rejected an opposition challenge to the removal of a two-term limit on the presidency. (REUTERS)


Sri Lanka releases five Indian fishermen on death row, BJP credits PM Modi
The five Indian fishermen, who were sentenced to death on charges of drug trafficking, were released by the Sri Lankan court on Wednesday.

The five fishermen from Tamil Nadu, Emerson, P Augustus, R Wilson, K Prasath and J Langlet, were apprehended in 2011 and held guilty of drug trafficking. (Zee News)


Sri Lanka among top ten generous countries
Sri Lanka ranked ninth place at the 2014 World Giving Index (WGI) compiled by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) which looks at charitable behaviours of countries including the tendency of helping strangers, donating money and volunteering.

The United Kingdom based Foundation’s Giving Index had covered 135 countries based on more than a million interviews conducted by Gallup since 2005/06, as part of their World Poll survey. (Daily Mirror)


Sri Lanka releases all 5 Indian fishermen on death row
Sri Lanka on Wednesday released the five Indian fishermen facing death penalty after Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa commuted their sentence, television reports said.

The move comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the issue a few days ago.(Yahoo)


Presidential election either on 3 or 7 January
Sources close to the government says that the Presidential election will likely be held either on 3 or 7 January, 2015. It was reported that the Department of Election has suggested 10 January for the poll, while the government had requested to hold the election on 3 January.

However, the authorities of the Ministry of Law and Order had objected the suggestion to hold the election on 10 January, owing to security reasons on his Holiness Pope Francis’ visit to Sri Lanka. Pope Francis will arrive in Sri Lanka on 13 January. (Ada Derana)


Following divine footsteps: An ascent of Sri Lanka's holy mountain
Photo
Ahead of me, a trail of lights snakes up toward the sky, moving relentlessly, step-by-step, in the darkness.I've tackled quite a few mountains in my life, but never have I hiked with as many solemn spirits as on Adam's Peak in Sri Lanka.

Barefoot pilgrims are all around me.There are women, whose bangles can be heard rattling against tired ankles, and monks, pulling their maroon robes over their left shoulders to shield from the mountain chill. (CNN)


Leading member of Sri Lanka's Sinhala Buddhist party breaks away
Following the resignation of Sri Lanka's coalition party Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) members Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka and Western Provincial Council minister Udaya Gammanpila form government portfolios, a leading member of the party has decided to quit JHU and join the ruling party.

JHU member and former Municipal Councilor Madumadawa Aravinda quit the JHU today and expressed his support to the Sri Lanka ruling alliance. He said he would join the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, the main constituent of ruling alliance.(Colombo Page)


We are not discussing a Common Candidate – JVP
The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) says that it is not party to the discussions to nominate the Joint Oppositions Common Candidate, since it is of the view that the next presidential election will be illegal.

The JVP’s Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath MP, told The Island on Monday that his party did not accept the Supreme Court opinion that President Mahinda Rajapaksa could seek a third term. "We believe that it would be illegal for the incumbent to bid for re-election.(The Island)


Sri Lanka's iconic hotel doorman dies at 94
Photo
Sri Lanka's oldest hotel doorman at the venerable Galle Face Hotel, K. Chattu Kuttan, died on Tuesday after a brief illness.Kuttan, who worked at the hotel for 72 years from the colonial era through Sri Lanka's independence and the dark decades of ethnic conflict, was 94, hotel managers said.

Kuttan was a fixture of the 150-year-old Galle Face Hotel where he was first employed as a waiter in 1942 before becoming a doorman 50 years later. (Gulf Times)


India disaster leaves Sri Lanka with more questions than answers ahead of World Cup
The ODI series in India is now done and dusted, and the results were as expected. But it appears that a lot of people expect professional sportsmen to be able to turn up on short notice and be at the top of their game.

And while this may be true of your average weekend badminton player, it is certainly not true of those who take their preparation seriously. With that in mind, I was expecting little from this series. And you should have done the same..(Inland Cricket)


Tommy Hilfiger to launch in Sri Lanka
Tommy Hilfiger, the iconic international designer brand will open its first store in Sri Lanka this December. This marks the first international designer brand to launch in the country.

The design house is renowned for its preppy style and has been worn by top international celebrities such as Jacqueline Fernandez, Sonam Kapoor, Jessica Alba, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez, Bradley Cooper, Bipasha Basu, Naomi Campbell, Ranveer Singh and Hrithik Roshan.(Colombo Gazette)


Call for mutual support of Belarus, Sri Lanka in international organizations
Chairman of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus Vladimir Andreichenko met with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris in Sri Lanka on 18 November.

During the meeting Vladimir Andreichenko noted the affinity of approaches to key problems on the global agenda and the need to secure mutual support in international organizations, the press service of the lower chamber of the Belarus parliament told BelTA.(belta)


Increasing fear Rajapaksa not playing a straight bat
Why are India-Sri Lanka relations in such trouble? The recent case of five Indian fishermen who were initially sentenced to death and then released (pending an appeal) for alleged smuggling of contraband is a case in point.

The episode is scarcely the root of all problems but different perceptions of it point to a trust deficit.(Economic Times)


Indian fishermen in Sri Lanka death row withdraw appeal
Indian fishermen in Sri Lanka death row withdrew the appeal filed on behalf of them in Sri Lanka's Court of Appeal when it was heard in court today.

Sri Lanka's Colombo High Court on October 30th sentenced the five fishermen from Tamil Nadu - P Emerson, P Augustus, R Wilson, K Prasath, and J Lanklet - to death on charges of smuggling 995 grams of heroin. They were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy for heroin trafficking in 2011.(Colombo Page)


Sri Lanka’s first glass fronted lap pool at Una
Sri Lanka’s first glass fronted lap pool was declared open at the Calamander Unawatuna Beach, also known as the Unawatuna Beach Resort (UBR) recently.

Spanning 25 metres and built at a cost of Rs. 20 million, the pool was custom designed and has been fabricated with a bespoke 48mm glass wall that has been both tempered and laminated.(Colombo Gazette)


NFF tells JHU to reconsider decision
The National Freedom Front (NFF) today requested the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) members to reconsider their decision to resign from government portfolios and requested them to stay within the Government.

“We request Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera, Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka and the entire JHU members to reconsider the decision to withdraw from the portfolios in the name of the nation. National forces like JHU and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) are the parties that built the nation together during the hard times,” NFF National Organiser Jayantha Samaraweera told a news conference.(Daily Mirror)


JHU ministers Ranawaka and Gammanpila resign from Sri Lankan government
Members of Sri Lanka's coalition party Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) , Minister of Technology, Research and Atomic Energy, Patali Champika Ranawaka and Western Provincial Council minister Udaya Gammanpila resigned from their ministerial portfolios in cabinet and provincial levels.

Parliamentary Group Leader of Jathika Hela Urumaya Ven, Athuraliye Rathana Thera said the two ministers will resign today, on President Mahinda Rajapaksa's birthday.(Colombo Page)


Report notes terror risk in Sri Lanka
A global survey on terrorism, conducted by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP), has found that there is a risk of terrorism in Sri Lanka despite the end of the war over five years ago.

The report, which has been endorsed by leading public figures including Nobel laureates, world leaders and others, notes that at least 13 countries, including Sri Lanka are facing a greater risk of substantial terrorist activity. (Colombo Gaztte)


Sri Lanka disappearance probe to investigate human rights abuses
Sri Lanka's Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Disappearances would entertain public complaints over war crimes and human rights abuses in the country, according to a top official

"The Commission has decided to entertain public complaints on any war crimes and human rights abuses in the north and east. This could be done until December 31," said HW Gunadasa, the Secretary to the Commission.(dna)


India among Sri Lanka presidential poll monitors
Election observers from 35 countries, including India, will monitor Sri Lanka`s presidential election expected to be held in January next year.

"We have arranged 35 foreign observers to monitor the upcoming presidential election," said an official of the local election monitoring organisation Peoples Action for Free and Fair Elections (Zee News)


Sri Lanka raises objections with UN on war crimes probe
Sri Lanka Monday raised objections with the UN office in Colombo regarding the manner in which an investigation is being conducted on the war against Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka.

Minister of External Affairs G.L. Peiris met Resident Coordinator of the UN in Sri Lanka Subinay Nandy and conveyed to him the government's discontent concerning the manner in which the investigation was being conducted by the UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (daijiworld)


Parliament: Arjuna, Sanath cross swords over Indian cricket debacle
One-time national cricket captain and the present Chairman of Selectors Sanath Jayasuriya yesterday accepted responsibility for Sri Lanka’s first ever 5-0 loss to India.

Participating in the committee stage debate on budget 2015 under the expenditure heads of the Ministry of Sports, Deputy Postal Minister said that national players should be prepared to represent the country at any time of the year. (The Island)


Sri Lanka currently looking at all aspects of Tamil Nadu issue
Sri Lanka is currently looking at all aspects of the issue of five Tamil Nadu fishermen who were sentenced to death by the Colombo High Court for drug trafficking, President's Spokesman Mohan Samaranayake said.

"The process is being discussed at the highest levels and the issue is being looked at from all angles. It might take some time as it is not a simple process. A decision will be taken once the process is over,” the spokesman said. (Govt. News Portal of Sri Lanka)


Solheim says Sri Lanka aware of rebel funding
A Norwegian peacebroker, accused by Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa of helping to fund the country's Tamil rebels, has acknowledged that the group had been induced to engage in the peace process but said payments were made with the Sri Lankan government's knowledge.

Erik Solheim, a Norwegian diplomat who for nearly a decade headed international efforts to broker a peace deal, was accused by Rajapaksa on Sunday of giving money to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who waged a 37-year civil war for a separate homeland before being defeated in 2009. (Aljazeera)


Modi govt betrayed Tamils by showing indulgence to Sri Lanka: Vaiko
Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) leader Vaiko on Monday came down heavily on the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre for its proximity to the Mahinda Rajapaksa dispensation in Sri Lanka.

Talking to reporters after a sedition case hearing at a Chennai court on Monday, Vaiko cautioned the government that it was betraying Tamils by showing indulgence to the island nation. (Times of India)


Ranil says will contest if asked by UNP
Opposition United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe says some members of the UNP prefer a UNP candidate contesting the next Presidential election.

Wickremesinghe, in an interview over a private television channel late this evening, said that the UNP had decided to support talks with other opposition political parties and nominate a common opposition candidate at the elections. (Colombo Gazett)


Slams President's 'illegal polls campaign'
The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) totally disapproved the President's unofficial campaign, Leader of the JHU, Ven. Dr. Omalpe Sobhitha Thera said.

The prelate referred to the ongoing felicitations of public servants from all sectors who gather at Temple Trees, apparently, to gain their support for the upcoming Presidential election. (ceylontoday)


Sri Lanka stocks at more than 43-month high ahead of rate announcement
Sri Lankan stocks rose for a fifth straight session on Monday to 43-month highs, led by beverage and telecom shares a day ahead of the central bank's monetary policy announcement, when it is expected to hold rates.

Continued foreign buying, low interest rates and hopes for better earnings from companies helped boost investor sentiment. (REUTERS)


JHU decides to quit?
A key government ally- Jathika Hela Urumaya-has reportedly decided to quite the government citing several reasons, party sources said last night.

Accordingly, the JHU Central Committee, which met last evening, has taken this decision following a four-hour long discussion. (Daily Mirror)


A’pura bowser accident: Two army soldiers interdicted
Two army soldiers, now in Police custody over the bowser accident in Anuradhapura on Sunday, where one schoolgirl and a woman were killed, were interdicted today, the Army said.

The two victims who were on their way home from Daham Pasala died and six more girls were injured when the water bowser driven by two civil-clad soldiers crashed into a bus halt (Daily Mirror)


Reply to Rajapaksa’s allegations: Full text of statement by Erik Solheim
I will not speculate as to what motivates such an attack, coming as it does at the start of the election campaign.

Since I have no intention whatsoever of letting myself be dragged into the upcoming elections, I will thus only restate obvious facts well known to everyone – President Rajapaksa included: (Colombo Telegraph)


'Web Mafia' apologizes to government
Several members of the 'Web Mafia', which has been severely criticizing the government and its leaders in the past few years, have met several top ministers last Saturday (15) and apologized.

This group, which has also established an organization named, Professional Web Journalists Association (PWJA), met Minister of Economic Development, Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Mass Media Keheliya Rambukwella and Ministry Secretary Charitha Herath on 15 November and apologized for their behaviour. (ceylontoday)


Coalition party leader resigns from government development committee
Parliamentary Group Leader of Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) Leader Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero has resigned from his position as the Chairman of the Divulapitiya Divisional Development Committee.

The monk leader of the coalition partner of ruling alliance in an official letter has informed the Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa of his decision to step down from the Committee. (Colombo Page)


Ranatunga brothers won’t back Arjuna, reiterate support for President
Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga and UPFA MP Ruwan Ranatunga yesterday reiterated their commitment to ensure President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s victory at the forthcoming presidential election, though their brother, Arjuna, too, was being mentioned as a possible Opposition candidate.

The assurance was given at an SLFP rally held at CM Ranatunga’s residence at Udugampola. (The Island)


England arrive in Sri Lanka for seven-match one-day series in preparation for World Cup
England touched down in Sri Lanka late on Sunday night ahead of their seven-match one-day international series in preparation for the World Cup.

Their first match on the tour will be against Sri Lanka A at the SSC in Colombo on Friday before they face the same opposition on Sunday in another warm-up match.(Mail Online)


Mathews: Series defeat won't affect WC preparations
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews was happy with the way his team performed in the fifth and final ODI of the series against India on Sunday saying the series gave them the opportunity to experiment and won't impact their preparations for the World Cup.

Here are few excerpts from his post-match interaction with the media. (Go cricket)


UNP monks force Ranil to field Karu
Eksath Bhikku Peramuna, affiliated to the UNP has warned that it will withdraw support for the party at the upcoming presidential election unless UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya is declared the presidential candidate.

Ven. Girambe Ananda Thera has, in a letter to UNP National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, insisted that it is the UNP prerogative to name the presidential candidate in accordance with the campaign spearheaded by Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, convenor of the Movement for Just Society. (The Islannd)


Signing of Opp. Parties MoU postponed
The signing of the MoU, which was to be conducted today between Opposition political parties to come to an agreement on the policies to be adhered to by the Common Opposition Candidate, has been postponed due to the illness of the Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera, sources said.

Earlier it was decided that the convener of the People’s Movement for a Just Society, the Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera, the convener of Pivithuru Hetak, the Ven. Athuraliye Ratana Thera, former president Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, former chief justice Sarath N. Silva and several Opposition political parties and organisations would sign the MoU. (Daily Mirror)


JHU decides today To go or to stay
The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) said a final decision on whether to remain in the coalition government or not would be taken today (17) at its Central Working Committee meeting.

The decision would be based on the answer, given by the SLFP, to the seven conditions put forward by the JHU to the President, said JHU. (ceylontoday)


Rajapaksa lies about me-Solheim
Former Norwegian Special Peace Envoy Erick Solheim today rejected President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s claims that he was covertly financing the Tamil Tigers.

Solheim in a Twitter message said, “President Rajapaksa tells lies about me as election approaches. I will set the truth straight tomorrow (Monday)”. (Daily Mirror)


Police strengthen security in capital for Pope's visit
Sri Lanka Police in preparation for the upcoming visit of Pope Francis in January are taking measures to strengthen security in the capital city of Colombo and suburbs.

The police have taken measures to install additional CCTV cameras in and around the Colombo city, Police Media Spokesperson SSP Ajith Rohana said at a press briefing today (Colombo Page)


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