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Wahab stokes Pakistan's forgotten fire

June 20 (CI) Wahab Riaz is bringing back a cutting edge to the Pakistan team, an edge that appeared dulled over the last five years following the spot-fixing controversy that cost the country its two best bowlers - Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir - and appeared to subdue the innate confidence of the other quicks. Since 2010, there has been extra vigilance around Pakistan and their players have often been instructed in what to do and what not to do. Under Misbah-ul-Haq's leadership, more..

Mt. Lavinia Beach under soil erosion threat

June 20 (NS) Mount Lavinia Beach Association is to write to President Maithripala Sirisena to look into the problems they have been facing owing to sea erosion along the coast. The stretch of beach, which spans one mile, is a designated tourist area and is now under threat. The association, which consists of 27 restaurants along the coast of Mount Lavinia state that their businesses have been affected owing to continuous soil erosion and have called upon the authorities to look into the issue. more..

Spin emerges as the real Test in Galle

June 20 (CI) It's the third day of the Test, second if you account for rain. Waves crash nearby and tiled rooves peep above fort walls. With king coconut vendors along the ground's periphery, and kites flying above the cricket, Galle should be a batting resort - a five-star, gourmet run-smorgasbord. Yet on the best customary day for run-making, 12 wickets have collapsed. The prodigies are prodding. Greats are groping. more..

'Patents vital for economic growth'

June 20 (FT) Addressing a meeting of heads of research organisations, including universities, Minister of Higher Education and Research Dr. Sarath Amunugama said that Sri Lanka should pay more attention to the registration of industrial and other patents by Sri Lankan researchers and innovators. The Head of the National Intellectual Property Organisation which is the Patent Office in SL was also present at this meeting. He pointed out that patents were the usual channel more..

FINA suspends new committee

June 20 (CT) FINA has suspended the newly elected committee of the Sri Lanka Aquatic Sports Union (SLASU) and has decided to retain its links to aquatic activities in Sri Lanka through the existing office bearers prior to the conduct of elections. SLASU following a FINA directive postponed the conduct of the Annual General Meeting and elections scheduled for 15th May 2015 informing the Minister, its membership, nominees and delegates. However, a section of its member clubs more..

OCH from Kaduwela to Kadawatha opening shifted till July

June 20 (DM) The opening of the second phase of the Colombo Outer Circular Highway (OCH) linking the Southern Expressway from Kaduwela to Kadawatha was postponed, Project Director Ms. T.S.H. Abewickrama said yesterday. She said the Expressway which was scheduled to be open today would be open in mid July. Construction is being completed at the moment, the Project Director said. more..

'Govt committed to provide best healthcare services’

June 20 (Island) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Chief Guest at the Higher Education Partnership to launch the Northumbria University UK and The Business Management School (BMS) Colombo, Bsc (Hons) Biomedical Science course said; ‘The SL govt is committed to provide the best healthcare service for our people. An integral part of healthcare policy was that we need professional scientists to carry out research in the medical field. "Education in this country is free, so too health services; more..

Sri Lanka earnings slow down seen on interest rate recovery

June 20 (EN) Earnings of Sri Lankan listed companies will remain at current levels in the December 2015 and March 2016 financial year but could slow down thereafter owing to a possible interest rate hike, a brokerage said. First Capital Equities said low interest rates, higher disposable incomes and a stable exchange rate are likely to drive market earnings for the December 2015 and March 2016 financial year. Market returns may improve once current uncertainty stemming more..

'Silk Route one reason for Sri Lanka-China bilateral friendship'

June 20 (DN) Sri Lanka and China are historic friends and share a multi-faceted relationship going back to several centuries. The Silk Route is one reason for this enduring bilateral friendship," said Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce, when he addressed the 10th China South Asia Business Forum at the third China-South Asia Exposition and 23rd China Import & Export Fair held in Kunming in China, on June 12. more..

3 women cricketers reported for chucking

June 20 (NS) Sri Lanka Cricket’s campaign to eradicate bowlers with illegal actions reached new dimensions when for the first time three women cricketers were reported with suspect actions during the recently concluded under-26 inter-provincial tournament. Sathya Sadeepani from North Western Province, Iresha Damayanthi and Ruvini Peshala (both from Western Province) have been reported by umpires during the tournament for suspect bowling actions. more..

TVS plans Rs 400 m plant in Colombo

June 20 (DN) For the first time, TVS India is looking at opening an assembling facility in Sri Lanka. This is mainly for three wheelers and motor bikes. Aashiq Lafir, Executive Director Finance, said that they are looking at bringing TVS three wheelers and motor bikes in knocked down form and assembling them in Sri Lanka. The company would look at an investment around Rs. 400 million for this plant. He said that the business model of this project is mainly export oriented. more..

SLFP heads for split, UNP set to break with Sirisena

June 20 (ENS) While President Maithripala Sirisena’s SLFP is heading for a split between the Sirseana and Rajapaksa groups, the UNP, headed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, has decided to break off its alliance with Sirisena and contest the coming parliamentary elections separately. Moves by a six-man committee to bring about a rapprochement between Sirisena and Rajapaksa failed on Wednesday, when more..

Lorry caught transporting teak in the guise of used plastic bottles

June 20 (Island) Forest officers attached to the Walasmulla range in the Hambantota District have detected a lorry load of teak transported to Moratuwa without a licence. The smugglers had transported 162 logs of teak inside a lorry ostensibly transporting used plastic bottles, Range Forest Officer Sumith Swaris said. He said that acting on a tip-off, they had intercepted the vehicle in the Koholana area on the Walasmulla–Middeniya road. The timber was worth Rs. 228,204.63. more..

Wanted to prove a point: Silva

June 20 (CT) Kaushal Silva who stood there for 300 balls with tremendous patience to score his second century, his first at home said that he wanted to prove a point to himself rather than anyone else with that century as he has been getting a lot of half centuries without capitalizing. "For the last year I have been scoring lot of 80s and 90s and may be missed out on 3-4 centuries. I have had 30 odd first class hundreds and only one hundred for the last year in Test Cricket along with 7 fifties. more..

'Bond scam is our own Watergate'

June 20 (NS) Former Governor of CB, Ajith Nivard Cabraal last week alleged that there is a well organized effort to cover-up the Treasury bond issue which is of the same magnitude as the Watergate scandal which rocked the United States in the 1970s. Cabraal said that there has been cover-up beginning from the 3-member Committee of Lawyers Report, Fundamental Rights petition by three individuals, with the mix of terms more..

Four die of asphyxia in the same pit

June 20 (NS) A woman died of asphyxia after falling into a lavatory pit at Meedeniya Parape in Rambukkana yesterday while the same fate befell three other individuals who had attempted to rescue her. The woman had slipped into the pit when disposing garbage. Later, three neighbors who came to rescue the woman had also collapsed into the pit having inhaled the fumes. Another four individuals who had arrived to rescue the first four victims were hospitalized after they breathed more..

MR’s Security: Helicopter On Ranil’s Orders

June 20 (CT) Minister John Amaratunga said that, on the instructions of the Prime Minister, even a helicopter has been provided for the use of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa besides being afforded maximum security protection. The Minister pointed out that the former President has been provided security vehicles and security personnel in excess of any other govt leader, and there is absolutely no truth in complaints that Rajapaksa's security is at risk. more..

Hanky-panky by consultants in awarding lift contract for tallest telecom tower surfaces

June 20 (Island) Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) Committee questions selection of bidder for 650 million rupee lifts for the country’s tallest telecommunication tower now under construction at D.R. Wijewardene Mawatha, without compliance with bid safety standards and with no after sales service centre in Sri Lanka. The selection of suppliers for lifts and escalators for SL’s tallest iconic telecommunication tower more..

Bus rapid transit system along Galle Road to ease traffic congestion

June 20 (DN) A bus rapid transit system will be put in place along Galle Road soon to curb traffic congestion, Transport Minister Ranjith Maddumabandara said yesterday. He said under this system, a lane dedicated to buses will be allocated. Maddumabandara said travel time will be reduced drastically, if this system is in place. The minister said passengers travelling by bus will be able to reach Colombo in 40 minutes from Panadura if this system is in place. more..

Two Sri Lankans win the prestigious Queen’s Young Leaders (QYL) Award

June 20 (GDI) Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera felicitated two young Sri Lankan achievers – Thejitha Edirisinghe and Kavindya Thennakoon – at a meeting on Friday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They are among the sixty winners of the Queen’s Young Leaders (QYL) programme 2015 from Commonwealth countries. QYL programme is a new initiative established by the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust in partnership with the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) and more..

Central Bank Bond Issue: COPE Report to implicate UNP high-ups?

June 20 (NS) Top-ranking members of the Govt are alleyedly implicated in wrongdoing associated with the controversial CB bond issue, CB sources who wished to remain anonymous claim that the process which resulted in a company owned by the son-in-law of CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran securing unprecedented profits almost overnight was endorsed by the said high-ups in the Govt as well as key officials of UNP. more..

New covenant to save Mother Earth

June 20 (DM) In a historical encyclical or policy statement aimed at saving Mother Earth from the catastrophe of self-destruction, Pope Francis on Thursday called on the world’s rich nations to begin paying their grave social debt to the poor and take concrete steps on climate change. He warned that failure to turn around from the path of destruction would be a grave risk to our common home, mother earth, which a selfish if not senseless world had turned into a pile of filth. more..

Coincidental reflections on Democracy and local political Setting

June 20 (DM) Apart from its triumphant regime change in January, the Year 2015 could be distinctively marked as a year of Centenaries. Among them are the deposition of rule of last King Sri Wickrama Rajasingha in a successful conspiracy planned by the Sinhala chieftains and the signing of the Kandyan Convention acknowledging the British monarch, as their new ruler that occurred in 1815: the 1915’s catastrophic episode; eruption of communal riots, imposition of Martial Law more..

Crawling back to normalcy

June 20 (SL) The releasing of land held by the army has been given wide publicity both by the Govt and the military in recent times. However, while the process has been welcomed, not everyone is really happy. Some families who have been given their land back have little or nothing to go back to. A group of journalist from Colombo and a few from Jaffna were taken to Palaly last week for a briefing by military on the land released so far more..

Hakeem wants gazette notification on 20A withdrawn

June 20 (Island) SLMC Leader and Minister Rauf Hakeem yesterday urged the govt to withdraw the gazette notification on the 20th Amendment forthwith. Addressing the media in Kandy after attending a workshop on the development plans of the City, Minister claimed that the provisions in the gazette notification would result in the minority political parties being wiped out without representation in Parliament. more..

Tamil Progressive Alliance and the Tamils living outside the North-East

June 20 (DBS) An event of great significance occurred within the sphere of minority community politics in Sri Lanka on June 3rd 2015. Three political parties representing sections of the Tamil people living outside the Tamil dominated Northern province and Tamil majority Eastern Province announced at a media conference in Colombo that they had forged a new configuration called the Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA). more..

Kotte’s new warriors in defence of the lost kingdom

June 20 (ST) Protected and held up to the admiration of both locals and foreigners are the ancient cities such as Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa far from the hub of Colombo. It is, however, ironic that the one-before-the-last kingdom of this country, a stone’s throw from the bustling metropolis of Colombo and part of the capital of Sri Jayewardenepura-Kotte is being left to the ravages of modern times. more..

Meters to be made mandatory for all 3-wheelers

June 20 (DM) Electronic taxi meters will be made mandatory for all three-wheelers soon, and steps will be taken to ensure that all meters are maintained at a proper standard. An official of the the Measurement Units Standards and Services Department (MUSSD) said that regulations to verify the accuracy of taxi meters would be introduced after the proposed gazette notification making meters mandatory for three-wheelers. more..

Bridge over Palk Strait has a hoary past

June 20 (ENS) The idea of building a road bridge across the Palk Strait to link India and Sri Lanka, which the Indian Road Transport Minister, Nitin Gadkari, has revived, has a hoary past. The ancient Hindu epic, the Ramayana, mentions the construction of a bridge to enable Lord Rama’s army to move to Lanka. At the end of the 19 th, Century, the British, who were then ruling India and Lanka, seriously considered the construction of more..

LG polls later this year under new system

June 20 (Island) Elections to all local govt authorities will be held towards the end of this year on a single day under the new electoral system, Minister Karu Jayasuriya said. He said that though the official terms of 234 local govt bodies had ended recently, the terms of others would end in July and October. Code of Conduct for Elected Members of Local Authorities approved by the Cabinet recently and also released yesterday would also more..

US report confirms LTTE network active

June 20 (CG) Despite its military defeat at the hands of the Sri Lankan govt in 2009, the LTTE’s international network of sympathizers and financial support still persists, a US State Department report said. The annual Country Report on Terrorism for 2014 was released yesterday. The report noted that there have been no known attacks in Sri Lanka that could verifiably be attributed to the LTTE since the end of the war, more..

SLFP committee decides on MR for PM post

June 20 (DM) 6-member committee appointed by the SLFP has unanimously decided to nominate former president Mahinda Rajapaksa as the party's PM candidate no matter what President Maitripala Sirinsena's views are on this matter, informed sources said. SLFP Vice Chairman Rajitha Senaratne said that the president had categorically stated that Mr. Rajapaksa would not be nominated for general elections. more..

Govt funds plunge TNA into turmoil

June 20 (Island) Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran is on a collision course with four-party TNA leadership for allowing some of its parliamentarians to receive govt funding for projects in the NP, thus bypassing his administration. The TNA secured 14 seats, including one on the National List at the last general election in April 2010. One of them subsequently, switched his allegiance to the SLFP-led UPFA. more..

UNP in gridlock

June 20 (CT) A sample survey conducted by Transparency International (TI), a foreign NGO, has reported that 49% of the sample comprising a total of some 875 souls or 0.004% of the island's total population, had mooted for an immediate dissolution of Parliament and calling for a fresh poll. The sample was islandwide. Whether a sample comprising 0.004% of the island's population is a reflection of the popular will of the people is a matter for conjecture. more..

Maithri should sack them all

June 20 (CT) Recent reports say that Sri Lanka’s post colonial political arena has not seen a politician with greater humility, sounder integrity, better intentions and unflinching commitment to democracy and the rule of law than the current President Maithripala Sirisena. He has already proved that he has no hunger for power, he refrains from abusing power, he resents the extravagant lifestyle of a politician that is inappropriate for a poor country and has honourable intentions in more..

Events on coup night: Daya reveals

June 20 (CT) On 8 January, the night of the Presidential Election results, it was alleged that there was an attempt by the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to retain power through a military coup. Former Commander of the Army, Daya Ratnayake, in a recent interview with the Sirasa TV, revealed the details of the events that took place at Temple Trees on the night of 8 Jan. Q: Were you also present at Temple Trees on more..

Punishment transfer in Sri Lanka is Thailand

June 20 (CT) In a rather strange development at the Ministry of external affairs for the appointment of Kshenuka Senewiratne as Ambassador to Thailand who has questioned this author and presented much trouble as Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs, when independent writing was produced against or advising Mahinda Rajapaksa over his term as President. She was the closes to Sajin Vass Gunawardena and did everything possible to destroy our foreign relations image. more..

Temple land lease deal causes storm

June 20 (NS) Department of Forest Conservation (DFC) and the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) are pointing fingers at each other regarding a 500-acre forest land belonging to the Nakolagane Rajamahavihara being leased to private firms without adhering to proper procedures. When contacted Chairman of the CEA Prof. Lal Dharmasiri claimed that permission to clear such land, despite the land belonging to a temple, should be obtained by the Department of Forest Conservation. more..

'Truth has dawned on the TNA regarding good governance'

June 20 (Island) TNA which helped the UNP topple the Rajapaksa govt, had admitted that the promise of good governance had not been honoured, EPDP Leader MP Douglas Devananda said. He said that it seemed that the TNA-UNP secret pact had not worked as planned. Commenting on the proposed 20 Amendment, former Minister said that his party was of the opinion that existing electoral system should continue more..

Alarming rise in certain cancers blamed on food taste enhancer

June 20 (Island) Deputy Director Maharagama Cancer Institute Dr. Wasantha Dissanayaka yesterday warned that cancer had been spreading among fast food lovers because of Mono Sodium Glutamate used as a taste enhancer. Dr. Dissanayaka said there had been an alarming rise in ovarian, pancreatic, prostrate, skin, stomach and thyroid cancers reported to MCI since the advent of fast food outlets throughout the country. Govt must commence effective awareness campaigns more..