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Dipping Sri Lanka face surging Bangladesh

Feb 28 (CI) When Sri Lanka were last in Bangladesh, in 2014, they seemed to be physically incapable of losing. Kumar Sangakkara spent so much time at the crease, the image of his backside is probably burned into wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim's retinas. Lahiru Thirimanne was plundering runs at the top of the order. Nuwan Kulasekara's inswing, and Lasith Malinga's yorkers were humming. Even matches that Sri Lanka should have lost, were somehow turned around - more..

Chamil white slams the rest of the gang

Feb 28 (ST) Chamil Cooray maintained his rank as No. 1 player of Sri Lanka when he won his 9th Grand Slam Men’s Singles defeating World Champ Nishantha Fernando at the Grand Slam Carrom tournament 2016 organised and conducted by SL Carrom Federation concluded at Carrom Federation Headquarters, Kohuwela. In the Women’s championship Chalani Lakmali emerged champion for the 5th time when she scored a fighting 2-1 victory over Yasikha Rahubaddha. more..

'Yield of local cows should be increased'

Feb 28 (SO) New Zealand will help Sri Lanka to build a vibrant dairy industry by sharing its expertise and technology to enhance the quality and quantity of milk produced in the country, New Zealand PM John Key told guests at the launch of Fonterra’s first demonstration and training farm in Pannala last week. He said the yield of Sri Lankan cows should increase from four to five litres a day to a satisfactory level to develop dairy industry more..

Fighting the school cricket monster

Feb 28 (ST) Has anyone in authority who loves the game of cricket seen the plight of teen cricket in Sri Lanka? Once again the Lankans ended with an empty bowl in the ICC under 19 World Cup tournament – ending up at fourth place while losing to Bangladesh in the play-off for the third place. Please could someone enlighten us as to when Bangladesh took their teen cricket seriously and began to play the under 19 cricket at competitive level? For sure I know Sri Lanka has a more more..

GSP+ benefits for just 7 years!

Feb 28 (ST) After all the ha-ho over GSP+, it appears that Sri Lanka would now enjoy these concessions – that is if the European Union (EU) approves Sri Lanka’s application – for a maximum seven years. This is on the basis that SL is set to reach upper middle income country status by end 2016 and GSP+ benefits don’t apply to this category of countries. According to Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) General Secretary Tuly Cooray, if Sri Lanka reaches the upper middle income more..

Wasim Thajudeen murder: Net closing in on police top brass

Feb 28 (SO) A DIG of Police who had close links with the top brass of the previous administration is among the possible suspects in the Wasim Thajudeen case. “Although the senior police officer is not directly linked to the murder, there is evidence to suggest that he aided the suspects who allegedly perpetrated the crime,” a senior spokesperson said. Police are also likely to arrest a retired senior DIG who played a key role in the Department more..

Maldives court again extends Sri Lanka sniper's remand

Feb 28 (Haveeru) Remand of a Sri Lankan sniper brought into Maldives as part of an assassination attempt on the president has been extended by an additional 10 days, police announced. Confirming the arrest of the Sri Lankan sniper for the first time, police said in a statement in November that the 27-year-old man was arrested on October 24. He has been remanded by Criminal Court. Some Sri Lankan media outlets have, however, reported that the man was an importer of Maldives dry fish. more..

ETCA needs broad-based consultation with private sector

Feb 28 (SO) Agreements with neighbouring countries are essential for a country to progress economically. Singapore developed its economy after expanding trade with major countries. However, agreements such as ETCA are not a zero sum game, economic analyst and businessman, Dr. Madunath Perera said. India is a major industrial country in the region and Sri Lanka must enter into an agreement with India to develop the country, but not an agreement such as ETCA, more..

Senadhipathi has Rs 1.1 B in 96 Fixed Deposits

Feb 28 (CT) Avant Garde Maritime Security Chairman Major [Rtd] Nissanka Senadhipathi has mammoth 96 fixed deposit accounts under his name in several banks, aggregating Rs 1,110 million, investigations by the CID has revealed. Top CID sources said these accounts included 62 at the Commercial Bank, 20 fixed deposits at the National Development Bank (NDB), six at LOLC, seven at Peoples Leasing more..

Kiwis debate controversial baby jumbo gift

Feb 28 (CN) New Zealanders have begun debating whether their country should the accept a baby elephant gifted by Sri Lanka in a move that could see the five-year-old separated from its parents for ever. Wednesday's gift announced by President Maithripala Sirisena during the visit of Prime Minister John Key sparked outrage among Sri Lankan animal rights activists who accuse the government of ignoring the welfare of the animal over petty diplomatic brownie points. more..

Myanmar lawyers due here next month

Feb 28 (SO) A team of senior lawyers from Myanmar will visit Sri Lanka next month seeking assistance from legal experts to set up the legal system in Myanmar. They will meet legal experts during the Law Conference organised by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) from March 18-20. The Myanmar lawyers have called upon the BASL to permit them to have one-on-one discussions with legal experts, said President's Counsel Ali Sabri, Chairman of the BASL's Law Conference. more..

Monorail plan shelved; light rail on the cards

Feb 28 (ST) Govt has abandoned the widely anticipated monorail system for Sri Lanka and instead opted for light rail in the short run as a remedy to heavy traffic congestion in Colombo, official sources revealed. Light rail is a metropolitan electric railway system which operates single cars or short trains along exclusive right of way at ground level, aerial structures in subways or occasionally on streets and to board & discharge passengers more..

CSN using Navy property for transmission

Feb 28 (SL) Carlton Sports Network (CSN) is said to be using Navy property to transmit its programs on its network. The Navy transmission tower in Pidurutalagala was used by CSN but they had subsequently erected their own tower but had used other facilities belonging to the Navy to broadcast from the location. Navy Commander, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, said that some of the CSN equipment is located inside the Navy transmission room and more..

Sri Lanka opposition attacks govt over failure to curb poaching

Feb 28 (PTI) Sri Lankan govt has come in for a strong criticism by the opposition, which accused it of failure to stop continuous incidents of alleged poaching by Indian fishermen in its waters. "This shows the levels the govt has fallen into. They can't stop the Indians from coming," Dinesh Gunawardena, the leader of the opposition group backing former president Rajapaksa, told parliament. "Our northern fishermen are in distress. Recently there was this religious event in more..

Fertilizer crisis: Cabinet Committee proposes policy reversal, but Ravi denies move

Feb 28 (ST) A fertilizer shortage triggered by stockpiling by traders as a result of a budget decision to swap an earlier subsidy on fertilizer to a cash payment, has led to a Cabinet committee deciding to temporarily revert to the old method until a proper formula is found. Reviewing the present crisis, Cabinet’s Economic Management Committee (EMC) decided after a recent meeting to offer a subsidy to importers at point of importation. more..

Ravi K dismisses PAYE tax rumours

Feb 28 (SO) Minister Ravi Karunanayake dismissed speculation that the Pay as you Earn (PAYE) tax on salaries would be revised to Rs. 750,000 from the threshold of Rs.2.4 million slated in the Budget proposals. He dismissed the rumours saying it was mere speculation. There is no such thing, we are not going to revise this, he said. Govt in the 2016 Budget raised the tax-free threshold for PAYE tax on annual salary from Rs. 750,000 to 2.4 million, while maintaining corporate income tax at 15-30%. more..

CAA to monitor freeze on Mars products

Feb 28 (ST) The freeze on the distribution and sale of a particular stock of Mars chocolates — recalled by the parent company from 55 countries including Sri Lanka – will be closely monitored by the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA). CAA Director Chandrika Thilakaratne said they had received a letter from Stassen Group, the local distributor, stating it was recalling Mars, Snickers, Milky Way bars and Celebrations chocolates manufactured from Dec 5, 2015 to Jan 18, 2016. more..

$1b IMF loan linked to more taxes

Feb 28 (ST) Govt is looking at a one billion US dollar standby loan from the IMF to tide over a looming economic crisis. Grant of this facility would make it mandatory to heed to a string of conditions. They include revisions in key areas like the Nation Building Tax (NBT), personal taxation and Value Added Tax, source said. NBT was raised from 2 to 4% in the 2016 budget proposal — but it was later stalled. more..

AG’s OK to nab 5 ex-MPs

Feb 28 (CT) The FCID has sent 31 reports to the AG's Department seeking the Attorney General's advice on fraud and corruption charges directed at MPs and officials of the previous regime. A top Police official told this newspaper that FCID officials were awaiting the green light from the AG to file legal action against those charged with large scale fraud and corruption. The FCID is planning to nab five MPs of the previous regime very shortly. FCID celebrated its first birthday yesterday more..

JOC got tip minutes before Lasantha was killed

Feb 28 (SL) Joint Operations Command (JOC) received a tip-off an hour before the founding Editor of Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickrematunge was killed. The tip-off had been received by a military official who was in charge of the Western Province. A former top official of the JOC had informed the CID about this. Sources said that the top official had told CID that the military official at the JOC had received information of an attempt to assassinate Wickrematunge using a sharp object. more..

Rajapaksa paints himself into a corner; plans for new party put on hold

Feb 28 (ST) The worst power disruption in the country in recent decades will cost the Govt an estimated Rs. 600 million or Rs. 200 million an hour, according to reports reaching PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Thursday’s countrywide blackout also caused severe damage to the Norochcholai Lakvijaya power plant preventing it from supplementing power demand during peak hours to meet the shortfall from the national grid. more..

Traversing tradition

Feb 28 (Island) Sri Lankan Soprano Kishani Jayasinghe’s rendition of Danno Budunge made headlines in the media recently, but not entirely for reasons one would normally associate with a critical appreciation of an operatic performance. I had the incident in mind as I was taken to last weekend, not entirely out of choice, a self-styled hippie market on the wonderful Nuga Sevana grounds of the Cathedral of Christ the Living Saviour, down Bauddhaloka Mawatha. more..

Ranil’s tough line deserves watchful support

Feb 28 (Island) The public has been haranguing the government for not prosecuting corrupt and criminal politicos (of whatever regime), not acting firmly against racist provocateurs and not pulling up slack govt servants to enhance the quality of state services. If this is the grouse then strong action is justified and nobody should complain if the Prime Minister breaks a few eggs to make an omelette – there are good reasons to be cautious in supporting tough govts because more..

Mega teledrama in NPC: Serial row over corruption charges

Feb 28 (ST) Though the Northern Provincial Council earned a name for passing a record number of resolutions in the recent past, this week the councillors were at loggerheads when CM C.V. Wigneshwaran moved a resolution against a resolution that had already been passed. He claimed that the reason for submitting his own resolution was that one of the provincial ministers had been falsely accused of corruption charges. more..

Estate workers move into other areas of employment

Feb 28 (SL) A recent study conducted by the World Bank states that the Tamil minority who work on estates are moving out of the plantation sector towards more urbanised areas in search of employment. World Bank research suggests that the younger generation of estate Tamils seems to have little interest in employment in plantation sector. Although, they undergo problems when finding jobs in urbanised areas, more..

Police complicity in high profile murders

Feb 28 (EN) The direct police involvement in two high profile murders have been established, but a more alarming cover up that goes right to the top has also been uncovered, sources close to the investigation said. Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris on Thursday ruled that former rugby captain Wasim Thajudeen had been murdered contrary to an earlier police claim he was the victim of a road accident. more..

Govt not perturbed by Indian fisher protest

Feb 28 (SO) The govt will not be perturbed by threats from Indian fishermen over an impending protest to be staged opposite the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioner’s office in Chennai today and will not release any boats that have been seized so far. Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said foreign vessels will not be permitted to fish in Sri Lanka’s territorial waters. “Most of these protests are backed by political parties in South India and more..

Trade unions up in arms

Feb 28 (CT) Trade Unions of Sri Lanka Customs (SLC), Inland Revenue Department (IRD), Excise Department (ED) and Valuation Department (VD) are up in arms against a Cabinet paper submitted on 23 February to set up a Revenue Efficiency and Investigation Unit. Minister of Finance, Ravi Karunanayaka has submitted the Cabinet paper under No. MF/06/100/2016/16 of the Ministry of Finance and No.16/0215/719/010 more..

2 UN special rapporteurs to visit SL in April

Feb 28 (CG) Two UN Special Rapporteurs are to visit Sri Lanka in April after the new Govt agreed on the proposed dates. The Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Mónica Pinto and the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment Juan Méndez will visit Sri Lanka from 29 April 2016 to 7 May 2016. Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges more..

Demand for separate Tamil province in East

Feb 28 (ENS) The Trincomalee-based Social Development and Research Organization (SDRO) has demanded the establishment of a separate province for Tamils in Eastern Sri Lanka in case it is not possible to re-unite the Northern and Eastern Provinces to form a single Tamil-majority North Eastern Province. At meeting with the Public Representation Committee on the new constitution at Trincomalee on Feb 24, more..

New Port City deal within weeks

Feb 28 (ST) The Govt will go ahead with the Chinese-funded Colombo Port City but is negotiating with the Chinese builders to reduce the scale of the reclamation site to reduce environmental damage, a Minister said. We are having discussions, said Malik Samarawickrama, Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade. “The Govt has decided to go ahead with it. There are minor changes to the agreement.” more..

Local Elections under new electoral system, officially re-demarcated boundaries

Feb 28 (Island) The delay in holding local polls was because the govt wants to conduct it under the new electoral system, which entailed the official re-demarcation of electoral boundaries. Dismissing claims by a group of UPFA MPs led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa that the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration was running sacred of the challenge they had mounted, govt sources said that the 19th Amendment more..

Singapore experts to restructure Foreign Ministry

Feb 28 (ST) Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry is set to be restructured with the assistance of Singapore govt experts, official sources revealed. A proposal to restructure the ministry and capacity building in anti-corruption measures has been endorsed by the Cabinet’s Economic Management Committee (EMC). The ministry has sought the approval to obtain assistance for staff training from Indian experts. more..

The practical road to reconstruction and reconciliation

Feb 28 (Island) In May 2009 the 30-year war within the country was decisively concluded. The rebels lost territory, their leaders along with many combatants are dead, had surrendered or are unaccounted for. There had been and there continues to be persistent allegations of serious human rights violations during the last phase of the war by various concerned people. The UNHRC resolution co- sponsored by SL govt calling to investigate whether there is any truth behind more..

Out of step with Yahapalanaya: The Baila is wearing thin

Feb 28 (Island) In May 2009 the 30-year war within the country was decisively concluded. The rebels lost territory, their leaders along with many combatants are dead, had surrendered or are unaccounted for. There had been and there continues to be persistent allegations of serious human rights violations during the last phase of the war by various concerned people. The UNHRC resolution co- sponsored by SL govt calling to investigate whether there is any truth behind more..


Feb 28 (DN) There are no overnight solutions. Yet, if you can dream, anything is possible says UNP MP for the Colombo District S. M. Marikkar. Young Voices from Diyawanna spoke to this MP who works hard to make his dreams come true. Marikkar went to school at Matale Rahula College and then started his career at MTV Maharaja Group. From an executive, he became a CEO and finally an MBC board director. more..

Construction Expo in July

Feb 28 (Island) Construction Expo 2016, featuring all aspects related to the construction and building industry, is scheduled to be held from July 29- 31 at the BMICH. Ceylon Institute of Builders (CIOB), together with presidential award winner Lanka Exhibitions & Conference Services, will be organizing this mega event for the fifth consecutive year. Endorsed by The construction fraternity as the premier construction and building materials exhibition to be staged in Sri Lanka, more..

Tug-of-war at Lanka Hospitals halts cleaning of fungal growth

Feb 28 (Island) A tug-of-war between the board directors and the hospital administration at Lanka Hospitals halted the cleaning of a fungal growth in a ward close to its Cardiac Theatre on the second floor of the hospital. The matter had been brought to the notice of the Hospital’s Director Medical Services by its medical staff as the issue could endanger the lives of patients undergoing surgery. They said the matter had been brought to the attention of the CEO who had taken immediate steps to more..

Govt aim is to place Sri Lanka in a prominent position in sports

Feb 28 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says the aim of the Govt is to place Sri Lanka in a prominent position in the field of sports by providing essential human and physical resources to every institution related to the sport field under the Govt’s sport policy. He made these remarks participating in a ceremony to felicitate the medal winners representing Sri Lanka at the South Asian Games, held yesterday. more..

NAITA DG, Officials axed

Feb 28 (CT) Director General of the NAITA (National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority) has been suspended with effect from 24 Feb over an alleged fraud amounting to Rs. 1.2 billion that had been committed during one of its workshops held at the Uyanwatta Stadium Matara on 14 Dec 2014. NAITA Director General has been suspended after an audit inquiry by the Auditor General pertaining to workshops staged at the Uyanwatta and Mahinda Wijesekera Stadiums in Matara on the more..