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Malinga, Mathews back for World T20

Feb 18 (CI) Twenty20 captain Lasith Malinga and vice-captain Angelo Mathews are back from injury for Sri Lanka, for t Asia Cup and World T20 that follows. Both were included in the 15-man squad SLC named for both tournaments. Rangana Herath and Nuwan Kulasekara were also back, but 22-year-old quick Kasun Rajitha who had destroyed India in the first T20 of the recent series missed out. more..

President invites expatriates to return home

Feb 18 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena extended an open invitation to all Sri Lankan people, who went to Germany as refugees during the conflict era, to return to the motherland to enjoy the freedom as now Sri Lanka has been turned into a country, where all people can live freely. The President extended this invitation responding to a question by a journalist at the media briefing held following the official talks with more..

Video: Loon Balloon not a crash: Minister

Feb 18 (DM) The Google’s Loon Balloon which was widely reported as crashed in Gampola had in fact navigated and safe-landed remotely by Google’s Loon Centre, Telecom and Digital Infrastructure Minister Harin Fernando said. While addressing the media this morning, the Minister said that the main Air Traffic Control Tower, Google Loon Balloon Centre team in Sri Lanka coordinated the landing procedure. more..

Is GMOA above the law?

Feb 18 (CT) This newspaper Tuesday reported that members of the GMOA are threatening to go on a lightning strike, if the govt continues to summon its officials to the CID to be questioned over what they term as minor incidents. GMOA Spokesman Dr. Naveen de Zoysa during a media briefing said their Secretary Dr. Nalinda Herath was questioned for over an hour by the CID over a printing mistake. Earlier, it was reported that the CID has summoned GMOA officials for questioning on more..

Shooting outside Balapitiya courts: No breakthrough yet

Feb 18 (Island) Police said that a CCTV camera installed at a shop outside Balapitiya Magistrate court, where an unidentified gunman shot two suspects on Tuesday had been switched off at the time of the incident. The suspect killed in the attack was identified as 56-year-old Priyaratne of Kantale. The injured suspect is Rasika Kumara of Bandarigoda, Indiruwa. Police said that they were trying to ascertain whether the gunman and his accomplice had been aware that the CCTV more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sinhala-Buddhist culture & reconciliation

Feb 18 (CT) Since the end of the war against terrorism in Sri Lanka the people’s expectations of a peaceful country to live in was achieved to a great extent in 2009, but unfortunately no govt so far has been able to douse the flickering embers of nationalism and ethnocentrism though six years have passed since. With the present govt’s attempts in implementing the UNHRC resolution it co-sponsored with the US in which the ultimate goal is said to be reconciliation among all more..

CPA challenges Fonseka appointment

Feb 18 (CT) Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) has yesterday filed a Fundamental Rights application challenging the appointment of Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka to fill the vacancy created by the death of Mr. M.K.A.D.S. Gunawardana, as a MP elected in terms of Article 99A of the Constitution (the National List). “CPA’s position is that in terms of Article 99A of the Constitution, only a person whose name was included in the district nomination papers or national list submitted more..

Video: Joint opposition slams govt on Thotalanga chaos

Feb 18 (DM) Joint Opposition slammed the Govt for evicting residents of Henmulla Nawa Niwasa Watte and the Kajima Watte down Ferguson Road, Thotalanga without any prior notice to initiate the Megapolis Western Province Development Project. Opposition MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara said that the fate of all those working class in the heart of Colombo City would be the same as the residents of Kajima Watte and more..

Sri Lankan shares fall for 9th session; further weakening seen

Feb 18 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares fell for a 9th straight session to their lowest close in nearly 22 months as rising domestic interest rates and global economic worries dented investor sentiment. The main stock index edged down 0.19% at 6,208.89, its lowest close since April 29, 2014. It has fallen 2.87% in the last eight sessions to Wednesday. "Market is waiting for direction. But that direction has not come yet. Investors are waiting for direction on both economical and political side," more..

Abductors’ plans traced on Tiger SIMs

Feb 18 (CT) CID said that two LTTE activists who had turned State witnesses in the Prageeth Ekneligoda disappearance case confessed to Homagama Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake at his official residence on Tuesday that the army personnel now under custody had used their National Identity Cards to get mobile phone SIM cards under their names. CID said that an examination of calls taken via those SIM cards showed that entire plan to abduct Ekneligoda more..

Money laundering case: Wele Suda given bail

Feb 18 (AM) Convicted drug trafficker Gampola Vidanage Samantha Kumara alias Wele Suda was given bail today by Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris over a money laundering case. The investigations are being carried out in this case by the CID on a complaint filed by Financial Intelligence Unit of the Central Bank in 2012, against an individual named Sameera Udara. This suspect has alleged that Wele Suda's money was more..

Sajin’s elephant picked up by wildlife officers

Feb 18 (AD) An elephant allegedly belonging to former MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena have been taken into custody by several officers of the Wildlife Department today. The elephant, around 15-years-old, was at the Hirewatta Buddhist Temple in Ambalangoda and was taken care of by a mahout employed by Gunawardena. The elephant was taken into custody by wildlife officers over an issue with the permit and is to be handed over to the Udawalawe Elephant Transfer Home. more..

Belgian Minister to visit Sri Lanka today

Feb 18 (GDI) Secretary of State for International Trade of the Kingdom of Belgium, Pieter De Crem is visiting Sri Lanka today. He is scheduled to meet Ministers Harsh de Silva, Rajitha Senaratne, Champika Ranawaka, Sujeewa Senasinghe. Belgian minister is also expected to meet PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. During his visit, De Crem aims to increase business and trade links between Sri Lanka and Belgium. He will confirm the Belgian govt's commitment to assist Sri Lanka's more..

Malaysian Parliamentary Caucus to visit N&E

Feb 18 (FMT) Malaysian Parliamentary Caucus on Displaced People of Sri Lanka, headed by Sungai Petani MP Johari Abdul, will be visiting war affected areas in the north and east to evaluate and observe how much has been done for the Tamil community there. “Sri Lankan Govt has so far appeared optimistic on the visit.” “A follow up on this visit would be to engage with other caucuses and national human rights institutions to more..

King Parakumba’s Park gets Latrines

Feb 18 (CT) The Archaeological Department has given the green light for construction of a latrine complex cum residence for tourists in the recreation park Deepa Uyana that was laid out by King Parakrama Bahu the Great, circa 1153 – 1186 AD, perhaps exactly on the spot where King Nissankamalla's palace once stood. Construction began last Tuesday with onlookers claiming the construction was destroying the pristine characteristics of this historic site. more..

Sri Lanka assures continued support and cooperation to Maldives

Feb 18 (CG) New SL High Commissioner, Major General (Retd) B R W M R A B Thoradeniya has assured Sri Lanka’s continued support, and cooperation, to Maldives. He made this remark at a meeting held following the presentation of his credentials to President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom. At the ceremony held this morning at the President’s Office, President Yameen congratulated SL High Commissioner on the commencement of his term and welcomed him to Maldives. more..

Video: Germany to grant 14 million euros as development assistance to Sri Lanka

Feb 18 (AM) Sri Lanka has set out a new path where Germany could provide assistance and the change in political landscape is encouraging, says German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The election of the President Maithripala Sirisena has given us in European region hope on Sri Lanka once again, she told a news conference held at her office in Berlin and attended by journalists both from Germany and Sri Lanka. Merkel, who more..

'Fonseka to reveal secrets on deal with LTTE'

Feb 18 (AM) Minister Sarath Amunugama said that Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka will reveal secrets on certain events which occurred during the war years in due course. He said that Fonseka will reveal details about the secret deal with the LTTE. He will reveal the responsible parties who came to such a deal and what weapons were purchased using the money paid in the deal, Amunugama added. He slammed the Joint Opposition for shedding crocodile tears for the war heroes, forgetting more..

Damayanthi J. under intense probe

Feb 18 (CT) A Secretary to a VIP of the govt had been instrumental in former Additional Secretary of Home Affairs Ministry Damayanthi Jayaratne fleeing the country at a time when she was being sought for questioning by PRECIFAC. Intelligence units have informed the govt that this particular secretary had helped Jayaratne to flee the country with assistance from politicians and high-ranking govt officials. It is also alleged that this secretary had also started to exert pressure via telephone calls to ensure more..

Video: PM takes on GMOA, Daily Mirror, Derana

Feb 18 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe today rejected allegations made by the GMOA that his office had pressurized the CID to carry out investigations against its members and some media organizations. He said the allegation was far from being the truth. He had inquired from the police and the latter had informed him that someone had lodged a complaint against GMOA and they carried out an investigation. more..

Govt giving shanty dwellers Rajapaksa treatment: FSP

Feb 18 (Island) Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) charged that shanty dwellers in Colombo had fallen from the frying pan into the fire. Propaganda Secretary of FSP Pubudu Jayagoda said the govt treated the drowntrodden in the same way as the Rajapaksa govt. The govt had destroyed 258 houses rendering their occupants destitute, Jayagoda said. Some of the unauthorised constructions in the Colombo Fort had been destroyed in the same manner, he said. more..

President expresses condolences over death of former UN Chief Boutros-Ghali

Feb 18 (GDI) President Sirisena has expressed his condolences to the family of former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who died on Tuesday. President in a Twitter message said former UN Chief served the world graciously and his loss would be felt for years to come. "My condolences are with the loved ones of Boutros Boutros-Ghali. He served the world graciously and his loss will be felt for years to come." Boutros-Ghali died at age 93, at a Cairo hospital after more..

Sri Lanka, Germany sign agreements to enhance bilateral cooperation

Feb 18 (PSL) Sri Lanka and Germany have agreed to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries and promote development activities in Sri Lanka through German assistance. The two countries signed agreements on a wide range of cooperation that covers Education, Language, Museaology, heritage and Art conservation, Higher Education, Sports. Improving access to information on higher education more..

Is this Captain Tissa?

Feb 18 (LT) There is widespread discussion in social networks regarding the sketches released by the police of the two persons believed to have been involved in the murder of Lasantha Wickremetunga. One side of the story is that attempting to find murderers by releasing sketches is a futile attempt as the person having similar features could change his looks. One of the most controversial views published by social networks is the person in one of the sketches with a moustache is similar to more..

Police promotion gone in five days

Feb 18 (DM) A mere five- day difference in service has denied promotion to hundreds of Police officers in the Sub-Inspector category because of the decision by the Police Department to extend their service period in the present position to become eligible to be promoted to the next level, Police sources said today. Earlier, they were required to serve eight years in the current position to become eligible for promotion to the category of Inspector of Police. more..

Sent back by Australia to debt in Sri Lanka

Feb 18 (IRIN) Vaithilingam Lingarajan spent the war years plying the seas off the northern coast of SL in his small fishing boat. It was only once the conflict ended that he decided to flee the country, making a failed bid for Australia that has left him destitute and facing possible criminal charges. Lingarajan is one of more than 1,400 asylum seekers who have returned since 2009 because Australia rejected their applications, more..

Amal Randeniya elected BASL Secretary

Feb 18 (DM) Attorney-at-Law Amal Randeniya was elected Secretary of Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) last night after a keen tussle for the post. According to some members it was the first time the election of the secretary BASL gathered momentum. Such momentum has been a feature when it comes to the election of the President of the association in the past. Mr. Randeniya defeated Eraj De Silva, who is the son of Romesh De Silva, also a former President of the BASL. more..

Katchatheevu festival: TN suspends fishing in Palk Strait

Feb 18 (TOI) Fishing operations by mechanized trawlers has been suspended in the Palk Strait in view of the annual festival at St Antony's Church situated on the Katchatheevu islet in Sri Lankan waters. All mechanized trawlers from Pudukottai and Ramanathapuram districts of TN have been instructed not to go for fishing, from Wednesday to Sunday (Feb 17 to 21). Fisheries officials in Rameswaram said that the fishing was stopped temporarily for safety reasons and more..

Google's Internet balloon crashes in Sri Lanka test flight

Feb 18 (AFP) A Google balloon, part of the company's high-speed Internet service known as Project Loon, crashed in a tea plantation during its maiden test flight. Villages found the deflated balloon with its electronic equipment in the central tea-growing region of Gampola on Wednesday night, an officer told AFP. "Tea plantation workers found it crashed in the plantation. They picked up the pieces and brought it to the station," more..

Sri Lanka faces crucial tests ahead with growing opposition to ETCA

Feb 19 (CT) The proposed Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement or ETCA has been one of the crucial economic reforms which the Govt is planning to introduce, according to the Govt, to deliver the promised prosperity to Sri Lankans. It had not been specifically mentioned as a policy by name in the manifesto which the ruling UNP had presented to the electorate in August 2015 coaxing voters to vote it to power. However, ETCA can be considered as one of the programs under more..

Problems continue to plague Sri Lanka's Northern Province

Feb 19 (TD) It’s been over a year since Maithripala Sirisena assumed the presidency, although much about daily life in SL’s war-torn Northern Province remains the same. “There’s a reduced number of troops on the road,” says Shalin Uthayarasa, a journalist. “We’re experiencing a temporary respite in repression.” Uthayarasa goes on to mention that his two previous points apply to ordinary people, but aren’t relevant for journalists or human rights activists, who continue to more..

'Coconuts can’t topple govt'

Feb 19 (CT) SLFP MP Vidura Wickramanayaka feels that there is nothing wrong with invoking supernatural powers against the govt through dashing coconuts, although the govt cannot be toppled by dashing coconuts alone. It was recently reported that Wickramanayaka had gone to Seenigama along with other members of the Joint Opposition, but had not prayed for the govt to fall, wishing instead for improved wellbeing of SL. more..

Holy cow! Is it Cricket?

Feb 19 (CT) Markandey Katju, quondam Justice of the Supreme Court of India, is a man who does not mince his words. A maverick, he has a penchant for courting controversies. Not long ago, he dubbed Mahatma Gandhi a British agent (he also called Subhash Chandra Bose a Japanese agent). Katju accused Gandhi of serving the imperial agenda and declared as a myth the widely held claim that Gandhi won India her freedom. For about 20 years Gandhi practised law in South Africa and more..

SLFP split, a well laid plan?

Feb 19 (DN) The die is cast, finally. After months of speculation and dilly dallying, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa now appears to have embarked on a course of action he has not undertaken in a political career spanning almost fifty years: separate himself from the SLFP. Rajapaksa's decision last week to open an office at Nelum Mawatha in Battaramulla seemed to signal the next phase of his political life. A separate political entity is likely to emerge in the next few weeks, more..

Thirimanne came the hard way

Feb 19 (CT) Q: How did you fare in the recent Super T20 series? A: It was a pretty successful tournament for me personally. I captained the Kandy team, but couldn't win matches. We had a good team, but committed mistakes and couldn't make it into the semis. I was the second highest run-scorer. I didn't get the opportunity to make squad of 15 in National Team. Hoping to play well & make inroads to the team once again. more..

Editorial: Hold elections!

Feb 19 (Island) Nobody seems to know when the next local government elections will be held. Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena says they cannot be held this year due to a delay in demarcating electoral boundaries. But, Minister Faizer Mustapha has said he is confident that the demarcation process will be over soon and LG polls can be held in June or so. Govt leaders do not speak with one voice virtually on anything. Their contradictory statements on participation of foreign judges, more..

Sri Lanka’s separatist armed conflict

Feb 19 (Island) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Al Hussein has made insulting and degrading comments about Sri Lanka’s judiciary in particular, and other institutions of the sovereign State, perhaps in a bid to humiliate and badger SL into accepting international participation in the accountability mechanism. His efforts have turned out to be a diplomatic disaster, because what is realistically possible in SL falls far short of promised build-up contained in UNHRC Resolution. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Catharsis: How Jaffna is rebuilding itself using the arts

Feb 19 (GV) Since 2009, Jaffna has become host to hordes of curious tourists, visiting to see what a city ravaged by war looks like. For the residents, there are many bitter memories. It is difficult to have a conversation where the war doesn’t crop up. Some, though, are trying to move on with their lives. Slowly but surely, space to express grief and share memories is opening up – and the arts is playing a big role in this. Father Saveri is a respected figure in Jaffna. more..