Sri Lankan stocks end at 2-week high; blue-chips lead

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Sri Lankan stocks ended at their highest in two weeks on Friday led by blue-chips, amid political worries ahead of the Jan. 8 presidential poll, stockbrokers said.


The main stock index ended 0.31 percent firmer at 7,252.60, a level last touched on Dec. 4. It had hit a near three-week low on Wednesday.


Stockbrokers said the gains were not sustainable because there was no fundamental reason for the market to rise.
The day's turnover stood at 660.8 million rupees ($5.04 million), stock exchange data showed, less than half of this year's daily average of 1.41 billion rupees.


The bourse saw a net foreign inflow of 14.4 million rupees this session, extending net inflows so far this year to 21.7 billion rupees, exchange data showed.


Market heavyweight John Keells Holdings gained 1.74 percent to 251.30 rupees, while top fixed-line phone operator Sri Lanka Telecom rose 2.59 percent to 51.50 rupees.
Trading is expected to be sluggish due to political uncertainty ahead of the presidential polls next month, with the index seen falling through December-end.


Political analysts see a tight race between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his former health minister Mithripala Sirisena, the consensus candidate of a united opposition.


Sirisena in his policy announcement on Friday said he would eliminate rampant corruption and reduce prices of essential goods and fuel by cutting taxes.


Eleven legislators from Rajapaksa's United People's Freedom Alliance, including Sirisena, defected after he announced snap elections last month. Two opposition legislators have defected to Rajapaksa's party.
Speculation over more defections also weighed on sentiment, analysts said. (Reuters)

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Maithri pledges war crime inquiry

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Main opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena said 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. Read the Full Article

Lahugala PS Vice Chairman, 2 UNP members join UPFA

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The Vice Chairman of the UNP-controlled Lahugala Pradeshiya Sabha Thushan Jayasuriya and UNP members G. Dayaratna and G. Wimalasena have decided to join the UPFA and support President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the upcoming polls. MORE.. Read the Full Article

Sluice gates of Udawalawe Reservoir opened

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Four out of five sluice gates of the Udawalawe Reservoir have been opened after the water reached spill level today. MORE.. Read the Full Article

Man charged with murdering son, hiding body in toilet pit

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A 54-year-old man has been arrested on charges of murdering his own son and hiding the body inside a toilet pit in the Guywatta area in Balangoda. MORE.. Read the Full Article

Proposal to re-establish direct air links between Berlin and Colombo

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Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Germany, Karunatilaka Amunugama met the Director General of the Department of Aerospace of the Federal Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure of Germany, Gerold Reichle in Berlin, and discussed at length, the strengthening of Sri Lanka - German civil aviation relations. MORE.. Read the Full Article

Met Department issues severe weather advisory

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The Department of Meteorology says that the atmospheric disturbance is still affecting the weather over the island. As such cloudy skies with showers or thundershowers will occur over most parts of the island particularly in the Central, North-central, Eastern, Uva and Southern provinces. MORE.. Read the Full Article

Pakistan hangs mastermind in Sri Lanka cricket team attack

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The Pakistani government on Friday hung two convicted terrorists in the first executions after the prime minister ended a moratorium on the death penalty in the wake of a Taliban school massacre that killed 148 students and staff in Peshawar. MORE.. Read the Full Article

Piety of sinners

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Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya tells us he is having a hard time trying to enforce the po.. Read the Full Article


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The presidential candidate from the opposition who says that he would adopt a Singapore model to man.. Read the Full Article

Sri Lanka opposition candidate releases policy statement amid disruptions

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Sri Lanka`s common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena has presented his election manifesto th.. Read the Full Article

SriLankan Airlines takes delivery of its second A330-300

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Sri Lanka`s national carrier and oneworld member, SriLankan Airlines, continuing its extensive w.. Read the Full Article

Sri Lankan government orders 125,000 motorbikes from Bajaj

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The Sri Lankan government has placed an order with India`s Bajaj Automobile Company for 125,000 moto.. Read the Full Article

Japan deports 26 Sri Lankan asylum seekers

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Japan has deported 26 Sri Lankans including asylum seekers on Thursday, after their applications for.. Read the Full Article

Landslide warning issued for 4 districts

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The National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) today issued a landslide warning for 4 districts in the country, if prevailing inclement weather conditions continue in the next 24 hours. MORE.. Read the Full Article

Two killed in earth mound collapse

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A 31-year-old woman and her six-year-old daughter were killed when an earth embankment collapsed on .. Read the Full Article

500 Goans to attend Sri Lanka canonisation ceremony

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Five hundred Goans will be granted financial assistance of 12,000 Indian rupees each for a trip to Sri Lanka for the canonisation ceremony of Blessed Joseph Vaz early next year, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said Friday. MORE.. Read the Full Article

Muthuhettigama kidnaps suspects of Wanduramba attack- CaFFE

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The UPFA parliamentarian and Deputy Minister Nishantha Muthuhettigama has allegedly kidnapped three suspects of the Wanduramba attack on Maithripala Sirisena's stage who were in the police custody, CaFFE told Ceylon Today Online.


The suspects who were to be produced before the Baddegama Magistrate Court and the armed police officers were unable to prevent the Deputy minister and his supporters from kidnapping the suspects.


However the police had followed the vehicle of the kidnappers and taken the suspects back to custody.


The suspects were later produced before the court and remanded till 29 December.

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Danuna Thilakaratne released on bail

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Danuna Thilakaratne, the son-in-law of the former Army Commander, Sarath Fonseka has surrendered to court through his lawyers today.


He was later released on Rs. 400,000 worth personal bail and two sureties.


He was accused of the HICROP fraud case and was avoiding police arrest.

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Protest against police in Koswadiya, Marawila

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A protest against the police has been staged at the Kosawadiya area in Marawila.


Speaking to Ceylon Today Online, Police Media Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said that people have gathered and have demonstrated protests obstructing the main road for not arresting a suspect.

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Eight children found dead in Australian home

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Eight children have been found dead at a house in Cairns in northern Queensland, say Australian police.
Police said a 34-year-old woman had been taken to hospital with stab wounds but was stable.


The details of the incident and the woman's relationship to the children, aged between 18 months and 15 years, are not yet clear.


Australian reports say the children were stabbed but police have not confirmed this.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in a statement it was an "unspeakable crime", and that all parents would feel "gut-wrenching sadness at what has happened".


Bruno Asnicar of Cairns Police said that the scenes his officers had witnessed were "extremely distressing"
The house in the Manoora suburb has been cordoned off and detectives are searching the yard.
Police have said it was a "tragic event" but there was no cause for public concern.


They have not made any arrests, but said the injured woman was assisting with their investigations.
The BBC's Jon Donnison in Sydney says it appears police are not looking for any suspects.(BBC)

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Modern Commercial Complex at Pundaluoya

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Work on the new commercial complex in Pundaluoya town began on Thursday (18th December). Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa commenced the project during a ceremony held at the Pundaluoya town last evening. Read the Full Article

Refurbished ‘Sanga Wasa’ declared open

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The newly refurbished 'Sanga Wasa' of the Niyamgamdora Raja Maha Viharaya in Kotmale was ceremonially declared open by Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa upon the invitation of the chief incumbent of the temple Ven. Madakumbure Leelananda Thero today (19th December). Read the Full Article

Secretary Defence declares open Kotagala Town Development Project

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Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa inaugurated the town development project of Kotagala during a ceremony there today (19th December). Read the Full Article

Secretary Defence graces Lanka Hospital Christmas Carol

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Secretary, Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa graced the Christmas Carol service organized by the Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC as the Chief Guest today evening (19th Dec) at the Hospital auditorium. Read the Full Article