Daily Archives: July 13, 2015

Mahinda Rajapaksa to run for Prime Minister in August elections


Former Sri Lanka leader to run for prime minister in August elections

COLOMBO (Reuters) – A coalition led by Sri Lanka’s president has nominated war-time leader Mahinda Rajapaksa to run in elections next month, official documents showed on Monday, with allies saying he will stand for the post of prime minister.

President Maithripala Sirisena defeated Rajapaksa in a bitterly fought election in January. He was forced to give the former leader the nomination in the face of strong demands from his party or risk a split.

Rajapaksa’s crushing of a 26-year Tamil Tiger insurgency in 2009 won him support among the island nation’s Sinhalese majority, and he still has a strong following. He becomes Sri Lanka’s first defeated leader to seek a legislative seat.

“Today, people wants a change. I’m leading the campaign with President Sirisena as the chairman of the party to form a Sri Lanka Freedom Party-led government,” Mahinda Rajapaksa told Reuters by phone after handing over the nomination documents.

Rajapaksa will stand in the country’s third-largest electoral district, Kurunagala, where most voters have relatives in the military. The elections are set for Aug 17.

Rajapaksa’s allies say if elected, he would immediately resume Chinese projects suspended by the Sirisena government.

Sirisena is re-examining certain projects in which China has invested, including a $1.4-billion port city in the capital, Colombo. China has already built a seaport and airport in Sri Lanka’s south, raising fears it is seeking influence in a country where neighbouring India has deep ties.

If his bid is successful, Rajapaksa will have more powers than any of his predecessors, after Sirisena enhanced some of the powers of the post with reforms in April. Sirisena will still have the power of a veto.

Sirisena, a former minister in Rajapaksa’s administration, defected last year to run for president, promising fresh elections in 2015. The parliamentary election comes after months of deadlock in the legislature, as a six-month-old coalition government cobbled together by Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe has struggled to pass key political reforms.

Wickremesinghe leads the centre-right United National Party (UNP), Sirisena the rival centre-left SLFP. Rajapaksa will run as part of an SLFP-led coalition, also headed by Sirisena.

Rajapaksa and his regime still face a United Nations war crimes investigation. A report on alleged rights abuses in the final phase of the war is due in September.

Samsung developing an astounding 11k mobile display


Samsung is teaming up with upwards of 13 companies, both foreign and domestic, in a collaborative effort to bring a prototype 11k display to mobile devices by 2018. Yes, you read that correctly: 11k. Interestingly enough, the South Korean Government will be playing an instrumental role in the project as it’s earmarking $26.5 million over the course of 5 years to help make this seemingly far out there technology a reality. Work on the initiative began last month, this according to a report from the Korean-based Electronic Times.

With most people still getting accustomed to 4k HDTV sets, putting 11k into perspective is probably a good idea. First off, 11k would result in an insanely high resolution of 2250 pixels per inch. By way of contrast, the incredible Retina Display on the iPhone 6 Plus packs a pixel density of 401. So yeah, we’re effectively talking about what amounts to an incomprehensible number of pixels on a device you can hold in your hand.

Second, one has to wonder if 11k on a mobile display, or even any display for that matter, is simply overkill.

Addressing the utility of such a high-res display, the report notes that when you pack in so many pixels into a mobile device, the display gives off a 3D-effect which, we would be inclined to imagine, would make for a rather lukewarm selling point.

If history is any indication, 3-D anything just doesn’t seem to resonate with the public at large. Remember 3D HDTVs? Remember the somewhat laughable 3D functionality that Amazon curiously added to its Fire Phone? Don’t worry, most people don’t either.

Addressing the issue of whether or not 11k is a display technology that serves any real useful purpose, Samsung Display executive Chu Hye Yong had this to say:

We are hoping that we are able to show such technologies at Pyeongchang Olympics if there is a progress in developing technologies. Although some might think that 11K as ‘over specification’ that consumers do not need, this can work as a basis for Korean display industry [to] take another leap if related materials and parts improve through this.

Say what you will about Samsung, the company certainly isn’t afraid to put itself out there. That said, this may seem cool as a research initiative, but as far as practical matters go, this doesn’t seem like something to get too excited about just yet.


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