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Mahela 84 sets up Board XI win

Nov 5 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene's 72-ball 84 set up a 20-run victory for the Board XI, after rain and a wet outfield had reduced the first practice match to 42 overs per side. Jayawardene was the only batsman to cross 50 in the match, in which the fast bowlers proved effective. Nuwan Kulasekara took 3 for 48, to help disrupt Sri Lanka A's chase, after Suranga Lakmal had also taken three wickets, during the Board XI's innings. Jayawardene built upon a sturdy provided by the opening pair, more..

EU Ambassador inaugurates Mannar bridge

Nov 5 (SM) The Ambassador of the European Union, David Daly, during his first official visit to the North, inaugurated a newly constructed bridge in a remote village Thevampiddy in Mannar District on 31 Oct. The traditional oil lamp lighting ceremony, opening ceremony and community meetings also witnessed the participation of the Assistant Director of Fisheries, Divisional Secretary and other prominent authorities. The new bridge built by EU partner ZOA will be used as an access way to more..

Commonwealth youth forum begins Nov.10

Nov 5 (GDI) The 9th Commonwealth Youth Forum (CYF9) will be inaugurated Nov. 10 at the International Conference Centre (ICC) in Hambantota. CYF9 is one of the three main meetings to be held on the sidelines of the CHOGM 2013. The biannual forum provides a platform for youth leaders across the Commonwealth to exchange ideas and cultures, to build skills and network, and to work towards identifying the more..

Gota says shanties must go

Nov 5 (CG) Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa says at a time when the city of Colombo is developing rapidly it is imperative to replace shanties and slums with sky high housing schemes. The Ministry of Defence quoted him as saying this after he announced that the newly constructed ‘Mihidhu Senpura’ 500 housing scheme situated in Dematagoda is ready to be handed over to the public this month. He stressed that there was some disinformation more..

Ranil to question six MPs

Nov 5 (CT) UNP and Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, told Parliament today that he would call for explanations from six UNP MPs including the General Secretary of the Party, Tissa Attanayake, who had failed to be present in the Chamber during question time. MPs Tissa Attanayake, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, Buddhika Pathirana, Ranjan Ramanayake and Rosy Senanayake were not present during question time though their names had been listed to more..

'I did not betray the party members'

Nov 5 (DM) UNP Leadership Council Chairman Karu Jayasuriya today denied allegations that he had betrayed party members. “People are at liberty to hold their own opinions on this appointment. The Chairmanship of the Council was given to me like all the previous posts. I did not ask for it,” he said today. He said if he wanted to betray the party he would not have contested Mr. Wickremesinghe to the party leadership. more..

EU envoy optimistic after visit

Nov 5 (CG) The recently appointed Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, David Daly, expressed optimism after he visited the conflict affected Mullaitvu District. The EU office in Colombo said that during his visit, Ambassador Daly met returnee families who are in the process of rebuilding their homes through the support provided by the EU in partnership with the Govt of Australia and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). more..

Consul Paranawithana leaving Toronto after successful tenure

Nov 5 (LR) Karunaratne Paranawithana, the Consul General of Sri Lanka in Toronto, is leaving after a successful tenure as the diplomatic representative for Sri Lanka. He is a humble, peaceful and loving person and a highly accomplished academic and a professional in many fields. Paranawithana had his early education at the village school, Dippitigala Maha Vidayala in Lellopitiya, north of the Gem City of Ratnapura. He moved to St. Aloysius College Ratnapura and entered the Uni of Colombo more..

Protests continue in TN over CHOGM, more stir likely

Nov 5 (PTI) Demonstrations against the Centre over its participation at the CHOGM in Sri Lanka continued in the state today. Cadres of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) led by Thol Thirumavalavan held a protest demonstration today at the busy Valluvar Kottam junction here. Accusing the BJP of "pressurising" the Congress to participate in the CHOGM meet, Thirumavalavan slammed the saffron party for doing "politics" on this issue. more..

On giving left and right

Nov 6 (NS) OMG, BTW, WTF and other three-letter ‘words’ which sound more like four-letter words are relatively new. Time was when acronym was ‘short’ for proper noun, for example a political party; there was the LSSP, CP, UNP, SLFP, FP, TULF, JVP and later TNA, ITAK, SU, JHU and so on. Maybe NGOs (yes, another three-letter four-letter word) had something to do with it. NGOs, or rather FGOs (Foreign Government Organizations) as veteran journalist and prolific commentator more..

The new Monte Carlo in the Indian sea

Nov 6 (CT) It has been said that most Sri Lankans are naturally gamblers. They will wager on anything, given a chance. They gamble at card games, even with ‘tows’, those small glass marbles that all boys, even small boys, play with. But now with the approval of the powers that be, James Packer – the mogul of gaming projects and facilities in Australia, has been given the green light to make SL a gaming centre in the Indian ocean region. Sri Lankans, let us admit it are notorious gamblers, more..

'Seeing is believing'-buzzword for international media

Nov 6 (SO) Deputy Minister Faiszer Musthapha said the Govt decided to hold CHOGM in Sri Lanka because Sri Lanka had nothing to hide and everything was transparent. If President Rajapaksa or Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa had something to hide, we would have never hosted an event of the stature of CHOGM in Sri Lanka. This shows the world that every action of the Govt was transparent. more..

25 years on: Aborted coup in the Maldives - Liberators turn Mercenaries in Male

Nov 6 (NS) The Maldives’ capital, island of Male, was invaded in a brutal attack exactly 25 years ago. It was carried out by Uma Maheswaran’s northern Sri Lankan terrorist outfit –PLOTE, in the wee hours of Nov 3, 1988. Some believe the PLOTE, headed by Uma Maheswaran, turned into a mercenary army when they chose to be hired by a Maldivian businessman, in a coup to topple the govt. Others think it was Uma himself, who initiated the move. However, the somewhat minor episode more..

Cultural nuances in corruption

Nov 6 (CT) I just returned from a work trip to East Timor, a country where social circles are closely knit affairs. It is hard to talk about someone who another does not know about, particularly in the capital city. Notion of kith and kin takes a lead in every social circle. The most trusted method of getting things done is to call someone you know. Now this poses a hard question to those who champion the cause of objectivity in public domains. I met few foreigners working in the development sector who more..

How much of a difference would it make?

Nov 6 (CT) A giant LED screen outside the Parliament complex was installed, at a cost of Rs 20 million, to show live parliamentary sessions to the public. The govt hopes the move would not only serve to make public the proceedings in Parliament, but would at the same time ensure that some of the ministers who allow their emotions to get the better of them, would conduct themselves with the dignity that their positions call. more..

Cameron and Manmohan

Nov 6 (Island) CHOGM is just around the corner and nobody can prevent it being held in Sri Lanka. The Commonwealth is an unsuccessful attempt by England to keep its empire on which the Sun did not want to set as the latter did not have any faith in the ‘mother country’. England at present is left with three colonies namely Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. However, it and the white Commonwealth countries continue to benefit from the grouping throwing crumbs like more..

Local Govt. politicians running amok

Nov 6 (CT) Four years after the victory of war, the biggest threat to the existence of the Rajapaksa regime has come not from without the administration, but from within. No, we are not talking about the Casino Bill that earned the ire of religious leaders, nor the recommendations of COPE report that call for monetary transparency and certainly not obtuse statements made by minister on crucial matters concerning people. The biggest threat to regime has been the conduct of more..

Minister, please help our doctors qualify younger

Nov 6 (ST) Approximately 1000 medical graduates qualify annually from the six, long-established state-run medical schools in Sri Lanka but a comprehensive review of their performance (so far) has not been done. We feel this is a must and duty as our medical education is totally funded by the public taxpayer. In general, our undergraduate medical education compulsorily commences soon after the A/L qualification. more..

Interface between SL and Asian neighbours, wider international community

Nov 6 (Island) With a historic CHOGM just round the corner, it may perhaps be apposite to reflect on the rather crucial manner in which the interpersonal relationships between Heads of State, political leaders of countries in the Asian Region as well as in the West, affected the history and the destiny of this little Island of ours. Very few realize how crucially portentous these inter-personal interactions have been in forming individual views based often on personal likes and dislikes and more..

'Beyond a reasonable doubt' Vs 'The balance of probabilities'

Nov 6 (CT) It seems like what used to be the yardsticks in allocating guilt in criminal and civil law respectively have now begun to play an increasingly important part in general public discourse with, it seems, an increasingly polarized Sri Lankan public choosing to use one or the other of those yardsticks as is convenient to them at any given point. What has lent a significant element of irrationality to the use of the two terms has been the dearth of hard information in the public domain more..

Mohammed Irshad’s story and the banality of violence in the Rajapaksa regime

Nov 6 (GV) Giving up a pensionable government job as a Samurdhi animator, Mohammed Irshad fled Sri Lanka began work as a bakery employee in Saudi Arabia. This is his story. Mohammed Irshad’s name may be unfamiliar, but many know the incident he was involved with and is a victim of. He was the public employee who was tied to a tree by the then Deputy Minister Mervyn Silva on Aug 3rd, 2010 at the Kelaniya PS more..

Another political gimmick?

Nov 6 (Island) The Private Transport Ministry has introduced a novel scheme where the public could make complaints via Skype, we are told. The question is how many ordinary commuters whose rights are blatantly violated by private bus workers have access to the Internet. However, one should not object to commuters being allowed to use Skype to lodge complaints however miniscule the number of beneficiaries may be. But, the problem is not the non-availability of Internet-based more..

UK’s tough message to Sri Lanka

Nov 6 (Island) At a media meeting with Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi, Britain’s PM David Cameron is reported to have stated that he plans to have: "some very tough conversations with the Sri Lankan govt… I‘m not happy with what they’ve done following the conflict and we’ll have some very frank conversations to make those points". This was followed up by UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Hugo Swire in a statement to the House of Commons where he had said: more..

Robin Hood of Mathematics: Sri Lankan Professor in USA wins award

Nov 6 (WN) Kirthi Premadasa is a modern-day mathematical Robin Hood, taking knowledge from academics around the world and giving it to students at the University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County. Where many in higher education use their research time to address abstract intellectual concepts, Premadasa sees an opportunity to improve his teaching skills – and make math more accessible to students. more..

Polish national carrier in fortnightly charter flights to Colombo

Nov 6 (FT) LOT Polish flag carrier of Poland has decided to operate charter services this Winter season to Colombo to offer its tourist an exotic destination with a unique service of three classes of travel – Business, Premium Economy and Economy. The flights would be operated every other week with nonstop service between Warsaw/Colombo VV. LOT Polish will depart Warsaw on Wednesday at 19.30 LT and arrive in Colombo at 08.40 LT on Thursday. more..

Spence shows the way!

Nov 6 (FT) Aitken Spence PLC said yesterday it will launch the first business model involving the Southern Highway and the Mattala Airport by investing in a US$ 100 million (over Rs. 13 billion) beach resort in Ahungalla to be managed by an international hotel chain. The five-storey 500-roomed 5-star luxury resort which will be managed by RIU Hotels, Spain, would also be a first for the Spanish chain, being their inaugural project in the Asia Pacific region. more..

Thirty cricket wickets for North & East

Nov 6 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket announced yesterday that practice cricket wickets, jointly undertaken by SLC and the Foundation of Goodness, have come as an initiative to promote cricket development in rural schools in the North and East of the island. ‘Post conflict era has seen enormous talent which needs to be harnessed for the greater advancement of cricket in our nation,’ a communiqué by SLC said on Tuesday. more..

LB Finance debt to be listed on CSE

Nov 6 (Island) Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) has approved a finance company’s request to list the company’s debt securities on the main board of CSE. LB finance in its stock market filing said that the company was planning to sell Rs. 2 billion debt. CSE said that it approved a 10 million debenture of Rs. 100 each applied by the company and a further 10 million in case of an oversubscription. Subscriptions will open on Nov 19 and Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka will be the manager. more..

Businesses take to air without fear now

Nov 6 (Island) Sri Lanka’s largest listed blue chip conglomerate, JKH wouldn’t have dared to even think of investing in a domestic airline during the height of the war. In fact none of the major players would have felt comfortable with large scale investments due to the intensity of the conflict. The launch of night air raids targeting Colombo and its suburbs as well as BIA during eelam war IV caused further deterioration of the situation. But today JKH owned the lion’s share (40%) of Cinnamon Air, more..

World ICT visionaries bestow ICT leadership award on President

Nov 6 (FT) World ICT visionaries recently bestowed an ICT leadership award on President Rajapaksa in view of the President’s far-sighted commitment to ICT development in Sri Lanka, the region and the world. The presentation approved by World Summit Award (WSA) board members representing all regions took place during the inauguration of the WSA 2013 at the Presidential Secretariat recently. more..

Sujeewa Senasinghe charges 'Karu betrays UNPers again'

Nov 6 (CT) UNP MP, Sujeewa Senasinghe, berated Karu Jayasuriya to his face yesterday for acting in breach of the written agreement with the United Bhikkhu Front (UBF), by entering into an underhand pact with UNP Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, thereby betraying the Party and the members, yet again. Senasinghe had furiously blasted Jayasuriya during the discussions that were held yesterday at the Polwatte Temple, Kollupitiya, attended by the Leader of the UBF and those who have more..

India’s Sri Lanka policy is a litany of wrong priorities

Nov 6 (TT) It will not be lost on most of the Commonwealth heads of state and govt arriving in Colombo next week that the spanking new highway along which they are being whisked from the airport to their hotels in Sri Lanka’s capital has been built by a Chinese contracting company with financial assistance from the Export-Import Bank of China. It no longer merits much attention that the main venue of the CHOGM, the BMICH, was an outright gift from China. After all, a bigger meeting of more..

'It’s amazing how fast Sri Lanka has progressed since end of war'

Nov 6 (Island) Czech Republic’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Kohout, who arrives in Colombo on Wednesday with a large delegation, has commended Sri Lanka for the progress it has made with rebuilding its infrastructure and economy that were ravaged by a three-decade-long ethnic war that ended in May 2009. In an interview on the eve of his arrival in Colombo, he said: "It has been only four and a half years since the end of the conflict more..

Don’t shelve human rights: Callum Macrae

Nov 6 (TOI) A few - depressingly few - Commonwealth leaders are currently agonizing about whether or not to attend CHOGM 2013 in Sri Lanka. The most important of those leaders is Indian PM Manmohan Singh. But whichever way he falls on that question, an even bigger one looms - a question whose answer will be of existential significance to the Commonwealth itself. Should SL be allowed (as precedent would suggest) to become "chair in office" of the Commonwealth for more..

Liberian diplomat caught with narcotics

Nov 6 (CT) A Liberian national holding a diplomatic passport, was arrested at the BIA, Katunayake, for possessing 30 kg of heroin said to be worth Rs 195 million, while he was attempting to leave Sri Lanka yesterday. The diplomat who serves the Liberian Embassy in Uganda had been living in the East African country. He had apparently maintained that he had visited Sri Lanka before with the Ugandan Ambassador to Sri Lanka which the BIA officials claimed was a false assertion. more..

'India can isolate Sri Lanka through boycott of CHOGM'

Nov 6 (Hindu) India through its boycott of the CHOGM can isolate Sri Lanka and rope in friendly countries to vote against handing over the Commonwealth Chairperson-in-Office (CIO) to its President Rajapaksa, said VCK leader Thol. Thirumavalavan. He said once Mr. Rajapaksa assumed the office of the Chairperson it would be extremely difficult to subject him to any international inquiry for his alleged war crimes more..

Difficult to support PM's CHOGM visit if agenda not clearly spelled out: BJP

Nov 6 (PTI) BJP today said it will be very difficult for it to support the visit of PM Manmohan Singh to Sri Lanka to participate in the CHOGM if the Centre does not clearly spell out the agenda it will pursue in the conference. Stating that the party national leadership had not yet taken a formal position on CHOGM participation, BJP National General Secretary, P Muralidhar Rao said that the Centre had not spelt out its agenda for the meet. "You cannot simply attend one more conference, more..

'Allow Sinhalese families to settle in North'

Nov 6 (CT) President of the Jaffna Tamil Buddhist Association, Ravi Kumar, said the Sinhalese should not be prevented from living in the peninsula. Ravi Kumar, in a statement said, the cordiality between the Sinhalese and the Tamils in the North should be encouraged and no differences should be shown to the Sinhalese who wish to settle in Jaffna. Referring to the issues faced by the Sinhalese families due to the actions of a certain TNA MP opposing the settlement of Sinhala families, more..

Five hacked to death, one critically injured

Nov 6 (Island) Police have arrested a man suspected of hacking to death five persons and critically injuring one in the early hours of yesterday at Vihara Halmillakulama in the Anuradhapura police area. Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana told The Island that the police would record a statement from the only person who survived the gruesome attack. Survivor, K.A. Piyadasa, who was the head of the household, was in a serious condition. more..

Illegal occupation of Barnes Place CMC land nobody’s business

Nov 6 (DN) Wrongful possession of a CMC-owned plot of land at Barnes Place, Cinnamon Gardens by a car sales owner, has continued without any action being taken against the offender under the Municipal Councils Ordinance No 16 of 1947. No action has been taken by the CMC even so much as to put up a notice that the land is a property of the Council. Meanwhile, the persons involved in this illegal act of possessing the Council’s land, have begun constructions on it. more..