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Sri Lanka press slams selectors for defeat

Apr 3 (AFP) Sri Lanka’s defeated cricket team returned home on Sunday to calls from the state-run media demanding a probe into “blunders right from the start”. “Who picked the final XI of the Sri Lanka team for the World Cup final against India?” the Sunday Observer asked. It questioned the dropping of spinner Ajantha Mendis in favour of Suraj Randiv who failed to impress after only joining the squad as an injury replacement on Friday. more..

Mob attack in Hatton following WC final

Apr 4 (BBC) Police say that they have arrested four people suspected on an attack following a the protest threat by a cabinet minister. Superintendent of Police Prishantha Jayakody said that the suspects were remanded until the 15th of March. "This was a clash between two groups and the situation is under control," he said. However, a government minister maintained that they have provided names of four people 'who were among a mob that attacked Tamil community in Up Country". more..

Century no consolation for Jayawardene

Apr 4 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene, the Sri Lanka batsman, has said his sublime century in the World Cup final was no consolation following his team's six-wicket defeat. Jayawardene's was the first instance of a batsman scoring a century in a World Cup final in a losing cause. "I would swap that century any day for a championship medal," Jayawardene told the ICC, adding that India's batting line-up proved too strong to defend 274 against. "We fought well but it wasn't enough. more..

Malinga says wet ball hampered bowling

Apr 4 (CI) Lasith Malinga and Muttiah Muralitharan came in to the World Cup final with 27 wickets between them in the tournament. They were expected to lead Sri Lanka's attack on Saturday, but Murali went wicketless and Malinga couldn't build on his first spell of 2 for 11 in four overs. Malinga got the early wickets of Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar, but failed to give Sri Lanka a breakthrough in the middle overs, as he so often does with the old ball. more..

Stockwell shooting: Mother of victim 'empty inside'

Apr 4 (BBC) The mother of a five-year-old girl who was shot in the chest in a south London shop has said she feels "empty inside". Thusha Kamaleswaran, who was wounded along with another bystander in Stockwell on 29 March, remains in a serious but stable condition. Thusha's mother Sharmila said she could not eat or sleep properly until her daughter opened her eyes. Anthony McCalla, 19, has been remanded in custody charged with attempting to murder Thusha and Roshan Selvakumar. more..

Injured Mathews out of IPL

Apr 4 (CI) Angelo Mathews will miss the upcoming IPL because of the leg injury that also caused him to miss the World Cup final against India in Mumbai. He is expected to be out of action for eight weeks. Mathews has a $950,000 contract with Pune Warriors, having played for Kolkata Knight Riders in previous seasons of the IPL. "I have pulled a muscle," Mathews said in Colombo after the Sri Lankan team returned from India. "I am finding it difficult to walk, it will take about eight weeks to heal." more..

'Match fixed' SMS gave people the jitters during final

Apr 4 (IANS) During the tension filled moments of the cricket World Cup final, SMSes alleging the India-Sri Lanka match was fixed gave people the blues. Fans started despairing when some of the claims in the text actually came true! An SMS that started doing the rounds from Saturday morning read: 'SL (Sri Lanka) will bat first. SL will make 270-273 runs. Sehwag will be out in first over (he has already been paid Rs.23 crore in UBS-Swiss bank). more..

Rajapaksa consoles Lankan cricket team players

Apr 4 (PTI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa consoled the players of the defeated Sri Lankan cricket team, saying he was still proud that they took the country to the World Cup finals. "We can be proud of the team and Sri Lanka will stand by them to move forward," Rajapaksa said in a message to the team which returned home from Mumbai after receiving defeat at the hands of India in the final match. President Rajapaksa, who also travelled to Mumbai for the finals, had returned home last night itself. more..

Jayawardene knock reminds curator of Vishy

Apr 4 (Hindu) Mahela Jayawardene’s unbeaten 103 in WC 2011 final was a knock any of the Indian batting heavyweights would be proud to have played. The Sri Lankan maestro finished on the losing side for the second consecutive WC decider in a row. In these times when heavy bats, muscular shoulders have lend a coarse brutality to batting, he looks out of place with accent on timing, placement and soft hands. Sri Lankan captain in 2007 World Cup final, which was won by Australia, more..

JVP condemns increasing fuel prices amidst ‘World Cup’ final

Apr 4 (LT) The JVP condemns the increase in prices of gas, petrol and diesel while people’s attention had been drawn towards the final math of the ICC World Cup tournament. A communiqué issued by the Political Bureau of the JVP states this act again confirms that the present government as well as the present economic system cannot give relief to the masses. The communiqué of the Political Bureau of the JVP states: more..

India fined for maintaining a slow over-rate against Sri Lanka

Apr 4 (YC) The India team has been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 final in Mumbai against Sri Lanka on Saturday. Jeff Crowe of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees imposed the fines after Mahendra Singh Dhoni's side was ruled to be one over short of its target at the end of the match when time allowances were taken into consideration. In accordance with ICC Code of Conduct regulations governing minor over-rate offences, more..

Tamils protest at Swiss asylum policy

Apr 4 (SI) Hundreds of people have protested in the Swiss capital Bern against the potential repatriation of asylum seekers to Sri Lanka. Protestors called for a rethink of a decision in force since March 1, saying the human rights situation in Sri Lanka remained precarious. At the start of the year, the Federal Migration Office said the situation in the country had improved and decided that most asylum seekers could return to the north and east of the country more..

Sangakkara leads ICC's World Cup XI

Apr 4 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara has been named captain of the ICC's team of the 2011 World Cup that is dominated by players from India and Sri Lanka, with seven spots going to the finalists. The side, selected with subcontinent conditions in mind and on the basis of performances in the tournament, was chosen by the same jury of officials and media persons who named Yuvraj Singh as Player of the Tournament. The tournament's top two run-scorers, more..

Torture common practice by the police and army in Tamil areas

Apr 4 (LG) Relatives of torture victims in a family dispute have contacted the Sri Lanka Guardian with firsthand account of inhuman practices by the state forces to extract information from the accused. It is clear from the information provided, the police and the army have acted one sided by holding the complainant’s complaint as gospel and tortured the defendant to agree to the accusations. The police and army in this case had taken the side of the complainant and more..

Lanka’s ILA study circle talks Fundamentalism

Apr 4 (LG) A recent local occurrence brought alive for me a fact of vast importance that has gone practically unnoticed both here and abroad. I was one of the three speakers at a meeting held by the ILA International Study Circle on the pro-democracy upheaval going on in the Arab world. The other speakers were Latheef Farook and Ameen Izzadeen, both of whom are well-known journalists who can speak authoritatively on the politics of the Islamic world. more..

Sri Lanka achieves MDG on water and sanitation

Apr 4 (SO) Amidst international development agency - WaterAid - calling upon the South Asian region to invest more in sanitation to save the lives of over 2.8 million children under the age of five, the Sri Lankan Government said the island had achieved the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals on water and sanitation that targeted a coverage of 84.5 percent by 2015, three years ahead. more..

Aberrations of a few and the credibility of many

Apr 4 (LG) Newspapers and non-governmental institutions, among others, run largely on their own credibility. Where newspapers are concerned, it is well understood that matter presented as a question of fact in the news pages is viewed quite differently from what is published as opinion or comment, such as in a column. Comments and opinion jostle each other in the ‘marketplace of ideas’, as has been famously said. The public is thereby presented with a variety of more..

Interference in the banking sector

Apr 4 (LG) Events at the Commercial Bank’s annual general meeting on Wednesday where Ranjit Fernando, a veteran Sri Lankan banker, was ‘forced’ to withdraw his bid for re-election as a director despite the nomination being approved unanimously by the bank board, brings us back to the problem of governance and state interference in the private banks. Ever since state institutions and state funds like Sri Lanka Insurance (SLI), EPF and ETF began investing in private, commercial banks, more..

Elders in North under Govt care -NP Governor

Apr 4 (SO) Northern Province Governor Maj.Gen. G.A. Chandrasiri refuted reports in sections of the Tamil media that the Govt and Provincial Administration had no programs to look after the destitute elders of the province and that thousands of them were languishing in their homes after returning from IDP villages in Chettikulam, Vavuniya with no one to care for them. He also refuted as totally false the accusations of TNA MPs that more..

Their Colombo Plan

Apr 4 (TC) The campaign to replace popular sovereignty with Rajapaksa sovereignty swung into top-gear last week. The regime announced that the Colombo Municipal Council and four other local authorities will be placed under the control of a new, unelected, entity: the Colombo Metropolitan Corporation. The new CMC (selecting a title with the identical acronym is quintessential Rajapaksa; this way the new CMC can replace the old CMC effortlessly, initially on official documents and assets and more..

Guild alerts industry on 'chefs drain'

Apr 4 (SO) "Training new chefs and developing incumbent chefs are vital for the sustainability of the culinary sector of our country which thrives on tourism", said President of the Chefs Guild of Lanka, Ranjit Morugama at a press conference held at the Hilton Hotel, Colombo. The confab marked the launch of Culinary Art 2011, Sri Lanka's biggest food and trade exhibition which will be held for the 14th time this year, from July 29 to August 1 at the BMICH. more..

Lasantha would have turned 53

Apr 4 (SL) Lasantha Wickrematunge the assassinated editor of The Sunday Leader would have turned 53 this year on Tuesday, April 5. To commemorate his birthday The Sunday Leader has opened a special page dedicated to his memory on the newspaper’s website Some of Lasantha’s articles will be posted there. Lasantha Wickrematunge was assassinated on January 8, 2009. Born in 1958, Lasantha Wickrematunge, more..

Editorial: It's all right Sanga

Apr 4 (Island) In Mumbai on Saturday, we saw good cricket. The World Cup final 2011 ended with India emerging victorious and Sri Lanka becoming runners-up. However, the overall winner, in our opinion, was cricket. Sri Lankan cricket lovers who wanted the much coveted cup brought home like in 1996 were disappointed but consolation came in the form of a good fight put up by Sanga and his boys, who, as Ravi Shastri said at Saturday's award ceremony, gave the Indians a run for their money. more..

Editorial: Vye for 2015

Apr 4 (DM) It should have been a victory. It is in a way. The whole nation stands disappointed, but the heartening thing is we as a nation had not given up or turned against the cricketers. The nation still stands behind the team even in defeat. It was anyhow, a much needed victory for a country that had gone through continuous misery for three decades. It would have been a balm for a nation that was wounded in war and natural calamities. But destiny had it otherwise. more..

JVP: Still a force to be reckoned with?

Apr 4 (SL) The defeat experienced by the JVP at the local govt elections and the decline in its vote bank has been a subject of much discussion among political circles. The JVP, which was at one time considered the third force in the country’s political arena, seems to have lost that position. The JVP polled a total of 181,220 votes at the local govt elections on March 17, or 3% of the total number of votes polled, returning 57 members to the local govt bodies. more..

Stopping vehicles on zebra crossings taboo

Apr 4 (SO) The City Traffic Police have warned motorists to refrain from stopping vehicles on the Zebra crossings when pedestrians use them. According to a senior Police spokesman, many motorists were in the habit of stopping their vehicles on the crossing line until pedestrians cross the road. City Traffic Police, SSP Chula de Silva said that over 300 such cases are reported from Colombo and other major cities every month and the offenders are produced before the Courts. more..

Govt to do away with jumbo translocation

Apr 4 (DN) The Wildlife Conservation Department has decided to do away with elephant translocation with immediate effect considering the negative impact it has caused to both humans and elephants, a spokesperson of the Department said. She said that previous translocation attempts had proved to be unsuccessful. "The elephants had somehow tried to find a route to go back to their previous location. Translocation can affect the behaviour of the elephants. more..

Diaspora in-fighting volcanic

Apr 4 (LB) Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) has split after Vishwanathan Rudrakumaran, the ‘prime minister of TGTE’ last week expelled a group of dissidents from the council. A bitter internecine fight within the TGTE that was set up in May last year, came to the surface after Pon Balarajan, the ‘speaker of the TGTE’ wrote to a group of members who are identified as ‘TGTE-Democrats,’ announcing their expulsion from the TGTE. more..

Sajith opposes proposal

Apr 4 (SL) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe proposed the removal of the post of National Organiser from the list of the party’s office bearers when the UNP’s Advisory Committee met last Friday (1). The Advisory Committee members that included Wickremesinghe, Deputy Leaders Karu Jayasuriya and Sajith Premadasa, General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, Treasurer Senarath Kapukotuwa and Chairman Gamini Jayawickrema Perera met last Friday afternoon to decide on the implementation of more..

Premadasa - down and almost out?

Apr 4 (LB) Yes, the President was gung-ho about the success of the Sri Lankan cricket team in reaching the World Cup finals, and a cross section of his MPs were raring to go to Mumbai in a special chartered flight. But ever the man for comprehending the political magic of the moment, he said last week that all Sri Lankans should win the World Cup for Murali. Look at the nuance of his statement — it would be enough to make the Opposition want to cry foul, even though they cannot, more..

GL has cross party talks in UK, meeting ministers

Apr 4 (Island) External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris, now in London on an official visit to the UK, has completed what the Sri Lanka High Commission described yesterday as cordial discussions with a cross-party group of British lawmakers on developments here including post-conflict progress. The minister is due to have talks with several British ministers including Defence Secretary Liam Fox, Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green and more..

Why ‘Melstacorp’ by Harry J?

Apr 4 (FT) The corporate and investor community were surprised recently by business leader Harry Jayawardena’s choice of a company called Melstacorp by acquiring a 47% controlling stake in Pelwatte Sugar Industries for Rs. 890 million. Melstacorp was identified as a subsidiary of Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka (DCSL). It appears that this subsidiary was recently floated as it wasn’t in the DCSL Group in the 2009/10 financial year. For some of his previous acquisitions more..

Fifty percent drop in ragging incidents

Apr 4 (DN) Ragging in Universities has declined by 50 percent with the strict enactment of anti-ragging and anti-violence laws UGC Chairman Prof Gamini Samaranayake told the Daily News yesterday. He said that he has requested from parents and undergraduates to contact him personally if they encounter incidents of ragging in Universities. He said that sometimes even the names of raggers had been revealed through the phone calls he received. more..

Dandeniya has last laugh

Apr 4 (NS) After taking a heap of criticism on the chin in the past one and a half years or so Sri Lanka’s World Cup director Suraj Dandeniya has had the last laugh at his critics who thought that he was not the right man for the job when Sri Lanka Cricket and the International Cricket Council (ICC) appointed him to the post. After successfully hosting 12 of the 49 Cricket World Cup matches in Sri Lanka at three venues – Hambantota, Pallakele and Colombo more..

Final doosra for Sri Lanka

Apr 4 (NZH) With 12 precise paces towards the popping crease and an almighty rotation of the right shoulder, right wrist and both eyes, Muttiah Muralitharan has left an indelible image in cricket history. Eight hundred times in tests and 534 times in one-dayers (up until last night) that image was followed by a beaming smile and a swarm of whooping team-mates as he took the wickets that propelled him to world record hauls in both forms of the game. more..

Right Of Reply

Apr 4 (SL) This has reference to your article published in the Sunday Leader on the 20th of March 2011. Under the caption “VVIP Vehicle Kills Another Youth” in page No. 08 right-hand bottom columns. We have to state categorically that some of the information given in the article is highly biased writing by Nirmala Kannangara reporter from Avissawella. She has failed to get information from both parties. more..

Development Diaries

Sea planes give in to fishermen

Apr 4 (SL) The SriLankan Air Taxi project will shift its initially planned water aerodrome base at the Negombo Lagoon to the Dandugam Oya, said CEO, SriLankan Airlines, Manoj Gunawardena. “There is a landing strip being prepared on the Dandugam Oya. Once it is prepared we will move the seaplanes there,” said Gunawardena, adding that the new location was not more than 10km away from the previous site, by road. He said that the fleet of Air Taxis was currently based in Koggala, more..

Dengue breeding grounds: two schools warned

Apr 4 (DM) Two leading boys’ schools in Colombo City have been found to have dengue mosquito breeding grounds in their premises while Colombo city is currently experiencing a dengue outbreak. Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam, the chief medical officer of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), said that these schools had been warned that legal action would be taken if they failed to clean up their premises. Dr. Kariyawasam said there had been 200 dengue cases in the city last month and more..

23 LTTE boats recovered in Mankulam

Apr 4 (DM) Twenty three fibreglass boats belonging to the LTTE were recovered in a forest area in Sellapuram -Naththalkandami in Mankulam, police media spokesman Prishantha Jayakody said. A special police team from the Mankulam police recovered the boats hidden by the LTTE during the last days of the war in the Mallavi police area. The Mankulam police are conducting further investigations regarding the recovery of the boats from the area. more..