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December 20, 2014 [GMT]
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Maithri will dissolve Parliament Top News
[Friday 2014-12-19 20:00]

Common opposition Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena has proposed in his manifesto which was released today, to dissolve Parliament on or after April 23rd and appoint a transitional government under which a Parliament election will be held. Sirisena’s manifesto, which was released at the Viharamaha Devi Park today, details in point form his 100 day plan if he wins the January 8 Presidential election. In the plan, he notes that a Prime Minister will be appointed from the political party which wins the most seats in Parliament while a Vice Prime Minister will also be appointed from the political party which gets the second most number of seats.



Church cannot withdraw invitation to Pope: Cardinal Ranjith
[Friday 2014-12-19 20:00]

The Catholic Church in Sri Lanka is not in a position to ask Pope Francis to cancel his visit to Sri Lanka next month, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said yesterday.“The church cannot just ask the Pope not to come visit Sri Lanka after inviting him in the first place,” the Cardinal told a media briefing yesterday.



Sri Lankan Opposition Pledges War Crime Inquiry
[Friday 2014-12-19 20:00]

Sri Lanka's main opposition presidential candidate said Friday that the country cannot be charged with war crimes in the International Criminal Court, but he will launch a domestic inquiry if he wins a January election. Maithripala Sirisena said in a policy statement that Sri Lanka has not ratified the statute establishing the international court and therefore is not subject to it. He said he would instead institute an investigation by a local independent court. He also pledged to protect everyone who contributed to the defeat of Tamil Tiger separatists in the country's civil war from international action.



Army has increased its strength
[Friday 2014-12-19 20:00]

Army Commander Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake says the army strength has increased in a significant manner in the past three decades. Speaking to troops at the Colombo Army Headquarters today, the Commander said that the prime responsibility of the Army is national security and several attempts to destabilize the country had been successfully thwarted by the Army. “The Army and its strength has increased in a significant manner in the past three decades and the organization has proved itself to be an integral and indispensable force to be reckoned with. It has performed arduous tasks which is impossible for others and won commendation from all quarters,” he said.



Sri Lankan President will not participate in a debate with no facts and figures - Minister
[Friday 2014-12-19 20:00]

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa will not participate in a debate where there are no facts and figures, the Minister of Mass Media and Information Keheliya Rambukwella referring to the challenge extended by the common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena for a debate. Sirisena openly challenged President Rajapaksa for a debate on 'Democracy and Good Governance' on 1st January. Speaking to Lankapuvath National News Agency, Minister Rambukwella said that it is "truly a joke" to extend an invitation to the President for a debate, since Sirisena is "not in President Rajapaksa's standard."



More than 11,500 soldiers killed during CBK’s tenure – Prelate
[Friday 2014-12-19 20:00]

More than 23,000 soldiers had perished in war and more than half of them had been killed during President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga’s tenure, besides attacks on key economic targets, including the Central Bank, Kolonnawa oil installation and the Katunayake International Airport, said Chief Incumbent of the Sri Sambuddhaloka Vihara Ven. Prof. Iththademaliye Indrasara Thera yesterday.



TNA insists no deal with Maithri
[Thursday 2014-12-18 20:00]

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) insists it has no “secret deal” with the common opposition Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena as alleged by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.TNA Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran said that the President is attempting to mislead by the public ahead of the Presidential election by claiming the TNA has signed a secret deal with Sirisena. Sumanthiran said that if the TNA decides to sign an agreement any Presidential candidate the agreement will be made public and not kept under wraps.



Nittambuwa claymores targetted Maithri Sirisena?
[Thursday 2014-12-18 20:00]

Opposition party central figures have voiced concern that Common Opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena could have been the target of two claymore mines found in a cemetery in Nittambuwa as he was to address an election rally at the Gampaha Urban Council ground on Wednesday. The public rally had to be cancelled owing to the funeral of Maithripala's mother-in-law which took place at nearby Weliweriya. Following the discovery of the explosives it has been decided to increase Maithripala's security.



President seeks Tamil support Top News
[Thursday 2014-12-18 20:00]

President Mahinda Rajapaksa today held election rallies in the north and sought the support of the Tamils for his bid for a third term in office. Speaking at an election rally in Mullaitivu, the President said that the people of the north faced 30 years of hardship with no hope for a future. However he said his government changed everything five years ago by defeating the LTTE and giving the public a good future.



Cardinal says Pope’s visit is on
[Thursday 2014-12-18 20:00]

The head of the Sri Lankan Catholic Church, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith says the visit of Pope Francis to Sri Lanka next month will not be cancelled under any circumstances. Responding to a question raised at an event in Colombo this evening, the Cardinal said that preparations for the visit of the Pope have almost been finalised. Earlier there were reports that some members of the Catholic Church had made a request that the historic visit by the Pope be cancelled over fears of violence during the Presidential elections next month.



Maithri calls Mahinda for debate
[Thursday 2014-12-18 20:00]

Common opposition Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena today issued an open challenge to President Mahinda Rajapaksa for a live debate early next month. Speaking at an election rally in Balapitiya, Sirisena said that he is ready to debate issues related to good governance and democracy with the President. Sirisena said that if the President agrees to the debate he will take part in it without a text document in his hands.



Think tank in Sri Lanka says Missing Persons Commission is 'structurally flawed'
[Thursday 2014-12-18 20:00]

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'.



Opposition for domestic probe
[Wednesday 2014-12-17 20:00]

The joint opposition led by Maithripala Sirisena does not support an international investigation in Sri Lanka but instead says it would strengthen domestic mechanisms. Former Minister Rajitha Senaratne also claimed that the Indian government has virtually given up on the promises of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. In a report on The Hindu newspaper today, Senaratne said that Sri Lanka’s Northern Tamils cannot expect powers to be devolved as long as President Mahinda Rajapaksa is in power.



Rishad pounces on Ranga
[Wednesday 2014-12-17 19:00]

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.



Extortion: Ten Tigers jailed in Germany
[Wednesday 2014-12-17 19:00]

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:



CBK: ‘My govt. liberated 65% of LTTE controlled territory’
[Wednesday 2014-12-17 19:00]

Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday lashed out at President Mahinda Rajapaksa saying that he was talking as if she had contributed nothing to the war against the LTTE. Kumaratunga told a news conference at her residence in Colombo that when she left office in 2005 around sixty five percent of the territory under the control of the Tamil Tigers including Jaffna, which at that time was its nerve center had been captured.



Maithri and Co. put under surveillance
[Wednesday 2014-12-17 19:00]

The government yesterday said the common Opposition candidate, Maithripala Sirisena and his close confidantes, were under surveillance. Leader of the House, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, addressing the media at SLFP headquarters, in Colombo, said special focus of this surveillance was on recent foreign visits undertaken by Sirisena and other opposition stalwarts.



MR says Maithri, TNA have deal
[Wednesday 2014-12-17 19:00]

President Mahinda Rajapaksa today alleged that the opposition Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena has signed a secret deal with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). Speaking at an election rally in Chilaw, the President claimed that the secret deal was formulated by a team which includes TNA Parliamentarian M.A.Sumanthiran.



Clash erupts at Jaffna meeting Top News
[Tuesday 2014-12-16 17:00]

A clash broke out at the Jaffna District Coordinating Committee (DCC) meeting this morning resulting in some officials and Northern Provincial Council members sustaining injuries. Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran and EPDP leader Douglas Devananda were among those who were at the meeting at the time.



Lankan schoolboy dies in UK
[Tuesday 2014-12-16 17:00]

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.


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