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Run Cricket like a company: Ana Punchihewa

July 23 (WI) After seeing through Sri Lanka’s successful World Cup campaign in 1996, Ana Punchihewa, the then Sri Lanka Cricket Board president, had never thought he would fail at the election of office bearers. But on March 31 just few days after Sri Lanka won the World Cup, he was left devastated when he was beaten by Upali Dharmadasa at the election to wrest control of the Board, an institution that was destined for more..

Finance Minister to meet Customs officials

July 23 (NS) President Sirisena has promised Customs trade unions that he will within two weeks arrange a meeting between Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake, Finance Ministry officials, the Customs administration and the trade unions, regarding the proposed repeal of the Customs Ordinance. Customs trade unions met President this week. Secretary of All Ceylon Customs Services Union, J. Gunathilaka said that President had however not promised anything more..

Man dressed in Burka arrested at BIA

July 23 (AD) Police have called for background reports regarding the man who was arrested while dressing in a Burka at the BIA in Katunayake. He was arrested this afternoon by airport security for suspicious behavior. During questioning, the 30-year-old from Colombo 12 had said he was dressed in a Burka, full body clothing worn by Muslim women, in order to surprise his girlfriend who was returning from Qatar. However, as some of his statements were contradictory, more..

Ministers accuse Customs of collusion

July 23 (CT) Several ministers will shortly submit a petition calling for action by President and PM on the failure of Customs officials to detect two recent cocaine hauls valued at Rs 6.11 billion, which the Police Narcotics Bureau and the STF jointly uncovered in undercover operations. These ministers pointed out that the failure of Customs men to detect the smuggled narcotics had prompted them to urge both President and PM to probe more..

More corruption concerns in Sri Lanka?

July 23 (HP) Arjuna Mahendran, former central bank governor, appears be back in business. President Sirisena appointed Mahendran as governor in Jan 2015, after Mahinda Rajapaksa lost the presidency. Mahendran is a controversial figure whose tenure at the central bank was plagued by scandal; he still hasn’t been exonerated. (Mahendran had expressed an interest in being reappointed to an additional term as governor and is close to Ranil Wickremesinghe, nation’s prime minister.) more..

Kuwait to partner with Lankan fishery sector

July 23 (DN) Kuwait, the Persian Gulf economy with a longstanding aquaculture tradition, revealed its keenness for Lankan seafood -and also expressed interest to partner with the Lankan fishery industry, Kuwaiti Commerce Minister Yousuf M.Abdullah Al-Ali said. The Kuwaiti Foreign Minister was speaking with Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen on the side-lines of 14th Session of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (#UNCTAD14) in Nairobi, Kenya on July 18. more..

PM slams media for backing MR

July 23 (PTI) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe accused the country's print media of backing the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa with a view to see him back in power. PM said he would name the media personnel who had benefited during the Rajapaksa presidency and who are now bidding for his return. He named the Daily Mirror, the English daily, and Financial Times daily, for allegedly favouring Rajapaksa. more..

NCPA hotline for harassed & bullied children

July 23 (DN) National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) has set up a hotline, for children Being harassed or bullied online or via mobile devices.The NCPA is currently working on several different fronts to combat the growing threat to children posed by the improper use of the internet and mobile devices to harass and bully children both sexually and otherwise. The 24 hour confidential telephone line, is separate from the 1929 line, for children and young persons who are being bullied, harassed, more..

SAITM to be run as Private Public Partnership: Kiriella

July 23 (DM) Minister Lakshman Kiriella yesterday said seven out of eight Medical Faculty Deans, had agreed with him for a Private Public Partnership (PPP) to run the SAITM in Malabe. The Minister said that a discussion was held in this regard on Thursday and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also attended the meeting. Minister Kiriella said a model would be worked out for such partnerships to attract private sector investment in the Higher Education Sector in Sri Lanka. more..

What’s touted as Tamil King Elara’s tomb is a fable, says Historian

July 23 (ENS) What is touted as the tomb of the Sri Lankan Tamil King Elara in Anuradhapura district, is actually a fable, says noted historian, Prof. S. Pathmanathan. “There is no evidence of Elara’s tomb anywhere. If the massive pile of burnt bricks near Anuradhapura is being touted as Elara’s tomb, it is because nobody is able to read the inscription on it, which is in Tamil Brahmi script,” he said. more..

What is a pogrom?

July 24 (SO) The older generation Sri Lankans may have been struck by the coincidence of last week’s minor clash between Sinhala and Tamil students in Jaffna University on the eve of the 33rd anniversary of the Black July ethnic riots in 1983. The 1983 riots were actually less of a violent clash between Tamils and Sinhalese citizens and more of a pogrom by Sinhalese against Tamils. But the fact that the pogrom was provoked by a military incident in which 13 army troopers died more..

The five year bond of matrimony

July 24 (SL) UNP-SLFP marriage will run beyond its agreed two-year term to a full term of five years – till 2020, SLFP General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake announced on Thursday while PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, the leader of the UNP too assured that this govt will go for its full five-year term. This is not only good news but the only option available because the opposition to it, the so called Joint Opposition, while attempting to demonstrate its capacity to destroy a democratic govt, more..

Public sector medicines below par?

July 24 (SO) The pharmaceutical storage mechanism within the state sector is not safe and does not conform to the proper methods in transporting and storing the drugs in hospitals, a senior consultant says, “Govt health institutions all over the country have to use their own vehicles to transport their required drug quota from Medical Supplies Division. Almost all these vehicles – generally, lorries, are devoid of A/C. more..

Egg on the face

July 24 (Island) Higher Education and Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella, who is also the Leader of the House, has ended up with a lot of egg on his face about profligacy in the Road Development Authority recruiting dozens of so-called consultants for various projects at considerable cost to the exchequer. These passengers on the RDA payroll are obviously of no benefit to the taxpayer whose money in being freely handed out to pay off political debts. more..

Lanka: Vital cog in US 7th fleet

July 24 (CT) We wrote a few weeks ago that the govt was taking Sri Lanka deeper into the pro-west big league in global affairs with a redefined foreign policy, far removed from the hallucination of non-alignment. As a US commentator once put it succinctly, "the only non-aligned countries in the world are Russia and China. The rest, with no offence meant to the late Sirimavo Bandaranaike, is hoopla. US Marine Corps' Lieut. Gen. John A. Toolan Jr., a 7-star war veteran who more..

'Country needs a complete overhaul'

July 24 (SL) UNP MP Kavinda Jayawardena is of the view that changing one aspect of the country’s system is not enough and we need a complete overhaul. Previous govt changed the constitution and brought in amendments to protect their own interests. Govt and all political parties need to sit together and discuss as to what changes should be made or if we should instead go in for a completely new constitution. more..

RTI: Let it be implemented in spirit

July 24 (ST) It is some irony that information on the status of the Right to the Access of Information (RTI) Bill that was passed unanimously by Parliament a fortnight ago is itself so hard to access. What has now transpired (having to ferret out the information the old fashioned way) is that after the passage of the Bill and the Speaker ready with his pen to give his assent to make the Bill into law, some niggle on the wording cropped up and his hand was stayed. Bill with the amendments moved on the floor more..

Coaching the opponent

July 24 (ST) My Dear Murali, I am writing to congratulate you on your appointment as a spin bowling coach for Australia for their series against Sri Lanka. You must be feeling fantastic because you have been recruited by the same country which labelled you a ‘chucker’ and tried to ‘throw’ you out of the game for good! The deal you did with them sounds a bit like the Chinese Port City agreement: they say that your services were obtained for an undisclosed sum. more..

Anura Kumara Disanayake

Coal purchase tender politics revealed as UPFA rebels gear up for march

July 24 (SO) The clash that occurred at the University of Jaffna, last weekend, was a manifestation of the communal sentiments dominating Sri Lanka’s post-war politics since May, 2009. As much as racism has plagued the country’s political spectrum in the South, it has done the same damage to the North, coming out of a traumatic experience of a 30-year long war. It all began with an innocuous fresher’s welcome held at the Jaffna University over the weekend. more..

Namal emerges out of MR’s shadow

July 24 (Island) The present govt did much to further Namal Rajapaksa’s political career by arresting him. The govt’s contention was that he had taken a bribe from a property developer on the pretext of a promotional campaign for rugby. Namal’s defence was that this was indeed a donation to promote the sport. Sports are sponsored by private companies and nobody has complained that Namal solicited a bribe so it’s not surprising that he got bail after just one week. more..

Irate Ranil rings Maithri in London

July 24 (CT) Last week with the re-launch of, which keeps track of the performance of MPs in a scientific way, Verite Research an independent think tank who operates the website revealed the voters, how their elected members have performed in the new Parliament that came into power after 17 August 2015. It was not long ago that statistics revealed, it costs Rs 4.6 million of tax payers' money each sitting day more..

Sri Lanka seek improvement against Aussies

July 24 (Island) SL’s recent tour of England exposed some bitter truths. Team lost all three series in one of national cricket team’s worst tours in the recent history. It was an opportunity to bite the bullet and move forward for the challenges ahead. This year we have some tough cricket. England was quite difficult as expected and so will be the Australian series that gets underway on Tuesday at Pallekele. Later this year, the Sri Lankans will be asked more tough questions when they tour South Africa. more..

The solid bloc is on the way

July 24 (ST) Come Tuesday Lankans coming in for the first of their Tests in the three match series against Australia at Pallekelle are in no position to sit back and savour the home advantage as they perennially used to. According to Sri Lanka team manager Charith Senanayake right now they are earnestly engaged in an arduous task of putting Sri Lanka cricket back in shape. Senanayake who batted for SL at number 3 on several occasions said “Right at the moment we are working harder more..

Video: As a leader, you need to understand the characters in the team: Mahela

July 24 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene talks about being a captain from a young age, and Arjuna Ranatunga's influence on Sri Lankan cricket. Q: Is leadership something you're born to do, or can you actually learn to do it? A: I think you need to learn to do it, and on a cricket field, a leader is as good as the team. I was quite blessed to have talented cricketers like Vaas, Murali, Sanga, Ajantha, who were impact players. more..

Project heads to be held accountable for results

July 24 (SO) The govt aims to make a sweeping revamp of public spending with Budget 2017, restoring financial discipline and making expenditure more efficient, ensuring transparency and holding implementers including project directors accountable for delivering results so that citizens get a better service and value for money. Preparation of Budget 2017 would continue to be based on the Zero Based Budgeting technique with some features of Performance Based Budgeting where more..

Call for enforcement mechanism to collect taxes

July 24 (SO) With the debate whether the upward revision of the VAT should be enforced or done away with, industry personalities expressed the need for an effective enforcement mechanism to collect taxes from businessmen and professionals. Corporate personalities said imposing or increasing taxes must be done with thought and managed properly. Precedent Partner of Nithya Partners, Aritha Wikramanayake said VAT or tax by any other name should be rational. more..

Murali parts company having imparted much knowledge

July 24 (Island) There’s been much murmur within the SL cricket team and in cricket circles after former great Muttiah Muralitharan joined ranks with Australia to help the tourists prepare for the Test series against Sri Lanka. To be fair on Murali, this is not the first time he has worked with the Aussies. Cricket Australia has sought his services before this too and to hire him again Darren Lehmann must be pretty pleased with more..

Quality Sri Lankan food at affordable prices

July 24 (GT) It is a new addition to the chain of an affordable dining restaurant that is literally for everyone, whether you are looking for traditional food or just need a quick bite on-the-go. In the presence of a large number of community members, the ambassador of Sri Lanka to Qatar Prof Dr W M Karundasa recently inaugurated the latest branch of New White Oceanic Restaurant & Bakery, sixth in the chain owned by Sri Lankan restaurateur Tenisan De Silva. more..

Performance award for Renuka City Hotel

July 24 (Island) Exceptional occupancy figures and top-notch revenue generation by Renuka City Hotel resulted in the hotel winning’s Award for Best Performance in 2015. Recognition for the hotel’s performance was based on its outstanding occupancy rates over the previous year, during which Renuka City Hotel was able to record over 5,000 room nights leading to revenue generation in excess of US$ 500,000 during the same period from guests alone. more..

Malaysian Deputy PM ends visit to Sri Lanka

July 24 (TS) Malaysian Deputy PM Datuk Seri Hamidi ended his two-day official visit to SL on a high note, having secured various incentives and agreement on plans to boost the bilateral ties between the two countries. During his meetings with several SL govt leaders, its govt has offered incentives, including lower taxes and land ownership to Malaysian business community. “Sri Lanka is offering Malaysian companies to invest in more..

NZ All Blacks Rugby Academy in Sri Lanka

July 24 (ST) New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) had agreed to set up an All Blacks Academy here, after a proposal made by the SL Govt has been successfully taken up by the world’s top rugby-playing nation. This was revealed by Minister Harin Fernando, who led a delegation from SL a few months back to make a presentation to the NZRU on the proposed academy. “We gave the NZRU a proposal, some months ago, to establish an All Blacks Rugby Academy in Sri Lanka, more..

SLMC rebels form new party

July 24 (SL) Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) is on the verge of a split following divisions over the party leadership. SLMC rebels have formed a group under the name Eastern Uprising to work against SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem. Former Minister Segu Issadeen said that the new political front will look to register soon as a new political party serving Muslim interests. He said that several SLMC members who oppose the actions of Hakeem have shown interest to be part of the new political party. more..

Tax on garbage on the cards

July 24 (ST) The govt is set to introduce a new tax called tipping fee compelling Sri Lankans to pay charges for garbage collection and disposal with the aim of encouraging the private sector to provide garbage collection services, sources said. Tipping fee is defined as a flat charge levied though local govt authorities from households and institutions for garbage collection and disposal by private sector service providers or PPP. more..

58 more fraud probes on Rajapaksas

July 24 (SL) FCID and Special Police Investigations Unit (SPIU) are investigating 58 allegations against former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family members. This was revealed during a meeting held among the respective investigations units and President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Several govt ministers also attended the meeting where progress over the investigations being carried out by the FCID, CID and SPIU was discussed. more..

CEB unaware of secret deals

July 24 (CT) The CEB has consulted the Attorney General (AG) about the possibility of filing civil action in Court against the alleged misappropriation of a sum of Rs 2.9 billion, by Entrust Securitas, belonging to the EPF of the CEB, which had been invested in Treasury Bonds through Entrust Securitas. CEB Chairman Anura Wijepala yesterday said that information available to him on the issue included allegations that Entrust Securitas also featured in alleged misappropriation of more..

Legal tangle affects Krrish square project

July 24 (ST) The US$650 million-Krrish square project on the 4.3 acre Transworks house building site in Fort has been temporarily suspended owing to a case pending at the Colombo Magistrate Court and ongoing investigations into an alleged payment of Rs. 70 million (US$ 500,000) to MP Namal Rajapaksa. The former President’s son was remanded for seven days in connection with the charge and released on bail on July 18. more..

Wasim’s family threatens to protest

July 24 (SL) The family of the murdered rugby player Wasim Thajudeen has threatened to take to the streets if investigations into the murder are placed under the carpet. A family member of Wasim Thajudeen told The Sunday Leader on condition of anonymity that they had faith in the ongoing investigations into the murder. However the family member said there is fear that like some other investigations, even this investigation too could take a back seat later owing to political influence. more..

Mammoth Rs 133 B owed to China Exim bank

July 24 (CT) Treasury has been backed against the wall with the imminent need to cough up to China a mammoth Rs 129.84 billion installment against a loan from Exim Bank of China taken by Rajapaksa regime for the Hambantota Port. The massive loan, payable in 20 years at an interest rate of 6.5% excludes charges for allied services amounting to Rs 3.78 billion. It is learnt that govt was mulling the feasibility of transferring responsibility for settlement of the loan to SLPA. more..

FCID fights tough odds abroad

July 24 (CT) FCID is struggling to conclude 62 high profile financial corruption cases because foreign financial institutions have still not sent it details relating to these cases. Despite Sri Lanka being a signatory to UN Convention Against Corruption, FCID has come up against a brick wall and can't proceed with the cases because in practical terms the information flow is deterred by quirks in different laws and administrative more..