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SL rugby cheats face hangman's noose

Aug 30 (SO) Rugby promoters have begun a crackdown on what they see as a shadowy side where a growing number of players they claim go after almost any available substance to boost physical strength on the field and then plead ignorance to escape punishment or even elude a puppet administration. Their first shot comes in the form of a booklet they put out on Friday that specifies the outlawed boosters and the subsequent repercussions it can have on the users. more..

Dilshan returns home after county flop

Aug 30 (DT) After being left out of the side for the current LV County Championship match against Kent, the 38-year-old has gone home to Sri Lanka and will not be coming back, though elite performance director Graeme Welch says there are no hard feelings on either side. Dilshan's brief time as Derbyshire's overseas signing has to go down as a huge failure. He scored only 69 runs in six Championship innings, hit one 50 in five more..

The curious case of unorthodoxy in SL

Aug 30 (ENS) When Sunil Fernando chanced his eyes on Muttiah Muralitharan, he wasn’t even bowling off-breaks. He was more of a medium pacer who was stupefying his peers with his off-cutters with a jerky action. “He was turning the ball like a normal off-spinner and with some pace, and that too with a tennis ball,” he said. Fernando instinctively wondered how effective he can be if he slows his pace and give the ball more flight. So he bought him under his wings, and urged him to more..

Tax experts urge new Govt: Practise good governance, not reckless extravagance

Aug 30 (SO) Tax experts said that adherence to principles of good governance will save large amounts of public money which the previous regime spent extravagantly on non-lucrative projects, foreign tours, tamashas and maintaining jumbo cabinets and loss-making State entities. Senior tax consultant and Partner Gajma and Company, N.R. Gajendran said the new government should soon settle down to work and catch up on time to avert revenue shortfalls and expenditure over-runs. more..

Govt invests Rs. 650mn to tackle illegal fishing

Aug 30 (NS) Sri Lanka has spent a mammoth Rs.650 million for the installation of vessel monitoring systems (VMS), while incurring losses of approximately US$ 48 million in seafood exports till June this year when compared to the corresponding period last year. The cost to import the equipment had been completely borne by the Govt but an amount of Rs.2600 would have to be levied from each boat owner every month more..

Singapore to help construct a velodrome

Aug 30 (ST) Contrary to reports released in Colombo before the Sri Lanka Cycling team left for the OCBC Cycling Championships in Singapore, Singapore Cycling Federation will only help to construct a velodrome in Sri Lanka. “We will certainly help to put up a veldrome at a suitable site. “We have no intentions in interfering in the internal affairs of the SL Cycling Federation”, stated an official when he greeted the Sri Lanka team on arrival at the Changi Airport on Friday. more..

Galle doubtful as venue for West Indies Tests

Aug 30 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket's interim committee is considering beginning the upcoming Test series against West Indies in Colombo instead of Galle, which has been the customary venue for a tour opener, because of the cost factor. West Indies, who last played a series in Sri Lanka in 2011, are set to tour again around mid-October. With the West Indies tour not generating big revenue for the SLC, chances are the interim committee would prefer playing the two Tests at more..

Cases against Rajapaksa regime for money laundering

Aug 30 (ST) Several powerful politicians and top officials of the Rajapaksa regime are likely to be charged in the Colombo High Court on money laundering charges – however based on the Attorney General’s (AG) advice. They said the views of the AG have been sought on whether charges could be filed against former ministers Basil Rajapaksa, Mahindanada Aluthgamage, former Defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, more..

Sinhala Association in UK in London wants career diplomat appointed to London

Aug 30 (Island) The President of Sinhala Association in the UK, Douglas Wickramaratne has urged President Maithripala Sirisena to appoint a competent career diplomat to London. As the Sri Lankan mission in London has remained headless since the resignation of Dr. Chris Nonis in October 2014, the top ambassadorial position was offered to former State Minister for Child Development Rosy Senanayake, a defeated candidate in the last parliamentary poll, as reported. more..

SLFP 64 on Wednesday: Celebrations in Polonnaruwa

Aug 30 (SO) The 64th anniversary of the SLFP will be celebrated in Polonnaruwa on Sept 2, under the patronage President Maithripala Sirisena, the leader of the SLFP. Former SLFP leaders, including former Presidents Chandrika Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa have been invited to attend the ceremony, while UPFA party leaders, heads of LG bodies and PC members have also been invited. An Ashirvada Pooja to invoke blessings on the party leaders and members will be held at more..

SLFP rejects TNA’s claim for opposition leader post

Aug 30 (ST) SLFP last night rejected a call by the TNA for recognition as the main opposition party in Parliament. The move was aimed at making R Sampanthan as Leader of the Opposition. “Opposition Leader’s post should be given to the party which has the highest number of members and are not supporting the National Govt,” Acting General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake said. He said the person holding that office more..

Marapana pulls out of CIFL defence team

Aug 30 (ST) Tilak Marapana, an influential member of the ruling United National Party, has pulled out of the legal team defending alleged CIFL head Deepthi Perera. When the case was taken up for hearing this week before Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya, Eranga Gunawardena, Attorney at Law told Court that Mr. Marapana, PC who appeared for Mr. Perera, has withdrawn from the case and asked for a fresh date. The case was postponed to September 1. more..

Only CP MP to go it alone

Aug 30 (ST) Sole Communist Party member elected to parliament will remain as an independent member, party leader D.E.W. Gunasekara said. CP contesting under the UPFA returned only one member — Chandrasiri Gajadeera from the Matara district. Mr. Gunasekara said his party saw the UPFA as being non-functional now and therefore the CP member would function independently. “We will support some of the govt proposals wherever it is necessary and at the same time oppose more..

Omanthai CheckPoint removed

Aug 30 (CT) Vanni Security Forces Headquarters said that with effect from yesterday all checking of persons has been halted at the Omanthai Checkpoint in Vavuniya on the A-9 road. This Security Checkpoint was established on 22 March 2002 with the objective of stabilizing the security situation in the South and the North. With the halting of checking of persons at this barrier, persons travelling from the North to the South more..

Two suspects in Thajudeen murder in Italy

Aug 30 (SL) Two suspects wanted over the murder of rugby player Wasim Thajudeen are said to be in Italy, CID said. The two suspects who are in Italy have been identified and steps are being taken to bring them down to Sri Lanka. The sources further said the two suspects are close to a VVIP of the former government and are believed to have fled the country before the new Government took office. The body of Wasim Thajudeen was exhumed on August 10 at the Dehiwala Muslim burial grounds. more..

Military denies claims intelligence compromised

Aug 30 (SL) SL Army has rejected claims that important names and information of some members of the Military Intelligence Unit have been obtained by the LTTE Diaspora groups that are in operation abroad. Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera said the Military is unaware of names or any information of members of the Intelligence Unit or its operations being leaked to any third party. “Our intelligence units operate 24 hours efficiently, and we have not received any threat to our security,” more..

Squabbling for portfolios as home grown democracy takes root

Aug 30 (ST) A senior politician, now with the UNFGG, was on a visit to the Greater Colombo suburbs to say thank you to his voters. At one of the meetings, a supporter who is an engineer by profession, rose to his feet after their MP had spoken. He asked Sir deng yahapalanaya thiya nikam palanayakwath nehe ney or Sir, leave alone good governance there is not even ordinary governance now. more..

The politics of Good Governance and Ethno (Sinhala/Tamil/Muslim) Nationalisms

Aug 30 (Island) In the January presidential election, having been let down by astrology and political machinations, then President Rajapaksa invoked the spectre of nationalism and national insecurity to shore up his sliding support among the Sinhalese. His efforts fell short by 400,000 votes. He and his supporters blamed the shocking defeat on Western conspiracy and minority voters who voted virtually en masse for Maithripala Sirisena. In the August parliamentary election, more..

Why the poor JVP showing?

Aug 30 (Island) Many, this correspondent included, expected the JVP to poll well and win 10 to 15 parliamentary seats – some people said 20+ even when they were sober! On votes, yes expectations have been borne out (544,000, its second highest since 815,000 in 2001). On seats we were wrong because of inattention to nitty-gritty details; intra JVP-UNP swings, peculiarities of the district-wise PR system, and UPFA abstentions. I will make amends for this lapse and present a more more..

‘Golden opportunity for Tamil refugees to return’

Aug 30 (Hindu) Given the prevailing political situation in Sri Lanka, the time has come for Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in TN to return home, said S.C. Chandrahasan, founder of the Organisation for Eelam Refugees Rehabilitation (OfERR). “It is a golden opportunity for the refugees to return home especially when there is an effort to form a national govt in SL. The time has come to reap the benefits of our blood-stained struggle,” he said. more..

First informal meeting on SL on Sept 17

Aug 30 (CG) An informal meeting will take place to gather support for Sri Lanka on the sidelines of the 30th session of the UNHRC on Sept 17 at the UN building in Geneva. The US last week set in motion an operation to seek support for Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva and the process will see heightened diplomatic activity as d-day nears for Sri Lanka at the Council. US Ambassador to Geneva Keith Harper informed the UNHRC at its more..

'Bribery commission will not be dissolved'

Aug 30 (SL) Justice Minister Wijayadasa Rajapakshe says the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption will not be dissolved under any circumstances. He added that despite the inefficiency and the allegations levelled against the Commission, it is an important institution established to investigate bribery and corruption. “We will not dissolve the commission under any circumstances. more..

Karuna denies helping the army defeat LTTE

Aug 30 (CG) Former LTTE eastern commander V Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman has denied claims that he helped the army defeat the LTTE. Karuna Amman said that the LTTE became weak after he defected from the outfit with several other LTTE members. However he insisted that he was never directly involved with the army in the war to defeat the LTTE. “There was no need for me to tell the army where LTTE had camps. more..

Geetha being screened before P'ment role

Aug 30 (ST) She was at one time heart throb of the Sinhala cinema and described by her fans as the glam girl of the silver screen of yesteryear. She plunged into the world of politics from the cinema world and just two weeks ago, voters in the Galle District decided that she should become an Honourable MP by electing Geetha Kumarasinghe on the UPFA ticket. Yet, the road to the Parliament complex in the middle of Diyawanna Oya is more..

'Water safe to drink despite oil spill'

Aug 30 (SO) National Water Supplies and Drainage Board confirmed that the water distributed in Colombo is perfectly safe for consumption despite the oil leak detected last week in the Kelani River. Ambatale water treatment plant is clean from oil residue and has restarted its normal functions by late afternoon on Friday. The water treatment plant suspended its operations to clean the system and it has been completed. more..

Excavation of Mannar Mass grave to begin

Aug 30 (SL) The Mannar Magistrate has ordered to excavate the suspected mass grave in a well in Thiruketheeswaram closer to the site that was previously excavated. The excavation is to begin on Oct 7 this year with the Department of Forensic Medicine, Department of Archeology, and the Survey Department. The Mannar Magistrate visited the well close to the previous suspected mass grave site last week. more..

The public relations rip off to US lobbyists

Aug 30 (ST) The payments were so covertly done that neither Cabinet nor Parliament knew of them. As with many other transactions, the cabal that struck deals for key members of the previous regime played the cards close to its chest. But in July-Aug 2014, Sunday Times revealed that the SL Govt had signed up with several lobbyists and public relations consultants in the US through a go-between named Imaad Zuberi. more..

Call for fresh probe on Kadirgamar murder

Aug 30 (CT) In a dramatic turn of events after a decade of the reported LTTE killing of Lakshman Kadirgamar, daughter Ajita and family members are to urge the authorities to initiate a fresh probe into the murder. Former Minister was assassinated reportedly by LTTE gunmen on 12 Aug 2005. His daughter, Ajita Kadirgamar, opined that though belated the family was now planning to urge new govt to launch a comprehensive probe more..

Army optimistic of more opportunities to serve on UN missions overseas

Aug 30 (Island) The Sri Lankan military is prepared to play a bigger role in peacekeeping missions under the United Nations (UN) flag, Army Commander, Lt. Gen. Crisanthe De Silva said. "As a professional army, we are optimistic of more opportunities to serve in overseas stations on UN assignments", he stressed. The Sri Lankan armed forces and the police have earned plaudits from the UN for a job well done, he stressed. more..

British Council’s English Skills program built to make friends

Aug 30 (Island) IELTS program in Sri Lanka, now 26 years old, was built to make friends and build bridges through English, says Keith Davis Country Director British Council. New opportunities have emerged facilitated by regional partnership registration centers in 50 locations island-wide, including Colombo, Kandy, Matara, Negombo, Kurunegala, Anuradhapura, Jaffna, Batticaloa and Vavuniya, he noted. Speaking at the IELTS partner program last week, he said British Council more..

Choice before Ranil

Aug 30 (CT) UNP led by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is pushing for a coalition govt called the National Unity govt, together with the SLFP led by President Maithripala Sirisena. SLFP is Sri Lanka's second largest political party, while the UNP is the largest. Historically, the two major parties of a country generally get together to form a govt in times of war, or at a time of an economic crisis. An example of this was that at the height of the Great Depression in 1931, a national or coalition of parties more..

Who will be the Opposition Leader?

Aug 30 (CT) The liberals believe that the TNA which has become the third force in politics should be given the opportunity to hold the position of Opposition Leader of the new Parliament. They argue that such a move will be the first step towards genuine reconciliation and good governance if the govt is actually serious about such policies. They point out that UNP which has won 106 seats and UPFA which has secured 95 seats can form more..

Time to Hope Again

Aug 30 (Island) The dust is slowly settling down from the lie infested political battles and the election frenzy is gradually moving out of flavour. Voting time is over and now begins the hoping time for you, me and the masses. We have only heard sugar-coated promises for the past months; all shapes and sizes from every mouth of every colour that got on a platform. TV screens screamed in argument among candidates ridiculing opponents and newspapers became promise bulletins more..

Sri Lankan tourist attacked by orangutan

Aug 30 (Island) A Sri Lankan national, now domiciled in New Zealand, was hospitalized after being bitten on the knee by an orangutan while trekking in North Sumatra. The attack may have been carried out by 38-year-old Minah, an orangutan who has attacked a number of foreign tourists in the Bukit Lawang resort area. The victim was identified as Binula Wickramarachchi, 27, by Riswan Bangun, manager of the Sumatra Orangutan Observation Centre in Bukit Lawang. more..

Thajudeen's death may be murder: Yasara

Aug 30 (CT) Yasara Abeynayake, publicly accused of her alleged involvement in the suspicious death of national ruggerite, Wasim Thajudeen, breaking her silence stated to the media that she believes there was foul play behind the ruggerite's death but completely denied ever being acquainted with him. "From what was released to the media, that is all I know, the way that he was injured it doesn't really look like an accident. more..

Kingsbury rises above price undercutting

Aug 30 (ST) In the wake of a number of city and resort hotels left hurt by price undercutting, The Kingsbury has been able to pull through without engaging in a price war. At The Kingsbury, Hayleys Leisure Managing Director Lalin Samarawickrama said the room rates were not discounted. “We are not into discounting (because) we want to maintain the highest possible average room rate,” he said adding that this brings in the revenue to the hotel even more than the Food & Beverage sector. more..

Best figures by an India pacer in SL

Aug 30 (CI) 2001: Last time before Ishant Sharma an India fast bowler took a five-for in Tests in Sri Lanka. Venkatesh Prasad had returns of 5 for 72 in the second innings of the Kandy Test in 2001. Ishant's 5 for 54 are the best bowling figures by an India pacer in Sri Lanka and only the fourth five-wicket haul by an Indian in Sri Lanka. 4: Five-wicket hauls by Ishant in 12 Tests since 2014; in 53 Tests before 2014, Ishant had taken only three five-fors. Since 2014, he has taken 48 wickets more..

Test in balance after 15-wicket day

Aug 30 (CI) India made up for all the time lost to rain on the first two days by reducing Sri Lanka to 47 for 6 and injuring Dhammika Prasad, Sri Lanka's strike bowler on this pitch, but the hosts negated India's advantage by adding 154 with their last four wickets and taking India's first three wickets for seven runs. With India effectively 132 for 3 and the last pair of specialist batsmen already at the wicket, this was anybody's game now. more..

Resolute Pujara shines in stop-gap role

Aug 30 (CI) Who knows what Cheteshwar Pujara's century at the SSC will mean once this game, and with it the series, is done? For his own career, Pujara will know this innings will be a reminder, and a ringing one, that words that his team's governors use so often - intent, aggression and fearlessness - can in fact take on many different forms. One of them would be like Pujara's hundred that held up and held together, like an industrial adhesive, India's wobbly first innings. more..

Kusal believes it's anyone's game now

Aug 30 (PTI) Having hit a defiant fifty to help Sri Lanka claw back into the game, wicketkeeper-batsman Kusal Perera on Sunday said the match was evenly poised after India's top-order was rattled in the second innings on Day 3 of the third and final Test. On a dramatic day which saw fortune fluctuating from one team to the other, India had the game firmly in control by taking a decent 111-run first-innings lead which could have been much bigger but for some audacious counter attack more..