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Seductive Sri Lanka lures with rich cultural heritage
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. (Stuff)

India says Eelam includes Greater Tamil Nadu – Sri Lankan Voters Beware of CBK-Maithri-TNA MOU
India has sent out an important message. LTTE is not dead after all though its leader and key ground force leaders were eliminated in May 2009.

People had forgotten about those that funded the LTTE, those that ran propaganda for the LTTE and the minds that strategized LTTE’s terror as well as people in office whose personal ideologies lends support to creating separatism. (Lankaweb)

President shares future plans for the country with private sector
Sharing his future plans for the country with the private sector Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa today said his future vision is to eliminate poverty along with any corruption that would hinder the progress of the nation.

Delivering a speech at a private sector forum "MOMENTUM - A Nation Stabilized, Progress Continued" organized by the Professionals for a Stable Sri Lanka in Colombo Wednesday, the President said his government will not only continue with the major development programs that have been initiated, but accelerate those initiatives to produce results. (Colombo Page)

Sri Lanka says it is happy with Tamil Nadu gesture to release fishermen
The Government of Sri Lanka has expressed its happiness and satisfaction over the decision taken by the Government of Tamil Nadu to release the Sri Lankan fishermen under its custody and their boats before Christmas.

In a statement released on TUeusday, Colombo, according to a Lanka Page report, noted "with satisfaction" the media reports on a communication to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu O. Panneerselvam informing of the decision to release 30 Sri Lankan fishermen and 19 boats currently in the state's custody by December 22. (Business Standard)

font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="5" color="#3333FF"> Shirani: ‘I’m still CJ, will remain politically neutral’
Impeached Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake yesterday said that she would not support any candidate vying for the presidency..

ddressing the media outside the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court after appearing in a case filed against her by the Bribery Commission, Dr. Bandaranayake said she would not enter politics because she still considered herself the country’s Chief Justice. (The Island)

font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="5" color="#3333FF"> Two Pakistani Nationals sentenced to death
Two Pakistani men, who pleaded guilty to charges of possessing and peddling 1560 grammes of heroin in Bambalapitiya in 2012, were today sentenced to death by Colombo High Court Judge Irangani Perera. (Daily Mirror)

Think tank in Sri Lanka says Missing Persons Commission is 'structurally flawed'
The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), a leading public policy research and advocacy think tank in Sri Lanka, says the Missing Persons Commission appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to investigate alleged disappearances of persons in the Northern and Eastern Provinces is 'structurally flawed'.

critique published by the CPA titled "The Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons - Trends, Practices and Implications" captures key issues and trends observed during public sittings of the Commission and the perceptions of affected communities and civil society who have observed and engaged with the present process. (Colombo Page)

Sri Lanka calls for concerted global effort to tackle terror
In a statement, the Government of Sri Lanka has said that the recent act of terror in Sydney highlights the need for a concerted action by the international community to combat terrorism and ensure global peace and security.

Vehemently condemning the hostage taking by a lone gunman in a cafe in Sydney, Australia, Colombo, according to the Lanka Page web site, said the people of Sri Lanka who have suffered under the scourge of terrorism for almost three decades, share the pain and anguish of the people of Australia over this act of terror targeting innocent civilians. (Business Standard)

Sri Lanka Army rejects allegations that soldiers used for menial jobs
Sri Lanka Army today rejected the allegations made by the opposition that the soldiers were used for low-grade menial jobs after the war ended.

Seaking at a media briefing today (17), Army Media Spokesperson Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said the defense service is not merely a force of soldiers carrying guns, but it is an institution comprising various services from medical doctors to engineers. (Colombo Page)

87 Indian fishing vessels in Sri Lanka's custody: Government
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 today.

Minister of State for External Affairs Gen V K Singh said in a written reply that as on December 12, there were 87 Indian fishing vessels under the custody of Sri Lanka. (Economi Times)

Tamil Catholics wait for Pope Francis' visit to the island, they wish the pope a Happy Birthday
On Pope Francis's birthday, Tamil Catholics in a northern Sri Lankan community expressed their best wishes to the Holy Father for a "long and healthy life" because the people of Sri Lanka "needs the pope's prayers for a lasting peace."

The pontiff, who is 78 today, will travel to the island nation in less than a month on an apostolic visit (13-15 January 2015). However, some in Sri Lanka, including some Christian groups, are very concerned about the proximity between the date of the presidential election (8 January 2015) and the papal visit worries some sections of Sri Lankan society,. (Asia News)

font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="5" color="#3333FF"> Economy, tolerance and reconciliation on minds of Sri Lankan voters
Voters will choose between the incumbent, Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is seeking an unprecedented third term, and his former health minister, Maithirpala Sirisena, who defected to the opposition United National Party (UNP) in November.

Despite the emergence of large-scale development projects , the cost of living during the past few years has become unbearable for the average Sri Lankan, accountant Nuwan Bandara told Khabar South Asia. (Khabar)

Gota blasts those ashamed of being Sinhalese
Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said today said it was extremely unfortunate to note that there were some influential figures within Sri Lanka who have said openly that the country should submit itself to an international investigation.

“One such figure has even admitted to being proud of her children for saying they were ashamed to be Sinhalese and Sri Lankans after having watched what is little more than an LTTE propaganda film aired on Channel 4,” Mr. Rajapaksa said addressing businessmen and professionals at the Momentum forum. (Daily Mirror)

Probe sabotage of Maithri’s rally: MR to police
President Mahinda Rajapaksa today instructed the Police Chief N.K Illangkoon to carry out an investigation into the sabotage of opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena’s public rally at Wanduramba in Galle this morning

“Two special police teams and the Wanduramba Police are investigating the incident,” Police Spokesman Ajith Rohana said. (Daily Mirror)

Rebuilding Sri Lanka after the flood
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.

When I arrived in Sri Lanka in 2004 I saw the total destruction caused by the Boxing Day tsunami. Houses and trees had been ripped out of the ground along the eastern coast, with bodies and belongings strewn among the debris. (THE SCOTMAN)

JHU local gov. members to support President, says Gammanpila
Seventeen out of total 29 Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) local government authorities’ members have pledged to support President Mahinda Rajapaksa at forthcoming Presidential polls, Udaya Gammanpila said.

Gammanpila made the observation at a press conference held in Colombo, this morning. (Ada Derana)

JHU says G’pila harassing them
The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) today alleged that Western provincial councilor Udaya Gammanpila and some ministers were forcing the party’s local government members to defect from the JHU and join hands with the president.

The JHU media spokesman Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe told a news conference held at party head office in Battaramulla that the government was engaging in a sinister campaign to grab their local government members and destroy the country’s political culture. (Daily Mirror)

Upcoming presidential elections should not derail papal visit, Sri Lanka cardinal says
Catholic church leaders in Sri Lanka are pushing ahead with preparations for Pope Francis' Jan. 13-15 trip to their country, banking on the politicians' promise that presidential elections scheduled five days ahead of the papal visit would be free of violence.

"There is no change in the schedule of papal visit events," Fr. Cyril Gamini Fernando, national director of Catholic social communications in Sri Lanka, told NCR on the phone from Colombo. (National Catholic Repoter)

Maithri men with Tigers in S’Pore
Nine members of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam were in Singapore the same time as Maithripala, Ranil, Chandrika, Mangala and co were in that country recently.

UPFA ministers yesterday said they will reveal all secret conspiracies hatched by some top members of the common opposition while in Singapore. (Daily News)

Sri Lanka Cricket official theme song launched
The official theme song of Sri Lanka cricket ahead of the 2015 World Cup was released on Monday.

The theme song titled Sri Lanka Api Thamai was composed by Sri lankan born international composer Joey Lewis. ( News 1st)

Gotabhaya’s defence
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, taking part in an interview on Derana TV on Monday, defended the government much better than most ruling party politicians who make a lot of noise in dramedies that are political debates but leave the viewers unconvinced and disappointed in the end.

He, as usual, tore into the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) which, he said, remained committed to a separate state and had a visceral antipathy towards President Mahinda Rajapaksa. (The Island/Editorial)

Burning issues facing Sri Lanka ahead of January polls
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. (IRIN News)

Extortion: Ten Tigers jailed in Germany
The Criminal Court in Berlin convicted two women and eight men of Sri Lankan origin, living in Berlin last Friday (12) of illegally collecting funds for the LTTE.

The duration of imprisonment ranged between six to eighteen months. The names of the accused and their prison terms are as follows: (The Island)

Extremist forces behind common opposition: BBS
The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera today said that all the extremist forces are combined with the common political party and with the support of the common opposition they are disseminating extremist powers around the country.

He said those who are disseminating Christian extremism were recently joined with the common opposition and this is the next conspiracy that would be followed by them. (Daily Mirror)

Rishad pounces on Ranga
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. (The Island)

Archbishop of Colombo: Have faith, Pope Francis will bring peace to Sri Lanka
"Pope Francis' visit will bring unity and peace to Sri Lanka. You must have faith." These were the words Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo and President of the Episcopal Conference (CBCSL), addressed to the country's Christians in response to a debate that has been sparked by the proximity of Presidential elections to the Pope's apostolic visit. The Bishop entrusted his message yesterday to The Messenger, the country's official Catholic newspaper.

Quoting from some reports regarding speculation in recent weeks around the Papal visit next January, Card. Ranjith said that "the Church must act in faith and go forward with preparations for this historic visit." "There is full cooperation with the government, the police and other parties - he added - to ensure a peaceful environment. (Asian news)

Ex-Sri Lanka leader warns of election 'skullduggery'
Sri Lanka's former president warned Tuesday that her successor may resort to "skullduggery" to secure an unprecedented third term, calling for outside observers to monitor the forthcoming election.

Chandrika Kumaratunga, who re-entered politics last month to support the main opposition presidential candidate, said she believed the government would seek to intimidate rivals at the January 8 elections. (Mail Online)

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

Gotabaya Rajapaksa made the observation at last night’s TV Derana 360 programme. He added that international pressure on the island nation proves the fact that some pro-LTTE elements, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), and even the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) still attempt to build pressure against the government. (Ada Derana)

Colombo Port City will be scrapped: Ranil
Opposition United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremsinghe said today the new government, which would be formed by the joint opposition after the current regime was defeated at the January 8 elections, would scrap the Colombo Port City Project.

Mr. Wickremesinghe told tourist industry leaders who met him today that the project would be scrapped because it would end up destroying the coastal belt from Negombo to Beruwala. (Daily Mirror)

Sri Lanka presidential election: Don't underestimate Rajapaksa
After President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his surprise challenger Maithripala Sirisena, General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), who quit his office as Minister, filed their nominations for the Presidential election on January 8, 2015 the contest has become exciting.

Maithripala's move to challenge Rajapaksa helped opposition parties Maithripala's move came as a boon to the opposition parties who were struggling to find a common strategy to stop the Rajapaksa juggernaut rolling for a third term in office. (One India)

I finished 75% of the war: CBK
Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga today staked a bigger claim for the war victory by reiterating that 75 per cent of the LTTE-held territory was cleared during her tenure.

She told a news conference held at her official residence that at the time she took over the presidency in 1994, the entire northern region -- barring five or six military bases at Mannar, Talaimannar, Kankesanturai, Point Pedro, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya in the central part of the North -- was controlled by LTTE leader Velupullai Prabhakaran. (Daily Mirror)

Vasudeva Nanayakkara the only living candidate who contested Sri Lanka’s first ever presidential election talks about 1982.
Last surviving member of the first Presidential Election, Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara told Ceylon Today that his Party forced him to contest that election although he did not want to do so. (dbsjeyaraj)

Lankan schoolboy dies in UK
A father today paid tribute to his "amazing" son who died from an injury in a freak incident when he was hit in the stomach by a football cleared by a goalkeeper during a PE lesson at his north London school.

Sugenth Jeyakumar, 14, was admitted to hospital and died in front of his dad Arumugam a day later. (Daily Mirror)

Tamil Nadu to release 30 Sri Lankan fishermen, 19 boats on December 22
Tamil Nadu government today said that it would release 30 Sri Lankan fishermen and 19 boats on December 22 and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to prevail on the island nation to take similar action at the same time to set free fishermen from the state and their boats.

In a letter to Modi, Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said Tamil Nadu was prepared to release the 30 Sri Lankan fishermen and their 19 boats currently in custody in the state on December 22 after completion of formalities. (Economic Times)

Govt. alleges secret meetings in S’pore
Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva today claimed that several common opposition members including presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena had secretly met representatives of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) in Singapore.

He said the Government would reveal details of their activities during their visit to Singapore. (Daily Mirror)

Tamil Nadu to release 30 Sri Lankan fishermen, 19 boats on December 22
Tamil Nadu government today said that it would release 30 Sri Lankan fishermen and 19 boats on December 22 and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to prevail on the island nation to take similar action at the same time to set free fishermen from the state and their boats.

In a letter to Modi, Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said Tamil Nadu was prepared to release the 30 Sri Lankan fishermen and their 19 boats currently in custody in the state on December 22 after completion of formalities. (Economic Times)

Presidential polls no TNA boycott
Countering fear that Tamil voters will repeat their act of 2005, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP, Seenithambi Yogeswaran said that the party will not boycott the Presidential Election scheduled for 8 January.

Speaking to Indian media, he said that the government's decision to amend the Constitution to remove the two-term limit for a President, sparked a wide protest in the island nation. (ceylontoday)

Obviously Sirisena lied
“Disparities in the agreements which the so-called common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena signed with the United National Party (UNP) and Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and the one which he signed with the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) compelled me to leave the JHU,” former JHU legal adviser and Western Province Minister Udaya Gammanpila said.

Gammanpila said as per the agreement signed between Sirisena and the JHU, the Executive Presidency should be reformed and protected, whereas according to the agreement signed between the Sirisena and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and Chandrika, the Executive Presidency would be abolished. (Daily News)

Only LTTE rump can clarify Prabhakaran’s decision – Maithripala’s Camp
JHU General Secretary Patali Champika Ranawaka, MP, says the LTTE rump should be asked whether it had received payment from the then Premier Mahinda Rajapaksa Camp in the run-up to Nov. 17, 2005 presidential election.

Referring to a statement made by an Opposition MP (not a UNPer), UNP MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, PC, said that the LTTE had facilitated Rajapaksa’s victory by depriving UNP presidential candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe of Tamil voters in the Northern Province. Rajapaksa alleged that the government was making an attempt to discourage Tamil voters in the run-up to January 8, 2014 presidential election. (The Island)

UPFA in last ditch bid to keep SLMC
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. (The Island)

R’pura Depot told to show receipts for release of buses
Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya has ordered officials of the Ratnapura Bus Depot to produce the cash receipts issued for the release of 25 buses to transport people to a political rally in Panadura today.

Earlier, election observers including People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) had in writing requested Mr. Deshapriya to inquire into allegations that state buses had been used to transport people for the political rallies in the run-up to the presidential election. (Daily Mirror)

Sri Lanka's economy grows 7.7 pct in Q3 2014 vs 7.8 pct in Q2
Sri Lanka's economy grew 7.7 percent in the third quarter of 2014 compared with the same period a year earlier, slowing from 7.8 percent in the previous three months, the government statistics office said on Monday.

The industrial sector expanded by 12.6 percent year-on-year and the service sector by 7.0 percent compared to a year ago. The agricultural sector contracted by 2.0 percent, according to data released by the statistics office. (REUTERS)

Sajith Premadasa sabotaging Maithripala’s campaign: Sign of crossover?
Serious questions are looming large over the role of UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Pemadas in the presidential election campaign o f the common opposition, as Premadasa is directly playing into the hands of the government while pretending to be a ‘staunch supporter’ of Maithripala Srisena’s campaign.

When attending election meetings of the common opposition, Premadasa takes his own announcer with him - who would take over duties from the official announcer of the meeting, minutes before Premadasa’s speech. (Asian Mirror)

Shift Solutions to launch first ever hologram in Sri Lanka at SLFP Rally
Shift Solutions, Sri Lanka's leading creative digital agency will soon launch the first-ever hologram in Sri Lanka - a life sized projection of President Mahinda Rajapaksa delivering a live speech.

Shift Solutions is the first company in Sri Lanka to bring state-of-the-art hologram technology to Sri Lanka, and is now equipped to provide the marketing communications industry with a gamut of cost-effective, high quality hologram solutions that use overlays of digitally generated content as well as reflective techniques and structures to create real life imagery. (Lankaweb)

Maithree's voter base: only from crossovers – Susil
The common Opposition candidate's political campaign was based on the assumption of more crossovers, and the votes of those who cross over would carry with it, Minister of Environment and Renewable ..Energy Susil Premajayantha said.

"They think that with Hirunika Premachandra joining them, they will receive 141,000 preferential votes and with Solangaarachchi, they will get another 43,000 votes. Even Udaya Gammanpila got around 115,000 votes. This is akin to Montessori work and entirely illogical," Premajayantha said. (ceylontoday)

SriLankan Aviation College opened
SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka, launched its newest aviation integrated training institution, SriLankan Aviation College last Friday, opening up a world of opportunities for the aspirant youth to take their first step towards an exciting career in aviation.

With over three decades of experience in training aviation professionals to fulfil the Airline's manpower needs, SriLankan Aviation College, brings together the Airline's much acclaimed training centres; SriLankan Technical Training and International Aviation Academy. (Lankaweb)

Will not allow offenders to flee: Maithri
Common opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena said he would not allow those who faced allegations of corruption to leave the country, if he were elected to office in January.

"There are many who are waiting to flee if we win the Presidential Election. I will not allow anyone to flee the country if they were alleged to have been involved in corruption," he said speaking at the launch of the book titled ‘Alapalu Arthikaya’ (Doom and Boom Economy) written by former Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka. (Daily Mirror)

Sri Lanka’s presidential election voter dilemma: Electing the lesser evil
Slogans carry messages of ‘TIME FOR CHANGE’ ‘GOOD GOVERNANCE’ ‘END TO CORRUPTION’ ‘ABOLITION OF EXECUTIVE PRESIDENCY’. Let’s be realistic about the 2 main camps. Neither side is lily white nor likely to be.

This is the reality that the people need to accept. On both camps skeletons prevail and both sides have their share of nefarious characters. (Lankaweb)

Gotabhaya defends ex-military men engaging in politics
‘If terrorists can enter politics, why not forces personnel?’
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said that those who had accused him of using retired military personnel in President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s campaign had conveniently forgotten Sarath Fonseka entering politics while still holding office as Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). Fonseka held the rank of General at that time.

Defence Secretary said that President Rajapaksa had promptly accepted the former army commander’s letter of resignation when the latter declared his intention to contest the 2010 presidential election. (The Island)

Will not allow to revert to bullock-cart era: MR
President Mahinda Rajapaske said he would not allow anyone to lead the people astray and to revert the country to the bullock–cart era.

Addressing a meeting at the Dambulla Economic Centre he said the government’s development process targeted the forward march of the country with sophisticated facilities including a modernised road network and other facilities to fall in line with the developed world. (Lankaweb)

LTTE killed 600 students, JVP 400,says Minister
Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayake accused that the JVP and LTTE of having disrupted universities from 1980 to 2005.

The universities were ruled not by the Chancellors, Vice Chancellors, Directors, Senators, Professors or lecturers but controlled by students who represented the LTTE in the North or JVP in the South, Minister Dissanayake said. (The Island)

Perth team changes lives in Sri Lanka
The dingy wards of Batticoloa Hospital in Sri Lanka's poor and war-devastated east are a far cry from Australia's well-equipped facilities.

A 14-year-old girl lies with horrific scarring and deformity from burns to 30 per cent of her body most likely from self-immolation. (West Australian)

Perth team changes lives in Sri Lanka
The dingy wards of Batticoloa Hospital in Sri Lanka's poor and war-devastated east are a far cry from Australia's well-equipped facilities.

A 14-year-old girl lies with horrific scarring and deformity from burns to 30 per cent of her body most likely from self-immolation. (West Australian)

Boxing Day tsunami orphans to open children's home in Sri Lanka
Two brothers who lost their parents in the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami are to open a children's home dedicated to their parents in the country where they died.

Rob and Paul Forkan were on holiday in Sri Lanka when it was hit by deadly tidal waves. (BBC)

Sri Lanka opposition UNP opens operations office to document election law violations
Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party has opened an election operations office at the party headquarters for the work related to the presidential elections on January 08.

UNP Leadership Council member, Parliamentarian Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, who has been appointed as the voter representative of the common opposition candidate, Maithripala Sirisena, has informed the opening of the office has been informed to the organizers and members of the party's campaigns. (Colombo page)

Rights expert from Japan appointed on Sri Lankan probe panel
A global human rights expert from Japan would be the sixth foreigner to advise a Sri Lankan government-appointed panel probing thousands of cases of missing persons during the nearly three-decade war with the Tamil Tigers.

Motoo Noguchi was named by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the advisory panel of the Presidential Commission investigating the cases of disappearances. (Economic Times)

International investigation on Sri Lanka will not deliver justice - Minister Peiris
The United Nations led international investigation on Sri Lanka will not deliver justice as it is biased and not a proper investigation, Sri Lanka's External Affairs Minister, Prof. G.L Peiris said.

In an interview with The Sunday Leader, Minister Peiris, reiterated that the country will not be subjected to an international investigation. (Colombo page)

Have good ties with both India and China: Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka reiterated Sunday that it has close relations with both India and China, as both countries played a crucial role in the island nation's development.

"We have a foreign policy which is not based on exclusivity. We do not make choices between countries," said Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Gamini Peiris, in an interview to The Sunday Leader, which was cited by Xinhua in a report. (Zee News)

Sri Lanka Muslim party rejects Minister's claim of its support to President
Sri Lanka's major Muslim party, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) protested today to a statement made by Minister S.B. Dissanayaka that the party had decided to support President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the presidential elections.

Minister of Higher Education S.B. Dissanayaka said in a rally held in Nawalapitiya in Central Province under the patronage of the President Mahinda Rajapaksa today that SLMC would support the President. (Colombo page)

Lonely Planet: Sri Lanka emerges as a travel hotspot with its surfing, safaris and soothing cups of tea
Tourists continue to pour into Sri Lanka in ever greater numbers. About 1.2 million people visited the island in 2013, an approximate 20 per cent increase on 2012 figures.

What makes Sri Lanka such a hot spot? Try fabulous beaches, ancient culture, great surfing, wildlife-filled safaris, tasty food, famously refreshing tea and warm, hospitable people. (Courier Mail)

Russian team arrives in SL to probe into the plane crash
A team of Russian aviation experts has arrived in the country to assist in the investigations launched into the crash of the Antanov-32 (fixed wing) aircraft of Sri Lanka Air Force.

According to the SLAF, the team had arrived in the country today. The plane that crashed was produced in Russian and it had been sent to Russia for a complete renovation just nine months ago. (Daily Mirror)

Help Sri Lanka’s Colombians
They spend Rs.X on high teas, hanging out at nightclubs, dancing the night away till wee hours….spending loads on beautifying themselves and then no sooner bread goes up by Rs.2, gas goes up by Rs.100, vegetables goes up by Rs.10 they moan and complain about the spiralling cost of living….how many of these complainers give a poor man to eat, feed the hungry … we wonder.

They complain about the education system…but allow their daughters to dress like they are not dressed, moms themselves dress to compete with their daughters, mums vye for the daughter’s boyfriends, son is busy with friends and a ‘do not disturb’ sign and no one is bothered to check whether they are doing drugs…daughters are allowed to go out at night and come back drunk in the early hours… and then when they fall into trouble…they blame the President and the Education of the country. (Lankaweb)

The British Parliament has lauded the reconciliation within Sri Lanka in the post conflict era
Lord Mohommed Sheikh of the British House of Lords said that he applauds the action taken by the Sri Lankan government to establish reconciliation within the country after ending 3 decades of war in 2009. He made this comment delivering a special statement in the House of Lords.

Britain is one of the five leading countries making investments in Sri Lanka. He said that Britain and Sri Lanka have a history of more than 200 years of economic and political bondage and Sri Lanka can be considered as a country of rapid development in the South Asian Region. (SLBC)

India, Sri Lanka govts should solve fishermen’s problems: Sri Lankan MP Yogeswaran
A Sri Lankan Tamil MP today appealed to the Indian and Lankan governments to hold talks and solve the problems of fishermen belonging to both countries.

The MP Yogeswaran was speaking at the two-day state conference of the “Hindu Makkal Katchi” which began here today. (NITI CENTRAL)

Malaysia deports terror-accused Sri Lankan national to Colombo, ignores India's plea
A Sri Lankan national wanted in India for allegedly plotting terror strikes at American and Israeli consulates in the country has been deported by Malaysia to the island nation notwithstanding India's plea for his extradition to unravel key aspects of the conspiracy.

Highly-placed sources here said that 47-year-old Mohammed Hussain Mohammed Sulaiman was recently sent back to Sri Lanka by Malaysian authorities without even executing a production warrant issued by a special court in India seeking his extradition. (dna)

Sri Lanka consults top lawyers
The Government is in touch with some of the top lawyers in the world as it prepares to face a critical report next March at the UN Human Rights Council.

External Affairs Minister, Professor G.L Peiris, in an interview with The Sunday Leader, said that the Government is taking measures at various levels to face the pressure expected to be exerted on Sri Lanka at the council. (Colombo Gazette)

All but one candidate file assets declarations
Eighteen out of the 19 candidates running for president have submitted their asset declarations, Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said yesterday. One more candidate has promised to make his declarations by Monday though he has under the law one month to do so from the time of submission of nominations.

Asked whether the two principal candidates have submitted their asset declarations, the Elections Commissioner responded, "to me there are no major candidates, they are all presidential election candidates of equal standing." (Sunday Island)

'Hirunika has returned': Rajitha
Kaluthara District Parliamentarian Rajitha Senaratne has stated that Hirunika Premachandra has not left the country.

Speaking to BBC Sandeshaya, Senaratne has said that the Western Provincial Council Member who left the country over threats to her life has returned to the island and that she will take part in the election campaign for the common candidate of the opposition. (Asian Mirror)

Sirisena’s assets declaration not gettable despite promised access
Although presidential challenger Maithripala Sirisena filed his assets declaration with the Elections Commissioner last week and said it was open for public scrutiny, efforts by the Sunday Island yesterday to obtain a copy proved futile.

In a public statement the candidate said, "copies of my asset declaration are available at my campaign office which is open to all members of the public, if they wish to peruse it," shortly after handing over his nomination papers. (Sunday Island)

UPFA showpieces Tissa; Maithri offers Rs. 10,000 pay hike and petrol at Rs. 50
The ‘star of the week’, the United National Party’s former General Secretary Tissa Attanayake was on board the SriLankan Airlines airbus A 330 with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, wife Shiranthi and son Yoshita when it rolled out from the runway of the Bandaranaike International Airport last Tuesday afternoon.

For Attanayake, who had been an Opposition politician until much less than 24 hours earlier, it was a signal honour. (Sunday Times)

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