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November 26, 2014 [GMT]
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Maithripala still expecting crossovers
[Tuesday 2014-11-25 17:00]

While the Government says no one else will crossover to the opposition from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena says more will join him. Speaking to the media after he visited the Bandaranaike Memorial Monument in Horagolla today, Sirisena said that some people had asked him why more Government Ministers and Parliamentarians did not join the opposition as expected in Parliament yesterday. He said that his response was that more can be expected over the next few weeks.



Mervyn threatened outside court
[Tuesday 2014-11-25 17:00]

Minister Mervyn Silva is reported to have been threatened by an unidentified person who arrived in a jeep, outside the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court this morning. The incident had happened while he was addressing the media on the postponement of his son Malaka’s case till 1.00 this afternoon. Meanwhile the minister told the media that he would not cross over to the opposition.



UNP will not allow war crimes charges against Sri Lankan leaders - MP Harsha de Silva
[Tuesday 2014-11-25 17:00]

Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) asserted today that it will not allow anyone to take any Sri Lankan leader to the international court on war crime charges.UNP MP Dr. Harsha De Silva told Parliament today that his party is fully committed to protect the security forces who freed the country from terrorism and the political leaders."I am telling to the world. We (UNP and myself), will not allow anybody to take President Rajapaksa or any other leader to International court about War Crimes, We will not allow the President whether he won or lose to be tried before war crime tribunals," Dr. de Silva stressed.



Elections chief will not invite the UN
[Tuesday 2014-11-25 17:00]

Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya says he will not be inviting UN election monitors to Sri Lanka for the Presidential election next year.Speaking to reporters today, the Elections Commissioner said that usually election monitors from Asia, the EU and the Commonwealth are invited for a major election. Local election monitors had recently said that Asian monitors had already been invited for the election in January while Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma had last month said during a visit to Sri Lanka that Commonwealth monitors had also been invited.



JVP says it won’t join Sirisena, but wants Mahinda defeated
[Tuesday 2014-11-25 17:00]

The JVP yesterday ruled out the possibility of joining Opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena’s campaign while pledging to go all out against President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Addressing a media conference at the party head office in Pelawatte, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the hindsight did not allow his party to repose its faith in any candidate."We supported former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga at the 1994 presidential election on her promise to scrap the executive presidency, but she did not keep her promise despite enjoying two terms," MP Dissanayake said, adding that President Rajapaksa, too, had gone back on his promise to them after the 2005 presidential poll.



Russian naval ship arrives at Sri Lanka's Colombo port on goodwill mission Top News
[Tuesday 2014-11-25 17:00]

Sri Lanka Navy, in accordance with naval traditions, ceremonially welcomed the Russian naval ship " Yaroslav Mudriy " arrived at the Port of Colombo Monday. The Russian naval ship arrived at the Port of Colombo on 24 November 2014 on a goodwill visit, Sri Lanka Navy said. RFNS Yaroslav Mudriy is a destroyer commanded by Captain 3rd Rank Vladmir A Cherokov. The 126.6 meters long ship has a displacement of 4,480 tons and a crew of 210 naval personnel.



MR faces war crimes charges if he loses poll - GTF
[Monday 2014-11-24 18:00]

The day that President Mahinda Rajapaksa is beaten in the elections and loses the privileges of a Head of State, he will taken to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for committing war crimes, Global Tamil Forum (GTF) Director of Strategic Initiatives, Suren Surendran said. Joining a programme on Aljazeera, moderated by journalist Jane Dutto, about the current political situation of Sri Lanka, he said, Rajapaksa will have to face the same fate as Charles Taylor and Slobodan Milošević who were brought before the ICC for committing war crimes and genocide.



Attanayake denies crossover claims
[Monday 2014-11-24 17:00]

UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake has denied reports that he is going to join the Government ahead of the next Presidential elections. In a short statement, the UNP MP said that claims to the effect that he was going to crossover is false and that he will continue with the UNP. Earlier today UNP MPs Palitha Range Bandara and Palitha Thewarapperuma also denied claims they were going to join the Government. However UNP MP Palitha Range Bandara had told the Colombo Gazette last week that he was going to join the Government.



Police unit under Polls Chief?
[Monday 2014-11-24 17:00]

Amidst indication that violence will surge in the run up to the presidential poll, Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya yesterday decided to seek the establishment of a police unit directly answerable to him in containing such activities. Mr. Deshapriya told the Daily Mirror he was planning to make such a request from Police Chief N.K. Ialngakoon. “I have decided to engage with the IGP to discuss this matter. But, I have not taken a final decision on the matter,” he said.



Maithripala invited us for talks: BBS
[Monday 2014-11-24 17:00]

The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) Organisation said today common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena had invited the BBS for a discussion on the forthcoming presidential election. BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera said he had several requests for discussion from the parties in the common opposition. “We have not taken any final decision to meet him,” he said.



NCP minister sacked
[Monday 2014-11-24 17:00]

North-Central Province Co-operative, Trade, Industrial, Rural Development and Tourism Minister Peshala Jayaratne was today removed from his ministerial portfolios by Chief Minister Ranjith Samarakoon. The Chief Minister took over the portfolios previously held Mr. Jayaratne. It was reported that Mr. Jayaratne had been sacked because of his close relationship with former Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena. When asked about it, Mr. Jayaratne said he was not aware of the incident and that there were no opportunities for the well-educated within this government.



Political parties urged not to exploit papal visit
[Monday 2014-11-24 17:00]

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.



LTTE Heroes’ Week Events Banned
[Sunday 2014-11-23 18:00]

The police and the military said it would not allow events glorifying the LTTE to be held this week to mark the LTTE heroes week. Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya also denied allegations that surveillance centres were being set up to prevent the university students and other activists from staging activities glorifying terrorism. “The LTTE is a terrorist organisation proscribed in Sri Lanka, in the name of heroes or otherwise we will not allow anyone to glorify terrorism, we will prevent it. However the alleged report that we have established surveillance centres and that we have intensified military activities in Jaffna simply to curtail the celebrations is baseless.



MASS CROSSOVERS TOMORROW
[Sunday 2014-11-23 17:00]

Mass scale crossovers are expected from both the government to the Opposition and vice versa on Monday, coinciding with the vote on the Third Reading of the 2015 Budget. A large number of Ministers and Members of Parliament will be crossing over, from the government, to the Opposition following Friday's announcement that former SLFP General Secretary and Health Minister, Maithipala Sirisena would be the Opposition's common presidential candidate, authoritative political sources told Ceylon Today.



Lanka questions credibility of UNHRC
[Sunday 2014-11-23 17:00]

The Government has questioned the credibility of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) as an investigation on Sri Lanka mandated by the Council continued despite objections being raised. Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in New York, Dr. Palitha Kohona, speaking at the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) of the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly accused the Human Rights Council of being increasingly politicized and warned that its credibility was gradually eroding.



Govt. may consider dissolution if there is mass defection
[Sunday 2014-11-23 17:00]

Government seniors were this week considering the possible early dissolution of Parliament, the Sunday Times learns. Consultations at the highest levels were held on the pros and cons of dissolving Parliament. This comes against the backdrop of the revolt by a section of ruling UPFA Ministers and MPs who have opted to back the opposition’s common candidate, former SLFP General Secretary and Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena at the January 8th presidential election against incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa.



Pope’s visit: Church depends on God
[Sunday 2014-11-23 17:00]

Despite the possibility of violence, the Catholic Church is relying on faith in God and government assurances that the upcoming presidential election will not interfere with the scheduled visit of Pope Francis in January, a spokesman said yesterday. The presidential election has been fixed for January 8 – five days ahead of the Pope’s visit. The Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, declined to comment but Spokesman, Rev. Fr. Cyril Gamini, said: “Nobody knew that the elections will be held close to the Holy Father’s visit. We would have been happy if the elections had been held well before the papal visit.”



Modi thanks Rajapaksa for pardoning Indian drug convicts
[Sunday 2014-11-23 17:00]

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi telephoned President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday night to thank him for pardoning the five Indian fishermen who had been found guilty of trafficking in drugs to Sri Lanka and given a death sentence by the Colombo High Court. The Delhi-Colombo telephone call was the second between the two leaders. The Indian premier made the first call to make a request for clemency for the drug peddlers’ following protests in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu seeking New Delhi’s intervention in the matter.



Clinging to power in Sri Lanka? Top News
[Saturday 2014-11-22 19:00]

President Mahinda Rajapaksa seeks an unprecedented third term in office as his popularity dwindles.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has called early elections as he tries to extend his decade-long rule. Rajapaksa came to power after narrowly winning the 2005 presidential election, and increased his majority in 2010 after being credited with ending the decades-long separatist war against the Tamil Tigers. But Sri Lanka's youngest ever member of parliament has seen his popularity fade. In September, his United People's Freedom Alliance suffered its worst performance in local elections since he took office.



Canadians to donate blood to remember fallen heroes:
[Saturday 2014-11-22 18:00]

Toronto, Canada – On Saturday November 22, 2014, The National Council of Canadian Tamils (NCCT) will be holding a blood drive. This blood drive will be held at the Canada Kanthasamy Temple Hall (1380 Birchmount Rd, ON, M1P 2E3) between 10 am to 3pm. “We are organizing this blood drive to remember the fallen heroes,” said Demison Alwin, Coordinator of the blood drive. Donate blood in this Month in memory of someone who laid down their life for others. “They were fighting to save lives – you can save lives in their name, just by donating blood” said Demison Alwin. Also recently Canada’s blood supply went “critically low,” which could result in hospitals delaying treatment for some patients.


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