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U-19 World Cup: Bangladesh ace tense chase to secure third place

Feb 13 (CI) A knock of 53 from captain Mehedi Hasan Miraz and an unbeaten 31 from Jaker Ali helped Bangladesh Under-19s seal a tense chase of 215 against Sri Lanka Under-19s to secure a third-place finish at the Under-19 World Cup. Having dismissed Sri Lanka for 214, Bangladesh were progressing steadily during the course of an 88-run third-wicket partnership between Miraz and Nazmul Hossain Shanto. Sri Lanka bowlers had tied down the big shots early in the chase - more..

CBK pleased to see Parliament adopting women representation Bill

Feb 13 (DN) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunge who is patron and former Chairperson of the SLFP said yesterday that as a woman, she is extremely pleased to see the Bill ensuring 25% women representation in Local Councils adopted by Parliament on Feb 9. She is this Bill introduced by the present govt would end the under valuation given to the woman who is treated as sacred in the household and called Gedara Budun in the sphere of governance and politics. more..

Govt mulls over shifting of security forces camps in East

Feb 13 (Island) The govt had decided to relocate Vidura Camp in Sampur to another place and was considering shifting other camps in the Trincomalee District, Minister Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament. Minister participating in the debate on a private member motion moved by UNP MP Abdullah Mahroof said govt would soon decide on shutting down other security forces camps in the district. MP Mahroof in his motion said that more..

POs open till 8 p.m. for payments

Feb 13 (CT) The Postal Department has decided to keep open its counters commencing 15 February to facilitate the paying of fines imposed by the Traffic Police on drivers flouting road rules. Fifty-one major Post Offices throughout the country will be kept open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. from 15 February while Post Offices which are predominantly engaged with sorting out letters will facilitate the payment of fines from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. throughout the country. This decision has been taken following more..

Probe Mahindodaya Rs 5.87 B purchases

Feb 13 (CT) Lanka Teacher Service Union (LTSU) lodged a complaint with an anti-corruption probe committee concerning about the expenditure of Rs 5.87 billion to purchase computers and other apparatus for the Mahindodaya laboratories during the Rajapaksa administration. LTSU Secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe said all details related to the purchase of computers, including a report filed by the AG on the purchase of such items by Ministry of Education, had also been handed over more..

Didn't know about my hat-trick: Thisara

Feb 13 (PTI) Thisara Perera said he did not realise that he had taken a hat-trick till his team-mates informed him about it, as his entire concentration was on bowling in the death overs during the second T20 International against India here. Although Sri Lanka lost the second game against India by 69 runs here on Friday night to concede the advantage, Perera stole the show by becoming the first SL bowler to take a hat-trick in T20 Int'ls. more..

CPC to get Rs.854m insurance claim

Feb 13 (FT) Cash-strapped Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) is expected to recover Rs.854 million from an insurance claim compensating a faulty crude oil pipeline off the seas of Colombo port two years earlier. Deputy Minister Anoma Gamage assured Parliament that action was taken to face similar situations with adequate spare parts and expertise. “The pipeline in question was imported from Italy at a cost of Rs.45 million. Actually, it was kept as a reserve. more..

Sil redi case against Lalith and Anusha fixed for trial

Feb 13 (Island) Colombo High Court Judge, fixed for trial on April 29, 2016, the indictment filed in the High Court by AG against the accused Lalith Weeratunga, the Secretary to the former President Rajapaksa and the second accused Anusha Palpita, the former Director General of TRC of Sri Lanka. Charge sheet was read out. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge of misuse of public funds, to promote the then ruling party campaign in the run-up to the Jan 8 presidential election. more..

Hyderabad cops flying to Sri Lanka to arrest doctors

Feb 13 (HI) Armed with fresh leads in the kidney racket, the Cyber Crime Police of Hyderabad are gearing up to expose Sri Lankan doctors, who had been clandestinely helping the racket to run successfully. After a year-long investigation, police found that all the accused who were arrested on charges of acting as agents in luring customers were once victims. Almost all the agents arrested in the kidney racket across more..

Manager invokes Devol’s retribution

Feb 13 (CT) The Manager of the Seenigama Devale at Hikkaduwa, Sarath Disenthuhewahandi, says that the recent incident in which three of its tills had been broken into by thieves was done in contempt of the Devol God and himself. He added, "There was an incident of dashing coconuts to incur the wrath of the gods on the govt recently. The very next day after the dashing of coconuts three of the tills at the Devale premises had been broken into by thieves. They had also broken the seals placed on tills more..

Momentum with India in series decider

Feb 13 (CI) Sri Lanka, with their raw-but-aggressive seam attack, prospered on a greentop, but on the dry Ranchi surface, the visitors were never in the game. Seam and pace appear to be Sri Lanka's surest route to rattling the hosts again, but it's unlikely they will encounter a helpful pitch in Visakhapatnam. If another dry track is prepared, Sri Lanka are in danger of being blown away by India's top order cannons, and picked off by India's spin. More worrying than a potential series loss more..

Jayalalitha again writes to PM on arrest of fishermen by Lankan Navy

Feb 13 (PTI) Asserting that her govt was committed to ensuring the rights of fishermen in traditional waters of Palk Bay, TN Chief Minister J Jayalaithaa said the Centre should take concerted efforts to halt their repeated arrests by SL Navy. In a letter to PM Narendra Modi, she cited the latest arrest of 12 TN fishermen along with two mechanised boats yesterday and said there was an urgent and imperative need to take more..

TN fishermen to protest in front of Sri Lankan embassy in Chennai

Feb 13 (IT) Members of all fishermens unions met in Rameshwaram today and decided to resort to an indefinite strike from 28 February in front of the SL embassy in Chennai demanding release of fishermen and boats seized by the island's navy. Unions conducted an urgent meeting to discuss release of Indian fishermen languisihng in Lankan jails. During the meet, they decided they would hold an indefinite strike from 28 Feb in front of SL embassy in Chennai demanding release of more..

Lankan girl receives Australian visa after minister intervenes

Feb 13 (FT) Sri Lankan girl who made headlines after being refused a temporary visa because she has Down syndrome would be allowed to live in Australia, after Immigration Minister Peter Dutton intervened in her case. 9-year-old Eliza Fonseka had also found an unexpected ally in former Australian cricket captain Greg Chappell, who advocated for her to be granted the visa. “I’m very excited for Eliza, I’m very excited for the family,” said Chappell, who was approached to help more..

President to visit Germany to further strengthen economic & trade cooperation

Feb 13 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena will leave for Germany on an official visit tomorrow (13). During his visit it is expected to further strengthen the economic and trade cooperation between the two countries. Germany is one of economically powerful member States of the European Union and one of the largest export economies in the world. During his visit to Germany the President also expected to grab many more..

From Malé to Pyongyang

Feb 14 (SO) First, barely a year into a new govt, Sri Lanka was actively lending its good offices helping in the collective international effort to nurse a jittery govt in the Maldives into more carefully handling a complex internal political battle involving, especially, the fate of a previous head of govt in Malé. The discreet role played by Sri J'pura in tandem with moves by Delhi, London, Washington DC and other international facilitators seems to have eased some political tensions in that tiny more..

UNHRC: What’s MR’s solution?

Feb 14 (SL) Negotiations on the implementation of UNHRC resolutions on Sri Lanka that should be a diplomatic exercise to iron out the wrinkles are being subverted into a verbal political brawl by the defeated President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his gang of supporters. The chest thumping, airport tarmac kissing, self-declared patriot is now equating the UNHRC resolutions co-sponsored by the Sri Lanka govt and the United States as being tantamount to treason. more..

Storm over FCID tea cup

Feb 14 (SO) FCID, subject to much criticism due to the nature of the investigations it carries out against those responsible for financial irregularities during the Rajapaksa regime, completes its first anniversary this month. Though the setting up of the FCID was gazetted on Feb 14, 2015 following Cabinet decision taken two days earlier, the Division proper came into operation on Feb 26, with Minister John Amarathunga, more..

Danno Budunge

Feb 14 (Island) A former Minister of Education, Mr. I.M.R.A. Iriyagolla who served the Dudley Senanayake govt between 1965 and 1970 once said that bad publicity is better than no publicity. Many politicians, we are sure, will agree with that assertion. Donald Trump, for example, seems to be thriving on the deluge of bad publicity he has attracted ever since he threw his hat into the ring to win for himself the nomination of the Republican Party for the U.S. presidency. more..

Co-existence of two opposition groups within a patched up House has Karu J. groping

Feb 14 (ST) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya is being put to the test, probably in a way none of his predecessors have been. He has to decide if he is going to allow two Opposition groups to co-exist in the same Parliament. A decision he has put off for nearly six months, but came to the fore in a forceful manner in Parliament this week, with members of Joint Opposition Group staging loud protests in the House to draw attention to their demand they be recognised in Parliament as a separate group. more..

'Football matches, mutual Thai Pongal celebrations won’t do the trick'

Feb 14 (SL) Former TNA MP Suresh Premachandran states that holding football matches between Sinhala and Tamil schools will not pave the way for a proper reconciliation process. He says that even though the people of North are breathing a huge sigh of relief after the tyranny of the Rajapaksa regime, the new govt too has not fallen into the right track yet. He said the Tamil minority of the North are still suffering inside more..

He came, he saw, he conjured

Feb 14 (ST) Foreign experts, they used to say, were persons who came to the country to find out, and left before they were found out. Foreign correspondents were known as Running Johns or Running Janes as the case may be, for the in-out reporting they would do from the world’s hot-spots. One recalls these jibes of the past having seen the recent visit of UNHRC chief to the country; how he met very important persons by prior appointment and after four days and only a few hours after more..

Right on Field Marshal!

Feb 14 (ST) My Dear Field Marshal, I am writing to congratulate you because you were appointed to Parliament once again. After running for the highest office in the country that might not seem like much but then, a lot has happened since then and I am sure you must be relieved to be back in the House surrounded by the Diyawanna Oya. Of course, we remember you mostly as the man who gave leadership to the war that defeated the terrorists. It has now become fashionable to take credit more..

'Without a proper action plan, seeking reconciliation pointless'

Feb 14 (SL) JVP MP Vijitha Herath states that continuing the reconciliation process without a proper action plan will be pointless. He said that even though discussions have taken place over the matter, the govt has failed to put any of them to action. He went on to stress that the JVP cannot agree to withdraw the troops from the Northern Province as it would be a concern about national security. more..

SLFP cracks down on dissidents as pro-MR party suffers birth-pangs

Feb 14 (SO) With Yoshitha Rajapaksa being arrested in connection with the CSN TV station controversy, close allies of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa are now convinced that the wheels of law enforcement are moving. As an immediate result, they realised the importance of ‘fast-tracking’ their process of forming a new political alliance, so that they would have a platform to politicise anti-corruption investigations and legal battles surrounding them. more..

Yahapalana hegemony solidifies

Feb 14 (Island) The attempt by SLFP MPs in the Joint Opposition to become an independent group in parliament came to naught with Speaker Karu Jayasuriya refusing to grant them that recognition. The excuse he gave was one of the lamest ever – that he cannot take the responsibility for having committed the crime of splitting the SLFP or the UNP. Jayasuriya himself led SL’s biggest mass defection of MPs from the UNP to the UPFA in 2007 and he still holds the record in that respect. more..

'This govt is not going to hide anything'

Feb 14 (SL) Minister Ravi Karunanayake says the visit of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Al-Hussein is a part of his annual practice in which he visits every country under UN purview. He did not visit here to instruct to or put terms on us over anything but to observe the level of human rights protection in the country compared to the level that was in the previous regime, Minister said. more..

Prisons sector needs to be reformed

Feb 14 (CT) The CID informed the Colombo Magistrates' Court that Samantha Kumara aka Wele Suda still continues to speak to his associates via mobile phones and is continuing his drug trade, while in Welikada Prison. Wele Suda is now being held on allegations of money laundering and the CID informed Court that he can also be charged under the Prevention of Terrorist Act for funding the LTTE. Wele Suda was arrested in Pakistan and was brought back to Sri Lanka in early 2015, more..

Hemas within reach of best ever results

Feb 14 (Island) Hemas Holdings PLC, the Esufally family controlled conglomerate, has posted strong results in the nine months ended Dec. 31, 2015, and its CEO, Mr. Steven Enderby, has indicated in an interim financial statement that they are within reach of their best ever results at the close of the current financial year. "We continue to work hard to try and sustain our strong growth in the final quarter of the financial year and achieve our highest ever levels of revenue and profitability," more..

Who is funding MR’s new party?

Feb 14 (CT) Tug-of-war between President Sirisena and former President Rajapaksa to get the reins of the SLFP has reached its penultimate stage with the latter opening a new political operations office with the alleged support of the majority of Provincial Councillors and Local Govt members. Several senior and young members of the party seemed to have paid no heed to the indirect threat of having to face disciplinary action more..

Inspiring speeches at gaining Independence

Feb 14 (SO) Jawaharlal Nehru at midnight on August 14, 1947 addressed the nation with his now famous, We made a tryst with destiny speech. The more you read his address to the nation that India was now a sovereign State having thrown off the yoke of the British Raj, the more you are enthralled and more nuances that assail you. It was deeply expressive against a background of violence and bloodshed, reaching a crescendo of mass massacres as the country was divided to more..

Chandimal should not suffer Dilshan’s fate

Feb 14 (Island) If you were told to pick a young player to break Kumar Sangakkara’s outstanding batting records, Dinesh Chandimal will emerge as the front runner. Captain Angelo Mathews (27) is the most consistent batsman in the Sri Lankan side, but Chandimal (26) is the most gifted. Fans are yet to see the best of Chandimal and this year where SL will play nine Test matches - against England, Australia and South Africa could be a landmark one for the maverick right-handed batsman. more..

Michael hits out at new SLC bosses

Feb 14 (ST) Unlike any other previous interim setups, the last Interim committee led by Sidath Wettimuny, during the short period it was in power, mooted many innovations pertaining to cricket. Most significant among them was the Zonal tournament which promised to give the game a new aura, thus transforming the local cricketers into sportsmen who stand to earn millions of rupees yearly. more..

Basil prints T-shirts using tourism funds

Feb 14 (SL) During the last Uva Provincial Council elections, former Minister Basil Rajapaksa had given instructions to the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) to print 8,000 T-shirts to the value of Rs. 5.22 million promoting the UPFA. T-shirts were printed to mark the World Tourism Day which fell on Sept 27, 2014. Electronic and print media were also used to promote the UPFA for Uva PC elections to the value of Rs. 25.29 million using funds from the SLTDA. more..

Four more persons die in road accidents

Feb 14 (ST) Four persons including two Sri Lankan born foreign nationals and a brother and sister died on the spot in separate road accidents at Galle and Puttalam yesterday, police said. They said two other persons were also critically injured in the same accidents that took place at late night. 21-year-old Parameshwaran Nadesan a resident of Australia was killed after the motorcycle he was riding rammed into a road side lamp post at a location in Uddapuwa in Mundalama-Puttalam. more..

Ranil condemns Derana TV for calling a woman a bitch

Feb 14 (Island) Condemning a television station for using the term belli (meaning bitch) to describe the way a woman sang Danno budunge at the Independence Day ceremony, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that he will be summoning the TR and the management of Derana TV to look into the matter as such irresponsible behavior cannot be treated lightly. "I was shocked to hear such a derogatory term being used in more..

MR and Co. pushed to the backseat by Maithri-CBK duo

Feb 14 (SL) The week that passed was undoubtedly a decisive one for the two main political parties in the country – UNP and the SLFP. Both parties led by the President and PM had to make several firm decisions and in some instances controversial aimed at strengthening the party bases. Although the highlight of the week was the swearing in to parliament the country’s or for that matter the world’s first active member of a regular force, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka. more..

Colombo’s trunk call: the amazing elephant orphanage of Sri Lanka

Feb 14 (Express) It's bad enough at children’s bathtime, telling the little darlings to desist from displacing the water all over the walls and floor. Imagine trying to bring order to 20 baby elephants as they gambol towards a river for their daily session of splash ’n’ squirt at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Sri Lanka. It certainly makes for an impressive sight as the little ones roll around in the water while the adults spray each other and have their tummies tickled. more..

Principal on the mat for inviting convicted PC minister as a chief guest

Feb 14 (ST) North Western Provincial Council (NWPC) has ordered an inquiry into the conduct of a principal in a Wayamba school for inviting a former PC member who had insulted a teacher in the school by making her kneel before him for reprimanding his daughter, a student of the school. Provincial Education Minister Sandhya Rajapaksa has ordered an inquiry into the action of the principal of Navagattegama Navaodya more..

SF enjoying dual privileges

Feb 14 (SO) JVP MP Vijitha Herath raised an issue of concern over the dual privileges enjoyed by the newly appointed MP and leader of DP, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka. Fonseka already enjoys a high level of privileges equivalent to ministerial perks afforded for his rank as Field Marshal. He is given security detail as per his rank in the armed services, and also draws a salary. “Most of these privileges are not afforded to a normal member of Parliament, creating inequality among the MPs,” more..