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November 24, 2014 [GMT]
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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.

[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.

TNA decision tomorrow
[Saturday 2014-11-22 18:00]

All parliamentarians of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) are to hold a special meeting in Colombo tomorrow to take final decision on who to support at the Presidential Election to be held in January next year. TNA Leader R. Sampanthan said, they will extend their support to a candidate who will consider their demands. The TNA demands include, a solution to the ethnic issue, withdrawing the Army from the Northern Province, resettling the people in the Northern Province on their own lands and the release of political prisoners.

Government slams CBK and the West
[Saturday 2014-11-22 18:00]

The Government today accused former President Chandrika Kumaratunga of orchestrating the defections from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) saying it was part of a “mega teledrama” to destabilize the country.Minister Susil Premajayantha, speaking to the media at the SLFP Headquarters today, said that former SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena is being used as the main actor in Kumaratunga’s drama by being nominated as the common opposition candidate at the next Presidential elections.

AIYO SIRISENA! -I feel sorry for him, says President
[Saturday 2014-11-22 18:00]

SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena has fallen into the opposition’s trap the same way Sarath Fonseka did in 2010, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday.“Today our General Secretary is leaving the party to contest the upcoming Presidential election from the United National Party. I feel sorry for him,” he said.President Rajapaksa added that he is contesting the Presidential election this time with a candidate who joined the UNP from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.

Cross over celebration ends in shooting
[Saturday 2014-11-22 18:00]

A former United National Party (UNP) Pradeshiya Sabha member was injured in a shooting incident at Maggona in Payagala this evening while a group of UNP supporters were celebrating the crossover of some UPFA parliamentarians and Ministers, police said.They said the injured Chamila Ranasinghe who was a former UNP member of the Beruwala Pradeshiya Sabha was admitted to the Kalutara Hospital and later transferred to the Colombo National Hospital in a critical condition.

Anura Yapa appointed new SLFP Secretary General
[Saturday 2014-11-22 18:00]

Vice Chairman of the SLFP, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa has been appointed as the General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) by party’s Chairman President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Minister Keheliya Rambukkwella said. Former Minister Maithripala Sirisena, who left the government and announced that he would contest at the forthcoming Presidential Election as the Common Candidate, was suspended from the SLFP by President Rajapaksa yesterday.

60 MPs likely to cross over
[Saturday 2014-11-22 18:00]

United National Party (UNP) parliamentarian Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament yesterday that about 60 Government parliamentarians were expected to switch allegiance to the opposition ahead of the upcoming presidential election. Mr. Kiriella said 20 of them would join the UNP during the first round soon.Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) MP Vijitha Herath said the Government had been shattered by what he described as the 'Maithri Gamana'. "Many more scenes will unfold in the days to come sending shock waves through the government,” he said.

Prime Minister resigns ! - Gotabaya is new Prime Minister?
[Friday 2014-11-21 21:00]

President Mahinda Rajapaksa phoned the Prime Minister D.M.Jayaratne this evening and requested to resign from the post of Prime Minister, Temple Tree sources said. In the telephone conversation president briefed the Prime Minister on the importance of efficient Prime Minister. At present government faces critical situation and president requested PM to resign from his position if not he is forced to dismiss him. Heated arguments reported between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Prime Minister D.M.Jayaratne, Temple Tree sources said. Finally Prime Minister D.M.Jayaratne agreed to quit from his position and urge two days time period. According to the sources Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa would appointed as the new Prime Minister of this country.

Maithripala is the opposition candidate Top News
[Friday 2014-11-21 20:00]

Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena today announced that he has accepted the invitation to be the common opposition candidate.He also said that UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe will be the Prime Minister if he wins the election. Sirisena arrived at a press conference at New Town Hall this evening with former President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Government members Rajitha Senaratne, Duminda Dissanayake, Rajiva Wijeysinghe, M.K.D.S Gunawardena and Vasantha Samarasinghe, all who have decided to back him at the election.

Presidential polls set for January 8
[Friday 2014-11-21 20:00]

The Presidential election will be held on January 8 next year and nominations will be called for on December 8, the Department of Elections said today following a meeting with political party representatives. Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said that there is not enough time to prepare for an election on January 2 or 3.He had told the political party representatives that the only other available date is January 8 or later.

MR removes Maithripala and others
[Friday 2014-11-21 20:00]

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has removed Maithripala Sirisena, Rajitha Senaratne and M.K.D.S. Gunawardana from their Ministerial posts. As chairman of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) the President had also removed the defectors led by Maithripala Sirisena from their party membership, the President’s media division said. The decision to remove them came after they extended support to the opposition today with Sirisena being named the common opposition candidate.

SL fishermen will remain on death row: Ministry
[Friday 2014-11-21 20:00]

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 Five fishermen from Tamil Nadu and three from Sri Lanka were arrested on November 2011 while transporting heroin from India and were sentenced to death by the Colombo High Court on October 30, 2014.

Govt. brands Solheim a liar
[Friday 2014-11-21 20:00]

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 forces.

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