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Coach’s job up for bids

May 4 (ST) The hotly debated national cricket coach’s position in Sri Lanka will come under the hammer once again within the next couple of weeks, according to Sri Lanka Cricket vice president Mohan de Silva. On Friday, the Lankan cricket team left for Ireland and England with their Interim Coach Marvan Atapattu, who will also overlook the Lankan team’s destiny in their home series against South Africa in July. After the sudden exit of Paul Farbrace a fortnight ago, the Lankan cricket hierarchy more..

Pay your light bill at reload shop

May 4 (ST) The CEB, though refusing to reduce the huge fuel adjustment surcharge is to connect up with phone companies to make it easier for consumers to make payments. CEB Chairman W.B. Ganegala said they were holding talks whereby the people would be able to pay their bills at the nearest reload shop. He said that by the end of this year, the CEB hoped to provide electricity to about 98% of the people – which he claimed would be the highest in Asia. more..

Sri Lanka has a shortage of skilled and unskilled workers: Poll

May 4 (ST) A new opinion poll has revealed that the Govt needs to pay serious attention to a shortage in a sizable segment of the unskilled workforce and in skilled jobs in some industries. One respondent warned that importing labour could lead to a change in demographic patterns and lead to the ethnic problems that arose with the import of plantation labour during British colonial times. Opinion poll on ‘Importing labour”, more..

Sandaruwan sets new Junior National pole vault record

May 4 (Island) Just a day after lending his pole for expatriate prospect Mudith Jayasekara to hog limelight at the Sugathadasa Stadium, Ishara Sandaruwan lowered the Junior National pole vault record in the Under-23 category with a feat of 4.50 metres on the second day of the championship yesterday. Unlike Jayasekara who received an unprecedented backing from officials of the Athletics Association of Sri Lanka, Sandaruwan had only the support of some dozen pole vault enthusiasts more..

Mahela and Lord’s milestone

May 4 (Island) For every cricket fan visiting Lord’s remains one of the most cherished dreams. The history, tradition, and great contests over the years add to the reverence the cricket fans have for the place. Playing in a Test at Lord’s, still widely regarded as the home of cricket, remains for many cricketers the pinnacle of their careers. While cricket has become overtly commercial, Lord’s has retained its place as the game’s spiritual home. Arjuna Ranatunga after a marathon playing career more..

Sri Lankan daily holds a mirror, to the press

May 4 (Hindu) An English newspaper here on Saturday tried to hold a mirror to the state of press freedom in the country by printing a mirror image of its front page contents. Readers were in for a surprise on World Press Freedom Day. The printing of indecipherable words by Daily Mirror, seemed to be aimed at sparking questions about the state of media freedom in the country, and what it spawns — self-censorship. more..

Karapitiya Teaching Hospital to be developed under PICU Project

May 4 (GDI) With the help of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Berlin, officials of the PICU-project based in Hanover / Germany have travelled to Sri Lanka to discuss further steps to promote the development of the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital and other projects for the upliftment of the medical services for children in Sri Lanka, states the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Berlin. During their visit, they met all decision makers of the project in Sri Lanka and were even able to brief President Rajapaksa about more..

Hong Kong outclass Sri Lanka in patchy Asian Five Nations effort

May 4 (SCMP) Marching bands and dancing girls provided some glitz but Sri Lanka failed to shine where it mattered as Hong Kong overpowered the islanders 41-10 to remain unbeaten and on course for a repêchage spot in the 2015 World Cup qualifying campaign. The half-time show was the only entertainment for the large home crowd in Colombo as Hong Kong dominated set pieces to enjoy plenty of possession. Sri Lanka were sterner opposition, yet Hong Kong will be more..

Ranil will not contest the Presidency

May 4 (SL) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe will not contest the Presidency at the next Presidential elections, UNP MP Joseph Micheal Perera said. Perera said that the UNP will field a ‘star’ candidate at the next elections and that the candidate will be revealed only after President Rajapaksa formally announces a Presidential election. Meanwhile the UNP says its focus right now is on the Uva elections and not more..

Gambling and the Economy

May 4 (Island) Have we developed a heightened moral sense suddenly or is the opposition to the casinos being used as a vehicle to mobilize opposition to the govt?  Buddhist monks are vociferous in their opposition to the opening of casinos although no ordinary citizen could afford to enter their portals for the admission fee is in dollars.  New casinos popping up across Asia, from Tokyo to Manila, are seeking to lure the growing hordes of Chinese gamblers who can afford foreign more..

Dearth of Guards, a setback to SLR

May 4 (SO) The most shocking train disaster in Pothuhera that resulted in a multi-million rupee loss to the Railway and injured over 60 passengers could have been averted or minimised had an Under-Guard being on board the train to apply a second set of brakes on the Pallai bound Deyata Kirula train that rammed into the Raja Rata Rejina last week, sources said. Amidst an inquiry now being conducted by a four-member committee appointed to investigate the accident, more..

Basil defends Wilpattu resettlement

May 4 (CT) Govt conducted an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) before the resettlement of the displaced Muslims in Marichchikatti, Mannar and beyond, Minister Basil Rajapaksa said. Minister's remarks contradict the assertion by the ultra-nationalist groups, BBS, and Sinhala Ravaya, which have waged a campaign against the resettlement of Muslim IDPs in Mannar. Minister said, "We studied the entire more..

Krrish: 5th deadline for final lease payment

May 4 (ST) The yet-to-start, Krrish mega development project in Colombo has secured yet another extension – its 5th in 20 months – until May 26 to pay the final payment of Rs.589. 7 million to close the land lease deal. Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that there was no reason by Krrish for further delays as they have only a 4% balance payment to be made. Payment delays have occurred since May 2013. The total payment made by them up to now is Rs. 4.4 billion, he said more..

Age limit on taking attorneys exam?

May 4 (CT) The Council of Legal Education is considering disqualifying law graduates who are over 30 years from taking the Attorney-at-Law final exam conducted by the Law College, effective from 2014, legal sources claimed. The move may obstruct law students over 30 years, who are pursuing law degrees at present and who have completed their degrees, from entering into the legal profession. A spokesman for the BASL said the Association was not happy with the decision more..

600 public hospitals paralysed, thousands of patients suffer

May 4 (ST) Public health services were paralysed yesterday as nurses continued their strike and doctors accused them of hiding drugs to impose further hardships on patients. More than 600 public hospitals are affected by the strike where nurses are demanding midwife training for themselves though doctors are opposed to it. Nurses kept away from their duties yesterday with no solution in sight for the dispute between more..

Hangman to be hanged; search for better name

May 4 (ST) The name of the hangman’s post is to be changed to a more humane one to encourage applicants for the job, Prisons Dept spokesman said. He said they would seek advice from language experts to get a more respectable name for those operating the gallows. This move comes after four persons who were recruited as hangmen quit without notice weeks after taking up the job. “We believe that the word hangman or in Sinhala Wadakaya sounds crude and brutal. more..

Announcement on probe this month

May 4 (SL) Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is expected to make an announcement later this month on the formation of the Commission of Inquiry on Sri Lanka, an OHCHR spokesman said. Work related to the composition of the commission is underway. “These types of inquiry always take a while to set up, have their budget approved by the UN in New York, etc. We will probably announce something later this month once everything is in place,” more..

US joins Canada in rejecting Lanka's ban list

May 4 (ST) The US became the second country to ignore the UPFA govt’s prohibition order on 16 Tamil diaspora groups and 424 of their members on grounds that they are allegedly involved in terrorist activities. Some of those listed were among those who were at the Department of State in Washington DC last Thursday. They were part of a delegation that met Nisha Biswal, Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia. more..

SriLankan Airlines set to tap sub-continent’s ‘emerging middle-class’

May 4 (ENS) Sri Lanka’s national carrier is working overtime to promote the nation after decades of ethnic strife. SriLankan Airlines carried 4.7 million passengers last year between its Colombo base and 32 destinations in 20 countries. This year, it intends to do far more.With its induction into the Oneworld Global Alliance, it has access to 1,000 airports in 150 countries and a combined fleet of 3,300 aircraft. The airline is also making extensive efforts to connect more Indian cities to tap the more..

Good roads, bad driving result in more accidents

May 4 (SO) Bad driving has resulted in a surge of road accidents in recent weeks, negating the positive benefits of road infrastructure development, National Hospital sources said. “One emerging negative trend is the large number of three wheelers now taking advantage of the improved roads in the periphery to take long distance passengers. Some of them go as far as Trincomalee, Anuradhapura, Nuwara Eliya, Bandarawela, Galle and Moneragala and Puttalam, where some of the recent more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

May 4 (ST) Politicians and public relations stunts are as close to each other as bat and ball would be to a cricketer. Some stunts draw attention whilst others end up in PR disaster. Years ago, when the late J.R. Jayewardene was the leader of the opposition, the UNP chose to launch a protest over a fuel price hike then. That was to travel from “Braemar,” his private residence at Ward Place to Parliament, located then in the old colonial more..

Sri Lanka's economic comeback

May 4 (AJ) Rattling through the streets of Colombo in a tuk tuk offers a clear eyeline of a city brimming with construction sites for five star hotels, glossy frontages for international clothes chains and 4 x 4s charging past like elephants on a rampage. The Sri Lankan capital is clearly in the thick of an economic renaissance. This sizzle of prosperity was notably absent five years ago in May 2009, when the govt crushed the LTTE, more..

Water Board mulls to market high quality, cheap bottled water

May 4 (NS) Some hotels, including several luxury hotels, were involved in filling tap water to plastic bottles and selling them to guests and other customers at exorbitant prices, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena revealed. He said NWSDB had raided several such hotels, including luxury ones, where tap water was being illegally filled into plastic bottles and sold at ‘one thousand times the price of a liter of water’ that the Board supplies to the hotel. more..

Agitated UNPers protest against Police inaction

May 4 (NS) The UNP held a protest in front of the Hambantota police station yesterday, agitating against the failure of Police to arrest the suspects who were involved on the alleged attack on five UNP Parliamentarians at the MRIA premises on April 17. A team of UNP MPs led by UNP’s Leadership Council Chairman MP Karu Jayasuriya participated in the protest with assistance coming from the party’s local govt politicians. more..

Canadian student banned from carrying LTTE flag at multicultural assembly

May 4 (TS) A student in London, Ont. is crying foul after his high school barred him from carrying a controversial flag at a multicultural assembly. Kumar Makandu, a Grade 12 student at Central secondary school, had carried a Tamil flag at the annual assembly for the past two years but was told by administration leading up to the event on Friday that he couldn’t showcase the flag. For Tamils, an ethnic group living primarily in more..

Cabinet ban ignored as Betel nut racket goes on

May 4 (ST) A Cabinet decision to revoke licences for the import and re-export of betel nuts to protect Sri Lanka’s plants is being ignored and consignments are being cleared due to political and business influence, Customs sources revealed yesterday. The Cabinet decision was taken on March 20, but documents available with the Sunday Times reveal that as many as 14 consignments have been cleared after that. more..

OPA throws its weight behind BASL to oppose proposed judicial appointment

May 4 (Island) Endorsing the views expressed by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) over the proposed appointment of an Attorney-at-law as a Judge of the Supreme Court, the Organization of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka (OPA) extended its fullest support in whatever action the BASL may take to oppose this appointment. "The OPA notes that there are senior Judges of the Court of Appeal and more..

Sri Lanka temple tackles reconciliation amid fears of fighting

May 4 (AFP) At a temple in the heart of Sri Lanka's Sinhalese south, an unusual attempt at reconciliation is underway after decades of ethnic bloodshed, even as the govt warns of fresh fighting. Inside the white-washed temple, Hindu priests watch over metres-high statues of an estranged couple brought together to lift an age-old curse many blame for SL's conflict that claimed tens of thousands of lives. more..

Maithripala tells docs and nurses to reconcile

May 4 (CT) The nurses and doctors should find common ground and sort out their differences in the best interest of the country, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said, after nurses launched an island-wide strike. The nurses resorted to trade union action due to differences with the doctors over nurses assuming the additional role of midwives. President of GNOA, Saman Rathnapriya, said Secretary to the Ministry of Health, more..

Casino games: Govt. says no, Packer yes

May 4 (ST) The website of Australian casino mogul James Packer’s local company, Crown Sri Lanka, still says his resort in Colombo will contain “world class gaming facilities”, though govt leaders claim that there will be no casinos. The website also carries a caveat at the bottom which reads, “Crown is in detailed discussions with the Sri Lankan Govt and potential joint venture partners regarding the development of an integrated more..

NHSL specialist consultants revive Forum, makes their own representations

May 4 (Island) Expressing disappointment over critical issues confronting govt medical specialist consultants remaining "unaddressed and unresolved" by the GMOA, a group representing these top professionals held direct talks with Minister, Maithripala Sirisena on Friday to clear the impediments. The discussions came in the backdrop of the reactivation of a Forum established by 125 medical specialist consultants serving at the NHSL (National Hospital of Sri Lanka), more..

Justice delayed but justice prevailed, says Hirunika

May 4 (Island) "I believe that justice, despite a two and a half year delay, has prevailed," said Ms. Hirunika Premachandra commenting on the committal on Friday by a magistrate of the case relating to the murder of her father, Bharatha Premachandra, to the High Court. "I was worried that all the accused bar MP Dumninda Silva would be tried." "I believe it is only because of the fight I led and the voice that I raised that we were able to get such a decision from the courts," more..

Abhayagiriya conservation complete

May 4 (CT) The Abhayagiriya Stupa, which will be declared open to the public by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on May 31, after 17 years of conservation work since 1997, cannot be plastered or whitewashed in lime, a frontline archaeological personality said. "The primary reason is that, if that were to be done, a large section of the original stupa would have to be removed, which would cause it to lose its original character. more..

May Day Honours to Bala Tampoe

May 4 (Island) Amidst the hullabaloo in parliament over casinos, the Colombo Mayor, municipal insiders and Asian Development Bank officials held a quiet retreat in a resort in distant Dambulla to discuss raising the water rates in Colombo to make its ratepayers pay a share for expanding the City’s sanitary treatment capacity. It did not take long for the news about the retreat to leak and for the proposal to be promptly dumped as ‘toilet tax.’ With no one other than those who were more..

A choice that eliminates all choices

May 4 (CT) Can anything indicate more clearly that our society has a culture of death than the statistics released by the World Health Organization (WHO) recently, ranking Sri Lanka 11th among countries identified as having exceptionally high suicide figures in the world? Given the spate of suicides that sees everyone from impressionable teens to dejected adults choosing to end their life as an easy option, when dealing with the curve ball life lobs at us, the ranking does not come as a surprise. more..

'Ultras trained in Sri Lanka to target India'

May 4 (ENS) BJP leader L Ganesan charged that Pakistan-backed extremists were being trained in Sri Lanka and would be infiltrated into India to execute terror attacks. He said the training was being carried out despite both Pakistan and Sri Lanka being aware of it. The BJP leader said, while the training programme of extremists in the island nation was well known, the weak Central govt has been a mere spectator. more..

Sampanthan absent at rally

May 4 (NS) TNA refuted speculations of internal rift within the alliance following its Parliamentary Group Leader, R. Sampanthan’s non-participation in TNA’s May Day rally which was held in Batticaloa. TNA MP Suresh Premchandran said that Sampanthan had, in fact, gone to India for medical treatment. “There was no other reason for his non-participation. He did not boycott,” he said. Denying the media reports which said about another development of a clash between two TNA MPs over the leadership more..

CMU’s May Day call for Workers’ Charter

May 4 (Island) As members of Bala Tampoe-led Ceylon Mercantile and Industrial Workers Union (CMU) paraded along Galle Road between super luxury Monarch apartment complex and the Seylan Towers in Kollupitiya in the early afternoon of May Day, workers demanded the abolishing of contract work and adequate pay per 8-hour day enabling them not to do overtime to earn a living wage, and the enactment of the Workers’ Charter crafted by no less than Mahinda Rajapaksa as Minister more..

Terror of a wife whose grave was dug in her own living room

May 4 (ST) After the last argument Amali Fernando had with her husband she feared for her life and that of her newborn baby. When she saw her husband digging what seemed to be a grave in the living room her worst fears were being confirmed. It seemed as if Ravindra Perera was going to act on his threats to kill his wife and child. With no way of escape and no one to turn to, Amali sat in her room through the night, wondering more..

Wimal and Sriyani team up again for cinematic production in Europe

May 4 (Island) London-based award winning actor, Wimal Alahakoon has teamed up again with veteran actress Sriyani Amarasena for another cinematic production. A chartered engineer by profession, he made his debut into the tele-drama scene by co-producing and acting in Sriyani Amarasena’s "Ira Batu Tharuwa" in 2000. In 2004, he won the Sumathi award for acting in Rodney Widanapathirana’s "Hemanthaye Wasanthayak" filmed entirely in London. more..