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We let ourselves down a lot: Smith

July 30 (CI) Australia's captain Steven Smith ranked a surprise hiding at the hands of Sri Lanka among the most deflating results of his career, after pledging his leadership would be focused upon improving the national team's record in overseas territory. The 106-run defeat in little more than three days of actual playing time has put Australia's No. 1 ranking at risk, being their seventh consecutive loss in Test matches in Asia and first to Sri Lanka in 17 years. Meanwhile a hamstring injury to more..

Not using floodlights is disappointing

July 30 (CT) With all four days ending up early along with a loss of several overs in the Test match between Sri Lanka and Australia at the Pallekele Stadium due to bad light, the question arises of not using floodlights at the venue for the Test series where the visitors are keen to use them. "That's always disappointing. Both countries had to agree to that. We are quite happy to proceed. That's our policy in Australia. We are playing day and night Tests now. more..

Port workers, officials back down from brink

July 30 (Island) Every employee of the govt or public sector had a right to engage in trade union activities attached to the political parties, Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne said. Addressing the trade union representatives from the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), he said the employer’s party would protect their employees’ trade union rights. SLPA trade union representatives met Minister Seneviratne in the aftermath of more..

Social Media to promote #YOUTH VOTE in SL

July 30 (GDI) Election Commission of SL (ECSL) together with the International Federation for Electoral Systems (IFES) will be conducting a seven-day national social media campaign next week parallel to the International Youth Day 2016 falls on 12th Aug. The campaign called #Youth VoteSL will be held from 5th to 12th August island-wide with the participation of the youth led organizations, networks, and societies. Primary objective of the campaign is to more..

Weerasinghe mum on cost to Govt

July 30 (CT) Deputy Governor of Central Bank Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe dodged a direct reply when Ceylon Today asked him what the interest cost to Govt of Sri Lanka (GoSL) is, on the approximately Rs 250 billion Treasury Bill holdings of the CBSL, net of reverse repos. Weerasinghe in reply said that the CBSL doesn't pay any interest. But when this reporter said that what he wants to know is the quantum of interest paid by GoSL to CBSL on account of the latter's T Bill holdings, more..

Consumer rights group vows to move court against Speaker’s media team

July 30 (Island) National Movement for Consumer Rights Protection plans to move the court against Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s media unit over recent denial of a statement issued by the outfit regarding the use of substandard coconut oil to prepare food in the parliament canteen. The movement’s Chairman Ranjith Vithanage said that Speaker Jayasuriya was informed of the decision to take legal action against the media unit. more..

Sri Lanka sells Rs63bn in bonds; secondary yields up 15 to 20bp

July 30 (EN) Sri Lanka sold 60 billion rupees of 5, 08, 10 year bonds following a 50 basis points rate hike a day earlier, but secondary yields rose only 15 to 20 basis points, far lower than the rate hike. The debt office sold 20.7 billion rupees of 4-year 7-month bonds maturing on 01.03.2021 at a weighted average yield of 12.07 percent after offering 20.0 billion. A close maturity, (14.07.2021) was last auctioned at 11.67% on 12.07.2021 and it was quoted wide around 11.75/12.25% more..

Australia stumped, yet again

July 30 (CI) Adam Voges leans forward to push Rangana Herath back down the pitch. He does so in a tangle of bat, ball and ground. The delivery sails back towards Herath, who ambles across to grab it - on the bounce, or so everyone assumes. Upon doing so, Herath turns around and offers the gentlest of appeals to umpire Richard Kettleborough. As the replay is called for, Voges leans on his bat, a picture of unconcern. But what's this? He's half-volleyed the ball then hit the ground. more..

Herath bowls Sri Lanka to historic victory

July 30 (CI) Tonight, Sri Lanka are gonna party like it's 1999. Specifically, like it's Sept 11, 1999, the only other date on which they beat Australia in a Test. That victory came in Kandy with an XI full of Sri Lankan greats - Aravinda, Arjuna, Jayasuriya, Mahela, Muralitharan, Vaas. This win, up the road in Pallekele, is all the more remarkable for the dearth of such legends. Then again, it could be the making of some new ones. more..

Marching for what, for whom?

July 31 (SO) There have been many mass marches of people in modern SL history. Biggest in scale was the sudden mass displacement of the entire metro-Jaffna citizenry (as well as those already internally displaced). This saw thousands of people (and animals) frantically marching across the lagoon into the dubious safety of the Vanni. That mass movement of people was not only a great tragedy but also of military-strategic and political significance in the light of the battles that followed. more..

Long marches uf Mao Zedong and Rajapaksa

July 31 (SL) The Padayatra that was launched on Thursday by supporters of former president Rajapaksa was in the tradition of the Long March of Mao Zedong and also probably of the not-so-long March of Che Guevara. These marches – long or short – have the basic objective of rallying support of the countryside to their beleaguered political organisations with the ultimate objective of rolling heads of leaders of established govts. Mao’s 9000km march, that took more than a year, more..

Corrupt Paada Yathra leaders should march straight to Welikada Jail

July 31 (SO) Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam says, the so-called Joint Opposition (JO) or, the UPFA rebel faction, tends to come up with some political mumbo-jumbo now and then, merely for their political survival. Commenting on the UPFA rebel-organized protest march that set off for Colombo from Kandy, he said that: “Strictly speaking, most of the JO frontliners who are leading the on-going Paada Yathra more..

Prez, Ministers lash out at Pada Yatra dubbed political gimmick by bunch of crooks

July 31 (SO) The protest march masterminded by Mahinda Rajapaksa in 1992 positioned him as a national level figure among the SLFP ranks. Rajapaksa’s pada yatra, which went from Colombo to Kataragama, marked the beginning of the ascension of his political career and the initiative culminated with the downfall of the UNP govt in 1994. At the time Rajapaksa launched his first pada yatra, he was a relatively untested character in national politics. more..

Make sports administration independent

July 31 (CT) Minister of Sports made an announcement recently that 50,000 schoolchildren are to be mobilized for training for future Olympics. That is a very good move with the future of SL's sports in mind. According to the minister, he has taken this decision taking into account what is already happening in other parts of the world, getting them motivated in sports while still at young ages. This, the minister says, is something that was already there in the schools in Sri Lanka, more..

'We stick to our pledges despite obstacles'

July 31 (SL) Two-year agreement between the UNP and the SLFP on the national govt shall be extended to five years as the country has to move forward, says Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says. According to the minister, several major development projects are scheduled to commence during 2017/18. He says that it would bring further economic stability to the country. He elaborates on current developments of the political arena more..

Missing links in the Missing Persons’ Bill

July 31 (ST) The move by the Govt to establish an Office for Missing Persons (OMP) is clearly one of the outcomes of the UNHRC Resolution that requires SL to hold an investigation into allegations of violations of International Humanitarian Law during the military defeat of the LTTE back in 2009. Not that the search for Missing Persons, is in itself something to be taken lightly. So many went missing over a period of three decades not just due to one insurgency in the North, more..

Phoenix in the Lions rising from the ashes

July 31 (ST) My dear Angelo and the Team, I am writing to congratulate you on your magnificent — if somewhat surprising — win over Australia in the test match in Kandy yesterday. You have confounded the pundits and defeated the team which was crowned world test cricket champions just a few days before the game began! In terms of how important it was, I think many people might consider it as important as winning the World Cup against the Australians twenty years ago. more..

Hands off the media!

July 31 (SL) Media freedom is a topic much bandied-about, yet, despite countless discussions, many believe we are yet to make much headway in the right direction. The previous regime had many issues with regards to media freedom. Since Yahapalana govt had assured drastic changes to the then culture of oppression, many hoped that under the new govt, media freedom would be re-established. more..

Car permits

July 31 (Island) We do not apologize for returning to what the finance ministry on Friday called the "reintroduction of the previous program, with amendments, to provide vehicle permits to public servants." This is a subject which interests many of our readers who would have read our front page story on the subject. Being readers of an English newspaper, most of them belong to the more affluent section of our population and the majority probably own cars. more..

Batsmen not making big scores huge disappointment: 'A' team coach

July 31 (SO) The failure of the batsmen to make big scores on ideal batting tracks was one of the major disappointments during Sri Lanka A's recent cricket tour of England. Head coach Avishka Gunawardene lamented that although England Lions amassed massive totals against them in the one-day tri-series which also featured Pakistan A, none of the Sri Lanka A batters made use of the conditions to make a big score. "The biggest disappointment for me was not England Lions scoring 300 or 400 more..

Why Maithri summoned Mahinda loyalists to his residence

July 31 (CT) Some 24 years ago, in 1992, then MP of Hambantota launched his second major political move against then UNP regime led by President R. Premadasa by organizing a Pada Yathra which ran for over 18 days where masses he gathered marched from Colombo to Kataragama. This was after he went to UNHRC in Geneva to complain against the abductions taking place under the then govt of President Premadasa more..

Marching syndrome; & why pick on Murali?

July 31 (SO) The most famous march of all times and totally admirable is the Salt March or Dandi March led by Mahatma Gandhi as a non-violent act of civil disobedience against British rule in India. Gandhi, biding his time to launch civil disobedience got his excuse: the British with a salt monopoly in India imposed a tax. In his simple way – actually extremely intelligent, pragmatic and cunning – Gandhi with 78 people left his Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmadabad on March 12, 1930 and more..

Kusal achieves what even Sanga failed

July 31 (Island) Former great Kumar Sangakkara is very keen on winning Test matches against top opponents. He has been the hero in many famous SL wins both home and away. But he went through 15 long years of Test cricket without ever winning a Test match against the Aussies. Sanga played 13 Tests against Australia but never won a game against them despite making huge contributions as a batsman. He came very close on a couple of occasions like when he made that 192 more..

Best thing was to win for the fans: Mathews

July 31 (CI) Reflecting on what had been a bleak year, Angelo Mathews thanked SL fans for their support, following his team's first Test victory since October. 106-run victory in Pallekele was just Sri Lanka's second against Australia, but also Mathews' first triumph over a Test-playing nation in 2016. Sri Lanka had beaten India in a T20 in Pune, but Mathews had been unavailable through injury during that series. more..

Pada Yathra hogs the limelight

July 31 (Island) Joint Opposition’s pada yathra kicked off in Kandy on July 28. The crowd that assembled in Kandy for the start appeared to be at least as large as the crowd that came for the first Mahinda Sulanga rally in Nugegoda on February 18 last year, the organizers claimed. UNP announced membership drives in Kandy town and in Mawanella to coincide with the pada yathra leading to a situation where the Magistrates of Kandy and Mawanella ordered the UNP to delay their more..

Sri Lankan Netballers Thailand bound

July 31 (ST) “The Sri Lanka (SL) Netball team expects to go a long way at the 10th Asian Senior Netball Championship in Bangkok, Thailand, starting with the curtain-raiser against newcomers Afghanistan. With an expected win against the Afghans tomorrow (August 1), the SL lasses are determined to finish the tournament as Asian winners,” captain Gayani Dissanayake told the Sunday Times. Ten teams are participating in the Championship which concludes on August 7. more..

Sri Lanka's old commune with the new

July 31 (CI) All through the Test there has been near-silence. Only sometime after lunch, does the sound of papare spring from the stands. It is unclear where the band is seated at first. With the home team on the hunt, is the stadium summoning music from its muscle memory? Is the papare's sudden eruption part of a five-day ambush for Australia? Whatever the case, it feels like the final wickets cannot fall unless more..

MR to make special statement on govt

July 31 (CT) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that he will be revealing a hitherto untold story about the govt at the rally to be held by the JO in Colombo on 1 August, after the conclusion of its protest 'walk' that began in Kandy last Thursday. The former President told this Newspaper that the govt had heaped burdens on the people both politically and socially. He said the purpose of staging the protest walk was to bring people of all communities together in an effort to more..

Bahu slams JO on COL

July 31 (CT) Left Front Leader Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne said at a that "Joint Opposition (JO) members are reluctant to raise their voices against the current spiralling high Cost of Living (COL) and instead kept ranting constantly that the proposed new Constitution is a death trap and about treacherous treaties." He added that the Protest Walk is fuelled by racism and compared the Pada Yathra to the Rama-Ravana battle since D.E.W. Gunasekara decided not to support March, more..

Key files in White Van probe stolen

July 31 (SL) Important files related to the investigations on the white van abductions have been stolen from the Trincomalee navy camp. The files were connected to Lieutenant Commodore K. C. Welagedara, a key witness on the white van abductions said to have been committed when Mahinda Rajapaksa was President. The files, which were stored at Trincomalee navy camp, had been stolen on March 29, sources said. more..

5 slowest partnerships in Test history

July 31 (SK) As the oldest format of the game, Tests are known for having run rates slower than all the other formats of the game. While the advent of ODIs and T20Is has increased the run rates in the longest format of the game, sound technique and good bowling has meant that it still is not very high. The fact that three of the top five slowest partnerships in the history of Tests were achieved in the last three years and two of them feature AB de Villiers, arguably the most destructive more..

JO Walk a puerile exercise: Prof. Wijesuriya

July 31 (CT) The ulterior motive behind the Joint Opposition (JO) protest march (Pada Yathra) is merely to create a shield to protect the a family and not for the betterment of the public, says Convenor of the National Movement for a Just Society, Professor Sarath Wijesuriya. "The former President Mahinda Rajapaksa deliberately held the Presidential Election two years prior to the due date. He is now a man without power and is on a mission to reclaim that power. more..

Unhappy over FCID progress

July 31 (ST) SL’s controversial FCID received mixed reviews from the public in a new poll this week with one street critic saying the drama during arrests is “like a Tamil film in South India with a different script everyday”. The unnamed respondent said: “All actors belong to the same category. Same people come in and go out. We are the spectators. We are the fools. The whole country had become a joke.” He was responding to four questions in more..

Military Intelligence Chief replacement inevitable

July 31 (SL) Demands for Army Commander, General Crishantha De Silva to replace Director of Military Intelligence (DMI) Brigadier Suresh Sallay have grown to a fever pitch after the master spy’s top aide, Warrant Officer Prema Ananda Udalagama, was picked out last week in an identification parade for complicity in the assassination of founding editor of The Sunday Leader Lasantha Wickrematunge. The DMI has been widely criticized for keeping suspects in more..

75 % of Sri Lankan start–up entrepreneurs are aged between 20-35 years

July 31 (ST) Start-ups that received funding from external sources (i.e., banks, angel investors etc.) have shown a higher growth rate than startups that were funded through personal savings, a new study shows. According to a survey on start-ups to create a better understanding of the current start-up ecosystem in SL, adequate access to debt capital however was listed as a major problem for aspiring entrepreneurs, particularly for startups catering to the food/drink and education sector. more..

Customs step up: Brazil cargo scrutiny

July 31 (SO) Following two botched attempts to smuggle in cocaine in sugar containers from Brazil by two different companies, SL Customs have decided to carry out detailed inspections of all cargo from Brazilian ports. Three shipping terminals have agreed to carry out the detailed inspections for containers coming from Brazil. “We decided to do this as there were two different companies who were caught smuggling in cocaine and more..

Devapriya to reveal JO conspiracy with UNP

July 31 (DM) Western Province Chief Minister Isuru Devapriya said today he would reveal the Joint Opposition’s conspiracy with the UNP to save the Rajapaksa family in the future. He said SLFP supporters should join with President Sirisena and SLFP ministers if they wanted to form a govt or strengthen the SLFP and added that only they could form a govt. “We could have formed a govt if President Sirisena was allowed to field new team and contest the August 17 election. more..

Meet Team Shark of the Mortuwa University

July 31 (CT) Let me take you on a brief walk through the recently hectic lives of an excitingly innovative and dynamically motivated trail blazing team of young and passionately committed motor racing enthusiasts – a band of 17 male Moratuwa Uni students and a single female student – whose obsessive and seemingly impossible dream of actually designing and manufacturing a racing model was realized when their dream creation clinched success at a competition in UK recently. more..

‘National List, Executive Presidency out’

July 31 (SO) The parliamentary Steering Committee on the new constitution, will begin discussions on the alternative option for the executive presidency shortly. In the backdrop of President Maithripala Sirisena reiterating his stance that the Executive Presidency must be abolished during his term in office, recently, the steering committee has decided to take it up for discussion soon. more..

Iran demands Rs. 37 b in unpaid bills

July 31 (ST) An agreement has been reached on Iran’s demand that Sri Lanka should settle an unpaid bill of US$ 256 million (Rs. 37 billion) to resume crude oil sales. The issue about the settlement of the bill figured during talks in Teheran between a Sri lanka delegation led by Petroleum Minister Chandima Weerakkody and top Iranian officials. Lankan delegation including a representative from the Attorney General’s Department discussed ways to repay the unpaid bill, the minister said more..