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McCullum takes flight once again

Dec 29 (CI) Freeze the action just after Tharindu Kaushal lets rip with the 20th ball of his Test career. Rip is the right word too, not tweak. Bouncing in with high knees, wrist bent, flapping around, Kaushal is like a marionette. When he lets go of the ball, the wrist whips around the other way, imparting more work on the ball than his fingers. An offspinner with a leggie's method. "Shades of Murali," his domestic team-mates have said about him. That 20th ball was to Brendon McCullum, more..

Day 1: McCullum 195 flays Sri Lanka

Dec 29 (CI) Brendon McCullum KO-ed Sri Lanka on Boxing Day with the fastest century in NZ's Test history. Not content with that, he nearly broke the world record for the quickest double-hundred, but fell five runs short - for 195 off 134 deliveries. McCullum put severe pressure on the bowlers and fed off the resulting inconsistency to ensure that all his four 50-plus scores in 2014 were turned into massive centuries, 224, 302, 202 more..

BJP’s social media expert logs in for MR

Dec 29 (Hindu) President Rajapaksa, who is running for a third term in office, has roped in an Indian IT expert to help with his social media campaign for the Jan 8 elections. Arvind Gupta, one of the chief architects of PM Narendra Modi’s social media campaign in the general election, is among those offering assistance to the incumbent President, according to highly placed sources in Colombo. However, when contacted, Mr. Gupta, who heads the BJP’s IT cell, at first said: more..

Video: I will return in a day or two: Muthu

Dec 29 (DM) Deputy Minister Nishantha Muthuhettigama who spoke to the Media over the phone from Singapore said he would return to the country in two days. “When something happens there is no one to look after us. I will be back in two days to ensure the victory of the President. I left the country because the Police got into a “Kulappuwa” (panic attack) and tried to arrest me,” he said. SSP Ajith Rohana said the Minister was not prevented from leaving the country more..

Tsunami horror haunts Sri Lanka survivors

Dec 29 (AJ) In the early hours of Dec 26, 2004, a devastating tsunami struck the shores of Sri Lanka, claiming the lives of 35,322 people and displacing over half a million others. The coastal communities are gearing up to relive a day that saw families torn apart when sea waves, triggered by a 9.1-magnitude earthquake, struck a dozen countries around the Indian Ocean rim, killing 220,000 people. SL was still battling a prolonged civil war more..

Chandrika confident of polls win

Dec 29 (CG) Former President Chandrika Kumarathunga today expressed confidence in the common opposition winning the Presidential elections next month. Speaking at an event at Crow Island in Colombo to mark the 10th anniversary of the Asian tsunami, Kumarathunga said that the unity among several political parties which are backing Maithripala Sirisena for President, gives the guarantee they can win. Kumarathunga recalled that soon after the 2004 tsunami, political parties more..

Maithripala to meet young professionals to discuss 'Future'

Dec 29 (AM) Opposition’s common candidate Mathripala Sirisena will be addressing a public meeting organized by the Young Professionals Organization of UNP on Saturday at 9 am at the New Town Hall. UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake, former Vice President of the UNP Imthiaz Bakeer Markar and YPO President and the Chief Opposition Whip of the WPC Harshana Rajakaruna shall also address the gathering themed, “The presidential election, the future and you”. more..

Aboard Sri Lanka's tsunami train, an anguished hope of reunion

Dec 26 (Reuters) Ten years after a towering wave hurled the Sri Lankan train Samudra Devi off its tracks and killed more than 1,000 people, passenger Shanthi Gallage still carries a faint hope of finding her missing husband and daughter. Samudra Devi, or Ocean Queen, made a special journey on Friday to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami, which killed an estimated 40,000 people in SL more..

Sri Lanka may lose forex reserve beauty contest amid ultra-low interest rates

Dec 26 (EN) Sri Lanka has seen its foreign reserves grow back to record volumes over the past two years as domestic credit slowed, but ultra-low rates and repayments to the IMF are taking their toll. Now domestic credit is picking up and nominal interest rates are at historic lows, making it more difficult for the Central Bank to hold on to collected reserves (Why do nominal rates matter? – problem of PIGS countries). Balance of payments troubles, foreign reserve movements and exchange rate more..

Namal Rajapaksa lodges complaint with elections commissioner against state media

Dec 26 (AM) Namal Rajapaksa, Presidential Candidate of Our National Front, lodged a complaint with the Elections Commissioner today over the conduct of state media with regard to the upcoming presidential election. Rajapaksa, in his complaint, stated that state-run media stations were acting in a biased manner promoting only one candidate. He also added that elections laws do not allow state media to promote the candidature of any candidate contesting the presidential election. more..

Video: Ranil, Maithri give statements to CID

Dec 26 (DM) The CID has recorded statements from Opposition Presidential Candidate Mathiripala Sirisena and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday, following a complaint made to the IGP by Mr. Wickremesinghe. He had earlier urged the Police to investigate the alleged agreement distributed to the media by former UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake. Wickremesinghe alleged that his signature more..

Sri Lanka mudslides kill 9

Dec 26 (AP) At least nine people have been killed in mudslides triggered by heavy rains in the central hills of Sri Lanka. Disaster-response officials say more than 60,000 people have been evacuated and 3,000 homes destroyed as floods and mudslides covered many parts of the Indian Ocean island in the last four days. A spokesman at disaster management center, says nine people were killed in the Badulla district on Friday. Another eight have been injured and two are missing. more..

'Sirisena has pledged to betray prez and military'

Dec 26 (Island) Common opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena had been planning to muster the support of anti-Sri Lankan international forces by promising a war-crimes tribunal to try war heroes, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe charged. He said that The Hindu newspaper had published a news story of Sirisena promising a war crimes inquiry. "Sirisena has also informed the European Union of his plan to hold a war crimes inquiry and that he would do it on a priority basis. more..

For Sri Lankan President, renounced by aides, confidence of re-election dims

Dec 26 (NYT) In the days after Mahinda Rajapaksa, the SL president, was betrayed by a group of his longtime aides, comparisons were made to Judas Iscariot and the serpent in the Garden of Eden, but nothing expressed the depth of the president’s hurt and bewilderment like the fact that the desertion had occurred just after a shared meal of hoppers. As he watched his old allies begin to stage an unexpected campaign last month more..

Lakthilaka asks Weerawansa to read MR's election manifesto

Dec 26 (AM) Attorney at Law Shiral Lakthilaka has slammed Minister Wimal Weerawansa for slinging mud at Maithripala Sirisena while not properly reading through Mahinda Rajapaksa’s election manifesto. Lakthilaka argued that Rajapaksa has also promised many things promised by Sirisena but Weerawansa slings mud without taking that into consideration, he added. He added that the govt was releasing documents for people to read them and Weerawansa must do so. more..

Video: The tsunami of 2004 and the little girl in the Christmas dress

Dec 26 (CBC) The Boxing Day tsunami in 2004 took everything away from her, except for the brand new Christmas dress 10-year-old Abirami was wearing. Ten years later, CBC sent cameras looking for her again in Sri Lanka. She's all grown up now and still somehow hanging on to a Canadian connection from long ago. In those days, a decade ago, surrounded by death, the impulse of all affected was to try to seek out and cling to life. Our CBC film crew watched plenty of life on a beach outside more..

'We drew inspiration from Modi’s campaign'

Dec 26 (AD) Former Minister Rajitha Senaratne says that the SL opposition drew its inspiration from Narendra Modi’s campaign for prime minister in India, which tapped into a reservoir of frustration with the ruling Nehru-Gandhi family. He said opposition campaigners had received advice from firms that worked on Mr. Modi’s campaign, although they had not received any funds from foreign govts. “I think even India would like to more..

Inclement weather leaves 650,635 in distress

Dec 26 (Island) More than 650,000 people have been affected by inclement weather across the country during the last few days, the Disaster Management Centre says. DMC Assistant Director Sarath Lal Kumara said that 650,635 people had been affected. Two persons had died in floods in Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Vavuniya, Mannar, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Jaffna, Nuwara Eliya and Kandy Districts. He said that two persons had also been injured by mudslides and floods. more..

2 Lankans among 3 held for bid to smuggle Rs 1.44 cr ganja

Dec 26 (PTI) Three persons, including two Sri Lankan nationals, were arrested today on the charge of attempting to smuggle ganja worth Rs 1.44 crore to the island nation from this district, police said. Acting on a tip-off, police arrested Sudharsan K Nicholson and Suresh of Talaimannar and Colombo respectively at Thangachimadam near Rameswaram and recovered 72 bundles of the narcotic substance weighing over 140 kg from nearby Yanaipar Island, where they had kept more..

Video: Police probe on exchange control offences

Dec 26 (DM) The CID said it was currently investigating the detection of some Swiss Francs one million and US$ 200,000 in a house in Mount Lavinia to ascertain whether it involved a breach of Exchange Control laws. “The CID found a brief case containing foreign currency after a complaint was made by Tharindu Lakshitha that money given by his uncle was in his house. The brief case was opened in the presence of more..

8th Jan: Liberating the diplomatic service from family bandism

Dec 27 (CT) JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake in one of his parliament debates brings out a list of our Sri Lankan high commissioners and diplomatic professionals in Foreign Service. He argues that most of the names in his list are political appointees of Mahinda. Recently Mahinda appointed high level diplomatic professionals to some countries. Councillor Generals, high commissioners and secretaries are appointed in recent time. As it has been revealed in parliament by AKD more..

The doctrines of necessity and the end justifying the means

Dec 27 (CT) The Opposition has leveled various allegations of corruption and financial irregularities against the President, The President has not responded to them but instead at the recent Momentum Forum argued that he should be judged only by results- the results of the development activity he engaged in. He also added that corruption was a necessary part of the process of development. Do we accept this view? This view holds that for the good of the society the more..

Understanding Jesus - the extraordinary

Dec 27 (SO) No man’s words have been translated so frequently, distributed so widely and quoted so generally as the words of Jesus. Yet, on one occasion only, so far as we are told, did He write - and then it was with His finger on the ground. We do not have any idea what that writing was. Fearlessly, He entrusted the entire fabric of His teaching to the memory of those who listened to Him. No portrait of Jesus was painted during more..

Tsunami ten years down the line

Dec 27 (NS) “The ocean looked a little closer to our hotel than usual”, Sonali Deraniyagala, the author of the book ‘Wave’ describes, adding that within minutes, things changed before her eyes, and her family was ripped away by the tidal wave. Deraniyagala, recounts her life before and after the tragic tsunami. Critics called it a book that contains a lot of grief, grief that many Sri Lankans were faced with on Dec 26, 2004. Ten years ago. Yes it has been a decade since tragedy struck. more..

The key word Leader

Dec 27 (NS) One of most crucial issues that is bound to come up in the forthcoming presidential election is leadership. Having eliminated the terrorist menace that dragged on nearly thirty years, the present govt under president Rajapakse has restored peace in record time, and put the country on reconstruction and reconciliation mode by launching major development projects based on strategic planning. Hence the forthcoming election to elect a new president is indeed a decisive more..

'1996 WC win changed Sri Lankan cricket'

Dec 27 (DH) A clean-shaven look has replaced the thick stubble but the poise is still very much intact. Asanka Gurusinha, Sri Lanka’s forgotten World Cup hero, leads a comfortable life here as a Group Sales Manager for Bauer Trader Media that specialises in industry magazines but his heart still beats for his beloved country. The gutsy left-hander was one of the key players in Lanka’s World Cup triumph in 1996 when he was the rock more..

Before the Elections- 1

Dec 27 (Island) I started writing political articles soon after I left Govt Service in 1989. I am struck by the similarities and contrasts in our politics during the periods 1977 to 1989 and 2009 to 2014, and it occurs to me that it might be useful to draw the parallels in an article. 1977 witnessed the entry of the market oriented economy in contrast to the State-centric one which had ruined the Sri Lankan economy from 1956 to 1977. The success of that market economy, with all its drawbacks, more..

Editorial: Former CJ’s warning

Dec 27 (Island) Retired Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva has made his presence felt again. Taking part in Opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena’s election campaign, at the New Democratic Front office in Colombo on Thursday, the former top judge declared that a controversial document the government had made public against Sirisena and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe could be used to remove President Mahinda Rajapaksa from office in the event of his re-election. more..

Chelva Kanaganayakam: A ‘shining beacon’ for Tamil literature

Dec 27 (G&M) Credited with introducing Tamil poetry and culture to the English-speaking world, Chelva Kanaganayakam brought together writers, scholars and intellectuals through his teaching and academic leadership, and provided a welcome community in Canada for transplanted Tamils. His work at the University of Toronto, as a professor of English and distinguished scholar of postcolonial literature & South Asian studies, more..

Crossover politics, political class and the craving for positions (tanaturu)

Dec 27 (GV) At present there is much drama regarding the cross overs from the ruling coalition to the opposition and vice versa on the political stage. On one hand these cross overs have generated much interest in the political campaign in general and anticipation about who would cross next kind of mentality on the other. Little we realise that these cross overs are happening within the same ‘political class’ which has been formed primarily during the post independence politics more..

Finnish delegation interested in Sri Lanka's potential for investment

Dec 27 (Island) Dr. Lakshman Jayaweera, Chairman of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka and senior officials of the BOI briefed an official delegation from Finland headed by Matti Anttonen Under Secretary of State, External Economic Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and Rauli Suikkanen, ambassador of Finland to Sri Lanka at the BOI. The Finnish delegation expressed interest in Sri Lanka's trade and investment policy and particularly on the Free Trade Agreements more..

10th anniversary of tsunami is marked with tears

Dec 27 (AP) A packed train in Sri Lanka that was swept off the tracks by waves as big as elephants. A boat patrolling off Thailand's shore hurled more than a mile inland. Streets in Indonesia turned into roaring rivers that carried people to their deaths. Vivid and terrifying memories such as these were recalled Friday at ceremonies marking the 10th anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami that left nearly a quarter-million people dead in one of more..

'Private and semi-state workers ignored in Maithri manifesto'

Dec 27 (Island) Private and semi-state workers have not been mentioned in common Opposition Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena's polls manifesto titled, 'A Compassionate Maithri Governance – A stable Country', the Free Trade Zones & General Services Employees Union Joint Secretary Anton Marcus said in a press release. The release: ‘The common Opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena launched his manifesto December 19 titled more..

How sustainable are current natural rubber prices?

Dec 27 (DM) When one looks at the impact of low natural rubber (NR) prices on profitability, two aspects emerge. On the one hand, it appears to be a simple topic but on the other, immensely complex, covering global geo-politics- the rural poor in the developing world and huge tyre consumers. It is well known that NR is a traded commodity, like oil or gold. The price of NR is defined by the balance of buyers and sellers in a number of markets around the world, principally in Tokyo (TOCOM), more..

Historic Opening of 1000th Nenasala

Dec 27 (GDI) The historic moment of inaugurating tjhe 1000th Nenasala under the '1000 Nenasala' Project will take place on Friday at the Galigamuwa Bisovela Rajamaha Vuhara. The eLibrary '1000 Nenasala project' was launched with the inauguration of the first Nenasala at the historic Kataragama Kirivehera on first Jan 2005 with the aim of empowering the rural folk through ICT. Nenasalas have been set up more..

10 years on, what the Tsunami taught me

Dec 27 (HP) December 26 marks the 10 year anniversary of one of the worst natural disasters we have witnesses in our time. The Asian Tsunami claimed nearly 230,000 lives across Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. About 35,000 of those lives were lost in Sri Lanka, my native country, where thousands were slowly waking up, or choosing to sleep in on the day after Christmas. In the decade since, I have returned to Sri Lanka many times, as a relief worker, as a more..

Greed and Disparity

Dec 27 (Island) Our fundamental rights, a right to food, water and shelter, recognized universally, has now to be modified. In the environment that the current ‘development paradigm’ has provided for us today, the erosion of the planetary life support system has become so bad that we have to struggle to achieve a right to clean food, clean water and sustainable shelter. In addition, a resource that was taken for granted with our first breath, the air that we breathe has become so befouled more..

In SL, an Island of detachment and desire

Dec 27 (NYT) Bare-chested fishermen idled on the rocks one afternoon and argued mellifluously. Bony children bobbed in the water, and tinny music drifted from a stall where glistening mahi-mahi was on offer. Not one head turned when cows stumbled into an empty beach cafe, scattering chairs and then wandering into the surf. But the slow-motion beach scene isn’t the attraction at Weligama, an escapist paradise open to more..

Eight more to Mahinda

Dec 27 (CT) Eight more Opposition politicians threw in their lot with President Rajapaksa yesterday. They were WPC Gampaha District member Rajitha Hapuarachchi of the DP, UNP Vavuniya District member Ragavan Chandrakasan and six TNA members. Hapuarachchi pledging his support to the President said, "The National Security is in a crisis. That is why I want to support the President." He added that Maithripala Sirisena was an unsuccessful minister as he had not done much for the more..

Equal educational opportunities for all: CM

Dec 27 (DN) The govt provides equal educational opportunities to all schools to make Sri Lanka the Knowledge Hub of Asia, Uva Provincial Council Chief Minister Shasheendra Rajapaksa said. He made these comments at the opening of the Mahindodaya Computer Lab at Madolsima Tamil School in Passara under the 1,000 school development project recently. Rajapaksa said ICT plays a key role in modern society. "We should pave the way for our children to have access to more..