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Senior netballers decline SOS call

June 19 (CT) The Sports Ministry in a desperate attempt to uplift the standard of the national netball squad that was selected to take part in the Netball World Cup in Sydney, Australia in August, held a discussion with the senior players who hadn't been included in the side. The axed-stars including Tharjini Sivalingam, Mareesha Fernando and Sashika Samarasinghe have however made it clear that they have no intention of representing the country in the World Cup. more..

'South africa tells how transparency works'

June 19 (CT) Following talks in London very recently between the govt, a few Tamil Diaspora organizations, and a South African delegation sanctioned by its govt, on Tamil centered issues, Ceylon Today asked High Commissioner for South Africa in Colombo, Geoff Doidge, whether the new Maithri Govt is aiming at bringing together a South Africa styled Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) before 15 Sept UNHRC's more..

Tony Ranasinghe, Shakespeare Translation and Othello

June 19 (Island) We were shocked and saddened to hear, on 16th June, of Tony Ranasinghe’s death. My wife and I were in constant contact with him over Shakespeare matters and were aficionados of his work on film. We mourn his passing most deeply. Tony Ranasinghe made the translation of Shakespeare into Sinhala a major labour of love for the benefit of our audiences and readers. He prefaces his translation with an apocryphal (since undocumented) but very plausible theatrical more..

Tokyo Cement invests in manufactured sand joint venture

June 19 (EN) Tokyo Cement Company (Lanka) said it is to set up subsidiary to produce manufactured sand aggregates for concrete as natural sand extraction was becoming less of an option with sand reserves getting depleted. The new firm will be called Tokyo Super Aggregate Ltd. and will be set up as a joint venture at a cost of around 220 million rupees, a stock exchange filing said. Tokyo Cement will be taking a 51% equity stake in the joint venture with a local partner Raddella Engineering more..

Classical Silva the opener SL need

June 19 (CI) Kaushal Silva watches Zulfiqar Babar's left arm flap away in the bowler's approach, observes the work on the ball, reads its trajectory, shuffles across his stumps and shoulders arms. It is day two's final delivery from the Fort End - the last Silva would face before stumps. Across all three downsized sessions, against both seam and spin, Silva shuffled across to leave, ducked beneath short balls, or strode forward to defend. more..

Pakistan fail to take chances again

June 19 (CI) After losing the first day to rain and a chunk of the second to a wet outfield, Pakistan chose to bowl in Galle, a decision their vice-captain Azhar Ali said was situational because the pitch had been under covers for so long. The surface did not turn out to be responsive to pace, but Pakistan could have had better returns than three wickets, had they been disciplined in the field. Negligence in the field is a constant problem for Pakistan and they suffered as early as the second over in Galle, more..

Sri Lanka: A painful lesson abroad

June 19 (NZH) It was the cobweb that worried me. Grey, dusty and long, it floated in the air-conditioned breeze of my private hospital room. Half an hour earlier I'd assured Visa's crisp-sounding travel insurance assessor, and their medical expert, that yes, Kandy Hospital, in deepest Sri Lanka, was an excellent medical provider, eminently capable of delivering a general anaesthetic and stitching up my gashed leg. "It's your decision, Ms du Chateau," she had said. more..

Destination Sri Lanka

June 19 (Hindu) Even after the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war in 2009, the island nation remained an international outsider, with the then-President Mahinda Rajapaksa not enjoying the best of relations with the West and India. Under Rajapaksa’s regime, India-Sri Lanka relations were strained due to issues such as Sri Lanka’s inaction to accord equal rights to the Tamil minority and the country’s growing proximity to China. more..

Maldivian company under BOI to invests luxury chalets in Matale

June 19 (GDI) Board of Investment of Sri Lanka granted approval to Alpha Kinam Holdings Lanka Ltd to set up a hotel project of 13 Eco type luxury Suites and 26 chalets in Matale. The project represents an investment of US$ 3 Million. Nichila Oya Resort and Spa hotel complex will be built on a 15.3 acres land in Matale and expected to complete the project within a two years period. This Maldivian investment will be managed by Mr. Mohamed Manik, a dynamic entrepreneur more..

Marriage Registration charges reduced from Rs. 5,000/- to Rs. 1,000/-

June 19 (GDI) The Govt has taken steps to revise charges of marriages registration from Rs. 5,000/- to Rs. 1,000/- with effect from 16th March, 2015, Minister Rajitha Senarathna said while addressing the weekly cabinet briefing held at the Government Information Department. Accordingly, the revision of charges for registration of marriages from Rs. 5,000/- to Rs. 1,000/- proposed in the Budget is being implemented at present with effect from 16th March, 2015. more..

Iran sanctions likely to be lifted end June

June 19 (CT) The US Embassy in Colombo has assured the Tea Exporters Association (TEA) that US govt was hopeful that an agreement would be reached on the Iran nuclear issue by the end of June and that sanctions could be relaxed. This would allow Sri Lanka to overcome current problems with tea exports to Iran, Acting Chief of the Economic Section of the US Embassy Mathew Lowe had told tea exporters on Monday. more..

Young explorers of the Wild

June 19 (Hindu) At a time when youngsters are seen more in front of TV and computer screens than outside, seven young city students chose to gather some amazing experiences at the Yala National Park in Sri Lanka. As young members of the Voices of the Wild, they understand well that the spectacular outdoors belongs to them and waiting to be explored. Bursting with excitement, the group of children shared the stories of their seven-day visit and the umpteen number of photographs more..

Sri Lanka International University Romp 2015

June 19 (DM) The Sri Lanka International University Romp-2015 organized by the Department of Marketing Management of university of Sri Jayewardenepura in collaboration with Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau was successfully held on 11th and 12th June within the city limits of Colombo and Kithulgala. On 11th June the opening ceremony of SLIUR-2015 was commenced at the University premises marked by several distinguish personals from University and Corporate world. more..

'SL Tamil diaspora members want to return’

June 19 (Hindu) A very big majority of the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora has been against the LTTE. The community is eager to return to the country as early as possible, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. Responding to questions on the recent dialogue between the GTF and the TNA in London in which Minister Mangala Samaraweera was also present, he said that while there might be some pro-LTTE elements among more..

SLC’s National Fast Bowling Academy in training

June 19 (Island) With many changes introduced in recent times to the rules of the game of cricket by the ICC, it is evident that all teams playing international cricket need of their fast bowlers to be able to bowl at 140kmph plus if they are to take advantage of the rules that govern especially the ODI version of the game. Having the use of two new balls in an ODI reduces the advantage of spin bowlers having more grip and purchase off the wicket and also negates reverse swing to more..

Parents will face difficulties due to new procedure in circular: Bandula

June 19 (DN) Parents who expect to admit their children to Grade One in 2016 will have to face various difficulties due to the new procedure introduced by the new circular, MP Bandula Gunawardana said. According to circular, number of students to a class has been limited to 35. "Govt does not even continue Lama Mithuru programme initiated under Economic Development Ministry to develop 5,500 primary schools to minimise pressure on so called popular schools," more..

Duminda instilling fear: Hirunika

June 19 (DM) UPFA WPC member Hirunika Premachandra charged that MP Duminda Silva was indirectly coercing witnesses from coming forth to give evidence by making latent threats. “By saying that there will not be enough evidence to incarcerate him, what he is trying to say is that people will not come forth with evidence. This is an indirect threat to strike fear into potential witnesses, especially when there is a pending High Court trial” she said. more..

SL to rebuild aging oil pipeline network

June 19 (EN) Sri Lanka is to call for international bids to rebuild a pipeline network from Colombo port to a storage terminal at Kolonnawa, six kilometres away. The existing pipeline network that carries oil is 40-70 years old and in a very dilapidated condition, said Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne. The Cabinet of Ministers has approved a proposal by Power and energy Minister Champika Ranawaka to build a new pipeline network, he said. Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals is to do a full study of more..

Ravi dodging TV debate: Bandula

June 19 (CT) SLFP MP Bandula Gunawardena said the Finance Minister was dodging the TV debate, after challenging him to it. He said "Minister Ravi Karunanayake keeps accusing me of dodging the debate. However, it was he who has not set a date, even after I declared my availability. All he has to do is book a date with the relevant TV channel. Now he wants to debate the former President. We will not let the President even remotely associate with such a dubious character. more..

Video: SL to dilute dependence on China: FM

June 19 (NHK) Sri Lanka's foreign minister says the country will review its China-dependent foreign policy and boost ties with other nations. He is visiting Japan for the first time since the current govt was launched under the new president, Maithripala Sirisena. Sirisena won a presidential election in January by defeating the incumbent, Mahinda Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa promoted a foreign policy that relies on China. more..

Female Literacy: What the Indian economy needs to learn from Sri Lanka

June 19 (DNA) I had visited Colombo five years ago, just after the civil war ended, and had found it to be a pleasant but unremarkable city. Then during my children’s summer holidays in May, I found myself making another trip with my family to Sri Lanka. This time round, after a brief stay in Colombo – a city which has become visibly more prosperous and that much more interesting over the past five years – we ventured further into the countryside. What I saw in the Sri Lankan villages impressed me more..

Two baby tuskers about to be snatched from their mothers

June 19 (Island) Two monks had sought the help of President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to obtain two baby tuskers from the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, a top official said. The two baby tuskers, Kadol and Isira, are among the 16 baby jumbos born in 2011 at Pinnawala. It has only four tuskers including the two calves. According to Wildlife and Tourism Ministry officials, letters have been issued by politicians for the elephants to be donated to temples. more..

'Next 5 years’ economic policy in the making'

June 19 (DM) After months of hiatus, a new economic policy is currently being developed by a renowned team of economists for the next five years, which will be implemented under a UNP-led govt, according to Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva. He said the new economic policy, which is based on a social market economy model, will be opened for public consultation before being tabled in Parliament after which will become more..

13 athletes to take part in Asian Grand Prix

June 19 (CT) Sri Lanka Athletics team consisting of 13 athletes will leave the country early morning tomorrow for the Asian Grand Prix Series to be held in Thailand from 22 to 28 June. Sprinter NCD Priyadarshani and 400m runner Chandrika Subashini will not be taking part in the championship due to personal reasons, while Sri Lanka has added 400m runner Kalinga Kumarage to the team in place of Udaya Weerasinghe whose name was in the list sent by Asian Athletics Association in April. more..

AH1N1 claims 24

June 19 (DN) A total of 24 persons have died from Influenza AH1N1. Of this, 10 were pregnant mothers. Sources said pregnant mothers should seek prompt medical treatment for flu like symptoms if their condition does not improve within 48 hours. “Complications can develop in them if they get infected with Influenza AH1N1 due to certain reasons such as low immunity level, reduced lung capacity etc,” they said. Pneumonia can develop in persons who are vulnerable. more..

49% want parliament dissolved: Poll

June 19 (CT) An island-wide opinion poll has revealed that 49% of the country wants an immediate dissolution of Parliament and the holding of general elections. Transparency International survey, conducted in urban and rural areas of all districts, two weeks after the end of the govt's 100-Day Programme, drew conclusions from responses sent in by 875 people (35 over the age of 18 per district), out of which 44% were females and more..

SL needs evidence-based national policies

June 19 (DM) Since independence in 1948 a major negative in Sri Lanka’s socio-economic and political development has been the lack of a solid knowledge or research-based national policy in vital areas such as healthcare and education the economy, environment and agriculture. With general elections likely to be held soon and hopeful signs of the formation of a stable National Govt we also need to reflect deeply on working out a national policy on key issues in this era of the Yahapalanaya more..

The Statesman of the people of Sri Lanka

June 19 (DM) Late Dudley Senanayake or Bath dun piya, who was one of the noblest sons of Sri Lanka, demised 42 years ago today, and had rewritten the political history of Sri Lanka by becoming her Prime Minister four times which could not be matched by any politician during the history of independent Sri Lanka. He had a great love for the people, especially the paddy farmers, who produced the staple diet of Sri Lankans, this noble quality, perhaps inherited from his father, more..

COPA accused of double standards

June 19 (SL) The Committee of Public Accounts (COPA) has been accused of double standards for failing to note allegations being raised over the Customs Department and the Department of Motor Traffic (DMT). The annual Auditor General’s Reports over the years had noted that two Government departments are full of corruption but COPA has failed to take note of this. “Unlike Committee of Public Enterprises more..

Sri Lanka sets its own foreign policy agenda: foreign minister

June 19 (Nikkei) Sri Lanka will pursue an omnidirectional foreign policy that serves its own interests, not those of either of its huge neighbors, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told The Nikkei Asian Review on his recent visit to Japan. Six months have passed since Maithripala Sirisena won a dramatic presidential election against incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa, whose authoritarian bent, nepotism and personalization of power more..

Schools still collecting money despite circular

June 19 (DN) A set of parents and representatives of the education sector Trade Union Coalition pointed out that collection of money by school principals are still continuing regardless of the 5/2015 circular issued by the Education Ministry banning the collection of money from schoolchildren. Trade Union representatives said that the 5/2015 circular issued by the Education Ministry intended to stop collection of money more..

As NMRA takes shape, drug companies go for the kill again

June 19 (ST) As nominations are finalised for the appointment of the National Medicine Regulatory Authority to regulate the pricing and prescription of medicines in Sri Lanka, multinational companies are pushing the Consumer Affairs Authority to bring back a price formula which was withdrawn two years ago. It is learnt that drug company lawyers have had talks with the CAA to have a margin of 89% on the medicinal drugs more..

Halting all infrastructure projects in the country - Due to lack of funds allocated

June 19 (CT) With the opposition accusing the govt of halting all infrastructure projects in the country, the Minister for Highways and Investment Promotion, Kabir Hashim yesterday (18) revealed that road construction around the country was halted was due to lack of funds allocated for its completion. District Secretariats (DS), Provincial Road Development Authority (PRDA), officials from Ministry of Highways more..

Full Text: Gampaha district Forward with Mahinda strategic plan

June 19 (AM) A small booklet has been distributed among the Gampaha District SLFP activists working on the campaign to bring back former president Rajapaksa. According to the booklet, there are several operations within the larger Operation Forward with Mahinda, which is overseen by Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga. Strategy given out in the operational manual shows a well planned, more..

Code of conduct to curb corruption among Sri Lankan councillors

June 19 (EN) Sri Lanka’s new govt plans to introduce a code of conduct to curb corruption among representatives of local govt councils against whom there are growing complaints and legal action. The island has 4,486 representatives elected to 335 local govt institutions comprising 23 Municipal Councils, 41 Urban Councils, and 271 Pradeshiya Sabhas. These numbers will increase under changes to the electoral laws. more..

Time to get some rest: Mahanayake to Gota

June 19 (DM) While praising former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa for the services he had rendered to the country, Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter, Most Ven. Galagama Sri Aththadassi Thera, expressed his satisfaction at the former's decision not to enter politics. “I have seen media reports that you have decided not to enter politics. It was a great idea. You have done enough for your country. more..

Reveal secret detention camps, if any: GoSL

June 19 (Island) The Sri Lankan govt is even ready to allow unannounced visits to places allegedly used as secret detention camps in any part of the country. Reiterating the govt’s commitment to investigate accusations pertaining to such facilities, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mahishini Colonne said that the list of persons in govt custody had been shared with International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) though it couldn’t be made public. more..

Video: UNP to contest General Election alone

June 19 (AD) The Working Committee of the UNP has decided that the party will contest the upcoming General Election alone and to give party leader PM Ranil Wickremesinghe powers to make appointments to the nominations board. A decision was also taken to hold a party convention in Colombo prior to the election, Plantation Industries Minister Lakshaman Kiriella and Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said. more..

UNP's economic scorecard

June 19 (CT) UNP generally has a sound reputation for economic management when compared with its vis-à-vis the SLFP, coming in various coalition forms such as the MEP, UF, PA and now UPFA, since 1956. But PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's UNP Minority Govt, in the 6 months it has been in power, fares poorly, in contrast to the previous UPFA Govt's performance in the corresponding period last year. A dubious first for the grand old party since its formation 69 years ago. more..

Appointment of CC: Azwer asks UNP to abide by law without setting bad precedent

June 19 (Island) Former UPFA MP A.H.M. Azwer yesterday strongly disputed the govt position articulated by veteran LSSPer and constitutional expert Dr Jayampathy Wickramaratne that the proposed 10-member Constitutional Council could function with only seven members including three ex-officio members, namely the PM, Speaker and the Opposition Leader. Dr. Wickramaratne recently declared that the CC could function without the appointment of three civil society members. more..