Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka To Print 66-cm-long Ballot Paper For Presidential Polls

COLOMBO, Oct 11 (NNN-XINHUA) – Sri Lanka’s Elections Commission said, the ballot paper for the upcoming presidential elections would be 26 inches (66 cm), the longest in Sri Lankan history, due to a record number of 35 candidates running for presidency.

Local media reports, quoting Elections Commissioner, Mahinda Deshapriya, said that, the ballot paper would incur additional printing costs, and bigger ballot boxes would have to be set up, in all voting centres across the island country, to store the longer ballot papers.

Sri Lanka’s Sirisena exits, with reform promises unfulfilled

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has decided not to seek reelection next month after failing to fulfill many of the promises of his first term.

A record 35 candidates filed nominations Monday for the Nov. 16 election, with former defense chief Gotabaya Rajapaksa considered the favorite.

Rajapaksa, who served as defense chief under his brother, former strongman President Mahinda Rajapaksa, is popular for his part in ending the government’s long civil war against ethnic minority Tamil rebels a decade ago.

Sri Lankan court dismisses case challenging presidential candidate Rajapaksa's citizenship

COLOMBO (Reuters) - A Sri Lankan court on Friday dismissed a legal case challenging presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Sri Lankan citizenship, removing a major barrier he faced in contesting the Nov. 16 poll.

The three-judge panel of Appeal Court unanimously dismissed the case that challenged the validity of Rajapaksa’s Sri Lankan citizenship, which he obtained in 2005.

Sri Lankan presidential nominee Rajapaksa faces court test over nationality

COLOMBO (Reuters) - A court in Sri Lanka set up a three-judge panel on Monday to hear a petition challenging the citizenship of presidential nominee Gotabaya Rajapaksa, which could disqualify the hardline former defense chief from the Nov. 16 vote if it succeeds.

Rajapaksa is widely seen as the election frontrunner because of his popularity among majority Sinhala Buddhists over his role in ending a 26-year civil war in 2009, ushering in a decade of relative peace until Easter Day bombings that killed 250 people.

Sri Lanka's presidential elections to be held on Nov. 16

COLOMBO, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's Elections Commission announced on Wednesday night that the country's presidential elections will be held on Nov. 16.

The election date is set nearly two months before the incumbent's term ends. In a special gazette notification, the Elections Commission said candidates could present their nominations on Oct. 7.

The island country's main opposition party has named former President Mahinda Rajapaksa's younger brother and former defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa as its presidential candidate.

Mahindra inaugurates its first automotive assembly plant in Sri Lanka

New Delhi, Aug 17 (PTI) Auto major Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) on Saturday announced the inauguration of its local automotive assembly plant near Colombo, Sri Lanka .

"Christened Mahindra Ideal Lanka Pvt. Ltd. this assembly plant is in collaboration with Ideal Motors of Sri Lanka. The assembly plant today rolled out its first product, the compact SUV, KUV100 and will roll out a slew of products over the next 3 years," the company said in a statement.

Colombo to lift 'state of emergency' by Aug

Chennai, Aug 14 (PTI) The state of emergency imposed in Colombo after the April 21 Easter blasts that killed 290 people will be lifted later this month, Sri Lankan Minister John Amaratunga said here on Wednesday.

"Our security forces, police, intelligence were able to apprehend and catch all those terrorists (involved in the attack). They were taken into custody and now they are being produced before the court of law," the minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs said.

Former Sri Lankan strongman’s brother to run for president

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who was a livewire in Sri Lanka’s military campaign to end a long civil war but faces allegations of human rights violations, was nominated Sunday as the opposition’s candidate for the presidential election scheduled for later this year.

Gotabaya, a brother of former strongman President Mahinda Rajapaksa, was a powerful defense bureaucrat under his brother’s government, which defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels’ 26-year insurgency in 2009.

Sri Lanka gives free visa to boost tourism after bomb blasts

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka announced Wednesday it will give a one-month free visa on arrival to visitors from nearly 50 countries in its latest effort to revive the island nation’s lucrative tourism industry that was badly hit by the Easter bomb attacks that killed 263 people.

Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said tourists or those visiting for business purposes could get their free visa on arrival or applying online. The measure will be effective for six months, starting from Thursday.

Seven Indian fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan navy

Rameswaram Jul 28 (PTI) Seven Tamil Nadu fishermen were arrested on Sunday by Sri Lankan naval personnel off Nedunthivu for allegedly fishing in the island nation's territorial waters.

The fishermen claimed they had crossed the International Maritime Boundary Line due to strong winds and rough seas.

However the Lankan navalmen charged them with poaching in their territory, seized their boat and arrested them, fisheries department officials said.

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