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Given out even before howzat

June 8 (ST) Dear Alistair Cook and the English cricket team, I thought I must write to you after watching the cricket matches in England last week, where you were defeated quite convincingly after which you are now complaining about that silly run-out and saying that our chaps were not playing in the correct ‘spirit’ of the game. Let us face it, Cook, that chap Sachithra ran out Buttler after warning him a couple of times about gaining an undue advantage by taking a couple of steps forward. more..

'13A is not an Appendix'

June 8 (CT) TNA MP, M.A. Sumanthiran, said the 13th Amendment to the Constitution is not an Appendix. "The govt should abide by the Constitution and ensure the full implementation of the Amendment before thinking of revisiting it to consider devolving police powers to the provinces. Q: What is your take on the recent views expressed by the govt and several other political parties and individuals on 13th Amendment? more..

Does Modi understand SL’s difficulties?

June 8 (Island) At the time of going to press, news was received that Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein, the representative of Jordanian to the UN,  would replace Navi Pillay as the UN Commissioner on Human Rights. Jordan is a country that Sri Lanka has excellent relations with, so will the appointment of that country’s UN envoy make any difference to SL with regard to the war crimes study being done by the UN Human Right’s Commissioner’s office? Jordan has voted in favour of Sri Lanka in more..

Politics of transformation

June 8 (SL) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who is arguably the most powerful state official in the country, made an interesting revelation last week saying that he was willing to enter politics, if and when his brother, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, wants him to do so. Although there were widespread speculations over the past few years that the Defence Secretary would enter politics at some point or another, this was the first time he made his position clear on the matter. more..

Sarath Fonseka shoots from the hip

June 8 (Island) When I arrived at the headquarters of the Democratic Party to interview its leader, General Sarath Fonseka, the small office was packed to capacity, with many in their Sunday best, spilling into the garden. The general had gone to Kalutara to see those affected by the torrential rains. It would take another one and half hours to meet him. He gave me 20 minutes. Now you are in politics with representation at the grassroots. more..

Revitalized Ranil ‘trumpets’ in Parliament?

June 8 (NS) It seemed that the leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe has got a shot in his arms during his recent foreign junket. He has come back more vigorously, obviously with more strength. Unlike the one who usually beats around the bush, now he is showing a readiness to take the bull by horns. It was two weeks back that he announced at the party group meeting that the UNP will field its own candidate if the govt conducts a presidential election. more..

Sri Lanka tourism receives a lift from PATA

June 8 (NS) Sri Lanka’s Tourism sector has got a boost as the Pacific Asia Travel Association appointed Ms. Ratten Abdulhussein, a Sri Lankan to the PATA Industry Council. Ms. Abdulhussein is the Joint Managing Director of Pan Lanka Travels & Tours and Immediate Past Chairperson of PATA Sri Lanka Chapter. The appointment has been made during the 63rd PATA Executive Board Meeting and the AGM of the organization held during mid-May in Zhuhai, China. more..

Adams quietly confident Sri Lanka can do it

June 8 (NS) The presence of former England and Sussex cricketer and former coach of Surrey, Chris Adams as consultant coach is certainly bearing fruit from the way the Sri Lankan team is shaping up to take on England in the short series of two Tests that starts at Lord’s on June 12.“To win an ODI series in England is rare because the conditions do favour England,” 43-year-old Adams said. “To take T20 and ODI series more..

Ajhan Brahmavamso here this week

June 8 (Island) Ajahn Brahmavamso will be in Sri Lanka for Poson. It has been a crowded itinerary for him during the past month. After conducting a meditation retreat in Melbourne, he proceeded to Vietnam for UN Vesak Day celebrations and was back in Perth for Vesak. He had a busy schedule at his Perth centre where the highlight this year was the induction of a large number who were keen to become Buddhists. They were given the Three Refugees and the Five Precepts. more..

Anand beats Dinuka to Men’s final

June 8 (ST) Cool as a cucumber, keeping the opponent at the net till he gives freedom to the Indian’s favourite shot – a thundering smash on to both flanks of the court, Anand Pawar scored a 2 sets to 1 victory over Sri Lanka’s Dinuka Karunaratne in the Men’s semi-finals of the Yonex Sunrise International Badminton tournament at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium courts yesterday. Both players were trying to keep each other at the nets. The Indian made use of the ploy while more..

Govt should assist UN probe

June 8 (SL) According to the resolution passed at the UNHRC in March this year, the international investigation into alleged war crimes and human rights issues in Sri Lanka is expected to commence in the coming week. However the Sri Lankan govt continues to reject the investigation led by the team headed by UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay. Several local politicians and civil society members were of the view that govt should more..

Sampath Bank inspires Year 5 Scholarship children to reach their potential

June 8 (Island) Sampath Bank announced the launch of its annual "Pahe Sishyathwa" Seminar Series, which is conducted for children preparing to sit the Year Five Scholarship Exam in August this year. Organized in collaboration with Neth FM, the primary objective of the seminar series is to guide both the children and their parents to meet this pivotal challenge in a holistic and healthy manner, enabling them to produce the best opportunities for their future. more..

GL ‘choosy’ on clarification sought by Ranil regarding Mahinda-Modi talks

June 8 (ST) Minister G.L. Peiris did not mince his words in Parliament on Wednesday, when he categorically stated that the devolution of police powers to Provincial Councils was not up for discussion at the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC), loosely termed by officials as the “One Sri Lanka Committee.” And that, according to Minister Peiris, was what President Mahinda Rajapaksa told the new Indian PM Narendra Modi, when the two met in New Delhi late last month. more..

Mini budget in Nov ahead of polls next year

June 8 (ST) The Treasury is preparing a mini budget (vote on account) in November replacing the normal 12-month budget in case a decision is made to hold presidential or parliamentary elections next year. The sources said that the Treasury has been advised to prepare a mini budget but will revert to the normal calendar 2015 budget if the Govt decides against holding polls in 2015. more..

JVP clarifies apology

June 8 (SL) Responding to the apology given by the Leader of the JVP Anura Kumara Dissanayake during an interview with BBC Sandeshaya regarding the 1988/89 insurgency, JVP trade unionist K.D. Lalkantha said that the apology was not for their struggle but for the innocent victims killed during that period. “Due to the situation at the time an arms struggle took place in the country, and during that period people who had no involvement in the struggle, perished. more..

Chris Jordan hopes to 'exploit' Sri Lanka in his first Test cap for England

June 8 (DM) All-rounder Chris Jordan may be a nippy seamer, hard-hitting No 8 and slip fielder, but he is also the embodiment of England’s future and an oblique reminder of their past. Jordan, who is set to win his first Test cap for England against Sri Lanka at Lord’s on Thursday, was born in Barbados in 1988 — the summer in which two of his heroes, Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh, took 34 wickets as West Indies beat England 4-0. Now, the player, who was welcomed to English cricket more..

Somali pirates free MV Albedo crew kidnapped in 2010

June 8 (ABC) Eleven sailors held hostage for almost four years by Somali pirates have been freed and are safe on their way to Kenya, according to regional and United Nations officials. The 11 men freed were part of crew on Malaysian-owned cargo vessel MV Albedo which was hijacked 1,500 kilometres off Somalia in November 2010, while sailing from the United Arab Emirates to Kenya. The men, who had been held in dire conditions more..

Murali Harmony Cup Unity tour to UK

June 8 (Island) The Foundation of Goodness confirmed last Friday that it is organising a Murali Harmony Cup Unity tour to the UK. The Unity squad includes exceptionally talented U-19 cricketers from 14 different schools island-wide, including seven from the previously war affected areas in the North and East. The young cricketers were invited to participate in the tour after their outstanding performances during the 2013 Murali Harmony Cup, initiated by Sir Ian Botham. more..

Wimal to meet SLFP seniors

June 8 (CT) Minister Wimal Weerawansa, said he expects to have a dialogue with the leaders of the SLFP within the next two weeks. He stressed if he does not get a satisfactory response to his 12-point policy proposal, his party will take a decision to follow an independent political policy. Minister said, "I have been informed that the President has asked Minister Susil Premajayantha yesterday to convene a meeting of SLFP seniors to discuss our 12-point proposal. more..

SLMC to remain with govt

June 8 (SL) SLMC says it has no intention of leaving the Govt as it feels it can achieve its goals only by being with the Govt. SLMC General Secretary Hasan Ali said that an issue which arose in Parliament last week over the recognition given to party leaders in Parliament had been settled. SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem last week slammed Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody in Parliament after the latter had said that more..

Details of your vehicle on website

June 8 (ST) Details of vehicles registered with the Motor Traffic Department will be available to the public on a website from next month. The purpose of making the details available was to prevent frauds and malpractices in the purchase of vehicles. These details will include the name of the owner, engine number, chassis number and colour. However the address will not be disclosed. In cases where there is an inquiry or a dispute over ownership of a vehicle, the posting will indicate that the more..

Private bus owners threaten to strike

June 8 (SL) Private bus owners have threatened strike action if they are not allowed a fare hike by the 1st of July. The General Secretary of the Ceylon Private Bus Owners Association Anjana Priyanjith said that every year by the 1st of July they revise the private bus fares. “This year although the diesel prices have not increased all other expenses have gone up. Service charges, the charges payable to the Pradeshiya Sabhas, route permit charges, log sheet charges, spare parts, tyres, tubes, oil more..

DEW to quit PSC

June 8 (CT) CP Leader, D.E.W. Gunasekera, said he has decided not to participate in future proceedings of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC), appointed by the govt to find a solution to the ethnic problem, as there was nothing more to discuss among ministers. However, he said he would participate only if the TNA and SLMC became involved in the discussions. Gunasekera also invited all Opposition political parties more..

New state-owned company to run expressway buses

June 8 (ST) Govt has decided to establish an Expressway Transport Company to operate public transport services. The move comes on a recommendation by President Rajapaksa, who is also the Minister of Highways, Ports and Shipping. The fully state-owned company will come under the Treasury. Even the Articles of Association of the new company and the appointment of directors will be subject to Treasury approval. 15% of the public transport services on expressways would more..

Senior official bitter over non-medical appointment

June 8 (Island) Medical circles were abuzz with the news of an attempt by a top-rung health sector mandarin to "sabotage" the simple welcome ceremony accorded to Mrs. Sudharma Karunaratne, who assumed duties as the country’s new Health Secretary last week. "It was a case of sour grapes", medical officials laughed. "The man, known for his lackadaisical attitude, was himself vying for this top-most administrative job in the Health Ministry". Incensed over the appointment of a more..

Erik Solheim ready to spill the beans

June 8 (CT) Former Norwegian politician and peace envoy, Erik Solheim, says he would go before the International Criminal Court or any recognized international tribunal to give evidence against Sri Lanka on alleged war crimes. Solheim, who was the peace negotiator between the govt and the LTTE for almost a decade, said, "I will stand witness before any recognized international tribunal if I am asked to do so, on Sri Lanka's alleged more..

SEC Chief Godahewa eyes PIM post

June 8 (ST) SEC Chairman Nalaka Godahewa has submitted an application for the post of Director of the Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM), PIM officials confirmed. Dr. Godahewa’s application for the post was received by the PIM and the Board of Management will make the selection without conducting an interview. The director’s post is a full time job and Dr. Godahewa will have to quit his current position as SEC Chairman to take up the post if he is selected, he added, more..

TISL workshop undone by group of ‘protesters’

June 8 (NS) A three day workshop organized by Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) for print and electronic media journalists came to an abrupt halt last evening after the venue was encircled by protesters who called for the program to be discontinued immediately. The protest was organized by a hitherto unknown outfit called ‘Jathiya Surekeeme Sanvidanaya’. The workshop which commenced last Friday was scheduled to end today. Senior Manager, Outreach and more..

Cracks within UPFA widen as Pillay finalises probe team

June 8 (ST) A mixed bag of political developments this week forced the UPFA leadership to go into high gear. After the weekly ministerial meeting last Thursday, President Rajapaksa asked members of the SLFP to stay behind. He had some strong words of caution. He said Ministers in the SLFP should first check for themselves before taking part in events organised by other partners of the alliance. If there was anything controversial, more..

Ministry expands counselling services

June 8 (SO) Ministry of Child Development and Women's Affairs has made arrangements to expand its counselling services for orphaned children and widows, victims of child abuse and women who have undergone various types of harassments to all parts of the country. The objective of this is to promote positive thinking and to make their distressed minds happy and peaceful for a better future. The Ministry would offer required guidance and instructions to them to stand on their own feet economically, more..

Fruit research to ensure year-round supply

June 8 (SO) Fruit consumption has dropped sharply in recent months as a result of consumers being concerned over artificial ripening methods and the health risks associated with the fruits available in the market, said the Additional Director General (Research) of the Department of Agriculture Dr. (Ms) E.M. Dassanayake. She said that this situation has further reduced fruit consumption in the country which was at a low level. “Consumption habits of the people should be changed to reduce more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

June 8 (ST) There are 72,000 private sector employees who have so far contributed around Rs. 165 billion to the ETF. Yet, the Minister of Labour and Labour Relations has no legal powers to appoint a member to the ETF Board, the governing body that administers the fund which was created in March 1981. Now, President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is also the Minister of Finance and Planning wants to amend the ETF Act to more..

Prasanna ready for England backlash

June 8 (AFP) Sri Lanka wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene said he expected England to "come hard" during this month's two-Test series. The tourists took a five-match one-day series 3-2 with a six-wicket win at Edgbaston on Tuesday -- a result overshadowed by the controversy surrounding the run out backing up or 'Mankading' of England's Jos Buttler. "After the one-day series loss, they will be coming hard, we know about that, more..

‘Fever corners’ in hospitals as dengue cases soar

June 8 (ST) The Health Ministry has ordered all main hospitals to open up units termed ‘fever corners’ to manage the heavy influx of patients. Epidemiology Unit head, Dr. Paba Palihawadana said that fever corners have been set up at the Colombo National Hospital, Colombo South Teaching Hospital (Kalubowila), the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH), Sri Jayewardenepura Hospital and Homagama Base Hospital. more..

Suspects possible `pig in a poke’ pre-Geneva Sri Lanka to skip international Summit

June 8 (Island) The Sri Lankan govt has declined a British invitation to attend a global summit meant to end sexual violence in conflict following a spat with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) over a controversial precondition that participation was strictly subject to all participants endorsing a declaration of commitment to end sexual violence in conflict. The four-day conference attended by over 1,000 delegates from more..

JVP to take legal action against CEB

June 8 (CT) The JVP and Puttalam People's Voice (PPV) aid they will be taking legal action against the CEB. The JVP, the Puttalam People's Voice and the All Island General Fisheries Federation state that they do not want the holding column towers carrying high tension wires and high voltage electricity power lines connecting Anuradhapura and the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant's third phase to distribute electricity, more..

Trinco probe expedited

June 8 (SL) Investigations into two high profile incidents of homicide which occurred in Trincomalee have been expedited as part of the recommendations of the LLRC which are being implemented by the Govt. Employees of Action Contre la Faim (ACF), a French NGO, have been questioned in relation to the death of 17 employees in 2006. The CID has obtained copies of photographs and a report prepared by the more..

73 Indian fishermen arrested in Sri Lanka

June 8 (PTI) 73 Indian fishermen have been arrested in Sri Lanka for allegedly poaching into the country’s waters, the Navy said on Sunday, days after it released 33 fishermen from the country. Navy spokesman said that 41 Indian fishermen were arrested off the coast of Talaimannar in the north while another 32 fishermen were arrested off the Delft Islands on Saturday. 15 fishing vessels have also been confiscated. more..

New UNHRC Chief may act tough on SL

June 8 (ENS) Jordan’s Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al Hussein, who is expected to take over from Navi Pillay as the UN High Commissioner for Human rights soon, is a seasoned human rights campaigner, who could be tough on Lanka if it does not take concrete steps towards addressing issues of war-time accountability and post-war ethnic reconciliation in the coming months. Later this month, the outgoing High Commissioner is to more..

Satellite links for 3,000 Lankan fishing vessels

June 8 (ST) The Government is to spend more than Rs. 1.3 billion to provide satellite communications to 3,000 fishing vessels operating in Sri Lanka’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) after threats of sanctions by the European Union, the largest buyer of Sri Lanka’s fish. This is by providing each of them with a transponder worth Rs, 420,420 and it will link the vessels to a shore-based Vessel Monitoring System (VMS). more..