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Pakistan minus that old eerie panic

July 9 (CI) When panic is the natural state of being, periods of calm become terrifying. They're not even periods as much as preludes; a long-drawn, torturous set-up to some overwhelming, disastrous punch-line. Every moment you wait, in hellish anticipation: it will come, it will come. Crap. It has come. This has long been the worldly rhythm of Pakistan in chases, ever since it first manifested itself in the early 1970s. In 1971, they lost by 25 runs in Headingley, chasing 231, more..

Karunaratne's rise & fast-bowling revolution

July 9 (CI) 8: Angelo Mathews (269 runs at 53.8, 2 wickets at 40) Now Sri Lanka's bona-fide crisis manager, Mathews' 122 in Pallekele was SL's best innings of the series and should have been enough to secure victory, had his bowlers been on task. As a batsman he is like a granite wall, allowing almost nothing to divert him. As a tactician though, he could be a little more flexible. But then given the inexperience in his side, he has one of the most difficult jobs in world cricket. more..

Amended sports law draft sent to Lausanne

July 9 (ST) An amended initial draft which has affected the National Sports Law Regulation causing disparity and confusion among local and international governing bodies and the Sports Ministry has been sent to Lausanne in Switzerland – where the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is based according to National Olympic Committee (NOC) chief, Hemasiri Fernando. “Amendments need to be further more..

FTAs help Sri Lanka to tap overseas markets

July 9 (DN) There is a proliferation of Free Trade Agreements (FTA) around the world, said Commerce Department, Director General Sonali Wijeratne. “FTAs provide fair conditions of competition for trade among countries with the removal of barriers to trade,” she said. Addressing a trade seminar on SL’s Free Trade Agreements Wijeratne said the proposed Sri Lanka China FTA has already generated much discussions and activities between the two countries. more..

Fitch confirms 9 Sri Lankan banks, downgrades Sampath

July 9 (EN) Fitch Ratings said it has confirmed the ratings on nine of Sri Lanka's banks, maintaining a Stable Outlook for the banking sector, but downgraded Sampath Bank. Sri Lankan banking sector’s credit profile is not likely to deteriorate materially even though there could be downside pressure on asset quality and profitability, a statement said. The rating agency said the downgrade of Sampath Bank reflects its weakening capitalisation relative to peers, which offset more..

‘CM adopting double standards on LTTE issue’

July 9 (Hindu) MDMK general secretary Vaiko accused CM Jayalalithaa of adopting double standards on the Intelligence Bureau reports with regard to LTTE. He was addressing a demonstration organised by the party on Tuesday. The protest was organised to condemn the State govt for filing the affidavit in the apex court stating that the Periyar dam should be protected by Central Industrial Security Force, more..

Dialog chief brushes aside talk of political uncertainty

July 9 (Island) Political uncertainty is just one external element among many other factors that could affect doing business, so we are not bothered by the implications of this single element, Dialog Axiata Group CEO Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya said in response to a question asked by the media yesterday. When asked where his unwavering business confidence came from, he said, "We know the country’s business and political landscape as we’re supposed to know it, and more..

Chopard launch collection of watches, jewellery at Chatham Luxury

July 9 (DN) Sri Lanka is an important market for Chopard said Xavier Lasserre, International Sales Manager, Chopard & Cie. He said that they are also happy to note that they have got the right parterns in Sri Lanka who are well trained to service their customers. Speaking at the Swiss luxury brand Chopard launch at the Chatham store in Galleface courts last morning he said that this will also be the first time that the Chopard Jewellery collection will be available and on display in the country. more..

'Very proud to have played with Kumar'

July 9 (WI) In August 2014, Sri Lankan cricket suffered a big blow when Mahela Jayawardene hung up his Test boots. A few months later, following the team’s exit from the 2015 World Cup, he brought the curtain down on his ODI career as well alongside Kumar Sangakkara, leaving the island nation with huge breaches to fill. The void was obvious but the pinch hasn’t been as intense because Sri Lanka haven’t played an since. more..

CM Ranatunga files FR case against police

July 9 (Island) Prasanna Ranatunga, the Chief Minister of the Western Province yesterday filed a fundamental rights violation application complaining that the illegally constituted FCID had initiated a baseless money laundering probe against him in the Fort Magistrate Court. The petitioner has requested the Court to cancel the gazette, 1901/20 of Feb 13, 2015, which created the FCID which subjected persons like him to arbitrary treatment, political discrimination and illegal arrests more..

Tea industry veteran Chrisantha appointed to Monetary Board

July 9 (FT) President Sirisena has appointed Chrisantha Perera as a Member of the Monetary Board of the Central Bank with effect from 24 June in terms of Section 8(2) (c) of the Monetary Law Act. Perera has previously served as Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tea Board, Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation, Public Enterprises Reforms Commission and Bank of Ceylon. Chrisantha is the second appointed member of the Monetary Board. In May former Deputy Secretary to the Treasury and more..

Sri Lanka ranked first in South Asia’s 2015 Global Change Readiness Index

July 9 (FT) Sri Lanka has emerged as the country best equipped to respond to growing political, economic and social changes in the South Asian region, according to KPMG’s latest Global Change Readiness Index (CRI). The CRI is the only global study of its kind, ranking 127 countries for their capacity to prepare for and respond to accelerating change brought about by everything from natural disasters and economic and more..

Many Rajapaksa loyalists face the axe

July 9 (Island) Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga, who has played a major role to nominate former President Rajapaksa as the UPFA PM candidate, would not get nominations to contest the general election from the Gampaha District, UPFA sources said. They alleged that former President Chandrika Kumaratunga had asked President Maithripala Sirisena not to field Prasanna Ranatunga as it would block Arjuna Ranatunga’s chances of entering Parliament more..

FNO fears division of country

July 9 (Island) The Federation of National Organisations (FNO) yesterday warned that the country would face the danger of being divided under a future UNP govt. Addressing the media at the National Library Auditorium, FNO Convener Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera said that President Maithripala Sirisena was also aware of the situation and that was the reason why he had decided to give nominations to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest the general election. more..

SLFP confident of Maithri, Mahinda rapprochement

July 9 (Island) UPFA Gen. Secretary Susil Premjayantha and SLFP Gen. Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said that rival factions within the former ruling party had sunk their differences and were ready for the August 17 general election. The SLFP had been able to avert a post-January 8 presidential poll split, though some issues remained to be resolved, they said. The party called the media briefing yesterday more..

Business confidence nudges up but politics dogs corporate mindset

July 9 (FT) Leading business magazine LMD says, in its forthcoming July edition, that “goings-on in the political arena continue to dog the corporate mindset”. It adds that “despite the apparent progress on the economic front,” the business community continues to be apprehensive about the political environment in the country, as evidenced by the latest LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI). Index made marginal gains in June, nudging up by five basis points to 159. more..

Kamal Addaraarachchi to contest from UNP

July 9 (CT) Former MP of UNP Ranjan Ramanayake, who represented Ratnapura District previously, will contest from Gampaha District in the upcoming general election. Meanwhile, actor Kamal Addaraarachchi will contest from the Ratnapura District. When inquired into the matter from Addaraarachchi he stated that he will be contesting under the UNP ticket. He added that while he does not believe that actors or clergy should engage in politics, he has come forward since more..

MR from Kurunegala; Chamal from H'tota

July 9 (DM) Former President Rajapaksa would be contesting the Parliamentary elections from the Kurunegala District, while the Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa would be contesting from the Hambantota District, a SLFP source said. Both would contest as group leaders of the UPFA of their respective districts and former President would also campaign island wide for the alliance. Chamal Rajapaksa had decided against retiring more..

I will reply Ranil soon: DEW

July 9 (CT) General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Communist Party, former MP of the UPFA D.E.W. Gunasekera said that he will hold a press briefing and reply to the accusations made by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe against him. Earlier this week Wickremesinghe criticized his behaviour in connection with the issue of Treasury Bonds issued by the Central Bank, and the report of the COPE. Gunasekera said that since he is busy at the moment with nominations, and more..

Zeid notes UN failed to protect SL civilians

July 9 (CG) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein says the UN had failed to protect the lives of civilians in Sri Lanka in 2009. Al Hussein made the comment via a video link to the UNHRC, when it met to discuss the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said that if the UN is going to make commitments on protecting civilians, then it must be resolute, undivided and clear about its intentions. more..

All of DEW’s probe reports were acceptable to UNP except one on bond scam: GL

July 9 (Island) Former Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris alleged that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's attack on former Chairman of the COPE D.E.W. Gunasekera was nothing but an assault on the parliamentary system itself. He was responding to PM accusing General Secretary of the CP Gunasekara of misleading Parliament as well as the country as regards investigations undertaken by a 13-member subcommittee of the COPE into more..

'People who steal Sri Lanka's state assets may be reborn as dogs and crows'

July 9 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena said those in positions of power should be always reminded that they should not steal state assets, and there would be consequences if they do. He said he had learned of a rock inscription from the time of King Nissanka Malla, which said that those who stole state assets would be reborn as dogs and crows. "I am asking how much this Nissanka Malla inscription is relevant to yesteryear and to today," President Sirisena said at a ceremony marking more..

CBK blocks Prasanna

July 9 (DM) As of yesterday, the UPFA members, chosen for candidacy, started signing their nomination papers. In most cases, the lists have been sorted out. But, a serious problem had arisen in the preparation of the Gampaha District list. Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has examined the list and expressed her strong objection to the inclusion of Western Province CM Prasanna Ranatunga, WPC Members Samanmali Sakalasuriya and Sahan Pradeep more..

Nomination nightmares!

July 9 (FT) As the UPFA and its leading constituent party, the SLFP, made conflicting claims regarding nominations for ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the alliance list, President Maithripala Sirisena’s public silence on the controversial issue continued to baffle loyalists and supporters of his presidential bid in January. With nominations scheduled to close at 12 noon next Monday, UPFA is racing against the clock to more..

Their master’s voice

July 9 (DM) It was shocking to read of a senior politician, who should know better, calling a young man a piglet for daring to challenge their fallen idol, who seems unable to accept rejection and defeat. A cat may look at a King is a well-known adage. It was this kind of inflated arrogance that led to the fall. This remark coming on the heels of other drivel uttered by politicians of the Opposition, including a senior politician who cast a vulgar, coarse remark at the PM recently, more..

People must restore the dignity of Parliament

July 9 (DM) With the vision of restoring the dignity and the power of the once August Supreme Legislative Assembly of Parliament, election monitoring and civic action groups have collected one million signatures asking that political parties and people should choose candidates with honesty and integrity. This campaign was launched amid widespread allegations that during the past few years, especially Parliament had virtually degenerated into a den of robbers, more..

How did Perpetual Treasuries make it to the top ?

July 9 (DM) Sujeewa Senasinghe, member of the controversial COPE sub-committee appointed to look into, what many had termed the Bond Scam revolving around the bond issue on Feb 27 spoke on aspects of the inquiry and his opinion of it. Q: Is the declaration to the that President Rajapaksa would contest from the UPFA an issue to you? A: Not at all. It’s not an issue for us although it may be an issue for him. more..

Drug busting: Major joint sea op reveals nothing, but success on other fronts

July 9 (ST) In a 48-hour-long mission starting June 30, 100 law enforcement officers battled the rough seas off the coast of Kerawalapitiya. Their mission: To find a suspected consignment of heroin on board a vessel carrying liquid petrolium gas (LPG) to a local distributer. Officers from the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB), the coast guard, SL Customs, Police Marine Division, harbour police and the navy, carried out more..

Former LTTE member faces double standards?

July 9 (SL) The nomination application presented by a former LTTE member to contest at the upcoming general election created quite a stir in the political circles last week. The latest issue over the nomination request made by a former LTTE member has taken the limelight since the likes of V Muarlitharan alias Karuna Amman and S Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan have contested at national level elections and even held office more..

‘Exports to US on steady rise’

July 9 (CT) Sri Lanka's exports to US are surging on hectic phase-and June's renewed US GSP facility boosts our export development efforts, as revealed on 7 July. "On behalf of the Govt President Maithripala Sirisena, thanked the US Govt for re-authorizing this crucial trade facility to Sri Lanka. US is the biggest consumer of Sri Lankan exports in the world, as well as Lankan apparels" said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. more..

Seize this opportunity for true reform

July 9 (TH) Come September, the UNHRC will assemble in Geneva for its 30th session. This session marks an important date for Sri Lanka, the United States and the international community: the long-awaited release of the UN report on war crimes committed during Sri Lanka’s civil war. Secretary of State John Kerry in May urged Sri Lanka to launch a credible investigation into human rights abuses and to release remaining political prisoners, more..

Sri Lanka archaeologists should dig into pre-history: PM

July 9 (EN) Sri Lanka's archaeologists should explore deeper into Sri Lanka's pre-history and there were great puzzles of South Asia also to be solved, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. Most the current knowledge about ancient Sri Lanka went back only to the Anuradhapura period, but the history beyond that was largely unknown. "Now we have to look beyond," Wickremesinghe said at ceremony marking the 125th anniversary of more..

For Sri Lanka's displaced Tamils, homecoming is bittersweet

July 9 (AFP) When Balasundaram Rasamalar finally got back her home in Sri Lanka's battle-scarred north after years of military occupation, there was an unexpected problem. The toilet was still in the militarised zone -- where civilians are not allowed. Sri Lanka's army this year began returning land it has occupied since the end of a decades-long separatist conflict to its original owners in the Tamil heartland of Jaffna. more..

Rajapaksa signs nominations for Kurunegala

July 9 (AM) NFF leader Wimal Weewawansa confirmed that former president Mahinda Rajapaksa signed nomination papers to contest forthcoming general election. Rajapaksa will contest from Kurunegala district under UPFA, he told. Rajapaksa yesterday threatened to field a separate group over not being allowed nominations to Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga. more..

SLFP furious over Ranil’s insult to DEW

July 9 (FT) The SLFP charged that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had essentially made a confession over the Central Bank Treasury bond issue by organising a special media briefing at Sirikotha on Tuesday. SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said that PM Wickremesinghe had insulted one of the county’s most respected people, COPE Subcommittee Chairman D.E.W. Gunasekara, more..

President warns politicians with links to drug trade

July 9 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena today said it is essential that Sri Lanka’s politicians completely distance themselves from illegal narcotics. “I would like to clearly emphasize that as a govt we will instigate every possible legal action against any politicians involved in illegal drug rackets or if any involvement is uncovered later, irrespective of their party and position,” he said. The President was addressing an event in Ja-Ela, more..

Tattered myths & deadly delusions of Yahapâlanaya

July 9 (CT) Yahapâlanaya; doctrine and practice of Good Governance: is being subjected to close critical scrutiny by educated, enlightened and progressive social forces all across the Land. It is posed as a central point of discussion and debate within the progressive political discourse in Sri Lanka. It has acquired a renewed sense of urgency and imminence. This is due to several interrelated factors. The immediate context is the deep, even agonized and terrified, sense of betrayal more..

Hand to uplift SLFP

July 9 (CT) SLFP's Hand symbol which had gone into 'cold storage' for the past 26 years appears to have been taken out from the closet, dusted, cleaned and made ready for use by President Maithripala Sirisena in time for the 17 August General Election, as imputed by the lead story carried in this newspaper in yesterday's edition. It said that Sirisena is scanning the SLFP's nomination list for the General Elections due in under seven weeks' time on 17 August. more..

Video: Economy grew only 4.5% in 2014

July 9 (DM) A new method of computation would be adopted in measuring the economic growth of the country, Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva said today. %he actual economic growth (GDP) in 2014 had been 4.5%, while it was 3.4% in 2013. However, Dr. De Silva said he would not accuse anyone of misleading the public nor would he politicise the matter. He said the economic growth was reduced according to the new more..

CWC hands in nominations to contest Kandy district under its Cock symbol

July 9 (Island) Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC) handed over it Kandy District nomination list to the Kandy District Returning Officer yesterday. CWC Vice President and CPC Member D. Madi Yugarajah said the party would contest the general election under the Cockerel symbol. "Our people ask for the cockerel and not the elephant," Madi Yugarajah, the veteran politician of the CWC said. He said at least two seats would be secured by the party from the district. more..